37 Awesome Tips for Boondocking

There is a lot that goes into RVing in the wilderness. First, preparation is key when boondocking off the grid with no water or electric. Here are 37 tips to help you have a successful boondocking experience.

Boondocking

1. Know the Rules of the Public Land You Want to Visit

The first thing to do is, know the rules that govern the public land you plan on visiting. Know the time limit, know the areas which are permitted for boondocking, and places that might be off limits.

Also, different agencies have rules on how long you may stay in one spot, and how far you have to move if you want to stay in the are beyond that. Some areas have a 14-day stay limit, but it varies from one place to the other. It is your job to know those rules, and part of being a responsible boondocker is abiding by the rules.

Boondocking2. Respect the Land

A lot of these lands you boondock at are used for other activities other than boondocking. Some of these activities include hunting, hiking, ATVs. So it is highly advised that you do not trespass any range given to you. Also, desist from chopping down trees for firewood, and try as much as possible not to leave no trace. As said above, go in and leave a small impact as possible.

3. Pack Out What You Pack In

Nothing is more disheartening than arriving at a campsite only to find out that the previous camper didn’t pick after themselves this ranges from a bullet casing, broken glasses and even bags of trash.

So packing out what you pack in means taking all your garbage with you, and do not leave your garbage behind. So, try to pack out what you pack in and do not leave your mess for someone else to pick up. And try to leave no trace that you were there. And if you can, then I highly recommend you leave the place cleaner than you came.

4. Do not Ever Block a Dirt Road

One thing you should never do is to drive around the wilderness for miles, and haven’t seen another person or a rig for hours, and when you can’t find a place to camp, you decide to settle on blocking a tiny dirt road, that looks like it hasn’t been used for a long period of time. Inevitably, somebody is going to come along and will want to get by, and this happens every single time.

37 Tips for Boondocking

So, no matter how thin the dirt road may appear to be and how enticing it might seem as a camping spot, do not block the road. So, keep looking till you can find a place where you can pull off of the side of the road and set up so that anyone who might want to get by on that road can get by.

5. Do not Dump Your Grey Water in the Woods

One question people ask is whether they can dump their grey water while boondocking, well the answer is no. It is illegal to dump grey water. Even if you do use natural soaps, and you do not use any normal detergent, shampoo, or body wash, it is still illegal to dump grey water. This is because when you dump about 30 gallons of grey water into the environment, though it may not cause sudden catastrophic harm to the environment, it is gradually changing the ecosystem. So no, you cannot dump your grey water.

6. Do not Rely on a Cell Signal When Boondocking

Often times you may start out with a really strong cell signal, and it can drop to absolutely nothing. So, just know that if you’re going to be boondocking and dry camping, you could do so without a cell signal. However, if a cellular signal is a thing that is of concern for you, then you could purchase certain things like a cellular signal booster to boost your cellular service, or a personal locator to contact an emergency contact if security is a concern for you.

37 tips for Boondocking

Sherling Lake

Also, I highly recommend you to have a paper map with you or download maps to your laptop to help you navigate whenever your cell phone signal is lost. We bought a large scale Road Atlas Books that truck drivers use, (I can’t read the fine print on normal maps).

7. Leave Space Between You and Your Neighbors

Remember when you are out there boondocking in public land, you’re not on a campground. Most people boondock because they want to get as far away from others and enjoy nature. So having to park 20 feet away from someone’s rig when there is a vast space available, destroys that solitude.

There may be some parks which are intended for a large number of rigs and close proximity to one another, but otherwise, pick a site that is far away from your neighbors as possible. However, if you can’t find an area that is 100 feet away from your neighbor, then you should realize that the area is already full.

8. Use Existing Only Existing Sites, and Roads.

When camping on national forest land or a BLM land, make sure to use existing roads to access your sites, and pick a site that has been used before, which is often marked by an existing fire ring. This minimizes the impact of camping on the land. Different agencies have different rules on how far you can camp from an existing road.

Most district offices of BLM lands and national forests, have maps that you can get, and the show what roads are legal for rigs to be on. Following these rules ensures that there is less impact done to the wilderness and also, preserves these areas for us to use and the future generations. So before you go into any public land for boondocking or dry camping, check the website, check the district office and make sure that you know the rules and make sure that you follow the rules.

9. Remember Noise Carries

Sound can really carry long distances, especially at night. That means being conscious of your noise and respecting your neighbors. If someone is within an earshot, the limit generator used to the same quiet hours that you would find in a campground, point the exhaust away from neighbors. If your generator makes so much noise at night, then it’s time for you to upgrade to a quieter inverter generator.

Also, remember that light is another form of pollution too. And your outdoor lighting may disturb your neighbors’ appreciation of the dark starry skies above their campsite.

10. Keep Your Eyes on Your Dogs

Being away from others allows some time for your dog to spend off leash. However, if you’ve got neighbors, then your dog should stay on the leash. Remember, not everyone likes your dog or appreciates being accosted by your affectionate retriever. If you’re close to neighbors, then your dog may wander off to their campsite, or greet walkers on the road, or even harass wildlife in the area, so, it is advisable that you keep them on the leash. It also protects your dog from unexpected creatures.

11. Slow Down When Driving

Forest roads and BLM lands, can be very dry and dusty. For that reason, whether you’re driving your rig, or buzzing around on your ATV, be sure to slow down when approaching someone’s campsite, and take it easy until you’re past it.

12. Cutting Wood

Some lands have restrictions on gathering firewood. If it’s permitted, only retrieve deadfall to fuel your campfire, and never ever a standing tree, even if it looks diseased or dead. Ensure to purchase some firewood you might need should you want to set up a campfire.

37 Tips for Boondocking

13. Leave No Trace Behind

Anyone who spends time in the Western U.S. knows the dangers posed by an out-of-control wildfire. Many wildfires are caused by improperly attended camp fire. When leaving your campfire, make sure that it’s out, completely out. Saturate it with water until it’s cold to touch. When appropriate, bury the cold embers, ash, and coals to eliminate all evidence of your campfire.

14. Ensure You Have Personal Security

Security is a number one concern when boondocking in remote areas. When boondocking in remote areas, look around to see if there are signs of activity like recent campfires, trash etc… if yes, maybe consider another spot. Just get a feel for your surroundings. If you leave your camp to explore for the day, ensure to lock up a few valuables including your generator, and solar panels.

37 Tips for Boondocking

Also, ensure to lock the door to your rig, other than that, you have nothing to worry about. Your patio furniture and other less valuable items can sit outside while you’re gone.

15. Always Have a Generator

You need to have electricity to power your computer, television, microwave and all none 12-volt appliances. One thing about generators is that it relies on gasoline. So, I highly recommend you have gasoline with you when you plan to go boondocking.

16. Have Solar

Sometimes, it is ridiculous to run your generator, when you have to do little things like making coffee. So, if you have solar, you wouldn’t have to worry about little activities like that, since your batteries are already powered up and all you have to do is to plug in your coffee grinder or coffee maker and make yourself some coffee.

For solar, you will need solar panels, battery banks to store power, and an inverter to convert the energy to something your RV can use.

17. Fill Your Water Tanks

Before going out there in the wilderness, make sure that your water tank is full. If you haven’t done that already, and you’re planning to do that already, you want to make sure that that tank has been sanitized. Sanitizing your tank should be done more often if you haven’t used your tank in a long time. However, if you use your tank frequently, then you do not need to worry about sanitation.

Well, if you do not drink out of your freshwater tank, ensure to bring a lot of drinking water with you. A great way to do this is to fill your water into collapsible jugs, these are easy to handle, store, and they are lightweight.

18. You Might Need a Portable Disposable Tank

Since dumping grey water is illegal, if for some reasons your grey water tank becomes full and you do not have a place to dump off the grey water, one way you can dispose of it is by using a portable wastewater disposable tank. You can empty some of your grey tanks into and you can later dispose of it at an appropriate location.

19. Consider Your Propane Usage

One thing you will have to consider is propane. This is because, for some rigs, propane runs your fridge, your stove and ovens, and also your water heater, and your furnace. So, it is critical you have your propane tanks topped off before you go out. However, if you’re in cold weather, you’re going to burn a lot of propane.

37 Tips For Boondocking

Some rigs may use diesel, or electricity for these activities but a lot of rigs use propane.

20. Your AC

If you find yourself in a warm climate, one thing you might want to consider is how you’re going to use your AC unit. If you intend to use an AC unit, make sure to consider the type of generator you use. This is because some generators do not work well in warmer climates.

37 Tips For Boondocking

Also, before choosing an AC unit, make sure to know if you need two AC units or just one, depending on your rig, you might not need two. We have an article which explains whether you need two or just one AC.

21. Prepare Foodwise

Make sure that all your needs are stocked, and also that you have plenty of food. We highly recommend you get a lot of can foods if possible since they do not perish. Also, pre-wash all your fruits and vegetables before you go out boondocking, so that you wouldn’t have to use your existing water supplies to do that

22. Know Where You’re Going

It is great that you use satellite images on Google maps, to know where you’re going, and figure out what the area around you looks like. This might be helpful since it could inform you about the kind of obstacles you might encounter while there. Some of these obstacles may be the absences of a store, a gas station or even a dump station. When you know where you’re going, you have an idea of what to expect and how to prepare

23. Have a Faucet Aerator

You can screw this into a water faucet and what this does is to throttle down the amount of water that’s coming out of your water faucets. It can throttle it down to 0.5 gallons/minute. Well, a lot of RVs come with faucets that aren’t water efficient, so attaching this to any threaded water faucets can be really helpful.

Swapping out your water faucet aerator can save you up to half the water you would use if they aren’t swapped up

24. A Low Flow Oxygenated Shower Head

What this does is to basically a water aerator for your shower. And what this does it to force in the air with the water to give you better water pressure, and also, you use less water. Click here for current price.

If you have a water-efficient showerhead, then maybe you do not need the oxygenated shower head however if you have the water head they put in from factories, then it’s not going to be as efficient.

25. Wipes and a Dry Shampoo

Using wipes are a great way to get yourself clean without actually taking a bath. If you’re looking to save up water whiles boondocking, you could use baby wipes to clean the necessary areas and you should be good for the day.

Another way to conserve water is by using a dry shampoo, what this does it to absorb excess oil in your scalp. So, basically, it extends the life of your latest shampoo efforts.

26. Have a Power Inverter and a Power Bank

Keeping your electronics charged up it is really important when you’re in the middle of nowhere and absolutely no city lights.

Having a power inverter and a power bank becomes handy when you want to save some power. With these two, you can charge electronics such as laptops, phones, tablets, and camera batteries.

27. A Bialetti Moka Pot

If you’re a coffee lover looking to save some energy, then I highly recommend a Bialetti Moka Coffee Maker. You can prepare your espresso with this by heating the cup on a stove and using propane. So, you do not have to worry about getting up early in the morning and putting on the generator to make some coffee.

28. Use LED Lights at Night

LED lights are about 70% more efficient than halogen lights. Not only that but they are cooler to touch. This makes them much better when camping in warmer weather. Now with the prices of LED lights been so low, it’s kind of a great alternative when looking for an upgrade.

29. Use an Auto Vent

Using a max fan is a two for one. It has a built-in cover that prevents bugs and water from entering into the RV and works perfectly when your AC is not in use.

When you set your temperature to like 70 degrees, and your rigs start to get warmer than that, the auto vent opens up and then circulates air inside the RV. However, when the temperature in the rig is cooler than the set temperature, the vent closes and then shuts the fan off. This is great when you want to keep the temperature inside your rig regulated.

30. Have a Composting Toilet

This is awesome because it completely eliminates the need of you using a black tank. This makes it possible for you to use your black tank for additional grey water storage. Another bonus of this device is that it uses no water. This frees up water for drinking and showering and for your personal usage.

31. Using a Solar Oven

If you love cooking and you’re scared of finishing up your propane, then maybe the solar oven could be an alternative for you. You can cook with the solar oven outside so you do not create any heat inside the rig. Another great feature of this is that it doesn’t use any form of electricity. it uses the sun’s rays to heat up the temperature inside and gets the heat up to 300-450 degrees. So you do not have a problem baking your favorite recipes whiles boondocking.

32. This is How You Deal With Trash

Well, a lot of these boondocking sites have no trash cans around, so, one way you can deal with trash is to use your grocery bags. You can keep any form of trash in these bags, and once they become full you can gather them and go and dispose of them at a disposable site, or a nearby trash can.

33. Bring Along Some Cash and Quarters

These become useful for those who do not have a washer or a drier, if you have to go to the laundry-mart, you could use these pennies and quarters for any necessary payments. Also, when you have to go to a water refill station you might need cash.

34. Do Not Forget to Entertain Yourself

Bringing along some form of entertainment that does not require much electricity be it a chair, or a radio or even playing cards, a book or anything could really help you get out of a boredom situation.

37 Tips for Boondocking35. Use Disposables or a Foil

Using disposable plates and cups are a great way to save water since you do not need to wash them.

However, one thing to consider when using a foil is the trash, ensure to put them in your grocery bags if you do not have any trash can available.

Also, you could use an aluminum foil or a plastic foil to cover the plate you’re eating with before serving the food on the plate. Once you’re done eating, you could gently remove the foil of the plate, and you have a clean plate ready for reuse and you do not have to worry about washing.

36. Do not Use the Hose in a Dump Station to Fill Your Water Tank

If you have the opportunity to have a dump station around, then try as much as possible to not use the water hose at the dump station to fill up your water tank, this is because you know where the hose has been and this makes it unhygienic to use. Technically, the water from the station is clean but the nozzle might be infected.

37. Always Leave a Review

Make sure you leave a review about the place you visited on a website to help RVers like you know what the place is like. This makes it easy for someone else when he or she wants to boondock.

From these tips given above you can realize that when boondocking, you will need to conserve water, electricity, and propane. Nevertheless, researching and having enough information about the place you want to visit is essential too. With these tips, I hope you have a great boondocking experience.

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RV Groovin Life

Bonnie

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Fifth Wheel Or Travel Trailer

 

 

 

6 Big Mistakes RVers Make

Fifth Wheel

There are a lot of things that come into play when owning an RV. Most of it has to do with learning from the mistakes we RVers have made. From our experience over the past few years, we would like to share with you 6 mistakes that we have made along with other fellow RVers we have talked to. I have listed them below along when tips on how to avoid them.

6 Mistake Made by RVers and Tips on How to Avoid Them:

  1. Do not go on a road you cannot get out of (easier said than done).  Even though the GPS is helpful, however, sometimes it will send you down a road that is nearly impossible for you to turn your trailer or fifth wheel around (been there done that!)

Most RVers just head towards a route to a campsite without actually knowing the details of the route they are taking and when they use a GPS it takes them through a different path, often, the path taken makes it impossible for travel trailer and fifth wheels to make turns.

How to Avoid this Mistake:

Make inquiries about the campsite, RV park or wherever you plan to visit to find out the best possible route for you. However, if you are using a GPS, zoom in whenever you get close to your destination, and make sure it’s taking you through the right point. Google Earth app has been very helpful tool for us.

  1. Always Ensure That All Your Tanks Are Full

The worst thing that could probably happen to you is to be in the middle of nowhere and then your gas runs out, or even boondock somewhere and your water or propane runs out and there are no stations near where you can fill your tanks up. Most at times, the biggest mistake most people make is to always ignore gas stations and water filling stations when going on a trip because they have their tanks half full.

propane tanks in RV

This could be dangerous because you do not know whether your campsite has a gas station near, or even if your tank might take you to your destination or get you through your camping.

How to Avoid this Mistake:

If your tank doesn’t read full, fill it up before going camping or boondocking. If possible, bring extra gas or water with you in gallons. This is because you could pull up to a gas station and they might be out of gas or even water. Know the range of your vehicle and plan out stops where you are going to get fuel. However, apps like GasBuddy could help you find Gas stations near you.

  1. Watch Out for Tail Swings

Imagine getting gas or fuel (diesel) at a gas station and on your way out, you hear a loud crunch smash, and you go out to check what happened only to realize that the back end of your rig crushed a concrete pillar. In most cases, nothing might happen to the pillar however, you might end up destroying the fiberglass and aluminum corner of your rig. This problem might cause you to lose some money to fix the damage caused. So, this is why you must beware of tail swings. This often happens when you have a long rig.

fifth wheel and Ford dually truck

How to Avoid this mistake:

You will have to check how much tail swing your rig has. When pulling out of a parking space or out of a gas station, if you have your partner with you, you can have your partner hop out and spot it to give you the go-ahead to keep going or not. So, you want to make sure you have that clearance, else if you don’t you will end up destroying your rig or someone else’s property. I recommend doing some practice runs to learn your rig.

  1. When on Full Hookups and you Leave your Black Tank Open

Do not do this, it’s not going to work like a normal household plumbing system. When you totally flush out your black tank, you need to make sure it is filling up with all the solid waste along with the liquid waste, so that it can flush all of that through and you do not end up with a build-up of solid waste left over. This is because the liquid waste is going to get out quickly. How to Avoid this Mistake:

Black RV sever hose

If you leave your grey tank open, and put a little dip in your pipe so that you do not have any smells coming out of the sewer. However, you want to make sure that you close your grey tank the day before you leave in order to have enough water to properly flush out your black tank. Leave the black tank closed until it’s at least half full.

  1. Ignoring Small Problems

No matter how small a problem is, pay close attention to it and ensure that the problem is solved. This happens a lot, especially when you hit your rig on a wall or a pole, which could cause a dent and leaving a tiny hole on your rig, which creates a pathway for moisture to get into your rig, which could de-laminate your rig. Causing more problems than expected.

How to Avoid this Mistake:

So, if you have something peeling off the edge of your rig, or an issue with your roof, or a leak somewhere, just stop and take care of that problem before it creates a bigger problem such as delamination, mold, and mildew, which can be avoided by just dealing with the situation.

  1. Not Been Prepared for the Weather

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an RVer is not to prepare for the weather. When moving from a relatively warm city to a relatively cold city, you need to prepare for the weather, because when temperatures drop, you use up more propane than usual. You could end up running out of propane twice a week.

This is because, in warmer cities, you tend to use the propane for fewer activities such as cooking, and it could last you for months. However, in cold weathers, you will have to use the propane to heat up your furnace to keep your rig warm and also prevent your pipes from freezing, which consumes a lot of propane.

snowy road

How to Avoid this Problem

Use other forms of heats sources such as space heater or an oil radiator to keep your rig warm, this will help your propane last longer. Know the weather conditions of the place you plan to camp before you visit. I set alerts on my phone to notify me of any changes  in weather conditions in the area we plan on visiting.

Extra Tip: In case of extreme weather like tornado or freezing temperatures etc.., be sure to know what county you’re in and where the nearest storm shelter is located. I highly recommend having a battery-operated NOAA weather alert radio.

 

These are just some of the mistakes we have made. I hope this will help you avoid these mistakes.

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RV Groovin Life

Written by: Bonnie

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17 Great Tips for First-time RVers

So if you’re a first-time RVer and looking for some advice, I made a list of 17 tips to help you get started. Obviously, this won’t cover everything, but it is a beginning.

17 Great tips for First time RVers

Being a newbie can be overwhelming, take it slow and relax. Something that helped us with newbie jitters was taking a few practice runs before hitting the road.

17 great tips for first time RVers

  1. You Don’t Need as Much Stuff as You Think

Honestly, as a new RVer, all you need is a rig, some fuel, and your willingness to have some fun. One of the biggest mistakes newbies make is that they buy their RV, and head to Camping World and buy one of everything. I must admit, that is what we did (it was fun).

Well, when you do this, you’re going to spend a lot of cash on some unnecessary stuff, not to mention it’s going to take up a lot of space in your RV. As time goes on, you’ll know what you need and what you don’t need. Of course, there are exceptions, you do need the essentials.

When starting out, just purchase the necessities you have to have for setting up your camp, kitchen appliances, emergency kit, etc…

With that said, you need to be prepared and I have some suggestions for you. So, let’s talk about the second point, which is tools. What tools do you need?

  1. Essential Tools You Will Need
  • Wrenches for just about every bolt
  • An Infrared Temperature Gun and a Digital PSI reader
  • Wheel Chocks and Leveling Blocks – for leveling your RV
  • A Number 2 square head and bit
  • Dicor Sealant and a Cock Gun for cracks on your rubber roof.(Always refer to your Owners Manual)
  • A Surge Protector
  • Water Pressure Regulator
  • Water Hose and Water Filters
  • Air compressor
  • Ladder
  1. Let’s Talk About Tires

This is very important because I’m sure that you’ve heard that most people say factory trailer tires are ” China Bombs”, and honestly, they are definitely low-quality tires, but that makes it more important for you to pay necessary attention to them.

17 Great tips for first time RVers

So, the first thing you need to do is to check the date on your tires. If you’re buying a new RV, it doesn’t mean your tires are new, in most cases they’re not. It wouldn’t hurt to check the dates on your tires so you know if they are new or not.

Also, remember that heat causes tires to wear. And the two things that will generate more heat while you’re rolling down the road on your tires is if your tires are under pressure, or your trailer is overloaded.

So before every trip make sure to use your PSI reader to check the pressure of your tires. It is also important that you go to a CAT scale and have your RV weighed once you’ve loaded up your trailer with all your stuff and you have your fresh water tanks full.

Whenever your RV is stationary for a lengthy stay, is to keep your tires covered. This shields them from the sun which causes your tire to dry rot.

  1. Never Be in a Hurry When Traveling

Never be in a hurry, because not only does driving slowly increase your tire life, but it’s also less stressful and fewer mistakes will be made!

Rushing can be very stressful and can be actually dangerous when towing. These rigs are heavy so you cannot stop as fast as you can as you would with a passenger vehicle, and if you’re speeding on a highway, it’s going to increase the potential of your trailer swaying off the road.

And not only that but assuming you have a blowout at 75 mph or 80 mph, you have a less chance of keeping your rig under control than if you’re going 60 or 55. So once again, take your time and smell the roses!

fifth wheel parked in RV park

  1. Communication

Finding ways, you can communicate with your travel partner or friends when backing into a new spot when you’re getting set up in a new site. And also, try to avoid the blame game when something goes wrong. A lot of people get excited when traveling for the first time, but most times, things do not turn out the way we expect.

Let’s say when you need to hook up your rig and something goes wrong, so it’s really easy to snap at your family. It also helps to limit your travel day to no more than 4 hours.

Packing healthy snacks and water help to keep moods happy. Having a checklist in the beginning for setting up and tearing down camp will keep you both on the on the same page.

  1. Flexibility Is a Must

It is so essential to be flexible because your travel plans are going to change. This could range from extreme weather, road closure, RV repair, etc…

So many things can upset your plans, and it can be frustrating. But all you have to do is to roll with it, and always have in mind that your plans could change at anytime. That’s what RVing is all about!

The best thing you can do in this situation is always to have a plan B when traveling.

  1. Know Your Measurements

This means to know how high and how long your trailer is. Because when you’re on the east coast and you’re driving towards a tunnel and you look up and that tunnel says 9’2 and your rig is 10’4, all you can do is to close your eyes and grit your teeth.

This is something you will want to avoid. We put a post-it note on our sun visor with our fifth wheels measurements in case we forget.

17 great tips for first time RVers

It is important to conduct research about where you’re going to and the maximum rig height and length tunnels there can take. Especially Zion national park, Mount Rushmore, and the west coast where the rails are so windy so the limit the length of the rigs.

  1. Tips for Keeping the Inside of Your RV comfortable

One of the biggest things with RVs are they just collect humidity so fast, especially when you close all the windows and all the doors. To avoid this, make sure you leave one window preferably the center window slightly open just a little bit, and trust me, it will do wonders for moisture control.

And it will keep your windows from fogging up. We also keep a small fan running when humidity is high.

17 Great tips for first time RVers

Know ahead of time that when you cook with propane, it’s going to put so much humidity out in the air.

And if you don’t begin to vent, your windows are going to get super foggy, and super humid inside. This is because the two byproducts of burning fossil fuel are, carbon dioxide and water vapor. So literally, burning propane spews water vapor into the air. We have a Fantastic Ceiling Fan that we use a lot!

My last tip for this section is to keep the inside of your RV cool on a sunny day. If you open all your windows up, and you’ve got your exhaust fan running and it’s still too hot in the trailer, a good idea to help keep your rig warm is to orient the side of your rig with the awning on it towards south, because this is the side the sun beats down to shade your trailer from your sun.

This is if you can’t run your AC since its quite expensive. If a all possible try keeping you refrigerator side in the shade, to keep your refrigerator cool.

  1. Boondocking

If you’re new to this idea, you’re going to be moving from one place to the next, and you will definitely need to spend a night at some convenient location like Walmart or Cabela. It might be weird for the first time, but this is what boondocking is and you need to be prepared to sleep at a parking lot from time to time.

17 Great tips for first time RVers

  1. Know Your Tanks

Talking about boondocking, tank management is the next essential thing. One way to manage your grey tank is to place a bucket in your sink to collect water used for washing dishes, washing hands and things that accumulate sink water and pour that into the bush, so it doesn’t go to the grey tank. This prevents your grey tank from filling up fast.

You can get some bacteria and corrosion in your freshwater tank, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put just a couple to teaspoons of Clorox in your fresh water tank and wash it out. So, every once in a while, try to clean your fresh water tank.

  1. Your Rig Will Break Down

It doesn’t matter what brand you’ve got, whether it’s a fifth wheel, travel trailer or an RV will break down. Something will eventually fail on it. So it is important that you have some sort of  plan should one of the systems on your RV break.

For instance, if you’re fridge fails and its full of food, what will you do? Or even if your AC fails and you’re out on a sunny ground that is 90 degrees and above what will you do? And worst of them all if your furnace stops working and it’s the middle of winter, what are you going to do?

However, if you’ve have a backup plan in order, and you’ve already thought ahead, then you can avoid have these situations and you wouldn’t have to worry about anything going wrong. Lets just say, you will worry less.

  1. How to Plan Your Routes

For your route planning, I will suggest you figure out the bigger destinations first, and then you leave in spaces and fill them out. What this does for you is that, if there is some place that you have to see, you make sure you get reservations. If you’re going to somewhere on the west coast, you might need to get on it.

17 great tips for first time RVers

However, if you leave a little wiggle room, what you’re going to do is to learn along the way. Because you will learn about the immediate area and you’re also going to learn about really great trips, and you wouldn’t be locked into every single step on the way. So this leaves flexibility for you to have a bit of fun and figure out something new.

  1. Document All Your Adventure

This is kind of important because you are making these experiences, which are going to be one of the best memories you will want to look back on. So, however you will like to do it whether it being a picture, video, blog or even YouTube, whatever way you will like to keep these memories alive try and do it.

Also, after you go for a trip, make sure you document the things that you liked and the things you didn’t like, this will help you know what to go in for when going for the same trip anytime in the future.

Also, make sure to keep notes of the little things that go wrong cause trust me those are the funniest ones.

  1. Prepare for Inclimate Weather.

This includes in the desert where you think might be hot all the time, trust me it’s not. It could go from warm one day to freezing cold and snowy the next day, and you have to be prepared for that. Something that includes that is to make sure that you are prepared to always roll your awning again.

17 Great tips for first time RVers

Also, do not leave your awning rolled out at night because you don’t know whether the strong wind is picking up at night, and there are cases where people left their awn rolled at night and the next day realized that there is clamped in place because it is broken.

Another thing is freezing temperatures, if you check the forecast and it is going to freeze at night and it wasn’t supposed to, one thing you will want to do you is to empty out your low point drain tubes so you’re water lines drain out so you don’t have any water in your water lines.

Because if there is no water, they can’t freeze. We have also let our kitchen water run when it was close to freezing (just a thin stream).

Be sure to check the roof of your trailer regularly to prevent any leaking during the rain.

  1. Finding Campsites

There are many ways to find campsites but I will share some of the top tools I use to find campsites. These are:

However, occasionally you can go to a national park or forest service website for more information.

Also, check out the people leaving reviews. If those leaving reviews own vehicles much smaller than what you have such as a van, then maybe you might not be able to use that site.

Also, ensure that you have signals if not you should bring a signal booster with you. Do not be scared to skip many campsites to get the perfect one.

  1. Gas Up the Night Before Your Trip

It can be annoying to bring your huge rig through a normal gas station filled with cars and people. I made this mistake once and I don’t think I will ever do it again.

So, make it easy on yourself and gas up the night before and avoid the hassle. If you do need to gas up while towing or if you drive a class A, I recommend you stop at truck stops. They have a higher clearance  for Truckers and RV’s.

Most truck stops are diesel, so if you need gas, search out RV gas pumps. They are normally located on the side away from the crowded gas pumps.

  1. Have Fun!!

Traveling can be kind of stressful, and in those stressful and tiring times, you just got to enjoy it anyways and roll with the punches, because your rig is going to break down, the weather isn’t going to cooperate, things are going to happen that upset you but do not let that prevent you from having fun and enjoying those little happy moments.

Overall just stay confident and get out there because you’re going to have a lot of fun and learn a lot of new stuff.

These were the 17 most important things I could think of for anyone that is new to RVing, and new to traveling, or even thinking of going into full-time RVing. So hopefully this was helpful to you, and if it was, make sure to like this post and share it with your friends.

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Happy Camping!

RV Groovin Life

Bonnie

 

14 Safety Tips and Precautions that Every RVer Should Know!

14 safety tips every RVer Should KnowA Safety Checklist for RVers

Whether you’re hitting the road or staying put in an RV park, here are some tips and tools to help you stay safe on your journey.

RVing is an adventure – and part of that adventure involves some risk.

Storms, flat tires, possibly stranded on the roadside waiting for a tow truck or overheated engines can turn the trip of a lifetime into a stressful experience.

But if you take some precautions by being prepared for the unexpected, hopefully, give you peace of mind knowing you have taken steps for a safer journey.

1. Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide poisoning is the biggest and most underappreciated danger in RVing. Make sure you have working batteries in your carbon monoxide alarm before you go anywhere.

If you’re not careful, a malfunctioning oven can be a whole lot worse than just a nuisance. Most RV’s come with them installed, if yours doesn’t, please install one yourself. This is a MUST HAVE!

2. Weather Alert Radio

Every RVer should have a battery-power NOAA-certified weather alert radio. Click here for the current price. Storms can come quick, and they can be hard to predict – especially when you’re traveling.

Getting a heads-up on when one’s about to hit can help make sure your trip isn’t too dangerous.

There are also weather apps for your phone you can install. I have both, an NOAA-certified Weather Alert Radio and the NOAA Weather Radar app on my phone. 

3. Engine Fluids

Before you drive anywhere, check your fluid levels in your motorhome or tow vehicle. The last thing you want to do is run your RV while the oil or coolant is low. Your RV is an investment. It’s something you want to keep in good condition. And that means you need to take care of it.

14 Safety tips and precautions that every rver should know

4. Tire Pressure

Anyone who’s driven cross-country has seen all those torn-up tires sitting on the side of every highway. The number one cause of early tire failure is low pressure.

It’s very important to maintain proper pressure in all tires. If towing a fifth wheel or travel trailer be sure to check your truck tires also.

Check your tire pressure before and even during a long road trip. It might add a minute to your plans, but it’s a whole lot better than becoming a roadside disaster. There are also Tire Pressure Monitoring systems you can install to give your accurate and continuous readings.

5. Torque Wrench

Check the torque of your RV’s tires on a regular basis (Use your RV manual for guidelines). A trailer is easier because the torque isn’t as great. A motorhome requires much more torque. Invest in a Torque Wrench that is rated twice the amount you will need.

6. Fire Extinguishers

Most RVs are full of flammable materials. Even if you don’t have an oven, there’s a good chance you have a diesel or gasoline tank somewhere on your RV.

You’re surrounded by stuff that could start a fire – and nothing is going to ruin your trip faster than a fire.

Two fire extinguishers are recommended, one for kitchen (grease) fires and another for engine fires. Be sure they are up to date. That little red can could save your life. Well worth the investment. For current prices of fire extinguishers Click Here

 

7. First Aid Kit

Make sure you have a fully-packed first aid kit before you hit the road. A lot of stuff can happen when you go camping, and the nearest hospital isn’t always as close as you’d like it to be.

Keep bandages, wound closure strips, tweezers, scissors, safety pins, sterile gloves, antiseptics, medical tape, burn cream, medicine, and a first aid instruction booklet with you whenever you go RVing. And if anyone in your family has special needs, make sure you’re ready to deal with them.

8. Emergency Pack

A good RV Emergency Pack can save your trip – if not your life – if something goes wrong on the side of the road. Have a pack with jumper cables, tow ropes, work gloves, utility knives, light sticks, ponchos, and emergency reflective triangles and a couple cones.

Being prepared for breakdowns is critical, especially if you have kids and pets. Whether your RVing or just long road trips. You won’t regret it.

9. RVer Survival Kit

Have a snack pack easily accessible like protein bars. peanuts and other instant emergency rations that can really help you out if you get stuck.

Especially when you’re going RVing across the country or camping in a place where you’re expecting to be alone, you’re going to want to make sure that you have food and water if you get stuck in one place.

A couple of high-calorie ration bars can make things a lot easier while you wait for help.

10. Cell Phones

Even if you’re one of those people who likes to disconnect from the technological world when you go RVing, a cell phone is a useful safety tool to keep on hand. If there’s an emergency, you’re going to need a working cell phone with an active battery to call for help, so always make sure you have one handy.

14 safety tips and precautions that every rver should know

11. Battery Charger

That cell phone isn’t going to do you any good if it’s dead and you can’t charge it. I always have a car charger along with a fully charged battery pack for emergencies. Make sure your cell phone is always charged and ready – because you never know what might happen.

12. Electrical Loads

An RV isn’t a house. We have a surge protector that we plug our fifth wheel into before plugging into the RV park power source. Click here for a current price. RV parks power supply can fluctuate causing electrical problems. It also protects your electronics from being fried.

It might be tempting to plug in every electronic you have at once, but RVs just aren’t wired to run that much power.

Figure out how many amps your RV can handle and make sure you’re not going overboard. Most RVs can only handle 30 to 50 amps at a time, so you’ll need to be careful about how many things you’re running at once.

13. Cash

Don’t forget to pack some cash before you go anywhere. Even if you’re just going to an RV Park, it’s worth your while to make sure you have a little bit of money on hand in case something goes wrong.

Gas, food, flat tires — all kinds of things can pop up that you don’t expect, and you’ll regret having left your wallet at home.

14. Insurance

Make sure you have insurance that’s going to cover everything in your trip. Not every insurance service is created equal, and a lot of them will flat-out refuse to cover the cost of towing a trailer.

Try to find an insurance service that specializes in RVs. You want to make sure that, if something goes wrong, your insurance is ready to take care of everything – and that they understand what that means to an RVer.

No matter how prepared you are, you can’t predict everything. Just plan ahead, and enjoy the journey!

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RV Groovin Life

Bonnie

How to Keep Your RV in Tip Top Shape -A Guide for Maintaining Your RV

There is nothing more nerve-racking than having your RV break down unexpectedly in the middle of nowhere. All the more reason to keep your RV in top condition before embarking on any road trip.

How to keep your RV in tip top shape

Regular Maintenace is the key to keeping your RV in Tip Top Shape. Checking engine & battery fluids, tire pressure is critical to keep your RV from breaking down. 

That’s just the beginning of your maintenance program. Below is a detailed guide to help you keep your RV running smoothly.how to keep your RV in Tip Top Shape

You can enjoy watching sunsets at strategic locations. One of my favorites is the astronomy program at the Bryce Canyon National Park where you can view the constellations well into the night. It’s also the cheapest way to travel.

Averagely, you’ll spend approximately $30 dollars per night mostly for reserving parking spaces (This is an estimate; you may have to pay more depending on your needs). It’s not uncommon for seasoned RVers to spend a night in some places absolutely free.

RV Basic Maintenance

Just like any other vehicle, your RV must be maintained regularly to avoid acting up. However, unlike your typical car or truck, RVs require additional maintenance of the life support components such as the electrical, water, and sewer systems.

Maintaining your Class A, B & C  Motorhomes

  • Check to ensure that the engine has enough oil to ensure that many movable parts are well lubricated.
  • If there’s too much friction your engine will heat up pretty fast.
  • Ensure that you change the engine oil and filter especially if you intend to travel for a long distance in the countryside.
  • Clean and sufficient engine oil is extremely important for the optimal running of your RV engine.
  • It’s always a good idea to check for leaks around the oil pan and filter to prevent the engine oil is not wasted.

Your RVs carburetor should never escape your attention.

Make sure the studs around it are tightly fastened. The carburetor should be free of any dirt or foreign particles. Ensure that the belts on the fan and alternator are not worn out and are tightly fitted.

The cooling system – must also be in perfect working condition to prevent your RV engine from developing serious mechanical problems.

In most cases, overheating of the engine is a sign built up rust and scale.

  • It’s recommended that you drain and thoroughly the cooling systems once every 2 years.
  • Refill the system with a coolant that contains rust inhibitors. A glycol-based coolant will generally do the trick.
  • Always refer to your RV manual for recommended products.

The water pump feeding cool water into the radiator should be in perfect working condition.

  • Check the hoses connecting to the radiator for firmness and free from cracks.
  • Check and rectify any loose connections. If these hoses feel soft, it’s advisable to have them replaced since they stand a risk of bursting under immense pressure shuttering your engine.

The electrical components of your RV engine also need to be checked regularly.

  • Ensure that your battery is clean and a good electrolyte level.camper van parked in desert
  • If the battery level is too low, use the correct battery water to refill the cells and ensure your battery is functioning optimally.
  • It’s also important to ensure that the alternator and generator are kept free from dust and baked-on dirt
  • . Wiring should remain in place even during the bumpiest of all drives.
  • The engine wiring should be held appropriately in a position to prevent the insulation from melting and short-circuiting.

In addition, it’s important to check your power steering and wheel alignment after an especially bumpy drive

Take time to inspect the condition of rods and links, and the wheel bearings. Don’t forget to check the brake linings ensure they are free from rust and aren’t corroded. You need your brakes working as new at all times.

When carrying out basic maintenance of your RV, bear in mind that dirt and vibration are the two major causes of engine problems.

How To Keep Your RV in Tip Top Shape

Haas RV Park In New Hudson Michigan

Your maintenance should be focused on keeping the engine components clean and fastened firmly.

Apart from the engine compartment, RVs come with other special systems that need to be maintained regularly.

This Applies to Most RV Types:

Owning an RV also means off-road driving especially on countryside roads.

Driving on such rough terrain can take its toll on the RV’s chassis and suspensions. It’s necessary, therefore, that you give more attention to the condition of the chassis and shock absorbers than you would an ordinary vehicle. Even the best shock absorbers in the market will take a beating from such rough roads.

Check your tires.How To Keep Your RV in Tip Top Shape

If you spend several days on the road at a time, your tires’ treading can be smoothened out and increase your chances of skidding off road. Replace your tires if they are worn out.

RV water systems, for instance, need to be drained periodically and thoroughly cleaned with fresh water.

Stagnant water becomes stale after some time and frequent maintenance is necessary to ensure a constant supply of fresh water. Baking soda can be used to remove the stale taste before the water tanks are refilled.

If your RV is equipped with a system for heating and cooking using propane gas.

Propane is highly inflammable; for security reasons, check gas lines for leakages especially around joints. Usually, smearing soap solutions on the lines. If you see any bubbles forming, it means the gas line is leaking. Get professional help to have your gas line fixed.

Ensure you drain your sewer frequently.How to Keep Your RV in Tip Top Shape

If you notice that your sewerage is blocked or leaking, call a plumber. Attempting to fix the problem yourself can leave you with a bigger mess.

You can also use tank treatment products that liquefy waste making disposal easier. This treatment also gets rid of the unpleasant smell.

Your comfort and safety during a tour depend entirely on how well your RV is maintained.

Make a habit of maintaining your RV frequently even when you’re not on the road.

RV Electricals

The electrical system of RVs is usually a major concern for most RVers with good reason. Since you’re most likely to be on the move, you’ll not have access to 120 volts AC power supply all the time. Typically, RVs are equipped with 3 separate electrical systems to take care of your electrical needs.

However, it’s essential to have basic knowledge of how these systems work to make the best use of them. The first system is the 12 volts DC automotive system that serves the electrical needs of your RV’s engine.

This is the same system that you’ll find in all vehicles and serves the function of igniting the engine and powering your various car lights and other electrical signals.

Apart from this basic electrical system, RVs come with two other additional electrical systems. The 12 volts DC RV coach electrical system comprises of a battery or batteries that are charged when your RV is moving when your turn on your generator or when you plug into a 120 volts AC power source.

Most appliances in your RV coach can operate effectively using this electrical system.

However, you’ll not be able to run electrical appliances that consume a lot of power such as microwaves, your roof air conditioning, and your refrigerator set to electric mode.

You may also need an inverter to be able to watch television or power your PC. Moreover, you need to know how to maintain your batteries to ensure that your 12 volts DC coach electrical system works as expected.

Important facts you need to know about your batteries:

  • If you’re always on the road, chances are that your batteries will be changing constantly. Unfortunately, the constant charging of your batteries lowers their electrolyte levels and hampers the amount of electricity produced. Ensure that you refill the electrolyte levels in each battery cell with distilled water. Make sure you refill only up to the split level and no more.
  • It’s important to ensure that the battery cables are tightly hooked onto the terminals. Ensure that the terminals are clean since dirt and rust can prevent an effective flow of charge and reduce the current output of the battery. It’s also proper to spray the battery terminals with a special terminal protector that prevents rusting.
  • Wash the battery frequently using a solution of baking soda and water. Rinse and flush thoroughly with plenty of clean water.
  • If you are not going to use the battery for a while, charge it fully before storing it away. Keep checking the battery to ensure it remains fully charged throughout the duration of disuse. The gravity readings of a charged battery are always 1.215 to 1.250. If your readings fall below these, recharge.
  • It’s recommended to follow the manufacturer’s manual on the best way to charge your battery depending on its type. Different battery types require different charging amperage.
  • Since there are a lot of electrical gadgets that are constantly drawing power from your battery even when your RV is not in use, you’re better off installing a battery disconnect. A battery disconnect is basically a lever that allows you to disconnect these electronic appliances when not in use.

Finally, if your RV comes with a generator-powered 12 volts AC power source.

This system is designed in a way that the fuel needs of the generator come directly from the RVs fuel tank. However, when the fuel in your tank is almost finished, the generator automatically turns off to conserve the fuel.

In addition, the 120 volt AC RV coach electrical system also comes with 30 or 50 Amps plug that allows you to connect to an external power source. Most camping grounds provide 120 volts, 30 Amps power supply for RVers.

Most RV owners tend to make the mistake of plugging in all the electrical appliances at the same time when they get access to an external power source.

This extremely dangerous particularly if there are other RVers also connected to the source.

Generally, for 120 volts, 30 Amps power source, the maximum power load should be 3,600 watts (120 x 30). Luckily, most RV electrical systems are equipped with a circuit breaker that disconnects your power when the maximum load is exceeded.

This comes in handy in preventing damage to your rig and electrical appliances. The golden rule is to have a few electrical gadgets plugged in at a time. Always use your power supply sparing, at all times, to avoid overloading the electrical systems in your RV.

RV Black Water Tank

The black water tank in your RV is its septic tank. Whenever you use the bathroom in your RV, the solid waste and water used to flush the toilet are deposited into the black tank.

However unpleasant draining and flushing your blank tank might be, it’s necessary to maintain the coziness of your RV coach.

The odor can be unbearable if you’re waste management system is not up to the task. Luckily, managing your RV waste system isn’t as difficult as it appears.

First and foremost, you can learn from your toilet back at home; there’s always some water in the toilet bowl at all times. This water prevents solid waste from sticking on the surface of the bowel and can easily be flushed away once you’re done relieving yourself.

Secondly, the water also keeps the unpleasant smell from filling your entire living room. In the same manner, it?s important to ensure that there’s some water in your black tank before your first call of nature in the privacy of your RV toilet.

Generally, RV coaches are smaller compared to your house and base water in your black tank may not be sufficient to keep the odor away.

It’s always necessary to use black tank chemicals to get rid of the odor and to reduce your solid waste to a pulp. Once your solid waste is somewhat liquefied, the process of emptying it out is easier. RV black water tank treatment chemicals can be found in any store that specializes in RV equipment.

They come complete with instructions on how to use and the correct dosage. These chemicals are a must have to ensure that you maintain a pleasant smell inside your RV coach. The contents of your RV’s black water tank must be emptied into an approved cesspool.

Most camping grounds in the US provide this amenity. The process is quite simple; you’ll need to clasp the waste hose at the appropriate place on the RV and ensure the other end of the hose is also well-fitted into the dump station. Release the valve to allow the contents of your black water tank to be deposited into the dump station.

Since other less dirty waste materials from your shower and sink are held in a separate tank, it’s always a good idea to have your black water tank emptied first.

Since the same hose is used to drain the other waste content comprising mainly of gray water, it kind of cleans off most of the remnant of the black water tank inside the hose.

How to Keep Your RV in Tip Top Shape

Finally, it’s also necessary to flush your black water tank from time to time. Accumulated grime inside the tank can lead to bad odor coming from your RV septic.

It also might temper with the sensors that tell you how full your tank is. It’s therefore in your best interest to ensure the interior of your black water tank is as clean as possible.

Most RVs are armed with a flush valve and all you have to do is hook this valve onto a water supply and running water through your black water tank to flush it.

There are, however, many RVs that lack this feature. In this case, you may be forced to have a custom made the flush valve to your black water tank. There is a wide range of RV flush valves in the market to choose from; take time and select one that best meets your needs and taste.mobile suite fifth wheel

RV Roof Guide

If you talk to experienced RVers, they’re likely to confess that the roof of the RV is the most neglected part of the RV.

Somehow checking the roof of their RV for damage and cleaning it tends to escape their minds.

You should not make such a mistake. Damage to your RV roof can be costly especially if it leaks. Water can damage the electrical systems leading to huge loses.

Always ensure that you inspect your roof for damage and clean it at least quarterly. Here is a simple guide of how to care for your RV’s roof.

Most RV roofing is made from rubber. You’ll need to get on top of your roof to better inspect your roof for damage especially along seems and ripped off sections.

However, be extremely careful while on the roof since you can seriously injure yourself in case of a fall. Wear well-gripping should to ensure a sure footing while working on the roof. Rubber is a fairly sensitive material that can be easily destroyed if abrasive, petroleum solvents and acidic cleaning agents are used.

Instead, use a non-abrasive cleaner that is mild on the rubber. Generally speaking, typical dishwashing detergent will do the job perfectly well.

It’s also recommended that you use a medium bristle brush for scoring off dirt and stubborn stains from the roof surface. You risk scratching the surface in case you use a very hard bristled brush for your cleaning.

After cleaning your roof thoroughly, you need to inspect it for any openings. Your roof may seem fine until it rains and you realize there is water dripping on to your wardrobe soiling your best suit.

It’s therefore recommended to use appropriate sealants around the areas that have a high potential for leaking. Mostly, reseal any roof seams and areas around openings since they are most susceptible to leaks.

Disclaimer: Although this guide is basically for RV roofs made of rubber, there are other materials that are also used. Vinyl and fiberglass are the most common alternatives to RV rubber roofing. It’s important to ascertain the type of roofing material your RV is made from.

 

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning or seek professional help if you’re unsure on how to clean your roof.

Keeping your roof well-maintained can significantly increase its durability and also keep the interior components of your RV protected from the damaging effects of water.

RV tire basics

Tire problems on the road can be disastrous. For instance, a tire burst while driving can lead to loss of control of your RV and lead to massive damage. Therefore, ensure that your tires are in perfect condition.fifth wheel tire What exactly should you consider while inspecting the condition of your tires?

First and foremost, it’s important that your RV tires meet the minimum recommended tread depths.

Generally, 2/32 inch depth treading is considered acceptable for your RV tires.

However, if your RV has a gross vehicle weight rating exceeding 10,000 pounds, ensure that you replace your tires with new ones once the treading depth is at 4/32 inches.

An inspection of your RV’s tires should also involve looking out for sidewall cracks and tears. Obviously, if you notice that your tires’ sidewalls are cracked, it could mean that it’s time to replace them.

Although it is considered acceptable to drive on a tire with a crack less than 1/32 inches deep, if you’re expecting to travel for a long distance, the tear might worsen along the way.

You’re better off with all your tires intact. Sidewall cracking on tires is generally caused by poor maintenance. Use of improper cleaning and tire dressing chemicals is the biggest cause of sidewall tire cracking. Keep off of cleaning and dressing agents containing petroleum distillates.

Exposing your tires to direct sunlight can also damage your tires leading to sidewall cracks. Keeping your tires covered will keep them lasting longer. Below are the covers we purchased for our fifth wheel. We were impressed with the quality of these tire covers. Click here for the current price.tire covers for rv in box

Your tires must be cleaned and cared for properly to increase longevity. Tires are typically made of rubber and therefore can be destroyed by cleaning agents that contain alcohol, silicone, and petroleum distillates.

Mild soap is sufficient for cleaning your tires.

Using a tire dressing product that is free from the harmful elements identified will also protect the tires from the harmful effects of UV.

In addition, the right air pressure for your tires should be maintained depending on the weight of your RV.

The recommended inflation-to-weight pressure can be established from the charts provided by the tire manufacturer. It’s always a good habit to keep checking your tires to identify any abnormal loss of air pressure in the tires. This can signify problems with the valve or a puncture.

Always ensure that your tires are inflated even when you’re RV is stored away in the garage and will not be in use for a while.

Finally, keep your RV parked on a level surface without any stagnant water.

At times, you may be forced to use a wooden or plastic separator to keep your tires protected particularly if the surface your RV is parked on isn’t good enough. For instance, it uneven or there’s water that can damage the tire.

The tires of your RV are extremely important for your safety. They’re also expensive. Take extra care of them to ensure their longevity and keep you happier on the road.

RV Refrigerator basics

How does your RV refrigerator work?

How to keep your RV in Tip Top Shape

Double-Sided Refrigerator

Your RV refrigerator works by drawing heat from the refrigerator compartment.

The logic behind this functionality is that if heat keeps being drawn from space, it becomes cold.

This is different from your typical home refrigerator that uses a compressor and other moving parts to enhance the refrigeration process.

RV refrigerator uses heat that can be generated from the LP gas system installed in your RV and AC power supply.

However, the refrigerator should maintain a leveled position especially when your RV is stationary. When the RV is moving, the refrigerant in the refrigeration system is tossed around and doesn’t accumulate in one place.

Therefore, leveling is not as crucial as when your refrigerator is operating in a stationary position.

However, it’s better to ensure that your RV is well-balanced to ensure your refrigerator works effectively. Here are a few more tips to enhance the efficiency of your RV refrigerator:

  • Ensure you turn your RV refrigerator 6 hours before the time you intend to start your travel. It takes between 4 and 6 hours for your refrigerator compartment to get cold when you initially turn on your refrigerator. Turning it on early ensures that it’s cold enough for your cooling needs.
  • Pre-cool your food and park the refrigerator with lightly leaving enough space for air to circulate freely within the refrigeration compartment. Loading your RV refrigerator also means that it will have to work harder to get your food cold. Remember, this goes against the rule of using energy sparingly while in your RV.
  • Installing a battery powered fan inside your RV refrigerator compartment can enhance the cooling process of your refrigerator. Proper functioning of RV refrigerators relies on effective air circulation throughout the system. Using a fan increases the efficiency of your refrigerator by up to 40% while reducing the initial cooling down duration by 50%.
  • Remain vigilant and periodically inspect the back of your refrigerator to ensure that there’s nothing obstructing heat from escaping from the system.
  • To ensure optimal functioning of the refrigerator in LP gas mode, inspect the color of the flame produced in the banner. If it’s yellowish in color, it indicates that your refrigerator is dirty and needs cleaning. Ensure all the connections are tight and free from any leakages. If the flame produced in the banner is blue, you unit is clean and working perfectly.

Most RVers complain about the inefficiency of their refrigerators due to poor energy management and maintenance of the units.

However, RV absorption refrigerators are well-suited for RVers needs since they are less demanding in their energy consumption. With proper maintenance, you can enjoy your chilled foods at any time during your journey.

RV accessories & gadgets

There are several RV accessories and gadgets in the market and can’t possibly cover them all in this guide. However, here are the top-ten a must-have list:white water hose for fifth wheel

  1. Drinking hose
  2. Sewer Hose
  3. Instant Pot
  4. Collapsible kitchen accessories
  5. RV fridge fan
  6. Portable propane stove
  7. Solar batteries
  8. Lithium jumpstarter
  9. RV GPS
  10. WiFi Ranger

Slide-Outs – Caring and Troubleshooting

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How To Keep Your RV in Tip Top Shape

Haas RV Campground

Summary of Caring for & maintaining your RV

In conclusion, how well you care for and maintain your RV draws a line between whether your travels in the comfort of your RV will be memorable ones because of the fun you had or the trouble.

Here is a recap of the main maintenance tips contained in this guide. While carrying out basic engine compartment maintenance, bear in mind that the greatest cause of engine problems is dirt and vibration. Ensure you check for and tighten any loose connections.

Keep your engine free from dirt. Your RV has 3 separate electrical systems that work independently. The 12 volts DC automotive takes care of the engine electrical needs including operating the RV stereo and headlamps. The 12 volts DC coach electrical system, on the other hand, is powered using rechargeable batteries.

Always observe proper maintenance of these batteries for best service. Finally, RVs come with a 120 volts electrical system that connects to an external AC current outlet. Ensure that you empty your black water tank at the approved dump stations.

Keeping your tank clean by flushing and using appropriate treatment chemicals can fight odor and keep your tank as clean as new. Check your tires regularly to ensure they have the correct tread depth, air pressure, and are free from sidewall cracks.

Keep your tires fully inflated and covered if you’re not going to use your RV for some time. Mostly, exposure to the sun’s rays and using cleaning and dressing agents with harmful chemicals is the main reason for RV tires wearing out.

Install RV refrigerator fan to increase the efficiency of your refrigerator by up to 50%. Keep the refrigerator burner and other components clean.

Use the color of the flame produced by the refrigerator to determine whether your refrigerator is clean. Yellow flame signifies your RV refrigerator is dirty.

Check Out These Posts –

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What is Boondocking

Do Fifth Wheels Come With a Spare Tire

Have fun and enjoy the journey!

RV Groovin Life

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Bonnie