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Issue 991 • October 22, 2018
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Stabilize before deploying slideouts
“Vehicle jacks are essential for stabilization with rooms extended. Level and stabilize before extending the slideout. If you do not stabilize first, the slideout will change your level when it is extended.” —From Trailers & Fifth Wheels Made Easy
Microwave security is “totally tubular”
Here’s yet another take on holding that precious turntable in place while bouncing down the road, this one from Glen Scofield: “Whenever we travel in our RV, I secure the turntable in the microwave with a cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels. Cut to just a little more than the length from the dish to the ceiling of the appliance. Wedged in, the cardboard tube has worked for us for several years. After a while, of course, the tube needs replacing. Lately, I’ve found a much more substantial cardboard tube from something else (I don’t remember what). Cut to the desired length it has sufficed for the last couple of years and several road trips without damage to the turntable.” —Thanks Glen!
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Unique RV Overnight Experiences at 600+ Wineries, Farms and More
With a Harvest Hosts membership (just $49/year), you can stay overnight at more than 600 wineries, farms, breweries and other attractions in North America for free! Harvest Hosts offers a unique alternative to traditional campgrounds, where members can meet interesting people, taste great wines, eat fresh produce and stay in peaceful settings. Learn more here.
Today’s brain teaser (answer below): It’s in the church, but not in the steeple; It’s in the parson, but not in the people; It’s in the oyster, but not in the shell; It’s in the clapper, but not in the bell. What is it?
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MORE QUICK TIPS
Hitch rating hint
Your tow vehicle may be rated to tow 7,000 pounds, but if the hitch receiver on the vehicle is rated at 5,000 pounds that is the most you can tow. Tip from Mark Polk, RV Education 101.
Fulltimers and health insurance
from John and Kathy Huggins
[Insurance] affordability is in the eye of the beholder, but there are many companies that will provide varying levels of health insurance for a monthly or semi-annual fee. The obvious point here is even a short hospitalization can produce tens of thousands of dollars in costs and an office or urgent care visit with the attending tests can run into several thousand. If you set out on the full-time lifestyle without health insurance, you are betting everything you have that neither of you will become seriously ill. It’s a crapshoot, my friends. I cannot in good conscience recommend this lifestyle to you without your having adequate health insurance coverage. —From So, you want to be an RVer? And Enjoy the RV Lifestyle? [Revised]
Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com
Tackle the Tailgate: Keep Your Plumbing Up to Date
Kick off your tailgate without worrying about your plumbing system. Shop Road & Home™’s complete collection of plumbing repair and replace parts, available nationwide at Lowe’s stores. With your plumbing system in full working order, you can focus on what really matters – the game!
WEBSITES OF THE DAY
Ah, beautiful Oregon, one of our favorite states. These are some of the state’s most beautiful lighthouses. Park the RV and go explore!
Halloween Food Ideas
If you’re a baker, or feeling [witch]crafty, these fun recipes are for you. Have friends in the campground? Have a Halloween bake-off and compete for prizes.
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My microwave is too full of chips/crackers/breakfast cereal (I keep inner bag and get rid of the bulky box packaging) for that plate to go anywhere.
I guess that my 8 air-bag Monaco coach must be really effective for giving a smooth pleasant ride versus other brands because we have never secured the microwave plate in the 15 years of ownership and over 60K miles of travel with three trips to Alaska and back. Plus WRT deploying slides and leveling ALWAYS follow the manufacturers recommendations. NEVER listen to what others say or publish!
My stabilizers don’t really level the trailer. When I put out the slide it lowers that side (even after stabilizing). I level the tires to a little off level side to side to allow for the slide effect. If it’s fairly level front to back, I’ll leave it on the tow vehicle in case I need to add more leveling blocks after deploying the slide. Then I can use the tongue jack to finish leveling. Finally, I stabilize.
I do eat frozen packaged dinners, but way less than once per week (more like once every two or three months). I had to say never on the survey. However, we freeze leftovers or freeze meals before leaving on a trip. These frozen meals usually get us through the first week without shopping or cooking (other than heating up).
I don’t agree with the tip re: stabilizing before deploying your slideouts. My owner’s manual states very clearly, that slideouts should be deployed before leveling the coach. Different manufacturers recommend different procedures. One should always find out what the manufacturer of your unit recommends.
Thanks, Rory. I always read the comments to get experienced RVers advice and store it in my spreadsheets as a counter arguments for the “expert” advice we get. I will read my owner’s manuals from cover to cover when I buy my next RV, and copy pertinent information to my departure and arrival checklists. But I appreciate your calling attention to this important consideration so I’ll be sure not to miss it.
Owners of Entegra Coaches are instructed that the slides must be the first thing out when parking and the last thing in when leaving. When moving slides the coach must be at ride height.
I use the microwave as my bread box. It is a place to put the bread and holds down the turntable at the same time!
Again the survey is missing a category: “Less than once a week.”
I have always “drive leveled” (with ramps) to 1/2 bubble towards the slides. When I roll out the slides, it settles perfectly level. Know how much roll your slides will impart.
I then drop the antisway stabilizers (not levellers), because I’d kill myself putting them down after the slides. Once stabilized, i roll out the two massive slides. My manual confirms this is the right order.
For the first time this year, i ran into a new problem at a REALLY soft campsite. A few hours after setting up, my son told me the bathroom door was locked even though it doesn’t have a lock. Sure enough, jammed pretty tight. One of the rear stabilizers, standing on a solid 8×12 concrete RV brick, had buried the brick into the soft gravel/muck, temporarily(?) warping the frame significantly when the other stabilizers became levellers with way too much weight on them. So, watch out for soft ground!
Another reason to put your levelers down before you deploy your slides, if you don’t & then level after you put them out, you risk damage to the slide mechanism. I’ve forgotten & have leveled in the past & when you level its done in jerky increments & some slides don’t like that. I’ve also tried to re-level after deploying the slides as our kitchen one is very heavy & tends to lower that side. I just dont do it any more as to the way it jerks up & down. It actually messed up my Lippert Schwintek system & cost over $3000.00 dollars. Lesson learned!
I musts take issue with the TIP that says “Stabilize before deploying slideouts”. It should say “Read the manufacturer’s instructions before you deploy either stabilizers or slideouts.” The instructions for our motorhome are very explicit – EXTEND SLIDEOUTS BEFORE DROPPING JACKS”. To do otherwise might cause damage to suspension or slideouts.
While the article on stabilizing before putting slides out is well intended and is right for some units it is certainly not for all. Highly recommend READING & FOLLOWING UNIT OPERATING DIRECTIONS or if not available finding info somewhere. One size does not fit all.
My Monaco Dynasty with a 10 air bag system info specific states “EXTEND AND RETRACT SIDES IN -TRAVEL MODE -otherwise Significant Damage can occur. Then LEVEL.
A pool noodle cut to length would work better and last forever instead of a cardboard tube for holding the microwave plate in place.
I was thinking pool noodle as well, if concerned about the turntable. My wife has totally forgotten it many times and never had a problem (yet?). However, rather than stabilizing it in place, we just put the turntable and oven’s pizza stone in the rack with plates. I’m a lot more concerned about the stone than the tempered glass turntable!
We just order paper towels rolls in there seems to take care of all the problems we put about two or three of them in there problem solved