December 2019 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.

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

The number of RV recalls has increased significantly in recent years: 169 recalls were issued during 2016, 203 recalls during 2017, and 230 for 2018.

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 15 recall notices during December 2019. These recalls involved 8 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (6 recalls), REV Recreation Group (2 recalls), Keystone RV Company (2 recalls), Jayco (2 recalls), KZRV (1 recall), Entegra Coach (1 recall), Triple E (1 recall), Foretravel (1 recall)

Ivy Acres RV Park, Greenville, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Glaval Bus Apollo, Commute, Concorde II, Entourage, Legacy, Primetime, Titan, Titan II Low Floor, and Universal shuttle buses equipped with Safe Fleet Prolo Roof Escape hatches. Due to a manufacturing issue, the roof hatch external handle may unexpectedly break under reasonable use. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 217, “Bus Emergency Exits and Window Retention and Release.”

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will replace the hatch, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 27, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-748-3440. Forest River’s number for this recall is 05-1115.

Dakota Campground, Mitchell, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 Rockwood RLF8298KS and Flagstaff FLF8529RLS recreational trailers. Due to improper tire clearance, the tire may contact the steel chassis outrigger, possibly resulting in tire failure.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a new outrigger to achieve the proper tire clearance, and damaged tires will be replaced, free of charge. The recall began December 10, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-8954. Forest River’s number for this recall is 10C-1116.

Two Rivers Landing RV Resort, Sevierville, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2018-2020 Cascade and Cherokee travel trailers. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle exceeds the GVWR of the trailer hitch coupler, potentially resulting in the coupler failing and the trailer detaching.

The remedy for this recall is still under development. The recall is expected to begin January 11, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-260-499-2100 or 1-541-995-3447. Forest River’s number for this recall is 64-1114.

Hilltop RV Park, Fort Stockton, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 XLR Boost trailers, model XLT18RLE. An undersized axle, tire, and rim combination were installed, possibly resulting in the trailer being overloaded.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install properly sized axles and tire/wheel combinations, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 6, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0432. Forest River’s number for this recall is 79-1117.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 Georgetown and FR3 motorhomes. The trailer hitch bolts may not have been properly tightened, which can allow cause the hitch to detach from the chassis.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will properly torque the bolts, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 10, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-296-7600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 68-1119.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2018-2020 Dynamax Isata motorhomes. The slim-rack slide out mechanisms may activate unintentionally, extending or retracting the slide room unexpectedly.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a new controller and switch for the slideout mechanism, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 27, 2020. Owners may contact Forest River at 1-574-206-7600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 55-1030.

Irvin’s RV Park, Valemont, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

REV Recreation Group

REV Recreation Group (REV) is recalling certain 2020 Fleetwood Pace Arrow LXE, Discovery and Discovery LXE, and Holiday Rambler Navigator and Endeavor motorhomes. The wire harness/plumbing bundle within the slideout raceway may have been improperly wrapped and secured.

REV will notify owners, and dealers will inspect, repair, reroute and resecure the wire harness/plumbing bundle, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 31, 2020. Owners may contact REV customer service at 1-800-509-3417. REV’s number for this recall is 191126REV.

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

REV Recreation Group

REV Recreation Group (REV) is recalling certain 2016-2020 Fleetwood Bounder, Holiday Rambler Vacationer, and 2018-2020 Fleetwood Southwind motorhomes. The generator exhaust pipe placement exits the motorhome within the vehicle’s departure angle.

REV will notify owners, and dealers will inspect, replace and reroute the generator exhaust pipe, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 31, 2020. Owners may contact REV customer service at 1-800-509-3417. REV’s number for this recall is 191125REV.

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

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2014 Springdale 253FWRLLS trailers. The Federal Identification Tag may have the incorrect tire, rim, and axle size. 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, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 2, 2019. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 19-364.

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

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2020 Springdale trailers, models 1700FQ, 1750RD, 1760BH, 1790FQ, and 1800BH. The Federal Identification Tag lists incorrect rim size, tire size, and tire pressure information. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Keystone will notify owners, and will provide replacement Federal Identification Tags, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 15, 2020. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 20-366.

Tom Sawyer RV Park, West Memphis, Arkansas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2018-2020 Melbourne Prestige motorhomes. The liquid propane (LP) tank hangers may be the wrong size and have insufficient welding, allowing the LP tank to dislodge.

Jayco has notified owners, and dealers will install a support bracket on each side of the propane tank, free of charge. The recall began December 9, 2019. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-517-9137. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9903501.

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2019-2020 White Hawk (144) travel trailers, model 24MBH. The rear emergency escape window can not fully open due to the placement of exterior ladder.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will remove and relocate the existing ladder to prevent interference with the emergency escape safety window, free of charge. The recall began December 20, 2019. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901503.

The Springs at Borrego Golf and Resort, Borrego Springs, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

KZRV

KZRV, L.P. (KZRV) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Connect and Sportsmen trailers equipped with an optional Rock Run flip up rear storage rack. The racks may detach from the trailer when loaded.

KZRV will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the mounting brackets. If the existing rack is damaged, it will be replaced with a redesigned version, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 4, 2020. Owners may contact KZRV customer service at 1-800-768-4016, extension 154 or 153. KZRV’s number for this recall is KZ-2019-02.

Creekfire RV Resort, Savannah, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Entegra Coach

Entegra Coach (Entegra) is recalling certain 2018-2020 Qwest motorhomes. The liquid propane (LP) tank hangers may be the wrong size and have insufficient welding, allowing the LP tank to dislodge.

Entegra has notified owners, and dealers will install a support bracket on each side of the propane tank, free of charge. The recall began December 9, 2019. Owners may contact Entegra customer service at 1-800-517-9137. Entegra’s number for this recall is 9903502.

Frog City RV Park, Duson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Triple E

Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling certain 2020 Unity U24RL trailers. The propane tubing for the water heater may be routed too close to the tire tread possibly resulting in contact between the tire and the tubing.

Triple E will notify owners, and dealers will install a metal shield around the propane tubing for protection, free of charge. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-877-992-9906. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#9572-1.

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

Foretravel

Foretravel, Inc. (Foretravel) is recalling certain 2020 Realm and iH45 vehicles built on a Spartan chassis. The brake relay valve may have an air flow restriction, which may result in an extended stopping distance. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 121, “Air Brake Systems.”

Foretravel will notify owners, and Spartan dealers will inspect and replace the valves, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 30, 2019. Owners may contact Foretravel customer service at 1-800-955-6226.

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

Note: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the 11th 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

November 2019 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.

The number of RV recalls has increased significantly in recent years: 169 recalls were issued during 2016, 203 recalls during 2017, and 230 for 2018.

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 20 recall notices during November 2019. These recalls involved 8 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (7 recalls), Thor Motor Coach (4 recalls), Jayco (2 recalls), Airstream (2 recall), Keystone RV Company (2 recalls), Outdoors RV Manufacturing (1 recall), Starcraft RV (1 recall), Gulf Stream Coach (1 recall)

The Motor Coach Resort, Chandler, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 Shasta Oasis SST30QB and SST31OK trailers. The trailers may have been built with an incorrect length axle hanger, allowing the axle to contact the chassis while moving.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will replace the equalizers, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 25, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-528-8717. Forest River’s number for this recall is 53-1100.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 Sunseeker SSC2250SLEC, Freelander FLC26RSC, and Leprechaun LPC240FSC vehicles. The seatbelt-unfastened warning light will not illuminate for approximately five seconds after the ignition is moved to the “on” or “start” position. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 208, “Occupant Crash Protection.”

Forest River will notify owners, and GM dealers will reprogram the instrument panel, free of charge. The recall began on October 29, 2019. Owners may contact GMC customer service at 1-800-462-8782 or Forest River customer service at 1-800-348-7440. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1084.

Orange Groove RV Park, Bakersfield, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2017 Dynamax DX3 and Force motorhomes. The front axle stabilizer bracket may not properly mount to the axle, and may break as a result.

Forest River has notified owners, and a Detroit Diesel dealer will perform the recall remedy. The stabilizer brackets and I-beams will be inspected and spacers and replacement stabilizer brackets will be installed, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began November 6, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-348-7440 or find a Detroit Diesel location at www.detroitdiesel.com/locations/default.aspx. Forest River’s number for this recall is 55-1105.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 EVO, Salem and Wildwood travel trailers. The trailer cooktops were installed with a rubber liquid propane (LP) gas line instead of a copper one.

Forest River has notified owners, and dealers will replace the rubber LP gas line with a copper gas line, free of charge. The recall began November 7, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-909-873-3777. Forest River’s number for this recall is 67A-1107.

Reunion Lake RV Resort, Ponchatoula, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 Surveyor trailers, model SVT33KFKDS. A fuse of the incorrect amperage was installed for the 12V refrigerator, potentially allowing the wiring to overheat.

Forest River has notified owners, and dealers will replace the incorrect fuse with one of the correct amperage, free of charge. The recall began November 7, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-260-499-2100. Forest River’s number for this recall is 37-1108.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. is recalling certain 2020 East to West Delta Terra (model 312BH) and East to West Silver Lake (model 31KBH) recreational trailers. The overhead bunk fasteners may not be properly secured to the backer board of the bunk.

Forest River has notified owners, and dealers will properly secure the bunk to the backer, free of charge. The recall began November 1, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-264-6664. Forest River’s number for this recall is 500-1112.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 Cherokee Alpha Wolf Travel Trailers. The wire supplying the 12V power for the refrigerator may have been connected incorrectly to the circuit breaker.

Forest River has notified owners, and dealers will correct the wiring, free of charge. The recall began November 19, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-260-499-2100. Forest River’s number for this recall is 76-1109.

Two Rivers Landing RV Resort, Severeville, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2014 Tuscany 36M, 40E, 2015 Citation 24SL, Siesta 24SL, Axis 25.1 and Vegas 25.1, 2016 Four Winds 31E, 31W, 35SF, Chateau 31E, 31W, Synergy SD24, Citation 24SL, 24SS and Siesta 24SL, 24SS, 2017 Four Winds 31E, 31W, Chateau 31E, 35SD, Citation 24SS and Siesta 24SS, 2018 Citation 24SS and Siesta 24SS, 2019 Quantum CR24, Four Winds 24BL, Citation 24MB and Siesta 24MB and 2020 Quantum CR24, Citation 24MB, Siesta 24MB, Chateau 24BL and Synergy 24MB vehicles. The Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity (OCCC) label has the incorrect carrying capacity listed, which can allow the vehicle to be overloaded. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 120, “Wheels and Rims – Other Than Passenger Cars.”

TMC will notify owners, and dealers will issue new OCCC labels with correct seating positions and weight calculations, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 2, 2019. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000176.

Hidden Lake RV Resort, Beaumont, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Chateau 22B, 22E, 23U, 24F, 25V, and 28A, Daybreak 22GO, Four Winds 22B, 22E, 24F, 26B and 28A, Freedom Elite 22HE and 2020 Quantum GR22, and SE22 motorhomes. The seatbelt-unfastened warning light will not illuminate for approximately five seconds after the ignition is moved to the “on” or “start” position. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 208, “Occupant Crash Protection.”

GM will notify TMC owners, and dealers will reprogram the instrument panel cluster, free of charge. The recall began October 3, 2019. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-630-2438, GMC customer service at 1-800-462-8782 or TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000177.

Columbia Sun RV Park, Kennewick, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Magnitude and Omni motorhomes. The seat recliner mechanisms may be missing the third pawl required for seat back strength, resulting in a loose seat back. These vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) numbers 202, “Head Restraints” and 207, “Seating Systems.”

Ford has notified TMC owners, and Ford dealers will inspect the seat structures and replace them, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began October 21, 2019. 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 RC000178.

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

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2020 Sequence 20L motorhomes. The screws securing the solar panel to the luggage rack may fail causing the solar panel to detach.

TMC will notify owners, and dealers will replace the screws with plates, carriage bolts, washers, and locking nuts, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 3, 2020. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000179.

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2016-2017 Alante motorhomes built on Ford F53 chassis. A heat shield may have not have been installed, allowing the hydraulic lines to be exposed to excessive heat.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will install aftermarket heat shields to the chassis, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 15, 2019. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-517-9137. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9903442.

Tom Sawyer RV Park, West Memphis, Arkansas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2017 Pinnacle Fifth Wheel trailers. The suspension system may fail.

The remedy for this recall is still under development. The recall is expected to begin December 2, 2019. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-517-9137. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901443.

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

Airstream

Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Atlas motorhomes. The SH1 Breaker Terminal may be wired incorrectly, causing some of the 12V circuits to have insufficient overcurrent protection.

Airstream will notify owners, and dealers will correct the wiring, as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 14, 2019. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111, extension 7401 or 7411.

Creekside RV Resort, Savannah, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Airstream

Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Sport, Nest, Flying Cloud, International Serenity, International Signature, Classic, Globetrotter and Tommy Bahama trailers and 2020 Basecamp, Bambi and Caravel trailers. Due to improper welding, the Demco ball coupler installed on the travel trailers may not provide enough clamping force on the tow ball, potentially causing the coupler to separate from the tow ball.

Airstream will notify owners, and will send a temporary use adaptor that can be slipped over the ball portion of the coupler to allow owners to tow their trailers. For the final remedy, dealers will add a shim plate to the backside of the ball coupler clamp to put it in position to apply the required clamping force on the tow ball, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 20, 2019. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111 extension 7401 or 7411.

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

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2020 Dutchmen Atlas 3382BH trailers. The trailers may have a non-metallic propane supply hose installed inside the burner box of the cooktop, instead of a copper supply hose.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will remove the non-metallic propane gas line and attach it to a copper propane gas line, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 15, 2019. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 19-363.

Frog City RV Park, Duson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Crossroads Sunset trailers, model 242BH. 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, sealing it as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 16, 2019. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 19-362.

Hilltop RV Park, Fort Stockton, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Outdoors RV Manufacturing (ORV)

Outdoors RV Manufacturing (ORV) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Trail Series MTN TRX 22TRX toyhauler travel trailers. The axles may be incorrectly mounted too far forward, potentially causing light tongue weight on the tow vehicle.

ORV will notify owners, and dealers will move the axles 10 inches back towards the rear of the trailer to increase the tongue weight, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin October 21, 2019. Owners may contact ORV customer service at 1-541-962-1866, extension 222. ORV’s number for this recall is 2019-001.

Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Starcraft RV

Starcraft RV (Starcraft) is recalling 2016 Solstice Travel Star fifth wheel trailers equipped with Atwood on-demand water heaters. The water heaters have a water and gas valve that may cause the water heater to overheat the water in the hot water supply tap.

Starcraft will notify owners, and Atwood dealers will install a water flow adjustment stop key that prevents the recall condition from occurring, free of charge. The recall began on October 23, 2019. Owners may contact Starcraft customer service at 1-800-945-4787 or Atwood customer service at 1-877-546-9074.

Palm Springs-Joshua Tree KOA, California

Gulf Stream Coach

Gulf Stream Coach, Inc. (Gulf Stream) is recalling certain 2020 Amerilite, Conquest, Innsbruck, Grand River, Kingsport and Trail Master trailers. The gas refrigerator compartment may not be properly sealed, potentially releasing carbon monoxide or flammable unburned Liquid Petroleum (LP) gases throughout the trailer.

Gulf Stream will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the gas refrigerator for proper sealing and repair, as necessary. Owners may contact Gulf Stream customer service at 1-800-289-8787. Gulf Stream’s number for this recall is 102919.

Note: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the tenth 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

Thanksgiving & Our RV Lifestyle: Giving Thanks

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and Safe Travels

Many will be on the road traveling today and throughout this Thanksgiving weekend.

Thanksgiving is the biggest travel weekend in America, and RVers are out in force, back on the road, crossing the country in their RVs to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Giving Thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And many snowbirds are traveling south to their favorite Sunbelt roost to avoid the rigors of another northern winter.

I have so much to be thankful for! I give thanks to my partner—my wife Dania, my co-pilot—and our family and friends.

Giving Thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With a lifelong love of travel, a condo-on-wheels has always been our destiny. Yes, we’re living our dream! We’ve wintered in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Our RV travels have taken us to over 40 states and four western provinces.

Giving Thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

I am thankful as Canadian Snowbirds that we have the opportunity of celebrating Thanksgiving in October (Canadian Thanksgiving) and again in November.

Thanksgiving offers the opportunity to reflect on life, liberty, and the pursuit of full hookup campgrounds with really good Wi-Fi.

We’re thankful that RV travel is so popular in our own vast and wonderful countries.

Giving Thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

I’m thankful for our continued health and safety while traveling. Any time you venture onto highways, you are rolling the dice. So far we’ve enjoyed over 150,000 miles of safe and mostly carefree travel as we cruise the highways and byways of our two great nations!

Giving Thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

I am thankful for our freedom. As Americans and Canadians we take so much for granted when it comes to freedom. We have freedom of speech, expression, the right to vote, and so much more that others across the world only dream of. That freedom came at a price—and that is the lives of many of our servicemen and women.  So, I also would like to give thanks to our troops.

Giving Thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Oh yeah … and I give thanks to the Internet which has given me the opportunity to share my thoughts on RV Travel.

Stay tuned, friends…the best is yet to come!

Giving Thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What are you thankful for?

Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend from our family here to you and yours.  We hope it will be full of amazing food, love and laughter and of course–great wines!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and Safe Travels…and we’ll see you back here tomorrow!

Giving Thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thanksgiving Day Stats

Key to any Thanksgiving Day menu are a fat turkey and cranberry sauce.

An estimated 238 million turkeys were raised for slaughter in the U.S. during 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistical Service.

Giving Thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

About 46 million of those turkeys ended up on U.S. dinner tables on Thanksgiving—or about 736 million pounds of turkey meat, according to estimates from the National Turkey Federation.

Minnesota is the United States’ top turkey-producing state, followed by Arkansas, North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri, Virginia, and California. These “big seven” states produce more than two of every three U.S.-raised birds, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Giving Thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

U.S. farmers also produced an estimated 841 million pounds of cranberries in 2014, which, like turkeys, are native to the Americas. The top producers are Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington.

Giving Thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The U.S. grew 2.9 billion pounds of sweet potatoes—many in South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, California, Texas, and Louisiana—and produced more than 1.2 billion pounds of pumpkins. Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio grow the most U.S. pumpkins.

Worth Pondering…

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.

—Edward Sandford Martin

Thanksgiving & Staying Safe

Here are our top tips for making your road trip safe and enjoyable this Thanksgiving

As the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel season kicks off and cold temperatures begin blanketing many parts of the country, it’s time to pack a little more patience as hundreds of thousands more travelers head out for turkey and stuffing this year.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thanksgiving is the biggest travel weekend in America and RVers are out in force, back on the road, crossing the country in their RVs to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends. And many snowbirds are traveling south to their favorite Sunbelt roost to avoid the rigors of another northern winter.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

More than 55 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home for the holiday, according to an AAA news release. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 27, to Sunday December 1.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The busiest days to travel are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving. If possible, AAA recommends that motorists plan their travel around these days (Thanksgiving Day is actually the best day to be on the roads).

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predicts road trips could take as much as four times longer than normal in major metros on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For the nearly 90 percent of travelers who will drive to their destinations there is good news: Fuel prices have been fluctuating as of late, but are currently cheaper than the national average at this time last year, giving travelers a little extra money to spend and motivating millions to take road trips. In most regions of the country, prices average about 10 cents less than last Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Plan your travel and route by checking the weather, road conditions, and traffic. Leave early, if possible, and allow plenty of time to safely get to your destination. Carry items in your vehicle that may prove useful in the event of an emergency or if you get stranded, including: snow shovel, broom, ice scraper, jumper cables, flashlight, flares/emergency markers, blankets, mobile phone with charger, water, food, and any necessary medication.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you become stranded, don’t run your vehicle with the windows up or in an enclosed space for an extended period of time to avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically—just long enough to stay warm.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Inspect your tires to avoid a blowout and to ensure proper grip in inclement weather. Make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure. Don’t forget to check your spare tire to ensure it is properly inflated.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Make sure your windshield wipers work and, if necessary, replace worn blades and completely fill your vehicle’s windshield wiper fluid reservoir.

Keep up with routine maintenance and tune ups. Have your entire vehicle checked thoroughly for leaks, badly worn hoses, or other needed parts, repairs, and replacements.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Remember to always wear your seat belt and ensure that children are buckled up in age- and size-appropriate restraints. Children under age 13 should be seated in the back seat.

We can all do our part by buckling up, obeying the speed limit, and avoiding distractions while driving.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Never drive drunk or distracted. Driving drunk kills people. In every state, it’s is against the law to drive with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or higher.

The spotlight on holiday driving led to warnings about avoiding drunken drivers. Over 1,000 people died in drunken driving crashes during the holiday season last year, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration figures reviewed by the advocacy group Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

So obey the law; stay focused and alert at all times.

Doing so could save your life.

Be a patient driver and don’t speed when out on the nation’s highways.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Drivers are urged to keep their speed in check, buckle up and avoid distractions, especially texting while driving.

Drivers also should get a good night’s rest before traveling, check their vehicles’ tire pressure and be prepared for unscheduled closures due to crashes or disabled vehicles.

Thanksgiving and giving thanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Staying up to date on weather conditions and packing an emergency preparedness kit, with items such as blankets, flashlights, extra clothes, drinking water and snack foods, is another smart idea.

Worth Pondering…

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.

—Edward Sandford Martin

What to Pack for Extended RV Trips

Here are the essentials for an extended RV trip including snowbird travel

Over the course of 22 years of our snowbird RV lifestyle, we have learned what we really need to pack and what we can do without. Our list of “essentials” has changed over the years based on changing needs and available storage space.

It all fits somewhere. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Before leaving on our snowbird journey we go through the RV to determine the items needed and those no longer required.

It all fits somewhere. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Following is a list of the items we currently pack into our RV for our snowbird travels to the U.S. Sunbelt. It should be noted that the majority of these items are never removed from the RV.

It all fits somewhere. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Hopefully, if you are new to the snowbird lifestyle the following list will provide some assistance on the essentials required when planning an extended RV trip.

It all fits somewhere. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Inside Items

  • Laptop computer, printer, camera, lens, and camera bag
  • Manuals for the motorhome and toad
  • Atlases and maps
  • Campground directories (Good Sam and Big Rigs)
  • Office supplies
It all fits somewhere. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Kitchen Stuff

  • Place setting for four people
  • Eating utensils
  • Coffee mugs and assorted glassware
  • Placemats
  • Small, medium, and large pots w/lids
  • Electric fry pan
  • Salad spinner
  • Roasting pans
  • Air tight plastic containers of various sizes for food storage
  • Toaster oven
  • Slow cooker
  • Kettle
  • Kitchen knives
  • Mixing bowls
  • Coffee maker
  • Cutting boards
  • Assorted utensils (spatula, ice cream scoop, can opener, measuring spoons, peeler, etc.)
It all fits somewhere. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Outside Items

  • Camping chairs
  • Folding tables
  • Outside mat
  • Tire covers
  • Tarp
  • Jack pads
  • RV Leveling Blocks (plastic stacking blocks in carrying case)
  • 5 gallon bucket
It all fits somewhere. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Utility Hookups

  • Fresh water hoses
  • Water pressure regulators
  • Sewer hoses, connections including clear plastic elbow, and support
  • Disposable plastic gloves
  • Coaxial TV cable
  • Progressive Industries Electric Management System
  • 30-amp extension cord
It all fits somewhere. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cleaners & Lubricants

  • Windex
  • 303 Aerospace Protectant
  • Meguires RV wash and wax
  • Long adjustable pole with attachments
  • Silicone and white lithium spray lubricants
  • WD-40
It all fits somewhere. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tools & Maintenance Items

  • Basic tool kit (Screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, hammer, tape measure, etc.)
  • Assorted screws, nuts, bolts, and washers
  • Heavy duty tire pressure gauge
  • Folding shovel
  • Duct and Gorilla Tape
  • Spare oil, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid for motorhome
  • Distilled water
  • Funnels
  • Work gloves
  • Portable collapsible ladder
  • Heavy duty clippers with extendable handles
It all fits somewhere. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Safety & Emergency Items

  • 4 fire extinguishers—bedroom, entrance, storage, and toad
  • Emergency road side reflective triangles
  • First aid kit
  • Spare batteries for LED flashlights, CO, smoke, and LP gas detectors
  • Battery jumper cables
At the Newmar Service Center in Nappanee, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Wow! When I actually sat down and listed our stuff and it sure adds up. It’s hard to believe it all fits in our rig, but it does. Fortunately, our Dutch Star diesel pusher’s ample storage space and a decent amount of extra cargo weight capacity.

At the Newmar Service Center in Nappanee, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Along with the reliability of Newmar motorhomes and the quality service provided by our dealer—Midtown RV in Penticton, British Columbia—the ample cargo carrying capacity was one of the reasons we chose it. Something to think about if you’re buying a rig for extended RV trips.

At the Newmar Service Center in Nappanee, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

No matter where we go in our motorhome, that sense of independence is satisfying. We have our own facilities, from comfortable bed to a fridge full of our favorite foods. We set the thermostat the way we like it and go to bed and get up in our usual routine.

October 2019 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.

The number of RV recalls has increased significantly in recent years: 169 recalls were issued during 2016, 203 recalls during 2017, and 230 for 2018.

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 13 recall notices during October 2019. These recalls involved 8 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Jayco (4 recalls), Forest River (2 recalls), Keystone RV Company (2 recalls), Airstream (1 recall), Heartland Recreational Vehicles (1 recall), Cruiser RV (1 recall), Pleasure Way (1 recall), and Starcraft RV (1 recall).

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Jay Feather X19H travel trailers. The handles for the emergency exit windows may not allow the windows to open sufficiently for them to be used as an emergency egress.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will replace the emergency window handles, free of charge. The recall began October 11, 2019. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-517-9137. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901441.

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Redhawk SE motorhomes. The seatbelt-unfastened warning light will not illuminate for approximately five seconds after the ignition is moved to the “on” or “start” position. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 208, “Occupant Crash Protection.”

GM will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the instrument panel cluster, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin October 16, 2019. Owners may contact GMC customer service at 1-800-462-8782 or Jayco customer service at 1-800-517-9137.

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2019 Eagle HT and Eagle recreational trailers. The gas range does not vent outside.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will install a range hood vent out the sidewall of the trailer, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 20, 2019. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901438.

Hollywood Casino RV Park, Bay St. Lewis, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2014-2018 Precept motorhomes built on Ford F53 chassis. The hydraulic lines may have been incorrectly routed too close to the exhaust without a heat shield.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and correct the hydraulic line routing as necessary and install a heat shield, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 15, 2019. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-517-9137. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9903440.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Sabre trailers, models SRF261RK-C, SRF270RL-C and SRF301BH-C. The rotating pin box may come into contact with the 7-way junction box/wiring and cause an electrical short circuit.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will relocate the 7-way and junction box to a location that allows movement when the pin box is pivoting, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin October 30, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-2100. Forest River’s number for this recall is 62-1085.

7 Feathers Casino RV Park, Canyonville, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 Cherokee trailers, models CKT16BF-D, CKT16BFH-D, CKT16GR-D and CKT16GRH-D. The protective paneling may not have been installed around the distribution panel, allowing the distribution panel wiring to be exposed in a storage compartment, which can lead to damage to the panel and wiring.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install a divider in the storage compartment to ensure the distribution panel wiring is protected, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin October 30, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-260-499-2100. Forest River’s number for this recall is 17D-1089.

Edisto Beach State Park, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2020 Cougar 30RKD trailers. The 60″x29″ emergency exit windows over the dinette table in the cabin are missing a red handle and “EXIT” label.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will replace the existing black exit handles with red handles and add an “EXIT” label, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 5, 2019. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 19-360.

Dakota Campground, Mitchell, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2020 Cougar fifth wheels and travel trailers, models 22RBS, 23MLS, 25RES, 26RBS, 26RKS, 27RES, 27SAB, 27SGS, 29BHS, 29FKD, 29RLD, 30RKD, 31MBS, 32RDB, 32RLI and 34TSB. The wiring for the solar preparation kit may have been incorrectly wired to the wrong side of the 12V breaker, potentially allowing an electrical short circuit in the event of damage to the wiring.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and correct the installation of the solar preparation wiring, as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 11, 2019. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 19-361.

River Plantation RV Park, Seviereville, Tennessee

Airstream

Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2016-2017 International Serenity, 2016 International Signature, and Flying Cloud trailers that are 19 feet long. The vertically-mounted inverter may contact the floor-mounted inverter fuse.

Airstream will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the location of the inverter and inverter fuse. If the inverter and inverter fuse are not mounted on the same surface, the inverter fuse will be relocated, and secured to the same surface as the inverter. In addition, a protective cover will be installed on the inverter fuse bar, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 15, 2019. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111 extension 7401 or 7411.

RV Park USA, Comfort, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heartland Recreational Vehicles

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2020 Milestone recreational trailers. The wood backers for bunk supports were not installed on the slide out bunk end walls during manufacturing, possibly allowing the upper bunk bed to fall.

Heartland dealers will install wood backers to secure the bunk bed, free of charge, all affected vehicles were on dealer lots. The recall began on September 20, 2019. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

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

Cruiser RV

Cruiser RV (Cruiser) is recalling certain 2020 Southfork recreational trailers. The wood backers for bunk supports were not installed on the slide out bunk end walls during manufacturing, possibly allowing the upper bunk bed to fall.

Cruiser will notify owners, and dealers will install wood backers to secure the bunk bed, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 15, 2019. Owners may contact Cruiser customer service at 1-574-206-7920.

Columbia Sun RV Resort, Kennewick, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pleasure Way

Pleasure Way Industries Ltd. (Pleasure Way) is recalling certain 2018-2020 Plateau, Plateau XL, Ascent and Lexor motorhomes equipped with a Fiamma F45 Eagle or Fiamma F65 Eagle awning. The awning drive mechanism may fail causing the awning to extend unexpectedly without input from the user.

Pleasure Way will notify owners, and dealers will install straps to keep the awning closed, as a temporary solution, free of charge. Fiamma will provide a permanent solution. Pleasure Way issued owners an interim notification on October 7, 2019. Owners may contact Pleasure Way customer service at 1-800-364-0189.

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

Starcraft RV

Starcraft RV (Starcraft) is recalling certain 2018 Comet Mini, 2018-2019 GPS, Autumn Ridge Outfitter, Launch Ultra Lite, Launch Outfitter 7, Autumn Ridge, Launch Outfitter, Satellite and Avalon and 2019 Mossy Oak and Mossy Oak Lite travel trailers. The fuse/circuit breaker wiring between the battery and the converter may have bypassed the 30amp fuse, creating an unprotected circuit.

Starcraft will notify owners, and dealers will install a fuse harness assembly to protect the circuit, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 22, 2019. Owners may contact Starcraft customer service at 1-800-945-4787. Starcraft’s number for this recall is 9902439.

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

Note: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the ninth 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

Raise Your RV IQ with These Tips

Steering RV owners both new and seasoned in the right direction with these tips

Your recreational vehicle is a vacation home wherever you want it, whenever you want it. It is freedom and security in equal measure. It’s Lewis and Clark on turbo-charge.

Whether you just bought your first RV or you have owned one for a while, nothing beats the ease and freedom of walking into your unit and hitting the open road. 

Before setting out on your next adventure, consider the following five tips to raise your RV IQ.

Travel with Propane Off

Travel safely with the propane turned off at the tank © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This is a common topic discussed around the campfire, and it is a bit controversial. The best I can do is to offer my personal opinion. It really is safer to drive with the propane supply turned off at the tank.

Travel safely with the propane turned off at the tank © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

I believe that having the propane on while traveling increases the risk of a fire if you are involved in an accident. If a gas line is damaged or broken, and the propane tank supply valves are open, there will be a release of potentially explosive propane gas. That’s a bad thing. For this reason, I choose to run with the main tank valve off.

Travel safely with the propane turned off at the tank © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Now, many folks will say: Hey, I’ve been running with the propane on for XX years, and nothing bad has ever happened to me. That may be true, but having the tank valves open increases your risk—it just does.

Travel safely with the propane turned off at the tank © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Many RVers want the propane on in order to run their fridges while traveling. Most folks find that, for the average trip, the refrigerator will maintain a low enough internal temperature to keep your food fresh. It is also possible to freeze some blue ice packs the night before and use them in the refrigerator compartment to help keep everything cold while traveling.

Extension Cords

If using an extension cord be aware of the dangers © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you use an extension cord to plug in your RV to the shoreline power, it’s essential that you utilize the right one. We’ve seen it happen far too many times: an RV owner uses a standard orange extension cord with a 15 amp rating to run their 30 amp power center. This is asking for trouble as the excessive power draw can overheat the cord and connection which can melt the cord and possibly cause a fire. 

Give Me Forty Acres

Practice tow bar safety © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When I’m hooked up to drive down the road, my setup is 58 feet long. That’s 38 feet of rig, almost 15 feet of Chevrolet Equinox, and a few feet of tow bar.

As most of you know, when towing a car with an RV, you should not back up. Some tow systems allow it for very short distances, but most advise never to do it; depending on the manufacturer, you will void your warranty.

Practice tow bar safety © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It’s not an equipment or skills issue; it’s a physics issue. If you have experience backing trailers, you know that trailers move opposite to the rear of your tow vehicle; you can end up in a jackknife situation very quickly when in reverse. But, here’s the critical difference between a trailer and a toad: a toad has a steering wheel, and the toad’s tires can turn in all directions! You simply cannot back a toad the same way as a trailer. It will end up turning “Every Which Way But Loose,” as Eddie Rabbitt sang for that Clint Eastwood movie.

Practice tow bar safety © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Since you can’t back up, it’s important to know your turn radius.You may wish to practice doing circles in a parking lot.

Install a Clear Sewer Hose Elbow

Clear See Through Elbow sewer hose connection © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

No one really wants to see what is going on inside the sewer hose. They make those things brown or black for a reason. But the truth is that by installing a clear elbow at the end you can prevent a lot of potential problems down the road. Seeing what is going on in your hose allows you to check for undissolved toilet paper (in which case you might want to switch brands), to know ahead of time if a clog is about to happen, and to have visual confirmation that the tank is done emptying. Also, when you’re performing a black water flush you can easily see the color of the water, and when it runs clear be confident that the tank is clean.

Move Over Law

Practice safety © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Always be aware of emergency responders, including tow providers, when they are on the side of road assisting motorists.  More than 150 U.S. law enforcement officers have been killed since 1999 after being struck by vehicles along America’s highways. Each year tow company drivers are also struck and killed on the side of the road. Let’s do our part and be sure to change lanes. And remember, it is the law.

Practice safety © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

Remember, safety is no accident.

September 2019 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?

Camping at White Tank Mountains Regional Park, El Mirage, Arizona © 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.

The number of RV recalls has increased significantly in recent years: 169 recalls were issued during 2016, 203 recalls during 2017, and 230 for 2018.

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 11 recall notices during September 2019. These recalls involved 8 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (2 recalls), Keystone RV Company (2 recalls), Newmar (1 recall), Braxton Creek RV (1 recall), Lance Camper (1 recall), Thor Motor Coach (1 recall), Jayco (2 recalls), Entegra Coach (1 recall)

Camping at Portland Fairview RV Park, Portland, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019 Rockport box vans and service bodies, equipped with Uline Bulk Storage racks. Due to improper welding, the bulk storage beams may fail when loaded.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install replacement beams that were correctly welded, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin August 29, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-522-7599 or Uline customer service at 1-800-295-5510 or email at customerservice@uline.com. Forest River’s number for this recall is 29-1074.

Camping at Spartanburg-Gaffney KOA, Gaffney, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 Catalina Travel Trailers. The fasteners securing the upper sleeping bunks may be too short, which can allow the bunk to fall.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fasteners to secure the bunk, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin October 9, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-825-8657. Forest River’s number for this recall is 205-1079.

Camping at Hidden Lake RV Park, Beaumont, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2020 Crossroads Cruiser 29SI, 27MK, 28RD, 24RL, and 29RK fifth-wheel trailers equipped with Morryde Rotating Pin Boxes. These pin boxes may be attached with bolts that are too short.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the bolts, as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 5, 2019. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 19-358.

Camping at Bellingham RV Park, Bellingham, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Hideout 25TH toy haulers. The trailers may be missing the Special Transportation Provision warning label in the garage area.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will provide the Special Transportation Provision warning labels, free of charge. The recall began on September 3, 2019. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 19-359.

Camping at Picacho Peak State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2018-2020 Mountain Aire, Essex, and King Aire motorhomes. The bedroom fascia header may fall unexpectedly onto the bed.

Newmar will notify owners, and dealers will add screws and brackets to properly secure the fascia header, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin October 19, 2019. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

Camping at Peach Arch RV Park, Surrey, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Braxton Creek RV

Braxton Creek RV (Braxton Creek) is recalling certain 2020 Bushwhacker trailers. The trailers may be missing the liquid propane (LP)/carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.

Braxton Creek will notify owners, and dealers will provide a plug-in 120 volt LP/CO detector, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in September 2019. Owners may contact Braxton Creek customer service at 1-260-768-7932.

Camping at Golden Village Palms RV Park, Hemet, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lance Camper

Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp. (Lance Camper) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Lance Camper 855S trailers. The 12 volt battery power and/or ground wire may contact the hot burner box of the refrigerator.

Lance Camper will notify owners, and dealers will install a clamp to secure the wire, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin October 14, 2019. Owners may contact Lance Camper customer service at 1-661-949-3322.

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

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2020 Chateau, Daybreak, Four Winds, Freedom Elite, Majestic, Outlaw and Quantum motorhomes. The battery cables may loosen on the battery isolation manager (BIM) or battery isolation relay (BIR), causing premature BIN/BIR failure or electrical arcing.

TMC will notify owners, and dealers will install lock washers to properly secure the battery cable to the BIM/BIR. If the cable was loose, dealers will also replace the BIM/BIR, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin October 20, 2019. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000172.

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2019 Embark motorhomes. The upper and lower steering shaft bolts may have been insufficiently tightened, allowing the steering column shaft to come loose.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and tighten the upper and lower steering shaft bolts, if necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in September 2019. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-517-9137. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901434.

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Eagle HT fifth wheel trailers equipped with MORyde Orbital or You Turn Rubber Pin Box Wedge Kits. The pin boxes may have been equipped with bolts 1-3/4″ in length when they should be equipped with 2″ long bolts.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the bolts and replace them as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 20, 2019. Owners may contact MORyde customer service at 1-574-293-1581 or Jayco at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901435.

Camping at Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Entegra Coach

Entegra Coach (Entegra) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Insignia, Anthem, Aspire, Cornerstone, Reatta, and Reatta XL motorhomes. The upper and lower steering shaft bolts may have been insufficiently tightened, allowing the steering column shaft to come loose.

Entegra will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and tighten the upper and lower steering shaft bolts, as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in September 2019. Owners may contact Entegra customer service at 1-800-517-9137. Entegra’s number for this recall is 9901434.

Note: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the eighth 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

10 RV Driving Tips

Whether you are new to RVing or not, these tips can help ensure that your trip will be problem-free

Most RVs are not particularly difficult to drive but there are a few things to keep in mind that will make your travels safer and more enjoyable.

The majority of drivers can adapt quite well to the increased size, height, and weight of an RV, but keeping alert, planning ahead, and driving cautiously remain top priority in the safe handling of your vehicle.

Driving Newfound Gap Road through Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Check Lights before Traveling

  • Prior to starting your day’s travel check the functioning of all signal lights, 4-way flashers, brake lights, and head lights
Driving Highway 12 Scenic Byway in Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Mirror Adjustments

  • Adjust the side-view mirrors to barely see the side of your RV
  • Adjust the convex mirrors to include blind spots, keeping in mind that distances may be distorted
  • Check your mirrors every 30 seconds
  • Ensure that you’re driving within the painted lines
  • Be aware of the traffic behind you and whether they are keeping up with you, preparing to pass, or falling back
Driving near Glen Canyon Recreation Area in northern Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Look Well Ahead

  • DO NOT overdrive your visibility
  • 90% of all driving decisions are visual based
Driving Organ Pipe National Monument in southern Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Leave Yourself an Out

  • Determine the lane of least resistance and safety
  • Maintain safe following distances
  • Leave room to change lanes when stopping behind another vehicle
  • Is there a way out of here?
  • DO NOT drive your RV into any place that you can’t see a way out of—especially if that RV is a large motorhome towing a car
Driving Highway 12 Scenic Byway between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef national parks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Navigating Large Cities

  • Plan your trip in advance so that you can avoid going through large cities during morning or late afternoon rush hour
  • The best time to drive through major cities is early Sunday morning—during the workweek, you’re best to travel between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Driving Newfound Gap Road through Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Follow the Rule of 20 Percent

  • Fully loaded RVs have slower acceleration and take longer to come to a full stop than autos
  • To compensate, add 20 percent to everything you do, from increasing your following distance and judging if you have enough clearance to safely merging into traffic.
Know your height1 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Know & Post Your Height, Width & Length

  • A major insurance claim is RVs hitting gas station overhangs, underpasses, and bridges

Solution: Post your exterior height, width, and total length in the motorhome or tow vehicle where it can easily be seen while driving

Height: Measure to the highest point such as air conditioner or satellite dish

Width: Measure to the outermost points such as mirrors, awnings, or handles

Length: Measure from the front of the vehicle to the end of the towed vehicle or trailer

Know your height, width, and length! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

One Hour Rest Stop Walk-Around

Visually inspect your tow hitch connections and check for overheated and low tires every time you stop at a rest stop or refueling location. Pranksters have been known to remove pins from the hitch. Perform a walk-around that covers these visual points:

  • Check to ensure that tires have not overheated
  • Check tow bar or hitch and safety cables
  • Ensure that hitch pins or bolts are still in place
  • Check to ensure that the wiring harness is connected securely
  • Look under the chassis for signs of oil or coolant leaks
  • Check storage bay doors
Driving Organ Pipe National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Turn Signals

  • Turn signals are valuable for communicating your intentions to other drivers; if you don’t signal, other drivers have no way of knowing what you plan to do
  • In an emergency pull completely off the road and use emergency flashers, flares, or some other emergency signaling device to warn oncoming traffic
And we arrived safely again… © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Remember, Safety Is No Accident

Worth Pondering…

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

August 2019 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.

Camping at Smokiam RV Resort, Soap Lake, Washington © 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.

The number of RV recalls has increased significantly in recent years: 169 recalls were issued during 2016, 203 recalls during 2017, and 230 for 2018.

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 10 recall notices during August 2019. These recalls involved 8 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (3 recalls), Heartland Recreational Vehicles (1 recall), REV Recreation Group (1 recall), Gulf Stream Coach (1 recall), Thor Motor Coach (1 recall), Winnebago (1 recall), Vanleigh RV (1 recall), Tiffin (1 recall)

Forest River

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

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2013-2019 Starcraft Allstar, 2013 and 2019 Allstar XL, 2017 Candidate II, 2014-2018 Senator II and Senator II HD, and 2015-2019 Starlite vehicles equipped with Safe Fleet Prolo Roof Escape hatches. Due to a manufacturing issue, the roof hatch external handle may unexpectedly break under reasonable use.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will replace the hatch, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 13, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-800-748-3440. Forest River’s number for this recall is 05-1060.

Forest River

Camping at Texas Lakeside RV Resort, Port Lavaca, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Flagstaff and Cherokee Arctic Wolf recreational trailers equipped with MORyde Orbital or You Turn Rubber Pin Box Wedge Kits. The pin boxes may have been equipped with bolts 1-3/4″ in length when they should be equipped with 2″ long bolts.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the bolts and replace them as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 11, 2019. Owners may contact MORyde customer service at 1-574-293-1581 or Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-8954 (Flagstaff) or 1-260-499-2100 (Cherokee). Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1065.

Forest River

Camping at New Green Acres RV Resort, Waterboro, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2020 Columbus Fifthwheel Trailers. The rear ladder blocks the egress window on the rear wall, preventing the use of the window.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install an egress window, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 18, 2019. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-821-1487. Forest River’s number for this recall is 410-1071.

Heartland Recreational Vehicles

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

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2017 Bighorn Traveler, 2016-2020 Elkridge, Elkridge Ex, 2019-2020 Milestone, 2017-2018 North Peak, 2016-2017 Oakmont, 2017-2020 Pioneer FW, 2016-2018 Prowler FW, 2017-2019 Sundance and Sundance XLTFW trailers. The A/C electrical connector may have been improperly installed, possibly causing increased electrical resistance and the connection to overheat.

Heartland will notify owners, and dealers will correct the electrical connections, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 6, 2019. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032. Heartland’s number for this recall is 99.01.47.

REV Recreation Group

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

REV Recreation Group (REV) is recalling certain 2016-2019 American Coach American Eagle and 2016 American Heritage motorhomes equipped with factory-installed rear air deflectors. The center mounting plate for the rear air deflector may have been installed incorrectly with screws that may loosen, possibly resulting in the air deflector detaching from the vehicle.

REV will notify owners, and dealers will properly secure the rear air deflector to the fiberglass cap with rivets, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 10, 2019. Owners may contact REV customer service 1-800-509-3417. REV’s number for this recall is 190709REV.

Gulf Stream Coach

Camping at Sunny Acres RV Park, Las Cruces, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Gulf Stream Coach, Inc. (Gulf Stream) is recalling certain 2017 Serro Scotty S14 RBR travel trailers. The Federal Placard label indicates an incorrect Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).

Gulf Stream will notify owners, and dealers will replace the Federal Placard label, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in August 2019. Owners may contact Gulf Stream customer service at 1-800-289-8787. Gulf Stream’s number for this recall is GS072619.

Thor Motor Coach

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

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Omni and Magnitude motorhomes. The battery tray may be improperly welded to the chassis frame, allowing the battery tray to detach from the chassis.

TMC has notified owners, and dealers will weld on an additional support to the battery tray, free of charge. The recall began August 8, 2019. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000171.

Winnebago

Camping at Poche’s RV Park, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Fuse motorhomes built on a 2018 Ford Transit chassis and equipped with aluminum wheel feature code 63W. The wheel studs may be too long, preventing the lug nuts from properly securing the wheels.

Winnebago will notify owners, and dealers will replace the wheel studs with a shorter version, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-641-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885. Winnebago’s number for this recall is 159.

Vanleigh RV

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

Vanleigh RV (Vanleigh) is recalling certain 2015-2019 Vilano and Beacon fifth wheel recreational trailers. The suspension shackles may be too short, causing them to fail.

Vanleigh will notify owners, and dealers will replace the existing shackles with longer ones, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in August 2019. Owners may contact Vanleigh customer service at 1-662-612-4040.

Tiffin

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

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Allegro Open Road motorhomes equipped with Liquid Spring suspension systems. A hydraulic suspension hose may be routed incorrectly, resulting in contact between the hose and the inside rear tire.

Tiffin will notify owners, and dealers inspect the position of the hydraulic hoses. If found to be incorrect, the clamp position will be corrected and the hydraulic hoses and tires inspected for any damage. Damaged components will be replaced as necessary. These repairs will be performed free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661. Tiffin’s number for this recall is TIF-112.

Note: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the seventh 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