Many people are surprised when I tell them we are in our seventeenth year of living (and traveling) in our motorhome. (Trust me, I’m surprised too!) But what really seems to be the biggest surprise is that we are still in the rig that we started out in, our 2003 Beaver Santiam that we affectionately call Lizzie (after my adventurous grandmother!).
We (Gary) did a lot of research before we bought our home, and we’re very pleased that she has held up so well. We’ve done some renovations (new flooring, removing the sofa and putting in a desk and upgrading to a residential refrigerator back in Oct ’15) and Gary’s been really good about engine maintenance, massive oil changes, etc., etc., etc. She does have a couple of dings and ouchies, but after all, she’s travels many good miles and parked in countless unusual parking spots! But, every now and again, just like in your house, something just plain wears out. Recently we had that happen to the latch on our front door. Did I mention that it’s our only door? It had been sticking for a while, but we were finding that if you stood to the side, held your tongue in just the right way and asked nicely, it would eventually open. So I guess we weren’t drop dead surprised when the day came that it just plain wouldn’t engage with the mechanism and open. Thankfully, the bedroom window is usually not latched (shhhh – don’t tell the riff-raff), so Gary got out the ladder, climbed in through that window (it’s also the egress window so it actually hinges open from the top), and let us in. He then began the deconstruction of the door to try and diagnose the problem.
Oy – so many screws, so many levers!
Sure enough, it needed a whole new handle/latch assembly. And of course, trying to find that for a 17 year old motorhome was no easy task. He eventually found one he thought would work, and got it on order. The trick of course was that while we waited we couldn’t shut the door all the way unless we were inside. Well, we could close it just fine. There just was no way to open it.
There may or may not have been a couple of times that the egress window was used during those days…..
I am happy to report that the new latch is in place and once again all is right with the (door) world. Well, except sometimes, since it wasn’t an exact replacement, it doesn’t actually stay closed. But hey, I used to live in a house built in the 1860’s so I can deal with little quirky stuff like that!
She’s a good ol’ girl, our Lizzie is. She’ll be 18 in March, and while I’m not so sure what that equates to in “RV Years”, we think she doing just fine. We try to treat her with respect, and give her lots of praise when we make it safely to each new destination. And as you can see in the post header, we even upgraded her outside lights to LED! Lord willing, she’ll see us through several more years of adventures!