Buying a house is a huge commitment – in fact, it is widely agreed that it will be one of the biggest investments you will ever make. We?ve developed endless ways to split up the cost of owning a home, from buying the land and commissioning the house to be built to simply renting occupancy in the existing structure.
As significant a hurdle as actually buying the right to live somewhere might be, it is only the beginning of your troubles as a resident. For most people, for instance, there is a mountain of bureaucracy to be handled before changing one?s place of residence, as both governments and numerous private bodies will need to be informed of your change of address.
These selfsame bodies are likely to begin changing the taxes and other fees that are an inevitable part of the cost of living in the modern world. It is often necessary to engage some sort of counsel to navigate you through these troubling times; the consequences of even a minor error can leave you paying altogether too much for your basic services well into your future.
With so much else to worry about, you should make sure that the home you are getting is at least worth whatever you go through for its sake. Start with the physical integrity of your house; either inspect it yourself for any damage or leaks or engage a professional service to do so for you.
Space should be next on your list, with emphasis on whether or not your family is either expecting or planning to grow in the near future. Other needs are to be taken into account as well; perhaps you require space for a home office or want enough room for a small indoor garden.
Whatever the case, it is always important that your home have enough room for whatever you have planned for the foreseeable future. Don?t rely on being able to do anything outside; the outdoors has far too many variables to be part of any planned living space.
With those concerns out of the way, one can shift to something that is almost as important for the modern homeowner. Amenities and utilities, such as heating and electricity, may not be the most natural environment to live in, but there is no doubt that you?ll want them for large chunks of the year.
It is highly recommended that you make a reliable and functional electrical grid your first priority. As many homeowners have discovered over the last decade, there are few other utilities that cannot be replaced with electricity. Additionally, there are many things for which electricity is vital, to the point where no other power source will do. One may be able to cook over gas, but there is no powering one?s internet or television with fossil fuels.
Any climate control system you have should be as new as possible. If repairs are necessary, replacing a worn or damaged part is almost always preferable to repairing it. It is also worth keeping in mind that for most air conditioning systems if one piece is worn down, the rest are likely nearing the end of their lifespan as well. At a certain point, it is both cheaper and easier to replace the entire unit instead of servicing it part by part.
Though your home should stay as still as possible, moving parts should be taken into careful account. Any doors or windows need to be checked thoroughly before you purchase, and problems addressed either by repair or reduction in price. If there is any automation involved in your new house, make certain that it receives the same exacting inspection; anything less could mean real trouble down the line.
All of these are steps you can take to protect your largest investment, but most of them also work to keep your second largest investment safe as well. Your car, if you have one, is almost certainly the next most expensive thing you own, and it also benefits from a thorough review before buying in all the same ways a house does.
With all the combined hassle of owning, or even leasing, a home and a car, it should come as no surprise to anyone that many individuals have begun to search for a way to ease the financial and bureaucratic burden they represent. One possibility has been more common than ever in recent years – combining the two problems into only one.
Switching to a motorhome has proved an immediate solution to many of the problems that consistently plague homeowners. There are no property taxes or rent to pay, the electrical power is not subject to the oddities of road work, and there are rarely homeowner?s associations to worry about. Additionally, an effective motorhome is a realistic form of transport and is built for a much greater variety of roads than most cars currently on the market.
For obvious reasons, you will have no need to worry about lawn care or a cracked driveway. Most RVs tend to have smaller areas than houses anyway and are designed specifically to be as easy as possible to clean to minimize the messes that tend to result from what is, essentially a long-term car trip. Repairs tend to be easier as well, with no need to call builders and get estimates. A simple trip to a trusted service center can usually see the problem diagnosed and even fixed in the kind of time real estate owners only dream of.
That is not to say, though, that you will have no troubles or tribulations at all while using your RV. Primary among these is the one utility that has until now been suspiciously absent – yes, we?re talking about the water supply.
Having a working water supply in your home is as critical of a living condition as electricity, and arguably more so under some circumstances. As an RV user, it is crucial that you be intimately familiar with how your water supply system works, and how to operate or repair it yourself if need be.
Your water supply will center around the pump, which will take water from your motorhome?s reservoir and supply it to the rest of the RV as needed. The reservoir is itself of considerable significance, of course, and should be checked for leaks and contamination of any kind on a regular basis.
If your water pump has been idle for some time – perhaps you?ve sent the vehicle in for repairs, or have been hooked up to a residential main and so have had no need for your onboard pump. You may need to run through a few basic steps to get it up and running again. None of these are particularly hard to do, but it is nevertheless important not to rush or skip steps along the way.
Like any other system that?s been out of commission, you?ll want to start with a physical inspection that verifies the pump is still in working order, with no wear or damage since it was last used. This is especially true in areas with nesting wildlife such as raccoons, which may attack an exterior pump in an attempt to find shelter inside.
Next, you?ll need to prime your pump – with nothing in either the intake or output lines, the pump has to be refilled with water to ensure that it will create and maintain a steady pressure throughout your caravan. To do this, start by opening all faucets to allow trapped air to be pushed out by the influx of water.
Detach the outlet line that runs between the pump and the faucets and attach it to the hose you would use to fill the water reservoir. Allow water to flow through it until it comes out one of the faucets, indicating that there is no air left in the line, then turn off the water and secure the line in an elevated position that will keep the level of the water inside above the height of the pump.
Open the pump itself and fill the intake chamber with water, taking frequent breaks to let the water even itself out through the rest of the pump. You are almost guaranteed to get wet during this process, as escaping air bubbles may ?throw? the water back out of the pump; make sure you dress for it with waterproof shoes and clothes that can withstand a thorough soaking.
Reconnect all lines to the pump and disconnect the end leading into your fifth wheeler?s plumbing, then cover the free end of the pipe and turn the pump on. You should feel the pressure begin to build in short order; once you do, turn off the pump and reconnect the outlet hose. Close all of the RV?s faucets except for one, preferably one that can be seen from the pump, and turn the pump on; after a short while, you should see the water in full flow.
Depending on where you left your motorhome and in what state, you may need to take the extra step of disconnecting from an external water grid at this point. Some motorhomes are constructed in such a way that a city or campsite water line can be connected directly to the vehicle?s plumbing, with no need to go through the onboard reservoir or pump; if yours is connected in such a manner, make sure to fully shut off and disconnect the eternal water supply once your own pump is fully primed.
There are a number of tips and tricks to getting your pump ready that every RV occupant should know. Anyone of them could mean the difference between having a reliable water supply or not on your next trip or long term stay, so it’s definitely worth the time to bone up on them. The bulk of them apply all year long, but some, specifically those regarding winterizing your RV, will only be needed during the colder months of the year.
It is a common practice for many caravan owners who do not use their caravan during the winter to drain as much water as possible from the plumbing system as a whole and replace whatever fluid they can with antifreeze in an attempt to forestall the considerable damage that can be done to the pump?s delicate hydraulic systems by expanding ice. While this is a sound policy and has proven effective for many members of the caravan community, it leaves behind a literally fatal flaw – trace antifreeze in the pipes can make the water toxic to people and, as such, almost totally unusable for the motorhome?s residents.
Getting rid of antifreeze is a lot simpler than it might sound. Although it will take up a lot more water than strictly desirable once you?ve detached from a steady water main. Most antifreeze is deliberately colored so as not to be able to mix into food products, so it is a simple matter to run the faucets until the water coming out is entirely clear to know when it is once again safe to drink.
In the event that you are planning a trip instead of prolonged residency, it is worth remembering that the onboard water reservoir will have a pronounced effect on the weight and handling of your RV; even a relatively small tank can add hundreds of pounds to the weight of the car, all of which will have you steering differently than you would if the vehicle was empty.
For similar reasons, RV owners are strongly cautioned to remember that with a full reservoir, the weight is not only far more than normal but also in fluid rather than solid distribution. The RV taking on even the slightest of lists could have all that water sloshing to one side in such a manner as to potentially roll the RV.
Living out of an RV can be a great answer to a lot of the problems most modern homemakers face. Knowing how to fix common problems with these vehicles will spare time and effort on repairs, and make your next road trip much smoother than the one before it.