Issue 944 • July 31, 2018
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Mike Sokol on TV tomorrow tonight
Our electricity expert Mike Sokol will appear tomorrow night, Wednesday, on the 6 p.m. edition of the news on WDVM-TV 25 in Hagerstown, Maryland, discussing potentially dangerous RV Hot Skin conditions. We will show you the segment in next Saturday’s RV Travel Newsletter.
Grease up your electrical connections
With electricity expert and veteran RVer Mike Sokol
The bolt making the -12V to chassis bonding point failed on my RV, so I have to redo it. I want to prevent (minimize) oxidation of this copper, tinned copper, and steel connection over time. I haven’t needed to make this kind of repair for a long time (been out of RVing), but back then I would have used Noalox for something like this. Is there something better that you’d recommend? Thanks! —Al
Here’s what you need, NO-OX-ID, which is a conductive electrical grease that improves contact and reduces corrosion on all kinds of aluminum and copper electrical connections. It’s even good for your lead battery terminals. Find it here. —Mike
Ice is nice – Try a portable ice maker
Many RVers have commented on portable ice makers. Not a great deal for boondockers, as they chew up shore power. But if you are where shore power is available, people swear by them. Most make ice very quickly, that is, in a matter of minutes. And of course, most make bold claims about how much ice they’ll make. But when you look at the ice reservoir, you’ll begin to wonder. Here’s the trick: Let the machine make your ice, pull it out, and store it in your RV freezer. That way, you’ll get plenty of ice. What about cleaning them? One RVer says she simply dumps vinegar into hers, lets it make “vinny-cubes,” then cycles a few flushes of water through before making more ice. Here’s one available on Amazon.
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Carefree of Colorado Wireless Control for 12V Awnings
Enjoy full control of your 12V awning from as far away as 50 feet with the Carefree Connects™ Awning App. This Bluetooth® enabled system operates via mobile app or remote fob. Functionality includes extension, retraction, LED power and motion sensitivity. Pair with CarefreeMotion™ for maximum peace of mind. Click here for information.
Answer to today’s email alert brain teaser: Silence
MORE QUICK TIPS
Winter windshield wiper no-stick trick
If you do any winter camping with your motorhome, you may wonder what will happen when you try to pry your windshield wipers loose from the glass in freezing weather. The thought of tearing up those expensive wiper blades could wipe the smile off your face. Just get two tennis balls and “serve them” under the windshield wipers when you park. They’ll hold that precious rubber off the glass, and even if frost, ice or snow attacks the windshield, they’ll be safely suspended in air. Take the tennis balls loose and you’re ready to roll.
“Don’t run a new tire next to an old baldy on your duals. Ditto on front tires.” —Thanks to Bill’s Hints.
Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com
Amazon Deals of the Day!
Here are more than 1,000 special deals, just for today. And the items just keep on changing. If you can’t find a great deal here on something you want, then, well, you must not need anything. If nothing else, it sure is fun to poke around here to see the incredible array of cool stuff that’s available at this very moment at bargain prices! Click here for today’s deals!
WEBSITES OF THE DAY
How to garden anywhere
Sunset Magazine has put together a great list of ways to garden in small spaces. There are plenty of ways to garden while RVing – start with this list for inspiration.
Work For RVers
Looking for some work while on the road? This website shows current job postings you can do from your RV, or while you’re on the road passing through. Worth checking out!
Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.
Make popcorn in minutes with this collapsible popcorn maker!
Virtually fat-free, no cholesterol, full of fiber and vitamins – popcorn is the best snack! Pop it in minutes in your RV with this handy collapsible popcorn maker. Simply pour the kernels in the bowl, add your favorite seasonings, microwave for a couple of minutes and the perfect bowl of popcorn will emerge! Pretty hard to resist if you ask me… Learn more or order here.
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We have a strange custom in our office, the food is named! Yesterday, for example, I got a sandwich out of the fridge and its name was “Michael.”
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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, Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis.
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Contact grease? I’m confused.
Something’s not clear here in these comments or the article above. Dielectric grease is specifically NOT conductive. That’s what dielectric means. Yet Mike, in the above article, describes a conductive grease.
I’ve always used dielectric grease on bulb bases so as to not create a pathway for a short between the 2 terminals on the bulb. I hope it gets scraped away, on he contracts, so the contacts are working correctly.
On aluminum wiring I use a special grease made for the contacts. The idea is to prevent the troublesome aluminum oxidation. I’ve assumed this was a conductive grease. It is never referred to a dielectric.
Thomas, I need to write a full article to clarify this since my answers were admittedly confusing, but here’s the basics. All grease is basically electrically nonconductive, but they add metal particles to make it electrically conductive. Note that there’s also heat sink grease which is thermally conductive, but NOT electrically conductive. As you note dielectric grease is an insulator rated to withstand high voltage, but it can be used on electrical connectors since it’s supposed to be squeezed out from between the conductors when they’re compressed with a bolt or screw. And then there’s anti-oxidation grease compound, which is used on aluminum conductors to prevent oxidation that can lead to high resistance and overheating. Holy corrosion, Batman. My brain hurts just thinking about it.
“What’s your main source of news? ”
MANY on line news sources, not just one or several.
The gardening in the RV articles was nearly useless for a person who travels! I’m interested in the topic and am collecting ideas (and creating my own) for RV gardening. One of the simplest is to garden in water. It’s light-weight, clean, and easy to store for travel. Many herbs can be grown indoors year-round in water.
Here’s how: Take an herb cutting, remove the lower leaves and put in a clear container or a plastic bag . Don’t crowd stems. Add plain water. Place the container in bright light. Change the water once a week until the roots start growing. Then don’t change the water–just add more–unless it stagnates or the cuttings develop some decay. Then clean the cuttings, disinfect the container, and add clean water. Pinch off leaves to use in cooking frequently (and pinch back the plant if it gets overgrown). That’s it!
I grow my herbs in plastic single-use orange juice bottles. They have a flat bottom so they can be set on a counter, but I hang mine with macrame cord when I’m not driving.
P.S. I also grow some houseplants this way to brighten my RV. I took cuttings from most of my S&B houseplants and rooted them in water. They make a lovely accent alone, or with a grocery-store bouquet added occasionally.
If you want to try gardening in water as I described above, try some of these:
10 herbs that grow especially well in water: Basil, lemon balm, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, sage, spearmint, stevia, tarragon, and thyme.
These houseplants love growing in water: Pothos; arrowhead; philodendron; peace lily (don’t take cuttings, but use clean divisions or entire plant); aluminum plant; dracaena; dieffenbachia; Chinese evergreen or aglaonema (use cuttings or clean whole plants); chlorophytum or spider plant/airplane plant (use plantlets or clean whole plants in shallow water). Also grow an avocado plant from its seed.
Many food plants can also be grown in water. Watercress, water chestnut, wasabi, and lotus naturally grow in water. But many terrestrial vegetables grow better in water than soil. Wash the soil off transplants of these and watch them thrive in water: Lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, bush-type cucumbers, celery.
You will occasionally need to fertilize water-grown plants. (mainly the vegetables). Dilute regular fertilizers or use hydroponics formulations. Fertilizers accumulate burning residues in the water and on the roots over time–change the water and flush the plants and the containers occasionally.
Regarding your article on NO-OX-ID, I bet just by looking at, it’s the stuff they used years ago on automotive connections. I always though it was automotive grease! Actually I’ve used dielectric grease since the sixties on my battery connections & light bulb sockets, etc. When I worked for National cash register that were making computers at that time. They used it on most electrical connections. I still have a good supply of dielectric grease, so I won’t be getting any NO-OX-ID, well not now anyway.
Yes, it is a dielectric grease, but I don’t think that Vaseline (mentioned in a previous posting) has the same properties.
Most RVs have a volt meter for the 12 volt supply. I’m going to put a line volt meter in for the shore power.
Wiper blades in snow/ice areas…
On most cars and my Class-C the wiper arms can be pulled away from the windshield about 90 degrees and they stay there. If they ice up away from the windshield they can be gently slapped against the windshield to break loose the ice without wiper damage. That is what we do here in Colorado and my son in Wisconsin.
Regarding the tip to prevent corrosion of battery connections, Mike Sokol suggested using NO-OX-ID. While in the military, we spread petroleum jelly over the posts and cable connectors and never had an issue. This is much cheaper than the recommended commercial product and works just as well.
Bob, the tennis ball is put under the wiper arm, not the blade.
Concerning the windshield wiper tip, I would think a small dent or impression would form in the rubber from the tennis ball. I would suggest something that lets the wiper blade lay flat, such as a plastic shopping bag or wax paper. When I was driving a school bus we would use the plastic shopping bags to protect the windshield wipers and external mirrors from freezing over.
My wipers can be removed with a simple push of a small lever on the wiper arm. Putting them back on is just a push and click. Therefore, I just remove my wipers completely and store them in a dry storage compartment.
We just noticed since days are getting shorter, when plugged in to shore power, and one turns on an overhead light, the sound, not the picture, stops on the TV. This happens when the TV is plugged into 12 v or 110. Where do you even start trouble shooting this?
Wow, that’s a crazy one. Does your RV have an external sound-bar, or are the speakers built in? Does the sound come back on after you turn off the light?
Yes to external speakers
and yes, it sound comes back when you turn off the light.
Thanks for reading.
I think I found it, not fixed it, but at least found it. I brought in an extension cord from off trailer power- still lost the sound. So I unplugged the antenna and saw the antenna boost light. I think that is it. Thanks for being a sounding board.
Yup, divide and conquer. That’s how you solve problems…