A Whirlwind Of A Day At The Mechanic

30 12 2010

Things are coming together with the RV. Improvements are being made and necessary fixes are being done. I think that we’re almost at the point where we can relax.

Two awesome points go to Meyers RV in Torrance. I went there after receiving a couple of recommendations and reading some great reviews, and so far they’ve lived up to their reputation for excellent service and excellent value. Their guys are knowledgable and are happy to do minor things for free (and bigger things for money, obviously). They didn’t mind my looking over their shoulder during some of the work, and I picked up a few tricks.

The recent deluge in California exposed a bunch of seam leaks in our roof. There was no dripping, but there were a lot of very damp spots. Reconstituting a roof is super expensive, and for just a normal cleaning, treatment, and sealing the mechanic charges $550. One of the guys who was working on our RV talked me into not paying the $550, but buying $30 worth of supplies and just doing exactly what they would do myself. Good deal. They also talked me out of a very expensive tank replacement and heat welded a new fitting to the tank. It’s hard not to trust a mechanic who tries to convince you to choose cheaper options.

The repair exposed yet another (yay!) leak in one of our low-point drain valves. We only figured that out as the shop was closing, and the shop wouldn’t be able to continue work on the RV until the next morning.  This led to a serious scramble to figure out our plans since we wouldn’t be able to use our water tank until the drain valve was patched, but Ayo was in Van Nuys waiting for me to pick her up. Oy. A bunch of somewhat stressful minutes went by as we weighed our options. End result: Ayo stayed at a generous friend’s house in Sherman Oaks, and I overnighted near the shop – which made a lot of changes in their schedule to accommodate a morning repair the day before Christmas. They rock (as does their labor rate).

At least I had a nice day while the RV was being worked on. I wasn’t interested in hanging out for the plumbing / tank repair, because I couldn’t learn much from it (the repair required specialized machinery). Instead I went for a nine mile walk, doing a bunch of geocaching and making my way to Redondo Beach – where I promptly took a niiiiice half-hour nap. On my way back to the mechanic I realized that I was running a bit late, so I [parents stop reading] hitched a ride with a really friendly schoolteacher named Ken, who went a few miles out of his way to drop me off at the mechanic’s door. People are nice.

Exhale.

[Update #1: In anticipation of more rain, I spent an hour on the roof examining every inch of it for cracks, tears, and bad seals. It felt good to do yet another DIY project, sealing the roof with Dicor while expertly wielding a caulking gun. Thanks again, Connie. Six hours of rain later and all of the seams that had leaked after the last rain were dry. It was fascinating to see how a small tear in the middle of the roof could lead to an entire side of the RV becoming damp. Water made its way down to the plywood through the tear, down the sloped roof, and then spread out in both directions. A half-tube of Dicor later, and the problem was solved. Sick.]

[Update #2: The leak at our low-point drain valves still exists. The mechanic had told me that because our type of piping was no longer manufactured he would try gobs and gobs of sealant to see if that would do the trick. It didn’t, which will likely mean trying to adapt the CPVC to regular PVC. It won’t be an expensive job, but it will take yet more time. In the meantime, I’m experimenting with laying down even more sealant to see if that helps.]

[Another cool and mildly relevant thing: I recently found out that we’re eligible for a 30% tax credit for installing our RV solar array. I’m happy that we did it this year, because our tax liability in upcoming years will be super low. I only quit my job in January 2010, which was when I received my 2009 bonus. Perfect timing.]

posted by jay

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One response

30 12 2010
Matt

Bree and I both cringed reading about your leak problems. Sounds…not super awesome. I have to admit I was somewhat worried when the storms started dumping all that rain over the last few weeks. We’ve been lucky so far. Good luck with the fixes though and hopefully you guys will stay dry as it looks like we’ve got more on the way.

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