For “tRaVersing Thursday”, or RV Day:
Defective tire or incorrect diagnosis?
“Our tire safety expert Roger Marble writes: "I have been following a thread on a forum for an iconic RV. This RV company makes trailers that are all silver, but no names. A few of those posts insist the tires are defective because, first, they failed and, second, because the owner didn't want to admit the possibility of some external cause as they want to find someone to blame. They will insist that there's 'not a scratch on the sidewalls anywhere,' and they have 'never hit a curb or anything else with them.' But somehow two tires failed after 9,000 miles. Read more.”
Defective tire or incorrect diagnosis? Part two
Last time, our RV tire expert, Roger Marble, discussed how a defective tire could be made. In part two, he shows how a failure that is the result of an external cause can be easily misdiagnosed. Since there are so many different possible external causes, he only covers a few of them. Read more.”
“In closing I think a review of an earlier post of a "blowout" will show you that it is a rather common mistake to incorrectly identify the reason for a tire failure.”
Use this handy multi-purpose tool for many RV chores
“Why carry around a whole toolbox when you can carry them all in one tool? In this video, RV technician Ernie "The RV Guy" lends some helpful advice on how to use a multi-tool in your RV to fix many DIY RV fix-it issues from wiring to throw pillows.”
Preventive maintenance tips on RV slideouts
“Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, discusses simple preventive maintenance techniques on RV slideouts. Recorded at the Hershey, Pennsylvania RV Show.”
RV TIPSProtect your slide-outs
”Some RVers swear by regular treatment of slide-out seals. They say treating them a couple of times a year will help protect them from drying out and cracking. Check with your RV owner's manual for a recommended treatment agent.”
”Slideout on your RV not feeling really stable? Some RVers use a screw-type "stacking jack" with a small chunk of plywood on top of the jack to add stability. Slide the jack and plywood under the outside corner of the extended slideout and snug it up.”
"Have you treated your camp host lately? A kind word, a smile, and homemade cookies go a long way to, as one RVer says, "A well-maintained camp host."”
More than two holding tanks?
”Do you have more than two holding tanks on your rig? You may find a considerable distance between those tanks and the termination cap. If any of the valves upstream leak, you'll get a nasty surprise when you take off the cap. Simply add another gate valve with bayonet fittings at the end point and stop the unwanted surprise.” Thanks to Hank Huizenga for the tip!
Watch your dumping operation closely (but not TOO closely)
“I don't think anyone will argue that the dumping of holding tanks is the worst of RV jobs. This skanky task makes equals of us all: Young or old, rich or poor, we have to get rid of our sewage now and then.
Most folks have an understandable aversion to any close association with 30 or more gallons of waste disposal. But there are good reasons to brave the experience and "do it right."
One inexpensive method is to install a clear fitting in your drain hose. Yeah, that's right — so you can actually look at all that nasty stuff as it disappears into some septic system. Why, oh why, on this beautiful green Earth, would you ever want to do something like that? Well, there really are some pretty good reasons. Ask yourself these questions about how well you'd like your sewer system to be working. The answers might suggest some corrective action to take before your system becomes inoperative.
· Did the effluent come out easily, or was it thick and slow flowing? (not enough water used)
· Did the effluent come out in a rush, or in a slow trickle? (blocked plumbing or tank)
· Is there un-dissolved toilet paper flowing by? (wrong paper used)
· After flushing, did the water run clear or still have contamination? (inadequate flush)
Hook up a clear fitting in-line with your drain hose and you can (however reluctantly) watch the process and assess the final condition of your tanks. A fitting can be placed at the beginning or end of the hose, but it's easier to monitor progress near the RV instead of at the dump station port. Also, if you have room to semi-permanently install the clear fitting at your primary drain outlet, you can even check if one of your dump valves has been leaking (or left open) before you remove the cap and end up with a big puddle at your feet.
Camco makes a nice selection of clear fittings that connect to standard bayonet attachments and they come in various lengths, both straight and angled. You can buy one of these from Amazon or Camping World for $10-$20.” By Greg Illes
Lane-savvy driving; the safe way to travel
“Transitioning from driving a car to herding a big RV down the road can be both a pleasure and a challenge. Dragging the big beast around corners and through dips and bumps is one of the lessons, but perhaps the area most in need of detailed attention is lane alignment.
True in all rigs but more so in class A's, finding that "sweet spot" in your lane is not necessarily intuitive — especially if you have many years of car experience. Your brain only knows the car-relative lane-sighting target. And in fact, the sweet spot will change depending on your immediate circumstances. Cross winds and passing trucks can strongly influence where you want to position your rig, not to mention curbside signs, brush and parked vehicles.
To start with, learn the best way to check your alignment. Typically, this is done with a quick glance to each of the wide-angle side mirrors. When the distance is the same to the white line (right) and the yellow line (left), then you are centered. Now check the position of your head with respect to the center of the lane because it's likely to be well to the left. Once you have this visual/mental picture, you can center yourself by sighting on that more-left side of the lane.
Knowing how and if you are centered becomes crucially important when you're negotiating a narrow roadway. Lanes in the US can be 14-feet wide on a big interstate, but only 8-feet wide on a back-country road (with many rigs 8.5-feet wide, or 10.5 feet counting the mirrors!).
But you don't always want to be exactly centered. There are several circumstances when it's highly advisable to drift toward one side of your lane or the other. You may need to alter your alignment by as much as two feet under some conditions.
Passing trucks — Whether it's the same or opposite direction, drift slightly away from the truck well before you are passing. Most professional drivers do this, which you'll notice when you start paying attention. This habit buys a margin of safety in the event of a swerve or wind gust.
Parked vehicles — Give some clearance to curbside obstacles or parked vehicles. Remember that if your rig is one foot away from something, your mirror will skim it. Also know that a car door can swing out three feet or more when it opens in your direction.
Gusty crosswinds — Stay on the upwind side of the lane, for you will always be nudged a bit downwind before you can fully react.
Driving professionally and lane-consciously will make your trips safer and more comfortable, so it's worth the study and practice to perfect your technique.” By Greg Illes
Don't be suckered in by RV resort advertising
“It was late in the day and we had been driving since morning. We were looking for a place to spend the night and continue our journey the next day. As we were driving along at about 55 miles per hour we saw this sign. Wow! Camping on the river for only ten bucks a night. I thought that would be nice, so we drove the additional six miles past our turn-off to find the RV resort.
We were met at the entry booth by a young woman who informed us we could indeed stay for $10 a night for three nights maximum but the catch... we would have to sit through a one-and-a-half-hour sales pitch to join this membership park.
We didn't have the time or inclination to sit through a high-pressure sales presentation so we declined and went to a free overnight camping area. What I didn't appreciate was the blatantly deceptive advertising and the fact that I wasted the fuel to go 12 miles out of my way. The deception lies in the "small print" located in the lower corner of the sign. I'll admit my eyes aren't good enough to read this small print while driving past at 55 mph. They suckered me, and I didn't like it at all.
I wouldn't want to belong to a park system that stoops to this kind of "bait-and-switch" advertising. That said, some of these park systems can be worthwhile as long as they remain solvent and they offer tangible benefits to their members. They can be quirky requiring rotation of stays, transfer limits, and a laundry list of rules and regulations requiring a law degree to understand.
Overall, I am not a fan of membership parks but I know many other RVers who use them. Just be very careful and be as informed as possible before signing up for one of these resort memberships. You also need to be aware that some resort park systems use high-pressure sales tactics to get you to sign up. Caveat emptor, "let the buyer beware," applies in this instance.” By Jim Twamley
How to wire a six-volt RV battery series
“RV 6-volt battery series overview. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to properly wire a six-volt battery series in an RV.”
For more RV videos, please visit www.trailerlife.tv!
120-Volt RV Power Converter
“Information on a 120-volt RV power converter including troubleshooting tips.”
Prevent your cell phone from messing up your RV trip
“RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury has advice about how to prevent a cell-phone-gone-bad — or a lost cell phone — from causing you a royal pain on your RV trip.”
“At least with Android phones, all of your contacts are automatically backed up to your Gmail account. Apple may have something similar. Partially print or save your phone book for reference if you also use your cellphone for internet access. Finally, be sure to have a security lock and/or locator software on your smartphone as you probably keep a lot of sensitive information on there you don't want the "finder" to have.”
“Your iphone syncs all its contacts and other information to icloud .com you can log in there and look at all your contacts and what not. of course you need to make sure hte feature is on in settings under icloud but it would be a lot easier and making a paper list.”
“What if you loose your wallet too?”
Keep the Listeria bug out of your RV
“Few things will ruin an RV trip faster than a case of food poisoning. Grandma's dire warnings about keeping the potato salad cold notwithstanding, getting sick with a bug called Listeria could not only make you sick, it could put you in the hospital – and if you're vulnerable, maybe into the morgue. Happily, there are things you can do to keep your risks down.
Listeria is often linked to ready-to-eat foods like deli meats, hot dogs, smoked seafoods, and deli-prepared salads. Those most at risk for the really serious complications of Listeriosis (the illness caused by the bacteria) are older folks, those with compromised immune systems, and pregnant women. Sad to say, Listeriosis can even live on in your refrigerator, although with precautions its multiplication can be slowed down.
While you can't get behind the counter at the deli and inspect to make sure all precautions against this nasty character are taken, you can still do some things to ward it off. First — and especially if you're in a high-risk category — reheat hot dogs and lunch meats until they're steaming hot. (165 deg) That heat will kill Listeria. Avoid unpasteurized milk and its byproducts like soft cheeses. What? Yes, pass on the feta, brie, camembert, blue-veined cheeses, "queso blanco," "queso fresco" or Panela, unless the label clearly indicates the cheese was made with pasteurized milk.
Listeria has also been found in other food products, so washing fruits and veggies before eating is a good idea; cooking or peeling where possible is even better. Firm produce like a melon or cucumber could be scrubbed up with a brush.
Precooked foods are a big convenience to the RVer; but when you do buy them, eat 'em up as quickly as possible. If they are contaminated, the longer they stick around, the greater the chance for the bacteria to thrive and multiply. The more you eat, the better your chances for getting ill. Three days is the listed safety limit by the Food and Drug Administration for leftovers.
As we said, Listeria can survive a trip in your refrigerator, but cool temperatures will slow it down. So keep your RV reefer down to 40 degrees or colder, and zero is the goal for the freezer. Keep your foods – all of them – wrapped or closed up in leak-proof containers so the bug, if it gets in your refrigerator, won't have the chance to creep into otherwise "clean" food. If anything spills in your RV chiller, particularly hot dog or lunch meat juices, or raw meat or poultry. Clean the spills up right away. Using a toss-away paper towel is better than a reusable cloth to avoid spreading the germs. Even without spills, regular cleaning of your fridge with warm water and dishwashing liquid followed by a rinse is indicated.” By Russ and Tiña De Maris
On This Day:
World's first "test tube baby" born, Jul 25, 1978:
“On this day in 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world's first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.
Before giving birth to Louise, Lesley Brown had suffered years of infertility due to blocked fallopian tubes. In November 1977, she underwent the then-experimental IVF procedure. A mature egg was removed from one of her ovaries and combined in a laboratory dish with her husband’s sperm to form an embryo. The embryo then was implanted into her uterus a few days later. Her IVF doctors, British gynecologist Patrick Steptoe and scientist Robert Edwards, had begun their pioneering collaboration a decade earlier. Once the media learned of the pregnancy, the Browns faced intense public scrutiny. Louise’s birth made headlines around the world and raised various legal and ethical questions.
The Browns had a second daughter, Natalie, several years later, also through IVF. In May 1999, Natalie became the first IVF baby to give birth to a child of her own. The child’s conception was natural, easing some concerns that female IVF babies would be unable to get pregnant naturally. In December 2006, Louise Brown, the original "test tube baby," gave birth to a boy, Cameron John Mullinder, who also was conceived naturally.
Today, IVF is considered a mainstream medical treatment for infertility. Hundreds of thousands of children around the world have been conceived through the procedure, in some cases with donor eggs and sperm.”
Ray primed and painted the cedar fascia board, and some other wooden places around here.
While he was doing that, I put this recipe together. I have been trying to use my crock-pot more, as it does not cook food to high heat, which can destroy the nutrients. Some ground buffalo was defrosted, and I just fancied meat loaf. I found this unusual recipe and tried it out:
An easy crockpot meatloaf recipe, made lighter with shredded cabbage and extra lean ground beef.
- 1 pound extra lean ground meat or ground turkey
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 egg, beaten
First, make foil "handles." Fold a 30-inch long piece of foil in half lengthwise. Place in bottom of a slow cooker with both ends hanging over top edge of cooker. The foil strip will make it much easier to remove the meatloaf when it's done.
Combine all ingredients; working with hands until blended. Shape into round loaf. Place meat loaf on rack or crumpled foil in 3 1/2 to 5-quart crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours.
Well, it turned out great. I didn’t add the onion powder as Misty always wants some of what I eat, and onions are poisonous to dogs. Anyway, I had some onions cooked separately. As usual, I checked the internal temperature of the meatloaf, and it had cooked to 200 deg. I did find that the crumpled foil made a mess, though, and I will leave that out next time.
Then Ray and I took the hold-down case off the battery in the van, I don’t know when we last did that. The terminals have to come off first to get that big case off. This is the same battery that came with the van, so I wanted to check the water levels and see what brand of battery it is. It sure is a good one, and even running 2 12v. fridges sometimes, it has never run down. It is a Motorcraft which just needed a little distilled water, but none of the plates were exposed. Sure has been better than other batteries that I have had, so I hope it keeps on going the way it has been for the last four years. The little station wagon, Puddle Jumper’s battery was in good shape too.
Due to sudden freezing, or knocking me offline, I have been spending more time with computer techs. This has been going on for a month now. Maybe it’s something to do with an automatic update. Each tech has me do something different, or even install a new program. Many times, when it freezes up in the evening, I just shut it down, give up and go to bed. Hopefully, someone will find the problem, soon.
So far, Nala, my foster cat, is still eating the FreshPet food, which will be better for her than an all dry diet. Nala’s carpeted kitty condo sure attracts her fur, I suppose that’s why she doesn’t get fur balls. It was time to vacuum the fur off it with the shop vac. While we had the vac out, we cleaned air conditioner filters, etc, and then called it a day.