Girard Tankless Water Heater Eratic

This unit has a Girard tankless water heater which was a big selling point for us.  With four girls, there was seldom hot water for me.  The first few showers were terrible, too hot or too cold, on and off.  We read the manual, it said use full hot and add cold to temp.  Didn’t work.  We tried the Low setting which was better but still erratic, then it would occasionally stop working all together.

Upon inspection I found the unit not igniting and the fan wasn’t running. I fiddled with the two wires going to the microswitch (connected with blade connectors) that tells the unit the fan is moving air and it immediately started.  They looked slightly corroded.


I cleaned them with WD-40 and switched the unit to Auto.  It works well now. I will coat the connectors with dielectric grease when I get home to prevent future corrosion.

Leaking Shower Drain

I found this by accident while searching for the source of the water in the holding tank bay.  There is an inspection cover on the front of the shower pan with four screws. I removed the screws and that exposed the drain trap.  There was water in the pan under that drain evidencing a leak.  I had this same issue with the 2005 coach but it was much harder to access.  I used a large pair of channel locks to tighten everything up and it is leak free now.

DirecTV Not Tracking, Server Not Found

We have a Winegard Traveler Mission tracking satellite system and Genie server with a wireless bridge and four Mini’s.  Everything works great untill we get to New Brunswick, and suddenly it stops tracking and the remote Mini’s are saying “Server not found”.  After much troubleshooting, we finally got a call back from Winegard and they informed me the system doesn’t work well that far north east, and in fact, they have trouble in Maine.  Parked, the system acquires a satellite easily, but just won’t track.

Apparently with no satellite signal, the wireless bridge is not detected by the Genie and the remote Mini’s can;t find the server.

Water Sloshing Out of Holding Tank Compartment

This one was a bit more concerning.  I saw water leaking out of the right side of the coach after we would leave a camp site.  A lot.  I found two screws to open the right side compartment where the tanks are located and saw water in the compartment and on top of the fresh water tank.  On further inspection found the 1 1/2″ drain from the kitchen sink broken.  This is a bad design because it does not allow the pipes to move in relation to the holding tanks which are quite flexible and therefore causes the pipes to break.

I also found the pipe on the other end of the tank from the washer to also be broken.  I found that one by sticking my iPhone up into the compartment where my head did not fit and snapping some photos.

I temporarily fixed the one on the near side with silicone and Duct tape but will do a permanent repair when I have more time. I needed a 1 1/5″ ABS 45 degree street el, a 1 1/2″ male pipe adapter, coupling, a short piece of pipe and some ABS glue.  The red arrow is where the MPA is cracked and separated. You can also see standing water.




Steps Making Clunk Going in and Out, Then Stopped Working

The electric steps were making a hesitation and clunking sound going in and out, then finally in Benton, Arkansas stopped working altogether.  The replacement motor was expensive and hard to find, special order, so after some Googling I found out it is simply a window motor from several Ford vehicles.  The one that works best is this one from O-Reillys.  The only thing I had to do was drill out the mounting holes to fit my bolts, 5/16″ if I remember correctly.  The cost was $49 and available anywhere in the US, compared to the original which is $200 and special order.

The number on the OEM motor was 300-1406 and Googling generally takes you to a post similar to this one.

The O’Reilly;s part number is 42-339.  This one works!

IMG_4891 (1)


Leaking Roof

The most dreaded thing that can happen to an RV because if allowed to go unchecked, it cause devastating damage.  mine happened when I hit the brakes in rain, woosh a wall of water came down on top of me.  The cause was the front cap separating from the roof because the sheet metal screws had backed out and some were even overtightened and stripped.  I purchased some #12 x 3/4 screws to replace the stripped #10’s.  I tightened/replaced the loose screws, then used Dicor self leveling sealant to seal all cracks and then to take the belt and suspenders approach, covered both caps front and rear with Eternabond tape, 3 inches wide.  I think this one is permanent.


Stupid Dryer

Yes, our RV has a washer/dryer and the one we have is new, however, it is the same model we had in the past and in spite of their size they work surprisingly well!   This one has been an exception because although it washes fine, nothing dries.  I Googled, YouTubed and called the manufacturer and kept coming back to the same place, a blocked vent duct.  I knew however this was impossible because I installed it and it wasn’t kinked so how could it be blocked?  After dismantling the rear cabinet and sliding the washer out, I traced the duct and it was perfect all the way to the outside.  I grabbed my flashlight and looked inside, nothing.  That’s when I dropped my flashlight down the vent pipe.  Not to worry, the vent goes straight down so my flashlight should be on the ground underneath.  Not.  Suddenly, things made sense.  I grabbed my leaf blower (yes I carry one in the RV) and inflated the hose and then it produced a nice poof sound, like an “I was constipated and now I am not” kind of noise. I rushed outside to find my flashlight and this.  Problem solved.


Dear dryer vent hose maker,

Do you really need to put the instructions inside the hose?  Do we really need instructions for hoses?

Thank you.

Steve Discher


Tips for RV’ers

This section is for RV owners, to tell you about some of my experiences owning an RV for more than 20 years.  Our most recent acquisition was a 2012 Coachmen Sporstcoach Cross Country.  This is the second Cross Country we have owned, the first being a 2005.  The first one was a great coach so we were comfortable buying another.  The new coach has a lot of great features which unfortunately add complexity, and complexity means things break.  Being a very mechanically inclined person, I am up to each challenge but the repairs do get a little annoying.

I don’t believe the coach is poorly made, but the former owners apparently did zero maintenance, likely not knowing how to fix things or what to do.  this is also very likely the reason they sold the unit, since going to the repair shop for every loose bolt or leaking whatever would be troublesome and costly.

I think we are on the home stretch now, and hopefully will get over the repair curve soon.  I wanted to document some of the repairs I have done to aid other owners, but also to help me remember in case it happens again!