Flash Floods: Safety Tips for RVers

TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN

Historic rainfall around St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday (July 26, 2022) led to flash flooding that submerged cars in a river of water on Interstate 70 and trapped people inside their homes. Flash flooding led to numerous road closures across the St. Louis metropolitan area after a record-setting 6 to 10 inches of rainfall caused widespread flash flooding, the National Weather Service’s (NWS) office in St. Louis reported. St. Louis recorded 8.06 inches of rainfall in five hours since midnight shattering the city’s old daily rainfall record of 6.85 inches logged in August 1915, the NWS said.

Flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Devastating flash floods throughout eastern Kentucky have left eight residents dead, dozens of homes submerged in water, and others completely swept away from their foundations. Multiple counties across Appalachia Kentucky have endured torrential rains since early Thursday morning (July 28, 2022) as floodwaters began rushing down the hillsides and completely swallowing up portions of the Kentucky River sending residents searching for high ground until rescue teams could save them.

Airports, parking lots, and the entire Las Vegas Strip which houses some of the world’s most famous casinos and hotels were also flooded Thursday. Heavy rain filled countless buildings as the city put a flash flood and severe thunderstorm warning in place.

Clean-up following a flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

People often have a hard time envisioning the power of moving water. Each year when heavy rains pummel North America’s deserts or mountains, another camper endures a flash flood camping weather disaster. Those who live to tell about it are shocked to learn how these torrential storms can destroy everything in its path—including RVs.

The severity and speed of flash floods make them one of the most harrowing weather events adventurers might encounter. They occur when excessive water fills normally a dry canyon or wash and when creeks and rivers rise rapidly from rainfall within their watershed.

Clean-up following a flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, a creek that’s only six inches deep in the mountains can swell to a ten-foot-deep raging river in less than an hour if a thunderstorm lingers over an area for an extended period of time.

More on severe weather: Lightning and Thunderstorms: Safety Tips for RVers

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), flash flooding can happen nationwide. It is also the number one weather-related killer in the U.S. On average, 86 people die each year because they attempted to drive through floodwaters—and unfortunately, that number is increasing.

It takes as little as six inches of water for a vehicle to be swept away.

Evacuation following a flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to FEMA:

  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and potential stalling
  • One foot of water will float many vehicles
  • Two feet of rushing water will carry away most vehicles including SUVs and pickups
Clean-up following a flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, water one foot deep typically exerts 500 pounds of lateral force on a vehicle. Once your vehicle is floating, the floodwater becomes your steering wheel. If that water is moving, your vehicle could be swept away, tipped on its side or flipped.

Rising water can enter your vehicle in a manner of minutes, even seconds.

Evacuation following a flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The best advice is never to drive through flood waters of unknown depth. As the NWS has campaigned for years: TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN!

NEVER try to walk, swim, or drive through such swift water. If you come upon flood waters, STOP! TURN AROUND AND GO ANOTHER WAY.

More on severe weather: 5 Tips for Avoiding Extreme Weather While RVing

Some people risk destroying their vehicles and potentially losing their lives by driving through floodwaters. It’s a scary experience to come across rising water on the road during a rainstorm, not knowing if you’ll stall out. It is not worth the risk!

Flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What is Flash Flooding?

Flooding begins within six hours and often within three hours of heavy rainfall (or other cause). Flash Floods can be caused by several things but are most often due to extremely heavy rainfall from thunderstorms. Flash Floods can occur due to dam or levee breaks and/or mudslides (debris flow).

The intensity of the rainfall, the location, and distribution of the rainfall, the land use and topography, vegetation types and growth/density, soil type, and soil water content all determine how quickly the flash flooding may occur and influence where it may occur.

Flash Flooding occurs so quickly that people are caught off-guard. Their situation may become dangerous if they encounter high, fast-moving water while traveling.

Evacuation following a flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

How do Flash Floods occur?

Several factors contribute to flash flooding. The two key elements are rainfall intensity and duration. Intensity is the rate of rainfall and duration is how long the rain lasts. Topography, soil conditions, and ground cover also play an important role.

Flooding along rivers often occur seasonally when spring rains coupled with melting snows fill river basins with too much water, too quickly. Torrential rains from hurricanes or tropical storms can also produce river flooding.

More on severe weather: Severe Weather: Tornado Safety Tips for RVers

Occasionally, floating debris or ice can accumulate at a natural or man-made obstruction and restrict the flow of water. Water held back by the ice jam or debris dam can cause flooding upstream. Subsequent flash flooding can occur downstream if the obstruction should suddenly release.

Flash floods occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or a sudden release of water held by an ice jam. Flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour out new channels. Rapidly rising water can reach heights of 30 feet or more. Furthermore, flash flood-producing rains can also trigger catastrophic mud slides. You will not always have a warning that these deadly, sudden floods are coming. Flash flooding occurs within six hours of the rain event. Flooding is a longer term event and may last a week or more.

Evacuation following a flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Where do Flash Floods occur?

Flash Flooding is possible anywhere and everywhere. The normally tranquil streams and creeks in your area can become raging torrents if heavy rain falls overhead or even upstream of your location. Flash Flooding can also occur on city streets and highway underpasses.

Key points to keep in mind include:

  • Do not attempt to cross any water higher than your ankles
  • As little as six inches of water flowing quickly can knock an adult down
  • Less than two feet of water can sweep a car away or stall it out with you stuck inside
  • You rarely have time to move your RV; get to higher ground and stay safe

TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN

Flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some historical data

Dam break: May 31, 1889, Johnstown, Pennsylvania; the worst flood in United States history; 36-40 foot wall of water; 2,200 died

River flood: December 1991-January 1992, south-central Texas; wide-spread river flooding on the Guadalupe, Brazos, Trinity, and Colorado River basins; up to 17 inches of rain; 15 died; $100 million in damages

Flash flood: June 14, 1990, Shadyside, Ohio; four inches of rain in less than two hours produced a 30-foot high wall of water; 26 died; $6-8 million in damages

Flash flood: August 1, 1985, Cheyenne, Wyoming; six inches of rain in three hours; 12 died; $61 million in damages

Flash flood: June 9, 1972 Black Hills, South Dakota; 15 inches of rain in five hours; 238 died; $164M in damages

Plan ahead: Identify where to go if told to evacuate.

Evacuation following a flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Choose campsites carefully to avoid flash flood camping disasters

Flash floods are especially common in the desert. But according to Scientific American, flash floods can happen in both urban and remote settings. Pretty mountain areas are especially vulnerable if the snow melts quickly after a rain storm. Other susceptible areas to worry about are recently burned hillsides.

More on severe weather: Excessive Heat Warnings: Safety Tips for RVers

Weather experts also say that fast-moving water can take out everything in its path—even the largest RVs. The risk is there but don’t let it keep you at home. If you know how to avoid a flash flood camping weather disaster in the first place, you can stay safe. The campsite you choose to park in is the best place to begin.

Evacuation following a flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Disaster-proof your campsite

Many RVers love the adventure of wilderness camping. When wilderness RV camping, safety is very important. Don’t park your rig until you find a safe-looking site with a low risk of flooding.

Use common sense and pay attention to your local surroundings. Assess the area. If there’s even a small chance of rain, don’t camp in a canyon or near low spots or anywhere with steep mountain walls closing in on you.

Clean-up following a flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keep a weather band radio available especially when camping in storm-prone areas. Leave before a major storm is forecast to strike.

Check weather reports. Flash floods can strike miles from the origin of a storm. Don’t assume that blue skies overhead mean it is safe. Keep an eye on the weather forecast for your region.

Know your escape route. If rain starts falling and your gut instinct is telling you to leave, take a look around to find the fastest way out to safety.

If hazardous weather prompts evacuation warnings by officials, do what is requested. If you’re lucky enough to drive your RV out of the campground, don’t waste time taking your hoses, chairs, etc. Your sewer hose isn’t worth your life.

Flash flood at Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In conclusion

Preparing for weather oddities and calamities is part of the RV lifestyle. Nobody expects a flash flood camping disaster but things happen fast when the water rises and it only takes minutes for a deadly catastrophe. If all else fails and you still get trapped in a campground during a flash flood, don’t try to drive your way out of it. Run for the highest ground you can find and you just might live to tell about your dramatic flash flood campground evacuation.

Worth Pondering…

In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.

—Mark Twain (1835-1910)

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!

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

Prep Your RV for Spring Travel

Spring shakedown

Spring has sprung and if you’re a seasonal RVer you’re likely itching to hit the road. Slow your roll, though. Before you head for the nearest campground, spend some time with your RV and make sure it’s prepped for the travel season ahead. This includes taking steps to dewinterize the plumbing system and so forth. It’s also a great time to perform general maintenance tasks including a close inspection of the exterior and a check of all on-board systems.
Here’s to a fun-filled spring RV season!

Family road trip to the Smoky Mountains includes hiking © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What better way to shake off winter than to enjoy a family RV trip? And what better time than now? Spring is upon us which means it is a good time to take the RV out of storage. Even if you have been using your RV over the winter, these spring shakedown tips should provide some good reminders.

A spring road trip may involve the family pet © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If the batteries were in storage, install them in the RV. Make sure to properly connect all wires. Seek assistance if necessary, as it is important not to mix up the wiring. Make sure the batteries and connections are clean, tight, and dry, and check the fluid (electrolyte) level. Plug the coach in to shore power or connect a battery charger to make sure the batteries are fully charged.

A spring road trip may involve a visit to an animal farm or zoo © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you live in a cold climate, the first step in spring is to dewinterize the coach. Locate the low-point drains and close them if they are open. These low-point drains may be hidden behind a cabinet or panel but they should be labeled. The outside shower may also act as a low-point drain.

Related: Your RV Camping Checklist: 10 Essentials for RV Travel

A spring road trip may involve hiking © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’re unable to locate all the low-point drains are, look for water pouring out from under the RV when the city water is turned on in the next step. The drains may have valves or threaded caps. Close the fresh water tank drain valve or install the drain plug. If your RV has a water pump winterization bypass, make sure to close the bypass valve (set it to normal operation).

A spring road trip may involve birding © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Close all faucets in the RV, and turn off all plumbed appliances such as water heaters, on-demand systems, dishwashers, and washing machines.

Connect and turn on the city water. Go inside the RV and turn on each hot and cold faucet one at a time until there is no aeration or pink antifreeze flowing out. Don’t forget the outside shower. If the RV has a dishwasher, flush the system by running it through a complete cycle with no dishes. For a washing machine, run it through one warm wash and spin/drain cycle.

A spring road trip may include a national park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Turn off the city water and fill the fresh tank. Turn on the water pump and open all faucets one more time to purge the pump and hoses. Leave the taps open until all air and antifreeze is out of the lines. Take note of any cycling of the pump after the faucets are turned off especially during the camping season. If this persists after all the air is purged (which can take a long time), it can also be an indication of plumbing leaks. Keep an eye out for wet areas and/or loose plumbing fittings.

Dewinterizing a coach may start here © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Install the water heater drain plug/anode rod (if the anode rod is more than ¾ worn, it should be replaced) and close the water heater bypass valves. These are either on a plumbing panel or at the back of the water heater. There are one, two, or three valves, so make sure you set all of them to the correct positions. The water pump cycles while the water heater fills. Once the pump stops, open the hot water faucets slowly and carefully as the air space created in the water heater often causes an initial high-pressure air release at the faucets. Do this for all hot water faucets until the air dissipates. If the RV has a water filter, release the water pressure and install a new filter in the bowl.

Related: Yes, You Can De-winterize your RV: Here is How

Check your fridge and microwave oven © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you didn’t do so last season, it is important to have a propane system inspection performed by a licensed RV dealership. The professional technician inspects the LP system to make sure no leaks exist, the appliances are in good shape, and the operating pressure is correct. An annual inspection helps to keep the propane system and appliances working properly and safely.

Connect and turn on city water © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Turn on the propane and test-fire the appliances. It is a good idea to light a stove burner first, as this allows you to observe when the propane displaces the air. Make sure the furnace and water heater light, reach the correct air or water temperature, and then go out. Ensure the furnace repeats its cycle. Light the fridge, but note that it may take a few tries to light due to air in the lines.

Connect to sewer and flush the system © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Test the air conditioner and fridge 120-volt functions as well as other appliances such as the washer/dryer, dishwasher, fireplace, etc. Test the 12-volt lights and fixtures looking for proper operation and burned-out bulbs. If the RV has a 120-volt energy source for the water heater, start with the electric element before firing it on propane. Make sure it starts to get warm on 120 volts and then flash it up on propane.

Look for signs of winter damage © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Look for any signs of moisture, mold, or mildew inside the unit. If you find any, clean and dry the area, and ascertain whether it is condensation or a water leak that needs to be addressed. If you are not sure, you can have an RV service center inspect it or see whether it recurs during your travels. Clean and dust the inside of the unit, make the beds, and repack anything you removed during storage.

Make the bed and pack for a spring road trip © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you have a generator and didn’t do so in the fall, change the oil and filter. Unplug the shore power, start the generator, and make sure it runs properly and supplies power to the RV.

Test the awning for proper operation. Perform a visual check of the sealants on the outside of the RV that may have opened during or before storage.

Related: Prep Your RV for Summer Travel

All ready for spring travel © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Inspect the tires for cracks, abnormal wear, or other damage. Since RV tires generally age out before they wear out, they should be replaced within about seven years of ownership. Note that tire manufacturers recommend not running on tires more than 10 years old regardless of how good they look and recommend professional inspections on a regular basis. A tire shop can give you the best advice on this.

Spring has sprung © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The manufacturing date is embossed on all tires in a four-digit format with week and year of manufacture. Don’t take chances with old or damaged tires on your RV. For more on tire safety, click here.

Check the outside lights and make sure the emergency breakaway switch plunger operates properly and is undamaged. Inspect the seven-way trailer plug on your truck and trailer and make sure the pins and sockets are clean, dry, and undamaged. Have the trailer brakes and bearings inspected and repacked annually.

Spring has sprung © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Test the slideouts for proper operation including topper awnings. If possible and safe to do so, carefully mount the roof of the RV to inspect the sealants and roof components. Going up on the roof generally is best left to a professional for safety reasons.

If you have a motorhome, check all engine fluids, belts, etc., and get a service if necessary. Start the engine to ensure it is running properly and is charging both battery banks.

Springtime in the Rockies © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Note that not all of the above may apply to your RV depending on type of RV, age of the RV, and options the manufacturer included.

Make note of any deficiencies you encounter. This allows you to either investigate them yourself or provide a detailed list to your RV service provider and/or vehicle mechanic.

Wild rose © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you have other items on your spring shakedown checklist, add these to my suggestions. Following these tips should bring you better peace of mind for your spring and summer travels.

Read Next: 12 of the Best State Parks for Spring Camping

Worth Pondering…

You don’t need to have all the answers. What you need to do is be curious and open-minded enough to learn.

—David Fialkow, co-founder of General Catalyst

March 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 12 Recalls Involving 9 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.

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

What is a recall?

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

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

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

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

NHTSA announced 12 recall notices during March 2022. These recalls involved 9 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Keystone (3 recalls), Forest River (2 recalls), Jayco (1 recall), Triple E (1 recall), Roadtrek (1 recall), KZRV (1 recall), Newmar (1 recall), Heartland (1 recall), and Alliance RV (1 recall).

Butterfield RV Resort, Benson, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2022 Cougar fifth wheel travel trailers. These vehicles were manufactured with Load Range “D” (2540 lbs) tires, when they should have been equipped with Load Range “E” (2860 lbs) tires.

Dealers will inspect and replace the tires, as necessary, free of charge. Owner letters are expected to be mailed April 13, 2022. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 22-421.

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

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

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2022 Crossroads Sunset 330SI travel trailers. The outside receptacle electrical circuit may not be properly protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

Dealers will wire the circuit so that the outside receptacle is protected, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 25, 2022. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 22-424.

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

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2022 Keystone Arcadia, Carbon, Alpine, Avalanche, Cougar, Fuzion, High Country Montana, Hideout, Impact, Montana, Outback, Passport, Raptor, Springdale, and 2021-2022 Sprinter and Bullet fifth wheel and travel trailers. The solar controller may be incorrectly wired, causing certain components and safety alarms, such as carbon monoxide and propane gas detectors, to become inoperable.

Dealers will inspect voltage readings and correct the wiring as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 2, 2022. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 22-423.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022 Coachmen Catalina, Aurora, Apex, Freedom Express, Spirit, Work N Play, Forest River XLR Toy Hauler, Vengeance, Sabre, Cherokee, and Cardinal travel trailers and fifth wheels. The wire cord that connects to the back of the 50AMP shore power inlet may be loose.

Dealers will replace the shore cord inlet, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 18, 2022. Owners may contact the following customer service numbers: Forest River 1-574-825-4995; Catalina & Aurora 1-574-825-8657; APEX 1-574-825-8205; Freedom Express & Work n Play 1-574-825-6302; Cardinal 1-574-296-7700; Cherokee and Vengeance 1-260-499-2100; Sabre 1-574-642-2100; and XLR 1-574-642-0432. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1485.

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

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2022 East to West Della Terra, Silver Lake, Vibe, and XLR Boost Toy Hauler travel trailers. The coupler was improperly welded, which may cause the trailer to separate from the tow vehicle.

Dealers will inspect and replace the coupler as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 20, 2022. Owners may contact the following customer service numbers: Forest River 1-574-825-4995; East to West Della Terra & Silver Lake 1-574-264-6664; Vibe 1-574-296-2084; and XLR 1-574-642-0432. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-1488.

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

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

Jayco

Jayco, Inc. (Jayco) is recalling certain 2019-2022 Seneca, Seneca Prestige, Entegra Accolade and Accolade XL motorhomes. The tire valve stem extension for the inner wheel may come into contact with the outer wheel rim opening and become damaged.

Daimler Trucks North America, LLC will remove the inner valve stem extension and stabilizer, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 2, 2022. Owners may contact Jayco customer service at 1-800-283-8267. Jayco’s number for this recall is FL912 21V-921.

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

Triple E

Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) is recalling 2010-2014 Unity U24MB, U24CB, Libero L24CB, Serenity S24CB, 2012-2014 Unity U24IB, and 2013-2014 Unity U24TB motorhomes. The refrigerator exhaust metal deflectors are missing, allowing the exhaust to vent directly onto the wood frame, which can overheat the wood.

Dealers will install metal heat deflectors and screws, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 16, 2022. Owners may contact Triple E customer service at 1-877-992-9906. Triple E’s number for this recall is CA#10050-1.

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

Roadtrek

Roadtrek Inc. (Roadtrek) is recalling certain 2020-2021 SS Agile motorhomes. The tire pressure label states an incorrect front tire pressure of 47 psi, rather than the correct 52 psi. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, number 138, “Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems.”

Roadtrek will mail new tire pressure labels, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 4, 2022. Owners may contact Roadtrek customer service at 1-888-762-3873. Roadtrek’s number for this recall is 2022-02.

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

KZRV

KZRV, L.P. (KZRV) is recalling certain 2022 Stratus, Connect, Sonic, and SportTrek travel trailers. The coupler was improperly welded, which may cause the trailer to separate from the tow vehicle.

Dealers will inspect and replace the coupler, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 1, 2022. Owners may contact KZRV customer service at 1-800-768-4016 ext. 154 or 153. KZRV’s number for this recall is KZ-2022-01.

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

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

Newmar

Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain 2021-2022 New Aire and Dutch Star motorhomes. The upper bolt connecting the steering column may not have been properly tightened, causing the nut to loosen off the bolt, potentially resulting in loss of steering control.

Dealers will inspect and tighten the upper and lower bolts as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on May 16, 2022. Owners may contact Newmar’s customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

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

Heartland

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain 2022 Lithium, Prowler, and Trail Runner 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 21, 2022. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032.

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

Alliance RV

Alliance RV, LLC (Alliance RV) is recalling certain 2022 Paradigm, Valor, and Avenue 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 29, 2022. Owners may contact Alliance RV customer service at 1-574-218-7165.

Read Next: 12 Simple RV Maintenance Tips

Please Note: This is the 38th 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 Safe Use of Electric Space Heaters in your RV

Use electric space heaters with care

Electric space heaters can be dangerous if they are not used correctly.

In 2020, two snowbirds died after a fire broke out in the early morning in their RV at the Highbanks Marina Camp and Resort in DeBary, Florida. Investigators said multiple space heaters, extension cords, and power strips were in use and that a space heater ignited the fire near the only exit. Firefighters were called to the home around 4:15 a.m. Officials said the blaze broke out near the single entrance to the RV and said that although the couple had been alerted by a working smoke detector, they were not able to get out.

Stay safe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And, in 2021, in Tucson, Arizona there was an RV fire around midnight which resulted in the death of a small dog. According to Tucson Fire Department (TFD), it took 14 firefighters 30 minutes to put out the fire limiting damage to the nearby RV to a burnt awning and melted plastic around the door. TFD officials believe the fire started from an unattended space heater.

TFD reminded the public that space heaters should never be left unattended and offered the following reminders:

  • Always place space heaters on a level, flat surface
  • Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet
  • Never leave a space heater running overnight or when you are asleep
Stay safe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’re camped in an RV park with full hookups and not paying extra for electric usage it makes sense to take advantage of the power to heat your RV rather than using the propane you have to pay for separately. There’s also the fact that heat pumps and furnaces are, in most cases, very noisy. And there’s a third good reason. Unless the campground has a power outage, you don’t have to worry about running out of electricity.

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

Stay safe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Use space heaters with care

So why wouldn’t this be a great way to heat your rig? What could be the downside of it? 

Are electric space heaters really dangerous?

Stay safe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Well, don’t just take my word for it. Perhaps some advice from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) might help. According to the NFPA space heaters were the single most likely cause of a home fire over any other source of heat. In fact, 53 percent of home fires related to heating were caused by space heaters according to their 2018 report, the last year the information was reported. 

Related Article: Maintain Your RV: What You Absolutely Need To Know To Avoid Disasters on the Road

Space heaters all essentially max out at 1500 watts which means you can draw about 12.5 amps from the wall outlet. If your space heater does not have a thermostat, this continuous draw can heat up the wiring in the RV which could result in a fire, particularly if it’s compromised in any way. 

Stay safe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Electric space heaters can help warm a room quickly. However, they can be as dangerous as convenient if not used properly. Everyone needs to understand the importance of using space heaters safely. Here’s what safeelectricity.org says about the safe use of space heaters:

  • Purchase only space heaters that have been safety tested and UL approved
  • Make sure the unit has an emergency tip-over/shut-off feature and heating element guards
  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operation and care
  • Before using a space heater, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition
  • Make sure the heater is clean and in good condition
  • Place the heater out of high-traffic areas and on a level, hard, non-flammable floor surface—NOT on carpets, furniture, or countertops
  • NEVER use space heaters to thaw pipes or dry clothing or towels
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet from combustible liquids such as fuel, spray cans, and paint and flammable items such as draperies, blankets, towels, and sofas
  • NEVER allow pets or children near an electric heater; accidental contact can cause serious shock or burns
  • DO NOT overload circuits
  • NEVER use extension cords or multiple plugs with a space heater and make sure not to plug the unit into the same circuit as other electric appliances
  • Never leave space heaters unattended—turn off and unplug before leaving the room or going to bed
  • Replace older space heaters with newer, safer models
Stay safe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But electrical fires aren’t the only reason using a space heater can be a concern. Most RVs have heated and enclosed underbellies that use the heat from the central furnace to warm the area so the water lines and holding tanks don’t freeze. 

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

If you’re using a space heater to warm the RV, this may not provide sufficient warmth to keep the pipes and tanks from freezing and that could be a major problem. If the temperature is below freezing set your RV thermostat on a low setting so that the underbelly and interior of the coach stay above freezing. 

Stay safe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Final thoughts

Many space heater fires are caused by plugging them into an outlet strip or skinny extension cord. Always plug a portable space heater directly into a wall outlet, never a power strip. Outlet strips were never designed for the types of continuous high-amperage loads created by any electrical heating appliance. 

Locate a space heater at least three feet away from anything flammable. And make sure your dog can’t knock a blanket down on top of one.

Stay safe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Modern electric space heaters have tip-over and overheating protection. But that hasn’t always been the case with old heaters. Make sure your heater has all the safety controls.

Watch out for pet hair and fuzzies. Yes, pet hair will be sucked right into the fan on many of these heaters. That can cause an internal fire to start. Inspect your space heater for signs of dirt and hair. Use a can of compressed air to clean this kind of gunk out if it’s not too bad. But if it’s really caked on it’s time to buy a new space heater. Don’t take any chances with accumulated dirt and hair in a heating appliance.

Stay safe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Use low power settings and inspect outlets and plugs for signs of overheating. Always run your heater on the low-power setting or 600 to 750 watts. The continuous draw of the high-wattage settings can cause RV outlets and heater plugs to overheat and possibly catch on fire. If you see any signs of discoloring or touching the plug with your hand feels warm, then the damage is beginning. And be aware that a GFCI outlet will do nothing to prevent overheating. That’s not what they were designed to do. And while you’re at it, take a look at the power plug for any signs of overheating.

Stay safe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There’s no good way to repair an electrical outlet once it begins to overheat since the spring contacts have probably been damaged and it will keep getting hotter and hotter until it melts. Once a wall outlet has been overheated, then it’s time for a replacement.

Some of the newer RVs are manufactured with space heaters in the form of an electric fireplace. They are simply a fancy space heater with a beautiful display but one that does incorporate a thermostat. 

Remember that electricity is a useful and powerful force, so we all need to pay attention to safety precautions while using it.

Read Next: Is Your RV Protected from Electrical Issues?

Stay safe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As always, a lot of common sense will help you to stay in the safe zone. Let’s play safe out there….

Worth Pondering…

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.

—Marcus Aurelius

How to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in your RV?

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

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

Motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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

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

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

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

Motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In RVs, carbon monoxide gas usually results from:

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

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

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

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

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

Related: The Ultimate Guide for Winter Camping

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

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

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

Motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure include:

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

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

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

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

Motorhome interior © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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

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

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

Related: 12 Simple RV Maintenance Tips

Don’t take safety for granted while RVing.

Since we’re talking safety…

Read Next: RV Emergency Kit Essentials

Worth Pondering…

Remember, Safety First, and Happy RVing!

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

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

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

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

What is a recall?

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

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

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

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

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

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

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

Roadtrek

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

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

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

Winnebago

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

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

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

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

MCI

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

Related: September 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

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

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

Please Note: This is the 35th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

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

—Martin Van Buren

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Article: 7 Driving Tips You Should Know

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Article: Raise Your RV IQ with These Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Article: 5 Tips for Safe RV Travel

Remember, Safety First, and Happy RVing!

Worth Pondering…

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

—Martha Gellman

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

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

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

Pechango Casino RV Park, Temecula, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What is a recall?

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

NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

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

NHTSA announced 15 recall notices during November 2021. These recalls involved 7 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (6 recalls), Jayco (4 recalls), Triple E (1 recall), Thor Motor Coach (1 recall), Newmar (1 recall), Heartland (1 recall), Keystone (1 recall),

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

Forest River

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

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

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

Forest River

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

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

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

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

Forest River

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

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

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

Forest River

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

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

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

Forest River

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

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

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

Forest River

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

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

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

Jayco

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

Related: September 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

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

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

Jayco

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

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

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

Jayco

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

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

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

Jayco

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

Related: August 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

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

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

Triple E

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

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

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

Thor Motor Coach

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

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

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

Newmar

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

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

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

Heartland

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

Related: July 2021 RV Manufacturer Recalls

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

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

Keystone

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

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

Please Note: This is the 34th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

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

—Martin Van Buren