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RV Surprises, Repairs, and Gates

I finally got THE call. The one from my boss to come sit on a gate for him. YAY! It took longer than I expected but it finally came. I wasn’t too happy about the idea of driving around with a trailer in the dark at 3AM the next morning through San Antonio to meet someone at 6AM who would lead me to the gate south of there but at least it was work. I quickly started putting everything down on the floor and pulling in all the outside stuff. As soon as I finished, I would eat dinner and get to bed early. That was the plan anyway. Nope. Didn’t happen. When I pulled the slide in, it failed to come all the way in. It was only sticking out about an inch but that combined with how almost impossible it was to pull the safety bar back out after I had moved over from the other campground had me suspicious. I ran it in and out numerous times but it wouldn’t close tight. I called my boss to inform him of the problem and give up that gate.

The next morning, I called Texas Country RV nearby who did house calls to LakePointe. The fellow they sent didn’t think it was too bad but thought his boss should check it before we did anything. The boss came out and got the same suspicious vibes I got. We decided to put it in his shop for a closer look. It was so nice of him to make time in his schedule and room in his shop for me after I explained about my job and how time critical this was. In the shop, he found the hydraulics that run the slide were failing. He called in a specialist who confirmed that the seal in one arm was shot and the other had started to leak. This would have been very dangerous back out on the road to that gate. They allowed me to leave my RV in the shop and stay in it. Power was provided. They literally pulled out the entire slide which is very long at half the length of the RV and sat it next to the RV. There was no other way to get access to the arms. The manufacturer seemed to think the hydraulics would never need to be serviced. Yeah, right. They even welded them closed which made it even harder. Without the wall, I couldn’t use the AC anymore. I managed a few nights in the RV. I ended up sleeping in the office one night on the couch until a cricket drove me out and then to a motel another night to get some real sleep and a shower.

My slideWhere's my wall?!Reinstalling slide

While staring at my wall-less RV, I realized I now had perfect access to the entire living room floor and that ugly old carpet on it. Light bulb! This was my chance to yank out the carpet and put in an Allure Ultra waterproof locking floating floor. I really needed something waterproof to handle the rain and mud I sometimes work in and I truly HATE vacuuming. Lord knows I certainly have experience after installing a house full of wood laminate. After getting permission from the shop owner, I attacked that carpet with a vengeance. Under it I found a nice vinyl floor that got my hopes up for a few minutes until I discovered it had been badly patched with non-matching vinyl on one end and damaged in a couple of places. Out it went. I zipped up to Home Depot and Lowes to find flooring. My choices were very limited to only 3 styles in stock at both. I had no time to order anything else in. Luckily, one of the choices was Red Hickory. It somewhat matches the wood floor planks in my hallway and came in wide planks for faster installation. I’m not sure it really goes with my maple orange-ish cabinets but it is so beautiful that I don’t care. TIP: Forget what they tell you about cutting it with just a knife. It will wear out your hands. I used an oscillating multifunction tool with a half moon blade to cut it. It worked very well and much easier. The RV tech suggested I lay it perpendicular to the slide to follow the light through the windows and door and make the space seem larger. Parallel might have made the room seem smaller. After it was finished, I hunted Walmarts for rugs to throw on top of the floor to soften standing at the kitchen sink and sitting on the couch with my heels on the floor. The rugs are easy to shake out and rollup out of the way. Since my heat vents are in the floor, I had to keep the rugs small so as not to cover the vents. To make up for the mess and trash I created, I swept the shop floor for them every night so they didn’t have to.

New Ultra Allure flooringNew Allure RV Floor

As I finished the floor, the hydraulics specialist brought my slide arms back. Reinstalling did not go well. Information on my RV and parts is scarce. The manufacturer went out of business. While the tech knew the arms are usually slightly different, they looked the same and took the same seals so he assumed they were the same. He spent all day and gallons of hydraulic fluid trying to get the arms to go in and out at the same time. At the end of the day, both the RV tech and I suggested that maybe his experience was right and they were in fact different. He didn’t go for it then but after playing with it a bit more the next day, changed them and got them working. With that, the side was reinstalled and tested. It closed all the way! It took some time to adjust it and that is something a good RV tech is better qualified to do. Then the wood trim inside had to be rebuilt because again the manufacturer never thought the slide would have to be pulled out so they nailed and screwed the heck out of the facing. We also discovered that the manufacturer had joined two boards right in the middle of the long slide which made it weak and they used a board with a huge knothole there that was crumbling and making it weaker. That was causing the top of the slide face to bow in the center. Now that it has new wood and a better design, the bow is gone.

I called my boss to let him know that my RV was repaired but he had no gate available for me to work and none immediately on the horizon. Dang! I had missed 3 gates while in the shop. I decided to take a chance and ask the RV techs to repair my leaking roof if they had time since it was still in the shop and now livable. They agreed to do it and sent me off for a new AC cover to replace the old cracked one and thin underlayment to put on top of the current roof while they took everything else off the roof. Sometimes it’s good to have a truck! We discussed what needed to go back on the roof. Since I have very little storage, I wanted my storage pod still. I wanted my antennas back of course for TV and cell signal boost. I did consent to removing the luggage rack permanently and the remains of the wood stove chimney. The luggage rack was leaking and I had the same problem with the rack on my last trailer. They told me manufacturers no longer add them for that reason.  In two days they had the new roof on and I was ready to roll. Just as I finished hitching up and was about to pull out, my boss called with a gate for the next morning. I was going to head back to LakePointe Resort but decided to hit the road instead to drive south of San Antonio that night and avoid the morning traffic. I did go to LakePointe to dump my tanks after getting permission and to verify that the slide was staying in while moving. Once I felt it was safe, I drove to Hondo, TX to the Escapees Lonestar Corral park for the night.

Getting new roof





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