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 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 Properly Use The Air Conditioner in Your Camper

How to Properly Use The Air Conditioner in Your Camper
Wednesday, July 3oth 2014 20:03:48

Learn All About Using Your Campers Air Conditioning on the Pete’s RV YouTube channel.

Randy gives a quick important lesson teaching us that air conditioners work by removing warm air and moisture from around the room, which then gets sucked outside leaving the room cooler.

In order to make sure your AC is running properly, Randy shows us how to remove and check the air filter to make sure there isn’t a buildup of dirt and dust hindering performance. Making sure the fan is on will increase efficiently with the AC system, as well as making sure that all doors, windows, and shades are closed to prevent heat from working its way back inside the camper.

Randy advises turning on the AC when temperatures are cooler (typically early morning) for optimal air flow and a cooler camper throughout the day. By using the quick cool option to restrict airflow from the ducts, the AC can effectively cool the room faster and when it reaches a temperature to your liking, airflow can be redirected back through the vents for everyone to enjoy.

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

Video Transcript | How to Properly Use The Air Conditioner in Your Camper

Randy: Hey guys, Randy with Pete’s RV TV today, another quick-tip segment for you. Today I’m going to talk about air conditioners and the proper way to use them. I’ve been taking a lot of calls around the country and we’re in the middle of our warm season in Vermont, the little warm season that we get up here in the northeast. But people are having trouble with their air conditioners freezing up. People are saying they’re not cooling properly for them. And sometimes that’s the case, but usually it’s operator error about 99 percent of the time.

When I went to RVIA school back a million years ago when I first started in the industry and got certified to do this kind of stuff, one of the first things they taught me about air conditioners is they don’t make cool. They remove heat and they remove moisture, as well. cool just happens to be a byproduct.

So, when we allow our coach to heat up inside, we go to the pool all day, we’re out shopping or doing, visiting the sights around the area and we’ve got the air conditioner off, we go back to our camper at 5 o’clock at night. It’s 100 degrees inside the camper. We turn that air conditioner on. That air conditioner actually has to pull the heat out of the carpet, out of the bedding, out of the couches, out of everything inside before we start to feel cool.

So what I want you to do is I want you to do is turn that air conditioner on in the morning. it’s a little bit cooler at night, so when it’s a little bit cooler at night, of course, the coach stays a little bit cooler. So when you get up in the morning set that thermostat at about 65 degrees, 67 degrees. Let’s maintain that cool from the night before. Now, if we never let our coach heat up, the air conditioner is going to have to work a lot less hard to maintain that cool and we’re actually saving energy.

The other thing that we want to do with our air conditioner, too, is while we maintain it while we’re using it is we want to make sure that the filters are clean. So we can remove that very easily on this guy here and we just want to take this guy out and make sure it’s vacuumed. If it starts to turn brown that usually means there’s a lot of dust.

Another thing that makes an air conditioner work very effectively for us, or makes them work better, is more air flow. So with a clean filter we can get more air through this air conditioner, especially on those [00:02:00] hot, humid days.

the other thing we’ll, we’ll want to do is we want to set our fan on high. I usually use the auto setting on mine, if you let the air conditioner run all day. Again, the more air that we’re moving, the more heat we can take out of the coach and expend outside and put the cold air back inside the coach. So fan definitely on high.

We also want to make sure our doors and windows and vents are closed. I went to a camper on a campground the other day. A lady says, “My air conditioner is not cooling very well. Can you take a look at it?” I went inside. I put my hand up to the air conditioner, it was cooling just fine. What she had was both of her doors were open. She had some vents open, a couple windows open. So what that air conditioner was doing was pulling the heat from the outside and just getting rid of that and returning it so it could never bring the temperature of the coach down because it was just kind of maintaining.

What these guys will do is they’ll actually do about a 20-degree air differential, air temperature differential. So, it sucks in here, blows out here or out through our vents, and it’s going to be about a 20-degree differential. Now, if it’s just pulling air from a door, it’s never going to really bring the temperature of the coach down, so make sure all windows and doors and vents are closed. and again, that high air flow moving through the air conditioner is going to get that heat escape faster and help us with freeze up a little bit, too. The moisture will actually pass over the evaporator coil a lot quicker and not have a tendency to grab on there.

Another thing, we just got to our campgrounds, its 5 o’clock at night, we’ve been traveling all day, inside the camper it’s very hot because it’s a hot day out, so you got to turn your air conditioner on to cool this guy down. Instead of forcing it through the vents, if you’ve got a ducted air conditioner, open up the quick-cool option. This way we’re going to get a lot of airflow and we’re going to cool the coach down a little bit quicker.

Once we bring the temperature down, we can go ahead and close this and we can go through the ducts. The ducts are going to restrict the airflow a little bit, but once we bring the coach down the air conditioner is running efficiently, then we can go ahead and put it through the vents in the ceiling.

So if you try out my quick tips here, run it on high, set it in the morning, let it run all day to keep that cool inside so we don’t have to remove all that heat from building up in the sun all day. Also, if you can close your shades and things [00:04:00] like that, keep the UVs down, that’s going to help out a lot as well.

But all these should help you make your air conditioner work a lot more effectively for you. Save a phone call to me and just have a better camping experience, keep you guys cool. Now, out there having fun, you get hot, you want to come into a cool area, at least I do, and it makes it a lot more fun when you’re drinking a soda or whatever while you’re watching TV, as well.

So thanks again for watching Pete’s RV with Randy today. keep an eye out for our quick tips. Join us on our Facebook page. Sign up [ 00:04:26] on Youtube and happy camping (laughs). Have a great one.

 

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!

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!

Selecting the Right Generator for Your Camper

Selecting the Right Generator for Your Camper
Thursday August 9th, 2012 20:56:09

Service Writer and resident RV expert Randy Murray provides a “Eureka!” moment for those unfamiliar on how to pair up the right-sized generator with their RV.

Through his explanation of “Watts Law” (P [watts] = I [amps] x E [volts]) and breaking down the power requirements to run appliances such as the television, microwave, air conditioner and/or hot water heater, you immediately gain a better understanding on what you need to shop for in a generator.† This enlightenment empowers you to select a generator–most importantly–based on power output rather than features, price, or worse yet, guessing!

View this video on our YouTube channel.

Here are a few key takeaways from Randy’s demonstration:

  • Consider how you will balance the use of the generator with propane for a dual-powered refrigerator and/or hot water heater
  • If you are running the generator through the power convertor, know that a portion of the wattage output will be dedicated to recharging the RV battery
  • If you want to power your appliances and run the A/C for long periods of time, plan on buying a generator with high-wattage output
  • Investigate features, making sure they meet your needs–especially the starter (EZ-pull, electric, chokeless, etc.)
  • Cheaper is not better! Shop for a generator based on ease-of-use, durability and reliability

Generators and hundreds of electrical parts and accessories like the examples shown below are available at the Pete’s RV Parts Store.

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Feel free to contact Pete’s RV with further questions regarding camper generator selection and best use practices.

How to Use and Maintain a Camper Awning

How to Use and Maintain a Camper Awning
Thursday, June 7th, 2012 19:15:41

Pete’s RV Lifestyle Consultant Randy Murray gives a 9-minute demonstration on how to open and adjust both a power and manual awning system.

Although power awnings are as easy as the touch of a button to open and close, owners still need to ensure they are extended with enough clearance to avoid door tops and branches, and pitched correctly to minimize wear and tear.† Randy demonstrates this segment with a Keystone Springdale 293RKS travel trailer.

There’s a little more skill involved when opening a manual awning, but Randy provides step by step instruction on everything from releasing the travel locks to adjusting the valances. Randy demonstrates this segment with a Keystone Vantage 32QBS travel trailer.

Pete’s RV Service and Buyer Info Tips on YouTube are highly recommended for all RV owners for proper care of their unit.

Here are a few key takeaways from Randy’s demonstration:

    • Generation 2 Electric Awnings are a great system
    • Open awnings so they are parallel to the ground and then adjust valances
    • Fully extending a power awning and backing off some takes stress off the cam
    • Make sure fabric is taunt on manual awning before adjusting valences
    • Adjust awning pitch so water runs off to an area you do not mind getting wet
    • Do not rely on auto-dump on a power awning, pitch it for constant run-off
    • Before storing, let awning fabric dry completely to prevent mildew growth
    • Using an awning cleaner with a UV-blocker will prevent fabric from fading and cracking

 

Awning cleaners and repair items mentioned by Randy in this video are available at the Pete’s RV Parts and Accessories Store:

Feel free to Contact Pete’s RV with further questions regarding care, parts and accessories.

RV Gel Coat Finish, Care and Maintenance

RV Gel Coat Finish, Care and Maintenance
Thursday, March 1st, 2012 19:12:53

Pete’s RV Info Blog Editor’s Note: Our service department received this recent memo from Keystone RV Company on care and maintenance for RVs with a gel coat finish. It is an expanded and better-detailed version than what is found in the Keystone RV owner’s manual. With proper care, you can keep your RV’s beautiful gel coat finish standing out in the crowd. Along with the instructions below, we recommend using ProtectAll. ProtectAll is an all-in-one cleaner and wax spray appropriate for treating gel coat finishes.

Fiberglass is a common term for fiber-reinforced plastic, or FRP, which is a plastic material, strengthened using glass fiber cloth and used on many RVs for sidewalls and caps. To give the fiberglass a smooth and shiny surface, a clear or colored gel resin material is applied to the outer surface. Gel coat is available in many colors and is very durable, but it can become dull or faded as it weathers. Sunlight, heat, and moist air combine to oxidize the gel coat surface, fading it and making the surface cloudy. So how do you keep your fiberglass looking good? Simple, you clean and apply a top quality wax twice a year or every 3 months in cases where the vehicle is in constant exposure to the elements.

General Maintenance

Normal maintenance of your gel coated fiberglass RV is similar to the care you would give your automobile. In general, automotive cleaners and waxes work well. Do not use caustic, highly alkaline (high pH) cleaners or those containing ammonia. These cleaning agents may darken white or off-white weathered gel coat surfaces. The staining that results is a chemical reaction within the weathered gel coat, and can be removed with a rubbing compound or by light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper followed by application of rubbing compound and waxing.

Cleaning

Periodic cleaning with a mild detergent product is necessary to remove normal accumulations of soil. This soil is the result of regular use of your RV as well as environmental pollutants, soot, smog, etc. General washing as needed prevents soil build-up, staining, etc.

Waxing

As the gel coat begins to lose its gloss from constant exposure to the natural environment and pollutants, it will require some special attention to restore the original gloss and color. After washing with mild soaps and detergents, a good polishing with a self-cleaning automotive wax will restore most of the original gloss. A fall and spring wax job are generally all that is needed to maintain the original appearance. If the surface has been allowed to weather badly, and cleaning and wax polishing does not(restore the finish satisfactorily, then compounding will be necessary.

Compounding

Polishing compound (fine abrasive) or rubbing compound (coarser abrasive) is recommended for use on fiberglass RVs to remove scratches, stains, or a severely weathered surface. Polishing or rubbing compound can be applied by hand or by mechanical means, such as an electrical or pneumatic buffer. After the scratched, stained or weathered surface has been removed, it should be waxed to enhance the gloss and color while providing a seal to retard staining or new soil accumulation.

Removing the Discoloration

Discoloration of the gel coated fiberglass surface may occur if regular washing and waxing have been neglected. Discolored areas are very shallow in depth and, in fact, are on the surface. They can be removed by gently wet-sanding only the affected areas with 600 grit “wet or dry” sandpaper to remove the blemishes. Always sand in one direction, using plenty of water. After sanding, dry the areas and ensure all the discoloration has been removed. If not, repeat the process. Once all discoloration has been removed the affected surface area will need to be buffed. Buffing, using an electrical or pneumatically operated buffer at low speed, will restore the luster to the sanded surface. Use a soft wool pad and apply a generous amount of rubbing compound using a circular motion. When the buffing has been completed, wash off the rubbing compound with clean water. Dry the surface. Wax your RV with a high-grade automotive wax.

 

Protecting Your RV with Slide-Out Covers

Protecting Your RV with Slide-Out Covers
Friday, September 30th, 2011 17:48:19

Slide-out covers (a.k.a. slide toppers) are important for the protection of your RV against water damage–which leads to rotted floors and sidewalls.† They also prevent leaves, branches, acorns and other debris from collecting on top of slide rooms that damage seals and other moving parts.

Slideout covers are available for any type of RV with a slide room.† Ideally, they are professionally installed when purchasing a new RV.† However, they can be added at any time and will immediately begin doing their part to extend the life of your travel trailer, fifth wheel or motorhome.

Since they extend in and out with your slide room, slideout covers require no setup and are self-clearing.† Any debris or water that has collected on the slideout cover will simply drop off the side of the room when it is retracted back into the coach. They are easy to maintain and can be washed whenever cleaning your roof and awning.

We recommend watching the RV Slideout Covers Video on the Petes RV YouTube Channel. Heres just a few of the key takeaways from the informative, 5.5-minute video with Sales Manager Todd McGinnis:

  • Slide toppers primary function not so much to keep rain off as out
  • They extend with the slide room, so no additional set-up required
  • Slide toppers prevent falling debris like branches from tearing slide room seals
  • Available for all RV types, makes and models
  • An inexpensive investment compared to cost of repairs to replace rotted roof, walls or damaged slideouts
  • Adds only a few dollars a month when built into RV payment plans

After viewing the video, feel free to submit additional RV Slide-out Cover questions to Petes RV.

If you are in the greater Burlington, VT or Schererville, IN area, our dealerships offer professional service and repair on most RV brands and types. The Petes RV Store stocks a full selection of parts and accessories.

To learn about current sales deals on Slideout Covers and Installation, call the Petes RV Parts and Service Center location nearest you.