Work Time Up North

Hi everyone!

Troy and I did a super quick trip up to our trailer (cabin) in Northern Michigan. Most of you are aware that Troy went back to driving a truck OTR (Over the road) this year so, he is gone for 2-3 weeks at a time. And when we gets home time it is generally for just a couple of days and we usually have a ton of stuff that needs to get done in a short period of time.

We needed to take care of a lot of things at our trailer before winter hit. And we only had about 36 hours to take care of these things. It’s about  5 hour drive to our trailer.


If you own a travel trailer, RV or fifth wheel you know that it is just like a little house on wheels and you still have maintenance to do on a regular basis. Things are always breaking or things need repair from wear and tear.

During one of my solo trips to our trailer this past summer one of the big projects that we have wanted to get done was to run a separate electrical line for our trailer. We normally just plug into the cabin but, we could never use our overhead fan or our AC because they need 30 amps and we would blow the breakers in the cabin if we turned either of those things on.

Fortunately I have a cousin that lives near our cabin who is an electrician. I know! How handy is that! He came over one day and checked the whole thing out and told us how he will do it and what we could prepare ahead of time. I gave him money for all the parts he needed, which was WAY under budget for this project! Woohoo! Very little prep work was needed. My dad dug a trench from the cabins front porch over to our trailer. Fortunately it is mostly sand he had to dig. However, there were a lot of big root systems in the path. He just dug down to them and then under them. Then he set a post into some cement and that was pretty much all the labor on our part (well, okay, all the labor on my dads part. I did hold the post to keep it level when the cement went in. LOL).

 That big project was competed.
I then recruited one of my nephews to get a ladder and climb up onto the roof of our trailer with a broom and sweep all the leaves, pine needles, small tree branches and pine cones off. He did that and gave the awning a good sweeping.

Next project up was our furnace. It stopped working about two years ago and the last 2 Thanksgivings were not pleasant to say the least! So, on our last trip up north Troy and my dad took it out and dropped it off at a local RV repair shop. We told them that we would be back up around the fourth of July to get it. I went up about a week before the 4th. I won’t get into the bad customer service we got but we finally got it “fixed” and I picked it up. When Troy came up, he tried to install it and after hours of dealing with it, it still didn’t work.

That brings us to this quick trip.

We got up to the cabin at about midnight. Do you know how TOTALLY dark it is at night back in the woods? VERY! But, we had to empty our gray and black tanks before we even got settled in for the night. This was something we knew we had to do. Fortunately, last year when my dad had some work done on the septic tank he had the guys install a pipe that stuck out of the ground for us to hook up to and dump our tanks. Before, we would hook up the trailer and take it to a local state park with a dumping station.

Unfortunately the pipe was still about 100 feet from our trailer and there were dips and hills between our trailer and the pipe. So, my dad and my brother were at the cabin for about a week before we got up there and they knew this was an issue we had to deal with right away so, they made kind of a ramp with the dumping hoses from the pipe to our trailer. We just needed to get a couple of more dumping pipes on the way up.

So when we got up there at midnight, pitch black, in the woods and about 38 degrees we realized that we were going to have to hook up and back the trailer closer. Which is not a big deal except we only had about 3 inches  of clearance between trees. Thank goodness Troy is an excellent truck driver and is able to back up a trailer in extreme conditions with little to no problem.

It took us a good hour and half to get the job complete. Once that was dealt with we went into the trailer to put things away and get the space heater going. Well, we discovered that the gray water backed up into our tub. And geez did it stink! The worst part of that is I use our tub for storage. That meant the next day I was putting stuff in garbage bags and scrubbing that tub.

The next morning Troy got up and headed into the cabin because he knows my mom will have a big breakfast already. Me, no breakfast I just want coffee! I got my coffee already and it started to brew. I turned on my laptop to start writing this post. Next thing I know my laptop dies and the coffee pot stop working! NOOOOOOOO!
I tried all the connections and everything was fine. So I went into the cabin and got Troy. Fortunately I had just tripped a breaker. Yeah, I know I should have checked that but, my brain doesn’t even turn on until I have had 2 cups of coffee!

So once I was calmed down and a real human being after not having heat, coffee or my laptop, I started prepping the trailer for being moved into town to get our furnace fixed.

Next up was a simple fix to our water heater. The “zinc anode rod”. Yeah, I had no idea what the was either. Apparently it’s whole function is to get corroded. Yup, seriously. Instead of the inside lining of the hot water tank getting corroded, this rod gets corroded. So, you occasionally replace this rod thing for about $6.00 instead of replacing the hot water tank for about $300.00. works for me!
And the next project was the kitchen faucet. Some little retaining clip froze over the winter and broke. The thing is just a 31 cent item but, trying to find and buy just that piece was almost impossible. But, we found something that did the trick and now that is done.
We hooked up the trailer and hauled to a nearby town to find out what is going on with our furnace. The owner of the company came out and took a look at our furnace and a few minutes later it was all fixed! Hooray! Heat this Fall!!

While at the RV place we got a few little doodad things that needed to be replaced. A level that goes on the outside of our trailer to make sure we are level and a new outdoor light bulb.

This door to the furnace became a close friend to a tree a couple of years ago. We could replace the door but, decided for the moment a new latch was in order right now. Not that the stick wasn’t doing a mighty fine job! LOL

Finally, the day we came home Troy and my nephew put the new tonneau cover on our truck.

What a fast and furious 48 hours this trip was! But, we feel we got a lot accomplished and that is a great feeling! Now any trip up in the next couple of months can be relaxing ones!


  1. It's a good feeling to get those chores out of the way! I lived without street lights when I first moved here and it was so dark it was scary. We got one turned on at the end of our driveway at our expense through our electric company and it made a world of difference. It makes you really appreciate something so simple.

    1. It really is so dark when you get away from cities. I totally agree, you appreciate the small things! Thanks for stopping by Jeannie!

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  2. Wow that was a lot to do in a short time. Glad you got all the necessary things done! Have a great week.

  3. Thanks Deanie! I am so relieved is all done! Thanks for the visit! You have a great week as well.

  4. it is always good to get things done and it sounds like you got a lot of things done

  5. My parents had an RV and my Dad was always working on it. Love that you got everything done so the next trip will be relaxing!

    1. Me too Linda! I plan on enjoying Thanksgiving up there!

  6. oooh, I can totally relate! We have a fifth wheel and it's always something! It's GREAT when you find someone who will actually service the customer and not give you the runaround or sell you a band-aid instead of really fixing what needs repair. Do y'all have a Camper World up there ? We went to our first one in NM earlier this year while on a trip. They are pretty neat.... all kinds of stuff you didn't know you needed! Sure wish we were heading to UP.... it's still in the 90's here in central Texas. ugh.

  7. I'm exhausted just reading your post!!! I'm so glad everything was taken care of, and it's so very nice to have your Dad handy!!

  8. That was an hectic weekend! I can't believe all you got done! Good for you :)

  9. Oh my gosh, Diann. Anything that could have gone wrong, did! Hope all is well now. Susan

  10. Of course I'm an excellent driver.... Definitely... Definitely an excellent driver... seriously though you forgot to mention that when I have to back our trailer in the dark I do it with the window rolled down and you stand back there and tell me what to do. It's all about teamwork. Fortunately we make a pretty good team so we got a whole lot of stuff done and still had time to enjoy the scenery.


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your ideas. If you ask a question, I will answer it here in a comment back to you. Please check back! Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day! Diann :)