RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 858

Issue 858 • March 1, 2018
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RVing Tip of the Day

Change out that flat tire in no time flat
 
By Dave Helgeson
Sooner or later every RVer will experience a flat tire. Yes, most of us can summon emergency road service and have the flat changed if you are willing to wait, perhaps even hours, for the service truck to arrive. It really isn’t that hard to do, and using the tip below will speed up the job.
 
Most travel trailer and fifth wheel owners travel with a cordless drill to raise and lower their stabilizing jacks, among other functions. In addition to the socket that fits on the stabilizing jacks, carry a socket that fits your tow vehicle lug nuts/bolts and your trailer lug nuts/bolts. Next time you find yourself changing a flat tire, break the lug nuts/bolts loose with a tire iron then quickly spin them off the rest of the way with the cordless drill using the appropriate socket. This saves the time of tediously twisting each nut/bolt off by hand and greatly speeds up the job. Once the tire is changed, quickly spin the nuts/bolts back on with the drill until snug and then torque them tightly with your tire iron. [Editor’s note: At this point, use a torque wrench to tighten down the fitting to specifications.]
 
Using your cordless drill is almost as convenient as having an impact wrench connected to compressed air like the tire shop uses. As you are spinning the nuts/bolts on and off with your drill imagine yourself as part of a NASCAR pit crew and you will never view changing a flat tire as a boring, dirty job again.
 
Additional tip: If your vehicle is four-wheel drive and you have a flat front tire, engage the four-wheel drive before jacking up the flat tire. By engaging the four-wheel drive you are in effect locking the front wheel from turning. Now the front wheel won’t spin when you break loose and tighten the lug nuts/bolts.
 
When changing a tire always follow these safety rules:
  • Make sure the ground is level and firm. Jacks should never be placed where the ground is soft and subject to sinking.
  • Use chocks to keep the vehicle from rolling. Block the front and back of the tire that is diagonally opposite to the flat.
  • Place safety reflectors or flares behind the vehicle when changing a flat on the shoulder of the road to alert other drivers.
  • Never crawl under a vehicle when supported solely by a jack.
  • Follow your vehicle’s owner manual for proper procedures and warnings for changing a tire.

Read yesterday’s tipQuick Voltage Reference Chart

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State, Regional,
City and U.S. maps
A GPS is great, but there’s nothing like a folded map to plan a trip or guide you where you’re going once you’re underway. Just about every folded map you would ever need is here. Most sell from about $2 to $6. Check ’em out or order.


QUICK TIPS

Don’t let your tire pressure get low
Tire load ratings are great — provided you keep the tire at the recommended inflation rate. If the tire pressure is low, forget the weight ratings — you’re playing with fire in the form of excessive tire heat that can blow your tire in flight.

Ground your RV properly
With electricity expert, Mike Sokol
A ground rod will do nothing to “ground” your RV. The only real ground connection is through your shore power plug’s EGC (Equipment Grounding Conductor) pin. So don’t drive a ground rod thinking that will solve a hot-skin condition. It won’t.

Drafty motorhome?
Motorhome got a cold draft you can’t account for? After eliminating an open window or roof vent, check your dashboard environmental controls. Vacuum-operated intakes left in the open position when the engine is shut down may well stay open, allowing cold air to infiltrate. Turn the engine on, close the vents, shut engine off. Done deal.

HOT TOPIC AT RV TRAVEL.COM
While RVing, have you ever had to rush your pet to a vet?


mice-653Keep rodents out of your RV!
The positive reviews on this 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 so no safety warning is required. 98% biodegradable. Used effectively by the RV Travel staff. Learn more or order.


WEBSITES OF THE DAY 

Speedtrap.org
Identifies over 80,000 speed trap locations on roads and highways in the USA and Canada. Listen to the locals and save yourself a ticket!

America’s best winter drives
Check out America’s beautiful sites from the comfort (ahem, heat) of your RV or car. Prefer the open road to the, well, very crowded roads of July and August? We do too. 

Pocket
“When you find something you want to view later, put it in Pocket.” Put articles, videos or pretty much anything into Pocket and it will then be on your phone, tablet or computer. “You don’t even need an Internet connection.” Over 10 million users and counting!

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


Need mail forwarding? Choose the best!
Bonus for joining: Get a $25 gift certificate good at 25,000 restaurants
Choose Americas Mailbox! It’s the best, endorsed by RVtravel.com which has toured its South Dakota facility and interviewed its very customer-oriented owner. Many plans available. Learn more. Or view the video interview RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury conducted with Americas Mailbox owner Don Humes.


VIDEO OF THE DAY

Camp with your RV at farms and wineries
Harvest Hosts is a service for RVers that enables members to stay free overnight at hundreds of participating farms, wineries, museums and other locations. In this video, owners Kim and Don Greene explain how the program works, including benefits for members.

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


faucet-755

SUPER HANDY!
Add an outdoor water faucet to your RV!
This lead-free outdoor faucet is really handy. If you don’t have one, here’s a super inexpensive way to add one. No tools required and it installs in a minute (just screw it on). Brass T included with the plastic faucet, just as it’s shown in the product photo. Learn more or order.


MORE QUICK TIPS

Thermostat not working right?
Reader Steve Willey says, “Our digital thermostat kept the furnace on too long in cold weather and got over 80 inside. The culprit was the location of the thermostat on the panel side of the refrigerator enclosure. The refrigerator is isolated from room heat and vented to outdoors. In freezing weather cold air was surrounding the refrigerator and entering the thermostat through an overly large wiring hole behind it. Sealant and a sheet of foam behind the thermostat cured the problem.” Thanks, Steve!

Easy plastic bag storage
Keep used plastic bags in an old Kleenex box, you will be amazed at how many it will hold. Thanks to Candy Alexander!
 
Do you have a tip? Send it to diane (at) rvtravel.com .

Batteries last a long time!
Motion detection nightlights can last a year on a set of batteries
When you need a nightlight when without hookups, these are great: they light only when they sense motion, shutting off after 30 seconds of no movement. They use no wires & install in less than 5 minutes. Use outdoors, too. Lights come in a 3-pack. Can last up to a year! Watch the short video for a demonstration or learn more (or order at a great price) at Amazon.com.


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LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
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Amazon.com Best-selling RV products and Accessories. UPDATED HOURLY.
Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com


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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.

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.

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Related

10 Thoughts to “RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 858”

  1. Herb Kast

    I have a 29′ Minnie that is 15 years old and in great shape with 53,000 miles. I have a fear of fire or gas leaks. Should I have the rubber propane hoses changed out?

  2. Dick Kuhwarth

    That’s a good tip for changing tires, however when you replace the lug nuts/bolts start them by hand. If you just use the drill there is a chance you could cross thread them.

  3. Grumpy

    We had the opposite T-stat problem in our motorhome. The T-stat was on the side of the cabinet holding the old boat anchor TV which heated up the cabinet causing the heat to not run like it should. Now that we “sank” the boat anchor in favor of a flat screen the T-stat works great.

  4. Skip

    With respect to newsletter #858, could you recommend a specific portable impact wrench for changing a tire? Wouldn’t it be easier and more efficient to have a portable impact wrench along with that cordless drill to quickly remove and replace the lugs? I had a tire changed on our RV last year and the responder used a portable impact wrench (perhaps from Harbor Freight?) to quickly start and finish the job. I was so impressed I forgot to ask where he got the impact wrench! Too, what minimum size cordless do you recommend to spin the lugs on and off? Will any ol cordless drill do? And finally, one needs to emphasize that the shorter the period you are changing the tire, the less chance you have of the RV collapsing off the jack or an inattentive driver hitting you!

    1. Mark Nawman

      SkipI I have a Dewalt cordless impact wrench that works great. Came with 2 batteries. You just need an AC outlet to keep them charged and make sure they are fully charged when you leave.

      Mark

      1. Skip

        Thanks Mark!

  5. Slojoe

    Whatever happened to pictures of Readers rv?
    SsŠ

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Slojoe — our readers quit sending them in to us. We’ll start up the feature again one of these days and see if we get enough response to make it a regular thing. But thanks for the reminder.

      1. Ron

        Also liked that feature,perhaps folks could write about fuel economy,good and bad points of unit

  6. Peter Almasi

    The T- Stat tip was good, got one for you.
    Last season towards the end of it we needed heat in AM before showering.
    Found the heat would not come on and checked the t- stat first.
    After removing the cover for inspection, I found a dead stink bug between the contractors inside the t-stat.
    Removed it placed everything back to normal and the heater fired right up, just saying !

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