Issue 1004 • November 13, 2018
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Power failure saver!
With electricity expert and veteran RVer Mike Sokol
One of my readers complained about their EMS/smart surge protector shutting down the AC power in the middle of the night “just” because the campground voltage went a little high (132+ volts). Of course, the surge protector was just doing its job, but waking up in the morning without AC power and heating all night gave them reason enough not to plug in their surge protector next time. So how about this as a solution for alerting you of midnight power outages? You can get a power failure night-light for less than $20, and many of them can be used as a flashlight anytime. So plug it into any of your direct connected (non-inverter) AC outlets, and if the campground power goes out in the middle of the night, then this power failure light will alert you to the outage.
Switch out your fridge bulb to save power and heat!
Save electricity or battery power and also help with food storage in your fridge. While many RVers have switched to LED lighting in place of incandescents, one bulb that we never seem to consider is the refrigerator interior bulb. The next time you’re preparing a meal and leave the fridge door open for 20 or 30 seconds, reach up in there, pull off the light cover and touch the bulb. Ouch!!! It’s hot. Where does all that heat go once you close the door? It’s going to raise the temp in the fridge and make it work harder to cool the interior back down. That uses propane, or electricity, or battery power if yours also works on 12-volt power. It can also warm the food on the top shelf near the light and possibly shorten the life of the food. So switching this bulb to an LED – that gives off virtually no heat – can have even more benefits than other RV bulb changes. Thanks to Fred Burns!
ATTENTION PROSPECTIVE RV BUYERS:
Join our new Facebook group, RV Advice, where prospective RV buyers can ask veteran RVers what they think of an RV they’re considering buying. Click here.
AND MAKE MORE ROOM UNDER YOUR SINKS
Today’s brain teaser (answer below): A man pushes his car to a hotel and suddenly loses all his money. He pays in cash and moves on a few minutes later. What happened?
RATE YOUR RV
We introduced a new feature in the weekly RVtravel.com newsletter asking readers to rate their level of satisfaction with their RV. Here are the results of the first RVs they rated:
Thor Ace motorhome • Keystone Montana Fifth Wheel • Winnebago View motorhome • Jayco Jay Flight trailer
MORE QUICK TIPS
Microwave safety: More than just padding
Bitter experience sold Linda Delaney on more than just padding her microwave turntable: “We tape our microwave door shut as well as padding the plate. Hit a bump, the microwave door flew open and the plate jumped out.”
Roadside emergency equipment
I’m sure you’ve seen semi-trucks along the side of the road with three triangular reflectors spaced out behind it. They are there to alert people to move over a lane as the rig is disabled for some reason. These triangles are inexpensive and should be in your RV Safety emergency kit along with several flashlights and road flares to signal a night breakdown. You might also want to have an orange vest with night vision strips on it. Obviously, the best piece of emergency equipment is a cell phone to call for help. —From So, you want to be an RVer? And Enjoy the RV Lifestyle? [Revised].
Restore them overnight with Caravan Sensor Cleaner
Caravan’s highly concentrated, bio-enzymatic formula is guaranteed to remove the debris causing your tanks to misread. No driving necessary. No dangerous chemicals. No strong odors. Perfect for full-timers and permanently parked RVs. Learn more or buy at Amazon.com.
WEBSITE OF THE DAY:
CA.gov – Maximum RV lengths
Here are the maximum RV lengths allowed in all California State Parks. If you’re traveling to the Golden State soon, you’ll want to consult this list first.
Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.
Have you shopped at our new RVtravel store?
We’ve created a store for you with our favorite products. Shop for RV parts and accessories, gift ideas (we’ve got some good ones), unique kitchen gadgets, space-saving organizers and much more. Click here to shop (and bookmark!).
Answer to today’s brain teaser: He is playing Monopoly and landed on his opponent’s hotel space.
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LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
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RV Daily Tips Staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
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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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In Michigan it is either into the UP to avoid the heat and humidity or as far south as possible to get away from the cold. I am looking at Texas below Houston. Otherwise stuck in a cold state until I retire. Happy travels folks.
I answered yes, but it’s only kind of yes. I’m already south, I live in southern California. But I’m planning a trip to the Q in January.
I’ve lived in south Florida for 33 years, so I amswered that I’m “going” south for the winter.
We used to be snowbirds from the Rockies,but after competing with so many Canadians for RV spots in Arizona,we gave up and decided to stick it out where we are.High prices and overcrowding in Arizona…y’all can have it….EH.
We live in southern California and spend a good part of the winter in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico. It is going down to 36 at night in California but we’re here for Thanksgiving – camping in the desert – it will be COLD!
Already south for the winter in Key West. Cant go further south.
I live in south Florida and am looking forward to cold weather and snow. I know most of you think I am nuts. I am tired of sweating.
It’s off to the slopes I go. weeeeeeeee
Survey not loading for me. Loaded the newsletter twice
Michael Galvin This happened to me. I was using AdBlocker and had to disable it for this site before I could load the surveys.
Welcome to sunny warm south TX where it is 40 degrees and snow flurries this AM. Going down to 34 tonight with wind chills of 20 degrees. We could’ve stayed in TN and had this weather. But it’s supposed to warm up to 70 by Thursday. Had the same weather in south FL last winter.
Do not like your question of the day. We live in southern AZ and travel north in the summer to avoid the heat. We are called Desert rats. You forgot one important category. I marked NO, but that really is not a good response.
I have an Progressive HW50C EMS & its wired in & if there is a power surge (132+V) yes it would shut down, but when the power got back to normal (104-132V) it would resume its normal protection! One thing that this model doesn’t do is monitor anything on the Motor Home side, it only addresses issues on the incoming power! Well thats way I think it works.
Interestingly, the newest surge protectors from Surge Guard can detect problems inside of your RV and shut down the incoming power. Yes, they can determine if your RV has an open or overloaded neutral line AFTER the surge protector. I’ve seen this with my own eyes on a test bench in the Surge Guard skunk works, and it’s really an ingenious design that I can’t talk about because A) it’s patent pending, and B) I have an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) in place not to discuss the internal workings of their latest patent pending designs. Once the full patents have been issued to Surge Guard I’ll be free to write about this technology, but for now you have to believe what I’m telling you, and I don’t make up things about technology. I KNOW how this works, and it’s really cool.
As an addition to your “leave here with a laugh”
That Rosebud tattoo of today, becomes a long stem Rose in later life.
Many jurisdictions require flares or reflective signs for RVs. For a list see https://www.rvtripwizard.com/rv-info/state-road-laws.php
The road side safety reflectors also make good markers for backing up into your campsite at night.
My home is in the south. I leave here to go north to get out of the heat & humidity for the summer.
I do the same as Richard. Our home is in the Mojave desert of Sou Cal (warm winters) and we spend our summers on the Oregon Coast (cool summers). Best of both worlds.
If the purpose of a surge protector is to shut down the “house” when there’s a power outage, where would you be able to plug this in?
If you’re talking about the emergency light above, then plug it into any of your RV’s inside outlets that aren’t on an automatic inverter/battery backup (if you have one). Then if the campground pedestal goes dead or your intelligent/ems surge protector shuts down the power feeding your RV, these emergency lights will automatically come on.
Mike, I thought the surge protector would let the power come back on if the voltage was lowered. Right or wrong? Alto there is no way I will see the answer. Darn !!!!
Yes, the intelligent surge protectors all turn the power back on when the voltage comes within acceptable range. But there’s usually a 3 to 5 minute delay to allow your air conditioner compressor time to bleed down.
They have their own rechargeable NiMH batteries, don’t need power from anything else! So when the power goes out at least you’ll have some light!
Yes, I should have mentioned that these lights have a built-in battery and charger, so you always have a fully charged flashlight that comes on when the power goes off. I have a bunch of these around my house, and on the occasion when power goes out, they all come on. Nothing worse than stumbling around in the dark when the power goes out.
No – I live in Southern Florida. Much further south and I’d need a boat instead of an RV.
RV quality reviews should include some of the popular older models, as it is often recommended that buyers – especially 1st time buyers – buy used as they get better deals on used, pre-depreciated RVs. As such the used buyer is just as concerned with quality ratings as the new buyer is.
No. Because I already LIVE in Fl. I ain’t going any further South!
At my home here in middle New Mexico, the temperature is currently in the mid-teens….. Toooooo cold out there.
From those of us who already came south for the winter: southern New Mexico is in the mid-twenties this morning! Gonna be a long winter.
We did the Alamogordo thing last winter…you can have it.