More Coach Tips and Hints

1. I leave a baseball cap on the dash whenever I am driving the coach. I don’t wear it all the time but it sure comes in handy when the sun is low and shines thru the gap in our double automatic windshield shades

2. While we are on the subject of windshields. I replaced my stock Monaco wiper arms with ones with standard sized J-Hooks.  I purchased them from Diesel Equipment Corp in Greensboro NC. Now I can use any length frameless replacement blade, easily purchased from an auto parts store or Wal-Mart.

3. Rescue Tape works as advertised. I carry three rolls of it, Red, Orange and Clear. It can fix a hose, a broken patio umbrella and there are lots of useful reasons to have a roll in a drawer.

Capillary action (sometimes capillarity, capillary motion, or wicking) is the ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces without the assistance of, and in opposition to, external forces like gravity.
Do you read that?  Water can go against gravity, flow UP, if the conditions are there. So here is hint number four…it’s a bit long but I suggest you read it. 

4. If you have a Monaco or Holiday Rambler coach with the rubber black gutters at the bottom of the side of each of your slideouts then you need to take a close look at the bottom of the floor of each slideout, especially the main one.  That piece of rubber was installed to catch the water running down the side and not let it run under the slideout where it gets wicked up by the plywood floor. There is an exposed wooden edge underneath the main slideout that is well, too exposed. The rubber gutter helps to prevent a leak problem but it doesn’t quite do the trick. The gutter funnels a lot of water to the front bottom corner of the slideout causing the floor to delaminate and then it starts to soak up water and it swells and the cycle just gets worse until one day mushrooms are growing out the bottom of your slideout. Not good. I discovered this was happening to my coach. I had a lot of rotten wood which I blew out with an air compressor and then filled the void with spray in stop gap foam in a can. Then I glued a piece of rubber sweep over the edge of the slideout so the water could not defy gravity and run underneath any longer. 
If you discover you have this problem you can limit the exposed edge of the floor by running a line of deck screws through the bottom of the floor until they are flush! Don't leave any exposed screw head or it will get caught when the slide goes in and cause a lot of grief.  

5. That as seen on TV stuff called Flex Seal really works. A can of white or clear or both should be a must have for your RV emergency repair kit. It is great for sealing seams on slideout toppers and quick fixing a roof leak. 

6. Learn where your ice maker shut of valve is located. You don’t want to be caught by surprise and have to turn off the campground water to your coach because you can’t figure out how to turn off the water to the icemaker…not to mention the damage a leak can do to your fridge electronics. 

7. After you learn where your shutoff valve is,  I suggest you replace the standard plastic tubing water supply line to your ice maker solenoid  with a reinforced ice maker hose. Why risk a leak from a broken water line caused by the fact it moves when the coach moves? This part is available at Lowe’s for around 15 bucks depending on the length. I bought a six foot one. It took about twenty minutes to connect it. The line from the solenoid to the ice maker (the metallic blue in the picture) is not as critical. It is not under constant pressure. 

8. If your fridge was part of the recall and you now have the heat sensor relay box installed I have a hint for you. Those boxes are known for tripping and not resetting. When that happens your fridge will not turn on unless you bypass the relay. I learned a can reset the relay with a magnet. Just rub it on the back of the box until you hear a click. 

9. I have a rechargeable flashlight/night light plugged into a bathroom socket. Its in the middle of the coach and comes in handy during an emergency, like the dog needs to go out in the middle of the night and I don’t want to turn on the lights in the coach. 
10. I carry a CharGriller table top grill. It is a small kettle grill with cast iron grates. Best portable charcoal grill you can get. It fits in the basement but large enough to cook a mean six pound beer can chicken. This grill is available on line or at Lowe’s for around sixty nine dollars. 

11. Do you have a dog that likes to spend a lot of time on the dash? Diane and I made a custom fit dash mat. We purchased comfort rugs…those things that usually go in a kitchen or laundry room and are designed to be easy on the feet. They are made out of the same thing that mouse pads are made from…urethane rubber. We trimmed the rugs to fit around the instrument panel and it looks really good on the dash. The rubber clings to the dash so it is not necessary to attach the two mats together.  Our new dash mat is really easy to clean.   I used the left over scrap material to make some matching coasters and a mouse pad for the coach. 

Well, that is all the hints I can think of at the moment. I suspect that some more will pop into my brain and I will add to this list if that happens. 

It is the day after Christmas and I have thought of a few more hints or tips.

12. If like most of us your shore power cord is not on a powered reel and you have to manually coil it up in your bay, then do so in the shape of a figure 8 not a circle. It is easier to work with the cord and it will not twist it and possibly damage it. 

13. A lot of newer coaches no longer come with dash fans. I suggest you add one yourself. A 12 volt mini fan doesn't cost much and is easy to install as long as you can get to a power source. The fan will do a lot to keep the pilot cooler while going down the road especially when the dash AC vents are not positioned for the best air flow to the top half of the pilot and a big slideout behind the pilot blocks air from the roof to AC. Also a dash air keeps the windshield glass cooler (and the pup staring out of it)  while parked on a hot day. It might just prevent a crack.from happening.  

14. Last year I replaced our standard Winegard Sensor Batwing antenna with the newer Wingard Razar Air HDTV unit. It really works a lot better. Coupled  with the SensarPro HDTV signal strength meter, I can pull in twice as many HD channels and am able to easily align the antenna for the strongest and clearest reception.  

I purchased a six gallon locking lid trash/dry storage can from Lowes. This can serves two purposes, make that three. We store bagged up trash in it, drop the doggie mess bags in it and I store our sometimes very wet but always dirty door mat in it (I roll it up first)while traveling. The can fits into the first bay next to the steps.