Friday, September 16, 2016

Basic Tools For The RVer

What tools do you need to have when RVing?  If you ask 10 RVers you will get 10 answers.  That's because we all seem to run into problems with our RV that is a bit different from the next RVer and the tools to fix the problem that arose is slightly different. But there are some basic tools of the trade, so let's talk about those.






You will find that you will need something to put whatever tools you decide to carry into something that is strong but light.  Tools have weight and it does not take too many until you have added measurable weight to your rig. So here is a toolbox that works.Simple Tool Box

Simple Tool Box

Now that we have a toolbox, lets see what needs to be in it.

A screwdriver Multi Screwdriver
Multi Screwdriver
I chose one like above because it cut down on weight and space in my tool box.  If you rather, you could buy two flat blades (one large, one small) and two Phillips screwdrivers a #2 and #1 or an  additional size of your choice.
You will need a special set of screwdrivers for use with those pesky square headed screws that are used on the inside and the outside of the rig. These special square screwdrivers are shown below.
square screw drivers
 A set of basic pliers is next.  You will need several types.  Here is an example Basic Pliers
Basic Pliers
You will also need several advanced pliers, such as the ones shown below.

Slip Joint Pliers

Vice-Grip Pliers
Vice-Grip Pliers
You will need and use all the above pliers.  It is just a matter of time.  Next we move on to crescent wrenches.
#8 Crescent Wrench (8" Crescent Wrench )
8" Crescent Wrench
#10 inch Crescent Wrench (10 inch Crescent Wrench)
10 inch Crescent Wrench

Now for the special stuff.  This is stuff you need but may not use monthly.  I use this stuff as needed.  The first is the torque wrench.  This is used to check the lug nuts on the tires of the rig to make sure they are tighten to factory specifications. I use this before each trip to check the lug nuts on the tires.  I have found that some of the wheel lug nuts do change. 

3/8 inch Extension Bar Kit
3/8 inch Extension Bar Kit


The extension bar kit is used to get the torque wrench outside of the tire rim for a safer tightening of the lug nuts that hold the tires.  You will also need a drive socket that fits your tires lug nuts and is made for a  3/8" drive.

If you have a Suburban water heater you will also need a breaker bar shown below, to remove the anode to check the anode as well as to replace the anode if needed.
3/8" Breaker Bar Wrench

Suburban Water Heater Anode
You will also need a socket that fits the anode, along with the white plumber's tape

Plumbers Tape

 to prevent water leaking around the threads.  I have always carried a spare Anode Rod just in case, you just never know when you will need one.  Be sure to change the rod yearly.

Hex Key Set


Of course a hammer is also a tool that should be carried


Hammer

To see into those dark areas around the RV you will need a small but powerful flashlight.

Cree 7W Mini LED Flashlight


One tool that I have that I really like is not really a tool but my multimeter.  I can check to see if there is voltage what kind and how much.  I can check for open and shorted wires as well as other things.  I highly recommend one for your toolkit. 
Multimeter

Another tester that is handy and some people think it should be a mandatory basic tool is the AC voltage monitor.  This shows what the park voltage is at any given time, (low voltage can damage your RV electrical system and electronics) and shows if the power pedestal is wired correctly if plugged into the pedestal before plugging in the RV.  Note: "You may have to get a Short jumper [Dog Bone] from 30 or 50 amps to standard AC wall socket to test the pedestal."  Meter is shown below.

AC Power Monitor
The following is the tool I would not be without.  The multi-tool.  I carry this tool on my belt and I even bought the expansion kit for it.  You just never know when you need a screwdriver or pliers to tighten or loosen something.

Multi-Tool


I know someone will say, this is not all you need and will give me a list of stuff as long as my arm.  Things like gorilla tape, super glue, black electrical tape, clear and white silicone caulk.  I agree they are important and should be carried, but as I said earlier. This is the basic list and like American Express "I never go RVing with-out them"


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, August 12, 2016

Martha!!! The String On The Blind Broke Again!!!

It happens to most of us,  we grab the shade bar at the bottom of the window blind and pull down to get ready for bed and the darn string running through the blind breaks and while it will go down all the way, there is no possible way that it will go up and stay where you want it in the morning. RATS now what?






RV Window Shade
Above is your typical RV window shade and if you look close you can see the string running through the blind material.  I suppose you could buy a RV Blind String Repair Kit, shown below


While the hours spent restringing the blind with your spouse maybe enjoyable, you might want to consider the frustration of not getting it right even after the 5th attempt. 
My suggestion is to replace that blind with something that is a whole lot prettier and will class up the inside of your rig as simple as ABC.

There are two basic RV Blinds.  First the roller blind.  As the name implies it is on a roller and you pull it down to the level you want and the blind will stay there.  The roller blind comes with two blinds on the roller. One is the daytime shade and the other is the night time or black out shade.  The roller can be installed on the outside of the window frame or on the inside of the window frame and is offered in colors for the daytime and night time shade.
Roller Bind Shade


Measuring Instructions:
Determine if the shade will mount outside the window frame onto the wall (Outside mount) or if the shade will be mounted inside the window frame (Inside mount) 

NOTE: Most RV applications are Outside mount.
Outside mount: Measure the width (across) of the area to be covered.Example - Edge of the window to edge of window plus 2" added for additional coverage.
Example: Top of the frame to the bottom of the frame with an additional 2" added for mounting above and below the window.(outside mount)
Inside Mount: Measure the exact opening size and subtract a half inch. Measure the length (Drop) of the area to be covered.
If draperies or valances are already installed be sure your measurement for width allows the shade to fit under the current window treatment.
You can see that you end up with two shades one for daytime and one for night time.  You may find that this is not really what you are looking for and would rather have a true Vinyl 1 Inch Mini Blind.
Vinyl 1 inch mini Blind
Measuring Instructions:
Determine if the blind will mount outside the window frame onto the wall (outside mount) or if the blind will be mounted inside the window frame (inside mount)  
NOTE: Most RV applications are outside mount.

Outside mount: Measure the width (across) of the area to be covered.  
Example - Edge of the window to edge of window plus 2" added for additional coverage.
Example: Top of the frame to  the bottom of the frame with an additional 2" added for mounting above and below the window. (outside mount)
Inside Mount: Measure the exact opening size and subtract a half inch. 
Measure the length (drop) of the area to be covered.
If draperies or valances are already installed be sure your measurement for width allows the blind to fit under the current window treatment.

You can get wooden blinds or different color Vinyl blinds to match or enhance the inside appearance of your rig.  Metal blinds are not recommended because of moisture in the rig.  The edge of the blind tends to rust and the blinds are a bit sharp around kids and fur-babies.
Caution: if you remove blinds from your windows keep all screws that were used to be sure that you do not use a screw that is too long for your RV side walls.






Until next time.

The Weekend RVers is a Facebook Group on RVing with Hints & Tips. A group for the Full-timer as well as the Newbie or Wanna B. In case U can't find us "Facebook.com/groups/Weekend.RVers" we are here hoping you will join us!


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.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Well, What Did You Forget This Time?

Whether you are a new Full Timer, a Newbie, a Part Timer, or a Weekender we all seem to forget something vital to our RVing enjoyment or safety at the beginning of each season.  What do you really need to have to hook up your RV and have a safe but fun RVing experience? To find out I asked a bunch of Facebook RVers to give me a list of their most important, not to be forgotten, "must haves" for the RV before you pull out.  Here is the list in no particular order.









1. Power Cord to hook up the RV along with an extension cord. You need enough to go to either end of your RV.
http://amzn.to/1R7Y3vP
15 Ft 50 Amp Extension Cable
http://amzn.to/1bYJI4w
25-Ft 30 Amp Extension Cord

2.  An extension drinking water hose is a must.  You should have a 25-foot regular hose and a 25-foot extension.
http://amzn.to/1bYKQoC
25 Foot Drinking Water Hose

I make the assumption  that you already have a drinking hose with you.  If not, you are going to need one.  Get a 25 foot one for everyday use and another 25 foot as the extension. (I once stayed at a park where the water was on one side of the TT and the electric was on the other side of the TT.)

3. Another good thing to have is a Water Hose Splitter for the park supply line. That way if you  need some additional outside water you will not need to unhook the water supply to the rig.
http://amzn.to/1AATIH7
Plastic Water Hose Splitter
4. Extra sewer hose is a must these days.  With longer rigs you can't leave home without it.
http://amzn.to/1E2ycwr
10 Foot Sewer Hose Extension

5. In addition, to the hose extension you should also have a short clear section of sewer pipe to keep an eye on what is coming out of the sewer and to know when it is done draining.
45 Degree Clear Fitting
With the above fitting you can really see if that new RV TP really is quick dissolving.

6. In some States and in some RV Parks you must raise the sewer line off the ground.  It is the law.  There are lots of idea floating around but here is one of the simplest.  Remember in some States this is required.





Sewer Hose Stand




7. If the park you are staying at has Cable TV you will need some TV cable to go from the Utility Box to the rig.
25 Ft RG6 Cable TV Wire
8. How about better tasting water?  Please read the Blog Post on "Water Out Of The Campground Faucet, YUCK!!" for all the best options but, here is just one.
RV Water Filter
9. A good tire pressure gauge is vital for any RVer.  A cheap one is not an option.  As always check your RV tires when Cold.
Good Digital Tire Gauge
10. Wheel Chocks are the next must have item.  Oh, the Horror Stories I could tell.  Get some Chocks.
RV Wheel Chocks for Pull Behind RVs.

11.  For reasons of safety and anti-theft I also recommend an X-Chock.
Locking Chock
12. A spare set of water hose washers is a good idea.
Water Hose Washers
13. And by all means an RV 30 or 50 amp (depending on your RV's power requirement) Power Management Protector (Surge Protector).

30 Amp Surge Protector
50 Amp Surge Protector


Just be sure to get one that works with your Rig.

14. A Water Pressure Flow Manager would be a good thing as well.  This limits the water pressure to your Rig to no more than 50 psi of water pressure in your RV's plastic water pipe system.  Much more than that and you might start to blow water fittings.

Water Pressure Regulator
Water Pressure Regulator With Meter

14.5 If you use a Water Hose Splitter, like number 3 above for cleaning out your RV sewer hose then you should have a water Back Flow Preventer like
This little unit attaches to the hose splitter and prevents and water hose connected to the open side of the hose splitter from leaking water back into the water source and contaminating it.  Like when you wash out the sewer hose or the spare hose falls into a puddle. 

15. Often times people will suggest that you take boards with you to level the Rig in a campsite that is not level.  While boards may work they add weight and can absorb water when left on the ground during rain.  Here is an alternative.
RV Ramp/Leveler


16. You will not want to forget some RV Dog Bones.  These adapters change your electrical hookups from one type to another.  For example from 50amp to 30amp.  Why because the campground only has 30amps. Please read "RV Dog Bones What Are They and How Are They Used" further down in this Blog for more details.
Adapt 50amp Plug to 30amp Plug

17. You should also carry a water hose for everything but drinking.  Wash the kids feet, flush the sewer hose, etc.  You get the picture.
General Duty Water Hose
18. You should also have a spray bottle of disinfectant to use on park water taps.
Spray Disinfectant

Feel free to add your Can't Be Left Behind" items to the comments area.









Until next time.

The Weekend RVers is a Facebook Group on RVing with Hints & Tips. A group for the Full-timer as well as the Newbie or Wanna B. In case U can't find us "Facebook.com/groups/Weekend.RVers" we are here hoping you will join us!

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.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Does Your RV Sewer Drizzle & Drool?

Are you afraid to loosen the RV Sewer Cap on your RV because it may drizzle some sewer liquid on your camping shoes or boots?  Do you always have to put a bucket underneath the RV sewer outlet because liquid waste may drool out on the ground and stink up the area?






Well do I have the solution for you.  There are a lot of reasons why the sewer outlet may leak. A bad shut-off valve, a bad seal somewhere down the line, or even the fact that the RV was not level and the drain could not fully empty.  No matter what the reason the following end of the line shut-off valve will stop the problems.
End Of Wast Line Shut-Off Valve 
 This valve goes on the end of the sewer line and prevents sewer line drizzle and drools.  Following the instructions add this valve to the end of the sewer line and continue to use the sewer cap you already have.
I also strongly suggest that you use a 45 degree clear fitting as the first fitting you put on the sewer pipe after removing the sewer cap.
45 Degree Sewer Pipe
This fitting allows you to see what is coming out of the tank and when the flow is at an end.  You do want to know if that fancy RV toilet paper really does dissolve quickly right?
Please continue reading this Blog to find out more about the sewer and holding tanks in your RV and their proper care and feeding.

And as always wear rubber gloves when handling sewer components.  This is for your safety.
RV Rubber Sewer Gloves






Until next time.

The Weekend RVers is a Facebook Group on RVing with Hints & Tips. A group for the Full-timer as well as the Newbie or Wanna B. In case U can't find us "Facebook.com/groups/Weekend.RVers" we are here hoping you will join us!

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.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

STOP!! Bugs From Sticking To Your RV

This is the dreaded part of the year because of our friendly bug population has been attacking our fine looking RVing Rigs.  So after a trip, during a trip, or before storing what do you do, what can you do, and what should you do to stop bugs from ruining your RV's exterior?







1. Always start with a clean rig.  There are a lot  of products out there to clean an RV but here are a couple that I have used that have really worked for me.  (Your mileage may vary)
Dry Wash
Use this when you have no water available or it is prohibited to use water.
RV Wash
If you have water then this stuff really works.

On Facebook the follow RV Wash was strongly recommended.
Facebook Recommended RV Wash
I have not tried the Facebook RV Wash myself so I can't comment on it.

You will need some help reaching all the way up to the top of the Rig, so an extension scrubbing brush is in order.
RV Wash Brush


2. OK now that you have the Rig CLEAN now what can you use to keep the bugs off your Rig.  Nothing, the bugs will always be there. But you can make them fall off easier during washing and maybe not stick to your Rig after you and they collide.

Rejex Synthetic Vehicle Wax 

"Thin-film polymer coating designed to provide a high-release surface. Prevents stains and adhesion of common contaminants such as exhaust, bugs, oil, tree sap, bird droppings, road grime."
This stuff makes it much harder for bugs to stick onto the surface of the Rig and if they do, the bugs slide off easier during the wash cycle.

I have never tried this but have been told that it really works.
Lemon Pledge Makes Bugs Slide Off
I have used the following with some luck. It also puts a UV blocker on the Rig to slow up Sun Fade.
RV Bug Slider with Sun Blocker
Here is the first Facebook recommendation.
Fiberglass Cleaner and Polish
I have read good things about Gel-Gloss and my wife used it for years in our shower.

The second Facebook recommendation is shown below.

Ice Liquid Synthetic Wax, Innovative New Technology Blends Silicone & Organic Polymers To Provide Extraordinary Shine & Durability To Your RV Finish, Nationally Advertised Apply In The Sun Leaves No Residue, Quickest Easiest Wax To Apply & Use.

The ICE Polish is the latest thinking from the RV community on an easy to apply and remove and it makes bugs slide right off.


3. OK, one more thing you will need for the above polishes to wax on, wax off.
Micro Shine & Clean Towels
4. If you have read this far then I will give you the latest bug remove secret. Dryer Sheets, that's right.  The sheet will remove bugs quickly even if it is a used sheet.  So start saving you old used dryer sheets to remove RV splattered on dried out bugs.
Fastest Bug Remover In The West







Until Next Time.

The Weekend RVers is a Facebook Group on RVing with Hints & Tips. A group for the
Full-timer as well as the Newbie or Wanna B. In case U can't find us "Facebook.com/groups/Weekend.RVers" we are here hoping you will join us!

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.

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