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RVing message boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: carson on September 24, 2007, 12:10:41 PM

Title: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on September 24, 2007, 12:10:41 PM
Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.


This new topic will feature a series of hints, tricks and gadget/tools that you may have in your kit bag of experience. You are probably proud of some, being the originator.

You are encouraged to post any item that comes to mind. There must be a multitude of  them between us. They should be especially helpful for the Newbies and of course to Old-timers as well.

Many of them are currently buried in old posts as well as in the library, but are hard to find in one place. We will most likely get duplications but your idea may have a twist to it, making it a valid entry. Attaching images will be appreciated to make the point.

It is important to keep it to ‘small’ items (see below), not engine overhaul, carpet replacement etc.

This is a bit of an experiment, but has been sanctioned by the forum management.

I will make the first post in a format that I think will work easily, below.



Hint: Smoke Alarm: – is it really working? Not just by pushing the test button to find out.
      Invite your cigar-smoking neighbor over and have him blow a good whiff of smoke directly into the detector. That’s called a dynamic test.
The CO (carbon monoxide) and the propane detectors probably can be tested the same way, I’m not sure. Maybe someone can confirm that.

Trick: Low water-flow in galley sink?
Remove the aerator from the spigot, clean the screen and remove/discard the water saver washer. Water usage will stay the same.

Gadget/Tool:  A quick battery and alternator/charger tester.
This little tool features 6 colored LED lamps showing voltages @ 15.0, 14.0, 13.5, 12.5, 12.0 and 11.0 volts DC. Just apply to battery terminals with and without charger/alternator in use.  (RS: 22-112).   Image attached below.

carson FL

P.S.: Is this project gonna fly?   ???
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on September 24, 2007, 06:16:59 PM
One suggestion on the smoke detector.... Invite the cigar smoking friend OUTSIDE the motor home and remove the detector to the outside for the test... That way the rig don't smell of cigar for the next way too long.

For water spiogts and a few other things as well.  Get a small pump spray bottle (Most drug stores have them, as do dollar stores) and fill with bleach water,  Just a "Cap full" for the small bottle is more than enough.  Spritz the spigiot at the park before you start to get your hoses out. it will be nice and sanatary when you hook up.... No matter what the dog ... Or it's master... Did before you arrived.

Also useful when you need to clean up an unsanatary mess.. Germs consider Bleach to be... Well, let's just bugs like Raid Better.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on September 24, 2007, 06:20:32 PM
Thanks for posting Carson. Hopefully others will jump in with their own tips, tricks and gadgets.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: threeful on September 24, 2007, 08:54:16 PM
I have a 5th wheel and I attached a retractable tape measure to the side of my king pin hitch.  When I uncouple, I measure and write down the distance from the tape measure to the ground, then I level the trailer height.  When I am ready to leave, I pull down the tape measure to the height at which I uncoupled and raise the legs till I reach that distance.  I back the truck in and it is always at the perfect height.  Takes  the guess work out on king pin height and saves lots of time. 

Also, I painted a white strip on my truck mounted hitch and on the top of the king pin.  I am then able to line up my hitch and king pin by using the rearview mirror.  Between the ruler and the painted strip ,I am normally able to connect the truck and unit in one try!!!  That is exceptional for me...prior to these simple additions I would in and out of the truck ensuring correct height and alignment maybe 4-6 times.

I also have hand crank type levelers and I use a portable drill/screwdriver with the proper socket to lower the levelers.  Takes about 30 seconds for each side.

Bill T

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on September 24, 2007, 08:58:43 PM
Just out of coursity.. How much does the king pin height vary from parking spot to parking spot? 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: threeful on September 24, 2007, 09:09:58 PM
I 've found it does not vary much if the sites are fairly level...1-2 inches.  I had one site that dropped off under the pin and it was 4" over normal. 

I am normally 53-54" from king pin to ground.

Bill
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: edjunior on September 25, 2007, 07:44:08 AM
Our method of testing the smoke alarm is to pop a couple of pieces of bread in the toaster without the AC or vents running.  May not work in a larger rig, but it sure works good in ours!!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on September 25, 2007, 09:48:11 AM
That's my wife's method of testing the smoke alarm too.. Only she does not plan on it :)

As for the kingpin question.. Might make sense to cut a dowel rod to the average length instead of measuring each time.. however tehn you'd have to find your tape when you get one of those "Special" cases.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: BernieD on September 25, 2007, 07:38:09 PM
Our method of testing the smoke alarm is to pop a couple of pieces of bread in the toaster without the AC or vents running.  May not work in a larger rig, but it sure works good in ours!!

That works on a 40 footer ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Gasser on September 25, 2007, 07:46:16 PM
One suggestion on the smoke detector.... Invite the cigar smoking friend OUTSIDE the motor home and remove the detector to the outside for the test... That way the rig don't smell of cigar for the next way too long.

For water spiogts and a few other things as well.  Get a small pump spray bottle (Most drug stores have them, as do dollar stores) and fill with bleach water,  Just a "Cap full" for the small bottle is more than enough.  Spritz the spigiot at the park before you start to get your hoses out. it will be nice and sanatary when you hook up.... No matter what the dog ... Or it's master... Did before you arrived.

Also useful when you need to clean up an unsanatary mess.. Germs consider Bleach to be... Well, let's just bugs like Raid Better.
Or better yet, get a candle and then blow it out.  I hate tobacco.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: kafansler on September 26, 2007, 09:25:05 AM
I wanted to have something to hold a trash bag that would keep it open for ease of access and to be able to keep it off the ground away from animals.  I took an old 5 gal bucket and measured down approx. 8" from the top and cut the bottom off.  This leaves you with a handle and an 8" trash bag holder.  I feed the empty bag up from the bottom and fold it around the top of the remaining bucket. I can then hook the handle under the raised portion of the camper near the king pin.  It isn't on the ground and animals can't get it.  Best part is its free if you have an old bucket around.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on September 27, 2007, 06:37:38 PM
Here's a little hint for users of roof type A/C units, using rotating type ceiling air vents.

   Ensure that any vent outlet is not pointing at the thermostat. Cold air hitting the thermostat will wreak havoc on your desired indoor temperature. You may even think your A/C is on the fritz.

   Even your heater outlet may sneak warm air up the wall towards the thermostat.

carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on September 27, 2007, 07:30:14 PM
Good point Carson. We had the opposite problem at our prior house. The thermostat for the downstairs was in the hallway and it received direct sunlight every morning, so the a/c would kick in and freeze us out. When I eventually figured it out, I put a small shade over the thermostat.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Sunshein on September 27, 2007, 08:58:23 PM
Tom, speaking of thermostats, I am battling the same problem in our one house, the morning sun has a direct hit on the thermostat through the loft window, and I have a piece of cardboard alongside of it to keep it shaded. It helps, but I need to remove it before company comes.

In a former motor home, our thermostat was mounted on the wall next to the refrigerator. It actually picked up heat from the refrigerator compartment through the wire holes.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on September 27, 2007, 09:08:47 PM
....I have a piece of cardboard alongside of it to keep it shaded. It helps, but I need to remove it before company comes.

To heck with the company, I left the cardboard covering our thermostat. If company didn't like it, they could go to a hotel/motel.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: reddogsrunning on September 28, 2007, 04:41:21 PM
Here's one of mine. I have to park under two Oak trees at the residence. The gutters on my TT are always clogged with leaves and what does drain just finds the easiest route out of the gutter. Usually down the side of the TT. I try to keep them cleaned out but ladders and I have a history of disagreements so I came up with a way to clean them with my feet on the ground.
I went through my stash of PVC and came up with a power wand that I can use from the ground. I made it out of 3/4" PVC and long enough for me to reach the gutters easily. Just hook it to the hose. I put the extra slip to hose fittings in so that I can adjust the direction it sprays and it also does the house gutters. No more ladders but the ER guys might miss me.
this is my first try with pictures so please bear with me.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on September 30, 2007, 10:19:18 AM
A basic test of coach battery status, in real time:

Note: I have 2-size 27 standard flooded (wet) cell units in parallel.
           Both are now 3 years old. Am using a (recently installed) 3-stage converter/charger. PD.

Measurements were made with a small digital voltmeter. Batteries had been sitting unattended for over one week without any load applied.
I could not detect any parasitic current draw during storage.

Reading 1.    No load - 12.29 VDC

Reading 2.    11.99V - after applying a load for 10 minutes (9 interior lamps turned on)

Reading 3.     11.93 V - after 20 minutes under load.

Reading 4.     13.44 V - after generator started and charger functioning. ( with and without load)

Morale of the story: A NO-Load reading of an inactive battery means little.
      A battery under load will give a true reading at that time.
      (One could do this for each battery, separated, to identify problems with either).

I now know that the batteries were not "fully" charged and that my new PD charger is working per spec.

This test is not intended to be of great significance in the big world of batteries, rather just as a helpful hint for newcomers to the RV world.


carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on September 30, 2007, 03:48:29 PM
Actually.. That test is of more significance than most of the tests folks suggest,  Save the hydrometer.

And you are very right... I use a somewhat different load tester on my batteries ... It's up to about 450 lights turned on.

(At 1 amp per lamp) or less, depending on how much I twist it's nose
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on September 30, 2007, 03:57:01 PM
John, now you have me scratching my nose. Translation, please.

carson Fl.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on September 30, 2007, 06:21:02 PM
The Tester I use on my batteries (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=91129)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on September 30, 2007, 07:01:34 PM
Carson, you can get a battery load tester from any auto supply store.  I think I paid about $35 for mine.  It puts a large load on the battery and gives an indication of the battery condition on a meter within a few seconds.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on September 30, 2007, 10:14:19 PM
The only problem with load testers is that they tell you how the battery sustained that one load, but don't give you a hint about the next time a load is put on the battery. Something I learned from working with a guy who's entire working life was batteries - lead acid, NiFe, NiCad, and others. That was over 40 years ago though, but the logic still holds today.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on October 01, 2007, 04:34:17 AM
If the battery fails under the heavy load of the tester, it won't last long in normal service.  I've used mine to detect failing AGM batteries on several occasions and the tests were quite reliable.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 01, 2007, 04:51:20 AM
John and Ned, thanks for the info.

     You are probably reading too much into my "basic" test. It was meant for the "un-initiated techs" being able to do a quickie check, without having to buy more tools and test equipment, and get a a fairly accurate reading of the state of charge of the battery, now. I have read many posts where 'newbies' with problems would take a no-load reading and find voltage to be sufficient, only to find that the problem stayed.

   Even a 1 volt drop under load means it may take many hours of charging with a basic charger to get the battery back up to full charge.

   I wasn't talking about a professional analysis of the health of the battery. Simply, is the battery charged or not? Is the charger working or not?

The MO of this topic - keep it SMALL. It's an educational thing.

Excuse my rebuttal if you disagree.

carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on October 01, 2007, 05:04:01 AM
Carson,

There's nowt wrong with your test per se. Using voltage under load is one of several tests that, taken in combination, can give some indication of the condition of a battery. I continually monitor/check battery voltage on our coach and our boat, and it's is my primary indicator to determine when to fire up the generator. Making a mental note of how much time elapses between required recharges is my first indicator that my deep cycle wet cell batteries need equalizing. There's nothing scientific about my "tests" either, but they've worked for me for many years.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on October 01, 2007, 05:06:42 AM
Carson, your test is much more complicated than using a battery load tester.  Connect the tester, press the switch for the specified time (10 seconds or so) and if the meter is in the green, the battery is ok, if in the red, it's not.  The meter reads volts so you can also read the no load voltage both before and after the load test.  It takes longer to describe than to do the test.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on October 01, 2007, 05:37:13 AM
If the battery fails under the heavy load of the tester, it won't last long in normal service.

Very true Ned. The battery guy's point was that passing a load test is no guarantee that a battery will remain "good". He'd had more experience load testing batteries than I will ever have in my lifetime.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on October 01, 2007, 08:39:29 AM
The load test Ned has described is proably the fastest and most economical way of detecting a faulty battery.  While there are other test that can be done they require much more time. 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on October 01, 2007, 08:42:17 AM
Oh, I understood your test was a basic one.. And I agree.. if the voltage drops quickly under a light load. the battery (or something) is wrong.

Also, you need to test the voltage at the lights as well... I've seen many a case where you load the battery with just a couple of lights (most RV light bulbs are right close to 1 amp each) and the voltage at the battery barley flickers

But the voltage at the BULB (or at another 12 volt location in the rig) changes greatly

(This is caused by a bad connection, with the grounds being suspect #1)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on October 01, 2007, 10:32:47 AM
Tom, a battery that stays in the green under the 100A or so load is more likely to stay usable than one that goes in the red.  The load tester is for finding bad batteries, not predicting future failures.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on October 01, 2007, 11:16:05 AM
a battery that stays in the green under the 100A or so load is more likely to stay usable than one that goes in the red.

No disagreement Ned. FWIW the load tester I'm used to seeing (although it's been many years) is a handheld one that has two built-in prongs (more like spikes) and was used to test inidividual cells.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on October 01, 2007, 12:10:00 PM
Mine has cables with large clips on them to test the whole battery, not individual cells.  The meter is calibrated for both 6V and 12V batteries.  Can't test individual cells on my AGM batteries.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on October 01, 2007, 01:42:26 PM
Ned,,, I'd say that if a battery under the proper load test drops to oh, say, eight volts within fifteen seconds.. That it is a good sign that it is going to fail.. THE NEXT TIME IT"S NEEDED.

(For those who don't know how the thing works,, That is an indication that the battery HAS failed and the only reason you don't know it is you have not tried to use it yet so in fact I'm agreeing with NED... It did not predict failure, IT detected it)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 02, 2007, 04:37:38 PM
Do you need a good deodorizer, defumer, dehumidifier, de-everything for your RV?

Have you heard of ZEOLITE?

Zeolite is a volcanic product with a"high ion exchange capacity". ???

It comes in both granular form or in rock/pebble form in mesh air bags. 1 and 2 lb bags.
Just put it in the fridge, bathroom, pet areas etc.

It will last indefinitely but requires occasional "recharging" by placing it in sun light for a few hours. Then it'll be just like new.

I cannot recall where I purchased the mesh bags, maybe a hardware store, CW, pet store .... just can't remember.

The granular version is also called "ODORZOUT". Used primarily for pet problems.

    The description is a fascinating read. Just click on ZEOLITE MESH BAG (http://www.toxicsinfo.org/canary/Zeolite.htm)

    A number of articles are available by googling.

carson FL

PS: No I don't sell the stuff.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 04, 2007, 11:24:57 AM
Another small hint/trick:

   During storage (lengthy non-action) the water in the P-traps (the U-shaped pipe under sinks and bathtubs) has a tendency to evaporate. This will eventually cause fumes/odors to permeate into the RV from the waste tanks.

   Simple solution: Make sure the traps are filled with water, then add 1 TBSP (tablespoon) of el-cheapo vegetable oil and add through the drains. The floating film of oil will now substantially prevent evaporation. It will also help to keep the stoppers in place, but not really necessary.

carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: MollysMom on October 04, 2007, 08:45:21 PM
Hey Carson, I like those last two post - I'll have to find one of those "de-smeller" things
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 06, 2007, 03:03:02 PM
A little recap here, statistically speaking, on this new topic.

I authored the first entry of this topic on Sep/24/07. To date, Oct 6/07 (12 days) there have been:

840Views

36 entries by 13 individual contributors/posters.

There were 9 original ideas (Hints etc) posted. (27 of the 36 were rebuttals, alternatives or chit chat.)

    I am merely trying to gauge whether "you'all" think if this topic should continue.

Judging by the interest (840 views), there seems to be little interest in 'unloading' some of the myriad ideas that 'you'all' can dig out of your hat and post. Remember, the newbies can use all the help they can get.

I still have a slew of future postings in mind; the product of learning the hard way from 40 years of  tenting, trailering, VW Westphalia-ing and now Class A-ing. But I don't want to be the major source of info, even though I get a kick out of sharing these small, but important "hints". I still have a lot to learn myself.

So, what do you say folks, is it a go or shall we save memory space.

carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on October 06, 2007, 03:07:04 PM
Keep them coming Carson. At some point along the way (maybe multiple points) I'll capture the bones and put them in the library. Thanks for starting this topic.

Folks, any and all ideas are welcome. If they can be explained a little better with photos, by all means attach them. Don't know how to attach photos? Click the Resources button in the toolbar above and scroll down to Forum navigation tips.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on October 06, 2007, 03:23:10 PM
Keep them coming.  I am sure some are useful to some folks and a life saver to others.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ray D on October 06, 2007, 06:22:17 PM
Like other recent starters, I appreciate the experience. I don't care how many views or how many posts, as long as they keep coming.

thanks,

Ray D  ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wendy on October 06, 2007, 06:50:59 PM
Zeolite? I am going to have to find this stuff. As a long time camper/RVer who has always traveled with a dog and who just returned from a 3-week trip with a smelly Labrador, I could use that stuff !! I've been relying on candles and Lysol sprays and Sam has defeated them all.

Thanks for the tip!!
Wendy
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on October 06, 2007, 07:31:36 PM
I read this post every time it has a "NEW" flag on it, Never know when you are going to get a good hint.

GOOP, it's a adheasive (mild) and sealant, Originally marked as Shoe Goo for patching holes in tennis shoes they now make a bunch of different products, Automotive, Plumbers, Sportsman, Household and more... Near as I can tell they are all the same save for the paint job but it's one very useful tube of sticky stuff.. Patches holes in most anything.

Found out the other day it will, however, eat some plastics (Thankfully I intented to throw away that piece of plastic when done so the "Damage" was 0.00 but .. Hey, got lucky on that one)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: scottydl on October 07, 2007, 07:50:15 AM
Keep the thread going!  It probably would help if members could refrain from posting so many of those "rebuttals, alternatives or chit chat" type of posts, to keep the rest of the thread easier to read.  ;)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on October 07, 2007, 09:50:12 AM
It probably would help if members could refrain from posting so many of those "rebuttals, alternatives or chit chat" type of posts....

You're right Scotty, but hoping that RVers will cut down on the chit chat - unlikely to happen; It's part of the social fabric around here and in virtually any campground or anywhere that RVers congregate. When things get way off topic one of the staffers will split/move/rename messages, but we also try not to overdo that.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on October 07, 2007, 09:58:32 AM
Besides sometimes a bit of chit chat keeps things ineresting. ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: scottydl on October 07, 2007, 12:49:44 PM
Oh I'm with you guys 100%... :)  Just for this type of thread that is designed to be utilized and referred to frequently (that's my plan anyway), it may help to keep the non-essential talk to a minimum.  ;)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Daisy on October 07, 2007, 02:40:44 PM


Here's a couple of my hints:

1.  When we bought our DS, we opted NOT to put in the rolling pull-out trays in the pantry, as they waste too much storage space.  Being almost full-timers it is generally stocked pretty well anyway.  For light, we put up those "moon" lights.  Just replaced orignal cheap ones with LEDs that work great.  (just have to remember to turn them off before shutting the door again)

2.  When traveling and the refridge is not very full and to keep stuff from "traveling" around inside, I put in empty pots or bowls whereever the need is.  This also works in the pantry, when there is space available for them.


Daisy
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wendy on October 07, 2007, 02:47:54 PM
What are "moon" lights? With my bad eyes, I have trouble seeing in all the kitchen cupboards and need something that'll give me good light so I can find what I'm looking for. Half the time I have Mike stand next to me shining a flashlight into the back of the cupboards.

Wendy


Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Daisy on October 07, 2007, 02:54:29 PM

They are small (about 6-8 in across) round battery operated lights.  You push the center of the "globe" and the light comes on.  (Gives the illusion of a shining moon) ;D  The LEDs have a high and low beam.  Not real bright, but enough to see what's inside the cupboard.  Come see mine at QZ to see if they will work for you.  They have holes for hooks if you want to hang them sideways.  I prefer them on the top and have attached them with Velcro.  Makes for easy battery changes as well.

Daisy
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on October 07, 2007, 03:39:49 PM
Daisy,

I'll bet that you and Fred have many more tips like that.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on October 07, 2007, 04:00:55 PM
Daisy,

I'll bet that you and Fred have many more tips like that.

I'll bet they do.  If I recall correctly it was Fred and Daisy that turned us on to the cookware that the handles are detachable.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Mike (ex-f-221) on October 07, 2007, 04:02:38 PM
How about collecting the tips and creating a new "virtual book" in the RV Forum Library?
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wendy on October 07, 2007, 04:12:22 PM
Daisy talked me into those stacking pans, too. Sure saves a lot of room in the pan drawer.

Daisy, the lights you described sound like the ones I have in one cupboard. Only problem is that they keep falling off....they attached with sticky tape and I think I need to screw them on. I'll have to look at yours in Qz.

Wendy
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on October 07, 2007, 05:19:28 PM
How about collecting the tips and creating a new "virtual book" in the RV Forum Library?

That's the plan Mike. It could be something like our Glossary of RV terms (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?action=Glossary). Reminds me I need to update the glossary and revise the format.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Mike (ex-f-221) on October 08, 2007, 09:38:17 AM
The odds are on the side of that person who can read....:

At some point along the way (maybe multiple points) I'll capture the bones and put them in the library.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 08, 2007, 01:23:50 PM
Re  "ZEOLITE" deodorizer etc.

I still haven't pinpointed any retail stores for the product. They are out there.

Maybe this website will help. click here for a mail order source (http://www.allergystore.com/odorcontrol.htm) from Florida..

carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wendy on October 08, 2007, 07:33:13 PM
I'm still looking for the Zeolite, too. I wonder if pet stores would carry it?

Wendy
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: scottydl on October 08, 2007, 07:46:18 PM
Zeolite appears to be quite a natural product (here's a link all about the magical stuff (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/11/oxygen_scooter.php)), mentioned online in various websites advocating "green" and environmentally friendly non-chemical products.  Probably not mass-produced and sold retail for the most part.  Here are a few websites I found that sell it in packets/pouches:

Environmental Home Center (http://www.environmentalhomecenter.com/shop.mv?CatCode=PRODUCT&ProdCode=ZEOLITE)
Refreshingly Free (http://www.refreshinglyfree.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.40/.f)
Zeolite Depot (http://www.zeolitedepot.com/)
And there's always eBay... here's the stuff in various eBay stores (http://search.stores.ebay.com/zeolite-odor_W0QQ_trksidZm37QQcatrefZC6QQcoactionZcompareQQcoentrypageZsearchQQcopagenumZ1QQfromZR10QQfsooZ1QQfsopZ1QQftrtZ1QQftrvZ1QQsabfmtsZ1QQsacatZQ2d1QQsaobfmtsZinsifQQsaprchiZQQsaprcloZQQsbrexpZWD1SQQsifZ1QQsofpZ4QQssPageNameZWD1S)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on October 08, 2007, 07:59:00 PM
Thanks for the info.  Should help those that want it to find a source.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 09, 2007, 01:21:22 PM
A little hint for motorhomes A,B and C.

Have you ever felt a cold draft coming into the vehicle during a cold night?

Chances are, unless you left a window open, that the dashboard climate control switches, (vent, heat, A/C, defrost), have been left in the "ON" position before you shut the engine off.

   Most RVs, (maybe not diesels) have vacuum operated air-intake vent valves/baffles. In many cases, when you shut the engine down, these valves stay where they are and don't close.

   Make sure you hit the "OFF" button before engine shutdown. The outside air intake baffle will close and stay closed. Voila, no blizzard in the cabin.

carson FL  88.2F -31.2C


Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: KodiakRV on October 09, 2007, 01:45:27 PM
Keep a fresh unopened tube of silicone caulk in your RV for small emergency leak repairs.  We were sitting in a driving rain the other day and noticed water coming in through the window over the kitchen counter.  You could see a tiny bit of daylight at the top-middle where the sliding section closes and locks.  We had never had it happen before since the awning is usually out on that side.  This day it was too windy to have the awning out. 

After the rain quit, I pulled a picnic table up to the side of the MH and stood on it to caulk the top of the window frame and fill the little gap in the frame joint with my tube of silicone.  I recommend that once you open a tube, you buy another tube and keep it as a spare since the opened one's contents will eventually get hard (cure) over the next few months.  I recommend clear since it will be the least noticable over the widest range of colors to be repaired.

I also carry a roll of Eternabond tape for more significant (roof) leak repair.

Given my required use of a picnic table above, I suppose another tip would be to carry a 3-4 step ladder, if you have the room & weight available.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on October 09, 2007, 03:05:38 PM
I would not recommend silicone caulk but something like Dicor caulk.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: KodiakRV on October 09, 2007, 07:07:33 PM
I would not recommend silicone caulk but something like Dicor caulk.
Definitely, for a roof repair.

My tip was for something small (toothpaste-tube size) and cheap (~$3) that you can carry all the time for emergency leaks and repairs.  Another time that I used it was to fix a leak at the seam between two panels in my RV shower.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on October 10, 2007, 04:17:18 PM
There is a product called either Goop or GOO (The original was Shoe Goo IIRC) that comes in a lot of different "Flavors"

Plumbers, Household, Automotive, Sportsman and of course the original "Shoe Goo" for fixing tennis shoe souls. And I suspect other flavors as well.

Not all that strong as an adhesive, but sticks like crazy to most everything (Will eat some plastics) and dries fairly flexable and seals well.. I use a lot of it.

And though it's not all that strong as na adhesive... It is generally strong enough for most jobs.  And in fact ideal for many jobs
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 11, 2007, 01:14:26 PM
A small hint/trick this time.

How to repair a broken switch on the indicator control panel (Tank1, tank 2, water, propane, voltage). The activation switch lights up the information. That switch is virtually non-replaceable or impossible to get.

   When mine malfunctioned, I did not remove it (it's glued in) but rather added a small push-button switch (N/O) as shown in the image attached. The wires are simply attached to the wires of the broken one. Cost less than a dollar.

carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on October 11, 2007, 06:50:21 PM
I did some thing like that too.  Many of the switches on my coach are "indicator/Switches" that is they light up when turned on, This includes the hot water heater switches, the step lock switch and a few others.

Well, of course those tiny bulbs always burn out quickly, so you don't know if the switch is on or off.

I picked up a bunch of LED indicators at an electronics supply, these are the king that have a single led in a plastic tube about a quarter inch, in diamater, leads come out the end, you drill a hold, push it through (leads first) slip a "Speed nut" on the "Back side" (over the leads) and push it up and it's there.  Parallels the indicator in the siwthces with BOB's (Burned Out Bulbs) LED should.. Outlast me I suspect. 

I just figured out how to solve a "problem" using one of those.. Thanks for making me think of it.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 13, 2007, 10:57:42 AM
This little hint/trick may be insignificant but was important to me.

   (Always remember that my Winnebago is 12 years old, but good)

Re: Furnace floor vents.

  There are 3 in my rig, bedroom, galley and near drivers seat. The bedroom one spurred me into action. In the middle of the night for a trip to the loo, I would have to step on that vent with raised ridges ---- ouch.

    I found a 'flat-topped' vent (strong plastic, in a local RV shop). The length was close but I had to cut a bit of the bottom insert part off to make it fit in the hole. Voila, my dream came true.

2. The other vents did not bother me for that reason, but they were rather dingy and had rust around the edges. Off they came, a little sandpaper to remove the rust, a cleaning with a degreaser, a good rinse and dry, then a spray paint application with my favorite color - slate gray - ;) using 'RUST-OLEUMR. Should be good now, like new, for another 12 years.

A little side hint: If you feed your dog/cat kibbles near the vent, put a mat over it. This was also  a good time to vacuum out the air duct and clean it.

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 15, 2007, 04:44:11 PM
Having trouble finding a "Truck Scale" weigh station?

I live in a small city and the closest commercial station is 30 miles away. However, I found one (free of charge) at the County sanitary dump station just 4 miles away.

   They were able to check total weight, then rear axle only. Subtract one from the other and you get your front axle weight. Make your own adjustment, i.e. 1 or 2 or more people aboard.

    Won't bother you with my statistics, but was able to find proper tire inflation for all tires by using the Bridgestone inflation charts. Turned out I need 70 psi all around on my 8R19.5 tires.
   Had 1/2 tank of gas and 1/4 tank of water; sort of typical.

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on October 15, 2007, 06:41:47 PM
Now all you need is right/left side weights cause sometimes you need 70 psi on one side and 80 on the other
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on October 15, 2007, 07:39:13 PM
NEVER inflate tires on the same axle to different pressures.  Use the pressure for the side with the highest load and set all tires on that axle to the that pressure.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: KodiakRV on October 15, 2007, 08:09:54 PM
Having trouble finding a "Truck Scale" weigh station?

I live in a small city and the closest commercial station is 30 miles away. However, I found one (free of charge) at the County sanitary dump station just 4 miles away.
...
Through our Yellow Pages, I found a moving company nearby that will weigh my rig for around $7.  Gives a printout of front and rear axle weights.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on October 15, 2007, 09:01:06 PM
Now all you need is right/left side weights cause sometimes you need 70 psi on one side and 80 on the other

NO NO NO NEVER EVER inflate your tires to different pressures on the same axle.  Do as Ned said inflate all tires on the same axle to the pressure required for the heaviest side as determined from the tire manufacturer inflation charts for your tire.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Buddy Tott on October 16, 2007, 01:17:40 AM

A rubber shower door seal, which is designed to fit under a typical glass shower door, works great as a gasket between the metal rim of a typical MH stove-top and counter.  One seal, cut in half, is enough for both sides of the cook-top.  It works great to stop the obvious rattle(s) and also prevents liquid/spillage from the counter surface seeping under the rim of the stove-top.  There is just enough room to pry up the rim and slide the rubber under. Sold at most hardware stores for about $2.

BT
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 18, 2007, 01:47:04 PM
This little trick is for RV owners using "Front Suspension Air Cylinders" sometimes called airbags.

    If you don't already have remote valve stems via extension hoses, this may be of interest to you.

    I have a P30 chassis and crawling underneath to check the pressure is virtually impossible.
The following images show my installation of the hoses and valves to a very accessible and secure spot.

Image 1) Location of valve - wide shot
Image 2) Valve - up close
Image 3) Pump used to check and inflate. (A hand operated hi-pressure pump available at bike-shops).

   I installed Firestone bags and the hoses were part of the kit.

carson FL  91.0F  32.8C

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on October 18, 2007, 02:28:10 PM
Nice job Carson. I did something similar when we had a Pace Arrow with the P30 chassis and air bags on the front. Sure beats crawling under the coach to inflate the bags.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 20, 2007, 03:29:00 PM
Windshield wiper washers.....are they dribbling or spraying?

    Maybe a little tune-up is required, especially if you have been using plain water instead of "Washer Fluid" for some time.

    Algae builds up in the reservoir and will clog the pump and lines. (I know from experience-- my local Auto dealer wanted big bucks to fix it; 1-2 hours labor). Here is what to do:

    Use a garden hose with a spray nozzle feeding lots of hi-pressure water into the tank. Let it overflow for some time. I actually used a spray wand aka black tank wand to make sure all corners would be covered.

     Next, drain via a siphon hose, to about half full. Add one cup of Household Bleach (watch your eyes) and stir, then let sit for 10 or more minutes.

    Engage washers once or twice, rinse windshield with hose while doing that. Then use the hose and spray technique again by overflowing, to fully remove all dirty water from the reservoir.

   Next, drain the tank fully (siphon out) and refill with fresh water and run wiper washer again for a reasonable time.

   Final step is to drain again and refill the reservoir with the proper "Wiper Washer Fluid".
 
   Call it Preventive Maintenance.

carson FL.


 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: ArdraF on October 20, 2007, 03:51:44 PM
Quote
Algae builds up in the reservoir and will clog the pump and lines.

Not only algae builds up, but also minerals like calcium if you live in an area where the water has a high mineral content.  Calcium clogs up everything - irrigation pipes, house water pipes, shower and faucet heads, swimming pool pipes, etc.

ArdraF
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 20, 2007, 04:01:56 PM
AdraF, maybe a heavy dose of Vinegar may help, using the same procedure with a longer timespan for letting it soak.

carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: ArdraF on October 20, 2007, 05:28:41 PM
Carson, you'd go through barrels of vinegar!  ;D ;D  Calcium of 500 ppm is considered high.  Ours is over 900 ppm and it ruins everything.  Our house water softener system has a backflushing feature that is wonderful and helps keep the main pipes relatively free of buildup.

ArdraF
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 20, 2007, 06:07:13 PM
Sounds like you have the cut the water with a knife. :D
   I hope you are not using it in your windshield washer tank.

carson
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on October 20, 2007, 07:18:22 PM
Sounds like you have the cut the water with a knife. :D
   I hope you are not using it in your windshield washer tank.

carson


Learned a long time ago to only use windshield washer fluid in that winshield washer tank. ;D ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: ArdraF on October 20, 2007, 07:23:54 PM
Quote
Sounds like you have the cut the water with a knife.  I hope you are not using it in your windshield washer tank.

Yup!  Nope!  :D

ArdraF
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on November 10, 2007, 01:00:29 PM
Time to rejuvenate this little topic.

    Judging by the huge amount of readers (1936) I find it hard to believe that we have run out of ideas. I have a bunch more myself but feel that I have been hogging the topic.

   This is supposed to be a fun topic with any and all little ideas welcome.

    Take a few precious moments and post your experience, especially to help out the Newbies.

    I promise, no one is going to snicker.

carson FL  73.0F (The most beautiful day of the year sofar).

P.S.: don't worry about duplication, makes an affirmative statement.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Kenneth on November 10, 2007, 05:26:25 PM
Velcro, amazing stuff !   Use it in the medicine cabinet , spice cabinets, be creative :) you would be surprised how much more room there is on the bottom of those shelves for small items.  Need a place to store your electronic remotes, slap some Velcro on the back ,mount a strip to the inside of a cabinet....tada ! ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on December 31, 2007, 02:44:21 PM
At some point along the way (maybe multiple points) I'll capture the bones and put them in the library.

It took me a while to get around to it, but here's a first cut at organizing this collection of RVing Quick Tips (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?action=Quicktips). It's still a work in progress (I have more tips to add and haven't yet included the photos), but we now have a framework to build on. When time permits, I'll scour the message boards and extract other candidates for inclusion.

Haven't decided if it will stay here, or if I'll put it in the library. If it stays here, I'll add a button in the toolbar.

A big thanks to Carson for starting this topic and to all the contributors for their tips. Meanwhile, if anyone has a tip to pass along, no matter how small, feel free to respond to this topic.

Edit: Photo links added.

Edit: I also put a copy in the library here (http://www.rvforum.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=320&Itemid=41) pending a decision on final location.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: rmw1990 on January 02, 2008, 10:21:41 AM
When we don't have full hook-ups I keep a dishpan in the sink to wash dishes then dump the dirty dish water into the black tank. Puts more water into the black tank and keeps the gray from filling so fast. 

Another way to keep from filling the gray so fast is to wash dishes outside(IF allowed--I would ask first).

De-Flappers are also a very handy gadget.

We use our TT to go to calf shows 3 times per year and EVERY time it seems there will be a storm. I use empty cardboard beer flats to put in the cabinet near the door to set our dirty shoes on since we can't leave them outside due to rain and wind.  Keeps the mud/dirt off the floor and keeps the boots out of the way.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: hoochonwheels on January 06, 2008, 01:42:37 PM
Check the rangehood fan baffle over the cooktop. If it is stuck open or not there you lose heat and cool air through them.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: hoochonwheels on January 06, 2008, 01:53:05 PM
The Velcro idea works. I used some thin Luan board and devised several dividers that can be moved according to the gear needed for each trip. Especially in the pantry. I used Velcro to hold the shelf divders in place at whatever spacing that was needed. They lay flat when all the space is used.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Mike Goad on January 08, 2008, 02:49:08 PM
On the first day of our seven week trip out north and west in August and September, we discovered after we got to the campground that some of the cabinet doors had come open.  The highways and interstate going across north-east Oklahoma, from Ft. Smith to Tulsa and then over to I-35 and up into Kansas, were probably the culprit, with contents inside the cabinets moving back and forth causing the doors to open.  I'm sure there are a lot of solutions for this out there.  Ours was to partially make our camper kid-proof. 

We visited a Walmart in Wichita, Kansas, and, in the baby department, I found

Between the two of these, small bungee cords, storage containers in the cabinets to restrain the contents and redistribution of heavier items to other locations, we didn't run into any further problems.  We just had to make it part of our "rigging for the road" routine.

That trip to Walmart was interesting in a way when Karen asked for $100 back in change (http://hawcreekoutdoors.com/blog/?p=882), by mistake, when she used the debit card.

I'll try to get some pictures of those kid-proofing devices on here.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Bo Walker on January 19, 2008, 11:50:55 AM
Hey you all, this is my first post so I might be misplacing it. 
Carson, September the 18th you mentioned in your post the front air bags having the valve stems extended for easier access. 
I have a 34 foot 96 Winnebago Adventurer similar to your MH. 
I replaced the coil springs and removed the air bags and have never need the bags again.  I installed heavier coil springs than the factory ones.  The coach is higher on the front end and handles much better.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on January 19, 2008, 12:18:24 PM
Hi Bo,

     That is interesting... heavier springs. I wonder have you calculated the tension difference.
Surely another way of improving the ride.

    Prior to my post from Sept I did put in new airbags  as the old ones were definitely "shot".

My ride then was horrible;; it bottomed out on minor bumps in the road, i.e railroad tracks crossing a road, or speed bumps and even smaller bumps.

   After installation of new bags I was very happy. Couldn't wish for a better ride. My rig is perfectly level too. One finger steering is great.  :)

   Probably cost me a lot less than what you did. Good that you are happy with your method, as long as you didn't throw the system out of alignment.

carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Jerrygroah on January 21, 2008, 10:30:44 AM
Looked through all the tips and did not see one that I use. If it is redundant, please excuse.

If I am using a tube of caulking and stop with a partial tube, I use a small piece of aluminum duct tape . Wrap it around the nozzel and pinch shut and it will keep your caulking from setting up in the nozzel. It works for my elasticmeric type that I use.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on January 21, 2008, 05:40:27 PM
Thanks Jerry, I've added your tip to the file. Now where on Earth did the button go  ??? I'll figure it out, but meanwhile here's a link to the RVing Quick Tips (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?action=Quicktips) file.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on January 28, 2008, 12:37:08 PM
Rejuvenating faded/oxidized Vinyl Stripes and Decals.

My story:    My Winnebago is 12 years old. The decals/striping were pathetic - chalky and very old looking.
   I tried various methods such as auto polish with wax of various kinds. Not very satisfactory.

Then I found a product that appealed to me, it being a synthetic Polymer (which is used in the clearcoat on modern cars).

   It comes in two parts: STOP WAX™ AUTO WASH and  STOP WAX™  INSTANT SHINE. Both are used for this application.

The Auto Wash is simply diluted with water to wash the surface. Immediate rinsing afterwards makes it very easy to use.
(Don't forget to read the label instructions).

The Instant Shine spray is then applied and wiped off right after. Not to be used in direct sunshine.

Since my RV is unpainted, I use it on the whole vehicle with great success. Now to the decals and striping:

    1.  Remove as much surface dirt as possible; Road grime, old wax etc. ( I used a dampened rag with paint thinner/cleaner and a yellow/green kitchen pad)

    2.  Remove oxidization by using auto rubbing compound (non- wax), Bon-Ami, scotch-brite pad (gentle), whatever has a mild scouring action.

    3.  When done, use the Auto Wash and rinse.

    4.   When dry, use the spray Instant Shine and wipe off  immediately. No buffing and polishing required. The polymers will "soak" into the vinyl and produce a luster right away. The whole process only takes minutes.

   In order to "build up" a layer, repeat the spray procedure a few times, as you see fit. As time goes by, just take a few minutes over the months to occasionally re-spray and wipe off.

   I am totally pleased with the results, as shown in the images below. I purchased the product at HD (Home Depot) and I think it is widely available in other retail venues. I did not take any pictures from the "before" state, just the final "after" results.

carson FL


Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: riverotter on February 01, 2008, 06:55:48 AM
I think this is were this belongs. Water Meter for your garden hoses. I have two, I use one when I fill fresh water on a long trip, don't like to haul full tank( 7+ pounds per gallon), like to haul 15-20 gal. Also use one when back flushing black tank fill to 30-40 gal. open valve. They work great!!! you can find them at http://www.h2owatch.net (http://www.h2owatch.net)


[edit]To make link live.[/edit]
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on February 01, 2008, 09:03:28 AM
I think this is were this belongs. Water Meter for your garden hoses. I have two, I use one when I fill fresh water on a long trip, don't like to haul full tank( 7+ pounds per gallon), like to haul 15-20 gal. Also use one when back flushing black tank fill to 30-40 gal. open valve. They work great!!! you can find them at http://www.h2owatch.net

Good suggestions.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on March 01, 2008, 10:01:02 AM
Measuring A/C airflow temperature:

In general, a motor home has 2 A/C conditioners.The in-dash system driven by the engine and the rooftop/basement type of system.

For a quick check on the efficiency of either unit, an easy check is shown below.

In-dash: Use an inexpensive refrigerator thermometer (shown in picture 1)  Simple place/slide the unit into one of the dash vents and take a reading with fan set on high. Make sure the heater adjust is fully off. Wait 5-10 minutes for the most accurate reading.
    You should read approx. 45-55°F (7.2-12.°C) depending on the ambient outside temperature. The in-dash system is most efficient when the vehicle is in motion, approx. 55mph. A stationary vehicle with a hot engine/compartment will cause the A/C to be greatly negatively affected.

   The maximum coldness to be expected is around 20°F less than the outside temp. i.e. 75° outside = 55° cold air.


RV ducted system: Hang the thermometer from the vent directly in the path of the airflow and take a reading. The coldness is not affected by the outside temp., rather by the ambient temperature inside the RV (see image). The 20° differential applies just the same. There is a maximum  coldness that  can be achieved, otherwise icicles will form inside your RV; not a good thing.

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: full_time_toyhauler on March 05, 2008, 12:13:46 AM
not sure if these are repaets but I thought I might chime in.......

LED replacement bulbs for 12volt light fixtures will never drain your battery set ups and will never burn out. they are a little expensive, but twice as bright, each bulb costs about 19 bucks.       http://www.ledlight.com/detail.aspx?ID=128

replumbing your propane fittings from an acme fitting http://www.bestmaterials.com/images/TYPE1-GR-ACME.jpg
 to a POL fitting http://images1.hdpi.com/product/mrheater-pipefitting-F276139.jpg

this allows you to use either style of cylinder and you can use the tank exchange services at super markets while on the road.



If you want longer showers you can upgrade your 6 gallon water heater for a 10 gallon, otherwise you can install a flow restrictor inline on your hotwater line out of the water heater, you will still have pressure but not as much volume, thus extending your shower time.

want a power lift ramp on your toy hauler? use two ATV winches from harborfreight.com (about 50 bucks a piece) and mount them on the top of your frame (inside), then install eye bolts at each corner of your ramp. wire both winches to one controll. (I use this to load my harley since the ramp angle is so steep)

use an old awning arm to slope and support your sewer hose. these are pretty easy to find at most RV dealerships for free, they will extend and collapse for most 20' applications and hold the pipe in a "C" channel when you turn the support upside down.

I will throw in a few more tomorrow, gotta get up early





Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on March 05, 2008, 07:33:45 AM
Actually LED lights will run your battery down.. Just takes a lot, lot lot longer

You can get a water heater from attwood that fits in a six gallon hole but heats the water hotter then uses a mixing valve to deliver 10 gallons of hot water
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on March 19, 2008, 02:06:08 PM
Just a little hint... for those with RV windshields.

    What if.... if your windshield/s break, disappear etc. what will you do to find a new one.
This is probably more for those with older vehicles.

    I safeguarded myself a bit by recording the entire number/s that are normally listed in the corner of the window. Matter of fact I took pictures of same for safekeeping.

See images attached.

carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on March 19, 2008, 02:31:11 PM
Well I'll be darned. Didn't think of doing that Carson. Thanks.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on March 19, 2008, 03:02:10 PM
We have found that the glass companies that do motorhome windshields know exactly what glass to get for any make/model/year of motorhome, but it's always good to have a record of part numbers like that.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on March 19, 2008, 04:00:42 PM
If my windshield suddenly went off on it's own my first call (Unless I was in Las Vegas) would be to Damon customer support.

In Las Vegas I'd call Dave Simpson (Who has worked on my rig)

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: cassandra on March 27, 2008, 01:24:43 AM
DEAR CARSON. ID LIKE TO INTRODUCE NYSELF. MY NAME IS CASSANDRA AND IM VERY NEW TO RVING.(SEE POST ON MAR 22 THEN MAR 26, CASSSANDRA,INTRODUCE YOURSELF) YOU'LL GET THE PICTURE. IVE BEEN BROWSING THE FORUM TO BETTER EDUCATE MY SELF AND YOUVE GOT SOOOOOO MUCHHHH REALLY IMPORTANT (SOME MAY THINK TRIVAL, NOT ME) STUFF IN YOUR HEAD THAT I  NOT ONLY NEED BUT DESIRE TO KNOW. I HOPE YOU'LL READ THE PRIOR POSTS SO YOU CAN GET A BETTER PICTURE OF WHATS GOING ON IN MY WORLD. ********A HUGE THING FOR ME IS, YES IM FULLTIME, BUT!!!! IM NOT TRAVELING, IN GOING TO BE IN PARK RESIDENT.********** NONETHELESS THE INFO IS CRITICAL TO ME. ANY AND ALL LITTLE TID-BITS (BIG OR SMALL) YOUVE GOT TO OFFER "BRING-EM-ON"!! RIGHT NOW, SINCE  READING ALOT OF STUFF ON THE FORUM 2NITE I GOT THIS KNOT IN MY STOMACH ABT LIC AND REG AND TAXES INS ETC.. HOW OR DOES IT VERY? I LIVE IN SAN DIEGO CA. THE MONTANA IS CURRENTLY REG IN ARIZONA. SHOULD I JUST TRANSFER OWNERSHIP AND GET CURRENT REG, INS ETC?? BY READING MY POSTS YOU'LL GET A BROADER VIEW. ALSO I NEED/WANT TO GET ANY AND ALL INFO ON THE UNIT. I DONT EVFEN KNOW HOW TO TURN ON THE POWER, WATER, ETC ETC ETC. OH I DID LEARN HOW TO OPERATE THE 3SLIDES HA-HA. NO JOKE HERE BUT IM A LITTLE INSCURE ON THIS MATTER AND SHOULD BE. I WISH I WAS OUT THERE TRAVELING WITH ALL OF YOU I REALLY DO, BUT THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE AT THIS POINT. MAYBE I REALLY SHOULDNT BE ON THIS FORUM BECAUSE ALL OF YOU TRAVEL, AND I DONT , HOPE ITS OK WITH ALL.    buffetnblues@yahoo.com
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on March 27, 2008, 08:58:02 AM
Cassandra,
Please do not use all capitals in your messages. It is very hard to read and is also considered "shouting", since caps are used to denote emphasis.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on March 27, 2008, 11:53:59 AM
Greetings, Cassandra

    I see you are getting a lot of good advise from members of the forum. I am glad that you found some of my hints and tricks valuable.

    Certainly most of them are well known to the experienced, but I tailored my words toward the Newbies, as good and tested ideas are not easily nor voluntarily shared by the old-timers.

    I have a bunch more to come, so stand by.

    Please heed Gary's advice re caps. I would also suggest that you use paragraphs more often to break up the word stream. Your message will be much more powerful if you use standard principles of writing. (I know it is hip to follow the modern method (Yahoo-talk) but it is not helping your cause.

With greatest respect,  carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on March 28, 2008, 04:34:21 PM
Sandra, did I insult ypu ?

If so, my apologies.   (Polititans do it all the time) :)

carson  F
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on June 19, 2008, 02:59:48 PM
I think it may be time to rejuvenate this topic.

   Here is a little trick that may be of value to those with holding tank measurement problems. How full is it??

A little background: My RV has been sitting in hot weather for several months now. (90 F plus everyday).
The liquid in my tanks is about 1/3 full each, except the propane, which is full.

   My sensors, much discussed, are working fine, but I thought I might offer an alternate solution for those without sensors or with troublesome sensors. My tanks are plastic and about 12" tall each. The fresh water tank is translucent, so no problem. The others are gray and opaque.

    I used my little IR (infrared) thermometer to check the fluid levels. (Picture below) Just pointed at the exterior of the tank walls.

The result was as follows:

Fresh Water = above waterline = 89F....below waterline = 85F (degrees)

Gray Water  =                        = 88F                            = 83F

Black Water =                        = 88F                            = 84F

Propane      =                        = 87F                            = 87F    (Tank is full)

   It appears to me that the 4-5 degree difference would be an accurate indication of a reasonable guess.  ???

    Give it a try and please report your findings on this topic.

   I think that if a measurement is made right after travel, this method may be faulty. Some time is required to settle things down.

carson FL 91.0F



     
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ray D on June 19, 2008, 04:13:52 PM
OK, Carson, that idea grabbed me. Went right out and put my IR gun to work. (Unlike many, I have not had any trouble with my indicators.) (So far.) (Crossing my  fingers while knocking on wood.)  ::)

Sunny, Ambient temp = 79

Side wall of bay doors - white - of the MH was 95 in the sun - - 74 in the shade.

All tank contents were low. Might be different when fuller.

Propane- shady side: Gauge on tank reads a little over 1/4 tank. Inside indicator reads low. IR read 78.5 above level and 75 below. Agreed approximately with indicator and gauge. 3.5 deg difference, but sharply deliniated. I could tell where the top of the liquid probably was.

Water-shady side: Inside indicator reads low. Visual shows tank is about 1/6 th. IR reads 73.5 above and 71.5 below. Only two degrees difference. Might be different if there was more water. Doesn't matter as the water is visible through the tank wall.

Gray-sunny side: Inside indicator reads low. Should be low. IR indicates low. 73 above and 70 below. Note that on ths side, the higher temp is above the line, unlike the water temp on the other side. Not sure that's why, but it is different from the shady side.

Black-sunny side: Inside indicator reads half full. The yellow light is lit. 72.5 above and 70 below. The differential line indicates that the second sensor has just been submerged and should be lit, inside, which it is.

I like the idea. My differential is even less than Carson's, but repeated readings were pretty consistant and the line was fairly abrupt. I think this may work for some who are driven nuts by their indicators or have no indicators. Need more test results, from others, to add confidence but this shows promise.

Thanks, Carson.

Ray D  ;D



Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on June 19, 2008, 05:24:05 PM
Good stuff, Ray,

   A few comments here: I believe that the temperature differences would vary a bit with the ambient outside temperature. The reason there is a difference between liquid and the air space is that the liquid evaporates slowly (through the vents) hereby reducing its temp. (The laws of physics; thats why you feel cool when you sweat).
    The air space would assume ambient temperature. Hence, in warmer climes, like here, the differences would be slightly higher. I believe that in really cool weather, there would be no indication worthwhile.

    Another thing I checked was the surface temperature of the RV in direct sunlight.
On the white colored surface it was about 105 deg F. When I checked a black surface it was 140 deg F.

    Moral of the story on this: Don't paint your RV black, brown, red etc. Makes for a hot inside area and lots of A/C operation, insulation or not. Even the insulation gets overheated and radiates inward.

    Anyone else with opinions?

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on June 19, 2008, 09:06:31 PM
That sounds like a great way to read the real level.. Thanks.. I too carry an IR gun
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: AJHales on June 20, 2008, 08:38:33 AM
If I recall correctly it was Fred and Daisy that turned us on to the cookware that the handles are detachable.

Does anyone have a link to where I can get these?  :)

Thanks,

Andy
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Jim Godward on June 20, 2008, 09:53:54 AM
The ones we have are "T-Fal".  I have not seen any lately but then we have not been looking.  G
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wendy on June 20, 2008, 11:05:47 AM
Does anyone have a link to where I can get these?  :)

Daisy also talked me into these pans and I love them ! Mine are by Fagor, bought them at Camping World for about $90....4 saucepans with lids and a skillet with 2 handles. Nest very nicely and take up minimal space in the RV. Plus they cook great.

Wendy
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: KodiakRV on June 20, 2008, 11:50:24 AM
Does anyone have a link to where I can get these?  :)
Thanks,
Andy

I got one of these (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=93983) at Harbor Freight.  It seems to work well.

Edit:  Oops!  Sorry, I thought the topic was infrared thermometers... 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wendy on June 20, 2008, 12:04:49 PM
I got one of these (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=93983) at Harbor Freight.  It seems to work well.

Edit:  Oops!  Sorry, I thought the topic was infrared thermometers... 

It's actually both and a lot of other stuff too. The "hints, tricks and gadgets" subject allows for a LOT of different things being discussed.

Wendy
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on July 13, 2008, 12:02:53 PM
Seems to me that this topic has been polluted by RICE.

    Perhaps all the rice posting could be moved to the "HOMEMAKING" topic.

Respectfully,  carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on July 13, 2008, 12:26:40 PM
Sorry Carson, missed that. I split the pans & rice stuff and moved them to Homemaking. Thanks for the heads up.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on July 13, 2008, 02:06:52 PM
Thank you, Tom.

   Having made it in the top 10 for most viewed topics, we owe it owe it to the readers to keep the topic on track. I will be submitting more in the near future.  Wish other members would contribute a bit more.

carson FL    92.8F

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: saddletramp1200 on July 15, 2008, 10:22:53 PM
I know a trick my dad taught me, and it has not failed me yet. Any brand of battery with a four year warranty can be replaced in three years with a pro rate loss (about Equal to) the cost of a dinner at a fast food place, or 4-6 bucks. The piece of mind to me is worth it. Motorhomes like battries anyway. With all the new tech the batterys have now  really makes little difference. But that's just me. Also keep a real wine cork in the tool box. If you break a 12 V light bulb off You can use it to remove the blub from the socket with less chance of cutting your hand. ;)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ray D on July 27, 2008, 06:55:34 PM
Another one, for those with inacurate holdin tank gauges. I found this in the September 08 issue of MotorHome Magazine, pg 76. "Fluid finder."

They say to use a stud finder, laying it on it's side and moving up and down the outside of the tank. It will verify how full the tank is.

I don't have a stud finder and my gauges have always worked just fine, so I can't test it. Somebody with a stud finder, try this out and tell us if it  works!

Ought to be a great idea for someone with a stud finder and innacurate gauges, if it works.  ;D

Ray D  ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on July 28, 2008, 07:11:01 AM
I fail to see how that can possibly work
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on July 28, 2008, 07:42:07 AM
I guess it'll have to be the SONIC type detector, not the MAGNETIC type.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on July 28, 2008, 08:11:21 AM
Stud finders detect a change in mass density behind the surface and so can detect liquid levels as well as studs.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Phil on July 28, 2008, 01:39:21 PM
I fail to see how that can possibly work

Step one: Purchase a new gee whiz stud finder.

Step two: Place stud finder on side of holding tank.

Step three: Move stud finder around on side of tank.

Step four: Be amazed when the light shows you the liquid level.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on July 28, 2008, 01:49:12 PM
AH, additinal information ELECTRONIC stud finders,  Not magnetic ones

You see. you failed to mention that in the first bost, One of my stud finders is magentic, the other is a metal detector
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on July 28, 2008, 01:56:06 PM
Why would anyone assume a magnetic stud finder would work on liquids ???
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on July 28, 2008, 04:18:47 PM
As i said I have two stud finders, one is magnetic and the other detects metals, Neither is a mass sensor.  Did not know they made 'em that way, easier to look for nails
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: visch1 on August 11, 2008, 03:21:24 AM
A good suggestion for people like me who think that reading the manual is admitting defeat: (read the fine manual)!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: sadavis80 on August 11, 2008, 01:22:18 PM
A few items from Georgia...
When I bought our '94 Class A, all of the cabinet doors rattled incessantly while traveling.  I picked up a package of felt pads at walmart (in the hardware section) that had sticky backing.  Put new pads on all of the door/drawer corners and voila!  No more rattles!  ;D  .  Cost ... about $2

The large TV mounted over the center of the front also rattled on bad roads.  I cut a carpet scrap and put it underneath and along the sides (only at the front) of the cabinet enclosure - stopped that noise too.  Cost - nil

I went to Lowes and bought a 'cheap' pull down shade and had it cut to 18".  I then mounted it under the front curtains beside the driver/passenger seats (behind the valence).  Now, when the sun shines in, we can pull the shade down an appropriate amount so we don't get cooked to a crisp.  I mounted them so that the driver's view to the outside mirrors can't be blocked by the pulled down shade.  Cost - about $10

I added similar pull down shades behind the valences in the bedroom - when we end up with a street light shining in the window, we can pull the shade - it still allows air to come through the window if they're open. (We have day/night 'waffle' shades, but they are often not enough.) Cost - about $25

The treadle for my air brakes was at a bad angle for my short stature - I had to tip my toe WAY too far to suit me and had difficulty getting real force if needed for hard braking.  After searching in vain for a way to adjust the angle of the pedal,  I cut a short section of 2 x 4 to an appropriate shape and screwed it to the pedal to get the angle I wanted.  Cost ... zero for scrap 2 x 4  (some day I'll paint it and make it look nice <g>)

I also bought a small foot switch (ordered it online for about $6) and mounted it on top of the 2 x 4 mentioned above (after reshaping the block again <G>).  I routed the normally open output of the switch (closed on activation) in series with the Xtarder switch on the dash.  Now, when I let off the 'gas' pedal, the Xtarder doesn't automatically immediately kick in ... if I WANT the Xtarder, all I have to do is rest my foot on the switch sitting on top of the brake pedal - when I NEED the Xtarder under heavy braking, it's ALWAYS on since it gets activated when I step on the brake.  This replaces the $85 'kit' that allows you to coast with the Xtarder switch in the on position.  It also took about 20 minutes to install instead of the couple of hours to install the kit.  If I turn the Xtarder switch OFF, the foot switch does nothing.

Added electric compartment door locks.  I ordered the locking mechanisms from Parts Express and 'adapted' them to activate the lock.  I added a DPDT momentary switch below the regular light switches by the entry door.  I found some 'hot 12Volts' and wired the switch to activate Plus/Minus in one position and Minus/Plus in the other and routed to all compartment doors.  Now I can lock or unlock the doors  as I go in/out of the RV.  Actually,  I only have locks on the large doors - I have not yet been able to figure out a simple way to mount the (relatively large) activator on the small doors so that it can control the lock.  It still takes care of MOST of the doors.  Cost <$100 plus a few hours of work spent mostly figuring out HOW to mount the activators.

Install small 12v (computer cooling type) fan in refer - punched 2 small holes in bottom of fins and used zip ties to attach fan to bottom blowing up.  Connected power to hot side of interior light so it stays on any time the refer is turned on.  Cost ... about $9.

Some of these are bit more complex than others ..
Steve


Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 11, 2008, 12:05:26 PM
Just a small hint for users of DVM's (Digital Volt Meters), such as shown below or similar.

   Most, if not every meter, is protected by a small glass fuse to prevent irreversible damage to the meter, if the wrong mode or range has been selected in error.

  The fuse is  located internally and will blow when an accidental meter switch setting has been selected to the wrong mode or value. (It has happened to me even though I have been around test equipment longer than I want to remember). In my case it happened in low light and the rotating switch selector was not marked very well, as you will see in the pix; I have now marked it with a black ink mark.

  The fuse size is most likely listed on the back of the meter; if not, in the manual. In my case it called for a 250ma/250V rating (0.25a), 5x20mm, GMA type.

   I was unable to find that precise value and opted for the 315ma (0.315a) version out of necessity.

   I suggest that you carry some spare fuses along, just in case.

carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Jim Godward on October 20, 2008, 10:24:42 PM
I have had to I have a lot of redo on the caulking on the sidewalls of my MH.  The job the dealer did to fix the non-UV caulking Newmar put on in the first place is coming undone, peeling, cracking, etc.

I started to replace it and found I could no longer use the hand caulking guns, it just hurt too much afterwards.

I found an air powered caulking gun at Harbor Freight for < $15 that works great and by adjusting the air pressure to match the viscosity of the caulk and how fast you want to work, I can lay a bead and almost not need to smooth it out.

If and when you have to caulk again, I suggest you consider the air gun.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on October 20, 2008, 11:58:38 PM
Thanks for the tip Jim.  I will get the air gun.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Jim Godward on October 21, 2008, 09:13:23 AM
Ron,

Be careful and be sure to get the one for the cartridges you are using.  I found out the hard way that caulking comes in 2 different sized tubes.  Most if not all RV caulk is in the smaller ones.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on October 21, 2008, 11:18:15 AM
Jim,

Thanks for the heads up on the cartidge sizes.  Will be getting the air gun next time we go to Billings.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 28, 2008, 04:04:19 PM
This is a little advise for those having thermostat/heater/A-C temp problems.

   Sometimes a temperature variation as expected from your thermostat does not always work out.
I have listed below a couple of images that may be pertinent to your problem.

   Picture 1 shows the location of the HEAT vent outlet that is placed in a position where it would blow hot air towards the thermostat and negate its effectiveness. The furnace would shut off prematurely before the room temp is reached. I simply place a mat over part of the vent to prevent the hot air from reaching the thermostat.

   Picture 2 shows the A/C vent on the ceiling, which if pointed in the direction of the thermostat, will cause the A/C to shut of prematurely. Just turn the vent pointing in the opposite direction.

  Not a big deal, maybe it'll help someone's problems.

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on October 28, 2008, 04:23:29 PM
Used to have a similar problem at our prior house. A thermostat in the hallway got morning sun and it was really confused.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: BernieD on October 28, 2008, 04:37:56 PM
We should also be aware that if the thermostat is mounted on an outside wall, sun shining on that wall could throw the registered temperature off.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on October 31, 2008, 11:26:47 AM
A little "Nostalgia" here.   A Triplett VOM from days of yore.

Just found an old, dear friend in a box stashed away in a corner.

   It is a Triplett VOM Model 310. Came with a heavy duty leather case with belt loop.
It is 2 3/4" wide and 4 1/4" high. It weighs 8 oz, that's 1/2 lbs. The inside is crammed with high quality components. The case seems to resemble Bakelite, widely used years ago.

  It uses 2 batteries, an "N" size 1.5V and an A23 (or23A) 12 V battery. (for resistance measurements).

  Nostalgic?  I have had it since 1965, a company supplied item. To my surprise, after googling it, that the same model is still being made and widely available in select stores. What a "Made in USA" story. Current price is about $150.00.

  Hope you enjoy a story like this.

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Jim Godward on October 31, 2008, 11:35:54 AM
An old friend!!   
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on October 31, 2008, 11:47:40 AM
Looks very similar to the one I gave my son years ago.  Wonder if he still has it.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on November 13, 2008, 04:51:19 PM
This is in the category of 'Tools'.

    My own self-bought Christmas present.

  As shown below, it is a 38 piece item with ratchet driver and the bits of Phillips, Pozi, slotted, square (Robertson), hex and torx bits. It is made by Husky and has a lifetime warranty (whatever that means). Price at my local Discount Auto Store---- $9.98..

   Don't leave your home without it.

   I have too many tools already but I was intrigued by the POZI bit, so I couldn't resist buying myself a present.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: ArdraF on November 13, 2008, 05:14:01 PM
Quote
I have too many tools already

Carson,

I didn't think it was possible for an RVer to have too many tools.  I'm sure Jerry doesn't and he has quite a supply.... ::)

ArdraF
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on November 13, 2008, 05:17:22 PM
Had do do some work "Down under" (Sitting on the ground looking up under the rig) last week.. Grabbed a crafstman wrench set I have and the battery load tester and did the job in one trip.. I think that's a first... Usually takes 2 or more to get all the tools one needs to do the job
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on November 13, 2008, 05:26:47 PM
John, ?
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on November 13, 2008, 05:29:06 PM
Carson, yer just didn't get it. Neither did I  ???
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: sadavis80 on November 13, 2008, 08:17:10 PM
John,
I *DO* get it  ;)
It's not very often that I can get 'under' and back in a single trip with success.
Congrats!!
Steve
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: KodiakRV on November 13, 2008, 08:19:57 PM
Carson, yer just didn't get it. Neither did I  ???

Translation:  If you crawl under the RV with a 38-bit tool set, invariably it will be the 39th bit that you need.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on November 13, 2008, 08:30:23 PM
I've crawled under my motorhome and cars many times, usually doing my own servicing. Similarly, I crawl in the engine room of our boat prior to every trip. But I've never needed a ratchet driver with phillips, slotted or torx bit, which are what Carson purchased, in those situations. I doubt he bought them to take under his motorhome.

No disagreement on the utility of a socket set, and the occasional need for a socket not in the set, but that has no relevance to screwdriver bits. That's why neither Carson nor I "got" it.

I bought a similar ratchet screwdriver set not too long ago, although not quite as complete as Carson's. I also didn't really need it, given all the tools I have in my various toolboxes. The underside of my motorhome and engine room of the boat were furthest from my mind when I bought the set from the "junk bin" at my local Ace Hardware store. I have used the set several times, but not under the motorhome.

Apologies if this or my prior response are misunderstood.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on November 13, 2008, 09:19:21 PM
My post was in resonse to the "you can't have too many tools"

You also can't have too many with you when you crawl under it seems

Oh, Did I mention the job was a success in one (But then that was to be expected since it's the 2nd time I've done this bit of work, I'm going to have to put it on the regular schedule)  Cleaned the terminals on the "you don't have to do that with this kind of battery" and... What do you know.. Back in business)

(Sealed, side terminal, not supposed to need cleaning)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on November 14, 2008, 07:56:55 AM
My post was in resonse to the "you can't have too many tools"

Thanks for clarification John.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: sadavis80 on November 17, 2008, 07:43:56 PM
OK - I have another one.  It's been a PITA to set the thermostat to something cool enough (winter settings) to sleep comfortably in) and then have to drag my butt out of bed in the AM and go turn the heater up for showers and breakfast.  Yesterday, I added an 'aux' thermostat over the headboard so i can set the main one (up front) to 'warm' and leave the 'bed' one set to cool.  Then, when we wake up, all I have to do is reach up and thumb the local one to 'get up' and we can then rest a bit more while waiting for warmth - neither of us has to actually get more than an ARM out from under the covers :).

Got the cheap 'stat' from home depot for about $15 IIRC.  Took about 30 mins to figure out how to do everything ... $10 in thermostat wire ... and about FOUR HOURS to route the blasted wire from the bed area to the heater :(.

But I did get it done.  I'm pretty sure I'll be very HAPPY come Thanksgiving...
Steve
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wendy on November 17, 2008, 08:18:29 PM
Steve, I think that's the best, most useful hint anyone has ever posted here !! I jump out of bed every morning, turn up the thermostat, and jump back in bed....which isn't easy with a 70-pound Labradork laying on the bed !!

Wendy
Zion NP
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Jim Godward on November 17, 2008, 09:13:12 PM
I recently had a lot of redo on the caulking on the sidewalls of my MH.  The job the dealer did to fix the non-UV caulking Newmar put on in the first place is coming undone, peeling, cracking, etc.

I started to replace it and found I could not use the hand caulking guns and it just hurt too much afterwards.

I found an air powered caulking gun at Harbor Freight for less than $15 that works great and by adjusting the airpressure to match the viscosity of the caulk and how fast you want to work, I can lay a bead and almost not need to smooth it out.  I did one track on the lower side of the MH, one side in about 10 to 15 minutes after it was cleaned out.

If and when you have to caulk again, I suggest you consider the air gun.  Be sure to get one that fits the cartridges you will be using as there are 2 sizes.

Also another hint.  Push the gun as you lay the caulking rather than pulling.  You can see better what you are doing and you will have better control of the bead you are putting down.  I learned this from a glass installer and believe me, it really does work.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Just Lou on November 17, 2008, 10:54:01 PM
Jim, this one I have to try.  I am the worlds worst with a caulk gun.  thanks.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Jim Godward on November 17, 2008, 11:12:50 PM
I was but the new technique and the right gun sure helped out!   :)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on November 18, 2008, 01:00:26 AM
Do you think that George should have used one of those fancy caulking guns when he caulked Lucy's new trailer? See the photos attached to this message (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=4740.msg41887#msg41887).
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on November 18, 2008, 09:12:16 AM
I think it might have helped just a little anyway. ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on November 26, 2008, 03:35:52 PM
Another little tip that may work for you;

   This for the filter of your A/C air inlets for rooftop units. Let it be known that I am not too enthused about filtering microbes out of the air flow. When I travel/camp, I open windows and doors as much as I can. There is virtually no appreciable dust in my RV at any time. I am more worried about larger items getting sucked in: moths, flies leaves or what ever could plug up the evaporator.

   I am now using an inexpensive filter material readily available where ever furnace filters are sold. It comes in a large size which you cut to size. I guess we can call it "Horse hair".

   It has several uses: Any air inlet can probably accommodate it.

      Pieces left over make a great scouring pad for cleaning nasty bugs of your windshield. It is probably non-abrasive so could be used on paint as well..... check first.

        I will experiment with the furnace inlets (dauber protection). A small piece can probably be stuffed in from the outside which can then be easily removed when the furnace is required.

   In other words use your imagination.

Note: This is not advertisement.

carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on November 27, 2008, 02:07:43 PM
continued from my post 158 above.

   Re securing the furnace vents from dauber attacks;

  Pix one shows the open vents, vulnerable to vermin entering.
  Pix 2 shows the insertion of "horse hair", used during storage. A piece cut about 2x3" will fit nicely and snugly. Simply pull out when furnace operation is required.

   This is the first experiment. Any other ideas?

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Dolphin Jockey on November 27, 2008, 08:26:30 PM
 Re securing the furnace vents from dauber attacks;
  Pix one shows the open vents, vulnerable to vermin entering.
  Pix 2 shows the insertion of "horse hair", used during storage. A piece cut about 2x3" will fit nicely and snugly. Simply pull out when furnace operation is required.

   This is the first experiment. Any other ideas?

carson FL


I, for one, certainly would not intentionally plug up my furnace intake and exhaust like that for any reason.

Why not spend 15 bucks or so at Camping World or some other RV parts supplier and obtain a metal flying insect screen made specifically for your furnace.  Properly mounted, you never have to worry about it, other than a visual inspection once in a while.  That way you don't run the risk of someone turning on the heater before remembering the air intake and hot exhaust outlets have been plugged.  It just might turn out to be a false economy --- at best.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on November 28, 2008, 06:37:36 AM
Thanks, George.  Yes, you are right. My little idea is indeed a hoaky one.  :)

   I was just looking for something easy for the Suburban furnace holes, to protect them while my rig is in storage in a grassy lot. Haven't used it for months now. Haven't used the furnace in a long time.

  The best way to go for a permanent installation will be as you suggested. Here is the link (http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/flying-insect-screen-for-sol-aire-coleman-hydroflame-and-suburban-furnaces/37389) for a screen from CW.

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on November 28, 2008, 06:58:55 AM
I was at CW the other day, found a fantastic little item, gadget.  A lighter, one you can refuel, (butane), that is also a bottle opener.  Very sturdy and only $5.  Great gift for the $5 gift exchange.  Dang, just realized I should have gotten one for my cousin for Tday instead of another wine botle.

Keep it in the outside bin for the candels, campfire and adult beverages that are not twist offs.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on November 28, 2008, 08:30:22 AM
Sold under the COLEMAN label perhaps.. I got one last month myself.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Dolphin Jockey on November 28, 2008, 03:38:20 PM
Thanks, George.  Yes, you are right. My little idea is indeed a hoaky one.  :)

  The best way to go for a permanent installation will be as you suggested. Here is the link (http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/flying-insect-screen-for-sol-aire-coleman-hydroflame-and-suburban-furnaces/37389) for a screen from CW.

carson FL

Hi Carson,

That's the one I had in mind.  I think you'd be a lot happier in the long run with a permanent installation.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on November 29, 2008, 07:08:43 AM
Yes, it is Coleman.  Used it last night, I am away at a Bluegrass Fest in Brooksville.  Worked just fine.  Bet I could sell them up here for double!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on November 29, 2008, 07:57:26 AM
I suspect you could.. Also at Tailgate events.. I mean folks who mix BBQ with BEER should love 'em

Alas.. Make mine a Dad's Old Fashion DIET ROOT Beer please
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on November 29, 2008, 03:04:47 PM
A little hint here for Kwikee Steps, a potential problem.

   The wire harness from the steps to the RV innards was, in my case, bundled up and fastened to the chassis frame with a couple of small tie-wraps only. The harness is fairly substantial and weighty.

  Well, the tie-wraps rotted away and I was dragging the wires on the ground while traveling down the hi-way. Luckily I noticed that at a rest stop. I proceeded to re-tie them using a fairly hefty bungy-cord. There are perfect holes in the frame to attach the hooks.

   Perhaps an inspection on your setup will prevent a mini-disaster.

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on November 29, 2008, 05:16:48 PM
For various reasons I inspect that area often.. At the very least once a year (It is turning out) usually more than that.

However.. I never really considered that the cable stays might rot away.. (But if they did.. I'd see it for sure)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: harley man on November 29, 2008, 07:14:10 PM
Pop the valve on your propane torch for a sec. for a propane test on that alarm. Many of us have toast problems, my Endeavor's smoke alarm is plumb over the  range so  I must remove it while frying, even with fan on high vent!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Dolphin Jockey on November 29, 2008, 10:16:53 PM
A little hint here for Kwikee Steps, a potential problem.

  Well, the tie-wraps rotted away and I was dragging the wires on the ground while traveling down the hi-way. Luckily I noticed that at a rest stop. I proceeded to re-tie them using a fairly hefty bungy-cord. There are perfect holes in the frame to attach the hooks.


Hi Carson,

To replace those rotted tie-wraps with something more permanent than bungee cord you might want to consider stainless steel tie-wraps.  I bought a package at one of my favorite 'toy' stores: Harbor Freight Tools.  Just tried to find them at www.harborfreight.com but apparently they're not listed.  If you're interested I can go by the store near my home at the end of next week and see if they're still available.  With the HFT item number a search for that number might get a hit on the HFT web site.  Let me know if you want me to try getting the info.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: RonBoyd on November 30, 2008, 10:39:20 AM
To replace those rotted tie-wraps with something more permanent than bungee cord you might want to consider stainless steel tie-wraps.

Will this help?

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGIH_enUS222US222&q=%22stainless+steel+tie%2dwraps%22

particularly note the tiewraps.com entry.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on November 30, 2008, 11:13:21 AM
Yes, thanks Ron. I'll definitely make it much more secure soon. The bundle of harness is immensily large, probably 10-15' all coiled up. I think I will uncoil that mess, rebundle neatly and fasten it so it will last 100 years.

   Somebody must have been in a hurry when it was installed.  :)

carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Dolphin Jockey on November 30, 2008, 11:17:16 AM
What I had in mind for stainless steel tie wraps is shown at http://www.tiewraps.com/stainlesst_ec_twrappage.html  I was hoping to find (in the U.S.) was smaller quanties in a package, in the $5.00 -- $10.00 range.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on November 30, 2008, 11:24:43 AM
Thanks to you too, George.

carson
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on November 30, 2008, 04:50:17 PM
OK, the bottle opener/flamer is Olympian, not Coleman, although at first glance you could believe it is Coleman.  Very similar looking.  Used both functions this past weekend.  Great job!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on December 04, 2008, 01:19:55 PM
This subject has been discussed many times in the forum.  "VALVE EXTENDERS" for your tires.

   The troublemakers are the outside rear tires an most RVs. Here is my solution for easily solving the problem of checking the pressure and injecting more air.

   Background: I purchased 2 nice looking units and put them on my outside tires. They worked well for that purpose... for a while. Seems like with use (driving) they will not stay in place and actually loosen up. (Centrifugal force at work, I guess).

  After noticing that I lost air, I removed them. No more air leaks. Now what I do is to attach them only when I want to check the pressure and/or add air. After I am finished I remove them again (takes seconds only) and place them in my tool bag for the next time.

   The units (see pix below) come in various angles, depending on your wheel/tire system. Mine was a 60º version.

   My inside tires have a steel-mesh extender secured solidly by a support on the wheel covers....no problems.

   A Major problem for some, an easy fix for me.

(For old info just search valve extenders with the Seach feature)

carson FL  72.1°




Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: sadavis80 on December 04, 2008, 04:30:32 PM
Maybe I'm just ahead (or behind) on this topic (tire valves), but last year I LOOSENED my valve stems for the outside tire (Aluminum rims on the outside, so they can't be swapped to the inside ANYWAY!), and TURNED them about 75 degrees so that I can easily reach them - even with a NORMAL air chuck - and I've had NO problems since.  I guess it might do well to pay attention to the centripetal force applied as the wheel rotates - to make sure things are pointed towards the TIGHTENING side instead of the LOOSENING side :).

Just loosen the nut on the valve stem slightly and (with GREAT dexterity) rotate it around so you can access it easily - then retighten the nut.

No leaks - no problems and *MUCH* easier to check/add air than before .. I *DO* have Pressure Pro sensors mounted and rotated enough that I can take them off/on without too much difficulty.  No probs there either after several thousand miles.

Steve
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on December 09, 2008, 03:38:41 PM
Just another little hint...

  One of my windshields has "permanent wiper streaks";  obviously been scratched over time before I became the owner. My rig is now 13 years old, have had it for 5 years.

   Clean rubber blade wipers will not scratch. Only an abrasive will leave permanent marks.

  I recommend that before you go on any trip, especially  after a time of storage, to take a minute and clean your wiper blades thoroughly with soapy water, windex, or your choice of cleaner to remove any possible dirt on them and then check with your fingernail for uniformity of pure/clean rubber surface.

  Removing those old scratches seems to be an impossibility.

carson FL


 
   

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on December 09, 2008, 05:02:46 PM
Two other things along this same line.. ONE, I have seen windshields get so hot the wiper was damaged.

And two... Replace the blades every once in a while.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on December 09, 2008, 05:39:04 PM
You missed the point, John
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on December 09, 2008, 09:19:53 PM
No did not miss the point (Clean blades don't damage windshield)

Just pointing out that there are other related issues as well

Oh yes, and sand/salt is abrasive
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on December 26, 2008, 02:42:13 PM
Title:  Symptoms of old gas


   My RV has been idle for several months in the hot Florida weather. After I stored it in the Spring of 08, I used up my old gas until it was nearly 1/4 empty by running the Onan generator and exercising the engine/RV at regular intervals.

   Recently I noticed that the generator was harder to start and it would take several minutes to settle down to smooth running. (up to 5 minutes). I fiddled with the carburetor jet adjustments to no avail. Even went to checking the spark plugs and other little things. No go....

   I remembered that my usual Gas conditioner was long gone. (I use  Sea Foam) Seafoam (http://www.seafoamsales.com/products.htm) every time I fill up.

   The RV engine seemed not to mind the old gas problem, no noticeable effect. (Chev 484). But the Onan obviously did not like it.

   I then filled the tank with new gas and a can of Seafoam; lo and behold, the Onan starts instantaneously (even after sitting for a few days) ever since and goes to  proper RPM  without hesitation.

    Morale of the story: Don't jump to conclusions if you have bad gas. ( in your tank).

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on December 26, 2008, 07:21:01 PM
Carson,  FL insurance has a no deductibe windshield replacement.  Did you know that if you change the blade and the arm without a blade will crack a windshield if it gets away from you and snaps back.  Just saying.  The replacements aren't usually scratched.  Just saying...
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Mexray on January 15, 2009, 11:57:52 AM
lots of good info here...thanks, all
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on January 17, 2009, 09:18:20 AM
We are currently parked in an area at Quartzsite where we have water. elec and a shared dump.  Needs a bout 60' of hose.  Uphill by a couple feet.  Think about it. 

OK, dump the black, the force etc pushes it all out to the end, then grey.  So, now we have 60' of 4" hose full of grey water.  Here is my trick to drain the hose.  I have a piece of conduit about 8' long, to that I have attached a C shaped piece of steel, 4" across.  Disconnect the hose from the dump, bungee it onto the c bracket.  Then lift it to vertical.  Now the hose has elevation above the highest point of elevation and it drains. 

Rinsing works the same. 

Way better than when I first got here and did he worm dancce, holding up a ^ portion. 

This isn't something you would need very often, but it sure has come in handy this time.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on January 17, 2009, 01:39:04 PM
Well.... For that job I'd use a macerator pump

Just start at the rig end and "walk" the hose.. That is lift it up high enough to get it to drain

When you have gotten to the sewer end go back to the rig, and do it again

The 3rd time you should be able to disconnect the hose and bring the now open end up to shoulder height and do it a 3rd time

Done this a few times

But for anything over 20 feet, I use a macerator pump and to heck with issues like that.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on January 17, 2009, 07:56:23 PM
If I had one I would have used it.  Trust me.  I did the 3 times walk a couple times, but the raise it and do it one time is faster. 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on January 24, 2009, 03:24:39 PM
This trick is not necessarily RV related, more for people who like sharp knives; pocket, kitchen, anything small.

   Is your pocket knife a little dull? Try this; it works.

To put a quick sharp edge on the blade, use a standard one-sided razor blade, the kind used in scrapers, etc.

   Pull the blade at a 45° angle with a bit of force applies in both directions (push and pull). You'll be surprised how quickly the edge will be honed to razor-sharpness. If you notice roughness, just keep on doing it until the surface is smooth.

   This is not the 'professional' method of sharpening a knife blade but it works.

carson FL (The guy with too much time on his hands; remember I am retired, but busy).

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on January 24, 2009, 04:14:55 PM
Another way to sharpen knives is to use the bottom of a porcelin cup,  The narrow ring that is a bit rough, like you would a sharpening stone.  Just a couple swipes on each side will usually do the trick.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on January 24, 2009, 06:34:11 PM
Ron, pardon me for pointing out something obvious.

   There are probably a thousand ways to sharpen knife edges. My little idea takes into account a bit of science. I am not talking about abrasion, rather about cutting steel.

  The razors edge being microscopically thin would have a surface pressure (pounds per square inch, whatever) almost infinite. I believe that a razor blade's edge is harder in hardness factor than most ordinary knives in existence. The edge of the blade will cut through any irregularity on a knife edge like going through butter.
 It will actually shave the surface steel as well much faster than any piece of pottery you can think of.

  This is not a revolutionary concept, rather a little trick to fix up your little knife in a hurry; it works, I have tried it on several knives and the results were astonishing.  FWIW.

Can you think of a better, easier way?

carson FL

   

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on January 24, 2009, 07:50:37 PM
I am aware of the benefits of using a razor blade if one is available.  Many folks, such as ourselves do not have a single edge or double edge blade available thus I was only providing an alternative option.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: TechDude on January 24, 2009, 08:47:10 PM
I heard this one from a Monaco owner the other day:

Radiator Surge Tank Coolant Level Checker
Checking the coolant level in your radiator surge tank, as you know, can be difficult with some of those translucent plastic tanks and who wants to pop the cap off and spray 210 degree coolant all over themselves?

He said that a construction "stud detector" will show where the coolant level is when you wave it vertically along one face of the plastic surge tank.  He heard it from someone else and didn't have one himself.  I'll bet it doesn't work on the metal tank. 

I don't know how well this works.  Don't buy one on my mention here, but if you already have one, try it.  I'm probably going to buy one and try it out.

Bob
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on January 24, 2009, 08:48:05 PM
Well.. Ron.. One of the advantages of a blade razor is a closer shave :)  oh, yes, and another is the power fail shave, though the odds of that in this house are kind of slim not days
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on January 24, 2009, 09:03:16 PM
Thanks Bob, neat idea to use the stud detector. However, I have no trouble seeing the coolant in the translucent plastic overflow tank on my Monaco. I wonder why folks are having trouble seeing the coolant?
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on January 24, 2009, 09:11:15 PM
We haven't experienced any difficulty seeing the coolant level either.  Bet a IR thermometer would work too.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Alaskansnowbirds on January 24, 2009, 10:39:01 PM
Thanks for the tip. I'll have to try it. Ours is a white plastic tank that you can't see the coolant through. The only way to check the coolant on our coach is to take the cap off and stick your finger into the tank. There isn't enough room to get your head above the tank to see into it.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: RLSharp on January 24, 2009, 10:47:46 PM
Maybe some of you guys who have clear tanks and a stud finder or IR thermometer could check your tanks and let us know whether this idea works. You will be able to see the actual level and therefore be able to let us know the accuracy of the experiment.

Richard
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on January 24, 2009, 11:13:37 PM
Maybe some of you guys who have clear tanks and a stud finder or IR thermometer could check your tanks and let us know whether this idea works. You will be able to see the actual level and therefore be able to let us know the accuracy of the experiment.

Richard

Spring be OK? Too cold now.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: RLSharp on January 25, 2009, 12:03:30 AM
Spring be OK? Too cold now.

Ron, you didn't winterize properly! The weather here doesn't prevent me from doing anything I want. Now, if we were in Rochester, NY, we would have the same problem you do. I think we winterized properly.  ;D

Richard
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on January 25, 2009, 03:04:34 PM
I have two different stud detectos (electronic) neither of them could detect the water level in my fresh tank. 

Just so you know.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on January 25, 2009, 03:20:40 PM
Ron, you didn't winterize properly! The weather here doesn't prevent me from doing anything I want. Now, if we were in Rochester, NY, we would have the same problem you do. I think we winterized properly.  ;D

Richard

I have to agree with you that winterizing the way we did this year is not as easy or as pleasent as it has been in years past.  Still BEST WAY to winterize is DRIVE SOUTH. ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: RLSharp on January 25, 2009, 05:21:35 PM
I just tried an experiment on my fresh water tank which is translucent and I can see the actual water lever. Using my IR remote reading thermometer, I can definitely detect the water level in the tank. The tank is about 2°F cooler at the water level than the plastic above the water level. I don't see why this technique wouldn't work on a radiator tank, especially if the engine has been run so that the fluid is warmer than ambient temperature.

Richard
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ray D on January 25, 2009, 05:51:45 PM
I, also, used my IR to check the translucent water tank, to confirm that the IR was reading the correct level. It was within a quarter inch. I did that to confirm that I was really reading the level correctly in my opaque gray and brown holding tanks. Can't think of a reason why it woud not read the correct level on a radiator overflow tank.

Ray D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on February 16, 2009, 03:13:11 PM
This little post may address a problem that has been lingering in past posts.

   It pertains to an erroneous reading of the LP (Propane) tank on the indicator panel inside the RV.

I have been plagued with this problem for some time and think I found the problem.

  My LED indicator showed "Full" at all times for some time now. The first thing I did was wiggle on the wires on the tank sender (see pix below). That did not seem to fix it. My next step was to do a thorough cleaning job of the contacts, using a scraper (knife) on both sides of the contacts on the sending unit. A few rapid movements of the connector, on -off-, several times, cleared the problem. An application of some sort of chemical (de-oxid) probably will help too.

   The terminals involved are subject to a lot of road grime etc. and after a few years they become very oxidized.

   To check yours, when the terminals are disconnected, the LED indicator will read "Full". As the tank empties, the resistance, ohms, in the sensor will decrease and, hopefully, will start to indicate the proper volume of LPG in your tank.

carson FL


 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: S J Strait on March 04, 2009, 05:54:58 AM
Two other things along this same line.. ONE, I have seen windshields get so hot the wiper was damaged.

And two... Replace the blades every once in a while.

I like to use alcohol wipes found at drug store. couple of swipes once in awhile and there just like new. in between regular changes of course.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Rex on March 04, 2009, 06:46:01 PM
Carson, you might want to put some dielectric greese on those connections.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on March 05, 2009, 03:52:08 AM
Thanx Rex, after the a/m cleaning I indeed applied d/e grease, even filled the small connectors with the grease to prevent further water entry.  System is working fine now.

  carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: S J Strait on March 05, 2009, 01:30:17 PM
I am not sure if this counts. but here goes. I have this wind chim made of a tin cup band silver ware that I hang off the awning outside my bed room window.If it starts making lots of noise I know to get up and bring in the awning.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on March 05, 2009, 02:02:06 PM
A minor hint, a new Teflon grease I found today while trying to repair one of my swimming pool vales.

  It is touted to be used for Motors, O-Rings, Gaskets, Bearings, Water filters. It is waterproof, indoors and out. Temperature range of 0F to 425F. (So it says on the back).

  It is obviously meant for my pool valve and other things.

 The one ounce tube will probably last me forever. ($3.50).

  How can I use it on my RV?   Not too much, but here is what I did. During my occasional tire pressure check of my tires, I applied a dab of the grease to my metal tire valve covers and threads; there is a small rubber washer inside; the threads are usually rough and grimy and that bit of Teflon grease would not do any harm, in my opinion. I used a Q-tip to apply a bit of the grease into the valve caps. I found a distinct difference in replacing the caps and was more assured that the rubber seal would be more protected.

FWIW, the product can be found in your local pool supply store.

   see pix below

carson FL



Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on March 05, 2009, 02:24:40 PM
Another little hint for users with (coil spring assist) airbags, or even other air bags.

  There is a small volume of air in each bag, as compared to tires. When you are checking the pressure and/or refilling, do not allow any air to escape after filling/testing. With a 60 psi airbag you can easily lose 10 psi within a second or so after filling, if you are not careful in removing the air chuck.

carson FL



Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: ruthandken CDN on March 05, 2009, 05:41:58 PM
Somewhere in here awhile back I saw a posting from someone who had made their own generator exhaust extension pipe.  I have searched this forum from top to bottom and cannot find it.  Does any one remember that post?
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on March 05, 2009, 07:21:31 PM
How about this (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=14176.msg132441#msg132441). Found it using the Search button.

Here's another (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=7002.msg61982#msg61982), but note the caution about the choice of material.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: S J Strait on March 20, 2009, 06:22:36 AM
I don't know if this fits here I think it dose. When we set up camp we like to put an extention on our awning. We slide hooks on the tube the one you get from CW for hanging lights. Then we hang a tarp one that has silver on back so its nice and dark. then we take 3 poles and strech out the tarp and tie it down at the corners . and there you go now we have lots of shade and rain protection. doubles outside living area.  Of course if there is bade wind we take it down.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on March 26, 2009, 01:24:36 PM
This post is a continuation of my post re LP Tank monitor problem, a few posts back.

  After cleaning the electrical posts, all was not well, just partially.

Here is what I found today: I took a careful look at the spade connectors connected to the sending unit. They looked ok but when I wiggled them again, the wires broke off.  I suspected corrosion within the spade connectors.

 I cut off the connectors and stripped back the insulation on the cable. Lo and behold, I had to strip them back almost 2 inches before I got to clean copper wire. Seems like that when corrosion starts it wanders.

  After I got to the copper portion and twisted them together I got the expected result; the meter/indicator registered zero (as it should). First time I have seen that reading in long time. That proved to me that the problem was solved. Now all I have to do is put new female spade connectors on and I'll be in business.

  A lesson: If you suspect connector problems,(anywhere) pull on the wire (maybe twist them a bit) to remove the spade connectors. If they break, it is time to replace them. Then make sure you have clean copper wire before putting on new ones.

A true story... carson FL


   

   
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on March 26, 2009, 02:32:50 PM
Congratulations Carson on getting it fixed.  Corrosion can be very detrimental to an electrical connection and in some cases it takes some searching to find it.  Good job.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on April 25, 2009, 01:37:32 PM
Just a little Kwikee quick test for those of you with automatic entry steps.


   We all know that they will malfunction at times. It is important to know that the motor will shut itself down when there is a severe blockage/friction in the mechanical mechanism. The mechanical linkages, many of them, require free travel. This can happen from a lack of lubrication on the myriad pivot points of the step mechanism.

   Barring structural damage, from bending the steps accidentally, it is most likely caused by neglect of lubrication. The joints are lo-tech, just iron against iron.

  A quick way to test your steps is to extend them out. Then simply grasp the lower step and pull it forward and up a bit. ( The tolerances are not very tight). They will move about 1/2" or so. If they settle down easily, when you let go, chances are that all is well. If the unit has been damaged and is bent, this won't apply.

  If they refuse to settle down by gravity you may have a problem. This is the time to grab your favorite lubricant and give all the moving joints a good squirt; there are about 8-10 of them. I simply use a multi purpose lubricant (called MPL) and squirt away. (From Advance Auto Parts). I do that once a year and have been trouble free for 5 years.

   I did have an accidental crash with a curb but was able to get the "iron" straightened again.

  This falls under the category of "preventive maintenance". I see no advantage of buying special "lube" for a crude mechanism used with the steps.

  Ok, let's hear it.

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on May 02, 2009, 03:13:07 PM
Another small problem fixed.

  I have the coil spring assist front air bags on my rig. Included in that installation are remote piping/ tubing in order to check and air up the bags from the front of the rig.

  Yesterday, a few days before my upcoming trip, the left one was empty. The bags are 2 years old.

  The fix was simple; tighten the connector at the bag (more than finger tight) and check the valve at the entry point of the  hose. I noticed an air bubble (using spit) at that point.
I removed the valve and replaced it with a (made in US) valve. Problem solved.

   A reminder to carry a few extra valve stem valves in your kit and a removal tool.

The airbags are small, the pressure will drop very quickly if there is a leak. When pumping them up, be careful when attaching/removing the pump hose connector. Pressure will drop within a fraction of a second, if air escapes. I run mine at about 60psi.

  For convenience sake I use a good bicycle pump, with meter attached, to perform that duty. Saves a lot of time from dragging out the big portable 100psi pump.

carson FL


L
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: longbeard on May 13, 2009, 11:45:15 AM
Thanks for all the great tips and tricks! 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on May 13, 2009, 04:05:36 PM
Carson
I use a Silca bike pump, virtually no escaping air when removing. 

I haven't set up air bags on this coach yet, but when I do, I have 2 of the air pump, contrrollers to mount in the cab.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on May 13, 2009, 04:11:31 PM
Bill, My pump is the same as a Silca. Works great. It has the snap-on tip so very little air is lost, if you don't fumble it. I am good at fumbling.  ::)

carson
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on May 13, 2009, 06:30:01 PM
I picked up 2 of the pumps with remote fills from CW on closeout at $5 each.  ow to get the bags.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on May 16, 2009, 01:32:59 PM
   Are your RV drawer slides broken? I have a Winnebago with a bunch of sliding drawer. Over time some of them became troublesome. The problem was the plastic/nylon supports at the inside end were broken. Old age, I guess.

  I searched at commercial cabinet shops to no avail. My last recourse was a small RV parts shop for help. Guess what...no problem.

   See pix below for all the info you need. (AZ RV Products) is a wholesaler only.

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ron on May 16, 2009, 02:03:58 PM
Good info.  While we haven't experienced sush a problem I know a lot of folks that have.  Thanks for posting that.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: threeful on May 17, 2009, 02:58:11 PM
I have a fifth wheel and lost my sewer hose (on I-35) when the cap on my PVC sewer hose container came open.  Thje container is a PVC pipe located under the unit near the back end.  I drilled a small hole through the PVC pipe close to the cap, cut a piece of metal clothes hanger (bending the top end) and inserted into the drilled hole.  If the cap comes off, which it has, the piece of metal prevents the pipe from sliding out.

Bill T
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on May 17, 2009, 03:34:52 PM
I had a problem since day one with drawers opening as I turn corners... Most of 'em were blocked by creative packing but the kitchen ones took some work

Two eye bolts (There are 4 drawers the eye bolts are screwed in between 1/2 and 3/4) and Dowel rod.

They can't open now
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: cashion on June 07, 2009, 02:47:22 PM
Am very new to RV camping but have been a nurse most of my life.  The clorox in water to spray the fresh water hook-up before connecting is a great idea but  have always been told that this solution is only stable (effective) for 24 to 48 hrs.  Mixing a very small amount each time you need to use it and not storing it for future use is the best idea.  Thought it would be years before I could contribute, hope this is helpful.  Cashion
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: maddog348 on June 07, 2009, 03:00:23 PM
What about straight Clorox &/or how long is is "good" in the orig 1gal bottle??
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on June 07, 2009, 03:29:00 PM
Since Clorox is already sodium hypochlorite diluted with water, I don't see how further dilution would affect it's useful life.  I think the 24-48 hour efficacy is when it's applied.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: cashion on June 07, 2009, 10:29:19 PM
Was talking about the solution left in bottle.  See General Disinfecting  Please Note: comments at Clorox website under product usage

http://www.clorox.com/products/usage.php?prod_id=clb

I will quote them.
"Bleach solutions need to be made fresh daily. Once diluted, bleach breaks down quickly-mainly into salt and water."

The clorox bottle does not have an expiration date so presume, if undiluted, it stays good.  Some other bleach products contain chemicals that do not break down as quickly but they are more harmful to our environment.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: maddog348 on June 07, 2009, 10:42:22 PM
Shoot if there have been dogs using the spigot I'm gonna spritz it full strength outta the big bottle.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on June 08, 2009, 07:00:45 AM
Perhaps our resident chemist can explain how further diluting an already diluted solution will cause it break down quickly.  Sounds like marketing speaking.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: RLSharp on June 08, 2009, 10:29:26 AM
Perhaps our resident chemist can explain how further diluting an already diluted solution will cause it break down quickly.  Sounds like marketing speaking.

Ned,

If you are referring to me as "our resident chemist," I don't have a clue.

I do know that reaction rates are often influenced by the concentration of the the reactants. However, if you asked me the question, with no prior discussions, which will decompose or react faster a dilute solution or a concentrated solution of a given mixture, I would say the concentrated solution will react the fastest. I believe, like you, that diluting a roughly 5% solution to an even more dilute solution, wouldn't accelerate the rate of decomposition--or even change it. But chemistry sometimes involves some really strange phenomena--who knows.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on June 08, 2009, 11:24:13 AM
Richard, yes, you're our resident chemist :)  The only other factor that might enter in would be impurities in the water used to dilute the bleach, but they would vary a lot.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on June 08, 2009, 03:01:00 PM
A little insight from an "non chemist". Chlorine, as used in swimming pools disappears rather quickly in warm water and lots of sunshine. I suppose it just evaporates more quickly than water. I have 9 years of pool experience and find in the summertime my chlorine levels disappear rather quickly.

  Perhaps air access and temperature have a lot to do with degradation. I would venture to guess that a mixed solution in a tightly sealed bottle/spray device would last a lot longer if not exposed to high temperatures nor air leaks. Put in the fridge?

  I don't know what this means but it could fit into the equation on longevity .

carson FL  86.7°

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on June 08, 2009, 04:58:18 PM
AN OLD TOPIC- RENEWED..

Measuring the  A/C frequency of your generator. This has been discussed before and is buried in the archives somewhere.

   I made another test today and found my earlier post to be easy and accurate.

1. Items needed: a watch with a second hand.
2. A microwave oven with a clock timer
3. A way to set the oven for 1 minute heat.

  Next.. Set the bake time for 1 minute.
           Don't hit the Start switch until your second hand on the watch is exactly on 12:00

My bad... This should belong in Hints and Tricks etc.. some one please move it

carson


           Look at your watch for one minute and wait until the Microwave stops. At that very moment check
           your watch to see how many seconds you are behind or ahead of the time the microwave stops.
              A quick reaction is required

    If the second hand is right on 12:00, you have 60 Hz (cycle)..perfect
    If                           on 12"01  you have 59 Hz
    If                           on 11.59  you have 61 Hz, Every second is one hertz (cycle) in reverse order.
Remember, every second on your watch is 1 cycle. Calculate your frequency.

I think all microwave ovens operate on 120VAC and their clocks are dependent on the input frequency of 60 cps, The American Standard.

   This is so easy to do, no need to wait for hours to calculate time loss or gain on an ordinary clock.

Try it and you will like it.

  Depending on the load on the generator you can expect an acceptable outcome between 58 and 62 Hz.


Any comments?

carson FL

Edit; This belongs in "Hints, Trick and Tools" post. Someone please move it.

carson

                              
    


  
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: rsalhus on June 08, 2009, 07:31:22 PM
Quote
Any comments?

Yeah, you forgot the part about  turning the generator on!   ;D ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: edjunior on June 09, 2009, 07:16:18 AM
AN OLD TOPIC- RENEWED..

Measuring the  A/C frequency of your generator. This has been discussed before and is buried in the archives somewhere.

   I made another test today and found my earlier post to be easy and accurate.

1. Items needed: a watch with a second hand.
2. A microwave oven with a clock timer
3. A way to set the oven for 1 minute heat.

  Next.. Set the bake time for 1 minute.
           Don't hit the Start switch until your second hand on the watch is exactly on 12:00

My bad... This should belong in Hints and Tricks etc.. some one please move it

carson


           Look at your watch for one minute and wait until the Microwave stops. At that very moment check
           your watch to see how many seconds you are behind or ahead of the time the microwave stops.
              A quick reaction is required

    If the second hand is right on 12:00, you have 60 Hz (cycle)..perfect
    If                           on 12"01  you have 59 Hz
    If                           on 11.59  you have 61 Hz, Every second is one hertz (cycle) in reverse order.
Remember, every second on your watch is 1 cycle. Calculate your frequency.

I think all microwave ovens operate on 120VAC and their clocks are dependent on the input frequency of 60 cps, The American Standard.

   This is so easy to do, no need to wait for hours to calculate time loss or gain on an ordinary clock.

Try it and you will like it.

  Depending on the load on the generator you can expect an acceptable outcome between 58 and 62 Hz.


Any comments?

carson FL

Edit; This belongs in "Hints, Trick and Tools" post. Someone please move it.

carson

Well, my question/comment would be...exactly what are we trying to accomplish here?  Depending on the Hz measurement of the microwave, the generator is doing what?  Or should be doing what?  I'm a little confused on just what this test is for.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on June 09, 2009, 08:47:38 AM
Quite simple, Ed.

  The aux generator in most motorhomes are expected to produce 120VAC a 60 hertz. If one suspects that the o/p frequency is either too high or too low, which could raise havoc with certain appliances.

  I simple use my measuring technique to verify the frequency of the generator. Of course one can buy a frequency meter (test equipment), my method is quite accurate without doing that.

Oh well,  carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on June 09, 2009, 10:14:21 AM
AN OLD TOPIC- RENEWED..

Measuring the  A/C frequency of your generator. This has been discussed before and is buried in the archives somewhere.

(Much clipped)

Any comments?

Just two Carson

1:  I just hit the Hz key on my Kill-a-watt

2: That may or may not work depending on how the Microwave clock gets it's time signal.  Many do indeed use the power line since long term that is one of the best time standards made, over a period of 10 years you will likely never be off more than a second or two if synced to the power line.. Other time base standards (IE: XTAL) can and do drift.. The only thing better is WWV.  IN fact the power line syncs to WWV but is not as stable.

(NOTE: For those not in the US sub your own national bureau of standards time server)

A mechanical clock syncs to the power line
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: stratus225 on June 15, 2009, 10:37:30 PM
This is by far the best topic I have come across on the forums for general information. Thanx everyone.

Myself being a noob, I really only have one thing to contribute to date and that is (this really is for new newbies) Dont for one milisecond think that you dont have to drain your hot water tank completely when winterizing your rig... I just learned the hard way that the bloody think will freeze and crack at the weakest point.  :'(

Now that I've said my piece, back to cleaning up the mess and re-installing the freshly repaired tank...   >:(

Dave
AB Canada
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Gottasmilealot on June 27, 2009, 08:52:30 PM
Keep a compressed air horn within reach of your entrance door.  It will scare off a bear or other intruding wildlife, signal others to an emergency if need be, make an unwanted person back up so you can slam and lock the door, etc..  Great for tenters and hikers too.  Again, for scaring off wildlife, but also for people to find you if you get lost.

Example: http://www.cabelas.com/prod-1/0037806018252a.shtml  They sell the horns that run off of a can of compressed gas at boating supply stores also.

I saw it used a few week back around 1am when a bear trundled into a campground looking for food.  It scared away the bear and woke up people in the area quickly so they could take precautions.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wendy on June 27, 2009, 09:09:56 PM
Keep a compressed air horn within reach of your entrance door. 

That could probably come in handy for a lot of things - tornado warning, scare off wildlife, announce to the people around you that you have an emergency, chase away your spouse......

Wendy
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: maddog348 on June 27, 2009, 09:37:33 PM
Have carried small air horn for years(since bear in camp :o) and also LARGE cow bell.  As long as the bear leaves don't care if I wake up the neighboors. ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: mdbass on July 06, 2009, 11:03:08 AM
Have you suffered from water intrusion of some sort or another? Is there a mildew smell-or worse visible mildew or mold? Purchase a small bottle of "Tea Tree" oil and a small spray bottle (both available at Wally World). Put two capfuls in the sprayer and fill with water (you can adjust the strength). Spray the area in question or go through the coach with it. On the surfaces that don't absorb it, let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it down. We've never had fabric or leather damaged by this concoction. It may take a couple of applications; but boy does it work!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Lindsay Richards on July 18, 2009, 01:46:56 PM
Be sure not to use the air horns filled with freon as they can destroy the erogenous zone.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: maddog348 on July 18, 2009, 05:50:19 PM
LINDSEY,  Are you sure of your spelling ??? :o :o :o    I am m NEVER going near an air horn again ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: maddog348 on July 21, 2009, 10:20:44 AM
We do a lot of 'dry' camping and have a VERY low weight allowance.  We try for multi-purpose whenever possible.  So when I was looking for a light weight - non elec. - blender/mixer (needed for mixing dehydrated egg white powder) had a "BRIGHT" idea.  Why not add a beater & whisk to my already on board hand drill.  Works Great !! Only adds a few ounces - works a lot better than the 'cheapy' egg beater - double duty. ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: davemittan on July 21, 2009, 10:27:21 AM
Clever, Kate!

This is a good example of what that Plato guy was talking about when he said 'necessity is the mother of invention'.  (Or something like that)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Beaches_CC on August 13, 2009, 04:40:05 PM
Need helpfull hint - I am 'brand new' to RV'ing sorry to say my most difficult challenge has been; How do you clean coffee grounds from the perminant coffee(non disposable) filter, after dumping the majority in the trash I cannot rinse the remaining grounds into the sink?
Thanks CC
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on August 13, 2009, 04:51:14 PM
Let me give this a try...

   I suppose you have a filter made out of what seems to be metal, fine mesh.
Fill your sink or pot with hot water, add a detergent (409) or dish wash soap and just let it soak over night.  Next morning use the garden hose with a strong spray to clean out the filter. It's the oil in the coffee grounds that tend to stick and plug it up. Best I can think of.

   This advise is free of charge.  ;D

By the way, welcome aboard.

carson FL




   
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Just Lou on August 13, 2009, 05:59:43 PM
Need helpfull hint -  How do you clean coffee grounds from the perminant coffee(non disposable) filter, after dumping the majority in the trash I cannot rinse the remaining grounds into the sink?

My hint - leave metal filter at home and use the disposable filters in the RV.

Don't spend a lot of effort trying to determine why it hurts when you slap yourself in the forehead....just stop slapping..  ;) ::) ??? ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on August 13, 2009, 06:25:32 PM
Why not rinse it in the sink?  Coffee grounds are biodegradable and won't harm the holding tank or whatever sewer system you dump into.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Daisy on August 15, 2009, 01:57:39 PM
Ned:

Why not rinse it in the sink?  Coffee grounds are biodegradable and won't harm the holding tank or whatever sewer system you dump into.

I beg to differ.  Don't know about modern technology, but do know that coffee grounds may be biodegradable, but if so, it takes years  and do help to fill septic systems quickly.  Especially if they have leach fields, which most older ones do. 

I go along with Lou.  Use a paper filter, even if you have to insert it inside the metal one.  "Double filtration don't 'ja know"   :D

Daisy

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on August 15, 2009, 02:44:52 PM
I first thought this was a major problem, scientifically speaking.  ;)

  A plugged metal filter that would not pass the necessary wake-up potion

 It turned out to be on how to discard coffee grounds.  See my first post here (http://Let me give this a try...)

I don't know how to answer that.. I just put the grounds in the garbage bag and the rinse the remainder .05% of grounds into the sink.

Maybe I can learn something here.. ;D First time posters sometimes have interesting questions.

Was this a ruse?
carson FL

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on August 16, 2009, 11:21:21 AM
Found something cool at local hardware store.  S-biner,  Made by Nite-ize, you can google it.  I picked up the 10 lb rated, it is a carabiner, but with 2 hooks, find it handy for many uses.  They have another that is pretty cool, I have had a use in the past, but nothing right now.  Called a figure 9, a carabiner, with a rope wedge.  Good for tent guys. 

They have a pretty extensive product line, lots of outdoor stuff.  The s-biners are great though, probably pick up another few.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Lindsay Richards on August 17, 2009, 06:48:40 AM
Quote
LINDSEY,  Are you sure of your spelling
       

The old jokes are still funny.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Lindsay Richards on August 17, 2009, 06:50:57 AM
Sears is having a closeout sale on 4 gallon, 125 psi pancake air compressors that are pretty compact and will fit into a basement compartment. Normally $169 and now $99. You can use it around the house and also use it for filling your RV tires.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: mdbass on August 19, 2009, 12:29:37 PM
This is by far the best topic I have come across on the forums for general information. Thanx everyone.

Myself being a noob, I really only have one thing to contribute to date and that is (this really is for new newbies) Dont for one milisecond think that you dont have to drain your hot water tank completely when winterizing your rig... I just learned the hard way that the bloody think will freeze and crack at the weakest point.  :'(

Now that I've said my piece, back to cleaning up the mess and re-installing the freshly repaired tank...   >:(

Dave
AB Canada

Don't forget the adapter for the freshwater connection that allows you to pump air through the water pipes to remove lingering moisture. Man am I glad that I don't winterize anymore.

Also have you tried a small space heater in the RV? You just have to keep it  above freezing.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: 03tundra on September 19, 2009, 09:59:33 PM
On the back of our travel trailer, on the bumper,  I mounted a 6'' pvc pipe that runs the lateral length of the trailer... I store our sewer connection lines in it... This not only stores it outside the camper (as opposed to a storage bin on the exterior, but is stil on the interior of the camper) but it allow it to dry out completely, lessening the bacterial growth that is present...
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on September 20, 2009, 10:16:15 AM
Did much the same thing on my Motor home, only it's 8'long and mounted crosswise.

Six inch pipe.. Holds over 20 feet (extended) of hose.  I drilled two holes in the bottom (Strangly, they line up with the bolts that hold the pipe to the frame( and inserted a couple of street elbows in them pointed to the rear so that any liquid can properly drain out as well.. The elbows pointing back keeps tire splash out of 'em (Since they are behind the tires)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: 1joester2 on September 20, 2009, 11:59:29 AM
I took a similar pipe purchased from Lowes and heated it with a hair dryer on a hot day. I was able to insert it inside the 4 X 4 bumper. I now have a PVC lined bumper to store my dump hose in. It takes about an hour to heat, flex, make square, and insert it a little at a time.

It works great when you're done.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Lindsay Richards on November 10, 2009, 10:27:36 AM
2 10 foot drain hoses with a connector are much more handy than 1 20 foot drain hose. Most ofthe time, 1 will reach and it is easier to handle and clean. I also have 3 25 foot white water hoses instead of one 50 foot one. Much easier and only one time haveI ever needed the third one.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Sportsdad on November 12, 2009, 12:23:18 PM
This might be well known info, but I'll repeat it:

If you use dishsoap to wash your coach, it WILL strip the wax off the finish. This is good if you plan to strip and re-apply wax. This is bad if you want to retain your wax.

Use auto soap for regular washing, not dish soap!(unless you want to strip the wax)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on November 12, 2009, 12:30:42 PM
Thanks, that's well worth a mention, and something I've omitted from other postings here. It's a known fact, but apparently not known by everyone.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: GKman on December 15, 2009, 07:02:42 PM
Need helpfull hint - I am 'brand new' to RV'ing sorry to say my most difficult challenge has been; How do you clean coffee grounds from the perminant coffee(non disposable) filter, after dumping the majority in the trash I cannot rinse the remaining grounds into the sink?
Thanks CC

I use a French press which makes great coffee but a pain to clean.  Best I have come up with is fill it half full of water, take it to the dumpster or garbage barrel, swish it around like a gold pan and quickly dump it.  Wipe remainder out with a paper towel while I'm there.  You meet the nicest people at the dumpster.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on December 22, 2009, 02:46:38 PM
This is about rust removal by the electrolysis method.

   Probably best for small items...tools etc. Seems to be fairly simple to do.

   I have read about an old relic anchor that was restored after centuries in the ocean. Took a long time to restore, weeks, but small items probably will be restored in a very short time.

  Read this http://www.stovebolt.com/techtips/rust/electrolytic_derusting.htm (http://www.stovebolt.com/techtips/rust/electrolytic_derusting.htm)
 Sounds like a fun project.

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Sportsdad on January 04, 2010, 03:02:32 PM
I forgot about this tip until returning from snow camping last week.

HD carries this type of insulation in the picture below. This stuff is great for covering the windows of the RV(inside) at night when its below 32 deg.  How great? The condensation will sometimes freeze on the INSIDE of the window, beneath the insulation. :)  All windows have it on, with velcro tabs to hold in place for easy installation and removal. During  the day, we remove the insulation frrom the two big windows in the coach and just roll it up and stick it in the corner.  Funace cycle time is half! (With hook ups, running a single ceramic heater, the coach furnace never came on during one of our ski trips!)
http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL767/2726312/21767624/380651305.jpg (http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL767/2726312/21767624/380651305.jpg)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: maddog348 on January 04, 2010, 08:34:39 PM
reflectix
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on January 05, 2010, 04:03:58 PM
Been using it for years.  Back in the truck camper days we filled in the over cab window with 2 or 3 layers.  Kept sun out in early AM, kept cold off you or heat off when cold or hot.  Have huge sheet for windshield for sun in storage and cold while camping.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: broncobilly on January 20, 2010, 02:01:31 PM
I have a question concerning batteries, i am taking delivery of my new Outback trailer this friday and I am considering upgrading my batteries from 1-12 volt to 2- 6 volt batteries. I have read a little about this and it seems to make sense. I do plan on a ton of dry camping so is this the way I should go?     any help would be appreciated, Thanks, bb.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on January 20, 2010, 03:56:49 PM
I might consider changing when the 12v needs replacing, not sure I would do it right away.  How long will you be boondocking? 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on January 20, 2010, 05:02:54 PM
Broncobilly,    just a few thoughts... not knowing what your experiences are with battery usage.

 2- 6 Volt batteries are a step up from from a single12 V battery. Its definitely better but  not sensational. Depending on your daily power usage, battery power may vary considerably.

   You mentioned a ton of boondocking. Think a day or two of usable power (or less), not much more. The secret is to to have a re-charging source at your disposal (generator) to replace those precious amps that you use every day. Solar arrays are ok but only if the Sun shines bright on the panels every day, and a lot.

   Once your batteries run low on power it takes a long time to recharge them.

IMHO,   carson FL



Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on January 21, 2010, 11:16:27 AM
One thing to remember... There are no six volt batteries in RV's.  Just 2 piece 12 volt batteries (Yes, each piece is six volts)

I say this because if you think of the pair, joined properly together, as a single 12 volt battery.. Most all your 6/12 questions self-answer.

Now, the pair, if the standard size, is about 220 amp hours, that gives you about 1 KWH of usable power per charge (Rounding shamelessly here)  This is as opposed to a single 12 volt which can be as low as 75 amp hours (G-24) to 105 (G-31)

Recharge time is dependent on the size of your converter for the first (BULK) stage, if you upgrade your batteries you might consider an upgrade to a larger converter,  A pair of U-2200's (Interstate's golf car offering) can suck 60 amps no problem,  A bit more in fact, so converters in the 60-70 amp range work well, even an 80 amp is good if it's a motor home with an intellegent battery control (Mine has an 80)

Make sure you get a good 3-stage converter.. There are several which are good.. Progressive Dynamics 9200 series is my choice but Xantrex, WFFCO, and several other comanies make very good units as well... There is no single "Best" it's a group, and a large one.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: broncobilly on January 22, 2010, 01:00:33 PM
Thanks for the replies, our trailer arrived today , if anyone is considering making a purchase and having their trailer delivered I can say that we are very pleased. The driver arrived this morning and our trailer is all that we hoped it would be. We were given a walk thru right in our driveway and shown all about the trailer. A big thanks to Duane who delivered our trailer and to all the staff at Lakeshore rv for making the purchase so smooth and making our dream of rving come true.!!    We did not have the time to upgrade the batteries before our trailer shipped but I am going to look locally to see if I can find the batteries. Time to go play with the new toy!!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Supreme Oppressor on January 22, 2010, 05:40:16 PM
Inexpensive and easy stabilizer. Only 2 peices of angle iron and 4 C-clamps.  I have something similar and it works great.

http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/camping-rvs/85594-best-rv-mod-ever.html
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on January 22, 2010, 09:02:47 PM
posting links to members only forums doesn't work too well.  Can you explain the trick?
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Supreme Oppressor on January 23, 2010, 04:27:13 PM
Sorry. Link worked when I tested it, but I since I am a member I guess it would. ::)

Here is a picture.

These are angle fence posts from a tractor supply place held on with 4 C-clamps.  It does make a noticeable difference and takes about a minute to install.

Credit for this goes to tubular031 over on powerstroke.org

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/GR-hvq7FSc5bjRwouIGtoA?authkey=Gv1sRgCP2poIzN46GdBA&feat=embedwebsite

Admin edit: Inline images are disabled.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: burgiebill on January 23, 2010, 11:25:47 PM
We just purchased a m/h and looking around I see lots of 12 volt connectors exposed to the elements. Is there something you can spray on these connectors to prevent corrosion? Make sure they have the best connection possible, bill

I did post this elsewhere and reading this forum thought it would be better here.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: DAN L on January 24, 2010, 06:03:48 AM
We just purchased a m/h and looking around I see lots of 12 volt connectors exposed to the elements. Is there something you can spray on these connectors to prevent corrosion? Make sure they have the best connection possible, bill

I did post this elsewhere and reading this forum thought it would be better here.

i cannot tell from your post what kind of moho you have. you can update your signature blocks with this info. :-\
some mohos have o rings in the electrical connector plugs.  :)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: burgiebill on January 24, 2010, 09:41:38 AM
I really don't want to up date my signature, it should make no difference what kind of m/h. there are 12volt wires exposed to the elements. 4prong, 2 prong and some butt end connectors. The butt ends I will cut, reconnect and shrink tube these. I was just try to find out if there is any reliable sprays for these types of connectors./
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on January 24, 2010, 03:27:05 PM
Knowing the MH can sometime trigger a memory of personal experience.  A picture or description would help.  Depending on what you want to accomplish would help, are you trying to determine what they should do?  male or female connector?  Under dash?  At rear of bumper? 

If they aren't being used and have no voltage in them, tuck them away.  If voltage is present, tape them up, or heat shrink.  If taping or shrink tube, don't spray.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: DAN L on January 24, 2010, 10:22:49 PM
Knowing the MH can sometime trigger a memory of personal experience.  A picture or description would help.  Depending on what you want to accomplish would help, are you trying to determine what they should do?  male or female connector?  Under dash?  At rear of bumper? 

If they aren't being used and have no voltage in them, tuck them away.  If voltage is present, tape them up, or heat shrink.  If taping or shrink tube, don't spray.

right on, pancakebill. ;D
harbor freight and others sell a product called "electrical tape in a spray can"
my experience is that it takes several applications to do any good. :o
i would not use this product on a connector plug that can be separated like the op mentioned. :o
 i use it on crimp connections sometimes where heat shrink tubing is not practical. :)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: joelmyer on February 10, 2010, 11:16:57 AM
I have a question concerning batteries, i am taking delivery of my new Outback trailer this friday and I am considering upgrading my batteries from 1-12 volt to 2- 6 volt batteries. I have read a little about this and it seems to make sense. I do plan on a ton of dry camping so is this the way I should go?     any help would be appreciated, Thanks, bb.

Don't know what a "ton" means.  How long at a time?  In cold weather?  What is essential to your happiness when dry camping - microwave? AC?  Hair dryer? Electric coffee pot?

You need enough battery to get you from charge to charge.

I'm dry camping for two months and have a generator so I need to get through the night on battery.

If you are going to dry camp for the weekend and don't have a generator, then you need a weekend's worth of battery, to do whatever you want to do.

After I bought the 2 6 volt AGMs I wondered why I did that since the wimpy 12 volt battery that came with the trailer would have made it through the night.

Get some experience under your belt before you buy would be my advice.

Joel
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on February 13, 2010, 07:50:21 AM
Great device for the remotes.  In our coach we have a bedroom TV with no space for any accessories.  We have the digi0-analog converter and a sat receiver.  I have these mounted in the front cabinet.  So, if in bedroom, the remotes IR would need a lot of focused mirrors to reach the equipment, or jump out of bed, go 'all the way' to the front to adust vaolume, channels etc. 

Solution  --  RF remote extender.  Thre is a tiny transmitter sleeve, the rechargable batter slips inside and it becomes a AAA batter, replace a standard AAA in the remote.  There is also a supplied sleeve if the remote uses an AA size.  OK, now up front, little 1/2 dome device with short antenna and a plug in IR.  You can get a plug in with multiple IR emitters.  Stick the emitter on the eye of the device. 

Simple!  Now the remote sends RF, th reciever converts to IR pulse.  Works fantastic, we used it all last summer. 

Package comes with 2 batteries, 1 transmitter sleeve.  Te extra batt fits in the base of the reciever and it recharges.  One charge was good for about 5 months.  Extra transmitter sleeves and batteries can be found easily.  Bought my setup on eBay.  I got lucky, bought mine from a guy that had bought it and not used it.  Never opened.  Full retail is about $50 or o. 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Olcoon on February 15, 2010, 06:20:33 PM
When we don't have full hook-ups I keep a dishpan in the sink to wash dishes then dump the dirty dish water into the black tank. Puts more water into the black tank and keeps the gray from filling so fast. 

Another way to keep from filling the gray so fast is to wash dishes outside(IF allowed--I would ask first).

One thing I might add to this is before you dump the water...make sure NOTHING is in there you don't want to get rid of.  I did that one time, and on the way home that evening, I realized that my wedding ring was missing!  The only thing I could figure out was that it came off in the soapy water & I didn't realize it until it was too late!  Guess that's what I get for doing the dishes!!! ;D  My wife sort of forgave me...after a few years!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Lynnvt on February 18, 2010, 01:07:30 PM
I cut magnetic material to the size of the floor vents and covered with contact paper to cover the vents when we aren't using the heat. This helps to keep the dirt out of the vents. The magnetic material will stick to the metal vent cover.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on February 18, 2010, 01:41:20 PM
Lynnvt, now that is a good idea. Never occurred to me.. thank you.
  I'll do that to prevent the hot air from blowing on my thermostat, as well as keeping the others covered for the others to keep the camping dirt out.

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: ruthandken CDN on February 18, 2010, 02:09:04 PM
You can actually buy those magnetic covers.  Up here in Canada they come 3 to a package, and they are made to look just like a vent.  Very inexpensive.  Home Depot carries them.  I use them here at home to cover my vents in the basement in the summer because when the air is one it's brutally cold down there.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Luvcampen on March 06, 2010, 12:08:31 PM
As my family and I are now the proud owner of a new travel trailer and have been popup campers for many years, I myself would like to see tips, tricks and ideas on storage solutions, be it food items, kitchen utensils, tools etc.

We had our own tricks for the popup but in many ways everything was more contained and locked in where the travel trailer is more open.

How does everyone deal with keeping things locked in place so that they don't move around during travel (TV's, Food, Supplies etc.)?

What kind of storage space savings ideas has everyone come up with? this is of great interest also. again the popup was different.

Any ideas would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Daisy on March 06, 2010, 12:59:50 PM
Buy lots of the rubber matting and place on the bottom of every cabinet/shelf.  Helps to keep stuff from shifting around.

Buy those rubberized thingys that make extra shelves in tall cabinets, even works in some of shorter ones.

If the refrig isn't full enough to keep things in place, put empty bowls or pots in there to take up the extra space.  Do that on shelves too.

Since we full-timed for 10 years or so, we had to carry a lot of stuff with us, that part-timers would never consider.  So that kept cabinets, etc. fairly well loaded which also helped to keep stuff from shifting around, so it isn't much of a problem for us. 
 
On our last trip we took out several heavy winter coats that we wouldn't be needing.  However, that was a mistake and now my ironing board (table top one) won't stay in place.  And we now have lots more space in that area, that I'll have to think of something to put in it.  :-\

Think outside the box.  If you have to put extra clothing in the living area to fill up cabinets, do it.  Who's going to know except you and your spouse.

I've also used expandable book ends to keep books and boxes of food from shifting. 

I've heard of others who put the couch decorator pillow inside cabinets when traveling to pick up the slack.

There's lots of little things that will come to mind as you "live in" your new rv, and you'll figure it out.  If not right away, after a few trips.  Work with what you have in it already with out lots of fancy stuff.

Oh, yes, we did have one cabinet door fly open "once", the one with the dishes in it.  Luckily they were mostly corel.  No damage.  But from then on I've put one of the child-proof cabinet locks on it when we travel to avoid another recurrence.  But I also rearranged that cabinet so that pressure is not applied to the door any longer, which is what happened in the first place.  Both "fixes" has stopped it from happening again.

That's just a few ideas.  Hopefully others will follow.

Daisy




Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wendy on March 06, 2010, 01:16:00 PM
We've discovered that the fuller the cupboards and refrigerator, the less things move around. Of course, having everything full doesn't help out with weight. I like Daisy's suggestion to use things you already have to fill spaces. I use potholders and towels to keep dishes and pots and pans from rattling since I have them anyway. Never thought of stuffing the pillows in a cupboard to act as filler but I'll give that a try. I do stuff things like the bedside clock and reading materials behind the bed pillows. I used to take down pictures that hang on the walls but quit doing that a long time ago and they haven't fallen off yet. Countertop bathroom stuff goes in the bathroom sink when moving.
 
Wendy
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Luvcampen on March 06, 2010, 02:10:18 PM
Thanks Daisy and Wendy for the information,

I have some of my own ideas as well as I tend to be a very creative person and enjoy modifying living spaces to better utilize the space provided. Obviously I have not yet had a chance to trial any of these ideas however.

When we finally get the hauler purchase finalized and get a chance to work & play with our new toy I will let you all know what I came up with and share my triumphs and failures. (Hopefully there are more triumphs than failures)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on March 23, 2010, 01:31:45 PM
   A little hint on how to find info on your rig.

   If you have your precise model number of your rig, such as mine "WCG32WQ"  just type that into the GOOGLE search and see what happens. It may not work on all models..who knows. Give it a try.

  Here is my entry:>>>  http://www.winnebagoind.com/service/wincd/1995/95wg32wq.pdf (http://www.winnebagoind.com/service/wincd/1995/95wg32wq.pdf)


Let me know how it worked out.

carson FL

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: BernieD on April 06, 2010, 05:11:37 PM
Windshield Wiper Covers

Driving around the southwest, you don't have much rain so little need to use the windshield wipers. So I've gotten kind of lazy and hadn't taken off my covers while driving. Well, in that high wind leaving FMCA-ABQ,   both covers blew off, first time in thousands of miles. So I went to   Lowe's and bought new exact replacements---for $1.18. I use the   pre-scored foam pipe insulation, 6' long, 1" OD. I cut it in half and I have windshield wiper covers for each wiper blade for less than 60¢ each. Keeps the blade off the windshield and protects the rubber from the sun.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on April 06, 2010, 08:12:58 PM
I tried mine and the original ad for mine at Lazy Days came up.  No more pictures, but same stock number. (yes I remember my stock number).  It was the first one on the list.  Southwind 35p  popped right up.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Rancher Will on May 10, 2010, 12:20:33 PM
As do many of us, my wife and I have a "crank-up" antenna for our two TVs in our 5th Wheel, (plus cable and dish). For many years, just to make sure that we do not drive off with the crank-up antenna in up position, I always hook a "flag" on the crank at the ceiling EVERYTIME I crank the antenna up. Then, EVERYTIME that I crank the antenna down, I take the flag off. The flag is merely a square foot size decorative cloth with a cord to loop around the crank. It is colorful enough, and large enough, to draw my attemtion everytime I do a walk-through before closing down and driving away. When the antenna is down, the flag comes off so that I always know if the antenna is up or down.
I have never driven with the antenna up, but I have from time to time noticed other RV's that have broken their antenna by leaving it up while driving.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: geodrake on May 10, 2010, 12:26:37 PM
We have a plastic clothes pin that resides on the antenna crank.  When i crank the antenna up the clothes pin gets moved to the gear shift lever.  This way, when I get ready to drive off i see the clothes pin and remember to lower the antenna.

On a previous post someone told of having more than one clothes pin, each labeled as to it's purpose.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Rancher Will on May 10, 2010, 12:32:38 PM
I guess that most of us have experienced holding tank sensors that become inacurate. I also have heard and read many suggested solutions to the problem and I have tried a number of solutions. The one that I have used over the past few years, that seems to work best for us, is to pour a bottle of PineSol into the drain, (sink or toilet), fill the tank almost full with water and drive for a while. Almost always when I drain the tank after this treament, the gauge will work correctly.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on May 10, 2010, 04:39:58 PM
There used to be a product called an "Antenna Saver" as I recall. it was a "Stop sign" with a short chain and clip.. You clipped it somewhere when you put your antenna up (I clip mine to the steering wheel "spokes")

Well. I"m told they don't make it any more.. What do they make?  CD lables and most every compuer user I know has made a CD-Coaster or two (CD with a bad burn or damaged or just flat no longer needed)  Print up two "Stop signs" on CD lables, STOMPER them onto a coaster-cd and drill a small hole.  A short wire and a cloths pin and you you have the expensive Camping world "Sign" for.. junk.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: BernieD on May 10, 2010, 06:14:33 PM
We have a plastic clothes pin that resides on the antenna crank.  When i crank the antenna up the clothes pin gets moved to the gear shift lever.  This way, when I get ready to drive off i see the clothes pin and remember to lower the antenna.

Since larger diesel pushers have the leverless Allison transmission, I clip my clothes pin to the ignition key.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: SLJKansas on June 02, 2010, 11:00:43 AM
We have a Cocker Spanial and it sheds. The first time I started the furnace I had dog hair blowing out of the floor vents.  I found some vent filter at Walmart or Home Dopot, removed the vent covers and placed the filter in the vents. The filtes are about 12" long, so when I placed them on the vent cover I pulled the extra over the ends and then screwed the covers back down. This kept them from falling out of the vent cover.  Easy to replace as needed. Also keeps every thing else from falling down the vent (coins, ear rings, etc.) 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: vulcanbill on June 02, 2010, 11:06:47 AM
We have a Cocker Spanial and it sheds. The first time I started the furnace I had dog hair blowing out of the floor vents.  I found some vent filter at Walmart or Home Dopot, removed the vent covers and placed the filter in the vents. The filtes are about 12" long, so when I placed them on the vent cover I pulled the extra over the ends and then screwed the covers back down. This kept them from falling out of the vent cover.  Easy to replace as needed. Also keeps every thing else from falling down the vent (coins, ear rings, etc.)


Caution.  Not sure how it applies to RV HVAC systems but the guy that replaced our home system last year said those were a major contributor in the failure of our old system.  Just repeating what I was told and I have no personal knowledge of the validity of that claim.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: SLJKansas on June 02, 2010, 11:52:08 AM
Thanks Bill, I only have 2 covered and they are in the livingroom area, the rest are open. I will remove them when I need to start running the furnace.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Den on June 22, 2010, 12:34:18 AM
Hello all , I am new to the forum and Really like this topic. I read a page or two in my spare moments,  and rather than search my way through the pages again later,  I simply use the "add to favorites" button. This way I can one-click back to where I left off earlier. This isnt an RV trick or tip, but rather a tip for return visits of a topic.  Great for those multiple page topics.
Den
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on June 22, 2010, 07:18:40 AM
You can also use the Notify button to be sent an email when a reply is posted to a topic of interest to you.  That way you won't accumulate a lot of bookmarks :)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Den on June 22, 2010, 08:44:17 AM
Ned,  yup,  that works especially good if I had read all the post of a topic,  keeps me informed of new ones.   
With the  add to favorites,  if I gain another 3 pages into a multi page topic,  I can click add to favorites again and it will overwrite the previous,   thus  only one bookmark shown.
Thanks for the notify tip though,   I had forgotten to do that with this topic.   Found yours here with the show new posts link next to my user name.  (notify,   works much better)
Den
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Den on July 08, 2010, 07:17:24 AM
I use a French press which makes great coffee but a pain to clean.  Best I have come up with is fill it half full of water, take it to the dumpster or garbage barrel, swish it around like a gold pan and quickly dump it.  Wipe remainder out with a paper towel while I'm there.  You meet the nicest people at the dumpster.

We too prefer a french press.   To clean , I simply line a spaghetti strainer with a paper towel or coffee filter and thin out the grounds with some water and pour it into the strainer, propped up in the sink.  It only takes a minute for the water to run through, and the paper towel or filter then can be flipped into the trash can.  Very little residue going down the sink that way.
Den
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: tvman44 on July 08, 2010, 08:01:27 AM
Harbor Freight puts their 400 amp load tester on sale frequently and they are good enough for our occasional use.   Love mine, will tell me if my batteries are still good.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on July 16, 2010, 02:49:41 PM
  A little hint re starting your generator.

I have a 5KW Onan generator and sometimes I have to hit the start button several times, leaving a period of time between restarts. It is supposed to get fuel to the unit, so that there is enough fuel enough fuel to start.

  Today I found that if your chassis batteries are fully charged , starting is no problem.

Just think, if your chassis Batteries , which start the generator, are on the low side, there will be little voltage left to operate the fuel pump. Hence, little fuel...no start.

  I had that problem many times...Today I tested that theory. I started the RV engine to provide fresh current to the batteries, Instead of trying 3 times, the genie started on the first try. (and that was after sitting for 5 days).

   If your batteries are A1,  this may not mean anything. My batteries are starting to age, like many others.

Perhaps this may help someone in that situation.

Carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on July 16, 2010, 03:39:02 PM
On some motor homes it is indeed the chassis battery that cranks old Genny up.
It appears yours is one of 'em

ON mine it's the house.

On someone another person's rig.. IT's a coin toss.

I'm told there is at least one model that has 3 batteries, House, Chassis and one JUST to make sure old Genny can get cranky.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on July 16, 2010, 04:17:03 PM
John, you are speculating.   My rig uses house batteries to start my generator. Read my post...don't confuse the issue!

carson

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Macrosill on July 28, 2010, 06:58:38 AM
I ran into the same genny starting issue last month.  Being new to the motorhome scene and having an older unit, a 1991 Georgie Boy on a P32 things can get interesting.  When trying to start the genny it would just make some whining, screeching, grinding type noise.  Long story short, after some starting fluid, some  disassembly and a few hours of work it turned out to be a weak house battery.  I mistakenly assumed the chassis battery was the battery for the genny starter but I was wrong.  When I finally jumped the chassis battery and the house battery together the genny fired up on the 1st try. 

The batteries on my rig are not labeled and I am constantly confusing which is which.  I need to label them, once I figure out which is which again, lol.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on July 28, 2010, 09:37:55 AM
Brian
Not sure for yours, but most rigs have 2 batteries for house and 1 for engine.  (on gas chassis's), so if there are 3 batteries, the 2 together are house.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Macrosill on July 30, 2010, 06:37:19 PM
Only 2 batteries on this rig, one for the engine and one for the house.  Thanks for the suggestion though.

On a side note, I do plan on changing both batteries and adding a second house battery.  The current house battery does not hold a charge.  The current engine battery is a deep cycle marine which seems to have a tough time starting the big V8.  I plan on a standard engine battery and 2 rv batteries for the house.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: lilbluyze on August 10, 2010, 09:55:57 AM
Here's my hint- The day before a trip I turn on the refrigerator. When I turn it on, I put water filled frozen milk jugs in the refridgerator and in the freezer. I put a wash cloth below each to catch the condensation. I have room for 2 in each area so I put 2 in each area. It cuts the cooling time down a bunch.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: jkherbold on August 27, 2010, 12:21:23 PM
Outside storage for the black drain hose wasn't very practical (read DW thought it was a bad idea) on our MH. We bought two plastic storage bins, tinted red, at Wal-Mart. They fit neatly in the storage areas. One holds the drain hose and adapter. The other holds the water hose dedicated to flushing the black tank. First thing we tell any guest is "anything red is possibly contaminated".
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: DAN L on August 27, 2010, 04:35:12 PM
Outside storage for the black drain hose wasn't very practical (read DW thought it was a bad idea) on our MH. We bought two plastic storage bins, tinted red, at Wal-Mart. They fit neatly in the storage areas. One holds the drain hose and adapter. The other holds the water hose dedicated to flushing the black tank. First thing we tell any guest is "anything red is possibly contaminated".

i purchased 8' of 6'' white plumbing pvc pipe and 2 caps from a plumbing store in vancouver, wa.
i sanded the pipe ends and inside of caps to make a loose fit. i use 1/4'' pip pins to secure the ends while traveling. the right side end fits tight enough that it probably does not need securing. the left side end cap with handle cannot be removed without opening the lockable generator access door. i drilled about 10 1/4'' drain holes in the bottom of the pipe for drainage. the 6'' pipe is attached to my brushguard mounting bar (3/4'' steel channel iron) with 3  8'' hose clamps.
my new compartment allows me to store 25' of rhino flex stinky slinky and 8' of flush hose.
 my stinky slinky is not so stinky because when i get done dumping and flushing (at least 3 times) the black tank, i put 2 cups of bleach in the 54 gallon gray water tank 3 minutes prior to dumping the at least 2/3 full gray tank, thus deodorizing the stinky slinky.
in the pictures, the end cap with handle is hanging on my genny exhaust pipe for illustration purposes. i guess i could paint the caps red...

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Just Lou on August 27, 2010, 05:13:03 PM
I made two of the PVC tubes, one for the slinky and one for fishing rods up to eight feet long. (not much good for my 11 and 12 foot surf rods though.  Luckily I have roof storage on my fishing rig for up to 16 rods. ;) :D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on August 28, 2010, 12:54:23 PM
I too have both 4" and 6" PVC pipes secured under the rig, I used screw end plugs though.  the 4" holds assorted "Rod" stock type things I use for ham radio and the like, the six inch.... Yup, that's what it is for.

Since mine are slung under the rig (not in a compartment of any kind) I drilled holes in the bottom of the Pipe (had to in fact in order to bolt it in properly) and after I was done mounting it I put 90 detree PVC elbows in the holes.. Pointed toward the rear,, that way the inside of the pipe stays dry.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on August 28, 2010, 01:55:46 PM
JohnFD.. I am beginning to appreciate your overall ability to solve almost any problem.

   With no malice in mind intended, would you care to document all the alterations, fixes, innovations and magic things that you have applied to your M-Home.

  It may take you some time to gather all the info....I am sure we can all learn from it.

  You may even qualify for the most altered RV in history... think "Guinness World Record".

Remember, this is a fun forum.

Carson FL
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on August 28, 2010, 06:35:38 PM
Alas not.. There really are not all that many.. And most of them have to do with ham Radio.

but I've replaced the carpeted riser under the toiled with sealed wood
I've added the two pipes mentioned above
I built my own version of the www.PSRV.net device and put it in.

I added a Wilson cellular phone repeater (Bi-directional amplifier)

That's really about it.

But problems.. Yes, I've solved many of those.

Oh, and I shortened my awning, (Thus fixing a problelm)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Just Lou on August 28, 2010, 06:51:16 PM
I too have both 4" and 6" PVC pipes secured under the rig, I used screw end plugs though.  the 4" holds assorted "Rod" stock type things I use for ham radio and the like, the six inch.... Yup, that's what it is for.
Since mine are slung under the rig (not in a compartment of any kind) I drilled holes in the bottom of the Pipe (had to in fact in order to bolt it in properly) and after I was done mounting it I put 90 detree PVC elbows in the holes.. Pointed toward the rear,, that way the inside of the pipe stays dry.

John, could you attach a photo of those 90-degree elbows. I would be interested in how you attached those without interfering with full access to the interior of the pipe and it's ability to completely drain.  Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: mrschwarz on August 29, 2010, 06:59:54 AM
I built my own version of the www.PSRV.net device and put it in.


Did you get a male flush mount plug and small breaker like the one they sell? If so, where did you get them?
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on August 29, 2010, 11:36:45 AM
NO I did not, but if I had chosen most electrical distributors (NOT electronic but some of them might too) have them)  I used a cord type mount. (Like an extension cord outlet, in fact that's what it is)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: mrschwarz on August 29, 2010, 09:36:06 PM
Did you use a circuit breaker or fuse?
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on August 30, 2010, 11:31:17 AM
Breaker. I don't like buying fuses
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ray D on October 03, 2010, 07:02:28 PM
Others have posted about the non-skid shelf lining material, to hold things in place while moving. I have had an irritation forever, with dinette seat cushions moving, while the coach is sitting still. I move my behind around,  ::)  while sitting at the dinette, causing the cushions to move, slide out, angle out, and sometimes to fall off under the table.  >:(
 
Thought of the non-skid material, to hold the cushions in place. Went to ACE Hardware and bought 5 ft of the material. ($1.79) I cut it in half, and put half under each cushion.
 
Holds great! Real improvement. Cushions stay put, no matter how much my behind moves.  ::)  If you have this problem, I recommend the non-skid shelf liner.
 
Ray D  ;)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: staytonor on January 17, 2011, 10:32:45 PM
Flexible windshield squeegee.  I got tired of using a flat squeegee on a curved windshield and couldn't find a curved one so I made my own.
I took a long and a short length of ¾ inch dowel and fitted them together using a ¾  inch 45 degree PVC elbow to make the handle and offset. Use a small nail or screw through the elbow into the dowels to fasten them. Next I drilled out the mounting pin on a windshield wiper blade, flattened the end of the short dowel to fit between the frames of the blade, drilled the dowel and bolted them together.
I can now squeegee the windshield much faster and easier without the streaks.

I carry some large flat pieces of cardboard cut to fit into the storage compartment for use as a ground cover and pad when I need to get under the MH. It's easy to slide around on and keeps me much cleaner.

staytonor
Edit: Removed horizontal scroll.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Derby6 on February 02, 2011, 04:57:15 PM
I have a few petty tricks / hints that may be useful to some. ;)  I didn't go thru all 11 pages, so sorry if there are some already listed.
1- Get a cheap socket/extension/breaker bar that fits your hot water heater plug and simply leave it srored right there in the compartment.  Its a big socket so for me it was not in my standard tools I normally carried.  This solved that.  I even filled in the socket with glue and washers so I can use it to start the plug straight.
2- I found that the 20qt rectangle rubbermaid or similiar brand containers fit perfectly in many cupboards.  Allows me to store a little more, but also allows me to pull out the whole container to get what I want out of the high cupboards, vice trying to search with my hand or while standing on a stool. (Also have one with all the grilling spices/utensils/grease for griddle/etc. that I can grab and grill...
3- Walmart, Target, etc. had hooks that were almost identical to the ones in my trailer.  Allowed me to put in more hooks in the bedroom and at the door and look factory.  Over the door hooks or hangers work well on my bathroom door too.
4- Never let your wife ground guide you back.  Its easier, less painful, and simply in your best inerest to go it alone.  Though it will take a lil longer it still takes less than with her assistance and the ensuing argument and you'll get a lil extra exercise getting in and out checking distances ;D...Just in fun ladies, no flaming.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PorscheMark on February 21, 2011, 03:11:23 PM
Others have posted about the non-skid shelf lining material, to hold things in place while moving...

The cheapest place to buy this stuff is from a rug outlet store! It is the same material used to keep a throw rug from slipping on a wood floor. WAY CHEEP!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PorscheMark on February 21, 2011, 03:36:22 PM
DW uses and swears by the Mr. Clean "Magic Eraser" sponges.

Those things are truly amazing! They seem to easily clean the stuff that other cleaners struggle with. We keep several in our cleaning kit.

Some of the things that have gotten easier:
-Removing the moldy spots from the gasket around the entry door...
-Removing about ANY spot on the interior, or windows.
-GREAT at cleaning our vinyl/leatherette ceiling.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PorscheMark on February 21, 2011, 03:39:19 PM
My latest/greatest discovery....

The headlamp lenses on our 2000 HR were getting quite oxidized, and significantly cutting down on the amount of light being projected. New lenses were $100/ea....have a 'pro' do it was about $50/ea...the store bought kits take a lot of time.

Our solution...CHEAP toothpaste.
Took a  rag...applied in a circular fashion...let dry...buff out.

They looked like new!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Mexray on February 22, 2011, 10:56:41 PM
Many local auto parts houses now carry cleaning/buffing kits for plastic headlight lenses/covers - I've seen some for about $10-$15, and include the cleaning 'paste' and a small buffing wheel to use with an electric drill to polish em' back to like new!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: edavis2293 on March 08, 2011, 08:37:47 PM
Hazardous gas detector- Hair Spray. My wife has to go outside to spray her hair since the spray is heavier than air and will collect near the floor and set the thing off.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: JayT on April 24, 2011, 11:12:15 AM
Hi All

I ran across this when looking at MH's with my brother, see picture.  I can't take credit, wish I could, great idea.

The tennis balls hold the parallel arms away from the glass thus keeping the wipers from touching the glass.... Hence...longer wiper life.


Jay T
K6ruv
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: BernieD on April 24, 2011, 12:20:10 PM
This may have been posted previously but Home Depot and Lowe's, among others, sell a 6' long foam pipe insulation tube that is pre-slit. Buy the 97¢ size, cut the tube into two 3' long sections and slide over the wiper blade. Cheap and easy.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: maddog348 on April 24, 2011, 04:22:58 PM
yup ~~ even works in rainstorm after 'blade' rubber peeled off :o
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: federer on April 28, 2011, 03:33:15 PM
Be sure not to use the air horns filled with freon as they can destroy the erogenous zone
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on April 28, 2011, 03:50:41 PM
Now, that is funny.  ;D

 I suggest that Nitrous Oxide may be a better substitute.  Maybe the World will be smiling again everywhere.

  Everyone will be smiling/ laughing all the time.  (Laughing Gas).

Spread the word.

Carson FL  Tee Hee... 

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: sew2bhappy on April 28, 2011, 07:01:32 PM
I use  "cubicle clips" on window valances.  The one by my sink is used to hold a recipe card if needed.  The one by the door is used to hold lists, coupons, or whatever other papers we may need as we leave the RV.
If you don't know what these are here is a link for Office Depot  http://www.officedepot.com/catalog/search.do?fkey=GZF8us2PfYKIvf9cYTykqzX&Ntt=cubicle+clips (http://www.officedepot.com/catalog/search.do?fkey=GZF8us2PfYKIvf9cYTykqzX&Ntt=cubicle+clips)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: KodiakRV on April 30, 2011, 04:44:14 PM
Don't know if it has been posted before, but here is one tip that I have found extremely helpful if your coach has a backup monitor--

Take some sticks, a rope, or a long power cord and go behind your coach. Put them in a line on the ground across the back of the coach three feet behind the rearmost thing (usually the ladder,) then 90-degree corners, and then a ways towards the front of the coach, maintaining three feet from the sides of the coach. I used five broom & mop handles -- three across the back and then one on each side.

Turn on your backup monitor and you should see the lines on the ground across the back and down the sides. Take some pin-stripe tape and tape over these lines on your monitor screen. (I got my pin-stripe tape at an Advance Auto store.) Because of the fish-eye, the line across the back will be curved and the lines down the side won't be parallel. Also, my "box" was a good bit off-center of the screen to the left.

Now you've got a reference stay-out box on your monitor screen for when you are backing up. It's handy for missing poles, fences, picnic tables, etc.

P.S. -- Don't forget to pick up the things you layed out on the ground.   ;)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Larry N. on April 30, 2011, 06:12:59 PM
I took a few orange cones, put them in the monitor's view in line with my wheels, then put the tape over the cones to show where my wheels will go when I'm backing.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: KodiakRV on April 30, 2011, 06:17:36 PM
I took a few orange cones, put them in the monitor's view in line with my wheels, then put the tape over the cones to show where my wheels will go when I'm backing.
That's a good idea.  You could also stick a broom in your receiver hitch and put a piece of tape on the screen to mark where your hitch is when you are backing up.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: luv 2 camp on June 05, 2011, 05:30:10 PM
On the first day of our seven week trip out north and west in August and September, we discovered after we got to the campground that some of the cabinet doors had come open.  The highways and interstate going across north-east Oklahoma, from Ft. Smith to Tulsa and then over to I-35 and up into Kansas, were probably the culprit, with contents inside the cabinets moving back and forth causing the doors to open.  I'm sure there are a lot of solutions for this out there.  Ours was to partially make our camper kid-proof. 

We visited a Walmart in Wichita, Kansas, and, in the baby department, I found
  • a device that hooks over two knobs of opposing doors and then slides together.
  • an inside the cabinet latch that has to be un-latched after the door is partially open



Between the two of these, small bungee cords, storage containers in the cabinets to restrain the contents and redistribution of heavier items to other locations, we didn't run into any further problems.  We just had to make it part of our "rigging for the road" routine.

That trip to Walmart was interesting in a way when Karen asked for $100 back in change (http://hawcreekoutdoors.com/blog/?p=882), by mistake, when she used the debit card.

I'll try to get some pictures of those kid-proofing devices on here.


We have been their & done that. I35 Wichita, Ks  to Ft. Sill  Oklahoma (problems on OK. highways only) 3 times last summer. I can say this is the only time we have ever had problems with the cabinet doors coming open. We have been hauling bikes on the bumper bike rack for 5 years we lost a bike last summer.  What amazes me is Oklahoma has road construction all the time & their roads are terrible.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on June 21, 2011, 12:16:49 AM
Just my humble opinion but I like the hydrometer test.  When I was a trucker in the Army (Airborne) that's how we always tested batteries.  I just replaced both of my house batteries, but I'm gonna try an experiment with the old ones that I haven't discarded yet.  They read around 6 1/2 volts on a meter, but the hydrometer shows the cells being pretty low.  I read that if you make a solution of hot water and magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) and add it to the battery it will disolve the sulfate deposits that build up on the plates.  The recipe I read, called for 10 tablespoons completely dissolved in a quart of water.  That's around 10 ounces per cell for a 6 volt.  I figure I'll extract 10 ounces from each cell using a glass measuring cup and my hydrometer as a syringe, then replace it with the epsom salt solution.  I'll throw a charger on them afterwards and see how it goes.  Worst case scenario, I'm out a few bucks for espsom salt.  I don't know about the effectiveness of the epsom salt, but it stands to reason.  The chemical reaction between the sufuric acid and the lead is what makes the electricy.  If the lead is coated then the chemical reaction is diminished.  It's actually pretty amazing.  Last year on a camping trip (tent) our jet ski battery died.  I bought a new one at a nearby auto parts store and it came with the sulfuric acid seperate in 6 sealed bottles.  The guy at the store said adding the acid to the battery would bring it to about 70-80% of it's capacity just by the chemical reaction.  Darn if he wasn't right.  After it bubbled like crazy for 30 minutes it started the jet ski like a champ.  A drop of the acid spilled on a carpeted rubber backed mat in the process.  Burned through the carpet to the rubber in less than a minute.  Powerful stuff!  But it doesn't eat the lead.  Hmmmm.......No wonder superman liked lead to protect him from kryptonite.   :o
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: KodiakRV on June 21, 2011, 06:35:01 AM
...  I read that if you make a solution of hot water and magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) and add it to the battery it will disolve the sulfate deposits that build up on the plates.  The recipe I read, called for 10 tablespoons completely dissolved in a quart of water.  That's around 10 ounces per cell for a 6 volt.  I figure I'll extract 10 ounces from each cell using a glass measuring cup and my hydrometer as a syringe, then replace it with the epsom salt solution.  I'll throw a charger on them afterwards and see how it goes.  ...

It might work, but I would think you would have to drain the battery afterwards and put in fresh acid...
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on June 21, 2011, 08:45:52 AM
I would be very interested in the results.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Jim Godward on June 21, 2011, 10:24:18 AM
I think that I would try an electronic desulphator before trying this but that is me.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on June 21, 2011, 11:29:50 PM
Jim, I've tried an electronic desulfator previously.  It worked a little, but not to the extent that I hoped for.  The battery ended up being replaced anyhow.  Don't remember which toy it was.  The sulfate deposits are a chemical bond with the lead plates and only a chemical added will disolve them.  We'll see how it goes.  I will be sure to post all results.  Good news though!  Tested AC in the mh tonight and it'sworking great.  Bring on whatever heat you've got this weekend, Lake Tahoe!!  We're prepared!!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: intrigued2 on July 21, 2011, 02:33:12 PM
Others have posted about the non-skid shelf lining material, to hold things in place while moving. I have had an irritation forever, with dinette seat cushions moving, while the coach is sitting still. I move my behind around,  ::)  while sitting at the dinette, causing the cushions to move, slide out, angle out, and sometimes to fall off under the table.  >:(
 
Thought of the non-skid material, to hold the cushions in place. Went to ACE Hardware and bought 5 ft of the material. ($1.79) I cut it in half, and put half under each cushion.
 
Holds great! Real improvement. Cushions stay put, no matter how much my behind moves.  ::)  If you have this problem, I recommend the non-skid shelf liner.
 
Ray D  ;)

I went to the fabric store an bought a yard of "industrial strength" Velcro.  I applied it in a couple of places on each cushion - works like a charm! :-)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: DinnerDiva on August 11, 2011, 11:28:29 PM
I see this forum hasn't been used in about a month but I read almost every post except the generator/electric system stuff which tends to make my eyes glaze over - I just don't understand that stuff!  ???  Anyway here's my hint for those of you who are cleaning the bugs off the front of your motorhomes. Get some dryer sheets - you know, bounce or downy.  Wet them and rub at the bugs.  They come off much easier than anything I've ever used.  My cousin who lives near a lake in Florida and gets tons of bugs in the grill of her car showed us this trick.  It works on the front of a car and on the windows so it should work on any vehicle.  Wet down the area to be cleaned first with a hose.  Wet the dryer sheet then just rub.  When you are done, hose off the vehicle and the bugs should be history. 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tin man on September 27, 2011, 07:19:45 PM
Way back I read that buy a spare tube of caulk after opening up a tube.  The trick is use a nail to open the seal after cutting off the tip.  Push the nail back in the hole when you finish up.  You should be able to use the caulk for a few months.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Motor on January 03, 2012, 10:32:41 AM
Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.


This new topic will feature a series of hints, tricks and gadget/tools that you may have in your kit bag of experience. You are probably proud of some, being the originator.

You are encouraged to post any item that comes to mind. There must be a multitude of  them between us. They should be especially helpful for the Newbies and of course to Old-timers as well.

Many of them are currently buried in old posts as well as in the library, but are hard to find in one place. We will most likely get duplications but your idea may have a twist to it, making it a valid entry. Attaching images will be appreciated to make the point.

It is important to keep it to ‘small’ items (see below), not engine overhaul, carpet replacement etc.

This is a bit of an experiment, but has been sanctioned by the forum management.

I will make the first post in a format that I think will work easily, below.



Hint: Smoke Alarm: – is it really working? Not just by pushing the test button to find out.
      Invite your cigar-smoking neighbor over and have him blow a good whiff of smoke directly into the detector. That’s called a dynamic test.
The CO (carbon monoxide) and the propane detectors probably can be tested the same way, I’m not sure. Maybe someone can confirm that.

Trick: Low water-flow in galley sink?
Remove the aerator from the spigot, clean the screen and remove/discard the water saver washer. Water usage will stay the same.

Gadget/Tool:  A quick battery and alternator/charger tester.
This little tool features 6 colored LED lamps showing voltages @ 15.0, 14.0, 13.5, 12.5, 12.0 and 11.0 volts DC. Just apply to battery terminals with and without charger/alternator in use.  (RS: 22-112).   Image attached below.

carson FL

P.S.: Is this project gonna fly?   ???
Re: testing propane detectors: Use your barbecue lighter, pull trigger until you hear gas flow, but doesn't light, and move it along face of detector. Here's a little chuckle. Believe it or not I got called to a 12 wide for sudden propane detector going off, no smell of propane present, detector had now stopped beeping and it hadn't occurred prior to this, so no reason to think it was faulty. During questioning owner of what they were doing at the time, he explained, just sitting around the table, and the detector went off, scared the hell out of the dog that was laying right near it, and not too soon after, it stopped beeping. Owner gave me a weird look when I started laughing, and asked if he'd been feeding his dog anything different like table scraps etc.  Yup! Poor dog was passing gas and just happened to lay too close to propane detector.   Maybe not the way you want to test yours, but yes, it is a gas detector !!   ha ha.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: mrschwarz on January 03, 2012, 10:37:13 AM
I don't know if this has been mentioned, but we just came up with it. When traveling with wine or other glass bottles, put them in a sock to keep them from bumping into each other and rattling while driving.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Jim Godward on January 03, 2012, 05:49:25 PM
Or if I could get my son to send me the wine rack he has had sitting in his garage for nearly a year that would solve my problem.  In the meantime the sock routine works but it is tough to remember which bottle is in what sock! :)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on January 03, 2012, 05:54:09 PM
Jim, just give it the smell test. Isn't that what you do when you pop the cork.. ?  :D

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: mrschwarz on January 03, 2012, 07:16:57 PM
In that case, make sure the socks are clean!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Jim Godward on January 03, 2012, 09:36:40 PM
In my case my smeller has gone the way of my heariing and eye sight and the rest of my body, nothing works like it used to!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tin man on January 04, 2012, 02:33:03 PM
If you are near a winery, purchase two or three bottles of wine, and ask them to put them is a shipping box.  They work great.  We get wine shipped from California, and travel across country with no damage.  If they survive UPS, USPS, and FEDEX they will survive any road condition. They are a little bigger than a shoe box.

Vin du Soif.  (drink it fast)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on January 12, 2012, 07:29:39 AM
I'll throw in my 2 cents for something that has worked well for us while tailgating in paved parking lots.  Place a carpet under your generator.  A lot of the sound extends from the belly and bounces off the pavement, making it louder.  The carpet underneath absorbs some of the sound waves quieting it down a little.  I haven't tested the theory with any kind of sound meter (droid app) but I notice an improvement.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on January 13, 2012, 09:44:55 PM
What happened.....Am I a thread killer?   :o
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: cuts_up on January 14, 2012, 02:08:21 AM
Yesterday I found a way to keep the kitchen trash can upright while traveling.  I use an 8-gal can with a 13-gal trash bag with a drawstring (cinch sack).  After inserting the bag into the can, I fold the top of the bag over the outside of the can.  I positioned the can where I wanted it to be, against a cabinet.  I grabbed the bag hanging on the back side of the can, pulled it tight, and slipped it between a cabinet door and the cabinet opening, on the hinged side.  Pulling the bag through to the inside of the cabinet, it formed a pocket.  I put a tennis ball in the pocket (inside the cabinet) and shut the door.   The tennis ball keeps the bag from sliding through, and the bag holds the trash can in position.  I don't know how well this will work if the trash can is full and heavy, but we empty the trash often.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on January 14, 2012, 11:53:20 AM
Not a thread killer, look at the dates and the gaps.  This one resurrects itself all the time, and I like that carpet idea.  Good one.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: cliston on January 22, 2012, 11:30:07 AM
Here's a little space saving tip for under the kitchen sink.  Using a curtain/tension rod you make an elevated space to hold spray bottles.

From:

http://lifehacker.com/5816766/organize-your-cleaning-bottles-under-the-sink-with-a-tension-rod (http://lifehacker.com/5816766/organize-your-cleaning-bottles-under-the-sink-with-a-tension-rod)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: DinnerDiva on January 22, 2012, 09:55:23 PM
Cliston, that is an awesome idea.  Not only will that help in the MH but it I'll use it in the Stix n' Brix, too!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on January 26, 2012, 08:08:18 AM
We like to fly flags when we're tailgating and camping, as many others do. the 10' piece of conduit we used to use was a pain getting in and out.  PVC or ABS pipe is to flexible in our wind.  We got a collapible aluminum flag pole off of ebay for around $80.  Collapses down to around 6' and extends to 25'.  We just extend it, velcro it to the ladder and we're good.  If we want it a little higher we extend the bottom up the ladder instead of sitting on the ground.  We're usually the highest flag pole around. Pretty nice to fly Old Glory that way. 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: BernieD on January 26, 2012, 08:38:04 AM
You may want to take the pole down in weather when there could be a lightning strike. I've heard of, and seen the results on a coach, of metal poles very close to the coach attracting a lightning strike and causing extensive damage to the electrical system of a coach. The one I saw even had the slide retract when hit.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: gotago2 on January 27, 2012, 05:04:54 PM
Mike, Could you share the formula or is it a secret that can only be gotten from your dealer?????? :-X
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Mavarick on January 27, 2012, 06:15:52 PM
Technically not a "gadget" but If you want a handy conversion tool try this one. By far the best I have found and have been using it for years: http://wscope.com/convert.htm
It's free and easy. I downloaded again today and scanned it with Norton and Malwarebyte just to be sure it is clean. Thought someone might find it as useful as I did.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on February 07, 2012, 11:28:16 PM
You may want to take the pole down in weather when there could be a lightning strike. I've heard of, and seen the results on a coach, of metal poles very close to the coach attracting a lightning strike and causing extensive damage to the electrical system of a coach. The one I saw even had the slide retract when hit.

Ooops!  Quoted wrong post.  Good tip Bernie, Thanks!  We don't any electrical storm activity during tailgating season, but I'll keep that in mind during the summer, when we do a lot of camping and the electrical storm activity is higher.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: w6pea on February 12, 2012, 06:08:08 PM
Here's a little space saving tip for under the kitchen sink.  Using a curtain/tension rod you make an elevated space to hold spray bottles.

From:

http://lifehacker.com/5816766/organize-your-cleaning-bottles-under-the-sink-with-a-tension-rod

Interesting link.
Thank you for posting it.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: woodworker on March 18, 2012, 01:09:10 PM
Hi everybody, I made a gadget for the fire ring or small fire place . I got a piece of 4x4 1/8 thick flat metal if it going to rain at night i place the metal over the fire ring and the next morning ,if the rain stopped the fire pit is dry .also a piece of key chain & a1/2black big paper clip  put the key chain around the inside mirror & attache paper clip to chain then put your campsite pass on  Good luck all. Happing camping.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: IndyJuggalo on April 05, 2012, 03:23:31 AM
I'm a newbie, but I think this might help some of you. I have used this around the house for years. Wallowed out wood screw holes can sometimes be temporarily to permantly fixed with a tooth pick or small splinter of firewood.

For instance, a cabinet door hinge. Don't want to use an over sized screw and damage the hardware or have a mix match screw in there. Just cut the pick in half and place both into the screw hole pointed side out. Cut flush then screw the original screw back in. Should at least be a good temp fix.

If it still is a little to loose you can then, when more time allows, mix sawdust and wood glue to add to the hole. More sawdust than glue. The glue is just for adhesion. To much glue and you will have problems getting the screw in. With the picks still in there, just add enough to fill it up making sure it is flat. Once dry screw it back up and should be good as new.

Another way is to pick up some small dowel rod. With a drill bit slightly larger than the dowel drill out the hole being careful to not pushing through. Glue it in and let it dry and you have new solid wood to put the screw into.

I hope some of you get some good use of this.

Adding sheet metal fix. A washer smaller than the screw glued to the back of the hole is a good fix for stripped out sheet metal. The glue used should be a high strengh. Gorilla glue or a two part epoxy with the mixing tube works well and is easy to find. Wally worlds carry many versions.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: edjunior on April 05, 2012, 07:03:19 AM
I'm a newbie, but I think this might help some of you. I have used this around the house for years. Wallowed out wood screw holes can sometimes be temporarily to permantly fixed with a tooth pick or small splinter of firewood.

I've used this toothpick repair method hundreds of times.  Many times it has been all that was needed for a permanent fix.  In other words, I never had to do any more repair work there.  I have had to resort to the "many toothpick with wood glue" fix a few times.  Dowel rod sure would have been better!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on April 05, 2012, 07:38:21 AM
If only there was as simple a solution for drywall.  I've always had to resort to anchors once the hole gets enlarged.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: cliston on April 13, 2012, 10:38:52 AM
No specifically geared toward us, but this site has some cool things and ideas for small spaces:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Mavarick on April 13, 2012, 12:21:39 PM
Just a little trick I picked up a while back from friends. I used to use my paper shredder and just fill a large garbage sack and in the recycle bin it would go. Now I use the smaller bathroom garbage can plastic bags, about a 1 gallon size and fill them. Then when I want to start a campfire I lay the bag on the bottom and just tear it open. Shredded paper works great as a fire starter and the small bag fits in the bay with some firewood very nicely.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: KodiakRV on April 13, 2012, 09:11:56 PM
Just a little trick I picked up a while back from friends. I used to use my paper shredder and just fill a large garbage sack and in the recycle bin it would go. Now I use the smaller bathroom garbage can plastic bags, about a 1 gallon size and fill them. Then when I want to start a campfire I lay the bag on the bottom and just tear it open. Shredded paper works great as a fire starter and the small bag fits in the bay with some firewood very nicely.
Sounds like a great idea! 

I learned my lesson not to carry any firewood many years ago, though.  I brought some home because I didn't want it to go to waste.  Turns out the wood had carpenter ants in it and they ended up nesting in several places in my house & garage.  It was a battle to get rid of them.  I remember one morning seeing a bit of fluff sticking out from under the toaster that hadn't been used in a few days.  I pushed the toaster on and when it started heating up, a couple dozen carpenter ants came boiling out of it.   :P
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: cliston on May 20, 2012, 11:12:54 AM
Urban shelf, go anywhere side table.  Might come in handy for some around here. 

No affiliation!

http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/gear/ee58/
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: chaperall lite on June 07, 2012, 08:04:00 AM
Hi all,  i discovered this handy fire starter gimmick a few years ago..  save your toilet paper tubes,,, shred some newspaper... heat up those blocks of parafin , and pour over  the shredded newspaper..stir quickly before it hardens... stuff into tubes tightly,  and you have a firestarter that will burn for ten minutes ....  we use them in our outside wood burner also... works great. and they dont take up much space.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on June 07, 2012, 10:39:41 PM
Love the toilet paper tube idea and I would sure try it, but I'm pretty lazy when it comes to starting the campfire.  A propane torch takes just a couple minutes and is still pretty cheap.  I will take the time to start a fire the old fashion way of collecting various sizes of small pieces of wood and using paper for ignition, if friends we're camping with bring their children and they want to learn how to start a fire.

This isn't exactly a tip or trick and I'm not trying to change the direction of the thread, because it's surely a good one.................., but maybe it is a tip.  Not mechanical, but a human nature, good karma kind of tip.

Here's my tip.  When you can, try and create life long memories for children when you go camping.  When we first started tent camping 16 years ago we used to bring our son, niece's, nephew and sometimes one of their childhood friends.  Whenever we talk to them now as grown ups they still remember the fun things we did camping with them.  They're all grown up now and rarely join us camping, but for any friends we camp with that have small children, we take a lot of pleasure in creating memories that they'll remember for a life time.  Last weekend we camped with two other couples and their kids.  I taught the children gun safety with a BB gun pistol and we shot at cans hung from tree branches.  Gun safety was first and foremost and it was the first time any of the children had experienced shooting a pistol.  I'm fortunate to have a very gifted family life and doing things like that make me feel like I'm giving something back.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on June 08, 2012, 07:41:13 AM
I did think of a nifty trick that has proven quite handy.

For the shower in our motorhome we installed a 3 button, push button soap dispenser purchased at Walmart for about $25 as I remember.  It's got liquid shampoo/conditioner and 2 kinds of body wash.  Wife doesn't want to smell like Old Spice body wash.  No soap scum to deal with at all, unlike using a bar of soap.  Next to it, mounted high are a couple of hooks with those plastic loofa scrubs hanging.  The loofas rinse quicker and easier and dry out better & faster than a washcloth. 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Molaker on June 08, 2012, 09:15:21 AM
I did think of a nifty trick that has proven quite handy.

For the shower in our motorhome we installed a 3 button, push button soap dispenser purchased at Walmart for about $25 as I remember.  It's got liquid shampoo/conditioner and 2 kinds of body wash.  Wife doesn't want to smell like Old Spice body wash.  No soap scum to deal with at all, unlike using a bar of soap.  Next to it, mounted high are a couple of hooks with those plastic loofa scrubs hanging.  The loofas rinse quicker and easier and dry out better & faster than a washcloth.
Now that's a smart idea.  Thanks for posting this.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Jim Godward on June 08, 2012, 11:25:12 AM
If you are going to get one of these fixtures, I recommend a 4 tube one and that the individual tubes can each be removed for cleaning etc.  I got mine from Amazon, I think.  We had a 3 tube one where all were one piece and I frequently got introuble with DW about cleaning, refilling etc.

Also the wash puffs that Bed, Bath and Beyond sell are great for the same reason as the loofa scrubs.  I have also got these at Wal_Mart for about a buck rather than the $3+ BBB charges and sometimes they are even branded BBB.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on June 08, 2012, 11:54:09 AM
We've had this one for several years.  3 tubes, a mirror, and the tubes are individually removable for refilling.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Molaker on June 08, 2012, 01:24:47 PM
We've had this one for several years.  3 tubes, a mirror, and the tubes are individually removable for refilling.
Well heck, Ned.  Why didn't you tell me about it earlier instead of making me wait for Wolf Pack Fan to post it? ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on June 08, 2012, 01:42:17 PM
Sorry about that :(
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on June 08, 2012, 08:07:41 PM
We've had this one for several years.  3 tubes, a mirror, and the tubes are individually removable for refilling.

Dang Ned!  That's a nice one.  I like the idea of the tubes.  So they're removable?  The mirror is a cool little touch too, though I don't think it would get much use, as I don't shave when camping.  I guess it could come in handy for admiring myself though   ::)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: JoAnn on June 12, 2012, 08:23:54 PM
I have the shower dispenser that's all one piece and I agree.  The next one will have the individual tubes.  I also have a single one I use for hand soap by the bathroom sink.  I usually mix 1/2 hand soap and 1/2 water so it isn't as thick and we use less.  It's just nice not to have another thing to go flying when we're on the move.  In our last motor home I had one by the kitchen sink also but the one we have now the sink is too far from a wall.

JoAnn
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: godefroi on July 06, 2012, 11:30:40 PM
When you can, try and create life long memories for children when you go camping.  When we first started tent camping 16 years ago we used to bring our son, niece's, nephew and sometimes one of their childhood friends.  Whenever we talk to them now as grown ups they still remember the fun things we did camping with them.

Indeed. My mother always kept a notebook in the TT growing up, and she recorded each trip we took, and wrote just a few words about what we did. Not only did it help preserve the memories, it resolved more than one "discussion"!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: fap on July 11, 2012, 06:52:59 PM
Hi everyone.
  I just found this site yesterday and found some great folks that helped me out with a concern of mine.  I wanted to share a answer that I had learned some time ago.
 Over the years, I have found some discussions regarding the problem with their showers.  If/when one closes the flow control on the shower head, when it's opened you'll get cold water onto yourself until things settle down.  Most, if not all plumbing systems built into motorhomes have a simplified system to help one winterize the unit.  It consists with a three way valve and a spring check valve, both at the water heater so one can bypass the heater while winterizing the system. The spring check valve consumes energy. Let's say 1# of water pressure .  So, for example, when your in the shower you have  35 # of cold water pressure to the shower head and 34 # of hot water pressure  to the shower head. When one closes the flow control on the showerhead the water pressure must equalize causing the cold water to flow through the shower valve and into the hot water piping system until all pressure become equal.  When you turn the flow control on at the shower head the hot water supply is now filled with cold water thus cold shower water for a moment.
    There's  a simple fix.  I removed the spring check valve and replaced it with a full flow ball valve.  No more cold water in the shower when I turn the diverter in the shower back on as the pressure is equal.  It causes me to have to manage two valves instead of one when I winterize the unit, but it that really a concern ?  Try it for yourself.  It will work.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: RLSharp on July 11, 2012, 07:36:23 PM
When you turn the flow control on at the shower head the hot water supply is now filled with cold water thus cold shower water for a moment.

How do you account for the fact that in our motor home we get hit with extra hot water for a few seconds when we turn our flow control back on at the shower head?

Richard
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Just Lou on July 11, 2012, 08:04:48 PM
Richard, I'm not ready to say that I agree with Allyn's observations or conclusions, but is your winterizing bypass arrangement a single valve, or multiple valve, system?  The answer will determine the existence and/or the number of check valves at the heater and may have an impact on which has the higher pressure.

I have the single valve system which requires check valves on both the input and the output of the heater.  My shower will run cold for a few seconds when the diverter is reopened, however I've never considered it a problem that required any sort of correction.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Ned on July 11, 2012, 08:12:31 PM
Richard, ours does the same thing, sometimes.  With higher water pressure it tends to run hot at first, with low pressure it starts out cold.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: RLSharp on July 11, 2012, 08:33:07 PM
Richard, I'm not ready to say that I agree with Allyn's observations or conclusions, but is your winterizing bypass arrangement a single valve, or multiple valve, system?

Lou,

I have never winterized my rig, so am not sure what type of winterizing setup I have. On a few occasions we have found that the water is cooler than the shower water. Ned mentioned this in a post below. I do not know whether the water pressure was lower or higher than normal or whether we were on the pump vs. city water when this happened. I would guess that 95%+  of the time the water is hot when the flow control is turned back on. I don't consider it a serious problem, as long as I remember to turn the shower head away from me before turning the flow control back on.  :o

R
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: 99WinAdventurer37G on July 11, 2012, 09:39:39 PM
Tom, a battery that stays in the green under the 100A or so load is more likely to stay usable than one that goes in the red.  The load tester is for finding bad batteries, not predicting future failures.

But to test "a" battery, one would have to disconnect each battery from the group and test each one individually, correct?  Or can you hook the battery tester up to the group of batteries, and if it shows green they are all good?  Then if you get red, then test them all individually?
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on July 12, 2012, 09:11:58 AM
http://shop.biolitestove.com/BioLite-CampStove_p_15.html

Here we go, a way to prove how green we are.  Clean up campsites, charge our electronics.  PLUS cook dinner.

I may need to buy one.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on July 12, 2012, 09:15:28 AM
Back to shower diverter, I don't turn it all the way off, leave a dribble, and yemp stays fine.  Mine does the cold blast,
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: RLSharp on July 12, 2012, 10:10:27 AM
Back to shower diverter, I don't turn it all the way off, leave a dribble, and yemp stays fine.  Mine does the cold blast,

I can't shut my diverter off completely. It dribbles a stream about like a wooden match and does a hot blast. Hot vs. cold must be related to how each individual RV is plumbed, the water pressure, the type of winterizing valve setup, and/or perhaps which direction the RV is headed relative to the North Pole. Once you know that a hot or cold blast is likely, just turn the shower head to the side for a few seconds and live with the results.

R
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: mrschwarz on July 12, 2012, 10:17:11 AM
Would an accumlator in the cold water line solve the cold water blast problem?
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: fap on July 12, 2012, 12:28:53 PM
Hi Richard.  Not every piping system is the same from model to model RV.  Nor does any one answer fit all but often they can be tweaked.  The ideas that I have mentioned are simple basic design protocols. Anytime that I have designed a water piping system, I always have to take into account the pressure within the piping system. Otherwise problems are likely to arise.  I found that for me, the concern was rectified by the adjustments I made to the system in our RV.  For some, there may be no concern.  However, for others it may be.   And yes, our shower diverter also drips when engaged.  They were never intended to be 100% closed.
The accumulator will make no change,  the purpose of the accumulator is to reduce the pressure fluctuations in the water system.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: RLSharp on July 12, 2012, 08:05:54 PM
The accumulator will make no change,  the purpose of the accumulator is to reduce the pressure fluctuations in the water system.

I agree. I have an accumulator in my system, so I guess I can rule that out--or perhaps it is the culprit!  ;D
 
R
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Mavarick on July 12, 2012, 09:42:04 PM
My shut off in the head leaks also, small amount so you know water is still on at the main valve (as designed). I also have an accumulator and used to get the cold blast. have to hold your tongue in the other cheek to get it warm I think.
Rich, try turning on your elec water heater and gas heater at same time and see if it makes a difference. By adding the faster recovery, and more volume of hot vs cold I presume, it seems to eliminate the temp change when turning the shower head back on. Curious if it will help or hurt in your case of getting a hot blast.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on July 12, 2012, 11:46:49 PM
http://shop.biolitestove.com/BioLite-CampStove_p_15.html

Here we go, a way to prove how green we are.  Clean up campsites, charge our electronics.  PLUS cook dinner.

I may need to buy one.

Looks like it might power a Delorean Flux Capacitor too.   ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on July 13, 2012, 07:39:15 AM
Looks like it might power a Delorean Flux Capacitor too.   ;D

I heard after seeing the stove, the producers are considering a sequel to use the concept.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: RLSharp on July 13, 2012, 09:18:55 AM
Rich, try turning on your elec water heater and gas heater at same time and see if it makes a difference. By adding the faster recovery, and more volume of hot vs cold I presume, it seems to eliminate the temp change when turning the shower head back on. Curious if it will help or hurt in your case of getting a hot blast.

My water heater is propane only, no electric. Sorry I can't do this experiment. BTW, my reasoning would suggest that making the water hotter in my water heater would increase the temperature of my "hot blast" rather than reduce or eliminate it.

R
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Mavarick on July 14, 2012, 10:48:14 PM
Yea, didnt know you were just gas. I think it,s only effective if you have the "constant temp valve". In ours I think that is what causes most of the trouble.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Gord N. on July 15, 2012, 01:33:23 PM
I 've found it does not vary much if the sites are fairly level...1-2 inches.  I had one site that dropped off under the pin and it was 4" over normal. 

I am normally 53-54" from king pin to ground.

Bill

Hi Bill:

I like your resourcefullness, but wondered if you knew that RV Stores sell a stick-on level which has a slide built in to it.  You slide to the left (if mounted on the left side of the 5th wheel/trailer and when it hits level, that is the position the truck in hitch are in before disconnecting.  When you unhitch, just lower your undercarridge until the bubble reaches the true level on the gauge.  The sell for about $9.00, I was told by the person on who's trailer I first saw it.  I don't have one but am going to go looking for it.  Your method seems to be just as efficient.

Gord  ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John Canfield on July 17, 2012, 08:02:39 AM
Take about a half a sheet of 3/4" pressure treated plywood and whack it up into diminishing squares.  My full write-up here (http://janeandjohn.org/pages/JackPads.html).
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on July 17, 2012, 08:31:42 AM
SO, how did ver 2.0 come out?  Looks like a great idea.  Did you work out a pattern of cuts? 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John Canfield on July 17, 2012, 10:12:08 AM
Thanks!

We're on the road for the summer, so V2.0 will have to wait until winter.  I did make a cut sheet and planned out the most efficient use of the sheet of plywood.  You start with the desired dimensions of the bottom pad and the top pad and then plan for each higher layer to be about 2" on each side smaller the the layer below.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on July 18, 2012, 07:48:23 AM
Great looking jack pads!  My compliments on your handy work.  I made some out of 2x4 pieces.  2 layers of 2x4's criss crossed & screwed together.  I put rope on them too.  Makes it a little nicer when it's time to reach under and pull them out.  They work but, I will definitely do the pyramids the next go, which may be sooner than necessary, just because I like your design so much.  I might consider non pressure treated plywood and a can of spray or brush on truck liner to give them more resistance to the elements.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John Canfield on July 18, 2012, 08:03:03 AM
Thanks for the kind remarks!  Make the bottom pad as large as practical - the more surface area you have, the less it will sink into soft ground.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on July 18, 2012, 09:45:06 PM
I figure the first thing I'll do when I get around to making them is to measure the depth of the compartment they're going in.  I think you mentioned that.  It's the drivers side rear compartment, where we store the power cord.  I did not measure on the first set, but got lucky and they fit with about 2 inches of space to spare.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John Canfield on July 19, 2012, 07:27:12 AM
The compartment where I store the jack pads is about 24" deep so I made the pads 20" square.  They like to be stored flat and not standing on end - they are 'tippy' if stored upright.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on July 19, 2012, 09:59:26 PM
I guess the ancient Egyptians were on to something with the design huh!  The one's they built are still standing and we're still copying their designs.  I've always been a believer of "Don't try to re-invent the wheel"..........................or the pyramid in this case.  ;)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: DinnerDiva on September 22, 2012, 08:08:15 PM
Back to the shower dispenser.  We have one in our Motorhome that dispenses 3 different things (shampoo, conditioner and shower jel) - again, eliminates soap scum.  I agree - one with removable individual containers is best - wish ours was.  That said, I notice many folks here are using those "shower puffs" - they do drain and rinse well and don't mildew but I think I've found something better.  This thing is made in Japan - I first got one when I was there and then bought them in a Japanese store in Honolulu.  I buy them in quantity whenever I find them in stores.  They are not puffy!  They are called a shower towel but they don't dry you - they scrub you.  They are nubby and at first very scratchy - they exfoliate really well.  They are great because they scrub your back really well.  They rinse well and I just hang drape it over the shower head where it hits the wall and it dries really fast.  Here's a link to it.  You can buy them online.  Beware to buy this brand - Amazon often sends a Chinese knockoff which is inferior so be careful.  http://www.saluxshop.com/ 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wolf Pack Fan on September 23, 2012, 10:02:19 AM
I like the salux little washers.  They seem a bit pricey though at around $5 a piece.  I saw a package of 3 washcloths at Walmart one day, next to the check out stand.  They were maybe a dollar or two for a 3 pack.  Really cheap looking and thin, but had a nice texture to them.  Got them and tried them out and they're great for the mh.  They rinse easy and dry fast.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: TwoTmblwds on September 24, 2012, 02:50:35 PM
1. Tacky adhesive, blue or white, behind the bottom of clocks, pictures, ect. keeps them on the wall. Under trays or items on tables or shelves keeps them in place when traveling.
2. 3/4 X 3/4" wood strips with the appropriate slots in them screwed under our table with a 9X13" cake pan slid in for small items, table stuff. In a pinch, make a cake!
3. 5mm high brightness LED and a 400 to 1k resistor (Radio Shack) , wire in series with each other and across the switch inputs on the bathroom light (in parallel with the switch). Drill a 3/16" hole in the solid part of the fixture and push led through. when the switch is off, LED will make a nightlight in the bathroom. If the .03 amp use bothers you in the day, wire in another switch in series. Higher resistor values make the LED dimmer and use less power.
4. Our fifth wheel has space above the kitchen cabinets with a decorative rail all around. DW got decorative baskets for up there, we store tablecloths, dishtowels, dried goods, ect. Anything light and heat resistant.
5. Since we rarely use our oven, it makes a great light proof bread box. With the pilot off of course.
6. Replaced the noisy bathroom fan with two 5" computer muffin fans, much quieter and .36 amp draw total.
7. Clear plexiglass strips approx 2" high by the right length to slip upright behind the stiles inside the medicine cabinet. Prevents small bottles from falling out yet you can still see everything.
8. Similar strips glued/screwed across the corner shelves in the shower keep bottles ect, in place. Make sure to leave a space at the bottom for drainage.
9. Winter camping we put the heat shrink type plastic over the screen door, helps keep the draft off the DW.
10. Took the absolutely horrible pull-out couch frame out and replaced it with lift out plywood support panels.
Added a good 12 cu. ft. of storage, exchanged 50# plus of unused torture equipment with things we actually need.
All right that's 10, somebody can surely do 11!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: RVLife on October 28, 2012, 01:13:57 PM
The best gaget I've bought recently is a low bridge warning addon for my Garmin.

I like to get off the interstates and be a bit more adventurous so it's great for that.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on October 28, 2012, 07:03:17 PM
The Discovery Owners Forum (Wherever that is) has a bunch of POI files for most popular mappling software and GPS units, that includes assorted LOW BRIDGE files.

It's free.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: tvman44 on October 28, 2012, 07:17:03 PM
I got my battery load tester from Harbor Freight it is a 500 amp carbon pile load tester it was on sale for abt. $50 or $60 and really loads a battery.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Chanda on November 10, 2012, 10:17:11 PM
My most recent gadget is a two pack solar spotlight marked down to $11 at Big Lots. They have a really concentrated beam and also have an on-off switch. The light/solar part disassembles from the stake if needed. I plan on charging them and bringing inside when primitive camping.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: 99WinAdventurer37G on November 10, 2012, 10:30:00 PM
The Discovery Owners Forum (Wherever that is) has a bunch of POI files for most popular mappling software and GPS units, that includes assorted LOW BRIDGE files.

It's free.

This is where I get my POI from; http://www.poi-factory.com/
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: JiminDenver on November 24, 2012, 09:46:55 AM
Here are a few of my tricks.
We use a white queen sheet with a bit of clothes line run thru the hem as a sun screen. The rope/hem edge slides down the awning track easy and we use coiled dog tie downs with weights to hold the bottom where we want. The coils allow the screen to move with the wind and not stress the awning. The sheet is thin enough to be rolled up with the awning if needed.

We use Glad press and seal wrap to protect the walls around the stove. Put a few strips up when we get there and two weeks later take it down and have no splatters to clean up.
We also use the Press and seal to make make dual pane windows. Stick it to the frame at night to cut the drafts and peel it off the next morning.

Since our fresh water tank is smaller, we carry four 5 gal drinking water bottles that fit into a small plastic dispenser. We get all the water for drinking and cooking from the bottles which is nice because I don't have to turn on the pump at 5 am for coffee and wake honey up.

Another way we save water for dry camping is to bag the toilet with 4 gal trash bags. (one per use) They can be taken to the trash after and it not only saves a lot of water but leaves the black tank empty as a second grey tank for shower water.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: mrschwarz on November 24, 2012, 10:06:41 AM
Another way we save water for dry camping is to bag the toilet with 4 gal trash bags. (one per use) They can be taken to the trash after and it not only saves a lot of water but leaves the black tank empty as a second grey tank for shower water.

Is this (you should pardon the expression) Kosher? Is it OK to put human waste in the trash?
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: JiminDenver on November 24, 2012, 10:56:28 AM
Good question.
I have never heard of anything against it and people have been putting disposable diapers and dog poo in the trash for decades. We always double bag the bags with the outer bag being a really thick one to prevent leaks and smells. We also pack in and out so everything has to come home with us and we don't want the trailer to smell once we get there.
You can see different versions of this with bucket toilets that use bags that are premade and selling now.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: mrschwarz on November 24, 2012, 11:13:27 AM
In that case, it's a great idea!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Chanda on December 28, 2012, 07:37:25 PM
Here are a few of my tricks.
We use a white queen sheet with a bit of clothes line run thru the hem as a sun screen. The rope/hem edge slides down the awning track easy and we use coiled dog tie downs with weights to hold the bottom where we want. The coils allow the screen to move with the wind and not stress the awning. The sheet is thin enough to be rolled up with the awning if needed.

I use light color fabric shower curtains myself, but don't roll them up in the awning. They dry very fast. I have three, which are enough to go all around the awning in front and both sides, and leave a doorway. I bungee them to the awning, but I like your clothesline version for the front, which I could do by hanging them upside down.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: JiminDenver on December 29, 2012, 08:38:42 AM
Thanks!

I'll have to look into the shower curtains for the sides and maybe use binder clips to connect them to the side rails.  here is the sheet in use last year.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: wonderwhy on January 26, 2013, 07:16:06 PM
Miracle Bungee Balls for RV'ers.  Better than tie wraps... re-use hundreds of times. Buy on Ebay for 20$ for 100. Available  6 or 9 inches long with a hard rubber ball on the end. These elastic very stretchy closed loop ties are indispensable.
...tie extension cords into neat bundles....ditto for hoses....loose pvc plumbing parts gathered together...Hold your closed end wrenches in a neat no lose package... emergency lash your awning together.... recently used a dozen to lash 4 fence sections together for a temporay dog kennel.Great for securing tarps etc...Secure items rattling around in or under the RV.
      I have used these bungees while Hunting,fishing ,camping ,working and for bundling flea market items. Virtually thousands of uses. Tie several together to make a large  stretchy bungee. Wouldn't leave home without Duct Tape? DITTO on these bungees.
   
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: peteduffy on May 10, 2013, 01:36:38 PM
A lot of excellent tips here.  Hopefully I can add some more:

I store our MH with the ceiling fan and the bath fan open (not on, just open).  Have never had a musty smell after storage (and we live in the midwest and get all varieties of weather.)

I open all the cabinet doors and the fridge door while in storage.

Roof leaks around the AC?  Take off the plastic cover and tighten the mounting bolts.  They sometimes work loose after a while.

Cheap carpeting for the fold-out stairs:  get a piece of carpeting (indoor/outdoor) or the like.  Cut it to the width of your treads and about twice the depth.  Install grommets near the edges.  Mount on the stairs with zip ties through the grommets.

Turn off the fridge while gassing up.  No need for a flame near a gas pump.

Install an indoor/outdoor thermometer (a wireless one would work great) in the fridge.  That way you can check the temp inside the fridge without opening it.

Keep the tips coming!!!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: terry735001 on June 28, 2013, 06:05:50 PM
here is one for all the older carb GM 350s out there  cars / trucks  and RVs
we all know the ethanol kill filters about every 6 months in the carb and its hard to replace it 
the Oring likes to drip if you dont get it back in right/crack out the side of the card  and its all some thing we just dont like to play with 

i had 14 trucks like this running under me when  i was still working    to stop this here a nice trick

we all know we need the oneway valve in that filter or its really hard to start fuel flows back down when not running  then its hard to start it latter

what i all ways did was when it was time for a new filter i would drill a hole in the end of the filter on the still  side  and then install the filter back in to the carb
yes the filter no longer works but the oneway well and stop the fuel from going back down the line when not running 

now i cut the still line going in to the card and walmart has a see in side type filter or the glass type you can see in  glass one is not all that good
that way you can see and install every 6 months a new one with out getting in to the carb

PS look out for the higher pis from the fule pump   some low cost filters well pop  but i have never in many years seen it happen

i had filters with a hart bet befor LOL

wish i had pics  may can find some latter  but i am sure .............. every one gets it i am sure
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: terry735001 on June 28, 2013, 06:15:56 PM
aa i fond one  older 2 barrel carburetor here   all so works on 4 barrel carburetor
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Wanderman on June 28, 2013, 06:55:07 PM
Simple solutions for complex (or even simple!) problems.

I've been doing a series on just this subject over the last few months.

The last on is spot on. A Squeegee for the shower!

Check it out at (link in profile).

It's amazing how a simple solution can make me smile.

Rich "The Wanderman"

Edit: Link moved to profile.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: vanbuskirk on December 14, 2013, 09:21:06 PM
As do many of us, my wife and I have a "crank-up" antenna for our two TVs in our 5th Wheel, (plus cable and dish). For many years, just to make sure that we do not drive off with the crank-up antenna in up position, I always hook a "flag" on the crank at the ceiling EVERYTIME I crank the antenna up. Then, EVERYTIME that I crank the antenna down, I take the flag off. The flag is merely a square foot size decorative cloth with a cord to loop around the crank. It is colorful enough, and large enough, to draw my attemtion everytime I do a walk-through before closing down and driving away. When the antenna is down, the flag comes off so that I always know if the antenna is up or down.
I have never driven with the antenna up, but I have from time to time noticed other RV's that have broken their antenna by leaving it up while driving.

There were a couple of posts that mentioned that you could buy antenna reminders.  I thought this was a great idea and immediately went out to the web to purchase one.   Although the price was relatively cheap at 3.99 the shipping charges were outrageous at 8.60.   i just made one on my computer for pennies on the dollar.   Just printed it out on paper, laminated it and punched a hole to insert a chain.  If I have to say so myself...job well done.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: lucille on January 12, 2014, 10:07:24 PM
One of my favorite chores was to make indestructible leveling pads from a 4' x 6' horse stall mat that is 3/4" thick. You can cut 36 8" x 12" levelers from one horse mat. You can find how to do this on the internet. I also use these for keeping by sewer line at the right angle for draining. These don't slip, crack, or break.  They are heavier than plastic (very expensive if you get from camping world). Make your own just once; you'll never need anymore. Oh, if you have dual back tires, cut the levelers to 16" x 18". This way you can just toss them into place because they are plenty big. Yes it's a lot of work to make a set, but you won't regret it once you have them. Cut with a sharp razor knife, change blade often, and keep the blade moistened with some type of slick liquid like wd 40 or even water. It helps the blade go through very tough rubber.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: oldme on February 05, 2014, 07:04:10 PM
I found a great small sugar container for the table / kitchen.

I usually like my coffee black.
A couple of times a year I do buy liquid chocolate mocha for the coffee.

The containers are plastic with a great snap top.
Remove the label, wash, dry and fill with a funnel.

The top is made for an easy to pour use, it is easy to hold
because of it's shape and FREE.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: elliott-maine on February 07, 2014, 03:51:41 PM
 To keep your shower clean, use "Clean Shower."  You just spray it on and walk away.  Couldn't be simpler.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: lucille on February 15, 2014, 08:06:53 PM
If you want outstanding levelers and don't mind a little work, check out this link. I made mine 8x12 for front tires and 16x18 for dualies on rear. I also drilled holes in the large ones to add a nylon rope to carry them. The piece of rope is 38 in long and tapped with duct tape on the ends so rope will thread easily through leveler. The over size makes them simple to put in place and carry. I bought the nylon rope at Walmart for about $7.00. I got the 100 ft x 3/8 in size.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: startingover on February 19, 2014, 07:01:41 PM
Here in the Arizona Mountains, it gets WINDY. Not unlike the Mohave Valley, albeit not for as many days in a row.
Our park is cinder rock from corner to corner and Williams is landscaped with it too. It's a rough rock and not easy to walk on, so many campers bring a large mat to put down in front of their door where the lawn chairs and dogs are.
Today it was very windy and two of our campers decided to take off for the day before it picked up. While they were gone I noticed one of the mats picking up by the wind, it had detached from it's tie downs.
My sister and I took it upon ourselves to go over and fold it up and shove it under the steps. It was a tight fit and it stayed.
I know those accessories can be expensive, so mind the weather and check your tie downs before you leave. Also, if you're not home, roll up your awning. Especially in areas known for high wind gusts. I've seen the wind blow them right over the roof.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Angelbunnie13182 on May 15, 2014, 11:24:08 AM
Lookie at what cool things/gadgets I got for our RV.

www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20213835/ This is so cool. Going over the stove and folds up for easy storage.
And our new dinnerware https://www.buynordicware.com/index.php?q=dinnerware+sets&page=Search.Search
This dinnerware is microwave and dishwasher safe but it's plastic! So cool! Selling my nice china that will chip and break, these are a great replacement!
And here is what I'm gonna do for storage for my shoes. http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/canvas-shoe-pockets/24506
I found a cheaper over the door version that holds 24 pairs I'm going to cut into pieces and hang on the board around my bed!

Great RV gadgets and org tips!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Angelbunnie13182 on May 15, 2014, 08:00:50 PM
Over the door laundry bag since there isn't a lot of floor space for a traditional hamper
I just ordered us one
http://www.ebay.com/itm/121159272029?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Auplater on June 30, 2014, 09:32:04 AM
New to forum, but read every post on this thread!  I have two to add:

Prepare a "breakfast box"....I keep coffee beans, mugs, sweetener, spoons, coffee grinder, and filters in one plastic bin.  In the morning I can get the coffee made without much thought.

We have '95 Coachman Catalina Class C that has a large window by the dinette.  Our current site has us facing due North, so the evening sun is rough.  Bought an auto sun shade at Walmart for less than $10.  It's a perfect fit and cuts down on wear and tear on the air conditioner and on our electric bill.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on June 30, 2014, 02:37:22 PM
I have my choice of coffee makers.

1: (Currently) Mr-Coffee makes 20 oz per pot.. I happen to have a 20 oz mug so this is "1 cup" for me (4 or 5 per label)  Behind it is a coffee can with coffee and filters, either whole bean or ground (Currently ground) and beside it is the measure (magnet attached to range hood) IF I had whole bean in the can the grinder would be next to the can.

2: Keurig  I have 4 quart bucket full of assorted K-Kups


3: Proctor Silex, uses filters (Cone) or coffee Pods (Senso) it is in storage just now (Cabinet in my main bath) it makes 10 oz per cycle max so I need to make 2 runs for the 20 oz mug.. Same for the Keurig,, The Keurig however will accept the caraf from the Mr, Coffee.  OR (If I remove the drip tray) the 20 oz mug.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: scdiver on July 21, 2014, 09:53:48 PM
I know there are a lot of the Dometic RM 7030 refrigerators still in use. If the door handles get broken or lost you will quickly find out that new handles are made of unobtanium. My solution was to buy two flat push plates and handles from the hardware store. I mounted the handles to the push plates then screwed the plates to the doors. A length of board pushed through the handles locks the doors. I notched the wood to slip down around the bottom of the handles to lock it in place. The handles look good and the wood is in place only when we drive. I know this won't help many, but I do hope it helps someone.

I posted some pic's below.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on July 22, 2014, 08:14:57 AM
That is how I keep my kitchen drawers from opening on the road, Only I used a pair of eye bolts (lag type, screwed into the wood separators between the drawers) and a dowel rod instead of a flat board.. But the concept is identical.   Works good too.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: RonnyLisa on September 05, 2014, 03:53:49 PM
Some of the "tricks" are pretty cool so I thought I would throw in a couple of mine that I came up with pretty quick:

1. We used to put Walmart bags over our truck mirrors while camping. Birds were pecking at that other bird in the mirror which can screw up your mirrors.  My wife soon decided the bags looked tacky and made some out of material that just slip on.

2. After dumping, have you ever been driving down the road and think you smell something "not pleasant"? I keep an old pair of tennis shoes that I can just slip on in my "sewer box". Being hazmat certified in the past, I know that it only takes one little drop of "stuff" from the dump station on your shoes. I slip them on, do my thing, then put them back in the box.

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Mickey1 on November 10, 2014, 01:46:08 AM
Do you need a good deodorizer, defumer, dehumidifier, de-everything for your RV?

Have you heard of ZEOLITE?

For those looking for this stuff, I haven't yet read the whole list of postings on here yet. but did however find a link for you .

http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/67369?searchid=7SPFGPLA&feedid=googlenonbrand&adpos=1o1&creative=56000862858&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CIawi5bF78ECFcOPMgodRzUAog


as a smoker I smoke outside (trying to quit all together) but  the smells are still on clothing.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Mickey1 on November 10, 2014, 02:01:56 AM
The best gaget I've bought recently is a low bridge warning addon for my Garmin.

I like to get off the interstates and be a bit more adventurous so it's great for that.

another choice for finding low clearance bridges and areas for weight restrictions on the bigger motor homes also some of the width restrictions. look for a Big Truck map from rand McNally.  you do not have to get one of the new ones matter of fact find a old one or ask a driver if they have a old one and tear the low clearance section out of the front of it.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: sam60 on November 25, 2014, 08:24:13 PM
Great stuff. I added to favorites so I can go back later and read them all! Thanks to everyone that shared their ideas.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: campin-fool on December 03, 2014, 02:13:50 AM
This fan made a great replacement for those originally included in my hurricane. http://www.12volt-travel.com/12-volt-heavy-duty-metal-fan-p-5059.html The drivers side fan worked but made a horrible noise. The passenger side had never worked. I picked up two of the road pro fans, trimmed the lighter plug off and wired them in. Worked / still working great. Cheap too!

Anyone know about undercoating? I figure it will add some weight, but how much could it really add? It must be worth carrying a few extra pounds to protect the undercarriage, right?
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Molaker on December 03, 2014, 10:18:24 AM
Anyone know about undercoating? I figure it will add some weight, but how much could it really add? It must be worth carrying a few extra pounds to protect the undercarriage, right?
Unless you travel a lot of "salted" roads in the winter time, undercoating would be a big expense for very little return.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on December 03, 2014, 03:28:56 PM
Undercoating can be good or bad.. if moisture gets under it,, It is BAD as it will trap the moisture there and make it worse.

As Gom or Joyce or Ditto said... Unless you spend a lot of time on salt roads,, Forget it.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Jim Godward on December 03, 2014, 08:51:42 PM
If you have ever driven on salted roads, you should fear damage to aluminum and especially the radiator if it is AL.  Don't ask  me how I know!!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: campin-fool on December 06, 2014, 12:37:54 AM
Unless you travel a lot of "salted" roads in the winter time, undercoating would be a big expense for very little return.

Makes sense, thank you I'll keep my money!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Sr Fox on December 06, 2014, 08:37:56 AM
A long time ago, in another life, I installed undercoating.  Mostly a waste of money unless you are doing it for sound deadening.  Poorly installed undercoating can lead to salt getting under the coating a doing more damage than no undercoating. Save your money.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: jdq1986 on December 28, 2014, 04:22:56 PM
This is not a genius solution, fairly simple really.  But maybe it will give someone an idea or at least save them some time in fixing a similar problem.

One day, about a month after I bought my used 5ver, my kitchen sink decided to stop draining.  I did what anyone would do, removed the p-trap, cleaned it out, and re-installed it.  Still wouldn't drain.  The clear 45º elbow I have on my 3" sewer line was empty so I knew my sewer hose wasn't clogged.  I used a plumbers snake to verify no obstructions between the sewer outlet on the RV and the outlet on the gray tank.  So I knew the problem was in the interior pipes, somewhere between the p-trap and the tank.  My snake wasn't long enough to go all the way through, so I had to devise a new plan.  I decided a nice flush of high pressure water might free whatever the obstruction was.  So now the problem was how to use my 3/4" hose to put pressure on my 1½" plumbing.  After much research, I could not find an adapter that would work so I went to the hardware store hoping to make something that would work out of PVC.  First I found a 3/4" female GHT x 3/4" female slip. Then I found a 1½" female thread x 1½" female slip.  Then it was just a matter of finding the adapters and bushings I needed to go from 3/4" female slip to 1½" female slip. It ended up being a 1½"x¾" bushing, and a 2" piece of ¾" pipe.  Put it all into place, test fit, then glued it together.  Now I could run my hose through a window and attach it directly to the plumbing without losing pressure or making a mess/getting wet.  The water in the sink did drain slowly so I wasn't too worried about a complete seal which might cause the pipe to bust under pressure, but just to be safe I decided to use a ball valve to slowly introduce pressure to the line, so it wouldn't bust if a complete seal occurred.

Pictures of the finished product (with horrible flat black paint job) attached below.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on December 28, 2014, 06:30:48 PM
They actually make that commercially,  Plus there are some "Power Shot" type products, compressed gas same theory.

And there is a rubber bladder like thing that comes in 3 sizes, you shove it in the pipe after you open the pipe up,, I've blown some serious clogs out with those.   Most hardwares will have them.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: jdq1986 on December 28, 2014, 07:49:00 PM
They actually make that commercially,  Plus there are some "Power Shot" type products, compressed gas same theory.

And there is a rubber bladder like thing that comes in 3 sizes, you shove it in the pipe after you open the pipe up,, I've blown some serious clogs out with those.   Most hardwares will have them.

It seems to me like a reasonable thing to produce commercially, but I have never found one anywhere. Can you link me?

I did see the rubber bladder thing, but as a rule water is much more powerful than air.  150psi from my compressor didn't clear my clog.  The hose did though.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: 99WinAdventurer37G on December 28, 2014, 08:47:52 PM
They actually make that commercially,  Plus there are some "Power Shot" type products, compressed gas same theory.

And there is a rubber bladder like thing that comes in 3 sizes, you shove it in the pipe after you open the pipe up,, I've blown some serious clogs out with those.   Most hardwares will have them.

I used a canned pressure clog remover on an old house with PB piping.  It looked like an aerosol can with a cap that looked like half of a racquetball with a hole in it.  When you placed the ball part in the sink you pressed down and that shot a blast into the sink to clean the clog.  Instead, it shattered my pipes and I had quite a mess, and much plumbing work to do.  Apparently those pipes were involved in a lawsuit and were no longer made.  They told me I should replace full runs of that grey pipe wherever I found it.

I don't know if the plastic pipes in MH's are made of the same material.  They look just like PVC pipes as they are all white, but other than color, they looked the same as my "water explosion" experience.  I'm very careful now when trying to clear clogs.  I like to use plastic snakes whenever practical.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: jdq1986 on December 28, 2014, 09:52:51 PM
I don't know if the plastic pipes in MH's are made of the same material.  They look just like PVC pipes as they are all white, but other than color, they looked the same as my "water explosion" experience.

Good bit of advice there.  If you have white plastic plumbing they are certainly less capable of handling pressure than the black ABS plumbing being used in the more recently manufactured and/or higher end RV's.  Whoever started putting PVC in RV's in the first place did not think that decision through, which is why so many are black ABS now.  That being said, if there was some sort of flaw in those pipes (given the lawsuit you mentioned, and likely a recall) I would be more likely to blame the "explosion" on that instead of the canned air.  Even standard schedule 10 white PVC ought to be able to hold whatever pressure a can like that could hold.  Though I certainly understand your hesitation to implement the method again in the future if it's avoidable, and I suppose the good side of using air instead of water may be that in the event of a burst you may be left with less water to clean up.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on December 29, 2014, 05:11:56 AM
Afraid I can not link to one as It has been a long time since I saw one, but basically it was a stiffer than you'd expect plunger with a hose adapter in place of the handle.

I prefer a straight plunger since it is the SUCTION that clears the clog in most cases, not the pressure.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: carson on December 29, 2014, 06:17:22 AM
I suppose this is what is being suggested.
  see here >>>>  http://tinyurl.com/mh7ybwc   at ACE Hardware

Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: jdq1986 on December 29, 2014, 01:13:22 PM
I think my screw on application is much better than the rubber bladder idea.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: followingdreams on February 09, 2015, 09:46:56 PM
Great ideas. We just traded in our  1978 mini MH for a new 2015 TT.  When we first got our mini MH, we had trouble with spiders getting in the furnace and clogging it up with their nests.  Someone suggested to us to get a dog flea collar and set it next to where the gas goes into the hot water heater. We also put one where the gas goes into the frigerator.  We never had another problem with the furnace after that.  I didn't see that tip in here but maybe the newer trailers don't have that problem anymore. 
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: jdq1986 on February 20, 2015, 12:11:07 AM
Drastically increase your hot water capacity for less that $20!

While reading a thread on boon docking, I learned about a trick seasoned boon dockers use to conserve water. Basically, it's a re-circulation valve between the hot water line and the fresh tank, for the purpose of not wasting those several seconds of cold water that comes out of your tap before the hot water kicks in.

Using this extremely simple trick I have increased my hot water capacity to over 85 gallons, which is only limited there by the capacity of my fresh tank (75) and my hot water heater (10).  I just finished a half hour long hot shower that only ended because I drained the tank.  

What I did:

My water pump is located beneath the kitchen sink, as is the fill tube for my fresh tank.  Yes, this setup makes this easier, but if yours is in a different spot it is still possible it just may require a little extra effort running the tubing.  First I tee'd into the fill tube and then tee'd into the cold water line, connected the two with tubing and put a ball valve in the middle as an easy way to fill the fresh tank via the city water connection from inside the RV. If your rig already has this capability you may wish to skip that step. Then I tee'd into the hot water line and led it to the tee in the fill tube as well, again with a ball valve in the middle.  Now, with your fresh tank filled, your city water OFF, and your pump ON, open the ball valve on the hot line dumping your hot water tank directly into the fresh tank.  This takes the chill off the water in your fresh tank.  After only two circulations I obtained a temperature of 90?F in my fresh tank.  The "trick" behind it is that the warmer the water is going into your hot water tank as you empty it, the less energy and time it takes to heat that water to the optimum temperature, as well as the less it cools down the hot water already in your tank.

I just had my first long, hot shower in a long time in which I did not have to rinse off in cool or cold water, and even had time to shave and otherwise just enjoy the shower!

Do NOT over do it.  90? or so should be safe for any holding tank, but I am not responsible if you over do it and melt a hole in your fresh tank.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on February 20, 2015, 07:11:27 AM
Some rv's come with a recirc pump,, it hooks to the farthest point in the water system (usually the shower) and the water heater INLET, and very slowly pumps water around the loop (it is a very small pump) just enough to keep the lines warm.

The flip side is that it costs you fuel (propane or electricity) to keep those pipes warm, and electricity to run the pump.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: jdq1986 on February 20, 2015, 07:36:49 AM
The flip side is that it costs you fuel (propane or electricity) to keep those pipes warm, and electricity to run the pump.

Exactly. Since mine is a manual recirc, no extra electricity to speak of (water pump runs a tad extra, negligible). But those recirc pumps do nothing to increase your hot water capacity like mine does.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: dgwilson40 on April 10, 2015, 10:08:25 AM
Here is a different type of battery tester that is inexpensive and does a better job at testing batteries than load testers. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017R5EQK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017R5EQK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John From Detroit on July 18, 2015, 04:39:59 PM
Yup, I used to have a Window A/C that ran fine on a Genrac 1000 (Traditional generator not inverter but enclosed so it is quiet) wish I still had that genreac. Still own it but it grew legs and wandered off.. I think I know who's but can not point the law at him till I prove it.

But there are not as many options for Roof air

I know when one of my 13.5 K BTU Carriers went blewey (Major catastrophic failure of top unit) I replaced it with a 15K BTU (And glad am I that I did that now that I'm stuck in the sunny south)  Checked the applique to see how much more power it needs compared to the old one.... Both the same 13.5 amps  More cool, Same power YIPPIE.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: winona on November 21, 2015, 09:58:37 PM
I use the "air bags" that come when items are shipped, for instance from Amazon, to keep food, cans, jars, etc. in the fridge from sliding around.  Before I leave, I pack the fridge with the bags, then when I get to my destination, I pull them out and store them till I'm ready to leave then put them back in the fridge.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: winona on November 21, 2015, 10:03:17 PM
I use an indoor/outdoor thermometer, the kind with the readout at one end of the wire and the sensor on the other end, to see how cold my fridge is.  I just put the sensor over the door so the end is inside and leave the readout hanging on the outside of the door.  Keeps me from looking inside to check to see if it's cold or even too cold!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: winona on November 21, 2015, 10:06:24 PM
I keep a couple spare gaskets for my sewer hose.  I unknowingly lost mine which made the next time at the dump station "interesting."
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Olustee bus on November 22, 2015, 07:08:14 AM
i have appreciated your tips.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Houston Remodeler on November 22, 2015, 11:43:54 AM
Funny you posted this. I just bought a 4 pack from Amazon this week.

Camco 39834 Sewer Hose Replacement Gasket - Pack of 4
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: MargoS. on November 23, 2015, 09:37:19 PM
What a great idea.  Can use in the cabinets also.  We use amazon alot and have the "pillows" for our grandsons to pop.  Think I will start keeping them for the trailer.  Thanks for that tip!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: steveblonde on November 23, 2015, 10:07:56 PM
Here is another idea - dont drive like a yahoo ond there wont be a problem lol just kidding sorry i couldnt resist BUT here is another idea pack the fridge full of food and it wont move THEN eat all the food before you come home and the fridge will be empty lol - im just kidding
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: HappyWanderer on November 23, 2015, 10:22:08 PM
Just roll up a towel and do the same thing, put towel back in drawer when done. Nothing to store, you already have towels on board.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Frizlefrak on November 24, 2015, 12:25:33 AM
I can't resist popping them.   :D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Larry N. on November 24, 2015, 07:11:13 AM
How do you pop towels?  ::) ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Lou Schneider on November 24, 2015, 01:14:21 PM
Grab one corner and crack it like a whip.  Of course, longer terrycloth bath towels work better than paper towels, especially those torn into short squares. ;)
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Larry N. on November 24, 2015, 01:31:20 PM
Grab one corner and crack it like a whip.  Of course, longer terrycloth bath towels work better than paper towels, especially those torn into short squares. ;)

 ::) :o ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on August 17, 2016, 04:25:35 PM
My neighbor here at the ranch came up with a neat idea when a skylight recently smashed in a hail storm. The resident RV repair guy was away for a couple of weeks, and he (the neighbor) was  unable to get on the roof. He pushed a small umbrella up through the opening, deployed it, and secured the handle. Voila! A dry coach interior until the repair guy returned.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Corky on August 17, 2016, 05:26:25 PM
My neighbor here at the ranch came up with a neat idea when a skylight recently smashed in a hail storm. The resident RV repair guy was away for a couple of weeks, and he (the neighbor) was  unable to get on the roof. He pushed a small umbrella up through the opening, deployed it, and secured the handle. Voila! A dry coach interior until the repair guy returned.

Oh how I like the way your neighbor thinks -- brilliant!

Corky
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: PancakeBill on August 18, 2016, 08:39:03 AM
I use an indoor/outdoor thermometer, the kind with the readout at one end of the wire and the sensor on the other end, to see how cold my fridge is.  I just put the sensor over the door so the end is inside and leave the readout hanging on the outside of the door.  Keeps me from looking inside to check to see if it's cold or even too cold!


Even better, is the wireless remote.  I have a wall mount and a remote outside and one  in fridge, can check all the important temps instantly.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on August 18, 2016, 08:40:21 AM
For years I complained about kneeling on gravel to dump our waste tanks while hooked up, or when I needed to rummage around in the storage bins. My knees hurt and my pants eventually had holes in the knees. A few months ago my better half came home with an inexpensive pair of knee protectors that eliminated both problems. I keep them under the passenger seat, and easily grab them as I exit the coach
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: John Canfield on August 18, 2016, 08:47:47 AM
I bought two folding utility mats like this one (http://www.macscustomtiedowns.com/product/utility-mat/Accessories) and keep one in the Jeep and one in the Horizon.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: caz on August 21, 2016, 11:20:54 AM
Windshield Wiper Covers

Driving around the southwest, you don't have much rain so little need to use the windshield wipers. So I've gotten kind of lazy and hadn't taken off my covers while driving. Well, in that high wind leaving FMCA-ABQ,   both covers blew off, first time in thousands of miles. So I went to   Lowe's and bought new exact replacements---for $1.18. I use the   pre-scored foam pipe insulation, 6' long, 1" OD. I cut it in half and I have windshield wiper covers for each wiper blade for less than 60¢ each. Keeps the blade off the windshield and protects the rubber from the sun.

Don't know if this has been said, but think Pool Noodles for covering windshield wipers to keep the sun from dry rotting the rubber.  Works great!  Just cut them to fit. (you may need to slice them down the center, but they will still work just fine.)  We also run our water hose through pool noodles to insulate them during colder months.  At 96 cents a noodle, they are well worh it and do a great job!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Quillback 424 on August 21, 2016, 03:45:53 PM
My son and I were repairing my lawn sprinkler system and I was groaning and complaining about the hard ground on my bare knees. He walked into the garage and grabbed my 30 year old square, throw, life saver cushion from the boat and dropped it down for me to use.

Great idea, I said, now demonstrate how to use it!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: steve-n-sueC on November 08, 2016, 07:55:34 AM
For those of us "mature" enough to remember curb feelers, here is an updated model.
I used swimming noodles, marked the distance I need to comfortably open my slides, and inserted them into the fence. Now I watch the noodles in the mirrors, line the rig up so they just touch and perfect parking! And if I get too close and bump the noodles, no worries!
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: BobNSam on November 08, 2016, 09:01:33 AM
For those of us "mature" enough to remember curb feelers, here is an updated model.
I used swimming noodles, marked the distance I need to comfortably open my slides, and inserted them into the fence. Now I watch the noodles in the mirrors, line the rig up so they just touch and perfect parking! And if I get too close and bump the noodles, no worries!
Good idea! All I need now is  hurricane fence to stick them in ;) ;D
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: DesertDustBunny on March 09, 2017, 03:42:58 PM
We have manual 'scissor' type stabilizer jacks (4) on our travel trailer and rather than cranking each jack down by hand, I bought a Camco Leveling Scissor Jack Drill Socket to use with my husbands cordless drill.
It only takes us a few seconds to go around and lower/raise up each of the jacks.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: BobNSam on March 09, 2017, 05:20:35 PM
We have manual 'scissor' type stabilizer jacks (4) on our travel trailer and rather than cranking each jack down by hand, I bought a Camco Leveling Scissor Jack Drill Socket to use with my husbands cordless drill.
It only takes us a few seconds to go around and lower/raise up each of the jacks.
Great idea but caution. If leveling jack is tight or you over torque it the drill Chuck can actually screw off the drill...ask me how I know this >:( .
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: ConductorX on September 19, 2017, 08:48:29 AM
Great tips everyone.  I read all 17 pages and captured some good info for my MH and my future travels.

Thanks much,
"CX"
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: edjunior on September 19, 2017, 05:50:11 PM
That's what we're here for!  Well, that, and we just like to type stuff and start "discussions" about diesel vs. gas, or Ford vs. Chevy...okay I'll shut up.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on September 19, 2017, 06:34:40 PM
Many of these tips/tricks have been collated and indexed (with a menu) in our forum library here (http://www.rvforum.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=320:rving-quick-tips&catid=17&Itemid=132). Looks like I need to update the file with the latest tips.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: xrated on September 19, 2017, 06:38:16 PM
Right after I bought the Toy Hauler last fall, I installed a set of the StrapTek winches to take the place of the Blue Ox pull-ups for the WDH.  I really wanted to protect the winches themselves, as well as the straps that are on them (instead of chain).  I also wanted to protect the Electric Tongue jack from the elements when the trailer was not in use.  So quite by accident, I discovered that there are covers for sale on ebay that are being sold as "Windlass" covers for sailing boats.  I ended up buying the appropriate sizes for the StrapTek winches and one for the Electric Tongue jack and all the same color.  You can do a search on ebay and find a lot of them in different sizes/colors available.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: Tom on September 28, 2017, 01:18:08 PM
From the August 2017 issue of the BOATUS magazine, here are six easy tips/hacks (http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2017/august/six-easy-hacks-for-tidier-projects.asp?utm_source=bmag&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=power_0917) that can be applied in the RV world.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: skydivemark on December 09, 2017, 07:24:32 PM
One suggestion on the smoke detector.... Invite the cigar smoking friend OUTSIDE the motor home and remove the detector to the outside for the test... That way the rig don't smell of cigar for the next way too long.

For water spiogts and a few other things as well.  Get a small pump spray bottle (Most drug stores have them, as do dollar stores) and fill with bleach water,  Just a "Cap full" for the small bottle is more than enough.  Spritz the spigiot at the park before you start to get your hoses out. it will be nice and sanatary when you hook up.... No matter what the dog ... Or it's master... Did before you arrived.

Also useful when you need to clean up an unsanatary mess.. Germs consider Bleach to be... Well, let's just bugs like Raid Better.

You can get artificial smoke (in a spray can) to test your smoke detectors.  That's what we use on commercial planes. It doesn't stink like cigarettes or cigars and doesn't leave a residue.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: winona on December 10, 2017, 11:59:08 AM
From the August 2017 issue of the BOATUS magazine, here are six easy tips/hacks (http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2017/august/six-easy-hacks-for-tidier-projects.asp?utm_source=bmag&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=power_0917) that can be applied in the RV world.

One of the tips from the BOATUS magazine was using talc inside gloves.  Corn starch likewise works and, in my house, is always handy.  My hands sweat inside those rubber gloves which makes putting them on an ordeal.  Sprinkling in corn starch and shaking makes it lots easier.  Suppose baking soda would also do the trick.
Title: Re: Hints, Tricks and Gadgets/Tools --- small ones.
Post by: edjunior on December 10, 2017, 07:53:37 PM
One of the tips from the BOATUS magazine was using talc inside gloves.  Corn starch likewise works and, in my house, is always handy.  My hands sweat inside those rubber gloves which makes putting them on an ordeal.  Sprinkling in corn starch and shaking makes it lots easier.  Suppose baking soda would also do the trick.

Now this, is a great tip.  I always have trouble with the stupid rubber gloves, but especially in the Texas summers.  Thanks for this!  Now all I have to do is remember to get it on my checklist!!