Five Things You Need to Know Today: March 16

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

1. How Old Are Your Tires?

Both Transport Canada and the U.S. Department of Transportation require a tire identification code or serial number on the sidewall comprised of numbers and letters that identify the name of the manufacturer, the location of the production facility, tire size, and the date the tire was built. The last three or four digits indicate the date of manufacture. (Source:

Molded into the sidewall of every tire manufactured is a code that indicates when and where the tire was manufactured. Required by the United States Department of Transportation, this code and the identification number starts with the letters “DOT.”  The two digits following the letters DOT indicate the plant where the tire was made. The last group of numbers—a four-digit code—is the one that discloses the week and year of manufacture.  The weeks of the year are numbered consecutively, and the last two digits of the year are included.

For example, the code 4711 indicates that the tire was manufactured during the 47th week of 2011, specifically, the week of November 21.

This information is especially important for the owners of motorhomes. Motorhomes aren’t always driven as many miles as the typical passenger car, so motorhome tires often wear out as a result of age-related issues rather than mileage.

2. Monaco to Hire for Wakarusa Plant

The Monaco RV LLC factory in Wakarusa, Indiana, is ramping up production of its diesel-powered motorhomes. That means it expects to hire another 125 workers between now and the end of April.

Its parent company, Navistar Inc., recently consolidated a diesel motorhome operation from Coburg, Oregon, moving that production to Wakarusa, according to a report by WSBT TV (South Bend). There are currently 175 workers at the plant, which began manufacturing operations in February.

Bill Osborne, vice president of custom products for Navistar’s Monaco and Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC subsidiaries, noted that the company has been preparing the facility since last fall when it announced its consolidation plans.

3. Skyline RV to Close California Plant

The Skyline RV factory in Hemet, California factory is expected to close and 82 employees will likely lose their jobs before the end of April, according to local officials and a notice the company filed with the state.

Elkhart, Indiana-based Skyline Corp. filed a notice with the California Employment Development Department in February as part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification act that gives employees at least 60 days notice before a plant is closed or mass layoffs occur, reports The Press-Enterprise (Riverside).

The layoffs may start April 7 and continue through April 20 based on conversations city officials have had with the company, said John Jansons, Community Investment Director for the city of Hemet.

4. Campground Tax Proposal Goes to Voters

Voters in eastern California’s Tuolumme County will be asked during the June election to expand the Transient Occupancy Tax (T.O.T.) to include campgrounds, RV parks, and house boats.

The Supervisors voted 5-0 to put the issue on the ballot.

The expanded T.O.T. would bring in an estimated $300,000 to $350,000 a year, and funding would be utilized to help operations at the fairgrounds and Railtown 1897. Railtown is presently scheduled to close at the first of July and the fairgrounds are losing their state subsidy.

The T.O.T. tax, which is paid by visitors that stay at hotels, was first approved by voters in 1983. It was expanded from 8% to 10% in 2010.

5. Propane Safety

Propane gas smells like rotten eggs. If you think you smell propane in your RV:

  • Get everyone out of the RV immediately
  • Leave the door of your RV open to air out
  • Don’t smoke, light matches, operate electrical switches, use either cell or telephones, or create any other source of ignition
  • Turn your gas off at the main cylinder, if safe to do so and you know how
  • Call 911 or the local fire department
  • Do not turn the system back on until it has been repaired and inspected by a trained professional

Ensure that you have a LP gas detector—and make sure it’s working. Test weekly when RVing, and change the battery at least once a year.

Have a great weekend.

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

Worth Pondering…

Change yourself . . . and you change the World!

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