Thursday, March 8, 2012

RV Cancer. Leaks. Keeper? Bugs. Batteries. Quiet Parks. Propane. Pictures. Medical Alert Flag. Hula-hoop. Aspirin. Phone. Suez Canal. Therapist.

For "tRaVersing" or RV Day:

Dry rot in an RV is like cancer in a person

"Dry rot in an RV is like cancer in a human body… it’s never good but not always fatal. It all depends on how far it’s spread before you find it. Maybe you can just repair the bad spots. Then again maybe the cancer has spread to far. The good thing is, dry rot damage can be repaired. The bad thing is it can cost a lot of money. Proper preventive maintenance and timely repairs are the key.

Extensive dry rot damage in this trailer show the importance of preventive maintenance and timely repairs.

I can tell you the only evidence of any problem with this trailer was at the front corner under the window. The rest of the trailer, inside and out, looked fine and in good condition. However, as you can see, only once repairs were started was the true extent of the damage visible. Don’t know for sure but it makes sense there is more damage under the sheet metal on the front wall as well.

The last I knew, the shop was still waiting to see if insurance was going to pay for the repair or salvage the trailer."  From:


Keep your RV leak free?

"Keeping up with RV maintenance is always a job. For many RVers, this means an exercise in do-it-yourself. Happily, most RV maintenance is not out of the realm of the self-doer, and kept up, not expensive.
While allowing some things to "slide," or fall into the category of deferred maintenance can provide a simple inconvenience, one area that you simply can't afford to let up on is keeping moisture at bay. A leaky door or window seal isn't just inconvenient: it can destroy your RV in a hurry.

Most RVs have framing members and paneling constructed with wood. Penetrating water leads to dry rot, and dry rot to structural failure. Repairing dry rot is often out of the expertise of the do-it-yourselfer, and RV repair facilities charge a horrendous amount for dry rot repair--when it can even be done.

Prevention is the only sure answer. Inspect your RV roof annually--more often is better. Check for damage to the roof, and failure of sealing material around anything that penetrates the roof: Skylights, plumbing vents, TV antennas. Many RVers do follow through on roof inspection, but fail to keep up with sealants around windows and doors. RV manufacturers list periodic maintenance of window and door sealants as a requirement to keep your warranty valid. If you're not sure about how often you should pop the windows and doors to reseal them, check with your manufacturer.
Keep the water out, you'll be a much happier camper."   From:


To Keep or Not to Keep

Dear Joe and Vicki: "My motorhome is 5 years old. Things are beginning to wear out and need replacement. We are wondering whether we should keep and refurbish our present motorhome or buy a new one. What do you think?"

Joe: "Either way, it looks like you are getting ready to spend some money. And, whether you buy a new motorhome or refurbish the one you have, in five more years you are probably going to be faced with the same decision again.
Five years of age seems to be a mid-life crisis point for RVs, especially motorhomes. Outside, the paint is beginning to oxidize. The windshield probably has a few battle scars. The roof needs to be re-caulked (for the second time). Shock absorbers and brake linings need to be checked. Belts, hoses and windshield wiper blades are due for replacement. Tires, no matter their tread wear, are reaching the end of their safe lifespan. The engine and transmission may not be performing as smartly as when they were new.
Inside, the carpet, upholstery and window coverings are beginning to fade and show some wear. Fabrics and color schemes are woefully out-of-fashion. Outdated appliances have reached the point where, if they stop working, the repairman will probably suggest replacement instead of repair. The entertainment center (if you have one) has a television screen that is smaller than you like, does not have a DVD player, and has speakers that seem archaic.
And, if your RV is five or more years of age, you may only have one slide-out room or perhaps no slides at all! Good grief! You own a dinosaur!
Chances are your RV's loan balance is less than, or about equal to, its market value. Or maybe you are one of the lucky RV owners whose payments are just right – nothing per month. That means you have some equity in your present RV that could be applied to the purchase of a new one. And let's face it, a five year old RV is easier to sell or trade than one that is ten years old. Maybe now is a good time to trade.

Vicki: "Before you do, however, consider what you will be doing with your present or new RV for the next five years. Do you anticipate any personal or career changes that would affect your RVing lifestyle? A new job or promotion might curtail the amount of time available for RVing. In that case, it might not make good financial sense to buy a new RV only to have it sit in storage. Perhaps it might be better to postpone that new purchase and, for the time being, make do with your present RV.
On the other hand, if you will be retiring soon, perhaps you will have even more time available for RVing. Buying a new RV prior to retiring can be a good decision. You can choose one that will better complement your extended travels. You will also have the opportunity to take it on a few shakedown trips and get familiar with it before you embark on those extended cross-country journeys.
One of the most popular reasons for getting a new RV is a change of RV lifestyle. Going from weekend and two-week camping trips to extended travel, snowbirding, or fulltiming frequently calls for a change in the type and/or size of RV.
However, if you are going to continue to use your RV as you have in the past, there are some other considerations. By now you have made a lot of personal changes and adjustments to your RV. Closets, drawers and cabinets have been arranged to hold all your "stuff". Pictures, pillows and decorations have been added to reflect your personal taste. You have decided where to keep the trash basket, laundry hamper and vacuum cleaner. You are familiar with your RV's idiosyncrasies and comfortable with its operation. Do you really want to get rid of this rig? If you did replace it, would you want the new RV to be radically different? If your present rig will satisfy your RVing interests and needs for the next five years or so, if you can incorporate the changes and upgrades you'd like into your RV, maybe you should hold onto it."  More at:

Selling an RV: Spit and polish for good impressions

"Looking forward to getting a new RV?  For some of us, that means selling the one we have. While 'trading in' the old rig on a new one is loads easier, it may not be practical. You'll often get more money selling your pre-owned RV than the dealer will give you on trade, and unless you're buying from a dealer, you won't find a lot of other sellers looking to take yours on trade.

If first impressions are as important as we're told, having your rig clean and neat when you first welcome potential customers is critical. As you've cruised down the road with 'Old Betsy,' you've probably come to overlook some of her cosmetic defects--you probably don't even see them. But a potential customer often comes equipped with a critical eye. So take a good, close look at your rig's condition and try to put yourself in the shoes of a buyer."  More at:

How to Sell Your RV Online at Little or No Cost

"Motor homes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, folding or pop up campers and truck campers can often be sold quickly and easily by advertising the sale on the internet.  Using the right combination of free online classified ads and spreading the word through online forums your RV and ad can be viewed by thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of potential buyers each day.    Here are a few simple guidelines to follow to help you get the exposure only the internet can provide.

Make sure the RV is clean, and as presentable as possible.

Take photos both inside and out. Take as many photos as necessary to show the floor plan, features, and both interior and exterior condition.  Take good photographs of any damage… better to let potential buyers know upfront rather that waste time …theirs and yours.

Write a detailed description of the RV. You can’t include too much information or too many details. Include model numbers of appliances and accessories, like awning, slide topper, inverter, solar panels, power jacks/stabilizers, LCD TV. Don’t forget things you may have had added.

Set a fair price. Of course you want to get the highest price possible for your RV but setting the price too high can discourage buyers from even considering your RV. To help determine a fair price for both you and the buyer start by checking the price guides at You can find dealer retail prices on RVs going back to 1975 in some cases." More at:


Ant attack!

"Spring is here. And so are ants. One method for keeping ants from entering your RV is to have a nice talk with the queen and convince her to have her food gatherers search somewhere else.
Failing that, try sprinkling a chlorinated, powdered kitchen cleanser, like Comet for instance, in a circle surrounding each of your RV’s wheels. Ants will not cross the barrier to climb up your tires.
Sprinkle a ring around any other place where ants could climb from the ground to your rig. Disperse or sweep up the residue when you vacate your campsite—the next rig may not have wheels spaced exactly like yours." From:


Keep bugs outside where they belong

"Now, let's concentrate on bees and spiders, which can ruin an RV vacation by sending you rushing off to find an emergency room.
To keep spiders from invading your RV living spaces and storage bins scatter a few moth balls around inconspicuously. Some RVers prefer to use pet flea collars, merely cutting them into small sections and placing them nearest likely entry points for arachnids. Be sure to include the areas near propane lines for your stove and fridge.

Whatever you do, don't camp next to this guy!

To prevent spiders, wasps and bees from making nests in your exterior electrical and water access panels place a piece of easily-removable wire screening just inside the doors.
Also, more than one unsuspecting RVer has been stung while opening RV park electric boxes. Wear leather gardening gloves. Someday you'll be glad you did."   From:


Fire Safety Tip from Mac McCoy
"Batteries produce explosive gases. Keep flame, cigarettes and sparks away. Be sure your battery compartment is properly vented. Keep vent caps tight and level. Check your battery monthly. Replace swollen batteries immediately. Use extreme care when handling batteries -- they can explode." Learn more about Mac and fire safety.


Random RV Thought:
If you prefer quiet RV parks, when calling ahead for reservations ask if there are any railroad tracks close by. Same with busy streets. Many RV parks are on inexpensive land, and sometimes the reason is that they are near a busy street or railroad track. If trains run often, it can be difficult to sleep.


Bill's Hint:
"Turn off all open flames when you are filling your gasoline tank(s). One hundred gallons of burning gasoline makes an impressive sight after the explosion." --From Trailers and Fifth Wheels Made Easy.


Picture Frame Hanging Using Command Strips:

"There are three critical steps in the process of putting up picture frames in your RV. First, you need to decide where they are going to be placed. Once you accomplish that important task and you still have your sanity, you must apply the strips to the back of the frame. It is very important that you clean the area where you place the fasteners with rubbing alcohol. This makes the adhesive work better.

If the frame is not flat (it has to fit flush with the wall) then use liquid nails and a popsicle stick as a trowel and make a flat spot on each side of the frame where the tape will be placed. Let the Liquid Nails dry completely before attaching the fasteners.……"      More at:


Medical Alert Flag

"RVer Shirley Mendonca designed a medical alert flag for use when traveling. 

The Flag measures approx. 13" x 15". The Flagstaff is 30" long x 1/2 in. diameter. Bottom cap is removable to place over antennas

"Shirley Mendonca and her husband, Dave, travel a great deal in 39-foot their Holiday Rambler motorhome.
"We've been RVers for about 30 years," says Shirley. "My husband and I are members of a tractor club that puts on tractor pulls at various places. He does the announcing and I help with checking in all of the tractors and 4 x 4 pickups."


Handy shipping tube is large enough to store additional items such as a Flashlight, Whistle or extra batteries ( Not included) 


Flashing Red Strobe light mounts at the top of flagstaff. Has 6 different light functions. Super bright LED. On/off function on the rear. Takes 2 "AA" batteries. (not included)

"After Shirley had open-heart surgery, she was concerned about how Emergency Medical crews would be able to find her quickly if "we were camping out in the middle of nowhere." "More at:


"At home, it's better to have an emergency light. This light replaces your porch light bulb and when you switch it on, it acts just like that. However, switch it on, off, and on again and it blinks. When the emergency is over, just switch it off, wait a few seconds, then switch it on and it's back to being a porch light. So much easier to find you at night." 

One place to find them:


On This Day:   Sorry, I have been lax about posting these:

Mar 05, 1963 :  Hula-Hoop patented
Mar 06, 1899 :  Bayer patents aspirin
Mar 07, 1876 :  Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone

Egypt opens the Suez Canal, Mar 8, 1957:

"Following Israel's withdrawal from occupied Egyptian territory, the Suez Canal is reopened to international traffic. However, the canal was so littered with wreckage from the Suez Crisis that it took weeks of cleanup by Egyptian and United Nations workers before larger ships could navigate the waterway.

The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas across Egypt, was completed by French engineers in 1869. For the next 88 years, it remained largely under British and French control, and Europe depended on it as an inexpensive shipping route for oil from the Middle East."



After Misty's walk, Jay and I got an early start into town, arriving at the physical therapist's by 8.30.  It must be a big business as the whole top floor of the clinic is dedicated to physical therapy.

When I was finally ushered into a room, it took a while for the main physical therapist, Ben, to look at my back and then decide what to do.  He said that Medicare and my HMO would pay for therapy TWELVE times, and then, and only then, maybe the clinic's chiropractor would adjust my back.   He sent in a lady therapist who hooked up some electrode thingys on my back that I could feel pulsing while I lay on some heat.  After that, Ben took me into an enormous room where there were lots of therapy tables and showed me some exercises I could do to strengthen the muscles to stop my back from going out.  But why won't the clinic adjust my back first?  $$, I suppose!

Jay waited nearly 2 hours outside with the Reader's Digests that I keep in the van.  But I have spent a lot more time waiting for him at his doctor's office.

First stop was the battery place, and they replaced the bad battery free of charge.

Next stop was our favourite thrift shop.  We donated a lot of paper to their recycling, items for their shop, and even some trash into their dumpster.  Jay bought some clothes.  Then unsuccessful trips to Home Depot, Moore's Plumbing and Grainger's, to try to find the fittings I need for the cargo trailer's water tank.   I had already tried at the RV store north of us, and may have to make a trip to the other one, way south of us.

I was peeved about the whole waste-of-time physical therapy  thing, until I realized that it had made my back feel a bit better yesterday.


Dizzy-Dick said...

I think I would have coughed up the cash and went to a chiropractor first.

Gypsy said...

I would try the physical therapy a couple more times to see if your back feels better and stays better.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comments.

Gypsy: Yes, it feels better, but it doesn't put my back back in place. That could be done first.

DD: The clinic's chiropractor wants to charge me $116 for the first adjustment. I hardly ever see a medical doctor, as I don't get sick, but I do put my back out from time to time. I think I am going to have to find a different primary care doctor who is not affiliated with that clinic. I just can't see having an HMO, and still having to pay for services.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny, TX