Issue 864 • March 13, 2018
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RVing Tip of the Day
I’ve learned to always drive my RV within its specified weight limits. How I learned this is a long and somewhat sordid tale, but I’ll touch on the highlights.
- GVW – 15,000
- GCVW – 19,000
- Tow limit – 5,000
Greg Illes is a retired systems engineer who loves thinking up RV upgrades and modifications. When he’s not working on his motorhome, he’s traveling in it. You can follow his blog at www.divver-city.com/blog
Read yesterday’s tip: Ask the RV tech: Smart to buy a damaged RV and fix it up yourself?
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Heavy Duty Tire Repair Kit for RVs, other vehicles
The Boulder Tools Tire Repair Kit is the premium flat tire repair kit available on the market for repairing tubeless tire punctures including those on RVs.The easy-to-follow instructions mean anyone can plug their flat tire in minutes. Built with the strongest materials and contained in a sturdy, portable case, this is the last kit you will ever have to buy. Learn more or order.
Where to find “clean” firewood
Can’t find a good source of campfire wood? Restrictions to keep invasive bug species at bay make it even harder. Hit the “big box” lumberyard and buy cheap “utility”-grade 2x4s. Cut ’em in foot or foot-and-a-half lengths. They are easy to chop into kindling, if desired, and they light easily, don’t support bugs, and put out plenty of heat and light.
With electricity expert, Mike Sokol
If you look at GFCI instructions, they say to test them once a month. Now, I don’t know anyone who tests them at all, let alone on a monthly basis, but I do think that testing all GFCIs in your RV should be on your pre-season checklist and be checked at least once a year. How to test? All GFCIs have a built-in test and reset button. So push the test button and you should hear the relay click. Push the reset button, and it should latch in. As an extra check, use a 3-light outlet tester with a GFCI button. You should see the lights on the tester go out along with a relay click when you push the test button on the outlet tester. If the GFCI doesn’t act like this, then it’s time to replace it with a new one.
Can’t find a good location for your remote reporting thermometer transmitter? Stick it out in the sun and it may report way too high. Look for a location under your rig’s steps – in the shade, but close to your inside unit, making it a sure receiver “pickup.”
HOT TOPIC AT RV TRAVEL.COM
What’s the fairest checkout time at an RV park?
Inexpensive inverter converts 12 volt to 110 power
There are few more handy devices for RVers than a small power inverter. Plug this into your car or RV’s cigarette lighter (12-volt plug) and then plug in your laptop, tablet, small appliance, fan, camera battery, WiFi hotspot, radio, etc. Includes USB ports, too. Take this with you in your car while away from the RV. The last we looked, this was selling for about $30 at Amazon.com.
WEBSITES OF THE DAY
Find and reserve your next campsite. Find places to camp in campgrounds, parks and on other properties. Book your stay through the website or app. Couldn’t be easier!
Find favorite recipes from the Boy Scouts. Easy camp recipes organized by meal category.
The Culture Trip
In a new place and not sure what’s around you? The Culture Trip gives you hundreds of ideas on what to do/see/explore wherever you are.
Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.
Protect your RV’s slideout with this rubber seal lubricant
If you don’t take care of your slideout you’re asking for problems including dangerous, costly water damage. This rubber seal lubricant from Thetford prevents fading, cracking and deterioration. It cleans, conditions and shines, keeping seals flexible and protected from sunlight destruction. It is also useful on door seals and window seals. It’s a mineral oil product and also acts as a lubricant. Learn more or order
VIDEO OF THE DAY
How to check your RV battery for power draw
From RV Four Seasons.com, here is a quick tutorial on how to check your RV’s deep cycle battery with an inexpensive multimeter . Use it to determine the amount of power being drawn, including from phantom loads that you may not even realize are draining it, slowly but surely.
See all of our videos on our YouTube Channel.
Summer is coming! Protect your tires
Tires are expensive. So get as much life as you can from them. One guaranteed way to shorten their life is to keep them exposed to the sun. So here’s the no-brainer advice of the day: Cover them. The price you pay for the covers will save you far more in the long run. Learn more or order.
MORE QUICK TIPS
Keep bugs from sticking so hard to your rig
Bugs sticking to the front of your rig making you buggy? Get ’em off easily. Apply plenty of wax to the front of your rig when doing your “spiff and clean” routines. Some RVers swear by dampening dryer softener sheets with water, then wiping the front end down with the sheet – bugs practically jump off with a quick wipe down later.
During a strong storm with high winds, try to camp with your RV pointing toward or away from the wind. The RV will be more stable than if the wind is hitting it sideways. And beware of close-by trees. If they don’t look strong and healthy, camp a distance away … just in case!
AARP’s checklist for your family
Put your life in order with this valuable new resource from AARP and the American Bar Association. Checklist for My Family guides you through the process of gathering in one place your finances, legal documents, online accounts, wishes about medical care, and more. Plus it tells you what you need, why you need it, what’s missing, and where to get it. Learn more or order.
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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, Roger Marble, Deanna Tolliver, Mike Sokol, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.
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Standard sized framing lumber is just cut and squeezed. It’s just wood, so you can burn it.
TREATED lumber is green, yellow, brown, whitewashed, or otherwise painted. DO NOT burn this stuff!
Optionally, you CAN bring reasonable amounts of firewood with you provided you print out your own origin form, stating where it came from and that it’s been heat treated (which you can do yourself). If you have a wood drying kiln, great…but baking in your kitchen oven is fine. Heat above 200 (dead bugs), and stay well below 450 (wood ignition).
Actually, not all commercial lumber is pressure treated. Pressure treated lumber is brown or green usually, and is marked as such. If in doubt, ask someone!
Dr. Laura, commercially sold lumber comes both treated and untreated. Most construction lumber is untreated.
Yes, I try to always observe the limits. When making modifications, like adding more coach batteries last summer I took my Excel spread sheet of limits and modified it accordingly., Also do not forget to try to balance the load, that can make a huge difference even if within load limits on the stickers.
One other thing came to mind. I have an older class-C that came in either Chevy or Ford chassis. Tho the total GVW’s where the same, the actual load capacities where 1k# different due to the chassis weights being different. In this example the Ford chassis was 1k# heavier than the Chevy so the usable load was 1k# less than the Chevy.
I used to go for the scrap lumber too, until my late father pointed out that pressure treated lumber (which is what all commercially sold lumber is) is treated with heavy metals and (ask any firefighter) burning it releases toxins into the air. The remaining ash contains things like lead and arsenic, which you really don’t want to handle or breath. If you then leave the ashes in your fire pit or scatter them on the ground, you’re contaminating the environment. Maybe this is outdated, in which case I’ll be delighted!