Tips for RVing in the City

Once you drive off the lot of Jim’s RV, chances are you’re planning a lot of backroad excursions and adventures along Route 66. New York City, Austin, L.A., they sound fun, but RVing in the big city can be more trouble than it’s worth.

Well, it is possible to have a good time as an RVer in a dense metropolitan area, but you’re going to want to keep these tips in mind if you plan on hitting the Big Apple, the Big Easy, or the City of Brotherly Love in your new RV:

Plan Ahead

Feel free to wing it when driving through Arizona. The Southwest is very RV friendly with plenty of parks that are easy to find. Not so in most big cities. Know where your RV park is and how to get there from a major landmark. There are apps that will help you find cheap gas and groceries in the city, that let you know where construction is taking place and so on so that you can plan a safe, efficient trip.

Beware the “Fuzz”

Some cities are friendly towards RVers, others are not, so don’t always assume that the police will be happy to see you. In some areas, it’s not uncommon for RVers to be woken up at two in the morning by surly police officers telling them they can’t park overnight here.

Start Early, Leave Early

Your RV park will likely be a little out of the way, so make sure that you start your trip into the city early, and that you leave before it gets dark. One really bad traffic jam can wind up eating an entire day of travel time.

Typically, RVers don’t visit big cities, they drive through them, or around them if they can help it. After all, most of us are outdoorsmen and women by heart. But there’s no reason not to see the Empire State Building, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or downtown New Orleans just because you’re in an RV.

Share

Germs and Your RV New York, Prevention is Key!

There are several common areas where germs lurk around campsites. One source of contamination comes from the misuse of your  RV’s black water tank — which holds waste. There are many diseases that are spread through contact with human waste – cholera, dysentery, hepatitis, measles, polio, typhoid fever, amoeba, giardia, hookworm, pinworm, roundworm, tapeworm, trichina worm – to name a few. Gloves are a must when handling black tank hoses and valves.  Always be sure to close the valve and tip the drain hose below the valve to catch any spillage that may continue to flow. After draining the tank, rinse the drain hose and drain area with water. Do not use the same hose you use to connect to your RV for fresh water. The key is to isolate clean from dirty.

The water supply (city water connection) to your RV can also be a source of germs. Before you go ahead and hook your hose to your campsite water hydrant, you may want to give it a wash down with some bleach or disinfectant spray. Dogs are a staple in most campgrounds and they tend to use the water hydrant for purposes other than drinking, if you get my drift.

Prior to using your fresh water holding tank disinfect it with chlorine bleach or an RV product made specifically made for this purpose.  Always use cleaners according to the specifications in your Jim’s RV manual.

The galley is a typical area for germs. Your RV kitchen can be a playground for cross contamination of foods.  After you have handled uncooked meats wash your hands, this will keep germs from being a part of the meal at your dinner table.

Germs that can cause disease or illness include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Germs really can’t harm you until you come in contact with them, so it’s a great idea to focus on prevention. Germs typically enter the body through the nose, eyes, and mouth; often transmitted from our own contaminated hands and fingers.

The key to prevention is to create a barrier between your hands and the infectious matter. Caution should be used when dealing with anything that can possibly be contaminated. Sanitary gloves can go a long way in these scenarios. There are many styles and materials to choose from. I, however,  recommend a disposable sanitary glove so that you can just trash it when you are done.

With so many odd bugs and illnesses surfacing from time to time, hand sanitizer is all the rage.  Therefore, another preventive measure is to sanitize your hands following any contact with germs. Oddly, people pass their hands through a faucet of running water and then rub them against a hanging towel which only makes the germs “wet”. To effectively control the spread of germs you must use soap. If there is none, then a bottle of hand sanitizer or antiseptic hand wipes are the next best thing.

Is this approach to germs obsessive compulsive, is it over-kill? It is up to you whether or not you want to fight this war, traveling sick isn’t optimal. Prevention is necessary and gives you a one-up in the battle with germs.

Share

10 Five Minute RV Maintenance Tips

Of course, Jim’s has a state-of-the-art RV service department with the latest in diagnostic and repair tools and parts that can handle just about any problem your RV faces. I say, why not just avoid RV problems all together. Here are a few quick and easy RV maintenance tips you can follow on your own to keep your camper in great shape from year to year.

Quick And Easy RV Maintenance Tips

Check sealants twice each month – check the rubber sealants around your windows to make sure they’re tight and not cracking. Cracked or loose sealant can let air in which causes drafts and leaks.

Check tire pressure before every trip –this one should be a no brainer. Make sure your tires are fully pressurized before you set off on your next road trip – it’s an easy RV maintenance tip that will prevent blowouts and it also  improves your gas mileage!

Run generator 2 hours per month under 50% load –letting your RV sit unused for months is not good for the generator. Run it under a light load for a few minutes each month to keep it primed so that it is ready the next time you decide to hit the road.

Check battery water level–making sure your batteries have enough water in them is crucial to ensuring that they will hold their charge. Check your battery water level frequently and add distilled water when necessary.

Clean holding tanks regularly –clean out your gray and black water tanks frequently to prevent bacteria and odors from leaking into the rest of your RV. Black and gray water tanks can get really gross, really fast – this is one RV maintenance tip you don’t want to forget! If you have to spend a vast amount of time on the road, cleanliness is a must.

Lube slide rails and gaskets twice each year –make sure all your slideout rails and all gaskets on your RV are properly lubricated to avoid friction. This will help make sure your slide rails stay in working condition all season long.

 Torque lug nuts before each trip – it is very important that you always make sure your lug nuts are fastened tightly before you head out. This RV maintenance tip is crucially important – if you’re not careful, your whole wheel assembly could fly off! Accidents slow down trips and can drain your pocket book, this type can be easily avoided.

 Sanitize fresh water system each spring – this is an RV maintenance tip that you should follow at the beginning of the RV season. Before your spring RV season starts, make a point to thoroughly sanitize your fresh water systems to keep your drinking water fresh and clean.

 Properly winterize each fall –this is one of the most crucial RV maintenance tips that you can follow. Before the winter hits it’s absolutely necessary to follow all of the steps to winterize your unit to protect it from the winter cold and lack of use (if you need help, check out our previous posts about how to winterize your RV!).

 Retract awning during heavy wind and rain – this RV maintenance tip is extremely important. On at least one of your camping trips you’re going to have to weather a storm. Make sure your awning is pulled back – otherwise, it’ll collapse like an umbrella and bend like crazy!

If you follow the above RV maintenance tips throughout the season, you may end up saving thousands of dollars in service costs! And remember, for all your RV maintenance and service needs, visit Jim’s RV Center in Nichols NY.

Share

It’s Almost Time To Winterize Your RV Nichols

 

A lot of full time RVers are making their final plans to load up their rig and head south for the winter. For them, winter time means changing locations and doing things as usual. If you are not a full time RVer, and you don’t plan on using your RV or trailer during the winter months, then that means that you are probably getting ready to winterize your RV. Winterizing your RV is a very important part of RV ownership if you keep your RV in cold weather areas during the winter months. It protects your rig from common problems that occur during cold storage.

One of the most important parts of winterizing is taking care of your water system. If you have water in your pipes during freezing temperatures, there is a good chance that the pipes will burst, and leave you with thousands of dollars of repairs on your hands. It is important to drain and flush your entire water system. This is also a great time to give your tanks one last heavy duty cleaning for the year. Replace your tanks with water and antifreeze, and then run your faucets and toilets until you see that the mixture is coming through all of your pipes. Don’t use regular car antifreeze, but instead use antifreeze designed for RV winterization.

If you don’t have a garage or indoor facility to store your rig, then you will want to completely cover your RV and tires. The environment and dirt, dust, and grime can have their toll on your RV’s exterior and tires, so make sure you have a high quality heavy duty cover to keep all of these elements off of your RV.

With Fall quickly coming to an end, it is time to make sure that you have your RV ready for a long winter at home. If you are looking for help to winterize your RV, or products that are made to get your rig through winter, then be sure to come in and see us at Jim’s RV.

Share

Get your RV ready for the coming cold weather

 

With the weather getting colder you need to make sure your RV is ready for the coming season. This is not the same as winterizing your RV, only making sure that you can enjoy the cooler fall nights without problems while camping. Just like how you need to change your wardrobe from summer to fall, your RV needs to prepare for the coming change in the elements. Unlike winterizing your rig, giving your RV a cold weather check only takes a few hours at most, and it allows you to hit the road and get back to camping when you are finished.

The first thing that you should do is inspect your batteries. Give them a good cleaning with a baking soda and water mixture, and check and refill with distilled water if necessary. Also, check their charge with a voltometer to ensure that they will continue working in the cooler weather. Next, it is time to check your engines antifreeze and coolant system. With winter coming, you want your coolant mixture to be around 70% anti-freeze and 30% water. You can check this with testing strips or a refractometer. Also, be sure to check all the hoses and lines for your colling system to make sure there are no leaks or holes.

No one wants to freeze in their RV, so be sure to check your rigs furnace and heating system. If you haven’t run it yet, turn it on high to get rid of any mold that has developed in your furnace over the last 6 months. Also, make sure that you are not losing any of that warm air due to holes or open seals in your roof. Make sure that your roof has no leaks or hole in it, and give the roof a good was while you are up there. Finally, check all your devices inside your RV. Fire detector and carbon monoxide batteries, appliances, and any other electrical advice. You don’t want to lose power when you are in the middle of no where with a cold front blowing in.

Keep your RV ready this fall and winter, and enjoy the off season if you are keeping your RV in storage. If you’re looking for a new RV, then be sure to come into Jim’s RV.

Share

RV brake maintenance improves safety

 

Your RV is a very large piece of machinery that is capable of going at high speeds. While this may seem like an obvious statement, it is very important to remember these basic facts when it comes time to use your brakes. One of the biggest learning curves for the first time RV owner is learning how to judge closing distances and when and how much brake pressure to apply to stop safely and securely. While RV brake systems are designed to handle the heavy loads, they can still wear down very quickly if not checked regularly and used too aggressively.

The first thing that you should do when stopping has to deal with what you do when you are moving. Always keep plenty of distance between yourself and any vehicle in front of you. This will give you more time to apply your breaks than if you are following too close. If you do need to come to a stop, start slowing down as far away from your stopping zone as possible and slowly but firmly apply pressure to the brakes. Avoid slamming on your brakes at all costs, although you may be forced to at one point or another.

Another good way to keep your brakes in good shape has to do with driving down hills. Your RV will create a lot of momentum when moving downward and your intuition may tell you that you need to ride your brakes. This will quickly wear your brakes down and may cause brake failure down the road. Instead, put your RV in a lower gear and this will naturally keep your RV at a safe controlled speed on hilly terrain.

If you start to hear squeaking or grinding when you apply brake pressure, then you should immediately take your RV into the shop shop and have them inspected and fixed. Brake failure can lead to dangerous and even deadly accidents if left unchecked. If you are looking for a new RV, then be sure to come into Jim’s RV.

Share