RV Daily Tips Newsletter 1037

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Issue 1037 • January 22, 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, 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. Thanks.

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


QUICK TIPS

Watch out for lightning

With electricity expert and veteran RVer Mike Sokol

While you’re camping with your family you’ll certainly want to be on the lookout for lightning storms. As I’ve written many times, you don’t want to ride out a lightning storm in a fiberglass trailer, since they offer no protection from a strike. But all metal RV trailers or coaches should be safe for occupants during a lightning storm, even though some electronics in the RV might get fried. NOAA recommends that you head to a permanent structure in a storm since it should be properly grounded, but this is really about human safety.

How to know when there’s lightning nearby? Well, there’s an app for that! Here’s what my sound crew uses to monitor the weather when we’re doing an outside concert and need to decide if the show should be canceled: Get My Lightning Tracker Pro for $1.99, which is cheap for a great app that can save your life. I use the iPhone version, but it looks like the same app is also available for your Android or Google device.

Want to increase your mileage? Here’s a pro’s comment

Sangre-La.com on flickr.com

“Both in my personal life and professional life (fuel tanker driver with a GVW of 140,000 pounds), I’m a little obsessed with fuel mileage, even when I’m not paying the fuel bill. ‘Hypermiling’ is achieved by using physics to your advantage. Acceleration and deceleration are the biggest consumers of fuel. Keep a larger following distance from the vehicle in front of you and if you need to slow down for any reason, take your foot off the throttle and use up the space between you until required to brake and then only threshold brake to the point where you are no longer closing on the vehicle in front of you. Roll onto the throttle slowly and accelerate at the lowest safe speed given traffic around you.

“Most drivers demand more torque and horsepower from their engines in any given scenario than necessary. I approach driving ‘heavy’ much the same way that my pilot buddy explained setting power in an airplane to me – figure out how much power you need and govern yourself accordingly. See grades (up and down) before you get to them and get your power management in-line before you get there. Big uphill grade ahead? Gear down or use the throttle appropriately shortly in advance of the grade to make sure you are in the power band just as you hit the grade. Let off the throttle in advance of a big turn and roll onto the throttle at the apex gently. Not only will you have better fuel economy by not braking willynilly, you’ll be more stable on the road as a result.” From RoadDog YVR, a member of the irv2.com forum.


How to reduce RV condensation and prevent mold:

  • Eliminate the source! Keep water/steam/wet dogs out of the RV. When cooking, keep all pots and pans covered, dry your clothes outside the RV, and wipe Fido off after his walk.
  • Keep the thermostat up! The warmer your RV is on the inside, the less moisture.
  • Install window insulation. You can find an easy, affordable kit here.
  • Let some air in! After cooking, or after you shower, crack your windows for a few minutes to let the steam escape.
  • Use a dehumidifier. This one is small and perfect for your RV
  • Wipe surfaces when things start to gather condensation.
  • Prevent mold growth by keeping humidity levels between 30-50 percent. You can buy a humidity meter here, which will help monitor humidity levels.

From rvrepairclub.com


DID YOU KNOW?

There are 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures preserved within the National Parks System. Wow!


MORE QUICK TIPS

“No excuse” water shut-off

George Bliss

Long-time RVer and RV Travel reader George Bliss recently had a “could-have-been-serious” problem with his rig. When a water fitting inside his rig blasted off, leaving a huge (but thankfully non-damaging) puddle in his basement storage area, he got to thinking. Shutting off the water whenever away from the rig is a GREAT idea, but with the shut-off on the far side of the rig, away from the entry door, and human nature being what it is, shutting off the supply every time isn’t too likely.

So … “I now run my water hose from the faucet to the step at my entry door. I put in an in-line ball valve and using a separate hose run it from there back to the other side of the RV and attach it to the inlet fitting. I held it all in place by attaching the hose to the step frame with a couple of zip ties. Now when I leave the RV, even for a short spell, the shut off is right at the step and there’s no excuse not to shut off the water.” Thanks, George, for helping us hold our water!

Heating pad helper

During winter keep a heating pad handy. Good for warming up pipes.
— From RV Living Full Time: 100+ Amazing Tips, Secrets, Hacks & Resources to Motorhome Living

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



WEBSITE OF THE DAY

@happycamperwives, Instagram

Happy Camper Wives

This travelin’ couple gives advice about traveling full-time in a small space with your partner. We know it’s not always easy!

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



Protect your RV “pigtail”

That 7-way connector on your travel trailer or fifth wheel is a critical component. 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 says, “This works perfectly to keep the plug on my RV clear. 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.” Learn more or order


LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH

I went out today and found a blacksmith getting rid of his dog. Feeling bad, I bought it from the man. As soon as I got the dog home, it made a bolt for the door.

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


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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.

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.

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This newsletter is copyright 2019 by RVtravel.com

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John T

The Weather Bug app has a lightning monitoring screen.

Rory R

When buying an RV online, sight unseen without professional inspections, you may find that the owner is an honest person, but may be unaware of something that may turn into a major (expensive) problem for you. Therefore if I can’t see it in person, and have a pro inspect it, I pass.

Vanessa

Actually depends…If I am looking for a classic to restore I would. If it was one I am planning to live NOW probably not unless I can get a good RV mechanic/inspector to check it out.

Joel Lefkowitz

I purchased a 4 year old class C motorhome sight unseen that was 2200 miles from my home. I had been searching for the coach for 2 years and had confidence in the quality of the construction. I spoke at length with the seller and had the coach inspected twice. Once for the house and once for the chassis and engine. My family thought I was crazy but that coach served me well for about 8 years and I eventually sold it for a few thousand less than I had paid for it. For me the key to purchasing the coach long distance was the phone conversations I had with the owner and the confidence that I had in the truthfulness of their statements.

Doug/ND

Well – Caution in buying anything is the key word. I believe this question is with regard to the recent scam right here in river city ND! But that was from a site I’ve never heard of and sadly one of the buyers did due diligence – but……. I bought our 34 ft Class A Winnebago Vectra on EBay – 10 years ago. While the pictures were accurate the description left a little to be desired. Cosmetics were of no concern to me. Mechanically, it is perfect! The price was reasonable and I absolutely love this motorhome – our 2nd one.

The key with EBay is their warranty to back up any misrepresented transaction. PS: I also bought a 1987 El Camino thru EBay. Both of these sellers and I exchange emails daily to this day! New friends, only one of whom I have met!

Sharon B

I bought my travel trailer on RVTrader.com
I flew up to Wisconsin from Florida to see the camper and bought it. I confirmed the condition and exactly what I wanted.
I think it takes courage to buy something online with sight unseen, but there are times the description by the seller with an educated buyer may work out. Obvious it did for John K

John Koenig

BOTH RVs I’ve owned I’ve bought sight unseen online. I HAD seen another Casita Travel Trailer (and spoke with several Casita owners who all gushed about their “eggs”) before I placed my order for a 17′ Spirit Deluxe Travel Trailer. On RV #2, a 2015 Dynamax DX3-37RB, I HAD seen new Dynamax Freightliner based Super-Cs at a dealer months before and, was impressed particularly by the fact that is WAS built on a Class-7 Heavy Duty Truck AND, was powered by a 9Ltr, 350HP Cummins commercial Diesel engine UP FRONT (diesel PULLER). The floor plan was the BEST I’d seen in 3+ years of searching and, was just what I wanted (and now, almost five years later, I STILL have NOT seen a better floor plan). I don’t know if a professional inspector would have known that the slide seals on the bedroom were installed BACKWARDS. Fortunately, I picked it up at a dealer in Michigan (the ONLY dealer who had the DX3-37RB floor plan) and, I headed right out to an Escapade in Elkhart, IN. It rained almost every day so, the slide seal problem was quickly obvious. I kept the bedroom slide closed and, was at Dynamax in Elkhart as soon as Escapade ended. Because Moe, Larry and Curly built my coach, there were numerous other problems which, over the years were addressed by more trips back to Dynamax (if Dynamax is sick of seeing me, they should have built a better coach). If I could turn back the clock, knowing what I now know, I would NOT have bought the Dynamax and, would have continued to use the Casita while I continued searching. NO RV is going to have the consistent quality automobiles routinely offer. However, ALL factories need to improve their quality control during the build process and especially BEFORE an RV leaves the plant. It HAS to be cheaper to build it right the first time but, SO many RV builders are oblivious to that simple fact. Lippert Industries (the MAJOR supplier of many RV components) also needs to “up its’ game” by specking better quality parts. That alone would solve a lot of problems that too many of today’s RVs suffer from.

Gene Bjerke

When I first started sailing, I would carry a portable radio tuned to AM, but set between stations (not actually listening to anything). If there was a lightning strike anywhere in the area (even over the horizon), it would produce a burst of static on the radio.

PennyPA

I bought my fiver sight unseen on eBay! The trailer was in Arizona and I lived in PA. I did ask my son to go from NV to AZ to check it out but he’s in no way a trailer guru. Then I had a couple take it to my brother’s in OH (couldn’t afford to get it to PA). After I got my truck (at a car auction), I drove out to get it. Still driving the truck and it’s still pulling that trailer around this great country of ours as we continue to live the full-time life. Titanium (made in Canada) was a great well-built trailer.

Jim

Mike Sokol wrote of the importance of a lighting detector and mentioned a $1.99 downloadable app. Or, download the free WeatherBug app (both Android and iPhone) which has a great lightening detector built in. We get a lot of summer lighting in Central Oregon and I have found the app to be very accurate.

Kevin in MN

I didn’t see or set foot in our motorhome until after the check had cleared and there was no backing out.

After being greatly disappointed in the build quality and defects in our brand new, “luxury” Winnebago travel trailer we decided after 2 years to take the loss of selling for less than 50% purchase price and search for a small motorhome.

My extensive research brought me to Phoenix Cruiser and I set my sights on finding an affordable used rig as I couldn’t make sense of paying $100k+ for new unit that would also depreciate so quickly. When I found a 2014 unit with HIGH (80K) miles at a Mesa, AZ dealer I knew it was a bargain at $50k. I had to negotiate with the dealer in order to make my offer contingent upon a 3rd party inspection to be completed within 1 week, they had never heard of such a thing and it took some convincing to work out the details. I hired a certified RV inspector who charged me $500 for a VERY thorough inspection that included driving evaluation and a 60+ page report with list of found defects and photos. The dealer was pleased to have me purchase 6 new tires based on the inspection and they also took care of some minor issues that we found. When I showed up to pick up our new motorhome I verified all the noted defects for which that I had already been able to plan remedies, loaded belongings and began a 3,000 mile trip with my wife, moderately confident we wouldn’t be surprised by defects.

In the past year I’ve had my local truck mechanics add all new suspension components (something many do with brand new units), been to the Phoenix Cruiser factory to have a new Sanicon system installed along with some upgrades. I budgeted $10k for improvements/repairs and have ended up with a “like new” late model motorhome without the drama of buying a new and untested unit.

Judy G

Re Road Dog tips on improving fuel mileage, my daddy taught me to drive [that was before driver training in schools] and his best advice was “drive with the accelerator, not the brake”.

Rich

easiest way to turn water on/off…live off your tank. then just shut off the pump as needed.

Tommy Molnar

While bicycling across the country back in the 70’s, I found the best way to detect lightning was to leave my small AM radio on. Any kind of lightning would create huge noisy static. I’ll bet that is STILL the case.

And, we got SO tired of poor water pressure at RV parks, we no longer hook UP to the water. We make sure our onboard tank is full and enjoy the high pressure of our onboard pump.

Jeff

Buying an RV Site Unseen is a definite NO GO! Even if the person selling sends you pictures, you should not commit until you physically see the RIG (inside and out). And never put any money down!

My Wife has a girlfriend who did a similar thing, buying a house from the BANK in Virginia, sight unseen! Paid Cash for it too! She is regretting it to this day and I’m sure the BANK was laughing their butts off.

So, NOPE, I would never purchase anything without first seeing it and inspecting it completely.