I have Matilda set up in a nice campground in Eastern Oregon near my son, daughter-n-law and the cutest (9 months now) grandson anyone could ever hope to see. I don’t get to see him nearly as much as I want to, but hopefully that will change soon.
I purchased Matilda not knowing if the water worked or not because the tanks had been drained. Once I got her to the campground, I began systematically checking everything. My son was able to connect the battery so I knew the heat system worked and the stove top burners.
Not knowing the condition of the water lines, I filled only about a gallon of water at first to test them. Immediately I got leaking under the kitchen sink. The split lines were leaking and it took about $10 worth of parts to fix that. I added another gallon of water and still had leaking up under the sink by the faucet. It was discovered the faucet itself had a leak in it and would need replaced. This was a $59 part. I could have got a less expensive one, but I really liked the curve of the one I got so I would be able to actually fit a dish under it to wash it.
After the faucet was replaced, I went to connect the drain hose before adding more water to the tank; and the standard drain septic hose of today was not the correct size for the drain pipe of 1978 connected to the trailer.
Back to the RV supply store. The lady was really nice and together we finally came up with a solution. The outside rim of the trailer drain pipe would have to be cut off and this adapter added to it. The adapter with an additional shut off valve cost about $23.
Once that was completed then I added one more gallon of water to the clear tank and checked every. single. line. and tank for leaks and there were none. So I connected the water hose to the trailer.
My son and my acquired son came out and helped to get the trailer more level and also lit the pilot light for the hot water and tested the tank.
And the next morning at about 3 am the heat stopped. I was out of propane. This is a “Murphy’s Law” that your propane will run out in the middle of the night during the coldest night of the year so far. I went and filled my two 30 lb propane tanks connected to the trailer and the two 15 lb tanks that are for emergency back-up (like tonight, when I run out in the middle of the night). And then I did a banishing ritual so “Murphy nor his Laws” will ever visit again.
A night or two later the heating system started making a noise that sounded like space ships hovering. It was awesome; but needed to be fixed because it drove my dogs nuts.
I posted this sound on Facebook in the RV diagnostics group because some people have the magical ability to diagnose a problem just by hearing it. Multiple people said it was probably the bearings/ blower going out. Once I got in to check, there was a big bee’s nest in it. The bee’s nest was removed and then the thermostat had to be replaced. No issues since.
Now it was time to repair the gaping hole in the closet. I had temporarily attached cardboard on it to slow down the air flow.
Every now and again in life; we just have to work with what we have available and make the best of it. I took off the closet doors to make the repairs to the hole in the floor and built a shelf that was strong enough to hold items. I used bedliner paint to seal the underside. I don’t have closet doors at this time, but I kind of like the space better without them. They were difficult to open and get stuff in and out of the closet. I am planning to add a light sliding door in the future.
Once I got into it, I discovered more damage than I was aware of and some previous attempts at repairs. The side wall and the back wall was out of place and separating, so I first repaired what was already there, then built the shelf. There is still a portion of shelf under the refrigerator that needs repaired, but that will have to wait for now.
The next time I woke up to no heat, I also had no electricity. We had, had a pretty good storm the night before. The plug from the trailer to the electric box was melted, along with most of the electric box. The campground maintenance man repaired the box and also wired the new plug on my cord for me (which he didn’t have to do) but I am very thankful to him. The male RV electrical plug was $11.98 at Home Depot.
It is unfortunately a fairly common experience in campgrounds from so many people plugging and unplugging, the components inside become lose and this happens. A surge protector is high on my priority list, but not in the budget at this time because of so many other unexpected events. A water pressure regulator is also a high priority item if you are using campgrounds.
Overall, the first month has been a learning curve in an older travel trailer. The water only froze once; it was kind of a negligent on my end because I already had the heat tape to wrap the water hose, I just didn’t put it on in time sorting the other issues.
But it hasn’t all been challenging. I have finally been able to unpack some totes of belongings I’ve been toting around for years and have been able to designate a “sacred space” for myself. There are still lots of things to be done, and I’ll keep updating. I’ll leave you tonight, 12-11-2019, one month from my Maiden Voyage with some “homey” pics 🙂