June 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 20 Recalls Involving 16 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 safety risk 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 20 recall notices during June 2022. These recalls involved 16 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (4 recalls), Escape (2 recalls), Keystone (1 recall), Winnebago (1 recall), Airstream (1 recall), Bowlus Road Chief (1 recall), Oliver (1 recall), Bigfoot (1 recall), Coach House (1 recall), Roadtrek (1 recall), TM (1 recall), Off Grid (1 recall), Keystone Coachworks (1 recall), Heartland (1 recall), Cruiser (1 recall), Triple E ( recall).

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Coachmen Galleria, Beyond, and Nova motorhomes, equipped with certain 2-burner cooktops. The burner control valves may become damaged, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the cooktop, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on June 29, 2022. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service Phone Number 1-574-825-6319. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1513.

RV Park at Rolling Hills, Corning, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Forest River Berkshire motorhomes. An incorrect circuit breaker was installed in the vehicle’s house distribution subpanel, which prohibits the internal spring retention mechanism from properly contacting the sub panel.

Dealers will install the correct breaker, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on July 6, 2022. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-522-1368. Forest River’s number for this recall is 40-1516.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022 East to West Alta and Palomino SolAire travel trailers equipped with a swing-up table/bed base. The base may have incomplete welds that are unable to hold the intended weight, causing the table/bed base to drop unexpectedly.

Dealers will replace the swing-up table, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on July 16, 2022. Owners may contact Forest River customer service for the Alta at 1-574-264-6664 or for the SolAire at 1-269-432-3271. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1519.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022 Prime Time Crusader and Sanibel fifth-wheel travel trailers. The step treads are inadequately secured to the step brackets.

Dealers will install an elevator bolt to properly secure tread to the steps, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on July 8, 2022. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-862-1025. Forest River’s number for this recall is 49-1523.

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

Escape

Escape Trailer (Escape Trailer) is recalling certain 2018-2021 Escape 17, 19, 21, and 5.0TA travel trailers, equipped with certain SDS2 2-Burner Drop-in Cooktops. The internal aluminum burner tubes connecting the gas valves to the cooktop burners can fracture from excessive vibration or shock, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the cooktop, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on June 15, 2022. Owners may contact Escape Trailers customer service at 1-604-703-1650.

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

Escape

Escape Trailer is recalling certain 2021-2022 Escape 17, 19, 21, and 5.0TA travel trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the quick disconnects, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on June 15, 2022. Owners may contact Escape Trailer’s customer service at 1-604-703-1650.

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

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2022 Keystone Cougar travel trailers, equipped with a swing-up table/bed base. The base may have incomplete welds that are unable to hold the intended weight, causing the table/bed base to drop unexpectedly.

Dealers will replace the table/bed base, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 22-433.

Jack’s Landing RV Park, Grants Pass, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Winnebago

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2020 ERA motorhomes, equipped with certain 2-burner cooktops. The burner control valves may become damaged, causing a gas leak.

Winnebago will work with Dometic to replace the cooktops, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on June 30, 2022. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-641-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885 or Dometic customer service at 888-943-4905.

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

Airstream

Airstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain 2021-2023 Airstream Classic, Flying Cloud, International, and Globetrotter travel trailers. The manual step may collapse due to the fastener screw pulling through the washer.

Dealers will replace the old washer and install a Loctite thread locker, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on July 17, 2022. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111 ext. 7401 or 7411.

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

Bowlus Road Chief

Bowlus Road Chief LLC (Bowlus) is recalling certain 2022 Endless Highways travel trailers equipped with 2-burner cooktops. The burner control valves may become damaged, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the cooktops, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed on May 25, 2022. Owners may contact Bowlus customer service at 1-805-436-5855.

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

Oliver

Oliver Travel Trailer, INC. (Oliver) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Elite travel trailers equipped with certain 2-burner Cooktops. The burner control valves may become damaged, causing a gas leak.

Service Centers will replace the cooktops, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in May 2022. Owners may contact Oliver customer service at 1-866-205-2621.

Holiday Travel Park of Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Bigfoot

Bigfoot Industries, Inc. (Bigfoot) is recalling certain 2022 Bigfoot RV 25B17FB travel trailers, equipped with certain 2-burner cooktops. The burner control valves may become damaged, causing a gas leak.

Bigfoot will work with Dometic, to replace the cooktop, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Bigfoot customer service at 1-250-546-2155.

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

Coach House

Coach House, Inc. (Coach House) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Platinum, Platinum II, and Arriva motorhomes, equipped with certain 2-burner cooktops. The burner control valves may become damaged, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the cooktop, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in May 2022. Owners may contact Coach House customer service at 1-800-235-0984.

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

Roadtrek

Roadtrek Inc. (Roadtrek) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Play, Play SRT, Play Slumber, Chase, SS Agile, Zion, Zion SRT, and Zion Slumber recreational vehicles, equipped with certain 2-burner cooktops. The burner control valves may become damaged, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the cooktops, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Roadtrek customer service at 1-888-762-3873.

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

TM

TM Industries (TM) is recalling certain 2021-2022 TrailManor 2518 series travel trailers, equipped with certain 2-burner cooktops. The burner control valves may become damaged, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the cooktop, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in June 2022. Owners may contact TM customer service at 1-605-951-7580. TM’s number for this recall is 4T9T.

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

Off Grid

Off Grid Trailers (Off Grid) is recalling certain 2021-22 Expedition, Pando, and Switchback travel trailers equipped with certain 2-burner cooktops. The burner control valves may become damaged, causing a gas leak.

Off Grid will work with Dometic to replace the cooktops, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on June 10, 2022. Owner’s may contact Off Grid customer service at 1-800-786-3221.

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

Keystone Coachworks

Keystone Coachworks Inc (Keystone Coachworks) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris Custom Camper Vans equipped with certain 2-burner cooktops. The burner control valves may become damaged, causing a gas leak.

Keystone will work with Dometic to replace the cooktops, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in June 2022. Owners may contact Keystone Coachworks customer service at 1-541-517-4827. Keystone Coachworks number for this recall is 22E021.

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

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2022 Cyclone, Gravity, Sundance, Big Country, Big Horn, Big Horn Traveler, Elkridge, Fuel, North Trail, Landmark, Lithium, Milestone, Torque, Trail Runner, Pioneer, Prowler, and Road Warrior travel trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will inspect and replace the quick disconnect fittings, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on July 17, 2022. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032. Heartland’s number for this recall is 99.01.67.

Smokiam RV Park, Soap Lake, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cruiser

Cruiser RV (Cruiser) is recalling certain 2022 Shadow Cruiser, Embrace, MPG, Radiance, Hitch, Twilight, and Stryker travel trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will inspect and replace the fittings, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on July 17, 2022. Owners may contact Cruiser customer service at 1-574-206-7920. Cruiser’s number for this recall is 99.03.21.

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

Triple E

Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Unity U24MB, U24IB, U24CB, U24FX, U24RL, U24TB, and Wonder W24MB, W24RTB, W24FTB, W24RL recreational vehicles, equipped with certain 2-burner cooktops. The burner control valves may become damaged, causing a gas leak.

Triple E will work with Dometic to replace the cooktops, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in June 2022. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-877-992-9906 or contact Dometic at recall.cooktop.22E021@dometic.com or 1-888-943-4905 or 574-389-3713. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#10130-1.

Please Note: This is the 41st 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

The Safety Checklist for When Your RV is Parked

All the basics you need to know

Parking an RV can be daunting. Oftentimes, drivers may be so focused on perfect parking placement that they aren’t sure what to do next. There are a few simple steps to follow once you’re in a place to ensure your rig and its contents are safe and secure. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Motorhomes on level concrete sites © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Leveling and Stabilizing

RV leveling is critical for more than comfort. It ensures appliances like the fridge work and slide-out sections can move freely.

Self-leveling Systems

Like many newer models, your rig may have a self-leveling system, requiring the push of a button to make sure everything is even. Some have manual leveling options. You can change the levels for up to two tires at once to get the evenest setup.

You may need to relevel your RV if the ground shifts under the weight of the rig. 

RVs on level gravel sites © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Manual Stabilizing

RVs without this auto-level feature including many travel and fifth-wheel trailers and older motorhomes will require more work. You can purchase heavy-duty plastic leveling blocks that interlock to help raise or lower your RV. These options increase RV safety by preventing the blocks from separating when you need more than one.

Related: On the Road Again: Summer Road Trip Safety Tips

First, place a bubble level in the center of the floor in the RV interior parallel with the front bumper. Your rig may have a center level and levels that align with the axles to make this process easy. The center reading will help you tell whether to add blocks to the left or right tires. Drive the rig onto the blocks after placing them in front of or behind the wheels on the RV’s lower side. Repeatedly check your level until it is even. 

Motorhome on mostly level site © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If the ground is very uneven, create a ramp with blocks by placing one in the direction you’ll drive. Then, add two stacked blocks butting up to the first. Add a three-stack in front of that if needed. Check your level between each block addition.

Safety tip: The wheels must be perfectly centered on the blocks to prevent the motorhome from rolling and ensure it is level.

Once the RV is even, get out the chocks. These safety accessories are often made of plastic or rubber and prevent the RV from moving forward or backward. Place chocks in front of and behind the tires that did not require blocks. 

Trailer set up on-site © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Slides

RV slides conveniently add square footage to your living space. Some RVs have electric slide outs that extend in minutes. If your rig has this feature, make sure it’s level and push the button or flip the switch to extend the slide out.

Related: 30 RV Hacks and Tips for a Successful Road Trip

Parking Brakes

Pull out the parking brake knob in the cab. It should be yellow. Always engage the parking brakes once the rig is parked, level, and chocked. 

These RVs required leveling blocks at the rear © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Awnings

RV awnings offer sun and rain protection. They can also make your RV more energy efficient by limiting how much sun enters through the window. If your awning opens automatically, make sure you are connected to shore power or a generator. If using an inverter, your batteries must be charged to power the awning motor.

Open your motorized awning by flipping the switch inside the cab or on the remote. If the awning doesn’t open, you may need a new remote battery. Ensure you are plugged into a power source and the parking brake is set. If the brake is not engaged, the awnings may not open.

For manual awnings, undo travel locks on the arms. These safety devices may be part of the RV or as simple as velcro or string. Loosen the rafter knobs on the back of the arms to allow the awning to open. Use an awning rod to reverse the locking level into the “roll down” setting.

Electric power, city water, and sewer connections © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reach for the awning loop and slowly pull the awning backward away from the RV. Avoid adjusting the awning on windy days as you could damage your rig or harm yourself. Once extended, lock the rafter arms by sliding them into place on the RV exterior. Tighten the bolts on the rafter arms to spread out the awning material and make it taught, avoiding flapping in the wind.

Extend the awning arms to allow for a slope with the part of the awning furthest from the RV a little lower than the part that connects to the rig. This slight decline will encourage rain to flow away from the RV and prevent it from collecting and collapsing.

Electric management system © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV Electrical Hookup

When you pull into your campground site, it’s tempting to plug right in and turn everything on. However, you want to keep safety in mind, especially when dealing with electricity. First, it’s a good idea to test the hook up with a polarity tester to make sure the campground’s wiring is in good shape. If it’s not, your polarity tester will tell you before you fry any or all of the components of your RV electrical system.

Related: 10 RV Driving Tips

Electric management system © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Or better yet invest in an electric management system. This electric detection device will protect you from four electrical issues an RVer can encounter while traveling: power surges, miswired pedestals, high/low voltage, and wiring issues inside the RV.

City water connection © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Water Connection

Find your RV fresh water drinking hose in your RV storage. Add a water pressure regulator before attaching the loose end of the hose to the potable campground water spigot. Make sure you are using the potable water spigot as it is safe to drink. 

Do not turn on the water pump if you are connecting to a city water connection as it is already pressurized. Only use the pump if you are pulling water from tanks inside the RV when you cannot hook up to an outside water source. Once attached to the spigot, slowly turn it and have someone in the RV turn on a sink. Once the water runs into the RV, you know the connection is correct.

Sewer connection © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Emptying Grey and Black Water Tanks

First, a quick clarification for anyone new to RVing. When you run an RV faucet, the water goes into built-in grey water holding tank. Anything flushed down the toilet flows into a black water tank. 

Related: Five RV Tips BEFORE Your First Road Trip

Dump station for when you don’t have a sewer connection © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Most large rigs will come with 60-80 gallons of grey water capacity and 40-60 gallons of black water capacity. That means these tanks can go a few days to a couple of weeks before needing to be emptied depending on the usage.

Sewer connection © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Many resorts offer full hookups which include a sewer connection on the RV lot which allows the tanks to be dumped as needed without needing to leave the camping site. The alternative is driving the RV to a dump station in the campground. Full hookup sites come with the obvious benefit of avoiding the need to move the RV and relevel and stabilize after each dump. 

Wear disposable plastic gloves when dealing with sewage to prevent stomach bugs or other sewage-related illnesses. Make sure the RV gray and black water sewer valves are securely closed before opening the cap.

Connect one end of the sewer hose to the RV sewer valve and the other end to the park sewer dumping station inlet. Slowly open the black water discharge valves to drain the system. When empty, close the valve.

Motorhome set up on-site © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Next, follow this process with the grey water. This order of operations will wash the sewage out of the hose, preventing an unsanitary mess. Once done, close the grey water valve. Disconnect the hoses and attach the caps to the RV valves. 

Related: 12 Simple RV Maintenance Tips

If you are staying long-term at an RV park you will leave the sewer hose attached.

Throw away your disposable gloves before thoroughly washing your hands. 

Worth Pondering…

Remember, Safety First, and Happy RVing!

What is Lyme disease and why is it Difficult to Treat?

Lyme disease can be a crippling condition for many individuals

What is Lyme disease?

The origins of Lyme disease, or borreliosis, are widely disputed. From what I understand, it was first recorded in the 1970s in Lyme, Connecticut. In 1982, the spirochete bacteria that causes Lyme disease was discovered by Willy Burgdorfer and was named Borrelia burgdorferi. Since then, the rate of Lyme disease has grown and now Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne illness in the United States and Canada.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are nearly 500,000 people diagnosed with Lyme disease every year. Many natural health practitioners believe that Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens are grossly under-diagnosed and frequently missed. One 2018 study published in Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland) suggests that 12 percent of Americans could have been infected with Lyme by 2015, some 55 million people. To say this chronic illness is on the rise is an understatement.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A tick bite, usually from the eastern black-legged tick or the western black-legged tick, is the most common vector for Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Lyme disease can have devastating consequences on the body because it tends to create systemic inflammation, hinder immune function, and potentially trigger autoimmune disease and chronic illness. Oftentimes, these patients are so immune-suppressed that their bodies can’t fight other infections they’re exposed to.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lyme disease symptoms 

There’s a wide range of symptoms for those struggling with tick-borne illness. Symptom manifestation can vary with each individual. If caught early, Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens can be treated relatively quickly. If left undetected, various chronic health concerns can arise, potentially contributing to a systemic inflammatory response, autoimmune disease, and chronic illness.

Related: Stay Safe this Summer by Using These Outdoor Heat Hacks

Many people who contract Lyme disease don’t recall having a tick bite because ticks can be so small. Furthermore, erythema migrans, the classic bulls-eye rash, are only reported about 70 percent of the time. Due to unreliable diagnostic criteria, these infections are also easy to miss on the frequently used laboratory tests.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The bull’s-eye rash

As mentioned, an erythema migrans rash doesn’t show up in at least 30 percent of Lyme cases. When it develops, it’s usually within 3 to 30 days after the initial bite. The rash starts relatively small and gradually expands over many days. It can reach diameters of up to 12 inches or more and appear on any area of the body. Sometimes, the skin clears as the rash enlarges, becoming a bull’s-eye shape.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Acute Lyme symptoms (3 to 32 days after tick bite)

Symptoms are varied and can include a headache, weakness, fever, fatigue, and muscle soreness. joint pain, neck pain, flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, bull’s-eye rash, dizziness, shortness of breath, nerve pain, mood changes, respiratory infections, anxiety, and panic attacks.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Why is Lyme disease difficult to treat?

Lyme disease is a dreaded health condition because it’s difficult to treat. This is because Borrelia burgdorferi Spirochetes can easily change their form and adapt to treatment methods, especially antibiotics. These forms are known as persisters because they can take on various sizes and shapes, changing from well-known forms to altered morphologies.

Many believe that Lyme disease becomes chronic because a round of antibiotics is often an insufficient treatment and Borrelia can adapt in the face of antibiotics. This is why a functional, holistic approach can be valuable.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Other tick-borne diseases

In addition to Borrelia Burgdorferi, ticks carry many pathogens including bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can contribute to acute and chronic illness. Listed here are some of the most common tick-borne illnesses and co-infections associated with Lyme. There are many more. With many overlapping symptoms, it’s sometimes difficult to ascertain exactly what an individual is dealing with.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Mice Out of an RV

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Anaplasmosis: An infection caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum that presents with flu-like symptoms and can be fatal if left untreated.

Babesiosis: A result of microscopic parasites transmitted through various tick species. Symptoms include fever, chills, drenching sweats, anxiety, shortness of breath, racing heart, brain fog, and nausea. Sometimes hemolytic anemia results from the parasites attacking red blood cells.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Bartonella: Infections from Bartonella can cause fever, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, abdominal pain, fatigue, and poor appetite. It has also been associated with brain-based symptoms including depression, anxiety, panic disorder, and Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome.

Ehrlichiosis: Ehrlichiosis symptoms include flu-like symptoms including fatigue, fever, chills, headaches, and muscle aches and pains.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Mycoplasma: Mycoplasma is the smallest bacterial species known. Symptoms include fever, cough, bronchitis, sore throat, headache, and tiredness. Sometimes pneumonia is a result of mycoplasma infection.

Rickettsiosis: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is included in this group of infections and can be contracted anywhere in the United States. Common symptoms include fever, body aches, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and headache. It causes a red rash on the palms of the hands in 50 to 85 percent of people.

Related: Camping Awareness: Wildfire Safety Tips That Could Save Your Life

Viruses: Ticks can carry novel viruses including the Powassan virus, South Bay Virus, Laurel Lake virus, Suffolk virus, various black-legged tick phleboviruses, and numerous others.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

How to prevent Lyme disease?

Like any disease, Lyme disease is best avoided. While many of the most common diseases today can be held at bay with proper diet and exercise, Lyme disease requires special precautions to avoid the ticks that spread it.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Awareness in nature

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses and weeds, and leaf litter. Ticks will attach themselves to whoever brushes by. When hiking or walking in nature, stay in the middle of the path and avoid contact with the low-lying brush. Wearing light-colored clothing and long pants provides a protective barrier for the skin against ticks. Tuck pant legs into the socks to safeguard this barrier.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Highest incidence of Lyme disease

According to the CDC, the areas with the highest occurrence of Lyme Disease are in the Northeast and include the states along the Atlantic seaboard from Maine in the north to Virginia in the south and Minnesota and Wisconsin in the Midwest.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Use tick repellant

Conventional recommendations to use DEET to deter ticks may prove helpful to avoid tick bites. Using essential oils in insect repellent sprays and embedded into flea and tick collars on pets is effective and safe. Research indicates that lemon eucalyptus is also a strong tick deterrent and can be as effective as DEET.

Some services spray your yard with garlic oil which is a natural tick deterrent. Many who live in Lyme endemic areas find this protective measure vitally important in preventing tick-borne pathogens from infecting their loved ones and pets.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Perform daily tick checks

An obvious, but sometimes overlooked step in avoiding tick-borne illness is conducting proper tick checks when coming inside after time in nature. This should be done very thoroughly, looking in all areas of the body, especially creases.

It is helpful to use a magnifier and a flashlight to be able to spot a tick since many are the size of a poppyseed.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

How to properly remove a tick?

Removing an attached tick as soon as you find it is imperative to preventing illness because the longer ticks are attached, the greater their propensity to transmit pathogens. To remove an embedded tick, use a pair of needle-nose tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Twisting or jerking can cause mouthparts to remain embedded in the skin.

Related: HURRICANE 2021 SURVIVAL GUIDE: STAYING SAFE IN YOUR RV

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are various tick removing instruments on the market as well, follow the instructions for the specific instrument when removing a tick with it. Once the tick has detached, examine the bite site to ensure the mouthparts were completely removed. Wash your hands with soap and water.

The lavender essential oil has powerful antimicrobial properties and may help kill pathogens. You can apply it (diluted in a carrier oil or neat, depending on the sensitivity of the skin) every five minutes for the first 30 to 40 minutes after removing the tick.

Ticks usually hang out in wooded areas with lots of shrubs, tall grasses, and weeds © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Testing a tick

After removing the tick, it should be placed in a sealed plastic bag with a moist paper towel or cotton ball for proper pathogen testing. Testing a tick can provide insight into infections you may have been exposed to. Any tick-borne pathogen is important to treat as soon as possible so that chronic infection doesn’t set in, regardless of how the tick tests. TickReport and IGeneX offer reliable tick testing. Keep in mind that a tick-testing positive is not a guarantee of infection. If you don’t wish to test the tick, place it in a piece of tape and throw it away—preferably outside of the home.

Worth Pondering…

I know runners who have suffered a tick bite and ended up with Lyme disease. I’ll take an angry moose any day.

—Don Kardong

May 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 22 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.

Spartanburg Northeast/Gaffney KOA, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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

NHTSA announced 22 recall notices during May 2022. These recalls involved 15 recreational vehicle manufacturers— Jayco (3 recalls), Tiffin (2 recalls), Winnebago (2 recalls), Cruiser RV (2 recalls), Heartland (2 recalls), Triple E (1 recall), Alliance (1 recall), KZRV (1 recall), DRV Suites (1 recall), Thor Motor Coach (1 recall), Starcraft (1 recall), Highland Ridge (1 recall), Grand Design (1 recall), and Braxton Creek (1 recall).

Arrow Campground, Wall, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Northpoint, Pinnacle, and Seismic fifth wheel travel trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the quick disconnect fittings, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 1, 2022. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-617-776-0344. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901577.

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2020-2022 Jayco Precept motorhomes. The heat shield beneath the storage compartment may not be long enough, which can allow the heat from the exhaust system to melt the storage compartment.

Dealers will extend the heat shield, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 1, 2022. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267.

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Jayco Greyhawk, Greyhawk Prestige, Redhawk, Entegra Esteem, and Odyssey recreational vehicles. An inadequate connection between the power steering pressure line and the brake Hydroboost unit may result in a sudden loss of power steering fluid.

Dealers will inspect the connection between the power steering lines and the Hydroboost unit, and replace the power steering lines, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 1, 2022. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 22V-089.

Related Article: April 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 15 Recalls Involving 8 RV Manufactures

Tiffin

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Allegro motorhomes. The slide-room may extend out 6 to 8 inches while parked or possibly while moving, due to defective seals in the hydraulic cylinders.

Dealers will inspect and replace the hydraulic cylinders, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 20, 2022. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661. Tiffin’s number for this recall is TIF-122.

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

Tiffin

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Tiffin Cahaba motorhomes. The wiring for the 110-volt electrical system may have been installed improperly, resulting in unsecured wiring.

Dealers will inspect and tighten the wiring, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 1, 2022. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661. Tiffin’s number for this recall is TIF-123.

Winnebago

Winnebago Towable (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Winnebago Voyage, Micro Minnie and Micro Flex travel trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the quick disconnect fittings, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 3, 2022. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-574-825-5280 ext. 5220. Winnebago’s number for this recall is CAM0000023.

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

Winnebago

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago) is recalling certain 2021-2023 Ekko vehicles. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the quick disconnect fittings, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 1, 2022. Owners may contact Winnebago customer service at 1-641-585-6939 or 1-800-537-1885.

Related Article: March 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 12 Recalls Involving 9 RV Manufactures

Cruiser RV

Cruiser RV (Cruiser) is recalling certain 2022 Cruiser Shadow Cruiser travel trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will inspect and replace the fittings, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in July 2022. Owners may contact Cruiser customer service at 1-574-206-7920.

Peace Arch RV Park, Surrey, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cruiser RV

Cruiser RV (Cruiser) is recalling certain 2022 Shadow Cruiser trailers. The 12-volt mini breaker cover for the slide-out was not installed during production, leading to exposed studs that could cause electrical arcing.

Dealers will inspect the 12-volt mini breaker for the slide-out, and install a cover if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 1, 2022. Owners may contact Cruiser customer service at 1-574-206-7920.

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2022 Heartland Fuel travel trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will inspect and replace the fittings, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 1, 2022. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

Destiny RV Resort, Goodyear, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2022 Sundance trailers. The 12-volt mini breaker cover for the slide-out was not installed during production, leading to exposed studs that may cause electrical arcing.

Dealers will inspect the 12-volt mini breaker for the slide-out, and install a cover if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 1, 2022. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

Triple E

Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Wonder W24RL recreational vehicles. The weight decal installed on the front driver-side baggage compartment door states an incorrect weight of 500 lbs, which exceeds the weight limit for the storage compartment.

Dealers will provide a new corrected weight decal, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in April 2022. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-877-992-9906. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#10090-1.

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

Alliance

Alliance RV, LLC (Alliance) is recalling certain 2022 Valor (36V11, 37V13, 40V13, 41V15, 42V13, 43V13); Avenue (30RLS, 31BHS, 32RLS, 33RKS, 36BRM) and Paradigm (295MK, 310RL, 340RL, 370FB, 372RK, 382RK, 385FL, 390MP, 365RD) recreational trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Related Article: February 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 18 Recalls Involving 11 RV Manufactures

Dealers will remove the quick disconnect fitting and replace it with a plug, free of charge. Once new quick disconnect fittings are available, they will be replaced, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 22, 2022. Owners may contact Alliance customer service at 1-574-218-7165.

KZRV

KZRV, L.P. (KZRV) is recalling certain 2021-2022 KZRV SportTrek, Sonic, Stratus, Connect, Sportsmen, Sportsmen SE, Sportsmen Classic, and Sportsmen Sportster fifth wheel and travel trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the fittings, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 30, 2022. Owners may contact KZRV customer service at 1-800-768-4016 ext. 154 or 153. KZRV’s number for this recall is KZ-2022-02.

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

DRV Suites

DRV Suites (DRV) is recalling certain 2022 DRV Mobile Suites and Full House fifth wheel recreational vehicles. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will inspect and replace the fittings, if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in July 2022. Owners may contact DRV customer service at 1-260-562-3500.

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is recalling certain 2022 Scope, Tellaro, Sanctuary, Delano, Sequence, Tranquility, Rize, Synergy, Quantum, Magnitude, Geneva, Compass, Chateau, Four Winds, and 2022-2023 Tiburon, and Gemini vehicles. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the quick disconnect fittings, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 4, 2022. Owners may contact TMC customer service at 1-877-855-2867.

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

Starcraft

Starcraft RV (Starcraft) is recalling certain 2022 Super Lite and Super Lite Maxx travel trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the quick disconnect fittings, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 1, 2022. Owners may contact Starcraft customer service at 1-905-636-6888. StarCraft number for this recall is 9902577.

Highland Ridge

Highland Ridge RV (Highland Ridge) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Mesa Ridge, Mesa Ridge XLT, Mesa Ridge S-Lite, Open Range, Open Range Roamer, and Open Range Lite fifth wheel and travel trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the quick disconnect fittings, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 1, 2022. Owners may contact Highland Ridge customer service at 1-260-768-7771. Highland Ridge’s number for this recall is 9904577.

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

Grand Design

Grand Design RV, LLC (Grand Design) is recalling certain 2022 Grand Design Imagine, Reflection, Momentum, Solitude and Transcend travel trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will replace the quick disconnect fittings, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 25, 2022. Owners may contact Grand Design customer service at 1-574-825-9679. Grand Design’s number for this recall is 910029.

Related Article: January 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 11 Recalls Involving 8 RV Manufactures

Braxton Creek

Braxton Creek RV (Braxton) is recalling certain 2022 Bushwhacker, Bushwhacker Plus and Free Solo travel trailers. The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Dealers will install a plug in place of the quick disconnect, and replace the quick disconnect when available, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 16, 2022. Owners may contact Braxton Creek customer service at 1-260-768-7932.

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

Kuntry Kustom

Kuntry Kustom RV, LLC (Kuntry) is recalling certain 2017-2020 Rich Specialty Trailers Sanitation, Movie, Office, and Bunk House trailers, equipped with Winntec model 6020 two-stage propane regulators. The regulators may fail, causing an increase in propane pressure.

Dealers will replace the regulator, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 2022. Owners may contact Kuntry customer service at 1-260-593-2208.

Please Note: This is the 40th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Read Next: On the Road Again: Summer Road Trip Safety Tips

Worth Pondering…

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

—Martin Van Buren

9 Things to Consider Before Making an RV Park Reservation

Finding a good campsite begins at home when you are planning your road trip

Finding the right RV site may be one of the most important decisions to make as you plan your next road trip. Before you book online or over the phone ensure you have a site that meets your needs. This may be one of the most important judgment calls to make on your trip.

Club house and pool at Red Bluff KOA Journey, Red Bluff, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The quality of your time at the park may rest on whether you’re near the hustle and bustle of the clubhouse or pool, in a remote site under a shady tree, or backed up against a busy highway or railway tracks.

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

For the best results phone RV parks to make reservations. You can find out about any specials going on, any activities or events you might be interested in, and have a better opportunity to secure a prime site in the park. Calling also allows you to have your questions or concerns answered. You can also find out about the park’s amenities such as Wi-Fi, cable TV, pool access, and special activities.

Canyon Vista RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Most parks will require a credit card number for the first night to secure the reservation. Some RV parks will assign a site number when you make your reservation while others will wait for you to check into the park. Make sure to keep the reservation confirmation number or e-mail confirmation.

Related: How to Choose the Perfect RV Park and Campsite?

Choose wisely, consult guest reviews, and consider the following nine things:

Pull-in site at Vista del Sol, Bullhead City, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1) Size and Configuration

Most RV parks offer several types of sites: pull-through, back-in, and drive-in. A pull-through site allows you to enter and exit a site without unhooking the toad or backing up. Backing an RV into a site is one of the less appealing chores in the RV lifestyle but if you plan to hunker down for several weeks or more, a roomy back-in site may be preferable.

Pull-in sites at Bella Terra Resort, Gulf Shores, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some of the newer parks offer drive-in sites. This is particularly appealing for RVers with a Class-A motorhome. The site may face a river, fountain or water feature, or scenic vistas like the sites offered at Vista del Sol RV Resort in Bullhead City, Arizona (see photo above) or Bella Terra of Gulf Shores, Alabama (see photo above).

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

4) Location, Location, Location

Each site in an RV park has its pluses and minuses. A site near the club house and pool is convenient but the foot traffic and noise may pose an annoyance. The same for sites near the playground or a dumpster. Study the park map to get the lay of the land.

Related: Consider Your Needs When Choosing RV Parks and Campgrounds

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

5) Site Amenities

Consider the amenities that you like in an RV site. Fire rings and picnic tables are musts for some campers. Do you have room to unfurl the awning, fire up the barbecue, and watch the big game from your exterior TV? If you’re camping in the height of summer, look for a shady site. If possible, choose a north-facing site so that the summer sun has limited penetration into RV living quarters and your refrigerator is in the shade.

Dog wash station at Sun Outdoors Pigeon Forge © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7) Camping with Buddies

Are you RVing with friends? Some parks allow RVers to park in contiguous spaces giving them a chance to camp next to each other. You can arrange a “buddy site,” like those offered by Red Bluff KOA Journey (formerly Durango RV Resort, in Red Bluff, California (see photo above) . These sites feature pull-through sites up to 90 feet in length with a common grassy area.

Related: What Makes an RV Park A Five-Star Resort?

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

8) Non-RV Alternatives

Do you plan to meet up with non-RVing friends? Many parks offer adjacent motel units, cabins, or park models. Then consider the following RV parks and resorts: A+ Motel and RV Park in Sulphur, Louisiana (see photo above); Canyon Vista RV Resort in Gold Canyon, Arizona (see photo above); Leaf Verde RV Park in Buckeye, Arizona (see photo above); and Cajun Palms RV Resort in Henderson, Louisiana (see photo above).

Dog washing station at Tucson/Lazy Days KOA, Tucson, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9) Canine Considerations

Dogs make great traveling companions but these furry passengers sometimes can be challenging. If your canine barks at everything that moves, you’ll want a site as far away from foot traffic as possible. The same goes for cats that are prone to stress. And if you opt to camp close to a dog run, you can give Fido a chance to burn off steam nearby. Some parks even offer a dog washing station including Sun Outdoors Pigeon Forge (formerly River Plantation RV Park) in Sevierville, Tennessee (see photo above) and Tucson/Lazydays KOA (see photo above).

Related: What to Look For in an RV Campground?

The RV site is an important part of the travel experience. A good site can contribute much to a great road trip and a poor site will deter from the overall experience.

Worth Pondering…

If a man does not know what port he is steering for, no wind is favorable to him.

—Seneca

The Ultimate Guide to RV Tires

Be in the know about RV tires

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway. You wouldn’t go anywhere without them. You must do your due diligence to protect them and keep them in optimal shape. If you take care of them, they’re more likely to take care of you. 

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The tires of your RV are one of the most important investments you can make. Not only do they make it sail down the road smoothly, they’re also a big part in keeping you and your fellow travelers safe.

Just like with cars and trucks, tires wear down from normal use or occasionally require a replacement due to damage. It’s essential to keep your tires in top shape to encourage safety and ensure you have optimal control over your rig. Here’s a guide to understanding your RV tire options.

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Do you need RV replacement tires?

Many things affect the quality of your coach’s tires. Always inspect each tire before driving. Look for cracks, protruding objects, and bulging that may indicate low air pressure. This quick check can prevent you from getting on the road and having to call for a tow due to tire problems.

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Age

Most manufacturers recommend replacing RV tires every five to seven years regardless of mileage. At this point, the treads may have diminished, limiting traction with the road and reducing your ability to control the rig. The rubber is more likely to blow out because it has thinned and stretched due to temperature and condition changes. Even if you seldom drive the RV, the tires wear out from holding the weight of the rig.

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

All tires made after 2000 must have the manufacture date written on the sidewall in the DOT code. To find when your tires were made, look for the numbers on the sidewall after “DOT.” The last four digits indicate the week and year they were made. For example, “1718” tires were made during the 17th week of 2018. Consider an RV tire upgrade if yours are five years old or older.

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Weather

The environment takes a toll on your RV. Changing temperatures affect tire air pressure and cause wear. High temperatures expand the air increasing pressure and stretching the material. Low temperatures make the air contract reducing the amount of air and putting pressure on tire sidewalls while increasing the likelihood of a blowout.

More on RV safety: On the Road Again: Summer Road Trip Safety Tips

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Road conditions

Some RV owners only drive their rigs on well-maintained paved roads. Others use their home-away-from-home to visit areas with less-than-perfect pavement. Driving on gravel, dirt, or ill-maintained roads will decrease the life of your tires. These conditions require the tires to absorb more upward movement from bumps and potholes, wearing out the material more quickly. Stick to roads with even pavement and avoid potholes as much as possible to minimize tire wear.

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Extending RV tire life

Follow proper air pressure

Underinflated tires have more resistance and require more fuel due to friction. They also generate more heat during use increasing their likelihood of blowing out. Using too little air will require more frequent RV tire replacement.

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Overinflated tires are less flexible and can contribute to a less comfortable ride. The unnecessary stress of too-high pressure will cause the tires to wear faster near the center of the tread. Too much air also increases the chances of a blowout.

Tire manufacturers offer the suggested air pressure on tire sidewalls near the manufacture date. This number will be written in pounds per square inch (PSI). Always carry a heavy duty tire pressure gauge and check it before driving to ensure your tires are in top shape. Gas stations and mechanic shops have air compressors to make it convenient to fill up. Some coaches include tire pressure monitoring systems to make checking PSI easy.

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you want to maintain the optimal tire pressure for the best quality ride, weigh each wheel position of the fully loaded RV and then check the tire manufacturers inflation chart for that tire and adjust the inflation pressures to match the tire manufacturers recommendations based on the actual tire loads taking into consideration that tires on both ends of any given axle should be running at the same pressure and the pressure selected should be appropriate for the heaviest loaded tire side.

More on RV safety: April 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 15 Recalls Involving 8 RV Manufactures

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With a temperature decrease you may need to add some air with a compressor. If you drive into higher-temperature areas, you might have to release some air from the tires to prevent pressure problems. Press a screwdriver to the metal pin in the middle of the tire air stem to release air for a second or two. Recheck the pressure and follow this process until you reach the desired PSI.

Your RV manual will state the best tire pressure for your rig. This number is also noted on a data plate on the inside of the RV along with the VIN and weight capacity. Your vehicle might feature this plate on the electrical box near the driver’s seat at the back of a cabinet or inside a cabinet door. 

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Protect the tires

There are steps you can take to extend the life of your rig’s tires. Rotate RV tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles to promote even wear. Use tire covers when storing your rig to protect the material from precipitation, heat, and debris.

Choosing RV replacement tires

Here is some information to consider before heading to an RV dealership in search of new tires.

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Weight

Your new RV tires must be able to handle the weight of your rig. Class A motorhomes weigh between 15,000 and 54,000 pounds and can be up to 45-feet long. Class B rigs are 6,000 to 8,000 pounds and range from 17 to 19 feet. Class C tires must withstand 10,000 to 20,000 pounds and reach from 20 to 30-feet-long. This information is listed on the data plate inside the rig and in the owner’s manual. Know your vehicle’s weight to ensure you purchase the correct tires to handle your RV.

Make sure your current tires are correct for your rig before using their information to establish which model to purchase next. If the current set is not the appropriate size, you may invest in the wrong tires for your RV. You can verify the tires with a mechanic, an RV dealership, or a tire specialist. If the tires are correct, you can use their specs to inform your new purchase.

More on RV safety: 10 RV Driving Tips

The tires have numbers indicating their size, like 315/80R 22.5. The first number is the width of the tire wall while the second number is the height of the wall as a percent of the width section. The R means it has radial construction and the last number refers to which wheel rim size the tire will fit.

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Speed Rating

Not all tires are rated for the same speed. Installing tires with a low speed rating could create hazard if the RV is driven at speeds higher than the rating of the tire. So if you’re usually taking it slow on local and backroads and avoid the highway, you’ll want different tires than if you’re cruising on interstates.

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Season

Having the right tires is especially important if you drive in cold, icy places. Worn-out or bald treads will limit steering capacity and braking, potentially causing you to skid off the road or lose control more easily. If you regularly adventure in winter climates, consider investing in a set of snow tires. These models have thicker treads to promote traction on slippery surfaces. You can switch to these models before heading to snowy places.

Your RV tires are what keep you rolling down the highway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some states and Canadian provinces require RV drivers to carry snow chains. These net-like chains go over your tires and provide grip for inclement weather. Avoid driving in blizzard or whiteout conditions whenever possible but keep these tools on hand in case of an emergency.

More on RV safety: 30 RV Hacks and Tips for a Successful Road Trip

Replacement RV tires are a big decision, so don’t be afraid to contact your dealership or tire specialist and ask questions.

Worth Pondering…

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

—Burma Shave sign

Camping Awareness: Wildfire Safety Tips That Could Save Your Life

If you’re wondering what causes wildfires, read on. Here is your complete guide to understanding the most common causes and how campers can practice fire safety.

“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

—Bob Dylan

Yet, knowing which way the wind will be blowing will give you a massive advantage in understanding the behavior of wildfires.

It took only a handful of days between the disappearance of snow in the Santa Fe National Forest and the start of the Cerro Pelado fire, a growing blaze that has threatened two units of the National Park Service (NPS) in New Mexico in an early season signal that the coming summer months will be smoky in many parts west of the Rockies. 

Salt River Canyon Wilderness, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fire restrictions, imposed county by county, appear to arise more often during the wildfire season. The days of explorers ambling into Colorado’s backcountry, gathering kindling, and sparking a fire for some supper and perhaps a s’more or two are gone. Long gone, the Denver Post recently (May 5, 2022) reported.

“The state’s too dry. Too warm. Wildfire risk is too high and the season lasts all year now. The danger of a camper accidentally sparking a devastating wildfire is too serious.”

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

Yes, the 2022 wildfire season is underway and it’s striking with a vengeance. The Calf Canyon/Hermits Fire near Santa Fe, New Mexico had burned more than 168,000 acres as of last Friday (May 7, 2022) and was only 20 percent contained. It had already destroyed at least 277 structures including 166 residential buildings and was threatening thousands more. So far, more than 300,000 acres had burned in the state more than all of last year.

Lynx Lake, Prescott National Forest, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Meanwhile, in Florida, more than 22,000 acres have burned in recent days. Both fires serve to remind us to check ahead where we’re headed with our RVs and to be extra careful with fire.

With the devastating destruction caused by wildfires, it’s hard to imagine that a single ember is all it can take to start an inferno. Yet, this is often the case—and in most cases humans are to blame. Wildfires are classified as either naturally occurring or human-caused. According to NPS, human-caused wildfires are significantly more common with human involvement triggering 85 percent to 90 percent of all wildfires.

The NPS also estimates that only about 10 percent of wildfires are started by natural causes such as lightning.

Saguaro Lake, Arizona

For any fire to occur, there are three elements needed—heat, fuel, and oxygen:

  • Heat: Many potential heat sources can create embers and ignite wildfires. Many of these are human-caused which I will cover in more detail below.
  • Fuel: An arid climate and abundant, bone dry vegetation provides copious amounts of fuel for wildfires.
  • Oxygen: California’s infamous Santa Ana winds produce gusts averaging 45-50 mph with record gusts clocked at over 160 mph. These winds fan the flames and spread embers, leading to truly devastating wildfires.
Sequoia National Park, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Wildfires can start in a variety of ways. A dry climate, abundant winds, and dried vegetation provide prime conditions for a wildfire—and it only takes a single ember to ignite and destroy hundreds of thousands of acres and place humans and personal belongs at risk.

Here’s a close look at the top four heat sources that are the most common cause of wildfires:

  • Burning debris: Embers from burning debris are one of the most common causes of wildfires. In windy weather, escaped embers can carry for miles without extinguishing.
  • Unattended campfires: We typically associate campfires with beautiful memories, like s’mores and stories with loved ones. However, despite a campfire’s summertime appeal, they are one of the leading causes of wildfires.  California’s Ham Lake Fire (2007) which destroyed 75,000 acres and hundreds of properties is just one example of the devastation that a single campfire can cause.
  • Power lines/electrical equipment: Electrical lines and related equipment can break in high winds and spark, igniting flames in tinder-dry vegetation that can spread quickly in high winds. Fallen power lines are the third most common cause of wildfires in California. In some cases, it only takes a branch falling from a tree and striking a power line to create sparks. Over the past six years, more than 1,500 Californian wildfires were caused by fallen power lines including the deadliest fire in history—the Camp Fire (2018) which razed 90 percent of the town of Paradise killing 86 people and destroying more than 13,900 homes. The lines malfunctioned on a dry hillside near a windy canyon.
  • Discarded cigarettes: One of the biggest causes of fires is discarded cigarette butts. In 1997, there were 130,000 cigarette related fires. In 2017 this problem resulted in over $2 billion in costs associated with putting these fires out and $6 billion in loss of property. In addition to causing fires, cigarette butts pose another risk: they are hazardous to the environment. Cigarette butts leach toxins into the water and kill or injure various forms of wildlife. The plastic parts of cigarette butts can be ingested by fish, birds, whales, and other marine animals and the toxicity can accumulate up the food chain.
Brasstown Bald, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The list above is by no means exhaustive. Other common causes of wildfires include:

  • Equipment use and malfunctions: The fifth-largest fire in California history, the Zaca Fire (2007) was caused by sparks from a metal grinder.
  • Vehicle crashes and engine sparks: The Carr Fire (2018) was caused by sparks from a trailer’s faulty wheel rim creating sparks on the road.
  • Arson: Two Colorado residents face charges of felony arson for their roles in starting the Lake Christine Fire in 2018.
  • Lightning: Lightning caused the 2012 Rush Fire in Lassen County, California.
Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona

Regardless of how wildfires are started, they are highly unpredictable and can be deadly. With the severe heat, drought conditions, and wildfires burning across much of the western US states and Canada, those who are out adventuring need to be aware of wildfire conditions and what can be done to keep you and your family safe in the backcountry.

Know the current wildfire conditions and fire restrictions for the area you are traveling.

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

Check with the national forest, state, and county as individual governing entities may have different restrictions.  Driving routes may be impacted, so check your route for road closures and cautions. Also, keep in mind that fire conditions and restrictions can change often, so check frequently so that you know what is permitted or restricted. Closures and restrictions aren’t put in place to ruin your camping trip; they are put in place for safety reasons. Take them seriously.

Frances Beider Forest, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Choose a campsite that has more than one escape route. 

Have more than one way that you can leave the area. You might be tempted to camp way up in that canyon near the end of the road but if your access is cut off from a fire, you will have no way to leave.

Park for a quick departure.

Back into the spot if you need to so that should you need to leave quickly, you don’t have to worry about jockeying around in the smoke to get out.

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

Do not start a wildfire. This involves knowing what is not allowed and being responsible for your actions. Make sure you don’t spill flammable liquids and ensure cook stoves, barbecues, and lanterns are cold to the touch before storing them. Seemingly innocuous things like smoking outside or mosquito candles may lead to fire danger under the right (or wrong) conditions. If you are permitted to have a campfire, be sure it is completely extinguished before you leave.

Wildfire smoke from across state lines obscured the skies over Gatlinburg, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you do see an unattended fire or out of control fire, contact the authorities by calling 911 or the forest service immediately.

The sooner a problem is reported, the faster people can start taking action to get it under control or extinguished.

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Don’t discard cigarettes, matches, or smoking materials on the ground. Drown them in a glass of water then put them in the trash. No one wants to see that litter anyhow.

If you are asked to evacuate, do so immediately.

Stowe, Vermont © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you are camping in the backcountry, there is likely not going to be anyone to tell you that a fire is in the area, so be aware of conditions and get yourself out if you see or smell smoke. Do not be tempted to linger for photos. Don’t drive slowly looking at flames.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If everything has gone wrong, you are in trouble. Don’t try to outrun the fire. If possible, get yourself submerged in a body of water (pond, river) as fast as you can. If there is no water, find a depression (low area) with as little vegetation as possible. Lie low to the ground and cover yourself with wet clothing. Protect your lungs as best as you can and stay down until the fire passes.  

Remember: you are responsible for your safety and for the safety of those around you.

See also:

Worth Pondering…

Don’t forget what Smokey Bear says: Only YOU can prevent wildfires!

10 Tips for RV Travel: How to Make the Most of Your Road Trip

Nothing screams summer more than a good ole’ road trip and RV travel is perfect for summer travel. Here are few tips to make your road trip as smooth as possible.

Road trips are a quintessential form of modern travel giving people the freedom to choose their direction and schedule and take in some beautiful sights on the way. 

RVing is a marvelous way to experience the freedom and flexibility of travel. RV road trips are sure not to disappoint—from traveling across America or heading north to Canada.

Driving a motorhome on Utah Scenic Byway 12 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pre-Requisite of Traveling

Traveling in an RV is a great potential way to see the country while still having all the comforts of home. However, it’s essential to be prepared before hitting the open road.

Choose the right RV. Not all RVs are created equal. Make sure to pick one that’s the right size for the underlying needs and that has all the features you require.

Get insurance. Just like with a car, one needs insurance for the RV. That will protect you and your passengers in case of any damage or accidents.

Related Article: Top 10 RV Travel Tips of All Time

Be Patient and enjoy the process.

Driving a motorhome on US Highway 89 south of Page, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Best tips for RV travel

These 10 tips will help make the road trip as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. So, whether you’re a first-time RV traveler or a seasoned pro, be sure to check out these tips.

Driving a motorhome on Newfound Gap Road, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

● Tip #1: Plan, plan, and plan

While I do admit that spontaneous road trips can be as much fun as the ones you plan weeks or months in advance, some planning is required for even the most spur-of-the-moment trips. It’s always a good idea to at least have a sense of what direction you’re going and which major roads you’ll be taking in case something happens with your navigation. Several excellent online resources can help potential travelers plan the route, so check them out.

Utah’s Burr Trail is not suitable for most RVs © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

● Tip #2: Know the vehicle’s limitations

RVs are big and bulky making them a bit tricky to drive. That’s why it’s essential to know the vehicle’s limitations before hitting the open road. For example, the user will want to ensure that everyone is well aware of Row much weight the RV can safely carry. Users might also want to know the maximum speed limit of the vehicle and need to get familiarized with every one of the ins and outs of driving an RV before setting out on the trip.

This rest area west of Las Cruces (New Mexico) is a great stop to stretch your legs and snap a photo of the World’s Largest Roadrunner © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

● Tip #3: Plan for rest stops

When driving an RV, it’s essential to plan for rest stops. That is especially true if traveling with children or pets. Ensure that the RV has plenty of food and water for the trip and schedule regular rest stops so that everyone can get a break from the road. It’s also important to plan your overnight stops and make reservations well in advance, especially in the busy summer travel season.

Related Article: Road Trip Planning for the First Time RVer

Be aware of overhanging branches before backing into a camping site; pictured above is Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, Mississippi © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

● Tip #4: Be aware of your surroundings

When driving an RV, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for other vehicles, low-hanging branches, and tight curves. It’s also important to be mindful of the RV’s size to avoid driving into a tight space or hitting something with the vehicle.

Stay organized with a place for everything © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

● Tip #5: Stay organized

One of the biggest challenges of RV travel is staying organized. There’s a lot of stuff to keep track of when on the road and it is pretty easy to lose track of things. That’s why it’s crucial to stay organized from the trip’s start. That means packing everything in an easy-to-access place.

Stopping at a roadside attraction on US Highway 191 in Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

● Tip #6: Don’t be afraid to make some stops

As eager as you might be to reach your destination, the random stops you make along the way are what will make your trip truly memorable. Visiting local businesses will give you a truer sense of the area you’re traveling in and could point you in some directions you didn’t know about before. Not to mention that getting out of the RV to stretch your legs is essential to ensuring everyone’s comfort the entire way.

Camping at Colorado River RV Park at Columbus, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

● Tip #7: Know the camping basics

If one is not familiar with camping basics, now is the time to learn. Camping can be fun, but it’s important to know what travelers are doing before hitting the open road. That ultimately means knowing how to set up the RV on a camping site and the correct way to hook up the utilities (electric, water, and sewer). It’s also essential to learn the first aid basics to deal with any emergencies that may arise.

Camping in bad weather at Capital City RV Park in Montgomery, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

● Tip #8: Be prepared for bad weather

No matter the time of year you’re traveling, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for bad weather. That means packing a few extra clothes and some camping gear that can help travelers stay warm and dry in case of a storm.

Related Article: 30 RV Hacks and Tips for a Successful Road Trip

All set up in a camping site © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

● Tip #9: Be aware of the fuel budget

RVs require a lot of fuel, so it’s essential to be aware of the designated fuel budget before going on the trip. That means knowing how many miles the RV can travel on a tank of fuel and being prepared for a higher cost in some areas (expect to pay more per gallon in California, for instance).

Having fun may mean enjoying the sunset © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

● Tip #10: Have fun!

The best thing about RV travel is that it’s all about having fun! So make sure to relax and enjoy the trip. That means taking time to explore the areas travelers are visiting and spending time with friends and family. Do not forget to capture plenty of moments in the photos to look back on the trip and remember all the good times one had.

Having fun may mean shopping at the local farmers’ market © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Other key guidelines

Here are some of my top-notch tips for a successful trip:

  • Create a packing list and stick to it
  • Check for traffic updates and plan the route accordingly
  • Find a storage location for all of the belongings
  • Stay safe on the road by following the rules of the road
  • Enjoy the journey and take in the sights and sounds of the open road
Walking the trails at Greenville, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Final stance

Now that you’re familiar with the basics of RV travel, it’s time to start planning the trip. The initial step is to decide on a destination. Do some research and find destinations that interest everyone. Once travelers have a few ideas, start putting planning the route and put together an itinerary. That will help ensure that one covers all the bases during the trip.

Unexpected fun adventure © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Once the itinerary is in place, it’s time to start packing. Pack everything adventurers will need including clothes, RV supplies and camping gear, and food and drinks. And don’t forget to bring the camera so everybody can capture all the memories of the trip.

Related Article: How to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in your RV?

Welcome Centers are a great source of information about the local area © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Finally, stock up on fuel and supplies before hitting the open road. That will help ensure that you have everything needed for a fun and successful trip.

Follow these tips to make the most of the road trip.

Worth Pondering…

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.

— Dwight D. Eisenhower

How to Back up Your RV

RV back up tips and tricks

The idea of backing up and parking an RV can be intimidating—especially to new drivers or people in new rigs. These large vehicles provide a home away from home but you first have to maneuver them into place. Anyone can drive and park an RV with a little knowledge and some practice. Here are some tips to help you gain confidence in your backing up and parking skills.

A pull-through site at Arizona Oases RV Resort, Ehrenberg, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Backing up basics

When driving a coach in reverse, turning the steering wheel to the left will turn the back of the rig to the left. Adjusting the wheel to the right will turn the rig to the right. When you’re backing up a coach with a boat or trailer behind it, however, it gets more complicated: the trailer will always move opposite of the way you turn the wheel.

Before you begin to back up, check that your side and rear mirrors are adjusted so you can see all around you.

A pull-through site at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Go slow and stay calm

Driving slowly gives you more time to see how your vehicle moves and react appropriately. You’ll be better able to avoid accidents (like driving into a campsite electricity hookup pole) if you maneuver slowly. Plus, it’s easier to stay calm when your speedometer is below 5 miles an hour.

Related: Raise Your RV IQ with These Tips

A back-in site at Pala Casino RV Resort, Pala, California© Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Use technology

Owners of some newer RVs have the advantage of cameras and video monitoring systems that make it easy to back up just about anywhere. Read your RV manual to learn about any onboard systems.

A back-in site at Coastal Georgia RV Resort, Brunswick, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Before you hit the road, check your backup camera. While they’re very sturdy when built-in to the coach, dust or other debris may sometimes obscure the view, so it’s a good idea to turn on the monitors and make sure you have a clear view behind you.

A backup camera is meant to enhance your parking skills and give you peace of mind. Use your mirrors as well plus any other cameras to make sure you have a clear view of your surroundings.

Back-in sites at Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Parking and Maneuvering

Designate an RV parking helper

If possible, have a spotter outside of your coach to help guide you into the spot. They will have a better view of the ground and can watch for hazards that are difficult to spot from the driver’s seat.

Related: The Best RV Camping May 2022

If you’re driving solo, consider asking a fellow camper for assistance. Campsites are full of other RVers who have valuable experience that can help you. In most cases, other campers are eager to help.

A back-in site at Cajun Palms RV Resort, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Let the spotter know how you want them to communicate. Which side of the rig do you want them on? Should they use gestures or words to explain how far you have to go and which direction to turn the RV?

Open the driver’s and front-seat passenger windows so it’s easy to hear the spotter. Most people prefer to have the helper stand behind the driver’s side of the RV where they are visible and have a good view of the situation. Never let the spotter out of your sight. If you can’t see them, they’re in danger.

Ensure they have a headlamp or bright flashlight if you’re backing up in the dark. This light will help you tell where the person is and serve as a tool to guide you into place.

Back-in sites at Seven Feathers Casino RV Resort, Canyonville, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Choose your spot wisely

Gas stations, rest stops, mobile home repair shops, and some campsites feature pull-through spots. RV drivers can cruise straight into the parking area or designated spot without backing up. At campsites and resorts, these spots are often highly sought-after especially by overnight campers and may be difficult to obtain without booking well in advance.

A back-in site at Edisto Beach State Park, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some places like big box stores have parking lots with two spots adjacent that you can treat as a pull-through parking area. Don’t hesitate to choose places with these wide-open parking areas especially if you’re not comfortable backing up your rig.

Select a parking spot that allows you to back up to the left whenever possible. This direction is easier to maneuver because your steering wheel is on the left and you can see easier than when backing up to the right.

Drive-in sites at Two Rivers Landing RV Resort, Sevierville, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Assess the RV parking site – G.O.A.L.

Many professional drivers follow an acronym called G.O.A.L., an acronym for Get Out And Look. When you reach a campground, pull over near your site and use your triangle blinkers to alert other drivers that you are stopped.

Related: 6 Essential Tips for the First Time RVer

Walk around the parking area or campsite to check for potential hazards. Look for low-hanging tree branches, rocks on the ground, and anything you could back into. If necessary, move potential obstacles like picnic tables in your way.

A back-in site at Goose Island State Park, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Know how many paces it takes to walk from the front of your RV to the back. Use this information to walk out your RV parking dimensions and understand how the rig will fit in the parking space. This quick step will also tell you how to aim your rig to back into the spot.

The right front corner of your RV is the most vulnerable to damage because it is a blind spot. Keep that in mind while envisioning how you will back into the space. Rely on your right convex mirror to watch for obstacles below your window sightline. Make sure your spotter pays special attention to this area.

A drive-in site at Columbia Riverfront RV Park, Woodland, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Back up

With your spotter visible, pull your RV ahead of the parking spot at a ninety-degree angle to the spot so the closest edge of the parking spot is about three feet past the back wheels. The rear wheels are the pivot point for the rig, so getting the correct position with the back of the RV is critical.

Back-in sites at Bellingham RV Park, Bellingham, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Slowly drive backward while turning the steering wheel so the RV aims directly into the spot while slowly continuing backward. While moving, straighten the vehicle and come to a stop when your spotter indicates to do so. Don’t hesitate to pull forward and realign to ensure you have plenty of space to open your RV doors and engage slide-out sections.

Related: 30 RV Hacks and Tips for a Successful Road Trip

Back-in site at Eagles Landing RV Park, Auburn, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Backing up a large RV may be intimidating but practice makes perfect. Take some orange traffic cones to a large parking lot to practice on a day when there’s minimal traffic. Set up the cones to imitate parallel parking and backing up to a campsite waste station. Practice regularly until you’re confident in your skills. Eventually, it’ll become second nature and you’ll be confident maneuvering your rig into even the tightest of sites.

Worth Pondering…

It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning.
—Claude Bernard

April 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 15 Recalls Involving 8 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.

Butterfield RV Resort, Benson, Arizona © 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 April 2022. These recalls involved 8 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Keystone (5 recall), Forest River (3 recalls), Lance Camper (2 recall), Heartland (1 recall), Grand Design (1 recall), Jayco (1 recall), Newmar (1 recall), and Tiny Idahomes (1 recall).

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

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2022 Bullet, Outback, and Passport travel trailers. The coupler hitch may have been welded improperly, which can cause the trailer to separate from the tow vehicle.

Dealers will inspect the welds, and replace the coupler if necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 17, 2022. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 22-427.

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

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2022 Passport travel trailers. The trailers were built with the incorrect size axles and tires, which could cause the vehicle to become overloaded.

Related: March 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 12 Recalls Involving 9 RV Manufactures

Dealers will replace the axles, tires, and rims, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 17, 2022. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 22-429.

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

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2022 Alpine, Impact, Arcadia, Avalanche, Fuzion, and Passport travel trailers, equipped with a 50-amp shore power inlet. The power inlet lug bolts may have been manufactured with excessively hard metal, preventing them from being tightened properly and resulting in a loose wiring connection.

Dealers will inspect and replace the power inlet, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 23, 2022. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 22-428.

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

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2019-2022 Cougar 29FKD travel trailers. Improper clearance may allow the tires to contact the outrigger, causing damage to the tires.

Dealers will notch the existing outrigger and install an additional outrigger between the two tires to provide proper clearance, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 23, 2022. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 22-430.

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

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2022 Crossroads Zinger travel trailers. The furnace vent extension may not have been installed, which can cause carbon monoxide to enter the vehicle living area.

Dealers will inspect and install the exterior vent panel, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed June 1, 2022. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 22-431.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022 Surveyor travel trailers. The fresh air intake tube length may be too short, allowing it to detach and causing the burn chamber to crack.

Dealers will install a longer fresh air intake vent tube, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 4, 2022. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-642-3119 Option 2.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022 Palomino Puma and Puma XLE fifth wheel and travel trailer recreational vehicles. The exterior micro kitchen griddle may be stowed while still connected to propane.

Dealers will install a bracket to prevent the griddle from being stowed when connected to the propane line, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 4, 2022. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0588. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1494.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Coachmen Adrenaline, Apex, Catalina, Freedom Express, Spirit, East to West Alta, Della Terra, Silver Lake, Forest River Cedar Creek, Cherokee, Columbus, Flagstaff, Impression, Ozark, Rockwood, Sabre, Salem, Sandstorm, Shockwave, Stealth, Stealth Evo, Vengeance, Vibe, Wildwood, XLR Toyhauler, Palomino Puma, Prime Time Avenger, Crusader, Lacrosse, Sanibel, Shasta Oasis, 2022 Coachmen Cross Trail, Prism, Forest River Aurora, Rainier, Wildcat, Work and Play, Prime Time Tracer, 2021-2023 Coachmen Leprechaun, and 2022-2023 Coachmen Freelander fifth wheel and travel trailer recreational vehicles.
The quick disconnect fittings in the LP gas system may be cracked, causing a gas leak.

Related: February 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 18 Recalls Involving 11 RV Manufactures

Dealers will inspect the LP system quick disconnect fittings for cracks, perform a LP system leak test, and replace any fittings as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 23, 2022. Owners may contact the applicable customer service number for their vehicle model. Please see the recall report for the list of phone numbers.

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

Lance Camper

Lance Camper Manufacturing. Corp. (Lance Camper) is recalling certain 2022 Lance 650, 825, 865, 1062, and 1172 truck campers. The data cable may be routed through the cold water inlet, causing the cable to rest on the burner box.

Dealers will reroute the data cable, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 27, 2022. Owners may contact Lance Camper customer service at 1-661-949-3322.

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

Lance Camper

Lance Camper Manufacturing. Corp. (Lance Camper) is recalling certain 2022 Lance 1685, 1985, 1995, 2185, and 2445 travel trailers. The data cable may be routed through the cold water inlet, causing the cable to rest on the burner box.

Dealers will reroute the data cable, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 27, 2022. Owners may contact Lance Camper customer service at 1-661-949-3322.

Jack’s Landing RV Resort, Grant’s Pass, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2021-2022 North Trail trailers. The Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) listed on the Federal Certification Label, is incorrect, which can allow the vehicle to be overloaded. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Dealers will send replacement certification labels to owners, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 28, 2022. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

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

Grand Design

Grand Design RV, LLC (Grand Design) is recalling certain 2022 Reflection and Transcend travel trailers, equipped with a 50-amp shore power inlet. The power inlet lug bolts may have been manufactured with excessively hard metal, preventing them from being tightened properly and resulting in a loose wiring connection.

Dealers will inspect and replace the power inlet, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 27, 2022. Owners may contact Grand Design customer service at 1-574-825-9679. Grand Design’s number for this recall is 910028.

Holiday Travel Park of Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2022 White hawk travel trailers, equipped with a 50-amp shore power inlet. The power inlet lug bolts may have been manufactured with excessively hard metal, preventing them from being tightened properly and resulting in a loose wiring connection.

Related: January 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 11 Recalls Involving 8 RV Manufactures

Dealers will inspect and replace the power inlet, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 27, 2022. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is 9901575.

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

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2019-2022 Bay Star, Bay Star Sport, Ventana, Dutch Star, New Aire, Canyon Star, 2019 Ventana LE, 2020-2022 Kountry Star, 2019-2020 Mountain Aire, London Aire, Essex, and 2021 Super Star vehicles. The wiring under the seats may be incorrectly secured, which can lead to a pinched wire in the seat adjustment mechanism and cause an electrical short circuit.

Dealers will inspect and secure the wiring, adding circuit breaker and fuse protection as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on June 10, 2022. Owners may contact Newmar’s customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

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

Tiny Idahomes

Tiny Idahomes LLC (Tiny Idahomes) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Rugged Mountain Custom RV Travel trailers. The coupler was improperly welded, which may cause the trailer to separate from the tow vehicle.

Tiny Idahomes will inspect and replace the coupler as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in April 22, 2022. Owners may contact Tiny Idahomes’ customer service at 1-208-468-0576.

Please Note: This is the 39th 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