RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 1187

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Friday, October 11, 2019
Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, tips on our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.


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Today’s thought

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.”—Elizabeth Lawrence

Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Fossil Day.



Tip of the Day

Winter RV battery maintenance

RVing in winter can be a great deal of fun. Whether you use your RV during the winter or store it, your batteries need some attention to assure they’ll continue to be there for you next season.

Safety Warning: Batteries can be hazardous! Batteries produce hydrogen gas which is explosive. Keep all sparks and flame away from batteries. Additionally, batteries contain sulfuric acid, which can cause severe burns, so make sure you wear proper protection when working on or around batteries. Wear rubber gloves and eye protection.

It is essential to keep your batteries charged in cold weather. If you are storing the RV for the entire season, it is advised to remove your batteries from the RV and store them inside a climate-controlled space, up off the floor. Make sure they’re charged before you store them. If you’re removing them, make sure you diagram or photograph the batteries before removal, especially if you have a large battery bank, to assure that you know exactly how they go back in the spring.

If you think you’ll be using the RV during the winter season, or you’ll be keeping it plugged in, then leaving your batteries in the coach is okay, but you must keep them maintained. Flooded cell batteries, especially, need to be checked regularly for electrolyte and water level. Make sure the batteries stay full of distilled water, and check each cell with a hydrometer. Don’t worry if you don’t have one. They’re available at most auto parts stores, and they’re pretty inexpensive.

Look at the batteries, and take note of any broken hardware, such as brackets and clamps, and replace them. Make sure the batteries are clean. If the terminals are severely corroded, they need to be cleaned, using a battery terminal cleaner, and then sprayed with a battery terminal spray.

Just remember, batteries are expensive, and just a bit of thought and care will keep yours in service for the maximum amount of time.

Do you have a tip? Submit it here.


Roadside assistance programs: Which is best?

A reader posted a comment on an article asking for help choosing a roadside assistance program. It got us thinking: With so many programs available, which is the best? Choosing one is not a simple decision. Read this article by editor Chuck Woodbury about some options, and then please add your comments. Read more.


Staying organized is important in a small space like an RV. Click here for the best small-space organizers.


You may have missed these stories last week…


Reader poll


Add an extra living area to your RV. Click.
New and interesting finds at Amazon.com. Wow! It’s fun exploring here.


RV recalls

Jayco is recalling certain 2019-2020 Redhawk SE motorhomes. The seatbelt-unfastened warning light will not illuminate for approximately five seconds after the ignition is moved to the “on” or “start” position. Read more.


Where to camp for free or less than $20. Thick guidebook from Don Wright lists thousands of locations.


Helpful resources

NATIONAL TRAFFIC AND ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION.
ROAD AND TRAFFIC CONDITIONS ACROSS THE NATION.
WEATHER ALERTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
CURRENT WILDFIRE REPORT.
LATEST RV RECALLS.


Random RV Thought

If you prefer quiet RV parks, when calling ahead for reservations ask if there are any railroad tracks close by. Same with busy streets. Many RV parks are on inexpensive land, and sometimes the reason is that they are near a busy street or railroad track. If trains run often, it can be difficult to sleep. Checking the aerial view on Google Maps is probably just as effective as making a phone call.


  • Space heater uses less than two amps! RVtravel.com has one, loves it! More.
  • This 12-volt electric blanket will keep you cozy. Click.
  • Camco’s insulated skylight cover keeps the heat in your RV from escaping. More.

Website of the day

Accessibility enhanced RVs
Winnebago’s Accessibility Enhanced motorhomes give wheelchair travelers comfort and privacy, with thoughtfully designed living spaces and features that make mobile travel more enjoyable, and day-to-day living more effortless.


Clubs and useful organizations
PLEASE NOTE: We may receive an affiliate commission if you join any of these.

• Harvest Hosts: Stay free at farms, wineries and other scenic and peaceful locations for free. Save 15% on membership.
Overnight RV parking. Directory of more than 14,000 locations where you can stay for free or nearly free with your RV. Modest membership fee.
Boondockers Welcome. Stay at homes of RVers who welcome you in their driveways, yards, farmland or other space on their private property. Modest membership fee.
No park Walmarts. Best directory of stores that do not allow overnight stays with RVs.


Don’t scream, just fix the screen!RV Travel Newsletter Issue 912
This roll of screen repair tape is just what you need to fix those torn or ripped screens in your home or RV. Don’t waste money on a new screen! Cut as much tape as you need, stick it over the torn patch and you’re good to go. Learn more or order here


Trivia

The costume of Barney the purple dinosaur of PBS fame could reach over 120 degrees inside. “It’s a T-Rex, so you’re basically just up to your elbows in being able to move,” said David Joyner, who was inside that Barney costume for 10 years. To cool down during breaks, Joyner would put a fan in the costume’s mouth and sit down on an apple box. “The head doesn’t come off, it doesn’t swivel,” he once said. “I can only see a certain amount, because of the peripheral of Barney’s mouth. And when Barney’s mouth is closed, I can’t see anything at all.”


Leave here with a laugh

“OLD” is when a sexy woman catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the garage door.

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: Emily Woodbury. Assistant editor: Diane McGovern. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

REGIONAL AND LOCAL ADVERTISING: We can now run banners on RVtravel.com in your town or in a designated area near you, for example to readers within 100, 200, etc., miles of your business. Learn more here.

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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DW/ND

Being a Life member of Good Sam Club – we also have the Roadside Assistance service. I have called them twice over the past 20 years – once about 75 miles from a service facility/tow service. We had a seized brake on the left front wheel of our Class A. The GS rep stayed on the phone with me until a tow service was found. (A farm kid happened by and released the brake and we drove home about 150 miles). I called GS and the tow truck driver, who was on the way, and xcl’d the tow. Excellent service!

A second use was at home to unlock the door which somehow self locked when I closed it. Fast, efficient.and no charge! (PS: I overhauled that lock and I also now have a secret 2nd set of keys hidden away!)

We are sorry to see some GS services and benefits being eroded – perhaps some pressure on the mgmt might help – especially from Life Members. I suspect “trip planning” will come back with an additional charge – if it comes back! We paid for these services!

Marilyn Granger

Have AAA for 28 years. Have used them less than 10 times. This past summer we were on the N bound I-5, just above Sacramento and had a flat tire on our 5th wheel.. Called for service and they said a tech would be there with 20 minutes. Twenty minutes later the tech calls and state he can’t find us. Found out he was in Southern California. Ended up changing the tire ourselves and were back on the road within 15 minutes. I think all service have faults…..I don’t know what is a good answer.

Tom Smithbrother

About God Sam’s towing service. I have had them for ten years and have more that gotten my money back. Only once , in a snow storm , I had to stay on a highway ramp all night because they could not located a large enough truck to handle my rig that night. The article stated that they have unlimited millage. Not really true as one is limited to the nearest repair place that can do the repair.

PennyPA

Ron, we didn’t know you were supposed to remove the batteries in winter and ours also stayed in for almost 2 years! I wonder if having solar panels make a difference?

Mary Hazel

I have a very old and beloved Toyota mini motorhome, an ’84 Dolphin that is an ongoing project of love. My mechanics some years back had recommended a shop for RV repairs. I was very happy with them on 2 occasions (minor step repair and an oops in rear from backing into my fence post) and let them know what a great job they did. A few years later I needed more extensive rot repair work done. They refused to work on my RV, were actually rude and said it was too old and the owner didn’t like them. I was so shocked. All ended well, I found a wonderful RV repair shop that actually told me to never get rid of my RV and that they loved to work on them! And they do excellent work!

JBC

Thanks for asking about roadside service. Appears nothing is excellent and many are poor. Right now I have Good Sam (after very poor service with AARP). I had a car flat right in the center of Tucson, AZ and it took an hour for a Good Sam contract service to arrive. Opened his trunk, full of misc equipment, pulled out a drill to remove the lugs – battery was dead. Pulled out another drill and its battery was dead too. Fortunately his brother in-law had given him a good battery charger. I got back on the road but realized they (Good Sam) contracted with the ‘cheapest’ contractor available. Very nice guy but it was obvious that the road service was just a ‘side job’. Looking to change provider but not very hopeful any will be better.

Ed D

I store my batteries in an unheated garage, with no contact with the cement floor. Never had a problem,

Kirk

I’ve read conflicting statements regarding storage of batteries. Some, as above says to store them off the floor. Others have said it doesn’t matter as the case is plastic. Looking forward to hear the reasoning here.

Ron H.

Conflicting advice? Just read that it’s okay to leave the house batteries in the RV all winter when plugged into shore power. Others advise to remove them and store them in garage or other dry place. I’d prefer to leave them in the RV because it’s much easier, and I’ve done that for the past 10+ years with no problems. I’m interested in other experiences or expertise.

Corkey

I answered NO to the survey because I do all my maintenance.

David & Linda

Re: Survey
We have a 1995 Prevost Marathon. The Prevost buses are built to go a million+ miles (with proper maintenance) and the conversion by Marathon uses only the highest quality materials. So we take the bus to a Prevost shop for any issues with the mechanical side. There are always 2 or 3 older buses there when we take ours in (Jacksonville, FL location).
We’ve taken care of any of the ‘house’ issues ourselves (remodeled; replaced faucets, water heaters, black & gray tank valves, cabinet latches, etc.) because my husband has the skills to do so.

Jeff

I had Good Sams Roadside for several years, up until they charged me $50 to change a Flat on my Tow Vehicle, because one of the Good Sams Clowns said I was only a Life Time Member and they did not show my Roadside assistance membership, even though I gave them my Roadside Assistance Membership Number, which is totally different from my Lifetime Membership. It took me 2 months of phone calls to get reimbursed the $50, that should not have been charged in the First Place! But, this is to be expected from the Marcus Lemonis crowd!

I now have Coach Net, which I first started with many years ago. An outstanding service and they have always been quick to respond to my roadside emergencies. Highly recommended.

Everyone who reads this, Know that Good Sams is the Parent company of Camping World and I for one will NOT enrich Marcus Lemonis with one more penny of my money!

You all have a good day!

Joe Bulger

We currently have AAA RV roadside assistance but we will be changing. Recently we had a flat tire (picked up a screw), it must have happened very close to our destination as my tire monitoring system alarmed just after leveling up. The person on the phone was very pleasant but did not understand that we needed a service that can repair big truck tires and insisted that a tow truck was needed. After convincing them that a towing was out of the question they sent a service that does primarily car and light trucks, the technician was good however he was not equipped to remove the lug nuts. He had to make several trips to get wrenches big enough and broke 2 of them loosing the nuts. If we were along the road it would have been a disaster. My thoughts are AAA is good for cars not big vehicles.

STEPHEN P Malochleb

I have roadside service through FMCA for $74 a year. I was only a member for six months when I blew a rear tire. They sent a truck from an hour away, he took all of twenty minutes to dismt and mt a new tire. I was very happy with their service. Very friendly and courteous when I called.
( I do carry a spare tire without rim) much cheaper then buying one on the road. Also used FMCA member benefits for great pricing as well. Cost was pretty much wholesale price. I think as long as I have a MH i’ll remain with FMCA. So many benefits available for the cost of membership.