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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Nickel And Dime Maintenance

It felt great to have a warm, sunny day here at our South Carolina “home”.  What better way to spend the day than hiking in the beauty of nature, or seeing amazing sights, or even (gasp!) shopping?
Naw, none of the above, it was time to do the little maintenance items that need to be done, but fall far down on the importance list.

First off, shut off the shore power and start the generator.  Onan recommends a two hour monthly run for our diesel generator under at least a 50% load.  Easy to do, I turn on the electric water heater and let the genny do its business.  A little TLC for it, by running it, not only does the oil circulate and keep all the seals soft and pliable, it helps to burn off any moisture build up in the generator windings.

Next was dumping the black tank and giving it a good flushing out.  Our Journey has a built in port to connect a hose to that rinses the tank.  A few good rinses and another item off the list.
Batteries.  The life blood of the RV.  Without them, you might as well be sitting in the dark in a cave.  Topped off the cells with my easy fill kit, a few squirts of the bulb on the hose and the cells are filled to their proper levels.


After that, a good rinse and cleaning of the terminal connections and done with that item.


We have a Splendide washer/dryer onboard the Journey.  It is a nice piece of equipment and does a great job.  There is no lint screen on it, but lint still can build up in the dryer vent hose.  I clean it out with this mechanical fingers device.


It is flexible, about two feet long and has an expanding claw on the end that opens when you push the button on the opposite end.


I gently insert it in the dryer vent and push the button to open the claws, the let off to let the claws grab some lint.



After several tries, the claw comes out clean and there is no more lint build up.  It is important to be gentle when inserting and removing the grabber, you don’t want to tear the vent hose.

The Journey has a basement air conditioner unit with a large filter, 14”x20”x1”.  I buy new filters at Walmart or Lowe’s.  I like the three month kind.


Do you think the old one was ready to be replaced?


We have two Fantastic Fan units in the Journey, they work great but also require periodic cleaning.  They get dusty.


I replaced the screwed on screens with the pop on screens (available at Camping World).  So much easier to remove and replace.

Cleaning is just a good rinsing with some soapy water and light rubbing in the sink.


So the little items are done, with no muss or fuss.  Sure wish this campground allowed me to wash the Journey, it’s looking a little (a lot) dirty, but that will have to wait for us to move on down the road.

The campground here has mostly monthly construction workers living here in trailers, but there are several sites for transiting RVs.  A fifth wheel pulled in yesterday with something I’ve never seen before.


Do you see it?  How about now?



It is a “penthouse” cage for the cat.  There was one on each side of the fiver.  And people like to say “It’s a dog’s life”.  Pretty clever, eh?

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Good work. Did you get the claw at Camping World? That penthouse is just what Noah needs. Must look into that.

    1. The claw is available at most auto parts stores and probably Walmart. It comes with a claw, a extendable magnetic pick up tool and an extendable mirror. Not very expensive.

  2. Glad to see you tending to business, if they ever turn you loose to get back on the road you'll be ready.

  3. I'm allowed to wash and wax my rig here on the refuge, but I'm not physically inclined to do so. Perhaps our new interns would be interested in earning a little cash? I hope so once I'm sure the pine trees are done with their pollen. ;) The intern thing has worked for me before. Here's hoping...

  4. that is quite the penthouse for the kitty!!

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  6. I'll try again;o)) Nice job with the Spring Cleaning!! Hope you can get on the road soon!!

  7. I liked your maintenance tips so much that I emailed your blog to my husband. I like the claw and the pop-out vent screens. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Cleaning that dryer vent sounds an awful lot like a colonoscopy:(

  9. Whew... now don't that feel good now that you got all that stuff done? Now it's time to play!

    Karen and Steve
    The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  10. And here I thought the huge bird cage in the cockpit of a Class A was unique! Kitty penthouse indeed!

  11. Love the kitty penthouse. I need to show that to our neighbors. Seeing your list made me tell Jim to start a list of things to get done before we head out. Thanks for the kick in the butt.

  12. Oh dear, the guilt starts and I'm going to have to look into all of these. At least I don't have the washer dryer. And I can just turn on the generator while we buzz off down the road to our new backyard tomorrow. I should be more careful not to read posts like this.

  13. You might think about hiring out your services. What better way to get a few extra bucks? You're certainly experienced and should have one heck of a resume.

  14. I just use a paint brush on the fantastic fans while they are blowing out air on high...

  15. That penthouse is the "Cat's Meow"!

    Nice work and techniques on those maintenance jobs. The lint cleaning is also a very good safety procedure as lint buildup is a major cause of fires in dryers. Keep that 'claw' working!

  16. I should blog about our lint removal for the Splendide. Ours wasn't drying right, so we called the manufacturer and he sent us an email about how to get the lint out of the hoses. It's an easy process involving running some cycles. Let me know if you want the email :)

  17. way to go on the maintenance now rick will be looking for those clip/snap on screens for the kitchen and bathroom and shower room vents..

  18. Those kind of things must be done. That's why I have Ron.