February 14, 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.
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RV air conditioning not so cool?
Here are a few tips that may help you get your air conditioner running more efficiently. Clean the AC filters. Dirty AC filters can reduce the cooling capacity and efficiency of your air conditioner(s). The filters for RV roof air conditioners are located inside the RV under the air distribution bezel on the AC unit. Most RV air conditioner filters are made of washable materials and should be washed in warm water carefully and thoroughly. Let them air dry before you replace them. If the filter is torn or will not clean up you should replace the filter. Check and clean these filters at least once a month.
Once the filter is removed on most units you will be able to see the evaporator coils. Get a flashlight and look at those coils to see if there is any type of accumulation of dirt or debris present. If there is, use a very soft bristle vacuum attachment to carefully remove the dust and dirt. If you are comfortable going on the roof of your RV you should also clean the outside condenser coils on your AC unit. This will require removing the shroud on the air conditioner, which is normally held on with several screws. Once the shroud is removed you can use some compressed air to blow out debris that may have gotten into the condenser coils. Remember to blow the air from the inside out (that’s why you have to remove the shroud). This should be done at least once a year. Tips from everything-about-rving.com.
RV park showers: Keeping the cooties at bay
Dan and Lisa travel the RV road and are big believers in using RV park shower houses. But to Lisa, shower houses have their drawbacks, especially to those who feel their health might be endangered by what lurks within. She writes about a few of her favorite shower-house-self-preservation tricks, a couple of which we’re sharing.
“We have a few shower hooks stashed in our shower bag to hang on the shower stall door to hang our clean clothes, bath towel, face cloth, and loofa. We’ve tried the plastic cheap ones from the dollar store only to have them break and our clean crap fell on the nasty floor. So, these were the answer!”
And here’s one you’ve probably never thought of: “This is a genius idea I’ve read somewhere! A woman took a clean puppy pee pad and laid on the floor right outside the shower (plastic side down) in the dressing part of the shower so she didn’t have to worry about dropping her clean undies or stepping onto the nasty floor while putting them on. Then when she was finished, she would just pick it up and toss it in the trash. The puppy pads are also great to cover the bench in the shower room so you can actually sit on them without catching cooties.” More “clean” shower thoughts here.
The Hood River County Fruit Loop, located in the picturesque Hood River Valley at the base of Mt. Hood in Oregon, is a 35-mile loop offering the best of what the region has to offer. Along the drive, you’ll find 28 member stands offering things such as local fruits (including u-pick farms), wine (and winery stops), ciders, vegetables, flowers and homemade pantry goods. You can visit the official website here to see when stands are open and a map of the route.
Protect your RV’s slideout with this rubber seal lubricant
If you don’t take care of your slideout you’re asking for problems including costly water damage. This Thetford rubber seal lubricant prevents fading, cracking and deterioration. It cleans, conditions and shines, keeping seals flexible and protected from sunlight damage. Also use on door and window seals. The mineral oil product acts as a lubricant. Learn more or order.
MORE QUICK TIPS
Don’t drive the motorhome? You should! Here’s how
Pam, part of “The Intentional Travelers” blogger team, shares a couple of points on how the non-driver can learn to drive the motorhome. “For those women who have a spouse that does all the driving, I would like to gently suggest that you learn a simple skill. First drive the vehicle around in an empty parking lot. Church parking lots on a Monday morning offer a lot of space. Work on turning in the drive lanes while not running over parking lines (which would actually be cars if there were any).
Second, try driving the rig on a back road that does not have a lot of traffic. Turn the corner, watching your mirrors to make sure you keep it between the lines! You should see your tires and the lines in your mirrors at all times.
Third, try asking your spouse to park the vehicle in a rest area on the highway. You drive it out and get to the next rest area. Easy in, easy out. The hardest part of driving a large rig is the parking. Another thing you might consider is to take a training class from a private company or even from a dealer such as Lazydays to learn to drive your beast. Once you have that skill, you have gained the power to help your husband if he gets sick and cannot drive. Even something as simple as a flu bug can make it hard for him to drive away from a campground. But if you need to leave, because the space is taken for the night, you can do it!”
Free tire pressure monitoring system?
If you think you can’t afford a $300 tire pressure monitoring system, here’s how to get one for free. Using round numbers, six tires at $400 each equals $2,400 for a set of new tires. Tires last five to seven years. Taking the seven-year maximum number, that means that tires cost you about $342 a year. I figure that I will run my tires one year longer if I have a tire monitoring system, so by running my tires one extra year, I more than pay for the cost of the tire monitoring system. I guess you could say it’s a matter of how you do your accounting. —From RVing: Less Hassle—More Joy: Secrets of Having More Fun with Your RV—Even on a Limited Budget.
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WEBSITE OF THE DAY
CDC Traveler’s Health
If you’re traveling out of the country soon, consult with this website for health alerts, and what vaccines you’ll need. This is great if you’re RVing outside the U.S. or planning a cruise. You can also view current travel health warnings and notices, and see updates on previous health warnings.
Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.
With a Harvest Hosts membership, you can stay overnight at more than 600 wineries, farms, breweries, etc., for free! Harvest Hosts offers an alternative to traditional campgrounds, where members can meet interesting people, taste great wines, eat fresh produce and stay in peaceful settings. (RVtravel.com recently stayed in a blueberry orchard.) Save 15 percent by using code HHFRIENDS15 at checkout. Learn more.
LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
A woman complained to an old friend that her husband always comes home late. “Take my advice and do what I did,” said the friend. “Once my husband came home at three o’clock in the morning, so from my bed I called out, “Is that you, Jim?” And that fixed it! He never came home late again.” “Fixed it?” asked the woman. “How?” The friend said, “His name is Bill.”
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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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Lazy Days has a video on You Tube that is about 45 minutes long. This was a great way to learn the logistics of driving a MH. Then we went to Texas Motor Speedway and drove around that for a while eventually moving onto the local roads that we know. It’s better to know the road/turn lanes than going somewhere unfamiliar. They also explain an excellent way to back up the MH into your camp spot. We have used those a few times lately as we haven’t had pull through spots. We hook up the phone to Bluetooth in the RV, we call and talk the driver back into the spot. HIghly recommend it. Also have a charged set of walkies with you in case you don’t have cell service. My husband and I share the driving responsibilities for 2 reasons. 1) so we aren’t worn out when we get to where we are going; and, 2) in case either one of us becomes ill. We are also learning that shorter drives are much more enjoyable. Good luck.
Another tip for the puppy pads is to use them if you change your oil. Put one under your catch pan and it will keep your driveway clean and you just toss them when finished.
I had to chuckle at the beginning of this article where it assumes the non-driver is a woman. What century are we living in!? My roommate prefers not to drive. I can’t imagine HE is the only male non-driver, yet the article never suggests men as the non-driver. I always drove our truck with the bumper pull TT (my mate doesn’t know how to back it up & isn’t interested in learning). He just likes to go camping. He doesn’t drive our MH either.
Additionally, there are a great number of solo female RV’ers out there.
Because I didn’t buy local they don’t want to give me the time . Three different repairs to fix needed break down each time it took three weeks to get to it, another week to get parts! Twice one of the repair shops said they had no openings . There are three dealers listed to work on my model / make . It’s 450 miles to where I bought my travel trailer sad that they treat me this way , the local shops that won’t see me buying one from them! Billings , MT
I have a bath rug I take in with me, then hang it in my shower to dry.
Sorry but tpms are only good if they work in time & if your neglectful. Not to mention the failure rate of these devices. Watchful eyes and good driving practices will win over theses . Technology is only good if it works exactly correctly on time every time. Too cantankerus bs & $$$ for me .
So you can tell the Temp of the tires without TPMS? I had mine for 5 years and change batteries annually. A slow leak on a long trip could be dangerous!
Today’s Laugh doesn’t make sense.
If the women were old friends, why wouldn’t “the friend” know her friend’s husband’s name was not Jim?
Good point, Impavid. But maybe she knew her friend’s husband’s name but just didn’t understand how calling him by the wrong name fixed the problem. (I know — that’s a stretch.) Sometimes you’re like me, Bill — I mean, Impavid — and tend to over-analyze things. 😉 —Diane at RVtravel.com
Made perfect sense to me. 🙂
Hood river, OR is a great place to visit,we highly recommend it.
When in the great north west come a little more north to Loon Lake, WA area and the Colville National Forest
I’m in San Diego and I use Ricks RV repair in El Cajon. I never have a problem getting in. I call Erick the service adviser and I get my coach in on the day I get home from a trip. La Mesa wants 2-3 weeks to get it in
We have a “regular” place we take our motorhome to be fixed. On the few occasions we have actually broken down, finding someone to fix it was relatively simple – we called our ERS vendor and they found someone for us. Stress greatly reduced!
Sorry but I didn’t understand the tire pressure monitoring system tip at all. It seems like someone trying to rationalize paying so much for an electronic system to check tire pressure. A person can check the tire pressure other ways and make sure the tires are okay. Either way you do it, the tires should last the same amount of time.
Wow what a great idea to hang your soap and shampoo up on a line in the campground showers. The best idea is using the doggie pee pee pads. Terrific!! Thanks for that info. I’m going out to day and getting a package of those pads.
“Pee pads” for adult use in the bed, are larger and much cheaper than “puppy pee pads”. Found in the area with adult diapers at your local pharmacy. Have been using for puppy training for years.
Especially like the pee pad tip. Definiely plan to use that one! Something I’ve noticed is that you can usally find new packages of those adult bed pads at Caritas thrift stores here in central Texas, cheaper than at regular retail stores.
Great idea. I purchased some and the puppy pads were much cheaper than the people pads at Walmart.
Free tire monitoring. On a Airstream Trailer it can be way more expensive to repair due to the Aluminum panels which make tire monitoring system a no brainer. Dave
“I guess you could say it’s a matter of how you do your accounting.” So, I won’t be calling you to do my taxes . . .
A TPMS will NOT extend the life of your tires one additional year.
Tires subject to UV rays and ozone will deteriorate at the same rate whether you have a TPMS or not.
Barry, I totally agree with the UV deterioration. I live in Miami where everything is burnt to hell. BUT for me making sure the tires are always within the proper inflation range is important. Using the TPS makes life so much easier…..and it also alerted me one time that I was losing air rapidly on a tire. I immediately inflated it to the proper pressure and had the tire checked out. It was the tube that was defective. So I will never ever go without the TPS even if the tires are new….I dump them every 4 years anyway. For me its affordable since I only have 2. That’s another reason for my using the TPS. One blow out can cost me my entire rig .. truck and travel trailer.
The Air Conditioner Maintenance Video is a BIT Dated! Doesn’t address the more modern RV’s with Ducted A/C ducting and closed circuit ducts.
I agree, I find I have to be very carefully read tips in all forums on the net and decide if it is relevent for me and my rig. Most tips that are rig dependent and seem to be for older rigs. Case in point, I saw a video on youtube just last week with a current date and and just a couple hundred views, which verified that it was recently uploaded. It was a video on how to level your class a MH. There were at least 8 steps, and at the end of the video when they did an outside shot, it was a very early 2000’s model yr rig. Point is I only have two steps, press the power on button, and press the auto-level button. makers of these videos should state this, how you do such and such on a (year, & make & class) rig, so at least you know you are in the ball park, before you watch the entire video and find it doesn’t apply to you, oh I forgot, if we don’t watch the entire video they don’t get paid…..
I would have answered yes honey. ?