Bertha Loves Byron ~ An RV Repair Romance

Our RV, Big Bertha has not been big at all, lately. In fact, she has been far too slender. If you have been following the saga, you know that her slide has been hopelessly stuck in the retracted position. Numerous attempts, and plenty of money, have gone in to troubleshooting the problem, but to no avail. The exceedingly cramped conditions were making us claustrophobic, and after 1,600 miles and six stops, we were also feeling defeated and a bit crotchety. We were beginning to think that the electrical issue was unsolvable.

Sadly, we are far too familiar with RV repairs, and the typical, slapdash service guys. I confess that I was prepared to spend the rest of the trip pinched-in, like a fat lady in Spanx.

Enter Byron. He had a truck full of tools and tricks-of-the-trade. This young man had loads of technical know-how, and a genuine desire to fix the unfixable.

Thanks to Byron, his amazing work ethic, can-do attitude, and lots of tinkering, we can now get down the hallway without sucking our guts in!

The culprit.

So, after replacing control panels, tracing and testing countless wires, and virtually ripping the whole motorhome apart, Byron found the culpable component.

It was a fuse. A small, elusive fuse for the battery isolator, that was cleverly concealed beneath the stairs, near the house batteries.

How could something so small have created such havoc?

Dear, tech-savvy, Saint Byron not only fixed the battery issue, which fixed the slides and the jacks; he also found a loose connection in a wire, which made five inoperable outlets usable again. I am very grateful about this because I can now plug the toaster oven into a kitchen socket. I was growing weary of making toast in the bathroom.

The slide cover, however, did not survive the debacle. It was wound way too tight on one end, and way too loose on the other. It could not be uniformly extended, and had to be removed in order to use our newly operational slide. If we replace this protective cover, it will be the third time in a little over a year. I’m no expert but I strongly suspect a serious design flaw.

Big Bertha’s design flaws are boundless.

I want to take a minute to give a shout out to my high school classmate, Colleen and her husband Joe. They are the proud owners of JMS motors ( They are well versed in repair, service and restoration, and were so willing to help with the troubleshooting. I owe them a debt of gratitude.

When the slide was opened, after weeks of being shut, the RV interior looked big enough to roller skate in. Just add a disco ball.

We can extend the bed and open the refrigerator. Life is good.

Funny, the living room is no longer a narrow, little hallway… but the campsite in Limon, Colorado is a tad too tight! You can’t have it all.

Despite the small sites, the stop in Limon has been a very positive one. The locals have been helpful and incredibly friendly. The town boasts a fascinating heritage museum, a charming railroad-themed recreation area, and a Gypsy-approved dog park.

Breckenridge Bound.

Stay tuned…

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