My Motorhome Upgrades & Repairs

RV upgrades & fixes

This page is dedicated to what I've done to my motorhome from 2006 to current date
my motorhome is a 1996 coachmen catalina sport 220rk class c
it is 22' long, has a dinette area, sofa area, rear kitchen & overhead bed.
and of course, a bathroom with a shower & half tub.

i have documented what i've done to it to date with links back to my blog when i've blogged about each detail. i've probably done more to it, but that would be maintenance or cosmetic that i may have missed on this page.
all mechanical is documented on this page however.

Things I've done to my RV:
Bought used for cash in 2006. It's a 1996 model, thus 10 years old at the time.

Really didn't have to do anything major to it back then. Just oil changes, typical truck maintenance kind of stuff.

Learned on what to buy, a surge protector. Tire covers. Window bonnet, just RV items that pertain to the care of your RV.

2007: Had the gas line checked once because my alarm kept going off. The gas line was fine. It was a dying coach battery that caused the alarm to keep going off. New battery, alarm fine now.

* Paid an RV company to change the oil in my generator. Then found out it was not a hard thing to do, so took over doing that deed myself.

* Recaulked RV – routine maintenance reasons.

* Seal down the seals on the rubber roof with eternabond. Routine maintenance for preventative reasons.

2008: Hurricane Ike strikes. We evacuate. It's one of the reasons we bought the RV. To keep us & the dogs safe. Several days of boondocking without power. Low on gasoline due to no power & gas stations not being able to pump gas. Lesson learned. If you ever have to evacuate, get gas once you get to your destination. Fill 'er up! Coach battery starts to fade. Start & run the generator for an hour in the morn, then an hour in the evening. OK, can't do that anymore. Almost out of gas...bought new battery once the RV place was open again.
Bad year to do much to Ellie, although she was in good shape & could take the time off.
She became my home at this point since I could not live inside of my hurricane ridden home, so I lived in my driveway inside of the motor home.

2009: Just routine maintenance type of things. Oil changes, things like that. And new tires, but got talked into new used tires. Big mistake. Always just buy new.

2010: Changed out all rear coach lights to new ones. Including the ones on the sides of the RV.

* Reseal rubber roof with Dicor Rubber Roof sealant.

* Had entry step rebuilt.

November 2010: Had blow out on drivers side rear dually tire. Destroyed both duallies. This is where the mistake comes in of buying used tires.

December 2010: Bought & had a tire shop replace all 4 duallies. Front tires only 2 years old & still in good shape.

2011: Routine oil changes, etc.

* Replaced refridgerator. Old one leaked the ammonia. Yellow stuff. Not good. Did a lot of research & found it was more cost effective to just buy a new one rather than try to have old one fixed. Had an RV repair place do that deed.

* Had a new ladder installed. Old one fell apart & became a danger to use.

* Battery level low again. What? Why? Oh, converter is bad. Had it checked. It was boiling the battery. So this is also why batteries were dying! Bought new converter, changed it out myself! Not a tough job actually.

* Recaulked entire RV. See smurfed photo on this page:

* Replaced window seals (new glazing bead, which can be ordered through PPL)

* Had tire extensions added to my dually tires. What a great invention! Now I can fill my own tires, any time, any where. 

2012: Spring: Had overhead cab rebuilt. Total rebuild. Got struck by something from the highway, which ripped part of my fiberglass off. Then it rained, destroyed the entire overhead cab. At my expense. Insurance company denied the claim.

* Resealed rubber roof again with Dicor – routine maintenance.

* Pulled glazing bead away from windows (had a small leak, so learned how to fix that with this method). Cleaned the tracks out really well. Soaked the glazing bead & cleaned it really well. Snapped back into window tracks. No more leak. When I said I replaced glazing bead in 2011, it was the smaller sized one. Some of the windows have two different sizes, the heavier fatter type, didn't get changed out then. But after I did the deed of cleaning the track & glazing bead, I discovered you don't have to buy new. Just clean up the old stuff.

*Got an oil change.

*Got a tune up.

* Had the tires rotated & balanced.

* Got new shocks.

May 9, 2012 -- Changed my own generator oil.

May 2012-- took a trip. Serpentine belt shredded. So had to have a new one installed on the road while traveling – they also installed a new power steering belt. I'm good to go again.

July 2012 Heading back to Texas from Pa. Get into Arkansas. It's deadly hot outside. 107. Transmission overheats & gives out just as I pull into a campground. Thus: Transmission rebuild.
Big expense. Bummer.

* A few days later, new transmission cooler. A heavy duty one installed in Marshall, TX. The shop in Arkansas neglected to put a new cooler on! But hindsight says it's better that it was done in Marshall Tx because they put a correct sized one on. I already covered that in my blog, but will say it again. When the vans are ordered on ClassC's, they come with stock coolers. Sooo, eventually, those stock coolers can't handle the load of what these RV's must work at & go out. Thus possibly destroying the transmssion.

* Generator repair: still in progress.

February 2013: Got two new tires, had a tail light fixed, got inspected.

February 2, 2013:  Installed new engine battery.

So these are the things that I've had to do since owning my motor home. Other things include routine generator oil changes, which I do myself. I wash & wax the RV routinely as well.

I decided to document all this in case it lends to help others. If others have comments or suggestions, please feel free to leave such in the comment section.

~Thank you~


  1. It seems we are having a contest to see who has to do the most work to their rig! :)~

    1. How do I drop out? I'll let you win if you want ;-)

  2. Hey Cyn! Thought you might like to know that this post puts you on page 1 in Google, position 9 for the keyword phrase Coachmen Catalina Sport 220rk! Way to go! Kate

    1. Wow, thanks for letting me know Kate. How fun!

  3. Sounds like you’ve done a lot of repairs and fixes on your RV. But I think it is a good move. By continuously updating engine and repair any damages, you are extending the life of your motorhome. And I think this could also prevent you from experiencing any road mishaps and hassles caused by unexpected motor breakdown or any electrical and technical RV glitches. Also, by documenting these repairs and maintenance, you are helping your fellow RV owners to have additional info on RV care and maintenance.

    1. Thank you Tobias. I really appreciate the comments you've left on my site now & in the past. :-)

  4. Right on, Tobias! Making some upgrades on your motorhome can definitely make it last long. Long trips and harsh weather outside can take a toll on your RV van. By doing constant repairs and replacements, you can make sure that there are no glitches on the RV. And you can also determine if there is a major problem on your vehicle.

    1. Yep Kurt, maintenance is upmost important if you want these things to last! Plus it's still cheaper than maintaining a home, cheaper way of life all the way around!

  5. Whew! Your RV has undergone a lot of repairs. It just shows how you really care for it. Well, RVs are relatively expensive, so prompt inspection and repairs here and there are really not a bad idea. It can actually be better than having to buy a new one altogether. With an owner just like you, I can imagine that your RV still looks good and in shape up to now.

    1. Hi Rosalinda, I have this fear of buying another used RV & having to do all these maintenance things over again! They all need to be maintained...I aim to get as long of a life out of her as I can.

  6. Thanks for the oil change info in the comment you left on my blog post. I found the link above and am copying it over to my computer - hope that's okay. It is expensive to have done, and I understand it's easy to do ourselves. Thanks,girl! :)

    1. Yes, it's quite alright to do so! It's part of the reason for my blog, to learn things & pass them along as I do. I got the info for free, so it's great to pass it all along. I'm thrilled that you stopped by :-)


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