Wednesday, January 2, 2013

RV Problem & Pee Wee Harley

That is quite the title....but it will make sense!
Readying to hitch up, early this morning.
We had planned to depart near 8:30 this morning.  Our goal was to leave the Red Bluff, CA, area and drive five to six hours south on I-5 to southern CA.  

I pressed the 'extend/retract' front jack switch and.......nothing happened.  Hmmmm!  What's with that?  I unlocked and opened the front garage door, checked the wiring on the switch and saw that is was arcing.....or ....shorting out!  Hmmmmm.  Not a good sign.  Although we could use a three ton tire jack to raise the fiver, it would not solve the problem so the decision was made to pay for one more night, hang in, call an RV mobile service and solve the problem.

I got in touch with Ralph's Mobile RV service, here in Red Bluff, and although he was quite busy, he agreed to drop by this mid-morning.  He replaced the switch, in the photo below, that had fried. It had to be changed.  He checked the voltage and sensed there was either a battery problem or the front jack motor had weakened.  We phoned 10 RV service shops in the Red Bluff/Redding/Corning area and not one had a front jack motor.  Hard to figure but that was our reality.

The new switch.  I had a new spare so the RV teck did not have to source one.
Jacks up....finally.
With his help - and a separate jack - we were able to hitch the fiver to our truck in anticipation of getting the RV jack motor replaced in Bakersfield.  I made several phone calls to Bakersfield and Camping World had what they believed was the proper motor.  No other RV facility had one.  I don't get that!  Motors do burn out.  I made an appointment to have the motor replaced this mid-day, Friday.

RV teck, Ralph, is an enterprising and very resourceful guy.  His knowledge is really strong.  His hunch was that the problem could more than likely be a low voltage one.  Sure enough, one of my two batteries was at 100% and the other was completely dead.  Odd stuff!  His feeling was that two new 'series 27 deep cycle batteries' would cure the problem.  I paid Ralph for his service call and the time, then Hector was good enough to drive me to the local NAPA Auto Parts store.

Back at the 5th wheel with two new batteries.
We completed the install and tied the two batteries together in parallel (corrected) and tested the jacks.  They worked well.  The jacks lifted and dropped the fiver with ease.  Phew!  What a relief that was.
Two new replacement batteries.
With the repair now complete, I called the Bakersfield Camping World to advise that we no longer required the new replacement motor, nor the service booking for mid-day, Friday,

To convince myself that the problem was solved, I tested the jacks a few more times and they worked flawlessly.

While Hector and I were futzing around with RV maintenance stuff, Jeanette and Diane headed off to Corning, CA, and the Olive Pit.
Every imaginable type of olive can be found here. 

Back at the RV, Jeanette sat in the sun while enjoying her book.
With our problems solved, we took a long walk in mid-afternoon to enjoy the lovely Durango RV Park.  It borders the Sacramento River.
Hector busy sorting stuff on his Class 'A'
Lovely surroundings and the river adds real value to this RV Park.

Jeanette is enjoying the calming sound of the river.
Time for some fun!

Hector and Diane arrived at Durango RV Resort with  a brand new Pee Wee we coined it.  This little electric moped is fun to ride.  It is quite peppy too.  I got to ride it - followed by Jeanette - before Diane scooted off to the local food market. 
Way too much fun!
Does it look like Jeanette wants to get off?  Noooooooo!
This little electro-scooter can top out at 35 mph and can travel about 50 miles before recharging the batteries.  Several RVers were attracted to the fun we were having and we did manage to provide some entertainment for the bystanders.  One lady was trying to coax her husband to buy one of these for herself.  We had many good laughs while enjoying the rides.
Diane was readying to head to the local food store.
Off she goes!
With the Pee Wee Harley fun over with, we stored a few more things away in preparation for our departure tomorrow morning.  Held back one day was not so bad.  Better to have and to solve the problem here in a nice park than to have to cope with the problem in some wayward place.

Diane and Hector are true RV friends!  They chose to hang out with us and stay another night too.  Although we encouraged them to head out, they refused.  Thanks for hanging back with us, you two.  It was really appreciated....and, yes, we did have some fun too.

So, as I conclude this blog, it's all systems go for the continuation of our journey south.

Thanks for dropping by.  It's all good!


  1. It does sounds like you came upon a good tech. Not often will people look harder than the surface to find out the problems with things. It sure looks like a nice day in California, and it's never a bad day to go to the Olive Pit is it?
    Rod W

  2. That was a good catch o n the dead battery, Rene. I,ve always had good luck with mobile RV techs and it sure sounds like you had a good one too.

    Jeanette looks right at home on that pee wee Harley.

    Good luck to tomorrow, hope all goes well.

  3. Glad you figured out what the problem really was! These are fancy machines we ride around in...and quite complex! Enjoy your trip...

  4. Hi Rene...I know I shud mind my own business, but I can' here goes...unless ur trailer electrical system is 24 volt.....I hope you did not hook up those brand new batteries in SERIES, tell me that was a lie, cause now you have 24 volts coming out of the end and that mite be why the switches are burning up.....I wood also be interested to see what size of fuse you have protecting that system....Cheers I wood hook those batteries in PARALLEL...thats my 2 cents...enjoy ur winter holidays!!!!

  5. glad to see that the fix was not as major as it could have been..nice of your friends to stay over with travels you two!!!

  6. Glad to hear that you resolved the problem and that you were with the good company of Hector and Diane certainly great friends. Wishing you safe uneventful travels south tomorrow.

  7. NJ,
    You are so right and, although I used the term 'series', the two batteries are hooked up in 'parallel'. I used the wrong terminology. I followed the proper schematic so that the batteries are delivering 12 volts. Sure appreciate your input though.

    Trust all is well?


  8. Glad you are up and running again. That scooter does look like fun!

  9. Always nice to have problems solved quickly.

    Happy New Year you you guys

    Safe Travels.

  10. Oh good...happy trails, and maybe u guys shud stay away from Durango...don't seem to have good luck hangin' round there!!!!!!

  11. I hate battery problems! It is strange that one battery would go bad while it's partner would remain at 100%. The bad one usually depletes the other. On of those strange things that makes you shake your head. It would not hurt to have a load test done on each battery in the near future to make sure there is not an underlying problem.

    Like Rod says... any excuse is a good one to visit the Olive Pit.

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