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Thread: RV Camping; Tips, tricks & repairs

  1. #1
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    Default RV Camping; Tips, tricks & repairs

    Seeing as there are more and more beyonders getting into RV's I thought this might be an appropriate sub-forum.

    Just finished a small repair on our RV, that, when it happened, pretty much crippled us for water.

    The supply hoses that go to the bathroom sink. Well on our last trip, the little plastic connector broke. The only way to repair it is with 1/2" crimpers. The campground host didn't have any so I just "MacGiver'd" it by bending the pex pipe and taping it. It didn't seal completely, but slowed it to a drip, so that at least we were able to have running water to all the other taps.

    Today I bought new brass supply connectors, as well added two in-line, brass shut offs. It's regular 1/2" Pex, so you can get everything at Home Depot. Do NOT buy them at the RV places. The shut-offs were $18 each at Woody's...$12 at Home Depot. They're not necessary but handy for future repairs. $10 for crimper rental, 20 minutes of time and Bob's yer Uncle.. it's better than new!!







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    Water heater drain valve, 65$ at most places, + shipping + 10days, is easily replaced with a 1/4" mpt to 3/8" mpt brass bung and a stainless ball valve, at a cost of 9$ works 10,000x better too, drain in 2-3 minutes not 2-3 hours like the factory petcock...

    oh and you have to trim the handle an inch...

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    A little late in the season, no?

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    Originally posted by clemmy26
    A little late in the season, no?
    Never. I've got two or three more trips to go. Plus MacLean creek is open year round. With power!

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    There's no such thing as too late in the season

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    Word, you can camp pretty late in the fall even with a non-winterized rig. I know my furnace fan draws a shitton of power, so it's really nice to have a plug-in for cold weather. None of my tanks are winterized, so I'd be worried about staying out if the daytime was below freezing.

    That being said, you can do a lot without the tanks if you choose to.
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    For rv's Shark bites and flair-it fittings work well with the pex and you don't need pliers. I keep a few valves and connectors and some spare pex to make in the field repairs. Never had to use it yet, but I like to be prepared.
    Last edited by hedge; 09-24-2012 at 09:57 AM.

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    Originally posted by AndyL
    Water heater drain valve, 65$ at most places, + shipping + 10days, is easily replaced with a 1/4" mpt to 3/8" mpt brass bung and a stainless ball valve, at a cost of 9$ works 10,000x better too, drain in 2-3 minutes not 2-3 hours like the factory petcock...

    oh and you have to trim the handle an inch...
    I'm sure most seasoned RV'ers would know this but for the beginners I'd like to point out that the drain valve is only for Atwood (aluminum) tanks, with the Suburban tanks you need to keep the sacrificial anode rod in the tank so don't replace it with a drain valve.

    I also camp pretty deep into the season, I flush the toilet with a/f and we use a blue jug for fresh water. I just picked up a truck camper and plan on using it this winter on quadding trips.
    Last edited by hedge; 09-24-2012 at 09:59 AM.

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    The water tank on some truck campers will hold heat pretty well because it's not exposed to the elements as badly as on some trailers, so you're good for several days in moderate temps before it starts to freeze. I've even heard of people filling the tank with warm water at home and it'll stay unfrozen for a weekend at least.
    That's introducing some extra risk though . . .
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    *BIZZUMP*

    Alright, since camping season is coming up, and I just bought a new rig, I am starting to research different things, and here is one...

    Scenario is as such:
    4 people using this RV. It is a 2006 Springdale SG189FL06
    I am the only guy. The others are Baygirl, a 4 year old, and an 8 year old
    Sadly, things like little portable DVD players will be used and charging of Nintendo DS units, phones, lights, pumps, stereo, ect.

    lets say I want to have power for a week of dry dock camping.

    My idea is running 2 x 6v batteries wired in series.

    But here is a thought I am having too.

    Solar power...

    How effective is solar power going to be in keeping these batteries charged? is it going to be a constant losing battle where over a long enough time, I will drain the batts completely, or can I set something up where anything I use overnight, the solar panels can charge the batts back up to 100% over the course of the day?

    I can't even fathom the kind of math needed to figure this kind of thing out, and I am hoping there are enough people on here that would have more experience...

    HALP!
    Spikers RC on YOUTUBE!

    Originally posted by Mibz
    Always a fucking awful experience seeing spikers. Extra awful when he laps me.

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    It CAN be done...but it's not cheap, and it is quite complicated. This guy really knows his stuff, and he has a long blog about how to do it. I was going to try setting mine up that way...but I just don't have the money. Here's his blog: https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

    We have camped as long as two weeks dry. The two 6-volts lasted us about 5 days. After that I would hook the car up to it about every second day. Don't plug it in through the trailer wire...turn the car around and hook up directly to the batteries using heavy duty jumper cables. That way you're getting a full 14+ volts of charging. I'll run the car for an hour or so and that will give them a good charge.

    We find the troubles aren't worth it, and end up just finding powered camping. For long hauls (a week or longer) it's so nice to have every single light on, microwave, PS3's, radios, etc, and not have to worry about a thing.

    For long weekends, the two 6 volts will do. I even bring along a 12 volt marine battery, and hook up an inverter to it, that will run the PS3 and a 32 inch LCD TV for a good few hours. THen throw it in the car to charge it again.

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    man Dave, I really need to go camping with you for a weekend to learn all these kinds of tips.
    Spikers RC on YOUTUBE!

    Originally posted by Mibz
    Always a fucking awful experience seeing spikers. Extra awful when he laps me.

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    Generator ftw... I have an eu3000 and I added a wheel kit and remote starter.. Thats a little extreme though..

    Ive seen guys use those little 900w, $100 2stroke gens from canadian tire though, to keep their batteries topped up, and they worked great and weren't all that loud for short time use.
    Last edited by Supa Dexta; 01-27-2013 at 09:55 PM.

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    Originally posted by spikers
    man Dave, I really need to go camping with you for a weekend to learn all these kinds of tips.
    LOL...it's all been 'trial by fire', so I'm only too happy to pass along anything I've learned. Usually the hard way. lol.


    Originally posted by Supa Dexta
    Generator ftw... I have an eu3000 and I added a wheel kit and remote starter.. Thats a little extreme though..

    Ive seen guys use those little 900w, $100 2stroke gens from canadian tire though, to keep their batteries topped up, and they worked great and weren't all that loud for short time use.
    Yeah genny's are nice. You'd need at least a 3000 to run your AC though. The Yamaha i3000 inverter and that Honda you have are the only way to go. Whisper quiet. Run a 50 foot cord, and put them in the bush behind a berm, and you wouldn't even hear them.
    But they're also around 2500 dollars.

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    Solar ftw! We've got the Costco special (200?240w?) Pair of monster deep cycles (Costco again, the big marine deep cycles) we can go 8 days of wet/rainy/cold in the shade camping before we need a charge... with the furnace on....

    Yes we've tested that a time or 3 morning of day 8 I usually end up spinning the truck around to get water and furnace running for the girls...

    Get 12v adapters for the toys, running an inverter is big wattage and you loose most in heat, almost all the toys run on 12v anyway...

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    Hey Spikers.. I did a solar installation on my pop up last summer, and got to use it twice... my total cost sink was about $300 for a 60W system. On my initial test in the driveway, it charged my battery to full in 2 days.. the 80% mark was one day.

    I haven't done the math on what it will do under load, but the 3 days I got to use it last year I didn't have any issues at all with it charging, in the fall, in a fairly tree'd area. You're welcome to see it, and I have all specs. Took me about a day to install and make it pretty.

    Oh, and if all else fails...
    http://reviews.costco.ca/2070-en_ca/...ws/reviews.htm
    Last edited by codetrap; 01-27-2013 at 11:27 PM.

    "We need a vaccination for stupidity, with booster shots against an unwillingness to learn."

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    Well, the RV we bought does have A/C, I really doubt we will use it, so I am hoping I can rig up a solar setup, or even pick up a smaller inverter genset to charge up the batts every so often. was hoping to go solar just for the ease of not having to start up a genny, or top up with gas. The idea of whenever the sun is shining, my batts are a charging really appeals to me. I just wish I understood all the details a lot better
    Spikers RC on YOUTUBE!

    Originally posted by Mibz
    Always a fucking awful experience seeing spikers. Extra awful when he laps me.

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    Originally posted by C_Dave45


    LOL...it's all been 'trial by fire', so I'm only too happy to pass along anything I've learned. Usually the hard way. lol.




    Yeah genny's are nice. You'd need at least a 3000 to run your AC though. The Yamaha i3000 inverter and that Honda you have are the only way to go. Whisper quiet. Run a 50 foot cord, and put them in the bush behind a berm, and you wouldn't even hear them.
    But they're also around 2500 dollars.
    I paid around 1800 from my Yamaha i3000, it is the only way to dry camp.

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    New or used?^ You can usually find eu3000's for around that price used on kijiji.

    If you're just charging batts you can find the 2000w suitcase gens for around a grand.

    Thing is these higher end gens will last forever, they sip gas and make no noticeable noise.
    Last edited by Supa Dexta; 01-28-2013 at 07:41 AM.

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    Originally posted by spikers
    The idea of whenever the sun is shining, my batts are a charging really appeals to me. I just wish I understood all the details a lot better
    That's what I prefer...

    You can read way too much into it, you can design the living shit out of it... but the basics are the same, beef up your capacity first - stuff as many of the biggest batteries you can into that trailer... then find a solar panel that fits the budget - see what happens...

    I wouldn't waste time on small solar panels, <100w isn't going to get you much... I'd eyeball those 120w sunforce kits as a minimum...

    Then test, see what ya get out of it, then you can look at tweaking power use - led lights etc.

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