Issue 992 • October 23, 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!
Do you shop at Amazon? If so, would you use one of the links below to do your shopping? The link in the blue bar above also works. We get a tiny commission on what you buy. Even though our commission is small, at the end of the month it adds up, which helps fund this newsletter and our projects. Thanks.
U.S. shoppers: Shop at Amazon.com
Canadian shoppers: Shop at Amazon.ca
A few hints for winter layup
Storing your trailer for severe cold requires draining the fresh water AND the water heater. Install a water heater by-pass kit and then drain the water heater. The entire water distribution system should be drained through a low point drain or by blowing the pipes clean, using compressed air. Don’t forget the water supply to the toilet. Kitchen, shower and washbasin traps should be filled with nontoxic antifreeze. Batteries should be removed or kept fully charged. —From Bill’s Hints
Help me, Oh-Bee-Dee Two
With electricity expert and veteran RVer Mike Sokol
This is one of the best Christmas presents my kids ever got me: a ScanGauge II for my Sprinter van. It plugs into any vehicle with an OBDII scan port and gives you real-time info on up to four parameters you want to set on the screen. If you have a turbo-diesel it will show you MAP boost, or you can choose to watch the battery charging voltage, engine temp, RPM, percentage of load, and lots of other information that will alert you in advance that something might be going wrong with your vehicle’s engine. If you REALLY want to know your miles per gallon, there’s a simple calibration feature you can use to get real-time info on how much fuel you’re sucking by going that extra 5 mph or whatever. I’ve used mine for more than 300,000 miles and it has helped me diagnose numerous problems while out on the road. Get one here.
Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
AND MAKE MORE ROOM UNDER YOUR SINKS
Today’s brain teaser (answer below): I’m sweet, but dangerous. The dentist hates me, but the children love me. I have no beginning, middle or end. What am I?
MORE QUICK TIPS
Segregation at work in the hose compartment
We’ve urged readers to use separate hoses for dirty tasks, like flushing sewage, and saving your fresh water hose for that single purpose. Here’s Phil’s response: “I cap all of my hoses, regardless of purpose. And, yes, I keep the caps separated by color flagging so I don’t put ‘flush’ on ‘fresh’!” Thanks, Phil!
Shopping online for a motorhome? Helpful websites
from Bill Myers
eBay.com – I check the ‘motorhomes for sale’ section of eBay almost every day to see what people are bidding on different motor homes – especially the models I’m interested in. I usually don’t buy motorhomes on eBay, as the auction bidding process can drive prices higher than I want to pay. For me, eBay is a good place to see what people are paying for motorhomes and a good place to sell motorhomes. But not always the place to get the best deal when buying.
craigslist.org – I’ve found a number of good deals using Craigslist. But I also find lots of fraudulent offers for non-existent motorhomes from scammers. My experience has been if a Craigslist ad for a motorhome doesn’t include a phone number, it very likely is a scam. If the seller isn’t willing to talk to you on the phone, or won’t tell you where you can see the motorhome, or tells you he is deployed overseas or needs to sell the motorhome to raise money for a wedding, it’s probably a scam. If you learn to recognize and avoid the scam listings, you can sometimes find a great deal on a motorhome being offered by a perfect seller on Craigslist.
searchtempest.com –I use this free website to search all Craigslist locations nationwide or by region or state for specific keywords.
rvs.oodle.com – A site that compiles motorhome for sale listings from a large number of classified ad and dealer websites. You can search by model as well as by distance from your home, and you can set it to notify you when a new ad is posted matching your search criteria. Often, Oodle will have motorhomes that don’t show up on eBay or Craigslist.
rvtrader.com – Filled with mostly dealer listings, but does include listings by individuals. Asking prices are typically higher here, usually full retail and more, but deals can be found.
–From Buying a Used Motorhome – How to get the most for your money and not get burned
Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com
The EASY way to buy window shades
Carefree‘s Simply Shade Window Awning is the first cash and carry complete window awning system that can be bought off of dealer shelves and installed the same day! Simply Shade Awnings fit windows up to 36″ tall. Click here to learn more.
WEBSITES OF THE DAY
Gr8 Lakes Camper
This site is all about camping in the Great Lakes region … and so much more. Find everything from gear and product reviews, to RV show information, to news about the industry.
Play to your heart’s content! Here’s AARP’s page with all your favorite online games. Care to beat your partner at Bridge?
Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.
PRODUCT OF THE DAY: You need this for your dashboard.
Answer to today’s brain teaser: A doughnut
Join us: Facebook • Twitter • YouTube.
LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
ALERT! Please note the following public service announcement: In Alaska, tourists are warned to wear tiny bells on their clothing when hiking in bear country. The bells warn away MOST bears. Tourists are also cautioned to watch the ground on the trail, paying particular attention to bear droppings to be alert for the presence of grizzly bears. One can tell a grizzly dropping because it has tiny bells in it.
Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com. UPDATED HOURLY.
TRENDING STORIES IN PAST 24 HOURS:
•Class action lawsuit filed against Camping World
•RVing today is a far cry from what it was a decade or two ago.
•Troubleshooting RV furnace problems.
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. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
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.
Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.
This website utilizes some advertising services. Sometimes we are paid if you click one of those links and purchase a product or service. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc . RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
This newsletter is copyright 2018 by RVtravel.com
You abbreviated the joke to death. The standard version runs:
The National Park Rangers are advising hikers in Glacier National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.
They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.
Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear’s sensitive nose and it will run away.
It is also a good idea to examine any fresh bear scat so you will know which species of bears are in the area:
Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur.
Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and fabric, and smell of pepper.
Very interesting and helpful furnace article by Mr. Savage.
Reference the OBDII reader: I wish I could put one those in – but alas, we have a vintage pre-OBDII – 1994 class A motorhome in perfect condition! I installed a vacuum gauge, Trans Temp., Tach and an air/fuel ratio (O2 sensor) monitor. The Vacuum gauge is ideal for fuel mileage checks and down shift points. (yes, we still have a land-line and a Tracfone too!). Safe travels!
Different colored fingernail polish on hoses and fittings works well to segregate the dirty hose fittings from the fresh water fittings. I use red for dirty, and blue for fresh.
Bob P, could you explain just how you do that? I would like to monitor engine and transmission temps but don’t have the $160 right now.
Hi Penny: You can quite simply and low cost too, install a Transmission Temp gauge and an Engine gauge also. More than likely you will have a space somewhere on your panel where you can mount the gauge. If you are also interested in fuel mileage – add a Vacuum gauge. The gauges can be with either needles or digital type readouts. Check any auto parts store or catalogue
I have a dedicated Scangauge-E in one car, but you can do better with a $3 ELM27 bluetooth dongle and any tablet or cellphone (including old deactivated ones). Get ELM27 on AliExpress, and “DashCommander”, “Torque” or any other OBDII scanner from whatever app market.
Seriously, $3…not $150.
If you already know what brand RV you want, go to that brand’s webpage and look in their listings. Sometimes you can find just what you’re looking for.
On the OBD II scan gauge I use my phone and the OBD II link for a lot less than $160, it tells everything that’s available in the ECM in a larger format. Since I don’t talk on the phone while driving having the phone linked with the motorhome is not a problem.
Perhaps I overkill the gauge thing, but I have my phone doing WAYZ as a backup to my dedicated GPS, the ScanGauge II showing basics, plus I have a large OBDII scanner in my tool box, and an OBDII reader for my computer. I just don’t have the iPhone App yet. I’m feeling a little left out…
“Tiny bells in it….” Ohhhhhh 🙂
Someone spent a lot of sleepless nights thinking that one up, I hope they’re recouping the lost sleep!
During his life our 15-year-old Labrador retriever has traveled with us in our RV to and through more U.S. states and Canadian provinces than most *people* have been — all but Hawaii and a couple of states in the upper Midwest, and seven provinces.