Issue 848 • February 13, 2018
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RVing Tip of the Day
Keep your steps in tip-top shape
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Regardless of whether your rig has “manual” steps or fancy automatically extending motorized steps, either way, your steps need regular maintenance to stay happy and healthy. It’s relatively easy and inexpensive, and just about any RVer can do it.
What you’ll need: Spray lubricant. It’s best to use a lithium-based spray grease. Rags for cleanup. A handy tarp or cloth to lie on (particularly if your steps are electrically operated).
How often? Some RV techs recommend doing this every month, but depending on your environment it may only be needed every few months. The wetter the environment, or if a rig is taken through snow or dirt country, calls for more frequent maintenance.
How to: For manual steps, simply shoot all the pivot points on your steps. Give a shot of grease to each pivot point, then fold the steps in and out a couple of times to work the grease into place.
For automatic steps, the same procedure applies, but you’ll also need to climb down below the rig and hit any pivot points hidden from your view above. While you’re down there, you’ll find a point where the motor shaft actuating the steps attaches to the step assembly. Here’s another moving part that can use a shot of grease. While you’re there, check the wiring to the motor to ensure it’s free of cracks and chaffing points, and that all electrical connections are sound and clean.
Finish up: Wipe up any excess grease. Tracking lithium grease onto the RV floor is a surefire way to work on a future project: “The RV Doghouse.”
Safety: When working on automatic steps, make sure nobody opens or closes the door, nor actuates the ignition switch. Having your hand in a vulnerable place when RV steps actuate will lead to yet another RV topic: “Choosing a Hospital Emergency Room.”
Photo: Manual steps, badly in need of lubrication. Note the rust spot on the pivot point in right mid-ground. — R & T De Maris.
Yesterday’s tip: An introduction to this newsletter.
Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
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Goodbye sewer tank odors!
Anyone who’s traveled with an RV for long has experienced sewer tank odors. The reason? Cheap roof vents RV makers install to save a buck. The one-piece 360 siphon vent sucks those nasty odors up & out the roof whether the RV is parked or moving. Simple to install. RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury explains in the video. Order or learn more at Drainmaster.
Campground shower caddy
Drill holes in the bottom of an old ice cream or plastic bucket. Use it to carry shampoo, soap, washcloth, etc., to and from the shower building.
Handy, and considerate, night lights
LED “tap” lights near fifth wheel stairs, in the bathroom, and other places where a light is needed during the night can keep you from stumbling, or fumbling for light switches. Easier on your partner – low level of light doesn’t disturb sleepers. There are many to choose from on Amazon.com.
Keep your Welcome mat flat
Parked on a concrete RV pad? Keep your Welcome mat from blowing away or bunching up by sticking it down with duct tape.
HOT TOPIC AT RV TRAVEL.COM
Camping World repair turns into nightmare.
The New TireTraker™ TT-500 with a Lifetime Warranty
The new TireTraker™ TT-500 is the most innovative & user-friendly TPMS on the market with an unprecedented “Lifetime Warranty”, the only TPMS company in the industry to do so. The TT-500 features a larger, easier to read display, continuous pressure & temperature monitoring, automatic update, & monitoring up to 22 tires on your motorhome, trailer & tow vehicle from 0-232 psi! 24/7 sales & technical support & over 13 years of experience. List price (4 tires) $389. Our price only $289. SAVE $100! (Additional Sensors $35 each). Learn more or order. Read testimonials.
WEBSITES OF THE DAY
Camping in National Forests
This is the number one resource, online or in the printed world, of campgrounds located in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands. Every campground has been personally visited by the authors. Bookmark this site if you enjoy camping away from crowded RV parks.
How to detect and treat spider bites
Most spider bites are harmless, but a few can do serious harm. Here’s how to recognize the black widow and brown recluse, two venomous spiders, and what to know and do in case of any spider bite. From U.S. News & World Report.
The RV Kitchen
Cooking in an RV is fun, and sometimes a bit of an adventure, but it does require some preparation. Here’s a good guide to preparing your kitchen for an RV trip or for long-term RV living.
BRAND NEW EDITION FOR 2018
“The” guide to services at Interstate exits
Never take a wrong exit off an Interstate highway again. The 2018 Next Exit lists every exit along every Interstate and details exactly what you will find at each: gas stations (including if they offer diesel), campgrounds, truck stops, casinos, laundries, retail stores (by name), shopping malls, factory outlet malls, drug stores, hospitals, rest areas & more. Very helpful even if you have a GPS. Learn more or order.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Why you need a cell phone booster for your RV
In today’s video, Mike Wendland shows you how he installed a cell phone booster in his motorhome and how it affected his reception, specifically the increased speed of his Internet connection. You will be impressed.
Temperature gun is ‘essential equipment’ for many RVers!
Just aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order.
MORE QUICK TIPS
Leave power hogs at home
Your 12-volt electrical system is sufficient for satisfying your power needs as long as you can get along without appliances that require 120-volt current. If you have an inverter which converts 12-volt into 120-volt, you will still have to do without your air conditioner and microwave oven, which draw considerable amperes from your batteries and would soon leave them flat. Leave your electric blanket and Mr. Coffee at home for the same reason. An extra blanket and a Melitta or French press coffee maker will replace these necessities of modern comfort.
Furnace problem? Maybe not
If your motorhome’s furnace won’t start, remove the intake/exhaust cover, clean out the two tubes leading into the furnace and try again. If it still won’t work, start the vehicle engine. If the furnace then starts okay, you have a low battery voltage problem, not a problem with the furnace itself.
Hot off the press!
2018 Good Sam RV Park Directory
The Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide is the only print directory of RV parks in North America. It features an exclusive rating system by consultants in the field at privately owned parks. Plus, detailed park listings include amenities, services, restrictions, camping rates, contact information, Good Sam discount locations, hundreds of dollars’ worth of Camping World savings, pages of helpful RVing information and much more! Many RVers consider this printed directory essential even with all the online resources available. Learn more or order.
LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
Actual computer tech support question:
Tech support: “How may I help you?”
Customer: “I’m writing my first e-mail.”
Tech support: “Okay, and what seems to be the problem?”
Customer: “Well, I have the letter ‘a’ in the address, but how do I get the circle around it?”
RV Daily Tips Staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Deanna Tolliver, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.
ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(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.
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