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RV Doctor Newsletter: Issue 17
Issue 17, April 21, 2013
A monthly newsletter from Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor
Greetings from Gary
Click the video to hear Gary talk about this issue's featured topic
Well, I’m sure by now you’re ready to get that RV out of storage and get headed down the highway to your favorite campground. And next month we’ll delve into the intricacies of preparing the RV for another camping season. But this month I had the opportunity to visit one of the leading experts in RV solar technology, AM Solar, in Springfield, OR. Greg and Deb Holder and I go way back and it was time we got caught up.
With advancements in RV solar equipment, now is probably a good time to consider if solar battery charging might enhance your RVing lifestyle. So be sure to click on this issue’s “Topic of the Month” just a few clicks below.
And since parts of the country are still shoveling that white stuff off the driveway, we’ll wait until next issue before setting the stage for that all-important, de-winterization and spring shakedown experience. I sure appreciate your subscription to the RV Doctor Newsletter and look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at one of my upcoming RV Owner Maintenance seminars. Thanks for subscribing!
Sign up for new RV Daily Tips newsletter.
My friends at RVtravel.com now publish a daily (M-F) online newsletter. Each issue includes one brief article about how to improve your RVing — including lots of maintenance and repair tips — many from me — as well as a daily one- to two-minute video tip. I urge you to sign up. This is really good and really helpful! Sign up here.
Did you miss yesterday's edition of the RV Travel newsletter? If so, read it here.
Two hundred helpful RV videos at the RVtravel.com YouTube channel.
tire pressure and temperature
The TireTraker™ TT-400C is a full-time wireless electronic tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) designed to monitor & display tire pressures from 0 psi up to 145 psi & also to monitor tire temperatures from 14°F to 185°F. Monitor tires on your motorhome, trailer & tow vehicle -- up to 22 tires! Low pressure is the leading cause of premature tire failure! The TireTraker™ TT-400C, with its industry-leading 3-year warranty, can provide early notice of potential problems & assist in maintaining proper pressurization. List price (four tires) $319. Our price only $219. SAVE $100! Learn more or order. Read testimonials about Tire Traker.
This Issue's "Topic of the Month"
Solar Battery Charging for Recreation Vehicles
With all the 12-volt DC devices and loads found in and on most all recreation vehicles, many RVers struggle with maintaining a healthy battery system, especially during RVing excursions off the grid: dry camping, boondocking, etc. I often mention in my seminars how, without a healthy battery system, it’s nigh impossible to ignite most of the propane appliances inside the coach and why proactive battery care is of upmost importance.
RV batteries, the good ones, are not cheap. Therefore, it’s in our best interest to do all we can to get the most out of our battery systems. And this involves maximizing all elements within the entire 12-volt DC system, including proper charging and discharging techniques. The focus this month, therefore, is to explore the viability of RV solar battery charging. I firmly believe solar technology has advanced to the point that all serious RVers (and you know who you are!) should consider whether solar power is in your future. Take a look at this month’s “Topic of the Month” and see what you think. Click here to check it out.
eBook: The RV Doctor's
Technical Guide to RV Electrical Systems
Learn from Gary about the 120-volt electrical system on an RV. While the voltage and current we use in our RVs may seem the same as what we're accustomed to at home, it's not, and Gary graphically explains why. This should be essential reading for RVers. This is a digital PDF file that is instantly delivered to your email address. Learn more or order.
In Case You Missed It:
Avoid those water leaks! They can lead to very expensive structural repairs. Many RVers understand the importance of keeping water and moisture from entering the RV through faulty seals or other forms of compromise, but oftentimes it’s difficult, at best, to determine exactly where the leak exists. Well-equipped RV service facilities rely on a SealTech machine to accurately identify air or water leaks in any RV. Check out this RV Doctor video tip.
Now 50% off!
Ten Minute Tech, Volume 2
Wow! This is awesome – 600 illustrated tips from the editors of Trailer Life and Motorhome Magazines and their readers about ways to fix, modify, repair or otherwise improve an RV. No kiddin' – this book is terrific! And you have never seen it at such a low bargain price (and likely never will again)! Learn more or order.
RV Solar System Maintenance
Many of the components in a well-designed RV solar system require very little maintenance, but there are still some things you should check periodically. Solar panels, being up on the roof of the RV, often fall victim to the out-of-sight, out-of-mind syndrome. Here are some maintenance tips you should consider.
Gary’s Speaking Schedule
Here’s where you can attend my live RV owner maintenance seminars in the coming months. Please come by and say hello if you’re in any of these areas!
•May 13-16: RVSEF Lifestyle, Education & Safety Conference, Colorado Springs, Colo.
•June 13-16: Good Sam Rally, Syracuse, N.Y.
•June 19-22: FMCA Family Reunion, Gillette, Wyo.
If you'd like to have the RV Doc present RV owner maintenance seminars at an RV event near you, be sure to let the show promoter know. Feel free to send them this link!
There’s still time! The 2013 RV Lifestyle, Education & Safety Conference!
Enrollment is filling up quickly, but you still have just a little more time to sign up for the 2013 annual conference sponsored by RVSEF. Gary and Walter Cannon invite you to attend this year’s RV Lifestyle, Education and Safety Conference. Check out this YouTube invite!
Special low price!
Woodall's RV Owner's Handbook
Woodall's RV Owner's Handbook by the RV Doctor Gary Bunzer is a complete, illustrated guide to preventive maintenance and repairs. This updated fourth edition covers RV issues such as towing with a motorhome, winterizing your RV, holding tank systems, heating systems, water pumps, trailer towing, spring shakedown, water systems & much more. Learn more or order.
Other RV Solar “Things to Consider”
As mentioned in the intro video, the RV Doc had a chance to visit the home of AM Solar in Springfield, Oregon, just outside Eugene. Founded by Greg and Deb Holder, AM Solar is, in my estimation, the premier supplier of very sophisticated solar-powered systems for RVs. Greg has also assembled a wonderful educational website about RV solar technology. Read his “Things to Consider” article and bore down deep into the other educational pages here.
DVD: Do It Yourself RV Care
In this best-selling DVD, the RV Doctor shows you how to maintain and care for your RV. Gary provides you with visual instructions for inspecting and maintaining the AC system, LP appliances, liquid propane, air conditioning, battery systems and plumbing systems. There is also specific information about motorhomes and towable RVs. The 63-minute DVD was produced in cooperation with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. Learn more or order.
Interesting Questions to the RV Doctor
Do you have a question for Gary?
Or even a comment about the RV Doctor Newsletter? Click here to post your question.
PA RV & Camping Association Mini-Sweepstakes!
Does a free $100 gas card pique your interest at all? Plus four free tickets to America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pennsylvania, this coming September? The Pennsylvania RV & Camping Association, PRVCA, is sponsoring a fun photo contest entitled “My RV - Home and Away”. Just snap a few photos of you and your RV while at home and then again at your favorite RV destination site. To see some of the photos already submitted as well as all the details about how to enter the Home and Away mini-sweepstakes, click here. You have until May 10th to enter!
RV Doctor Videos!
You may not be aware, but the RV Doc has another website, www.RVdoctorVideos.com, a collection of some of the videos we've produced over the years. Some are product reviews while others are simply one-off responses to individual questions posed by readers and subscribers like you. Here’s a few RV Doc videos pertaining to batteries:
- 6-volt or 12-volt batteries?
- One problem with staying plugged into shore power all the time.
- I think my batteries are being overcharged!
- How to disconnect your towed car battery while towing behind a motorhome.
An RV Dumbwaiter?
Yep…that’s the look on my face I had, too, when I was first contacted by its inventor, Ron Weller. I had the chance to meet Ron and shoot this little video that explains how the RV dumbwaiter works. It’s a cool little design that can certainly ease the hassle of fumbling with grocery bags or other cargo you might want to load into the coach. Check out the RV dumbwaiter here.
The RV Doctor’s Puzzle Pix
Congratulations to Mike Kuhn of North Ogden, Utah, for correctly identifying the Puzzle Pix photo in the last issue of the RV Doc Newsletter. This aerodynamic, silver-tubed classic fooled most people into thinking it was an old Airstream; not so! Others guessed it might be an Avion; wrong again! Click here to see what the brand is of this blast from the past! Way to go, Mike!
Now for this month’s Puzzle Pix, here’s a clue: it’s related to the current theme of this newsletter! You must be very specific when you identify this component. The 15th person with the correct response will win the RV Doctor eBook, “The RV Doctor’s Technical Guide to RV Electrical Systems - Part 1”.
Click here to begin your assembly of this month’s RV Doctor Puzzle Pix! Send your best guess to me at email@example.com. The 15th correct response wins!
America's most-watched RV channel on YouTube
Watch hundreds of RVing videos at
the RVtravel.com Channel on YouTube
Watch helpful videos by America's best known RVing experts including the RV Doctor at the RVtravel.com YouTube Channel. The hundreds of entertaining videos have been viewed more than 2.3 million times, more than any other YouTube channel devoted to RVing! Visit the channel to watch videos and/or to sign up to receive notices of each new one posted.
Have a Question for Gary?
Or even a comment about the RV Doctor Newsletter? Click here to post your question.
About the RV Doctor
Gary has been authoring the RV Doctor column every month since 1976. Many of the RV magazines that have carried the column have gone by the wayside, yet it endures! Currently you can find the printed version of the RV Doctor column every month in FMC Magazine.
The RV Doctor Newsletter is a free subscription newsletter. All effort is made to ensure the correctness of all content. It is imperative that if you choose to follow any instructions or procedures outlined in the newsletter, you must first satisfy yourself thoroughly that neither personal nor product safety will be compromised or jeopardized. If you are in doubt or do not feel comfortable about a procedure, do not continue. Simply call your local RV service facility and make an appointment with them. Remember, the advice, recommendations and procedures offered by the RV Doctor are solely those of Gary. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions, procedures and recommendations of RVtravel.com, our sponsors or advertisers.
The email addresses or any other personal information of subscribers to this newsletter is never sold or shared with outsiders.
© 2013 Bunzer Consulting, Inc.
All rights reserved
Space heater uses only 200 watts!
It's hard to believe that an electric space heater could use a mere 200 watts — the same as a couple of light bulbs, a fraction of others. But this one does, and it really works! It's meant to heat a nearby person, not a room. Put it on your desk or at your feet. It's perfect for the RVer who's "always cold." For about $17, this is a winner. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
Keep rodents out of your RV!
The positive reviews on Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent make it a best bet for keeping your RV rodent-free. This is the only plant-based rodent repellent registered for inside use by the EPA. It effectively repels rodents up to 100 days with a "woodsy" scent that's pleasant to humans but offensive to rodents. It's safe around kids and pets. 98% biodegradable. Endorsed by the Good Sam Club. Learn more or order.. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.