Moving the RV was a challenge


We’ve had our eye on a new RV spot for over a month now, but it’s been taking a lot longer than expected to make the move. The land owner’s have been getting it ready for us with power and sewage, but as with many home improvements things don’t always go to plan, or schedule.

So with only a week or so to go before the site is fully complete, we decided to make the move as our sewage tank was full and we thought it would be best to ‘kill two birds at once’, (a saying I don’t particularly like, so maybe I’ll borrow one from Ricky from Trailer Park Boys, “Get two birds stoned at once”.)

Due to our RV not being insured for the road, we had to get temporary insurance to drive it. The plan was to insure it, then go drain the black water holding tank and fill up the propane at the local gas station, on route to the new spot. Having empty tanks would give us plenty of time for the permanent sewage hook up to be completed.

Starting the RV

As it’s been almost two months since the motorhome had ran, and having been sat in torrential west coast rain for all of that time, we decided to test the engine before going out to buy the 24 hours worth of insurance. I’m glad we did, because the battery needed a charge.

Whilst waiting for the battery to charge, we went and installed a new clear tarp at the new parking spot. We did this so we could drive straight in once it was time to move. Who was I kidding?

So with the tarp installed, we waited until the following morning to start the RV. It started no problems and so after clearing up our existing site and packing away, I headed off to the gas station to empty the black tank and get propane.

Twenty metres from the entrance to the gas station, the RV spluttered to a halt and wouldn’t start again. I was mortified.

My entire life was in the RV, including the cat and the thought of leaving the RV on the side of the road containing everything we owned, was pretty daunting. Despite a few texts to friends, no one was able to help, so I made the relevant calls to a pick-up / roadside assistance service.

Due to the time of year and our remote location, the nearest truck that had the ability to tow a 24′ motorhome was over 200kms away. It was not going to be a cheap recovery.

Then a Miracle Occurred

I decided to eliminate the basic possible causes:

  • I filled up a petrol can with gas and filled up the tank; no joy.
  • I called on a friend to help me boost the truck with jump leads; no joy.

And then a miracle occurred.

A random member of the public, a mechanic no less, pulled up and with cigar in mouth, offered some pearls of wisdom. We pulled off the air filter and poured some gas into the carburetor. Bingo! It started!

So, it appears that the choke or carbs may be sticking, but the engine stayed strong long enough, that I was able to empty the black tanks and get to my new location 1 km down the road. Unfortunately I was not willing to turn the engine off, so could not fill the on board propane tanks.

The Challenge wasn’t over though.

My friend, and now new ‘landlord’, bellowed directions to me as I reversed into our new spot. Armed with a pole, he lifted up the tarp, which was now weighted down by a layer of snow! That’s right, I’ve seen snow once in 4 years in this town, and it decided to snow as I was broken down on the side of the road.

Aside from the various roof mounted vents and air conditioning units getting caught on the tarp, I had to pull off an ‘Austin Powers style’ three-point turn to get the motorhome aligned under the tarp and neatly into the corner. All of this in rain, sleet, snow, now in the dark, and with the mistiest windows known to mankind. To add to the challenge the cat in the back, was not allowed his freedom at any cost.

Then, with about five feet and a few turns of the wheel to go, kaput!

The same thing happened to the engine that had previously caused me to spend an hour on the side of the road.

As a newly graduated roadside repair man, I repeated the same trick as had previously saved me, only to find that it was not to work. Perhaps it was because I was missing the cigar?

After a few more strokes of my chin with my frozen and very wet fingers, the landlord and I decided to call it a day. I off-loaded the pallets to rebuild my porch decking and commenced the re-beautification of the inside of the motorhome.

Due to the failure of reaching the final destination, the front corner of the RV was not under the tarp. Later after my 4 hour late lunch, my wife and I decided to add another tarp to the exposed portion.

Now, fully covered, we look forward to our sleep, even if it is on a slight angle. Ahhh, how I love those ‘fun houses’ at the fair. The only thing missing is the hall of mirrors.

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