Five Things You Need to Know Today: July 29

Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!

1. RV Evacuation from South Padre Island

World Birding Center, South Padre Island, Texas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cameron County Judge Carlos H. Cascos has ordered a voluntary evacuation of RVs and all other high-profile vehicles that are in the Isla Blanca and Andy Bowie County Parks on South Padre Island, KGBT-TV, Harlingen, Texas, reported today (July 29).

All individuals with RVs or other high profile vehicles should immediately make arrangements to evacuate from the county parks.

“We continue to monitor Tropical Storm Don as it makes its way through the Gulf of Mexico with a trajectory between Brownsville and Corpus Christi, Texas. According to the latest advisory the storm is on a track to affect the Gulf Coast Texas region,” Cascos said in a statement.

Cascos has also already ordered all public works crews to begin taking all the necessary precautions in preparation for the hurricane season by cleaning out ditches, continuing to bag sandbags and pre-positioning some of our heavy equipment and water pumps in the low lying areas of the county.

2. Idling of diesel engines

Cummins does NOT recommend excessive idling of the engines, since it can cause excessive carbon buildup on the pistons, piston rings, injector tips, valves, etc. Truckers and bus operators keep their engines running to keep the heaters and/or air conditioning going; however, they run the engines up to about 1200 rpm or so and that will usually keep the coolant temperature in the 140 to 160 range.

3. A Warning: Most RV Storage Compartments Use The Same Key!

Spider Rock Overlook, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Back in the early 50s if you were locked out of your car it was a simple matter to go to a friend, neighbor, or co-workers and borrow the key to his car to unlock our family Chevrolet, since 3 out of 4 cars in the parking lot were keyed the same.

RV manufacturers have followed this same idea pretty much from day one. The key that opens the storage compartments on 90% of all RVs is the exact same one.

As a result virtually everyone who has ever owned an RV of any kind has access to your outside storage compartments.

Keep this in mind if you store your RV in a public storage facility. DO NOT leave valuables in the storage compartments.

Always use the dead bolt on the entrance door. Standard keys that will open most RV entrance door locks are easy to obtain.

4. Need a Dump Station?
RV owners periodically find themselves needing to find an RV dump station. This may be a result of dry camping with no sewer service or dump station available, or making one-night layovers and trying to get on the road quickly without using the campground or RV resort dump station on the way out.

Also affected are RVers working on the road or visiting places such as ball games, auto races, or dog shows, and not being near campgrounds or RV resorts.

It is important to understand that the number of public dump stations at highway rest stops and some travel centers is gradually being reduced because of maintenance, service, and vandalism concerns.

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved is a comprehensive directory that helps RVers find RV dump station locations to empty or dump their gray water and black holding tanks, When RVs have to go…™

5. Avoid these common causes of RV accidents

  • Fires that occur from leaking LP gas (propane)
  • Tire blowouts due to overloading or to under inflated or aged-out tires
  • RV awnings: retract during poor weather and when leaving the RV
  • RV steps: ensure RV steps are retracted before traveling
  • Clearance and height driving mistakes: RVs hitting bridges and gas station overhangs
  • Overloading: uneven weight can cause restricted braking and steering problems

Until next time, safe RV travels, and I’ll see you on the road!

Worth Pondering…
The RV lifestyle is like nothing else.

It’s leaving home, exploring America, and yet bringing your home along with you!

Stopping at a wayside picnic area, preparing lunch in your kitchen.

It’s sleeping in your own bed every night, yet waking up to a new vista each morning!

The sounds of a crackling campfire; of a mountain stream, of frogs, and crickets.

It’s families drawn closer; it’s retirees being rewarded for many years of labor.

—Loren Eyrich, Two-Lane Roads

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