RV Expert Andy Dietz shares his 25 years of technical expertise as he tends to your questions.
Q: The awnings on my coach are coming apart where they mount into the rail. It appears that the stitching is coming undone or it is weather rotted. The fabric seems to be in good shape. Is there anything I can do to repair them and avoid the expense of replacing the awnings?
A: Yes, if the fabric is in good shape it can be removed from the awning/slide toppers and taken to an upholstery shop for re-stitching. Have them use a high quality weathering thread and stitch them with the bead cord inside. Due to the work involved in removing and replacing the awnings, I recommend you have a technician do this. There will be some labor cost to do so but you will still come out way ahead of replacing the entire awnings.
Q: I live in Florida where it’s hot and very humid. My air conditioners have been working fine however recently they’ve not been putting out as much air. Everything appears to be right as far as power supply and filters. What else should I look for?
A: First, check your A/C evaporator for dirt; we suggest cleaning by a certified technician only. If the evaporator is clear of dirt and has ice or frost, the cause may be running the air on “low cool” with either a lot of in-and-out traffic or an open vent or window. When this happens, the A/C cannot get rid of the moisture fast enough, which leads to moisture build up on the evaporator, which can eventually freeze over causing loss of air flow. To overcome this, turn the unit off or set to “fan only” until it completely thaws out. As water will likely drip inside the coach, put towels on the floor. Once all of the ice has melted, turn it back on “high cool.” You can avoid this happening again by keeping the doors and windows closed as much as possible during the more humid months, as well as ensuring your filters and evaporator are clean.
Q: I’m barely getting any propane into my coach. I’ve checked my lines and there are no kinks or blockages. I have noticed that if I shut my LP off for a little bit and turn it back on, I get a burst of LP but it drops off after just a few seconds. I just had my LP tanks filled less than a week ago so I know I have plenty. What could be going on?
A: The LP comes out of the tank and through the regulator before going into the coach. It sounds as though your regulator diaphragm is clogged up and therefore not able to vent properly. This is commonly caused by the regulator vent being blocked by a wasp or mud dauber nest. The vent should be located near the bottom or side of the regulator near the LP tank(s). It typically has some mesh or a screen over it to keep debris and bugs out. However, oftentimes wasps and mud daubers, whom are attracted to LP odor, will build nests on them. Due to the risk of a LP leak, we recommend you have it cleaned and serviced by a certified technician. However, if you’re familiar with LP systems, locate the vent, unplug the regulator and clean the screen off. If for some reason you can’t unplug it, I suggest you replace the entire regulator as they are not very expensive—but determine that’s the issue first.
Q: My truck has a towing capacity of 12,000 lbs. and I’m looking at buying a trailer that has a dry weight of 11,800 lbs. Can I pull this trailer safely?
A: Good question. This is a common concern of RVers who tow. By dry weight, the manufacturer means unloaded. At the dealership, we feel that a spread of 1,500–2,000 lbs. between the towing capacity and the dry weight is optimal. This safely allows for the additional weight of groceries, clothing and supplies in addition to LP, water, etc. Using this factor, your dry weight (UVW) should not exceed 10,000 lbs. if you have a 12,000 lb. towing capacity however, the best thing to do is work the weights out with your dealer.
Andy Dietz has committed the last 25 years of his professional life to Lazydays and to the RV industry. From morning to night, weekdays and weekends, you will find Andy hard at work making “customers for life” with every one that he meets. He has worked in virtually all phases of RV service operations including delivery, wood working and chassis. Andy is a RVIA/RVDA Master Certified technician, but more importantly, he is a master problem solver. Known to many as a “go-to-guy”, Andy is especially relied upon for situations that aren’t clearly defined or documented.
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