June 26, 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.
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Do you really know your equipment?
Every RV is equipped with at least one fire extinguisher, and experts recommend several. But a sad experience from North Dakota highlights that having a fire fighting tool isn’t enough. Regarding an RV fire in a rural area, the local fire chief had this comment about the RV owner: “She had trouble getting the fire extinguisher off the wall bracket, which could have otherwise possibly mitigated damage.”
Mitigated damage? In this instance, the owner was able to get out of the rig – but that was the limit. Unable to get the extinguisher loose from the mounting bracket, she was unable to put out what had started as a small fire in the kitchen – evidently, lunch just got away.
What about you and your traveling companions? Does everyone who travels in your RV know how to get the fire extinguishers loose from their mounting brackets, and then how to use them? It could make a huge difference in whether a small fire is a nasty weekend-ender or a total loss claim. —Russ and Tiña De Maris
I’ll be interviewing the lead install/training guy for the Proteng/THIA fire protection system this Friday, which I’ll publish on Sunday in my RV Electricity Newsletter. Please post any questions you want me to ask in the comments below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll pick the top 10 questions for the interview, which I’ll post on YouTube as well as a transcribed article. —Mike
DID YOU KNOW?
Kansas City, Missouri, has the most fountains of any city in the world (after Rome). The city, which is nicknamed the “City of Fountains,” has more than 200 fountains. Wow! Here’s a map of most of them.
MORE QUICK TIPS
Generator in your truck bed?
Want to really alienate your neighbors? Mount a “contractor grade” generator in your pickup bed and run it. Truck beds are to generators like amplifiers are to guitars. If you really need to run your generator in your truck bed, consider adding an automotive-type exhaust system to the generator and isolating the generator physically from the bed by using thick rubber matting under the generator to bed contact points.
Water — a weighty topic
Water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon. If you’re going to take 40 gallons of fresh water, you just added over 300 pounds of additional weight to the RV. Take just enough water to get to your destination. Tip from Mark Polk, RV Education 101.
Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Good RV Food
What’s for dinner? Consult Good RV Food for delicious recipe ideas, designed to be cooked in your RV! Bet you’ll be hungry after spending some time on this website!
Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.
A DEET-free mosquito and tick repellent … that works!
Well, it’s that time again (unfortunately.) If you’re one of those people that mosquitoes love (we all know at least one person like this), this product is for you. A very impressive number of five-star reviews. This awesome DEET-free insect repellent works for mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects. Keep this one handy, folks. As RVers, there’s a good chance you’ll probably need this. Learn more or order here.
LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
My dad broke his wrist. At the hospital, he nervously asked the nurse, “Will I be able to play piano?” The nurse told him yes, it would just take some time to heal. Dad said, “Oh, wonderful! I’ve never been able to play the piano!”
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Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com. UPDATED HOURLY.
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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.
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35 years ago my wife wasn’t able to get the extinguisher off of the bracket in our new travel trailer so she could read the instructions. After I removed it for her I removed the strap that had caused her problems. Once the strap was gone I rehung the extinguisher less strap. At that point the last thing I started doing as I closed the door before moving the rig was remove the extinguisher and wrapped it in the entry rug and lay it by the door. Next time the door is opened unroll the extinguisher and hang it up and put the rug down. We’ve never had to use an extinguisher in any of our rigs since but we still use the same procedure and our extinguisher still hangs loosely on the wall by the door. I also keep an extinguisher by the generator and in the truck. I have had to use one to put out an electrical fire under the hood of my truck.
“Do you gamble?”
FRANK DREBIN “every time I order out”
When I bought my used motor home, I spent nearly 20 minutes trying to get the fire extinguisher off the bracket. Finally unscrewed it from the wall. I put a new one on the floor with Velcro to secure it against the wall. I also bought some Tundra extinguishers to keep in strategic places (next to stove, etc).
I’ve traveled with Full Water tanks in all my Motorhomes for over 40 years. # 1 living in So Cal both of my Motorhomes are kept full of water 100% of the time for Earthquake preparedness.
I’ll bet anyone….that let me drain or fill your Water tank in your RV and you drive same loop/route 4 different times and you tell me which trip it was full or not. I would definitely have some extra money to go Gamble with. It makes no significant gains in gas mileage that can even be measured.
Class B. Water tank always full. Daily driver. Hurricane bug out. House is on a well – no electricity means no water. So when power goes out a couple times a year “for no reason” we have our little house to fall back on for water, toilet, and a/c. Oh, we actually use it for camping as well.
We avoid as best we can water hookups everywhere, whether it be $90 per night Resorts or primitive taps in remote areas. We’ve seen people cleaning their sewer lines with hoses attached to the “potable water” source, not to mention those who think its a fish cleaning station. Boy let me tell you we’ve seen it all (OK maybe not ALL but enough – lets say) to convince us that carrying that extra weight might just be the ticket to our staying out of the emergency wards along our travel route. Quick tip. I carry a spray bottle full of Javex Bleach. When we do use the tap at a site, I give that hydrant a good cleaning with the spray bottle as a mitigating precaution. We often have sat back watching this, and have long since given up “reporting” such faux pas. – never once made us any friends, and never once stopped inconsiderate fools from doing what inconsiderate fools do and will continue to do.
People who recomend that you carry a minimum of water are people who always stop at a campground and hook up everything. Since we use our Class B as our transportation vehicle as well (no toad), we only plug in the electricity those times when we stop in a CG. Hookup and breakdown is three minutes max, and we always know the quality of the water we are using .
When I was a teenager, a friend gave me a roulette wheel. Being the owner of the wheel, I became familiar with the relative odds between the players and the house. That showed me that the house jiggers the odds so that it always wins. I haven’t gambled since,
A buddy of mine used to work in a casino and he told me the house ALWAYS wins. The house does this by skimming at least a few percent off of any money that moves through the system. So the job of everyone there is to get you to go through as many monetary transactions as possible. So every hand of blackjack, every roll of the dice, every pull on the handle, every spin of the wheel nibbles away at your bankroll until it’s gone. The last time I was in Las Vegas I noted there wasn’t a single clock to be seen anywhere in any casino. So you’re placed in this timeless cocoon with all sorts of audio and visual distractions to keep you awake and playing. As Wolfe and others have noted, casinos are experts at the psychological game of making you think you’re winning when you’re actually losing. A fascinating study of how the human mind perceives winning.
This reminds me of a trip out West. We had to kill some time before our restaurant reservation next door so we went to the casino. We went up to this one machine and I think we put in $1.00. Pulled handle and won $100.00 on the first try. We were giddy and immediately left and had our dinner for free. They didn’t get us. LOL!
That’s great, Cecilia! That reminds me of something similar I heard about 40 years ago. A couple I was familiar with went to Vegas, and the wife went to their room to unpack while the husband did a little gambling. About 20 minutes later the husband goes into the room and says, “Don’t unpack. We’re going home.” He had won $20,000! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com
Once a year but at that time it is daily for 2-3 months.
I don’t have enough money to throw it away gambling! I don’t buy lottery tickets either!
My coach is 36,000 lbs GMVW and my fresh water tank is 80 gallons which when completely full is an additional 664 lb’s. That is .018% of the total weight which is insignificant and has no affect on my fuel mileage at all. I ALWAYS carry a full tank of fresh water and when low it gets filled at the next fuel stop. In regards to fire extinguishers I replaced all of the chemical ones with AFFF foam units and they are NOT mounted but stored where they can be used immediately. One big one at the entry door, smaller ones in the kitchen, bedroom, storage bays and one in my car. I saw a YouTube video demonstration of the THIA on the Monaco RV Owners Facebook page from the Ramblers Pusher Maintenance Session held in Indiana this past May. I was not impressed!
What is GMVW???
Oops, it probably should have been MGVW (Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight) or GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).
That is 1.8 % or 0.018 of the total weight
Never was great at math versus my PHD mathematician son. The point is that it doesn’t make a snowballs chance in hell difference in my fuel mileage by having a full tank of fresh water. I use more fuel climbing long steep grades versus carrying fresh water to possibly use for days or even a week or more in case of an emergency.
With regard to your polling question on gambling at casinos; I lost interest in the gaming machines when they went to the players cards instead of real coins. The slot machines are so complicated and lack the visceral feel and sound of coins hitting the metal tray. So thank you casino owners, you’ve saved me thousand$!
You don’t know the tenth of it, Jim. Those player cards are NOT just simple counters of your balance, but part of an elaborate data mining and psychological control network. If you slow down your playing, the waitress is alerted to bring you a drink; if you show signs of leaving, you’ll win — something small — to keep you playing until you lose more than they gifted you; they track which games you play, when you play, how you play, favorite foods you orderred, etc etc etc… it’s creepy as HELL how controlled and crafted casinos really are behind the scenes… and THEN there is the simplest aspect of the cards — numbers on a screen don’t FEEL as much like a loss compared to a physically full pocket draining out.
Wolfe is very right. Our daughter worked at a casino. Probably more data mined than Wolfe has explained. It is no longer the gov’t that has our info. They have very little of our info, compared to people we do business with, and I think casinos are the best at it.
We too, always leave with a full fresh water tank. If you get delayed or break down, you can’t even use the ‘head’, which is one of the best things about RV’s. Plus, since we’re 95% boondockers, it’s what we do without giving it a second thought.
We live in Nevada and NEVER gamble in the casinos but welcome all those that do. It helps pay our taxes . . . ?
Motorhome or Travel Trailer?
I hardly ever gamble. My limit is maximum of $10 a year. But I do use the casinos for an overnight stop occasionally so I will patronize their restaurant to compensate them for the parking privilege. Some of the player cards also give discounts in the restaurant even if you don’t gamble.
we always carry a full to nearly full tank of water with us. we’ve been ‘burned’ several times by the water quality at our destination park once discovering that the park’s water supply had been shut down by public health officials due to an e-coli infestation. the weight of that water represents ~ .02% of our total rolling weight and has a negligent effect on our gas mileage. the advice to carry minimal water is penny wise but pound foolish.
Are you driving a Motorhome or pulling a Trailer or 5th Wheel?
The reason I ask this is simple: A motorhome has a Completely Different Weight Distribution system. A Trailer or 5th Wheel relies on the Axles (usually 2) to carry the bulk of the weight.
Considering most Travel Trailers and 5th Wheels have very limited Cargo Carrying Capacities, Adding a full tank of water, Pure DEAD Weight add extra wear and tear on the tires.
For instance, I carry about 10 gallons, just enough for Toilet usage and nothing else. If I were to fill my 100 gallon tank up, that would be an extra 830 pounds of dead weight and I’d be way over my Gross on the vehicle!
So, Mark Polk is correct. Carry all that extra water, needs to be carefully considered!
I would like to ad to Russ’ comment on Fire Extinguishers. It is vitally important to NOT only get the Fire Extinguisher off the the bracket, but also know how to use the Extinguisher in a Fire. How to Pull the Pin on the handle, how to aim and shoot the extinguisher at the “BASE OF THE FIRE”!
The RV Fire Extinguishers provided in RVs today, should NOT be used to Battle a Blaze, but a means to Escape Safely from the RV. GET OUT QUICKLY and Call the Fire Department!
Complacency enters into to many people lives everyday! “IT WON’T HAPPEN TO ME, SO WHY SHOULD I CARE”! I have heard RVers say that. WOW!
Just my thought, but RV Dealers should give some form of Safety training before turning over the keys to new Owners!
Hi Mike, Here are a couple of questions for the Proteng folk based on what I read in your previous column. Does it have a shelf life and need to be replaced every so often? If so, I’d like to know when and how to dispose of it and how to keep track of it?
It would also be good to see some pictures of how it is stored in various places such as near a converter, in a battery box, or to protect a fridge or kitchen. Let’s say a refrigerator or kitchen fire breaks out in a small RV such as a teardrop trailer and the Proteng tube goes off, is their an asphyxiation risk?
Thanks for investigating tho for us.
I also would be interested in this for use at home.
Go to you tube and look up Big Truck Big RV, he did a test of this system by placing one in the engine compartment and one in the back of his refrigerator compartment. Both prematurely discharged due to heat in the compartment not due to fire. They need to do more R&D on this.
I saw that video and definitely need more R&D. Gas/Electric Fridges get very hot in that small compartment, when the boiler is running on Propane.