RV & Camping News

News from around the campfire.

California: Photoelectric symbiosis is coming to California. A private investor group, Shorebreak Energy Developers, is approaching RV parks, campgrounds and mobile home parks in the state offering to equip their properties with solar panels at no cost, and then sell the park the electricity produced by the panels, saving them 35 to 75 percent on power costs. The group has set aside $50 million for the plan.

–  Online Happenings: Internet giant Facebook has made for plenty of changes for RVers, but in this case maybe not for the good. The company is building a giant data center on farmland near Altoona, Iowa — directly in front of Griffs Valley View RV Park. Owner Ted Griffieon shrugs and says, “Progress is progress,” but will RVers who used to see open meadows and a pond be thrilled to see a modern building out front?

Borrego Springs, CA: Students on a high school-sponsored camping field trip at Borrego Springs, Cal., had a rude surprise when flammable vapors met up with a campfire with explosive results. Two students and a teacher were injured when, as a fire official told ABC News, “Something caused it to flash. The report is there was some propane or some alcohol nearby. And when I say alcohol, I don’t mean the drinking kind, but fuel of some type.”

Alaska: For the paltry sum of $279,000, you can own a piece of political history. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has put her Lexa Class A motor home on the market — looking to downsize to a Class C rig that’s easier to maneuver.

BILLINGS, Mont.:  A total of 107 KOA campground owners have already “taken the leap” and adopted one of Kampgrounds of America’s three new brand positions.
The three brand positions include:

  • KOA Journey — KOA Journey campgrounds are conveniently located near the highways and byways of North America and are waiting for campers after a long day on the road. KOA Journeys offer long pull-through sites that help make setup fast and easy, have well-lit after-hour check-in service, and offer a robust line of RV supplies. They are great places to unwind and relax before the next leg of their journey.
  • KOA Holiday — Whether campers are looking for a base camp for exploring the area or a fun place to stay with lots of activities, they are sure to love KOA Holiday campgrounds. There’s plenty to do at these KOAs, with amenities and services to make any stay memorable, whether it’s overnight or for a longer stay. Each KOA Holiday features full service RV sites and KOA Deluxe Cabins with bathrooms. Campers can take a hike, see the local attractions or still enjoy a campfire.
  • KOA Resort — KOA Resort campgrounds offer a carefree vacation in the great outdoors with plenty of patio RV sites and Deluxe Cabins with linen service. KOA Resorts also have an abundance of activities led by dedicated recreation staff, on-site food service, group meeting space, and much more. KOA Resorts are all a camper could want in a vacation destination – all in one place.

~ News From The Weird ~

– National Public Radio’s automotive experts, Ray and Tom Magliozzi (a.k.a. “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers”) were recently asked about towing a travel trailer while using the cruise control. In typical snappy fashion, the return advice included this classic line: “Just make sure you follow all the other towing recommendations the manufacturer makes, which probably include turning the overdrive off when towing, and strapping on two pairs of Depends before you head out with 6,500 pounds kissing your rear bumper.”

Special thanks to CampingPA.com for supplying these great tidbits of RVing news…

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

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RV Winterizing tips and hints…

It is that time of year once again. I recently came across this article on winterizing your camper on KOA’s (Kampgrounds of America‘s) Kompass Website.  This article is very well written, so I thought I would share it with my readers.

It’s always sad to come to the realization that another camping season is winding down. Depending on where you live, part of this realization is preparing the RV for winter storage so it will be ready to go camping again next spring. A major part of winterizing your RV is to protect the RV water system from potential damage, caused by exposure to freezing temperatures. Frozen and damaged water lines are in fact the most common problem related to not winterizing your RV, or not properly winterizing your RV.

The RV plumbing system is the most vulnerable system to damage caused by plummeting temperatures. The good news is it is easy to protect the RV water system from this potential threat. Here are my 7 easy steps to winterize your RV plumbing system.

Before you get started there are a few items you will need to have. These items can be found in most RV parts stores:

• Non-toxic RV/Marine antifreeze. The amount depends on the layout and length of your plumbing lines. Two to three gallons will normally do.
• A water heater by-pass kit, if not already installed.
• A wand to clean out the black water holding tank if the RV doesn’t have a built-in clean out system.
• A water pump converter kit, or tubing to connect to the inlet side of the 12 volt water pump.
• Basic hand tools to remove and install drain plugs.

Note: Be sure to read your owner’s manuals for unit specific winterizing guidelines. Follow the steps below that apply to your RV.

Step # 1: If you have any inline water filters remove and bypass before starting. Drain the fresh water holding tank. Drain and flush the gray and black water holding tanks. If the RV doesn’t have a built-in flushing system clean the black tank out with a wand. Drain the water heater. Open the pressure relief valve and remove the drain plug.

CAUTION: Never drain the water heater when hot or under pressure. With no water hooked up to the RV and the water pump off open a hot water faucet to remove any pressure on the system. Allow the tank to cool before draining.

Step # 2: Open all hot and cold faucets; don’t forget the toilet valve and outside shower. Locate and open the low point water drain lines. Use the water pump to help force most of the water out of the system, but turn it off as soon as the system is drained to prevent damaging the pump. Recap all drains and close all faucets.

Step # 3: By-pass the water heater. If you do not have a by-pass kit installed the water heater will fill up with RV antifreeze before it goes through the water lines, wasting six or ten gallons of antifreeze.

Step # 4: Install a water pump converter kit, or disconnect the inlet side of the water pump (the line coming from the fresh water holding tank) and connect tubing from the water pump inlet into a one gallon jug of RV antifreeze.

Step # 5: Turn the water pump on and pressurize the system. Starting with the closest faucet to the pump, slowly open the hot and then cold valves until the pink colored RV antifreeze appears. Replace the antifreeze container as required. Repeat on all faucets from the closest to the farthest away. Don’t forget the outside shower.

Step # 6: Flush the toilet until antifreeze appears. Pour a cupful of antifreeze down each drain. Pour some RV antifreeze in the toilet and flush into the holding tank to prevent any water in the tank from freezing. If your water heater has an electric heating element, turn it off. This will protect the element if the unit is plugged in while in storage. Make sure all faucets are closed.

Step # 7: Consult your owner manuals for winterizing ice-makers and washing machines.

The unit is winterized. Now, next spring when it’s time to head out in the RV you won’t have any unpleasant, not to mention costly, surprises waiting for.

For a DVD on Winterizing & Storing your RV visit www.rveducation101.com

If you have any further questions about winterizing your travel trailer or fifth wheel camper.  Please give your Central PA RV Dealer a call at 800-722-1236.
Safe Travels and Happy RVing.