Dexter Axles on 1997/1998 5th wheels - Recent reports have indicated that the adjuster springs fastened to the brake shoes are breaking. This can cause a safety problem and major repairs. An inspection is a must. If yours have to be replaced contact Dexter for a claim number. Do not replace with anything but a red colored spring which is the upgrade replacement. They have paid some claims. A squeak coming from your wheels in forward or reverse should be checked immediately.

Hot Water Heaters - The combination gas/electric hot water heaters have a fail safe system for the release of gas into the combustion chamber. Part of this system uses two coils which when energized open a valve to release the gas. If one of these coils is not working, gas will not be released. If your tank is full, you are getting spark but you are not getting gas, chances are you have a bad coil or no electric to the coil.
The coil can be tested easily by someone with the experience of using an ohm meter for continuity and they are easy to install. Dealers, in general, will not stock these coils. A new valve assembly containing these coils can cost up to $150.00 plus installation. You can obtain a coil from a used unit (be sure to test it or have it tested) or contact the manufacturer for a new one. Then when the dealer says you need a complete new heater or a new valve assembly you can produce your coil. If you are not experienced with making repairs have the dealer do it.

Goodyear Tires - If you have # LT 235/85R16 load range E tires on your rig, chances are you are taking chances. Look for a S inside a circle. If you don't have this your tires may lack two extra belts to keep them from blowing out if your  G.V.W.R. is 13,000 LBS. or more.
Goodyear admits to nothing - there is no recall. But they are replacing them, if your load range is in excess to that provided by this tire. This can be done at no charge including mounting, balancing and tread wear depreciation. Whether you get them free or have to pay something depends on your negotiating skills.

Here is what to do. Contact Goodyear Customer Assistance at 1-800 321-2136. Ask for the National Field Manager for Product Service. Leave a message for him/her to call you. Give him/her your story about your concerns.   You may have to have a dealer look at the tires for verification.

If you had blowouts with this tire and kept your receipts you may have a claim to recover your cost.
Again, sharpen your negotiating skills. 

RG159 all steel belted tires by Good Year are the best upgrade. These have steel belts that run from rim to rim and are used on all UPS trucks. Try to negotiate paying only the difference between the tires they want to replace and a full set of RG159's. Your life is worth it.

Awnings- I never used to worry about my awning when traveling. After all it seems secure enough. That is until stories started to turn up at different campgrounds about awnings dropping off onto the highways causing a lot of damage and inconvenience. Now I can't testify as to how true these stories are but it did get me to check my awning support arms. Here is what I found.

The support arms were loose even though there is a clip that is suppose to hold them together. This vibration puts stress on the two screws at the top when you are riding down the highway. Here is the test. After you have put the awning away for travel, grab the support arms and see if you can shake and move them. If you can, then you need to secure them better. One way that was suggested was to wedge a tennis ball between the arm and wall of your rig. Well, that stopped the shaking OK but after two different stops heading west we lost two tennis balls. Does that tell you something? A trip to Camping World  solved the problem. For only a couple of dollars pick up two Velcro straps made just for this problem. Now this works and you will  have peace of mind.

Satellite Dish Tips - Want to set up your dish quicker? Be sure it is level.  I use a post level used for leveling vertical studs or posts. This type level gives two readings at the same time and attaches with a rubber band. It is like putting two levels together at ninety degrees. Very handy and plastic versions are reasonably priced. For more information on minidishes.

 Slide out - Are you bumping into your slide out when working outside? Get yourself four feet of half  inch dark colored ribbon. Cut the ribbon in half. Fold both pieces in half and press on some poster putty (found in most stationary departments) at the fold. Now stick a ribbon at each end of your slide and these will alert you when you are getting too close. Store them in the cabinet that holds your water hose, this way you will remember to attach them when setting up. 

Mirror Alignment - Mirror alignment in RV's is something most people take for granted. They adjust the rear view mirror so they can see behind them and adjust the side mirrors so vehicles can be seen approaching on either side. Simple right? Wrong! Side mirrors should be adjusted to eliminate the blind spot every RV has. You learn this quickly when you suddenly cut in front of another vehicle that you didn't know was there. Here is a simple way to have the right mirror set up and drive safely.

Adjust your rear view mirror as you usually do You want to see as much of what is behind you as possible. Next, while you are in the drivers seat lean over to the right as far as you can while holding onto the steering wheel. If you don't have electric mirrors have someone move the mirror so just the edge of the rear fender is visable on the left hand side of the mirror. Now move as far to the left as the door window will allow. Rest your head against the glass while having the mirror moved so the left rear fender edge just about shows in the right side of the mirror.

If you have done this correctly here is what happens. You observe a vehicle in your rear view window. The vehicle starts to makes a move to pass you. Just as this vehicle is leaving your rear view mirror it starts to show up in your side view mirror. You now should have a clear picture of what is happening around you. You may have to make slight adjustments in the beginning to get it to work with the way you usually sit.

In a motor home the same technique can be used sometimes using your rear camera.

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This page was last updated on February 06, 2004