The second time our Keystone Laredo blew a bearing on the highway…

In July 2020, on our way to the worst work camping gig, we were coming down the hill into Tehachapi, California, and the truck alerted us that it’d lost the signal to the trailer brake. We immediately pull over, I run back to check the plug, thinking it’s a simple problem. It was fine, but I smelled burning and when I got back to the truck, David said “we’ve got flames out there.” We ran for the fire extinguishers, and David put it out quickly. It was the same bearing that caused us to spend a cold night on the interstate back in November 2019. This time, we got lucky (or so we thought) because it was early in the day, and all the parts stores were still open. We even had a spare bearing. Unfortunately, the bearing and race had welded themselves to the spindle, so it wasn’t quite …

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Broken Service door

On one of our hops across the country while hooking up our fresh water, the door fell off in my hand. The problem turned out to be a broken retracting plastic pin on one side of the door hinge. The door attaches to the utility cabinet with one fixed pin and one spring retracting pin. Both pins are plastic, the retractable one is the one that broke. When it broke, the spring and remaining bits of pin disappeared into the gravel, never to be seen again. I made a few inquiries as to how to get a new one but since we were traveling I secured it with some tape and forgot about it. We made it to our summer location and work calls started flowing in so I continued to rely on my good brown tape to hold my access door in place. At the end of the season …

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RV Lock Keypad Replacement

We installed an RV Lock keyless entry about a year ago, and we love it. We can hit the pool without worrying about where to keep our keys, we never get locked out, and it looks real slick on the rig. Unfortunately, the cover started to crack several months ago. We worried moisture would get into the lock and damage, it looked bad, and it could be considered a security risk because the most commonly used keys are the ones more likely to show wear first. We posted about it on our Instagram account, and am excited to report that RV Lock reached out to us to offer to send us a replacement face plate for the unit. They’d upgraded the materials used for the keypad and said the replacement should last much longer. The new plate looks thicker and sturdier than the cracked plate. We were also pleased to …

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Heading in my new direction

I am officially an RVSA Certified RV Technician! We’ve been full-time RVers since September 2018, but only on the road since July 2019. Jen and I have been planning and working to fulfill our dream of full-time RV travel. Making this transition meant letting go of the career that had sustained me up to this point. I spent much of the last 20+ years working as a operations and equipment maintenance supervisor in the manufacturing industry. I was very good at my job but I was fed up and burned out. The politics, dehumanizing management, and frustrating environments meant each day was a soul-sucking blender. We budgeted, scrimped, and saved in order to help make the transition possible. I have always been a hands-on person and enjoy fixing and making things. My favorite job was the three years I spent working as a residential electrician before going back to school …

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RV Surge Protectors, and a Positive Experience When One Failed!

A surge protector for your RV is a must, because you never know what you’re going to get when traveling from one RV park to the next. One bad surge could fry everything in your RV, or just one very expensive thing (like an air conditioner), which is more than enough inconvenience, should you be so unlucky!

We picked up the Progressive Industries SSP-50XL surge protector with the weather cover (they make 30-amp versions too), because it was reasonably priced and came highly recommended by other long-time RVers. We’ve been really happy with it– we plug it into the pole when we park, make sure the power’s good, and then plug the rig in. It’s easy and painless, and once we’re hooked up, we’ve got the peace of mind that we’re protected.

When we plugged into a new site a few weeks ago, the protector indicated that we had good power, but no surge protection. To our knowledge, we’ve never had any surge events, and the plug was still in good condition. There are two sets of LEDs for redundancy, and since both were out, we had to assume we’d lost our surge protection entirely, for whatever reason.

A surge protector with only the blue "good power" lights lit, when the green "surge protector" lights should also be lit.

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Sanitizing Our Fresh Water System

How long has it been since you sanitized your fresh water system in your RV? Did you know your fresh water system needs to be sanitized on a regular basis? Even with a good filter, algae, debris, and bacteria can build up in the fresh water tank and plumbing.

The sanitation process can take several hours, and will require access to a fresh water supply.

We have a Keystone Laredo travel trailer with a 43 gallon fresh water tank, and our water cabinet includes the fresh water fill inlet, fresh water tank vent to prevent overfilling, valve for switching between onboard water and city water, black water flush inlet, outside shower port, and the cable TV connections.

View of the fresh water fill cabinet on our Keystone Laredo travel trailer

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Making Gray Tank Valves Easier to Reach

Waste water tanks are not high on the list of fun things to do while RVing. We have two gray tanks, and the way the manufacturer installed our kitchen gray tank’s dump valve does not make the process any more fun. Basically, they were installed “backwards.” In order to open the gate valve you have to climb under the edge of the slide floor and electrical cables, and the valve must pulled away from you in order to open it.

View of the kitchen waste water tank dump valve with the handle facing away from the viewer
This is the easiest angle to approach the gray tank. Why is the handle on the opposite side?

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