Thursday, August 18, 2011

RV Roof Leak? iRV2 Rally. Inverters. RV Weight. Hot Tires. ICE Flash Drive. TT Towing! Toad Backing. Window Screens. Grease. Adapters. Not Eggsactly. Shopping.

Is your RV Roof Leaking? Read this BEFORE you caulk with silicone!


"In our RV Service Department we are seeing a lot of roof leaks.

The best way to fix an RV roof leak is to STOP it before it happens.

Outside water leaking into an RV is a serious issue.
Many times, there is significant damage already done by the time leaks are discovered.

Regular exterior RV roof inspections are the best way to discover and prevent leaks.
Water leaks may not be apparent from the inside of your RV.
An exterior RV roof inspection should be done on a regular basis.

If you see a water leak in your RV’s rubber roof  don’t make the mistake of  trying to repair it yourself  by using  a silicone sealer.
In our RV Service department the most frequent issue we see with incorrect caulk, is the application of  silicone seal.

Installing silicone seal is absolutely the WRONG WAY to caulk anything on the roof of an RV.

Why not use silicone?

Over time silicone tends to shrink and pull away, once it has pulled away, water can go right under the silicone and get trapped. Water trapped underneath the silicone can never  dry out.

Removing silicone seal without doing additional damage to the roofing material is nearly impossible.

As a general rule the caulking that should be used for an RV roof  is not available in a big box or hardware store.
If you are going to  repair a leak yourself  we recommend the RV caulking be purchased from a qualified RV supply store to ensure you get the correct product for your RV." 

"If you want to schedule a professional RV roof inspection with Wilson RV please call 888-800-7340 ext 2."



iRV2 National Rally being held September 25 to October 1

"Hello from your friends at
We are pleased to announce the 11th consecutive iRV2 National Rally being held September 25 to October 1, 2011 at the Bethpage Camp and RV Resort in historic Urbanna, Virginia. This beautiful resort has been described as the best RV campground in Virginia and one of the premier destinations on the east coast.

Fun and engaging events on the rally schedule include meals, social gatherings, seminars, games, entertainment and so much more.  Consider signing up for an optional tour of Colonial Williamsburg which includes coach transportation and admission.  For reservations please call the campground directly, (804) 758-4349‎, and let them know you are with the Group.  A one night deposit will reserve your campsite and the balance will be payable on check-in.  No RV?  Deluxe 1, 2 & 3 BR camping cottages are also available on request.
For more information, registrations and payments for the meal plan and Colonial Williamsburg tour; please use this link:
The last date that registrations will be accepted on-line will be on Friday, September 9th, 2011.
We hope you’re having a terrific summer and that you’ll plan on joining us for this fun-filled week.  See you at the rally!
The iRV2 Team."



Inverters.   By Mark Polk

"Inverters are nice to have at times when you are dry camping and/or when you don’t have access to 120-volts AC. Batteries produce power in Direct Current (DC) that run at low voltages. Power companies and AC generators produce sine wave Alternating Current (AC), which is used to operate 120-volt appliances and electronic equipment. An inverter takes 12-volt DC power from your RV batteries and electronically changes it to 120-volt AC. Some RVers use an inverter just to watch TV or for their personal computer. Other RVers use an inverter to operate microwaves, coffee pots or other larger appliances. When you purchase an inverter the inverter’s output capacity must be capable of operating the loads that will be placed on it.

Inverters have two different capacity ratings. Continuous output rating and surge capacity rating. Continuous output is the maximum wattage the inverter can output for a long time period. Surge capacity is the maximum wattage the inverter can output during initial start up. All appliances require more power when they start, compared to what they use when they are running. They can use as much as two or three times the amount to start then what they use to run, so the starting power required for any appliance that you plan to use with the inverter must be within the surge capacity rating. There are modified sine wave inverters and true sine wave inverters. A true sine wave inverter is more expensive, but they are capable of producing power as good as the power company and all appliances and electronic equipment will run as they are intended to. Keep in mind you are drawing the power from your RV batteries and any power used has to be put back in through some type of effective charging system."



Let’s Talk About Your Weight   By Ron Jones

"Correct tire pressure in RVs must be calculated—it cannot be "given to you" nor is it some standard setting related to tire size. Determining your RV tire pressure is very different than finding tire pressures on any other vehicle. Just because you regularly check your car’s tire pressures, don’t assume this is similar to motorhomes.

Two factors are used to calculate correct motorhome tire pressure—tire size and the coach weight at each wheel position. "Whoa," you say. "My tire pressure is stamped into the side of the tire." True, but you can't rely on that for two reasons... First, that is the minimum cold tire pressure allowed for the maximum load. Second, your RV tire pressure will be different for the front and rear (single and dual-tire pressures) even though your tires are the same size and stamped with the same pressure setting!

Think about this. When something (balloon, beach ball, or tire) is inflated, the air pressure in that object can be measured. You measure this when you check your car's tire pressure. When that same object is under external force (squeezing the balloon, sitting on the beach ball, or loading your RV), the amount of air pressure is increased since the object is being squeezed. The amount of air is the same—you did not add more air—but the space containing the air shrinks—becomes smaller—because it is being squeezed.

So, the major lesson here is that as you load your coach, your tire pressure increases. How much? Nobody knows. Therefore, your correct tire pressure cannot be calculated until the coach is fully loaded and each wheel position is weighed. What is "loaded"… fresh water, fuel, canned goods, people, clothes, tools, dishes, and the rest of your stuff!

Tire manufacturers provide charts to help determine (calculate) correct single- and dual-tire pressures after weighing the individual wheel positions. Without knowing the wheel position weights on your coach, you can only guess. Using those weights, determine your tire pressures (likely different front to rear) from their charts. Then you can correctly set your tire pressure.

Weighing by wheel position is offered at many RV rallies. One group that offers this service is RVSEF (Recreation Vehicle Safety Education Foundation). The actual weighing takes about 15 minutes. They will discuss any need for rebalancing your load and show you how to calculate your correct tire pressure settings. Most truck stops do not offer individual wheel position weighing.

Hear how to determine the proper tire pressure for the weight of your RV.

Suppose you have it weighed, set the correct tire pressure, take that trip, return, and repack your RV—i.e., move stuff around, remove things you didn't use, and put it some new things. Do you have to get it weighed again?  Maybe. Because you have an excellent "feel" for load balancing from your first weighing, use this as a "best guess" when repacking. Weighing every year is pretty good practice, too, especially if you decide to take your horseshoe collection with you. Get it weighed whenever you make a radical change in your load.

Correct tire pressure will lengthen the life of your tires—under-inflated tires will wear out faster, decrease fuel economy, and are more prone to failure. Oh well, it's only money. From:


RV Buzz Quick Tip: You should never add air to tires when they are hot. Hot air expands and you get false tire pressure readings. Adding or letting air out of a hot tire can lead to over or under-inflation. Always check and add air to tires when they are cold, before traveling more than one mile.



Everyone should have this type of ID… EMERGENCY INFO

You should also have an ICE listing on your cellphone.  (In Case Of Emergency)

"Not just for an older person with some health issues. Attach a USB flash drive to your key ring. It should contain information, such as * name, age, address, and telephone number , *a list of names to contact in case of an emergency,  *a list of current medications and allergies to other medications,  * a list of current medical diagnoses,  *  current insurance information as well as contact of two doctors. *

On the outside of the flash drive, it reads "Emergency Information" in bold letters.
*** A few months ago, a lady had a heart attack and was unable to communicate. That flash drive saved her life. A 2.0 flash drive costs under $5, and takes only a few minutes to create and install on a key ring. "



How NOT to Tow a TT




Backing up With Toad.


...with Mark
Q." In your E-book you say to never back up a motorhome when you are towing a vehicle. My question, you see lots of motorhomes pulling boats, if you can't back up pulling a toad how do they launch their boats without backing up. Thanks in advance "

Mark Says:
"The reason you can back a boat trailer, but not a toad is that the boat trailer doesn't have a set of steering front wheels.

A while back an engineer at Blue Ox experimented backing several towed vehicles. The results weren't good. One person would drive the motorhome and another would attempt to steer the front wheels of the toad. The problem was, in every test, the front wheels would unexpectedly turn drastically to one side making the steering wheel violently spin out of control. If a person has their hands or arm caught in the steering wheel the results could be a broken finger, hand or arm. Even when they attempted to back straight back the wheels would turn, and it was with other manufacturers tow bars too. You should never attempt to back a toad!

Here is how the engineer explained it:

"The reason this happens is not the tow bar but rather the caster angle in the front end of the towed vehicle. Caster is the forward tilt of the steering axis versus vertical. It provides steering stability, steering returnability and cornering ease. In reverse, the caster angle makes the wheels want to turn around the other direction like "casters" on your office chair or shopping cart. We all know they can't turn all the way around on a car, but they will turn off to the side as far as the steering mechanism will let them. This is virtually undetectable from the driver's seat in the motorhome making this a very scary situation. If you continue to back up, after the wheels have turned, the tires "scrub" or slide sideways causing damage to the tires. Other things caused by this are; severe stress to the steering components, suspension and towing system components." "



Clean window screens without water

Jim writes: "To thoroughly clean my RV window screens I remove them and wash them with soap and water. If they are merely dusty, a micro fiber towel will do a great job without using water." Read more.




Plexiglas over the screens

This hot summer you probably screwed Plexiglas over the screens on your RV screen door, as an extra barrier from the heat.  In nicer weather it is also handy for being able to see out with the door open, with the heat or AC on, and stops the rug rats from ruining the screens.  (By Me.)



Tip about getting rid of used cooking grease

"Use fine sand from a creek bed or desert floor to soak up grease in frying pans after cooking. Deposit the grease-soaked sand in the trash. Discarding it outside will draw unwanted critters. Then also clean those pots and pans with sand, which is especially effective on scorched or burned on food, since it acts as an excellent scouring powder. You will use a lot less of your precious water to clean up -- but don't use it on non-stick cookware. "

Boondocking tips with Bob Difley



Electrical adapters: handy, but use caution.    Tech Tips from Mark Polk

"Electrical adapters are a necessity for RVers. Eventually you will be in a situation where you have to use some type of electrical adapter to make a connection at a campground. It may be an outdated campground or isolated area that only provides 15 or 20-amp electrical service. There are adapters that will go from your RV type plug and size down to household type outlets and adapters that go from household type outlets to campground RV connections. It's nice to have these adapters on hand when you need them, but you must exercise caution when you use them.

If your RV is a 30-amp or 50-amp system and you use an adapter to plug the RV into a 15 or 20-amp outlet this severely limits what you can operate in the RV. The roof air alone will draw up to 15-amps when it initially starts. If you place too much of a demand on electrical adapters, or use them for extended periods of time they can overheat and melt resulting in damage to the RV power cord or electrical system. "



Not Eggsactly Deviled Eggs

"This delicious, one-pot meal combines deviled ham and hard-cooked eggs to make a creamy dish for four. I like to have plenty of hard-cooked eggs on hand for camping because they’re good in so many dishes. Or just put a couple in your pocket, hike to the mountaintop and peel ‘em for breakfast while you watch the sun come up.
6 hard-cooked eggs
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
8-ounce carton cream or half and half
6-ounce can deviled ham
Dash of Dijon-style mustard
8-ounce can mushroom pieces, drained
Crisp Chinese noodles
Peel and cut up eggs. Spray a large skillet and blend soup and cream over low heat, gradually stirring in deviled ham. Drizzle with a little mustard and stir in mushrooms and eggs to heat through. Place a mound of noodles on each plate and ladle hot egg mixture over the noodles."


(This is not my recipe, as I would not use devilled ham as it is a processed meat, but you can substitute something more healthy, like canned salmon, organic canned chicken, or omit it.  Also, I would not use canned mushrooms, as I think they are 'rubbery',  If I didn't have any fresh mushrooms, I would use the dehydrated kind, or just throw in some Chinese veggies.)  Better yet, just make some Egg Foo Yung.



Hot Water?  Random RV Thought.

"When using a public shower, like in a state park, always turn on the hot water before getting undressed.

Sometimes, there will be no hot water. And if it's a cold morning or evening, you will feel pretty stupid standing there naked with nowhere to go. Of course, if you are brave and have the cold tolerance of a polar bear, jump right in. Brrrrrrr. "





Jay and his mother went to the dental college in Houston for their continuing dental work.  Ray didn't work as he was expecting me to go pick up the washer from the repair place, but when I called it wasn't ready.


As it was Wednesday, it was time for a shopping trip in Conroe.  First stop was to unload all the paper and cardboard to be recycled from three families for the last week. St. Marks Thrift Shop has those bins, so that was a good place to start. While I was there, I got a nice fuchsia cotton top, a summer bedspread (for the fabric), some "Soft-Flexible" flat leather shoes by Highlights, and a small wooden persimmon colored tray with leaves painted on it, which will be a great accent in the cargo trailer.  Also another small tray for my kitchen, as I like to cook with my electric pressure cooker, chef's kettle or crockpot on a tray. 


At Petco, I returned something, but couldn't find Paul Newman's Own organic canned cat food, so I bought some Organix, another good organic brand.  These two girl orphan kittens eat a lot of canned food, and I want to feed them right.   Organic meat, NO corn and NO by-products.

No news from the lady who was talking about adopting one of them to live with their brother, yet.  Maybe she is waiting until Saturday, when they will be at Petco for Adoption Day.  But just in case, they have just completed their three-day de-worming, and as the lady is already approved by the SPCA, she could take one, (or two) of the girls home that day.


As I was leaving Petco, I almost drove past BigLots.  I have only been there once since they moved to the larger store a couple of years ago. Their prices had risen, so we never went back, but I thought I would check it out one more time, as I was by myself.  Sauntering through the aisles, I even found some natural applesauce, and Blueberry-Blackberry-Acai Juice with NO High Fructose Corn Syrup. 

But my main purchase there was an 8 GB Flash Drive on sale for $12. Only seen them cheaper on eBay, and then you might have S/H charges, and you have wait for it to arrive.  It's either get more memory, or take a lot of stuff that I don't often use out of my main computer, so I had been looking for one.  One more thing off my list.


Not wanting to fight the enormous new Kroger's store in our town, I went to the big one in Conroe, where I usually go.  Also the trees in their parking lot are more mature, so I always find a shady place to park. The store was unusually almost empty, so it didn't take long to buy the things on my list; a week's supply of bananas, sweet potatoes, berries, organic veggies, Greek yogurt, etc.  The "Manager's Special" dept. had some organic canned meals.  I don't often buy canned goods, but they are great if you are in a hurry, or off in the RV.  I wonder when I will be able to leave here, and go anywhere in my RV though.  It might take a while to get these last three foster fur-kids adopted.


I don't know how it got out, as I don't celebrate them anymore, but when I got home there were bunches of wishes on FaceBook, for my birthday.


Dizzy-Dick said...

Well I didn't know it was your birthday yesterday. I will have to now give you a belated "happy birthday". Guess you just turned 29, right?

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you, Dick.

If I were still 29, I would have been in the USA for a year. I know I would have made some better choices at that age, knowing what I do now!
When I immigrated here, I lived in the same place in KS for 5 years, and never saw any of the US during that time. What a waste.

Then I took off in a MH, and saw some of the West Coast all the way to Vancouver. I'd like to see more, but I do all my sightseeing from my desk chair now.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny.