Path to Maintenance

  1. How to Fix RV Slide Out Problems!

We initially thought we adjusted our main slide on our own successfully when it began giving us problems and causing damage to the slide ski!  Unfortunately, we ended up making our problem worse, so we decided to call on the help from an experienced RV Technician, to have it fixed correctly.  

Don't let our DIY repair mistake happen to you when addressing this common slide adjustment problem that occurs in RV’s!  Our technician was very knowledgeable and explained why the adjustments we made caused a sub-par outcome.  He allowed us to film as he corrected our slide adjustment mistake and showed us how to change out our damaged slide ski.


  1. We Have A BIG Problem With Our Hitch! 

Our 2020 Grand Design Momentum 397TH was having major bed rail clearance issues with our 2020 Ford F350!  After a few close calls of the RV crushing the bed rails, we finally did some damage to the bottom of the fifth wheel on the RV, when they touched each other.  We didn't want to cause more damage to our rig or truck, so after researching different pin boxes, we finally decided on a solution!

In this video, we remove the pin box, which is a Lippert Rota-Flex, and upgrade it to the Gen-Y Executive. We complete the 1,000-mile break-in that Gen-Y says you should give the hitch and give you our opinion on whether it helped fix our problem or not!

  1. RV Black And Grey Tank Maintenance!

RV tank maintenance may seem like a daunting task, especially if you are new to the RV lifestyle!  We've found a method for flushing and maintaining our black and grey tanks that has been surprisingly simple and effective.  This method is called the Bio-Geo Method and involves using Dawn dish soap, Borax and Zep Citrus Degreaser.  We finish this process with a few scoops of Happy Camper!  

If you’re looking to change up your black and grey tank maintenance method, or want to learn more about how to treat your tanks, this video is a must-see!


  1. Travel Day Disaster! 

We experienced a terrible travel day disaster while towing our RV!  We have never been so thankful that we stopped at a rest area to stretch our legs, because when we did a quick walk-around to make sure everything was okay with the rig before getting back onto the road, we found a major problem with the underbelly of our RV!  

Watch to see how we temporarily fixed the problem to ensure we didn’t damage the underbelly and insulation any more than we already had, before getting it to the RV park to fix it permanently.

  1. Ford F350 Gets An Onboard Air System!

We firmly believe every dually needs a train horn!  To complete the train horn set-up, we installed Viair Onbaord Air System, Airlift Airbags and the mighty Kleinn train horns on a 2017 Ford F350.  This air system includes an ultra-duty compressor that puts out 200 psi of working pressure that's stored in the onboard 2.5-gallon air tank. The purpose of this system was so that the newly installed Airlift 5000 Airbags could be controlled from inside the cab of the truck.  

Since we had the onboard capability, we added a remote air chuck on the rear bumper to run air tools and to air up tires on the truck and RV.  Last, we added some fun by installing a Kleinn Triple Train Horn, because, why not!?  If you’re interested in installing these products on your truck, this is the video for you!  There is also a detailed product list in the description of the video should you need to reference it.

  1. How To Sanitize Your Freshwater System!

We show you our process of sanitizing our RV’s freshwater tanks and how simple it really is!  When we began RV’ing, we thought this maintenance item seemed a bit intimidating, since it involves adding bleach into the lines you get your drinking water from!  We break down the steps involved and show you that you, too, can confidently sanitize your freshwater tanks with ease!  

We also do the necessary hot water tank maintenance, where we show you how to ensure there is no heat or water pressure before starting any work on the tank.  You’ll also learn about flushing and cleaning the hot water heater tank and how to remove the anode rod, before showing you how we bring our system back online after the maintenance is complete.


  1. Our Home Needs A New Roof!

We are the second owners of our 2020 Grand Design Momentum 397TH, so when we realized our roof was in need of a major repair, going the traditional "warranty" route with the manufacturer, was not an option. When we began researching roofs, we found there are three types: vinyl (like ours), TPO and direct-to-deck. We considered making an insurance claim, but being full-time, this option brought some drawbacks. The first downside was that it would need to be inspected by the insurance company, then fixed on their timeline, which isn't easy to coordinate when you live in your RV fulltime. A few other drawbacks were that we had a hard time finding insurance companies that would insure a fulltime RV'er, so filing a claim seemed risky, since we are very pleased with our current provider. Additionally, the insurance company would want us to replace the roof with the existing vinyl roof, which, after researching, we had decided wasn't the best option for us. 

That lead us to RV Armor, which we paid for out of pocket!  This allowed us to avoid having to make an insurance claim, and was a product that we were confident wouldn't cause us any major problems in the future.  It offers a lifetime warranty, that is transferrable, should we sell the RV in the future and was approximately half the cost of purchasing a vinyl roof like we had before. Paying outright for the vinyl roof would cost us approximately $12,000, and we had no guarantee that we wouldn't see future problems just like the ones we were already experiencing!  We also liked that RV Armor sent a technician directly to us, so we didn't have to take the RV anywhere inconvenient to have it fixed.

Overall, the experience of working with RV Armor was great and we especially appreciate our RV Armor Technician, Nate, for allowing us to film, while he explained the process to us, along the way! He did a great job, was friendly and got the job done, as promised, and on time!


  1. Our Ford F350 Needs Some Upgrades!

After completing our first year of fulltime RV life, it was time for some upgrades to our 2020 Ford F350 dually! We put 44,000 miles on our truck in our first year of adventures, so the first upgrade we completed was upgrading the factory shocks with new Bilstein 5100 shocks.  Next, we upgraded our air bags from the Air Lift 5000's to the Air Lift 7500's and installed a lifetime washable aFe Power Air Filter to replace the factory filter that was becoming hard to find while on the road!  

We were very pleased with our factory Michelin LTX AT/2 tires, so we decided to purchase the same tire to replace our current set!  And for our last upgrade, we installed an Icon Dual Shock Steering Stabilizer Kit to help with bump steer and prevent the "Ford Death Wobble". 


  1. It's Maintenance Time For The RV!

After one year on the road and 16,000 miles on our RV, a 2020 Grand Design 397TH, it was time to complete some maintenance on our RV!  We wanted to wait until we were at our home base to complete these items, which included:  pulling the brake hubs and inspecting the brake pads and bearings, repacking the bearings with fresh grease, installing new grease seals and inspecting the entire system for any abnormalities.  We also pressure wash the RV's frame and spray a new coat of fluid film to help protect it from rust and corrosion.  

Before we set out on our next adventure, we also defrost the refrigerator and freezer and show you two quick-and-easy ways to fix the common Norcold RV refrigerator door alarm. And last, but not least, we give the RV a good wash, before setting out on our next adventure!


  1. How We Move This Huge RV! 

Ever wondered what all it takes to move a 43-foot rig?  There's definitely a process when packing and unpacking your RV, and everyone has a different way of getting the job done! In this video, we show our process of moving from Gulf Shores, Alabama to Panama City Beach, Florida, and all that is involved with packing and unpacking our Grand Design Momentum 397TH up on travel days!


  1. How We Get Our RV Travel Ready! 

This video is from day seven of our “Day In the Life” mini-series from St. Augustine, FL.  It gives you an inside look into what preparations and tasks we complete the day prior to our travel day.  Sometimes, more cleaning and maintenance is required, but regardless of what needs to be completed, we like to set aside time the day before we travel, to get as much done as possible!  This makes the morning of our travel days so much less stressful and reduces the morning-of travel workload tremendously!

  1. RV And Truck Maintenance While On The Road! 

We've received so many questions about how we maintain our RV and truck while on the road, so in this video, we tackle all things maintenance related!  Some maintenance items we tackle ourselves, and others such as oil changes and tire rotations are left to industry professionals as shown in this video.

You’ll watch as we grease the hitch and pin box along with the suspension of the trailer, before lubricating the jacks, slide mechanisms and slide seals.  You’ll get to see the upgrades we did to our trailer suspension before hitting the road fulltime.  We do some general maintenance to the steps, windows and key ports for each compartment door lock before changing the a/c and water filters throughout the RV.  

Last up is a quick inspection of the roof and checking all of the pressure in the tires.  For ease of reference, all products used in this video have been linked in the description of the video.


  1. Making Big Changes! 

We are busy making big changes in this video in preparation for the arrival of our third child!  First on the list was upgrading the fireplace facing, kitchen backsplash and the backsplash in both of our bathrooms with peel-and-stick tile.  It took these areas from drab and dark to beautiful and light!  

The second, and more time-consuming project, we completed was removing the Happijac couches from the Toyhauler section of our Grand Design 397TH.  Our reason for removing them was to make the sleeping area on the bottom bunk more comfortable for our daughters, versus sleeping on the stock Happijac couches that fold out into a queen bed.  We wanted the bed to be more like the queen bed on the top bunk, so we removed the couches and built a matching frame as the bottom bunk that will house our new queen size mattress!


  1. She Scratched The RV!

While we are at our home base, we address some serious scratches to our full body paint Grand Design 397TH that are courtesy of our daughter and a rock!  When she decided to draw pictures on the RV, we knew we would need time and patience to remove the scratches, so we opted to wait until we were at our home base before correcting them.  We show you that step-by-step process and what the outcome was!

We also knew that our truck and RV needed a deep clean to remove the salt and sand off of it from our four-month beach adventure, so we show you our process of deep cleaning the truck.  Normally, we tackle washing our RV ourselves, but we decided to let the professionals tackle that project for us this time around!


  1. We Weigh How Much?

Have you ever wondered how much your truck and RV weigh and whether or not you are within the legal limits of your RV and truck's capacities? In this video, we show you how to find out how much your truck and RV weigh, and go over the steps of how to set your truck and RV up on the scale to get the proper combined weight of the rig. We go a step further, and weigh the truck by itself, to see what our true weights are! 

While these numbers can be confusing, our step-by-step breakdown of how we got our weights and what the numbers really mean, make understanding the data easy, even for a novice! We break down the scale slips of the truck and RV combined and then the truck by itself. We go over each of the scale slip numbers, what they mean and how to determine the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of the truck, the pin weight of the trailer and the GVW of the RV!  We show you how to use the numbers to understand where your weights are in relation to the legal limits of both! 

We also share a pro-tip regarding how to save money and stress at truck stops by using the TSD Fuel Card to fuel up the truck when the RV is hooked up!  This video is intended to help you in figuring out if your RV is loaded properly, and what you can do to maximize your payload capacity, while still remaining in the legal limits of the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the truck and the RV!


  1. Build Your Own Jack Pads! 

We designed and built the leveling blocks for our Grand Design 397TH ourselves and have had many requests for a how-to video on how to construct them.  Whether you're buying new leveling blocks for your RV or looking to replace your current blocks, this video is for you and provides step-by-step instructions on how to construct your own leveling blocks! 

Don't waste your money on Anderson Blocks or SnapPads! With a little manual labor and time, you can have our exact same blocks for a fraction of the cost of the competition!


  1. Is RV Toilet Paper A Waste Of Money?

We decided to make a really CRAPPY video all about #2! Do you have a #2 policy in your RV? How do you handle the #2 in your RV? We have often wondered how everyone else handles their #2 and whether or not others allow #2 in their RV!  If #2 is allowed, what toilet paper is everyone using and are you concerned if you are throwing money down the drain on RV specific toilet paper? 

We were curious about what really happens in the holding tanks, so we bought a wide range of #2 toilet paper to see how things look inside our "holding tanks". The results might surprise you on what #2 toilet paper is best for RV's! 


  1. What Hasn't Broken? 

When we decided to live in an RV fulltime, we went back and forth on whether we should purchase a new RV or buy a used RV.  Buying new would give us what we thought would be peace of mind of having a warranty and dedicated dealership to work with when issues were sure to arise, while buying used would give us the option of using the savings in cost to handle our own repairs.  After much research, we realized that most dealerships don't care about your problems once you've taken ownership of your RV and that basic or extended warranties aren't always money well spent.  

We continually saw owners giving up their rigs for weeks and months at a time to have warranty or repair work done by their dealer.  This made the decision for us, since we would be living in our RV fulltime and traveling the country and wouldn’t have the option to be out of our rig for any length of time.  We decided to buy a used rig knowing that things would need repaired, but felt confident that we could handle the majority of issues on our own, with a little research. After 18 months of fulltime living, we have comprised a list of ALL the things that have broken during that time!  Although the list is lengthy, most of the items were quick fixes, with minimal cost involved! We review every problem we’ve encountered in this video to show you what to really expect from fulltime RV life!


  1. How We Set Our Truck Up For Fulltime RV Living!

After 18 months and 60,000 miles of fulltime RV life on the road, we still love everything about our 2020 Ford F350 Platinum dually! Come take a tour of the truck that makes living fulltime on the road not only comfortable, but enjoyable as well! 

Our truck serves as our workhorse when it comes to towing and the adventure wagon when it is time to go exploring! We break down the stats of the truck, it's capabilities and go over all of the upgraded features, both inside and out, that come on a Platinum Trim Ford F350, before diving into all of the upgrades we added to make it more capable (and FUN) for fulltime life on the road!


  1. There Is Always Work With An RV!

We take care of all of the last-minute, big maintenance items that are needed before leaving for our next adventure! Living in an RV fulltime means that you constantly do small maintenance jobs while on the road, but for our larger maintenance jobs, we try and schedule those things for when we are at our home base.  Since we typically visit our home base twice a year, we opt to take care of any major maintenance items at that time. This makes it easier, since we are usually out of our RV at that time and can get the big jobs done much easier than if we were on the road occupying the RV while trying to work! 

Our first maintenance item is servicing the ONAN 5500 onboard generator with a fresh oil change, along with changing the air filter, sparkplugs and fuel filter! We then move on to topping off the Dexter EZ Lube Axles with grease, as well as doing a full greasing of the suspension components, including our Equa-flex equalizers and Morryde Heavy Duty Shackle and Wet Bolt Kit! We finish off the mechanical portion of our list by checking the air pressure in our tires, checking the torque on the lug nuts and verifying our TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) is working properly. 

Next, we do a thorough flush and dump of our grey and black tanks before doing a complete sanitizing procedure of our freshwater tank and waterlines! And last on our list is changing the hot water heater anode rod and flushing the hot water tank. 

With these big maintenance items being addressed while we are home, we can travel knowing our rig is ready to provide us with several months of worry-free operation, with only preventative maintenance and cleaning while we are out on our next adventure!