It’s true. Day one of our life on the road yesterday had us stopped hours later for repairs.
I was looking in the rear view mirror on the passenger side and noticed that the rounded edge seams on the front side of our trailer were sorta…coming apart. And any time you see the actual seams of your home coming apart, it’s probably a big deal.
My first assumption was that there was some kind of water damage – either old or new. We did have the entire roof of our RV re-sealed before leaving New York, so we weren’t too worried about some major leak but as we bounced down the highway, I couldn’t shake the feeling that 1) this needed urgent attention and 2) it would get worse if we did nothing about it. Our RV has been parked for the last month, and it’s super humid and damp where we’ve been.
So we chose to make a stop at a place called Trailer City in White Hall, WV – it was 30 minutes away from where we were once I noticed, right off the highway, and when I called they said to stop by and they would take a look. In getting there, Google Maps, in its questionable-at-times wisdom, got us to Trailer City by having us pass it, then turn around (note: this was completely unnecessary). Normally not a big deal but the turn was 1) about 30 degrees – we’re talking tight AF, and 2) at a crazy slope – ie, hardcore downhill. Upon seeing it I told Travis NOT to make the turn if he didn’t think we would fit, but he did, with one small backup.
However, when we got to Trailer City and stopped we discovered that the driver’s side front corner of the trailer was ALSO fucked up – and we had done it on the turn we had just taken. The corner of the RV caught the tailgate of our truck and scraped the shit out of it. This was because our pin box was too low, we now know, which means we didn’t have quite as much clearance as we should have between the truck and the trailer. That side now looked worse than the one we were going to have them look at. FACE PALM.
In any case, it was evident that there is definitely some kind of water damage. We could see wood crumbling. Ugh. They said without tearing off all the laminate and doing a deep dive, though, there’s just no way to know for certain. And one thing is true: that kind of exploration or restoration would be expen$$$$ive, and not everyone does that kind of rebuilding. When they got inside, they found your garden variety wood rot that had been happening for years, so not related to our roof reseal – check it out:
Fortunately, though, despite it being a busy holiday weekend (perhaps the worst possible time to have to worry about last minute repairs!), the techs were straightforward about how long it would take, what they would do, and how much it would cost to fix it. Had we not screwed up the other side doing that stupid turn, we would have been stopped for a few hours but now we were in for an overnight stay. D’oh.
Have I mentioned that we’re on our way to a wedding? And that we already paid for our stay at Pohick Bay Regional Park in Virginia? Welp, thems the breaks I guess. We were just grateful to be able to get it fixed in a pretty short time frame, given that it would indeed get so much worse if it were to rain or even be damp overnight. The cost? Almost $800. D’oh. Another chunk of change we weren’t planning on dropping, but hey – it could be worse, right? This will become my new mantra. It must. The techs also ended up adding more wood to the interior paneling for reinforcement (thank god), then sealing the whole thing up properly.
Everyone at Trailer City was extremely friendly, compassionate, answered all our questions, set us off with some extra Eterna Bond tape, and told us we could call them any time with questions. We wish they could have been the ones to service our RV originally – thank you guys for all your help. Our RV probably would have disintegrated in the first month without you. Have I mentioned that it’s now pouring rain? 🙂 PSA: Greg’s RV of Fairless Hills, PA re-sealed our roof and used some weird, thin, non-Eterna Bond tape on the front edges that peeled up in the short weeks we weren’t even driving or living in our RV.
In any case, it’s day two, and we’re BACK ON THE ROAD. #PaitakParty, here we come!
First lessons of RV life? 1. Trust your gut. 2. Get used to a change of plans. 3. Don’t make tight turns on weird, steep inclines.