RV Tips and Advice
By Mark Polk
My goal with these RV tips is for you to find many, if not all of these tips to be helpful. Hopefully, one or more of the RV tips will make all of your RV experiences safe, fun & stress free.
* If at all possible try to avoid using an extension cord when making electrical connections at the campground. The gauges of the wire used in standard household extension cords are not suitable for RV electrical hook-ups. Eventually you will be put in a situation where you will need to use an extension cord. It is a good idea to purchase an RV extension cord that is compatible to the electrical system of your RV, and have it on hand. If you do purchase an extension cord somewhere else it should be at least 10-guage wires.
* Electrical adapters are a necessity for RVers. Eventually you will be in a situation where you have to use some type of electrical adapter to make a connection at a campground. It may be an outdated campground or isolated area that only provides 15 or 20-amp electrical service. There are adapters that will go from your RV type plug and size down to household type outlets and adapters that go from household type outlets to campground RV connections. It’s nice to have these adapters on hand when you need them, but you must exercise caution when you use them. If your RV is a 30-amp or 50-amp system and you use an adapter to plug the RV into a 15 or 20-amp outlet this severely limits what you can operate in the RV. The roof air alone will draw up to 15-amps when it initially starts. If you place too much of a demand on electrical adapters, or use them for extended periods of time they can overheat and melt resulting in damage to the RV power cord or electrical system.
*Take updated photos of you pets with you on trips. If they should get lost you can use the pictures to assist in finding them.
* If your RV is equipped with a generator, at a minimum, it should be exercised for 30 minutes to an hour on a monthly basis with at least a half rated load. Consult your generator owner’s manual for load ratings. If your generator has a carburetor and it is not exercised on a regular basis the fuel will begin to gel around the jets. If this happens and you manage to get it started it will have that all too familiar surging sound. It can damage electrical appliances and equipment not to mention the cost of having the carburetor removed and cleaned. If the generator will be in long term storage you can add a fuel preservative to the fuel tank and run the generator long enough for the preserver to get through the fuel system. This will protect it until you are ready to use it again.
*Every RVer should invest in some type of digital voltmeter that plugs directly into an outlet in your RV. There are several types available and they are inexpensive compared to the repair costs for damaged electrical equipment and appliances. Many of these monitors are capable of measuring AC line voltage, generator frequency and testing polarity at the campground before plugging your unit in. Campground electricity can fluctuate depending on the demand placed on it. By monitoring the AC voltage throughout your camping trip you can protect thousands of dollars worth of electrical equipment and appliances in your RV. If voltage drops below 105-volts or goes above 130-volts you should turn equipment and appliances off until the correct power is restored.
Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101
RV Expert Mark Polk, seen on TV, is the producer & host of America's most highly regarded series of DVD's, videos, books, and e-books. www.rveducation101.com/
Mark Polk is a retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Three, specializing in wheeled and track vehicle fleet maintenance operations. In addition to owning and operating RV Education 101, (based in North Carolina) since 1999, Polk also has a very extensive RV background working in RV service, sales and management. Polk has a degree in Industrial Management Technology and his 30 plus years of experience in maintenance includes working as an RV technician, a wheeled vehicle and power generation mechanic, an automotive maintenance technician, Battalion and Brigade level Maintenance Officer, an RV sales manager and also in the RV financing department as the Finance & Insurance manager. www.rveducation101.com/
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