RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1128

34

July 1, 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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Notice: We will not publish this newsletter next week (July 8-11) while we are performing a major update of our email alert system.

New Facebook groups you might like:
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FEATURED TIP

Take care with your RV generator

Got a “built-in” RV generator? Don’t have to “plug and unplug” shore power cords when switching from shore power to the genset? Then you have an ATS (automatic transfer switch). They’re convenient, indeed, as the rest of us without them have to go outside, typically open a door, and plug the shore power cord into a special receptacle fed by the genset.

However, there are a couple of caveats you need to be aware of. An ATS is not a “perfect” device and problems can occur. Here’s a good rule when firing up the generator when using an ATS. In fact, this is a good rule when firing up any RV generator, ATS or not: Reduce power consumption before firing up the generator. That means, make sure the air conditioner, the microwave oven, the portable electric space heater — any of those “big draw” devices are turned off.

A big surge in electrical current can actually damage an ATS and, in some cases, the genset itself. There have been cases, too, when the ATS somehow wasn’t fast enough to isolate the generator from the shore power system — with very nasty and sometimes expensive results. Take the extra moment to reduce your power consumption before you hit the start switch. —Russ and Tiña De Maris


RV Electricity – This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session:

Would you plug into this pedestal?

Sign up for Mike’s monthly RV Electricity Newsletter. Did you miss the new issue yesterday, Sunday, June 30? If so, you can read it here.
• While you’re at it, be sure to join his new Facebook group, RV Electricity.



We’ve seen some pretty unique RV-themed household items and clothing, but we’ve never seen RV-themed leggings before! These adorable leggings are available from the Etsy shop GypseyRVTravels and come in two styles (these and these). Wear them and you’ll win best-dressed at the campground for sure!


MORE QUICK TIPS

Icky-sticky bugs and tar

Tired of thick accumulations of road tar by wheel wells, and stuck on bugs which seem to favor cab-overs and front running surfaces? Apply commercial bug and tar fluid, allow it to soak in and then wash off. Another alternative is applying “waterless hand cleaner,” letting it sit for a few minutes and wiping off with a soft cloth. You’ll save money, and to save time we’ve seen RVers working over their rigs while waiting in lines.

Trailer towing on icy roads

If you are towing a trailer on icy roads, go slowly, especially downhill. Use the lower gears. You may be able to gain additional traction for the tow vehicle by moderately releasing the tension of the load equalizing hitch. Always readjust the hitch after the icy road condition has passed because vehicle stability may be affected during normal driving conditions. —From California DMV.
**We’d like to add: When towing on ice or wet roads, loosen or remove friction-style sway controls.

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



WEBSITE OF THE DAY

NHTSA Recalls

We try and post recalls often, especially ones that may affect your RV, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on all vehicle recalls yourself too. Check this site often and make sure your car and/or RV are good to go.

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




LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH

“Every time a bug hit the windshield my dad would say, ‘He’ll never have the guts to do that again!’ Every time.” —Kelly Stoike

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


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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.

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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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34 Comments
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Packjen
1 year ago

I’d be very careful using Gojo on my rig. Many versions of it contain grit or pumice.

Rory R
1 year ago

RE: the poll, I drink Beer, Wine & bourbon (preferably Jack Daniels). Usually a glass or two of wine with dinner and friends, a beer at a BarBQue, and once in a while a Jack and Ginger. I thought I’d expand my answer since my reply in the poll would be incomplete…

Wolfe
1 year ago

I’ve been working on my drinking… once a year I buy a 12pack of beer and throughout the year try to force myself to have one occasionally before it goes skunky… never can get the hang of it.

My son told his teacher I drank a lot of beer this weekend… I drank the WHOLE bottle. Teacher fell out of her chair.

Gene Bjerke
1 year ago

I mostly drink beer at home. Our drink of preference once the motorhome is settled in for the night is a Cuba Libre (rum and Coke with a squirt of lime). Only able to choose one.

BruceinAZ
1 year ago

Alcoholic beverage of choice? All of the above. A beer with pizza, brats, or polish sausage. A tequila margarita with anything Mexican. And a glass of wine with just about any other meal. That’s one drink a day with dinner, no more no less.

John
1 year ago

Booze and my meds increase my stupidity factor – 20 years ago it was gin in the summer and bourbon in the winter. Have become the party-pooper and or designated driver.

Sharon B
1 year ago

Through the many years following Chuck’s emails and now with this graduation to a full blown web letter and website I would never have learned on my own what I know now. I hear people talk about Rving and many are totally clueless without sense if not dangerous. I am so thankful for the vital information I have learned from Chuck and his fellow associates. I want to thank you for the education I have acquired from these readings. I do hope I can one day soon take off to see this beautiful country and our precious National Parks. I feel that I am ready with a knowledge base to travel as safe as possible. But one thing I wish we could resolve is to figure out how to get better mileage from these gas guzzling engines. 8-10 mpg is absolutely not acceptable.

Lauren Embury
1 year ago
Reply to  Sharon B

well said . I have been reading Chuck’s news letter since the mid 90’s and still learning. Thanks chuck

Gene Bjerke
1 year ago
Reply to  Sharon B

Think about a Class B. Our Sprinter gets 18-20 on the highway and is perfectly comfortable in the campground.

Alvin
1 year ago
Reply to  Sharon B

Sharon, sorry to break this to you, but if you have the urge to complain about fuel economy/mileage/performance this is not your sport. Some folks have achieved as much as 15 miles per gallon with smaller rigs, but I have never seen any reliable data, indicating a higher value – Never.
There’s a lot of vehicles today packing much smaller weights around and pushing less wind back, getting high teens low 20’s I agree with you this is totally unacceptable. and a tragedy.

Those claiming higher values will certainly disagree, but I’ve never seen the proof – this for what it ‘s worth coming from 40 years as tech in a GM dealership, and 51 years of RV travel, aboard so many varied RV’s I’ve lost count long ago.

Irv
1 year ago

re: Trailer towing on icy roads

An article on this topic would be good. One with an explanation of the reasoning behind the recommendations.

I’m guessing “releasing the tension” transfers weight from the front wheels to the rear–but the tradeoff would be reducing steering ability. Is this for both 2WD and 4WD?

I have no clue what releasing “sway control” might do.

impavid
1 year ago
Reply to  Irv

“Sway control” or “friction bars” helps keep travel trailers from swaying either caused by the wind or more specifically being passed by other vehicles especially large trucks. If you are travelling on an icy or wet road, and if the bars are tightened down tight (the amount of friction applied is adjustable) it could prevent your front wheels from redirecting your tow vehicles when you want to go left or right. The same applies to 5th wheels if you grease your 5th wheel plate. In very cold weather the grease can become so hard the trailer wants to stay straight and could cause a mishap when you lose steering control.

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago

Couldn’t vote in the question of the day because – I like them all equally.

Jim
1 year ago

Gut’s
My dad said nearly the same thing as far back as I can remember. And now some 70+ years later I will sometimes say the same thing. Wonder where the saying came from?

Wayne Caldwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

A other outlook is, Do you know what the last thing is to go through a bug’s mind when it hits your windshield – regardless of which direction it’s going?
It’s tail end.

Marmot
1 year ago

Can someone clue Russ and Tina in about the correct use of quotation marks? Today’s article is the low water mark of their many awful examples.

PennyPA
1 year ago
Reply to  Marmot

Where did you find an incorrect use of quotation marks? I looked back through the whole newsletter and couldn’t find it.

PennyPA
1 year ago
Reply to  PennyPA

Okay, you’re correct. They’re all in the ATS article. It WOULD have been better if they’d just bolded or capitalized those words if they wanted to draw attention to them. But since this is an informal newsletter, I don’t think anyone other than the absolute purists would worry about that.

impavid
1 year ago
Reply to  Marmot

I don’t think anyone appreciates “flames” and your comment is totally inappropriate. If you don’t like the great information provided in the newsletters it might be best to get your information elsewhere.

Pat
1 year ago
Reply to  Marmot

Actually this is a perfectly acceptable use of quotation marks. Check a grammar book. They have always been used to emphasize words in writing and publishing. I was trained to do this in my college classes, both undergraduate and graduate.

Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Marmot

Remember also to shut the loads off too before taking the generator off line. After that, Cummins Onan recommends letting it run for a few minutes to allow it to cool down.

Member
Mike Sokol (@mike)
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

I try to avoid the “punctuation police” at all costs….

Wolfe
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Primary Poobah of Punctuation Pontification?

Member
Mike Sokol (@mike)
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Well, sometimes my 12 years of parochial school grammar fails me, and I make a faux pas. And that’s why we have editors. But in other cases I will make an obviously glaring mistake because I’m trying to make a point, as in “Say it ain’t so”. And the punctuation police have tried to teach me if the quotes should go inside or outside of the quotes. Yikes! (Is that even a sentence?). Will the world stop spinning if I use ellipses incorrectly, or what….?
Not to worry. I’ll get all the electrical details correct, and depend on Diane to get all the punctuation correct.

KellyR
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Good golly Miss Molly, what I don’t learn on the RVTravel site! AND “You can quote me on that.”

Wolfe
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Think of grammar as some people’s craft, Mike… i’m not usually critical because most others aren’t as educated as I am, and most people don’t want to be schooled on English if they aren’t by now. That said, when a professional writer makes glaring errors, that’s another case. Its the difference (for you) of a schmuck on the street giving bad electrical advice vs a trained expert doing it. Its why you fact-check in your own electrical writings – as an expert, you care to get it right. Hopefully that perspective made sense – its not that we are OCD, but that it bugs us like a bootleg ground bugs you.

Wolfe
1 year ago
Reply to  Marmot

Russ’s article didn’t “throw” me into “fits”, but I “did notice” the “incorrect usage.” Quotes are for quoting, not emphasis. They delimit an exact quote of a specific person or rarer, a peculiar idiom of common vernacular.

So, I might say Russ said “They are convenient” or that other articles discussed “stinky slinkies”, but quoting “built-in,” “plug and unplug” and “big-draw” are literal phrases not needing emphasis, and “perfect” should be italic…

Not a grammar nazi, but I did waste a lot of money on 2 English BAs…

RT
1 year ago
Reply to  Wolfe

I know I’m not the only one, but some of us remember using actual typewriters. Back then italics wasn’t an option so quotation marks were considered the equivalent. We also had to back up and overtype to underline things.