June 2020 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

Hidden Valley RV Park, Beaumont, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

NHTSA announced 26 recall notices during June 2020. These recalls involved 10 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (9 recalls), Keystone RV Company (4 recalls), Thor Motor Coach (4 recalls), Jayco (3 recalls), KZRV (1 recall), Triple E (1 recall), Highland Ridge RV (1 recall), Airstream (1 recall), Grand Design (1 recall), and Newell (1 recall).

Barnyard RV Park, Lexington, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Surveyor Travel Trailers, model SVT296QBLE. The safety chains are insufficient for the trailer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and may break in the event of the trailer coming unhitched.

Forest River will notify owners, and a dealer or service center will replace the safety chains, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 1, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-3112. Forest River’s number for this recall is 37-1170.

Tri-Mountain RV Park, Ridgefield, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Coachmen Mirada and Pursuit Class A motorhomes. The gasoline-powered generator fuel supply hose may leak.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the fuel hose, replacing it if necessary, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin July 6, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-825-8212. Forest River’s number for this recall is 310-1168.

Katy Lake RV Resort, Katy, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Haulin, US Cargo, and US Cargo Trail N Sport cargo trailers. The safety chains are insufficient for the trailer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and may break if the trailer comes unhitched.

Forest River will notify owners, and a dealer or service center will replace the safety chains, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 8, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-848-1335. Forest River’s number for this recall is 24-1167.

Buccaneer State Park, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Prime Time Avenger travel trailers. The safety chains that help prevent a total trailer separation may have been incorrectly attached to the trailer.

Forest River will notify owners, and a dealer or service center will install the missing safety chain attaching hardware, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 15, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-862-1025. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1163.

A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 FR3 recreational vehicles built on a Ford chassis with a V8 engine. The wiring harness may have an incorrect wire connected to the parking brake, allowing the leveling jacks to deploy inadvertently while the vehicle is in motion.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will correct the wiring harness, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin July 29, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-206-7600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 68-1178.

Terre Haute KOA, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Cherokee Wolf Pack toyhaulers, model CKF325PACK13. The propane gas line may be routed around sharp edges which may cause a propane leak.

Forest River will notify owners and dealers will reroute the propane line and/or replace it if necessary, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin August 5, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-260-499-2100. Forest River’s number for this recall is 73-1182.

Creek Fire RV Resort, Savannah, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Coachmen Galleria, Dynamax Isata, and Forest River Battisti Coach, Forester, and Sunseeker motorhomes, built on 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. The rear part of the front fender liner may contact and chafe the brake hose, possibly resulting in a loss of brake fluid.

Forest River will notify owners, and Mercedes-Benz or Freightliner Sprinter dealers will inspect and replace the brake hoses, as necessary. Additionally, the fender liners will be modified. All services will be performed free of charge. This recall is expected to begin July 29, 2020. Owners may contact DVUSA customer service at 1-877-762-8267. DVUSA’s number for this recall is VS3BRADVER. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1177.

Eagel’s Landing RV Park, Holt, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 Surveyor recreational trailers equipped with a specific 30K BTU furnace. The furnace may not have been properly secured inside the furnace cabinet, allowing it to move freely inside the cabinet.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will secure the furnace and verify the exhaust vent connections, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 29th, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-3119 Option 2. Forest River’s number for this recall is 47-1175.

West Creek Casino RV Park, Atmore, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Coachmen Galleria and PRISM, Forest River Forester, Battisti and Sunseeker and Dynamax Isata recreational vehicles built on Sprinter chassis with automatic transmission. The operator’s manual does not correctly specify certain conditions under which the automatic parking function (“Auto-P”) operates.

Forest River will notify owners, and Mercedes-Benz dealers will provide the correct description of the Auto-P function for the Operator’s Manual, free of charge. The manufacturer has not provided a notification schedule for this recall. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-348-7440 or Sprinter service at 1-877-762-8267. The booklet with correct information is also available online through Mercedes-Benz, free of charge.

Cochise Terrace RV Resort, Benson, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Cougar travel trailers, model 24RDS, equipped with a Furrion range cook top. The interior range cooktop is installed in a cabinet that may not be entirely sealed from the furnace cavity. As a result, during furnace operation, the interior range cooktop burner flame may invert.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the interior range cooktop with the furnace running, installing a plywood panel to seal it as necessary, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin July 17, 2020. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 20-377.

Ambassador RV Resort, Caldwell, Idaho © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2020 Springdale trailers, model 295BHWE. The Federal Identification Tag incorrectly indicates the tire load range and size as ST255/75R15E with 80 psi; however, the correct load range and tire size is ST255/75R15D with 65 psi. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will replace the Federal Identification Tag. This recall is expected to begin July 27, 2020. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 20-378.

12 Tribes Casino RV Park, Omak, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2020 Springdale trailers, model 335BHWE. The affected trailers incorrectly have 4400 pound axles and ST255/75R15D tires and rims, instead of the correct 5200 pound axles and ST255/75R15E tires and rims as specified on the Federal Identification Tag.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will replace the 4400 pound axles, ST225/75R15D tires, and rims with 5200 pound axles, ST225/75R15E tires, and rims. This recall is expected to begin July 27, 2020. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 20-379.

Eagle’s Landing RV Park, Auburn, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2020 Alpine, Avalanche, Fuzion, Laredo, Montana, Raptor, Crossroads Redwood, and Dutchmen Voltage trailers. The adhesive bond between the glass and the metal frame of the frameless windows may fail which can allow the glass to detach while moving.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the windows for proper adhesive bond strength, replacing the windows as necessary, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin July 29, 2020. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 20-375.

Leaf Verde RV Park, Buckeye, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Quantum, Chateau and Four Winds, and 2020 Vegas and Axis motorhomes built on a Ford E-series chassis. A wire harness in the rear of the vehicle may contact the vehicle frame, resulting in damage to the circuits that support the fuel pump and the anti-lock braking system (ABS).

TMC will notify owners, and Ford dealers will inspect the wire harness for damage. If no damage is found, dealers will apply anti-abrasion tape over the area and ensure clearance to surrounding components. If damage is found, dealers will splice in new wire and apply anti-abrasion tape over the area and ensure clearance to surrounding components. All services will be performed free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 27, 2020. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000189.

Sunrise RV Park, Texarkana, Arkansas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2020 Daybreak, Four Winds, Delano, Gemini, Quantum, Tiburon, Chateau Citation, Compass, Chateau, Siesta, Freedom Elite, and Synergy motorhomes built on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis [platform 907 (VS30)] equipped with automatic transmissions. The owner’s manual does not correctly specify the certain conditions under which the automatic parking function (Auto-P) operates.

TMC will notify owners, and a Mercedes Benz dealer will supplement the Operator’s Manual with a correct description of the Auto-P function equipped in the vehicle. This recall is expected to begin July 26, 2020. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000190.

Alamo Lake State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2020 Daybreak, Four Winds, Delano, Gemini, Quantum, Tiburon, Chateau Citation, Compass, Chateau, Siesta, Freedom Elite, and Synergy motorhomes built on Mercedes Benz Sprinter chassis [platform 907 (VS30)]. The rear part of the fender liner on the front axle may contact and chafe the brake hose, possibly resulting in a loss of brake fluid.

TMC will notify owners, and an authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer will inspect the brake hoses for chafing and replacement if necessary. The fender liner will also be altered to permit more clearance. All repairs will be performed free of charge. This recall is expected to begin July 27, 2020. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000191.

Meaher State Park, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2020-2021 ACE, 2021 Four Winds and 2020 Gemini, Axis, Compass, Delano, Windsport, Hurricane, Outlaw, and Vegas motorhomes. The adhesive bond between the glass and the metal hinge frame of the frameless windows may fail which would then allow the glass to detach and fall out.

TMC will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the frameless windows for proper adhesive bond strength, replacing the windows as necessary, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin July 5, 2020. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000192.

Lake Osprey RV Resort, Elberta, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Entegra Qwest and 2019-2021 Jayco Melbourne and Melbourne Prestige Class C motorhomes built on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. The Operator’s Manual may not contain the correct information about how the automatic parking function (“Auto-P”) operates.

Jayco will notify owners, and Mercedes-Benz or Freightliner Sprinter dealers will provide the correct description of the Auto-P function for the Operator’s Manual, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin June 12, 2020. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-517-9137 or Sprinter service at 1-877-762-8267. The booklet with correct information is also available online, free of charge.

The Motorcoach Resort, Chandler, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2020 Towable Eagle, Eagle HT, JayFlight, NorthPoint, Octane, Pinnacle, Seismic, and Talon recreational vehicles. The adhesive bond between the glass and the metal hinge frame of the frameless crank out vent and egress windows may fail which would then allow the glass to detach and fall out.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the frameless windows for proper adhesive bond strength, replacing the windows as necessary, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin June 15, 2020. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-517-9137. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901508.

River Run RV Resort, Bakersfield, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2020 Motorized Alante, Greyhawk, Melbourne, Precept, Redhawk, Seneca, Accolade, Emblem, Esteem, Odyssey, Qwest, and Vision recreational vehicles. The adhesive bond between the glass and the metal hinge frame of the frameless crank out vent and egress windows may fail which would then allow the glass to detach and fall out.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the frameless windows for proper adhesive bond strength, replacing the windows as necessary, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin June 15, 2020. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-517-9137. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901508.

Harvest Moon RV Park, Adairsville, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

KZRV

KZRV, L.P. (KZRV) is recalling certain 2018 Escape recreational trailers. The Federal Identification Tag and Tire Inflation Pressure Label indicates an incorrect Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR), and an incorrect tire and rim size with incorrect tire inflation pressure, which can result in the tires being overinflated. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims.”

KZRV will mail corrected labels to owners with instructions for their application, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin June 30, 2020. Owners may contact KZRV customer service at 1-800-768-4016, extension 154 or 153. KZRV’s number for this recall is KZ-2020-02.

JGW RV Park, Redding, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Triple E

Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling certain 2020 Unity travel trailers, model U24RL. The utility compartment’s inner latch mechanism may rotate due to vehicle motion, becoming locked.

Triple E will notify owners, and dealers will repair the utility compartment latch mechanism, free of charge. This recall began June 2, 2020. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-877-992-9906. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#9681-1.

Flag City RV Resort, Lodi, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Highland Ridge RV

Highland Ridge RV (Highland Ridge) is recalling certain 2020 Ridge, Open Range, and Silverstar recreational trailers. The adhesive bond between the glass and the metal hinge frame of the frameless crank out vent and egress windows may fail which would then allow the glass to detach and fall out.

Highland RV will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the frameless windows for proper adhesive bond strength, replacing the windows as necessary, free of charge. This recall began June 15, 2020. Owners may contact Highland RV customer service at 1-260-768-7771. Highland RV’s number for this recall is 9901508.

Pleasant Harbor RV Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Airstream

Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Basecamp travel trailers. The adhesive bond between the glass and the metal frame of the entry door window may fail, allowing the glass to separate while the trailer is moving.

Airstream will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the windows for proper adhesive bond strength, replacing the windows as necessary and installing updated adhesive strips to all windows, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin August 11, 2020. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111, extension 7401 or 7411.

Pala Casino RV Resort, Pala, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Grand Design

Grand Design RV, LLC (Grand Design) is recalling certain 2016-2018 Reflection trailers. A wiring connector in the vehicle underbody may not be properly secured, allowing water intrusion into the wiring connector, possibly resulting in an electrical short circuit.

Grand Design will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and secure the wiring connectors up to prevent water intrusion, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin July 27, 2020. Owners may contact Grand Design’s customer service at 1-574-825-9679. Grand Design’s number for this recall is 910020.

Rain Spirit RV Park, Cottonwood, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newell

Newell Coach Corp. (Newell) is recalling certain 2020-2021 P50 motor coaches. The decorative cover for the center console column may be knocked loose by the driver’s foot, allowing the piece to become lodged under the brake pedal.

Newell will notify owners and request the owners remove and discard the decorative cover. Dealers will install a replacement apron cover, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin July 13, 2020. Owners may contact Newell customer service at 1-888-363-9355. Newell’s number for this recall is 124.

Please Note: This is the 17th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

What’s in Your RV Emergency Kit?

Preparing for an emergency is something all RVers need to think about

We all know about car emergency kits. But an RV is much different than a car. A car, for instance doesn’t travel with a tank of fresh water. And a car is also less likely to be stranded at an alpine lake due to a freak snow storm. Most people also wouldn’t drive their car 30 miles into BLM-managed public lands with the intention of living out of it for a week or more.

Columbia Riverfront RV Park, Woodland, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When considering your RV emergency kit, keep in mind the kinds of emergency situations you might face during your RV travels. We’ll discuss safety items and accessories to pack in your recreational vehicle’s first aid kit and tool box.

Utah Scenic Byway 279 near Moab © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV First Aid Kit

A first aid kit readily available in an emergency isn’t just a good idea—it’s a necessity for every RVer. A well-stocked first-aid kit and manual can help you respond effectively to common injuries and emergencies. You can purchase first aid kits and refills at the Red Cross store, most drugstores, or assemble your own.

Alamo Lake State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Contents of a first-aid kit should include adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic solution or towelettes, bandages, calamine lotion, cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs, gauze pads and roller gauze in assorted sizes, first aid manual, petroleum jelly or other lubricant, safety pins in assorted sizes, scissors and tweezers, and sterile eyewash.

Julian, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Familiarize yourself with the items in the first aid kit and know how to properly use them. Check your first-aid kits regularly, at least every three months, to replace supplies that have expired.

The Mayo Clinic is an excellent source for first aid information to help you during a medical emergency.

If you travel with pets, pet first aid manuals are also available.

Traveling with pets © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV Tool Box

Just about anything in your RV that can snap, crack, rip loose, tear, bend, leak, spark, or fall off will do exactly that at the most inconvenient time. Something will need to be tightened, loosened, pounded flat, pried, or cut.

To help you deal with everyday problems and annoyances, maintain a well-equipped tool box in the RV (always store on curb side).

Camping on Padre Island National Seashore, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Contents should include Phillips and Robertson head and flat bladed screwdrivers (large, medium, small), standard and needle-nose pliers, channel-lock pliers (medium and large), 10-inch Crescent wrench, claw hammer, hobby knife with blade protector, wire cutters, tape measure, silicone sealant, Gorilla tape and glue, electrical tape, battery jumper cables, open and box-end wrenches, silicone spray, WD-40 lubricant, bungee cords, road flares/warning reflectors, fold-down shovel, stepladder, spare fuses, and heavy-duty tire pressure gauge.

Badlands National Park, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Many RVers also carry a socket wrench set (standard and metric), small drill bit set and cordless drill with spare battery, and digital voltmeter.

Gorilla Tape is a brand of adhesive tape sold by the makers of Gorilla Glue, and available in several sizes and colors, including camouflage, white, and clear. Gorilla Tape can solve many problems while on the road—and you can do most anything with this stuff. RVers have used it to temporarily repair a sewer hose, keep a driver’s side window from continually falling, and even affix the coffee maker to the counter so that it doesn’t move during travel.

Other Considerations

Buckhorn Lake RV Resort, Kerrville, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Other considerations, supplies, and equipment include fire extinguishers (one in the galley, one in the bedroom, and one outside of the RV in a basement compartment, plus one in the toad/tow vehicle), NOAA weather radio, LED flashlights, heavy-duty whistles, emergency waterproof matches, jumper cables, ice/snow window scrapers, work gloves, and blue tarp.

McKinney Falls State Park near Austin, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

Remember, safety is no accident.

May 2020 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

The Lakes and RV Resort, Chowchilla, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What is a recall?

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

Creek Fire RV Resort, Savannah, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

Whispering Hill RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

NHTSA announced 5 recall notices during May 2020. These recalls involved 3 recreational vehicle manufacturers— Forest River (3 recalls), Jayco (1 recall), and Heartland (1 recall).

Forest River

Lakeside RV Park, Livingston, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 StarTrans P/S2 ST93036 transit buses equipped with Freedman GO-ES foldaway seats. The seat belt retractor block out zone may have not been set correctly, potentially resulting in a seat belt that may not properly secure the occupant. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 209, “Seat Belt Assemblies.”

Forest River will notify the vehicle owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the retractors, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 7, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-348-7440 or Freedman Seating customer service at 1-800-443-4540. Forest River’s number for this recall is 05-1158.

Forest River

Columbia River RV Park, Portland, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Vibe trailers, models VBT16RB-OR and VBT17DB-OR. The roof vent for the refrigerator may be missing.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a vent on the roof for the refrigerator, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 22, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at (503) 831-5413. Forest River’s number for this recall is 22-1166.

Forest River

Whispering Oaks RV Park, Weimar, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019-2020 XLR Micro Boost trailers, models XLT25LRLE-79 and XLT27LRLE-79. The fasteners used to attach the ramp door may loosen and cause the ramp door to detach from the vehicle.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers or authorized service centers will replace the fasteners for the ramp door, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin June 24, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0432. Forest River’s number for this recall is 79-1161.

Jayco

Buckhorn Lake Resort, Kerrville, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2020 Jay Flight SLX Travel Trailers manufactured in the Idaho facility. The propane supply hose connection to the refrigerator may be improperly tightened, possibly resulting in a propane leak.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will conduct a leak test at the refrigerator connections, repairing them as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 29, 2020. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901509.

Heartland

Distant Drums RV Resort, Camp Verde, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2020 Mallard, Prowler, Trail Runner, and Wilderness trailers equipped with a bumper-mounted spare tire carrier. The U-bolt that secures the spare tire may break, and cause the spare tire to detach during travel.

Heartland will notify owners, and dealers will replace the spare tire mounting U-bolts, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 14, 2020. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

Please Note: This is the 16th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

Quarantine Fatigue Is Real

Instead of an all-or-nothing approach to risk prevention, we need a manual on how to have a life in a pandemic

#StayHome had its moment. We urgently needed to flatten the curve and buy time to scale up health-care capacity and testing. But quarantine fatigue is real. I’m talking about those who are experiencing the profound burden of extreme physical and social distancing.

Devonian Botanical Gardens, Edmonton, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In addition to the economic hardship it causes, isolation can severely damage psychological well-being especially for people who were already depressed or anxious before the crisis started. In a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly half of Americans said that the coronavirus pandemic has harmed their mental health.

Colorado River from the Arizona side © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Meanwhile, most public health experts agree that a premature return to the old version of normalcy would be disastrous. States continue to lack the capacity for widespread coronavirus testing. A vaccine is months or even years away.

Amador Flower Farm, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But the choice between staying home indefinitely and returning to business as usual may be a false one. An all-or-nothing approach to disease prevention can have unintended consequences. Individuals may fixate on unlikely sources of virus transmission—the package in the mail, the runner or cyclist on the street.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If for you these last few months stuck in coronavirus quarantine have felt a little weird, you’re not alone. For me, April seemed to take forever. Now, in May, I can’t remember what day it is half the time. I’m starting to feel like I’m enduring a perpetual time loop, reliving the same day over and over.

Lake Wawasee, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But I’m not alone! Helen Rosner, a writer for The New Yorker, tweeted that her therapist described this weird time in our lives as “an infinite present” which feels pretty accurate. With no future plans, no anticipation of travel, or sports or summer festivals or celebrations, it’s an endless today, never tomorrow.

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There’s a name for this phenomenon: temporal disintegration, according to E. Alison Holman, PhD, a psychologist and an associate professor with the University California Irvine Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing. And, she says, they’re a direct result of trauma.

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“People lose track of time when the future is in question,” Dr. Holman told the University of California. “The continuity from the past to the future is gone. That’s what they are experiencing right now.”

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In a different interview with USA Today, Dr. Holman elaborated, “For people who are staying in all the time, the days meld in all together. There’s no distinction between the work week and weekend and you lose sense of time and what time it is.”

Holmes County, Ohio © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The coronavirus pandemic has been thoroughly disrupting. Beyond creating a fear for our lives and livelihoods and the loss of our freedom to travel, it has obliterated any sense of schedule and structure we once had. What’s more, there’s no end in sight.

Lackawanna State Park, Pennsylvania © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

All this destabilization and stress can create a sensation of “time dragging by,” Ruth Ogden, PhD, senior lecturer and researcher at the school of psychology at Liverpool John Moores University in England, also told USA Today.

Edisto Island, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“This is because our sense of time is governed in part by the emotions that we experience and the actions we perform,” Dr. Ogden said. In normal life practically every hour has some sort of marker—now is when I run for the train, now is when I buy my afternoon coffee. Post-coronavirus, that’s all gone. It’s no wonder our sense of time has gone all wonky.

Rockport, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For now, my sense of time remains shaken. But I’m slowly building a new schedule which is supposed to help: getting up at the same time each morning, getting dressed (I know), working in the yard every day. Slowly, I’ll build boundaries around my days that will allow me to stop asking myself terrifying questions like, “Is time real?” Yes, it’s real (?). Today is Friday. I think.

Columbia River near Woodland, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

The place to live is in the here and now.

Uncertain Times?

Few things having to do with travel will be unchanged in the post-coronavirus world, but of all the ways we travel, the road trip may be least affected—at least, from a regulatory standpoint

Travel is one of the easiest ways to relieve stress. The adventure of exploring a new location—or returning to a familiar spot to unplug and relax—is a healthy way to recharge. With so many digital ways to divert ourselves these days, many are looking for meaningful ways to unplug. They’re rediscovering the necessity of just being. 

Middleton Place, Charleston, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But as we all work to “flatten the curve” and halt the spread of the coronavirus getting away and finding solace in the freedom of the open road has become difficult.

And now we’re all hopeful the day will come soon when regional and cross-country travel will become normal again. As we head into the summer months of 2020, the aftermath of the stay-at-home orders are affecting the way we think about travel plans and how we spend time outside our homes as safely as possible. 

Badlands National Park, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What will we all do after this pandemic fades and the need to social distance recedes? As we emerge from The Great Indoors once again to The Greater Outdoors, I know I will approach life with an increased urgency and sense of wonder.

“We’ll get through these uncertain times together.” That’s what every single ad says these days. Have you noticed this as well?

Moody Mansion, Galveston, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But, life has always been uncertain. What are these people talking about? Life is nothing but change. That’s one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life.

You see, life was uncertain last year as well…and the year before. So in a way, nothing has changed. We can always count on change. In 2020, things are simply changing faster.

La Sal Mountain Scenic Loop, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As the world inches towards recovery, I’ve started thinking about when I will feel good about traveling again. I’m fairly certain that it will be difficult to know with any certainty what’s completely right in the moment. Risk gives decisions consequences. That’s what makes them matter. 

Mobile, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

I look forward to the moment when I can travel once again and take in the beauty of mountains and deserts, the forests and lakes. Like many people, my life lately has been one of increasing government regulation, a search for normalcy, settling in, neighborhood adventures, and wondering how and when it will all end—all rolled into one.

Picacho Peak (State Park), Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

From experience where we are now feels a bit like climbing Picacho Peak’s steep and twisting trail with steel cables anchored into the rock in places where the surface is bare. It’s an uncomfortably temporary place to be. It’s a shaky limbo that lacks the excitement of moving forward and the comfort of being back on solid ground. I’m itching to start moving and doing, not to go back, but to move forward on our way to a new normal. 

Picacho Peak (State Park), Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are many decisions to be made in the coming months about when we can travel and where and how far. These decisions will require our utmost level of critical thinking and risk assessment. But, not today!

Pinnacles National Park, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Today I’m here just sitting with it all. Shouting words of hope into the abyss and finding new forms of connection across canyons, across countries, and across the street in my own neighborhood. Will we get through these uncertain times? Yes, yes we can.​

City Market, Savannah, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Sooner than later, the campgrounds and national and state parks around the country will be bustling with like-minded folks eager to embrace the sweet relief of fresh air and colorful sights not available on the flat screen in their living room. Social distancing might be a priority for quite some time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t explore open spaces safely. At the end of the day, you can confidently return to the safety and comfort of your home on wheels.

Snake River, Twin Falls, Idaho © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

Do you know why a vehicle’s WINDSHIELD is so large and the rear view mirror is so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE! So, look ahead and move on. 

Tips for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your RV

If you’re on the road during the COVID-19 outbreak—or even if your RV is waiting patiently in the driveway—now is the time to give extra care to your usual cleaning routine

Stay at home orders and basic guidelines for social distancing may be a new way of life for a while but that doesn’t mean there’s still not plenty of means to take advantage of your RV. In fact, I will argue that social distancing in your rig is one of the better ways to do it.

2019 Dutch Star motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Even if you’re minimizing contact with the outside world, there are some best practices you can take for keeping your coach clean and disinfected—and keeping everyone inside healthy and happy.

2019 Dutch Star motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There’s a difference between simple cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning removes dirt, germs, and impurities using soap and water. This step doesn’t kill germs—it simply removes them which help lower their numbers and thus the risk of infection. Use soap and water to regularly clean surfaces. Be sure to pay extra attention to high touch surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, faucets, and sinks.

Cleaning Inside Your RV

2019 Dutch Star motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The inside of your RV likely contains a variety of different surfaces: wood, glass, corian, tile, fabrics, stainless steel—and more. All purpose cleaners are a good, broad option but they may not work as effectively on each surface. There is also no single product that works on all surfaces inside your rig. Before using a product, read the label and then test it on a small and inconspicuous area.

2019 Dutch Star motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This is ideally a two-step process. First, there’s cleaning which is the removal of germs from surfaces. Second is disinfection which kills any germs left behind after cleaning. Start by using warm water to clean all high-touch surfaces. These include:

  • Steering wheel, dash controls, switches
  • Door handles, locks, handrails
  • Tables, countertops, cabinetry
  • Electrical cords, chargers, switch panels
  • Faucets, sinks, toilets
  • Electronics, tablets, touchpads, touchscreens, remote controls
2019 Dutch Star motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Soft items can be tossed in the laundry. Check product manufacturer tags for their highest recommended wash and dry temperature settings. If these items can’t be removed to put in a washer, steam cleaners and carpet cleaners are an alternative. These items may include:

  • Throw pillows
  • Upholstery and drapes
  • Carpets and area rugs
  • Window treatments

Disinfecting Inside Your RV

2019 Dutch Star motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

After using soap and water to clean, use a disinfectant to kill germs that remain. Use each product according to instructions. Disinfecting wipes are also a good alternative. In any case, allow for proper ventilation when using a disinfectant.

2019 Dutch Star motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you don’t have—or can’t find—disinfecting products, you can use a bleach solution. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a solution of 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water, or four teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. When using a bleach solution, always use gloves.

2019 Dutch Star motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

We don’t often think about our phones, GPS units, laptops, and tablets when it comes to cleaning, but these high touch items can be especially germy. Often electronics manufacturers will have suggested cleaning methods listed in manuals or online. If you can’t find these to follow, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays that contain at least 70 percent alcohol.

Cleaning the Exterior of Your RV

2019 Dutch Star motorhome exterior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Part of being in the great outdoors means actually getting outside. Fortunately, it’s easy to disinfect the outside of your coach and stay safe—whether you’re in an RV park or boondocking off the grid.

2019 Dutch Star motorhome exterior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When you arrive at a new campsite, disinfect any connections or hookups you’ll use. Use vinyl gloves for additional protection. When you’re finished, immediately throw the gloves away.

Then clean and disinfect any items you’ll have outside—things like patio furniture, railings, grill handles, and other high-touch surfaces.

2019 Dutch Star motorhome exterior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Maintain a safe distance from other campers (most health authorities recommend six feet). And avoid public restrooms, water fountains, and other public areas if at all possible.

2019 Dutch Star motorhome exterior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With so many products and surface types in your RV, the best way to ensure the products you’re using to disinfect are safe is to check care and maintenance directions provided by each manufacturer. These can be found in your manufacturers’ owner’s guides or online. These guidelines should help you stay safe and healthy while you’re still enjoying your RV.

Worth Pondering…

Each day I will rise and greet the morning sun, for it is a good day.

Your Essential COVID-19 Guide to Staying Safe on the Family Road Trip This Summer

Traveling alone, together

Memorial Day is less than three weeks away which means the summer travel season is here. But with major airlines grounded, 90 percent of routes cancelled, the cruise industry hemorrhaging, and travel to Europe banned, the pickings are slim.

Highway 12 Scenic Byway, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

However, on the upside, fuel is cheap, crowds are down, traffic’s light, and RV rental deals abound. With 28 states slowly re-opening and easing stay-at-home orders, non-essential travel is back throughout most of America. So instead of sacking your summer plans and sulking at home there’s never been a better time to pack your family up in the RV and hit the road on an adventure.

Bush Highway, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Here are 10 tips to make sure your summer vacation road trip is safe, sane, and life-sustaining.

1. Assemble a Corona Road Kit to assist in practicing safe hygiene and social distancing wherever you are and in all types of different public environments. This is as much for your own safety as the safety of the people you come into contact with. Some of the obvious basics include disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, disposable plastic gloves (buy them in bulk), face masks, rubbing alcohol, and bleach.

Newfound Gap Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Disinfect your RV and car frequently. Your vehicles are mobile “high-touch” surface areas both inside and out. Your door handles, seatbelts, gear shift, emergency brake, steering wheel, turn signals, phone chargers, seat adjusters, and every other knob and button you’re constantly grabbing are potential sources to transmit coronavirus. The good news is that you and your family likely will be the only ones in your vehicles. The risk is when you get back into your car from the grocery store, eating at a restaurant, fueling up, or returning to your RV you could be bringing the virus with you.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Use disinfecting wipes to clean down all the high-contact surfaces every time you get back into your car or RV. On any road trip your RV and car are your safe spaces. Keep it that way.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Stock up on essentials. A simple way to avoid the risk of contracting coronavirus is to avoid doing the same thing more times than necessary. Plan your trip to include stops at the grocery store and fueling up to minimize social contact.

Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Stay in areas where social distancing comes naturally. The last place anyone looking after their health right now likely wants to be is in Las Vegas or any other large city. It’s more difficult to maintain social distance in high density areas than in small towns and rural areas. Consider not only where you’re traveling but also the availability of RV parks and campgrounds in the area.

Grand Canyon Railway RV Park, Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Pre-plan your activities. Wherever you travel this summer many locations and activities that require close contact with others including amusement and theme parks, casinos, and water parks will be closed. Research in advance what you can and cannot do wherever you’re going, especially if you’re traveling with children and plan accordingly for your own quarantine entertainment. Bring hiking boots, bikes, fishing rods, and golf clubs. Pack board games, puzzles, iPads, and charger.

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Be sensitive to locals. Numerous articles have been written recently criticizing the tens of thousands of people who fled New York and Toronto and other dense, urban cities to second homes and vacation rentals in more rural areas. Be respectful of the full-time residents in any town or location you’re visiting. They are struggling to keep their small businesses afloat and their families safe and will appreciate every effort you make to support them through your travel spending while respecting local social distancing guidelines and quarantine requirements.

Lake County, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

8. Understand your health insurance and have a plan. This should go without saying especially for those traveling with children or anyone already predisposed to contracting coronavirus due to pre-existing conditions or compromised immunities. If you do get sick on the road, understand exactly where and how to get treated immediately. Put a plan in place in advance. When you register at an RV park inquire as to the protocols they have in place should someone become infected.

Wawasee Lake, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. Always be prepared. Do your due diligence by completing preventive maintenance on the RV and toad. Carry a basic tool kit (store on curb side), LCD flashlights, spare batteries, and first aid kit.

Bluegrass Country, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Last but not least. Enjoy nature. Get off the beaten path. Go some place that you’ve never been. Explore. The coronavirus pandemic has confined hundreds of millions like never before. A good old-fashioned road trip will remind you to never take your freedom for granted again.

Crowley, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Might Soon-ish likely be Sort of Over: Virtual Travel and the Revival of the RV Road Trip

If grocery stores are permitted to remain open while employing physical distancing guidelines surely spacious national and state parks and recreation areas can easily accommodate those who wish to treat their physical and mental health in the great outdoors

America is slowly but surely reopening for business. The start of May saw more than a dozen states relaxing lockdown measures that were imposed as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic began. While Georgia, Oklahoma, and Tennessee began relaxing rules earlier in the week these states followed suit as of Friday to varying degrees: Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The coronavirus crisis is creating health and economic concerns for just about everyone. A bit further down the priority list, it’s also impacting travel plans for a lot of people.

Babcock State Park, West Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

San Francisco-based Destination Analysts is tracking American travel sentiment as the travel industry continues to grapple with COVID-19 fallout and to look for clues to normalcy’s return. During a web event hosted by Visit Santa Barbara, results from their 4th week of analysis based on a survey of 1216 travelers fielded April 3 through 5 were released. Even amidst the daily tally of coronavirus-related hospitalizations and deaths, 41 percent have tentative plans to travel in July and/or August. Sixty-nine percent of US travelers say they miss traveling and are anxious to hit the road again, a number that continues to rise.

Gloucester, Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For major sectors of the travel industry, the new numbers show that safety and health concerns have made hesitation soar. For example, more than 86 percent of travelers feel unsafe about cruising, 85 percent feel unsafe about international travel, 81 percent are concerned about flying, between 75 percent and 77 percent are second-guessing going to amusements parks and restaurants, and close to 70 percent are not sure about the safety of staying at a hotel.

Davis Mountains, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

People are feeling more comfortable with road trips and outdoors activities like hiking and biking which suggests to me that when travel begins to return, local and regional travel will rebound first. When will “normal” travel activity return? I’m thinking June as a likely marker for a gradual turnaround with summer offering a travel deals bonanza and fall becoming the “new summer” for many travelers.

White Sands National Park, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

More people will visit national and state parks and be in the outdoors away from crowds in the wake of the coronavirus. The types of vacations they take will likely change too. Road trips are poised to make a resurgence and more people are expected to gravitate to the great outdoors and similar social distancing-friendly destinations. Low fuel prices and the peace of mind and flexibility that come with being in your own vehicle will make RV road trips an especially appealing vacation option.

Laura S. Walker State Park, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When the highly lethal and infectious Spanish flu swept through the country a century ago, U.S. national park visitation numbers which had been growing substantially took a dip in 1918 as the pandemic started. What happened next could be a sign of how travelers will respond to the coronavirus. The 1918 flu pandemic, thought to be the deadliest in human history, killed at least 50 million people worldwide (the equivalent of 200 million today) with half a million of those in the United States.

Raccoon State Recreation Area, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The number in 1918 went down to 436,000 (most analysts concur that Spanish flu, not World War I, drove the bulk of the decrease). People were either too sick or too scared to travel. Then, in 1919, it jumped to 781,000. In 1920, when the pandemic was basically over it jumped again, another 250,000 to over 1 million. From there on, it was fairly stable.

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This suggests to me that we’ll go through a period when travel is very slow and as people start to feel comfortable again we’ll see an explosion of travel in general.

Watson Lake, Prescott, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With social distancing the new normal, more travelers will seek out more remote, off-the-beaten path destinations to provide a little more elbow room between them and other travelers. Once this thing is over we’ll see RV travel go through the roof. People will have such a lust of going out there to see the country.

Worth Pondering…

As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Top 10 RV Travel Tips of All Time

Here are some tips to consider before you pile into the RV and head out

I have read hundreds of tips and hacks for traveling and have tried many of them. Some are game changers and others sound great in theory but are more trouble than they are worth. Here is a list of our favorite tried and true tips that make RV travel a breeze.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Be flexible. It is a given that something won’t go as planned. Embrace that in advance and the little annoyances won’t be a big deal.

Saguaro Lake, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Don’t rely on GPS. Think maps are outdated? You won’t feel that way when you lose service or you find yourself on an old forestry road in the middle of nowhere.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. USB charger. Don’t let your gadgets die on you. Modern USB connections aren’t just faster than their predecessors—they consume less power, too.

Utah Scenic Byway 12 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. With moist cool weather our first instinct is to keep those windows and vents tightly closed. Today’s RV doors and windows do a great job sealing everything up but with that come ventilation issues. To reduce condensation keep one or two windows or vents slightly cracked and make sure to use your hood vent fan when cooking. Keep a small, portable dehumidifier in the bathroom, kitchen, and in an outside bin.

Goose Island State Park, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Don’t let your RV adventure start before you reach your destination. Make sure your RV maintenance checklist is complete and all major components are in working order before you depart. If you do end up with deviations from your plans make the best of it and enjoy wherever life takes you.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Bring Tools and Spare Parts. Pack a well-stocked tool kit that should include screw drivers, sockets, claw hammer, pliers, utility knife, tape measure, cordless drill, and adjustable and combination wrenches. Also add in the things that your RV might need like extra fuses, LCD lights, batteries, jumper cables, nuts, bolts, and connectors.

Freightliner Custom Chassis Service Center in Gaffney, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. First Aid Kit. Like a tool box, a first aid kit is a must for road trippers. This way you’ll have essential first-aid supplies to help treat most common injuries, including cuts, scrapes, swelling, sprains, and strains. Your first aid kit should include antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone cream, antiseptic cleansing wipes, gauze dressing pads in varied sizes, tape roll, tweezers, adhesive bandages in varied sizes, scissors, disposable vinyl gloves, and Red Cross Emergency First Aid Guide.

Covered bridge, Parke County, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

8. When you see flashing lights, “Move Over”

FLASHING LIGHTS? GIVE ‘EM SPACE! MOVE OVER!

We hope “Move Over” rings familiar. If not, let’s refresh your memory: “Move Over” is a law in most states (and Canadian provinces) that requires motorists to move over one lane—or slow down if it is not safe to change lanes—when approaching any vehicle with flashing lights pulled to the side of a road or highway.

Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

That includes first responder vehicles such as tow trucks, fire trucks, ambulances, and police cruisers, as well as utility trucks and even passenger vehicles that have emergency flashers blinking. Lives can be saved when vehicles “Move Over.”

Organ Pipe National Monument, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tragically, tow truck operators being struck and killed is not uncommon as being a first responder to vehicle crashes and disabled motorists is dangerous work. Nationally, one tow truck operator is killed every six days. On average, about 23 highway workers and one law enforcement officer are killed every month and five fire fighters are killed every year in the United States.

Remember, when you see flashing lights on, give ’em space and “Move Over.” 

Jasper National Park, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. Install and maintain a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide and propane (LP gas) detector.

Special 12v smoke alarms, designed specifically for RVs, are available from RV dealers. Test monthly and replace batteries annually. Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in your RV near the sleeping area. Test monthly and replace batteries annually. Install and maintain a propane (LP gas) leak alarm at floor level in your RV, no more than six inches above the floor. Test monthly and replace batteries annually.

Ajo Scenic Loop Drive, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Camera. This one is obvious, but don’t leave home without it. How else are you going to document your visit to the world’s only corn palace, located in Mitchell, South Dakota?

Gila Bend KOA, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

April 2020 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?

Seabreeze RV Park, Corpus Christi, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable risk to safety or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

Hacienda RV Park, Las Cruces, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

NHTSA announced 8 recall notices during April 2020. These recalls involved 4 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (3 recalls), Thor Motor Coach (3 recalls), Keystone RV Company (1 recall), Newmar (1 recall),

Forest River

Lakeside RV Park, Livingstone, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022 StarCraft Starquest ST93079 school buses. The wire harness may contact the vehicle frame, resulting in chaffing of the wiring for the fuel pump and the anti-lock braking system (ABS).

Forest River will notify owners and Ford dealers will inspect the wire harness for damage. If no damage is found, dealers will apply anti-abrasion tape over the area and ensure clearance to surrounding components. If damage is found, dealers will splice in new wire and apply anti-abrasion tape over the area and ensure clearance to surrounding components. All services will be performed free of charge. The remedy for this recall is still under development. The recall is expected to begin May 29, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-348-7440. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1156.

Forest River

Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021 Starcraft Bus AllStar ST93109 transit buses built on a Ford chassis. The wire harness may contact the vehicle frame, resulting in chaffing of the wiring for the fuel pump and the anti-lock braking system (ABS).

Forest River will notify owners and Ford dealers will inspect the wire harness for damage. If no damage is found, dealers will apply anti-abrasion tape over the area and ensure clearance to surrounding components. If damage is found, dealers will splice in new wire and apply anti-abrasion tape over the area and ensure clearance to surrounding components. All services will be performed free of charge. The remedy for this recall is still under development. The recall is expected to begin May 29, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-348-7440. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Forest River’s number for this recall is 55-1154.

Forest River

Coastal Georgia RV Park, Brunswick, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2016 Rockwood Lite RLT2604WS and Flagstaff Lite FLT26RLWS recreational trailers. Due to insufficient clearance between the front tire and slide out actuator, the tire may contact the slide out bracket and become damaged.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a lift kit that will provide the proper clearance between the tire and the slide out bracket. Damaged tires will be replaced. These repairs will be performed free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 27, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-8943. Forest River’s number for this recall is 10D-1159.

Thor Motor Coach

Pala Casino RV Resort, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2020 Tellaro 20AT and Sequence 20A motorhomes. The dinette/booth seat belt reinforcing brackets may be missing. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 210, “Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages.”

TMC will notify owners, and dealers will install the missing brackets, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 19, 2020. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000187.

Thor Motor Coach

Rain Spirit RV Resort, Cottonwood, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Aria 3401, 3601, 3901, 3902, and Venetian G36, J40, L40, M37, R40, and S40 motorhomes built on DTNA chassis. The brake caliper mounting bolts may have been insufficiently tightened.

DTNA will notify owners, and DTNA dealers will inspect and repair the vehicles, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 19, 2020. Owners may contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 or TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867.

Thor Motor Coach

Las Vegas RV Resort, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2020 Chateau 31W and 31WV, Quantum KW29 and LF31, Vegas 24.1 and Axis 24.1 motorhomes and 2020-2021 Four Winds 24F, 28Z, and 31E motorhomes built on a Ford chassis. The rear axle differential may have an insufficient amount of fluid, possibly resulting in a failure of the rear axle assembly and a driveshaft separation.

Ford will notify owners, and Ford or Lincoln dealers will inspect the rear axle differential fluid level and adjust it, or replace the rear axle as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 24, 2020. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332 or TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000188.

Keystone RV Company

Irvins RV Park, Valemount, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2018-2020 Crossroads Hampton 371FKL recreational trailers. The Federal identification Tag may incorrectly indicate the tire pressure as 6 PSI when the correct tire pressure is actually 80 PSI. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Keystone will notify owners and will replace the Federal Identification Tag, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 1, 2020. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 20-376.

Newmar

Ambassador RV Resort, Caldwell, Idaho © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Essex and London Aire, 2019 Mountain Aire, Ventana LE and Ventana and 2020 Kountry Star motorhomes built on DTNA chassis. The brake caliper mounting bolts may have been insufficiently tightened.

Newmar will notify owners, and DTNA dealers will inspect and repair the vehicles, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 19, 2020. Owners may contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 or Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300. Newmar’s number for this recall is 20V-127.

Capital City RV Park, Montgomery, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Please Note: This is the 15th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren