Swine Flu – Changing Your RVing Plans?

April 30, 2009

by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
as appeared on RV Home Yet?

From the reaction at RVeNews, some Escapee Club members were offended when Denver RV Travel Examiner Keith Bennett suggested that RVers may be changing their plans about attending the Escapade to be held soon in Sedalia, MO. Bennett clarified his remarks by saying that individuals may change their plans, not the club cancel their event. In addition, RVNet has a poll asking whether RVers will alter their plans because of the outbreak.

Has the media made too much of this? Each winter TV commercials trumpet the coming flu season as they hawk their products. They set up expectations that we will get sick. That’s a prime reason why I only watch TV if I’m passing through a room where it is on. I don’t need suggestions planted! Keep in mind that even in the worst epidemics, many who were exposed to the bug did not get ill. It’s not a done deal.

Here are my suggestions:

  1. Eat healthy – minimize processed foods and eat plenty of vegetables
  2. drink enough clean water (take 1/2 your body weight and drink that many ounces)
  3. Exercise – the book Younger Next Year makes a compelling case for regular, strenuous exercise
  4. Focus on health not sickness
  5. Use common sense sanitation but don’t be paranoid- avoid antibacterial soaps – your body needs practice in fighting germs
  6. Avoid the news and other stressful situations, if at all possible
  7. Be positive and live in gratitude

These may not be comfortable for you, but they work for me. And – we are still headed to Alaska on May 11 as planned.

Please add your comment below or email Jamie at [email protected]

reprinted with permission

The Devil Was No Fool!

April 29, 2009

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassor and author of It’s Never Too Late

All of us face many issues as we travel this journey called life. However, it seems to me that there is one issue above all others that affects and determines how we deal with all the other issues. That issue is clearly defined in the title of a book by Brad Bright of Campus Crusade: GOD IS THE ISSUE.

It seems that we face this issue more every day as our government and society become more and more intent on denying His very existence or the reliability of the Bible as a way to learn of Him.

If you would deny the existence of God, it seems to me that then you must accept the truth and reliability of the Bible. It gives a description of all who deny God’s very existence with the words, “The fool says in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). In Proverbs 18:2 we find a further description of such a person. Even the devil was not a fool. He did not deny the existence of God, he only distorted what God said (Gen. 3:1 and James 2:19). The pagans of old were even wise enough not to deny God’s existence as they made an altar “to an unknown god” (Acts 17:22-23).

While the Bible declares proof of the existence of God in various scriptures, such as Psalms 8 and 19:1-4, I recently learned that science offers additional proof of God’s existence.

A friend recently told of watching a forensic TV program where a conviction was obtained because they were able to match a leaf found in a car with a specific tree at a crime scene. I decided to do some research. I was amazed to hear Dr. Eleanor White, a Biologist with Canadian Natural Resources, declare that like human beings every tree and plant has its own unique DNA. WOW! Just who do you think thought up each of those variations?

So the evidence at hand again points to the fact of God’s existence and of the Bible’s truth and reliability even in the face of some who would still doubt. It asks of you this question in the words of Job 11:7: “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?” I cannot—but I can believe. Will you believe today?

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at [email protected]

RV Roof Care & Maintenance

April 28, 2009

by Mark Polk
Mark is a regular contributing author

One of the most neglected areas on your RV is the roof, out of site out of mind. The problem is if you don’t keep the roof clean and inspect the roof seams on a regular basis you could end up with, expensive to repair, water damage.

Most RVs built today use some type of rubber or vinyl roofing material. If you want to get a long life out of your RV roof here are some things you can do.

Safety first!

Be extremely careful whenever you are working on your RV roof. You can be seriously injured from a fall. You have to get on the roof of the RV to properly clean and inspect it for any damage or potential water leaks. Some RV roofs are more structurally sound than others. It may be necessary to use a couple 2X4 pieces of plywood or particle board to help distribute your weight between the roof rafters when on the roof.  Regardless of the roofs structural integrity you need to walk lightly, and be careful.

Rubber and vinyl roofing on an RV are great products, but like everything else without routine preventive maintenance it will not last as long as it could. First, there are different manufacturers of rubber and vinyl roofs. These different manufacturers provide different instructions for cleaning and maintaining their products. What we want to concentrate on today is what applies to the majority of rubber and vinyl roofing material used on RVs.

Note: There are other types of RV roofing material used like fiberglass and aluminum. Read your roof manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning and sealing techniques to prevent damage to your roof and possibly void your warranty.

Rubber and vinyl roofs should be cleaned and inspected several times a year and depending on where you park or store your RV it may need to be cleaned and inspected more often. Regardless of the type of rubber or vinyl roof you have, NEVER use any cleaners or conditioners that contain petroleum solvents, harsh abrasives, or citrus ingredients. These types of cleaners can cause permanent damage to rubber or vinyl surfaces.

Most manufacturers of rubber roofs recommend you use a medium bristle brush and a non-abrasive cleaner. For light cleaning you can use warm water and a mild detergent like Dawn dish washing liquid. For more difficult cleaning, and to condition and protect the roof there are commercial cleaning products designed specifically for the roofing material your RV has. Hard to clean areas like stubborn stains caused by leaves, sap, mold or mildew may require a second treatment. Use caution to prevent the cleaners from getting on the sides of the RV. Always rinse the sides, front and back of your RV before and after rinsing the roof to prevent cleaners from streaking or damaging the finish on your RV sidewalls.

Cleaning the roof is only part of maintaining it. Every time you clean the roof you need to inspect the sealants around all of the openings and the seams on the roof. Water will take the path of least resistance and if there is the smallest opening it will find it. You need to thoroughly inspect the roof sealants for potential leaks and reseal any areas of the roof seams and around openings where you suspect a leak.

Note: Check with your RV dealer for sealants that are compatible with your roofing material.

Routine cleaning, inspecting and sealing your RV roof can add years to the life to the roof and help prevent costly repairs caused by water damage. Watch the Roof Care Video

Our RV Care & Maintenance e-book is an easy to understand maintenance guide on what to check on your RV and how to check it.

Happy Camping,

Mark Polk is founder of RV Education 101 and RV University

Dead RV Batteries!

April 13, 2009

by Mark Polk
Mark is a regular contributing author

The topic of RV batteries seems to come up a lot among RVers, and there is good reason for it. Did you know the average life for RV batteries with limited battery care and maintenance is only 2 to 3 years, and that 85% of all 12-volt batteries manufactured die before they should? That can get expensive, replacing two or more deep cycle batteries at a time.

If you really think about it it’s not just RVers who have to deal with battery problems; if you have a riding lawnmower, a motorcycle, a golf cart, an automobile, a boat or an RV you have probably experienced problems with batteries at one time or another.

Some of the reasons for these battery problems are undercharging, overcharging, not recharging a discharged battery in a timely manner, lack of maintenance, and a lack of understanding what is required to properly maintain batteries.

The #1 cause of battery failure is a condition called sulfation. When a battery is improperly charged, overcharged or undercharged, or allowed to self discharge small crystals of sulfuric acid from the battery’s electrolyte start to form on the charge plates. Over time this sulfate material cannot be converted back into active plate material and the battery is ruined.

This also occurs when a battery remains discharged for an extended period of time. These crystals act as a barrier, stopping the battery from ever accepting a full charge again regardless of how long you charge the battery. Once this happens, the power and longevity of the battery is severely reduced and your battery becomes one of the 85% that die before it should. Sulfation begins when a battery’s state of charge drops below 80%, or 12.4 volts.

I mentioned a moment ago that overcharging was one reason for batteries dying early. This is a common problem with RV’s. The RV converter has a built in battery charger and most owners are under the impression that if you leave the RV plugged in when it is being stored it will keep the batteries topped off. Keeping the batteries topped off is extremely important, but the problem is many RV converter chargers provide a constant charge of about 13.5 volts which is too high for fully charged batteries. When this happens the electrolyte is boiled off resulting in an early death for the batteries.

Another problem is not charging the batteries at all when the RV is in short or long term storage or not recharging a discharged battery in a timely manner and letting it sit in that condition for extended periods of time. Both of these problems result in early battery death too.

Even for someone with a decent understanding of batteries and battery maintenance I had a few batteries that became statistics in the past. Then I discovered a way to prevent all of these battery related problems for good. It was a product that charges, maintains and conditions the batteries.

There are a few of these products on the market. The one I use is called The Battery Minder. What I mean by conditioning the battery is that the manufacturer of The Battery Minder has developed a simple but extremely effective circuitry that can safely dissolve the sulfation on the plates and restore much, if not all of the lost power. The reason The Battery Minder works so well is because it not only charges the battery, it maintains and desulfates the battery and will never overcharge the battery.

I’m not saying that you will never have to check the water levels or routinely inspect your batteries again, but this product will simplify your battery maintenance and extend the life of your batteries. It can even reverse sulfation on batteries that are already affected by this condition, if caught in time. It’s not very often that I endorse a product but The Battery Minder is one that I have been using for many years now, and through using it I have seen proven results.

When I’m not using the RV I hook the battery minder up and let it go. Through proper charging and maintenance you can easily double the life expectancy of your RV batteries.

If you would like to learn more about your deep cycle batteries check out our Deep Cycle Batteries DVD

To learn more about how The Battery Minder works check out this video.

Happy Camping,

Mark Polk is founder of RV Education 101 and RV University

RV Fire’s – A Devastating Loss

April 13, 2009

by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
as appeared on RV Home Yet?


Andy, a solo woman and a friend of my friend Patsy, recently lost her RV to fire. Here is her account and advice. I thank Andy for being willing to share her experience.

“The weekend before Thanksgiving 2008, I was parked at Southern Trails RV Resort in Unidilla GA.   We had a brunch at the club house. The weather was chilly and I ran out of propane. I woke on Saturday and rushed to get my propane tanks filled in my 5th wheel. After that, I hurried to make a pan of grits for the brunch. I went to the club house and spent about 1 1/2 hours visiting and eating.  Afterward, I went back to the rig and put the empty pan on the stove. I saw nothing, smelled nothing, heard nothing. I took my two dogs out for a walk.  About 20 minutes later I heard the man next to me yell FIRE!! I looked up and my home was burning.

“The flames blew out the kitchen window. Since the man next to me had put the heavy full propane tanks in the rig for me, the first thing he did was get another guy to help him pull both tanks and the gas tank for the generator. I had fire extinguishers in the truck and grabbed them and started to spray the flames. Others grabbed their fire extinguishers and we actually had the fire out by the time the fire department got there.

“They went in the rig and the ceiling was smoldering and all the wiring was burning. The firemen yanked down the ceiling wiring and pulled the stove and microwave out of the wall and soaked everything down REALLY well. The rig was totaled!

“I lost everything! RVer’s do not realize how much value they have in personal property in their rigs. I had $5,000 in personal property coverage which didn’t even cover the two new HDTVs, my brand new computer and new telephone. All my clothes, shoes (orthopedic) and hats GONE!! Dishes and flatware and kitchen stuff GONE! I was able to have my sewing machine rebuilt, but lost almost $2,000 in quilting fabric and another $1,000 in quilting supplies. Pictures of my late husband GONE! Having to spend 5 weeks (including Christmas) in a no-tel-motel with the two dogs, while I waited for the insurance company to do their thing was PAINFUL!

“One thing for sure was that the RVing community at Southern Trails rallied around me with emotional support. I went to the clubhouse every day and got plenty of hugs and prayers. My kids rallied too with emergency funds and care packages of socks, underwear and a picture album (which made me cry)! Since the fire I pray everyday that God keeps me totally aware of my surroundings and always cognizant of what I’m doing.

“The insurance company said the plastic knob on the stove was off but the brass fitting inside was on low. They said the plastic was melted and was turned off after the fire. The firemen told me the stove was off. With my asthma I could not go inside the rig. All the formaldehyde and plastics and chemicals that make up an RV SMELLED horribly strong. I still reach for something, and say, “Oh shoot, it was lost in the fire.” Tell everyone to have PLENTY of personal property insurance. I have a new rig and will not give up full-time RVing. But I double-check everything now.” Life Rocks when your Home Rolls   – Andy

Photo of RV fire courtesy Mac the Fire Guy.

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