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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Friday, October 23, 2020
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DID YOU MISS reading this morning’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter? Good stuff there.
What if my motorhome has mechanical problems on the road? Is it easy to ﬁnd a repair shop?
It can be, but very often it is not. If the RV’s engine is American made, you might want to head (or limp) to the nearest dealer, but be warned that some will not work on motorhomes which are too big for their shops. If the problem is with the “home” part of the rig, look for a dealer that sells your brand of RV, but be aware that the dealer may be too busy to get you in for repairs for weeks, even longer. Some dealers, sad to say, will not even work on an RV that was not purchased at its dealership. A general RV repair shop is another choice or, even better, a mobile RV service. In remote areas, however, ﬁnding a good repair shop can be a challenge. Your best bet is to fix the problem yourself. It helps very much to be handy if you travel with an RV, and carry a well-stocked tool box.
I just bought a 9-year old motorhome in mint condition with original tires that look like new. But I’ve heard I should replace the tires. Is this necessary?
Our RVtravel.com tire expert advises that RV tire life is not based so much on tread wear but, rather, on age. The lifespan of motorhome tires is probably a safe seven years, but certainly no more than ten. For “towable” units like travel trailers and fifth wheels, getting three to five safe years out of tires is the safest call. You can have a tire dealer pull and inspect your tires. If worse comes to worst, if you blow a tire on your motorhome, your reaction behind the wheel may save your life. Here’s a good film from Michelin tires about dealing with a blowout.
Don’t buy a portable generator
Use your car’s engine instead. Save money. Save hassle. Learn more at cargenerator.com. And keep in mind that CarGenerator™ will keep your household essentials running for up to 70 hours when your power is out due to any blackout – natural or otherwise.
Feeling flush? Your toilet likes more water!
Flushing the RV toilet when you step on that pedal, hold it down for a while. Most RV toilets have another pedal position that will allow you to add water without flushing. If the flush contains toilet paper, fill the bowl with water and then flush. More water in the black tank will make it easier for the enzymes to work, if you use that type of black tank treatment.
How hot are your wheel bearings?
Your axle wheel bearings will need occasional attention. Feel with your hand at the hub to check for one that may be running hotter than the rest. Note: If the bearing is adjusted too tight or is running without grease it can get VERY hot! You must pay immediate attention to a hot bearing. They will either need more grease or adjustment, but replacement may be necessary. This is an excellent application for an infrared thermometer that will indicate the temperature at whatever it is pointed.
We welcome your Quick Tips. Submit them here. Thanks!
In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the 2021 Winnebago Hike 210RB. As he reports, they’re very well thought through, use a lot of class-leading components and design elements and really answer a need in the small trailer industry. Learn more.
Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the 2021 Rockwood A213HW A-frame trailer? If you missed it, you can read it here.
For previous RV reviews, click here.
If you could tell someone new to RVing just one thing, what would it be?
From the editors: We asked our readers this question recently. Here is one response:
“RVs do not appreciate in value.
If you plan on full-timing – do your research (e.g., RV Consumer Group, iRV2 forum website) as all RVs are not made the same.
Whatever your price point – buy as much RV as you can afford.
Read and understand the owners manuals (including installed appliances).
If buying a used Class A, have an extra $25K available to make required repairs and desired upgrades.
Anticipate needing repairs, understanding that scheduling repair service at the manufacturer’s service center may need to be made 6 months ahead of time.
Join and contribute to the RV Travel Newsletter.” —Phil Battin (*We especially like Phil’s last tip! Wink.)
Random RV Thought
People who are “homebodies” often prefer to be home more than anywhere else. But they may like to stray far from home on occasion. Sometimes an RV is good for a person like this because they can combine being at “home” in their RV with traveling to other places.
Something better than duct tape? Yup.
Duct tape is the greatest thing for on-the-fly repairs of all kinds. But you may want to add Waterproofing Repair Tape to your tape deck. The manufacturer claims this stuff is so good that it’ll stick to almost anything, and it’ll do it even underwater. Read more about this handy tape here. Trust us, it’s sticky, durable, and you’ll want some for your RV.
“What’s the best modification you’ve made to your RV?”
From the editors: We asked our readers this question. Here is one response:
“Surprised nobody has mentioned an RVLock electronic lock. We have one and it is hands down the best mod we’ve made to our fifth wheel. No more looking for the keys or trying to get the key into the lock. And, whoever gets to the camper first just inputs the code and opens the door. We’ve done a few other things that are also helpful, but this one is the best.” —Paul T.
• 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.
Read previous issues of Beginner’s Guide to RVing newsletters here.
RV Travel staff
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Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editors: Emily Woodbury, Diane McGovern.
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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