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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Visit America's Largest RV Show!

Hey RVers! Want to see all the newest RVs of every type, size and price point? America's Largest RV Show, held in Hershey, PA every fall, is just around the corner. Here's my personal invitation to join me this September. Feel free to attend my seminars each day during the show. In fact, all the seminars ARE free with your admittance! Don't miss out on this exciting event. Here's a little video that explains it all:

See you in Hershey in September!

Monday, July 6, 2015

RVers Wanting a Good Night's Sleep Prefer....

Hey RV Doctor subscribers and visitors! If you are tired of being tired after sleeping on that less-than-stellar stock mattress that came in your RV, you now have an opportunity to experience the best of RV sleeping. A couple of the spectacular Denver Mattresses are on sale at the Lippert Components Store as we speak. But the sale prices are only good for a limited time! So act quickly! To see the details, click on the Closeout Sale banner below!

Denver RV Mattresses

And check out my quick review video of the Denver Mattress at a recent RV gathering.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

RV Holding Tank Evacuations

Gary, I agree with your philosophy of filling the holding tanks almost full prior to dumping. However my wife and I go to all the home Penn State football games and rarely get half-full over two nights. We stop at a campground on our way home and always dump every trip. Do we have to do this every trip or can it sit in the tanks 2-3 weeks and then dump after the next run? How long can you go between dumps? Ray T., (Lower Burrell, PA)

Ray, as long as you are using a quality, enzyme-based, live bacteria tank additive like Pure Power Blue, I see no problem with leaving the tanks partially filled over the course of a couple weeks. The enzymes will continue to work, further breaking down the solid waste. It’s more of a personal choice rather than a technical mandate. But if you wish to evacuate sooner, simply fill the tank above the 3/4 mark with fresh water and dump after every trip home. This is probably what I would do, but again, there is no harm (unless odors develop), in having a partially filled holding tank when you start for the next home game. 

Some coach owners might argue that they’d rather not travel with that additional weight; especially if they refill the fresh water tank before the start of each trip. As a safety concern, you do not want to have more fresh water on-board than you have capacity to capture and retain in the black and gray holding tanks combined. Leaving waste in either tank may push you past your total capacity if you refill the fresh tank before evacuating the waste tanks. It does require some diligence from the user.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Motorhome Roof Support

Gary, I've just purchased our first coach, a used 28-footer from 2006. The unit is in great shape and I want to keep it that way. I want to clean the roof but have heard that you can't walk on all motorhome roofs. How can I tell if I can walk on mine or if I'll have to use a ladder all around the sides to clean it? Patrick H., (Denver, CO)

Patrick, quite likely all motorhomes today have a solid roof whereby it’s strong enough to support you during normal maintenance procedures. In fact, I can't recall a single manufacturer using anything but a solid roof, at least since the turn of the century anyway. If the motorhome is outfitted with a ladder, it’s a given that the roof is "walkable." A soft roof will show visible signs of rafters placed about every sixteen or 24-inches. If the roof surface on your motorhome is rubber EPDM, fiberglass or TPO, it’s safe to work up there. Just wear rubber-soled shoes and take care when using water or cleaning agents. And be very careful! 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Battery Ratings

Dear RV Doc, your article on batteries was informative but gave information that is in conflict with information in two other articles I've read. You say the Amp-Hour (AH) rating is a 20-hour rating that indicates the number of amps a battery can deliver for 20 hours. From this one would expect a 100 AH battery to deliver 5 amps for 20 hours. The other articles I've read stated that the AH rating is based on a 20-amp drain. That at 80 degrees F., a 100 AH battery can deliver 20 amps for five hours before the voltage (12-volt battery) drops to 10.5 volts. The results may seem to be the same but one article went on to say that the length of time is not a direct inverse proportion to the amp drain. In other words, a 100 AH battery cannot be expected to last 10 hours at a 10-amp drain or 20 hours at a five-amp drain. What is correct? Keith L., (Swansea, IL)
Keith, I think it may be a matter of semantics mostly, but the 20-hour mention is the common time frame usually referenced for rating batteries, according to the Battery Council. Peukert’s Law notwithstanding! The 20-hour time frame is simply the usual benchmark. 

Here's how one major battery manufacturer states it:

"The amp-hr rating for an automotive battery is usually based on a 20hr discharge at 80° F, at a particular rate (determined by the amount of active material within the battery), until a minimum voltage of 1.75V/cell (10.5 volts for a 12 volt battery) is reached. For example, if a 12-volt battery at 80° F delivers 4 amps for 20 hours before its voltage drops below 10.5 volts, its amp-hr capacity will be 4 amperes x 20 hours = 80 ampere-hours.

Scientific measurements/data will be different. Obviously, to be 100% correct, the Peukert formula would have to be factored in. But to explain that would simply further confuse most readers not holding a degree in engineering.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Stripped RV Awning Bolt

Hey Doc, is there an easy fix for a stripped out lag bolt on the bottom bracket for my older awning arm? Mine screw through the bracket that hold the awning arm. It goes through the aluminum sidewall and into the frame of the coach. Troy W., (Roy, UT)

Troy, typically the bottom bracket is secured through the sidewall at the floor level, but a lot depends on the how that portion of floor and sidewall is actually constructed and adjoined on your RV. You don’t mention the year, brand or model of coach, but I’ll cover a few different scenarios here. 

If you have wood frame construction, (I call these “old school” coaches), it’s sometimes possible to cut an access hole into the very bottom of the subfloor directly below the awning bracket and bolt all the way through the sidewall structure at the same location. An aluminum plate is affixed to the inside of the framing and the existing hole for the lag screw is re-drilled all the way through. Then bolts and washers are used to sandwich the bracket to the frame member. 

With other laminated wall assemblies, the awning bracket may actually be mounted slightly above the floor line. In this case the backing aluminum plate can be installed inside the coach above the floor using bolts, hopefully inside a cabinet. If the framing structures are wood, it’s possible to drill a hole through the siding and into the framing, then gluing a short piece of dowel rod into that hole. I’ve glued a 1/2-inch dowel hammered into a slightly undersized hole in the wood framing. After the glue dries, a new pilot hole can be drilled into the dowel plug and another lag screw installed as before. 

If the framing is aluminum, it’s best to try to sandwich the wall section by using an aluminum plate on the inside as described above. Another option is to drill a new hole in the awning bracket itself, above, below or next to, the problem hole. Then drill a pilot hole into the framing and just install a new, second lag screw.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Properly Testing RV Fresh Water System

Dear RV Doc, we are purchasing a used 2007 Winnebago with 16,000 miles. Unfortunately, it had been exposed to freezing temperatures and the water heater froze and cracked. The dealer replaced it. When installing the water heater, the water line from the engine (it has a motor-aid feature), was not tightened enough and the line gave out and it blew the engine, which was also replaced by the dealer. If nothing else goes wrong and the system is ready we are considering going through with the purchase. However, we are worried about the water system being stressed by the freezing temperatures. What tests do you suggest that have a decent chance of catching plumbing problems that are just waiting to show up? I am thinking of using higher than normal air pressure behind a filled water system. What water pressure should the system be able to handle? Michael L.

Michael, freeze damage to the fresh water plumbing system is indeed a concern and proper testing is paramount prior to finalizing your purchase. The formal testing procedures performed at the factory during manufacture included pressurizing the system (with air or water) to 80-100 psi for ten minutes. Typically, in the aftermarket, these same tests can be performed by any Certified or Master Certified RV technician using a specialty test device comprised of a gauge, a manual shutoff valve and special adapter that keeps the city water inlet check valve depressed during the test. 

Since the city water inlet employs a check valve that opens under incoming pressure, (typically between 1-5 psi), testing through the city water entry without using the blue specialty fitting could allow small leaks to go unnoticed, so it’s important the check valve be continually held open during the test. Here’s why; until enough pressure leaks from within the system to create a loss in pressure sufficient to open the check valve, no loss in pressure would be noticed on the gauge upstream of the check valve if it’s not held open. 

Air pressure is my preferred method in case leaks are abundant; no mess to clean up! In your case, it really doesn’t matter since the system probably still has water in it. The test fitting is attached directly to the city water inlet and subjected to 80-psi of clean compressed air. Remember, this is the fresh water system, so they should avoid using shop air, which could contain tool oils and contaminated moisture. 

In the not-so-distant past, the fresh system plumbing was tested at 100-psi, but the NFPA Standards now only calls for a minimum of 80-psi. If you have an icemaker, it is probably best to remove it from the system prior to testing in case the inlet valve is not designed for that much pressure. Check your owner’s manual to be sure. If no drop in pressure is noted after ten minutes, the coach is deemed sound. In your case, however, I would like to see a redundant test performed before and after a road test, just to be sure. And possibly extend the test to fifteen minutes, vice ten. I’d also have some type of rider written in case additional leaks develop later. 

It is important to note that when this testing is complete, residual pressure must be released through a faucet or low point drain valve to avoid damage to the check valve device. Backflow preventers/check valves are designed for directional flow and pressure induced in the reverse direction may cause O-rings to be dislodged from their seats resulting in a damaged product. 

It does take a technician with sufficient training to perform this test correctly! The test gauge can be inserted anywhere in the fresh water system; it’s just usually easiest at the city water inlet. If an alternate location is used and it is necessary to tap into the system to insert the test device, those fittings will also have to be tested under pressure with a soapy solution once the test device is removed and the system fully pressurized and made functional. If you have any drop in pressure during the test, a leak exists somewhere. Soapy solution is applied to each fitting until the leak(s) are totally eliminated. If the leak is a crack somewhere along the length of a section of the tubing, further troubleshooting will be necessary to locate the crack and replace that section of tubing. Remember, a new test should be run after replacing any component until the test proves there are no leaks anywhere in the entire fresh system!

Monday, June 1, 2015

RV Water Heater & Refrigerator Pilot Problems

Dear RV Doctor, I am having a problem with the pilot light on the hot water tank on my old motorhome. I can light the pilot light, but when I turn the dial to the ON position, it takes a moment for the ignition, and when the propane gas finally reaches the pilot light area, the combustion is so strong that it blows out the pilot light and the main heating flame too. This unit also has a refrigerator that I can run on AC, DC, or propane. On this unit, with propane selected, after you light the pilot light, it runs and cools the fridge automatically depending on the temperature level that I set it to. I can light that pilot flame, but after that, nothing happens. The pilot light just stays on and doesn't ignite a flame to cool the refrigerator. I believe that both of these problems are related, but I am not sure as to what the fix is. The hot water tank is near the front of the unit, where as the Norcold refrigerator is at the rear on the same side as the hot water tank. I appreciate any advice that you can offer in solving my problem. Dan R. (Howell, MI)

Dan, a couple things to consider; first on the water heater. There will always be a brief delay from the time you move the control valve from "Pilot" to "On" before the main flame ignites. The propane has to travel from the control valve, through the orifice and down the mixing tube, mix with some fresh air, before reaching the pilot flame. The alignment of this mixing tube is crucial. As the gas flows through the tube it draws in air to mix with the propane prior to it igniting. If the tube is not centered on the orifice fitting at the control valve and in line with the angle of that fitting, then turbulence will take place inside the tube and create an improper mixture for combustion. This can cause pilot and main flame outage. Plus the pilot flame should only encompass the very tip of the thermocouple. A too large or too small pilot flame can also lead to pilot outage. 

On the pilot model refrigerator, the standing pilot flame will stay small until the temperature inside the refrigerator rises above the setting of the thermostat. If the box is already cooled it’s not likely to ignite the main burner until you open the door a couple of times or put warm food inside. Now if the box is already warm and the main flame will not come on, chances are the thermostat capillary tube is mis-positioned or the thermostat has lost it’s charge necessitating a new thermostat. A few tests by a competent Certified service technician will quickly reveal the exact cause. But most importantly, for both the water heater and the refrigerator, (as well as the other two propane appliances), is the delivery line pressure of the propane. It must be set to 11.0 inches of water column. Being an older coach, it’s probably wise to have a service tech perform a timed pressure drop leak test as well as set the pressure regulator to the correct setting just to be safe. It takes special equipment to measure, set the pressure and to test the regulator, so unfortunately, this is one task best left to the professionals.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

RV Roof Construction

I have a question about truss style rafter construction for my walk-on roof. I wish to run a cable through/across the rafters towards the front of my trailer. My question is how are these rafters made and most importantly are they hollow?  I am trying to accomplish this without any drilling through anything. It is a PacificCoachWorks trailer 2014. Bill M.

Bill, according to Pacific Coachworks, all PCW units have wooden roofing structural components, including their trussed-roofed trailers. It would be very difficult to route any conductor or cable though the roof. But because they have ducted air conditioning, it might be possible to snake a cable alongside the duct work, at least part of the way. Depending on what you’re installing and how far the run would extend beyond to two extreme ducts, of course. Though the sidewalls are constructed using hollow aluminum tubing, the rafters are all solid wood, unfortunately.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

RVShare & RVing Accessibility Group

Dear Readers...The RV Industry has a long history of being a proponent of RVing for literally everyone who wishes to enjoy the RV lifestyle. Though this article was originally published back in March, it's worthy of another mention here. Kudos to RVShare and RVAG! Enjoy!

RVShare teams up with group to provide RVs for physically-challenged 

Photo courtesy of North Trail RV
Legal News Reporter

The ability to take an excursion to one of America’s many campgrounds in an RV is something many people take for granted. But for the physically challenged, there are serious obstacles to embarking upon such a trip starting with the fact that there are few RVs for rent that can meet the needs of this group. But now a unique partnership between Fairlawn, Ohio-based RVShare and the nonprofit organization RVing Accessibility Group, Inc. (RVAG) is offering a solution to this problem by connecting owners of accessible RVs with renters.

The two have different objectives, but they have one important thing in common, a love and appreciation for RVing. It was during a November 2014 trade show in Las Vegas that RVShare owners Mark Jenney, Joel Clark and Patrick Couch got their first glimpse of the uphill battle facing physically challenged individuals who want to take their vacations on the road.

“We stopped by RVing Accessibility Group’s booth and started talking about how a large portion of the country has accessibility needs and how there are few accessible RVs available for rent,” said Clark. “It really struck a chord with us since we aggregate all the RV rentals in the country.”

“Our group has been working hard to help make campgrounds accessible,” said Sabrina Thompson, an outdoor accessibility advocate and volunteer for RVing Accessibility Group. “While there are manufacturers that make accessible RVs, they are privately owned. Most people are not going to invest in buying an expensive vehicle without first deciding how they feel about RVing so we are trying to make it easier for people to find rentals so they can have the same chance to fall in love with RVing as those without physical challenges.”

“Renting an accessible RV is hugely frustrating,” said Kevin Hansen, president of World Wheelchair Sports in Eugene, Oregon. Hansen broke his neck in a skiing accident in 1975 and is now in a wheelchair. As someone who enjoys the outdoors, he has been trying to get his wife to take a trip with him in an RV to see how she feels about it. The problem is, there is never anything available, or if there is a vehicle, it may require a cross-country trip just to pick it up. “This is beginning to change,” said Hansen. “I think a site like RVShare is long overdue since it is filling an important need. I also think that any place that rents or sells RVs should have at least one accessible vehicle available. It makes good business sense.”

Cheri Fiducia, RV rental manager at Guaranty RV in Junction City, Oregon, said she has received a number of calls from people interested in ability-equipped coaches. She said she has ordered an Itasca Sunstar accessible RV. The vehicle is expected to arrive in the middle of June and reservations are being taken for July. “People who are not able to walk on their own may need features like a power roll-up door, a power lift, roll-in shower, lower shelves and switches as well as doors that are wide enough for a wheelchair,” said Fiducia. “They cannot rent just any RV.” “Our owner is very active
Photo courtesy of Guaranty RV
within the accessibility community,” said Marshall White, marketing director at Guaranty RV. “He has a disability himself so it is very important to him to provide freedom of mobility to a wide range of guests.” White said as the baby boomers age they will be looking for vehicles that meet various assistance needs. “Even if they are not in a wheelchair, they may need handrails or walk-in showers. Those dealers that meet their needs will reap the financial benefits.”

Finding an accessible RV is only one part of the equation; the other is the campground itself. Jeff Sims, director of state relations and program advocacy for the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds, said his trade association works with members to help them understand and comply with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  “We have developed a self-evaluation form for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal for Priorities 1 through 4 and the recreational checklist for swimming pools, wading pools and spas,” said Sims. Priority number one is the approach and entrance, followed by access to goods and services, toilet rooms and additional access, he said. “Not everything on the list is readily achievable but we encourage members to have a transition plan in place.” In terms of making campgrounds accessible, he said owners have to start at square one from the moment the person pulls into the park’s entrance, attacking the accessibility issues each step of the way, including the office, store, pool, playground, common areas and restrooms. “People think that as long as a restroom is near the campsite, it is accessible,” said Sims. “But there is more to it. The person must be able to get through the door with the wheelchair and fit into the stalls.” Some things, such as making the trails available, are even more challenging he said.

Sims said in 2011 the United States Department of Justice set a mandatory deadline of March 15, 2012 for owners to install pool lifts. “The law says that the adjustments must be readily achievable, which means they can be accomplished without much difficulty or expense. “A number of campgrounds have made the change but some of the smaller ones, which have limited revenue, are developing compliance plans for the future. Technically ADA campsites are not currently mandated to make public accommodations under Title III of the ADA.”

Sims said this will happen in the future but the industry is doing its best to embrace the changes now based on the United States Access Board’s new Standards for Outdoor Developed Areas. He said these standards currently only apply to national parks and other outdoor areas developed by the federal government. However, Sims said the U.S. Access Board intends to develop guidelines for non-federal outdoor sites covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act under Title III.
The reason for getting a jumpstart on the requirements now is simple, he said, “We are an outdoor hospitality industry and we want to ensure that all people can enjoy the outdoors.”

Monday, May 4, 2015

Voltage Monitor Gone Awry

I have an issue with my Xantrex panel. When I plugged in the motorhome, all the panel lights for the charging sequence strobe and still strobe.  I have attached a movie to show you what I'm talking about. I also saw that the house batteries were showing 6 volts at the time. I really do think my batteries, four 6-volt batteries are bad as they do not hold a charge long at all. Could this strobing be from the batteries being shot and needing replacing? Doug K., (Redmond, WA)


Doug, Xantrex is aware of this problem and has released new software in the remote control unit. The problem happens with the older remote panels when the DC voltage dips momentarily, causing the processor to try to quickly track which LEDs should be illuminated on the display. Evidently it was searching too quickly and it basically confused itself! The newer remote re-tracks every three seconds which enables it to lock onto the correct sequence better. Replace the remote with a new device and it should be rectified. It might run through that rapid sequence once or so, but it will eventually fix itself rather quickly. Your local dealer can probably order one for you or you can also contact Xantrex directly.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Slideout Valve Leaking

I own a 2011 Cedar Creek Silverback 5th Wheel Model 29 RE. I am leaking hydraulic fluid from the slideout selector valves (Triple Hydraulic Slide-Out Room IRC Assembly). My dealership tells me that I need to replace the entire assembly at a cost of $173.09 per valve. Is there another way to fix this? Please advise. Raymond S., (Cinnaminson, NJ)

Raymond, you can purchase the entire assembly directly from Lippert and save a bunch. Here’s the order page from their website.

You’d still have installation costs, but it shouldn’t be too much to replace the entire assembly as a unit I don’t believe individual components are available since they test and verify each assembly as a completed unit. There would be no way to guarantee the parts and pieces individually since it relies so much on installation/repair techniques of the technician. Plus I’m a firm believer in the safety factor as well. It's better to get the whole assembly, tested as complete.


Friday, April 24, 2015

RV Battery Charging at Home

Hey Doc, I have bought two six volt batteries. My problem is that I have to store the trailer in a lot with no access to electricity. So I bring the batteries home to be charged. My question is what battery charger should I purchase to recharge at home. Also what amp should I use to recharge. Thanks and I always enjoy your presentations in Seattle. Mike A.

Mike, it’s probably better actually, to bring those batteries home to charge. That way you can monitor the charging process and keep a watchful eye on the electrolyte much easier. Simply connect the two batteries in series (one cable running from the positive post of one battery to the negative post on the other battery, and simply use any applicable battery charger to the other two posts. In this diagram, the battery charger would be connected to the same terminal posts as the two loose cables.

To fully charge both batteries, I recommend a multi-stage battery charger (such as the Xantrex TrueCharge2) and remember to never overcharge them beyond the gassing point. A computer-controlled battery charger will accomplish that automatically. The charger should be sized C/5; meaning, divide the total amp-hours of the battery bank and divide it by 5. That would be the recommended minimal charging unit required. As an example, two six-volt batteries in series would yield approximately 225-amp-hours. Divided by 5 = a 45-amp battery charger would suffice. I would recommend a 50-amp charger in case your batteries can store a little more than that.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

RV Open Road Magazine Debuts

Dear Readers! I just received my copy of Open Road Magazine and as you can see, I'm thoroughly enjoying this new, richly-filled periodical. Published by Lippert Components, the premier issue is chock full of helpful information for all RVers from lifestyle pieces, to RV maintenance tips, along with details about some of the latest innovative upgrade products all RVers should consider.

Here’s a sampling of some of the articles you’ll enjoy in the current issue:
  •  10 steps to get your RV road ready – by Ray Burr
  •  Everybody does it, RV waste management tips – by Emily Fagan
  •  Cooking across America – by Rachel Purdy
  •  Top 5 apps for RVers – by Chris Guld
  •  The ultimate comfort solution – by Michael Pelchat
I've also contributed with my very own "RV Doctor’s Orders" Q&A column, which contains questions from RVers that only appear in RV Open Road Magazine.

And the best news! RV Open Road Magazine is FREE! You can pick up a copy at any of LCI's preferred RV dealers across the country, or you can sign up and receive your very own digital copy by simply clicking the button directly below. If your local dealership does not have the magazine in stock, let Lippert know. Their list of dealers will be expanding as more of them find out about this fantastic resource.

And keep in mind, RV Open Road Magazine wants to hear from you, the active RVers. Be sure to send them ideas for future articles you'd like to see. Remember, RVing is more than a hobby, it's a lifestyle! Enjoy it!

Click Here for a Digital Copy of RV Open Road!

Monday, April 20, 2015

TV Shelf Removal

Hi Gary, I enjoy the reference material that your site has accumulated. We own a 2002 Komfort 23-foot travel trailer. In the Master bedroom there is a small corner shelf that an old CRT-type TV sits upon. My wife is always hitting her head on this shelf. I would like to remove it and install a flat panel TV on the wall. I can't figure out for the world how to go about removing it. I am not sure if the trim that runs along the outer edge if removed will show long screws, or if it is attached through the outer wall before it is skinned? There are no visible attaching mounts. I and my wife hope you can help me. Thanks for your time! Ed S., (no city/state)

Ed, I believe you are correct; that the shelf was likely installed prior to the installation of the exterior siding of the coach. The screws probably run from the outside, through the interior paneling and into the shelf. It is possible to cut through the mounting screws between the shelf and the interior panel, but there is a risk the panel will be damaged. A good technician with a careful hand and sharp tool should probably be able to accomplish the task easier. Because of the risk of water intrusion, I would advise against removing any of the exterior components. And even when the attaching screws are cut and the shelf removed, you’ll still need to hide the remaining screw holes and any other evidence of the shelf. Unless, the new flat screen will effectively hide them. Of course, you can always put the pillow at the other end of the bed, but I’m guessing that wouldn’t be a real option!. And probably not one to suggest to your wife!

Monday, March 23, 2015

RV Battery Capacity Question

Hey Doc, will two, T-105, 6-volt batteries be able to crank over and start a generator on a toy hauler? Frank C., (no city/state) 

Indeed and with plenty to spare Frank! But I assume you mean two, charged batteries, right? Two dead batteries of any make would have trouble. But Trojan T-105s are often used to provide DC power to a whole RV. That’s almost 450-plus amp-hours of storage capacity when configured into a 4-battery, series/parallel set-up and around 220-250 amp-hours when two are simply connected in series. If that generator won't crank, there's something else amiss. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Elusive Water Leak

I really enjoyed your training sessions at the Seattle RV Show. I need some suggestions from you. I have a 2007 Navion that I purchased recently. It had a wet spot on the ceiling on the driver's side above the shower. The dealer took it back but couldn't find the leak so they re-caulked all around the skylight and the rear terminator cap. They ran leak tests for three hours and said it didn't leak. They then dried everything out and removed the small stain. This was two weeks ago. Today I felt up there and it is damp again. I will take it back to them, but am worried they won't be so gracious about fixing it. Where would you suggest I have them start to find this leak? Could it be leaking in one of the lights? If they aren't helpful, is there someone you would suggest I take it to. Thank you very much for your help and suggestions. It is appreciated. Donna, (Western WA)

Donna, with so many items attached to the exteriors of RVs water leaks are some of toughest to diagnose and find the entry point(s). There’s truly only one guaranteed method of finding water leaks in an RV. It’s by using the SealTech method. 

Watch this little 3-minute video and you’ll see why.

I’m not sure if your particular dealer has a SealTech machine, but they should! SealTech publishes a list of all companies that have purchased one of their machines. It looks like there is a repair facility in Centralia that has one, but for everyone's benefit, here’s the updated and official SealTech list:

And as I mention in that little video, once water gains entry, it could flow anywhere before it is actually discovered. So I believe SealTech is the best way to go. It’s then up to the expertise of the shop to seal the leak properly. Obviously your dealer wasn't as thorough as they thought they were! 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Where To Connect Fresh Water Filter/Purifier

I am new to the RV world and have a question. Should our water filter go between the faucet and the hose, or between the hose and the RV? Or, does it not matter? Thanks, Debi (no city/state)

Welcome to the world of RVs Debi! Believe it or not, this question comes up more often than you'd think. From a water flow perspective, it really doesn't matter. But I subscribe to the thought that it’s best to place an in-line filter or purifier as close to the water source as possible, typically right at the campground spigot. That way you are protecting the hose itself, as well as the fresh water demand system in the RV. Oftentimes it’s near impossible to drain all the water from the hose, and over time, contaminates could gather in a stored hose and then be forced directly into the system the next time you hook up. 

Additionally, it’s wise to connect both ends of the coiled hose together prior to storing it in the rig. And it's always beneficial to carry an adjustable city water pressure regulator as you travel too.

Monday, March 9, 2015

New RVing Blog! - RV Open Road!


Hey RVers! I'm happy to announce a new RVing blog! Take a look at  RV Open Road! 

Published by Lippert Components, Inc., this new interactive blog features, not only never-before-seen RV Doc Q&As, but valuable RVing information from a host of RV experts, bloggers and authors.

I'll be posting regularly and LCI encourages you to comment, quip and suggest topics for future features for not only the blog, but for their new print magazine of the same name, RV Open Road Magazine.

As many of you know, the success of a blog, especially an RVing blog, is directly proportional to the amount of participation by its readers. So feel free to contact RV Open Road at any time regarding an idea, topic or product you'd like to see featured on the blog.

Look for the big green box on the left side of the home page to sign up for an email notice whenever a new blog post appears. Or simply click on the blue box below and do it now! And while you're on the blog, you might as well sign up for the web version of the upcoming RV Open Road Magazine. 

Have a technical question regarding your RV? You can write to me directly at RVdoctor@lci1.com with any questions or issues you may be having with your RV. I'll make every attempt to respond as quickly as possible. And your question just might appear as a post on RV Open Road! 

So I encourage you to take advantage of this new RVing resource today! Subscribe, submit and support, because RVing is more than a hobby, it's a lifestyle! 

Subscribe to RV Open Road Blog

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

RV Furnace Misunderstanding

In a recent RVtravel newsletter a lady states: "I am new to owning and living in an RV so I am not familiar with propane heat. I have read that propane heat also puts out moisture." I believe it may have been prudent to tell her that the propane furnace, being a closed system to the outside air, will have no affect on moisture within the RV.  (No name) 

Actually No name, fresh air is drawn from outside the RV into three of the four propane appliances to mix with the incoming fuel, including the forced air furnace. Yes, it has a sealed combustion chamber, but moisture can still be generated inside the fire box through that fresh air intake. I’ve replaced many RV furnace combustion chambers that have rusted through. All propane flames/burners require a mixture of air and gas in order to support combustion and all will create moisture. The primary air volume is drawn in from outside the coach. That’s why it’s important to have the furnace inspected each camping season. If a rusty hole is created, carbon monoxide (CO) can escape into the living areas of the RV.


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