Is Your RV Ready For The Holiday Weekend?

This weekend marks the start of the camping season and that means getting your RV road ready for new adventures.

One of over 2,000 arches in Arches National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
One of over 2,000 arches in Arches National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

AAA travel projects 37.2 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home for Memorial Weekend. That’s the highest travel volume for Memorial Day in 10 years.

To make sure you have a safe journey to your destination, there are several things you should do before heading out on the road.

The first is to make sure your RV is in working order.

This is the time to give your RV a bath. Washing the rig will allow you to get up-close and personal with areas that are often out of sight—and thus—out of mind.

Always start on the roof. Exercise care when walking on the roof, especially if wet. Pay close attention to the rubber membrane for any cracks or deterioration of the white surface coating.

Look carefully for any deterioration in the caulking around vents, seams, antennas, and roof-mounted satellite dish. Also inspect the plastic vent lids and skylights for sunlight
deterioration and cracks.

Washing the RV and rinsing thoroughly around the windows will help locate possible leaks. Carefully inspect window seals and caulking around compartments and accessories.

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

Routine tire inspection is a critical part of regular maintenance as well as an integral procedure during the spring checkup. Check the date of manufacture from the D.O.T. code that is located on the outside tire sidewall. Every tire contains the week and year of manufacture.

The general rule of thumb is that motorhome and trailer tires will age-out after seven years, regardless of tread condition. During inspection, check every tire for cuts, cracks, or bubbles — including the inside sidewall.

Inflate tires to the correct air pressure. To determine the proper pressure, either refer to the RV manufacturer’s weight label (assuming the RV is not overloaded) or weigh the wheels individually and consult the tire manufacturer’s load and inflation tables.

Check the LP-gas, smoke, and carbon-monoxide warning detectors. Start by replacing the battery in the smoke detector (which should be done once a year). Push the test button in each device to check for proper operation. Most of these detectors will not last the lifetime of your RV; check with the manufacturer, or look on the back of the detector to see if there’s an expiration date.

And don’t forget the fire extinguisher. It should be tested and replaced according to the manufacturer’s timeline as well.

Historic Mesilla © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Historic Mesilla, near Las Cruces, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Test the microwave oven. Using a glass of water, run the microwave for two minutes and be sure the water reaches a point of near boiling.

Using a flashlight look for signs of moisture inside your cupboards and closets. Also be on the lookout for mold and mildew. Check under the galley, and open all drawers and inspect behind them with the flashlight as well. Look for mice nests or dead critters.

If you don’t have one already, pack an emergency kit with non-perishable food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and drinking water.

Once your RV is ready to go, make sure you have all the equipment you will need. The smaller battery operated vacuum cleaners take little storage space and are available for that quick cleanup when needed.

This is also the time to update and add some new features to your RV. There are many new accessories on the market to add to the experience. Big this year are LED lights. They are popular in the RV industry simply because they hardly use any energy.

Taking the time to give your RV a thorough spring checkup will make for much more enjoyable travels. And finding the little problems before they become big headaches also keeps more money in your pocket.

Getting out with your family, hitting the reset button, going camping, unwinding and relaxation, and spending quality time with your family—that is what it is all about.

Bisbee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Historic Bisbee in southeastern Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And the golden rule: don’t pass up the opportunities along the way to explore and see something new.

Worth Pondering…

The journey not the arrival matters.

—T. S. Eliot

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Prep Your RV For Summer In 5 Easy Steps

The weather is getting warmer and summer will soon be here.

Ramblers Rest RV Resort, Venice, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Ramblers Rest RV Resort, Venice, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Now is the time to start planning your summer vacation. But prior to booking a campsite, owners of recreational vehicles should perform some basic and routine maintenance to ensure that their road trip goes smoothly. Preventative measures and maintenance will reduce the risk of problems.

It is a much better to take care of any problems while at home rather than having to deal with costly repairs while on the road. Trouble-free camping makes for happy camping.

Plug it In – Turn it On

After taking the RV out of winter storage, plug it in to shore power, turn on the LP gas, and connect to city water to ensure that all electric and propane appliances function normally and there is no evidence of water leaks. Also run the air conditioning units and furnace, turn on the refrigerator and freezer, start the water heater, and power up the generator and run with a full load.

Check and Double Check

Top off the fluid levels in your batteries, check all hoses and belts for cracking, and all fluid levels on a motorized RV. Also check the converter and/or inverter for proper voltage. Check the headlights and turn signals. Take a look at all your hitch and towing equipment. Check fire extinguisherssmoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, and propane sensor.

North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Camping at North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Kick the Tires

Check the age of the tires—RV tires usually age out before they wear out.

Check that all tires are properly inflated. Improperly inflated tires means more money for fuel. Under-inflated tires can increase fuel consumption by up to 4 percent, according to International Energy Agency. Proper inflation also reduces the incidence of tire failure and blowout.

If you have a travel trailer or fifth wheel trailer you may need to pack wheel bearings.

Clean the tires and rims and inspect them for evidence of any splits or cracks in the sidewalls and weatherization damage.

Jack it Up

Regardless of your RV type, check the jacks and leveling systems, the awnings, crank and run the generator and service if required.

Open awnings and check for frayed or ripped material. Remove stains and mildew with special awning cleaner and allow awning to dry before rolling back up. Check hardware for functionality and replace as needed.

Tips For Cleaning Your RV Exterior
Products For Cleaning Your RV Exterior

Keep it Clean

Regular cleaning of a recreational vehicle is essential for its maintenance and to ensure the longevity of your RV especially after a long winter in storage. Cleaning starts with your RV roof, because whatever lands on your roof eventually ends up everywhere else on the RV. Always exercise extreme care when working on the roof of an RV, especially when wet.

When inspecting the roof look for tears or holes. Beware of small slices that can allow water intrusion. Get any holes or slices repaired immediately.

Look for peeling, cracking, or openings in the sealants and if found should be cleaned, dried, and resealed.

Next clean the front of the RV including side mirrors, the side walls, and back using a quality RV wash such as McGuire’s. The safest and easiest way to reach the upper part of the RV is with an extension pole system.

Pay special attention to the seams where the wall joints, storage bay doors, marker lights, and appliance outlets are found. Remove dirt, bugs, tar, and other road residue from the surface of your RV.

Inspect the side walls and around windows and doors for cracks or voids in the seams and seals. Scrape and reseal any affected areas with the appropriate sealant.

Canyon Vista RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Canyon Vista RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

After a general clean with the soap and water it’s time to wax the beast with a quality product such as McGuire’s Wash and Wax.

Worth Pondering…

The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.

—Ben Stein

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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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Dicor Adds 4th Color to New TPO Roofing Material

Elkhart, Indiana-based Dicor Products has added the color “Cream” as a fourth color option to its new TPO roofing material called DiFlex II, continuing to extend the range of roofing choices available for RVs.

epdm-tpoDiFlex II already featured the hues of Dove (bright white), Tan, and Grey.

“Four color choices is unheard of in RV roofing. DiFlex II really gives manufacturers some striking new options to help differentiate their RVs and enhance the overall attractiveness of their product,” said Jeff Gaff, general manager of Dicor Products, in a news release.

“At Dicor Products, we are all about continuous improvement and bringing new products to the fore to help spur innovation in appearance and function.”

“The new DiFlex II TPO material is a very flexible, non-fleece-backed membrane that is easy to install for snug, watertight fit on virtually any roofing surface,” said Gaff.

“It is also compatible with all Dicor aftermarket cleaners, protectants, sealant, and bonding adhesives, and can be installed with Dicor’s matching lap sealants for a fully coordinated, beautiful appearance.”

The material is embossed with a light pebble pattern to dull harsh reflections and provide a classic look.

dicor-products-roofLike EPDM, DiFlex II remains flexible and UV resistant throughout its lifetime. It is even flexible in cold weather and less prone to cracking than other TPO material, Gaff explained.

It is easily repairable throughout its lifetime, and not affected by ponding water or environmental contaminants, plus it comes with a 12-year limited warranty.

DiFlex II is currently available in pre-cut widths and will soon be provided in rolls.

Widths are 8 feet, 6 feet, and 9 feet 6 inches, with available lengths of 21 , 25, 30, 36, and 40 foot lengths.

Details

Dicor Products

Dicor Products has been a leading supplier of component products to RV manufacturers since 1984, most notably as a supplier of premium roofing products.

We are also well established in the RV aftermarket, where they’re well known for roofing repair and care products and wheel covers. Thier Versa-Liner wheel cover brand, in fact, has more than one million sets in service.

In a brand restructuring, Dicor Products has recently been recast as one of four affiliated company brands of Dicor Corporation, which also include Seal Design, United Shade, and Vixen Composites.

Dicor Corporation is the overall corporate umbrella for the different companies, including Dicor Products, each of which operates independently with its own customers, while sharing a common ethic of service and innovative product development.

Address: 2965 LaVanture Place, Elkhart, IN 46514

Phone: (800) 837-2059 (toll free)

Website: dicorproducts.com

Worth Pondering…

It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning.
—Claude Bernard

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Dicor Introduces How-to Videos on RV Roof Care, Repair & Restore

Dicor Products has added more videos to its expanding library of helpful care, repair, and restore information for RV roofs.

Dicor-Rudy-videos-webpage-640x330Introduced by Dicor Products’ roofing expert icon, Rudy, the reports help RVers care for their units with the correct aftermarket cleaning, repairing, protecting, and restoring products, according to a company news release.

The videos and reports break down such projects as sealant repair, roof coating, and roof cleaning into easy-to-understand steps that encourage RVers to take better care of their RVs with the available products, adding value and longevity to their RVs.

“This is part of our ongoing outreach to the RV consumer and the RV aftermarket,” said Dave Majewski, vice president of sales and marketing for Dicor Products.

“There are many things the RV owner can do for themselves to care for and preserve the value of their RV. The roof is oftentimes an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ part of the RV, but it should actually be the last thing that is ‘out of mind’ because it is so vital to protecting the RV and its contents. These videos are meant to empower RV owners with the proper techniques and materials to keep their roofs in good condition.”

dicor-products-roof“You could look at it as a ‘Roof Awareness’ program that can enhance the RV experience and help RVers make optimum use of the aftermarket products available. These are all things dealers and manufacturers should get behind.”

Rudy, The Dicor Products Answer Man

Dicor Products wants to make your RV ownership experience as easy and trouble-free as possible.

Rudy has many of the answers you need.

Visitors to Dicor Products’ care page can also sign-up for twice-monthly e-bulletins on these topics while accessing a broad range of articles along with such videos as:

  • Coating a Metal RV Roof
  • Cleaning and Protecting an RV Roof
  • RV Roof Repair
  • Determine Your RV Roof Type
  • Applying Lap Sealants

Some of the articles also address wheel cover and tire care/inflation topics.

Details

Dicor Products

epdm-tpoDicor Products has been a leading supplier of component products to RV manufacturers since 1984, most notably as a supplier of premium roofing products.

We are also well established in the RV aftermarket, where they’re well known for roofing repair and care products and wheel covers. Thier Versa-Liner wheel cover brand, in fact, has more than one million sets in service.

In a brand restructuring, Dicor Products has recently been recast as one of four affiliated company brands of Dicor Corporation, which also include Seal Design, United Shade, and Vixen Composites.

Dicor Corporation is the overall corporate umbrella for the different companies, including Dicor Products, each of which operates independently with its own customers, while sharing a common ethic of service and innovative product development.

Address: 2965 LaVanture Place, Elkhart, IN 46514

Phone: (800) 837-2059 (toll free)

Website: dicorproducts.com

Worth Pondering…

It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning.
—Claude Bernard

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Chempace Roof Shield Cleans & Protects

To meet the growing demand for RV maintenance products, Chempace has launched Roof Shield, the next generation in their lineup of maintenance products.

Chempace CorpThe initial offering of Roof Shield includes a 100-ounce RV cleaner jug and a 100-ounce RV sealer jug presented in a convenient, ready-to-use bucket with and a bonus RV holding tank drop-In sample pack.

The RV roof cleaner removes black streaks, dirt, oxidants, and road film build-up, while the RV roof sealer protects from rain, sun, grime and prevents drying, cracking, and oxidation.

Both products are environmentally safe and are should be included on the list of must-have RV maintenance items, the company noted in a press release.

“The RV roof is one of the most overlooked items on most RVers maintenance list, the company noted. Yet, the roof represents a valuable investment and can result in hundreds to thousands in repair or replacement costs if left unattended. Utilizing Chempace’s new Roof Shield is an essential step to guarantee the long life of an RV investment,” said Rick Shall, Chempace CEO.

“The RV roof is often dreaded and the lack of maintenance is justified because it is not in plain sight,” he added.

“No longer does cleaning your RV roof have to be difficult or time consuming with Roof Shield it makes it easier to protect your roof—beginning with the included pail.”

Rubber and TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin single-ply roofing membranes) roofs are most susceptible to damage, and any roof left unattended will deteriorate and leak over time, said Shall.

Roof Shield RV Cleaner and RV Sealer work together to create a barrier between the roof and the elements to increase the overall protection from the elements and the sun’s UV rays while leaving the roof surface with easier to clean properties in the future, he explained.

Chempace Roof Shield
Chempace Roof Shield

Most rubber roofs are white in color for aesthetic purposes, but most importantly because white reflects sunlight and heat more efficiently than darker colors.

“The down side of white is it will never reach beyond 126 degrees, which is not hot enough to kill mold and mildew growth,” Shall explained.

“Variations in climate and weather may accelerate fungal growth and it is highly recommended to be cleaned at minimum four times a year depending on where you park or store your RV; followed by sweeping debris from the roof every week or two.”

Black and gray are the most common colors of mold and mildew stains, and are usually seen in small clusters, he added. But, in extreme cases, fungi can cover the entire RV roof and appear in other colors like yellow, purple, or pink.

According to Dr. Virginia Peart and Dr. James Kimbrough, of the University of Florida, they developed the “mildew square” to demonstrate that all fungi needs four elements to grow and thrive. They are spores, food source, temperature, and moisture. Of these, moisture and the food source is the most preventable component, Shall noted.

“It is preferable to sweep, instead of wash the RV roof, because simply rinsing the roof with water only leaves more moisture behind, which is one of the four elements in the mildew square,” he explained.

“Whereas, sweeping removes several of the conditions and requires less time to complete.

“We are constantly reviewing our products in line with the feedback received from our RV dealers and their RV customers,” said Shall.

“Chempace’s adapt our products to meet the growing appeal for the RV lifestyle which peaked this year at 8.9 million RVers.”

Marlene Sine & Associates is the RV industry representative for Chempace Roof Shield.

Details

Marlene Sine & Associates, Inc.

ImageHandlerThe Marlene Sine & Associates Agency was established in 1976 and services the recreational vehicle, marine, and manufactured housing after-markets through warehouse distributors nationwide and Canada.

Address: 04971 Blue Star Highway, South Haven, MI 49090

Phone: (269) 637-6359 or (800) 531-5039 (toll free)

Website: marlenesine.com

Worth Pondering…

Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.

—George Halas

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