Checklist for Opening Your RV In the Spring

It’s that happy time of year again! Time to pull the cover off of your RV and get it ready for a spring and summer of happy camping. Here’s some key steps for the process known as dewinterizing your RV. 

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Check all tires

Just like cars and bicycles, inactive RV tires lose significant psi of air pressure each month of inactivity, especially if stored in the cold. Driving an RV with underinflated tires is one of the most unsafe actions an RVer can do, so be sure to give your tires an air pressure and wear and tear check up. 

Give it the once over

How Much Weight Can An RV Roof Hold? - (Answered & Explained)

Do a walk through of all potential water damage spots on your RV’s exterior, especially the roof and hitch. Check the sealant around windows and doors, and look for any cracked seams in the roof caused by snow pile up. 

Check your batteries

Using a voltmeter while your RV is disconnected from electricity, check the charge and water level in your battery, then adjust it accordingly. 

Flush out the antifreeze

Even if the antifreeze you use is non-toxic, you still don’t want it in your drinking water. Drain your fresh water holding tank entirely, add potable water back in, then turn the water pump and all faucets on, and let the system drain for several minutes. Flush the toilet a few times during this process. When the water comes out clear, close the faucets and the pump. Then, take the water heater off bypass mode, and replace all water filter cartridges that were removed for storing the RV. Make sure to dump your gray and black water tanks at an official dump site, as they are still full of antifreeze. 

You will also want to sanitize your water system to remove any mold that built up in storage. After doing so, check for any leaky pipes or plumbing issues. 

Check your propane

RV Dual Propane Tank Rack Installation *Wolf Pup* - YouTube

 Reinstall all propane tanks and make sure the hose is tightly fitted. Check for potential propane leaks by putting soapy water on all hose connections. If bubbles form, it could indicate a leak. Retighten after the process is complete. Check if your state requires propane tank recertification. Then make sure all of your propane-run appliances are working by giving them a quick test, especially on each stove burner. If you have a generator, check its oil levels. 

Freshen your filters

Air and water filters collect lots of dust and mold, so change them out at the beginning of each camping season. Make sure that your air vents are also functional with a good flow of air. 

Be safe

Don’t forget to update the smoke alarm batteries, fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector, and LP detector. Restock your RV first aid and emergency supplies, get rid of all expired dry food. 

After all those important updates, you’re all ready to camp! For more RV tips, tricks, and news, follow our Pete’s RV Center Info Blog today. 

How to RV Responsibly

With the enormous rise of new RVers since 2020, here’s how to avoid being the troublesome neighbor at the campground.

  1. Plan your campsite ahead of time. There are numerous apps for finding RV campsites, from traditional spots at KOA’s to boondocking recommendations in the desert, there are campsites for every taste out there. The most important part about choosing one is  researching beforehand. Some good apps for this are iOverlander, the Dyrt, Free Roam, and Outly. 
  2. Leave No Trace. Just like you wouldn’t want to leave parts of your RV behind after the trip, the great outdoors doesn’t want to permanently change because of your RV. Practice leaving no trace by picking campsites that have already been used by vehicles in the past, carrying out all of your trash, only dumping at approved waste stations, and most importantly, never dump black water on the land.
  1. Be campfire conscious. Much of the United States is at near constant risk of wildfires, and many campgrounds have little wood left in the area from ambitious firestarters. Many campgrounds recommend only lighting a fire if you need it for warmth or cooking. If you must make one, never leave it unattended, and extinguish it with lots of water. 
  1. Be mindful of quiet hours, and the location of your pets and children. 

There’s nothing better than friends and food at the campground. Follow the Pete’s RV Info Blog for more information about how to be the best RVer you can be!

A Guide to Using RV Propane Tanks

The All-Important tanks on the front of your travel trailer might just be the most versatile tool in your RV. Propane lets campers cook, run heat, make hot water, and power appliances, all without needing to connect to electricity. It is frequently recommended that campers who are connected to electricity use propane sparingly.

To maintain your propane tanks, make sure to do the following:

Keep watch of the age of your propane tanks. The manufacturing date is stamped on the tank, and it needs to be replaced or recertified after 12 years. 

Turn on your fridge the night before with propane, so it’s cold enough at the start of the camping trip. Switch to electric if you’re going to a campsite with a hookup.

Check the propane flow by “bleeding” the system. Turn on your stove and let the flames burn until they’re blue. This gets the air out of the propane lines, clearing out room for you to turn on other appliances. 

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If you smell gas, turn off all propane tanks and RV appliances! The strong smell of propane gas indicates a leak, and you’ll need to replace the seal and tank. Do not attempt to repair leaks yourself, as propane is stored in its tank at -44 degrees, which will give you frostbite at the touch. 

Keep a working carbon monoxide alarm and propane safety alert inside your RV.

Avoid using propane in a moving vehicle, and always keep your RV well-ventilated when cooking or using propane inside. 

The RV Cooking Bible | I Heart RVing

For more RV tips, tricks, and news, follow our Pete’s RV Infoblog!

Essential RV Tips: Using Antifreeze

It’s that time of year again: time to dump lots of brightly colored liquid into all of your RV drains. You Need Antifreeze! What do you need to know about it?

RV and Marine antifreeze, conveniently packaged in the same bottle, surprisingly doesn’t protect against freezing, which isn’t necessarily harmful. It’s designed to prevent bursting, the plumbing damage that comes from ice freezing, expanding, and then rupturing. A rupture can result in gallons of pipe water flooding into the RV, causing a headache of damages. 

“RV antifreeze rated for -50 F and -75 F will start to freeze at around 20 F, but it won’t freeze to the burst point until -50 F or -75 F respectively.

In parts of the country where temperatures go into minus digits and stay there you should use the -100 F antifreeze for added protection. This type freezes at about -20 F, but provides burst protection to -100 F.” Said girlcamper.com. 

The most important part of using antifreeze is draining as much water or waste liquid from the pipes as possible. Antifreeze mixed with diluted water from an undrained pipe will burst far sooner than the temperature estimates on the bottle that assume there’s little to no water in the pipe. 

After winter is over, you can fill your pipes without water once again without worrying about draining the antifreeze, which is typically nontoxic. Of all the preparation your RV needs for winter, put antifreeze–and saving your pipes–at the top of the list. 

For more tips about winterizing your RV, check out our Winterization Tips with Pete’s RV Guru Randy Murray. 

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!

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. 

Basic Camping Essentials

Basic Camping Essentials | Pete’s RV Quick Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.