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Category: RV Maintenance

Hurricane Primer for RVers

August 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hurricane Primer for RVers

Hurricanes can have an impact anywhere along the East Coast, Gulf Coast, and even thousands of miles inland. Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Hurricane Wilma was a category 5 hurricane and one of the costliest storms in history. Hurricane Wilma’s highest sustained winds was at 185 mph. Lowest pressure point measured at 882 mbar. (Credit: hurricane-facts.com) During the 2012 hurricane season, Sandy led to Presidential disaster declarations in 13 states, sweeping from Maine to West Virginia. Now is the time to prepare for the start of this year’s hurricane season A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. A typical cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface. All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes. Parts of the Southwest United States... [Read more...]

Fires Destroy 7 RVs

August 24, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Fires Destroy 7 RVs

Whether camping or just relaxing in your recreational vehicle, fire safety is essential. Propane blast destroys RV in Oklahoma (Courtesy: Dylan Goforth/Muskogee Phoenix) It is critical that every member of your party know what to do in a fire or other emergency. If you are one of the millions of RV enthusiasts who love to take to the road and explore the country, ensure your family’s safety while traveling in your RV. Recent media reports detail seven separate fires involving recreational vehicles. Florida: Garbage Truck Fire Destroys RV The News-Press reports that a garbage truck fire spread to an RV and destroyed it at Red Coconut RV Park in Fort Myers Beach. The garbage truck caught fire as the result of a mechanical failure. According to Dale Reisen, Chairman for the Lee County Arson Task Force, the fire started low, behind the cab and worked its way up very quickly. When the garbage truck went to pick up a dumpster, a fuel or hydraulic line broke and sprayed liquid onto the truck’s... [Read more...]

Lifestyle Tech Tips – Cool Coating

August 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Even when the temperature was moderate outside, our motorhome’s large shower/tub skylight used to let in too much heat, causing the air conditioner to kick on when it wasn’t really necessary. Plus, there was simply too much sunlight coming in through the skylight into the bathroom.  My solution was to paint the skylight on the exterior with white liquid rubber roof coating. Using blue painter’s tape I first masked off a small band at the base of the raised skylight. I then applied two coats of Conklin’s Rapid Roof III Top Coat. It’s a fairly thick product and is fast drying, so I applied the second coat almost immediately after the first. As soon as I was done with the second coat, I stripped off the masking tape for a clean, crisp edge. The skylight is now about 70-percent translucent, allowing some light to pass through while truly blocking most of the heat from the sun. The coating has been on for four years now and has shown no signs of fading or deterioration. Thomas... [Read more...]

Mark, My Words: Q & A with Mark Nemeth – August 2013

August 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi, Folks. This month, we’ll be talking about RV tires and weights, with some maintenance and upkeep questions thrown in. I hope your summer RVing is going well, and please keep those questions coming! mmw@escapees.com —————————————— Mark, The tires on my 5th wheel are a year old, the same as the RV, and are wearing differently from each other.  I’m told that alignment on a trailer is never required like it is on the truck.  Should the tires be rotated? Thanks, John. Hi, John, Trailer tires do sometimes show uneven wear patterns, and it can be caused by misalignment of the axles. It is possible to hit an obstacle or road hazard and bend the trailer axle. This can lead to uneven tire wear. Wear and tear on the bearings and springs can show up on the tires as well. A good trailer service place can check for such misalignments and often correct them, so there really is “alignment” on trailers. You... [Read more...]

RV Tire Blowouts Increase as Temperatures Rise

August 12, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

RV Tire Blowouts Increase as Temperatures Rise

The danger of a RV tire blowout increases as the summer temperatures rise. Always check the pressure and condition of your tires before taking your RV on the road. The damage as a result of a tire blowout can be extensive, as the rubber and steel belting from the tires separate and cause spinning and flying shrapnel damage to the RV and in some cases the vehicles around them. Always check the pressure and condition of your tires before taking your RV on the road. If proper safety measures are taken, most tire blowout damage can be avoided. Air Temperature is as Important as Air Pressure If you’ve driven more than about a mile, friction with the road, flexing of the tire casing, and flexing of the tread begins to heat up the air inside the tire. A very general rule of thumb is that a properly inflated/loaded tire, when up to operating temperature—one hour or more of operation—will typically run about 50 degrees hotter than the ambient temperature, according to valortpms.com. Inflation... [Read more...]

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

August 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas—often dubbed the Silent Killer— that is toxic and the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States. Carbon monoxide can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations and can be particularly dangerous in recreational vehicles. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Appliances fueled with gas, oil, kerosene, or wood may produce CO. If such appliances are not installed, maintained, and used properly, carbon monoxide may accumulate to dangerous and even deadly levels in recreational vehicles, cars, homes, or poorly ventilated areas. The symptoms of poisoning are similar to flu or food poisoning and include headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Although not always experienced, the initial symptoms of carbon monoxide are similar to an upset stomach or the flu (but without the fever). The symptoms include: Dizziness Fatigue Headache Nausea Irregular breathing It is critical... [Read more...]

Mark, My Words: Q & A with Mark Nemeth – July 2013

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi, folks: We are definitely into the “dog days” of summer here in East Texas! I hope you are able to RV somewhere cool to escape the heat. Keep those questions coming! mmw@escapees.com —————————————— Mark, I would like to know what to do about bubbles in my rubber roof.  I have a 1999 model Coachmen with a rubber roof.  I have noticed several bubbles in it lately.  Is there anything that can be done about or with these bubbles? Thank you, Jim Hi, Jim, Several others have asked similar questions, so this is apparently a fairly common problem. In general, if the bubbles (delaminated areas) are small, on the order of a few inches across, they will not affect the roof’s integrity. Just watch them to be sure they are not getting larger. Attempting to cut or puncture the bubbles and re-glue them or caulk them is not recommended. If the membrane is intact, you are better off leaving bubbles or ripples... [Read more...]

Lifestyle Tech Tips – Cleaner Air

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

When turning on the ceiling fan in the bathroom of my RV I found it a chore to have to go back later to shut it off. I took care of this by installing a simple timer in series with the fan switch. The timer is installed in the wall next to the fan switch, utilizing an “old-work” box. I removed one wire from the fan switch and hooked it to one of the two terminals on the timer. I then added a short wire from the empty terminal on the fan switch to the empty terminal on the timer. (The wire size of the short “jumper” wire should be the same as the originals.) By leaving the fan switch in the on position, the ceiling fan is now controlled by the timer. When entering the bathroom I twist the timer knob a little and the fan goes off a few minutes after I exit. Frank Woythal, Andover, New York

Cramper Van: Mini-House on Wheels

July 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Cramper Van: Mini-House on Wheels

Dubbed the Cramper Van, the world’s smallest, lightest RV can seat up to four close friends in a pinch although one of the seats folds down over the two-ring hob and sink. It’s the cramper van! The invention of custom car fanatic Andy Saunders, owner of Kampers Kars in Poole, Dorset, Cramper Van is a mash-up of an old Bedford Bambi van and a Butlins-style pedal cart. Saunders, 50, has made a name for himself creating weird and wonderful custom cars including a Picasso-inspired multi-colored Citroen 2CV, a mini Mini, and a 21-inch tall car. Saunders chopped six feet off the front of a Bedford campervan and attached it to the pedal cart before refitting the interior. The only other thing that sets it aside from its bigger brothers is its lack of an engine, instead relying on pedal power to pull it along. With four foot by four foot living space, the Cramper Van is filled with seats, stove, table, and bed. Despite its confined size the pedal-powered mini mobile home still has room to squeeze... [Read more...]

Mark, My Words: Q & A with Mark Nemeth – June 2013

June 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi, all! This month: Roof coatings, paint protection, anode rods, rentals, and more! I hope you are enjoying your summer vacation somewhere in an RV! Have fun, and keep those questions coming! MMW@escapees.com ——————————— Mark: We have a 1985 Southwind 34′ Class-A. We purchased it 4 years ago. We noticed the roof has cracks around the vents, etc. The roof membrane/coating is most likely the second or third roof on the vehicle. Would like to update the roof. We have seen the different roof coating materials available in the stores and catalogs, but do not know what material would be compatible with the existing roof (rubber, acrylic, elastomeric, etc.). How do we find out what type material is currently on the roof, and what materials do you recommend recoating the roof with? Thank you in advance for your advice. We enjoy reading your helpful articles. Rees Hi, Rees, I believe that most Southwinds of that era had... [Read more...]

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