Tuesday, June 6, 2023


RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 873

Issue 873 • March 28, 2018
This newsletter is brought to you Monday through Thursday by RVtravel.com and is funded primarily through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

RVing Tip of the Day

Can your RV park help if you have a heart attack?
Now that camping season is getting into full swing, it’s time to think about how to handle an emergency situation in a campground that might be many miles and minutes from medical assistance. While I primarily write about electrical issues and safety, there’s one additional medical emergency that has nothing to do with getting shocked that I’m concerned about – it’s a heart attack.
Interestingly, both heart failure from electric shock and heart failure from a heart attack require the same basic steps to help save a life, and the first one is knowing where the AED is located at your campground or building you’re meeting in. So ask at any campground where you’re staying if they have an AED and where it’s located. If they don’t have one, tell them they should!
But first, what is an AED? Well, it’s an Automated External Defibrillator and its job is to help restart a heart that has either stopped or is in fibrillation, where it just shudders uncontrollably and doesn’t pump any blood. And while an AED is required in all schools and federal buildings, and even many churches, it doesn’t appear to be required at any campgrounds (yet). I think campgrounds especially need an AED since they’re not only frequently miles from civilization by design, but also they’re usually filled with a large number of senior citizens that have a higher possibility of heart attack – that has nothing to do with getting an electrical shock.
So how do they work? It’s actually pretty simple. If you find someone unconscious and unresponsive, first call 911 to get some emergency personnel on their way to your location and give you verbal guidance. Then see if the person is breathing and has a heartbeat. If they’re breathing and have a strong heartbeat, then follow the directions of the 911 operator on the line. But if they’re not breathing, then it’s time to get the AED and have it diagnose the victim. If an AED isn’t immediately available, then you need to begin CPR until it is. More on CPR and Hands-Only CPR in a future article.
To use an AED to save a life it’s really as simple as 1, 2, 3 …
Step 1: You have to turn on the AED and get the victim on their back and open their shirt. All AEDs are battery operated and should be tested yearly for operation. These are simple enough that even a 10-year-old can operate one. So even if you’ve never been trained on one, be brave and try to help. If you do nothing, then the victim might die. So right now you have a chance to save a life.
Step 2: Follow the verbal prompts from the AED on how to place the pads and let the AED diagnose the patient. It will guide you verbally as well as have illustrations on the case. In a few seconds it will determine if the victim is actually in heart distress and decide if that shock is required. It may prompt you to push the shock button. If so, move on to Step 3.
Step 3: Make sure nobody is touching the person about to receive the defibrillation shock to restart their heart, then hit the shock button. Don’t worry about hitting the button prematurely, as an AED won’t let you shock someone’s heart unless it’s medically necessary.
While no training is needed to successfully save a life with an AED, it’s still better if you do have some familiarity with their operation. So if your local fire station or EMT group has an AED orientation session, then you should plan to attend. And as a side note, you should probably attend a CPR class as well.
More on this entire topic later, but RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury and I are working on getting an EMT group to offer a session on CPR and AED usage at the RVillage Rally in Elkhart, Indiana, May 17-21. I’ll be attending this session myself.
Find more information about AEDs from the Red Cross here. You may want to consider purchasing your own AED. Here’s a link from Amazon.com with several options and more information.
Hope to see you in Elkhart at the RVillage Rally.

Read yesterday’s tip
Beef up your towable/camper charge wiring.

Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.

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Full-timers: Need an RV Home Base?
Then you need Americas Mailbox! You’ll enjoy great tax advantages with your South Dakota “residency,” like no state income tax and low insurance rates (second lowest in the USA says the Insurance Information Institute). Many plans are available. View the video where RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury talks with Americas Mailbox owner Don Humes. Or click here to learn more or enroll.


Murphy’s Law regarding RVs
Putting off RV repairs will catch up with you in a hurry. The RV corollary to Murphy’s Law says that little problem will become your biggest problem when you have the least time, or you’re in the worst location, to fix it.

Check and tighten lug nuts often
With electricity expert Mike Sokol
Everyone is obsessed with tire pressure, but I never see much mention of the proper torque for lug nuts. I’ll sometimes hear stories about how they just loosened up and the wheel fell off on an exit ramp or whatever. Sorry, but lug nuts don’t “just loosen up” unexpectedly. If you do have a tire changed you should not only tighten the lug nuts to the correct torque for the installation, but you should recheck them a few hundred miles later, too. You’ll be surprised that a few of the lug nuts may have loosened up a bit just from settling in. I suggest you buy a torque wrench. Find the correct torque for your exact vehicle with aluminum or steel wheels (yes, the torque values are different) and check your lug nut (or bolt) torque at least once a season and preferably before any major trip. Don’t expect the kid down at the Jiffy Tire shop to do this correctly. Your life is literally riding on your tires and wheels, so take them seriously.

Shower-house totes
Mesh laundry bags for running delicate items in the wash make great shower-house totes to carry your towel, shampoo, etc. Tie a ribbon on it so once you’re back at the RV you can hang it up to dry. Our thanks to Wendy W.

How to handle water needs when boondocking.

fire extinguisherFire Extinguishing Aerosol, Two-pack
The First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguishing Aerosol Spray is easier to use and discharges 4 times longer than traditional fire extinguishers. With an aerosol nozzle and portable size, it’s suited for the kitchen, car, garage, boat or RV. The formula wipes away with a damp cloth & is biodegradable. Learn more or order.


Spotted By Locals
If you’re traveling somewhere new and want to see what the locals like, this is the site for you. Locals list their favorite places, restaurants, bars, parks, etc., so you can stay away from the more “touristy” spots. 

Everything you’ll ever want to know about food news. Going to a new city and want to know where to eat? Consult Eater. Actually, just consult Eater for everything. It’s the best. 

GetHumanPhone, Cell Phone
Waiting 49 minutes to speak to a human about a customer service issue isn’t exactly how you planned on spending your afternoon, right? GetHuman does all the hard work for you. They’ll give you the direct phone number, or email, for a human to contact at hundreds of companies so you can avoid all those robots. 

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

Essential for big RVs! 
2018 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
If you drive a big RV — extra long or extra tall — then this truck driver’s road atlas will be a huge help in knowing where you can drive without encountering a low bridge or getting stuck hanging over a cliff. This is an essential aid even if you have a GPS! Coverage: United States, Canada, and Mexico. Learn more or order.


The importance of matching dual tires
Tire expert Roger Marble discusses why dual tires should be matched and how to determine if they are.

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.


Be prepared for loose screws
It seems like most RVs have a few screws loose. Road vibration tends to loosen anything with a thread to it, so be sure to keep a set of screwdrivers and wrenches with you no matter how short the trip.

Lotta shaking goin’ on …
In addition to loose screws, lug nuts or whatever, plumbing fittings can come loose with road shaking. Check and tighten them all, including those in the “basement.” It’ll save you a lot of grief and expense.
Do you have a tip? Send it to diane (at) rvtravel.com .

“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.

Join us: On RVillageFacebookTwitterYouTube.

A man and a giraffe walk into a bar. “A beer for me and one for my giraffe,” the man says, and he then orders another round and another. Eventually, the giraffe passes out on the floor. The man pays his tab and gets up to leave. The bartender asks, “Hey, you’re not going to leave that lyin’ on the floor are you?” The man replies, “That’s not a lion, it’s a giraffe.”

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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. 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.

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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5 years ago

Mike. I loved your piece on aeds. They should be in campgrounds. Here is the problem that I have run into. I asked the campground operators if I could borrow a ladder to turn a knob that I couldn’t reach on my RV
It would take 10 seconds. They said no because their insurance wouldn’t allow it. I’m sure their insurance company wouldn’t allow it to have an aed. They might be liable if you die.

john stahl
5 years ago

How do you even get to the lug nuts on any tires. I cannot even see them on the front wheels? And how do you even get to the lug nuts on the inside wheel? Do I need to take it somewhere to get it checked? Why do motorhome lugs need to be checked more than my truck or car? Help!

Mike Sokol
5 years ago
Reply to  john stahl

Well, a lot of “chromed-up” trucks and RVs have some sort of vanity wheel cover to pretty them up. Unfortunately things these can also cover up the lug nuts, which I think is a bad thing. The fancy wheel cover likely needs to be removed to check lug nut torque. And IIRC dually wheels on the rear axle typically have very long studs for both inner and outer wheels, with only one set of lug nuts on the outside holding it all together. If someone knows of a different dually setup please let me know, but that’s been my experience. If you do have a big RV with semi-truck sized tires, then go to the truck shop and ask them to use a manual torque wrench to check the lugs, and DON’T let them use a pneumatic impact wrench. There’s just no way to be sure of torque with one of those things.

Bill Rocks
5 years ago

Hi Mike, Just a note for those Torquing wheel nuts. If you are using a digital or click torque wrench DO NOT GO PAST click or Setting. If you do you stand a good chance of overtorquing nuts which will cause warping of rotors which in turn makes a loss of braking power and another brake job. Also this extended pressure will throw off the calibration over time and cause more headaches. Recalibration and give false readings. Learn to use the Torque wrench properly as you are the one who will pay the bill later. Thanks

Mike Sokol
5 years ago
Reply to  Bill Rocks

So true. I wonder if there’s room for a tool usage workshop at some of these rallies. I grew up using all sorts of tools as a kid, and worked in a truck shop for a teen job. So I know how to change truck tires, pull a differential, even do an in-frame or out-of-frame rebuild of a big truck diesel engine. But no, I will not rebuild your RV engine for you. That’s a lot of very dirty work and I’ve gotten way too soft…

5 years ago

Good news!! There is a new campground opening soon. Orchard gardens rv and tiny house campground in Manter Kansas. Check out their website or follow them on Facebook. They will give a 20% discount to people following them. 10% off veggies and fruit also.

5 years ago

How do you check the torque for lug nuts on a 40,000 lb, tag axel motor home with 22.5″ tires that are torqued down to 450 to 500 lbs?

Mike Sokol
5 years ago
Reply to  Ron

You’re now in semi-truck territory, and that’s something I used to do when I was 16 years old working in a truck shop. We used a really long torque wrench which goes up above 500 ft/lbs: https://www.amazon.com/Precision-Instruments-PREC4D600F-Detachable-200-600/dp/B000RT8ENE/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1522319605&sr=8-5&keywords=3%2F4%22+torque+wrench

Mike Sokol
5 years ago

I used to do cross-country road trips every few months in my Sprinter van, and I had a pretty serious check-list I did before every 2,000 to 3,000 mile trip. In addition to checking all fluid levels and tire pressures, I always took out my torque wrench to check the wheel lugs. Most of the time everything was fine, but once in a while it would take a little tug to get it back up to specs. In my misspent youth I lost the front wheel of my 280ZX on an exit ramp due to loose lug nuts, and I’ve been {bleeped} about checking them ever since.

Phil Atterbery
5 years ago

Mike’s reminder about lug nut torque caused me to recall an incident with my car hauler. I had a tire shred on my open car trailer while passing thru southern UT. I was able to find a tire shop that could get it fixed quickly & at a good price. As they reinstalled the wheel & tire I wondered if they used an impact driver to tighten the lugs. This was a quality shop as they used a four-way lug wrench to run the nuts on then finished tightening with a break-a-way torque wrench. They reminded me to recheck the lugs the next morning before getting on the road, which I did. Impact drivers should not be used for installing lug nuts unless you’re on pit road at Daytona.

David C
5 years ago

AED’s are no joke! My wife (who was 54 at the time) had a heart attack and collapsed at the gym. The people (trainers and people training) in the gym knew how to use an AED and saved her life!

She was clinically dead and wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for those people and an AED machine.

My wife is 56 now and is doing very well, we are going to be full time RV’ing starting this weekend! I’m very grateful she’s here with me to enjoy it!!

5 years ago

Lippert’s Master Towable’s manual that came with my Winnebago MicroMini specifies:

“Wheel nuts/bolts should be torqued before first road use and after each wheel removal. Check and re-torque after 10 and 25 miles and again at 50 miles. A periodic check during regular service is recommended.”

Sometimes I’ve found nuts that need tightening at all of 10, 25, & 50 miles. Other times not. This after visits to tire or brake shops.

Bob Farris
5 years ago

Today’s video about Ply rating for tires wasn’t. It was a very good discussion about making sure you have the same circumference tires in your dual axles.

Tommy Molnar
5 years ago

It’s too bad I can’t post a pic, but we recently arrived home after a five week trip where the tow vehicle started to have what I thought was tranny trouble. The last 50 miles had me stopping twice to check tranny fluid (it was up to where it was supposed to be). Crawled under the truck in search of leaks. Got home, backed the trailer into our yard, and waited for Monday to go see our mechanic. By now it was starting to feel like a bearing in the front. The truck shuddered at low speed. While backing into a parking space at our mechanic’s place and watching my left rear wheel in the mirror (to avoid junk on the ground) I noticed the wheel almost looking like it was ‘steering’. Huh? I stopped immediately, got out and looked, and holy cow, there was not ONE lug nut, or even one lug sticking out of the 8 lug drum. NOT ONE! My mechanic said he’d never SEEN that before. Not ALL of them gone! I guess it’s a miracle the wheel didn’t fall off at some point. He said the only reason he could see that the wheel didn’t come off was because of the one-ton large fat axle housing. In my LIFE, I’ve never checked lug nuts once I put a tire back on (I’m 72). You can bet I’ll now be {bleeped} about this – on every vehicle we own!

5 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Thanks for this article, and thanks to Tommy and others for relating their experiences. My little RV is in the shop now, but you can bet I’ll check the lug nuts when I get it back! I had new tires put on several months ago and didn’t know to check.

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