In this post I will be using the term RV seals to cover both caravans and motorhomes. I mentioned briefly about Seals in Tales From The Workshop, here is what I was talking about!
They all have them in one form or another and if they are not in good condition your motorhome/caravan can be destroyed in no time. What seals am I talking about? They are not the ones on your fridge. they are the ones on the outside of your RV that are supposed to keep the water from getting in. As well as the seals around your wet areas inside that are supposed to keep the water from getting to other areas.
Have I got a tale or two for you and they are all straight from the workshop floor. I will be regularly writing posts over the next few months about motorhome and caravan repairs, modifications and accessories that I come across as I work on the workshop floor of a caravan repair business.
Following What I Love To Do
As I wrote in a previous post titled “Tradie not a Trader” as much as I wanted to become a Trader to finance our new life on the road, mentally I am still a Tradie and not yet ready for life as a Trader. So soon after arriving on the Sunshine Coast I set out to look for some temporary employment to help pay for the repairs to our motorhome.
Are you dressed for success? It might seem like a bit of a stupid question but it is one of those questions that if you think about it is actually asking more than one question.
A Case Study in Being Dressed For Success
The whole reason that I am writing this post is that our oldest son went into a four hour series of interviews last week and was offered the job of his dreams. Was he dressed for success? Hayden certainly was. He was not only dressed for success physically but mentally as well. It was what separated him out from the large group of people that were there to be interviewed for a chance of a career in the Australian Defence Force.
A week ago our second oldest son Zac asked me if I could to take him to the Wide Bay Australia International Air Show which is on this weekend. I jumped at the opportunity straight away. With an interest in aviation and the chance for a day off a team of wild horses could not keep me away. It wasn’t long before I had a couple of tickets booked for Saturday which is the first day of the two day event.
The Big Day Arrives.
Saturday morning arrived with perfect conditions for an air show. The sun was shining without a cloud in the sky and there was just enough breeze to keep it comfortable out in the sun. We departed with plenty of time to get to Bundaberg Airport where the event is being held. After the usual traffic delays that come with any large event we arrived in time for the opening sequence which involved a couple of parachutists descending with large Australian and Wide Bay Australia (the major sponsor of the Wide Bay Australia International Airshow ) flags. All the time being closely circled by a Pits Special aerobatic plane. It was going to be an entertaining day.
The Static Displays
Being early in the day we decided to have a look at the static displays and stalls first. There was everything on offer from $20 radio controlled helicopters to $2,000 joy flights in a jet fighter on offer. Many of the local flying schools had information booths set up as well as the QLD Institute for Aviation Engineering and a university. All with plenty of information for anyone interested in a career in aviation. The one that we headed for straight away was the Defence Force Recruiting area. Zac is interested in becoming a navy helicopter pilot when he has finished his schooling. So we were after any information that we could get to help him work towards that goal.
Once we had finished getting a lot of valuable information from the Defence Force Recruiting stand we had a good look at the wide variety of aircraft on display, including many modern small aircraft including the locally made Jabiru as well as a good variety of warbirds, The RAAF Roulette’s and Matt Hall’s air racing aircraft. Many of these we were going to see perform as the day went on.
As good as all these aircraft were to look at the flying displays were what everyone was there to see. I don’t think that any one would have left disappointed. there were a couple of Pitt Specials that did a superb acrobatics display before racing an old Chevy Blitz truck and a hatchback along the runway. The truck and car won. They both have jet engines mounted in the back.
This was followed up by Matt Hall performing a spectacular airobatics display and the RAAF Roulette’s with an incredible display of there own. Most of which is done in tight formation. There were a wide variety of flying displays from the warbirds that were there also, including a couple of jets that were a lot of fun to watch. The one display that took my breath away though was the visit from one of the new Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornet’s. Watching one of these aircraft performing a low level pass at 500 miles per hour or turning in an incredibly short length at high speed and so close is amazing. But it absolutely took my breath away when the pilot went from less than 100 feet to 20,000 feet in a matter of seconds vertically.
A Good Day Out
Over all Zac and I had a fantastic day out and are planing to come back for the next Wide Bay Australia International Airshow . If you have as big a love of aircraft as Zac and myself I am sure that you would have a very enjoyable and memorable day if you came along too.
Looking for the silver lining or being grateful as we make our final preparations for life on the road has become a daily routine for me. It helps me stay positive each time I discover something else that needs attention and repair. Many of which would not be needed if earlier repairs had been done correctly the first time. Read more
Lisa has told me that she has been asked on several occasions “where’s Dave”. Well I am back with a new outlook. Apart from working on our bus I have been spending a lot of time thinking and re-evaluating my life and how I want to live it. Lisa has kept me informed in the mean time of everyone’s positive comments whilst she has continued to keep everyone updated. To each and every one of you I would like to say thank you. Your support has meant a great deal to me.
Have I Just Had My Mid Life Crisis?
Some would call it a mid life crisis but personally I think that term is an absolute crock of you know what. To me it was an awakening or realisation that I was not being true to myself in some of the things that I was doing in my life and my perception of other aspects was somewhat jaded. The Instability created by the change from living a suburban lifestyle to home being wherever I park our bus certainly played a part in realising that I was not being true to myself. I was in the midst of realising a goal that I had set myself when I was still a teenager and I wasn’t even excited. It was at this point that I started to realise that something was wrong. Read more
Have you ever spoken to a Diesel Mechanic about repairing a diesel injector pump? I have. In my case it was the CAV diesel injector pump that is on the Bedford 466 engine of Rose The Lifestyle Challenge Bus. The problem that I had was that it was leaking diesel everyware whenever I started the engine. I had traced the leak to the stop leaver on top of the injector pump and that was as far as my knowledge of injector pumps went.
The response of the mechanics that I spoke to was the same in almost all cases. Without even looking at the engine the standard line seamed to be ” That’s going to cost at least two or three thousand to fix” After going weak in the knees when I heard this the first time I started to think “It can’t be that hard to fix. Can it” Read more
Motorhome storage space is a major consideration in every alteration that is made to the layout of our bus. With two adults and five children on board space is something that we do not have a great deal of. In fact I have turned watching the colour drain from Lisa’s face into a bit of a pastime every time she looks at how small her new wardrobe and other storage spaces are. Sometimes I tell her to downsize just to see the reaction, but most of the time I say don’t worry I’ll sort it with a cheeky grin and then go on to wondering just how I will do it 🙂 Read more
When doing your own motorhome repairs you might have to gain access to areas that you normally can not get to. You might be fitting or replacing plumbing, 12/24 volt wiring or opening up areas for your electrician. When that happens you have to get creative and explore other possible ways to get the job done. Sometimes though you have no alternative to removing paneling and or furniture so that repairs can be made. This is what we have had to do to “Rose The Lifestyle Challenge Bus”.
Going Backwards To Move Forwards
Now that our motorhome is watertight it is time to focus some attention on bringing the interior up to scratch and modifying it to suit our families needs. The walls all need relining after changing the windows and both the 240v and 12/24v electrical systems need updating.
The electrical systems have to be at least roughed in (running any new wiring) at this stage. Which is what we are up to at the moment. I have my electrician taking care of the 240volt mains with me opening any areas that he needs to get to in advance. I am also taking care of all the 12/24 volt wiring at the same time and building cupboards to house the new safety switches and the 12v switch panel and battery monitors. Read more
Our motorhome windows were in a bad way. There were so many rust holes in the window frames that I was surprised that the old girl was not whistling like a kettle as I was driving up the road. As for the window seals, they were definitely well past their use by date. They were still holding the windows in. But they were letting in the rain also.
Drying The Old Girl Out
To continue with the renovations on our motorhome I was going to have to come up with a solution to stop the water getting in through the leaky window seals and rust holes. I could not install any of the replacement furniture until the interior of our motorhome was watertight. Some research came up with a supplier of replacement window seal to suit but at $25 per metre and three metres per window it was going to cost around $1000 before I even took the cost of all the rust repairs into account.The other alternative was to remove the old bus style windows and modify the openings to fit new motorhome windows or caravan windows depending on what was available. This was the approach that I decided to take. Read more