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↓ Episode 108 – Why Do You Want to Maintain Your RV? Because it is a Huge Investment!
30th September 2022 • The Smart RVer Podcast • Eric Stark
00:00:00 00:25:58

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In this episode, Eric Stark shares his thoughts on several topics for the Smart RVer to take advantage of. He covers the importance of friends and sharing the RV Lifestyle with them as well as the importance of maintaining the exterior of your RV. From trailers to motorhomes maintenance is important and should be thorough and done on a regular schedule. More About Friends Eric and Alexis visit White Fish Mt. and share why you should put Whitefish on your itinerary for your next RV adventure. Eric also encourages RVers to use and request by name Dinosaur Electronics circuit boards for The Smart RVers appliances. More About Whitefish MT. More About Dinosaur Electronics Whersafe RV GPS Tracking Systems - Use Promo Code “SMARTRVER10” and SAVE 10% RV Slide Out Awning Fabrics - Use Promo Code “TheSmartRver” and SAVE 10% Mopeka LP Tank Wireless Level Gauge Use Promo Code “Mopeka10” and Save 10% Micro Air Soft Start Use - Run an RV Roof Top AC with one 2000 watt Generator


Why do you wanna maintain your rv? The simple answer is because it's a huge investment. This is Eric Stark with the Smart RV or podcast, delivering the Smarts. You need to enjoy the freedom of the RV lifestyle without the fear of breaking down. So I want to thank everybody. Tuning in on the show today.

It's episode number 108, and we're gonna be talking about an RV as always, but digging into the why you need to maintain it. Very important. But before we get into that, let's talk about how to make friends while rv. Now that might sound like an interesting subject, right? Cause some of us might not have any friends and we don't want any friends, so, This might not be the subject for you, but you know, making friends while you're RV and can be a good thing, it's, um, doesn't necessarily mean you're going out to a campground and, you know, walking up to every RV and knocking on the door and shaking their hands and, Hey, I want to be your friend.

You know, a little creepy, Right? , that's not, we're talking. It's how to, you know, when you have friends, when you're rv, it also makes, you're gonna have more memories, better memories. You're meeting different people either involved in different things, so that opens up the door to you to new activities, and there's a lot of different group type of ways to make friends as well.

This doesn't have to be one on one where you just happen. You know, bump into somebody at the store, at the campground and you start talking and you kind of have a mutual interest or you have the same rv. It's not like that. I mean, that is the one way to make friends, but it's also being part of group activities, like a camping group.

You know, camping group sometimes will plan trips together. They help each other. You know, when you get there as a group, they can help you set up, take down. And you learn a lot about people when you're doing mundane tasks like that. You know, people just are talking about stuff, so you learn about them, and that's what a friend is.

You know, you understand them, you know them, and it doesn't mean that, you know, you have to be friends with everybody in a group. It doesn't work that way. It might just be one or two, it might be a group of 40, and there's just a couple that you click with, and that's all right. You know, it's just getting to know other people.

When you're out RV and even when you're at home, you know, you share your trips together, your memories. So it makes just a better way of rv, you know, and, and going on a trip even with, um, maybe it's another family or relatives. See that's all part of it. That's friends. Why you're rv joining a group is not a, a necessity.

Like I said, you know, family and friends can become a great way as well, but when you're out rv, you know, you're sharing something in common. If you make a friend, you find these friendships, they develop and sometimes they can last a lifetime. It's interesting how that happens. You know, sometimes friends are maxed out on friends.

They don't want anymore friends cuz they already have enough friends. They don't have a room for another friend. So sometimes it's not personal and we don't understand that. Why don't they like me? It isn't it, they just have enough friends, they don't need anymore. You know? But this is something in common and maybe the friendship is just, you know, you talk about your RV trips via email, on the phone once in a while, and you, you connect someplace.

You meet someplace for a week or a weekend. You know, so it's not like it's all game on with that friendship. They're at your house every weekend. You're at their house barbecues. That's not it. It's just having that, those people, you can share the things you have in common. and maybe talking about new places.

They tell you this great place you gotta go, but you really don't understand how to get there. And they say, You know what? Let's go in two weeks. We'll meet you there. You know, we'll meet you at this town, and you just follow us right in. You know, That's what it's about. And then it's the memories. You're gonna share stories.

You're gonna sit by that campfire, talk about stuff, taking pictures, capturing those memories, enjoying the outdoors with people. You like being around. So when you're out on the road, you know if it's joining a group, join a group if that's for you. Some people don't wanna be a part of a. But try to reach out to others, you know, and you, you'll, you'll see that it changes the dynamics of vin.

You have people that are sharing something in common, and these memories will last you a lifetime. So don't always just be stuck to yourself or you and your family. Try to reach out, get to know other people, and it will enhance the RV lifestyle. So I'm gonna ask you to spend at least one hour. This month, going through some of your memories and picking out one or two and reminiscing with them with one of your friends, that will help you keep on that track of having friends enjoying the RV and making those memories and keeping the friendships alive.

All right, now we're coming up to staying on the road. This is the section most everybody's always waiting for. Why do you wanna maintain your rv? You know, it's a huge investment. You think about an rv, you spend a lot of money on it. It doesn't matter. The price of it to you. It can be a lot of money. If it was $30,000 based on your income, that could be a lot of money.

If it's 200,000, 400,000, it doesn't matter. So we don't need to worry about that kind of stuff. It's a big investment no matter how you slice it. Even if you bought a used rv, used travel trailer, you're looking for the best deal in town, and it was 5,000 bucks. That was $5,000 you shelled out. That could have gone towards something.

Maybe your mortgage, maybe something else, you know, But you put it into the RV cuz you wanna enjoy it. So it's a big investment. It's the same with a car. They're big investments and we have a tendency to take care of our cars. So we need to roll that over to rv. But why do we wanna take care of it beyond the investment?

Well, we wanna have a, that RV lifestyle, the RV ready when we want to go on a trip. It's ready, it's gonna take us there. Inside of that RV is where we live. It's where we talk about our plans with the things going on in our lives. You know, sometimes the kids open up in the RV more than they ever will at home.

They're out traveling. They're not worried about these things. You know, it gets everybody's mind off the everyday problems. So RVs are absolutely great to have. You know, it's a wonderful way to travel. Even if you stay local, you're just staying within a 200 mile radius of your home or a hundred miles.

But you're going to different places. It just helps you to let your hair down and relax. So you wanna maintain that rv. See, it's not just the investment, The investment's a big portion of it, but it's everything else that's built into it, or that becomes part of it. So the maintain maintenance, you know, of course is the rv.

That's what we're talking about. All your family problems, you know, , I'm just kidding. The family, you maintain at a different level. You know, you maintain the relationships at a different level. The RV is its own thing. It's its own entity that you have to maintain. So when you think about it, you want it to be in good shape from top to bottom.

You want it to be in the best shape it can be. So when you are using it, the memory is not always of dad running to town, buying apart to fix the r. The memory is not of dad on the side of the road struggling with the axles because the leaf spring broke. You know, the memory is not of mom handing dad tools and him yelling at her cuz he's frustrated.

That's not what we wanna do, . Cause that happens, right? And those things will happen even no matter now how, no matter how well you plan things will. But when you keep 'em to a minimum, that's not part of the everyday memory making process . So maintaining the RV from top to bottom is, is critical to really enjoying it.

and, you know, so that's this podcast. You know, I talk about all the different things, you know, the roof, the undercarriage, um, the sidewalls, the, you know, the tires, the, the, you know, everything. It's all covered. But I'm putting the, your hands that you're gonna maintain these systems and you have to look at them, as I've talked about in past, in like a compartmentalized fashion.

Where everything relating to the refrigerator would be in one compartment. Everything related to a slide room would be another compartment. And so in doing this, you know, it can sound overwhelming, like wow, that's a lot to do. But in the previous episode we talked about spending an hour a month, you know, just looking at your rv, trying to stay up on maintenance or approximately an hour.

So it's setting goals, you know, trying. Set a goal for this is what I'm gonna do this month, next month I'm gonna do that. If your RV has a lot of problems, cuz you've neglected it, then you're gonna have to set some goals to stay on, get on top of it and get that investment back in shape. Get it to where the family likes going out in it, you know?

Have you ever been in RV or has your RV ever been in this shape where it seems like every trip, you know, someone turns on a water faucet, it doesn't turn off. There's a problem. You know, you go to turn furnace, it doesn't work. You know the water's leaking out the floor. You go outside and there's water leaking through the floor.

Only ask just a water leak. I forgot about that. You know, the, the, the holding tanks are leaking, you know, there sewage draining on the ground, you know, Well, it's not that bad will leak. We'll just put a bucket underneath there and empty it every hour, you know. Is that your, your RV trip? Is that your RV

Hopefully not. But there are RVs like that out there. But you guys are the Smart RVs. So you're not gonna let your RV be like that. You want it to be in tip top shape. Now sometimes we can't afford to always have it in the best shape we'd want, but we wanna do everything we possibly can to keep it, you know, where it's, it's a fun place to be.

Not a death trap or it's just the problem machine, you know? And you tell the family, We're gonna go on a trip this weekend, and they all start running into the other room. , you got problems, you know. So it's, it's looking at the rv, taking it a section at a time, you know, and I always say things like that, you know, you, it's, it's biting off what you can handle.

Don't bite off more than what you can chew. So keeping it in shape. So maybe you're gonna need to write this down. Get a little, uh, list going. Um, you know, a schedule of what to check and when, you know, an hour a month might afford you the time to check out everything you need to check out on your rv.

Every RV's a little bit different. You might decide, you know, everything underneath the floor line is good for the next six months. I'm not looking there. You know, you might decide everything above the floor, line up to the ceiling. Not as good, so I'm gonna check that monthly. Everything from the ceiling up is in great shape.

I just redid it all. So you can rotate that. But look at everything. You know, Quite often it's the bigger things that catch our eyes, like an air conditioner or a refrigerator, maybe the tires. You see a fender skirt is broken and you know, you put on that new fender skirt and you think, Wow, I'm done. I've maintained my rv.

You know, you go in the house, Hey honey, you come out, look at the refrigerator or the new fender skirt, and they're like, Awesome. Oh yeah, it looks brand new. Mm-hmm. . Well, it's not. You just put a fender skirt on. Everything else is still old. So you have to look beyond that. And sometimes we get caught up with what we just did and think, Wow, what a difference.

You know, it reminds me of remodeling a house one time where. I had all the walls stripped down in, in one of the rooms. Mm-hmm. down to the studs, , so there's studs and wire and so I got busy with stuff and it kind of got put off for a little while. And so then, you know, finally one day I got the wiring redone and put up the drywall like, wow, doesn't that look awesome?

Uh, doesn't look so much better than it did before. It's just drywall, man. , You know, in my mind though, I was done with the room, you know? Yep. Or at least I bought six more months or something. But, you know, that's the point. Sometimes we do something and it, it maybe in our mind we think is awesome, but it's not.

You know, or we put on that brand new fender skirt, but the rest of the RV still needs to be waxed and brought up to snuff, you know, Or the other side is broken. So I'm just saying, you know, stay on top of this stuff. Otherwise it will be on top of you, and it can seem. Hopeless to get out of it. And then if you're a do it yourself or you might find yourself taking it to a shop and spending thousands of dollars to get repairs done that you could have done yourself.

And that's the whole point of doing things yourself, you know, is when you finally get to the, you know, that you can maintain it to keep it off of you. But there are times where you might say, Hey, I just can't do this. I'm gonna take it to a shop. And that's okay cuz you have saved so much money on doing things yourself to pay somebody to do it.

Something you that's outta your, uh, wheelhouse. That's all right. Cause actually you've put that money away and you're just spending money you've saved, you know, it might not feel that way, but that's really what it is. Mm-hmm. , you know, I mean, I do everything myself, so occasionally I don't mind paying somebody.

Well, I do cuz they always do it wrong. Never up to my, my standards . Oh yeah. Just asked my wife. . So you know, just from top to bottom you wanna keep the RV in shape and especially the water leaks, really look at water leaks. And I focus on that. I bring that up a lot because water leaks cause so much damage and so many people don't understand how much damage they cause.

And sometimes you can't see it. You know, it's like the silent killer. All of a sudden one day the ceiling just has a hole in it and it's been leaking for months or years. Something that could have been taken care of, but it's ignored. So you know, if you're really gonna spend time on something, spend time on the roof, make sure that it is water tight.

In fact, in the store we get people that come in, Hey, I just got this used rv, you know, And you go out and look at it in the ceiling, you know, you can tell there's water damage, you touch it, you don't touch it hard cuz you know your finger will go through. You know, they think they got this great deal and what they got was something that just is on the version of falling apart cuz there's been so many water leaks.

So the person who they bought it from did not maintain the rv. You know, in their mind they might have thought they were doing something, but at the end of the day it wasn't maintained properly at all. So maintaining your rv, it's a huge investment, but beyond that, it's a place for you and your family to get away.

And enjoy each other's company. Enjoy the time that you have in this great, out in the great outdoors. There's a lot of things to see in the United States, so that's why you wanna maintain your rv, the investment, not only in it, but the investment in your family. So it's a great way to have a good time together and it can also be a good routine for everybody to get into, to work together as a family and maintain it.

So now if you have any questions about a project you're working on, any kind of project, you know, you can call me. At 4 0 6 9 6 1 8 6 8 8, or you can email me at eric the smart That's E R I c, the Smart rv You know, a lot of times just getting a a second opinion, a third opinion, can make the difference in that comfort zone or whether you really want to take on the project or not.

I know for me, it can be that way. Sometimes just talking to somebody else, bouncing some things off of 'em can be the difference whether I wanna do it or. . So feel free to reach out to me. I'm more than willing to help, and a lot of people do and it's great because they, they continue to be the do yourselfer and save that money.

All right, so now we are going to White Fish, Montana. Boy, we're spending a lot of time in Montana lately. , So Alexis, White Fish, Montana. Mm-hmm. . Have you been there? Oh yeah, I have. Oh yeah, . So Alexis has been around all these places in Montana that are cool. It sounds like . Boy, I'm jealous. Try to be . All right.

Well you grew up here, right? Yeah, I did. All right. So she's a cheater, , or a local . So Whitefish, Montana. What? Put it on the map. It is a famous ski town, so if you're into that sort of thing, that's where you wanna go. , There's a mountain. It's big mountain. Um, that's where the little. Resort is up there. Yeah.

Okay. So it's a ski town. Mm-hmm. , it's called. And Big Mountain is a ski resort, I take it. Yep, that's right. All right. So you're gonna go skiing at Big Mountain in Whitefish? Mm-hmm. . All right. So a ski town that pretty much, um, tells you what it's all about, right? Pretty much, yeah. Kind of from my experience.

One ski town is the same as the next. Maybe, Yeah. Sometimes it depends on the, uh, incomes in the area. Sure. You know, whether it's more affluent, but they're all kind of the same. Yeah. They attract the same people. I don't mean that derogatory. It's just the same thing. Yeah. Now ski towns are cool. I always like them.

Um, they're good places to spend money on junk. Oh, absolutely. Oh yeah. All little stores and stuff. Yeah. Always places to eat . Yep. There's ski towns, you're gonna spend money. Right. That's what makes 'em so cool. . But, um, beyond snow skiing, what is there to do in whitefish? Well, like you said, with spending money there, there are several pretty cool shops.

One being the Tory. That is like anything that you could think of that you'd need. For having gear in Montana, clothing wise, you can go there. Oh, they're also kind of famous for their really nice thrift shops, cuz like you said, it's kind of an affluent area, so the clothes are really nice. . Um, yeah, those are a couple, couple things.

So the Tory has all the little hardware things for hiking, backpacking, little chrome hooks and Sure levers and latches and stuff. And. All right. So if you like all that little knack stuff like I do, and that's the place to go. I, I wouldn't buy anything, but it's just cool seeing it all. Yeah. . All right, so the Tory, I'm gonna have to keep that in mind.

Okay. Put that on my list here. So there's swimming and kayaking and bicycling and all that kind of stuff. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. White Fish Lake is, um, really close to the town, obviously, and you can go do all those things. All right. Perfect. Um, what about eating? Is there a place that happens to serve crepes there?

It's funny you should ask that actually. Yes. It's called Amazing Crepes. And it is amazing . You can get savory ones, you can get sweet ones. It's, Yeah, you're gonna wanna go there. It's delicious. You know, if you've never had a crepe before, um, they are actually pretty good. They are . I had one in Arizona and it got me hooked on them.

Oh yeah. And the guy who left it was a mobile crepe guy, little French guy. I was hilarious. But, uh oh, nice man. They were good. And that was one of those types of foods that I just ignored my entire life. Yeah, but they are good. Mm-hmm. So if you're ever someplace where the selling crepes, you gotta try it.

If you've never had one, you gotta, Yeah. . All right. So I'll bet there's a pizza place there. There sure is. Uh, Mackenzie reverses kind of a chain throughout Montana, but they have amazing pizza, so that's a good option. All right. Very good. So there's definitely places to eat. Um, now what about staying there as an rv?

As an rv? There's a couple places. Um, Whitefish rv. There's Mountain RV Park, and then there's Whitefish State Park, which you can take your RV into. Okay, perfect. And there's of course, Motels, hotels, and all the other stuff there for, Yeah. Everybody else. Yeah. Very nice ones. Yep. Okay, So it sounds again like Montana just has so much, but we know there's other places.

Possibly the United States are as good as this. . Maybe not. Yeah, maybe not . No. Montana has great places, You know, Montana's very unique. Um, even when you go to Idaho, it's similar, but it's just not the same. Yeah, yeah. You know, you cross, like, you go to Utah and it's completely different. Oh yeah. You know, it's like a gradual, you know, go through Idaho, Utah, you gradually get outta Montana.

You can tell when you're outta Montana. Mm-hmm. But there's places like this that are definitely family friendly where, you know, it's not just, you don't have to be a snow skier to go there, I guess is the point. Right? It's for everybody and there's so much to do. And it seems like everywhere you go, Montana can become a base camp to go out from there and do things on day trips and stuff, you know?

Yeah, absolutely. And that's what's nice. And so, you know, being the smart rv, trying to take advantage of all this and making memories, Montana's a great place, but it doesn't matter where you. You know, there's always things to do. You know, when I lived in Arizona, you know, is, it's the opposite of Montana.

It's hot all the time. You know, there's no rain, there's no moisture, but there's a million things to do there. Sure. Yeah. You know, it's just a different environment, but there's all sorts of things to do there. So you find yourself keeping busy in that type of stuff, you know? Mm-hmm. out in the desert, there's mines everywhere.

There's ghost towns, you know, it's just a different feel, super fun, but there's always things to do. So wherever you're at, it doesn't seem to matter. There's always something to do. And so Alexis will keep making the next stop sections of the show and bringing up more information for everybody to take advantage of.

And you can go to the smart rv, the next stop section, and you'll be able to see the articles that we're producing to wet your appetite for your next rv. So now if you own an rv, you're listening to the show, right? Well, if you own an rv, you also have, Well, you might have RV Envy or you might be envy, or you create an rv Wherever's Envy of envious of yours.

The problem free rv, the the best looking rv, the one with all the high end stuff. Everything you buy for it is the best. Mm-hmm. . Well, Dinosaur Electronics is a product like that, is the, and Dinosaur Electronics, if you're not familiar with them, or maybe you've never heard that name. Dinosaur Electronics, maybe you've heard Dinosaur Dinosaur boards.

They make circuit boards for RVs and they all have a, a warranty. It's two or three years and they make furnace boards, water heater boards in some circuit boards for refrigerators. And they have test equipment that most RV shops buy and use, but their products are. Excellent. You know, they work so well.

They, I've never had one that's bad out of the box. I've never heard of a customer doing a warranty claim. So dinosaur electronics, if you need a new circuit board for your rv, ask for dinosaur electronics. Tell me you want a dinosaur board. Everybody'll know what you're talking about. And I think most RV stores in the United States carry their products.

We carry both. We carry dinosaur and the original equipment made by Atwood Suburban, whoever. Dinosaur electronics sometimes are a little bit more, but they're well worth the money. And here's one of the best thing about that company too. They've been around for a long time, but they are super friendly. If you have a problem with your refrigerator, let's say your, your, your eyebrow board's not working and you don't know why, just call 'em up.

Have the model of your refrigerator, uh, ready, Have the model number. Call 'em up, explain your problem to 'em, and they will help you diagnose it. And if they have the right circuit board, they will sell it to you. If they don't, they will tell you what board you need and then you can just go to an RV store and get the board that you need.

But they are willing to do that. In fact, they encourage that. They like to help people. And I think you know, the reason why is to make sure you buy the right product. It helps them sell you the right product. You know, you're not just buying stuff trying. Because if you buy that new dinosaur board, you put it in, it doesn't solve the problem.

You might wanna blame it on them when really the board wasn't the issue. So they wanna bypass all that. They want to keep their reputation strong and good. So if you have a problem, give 'em a call. They're very, very friendly and there's not too many companies like that anymore. Now, of course, here at the Smart RV or in Highway 93 rv, we are like that.

Mm-hmm. . We like people calling. We get people calling all the time, don't we, Alexis? Oh, yeah. All day, every day. Oh yeah, definitely. So we're known for that and we, and we appreciate when other companies are the same way, and that's why we're promoting them. And, you know, we sell their products, but, you know, we don't get any extra for talking about them.

It's just, they're a great company, so you gotta check them out if you need a circuit board. And also if you're having an event, you know, in a, you're an escapee, you're having an event or a group or whatever, you need a public speaker. I am available for that. So if you need public speaking or a public speaker, I can do that.

So if you have an event, it'll, the information's on the website at the Smart RV, so you can check that out. Go anywhere in the United States. No problem. All right, so this is Eric Stark with the Smart RV or Podcast. I want to thank everybody for listening today. It's been a great show. It's actually been a little shorter than normal.

Didn't spend as much time on a couple sections, but nonetheless packed full of information. So it's been great hanging out with you again, and if I don't see you on the road, Less, connect at the Smart RV