A few weeks ago I wrote about the pros and cons of full-time RV’ing. If you missed it click on this link. I wrote about how most people only post the sunrises and sunsets, the water views, and the beautiful nature. There certainly is all of that but it’s only part of the picture. You will run into problems and I listed some. This week I will give you a good example of a problem you can run into. It’s one we had to deal with.
We left our friends in Missouri and head out to Texas and our first workamping job. We traveled a total of 1723 miles since we have left Florida. Up to and including Missouri was fairly smooth sailing. But as I have said in an earlier post, full-time RV’ing is not all peaches and cream. We left Missouri in the morning with the threat of in-climate weather heading towards us for the afternoon. We decide to cut the trip in half. That meant we were going to make one stopover in Oklahoma. We usually don’t like to do more than 250 miles in a day but we decided to stretch it a little to get to Texas and settle in.
And Then This Happened
Everything was going according to plan. We made our way over to I40. The wind was starting to pick up and we were due to make a stop and stretch. We stopped at a rest area as we usually do. As we got out to stretch and get some food from the fridge, a trucker came over to us and asked if we knew we were dragging something. Wait? What? Dragging something? Who us?
After thanking him I took a look underneath. As I looked underneath my heart sank. So many RV’s now come equipped with the covered underbelly and ours is no exception. The only difference is that ours is now bunched up to the axles and curled up like a ball.
Time To Start Cutting
I grabbed my knife and climbed underneath to start cutting away at the underbelly material. It almost looks like corrugated plastic. It was tangled up there pretty good. It took me a while to safely cut away all the plastic. I wanted to make sure I did not cut into the heating ducts, water lines, or wiring. After cutting away some of the plastic, I started tie wrapping and duct-taping things up. Yup, the oh so universal duct tape and tie wraps. Don’t leave home without it.
My mistake here was that I should have cut the whole plastic all the way back to the end. I did not. I cut up to a point where there were retaining screws holding it down. I thought that would be good enough to make the last leg to the KOA in Oklahoma.
After we pulled up to the office at the KOA, I took a quick look underneath and guess what? Yup, you guessed it. The next section was dragging on the ground. We checked it and pulled into our site. We were lucky enough that we did not have to level or unhook the trailer. So as Chris started setting up the inside for the night, back under I went. Now the first time the bottom dropped we were lucky enough to have no damage. This time not so much.
As I cut away the rest of the bottom, I noticed it took out the pull handle for the rear gray tank dump. The good news is that I can still open and close the valve with a pair of pliers. I tie-wrapped and taped everything as best I could. They were calling for rainy and stormy weather to start shortly and go throughout the next day. What that meant to me was that if I did not secure everything good enough to make the trip to Amarillo the next day, I would be under the RV in the rain.
As promised massive lightning storms and rain pounded us all night. By the morning, the lightning went away and the rain slowed down enough for us to unhook the electric and water, squeegee off the top of the slide and head out on our way without getting soaking wet.
The drive from the Oklahoma KOA to Amarillo KOA was one of the windiest I have ever driven in with an RV. The speed limit was 75 at some points but I never went over 60 and stayed in the right lane. It makes you realize how much the wind affects sway. The funniest thing is the side of the interstate is packed with wind turbines. With all this wind, I would have thought they should be spinning a million miles an hour…lol. I realized afterward they must be governed to a certain speed.
We finally made it to KOA Amarillo. I guess my tape and tie wrap job held up pretty good because this time nothing was dragging…lol. We checked in and met the owners and one of the other workamping couples. All extremely nice. So here we are. A little battered but made it and checked in for the summer. We will make the repairs on the bottom as soon as I figure out how I want to go about it. What I mean by that is I will either replace and re-secure the bottom (the way the dealer should have originally), or leave it off and cover the water lines with insulation foam. After all, my last RV had no underbelly covering and I had zero issues. I kind of like being able to see all the wires and lines so if I ever need to repair a water line, slide motor, wire, etc I can get to it without removing anything.
This would probably be a good time to mention that having a good roadside assistance plan is extremely important. I was able to fix this problem myself but what if the RV was damaged beyond a roadside fix and not able to move? What if you have a motorhome or any kind of drivable and something breaks to the point it will no longer run. Towing expenses are starting to skyrocket. There are multiple companies out there that provide roadside assistance. Do your research and pick one. Do not leave yourself stranded. We have coverage on all 3 of our vehicles. We actually cross cover. We chose Good Sam Roadside, Coach-Net, and AMA.
Our last weekend before we start working, we get pounded with heavy winds and snow!!! Yes, I said snow!!!. Snow in Texas? At the end of April? This is what we are trying to run from…lol. Our weekend was an indoor kind of weekend. It snowed, was super cold, and super windy. By the way, no issues with freezing water lines. A pretty good argument for redoing the bottom without the underbelly covering.
I can sit here and complain about the snow, wind, and cold but I am thankful we did not run into any of the other severe weather that some of the country has had to deal with. Our hearts go out to the families who have had to deal with the loss of life, injury, and loss of property due to these storms.
With that being said, if any of you are going to be traveling through Amarillo Texas this summer, make sure you stop into the KOA and say hello!!!
Have any of you ever had to perform roadside repairs on your RV? If so, leave a comment down below.