How to Check Your Travel Trailer for Maintenance

Whether in the middle of a camping season or after a long winter, inspecting your travel trailer for any maintenance needs is a vital component of keeping your RV healthy. Here’s a helpful checklist of what to look for when you’re checking out your RV.

  1. The Roof. Look for any holes or cracks where water could possibly enter the RV, damaged sealant, soft spots, damage to any solar panels, or mold. Just like a house, a damaged roof can bring down the whole RV. 
  2. Walls. Check the interior and exterior of all walls for cleanliness, holes or cracks, warping, which indicates water damage, sealant leaks around the windows, and soft spots.
  3. Tires. The date the tire was made is stamped on the tire, so inspect that and the general condition of the tires, which can erode if left uncovered. Look for uneven wear patterns between the different tires, which could indicate a bent axle. While you’re at it, check your axles for holes and rust. And don’t forget to inspect your spare tire!

  1. Underneath the Travel Trailer. Often overlooked by those unwilling to crawl under the RV, the undercarriage’s condition is fundamental to holding the RV together. Excessive rust, holes where animals could enter, dangling or disconnected wires, accident damage or a bent frame, or any visible holding tank issues are a few important things to look for. 
  2. Outside Connections. Power, cable, water, and sewer connections should all be routinely inspected, because you don’t want to go without any of them! Check if the water leaks out of the connection point, or leaks during water tank dumping. 
  3. Driving Components. Lights, brakes, turn signals, and the emergency disconnect switch should all be checked on to avoid hazardous driving. 
  4. Propane Tanks. The tanks collar will state the year they were manufactured, and propane tanks must be recertified once they are over 12 years old, and every 5 years after that. Make sure you don’t smell propane when the valves open, which indicates a leak in the connecting hose. Replace your tanks if they’re rusty or turning a dark color. 

For more RV maintenance tips and tricks, follow our Pete’s RV Center Info Blog today!

Pete’s RV Center to Break Ground on 7th Dealership Location

On September 1st, Pete’s RV Center owners Todd McGinnis, Chad Shepard, and Scott Borden announced plans to start construction on a sixty acre parcel of land located in Saco, Maine.

The Vermont-based company is planning to break ground in January 2022 and be completed in early 2023. The Maine dealership will be Pete’s RV Center’s seventh location, and will be a state-of-the-art facility with a spacious showroom, parts and accessories store, and service center with multiple bays.

Pete’s RV Center – Maine is set to carry a wide variety of travel trailer, fifth wheel, and motorhome brands, including Jayco’s full lineup.

Saco, Maine is just four miles from Old Orchard Beach and 17 miles from Portland, both iconic destinations for RVers.

“Maine is called ‘Vacationland’ for a reason.  We’re thrilled to get the opportunity to become a community fixture in the Saco and greater Portland area, plus be surrounded by amazing campgrounds, beaches, and national parks,” remarked Pete’s RV co-owner Chad Shepard.

Along with the flagship store in Vermont, Pete’s RV Center has dealerships in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and South Carolina.

For more Pete’s RV news, events, and inventory, check out https://www.petesrv.com/–location-maine today!

Boondocking on a Budget

boondocking (noun) — RV camping without being connected to water, electricity, or sewage, usually in a remote or wild location. Synonyms: dry camping, free camping, wild camping.

What Is RV Boondocking? - Gander Outdoors

One of the most exciting ways to go RV camping, boondocking can be a great new way to spice up your summer. But are you prepared to ration supplies, go without WiFi, and camp off the grid? The Dyrt magazine has a comprehensive guide to all things boondocking, check it out below!

At Pete’s RV Center, we’re here for your RV adventures! Find your next RV or schedule a service appointment at petesrvcenter.com today!

How to do Laundry on a RV Road Trip

One of the big mysteries of full time RVing to those who don’t live on the road is how do full time RVers do laundry?

The easiest way is the laundry machines often placed in RV parks. One RV blogger said that “I can count on one hand the number of RV parks that didn’t have laundry machines.” Despite this frequency, not all RV parks have enough laundry machines for the number of RVers within the parks, and not all RVers stay in RV parks! Additionally, hunting down all the quarters required to use a park laundry machine can be a struggle in an increasingly cash-less world, especially with the sometimes high cost of laundry machines. 

Mountain View Campground in Morrisville, Vermont boasts many amenities along with laundry machines

Another solution is using a local laundromat, typically easy to find on Google, but not always found in remote areas. Most laundromats do have a machine for getting quarters though, making it easier to stock up for more washes down the road. Some even have laundry machines that can be activated with a credit card swipe. 

Not every roadtrip situation offers the flexibility to wait around on laundry machines, though. That’s why many RVers have gotten creative with portable laundry devices. 

This portable washer-dryer has two neighboring tubs, one for washing and the other for spin drying. It takes up to 10lbs washing capacity and has a drainage tube for emptying the dirty water, and runs off the 120v power similar to most RV refrigerators. Most reviewers do say that after the spin dry clothes are still damp though, so an additional investment of a drying rack is also recommended. Keep in mind that many RV parks do not allow outside clothes lines to dry your own clothes. 

A smaller personal laundry option without needing to use your RV’s precious electricity is the Scrubba, which is popular with backpackers. It works by filling the bag with laundry, water, and detergent, rolling the bag down and clipping it, twisting the valve to deflate, then rub the clothes on the Scrubba’s internal washboard for anywhere between 30 seconds and five minutes. You then unclip, pour out the water, and rinse clothes with fresh water in the Scrubba, and they are now clean and ready for the drying rack. 

Perhaps the most luxurious RV laundry option is having washer and dryer hookups within your RV, which is becoming increasingly popular in luxury fifth wheels. The laundry cycle can take a few hours this way, and you won’t be able to do this while boondocking, as it requires a lot of power and water, but is temptingly easy if your RV is plugged in one place. 

No matter how you keep your clothes clean on the road, Pete’s RV Center has all of your RV camping needs in mind. Follow our infoblog today for more RVing tips, tricks, and news!

Maximizing RV Gas Mileage

The roadtrip of your dreams in your own RV is an inexpensive way to see the world, without the pricey hotels and restaurants that can raise travel costs. But beware, the cost of gas can raise roadtrip rates significantly. Here’s some strategies for limiting your pain at the pump. 

Start Small

If you’re looking to purchase a RV, consider an upgrade–in the form of a downsize. Small RVs often pack in just as many features and amenities into a less gas-guzzling frame. There are more options than ever for smaller RVs, including micro travel trailers that are several thousand pounds lighter than most towable vehicles. 

Jayco Jay Feather Micro

If you’re shopping for a motorized vehicle, Class B RVs such as the Jayco Swift are exploding in popularity. The size of a standard van, they are by far the most fuel efficient–an easy to park–motorhome. 

Jayco Swift

Turn off the engine

Idling is the worst way to burn fuel, and very environmentally destructive. According to the jayco.com blog, “a test performed by the Edmunds.com automotive staff showed a fuel savings of up to 19 percent by shutting the engine down at each stop (10 stops) during a 10-mile test drive, rather than letting the engine idle during the two–minute stops over the same 10-mile, 10-stop test route.” 

Be smart about cruise control

Using cruise control on those long, mostly flat stretches of uninterrupted highway can save both your foot and gastank. However, keeping it on in mountain filled areas will force the vehicle to use extra gas to maintain the cruise speed, wasting lots of fuel as the engine speed rises to climb the mountains. 

Pack Efficiently

Fill that huge water tank at the campground. Buy groceries near the campsite. Leave behind everything you don’t really need, because camping is about keeping it light and having fun anyway. 

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

12120180_1180560445291249_2965507333384649899_o

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.

Fifth Wheel vs Motorhome – Reasons to Consider a 5th Wheel

Fifth Wheel vs Motorhome – Reasons to Consider a 5th Wheel
Friday, May, 1st 2015 22:07:29

RV Lifestyle Consultant Joe Vartuli discusses before rushing into the decision of purchasing a motorhome and why you should consider: ton the five key points to take into consideration:

1. Interior Space/Ceiling Height.

Typically, fifth wheels provide more living space, especially if equipped with multiple slideouts. Slideout widths are generally smaller in motorhomes to allow for people to move about the cabin, which produces less living space. Also factor in large interior ceiling heights in fifth wheels, and you’ll feel more at home.

2. Furniture/Appliances.

Large size residential amenities provide that home away from home feeling, with optional items such as central vac, solid surface counter tops, and also larger AC units, heating systems, and appliances depending on the model of the fifth wheel.

3. Storage.

The combination of exterior and interior storage provides extra space to bring along any and all items. Because there is no engine or cabin, fifth wheels generally have large bulkhead storage for bigger sized items.

4. Towing vs Driving.

As Joe mentions, 80% of people end up towing another vehicle behind their motorhome, whereas with a fifth wheel you always have a dependable tow vehicle with you, allowing you to easily unhook and travel wherever you would like. Either way, you will be towing something.

5. Cost/Maintenance.

Insurance plays a key role in cost for owning a motorhome because there are more moving parts. A fifth wheel can be up to 30% cheaper to insure than a motorhome. Plus, you have to factor in all general maintenance items like the chassis, tires, wheel bearings, brakes, compressed air systems, hydraulic systems, oil changes, etc. Overall, maintenance costs will run higher for a motorhome vs a fifth wheel simply because of the mechanics and build.

As you can see there are many factors to determine whether or not a motorhome or fifth wheel is more suitable for you and your family. As Joe explains, fifth wheels will provide you with more livability, which is better for longer stays, and motorhomes may be better suited for quicker stop and go trips. We hope we shed some insight on the differences to help make your decision making more educated.

Pete’s RV Center is an extraordinary recreational vehicle dealer with locations in South Burlington, VT, and Schererville, IN. 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. We can be reached at 1-888-902-9352.

Make sure to subscribe to the Pete’s RV YouTube channel for more informative videos and information on news and events.

Video Transcript | Fifth Wheel vs Motorhome – Reasons to Consider a 5th Wheel

Hi, I’m Joe Vartuli, RV Lifestyle Consultant, here at Pete’s RV Center in South Burlington, Vermont. I’m going to do a little bit of a buyer’s tip here. We’re actually doing a Fifth-Wheel versus a motorhome. I want to give you reasons why you should consider a Fifth Wheel if you were thinking you were in the market for a motorhome and depending on how you use it, how the Fifth Wheel can benefit you, alright?

some of the few things that we’re going to go over in kind of this quick video are interior space ceiling height. If you’ll notice, I’m in a triple slide right now. This has a tremendous amount of floor space in it. It has lots of storage everywhere. It’s all very usable. also, the ceiling heights are incredible in the Fifth-Wheels. The, no matter how tall you are, you’re not going to hit the ceiling. It’s, it gives you the feeling of space and openness, which a lot of people like.

a couple of the other things is the furniture. some of our units have very, very plush furniture in ’em. The Fifth Wheels, this unit here, in particular, has heated massage, theater seating, that actually has a power reclining in it. So it’s, it’s all right at your fingertips, LED lighting, and solid-surface counter tops. frameless windows on a lot of our fifth wheels, fireplaces, central vacuum systems if they don’t come with a, with a Dyson already.

also, Josh just showed you the full residential style of refrigerator, which is coming in more and more of the high-midline and upper-end Fifth Wheels. Big appliances. This one has a 30-inch, over-the-counter Microwave that you can see, and we are in a Bighorn 3875 so I will mention that. this is a, a front bathroom model, has a lot of great features.

But back to what we were talking about, otherwise I’ll keep rambling. storage. You notice the cabinetry everywhere inside of here. So inside and out, Fifth Wheels give you a tremendous amount of storage. On the outside, you have pass-through [store 00:01:59] [00:02:00], which we can’t show you here, but tremendous pass, pass-through compartments. Drills, chairs, blocks, whatever you need to put in there, even a small refrigerator will fit in some of the the outside storage compartments on these units. So you can bring everything with you. All right?

Towing and driving. One thing with a Fifth-Wheel is you’re only going to have one motorized vehicle. 80% of motorhome b-, motorhome buyers will end up towing a car, maybe a trailer with a motorcycle in it, but they end up towing something.

This, you have a nice tow vehicle with you all the time, so you always have a good dependable vehicle. once you’re unhitched at the campground you go to, state park, wherever you are, you have a reliable unit that you can go anywhere with.

next thing is cost and maintenance. Insurance cost on this is, is a fraction of what a motorhome would be. So it’s, it’s a third of what an average, maybe even a gas-class A would be. maintenance is very simple because it’s not another motorized vehicle.

You have your roof system to take care of, you keep it clean, you have your brakes and your, your axles. You keep your bearings lubed. And that’s not a whole lot more that you need to do with a, with a camper. A few other small items, but with another motorized vehicle, you have the class, you have the oil changes, the transmission fluids. You have a whole other motor vehicle that you have to take care of. And the ins-, like I said, again the insurance is a big part of it. There is a lot more.

Also going back a little bit to the towing, if you have the right-sized pickup, mated to the Fifth Wheel that you want, you back in, you drop your tailgate, you stop into your hitch, you put up your power legs and away you go. It’s very, very simple.

a lot of people ask me when they come in during the week, you know, I, really want a motorhome because it’s, it’s because I want to move a lot. We want to be going every one or two days here and there. It w-, the motorhomes will work terrific for that.

That being said, if you want to do extended stays at any point, the Fifth Wheel gives you much more livability in it. it will give you more space, more storage. Some of them have two bathrooms. bigger furnace systems, bigger air-conditioning systems until you get into your really high-end level diesel pusher motorhomes.

In a lot of ways, we’re trying to tell you the Fifth Wheel will give you a great option if you’re willing to look at it. I hope you enjoyed this buying tip from Pete’s RV. My name is Joe.

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 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.