Are Your Tanks Expired?
Did you know your RV (all for that matter) propane tanks have a date that you won’t be able to refill them anymore? All propane tanks have a date of manufacture stamped onto the top “handle or collar” part of the tank. Most retailers will not fill that tank anymore if the current date is 10 years (your state may be different) past the date of manufacture.
If it’s past 10 years you have 2 choices. You could either bring the tank to a propane retailer who does recertifications or just buy a new tank. If you get it re-certified know that the recertification is only good for 5 years. If you get your tank recertified, there will be an “E” stamped next to the date.
As far as our tanks go, we will more than likely purchase new ones. Propane is something we would rather not play around with.
We Hope This Helps
We Have To Get Out Of Here Now!!!
With all the crazy weather we have seen around the country, we thought it would be a good time to post this tip. If you are a regular visitor of this site you know we highly suggest that you have multiple weather apps and a good weather radio with you while you are RV’ing. As a matter of fact, if you scroll down this page you will see our tip on weather radios. Also, check out our 3 part weather series.
Have A “Go Bag”
Have a “Go Bag” ready at all times. Especially at night. This way if your weather radio goes off in the middle of the night telling you to evacuate you will at least have some important things with you should your RV be destroyed. Things like medications, phone chargers, protein bars and water to name a few.
Check out our full article on what a “Go Bag” is and the importance of having one. Once it posts we will put a link to it here so make sure you check back. You won’t want to miss that article!!!
Hey BooBoo, Is That A Pic-A-Nic Basket
Whether you are in an RV park or not, a tent or an RV, a Yurt or a Cabin, it’s never a good idea to leave food outside. Always clean up after you eat whether it’s a meal or smores. Also, don’t bring food into your tent. You will have dinner guest!!! Animals love to come out and check campsites for any leftover food.
There’s nothing like walking out the door to be greeted by two eyes looking back at you nibbling on some old corn on the cob. Ask us how we know…lol. Keep you and your family safe by cleaning up after you’re done eating.
Not all wild animals are aggressive but sometimes if you scare them they will go into a protective mode and may attack.
We hope this helps.
Do you love the look and atmosphere that burning candles give off? Picture this, you’re sitting in your recliner or on your couch and the lights are off. Your RV windows are open letting in a gentle breeze and you’re watching the flickering lights from the candles you have lit as you listen to the sounds of nature in the distance. The next thing you know you fall asleep. This is the dangerous part.
All It Takes Is A Little Breeze
A little breeze in the right direction and that nice candle flame just touched the window curtain and within minutes your RV is up in flames. RV’s burn extremely quick. Don’t let this happen to you. There is a better solution.
Instead of a normal candle with a flame, use a Flameless Candle. They are battery operated and can be set on a timer to turn off automatically if you fall asleep. They come in different sizes and are even controlled by remote control!!!
We hope this helps.
How many times have you come back to your RV after an event, sightseeing in the dark? You head towards your door and…whack!!! The RV entry steps just tattooed your shins. What about walking around your site and as you walk across the back of your truck, bam!!! You just got a shin tattoo from your hitch…lol
Both of those scenarios hurt. Maybe even enough to let a few choice words fly…lol. We have an idea that might help.
It’s called reflective tape. Apply it to your steps and any small amount of light will reflect off the tape and you will now know where your steps are. No more tattoos!!! Remember to leave your awning or other outside light on so there is some kind of light to reflect.
We hope this helps
Keyed Into Safety
Did you know that many RV manufacturers use the same keys on almost all RV’s for storage area doors? They do the same with the top lock keys on your front door!!! This is done for their convenience, If they are showing multiple RV’s they don’t have to search through hundreds of keys. Convenient for them, unsafe for you.
CH751 Super Common Key #
When we first bought our RV in 2015, we compared our storage key with everyone we knew that had an RV. It was a 99.9% match!!! The year of the RV did not even matter. We matched with a few that were 10 years old!!! Your front door has two locks. If you look closely, you will see a letter by the keyhole. That is the master key letter for the dealer. It also means anyone with that letter on their RV has the same front door key as you!!!
There is Some Good News!!!
The good news is the deadbolt part of your lock should be unique. When you leave your RV, make sure you always lock your deadbolt. There is also another solution. We replaced all our locks on our storage compartments. It was a fairly easy process. We replaced ours with tubular cam locks. You have to do a little measuring but they’re fairly easy to install. We are also looking into replacing the front door locks with a combo/key style door lock.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is at the very least replace your storage keys and always use your deadbolt on the front door. Remember the top lock on your front door is a common key and could possibly be fairly useless.
We hope this helps.
What’s That Smell?
Did you know that propane manufacturers add scents to propane? Propane is a colorless and odorless gas that is extremely flammable. If no scent was added and you had a leak, you could easily ignite a fire or worse unknowingly. By putting in a rotten egg type smell, you will potentially be alerted to a leak. What else can you do to ensure safety when dealing with your propane tanks?
The Soapy Water Test
Something you should do each and every time you have your propane tanks filled is the soapy water test. It is an inexpensive test that can potentially save your life. All you need is a small spray bottle, some dish soap, and water. Pour a small amount of dish soap into a spray bottle and add water.
You Do Not Want To See Bubbles
Turn on your propane at the bottle and make sure all your appliances that run on propane are off. This will pressurize your system. Spray all the hoses, fittings, and bottles with the soapy water. If you see any bubbles, you have a leak. Turn the propane off immediately and get it repaired. If you have no bubbles and no smell you can be reasonably assured you have no leaks.
Remember to spray everything that has propane flowing through it.
We hope this helps.
Oh My Aching Back
Some campgrounds pick up trash right at your site. You put your garbage out and they come around at set times and pick it up. Convenient? Hell yeah!!! The problem is that many do not offer this. The majority have dumpsters located somewhere on the campground and you need to bring your garbage over to them.
What About Laundry?
Many full-timers and even some part-timers will need to do laundry while at a campground. Most campgrounds have limited parking near their laundry room. That means you will be lugging bags of laundry across the park. Did you ever lift a bag of wet towels?…lol
So what can you do? Ah, glad you asked. We have seen many people using portable wagons. Yes, kind of like the ones you had as a kid. Remember the little red wagons? Uh oh, I think I am showing my age. Anyway, these wagons have come a long way.
Easy To Store
Some of them can hold up to 225lbs!!! That’s a lot of garbage/laundry!!! You can also use them to get your fishing gear to the catch and release pond. The very best feature of these wagons is that they collapse down to almost nothing. This makes them easy to store while you’re on the move.
Hopefully, this tip has saved you from a Chiropractor bill…lol.
Your sitting in your RV and a storm is approaching. You are following the updates on your local weather channel when all of a sudden the electric goes out. Now what? The storm isn’t going to stop coming just because you lost electric. You might have a battery operated radio but that won’t let you look at radar images. Do you just sit there and hope the electric comes back on? I don’t think so.
Stay Informed Even When The Power Is Out
You probably have all the storm information you need right on your phone. Weather apps, radar apps, local news apps all at your fingertips. The problem is that eventually, your phone will die too. No worries. You listened to this tip and bought a battery-operated cell phone charger. When your phone is dying you just plug it into the charger. You can get a couple of charges out of each set of batteries. Now you can pay attention to the storm info and stay safe.
Check out our full review of the charger we have by clicking here. I will post a link here to it so make sure you check back by Friday. In the meantime, I hope this helps.
Jafar, I’m Stuck!!!
This is a funny line of a scene in the movie Aladdin. When it’s applied to you and your RV, it’s not funny anymore. Breakdowns are serious business. Whether it’s a mechanical breakdown, flat tire, or just out of gas, when you’re stuck on the side of the road, your safety is in jeopardy. I used to operate a tow truck for many years. We had big flashing lights on our trucks so people driving could see us on the side of the road. It wasn’t perfect but it helped. What do you have?
What would you do if all of a sudden you found yourself stuck on the side of the road? If it was something simple you could fix it yourself. If not, you can always call roadside assistance. Those will both work and are great ideas. But what do you do while waiting? What if you’re stuck halfway up a hill or in a curve? How will approaching vehicles see you?
The best thing you can do is make yourself visible. Do what the truck drivers do. Set up your reflective triangles. This is the best way we know of to warn other approaching drivers to slow down because there is a hazard ahead. Every RV’er should have a set of these. Making yourself visible can save your life one day.
We hope this helps.
Who Turned Out The Lights?
Did you ever go out for the day and stay out longer than you expected? What about going to a late campground activity? Either one of these could be super fun but what happens when you get back to your RV? Are there any animals lurking under or around your camper? What about getting the door open? Now it’s pitch black and you can’t see anything. Maybe you have one of those pocket flashlights you can fumble around and look for. These scenarios could be frustrating or even deadly (depending on what animal lurks in the darkness…lol).
No Matter What Time You Leave
Here is your tip for this week. It’s a simple one. Leave your RV outside light on even if you leave early in the morning. That way if you get back later than you thought, you’re covered. Whether it’s an LED strip like ours or just a yellow bulb near the door, it will allow you to easily see your keys, (and not bang into the steps…lol) and with no effort at all your inside!!!. Hopefully, you also read our tip on the use of reflective tape.
We hope this helps.
Win Your Match Against Flying Insects
Everyone hates flies and mosquitos. I think that’s a given. Flies are annoying and with mosquitos, there are not only those painful itchy bites you have to worry about anymore. More and more mosquitoes are carrying deadly diseases now too.
We have found an item that will take care of this little problem and also make it fun. What is it you ask? It is an electric fly swatter with a light for night swatting of course…lol
These fly swatters are shaped like tennis racquets and work extremely well at killing flys and mosquitos, and as a bonus feature, they have a small LED light for night zapping!!!
Chris usually keeps ours right next to her while she watches tv. If you ask me, she has a little too much fun watching these insects fry…lol. Disclaimer: I don’t know how much it will help your tennis swing…lol.
We hope this helps.
Fire!!! How Do I Get Out?
If your Rv were to catch fire, would you know how to get out? Have you ever thought about what you would do? RV’s burn quickly. If your RV were to catch fire you do not have a lot of time to get out. If you have to spend time thinking about where to go, it might be too late. I have already talked about the importance of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, now it’s time to talk about what to do if your smoke detector goes off and your rig is on fire. Plain and simple…GET OUT!!!
Let Me Repeat…Get Out!!!
Know where your emergency exits are and how to use them. Obviously, your main door is one exit but what if that is where the fire is? Most RV’s have alternate exits. Mainly windows that pop out. Our RV has both bedroom windows that pop out and also the window in the main living area pops out. Keep in mind that the window exits can be anywhere from 5- 8 feet above the ground. So think about a flexible/rope ladder that you can easily hang from the window to climb down. You can keep it next to the bed folded. Be sure to practice using it. Remember, the time to figure out how to use the emergency exits and practice with the ladder is not during an actual fire. Make sure anyone that you take camping with you is also up to speed on the exit plan and exit tools usage.
We hope this helps.
Smoke, Carbon Monoxide, and LP Gas Detectors
Whether you are preparing for the season’s first trip or a full-timer, I urge you to make sure your devices are working properly. A fire in an RV spreads so rapidly that you will need every second to get out. A carbon monoxide detector might be something you don’t think you need. If you have an older Rv, you might not even have one. If that’s the case, I urge you to get one. Although rare, there have been cases where entire families have died due to carbon monoxide poising while sleeping in their RVs. The same goes for LP gas detectors. If you don’t have one, get one!!!
If you are a seasonal RV’er, make sure you check the batteries at the beginning of each season, BEFORE you take your first trip. Full-time RV’ers should check them at least twice a year. Another thing to check is expiration dates. Yes, that’s right I said expiration dates. These devices, just like medications, have expiration dates. Make sure you check them.
Change Those Batteries
I have a spreadsheet that I enter the info on. The system that I use is that I put an alert on my phone every 6 months. That way I won’t forget to do it. When the alert goes off, I check my detectors and log the info. I change the batteries once a year, even if they test ok. Another way to do it is to make up a chart of dates and log every time you check your devices. Tape the paper in a cabinet that you go into frequently. That way every time you open that cabinet you will see the reminder and chart.
Do Not Disregard
Please don’t disregard this advice. Mishaps can and do happen in RV’s. Make sure you and your family are protected while you enjoy that time with nature.
We Hope This Helps.
Credit Card Fails
When you are taking a day trip into town, how do you fund it? Do you bring cash or use credit? We carry as little cash as possible in our RV. We deal with a credit union that has an extensive network of ATM’s if we need to get cash. Most of our purchases are done with a credit card. We use credit cards for a couple of different reasons. First, we are protected in our purchases and second, we earn points towards cashback!!! We love cash back!!! Very important side note, pay the bill in full when it comes or else your cash back goes to the interest!!!
What Did I Do With That Wallet
Now, what if you lose your wallet or purse while you are out. If you are carrying all your cards you will now have to cancel them. Bummer. You will now need to wait for new cards to be sent to your mail service. Then you have to pay and wait even longer for your mail service to mail them to you. What do you pay your bills in the meantime?
This is what we do. We have 3 credit cards. Chris will carry 1 and I will carry 1. We keep the other 1 in a safe. That way if one of us loses our cards and we have to cancel, we still have the other one ready to use until the replacements come. If we both lose our cards at the same time, we still have the one in the safe.
We hope this helps.
First Aid Kit
One thing you might run into while RV’ing is not having a medical facility close by. Not every area has local hospitals or walk-in centers. This could turn a minor incident into a major one fast. A first aid kit might make a huge difference in an emergency situation. We carry several types in the RV and also carry a kit on the motorcycle. One thing you should NOT do while choosing a first aid kit is to go cheap. You should make sure in addition to the usual gauze and band-aids that most carry, you have ointment for burns, antibacterial creme, scissors, ice packs.
Make sure you have everything located in or near your kit. In an emergency, you don’t want to have to search the entire RV looking for your kit. It wouldn’t hurt to throw a flashlight near the kit either. Make sure you periodically check the kit for expiration dates or missing items. The bottom line is whether you RV full-time or part-time, a good premium first aid kit is a must-have item. We also keep one on our motorcycle.
Weather Radio Is A Must
During your traveling, you will no doubt run into bad weather. We always keep very close tabs on the weather. There have been some severe storms in or around some of the areas we were in so this seemed like a perfect time to put up this tip of the week. Get a weather radio!!!
We Can’t Stress The Importance
It seemed like we were just lucky enough to stay 1 step ahead of the weather this past week. I can’t stress enough the importance of having a good reliable way to monitor the weather. Both Chris and I have several weather-related apps and radars on our phones. We keep them charged or nearly charged at all times if there are active weather systems nearby.
Get The Codes
Another thing we have is a weather radio. For such a small expense we feel it could one day save your life. We keep fully charged batteries in it at all times for back-up should the electric go out. It takes a few minutes to set up in each location. You need to enter the county code and channel frequency of each area you are in. This information is online on the NOAA site. Click on this to access the codes.
Very Loud Alerts
Should there be any alerts or warnings the radio goes off with a message or siren depending on the notification. We keep ours on full blast. I do not think there are too many people that could sleep through one of those alerts/sirens. The first time it went off on us, we were in a deep sleep and we jumped so high from the bed we almost hit the ceiling…lol.
We hope this helps.