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Category: RV Maintenance

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 · Leave a Comment 

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...]

RV Heating Systems

November 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

RV Heating Systems

Recreational vehicles are equipped with either a stand-alone forced air furnace or a hydronic heating system.  Both of these RV heating systems require regular maintenance to keep them running efficiently and to provide reliable service.   Today we will look at what service is needed to the hydronic system types. Two of the popular manufacturer makes are Aqua-Hot and Oasis.  Though they differ somewhat in design, the required maintenance is basically the same.  They are designed to heat both the interior of the RV and the hot water supply.  They are equipped with 120 volt AC electric heater element(s) and a diesel fired burner. (Propane versions are also available on some models.)  Many are also plumbed to allow the hot engine glycol to pass through them while driving to provide constant heat even while travelling. The heat provided by one of the fore mentioned methods, heats a non-toxic propylene glycol heat exchanger that in turn heats a small reservoir of fresh water.  The hot... [Read more...]

How To Install An RV Satellite Dish

November 11, 2014 by · 6 Comments 

How To Install An RV Satellite Dish

   

Storing Your RV For Winter

November 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Storing Your RV For Winter

When Old Man Winter threatens to make an appearance, it’s time to consider storing your RV until the buds appear on the trees in Spring. The best place to store your RV is in a warm and popular snowbirding location like Arizona, Southern Texas, or Florida – and with you in it, of course. But if that is not in the cards, choosing a storage facility close to home will be your probable choice. If you do not have adequate storage facilities at your residence, you will have to select a commercial storage facility. Indoor heated storage is worth the added cost when you consider the possible damage that can be caused to your RV by heavy snow collecting on the roof, freezing and broken pipes and water pumps, damaging water leaks from blowing rain – and the added security of not parking on the street. If you live in a more mild climate covered or even uncovered storage may be adequate providing you have properly prepared the RV for storage. When choosing a storage facility select... [Read more...]

Mark My Words, Mark Nemeth October 2014

October 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Mark My Words, Mark Nemeth October 2014

      Hi, all! Many folks successfully use their RVs in cold weather, but it takes a bit of preparation to stay toasty when it’s freezing outside. This month’s column will address some issues surrounding winter camping. Hi, Mark: I am spending four months this winter skiing at Mammoth Lakes, Lake Tahoe and Breckenridge, Colorado.  Two of the RV resorts include electric in the monthly rental.  The RV resort in Colorado charges a monthly rate plus electricity.  My question: Is it cheaper to heat my RV (29-foot Winnebago Minnie) using propane or electricity?  Thank you. Tom Hi, Tom: Manufacturers of electric resistant heaters generally claim that the input of one kilowatt/hour produces about 3,400 BTUs, assuming 100 percent efficiency. Most electric heaters come fairly close to that. Each gallon of propane contains about 91,700 BTUs of heat energy. A typical RV forced-air furnace is probably only about 75 percent efficient, so a gallon of propane burned in the furnace... [Read more...]

Travel Tips: How To Protect Yourself From Food Borne Illness

October 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Travel Tips: How To Protect Yourself From Food Borne Illness

One of the best things about traveling to another country is trying local, authentic cuisine. However, it pays to know a few basic rules so you don’t become one of the 10 million overseas travelers to suffer a bout of traveler’s diarrhea or other foodborne illnesses each year.  Luckily, you can protect yourself from food borne health problems (and spending half your trip visiting restrooms) with these easy-to-follow travel tips: 1)      Know before you go: Understand that the food you eat at home isn’t necessarily “safer” than food abroad; it’s often simply that your body just isn’t accustomed to foreign fare. According to Independent Traveler, one important difference between home-grown and foreign foods is the use of more “natural” fertilizers abroad, which can carry bacteria that could cause intestinal distress. One of the most important measures you can take to avoid getting sick overseas is to research the quality of food in the specific region you’ll... [Read more...]

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