Yesterday our RV Repairman, Eric came to really dig in and figure out what was keeping our black tank valve from closing properly and causing it to leak. After some searching and digging around in what looks like a bowl of multicolored spaghetti, Eric comes up with an answer. The cable that runs from the handle you pull to open the valve is very long and is wrapped in a protective cover. The cable should move freely inside the cover which allows the valve to open and close. He said the cable was wrapped and twisted in and around all of the other tubes and hoses in the mess that is our utility area under the RV in the "basement". This area is accessible only by removing the access panels that are behind all of the stuff stored in the basement. This area also holds the black, gray and fresh water tanks and the water pump. Eric disconnected the cable and sent it on a smoother path so it could open and close more easily and it works! YAY!!
Secondly, he took a look at our tank level panel to see why our levels always show incorrectly. Even when we are completely out of fresh water, we show full and when the black tank has just been pumped, we show full there too. The repairman tested the panel and it is working properly so the problem is in the tank level indicators themselves or the wiring harnesses that connect them. That cannot be diagnosed easily so the wiring harness will be replaces when it arrives and if that does not solve the problem, the tanks have to be removed and inspected and the indicator probes may have to be replaced. That means removing the underbelly of the RV and taking the tanks out which is a huge undertaking. At this point we are waiting for parts from the manufacturer. When they arrive he will replace them and hopefully we'll be back in business before we get snowed in.
Eric was also able to get that pesky light bulb out of the pendant light and put the other one in. I was glad to see that he too had a lot of trouble getting it out and it wasn't just us. Let there be light! The propane situation is still in question. We haven't run out again but the switching device that selects which tank to draw from is a bit wonky and needs to be replaced. The switch goes around and around rather than to the left or right so you never know where it's truly set. Eric will be replacing that with a different type which is of better quality and more user friendly. We like user friendly!
We have our fingers crossed that the parts will be coming quickly and we can move on toward warmer weather.