Prep Your RV For Spring in 10 Easy Steps

It’s that time of year again!

Prep Your RV For Spring in 10 Easy Steps
Prep Your RV For Spring in 10 Easy Steps

With temperatures rising now is the time to take your RV out of winter hibernation.

Thoroughly inspect the RV and prepare it for that first road trip or weekend getaway to your favorite camping destination.

De-Winterization

If you stored your RV in preparation for freezing temperatures, special attention needs to be given to the water system. Drain and flush the antifreeze from all water sources, including water heater and toilet.

After flushing, sanitize the freshwater tank. Let stand for at least 6 hours. Drain the water tank, water lines, and water heater. Flush the freshwater system until any bad taste and odor is gone.

Leave all faucets closed for 48 hours and check for any water leaks or required pump repairs.

Check Batteries

Columbia Sun RV Resort, Kennewick, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Prep Your RV For Spring in 10 Easy Steps. Camping at Columbia Sun RV Resort, Kennewick, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV batteries can give trouble after long periods of storage without proper charging. Testing the batteries will ensure that any problems will be addressed prior to travel. If there is corrosion on the battery terminals, it’s recommended that you clean and protect them from further corrosion. Use baking soda and water or commercial cleaners and acid neutralizers.

Exterior Maintenance

Wash the RV and thoroughly inspect entire rig for anything in need of repair or replacement. Start with the roof. Always take special care when walking on any wet surface especially when height is involved. Check for cracks or other deterioration that may have occurred, especially in the caulking around the vents, seams, and antennas. Also inspect vent lids and sun lights. Check the awnings and slide toppers for any holes, tears, and mold.

​Inspect Tires

Inspect all tires prior to each trip to make sure there are no unexpected delays along the way. Check the date of manufacture from the D.O.T code that is located on the outside tire sidewall. RV tires often age out before they wear out. During your inspection, check for cracks, cuts, bubbles, and uneven or abnormal wear. Make sure all tires are inflated to the correct pressure. Check your RV manufacturer’s label or consult the tire manufacture’s load and inflation tables.

Midtown RV, Newmar and Airstream dealer in Penticton, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Prep Your RV For Spring in 10 Easy Steps. When in doubt, check with a qualified service technician. Midtown RV, Newmar and Airstream dealer in Penticton, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Propane System

Check the propane system. Before opening the valve, thoroughly inspect the regulator, fittings, and rubber hoses, and LP-tank for any corrosion or cracks. LP-gas regulators do not last forever. When in doubt, check with a qualified service technician.

Once the propane system has been properly tested, service all propane operating appliances. Check for debris, rust, and clean all appliances thoroughly. Also be sure to check electrical connections for corrosion as these could be a potential fire hazard.

Anything you aren’t comfortable doing yourself or have questions or concerns about, consult the service department at your RV dealer.

Generator

Prior to starting the generator check for fuel or oil leaks, check the oil level, and examine the exhaust system to ensure there are no leaks.

Discover Okanagan Valley © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Now, let’s go RVing to the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Start the generator and check necessary functions. One of the primary problems with generators comes from lack of use. Fuel often breaks down and gets gummy. Moisture can build up resulting in damage. Check manual for maintenance schedule.

Dump Hoses

Check your sewer hoses for any tears before using. Sewer hoses have a limited life expectancy and should be replaced as needed.

Waste Tank Valve

Ensure the waste tank valves are functioning properly by working the handles in and out in small increments. (Make sure tank is empty before doing this!) Valve seals can dry out over time making them stick.

Check Lights

Do a visual inspection of all interior and exterior lights and replace bulbs as needed.

Safety Detectors & Monitors

Today’s RVs come from the factory with a number of detectors pre-installed to detect dangerous circumstances and prevent personal harm to their occupants. Smoke, carbon dioxide, and LP gas detectors need to be checked annually—and have a fresh set of batteries installed.

Now, Let’s Go RVing!

Worth Pondering…

Remember, safety first and happy RVing.

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Father & Daughter Died of CO Poisoning in RV

Carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected in the deaths of a 39-year-old man and his 11-year-old daughter who were found in an RV being used as a home by a family just north of Duluth, Minnesota.

Father & Daughter Died of CO Poisoning in RV
Father & Daughter Died of CO Poisoning in RV

Two other siblings in the RV, a 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, also fell ill and were taken by ambulance last week to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth and then transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center for further treatment, Star Tribune reported.

It was one of the children inside the RV who called their grandfather to report “there was a problem inside with the generator,” Sheriff Lt. Jason Lukovsky told Star Tribune.

“Readings were taken, and there were high levels” of carbon monoxide, when emergency responders arrived on the scene, the lieutenant added.

Responders found a generator near the camper, and it was not operating when deputies showed up, Lukovsky said.

On a cool Wednesday in March this year, a couple was enjoying their RV at a campground in Nashville. Their bodies were discovered by family members who traveled to Nashville to check on the couple after they were unable to reach them for several days.

One of the propane-gas stove burners had been left on accidentally, police said, filling the air with carbon monoxide. The RV had a carbon monoxide detector, but, it had no batteries.

Father & Daughter Died of CO Poisoning in RV
Father & Daughter Died of CO Poisoning in RV

Unfortunately, these is not isolated incidents.

Every year on average, carbon monoxide poisoning claims over 400 lives and causes 20,000 visits to hospital emergency departments.

Carbon monoxide is produced when you burn any one of various fuels, including wood, charcoal, kerosene, stove oil, and propane. Camping stoves and grills are sources. So are internal combustion engines, like those in generators.

Carbon monoxide is harmful when breathed because it replaces oxygen in the blood and literally deprives our heart, brain, and other organs of oxygen. Without oxygen, cells throughout the body die, and the organs stop working.

One of the things that makes carbon monoxide so dangerous is it has no odor or color. You can’t see, smell, or taste carbon monoxide. But if you breathe too much of it, it can become deadly within minutes.

Your only clues that you’re being poisoned may be general symptoms easily attributed to another problem. Or, if you’re asleep or intoxicated, you may not detect the poisoning at all.

So it’s important to prevent carbon monoxide from becoming an issue in the first place. Fortunately, there are good ways to do that:

Use portable generators outside only. Place far away from windows, doors, and vents. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 20 feet.) Point the exhaust away from your RV, tent, or house.

Never use a stove or grill to heat your RV. Even a warm, unlit grill is dangerous; warm coals continue producing carbon monoxide. The grill lid doesn’t protect you.

Carbon Monoxide: Symptoms & Treatment
Carbon Monoxide: Symptoms & Treatment

Ensure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Test it monthly, and change the batteries every six months.

Inspect the RV for openings in the floor and sidewalls (seal any holes with silicone adhesive or have it repaired before using your generator again). Inspect windows, door seals, and weather strips for effective seal.

Yellow flames in propane-burning appliances (coach heaters, stoves, ovens, water heaters, etc.) indicate a lack of oxygen—determine the cause and correct it immediately.

Inspect the RV chassis and generator exhaust system regularly to ensure they are working properly. “Inspect for exhaust leaks at every startup and after every eight hours of running,” recommends Keystone RV Company in a carbon monoxide fact sheet. Here are a few more of their tips:

Don’t use exhaust fans when the generator’s running. They could cause carbon monoxide to be sucked into the RV.

Fully open or close slide-outs for a proper seal.

Know that parking in a confined space can reduce airflow around the RV and cause carbon monoxide to build up. Even in the woods, if there’s a lot of natural covering, carbon monoxide can hover there rather than disperse. High humidity can also create a covering.

Father & Daughter Died of CO Poisoning in RV
Father & Daughter Died of CO Poisoning in RV

Nearby RVs and vehicles can affect you too. In 2008 in Indianapolis, one man died in his RV from carbon monoxide poisoning and three of his family members were hospitalized, but the family hadn’t been using a generator. Police believe their air conditioner may have pulled in carbon monoxide from the RV parked close to them.

Worth Pondering…

Remember, safety is no accident

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Carbon Monoxide: Odorless & DEADLY In All Seasons

On a cool Wednesday in March this year, a couple was enjoying their RV at a KOA campground in Nashville. Their bodies were discovered by family members who traveled to Nashville to check on the couple after they were unable to reach them for several days.

Carbon Monoxide: Odorless & DEADLY In All Seasons
Carbon Monoxide: Odorless & DEADLY In All Seasons

One of the propane-gas stove burners had been left on accidentally, police said, filling the air with carbon monoxide. The RV had a carbon monoxide detector, but, it had no batteries. The couple had been living at the campground for about six months, according to WRCB-TV.

Every year on average, over 400 people die in the United States of carbon monoxide poisoning that’s not fire-related. Thousands more are treated and sometimes hospitalized.

The Columbia (Missouri) Tribune reports that carbon monoxide poisoning is to blame in the death of a couple in rural Pike County. They were found in a small camper where they had been living. The coroner concluded that a propane space heater in the camper likely caused carbon monoxide poisoning.

Usually, we think of this as a winter issue. That’s when gas-producing generators and fireplaces generally get fired up. But in northern areas where summertime camping is popular, carbon monoxide remains a concern in all seasons.

Prevention

Carbon monoxide is produced when you burn any one of various fuels, including wood, charcoal, kerosene, stove oil, and propane. Camping stoves and grills are sources. So are internal combustion engines, like those in generators.

Carbon Monoxide: Odorless & DEADLY In All Seasons
Carbon Monoxide: Odorless & DEADLY In All Seasons

One of the things that makes carbon monoxide so dangerous is it has no odor or color. Your only clues that you’re being poisoned may be general symptoms easily attributed to another problem. Or, if you’re asleep or intoxicated, you may not detect the poisoning at all.

So it’s important to prevent carbon monoxide from becoming an issue in the first place. Fortunately, there are good ways to do that:

Use portable generators outside only. Place far away from windows, doors, and vents. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 20 feet.) Point the exhaust away from your RV, tent, or house.

Never use a stove or grill to heat your tent, camper, or house. Even a warm, unlit grill is dangerous; warm coals continue producing carbon monoxide. The grill lid doesn’t protect you. Instead, for camping, remember to pack plenty of blankets and coats.

Grill in open air only, not even in a garage.

Don’t use a portable lantern when sleeping in a tent or RV. Bring flashlights and extra batteries instead.

Ensure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Test it monthly, and change the batteries every six months.

Don’t ride or let your children ride in the bed of a covered pickup truck, such as one with a camper shell. Exhaust fumes can gather in there.

Inspect the RV for openings in the floor and sidewalls (seal any holes with silicone adhesive or have it repaired before using your generator again). Inspect windows, door seals, and weather strips for effective seal.

Yellow flames in propane-burning appliances (coach heaters, stoves, ovens, water heaters, etc.) indicate a lack of oxygen—determine the cause and correct it immediately.

carbon-monoxide-poisoning
Carbon Monoxide: Odorless & DEADLY In All Seasons

Inspect the RV chassis and generator exhaust system regularly to ensure they are working properly. “Inspect for exhaust leaks at every startup and after every eight hours of running,” recommends Keystone RV Company in a carbon monoxide fact sheet. Here are a few more of their tips:

Don’t use exhaust fans when the generator’s running. They could cause carbon monoxide to be sucked into the RV.

Fully open or close slide-outs for a proper seal.

Know that parking in a confined space can reduce airflow around the RV and cause carbon monoxide to build up. Even in the woods, if there’s a lot of natural covering, carbon monoxide can hover there rather than disperse. High humidity can also create a covering.

Be aware that shifting winds can cause exhaust to blow away from the coach at one moment, but under the coach in the next moment.

Nearby RVs and vehicles can affect you too. In 2008 in Indianapolis, one man died in his RV from carbon monoxide poisoning and three of his family members were hospitalized, but the family hadn’t been using a generator. Police believe their air conditioner may have pulled in carbon monoxide from the RV parked close to them.

Worth Pondering…

Remember, safety is no accident.

Read More

Is Your RV Ready To Roll This Summer?

If your summer plans include a killer road trip, it means getting the rig ready to hit the road.

Is your RV ready to roll this summer? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Is your RV ready to roll this summer? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Beyond simply pulling the cover off giving it a good spring cleaning, here’s a list of 10 important steps to take to make sure your coach is road-ready and in tip-top shape as you hit the open road.

The snow is gone, the sun is out, and Memorial Day—and in Canada, Victoria Day—is now behind us. All of which means one thing: summer is here!

If your summer plans include a killer road trip in your coach—and Vogel Talks RVing certainly hope it does) —it also means getting your rig ready to hit the road, especially if it’s been in storage for an extended period of time.

Beyond simply pulling the cover off giving it a good spring cleaning, here’s a list of 10 important steps to take to make sure your coach is road-ready and in tip-top shape as you hit the open road.

1. Remove covers from tires and inspect for damage; weigh your coach to ensure correct tire pressure.

2. Check for vital fluid levels: engine oil, coolant (reservoir AND radiator), transmission fluid, and hydraulic fluid.

3. Check belts, engine fan, hoses, and wiring for damage—and replace as necessary.

s your RV ready to roll this summer? Pictured above is Coastal Georgia RV Resort near Brunswick and the Golden Isles. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
s your RV ready to roll this summer? Pictured above is Coastal Georgia RV Resort near Brunswick and the Golden Isles. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Lubricate chassis, drive train, and exhaust brake cylinder; check rear axle lubricant level.

5. Check engine compartment for any animals that may have nestled up during the winter.

6. Check the charge level of the battery, and clean cable ends. If they do need to be removed, always connect the positive cable before the negative cable, and coat terminals with a protective die-electric spray.

7. Turn the ignition to the run position, and verify the fuel gauge, and voltmeter are operating properly.

8. Run the engine until it is warm, and check exterior lights, leaks, and moisture build-up in drain air tanks

9. Take your coach for a five-minute test spin and check for anything suspicious.

10. Run generator during test drive for generator operation

That’s it. With these 10 steps successfully completed, your coach is ready for its summer road trip.

The next step?

Get out on the open road and enjoy some summer sun.

Happy trails!

Please Note: The above information is courtesy of Freightliner Custom Chassis

Details

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC)

ifreightlinerFreightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) manufactures premium chassis for the motorhome, delivery walk-in van, and school bus, and shuttle bus markets.

FCCC also offers the around-the-clock expertise of its FCCC 24/7 Direct customer service line and a network of more than 400 Freightliner service centers, including the motorhome-tailored Freightliner Oasis Network of more than 90 dealers.

FCCC is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.

Address: 552 Hyatt Street, Gaffney, SC 29341

Phone: (864) 487-1700

Customer Support Center: (800) FTL-HELP (1-800-385-4357)

Website: www.freightlinerchassis.com

Worth Pondering…

Creative thinking may mean simply the realization that there’s no particular virtue in doing things the way they have always been done.

—Rudolph Flesch

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Cord Depot Launches On-line Power Solution Super Store for RVers

Franklin, Wisconsin-based CordDepot.com has launched a new website for RV owners.

Camp_PowerThe new on-line Power Solution Super Store provides RVers with power cords, adapters, plugs, and connectors.

“A colleague and I recently started a new online retail site offering everything power cord related for the RV and generator industry,” said Nick Wesela, one of the partners.

“The goal of our store is to help RVers find all of the cords they need for their RVs.

“We have a nifty sorting tool that helps pick the correct cord for the customer, and a well planned navigation that makes shopping easy,” said Wesela.

Ergo_grip“We think this new website offers excellent value to the people who are online looking for cords and adapters in one place.”

The company offers free shipping on orders over $99 as well as a no hassle, 30-day return policy.

RV Camp Power products are designed to make hooking up to your power source at the campground easy and painless. Cord Depot supplies all locking and straight blade RV cord sets, adapters, inlets, and more for most all applications.

Details

Cord Depot

Cord-Depot-logoCord Depot was the brain child of a small group of entrepreneurs who wanted to help connect the world to a library of power supplies. They noticed that there was no easy way to shop for these products without confusion.

They wanted to provide the best power products on the market to their customers.

Cord Depot offers the best products for many different industries all in one place, with easy-to-use tools to help you find products easily.

Address: 7425 S. 76th St, P.O. Box 289, Franklin, WI 53132

Phone: (626) 242-6655

Website: www.corddepot.com

Worth Pondering…

“Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space.”

It could be the theme song of every RVer, though it’s not likely what Steppenwolf had in mind when they recorded Born to be Wild in 1968.

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Xantrex Introduces 24-volt Freedom SW Inverters/chargers

Originally launched 16 years ago in 12-volt configuration, and then re-engineered in early 2010 with pure sine wave technology, the best-selling Xantrex Freedom SW series of inverters/chargers continues to thrive and evolve enjoying strong consumer demand in both recreational and commercial markets.

Xantrex launches new 24-volt Freedom SW series inverterschargersThe all-new 24-volt models represent a logical line extension, embodying all of the premium qualities that built the Freedom name, according to a company news release.

“The new 24V models deliver a great mix of clean AC power, rapid charging performance, a wealth of features — all at a very enticing price,” said John McMillan, director of sales for the Xantrex brand at Schneider Electric.

“The demand for these new products is very high with a plethora of orders already in our system. We are an engineering company at heart. The rapid evolution of the Freedom SW is a testament to our passion of refining and developing new products and technologies.”

Designed for use in large boats, RVs, buses, commercial trucks, and other heavy-duty applications, the new Freedom SW 24V is ideal for powering a demanding mix of AC loads and charging large 24-volt battery banks.

The Freedom SW 24V, available in 2,000-watt/50-amp and 3,000-watt/75-amp models, incorporate pure sine wave performance and advanced features including parallel and series stacking and generator support mode.

Parallel stacking allows for system expansion by enabling two units to work in synergy to provide up to twice the rated current and charging output.

Series stacking enables operation of 240-volt AC applications, such as a dryer, water pump, or welder.

Generator support mode enables the Freedom SW to automatically supplement a generator when AC loads exceed the generator’s capacity.

This illustration depicts a sample electrical system for a Class ‘A’ motorhome where part of the electrical system is powered by a Xantrex inverter/charger.
This illustration depicts a sample electrical system for a Class ‘A’ motorhome where part of the electrical system is powered by a Xantrex inverter/charger.

In addition, a myriad of built-in features enable users to customize the performance to suit their specific needs.

The Freedom SW offers full output at higher temperatures and features efficient, power factor corrected charging.

Just like its 12-volt counterparts, the 24-volt models have been thoroughly tested in Xantrex’s internal highly accelerated life testing (HALT) chamber under extreme conditions to ensure the highest degree of reliability, and are specified to meet CSA, UL 458 with marine supplement, FCC Class B and ABYC requirements.

Both models are in stock and available to aftermarket and OEM partners.

Details

Xantrex Technology 

Xantrex Technology is a world leader in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of advanced power electronic products and systems for the mobile power markets.

The company’s products convert and control raw electrical power from any central, distributed, renewable, or backup power source into high-quality power required by electronic equipment and the electricity grid.

Xantrex provides mobile power solutions for all types and classes of both motorized and towable recreational vehicles. Xantrex products provide clean, quiet AC power so you don’t have to constantly rely on shore power or a noisy generator to enjoy the comforts of home in your RV.

banner-internal_rvAddress: 3700 Gilmore Way, Burnaby, BC V5G 4M1

Phone: (800) 670-0707

US Address: 541 Roske Drive, Suite A, Elkhart, Indiana 46516

Phone: (800) 446-6180

Website: xantrex.com

Worth Pondering…

One Choice

You’re always One Choice away from changing your life

One…
One tree can start a forest,
One smile can begin a friendship,
One hand can lift a soul,
One word can frame the goal,
One candle can wipe out darkness,
One laugh can conquer gloom,
One hope can raise our spirits,
And…one choice can change your life.

—Mac Anderson

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RVers Die of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in 2 Separate Incidents

A 75-year-old Pennsylvania man and a Colorado high school student died of carbon monoxide gas poisoning in two separate incidents.

75-year-old Pennsylvania Man Dies from Carbon Monoxide

carbonmonoxide-student page imageA 75-year-old Windber, Pennsylvania, man died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning while at the Allegany County Fairgrounds and his 76-year-old-wife was taken to a hospital in Cumberland reportedly in critical condition.

The couple started a gas generator only several feet from the rear of their 1989 Coachman recreational vehicle shortly before going to sleep, according to an Associated Press report. The generator’s exhaust was pointed toward the vehicle and fumes entered, causing the carbon monoxide exposure.

The next morning a passerby entered the vehicle and discovered the couple. Members of the Cumberland Fire Department administered first aid and William Miller was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was taken to Western Maryland Regional Medical Center by Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department ambulance.

Colorado Student Dies of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

In a separate incident one Cedaredge (Colorado) High School student died and one was in critical condition after three students were flown to a Denver hospital following an exposure to carbon monoxide gas in a camper trailer in which they were sleeping.

According to a KGWN report, all three are players for the Cedaredge High School football team.

Carbon Monoxide 665421563Kurt Clay, assistant superintendent for the Delta County School District 50J, said the three were sleeping in the camper when something caused them to be exposed to carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that can cause brain damage or death when inhaled in sufficient quantities.

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas—often dubbed the Silent Killer— that is toxic and the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States.

Carbon monoxide can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations and can be particularly dangerous in recreational vehicles.

It is produced by the incomplete combustion of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Appliances fueled with gas, oil, kerosene, or wood may produce CO.

If such appliances are not installed, maintained, and used properly, carbon monoxide may accumulate to dangerous and even deadly levels in recreational vehicles, cars, homes, or poorly ventilated areas.

The symptoms of poisoning are similar to flu or food poisoning and include headaches, nausea, and dizziness.

Although not always experienced, the initial symptoms of carbon monoxide are similar to an upset stomach or the flu (but without the fever).

The symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Irregular breathing

Carbon Monoxide, Smoke & Propane Detectors

carbon_monoxide-300x225Most people change the batteries in their detectors annually, but did you know that the detector itself may be due for a replacement?

According to the USFA (U.S. Fire Administration), smoke detectors should be replaced every 8-10 years. In that time frame the detector takes air samples up to 4 million times. The components can wear or retain particles causing the unit to malfunction. As for Carbon Monoxide and LP gas detectors, most manufacturers say in order to function properly, they should be replaced every 5 years.

WHEN WERE YOUR DETECTORS REPLACED LAST?

Remember, the most precious cargo you carry is not in your storage compartment, it is in the seat belt next to you!

Worth Pondering…

Remember, safety is no accident.

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Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas—often dubbed the Silent Killer— that is toxic and the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States.

Carbon Monoxide 665421563Carbon monoxide can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations and can be particularly dangerous in recreational vehicles.

It is produced by the incomplete combustion of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Appliances fueled with gas, oil, kerosene, or wood may produce CO.

If such appliances are not installed, maintained, and used properly, carbon monoxide may accumulate to dangerous and even deadly levels in recreational vehicles, cars, homes, or poorly ventilated areas.

The symptoms of poisoning are similar to flu or food poisoning and include headaches, nausea, and dizziness.

Although not always experienced, the initial symptoms of carbon monoxide are similar to an upset stomach or the flu (but without the fever).

The symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Irregular breathing

It is critical to note that death from carbon monoxide poisoning can result with some or all of these symptoms never being experienced, in which case the overexposed victim simply falls asleep and never regains consciousness.

It is vital that RVers take the necessary precautions to avoid the tragic loss of life that can occur from carbon monoxide poisoning.

carbon_monoxide-300x225Never make the mistake of thinking that CO poisoning is a winter-only issue. It isn’t.

Tragic deaths occur every year from summertime carbon monoxide poisoning.

Generators can produce lethal doses of the gas.

A carbon monoxide safety resource (carbonmonoxidekills.com) provides the following 14 safety precautions for RVers.

The most important recommendation: USE A CARBON MONOXIDE WARNING DETECTOR. As is true of a smoke alarm, reliance on a CO detector is acceptable only if the device is in good working order and is tested periodically as directed by the manufacturer.

1. Use a carbon monoxide warning detector

2. Inspect your RV’s chassis and generator exhaust system regularly, at least before each outing and after bottoming out or any other incident that could cause damage

3. Inspect the RV for openings in the floor and sidewalls (seal any holes with silicone adhesive or have it repaired before using your generator again)

4. Inspect windows, door seals, and weather strips for effective seals

5. Yellow flames in propane-burning appliances (coach heaters, stoves, ovens, water heaters, etc.) indicate a lack of oxygen—determine the cause and correct it immediately

6. Do not operate your generator if the exhaust system is damaged in any way or if an unusual noise is present

7. Park your RV so that the exhaust can easily dissipate away from the vehicle—do not park next to high grass or weeds, buildings, or other obstructions that might prevent exhaust gases from dissipating as they should

8. Be aware that shifting winds can cause exhaust to blow away from the coach at one moment, but under the coach in the next moment

carbonmonoxide-student page image9. When stopping for long periods of time, be aware of other vehicles around you that may have engines, refrigerators, or generators running

10. Do not sleep with the generator operating

11. Leave a roof vent open any time the generator is running (even during winter)

12. If you do not feel well, do not be fooled into thinking it is because you have been driving too long, you ate too much, or you are suffering from motion sickness—shut off the generator and step outside for fresh air just to be sure

13. Have your built-in vacuum cleaner inspected to ensure that it does not exhaust on the underside of your RV

14. Consider parking in a “no generator” zone at RV rallies

Worth Pondering…

Remember, safety is no accident.

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Cummins Onan Announces New Generator Sets

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Cummins Onan has begun full production of the newly redesigned RV QG 2800 generator sets.

These new models, which replace the KV and KVD product families, meet EPA Phase III standards for small spark-ignited engines, according to a news release.

The new models have a larger, 217 cc engine that produces more horsepower than the previous models. In addition, the RV QG 2800 models offer several new features and improvements:

  • Advanced onboard diagnostics with fault code analysis
  • Easier starting in extreme cold and hot operating conditions
  • Internalized muffler and patented intake system for reduced noise
  • Low-profile exhaust outlet with additional 4-inch ground clearance
  • B+ terminal for easier installation

The 50 Hz models are CE-certified and meet all applicable EU emissions regulations. The 60 Hz models are CSA-certified and meet the latest Tier 3, Phase 3 emissions levels.

“The compact design of the new RV QG 2800 is ideal for truck campers, Class B motorhomes, and travel trailers, Al Camargo, RV marketing manager for Cummins Onan, said.

“It can run a high-efficiency 13,500 BTU air conditioner and a 900-watt microwave at the same time (depending on operating conditions).”

The models in the RV QG 2800 Series are as follows.

Fuel        Frequency    RPM    W        Voltage   Amps   Phase   Circuit Breaker

Gasoline          60Hz   3600    2800    120         23.3      1          25A

Gasoline          60Hz   3600    2800    100         28         1          30A

LP Vapor        60Hz   3600    2500    120         20.8      1          25A

LP Vapor        50Hz   3000    2300    230         10         1          10A

Gasoline          50Hz   3000    2300    230         10         1          10A

The 60 Hz models (both gasoline and LP vapor) are available now. The 50 Hz models will be available in the first quarter of 2013.

All models can be ordered immediately. Contact your local Cummins Onan dealer for pricing.

Details

Cummins Onan

Cummins Onan new generator
Cummins Onan new generator

Cummins Onan is a brand of Cummins Power Generation, a subsidiary of Cummins Inc.

Cummins Inc. is a global leader that manufactures, distributes, and services engines, fuel systems, controls, filtration and emission products, and electrical power generation systems.

Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, Cummins serves customers in more than 190 countries through its network of 550 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 5,200 dealer locations.

The Cummins Onan brand is found on generators and related products manufactured for the RV, marine, commercial, mobile, and residential markets.

Address: 1400 73rd Ave. NE, Fridley, MN 55432

Phone: (763) 574-5000

Website: cumminsonan.com

Worth Pondering…

The night.

An orange sunset fading on the horizon.

A single shooting star across the black velvet sky.

A majestic snow-capped mountain welcoming the dawn.

Unforgettable moments are your private domain.

—Anon

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What is AGS and Why You Want One?

Imagine a world where you program your electrical system to automatically use the sources necessary to maintain it, while staying as energy efficient as possible.

Sound like something out of science fiction? GREAT NEWS: The future is NOW!

With the right components—including an AGS—this automated world and all of its exciting benefits—is here and available now!

So, what is an “AGS” and why do you want one?

If you’re a power junkie or a generator enthusiast, you may be familiar with AGS.

If not, there’s no time like the present to learn and put this highly efficient technology to work, to your full advantage.

AGS is the acronym for Automatic Generator Start. It is one of the least understood, but one of the most versatile and powerful, accessories available on the market today, according to a Xantrex news release.

At its basic function, AGS automatically starts and stops the generator using pre-defined parameters, thus relieving the user from having to actively manage his electrical system.

Most AGS modules start the generator when the batteries are low, and automatically shut it off when the batteries are recharged. Some models can even start and stop the generator based on the climate control system, or even the inverter load.

In the beginning, AGS was primarily developed for usage in the RV and marine markets, allowing enthusiasts to leave their cabin or boat for a day on the town, without having to burn excessive fuel via their generators to keep things comfortable. As the concept developed, early adopters responded favorably.

One of the first consumer demands was for air conditioner triggers, so beloved pets could be kept safe and cool while their owners were out and about. Inverter load triggering was an obvious addition when networked power systems were developed, thus allowing the AGS to launch the generator when a long-term heavy load was in place, thereby preventing an overload.

Xantrex AutoGen Start

While the concept itself sounds simple enough, is AGS difficult to program and use?

The only challenge with AGS may be experienced at the very outset. Some select models may have more sophisticated parameters to initiate, but with some help from a knowledgeable sales person or installer, that is easily overcome. Other models are more simple and easy to activate.

The good news: once AGS is set up and operational, it’s an easy “set it and forget it” device. Truly, once the parameters are set, the only choice left is whether you want to engage the AUTO mode, or OFF mode (some AGSs have a Manual ON mode as well, replacing the stand-alone generator control panel).

Here’s a simple explanation of the typical modes:

‘Off’ simply means that the AGS module is not active in monitoring triggers and the generator may still be started manually. However, if the generator is running when Off is set, the AGS will shut the generator down, even if it was set for Manual On or Auto.

‘Auto’ means that the AGS will begin monitoring the triggers that would cause an automatic start of the generator. It will start or stop the generator, based on those triggers.

‘Manual On’ will cause the AGS to start the generator without a required “trigger” and wait for the user to set the AGS to “Off” before shutting the generator down.

Wiring is fairly simple as the connections are usually:

DC voltage (some systems get power and DC voltage measurements from the inverter)

Air Conditioner (these are 12-volt or ground sense wires to determine the thermostat state)

Manual inputs (to add your own buttons somewhere to manually start the generator)

Generator interface (two to six wires for preheating, starting, and stopping the generator)

Xantrex AutoGen Start

Once these connections are made and the parameters are set, the AGS simply works to simulate the regular manual switches by closing/opening relays in the proper timing, based on the generator model.

In other words, when the system receives a trigger (low DC voltage, thermostat input, or inverter load), the AGS simply closes a relay, or series of relays, thus simulating the user pushing the start button. If preheat is required, it will push the proper sequence to preheat, then start the generator. When the trigger is no longer active, or has been satisfied, the AGS closes another relay that simulates the user pushing the stop button. Some AGSs have a minimum runtime to prevent premature wear on the generator’s engine.

If you might benefit from AGS in your personal application, make sure that the model of choice offers only those features you really want and need; take care not to get overwhelmed by a model with more features than are necessary for your usage.

There are models that have over 20 wire connections, but for a minimal installation, you may only need three! The rest of the wires are for different generator models, or optional features that you may not want to incorporate right away.

Also consider the difference between stand-alone AGS systems, which simply work with the hard-wired inputs they have, vs. networked AGS systems which can take data and generator start triggers from other devices like inverters and energy management systems. Some of the networked systems can also help the other devices make decisions like shedding loads, or supporting heavy generator loads, based on data shared between all devices.

When you’re ready to move up to today’s latest technology and enjoy the benefits of an easier and more efficient system, AGS delivers!

Details

Xantrex Technology Inc.

Xantrex Technology Inc. is a world leader in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of advanced power electronic products and systems for the mobile power markets. The company’s products convert and control raw electrical power from any central, distributed, renewable, or backup power source into high-quality power required by electronic equipment and the electricity grid.

Phone: (800) 446-6180 (toll free)

Website: xantrex.com

Worth Pondering…

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.

—Abigail Adams (1744-1818), 1780

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