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Category: RV Maintenance

RV Mod – a new entertainment center for our toy hauler!!!

September 26, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

RV Mod – a new entertainment center for our toy hauler!!!

Our family of 12 (there are 2 more grown and flown…) fulltimes in a 40′ toy hauler.  Needless to say, our RV, nor any RV for that matter, are made to accommodate our family comfortable.  Necessity has been the mother of many of our many mods!  Our latest one is done for both functionality and aesthetics.           The stock entertainment center in our rv was an eye sore.  Partly because we use things hard, and partly because it was designed for ease of assembly and made of junk wood.   We were missing a cabinet door as we had given it to a cabinet maker last fall, so he could build us some matching doors we wanted; his shop burned down shortly after, with our door in it.  There was square feet of wasted space, splitting face wood, miles of extra wiring, 10 lbs of amplifier that we didn’t use, and the design forced us to put the loft ladder in front of the ‘garage’ (aka boys’ room in our RV) door.  The ladder was a constant... [Read more...]

Sustainability at Rest: a Revolutionary RV Concept

September 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Sustainability at Rest: a Revolutionary RV Concept

Sarasota, Florida-based ROBRADY Designs plans to transform the recreational vehicle from a lumbering fuel-guzzler into a lean, green ecologically sustainable luxurious machine. ROBRADY design sustainable motorhome The first step in attempting to take the idea of sustainability and green RVing to a whole new level was to slim down the motorhome and thereby increasing fuel efficiency and consumer accessibility in response to higher fuel prices. But that was just the beginning. Green RVing is not a new concept with solar panels on roofs of RVs becoming more commonplace especially in the Southwest where dry camping is the norm on BLM lands in the Sonoran Desert. What is particularly interesting and noteworthy about the ROBRADY motorhome is how its features mark the next step in the evolution of green RVing. This revolutionary motorhome makes the leap from solar panels to charge the house batteries to a solar-powered engine. ROBRADY Designs’ unique multi-disciplinary culture meant they could... [Read more...]

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

September 17, 2013 by · 4 Comments 

This month, we’ll talk about leaks, storage issues, and cleaning the propane burner in your fridge. Since winter is coming all too soon, send me any questions you have about winterizing and we’ll cover that in upcoming columns. ———————– Hi, Mark, We have a 1997 Starcraft Rene trailer. The fridge works extremely well on AC, but when I switch it to gas, it doesn’t seem to want to cool down. How long does it normally take for the fridge to get cool? Scott. Hi, Scott, It can take 4-8 hours for the fridge to initially cool down when you first turn it on. Most fridges cool a little bit faster on propane, in my experience. If your fridge works well on AC power but not on propane, the most likely problem is either a dirty burner or a clogged chimney. First, turn off the fridge. Then, open the outside access panel for the fridge. You will see the gas valve and the piping that goes to the burner assembly. Most fridges have a small metal... [Read more...]

Tech Tips for RV Living: A Bed with Sole

September 17, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Are your shoes in the way? Mine were, so I devised a solution. I cut a canvas over-the-door shoe holder in thirds (two pairs per section). Along the top edge of each section I punched a series of holes to thread a heavy cord through. Then a series of nails or screws were fastened on the inside of the under-bed storage compartment to fasten the cord to, so the shoe holder would hang outside the compartment, just below the mattress. This way, you can put shoes all around your bed. The mattress platform hangs out over the compartment walls, so you can walk around the bed without the shoes being in the way. John Bohn, Marion, Michigan  

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...]

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