December 12

[Day 6] Staying In, Playing RV Mechanic (sort of)

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Day 6 of our trip, we decided to play it slow.

This wasn’t our first visit to Washington DC, so we didn’t feel compelled to drive ourselves hard to see every little thing while we were in town. Plus, we had been in “travel mode” since we left Florida.

So, we hung out at the campground, which was Cherry Hill RV Park.

This is a really nice park. Very well maintained. Great amenities. If we weren’t heading further north, we could have easily stayed here longer.

The kids spent the day playing, going to the pool, etc.

Me? I took the opportunity to play wannabe RV mechanic. 🙂

The issue with the refrigerator was still unsolved. Plus, we had to get that starter motor fixed.

Cherry Hill has a mobile RV tech which does a LOT of work inside this park. But, he was so busy that he wouldn’t have been able to get to us during out 3-day stay here. So, I ended up calling Mars 2 Cars.

The guy who came out was a really nice, friendly dude. He took care of the job swiftly. That said…

I got my ass handed to me in terms of the repair cost. 🙂 I mean, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I paid a pretty exorbitant rate for his labor on this job. Cost of labor and part was about $680. Shocking, I know.

Here’s the way I looked at it:

  • I was buying convenience. I was not equipped in any way to deal with this myself. I was scheduled to drive off the next day, so time was a big factor here. For me to call around to get a bunch of estimates would have eaten a lot of time. And, mobile mechanics aren’t nearly as plentiful and available as you may think in some areas.
  • I was stranded there. So, if I didn’t get it fixed that day, the trip would be delayed.
  • It’s just money. Truth is, it is easier for me to make $680 than it would be to try to fix that starter myself while sitting in a campground in Washington DC. I’m not rich, but given what I do for a living, I can generate $680 pretty easily.

So, I just approved the job and let him do it despite knowing I was getting fleeced on labor.

And besides that, I thought Mars 2 Cars was a pretty professional outfit and I was happy with the service.

Lastly, on that refrigerator issue…

I think I finally figured out the actual problem.

It is all about heat. Basically, when we’re driving in the full heat of summer, and the air is moving down the side of the rig, it creates a little vacuum around the side of the rig and that keeps the cooling fan behind the fridge from properly pulling air through the ventilation stack and cooling the fridge. As things get hotter in there, this triggers the Norcold recall box and it shuts down the fridge. Then, once we’re stopped and plugged in, the fridge works fine again because it can now pull enough air through the stack to cool it.

The solution will be to install a new cooling fan into the refrigerator ventilation stack that will run constantly while driving and pull air through there and keep things cool.

All those fun theories I had before, but this is where I ultimately arrived as my cause of the fridge problem.

I never did get this addressed while we were on the trip. And, as we were further north and it was cooler, the fridge never had the problem even while driving. So, this ultimately ended up confirming my theory, as far as I’m concerned. Funnily enough, as we got further south on our way home toward the end of this trip, the fridge started acting up again. Because it was hotter. 🙂


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Summer 2016


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