Friday, February 21, 2020
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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“That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don’t know nothing about it.” ―
Need an excuse to celebrate? Today is National Grain-Free Day!
Tip of the Day
Easy generator carrying for your travel trailer
By Dave Helgeson
Carrying a generator with a travel trailer can be problematic. Many end up placing the generator in the bed of their pickup truck. But some pickup owners don’t want to give up their bed space, and those towing with an SUV are unable to carry a generator safely in their vehicle due to gasoline fumes entering the passenger compartment. Unless you convert one of your exterior storage compartments into a generator compartment, like those on a fifth wheel or motorhome, you’re left with two choices: The bumper or the trailer tongue.
Mounting on the bumper is a poor choice as it leaves your generator subject to rear-end collision damage from other drivers, or you backing your trailer into something. In addition, the weight of a generator bouncing up and down on the back of the trailer can cause frame separation from the chassis. That leaves the trailer tongue as the only logical choice. Read more.
Do you have a tip? Submit it here.
Off, off, dratted sealant!
Chris Dougherty, certified RV technician, received a question about RV caulking from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor. The reader had inadvertently applied white caulking on the exterior of her beige fiberglass-clad trailer, assuming it would dry clear. Oops! Chris tells her how to fix it.
Yesterday’s featured article: The readers write – Hammer-toss at poor-quality RVs
Don’t let winter keep you in the dark!
This 6-pack of tiny, battery-powered LED “Button Lamps” is just what you need for your RV’s closets and storage spaces. The tiny lamp is ultra-bright and has all the power of a normal-sized lamp. Backed with a strong adhesive, these little lamps will stick to any surface. They’re waterproof and good to have in case of an emergency. Learn more or order.
You may have missed these recent popular stories…
- RV Tire Safety: Air compressor – How big do you need?
- Pipe thread tape: Use the right color, the right way
- This RV has its very own fire truck
- RV Shrink: RV Awning – Use it, don’t lose it
Readers tell us
Have you ever replaced any of the furniture in your RV? Find out what fellow RVers said here.
Affordable tire tool will save you tons of trouble
What gives when you think your tires are “good to go” but down on air again the next day? Your valve stem valve probably isn’t tight enough. A loose, leaking valve stem can cause a tire failure due to low pressure under load at highway speeds. So do yourself and your vehicles a favor – pick up one of these very inexpensive tools and make sure your valve cores are snugly seated in the valve stem. Click here to order.
• 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.
Cheap device prevents accidental RV sewer overflow
Doug Swarts (Drainmaster.com) and Chuck Woodbury of RVtravel.com discuss how a simple, inexpensive device can save the day (as well as a lot of money on a major repair) when cleaning out an RV’s black water (sewer) tank. Watch the video.
Random RV Thought
Noises that can wake you up while you are sleeping in your RV include birds walking on the roof, the guy in the diesel truck next door warming up his engine before leaving his campsite (and spewing exhaust in your bedroom window), pine cones falling on your roof, branches scraping against your rig in a windstorm, and garbage trucks showing up at daybreak to empty dumpsters.
Website of the day
Current Gasoline and Diesel prices
Every Sunday we tell you the current price of gas and diesel in the U.S. Here’s the site we get that information from, so now you can stay up to date any time of the week.
- Camco Water Bandit connects standard water hose to various water sources. Click.
- Camco 90-Degree Hose Elbow eliminates stress/strain on RV water intake hose fittings. Click.
- Camco Plastic Water Pressure Regulator prevents damage to RV water hoses and pumps. Click.
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.
• AllStays: The best website for RVers! Your membership will become your RV-bible.
• 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.
• Escapees. Best Club for RVers: All RVers welcome, no matter what type of RV, make or model.
At the top of the Skydeck Chicago (in the Willis tower), you’ll sit 1,353 feet up in the air. On a clear day from the lookout, you can see four states: Illinois (obviously), Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
What type of animal was the mayor of an Alaska town for 20 years? Find out in yesterday’s issue.
Leave here with a laugh
I have a bumper sticker that says, “Honk if you think I’m sexy.” When I’m feeling down, I just sit at a green light until I feel good about myself.
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. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Advertising 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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I purchase water in 36 bottle cases at Costco and carry several 3 gallon bottles of water also. When we boondock we use the 16 oz bottles for drinking and the larger bulk bottles (which we refill) for cooking. That saves somewhat, water for a slightly longer shower and we can stay out (boondocking) longer. Sounds like a little thing but you would be surprised. We also recycle the smaller bottles. The larger bottles we just refill again and again.
We carry a 3500 watt inverter generator in the rear of our PU truck. We have a bed cover which protects it from the weather. It weighs about 100 lbs with gas. We run a chain through the handles and lock each end to tie downs in the bed. When using we just lower the tailgate and turn the inverter so that the exhaust exits between the truck and trailer when they are still hooked together. Works well for us. We also buy water in 1 gallon jugs and keep water in small bottles available at home and in the ice chest when we travel. Water bottles aren’t very good for the environment I’ll admit. but no worse than soda pop bottles.
I bought a 5 gallon jug and refill it Use a battery power spigot to fill whatever. filter water from my home water into jug ; way cheaper then buying from other sources.
I fill up my RV water tank, and drink from it. That’s what it’s for.
When I’m not in the RV, I fill a “Bubba” 1-liter thermos that stays cold for DAYS when filled with ice. I even use it at work where I trust my filterred thermos water more than their municipal faucet.
I don’t have ANY use for plastic bottles that start warm and expensive, then explode if you freeze or squeeze or look at them too hard, and end up either filling landfills or rivers.
It wouldnt bother me a bit if those plastic bottles were banned. Too many irresponsible people (pigs) just toss them out like the world is their trash can. Same for disposable plastic shopping bags. We keep as many as eight gallon jugs of water in our deep freeze at home. When we leave the house a few go into the RV fridge with our cold and frozen food. Several plus’s for us. Fridge gets cold without electricity or propane. We have ice water while we travel. If power goes out at home, the frozen jugs help keep the freezer stay cold. A full freezer stays cold longer than a partially full freezer and cycles less, especially if you dont open the door. If we need additional space in the freezer we just take out a jug or two. Dont fill the jugs completely when they go back in the freezer. Do it in about three steps or the jugs split open. Gets wet when they thaw. Imagine that.
I am surprised at the reported 40% of respondents that indicated they buy plastic water bottles in bulk all the time. The excuse that it is just for travel or emergencies seems trite when there are inexpensive (and expensive) refillable and reusable containers available and much cheaper over the long haul.
We do not buy water. We have a Travel Berkey. It is the best thing I have ever bought. Sits great on counter and I can use the faucet hose to fill. Takes out all the bad stuff. It’s like a LifeStraw for your RV. The water is really good.
Water bottles…we all have a “love-hate” relationship with them. We carry a case (24) in our truck. While we use the bottles (refill and reuse until they seem to be failing). The water allows us to have drinking water when just our TV and part of our disaster preparedness kit.
We don’t use plastic water bottles for several reasons and one is that the quality of the water is not always better than tap water and if you read the labels you will find, in many instances, that you are actually purchasing municipal (tap) water. I met a lady whose father owned a beer distributership in Ft. Worth, Texas who stated that her dad made more money selling water than he did beer and that’s saying something. Aside from those reasons I think the bottled water fad contributes far too much plastic to the world unnecessarily. And also think of how much (millions of gallons) of water are locked into those bottles for decades when they are thrown away partially full.
We buy water in plastic bottles (mostly for emergencies) while on the road travel using a Breta filter. We recycle our bottles, cans and cardboard with an RV park or at our home when we return there. I agree more parks need to have recycling.
We occasionally buy a 6-pack of small (0.25 liter, I think) bottles of water. Then we re-fill them until they crack or we lose the lids. This usually takes a year or longer. Then we buy six more.
Manufacturing and disposing of plastic is bad for the environment. We have a filter under sink for cold water and we run that water thru a Pur filter pitcher. Some bottled water is of mediocre quality.
We buy small bottles of water for when we are driving. We have two 5 gallon bottles we fill for drinking and cooking when hooked up in a campground or using our freshwater tank. We never drink or cook with campground or freshwater tank. We save and recycle any and all items we can. Plastic, metal cans, glass, cardboard, etc.
A year ago we bought six full one-gallon water bottles at the grocery store. We refill them at the 25 cent/gallon water machines when empty. We are still using the same 6 bottles today.
We have two Brita water filter pitchers and I always have my Yeti water cup. I do occasionally run out while traveling if I forget to fill up extra bottles so will stop at Dollar store and buy some to keep in truck for emergencies.
We use bottled water when we’re traveling, but separate the used bottles and find a place to recycle them. We’d like to see more recycling receptacles in campgrounds around the country!
I see some comments already about yes, buying bulk quantities of water bottles. I would think that most RV’ers are a little more concerned about the environment and not adding all that plastic. Now, I completely get wanting that filtered water. May I suggest refillable, or even 1 or 2.5 gallon (like https://www.instacart.com/landing?product_id=234499) instead of all those little plastic bottles? Maybe even a good Brita filter pitcher?
I know it’s hard to reduce plastic waste, I find it difficult, too. But every little thing helps. You don’t have to be an eco-warrior to make a difference.
We do buy water in the small plastic bottles. These are for at home in case of a water emergency and are used and replaced on a 6 month basis.
We have a recycling program in our township so none of these bottles end up in landfills.
In the TT we buy the gallon jugs of water for drinking and coffee. Most Walmarts have a refilling station in the store for 1 gallon and 5 gallon containers.
The generator thing is always a pain. We only take one in the winter months for emergencies (like snow covering our solar panels). I just bite the bullet and put it in the bed of the truck. Nice idea Dave has there, but we have no room above our batteries. They’re set back sort of under the domed front cap. And, our tongue weight is already at the max, so even if we could build the table, I can’t. I shove the generator all the way to the front of our truck bed to try to keep as much of its weight as possible off the rear.
Yes I purchase bulk water bottles in 24 packs and recycle everyone of them. We do not drink tap water.