|RV tips! Here are some tips that were provided to us by various campers over the years. These are tips that apply to your RV's electrical and water systems, RV safety, RV cleaning and more. We hope these tips will make your RV living easier, safer and more fun! If you have some tips you'd like to share with fellow RV'ers, please follow the instructions at the bottom of this page. Enjoy!
- Before connecting your RV to a campground’s electric box, always test the wiring with a small plug-in tester/monitor. Some electric boxes can have reversed polarity while others can have an open ground and fires can and do result from improper wiring.
- To protect your RV appliances, install a surge protector to your unit. You can temporarily attach a surge protector to the park electrical outlet or you can use an inline power line monitor (PLM) that is permanently be installed in your RV's electrical system. PLM's simply turn all power OFF in micro-seconds (to avoid damage) for up to four minutes.
- If you will not be using your RV for any length of time, disconnect the battery. Your RV may have many systems that draw a small amount of current all the time. Things like your propane leak detector, tank monitors or digital clocks will draw enough current to drain your battery if you are not plugged in.
- In some parks, water pressure surges to an excess of 100 psi. Place the water pressure regulator, at the tap end of the hose (ie. at the park connection) to reduce the water pressure to 45 psi, the recommended level for RV plumbing.
- Never use a green garden hose to connect your RV to park water. This is a dangerous practice because these hoses are not insulated – the heat generated from the sun creates a perfect atmosphere to grow bacteria.
- Always use an outside sediment water filter on any water source. You won't believe what you'll find when you clean it out!
- To conserve grey water holding tank space, turn water off when shampooing and soaping up in the shower. Don't run water while you are brushing your teeth. You can also use dishpans to wash and rinse your dishes (when finished, pour the dish water down the toilet into the black-water holding tank).
- Note that you can leave the grey water valve open (when you have a sewer connection), but close it a few days before dumping the black. Dump the grey after the black to completely flush the hose.
- To avoid odors and blockages, keep your black water holding tank valve closed and maintain adequate water level. Empty the tank only when it’s at least half-full.
- Your RV dealer will be glad to sell you RV/Marine type toilet paper “specially” made for septic systems. Usually these are more expensive than regular toilet paper and may not be needed. To check if your own toilet paper is OK to use in your RV, put one square of it in a glass of water. It should begin to dissolve quickly. If it does it is OK. Note that “cheap” toilet paper is the best for RV’s.
- Never pour grease, coffee grounds or food down the drain. Always pre-wipe dishes with a damp paper towel to avoid a smelly tank and potential problems.
- To add a fresh scent to RV sink drains, pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. After it foams and spits, the drains will be sweet smelling for several weeks.
- Always turn off your LP tank when traveling. In case of an accident, it reduces the chance of an LP leak and a potential explosion.
- To prevent field mice from nesting in your RV during the cold season, put fabric softener sheets (ex: Downy) in drawers, closets, under mattresses and in other strategic locations. Mice simply do not like the smell. We’ve heard that shavings of Irish Spring soap also works well.
- To stop ants from entering your RV, spread a small amount of vaseline around all entry points (doors, windows) into your RV. If you’re in an ant infested area, use ant bait around tires, jacks, hoses and cables.
- To deter spiders, put mothballs near the propane lines of the water heater and refrigerator.
- To keep your refrigerator clean and smelling good between uses, remove any food from it. Wipe the inside down with warm water and baking soda. Allow it to dry. Always store the RV with the refrigerator and freezer doors propped open to prevent mildew.
- To remove excess humidity from your RV, open containers of a crystal-type dehumidifier/desiccant and place at opposite locations in your RV. Such products include “DAMP RID”, “DRI-Z-AIR” or “NO-DAMP” sold at various stores and RV dealers.
- To remove oxidation from your RV’s paint, apply “Meguiar's Heavy Duty Oxidation Remover” with a soft cloth, let it dry to a haze and then wipe it off to reveal a lustrous shine. To remove those persistent black streaks, you can use Lysol’s “Tub and Tile Cleaner. You can then apply a coat of one-step RV/boat cleaner and wax to seal the finish. Do not use household detergents and cleaners as they can actually harm the surface due to the alkaline or acidic nature of these products.
- Always cover your tires with vinyl, cardboard etc. UV rays are bad for tires and will dry them out prematurely. Note that you can also uses ‘303’ (or a similar product) on your tires to protect them from the UV rays.
- Get a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector if your RV doesn’t have one yet and make sure that you replace the batteries at least once a year. A couple of fire extinguishers are also ‘a must’.
- Use ‘Velcro’ tape to securely hang and fasten things in your RV.
- Park your RV in shady locations and use your awning to keep it cooler inside.
- Put screen wire in your rubber bumper plugs to prevent bees from nesting.
- Only open the front windows during transit in a motorhome – if the back windows are open, harmful fumes can be pulled into the unit.
- If you have drawers that do not stay closed during driving, try placing the handle of a fly swatter or a plastic hanger through the handle of the drawers.
- The only secure lock on your RV door is the dead bolt. The lock in the door handle is frequently locked or unlocked with a master key because many RV manufacturers use the same key for that lock. Most outside storage pod keys are also interchangeable from one unit to another so unless you change these locks keep your valuables out of these compartments.
- If you travel a lot, get an Emergency Road Service policy! The cost of one tow will generally be higher than the price of an annual policy. You can buy these from RV clubs and most insurance companies. Look for unlimited service calls and unlimited towing distance.
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