Friday, April 23, 2021

All it Takes is Money

Posted from East Bank COE, near Bainbridge, GA

Well, 2021 is certainly not turning out to be a carefree, love that fulltime lifestyle year so far for us.

Let's just say that mechanical problems related to the motorhome are starting to wear on us.

It began a few weeks ago when I was doing a routine monthly running of the generator. Our generator only has 945 hours, which is fairly low for an 11 year old rig. If we are using it as intended on a regular basis I try to follow Onan's recommendation to "exercise" the generator for 2 hours every month under at least a half load. On this particular day I was approximately 1 1/2 hours into the run when suddenly the generator shut off. Grabbing my handy Onan manual I determined that the fault code being generated pointed to excessive output voltage.  Uh oh!

So far I have determined that if the circuit breaker located on the generator is turned "OFF", the generator will happily run as normal.  I tried turning the same breaker "ON" and was able to run several things in the rig such as the dryer, water heater, etc.  Unfortunately, as soon as I attempted to turn on the air conditioners, the generator again shuts off and gives the same error code. NOTE: The generator's circuit breaker never trips during the shutdown.  I'm thinking control board here, but since they are pretty expensive I've decided to let someone take a look at it before going  that route.

I could live without the generator for a bit, as we are usually plugged in at our stays anyway.  On to the next recently occurring problem.  A couple of days ago we pulled into a campground and began to deploy our hydraulic jacks, then put the slides out as we've done in the past.

We have two hydraulic slides on the passenger side, and two electric slides on the driver's side in our rig. The pump motor for the hydraulics sounded weak and the large passenger side slide halted. Oh CRAP! Well, on that particular day we deployed the electric side first, then returned and deployed the passenger (hydraulic) side. After a pause, all slides finally deployed.

Today, we got to our destination and the leveling jacks proceeded to go down VERY slowly as again the pump motor wasn't operating as it should.  We finally decided to only deploy the small bedroom (electric) slide and no jacks at all for fear of not having anything work when we decide to leave tomorrow.

To me, it sounds as though the motor is not receiving enough DC power to operate properly.  Although we replaced our house batteries just two years ago, I suppose that could be an issue.  I need to get them load tested and take some specific gravity readings to see if I might have a bad battery (or more).

To sum up, fulltime is not good times, all the times. I think that every fulltimer has gone thru stretches like those we are currently experiencing.

So, hopefully, in the end it's not something that MORE MONEY can't fix.

If anyone has any experience with similar problems, or would just like to throw out an idea, I would be VERY RECEPTIVE to any ideas.

Again, thanks for taking a look at our blog (and listening to my gripes) today.


  1. Hang in there. We are hoping your issues are easily solved. Our 2021 full time experience has started out slowly as Bill tumbled out of the back of the truck as has been healing slowly but surely. We are very thankful nothing was broken! Physical therapy and a chiropractor are working well now. Good luck!

    1. Hope Bill heals up quickly. Seems as though those types of injuries take me longer and longer to heal up again.

  2. That's a drag. It happens to all of us even when we stop full-timing. Our townhouse complex is getting painted and everything is a mess. You'll get through it. Our little genny in the van is temperamental. I find sacrificing a chicken sometimes helps.

  3. Does your dealer offer phone support? Our dealer does, although if the problem is too technical, they ask us to call Coachnet. (That's a service like AA for RVers but they also help with troubleshooting.)

    We were able to get help from a mobile RV tech once, too, and it was only about $100.

    But as far as the breakdowns go - yes, they are relentless.

  4. I don't think calling our original dealer after 11 years would get too much response. In this case, we are lucky to own a Tiffin product as we can contact their Tech Line for advice. We are FTers, so original dealers aren't really a part of the equation.