Thursday, October 2, 2014

Winterizing Check List

Step by Step RV Winterizing Check List
Written by: Mark J. Polk
That all too familiar time of the year is here again... Leaves are falling from the trees, and the grass is dormant. The summer flowers are gone. The days are shorter and the nights are colder. Fall is upon us. Fall is my favorite time of the year. After a hot North Carolina summer I look forward to this time of year. It has its good and bad points. It’s good that I don’t have to cut the grass for several months. It’s bad that I have to close our pool for several months. It’s good that I don’t have to run the air conditioning, but bad that we will soon have to turn the furnace on.
Fall is also the time of year you need to decide if your camping season is over. Parking your RV for the winter requires some preventive measures so it will be ready to use next spring. You’ll also be glad you did it when you don’t have costly repair bills due to the damaging results of winter. Now the question is how do you prepare it for winter, and who will be doing it? If you’re like me and you enjoy performing the routine maintenance on your RV, not to mention saving a few dollars, the “who” part is answered. As for the “how” part, this checklist is the same one I used to make our Winterizing & Storing video. I feel it is the easiest and most effective way to winterize your RV.
Before you get started there are a few items you will need to have. These items can be found in most RV parts stores:
  • Non-toxic RV antifreeze (The amount depends on the layout and length of your plumbing lines. Two to three gallons will normally do).
  • A water heater by-pass kit, if not already installed.
  • A wand to clean out holding tanks.
  • A water pump converter kit, or tubing to connect to the inlet side of the water pump.
  • Basic hand tools to remove drain plugs.
Now we can winterize the RV water system to protect it from freezing. Be sure to read your owner’s manuals for unit specific winterizing guidelines. Follow the steps below that apply to your RV.
  • If you have any inline water filters remove and bypass before starting.
  • Drain the fresh water holding tank.
  • Drain and flush the gray and black holding tanks. If your RV doesn’t have a built in tank flushing system clean the black tank out with a wand, or use a product like Flush King that allows you to clean both the black and gray tanks. Lubricate the termination valves with WD 40.
  • Drain the water heater. Remove the drain plug and open the pressure relief valve. CAUTION (never drain the water heater when it is hot or under pressure)
  • Open all hot and cold faucets; don’t forget the toilet valve and outside shower.
  • Locate and open the low point drain lines. There will be one for the hot and cold water lines. Using the water pump will help force water out, but turn it off as soon as the system is drained.
  • Recap all drains and close all faucets.
  • By-pass the water heater. If you do not have a by-pass kit installed the water heater will fill up with antifreeze before it goes through the water lines, wasting six gallons of antifreeze.
  • Install a water pump converter kit, or disconnect the inlet side of the water pump (the line coming from the fresh water holding tank). Connect a piece of clear tubing to the inlet side of the pump and put the other end into a one gallon container of non-toxic RV antifreeze.
  • Turn the water pump on and pressurize the system. Starting with the closest faucet, slowly open the hot and then cold valves until antifreeze appears. Replace the antifreeze container as required.
  • Repeat this process on all faucets from the closest to the farthest away. Don’t forget the outside shower, if equipped.
  • Flush the toilet until antifreeze appears.
  • Turn the water pump off and open a faucet to release the pressure. Go outside to the city water inlet. Remove the small screen over the inlet and push in on the valve with a small screwdriver until you see antifreeze. Replace the screen.
  • Pour a cupful of antifreeze down each drain. Pour a couple of cups in the toilet and flush into the holding tank.
  • If your water heater has an electric heating element make sure it is turned off. This will protect the element if the unit is plugged in while being stored.
  • Make sure all the faucets are closed.
  • Consult your owner manuals for winterizing icemakers and washing machines.
  • The unit is winterized.
This checklist is a basic guide that was intended to assist you in winterizing your RV. As with many other checklists it would be impossible to cover every RV. It is extremely important that you read your owner’s manuals for unit specific winterizing guidelines.
If you would like to see how this process is actually done it is available on our “Winterizing & Storing Your RV” video or DVD. The video also has an entire section on the steps required to properly prepare your RV for winter storage.
Happy Camping!

*If you are not comfortable winterizing your own RV/Camper, please contact Susquehanna Valley RV at (570) 374-2267 to make an appointment!
*If you would like to winterize your camper/RV on your own, but you are not sure what to items you need, please stop by our Part Department at Susquehanna Valley RV!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Planning a Safe & Fun RV Road Trip!

Traveling across the rolling hills and spacious plains is a great way to spend time with close friends and family! When planning for a RV road trip, you must be prepared ahead of time, to keep everything organized for a smooth going trip! Below are some tips and advice on how to plan for a fun and safe RV road trip across the land of the free!

1. Do Your Homework! Find a map and plan out the routes you want to take on your road trip. By doing this, you are less likely to get lost along your way. Once you decide what your destination will be and the route you will take, make a schedule of days and times you will arrive to certain places.

2. Go Online! Traveling can be costly! Get on your computer and go to websites of the RV Parks, Restaurants, Attractions,  and other places you desire to go and search for coupons! By doing this you can save your hard earned pennies, while still enjoying your trip! 

3. Find Helpful Apps! Cell phones are almost a necessity in today's society! App stores are also a great way to save money! Apps such as 'Gas Buddy' show you the cheapest gas prices in your surrounding area! You can also find coupons on certain restaurant Apps as well! Just a couple minutes could save you some moo-la

4. Current Maps! G.P.S. There's no better map out there! The latest G.P.S. maps can tell you where there is road construction, detours, and accidents! What better way to avoid traffic jams! Unfortunately, technology isn't always reliable, so make sure you have a back up Road Atlas in your RV! 

5. Road Side Assistance! Whenever traveling a far distance with an RV, make sure you have a Road Side Assistance that is able to help you in a time of need! Weather, flat tires, engine trouble, an accident, or a robbery can cause a huge problem for your vacation! Below are some suggestion of companies that would be useful for road side assistance!
  • American Automobile Association
  • On-Star
  • Triple A
  • Family Motor Coach Association
6. Check Lists! On any trip you always want to make a packing check list! Some of the most important things you need in an emergency, are the ones you might forget! Making a list will save you time and confusion! Some things that you should write on your list that you might forgot are:
  • First Aide Kit
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Season Appropriate Clothes
  • Extra Foot Wear
  • Road Map
  • Travel Appropriate Toys for Children 
7. Maintenance! Before going on any trip with your RV, make sure it is properly maintenance! The last thing you would want is to be stranded along side of the road, because of engine troubles! Always be sure that your RV is inspected, the tries are good for traveling, the roof is properly sealed, and other aspects of the RV are in condition for traveling! If you are uncertain about the maintenance of your RV, please contact your local RV dealership, such as Susquehanna Valley RV!   

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Top 5 Most Popular RV Parks on the East Coast

Top 5 Most Popular
RV Parks on the East Coast
Make some memories along the East Coast this summer!

1.     Mt. Desert Narrows: This beautiful campground is part of the Acadia National Park in Maine. It is a rustic themed camping environment with plenty of outdoor activities; such as: 50 miles of endless hiking trails, outdoor heated pool, group fire pits, picnic facilities, canoe and kayak rentals, and live entertainment!
Location: Bar Harbor, Maine
Phone Number: (207) 288-4782

2.   Rocky Knob Campground: This campground gives campers a “back-to-nature” experience! Rocky Knob is part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, National Park Service. Incredible scenic mountains; which are perfect for hiking four breathtaking trails. If you’re looking for a quiet and peaceful place, Rocky Knob is the perfect place for your outdoor adventure!
          Location:  Floyd, Virginia
          Phone Number: (540) 745-9664

3.     Lakewood RV Campground: Wanting to go to the beach with your camper? Well, Lakewood offers you a family fun outdoor resort on Myrtle Beach! 700-foot lazy river, boat and kayak rentals, mini-golf, and so many more acitivies for you and your family to enjoy! This RV resort is the ideal place for a family looking for a week of fun on the beach!
Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Phone Number: (843) 238-5161

4.   Fair Harbor RV Park and Campground: Planning a trip to Georgia? Fair Harbor is a quiet campground where you can relax in peace! This campground accommodates of all sizes! Bring your fishing rods, because Fair Harbor has a stocked, license-free fishing lake! A pet friendly campground with plenty of trails for walking trails for you and your fury friends!
          Location: Perry, Georgia
          Phone Number: (478) 988-8844

5.   Boyd’s Key West RV Park: Can you say Camping in Paradise! Warm weather year round, offers a great camping experience for you and your family on the beach! This unique island campground provides campers with poolside Tiki Huts where they can enjoy free WiFi and a big-screen TV! Camp on the Key West in style!
          Location: Key West, Florida
          Phone Number: (305) 294-1465