RV Daily Tips Newsletter 1050


Issue 1050 • February 13, 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


Do-it-yourself backsplash thoughts


Many folks are getting into renewing their RV interiors. We’ve seen a lot of posts about renewing the backsplashes around kitchen sink areas. Often, folks are using vinyl floor tiles. Here’s one RVer’s thoughts on the “how-tos” based on his experience. “I’ve used the peel-n-stick tiles in a number of applications. They work reasonably well depending on where and how you use them.

The substrate you are applying them too should be clean, dry and free from grease, wax and any other debris. It should be smooth and flat. If it isn’t smooth, sanding will help adhesion. If you sand, be sure to vacuum away ALL dust and wipe with a tack cloth. Both the tile and substrate should be warm so the glue will relax and bond to the substrate. Try not to remove and reapply them, the glue doesn’t work as well the second time the tile is applied. Press firmly into place. Putting some weight on them overnight aids adhesion. Once the glue has bonded cold shouldn’t be a problem.

Regular tiles work better. You apply the adhesive to the substrate. The adhesive penetrates the voids and irregularities of the substrate for a more complete “contact.” Peel-n-stick tiles have a limited amount of adhesive which may not be sufficient in some applications. Another problem with peel-n-stick tiles is that there is usually a tiny void between them when applied. Regular tiles that use adhesive applied to the substrate will have this layer of adhesive over any spaces between tiles. When used in wet/damp areas, moisture can penetrate the tiny spaces between the peel-n-stick tiles, soak into the substrate and cause the substrate to delaminate and/or cause the growth of mold. That’s why sheet vinyl flooring is a better choice for damp/wet areas.” From fiberglassrv.com.

Maintain your RV slideouts

The folks at letsrv.com provide these simple tips for keeping your RV slideouts happy. • Keep the slide tracks, equalizer gears, etc., cleaned and properly lubed. Use only soft brushes to prevent scratching the hydraulic cylinder extended rams. • When slide rams are extended for long periods of time, a slight coating of hydraulic oil can help prevent the polished ram from rusting or pitting. This is particularly true in salty air. Clean it before retracting to remove dust, etc. • Keep an eye on the floor in front of the slide when the slide is extended. Abnormal wear would indicate a need to adjust the slide.

• On most slides, the top hits first when retracting. The ram(s) then pull the bottom in to seal. The opposite is true when expanding. • The retract/expand ram(s) on most slide rooms is not affixed positive to the bracket on the slide itself. The nut is generally not pulled tight to the bracket. This is to allow the ram to work up and down in the bracket. • There are numerous slide systems. Each one has a different adjustment procedure. When adjusting be sure the guidelines from the slide system manufacturer are followed. • Lubricate the slide flaps (sweeps) and seals periodically for best results. Several companies make a spray for slide seals and sweeps.

• Periodically inspect the underside of your extended slide for unusual wear patterns and adjust or repair as needed. • The in-and-out function of the slide can cause damage to the main side wall or the inside/outside seal flanges. This can be done by continuing to ask the slide to move after it is fully extended or retracted. Too much pressure can cause the slide room seal flanges or side wall to bend or break loose. If your slide does not have the means to prevent further movement when the seals are fully engaged, do not continue pushing the button. • Many slides have an electrical switch, called a potentiometer, which is a device to prevent excessive slide seal pressure. These devices are adjustable. Proper adjustment is critical. Read your manual or contact qualified personnel. • At one time one of these potentiometer systems had an electronic defect. TV remotes and garage door remotes could cause the slide room to activate. The fix for this was to put a switch in the 12-volt DC line side of the switch and turn it off unless being used.

MAGNETIC NORTH HAS MOVED! Read the National Geographic article explaining why.


“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” —Mark Twain


Simple RV maintenance tips: seals and volts

oomlout on flickr.com

Seals and seams — Keep very close tabs on the external seals and seams. Look for any cracking or holes, especially on the roof. Water penetration generally causes the most damage to RVs of anything. One reason is the leak can go unnoticed inside a wall for a long period of time and causes rot and worse mold to develop. I’ve recently redone all my roof seams with a product called Eternabond tape. I believe it will reduce my maintenance and provide a better seal than caulking alone.

Voltage checks — Get yourself a cheap multimeter or tester lights and keep tabs on your main voltages. The main coach batteries should be between 12.4 volts – 12.8 volts when not being charged; anything below 12 volts is definitely too low. As far as the AC voltage goes, below 108 volts is too low and higher than 130 volts is too high. Thanks to loveyourrv.com.

(LP tank tip removed due to apparently inaccurate info.)

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


Photo by Weather-clear


This is a nifty website that tells you the average day and night temperatures, rainfall, daylight hours and more, of any place around the world in any month. Heading to Maine in August? Arizona in February? Know what to expect weather-wise and be prepared.
*Note: It will automatically show you temperatures and measurements in the Metric system (ºC), but scroll down and you can change it to Imperial (ºF).

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

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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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Rory R
2 years ago

Yes, I have satellite service, and I do also having a streaming service “Netflix”. I hike, bicycle, explore and spend most of my time outdoors. But I do like the NFL, NBA, Olympics, & college track & field events. I watch youtube, concerts the weather channel, CNN, MSNBC and other news outlets. I guess because I do watch TV, regardless of my degrees, I can’ be one of the cool kids. I also bought new, when I bought my RVand it’s a 45″ MH. Another reason for not being one of the cool kids.

Kevin Loving
2 years ago

Not only do I not have satellite, I don’t watch TV! I do audio books.

2 years ago

I checked “no” on the satellite question. We do take movies and some TV series (all on DVD) along to view but more often read and hike/explore instead of the {bleeped} tube.
We do have Sirius for music or old time radio shows.

2 years ago

re: Backsplash
Use TSP [Trisodium Phosphate, with gloves] for final wipe down, almost guarantees a perfect surface for adhesive to bond to. For the backsplash I used a single piece of formica. Used cardboard to cut to size and then cut formica with metal shears. Formica will prevent any water from seeping behind it [use a good grade of silicon calk bead in corner and on bottom], wipes down quickly and will last a long time.

Tom Gutzke
2 years ago

While I chose “yes” to satellite the RV did not come with a satellite antenna. I have a tripod that I place an automatic portable satellite antenna. We like to watch HGTV, FOOD, DIY, and similar programming. We do watch some “over-the-air” programming but not a lot. Probably 70% satellite and 30% over-the-air channels.

Anne Fronk
2 years ago

Not sure how to vote. When I winter in Az I use over the air tv. During the summer in the Ca mountains I need satellite tv.

Phil Atterbery
2 years ago

Another aspect of handling propane cylinders is that they must be transported in a secure manner and in a vented, open to the atmosphere, area of a vehicle. Too many folks carry them in an open pickup bed without firmly securing them in the bed. Others will hand hold them on a golf cart or ATV. Not good.

2 years ago
Reply to  Phil Atterbery

And the best way to fix the transporting problem if you have a pickup is to use the Tailgater. We use one and have traveled over some very rough ground and the propane tank didn’t budge an inch! http://www.tailgaterstrap.com

2 years ago

RE: Propane cylinder capacity
According to website “www.propane101.com”, Bob’s comment is correct.
A 20 pound cylinder holds 20 pounds (4.7 gallons).
A 30 pound cylinder holds 30 pounds (7.1 gallons)
Mark Polk, please recheck your information.

2 years ago

…and then there are the exchange places that intentionally only put 15lbs into a 20lb tank… the best reason being “cheating.”

2 years ago

I believe the propane statement is wrong. The capacity of a propane tank (20#, 30# etc.) is at the 80% full mark. When you get your 20# tank filled it will contain 20# of propane with the required 20% of vapor space above. When you get your 30# tank filled it will contain 30# of propane with the required 20% vapor space above. The OPD on the bottles prevents them from being filled above 80%.

Philip H. Wood
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob

I have filled too many propane cylinders. A5 gal or 20# cylinder will fill to around 4.8 gal 19.2 #. You are pretty close-good information.

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago

I chose “yes” for satellite service because, well, we DO have satellite service . . . And this may sound funny but the main use for our satellite is the music. That’s right, the music. We use our home satellite mostly for the music as well. But when in remote areas (where we do most of our camping) it’s also nice to access the Weather Channel to get a weather report we otherwise could not get. If we’re at the trailer during the day, the music will be on – all day. As an aside, after 20 years of fighting the tripod / dish allignment thing (nearly divorcing on many occasions – ha), we finally bit the bullet and got a Dish Playmaker. WHAT – a difference! Put it up on the roof. Plug it in. Music!

Herb Dinken
2 years ago

I chose yes because my RV came with satellite installed but we don’t use it. We don’t watch much more than the news and it’s one more expense we don’t need.

2 years ago

I chose yes on the satellite service as made it portable as if needed it on the rainy day plus take the receiver out of the house to put in camper