– If we haven't told you before, RV life isn't alwayssunshine and rainbows.
– That's right, and why does stuff always happen to break on travel days.
Okay, RV life is not always easy.
– So this is Tara climbing across.
We're actually lookingthrough the slide right now.
We're getting hit by severalthings in one 24-hour period.
– We may have the slides infor the next couple of days.
We still have the hydraulic problem.
We think it's a valve.
The travel day from hell continues.
Then I heard a drip, drip, drip, drip, drip.
So there's a leak somewhere in there.
♪ Hey ♪ ♪ Hey ♪ (upbeat music) – Recently, we had twotravel days in a row to get to our next destination, and like always, we stopped at a rest area to have some lunch, and that's when problemnumber one happened.
– Yeah, we like to stop at rest areas and put the slide out on this side, so we can get to the microwave, we can sit at the table, havea nice little lunch together, and we went to that, we pushed the button for theslides, and the jacks go down.
So like you've probablyseen, when we stop for lunch, we like to maybe put justthe passenger side slide out so it's not interfering, butwe can sit and have lunch.
But when I pressed thebutton for our slides, the jacks go down.
So I was just on thephone with grand design.
They're not sure.
I'm gonna do a little more troubleshooting when we get to tonight's stopover.
– [Tara] Yeah, we mightbe leaving like this.
– This is yet another argument for being able to get to everything.
What's going on? (beeps)(yells) – [Tara] What, did you just get stung? – Yeah, (beep) bee in my shirt.
I saw that guy flying around, too.
– [Tara] I'm sorry, letme look, let me look.
– That was our first clue this might be a rough couple of days.
This makes the case foraccessibility with the slides in, which was very importantto us when choosing an RV.
It's because we know that we prefer to use our own facilities andwe wanted to be able to get to the refrigerator and to the bedroom with the slides in.
– And the bathroom.
– Thankfully, we could do that.
– Yeah, so even with the slides stuck in, we weren't completely incapacitated there.
Tara did have to climb acrossthe island a couple of times to get to that side ofthe RV to turn on the heat and get to Daisy's food, 'cause we forgot it.
– Good thing we like each other.
(laughing) 'Cause we're in close quarters, poor guy.
(laughing) – So I called the main numberand I talked to Dwayne.
Yeah, I walked through acouple troubleshooting things, we're gonna do some more, but maybe find a mobile tech where we're headed in Charleston.
– Yes, and they were on thephone with you for quite a while too, so they spent thetime trying to troubleshoot, and I guess it's just reallyimportant for you guys to know that when we call in, we don't, they don't know who we are, they don't know that we're Grand Design ambassadors and all that, so.
And it's actually good thatway because it allows us to you know, check and seehow the customer service is doing too, 'cause wealways brag about it.
– So called them up, worked through a couple of troubleshooting things that we'll cover a little bit more later.
We headed to our overnight destination, which was just an RVpark off the interstate.
A lot of times we'll use Harvest hosts, things like that, but- If convenient.
It was good, we were in a nice, big cement pull-through site so I could maybe do some troubleshooting, and that's what we did.
We got there, and I got GrandDesign back on the line again, and we did some basic troubleshooting.
– [Tara] We're at our site, and Chad's gonna give it a go.
– I manually leveled as close as I could.
It seems like there's aproblem with the solenoid that routes hydraulic, closes off the hydraulicfor the front landing gear because whenever I applypositive lifting force to any hydraulic system, whether I try right or left or rear, the front still come up.
– [Tara] Cool.
– So yeah, that's where we are- That's great.
– This is one thing I likeabout things breaking.
There's not a lot to like, but I enjoy the challenge, which is, you know, we'vementioned being handy with tools, and troubleshooting variousthings when you full-time RV, and this was one of thosesituations where I was gonna get to experiment and explore andlearn about hydraulic systems.
– I don't like the challenge.
(chuckles) – I do, and it was actually kinda cool.
But the way these things work is, you've got a hydraulic pump, and you've got a manifold with some switches in it down there, that's just a fancy wayto say the hydraulic pump sends hydraulic fluidto this place sometimes and to this place other times.
So what we figured theproblem probably was is a valve on our front landing gear.
And the two front landinggear are tied together, meaning it goes through onejack and then to the other, which is why if you putyour RV down if you have one of these Lippertsystems, you'll notice that one comes down, thenthe other one comes down, and they operate together but independent, if that makes sense.
And it's the same thing withthe back and middle jacks on the right, and the backand middle jacks on the left.
There are three different valves that will open and close to control those.
Well, the one on the front landing gear we thought was stuck open.
And there are ways to workaround that, we tried those.
It's basically just turninga hex head inside the valve to manually close it, but that didn't work.
So we were stuck at a fullovernight with no slides.
And you know, I can laugh at it now, and I remember even saying, we're gonna laugh at this once this is long over, but it wasn't fun at the time of course, because everything's closed up and so you really are confined to just the bedroom and the bathroom.
– And this little area right here.
– Well, yeah yes.
Poor Daisy doesn't knowwhat to do right now.
Neither do I, Daisy May.
Okay, here's what it looks like in here.
And it's a mess, and I can'tget in there to clean it.
Numerous times having toclimb over the kitchen island, trying to figure out dinner.
Luckily, Chipotle delivers.
(chuckles) – That's right, I forgot about that.
– So yeah, so we had dinner inbed, which was a first.
– And also for the record, our bedroom slide is a Schwintekslide, it's electrical, it's not tied to thehydraulic system at all, so that went out fine.
– Yeah, so we could move aroundin the bedroom like normal, so that was good.
– Right, at least we had that.
So while he was trying to figure out the problem with thejack slash slide issue, I'm running the waterand things like that, and that's when we noticedproblem number two, or potential problem number two.
– So that was an interesting night.
– Well, we couldn't get thecoffee maker out of the cabinet.
(chuckles) So that makes for a bad morning, maybe that's why we're both grumpy pants.
– That's true, we are both cranky pants.
But then last night, ourwater pump keeps cycling, which means there's a leak.
And I could hear it dripping down there, so as soon as we get to Charleston, I gotta tear the basement apart.
I'd went outside and opened the door to listen to the bay where the pump was.
And I could hear when the pumpwould cycle on and back off, I'd here vroom, drip drip drip drip drip.
So I was like oh yeah, there's a leak somewhere.
So that's obviously not good.
So we did the mitigationthing where we just turned the pump off, relieved the pressure, and we figured we'd deal with it.
And these pumps are designedto come on when you turn on the water, pressure releasesand the pump comes on, when you shut it off, it shuts off.
It's not suppose to just come on by itself every now and then.
– Without the water being on.
– Without the water being on, and that's what it was doing.
So we knew there mustbe a problem somewhere because for the pump to come on, pressure has to be released, which means water is going somewhere.
– And the water pump is located down in like the front bay area, so you know, of course we don't want any water leaking in there.
And we do have some waterdetection down in there from our Ring alarm system, it wasn't picking anything up.
So what we decided to do wasjust mitigate the problem for now, and turn thepump on when we need it, and turn it off when we need it.
And then when we turn it off, we also relieve the pressure, that way there's no pressure in the system feeding the leak wherever it may be.
So we really didn'twant to mess around with troubleshooting muchat the overnight stop.
– We figured just, we'll deal with it when we get to our next location.
– [Tara] So here's my question.
Do we just not even tryto get the slides out because, for fear of messingthem up and getting them stuck and just put it back in and deal with it? – Yeah.
And Grand Design was prettyconfident that the valve was bad, so they went ahead andsent one to our target location.
At this point, we have a prettygood idea on the hydraulics, and we have no idea on thewater, where the leak is.
We know it's somewhere down there.
And then day two of travel, – Mm hm, went pretty normal, we stopped for lunch again.
Did the whole thingwith the slides in again with Tara climbing back andforth across the island again.
– And after our lunch break, we're driving along, and weboth get notices on our phones from both our MarCell and our Ring Alarm system that power's out.
We run with our inverteron to power our fridge, but the whole RV is powered, so our network systems and all that.
MarCell is a thing we useto monitor both temperature, humidity, and power forDaisy when we're not home.
It communicates through cellular and tells us when there's problems.
And of course, our Ring alarm is powered, and it tells us when the power's out.
– So we both got thenotice at the same time and now we're like, what now? – So we got to a restarea, we pulled over.
I came in, took a look, sure enough, the inverter was just off.
Battery power was still good, and we figured okay, (sighs) got something else to troubleshoot.
So that's problem number three.
– Unfortunately, that meantwe had to put the refrigerator back on propane, which wedon't really care to do when we're traveling, but we didn'thave that much further to go.
– Yeah, we've covered that topic before of whether or not to travelwith your propane on, and we're not gonna go into that, we'll put a link below towhere we talk about that.
We prefer to travel with ourpropane shut off if we can.
Sometimes it's not possible, like this.
We don't want to travelwith the refrigerator off, some people think it can stay cold, it can't.
– It can't.
– This morning when wewere packing up to leave 'cause it was a weirdnight, we got our slides in and we were basically on the hitch and just sitting there all night, Tara had to climb over last night over the top of the islandto turn on the heat pump so we had heat last night.
This morning when we got going, it wasn't a normal situationwith the slides in and being on the hitch, we were kindof just packing up and going, – Totally forgot that step.
– Forgot to turn off the heat pump.
Well we run with our inverteron and the fridge was on, so at some point while we were driving, we both got alerts the power went out.
I'm assuming what happened is, the fridge was going, the heat pump kicked on, that quick surge ofpower because you know, it wasn't stagger startedlike we would normally do, and it blew the fuse.
– [Tara] So finally wearrive at our destination, which was James IslandCounty Park in Charleston, and thankfully we had a very large site.
– Yeah, it was a nice, it was a dirt site, they're all dirt sites, but it was long enough thatwe could be on the hitch in our site, which was good.
Because we knew we weregonna have to troubleshoot the hydraulics, which meantwe were probably gonna have to be on the hitch to get thejacks up and work on it, so.
– [Tara] So that worked out in our favor.
– So first order of businesswas to troubleshoot power.
And I thought when wehooked up short power we'd be fine and I couldworry about that later.
– No, not so.
It turns out, and this maybe true for other inverters as well but our Go Power!, in order for the relay to switch and pass through power, even if it's not inverting, if it's only charging, it needs the DC power to operate, much like our AC units, our air conditioning.
If we have AC power that powers the ACs, but we don't have DC power, which operates the little controlpanel, none of it works.
So first order of business was to call Go Power! And talk to Bob.
(Chad chuckles) – [Tara] Yeah, you actually had another really good experience.
– I called Go Power!, I getright through to a person.
We trouble shot it down to a blown fuse.
– Yeah, Which we've never blown before, it's a big 300 amp fuse.
You can see the heat damageon there before it blew.
We started thinking aboutwhen the heat pump kicked on, which is basically an AC in reverse, the compressor kicks on, and it had a rush of current throughthat fuse, and blew it.
And those fuses aren'tlike a lot of fuses.
I could tell after lookingat it that it was blown, but it's not like a fuse where you have the thing break in the middle.
I had to meter it out, andthen I confirmed with Bob yes, you gotta have DC power, so that turned out to be aneasy fix, I just bypassed it.
And that wasn't that difficultjust to move the cable from the switched and fuse sideright down to the bus bars.
Right there is the bad fuse, and basically the DC powerroutes from the battery right here up to thatswitch, through the bus, and then that cablethere goes up to there, and then it goes through thefuse, through the switch, and then to the inverter.
So all I have to do, take this line that isrunning through all of that protective mechanism, bypassit by moving this down to here.
I now have wire out of herestraight to the bus bar.
We did take care to turndown our charging amperage, and we weren't gonnabe inverting so I knew that it was pretty safe tobypass that fuse temporarily.
So I clicked order on acouple of fuses from Amazon, it's good to have a spare, turns out.
And we moved on to problem number two.
– I have a question.
– Are all the fuses down there the same? – There's only one.
– Oh, so there's only one fusethat could have blown there.
– Oh, okay.
– There's only one big 300 amp fuse- Gotcha – For the high amperageDC side of the inverter.
– Okay, I didn't know.
And I didn't have a spareof that because when I had looked at it in the past, it's an expensive fuse.
The fuse block and everything together was like a hundred and something dollars.
– How much is the fuse itself? – I found the fuse by itself for like, I think it was like $25.
– Okay, and we got an extra.
– That's good.
– So the next order of business was to troubleshoot the slides.
We wanted to get our slides out now that we're in ourcamping spot for two weeks, we wanted to get the slides out.
– I'm in the queue for Lippert support.
You call that main number, they even have after hours somebody who's there tohelp you out in emergencies, 'cause that's usually whenthey happen is after hours.
We went through a lot of thesame steps that Grand Design already had us go throughwith the physical bypass of turning the littlescrew to close the valve, and that didn't work.
We also tried putting the jacks down and hoping that once they hit the ground, that that would be enoughback pressure on that system to let hydraulic fluid get to the slides.
Didn't really work, thejacks kept wanting to come up and we were still on the hitch, and we couldn't really make that work.
So option number two to get the slides out was going to be to swap the valves, take the bad, stuck openvalve on the front jacks, swap it to the valve for the slides, and let be open and open the slides up.
Then I got to thinkingabout our first try at putting the jacks down, andI wondered if I let the jacks go all the way down and just bottom out, because then no hydraulicfluid can go in there, would that damage them atall, would that be a problem.
So I called Lippertback, told them my idea, and they said no, that shouldbe fine, it should work okay.
Lippert said that shouldn'tbe a problem, should be fine.
So we're gonna find out.
I'm going to connect tothe one control here, make sure I'm on the right wifi.
So we got off the hitch, let the front jacks go allthe way up and bottom out, as oo, the slides went out.
(motor running)It's working.
The jack really didn't go up that much.
Main slide is coming out.
– So I didn't have to do anyswapping around of valves and have hydraulic fluid andstuff all over the place, which was good.
– I'm glad you thought of that.
So that worked well, but I couldn't figure out whythis slide wouldn't go out.
– Oh that's just- Remember? (chuckles) All right, strange that only one slide came out and the other one's not.
But I think that willmake Tara happy tonight.
– [Tara] You know just thismain slide came out, right? – Yeah, will that be enough for tonight? – [Tara] If that's all we gotthen it's better than nothing.
– Yeah, I don't know why.
I ran the jacks all the way out, and now it's making a really bad noise.
– [Tara] I heard it.
– [Tara] I mean, we canmake do, I just don't know, I mean I can't use theoven and stuff, but.
– Yeah, I just don't know why the, theoretically, these slides, oh, doh, I'm an idiot, hold on.
– [Tara] You're not an idiot.
– [Chad] I just forgot toopen this freakin' valve, duh.
– [Tara] Oh no! – If you have systems likeours where the two slides operate together, theseslides are connected just like the pair oflanding gear in the front, and just like the pair onthe right and the left side.
They operate together, onegoes, then the other one goes.
And the only way to getonly one slide to operate is to lock out the slideyou don't want to move, and we have a video on that also.
– [Tara] Yeah, it's very simple.
So we had that locked out, as soon as I unlockedit, the slide went out.
– It's like, what next? – So we've got problemone and two worked out, and we got a valve on order for the jacks, we got a fuse on order for the power, and it was time to look at the water.
– But you had a better idea.
So Tara had a great idea.
– I did.
– Which is, drink beer.
(chuckles) – He deserves it.
– Rather than worry aboutthat water leak tonight, we're just going to use our pump, turn it on when we need it, shut it off when we're not using it, not even gonna hook up to water, not even gonna hook up tosewer yet, 'cause we're fine.
– I think that he did plenty today, and he deserves a break, so.
– She's right.
– That is my official rule, I win.
– So rather than empty outthe basement and trying to find that, I'll worry about that tomorrow.
– I mean the poor guy justdrove for two straight days, and has to problem solvethree different issues.
– I like this stuff though.
I was so excited to learnabout the hydraulic system.
– He was so excited to have stuff break.
– But now I know how the thing works, so in the future I don'thave to call anyone.
– It's cool though becausenow we can tell them, and hopefully help you guys if you run into some of these problems.
Which reminds me, don'tforget to subscribe so you don't miss anything, andplease click the like button and you can follow uson social media as well.
– So the next day, itwas time to troubleshoot the water situation, whichmeans I have to get down into the belly of thebeast, which means I had to empty out the basement, whichis okay, it had been a while, it needed to be cleaned anyway, and pulled the wall down, and I can see thatthere's water down there.
It's a small area rightunder the pump, of course.
The pump sits here, andthe water was kind of here, and our water sensor was over here.
(chuckles) So I learned that I needed to move that, but I saved that for obviously later.
After a bit of troubleshooting down there, I did determine that it wasthe pump itself leaking, somewhere inside the body, and I was okay 'cause I wanted toreplace the pump anyway.
– Well this was already the pump that you had replaced from the original stock.
The pump that comes with theRV is okay, but I like power.
– Yeah, but I swear Chad, I think that that one was too powerful becausewhen it would run, the whole RV would shake.
I'm not kidding, and it wasloud, and it vibrated so hard that I always kind ofcringed every time we used it that it was like, it was too powerful.
– It pumped okay, but it cycled.
And that's another problem with RV pumps is sometimes you turn on the water, and it gets enough, it relieves enoughpressure to pump the water, but then shuts itself offand then on and then off, and then your water kind of pulsates.
And this did not solve that.
It was more powerful than our old one, but like our old one, it only had one speed.
All the way on, or all the way off.
So I did a little bit ofresearch, and I found a pump that was pretty expensive, like 200 bucks, but it is a variable pump, meaning it will only come on just enough to get the water flow, and then if you turn on anotherfaucet, it cranks it up.
If you turn that faucetoff, it cranks it back down.
That was the theory, atleast, I liked that theory, so I ordered the pump, and put one of ourwashtubs that collapses, I just kind of slid thatunder the pump so it could catch water, and I justchecked it every day or two until the new pump came in.
– I think you had to dumpit a couple times a day.
– So at this point, we've got all three problemsidentified and bypassed.
– Yes, so the next day, the valve came in.
– Yeah, so our valve camein from Grand Design, and that was super easy.
It's like, I was all worried about getting hydraulic fluid all over theplace, it wasn't bad at all.
I did have to pull allthe jacks up though, which meant I had to hook thetruck up, but that wasn't bad.
What I think will happen here, is I will be able to unscrew this, and then pull this part off.
Yeah, it's already gettin' loose.
But yeah, this slides rightoff, leaving the valve.
This thing came in twobags because you obviously don't want to get anycontamination or stuff in here.
So I'm gonna keep this part sealed until I'm ready to put it in, 'cause this will just goright in, and then bolt on.
Hopefully, this doesn'tspew all over the place.
(upbeat music) I'm gonna have this one ready to go, just in case it starts spewing fluid.
Not too bad.
Didn't come out too much.
This is usually the partwhere I drip hydraulic fluid on my clothes and make Tara angry, I'll try not to do that this time.
(upbeat music) Guess that's it.
Really was not that difficult at all.
Let's hook this sucker back up.
I'm going to cycle thesefront jacks a few times just to get fluid through that valve.
Now I should be able to runthe auto level procedure after I get off the hitch, soI'm gonna put the stairs up and get off the hitch, and run auto level, and maybe we'll callthis particular fix done.
That'd be nice.
Alrighty, let's run autolevel, see what happens.
(upbeat music) The jacks coming down andthe fronts aren't moving, that is a good sign.
Holy crap, I just fixedthe hydraulic system.
And that was it, that was done, we could finally hit autolevel and be truly level, and then we had, like five days of rain.
– Gosh, I, yeah, four or five days ofrain, and I'm talking, rain.
(rain patters) – [Chad] Our mat, completely under water.
– It's a good thing you sat the wood out to dry the other day on the picnic table, 'cause looks, – It's doing great.
– [Tara] It's doing great.
(chuckles) It's doing great.
– Yeah, this wasn't like oh, I'll go outside in between when it's sprinkling and getsome of these things fixed.
– Even if you wanted to, ourwhole site became flooded.
And so we were in themiddle of a giant puddle.
– Yeah, we were about to start loading the animalstwo by two into our RV.
(chuckles) – So after those days of rain, we finally received the fuses.
– The fuse replacement, super simple.
Two bolts, pop it on, move the wire back, not much to that.
(upbeat music) And the water pump was super easy too.
The connections are allthe same as the old pump.
All I had to do was cut thewires, pull the old pump out, crimp the new wires, put thehoses on, and that was it.
So another quick RV 101 thing is, it's a good idea to havesome plumbing tools on hand, just in case you ever have a leak.
I had some PEX tools fromwhen I replaced the pump the first time and put inthe accumulator tank, and, – [Tara] What's the accumulatortank, what does it do? – So basically, anaccumulator tank takes some of the pressure from the pump and stores it, and that way when yougo to turn on a faucet, that initial rush can comefrom that accumulator tank and doesn't have to waitfor the pump to spin up.
To replace the pump, Idid not need any tools other than crimping for the wires, and that was a real simple one.
And let me tell you, this pump is awesome.
– It's so good, it's so good.
– It's so good.
The pump ramped up justenough to pump the water, and then I went andturned on the water faucet in the bathroom, and you couldhear the pump rr, ramp it up.
This thing didn't miss a beat, they were both flowingand I could turn 'em on, turn 'em off, oh it's awesome.
– And the showers.
– Oh my gosh, it's the best shower pressure.
It's like I want to use thepump every time I wash my hair.
– But obviously, dependingon how you use it, it will pump a lot ofyour water very fast.
So if you're boon docking, you need to make sure youself regulate at the faucets, and not turn them on all the way.
And if you're wondering about the water leak down there and what itdamaged, it wasn't too bad.
It was, it seemed likewhat was happening was, it was leaking right under them pump, and then it was seepingthrough the screws.
A lot of the water wasstaying on top of the linoleum down there, but it did getinto that wood a little bit, but only a small area, and noneof that area is load bearing or anything, so I'm gonnasecure it up down there a little bit more later, but there was really no significant damage to speak of, which is awesome.
– Luckily, we caught it.
– Yeah, and I moved our Ring water sensor to where the water was.
So if it does it again, we'llknow immediately next time.
– And that's it, thoseare the three problems that we solved, I shouldsay that he solved.
– We're a team, we solve together.
– I didn't really do it.
I just complained about it.
(chuckles) – But you had the beer idea.
– I did, well that was, that made up for a lot.
– First off, I don't know, Iguess you might use this mode in maybe biking, I don'tknow why that's even there.
We're on a direct flightpathright over our RV.
(plane engine roars) – Anybody up? – [Chad] I don't think so.
– [Tara] Daisy, you stay there.
– [Chad] So what do youthink of our morning so far? – It's awesome, oh.
(Chad chuckles) I love it.
(motor revving) – And of course there's a leaf blower.
(motor revs)(chuckles) Are you serious.
Some tiny bits of wateron top of the little no– I do see some tiny po-tah– – We're just gonna talkover this leaf blower and deal with it.
It seems like the coupleof times we've had issues, they come in like two or three.
– I can't stop hearingthat leaf blower though.
– Had a pretty roughcouple of travel days, we're three thrings, three things.
– Oh we were doing so good too- Damn, so good.
Just crank the thing and just blow the leaves and be done with it.
Okay, you better getcracking on the next project.
(both chuckle) (motor revs) – Oh, started back up, awesome.
(motor revs) (Tara mumbles) – I'm going to war.
I'm going to war.
– Ours is electric though, it's not quite as annoying.