RV Daily Tips Newsletter 961

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Issue 961 • August 29, 2018

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QUICK TIPS

bnilsen on flickr.com

A deduction regarding induction (cooking)
In response to a tip on how to keep the inside of your RV cool when needing to cook in a pan or skillet, Rob Stewart puts in his two cents: “We have been using a portable induction cooktop. It is nearly 100% efficient at heating the pan and not the surrounding air. We also use it in the cooler temperatures because unlike propane, it releases no extra water vapor into the coach.” Thanks, Rob. Hope the idea “pans out” for other readers!

Keep those air conditioner coils clean
Keeping the coils clean will prolong the life of your cooling unit. Besides dirt and dust, you may also find the “cotton” from cottonwood trees, or the pollen from various other trees, obstructing the coils. The best way to clean them: (1) Turn the unit off while you’re working on it. (2) Use an air compressor to blow out the debris (carefully – don’t bend the fins). (3) Apply a coil cleaning product (here’s a no-rinse one from Amazon) and let it soak for a few minutes or the time recommended on the can. (4) If directed, rinse with low-pressure water. (5) Use the air compressor again to blow out remaining water. Thanks to Deanna!


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

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RV trip planning has never been easier! RV Trip Wizard saves you time by making RV trip planning simple. Plan safe RV routes, avoid unpleasant surprises, and research campgrounds before you arrive. Even find gas stations, propane, and dump stations along the way. All this and more in one easy to use system! Learn more here.

Answer to today’s brain teaser: An egg


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.)


MORE QUICK TIPS

Making a case for RV driving school
By Jerry Minchey
Being skilled at driving (and backing) your RV not only makes you safer, but it can add a lot of joy to your RVing experience. When you’re backing into a campsite with half a dozen people watching you and you haven’t backed your rig since last year (or even if it was only last month), you’re probably not going to get it right the first time – maybe not even on the fifth try. This situation takes some joy out of your RVing experience. The best way to learn to drive your rig is to take a course with a certified instructor and let him teach you in your own RV … Or get some cardboard boxes and go to a Walmart parking lot early on a Sunday morning when it’s almost empty and practice turning, backing, etc. It’s not as good as taking a course, but you can learn a lot this way. And if you run over a cardboard box, it’s no big deal.

Remember, reading a book and practicing is not the same as actually taking an RV driving course; even if you get the book, still make plans to take a driving course as soon as you can. I’m an instrument-rated pilot with over 2,000 hours of flying time, but I haven’t flown much in several years. I remember reading an article in one of the flying magazines that said that doctors had the highest accident rate of any group of pilots. The reasons the article gave were that doctors didn’t take enough time to do an adequate preflight check of the plane or the weather, they didn’t fly enough to stay proficient, and they were overconfident. In other words, they had more confidence in their ability to fly than was justified. Make sure this doesn’t describe you when you’re driving or towing your RV. In addition to the safety factor, imagine pulling into a campground and backing your rig (motorhome, fifth-wheel or camper) perfectly into your camping space the first time – even with everyone watching. That in itself makes the cost of the driving course worthwhile.  From ” RVing: Less Hassle—More Joy: Secrets of Having More Fun with Your RV—Even on a Limited Budget.” Available here.

Hide-a-bed? Hide-a-pain
Many people find hide-a-beds stashed away in the dinette or couch to be pretty uncomfortable. Here are two suggestions from RVers on making them a bit more bearable: First, unfold a sleeping bag onto the bed and cover with a sheet. The sheet holds the bag in place, making it a bit softer. Or, another RVer puts down a piece of 4″ memory foam over the folded-out bed. When the foam isn’t in use, he stores it under, or on, the master bed.

Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com


Lightweight, waterproof, foldable backpack perfect for RVers
Ultra-light, ultra-durable, and ultra-handy for RV trips, this backpack is perfect for small-space living. Pack folds into a tiny sandwich-sized pouch, perfect for storage or for use on airplane trips. Many pockets, including two water bottle slots, make this waterproof pack great for hiking, camping or day-trips. Learn more and view all eight colors here.


WEBSITES OF THE DAY

Kellogg Show
Wonder what it’s like living in an RV with a family of 14? Yes, we said 14. The Kellogg family has been traveling full-time in their RV for four years. This is their blog. Read it and then go run around your RV and admire all the child-free space you have. 

Best diner in every state
Everyone loves a good diner, right? You can get breakfast, lunch or dinner at any time of day and you always pretty much know what to expect. Taste of Home has put together this list of the best diner in every state. Bon appetit! 

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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LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
A man walks into a bar and sits down. He asks the bartender, “Can I have a cigarette?” The bartender replies, “Sure, the cigarette machine is over there.” So he walks over to the machine and as he is about to order a cigarette, the machine suddenly says, “Oy, you bloody idiot!” The man says with surprise in his voice, “That’s not very nice.” He returns to his bar stool without a cigarette and asks the bartender for some peanuts. The bartender passes the man a bowl of peanuts and the man hears one of the peanuts speak, “Ooh, I like your hair.” The man says to the bartender, “Hey, what’s going on here? Your cigarette machine is insulting me and this peanut is coming on to me!” The bartender replies, “Oh, that’s because the machine is out of order and the peanuts are complimentary.”

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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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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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Wolfe
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Wolfe

I would say I rather NOT have concrete…too much like pavement camping en route.

That said, reasonably LEVEL is key. This past weekend my site required almost a FOOT of levelling side to side, enough it was hard to push the trailer up the ramp of blocks. Strangely, despite still being supported on the wheels (not frame jacks), this made my bathroom door out of true enough it jammed. Again, no idea how it would torque the frame this way… Voltages in the 90s once others arrived really lowered my star rating even further…

Bob Weinfurt
Guest
Bob Weinfurt

I wonder what happened to common sense. Seems to be as rare as hens teeth

rvgrandma
Guest
rvgrandma

I don’t care whether it is concrete or not. What I do care is whether it is level and too many are not. A couple times we were at ones that to get level the door was so high I couldn’t get in. Of course we asked to move with the park office saying: all our sites are level!!

Jillie
Guest
Jillie

After driving a school bus for 12 years and teaching mine how to drive a car I think I can honestly say I would never drive a motor home ever. I have my nice small TT and a car to tow it is more then enough for me. So if in Michigan and want a crash course? I can certainly give you one. As a bus driver I see things that scare me. Check out driving schools. They have to have something or else maybe I might actually open an RV driving school. Good luck.

Sherry Dawson
Guest
Sherry Dawson

Can the experts recommend some RV driving schools in different parts of the country, and tell us where to find certified instructors and how to choose a qualified one? Worse than no training might be bad training!

Mike Sokol
Editor

There was some kind of RV driving school offered at the Forest River FROG rally a few weeks ago. Goshen, IN would seem to be the epicenter for such things….

Sherry Dawson
Guest
Sherry Dawson

Thanks, Mike. I have these two driving schools in my spreadsheet for the day I purchase my Class C. However, I don’t know how to evaluate their competence.

RV Driving School: Has a map showing in many states around the U.S. https://www.rvschool.com/school-locations/

RV Basic Training: Their trainers come to you. $450 for a full day of training. https://www.rvbasictraining.com/

Bob p
Guest
Bob p

Easy quick way to check lug nuts is with a paint stick or just a dab of paint. If the paint dab shows a crack between the nut/wheel joint it’s loose, no crack it’s still tight. On 22.5” wheels used on large motorhome lug nut indicators can be installed that show they are still tight, but the paint is the cheapest.

Bob
Guest
Bob

Concrete pads are great and if it isn’t concrete, then being level is next best. Level with gravel and no potholes where the tires rest is ideal as well. I have had sites where the concrete was so broken up and heaved by tree roots that I have asked to be relocated in the park. Crushed shell is often used in some coastal area campgrounds and it also makes a good parking surface (if level) but tracks easily into your camping unit.

Booneyrat
Guest
Booneyrat

Regarding a “school” for RV drivers..IMHO..this should be mandatory for ANYONE who owns an RV no matter if it is a popup tent trailer or a monster land yacht. I have seen many rude people pulling giant toy haulers nearly causing wrecks because they can’t judge distance behind them. Also some of the people driving those moon size motor homes nowadays need to have a special license…since they can’t seem to see where they are going and think they own the road. Today’s common sense is nearly nonexistent.

Bob Weinfurt
Guest
Bob Weinfurt

I wonder what happened to common sense. Seems to be as rare as hens teeth

Tommy Molnar
Guest
Tommy Molnar

I won’t go into my lengthy story about lug nuts, but checking your lug nuts is GOOD advice. Who does that? Almost nobody. I never did. Now I DO, before every trip.

Steve-o
Guest
Steve-o

I always have since I first bought my 5er. (re: check the lug nuts) OCD. I carry a torque wrench with us. Good call Tommy.
I got great advice from a friend at work about learning what the heck do. Hooked me up with a friend of hers who is a full-timer. emailed those wonderful folks for months.
Also agree that education about driving an RV, articulated or giant, is a good thing. Sorry Booneyrat, trying to make things mandatory gets the government involved which of course messes everything up.

Wayne Caldwell
Guest
Wayne Caldwell

Chuck, Another safety warning. Check your lug nuts!! We were.preparing to go camping this coming weekend and I got out my trusty 4-way out wrench and tried to tighten the lug nuts on our travel trailer. First one didn’t move, second one didn’t move. Third one spun. Hmmmm. Fourth one spun. HMMMM! Fifth and sixth didn’t move. Third and fourth had sheared at the drum/hub. Two others unscrewed normally. The last two were seized to the studs. I had to break them in order to get the wheel and then the drum/hub off the trailer. I loosened, removed, and reinstalled… Read more »

Mike Sokol
Editor

And make sure you use the same jack and lug wrench you plan to use on the road. I checked the lug nuts on one of my cargo trailers with a torque wrench in my garage, but neglected to try the 4-way lug wrench in my truck to see if it would fit the trailer. It didn’t and I was stuck on the side of I-81 trying to change a spare tire without a lug wrench. Ugh!!!

John T
Guest
John T

You should not be tightening lug nuts with a 4-way wrench. You should be using a torque wrench, and tightening them to the torque stated on the placard above the axles or in the owner’s manual.