Living On The Road

Don’t Worry; Be Handy!

DIYInspired by Levi Henley’s article in the Escapees Magazine, this month’s post is a tribute to all the DIY-challenged people living the RV lifestyle. Levi’s article outlines the common-sense approach to fixing a problem. (This Escapees  Magazine Sept/Oct issue is available online for Escapee members.)

The principles of success:

  • Stay Calm
  • Assess the Situation; Isolate the Problem
  • Investigate the Problem; Pinpoint a Solution
  • Make a list
  • Fix It

The section on “Staying Calm” struck home with me, because I went through the same process when I started traveling solo some eight years ago. Access to the Internet has improved my DIY skills. Even if I wind up calling a repair person, I now have an overview of the project before they arrive.

Knowing the approximate cost of the part (if required) and relative information is enlightening. It makes the repair project seem simpler than at first view. Physical strength (or lack of) usually determines my need to call for help.

One of the popular social media resources, Facebook, contains many pages dedicated to DIY projects among the RV lifestyle population. Impressed with the sites dedicated to women, I have spent many an informative hour reading about their learning experiences.

The posts with the highest suspense level are those women who gut an old trailer and renovate from scratch. Most of these women claim to have no prior experience building or remodeling any structure, yet they push ahead building skills that pay off. Obviously, they follow Levi’s outline for success.

Facebook pages to check out: Fabulous RVing Women, Women in RVs, and Women Who RV to pick up tips and tricks from women on the road. RV Tips is another page that offers DIY info.

Stay calm and do not jump to conclusions when you read a post that might solve your problem. Do your research on other sites to confirm that this is the proper way to solve it. Remember, these are not experts revealing their secrets, only DIY experiments that may not prove out in the long-term.

Quoting Levi, “As you achieve each repair; you will build confidence for taking on the next challenge. I know you will be surprised to find that you are handier than you think.”

One Truth About Living On The Road

The RV lifestyle is the envy of millions of wage-earners making the daily trudge to work Monday through Friday, and some the weekends too. Being able to head South when the winter winds start to blow is the dream of many. Work hard, save and invest, spend the silver years doing what pleases them, the American Dream.

Seniors Some folks after retirement sell their home and reinvest their equity in an RV, planning to travel the USA for a few years, then settle down in their dream location.

Unfortunately, the American Dream did not materialize for much of the current retiring American population. For the more enterprising retiree, seeking minimum wage work to supplement Social Security checks each month lead them to a different lifestyle, for some very freeing, for others, an act of desperation.

The geriatric camp hosts and nomadic RV dwellers you see living a lifestyle of freedom may just be trying to make ends meet. Some of the real reasons why many retirees are living in RVs:

  • Living out of an RV is all they can afford on Social Security.
  • They lost everything during the Great Recession.
  • Good paying full-time work is hard to find.
  • Seasonal work around the country is easy to find and helps to make ends meet.
  • The repercussions of not preparing for retirement are real, sometimes even for the best-laid plans.

Read on  . . .

Escapees Club

Boot Camps

If you want to learn more about your RV, check out the Escapees Boot Camps.

The program includes training in

– RV maintenance and operation
– Towing safety
– Tire and weight safety
– Basic RV systems
– Fire and life safety
– RV driving (In-Your-RV Driver Training by
– Personal safety for RVers


  • North Ranch – Congress, Az, February 2 – 4, 2018
  • Grand Prairie, Texas , March 9 – 11, 2018
  • 58th Escapade – Sedalia, Mo., May 24 – 26, 2018

RV weighing is now available at all boot camps events.

Call 888-757-2582 to register for a Boot Camp event!!

Recalls -



Entegra Coach (Entegra) is recalling certain 2016-2018 Aspire, Anthem, Cornerstone, and Insignia motorhomes. The vehicles have lights that do not include reflectors and the vehicle does not have separate reflectors.

Forest River is recalling certain 2017-2018 Dynamax recreational vehicles, models ISC24FWM, ISC24RWM, ISC24FWMCD and ISC24CBM. If the vehicle is parked with the engine running, carbon monoxide may enter the passenger cabin through open windows or other openings in the floor.

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2017-2018 XLR Toyhauler, Vengeance and Wolf Pack recreational trailers equipped with an optional generator. The generator’s exhaust pipe is mounted too close to the trailer’s plastic underbelly.

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Dynamax Isata vehicles, models ISC36DSD, ISC35DBD, ISC36DSD4X4, built on RAM chassis equipped with Cummins 6.7L Turbo Diesel engines that have Concentric-brand water pumps without a vent hole. These water pumps may leak coolant.

Forest River Inc. is recalling 41 2018 Coachmen Galleria motorhomes, models GAB24FLM, GAB24QM and GAB24TM. The inverter was installed using a lead wire that may not be able to handle the amperage draw.

Grand Design RV, LLC is recalling certain 2018 Reflection travel trailers, model 297RSTS. These vehicles may have insufficient clearance between the tire and the ram that moves the slide out room. The tire can contact the ram for the slide out room while the trailer is being towed, causing tire damage or a possible tire blowout.

Heartland Recreational Vehicles is recalling certain 2018 Pioneer recreational trailers. The liquid propane (LP) manifold block may be mounted too close to the center shackle, allowing the shackle to hit the LP hose fitting and cause a propane leak.

Highland Ridge RV (Highland Ridge) is recalling certain 2018 Light recreational trailers, models 312BHTS and 275RLS. The safety chains on these vehicles may be rated for a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 7,600 lbs, however the trailer has a GVWR of 11,700 lbs.

Jayco is recalling certain 2016-2018 Jay Flight SLX recreational trailers equipped with a 35 amp power converter. The electrical circuit from the battery does not have overcurrent protection such as a fuse or circuit breaker.

Keystone RV Co. is recalling 12 2018 Hideout recreational trailers, model 310. The Federal Placard on these vehicles incorrectly lists the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) as 5,080 pounds and the tire size as ST225/75R15D with 65 PSI, when the correct GAWR is 5,200 pounds and the correct tire size is ST225/75R15E with 80 PSI.

Entegra Coach (Entegra) is recalling certain 2016-2018 Aspire, Anthem, Cornerstone, and Insignia motorhomes. The vehicles have lights that do not include reflectors and the vehicle does not have separate reflectors.

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2015-2018 London Aire motorhomes built on Daimler Trucks (DTNA) chassis. When the high beams are activated, only the high beam bulbs illuminate instead of both the high beam and low beam bulbs as intended.

Newmar Corp. is recalling 2,915 model year 2016-2018 Bay Star, Bay Star Sport, Canyon Star, Dutch Star, Essex, King Aire, London Aire, Mountain Aire, New Aire, Ventana and Ventana LE motorhomes. These vehicles may have a loose power connection at the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS), possibly resulting in a build-up of heat.

REV Recreation Group (REV) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Fleetwood Jamboree and Holiday Rambler Vesta motorhomes. The hydraulic leveling system lines may not be properly secured allowing them to contact the axle or the chassis drive train components, possibly resulting in a hydraulic fluid leak.

REV Recreation Group is recalling certain 2018 Fleetwood Axon, Bounder, Flair, Southwind, Pace Arrow and Pace Arrow LXE motorhomes, and 2018 Holiday Rambler Navigator, Navigator XE, Reno, Vacationer, and Vacationer XE motorhomes. The satellite dish on these vehicles may detach from the roof while driving and become a road hazard.

REV Recreation Group (REV) is recalling 347 2018 American Coach, American Dream, American Revolution, Fleetwood Discovery, Discovery LXE, Holiday Rambler Endeavor, Endeavor XE, and Monaco Marquis recreational vehicles. Water may enter the 12-volt harness connectors due to missing gaskets or the placement of the pin connectors, potentially causing an electrical short.

Spartan Motors recalls 34 RVs for a water pressure relief valve that may open.

Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. is recalling 24,048 2009-2018 Allegro and Allegro RED, Bus and Phaeton vehicles, 2009-2010 Bay vehicles, 2011-2018 Breeze vehicles, and 2009-2015, and 2017-2018 Zephyr vehicles. These motorhomes are equipped with Kidde Plastic-Handle or Push Button ‘Pindicator’ Fire Extinguishers that may become clogged, preventing the extinguisher from discharging as expected or excessive force may be needed to activate the extinguisher. Additionally, in certain models, the nozzle may detach from the valve assembly with enough force that it could cause injury and also render the product inoperable.

Triple E will notify owners, and dealers will correctly tighten the passenger side seat pedestal mounting bolts, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin Dec. 18.

To learn more about your RV,  For Women Only, Motohome Care & Maintenance.