Hi, again. This time around we’re going to share what happens when the simple things are overlooked in your Airstream.
First up, I had an older couple drop off their new-to-them B Van, with a note on the work order “Check Appliances”. There was also a note to check the dump valves. “See why water comes out when valve is opened”. Okay, the latter is a no-brainer. That’s what it’s supposed to do. When you open the dump valve, the contents are supposed to drain. Maybe they were talking about something else. Nope. So, that was an easy fix. I then checked the appliances, they all worked as intended. I did have to turn on the LP tank, though. When the customers came to pick up their van, they asked me what I found wrong with the appliances. “Nothing”, I replied. “Everything works fine”. “But we’ve never been able to get anything to work,” the lady customer objected. Her husband stood next to her, nodding his head. “The fridge, stove, water heater, furnace, nothing works”.
Hmm. “Did you turn on the LP tank so they could get gas?” I asked. Long pause. Wife looks at husband. Husband looks at ground, sky, trees, the side of the van, anywhere but at the wife. “Okay, I’ll take that as a “No”. They work better when you have the gas turned on so they can run.”
I don’t know if I should have told them they will also have to put LP in the tank from time to time, but they, the husband in particular, were embarrassed enough. Which brings me to my next story…
An Airstream came in with the LP appliances not working. They had worked fine the last time out, but now none of them would light. I checked the stove, and sure enough, there was no LP coming out when I turned it on. Hmmm. I went out front of the trailer, and rapped sharply on the tanks. They both clanged hollowly. “Sir, I think I found your problem. These things work better when you keep LP in the tanks.” He mumbled something sheepishly, and I sent him and his trailer around back for Pop to fill the tanks.
Last, I had a customer in a brand-new Airstream come in with an electrical problem. The converter wasn’t charging the batteries, and the air conditioner wouldn’t work. I pulled the trailer in, rummaged around, and found the shore power cord. I plugged it in, checked the voltage to the batteries (13.5), and switched on the a/c. I was sitting in the dinette, enjoying a cold soda, when the customer came out to check on my progress. “How did you get it all working?” he asked. “I didn’t find anything wrong with it”. I replied. He got kind of testy with me, letting me know that his air hadn’t worked all weekend, he’d roasted in the trailer, and his batteries were almost dead from them not charging. He said he wasn’t going to take the trailer until I found what was wrong with it. He turned and walked around the back of the trailer, tripping over the shore power cord. “What the %$^&*&^ is this?” he asked. “Umm, shore power cord, you plug it in to run the a/c and charge the batteries. They work better when it’s plugged in.” I actually saw the light bulb flicker on. “Uhh, okay. I’ll take my trailer now. Thanks for pointing that out to me”….
And so it goes…