“When it rains, it pours” is the saying. It seems that's usually true of RV problems as well. Many times, one problem leads to another or causes a mistake that causes another problem. We had a little of both recently on a 2-day journey from FL to SC.
NOTE: This all happened BEFORE the COVID-19 situation.
Day One – Issue One
Our first issue reared its ugly head at lunch on our first travel day. When we stop at a rest area for lunch, we like to put out our passenger side main slide. This allows access to have a comfortable lunch at our dining table, along with access to the thermostat, microwave, and pantry. We also usually run the generator to charge our batteries and run the AC or heat.
We locked down the driver's side slide and proceeded to extend the side. However, instead of the slide running out, the front jacks/landing gear started to go down. That's not good. But, we dealt with having the slides in and continued to our overnight stop in an RV Park.
Day One – Issue Two
Once we arrived at our overnight RV park, we called Grand Design and did some more troubleshooting to no avail. We decided we would stay with the slides in and worry about it once we got to our destination in Charleston, SC.
We also decided to just stay on internal water, which is how we noticed problem two.
RV water pumps turn on when you turn on a faucet and the pressure is relieved. It should only come on when turning something on. However, ours was turning on by itself periodically, which means water is leaving the system somewhere. Awesome! ?
So, we decided to mitigate that issue by turning off our pump and releasing pressure at a faucet whenever we were done using water. One more thing to fix at our destination.
Day Two – Issue Three
The first half of day two was normal, leaving the slides in and managing the water situation. We stopped for lunch per usual and ate in cramped quarters.
About a half hour after lunch, while driving, we both got notices from our Marcell and Ring Alarm that power went out. We travel with our inverter running to power the fridge, Ring system (smoke and leak detectors), and internet.
We pulled off at the next rest area to inspect and, sure enough, no power at all. Ugh! So, we made sure the fridge was running on propane and added no power to the list to troubleshoot.
Once we arrived, the first order of business was to hook up shore power and see if it works… Nope!
We called GoPower and troubleshot it down to a blown fuse. The big 300A fuse for the inverter DC circuit. The Inverter needs DC power to operate, even if it's just for pass-thru power.
We're pretty sure the issue was that we turned on the heat pump when we stopped for lunch. When it kicked on while we were driving down the road, the initial surge of DC Amps blew the fuse.
At least this was an easy fix. All we needed to do was bypass the fuse till a replacement came in. As a precaution, we did dial down the charging amps to be safe since the DC circuit was unprotected. We ordered a couple of fuses to have a spare and moved on to the next pressing issue.
After bypassing the DC fuse and getting power to the RV, it was time to see if we could get our slides out. We called Lippert since they make the system and they came to the same conclusion Grand Design did: A bad valve on the front landing gear. The valve was stuck in the open position, so whenever the hydraulic system tried to run the slides (or anything else for that matter), hydraulic pressure went to the front jacks.
After some back and forth discussions with Lippert, we decided to try running the jacks out fully, hoping once they bottomed out, hydraulic fluid would make it to the slides. Bingo! That worked. We didn't even have to run them all the way out. Once the RV had full weight on it (off the hitch), the slides ran out fine.
Once the slides were out, we leveled manually as best we could and called it a night. It was time for a beer! We decided to just keep managing the water leak situation.
Grand Design had already sent a replacement valve.
The next day, it was time to find the water leak. After a bit of troubleshooting, we determined the pump itself was leaking water. I should note here that this is not the stock pump from the factory, but one I hoped would be an upgrade with better pressure. It did have good pressure, but it was too much and it had so adjustment for pressure shutoff. So, even with an accumulator tank, it would cycle. I wanted to replace it anyway, so now was the time.
I put a dish bucket under the pump, hooked up water to shore water, and ordered a new pump. This time I spent a little extra and got one with a variable speed motor.
The hydraulic valve was the first part to arrive. Swapping it out was likely the easiest repair I've done to date. Unscrew the old one, screw the new one in, plug it in, done. It was really that simple. Test of all functions worked great and we were finally able to properly auto-level!
After about five days of rain, we had received the fuses and new pump. The fuse was super simple and fixed that problem.
The water pump was also super simple. Cut and splice two DC wires, attach the water lines, and screw it to the floor. Time to test…. and.. WOW! This pump is AMAZING! The variable speed is fantastic and it's the best water pressure and flow we've ever had. Turn on another faucet and the pump ramps up to match the need. Love it!
This is just how RV Life goes sometimes. Things will break and you need to be able to roll with the punches, find workarounds or fixes and keep life moving.
✅ Remco 55AQUAJET-ARV Aqua Jet Water Pump: amzn.to/2R9cEyg
✅ SEAFLO Pre-Pressurized Accumulator Tank: amzn.to/2wRMLvX
✅ Lippert Hydac Valve Assembly: amzn.to/2V4jMgi
✅ Blue Sea Systems Class T Fuse (300A): amzn.to/2wUhiJD
✅ MarCELL Cellular Temperature/Humidity Monitor: amzn.to/39KAiHM
✅ PEX Tool and Clamps: amzn.to/3bScZNu
➡️ Our Grand Design Lifestyle Ambassador Relationship: changinglanesrv.com/grand-design-brand-ambassadors/
➡️ Ring Alarm System for RV: youtu.be/f-cWvMqnU9g
➡️ MarCELL in our FAQ: changinglanesrv.com/ufaqs/dont-you-worry-about-leaving-daisy-alone-in-heat-or-cold/
➡️ MarCELL in our FAQ Video: youtu.be/EY0GfrZIxxs?t=605
➡️ RV Refridgerator Maintenance (and propane while traveling discussion): youtu.be/MBwSJL7kBZc
➡️ RV Hydraulic System Tips (how to lock out one slide): youtu.be/qcsbT_eW7eY
➡️ Awning Drop Shade: changinglanesrv.com/ufaqs/what-is-the-screen-hanging-from-your-awning/