Question: I do all of my own RV repairs and maintenance. I am getting ready to FullTime and wonder what it is going to be like finding a place to work on my RV while I am traveling. Most RV resorts do not allow you to do work on the RV on their sites. Any ideas and thoughts would be a great help.
Answer: Interesting question and we invite others to share their opinion on this subject. We have found that some campgrounds that have rules stating “no repairs” may not actually enforce this point. If you are unobtrusive about your repair/maintenance, you may be able to get away with it. You may have better luck in the off peak or shoulder seasons than during busy camping months.
Take a look at the situation at a given campground and use your judgement about whether it would be best to ask permission or beg forgiveness. However, I would not try this at an RV Resort (expensive) or a destination resort where they enforce the rules.
If I happen to be in an area for a period of time, I look for a vacant lot that I might use for a day or two away from a campground. I’ve done this while changing the brakes on my car. I’ve also used a large auto part retailer’s parking lot when I was adding a brake control system to the motorhome and the car. Of course, I asked the management of the auto parts store if it was okay for me to do the project on their premises (took a day and a half). I was happy and they were happy because I bought whatever I needed at their shop.
If power is not an issue, you may be able to do repairs in remote boondocking locations such as the desert, but be certain not to violate government regulations for use of public land or cause any negative environmental impact.
Another thing I do is delay extensive outside work, until I am workamping and then it is typically not a problem. Most businesses that employ Workampers understand our lifestyle and know that we like to do our own work whenever possible. In this case, I would ask permission before undertaking the work. Note that some campground employers may not be permit you to do something that they prohibit for their camping guests.
There are some things that I will not do and reserve them for an RV repair facility. Things like oil changes, cooling system flushes, brake jobs, and chassis lubes, which I am capable of doing, I leave for a repair shop. We live full time in our rig and do not have room for large drain pans nor the large tools needed for complex repairs.
I would not do any repairs in a Walmart parking lot except as an emergency and I would inform the management. On one occasion after spending a night at a Walmart I discovered a coolant leak and had to fix it right there. I lost about 5 gallons of coolant that ended up all over their lot. I immediately notified the management and apologized, bought a lot of kitty litter to help sop up the spill and Walmart had to sweep up the stuff. Neither Walmart nor I were very happy about it.