RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 880

Issue 880 • April 10, 2018
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RVing Tip of the Day

Travel trailer shopping? Here’s what to look for
 
By Steve Savage, Mobility RV Service 
When shopping for a travel trailer, as with all RVs, start by considering how you intend to use it. As a general rule it’s easier to tow a smaller trailer than a large one, and obviously it’s important to be aware how much weight your tow vehicle can tow. Naturally, if you plan on staying put for long periods of time or full timing, lean in the direction of going larger in size.
 
I advise staying away from any RV that falls into the entry level, i.e., the cheap price range. The only way the manufacturers market entry level products is by “decontenting*” the product or by pushing it down the line. I have seen some of these where the appliances were not even wired before leaving the factory. I would also advise against buying from any manufacturer that has not been in business for at least five years. Everyone needs a track record.
 
Once you know what size and shape you’re going to tow, attend several RV shows and do some research on the Internet until you have a sense of differences in construction. Examine every aspect carefully and don’t attempt to buy based simply on a manufacturer’s reputation. Don’t forget to make sure everything works. After you narrow the candidate list, be sure to complete a test tow before signing on the dotted line and try not to get caught up in modifications and add-ons until you have used your RV for several months.
 
*Editor’s note: Decontenting is a term lifted from the auto industry. It’s the practice of leaving out features for the sake of price-reduction. Truck shopping? A “decontented” pickup may have manual door locks, instead of switched electronic locks normally found on the same model.

Read yesterday’s tipScreaming meemies: Black water backflow!

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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. 


QUICK TIPS

Keep emergency contact information in several locations
Have several copies of your emergency contact list with road service, insurance, family and health contacts, etc. Both RVers should have a copy, and additional copies should be left in the rig (glove box, bedside table), maybe even in “basement storage.” If anything happens, your information is always readily available.

Carry special Sprinter tools with you
With electricity expert, Mike Sokol
If you drive a Sprinter van or RV, you’ll want to carry any special tools it needs for a quick fix on the road. For instance, even something as simple as adjusting a door hinge on a Sprinter needs a special metric Torx bit, and just about everything else needs a Torx socket of some sort. Don’t be left hanging at a rest stop or campground, when a few basic hand tools would bail you out of a jam. This is similar to the Torx set I keep in my own Sprinter van for quick fixes on the road.

Safely remove a broken lightbulb from socket
Did you break off a 12-volt lightbulb and can’t figure out how to remove the base? Use a wine bottle cork to shove in the base and twist it out. Saves the fingers.

HOT TOPIC AT RV TRAVEL.COM
RV mods: Nitrogen for your tires?



WEBSITES OF THE DAY

Transfercar 
Transfercar is a service that helps rental car companies transfer cars between their branches while offering a way for travelers to travel for free. Here, you can search or browse rental cars and RVs needing to be transferred from some of the major U.S. and Canadian rental car companies.

RV USA
“Your guide to everything RV.” Explore topics such as buying and selling RVs, RV lifestyle information, recipes, destinations, RVing forums with thousands of posts, and lots more. You could get lost on this site for a while… 

99 ways to save money
AARP’s list tells you 99 great ways to save money. We could all use this advice, right? 

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


The definitive guide to road kill!
Are you among the millions of people whose only opportunity to observe wildlife comes after it has been run over and pressed into a patty on the highway, then desiccated by the elements until even flies don’t recognize it? This is the field guide for you! FLATTENED FAUNA fills an important gap in our natural history knowledge and fosters a heightened respect for the ecology of the paved environment. Learn more or order.


VIDEO OF THE DAY

Save your RV battery! How to install a battery disconnect switch
Mark Polk with RV Education 101 demonstrates how to install a battery disconnect switch directly on the deep cycle RV battery to prevent the battery from discharging due to parasitic loads. This is a simple installation that should take less than 30 minutes.

CLICK THE VIDEO TO SEE THE TIP
.
See all of our videos on our YouTube Channel.


Tank Sensors Reading Full?
Restore them overnight with Caravan Sensor Cleaner
Caravan’s highly concentrated, bio-enzymatic formula is guaranteed to remove the debris causing your tanks to misread. No driving necessary. No dangerous chemicals. No strong odors. Perfect for full-timers and permanently parked RVs. Learn more or buy at Amazon.com.

MORE QUICK TIPS

Clean the wiper blades before a trip to prevent scratching windshield
Keep your windshield from getting scratched up. If you store your motorhome between trips, put “clean wiper blades” on your preflight checklist. A little soapy water, a little glass cleaner and a soft rag run up and down the length of the blades can keep scratch-producing dirt off those blades.

Use a fresh bleach solution when you set up camp
If you use bleach water to spray down water fittings when you set up camp, listen up. Diluted bleach has a short life, so it’s best to do a small batch for spraying each time you make camp, rather than relying on old diluted stuff to protect you from bugs.

 

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


New & interesting finds at Amazon.com
See what really cool stuff Amazon is featuring today. It’s a whole lot of fun just browsing through all these great items. The selection changes every day, so check back often. You never know what you will find, which is part of the fun of visiting here. Check it out

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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, Deanna Tolliver, Mike Sokol, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.

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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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Related

7 Thoughts to “RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 880”

  1. Rory

    I’m the exact opposite of Wolfe. There are features I wanted and was willing to pay to have them installed by the manufacturer. Perhaps it’s only true in the car world that added on features even if they are done by a pro, are not counted towards the value of the car @ resale. Still the more youtubers I watch installing this and that, the more I appreciate what I have. I did my research and made sure I got everything on my list. Starting with lights in the Pantry, 110 plugs in convenient places, USB plugs, and a long list of other items. Everyone is not handy or creative. We are the poor souls who have to pay the extra dollars to have it factory installed. Oh wait, you have to pay for it too, and then spend the time and endure the frustrations of installing and testing, then reinstaling and retesting until you get it right. When you could have been on the road enjoying it. How’s that for sarcasm, the same thing I get when a DIY’er finds out I bought it that way instead of modifying it myself.

  2. PennyPA

    Please stop putting a little picture in Mike Sokol’s section because all the words some of the words are blocked out .

    We travel mostly on interstates now because we’ve stopped
    ” exploring ” and just travel from place to place anymore . 🙁

    1. Mike Sokol

      PennyPA,

      I test my columns on different browsers and computers, but I’m not seeing any blocked out words from the pictures. Can you take a screenshot of what’s going wrong with my section and email it to mike (at) noshockzone.org That way I can identify and fix the problem. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  3. Jerry S

    Maybe an article on Class A towing of dinghy. We are considering purchase of a Class A, after owning a 5th wheel for several years. One of the considerations is how much (dinghy weight) the Class A can safely tow. All the salespeople point out is the hitch capacity, which intuitively I know is not the whole story. Logically, part of the dinghy weight is on the wheels of the towed vehicle. But, the Chaises would have a limit, not necessarily the same as the hitch capacity. When looking at any Class A, what is the quickest and best way to determine the weight the Class A can safely tow?

    1. Gary Ripple

      Don’t take for granted that just because a hitch has 10,000 lbs printed on it that you can tow 10,000 lbs. the limiting factor is the weight limit of the frame where the hitch is attached to your tow bar or dolly. Most frames on motorhomes are extensions and are usually limited to 5000 lbs because of design, no matter what your hitch says. So that limits your toad to appx 3500 lbs curb weight not including what you have stashed in the toad, to be safe. I see full size pickup trucks, 4WD, whisteling down the road behind a motorhome and I cross my fingers the driver has enough sense to keep the speed under control and not wreck. Hope this helps

  4. Larry

    From and aftermarket vendor heads up, make sure to check with you aftermarket parts vender for clearance, power needs etc. I get calls everyday from people that tell me they just bought and RV and they would like to add our product. Only to find out that they don’t have the clearance or power needed to rum our product.
    A simple caller to your product supplier will make sure your not caught with and RV that won’t allow you to install the new goodies that make RVing easer and more fun.

  5. Wolfe

    In the RV, I haven’t run into TOO many places where I’d want the feature that’s missing at the price they’d tack on for it — I’d rather add many things myself, exactly the way I want them, and at much lower cost. Maybe I don’t know what I’m missing, but I probably can’t afford it anyway. 🙂

    That said, that “decontenting” (customer discontenting?) thing has gotten out of hand in the auto industry. When I bought my new truck, I was shocked that I have a “13-way electric seat” and the copilot gets an all-manual “2-way slide/recline”, operated by a pullbar up under the front of the seat where seated non-contortionists can’t snail-curl enough to reach it. My wife only adjusts it before getting in. This was OK because I do drive alone most of the time (also the reason the dealer explained the cheat), but it’s an obvious cheap-out.

    Similarly, I have a 10″ touchscreen radio console in the dash, but no CD (much less tape) deck. Dealer claims no one uses media anymore — except me. True enough, I do use MP3 on an SD-card happily enough now, but I also had BOXES of CD’s I had to convert just for the new truck. Would a $20 CD player have exploded the price on a $50,000 truck? Really?

    And then there’s the conspicuous lack of physical keys — with a huge keyfob I don’t want to always carry, which costs many hundred to replace, with batteries that can go dead at the worst moment — YES, this “dinosaur” customer wants a turn-key on my back and passenger sides! Tumblers are a couple dollars wholesale, for Pete’s sake! Caveat Emptor indeed!

    “Oh, you wanted a steering wheel that actually works? That’s extra!”

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