Trail Access Advocate
FIXING JUNK ON YOUR OWN WITH INTERNET HELP -- ESPECIALLY YOU-TUBE.
By Del Albright, Blog 10/12/2013
Lately I've accomplished some repairs I never would have tackled years ago because I'm not a fixit type of guy. Yes, it's about the Internet -- YouTube, Bing.com, Wikipedia and forums.
The trick to figuring out just about anything is learning the right search terms and where to look. Don't look in a forum where the participants spend more time flaming each other than providing good info if you want reliable (and friendly) help. Don't look in Wikipedia if you want to repair your RV water heater. It's all about knowing where to look, and what to look for.
I learned how to fix the pilot-light water heater in my old hunting trailer from YouTube. It took a while to find the right search terms, but once I did, BINGO, I was watching a guy fix the same water heater on his 1970's something trailer just like mine! Step by step fixit instructions and even bench testing of components.
Did you know that not all battery chargers are alike? And that if you spend the money on a modern, good charger, you get a lot more than you ever could have expected in battery life? Yup. I learned that from some experts at Optima batteries and a few reliable forums.
For an RV (or even an off-road rig), battery condition is one of those critical components that can sure mess with your success if it's not working right. So from a few forums and on the job training, I now make sure all my batteries are in good shape and properly managed -- not just charged.
OH, and let's not forget computers!
The other day I was ready to make my desktop computer into a mailbox! The Visual C# Command Line Compiler had stopped working (or some such error message that would NOT leave me alone). And let's not forget to mention my Network Adapter that would not connect to the Internet unless I Disabled and re-Enabled it, EVERY morning. Larger hammers were showing up in my office!!!
The solution was a HELP desk from Windows in this case, with a user community thread. A soft boot with all Microsoft stuff disabled fixed the problem -- but I had to spend a hour looking for the solution. Actually, the soft boot fixed both my problems with this potential mailbox.
The real bottom line for me is that YouTube wins top honors. You can find a good video on about anything you need to do on this amazing video sight. Yes, there is still junk mail out there, just like on Wikipedia, so you have to be a bit diligent in double checking sometimes. But overall, I've found the fix more often than not on YouTube and I recommend you learn to make this site your friend.