RV Maintenance When You are Staying Awhile

There are certain procedures to that you make when you open up your RV for the season as well as when you must put your RV away.  But what kind of maintenance do you need to do when you are staying at one place for an extended period of time?  I found an interesting article that has some helpful hints when it comes to the maintenance of your RV while using it in one stationary place.
  • Inflate the tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Tires can lose as much as 2 to 3 psi a month. If you stay in one spot for three or six months the tire pressure could be dangerously low. If the unit is not being moved check and adjust the tire pressure on a monthly basis. If you notice any damage, have the tires inspected by a professional before using the RV. Tire failure on an RV can be extremely dangerous and can cause costly damage to the RV. Keep the tires covered with covers that block out the sunlight when the RV is sitting in one spot or not in use.
  • Place some type of RV leveling blocks between the ground and the tires. Be sure that whatever you use is larger than the footprint of the tire. No portion of the tire should hang over the edge of the tire block. This can cause internal damage to the tire. You also don’t want them exposed to constant cold or moisture, like sitting on the frozen ground. The wood or blocking acts as a barrier between the tires and the ground surface they are being stored on.
  • If it’s a motorized RV you should fill the fuel tank prior to parking it for a long stay and add a fuel stabilizer. Run the engine and the generator long enough for the fuel stabilizer to get through the fuel system. If you are not using the generator you should exercise it monthly with a minimum of a ½ rated load on it. Consult your generator set owner’s manual for rated loads.
  • Check and fill the water levels in all batteries and make sure the batteries stay fully charged. The electrolyte levels in batteries will be depleted through long term use. Check the water levels once or twice a week depending on usage.  Don’t check the voltage when the RV is plugged in, you will get a false reading. For a true reading of the batteries they should be tested after resting for 12 hours. Resting means the battery is disconnected from any charger or any load for at least 12 hours.
  • Change the oil and oil filter on the engine and the generator prior to long stays or long term storage. Acids accumulate in used oil and can corrode engine bearings.
  • Routinely test the operation of the carbon monoxide detector, LP gas leak detector and smoke alarm. Check the fire extinguisher monthly to make sure it is fully charged. Clean or replace air conditioner filters as required.
  • Complete your normal pre-trip checks before heading out on the road again.
All of these are helpful tools in making sure that your RV is in the proper condition when you head back out on the road after an extended stay.  Before or after your trip make sure you stop on by for a quick look by our trained experts at PleasureLand RV.

First Aid Kit Musts for your RV

Emergency situations are always unexpected and it is crucial to be prepared when disaster strikes. You can easily customize your own first aid kit to fit your exact needs and generally save money while doing so. Before heading off you should always consider where you will be traveling, what type of climate you’ll be in and what type of activities you may be doing. Anytime you decide to take your RV out on the open road, it is essential to be prepared in the event of an emergency.  The American Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits should include the following:

Supplies

  • absorbent compress dressings
  • adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • adhesive cloth tape
  • antibiotic ointment
  • antiseptic wipes
  • aspirin
  • blanket
  • breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • instant cold compress
  • non latex gloves
  • hydrocortisone ointment
  • scissors
  • sterile gauze pads
  • oral thermometer
  • tweezers
  • First Aid instruction booklet

Extras to consider

  • whistle
  • nail clippers
  • jackknife
  • a fire steel to start a fire
  • water purifying tablets
  • flashlight and extra batteries
  • disposable camera
  • cell phone and charger

Tips

  • Be sure to store your kit in a place out of reach from children but easily accessible to adults.
  • Include personal items including medications, emergency phone numbers and any other items your doctor may suggest.
  • Be sure to check that the kit’s contents before each trip and make sure to check expiration dates on each item.
  • Learn about the contents of the kit and how to use them in different emergency situations. Having the supplies means nothing if you do not possess the know-how to use them.

It is always important to make sure that you are ready for anything the road can throw at you.  Before your next road trip, would be a good idea to start putting together an RV first aid kit.  Leave a comment below with anything you would like to add to this list.

[Source: American Red Cross]

7 Tips for Driving Your RV in the Rain

There are a lot of things that you can control on your RV trips.  You can make sure you pack everything and that your RV is tuned up, but weather is something you just have to deal with.  Like a car or a bike, riding in the rain takes precaution and safety.  I came across some useful tips to help you maneuver through the bad weather on your next trip over at rvtravel.com.  Here are a few:

Be the middle-man:  If you have an option of which lane to occupy, take to the middle. Most roads have a crowned surface to encourage water to run off to the side.  The center lane is often on high ground, and so less water accumulates here.

Slick ‘em up:  The places you’re most likely to encounter greater road slickness are where oil (from vehicles) can accumulate.  Read that as intersections, parking lots, as well as on and off ramps.  If it’s been some time since the last rain, you’ll also find high traffic areas are slick too.  Why so?  Take your typical freeway lane–after weeks or months of traffic dripping oil and fluids, the first rain to come along washes the oil off the drop spot, and mixes it with water, making for a slick trip.

The eyes have it:  When it rains, make it easier on your own–and others–vision.  Turn on your headlights for greater visibility.  Yeah, there may be a bit more glare, but better to be seen.  Turn on your windshield wipers, of which you’ll have changed the blades every 12 months.  Seems extreme, especially if you don’t live in rain country, but if you’re a desert dweller, you’ll find UV radiation and heat eats up your wipers faster than using them like those folks in the Northwest do–every day.

Exercise self-control, not speed control:  Time will tell whether or not vehicle speed control units may actually contribute to loss of control on rainy roadways, but this much is certain:  Speed control use slows the driver’s ability to note and respond to changes in road surfaces.  Save it for dry pavement.

Be treadful! Generally speaking, the deeper your tire tread, the less likely you are to hydroplane on a wet road.  And other drivers’ tires can help, too.  How?  If you track behind another driver (at a SAFE distance) in his tire tracks, you’ll find less water there–he’s already “dried out the road” with his passage.

Give it a (correct) brake:  If you have anti lock brakes and find yourself needing a slowdown, don’t pump–press and hold, the same as you would on ice.  If you don’t have ABS, then indeed, pump-release-pump-release to keep yourself out of trouble.  And if you’ve driven through water, to dry your brakes, lightly tap them a few times to dry the linings.

Don’t play Moses:  You can’t part the Red Sea with your RV.  As the good folks in Arizona will tell you, NEVER cross a flooded wash.  It takes but a few inches of water to push a vehicle off the roadway and into harm’s way.

Safety is concern number one when traveling and should be treated as such.  Hopefully you will take these tips seriously and be careful out there on the road!!  Leave a message below and let us know if they left anything out.

 

Knowing Your RV Clearance!!

When driving RVs, there are a lot of things that you pay attention to as compared to a car or truck.  Knowing the height of you RV is very important when heading out on the road.  Most of the time when driving a normal car we take for granted the clearance signs that you see in overpasses and drive-thru restaurants.  But this is not the case when navigating an RV.  So it is absolutely imperative that you are diligent with the actual height of your RV.  While knowing the listed height will give you a good idea of what you are dealing with, make sure that you include anything attached to the roof, such as air conditioning units and satellite dishes.

As a cautionary tale of how things can quickly go wrong, I’ve included a video with someone who neglected to be as careful as they should have.  ALWAYS, ALWAYS be careful when pulling into any type on overhang.  The person in the video didn’t calculate when pulling into a bank and as you will see, it didn’t turn out well.  Make sure you always protect your investment.

 

 

Anyone willing to share a story about a similar clearance issue?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!!

Minnesota Drivers: Stop Texting While Driving!!

Most people wouldn’t drive a moving vehicle while attempting to read the paper or write a paper for school or work on a proposal for work.  Why then are so many people texting while driving?  Texting while driving has become a major concern for America’s teens.  Anytime you take your eyes and attention away from the road you are asking for trouble.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center has looked at traffic data from the Fatality Accident Reporting System and texting data from the FCC and CTIA, and — after some hefty number crunching — has come to the conclusion that texting while driving is responsible for accidents that claimed 16,141 lives during the period of 2001 – 2007.

Obviously these numbers are staggering but people just don’t seem to get it as they continue to increase each year.  The number of cell phones certainly isn’t going down, so it seems like to combat this problem either technology needs to change or legislation needs to be put in place to prohibit these activities.  Maybe cell phone makers can create phones that can do voice transcription for texting so that you don’t have to physically type your message in on your phone.  My research shows that 30 states so far have adopted rules banning texting while driving, but this is not enough.  The remaining states should follow suite in my opinion.  Not only that, but rules can be broken, so more education is also necessary.

One life is too many to lose to distracted drivers.  Usually a text message can wait until you’re parked, but if it’s an emergency, please pull over to respond.  Safe driving friends!

 

Minnesota RVers, Do You Have Campground Etiquette?

Etiquette is always important, but certainly varies by circumstances.  The golden rule always applies, but depending where you are, you have to aware of your surroundings.  This is especially evident in a campground setting.  Thinner walls and more crowded areas with people you might not know can certainly affect how you should or do act.  I found a list of some reasonable rules for RV living from The Marine Web that you all might find interesting.

  • 1. Ground Rules: Usually when you register for a particular park, they give you a copy of their rules: following these rules is the first of such manners. These rules will specify when you should not be making noise, driving carefully around the park, rules related to cooking etc.
  • 2. Eliminating Pet Peeves: If you are bringing your pet along on your vacation, make sure it does not disturb or harm anyone else! Your dog will need to be taken care of, cleaned up after and kept on a leash to avoid bothering the neighbors at all. Remember, your dog may be well-behaved but you’ll still have to be careful.
  • 3. Rig Parking: In a number of cases, it will not be clear how to orient the rig on a site; the only guide being a hookup for electric and sewer. Ground rules will require you to stay on your side of the hookup and not encroach in any way. If all people are situated in the same way, everyone will get more camp site.
  • 4. Arriving Late: Try not to do that but even if you do, make sure you avoid disturbing your neighbors who might be trying to rest for a long day. This means not talking loudly, quickly parking your RV & setting up and reducing the general noise level while you do the necessary work.
  • 5. Connecting the Sewer: This will also require you to be discreet and to do it right. Usually, the connection should face the side where your neighbor has their patio area.
  • 6. RV Cleaning: Most of the time, campgrounds don’t allow you to wash your RV with open water in order to avoid muddy areas, high water bills and general wastage of water. They will give you a water bucket for the most minimal cleaning but even if you are allowed to wash your RV, be very careful not to waste the water or allow it to splash on someone else’s area.
  • 7. Don’t Trespass: When everyone is sharing the campsite, they’re all paying for their spots and it is against most rules to be on someone else’s spot without their permission and consent. One of the major campground etiquette requires you to treat your neighbor’s or someone else’s area as their personal property and stay away from it unless invited or permitted.
  • 8. Campfire: Before you make one, be sure that it is allowed in the regulations copy. Keep it safe and make it properly and most importantly, don’t use it as a trash can for your cans and other garbage.
  • 9. Be Tidy: Make sure you do that to keep your neighborhood clean; RV vacationers tend to be laid back but being dirty and sloppy is very hard to deal with so don’t be messy.
  • 10. Treating others: Whenever you are unsure of any campground rules, try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and act only if you’ll like to be treated in the same manner. Otherwise, don’t!

I know there has to be some funny stories out there where maybe people didn’t use as much etiquette as the list above might suggest.  Leave your stories and comments below!

[Source: Marine Web]

 

 

Mark’s RV Garage Volume 1

I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to start my day without a nice hot shower followed by a nice breakfast.  Many modes of transportation and trip taking make these things difficult if not impossible without the security of a hotel room.   But that is why you have an RV, so you don’t have to worry about these things.  Along with this luxury comes great responsibility.  Maintenance of your RVs water heating system, while tedious at times, is imperative for its functionality and preservation.  In Mark Polk’s first edition of Mark’s RV Garage, he discusses this topic in depth. When the water system is not in use, it is necessary to drain the stagnant water in order to keep bacteria and other minerals from corroding your system.  In the episode, he uses a product called the Tank Saver in order to clean out the sediment from the system.  I stumbled across this video and wanted to share the tips he gives on maintenance of the system and how to avoid such problems.

Do you do your own regular maintenance or do you have a professional look at it?  Make sure to leave a comment below!

[Source: RV Videos]