Greetings all you Lovers of the Land, State Park Safarians, Weekend Wanderers, and my favorites-- those who live by the rule--"If you don't like the neighbors, move across the lot!"! I am Wingnut of Cleburne Texas' Fun Time RV Center. I haven't been there long, just under 3 months I believe (when doing something you enjoy, days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, you get the picture....) but I have quite a lengthy history working with RV's. It started when I was seven or eight years old, I was staying at a cousins house where they owned a decent-sized fifth wheel. I was playing with a younger cousin, running around the trailer, nailed my head on the hitch, got my hair stuck in the grimy grease really good (something else caught it too 'cause my aunt had to hack a good lock off with sissors), and I've been foolin'around with them ever since. I got in trouble for playing close to the hitch so I had to clean out the grease and hair off the hitch, and relube it. Since then, I've not only worked on Montanas, but Sydney Outbacks, Raptors (I like them too!), Travel Supremes, you name it. All the way down to the "cost effective" Cody, the Rugged 1976 Winnebago with busted shock mounts, and furnace full of mud daubber nests (boy, is THAT a pain.....)... I've just about seen it all. Last week, in fact, a travel trailer came in with a "noisy waterpump" problem. Turned out to be a coffee can with nuts and bolts had been set on top of the water line immediately after the pump. Some problems "can" be that simple, some problems turn out to be a bit more frustrating, such as "why did my 50,000 mile tires on my brand new unit wear out in one trip of less than 1,000 miles?"
And this will be my "Tech Tip" of the day.
The answer to that problem, actually, is usually quite simple to guess, but difficult to prove. Axles out of allignment, caused by either bad instilation at the factory, or by the unit being moved around by forklifts at the factory or the RV lots. The bad install jobs are self-explaining, but as how the forklifts can ruin allignment deserves a bit of explaining. When all your RVs were brand-new babys at the Keystone factory or when it was sitting at the RV lot where you fell in love with it, more than likely it had been moved around a bit by forklifts with cups on the forks for the hitches. (Or so I have been told that is the way it is done at the factory too. It is common pratice at a majority of RV lots). Normally this does not harm the RV, but sometimes when the fork makes the sharp turns to squeeze all those RVs close together to utilize as much space as they can, those tight corners can cause a lot of stress to build up on those wheels, in turn transferring to the axles. And sometimes this stress causes the u-bolts to slip, just a little. Usually not enough as to where you can VISUALLY see-- until your tires go as bald as my great-grandfather. If you ever go out on a lot where forklifts have packed in trailers really tight, you CAN see the signs of the stress on SOME of the wheels, they will be staggered-- one wheel will seem to have positive camber while the one right behind or in front of it will have negative camber, or just be straight up and down. And for those of you that don't know what "camber" is, that means the bottom of one tire-- right side or left side-- will be pointing slightly UNDER or OUT FROM the unit, while the other tire("s" for triple axle)on the same side are at slightly different angles. But as I said, normally this does not harm the unit, they ARE designed to flex and bend, to a degree. If not, you'd have busted axles at the first chuck hole you hit going 65 mph down I-20 in the spring. That would not be pretty (But it'd keep me in a J-O-B...). Well That's enough of my learnin' yall. Got specific questions?? My e-mail address is posted, and here it is again-- email@example.com
My input, knowledge, advice, war stories, fishin' stories (I like fishin too, I AM a Texan...) and any other help I can possibly offer sitting here in front of my computer at home out in the cow pasture on the outskirts of Cleburne, TX, is all at no charge to you guys. ******* Solicitation removed by Admin ****** (and yes, my house IS in the middle of a cow pasture-- 187 or so acres. The land is leased to ranchers and the house is a rental. Theres NOTHING like the smell of cow-pie when you first step outside in the morning, except maybe stepping IN it.... but that's ANOTHER story....)
Peace be with you!
Jeramy "Wingnut" Cleghorn