Tracking Your RV Maintenance

It’s relatively easy to know when your tires need changing and rusting needs a touch up, but how are you keeping track of all the routine maintenance that needs to be done on your RV? Not everyone can be an expert in keeping every little piece of your travel trailer or motorhome up to date, so there’s bound to be something you don’t know how to care for. As usual, there’s an app for that!

maintainmyrv.com is now a part of RV LIFE Pro Suite, which for $49.00 per year sets up a schedule customized for your RVs maintenance timeline based on schedules already recommended by RV manufacturers. You will get an email alert when it’s time to maintain a part or get service, and can track expenses, key dates and fuel consumption.

The best part? Tracking up to 3 vehicles means you can also keep up with the car or truck that’s towing your RV, ensuring smooth sailing on camping trips. Give it a try, they offer a 7-day free trial!

If you want to take care of your RV without outside help, there are a few common fixes you may want to get a jump on. Inspecting the unit’s roof and seams to look for any leaks or holes is important to reduce leaks, so don’t forget to check those skylights!

Checking your tire pressure should be done before every camping trip, just as you’ll need to check your car or truck’s pressure if you’re towing a travel trailer. It’s also a good idea to check on the battery life and waste systems before each trip, as either of those acting up could make camping very unpleasant.

Each spring, check on your RVs brakes and slide outs, pursuing professional service if necessary. This is also a good time for an oil change and possible air conditioner filter replacement. Putting each of these critical RV maintenance items into your calendar now will help you preserve your RV’s value and avoid a disaster situation at the campground or on the road.

For more RV maintenance tips and tricks, check out our Pete’s RV Center YouTube channel which includes a playlist of your most common camping questions.

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 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, 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 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

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 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

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.

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.

Pete’s RV Center Acquires Connecticut Dealership Van’s RV

Pete’s RV Center Acquires Connecticut Dealership Van’s RV
Thursday, September 17th, 2015 19:04:54

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IMG_6616On September 1st, Vermont-based Pete’s RV Center officially assumed ownership of Van’s RV Center in South Windsor, Connecticut.

Located just 20 minutes from Hartford, Van’s RV has served thousands of customers in Connecticut, southern New England, and New York since opening its doors in 1963.

Looking to step out of day-to-day operations after 40-plus successful years, longtime Van’s owner Mark VanOstrand explained the acquisition as being well-timed and an excellent fit, “The acquisition of Vans RV brings together two of New Englands longest established RV centers.† I am excited to be working with Pete’s RV as we blend together the best of our business practices.”

With the acquisition, Pete’s RV is now selling Jayco-branded recreation vehicles from the Connecticut dealership. “Along with a location that allows for expansion throughout southern New England and New York, being able to offer our customers popular Jayco travel trailer, fifth wheel, and motorhome lines such as Jay Flight, Eagle, and Greyhawk is an opportunity we are excited to take on,” said Pete’s RV co-owner Chad Shepard.

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.

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!

Going Unhooked: Give Dry Camping a Try

Going Unhooked: Give Dry Camping a Try
Wednesday April, 30th 2014 16:08:03

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For those who have not tried it yet, ever thought about giving dry camping a shot?

It means going to a place where there is no electricity, water or sewer hookups and living exclusively off your RV’s internal utilities.

Preparing for a trip where you’ll be dry camping requires a different approach and set of questions before you heading out. If you are new to RVing and leaning more towards dry camping in more remote locations versus full-service campgrounds, it is important to know how well the RV you are shopping is equipped to accommodate your needs. Along with researching online, talking to an experienced RV sales consultant is highly recommended.

Since you will not have an endless power or water supply, or sewage connection, conservation is the key to dry camping. Things, like turning lights on only when they are needed and not running water wastefully down the drain, are a couple of good dry camping habits. Here’s a few more:

  • Learn how much your RV’s fresh water tank can hold and consider bringing a separate supply of drinking water
  • Be crystal clear on your RV’s waste water (black) tank capacity and educate the family on the importance of taking short showers or excessive toilet flushing. Many folks go by the old rule to leave #1 in the bowl and flush when there is a #2.
  • Understand how many hours you will get from a full battery and what it will or will not power. For example, say goodbye to the luxury of an air conditioner and microwave. Most RVs can only power 12 volt appliances when working solely off a battery.
  • Along with hot water and cook tops or grills, many RVs are equipped with dual-power refrigerators. Therefore, you need to know how long your propane tanks will last.

Solar panel battery chargers are becoming more prevalent in the camping community. They can recharge an RV battery during the day when lights and other electric appliance are not being used. Converters can also be purchased that will allow you to use fans, radios and charge cell phones.

One of the best trains of thought you can have when packing for a dry camping trip is not to bring unnecessary electrical gadgets. Bring board games, flashlights with extra batteries, a camping lantern, and Tiki torches. With limited refrigeration and the convenience of microwave cooking, it’s also good practice to think accordingly when stocking your grocery and food supply.

This hardly dry article on dry camping was provided by Chuck Lunberg. See more of what he and others are liking on the TalkCampingNH.com Facebook page!

The Importance of RV Slide Toppers

Importance of RV Slide Toppers | RV Quick Tips
Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 22:31:37

 

Learn All About Slide Toppers on the Pete’s RV YouTube Channel

Resident RV Expert Randy Murray delivers on a crucial RV question via the Pete’s RV YouTube Channel, “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.

Determining a Camper’s Insulation R-Value

Determining a Camper’s Insulation R-Value
Tuesday, December 3rd 2013 21:10:37

RV Lifestyle Consultant Randy Murray unfolds the mystery of the R-Value in relation to how well a camper is insulated on the Pete’s RV YouTube Channel.

When shopping for a new camper, the salesperson will usually sling around R-Values like they’re the next best thing since the black tank flush. The only problem is that these values hold little meaning to you other than the bigger the number the better the insulation.

R-Value is a measurement of thermal resistance. There is a scale and calculations surrounding R-Value, but as Randy points out, you can take a much less technical approach to determine how well an RV is insulated:

1. Look for visible proof of sound insulation construction practices such as a sealed underbelly, finished storage compartments, and the use thermal foil beneath the carpet in slideouts.

2. Request a breakaway view of the RV you are shopping. This allows you to see where and what type of insulating materials are used throughout the coach. Quite a few manufacturers provide breakaway views in their brochures and promotional materials. A salesperson that is on the ball can get you this information plus be at your service to point out all of the insulation features found in any camper that is on your buying radar.

3. Hints of a good R-Value is a camper with a published temperature rating. Nowadays, most campers come with a thermal package (i.e. “Arctic Package”). Manufacturers relate these packages with a degree rating (some are even third-party certified). Note here that while manufacturers push how well these coaches perform in cold weather, it is also a good indicator that they are equally effective keeping interiors cool in hot weather.

Per Randy’s mention on how helpful it is to see a breakaway view of an RV to determine who well it is insulated, Pete’s RV makes current year brochures available on our website for all of the brands we carry as well as owner’s manuals.

Basic parts and accessories to help improve your RV’s insulating performance in hot and cold weather are available in-store and online at Pete’s RV. You’ll find items such as joint sealants, hot water heater blankets, and window shades.

Video Transcript | How  Do I Determine a Camper’s Insulation R-Value?

 

Randy: Hey guys Randy with Petes RV TV here today, another quick tip segment for you. Today Im going to talk about R-values and what they do for your camper and pretty much what they are. So an R-value is a way we measure our insulation value in the unit. You know R-value is a measurement of thermal resistance so how quickly heat passes through whatever we are trying to block it with pretty much. So in the RV world our values are often exploded, so they, they say that they are a lot better than they actually are.

 

So a really great thing to do if you want to educate yourself best on the product that you are purchasing is ask to see a breakdown of the unit. See where the insulation is in the unit. Some of our manufactures will supply us with things like this. This is actually a floor for a big horn this is a laminated floor, and this is a very well insulated floor. This is the roof of the same big horn unit; its a laminated roof.

 

Its going to take a while for heat to pass through that so this has got a pretty good R-value in it. Also in the RV world we are passing were adding things like this here foil wrap here to a floor, under a floor, which also creates some thermal protection for us as well. And that will add and stack a little bit of an R-value.

 

When we get in to our less expensive units our aluminum sided campers and things like that, they are going to have a little less R-value in it than we are going to see on say like a fiberglass sided camper just because of the insulation they are using, the thickness of the walls. A little bit less expensive unit were apt to see a little less insulation. Insulation is a little bit expensive. So another great way that you can find out how well a unit is insulated is some manufactures will put a degree rating on the unit.

You know, everybody will say oh my walls are a R11 and my floors are R27, what have you. What is that camper good down to? What has it been tested at? Not everybody does this but some of the big manufactures will do this when you look at like some of the Cougars. Theyre tested down to 20 degrees and some of these guys are even going a little bit further than [02:00] that when we get up into the Montanas and the big horns.

 

Were seeing a zero degree rated unit with the furnace on, so grab a brochure or go to a website or go to our website, petesrv.com. Weve got all our product on there with brochures and pdfs so you can see the breakdowns. On this Cougar here, if Josh will pan in on it, we can see that they have showed us how they have put the insulation in the roof and into the floor systems and things like that.

 

That way we can see what kind of insulation we are getting in the rig, if its going to work in our particular application. People are using these a lot further in the fall now, A lot earlier in the spring. Camp grounds are opening up a little bit more so here is another great example. Bullet from Keystones has actually done a great breakdown and shows us how they insulate their walls and their floors systems. So educate yourself on what you are getting and if its an important thing for you make sure that you know what you are talking about and your sales guy knows what you are talking about.

 

If you have any questions you can always give us a call. Wed be happy to educate you on it and talk about those degree ratings and how you are going to be using the unit, and if its not the perfect insulated unit for you, how you can achieve to use it in the circumstance that you want to use it and if youre going to be trying to use it in a little colder weather as well.

 

Another thing that people dont think about with R-values too is warm weather. When we have an air conditioner on inside and its really hot outside the R-values are going to help keep us cool as well. So if youre in a climate that has a little bit warmer and your down in the southwest or something like that, where we see lot longer heat days for more portion of the summer the R-values are going to be very important for you as well, too.

 

So make sure you know about R-values, make sure you know what you are getting, if you have any questions at all feel free to contact us. Check out the information. We try to provide as much as we can for you on our web site, also on our Facebook page as well.

So there it is in a nut shell, R-values. Thanks for watching Petes RV with Randy today.

RV Winterization To Do List

RV Winterization To Do List
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 20:37:56

RV Lifestyle Consultant Randy Murray neatly ties together his series of winterization videos with a short introduction on preparing your camper for cold weather storage.

The primary areas he touches on:

1. Water System – Use non-toxic anti-freeze
2. Spot Sealing – Inspect and treat all exterior joints and seams
3. Awning – Clean and dry before storing
4. Battery – Disconnect and store indoors
5. Tires – Inspect, clean, torque lug nuts, and using tire covers a sound decision
6. Refrigerator – Clean with disinfectant and prop door open during storage
7. Rodent Control – Inspect for openings and treat with dauber screens & Mouse Free
8. RV Cover – Regular tarps do not breathe or provide a snug fit.

Related videos for all of the above can be found on the extremely educational Pete’s RV YouTube Channel’s RV Service Tips playlist.

Please remember that Randy’s demonstrations cover general RV winterization tasks. All campers come equipped differently, so be sure to consult with your owner’s manual.

The winterizing parts and accessories recommended in this and related videos are on sale at the Pete’s RV Parts & Accessories Store.

Keystone RV’s Sprinter Sees Market Share Growth

Keystone RV’s Sprinter Sees Market Share Growth
Tuesday June 18th 2013 18:12:14

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We can vouch for Sprinter’s reported growth shared in a recent news press release published by RV Business. Over the years, we’ve sent many, many happy customers off of our lots with an new Sprinter travel trailer or Copper Canyon fifth wheel. This year is no exception. Across the board, they did a fantastic job with the updated interior woodwork and flooring. Floorplan-wise, the 316BIK island kitchen travel trailer and 333FWFLS front living room fifth wheel get top nod this year. Keep up the good work Sprinter!

Combined retail market share for Keystone RV Co.s Sprinter has grown by 19% this year with fifth-wheel market share climbing 62%, according to the March report by Statistical Surveys Inc. According to a press release, Sprinters fifth-wheel gain is the strongest of any Top 20 brand in the marketplace.

Product Manager Josh Miller credits Sprinter dealers for the brands incredible results., noting, As Keystones very first brand, we have had the privilege of building strong relationships over the course of 17 years with many of our dealers. Their feedback and support have been truly amazing. They have given generously of their time in conveying to us the importance of our Camping Made Easy message as well as what they feel we need to do to keep Sprinter strong into the future.

Adds Miller, Based on retail sales numbers and what we hear from our dealers, we feel very positive about where the Sprinter line is today and our ability to sustain success for years to come.

Keystone senior management is also confident about Sprinters ongoing success. The brand will continue to evolve and improve, noted Keystone General Manager Ryan Juday, who served as a Sprinter district sales manager when he began his career with Keystone over 10 years ago. The Sprinter of today is an unbelievable value in the market. The most recent Stat Surveys numbers prove this. Josh and our team have been hard at work and will roll out some unbelievable new Sprinters at Open House this fall.

Check out what’s new with Sprinter travel trailers for 2014!