How To Keep Your RV Looking Like New and Running Forever!
Courtesy – Writer John Linden
The Current Market Outlook for Recreational Vehicles 2020 has been a devastating year for many economies around the globe. The Covid-19 virus was an unprecedented crisis that destroyed the businesses and livelihoods of many Americans. Unemployment rose higher in three months during the Covid-19 crisis than it did during the entire Great Depression. The travel restrictions and quarantine orders have brought international travel to a screeching halt, with airlines and TSA reporting a staggering 96% drop in air travel.
Many Americans are left stuck inside feeling restless, which is ultimately leading to an unforeseen phenomenon. A boom in the sales of recreational vehicles. Despite the looming economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 virus, the recreational vehicles market is expected to grow by US $11.7 billion dollars. So what’s causing this spike in sales? It makes sense if you think about it. Many Americans are turning to RVs as the antidote for cabin fever.
In the first quarter of 2020, the stock prices for Thor and Winnebago, the two largest publicly traded RV companies, tanked even worse than the S&P 500. Then surprisingly they climbed back and recovered just a few months later as the summer RV boom hit full swing. Out of the 31 major publicly traded automobile companies worldwide, Thor’s stock performed third best, losing out to only Tesla and Audi.
Once the initial scare of the virus came and passed, things quickly improved for the industry. Many Americans wanted a way to travel domestically and enjoy the great outdoors while still safely following their state’s social distancing recommendations.
This pandemic has also been a huge boom for remote working and schooling technologies. Many Americans are turning their work from home jobs into work from anywhere jobs by turning their recreational vehicles into mobile offices. Even when the travel restrictions are fully lifted, many Americans may feel weary about crowded airports and long flights overseas. Although an RV can be a substantial investment depending on what model you go for, vacationing at local camp grounds can save you some serious cash in the long run. If there’s any silver lining in this awful pandemic, it may be that families get back to the basics of camping, fishing, boating, hiking and biking together. The great outdoors and your loved ones are all you really need to make some wonderful lifetime memories.
How To Clean Your RV Inside and Out
Whether you’re one of the new RV owners just getting into the game, or a veteran to the lifestyle on your fourth or fifth model, you’ll need to do the proper maintenance to keep your investment in top condition and functioning properly for decades to come.
The first thing you’ll want to do is keep your RV clean, both inside and out. Not only does cleaning your RV keep it looking nice and new, it also gives you the opportunity to go over your vehicle with a fine tooth comb to make sure there aren’t any repairs needed. It’s a lot better to find a leak in your roof while washing your RV on a nice sunny day than it is to discover it during a torrential downpour while you’re sleeping!
You’ll need a hose, bucket, quality automotive soap, a long handle brush with soft bristles and a step ladder. Always work from the top down. The bottom of the vehicle is usually the dirtiest and you don’t want to rub that grit and grime all over your paint. Hose off any excess dirt before you begin scrubbing and rinse off the brush frequently before starting another section. Do you know what sandpaper is made out of? You guessed it. Sand! Rubbing just a tiny bit of sand against your paint will give your RV that swirl marked look in the sun, even when it’s spotless and clean.
Once your RV is washed and dried, using a quality automotive wax can provide an added layer of protection to your paint. Tree sap, bugs, branches, road salt, road tar, acid rain and even UV rays can wreak havoc on your paint job. If your RV is exposed to any of these more dangerous elements, it’s best to remove them from the paint as soon as possible. Use a non abrasive compound such as goo gone to remove bugs and sap. Using gasoline or paint thinner may strip your paint along with the crud you’re trying to remove.
When you’re ready to wax your RV, park it in a shady spot and allow the paint to cool off. Waxing your vehicle in the sun will cause the wax to dry too quickly, making it difficult to remove. Use a gentle automotive wax that doesn’t have any abrasive compounds which can damage your RV’s paint.
Take Care of Your Roof
The weakest point of any RV is the roof. It’s exposed to the elements far more than any other part of your vehicle. Rain, sun, snow, ice, hail, falling tree branches and sap. Over time this can wear away at the seams and cause leaks. Another bad thing about the roof is we rarely see it. It’s mostly out of sight, out of mind until you notice water trickling down the interior wall of your RV one rainy day.
Be sure to inspect your roof regularly. A lightweight, retractable step ladder is handy and stores away easily on trips. If you’re buying a used RV, it’s absolutely critical that you thoroughly inspect the roof before buying. Rough weather is a part of the RV experience and you shouldn’t be afraid of it. But simple maintenance can prolong the life of your investment.
Try to park your RV under a roof when it’s not in use. A car port or a barn that keeps the elements off it could go a long way. Keep a caulk gun handy with a few tubes of marine silicone. If you notice any worn out seams or punctures you can quickly and easily cover up those holes, shielding your interior from any further water damage.
Always Do A Pre-Trip Inspection
Whether it’s your first trip of the season or just a continuation of your cross country summer adventure, you’ll want to be diligent about your pre-trip inspections. There’s a reason why commercial truck drivers are required by law to do a pre-trip inspection every single time they head out on the road. It could potentially save your life, save the lives of other motorists on the road and it can also save you money in repairs.
Check your oil levels. Look for any signs of leaks dripping in the engine bay or any oil puddles on the ground below.
Check your engine battery. This is especially important if your RV has been sitting for a while. Batteries can lose up to 10% of their capacity every month while sitting in storage. If you haven’t been checking and recharging your battery during the winter months, this will be your first priority. Fully charge your battery for the season and make sure you have a pair of jumper cables stored in the RV just in case.
Check your belts and hoses. Scan for any signs of cracks or corrosion.
Check to make sure your tires are inflated to the proper air pressure and have a sufficient amount of tread remaining.
Check all your lights, both headlights and turn signals. Be sure you have spare bulbs and fuses handy just in case. This is especially important if you have a towable trailer. If your trailer has no working signals, this can be treacherous for other drivers behind you.
Make sure you have the proper tool kit and spare parts to fix a blown out tire. Also, learn how to do some basic repairs yourself. You might end up out in the middle of nowhere with no cell signal and no garage in sight.
Keep a quality fire extinguisher mounted in an easily accessible place in both the cab of your vehicle and in the living space of the RV.
Enjoy Your Next Adventure
At first glance, RV ownership can seem somewhat overwhelming. However, with just a little basic maintenance you and your family can get many great seasons of joy out of your RV. Now get out there and make some great memories!
The ability to take your “home away from home” all over the province has never been more appealing.
The assurance that your living space is safe for your family, combined with the freedom to travel where and when you want, has proved to be an ideal way for Ontarians to enjoy the great outdoors while maintaining physical distancing.
Here are a few questions you might want to consider:
How do you plan to use your RV? Are you looking to travel full-time or occasionally?
Who will be travelling with you? Choosing a floor plan and size will depend on your group size and relationships
Are you a recent retiree with plenty of time to enjoy all the bells and whistles in an RV, or are you a busy entrepreneur looking to have a work station on the go?
Remember, this is your RV, your new vacation home, and your dream!
It is critical to spell out exactly what you want at this stage, so you won’t be disappointed later.
2. Motorized or towable? That is the question…
Towables are the most popular type of RVs. If you’re looking at one of these RVs, you must have a vehicle capable of towing it.
The width, length, and height are important determinants when you are going to tow and park your RV. Weight-wise, your tow vehicle should absolutely never tow a camper that is too heavy!
The advantage of buying a motorized RV is that you don’t have to worry about a tow vehicle. A motorhome combines the transportation and living quarters into a convenient and comfortable road trip experience.
There are three classes of motor homes: A (bus style), B (van style), and C (truck style), which offer you different lengths and size, price tags, floor plans, and other options.
Motorhomes may be best for you to consider if you do not currently have a tow vehicle or you are looking for a larger living area.
There are so many different RV floor plans. Some may be better for your purpose based on your intended use and the number of people in your travelling party.
Consider the following:
Do you like to enjoy cooking and spending time in your kitchen at home? If so, you may look for a floor plan with a large kitchen, including an island and lots of storage
There are three holding tanks in most RVs: fresh water, gray water, and black water. You can stay off-grid depending on their usage and size of the tanks. Solar panels and generators are available to provide you with a power source without having to plug-in at a campsite
Do you want to bring some of your toys along for the ride? If you have a SUP, bicycles, or kayaks, then a toy hauler or RV with racks may be a must!
As you can see, there are a vast number of options and features available.
4. Take your time
We know it’s hard to digest all the information available about RVs. Believe us, you’re not alone.
The information we’ve provided here is just the beginning.
Getting an RV is a big responsibility. Consult with your friends, in chat rooms or showrooms, or even chat up other RVers at a park (provided you’re social distancing) before making your decision. You can also try renting an RV (or plan a few trips) to test out different features and types.
Special to The Big RV Show – Courtesy of Katlyn Maddison
Canadians are taking up RV usage in droves, with a6% rise in RV ownershipreported by CTV’s analysis of the latest industry statistics. With this new influx of interest have come owners and families who aren’t as au-fait with the RV culture of Canada as they could be. As a result, seasoned owners are presented with a great opportunity to spread the good word of what RV ownership is all about, and teach new enthusiastshow to become a part of the community.
Being a good visitor
RV owners love to socialise and get acquainted with other enthusiasts’ vehicles, as exemplified by events like the Toronto Spring Camping and RV Show. With this sense of trust comes responsibility, and one of the most important parts of RV etiquette is being a good visitor. This begins with being sociable, but extends to treating an RV as you would your own home. Families with children that arelikely to become travel sick on a guest trip should look into methods of controlling this – any preparations that you make for your own vehicle should be replicated elsewhere – for instance, having a chat with the RV owner beforehand to arrange centre-vehicle seating for the kids, and having helpful snacks like ginger and cold water on hand. Similarly, users of RVs who end up staying for food, drink or sleep, should make sure they treat it with full respect. The alternative is huge costs and damaged relationships as a result; Canadian cost-cutting watchdog estimate a full reupholster willset a family back up to $10,000.
Treating the land with respect
RVs are a gateway to experiencing camping with good levels of comfort. That level of relaxation and the home comforts that are bundled with it are often a precursor to acting thoughtlessly with regard to the land they are enjoying. Accordingly, one of the most crucial rules of RV etiquette is having respect for the natural land. Parks Canada have listed many of these rules, making them accessible to all, and theyinclude properly disposing of waste, removing used equipment, and keeping garbage in appropriate areas. Treat the land as you would your RV.
The golden rule
According to Hart Ranch camping resort, a USA based facility, the golden rule of all camping is to treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. While this seems basic at its heart, thinking about the statement in depth can help you to realize how to put that into action. Always keep other campers in mind when you’re setting out your stall – keep your own mess down, don’t take over the campsite, and always consider the feelings of fellow campers first. If you can make their trip a happy one, yours will be too.
RV culture has some specific etiquette, but it all goes towards making the experience a happy one for every visitor. Rather than being a selfish pursuit where you look out for yourself, campsites are where like-minded people can share their passion in a constructive way. Newcomers can be an instant hit in the community by simply acting with common sense.
So, if you seek more information about the RV and camping lifestyle and want to speak directly to manufacturer representatives about the latest and greatest products head over to Mississauga in February 2020, to learn about the RV & Camping lifestyle and talk directly to Manufacturer Representatives about the right recreation vehicle for your family.
Toronto’s Spring Camping and RV Show is the only RV Show produced by the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association (CRVA) who has teamed up with the largest RV Dealers in Ontario to offer consumers the best deals on your new RV. This exciting one of a kind show will showcase the largest display of RVs from respected Ontario retailers of every Model and Type of RV and for every budget.Contact us today for more information.
Camping recipes: From pizzas to barbeque ribs, from nachos to spaghetti, the options are endless. We’ll help you make the most of your camping experience by dishing out some of the finest one-pot recipes.
So, head over to the Toronto International Centre on February 27th to March 1st, 2020 to get all the information you need about the RV and camping lifestyle and to speak directly to manufacturer representatives about the latest and greatest products.
About The Toronto Spring Camping and RV Show and Sale
The Toronto Spring Camping and RV Show and Sale is the only show produced by the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association (CRVA). This exciting, one of a kind event will showcase the largest selection of RVs and camping equipment, from the most respected manufacturers and dealers in our industry. For more information about the show, visit our website at Toronto Spring Camping and RV Show and Sale.