Friday, July 27, 2018

Pressure And More Pressure On Your RV's Water Lines

Are you putting to much water pressure on your RV's PEX water lines and their PEX fittings?  Do you know how much pressure you can put on your RV's water lines and their  PEX fittings?
Let's take a look and see what's what.

RV manufacturers typically use PEX  PlasticTubing for all RV plumbing runs. The two sizes are commonly used, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch. These are the standard size because the outside diameter of the tubing is about 1/8-inch greater than the called-for size. Red PEX is usually the Hot water line and Blue or Clear the cold water line.  But, not always.  There are special fittings used with this type of water line called PEX fittings.  Below are some examples of some fittings you might see under one of your sinks.

The fittings can be of any color or even colorless but they will all have the ribs you see on the fittings above.  You will also note that each PEX fitting has a crimped ring around it.  The ring looks like below.
To put the ring on the PEX tubing and secure the ring you would need a crimping tool.  Shown below.
OK, now that you understand what you currently have let's discuss the problems this type of system brings the RVer.  The whole system can leak at any time and usually does. Every connection, if it is not put on correctly, will leak at the worse possible time. Ah, you say no problem I will just squeeze the ring with my trusty pliers.  Well, your trusty pliers will not be able to squeeze the connector hard enough to seal the leak in most cases.  What to do?  Change the fitting to a more updated connector.  We will cover that in just a minute.

Why do these cheap PEX products not work well all the time?  PRESSURE, water pressure from campgrounds varies greatly and can not.  The PEX water system in an RV cannot safely go above 65 pounds of water pressure.  I will not allow mine to go over 55 pounds of pressure.  
How do I control the RV Parks water pressure with a brass water pressure regulator
Brass RV Water Regulator
 You can adjust this type of regulator to any safe water pressure you like for your RV.  This type of regulator does not affect the flow of the water just the pressure. There are lesser expensive water pressure regulators like the one shown below.

While this type will regulate the water pressure it also affects the flow of the water which some people find objectable.  Either one will protect your RV water system from to much PRESSURE.

OK, you just found a PEX fitting under the kitchen island that is leaking now what can you do to fix the problem and how much time is it going to cost you?
You should carry a few Shark Bite connectors like the ones shown below.
Shark Bite Coupler

Shark Bite T

Shark Bite to Threaded 
There are even more fittings to choose from but you get the idea.  The advantages of these types of connector are, 

  • INSTALLS IN SECONDS: 1/2 inch straight coupling requires no special tools, no soldering, no crimping or glue. Just push to create a watertight seal
  • COPPER, PEX, CPVC: SharkBite straight coupling plumbing fittings fits copper tubing, and CTS CPVC and PEX and connects all three types in any combination
  • CERTIFIED: SharkBite fittings are certified to 200 PSI and 200°F and can be reused up to four times

Now doesn't that beat the PEX connector and all the fuss it would take to fix a leaky connection?
The real story here is to control your water pressure coming into your RV.  If you do not you will find leaks and under the shower or under sink water damage.  
One other thing you may want to add a water shutoff to your toilet so in case you need to work on it you do not have to shut off all the water to the RV.

Shark Bite Shut Off

Until Next Time

And finally, please remember that this blog is an Amazon affiliate. When you order something through any of the Amazon links, it doesn’t add anything to your cost, but I do earn a small commission on everything you buy. 
Just click on an Amazon link, then shop as usual.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Propane Gas Saving Ideas

I am sure most of you have noticed that gas of all kinds including diesel fuel is going up in price.  Many of us would like to stretch our Propane Gas as far as possible.  Well, there are some basic tricks of the RV lifestyle that can help you do just that.  You must have access to AC power (shore power) to make these tricks work.

The first one has to do with your hot water heater.  If your unit is a dual operating type (AC and Propane) force your unit to use AC whenever possible by shutting off your propane tanks. Turn your hot water heater off overnight.  The tank will keep the water hot to warm all night.
But your comment is, how will I cook anything?  The answer to that follows.

Second is to use induction cooking.  An induction cooktop uses magnetic energy to heat and cook whatever is in a pot or pan that a magnet can stick to.  For example, this Deluxe Burton Induction Cooktop is what I have and it works just great.  This is what it looks like;

Deluxe Burton Induction Cooktop

Here are some of the features of this Induction Cooktop ;
  • 1800-watt high-quality induction cooktop provides 10 power levels
  • Push-button controls and digital display; 180-minute timer with auto shut-off
  • 10 temperature settings; overheat sensor; in-line fuse
  • For use with induction-compatible cookware; the unsuitable-cookware detector
  • Measures 13-2/7 by 12-1/2 by 2-3/5 inches

As mentioned in the features of the cooktop you must use cookware that a magnet will stick to.  Most cookware today is aluminum and so would not work.  You do not need a completely new set of cookware just enough to get by with using the induction cooktop.
Here is an example of Induction Cookware shown below;

Induction Cookware 

Any cookware will work as long as a refrigerator magnet will stick to the bottom of the pan or pot.  Here is a chance to go to Goodwill or other secondhand shop and make a killing on induction ready cookware.  Just be sure to bring your refrigerator magnet with you.

But you are a baker by trade and need to often use the oven that came with your Rig for that purpose.  What are you to do?  Well let's look at a solution called the Infrared Countertop Oven shown below;

Infrared Countertop Oven

Some of the features of this innovative oven are shown below;

  • Digital-controlled infrared oven cooks food quickly and easily
  • Cooking methods include conduction, convection, and infrared radiant heat
  • No preheating, defrosting, or ventilation needed; dishwasher-safe parts
  • Extender ring, cooking rack, baking pan, manual, and recipes included
  • Measures approximately 14 by 14 by 16 inches
  • 3-inch Extender Ring, 2-inch rack, 10-inch baking pan 
  • Cooks up to a 16 Lb. turkey /141b ham with Extender Ring

So now we have the baking taken care of and we are not cooking with gas but electricity and so are saving gas and bucks ($). 

I heard you lady in the back row.  You are cold at night and need some heat so turning off the Propane gas is not an option.  Let's look at some options here as well.  
You could put one of these Mattress Heating Pads on your bed and plug into electric and sleep warm as toast all night.  These heated pads come in all the popular sizes King, Queen, and Twin.  I have shown the queen size below;

Mattress Heating Pads
Because heat rises this mattress type heating pad is much better than a heating blanket and will use less power to keep you toasty warm during the cold night. 
Ah, but you need to heat the Rig so you need more power, I mean heat.  Then you want a Ceramic Space Heater  This type of heater generates a lot of heat for very little electricity used.  The one pictured below is what I use.  I have a 30ft TT and use two of the Ceramic Heaters. One blowing toward the bedroom and one in the living room blowing toward the kitchen.  These heaters will cook you out of the Rig, they can generate so much heat.  I winter camp in North Texas and it can get below freezing, as we all found out in the winter of 2013/2014.  But even though my water hose froze outside, inside we were as warm as toast.  Shown below is the  Space Heater I have;

I have listed some of the features of this unit below;
  • Ceramic space heater with adjustable thermostat for comfortable warmth—ideal for home or office
  • 1500-watt high setting; 3 output options: Low, High, or Fan Only; power indicator light lets you know when it’s plugged in
  • For safety: tip-over switch with auto shut-off and overheat protection with auto shut-off; ETL listed
  • Carrying handle for easy transport; not for use in bathrooms, laundry areas, or other high-humidity rooms

      If you have a four-legged friend (Furkid) traveling with you, please take note: this unit comes with Auto Shut-Off.  If the Ceramic Heater is tipped over the heater shuts off automatically.  This is a very important feature if you are traveling with four-footed friends.  There are some clumsy two-legged friends out there as well.

      Again I remind you that these LP Gas saving tips only work if you have access to a power pedestal so you can get AC power.  With these hints, the Propane Gas becomes the backup plan and not the main source of energy for your Rig.  I know from experience that these hints and tips will work.

      Until next time.

      And finally, please remember that this blog is an Amazon affiliate. When you order something through any of the Amazon links, it doesn’t add anything to your cost, but I do earn a small commission on everything you buy. 

      Saturday, May 19, 2018

      The Waste Treatment Tank (The Black & Grey)

      I do not plan on explaining how to dump the grey and black tanks on your RV.  What I would like to do is to explain how to stay out of trouble in dumping your tanks and dis-spell some of the myths on when to dump your tanks.

      So what are the main differences between a sticks and bricks waste disposal and your RV?  First, there is no worry about getting rid of the waste at your sticks and bricks.  You let water splash into the sink and it just disappears down the drain.  No matter how much water you put into the sink.  You flush the toilet you never have to worry about sewer smell coming back-up and if the toilet gets clogged up you just plunge a few times and presto the waste is gone.

      None of the above is true for your RV.  If you put too much water down your sink, you will overfill the grey water tank and the wastewater will flow into your bathtub or shower.  If you leave your waste slinky hose hooked up with the open/close valve on you RV open you will invite sewer gas and some critters, from the campground into your RV.  Because your toilet is on top of your black water tank there is a limit to how much waste you can put down there as well.  Also if it gets plugged up, plunging it will not help!
      So what to do.  For the smell problem that might occur in the grey water tank, I use Grey Water Tank Smell Killer.  It works. You should put a cup of Dawn Liquid Dish Soap down the kitchen sink once a month to break up grease and oil in the Grey Tank.
      Grey Water Tank Smell Killer

      As for the water back-up, you should dump your grey tank every two days while camping or sooner if the water starts to back up.  This is the tank you can dump before you leave for home.
      The grey water tank should be the last tank you dump before you head for home.  After dumping it you need to add approximately 1 gallon of clean water back into it and one of the grey water tank smell killers and you are good to go.

      Now the black water tank the scourge of RV camping.  There are a lot of does and don'ts about this tank so let's get started.
      No matter what you hear or read almost all of the sensors that are supposed to tell you how full the black water tank is, do not work.  I have been told and it has been proven that the sensors mounted on the outside of the tank do seem to do a better job than those sensors that are inside the blackwater tank.  Most of the crazy ideas floating around about how to make the sensors inside the black water tank work also do not work.  To fix the problem of, the black water tank sensors and how full is the blackwater tank.  So, how do you know when it is time to dump the tank?  Look down inside the toilet and if you see blackwater, hear gurgling, and stuff floating, it's time to dump the tank.
       So what can you do to improve how the black water tank works.
      Use only quick dissolving toilet paper in this tank.  Toilet paper made just for RV is fine such as RV 2ply Toilet Paper or septic tank safe toilet paper.  But you can use just about any toilet paper that will quickly dissolve.  To test any brand of toilet paper to see if it can be used,  take a glass jar with a lid.  Fill the jar about 3/4 full and add a single sheet of your toilet paper to be tested.  Put on the lid and give the jar three quick shakes.  If most of the sheet of toilet paper is broken up and coming apart you are ok to use the toilet paper tested.
      Check here for more details RV Toilet Paper Safe.

      We have safe paper what next?  How about something to get rid of the smell and help break down the waste. I would suggest Black Holding Tank Deodorizer and Dissolver
      Black Holding Tank Deodorizer and Dissolver
      This should be added to your black water tank regularly.  I add one tablet after each time I dump my black water tank and another during hot weather if there is a smell problem.

      Here is another possible black tank treatment Oxy-Kem that comes highly recommended.  I have not tried it so I can't comment on how well it works, but I do plan to and will let you know.  I did get a chance to try the Oxy-Kem.  However, it was not very successful.

      Here is an all natural black tank cleaner that really cleans the tank as well as the sensors.  I have not tried it myself but all of the reports I am getting say it works. Unique Black Tank Cleaner

      Lately, I have been using Firebelly Outfitters, Tank Deodorizer.  I use two packs of the deodorizer per black tank.

      I have only used the product for a month now and can't give a report on its success just yet.  But early results do seem to be positive. 

      Do not dump your black tank unless it is full or nearly full.  I know what you must be thinking but we never get it full over a weekend trip.  I realize that maybe the case but, you need to fill it up manually and dump it before you leave the park.
      You do not need a hose or make this a big deal just flush the toilet and insert one of these things.
       Johnny Chock

      Johnny Chock
      Let the toilet run for approximately 10 to 15 minutes depending on how full your tank is.  If you can see the water in the black tank from the toilet that is full enough.  Remove the Johnny Chock and store.  Now dump the black tank like you usually do.  Add about a gallon or more of water (you can run the toilet with the Johnny Chock for 2 to 3 minutes and that should do it.  Drop in one of your black tank tablets and you are ready for the next outing.

      Never leave the black tank drain valve open.  You are just asking for the smells of your neighbor's sewer to come up into your RV.  Or if you are really unlucky you could get the "black pyramid of death".  Because the liquid drains out of the open drain valve quickly the black solids are left behind and start to pile up.  If air gets into the tank from the open valve and drys out the solids you are really in trouble.  Or if you dump your black holding tank too frequently you will also have a build up of the solid waste .  This is a problem you do not want the black pyramid and could cause a very expensive repair.  To prevent the "pyramid of death" you need to flush your black tank when it is at least 3/4 full and refill it so that there is some water splashing inside as you drive back home.

      One of the things you hear and I have tried is to add one cup of cheap dishwashing liquid soap to break-up waste and Calgon to lube the inside of the tank.  Does it work?  I have been using it and have not seen much of an improvement.  I plan on using this in the grey water tank next to see if it makes a difference to that tank.

      Quick Guide To Waste Tank Dumping
      1. Grey Water Tank can be dumped anytime.
      2. Use a tank treatment when needed. (to reduce smell and add microbes)
      3. Dump Black Tank when at least 3/4 full.
      4. Add a small amount of water to both tanks after dumping. (up to 2 gallons)
      5. Use the grey water to flush out sewer hoses.

      Until Next Time.


      Thursday, April 26, 2018

      Let's Check Those RV Tires Again!

       While some of us are still digging out of the winter storms, some of us are dreaming about the first warm weekend of the new camping year. So what do you do first with your stored RV?  Check the tire pressure with a good tire pressure gage.  The tire's max pressure is located on the side wall of the tires on your RV.  Do not use the pressures recommended by the RV manufacture UNLESS the RV has the original tires that it came with from the factory.

      I use both a screw-on tire pressure indicator, such as Quick-Pressure-PSI-50-Monitor, which at a glance can tell you that you may have a problem [use only if your tires are supposed to have 50 lbs of air when cold. Other pressures are available]  and the traditional pencil like gauge, such as Pencil-Pressure Gauge
       Be sure to test or look at the tire pressure gage before you have moved your RV a mile.

      You need to check the tire pressure when the tire is still cold
      Another good, but pricey, system for monitoring your tire pressure as well as the tire temperature is the  Wireless Tire Pressure Monitoring System. I am saving for this one.

      Wireless Tire Pressure Monitoring System

      The system will tell you of an overheated tire, in most cases before it blows, and of course tell you of low pressure in any monitored tire, even the spare,  in real time no need to stop every 20 miles and check those darn tires - LOL.  When you stop for gas or a bathroom break you should do a tire check of the RV as well as a tow vehicle. My daughter was checking the tow vehicle for me and found a large cut in the sidewall of the truck tire.  We were able to get the tire replaced before the large accident occurred.  I did not even remember hitting or running over anything on the highway.
      Be sure to carefully look at the tread, and the side walls both on the front and the back of the tire.  Most RV tire experts agree that if your tiers are more than five years old from the date of manufacture you should replace them.  Most tire failures occur when the side wall of the tire is under inflated or rots out from the inside where you can not see.  You can thank Mr. Sun for sidewall failure in some cases.  Most tires have a Sun inhibitor built-in but when a tire sits and sits the inhibitor does not get moved to the outside of the tire by the tire going round and round.

      Now you see why you need wheel covers right? Trailer Wheel Covers for less than $25.  To protect the tires in storage from Mr. Sun and any other nasties that come along.
      You can also use an RV tire protective spray which is applied, as directed, to the tire sidewall that is exposed to the sun.  I have used RV Tire Protection Spray with good luck.  This spray is NOT designed to make the tire sidewall shinier, it is not a decorative spray, but something that is designed to put back into the surface of the rubber what Mr. Sun is taking out.
      RV Tire Protection Spray
      Also, note that if you are going to store the RV for an extended period of time you should protect the tread from the surface that the tires are sitting on.  Nasty things can leach out of your tires into the blacktop or concrete that your RV sits on while being stored. Or from the blacktop or concrete into your tires during storage.  You can use an  Office Chair Mat that sells for less than $20,
      for each side of the RV and just back onto it as you are putting the RV away.
      Or you can Go to Tractor Supply or any farm supply and pick up horse stall mats

      Cut to the size you need for just $20.  Now that is easy.

      If you are supposed to replace your tires every five years how do you know when your tires were made?  There is a code date molded into the side wall of the tire. (you can thank our government)   The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that Tire Identification Numbers be a combination of the letters DOT, followed by ten, eleven or twelve letters and/or numbers that identify the manufacturing location, tire size, and manufacturer's code, along with the week and year the tire was manufactured.  Since 2000, the week and year the tire was produced has been provided by the last four digits of the Tire Identification Number with the 2 digits being used to identify the week immediately preceding the 2 digits used to identify the year.

      Below is an example of a tire manufactured since 2000 with the current Tire Identification Number format:

      In the example above DOT U2LL LMLR 5107
      DOT U2LL LMLR 5107 Manufactured during the 51st week of the year
      DOT U2LL LMLR 5107Manufactured during 2007
      While the entire Tire Identification Number is required to be molded onto one sidewall of every tire, current regulations also require that DOT and the first digits of the Tire Identification Number must also be molded onto the opposite sidewall. Therefore, it is possible to see a Tire Identification Number that appears incomplete and requires looking at the tire’s other sidewall to find the entire Tire Identification Number.
      I know you are saying to yourself,  but the RV is only three years old.  We are not talking about the year your RV was built, but the year the tires were manufactured and they may be not the same so please check.   If your tire's serial number cannot be read by you, then you need to take the tire or RV to an RV dealer or tire shop and have the tires read.  Please do not be pulling your RV with old tires that may jeopardize your families safety as well as others.   [If you want more information on tire markings and such go to Tire Tech Information]

      Ok, you have checked the date code of your tires and they are in fact only three years old.  Tire pressure is up and you're ready to go.  Not so fast!

      We need to discuss lug nut tightness.  Each Spring or before a major trip you should check the tightness of the lug nuts on each of the RV tires.  You need to check your owners manual for the correct setting.  My 5er has the specifications of 100ft LBS.  I use an inexpensive torque wrench, which I keep in the RV toolbox, to confirm the setting. 1/2' Torque Wrench  To keep the wrench outside of the tire rim I also use an extender. 1/2" Socket Extension The socket size depends on your lug nut size.

      Tire Check Quick Guide 
      1. Check all RV tires for max pressure listed on the tire sidewall.
      2. Check tire tread and sidewalls for wear and cracks.
      3. Cover tires from sun damage when not using.
      4. Keep tires off of storage surface during storage.
      5. Check the age of tires yearly.
      6. Check your tires every time you stop.
      7. Do maintenance on your tires as needed.
      8. Check lug nut tightness.

      Until Next time.


      Tuesday, April 17, 2018

      Severe Weather - It Happens

      When you are asleep do you worry about this,

      or maybe this,

      or even this?

       Well, I did!!

      At the beginning of camping season and at the end of camping season are the most dangerous times for storms expected, or not.  And if predictions are correct and this is an El Niño year then things could get really bad or not. 
      What is an El Niño?  El Niño is an ocean-atmosphere climate phenomenon that is linked to the periodic warming of waters across the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. This warming is part of the natural climate system. On average, an El Niño event occurs every 2 to 7 years and typically lasts about 9 to 18 months. 
      So why should you worry or even be concerned about an El Niño?  During periods of El Niño warm water builds up off the South American coast and this sends more than the normal waves of moisture into the US.  These waves of moisture can, and do cause more storms, some of which are more severe than storms in a non-El Niño year.  This translates into more severe thunderstorms and more than normal tornado's
      While you can use your phone most of the time for weather alerts and weather radar, when you are out camping your phone may not get a signal or changing weather conditions may suddenly make your phone not work.  And the basement of a 5er is not a safe place to be.  So what is a person to do?

      During the check-in process to get your RV site, you should ask, where do we go in case of severe weather and do you have a method of alerting the campground of approaching bad weather?
      In most cases, the park will have a severe weather location, like a cement block bathhouse or underground facilities.  But most will not have a warning system.  It is left up to you to know when bad weather is approaching and it is time to take cover.

      So now your phone has no bars and the park has no way to tell you that a large thunderstorm is approaching your RV site.  Now, what are you going to do to keep you and your family safe?  Buy a weather radio with built-in weather alert.  Our government built, many years ago, a National Alert System to let citizens know about disasters before they happen.  That was the old weather radio that went off (with its built-in siren) all the time for just about any reason (some good, mostly bad).  After a lot of citizen complaints over many years, a new system of alerting people was developed by the government that had a better built-in method of stopping false alerts and added text messages to each alert displayed on a screen on the new generation of weather radios.

      RadioShack SAME Weather Radio 12-991

      I could go into detail about how this type of radio works but this is not a DIY Blog. This type of radio can be programmed simply, thanks to SAME(Specific Area Message Encoding) technology you will only receive alerts for the locations that you have entered into the radio and you won't have to worry about false triggers or deal with an event that has nothing to do with your area. Also some weather radios like the ones pictured (above and below) you can customize some of the alert types, so it only alerts you to the alert types that you have selected.  For example, if the National Weather Service issues a thunderstorm watch and you have only thunderstorm warning selected. The radio won't alert you unless a  thunderstorm warning alert is sent. Most of these radios have battery back-up and you can attach your HDTV antenna to them to extend the pick-up range of this type of weather radio. You should never leave home to go camping without one of these special SAME radios.

      RadioShack 7-Channel Handheld Weather Radio with SAME

      La Crosse 810-805 NOAA/AM/FM Weather RED Alert Super Sports Radio with Flashlight

      Here are two that operate on just batteries and can be carried on the hiking trail or just outside around the campground.

      No matter which one you choose like a smoke detector or gas detector your RV is not complete and you are not fully protected nor safe until you have at least one WEATHER RADIO.

      Until Next Time

      And finally, please remember that this blog is an Amazon affiliate. When you order something through any of the Amazon links, it doesn’t add anything to your cost, but I do earn a small commission on everything you buy. 

      Tuesday, April 10, 2018

      What Are Those 12-volt Sockets Good For?

      We have all done it.  Left the cell phone charger sitting on the kitchen table closed the front door, made sure everything was locked up and left for our weekend RVing get away.  If you have one of those not very smartphones you know that in 8hrs or less the phone will be dead and your Hot Spot, Weather App, and every game that keeps the kids quiet during the ride will come to an end.

      What to do?  Have you ever wondered what the 12 Volt Standard Wall Plate that looks like this is used for?
      2 Volt Standard Wall Plate 
      Or maybe you will remember this 12 volt Wall Plate with Antenna Amplifier & Switch it looks like this;
      12 volt Wall Plate with Antenna Amplifier & Switch
      Both of these wall plates have a 12-volt power socket just like your car, truck, or RV does.  You could plug a car charger for your phone or tablet computer into the wall plate and it would start to charge your phone or tablet computer.  Ah, but you say you have a charger for your phone already why would you need another one for the Rig?  If you remember you left it on the kitchen table and left for this trip.  OK, now what?  Well if you bought one of these 12 Volt Single Outlet USB Charger which looks like this;
      12 Volt Single Outlet USB Charger

      Then all you would need is either the Apple Charging Cable which looks like this;

      or the Android charging cable which looks like this;
      Android charging cable

      and you could charge your phone, table, or any USB device and never have to worry.   You say that you need to charge two USB powered devices at the same time.  Don't worry be happy and buy a Dual USB Charger which looks like this;
       Dual USB Charger
      Now all you have to do is plug in the appropriate charging cable and you are good to go.  If you need longer charging cables than 6ft you can get them up to 10ft for both Apple products and Android products.  If you would like to be able to plug the charging cable into a normal wall outlet you can buy those also.  And for those of us that want it all you can buy the USB Charging Kit Bundle  The one shown below is for Android but they have them for Apple as well.
      USB Charging Kit Bundle
      But they have the Apple Charging Kit Bundle as well, which is shown below;
      Charging Kit Bundle
      Well, that should get you going and you can just plan on leaving any of the items we talked about in the Rig for the next time you leave the charging cable and power supply on the kitchen table.

      PLEASE NOTE:  The following comments may not apply to all RVs.  Without checking the wire gauge behind the socket plate there is no way to be sure that the following products can be hooked up to the 12-volt socket in your RV.

      Along with the ideas above, you can use the power plug to power small appliances such as a coffee maker
      12-volt coffee maker

      or maybe a 12-volt frying pan.
      12-volt frying pan

      Maybe you are boondocking and would like to use your PS3, or some other video game or even some device that only runs on AC.  Then you would use a DC to AC converter.

      This would allow you to power Dual USB ports that can charge most phones and tablets simultaneously (Max 4.8A total output), while two grounded AC outlets (300-350W) great for charging a laptop, breast pump, nebulizer, game console, kindle, TV, DVD players, lights, iPad, and other electronic devices.

      The idea here is that if the park AC power fails you can use the 12 battery that powers your rigs lights, to make coffee while you wait for the power to be restored.  While you are refueling next time at a truck stop go inside a look at all the 12-volt appliance available to the trucking community that you can use in your RV or towing vehicle. [NOTE, not all 12-volt wiring can handle 12-volt appliances.]

      CAUTION:  This is not a long-term solution for power outages as your rig's battery will run down very quickly if you make dinner this way with no way to recharge your RV onboard battery now that the AC power is out.

      Until next time.

      And finally, please remember that this blog is an Amazon affiliate. When you order something through any of the Amazon links, it doesn’t add anything to your cost, but I do earn a small commission on everything you buy. 

      Saturday, March 24, 2018

      Bugs, Bugs, And More Bugs

      Now that Spring has finally sprung, and Summer is on the way, it is time for the bugs of the RV campgrounds to rise up against their camping overlords.  I am sure that you have had your fair share of bugs either the crawling type or the buzzbomb type. I will try to give you some hints and tips on how to get rid of both types safely and cheaply.

       So let's go.
      Ants we all seem to collect them either during storage or while camping. Here is a cheap and pet safe way to get rid of them both in the RV or your sticks and bricks.

      You need to mix in equal parts of,

      1 part baking soda
      1 part powdered sugar (not the granulated kind used in coffee)

      You will need.
      1 lid from any jar

      Mix the baking soda and powdered sugar and put into jar lid and put out where you have seen the ants. It will not be long and the ants will be gone. So you may ask why this works. Inside of ants, there is an acid type fluid when mixed with the baking soda causes the ants to explode. If you or the dog should eat the mixture nothing much happens, it just doesn't taste good.

      Cornmeal is another safe way to get rid of ants, but it can be a bit messy. Just sprinkle the meal around the nesting area or along the ant trail. In a day or so the ants will be gone.

      Stink Bugs
      These little devils are not native to the USA but, like many of our ancestors have immigrated to a better life here in the USA. So how do you get rid of them now that they have hitched a ride in your RV?

      In a spray bottle, combine 32 ounces of hot water and three-quarters of a cup of Dawn dishwashing liquid and spray the exterior of your RV's, windows, and doors. On the inside spray around baseboards inside cabinets, closets, and any other dark area inside the RV. For an extra kick, you can use the anti-bacterial variety of dishwashing liquid, but understand that it contains additional chemicals. Of course, a good bug spray will also work but might not be safe for Fido.


      You are getting your RV ready to go for spring and you spie a wasps nest or several wasps returning to the same spot time after time. What can you do? Well spray the area or nest with WD40 and that will rid you of the nest or neutralize the area that the wasps were going to use to build their nest.

      There are also a variety of commercially made glass wasp traps that claim that they are helpful in reducing wasp populations in the area. The trick is to make sure you keep replacing the bait, as wasps like fresh bait. And also, please consider using savory bait, such as tuna, as that will attract the yellow jackets and wasps, but not honeybees, which a sweet bait will. The glass traps are actually very pretty, but you can also make your own inexpensive version out of any type of plastic bottle (soda pop bottle, or water bottle). 
      Follow these instructions to make your own.

      Mud Dauber (Wasp)

      While these wasps are non-aggressive to humans, they do cause problems to RVers by getting into places they should not be.  Like gas orifices of the heating system, hot water system, and refrigerator.  The best defense here is to plug the holes leading into these areas of the RV.  
      See below for screening suggestions to keep them out of your RV.

      The scourge of the RV camping experience the Mosquito. First, how do you keep them off you? Use Skin-So-Soft. You can purchase here Skin-So-Soft and it really does work for several hours. It is safe for kids and does not contain Deets. However during scientific tests, Deep Woods Off, proved to be the best you could buy in keeping Mosquitoes away from you. BUT it does contain DEETS. Please be careful when using Deets around children. Be sure to follow directions for use of the product.

      So what about those flying around? We need to construct a mosquito trap.
      Please follow this link to "Wiki How" to see how it is done. 

      Bait the trap. Mix 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar with 8oz of hot water. Mix thoroughly and allow to cool. After the mixture cools, pour into the bottom of the plastic bottle. Add 1/4 TSP of Yeast. 
      DO NOT MIX!!! The mixture gives off carbon dioxide that attracts the Mosquitoes.
      Once the Mosquitoes are tricked into going in they can't figure out how to get out, so they get trapped and die.
      Dispose of the Mosquito trap regularly whenever the number of dead Mosquitoes does not appear to be increasing.

       You have saved the planet and your camping area from thousands (well maybe hundreds) of Mosquitoes.
      We thank you!

      So how do you stop or slow down bugs getting into your RV when the front door is kept closed most of the time?  You put screens over the openings caused by the water heater, furnace, and refrigerator.
      Let's take each one and see what can be done.
      Water heater.  You can buy a water heater vent screen, such as this one, Flying Insect Screen

      and install it (easy DIY project) over the water heater RV vent.  I have a KZ Spree and could not find a water heater vent cover so I covered the inside of the water heater cover louvers with insect screen and used silicone to bond the screen to the metal water heater cover.  Works great.
      Furnace vent. You can buy a furnace vent screen, such as this one, RV Furnace Screen

      The kit comes with everything you need and will keep the Mud Daubers out.
      Refrigerator Vents.  You can buy a refrigerator vent screen, such as this one, Refrigerator Vent Screens

      I installed these on my Open Range 5er and use some zip ties to hold the screens in place so they would not move around.  This was a simple DIY project and will keep the bugs and Mud Daubers out.  Check around windows and doors for any cracks or small openings that may have developed and keep storage doors closed while camping and you should keep the bugs out and enjoy the indoors as much as the outdoors.

      Until Next Time.

      And finally, please remember that this blog is an Amazon affiliate. When you order something through any of the Amazon links, it doesn’t add anything to your cost, but I do earn a small commission on everything you buy. 
      Just click on an Amazon link, then shop as usual.