Last August, I had to put the motorhome, aka Camper, into storage at a nearby place. There goes $35 a month, but keeping it in the parking lot at the apartment was understandably not an option. It also made it hard to get any work done on it or to have all of our things easily accessible.
Every month, I drove the 15 minutes to pay the lot rent and usually attempted to start it. I bought a small solar trickle charger to try to keep the engine and batteries going. It never wanted to start without gas being put in the carb and I had a few times where I had to jump it, which was a nerve wracking process that included two jumper cables strung together. It seemed the starter battery might be going bad and the 30 year old mechanical fuel pump was likely failing.
A couple weeks ago, Wallace and I went to pay the rent and so I could take the battery out. This was tricky and I almost gave up. The hood opening is chest height on me, so I stood on a milk crate to reach inside. This made hauling the really heavy battery up and out nearly impossible. It took a few tries and an internal pep talk, but I got it out and waddled it over to the car. I had borrowed a battery charger from a friend, used my folding dollie to bring it upstairs, and charged it on the balcony. Wheh. Then Wallace got really sick and everything was thrown off. I managed to get the battery to an auto parts store and it load tested fine.
Today, despite us both being sick, we managed to get over to the camper. I found a few things we needed, reinstalled the battery (always take pictures of how to put things back!), and attempted to start it. Nope. Didn’t want to run. I had even loosened the gas cap because I had a theory that these starting problems began after I replaced the cracked gas cap with a new one, possibly creating too high of pressure in the tank for the pump to draw from.
So I got my rubber gloves on, refilled my trusty baby food jar of gas, and it started right up! This means the issue was not the battery but has something to do with the fuel system or pump. Replacing the fuel pump might be really expensive, so it’s not something I can make happen right now, but at least it can be driven and I don’t have to drop $100 on a battery. The pump must work to some degree because it runs and drives after it gets going.
I let it run for a bit to charge the house battery. Wallace wanted to sit in his hammock and because there is no parking break, I had him help me put the chocks in place. I do not know why I hadn’t done that last summer.
I also marked the house and starting buttons on the range hood panel. I had always assumed 1 was starter and 2 was house so that would explain why none of it made sense this winter with the solar charger.
I would really love to take it camping this summer, but in order to do so I need extra cash for gas and camping fees and a full sized futon mattress. Now to make that happen and find out how much the fuel pump issue will actually cost.
Meanwhile, the storage facility is going from unmanned to full time open. I found this out when we were there paying the rent, asked if they would be hiring, and sent my resume via email. I also found a WIC peer counselor job to apply to and sent that in. We will see!