RV TECH TIPS

RV Tech Tips
RV Tech Tips

 TECH TIP  - SLIDES REQUIRE MAINTENANCE

Tech Tip - Slides Require Maintenance

   SLIDES REQUIRE MAINTENANCE 

All slides require regular maintenance of the rubber sealing gaskets and wipers. Protect-All Slide-Out Rubber Seal Treatment is a popular foam lube that is spread on all rubber components.  That should be done every 60 days to keep the rubber from drying out.

The tracks and gear slide mechanism should be lubricated with something like Protect-All Dry Lube. It is an orange liquid for visibility, but dries leaving a lubricant that will not attract dust and dirt. It also is a rust inhibitor that will maintain the integrity of the track surfaces.

TECH TIP  - TOAD CHECKLIST

Tech Tip - Toad Checklist

 Check List for Hooking Up and Unhooking the Toad

Towing Safety Checklist

  • Inspect the tow bar, dolly or trailer for loose bolts and worn parts. Tighten loose bolts and replace worn parts before hooking up. If you have bolts that are consistently coming loose, use Loctite® or put on a double nut to keep them tight.
  • During hook up:
  • Hook up on a flat smooth surface.
  • If you have a coupler style tow bar, check the fit of the coupler on the ball. Adjust the coupler if necessary.
  • Hook up the tow bar.
  • Set up the towed vehicle's steering and transmission to tow.
  • Check your parking brake to ensure it is off and disengaged.
  • Latch the legs on a self-aligning tow bar.
  • Attach the safety cables. Cross the cables between the vehicles and wrap the cables around the tow bar legs to keep them from dragging.
  • Attach the electrical cable and tow brake system connections
  • Check the function of all lights on both vehicles.
  • Locate your spare key and lock the towed vehicle’s doors.
  • Drive with care and remember your vehicle will be about 25 feet longer while towing.
  • Each time you stop check the tow bar, baseplate and safety cables to make sure they are still properly attached. Pay particular attention to the hitch clips and pins that secure your towbar or drop hitch to the motorhome hitch. Many breakaways occur because a pin clip has been removed and the pin drops out allowing the toad to be dragged on the safety cables. Check the tires of the towed vehicle to make sure they are not going flat. If you are using a dolly or trailer, check the wheels to make sure they are not hot to the touch. If the wheels are hot, it may indicate a brake or bearing problem.
  • Each day before you start check the lights to make sure they are working properly.
  • Between trips clean the towbar and cables to keep them in good shape. Also, clean and lubricate the tow bar as recommended by the manufacturer's instructions (usually by applying spray silicone lubricant.)
  • Have a checklist.  It's just too easy to get distracted and forget something (like ignition position, emergency brake, break away hook up, transmission in wrong position, etc.,). One owner places his checklist in a colored plastic sheet cover attaching it conspicuously in the tow car
  • Make sure you have a second key to the tow vehicle.  That way you can leave your rig parked  hooked up, and not have to worry about unlocked doors.
  • Check all the connections every time you fuel up, or make a rest stop
  • Never let yourself be interrupted when hooking up.  Keep your mind on your work.

 TECH TIP - AIR CONITIONER

Tech Tip - Air Conditioner

 Get your air conditioner ready for summer heat!

The first blast of triple digit weather is threatening the southwest, and even RVers in Montana report warmer than normal temps. Could summer be early this year? It's a good time to give your RV air conditioning a spring tune up!

Let's start inside--with the air filters. Check your manual to find out how to get at those dust busters. Typically you'll remove a few screws out and remove a plastic grill. Some a/c filters can simply be pulled out and washed in warm, soapy water, completely dried, and put back in. Simple as it is, it's not a bad idea to do this a up to a couple times a month when RVing dusty areas; once a season elsewhere.

Non-washable filter can be replaced with an after-market filter called "electrostatic," said to grab more pollen and dust that the original. These aren't cheap, but are re-washable, and if they do as they claim, could be a godsend for those with allergy issues. Camping World carries them.

With a hose-type vacuum, suck up any dust you see, and if you can access any ducting, give it a good suck as well.

With the "hood open" on the unit, take a look at the mounting bolts that come down through the roof and snug up inside. These hold your unit to the roof and also help to keep a weather-tight seal. You may need to remove the trim, or "air box" to see them (and possibly expose yourself to wiring, so shut off the power to the a/c unit here). Make sure the mounting bolts are tight.

Next, head up to the roof, using a secure ladder and "walking boards" if needed so as not to disturb the roof. Again, make sure the power is "off" the a/c unit. First, take a look at the condenser fins that provide a broad surface for outside air to draw off the heat that's been pumped out from inside. The fins should be straight and true, not bent over onto one another.

Bent fins can be straightened out with a small slotted screwdriver or knife blade. It's a tedious task, but important for your unit to be efficient. Commercial "fin combs" can be had from an a/c supply.

Look over the shroud or cover, they often take hits from low branches, and UV rays can eat up plastic ones. Some may be fixed with fiberglass cloth and resin, and it's best to make the "fix" inside the shroud where it keeps weather out, but doesn't look horrific. A more expensive fix is to buy a replacement shroud.

With the shroud removed,check out the evaporator, looks like a small auto radiator. Use a brush to gently remove dust from it, or use an air hose to gently blow it out. Inspect the a/c motor, too. Some units have oil holes, often covered with a rubber plug--others are permanently sealed. If serviceable, pull the plugs loose and drop in three to four drops of "three in one" oil. Don't over-oil, less is better than too much.

Replace the shroud and make sure it's secure, lest if blow off your rig. Tighten the mounting screws--not too much zeal here! Firm but not over-torqued.

Time for a system test. Make sure you have enough "juice" available, most require at least a 30 amp service. Turn on the unit and let her rip. Hopefully you'll have oceans of cold air, ready for summer's heat.

 TECH TIP - PRESSURE-TEMPERATURE RELIEF VALVE

Tech Tip - Temperature Relief Valve

 PRESSURE-TEMPERATURE RELIEF VALVE

Weeping or dripping of a pressure-temperature relief valve while the water heater is running DOES NOT mean it is defective. This is normal expansion of water as it is heated in the closed water system of a recreation vehicle. The Atwood water heater tank is designed with an internal air gap at the top of the tank to reduce the possibility of weeping and dripping. In time, the expanding water will absorb this air. To replace the air follow these steps:
Step 1: Turn off water heater
Step 2: Turn off incoming water supply
Step 3: Open the closest hot water faucet in the coach
Step 4: Pull handle of pressure-temperature relief valve straight out and allow water to flow until it stops.
Step 5:Allow pressure-temperature relief valve to snap shut, turn on water supply and close faucet.

 TECH TIP  - CARBON MONOXIDE

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide Detectors 

BC Safety Authority reported that between 2000 and 2006, 111 Canadians died from Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. Every year BCSA safety officers investigate between 1 and 3 incidents involving CO in BC. Be sure to check your Carbon Monoxide detector prior to your trip or consider getting one if you haven't already.

For more info go to BC Safety Authority

 TECH TIP - SANITIZE FRESH WATER TANK

Sanitize Fresh Water Tank

 Sanitize Fresh Water Tank

Step 1: Gather all the tools, and supplies you will need to sanitize RV fresh water system. For my RV I need:

1 external water filter (from Walmart’s RV section)
1 internal water filter – I use a Hydro life C-2063/#5 filter
Clorox® Regular-Bleach (non-scented and non-gel). Compute how much Clorox® you will need. I use 1 oz of Clorox® for every 8 gallons of water capacity in the fresh water tank.
1 funnel with a flexible clear hose and stopper (from Walmart’s auto supply section)
1 water filter wrench (for the internal filter)
1 dab of petroleum jelly (for the O-ring on the water filter body)
1 Anode if you need it and the tools to remove it

 Step 2: Partially drain the fresh water tank to about ½ its capacity

Step 3: Prior to use, sanitize the funnel and hose with pure bleach. Let stand for 15 minutes, then discard the bleach in the funnel. Pour the Clorox® into the fresh water fill using the funnel with the flexible clear hose.

Step 4: Refill the fresh water tank until water starts coming out of the overflow hose or until you know it is full.

Step 5: Turn off the fresh water supply to the RV. Turn on your water pump so you will draw water from the fresh water tank.

Step 6: Open every faucet in the RV including the hot water faucet until you can smell Clorox®. When you can smell Clorox®, turn the faucets off. You might want to turn the power off to your hot water heater tank before you open the hot water faucets.

 Step 7: Turn on the fresh water supply to the RV and add a few more gallons of fresh water to your fresh water tank. Now the waiting begins. For best results, wait a minimum of 3 to 4 hours to sanitize RV water system. I usually wait 6 hours.

Step 8: After the proper waiting interval, drain the fresh water tank until empty and refill with fresh water until full.

Step 9: Turn off the fresh water supply to the RV and turn on your water pump. Start flushing the water lines by opening all the faucets. Leave them open until the smell of Clorox® has diminished. If after a few minutes, the Clorox® smell is still too strong then drain the fresh water tank again and repeat step 8 and 9.

If the Clorox® smell still persists then you will have to get more aggressive. One option is to remove the old internal filter and repeating steps 8 and 9. A second option is to flush the system with a vinegar solution of 1 quart,vinegar to 5 gallons of water then repeat step 8 and 9. I have never had to do this, but I have heard from others who have.

Step 10: Turn off the water supply to the RV and remove the external filter, and replace with a new one. Make sure your water pump is off and replace the internal water filter with a fresh cartridge. Do not forget to dab a little petroleum jelly on the O-ring of the water filter body or you will have a hard time removing it next time you change the cartridge.
Step 11: I cannot go into much detail about flushing the hot water heater since there are so many different tanks and configurations however, see the brief overview below.

Turn power off to the hot water heater. Turn off the water to the RV and make sure your water pump is off. Open the relief valve on top of the water heater to expel any pressure in the hot water tank. Open the hot water heater tank drain valve and leave it open until all the water has drained out. Inspect and or replace the anode. Close the relief valve and the drain valve. Turn water to the RV back on again and refill the hot water heater. Check for leaks around the anode or the drain valve.

After you have refilled the hot water tank, make sure that all air is expelled from the hot water heater before you power it back up again or you will burn out the heating element. I do this by opening all the hot water faucets until no air comes out and I have a strong stream of water. When I am sure that all the air has been expelled from the hot water tank, I turn the power back on again to the hot water heater.

 TECH TIP - FURNACE MAINTENANCE

RV Furnace Maintenance

 Furnace Inspection Checkpoints

#1. Check outside vents for soot

Soot is a byproduct of improper combustion which means you have a problem. Carbon monoxide is the other byproduct of improper combustion so a furnace exhibiting soot at the outside vent should be inspected and repaired BEFORE being operated again.

#2. Check return air vents (inside coach at the furnace)

Return air vents should be free of dust and lint and should NEVER be obstructed. Remove the return air vent and inspect the case of the furnace to be sure it is clean and free of obstructions. If there is any dust on the furnace, which cannot be easily removed with a vacuum, or air indicates, it has been there for a considerable length of time and a cleaning of the entire furnace is in order. Why? Because this dust will be everywhere including the inside of the furnace. Such dust can affect electrical switches, the furnace blower, and the furnace blower motor. Eventually a dirty motor and blower will slow down and the furnace will loose efficiency and if the blower slows down enough the furnace will not operate. (Another safety feature incorporated with the sail switch)

#3 Inspect heat ducts at the furnace

Heat ducts should be inspected at the furnace first to insure they are properly secured to the furnace AND that they are not leaking. Also, check the condition of the ducting. If it is stiff and brittle, it will be prone to cracking and subsequently leaking resulting in additional operating inefficiencies of your furnace. Such ducting should be replaced.

Conclusion:

Your rv furnace is the one area in which one should not skimp. Your comfort and safety far outweigh any reasons to shortcut here and safety in and of itself should mandate giving your furnace the attention it requires.

 

 TECH TIP - CHECK FOR LEAKS

RV Check for Leaks in Roof

CHECK FOR LEAKS 

How to inspect your roof for leaks 

If you haven't inspected for leaks lately or are thinking of buying a used RV a leak check should be on your "To Do" list. That doesn't mean you should expect leaks: it's just that your home on wheels comes under a lot more stress than a stationary structure. An RV is a moveable object that experiences bouncing, shaking, twisting, baking, freezing and many other challenges to its structure that can contribute to leaks.

Leaks can be very insidious — that is, they may not be noticeable until significant damage has been done. For example, water can seep into the studs and insulation inside your sidewalls, unseen as it wreaks havoc by soaking insulation and spreading wood rot and mold. Think about the costs involved in fixing this and you'll understand why any RV repair shop will tell you that leak damage is one of the most expensive repairs they make.

Leaks are often hard to spot from the outside. You can't always look at a seam and tell if it's sealing properly. The first and easiest thing to do is inspect the interior for signs of leaks, which may tell you where to look on the outside. Take the photo examples here. We spotted small bumps in this ceiling by the antenna crank. We then went up on the roof and started poking around by the antenna. One spot was swollen and soft below the membrane when we poked it. This appears to be an area where water has seeped under the roofing and caused the substrate to expand and possibly rot. This was most likely caused by a leak around the antenna.

The owner had noticed the bumps but, because they were so small, he didn't bother to investigate further. In the meantime, leaking water was gradually damaging his motorhome roof.

FOR YOUR INSIDE INSPECTION, look for such bumps or places where the interior wall has detached from the studs. Check for areas with mildew or mold, wet patches, or water stains and streaks. After a rain is a good time to look for pools of water and other signs of moisture where it shouldn't be. This includes inspecting the dark corners of your cabinets and closets, even if you have to move stuff around. I've often looked in cabinets or closets and literally found mushrooms growing!

So be aware and don't dismiss such signs, even if they appear small. They could indicate a bigger problem that you definitely don't want to have!

 TECH TIP - SAFETY ON THE ROOF

Safety on RV Roof

 SAFETY ON YOUR RV ROOF

 The first rule of anything you do with an RV roof, even if to just check it out on a ladder, is to know your limitations and your comfort zone.  

When you think you do need to get on the roof, here are a few safety precautions that are worth your time to follow.

How do I get up there?
Use an appropriate height ladder. Some RVs have narrow ladders running up their backsides, but they have weight limitations you may not know. And particularly on older RVs, it's hard to know if these ladders are securely anchored. A regular ladder is a more solid, easier and safer bet.

Can I fall through the roof?
No, but you can damage it. If you want to actually go onto the roof, first feel it out to see how solid it appears for your weight. Rubber roofs are pretty solid, but you generally have no way of knowing what kind of substrate material has been used, which could be anything from 1/4-inch lauan to 3/4-inch plywood, or whether the trusses are 16- or 24-inch or otherwise centered. If you can feel some give to the roof when you push on it, that's likely the 1/4-inch lauan and you need to be even more careful.

First, you crawl
To take care, at least at first, go out on your hands and knees to more evenly distribute your weight. If you can determine where they are, the cross members should be the first places you step on and keep stepping on. You can also lay 2 x 8 or 2 x 10 planks or smaller pieces of plywood on top of the roof for better weight distribution.

Slippery when wet
Before attempting to go on any roof, make sure it is not wet or slippery with any substance. If you do go up on your roof, make sure the soles of your shoes have no embedded stones or debris that can damage the roof.

Be careful working backwards
Cleaning, coating and other maintenance activity often involves walking backwards as you brush, roll or scrub. Always be aware of where you are as you move backwards. Those drop offs and roof vents can sneak up on you when you're not looking. So be careful.

 

TECH TIP - REPAIR SMALL ROOF TEARS 

Repair Small Roof Tears in RV

REPAIR SMALL ROOF TEARS 

 How to fix small roof punctures, cracks and tears

The following was provided to us by the Dicor Corporation

For small punctures, cracks or tears, a sealing tape designed for RV roofs can do a nice job. Dicor Products offers this simple solution with its Patchit™ Roof Repair Patch Kit. First, some things to note:


• Make sure the roof is structurally sound and the damaged area is not part of a bigger problem.

• Don't patch over a previous patch.

• Trim any loose or protruding material from the roof.

• Don't repair with multiple patches.

• Patch needs to extend two inches beyond the hole in all directions.

• As always, clean before you seal —removing all dirt, oils and debris from the patch area with Dicor Products' rubber roof cleaner.


 Using the easy-to-use patch, with the adhesive backing still on, position the patch and mark the edges in pencil or chalk for a positioning guide. Cut the patch to size, peel off the adhesive backing and, with great care (if you pull it up once it is down, you need to replace the patch with a new one), press it onto the roof surface using a wallpaper seam roller and smooth it out from the center to the edges, making sure the entire patch is tightly bonded to the roof.


 Then apply a 5/16-inch bead of self-leveling lap sealant to the edges. Give it a couple of hours to set up before moving the vehicle. More detailed instructions can be found on the Dicor Products website. 

Click here for more info .......  DICOR PRODUCTS


 TECH TIP - REPLACE TOILET

RV Toilet replacement

Replacing an RV Toilet

Things You'll Need
Hardware container (to keep parts handy)
Rubber gloves
Protective plastic sheeting
Flathead screwdriver
Socket
Socket extension
Cleaning rags
Tank-safe cleaning fluid
Aluminum foil
Plumber's sealant

Removal

Flush and reflush the black-water tank.
Carefully identify and sort all hardware supplied with the toilet. An egg carton works well as a place to temporarily store small parts.
Put down protective sheeting for the old toilet. It can be placed in the bathtub or shower.
If the toilet is electrical, unhook the electrical connection.
Turn off the RV water connection. Disconnect the toilet-water connection, using pliers if necessary.
Determine how to access the toilet bolts. There will typically be two, bolted to the floor. The bolts may be covered with a cap.
Remove the Old Toilet
Use a flathead screwdriver to pry off the toilet-bolt caps, if there are any.
Remove the toilet bolts with a socket. If the bolts are inaccessible, for example at the back of the toilet, you may need to use a socket extension.
Place the old toilet on the protective sheeting.
Remove the toilet-bowl seal, or gasket. You may need to pry it off with a screwdriver and twist it slightly to break the seal.
Cover the sewer hole in aluminum foil to block odors and thoroughly inspect and clean the area.

Replace the Toilet

Carefully place the new toilet seal over the flange. If desired, seal with plumber's sealant to further minimize chance of leaks.
Position the new bolts where they will go through the toilet, heads downward.
Lower the toilet straight down over the bolts so that the bolts go through their matching holes.
Check that the toilet is seated evenly with bolts correctly located. Tighten the bolts.
For electrical toilets, hook up the wiring. Connect the water and turn on the RV water hookup
Test the toilet, carefully checking for leaks.

 TECH TIP  - LOADING THE REFRIGERATOR

Loading RV refrigerator

Tips for Loading Your Refrigerator 

Precool the refrigerator by starting it the night before a trip. This should be done with no food in the compartments. Wait until the refrigerator is thoroughly cold before placing food inside.

Precool food in your home refrigerator rather than trying to cool warm food with your RV refrigerator. Proper refrigeration requires free air circulation within the compartments.

Don’t overload the refrigerator and don’t cover the shelves with paper or large containers that block airflow. To reduce frost buildup, cover stored liquids and moist foods, and don’t leave the door open too long. Always wipe moisture off the outside of containers before putting them in refrigerator. This will help prevent frost buildup, which consumes cooling power.

Periodically clean out the burner unit. LP-gas has a garlic or rotten-egg odor that becomes especially strong as the cylinders or tanks run low. This scent attracts spiders, which will build nests in the burner. Clean out the refrigerators roof-exhaust vent. Bird’s nests, leaves, twigs, or other debris can lodge there, choking the refrigerator’s efficiency. A spider-web brush works very well for this.

You may need to install a fan in the compartment behind the refrigerator to speed the removal of hot air. This will significantly enhance the performance of your refrigerator. These fans can be operated in the 12-volt DC mode, and should be mounted above the coil rather than on the floor for superior airflow.

 TECH TIP  - ELECTRICAL

 

 Electrical Tips

Items to have on hand

Surge Guard

Ground,Neutral, Polarity multimeter- AC/DC – digital

2 voltage meters- one in the house and one for checking shore line

Before Plugging In

Make sure the breaker is off before plugging in or unplugging cord.

Check shore power line before plugging in

1) Use Volt Meter. If meter show under 100 or over 135, do NOT plug in. Under 106,low volts may cause damage to appliances. Check both A/C (at shoreline connection) and batteries. A volt meter may be purchased at store.

2) using a ground fault detector, check ground, neutral and polarity of electricity.

Check batteries once a month for water levels and voltage.

Never leave cord rolled up when in use.

Unplug appliances when traveling. 

Surge protectors are available to plug right in at shore source . It is a good idea to use indoor surge protector for small appliances  i.e.  TV, microwave, computer, etc.

 TECH TIP  - CHECK YOUR PROPANE SYSTEM

Check your RV Propane System

 Check Your Propane System

 Propane

 • It is advisable to contact your local RV service center and have a timed pressure drop and LPG regulator lockup test done on your RV to ensure proper operation of the LPG supply components and a leak-free piping system.

• Check the date stamps on the LPG tanks. They will need to be re-valved or replaced after 10 years of service.

• Ensure the appliances are turned off before turning the tanks on and check to see that the LPG detector is functioning.

• Turn on tanks and check for leaks with soapy water. If you smell propane, shut the tanks off and determine where the propane is leaking from. If the problem is discovered and solved with confidence, then proceed.

• Light a stove burner first to purge the air out, then operate all the appliances to check for proper sequences of operation.

 TECH TIP - WINTERIZING YOUR RECREATIONAL VEHICLE

Winterize your Recreational Vehicle

Winterizing your RV (RV winter checklist)

We hope you had a great camping season! Now it's time to prepare your RV for the coming winter months. So here's our "Winter RV Checklist" to help you "winterize" your RV. 

WINTERIZING CHECKLIST:

•Wash exterior of unit

•Clean interior of unit

•Winterize plumbing lines with non-toxic antifreeze

•Mouse proof the RV

•Check and reseal as needed all exterior seals

•Install moisture removers inside unit

•Charge, maintain, remove and store RV batteries

•Install covers for AC, tires, or entire unit

•Check unit throughout the storage season

This is a guide only and is not meant to replace your owner’s manual. Please refer to your owner’s manual or an RV technician for additional advice. For motorized units please refer to the chassis owner’s manual. 

Wash exterior of unit.

 Wash the RV exterior including the roof. Use an RV wash and soft bristled scrub brush. Any mold or mildew that has started will continue to grow until the unit is washed in the spring. Don’t forget to clean the frame and undercarriage as well as the wheel wells, tires, and steps. Make sure the awning is washed but do not roll back up until the awning has time to dry completely.

 Lubricate any moving parts such as door hinges, entry door handle, lock and deadbolt, baggage door locks, slide out gears and stabilizer jacks. Protect your slide out seals and other rubber seals with a rubber seal treatment.

Clean interior of unit

 Clean and vacuum the inside of the RV. Remove all perishables. Chemicals in deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, skin lotions, and toothpaste may freeze and the container could split, they also could attract rodents and insects. Make sure to remove all food and food particles from the kitchen and eating areas. Crumbs stuck in cushions and crevices will also attract unwanted guests. Remove toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels and rags that could be used to help animals make nests. Defrost clean and dry the refrigerator/freezer, place baking soda inside the fridge and freezer compartments and leave the doors propped open.

 Remove any valuables from inside the unit and in the storage compartments. The thieves may not appreciate this but your wallet and insurance company will. RV’s are a target for thieves all year but while many RV’s are not used over the winter months, it may be weeks after a theft has happened that it becomes discovered.

Winterize the plumbing system and holding tanks 

Drain your black and grey water holding tanks at your nearest dump station. If needed flush out the black tank using a toilet wand.

 Have the plumbing system winterized: Drain the fresh water tank. Drain your water heater. Bypass your water heater using the valves already installed or by installing a temporary bypass. Install a suction line on the inlet side of your water pump and put that line into a jug of non-toxic antifreeze. Turn on the water pump and run the anti-freeze through all the plumbing lines both hot and cold. Don’t forget the outside shower, shower hose, toilet, ice maker, and washer/dryer as equipped. Pour ½ cup of antifreeze in all P-traps.

 

 Mouse proof the RV

 Inspect the underside of the RV for holes and gaps that could allow mice or other intruders into the unit. Remember that a mouse can fit through a hole the diameter of a pencil. Where necessary install expanding foam sealant, caulking, wire mesh, or other means of filling the holes. If the unit is plugged in make sure that the power cord hatch is sealed as it is an easy entrance for many animals. Install mouse traps in the unit. There are also other products that can be used to help prevent intrusions, there is a spray on material that coats the underside of the RV called “Mouse Free”, there are electronic devices that produce a high frequency, these items require 110v power, as well as others. All of these items will help protect your property from damage.

Check exterior seals

Now is the time to reseal the RV as any cracking, failed or missing caulking could allow water to enter the unit which may not be noticed until the spring, requiring extensive repairs at that time. Check all roof seams, vents, antennas, etc. for cracking and voids in the sealant, reseal as needed with a self-leveling roof sealant. Check all windows, compartments, moldings, doors, and hatches and reseal as needed.

Install moisture removers 

Moisture can cause damage to an RV during storage as well as promotes mold and mildew growth. Place moisture removers inside the unit during storage, there are many different ones on the market check with your local RV dealer to see what they offer. There are also dehumidifiers that can be installed, but they usually require 110v power to operate.

Battery removal 

When storing an RV for long term, it is a good idea to remove and store the batteries at the same time. A discharged battery will freeze at a very quick rate and if frozen the battery will likely need replacing. Clean the top of the battery and the terminals using a backing soda and water paste, check the water level in the battery and top up as needed, fill each cell to 1/8” below the bottom of the fill tube. You can now charge the battery before storing. Label the battery cables for easy hook up and remove the cables from the battery. Store the battery in a cool dry area but make sure they will not freeze.

Cover your RV 

If covering your RV during storage, use a high quality RV cover that is breathable, do not use a tarp. Allowing the RV to breathe prevents moisture build up which can lead to mold, mildew, rust and corrosion. Cover your tires with a light coloured UV resistant cover to help extend their life. 

Check your RV regularly

 Don’t forget to check on the RV during storage. Refill moisture removers and empty as needed, check the mouse traps, check for exterior damage, broken vents, and inspect the trailer for water leaks. Check the tires to make sure they have not gone flat.


 

If you are in need of assistance for the winterizing project...

You can always book an appointment with a reputable dealer in your area.

In the Okanagan we recommend

Voyager.

Click on the logo at the left for more info.... 

 TECH TIP - RV SUPPLIES CHECK LIST

RV Supplies Checklist

 

ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR UNIT

 Freshwater hose 

 Garden hose 

 Water pressure regulator 

 Sewer hose and fittings

 Rubber gloves

 Electrical cords and adapters 

 Wheel chocks 

 Leveling blocks

 Level

 Flashlight

 Batteries

 Matches

 Butane lighter

 First aid kit

 Toolkit

 Fire extinguisher

NON-ESSENTIAL BUT NICE TO HAVE

 Travel and campground guides

 Road maps

 Beach towels

 Air mattress

 Air pump

 Travel alarm clock

 Axe

 Extension cord

 Duct tape

 Zap straps

 Bungee cords

 Trash and recycling containers

 Multi-tool or pocket knife

 Sewing kit

 Safety pins

 2-Way radios

 String/rope

 Clothes pins

 Insect repellant

 Citronella candle

 Toilet chemicals

 Clothes hangers

 Garbage bags and ties

 RV toilet paper

 Extra fuses and bulbs

 Tire gauge

 Non-slip cupboard liner

 Electric flyswatter

 Broom and dust pan

 Hand wipes

 Aluminum foil

 Plastic wrap

 Re-sealable storage bags

 Food storage containers

 Pail/bucket

 Emergency roadside kit (flares, etc.)

 Sunscreen

 Folding shovel

 Artificial turf/mat for campsite

 Picnic table cover

 Binoculars

 Sewer hose support

 Battery/crank operated radio

 Awning tie-downs

 Umbrella

 Lantern

 Awning lights

 Portable campfire

 Games and playing cards

 Paper and pen or pencil

 Portable BBQ or grill

 Small propane bottles

 Folding table

 Portable battery pack

 ESSENTIALS FOR THE KITCHEN: EVERYTHING PLUS THE KITCHEN SINK!

 Eating and cooking utensils

 BBQ utensils (tongs, grill forks, etc.)

 Plates

 Service and mixing bowls

 Glasses/cups

 Coffee maker / Pot

 Toaster

 Tea pot / Kettle

 Strainer

 Measuring spoons and cups

 Can and bottle opener

 Vegetable peeler

 Cutting board

 Pot holders

 Pots and pans

 Strainer

 Juice container

 Napkins and paper towels

 Seasoning and spices

 Cooking oil

 Sugar

 Coffee

 Tea bags

 Soap

 Sponge/dish rag

 Kitchen towels

 Ice cube tray

 Scissors

 Cork screw

 Paring and bread knife


TIPS FOR SECURING YOUR GEAR

Ensure your large items are secured because they will most likely move during travel. Whenever possible, use your storage areas inside and outside of your rig.

Wrap items like your TV in blankets or towels, and secure them on the bed or floor

Non-slip lining works great for securing items that would normally roll around inside your cupboards and drawers

 




Check list is courtesy of  

 PRE-TRAVEL CHECK LIST

1) Awning up and locked

2) TV antenna down & stored

3) Water hose in

4) Electrical cord in

5) Sewer hose in

6) Propane off

7) Refrigerator off


8) Water pump off

9) Vents closed

10) Chairs, welcome mat stored

11) Chocks out and stored

12) Levelling blocks stored

13) TV tied down

14) Step up 

15) False Teeth Holder - Emptied

 

 POST TRIP CHECKS

Post RV Trip Checks

1. Drain the RV Water System

This includes the water heater, line drains, tanks and pumps associated with your RV water system. This is of particular importance if your next RV trip is months away.

Water Heater – Be sure to switch it off if it is electric. Turn off the breaker feeding the unit. Find the drain plug and remove it. Then open the pressure relief value and give it time to drain all the way. Be sure only to work on a water heater that contains water that is not hot or has any pressure build up. If you turn off the water going into the RV and open both warm and cold faucets it will relieve the pressure and remove a majority of the water.

Water Line Drains – Search for the low point for both the hot and cold lines. Then simply open lines and drain the water.

Water Tanks – Find the drain for the fresh water tanks and open it to let it drain.

Water Pump – Once all the lines and fresh water tank is open, turn the water pump on for a moment to flush out any remaining water.

Close Drains – Close all the drains and you are done!

If you forgot to to this the last time you returned from a RV trip then you may need to sanitize the water system. It is a simple process of mixing bleach and water and pouring it into the fresh water tanks. See the video below for instructions.


2. Check the Exterior of the RV

Looking over the exterior before you park the RV for a while is always a good idea. These checks can reveal potential issues with leaks, rodents, or other issues.

Lookover the roof seals and inspect fully. Most RV manufacturers advise to do this once every three months. Treat and re-seal as needed.

Check the seals around your openings and windows on the sides of your RV. Keep an eye out for cracks or missing seals.

Wash the exterior with soap and water. Preferably then cover to preserve the RV’s finish.

Consider spreading ant killer around the points that touch the ground. Stairs, tires, etc.


3. Check the Interior of the RV

Just like the exterior, the interior needs attention after a RV trip as well before you stash the RV for a period of time.

Do what you can to prevent moisture build up by allowing for air circulation. You can do this by cracking windows and using DampRid Moisture Absorbers.

Clear out the refrigerator. Even if you plan to keep it cold most of the food will go bad.

Be sure to run your generator once a month for a few hours while it sits. Prop the door open if you intend to turn it off for ventilation.


4. Check the RV Batteries

Batteries can be a mystery. The tend to go bad at the wrong times. Most of the issues can be avoided through a simple maintenance regimen that you perform after each RV trip.

Check the water in the batteries and top them off. Then check back every month.

Clean the connections where the wires connect. Check these every 3 months

Connect the batteries to a trickle charger. It is important to keep your batteries charged while your RV sits idle to maintain the life of the battery.

 

TECH TIP - GENERATOR MAINTENANCE 

RV Generator

 Generator Maintenance

Lack of use is one of the biggest problems with generators. In gasoline generators the fuel breaks down and gums up causing hard starting and surging problems. This can happen in as short a period of time as one month. 

A generator that comes equipped on an RV gets its fuel supply from the same fuel tank the engine uses. When the fuel tank reaches a ¼ tank of fuel the generator will shut down to prevent you from possibly using all of the fuel without realizing it. The generator will either have an automatic transfer switch to sense whether you are using shore power or the generator, or you will need to plug the RV power cord into a generator receptacle to use the generator. It is perfectly okay to use the generator while you are traveling. 

This is one of the reasons you have a generator in the first place. It is actually more fuel efficient to run the generator with the roof mounted air conditioner on, than to use the dash air. 

RV generators are extremely dependable and in many cases will out last the RV if they are properly maintained and cared for. They do not require your constant attention, just some basic maintenance. The first thing you need to understand about maintaining your generator is that they need to be exercised on a regular basis. This applies to gas and diesel generators. As mentioned earlier that gasoline generators could have fuel related problems in as little as one month of sitting idle. This is one of the biggest problems, but it can easily be prevented if you get in a habit of exercising the generator on a monthly basis. 

Many think that you could avoid this by adding a fuel preservative to the fuel tank and then running the generator long enough to get the preservative through the generator set. You definitely should use a fuel preservative whenever the unit will be in storage, but there are many other reasons to start and exercise the generator on a regular basis. Moisture build up can cause damage to your generator. When you exercise your generator it heats up the generator windings and eliminates this moisture build up. This monthly exercise regime also lubricates all of the engine seals and components and helps to prevent carbon build up. 

So, what exactly do I mean when I say exercise your generator? For a gasoline generator I mean that you start and run the generator with at least a 50 percent load for at least two hours every month. It is extremely important that you run it with this minimum rated load. Generators are designed to run with a load placed on them. Our motor home has a 4,000 watt generator so I can either turn the roof air conditioner on in the summer time, which is about 2,000 watts or I can use a couple of small portable electric heaters if it's cold out. It's always better to let your generator run for longer periods than it is for short periods. Check your generator owner's manual for load ratings specific to your unit. 

Other maintenance intervals for generators are based on usage. Your generator set will have an hour meter so you can monitor the usage. Consult your owner's manual for maintenance intervals. 

Changing the oil and filters on a regular scheduled basis and for seasonal changes is just as important for your generator as it is for your automobile. For extended storage requirements consult your generator owner's manual. 

The bottom line is don't hesitate to use your generator and when you do use it put a load on it. A little exercise and preventive maintenance will keep you generator in top operating condition and provide many years of faithful service.

MOUNTAIN DRIVING TIPS

 

 Mountain Driving Tips For RV'ers: How To Drive Up Hills & Down Hills Without Burning Up Your Brakes

Mountain driving in an RV requires a bit of special attention to what you’re doing.

With both climbing and descending (on long or steep inclines) you need to plan ahead and understand what your RV is capable of doing. 

You have to maximize your resources, in order to avoid problems and conquer the hill safely.


RV Uphill Climbs

When climbing long inclines, your RV needs to be operated within its power band.

The power band is a span of engine RPMs where you have the maximum horsepower available to handle the extra load imposed when going up long inclines.

This becomes even more noticeable with diesel engines. Their power band is usually a rather narrow band of RPMs. When operated within their assigned power band, you will have a tremendous amount of pulling power. Fall below that RPM, and it will do you no good to push harder on the throttle. All you’ll get is more black smoke coming out of the exhaust.

To stay within the power band, you must downshift to a lower gear, and you may even be required to  let off the throttle a bit so the engine can work more comfortably. Pushing too hard will only create more heat and increase the likelihood of overheating.

The whole point when climbing long inclines is to adjust your gearing, so you will remain within the comfortable RPM range that your engine likes. Maintaining a certain speed because the sign on the side of the road says that’s the speed limit may be impossible. Slow down and use a lower gear instead.


 RV Downhill Descents

So you’ve safely crested the high point in your RV. Now it’s time to come down the other side of the hill.

This is where you make your engine and transmission work to hold you back. That way, you save your brakes for when you really need them.

The time to set up your downhill decent strategy is at the top of the hill — well before you’ve picked up so much speed that you’re in trouble.

You only have one set of brakes. If they get too hot, they may fade away and your RV will become a runaway train — a situation rapidly headed for disaster.

Experience will teach you how many gears down you need to drop from top gear in order to descend a hill without constant use of the brakes. If you’re new to steep descents, it’s best to error on the safe side by going down a hill in too low a gear. You may be slow, but at least you’ll be safe. It’s very hard to go back and have a do over, if you picked too high a gear at the top of the hill.

Many diesel engines are equipped with a retarder that will help hold you back. It functions by blocking off some of the exhaust gases from your engine. This helps to keep the engine from revving too high when the weight of your RV is trying to push you down the hill.

Some large diesel pusher motorhomes are also equipped with jake brakes.  A jake brake is an engine-mounted device that turns some of the cylinders into an air compressor when you let your foot off the throttle. Jake brakes are a very effective way to control your descent speed without the need for constant braking.

If you find yourself going downhill faster than the engine and transmission can hold you back, your braking should be done in short bursts. It’s far better to brake hard for a shorter distance than to ride the brakes for a long period of time.

The longer you apply the brakes, the hotter they will become.  At some point, they may just fade away — leaving you helpless and unable to slow your RV to a safe speed. Overheating your brakes can also do permanent damage to your RV’s brake components. Rotors, drums, and shoes can all be quickly destroyed by riding your brakes too long down a long hill.

The best advice for RV driving in mountain terrain is to take it slow and easy. It’s better to be able to say, "I got there; it just took a little longer than I expected" than to not get there at all.

 EASY AWNING CLEANING