How to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in your RV?

CO poisoning is entirely preventable. Protect yourself and your family by learning the symptoms of CO poisoning and how to prevent it.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that you don’t expect to encounter when traveling the great outdoors. However, some of your RV appliances emit carbon monoxide which can be dangerous to your health. It’s important to be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to reduce your exposure while enjoying your RV.

Motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Every year, at least 430 people die in the U.S. from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency department each year due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

Be aware of your neighbor’s exhaust especially at an RV rally © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Carbon monoxide is created when any fuel is burned such as gasoline, propane, natural gas, wood, and coal. It is extremely serious when combustion by-products are not vented outside. Carbon monoxide is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the United States each year in homes and RVs. It is important to identify the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and to know how you can prevent it from leaking in your RV.

Some of these risks are located inside your RV but many surround your RV at camp. Be mindful of things that emit carbon monoxide not only in your RV but around it. Including your neighbors’ equipment! The first rule in how to detect carbon monoxide in your RV is to be aware of the sources of carbon dioxide.

Motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In RVs, carbon monoxide gas usually results from:

  • Exhaust leaks from either a vehicle engine or a generator
  • Improper use of portable gas-powered heaters
  • Someone else’s vehicle or generator when camping in close quarters
Be aware of your neighbor’s exhaust © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

How to detect carbon monoxide in your RV? You can’t. Humans cannot detect carbon monoxide. It is odorless and colorless, which is why it’s called the quiet killer. We must rely on sensors to detect carbon monoxide.

If your RV is not already outfitted with a carbon monoxide detector, you must install one right away. It can save your life. These are as essential as smoke detectors. You can purchase a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector designed for use in RVs.

Be aware of your neighbor’s exhaust especially when boondocking © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Make sure you test the detector every time you use the RV and replace the carbon monoxide detector batteries at least once a year. A good time to do this is when you change clocks for daylight savings time or at the beginning of a new camping season.

Related: The Ultimate Guide for Winter Camping

If the detector senses an unsafe amount of carbon monoxide, it will sound the alarm. The alarm is much louder than the beep that warns of a low battery.

Don’t forget about your pets © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Though humans can’t detect carbon monoxide, we certainly show symptoms of it. If you are aware of these symptoms, you can realize there’s a serious problem more quickly.  Besides the detector, the symptoms are another way to detect carbon monoxide in your RV. These symptoms progress fast—Do not try to “shake them off”!

Motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure include:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Muscular twitching
  • Intense headache
  • Throbbing in the temples
  • Weakness and sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness
Be aware of your neighbor’s exhaust especially at an RV rally © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And don’t forget about your pets! Despite their superior sense of smell, dogs and other pets cannot detect carbon monoxide either. They will be affected much more quickly than humans due to their smaller size.

Related: The 10 Essentials Every RV Owner Should Buy Before Their First Road Trip

If you or anyone else experiences any of these, get to fresh air immediately. If the symptoms persist you need to seek medical attention. Shut off the vehicle or power the generator down and do not operate it until it has been inspected and repaired by a professional.

Motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Exposure to carbon monoxide is a huge health hazard and can cause death. It is important to stay vigilant and to be aware of the risk at all times. Take precautions and follow these prevention tips to reduce exposure and keep you and your family safe:

  • Inspect your RV’s chassis and generator exhaust system regularly
  • Yellow flames in propane-burning appliances usually indicate a lack of oxygen and should be checked by a qualified technician
  • Park your RV so that the exhaust may easily dissipate away from the vehicle
  • Never sleep with a generator running
  • Always have a window open when operating a gas-burning appliance or generator
  • Keep any windows and vents closed if in close proximity to a running vehicle or generator
  • Never use range burners or ovens to heat your RV
  • When cooking with the range, use the range fan and keep a nearby window cracked open
  • Be aware of your neighbor’s setup and make sure they are not directing any exhaust your way
Motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Follow all directions and warnings if using gas-powered heaters.

Related: 12 Simple RV Maintenance Tips

Don’t take safety for granted while RVing.

Since we’re talking safety…

Read Next: RV Emergency Kit Essentials

Worth Pondering…

Remember, Safety First, and Happy RVing!

December 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 3 Recalls Involving 3 RV Manufactures

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.

Orange Grove RV Park, Bakersfield, 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.

Sundance 1 RV Resort, Casa Grande, Arizona © 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.

Related: November 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 15 Recalls Involving 7 RV Manufactures

NHTSA announced 3 recall notices during December 2021. These recalls involved 3 recreational vehicle manufacturers— Roadtrek (1 recall), Winnebago (1 recall), and MCI (1 recall).

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

Roadtrek

Roadtrek Inc. (Roadtrek) is recalling certain 2021 Play, Play Slumber, and Zion Slumber recreational vehicles. The Federal Placard and Tire Pressure labels state the incorrect tire size. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims.”

Roadtrek will send owners replacement labels, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed on December 9, 2021. Owners may contact Roadtrek customer service at 1-888-762-3873. Roadtrek’s number for this recall 2021-03.

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

Winnebago

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2022 Ekko vehicles. The shower and sink drainage system may leak and allow water to infiltrate nearby electrical components, which could cause an electrical short.

Related: October 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 27 Recalls Involving 15 RV Manufactures

Dealers will replace the shower and sink drainage pump system, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on February 3, 2022. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-641-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885. Winnebago’s number for this recall is 165.

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

MCI

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain 2019-2022 D4000 ISTV, D4500, 2021 D4000, D4520, 2020-2021 D4505, D4005, 2020-2022 D45CRTLE, and 2019-2021 J4500 vehicles equipped with certain Cummins X12 diesel engines. The fuel tubes between the fuel rail and the injectors for cylinders four, five, and six may fatigue and crack, which can result in a high-pressure fuel leak.

Related: September 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

On engines with 75 miles or less, Cummins dealers will install vibration isolators to the fuel tubes. Engines with more than 75 miles will receive new fuel tubes with vibration isolators. Repairs will be performed free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact MCI customer service at 1-800-241-2947. MCI’s number for this recall is R21-028.

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

Please Note: This is the 35th 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

I Did What My GPS Told Me: When GPS Replaces Common Sense

GPS is useful tool for navigation but it shouldn’t be followed blindly

The last thing you want in your travels is to turn down the wrong road onto what could be a dangerous route.

When a highway closes or you’re just looking for possible routes, it’s natural to consult a GPS or navigation app. But drivers need to apply common sense to a computer’s suggestions, starting with not taking RVs, buses, and other vehicles that aren’t up to the task down unpaved roads.

A recent snowfall blankets Pony Express RV Park, Salt Lake City, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Since Arizona State Highway 64 closed due to heavy snow between Grand Canyon Village and Grand Canyon National Park’s east entrance, a large tour bus, a smaller bus, and at least two passenger vehicles carrying tourists have gotten stuck on a forest road heading east from US 180 between Valle and Flagstaff toward US 89, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).

Moki Dugway (Utah) is not recommended for RV travel © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

While tow trucks were able to free the other vehicles and head them back to US 180, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, with help from an ADOT snowplow, had to rescue 45 people from the tour bus as a recent snowstorm moved in. The driver of the bus, which was bound for Page, said his GPS unit recommended taking the forest road.

Related Article: Top 8 Tips for Planning a Road Trip this Thanksgiving and throughout the Holiday Season

A recent snowfall at Angel Lake RV Park in Wells, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office receives many calls throughout the year from motorists who get stuck following suggested alternate routes onto unpaved roads. It’s a big concern for ADOT during the winter when snowstorms can cause sudden and prolonged highway closures.

Burr Trail (Utah) is not an RV friendly route © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“Sticking to the main highways is a driver’s best bet, especially during snowstorms,” said Audra Merrick, district engineer for ADOT’s North Central District.

“Our snowplow crews are out clearing these roads around the clock along with patrols from the Department of Public Safety and ADOT’s motor-assist vehicles. Don’t follow an alternate route that’s not regularly plowed during winter storms.”

Moki Dugway (Utah) is not recommended for RV travel © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Earlier, a Pennsylvania family wanting to see Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim got stranded following forest roads suggested as an alternate route to State Route 67 which closes for the winter along with park facilities. A woman suffered frostbite walking 26 miles trying to get help while her husband eventually was able to call rescuers by climbing high enough to get a cell phone signal.

Related Article: 7 Driving Tips You Should Know

A recent snowfall blankets Pony Express RV Park, Salt Lake City, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Sgt. Aaron Dick, the search-and-rescue coordinator for the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, said if a suggested road becomes rough or difficult to navigate the best thing to do is turn around. Motorists also can prevent problems by understanding the settings on their GPS units or navigation apps, starting with making sure they are ranking alternate routes by “shortest time” rather than “shortest distance.”

Piano Bridge Road (Fayette County, Texas) is not for RVs © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The dramatic story of a British Columbia couple who made a tragic wrong turn on their trip to Las Vegas also offers a startling reminder of the need for road travelers to make plans and preparations before heading out on the road.

Albert and Rita Chretien were traveling from their home in Penticton, British Columbia, to a trade show in Las Vegas when their 2000 Chevrolet Astro ran into trouble on a logging road in Elko County in March 2011.

Covered Bridges Scenic Byway (Ohio) is not for high-profile vehicles © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Rita was rescued on the verge of starvation in early May after spending seven weeks alone in the wilderness. She told investigators she hasn’t seen Albert since he left with the GPS to try to find a state highway.

She had survived on a tablespoon of trail mix, a single fish oil pill, and one hard candy a day.

Recent snowfall at Angel Lake RV Park in Wells, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

She reportedly lost as much as 30 pounds during the 49-day ordeal, and family members and doctors agree she faced the prospect of death had she waited much longer to be found.

Related Article: Raise Your RV IQ with These Tips

Authorities shed new light onto the tragedy in November 2012 after elk hunters discovered Albert’s body in a secluded area west from where he set off.

Piano Bridge Road (Fayette County, Texas) is not for RVs © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Albert had hiked nearly 9 miles on his winding route and was within 6 miles of the community of Mountain City when the battery in the GPS he was using probably burned out and his path began to angle too far north. Had he been able to keep his bearings, there’s a slim chance he might have made it to a highway and then into town.

As an added precaution, always carry an emergency survival kit in your vehicle.

Snow falls at Diamond Groove RV Campground in Spruce Groove, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And, if you travel in a big rig such as a Class A motorhome or fifth-wheel trailer and rely on a car GPS you could be in for double-trouble. One driver recently learned this the hard way when he tried to take his 30-foot vehicle over Engineer Pass, a rugged mountain road in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains and became stuck near the top of the pass. Blindly following his car GPS, the driver did not realize this high mountain pass (sitting at 12,800 feet) is a difficult, narrow road that is typically traversed by 4-wheel drive high clearance vehicles.  Engineer Pass is part of the scenic high country Alpine Loop which connects Silverton to Ouray and Lake City through the San Juan Mountains.

Moki Dugway (Utah) is not recommended for RV travel © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

That’s why it’s wise to travel with an RV-specific GPS to navigate safely based on your vehicle dimensions. You can input your vehicle’s height, length, and weight as well as fuel information like whether or not you’re carrying propane. This will not only help you avoid steep mountain roads but also low clearance bridges, bridge weight limits, and tunnels with propane restrictions.

Related Article: 5 Tips for Safe RV Travel

Remember, Safety First, and Happy RVing!

Worth Pondering…

The only aspect of our travels that is interesting to others is a disaster.

—Martha Gellman

The Ultimate Guide for Winter Camping

How to RV in the winter without freezing to death

‘Tis the season for snowbirding in your RV. For winter RVing. For RV hibernation. All these are true, depending on individual RV owners’ circumstances.

Whether you are actively RVing—in warm or cold climates—or just dreaming about or planning for trips you want to take in 2022, read on.

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Winter RV camping

While most RVers prefer camping in the warmer months, it is still possible to venture out when the temperatures plummet. RV winter living is all about one thing: preparation.

Make sure you have a checklist before you head out in the cold and read Handling Cold Weather in your RV. Even if your RV was built for the four seasons, it needs additional tweaks to be ready for cold-weather camping. 
A spare-filled propane tank, heated RV water hose, electric space heaters, and extra insulation are your RV’s best friends while cold-weather camping.

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Consider skirting for your RV to keep battery bays, plumbing, and other important components warm while parked in the cold. If you don’t have a skirt, you can even pack snow around the RV bays. Just be sure not to cover generator or hydronic heating exhaust outlets.

Don’t be afraid to embrace the cold this winter season!

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What you need to know

Winter RV camping is more accessible than ever with improvements in RV technology. That’s why more people are seeking out winter destinations for RV getaways and living in RVs full-time during all four seasons. 

Related: Winter is Here: What to Do with Your RV?

If you camp in the cold, you’ll need to prepare for it. Here’s what you need to know to keep your RV and yourself, healthy and happy.

Connected to city water © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Connecting to City Water

Maintaining the health of your RV water system is a key factor in winter RV camping. When outside temperatures drop below freezing, water can freeze in your pipes and in your freshwater hose. Repairing your RV plumbing system comes with a hefty bill. Avoid the expense by being prepared. 

Heated water hose © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

To connect to city water, you’ll need a heated hose that plugs into an AC outlet at your RV pedestal electric box. A heated RV water hose will give you safe drinking water even when temperatures dip below freezing. It keeps water from freezing at the source and while it’s flowing into your RV. 

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A heated water hose has a heat strip along the side of the hose that heats up when plugged into a 110-volt electrical connection. There are many designs out there and some will come with insulated sleeves that slide over the hose fittings at the inlet and outlet. Some brands are rated to keep water flowing at minus 20 degrees or colder. These hoses can cost $100 or more depending on length.

For extra protection, you can add additional insulation to the heated hose. This can be done by wrapping the entire length of the hose in foil wrap insulation tape. 

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Using your freshwater tank

You can fill your freshwater tank instead of being permanently connected to city water. Most modern RVs designed for winter camping feature heated holding tank compartments to prevent water from freezing in the tanks. Check your owner’s manual to determine if there’s a switch to activate this feature.

Heated water hose © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Connect your water hose when you need to fill your fresh water tank. Disconnect it when you’re finished and drain all water out of the hose before storing it. This will prolong the life of the hose while preventing potential freezing.

For older RVs, you can add insulation to the holding tank compartments or place a drop light in the compartment. The heat produced by the light will keep the water in your tank from freezing unless you encounter extremely cold temperatures. 

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keeping you (and your RV) warm

Winter RV camping should be enjoyable, but we all know that’s tough if you are perpetually cold. Fortunately, there are numerous options to consider that will help to keep your living space warm and cozy throughout the winter. 

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Insulating the Floor

The laws of thermodynamics state that hot air rises and cold air sinks, which means your floor will often feel extra chilly especially in the early mornings.  

Related: Methods of Heating Your RV

To insulate under your feet use area rugs, runners, and even self-adhesive carpet tiles. You may also want to add an indoor doormat with a raised lip to avoid tracking moisture into your RV. 

Heated water hose © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heated floors

When you wake up on a frosty morning, wouldn’t it be great if the RV floor was nice and toasty, making it easier to get out of bed and start the day? The development of low-voltage electric radiant floor under-floor heating mats means that RVs can have the comfort and efficiency of radiant floor heating in small spaces.

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Windows and Doors

Working our way up, the next two obvious places for heat loss are your RV windows and doors. An RV with dual-pane windows is best for winter camping but there are numerous ways you can insulate single-pane windows.

Whether your RV has single or dual-pane windows, you can add foil insulation to select windows and doors to reduce heat loss. If you don’t like the appearance of foil insulation, you can also upgrade to thicker window shades. You don’t want to cover ALL of your RV windows so that you can still get some natural light and heat from the sun throughout the winter. 

In addition to adding insulation, check the weather stripping around your RV doors. If it’s partially detached or missing altogether, replace it to keep cold and moisture out of your rig. 

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Roof Vents

You can also lose a lot of heat through RV roof vents. Because you won’t necessarily need these vents for air circulation during the winter, you can install vent cushions to further reduce heat loss.  

Related: Handling Cold Weather While RVing

Vent cushions can also be used during the warmer months to trap the cool air from your AC inside your RV. The good news about these cushions is that they can be installed or removed in seconds. 

Heated water hose © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heat Sources

When there’s a chill in the air, it’s great to be able to crank up the heat inside your RV. Sometimes just a few degrees are all it takes to go from misery to comfort. As for an actual heat source, there are three main heater options to consider.

A heat pump is one option for heating an RV. It’s not a perfect solution in every situation but it is good to have on board. A heat pump uses electricity to warm up the interior of the RV. As the name suggests, it uses a pump to move warmth from one place to another. In this case, it absorbs heat from outside the RV and pushes it inside through the ventilation system.

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are limits to what a heat pump can do. They’re great when it’s chilly but not when it’s freezing cold. This is because they draw warmth from the outside air. The critical point varies from manufacturer to manufacturer but from our experience about 34 degrees Fahrenheit is the point at which an RV heat pump stops working. There’s just not enough heat in the outside air for it to extract.

A furnace generally heats from the floor up while vents from a heat pump are typically in the ceiling. Because heat rises, furnace heat may be more efficient from this perspective as well. And, if you have basement storage, the furnace heat can be routed there to keep your plumbing and tanks from freezing.

With a furnace, however, once the propane is gone, so is the heat!

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A third option is a portable electric space heater. If you’re plugged into a reliable power source electric heaters are a great supplement to your RV furnace. They help to save propane and lower your energy bill depending on the electric costs in your location. 

Related: What’s in Your RV Emergency Kit?

Cold and wet is bad. Not just for you, but for your RV, too. All that heat in one confined space can lead to humidity and condensation which can cause mold in your walls.

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When winter camping it’s advisable to use several dehumidifiers in the RV (bathroom and kitchen are particular problem areas)

Moisture absorbers such as DampRid will help reduce damaging condensation. Applications for RVs include disposable absorbers (10.5-ounce tub), refillable absorbers (10.5-ounce tub), hi-capacity absorbers (4-pound tub), and hanging absorbers (14-ounce hanging bag).

DampRid’s crystals absorb excess moisture in the air to create and maintain the optimal humidity level in your RV.

Winter camping

Protecting the Outside of Your RV

Winter camping also takes a toll on your RV exterior. From getting snow off the roof to ensuring your stabilizing jacks don’t freeze to the ground, there are some important steps you’ll need to take to protect your RV’s exterior on winter adventures. 

Winter Camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Since we just mentioned stabilizing jacks, let’s start there. To keep them from freezing to the ground, use stabilizing jack pads beneath them. I recommend plastic pads rather than wood since the latter is a conductor of electricity. If you store any recreation items underneath your RV, place them on a tarp or in a sealed bin to avoid water damage. 

Using an RV skirt is another way to keep cold air from getting underneath your RV. An added benefit of skirting around the base of your RV is protected exterior storage. If you have kayaks or bikes that don’t have anywhere else to go, you can slide them under your RV before skirting to keep them out of the elements and protected from critters seeking a warm winter home. 

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What was once a very convenient RV step can quickly turn into a slippery hazard when you encounter snow and freezing conditions. One way to add grip to your RV steps is to install a wrap-around step rug. You can also consider installing an external step with a handrail for a greater level of safety and stability for winter RV camping. 

Related: There Is No Winter like a Desert Winter in the Valley of the Sun

It is best to leave your main RV awning closed when winter RV camping. Weight from snow and ice as well as the potential for high winds makes the risk for awning damage especially high in winter. 

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Driving Tips for Winter RV Camping

If you plan to winter camp in several locations, you may encounter wet, icy, and snowy road conditions when traveling between destinations. So here are a few quick tips for safe RV driving in the winter: 

  • Check the weather early and often, especially when navigating mountain passes
  • Accelerate and decelerate slower than normal
  • Avoid quick lane changes and turns which are frankly always bad ideas in an RV
  • If chain restrictions are in place, don’t go
  • Consider investing in traction boards to help you self-rescue if you get stuck
  • If you feel uncomfortable with the weather conditions–stay put
  • Slow and steady wins the race

Note: Some states and provinces require the use of winter tires and/or carry chains during certain winter months.

Winter camping © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Conclusion

Camping in the winter can be an exciting adventure and allow you the chance to enjoy all the fun that snowy destinations have to offer. If you take the time to prepare as you should, you and your rig should have no trouble weathering those frosty winter storms.

Worth Pondering…

My parents live in the part of the United States that is Canada. It is so far north that Minnesota lies in the same direction as Miami. They have four distinct seasons: Winter, More Winter, Still More Winter, and That One Day of Summer.

—W. Bruce Cameron

O Christmas Tree, Don’t Fall Off my SUV

Avoid losing your tree and putting others at risk

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

You just fell off my SUV

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

I lost you on Loop 303

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

What will I tell my family?

The above is part of a Public Service Announcement recently issued by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).

Christmas tree on Jekyll Island © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Don’t be the unlucky Christmas tree buyer whose tree falls off a vehicle only moments after strapping it to your vehicle’s roof. Set aside the embarrassment or wasted expense because Christmas trees that fall off vehicles are a serious safety hazard that drivers should plan to avoid before bringing their trees home this holiday season.

A potential Christmas tree (?), Fushlake Scenic Byway, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A brief history of the Christmas tree

Records of using greenery to celebrate the holidays predate the widespread use of the phrase “Christmas tree.” Rural English church records from the 15th and 16th centuries indicate that holly and ivy were bought in the winter—hence the Christmas carol “The Holly and the Ivy.” Private houses and streets were also decorated with greenery at this time.

Potential Christmas tree (?), along the road to Mount St. Helens, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Numerous myths surround the origins of Christmas trees. One legend says that Martin Luther believed that pine trees represented the goodness of God. A popular myth in the 15th century tells the story of St. Boniface who in the 8th century thwarted a pagan human sacrifice under an oak tree by cutting down that tree; a fir tree grew in its place with its branches representing Christ’s eternal truth.

Related Christmas article: Christmas Gift Ideas 2021

A potential Christmas tree (?), near Lesser Slave Lake © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But the real origins of Christmas trees appear to be rooted in present-day Germany during the Middle Ages. In 1419, a guild in Freiburg put up a tree decorated with apples, flour-paste wafers, tinsel, and gingerbread. In “Paradise Plays” which was performed to celebrate the feast day of Adam and Eve that fell on Christmas Eve, a tree of knowledge was represented by an evergreen fir with apples tied to its branches.

Christmas tree on Jekyll Island © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But the image of a decorated Christmas tree with presents underneath has a very specific origin: an engraving of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and their children gathering around a Christmas tree eyeing the presents underneath published in The Illustrated London News in 1848. The premier women’s magazine in America back then, Godey’s Lady’s Book, reprinted a version of the image a couple of years later as “The Christmas Tree.”

References to Christmas trees in private homes or establishments in North America date back to the late 18th century and early 19th century.

A potential Christmas tree (?), Wells Gray Country, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The dangers of transporting a Christmas tree

ADOT reminds drivers to make sure they’ll get home with their tree—and without putting others at risk. Every December, crews remove trees that become hazards after they weren’t properly secured to a vehicle and fell to the roadway. Those dislodged spruces or firs can become obstacles that trigger crashes as drivers swerve to miss the detached trees.

Related Christmas article: Fruitcake: National Joke or Tasty Christmas Tradition

A potential Christmas tree (?), Fish Lake Scenic Byway, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

An improperly secured Christmas tree is a road hazard waiting to happen. Loose trees can move around while you drive, obstructing your view, and causing an accident. Trees can also fall off and become a hazard on the road, causing accidents when other drivers have to swerve around them.

A potential Christmas tree (?), the Sierras, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

While Christmas trees are only a roadway hazard for a limited time of the year they are part of a larger problem with roadway debris. And even if the crash is minor and doesn’t cause any bodily harm, a tree can cause thousands of dollars in vehicle damage. Plus dropping a tree on the road is against the law in all 50 U.S. states, often resulting in fines up to $5,000 or possible jail time.

A potential Christmas tree (?), the road to Mount Robson, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Road debris like Christmas trees was responsible for 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths over a 4-year span. You don’t want to ruin the holidays for yourself or someone else because you failed to secure your tree.

Related Christmas article: Christmas Gift Ideas 2019

According to AAA survey, an estimated 84 million Americans (33 percent) will purchase a real Christmas tree and of those:

  • 44 percent of Americans who plan to purchase a real Christmas tree will transport the tree using unsafe methods
  • 20 percent will tie the tree to the roof of their vehicle without using a roof rack
  • 24 percent plan to place the tree in the bed of their pickup truck unsecured
  • 16 percent have previously experienced a Christmas tree falling off or out of their vehicle during transport
A potential Christmas tree (?), Devonian Gardens, Edmonton, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

How to transport a Christmas tree safely

Whether you have a permit to cut down your own tree from a national forest or you’re buying one that’s already been cut make sure to pack strong rope, tie-downs, or nylon ratchet straps. Trees wrapped with netting are easier to secure to a vehicle’s roof, so consider having it wrapped or bring your own materials.

A potential Christmas tree (?), Wells Gray Country, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When placing the tree on a vehicle, point the top to the back of the vehicle. Then strap the tree near its base, close to the top, and in the tree’s middle. Tug on the tree to test your work. Pull from different angles to ensure it is snug and make adjustments if needed.

Related Christmas article: The Holiday Season Favorite Veggie: Sweet Potato or Yam

A potential Christmas tree (?), near Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Conclusion

Whether your perfect tree resembles Charlie Brown’s simple spruce or something out of a Hallmark movie, you need a safe way of getting it home. The best tree safety steps involve securing the tree to a roof rack or stuffing it inside your car. But many people transport their trees in other ways that are simply dangerous.

Worth Pondering…

Freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin – inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night.

—John J. Geddes

November 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 15 Recalls Involving 7 RV Manufactures

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.

Pechango Casino RV Park, Temecula, 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.

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 November 2021. These recalls involved 7 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (6 recalls), Jayco (4 recalls), Triple E (1 recall), Thor Motor Coach (1 recall), Newmar (1 recall), Heartland (1 recall), Keystone (1 recall),

Blake Ranch RV Park, Kingman, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021-2022 XLR Toy Hauler recreational vehicles. The protective panel that separates the furnace and furnace components from the mid-deck cargo area is missing.

Dealers will install a felt-covered wall panel, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 1, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-642-0432. Forest River’s number for this recall is 79-1432.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022 XLR Toy Hauler Recreational Vehicles. The vehicles were incorrectly wired, and they are missing 250AMP over-current protection, which could result in melted wires and an electrical short.

Related: October 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 27 Recalls Involving 15 RV Manufactures

Dealers will replace the gauge wire, and install a sub panel with the correct breaker, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 1, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-642-0432. Forest River’s number for this recall is 79-1429.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022 Coachmen Catalina travel trailers. The panel that separates the furnace from the cooktop was not sealed, which could result in an inverted cooktop flame.

Dealers will seal the furnace from the cooktop, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 1, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-825-8657. Forest River’s number for this recall is 203-1434.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Continental and Cargo Mate Cargo Trailers. The coupler was improperly welded, which may cause the trailer to separate from the tow vehicle.

Dealers will inspect and replace the coupler, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 22, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-254-420-0171. Forest River’s number for this recall is 700-1438.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Cherokee ACKT29TEBL travel trailers. The tire size and Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) on the Federal Placard are incorrect, which could result in the vehicle being overloaded. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims” and 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Forest River will mail owners a new Federal Placard, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 22, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-260-499-2100. Forest River’s number for this recall is 17A-1439.

Clinton/Knoxville North KOA, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Impression Fifth Wheel Recreational Vehicles. The center identification light on the rear of the vehicle was incorrectly installed at a higher position than the other lights. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.”

The remedy for this recall is still under development. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 29, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service Phone Number 1-574-296-2084. Forest River’s number for this recall is 83-1441.

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2021 Class A Cornerstone motorhomes. A machining defect may cause pressure to build in the power steering pump and break the shaft seal, resulting in a loss of power steering assist.

Related: September 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

A Spartan or Shyft Group repair center will inspect the pump serial number, and replace the power steering pump if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on January 10, 2022. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2020-2022 Anthem, Embark, Reatta, and Reatta XL motorhomes. The rear suspension mounting fasteners that attach the rear-drive axle to the rear suspension may not have been tightened properly, which could allow the fasteners to loosen or break.

Jayco will work with Shyft to notify owners, and dealers will inspect the rear suspension fasteners for damage, and replace and tighten them as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on January 10, 2022. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2021 Jay Flight Octane travel trailers. The water heater was installed in the incorrect location, which could result in exhaust fumes entering the slide-out area of the trailer.

Dealers will relocate the water heater, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on January 13, 2022. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Jayco Swift and Entegra Ethos motorhomes. The seat belt automatic locking retractors may deactivate early, which can prevent the child restraint system from securing properly. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 208, “Occupant Crash Protection.”

Related: August 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

Dealers will inspect and replace the seat belt retractors as needed, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on January 12, 2022. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

Sundance 1 RV Resort, Casa Grande, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Triple E

Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling certain 2015 Free Spirit, 2015-2018 Unity, 2015-2016 Libero, 2015-2018 Serenity, and Wonder recreational vehicles. Please see attached 573 for a complete list of model numbers. The refrigerator exhaust vents directly onto the wood frame and surfaces, which can overheat the wood.

Dealers will install metal heat deflectors and screws, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on October 27, 2021. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-877-992-9906. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#8721-1.

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

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2017 Challenger, Miramar, and Outlaw motorhomes. The external compartment outer door skin may separate from the motorhome during transit.

Dealers will inspect the compartment door skin and replace the door as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 29, 2021. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000247.

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

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Essex, 2020-2022 King Aire, and London Aire motorhomes. A machining defect may cause pressure to build in the power steering pump and break the shaft seal, resulting in a loss of power steering assist.

On behalf of Newmar Corporation, Shyft Group will inspect the pump serial number, and replace the power steering pump if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 18, 2021. Owners may contact Newmar’s customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

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

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Heartland Cyclone and 2019-2021 Road Warrior Toy Hauler recreational trailers. The transfer switch wire securement lugs may have been improperly tightened during production, causing the wires to come loose.

Related: July 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

Dealers will inspect and tighten the securement lugs, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 29, 2021. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

Tucson/Lazydays KOA, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain Arcadia 3660RL fifth-wheel travel trailers. The Federal Identification Label has the incorrect tire size and tire pressure information.

Dealers will replace the Federal Identification Label, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 29, 2021. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 21-417.

Please Note: This is the 34th 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

Top 8 Tips for Planning a Road Trip this Thanksgiving and throughout the Holiday Season

Tips to make sure you’re safe on the road this holiday season

The latest numbers are in and according to AAA, the 2021 holiday travel season is in rebound mode with 53.4 million people expected to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday alone! That’s the highest single-year increase in travelers since 2005.

Angel Lake RV Park, Wells, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And, the vast majority of those, 72 percent, will travel by car or recreational vehicle. Yet some may travel in a vehicle that isn’t ready for an extended road trip. The last thing you want to deal with on a road trip is to be faced with trying to repair a broken-down vehicle in an unfamiliar town.

Going on a winter road trip requires a little more planning than a road trip during the warmer months. You’ll need to consider the route and RV parks as well as factors such as potential road closures or snowy conditions.

No worries—I’ve compiled eight winter road trip tips that will get you on the right track for your holiday getaway! 

Diamond Groove RV Park, Edmonton, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Choosing A Route

Choosing a destination is no doubt one of the most fun and most important parts of any trip! The route you’re taking to get there, meanwhile, can be just as vital—while the destination might also count, the journey can be just as memorable.

Camping at Quail Gate RV Park near Sierra Vista, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When planning a winter road trip, choosing a route can be even more vital. Even Interstates and well-traveled highways can experience closures due to weather conditions. Even if you’re escaping the cold to go somewhere warmer, you’ll likely need to travel in winter weather for at least part of your trip.

Related: Snowbird Essential: Planning Your North-South Travel Route

A couple of tips that can help: travel on major routes as much as possible especially when traveling in colder areas. While back roads and scenic routes can no doubt make for a memorable trip, they may also be less maintained in the winter and in some cases are closed to winter travel. They’re also traveled by fewer people meaning that if you should run into trouble, finding assistance could require a long wait.

Angel Lake RV Park, Wells, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Consider Your Vehicle

For travelers planning to drive over Thanksgiving, here’s one thing to put at the top of your to-do list: making sure your vehicle is ready for a long trip.

Skipping that task could mean waiting a while on the side of the road before help comes.

AAA estimates 400,000 Americans will need roadside assistance during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The three most common issues are dead batteries, flat tires, and lockouts.

Camping in the snow © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Most vehicle problems like these could be prevented with a pre-trip vehicle inspection. Before you hit the road this Thanksgiving, make sure to check everything from the battery to the tires. That could make the difference between spending Thanksgiving at the table or on the roadside.

Winter months can bring about all manner of difficult weather—rain, snow, ice, hail. When you’re planning a winter road trip, take into consideration the capabilities of the vehicle you’ll be taking when choosing a route. Cars with all-wheel or four-wheel drive may have an easier time driving in snowy conditions.

Camping at Pony Express RV Park, Salt Lake City, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

You may be required to use winter tires (more commonly called “snow tires”) or to carry chains. Fitting a set of snow tires may be the best thing you can do to improve your safety margin and reduce your anxiety level on snow-covered roads. Proper winter tires provide far more traction in snow, slush, and ice than even the best set of all-season tires. Being aware of your vehicle’s capabilities will allow you to plan a trip that is both fun and safe! 

Diamond Groove RV Park, Edmonton, Alberta © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Assemble a Winter Emergency Kit

If you’re traveling through any colder or snowy areas, you’ll need an emergency kit designed for cold weather. Your winter emergency kit should include basic survival supplies, safety items, car/RV maintenance tools, and winter clothing. These items will help you stay comfortable and hydrated if you ever get stuck on the side of the road or have to wait out a storm.

Camping at Pony Express RV Park, Salt Lake City, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Your general emergency kit supplies should include a first aid kit as well as supplies geared towards cold weather. Emergency blankets, for example, don’t take up much space to pack and can be incredibly helpful in staying warm should you be stranded. Other things to consider packing include flashlights and extra fresh batteries, snow shovel, cat litter (or sand), ice scraper, snow brush, triangular caution signs, jumper cables, toolkit, duct tape, smartphone charger, drinking water, non-perishable snacks for people and pets, paper towels, and gloves. 

Related: Prepping For Snowbird Travel

Camping in the snow © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Check Road Conditions Frequently

Related to the above tip—road conditions can change rapidly during winter. A clear road one day may experience snow or freezing rain overnight. Because of this, it’s a good idea to check road conditions as frequently as possible. Referencing closures from previous years when planning your route can also add an additional layer of assurance to your road trip.

Finally, check out what sources you can rely on for updates for the route you’re taking before you head out. This way, you won’t need to find a weather station on your radio or app for your smartphone while on the road. 

Angel Lake RV Park, Wells, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Schedule Extra Time

This is a good idea for road trips any time of the year. Planning some extra time will create a helpful safety net should anything unexpected arise. Because there are several additional factors to consider in the winter such as potential snowfall or road closures, this becomes even more crucial when traveling in winter. Consider adding a few hours to your plan each day. Worst case scenario—everything does go according to plan and you end up with some extra time to explore a stop or enjoy your destination. 

Camping in the snow © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Have a Backup Plan

Most likely you’ll arrive at your destination with only minor setbacks if any. In the event that a setback delays your journey a backup plan will help ensure you still have a good trip, even if it’s not what you originally planned. Consider cancellation policies when booking an RV park or other lodging as well as the potential for extending your stay if weather or road conditions require it. Also, consider an alternative route as well some activities or stops along this route.

Related: The Absolutely Most Amazing Winter Road Trips

Camping at Pony Express RV Park, Salt Lake City, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. On Packing

Packing for any trip can be difficult! There’s always the question of what to bring. While you have some more freedom packing for a road trip over a plane trip, it’s still important to pack efficiently. For a winter road trip, this means that you’ll want to keep cold-weather clothes easily accessible. The last thing you’ll want to have to do is unpack a full suitcase to find a pair of gloves at the bottom.

Consider bringing a bag or bin for shoes/outerwear as well. If you’ve been walking through snow or slush, this is a great way to make sure any runoff won’t result in a puddle on your car or RV floor. Finally, make sure to bring a blanket or two to stay cozy on the trip. 

Camping in the snow © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

8. Winter Driving Tips

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all if you can avoid it. Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work and allow extra time to reach your destination.
If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your vehicle is prepared and that you know how to handle road conditions. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop.

Camping at Quail Gate RV Resort near Sierra Vista, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Use low gears to maintain traction, especially on hills. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads. Don’t pass snow plows or sanding trucks (and never, never on the right).

Related: Handling Cold Weather in Your RV

Keep your lights and windshield clean. Replace windshield wiper blades. Make sure your windshield washer system works and is full of an anti-icing fluid. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists. Brake gently to avoid skidding. Learn how to get maximum efficiency from your brakes before you need them in an emergency situation.

Camping at Pony Express RV Park, Salt Lake City, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Watch carefully for black ice. If the road looks slick, it probably is. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses, and infrequently traveled roads as these will freeze first.

Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads. 

Worth Pondering…

And finally, Winter, with its bitin’, whinin’ wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow.

—Roy Bean

How Well Do You Know Your RV Park Neighbors?

When you stay in a RV park for more than a few days, you get to know your neighbors. Or do you?

The local police arrived at Zuni Village RV Park in central Kingman (Arizona) to tell stunned residents that they needed to get out—fast. Experts arrived with a robot to search Glenn Jones’ motorhome after connecting Jones to two bomb blasts that occurred 24-hours earlier in the small rural town of Panaca (Nevada), leaving one dead.

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

Once inside the RV, the bomb squad found and detonated numerous improvised explosive devices. They also removed 40 pounds of bomb-making materials kept inside the RV. Jones’ nearby storage unit may have also contained bomb-building ingredients.

Far Horizon 49er Village, Plymouth, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

During the scene processing, 10 of the IEDs were rendered safe in a vacant field just west of the RV park. The remaining five, larger, IEDs were removed to be detonated at another location.

Related: 12 Unspoken Etiquette Rules of RV Camping

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

Later that day, Jones’ motorhome was towed away from Zuni Village RV Park; the park’s 100 residents were allowed back the next day.

According to the Associated Press, the 59-year-old man targeted the house because it belonged to two former co-workers. He drove a rented car to Panaca and detonated two bombs and fatally shot himself in the head before the blasts erupted.

Western Way RV Resort, Tucson, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said residents Tiffany Cluff and two daughters fled barefoot from the house before the blast. Husband Joshua Cluff and another daughter weren’t home at the time.

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

Back at Zuni Village, Jones was known as a quiet man who even cared for the elderly mother of another park resident. Although he had only been a resident of the RV park for six months, he apparently gave subtle clues to neighbors that something was amiss. In the months leading up to the bomb explosions, he told neighbors he was angry with his former employer, admitted to being severely depressed, and suddenly gave away hundreds of dollars to a neighbor.

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

According to park neighbors, Jones:

“…had a fascination with shells and all things military”

“quiet and courteous but tormented”

Related: Consider Your Needs When Choosing RV Parks and Campgrounds

Las Quintas Oasis RV Park, Yuma, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Nobody could have predicted that he was making bombs inside his RV and putting his neighbors at risk. According to the American Psychiatric Association, Jones’ behaviors that neighbors described were classic signs of mental illness.

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

Incidents such as the Kingman bomb scare can happen anywhere. Dangerous people in RV parks are no different than those living in traditional neighborhoods.

The best way to avoid any hazard is to be alert to your surroundings, stay out of areas that seem like trouble spots, watch for odd behaviors, and if something doesn’t feel right, turn the key and leave.

New Green Acres RV Park, Waterboro, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Be cautious of rest areas and choose your campgrounds and RV parks carefully.

Related: Finding the Right RV Site

Keep your eyes open, follow your instincts, and don’t overnight in rest areas or other questionable locations.

Okefenokee RV Park, Folkston, Georgia

In general terms, RVing is a safe way to travel. Most campgrounds don’t attract a notorious criminal element.

However, the fastest way to become a statistic of a criminal act is to think it can’t happen to you. The first rule in avoiding crime is to accept that crime does indeed exist and that you are not immune.

Oh! Kentucky Campground and RV Park, Berea, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Get in the habit of locking your rig every time you leave. This RV lockdown should include securing exterior storage compartments and windows as well.

Related: 5 Tips for Safe RV Travel

Close blinds and shades to make “casing the joint” a tougher task. Another perk? Shades keep the sun off the fabrics which reduces fading.

Gulf Coast RV Park, Beaumont, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The choice of the RV park itself is also important. Question management about security. Do they have nightly patrols? Is the park well lit? How hard is it for non-guests to come and go?

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

Every city has its bad parts of town. Avoid these. Lose that wide-eyed touristy look and stay alert to your surroundings. 

Worth Pondering…

Stay safe wherever you are and find time to enjoy each day!

What’s so Different about Driving a motorhome?

7 tips for driving a Class A motorhome

Class A motorhomes are the largest motorhomes on the road. After all, you’re bringing all of the comforts of home with you. While these roomy RVs might seem intimidating to drive at first, it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. Plus, many luxury motorhomes are already designed with ease-of-use and driver comfort in mind, so there isn’t as much of a learning curve.

Class A motorhomes at RV dealer © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Still, it’s important to understand how to handle a vehicle of this size, especially when you drive one for the first time. To help you get started, I’ve compiled a top 7 tips for driving a motorhome to help you safely and confidently drive your diesel pusher motorhome to your next adventure. With these motorhome driving tips, you’ll be handling your RV like a pro in no time.

Class A motorhome near Page, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Make Sure You Have the Right Class of Driver’s License

Depending on your state (or province), you may be required to get a Class A or Class B (commercial or non-commercial) driver’s license before you can legally drive a motorhome that weighs over 26,000 pounds.

A commercial driver’s license is a driver’s license required to operate large or heavy vehicles.

Class A Motorhome at Wahweap Campground in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Every state issues different types of licenses, so it’s not always as simple as, “Do I need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive my RV that weighs over 26,000 pounds or not?” 

Related: Buying an RV

The question looks a little more like, “Do I need a special license, and if so, in what cases, and what kind?”

Class A motorhomes on Newfound Gap Road in Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Several examples follow:

  • In California you need a Class B non-commercial license to drive a vehicle weighing over 26,000 pounds
  • In North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, and Pennsylvania you need a Class B license for a single vehicle over 26,000 pounds; you need a Class A license to drive a combination of vehicles that weigh over 26,000 pounds
  • In Texas you need a Class B non-commercial license to drive a vehicle weighing over 26,000 pounds

Since regulations do change it is recommended that you contact your local DMV if your rig is close to 26,000 pounds or more.

Class A motorhomes on Utah’s Scenic Byway 12 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Know How and When to Brake

It’s important to understand that the larger and heavier the vehicle, the longer it can take to stop. You’ll need to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to slow down and come to a complete stop, even in normal weather.

Class A motorhome at RV dealer © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It’s also important to keep in mind that hot brakes don’t work as well and they wear out faster. To keep your brakes from overheating, avoid riding your brakes and use your gears to downshift (engine brake) when driving downhills. If you do start to notice a smell coming from your brakes, pull over when it is safe to do so and give the brakes a chance to cool off before continuing your drive. This is especially important when driving in the mountains.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing the Perfect RV for Your Family

A good rule of thumb is to descend a hill in the same gear (or one gear lower) than used to climb the hill.

Class A motorhome at 12 Tribes Casino RV Park, Omak, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Leave Enough Following Distance

Since it takes longer to brake, you’ll also need to make sure you’re leaving sufficient following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. The general rule of thumb in normal weather is to leave one vehicle length for every 10 mph. So if you’re driving 60 mph, leave six RV lengths in front of you.

For a 40 foot motorhome, that means leaving 240 feet of space between you and the next vehicle on the road. However, you’ll need to leave even more space if driving during inclement weather like rain, snow, or fog. Even if the road doesn’t look slippery, it’s always best to slow down and leave plenty of room.

Related: Meet the RVs: Find the Right RV Class for Your Travel Style

Some RVs include technology to help the driver mitigate potential accidents. For example, some models are available with collision mitigation technology, adaptive cruise control, and adjustable following distance control—all to take the guesswork out of your drive.

Class A motorhome on Utah’s Scenic Byway 12 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Stay in the Right Lane

Most motorhome drivers find themselves driving at slower speeds than the rest of traffic—and that makes sense. The ideal speed to drive an RV is around 55-60 mph—the so-called sweet spot for RV fuel efficiency. However, the speed limit on most US highways is between 65-75 mph. Traveling in the far right lane allows you to drive your RV at the optimal speed for your own safety and fuel economy while allowing other drivers to pass on the left.

Related: Meet the RVs: The Towables

Staying in your lane can be somewhat challenging for high-profile RVs which can be prone to drift when there are crosswinds. Newmar’s Comfort Drive feature prevents this type of drifting with adaptive steering that automatically adjusts to help you stay in your lane—without requiring a death grip on your steering wheel. That said, it’s always wise to keep both hands on the wheel.

Class A motorhome on Newfound Gap Road in Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Understand Your Tail Swing

Once you get the hang of it, driving straight in an RV can quickly become second nature. Getting used to turning might take a bit more practice since you also need to take your tail swing into consideration.

Class A motorhome at Columbia Sun RV Park, Kennewick, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What is a tail swing? For every three feet behind your rear axle, you have the potential for one foot of tail swing heading in the opposite direction. So, if you’ve got 12 feet behind your back wheels and you want to take a sharp right turn, you need to be aware of what’s immediate to your left. When you’re just starting out, it can be helpful to have a spotter outside the vehicle to guide you as you practice turning and parking.

Know your clearance; Colonial Parkway, Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Know Your Clearances and Plan Your Route Accordingly

Diesel pusher motorhomes aren’t just longer and heavier, they’re also taller and wider than any other cars or trucks you’re used to driving. Because of this, your RV may not meet the clearance requirements for certain overhangs and it may be more challenging to navigate narrow roads in older towns.

Know your clearance; Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Be particularly aware of low overhanging trees, the height of tunnels and overpasses, and the clearance at fuel stops. But don’t let that hold you back. It just means you’ll need to plan ahead and stay aware as you drive which are great things to make a habit of anyway, no matter what type of vehicle you’re driving.

Know your height; Parke County, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are navigation tools and technologies available to help alleviate some of the planning for you. After inputting your coach’s dimensions, they can plan the best routes for you based on them.

Class A motorhomes at Newmar Service Center, Nappanee, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Don’t Drive Tired

When you’re driving a Class A motorhome, there’s a lot to be aware of as you’re driving including your following and stopping distances, your turn radius, your overhead clearance, and more. Plus, you’re probably driving long stretches at a time. Driver fatigue is one of the biggest dangers on the road especially when driving a big rig, so stay safe and avoid driving when you’re tired.

Some roads are best not traveled in a Class A motorhome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Conclusion

Driving a recreational vehicle is an extremely rewarding experience. Now that you know these Class A motorhome driving tips, there’s no limit to where your RV can take you.

Worth Pondering…

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

BURMA SHAVE

October 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 27 Recalls Involving 15 RV Manufactures

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.

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 27 recall notices during October 2021. These recalls involved 15 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (7 recalls), Thor Motor Coach (3 recalls), DRV (2 recalls), Jayco (2 recalls), Tiffin (2 recalls), MCI (2 recalls), Keystone (1 recall), StarCraft (1 recall), Highland Ridge (1 recall), Entegra (1 recall), Nexus (1 recall), Winnebago (1 recall), Heartland (1 recall), Cruiser (1 recall), and KZRV (1 recall).

Cajun Palms RV Park, Henderson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022 East to West Alta Travel Trailers. The LP gas quick disconnect fitting may not have been properly tightened, which could allow gas to leak.

Dealers will inspect and tighten the fitting as necessary, and run a propane system check, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on October 27, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-264-6664. Forest River’s number for this recall is 501-1419.

Related: September 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022 Forest River Aurora travel trailers. These trailers were manufactured with the incorrect tires, size ST225/75R15 LRD, instead of tire size ST225/75R15 LRE, as identified on the Federal Placard.

Dealers will replace the tire and wheel assemblies, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed on September 24, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-825-6327. Forest River’s number for this recall is 205-1420.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Salem and Wildwood fifth-wheel trailers. The Federal Placard lists a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) that exceeds the load-carrying capacity of the pin box, which could result in an overloaded pin box.

Forest River will mail owners a new Federal Placard, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 3, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-534-3167. Forest River’s number for this recall is 69-1423.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Puma travel trailers. The black wastewater-holding tank may be missing the ventilation pipe, allowing methane gas to build up.

Dealers will properly vent the black wastewater-holding tank, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 17, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-642-0606. Forest River’s number for this recall is 420-1425.

Sea Breeze RV Park, Portland, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Entrada motorhomes. The brake lines may wear against the front leveling jack brackets, possibly resulting in brake line failure.

Dealers will relocate the front leveling jack brackets, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 17, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-264-6664. Forest River’s number for this recall is 504-1426.

Related: August 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2014-2016 Star Trans school buses. The rear emergency exit window labels are not in the correct location and only provide instructions for one release mechanism, instead of two release mechanisms. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 217, “Bus Emergency Exits and Window Retention and Release.”

Dealers will install new labels on the rear emergency exit windows, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 17, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-800-348-7440. Forest River’s number for this recall is 05-0171.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2014-2016 Starcraft transit buses. The rear emergency exit window labels are not in the correct location and only provide instructions for one release mechanism, instead of two release mechanisms. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 217, “Bus Emergency Exits and Window Retention and Release.”

Dealers will install new labels on the rear emergency exit windows, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 17, 2021. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-800-348-7440. Forest River’s number for this recall is 05-0169.

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2022 Scope and Rize motorhomes. The LP gas line may be too short and improperly installed, creating an excessive bend in the line which could rupture and leak.

Dealers will replace the LP gas line and reroute it as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 28, 2021. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000243.

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

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Venetian motorhomes. The patio awning may have been improperly installed, allowing it to separate.

Dealers will secure the awning, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 28, 2021. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000244.

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling 2021-2022 Magnitude and Omni motorhomes. The LP gas line may have been incorrectly routed through the rear suspension leaf springs, which could damage the line and cause a gas leak.

Dealers will re-route the LP line as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 28, 2021. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867. TMC’s number for this recall is RC000242.

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

DRV

DRV Suites (DRV) is recalling certain 2021 Mobile Suites fifth-wheel trailers. The brake rotor bolts were improperly tightened, which can cause the bolts to become loose or fall off.

Dealers will inspect and tighten the bolts, if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 14, 2021. Owners may contact DRV customer service at 1-260-562-3500.

Related: July 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

DRV

DRV Suites (DRV) is recalling certain 2018-2021 Elite Suites and Mobile Suites fifth-wheel trailers. The brake caliper retaining clips may bend or warp while braking, causing the caliper to become unseated.

Dealers will replace the caliper retaining clips, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 14, 2021. Owners may contact DRV customer service at 1-260-562-3500.

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Entegra Anthem, Aspire, Cornerstone, Reatta, Reatta XL, and Jayco Embark Class A motorhomes. The instrument cluster may intermittently go blank while the vehicle is in motion.

Dealers will update the control module software, and reroute and secure the ductwork, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on October 30, 2021. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Feather and Flight SLX recreational trailers. The cooktop is installed in a cabinet that may not be entirely sealed from the furnace. As a result, during furnace operation, the interior range cooktop burner flame may invert.

Dealers will install sealant and plywood panels, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 29, 2021. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901571.

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

Tiffin

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2018-2022 Wayfarer vehicles. The rear-center holding tank water pan bolts may pull through the lip of the pan, allowing the tank to drop down onto the exhaust pipe.

Dealers will inspect and as necessary, replace any damaged holding pans. In addition, metal straps and a washer plate will be installed. Repairs will be performed free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 22, 2021. Owners may contact Tiffin customer services at 1-256-356-8661. Tiffin’s number for this recall is WAY-102.

Tiffin

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Phaeton recreational vehicles. During manufacturing, an electrical outlet was not installed as intended, resulting in an open electrical wire inside the wall.

Dealers will inspect the vehicle and install an outlet on the wire, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 7, 2021. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661. Tiffin’s number for this recall is TIF-119.

Golden Village Palms RV Resort, Hemet, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

MCI

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain 2005-2009 E4500 and 2005-2012 J4500 motorcoaches equipped with Ricon Baylift Wheelchair Lifts. When the lift’s outer barrier is fully deployed, it may not withstand a sufficient amount of force, which could cause it to fail. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 403, “Platform Lift Systems,” and number 404, “Platform lift installations.”

Ricon will reinforce the outer barrier with additional supports, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on October 18, 2021. Owners may contact Ricon’s Customer Service at (800) 322-2884, or email Ricon’s Recall Coordinator, at admin21e068@Wabtec.com or by locating the nearest Ricon servicing dealer using the locator on the Ricon website? www.riconcorp.com. Owners may also contact MCI’s customer service at 1-800-241-2947. MCI’s number for this recall is R21-024.

The Motorcoach Resort, Chandler, Arizona

MCI

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain 2018 D4000, 2018-2020 D4005, D4000ISTV, 2017-2020 D4500, D4505, 2018-2021 J3500, 2017-2021 J4500, 2020 D4520, and 2018-2021 D45CRTLE motorcoaches. The Main Distribution Panel (MDP) located within the battery compartment contains a circuit board that may fail.

MCI Service Centers will remove the MDP and install a new main disconnect and circuit breaker panel, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on October 18, 2021. Owners may contact MCI’s customer service at 1-800-241-2947. MCI’s number for this recall is R21-010.

Okeefenokee RV Park, Folkston, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Dutchmen Aspen Trail, Coleman, Keystone Cougar, Bullet, Passport, Hideout, Springdale, Sprinter, 2019 Keystone Impact, Fuzion, Residence, Retreat, Summerland, and Dutchmen Kodiak recreational vehicles, equipped with Winntec model 6020 two-stage propane regulators. The regulator may fail, causing an increase in propane pressure.

Dealers will replace the regulator and test the propane system for leaks, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 8, 2021. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 21-414.

StarCraft

StarCraft RV (StarCraft) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Autumn Ridge Outfitter recreational trailers. The cooktop is installed in a cabinet that may not be entirely sealed from the furnace. As a result, during furnace operation, the interior range cooktop burner flame may invert.

Dealers will install sealant and plywood panels, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 29, 2021. Owners may contact Starcraft customer service at 1-800-283-8267. StarCraft’s number for this recall is 9902571.

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

Highland Ridge

Highland Ridge RV (Highland Ridge) is recalling certain 2021 Highland Ridge Open Range recreational trailers. The cooktop is installed in a cabinet that may not be entirely sealed from the furnace. As a result, during furnace operation, the interior range cooktop burner flame may invert.

Dealers will install sealant and plywood panels, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on November 29, 2021. Owners may contact Highland Ridge customer service at 1-260-768-7771.

Related: June 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

Entegra

Entegra Coach (Entegra) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Anthem, Aspire, and Reatta XL Class A vehicles equipped with Cummins L9 diesel engines that have remote Stage 2 fuel filters and pressurized hoses. A fuel leak may occur in the fuel hoses between the fuel pump and the remote fuel filter head.

Entegra will work with Cummins to replace the fuel hoses, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on October 30, 2021. Owners may contact Entegra customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

Cave Creek Regional Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Nexus

Nexus RV’s, LLC (Nexus) is recalling certain 2018-2020 Nexus Bentley, Bentley Diamond, Evoque, Ghost, Maybach, Wraith, Phantom, Triumph, and Viper recreational vehicles, built on International or Ford chassis. These vehicles are equipped with certain Dometic 3-burner cooking stoves. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak.

Nexus will work with Dometic, who will install a remedy kit of gaskets, washers, thread locker bolts, and two round orange labels, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on October 29, 2021. Owners may contact Nexus customer service at 1-574-970-0848.

Foretravel

Foretravel, Inc. (Foretravel) is recalling certain 2020-2022 iH-45, Realm FS605, Realm FS450, and iC-37 recreational vehicles equipped with Hehr 6400 Series windows. The adhesive that bonds the vented portion of the window may fail.

Dealers will inspect the windows, and replace the vent if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in October 2021. Owners may contact Foretravel customer service at 1-800-9556226.

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

Winnebago

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2019-2022 Travato and 2021-2022 Boldt vehicles. The wire harness may have been built incorrectly, resulting in the loss of over-current protection.

Owners are instructed to not drive their vehicle until the Volta Power System is disabled. Dealers will replace the harness and inspect the electrical connection, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on October 29, 2021. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-641-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885. Winnebago’s number for this recall is 164.

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Mallard Pathfinder trailers. The vehicle certification label does not have the correct Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) listed. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 120, “Wheels and Rims-Other Than Passenger Cars.”

Heartland will mail new labels to owners, and dealers will replace them, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 13, 2021. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

Sonoran Desert RV Resort, Gila Bend, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cruiser

Cruiser RV (Cruiser) is recalling 2021-2022 Hitch trailers. The vehicle certification label does not have the correct Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) listed. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 120, “Wheels and Rims-Other Than Passenger Cars.”

Cruiser will mail new labels to owners, and dealers will replace them, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 13, 2021. Owners may contact Cruiser customer service at 1-574-206-7920.

KZRV

KZRV, L.P. (KZRV) is recalling certain 2022 Stratus and SportTrek trailers. The water heater and fireplace circuits were improperly connected to a 20amp circuit breaker instead of a 15amp circuit breaker.

Dealers will replace circuit breakers, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on December 10, 2021. Owners may contact KZRV customer service at 1-800-768-4016 ext. 154 or 153. KZRV’s number for this recall is KZ-2021-06.

Please Note: This is the 33rd 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