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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sometimes Washing Your RV Pays Off

Yes, I like a clean machine.  It goes back to my Coast Guard days where we kept everything as clean and neat as possible which often times prevented breakdowns from happening.  By cleaning over and under all the machinery, you’d sometimes spot that little leak or that loose nut that enabled you to get it fixed before it failed.  There aren’t too many parts stores 100 miles at sea.

Plus, it just looks good to have a sparkling clean RV.  Here at the Charleston AFB campground you can wash your rig for a $10 fee.  That helps defray the cost of the water used. 

Only ten bucks?  I jumped at the chance, forked over the dough and set out to wash the Journey and the Element toad.  I had a lovely day, 80 degrees (F) with little humidity.  I delved into my bucket of suds and was actually whistling while I worked.

Around back, I started washing the exhaust tailpipe and thought it seemed a little loose.  I figured when I was done and all the water dried up off the cement pad we’re parked on, I’d crawl underneath and take a look to see if everything was okay.


It wasn’t.  I found the clamp that holds the muffler to the engine exhaust pipe had bit the bullet.

A quick look on the Internet yielded the address of a nearby Freightliner truck dealer, so off we went.  They had a new clamp in stock.  (That’s the new clamp on the left for my less mechanically inclined readers).  ;c)


Looking up at the muffler and exhaust pipe connection, you can see where the clamp went and from the dark coloration on the right side of the inner (male) pipe, it was leaking some exhaust.


On with the new clamp, tightened up the bolts and we’re back in business.


But hey, while I was underneath the Journey, I multi-tasked and greased the drive shaft slip joint and two universal joints.  Keeping those parts lubed a couple of times a year prevents an expensive repair and tow.



Friends of ours recently had a driveshaft failure on their motorhome.  Not only did the shaft break and damage both universal joints, but when the driveshaft whipped around before they were able to bring the motorhome to a stop, it hit the transmission pan and cracked it.  Ouch! 

So maybe I grease those parts more than necessary, but grease is cheap, parts are expensive and my peace of mind is priceless.  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Ok, that sounds like sound logical! So if I wash the rig say once a year , I should be good-right:))

  2. I'm so glad to see Freightliner is selling shiny new parts instead of those rusty old ones. Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! you are so good at maintaining your rig!

  4. Great reminder to get out and look at everything from different angles whether you are washing the rig or not! Good catch on your part and a good reminder to me to appreciate my husband's similar neat freak tendencies.

  5. I wonder if Marti will rent you out. We will most certainly need someone to wash ours when we get to "Q". Then, while you're at it maybe you could check for other problems before you started washing the jeep. Thanks ... just knew we could depend on you.

  6. More great tips. Thanks. Now if I could only get Al to do some of these things.

  7. A good inspection of your rig can be done by washing it and I do ours as often as possible.
    Preventive maintenance sure does pay off in the long run.

  8. I LOVE your attitude about this. Wish I knew more about the mechanics so I could follow in your footsteps. David is of the 'if it ain't broke...' philosophy. Poor Winnona hasn't been washed in nearly a year and I'm beside myself. Can't find anywhere that will let us do it or a truck wash until we get back down toward cities I guess.

  9. Paul, you put the rest of us to shame :)

  10. I love a shiny, clean motorhome! I may be only 5' tall, but I getter done. Question,,,, do you wax your roof?

    1. No I don't wax the roof, just give it a good scrub about twice a year. I find that Spic-n-Span works well, with some Awesome cleaner for hard to clean spots like pine sap. My roof is fiberglass, btw.

  11. Since we seem to have wind and dirt and storms every afternoon, Jim just really doesn't seem to feel the need to wash the rig real often. So we'll just let you do it in Q - after you finish Jeri's.

  12. When I washed my 5'er, Paul, I looked under it and I couldn't see any exhaust pipe, slip joint or transmission. Maybe I'm just not washing correctly???

  13. We'll be in that line for rig washing if you go to Quartzsite. And feel free to crawl under it too!

  14. A wash and a lube - the journey must feel great!