Kooser SP, Bakersville, PA
A long and occasionally bumpy road is the best way to find out what needs attention on your RV. You would think that we had already discovered all the bugs from our previous trips up the east coast and round-trip from Vermont to Ohio, but I am continually surprised.
Along I-84 in Pennsylvania, we encountered a huge traffic backup at the merge with I-80. Without getting into a lot of details, we had a choice: sit for an undetermined amount of time, or follow a few hardy drivers along a bumpy dirt path off the highway and to an escape route. We chose the off-road path. I must say that Vintage Thunder took it well, but between that adventure and several other badly rutted roads, things got bounced around a bit inside and out.
So, we discovered three things:
(1) The lock on the battery compartment needs a longer metal bar on it. As it is, it can rotate a tiny bit and let the door fall open in transit. I've temporarily rigged up an extension to the locking bar with a piece of plastic knife and some tape -- McGuyver-style.
(2) The magnet bar near the entry door was loose because one screw had stripped out, but it was easily secured with a longer screw,
(3) The Big One: The freezer door is out of adjustment. Normally the freezer door stays tightly shut. But on this trip, for the first time, we packed it FULL. During the bouncing, the weight of the food shifted to the door and the door came ajar about 1/4". Normally the door shouldn't be able to open at all because of the snap locks built into the handle. But in the case of our freezer, the snap is 1/4" out of adjustment. So quite a bit of our food defrosted along the way.
This made for a very interesting smorgasbord dinner last night, as well as a lot of frustration. The door lock is not adjustable.
The picture above is sideways. If you look closely, the left latch (freezer) engages differently from the right latch (refrigerator). The refrigerator latch connects properly, so that when the door is shut, the door cannot move forward at all. The freezer latch connects so that the door can move 1/4" forward (open) before the latch stops it.
It appears that the freezer door itself may be hung slightly out of square, and the position of the door is what determines the position of the lock. Looking at the door, it is not obvious to this non-mechanical person how to adjust the door. I plan to drop by a Service Center along the roadway (or perhaps call Dometic USA tech support if they are open on Sunday).
In the meantime, we can secure the door with The Handyman's Secret Weapon. (Actually we are using blue masking tape, which doesn't leave a glue residue.) Crude, but it will work for now.
OK, enough of the tech talk. You'd think with these problems that we had no fun at all. In fact, Kooser State Park is a pleasant little spot up at 2,600 feet in the pine trees of western PA. It was virtually abandoned this weekend for no apparent reason, so we just drove in and picked a nice spot near the playground (for Emma). The swimming beach is a bit silty but the cool trout stream was a nice break. Even up at this altitude it was well into the 80s today. Emma spent a pleasant hour catching tadpoles in the shallow water and we all came away from the water feeling refreshed.
Today looks like another long driving day, if we are going to arrive in Springfield MO by Tuesday. ...