Hi Mark My Words Readers!
As the cold weather approaches, it’s almost time to start winterizing those rigs. If you have questions about winterizing, please send them in and we’ll talk about it next month. For now, I’ll field a few general RVing questions. Thanks for writing and remember to send your RVing questions to [email protected].
We just bought a camper last year and from the beginning it seems like it takes 45 minutes to an hour to fill the freshwater tank. Are we doing something wrong or is something wrong with the RV? We have a 50-gallon tank.
Does your coach have a valve that you turn to fill the water tank from the city water hookup? If so, there may be a restriction either at the valve or in the pipe that carries the water. It should only take 10 or 15 minutes to fill your tank, so something is reducing the flow. Sometimes a piece of stray plastic sprue (left over from the pipe cutting and installation) will get lodged in the pipe or valve and block the water, that might be what’s happening. It’s also possible that the pipe is kinked or squished. If you can see the entire run of pipe, and it looks good, I’d suspect the valve.
We have a 2017 RV and just back from a trip. Something hit the skylight over the shower and there is about an inch-and-half square hole in it at the top. What do you suggest to patch that without it looking too bad? It’s off-white.
If there are no cracks radiating from that hole in the skylight, then it may be indeed be patchable. The only thing I would recommend is Eterna bond tape, about a 4-inch square piece. Unfortunately, that’s going to look funny from the inside, but the white tape should not be noticeable from the outside. Clean the area around the hole thoroughly, and then wipe it down with rubbing alcohol and let it dry before you apply the tape. Eterna bond is designed for patching RV roofs, and it should make a long-lasting repair.
If there are any cracks radiating from the hole, it’s going to be pretty much impossible to patch, because those cracks will continue to grow, and they will leak. The only option in that case would be a replacement skylight.
Last year we sold our fifth-wheel and bought a 27-foot Travel Trailer. We thought pulling the Travel Trailer would give us much better gas mileage because the TT weighs less than the fifth-wheel. Not so! It was about the same at 10 mpg average. We have a 2004 GMC Duramax Diesel 2500. Doesn’t the weight play a large part in fuel economy?
The truth is it’s not primarily the weight that affects your gas mileage when towing, although it does play a role, especially when going up or down a hill. The real killer is wind resistance, and, to a lesser extent, rolling resistance. That big, tall square thing you are pulling behind you is hardly aerodynamic and displaces a lot of air, causing a lot of drag. The faster you go, the greater the negative effect this drag has on your mileage, so reducing your towing speed is the most effective way to maximize your MPG. You can minimize rolling resistance by making sure your trailer tires are properly inflated and that the bearings are in good shape and the brakes are not dragging. Anything you can do to minimize the trailer’s weight will also help, like not traveling with full water and/or holding tanks unless it’s really necessary to do so. A rate of 10 mpg really isn’t too bad! About the best I did with my fiver and truck was 8 mpg.
Sometimes when we need to have our fridge on propane, it works for a while and then the check light comes on. The propane tank is full, so gas supply isn’t a problem. It seems to be fine on AC power.
While a number of different problems can cause the symptoms you mentioned, I suspect that the most likely cause of your problems would be a dirty propane burner on your refrigerator. Over time, carbon and debris build up on the burner assembly, causing intermittent failures/check lights. The burner is really easy to access; just open the outside access panel for the fridge compartment and look for a plate that can be removed at the bottom of the chimney. With this small plate removed, you can see the burner and can clean it with a small brush to remove any deposits. Check your refrigerator’s manual for more information. If you don’t have a manual for your fridge, you can download one at either www.dometic.com or www.norcold.com. The burner should be inspected and cleaned about once a year.
I have only 10- and 20-amp breakers in my home electrical breaker box. My RV is 30 amp. When at home, I plug the RV service into a 20 AMP outlet to get my electricity to the RV. When I turn on my RV AC, after a while, it trips the breaker. What I needed to know is, can I change one of the 20-amp breakers over to a 30-amp breaker in the box without worrying about burning my house down?
DO NOT replace a 20-amp breaker with a 30-amp breaker! The whole idea behind having the breaker is to protect the wiring from excessive current. That outlet is probably wired with 12-gauge wire, which is not large enough to safely support a 30-amp service. Putting in a larger breaker is a lot like using a penny to replace a fuse in the olden days. The resulting over-current condition can indeed cause a fire when the wiring overheats. Have a qualified person add a new 30-amp breaker and a dedicated 30-amp circuit for your RV to your home breaker panel.