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I haven’t written about jack shit for far too long, so I figure I’d write write about, well…jack shit.

The way I see it, if you haven’t done something stupid with your rig, you just haven’t been full-time RVing long enough.

I’m not too proud to share our latest idiot maneuver, with hope that others may never repeat it.

What happened?

After enjoying near solitude for nearly two weeks while boondocking for free near Big Bend, Texas, we stowed everything and hopped in the truck. We had never detached from the fifth wheel since there was nowhere for us to go anyway there in the middle of nowhere. But we’re just using that as an excuse to justify not following proper departure procedure protocol.

The truck was in 4WD when it first wouldn’t move after releasing the brake. Only after dropping it into two wheel drive, and barley moving when applying the gas did the two of us realize what we had done. The second we turned to look at each other, in unison we yelled Fuck!

I jumped out and sure enough, the jacks were down. And behind them were a couple of trenches, a couple feet long and a couple inches deep. They were deep enough to make retracting the jacks impossible. After digging out both jacks from the hard desert rock with a screwdriver, and using a socket wrench to slowly ratchet one of them back up, we were finally on our way.

What a way too complete such a beautiful stay. But you know what, neither of us freaked out. If you choose to live the nomadic lifestyle, you must learn to cope with one hard truth. It is what it is. Shit happens.

Some of that shit you can avoid, if  you think about what you’re doing and keep on your toes.

Complacency kills.

Maybe we’ve learned from our mistakes. Or, chalk it up to complacency.

In our previous life, Rene once told me that the majority of motorcycle accidents involve bikers who have been riding for more than ten years. Now I know this is true for Full-time RVers too.

The second time I ever hitched up our trailer at the curb of our old sticks and bricked, I backed into it with the stabilizer jacks down. The legs on our brand new trailer bent slightly forward. No real damage was done. It was just enough reminder to always remember to raise them first.

Until about seven years later, that is. Maybe we need to start using our pre-flight check pin ribbon.

What have you done that you’re not to ashamed to share?

Replacing the jacks was easy enough.

The harder part was getting replacement trailer stabilizer jacks  that matched the bolt pattern exactly to avoid at trip to the shop for a welding repair.

The hardest part was swallowing my pride while doing the repair.

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Here’s another quick RV maintenance tutorial for those who like to save a few bucks on simple repair projects. Complete with photos, detailed steps, and a little history…

We first wrote about the broken retention cap for our fifthe wheel trailer umbilical cord—and how we fixed it on the cheap—back in 2008. I finally decided to replace the 7-pin trailer cord socket in the bed of our Dodge Ram 2500 pickup after finding one amongst the many bargain bins at Quartzsite.

If you are even the slightest bit handy with a screwdriver, you can replace the socket for your trailer tow lights/brake wiring harness by following these simple steps.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Here’s a handy tip for anyone who has ever lost the cap to the freshwater supply inlet on their RV or trailer.

How to Fix Broken or Missing Freshwater Inlet Cap

  1. The cap from a Gatorade sport drink bottle will fit!

Lost your cap somehow? Grab a Gatorade and drink it down. Then screw the cap onto your freshwater supply to keep out debris and bugs.

This is a frugal fix, or temporary solution to keep your water fresh until you can replace the freshwater inlet cap on your RV.

Do you have any quick RV maintenance tips to share?

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We’ve had such positive feedback on our three part series about How To Prepare and Pay for the full-time RVing Lifestyle, that we’ve decided to make it available as a free download for convenient reading offline.

Download Free Fulltime RVing Planning Report

We hope you enjoy it and share this link with other full-timers to be who are still in the research and planning phase before hitting the road. But we believe even seasoned RVers can benefit from what we have to share.

Download Your Free Full-time RVing Planning Report Here.

If you have not yet read this series of blog posts, you can read it online here or download the PDF.

How To Prepare for Full-Time RVing Lifestyle, Part I

How to Plan for the Full-Time RVing Lifestyle, Part II

How to Pay for the Full-Time RV Lifestyle, Part III

Be sure to save the PDF to your hard drive! You can then read it offline anywhere, anytime. Click the links throughout the document for more helpful information online.

For complete details about how we’ve been making a living on the road for the past 7± years to support our nomadic lifestyle, consider downloading our popular remote home based business e-book, Income Anywhere!

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I don’t know why we didn’t do this sooner.

We’ve enjoyed boondocking for as long as we can ever since we hit the road in 2007. Early on, we discovered we can nearly double our freshwater capacity with collapsible water jugs. Getting that water into our freshwater tank, however, has always been a major hassle. Until now.

Watch this quick video and learn how to easily modify your RV plumbing system to use the water pump for filling the freshwater tank from any external source.

YouTube Preview Image

How To Modify RV Water Pump to Fill Freshwater Tank

Filling our freshwater tank from collapsible 5 gallon jugs was always a two-person job—we would both get wet, tired and frustrated. Never again.

By adding a few tee valve connectors to our water supply lines in the compartment with our pump, I am now able to easily and quickly add fresh water to our tank from any container, by myself, without getting in a fight.

The hardest part was figuring out where those valves should go. So here, I’ve done that for you.

NOTE: Our fifth wheel came with a tee-valve and tube intended for use when winterizing the rig. By turning the switch, the attached hose could be inserted into a jug of antifreeze. We never used that, though we sure should have at least once. But it was the inspiration for this mod I made!

1. Fill Tube

If your RV does not have a winterization bypass hose, you can easily insert a tee valve in between the the input side of the pump and the freshwater tank, and attach a short length of flexible hose.

2. Bypass Valve

Insert another tee valve into the output hose coming from the pump to the pressurized water lines.

3. Redirect Valve

Finally, add a valve to redirect water back into the tank via the pressure relief hose on top.

4. Power Supply

Run wire from the nearest DC power source and splice it into the positive side of the pump’s power supply. Add a rocker switch so you can turn the pump on and off without shouting at to someone inside the RV.

Tips for Modifying RV Water Pump to Fill Freshwater Tank

Measure carefully! Be sure to match your existing hose diameter to the new tee valve fittings and any extra hose you purchase.

Always use braided hose or Pex tubing for the pressurized side of your RV freshwater system. Clear PVC hose may be used for the input side, and is easier to curl and stow when not in use.

Spend a few extra cents and invest in high quality hose clamps.

WARNING: One of the weaker clamps I first used popped off a connection with a loud “pop” noise and instant running of the water pump. Luckily we were home! I immediately realized what had happened, shut off the pump and ran outside to clean up the mess that could have been much worse. Another reason to always shut off your RV water supply when you’re not home.

Secure hose clamps tightly using a wrench rather than screwdriver.

Turn off water pump at inside switch before operating new switch installed at pump.

Always open the freshwater supply inlet cap to prevent pressure build-up when filling tank.

Turn off switch at pump and remember to return tee valves to proper position for default functioning of freshwater system after filling tank.

Any questions?

Manual Alternative for filling RV Freshwater Tank from Jugs

If you want to get a workout and don’t mind getting a little wet, or you don’t feel like cutting into your RV’s freshwater plumbing, here is everything you’ll need to make a gadget like we used for years. Place the Water Bandit on a large mouth funnel and attach a fill tube. Have someone hold the funnel, hoist the collapsible 5 gallon jugs, and be patient!

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