Posts tagged helpful hints

Tips I’ve Picked Up Along the Way………..

Now, these may seem to come just from me, but they don’t.  Many I can tell you whom they are from, others I may not remember whom to credit, but I am sure going to try.

1.  An easy way to remember how to back up your travel trailer when you are as inexperienced as I am still.

Put one hand on the lower edge of your steering wheel and push that hand gently in the direction you want the rear of the trailer to turn.  Tricia told me that one some time back and yesterday I got a chance to try it.  It does work!  Of course, you do still have to wiggle and waggle once you have gone as far as you can with each movement, but having to use two hands is so much more confusing than just the one hand routine.  Whoever taught her that one was a real lifesaver!

2.  Have your shocks checked regularly.  I know, it isn’t something a woman normally thinks about, but it is very important!  I got lucky and had a very caring gentleman in Kingman, AZ.  point out to me that my shock on the left side of the van was worn out almost completely, on my trip down here.  Sure it did cost me to have them replaced, but I now have brand new life time warranted heavy duty shocks on the van so she can handle hauling the trailer without danger of breaking down the rear end of the van.  DS had just put new shocks on the van before giving her to me, but they weren’t heavy duty enough, I guess.  Either that or someone owes him for faulty shocks which he will check into since I told him what happened.

Oh, and believe me when I say that just relying on the tire shop to check your shocks or brakes when you go in for a tire repair or replacement will not always insure that they will point out worn shocks or other parts of your vehicle that have to do with the tires and driving system around them.  Asking to have these checked is always your best policy.

3.  Before moving to a new location, pull your mini-blinds into the open position.  Jimmy, the maintenance man at McCloud RV Park told me that one.  The little latch systems wear out and you can end up with twisted, mangled messes that need replacing if you don’t raise them.  Besides, if you think about a bouncing, flying around blind……..Yep, you might even end up with a broken window if the circumstances were right.

DS or DDIL may have also mentioned this to me when they were helping me get ready to become an rver, but you know, they sure were having to teach me a lot all at once, so that one may have flown on thru! LOL  My brain felt like it had fried after trying to learn so much so fast.

4.  Check your valve stems on your tires….  Seems like a silly thing to do, doesn’t it?  Well, it isn’t.  I ended up with a flat on the trailer, thankfully I had stopped for a night in Hawthorne, NV. at the Frontier RV Park when I discovered the tire was very low.  The manager of the park was a very sweet and helpful gentleman who aired up my tire that evening so we could get an idea of what was wrong, and then came back in the morning to not only air it up again, but also to lead me by back streets out to the tire repair shop where I used the other hint he had given me and had the valve stem replaced with a steel one.  Also followed his advice and had them check the other tires.  Turned out every one of them, including the spare tire had bad stems.  They now all sport shiny metal valve stems which will never wear thru.  DS saw an article in his Trailer Life magazine today about some faulty valve stems that were being recalled………Might mine have come from that bunch?  You bet there is a good probability they were!  Very rarely do you find 5 valve stems gone or going bad at the same time.  The good Lord was most definitely watching over me when that tire went flat.  First off – I was in a safe location.  Secondly – I was put in the park where I was most likely to get a caring person’s help (I had a choice of 3 parks in the area, and kept going back to the Frontier as my park of choice for the night) and thirdly – the gentleman had enough knowledge to be able to tell me there was such a thing as steel valve stems.  I’d seen them before, but didn’t know you could buy them specifically, guess I assumed you got them on some vehicles because they looked pretty, not because they had a better “life” of usage.  From what I understand the tires will go long before those stems because the only rubber part with them is the gasket on the inside which is least likely to have moisture or road chemicals attack it due to the location of them.

I know there are more, so will add to this post as I think of them, and please, if you have any to share…………  Do so, and I will happily make them available to all who read my blog.

Oh, something to add to your Christmas list, or to go out and purchase for yourself if you don’t want to wait that long……  Some type of air compressor for your tires.  Now, I’m not talking just any air compressor.  The gent that helped me in Hawthorne had one that was called “TruckAir” and it had a PSI of 275.  That part is the most important.  if you don’t get one with a high enough PSI you will likely have it burn its motor out before it has aired up a single tire.  He said it happened to him years before and the compressor he used on my tire was the one he replaced it with, so it’s been around for some time.  Nicest part, it is compact and light enough for a woman to handle alone if she needs to! And, it has a cigarette type lighter connector on it, so it can plug into one of the 12 volt plugs in your vehicle or the one (if you are as lucky as I am) just inside your trailer by the light switch on the wall.  Mine is actually on the same switch plate as the one I can connect to cable t.v.  Brand is up to you, but since I know this one works, it’s what I’ll be looking for when I get settled in Mesa.


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