Making some repairs

A number of small and not-so-small items that need to be repaired have cropped up.  We were fortunate about a couple of them.  Our front shade stopped rolling up and would only roll down but that turned out only to need its controller to be re-programmed.  Our generator would start like it should but we weren’t getting any power inside the motor home but that only needed a circuit breaker to be reset on the generator.

Our toilet has been more of a problem.  About a month ago the cable that runs between the foot pedal and the valve mechanisms broke.  I replaced it but a week ago it stopped working again.  At first I thought the cable had broken but when removed it and took a close look at it it was the foot pedal that was broken.  Strangely enough it was actually broken by the replacement cable.  The original cable that was installed at the factory had two broad ends, one which fit in the pedal and one that fit into the valve mechanism.  The replacement cable had a broad end on only one end and a collar with an allen screw for the other end.  The allen screw-collar end went on the pedal end (that’s what the replacement instructions said) but what happened is that the collar is a bit narrower than the original end and it ended up reaming our a new hole for itself through the pedal (which is only plastic).   This split the pedal and when I tried to repair it, it broke off flush with the hinge.  When I replaced the pedal, this time I put a broad washer under the collar so it spreads the force out and the collar will not pull through the pedal again so we have a functional toilet again (I was having to hand-flush it by reaching behind and twisting the valve mechanism).  I’ve also gotten pretty good at taking the toilet out and re-installing it which is not a skill I expected to acquire.

Our toilet upside down on my work bench
Our toilet upside down on my work bench

Our entry door handle also broke and I ordered a new one from the Tiffin factory.  I finally arrived and today I replaced the old one.


There were a lot of moving parts behind the panel, but I took photos at every step when I disassembled it so I’d know how to put it back together.

What's behind the door panel.  The handle and lock are in the lower right-hand corner.
What’s behind the door panel. The back of the handle and lock are in the lower right-hand corner.

It turned out to be relatively straightforward.  I took off two rods, unbolted the old handle and lock assembly, put the new one in its place and re-attached the rods.  I tested it and everything works fine so we now have a functional door handle again.

I’d thought we might have to stop by the Tiffin factory in Red Bay again but that’s pretty much all that needed to be done and I was able to do it all myself this time.  I’ve learned a bit more about how things work and feel more comfortable tackling any future repair projects.   There’s a local Freightliner facility so we may have our annual service done there this year and not bother to stop by Red Bay at all but we’ll have to wait and see if anything serious crops up.

We are going to replace our tires this year before we hit the road.  They are about eight years old and that’s about all that’s safe.  I’m also considering replacing the house batteries (a bank of four deep discharge batteries that power everything inside the motor home when we’re not connected to power and aren’t running the generator).  They’re also reaching the end of their useful life and the couple of times that we’ve needed them lately they seem to discharge too fast.   I’m going to wait until April however, before we do these things.

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