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!

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.

Mouse & Rodent-Proofing Your Camper

Mouse & Rodent-Proofing Your Camper
Friday, March 1st, 2013 20:03:07

Service Writer and resident RV expert Randy Murray educates viewers on an effective solution for keeping mice and rodents out of your camper or motorhome. Setting traps and scattering dryer sheets when not in use does not prevent these critters from getting into the coach.

While making their way into an RV, mice and rodents can create thousands of dollars in damage to wiring, tubing, and other vulnerable materials found in the undercarriage and sidewalls.

Mouse-Free-1-Gallon-RV-Mouse-Repelling-Undercarriage-Lubricant-With-Spray-Gun-repellent-mice-rodents-trailer-boat-USAMouse Free is a non-toxic formula that stops the entry of mice into your RV. It keeps them and other pests from entering through the small holes and cavities on the underside of your motorhome or trailer.

As Randy explains, Mouse Free contains natural oils like peppermint that acts as a repellent to rodents’ keen sense of smell (and primary means of navigation). These fragrances are much stronger and retain their potency longer than dryer sheets or balsam repellents.

Mouse Free is available at  the Pete’s RV Parts and Accessories Store at all locations and online.

The makers of Mouse Free recommend it be applied annually with a compression sprayer. One gallon of Mouse Free treats up to a 24 foot RV. If you prefer not to go the do-it-yourself route, an authorized dealer such as Pete’s RV offers an affordable application service that can be performed during winterization or regular maintenance visits

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.

Mercedes-Benz-Winnebago-Itasca-Reyo-25T-RV-generator

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.