News from FMCA's technical experts
News from FMCA's technical experts
Wholesale Warranties: Last Chance to Lock in 2019 RV Protection Pricing
Hello, Friends!
For many RVers, maintaining their home on wheels is a labor of love. They enjoy tinkering and making sure the RV is in tip-top shape at all times. For others, it’s a necessary part of the lifestyle, but not on their list of fun things to do. This month’s Tech Talk newsletter is filled with practical information for all RVers, no matter which camp you fall into.
And speaking of fall (see what we did there?), this is a great time to give your RV the once-over — whether you are winding down from a busy summer travel season or gearing up for autumn outings, or even heading to warmer climes soon.
As you begin your RV's fall maintenance projects, don’t forget that FMCA members have exclusive access to resources like FMCA University and — just more reasons to join FMCA today.
Safe and happy travels, and happy fall, ya’ll!
The FMCA Team
P.S. Look for the next Tech Talk installment in December 2019! Is anyone else having a hard time believing we’ll soon enter the year 2020? At one point that seemed so futuristic!
FMCA members get access to tech tips and RV advice each month. Join today.
By Steve Froese, F276276

Solving day-night shade woes

Most experienced RV owners have faced the failure of at least one day-night shade. This normally occurs when one of the shade strings wears out and fails. Some companies specialize in repairing these shades, but having them fixed may be as expensive as replacing them. I have performed this procedure on my own RV, and I thought it would be helpful to document it for the convenience of FMCA members who want to tackle this project themselves.
The process is not complicated, and the only tools required are a multi-bit screwdriver; a long, thin darning needle; strong string such as crochet cotton; and scissors. You may require additional tools if decorative trim or a valance covers the blind in your RV.
RV Video

What to do if the water is boiling out of your RV's house batteries

Properly functioning house batteries are key to an enjoyable RV trip. RV Doctor Gary Bunzer offers a diagnosis for a frustrated RV owner whose bank of six 6-volt batteries is plagued by water boiling over. Gary discusses potential causes of this condition and offers a prescription for preventing it.
House Battery Issues
Tech Tip

Water heater: Excessive dripping of heated water

It is normal for a little water to drip from the pressure and temperature (P&T) relief valve of an RV water heater during every heating cycle. However, excessive or constant dripping is a sure sign that the expansion area inside the heater tank has filled with water.
In essence, the hydrogen component in the water absorbs the hydrogen component in the air above the water inside the tank, and so the tank fills over time. As the water is heated without an expansion space above it, the P&T valve opens and the water is expelled. Excessive dripping from the P&T valve indicates the need to restore the expansion pocket inside the water heater.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Deactivate the water heater and turn off all sources of water.
2. Open all the hot faucets inside the motorhome.
3. Open the P&T relief valve by pulling the lever straight out.
4. Close the P&T valve when water stops dripping.
5. Turn on a water source.
6. Close all the hot-water faucets when water is flowing smoothly from each.
Read more about water heater maintenance tips. Click here to watch a related video.
New Tech

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

Low-clearance protection
If you worry about whether your RV will clear overhead obstructions, the GiraffeG4 Low-Clearance Avoidance System may be worth a look. It measures and displays the height of obstacles — such as gas station canopies, bridges, and trestles — before your RV passes under them. (A review posted on the GiraffeG4 website indicated the system had limited usefulness in detecting heights of tree branches.) The system, which is made in the USA, is designed to be used at relatively low speeds — up to 30 mph, according to product literature.
An exterior sensor uses sound waves to measure the height of an overhead object. A wire runs to an interior panel, which displays the reading and sounds an alarm sounds when the clearance is too low. The system is plugs into a 12-volt receptacle for power. The price of the GiraffeG4 is $249.95. Mounts (which do not require holes to be driven for installation) are available for any type of RV; the price is $19.95.  
Portable Surge Protector
Portable surge protector
Sad but true: Power surges, voltage fluctuations, and incorrectly wired shore power could toast your RV appliances and electronics. Fortunately, peace of mind is possible with a surge protector. The newest in Progressive Industries’ line of portable units are the EMS-PT30X and EMS-PT50X, which are 30-amp and 50-amp models, respectively.  The EMS stands for electrical management system.
The units are designed for outdoor use. Features include Lexan housing; a pull handle; a security locking bracket; an all-weather shield assembly; and a lifetime warranty (excluding the all-weather shield assembly). The PT30X is rated at 1,790 joules; its price is $332.99. The PT50X is rated at 3,580 joules; its price is $461.99.
Ask The RV Doctor
By Gary Bunzer, Technical Editor
Q. Dear RV Doctor: Maybe you or one of your readers can figure this out. I have a 2014 Winnebago Forza. As you can see in the pictures, white stuff started coming through the wood about four months ago. No one has a clue what is causing it. They have called it “sapping,” and according to a representative at the dealership, Valspar no longer makes this exact stain for the coach. I just got off the phone with a Winnebago representative, and they have never heard of this happening in their RVs. I am open to any suggestions.
Jeffrey Bennett, F474599  •  Las Vegas, NV
A. Jeffrey, your “sapping,” as they call it, shows a very distinct pattern, something I've not seen before. I assume you've tried to clean it. Valspar recommends using mineral spirits, though I'm not sure of the ramifications. I’d think that ultimately would dissolve the stain. 
Our Picks

FMCA's picks for tips you need now.

Mountain driving
Will your fall travels take you through mountainous terrain? If so, you’ll want to check out the “Mountain Directory.” Since 1993, R&R Publishing has been collecting data about mountain passes and steep grades, in an effort to help keep truckers and RVers safe. The information now is available in several formats: printed books, electronic books, and apps. They provide the locations, incline percentages, and other details for 700 mountain passes and steep grades in 22 states. They are divided into east and west versions, although an electronic book that contains both is available. Learn more
Winterizing tips 
All you snowbirds who are heading for warm climates right about now, please indulge us. For some RVers, late fall is the saddest time of the year. It’s the time when a chill is in the air, another fun-filled RV season comes to a close, and we must send our beloved home on wheels into winter hibernation. But lest we become too melancholy, let’s focus on all the memories we’ve made as we prepare our RVs to withstand Old Man Winter. The goal is to avoid any unpleasant surprises when spring arrives and we’re ready to hit the road again. And that, friends, will be here before we know it! Meanwhile, check out these winterizing how-tos from RV writer Mark Quasius.
Benefits Spotlight

FMCA RV Club app 

FMCA has teamed up with Togo RV to provide FMCA members a free, timesaving app designed to simplify RV ownership. The FMCA RV Club app helps RVers keep vital information all in one place so they can focus less on maintaining piles of paperwork and more on enjoying life and having fun. The app is available for download for iOS and Android devices (U.S. app stores).
The app helps RV owners to track routine maintenance and to set reminders. Owners also can store the names and contact information for service centers. Adding a preferred RV service center makes it possible to send an email or make a phone call with just a simple click when help is needed. Checklists in the app can be used for packing for a trip, setting up in camp, or prepping for the journey home. The app also connects directly with Roadtrippers trip planning software for RV-specific guides, ideas, and routes.
FMCA helps members with many aspects of RVing, including maintenance tips. You can count on FMCA for RV education and trusted advice. Join today.
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