Thursday, January 17, 2013

RV Propane Leak. 2 AC’s? Water Damage. WiFi Antenna. Water Reg. LOW’s. Coyotes. Mice. More Storage. Brinks Heist. Corvette. Northridge.


For “tRaVersing Thursday”,  or RV day:

Propane leak suspected by full-timers. Take it to be fixed or just shut off the valve?

“Dear Gary,
I think we have a propane leak. How should we check it out, or should we take it somewhere. Should it be a propane place or a RV repair shop? We live in our motorhome full time. My husband thinks it is safe because it is shut off but I'm worried something could still happen. Please inform us.” --Susan N.  Read Gary's response.


Tech Tips from Mark Polk

Running two air conditioners on a 30-amp connection
“I received this letter recently. "We are considering buying a Winnebago Sightseer 35J with two roof air conditioners. But the coach only has 30-amp service with an Onan 5.5 KW generator. Can these two air conditioners run at the same time with only 30 amps?" Here's my answer.”


How To Inspect your RV for Water Damage by RV Education 101®

Tips on how to inspect and prevent water damage on your RV


Bill's Hints                    Batteries in cold weather
”Always keep your batteries fully charged in freezing weather. Battery voltage drops rapidly when used in cold weather. A low battery is susceptible to rupture when frozen.” --From Motorhomes Made Easy


A simple way to improve the WiFi connection in your RV

Jim Guld of Geeks on Tour explains an easy way of getting better WiFi reception in your RV.


How to hook up an RV water pressure regulator at your campsite

“Mark Polk of RV Education 101 explains why it's important to hook up a water pressure regulator to your RV at campgrounds, and he illustrates the proper way to do it.”


Some RV Tips:

When bookdocking, carry a few gallon jugs of drinking water with you. Use them in the kitchen for cooking, filling the coffee pot, refilling drinking bottles. This leaves more water in the fresh water tank for washing, flushing, etc.

Do not assume that a public campground where you are headed has a dump station based on what you read in a directory or other literature. Sometimes you will find it has been closed for repairs or even for good. If you show up with full holding tanks, expecting to dump on arrival, you have a problem. It's always a good idea to seek out a location to dump before you arrive. . . just in case.

The key to good tire traction is friction, but this can be elusive depending on the weather. Winter tires are designed to stay soft and pliable at low temperatures, so they will deform and re-conform to all the micro irregularities of the icy surface, resulting in grip. All-season tires are designed to help provide traction in wet and snowy conditions. Their reinforced sidewalls keep the tire shoulders on the road, while microgrooves help provide biting edges that lock together, enabling better grip when turning on wet roads. --From Goodyear

Be sure to wash the chassis of your tow vehicle and/or RV if your winter trip has included significant mileage on snowy roads. Both road salt and its newer alternative, calcium chloride, can cause undercarriage corrosion and rust.

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Why coyotes pose a threat to your pet in campgrounds

“Cats and small dogs are easy prey for the quick, powerful predators when left tethered to an RV in a campground,. One ranger at Death Valley National Park almost lost his cat when a coyote grabbed it outside his residence. He chased the animal, which dropped the cat and ran off before inflicting injury.

A pet is in danger even when you walk it on a leash. The same ranger tells of a man who was walking his poodle near the Death Valley's Furnace Creek campground when a coyote suddenly charged from the brush, yanked the leash from the man's hand and took off with the poodle. No trace was found of the dog or leash.”


How to keep mice and other rodents from invading your RV

“Mice or other rodents can create more than just a mess in your RV. While some actually carry the fatal disease hantavirus, others can cause trouble by chewing on water lines or electrical wiring. Imagine the damage a rodent could cause if it chewed through a pressurized water line. Or worse, if it gnaws through a live wire that could cause a fire. What to do?

So-called legitimate sources suggest a variety of ways to repel rouge rodents. Says one, "Put Bounce dryer sheets in your cabinets and outside compartments." Tell that idea to RVers who tried it and later learned that mice love to shred the dryer sheets for nests.

Another piece of useless advice: Install an "ultrasonic pest repeller" and send the critters scurrying before they even get inside. Once again, many college and university researchers respond: "Save your money: ultrasonic repellers don't work." The problem? The repelling systems don't have enough power. The sound meant to run off rodents is not powerful enough to get around furniture, walls, cabinet doors, etc. It's like driving down the road and being annoyed by a siren: just roll up the window. Rodents just re-route in your RV using objects to block the noise.

The tried-and-true method to keep rodent invaders at bay boils down to blocking their entry. Carefully inspect your RV for spaces where critters can enter. Tiny spaces where water, sewer or gas lines pass through walls and floors may provide a mouse easy access. Stuff any such crack (it doesn't need to be big for a mouse to get through) with steel wool, then cover with sealant.”


Build your own RV storage organizer

“No matter what type of RV you own, storage will be an issue. Over the years Jim Twamley used everything from elaborate storage compartment organization units to stackable plastic storage bins and cardboard boxes. He still uses all of these because they work. If you are new to RVing, Jim suggests you start off with plastic bins and cardboard boxes until you determine what works best for your RV camping style.” Read more and see photos.


How to add extra shelf space in your RV

“It seems like there's never quite enough "space" for everything in the RV. Sometimes an off-the-wall idea can help. Actually, in this case, it's an on-the-wall idea:

Need a handy spot for small stuff you need beside the bed at night? Tired of knocking pill bottles, glasses or that paperback book off the nightstand? Pick yourself up a single-layer wooden space rack and mount it on the wall next to the bed. You'll find they're just the right size for some of those small items you need close at hand.

Some RVers just can't get along without a few knick-knacks. Where do you put the durn things? Again, shelves would seem a natural, but how do you keep the stuff up there? Try some non-slip shelf liner cut to fit the shelf -- you'll find it by the roll at Camping World, even Walmart. Some complain the stuff tends to lose its grip. Au contraire! What probably happened is you've picked up some unwanted dust in the mat. Simply wash the things with soapy dish water, dry 'em out, and they'll stick again.” Russ and Tina De Maris are the authors of RV Boondocking Basics.


On This Day:

The Great Brinks Robbery, Jan 17, 1950:

“A team of 11 thieves, in a precisely timed and choreographed strike, steals more than $2 million from the Brinks Armored Car depot in Boston, Massachusetts. The Great Brinks Robbery, as it quickly became known, was the almost perfect crime. Only days before the statute of limitations was set to expire on the crime, the culprits were finally caught.”


Corvette unveiled at GM Motorama, Jan 17, 1953:

“On this day in 1953, a prototype Chevrolet Corvette sports car makes its debut at General Motors' (GM) Motorama auto show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The Corvette, named for a fast type of naval warship, would eventually become an iconic American muscle car and remains in production today.”


Earthquake rocks Los Angeles, Jan 17, 1994:

“On this day in 1994, an earthquake rocks Los Angeles, California, killing 54 people and causing billions of dollars in damages. The Northridge quake (named after the San Fernando Valley community near the epicenter) was one of the most damaging in U.S. history.”



Another cold morning, so Misty and I had to wear our long coats to pick up Jay in the Puddle Jumper and for our walk down there.  It was colder than the morning before, so I didn’t take Miss Priss for one of her ‘getting used to being in a car’ rides.

When I started the van it sounded different.  I turned around after half a mile, as the ‘check engine’ light flashed, it had never done that before.  At home, we checked the oil and transmission fluid.  Nothing was amiss, and we figured that it was just ‘missing’ from the cold.  Previously, the van had always been protected from the cold north winds by the back wall of the RVport, which we had taken down the day before.  I added some fuel injector cleaner to the gas tank, which I had forgotten to do every other fill-up, like I usually do.

As Jay had to go to the local Kroger’s 4 miles away, to pay his light bill, we went there, and each bought a few groceries and returned home.  I really needed to go to Conroe, but the van still wasn’t running right.  That was scary, as it is the only one out of four vehicles here that is street legal.

In the afternoon, Jim the mechanic came by and when I started the van, it ran perfectly.  That was a relief, it must have been a dirty injector.  Maybe I can get to Conroe today.

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