Properly Dispose of the Black Water in Your Minnesota RV

One of the less desirable things we have to do as RV owners is take care of our waste water. It’s a dirty job, but guess what Minnesota RVers? We’ve got to do it.

There are countless dump stations located across the U.S. and Canada, so there is absolutely no excuse to illegally dump your RV’s waste water tank. Besides being illegal… it’s gross and unsanitary. Take a look at what happened in California when an RV couple decided to empty their contents on a residential street.

These guys give RVers a bad name. There is plenty of really useful information out there. One of my favorite web sites is RVdumps.com. They list dump locations by state and provide really helpful information on how to properly dump your tank. Check out some of there tips.

  • When emptying both the black and gray tanks, dump the black-water tank before the gray-water tank so the “soapy water” from the gray tank can clean the residue from the hose.
  • Don’t dump the black-water tank until it is at least two-thirds full. Don’t leave the black-water tank valve open when hooked up at a campsite. This will cause liquids to drain, leaving solid waste behind to harden on the bottom of the tank.
  • Use a heavy-duty sewer hose about 6 to 8 feet long to make handling easier.
  • Carry an extra garden hose for rinsing in case the dump station doesn’t have one. Store this in an area where it won’t come into contact with your drinking water hose.
  • Never use your fresh water hose for rinsing sewer hoses or the dump station area.
  • Wear protective rubber gloves and avoid touching the outside of the gloves.
  • If others are waiting to use the dump station, skip the tank flushing and hose rinsing steps. Pull away from the dump station and then add some water and chemicals to the holding tanks.
  • Never put anything other than the contents of your holding tanks into the dump station.
  • Leave the dump station area cleaner than you found it.

If you need any help or want to learn how to properly empty your tanks, give Pleasureland RV a call or swing by one of our four locations.

Take Care of that Toilet in Your Minnesota RV

minnesota rv dealershipDid you know that RV toilets require a very small amount of water to use? The average RV toilet uses about two quarts of water per flush and even less if you have a “water-saving rinse” option. When you flush the toilet, the water heads down to your RV’s black water holding tank, which has special chemicals that help eliminate odors and speed up the decomposition process. However, this does not mean you can flush anything you like… even toilet paper. Refer to my post about the right type of RV toilet paper for more information.

Even now and then, you’re going to face a clog. Even the most careful of RVers may have someone on board who doesn’t know the toilet rules and may try and flush something foreign. But there are a few things we can do to prevent clogging on a regular basis.

Remember to Flush… and Flush Often.  Water is the best thing for your black water holding tank. So when your on the RV pot, flush a few times. At the very least, flush twice once you’ve finished your business.

Dump and Pump. After dumping your black water holding tank, pump a gallon of water into it through the toilet before using the toilet again.

The Break of Dawn. There are some Minnesota RVers out there who swear by Dawn dishwasher soap. I know it may sound a little odd, but the soap will actually help break up the debris in the holding tank. But be careful not to over do it. As I’m sure you know, a little bit of dawn goes a long way.

So there you have it, Minnesota. Moral of the story? Flush, flush, flush. If you have any questions about how your RV toilet works or you’re having clogging issues, be sure to give Pleasureland RV a call.

Be Sure to Routinely Clean Your RV Rubber Roof

As I’m sure you all know, proper RV maintenance is key to a long-lasting Minnesota motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer. One important thing we often forget about cleaning is our rubber roof. Can you remember the last time you gave it a good cleaning? If not, don’t worry. You’re probably not alone. Because our RVs are considerably tall, we don’t always see the tree sap, bird poo, dirt, etc. building up on the roof.

In general, you should be cleaning your rubber RV roof at least three or four times a year. This can vary depending on where you park your RV the most. For example, if you like to park under trees in the summer to stay cool, you’ll probably have more of a sap build up and may need to clean the roof a few more times throughout the year.

So why is it important to the clean your RV roof? First off, it will help prevent deterioration and staining from all the above mentioned and second, it’ll drastically help reduce streaking of the sidewalls. Your rubber roof is made from a material called Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM), which is made to last 20 years or longer. On average, rubber roofs come with a 10-12 year guarantee.

If you’ve owned an RV with an EPDM roof, you may have noticed that the roof’s surface looks chalky or that there are white streaks on the side of your RV. This is the result of not routinely cleaning. Don’t panic though, there are products made specifically for this and can be purchased online in the drop of a hat.

rubber roof cleaner minnesota rvMy personal favorite is THETFORD’s Premium Rubber Roof Cleaner and Conditioner. This product deep cleans, conditions and protects all in one easy step. It will remove all of that oxidation, tree sap, bird droppings and dirt buildup and also contains a UV blocker to keep your RV roof looking better longer.

Of course there are plenty of other products made for rubber roof cleaning that you can find at Pleasureland RV’s online parts and accessories store. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or swing by one of our four Minnesota RV dealerships.

 

Beware Of Mold In Your Minnesota RV Refrigerator

Because our Minnesota motorhomes, fifth wheels and travel trailers sometimes serve as our home-away-from-home, it’s easy to think that the appliances function the same way as they would in our house. For example, cleaning out our refrigerator isn’t something we do routinely in a home (unless you happen to have a lot of spills) and we don’t usually have to worry about mold. This is not the case in an RV.

After an RV outing, many of us know that we need to empty out our RV refrigerators. What most people don’t realize, is how thoroughly this must be done. Why? Because even though we empty all of the food out, moisture and mold may still remain, and the smallest amount of frost or ice left inside will eventually melt and leave the inside susceptible to mold. Eventually a new, warm and moist environment will grow and replace the coldness of your fridge. This creates the perfect atmosphere for mold to grow.

If you’re starting to panic wondering whether or not you cleaned out your fridge well enough before putting it away for the winter season, relax. While ridding your fridge of mold isn’t the most pleasant thing for those with a weak stomach, it isn’t as difficult as it may sound. In fact, you can have it completely cleaning in as little as two washes. Follow these steps and sooner than you know you’ll be mold free!

  1. Scrub the entire fridge with warm, soapy water. This will remove most of the mold itself.
  2. Make a bleach and water solution by mixing a gallon of water and 1/4 cup of bleach. Once you have your mixture, do another scrubbing of the entire fridge. This solution will disinfect and sanitize the fridge and help prevent the mold from reappearing.

See, Minnesota RVers? Not too terrible. I’m willing to bet that you won’t be having a mold issue in your RV refrigerator again any time soon.

 

Make Cleaning Your Minnesota RV Awning a Part of Your Regular RV Maintenance Routine

As members of the RV community, we know that with owning an RV, travel trailer or fifth wheel comes the responsibility of routine maintenance. It’s been my experience that one of the things new Minnesota RV owners forget about is cleaning the RV awning.  Whether you’re putting your RV away for the season or you’ve been traveling through some less than ideal weather, you should add cleaning the awning to your checklist because rain, snow, wind, dust and air pollution are all things that can cause permanent damage and/or stains to the awning.

I’m pretty sure it’s been proven that the life span of an RV awning improves with routine cleaning. If you have a fabric awning, it should be deep cleaned two or three times a year. This can vary depending on your RV travel habits. If you have a vinyl RV awning, then you’ll need to give it a good cleaning three or four times a year. Again, this can vary depending on your RV travels.

When the time comes, you’ll need to select an awning cleaning product. There is a wide array of products especially made for this task. Some products are specially formulated to deal with mildew or mold and others are more generic and can be used on both vinyl and fabric awnings. If you need help finding one or deciding which will work best for you, swing by Pleasureland RV or give us a call. If you can, try to get a cleaner that contains UV inhibitors and blockers.

Now that you’ve selected a product, let’s put this project in motion. You’ll need a ladder for this one. Once you’ve secured yourself (we don’t want any injuries) on the ladder, go ahead and pull out about three feet of your awning. It’s strongly recommend to clean the awning in sections. This way you’ll be sure to get it all and it’ll it make the process much simpler. Once you’ve cleaned the last section, leave the awning out to dry. If you’re really interested in extending the life of your awning, try applying a light coat of repellent to help prevent stains and repel water. The best kinds will contain a UV blocker to help maintain the fabric’s appearance. Again, if you need help finding RV awning cleaning products, swing by one of Pleasureland RV’s four locations, or give us a call. Like I mentioned above, cleaning your awning is something that should become part of your routine RV maintenance. After all, you’ve already invested a lot of time and money in this rolling home on wheels, so why not do everything you can to get the most out of it?

 

Make Your Life Easier and Rid Your Minnesota RV of Hard Water

Hard water can make life on the road in your Minnesota RV much more difficult than it needs to be, and if this is something you are currently experiencing, you’re going to want to fix it soon.

So what exactly is hard water?

Water that contains the hardness minerals – calcium and magnesium.

How does water become hard?

As rain water passes over the through the earth, it absorbs hardness minerals. Eventually this water flows into our lakes, rivers, streams and ground water.

What are the signs of hard water?

The most obvious sign that your water is hard is rust stains or scaling in sink, shower or toilet. Hard water is less effective at washing away dirt, so you may notice that your clothes are not getting as clean as they should be. It’s also hard to work up a good lather of shampoo or soap when you have hard water.

Other signs include a foul odor, difficulty working up a good lather of shampoo or soap, and possibly a reddish tint to you hair (this is caused by all of the iron in the water).

Technically speaking, hard water is not harmful to your health, but it will affect your ability to wash and clean efficiently. There are several remedies to this issue including portable water softeners. In my opinion this is the best option because they’re easy to use and provide soft water for one to two weeks while costing practically nothing.

If you’re experiencing hard water, take it from me… you’ll want to make it soft. Not only will it turn your tough RV cleaning jobs into easy work, you’ll also save time and money. Not to mention, you’ll probably feel much fresher after showers.  If you need any help picking out a portable water softener or would like to look at other options, give Pleasureland RV a call, or pop in one of our four locations in Ramsey, St.Cloud, Willmar or Brainerd.

Properly Store Your Minnesota RV Batteries During the Off Season

rv dealership minnesotaHave you ever stored your RV for the winter months and found that your batteries died or cracked apart while it was stored? Believe it or not, this is a common problem many RVers face when they decide to winterize their motorhomes for the winter. Especially those of us RVers who live in states where winters can be brutal.

I was watching the news last night and when the weather man said we’re were going to be in the single digits this week, I thought it’d be best to make sure all of you Minnesotans properly stored your RV’s batteries.

The majority of our RVs have parasitic drains in their electrical systems that come from various electrical components, like carbon monoxide and propane detectors, car stereos, circuit boards, LED lights, etc. Even if you have an OEM battery switch, some of these drains will remain on slowly draining the life of your battery as your RV is stored away.

This becomes an even bigger issue in freezing temperatures. Why? Because automotive batteries will freeze if they lose their charge, which can result in their splitting apart. And when batteries freeze, they are deader than dead. That’s right, a frozen battery is usually damaged beyond repair.

There are two ways to prevent this from happening when you store your RV. The first, is to make sure your batteries are charging .You can use shore power or a solar charging system. The second method, and much simpler in my opinion, is to remove the batteries all together and store them in a climate-controlled location, like your house.

If you’re not storing your RV in a climate-controlled area, and you haven’t already removed the batteries, you may want to get a move on. Those cold Minnesota temperatures are going to hit quick this week. If your battery has already cracked or drained, give Pleasureland RV a call or swing by one our four locations in Ramsey, St.Cloud, Willmar and Brainerd.

Does Your Minnesota RV Need New Windshield Wiper Blades?

Driving in inclement weather is bad enough in an average passenger vehicle, but doing it in an RV? Awful. Especially if you don’t know what you are doing. The most common weather you’ll probably drive through in your RV is rain, and there’s nothing worse than flipping on your windshield wipers and realizing it’s only making it worse. If you’ve been on the road for awhile and haven’t been able to clean the bugs off your windshield, you can bet your visibility will decrease even more.

Many things contribute to the deterioration of your RV‘s wiper blades including the sun, oil from other vehicles and the random dirt and other debris carried by the wind. When blades start to deteriorate, they may start to streak, skip or split.

Skipping: This is caused by a curvature due to lack of use. If your RV has been parked for a long period of time, your wipers may have molded to the curvature of your RV’s windshield. This curvature will mess up the contact the wipers have with the rest of the windshield’s surface as it moves causing the blades to skip.

Streaking: When your wiper blades harden and crack, the result is streaking. Usually this is due to dry rubber, but tree sap, bugs and grime from the road also contribute to this issue.

Splitting: Over time, your blades will naturally wear down and split. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays will also contribute to split rubber.

Seeing how our RVs spend a lot of time on the road, their wiper blades are prone to wearing out quicker than those on our cars. There are  few simple things you can do to help prevent this, though. First and foremost, you should add checking your blades to your regular maintenance list. Look for broken frames, tears and missing pieces and curvature. It’s also good idea to clean your windshield often and wipe the rubber part of the blades with a damp paper towel. During the winter months, pull the blades away from the windshield and never use them to try to get ice off of your windshield.

As a general rule of thumb, wiper blades should be replaced once a year.  This can very a little bit depending on the amount of usage, and as I mentioned earlier, RV wiper blades will probably wear out quicker. So be sure to always inspect your blades before heading out. If you need any help inspecting your blades or installing new ones, you can always give Pleasureland RV a call or swing by one of our locations in Minnesota.

Don’t Let Road Salt Rust Damage Your RV During the Minnesota Winter

When it comes to winter in Minnesota, half of the RVers decide to put her up for the season, while the other half hit the road. If this is your first time taking your RV on the road during the winter season, it’s really important that you know how to properly maintain your RV’s exterior and protect it from damage.

Driving through the snow and ice is tough enough, but there’s one thing many RVers don’t take into consideration: the possibility of rust. When the roads ice over or a new blanket of snows falls, the first thing officials do is salt or sand the roads. Though these methods significantly help the drive, one of them can be extremely damaging to our Minnesota motor home, travel trailers and fifth wheels. In case you haven’t already guessed it, it’s salt.

Unwanted rust is often times the result of salt and moisture. So when we travel on these salted roads, we need to keep an eye on the under bellies of our RVs.  After each outing, you should check for rust. Safely climb underneath your RV and simply look. If you happen to find any rust spots, grab a wire brush and scrub it off or sand it until you see metal. If the rust was severe, you’re going to want to prime the area with a rust inhibitor and possibly even a fresh coat of paint. Even if the rust spot was small, I still recommend priming the area. This will help prevent the rust from coming back.

If you find yourself frequently traveling through the snow, make washing your RV a priority after a trip. If your RV is really salty, you can add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to the wash water to help remove and neutralize the salt. Rust can eat holes through metal and seriously damage your RV. So make sure you have a hold on the situation and consistently inspect your RV this winter. If you need any help at all ridding your RV from rust, you can always head to one Pleasureland RV’s service departments located in Ramsey, St.Cloud, Willmar and Brainerd.

How to Disinfect a Contaminated Fresh Water Tank in Your Minnesota Motor Home

The fresh water tank is one of the most important parts of your RV because you use that water to shower, clean dishes, do laundry, brush your teeth and even drink. So what happens when the water is not tasting so fresh?  You may have somehow contaminated the fresh water tank and it might need a good round of disinfecting. Not to worry, though. This can happen to just about anyone.

Being on the road all the time sometimes means we’ll have to get water from a not-so-good source (though we don’t know it’s “not-so-good” at the time). If this should happen to you, there is a pretty simple process that can be done over night to disinfect the entire system. Trust me, you’ll be extremely happy with the results.

First, you’ll need to drain all of the bad water out of the tank. Then, mix one cup of household bleach with a gallon of water and pour it into your water tank. Once you’ve done that, go ahead and fill the fresh water tank from a trusted, clean source. When its full, turn the water pump on and go to every faucet, shower, toilet and anywhere you use fresh water. Run them all until you smell bleach. Don’t forget to run both cold and hot water. Once you can smell the bleach, turn off the pump and leave the system overnight.

On the following day, go ahead and drain the fresh water tank and refill it with clean water. Go back to all of the places you ran the water yesterday and run them until you no longer smell bleach (this may take an additional filling of the water tank). When you no longer smell bleach, your Minnesota RV fresh water tank is sanitized and ready to use again! See, that wasn’t so bad now was it?