Replacing a 14"
X 14" Vent Lid
When trying to purchase a vent
lid to replace a cracked or broken one, it is not the size that
matters. Today there exists 3 replacement vent lids that all measure
the same size (14" X 14"), however, they will not cross
fit. The import thing to take note of is the way the vent lid
attaches to the frame or vent base. Each of the three replacement
lids uses a different hinging system.
The Jenson Roof Vent uses a plastic hinge
with a long thin metal rod going through it to secure the lid to the
The Elixer Roof Vent has two small metal clip
on the outside of the lid that secure the crank bar to the lid. This
vent uses a screw in either side of the hinge to secure it to the base.
The Ventline Roof Vent has a c-shaped channel
on both the lid and the base. The lid is slid over the base channel
and secured by pulling out the 2 metal tabs found at either side of the
If in doubt about the lid you need,
it never hurts to just bring it in and match it up!
on the Outside of Your RV
When attempting to mount
anything of the outside of your RV don't forget to use RV putty
tape. This gray gum-like substance keeps the water out and prevents
a simple cable hatch installation from becoming a rotten sidewall later
on. The tape is easy to install it just requires that you peel off
the paper backing and place the putty behind the object you are
mounting. Once the object is mounted some of the putty will
leak out the sides. To remove the excess putty you can purchase a
"putty pick" at your local hardware
store or a pen lid works quite well.
Once the excess putty has been removed you can now run a bead of caulking
around your object.
Don't forget that may household silicones are not designed to stick to
metal or for outdoor use. Be sure to use a parbond based product or
a marine grade silicone. These products are readily available at
your local RV shop.
June 2003 -
Burning Your Dome
Most RVs have funny little 12V
dome lights installed in the ceiling. These lights come from the
manufacturer with 1141 light bulb installed
inside them. However, over time these bulbs tend to actually burn
holes in the plastic lens covers or turn them brown and brittle. An
easy solution to this problem is to replace the offending bulbs with a 1003
bulb. The casing on this bulb is a bit smaller and the bulb
itself does not tend to get as hot - better still there is no noticeable
difference in the amount of light.
When towing an RV visibility is
very important. Don't forget that the mirrors on your vehicle should
allow you to see the back corners of your RV on both the drivers' and
passengers' side. If you can't see that far you should seriously
look at investing in a set a towing mirrors.
Small holes in your
RV awnings take a great deal of
wear-and-tear over the course of a camping season. If your awning
has a rip or small hole, caused by tree branches, drifting embers etc, try
a little VLP. VLP
or Vinyl Repair Product is an excellent and economical way to add
life to a torn awning. This product will join a tear or when used
with a small patch repair a hole. We find it works very well and
July 2003 -
In Peterborough we have a local
campground that is located right inside the city. What is
interesting about this is the water pressure! The water pressure in
this campground is actually city water pressure - however your RV is not
designed to handle it. Your RVs water system can only tolerate
approximately 50psi. To ensure that you don't have too much pressure
in water system we recommend that you travel with a Water
Pressure Regulator. This device screws into you city water
hook-up and regulates your water pressure between 40 and
August 2003 -
Your water filter is a very
important part of your safe camping experience. Often times however,
we forget to change it. Your water filter should be changed at least
once a year/season as per the manufacturers directions. When
was the last time you changed yours?
September 2003 -
RV Extension Cords
If you have 30 amp electrical service on
your trailer, 5th wheel or motorhome and you are going to plug in to a 30
amp receptacle at the campground please remember to always use a 30 amp
extension cord if you need the extra reach. Due to the extra cost of
purchasing a 30 amp extension cord, sometimes it is tempting to step your
30 amp power down to 15 amp and then back up again to 30 amp at the
post. However, this is very hard on your power converter and
may actually cause it to fail. A broken power converter can be very
costly - please avoid this by always using a proper extension cord.
(Please Note: This applies to 50 amp service as well)
October 2003 -
To Tarp or Not To Tarp
As many of you are getting ready to
put your RVs to bed for the winter, I find that I am getting many questions
about the best way to ensure that your RV stays clean and water free over
the winter. Basically, you're asking, "Should I put a tarp over the
roof of my RV this winter?"
Although tarping your RV may seem like a good idea - Yes, it will keep the
water off the roof - there are many drawbacks. As tarps generally are
not breathable it will store any water, moisture or condensation
underneath it. This allows the water the whole winter to find the
easiest route into your RV. Also, tarps generally tend to be a bit
rough on the exterior of your RV potentially scratching and wearing the
Given this, you have a couple of options to protect your RV from our harsh
winter weather. First, you can check the roof for leaks, and areas
that need to be re-caulked and then just leave it. If you are
concerned about the exterior give it a good wax to maintain and protect it
from the elements.
The other option is to invest in a
breathable RV cover. There are many on
the market at many different price points. These covers are waterproof
and therefore, won't allow water onto your RV while it is being stored.
They are also breathable and therefore, unlike the tarp, will allow moisture
trapped underneath to escape. Also, they are designed for RVs so they
are gentle on the exterior finish.
Air Conditioner Covers
Many of you may not realize but the shroud on your air conditioner (the
large white or off-white plastic cover) is a relatively expensive item to
replace if it becomes broken - that is if it is even still available to
purchase. A shroud can cost anywhere from $150.00 to $300.00 depending
on the make and model of your air conditioner. One way to
protect your air conditioner shroud from deterioration because of exposure
to UV rays is to cover it with an inexpensive vinyl air conditioner cover.
These covers range in price from $30.00 - $36.00 and are a custom fit for
each air conditioner model (so have a look at what you have before you head
out to purchase one). They are equipped with a drawstring tie
and therefore may be kept on while traveling but need to be removed when the
appliance is in operation. For not a lot money you may add years to
the life of your air conditioner shroud and with winter just around the
corner now is the perfect time to purchase such an item.
Winter 2003 -
Why you need to always use anti-freeze!
When winterizing your RV it is very important to use RV anti-freeze.
Often times in my parts store, I have customers tell me how they never use
anti-freeze in their RV's water system. They often claim that this has
never been a problem for them. The customer just blows out his or her
lines with compressed air and leaves it for the winter.
However, given that most plumbing fixtures in your RV are plastic, you would
require too much air pressure to actually blow all water out of the plumbing
system (you would probably split your lines before all the water was out).
Often times water is left in the faucets and toilet specifically. Over
the winter, as that little bit of water expands, it damages the inner
workings of these fixtures. This means in the spring you are often
left with a dripping tap or a leaking toilet - (it might interest you to
know that we sell most of our toilet ball values in the month of May).
Given that the cost of two gallons of 'good' anti-freeze is less than
$12.00, you might consider it money saved - The cost of a new toilet ball
valve is often more than $30.00.
We've had another interesting issue come up with one of our customers this
past week. A new customer recently traded her tow vehicle for
another. She had spoken with her sales person and determined that her
new vehicle was rated to tow 5000 pounds, given what she would towing this
rating was adequate. After owning and driving the vehicle for a short
while she received a telephone call from her dealer. The dealer stated
that her vehicle was not actually rated to tow 5000#s, as they had
originally claimed. Instead the vehicle was rated for 3500#s.
This rating was far lower than what they required. Furthermore, there
were now questions being raised about the warranty of her vehicle if she
continued to tow as though the vehicle was rated for the heavier
Needless-to-say, the customer was in a tuff spot. Her old vehicle was
actually rated correctly for her towing needs, however, it was long
gone. Given, that she purchased her vehicle new, she would be forced
to absorb the hefty over-the-curb depreciation the affects all new vehicle
sales, if she traded the vehicle in for another. Furthermore, she was
left with safety concerns about her vehicle's ability to handle her towables.
This situation is not unique! I hear customers in my shop every day
with unrealistic expectations about what their vehicle can actually handle
based on its size and tow rating. Often times these expectations come
from eager automotive dealers, who might not be well informed about the tow
rating of their vehicles (or potentially unscrupulous dealers who might not
have the best interests of their customer at heart). It is important
to have realistic expectations about your tow vehicle, if you are unsure
whether your automotive sales person can provide you with this, I would
recommend checking with the automotive
Spring 2004 -
Slide Out Maintenance
Just a quick tip today, short and to the point - Do not use
grease on the working mechanisms of your slide out!
Grease attracts dirt and other particles and can cause your slide out
mechanism to bind and seize. "Protect All" makes a product
that will not attract dirt and debris and can be easily applied to keep
things sliding smoothly. Check it out in our parts store.
Black Streaks #1
This tip came to me through my customers. We know that
nothing is more frustrating than those pesky black streaks - However,
putting close pins on the end of your rain gutters will prevent the dirty
rain water from streaking the side of your lovely clean RV. Take a
look around during your next camping trip I bet you'll see many Rvers
practicing this tip!
Summer 2004 -
Black Streaks #2
For all of you with a rubber roof you can seriously diminish
the number of black streaks by keeping your rubber roof clean and
Many of your black streaks are cause by the roof oxidation running down the
side walls of your RV. By cleaning and treating your rubber roof you
can reduce the rate of oxidation. As a result a cleaner RV! -
Not to mention a healthier rubber roof.
* Please only
use products on your rubber roof that were specifically
for that purpose. Failure to do so can result damage to your