News from FMCA's technical experts
News from FMCA's technical experts
Ready, Set, Go!
There’s a health condition that affects RVers this time of year. It’s called Travel Itch. It’s not contagious or deadly, but it sure can drive a person batty if left untreated. When the days start to get longer and the weather a little warmer, the desire to air out the RV and hit the road grows. However, just throwing it in drive and hitting the gas isn’t how it’s done. Preparations are in order. To help get you on your way, check out Steve Froese’s spring prep tips below, as well as a tip on making sure your air conditioner is working well, because summer isn’t too far off. And, check out the video of RV setup mistakes to avoid once you get to your campground from Brian at Five2Go. Follow these tips, and you’ll be a happy camper.
Safe and happy travels!
The FMCA Team
By Steve Froese, F276276
Spring Shakedown
What better way to shake off 2020 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 get the RV out of storage. Even if you have been using your RV over the winter, this is a great time to give it a spring shakedown.
I’ve put together some tips that should serve as good reminders or provide you with a starting point for your maintenance. You may have other items on your own checklist. Great. Whatever you do, be sure to make note of any deficiencies you encounter during your shakedown. This allows you to either investigate them yourself, or provide a detailed list to your RV service technician.
Following these tips should bring you more peace of mind for your travels — and help you have a better 2021.
RV Video

Common RV Setup Mistakes to Avoid

Brian from Five2Go runs through his family’s routine of setting up upon arrival at a campsite, in hopes of helping others to avoid some of the things they’ve witnessed RV owners struggling with in the many campgrounds they’ve visited. He shares what they’ve learned along the way and what works for them. Topics include surge protectors, hooking up fresh-water and waste-water hoses, and leveling. The information in this video is ideal for new RVers, but even those with more miles under their belts may pick up good tips. The family of five travels full-time in their RV and in addition to their YouTube channel maintains a website at
Tech Tip

DIY RV Air Conditioner Maintenance
It won’t be long and we’ll be cranking up the A/C inside our RVs. That may lead us to wonder whether an RV A/C unit is operating properly. To check the effectiveness of the refrigerant in a rooftop unit, use a probe-type pocket thermometer to measure the difference in temperature between the cold-air supply and the return air. 
Begin by running the air conditioner on the “high cool” or maximum setting for at least 30 minutes. Close all the windows and vents, and open all air conditioner ducts. Position the thermometer directly in the flow of the cool air being discharged into the RV. After the temperature stabilizes, note this reading. 
Next, place the thermometer probe in the path of return air to the unit. The return air path goes directly through the filters. Usually, the probe can be inserted into the filtering element. Note this reading as well. In ducted systems with multiple return air vents, measure the temperature at the return air vent closest to the main rooftop unit.
On the “high cool” setting, a temperature differential of 18 to 22 degrees Fahrenheit indicates a system with the proper amount of refrigerant. In areas of high humidity, however, the temperature differential may be somewhat less, but 18 to 22 degrees difference is the goal. Most RV air conditioners are simply no match for extremely high temperatures, which is why many larger RVs are outfitted with multiple units.
If the temperature differential is substantially less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit, contact an RV service facility for further troubleshooting. A slow refrigerant leak may exist somewhere in the closed system, or a faulty component may have reduced the overall cooling efficiency.
To learn more about what RV owners can do to maintain their A/C units, check out this article from a past issue of Family RVing. (Please note that you must be logged into your FMCA account to view the full article. Members receive full access to every article on
New Tech

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

Pancake Lights
RV technology changes swiftly these days. One area that has evolved is lighting. Is your RV still lit up with incandescent bulbs? SalVinCo just created a sleek 640-lumen Lean LED Light as a replacement for traditional pancake lights. The SalVinCo light is 12 inches long by 3 inches wide, but only .32-inch thick, meaning you not only get great lighting but gain some extra headroom as well. 
They also work under cabinets, in cargo bins, or anywhere squeezed for space. Matching trim frames help cover holes or outlines of older fixtures, and they are dimmable for those just-the-right-light moments. The retail price is $57. 378-9727
Radius Rod
Looking to feel more in control when driving your motorhome built on the Ford F-53 chassis? The folks at SuperSteer have found a way to help: new SS403RR Radius Rods for F-53-based motorhomes with gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) from 16,000 to 26,000 pounds. 
They are designed to significantly reduce all kinds of steering ills, such as road wander, nose-dive under hard braking, and sway and body roll. In short, the rods tighten up the steering, suspension, and overall handling on the RV, making driving feel more secure. The price is $625. • (541) 955-0769
Our Picks

FMCA's picks for tips you need now.

The Future of RVing
What does the future of RVing look like? Very high-tech. It has a lot of batteries, solar panels, and, in at least one case, a built-in wind turbine. Can you say voice-activated commands? How about a self-driving RV? Check it out here!
While we’re gazing into our crystal ball, what do RV campgrounds look like in the future? KOA took a virtual reality peek at campgrounds and the technology that may be incorporated into them. Take a look at
Power-Saving Tips
Escaping to nature is all part of the RV life, but it’s also a strain on your battery system. The RV Geeks went off the grid and offered tips and tricks to saving power while boondocking. Click here for their advice.
Benefits Spotlight

Briter Products

Did you know FMCA members receive a special discount on Briter Products’ Ion-Ready lithium-ion-phosphate batteries? They feature an LCD display that shows the state of charge; are built with a steel case for durability; and have a longer life — up to 5,000 cycles — among other features.  
They also make great companions for an RV solar system that will expand your travel horizons by making it possible to live off the grid. Briter can tailor such a system to meet your needs. Wondering how such a system would perform? Briter recently conducted a test in the dead of winter, in subfreezing temperatures and with cloudy conditions, using an Ion-Ready battery and solar system setup to power a refrigerator. After five days – 122 hours of operation – the refrigerator was still running, and the battery was still running! Check out the results here
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