Archive for November 2015

Hydraulic Jacks Stuck?

Question: Is there any way to get the hydraulic jacks to move if they’ve been stuck down?

There are many different jack manufacturers and types of jack design. The kind of jack you have will determine how to resolve a situation where the jacks are stuck in the down position. This can be a safety issue when considering how to lower your coach while maneuvering underneath it. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine what jack system you have and reference “emergency retraction”. Most manufacturers provide a direction to turn when that jacks have failed in a down position. This may vary, from releasing a valve to cracking a line. For optimal preparation in your travels, it‘s a good idea to review this information before departure so you’ll be prepared with the best plan of action in an emergency.

There are RVs, and there are RVs!

There are so many features to look for in an RV. Among motorhomes one can choose between gas or diesel, sleeping accommodations, appliances, furnishings: all sorts of little luxuries and necessities. Towables come in trailers or toy haulers or fifth wheels. There are indoor and outdoor kitchens, garages and plenty of other variations from which to choose.


But some people go even further and create RVs that can stand as works of art, ranging in theme from atomic,

Rocket RV

to steampunk,

Steampunk RVs

to totally retro.

Retro RV

There’s even an all-Lego trailer—a *functioning* RV made of Lego! My inner child leapt with joy when I saw this one.

Lego RV

There can be technological marvels that fill us with pride and envy in equal parts.

Super RV

Last, here’s an RV wrapped especially to celebrate our favorite Seattle team, modified here at Poulsbo RV and eventually sold to a fellow fan. Yeah, we liked that one a lot. And we’re glad it found a good home.

Seahawk RV and Truck

There’s nothing that makes us, here at Poulsbo RV, happier than knowing that the RV community is as creative and vibrant as ever. If you have any pictures or stories about a great modified or specially built RV, share them with us! You might see them posted here. Email us at everythingrv@poulsborv.com.

Thanks. And travel safely!

Condesation Problems?

Question: I plan on traveling extensively all over the USA this winter with my fifth wheel. How can I reduce or prevent condensation or mold/mildew in my unit? I seem to have an issue with condensation building up on the windows every winter in my fifth wheel?

No matter where you travel, moisture is always an issue. Due to varying temperatures outside and inside, moisture is going to occur. To minimize condensation, mold and mildew it is stringently recommended to use one of the following products.

Air–Dryer 1000
Eliminates mold, mildew and moisture. Requires 110 volt for use, but is by far is one of the best products for moisture, mildew and mold control.

Eva–Dry Dehumidifier
Is also a very effective way to control humidity in your coach and requires very little maintenance to maintain and operate.

Dri–Z–Air
Is a moisture control system requiring pellets that absorb moisture and allow it to collect inside a container. The container does need to be emptied from time to time and reloaded with the pellets. You should be careful with this product because it is very toxic.

All of these products can and will help control moisture but by far Air Dryer 1000 is the best bang for the buck to control your moisture issues.

Water in RV Taste Funny

Question: I have owned my Bounder for a couple of years and have begun to notice that the potable water tastes funny. What could cause this? Do I need to change the water filter?

Fresh water tanks do require a sanitation service occasionally. However, you can prevent or prolong your tanks freshness by using several products designed to minimize or eliminate tank “funk”, or micro-organisms that cause odor or foul tasting water. We do recommend a tank sanitation service at some point. To prolong your tanks freshness we recommend the following:

Fresh tabs that are simple to use and will treat up to 15 gallons of water per tablet and come in a six pack. Fresh tank sanitizer kit: it’s a little more involved but the results are typically more than adequate.

If your coach is equipped with a fresh water filter, it should be changed out. The recommended interval that I follow is: when I de-winterize, I change out the filter. Remember the filter has sat out of water for several months. During winter time, that alone could be the source of your taste and odor issues. If your coach is not equipped with a fresh water filter system, by all means you should install one, they are not that expensive and do more than just filter out debris.

LP Tanks Rusty?

Question: My family has owned our trailer for more than 20 years. During our last camping trip, I notice rust on several spots on the LP tank. Do I need to replace the tank or is a little bit of rust okay? How long are LP tanks good for?

Answer:Yes, your tanks should be replaced. Tanks have been upgraded to newer types in the last several years, now incorporating the OPD valves that prevent overfilling. If these aren’t in place, they need to be replaced. Under law, any tank not equipped with this type of valve is not supposed to be filled for use at all. It should be discarded and replaced. Tank life expectancy does vary depending on use and location. Generally tanks should last around 10 years. Regular inspections on the coach will ensure if any problems exist, and they can be addressed.

Tires on a Parked RV

Question: My RV has been parked since December 2011, should I put the coach up on blocks to protect the tires?

Answer: If the unit has a leveling system, I would recommend utilizing them to lessen the pressure on the tires to help prevent “tire memory”. I don’t believe completely removing the wheels is necessary. Tire covers would also be helpful in protecting your tires from sun and weather. If your RV is parked on concrete, it is recommended that you use pads or blocks under the tires to avoid flat spots on the tires. You will also need to make sure that your unit was properly winterized before it was stored.

Generator not working with A/C

Question: After using my generator power for 10 minutes to run the A/C, the generator shut off and now nothing works on battery power. Any help?

Answer:Your A/C should only work when you are on shore power or with the generator running. If you turned the generator off before turning the A/C off then you could have blown fuses or overloaded the system. Check to make sure the battery disconnect switch is in the “ON” position and there is enough fuel in the generator to run it. You will need to have more than a ¼ tank of fuel to run the generator. If both of those are okay, you need to check for proper 12VDC power to the coach and that all the fuses are functional. If those are ok, you will need to bring your unit to an authorized repair center.

Fifth Wheel Hitch Maintenance?

Question: I have a Hijacker fifth wheel hitch and I put about 3,000 towing miles on it a year. The hitch is in my daily driver and is out in the weather all year long. I have not had any maintenance done on the hitch. What kind of maintenance does a fifth wheel hitch need? How often do I need to put additional grease on the moving parts?

 

The main thing about maintaining a fifth wheel hitch is lubrication. You should either use a Teflon/plastic block between the hitch-plate and kingpin or keep it greased. You can use white lithium grease on all of the other moving parts on the hitch; the white lithium seems to pick up less road grime and dirt than conventional axle or bearing grease. You want to work the components (pull the handle and watch the jaws) to ensure all are working easily and smooth, and ensure the pivots are working the same way. You should probably lubricate the hitch at least twice a year; it is a good idea to remove the old grease before just applying more. It is also a good idea to inspect all of the fasteners before each trip. Make sure all the bolts are tight and all of the pins are in place.

RV slide out not extending

Question: While on a recent camping trip, the living room slide-out was having a problem extending fully. In the bottom right hand corner, I can see day light coming through. What can cause this to happen? How can this be fixed?

There are multiple possibilities on why a slide does not seem to function properly. There are multiple manufacturers and types of electric slides and many types of hydraulic slides. Some basics are to ensure that your batteries are fully charged. Also, if you have hydraulic slides make sure your hydraulic reservoir is where it is supposed to be. Ensure there is nothing physically blocking the slide from operating either exterior (trees, bushes, etc), interior (cabinet doors or drawers, or a towel or shoe behind the trim), or underneath (something slid under the slide from the inside).

Ensure the RV is level. That part can be a little bit tricky, if you are somewhere where you have to use quite a bit of leveling to get the RV where you want it then there is a chance that the frame has twisted enough to bind the slide, so it might be necessary, IN SOME SITUATIONS, to retract the jacks part way and inspect the opening of the slide to see how square it is and try to run the slides, then finish leveling. I know most manufacturers say to only run slides when level but SOMETIMES it is necessary. You just need to inspect first to make sure no damage will occur from rubbing on the walls.

Seeing daylight can also have multiple reasons, sometimes there is a trim that creates a gap between the wipe seals. Sometimes the wipe seals get caught and are folded the wrong way. The slide could have also come out of adjustment, or jumped a gear. Honestly if there is nothing visually wrong that you can see, I would definitely recommend setting up an appointment with Poulsbo RV service department and let us inspect and or make any necessary repairs or adjustments needed.

Odd Sounding RV Generator

Question: The generator in my Allegro Bus is making a very odd surging sound when I start it. The Allegro has been in covered storage since October. What is causing the generator to make these sounds? Why does this happen? How can I prevent this from happening in the future?

Answer:Your battery could be low and it will attempt to charge itself at a high rate, hence the altering RPMs create a surge. Depending on the fuel you use and the quality of the fuel in the generator, the surging can be a result of poor fuel delivery or the firing of the engine.

If your generator is diesel, the surge can be considered part of the normal operation of the generator. The surge is called idle hunting and when the generator finds that optimum range to run in, it will stop surging. Another option is that you can be having fuel related issues. You may not have used a fuel stabilizer when one was needed, especially before you put the unit into storage.

No matter what type of generator you have it is important to run it for one hour a month, under a load, while it is in storage. Generators should also be serviced for every 80 to 100 hours of operation they have or at a minimum once a year. Ensuring that your generator is being maintained will keep it from failing at the worse possible moment.