Thursday, March 14, 2013

ATS Switch. Checkout Times. Repair RV Roof. Tankless WH. At RV Park. Weigh Your RV. RV Fire! Catastrophe Fuse. Induction Cooking. Powerhouse Coach. Can Scam. 10 Most Wanted. Jack Ruby.


For “tRaVersing Thursday, or RV Day” 

Take care with your RV generator

“Got a "built in" RV generator? Don't have to "plug and unplug" shore power cords when switching from shore power to the genset? Then you have an ATS (automatic transfer switch). They're convenient, indeed, as the rest of us without them have to go outside, typically open a door, and plug the shore power cord into a special receptacle fed by the genset.

However, there are a couple of caveats you need to be aware of: An ATS is not a "perfect" device and problems can occur. Here's a good rule when firing up the generator when using an ATS. In fact, this is a good rule when firing up any RV generator, ATS or not: Reduce power consumption before firing up the generator. That means, make sure the air conditioner, the microwave oven, the portable electric space heater — any of those "big draw" devices are turned off.

A big surge in electrical current can actually damage an ATS, and in some cases, the genset itself. There have been cases, too, when the ATS somehow wasn't fast enough to isolate the generator from the shore power system — with very nasty and sometimes expensive results. Take the extra moment to reduce your power consumption before you hit the start switch.”


Of these RV park checkout times, which do you believe is the fairest for both the RV park and the RVers?

“I have been complaining lately about early checkout times at RV parks. I believe that 1 p.m. is much fairer than the present 11 a.m. that most parks observe. I am not alone in this belief if a reader survey is an indicator. See what more than 2,100 readers of this newsletter think.” By Chuck Woodbury


How to repair a RV roof on the cheap

“We've mentioned our love for EternaBond repair tape for years at Leaks in your RV's roof are a major headache, and RVers have tried (and continue to try) just about anything to stop them. Pour on some sealant, stick on some duct tape; we've seen folks who've even tried using old tire innertubes. Forget all that!

As we've often written, EternaBond can help you make a repair on just about any kind of RV roof material in a hurry. EternaBond is a micro sealant tape that installs simply. Clean up the area to be repaired, cut off the correct length of the tape, peel off the backing, press the tape down on the repair area and rub the dickens out of it. It works — and it lasts.

The problem is the darn stuff costs a lot. Most stores, online and off, will sell you a roll of EternaBond, 4 inches by 50 feet for a stiff $70 to $90. It tends to make one shy away from this fine product, and then leaves the same person grumbling when the feel of the drip, drip of a rain leak late at night.

We searched around, however, and found many sizes available at the Eternabond website at a far lower price. You might want to pick up a roll . . . just in case.  Watch a video by Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, demonstrating how to use Eternabond to fix a roof leak.”


From me:  I usually buy mine cheaper on eBay.


Instantaneous Hot Water While Boon-Docking

“We're RV wannabes and still learning so please pardon the ignorance of my question. I'm very interested in the tankless water heaters. Just makes more sense; less weight, greater fuel economy, etc. My question is, can you still boondock with a tankless water heater? Or are you limited to a direct water hookup?” Virginia S., (Dix, IL)

“Indeed you can still boondock with either of the two available brands of tankless water heaters, Virginia. They are both powered by 12-volt DC battery voltage and burn propane, so as long as the battery bank is healthy and you have propane aboard, you can still have hot water flowing from the fresh water container via the on-board water pump. No need for cold showers. Ever!”  Posted by RV Doctor


Save time checking into an RV park.

“In large type, on 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch paper, print your name, mailing address and phone number, type of RV and its license number and state, the make of toad and its license number and state, and any club affiliations like Escapees or Good Sam and the membership number(s). Highlight, cut and paste the information on the bottom half of the page. Then laminate the page and cut it in half. Now when you check into a campground or RV park you can hand the half page to the clerk with all the information needed to speed up your registration.” —Adrienne Kristine


Handy in your RV kitchen . . . and a good way to save weight and space!

“Rene Agredano of shows you some handy devices for your RV kitchen that will also save weight and space.”


Weigh your RV. Why thumping your tires can lead to disaster

“Mac McCoy, Mac the Fire Guy ( ), discusses why you must get your RV weighed to avoid overloading and risk a fire. Thumping your tires with a stick, he advises, is not good enough to determine if tires are properly inflated.”


Fire extinguisher alone is not always enough to prevent an RV fire disaster

“Losing an RV to a fire is a terrible thing. Losing your life to an RV fire is even worse. But a little prevention could save your rig — even your life.

Every RV is equipped with at least one fire extinguisher, and experts recommend several. But a sad experience from North Dakota highlights that having a fire fighting tool isn't enough. Regarding an RV fire in a rural area, the local Fire Chief had this comment about the RV owner: "She had trouble getting the fire extinguisher off the wall bracket, which could have otherwise possibly mitigated the damage."

Mitigated damage? In this instance, the owner was able to get out of the rig — but that was it. Unable to get the extinguisher loose from the mounting bracket, she could not put out what had started as a small fire in the kitchen — evidently lunch just got away.

What about you — and your traveling companions? Does everyone who travels in your RV know how to get the fire extinguishers loose from their mounting brackets, and then how to use them? It could make a huge difference in whether a small fire is a nasty weekend-ender, or a total loss claim.”


Help prevent electrical damage
”Carry a 'polarity tester' available in RV stores. Use it before plugging in at an unfamiliar campground. It's small, inexpensive, and displays two green or amber lights when plugged into a properly wired outlet. Using one of your adapters, you can test the campground outlet before you plug in.” From Motorhomes Made Easy


Is your RV protected with a catastrophe fuse?

“Most RVers are familiar with fuses. They have them in their tow vehicles or motorhomes to protect electrical circuits. But not all are familiar with catastrophe fuses. If you have a large bank of batteries in your RV, as is common for those using solar power, a catastrophe fuse could save your rig — maybe your life. Read more.” 

“Make sure that you install a catastrophic fuse or circuit breaker into the DC wiring system. It will help ensure that if you have wired anything wrong or something shorts out that you will have some protection. In my case I have a 300 Amp catastrophic fuse wired into the negative feed from my batteries.”


Induction Cooking - Does This Really Work??

“Now this new-fangled induction method works differently. As long as you have a steel base (stainless is OK but not as efficient check it with a magnet to be sure it will work!) this will work well. Aluminum pans do not work at all! You can buy Aluminum pans with a steel cladding, that's OK….

….All this really means is the cooktop doesn't actually heat up. The heat is created in the pan or pot. That way the cooking surface stays mostly cool and the temperatures are fully controllable. The same kind of "instant on, instant off" that you get from a gas stove works here.

Every good cook knows the secret to great dishes is to control the temperature and time. (Yes, I know the ingredients are important too!) Most of the induction cooktops I looked at allowed for very specific settings for time and temperature. Not only that, they sensed the size (diameter) of the pot and only used power to heat that size. Very efficient use of power. Still, it will gobble up a fair amount of power. Most are setup to use 15 AMP 120V AC circuit. I have an 1800 Watt version. That's, of course, only at full power. Most of the time I am drawing about 8.3 Amps or so. You COULD run this on an inverter, but be prepared to use almost 100 Amps of power when it's running. (YMMV)”    More at:


Selecting the right motorhome for you

33”For those shopping for their first RV, it helps to have an understanding of types.  We have discussed two popular motorhome classes, Class A and Class C. Now we'll talk about two other kinds of motorhomes.”


Two things to check out when buying an RV

Chuck Woodbury offers a quick tip about two things to always inspect before buying an RV.  The couch and the shower.


Powerhouse Coach

“This RV has the muscle of a semi-truck and the look of a luxury cabin. Doug Tolbert shows off his Powerhouse Coach designed to bring all his toys wherever he goes.”


Don't let this happen to you

“This is a real feed from a security camera from a supermarket parking lot. You will notice how the hijacker ties some cans to a woman's car. When she stops to investigate after starting to pull away, he jumps in her car and drives off, taking everything including her purse, cell phone and house keys -- not to mention her car! Thanks goodness there wasn't a baby on in the car”


On This Day:

The FBI debuts 10 Most Wanted, Mar 14, 1950:

“On this day in 1950, the Federal Bureau of Investigation institutes the "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list in an effort to publicize particularly dangerous fugitives. The creation of the program arose out of a wire service news story in 1949 about the "toughest guys" the FBI wanted to capture. The story drew so much public attention that the "Ten Most Wanted" list was given the okay by J. Edgar Hoover the following year. As of 2011, 465 of the criminals included on the list have been apprehended or located, 153 as a result of tips from the public. The criteria for selection is simple, the criminal must have a lengthy record and current pending charges that make him or her particularly dangerous. And the the FBI must believe that the publicity attendant to placement on the list will assist in the apprehension of the fugitive.

Generally, the only way to get off the list is to die or to be captured. There have only been a handful of cases where a fugitive has been removed from the list because they no longer were a particularly dangerous menace to society. Only eight women have appeared on the Ten Most Wanted list. Ruth Eisemann-Schier was the first in 1968.

The FBI also works closely with the Fox television show America's Most Wanted to further publicize the effort to capture dangerous felons.”


Jack Ruby sentenced to death, Mar 14, 1964:

“Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who killed Lee Harvey Oswald--the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy--is found guilty of the "murder with malice" of Oswald and sentenced to die in the electric chair. It was the first courtroom verdict to be televised in U.S. history.

In October 1966, the Texas Court of Appeals reversed the decision on the grounds of improper admission of testimony and the fact that Ruby could not have received a fair trial in Dallas at the time. In January 1967, while awaiting a new trial to be held in Wichita Falls, Ruby died of lung cancer in a Dallas hospital.”



Misty and I went to get Jay for shopping day.  Ray and Jay loaded my leaking yellow washing machine into the van, and this time Ray came with us, too.

We dropped off the paper recycling at St. Marks, and had a quick look in their Thrift Shop.  Ray and I didn’t buy anything, but Jay bought an Aztec looking vase, a blue glass candle holder shaped like a half-moon, and some jeans.

We took Ray to the Enterprise Rental Car place, and I asked him if he wanted me to stay until he knew that the car was ready, but he said no, as he had already called them.  So Jay and I left and went to two more thrift shops, and I bought a nice pair of blue pants.  

At the appliance place, Mark said that he didn’t have time to repair the washer while we waited, but it should be ready today.  I really wanted to get another used white washing machine, but he didn’t have any in stock.  His machines sell fast, as he has a great reputation.  I have nothing against mine, except it doesn’t match my white dryer!  It really works well, and Mark thinks it is just the water mixing valve leaking, just like I thought, too.  So I have to go with my frugal Scottish heritage and keep the one I have.

When we got home, there was no rental car in Ray’s driveway.  He came over and told me that the person who had asked him to pick up the car, (who is out of town) wasn’t told that they have to actually swipe their credit card.  It can’t be done over the phone.  My cell phone was accidentally turned off, so Ray had to call another neighbor to pick him up.  I felt bad about that.

This new 220v. Heat/Air unit is so quiet and efficient, that I am probably going to buy another one for Ray in my guest house.  After all the trouble we had getting this one hard-wired, there is no way I am going to move it now.  I don’t want to put the old Heat/Air unit back in the guest house.  I had checked with some more mini-split installers, and until they get more popular, I think they are way overpriced.

A while ago I had changed my living room AC to a 110v. one so I could run it off my motor-home’s generator.  I learned that a couple of hurricanes ago!  Now with a 220v one, I’ll have to stay in another room with a 110v. AC during an outage. 

Air conditioners are one of the items that I won’t buy used, as I am scared of fire, anyway, the newer AC’s are more energy efficient.  But that’s one thing about TX, used AC’s sell very well during the summer, and I will have some to sell.

I am hoping to take Terry to the vet for a check-up and get him some more medicine today.


Dizzy-Dick said...

You sure had a busy day. Don't you ever slow down?

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

Maybe have Mark find you a white washer and trade the yellow one for it... Might take some extra money but it would make you happy...

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thanks for your comments, DD and Rod.

Things have to be done, DD, and if I am not working here with the guys in the mornings, then I slow down and get lost in armchair travel on this computer!

That was the whole idea, Rod, I had intended to trade it in, but Mark doesn't have any right now. Like he said, you can't get any better than the old Maytags, and you just can't find them anymore. They do a lot better than other machine at getting the mud out of clothes after a flood, I found that out the hard way!!
So I'll just stick with my old one for now. Maybe, one day I'll get a matched set again.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny