RVs aren’t built well. It’s a well-known fact. Just ask anyone in any RV group on any social media platform and they’ll tell you to become an expert (or at least proficient) in RV maintenance if you’re going to own one.
As you pull your RV down the highway, it undergoes some of the same stresses as any structure would go through during an earthquake. Because of this, RVs don’t hold up well and are constantly needing something fixed. So unless you have months or even years to wait for the RV repair shop to get around to fixing your problem, you’re going to need to learn how to fix things yourself.
New here? If you’re interested in more RV related information, we’ve got you covered!
- Our Life Outside the Box
- The Perfect RV
- RV Mistakes We Made with Our New Home on Wheels
- Top RV Storage Ideas: Hip to be Square (Part 1)
- Top RV Storage Ideas: Hip to be Square (Part 2)
- Top RV Storage Ideas: Hip to be Square (Part 3)
- Year-Round Gift Ideas for RV Families
- Up & Away at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Part 1)
- Up & Away at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Part 2)
- Up & Away at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Part 3)
- A Fun RV Story We’ll Remember Forever
- The Crunchy RV Medicine Cabinet
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I know nothing about the maintenance of anything other than health. My family relies on me to get them and keep them healthy. But when it comes to maintenance of our home on wheels, I rely on Brent to be Mr. Fix It. He’s always been good with that stuff, so I’ve never had the need, or desire, to learn.
When we first decided to travel full-time in our RV, I jumped on lots of Facebook groups to learn all I could about this lifestyle. I couldn’t believe how many single women travel alone. Even many moms I’ve met know quite a bit about driving and fixing their RVs despite having a husband that can do it.
While I still really don’t want to learn about RV maintenance, I find myself worrying about all the things that could go wrong. What can we do to prevent problems from occurring? What type of maintenance schedule should we be following? What products should we invest in to give us (well, maybe me) some peace of mind?
My friend and fellow blogger, Liz Wilcox at The Virtual Campground, and her husband launched an online course in 2019 called Fix It Yourself. Ed is an RV mechanic and they both desire to help the RV community in whatever way they can. This was a perfect idea!
With all the free time we have right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Brent and I recently sat down to go through the entire course and want to bring you our honest review. Even though I knew Brent would probably know all of it already, I wanted him to sit down and watch it anyway. It also gave me a chance to ask him some questions that I couldn’t ask Ed myself.
Table of Contents
What is Fix It Yourself?
This is an online RV maintenance course that teaches you everything you need to know about your RV parts and systems and how to keep them properly maintained. Many problems that arise in RVs are fairly simple to address without having to take it in to the dealer or repair shop where it will sit for months on end until they can get to it. This course gives you the knowledge and confidence to tackle many of those problems yourself.
The course is made up of 7 modules with additional units under each module. Each module starts with an overview of that topic and is delivered via on-demand video so you can go through the material at your own pace. Stories and quizzes are included to enhance your learning.
The course ends with a pre-recorded bonus Q&A with Ed answering questions from the students first enrolled in his course.
What experience does the course instructor have?
After 12 years in the Army, Ed Wilcox wanted more to life. Together with his wife Liz and their daughter, they hit the road. Now he owns Ed’s RV Repair. Certified by the RVSA, he serves not only local campgrounds but the online community through consult calls. With knowledge and experience only a full-time RVer would have, he created Fix It Yourself to help keep your dream moving.
Modules and Units
Of course, the first thing anyone is going to want to know is what’s covered in the course? Here’s a list of what’s covered:
Module 1: Generators
- Intro to generators
- Air filters and carburetors
- Changing your air filter
- Changing your fuel filter
- Changing your oil (2 units)
- Story time with Ed
Module 2: Water Systems
- Tanks and paper
- Water heaters (5 units)
- Water filtration
- Water filters and fixtures
- Sewer hoses
- Tanks and chemicals
Module 3: Roof Maintenance
- Roof maintenance overview
- Replacing a skylight (3 units)
- Replacing a vent cap (2 units)
Module 4: Tire Maintenance
- Tire talk (2 units)
- Tire pressure monitors
Module 5: Electrical and Batteries
- How to maintain your lead acid battery
- AGM batteries
- Wiring your battery banks
- Series battery connection
- Parallel battery connections
- Linear converters
- Ferroresonant converter
- Switched-mode converters
- An inside look at your converter
- A few more battery tips
Module 6: AC & Furnace
- Air conditioning
- Furnace (2 units)
- Optimizing your furnace
Module 7: Propane
- LP tanks vs. cylinders
- Hydrocarbon detectors
- True or false: propane scenarios (2 units)
In addition to the modules listed above, Ed and Liz are available in a Facebook group as well as by email to address any additional questions or concerns that you may have.
Who would benefit from taking Fix It Yourself?
Anyone who owns or is thinking of owning an RV. Yes, if you are reading through this review, you would likely benefit from taking this course. But seriously, if you fall into any of these categories, I’d especially recommend this course for you:
- If you are an RV newbie (know the ins and outs before something happens)
- If you are a solo female RVer who knows little about systems in an RV and how to fix them if they were to break or malfunction
- If you enjoy boondocking frequently (imagine being in the middle of nowhere with no cell signal and something breaks on your RV leaving you stranded and unable to even call for assistance)
- If you are impatient and want to actually USE your RV (as I said, repair shops and dealerships can take months to fix even the simplest of RV problems)
How long does it take to get through the material?
Brent and I started and completed the course in three days. We spent about an hour and a half each day going through all of the modules at regular speed. There is an option on the videos to watch them at faster speeds that can be utilized to get through the material faster. Props to you if you are able to learn that way!
What does this course do really well?
RV maintenance is a pretty dry subject, but Ed presents it in a funny and relatable manner. He uses a variety of locations to film from (his RV, his shop, Camping World, etc.). He uses real-life objects in his examples. He uses whiteboard drawings when further explanation is needed. And he throws in some poop jokes where applicable (because we all know living in an RV involves embracing your bodily functions).
Ed did a great job of touching on some of the main issues that RVers experience. And while each RV type may have a different type of system, he touched on each type of system and how differently they would be serviced.
Even though Ed said he was new to doing a live Q&A and was nervous, he totally rocked it! Ed is definitely in his element when answering questions live.
What could be improved in the course?
This is totally just coming from a perfectionist standpoint, but the videos were very choppy with editing. It by no means takes away from the information presented, but know if you are used to big productions and perfect editing, this does not have it.
There are a few topics that are not covered in the course that we think would be useful:
- Basic Toolbox (items that should always be kept on hand that are specific to RVs and RV systems talked about in the course)
- Slides (we’ve been given notice that they are adding this module at the end of April 2020)
- Windows (screen replacement, cleaning seep holes, caulking, etc.)
- Basic plumbing (fixing leaks under the sink or toilet, replacing sink or toilet, etc.)
- Jacks (types, common problems, and fixes)
While those may be unnecessary or minor topics for someone like Brent, they could be super helpful for someone like me who knows nothing about RV maintenance. I could probably find videos online to guide me through, but having them included in a specific RV maintenance course along with all of the other topics already addressed would be very helpful. And just like with the topic of slides mentioned above, they may update the course in the future to cover these additional topics.
I know that Ed has some additional resources out there, but they are not mentioned at all in the course.
He’s an RV tech. I think he should include his contact information within the course in the event that someone would like to pay for his expertise if they can’t fix it themselves.
Also, he has One Minute Tips like this available on his YouTube channel:
Is Fix It Yourself worth the price?
If you’re an RV tech, no. You probably know everything you already need to know about RV maintenance.
For anyone else, especially those I mentioned in the above section titled “who would benefit from taking it?”, ABSOLUTELY YES!! Taking your RV into the repair shop is no drop in the bucket financially. So if you can fix common problems yourself, it saves you TIME, MONEY, and STRESS. This is assuming that you are willing and able to sit down, learn, and apply the knowledge that you gain.
Also, you have access to this course FOREVER! That’s right. As long as the online platform is alive and well, you have access to this course. When any additional bonus calls or topics get added to the course later, you will have access to all of it. If you so choose, you can also download the videos from the course right to your computer…something that many courses don’t offer. That right there is priceless!
How do I purchase Fix It Yourself?
Click here to be directed to the course purchase page! And here’s the trailer if you want to watch it. EASY PEASY!!