RV Daily Tips Newsletter 1027

31

Issue 1027 • January 3, 2019

Welcome to another fabulous edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here, you’ll find helpful RV-related, and small-space living, tips from the pros, travel advice, road trip stops, a handy website of the day, our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate your readership.

If you shop at Amazon, would you use one of the links below to do your shopping? The link in the blue bar above also works. We get a tiny commission on what you buy. Even though our commission is small, at the end of the month it adds up, which helps fund this newsletter and our projects. Thanks.

U.S. shoppers: Shop at Amazon.com
Canadian shoppers: Shop at Amazon.ca


QUICK TIPS

Axle flipping basics

Click image to enlarge.

Flipping RV travel trailer axles means mounting the axle or axles under the springs as opposed to over the springs. This raises the trailer about seven inches. It’s often done for more ground clearance. But also, these days, pickup trucks are sometimes higher than they used to be years ago so flipping the axle is also done when someone with an older trailer gets a new truck, thus allowing the trailer to tow level again. The process basically involves unbolting one end of each spring, unbolting the axle and removing the axle from the springs. The springs are reinstalled. Two new axle perches are welded to the top of the axle counter to the old perches. The axle is then bolted under the spring. The above is done for each axle. From rvbasics.com.

Protect your RV “pigtail”

That 7-way connector on your travel trailer or fifth wheel is a critical component. (Just try and get along with one that isn’t working right – it’ll spoil your whole day.) When not plugged into your tow rig, the thing is susceptible to the onslaught of dirt, rain and even bugs. Here’s a plug cover that slips right over your precious plug and keeps out the crud. One user on Amazon says, “This works perfectly to keep the plug on my RV clear. Rather than attaching it to my plug, I remove it when not in use and place it in my ‘RV emergency tool kit.’ This way, it’s not knocked around when driving.” At about $9, the GR Innovations 7-way plug cover may just be some of the cheapest “insurance” you can buy for your plug. Add a few bucks more and you can buy one with a lanyard that keeps it from getting away when not in use. Find it here.


Light up the campsite a whole new way

Now that it gets dark so early, you’ll need lots of light outside at the campsite. These fun “bucket lamps” are customizable: include your favorite camping quote and your family name. See more photos and learn more here.



MORE QUICK TIPS

Quick and clean cutting board

JeepersMedia on flickr.com

Save larger plastic food container lids (like those on cottage cheese or whipped toppings) and use them as small cutting boards. They’re lightweight and can either be tossed out or disinfected with this follow-up tip: Fill a spray bottle with non-diluted white vinegar and spray on surfaces. Not only does the vinegar disinfect cutting boards, but it’ll also kill bugs on countertops and elsewhere around the rig. Said to be as effective as bleach, it’s an environmentally friendly alternative. Our thanks to Gale Green for the tips!

Plan your stops

DanTD on Wikimedia commons

Remember, you are either driving a very large motorhome or pulling a very large camper, and the trip, along with the demands of the road, can wear any driver down as the day goes on. Plan your stops throughout the day so you can stretch, rest and rejuvenate yourself for the next phase of your trip.

On Interstate highways, stop at rest areas or visitor centers, which are usually found just across state lines. They are not only a nice rest stop with clean toilets, but these visitor centers are usually manned with people who are there to answer your questions and help you find pretty much anything you might be looking for.

On state roads, rest areas are less common but you’ll usually find strip malls and chain stores that you can take advantage of. The ones that you want to use should have large parking lots with multiple entrances for you to get around in, park for a stretch and a meal, and then leave safely. —From The Ultimate RV Owners Reference.

Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com



WEBSITE OF THE DAY

What you need to know about your RV batteries

This helpful article from KOA tells you everything you’ll ever need to know about your RV’s batteries. The article will teach you the basics, as well as how to maintain and preserve the life of your battery, what kind of battery you should have, how to undercharge and overcharge, and much more.

Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.


Reader PollREADER POLL

Do you carry an air compressor in your RV? Click here to vote.


Collapsible containers perfect for RV kitchen
If you don’t have collapsible food containers for your RV yet, you’re missing out. This set of four is BPA free and microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe. Never worry about taking up room again, these fold practically flat! These containers come with air-tight lids which keep food longer, and keep food safer. Order for a great price here. 


LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH

Has anyone ever been to a beach without water?

Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com
. UPDATED HOURLY.


Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.

Become a Member!

This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Thursday by RVtravel.com and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you! IF YOU APPRECIATE THIS NEWSLETTER and others from RVtravel.com, will you please consider pledging your support? Even a single contribution of $10 or $20 is appreciated. Many readers set up an ongoing contribution, typically $5 to $10 a month. Your contributions make it possible for us to produce more than 250 highly informative newsletters every month. Learn more or contribute.

Join us: FacebookTwitterYouTube.

Sign up to receive an email every afternoon of
articles we’ve published in the past 24 hours. No ads
Enter your email address:

 

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.

ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)RVtravel.com .

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.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2019 by RVtravel.com

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

31 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Peter
1 year ago

Ryobi makes several models. Battery operated or plug-in?

Darrel
1 year ago

On the “do you carry a air compressor” question: All large diesel motorhomes have air suspension and air brakes, and thus have a engine driven air compressor. Nearly every rig like this has a air outlet to attach a air hose. I am able to air our rigs motorhome tires up to 115 pounds using this source with the engine running to drive the engine driven air compressor. .

Does that count as a “yes” I “carry” a air compressor? Or no, I do not carry a “portable” air compressor?

Gene Bjerke
1 year ago

I have always carried an air compressor. However, finding a good unit that is small enough for a Class B motorhome has been difficult. Especially a 12V unit. They are usually very slow. Recently I tried bringing my tires back to pressure during a cold spell and I may well have burned the unit out. I’m open to suggestions.

40040
1 year ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

Check out Viair 40047 400P-RV. It is a terrific compact quite unit.

George
1 year ago

In flipping the axle(s), I’m not sure, but I don’t think you’re supposed to weld the perch, or anything else, to the axle. Something in my memory bank tells me if you weld to spring steel you may/will lose the temper in the steel and it will no longer perform the function for which it was designed. If you look at the frame rails on large trucks there are BIG stickers that say “DO NOT WELD”. I would think this is where “U” bolts come into play.

Doug W/ND
1 year ago

Hey guys/gals: Thanks for an informative newsletter today! RE: trip planning and battery details and the joke of the day makes one think a little about that! As you progress along with your updates – it gets a little better each day – sans the ads – which are of course a reality on every front these days! Thanks.

Richard Hubert
1 year ago

Re: Do I carry an Air Compressor?
The real question that should be asked is – “Do you check & adjust all you RV tires before each travel day?” I know most people have an air compressor, but I ALMOST NEVER see anyone actually checking their tire pressures – even after staying in many different RV parks. I believe that having properly inflated tire pressures is the #1 most important DIY safety checks – yet I have seen almost no one actually doing this. Yes – there are some who have a TPMS system installed so they should know where their tire pressures are, but most people don’t have those either.
I learned when I 1st started RVing in our 38′ Class A the importance of checking tire pressures. After spending a week in Quartzsite several years ago out on BLM land I decided to check tire pressures before heading home Found that one of my inner rear tires was down to 55psi – when it should have been @ 95psi. Luckily I was able to borrow a compressor and re-inflate, but was informed by others that it was probably my flexible valve stem extender hose (coming out from the inner tire to the outside so the valve stem could be accessed) that was loose. This was determined to be the case – it was not fully tightened on the inner tire metal valve stem. I returned home and immediately bought a good 110v A/C compressor which I carry around to this day.
I also ensure that all tires pressures are checked before each day’s travel, and have found other instances of loose valve stem extenders causing slow air leaks (they can loosen just from normal driving). I have read how much damage can be done by an exploding tire (not to mention also likely causing a severe road accident), and I know that one of the leading causes of tire failure is low inflation pressure .
So I check daily when traveling. and have been amazed how much pressure variation I find due to loose valve stem extenders, altitude changes, ambient air temperature changes, and general air seepage. All the same issues each and every other RVer faces when traveling – yet I rarely ever see any others checking their tire pressures – ever. Kind of scary to be out on the highway with them when it is obvious that some are likely driving with severely under-inflated tires which could blow out at any time.

Darrel
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Hubert

I check my rigs tire pressure (and tow vehicle too) every day, parked or not, via our TPMS. On a travel day, I also check at every stop. Plus any massive change in pressure will set off a tire alarm.

Wolfe
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Hubert

If you don’t buy the crazy expensive TPMS systems advertised here, you can get 4 valve-sensors and a solar receiver for $20-25… absolutely obscenely irresponsible NOT to get one. I use a 4 channel on my TT because my truck already has its own (numerically displayed) TPMS, but nothing prohibits using 2 units side by side for 8 channels since they are uniquely paired. RV specific TPMS charge higher prices because some systems are unreliable at longer ranges, but mines perfect to 50′ when I need 30′ – DO test ANY system you get regardless of claims.

As for being worth avoiding damage, HECK YEAH. I’ve had two tires fail (neither from immediate temp), and one flogged $5000 worth of damage to my wall when it threw tread. If $20 prevents a third failure, its GOLDEN.

Dan from Indiana
1 year ago

Drop hitches are made for when your vechicle is to high for the rig that you are towing is to low. They are made in several sizes and are not $ cheap. Keep anything towed LEVEL. A panic stop can cause anything towed to jacknife.

Drew
1 year ago

Hi Dan,

A hitch like the ones I’m referring to usually cost between $20 and $40…I don’t think we’re talking about the same things.

Snayte
1 year ago

I do not currently carry an air compressor but we are never gone more that a week at this point. If we go on longer trips or get to the point where we are full-timers then I would probably bring one along. I already have a Fini Air Boss 1.2 gallon compressor that I really like. I would add a link to it but I cannot find one that is not a combo kit with a brad nailer. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Wolfe
1 year ago
Reply to  Snayte

Length of trip is irrelevant when a road hazard can make a flat in an hour. Even if it’s an absurdly slow $5 HFT compressor, have something to pump up tires onboard!

Snayte
1 year ago

I put the 7-way connector end under the LP cover. Stays clean and dry and I do not need to carry or buy anything extra. This is a good way to go if the LP cover is within reach.

HRZ
1 year ago

What is a “reliable” portable air compressor? Tried two different brands one blew fuses with each use, the other seized up on second use. Only want to be able to put a few PSI in when needed. Not an off roader. Needs to be 100PSI minimum. considered from auto parts store but no return policy killed that! Thanks

Wolfe
1 year ago

When I thought about the air compressor question, I realized I actually carry four in my rig as normally configured. I have a 12-volt 250psi banger, another 150psi compressor built into my jumper pack, a 5psi low pressure fast inflator for inflatable boats, and a Shop-Vac that also could inflate the boats in a pinch. I’m terrible with “might want that too” packing…

rag-ftw
1 year ago

Air compressor is built into the coach which has air suspension. It is capable of producing over 125 psi and has been used numerous times to add air to RV & Towed!

Martin Santic
1 year ago

This daily newsletter is getting worse and worse. 95% advertisements, 5% substance! Sad.

Robbie
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Santic

I agree. Seems to be less usable content and way too many repeats.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie

Hi, Robbie and Martin,
Please send us some new, never previously used tips to include in our newsletters. We’ll give you credit, of course. When we’re running almost 1,000 tips per year, for as many years as we have, it’s just a little difficult to come up with all new stuff. Thanks! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Wolfe
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Santic

Actually, i thought it was more novel than it has been in a while. I don’t recall discussing axle flipping, cool whip containers, or compressors before.

As for ads, yes… getting heavy, but that’s the reality of donation/ad supported. I don’t pay, so I can’t complain.

Doug W/ND
1 year ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Wolfe I concur with you: We also pay, substantially, for Dish or Direct Tv – and that is about 50% advertising. At least this news isn’t to that point yet. PS: I do donate here – but nothing compared to a Tv provider…….. this is a neat little newsletter that doesn’t take all day to read either.

Ernie Maier
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Santic

I agree

Bobby
1 year ago
Reply to  Ernie Maier

Used to wait to drink my coffee until I read the Saturday edition. Now I barely open it. Get back on the road. Include more experiences.

Irvin Kanode
1 year ago

Check with your insurance company before doing an axle flip. When I purchased my policy, I had to certify that the trailer hadn’t been raised.

It’s a safety issue, you’re raising the center of gravity and changing the way it handles.

I’d love to raise mine–the drain connection is too low to the ground.

Bob Godfrey
1 year ago

Our air compressor is built into the coach which has air suspension. It is capable of producing over 125 psi.

JBC
1 year ago

Glad to see so many RVers carry an air compressor. I may need to borrow it some time.

Dan
1 year ago

We have both the on board engine driven compressor for our air bag suspension and I have a twin ViAir compressor, to answer the poll question.
Also, I’ve been to a beach with no water during a drought.

BuzzElectric
1 year ago

BuzzElectric kill. The joke photo, thumbs down. Sorry. Not even cute.

Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  BuzzElectric

In response to axle flipping- why wouldn’t you just get a lower drop hitch? Probably a 2″ difference is all that would be needed on most newer trucks. Flipping axles seems like adding handling and clearance problems. Can someone enlighten me…have I overlooked something?

Thanks,

Drew

Roger
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

On a fifth wheel, the trailer would be raised if towing nose high and bed rail clearance could not be maintained when lowering the hitch or raising the pin box.