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Category: RV Maintenance

Mark My Words, Mark Nemeth – December 2014

December 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi, all! This month’s column covers a number of different RV problems. I wish all of you the happiest of holidays, and I look forward to answering your questions throughout the New Year!  mmw@escapees.com —————————– Mark: We have a 2001 Sunnybrook 27FKS.  Being stored inside, it is in new like condition.  Last summer when arriving at camping sites, the temperature being above 80 degrees, we would turn the thermostat down to 73 degree and turn on the AC.  The fan will come on immediately, but the compressor takes between five and 15 minutes before turning on.  After perhaps running for five minutes, the compressor turns off.  It then takes five to 15 minutes before the compressor come on again.  It takes hours sometimes to cool down the trailer.  The air is cool coming out when the compressor is working. Where do I start looking for the problem? Norman Hi, Norman, There are a number of things that can cause the problem... [Read more...]

Lifestyle Tech Tips – Squirrel Screen

December 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A squirrel chewed a hole in the air-conditioner cover on the top of our RV and built a nest inside. After removing the cover and cleaning out the nest, I wrapped wire mesh on all the vent openings and fastened the mesh to the cover with wire-ties. No squirrels since then. Donald Vita, San Antonio, Texas

Common RV Issues During Winter

December 7, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Common RV Issues During Winter

Cold weather prompts issues that need attention to recreational vehicles.  Let’s look at some of the most common RV issues during winter.  One of the first things, and very obvious, cold weather RV issues is tire inflation.  While oxygen molecules escape through the tire’s structure slowly over time, ambient temperatures also add to the pressure loss.   This requires topping up the tires at a greater frequency than that of the summer. The next important thing to check is the antifreeze, or glycol.  For this we will need to verify that the fluid level is up to, or near, the full marker on the expansion tank.   A glycol gravity test should also be carried out to determine the actual lowest temperature that the mixture can safely operate at.  This reading should be below that which the area of storage or use would ever fall to. However, if you have a diesel powered vehicle, a glycol especially designed for diesel engines is required.   These contain additives necessary... [Read more...]

RV Tech-Tip: Replacing RV Floor Registers

December 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

RV Tech-Tip: Replacing RV Floor Registers

Make sure your RV’s climate is regulated correctly with this simple and quick Tech-Tip.  This RV Tech Tip is brought to you by Good Sam Roadside Assistance!  

7 Must-Haves For RVers On The Road

December 1, 2014 by · 10 Comments 

7 Must-Haves For RVers On The Road

Do you have a checklist of things you need to pack, load, or check your on-board inventory for whenever you take an RV trip? Most of us RVers do, even if that checklist is only in our heads. And, of course, those of us that rely only on our minds sometimes fall a bit short of remembering the complete list. But whatever method you use to pack your RV, there are seven things that you should hardwire to memory, no matter if your mind goes into a temporary freeze or the dog eats your checklist. The Essential Seven Must-Haves For RVers Toilet Paper - Unless you have a supply of corncobs or old Sears catalogs, make sure someone in your family didn’t use up the last roll. Always check your supply – then double what you think you will need. Peanut butter – Bring each of your family member’s favorite foods or snacks. These comfort foods are important so camping doesn’t present so much of a disconnect from daily life to induce uncomfortable cravings. The co-pilot... [Read more...]

Trailer Hitches

November 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Trailer Hitches

Trailer Hitches Trailer hitches are found on just about every pickup truck, SUV and of course motorhomes.  These hidden hitches consist of a square receiver, 1-1/2” to 2-1/2” which holds an inserted drawbar and ball.  Mostly motorhomes use these to flat tow a vehicle.  This uses a hitch assembly that is fastened to the front of the towed vehicle and pulls it with all four tires on the ground.  Thus, in this case, it has no tongue weight or downward weight on the hitch itself. There are, however, motorhome owners that choose to tow a trailer that carries their car or other payload.  This type of towing requires a certain amount of weight on the trailer hitch at the ball.  This weight must be about 10% of the overall gross trailer weight, which includes the payload.  If the amount is much less than this, a dangerous situation can result as the trailer may tend to wag from side to side while towing. In an effort to reduce the risks of being too light at the hitch, people may overload... [Read more...]

RV Security Lights

November 23, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

RV Security Lights

Arcon “Scare Light” for your RV. RV Security lights are found on many trailers and motorhomes.  Essentially, they are just a white-lensed exterior light that is mounted up high on both sides of the unit.  They are also referred to as “Scare Lights”.  They create very bright lighting around the outside of your camper to hopefully ward off intruders. They also provide some useful benefits apart from the “scare thing.”  Their elevated light position serves as great lighting for after-dark patio activities in camp.  They are also great for lighting both sides of the RV during your walk outside when your pet just has to go out.  Some people even use them as a signal while in a campground.  If the light is on, we are up.  You are welcome to drop in. These lights are a relatively low priced option on a new unit or can be purchased as an aftermarket add-on.  They are fairly easy to install on any RV.   L.E.D. Lighting A great upgrade would be to replace the light... [Read more...]

Fuel Consumption Trip Computers

November 22, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Fuel Consumption Trip Computers

TripTek Fuel Consumption Trip Computers Fuel consumption trip computers are now commonplace in many automobiles, trucks and recreational vehicles, but are they accurate? Do they really display the actual miles per gallon that you have been achieving? Well, yes and no.  The auto industry’s O.E.M. standard on-board computer display is not a scientific measuring device.  Some of its input data comes from the E.C.M. (engine control module) through the OBD (On-Board Diagnostic system) and calculates the requested information to be displayed. Regardless of marginal error, these onboard readouts can be very helpful.  While 100% accuracy is not attainable, the calculation repeatability is quite good.  Therefore, generally they are a reliable fuel consumption indicator and certainly far more accurate than your fuel gauge. There are two MPG (miles per gallon) readings that people primarily use: instant and average.  Instant is exactly that, nearly real-time MPG.  I used the phrase “nearly... [Read more...]

Lifestyle Tech Tips: Lean On Me

November 17, 2014 by · 7 Comments 

Lifestyle Tech Tips: Lean On Me

If a trailer’s tire goes flat while the unit is in storage, it can be a while before the unsuspecting owner discovers it. By that time, the weight of the trailer on the wheel may have already caused permanent damage. To help prevent this potentially disastrous situation, I simply place a wood block beneath the axles, close to each wheel, with no more than 1⁄2-inch clearance to the axles. When it’s time to roll again, if I notice one of the blocks has weight resting on it, I know that tire has lost air and needs attention. Bruce Trudgeon, Williamsburg, Michigan

Mark My Words, Mark Nemeth – November 2014

November 17, 2014 by · 4 Comments 

Mark My Words, Mark Nemeth – November 2014

  Hi, all: In this month’s column, we’ll cover some general questions on RVing and problem solving. I hope you are enjoying the final glorious fall RVing days before winter truly sets in! Please keep those questions coming! MMW@escapees.com Mark   I have an on board generator to run the electricity in my Winnebago Vista 21b so I can keep the refrigerator going with a small penalty of gasoline. Question:  You stress that it’s important to keep the refrigerator level.  Will it stay level enough while driving to maintain the refrigerator in good working order? Is there a way to level a poorly installed refrigerator? Thank you. Mike Hi Mike While you are driving, there is enough random motion to keep the fridge happy, with one possible exception: if you are on a really long, steep grade. However, for the most part you’ll be fine running the fridge on AC while you drive. Just be sure to turn it off if you stop and the RV is off level, like at a rest stop or roadside pullout.... [Read more...]

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