News from FMCA's technical experts
News from FMCA's technical experts
Cummins Power Club
Hello, RV Friend!
With summer travels in full swing, we want to make sure our RVs are in tip-top shape so that unexpected issues don’t throw us off course and threaten to ruin our fun! With this second installment of the “Tech Talk” newsletter, we’re sharing tips for enhancing fuel mileage, taking care of your tires, keeping the fresh-water tank clean, and more. 
Safe and trouble-free travels!
The FMCA Team

P.S. We’re not really ready to think about fall just yet, but… Look for the next installment of “Tech Talk” to arrive in your inbox in September.
FMCA members get access to tech tips and RV advice each month. Join today.
By Gary Bunzer, Technical Editor

Four keys to better fuel economy

During times of rising fuel prices, RV owners may be quick to ponder whether such scenic travel continues to be affordable. RVing is indeed a lifestyle choice, and not typically driven by fuel prices, but visiting a fuel pump regularly remains one of my RV Facts of Life. We’ve all felt the impact of the higher costs of driving any type of motorized vehicle, let alone a large motorhome or some type of RV towing configuration. But it’s hard to negate the fact that no matter how much fuel prices rise, the majority of RVers simply are not willing to give up on RV travel. 
It’s not all negative news, by the way. There are a number of things owners of all types of RVs (gas or diesel, motorized or towable) can do to combat higher fuel prices. This is especially important during the summer months, a period of historically inflated fuel prices amid many travel opportunities. Seasoned RVers likely already are aware of some of the ways to improve fuel economy, but these four bear repeating. 
RV Video

How to find water leaks in your RV

Pinpointing the origin of a water leak in an RV can be challenging at best. Water follows the path of least resistance; so, by the time a leak is discovered, the water may have traveled a good distance from where the breach occurred. The Sealtech leak-detection system helps to take the guesswork out of locating moisture problems in RVs. In this month’s featured video, RV Doctor Gary Bunzer educates RV technicians about the Sealtech system. For more information and tips for preventing leaks, read Finding Water Leaks.
Finding Water Leaks
Tech Tip

Sanitizing the fresh-water system

Following are the steps RV Doctor Gary Bunzer recommends for sanitizing the entire fresh-water system, including the water heater. 
1.  If the system is equipped with water purification equipment and/or filtering cartridges, remove or bypass them.
2.  Drain and flush the fresh-water tank; leave empty.
3.  Mix 1/4 cup of unscented liquid household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) with one gallon of fresh water.
4.  Fill the tank by pouring one gallon of this mixture into the gravity fill of the fresh-water storage tank for every 15 gallons of tank capacity. If the coach is not equipped with a gravity fill for the fresh-water tank, use a funnel to pour each gallon of the mixture directly into the fresh-water hose before connecting it to the city water connection. Some RVs are equipped with an alternative method of pumping the chlorinated mixture directly into the fresh-water system; the mixture may be pumped through a tee fitting and a short hose installed between the water pump and the fresh-water container, or via a separate RV antifreeze tank.
5.  Top off the tank with fresh water.
6.  Turn on the water pump and open every hot and cold faucet in the RV, including exterior faucets and showerheads.
7.  Allow the solution to pump completely through the system until the distinct odor of chlorine is present at every fixture. Don’t forget to run the solution through the toilet as well.
8.  If applicable, at the city water inlet, gently use the eraser end of a pencil to depress the check valve and briefly allow the solution to pump out the city water inlet until the chlorine odor is detected at the discharge.
9.  Close all the faucets and turn off the water pump.
10.  Allow the system to stand dormant for four hours. This will chlorinate and disinfect the entire system to a residual concentration of 50 parts per million (ppm), including the fresh-water tank, the water heater, the faucets, the piping system, and all fittings. (If 100 ppm residual concentration is required or desired, use 1/2 cup of bleach with each gallon of solution, instead of 1/4 cup, and let it stand for one to two hours.)
11.  After four hours, open the pressure and temperature (P&T) relief valve to release the system pressure and remove the drain plug.
12.  Activate a water source and allow the water heater to drain as water is entering.
13.  Continue to flush until the odor and/or taste of the chorine diminishes to your satisfaction.
14.  After turning off the water supply, reinstall the drain plug.
Click here to read additional information about RV water safety. 
New Tech

A discussion of new products on the market to enhance your RV lifestyle. 

Garmin Navigator GPS
GPS Navigator
Not all roads are RV-friendly. Garmin’s new RV 780 & Traffic is a GPS navigator that takes into account the size and weight of an RV to find the best route. It alerts users to steep grades, sharp curves, weight limits, and more. Information appears on a 6.95-inch high-resolution, edge-to-edge touch display. The device offers numerous other features. An included cable connects to Garmin Traffic, which provides notifications about traffic incidents, slowdowns, and construction delays. There’s a directory of RV parks and services, and access to millions of points of interest from Ultimate Public Campgrounds, KOA, iOverlander, PlanRV, and more. By downloading the free Garmin Drive app, the RV 780 can connect with a smartphone via Bluetooth for access to live traffic, photoLive traffic cameras, and weather forecasts. Bluetooth connectivity also provides for hands-free calling and smart notifications that appear on the navigator’s display. The suggested retail price is $399.99.
Garmin International Inc.  •  (888) 442-7646 (U.S.)  •  (866) 429-9296 (Canada)
Surge Protector
Smart Surge Protector
The electrical power provided by campgrounds can be unreliable. A new smart surge protector from Hughes Autoformers, the Power Watchdog EPO, continuously monitors for dangerous power conditions, including low and high voltage; open neutral; open ground; reverse polarity; excessive amps; and an open circuit. In addition, kilowatt-hours used, watts, volts, and amps can be viewed in real time on a smartphone. When a dangerous condition is detected, the Power Watchdog EPO automatically shuts down power to the RV (EPO stands for “emergency power off”) and an alert is sent to a smartphone via Bluetooth. When the problem is corrected, the Watchdog automatically turns power back on. The device also notifies users when the surge protection joules are exhausted; for two years after purchase, Hughes Autoformers will replace the surge board for free. The Power Watchdog EPO is available in hardwired and portable versions. The cost of a 30-amp model is approximately $225; the 50-amp model is approximately $275. 
Ask The RV Doctor
By Gary Bunzer, Technical Editor
Norcold refrigerator mystery
We have a 2008 Itasca Suncruiser motorhome with a Norcold refrigerator model #842. The refrigerator will function just fine the first time on either propane or electric, but when it reaches the set temperature, it shuts off completely. There is no light inside, nothing. I attempt to start it, and the indicator light on the eyebrow board illuminates as though it is trying, but nothing happens. It will start again, on either gas or electric, once it has warmed beyond the set temperature. I replaced the main power board, but still no luck. Any help would be appreciated.
Dan Noel, F161678  •  La Pine, OR
Don, first of all, be sure the house battery bank is fully charged. If it is, does the display show any fault code when this happens? If the display remains blank, please check out this preliminary troubleshooting chart from Norcold. If you have a decent digital multimeter (DMM), please go through the steps as indicated on the chart. If the problem persists, send me the serial number and verify the exact model number for me, and I’ll dig a little deeper.
Our Picks

FMCA's picks for tips you need now.

RVgeeks logo
Tire Talk
Peter and John, C13548, full-time RVers who call themselves The RVgeeks, host a popular YouTube channel related to RVing. They recently used FMCA’s Tire Savings Program to outfit their motorhome with new tires. This video describes how they decided it was time for new tires, the process of purchasing the tires, and the installation by Redlands Truck and RV Performance Center, C11173, in California, which participates in the Michelin Advantage program.
Look for Peter and John as cohosts when the new TV series “The RVers” debuts later this year on the Discovery Channel, PBS, iTunes, and Amazon. 
How To Check Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
Roger Marble, a tire expert who serves on FMCA’s Technical Advisory Committee, asks “Have You Checked Your TPMS?” Tire pressure monitoring systems offer RVers a way of keeping an eye on their RV and tow/towing vehicle tires. But they need to be functioning properly to do that. Here are some tips from Roger for maintaining and testing a TPMS with external sensors.
Benefits Spotlight

A new FMCA Benefit:
RV battery savings 

FMCA has announced a new partnership with Briter Products, creator and contract manufacturer of Ion-Ready® lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO₄) batteries designed specifically for RV use. These batteries offer numerous advantages. FMCA members receive discounted rates for the batteries, the battery and charger bundle, and labor. Members also receive a special rate on a 5-year extended warranty (standard warranty is 5 years). Learn more.
FMCA can help you maintain your RV. Members have access to RV education, a monthly magazine full of trusted advice, and so much more. Join today.
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