How to Keep Your Dog Happy & Healthy in an RV?

How to keep your Dog Happ & Healthy in an RV

How to keep your dog happy and healthy in an rv

Our new puppy

how to keep you dog happy and healthy in an RV

 

  • You might want to consider getting a sensor which sends a notification to your phone whenever the temperatures escalate beyond a certain degree inside of your RV. Last year we stayed in Michigan at Haas Lake RV Campground for the entire summer and into the fall. During the month of July, the temperature stayed in the high 80’s and into the ’90s. You just can’t leave your pets in an RV without the A/C in those temperatures! This summer I plan on purchasing Temperature Monitoring System. Our RV neighbor at Haas RV Campground owned one and was happy with it. I’ll do a review and let you know how it works out.

  • We purchased a small plastic swimming pool for Maggie. It only cost about $7.00 and Maggie loved it. I use a quick drying microfiber towel to dry her off. We gave the pool to another RVer before leaving the park. Since we probably wouldn’t use it again until the next summer.

How to keep your dog happy and healthy in an RV

  • Another way of keeping your dog cool, I use an old beach towel or any old towel, lay it on the floor of the RV (not on carpeting) pour a cold glass of water on it, just enough to get it wet, not drenched. The minute Maggie sees me pour the water she’s right there waiting to lay on it!

How to keep your dog happy and healthy in an rv

Maggie loves laying on a wet towel when it’s hot out.

2. Do Not Switch Waters

When moving from one RV park to another, our veterinarian advised us to avoid giving our dog water from every different location. This could cause problems (diarrhea) for your dog due to the changing of PH levels. We always drink bottled water anyway and most of the time Maggie does too. On travel days, we carry extra water bottles in the truck for us & Maggie.

3. Your Dogs Health & Safety

  • Taking care of your dog’s health while RVing entails a lot. To avoid any medical complications with your dog, it’s a good idea to clean your dog’s paws whenever you take them for a walk before they enter your Rv. It really depends on the RV park, if it’s well-maintained you won’t need to. We have been to a few parks that it was necessary to clean her paws.

Keep your dog from licking any form of stagnant water since it could be from someone’s leaking sewer or fuel, this could get the really sick.

  •   Haas Lake RV Park in Michigan has goose poop everywhere! Maggie was always trying to eat it. It became very difficult to take her on walks. She would then get diarrhea from it. I discovered the solution, we put a Velcro nose harness on her nose! You know, the nose-wrap that keeps a dog from biting!? It also keeps them from eating goose poop!

  • Also, if an RV park has a dog park or one nearby, I suggest you bring their own water and water bowl. This will help prevent your dog from contracting a disease. Which I know might not be possible, but worth a try? Remember that the park isn’t the cleanest place to be. Maggie just loves going and playing with all the dogs at the dog parks. I also carry scented doggy wipes that we use to wipe her down after leaving the dog park. Exercise is a must for your dog when living the RV lifestyle.
  • Installing carpet on your RV steps to prevent your dog from slipping or getting his paws caught on the metal steps. We installed ours after hearing about an accident an RVer had with his dog.  It also makes it safer for us humans too! Click here for the current price.

RV Steps with carpeting on them.

4. Anxiety

  • Even though you might enjoy traveling in an RV, your pet might not (luckily Maggie loves traveling). If your dog or cat is prone to anxiety, tell your vet, he can prescribe anxiety medicine for them. It can also help during thunderstorms, lighting, and 4th of July. Which can be a little scarier in an RV. Routine exercise can also help reduce anxiety.

dog with anxiety vest on

Anxiety Vest for Dogs

5. ID Tags and Records

  • If you’re at an RV park or maybe you’re taking your dogs for a walk or something, make sure that they have their dog tags on their harnesses or leashes. The dog tag should have their names, their proof of rabies vaccination, and your phone number. Some RV parks will want to see this before allowing you to have access to their park.

I keep a copy of our dog and cat’s veterinarian records in our truck, along with our insurance and registration.

By the way, don’t forget to have your pets treated for fleas. We spent our last two winters in Florida, where fleas were a problem. Even though Maggie had been treated, she still got flea bites.

  • You can get the proof of rabies vaccination from the vet, and for the tag that has the dog’s name and your contact information Click to order.

 6. Veterinarian

When you plan to stay at an RV park for a while, ensure to scope out where the nearest vet is, so that, should you have an emergency situation, you could know where to go to. Usually, the RV park can recommend a good veterinarian in the area.

7. Toys

When switching from a house to RVing full-time, it is important that you bring along toys and beds your dogs are familiar with. It will also help reduce stress and anxiety.

Black and tan german shepherd puppy in a crate.

Having a crate keeps them out of trouble and makes them feel safe. Especially if you have a younger dog. It’s essential for puppies being potty trained.

8. RV Park Pet Rules

When making reservations, be sure to ask about the pet rules and restrictions.

  • The first rule– whether you’re in an RV park, or wherever you are, pick up your dog’s poop and dispose of it properly! Please! First of all, it is good park etiquette and secondly, you will avoid the case of your stepping on your dog’s waste, and even getting it inside your RV.  I recycle plastic grocery bags for picking up doggy dodo. I hang them by the door so it’s handy to grab before walking out the door.
  • Second Rule- do not allow your dog bark all night and day when you have neighbors so close. This can be extremely annoying, and make your neighbors angry.
  • Third Rule – ALWAYS keep your dog on a lease! Always! For the safety of your dog and others.
  • Most RV Parks require that you keep your dog on a leash at ALL TIMES. Never leave your dog outside unattended.
  • Some Campgrounds won’t accept certain breeds, like Dobermans, Pitbull’s and Rottweilers. Be sure to ask when making reservations

9. Diet

If your dog requires special dog food, or a hard to find brand, make sure that you have more than enough when traveling. Because plans may change which might cause you to stay a little longer than expected and you might not be able to get to the store. And ordering online might not be an option if you don’t plan on staying long enough in one place. Be prepared, make lists and enjoy the journey!

 

Black german shepherd dog

We miss you Romeo!

Romeo passed in 2018, he was a sweetheart. 

Maggie’s Favorite Cheap Toys

  •  An Empty Simple Orange Juice Container (without the lid) – Maggie will play with this for hours, chasing and chewing. I save these for rainy days when she can’t go to the dog park.
  • We buy water in the gallon jugs for cooking and coffee. Maggie likes to chase these too, they just don’t last as long as the orange juice container.

German shepherd puppy waiting to go outside

Time for a walk

 

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Happy Camping!

RV Groovin Life

Bonnie

Don’t Make These Mistakes With Your RV Awning

In as much as people love to be in the sun, sometimes, all some people want to do is to sit in the shade and enjoy an ice-cold glass of lemonade.

Don't Make These Mistakes With Your RV Awning

RV Groovin Life

Well, the best way to do that is to just sit under your RV’s awning.

As the title suggests, Don’t make these mistakes with your RV Awning.

We will look at some of the mistakes RVers make when using their awning and also how to replace a damaged awning, how to maintain your awning and also included how to clean your awning.

(This Post Contains Affiliate Links)

Don't Make These Mistakes with your RV Awning

RV Groovin Life

1. If you have a power awning, do not run it all out in One Shot

If you have a power awning, you might think it’s easy to just push the button and watch the awning run all the way out. Well, the problem here is, you do not want to hit the button, and run the awning all the way out with one shot.

The reason is that your power awning has an auto rain dump feature, which is the gas strut in the arm. This is what allows the awning to tilt down if there is rain and then come back up. The gas strut is a feature you wouldn’t want to be damaged.

So, what you can do when releasing your power awning is to first, open the awning to 18 to 24 inches thus about two feet, and then pause for a second. And then you can release the awning all the way out. It is important that you wait because as said earlier, there is a gas strut, which takes time to expand and it doesn’t move easily and fast as you might think since it has some sort of resistance to it.

So, when you start to instantaneously release and close your awning, you are damaging the seals of your struts. It’s important that you taking your time to release and close your RV awning could save you from self-inflicted damages.

(This Post is Property of RV Groovin Life)

2. Forgetting to Lubricate Your RV Arms

In as much as you may want to keep your awning looking good and new, do not forget to lubricate the arms of the awning. Lubricating the arms of the awning should keep them lubricated so they can retract and extend quietly and also keeps the moving parts maintained.

This should be done with a good old fashion WD-40. Do not forget to lubricate the stairs, door hinges and handles, this should help deal with the squeaking noise.

Don't Make These Mistakes with your RV Awning

RV Groovin Life

3. Never Store your RV if the Awning Fabric is Wet

Most folks who have been RVing for while knowing that, you never store your RV awning when the fabric is wet. But even when you store the awning dry, you might notice what appears to be moisture or water the next time you open it.

Well, there are two types of fabrics used on RV awnings, these are Acrylic or Vinyl. Acrylic awning fabric is a woven cloth that lets air circulate through the fabric. This air circulation allows the fabric to dry quickly when it gets wet.

Acrylic awnings are water repellent but not waterproof. Vinyl fabric, on the other hand, is mildew resistant but not necessarily mildew proof. What happens is, mildew can form on the dirt and dust that collects on the vinyl fabric. This will be worse in high temperatures, and high humidity areas, and if the fabric is stored when wet.

Don't Make these Mistakes with your RV Awning

RV Groovin Life

Before storing your RV, you should thoroughly clean both sides of the awning with an appropriate cleaner. And allow it plenty of time to dry completely before storing. A dry awning still showing signs of mildew, it is possible that the awning fabric was dry when you stored it but when it rains, it’s still possible for water to get inside a rolled-up awning fabric, and for condensation to occur as well.

It is a good idea to extend your patio and any window awnings once a month and let the fabric air out and dry. The real key in addition to keeping the fabric dry is to vinyl awning fabrics as clean as possible. The cleaner the surface is, the lesser the chance of mildew forming on any residue of dirt and dust.

Don't Make These Mistakes with your RV Awning

RV Groovin Life

4.Forgetting to Roll Up Your Awning At Night

For those who boondock in the wilderness, we highly advise to always roll up your awning before going to bed. This includes areas such as the desert where it might seem to be hot all the time, trust me it’s not. It could go from a warm day to freezing cold and snowy day the following morning. This could leave your awning in the snow, and making it wet. In other to be prepared for this, it is best to roll up the awning.

Another reason not to leave your awning rolled out at night is, you might not know when a strong wind might blow through. A strong wind blowing through at night could cause damages to your awning by the time you wake up the next day. This might lead to an unnecessary cost. So, to avoid these, once you feel sleepy, take about two to three minutes to get your awning rolled up.

If you’ve made any of the mistakes above and your awning fabric has been damaged or stained with dirt or has mold, the guide below will help you replace your awning if necessary.

What are the Different Types of Awnings? And How Do I Use Them

 

1. Electric Awning

These are pretty easy to use. To use them, all you have to do is to touch a button, and the awning starts coming out. However, be cautious not to fully extend the awning in one push. When releasing the awning, ensure that there are no trees around, because the awnings are easily stopped when close to something.

If there are no obstacles, run the awning out till it balances to about 90 degrees of the ground. If you overextend the awning beyond 90 degrees, it will over time weaken the fabric. It’s best to balance the awning to 90 degrees to the ground.

Don't Make These Mistakes with your RV Awning

RV Groovin Life

Pitching an awning is a crucial thing especially if you’ve got some light rain. What happens with these vinyl awnings is that, they’ll fill up with water and it could stretch the fabric. It also can bend your tube. Electrical awnings are equipped with a dump so, if there is a little bit of water on the awning, the awning will dump it.

We recommend you do it yourself rather than letting the mechanics do it. It’s better that you pitch the awning yourself to let the water can run off so that there is no risk of mechanical failure. When pitching the awning, ensure to pitch the awning to the back of the trailer.

This is because most of the foot traffic is going to be towards the front. By doing so, the water will run off the back. Another thing when you’re pitching an awning is to make sure that the door is clear so that you do not risk destroying your fabric.

2. Manual Awning

With an electric awning, it is as simple as touching a button. However, with a traditional awning, there is kind of a procedure you have to follow to properly use your awning.

To use your traditional awning, first, you need to undo the travel locks and these are what keeps the hardware together as you go down the road, so the awning doesn’t open up. When you’re done with the travel locks, then the hardware can separate and you can open the awning after you do the next step.

Don't Make These Mistakes with your RV Awning

RV Groovin Life

The next step is going to involve undoing the cam lock from the top. In unlocking the cam lock, you would have to use the awning rod which should come with your coach. With the help of your awning rod, pull the lever of the cam lockdown till you see it in the roll down position, which you can read on the writing on the cam lock of the awning.

With the cam locks and the travel locks undone, you can now go ahead and open the awning. So, with your rod, go to the center of your awning, and you should see a strap. Grab the strap with your rod and pull it right out. Pull it all the way out until you see the valance about 90 degrees to the ground. It is important to have the arms all loosened up because it’s going to help your awning come all the way out.

At this point, you may not have any support keeping your fabric taut. Well, this is where the upper hardware comes into play. Slide the upper hardware up against the rails till they lock into place.

Don't Make These Mistakes with your RV Awning

RV Groovin Life

Even though the upper hardware might be locked in place, you may still have to tighten your fabric. To tighten your fabric, grab the ends of your fabric together with the upper hardware and apply some pressure to tighten up the fabric, and then tighten up a knob at the center of the upper hardware. Repeat this process to the rear of the awning.

Now you have your awning tight, and at this point, what you will have to do is to lift the awning to get it where it’s supposed to be so you can use it outside of your camper to keep you out of the sun or rain. To do this, simply grab the arm of the awning, and lift it.

When done with this, the next thing you might want to check is to make sure your door isn’t rubbing on the awning as you open and close it. If you’re door still touches your awning, then we suggest a way to prevent this in the next topic below.

Whether it is an electrical awning or a mechanical awning, below are some of the mistakes RVers make with their awnings.

Don't Make These Mistakes with your RV Awning

RV Groovin Life

How to Replace an RV Awning?

If your RV awning is old, torn, faded or just worn out, replacing the fabric is a great DIY, that can save you a lot of cash instead of having it done at an RV repair shop. It isn’t as difficult as you might think and, in this article, we’ll guide you step by step.

Here are some of the tools you will need when tackling this project:

Since you will be working high up on the RV, you will need a two-step ladder, plus a large tarp to protect the new awning fabric. Optionally, a couple of blocks with a soft cloth on top will come in handy. Do not forget to line up some help.

 

If you’re a determined do-it-yourselfer, then you’re better off with two helpers. With a huge awning, four people will make the job more productive. With the offer of something cold to drink and a delicious meal from the grill, you shouldn’t have a problem mobilizing some friends for this.

Not forgetting your replacement fabric. Before you order your awning, you will need to measure your awning. Measure from inside cap to inside cap. Now let’s get to it.

Replacing Your Awning

  1. With your drill, start by removing the main bolts that hold the top of the awning to the side of the RV. It might seem like that would allow the awning to fall off, but do not worry. The combination of spring tension, in the roller tube, and the legs attached to the base of the RV will hold it in place.
  2. Now, remove the two small screws that prevent the fabric from sliding in the track. There is one at each end of the awning. When done, pop the lower ends of both awning arms out from their brackets on the side of the RV, and extend them until they are both touching the ground.
  3. Flip the control lever on the right side of the roller tube, as though you were preparing to fully extend the awning. Then, using your awning rod, pull the roller tube about a foot out from the RV. Your awning should now have both arms resting on the ground, and your fabric should be unrolled about a foot.
  4. Before sliding the awning off the RV, you will want to put the masking tape on the upper awning bracket.

This will prevent them from scratching the side of the RV.

  1. If your awning is old, you may need to use a sharp edge to cut off any sealant that connects the fabric to the track. You may also have to scrape away any debris from the inside of the track. To further ease the removal of the old fabric, and installation of the new one, gently spread the end of the track with a flat blade screwdriver.
  2. With your helpers holding the two awning arms slightly off the ground, begin pulling the fabric out of the track, making sure you have plenty of room in front of, or behind the RV. Walk the entire arm completely out, until it’s free.

If the fabric is stuck in the track, difficult to slide at first, you may need a third person up on a ladder to continue pulling until it slides more easily.

Don't Make These Mistakes with your RV Awning

RV Groovin Life

  1. Once the awning is free from the RV, set it down carefully. While not absolutely required, placing the roller tubes up on blocks makes it easier to work on it.
  2. There are two springs inside the roller tube. One at each end. You’re going to lock the spring at the rare of the left side of the awning, by removing the black plastic cap and inserting a Philips head screwdriver. Release the tension and remove the front and right side spring by loosening the bolt that holds the arm to the roller tube, then remove the bolt and the arm.
  3. Reinsert the bolt, and put some tape on the bracket to prevent it from getting scratched. Then firmly clamp the vise grips onto the brackets.

With these done, you’re about releasing the spring tension. Do not worry, it is not as scary as you might have heard. Just keep a firm grip on the vise grips, and lift up a little to release pressure from the awning control lever, then flip the lever to the role of position, and carefully unroll the spring. Be sure to count the exact number of rotations required to fully unwind it as you will need to roll it back up, with that exact amount later. Then you can safely remove the vise grips.

  1. Before removing the spring and assembly from the right side of the roller tube, I will want you to mark the location of the awning control lever, using a felt marker. This way, you can reassemble at that same spot.
  2. Using your cordless drill, drill out one of the pop rivets that hold the end cap onto the roller tube, then use your hammer and punch to remove the remainder of the rivet. With one person at each end, rotate the roller tube so you can access the pop rivet on the opposite of the end cap, then drill it out and punch it out just like you did with the first one. Now, simply slide out the entire right-side spring assembly out of the roller tube, and carefully set it aside.
  3. Lift the roller tube. and unwind the old fabric one turn at a time, until it is completely off the tube. To make it more efficient, two people can do this.
  4. Before removing the old fabric, use the felt marker to make two marks on the roller tube. First, make a straight line to mark the channel that the main part the awning goes into. Also, with the make a second mark, V, next to the channel where the decorative valance slides into. Now you should be ready to remove the old fabric. If it’s stuck on the tube, use a razor knife to slice between the two channels that hold the valance and the main awning.
  5. Now that the vinyl has been cut into two separate pieces, each one of them will slide right throughout of the roller tube. When done, spray some silicone lubricant into each of the channels to make it easy to slide the new channels in. Noting the marks made earlier on the roller tube slides the two beads inside their appropriate channels.

The beading on the main awning side goes inside the track of the straight line, and the beading of the valance side goes into the channel with a V.

  1. With your helpers holding the fabric off the ground, gently pull the end along the tube, simultaneously feeding both beads into the channel as you go. Using a tape measure, center the fabric between the end caps. Even though the right cap isn’t back on yet, you can clearly see the mark on the tube where it goes. When done, you can then roll the new fabric up unto the roller tube. This is where an extra helper or two comes in handy on large awnings. Ensure the fabric is rolled as evenly and smoothly as possible.
  2. Reinsert the spring assembly into the end of the roller tube, being sure to align the awning control lever with the mark you made on the side of the tube. You will also see that the rivets holes line up as well. Use your pop riveter to replace both rivets in the end cap, securely fastening it to the roll tube.

Reattach your vise grips to the roller tube brackets and clip the awning control lever to the rolled down position, and rotate the spring counterclockwise to re-tighten it. When doing this, be sure to keep a tight hold of the vise grip, and count exactly the same number of rotations, as when you removed the spring earlier.

  1. Reattach the right awning arm to the end of the roller tube. Remove the protective tape from the bracket, and snap the supporting arm back into place. Remove the Philips head screwdriver from the left side of the roller tube, and replace the black plastic cap.

If necessary, clean the track to make the new fabric slide as easily as possible, and then spray it with a coating of silicone lubricant. Apply some tape to the end of the track to prevent sharp edges from tearing the new fabric.

  1. To begin reinstalling the awning on to the RV, stand the entire assembly up, and walk it into place. Line up the end of the fabric, with the edge of the track. Insert the edge of the vinyl into the track and begin sliding it in. Since you lubricated the track with silicone spray, you will be surprised at how smooth the track slides in compared with removing the old one. Continue pulling along whiles your helpers hold the RV arm whiles moving along with you.

Now your awning should look just the way it did earlier, with both arms on the ground, and the fabric unrolled about a foot except with brand new material of course.

  1. Remove the protective tape from the awning brackets. Coat each of the four large screws with waterproof sealants. Use these screws to attach the brackets into the side of the RV. You can also remove the tap at the end of the awning track. Now retract both arms, and fit them back into their mouths. It’s common for the strap to get rolled up into the fabric during installation. If it’s not visible, simply pull on both arms to extend the awning, and the strap will fall out. Roll the awning back up to confirm that it rolls up straight, and the arms line up properly.
  2. If the arms don’t line out perfectly, or the fabric is rolled a little bit to one side or the other, unroll the awning and adjust the material by pulling slightly left or right in the track as needed. Then retract the awning one more time to ensure that everything lines up nice and perfectly. Once it’s done, reinstall the two screws into the awning track that prevent the fabric from sliding side to side. The only thing left to do now is to enjoy your beautiful new awning. And of course, fire up the barbecue to make dinner for your helpful friends.

Now you’ve installed your new awning here are some easy steps to help you clean and maintain your RV awning.

How to Clean and Maintain Your RV Awning

Apart from the fact that cleaning the awning of your RV will make it look better than it did, another reason to clean your RV awning is that much like the windshield of your car, when the awning of your RV is clean, it repels the water much easier and quicker.

Some Tools needed To Do This:

(Refer to your Owner’s Manual)

  1. Pull your awning out until it is 90 degrees with the ground.
  2. Fill your spray bottle with a gallon of water. Add a tablespoon of bleach, and a tablespoon of your dawn. It is important for you not to use much more than that, because you can actually potentially accelerate the deterioration of your awning.
  3. With the solution above, spray thoroughly the top and bottom of your awning and roll it up for 10 to 15 mins, and let it sit. This will allow the solution to soak into the fibers. Roll it back out again, and spray it a second time.

When done use a soft bristle car brush to scrub the surface of your awnings. This will get the crud off, but it wouldn’t scratch things up. Be cautious when doing this, since the bleach can cause a speckled mess to your shirt or pant.

  1. When done, rinse the awning and allow it to dry. This should wash away all the mildew and dirt, and get your awning looking clean and better than it was.
  2. Wait until the next day to treat stubborn stains, lubricate the mechanical parts of the awning.
  3. To deal with stubborn stains, such as the doors rubbing on the awning to create a black mark, bird poop, you can spray use a cleaner called “ Simple Green” on the stubborn spot. With the help of a towel, rob and wipe the spot till the stain is gone.
  4. When done, lubricate all the mechanical parts of the awning, this includes the hinges, arms, thumb screw, piston rod, and every little joint. We recommend you use a water-resistant silicone lubricant. Now, pull your awning in and out to enable the lubricant to spread out on every mechanical surface sprayed on.
  5. Finally, use a protectant such as a 303-aerospace protectant, which forms a coat to protect your awning from cracking, fading, and UV rays. A trick to applying this on your awning is to use a long RV brush, and a chamois cloth tied to the head of the brush. With this, you will have a long reach to enable you to get good coverage of the protectant over the awning especially the very top, making the job easier.

To use the protectant, spray the liquid on the chamois cloth and also on the awning, and then with the brush gently rub the protectant across the awning for about 2 mins and allow it to dry out.

  1. One problem encountered by RVers is that, when they roll out the awning, the door rubs on the awning creating a black spot on the awning which may eventually damage the awning. To curb this problem, you can purchase an awning door roller ball at an RV store near you, and you can install it on your RV door to deal with this problem.

With the above information, you should be able to take good care of your awning, by avoiding some mistakes such as not folding up your awning at night, and also rolling out your electric awning in just one shot.

Hope you found this post informative in repairing, replacing and maintaining your RV awning.

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RV Groovin Life

Bonnie

Why Buy an Airstream Trailer ?

Buying an airstream can be an exciting, even a life-changing purchase, so it will really make sense if you take your time and equip yourself with the necessary information needed before purchasing one.

Why Buy an Airstream Trailer

Airstream

The History behind the Airstream

Airstream is the oldest brand in the industry, which began in the early 1930’s. Wally Bryan had a dream to build a travel trailer that moved like a stream of air, hence the name, Airstream.

It takes approximately 350 skilled workers to produce one trailer, which explains the cost. The Airstream was used by NASA for Apollo 11 to quarantine the astronauts until they were cleared.

Pros of Airstream Over Other Trailers

  • Community –

The Airstream Community is like no other. Owning an Airstream is belonging to a family. They hold major Rallies and Events. Which is a good place to talk to others before purchasing an Airstream?

Check out the Wally Byam Caravan Club International which includes forums, rally info and more.

  • Made in the USA

The company originally started in California then moved to Jackson Center, Ohio. It is the oldest Brand in the industry. The plans used to be sold on the back of magazines.

  • The Manual Raw Mechanical Nature of an Airstream

On most motorhomes and RV’s, the mechanical features are automatic. Which just like cars when anything electric breaks and it will, it can become costly to repair. The mechanics of the Airstream are complex.

  • Flexibility

It’s got an aluminum structure and an aluminum body and of course an aluminum exterior put together entirely with rivets.

The good thing about the aluminum structure is you kind of get a little more bend and flexibility than you would with other trailers. This might not sound like a really good thing but if you’re on a super rigid road and you have a really rigid structure and you hit a big bump, it has a harder impact on the trailer if rigid.

  •  Storage

Each Airstream is different when it comes to storage. Some Airstreams have more windows, which then eliminates storage and vice versa. Although the Airstream design is genius at utilizing every inch of space.

  • Durable

About 60% of airstreams on the road today are from the 50’s and 60’s. Due to their durable nature, most airstreams can last for over 40 years. For a travel trailer or a motorhome to last that long you will really have to “baby” and take really good care for them to last long if possible.

The interior such as the wood cabinets, mattresses, heater, and microwaves are made of high-quality materials which last longer.

  • Environmentally Friendly

As said, ” Silver is Green”. The materials such as aluminum, steel, and wood used to make airstreams are can be recycled. When using an airstream, you’re indirectly saving the environment.

  • Unique Patented Aerodynamic Shape

Thanks to the unique aerodynamic shape of the Airstream trailer, their tow vehicles require 20% less fuel than a box type of trailer. This results to a 10 to 20% saving of fuel on each trip.

Also, airstreams are known for that slippery shape that enables it cut through the wind, whether is a headwind, a side wind, airstream trailers don’t get pushed around, so you feel comfortable behind the wheel.

  •  Towing

One of the things that have made Airstreams famous over the past years is the ease of towing. This really starts at the bottom, Airstreams are made such that the center of gravity is kept really low.

Most travel trailers manufacturers build above the wheel but with Airstreams, they are built between the wheels. This brings the floor down, the frame down, which lowers the center of gravity.

To enhance that, the tanks are kept within the frames so the huge water tank is closest to the road. This means that, in an emergency lane change situation, or a lane change, the trailer is much less likely to sway behind the vehicle and not fall over.

Airstreams use rubber torsion axle rather than spring suspension, not only are they more durable but they provide a better more stable ride.

Towing an Airstream can be stressful and dangerous if your tow vehicle isn’t the correct weight capacity.

 

Why Buy an Airstream Trailer

Cons

  • They Are Expensive

Compared to other travel trailers in general, An Airstream can cost you anywhere from $139,000 and above. This is due to their durability and how well-built they are. You can sway some of the cost by purchasing a used Airstream.

  • You Can’t Access the Airstream While on the Road

Not unlike any travel trailer, you can’t access the Airstream while on the road like you can in a Class A motorhome. Although they are easier to pull over and do an overnight in a Walmart parking lot than a fifth wheel. Setting up camp is also a bit easier because you don’t have slides to deal with.

An Airstream tends to be a bit more crowded and narrower. Don’t be surprised when you tend to bump your head and your elbow. Also, the ceilings are 6 inches shorter than an average travel trailer and if you’re 5’6 and taller you will have to duck each time you are going through the doors. There is very little counter space and also the water storage is 6 gallons instead of 10.

  • Costly Restoration

To keep an airstream looking shiny and new you must keep on top of maintaining the exterior. It is a labor-intensive process. To have it professionally done can be expensive, depending on size and deterioration.

Buying an Airstream

What to Look for When Purchasing a Pre-owned(Vintage) Airstream:

Airstreams are relatively rare, and if you restrict yourself to the purchasing pool that is available in your immediate community could changeling. As mentioned above, consider attending Rallies and Events to get a close-up view of all different designs and sizes of Airstreams.

By doing a nationwide search will typically result in better prices and more options. Finding the right Airstream at the right price might be worth having it shipped to you.

When we purchased our fifth wheel (not an Airstream), we drove from Northern Michigan to Florida. We inspected it ourselves, paid for it and had it delivered.

After searching our area for months, we began a nationwide search for a Mobile Suite fifth wheel. Even with travel expenses, it saved us money and we got the RV we wanted.

There are a few more Airstreams that are in good shape out West but there are also some good finds on the East coast.

When considering a type of Airstream to purchase, try not to involve your emotions in the process. Do not let the excitement about buying an Airstream overwhelm your good judgment.

In fact, you need to be attentive to the bad. That is while looking for the right trailer, you need to completely ignore the good things, and look for the bad things such as the condition of the exterior, structural damage, any electrical wiring that might need to be worked on.

Making a checklist will help you see things clearly.

I highly recommend you use third-party tools when conduction your airstream search. In addition to looking on eBay and Craigslist, we used RVtrader to find our fifth wheel.

The point of using the third party is, you don’t let emotion rule the process because emotion will draw up the price.

Questions to ask

Ask to see maintenance records and receipts (if pre-owned)

If a private seller, why are they selling?

How old are the tires (verify the year on the tire)?

Verify the year of Airstream

Does it come with an extended warranty?

Research thoroughly before making a purchase.

Have they made any electrical upgrades?

When purchasing a vintage airstream from a private party, you need to have someone look at it or better still you. I highly recommend you get an airstream expert to look at it for you and conduct a pre-purchase inspection.

  • Wiring

With some of the vintage Airstreams, you’ve got to be concerned with some of the wiring

Usually, if it hadn’t been tampered with, it’s good because it’s only taking 12 volts through the wiring, but a lot of the trailer owners often convert the wiring to run-off a 110 volt and some of the trailers have aluminum wiring which can become brittle over time.

If you have a problem with your wiring, most at times it’s going to be right behind the light fixtures, electrical outlet source, and areas where you can get to and examine and make sure there are no real issues. Very fairly will you see a lot of damage in the inner walls where you really cannot get to?

  • Frame

In addition, make sure to check out the frame. The frames have an underbelly which tends to protect them over the years however, it is easy to take the underbelly off to examine the frame.

Usually, if you’re going to have problems, it will be the part that is exposed in the front of the trailer, so check that really well and make sure that there is no bad surface rust or holes through the frame.

Why Buy an Airstream Trailer

  • Aluminum Exterior

For the aluminum skin, usually if it’s not too damaged, then you don’t have to replace it, but if the skin is in bad condition it will have to be replaced. This is a very labor extensive process to get all the rivets out, re-rivet and replace the panel. Whether you get a good replacement panel or you have to repair the panel, it can be costly.

You wouldn’t want the wood subfloor rotting. The flooring can be pretty expensive if you’ve got a lot of floor rot. Very often, it is easier to remove the whole body from the frame of the trailer to be able to get the wood frame back underneath the walls.

A majority of airstreams do sit on the wood flooring, so there can be rot around the perimeter, you’re better off in time and money to go ahead and lift off the whole body of the trailer off the frame.

How to Clean and Maintain an Airstream:

*Note -Airstreams are built completely different from any other type of RV out there. So, if you’ve owned other types of RV’s or travel trailers in the past, forget everything you knew, Airstreams are unique. Below are general instructions for how to wash and care for an Airstream trailer. Always refer to your owner’s manual on which products are recommended and safe for your trailer. One of the most recommended products is Megviars Carwash, Click here for the current price.

Airstreams exterior and made of aluminum. As you know, aluminum creates oxidation by reacting to the oxygen in the air. The chemical reaction between the two doesn’t damage the exterior, it actually dulls the surface and darkens it.

All Airstreams are not created equal. Meaning, depending on the year of the Airstream the grade of the aluminum varied. Because of that, it will result in different degrees of shine.

A protective covering called Plasticoat is applied to all Airstreams to slow down the oxidation process. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last forever. After a time, the UV rays start to burn off the Plasticoat. Which you probably have seen on vintage Airstreams.

Just know, that polishing isn’t for everyone and every Airstream isn’t the same.

How to Wash the Exterior

  • Step 1

The first thing, rinse entire Airstream with water only. This is to get as much debris and dirt off the coach as possible before we start the washing process, and this will help keep scratching down. Best done on a cloudy day or park in the shade if possible.

  • Step 2

The second thing is to identify where the grain is in the aluminum. Every metal has grain in them. For most Airstreams, the grain runs from side to side and that is how you are going to wash your airstream.

The reason why you shouldn’t wash from top to bottom is that, if there is something on the wash brush or cloth, it may cause a scratch that will be visible. However, if we go with the grain of the metal, it will help eliminate scratching.

When washing, use a mild soap or Megviars Car Wash solution together with a microfiber sponge. You can also use a very soft bristle brush to get to some of the high spots.

Stripping and Polishing – Because this is a very labor-intensive procedure and critical steps in the process, this is not a weekend task. This should be left to the professionals. If you feel you are up to the task, there are many how-to videos on this topic. Truly, no two videos are the same. Be prepared for a workout. Not to mention the tools and products that you will need.

How to Clean the Interior

For the interior of our Airstream, we are going to use a lot of products that we may even have in our homes or even a lot of products we use in our homes.

When cleaning your aluminum walls, wood, you can use Pledge. This works really great and it’s going to give your surface that shines and also protect your surface. Microfiber cloths or 100% cotton rags work best, especially when dealing with the aluminum on the inside, just to keep scratches down.

And again, make sure to go with the grain of the metal when wiping. It’s important to turn or change the cloth often when cleaning to prevent small shards of metal from scratching the surface.

You can use a regular household sponge with a mild soap and water solution, or a multi-surface cleaner to clean most surfaces of your airstream such as the countertops.

If you have something harder to get off on a laminated surface, countertop or the woodwork, you can make some paste which consists of you multi-surface cleaner and a little bit of baking soda, put it in a cup mix it up till you get some sort of a paste and you use your sponge soaked with a little bit of warm water to get rid of the stain.

When cleaning, do not exert so much force on the surface. Instead, let the product do the work for you this would prevent scratches on surfaces.

If you have to clean the curtains, use a regular dry eraser to wipe the surface of the curtains and you will be good to go.

Lysol is another product that is talked about a lot when we talk about airstreams and you can use to clean the bathroom, glass, shower wall and things like that.

When cleaning the inside, make sure to try light-duty products and mixes before trying to get aggressive with stuff, and that should keep the inside of your airstream nice and clean. lasting long time and looking great in the future.

Why Buy an Airstream Trailer

Mistakes to Avoid When RVing With Your Airstream:

  • Pay Attention to Your Tires

One major mistake many people make when they purchase an airstream is not to pay attention to their tires. Tires are important and easy to overlook. This is because most people think that as long as they are inflated, they should be good to go.

Well, it’s not just about the thread, it’s the side wall, and especially in warmer temperatures, if the side wall has cracks in it, you have a higher chance of causing your tire to blow. Especially when you have so much weight on them and you are going about 70mph.

Know the age of your tires, and check the tread at least once every week. And when in doubt, change them out and don’t just change the one faulty tire but try to change them all out especially if they are all getting old. This will ensure that the tires are in sync. Installing a TPMS is also an option.

  • If You’re in Doubt About Your Hitch, Figure it Out

If you have a problem with your hitch making odd noises, be sure to have a professional look it over, the hitch is a major safety feature when towing. Yep, better safe than sorry.

  • Without a Doubt, Don’t Bottom Out

Airstreams do not have a lot of clearance, and most airstream owners tend to overestimate what they can handle in terms of ditches, steepness of roads, and end up having a pretty nasty bottoming incident.

Should You Get a Smaller Airstream or a Bigger Airstream?

One major decision to make is choosing the right size of the airstream to fit your circumstances. The answer really depends on what you want to do.

But generally, the longer your rig, the more difficult it is to maneuver and limits access to remote areas. If you like to boondock, this should be an important factor to consider.

For a couple with no kids who full-time RV, a 25-foot Airstream might be all you need. However, you might want to consider some factors when deciding on size:

  • What size bed
  • A Desk and Space (Working Area)

There is nothing wrong with going big, again it depends on lifestyle and budget. For instance, if you plan on staying at RV parks for a month at a time than you might want a larger trailer. But if you intend on boondocking in remote areas a smaller trailer might be best?

Why Buy an Airstream Trailer

How to Hitch Your Airstream

This process is broken up into three stages, the first will be attaching the hitch ball, the second stage will be attaching the spring bars to the arm, and lastly, you’re going to attach the safety chain and brake cables.

There are four stabilization jacks on an airstream trailer, two on each side. Before you begin, make sure to double check that all four stabilization jacks are in the raised position. Also, do not forget to put a wheel chock behind your tires to prevent any form of rolling.

Step 1:

We are going to start with the electric jack, and we are going to use it to raise the coupler high enough that the ball can fit the underneath.

Now the coupler is higher than the hitch ball, go into your car and reverse. It’s always a good advice to have someone behind you who can guide you as you reverse. Make sure that you’re lining the ball to the coupler.

TO unlock your coupler, pull the larch forward, and then raise it up.

Now you have your car lined up so that the ball is under the coupler, the coupler is unlocked, you can use the electric jack to lower the coupler on top of the ball.

With the coupler on top of the ball, lock the coupler and close it with a safety pin.

Stage 2:

For stage two, we are going to assemble the two spring bars, from the hitch assembly to the arms. There are two reasons for attaching the spring bars,

  1. The first is that it helps redistribute weight across all the axles of your vehicle and the trailer.
  2. The second one is, it gives you three points of contact besides the spring ball which helps reduce sway when you’re on the road.

The spring bar is going to fit between the hitch mouth and the arm. But to begin, you are going to have the bar facing the vehicle. Place the bottom in and into the top and swing it around.

Lower the snap-up bracket by taking off the pin. You will realize that the spring bar doesn’t quite reach onto the arm, now what’s going to help is raising the trailer. When that is done, place the spring bar on the arm.

Now you are going to secure your snap-up bracket by raising the chain straight, and counting three lengths and grabbing the fourth and allowing the three fall, and you’re going to take the fourth length and put it onto the snap-up bracket and then you secure it with a safety pin.

Repeat this process for the second arm of the other side.

Stage 3:

For the third stage, we are going to touch three things, first – Attach the safety chains.

  • Secondly, attach the emergency brake cables
  • Third, attach the 7-pin connector which controls the lights and the brakes.

The last step of the hitch up process is to retract the jack and remove the jack stand.

Why Should You Get an Airstream?

Airstreams have been around since the 1930s and are the oldest RV company in existence. There were 400 RV companies around in the ’30s but airstream has stood the test of time.

The Airstream trailer outlasts and outperforms other RV product on the market. From the design to the aerodynamics, to the solid rivet construction, makes the airstream so different from any other product.

Unlike most RVs, Airstreams are built like yachts and airplane, thus the outside shell is built first. The outside shell is built with a riveted construction made of aluminum when makes the airstream durable.

Other Rv manufacturers depend on the furniture to build their rig, but with the Airstream, the shell is the heart of it. Also, the structure is made of aluminum, which means there is no wood inside that is going to rot and mildew.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you did, do not forget to leave a like and share with your friends. Feel free to leave any comment or question below.

 

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Our Winter Escape to Navarre Beach RV Park in Florida

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Extra Tidbits

10 Iconic Airstreams Ever Made

From Author of the book: by Patrick Foster  “Airstream: Americas World Traveler

1. Airstream Quarantine Trailer 1969

2. Florida’s Airstream Ranch

3. Grand Daddy Hotel, South Africa

4. Airstream Teardrop Trailer, 1930

5. The 1936 Airstream Clipper

6. Vanderbilt Commodore

7. Airstream Funeral Coach

8. Airstream Interstate Touring Coach

9. Airstream Bambi

10. Airstream Photo Archive

 

Happy Camping!

Bonnie

RV Groovin Life

Airstream Website

 

4 Top Reasons To Buy an RV with a Built-In Fireplace

There are many new and used RV’s that have these electric fireplaces already fitted into the layout of the living space. This means that you don’t have to worry about anything other than the running costs.

4 Top Reasons to buy an RV with a Built-in fireplace

There is no installation required and no long-winded set-up process whenever you want to heat up the home. As long as there is enough electricity to power the fire, you can be sure of a reliable system during the coldest months.

4 Top Reasons To Buy an RV with a Built-In Fireplace

     1. Convenience –

Waking up on a cold chilly morning (in Navarre Florida last winter) enjoying a hot cup of coffee and with a flip of a switch, I’m sitting in front of a warm fire(I know, imitation fire) but still better than looking at a metal propane heater.

In the evening we would go for a swim in the pool only steps from our RV. After swimming we would put on comfy pajamas, pour a glass of wine, put on an old movie and sit in front of the fireplace.

We could have turned on the furnace, but ours is somewhat noisy and really not necessary just to take the chill off.

Although the fireplace does a fairly good job at heating the entire fifth wheel.

4 Top Reasons to buy an RV with a Built-in Fireplace

( A Comprehensive Guide to Heating your RV or Camper)

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of why you should consider buying an RV with a fireplace, let me explain…

When we decided to RV full-time and were researching what RV to buy, having a fireplace was not on our list. In fact, we never considered it. We did find the Mobile Suite fifth wheel we wanted, which just happened to have a fireplace. I remember thinking I would rather have more storage than a fireplace.

Boy, was I wrong! I wouldn’t give up my fireplace for anything.  Even though we RV full-time and primarily follow the sun, you would think we wouldn’t need a fireplace. That’s exactly what I thought! Our very first trip, was last October, we left Wisconsin and headed south. The first week-long stop was in Franklin Kentucky.

Temperatures dropped to about 35-40 degrees. Being newbies we ran out of propane the first night and didn’t have a space heater, but we did have our fireplace! Thank Goodness! Which keep our 36ft. fifth wheel very comfortable. We were dressed warm, but it worked great.

By the time we got to Florida, in November and stayed until April, we used our fireplace almost daily. Mostly in the mornings just to take the chill off.

I know people say, why have a fireplace when you can sit around a campfire, or,  we only camp on weekends?

I say, what if it rains all weekend? Can’t have a campfire, wouldn’t a fireplace make it cozy? It can get chilly, even during the summer months, are you always going to sit around a campfire?

Sure a space heater can warm it up a bit, but the fireplace is so convenient with better ambiance. Can you tell I really like having a fireplace? 4 Top Reasons to Buy an RV with a Built-in Fireplace

     2. An electric fireplace is a much cleaner way to heat an RV over the winter

On the subject of the green credentials of a fireplace, there is also the issue of fuel and emissions. Electric fireplaces are clean products that don’t require any nasty fuels. This means no fumes or dangerous emissions.

Gas powered heaters require unpleasant fuels that can contaminate the air.

Your family may feel much warmer as the fire generates heat, but the atmosphere might not be so pleasant. Then there is the additional benefit here of using green energy to fuel these energy efficient heaters.

Some people will hook their RVs up to the mains supply of the campsite.

This is an effective, cost-efficient solution where available. Many others prefer to use an off-grid system to generate power for the camper. An efficient solar power system is one of the greenest ways to keep an RV up and running. An electric fireplace fits in with ease.

     3. Electric RV fireplaces are also much safer than alternative options

This issue of gas in an RV also raises concerns about safety. There are two major issues with a gas supply in an RV. The first is that the gas line could develop a leak. It wouldn’t take long for this gas to fill the RV and put lives at risk. There are horror stories of campers dying in their sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning because of the fumes within the vehicle.

There is no need to run this risk when there are electric alternatives. The other issue is the risk of fire. Gas systems always come with a fire risk. This is true when igniting the gas in the heater and around the fuel supplies.

Electric fireplaces in RVs aren’t without their risks too. There are some cases where faulty appliances and bad wiring have caused fires. However, the risk is not so great. Overall, these electric models are much safer.

     4. A fireplace adds ambiance

All of the benefits above have focused on the practical consideration of buying an RV fireplace. It doesn’t hurt to think about the aesthetic qualities too. An electric fireplace looks great in the back of a camper on a dark, starry night. It provides a soft glow that is inviting and comforting.

Different RVs and RV fireplace suppliers will offer different shapes and styles. Some of the more interesting options may enhance the ambiance further with different colors and other effects.

You may be surprised at the range that is available in electric fireplaces for RVs. You might expect little more than a small, built-in model that sits flush against the wall. This is a popular space saving option and can look really stylish.

There are plenty of reasons to choose a built-in electric RV fireplace for your camper. Electric models really are the best option when choosing a heating source for your RV. There are lots of practical considerations here, from the energy use to the safety rating.

These models don’t use that much power and rely on safer sources.

When you do require a little more light or heat, you can be sure that the energy comes from a green source.

4 Top Reasons to Buy an RV with a Built-in Fireplace

RV Fireplace

Determining the best way to stay warm in your RV all depends on how and where you RV, the temperature, and whether you’re hooked up to sure power or not.

Below is a comprehensive guide to heating your RV or camper and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

  1. Heat Pumps Pros
  • Uses Electricity: The cost of using electricity is generally included in a nightly or weekly stay at RV parks with hookups.
  • Creates Dry Heat: This helps reduce moisture build up and condensation inside the rig, which is a common concern when RVing in the cold weather.
  • Multi-Zone Control: If you have more than one heat pump, you have more control over which zones you heat.
  • Generator Powered; You can run a heat pump on a generator if deemed necessary.

     Cons

  • Power Hungry: Heat pumps are fairly power hungry. When running one heat pump, it is best to use a 30-amp hookup, and a 50 amp hookup is best if you’re running two or more heat pumps at the same time.
  • Not Great for Boondocking: If you’re boondocking, heat pumps aren’t the best option for you since you will only be able to use them when the generator is running.
  • Temperature limit: They also wouldn’t work at all when the outside temperature is below 40 Fahrenheit, which is when you obviously need heat the most.
  • Doesn’t Heat the Basement: because they don’t work below 40 Fahrenheit, they can’t heat the basement to protect water lines from freezing.
  1. Propane Furnace Pros
  • Warms Quickly: Propane furnace warms your RV quickly and efficiently no matter how freezing it is on the outside.
  • Uses Propane: Since they run on propane, it means there isn’t any electric hookup needed.
  • Cost Efficient: Since they already included together with the RV, you wouldn’t have to buy or install anything extra.
  • Heats the Basement: If your RV comes with a basement, the furnace routes heat down to the basement which prevents the RV’s plumbing from freezing- External Venting: The vent external hence, propane furnace wouldn’t contribute to moisture and condensation build up inside the rig.

     Cons:

  • Propane Hungry, A single furnace consumes more propane than your stove, refrigerator, oven and barbecue grill all combined. This is the primary reason why most people rarely use theirs
  • 12-volt Blower Fans: The fans of the furnace run on 12-volt electric, so using battery power is a factor to consider when boondocking.
  • No Propane, No Heat: Once you’ve exhausted your propane you have no heat and turning on the generator or connecting it to a power source wouldn’t make it work.
  1. Electric Space Heater Pros
  • They Provide Focused Heat: This means you can aim it to an exact area where you want the heat.
  • Cost Efficient: Apart from the fact that they are small and inexpensive, there is generally no cost for using it.
  • They Produce Dry Heat: This means they keep moisture and condensation down.
  • Variety: There are tons of models on the market providing users with various sizes, shapes and heat output.
  • Transferable: They are easy to move about back and forth between a stick and brick house and your RV if you are not full timing. Also due to their size, they are easy to store.

     Cons:

  • Not that Powerful: They do not have enough heat output for a large rig, especially in really cold conditions.
  • Not Boondocking Friendly: Since they require 110-volt electricity to run making them a bad choice for boondocking, except when running them on a generator.
  • Hazardous: It is important you keep inflammable objects away from them to prevent any form of fire outbreak, the newer models do have safety features.
  • No Basement Heat: They don’t provide any form of warmth to the basement to prevent pipes from freezing unless you put a dedicated one down your basement.
  1. Vent Free Propane Heater Pros
  • Perfect Heat Output: The heat output of this is fantastic and it feel just like you’re sitting next to a fireplace.
  • Fueling Efficient and Uses Zero Electric Power: They are extremely fuel efficient when it comes to consuming low propane. Also, they use zero electric power.
  • Boondocking Friendly: The above pros make them highly recommended and friendly for boondocking.

      Cons:

  • Hazardous: Since it uses propane, you are supposed to be careful when using and handling them. This includes keeping flammable items away.
  • Installation: They require a professional installation to connect to the RV’s propane system.
  • Generates Moisture: They generate moisture which requires ventilation.

What’s your preferred way to keep your RV warm?

If you found this helpful please share and subscribe!

Happy Camping!

RV Groovin Life

Bonnie

Trivia –

In 1742 Benjamin Franklin designed a freestanding cast-iron fireplace that was inserted into an existing fireplace. Prior to this invention, fireplaces caused many house fires and fatalities. The fireplace was originally called the Pennsylvania Fireplace but eventually became known as the Franklin Stove.

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What Tools Do You Need For Your Fifth Wheel or Camper-[Tool Guide]

If you own an RV, travel trailer or fifth wheel, a day will come where you would need to work on your RV. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small repair or a big DIY repair, you need to be prepared.

What Tools Do I Need For My Fifth Wheel

Even though some campers have large storage spaces, most RVs have extremely limited storage space which means, your space for supplies and tools is really limited too. In this piece, I will share with you the essential tools and accessories we carry for RVing.

Tool Guide:

Before I start with my list, I w0uld like to put it out there that every RV, travel trailer or fifth wheel is quite different, but to go camping, maintain or care for your RV, there are some specific tools that every RV should have.

What Tools Do I Need For My Fifth Wheel

Tool Box

 Top 13 Essential Tools for Your RV:

  1. Rachet and Socket Set:

There are occasions where you might need this set. A typical example is; with tools like a half inch ratchet, extension, and socket, you are able to remove your camper’s water heater drain plug to drain out water after every trip.

Another reason why you should have a ratchet and socket set is that it includes a general purpose screwdriver with all the various screwdriver tips commonly used in RV construction.

  1. RV Water Pressure Regulator

This is a fairly inexpensive gadget that ensures you don’t have blown pipes inside your camper from high water pressure at the campgrounds, which you definitely want to avoid. Basically, the water pressure regulator regulates the pressure of the incoming water to 40-50 psi to protect the RV hose and plumbing system from high pressure.

When you regulate the water pressure of your RV, most folks complain that the pressure is too low especially when using the shower.

To help alleviate this situation, I will highly recommend you get a High flow water pressure regulators. A high flow regulator regulates the pressure of the outlet water to about 50-55 psi while increasing the water flow by 15% to 20%.

  1. A Cordless Drill and a Battery Charger

A cordless drill is good to lower stabilizer jacks if you have the right attachment. It’s also useful for the obvious reasons.

It is important that you add an assortment of drill bits, nut drivers and other types of bits on hand.

  1. A Battery Filler

When you charge your lead-acid battery, what happens is, water can evaporate and the evaporated water needs to be replaced with distilled water.

Adding distilled water to your camper using a battery filler goes a long way to increase the life of your battery.

Note* When filling your battery, make sure to wear some safety gloves and goggles.

  1. A Tire Inflation Gauge

When getting an inflation gauge, make sure you get one that is accurate, has a dual foot design, and capable of checking high air pressure.

A tire inflation gauge is essential when you want to check your camper’s tire pressure. Also used to check your tire whenever you’re on the road.

It is advised that you check your tires before each trip and before each return trip.

Make sure to keep your tire inflation gauge in a protective case and away from other tools to protect it from damages.

  1. A Digital Voltmeter and a Digital Line Monitor

This is essential when you want to have a quick check on your battery’s state of charge, and you can also use it to test 12 volts dc circuits and 12 volts fuses, and you can also check 120 volts ac circuits and outlets. Make sure to add some extra fuses just in case.

In addition to your voltmeter, it is important to add a digital line monitor which is essentially used to test faulty wires at the campground before plugging your RV in, and you can use it to monitor ac voltage during your trip. Some models monitor the frequency when you have a generator running.

  1. A Surge Protector

Don’t skimp on this!  A surge protector monitors and protects your RV from electrical problems at the pedestal.

  1. A Torque Wrench

When checking your tire pressure, it is really important that you check the nuts around the tire, and this can be done using a torque wrench. The torque wrench is essential when you want to tighten or loosen the nuts holding your tire, and also any nut or bolt that can be loosened or tightened using a torque wrench.

  1. Hand Tools

Pliers – Needle Nose Pliers – Hammer – Screwdrivers, Measuring Tape – Ractchet – Diagonal Cutters – Vise Grips – Utility Knife.

10. Bungee Cords

In assorted sizes, we use these for everything, from holding things in place in the back of the truck to securing chairs and shelves inside the RV. They have so many uses, especially for RVers.

  1. A Car Jack

A car jack is essential when you’re stuck on the road due to a faulty brake or tire. When you need to change your tire or even work underneath your camper, your only best friend is the car jack.

I highly recommend you get a rapid jack since it is easy to carry around and also takes up less space.

  1. A Foldable Ladder

If you need to do some waxing, maintenance or even repair along the side walls or the roof of your camper, there is no better way to get to the top or to the side of your camper than using a foldable ladder.

A foldable saves space due to the ability to be folded. If you want the top of your camper to be in great shape, then I highly recommend you get a foldable ladder.

13. Air compressor – to regulate the pressure of the air used to inflate the tires of your RV

 A Complete RV Essential Tool & Accessory Checklist:

This list is geared toward full-time or long distant RVers. If your an occasional weekend camper that travels less than 100 miles away from home, than this list is more than you need. Although there are still some important tools listed below that every camper should have.

(This list also Includes the tools from above)

  • Tire Gauge
  • Duct tape
  • A Water Filter
  • A portable holding tankstools
  • Carpenters Level 
  • Bubble Level
  • Utility Knife
  • Jumper Cables
  • Flashlight
  • Lantern
  • Batteries
  • Gas Can
  • Broom
  • Rake
  • Garbage bags
  • Shovel
  • Open end wrenches
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Ladder or Step Ladder
  • Surge Protector
  • Water Pressure Regulator
  • Socket Set
  • Drinking hose
  • Air Compressor
  • Sewer Hose
  • Hose connector
  • Drill
  • Torque Wrench
  • Bungi Cords
  • Bucket
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Antibacterial Wipes
  • Battery Filler
  • Digital Voltmeter & Digital Line Monitor
  • Car Jack
  • Black tank hose and elbow
  • Chocks
  • Leveling Blocks
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Channel Locks
  • Wire Cutters
  • Small Orange Safety Cones
  • Reflective Vest
  • First Aid Kit
  • Umbrella
  • Rain Jacket
  • Stabilizers

 I highly recommend the tools in the checklist above, especially if you are a Full-time RVer. You want to be prepared if you something should happen. With these tools, you will be ready for your camping adventure.

Please like and share this article with your friends and family if you found it helpful.

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Happy Camping!

Bonnie