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Monday, July 25, 2011

Why RV Service Technician Certification is Important!

I am very frustrated! I just purchased a used coach and I have had no problems so far until this week. I left for about four days and when I came back I noticed a wet spot on the floor in the corner near the slideout and under the fridge. I often stay at a resort site and have asked several other owners about pressure regulators as I only had a trickle of water and they didn't use one so I took it off a week ago. I checked under all the sinks and saw no problems then went on my trip. I called a mobile RV repair person who came out this afternoon and didn't even let me tell him about my pressure theory, but announced that my slideout was leaking and that all slideouts have the potential to leak and when it rains the slideout should be retracted. That makes no sense to me at all. He told me to put silver tape over the rubber seams and left without charging me. I hooked my water back up and checked it about two hours later and it was wetter then before. I looked under the back left area of the rig where I am speaking of but the underbelly is enclosed. I pushed up on the belly and water started dripping. I don't know how to get in there to look at anything. It is not pouring but dripping. I still think there is some small hole in line where the fresh water enters the coach behind the white compartment where you hook up the city water hose. Any ideas? Linda M. (Lacey, WA)

Linda, I hear your frustration and it frustrates me greatly that some incompetent service technicians are simply not good troubleshooters! The first step, as a troubleshooter, is to listen to the customer for crying out loud! Now maybe the slideout seals were indeed leaking (that is a problem with some designs), but taping over the seal is most certainly NOT a viable repair tactic. And he wanted YOU to do it! Incredible! 

It’s also apparent that you still have a leak in the fresh water system; maybe not a hole, but quite simply a leak at a connection caused by the wracking and twisting of the coach as it travels down the road. As for pressure regulation, I always recommend a regulator if the incoming city pressure exceeds around 65 PSI. Perhaps the maintenance person at the resort will actually measure the city pressure at your site to determine if the regulator is truly necessary. But it certainly would not hurt to always use an in-line regulator.

Still, it is apparent a seeping leak still exists and must be located and repaired before structural damage occurs. Mold and mildew are also a concern if left unattended. There should definitely be no water retention in between the floor and sub-floor, ever. It’s paramount you have a certified RV service technician inspect, diagnose and repair the leak(s) as soon as possible. Leak repairs should not be that difficult to diagnose with the proper testing equipment. It can be determined in a matter of fifteen minutes IF a leak exists. The repair however, may be more difficult to effectuate, but a quick diagnosis could lead to a quicker repair. Try to locate a service facility in your area that employs Certified or Master Certified service technicians. The Industry Certification awarded by RVIA and RVDA means that technician has been tested and is qualified to perform professional RV troubleshooting and subsequent repairs. Look for the certification patch (see photo), on any RV technician working on your RV or ask to see their certification prior to authorizing repair work.

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