Zen and The Art of RV Repair

Zen and The Art of RV Repair

About a month ago, I picked up an old RV. It’s still in great shape and ready for some good adventures—it only needed a little love.

The major problem I found was that I couldn’t fire up the generator.

It was running great on a quick weekend trip, but it shut off on the drive back from the campsite, leaving my wife and girls cooking in the back without air conditioning.

I set out to fix it with YouTube videos and a little tinkering. I changed the oil and filters, read up on all the RV forums, researched diagnostic codes, bought cleaners and supplies, and got to work.

After some frustration, I landed on a fuel line issue, not the generator as the source of my problems—only needing to drop the gas tank to run a new fuel line to the generator. I estimate that it would be a 5-beer fix, with the help of friends.

Things were about to get serious until I landed on three sentences from a 17,000-word guide to generators…

“They attach it [the fuel line] now about a quarter of the way up from the bottom of the tank, so that it will only pick up fuel if the main fuel tank is more than 1/4 full.

This redesign was intended to avoid the situation where a camper out in the middle of nowhere runs the generator until it uses up so much fuel that there isn’t enough left to drive the vehicle back to a gas station and fill it up again.

So, if you are out somewhere rough camping and your generator won’t fire up when you turn it on, check that your fuel tank is more than 1/4 full.” 

I flipped on the engine to find the gas tank was about 1/8th full…the damn thing was just out of gas.

How is this like pain?

I bring this up because it’s similar to how we humans approach our pains.  And when seeking a solution for our problem, it’s common to land on answers that explain the issue as unique and a complicated multi-factorial problem that requires many solutions. 

I get lots of emails from people looking for a secret answer to their specific pain problem.  There is usually a preface with a complicated diagnosis and what their latest MRI determined. 

Yet, as Greg Lehman (one of the educators that I’ve learned a ton from) tweeted a long time ago:

You will see in our latest article on knee pain (or just about any of our articles on pain) your best first approach if something hurts is…

  1. Time off from provocative activities
  2. Graded exposure over time

Can things be complex medical issues that need specialized treatment? You bet. But more often, it’s 4 weeks of relative rest (avoiding what hurts and extra emphasis on training the things that don’t) along with a consistent routine of basic exercises (see Crossover Symmetry Activation.)

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