This is a continuation of my series on tips and tricks to create a better camping experience and thus make your adventures less stressful and more enjoyable.
So, here are another few tips to help in this process.
- Battery Water – It’s a good idea to check the fluid levels in your RV batteries at least once a month, and, while you checking your RV batteries you might as well check the levels in your tow vehicle as well. It can be very frustrating if you get to your destination and you don’t have enough power to operate the equipment that is powered by the 12-volt power system. Depending on your RV this can include the slide-outs, the stabilizer jacks, power hitch jack and anything else that runs on battery power alone.
- Tire Lug Nuts – Take a few minutes and check all tire lug nuts before you leave on a camping trip. It will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in avoidable repairs. The reason they can come loose is because of side forces that are placed on the wheels when going around corners or high-speed curves on the highway. The wheels on a trailer are a lot closer than the wheels on the tow vehicle which puts a lot more stress on the RV lug nuts. It’s a good idea to carry a torque wrench, as part of your toolkit for this very purpose. Set it at 50 Ft. Lbs. and tighten every other nut until all are at the right torque. Always be sure to back off the torque reading to zero when done and reset the next time you check the lugs. This will save wear and tear on the spring in your wrench.
- Shore Power Cord – Have you ever found it hard to put your shoreline back into the storage compartment? Spray it with “Spray-on Vinyl Protectant”. This will provide enough lubricant for the shoreline to slide back into the storage compartment easily.
- Ants – If you have ants invading your RV a mixture of 50/50 borax and sugar will stop the problem. Just sprinkle a little where you think the ants are coming in. They will take it back to their home, eat it and they won’t be a problem anymore. This solution works at home as well. Just do the same and they won’t come back.
- Starting a Camp Fire – Here’s an easy way to start a campfire. Dip a few cotton balls into some petroleum jelly. Store these in a zip lock bag. When it’s time to start the fire, simply put a few of these cotton balls in the right places and light them. The petroleum jelly will burn, starting the fire.
- TV Antennas – If you leave your RV TV antenna up when you drive away you will be replacing it, and anything else that gets damaged, ie. roof damage, when you get home. A simple way to avoid this is to hang your vehicle keys on the antenna when you raise it up. When it’s time to go….well, you will know what still needs to be done.
- Want To Save Money On Laundry? – If you have a plastic cooler fill it with water and some bio-degradable detergent laundry soap, drop in a tennis shoe with the clothing, secure it in the back of your truck or attach to the bumper and go for a drive. Before you turn around and head back dump out the soapy water and fill with clean water and repeat on the way home. Hang it out to dry and you’re done. It didn’t cost anything except a little gas for a nice site seeing trip.
- Hooking Up Travel Trailers Solo – The next time you are hooked up to your travel trailer measure the distance from the trailer hitch, where the ball goes, to the back side of the back wheels, where the wheel touches the ground and write down that measurement. The next time you have to hook up solo just measure out from the hitch that same distance and place a wheel chock block with the thin part towards the back wheel. Back up slowly and when the wheel hits the chock block in the right position, or very close, every time.
- Make Your RV More Theft Proof – I got this idea from a neighbor who owns a Class C Motorhome and I think it would work for a Class A as well. He custom made a lock, out of 3/4 inch wooden dowel, that would stop any would-be thief from unlocking the passenger or driver side doors with a metal strip. Measure the distance from the top of the window to the bottom and add 3/8 inch. You will want to use at least 3/4 – 1-inch wooden dowel for this. Now that you have cut it to length use the extra 3/8 inch to make a notch at the top as in the drawing. Next, place the dowel in the window, (with the window up), next to the lock button and mark the position where the lock tab is, remembering that it will be off center at the bottom of the dowel. Drill a hole in the bottom big enough and deep enough so the tip of the lock button will fit inside when it is pushed down which will prevent it from being lifted by the thief.
So, there you have it. These tips and others I have included in previous posts are not the total and comprehensive list of all the tips that other RVers have come up with. People are always coming up with unique ways to improve their experience and safety so, as I discover and read about more ways to improve our experience, I will add them in another post.
Untill that happens and as always, if you have any questions or tips/stories about your own experiences, please let me know by leaving a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and have found it helpful as you/we continue to look for ways to improve our camping experience. Remember to drive with care and stay safe.