Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to RVing from RVtravel.com. The information we present here every Monday through Friday is for brand-new RVers – those in the market to buy their first RV and those who just purchased theirs. If you are an experienced RVer, this material may be too basic for you.
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Monday, August 30, 2021
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DID YOU MISS reading this morning’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter? Good stuff there.
Today’s Tips of the Day:
• Campground neighbors too close? Create privacy with a DIY screen
• Ask Dave: LP stove and oven won’t light. Why not?
• RVelectricity: Emergency generator CO poisoning reminder
I hear it’s important to have a surge protector to protect my RV from damage
Yes, it’s important to have a surge protector to protect your RV from damage, but be aware that not all surge protectors are created equal. You really want one that has a built-in EMS (Electrical Management System) function with a relay that can disconnect your RV from dangerous power situations. Expect to pay around $250 to $400 for an EMS Surge Protector. The inexpensive $100-or-less models only deal with electrical spikes (from, for example, nearby lightning strikes) but won’t turn off power to your RV if the pedestal voltage gets too high, too low, or the ground is lost. Both Southwire Company and Progressive Industries make EMS surge protectors that will help keep you and your RV safe from electrical harm.
What do I do about power when my RV is not plugged into an electric outlet?
Your RV’s 12-volt electrical system (powers lights, water pump, fans, etc.) takes care of most things you need. Most RV refrigerators run on LP gas. Without “shore power” from an electrical hookup you’ll be without your air conditioner, microwave oven and television. A small electrical device called an inverter can change your 12-volt RV power into something a laptop computer or other low-power devices need. If your “shore power”-hungry devices need 300 watts or less, a suitable inverter can be had for less than $50. At that amount of power, these inverters will need to be connected directly to your RV battery with what looks like jumper cable clamps. It’s best to purchase a “pure sine wave” inverter, as the power they provide can be used by most any device, provided you don’t exceed the power output. Larger inverters can be wired into your RV and will support bigger devices, but require more expertise than we can include here.
For articles from RV electricity expert Mike Sokol explaining everything you need to know about power pedestals, surge protectors, appliances in your RV, etc., click here.
Protect your RV’s slideout with this rubber seal lubricant
If you don’t take care of your slideout you’re asking for problems including dangerous, costly water damage. This rubber seal lubricant from Thetford prevents fading, cracking and deterioration. It cleans, conditions and shines, keeping seals flexible and protected from sunlight destruction. It is also useful on door seals and window seals. It’s a mineral oil product and also acts as a lubricant. Learn more or order.
A caulking cartridge preservation trick
Face it, who wants to throw away half a tube of roof caulking? It’s expensive, and you never know when you’ll need it. So you stick a bolt or screw down the snoot, maybe wrap it with a turn or two of electrical tape, and HOPE the next time you need it the goop will flow. And many times, it doesn’t. Here’s a trick we haven’t tried, but we pass it along for your consideration: When you’re done with the sealing job, get the pressure off the tube’s contents, pull a little bit out of the end of the tube (maybe with a screw or bolt), then fill up the void with petroleum jelly. Supposed to keep the air out and the contents usable. When ready to use next time, push out the petro-jel and wipe the tube clean before squishing the good stuff. And, to be safe, make sure to throw away the first bit of the sealant, lest there be an unwelcome reaction between the goop and the ersatz seal.
Close the toilet lid
Keep the toilet lid closed so nothing falls into it accidentally. Once it’s in there it’s difficult to get out – not to mention it’s very messy.
“If you could tell someone new to RVing just one thing, what would it be?”
From the editors: We asked our readers this question. Here is one response:
“RENT first. The lifestyle is not for everyone. Tried to tell a friend. They bought a 30-foot Class C. Two trips and sold at a huge loss. They did not like the lifestyle.” —Dick and Alana O’Kelly
Easily clean those stubborn bugs off your RV
The Microfiber Mesh Bug and Tar Sponge has millions of tiny fibers embedded in the microfiber cloth that grabs and holds the dust and dirt. It is so effective it even cleans without chemicals, saving both time and money. The secret of this sponge lies in its unique, double-layer microfiber mesh. Older nylon bug sponges can harm your clear coat, but this one is completely paint safe. Learn more or order.
Random RV Thought
RVers who drive motorhomes or tow vehicles with loud diesel engines who leave a campground at daybreak often wake up their neighbors.
“What’s the best modification you’ve made to your RV?”
From the editors: We asked our readers this question. Here is one response:
“At this point, we have replaced the really uncomfortable ‘L’-shaped couch/hide-a-bed that was in our 5th wheel with a residential power reclining love seat/theater seats, and I removed one of the stock armchairs and replaced it with a euro-recliner and ottoman that I bought. Hubbie had to build a platform with rolling wheels, mounted on the slide-out, to put the love seat/theater seats on. Now we are both comfortable.” —Brenda Bilton
• If you buy a defective RV and are unable to get it fixed or its warranty honored, here is where to turn for help.
• If you need an RV Lemon Law Lawyer, Ron Burdge is your man.
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel, Mike Gast. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Darian Armer and Chris Epting. Podcast host and producer: Scott Linden. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
Honorary Correspondents: Loyal readers who regularly email us leads about news stories and other information and resources that aid our own news-gathering efforts.
Tom and Lois Speirs • Mike Sherman • George Bliss • Steve Barnes + others who we will add later.
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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