Thursday, June 1, 2023


RV Daily Tips Newsletter 957

Issue 957 • August 22, 2018

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Banish RV slideout squeaks
Driven to distraction by a squeaky slideout? There’s just something jarring to the nerves about this noise – perhaps it’s the same affliction that hits us when fingernails are drawn across a chalkboard. What’s to be done to exorcise those squeaks? With slideout extended, take a close look at the slideout support arms. If you spot any “wear marks,” it’s a good indication of a primary source of nasty noise. Grab a can of spray-on dry lube. Shoot the wear marks thoroughly, then using a clean, dry cloth, wipe down the excess. Dry lube sprays are preferable to “wet” lubes as they are less likely to attract dust and dirt. You’ll also find it useful to shoot the “teeth” on your slideout mechanism if you have any. Other anti-squeak tricks include ensuring that the squeak doesn’t emanate from contact between the slideout seal and the sidewall of the slide. With the slide extended, wash and dry the sidewalls, then apply the appropriate wax for the wall surface.

More on arresting runaway towels
“To stop the paper towels in my wet bay from unrolling from vibrations and bumps, I first cut an old washcloth in half, then I removed the towel holder. I then reinstalled the holder with the cut edge of the cloth under the edge. The cloth hanging across the towels exerts enough friction to hold the towels but still allows easy access to the towels. They don’t even unroll with the bay door open on a breezy day.” Thanks to Tony Gar.

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Stinky holding tank odors? Here’s the solution
Eliminate disgusting tank odors for less than $1 per treatment with formaldehyde-free Unique RV Digest-It. Unique’s highly concentrated, non-toxic blend of tank cleaning microbes maintains clean sensors, eliminates odors and liquefies the solids in your tank, ensuring no backups. All without harsh chemicals or dangerous ingredients. Try it once and you’ll be shocked at how clean your tank can be! Learn more or order.

Answer to today’s brain teaser: A goose

JOIN THE NEW FACEBOOK GROUP: RV Horror Stories (A place to share your story about a new RV you recently bought that is riddled with defects that your dealer or manufacturer can’t or won’t repair.)


RV showering alternatives
For some RVers, taking a shower in their own rig just isn’t practical or desirable. An obvious place to get a shower is at the RV park. But here are some alternatives: 1. Membership gyms: You can get a membership to some large gym outfits like Planet Fitness for as little as $10 a month. Free showers, exercise equipment, and free WiFi. 2. Public recreation centers: Many municipalities have a recreation center, some with a swimming pool. Buy a day pass, get a shower and access to whatever else is available. 3. National parks: We know, who’s gonna get into a national park campground without a reservation? Here’s a trick – the showers are open to all park visitors, not just the campers. Yes, bring a bunch of quarters, but hey, you get a “private” shower stall and lots of hot water. 4. Truck stops: Which, again, offer private shower stalls but also include towels, and most are cleaned before a new customer comes in. They can be a bit pricey, but heavenly oceans of hot water await.

Trailer safety chains
Use a side-to-side cross pattern to attach your chains under the hitch. This ensures that if your hitch separates, the tongue will fall onto the chains and not the ground, restricting the potential damage done. It also allows you to turn more tightly without them becoming entangled. From “RV Living: An Essential Guide to Full-time RVing and Motorhome Living” available here.

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Women Who RV Facebook group
For the ladies out there, this group is for you. With more than 14,000 women as members, you’re bound to make new connections, learn a whole bunch, and probably gossip over some wine or a spritzer. Enjoy!

Luxury RV resorts
Ah, resort life: the wind in your hair, martini in hand, your husband’s snores coming from the couch inside … some things don’t change no matter where you are. Whether you’re looking for a place to stay, or just window shopping, check out these beautiful resorts.

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

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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What do you call a Frenchman wearing sandals?
Phillipe Phillop

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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.

ADVERTISE on and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at) .

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 or this newsletter.

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Eric Meslin
4 years ago

I’ve had three travel trailers over the last 5 years (long story). Each one was made with one eye at the end of the coupling that holds both chains. I try to cross them, but it really doesn’t matter since the origination links are side-by-side.

4 years ago

The article about luxury RV resorts – For Solstice, it states that it allows all from travel trailers to luxury motor homes. However, when I went to the Solstice site, it notes luxury motorhomes and some spaces for luxury fifth wheels. That’s a pretty significant difference.

4 years ago

Regarding the “Are you currently registered to vote” poll. A better question would be, “Did you vote in your state’s last primary election” because that is where change is made. Much more important than the General election.

4 years ago
Reply to  Jim

My state has a partisan primary. I refuse to be affiliated with either party and really do not understand why I cannot select primary candidates from either party. So I do not bother with the primary.
I do however vote in the off years and spring elections that select our local leaders

4 years ago

Cross the chains to catch the tongue !! A member of my family didn’t once on a horse trailer the same morning they forgot to latch the ball [she was tired and in a rush]. The nose wheel pedestal bent when it hit the pavement at ~45mph and it had to be cut off [it was welded and not bolted on]. I had to use a jack to get hitch up onto ball to get home to rework the mess.

4 years ago

I have never been able to find the brain teaser question. When I see answers in the comments I go back and search for it again. Today, I found the answer, but not the question. Where is the question hidden?

Gordon Herrmann
4 years ago
Reply to  Lelia

The question is in the email message, the answer is in the newsletter.

4 years ago

Thanks! I never read the email, just go directly to RVTravel. I didn’t realize I was missing anything. Now I do!

Marilyn R.
4 years ago
Reply to  Lelia

It’s normally towards the bottom inside a blue banner.

4 years ago

Make sure your chains are not going to drag at all. A spark from metal on the road could start a fire.

Sherry Dawson
4 years ago

Regarding where to shower. . .
If you can’t find a private shower, look for outdoor showers at public beaches and parks. To protect your modesty (and avoid arrest), before leaving the RV put on a swimsuit, and (using liquid soap) suds up the private body areas. Then finish washing the hair and body and rinsing off the “unseen” soapy areas outside. This will be cold water, but in summer it’s very refreshing.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
4 years ago

In some states such as Texas it is law to have the chains crossed whenever towing. I would dare guess that other states have similar laws. Anyways it is just “common sense” to cross them all the time.

Karin S.
4 years ago

Oregon too!!

4 years ago

Law in California, as well!

Tommy Molnar
4 years ago

I see this tip about crossing the chains on your travel trailer all the time – and I doubt this would help. First, the chain connection on the trailer has only a couple of inches between the two chains where they are attached. Secondly, with most trailers, I think your nose wheel or stand would hit the ground long before the chains could stop it depending on the length of the chains. No matter what you do though, the chains may save the day. Hard to believe that a thousand pound tongue weight would pop off the hitch, no matter what. I’ve never read about that happening. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t but the ‘media’ is not awash with stories about trailers jumping off hitches.

Bob p
4 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

How about a metal fatigue failure where the hitch ball or the hitch itself fails. Not a common occurrence but if it did happen you’re covered. How many years do we buy insurance “in case something happens”?

Karin S.
4 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

I’ve actually seen this happen to a utility trailer, by me. I was in a hurry to hook up the trailer at work and forgot to put the lock through the holes on the hitch locking mechanism. When I drove up the ramp, off it popped. Thank goodness for the criss crossed chains!!! That was the LAST time something like that has happened to me. My pride was a bit bruised, as I needed help lifting it back up to the truck hitch.

Mike Sokol
4 years ago
Reply to  Karin S.

I also dropped a utility trailer off the hitch when going over a group of railroad tracks a little too fast. The sawing action of the up and down bumps sheared off the locking pin, but luckily the crossed chains caught the trailer tongue and kept it off of the tracks. Got a jack out of the truck to lift the trailer back up onto the ball, and there was no other damage. But now I take trailers over railroad tracks VERY SLOWLY.

4 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

Excellent reminder, Mike! The idea of a detached trailer snagging hard on steel rails is horrifying.

I *crawl* over tracks not only because of the see-saw stress on the hitch, but also the tight grade changes. I’ve seen some rail crossings that drag the nose or tail of long trailers even while attached. There’s one crossing here in Palmyra, NY where rails cross the road on a 4′ high burm, and *constantly* bellies/snags vehicles. The town finally put up a warning sign – which no one pays attention to even still, so now one of the town trucks is “stored” at a nearby pulliut.

Wolfe Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

I’d like to share your skepticism but I know that there are cases where detached trailers definitely have occurred… I’ve had a boat do that. Yes, saving the day “completely” by a magic cradle-catch is dependent on the chains being the perfect length, and the nosejack being well retracted. My RV chains are probably too long for that magic save, since I need to turn tight more often than catch a runaway, and I leave my jackfoot slightly extended (on par with the sway bars).

As for tongue weight saving you, no. Tongue weight is about control when rolling not clinging together while “flying.” Almost regardless of the weight, every time you hit a bump or change of grade the nose will pull up on the hitch. People jump heavy cars, right? It’s about inertia not gravity. A properly adjusted, closed and locked receiver stops detachment, but any of those can fail. The metal itself can fail.

Once the receiver lets go, and the unlikely catch does not occur, what happens? The trailer nose skids on the ground as you’d expect, but will still be nudged to follow the tow vehicle even out on the ends of the chains. Beats taking off into the horizon and careening fatally into oncoming traffic. It will likely quickly start harmonically swerving/bucking back and forth. DON’T BRAKE HARD and rear end yourself! Instead, slow only slightly faster than the trailer does, so you can steer it while drag friction stops it. I’ve had a heavy boat trailer detach at 65mph (failed hitch lock, big expansion joint heave), and only damaged my laundry after a bronco ride.

Even if you have a breakaway brake activator, it may not trip yet while chains are attached. If you have electric brakes connected, you should help stabilize the trailer by *manually* braking it only slightly harder than the tow vehicle.

If the breakaway switch does trip, the trailer will lock up and want to fishtail. Again, stay ahead of the trailer by stopping slower than it does. This can all take some “pucker factor” to control. 😉

One thing I still wonder is how a weight distributing hitch affects breakaway stops… Even without the ball, my trailer would have two stiff bars fairly tightly coupled to the trailer, so I’d think there’s some steering control through that. Maybe an RVT expert can weigh in on that effect?

4 years ago

I thought the quiz would be a “plant”. When they stop sharing all of my private information and my Californian vote counts equally, or at all. I’ll vote. I also don’t do jury duty. That’s my right to freedom.

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