RV Daily Tips Issue 1103

54

May 16, 2019

Welcome to another 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


FEATURED TIP

Extend RV battery life

The life of RV batteries varies. Factors include how they’re used, maintained, discharged and recharged, and how they’re stored. A battery cycle is one complete discharge from 100 percent down to about 50 percent and then recharged back to 100 percent.

One important factor in battery life is how deep the battery is cycled each time. If the battery is discharged to 50 percent every day it will last twice as long as if it’s cycled to 80 percent. Keep this in mind when you consider a battery’s amp hour rating. The amp hour rating is really cut in half because you don’t want to completely discharge the battery before recharging it. The life expectancy depends on how soon a discharged battery is recharged. The sooner the better.

How this affects you depends on how you use your RV. If you’re plugged into an electrical source most of the time then your main concern is to properly maintain your deep cycle batteries. But if you are dry camping you’ll want the most amp hours.

Deep cycle batteries come in different sizes. Some are designated by group size, like Group 24, 27 and 31. Basically the larger the battery the more amp hours. There are several options. You can use one 12-volt Group 24 deep cycle battery that provides 70 to 85 amp hours or you can use two or more 12-volt batteries wired in parallel. Parallel wiring increases amp hours but not voltage.

If you have the storage space you can switch from standard 12-volt batteries to two of the larger 6-volt golf cart batteries. These pairs of 6-volt batteries need to be wired in series to produce the required 12-volts. Series wiring increases voltage but not amp hours. If this still doesn’t satisfy your requirements you can build larger battery banks using four 6-volt batteries wired in series/parallel that will give you 12-volts and double your AH capacity. —Tip from Mark Polk, RV Education 101.


Free games for the kiddos? Yes, please! Here’s a website with tons of free printable car games for kids. You can thank us later.


Keep your food cool with this RV fridge fanfridge-fan651
Every RV refrigerator should have one of these!
This small refrigerator fan from Valterra Products will help keep the food in your RV fridge cool and from spoiling. It cuts down initial cool-down time by 50 percent. Runs for more than 30 days on 2 D batteries. Don’t leave home without this! Learn more or order here.


MORE QUICK TIPS

Glow in the dark tape helps at night

I use “glow-in-the-dark” tape on all my interior light switches and slide extension switches so they are easy to find at night. I also use the tape on my exterior door and compartment locks. I cut a thin rectangle of tape and put it parallel to the key slot so I know exactly where to put my key and not scratch the paint looking for the lock. —Joe Brignolo (Here’s where you can buy some of this amazing stuff.)

Do you REALLY want a bug screen on your radiator?

A reader recalls an incident he had when his tow vehicle overheated on a hot day. An honest mechanic made a quick diagnosis – without unnecessary parts! The mechanic advised, “Take a wood frame measuring two feet by four feet. Hold that frame up to the wind. Yup, virtually no wind resistance at all. Now put a bug screen over the frame and hold it up to the wind. Yup, lots of resistance.” Overheat solution? Remove that accessory bug screen from in front of the radiator!

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



WEBSITE OF THE DAY

Scribble Maps

The easiest way to “draw on” and share maps. Draw out your upcoming trip route and share it with your family, so they always know where you’ll be. Circle campgrounds you’re interested in, restaurants you hope to visit, and more.

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



These socks don’t stink!
If you don’t believe us when we say these compression socks really work, look at the overwhelmingly positive reviews and maybe you’ll change your mind. These socks provide instant relief to your arches and heels and work to increase blood and oxygen circulation, which helps reduce lactic acid buildup and aids muscle recovery in ankle and feet. Click here to learn more.


LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH

These hilarious dogs will surely crack a smile. Click here to see more funny photos.


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

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Check out our four Facebook Groups: RV Horror Stories, RV AdviceRV Electricity and RV Parks with Storm Shelters.


RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising director: Emily Woodbury. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Emily Woodbury at advertising(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


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Keith Jobe
Keith Jobe

I love my dark roast coffee and drink it black, changes my outlook on the day.

Merrily Robinson
Merrily Robinson

Don’t drink coffee!

Don Peterson
Don Peterson

I don’t drink coffee. I get my caffeine via Mountain Dew

Ron
Ron

Hot French roast with Creamora Hazelnut creamer (that already has sugar in it).

Carol
Carol

Bailies Irish Cream Creamer

Michele Beckler
Michele Beckler

I’m a tea drinker the caffeinated kind please! And I use flavored creamer or milk in it and rarely use sweetener.

Linda
Linda

Hot coffee – black. Hot tea – “black” (no additives in it at all). Iced tea – unsweetened.

Vanessa Simmons
Vanessa Simmons

Coffee, white chocolate powder, french vanilla creamer. Tastes like a white chocolate latte I would get from my favorite coffee cart, Jitter Bean, in Portland OR.

Lou
Lou

I love coffee but it always seems weak when we order it in The States. We have been told that it is because most Americans prefer to drink it black. I like strong coffee with milk.

Larry Sockwell
Larry Sockwell

Do not drink Coffee, begin my day with energy drink made w Zero Gatorade, provides energy & stamina till lunch time.

Dpsdebi
Dpsdebi

I drink my coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Jon Meyer
Jon Meyer

no caffeinated beverage for me at all, I have an occasional lemonade mainly just water for my beverage of choice.

Diane M
Diane M

Some of you guys are coffee snobs, saying if it’s not black, it’s not coffee. Reminds me of the folks who say, “If it’s not in a tent, it’s not camping.”

Tom
Tom

Black tea thank you very much

Snayte
Snayte

If you add anything to it, it is no longer coffee.

Jim Langley
Jim Langley

I bought that little fridge fan you mentioned today, and used it. It’s really a poorly designed and manufactured product. It’s made of plastic pieces that barely fit together and can hardly hold the battery in place (a D cell). Worse, it goes through batteries fast. I like the idea of having a fan inside the fridge but that product needs to be improved a lot. There a lots of videos on youtube showing higher quality fans that you wire into the fridge’s light. It looks like that’s a much better way to go.

Tommy Molnar
Tommy Molnar

We started with that square shaped fan years ago, and it didn’t last. Now we have a round shaped fan and it works flawlessly. I think it runs on a “D” battery too. I think this is it: https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Fridge-Airator-Off-Switch/dp/B01E5SNB5I/ref=sr_1_4?hvadid=78615133161404&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=rv+refrigerator+fan&qid=1558023513&s=gateway&sr=8-4

Rory R
Rory R

I thought one of the purposes of the fan was to help keep a RV fridge cool when there is no power… Wiring it into the fridges is great when you have power…

Vanessa Simmons
Vanessa Simmons

I purchased the ARP fridge defender and two small computer type fans that run off the RV system. Keeps it cool no batteries and fridge protected.

Anne Fronk
Anne Fronk

Don’t drink coffee or tea

Ardy Mattox
Ardy Mattox

I only drink tea, preferably darjeeling. Or jasmine for green tea. Kinda fussy, but do love tea. Coffee gives me a really bad headache.

Doug / ND
Doug / ND

Ardy: Try regular coffee not decaf. I had headaches a few years back and found out it was the chemical process used to make decaf. Friends suggested it was withdrawal from caffeine – Wrong!

Darrel
Darrel

Don’t drink coffee at all. Do drink tea.

Joan
Joan

Use commercial creamer – caramel macchiato.

Mark
Mark

Double shot Cappuccinos (milk) or Americanos (half and half) twice daily. We have a grinder and machine in both the house and RV.

Loren
Loren

Neither my wife or I drink coffee.

JIm O'Briant
JIm O'Briant

Virtually never drink coffee…. just don’t care for the flavor…

Betsy Hubbell
Betsy Hubbell

Never drink coffee. I get my caffeine from tea.

Irv
Irv

The 50% discharge vs 80% discharge isn’t as big a deal as it first sounds.

Assume a 100Ah battery
100Ah @ 50% = 50Ah usable output capacity
100Ah @ 80% = 80Ah usable output capacity
So to get 80Ah usable capacity @ 50%, you need to install 160Ah of battery.

Considering battery dimensions and weight in an RV, it often makes sense to plan to use 80% of the battery capacity rather than just 50%.

My bottom line is that I’m not afraid to use 80% of the capacity when needed but I recognize the benefits of recharging more often when possible.

Tommy Molnar
Tommy Molnar

I cobbled together a screen for my old pickup made from ¼” square opening stuff that I stuck in front of the grill. It was pretty much designed to keep boulders, June bugs, and bumblebees off my radiator fins. Never had a problem with it. I’ve been thinking of doing something like that for my new pickup but as of yet, can’t quite get it off the drawing board (or even ON the drawing board – ha).

Dennis Burns
Dennis Burns

If coffee was intended to have cream and sugar, God would have included it in the coffee beans as they grew….

Tommy Molnar
Tommy Molnar

Hahahahahahahaha!

Sharon B
Sharon B

I never drank coffee until I got older. Now I drink it every day…no sugar with just some milk. I like the Maple coffee from Aldi’s.
I do dream about the day when I am on a long RV trip out West waking up in a desert with my coffee cup, sitting in a chair looking at the wonderful flora and foliage. After my coffee I get my camera and start finding creatures I never saw before….much difference from the sub tropical Florida terrain.

Danny Wells
Danny Wells

I drink it black and lots of it. I don’t really remember when I started drinking the stuff, my grand mother fed it to me with a spoon when I was a new born 79 years ago.

John
John

No Coffee, no smoking, no alcohol. First thing a cardiologist will ask you, or tell you.

Tommy Molnar
Tommy Molnar

Almost sounds like “no-fun” (except for the smoking, though I DO enjoy an occasional stogie).

Wolfe
Wolfe

If you give up wine women and song, you’ll live an extra 5 years… …but its going to feel like 50.

Jim c
Jim c

We use non dairy italian sweet creamer,

john
john

never drink coffee, either one of us

Bob p
Bob p

The most stupid laugh of the day, putting a yard sprinkler in the house with the water running, ha ha ha!!!

Patti Lounsbury
Patti Lounsbury

The caption says that the dog pulled it in thru the dog door. Get it now?

Michael Barnett
Michael Barnett

Don’t drink the nasty stuff!

Dr4Film
Dr4Film

My coffee comes with a flavored creamer plus a short blast of whip cream on top. Yummy!

Jean
Jean

My coffee is 1/4 tsp of sugar with 1 Tbsp of flavored non-dairy creamer, preferably French Vanilla.

rich
rich

we don’t drink coffee. never have, never will

Graybyrd
Graybyrd

The article said, “If the battery is discharged to 50 percent every day it will last twice as long as if it’s cycled to 80 percent.” Ummm… Huh? So, if I run twice as fast every day I will last twice as long as if I jogged to 80 percent? Sorry, my mind can’t ‘grok’ that sentence. Nor do I care to pay $19 for the “education” course the link leads back to, to further plumb the depths of that statement. As for the bug screen, we’ve used a heavier-grid ‘pet screen’ panel on our truck camper for many years… Read more »

Dr4Film
Dr4Film

Graybyrd, my House Battery bank consist of four 6 VDC GC-2 Batteries wired in series/parallel giving me 12 VDC and 450 AH’s of power. The voltage when fully charge is 12.5 – 12.6 unused resting voltage however when fully charged with charger attached they “Float” charge at approximately 13.6 VDC. Now when using the voltage from those batteries you can only discharge them 50 % SOC (state of charge) which means they will drop from 12.5 to 12.0 VDC before needing to be recharged back to 12.5 VDC. This will give you the maximum number of “cycles”, charge and discharge… Read more »

Booneyrat
Booneyrat

Agreed about the bug screen in front of the grill.I use one mounted on my heavy duty deer slayer grill guard and have never had any overheating problems.

Bill Jeffrey
Bill Jeffrey

Graybyrd –

I stumbled over the same statement. As you have probably figured out by now, the “80 per cent” statement was extremely poorly phrased. What was meant was “If the battery is discharged to 50 percent every day it will last twice as long as if 80% IS USED BEFORE RECHARGING – in other words, it’s cycled DOWN TO 20 PERCENT.” The author needs to proofread his own stuff before publishing.

Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson

This individual has made erroneous statements on many RV forums. I can remember challenging him on the need for having auxilliary breaking device on tow cars.

Tommy Molnar
Tommy Molnar

I’m having trouble with that statement too. If you discharge your battery to 50% every day it will last longer than if you only discharge it to 80%? That flies in the face of logic to my way of thinking.
Added later: Maybe I misunderstood the statement. Are they saying discharge 80% of the power, or discharge down TO 80%? Big difference!

Snayte
Snayte

Yeah, I have seen this written in the confusing manner many times; not sure if it was the same author. The percentages should both be the state of charge so discharging to only 50% a battery will last longer than discharging to 20%.

I have no proof but it would seem like it would be better for the loads you are running on the batteries too.

Pierre
Pierre

I agree, he got it backwards

Graybyrd
Graybyrd

All agreed. Battery discharge below 50% kills ’em quick. Nine months of the year here on the NW Coast of perpetual solar deficiency, we hoard Amp Hours like Scrooge hoards gold. A pair of 100 watt panels in series to an MPPT controller keeps our single Group 27 deep cycle battery maintained, even in rain & fog (!). SOC is 12.5; when meter hits 12.0 I begin to sweat and start turning things off in the truck camper. (We MUST limit weight! One deep cycle battery is sufficient.)