Simple Service Tips For Your RV

cracked tires

cracked tires

Refrigerator Guidelines

1. Plug in and pre-cool your refrigerator for at least 24 hours for a travel trailer and 12 hours for a pop-up.

2. Pre-chill everything you put in it.

3. If using the refrigerator on propane, light the stove first; if there’s air in the line, the stove will purge it out. When you see a flame, everything else should light just fine.

4. If you are using the refrigerator on electric, and it’s not working, check the ground fault outlets.

Trailer Tires

INFLATION: You should maintain maximum air pressure even if you are towing below the load range of the tires. There is no advantage to taking air out of the tires. With the tires at maximum pressure, the tire will perform and wear better, and you will get better gas mileage. Based on updated thinking, there are ultimately three keys to avoid tire trouble while towing:

1. Make sure your rig is equipped with the proper tires
2. Maintain the tires meticulously
3. Replace trailer tires every three to five years, weather they look like they’re worn out or not. Click here for more on tires.

 

Fresh Water Tips

1. Always use a high pressure white hose designated for fresh water. They are non-toxic and are “tasteless” so your water always tastes fresh. Keep the hose clean and NEVER use it for anything else.

2. Always add a pressure regulator to your hose; pressure can vary widely from one campground to another. If you attach it to the water spigot end of the hose, you protect your hose as well.

3. Always turn your water pump off before pressurizing from an outside source.

4. Carry two 25′ hoses rather than a 50′ hose; it gives you flexibility and convenience.

5. When you get home, thoroughly drain your hoses, coil them up, and screw the ends together to keep out dirt and bugs.

 

Protect Vinyl from the Sun

If you search the message boards for ideas to protect sun-exposed vinyl from cracking, the one top product that is consistently recommended by RV users on line is called “303”. Originally developed for aviation applications, it protects vinyl, rubber, plastic, fiberglass and leather surfaces from exposure to the sun. Note that this is not a cleaner – it is a UV protectant only. It isn’t cheap, but the consensus among users is that it offers better UV protection than any other product, and does not leave a slippery residue. You find “303” in our online catalog here, or you can purchase it from our parts department.

How Long Do Trailer Tires Last?

cracked tires

cracked tires

No matter is you have a travel trailer, 5th wheel or pop up camper, spring is a really great time to go over everything on the trailer and do a thorough cleaning and checking of all the appliances.  One of the most overlooked components of your trailer are the tires.

Hardly a week goes by without somebody asking us how long trailer tires last.  Trailer tires are different from automobile tires, and to really understand the differences, think about the life these tires live.  Automobile tires tend to run every day, and have direct attention.  Trailer tires on the other hand spend 90% of their lives in one spot, sitting in mud puddles, and losing air pressure.

How Long Do They Last?

The harsh truth is, after three years, you should really start looking closely at them and checking for cracks, uneven wear in the treads, bulging, or any other abnormality.  After 5 years, go ahead and start planning the funds to replace them, even if they still look ok.  If you have gone 6-7 years, now is the time to just go ahead and replace them, again, even if they don’t look bad, you are probably living on borrowed time.  If you aren’t sure how old your tires are, know that there is a code stamped in every tire made in the last decade or so that gives an exact date.  Here is a great article I ran across that breaks down the tire code so that you can be sure.

How can I Get More Life Out Of My Tires?

As with all of the other parts of your RV, UV light can be the worst thing for your trailer tires.  Over time, the plastic parts of the trailer will yellow, or become brittle and prone to cracking.  Tires, being black, tend to absorb even more rays, which can leech life from the tires, and cause them to dry out and start cracking.

The best way to help combat this is to use a tire cover over each tire that helps keep the damaging UV rays off the tire.  This is not a sure-fire solution  but it will help minimize the damage, and prolong the life of the tire.

The other main issue is tire pressure.  You want to check your tire pressures regularly, and make sure it is sitting at the max pressure when cold.  Especially when towing.  Running the tires while low can lead to “cupping”, which means that the tire is running on it’s outer edges, leading to uneven tire wear.  The opposite is also true, over-inflating your tires will make the middle portion of the treads to wear out more quickly.

Here is a video detailing a good routine for checking your tires regularly.

Do not forget your tires, they are the only thing between your trailer and the road; and a blowout is a very good way to cost money and raise your insurance rates.

 

Travel Trailer Tire Mainenance Video

Rv Education 101 Tire Video

Rv Education 101 Tire Video

Trailer tires are an often overlooked thing.  They are also one of the most important items.  Having a blowout with a trailer tire can not only be irritating, and dangerous to change on the side of the highway, but a blowout can lead to a lot of damage and that means a lot of money in insurance claims.  Make sure you take the time to properly inspect your tires.  Here is a video from RV Education 101 (one of my favorite youtube channels) to help guide you through the inspection process.