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Matt Silver

The inertia of motion is a tough competitor. Unless you play good defense, it usually wins. Items not secured in place in an RV can crash and break, or just scatter and make a mess.

Here some ways to keep things in the right place in an RV that’s constantly moving forward, turning or bouncing.

Drawers and doors

It’s easy to get drawers and doors to stay shut with friction, spring action or hook latches. Take your pick.

RV RV Parts Country Roller

A simple spring-action roller catch and clip combination is cheap and effective, and probably will be for years. Catches like these have been around for about 60 years, maybe longer. This mechanism is not especially pretty, but it’s out of sight inside the cabinetry.

A brass bead catch works on much the same principle. It’s also quite effective, and it looks a lot better. It costs about twice as much.

RV RV Parts Country brass

Then there’s the designer push latch. It’s black and is designed to withstand 10 pounds of pressure. It costs about three times what the roller catch does. Whether it looks better than the brass bed catch is a matter of taste. You can compare at RV Parts Country. Price: $3 to $10.

RV Parts Country designer

Inside the cabinetry

It’s also important to keep drawer and cabinet contents from sliding around. Here’s a simple solution for dishes. Line the drawer bottom and shelves with rubber anti-slip liner. It’s cheap and comes in a choice of colors. Cut it to fit with ordinary scissors. To keep dishes from sliding, cut squares of the liner and place them between dishes. The dishes won’t slide, nor will they clatter over bumps. Keep cutoffs as jar and bottle openers. Put one in the toolbox, and one or two in the kitchen. (Small squares of this material sometimes are packaged and sold as cap grabbers, for nearly as much as a whole roll for a shelf or several drawers. Use the cutoffs!) Price: $4 to $6 per roll.

RV duck shelf liner

You can also use a dish holder. Dishes will stay in place and be organized. You can get vertical holders, such as the Camco Stack-A-Plate, which comes in a set of two sizes, for 9 ¼ and 7 ½-inch dishes and has a non-skid backing. Price: About $10.

camco stack a plate

A flexible solution is the Rev-A-Shelf Pegboard. It measures 39¼  inches x 21¼ inches. Cut it with a table saw or circular saw to fit a drawer — or two. The maple board has attractive pegs that hold items of different sizes and shapes, depending on where you place the pegs. Price: About $70.

Cutlery simply needs a divider, similar to what you would use at home. The Rev-A-Shelf CT-52 series comes in four sizes and three colors. Each can be trimmed easily with a utility knife for an exact fit. Price: $12 to 16.

RV Rev a Shelf themine

The Bath

 

So many bottles and tubes and jars! You can probably buy a purpose-made over-the-door caddy for these, some of them made of terrycloth and quite attractive. But over-the-door shoe storage is probably better. Shoe hangars are available in plastic — a necessity in a wet bath. And clear plastic lets you see exactly what’s in each pocket.

Assign each member of the family a row. A travel container can hold, say, a toothbrush or a razor, and that container can slip into a shoe pocket. That helps to keep things neat. Price: About $10.

Of course, there are some steps you can take that help to prevent damage. Flexible plastic kitchen utensils for cooking won’t make much noise if they’re hanging

Slide outs are a popular feature for good reason: They offer extra watertight interior space without hindering ease of travel.

But slide outs are not a feature that can be used and otherwise forgotten. Slide outs should get periodic maintenance, none of it particularly difficult or time-consuming. After all, you don’t want to get stuck at Crossing Creeks or any other camp because you can't retract your slider.

Here are maintenance steps to keep your slide out working smoothly, reliably and without leaks.

Seals Need Protectant

protectantDeteriorated seals can let water enter the interior. Interior water can cause rust, staining, and mildew, which in turn can cause odors and trigger allergies.

Keeping seals pliable and free of cracks keeps out water out — air, too, when driving. The key is preventing dry rot, which means preventing damage from ultra violet rays carried in sunlight.

Rubber seal conditioners are sold by RV dealers and camping suppliers, at home centers and online. They come in liquid form, sometimes with a built-in applicator, or as towelettes, which are used as applicants. The liquid, which can also be applied with a rag or sponge, is more economical.

Apply the conditioner/protectant by following directions on the container. It’s typically just sprayed or wiped on and allowed to dry. A frequently used slide out or one that is exposed continuously to sunlight should get a fresh application monthly.

Slide Out Mechanical Parts Need Lubricant

DryLubeThe moving mechanical parts of a slide out are no different than other automotive moving parts in that they require constant lubrication. A lubricant that is properly selected and correctly applied can do its job for up to a year.

A dry lubricant sprayed onto moving slide out parts forms a thin layer that does three things:

  • Allows operating parts to move without sticking
  • Blocks moisture, preventing rust
  • Discourages the buildup of dirt and road debris

Preventing dirt and grime is why dry lubricants are best for slide outs. Wet lubricants attract dirt and dust. Check your owner’s manual, however. If it says to use a wet lubricant, do so to keep your warranty intact, perhaps switching to dry after the warranty expires.

Don’t forget to lubricate your manual override. If power activation fails, and you can’t find the electrical malfunction, you’ll have to resort to muscle power. Activating with a ratchet and socket, or a supplied crank, takes work, so the smoother the manual system’s operation, the easier the task.

One Other Consideration: Battery Health

Slider rooms usually operate off power from a 12-volt battery bank. For that reason, check your bank for proper condition. Periodically, and before long trips, check:

  • Water level if batteries are not sealed, adding only distilled water if low
  • Cables for tight connections and cracks
  • Voltage, using a multimeter set on DC

Wear goggles, gloves and long sleeves when working on batteries. Slow-charge a battery that’s low and leave it unconnected, then check again after two or three days to see if it holds a charge. If not, have a pro test it and, if necessary, replace it. Replacing all batteries simultaneously is best unless the batteries are fairly new.

These steps should keep your slider working for a long time. 

Does your RV have cast iron cookware onboard?

It should. And I don’t even want to hear how old-fashioned cast iron is. It’s been around for more than a century, and it’s proven its usefulness.

Cast iron cookware comes in varying sizes and styles. It is great in an RV because it’s probably more versatile than any other cookware. Versatility translates into saving space, a major consideration. Each piece can perform multiple duties, so you need fewer pieces of cookware overall.

You’re thinking: How can a frying pan be versatile? Well, your cast iron skillet is not just a frying pan. You can fry, and you probably will for many a breakfast: bacon and eggs in one, pancakes in another. But you can also concoct a good-sized batch of really good pasta sauce, stew or homemade soup. Braise meat or fish. Heat up a quick can of soup. Grill ham-and-cheese sandwiches (and they’ll be the best you ever had). This is just on your stovetop.

Being all iron, these skillets can go in a conventional oven, not just on top of the stove. That means you can bake a cake or pie (fruit for dessert or meat for a meal), bake a deep-dish pizza, bake bread, roast meat, slow-cook pork so it’s extra moist, and heat leftovers (with far better taste than if heated by microwave).

Still not convinced? A cast iron skillet also can be used over an outdoor grill or even over a campfire. Did I mention that cooking with iron cookware increases your iron intake? It does. Really.

Seasoning Cast Iron Keeps Food from Sticking

You’ll have to keep some good potholders or mittens handy, and hot pads for preventing burns to a counter or table. You’ll also need cooking oil to prevent sticking and to season your iron skillet.

Season the skillet? Your skillet will last, if not forever, at least for generations. Seriously. You may want to do this in your home kitchen and then move the skillets to the RV. Here’s how:

  1. While it is still warm, hand wash your skillet with salt and hot water, scrubbing with a nylon brush and/or plastic scouring pad. (Never use a wire brush or metal scouring pad on cast iron.)
  2. Pat dry as thoroughly as possible, then heat on the stovetop for about 10 minutes. This prevents rust.
  3. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  4. Use a paper towel to rub the skillet, inside and out, with cooking oil.
  5. Place upside down on the middle oven rack, over a cooking tray or foil for drips.
  6. Bake for an hour.
  7. Allow to cool with the oven door open.
  8. Remove when cool, but use a mitt to be safe.

Seasoning should last for months — without food sticking. Wash between seasonings with hot water or salt/hot water, and a nylon brush and/or plastic pad, but no soap; dry on top of the stove, using heat as above. Lightly coat the inside after drying with cooking oil. If food begins to stick, do steps 1-8 again.

Is there a downside? Cast iron is heavy. It may not be a good choice for children — but you’ll be there to help. 

If you’re driving your RV on the way to Cypress Trail RV Resort and your night view doesn’t seem quite what it used to be, your headlight bulbs may not be the problem. It might be that your headlight lenses have clouded over.

Philips, which manufactures headlight bulbs, says clouding can block as much as 40 percent of your headlight illumination. Don’t be alarmed. Fogging of headlight covers, which are made of plastic, is not unusual. Some headlight covers yellow more than others. The sun’s ultra violet rays are the biggest culprit, and clouding may intensify in sunny places, including Florida.

A headlight assembly includes not only the plastic headlight lens, but also the reflector. It’s the reflector, which has an opening for the headlight bulb, that forms the shape of your headlight beam and determines how far ahead your headlights illuminate the road. The lens just keeps everything dry and dirt-free.

To eliminate cloudy lenses, you can replace each headlight assembly, but that can be expensive. The most expensive replacements would be those on Class A RVs that have custom-made headlight assemblies. Replacements for Class B and Class C RVs with standard truck or van cabs would cost less but still could run into the hundreds of dollars.

Headlight restoration kit lg

A far less expensive solution is to clean the headlight covers yourself. Headlight cleaning kits typically cost less than $25. They usually provide multiple grits of sandpaper, emery paper or abrasives loaded onto pads. You must rub the lens, starting with the coarsest grit and ending with the finest. Some kits may require you to place the sandpaper on an electric drill and use the drill to clean the lens. The kits also probably have a cleaning/sealing solution to use when you’re done.

After about an hour of work, your headlights will be brighter. The treatment is likely to last a year or longer, after which you’ll have to do it again.

Here are two other do-it-yourself solutions:

  • Remove the headlight bulb, and without touching the glass bulb itself, set it aside. Then remove the headlight assembly. Immerse it completely in a bucket of white vinegar for at least an hour. It should be clear when you remove it. Thorough rinse, allow to dry, and reassemble.
  • Mask the paint and trim around the lens. Apply an insect repellant containing DEET onto a paper towel or rag. Rub the lens, applying pressure, until the clouding disappears. Then clean the lens and remove the masking tape, and you’re good to go. This method takes little time and costs only a few dollars, but in about six months the clouding will reappear and you’ll have to clean the lenses again. Warning: Don’t skip the masking step and don’t spray the insect repellent directly onto the headlight lens; insect repellant can damage car finishes. 

There is one other way to clean headlight lenses. It’s easy, and the cost falls somewhere between replacement and DIY methods. Just have your mechanic defog your headlights. He’ll probably charge $80 to $100. Because he’ll use a professional-grade sealant, the treatment should last for years.  

Monday, 07 August 2017 13:56

Avoid Fatigued Driving for a Safe Trip

tired man on white

Would you get behind the wheel of your RV if you were legally drunk?

Not likely. Very dangerous. Extremely irresponsible.

Would you get behind the wheel of your RV if you were sleep deprived?

Maybe, and sometimes when you don’t even know it.

But is tired driving dangerous? Is it irresponsible? Maybe as much as driving drunk, according to studies by the Transport Accident Commission, a government-sponsored agency in Alberta, Canada. Research by TAC finds that fatigue plays a roll in as many as 20 percent of all traffic accidents — even more in rural areas.

Sleep-related fatigue may come even if you’ve had a full night’s sleep. Being awake for a long time before hitting the road — so you can leave after your shift ends, after soccer practice, or after traffic thins out, such as at night — can impair your alertness and reactions. Being awake for 17 hours has the same effect on a driver’s capabilities as having a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent, or about three or four drinks, TAC found. And a driver who hasn’t slept for 24 hours suffers impairment similar to those with a blood alcohol content of 0.1 percent —more than enough to make a driver legally drunk.

Tired drivers:

  • React more slowly
  • Lack concentration, leading them to misjudge speed and distance
  • Display less vigilance and poor judgment
  • Nod off, which is dangerous even if it lasts just a few seconds

You may or may not recognize the symptoms of fatigue. You’re likely to have difficulty maintaining speed — risky in heavy traffic. Faster, slower, faster again.  That’s not good, and you know it. You may be irritable and less patient. You may find yourself slamming the brakes because you didn’t react in time, or because you over reacted. Maybe you just yawn a lot. You may cramp up or generally feel stiff. Do you remember the last mile maker or passing a familiar landmark? Did you wander partially into another lane?

OK, you figure, “Speed control will maintain my speed.” It will, even after something happens that requires you to hit the brakes. If you’re too fatigued to have noticed, you keep barreling toward disaster, just as if your foot is still on the accelertor. And chances are, if you were too fatigued to recognize that, you won’t pick up on other dangers, either.

To fight fatigue, observe these practices:

  • Limit travel to eight to ten hours daily
  • Take breaks every two hours
  • Share the driving
  • Avoid alcohol before you drive — even hours before
  • Don't travel when you're usually sleeping
  • Nap for 15 minutes if drowsy

But most importantly, get a good night’s sleep before you travel. The human body can’t fight sleep forever. A buildup of chemicals in the brain will eventually win out, causing you to fall asleep. You want that to happen at a rest stop or while someone else is driving — not in the left lane at 65 miles per hour. 

Wednesday, 05 July 2017 18:45

Top 3 tips to RV with your pet

If your pet is part of your family and you want to make sure your RV has everything your little friend may need, you may find our top 3 tips useful.

Keep Fido cool

If your RV is not a newer late-model, you may have a ventilation and excess heating problem. In order to properly ventilate the RV, you may have to think about adding a powerful exhaust vent fan to make sure your pet will not suffer too much from the heat.

Also, to make sure the temperature is always safe, you should consider a vent fan with a built in thermostat so that you don’t have to stress out if you forget to turn on the fan manually.

Bring a pet first aid kit with you

Everyone who lives with a pet knows the importance of having a pet first aid kit. For who of you who isn’t sure about how to create a pet kit we have you covered.

The first thing to do is to purchase a first aid kit for humans and add the following specific items from a pet store:

  • Self Cling bandages
  • Strips to prevent biting
  • Pet specific medications
  • Eye and Ear Cleaners

We also suggest talking with your vet before leaving for every trip so that he can suggest what to bring with you depending on the location.

Keep the odor away

Unfortunately, our best friends can "smell like a dog" and this may cause a problem if you're all living together in the same motor home for more than few days. One piece of advice is have only a small amount of fabric inside the RV. You can replace the pieces you can with leather or vinyl. This will help a lot since these materials don't allow scents to penetrate and stay in the material. If you really don’t want to change your RV, there are many portable steam cleaners that you can bring with you every time you go out for a trip.

Wednesday, 05 July 2017 18:30

Do you need to change your set of tires?

If you’ve owned your RV for more than five years, you may need to start thinking about changing your set of tires. They may be looking perfectly fine from an external view but they may be damaged inside. If this is the case, this would cause major damages to your RV and be costing you a lot of money.

They may look perfectly fine from an external point of view, but they may be damaged inside. If this is the case, this could cause major damages to your RV and potentially put your and your family at risk. This oversight can cost you your health and your money.

So how do you select your new set of tires?

When selecting your new or slightly used set of tires, you should start thinking about what you expect in terms of long-term performance: Are you looking for a set that lasts longer? Are you looking for a set of tires made for really heavy loads? Quiet rides?

The answer to these questions come from some of the markings on the sidewall of the tire. That series of letters and numbers is called the "Uniform Tire Quality Grading" (UTQG) and measures the tire's treadwear, traction, and temperature.

So what do these letters and numbers tell you about the tire?

Treadwear

The first number in the sequence measures the treadwear and it allows you to understand how long your set of tires will last. A greater number will mean a longer lifespan of the tires.

Traction

The traction capability is ranked by the two letters following the first numbers and it gives you an idea of how good are your tires to stop on a wet road.  If your tire has the best traction will be rated AA. Instead, a not performing tire will be rated C.

Temperature

The final letter gives you the rating of the temperature and indicated the ability of your tire to dissipate the heat. The rating goes from A to C with A that stands for better heat dispersion when at high speed (Over 115 miles per hour).

Friday, 26 May 2017 19:16

Keep Your RV Insect Free

If you find yourself dealing with bugs and insects inside of your RV, you’re not going to be a happy camper. Those middle of the night buzzing sounds of mosquitos or bugs annoying you during the drive can drive you crazy.

Here at Cypress Trail we made a list of the best ways to keep insects out of your motorized sanctuary.

Tapes to fix RV

Sealants and Tapes:

Check for any open space in contact with the outside. Any vent, window or the smallest gap can cause you troubles. Think about how bugs could enter your specific vehicle and, if you find any possible spot, try to seal it.

The best way would be a sealant from a trusted brand. If you don’t have time to find a suitable sealant, the second best option would be to use any kind of robust tape.

Once this first step is completed you can consider some additional precautions to keep your RV safe from mosquitoes, spiders ants, and any other unwanted guest.

 
RV Portable Diffuser

Portable Diffuser:

These may be used inside and outside the vehicle. They can be an electronic device or a fire lamp. You can choose from different scents depending on the brand you prefer but all are safe and contain natural ingredients. Also, depending on your selection, you may get the side benefit of the scent creating a beautiful warm atmosphere inside your RV.

 
RV Insect Spray

Spray

If you don’t want to use electrical devices or just don’t want to spend time setting them up throughout the RV, a spray is a good option. Just don’t depend too much on sprays, as insects will be deterred from biting you; but they’ll still be inside your RV waiting for you to take a shower.

 

Granular Repellent:

This may be the best option to be used near your RV and in the outside areas. It’s an effective repellent usually used for the outdoors. Most of these products are natural, biodegradable and very safe. The main ingredients are just scented oils such as lemon grass oil and mint oil. But check to make sure they are safe for pets.

Wristband:

The main ingredient in this wristband is called Geraniol and it has been proven effective repelling a variety of insects. We did not have the pleasure to test it so we cannot suggest it with confidence. We would consider it together with some other repellent such as the diffuser or the granular repellent, just to cover your bases.

We hope you found these tips helpful for your next trip. Check our blog posts for more tips and suggestions on how to enjoy better your RV lifestyle!

If you are considering investing your hard earned money, but you don’t want to risk it in the residential real estate market or volatility of the stock market, owning an RV park lot may be an excellent option.

 

More and more regular people are making the decision to buy this niche type of investment, for many different reasons. Mainly they just want to enjoy their vacation without having to cover long distances and pay too much for storage or expensive vacation rentals.

 

You may be surprised to know that RV campgrounds are one of the real estate investments with the highest return (around 15% to 20%). Considering an ROI of around 10% for a residential real estate investment and 7% for a stock market investment, owning an RV park lot looks like an intelligent solution.

 

Why Owning an RV Park Lot Can Be a Good Financial Investment

How to select the best lot to maximize your investment?
 

Location, location, location… It’s the most important factor.
 

Since location is tied to demand, It determines the initial cost of the investment and the profit when you may want to sell it or rent it.

Selecting a lot in a resort in Fort Myers, FL may be a different price and rate of return compared to a summer-only location like Montana.
 

Amenities

 

When choosing an RV Park, a property with luxury amenities brings more RV patrons and higher demand. Top amenities include:

  • Swimming pool

  • Wifi

  • Assorted racquet sports like tennis and bocce ball

  • Dog park

  • Electrical power for parked campers

  • Fitness center
     

Management

 

The people running the property is another important factor when selecting an RV parking lot. You want to be sure that the property offers a top-notch customer service and that the management takes care of the facilities and amenities. More desirable RV parks have management that treats each lot owner as a family.

Some tips to maximize your RV lot investment:

Do a little bit of homework up front then reap the rewards of not only owning and investment that should increase in value over time but serves as a wonderful vacation spot to unwind from the day to day grind.

 

Here are some tips to help with your selection:

 

  • Spend enough time to research and investigate. Don’t rush and take your time.

  • When visiting the properties, ask the owner to show you the amenities and make sure that all work properly.

  • Make sure that the demand for the chosen location is high enough to be able to sell it at a higher price later after few years.

  • Look for reviews online

  • Contact the current management to see if all is running properly at the location

 

The last step is just to decide if you like the Florida sunny weather, mountain views in Wyoming or somewhere in between!

You've planned your trip and vacation spots but not sure if you forgot something? Is your head full of questions like "Am I missing anything in my RV before I hit the road?”

 

Well, at Cypress Trail RV Resort we’ve got you covered. We have created a list of the top 3 must-haves for you RV:

 

RV Internet Connection

 

Wifi Rv Device

 

Let's admit it. These days we can’t go anywhere without being "online". It's a real addiction. Just thinking of missing your favorite Netflix show or checking your Facebook status makes you anxious. So before leaving, consider a WIFI option so that you can enjoy your tablet, phone and PC while traveling.

 

Here are three ways to have a solid internet connection while on the road with your RV:

 

Private WIFI Networks

Before leaving make sure to select a luxury RV resort so that you can find a hard wired connection and wifi in the public areas. This would solve the problem without spending unnecessary money on other carrier plans or devices.

 

Satellite Connections

This is a good option if you are willing to spend some cash on a permanent solution that travels everywhere you go. It does add some heavy equipment to your RV and comes with a monthly subscription cost.. It’s not an easy choice. Also, internet speed will vary depending on wind, rain, and mountainous terrain.

 

Wireless Providers

This may be an option for travelers that find themselves without the time to look for the right location or to find another solution. Just using your mobile phone, you can use its internet connection and it’s the phone’s data plan that works as a wireless tower. The quality of connection will rely on the quality of network and coverage of your preferred operator company. But clearly it will be slower than a more permanent solution mentioned above.

 

RV GPS

RV GPS

 

For all of you that don’t like to rely on maps anymore when traveling long distances, GPS is something you need to consider. Even if you could easily use your smartphone, having an RV GPS device mounted to your command center would enhance your driving experience and make it safer for sure. That’s because these GPSs are built just for RVs and pre-select the best route for your RV considering your vehicle size and weight restrictions.

 

In our opinion, the top three 2017 RV GPSs are the Garmin RV 660LMT, Rand McNally RVND 7730 LM, and the Garmin RV 760LMT. These range from $290 to over $500.

 

RV Solar Power Solution

 

This last solution offers the freedom to use every electronically device in your RV just with the power of the sun! Just imagine increasing the autonomy of your RV for long journeys.

 

If you think that the cost would be too high, think again. Considering the many options in the market and the benefits, you should view this as an investment that will pay for itself over time. This is especially true if you’re used to taking many trips a year.

 

We hope you found our choices useful. Leave a comment with your top 3 Must-haves for your RV!

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