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Maintenance schedule

Some of our blog readers have questioned whether we are doing maintenance on the Airstream as well as the cars. The answer is that we aren’t doing much right now, because we do it as we go. As full-timers we don’t often have the opportunity to stop and do a big maintenance session, and we don’t have the luxury of holding off on things until it is convenient. So we do what we can when we can.

The wheel bearings were re-packed when we did the disc brake conversion in March. Our tires and wheels have seen plenty of maintenance lately (I hate to even think about it!) In general, the running gear is in good shape.

We usually clean things inside and out as we see the need. For example, I cleaned the exterior refrigerator compartment just a few weeks ago, when I noticed it was getting filled with dust and crud. Today Jay & Cherie suggested checking the water heater for mineral deposits, which is a good idea. We’ve never drained it, since we never winterize the trailer. I’m hoping the water filter we put on our incoming water line has kept the minerals to a minimum.

Ditto for lubing the locks and latches. I keep several kinds of lube in my tool bag: grease, Reese hitch lube, silicone-based liquid lubricant, and liquid graphite. The latter two are good for locks, latches, and hinges. I lubed the hitch ball (which is hidden under the Hensley hitch all the time) just a couple of weeks ago a a rest stop in New York. It’s a messy job that needs to be done every few months if you full-time, or perhaps annually if you don’t. While I was at it, I took the opportunity to check all the bolts and pins on the hitch.

These sorts of items go hand-in-hand with a good general check everytime we hitch up. As you know, I now check all the lug nuts and tire pressures as part of the pre-departure checklist. Pilots of aircraft do a “walk-around” check before takeoff, and I do the same thing. I look for open windows or vents, things that are loose or hanging, obstacles under the trailer, drips from unexpected places, tire damage, etc. In general, everything should be clean, tight, and dry.

The Honda Prelude has been condemned by the inspector. The rust is worse than we thought. A portion of the underbody frame collapsed when the car was put on the lift. It won’t pass inspection without at least $1k worth of work, and then it will need more (timing belt, etc) very soon. We are going to put it out to pasture and find another car for economical local commuting next summer.

One Response to “Maintenance schedule”

  1. Terry Says:

    Hi, Rich. You said that the water coming into the trailer goes through a filter to help keep contaminants to a minimum, does that include the water going into the fresh water holding tank? The water you put in there will eventually find its way into the water heater just as surely as if you didn’t filter the city water, just more slowly.
    Also, let Brett and I know what car you will be shopping for, as Florida cars are about as close to rust-free as you will find.

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