The Alaska Highway in January (don’t try this in an RV – we drove it in our Durango) It is great fun in the summer. Best times to go are from May to September.

Hello all,

Well today was day 3 of working on the “list.” I’m talking about this not only because it is part of the trip log, but I am also discussing it because it might help someone.

When we got our RV back from the storage yard, the first thing I wanted to do was wash off everything that had happened to it for the past 3 years. Yeah, I may be a little particular (a little?) about my stuff so after the court case was over, I just wanted to fix what was wrong. She looked horrible, the poor Hog. We had to preserve everything for evidence, so she had 3 years of grime and abuse on her from the dealer and from sitting over a winter in a storage lot on the military base nearby.

Some moron had decided to try to pry open the cargo door that holds the propane tank, even though it doesn’t lock. So she had some body damage – a dent that angered me quite a bit. This was done while she was behind a locked gate with a passcode, so whoever did it was either another military member or a retired military member. That’s JUST WRONG.

So, I decided that while cleaning her up, I would try to figure out just exactly what we had here. We had only been able to take 6 trips in her in the 2 summers we had her, and the rest of the time she sat in the shop at the dealer. So, I never got to become familiar with the Hog’s workings like I had the Leprechaun. Cleaning her up would give me that chance.

In doing so, I discovered an excellent way to figure out exactly what was broken, what was working well, and what needed to be looked at. I also figured out things I could fix myself. That felt good to do that.

By starting out at the very beginning of her at the front left, I went from one side to the other. In opening all cargo doors and cleaning out all compartments, I was able to discover several things that could be looked at right away. I will supply some pictures in my next blog post, as it is nicely raining all over my new wash job outside right now.

So, I will talk about those things I discovered as I went along, but for now let’s talk about windshield wipers. The wipers on this rig are, as I soon discovered, worn down from sitting on a windshield through several Alaska winters and being stuck to that windshield. So this was something that definitely needed to be replaced right away. I started calling around to several RV parts counters in Anchorage (there aren’t too many of them anymore) and some truck centers and boat parts counters. No one had a wiper blade refill that was 35 inches long.

In fact, when I asked them for one that size, they all sounded pretty shocked and said things like,

“No, I have nothing bigger than a 32 inch. Are you sure that is how big it is? That is one hell of a windshield you’ve got!”

It was really frustrating. I must have called 18 to 20 different places, including NAPA and some online vendors. Being in Alaska, everyone else is usually closed by the time noon hits here. I didn’t get too many that were still open in other parts of the U.S.

I did, however, get a positive result from the website called Camping World  (campingworld.com). The guy I spoke to on the phone said he would call Elkhart, Indiana where this and many other RVs are manufactured to see if he could find some for me. He was really helpful. Yay, camping world. Can’t wait to actually see one of your stores in the Lower 48 when we get there. Alaska has very few stores, so we often pay high prices for shipping to get what we need here.

It would be Monday before I would hear back from him(everyone in Elkhart Indiana had gone home), so I decided to go a different route.I started reading the discussion forums at goodsamclub.com and also at IRV2.com forums.

I spent all day on the phone and was able to find the correct blades at the trico website here:

http://www.tricoproducts.com/Trico2/replacement/specialtymarkets/RecreationalVehicle/index.aspx

It turns out someone put the wrong wiper blades on our RV (hmmmm…I wonder who?) I started to really look closely at them, and it is obvious the blades that are on there are the wrong ones. How could I tell? The whole time we’ve owned this RV, the wiper blades never really worked right. They always made scraping noises and looked like they were trying to dig a large scratch into the windshield. While really looking at them, I noticed that the blades were hanging too far over on the windshield and getting stuck on the rubber seal around the windshield.

Grr….ok..calm down, Lynne.

So, that is Ok. I learned a lot today. So if you are frustrated over trying to find the right blades for your big Class A motorhome with the big, honking windshield, try using the Trico website widget that helps you figure out what wiper blades belong on your rig. Then do a search on Amazon.com for Trico and the part number, and chances are pretty good you’ll find it.

Something else I learned was that some people who were having trouble finding the correct wiper refills or blades for their rigs were doing some interesting adjustments. Some would put a new arm on from a choice of other blade arms that were made by a different manufacturer. They would use a blade arm that was a few inches longer or shorter than the original, then they would be able to easily replace the blade refill without having to go through the hassles again.

Some other people just went to Walmart and found exactly what they were looking for. Ours was a little harder to find because it is meant for a curved windshield.

Hope you have an easier time finding your wiper blades than I did (at first).

Happy RVing!

Next time, I’ll post some stuff about the things I learned on my detailed walkaround and  some pics relating to it. One thing I learned from another guy was that it is really useful to make copies of the maintenance checklists from all of your manuals, and keep them in a notebook. I learned that from this great guy at

http://www.bryantrv.com

He has some really fantastic maintenance tips on his website.

See you soon!

Lynne

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