Archive for RV Blog
RV awnings are one of the most valuable accessories that allow you to take advantage of the outdoors in comfort. They need routine maintenance in order to last for years. It is important to make notes of the manufacturer, size, and material the awning is made from. Some awnings are made from vinyl while others are made from acrylic. There are custom awnings made from fabric or canvas coated with weatherproofing products.
If in doubt about products to clean or remove stains from your awning, contact the manufacturer and follow the recommendations given. Generally, you can clean most awnings with mild soap and a soft brush. Once clean, allow the fabric and hardware to dry completely before storing it. One safety tip that should not be ignored is this; if your awning rolls up with a spring tension, do not attempt to remove the end caps. Let an authorized RV repair shop remove, replace or repair the spring or end cap hardware.
Begin by setting up the awning and performing a thorough inspection. Take your time and scrutinize each bolt, screw, arm, tie-down and inch of fabric. If the roller, arms or stabilizers are bent, they need to be replaced before the awning is put into service. Mounting bolts should be secure and tight. If they can be pulled out or wiggled with your fingers, they need immediate repair.
RV awning repair kits are available online for holes and tears. Your awning’s manufacturer may also recommend products that work on the particular fabric. The repair kits may or may not be available in multiple colors that match your fabric, but they will prevent holes or tears from enlarging and keep the sun and rain from getting through.
Removing stains depends on two things, the type of stain and the type of fabric. Use appropriate stain removers for your awning’s fabric and follow the directions to the letter. Some stains may need multiple treatments; stains allowed to sit for years may not come out.
Cover the awning with the cleaning product and gently scrub with the soft brush. Clean both the top and bottom of the fabric. For excessively dirty awnings, roll the wet fabric up and allow to sit for a few hours before scrubbing.
For weatherproofing covered fabrics, recoat the fabric with the product after the awning has dried. This will keep the fabric protected from the elements.
The awning hardware can be cleaned with the same products used on the aluminum or vinyl siding. Do not use it on the awning fabric; wipe off any spills immediately.
The best time to maintain your RV’s awning is when it is taken out of storage and put into use and at the end of the season. For full-timers, two or three times a year is best.
Anyone new to the world of RVs and Airstreams is likely to be extremely excited about the possibilities that lay on the road in front of them. However, there is also likely to be a fair amount of anxiety when it comes to developing the skills necessary for backing and towing this addition to your outdoor life. By exploring some of the following tips, you can decrease the worry and be adequately prepared when it comes to facing this obstacle of the open road.
Get to Know Your Airstream
The additional weight that you are adding onto the back of your vehicle must not be taken lightly. You should familiarize yourself with just how heavy your Airstream is both when fully loaded and when empty. This information is valuable when it comes to determining just how capable your car or truck is of moving the load. It can also come in handy when crossing small bridges in remote destinations. Once you know that you have the right amount of power on your side, it is time to familiarize yourself with the process of hitching your trailer to your vehicle.
The Knack of the Hitch
This simple procedure begins with lining up the hitch ball on the rear of your vehicle with the trailer coupler on the rear of the RV. Put these two elements into position so that the two will come together as you lower the RV crank. Give the RV a lift to ensure that the car moves upwards with it. Secure the lock by flipping down the latch on top and then, put the safety chain in place. In order for your brake signals to transfer to the rear of the RV, plug in the electrics and check the lights.
On the Road
Now that you are ready to hit the pavement, be prepared to take corners wider than you normally would. This excess space applies to backing as well. It is also a good idea to install mirrors extensions on your vehicle, and take advantage of the eyes of all passengers when changing lanes and backing into any area. You should also familiarize yourself with the actual dimensions of the Airstream in order to avoid damaging it at low underpasses. When it comes to backing, take things slow and always remember that you are turning the wheel in the opposite direction of the way that you wish the RV to move. If you still have some trepidation when it comes to maneuvering and parking, then take your RV out to a deserted parking lot where you can set up some cones and perfect your technique without the risk of damaging your vehicle or the property of others. Your final considerations involve parking your RV for overnight stays. There are a couple of critical moves when it comes to this task. The first is to always chock your wheels to prevent rolling. The second is to always level the RV after your vehicle is cleared of the towing hitch.
The most thrilling thing about camping is that it is an adventure. There is always some aspect of excitement that comes with setting out into the unknown wilderness.
There is something completely magical about sitting around a campfire. Whether you are making s’mores, telling ghost stores or singing songs, the magic of a campfire is undeniable.
The beauty of the wilderness is one of the things that keeps drawing campers back all the time. The wonder of nature’s beauty just never gets old.
Going on a camping trip with family or friends is a great bonding experience. People who spend some time in the woods together will nearly always come back with tighter relationships than when they left.
You can’t beat the fun you will have on a camping trip. There will be a lot of laughs and a tremendous amount of enjoyment as you enjoy the wilderness setting.
6. Inexpensive Vacation
It may be a bit pricy when you are first purchasing all your camping gear. However, once you have the gear, camping is one of the most economical vacations you can possibly go on. You will usually have to pay a small fee for your campsite. You don’t have to pay for eating out, a hotel room or attractions. The joys of nature are pretty much free.
7. Relieving Stress
There is so much stress relief involved with going camping. Getting out of the crowded urban areas and communing with nature is one of the best stress relievers imaginable.
You will usually do a lot of hiking when you go camping. You may go canoeing, horseback riding or rock climbing. All of these activities are a great way to enjoy some exercise in the fresh air.
When you are camping, you will be creating some great memories that you will enjoy sharing with others for the rest of your lives. It seems like every camping trip has at least one vivid moment that is particularly thrilling or humorous that makes for a great story.
For those who are concerned about the environment, camping is one of the most environmentally friendly vacations imaginable. You will not waste any fossil fuels once you arrive at your campsite. You will be enjoying a vacation in nature that does not use up a lot of resources, and this makes you feel good.
Photographer: Tony Warelius
Before embarking on a road trip, it will come in handy to have several applications installed on your smartphone that can provide valuable tools and information at various points in your journey. There are a few apps that are considered the best and most essential mobile apps for road trips.
The first app that should not be forgotten is a flashlight app. A lot of drivers either forget to pack a regular flashlight or fail to check the batteries for replacement before hitting the road. Travelling at night you might need to look for something in the car or need to find your way somewhere if you are pulled over with car trouble. Whatever the case may be, a good flashlight app can transform your phone into a temporary flashlight. However, keep in mind that this sort of app creates a constant drain on battery and so use it sparingly and don’t forget to turn it off when you’re done.
The second app recommended for road trips is called Urbanspoon. This unique and free app uses your phone’s GPS to derive where the nearest eating locations are. Once that has been done, there are filters that can help you narrow down what kind of food you’re hungry for and what price ranges you may want to fit. If you’re unsure about a particular restaurant, the app also allows you to view how others have rated the restaurant and their respective comments concerning their dining experience there.
The third app that is comes completely free and is invaluable is The Weather Channel app. Knowing what kind of weather conditions you are encountering is essential to forming road trip plans and recalculating them if necessary. It also affects what kind of clothes you pack and lets you know when it’s a good time to be on the road or if seeking shelter is needed. Basically every road trip hinges on the performance of the weather.
The fourth road trip app that will be mentioned is Road Trip Lite. This free app can be used to keep up with your mileage and track any repairs you’ve had to have done along the way. This app is especially handy when travelling with other people. It helps them to know what exactly they are responsible for and what they need to contribute for their part of the journey.
The fifth and last app used for road trips is important if young children are accompanying you. To keep them occupied, you might want to install some free games. If you want to avoid installing individual games, the app Road Trip Fun presents a bundle of activities at the low cost of $0.99 per month.
In conclusion, preparation is key to having a successful, safe, and fun road trip. These apps are a few ways in which you can prepare yourself for keeping up with mileage and repairs, entertaining children, finding good eating locations, always having a flashlight available, and tracking weather conditions.
Each year, thousands of families pack up their Airstream trailers and get ready for a road trip. However, safety should always come first, and it’s important to know how to safely tow a trailer.
Although it doesn’t take a rock scientist to tow a trailer safely, drivers should know that towing a trailer can be quite a bit harder than simply driving a vehicle.
Before blasting off to the desired location, it’s important to perform some simple checks. The trailer and its associated safety chains need to be inspected. If all of the connections aren’t secure, it can lead to a catastrophe. Also, drivers should inspect all of the trailer’s electrical wiring.
The proper functioning of trailer electrical wires is just as important as proper safety chains. The wires that operate the trailers brakes should be functioning properly. It’s also important to check the trailer’s tires and ensure they’re properly inflated.
It’s a good idea to give the vehicle that will be towing the trailer a quick check; fuel, coolant and oil levels should be at the proper levels. It’s crucial that trailer brake lights are working correctly.
How to Load the Trailer
When towing a trailer, proper weight distribution is essential. Drivers should try to load the bulk of the weight onto the front end of the trailer.
In terms of percentage, at least 60 percent of the total weight of items on the trailer should be loaded onto the front of the trailer. Around 10 percent of the total towed weight should be resting on the trailer hitch.
Most people haven’t had extensive experience towing a trailer, so it’s crucial to get enough practice. Towing a trailer is not quite as easy as it looks. It requires the driver to pay attention to the road and safe maneuvering.
It’s especially important to get sufficient practice in before towing a trailer for a long distance. When a driver is backing up while towing a trailer, he or she should always keep on hand on the wheel, which should be in a six o’clock position.
If the driver wants to maneuver the trailer to the right, he or she will need to turn the steering wheel right, and to maneuver the trailer left, turn the steering wheel left. When using a trailer to unload a boat, low gears should be used because they’ll provide better control and power.
How to Handle a Trailer
When towing a trailer, drivers should always avoid sudden movements, which can place what is called side force onto the trailer.
If making a right turn, it’s important to allow plenty of inside room because trailer wheels move on a sharper path than vehicle tires. Changing lanes and passing other motorists are common maneuvers that drivers will need to make.
If performing these maneuvers, it’s important to signal way before changing lanes or passing other drivers. It’s also important to gradually change lanes and avoid sudden movements. By following these tips, drivers will be able to safely tow a trailer long distances.
Summer is almost at an end, and using an RV is the most comfortable way to travel. Without having to worry about hotel reservations or uncomfortable rooms, the RV is a practical alternative to traditional travel. Technology has adapted so much that RVs no longer include a simple pop-up bed; many contain large bedrooms, garages, TVs and kitchens. These advances have made traveling in an RV more like traveling in a house on wheels.
One of the best ways to choose a summer hot spot to visit is to look up the best campgrounds. Choose one of the best campgrounds and then find regional activities the family can enjoy. Schedule lots of day trips to the area and then enjoy the nice campground at the end of the day. (more…)
You have spent years saving and you are finally the proud owner of an Airstream Interstate. Airstream motorhomes are the #1 ranked Class B motorhomes, but if you want your motorhome to hold its value you need to make sure you keep it maintained inside and out. Not only will maintaining your Airstream help protect your investment, it will also extend the life of the motorhome so that you can enjoy comfortable road trips and dry camping trips for years to come. If you are not sure where to start when it comes to cleaning your Airstream, here is a straightforward guide of cleaning the interior and exterior of your Class B motorhome: (more…)
Your Airstream Travel Trailer can look like you just bought it for years to come, as long as you take care of it. Following these tips are a good way to keep yours looking like new.
1. Over time you can begin to see black marks on your camper. They will begin to show lightly at first, but if not taken care of, they will become a deep black and can become permanent. This is why it is important to make sure you wash these marks off regularly. Cleaners are available that can be used. (more…)
These vintage travel trailers are a popular sight during the summer vacation months. With the kids out of school, it’s the perfect time for a great family vacation in your Airstream travel trailer.
Now is the best time to hit the road, but first get your Airstream spruced up inside and out. Here are a few guidelines for cleaning your home on wheels.
For safety as well as comfort, check your trailer for any structural damage. On a rainy day, go out and check for leaks. Replace any rotting wood. Test the plumbing and electricity. If there are any problems, determine if it is a repair that you can do or if a professional is needed.
Clean both the black and gray water tanks and check for any leaks at the same time. Flushing them out with bleach and water will remove harmful mold. Finish the flush with plain water until the bleach smell is gone. Repair any leaks that you find with a repair kit.
Make sure the fridge is in good working order. Turn it on and try freezing some ice in the freezer section. Clean it well with warm water, dish soap and a little bleach.
Test the stove and furnace connections. Check for a garlic-like odor as this could indicate a leak. Even though it is summer, some mornings and evenings can be chilly in the highlands and desserts.
One of the advantages of trailer travel is cooking your own meals. Make sure your trailer’s range is clean and in top notch condition.
Clean cabinets,microwave,drawers and table tops just as you would perform any good house cleaning. After all, it is going to be your “home away from home” while traveling.
To finish off the inside cleaning, clean windows with an ammonia or vinegar-based cleaner. Vacuum, sweep and mop flooring. Add air fresheners, shut tightly and wash the outside last.
Pick a warm day and get the whole family involved in cleaning the outside of your Airstream trailer. This will get everyone excited about summer travel plans.
It’s great if you have a pressure washer, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Rinse off the exterior with a garden hose. This will remove any loose dirt.
Make everyone a bucket of soapy water. Adding a little white vinegar to the water will help restore shine. Provide sponges and long-handled brushes for reaching the top.
Now your Airstream is ready for travel. Happy trails!
A good polisher, scaffolding, lots of 100% cotton cloth, protective clothing (including sunglasses), a compounder, a spray bottle filled with mineral spirits or paint thinner, polishes, craft sticks, gloves.
Place scaffolding around the vehicle. Wear protective clothing including sunglasses, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. When doing compounding you should wear long chemical-resistant gloves.
Do the polishing process under a shelter. It prevents the polish from breaking down and becoming largely ineffective.
Use Rolite or NuVite polishes. The NuVite polishes allow for easier clean-up and removal from the trailer skin.
Make sure all the skin repairs and exterior work is done before stripping. Use paint strippers designed for clear coats.
Remove all the parts that can come off. Mask and tape windows and reflectors completely. This will prevent damage and avoid having to replace them.
To remove large scratches and scrapes try using a fine scouring pad a a tool that moves it at high-speed. Get as clean a finish as possible then begin the polishing process.
Remove any dried-out sealant from the seams with craft sticks. They can be broken to create sharp points or cut to fit down inside seams.
Older Airstreams were fabricated with aircraft aluminum with a very thin corrosion resistant finish. Be careful when polishing. The finish can be easily damaged.
Don’t use acids to brighten the skin or remove oxidation. Touch-up rough areas by working them more than once. Be careful not to grind through the top layer.
Apply the G7 or G6 directly to the pad and work in one 2′ x 2′ area at a time.
Start at the top of the trailer and work around the circumference. Apply heavy pressure. Every 50 sq.’ or so, change bonnets. Keep checking the finished areas for drops of mud.
Once you have the heavy oxidation removed, use the polisher and the Nuvite “S” grade polish.
Start the polisher and work in over a 2×2 foot area. Use panel and rivet lines for reference.
Go back and forth at a slow speed. One or two inches per second is the ideal speed to use.
When finished spray the mineral spirits directly on the skin and wipe with a clean rag.
Once most of the initial polishing has been completed, put a sealant over the seams. Remove the residual mud from the seams with the solvent. Then put on the final coat of polish.
Don’t let the polisher power cord touch the skin. The vibration of the polisher will make it leave marks anywhere it touches.