What is the best way to remove leaf stains on a fifth-wheel EPDM roof? We had a recent storm come through while in an RV campground, and it was several days before we returned home and discovered the stains. We have not tried to remove them. Your input would be greatly appreciated! Patrick
The way I deal with roof stains is to “pretend not to see them.” This has been working fine for me for years, and let’s face it, the roof just isn’t very visible unless you’re in a helicopter.
If you simply must clean the roof, you can use Dicor’s rubber roof cleaner (RP-RC160C), but many folks use either Simple Green or Spic n Span. A stiff scrub brush and a bucket of warm water with some Dawn dish soap and some bleach work pretty well, too. Always wet down the sides of the rig before washing and rinsing the roof, or you’re likely to get streaks down the sides. Be extremely careful; that rubber gets really slippery when wet and soapy, and a fall from the RV roof can seriously injure you! Never use any cleaner that has petroleum distillates, abrasives or citrus oil in it on the rubber membrane. Mineral spirits can be used very sparingly by moistening a rag with it and rubbing a stain or gob of sap, but use as little as possible, then wash the spot with soap and water. If these methods and products don’t remove the stain, you’re way better off leaving it there than trying to remove it with a solvent or abrasive!
Good Morning Mark,
Since the cold weather has set in, I was wondering if I can run my furnace while I travel in my motorhome. It doesn’t seem like I could with the wind and all. But I don’t know any other way to keep the whole unit warm when traveling.
Most RV furnaces will operate just fine when traveling, as the burner is fed by a forced-air system. The only issue is that you must have the propane supply turned on. Some folks choose to shut off the propane supply at the tank while traveling, because it is safer. If you think about it, the propane system being pressurized while traveling would be a significant additional fire hazard if you had an accident or a vehicle failure that allowed propane gas to escape. I personally turn off my propane at the tank when I’m driving. It’s up to you. Just be aware that if you do travel with the propane on and appliances operating, you MUST shut them off BEFORE you approach any type of fueling station. To clarify, before you approach the fuel island or dispenser, the furnace (and any other appliance that uses a spark or a flame) must be shut off. You don’t want any kind of potential ignition source present while you are fueling!
We have a 1998 Winnebago Chieftain Class A motorhome that has developed a problem with the slide that is in the kitchen area. The slide appears to be dropping about ½ inch on the back part of the slide and it’s starting to rip up the flooring in this area. We have tried to raise it but cannot see an adjusting bolt or screw to fix the problem. We would be grateful if you have any solutions to the problem as to how we can raise that corner back up to its original position before it drops further or rips more of the flooring.
Many thanks for your thoughts.
There are so many different slide mechanisms out there that it’s very difficult to offer a suggestion. In most cases, you will need to take the RV to a dealer or a manufacturer’s maintenance facility to have the slide looked at. It may be a simple adjustment or worn components may be causing the sag. Either way, these problems generally tend to get worse over time, so the sooner you can get it fixed, the better. Your best bet is to find a Winnebago dealer with a service facility near you. Since the coach is fairly old, I’m betting on the “wear” issue as the most likely. Hopefully, the dealer will be able to fix it.
I just discovered your blog in the Good Sam Navigator and have a question: I just bought a 20-foot Adventurer Class C motorhome this fall and am planning a cross-Canada trip, leaving in June and returning via the northern U.S. by September. Although the push-out side mirrors are wonderful, I wanted even more information about what is behind me, as there is no rearview mirror on the windshield. (There is only a small window in the rear of the RV above the galley counter.) I bought a rear-view camera, which is wonderful, but I am having trouble attaching it. The installer mounted it on the inside of the windshield right where you’d expect to have a rear-view mirror (a perfect location!), but within 24 hours, it fell down. He then provided a suction cup, but that didn’t last much longer before it also fell down. I wonder if temperature changes are a factor — in cold October weather in British Columbia, the inside got toasty warm from the great little propane furnace, but outside it was cold. Perhaps this won’t be a problem when traveling in the summer? However, do you have any suggestions on what would be a stronger way to mount this to the glass?
I’m not sure about the suction cup you received with your camera system. Most GPS mounts have a very aggressive suction cup on then. You may be able to adapt a universal GPS mount to hold your monitor in place. It is also possible to use some sort of glue on the suction cup to increase its grip. You might try a solvent-based contact cement, like the ones used for attaching laminates to countertops. Automotive upholstery cement is another possibility. The only problem with using cement is that it can make removing the mount a bit of a problem. You might also consider using a GPS bean-bag mount and just put the monitor on the dash. That way, it is supported and doesn’t rely on a suction cup to hold it up there. Most of these mounts can be found at electronics stores or online. A universal cell phone or tablet mount may also work for you. You’ll just have to get creative!
I have Thetford manual flush side handle toilet that leaks on occasion. It is right where the water line enters the back of the toilet. The leaks occur when shifting on the commode to flush it. Sometimes, shutting off the water for a time will fix it, but this may require many different turn-offs and turn-ons. Other times reaching under there and pushing the commode around will make it stop. I have removed the commode three times to ascertain the problem and have not been able to determine why this happens. Would it be acceptable to change out the water supply PEX line to add an inline cutoff and flex reinforced toilet supply like a house commode would have? I suspect that the line may be a fraction of an inch too short.
I also have a problem with the furnace, which will not come on. I have had an RV repair person out, and his solution was to add a second thermostat to run the furnace alone. Then he said there was no gas in the tank. However, that did not fix the issue, and the second tank was full of gas. I had hot water, after all. Now it seems the gas is used up rather quickly, going through a 7.5-gallon tank in a few weeks just for the water heater, which is used only on weekends (no cooking takes place). The RV is a 1999 28-foot bumper-pull Starcraft with a 14-foot slide, which has been permanently parked for most of its life. Is it possible the gas lines need replacing?
Thanks for your help,
You may be right about the pipe being a little too short, but before we get into ways to fix that, take a look at the fitting where the water line attaches to the toilet. That connector has a rubber washer in it (usually) and if that washer is torn or has hardened, it can cause an intermittent leak. You can find replacement washers in most RV parts places. If the washer isn’t the culprit, I would suggest replacing a section of the existing line with a new piece of PEX tubing, a coupler fitting or inline shutoff valve, and a new fitting for the toilet connection. You can find the pipe and fittings at most home improvement stores. To see what I’m talking about, go to Lowes.com and search for PEX shark bite fittings. These fittings require no tools to install, as they simply slip onto the pipe. They are also removable, so if you make a mistake cutting the pipe or something, the fittings are still usable. Good stuff! I would recommend against trying to use residential toilet flex lines, as they usually don’t have compatible fittings, so it gets to be a bit of a jury rig to make them work.
Your furnace problem could be any number of things. Does the furnace blower run when you adjust the new thermostat for heat? If not, then you may have a 12-volt power problem, or a problem with the thermostat, or maybe the furnace control board. If the blower runs, but the furnace doesn’t light, it could be the gas supply, the furnace control board, or one of the interlocks or switches inside the furnace. The best way to figure it out is to have a technician pull the furnace and bench test it. If it works OK on the bench, you know the problem is in the wiring or gas supply. If it fails on the bench, it’s easy to troubleshoot it.
If you think you may have a propane leak, don’t hesitate: immediately shut off the propane supply at the tank or tanks and have a qualified propane tech do a pressure test of the system. Most propane suppliers can do this for you. It is extremely dangerous to have an undiagnosed leak, so please do this right away, even if you can’t smell propane. If the pressure test shows you have a leak, then all fittings and piping should be examined until the leak is found. It’s usually a fitting, and some soapy water in a small spray bottle is often a good way to find a leak.