July 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?
When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced 5 recall notices involving 2 recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers— Gulf Stream Coach and Forest River.

Gulf Stream Coach, Inc.

gulf-stream-logoGulf Stream Coach, Inc. (Gulf Stream) is recalling certain model year 2015 Canyon Trail and Sedona trailers manufactured April 3, 2014, to September 30, 2014. In the affected vehicles, a rivet for the quad entry steps may shear and fail, causing the steps to give when being used.

If the rivet shears causing the quad step to fail, the step user may fall, increasing the risk of personal injury.

Gulf Stream will notify owners, and dealers will remove the rivets and the step sections will be bolted together, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on June 30, 2015. Owners may contact Gulf Stream customer service at 1-800-289-8787. Gulf Stream’s number for this recall is HS060215.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2016 Evo, Salem, Sandstorm, Shockwave, Stealth, Wildwood, Cherokee Grey Wolf, Wildcat Maxx, Vibe, R-Pod, and Surveyor trailers. In the affected trailers, the studs that are used to attach the wheels to the axle hubs may break.

If the wheel studs break, the wheel could detach from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and replace any affected wheel hub, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin August 1, 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-909-873-3777. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-05142015-0037.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Shasta Airflyte SAT16 and SAT19 recreational travel trailers manufactured September 15, 2014, to October 22, 2014. The affected trailers have a Federal Certification Label that incorrectly lists the tire size, gross axle weight rating (GAWR), gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and cargo carrying capacity. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

If the operator overloads the trailer due to the incorrect information on the Certification label, the tires may fail suddenly, increasing the risk of a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a corrected label, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in July 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-825-8717. Forest River’s number for this recall is 54-06052015-0047.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2013 XLR and Vengeance, 2010 Sandpiper, 2004 Auto Plus, 2008 Cargo Mate and 2015-2016 Hydra-Lift trailers. In the affected trailers, the studs that are used to attach the wheels to the axle hubs may break.

If the wheel studs break, the wheel could detach from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will replace any affected wheel hub, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 10, 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-534-3167. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-05282015-0042.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-River-logoForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Dynamax Rev vehicles manufactured November 25, 2014, to November 26, 2014. The affected vehicles may have been manufactured with head restraints that exceed the maximum backset measurement limit of 55mm. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 202a, “Head Restraints.”

If the vehicle is struck from behind, the head restraint may not properly limit the seat occupant’s head movement rearward, increasing the risk of injury.

Forest River will notify owners, and Chrysler dealers will replace the front seat head restraints, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-262-3474 ext. 212. Forest River’s number for this recall is 55-06112015-0051.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the 61st in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

People forget how fast you did a job but they remember how well you did it.

—Howard W. Newton

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RV Manufacturer Fined $5 Million Over Safety Violations

In an earlier post Vogel Talks RVing reported that Forest River Inc. was embroiled in a dispute with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over its handling of records related to product recalls, safety, and warranties.

forest-River-logoFollowing an investigation it opened September 30, 2014, the NHTSA found that Elkhart, Indiana-based RV manufacturer Forest River Inc. appeared to have violated its Early Warning Reporting obligations repeatedly.

Forest River Inc. is a division of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

This past Thursday (July 9), NHTSA fined Forest River Inc. $5 million due to safety violations leaving consumers at risk of fire.

Regulators said Forest River was slow to report some required data and failed to swiftly launch two safety recalls after problems were found in nearly 1,000 of its travel trailers.

In the recalls, Forest River initially failed to order recalls immediately and instead just sent safety bulletins to its dealers about the problems. The company also failed to report everything to regulators as quickly as the law requires once it knew about problems.

According to NHTSA, Forest River failed to report the mishandling of recalls for a number of recreational vehicles—726 Rockwood and Flagstaff travel trailers and 200 Palomino travel trailers.

Regulators detected loose wiring that could lead to fire hazards in the Rockwood and Flagstaff vehicles and discovered a defect of the exhaust in the Palomino vehicles which could potentially raise carbon monoxide exposure and reduce fresh air intake.

Forest River Inc. will pay up to $30 million in additional fines if regulators find any additional violations in the next three years.

In 2014, the company generated $3.8 billion of revenue.

forest-River-logoForest River claims they are working with officials to resolve the inquiry and will hire an independent monitor to administer safety requirements and enhance security procedures. In addition, the company will hire an in-house consultant to oversee reporting operations as part of the settlement.

The company will adopt and promote “best practices” standards for the recreational vehicle industry and enforce its guidelines to become the industry model in safety.

“Safety is a critical shared responsibility, and when manufacturers fail to meet their responsibility, the Department will enforce the law,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.

Forest River, Inc. was founded by Peter Liegl in 1996, which today makes all classes of recreational vehicles, cargo trailers, utility trailer, pontoon boats, light and medium-duty buses (primarily shuttle buses), portable offices, and structures to use for temporary schools.

The company operates 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the Mid West and West Coast and employs 5,400 workers.

forest-River-logoForest River currently manufactures motorhomes (Berkshire, Charleston, Forester, Georgetown, Lexington, Sunseeker, and Tsunami), towables (Cardinal, Cedar Creek, Cherokee, Day Dreamer, Flagstaff, r-pod, Rockwood, Salem, Sandpiper, Shamrock, Sierra, Surveyor, V-Cross, Wildcat, and XLR, Wildwood), park models (Kabana, Quailridge, and Summitt), and modular and hud homes (Sterling and Hart Homes).

Forest River is owned by Warren Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate. Berkshire Hathaway owns nearly 90 different subsidiaries, including clothing, furniture and jewelry firms. It also has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola Co. and Wells Fargo & Co.

Worth Pondering…

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.

—Peter Drucker

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June 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced 5 recall notices involving 4 recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Starcraft RV, Jayco, Thor Motor Coach, and MCI.

Starcraft RV

starcraftStarcraft RV (Starcraft) is recalling certain model year 2016 Launch and AR-One travel trailers manufactured March 31, 2015, to April 20, 2015. The affected vehicles may be equipped with Federal Certification Labels that incorrectly list the tire size as ST205/75R14C when the actual size is LT235/75R15C. As such, these labels fail to comply with Federal Regulation Part 567.

If the operator installs an incorrect tire due to the wrong label information, excessive tire wear may result and may cause instability during towing, increasing the risk of a crash.

Starcraft will notify owners, and dealers will install a new corrected label, free of charge. The recall began on May 28, 2015. Owners may contact Starcraft customer service at 1-800-945-4787. Starcraft’s number for this recall is 9902239.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Jayco

Jayco-Color-logo-birdJayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain model year 2016 Eagle FW WB trailers manufactured April 20, 2015, to April 21, 2015. In the affected trailers, the studs that are used to attach the wheels to the axle hubs may break.

If the wheel studs break, the wheel could detach from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will replace any affected wheel hub, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on June 15, 2015. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901238.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Jayco

Jayco-Color-logo-birdJayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Seismic Pinnacle and Eagle Premier recreational trailers manufactured April 3, 2013, to February 27, 2015. In the affected vehicles, a rivet for the quad entry steps may shear and fail, causing the steps to give when being used.

If the rivet shears under occupant load, the occupant may fall, increasing the risk of personal injury.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will replace the defective rivets with bolts, free of charge. The recall began on June 4, 2015. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Thor Motor Coach

Motorhome - Class A, Class C, Class B+ RV, Motorhome Manufactrurer, Gas, Diesel, Luxury Rear Diesel Motorhomes, New RVs, Four Winds, Damon
Motorhome – Class A, Class C, Class B+ RV, Motorhome Manufactrurer, Gas, Diesel, Luxury Rear Diesel Motorhomes, New RVs, Four Winds, Damon

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain model year 2016 Hurricane and Windsport motorhomes manufactured March 10, 2015, to March 24, 2015. In the affected motorhomes, the co-pilot seats may be attached to the floor of the motorhome in an area that is not properly reinforced.

If the floor at the attachment point is not properly reinforced, the seat base mounting may loosen over time, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a crash.

TMC will notify owners, and dealers will install a reinforcement plate at the co-pilot seat mounting bolt location, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in June 2015. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-500-1020. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000101.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI)

logoMciMotor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain model year 2011-2012 D4000 motorcoaches manufactured November 12, 2011, to July 11, 2012, and 2014-2015 D4500 motorcoaches manufactured July 4, 2014, to April 30, 2015. Excessive engine crankcase pressures may cause the 90-degree elbow of the vent tube assembly to detach from the crankcase ventilation breather, possibly allowing engine oil to come into contact with hot surfaces.

If the engine oil comes into contact with a hot surface, it can increase the risk of a vehicle fire.

MCI will notify owners, and Cummins service centers will administer the repairs which include securing the ends of the 90-degree elbow and reprogramming the electronic control module (ECM) with software that can adjust the engine output under misfire conditions to limit crankcase pressures. These repairs will be performed free of charge. The recall began on June 18, 2015. Owners may contact MCI customer service at 1-800-241-2947 or Cummins Inc. at 1-800-343-7357. MCI’s number for this recall is SB 423.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the 58th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it, is committing another mistake.

—Confucius

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Where Will You Be When The Dust Settles? Pull Aside, Stay Alive!

Where will you be when the dust settles?

Where Will You Be When The Dust Settles? Pull Aside, Stay Alive!
Where Will You Be When The Dust Settles? Pull Aside, Stay Alive!

That’s a question the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is asking motorists this year as another summer monsoon season begins.

Each year, a variety of weather related dangers affect Arizona, New Mexico, and southwest Texas, especially from late spring into early autumn. Through a collaborative effort between National Weather Service offices serving the states of Arizona and New Mexico, which includes offices located in Tucson, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, El Paso/Santa Teresa, and Midland/Odessa, the time period from June 15th through September 30th has been defined as “The Monsoon”.

Where Will You Be When The Dust Settles? Pull Aside, Stay Alive!
Where Will You Be When The Dust Settles? Pull Aside, Stay Alive!

For the fourth consecutive year, ADOT is rolling out its “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” dust storm public awareness campaign in an ongoing effort to educate drivers about the year-round threat of dust storms as monsoon season officially began in Arizona last week. Dust storms pose a serious public safety risk because they can strike out of nowhere. Motorists can protect themselves if they plan ahead and know the safe actions to take when the dust hits.

This year, ADOT has created new television and radio public-education announcements that ask drivers if they know what to do if they get caught in a sudden dust storm event. The new TV public service announcement depicts a young driver following all the safety recommendations when she sees a dust storm while driving along a highway.

Where Will You Be When The Dust Settles? Pull Aside, Stay Alive!
Where Will You Be When The Dust Settles? Pull Aside, Stay Alive!

ADOT’s mission is to provide useful and memorable safety information to drivers before they get caught in a low-visibility dust storm. This year, the agency’s top recommendation is to avoid driving into a wall of dust at all costs.

“As the monsoon arrives, this year we’re asking drivers to do the smart thing, the safe thing, and plan ahead for possible blowing dust and limited visibility along the highway,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski.

“It’s better to alter travel plans rather than attempting to drive through dust storms. It’s a risk you don’t have to take.”

Where Will You Be When The Dust Settles? Pull Aside, Stay Alive!
Where Will You Be When The Dust Settles? Pull Aside, Stay Alive!

Dust storms develop quickly and dust-related crashes can occur, particularly along the Interstate 10 corridor between Phoenix and Tucson. To advise drivers of approaching storms, ADOT employs a range of strategies—including electronic highway message boards, social and traditional media, communication with ADOT staff, and law enforcement officers in the field, television, and radio advertising, and close coordination with partnering agencies—to keep information flowing to motorists.

Please visit pullasidestayalive.org for the new public-education video, along with videos from past years. The website also includes a safety tip sheet.

Tips For Drivers Who Encounter a Dust Storm

Where Will You Be When The Dust Settles? Pull Aside, Stay Alive!
Where Will You Be When The Dust Settles? Pull Aside, Stay Alive!

Avoid driving into or through a dust storm.

If you encounter a dust storm, check traffic immediately around your vehicle (front, back, and to the side) and begin slowing down.

Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway—do it as soon as possible. Completely exit the highway if you can.

Do not stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane; look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.

Stop your vehicle in a position ensuring it is a safe distance from the main roadway and away from where other vehicles may travel.

Turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers.

Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.

Stay in the vehicle with your seatbelts buckled and wait for the storm to pass.

Drivers of high-profile vehicles should be especially aware of changing weather conditions and travel at reduced speeds in high wind.

A driver’s alertness and safe driving ability are always the top factors in preventing crashes. It is your responsibility to avoid distracted or impaired driving.

Worth Pondering…

Sand from the desert

An oppressive wind blowing

Good grief, pull aside

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Dos & Don’ts of Towing a Travel Trailer

Don’t confuse towing a travel trailer with driving a car—they only look the same. If you’re preparing to tow a trailer, it’s time to brush up on the basics.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park: West Valley Icon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Small travel trailer camping at White Tank Mountain Regional Park Campground, Maricopa County, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Two of the most important things to have when you tow are basic common sense and the ability to adjust your driving. In other words, when towing, everything you do while driving needs to be done at a lesser speed when compared to driving without a trailer.

When you turn, go much slower. When you accelerate, do it much easier. When you brake, allow yourself considerably more space to stop. And when you change lanes, allow room for your vehicle and the trailer.

Towing a travel trailer requires regular inspection of the equipment, especially the hitch, brake lights, and signals.

Beginner drivers are advised to find an empty parking lot and get used to maneuvering the tow vehicle-trailer combination. Jackknifing happens to the best out there though, so don’t give up after your first try.

Regardless of the shape and size of your trailer, there are several dos and don’ts of towing a travel trailer.

Spare tire

Always travel with a fill-size spare tire for your trailer as well as your tow vehicle.

Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A flat trailer tire without a spare equates to a massive headache, especially in a remote area. Carry two spare tires: one for the tow vehicle and one for the trailer.

Check the tire pressure

Proper tire inflation is essential when towing a trailer. It optimizes handling, fuel economy, and safety. Check tire inflation and tread wear often. Inflate the tires to the trailer manufacturer’s maximum recommended cold pressure. Heat is the tires’ enemy, and a properly inflated tire will run cooler. Every morning, check the tow vehicle and trailer tire pressure, as well as the trailer lights and brakes.

Adjust the side mirrors

Available in a custom or universal fit, towing mirrors increase visibility. This makes backing up and passing other vehicles easier and safer. Adjust the side mirrors in a way that the rear of the trailer can be readily seen. That ensures a clear view of what’s behind and beside the trailer when changing lanes or turning a corner. The lower mirrors are there to help you with judging curbs.

Pictured below is the beauty of Valley of Fire at Atatl Rock Campground. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pictured below is the beauty of Valley of Fire at Atatl Rock Campground. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Load adjustments

Do not overload the rear of the trailer as this will lead to excessive swaying and general instability. Distributing the weight so that at least 10 percent is on the hitch.

Reversing

Position your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. As you begin looking over your shoulder, move the hand to the right to make the trailer turn right and left to make it go left. If the trailer jackknifes, straighten the trailer by pulling forward and start over again, at a slower speed.

90-degree corners

The extra length can also cause problems on turns. Because the trailer does not follow the exact path as the vehicle on turns, remember to swing out wider when traveling around bends and corners.

Braking

The addition of a trailer adds weight and length to the tow vehicle. More weight means more time to speed up and more importantly, slow down and stop. Allow for extra time when changing lanes, stopping, and passing other vehicles.

Highway driving

To conserve fuel when towing, travel at moderate speeds. Faster speeds increase wind resistance, reduce fuel mileage, and place added strain on the tow vehicle and trailer.

Do not overload the rear of the trailer
Do not overload the rear of the trailer

DO – Good Towing Practice

  • Gradually reduce speed
  • Steady the steering wheel—sudden turns can cause more sway

DO NOT – NOT Good Towing Practice

  • Do Not slam on the brake—jackknifing can occur
  • Do Not tow a trailer that continues to sway

Worth Pondering…

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

BURMA SHAVE

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Hitch Up Quick With Portable Hitching Camera

Never again will you need a second set of eyes to help you hitch your travel trailer, fifth wheel trailer, camper, boat, or enclosed cargo trailer.

 Swift Hitch Portable Wireless Back-up Camera System
Swift Hitch Portable Wireless Back-up Camera System

Now you can hitch up quick and with ease using the Swift Hitch Portable Wireless Back-up Camera System. There’s no more guessing, no more getting in and out of the truck or car. Hooking up to your trailer has never been easier.

To use, simply place the camera with its powerful magnetic base on the back of your vehicle. Then watch your hitch ball and trailer line up while you back up.

Portability, reverse imaging, and night vision capabilities have made this innovative product a valued tool. The night vision camera allows the user to hitch up in total darkness. Light-sensing LEDs in the camera automatically sense insufficient lighting and turn on Night Vision mode with up to 15 feet of reception in darkness.

The back-up camera system features a weather sealed camera lens, suction cup mount, 10-hour rechargeable battery, and storage case for easy portability. This easy to use wireless camera system can be used by anyone who has ever struggled with hitching. Swift Hitch wireless camera features an effective transmission range between camera and monitor of up to 300 feet with unobstructed line of site.

 Swift Hitch Portable Wireless Back-up Camera System
Swift Hitch Portable Wireless Back-up Camera System

It comes with a magnetic camera which mounts to your tailgate. Easily changed mounting positions allow the user to swiftly see quality images at desired viewing ranges. A simple on and off switch is located on both the camera and the hand held monitor.

Once you get your Swift Hitch camera installed on the tailgate, take a moment to align your hitch ball on the view screen at the bottom towards the center. That way, it will give you maximum field of view to sneak up on the hitch ball.

With your camera straight and away, you can view your hitch ball backing up from the comfort of your vehicle, on the LCD screen to achieve an easy and simple hitch up every time. Once you get pretty much cover on top of the ball, you can go ahead and start lowering your jack and get your trailer hooked up.

Swift Hitch Portable Wireless Back-up Camera System
Swift Hitch Portable Wireless Back-up Camera System

To aid in backing up, the image can be displayed normal or in reverse. If you get confused turning the opposite way of what you see on the 2-1/2-inch color LCD screen, simply reverse the image to make hooking up even easier.

The versatility of the switch hitch is just not for boats, trailers, or campers. It allows for use by anyone from farmers watching their bins fill up, to building and marine inspectors, chimney sweeps, and a myriad of other uses wherever an additional set of eyes can come in handy.

Wireless camera system includes camera, handheld monitor, 2 carrying cases, RCA cable, and 12V charging cable.

Swift Hitch wireless camera features and specs include:

  • Dimensions: 3 inches tall x 5 inches long x 2-3/8 inches wide
  • LCD Screen: 1-9/16 inches (tall) x 2 inches (wide)
  • Charging cable charges both the camera and monitor at the same time
  • Viewing angle: 55 degrees
  • Camera Run Time: 10 hours
  • Transmission distance: 300 feet without obstruction
  • Night vision range: 15 feet
  • Batteries: both the camera and monitor use rechargeable Li-batteries that last about 4 hours
  • Charging cable included
  • 1-Year limited warranty
 Swift Hitch Portable Wireless Back-up Camera System
Swift Hitch Portable Wireless Back-up Camera System

Details

Swift Hitch

Swift Hitch is the original wireless back-up camera system designed to assist anyone who has ever struggled with hitching-up any trailer or boat. Since 2006 the Swift Hitch’s portability, reverse imaging, and night vision capabilities have made this innovative product a valued tool.

Swift Hitch’s SH02 wireless system is NATDA (North America Trailer Dealer Association) New Product of the year 2012 Award Winner.

Address: 321 Walnut Street, Newton, MA 02460

Phone: (617) 600-8282 (sales) or (617) 600-8230 (service)

Website: www.swifthitch.com

Worth Pondering…

Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.

—Conita Kent

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Camper Bought On Craiglist Was Stolen

For many Americans and Canadians buying items advertized on Craiglist and other classified sites has become a great way to locate deals.

avoid-scamsUnfortunately, those sites are also a hotbed of con artists looking to make a quick buck.

In earlier posts I reported about an auto insurance scam on Kijiji and Craiglist and on an Air Force veteran was scammed when purchasing a motorhome off Craiglist.

An Oklahoma family’s time with their dream camper was recently cut short when they learned the RV they bought online on Craiglist was actually stolen.

They learned it belonged to another family through social media.

It’s not easy for 4-year-old Easton to let go of the camper his dad just brought home, but he’ll soon have to.

“[It is] crushing because we had been looking for a long time,” Bret Thomas told Tulsa, Oklahoma News on 6.

“The boys were all excited you know when we got home. We just played in it.”

For over a year, the family searched online for a good camper in their price range. That’s when Thomas spotted a Craiglist ad for a used Pop-up camper for $500. Thomas jumped on the deal and met with the seller.

scam-alertThe camper didn’t have a title, but Thomas got a handwritten bill of sale.

Thomas says the seller told him he had taken the camper with his wife to Lake Thunderbird all the time and that he was out of work and that he just needed the money. Thomas paid him in cash, and the 1977 Jayco camper was all his.

“This was going to be our little home base,” Thomas told News on 6.

“Most of them you find in this price range, their canvases are just ripped up and shredded.”

It was going to be a great way to spend family weekend trips at Lake Arcadia. Excited, Thomas posted pictures of his new purchase online, but it wasn’t long before friends notified him that his new buy actually belonged to someone else.

“It ended up being a friend of a friend’s trailer that was stolen that morning,” he said.

Even more bizarre, Thomas’ wife went to high school with the owner of the camper and he’s even been to the family’s home to fix their AC unit.

“He was a really nice guy. I remember him from that time, and so we contacted him [and we] were able to easily to deal with him, and he was obviously happy to get his property back,” Thomas said.

The owner was able to identify a broken handle wrapped in electrical tape and Christmas lights stored inside a cabinet. It was a heartbreaking hang-up for the Thomas family, who will once again have to put their camping plans on the back burner.

scam-acronym“Legally, the trailer would be ours I guess, is what they were saying. But I know that he used it for his family and their memories and I couldn’t take something like that from someone,” Thomas said.

A missing camper report was filed with Edmond Police and Thomas filed reports with Yukon Police and Oklahoma City Police where the payment occurred.

Thomas says he is not sure if the seller actually stole the camper or was just in possession of it. He has tried calling the seller and contacting him on Facebook and says he would not press charges if he got his money back.

Worth Pondering…
Where there are sales, there are scam artists.

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Orion Safety Introduces Bear Deterrent Offering Long Distance Protection

Easton, Maryland-based Orion Safety Products introduces a new Bear Deterrent that offers long distance protection.

Orion Safety Products Orion Bear DeterrentThe product produces a loud “gunshot” sound, a bright dynamic flash and smoke, and is designed to scare bears away before they are close enough to attack.

Field tests in Alaska have demonstrated Orion Bear Deterrent can be effective at 300 feet.

Orion Bear Deterrent is an excellent alternative to bear pepper sprays and other deterrent products, according to a company news release.

“Bear spray and other deterrent products may not work at longer ranges or in all weather conditions,” explained Jay McLaughlin, President Orion Safety Products.

“When bears are close enough to use some of these other products, it can be a terrifying and dangerous situation. Orion Bear Deterrent works at distances as great as 300 feet with both a visual and sound signal to frighten bears away and protect you and your family.”

Though lethal bear attacks are rare, there has been an increase in bear attacks and maulings as more people live in or visit bear habitats according to a 2014 article in National Geographic.

The article suggests that people who live in or visit areas where bear and other large animals live, can educate themselves and take precautions to reduce risk of an attack.

Bear deterrent products are recommended for hunters, campers, hikers, or anyone living in rural areas frequented by bears.

Orion Bear Deterrent offers additional advantages.

It is non-lethal and a safe alternative to weapons, traps and poisons.

This black bear wants his food and he is waiting patiently. DO NOT FEED BEARS! (Source: Thomas J/travelooce.com)
This black bear wants his food and he is waiting patiently. DO NOT FEED BEARS! (Source: Thomas J/travelooce.com)

Orion Bear Deterrent works in all weather conditions with no risk of fire.

It is lightweight, waterproof, and compact.

A holster is available, so it may be quickly accessed when needed.

Orion Bear Deterrent produces a loud “gunshot” sound, over 120db. It is louder than most audio bear deterrents, and it produces a bright, dynamic flash, and smoke.

This multi-sensory device gives the user a better chance of deterring a bear than a product that only produces a sound, visual alert, or chemical deterrent.

Available at Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, and other outdoor, camping and hunting equipment retailers, the product is also less expensive than most bear deterrent sprays.

Details

Orion Safety Products

Orion Safety Products has been making automotive flares and railway flares (fusees) for nearly a century, originally under the brand name Standard Fusee.

Over the years, the company has grown not only to become one of the world’s leading producer of flares, but also a supplier of a wide selection of related safety products ranging from sound signals and lightsticks to first aid kits.

In November 1997, the company adopted the Orion brand name for all of its safety and signaling products.

Orion flare products are engineered and manufactured in the USA, primarily in three manufacturing facilities in Indiana, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Phone: (800) 637-7807 (toll free)

Website: www.orionsignals.com

Worth Pondering…

In many cultures, the bear was looked upon with such reverence that members of the culture were not allowed to speak the word for “bear “.

Instead, they referred to the animal with varied and creative euphamisms.

Several names were used by the Navajo and other native groups—Fine Young Chief, He Who Lives in the Den, and Reared in the Mountains.

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Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions

As refugees from the frozen north, snowbirds escape winter at home by migrating southward each year. However, some RVers, either by choice or by circumstance, end up living in their RVs in cold weather areas.

Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions (Photo credit: Photos.com)
Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions (Photo source: accuweather.com)

Winter’s bitter winds can freeze RV door locks, windows, and doors. Use these quick and easy tips to combat the ice.

Frozen Door Locks

Nothing can be more frustrating than finding your RV door locks frozen.

Frozen Door Locks: Prevention

One way to prevent frozen locks is to dip your key into Petroleum jelly or Vaseline, put it into the lock, and turn the key back and forth a few times. Repeat this to make sure the Vaseline is well-distributed onto the parts of the lock.

Frozen Door Locks: Solutions

Petroleum jelly or Vaseline. Petroleum jelly or Vaseline can also be used if you find the lock already frozen. Dip the key into the Vaseline, then insert it into the lock. Once in the lock try to wiggle the key. Do not force the key to turn; this could result in breaking the key off in the lock. If this does not work right away, repeat the steps three or four more times, then wait for five minutes.

Deicer: If you find the lock already frozen, spay deicer into the lock.

Heat the key. An effective option in severe ice conditions is to heat the key. This method usually offers a quick fix.

Hold the key with an oven mitt or gloves with the toothed tip over a lighter or match, then insert it in the lock. The heated key inserted into the lock should melt the ice. If the key is made of only metal, you can heat the key while it is in the lock. Do not try this with keys that have plastic at the top.

Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions (Photo source: accuweather.com)
Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions (Photo source: accuweather.com)

Hair dryer. As a last resort when all else fails, you can use a hair dryer. Warm the lock with a hairdryer or your own breath. This method is less effective, but worth a try if no other options are available. A cardboard tube placed over the frozen lock will help direct the warm air. Keep trying for several minutes, especially if you do not have a tube or if conditions are windy. When using this method, you can put the key into the lock to help direct the heat.

Lock Lubricant. Experts tend to have differing opinions about lubricant choices, but some options are recommended more often than others. Use only one of the following options per lock, since a mix could easily gum things up. Options include graphite lubricant, Teflon-based lubricant, WD-40, and rubbing alcohol. Since there’s little consensus, use as a last resort.

Frozen Windows

The simplest solution to frozen windows is to wait until the RV interior warms up. The ice should then melt shortly.

If your RV is equipped with power windows, do not keep pushing the button. If you force the window down, you can damage the motor, and this could be expensive to repair.

Frozen Doors: Prevention

To help prevent your door from freezing shut completely clean the door frame and rubber seals with soapy water and thoroughly dry. This should remove road debris and other detritus that can build up over time. Water can collect around the dirt and freeze the door shut once the temperatures drop.

Apply a rubber conditioner or rubber care product over the rubber seals with a clean cloth. Use 303 Protectant or other non-petroleum based product. This will repel water, reducing the amount that enters the seal and freezes.

Frozen Doors: Solutions

Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions (Photo source: youtube.com)
Frozen RV Door Locks, Windows & Doors: Prevention & Solutions (Photo source: youtube.com)

If you have not treated the doors and find them frozen shut, try these steps to unfreeze them.

Do not try to force a frozen door open. This can damage the rubber seal around the door.

While wearing gloves, hit the ice with the palms of your hands, and remove the ice as it breaks.

If this method does not work, you can use a hair dryer to melt the ice. Be  aware that excessive heat will damage the exterior paint.

Worth Pondering…

Forecast for freezing rain…. sometime in the future, but not today!!! What a beautiful day!

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New RV Tires Website Launched by Michelin

Michelin North America launched a new RV tires website that includes information on tire selection and maintenance for recreational vehicles including campers and motorhomes.

Michelin-RV-Tires-HomepageMichelin RV tires offer a wide variety of technical and reference materials to help keep you on top of the latest RV tire maintenance tips, technical information, and tire management solutions.

The mobile-friendly site offers RV customers online tools such as a new RV tire selector which assists with size, tread design, and application selection.

“Our goal for the new RV site is to provide a user friendly experience for our RV customers with information and tools to assist in their decision making and maintenance practices,” said Bianca Hogan, U.S. country marketing manager for Michelin Americas truck tires division.

The reference section of the site contains materials including warranty information, bulletins, load and inflation tables, RV tire maintenance tips, technical specifications, and videos.

The dealer and service tab can be searched by address, city, state, and ZIP code. It can also be refined to select the dealers with the specific services needed.

Customers can create a personal account so they can save their tire and dealer searches, as well as reference materials and videos.

RV Tires Recommendations

Proper Tire Inflation Chart
Proper Tire Inflation Chart

Tires are composed of various types of material and rubber compounds, having  performance properties essential to the proper functioning of the tire itself. These component properties evolve over time.

For each tire, this evolution depends upon many factors such as weather, storage conditions, and conditions of use (load, speed, inflation pressure, maintenance, etc.) to which the tire is subjected throughout its life. This service-related evolution varies widely so that accurately predicting the serviceable life of any specific tire in advance is not possible.

That is why, in addition to regular inspections and inflation pressure maintenance by consumers, it is recommended to have RV tires, including spare tires, inspected regularly by a qualified tire specialist, such as a tire dealer, who will assess the tire’s suitability for continued service. Tires that have been in use for 5 years or more should be inspected by a specialist at least annually.

Consumers are strongly encouraged to be aware not only of their tires’ visual conditions and inflation pressures, but also of any changes in dynamic performances such as decreased fuel economy, noise, or vibration, which could be an indication that the tires need to be removed from service to prevent tire failure.

It is impossible to predict when tires should be replaced based on their calendar age alone. However, the older a tire, the greater the chance that it will need to be replaced due to the service-related evolution or other conditions found upon inspection or detected during use.

While most tires will need replacement before they achieve 10 years, it is recommended that any tires in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tires, be replaced with new tires as a simple precaution even if such tires appear serviceable and even if they have not reached the legal wear limit.

The Importance of Tire Pressure

The most important factor in maintaining the life of RV tires is making sure they are always properly inflated. Incorrect pressure for the weight of the vehicle is dangerous and often leads to like premature wear, tire damage, or a harsher ride.

An underinflated or overloaded tire will build up more heat that could go beyond the endurance limits of the rubber and radial cords. This could cause sudden tire failure. Under inflation will also cause poor handling, faster and/or irregular tire wear, and can decrease fuel economy.

Over inflation, on the other hand, will reduce the tire’s contact area with the road, which reduces traction, braking ability, and handling. A tire that’s overinflated for the weight it’s carrying is more prone to a harsh ride, uneven tire wear, and impact damage.

Details

Michelin North America

michelin-logoPhone: (888) 622-2306 (toll free)

Roadside Assistance: (800) TIRE-911 (toll free)

Michelin RV Tires Website: www.michelinrvtires.com

Worth Pondering…

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

BURMA SHAVE

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