Tips & Tricks From The Pro's

Below you will find information that the professionals have found to be valuable when RVing. Because the pro's have already run into many of the problems you are going to experience, you can save money and damage to your fifth wheel by reading the information below and making sure that you are prepared. Many new RVers purchase their RV and then immediately purchase accessories. The accessories that they purchase may not be suitable for their RV or are quick buys that lack the experience needed to make an informed purchasing decision, resulting in wasted money.

Travel Trailer Must Haves:

Surge Protector
Here is one product that is of vital importance when hooking-up your RV to the electrical box in the RV park. Many RV parks are inconsistantly wired and you can almost be assured of spikes and surges while hooked up. As more RV's arrive at the park and turn on appliances, so the spikes and surges increase. A low voltage condition in the park can burn out appliances in your RV. Causing costly damage and ruining your trip.
Purchase a good quality surge protector as seen in the photo on the right.
50 amp Surge Protector
30 amp Surge Protector
Click image to purchase
from Camping World
One end plugs into the electric box at the park and the other end plugs into your RV electrical cable (the one you would normally plug into the RV park electrical box). Indicators on the surge protector will warn you if there is a problem with the RV electrical box. So it is best to check this before you get setup at the site. It is always possible that there is a problem at the electrical box that could cause you to have to move to another site. If there is a surge or problem with the electricity while you are hooked up the surge protector will protect all of your electrical equipment from damage.
Surge protectors are water-proof and most can be used in the rain without any problems.
Two -Way Radios
These are great when backing into a site. Someone at the rear of the fifth wheel can guide you in using the two-way radio. They are also useful for communication when one of the family is away from the fifth wheel in the park and you need to contact them. If you have the tow vehicle and another vehicle that follows you from behind, you can use the two-way radios to commuicate.
Especially when towing the fifth wheel up very windy roads in the mountains

Click image to purchase
from Camping World
where the second vehicle can go ahead and tell you when there is oncoming traffic so you can get over to the shoulder of the road. When no traffic is coming you can get into the center of the road and avoid being near the edge.
Don't rely on cell phones for this as many times there is no service up in the mountains or remote parks.
 
Checklists
Another very important item to have with you is checklists for your travel trailer. All of the long time RV'ers have them and they are vital. Type up your checklist and have it laminated and easily accessible. A checklist details the steps to take when arriving and unhitching and another to detail hitching up to leave. You would be amazed at how many people forget to unhook the power from the pedastal only to drive off still attached or forget to lock the hitch pin in place or to have checked tire pressures before departure or to have checked the torque on the bolts holding the hitch pin box or the torque on the travel trailer lug nuts or to retract the travel trailer access steps or to have turned off the propane tanks. The list goes on and you will be amazed at how long a checklist can become. These items are easy to forget when the family is getting ready to leave or arrive and everyone is excited.
X-Chock Tire Locking Chock
Applies opposing force to tandem tires so that your fifth wheel does not move around when people are in the camper.
The tire locking chock is also important if you have to use bottle jacks to jack up the front of the rig for any reason. This tire locking chock can be locked with a padlock to ensure that it is not removed.


Click image to purchase
from Camping World
Fire Extinguisher!
We cannot emphasize enough the need to have at least two or more fire extinguishers in your travel trailer. Class A fires are ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood, cloth, fiberglass, tires, 12-volt. Class B fires include flammable liquids such as gas, propane, oil, oil based paint. Over 80% of RV fires are Class A fires. Make sure your fire extinguishers are A/B extinguishers which can put out both Class A & B fires or are rated as "All Fire". Make sure that you replace your fire extinguishers regularly. It is just not worth the risk to have fire extinguishers that are old and do not work.
The more fire extinguishers the better and five would be optimum in an RV. One in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, one by the entrance door, one in an unlocked compartment outside the RV and one in the tow vehicle.
 
Water Pressure Regulator
Here is another product that can help protect your Fifth Wheel from potential damage. A good water regulator keeps the pressure into the RV plumbing at a constant pressure, normally around 45 psi. RV parks have inconsistant water pressure which can cause damage to your fifth wheels plumbing. This includes burst pipes which is the last thing that you want to happen when out on a trip.

Click image to purchase
from Camping World
Purchase a good quality water pressure regulator and protect your plumbing. The water pressure regulator can also help with better pressure which means a more pleasant shower experience
Sewer Hose
A good quality sewer hose will save you alot of frustration and messy accidents. A RhinoFlex sewer hose kit is probably the best sewer hose you will purchase and is tough and reliable. Purchase multiple lengths to join together and you will never have the problem of to short a sewer hose in the campgound.


Click image to purchase
from Camping World
A tip on dumping the blackwater (sewage) tank. Always dump the blackwater tank first and then the grey water (shower and sinks water). This way the grey water tanks will clean out any debris in the sewer hose left from the blackwater tank.
Always keep your black water tank closed, even when you have a sewer hook-up. If you leave the black water tank open, all of the liquids will drain leaving the solids behind to harden in the tank. This will soon become an expensive problem to fix.
Heavy Duty Tire Inflator
Your truck and travel trailer tire inflation pressures are critical to the safety of your rig and to you. Under inflated tires will build up heat and can very easily cause a blow-out. Tire inflation pressures should be checked before each trip, both on the travel trailer and on the tow vehicle. If you have a truck with dual rear wheels then you will really appreciate the Slime Tire Inflator. The Slime tire inflator clips onto the tire
valve so you do not need to hold it while pumping. It also allows for better access to the inner rear wheels tire valve which can be difficult to reach. The Slime tire inflator will inflate a tire in approx. 3 minutes to 35 psi and has a built in pressure gauge on the top of the unit that is very reliable. The Tire Inflator is powered from the lighter plug in the tow vehicle. The whole unit comes in a handy travel case along with the coil hose and extra adapters to inflate rafts and air beds. The unit is very sturdy, well priced and works extremely well. Available from www.Slime.com

Travel Trailer & Truck Tires Tip: If your tires on your travel trailer or truck are older than 5 years, replace them. Even if the tread is still good, the interior of the tires deteriorate and are prone to blowouts. You can tell how old your tire is by looking on the outer side of the tire. Here is a link detailing exactly how to tell the age of your tires.
How to tell the Age of a Tire
 
Trailer-Aid Tire Changing
Here is a tool that can be very helpful when stuck on the interstate with a flat travel trailer or Toy Hauler tire. Simply drive the travel trailer up onto the Trailer-Aid to lift the flat tire off the ground.
NOTE: If your travel trailer has an independent suspension (one where
 
each wheel can move independently of the other wheel) then there is a good chance the Trailer-Aid will not work on your unit. Driving one wheel up on the Trailer-Aid will not lift the other wheel off the ground as it has its own suspension system. The MOR/Ryde suspension is one of these independent suspensions. So check your suspension before buying. Click the image below to purchase from Camping World
   
Bottle Jacks
Two 10-ton bottle jacks. For around $25-$30 each this is an invaluable & inexpensive piece of equipment that is sure to be needed at some point in your travels.
   
Plus the jacks can be used to raise the truck when the need arises or to replace a wheel on the travel trailer. Remember to also carry good solid blocks to use with the bottle jacks.
     
No-Spill 5-Gallon Diesel Can
We all know that it is a big problem when a diesel truck runs out of fuel. Trying to prime the fuel system is no fun at all. This diesel can has a no spill patented spout and the can itself fits easily into a truck box.
Search on "No-spill diesel can" to find a store. Amazon carries them and they are normally around $26-$30. Also get the No-Spill 206 6-Inch Flexible Gas Can Spout Extension for easy re-fueling of a truck.
     

 

 
 

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