News from FMCA's technical experts
News from FMCA's technical experts
Tech Talk
Fall Into Fall
It’s finally here. Fall. That blissful time between the scorching heat of summer and the chilling cold of winter. The perfect time to throw on a sweatshirt, go outside and tinker with some technology. One great idea that’s perfect for this time of year is to install temperature sensors inside and outside of your RV. Check out the Tech Tip we pulled from the RV Hacks book below. That way you won’t get caught off guard when you take that first step outside in the morning. If you’re looking to beef up your RV knowledge with a little more than RV hacks, let us humbly recommend that you check out FMCA University, which has hundreds of articles on dozens of subjects that you can use to make your RV life stress free.
Safe and happy travels!
The FMCA Team
Tech Topic
By Steve Froese, F276276
Putting The RV To Bed
While the winter weather in our hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, is generally not as snowy as the rest of Canada, and the temperature rarely dips much below freezing, it does tend to get a little cold and miserable. We keep our RV insured year-round, and we occasionally winter camp. However, at this time of year, it is important to start thinking about storing the RV for the winter. Depending on how often you use your RV and the climate you live in, winter storage may or may not be an issue. If you live in a colder climate and don’t use your RV full-time during the winter, it’s important to make sure it is properly prepared.

Many articles detailing the plumbing winterization process can be found online, including several of my own, so I will not cover that type of detail in this article. However, successful winterization goes beyond that, and sometimes issues that should be addressed are overlooked.

Alex Blooom Continetal Trident Funding
RV Video

Calculating Towing Capacities

Crunching numbers is vitally important when it comes to towing an RV. You need to be able to calculate things such as the true towing capacity, gross combination weight rating (GCWR), and gross axle weight rating (GAWR). Not knowing these things may result in severe consequences, but figuring them out can be complicated. Fortunately, Marc from Keep Your Daydream understands it all, and provides the best explanation we’ve seen on how they add up and what they all mean. Check it out here. 
Tech Tip

Monitor Your Temperatures
“Mount thermometers with a remote temperature sensor to monitor temperatures inside and outside your RV. Use one inside your fridge to ensure it stays cool enough for food safety without having to open the door. Some sensors even have alerts if the temperature drops out of a specified range. If you like Bluetooth technology, install a SensorPush thermometer/hygrometer to monitor temperature and humidity inside your RV, fridge, battery bay, and vehicle, then track, get alerts, and view history. You can even add a Wi-Fi gateway to track it remotely from anywhere.”

From “RV Hacks: 400+ Ways to Make Life on the Road Easier, Safer, and More Fun” by Marc and Julie Bennett from RVLove.

New Tech

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

Improved SmartPlug
SmartPlug Systems, which already made state-of-the-art 30- and 50-amp shore power cord sets, recently gave its products a new safety feature: an integrated LED reverse polarity indicating system that protects your RV’s electrical system from improperly wired campground power pedestals. While improperly wired shore power may appear to function normally, it is susceptible to shock or short circuit that could wreak havoc with the RV’s electrical system. The SmartPlug lets you know by illuminating a red LED light on the cord. Cords are available for 30- or 50-amp power, and in 25- or 50-foot lengths. Prices start at $230.
(206) 285-2990
Solar Cooler
The people at GoSun make a valid point: In this age of technology, why are we trying to improve coolers that keep ice from melting when we can use solar or lithium power to just run a portable freezer? They answered their own question by creating Chillest, a 45-liter cooler with a built-in solar-powered compressor. The compressor lets you set the temperature anywhere from minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit (you can actually make ice) to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. It contains two zones that can be controlled separately. It also has all-terrain wheels so you can pull it anywhere, as well as cool extras such as interior lighting, tie-down straps, and organization baskets. Price is $699. 868-6154

Surround View
Let’s face it: Driving or towing a big rig can be stressful, especially if you’re trying to back into a site at a campground or driving in a ton of traffic. You need an extra set of eyes. The good news is, Continental has upgraded its digital ProViu 360 surround view system so you can now see what’s happening on all four sides of your RV — and in high definition. The system has four cameras that mount on your RV and provide a bird’s-eye view of the entire vehicle in real time. The view is displayed in 3D on a 10-inch touch-screen monitor. Bye-bye, blind spots. 564-5066

Our Picks

FMCA's picks for tips you need now.

Lithium-Ion Versus Lead-Acid Batteries
Every so often a new piece of technology comes along that pushes a product to a new level. Lead-acid batteries have been providing power since the 1800s, but the recent introduction of lithium-ion batteries has changed the game. They’re smaller, require less maintenance, and pack a more powerful punch. But at a price — usually twice the cost of a lead-acid battery. So are they worth it? CamperSmarts dug into the issue. See what they found.
Generator Versus Generator
Sometimes you just need a little punch of power, especially when you’re boondocking in the middle of nowhere. Sure, solar panels are all the rage, but with tried-and-true gas generators you know you’re going to get a steady stream of electricity. But what’s the best generator to power your needs? Kyle from Drivin’ and Vibin’ fired up two 2,000-watt inverter generators and put them to the test: the Honda EU2000i and the Dirty Hands Tools Generator. Which one won? Find out here.
Benefits Spotlight

FMCA University 

FMCA has been around since 1963. We’ve been on the road, seen a lot of things, fixed a lot of problems, and tested a lot of gadgets and gear. Through it all, we’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge of what to do — and what not to do — and our goal is to share that knowledge with FMCA members. That’s why we created FMCA University, our online hub of RVing resources. Our decades of know-how is available in one convenient location. You can search for a particular topic, read articles, take quizzes, earn badges, and grow in your knowledge and confidence. And, best of all, you can do so at your convenience. Our RV classes are virtual, and the University library, which has more than 700 RV-related articles, is open 24 hours a day. Learn more about FMCA University here:

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