Pete’s RV Center Wins Plethora of Awards for #1 Vermont RV Dealership

Pictured: Vermont sales team.

2020 marked another year of happy camping for Pete’s RV Center, whose Vermont dealership won seven #1 Dealer Awards from Statistical Surveys.

Despite being closed from mid-March until May 18th 2020 due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, Pete’s ended the year stronger than ever. The Vermont sales team collected seven #1 Dealer awards, including #1 Dealer of All Recreational Vehicles for the State of Vermont. The other #1 Dealer in Vermont awards Pete’s RV received were for motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, Class ‘A’, Class ‘C’, and towables.

Pete’s RV Center purchased a fifth dealership in Mountville, Pennsylvania just one week before the pandemic hit, and all five locations thrived alongside the original Vermont dealership upon their post-lockdown re-opening.

Throughout the United States, the RV sales flourished in 2020 as other industries withered, with many manufacturers reporting record sales in multiple months.

Pete’s RV Center’s Airstream of Vermont, the exclusive Airstream dealer in Vermont, benefitted enormously from this success, as Airstream reported a 36% increase in net sales in 2020 over 2019, setting a record for the infamous 90 year old company.

Some of the most popular units at Pete’s RV Center in Vermont continued to be Jayco RVs, which the dealership also carries exclusively in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and alongside other brands in Indiana and Massachusetts.

The high quality customer experience at Pete’s RV Center sets the dealership apart in Vermont. With over 60 five star reviews on Google, customers praise the exception service and sales quality at Pete’s RV.

Located in South Burlington at 4016 Williston Road, Pete’s RV has your back for all your RV sales and service needs. With locations in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, we have a RV for every type of camping fan.

Pete’s RV Express Pick-Up Offers A Quicker Route To Camping

The manufacturing delays caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic aggressively affected the RV industry, despite a quick bounce-back of record setting RV sales during the summer of 2020. Some manufacturers have nearly caught up to dealership’s demand for new product, while others, like Airstream, warn of year long delays for consumers between ordering a vehicle and receiving it.

As summer approaches, don’t get stuck waiting weeks or months for your RV to arrive!

At Pete’s RV Center, we have RV’s on the ground ready for purchase, despite all the industry delays. Here’s Chad to tell you more:

Check out some of our most popular express pick-up units here!

Pete’s RV Center has your RV needs in mind, and we know you want to be camping as soon as possible. With locations in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, give us a call today, and be camping sooner than ever!

Fighting Rust in Your RV

The contagious and ugly look of rusted metal is a frequent source of panic for boating enthusiasts, but often ignored by RV owners. Expecting zero rust to develop on your well-loved RV is a little too optimistic. Rust comes from many sources, most of which are easy to solve. To manage this rust, and avoid the damaging corrosion it can cause, the first step is keeping your eye out for rust’s causes.

Rust can develop on any exposed metal surface. This means that any tiny scratch on the RV’s exterior coat of paint is susceptible, in addition to everything going on in the rarely visible undercarriage below your RV. When driving around the country on the adventures you love, you’re more likely to have scraped the undercarriage of your RV than you might think, even if you’ve never noticed. It’s not just rocky off-roading that’ll ding up your unit. Speed bumps, loose gravel, and even roadkill can all create enough scratches to make rust a relevant risk.

Even without damage from exposed metal, road salt in places fighting snowfall and sea salt by the coast can create rust on the undercarriage and frame. Inside the vehicle, condensation from simply breathing in your RV can create rust on the windows, and on any exposed metal inside.

By now you might be a little afraid of your own RV, but all this rust is easy to prevent, now that you know where it could be. Locating exposed metals is key: take a slow walk around your RV at least once a week whenever you’re using it and look for any exterior scratches, then touch them up with a coat of paint or get them professionally repaired, if necessary.

A fundamental rust prevention technique is rinsing your RV’s undercarriage, whether at the car wash or with your own hose. If possible, mixing baking soda in your rinse water can even help neutralize any damage salt has already created.

Undercoating your RV will protect it even further, and stop the spread of any rust that might already exist. This can be done with something as simple as the Undercoating in a Can spray. Look at all mechanical components beneath the RV, as they are the most susceptible to corrosion, another problem to take care of that usually signals nearby rust development.

If you find an existing rust formation, a stiff wire brush will scrape it off after a few minutes of work. When it’s removed, keep practicing your rust prevention skills by covering the exposed metal with the rust-inhibiting paint you use for touch-ups.

If you spot a large area or rust or corrosion, don’t try to patch it all up by yourself. The metal in the area could be weakened, creating a safety hazard that needs professional repair. Your local RV store can take care of it easily.

At Pete’s RV Center, we’re here to take care of all your RV sales and maintenance needs. With dealerships in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, petesrv.com has you covered!

10 Things You Learn Working at Pete’s RV Center

Joining the Marketing Department of a RV dealership brings a whole new meaning to the word “camping”. Ten things immediately jumped out when the job began about all of the details that distinguish each RV, and the major eye-catching amenities that campers drool over. First came the most basic two categories igniting debates at campsites: motorhomes vs. trailers. 

1.    To Tow or Not to Tow

The motorhome is made for the entire trip to occur in one vehicle. Motorhomes are self-propelled, so the driving of the RV is done by the driver sitting inside it. 

      2021 Jayco Redhawk 22C

The trailer, however, provides more flexibility, but without being able to run to the bathroom as easily at a red light. It is a non-driving vehicle that must be towed by a driving vehicle, usually a pickup truck, to get anywhere. The major perk of owning a trailer is being able to detach it: once you’re at a campsite, you can take your car off the trailer and head to a nearby attraction without having to move everything you’ve brought along on the trip with you. 

2021 Jayco Jay Feather X213 travel trailer. 

2.     The Mutual Love of Airstream and their Fans

The fabulous and aesthetically pleasing Airstream brand is more than just a hand crafted RV from Ohio, it’s an entire lifestyle enjoyed by thousands. You don’t often spot the people who have made a full time home in their Airstreams if you aren’t frequenting camping areas, but they are out there, floating around from one beautiful campsite to another. There are so many, in fact, that all 2021 Airstreams currently being built are sold out until the end of the year.

Airstream is very aware of these “off the grid” customers who live full time inside their product. Their Airstream Ambassadors program profiles stories of many people living regularly in their Airstream vehicles. The brand even started an Airstream Customer Council in 2019, consisting of twelve members given regular contact with the Airstream executive team on product quality, dealership experience, and service experience. 

3.     The Many Sides of Forest River

At any given moment, hundreds of Forest River RV’s are eagerly waiting for you in Pete’s RV Center’s extensive inventory. Within Forest River, there are dozens of different model brand types available, each with their own array of different floor plans and features. 

The quantity and diversity of model types within the Forest River empire are astounding, and it would shock the casual RV consumer just how many different RVs one brand can produce each year. From the Wolf Pups to the Vengeance Rogues, Forest River has an RV for any customer’s interest type, with their brands listed here

4.    Indiana: The World RV Headquarters

Frequently dismissed as a “flyover state” by nonresidents, there aren’t many facts that come to mind when an outsider wonders what’s going on in Indiana. But mention the state to a RV enthusiast, and their eyes light up at the thought of thousands of new RVs coming out of the state each year. 

Indiana is the RV capital of the world. Over 80% of RVs are made in the state, with an entire 128 page guidebook written by RV historian Al Hesselbart about Indiana’s thriving RV industry. Elhart, Indiana even holds the RV and Motorhome Hall of Fame Museum and Library, a charming stop with RVs from several iconic eras. 

5.     Off the Grid Actually Means Better WiFi than at Home

Full-time RV enthusiasts who live and travel in their units love to show the world their photogenic “off the grid” experiences. And many of us are jealous of their frequent scenic stops! But off the grid doesn’t mean what it once did. 

With the rise of remote workers, office space built inside of RVs, and increasingly high quality WiFi systems built into new RVs each year, one can live off the grid of traditional neighborhoods while remaining completely in touch with the rest of the world, online. In a way, you’re choosing which grid it is you are on or off of–avoiding troublesome neighbors while hopping from one faraway campground to another, but still keeping up with that daily news podcast that keeps you in the loop. 

6.     The Childish Joy of Bunkhouses

Every kid who’s ever laid eyes on a bunk bed has strong opinions about them, from the eternal debate of whether the top or bottom bunk is the better option to whether they even want to sleep that close to a sibling in the first place. Surely, a bunk bed where you can wake up in a new place everyday is the content of many childhood dreams. 

Naturally, some genius RV designers have taken this into consideration. “Bunkhouses”, which are often separated from the rest of the unit by their own door, are quite possibly the best feature for a camping family. 

Bunkhouse in the 2021 Forest River Arctic Wolf 3880SUITE.

Looking at these as an adult, childish instincts quickly kick-in and excite campers of all ages. 

7.     Storage is King

A bunkhouse would be in chaos without appropriate room to store all the toys, gadgets, and snacks that join kids on a trip. Each year it seems that RV manufacturers become more innovative with how much storage room can be neatly packed inside. 

A plethora of cabinets and a loft area in the 2021 Keystone RV Montana High Country 377FL.

8.     The 2020 RV Boom

In a year where most vacations came to a screeching halt, RV sales exploded. RVTravel.com said that “The 507,200 units projected for 2021 would represent the best annual total on measurable record for the RV industry, eclipsing the 504,600 units shipped in 2017.” This is remarkable, especially considering that RV manufacturing was shut down for a full two months of 2020 due to the pandemic. 

And it makes sense that in times of isolation, people would turn to RVs. Staying in your camper creates an automatic barrier of social distance from everyone else that is impossible to achieve in a hotel. Campers are often found parked far away from highly populated areas, with many campgrounds occupying some of the most remote areas of the United States. 

9.     The Amazing Quality of Luxury RVs

The peak of RV design is seen in the most luxurious units, the kind of RVs that make you think, “Wow, why am I paying for an apartment when I could live in this?”. Not only are the sleek features of these vehicles superb, they are illuminated by some stellar lighting. 

This Party Deck option on the 2021 Jayco Seismic 4125 looks like something out of a modern California coastal home built hundreds of feet above the ocean. The Seismic 4125 also has one of the finest walk-in showers in a 2021 RV, and a beautifully lit bedroom hidden away from the party. 

You can tell by a quick look at the floor plan how much luxury can really fit into one unit.

In the quality-of-life Olympics, this stacks up far better than most apartments–and many homes. 

10.     The Magic of The Slides

Holding down the button to open the slides of your RV is a very similar feeling to being a child and choosing which bunk bed belongs to you, some scientists believe. These seemingly magical slide-out walls increase the RV’s size significantly, providing more than enough room to stretch your legs after a day on the road. 

Not only are slides a neat feature to flex at the campground, they turn a vehicle into a classy home. 

If you saw a picture of this kitchen and dinette in the 2021 Keystone Montana 3231CK without context, how would you know that it’s in a RV and not a high-end kitchen store? The transformation that slide-out walls created here give the kitchen the ability to hold such large dimensions. 

At Pete’s RV Center, we bring all of your favorite parts of RVs to you. With a wide variety of RVs with many features in stock, now is the time to check off your own list of the best features that belong in your RV. 

RV Extended Warranty – Protect Your RV

Hey guys. Welcome to Pete’s RV Center. My name is Christine. I work in the Vermont location. I’m going to talk to you a little bit about what is included in our Full Protection Platinum Package. Um, so then that way you guys have an understanding and know what is covered in your camper. Um, so first off, you are going to have in your Protection package, is a service coverage. Everything covers you for five years. You’re going to have all of the major appliance covered. You’re going to have your microwave, your stove, your refrigerator, your AC system, all of your holding tanks. Anything electrical and mechanical will be covered in this camper.

Uh, you also have a 100% parts and labor, that’s going to be covered so you don’t have to worry about paying those additional costs. You will also have, um, a mobile technician straight for you to use, that will come to wherever you are, so then you don’t have to worry about pulling your camper if you are a seasonal camper, or you’re just gotten to your camping location. Within this Protection, you also are going to have an eco-protection, a tire protection, and roadside assistance.

Going to go a little bit more to explain to you what the eco-protection is, which is an interior/exterior protection. Included in that, you will see that I’m dropping some oil onto a little platform. I’m going to explain how that’s going to protect you, and then I will show you how that works. Uh, the interior/exterior protection will protect all of your upholstery from stains and odors, mildew, bacteria, viruses, and it’ll protect the outside of the camper from any harsh elements such as sun fading, acid rain, and bird droppings.

As you can see, with that little bit of talking, with the upholstery that you have here, you have one side that is not protected, and one side that is protected. The unprotected side, the oil has seeped in. If you can see, the oil has not seeped in on the other side. That is going to put a barrier, which protects all of that upholstery, even leather, if you have jeans that might [transpire 00:02:17] to that leather, it will protect that as well.

If you guys want to come onto the outside, I’ll go ahead and explain the tire portion. Now that we’re on the outside of the camper, I’m going to just point a few more features on the outside that are also covered on under the service coverage. Uh, you will have any of the kitchenettes, refrigerator, stoves, um, are also all covered, along with the propane connection and electrical connection. Your awnings and any slide outs your camper might have, as well.

On to the tire portion, your tires are covered, um, with a multi seal and a road hazard. So how that’s going to protect you is it gives you a longer life in the tire, so if you roll over any form of debris, it automatically fills that hole, and it helps breakdown, helps protect the breakdown of that rubber as well. Um, if you damage any of the wheel as far as hitting a pothole, you will also have that covered on both your camper, and your towing unit.

One of my personal favorites is also the roadside assistance. With the roadside assistance, you have a 24 hour help hotline and an emergency line. So if you run into any situation along your camping adventures, you can call them. They will walk you through it. They will help you. Um, and they also have a lockout service, as well, so if you ever lock yourself out, they can come and unlock the camper for you. If you have any other questions, or if you want some more details, please feel free to call any of our locations. Ask for the de- business department, and we would be happy to answer any of your questions. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video, and happy camping!

The transcript of this presentation is available here.

Pete’s RV Center is prepared for all of your RV care needs. With locations in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, come check out petesrv.com today to make all your camping dreams come true.

Pete’s RV Center Sees Huge Success in COVID-safe RV Show

Pete’s RV Center has exceeded expectations for RV shows in a socially distanced world: they created a show of their own.

Eastern States Exposition, more commonly known as “The Big E” in West Springfield, Massachusetts, typically hosts the largest camping and outdoor show in New England, with over 200 exhibitors spanning over 270,000 square feet.

But with the February 2021 show cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions against having the usual tens of thousands of people gathered at the show, Pete’s RV Center invented a new way to view their enormous indoor RV selection.

The company took over the Young Building at The Big E for 60 days with the Rolling Into Spring Sale, heating the warehouse-style space and filling it with 100 RVs.

Rows upon rows of organized RVs showed a dazzling number of brands and floor plans.

The biggest change in Pete’s exclusive show from past years of the Camping and Outdoor Show? Appointments.

The Rolling Into Spring Sale was based on customer appointments, where times with RV Lifestyle Consultants were scheduled before people interested in touring RVs entered the building.

This not only ensured social distancing within the RVs, but gave each customer individualized attention not always seen at huge RV shows.

The indoor environment in chilly West Springfield created a comfortable shopping experience that can be challenging to find during a winter RV search. Families were seen happily checking out dozens of RVs, and individuals were able to meticulously compare features.

Hosting the show for 60 days allowed everyone interested in seeing a RV to do so at a time convenient to them, which drew praise from customers.

Pete’s RV Center would like to thank the West Springfield community and The Big E, who graciously allowed us to host the show and were extremely welcoming despite the show’s unusual circumstances.

How to Keep Your RV Interior Germ and Bacteria Free

Speaker 1 (00:11):

One of the most important things RV customers demand is a clean and healthy environment. Studies have shown that the interior of vehicles may contain more than 1,500 times the amount of bacteria as the average house does. RVs provide a wonderful environment for harmful germs and bacteria to thrive and to multiply.

Speaker 1 (00:31):

The National RV Care interior products are water-based, environmentally friendly products that are EPA registered and kill 99.9% of germs and odor causing microbes, bacteria, mold, and mildew, while providing a high performance barrier against stains for five years. These eco friendly products not only help protect against oil stains, food and beverage stains, and vinyl fading, they also help prevent odors caused by bacteria, microbes, mold, mildew, fungi, and algae. These anti microbial products for the interior of RVs are extremely green, they are non toxic, non flammable, non hazardous, and don’t contain any VOC’s.

The transcription of this video is available here.

At Pete’s RV Center we care for the quality and cleanliness of your RV. Stop by for more sanitation strategies, and to view our excellent selection of RV units.

The Importance of RV Slide Toppers

Pete’s RV-TV YouTube Channel resident Randal Murray delivers a crucial RV question: “What is the importance of slide toppers (aka slideout awnings)?”. When it comes to protecting the vitality and value of your RV, slideout seals found around the slide are the lifeline to the health and well-being of your camper. As Randy explains, if you compromise or damage those seals then you risk water potentially penetrating into the camper provoking damage over time. Randy presents a prime example of just how well slide toppers can defend your camper after a weekend at the campground. Sprinkling a box full of debris on the slides to simulate a weekend of buildup, you can clearly see that everything rolls off as the slides are brought in.

A highly-affordable investment, slide toppers can save RV owners thousands of dollars in repairs! For just a few extra dollars a month, their installation can be built right into your new RV payment plan.

Video Transcript for “The Importance of RV Slide Toppers”

Randy: Hey, guys, Randy with Pete’s RV TV here again today, another quick tip segment for ya from Pete’s RV Center.  We’re in the shop today at Pete’s RV, the Vermont location. A little noisy place, very busy place this time of year, as it always is.  Today I’m gonna talk about the importance of slide toppers and how they can protect your coach, especially as you start to get some age on the coach.

     A slide topper covers a slide topper, it covers a slide box, which, it keeps all the elements off the top of your slide, rain, snow, whatever, if your slide’s open in poor weather.  It keeps the sun off the top of your slide, so it’s gonna lessen the maintenance that’s needed to be done on the slide roof itself.

     It could help with a potential leak on a slide box.  If you were to have a leak, when the water pouring right on this, obviously it’s gonna rear its head into the coach very quickly.  With a slide topper on here, we’re not going to have water puddling against our seals and things like that, so it’s gonna really help out with that effect as well.

    As you can see, the slide topper here is gonna attach to the body of the coach, comes in the, the roller tube is on the outside of the coach.  So as we roll this in, any debris that is on the top will also fall off, and I’ll show you that in just a minute. We can also see how it keeps the roof of the slide out of the elements, another important feature, as I just mentioned.

    So when we’re camping up here in the Northeast, especially state campgrounds, things like that, most campgrounds around the country, actually we’re gonna tend to be around some trees.  Pine trees are a particular favorite up here in the Northeast. So when we’re out there, we have our slides open, we’re staying for a week or so on our family vacation, sticks, pine needles, leaves and things like that are gonna come down and get on the top of the slide roof.

    And when we close our slide without a slide topper, all that debris stays up on the roof unless you get up there and clean it off.  When that happens we’ve actually compromised our seal with the slide closed, we bring the unit back home, sits next to the garage for a few weeks until we get to go back out on our outing, with a compromised seal, we’re gonna see some water on the floor.

    So let’s take a look up on the roof, and we’ll show you how this kinda works. Okay, so here we are up on the roof of the unit with the slide topper on it, and,  We re-situated Josh so you can see the top of the slide topper, and you can see that no real portion of the top of the slide’s exposed. The slide topper is covering everything, which is what we want.

    So right now what I’m gonna simulate what would happen if you’re camping up here in the Northeast, and I’m just gonna take some debris that I kinda picked up outside there a little while ago, and I’m gonna put this on top of the slideout. Now normally with a slide topper, this would all end up on the roof of your coach.

     As I mentioned a little earlier in the video, when you bring this back in, all that stuff is gonna stay up there and compromise our seal, and potentially damage the seal, and that’s not something that we want. Those seals are very important for protecting our coach when we’re not using it.

    So let’s go downstairs again and we’ll re-situate the camera, and we’ll show you what happens when we bring the slideout in, and why this works so well, and why it’s so important to have these on our units. Okay, so here we are down below, and as you can see, we’re using our new brand–new Outback Fifth Wheel as our test model, so kind of excited about that.

    Let’s go ahead and bring in the slide, and we’re gonna watch how this guy protects our coach. So as you remember in the video, I poured some stuff up there, and you can see with having the roller tube on the body of the slide, everything is just gonna run right off, so we’re gonna protect our slide seals. We’re not gonna leave any debris up there to compromise those and cause potential leak down the road.

    And there’s the slide closed. Everything on the ground, not on the roof, right where we want it. We’ve protected our slide.  Everybody’s happy. We can put this away knowing that we’re not gonna have any damage to our seals or any water inside the coach from the roof of that slide when we’re not using the coach.

    So there we go, folks. Another quick tip segment with Randy from Pete’s RV Center. Thanks again for watching our quick tip videos, and make sure to check us out on Facebook, and keep an eye out for those new videos. Thanks for thinking Pete’s RV, and happy camping.

Pete’s RV Center is an exceptional dealership group serving the United States and Canada since 1952. With multiple locations, Pete’s RV provides sales, service, parts, accessories, and education to our community of RVers all across North America.

How To Winterize Your Camper

Pete’s RV-TV YouTube Channel resident Randal Murray is here to provide expert instruction on how to winterize your RV water system for end-of-season storage. Demonstrating on a Keystone Bullet Premier 19FBPR travel trailer, Randy takes viewers through all of the critical steps for properly winterizing your camper including: Tank Draining, Bypassing the Water Heater, Introducing RV Anti-Freeze to Lines, and Pressurizing the Water System. Please remember that this is a basic RV winterization demonstration. All campers come equipped differently, so be sure to consult with your owner’s manual.

Video Transcript for “How To Winterize Your Camper”

Randy: Hey, folks. Randy with Pete’ RV TV here again today, your local internet dealer.  As you’ve probably noticed, the kids are back in school and the leaves are starting to change color, so it’s time for us to start thinking about winterizing our campers. So today’s segment, I’m going to take you through this brand new Bullet Premier and I’m going to have, teach you how to do a basic winterization. I’ll go through, the tools necessary and all the steps to, show you guys how to winterize your RV.

    All right. So, back in my days in the service department, these are the things that I would kind of take with me to go an do a winterization, so I was prepared to do any camper that was out there. So, as you can see, I’ve got my screw gun with a #2 screw tip in it to access the back of the hot water heater once we get to that stage. I’ve got a couple pair of channel locks here. And the out hood of the hot water heater has got a plastic plug. That’s how I would pull those out. Suburban hot water heaters have an anode rod in it, 1-1/6″ socket. Depending on which water pump we had, either a jet pump or a sure flow pump. Sure flow pump’s going to be a 1/2″ male pipe thread fitting. Jet pump’s going to be a quick connect fitting. So you’re going to want to check out what kind of pp and what kind of water heater you got to provide yourself with the proper tools, before you go ahead and winterize.  I’ve also got a roll of paper towels here to clean up my mess when I’m done. Couple gallons of antifreeze, and I’ve done thousands of these, so I can usually get by with two gallons. You may want to get yourself three or four if it’s your first time out there. Just make sure you’ve got enough. It’s not fun to run out in the middle of the job when you’re not quite done, so just make sure you’ve got enough product to do the job.

    Okay. So here we are, at our hot water heater. And the first thing you want to do when you winterize your camper after you know you’ve got all the proper tools is, we want to empty all the tanks. So we want to empty the fresh water tank, the black water tank, the galley and the gray tanks, and most importantly, our, our hot water heater tank. So, this guy here happens to be the Atwood with the plastic plugs, so we’re going to use our channel locks on this one. One very important thing before you empty your hot water tank is, if you’ve got an electric hot water heater element, we want to make sure that that device is shut off. Once we drain the water out of this tank, if this camper gets plugged in, that element will come on, and with no water in that tank, it will burn out the element, and it will need to be replaced. So before emptying this tank make sure, the electric elements are off, from the switch inside to the service switch on the water heater, or even the breaker inside your RV. That way we won’t run into troubles down the road.

    So anyway, back to our water heater. I’m going to drain this guy off right now. So we’ve got the plastic plug down here below, as I mentioned. So I’m just going to loosen this guy up. Now to relieve the pressure on the hot water heater so we don’t get a blast of water coming out here, I’m just going to crack this relief valve, which will also help it drain out a little better. It’ll let some air go into the top of the tank as we’re, emptying the tank out. There’s the plug. There’s our water coming out. Relief valve’s open, so a good flow of water. When you put this back in, you’re going to want to put some Teflon tape on, or some Rectorseal to seal that up, so you won’t have any leaks in the spring.

    So after we’ve dumped out, hot water heater from the outside of the unit, what we want to do is use that approximate location to find the back of the hot water heater inside the unit. This particular one here is located in this cabinet for us. So what, what the water heater bypasses and what you’re going to see on the back of the hot water heater when you access it is a series of valves or maybe one valve. What we, we don’t want to put six gallons of antifreeze in that hot water heater tank. So what we want to do is connect the hot and cold plumbing lines together so we can go ahead and winterization the hot and cold side of our camper without filling up that tank. So this guy here is the three valve system, which we’re going to see in older campers that are out there. What I’m going to do is just turn these valves in the opposite position as they are right now. Right now they’re in the use position, so we want to turn them into the winterization mode. So cold line off. Outgoing hot off. And our connector pipe between the two, we went to put that on so the antifreeze can travel into the hot side of our plumbing system.

    So what we’ve got here in this particular unit is, the single valve system, which we’re going to see in some of the newer product out there. And, they’re using, a check valve in the top of the tank, rather than the three valve system. So all we need to do, right now that valve’s horizontal, that’s the use position. But we need to go flip it to vertical. That way we’re allowing the antifreeze to flow up, the connecting pipe and into our hot water plumbing system.

    All right. So, I know where the particular water pump is in this unit. If you’re not sure where your water pump is in your unit, you can go ahead and, turn the water pump on and listen for it audibly. You will hear the pump run. It’s not going to hurt to run that pump dry for, a few minutes while you locate the pump. Once you’ve located the pump, then we need to go ahead and access it. I’ll just finish removing my screws here. And down below here I’ve got my, water pump. In this particular coach we’ve got the jet pump, so I’m going to be using, this fitting here that works in conjunction with the jet pump. Now, to, to figure out which side is the incoming end of the water pump where we want to hook our hose to to draw the antifreeze from, how I typically do it is, there’s going to be a flex line coming off that pump, going usually to the underbelly or to our water tank where our fresh water is held. On the other side of the pump you may see a T or some hard plumbing to it. So usually that single flex line is going to be your incoming side of the pump.

    So what I’m going to do right now is undo that. You might get a little water run out there from the head of the pump. That’s what the paper towels are going to be for, to clean up a little bit. Now I’m going to install my winterization hose, which I’ve done here. And again, if you’ve got a Sure flow pump, which is going to be a, a metal case with a, with a black head on it, we would use a 1/2″ male pipe thread, where the jet pump is a quick connect fitting.

    Here we are with our antifreeze. I’ve got my hose hooked up. This particular one, I think is going to work best for me to set this down here to draw from. I’m going to go ahead and insert my hose into the antifreeze jug. Then we’re going to go, turn the water pump on and start running our faucets. Now, before we turn the water pump on, we want to make sure all the faucets are closed. We’ve already also done our hot water heater bypass, so with all the faucets closed, we’ll turn the pump on and start winterizing.

    Here I am at the kitchen sink. I’ve turned my water pump on. We’re starting to draw out of that, antifreeze jug that we just hooked up. So what I’m going to do now is turn the cold water on, and I’m going to run it till I see pink. It’s pushing some air out of the system. And there’s a good pink flow. I’m going to do the same on the hot water side. Now sometimes, I’ve heard before that it’s best to run, you know, the farthest sink away first, and then work yourself towards the pump. I’ve done thousands of these, and I’ve never had an issue, and I don’t, there’s no real rhyme or reason. I just make sure that I get a good pink flow, on every faucet before I put it away. The pex plumbing will take freezing, even if there is a little water in it. It’s our fixtures and our, our connections, the plastic fittings, that do not take the freezing. They will crack. So, I usually just start with the closest faucet to me and run both until I see pink.

    Same with the bathroom sink. Nice pink flow there. And again on the hot water side, and we’ve got good pink there. So next I’m going to do the toilet, and this guy here is a foot flush. So I’m just going to, flush the foot flush till I see a good flow of pink to get it up in that valve there. Here we are in our shower, and I’ve, removed the, the shower head and brought it down here so I can, can kind of control the flow. Again, cold, hot. Now I’m going to run it up through the shower head. And I’ve got good pink everywhere there. So we’re good to go. Some people will actually undo the shower head, from the faucet to alleviate any water or antifreeze that may sit in there through the winter months.

    So a lot of coaches are coming equipped now days with some sort of outside shower or hot and cold running water outside, so we want to make sure that we get that. I can honestly say that I’ve forgotten it in the past. So, just make sure you put this on your list of things to do. So, again, turn the water on till you see pink. A good way to see it out here is run it against the body of a white coach, make sure that you’ve got the water out. And we’ve got good pink there. Before I came outside, I switched over my antifreeze jug, because I noticed it, I was running a little bit low. And you’ll have to do that throughout the process, depending on, how much you use, obviously. So. Anyway, the system is, winterized with the water pump. We’ve got one more step and we’ll be done.

    To complete our last step, and this is a very important thing to do, after we’ve done all the water receptacles, i.e., the sinks, the toilets, the outside showers, everything like that, really important, we need to come back in the coach and turn off our water pump. The water pump pressurizes the system at about 40 PSI. So we want to turn that pump off so we no longer need to pump antifreeze through the system. And the next thing I’m going to do is I’m going to come in and I’m going to open the cold water faucet. So I’m relieving any pressure on the system whatsoever, and we need to do this to winterize the city water fill. So, now you can see this has stopped running. I’ve alleviated all the pressure on the, on the water system. Now we can go outside and do the city water fill, and we’re going to be done.

    So after we’ve turned off the water pump inside, and, we’ve relieved the pressure on the system, we want to come outside to our city water fill. And this is where we’d hook our garden hose if we were at the campground. And this often gets overlooked, and I’ve seen a lot of them change because of it. So first thing we want to do is pop this screen out here. And there’s a check valve in here, so when we’re using our water pump, water doesn’t spray out the city water fill. Now, if I were to press this in while it was still under pressure, it would allow me to press it in, but it ruins an O ring in there. So that’s why it’s really important to alleviate that pressure on the system that the water pump has provided for us before we push this check valve in. So now with the water, off, pump off, system we left the pressure, I can go ahead and pump this in and you’ll see water run out. I’m just going to hold that in there, and now I’ve got antifreeze. Our system has been winterized.

    All right. So after we are done with our city water fill, what I like do is I take the paper towels that I mentioned earlier in the video. I like to tear off a couple of them and kind of leave some in the base of my sinks and my shower. That cleans up the little bit of antifreeze that, may have been left in the sink or the shower. I also, it’ll catch any residuals that will come out of here. If you have any antifreeze left in the jug, from your winterization process, you can go ahead and pour the extra down the trap. It’s a little bit extra line of defense there. Again, all these things can be purchased, at our Pete’s RV online store. That can be, accessed from PetesRV.com. There’s pump converters and things out there that might make your winterization process easier.

    The other thing with this video that we’ve just made is, I kept it very simple, down to basics on this. There is some devices out there that do need attention that I did not mention in this video, sewer flushes, washer and dryers, ice makers, things like that. That’s stuff you really want to bring to your local dealer and have done. That way you won’t have issue with it in the spring. But, this, this should, get you going on where you need to be, and maybe give you little pointers, and I hoped you learned something. So thanks again for watching Pete’s RV TV with, Randy here today. Again, you can come see us at Pete’s RV online, http://www.PetesRV.com. Visit our online store [petesrvparts.com], or our Facebook page [facebook.com/petesrv]. We’ve always got some great things going on there as well. So, thanks again for thinking Pete’s RV, and happy camping.

Pete’s RV Center is an exceptional dealership group serving the United States and Canada since 1952. With multiple locations, Pete’s RV provides sales, service, parts, accessories, and education to our community of RVers all across North America.

How to Reseal Your RV

Pete’s RV-TV YouTube Channel resident Randal Murray is here to give you all a quick tutorial on how to properly care for and maintain the seals around your RV that need to be caulked. Randy wants to show you how to help properly maintain your RV for years of enjoyment, and one fix that he sees a lot of people attempt, and not always do well, themselves is resealing seams on the RV with new caulking.

First off he goes over what you are going to need to do the job; proper caulking for the surface, a quality caulking gun with stopper, oder-less mineral spirits, clean rags and sometimes a razor blade to clean out dry, cracked caulking. To begin with Randy wets a rag with mineral spirits to clean and prep the surface he is going to be sealing making sure to get the entire area including behind the wiper seal. Once everything is cleaned and dry you can get your caulking ready to use and set up in the gun. Make sure not to cut too large of a hole in the caulking tube as too much can interfere with doing a proper job. Placing a thin bead of caulk along the seam, Randy works his way in a single, fluent motion. The key to doing this job is using the mineral spirits on your finger to help press and spread the caulking into the seam, giving it a professional look and tapering each side to help shed water. Make sure to not do too long of an area, start small and slow so you can work your way up. The same process is done for a vertical seam as well, but make sure that you start with a clean tip to ensure you get a seamless bead.

Video Transcript for “How to Reseal Your RV”

Randal Murray: Hey guys, Randy with Pete’s RV TV today. Another quick tip segment for you.Today we’re in the Burlington, Vermont location shop and I want to show you how the industry puts on these great looking caulking jobs to seal up our corner moldings and the base of our slides and other areas around the coach. I see a lot of units come in where customers have done their own caulking job and they just don’t look so good and they’re not sealing very well either. So let me show you some tricks that I use when I do it. It makes it look good and makes sure that we get a great seal.

So first of all, a few things that we need. We need some caulking, and if you go to your local RV dealer or come to us, we’ll show you the best stuff to use for the right surface and the right job, so we’ll instruct you on that, and any local RV dealers should be able to take care of that. I also like to use a quality caulking gun. Now, there’s one that you can buy that costs like $1.99 at the big box stores, the Home Depots, the Lowe’s and things like that. This one is actually a little bit more expensive, about 15 or 20 bucks, but it’s a lot more manageable and it makes the job a lot easier to do, so I do recommend if you do own an RV, invest in a good caulking gun and you can use it for other things around the house as well. This actually does have a stop on it so I can stop pushing. So the caulking is not coming out of the end of the tube and just very nice control on Very easy to use. So invest in good caulking gun.

One of the most important things that makes me look good too is odorless mineral spirits. Odorless mineral spirits is the active ingredient in a lot of the caulking out there. This is the one we use. I like the odorless ’cause it doesn’t stink quite as bad and it’s super easy. It’s just a light duty paint thinner, but it’s going to help us work the caulking and clean the surface as well, which is very important. So let’s get started. So we can get sealant gaps on our coaches from them just being used. Only roll a camper down the road, it’s like putting your house through a 3.4 earthquake on the Richter scale every time it moves. So lots of moving parts, lots of things that can open up for sealant gaps and we need to maintain these just like we maintain the seals on our roof. So first thing I do is I’m gonna clean the surface before I go ahead and apply. So I’m just going to take white rag here and I am going to put some mineral spirits on I go ahead here. And I fold it up just for ease of use. Now I don’t need to soak, soak the rag, but I do like to get it damp, kind of like that. I also always have another clean rag on me as well, so we want both of them. So let’s clean the area here at the base of this slide. And I’m just going to take the mineral spirits and just wipe the area that I am going to clean and that’s going to help get the dirt off the existing caulking, clean the surface, and allow us to get good contact and good adhesion when we apply the caulking. So I’ll get that wiped down pretty good. Get all the dirt and grime off, tuck back my wiper seal there in there. If the caulking is really old and dried and cracked, we probably will want to remove that with some sort of razor or some sort of scraping blade. This one’s not too bad, so I don’t need to get that tool out, but you may. We don’t want to go over bad caulking and we want a real flat surface to make sure that we get a good looking caulking, a joint, and a good seal. If it’s really bumpy, it’s going to be really hard to maintain that quality of the look and the seal and ensure we have no leaks. So get this cleaned up pretty good there.

Now, I’m going to take my caulking. We’ll set this here for a second. The other thing that I see a lot of people do is they put way too big a little hole on the end of the caulking tube. We do not need a whole lot of material and having too much material is going to actually make it not a good looking job and hinder, uh, our sealing process. So I’m going to take and just put a small, small hole in this. I’m going to put it at about a 22 degree angle too. That allows me just to work it a little bit. I like it to be nice and straight at my angle, that way I’m not pushing into the caulking when I’m doing it, so it looks pretty good. Put my knife back in my pocket here. And I’m going to fill the tube. I don’t know Karl, if you can see that white coming up through that clear plastic tube there. I’m going to get it to the end so we get all the air and everything out and I’m going to stop it by hitting my button on the back of that good caulking gun that I just referred to. So our area is clean. I’m going to take the dry rag and just wipe any excess off from a cleaning process, make sure we get all the dirt, all the mineral spirits and everything off, and then we’re going to go ahead and start to apply. Again, I’ve got my mineral spirit rag in my hand because I’m gonna use that here in a minute. It’s gonna become very important.

So now I’m gonna pump this thing up and I’m going to start to apply and I’m not going to put a huge bead. I don’t need huge bead. Kind of pushing it into the crack, into the transition, right straight across. We’ll stop right there. Don’t go too far because you want to be able to work the area that you’re doing and if you go too far, you may start getting a skim coat over the top of it. So now this is the trick that separates the men from the boys. After we get a small bead on there, I’m actually going to take that wet mineral spirits soaked rag, mineral spirits soaked rag, and I’m going to put a little on my finger and this is where we get a good looking job. So I’m actually going to take my finger and I’m going to go about four to six inches and then I’m going to clean my finger and I’m going to continue that process down my whole caulking joint. What that does is it pushes it into the crack, seals any cracks that are there. It also tapers, so we get a nice transition. We don’t have a place where water is going to sit or moisture is going to sit. We’ve pushed it into the crack and we’ve finished it off and I’m actually going to go back to the other way and just get any excess off. Well, Karl, if you want to take a look at that, that’s not a horrible looking caulking job. We’ve tapered both the edges. We’ve pushed the caulking into the crack. We don’t have a ton of material on there. We don’t need a ton of material on there. Any water that runs down the slide box will go right over that caulking joint right off the side of the slide box, just the way we want it. Now, that was easy. That was the horizontal one. Let’s do a quick vertical one here just so we can show you that as well, and it’s gonna be kinda the same way. Gonna take my mineral spirit damp rag here. I’m just going to clean the area. Get that dirt and debris off there. Make sure I got good adhesion. Clean the area up really good. I’m gonna take my dry rag and again, get any of the excess off, dry it out where I run my caulking. Back to the caulking gun. Again, notice it’s not continuing to push out because I have a good caulking gun and I can take the pressure off it very easily. I’m going to make sure I clean the end of my gun so I’m starting fresh. I’m just going to go up here and again, start that bead. Nice, easy, small bead. I’m pushing it into the crack as I go. I don’t need too much material. If you get an air bubble, you can back up a little bit. Not a big deal. We’re just going to go down, nice fluid motion. Make sure to only do what you can work as well, so if you can only do two or three feet until you get good at it, just do that. Back to the mineral spirit rag. I’m going to put it on my finger again and I’m just going to start drawing down, again cleaning my finger about every three or four inches. The mineral spirits is going to give us a little bit more working time as well, and I’m just doing a light touch here, giving it a nice taper. I’m just kind of feathering it in so you can’t see where I’ve started and stopped. I’m going to go down there and you can see how quick and easy this is. Karl, if you want to take a look at that job there, and that’s how the guys do it at the factory and it’s super simple to do. Nice and easy. It looks professionally done and we’ve got a great seal, a great taper, and we have penetrated both sides of the surface plus sealed our joint.

So if you do my couple little tricks here with you’re caulking gun, get a good caulking gun, use mineral spirits, make sure you dampen your finger. Don’t put too much product on, all that’s going to do is push out and get all over the place and get real ugly while you’re playing around with trying to clean that up, the other stuff’s going to skim over and make it really hard to work. So if we just do a little bit, taper it in, keep things clean, there’s no residue left on my finger when I’m done. Life is good. That’ll seal all your cracks. That’ll make a great taper and a great looking caulking job when you’re done and they’ll take a professional did it, not just you. So thanks again for watching Pete’s RV TV with Randy today. I look forward to seeing you on the road, and happy camping!

Pete’s RV Center is an exceptional dealership group serving the United States and Canada since 1952. With multiple locations, Pete’s RV provides sales, service, parts, accessories, and education to our community of RVers all across North America.