Safely Jacking Up a Travel Trailer by The RV Doctor
"I have a Keystone Zeppelin, 24-foot travel trailer with tandem axles. I would like to know the best way to get all four wheels off the ground at the same time to service wheels, besides rolling onto blocks to get one axle at a time. The axle owner's manual says not to jack on the axles. Where is the best place to jack and block for wheel service? ... '
"David, in my shop, if I couldn’t get the entire RV onto a hoist, I would only jack one side of the trailer at a time. Perform the service at each axle on that one side, then move to the other side. I would jack only on the main frame rail and allow the suspension to hang until both tires were clear of the shop floor. I would then lower that side onto appropriate, (read: weight capable), safety jack stands. Then simply repeat the process on the other side. For any RV being raised up with a floor jack, it’s much safer to always have at least two tires (or one side), safely on the ground at all times. Remember, safety first, the time element, second!"
Dual RV batteries
"Although installing a dual RV battery is not a difficult process to carry out, there are some precautions that must be taken to avoid disaster.
To install dual RV batteries, you must connect the two battery posts together; positive with positive and negative with negative. The wires used to connect the two batteries should end up being of the same length or longer than what was previously installed.
Power up your toad battery while on the go"Jerry Campbell from St. Louis, Missouri told me about a kit he installed on the vehicle he tows behind his Coachmen Sportscoach. “Toad Charge” will keep the battery of your towed vehicle charged while it’s being towed behind your motorhome.
This is a great idea because many auxiliary braking systems deplete the battery while towing.
It works by connecting the motorhome chassis electric system to the towed vehicles battery using the motorhome alternator to supply up to 5 amps of charge to the towed vehicles battery.
The kit comes with easy to follow step by step directions.
You get a charge regulator that is installed in the towed vehicles engine compartment and a thermal circuit breaker installed near the motorhome starting battery. It comes with 40 feet of power cable for the motorhome and 10 feet of cable for towed vehicle.
A 7 foot piece can be permanently mounted to the tow bar with connectors at each end for easy hook-up. Jerry used extra prongs on his signal cable to hook it up. The cable has it’s own built in ground wire to minimize voltage drop.
A nice safety feature is a built in blocking diode that prevents reverse current flow in the event the motorhome batteries go dead. This will prevent the towed vehicle battery from discharging to the motorhome allowing you to start your toad which is a good idea if you’re out in the boonies where these kind of things usually happen."
You will find more information on this product at their website here: Toad Charge.
"Trailers usually have a battery (sometimes two) that operates interior lights, blowers, fans and pumps. These batteries are charged when the vehicle engine is running and the trailer is connected to the tow vehicle. They are also charged any time the trailer is plugged into 120 volt power." --From Trailers and Fifth Wheels Made Easy.
"RVing in summer can be one of the more pleasant aspects of the RV lifestyle, and also one of the more stressful. As a fulltimer or on an extended vacation you have to camp somewhere on busy weekends.
But if you've ever spent a weekend in a state park campground or a popular family rv resort--if you can even get in without a reservation--you know that it will be crowded, there will be lots of kids having lots of fun (and making lots of noise), excited dogs barking at all the stimulus of being surrounded by strangers, campfire get-togethers with conversations (sometimes just a few feet outside your bedroom window) rising in decibels in relation to the amount of alcohol consumed and sometimes lasting into the wee hours.
And don't expect rangers to come by and quiet things down after the un-enforced 10:00 quiet hour arrives. They don't have enough rangers with the budget cut-backs to even cover daytime shifts, let alone after 5:00 when they all disappear.
Maybe all this doesn't bother you. Great for you. I commend you on your tolerance. But for some of us senior folk, we would rather opt for a quieter, less crowded camping experience. And there is an answer, a better option, and that is to find boondocking spots in the national forests or on other public lands where most of the time there will be far fewer campers and they will be spread out, unlike the sardines-in-a-can layout of most established campgrounds. And in many cases, there will be single, isolated campsites, nestled in a forested grove out of sight of any other campers.
In order to take advantage of these quiet, un-crowded campsites, you have to put out a bit more effort. You can't phone in a reservation to hold your site, there are no comprehensive lists of boondocking locations (or dispersed camping areas as they are called), there is no way to check whether the boondocking campsites are full before you drive in to actually check, and you will have to have learned some boondocking skills before you wander into the woods.
But the rewards are many.
Once you find a good boondocking campsite, and record it on your GPS or notate it in your campground book (don't forget to record explicit directions--your memory may not be as good as you think it is), you don't have to search for it the next time you want to use it. Over time you will have collected several favorite boondocking sites, as well as discovering many that you passed by without staying in--a regular treasure trove of escapes from chaotic state parks and family destination RV resorts."
Motorcycle camping trailer
"Born of passion for travel and a need for economy, we present Solace, the compact pull behind motorcycle camping trailer from The USA Trailer Store. With its standard 8" chrome wheels and aerodynamic cooler holder, your new Solace delivers both style and comfort. With approximately 16 cubic feet2 of usable storage space while in the travel position, this solidly built camper is both a roomy cargo trailer and a spacious camping trailer.
With its ability to expand from 19 square feet in the closed travel position to 72 square feet in the open camping position with an impressive 6'7" ceiling, Solace can truly boast economy of space. With its independent torsion axle suspension, Solace gives you peace of mind."
Tech Tips from Mark Polk
"Always lock the RV when you're not physically at the campsite. Do not store valuable equipment in outside storage compartments. Believe it or not, a vast majority of RVs use the same exact key as yours for outside storage compartments. If you store valuables, like golf clubs, fishing gear or tools in the outside compartments you may want to have the storage compartment locks changed."
Battery powered LED lights are perfect for RV closets and cabinets Did you ever want some light in your RV where there is no light -- inside a closet or cabinet perhaps? Wiring a 12 volt or 120 volt light may not be easy or even possible. Here is a simple, effective solution -- an easy-mount LED light that is powered by four AA batteries. These are perfect for at home or in your RV. And they are great during power outages. This video is a segment from Mark's RV Garage. Watch it.
Fire Safety Tip from Mac McCoy
"Even if the flame, or pilot flame on your galley stove goes out, gas continues to flow and could result in an explosion. A stove should never be left unattended or used to heat your coach. Open propane flames release high levels of carbon monoxide."
Fire safety: Inspect your RV's fire extinguisher . . . and consider purchasing a small one specifically to keep in reach in your kitchen area. Learn more about Mac and fire safety.
Check and make sure that bees or wasps have not made a nest in your hitch box. To keep them away, hang a cloth bag with some mothballs in it.
Always double check that your refrigerator is shut tight before hitting the road. If not, you could have a mess on your hands.
On the last day of an RV trip, if you are hooked up to water and sewer, it's a good idea to wash your tables, counters, floor, fridge and other places inside your RV. If you wait until you get home, when you may not be hooked up, your water will likely be limited and you'll end up draining water into a holding tank which you'd probably prefer to stay empty.
"Heartland's optional ToyLok is a unique and simple way to secure outdoor items when you are away from your campsite. ToyLok provides peace of mind by protecting grills, patio furniture, bikes...you name it. If it belongs to you, keep it safe with ToyLok!"
Pure Power Blue by The RV Doctor
"Since the “Go Green” movement permeated the RV Industry, it's been proven that the use of certain chemicals, including formaldehyde, a common preservative found in RV toilet chemicals, is hazardous to the environment, humans and pets. Just about every company that manufactures these additives now produces a green alternative. OP Products may be the exception since they've only produced "green" additives, avoiding any use of chemicals, from day one. Perfecting upon their development of Pure Power Green, they are now offering what they consider to be the most powerful, easiest to use and most economical RV holding tank additive yet developed, Pure Power Blue, Waste Digester and Odor Eliminator. Pure Power Blue is four times as concentrated as any near competition.
Featuring their proprietary “BioBlast Plus” technology, this new product uses bacteria and enzymes to break down waste naturally and safely. The company states that their biodegradable product will “control odor immediately, even in high heat conditions over 120°F.” In addition, the bacteria and enzymes in their product enhance the sewage and septic systems to which they’re introduced.
Pure Power Blue is available as a liquid in sizes ranging from 4 to 128 ounces. It is also available in convenient, dissolving, single-use pouches, in 6 or 12-pouch packages. The company states that a mere 2 ounces or 1 bio-pouch will treat a 40-gallon tank (an additional dose is recommended for temperatures above 105°F).
When it comes to a bacteria-based holding tank treatment solution, a normal question might be: is it safe? According to OP Products, “The bacteria used in [their] products are non-pathogenic, friendly Bacillus bacteria. These types of bacteria are cultivated from natural sources, therefore they are perfectly safe to use in any cleaning or maintenance situation.”
The Pure Power Blue liquid is a lighter color than some of the traditional products and has a pleasant smell when opened. Simply add 2 ounces of Pure Power Blue to a gallon of water and that’s it. The same for the bio-pouch; one gallon or just enough water to cover the bottom of the tank.
One claim the company makes is that it will break down any 2-ply household toilet tissue, meaning there's no need to use RV-specific, quick-dissolve paper, which of course, is more expensive than store brands. So Chris set out to test that claim.
Here's his report:
The Experiment: I used two clean glass jars, one with plain tap water and the other with a tap water/Pure Power Blue mixture (about ½ ounce of additive in the jar of water). I then added four sheets of store brand, (generic), 2-ply toilet tissue to each jar.
The Results: In a one hour test, the toilet paper in the plain tap water remained as it was when I inserted it. When stirred, it held together perfectly, without deforming or separating at all. However, in the Pure Power Blue solution, the paper had dissolved almost completely, and upon stirring, was nicely broken down and completely shredded. Clearly, complete dissolving would have occurred within a short time, perhaps another hour or two, but even at this point in time, flushing of holding tanks would have been easy and complete."
More at: http://www.rvdoctor.com/2011/07/product-spotlight-op-products-pure.html
After Jay was through with his doctor's appointment, we worked our way back to the north side of town, stopping at a couple of thrift shops along the way. I bought some Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, a bedspread with matching sham, a long extra shelf with legs to go in my fridge to keep smaller items up out of the way, and Jay bought some shirts. Jay had to pick up a prescription at WM, so I bought some lotion and bath powder there to get them off my list. At least they weren't made in China, like so many Walmart items. I used their sphygmomanometer, and my blood pressure was 125/65.
They were the only things that I really needed, but I still managed to buy more items when we stopped at Krogers to use their ATM. Jay and I split a delectable NY cheesecake, we couldn't resist, as it was half-price. I cut my half into serving portions, wrapped each section in wax paper, and froze them in an oblong plastic tub. Now, I can take one portion out every now and then. It will take me a long time to eat my half.
As the Baby Spinach was a 'twofer', we each got one. It is better than lettuce in a salad, as it is more nutritious. ( http://www.fitsugar.com/Leafy-Green-Breakdown-400677) And it can always be cooked in a recipe when one tires of salad.
We drove 2 extra blocks to stop at the county property tax office to pay an 84 cent balance on my bill to save the $4 online payment charge. It would have gone up to $1.04 at the end of July, and escalated from there on!
It easily releases with a thumb on the outside, and snaps locked when the door is closed.
The door opens that way so the mirror can be swung to be used from the sink to the right of it.
It is really for an RV fridge, but they work well on a lot of things, as they are adjustable.
It is still hot, though the temperatures have not been as high, it still feels just as hot due to the humidity in the air. It feels like it is going to rain, but it doesn't happen. Our rain is constipated, as it is forecast each day.