Putting a 5er on a Diet

Part of living full time in an RV, means making choices. Sometimes that with locations, other times, that has to do with what you can or can not take with you to your next location.

We have gone through processes of eliminating some of our favorite dishes. You know that one coffee cup you cant live without with the cute cats on it. Or getting rid of the 4th pair of running shoes when you only have one pair of feet.

But how do you shave weight from a trailer when you want to carry an extra bag of chocolate chips?

We have seen some things that are attached to the 5th wheel that do not serve a purpose for us. Two of the obvious ones for us where doors and valances.

This new Keystone Arcadia 3550mb only has 2 doors on hinges dividing sleeping rooms. We took them down and put up curtains. This shaved about 5 pounds per door. They opened in a manor that was intrusive to moving around the house.

The valances on the windows. These were brown boxes placed on top of the blinds to give it a more homely feel. Counting around our 5er, we have 13 different windows with these little brown boxes attached.

With a short discussion with the family, we decided they were not needed. The valances where visual clutter and a dust catcher.

Each was held on by 4 screws, and took only a couple minutes each to get off the walls. About an hour later, I weighed the whole stack and found that we cut 31 pounds of valances off the RV. 31 pounds!! that is almost 4 gallons of water. Or could be 30 bags of coffee. That is the weight of a big box store bicycle.

So putting our 5er on a diet let it lose over 40 pounds in a matter of a couple hours. I wish I could lose weight that efficiently.

How to light stove/oven in an RV with Propane

Living in the RV does not mean you lose all the creature comforts of home. Reality, the RV is home. Breads, baked goods, baked pastas, and dehydrated foods are all things we love to have for meals or snacks. To get this we do have to bake in the RV. One issue we see is added heat coming in the RV, but that is a necessary evil to deal with.

Our Keystone Sprinter 32BH comes with 2 30# propane tanks. They are linked together at the regulator with a switch and an indicator.

Make sure your tank is turned on, turn the handle counter clockwise until it stops, and if you have a selector switch, have it pointed to the tank you just turned on.

Our stove has 3 burners and an oven. This is why we have 4 knobs controlling the flow of gas into the stove. The 5th knob is an ignitor. Twisting this produces the spark that lights the gas!

Let’s go over how to light the stove. LP gas has to flow from the valves at the knobs down to where the fire will be lit. The burners will light quickly because the travel is short. Turn the burner knob to a medium spot and strike the ignitor. This should give you a nice flame on top. If you are coming from an electric stove to a gas stove, it may cook hotter than you expect, therefore experiment some.

Seems simple enough, right? But with the oven, don’t get in a hurry. Hold the pilot on, count to 5 strike the igniter. Probably wont light the first time, count to 5 again, and strike. Our oven usually takes about 20 seconds for gas to get to the pilot light. Once the pilot is lit, hold the knob long enough for the heat coupler to get hot. This tells the stove it’s ok for the pilot light to get gas, because there is a flame. Then set your oven to the desired temperature.

Turn on the exhaust fan! This moves gasses and exhaust out of the rig. If something smells rotten, turn off the knobs, open some windows, let it air out and then try again!

Happy cooking! Comment below on your favorite dishes to cook or bake!

Warranty stories

Who doesn’t like the smell of a new RV? The fresh paint, the off gassing of the carpet, the drops of antifreeze in the shower…

Along with all the goodness of putting your fresh finger prints on everything comes the idea that during manufacture, mistakes were made. Barnes On Move along with many other RV owners suggest having a shakedown run with your RV on the first available time possible. For us, we will always camp in the parking lot of the dealership the night of purchase, maybe even a few extra days.

The idea here is to find broken stuff, get it on a list, and added to the file before leaving on any long trips. Hopefully someone can fix the small things immediately for you before taking total possession of the unit. Sometimes they forget to turn the hot water bypass off on the water heater. This can actually cause a burned out element in your electric side of the water heater, but that is a story for another time. If you have particular questions about your unit, they can then answer it on the spot and not try to do it over the phone or bringing the unit back in.

So here is our story of how the warranty work went for our unit. As you know, we began our RV journey late 2021 with the purchase of a Keystone Sprinter 32BH. The layout was good, the price was reasonably in budget, size was large enough for 3 person family, 2 dogs, and 1 Russian tortoise.

First biggest problem we found was NO hot water. Being the curious tinkerer I am, I went digging. First found out that one of the wires was not hooked up to the gas controller. Secondly, the bypass was still ‘on.’ Third, the electric side did not work at all. Called the service center at the dealership, and was told, bring it in so we can take a look at it. Break out the calendar, and set a date.

Keeping track of days here, 1 day for setting appointment and finding problems.

Day of appointment getting close, we move into the campground at the dealership. Morning of appointment, we have to move out the humans, the dogs, the tortious, and find a place to relocate for the day. Reminding everyone we are full time.

Everyone is moved out, slides in, porter takes our house back to the bays. A few hours later I get a call, ‘we’re all done, come get your unit!’ I then ask about the water heater, and they said…”all fixed.”

Crank up the truck and head to the dealership. Chat up the service writers for a few minutes and find out by implied words that a less than favorable tech worked on my rig. This kills my warm fuzzy feeling and we plug up the trailer to double check that work.

It appeared from a quick look that the tech’s troubleshooting was only running water in the sink to see if it was warm. Full grey tank reinforced this idea. Of course, my electric side of the water heater still doesn’t work.

Call over the tech, he tries again.

After watching him flounder a few minutes I show him how to check the electric heating element and he then realizes it was busted. He finally swapped the element, but it shouldn’t have taken an owner showing how to do a job.

Oven never worked higher than 350° until it was replaced.

Door was not installed correctly. Only authorized to reinstall door.

Leaking window. Only sealed the outside, yes it stopped the leak, but the sealer that should have been between the window and frame may have a defect.

Loose negative terminal.

Every problem we see takes multiple days and makes it difficult for a full time family. I am saddened by the quality of rigs from the ‘Rona’ times. I don’t know what we would have done if it was months wasted at the dealership.

Oh yea…extended warranty. $200 evaluation fee. $50 deductible at that shop. And multiple days to get work or parts.

Warranty work is just a part of life with any purchase, I hope your stories are more entertaining than mine!

Comment or tweet @BarnesOnMove with your story!

Where are we?

This week we are in Eustis FL!

Plans include, but are not limited to: Breweries, Coffee Houses, Restaurants, Hiking, and small town photography! If you are near, reach out, we’d love to hear from you.

This relocation is being used to catch up on publications and business practices that we have neglected while at home base.
Last month or so we have spent getting our doctor’s appointments completed. Catching up with maintenance of RV, warranty work, repairs, etc.

Drone services have expanded into photogrammetry (a lot of photos that gives a high resolution image of the ground.) And I am learning 3d imaging of buildings and large objects to be used in 3d worlds, or advertisements and information to clients.

Please take a minute to share our blog/website/social media so we can share what we have learned with a wider array of people. Thank you.


Always have a plan B!

After many months of looking forward to a Skeet and Golf RV park, we finally get the conformation. The park sent it to us at 830…PM…on a Friday.

Naturally this is not a big deal, except they close the doors at 5 for the weekend. We look up the site number on the map, and get a little nervous about the location. Chatted online, found some answers, prayed a bit, and decided to go ahead with the reservation.

Pull into the spot at 3 pm on Sunday, in the rain. Easy setup and plenty of space for the trailer, but not for the truck. Good news, there was a big parking lot right off the nose of the RV. Bad news, the pedestal box was in disarray.

Our circuit tester said bad, the breakers were wrong, and I was afraid to flip any switches. We did hook into another site for a while as we debated on staying or leaving. We found nobody in the park to help rectify the electrical problem and there was at least one more person checking in that night. We looked for another site to get into, but with no guidance to be found, we decided it was in our best interest to go to plan B.

We packed up and left that park, and headed elsewhere.

2 points to take from this. ALWAYS check your plugs and Always have a plan B.

First Trip Advice

Keys hanging from kitchen sink
Oh the Keys!

When you purchase your first, or 21st, RV from a dealership.

  1. Do your walk though!
    Look at everything. Look for broken stuff. Look for missing stuff. Look for messes and things that don’t look right. Make sure this stuff gets put on the “we owe” list and is done before you take your rig! All to often do we hear horror stories of when someone did not pay attention to what was told, or were not diligent on the walkthrough and making sure stuff was ready to pull off the lot! Don’t be a statistic of people who don’t like their rig because you didn’t learn when you had the chance.
    Take your rig to their campground (or parking lot, if that is not available, use the pickup area where your walkthrough was at–with preapproval of course) and stay there for a day or two. This will give you a chance to try out the stove, refrigerator, water heater, and shower! Use them! Make sure they work while you are still on property. Many rigs have duel gas and electric water heaters (use the gas first–if the rig is still winterized and no water is in the tank, you can fry an electric element by turning it on without any water.)
    Leaks are a possibility, a neighbor right now just traded in a class b for a class a, and the shower leaked and was not sealed. Better to find this out near the shop than at the camp ground.
  3. Make a check list!
    Make a routine list of things that needs to be done (or take ours and modify it) before you pull out. Also make a list of things that need to be done when you get parked. When we do it often, we get complacent and make mistakes. When there is a long gap, we get out of practice and make mistakes…MAKE A CHECK LIST!
  4. FOOD
    Well, I like to eat, and enjoy bringing my full kitchen wherever we go. So we can make any meal on the road just like we would in a house. You may just need to pick slightly different cookware to fit.
  5. ENJOY
    But realize stuff is going to go wrong. Fix it and move on. There will be many more great memories in your rig than the bad ones.

    This just gives you a little of a head start when buying a new (or used) rig. Do not badmouth anyone until you have politely tried to remedy it through the dealership or manufacturer. They will more than likely NOT send a technician to you, you will have to take your rig to them to get it fixed, and it may take multiple trips.

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