Fall has arrived for many RVers across the country, and with it is the return of the rainy season.
Many of today’s RVs, especially travel trailers (mine included), feature a floor plan with a queen bed across the front or rear of the RV. They also come with a storage compartment under the head of the bed that stretches from side to side (full width) of the RV, with a baggage compartment door on each end of the storage area.
This is a great feature in regards to making the best use of the space. There is just one problem.
The side gutters typically terminate just above the compartment doors, and when it rains you are treated to the methodic sound of a metronome just inches from your head. A nearly perfectly timed drip, drip, drip is compliments of rainwater falling from your gutter, striking the latched thumb lock on your compartment door.
Try as I might to block it out, the sound of steady methodical drips hitting the thumb lock in its latched horizontal position keeps me awake. I end up getting out of bed and unlatching the thumb lock by turning the latch 90 degrees, which leaves it vertical, considerably reducing the surface area the drips have to strike.
Throughout the years, several solutions have been promoted to solve this problem:
1. The easiest solution would be to leave the thumb latch in the open position when the RV is not in transit and there is a threat of rain. Of course, you must remember to do this prior to a rain shower and you must remember to close the latch again before travel.
2. There have been many varieties of extensions and clips designed to direct the gutter discharge away from the exterior of the RV. The problem with these is low hanging branches seem to have a healthy appetite for them and interfere with RV covers.
3. Then there is the old standby of clipping clothespins to the end of the gutter. The surface tension of the water clings to the clothespin until it reaches the end and drips off, missing the side of the RV.
Finally, there is an easy and permanent fix that will put an end to that annoying drip, drip, drip.
Trade the offending thumb lock with the keyed lock in the same compartment door. By doing this you will eliminate anything with a protruding surface area for the water drops to strike, and thus eliminate the noise. It is quickly and easily done with standard hand tools, plus you will never have to get out of bed again to rotate the thumb lock on a dark rainy night.
Enjoying a peaceful night’s sleep regardless of weather conditions…just another adventure in RVing!
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
Search Amazon for RV gutter spouts. Installled these to keep the water away from the sides. I have a front bed room and keep the front a smidge high so all the water drains to the back except during torrential rains.
Seriously? If a drip on the compartment door latch annoys you, how do you handle a steady rain that sounds like a barrage golf balls constantly hitting your roof? LOL