Basic Camping Essentials

Basic Camping Essentials | Pete’s RV Quick Tips

PetesRV.com expert, Randy Murray provides an overview of basic camping essentials and the tools required to make your next trip safe, worry free, and fun!

Video Transcript for “Basic Camping Essentials | Pete’s RV Quick Tips”

Randy: Hey, folks. Randy with Pete’s RV TV here today. Another Quick Tip segment for you. I just want to take a couple minutes and show you some of the things that I bring me … with me when I go camping.

I take a lot of phone calls from customers that have small problems while they’re camping that do arise. and when I direct them on the best way to take care of that problem, they need a couple tools that, they may not have with them. So, if you put together a basic tool [00:00:30] kit, when you go camping, leave it right in the camper, no problem whatsoever. We can talk you through most anything.

So, some of the things that I bring with me is, first of all, I always bring some sort of, like, source. Either something I can put on my head, or … This little guy right here in kinda neat. We sell him in the store. It’s got a magnet on the back, so we can stick it to a piece of metal in the camper where I’m working there. It’s got a hook on it and it gives me some light underneath the cabinet or in the front storage compartment or by the battery, cause nothing ever goes wrong in the daylight. It always happens at night, especially [00:01:00] if you go camping with me.

So, a couple lights, which are nice to have, or even if you’ve got just a regular flashlight that you store, and keep charge in the camper. Another thing I bring is I’ve got a bag of fuses. So, every fuse … every camper has multiple different size fuses in them. So, I kind of got a bag of … Just, a variety of everything that I run into in a camper and a good thing to have with me. Roll of electrical tape. Never know (laughs) and you can fix most anything with electrical tape, if needed.

I also bring some crimp-connectors, which you can buy [00:01:30] in a kit like at, your local, home goods store or something like that. And these are just if I have to re-attach a wire, or we have to shorten something up, or we have a mishap or something pulled loose. Just, to be able to make a crimp connection is nice. That will also work in conjunction with a pair of crimping pliers. And, again, sometimes the kits you purchase will come with an inexpensive pair of pliers that you can use, to get by for the weekend.

Now, most campers are built with, screws, obviously. And the type of screws they [00:02:00] use are a square-tip, or a screw had has got a square tip, so you need a special square tip, to go to those screws. And that’s this guy right here, if Josh can pan in on it, and you’ll see I got a Phillips right next to it.

most people have a Phillips, because that’s what we have at home. Campers are a little odd, and they require that square tip. So, this tip that I purchased from, again one of the local box stores. It’s a Milwaukee kit. I think it cost like $20. It’s got everything I need in it. It’s got, screw acceptor for my screw gun. You will need a screw gun as well. and [00:02:30] it’s got the square tips, it’s got fill-ups, it’s got a couple torques here, and it’s got spares of all, because if you lose them like I do, nice to have a spare. But anyway, for the cost of this kit, I think it’s just a great kit to (laughs) … I have one at home, and on my carry-around tool box that I do bring with me when I go camping.

Sheet-rock knife, or a box cutter. This one actually folds up like a jackknife. I actually carry this one with me all the time, right in the pocket of my pants, but, good to have. you never know when you’re gonna need that. Wire-strippers, and cutters. Again, if we [00:03:00] have an electrical problem … A lot of times, we can talk you through it, or you can find it very easily yourself, but having a good pair of strippers on board, it makes that job a lot easier for us stripping that wire back.

I like to bring a couple pair of channellocks if I’ve got a plumbing issue, and usually I can get by with a bind if I got to tighten something up with a channellocks. And again, this can be purchased at your local box store. Christmas is a great time to pick this stuff up because they’ve usually got kits on sale, relatively low price. And you don’t need the best ones. A lot of these tools are very expensive tools. This is how I make my living. You don’t need the best tools for your-your [00:03:30] basic kit that you keep in your camper.

I usually will carry a Phillips and a regular screwdriver. These are like mid-size so they’re pretty much good for almost every application, unless it’s something specific. we’ve already talked about the crimpers. I do carry a pair of side cutters with me. Sometimes these are just a little easier to make a cut close to something or pull a staple out that may be in our carpet or what have you. But, again, pair of side cutters.

Needle nose. You can always get yourself out of a bind with a pair of needle nose. Especially, when you drop something in that spot [00:04:00] that my little fat fingers can’t get into. Needle nose, it makes it very easy for that. there is some neat, small kits out there. Again, the big box store, Sears, all of them have kits that have couple different size open end box wrenches. This is one of the ones I carry in the small kit that I have that’s all over my toolbox cause I left it open. i also bring a couple of adjustable wrenches with me as well. Reason for the adjustable wrenches is, they’re adjustable. We can use them for almost any size, anything to get you out of a bind.

Again, these aren’t tools to, you know, fix the [00:04:30] problem per se, but enough to get us by for the weekend before you can get it in for service and get it ap- repaired appropriately. an electrical tested. This particular one right here is for 120 volt power. Pretty much, I’m just going to plug it into the outlet and it’ll tell me if my power is good, tell me if it’s wired properly, and tell me if power is present. So that’s a good one. I-I-I take phone calls a lot where, “My re- My TV’s not working.” “Well, do you have power at the outlet?” “I don’t know, Randy.” (laughs) well, I’m gonna- Having you plug something else in, but if you’ve got a quick electrical tester to plug it in, then [00:05:00] you can tell me.

This guy right here is for checking 12 volt power. It’s called a stab tester, 12 volt tester. We’d hook this into ground or anything pretty much metal on the camper and then we can test our fuses with this guy here. I’m gonna have Josh pan in on one of these fuses here. This is a great way to test our fuses so if you can pan right in on that and see the two metal tabs on either side of the 40 there, Josh. Each one of those is a test point so I can test if I’ve got power coming in in the fuse and I can test if I’ve got power going out of the fuse.

[00:05:30] So when you’re looking at a whole fuse panel and you’re trying to determine which one is the one for your furnace or your LP detector, something like that, which is labeled incorrectly, by testing both sides, as well as the fuses, we can quickly determine whether one is blown or not. And again, we would do that in conjunction with this tester here. This will also test if we’ve got power at breakers and things like that on the 12 volt side of things so when you call me up and tell me that your slide outs not going out, I’m going to ask you if you’ve got 12 volt power to the breaker going through the breaker to the slide out. This is a great way to test that.

This is another tester that I carry with me. Kind of [00:06:00] on the same lines of this one here, but I can actually put this next to any wire and it’ll tell if it’s 120 volt wire and it’ll tell me if I have voltage present rather than putting it into an outlet. It’s called a [wiggie 00:06:09] tester.

Multimeter. This is what I love for customers to have cause we can do all sorts of testing with this guy here. Not everyone’s gonna put this, in their tool box that they keep in their camper because these can be a little bit more pricey, but if you’ve got like an inexpensive version of this and one of these, which aren’t too bad, we can usually get by anything.

So anyway, there’s just some of the tools that I bring with [00:06:30] me camping and, again, enough to get you out of trouble in a pinch. maybe not make the final repair, but definitely continue on with your camping weekend if you are having a small problem. So, just wanted to share that with you guys and if you’re looking for presents for Father’s day, birthdays, or even Christmas, great time to put this little tool kit together and can be done for relatively, inexpensive on the Father Day, on the Christmas side of things, cause that’s when we see a lot of tools on sale at our local box store. So, thanks for watching Quick Tips with Randy today. look forward to seeing you on the road and happy camping.

The video of this presentation by Pete’s RV Center is available at: https://youtu.be/ayHDTJQinGw?list=PL90E8009ADFC48C0F

 

How to Achieve Extended Hot Showers When RVing

How to Achieve Extended Hot Showers When RVing
Thursday, September 8th, 2016 18:16:23

Pete’s RV Vermont Service Writer and Resident RV Expert Randy Murray provides a step-by-step overview on how to achieve extended hot showers in an RV.

Video Transcript for “How to Extend Hot Water Showers in Your Camper”

Randy: (singing) Hey folks. Randy with Pete’s RV TV here today. Another quick fix segment for you. When you’re camping, do you go to take a shower, do you get about three minutes of good, hot water? And then it starts to go lukewarm on you? And of course your hair is full of soap, and you haven’t rinsed off yet? Happens to me too, but I’ve got a trick. So when we’re camping, different camp grounds have different water supplies. Some of them [00:00:30] will have very deep wells. Some of them will have shallow wells. Usually on a deep well, the water coming out of the ground is very cold. This can happen at the spring of the year as well, when the water feeding that well is very cold. So what my trick is for that is I will, when I’m having that problem, I’ll fill my fresh water holding tank. And when I take a shower, I’m actually going to turn the city water off, and I’m going to turn on my water pump and feed the water from the fresh water holding tank.

The reason I do this is the water coming in from a very deep well is mixing with the hot water in your tank, [00:01:00] as long as you don’t have a tank-less hot water heater. So it’s mixing with that warm water in the tank and it’s bringing the temperature down very quickly. And we’re also taking water out of the top, so as that cold water is mixing with the hot, it’s going to bring the temperature down. Where if we’re taking it now out of our fresh water holding tank and mixing it with that same hot water in that water heater, it’s going to be ambient air temperature coming out of that fresh water holding tank entering the hot water heater. Rather than the real cold water from the city coming in and cooling down our water a lot faster.

So if you’re looking for [00:01:30] a little bit longer shower to get that hair, or that soap out of your hair, fill the fresh water holding tank when you arrive. And use the fresh water holding tank rather than the city while you’re taking your showers. Then you can go back over to city after you’ve done your shower. But that will give you another minute or two of warmer water to get rinsed off. So just another quick tip from Randy at Pete’s RV. Thanks for watching our quick tips segment, and I look forward to seeing you on the road. Happy camping.

The video of this presentation by Pete’s RV Center is available at: https://youtu.be/rljtuXYgpvk?list=PL90E8009ADFC48C0F

How to Program Your RV TV

How to Program Your RV TV
Friday, July 1st, 2016 15:23:13

 

Pete’s RV Vermont Service Writer and Resident RV Expert Randy Murray provides a step-by-step overview on how to program your RV TV.

As Randy explains, as you travel you will begin to pick up different TV stations depending on the region you are in. You will continually need to reprogram your TV as you arrive in a new television marketplace. Randy provides you with a step by step guide on how to set up your TV and boost your reception so you won’t have to miss your favorite shows while on the road!

The steps to programming your TV as you travel explained by Randy include:

  1. If running on open air antenna find your camper’s TV booster and turn on your antennas extra power setting (not necessary to do when utilizing cable)
  2. Open the auto channel search menu on your TV (refer to your owners manual if unsure how to do so)
  3. Select “auto channel memory” on your TV
  4. Start your TV’s automatic search mode and let it run until complete

Pete’s RV Center is an extraordinary recreational vehicle dealer with locations in South Burlington, VT, Schererville, IN and South Windsor, CT. An RV sales and service provider since 1952, Pete’s RV Center carries an extensive inventory of Keystone, Crossroads, Coachman, Heartland, Evergreen and Forest River RV-branded campers.

To learn more from Randy as well as stay up to date on all things Pete’s RV be sure to visit and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

How to Prevent Low Voltage Damage to RV Electronics

How to Prevent Low Voltage Damage to RV Electronics
Monday, April 18th, 2016 19:32:08

Pete’s RV Vermont Service Writer and Resident RV Expert Randy Murray provides a step-by-step overview on how to prevent low voltage damage to your RV electronics.

As Randy explains, we can use a voltage regulator to help protect your RV’s electrical system and sophisticated electronics from the dangers of electrical power. The regulator will send a low voltage from anything that is below 107 volts, and it will add about 10% to the incoming power of the camper by having it in line.

Sidenote: When you unplug the regulator, and plug it back in. Right away, you’ll notice an increase of about 10%, which will help alleviate the demand on the grid, and in turn, prevent low voltage damage to RV electronics and help the coach work at a good power range.

For more information or to get a quote on the step up transformer and voltage regulator be sure to give our parts and accessories store a call at (802) 864-9350.

Pete’s RV Center is an extraordinary recreational vehicle dealer with locations in South Burlington, VT, Schererville, IN and South Windsor, CT. An RV sales and service provider since 1952, Pete’s RV Center carries an extensive inventory of Keystone, Crossroads, Coachman, Heartland, Evergreen and Forest River RV-branded campers.

To learn more from Randy as well as stay up to date on all things Pete’s RV be sure to visit and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

How to Clean Your RVs Holding Tanks Sensors

How to Clean Your RVs Holding Tanks Sensors
Wednesday, November, 26th 2014 15:26:23

Resident RV Expert Randy Murray discusses a multitude of ways to clean your gray/black water holding tank sensors, clearing all inaccurate monitor panel readings from your camper on the†Pete’s RV YouTube Channel.

Sometimes you may get a full tank reading on the monitor panel inside your camper even after youve dumped your gray and black tanks. Randy notes that this is generally caused by a buildup of waste materials or anything that might have made its way down the toilet. These items can block the sensors preventing the correct readout.

Randy provides a few preemptive approaches to make sure you won’t have to deal with that faulty reading. The first is making sure before you flush that you add extra water so the toilet paper (making sure you use RV toilet paper) won’t clump up or dry out to the inside of the tank walls, the next is making sure the tanks are as full as possible (making sure not to overfill) before they are dumped. Randy suggests the use of a tank flush chock to assist in filling your holding tank before it’s dumped.

The good news is that there are other tools for when all else fails. The first one Randy recommends is what’s called an RV swivel stick, which he explains attaches to a hose and sprays around water at a high velocity to break down any tank buildup. †Depending on whether you own a travel trailer or fifth wheel, a longer flexible version is available for the harder to reach holding tanks. Lastly, filling up a 5-gallon bucket with hot water and pouring it down the toilet should help alleviate the issue by steaming away the blockage from the sensors.

Pete’s RV Center is an extraordinary recreational vehicle dealer with locations in South Burlington, VT, Schererville, IN and South Windsor, CT. An RV sales and service provider since 1952, Pete’s RV Center carries an extensive inventory of Keystone, Crossroads, Coachman, Heartland, Evergreen and Forest River RV-branded campers.

To learn more from Randy as well as stay up to date on all things Pete’s RV be sure to visit and subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

How to Prevent Damage to Your Camper’s Water Heater

How to Prevent Damage to Your Camper’s Water Heater
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 18:00:03

PetesRV.com Resident RV Expert Randy Murray brings attention to a common mistake made by turning on the hot water heater and how to prevent any damage from occurring.

When it comes to using the hot water heater in your camper, it’s crucial to make sure that there is actually water in the tank. Randy stresses that no water in the tank results in a burned out electric element–rendering the hot water heater useless.

Randy demonstrates an insanely simple way to prevent the element from getting damaged. Every hot water heater is equipped with a pressure relief valve. It functions to protect the water heater from building up to much pressure. If it does, water is released from the valve. A quick press on the spring-loaded valve handle will tell you immediately whether or not there is water in the tank. If there is, you are good to fire up the water heater. If not, check hookups and bypass valves to ensure water flowing to the tank.

Learn more tips and service advice from Randy as well as much more on the Pete’s RV YouTube Channel.

Setting Up Dual 12 Volt Camper Batteries

Setting Up Dual 12 Volt Camper Batteries
Monday May 19th, 2014 19:02:48

Resident RV Expert Randy Murray displays how to properly connect two 12 volt batteries in parallel for extended dry camping power.† Rather than a single battery connection where you will be required to replace it with a fresh battery, a dual connection alleviates this procedure and provide more even use of battery life.

By connecting the campers positive wire to the positive terminal on one battery and connecting the campers ground wire to the negative terminal on the second battery, Randy illustrates the correct way to achieve equal battery drain and how to ensure top notch battery life.

With the use of jumper wires (one for both positive and negative as Randy explains) that are equal or greater to the gauge of wire found on your camper, connect each line to the corresponding positive and negative battery to complete the connection and enjoy some extended dry camping.

Make sure to subscribe to the Pete’s RV YouTube channel for more quick tips and information on sales and other events!