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Category: RV Maintenance

A Holding Tank Primer

January 21, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

The following is an excerpt of an article that appeared in CyberSam, the Good Sam Club’s e-newsletter. One of the most common mistakes new RVers make when visiting an RV park with full hook-ups is to connect the sewer hose, and then open the black and gray tanks. Bad idea–at least for the black tank. When you use the toilet, the liquids will drain away down the sewer hose, but solids and tissue will be left behind. In the short term, this creates odiferous build-up, but in the long term it can create deposits that can be difficult to remove, and may even require tank replacement. Instead, keep the black tank valve closed, and watch the monitor panel like you would when dry camping. When the tank is 1/2-3/4 full, go out and pull the handle—now there’s sufficient force to flush the tank clean. Since the gray tank primarily handles soapy water, you can leave it open without fear of problems. One of the most frequent letters or e-mails we receive are on the subject of tank monitors—more... [Read more...]

Mark, My Words: Q & A with Mark Nemeth – January 2014

January 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi, everyone! I hope your New Year is progressing well! We’ll be putting our RVs back on the road soon, and since batteries really suffer in storage, I thought some battery-related questions would be appropriate this month. Keep those questions coming! Just send your email to —————————————————————- Hi, Mark, I have a Holiday Rambler Vacationer, which I purchased used 4 1/2 yr. ago. I am on my third set of house batteries. I add water frequently, but they won’t last. I make sure everything is off before leaving the MH. My current set is about 18 mo. old, and they are shot. Shouldn’t they last longer than that? Also, can I shut down the battery switch in winter without hurting the batteries? A friend told me that the batteries might freeze. Thanks, Don. Hi, Don, Your house batteries should last longer than that! How often do you have... [Read more...]

Shreveport, LA – full of good clean fun!

January 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Shreveport, LA – full of good clean fun!

We just finished up a visit to Shreveport, Louisiana.  While we have been through Louisiana several times, we have always taken I-10 and never really stopped and explored.  This is the first time that we have ventured north, and we sure are glad we did! During our 3 days in Shreveport, we found all sorts of fun things to do, so whether you are a snowbird, or a family on vacation, here are a couple of our favorite local picks… One of our very favorite destinations was Holiday Lanes – a fun, clean, smoke-free bowling alley in Bossier City (NE Shreveport)!  Not your typical RV destination to be sure, but definitely added a fun and memorable aspect to our Shreveport visit!  We loved Holiday Lanes! The lanes were very well maintained, and even the settee area was classy and comfy with leather couches!  The alley has an enclosed adult lounge complete with large screen tv and pool table, and a pro shop.  The alley is both adult, and family friendly! We were impressed by how... [Read more...]

North Dakota Indoor RV Park Keeps Oilfield Workers Out of the Cold

December 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

North Dakota Indoor RV Park Keeps Oilfield Workers Out of the Cold

About seven months ago I reported that a group of Minnesota partners were planning an indoor RV park to house North Dakota oilfield workers five miles south of Watford City, North Dakota. North Dakota Indoor RV Park Keeps Oilfield Workers Out of the Cold When initially proposed, the idea prompted mixed reactions. “So many people thought we were crazy,” Louis Bonneville of Carlton, Minnesota, one of the park’s owners, told the Forum News Service. But for workers like John Coffer, who spent North Dakota winter months in his RV and once got stuck inside when the door froze, the option to move his camper indoors was a pleasant change. “It’s nice to step out of your RV and not step into a pile of snow,” said Coffer, a natural gas plant operator. The North Dakota Indoor RV Park recently expanded and the owners have turned down offers to replicate the concept elsewhere, said Bonneville, the park’s managing partner. The park consists of 10 insulated and climate-controlled buildings... [Read more...]

Why Purchase an RV Extended Service Plan?

December 15, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal recently about Mechanical-Breakdown Insurance (MBI). The gist of the article was do you purchase one of these policies, or do you skip it? If you are not familiar with mechanical-breakdown insurance it is insurance designed to protect you from costly vehicle repair bills after any factory warranties expire. The article I read was based on MBI for your automobile, but similar type plans are offered to protect RV owners. These plans are usually referred to as Extended Service Plans (ESP) or Extended Service Contracts. From an RV industry insider’s viewpoint I was interested in what the article had to say. I have always recommended that RV owners purchase a reputable extended service plan, considering a typical repair to an RV, say the refrigerator, can easily exceed $1,000. An important point mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article was that MBI and ESP’s are similar in terms of what they are intended to do, but there are differences the... [Read more...]

Mark, My Words: Q & A with Mark Nemeth – December 2013

December 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi, all: I hope you have a merry Christmas and are looking forward to a New Year of RVing! This month, we’ll talk about leaks, refrigerators, and towing. Keep those questions coming! ————————————- Hi, Mark, We have a 1964 Silver Streak Sabre 22 travel trailer.  We love our trailer. We use one of those standard inline pressure regulators, without a gauge, when connecting to a campsite water source.  Most of the time, we’re okay, no leaks, but other times our plumbing leaks.  I have a suspicion the pressure regulator only steps the pressure down by a specific amount and not to a specific pressure.  For example, if the hose bib pressure is 120, the pressure regular steps it down by, say, 40 pounds, leaving 80 pounds of pressure.  It would be great if the pressure regulator would take whatever input pressure and step it down to say 45 pounds.  Is there such a device?  Or should I insert two... [Read more...]

The One-And-Only 1937 Chris Craft Motorhome

December 4, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The One-And-Only 1937 Chris Craft Motorhome

Art Himsl owns the only 1937 Chris Craft motorhome ever made. Art Himsl and his one-of-a-kind 1937 Chris Craft Motorhome. (Credit: David Krumboltz/Contra Costa Times) I didn’t know Chris Craft made motorhomes, and it turns out that they didn’t. They made one-and-only one—this one—and it is owned by Art Himsl. “They started to build this vehicle in 1937 in San Francisco, probably as a prototype as it took from 1937 to 1941 to complete,” Himsl told David Krumboltz, a columnist for the Contra Costa Times. “It was built with an aluminum skeleton covered with Grade A linen aircraft fabric, like that found on old bi-wing airplanes. The fabric was stretched over the entire body except for metal around the windows. The original power plant was a Plymouth six-cylinder engine rated at 82 hp and the vehicle was registered as a Plymouth House Car.” The engine was adequate as the vehicle was very light because of the fabric body. “Of course, everyone thought the... [Read more...]

Keeping the life in your battery

November 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Keeping the life in your battery

If you are an RV owner and live in the northern part of North America, you know that you need to remove your battery from your RV when you are shutting it down for the winter. If you didn’t know – well you know now… Since we had the RV we usually brought the battery home and stored it in our basement. But during the past summer, my husband got some marvelous tips from a support employee for the genius chargers. We had chargers before but we never really got some “education” on how to deal with RV batteries and such during the winter time. So after we purchased a G7200 NOCO charger during the summer (after the previous two chargers failed us in a short period of time), my husband called to ask a question and got great information from the person on the other side of the line. The G7200 is a fully automatic switch-mode battery charger and maintainer. It restores batteries to their original capacity, recovers slightly sulfated batteries, charges batteries in cold climates, rescues... [Read more...]

Mark, My Words: Q & A with Mark Nemeth – November 2013

November 19, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Hi, folks, As promised, some winterizing questions are addressed this month, along with a couple of general maintenance issues. Enjoy the crisp fall nights if you can: All too soon it will be winter! Send your RVing questions to ——————————- Mark: I have purchased a 2013 Puma park model and have parked it on a friend’s farm in Granite Falls, NC.  I spend most long weekends there and want to know if there are any special preparations I need to do over the winter. Sharon Hi, Sharon, A lot depends on how cold it gets in your area. If it only occasionally drops below freezing at night and warms up during the day, your park model will probably be fine as long as you have a source of dependable heat in it while you are gone. If it gets well below freezing, like down into the teens, or often stays below freezing for several days, it would be better to winterize it if you will only be using it occasionally during... [Read more...]

RVers Die of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in 2 Separate Incidents

November 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

RVers Die of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in 2 Separate Incidents

A 75-year-old Pennsylvania man and a Colorado high school student died of carbon monoxide gas poisoning in two separate incidents. 75-year-old Pennsylvania Man Dies from Carbon Monoxide A 75-year-old Windber, Pennsylvania, man died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning while at the Allegany County Fairgrounds and his 76-year-old-wife was taken to a hospital in Cumberland reportedly in critical condition. The couple started a gas generator only several feet from the rear of their 1989 Coachman recreational vehicle shortly before going to sleep, according to an Associated Press report. The generator’s exhaust was pointed toward the vehicle and fumes entered, causing the carbon monoxide exposure. The next morning a passerby entered the vehicle and discovered the couple. Members of the Cumberland Fire Department administered first aid and William Miller was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was taken to Western Maryland Regional Medical Center by Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department... [Read more...]

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