Darlene Hildebrandt/Flickr Creative Commons
Do y’all remember the lines at gas stations during the 1970’s? Do y’all remember President Jimmy Carter coming on TV to explain how tire gauges work? Well we’re going to talk fuel economy a little bit today. The summer driving season is upon us and granted, RV’s aren’t like driving a Prius…but…there are several things you can do to squeeze more miles out of a tank of gas and that’s what we’re going to discuss today.
Oddly enough one of the biggest influences on the range of your fuel tank is your right foot. For those of y’all who are lead foots or think your RV is a dragster, I’ve seen figures that show a negative effect on your range from five to thirty three percent! For the same reason, use your cruise control whenever possible. That constant speed, and constant RPM equates to a more efficient way of converting your fuel to miles. On the other side of the same coin, don’t just let the RV idle for long periods…just shut off the engine if it’s going to be more than a few minutes.
Sometimes an increase in economy can be achieved just with regular maintenance. Something as simple as a broken oxygen sensor can impact you by forty percent. And the same goes for the rest of the emissions systems, remember these engines are basically air pumps so anything that affects the air flow through the engine will affect your gas mileage. So with that said, air filter maintenance is also a key component to maximizing your mileage. Keep it clean or replace it often especially if you’re driving out west where there is a higher level of airborne dust.
So to recap…by all means check your tire pressures, don’t drive like a teenager, and keep up with the maintenance on your RV and the cost per fuel stop won’t be any higher than it needs to be. Also, we can help you get down the road with parts and accessories over at the website, so come say howdy!
I suppose in the past there were phrases that would strike dread into the hearts of everyone who heard them. Phrases like: “Honey, the Smiths next door have The Plague” or “Darling, I just heard the Mongols are headed this way or “Snoogums, we just got a letter from the IRS”. Well I have one you can add to that list that is worse: “SUGAR, THE A/C IS OUT!”
Texas summers are world renowned for being just a little bit special when it comes to heat. Heck, summer takes up four seasons here in Texas! The rest of the country has regular old Summer, but we here in Texas have “Almost Summer”, “Summer”, “Still Summer”, and when all that is over we have our fourth season “August”. So hearing the news that the A/C is out is almost enough to make you pack your bags and mosey on north to find out where I-35 ends. But before you get to packing, and sweating while you do it, I have an alternative solution.
Replace that old, no-account, nappin’ on the job air conditioner with a new Coleman Mach Air Conditioner. They’re pretty inexpensive and brother they pump out the cold. Depending on what size RV or travel trailer you have, Coleman has an A/C to match. They easily install into a standard 14″ roof hatch, run on 115V, and come in either ducted or non-ducted models. If it were me, I’d buy the highest rated BTU unit, then get another one, crank ’em both on high and just revel in the cool. That way I wouldn’t need any ice in my tea, Ha!
If you’re interested in learning more about these units, click right here and you’ll be whisked away to our website where you’ll even find them on sale. There’s nothing worse than trying to fall asleep on a Texas Summer night when the A/C is out, so let’s get the RV coooooooooooooool!
Have you ever watched the endless minute adjustments being made by folks who may not use their fifth wheel hitch very often? Forward, reverse, forward, reverse, forward, reverse, pull out, readjust, start over. It’s even worse when they’re driving a long bed truck and the adjustments have to be amplified to counteract the longer pivot. Sometimes I just want to go knock on the window and ask if I can hitch ’em up real quick so these folks can get down the road, but I can never decide whether or not that would be rude or helpful. As they get more and more frustrated, you can just imagine them cursing the hitch, the truck, and the trailer.
Well I’m here to ease that frustration in a not-rude, very helpful sort of way today! For you long-bed truck having, fifth wheel trailer dragging folks who are tired of feeling like you’re wasting your time getting hitched up, Pullrite has an awesome light weight, high mounted fifth wheel hitch that will be the answer to your prayers! First of all the hitch is touted as the easiest fifth wheel hitch in the entire industry to couple. Secondly, it IS light, weighing in at only 52 lbs which means the UPS guy won’t even break a sweat lugging it to your door. And thirdly, what Pullrite has done in the engineering of this hitch is incredible.
What they’ve done is combine the functions of the hitch plate, rocker arm, and crossmember into the king pin adapter, which clamps to the trailer’s king pin and mounts an upside down ball hitch. Then, a gooseneck coupler is mounted upside down onto a base which attaches to most industry rails (unless it has the bole mounted in the middle, call for details). A funnel is mounted to the gooseneck coupler so instead of fine-tuning your long bed truck, all you have to do is contact the ball with any portion of the funnel and you’re all hitched up! Plus, the funnel and ball are completely visible from the cab! How easy is that? They are available right HERE. You’re welcome!
Let’s admit it, sometimes we all procrastinate. For example, let’s say you’ve got a trip coming up where you’re going to take your beloved RV all the way across the country to some far-off destination where you get to go-see-do all kinds of neat stuff. The destination is wonderful and you’ve told all your friends what you’re going to do. You have the whole thing mapped out right? Well…maybe just the first night or so. You haven’t quite found a campsite out there in the middle because it doesn’t seem like many of the campgrounds out there have a website and you’ve been too busy to call.
When you finally do get around to calling, the person on the other end of the phone reserves you a spot but doesn’t inspire much confidence in you that they understand what you want or need or what you’re even doing there. Once you finally arrive at the campground a little while later, you could swear you can hear banjo music and you start thinking about running away as fast as you can like Ned Beatty should have done in the movie “Deliverance”. But you’re tired after a long day’s travel and now you’re stuck for the night. Thank goodness your RV is equipped with a permanently mounted surge protector because it looks like these folks have only recently even heard of electricity, much less know how to wire up the pedestal.
Matthew Hogan/Flickr Creative Commons
Which brings me to the point. Mount a surge protector, or bring a portable one with you, so you know that your RV or travel trailer’s electrical circuits will be protected. Over voltage, under voltage, power surges, open neutrals, etc etc etc can all wreak havoc with your electrical system. Protect your investment, and prevent that awful burning smell by just installing that surge protector between your RV and the campground owner’s cousin’s wiring job on that pedestal, we’ve got them in stock right HERE!
Hoo WEE, after all that rain we had in southeast Texas these last few weeks, it feels like everything with a leaf on it is pollinating right now. We have that yellow fog down here and if that isn’t a signal to dust off the ol’ RV and wake her up from her long winter’s nap I don’t know what all to tell you. Maybe our fairly consistent 80 degree weather can convince you it’s time to hit the trail again.
True, sometimes waking her up after that winter hibernation can be a booger bear, but I may have a cure for that. We stock this stuff called Start Tron, which is an additive you put into your fuel tank. What it does is it rejuvenates fuel that’s been sitting for a long time. It has some sort of enzyme in it, not sure how that works, but I have noticed in the past that after I add some to the tank of an RV that’s been sitting for awhile…it’ll start pretty easy!
When you add it to your tank it will help break down the gum, varnish and carbon that has built up in storage. And if you live in a humid area like we do, it will disperse whatever water condensation which may have entered into the fuel tank over time. Spreading that water out evenly through the fuel will help burn it off as well as prevent it from collecting in one spot and causing a rusty tank. This stuff will even work if you’re running ethanol-based fuels.
What’s kind of neat is that this product will actually stabilize fuel for up to two years, so if you’re one of those folks that like to buy gas when prices are low, this will enable you to store it for a good while worry-free. Check it out on our website right HERE.
Your alarm goes off, the sun is just peeking up over the horizon and your windows are beginning to brighten up. You stumble out of bed, brrrrrrr it’s chilly this morning. First things first, let’s get that coffee maker percolating. You accidentally spill some coffee grounds on the counter while you’re filling the machine, but you finally get that delicious red light lit and coffee cooking. You reach under the counter for a paper towel, because nobody replaced the roll on the counter, and when you raise up you bonk your head on a partially open drawer. Yep, it’s gonna be that kind of morning isn’t it? You didn’t want to wake up early, leave your warm bed, spill coffee, and bonk your head did you? Might as well hit the shower while the coffee percolates. You strip down, turn on the water and YIKES!! Oh my GOODNESS that’s cold!! Yep, your water heater has crapped out on you.
Which brings me to the problem solving device of today’s blog. A friend of mine has a tankless water heater and I’m here to tell you that thing is amazing. Especially on mornings described above, a tankless water heater would do more than just be a space saving, energy efficient appliance…it would be a morale boosting, confidence inspiring, let’s-get-out-there-and-conquer-the-day kind of necessity! We offer a tankless water heater by Suburban that will fill this role nicely.
It is specifically designed and sized to replace your existing water tank whether it’s a 6, 10, 12, or 16 gallon tank. They can either be operated through a standard on/off switch, or if you prefer, a control center may be installed in your coach that will allow you to set an exact temperature so you can have consistent bliss when you turn the tap in the shower. If you’re interested in learning more about these awesome set ups, click right HERE and treat yourself to a better than average Monday.
Well folks, that “winter” here in Southeast Texas wasn’t much of a thing now was it? Don’t get me wrong, we had a few days below freezing and one or two of those rainy, chilly gray days (like you see in England during the summer, haaaa!), but it seems to me like the majority of this last winter we could have spent in shorts and wearing a light jacket. So, unless you just planted a garden and your little green shoots are starting to pop up, most of us reckon there won’t be another freeze before December. With that said, shall we declare Victory over winter and just go ahead and move on to spring?
Spring. Man I love it. Spring is a great time to pull the covers off the RV, and get her all spiffed for driving season. Might be a good time to go back and read a few of our blogs from weeks past and map out some great destinations too. And I know y’all have a checklist of things to do to get the RV or camper all ready to go, but I was wondering if I could make a suggestion? It’s one of those things that tend to get ignored a little bit because…well…they’re just not pleasant.
I’ll put it to you like this: Have you ever seen somebody at a waste station at a park or campground and their sewer hose is just thrashed? Like Randy Quaid in Christmas Vacation dumping his sewer into the storm drain with his hose leaking and covered in duct tap “patches”? Well, that is one of my pet peeves. Seeing somebody with a beat up sewer hose that may be leaking that black water where all the rest of us might accidentally track through it. Not only is it disgusting, but that sort of laziness poses a health risk not only to the user, but to the rest of us as well. They aren’t expensive, we have them in stock, click right HERE to replace your beat up nasty old hose will you? Please? ALL of us out here thank you!
Well y’all we’ve been talking about a whole series of problem solving products these last few week, and I thought of another one this morning. How many times have you needed to get something out of the little baggage cubbies underneath your slideouts and had those baggage compartment cubbie doors come down and bang your head? Always seems to happen when you have your hands full, or it’s dark, or when it’s raining. There you are with your flashlight trying to find whatever it was that you went down there looking for and hoping you spot it before it gets all wet.
You know what would solve that whole problem? Some of those little hydraulic spring thingies that hold the doors open so you can fetch what you need helmet-free. We offer complete retrofitted kits by Hatchlift that will accomplish that very task. They’re great and you can set them to hold the door open at 90 degrees, which is perfect for under slideouts, or you can set them for 140 degrees which is perfect for those doors mounted with nothing above them. That 140 degree hold open will keep the door up and out of the way while you rummage, pack, or unpack.
These kits are pretty inexpensive and come with one hydraulic spring, so if you have longer doors that need this problem solved, you’ll probably have to get two springs…depending on the door’s weight. They’re super easy to install, and believe me once you’ve got them attached you (and your poor head) will wonder why you didn’t put them on years ago. If you’re curious to know more, or wonder what different sizes they come in, click right HERE and you’ll be whisked away in internet comfort to our website where you can find out all about them. And don’t forget folks, with the driving season rapidly approaching, hit our website before you hit the trail for all those parts and accessories that keep you happily rolling in this RV lifestyle.
Amy Meredith/Flickr Creative Commons
Have you seen those almost improbable sounding commercials on TV where the proud father and beautiful young daughter are standing side by side beaming at the camera and talking about their special family tradition of changing the batteries in the smoke detector on her birthday? First time I saw that commercial I rolled my eyes to myself at the sheer cheesiness of it, but the fact of the matter is… it’s very important to change the batteries in your smoke detector annually and it very much helps to remind you to do it on an important day that you actually remember. We change ours during the Thanksgiving holidays, and to my knowledge we’ve only forgotten once!
When it comes to these sort of safety features and RVs, there are a couple things other than smoke we should be concerned with detecting. Carbon Monoxide is the silent killer for sure, and our engines in the RVs produce it. Having a Carbon Monoxide detector in the cab of the RV somewhere is a very very good idea, especially with the older models where the seals and exhaust system might not be in the best condition. LP gas leaks should also be detected as early as possible.
We actually have a combination Carbon Monoxide/LP gas detector in our RV and it works great. It’s made by Safe-T-Alert, and mounts flush to the wall and powered by the 12V system which means we don’t have to worry about changing the batteries in these detectors! It’s incredibly simple to use and test too. Best thing is if the alarm goes off and you mute it…it will still operate normally in muted mode and if the conditions do not improve the alarm will re-sound. It’s a pretty handy gadget, and offers some peace of mind so you’re not worrying about what you can’t see! If you’d like to know more about these detectors, click right HERE.
Is it spring? If I ask that question will there be 6 more weeks of Winterpocalypse 2016? I don’t know, but this winter been a bit… um… nonexistent here in southeast Texas, I can tell you that. I remember when I was a kid, my grandparents would get the garden chopped in around Valentine’s Day because there would probably be one more freeze and that would be it for winter, but I’ve got to tell you in all honesty, I have no idea what’s going on with the weather anymore. It’s been so mild I feel like I should have gotten the garden in before Christmas!!
But thinking of spring and gardening and getting the RV cleaned up and ready for the road after it’s “long winter’s nap”, reminds me of a product we have here at PPL that is one of those frustration-reducing life savers. Have you ever gone out to the RV to hose it down and somehow your garden hose has gotten itself all twisted up and tied in knots? I mean, you haven’t used it since probably October (here in Texas anyway) and you know you stowed it away carefully, but as soon as you drag it out to the shed or driveway, there it is looking like a green rubber version of the Largest Ball Of Twine up in Kansas.
Well we have a solution for that problem, have you ever tried Neverkink Hoses? They’re great! You roll them up, and then…tah DAH! They unroll. Simple as that. They don’t get pinched and shut off water flow, you won’t spend hours untying your huge mess of a knot, they just stow simply, cleanly, and effectively. If you’re interested, we’ve got them, and they are NOT expensive, so come by the website and pick up one or two. Man they’re nice!