RV AC Ducted Vs Non-Ducted

rv ac ducted vs non ducted

Your recreational vehicle determines how comfortable your traveling times are. And in that, the type of AC you choose for your RV plays a crucial role. This is because the AC will make sure how properly your RV’s temperature is maintained, whether it needs maintenance, and how much power it will consume.

If you want to know in detail about RV AC ducted Vs. Non-ducted, you are at the right guide. We will be discussing the difference in their mechanisms and their suitability.

What is an RV AC?

Difference-Between-Duct-vs-Non-Duct-RV-Air-Conditioner-Units

An RV AC is amongst the essential machines that ensures the comfort of your ride. Like traditional home air conditioners, camper ACs work to reduce heat, and its purpose is to make sure your kids do not suffer from excessive heat during summer seasons.

The best RV AC should have air vents on the roof. This will enable the machine to keep your vehicle’s interior space cool efficiently. Hence, your ride maintains the desired temperatures during long drives as well. Your AC unit should have a compressor, evaporator, fans, condenser, thermostat, controls, and refrigerant systems.

Regarding how the AC works, it draws in hot air, then expels the heat outside of your RV. After that, it utilizes the vents to push cool air into your vehicle. This happens because as the cool liquid is sent to the evaporator, it absorbs heat from your vehicle’s warm air.

The liquid soaks up heat from the air as it passes through fans. As the liquid absorbs heat in the evaporator, the fluid transforms into vapor before it returns to the compressor.

There are 2 main types of camper air conditioners – ducted and non-ducted. Although the two differ in a few ways, they are similar in terms of cooling. When you select a unit, you must consider the right type, which are discussed below.

Non-Ducted RV AC 

Not all RVs feature a duct system in their ceilings, and this is why installing a non-ducted AC would be appropriate. Such RVs can be a small trailer, a Class B van, or a truck camper. Additionally, any RV with one room is likely to be ductless.

If you are renovating an old or vintage trailer that does not have an air conditioner, you must go for a non-ducted AC. Such an AC is also suitable for doing a van conversion due to its simple installation.

However, the unit has a box, which extends down from RV’s ceiling a few inches. So, the headroom is reduced, which could be a problem for taller people. The box plays a crucial role because it is where the cool air comes from.

Another factor to consider is that a ductless air conditioner creates increased humidity inside the vehicle, which forms the right environment for mold. So, if you choose a ductless AC, be sure to air out and clean the kitchen and bathroom regularly to keep the humidity under control.

Ducted RV AC

A ducted AC system has a network of ducts all over the ceiling for distributing cool air in the RV. Such a unit has multiple vents or ducts in the ceiling. These ducts are connected together with the sheet metal ducting, like a house, or, with the flexible, foil furnace duct pipe.

This kind of system means there will not be any box. Moreover, the ducts in your vehicle’s ceiling will distribute cool air through the vehicle evenly, instead of blowing it from one location.

You can also close and open the vents in the RV’s ceiling to direct the air where you want it. For instance, you can close the vents of the living room and direct all the air to the bedroom.

RV AC Ducted Vs. Non-Ducted

RV-AC-Ducted-vs-Non-Ducted-Differences-and-Comparison

You might still be wondering how RV AC ducted Vs. non-ducted differentiate. Well, the basic difference is the way the two systems operate – one model uses the air ducts for directing cool airflow (ducted AC) while the other one blows air from its bottom and let cool air go wherever it wants to (non-ducted AC).

In the case of ducted AC, you can exercise better control over which parts of your vehicle receive cool air than others. The vents are also laid out systematically to make sure your entire vehicle receives even airflow. However, long air ducts may imply weaker airflow. In the case of a non-ducted air conditioner, the cool air is blown into your vehicle from a central rooftop location.

You do not lose BTUs (British Thermal Unit) or CFM (cubic feet per minute) when you have the ducted system. These elements are parts of the AC design and do not have anything to do with the duct. A 13,500 BTU AC generally puts out 300-350 CFMs. This won’t change because cool air is blown from the duct system. Also, the ducted system is a little bit more efficient because it covers all areas and does leave any hot spots.

A non-ducted AC does not ensure an even air distribution throughout your vehicle, and your RV will have cool and hot spots. But replacing a non-ducted system is easier, as you will only have to remove the existing non-duct AC and fix a new AC in its place. You must, however, be careful about connecting the wiring correctly.

If you aren’t concerned about the airflow as much as you are about the replacement and repair costs, you may opt for a non-ducted AC for your leisure vehicle. Lastly, you must know that between RV AC ducted Vs. non-ducted, the fan speeds and ability to produce cool air by the two systems are almost equal.

When Should You Go For a Ducted AC Unit?

  • Your RV already has ducts – There would be no point in installing a ductless AC if your vehicle already has ducts. Moreover, replacing the unit is way easier than changing it completely.
  • High humidity levels – A duct system is more effective in controlling the humidity inside a recreational vehicle. If you travel during monsoon season or in humid areas, a ducted AC would be more suitable.
  • Better aesthetics – A ducted AC blends well with the vehicle, and there is no box extending from its roof. So, it remains hidden behind the vehicle’s ceiling or wall.
  • Better airflow – The ducted system produces better airflow because you can direct its vents wherever desired. You can also modify them to improve the airflow.
  • Affordable repairs – Your maintenance cost is going to be lower because a ducted AC has fewer parts that break and demand repair.

When Should You Choose a Non-Ducted AC Unit?

  • Less dust – A ductless AC catches less dust as compared to a dusted one. If you suffer from dust allergy, having a non-ducted unit in your RV can avoid triggering it.
  • Smaller spaces – If there is very little room to hide vents of AC in the ceiling or walls, then you require a ductless AC.
  • Modify RV’s interior – If you love to make changes to your ride’s interior, working with a ductless system would be easier. You will not have to worry about blocking your ducted AC vents while modifying interiors if you install a non-ducted unit.
  • An additional AC – If your ride is huge or gets very hot easily, you will be requiring an additional AC, and installing a ductless system is a lot easier.

Conclusion 

Depending on your taste, budget, requirement, and the size and type of your vehicle, your choice between RV AC ducted Vs. non-ducted will vary. In the most important factors of air conditioning, both systems match up equally. However, before choosing the type, you should remember the following differences –

  • Ductless AC will decrease headroom in your vehicle while ducted ones hide well behind the walls and ceiling of an RV.
  • You can exercise complete control over the cool air direction in the case of a ducted AC.
  • Modifying interiors and replacing the machine is easier in ductless AC.

How to Switch Propane Tanks on RV?

how to switch propane tanks on rv

It is important to always have a filled propane tank on your RV specially when you are about to go on the road. However, not many people knows how to switch propane tanks on RV or have the confidence to do it. To help with that, we have listed down below 3 easy steps on how replace your RVs propane tank.

What You Will Need

How-do-you-change-a-propane-tank-on-an-RV

Here are the things that you need to have to do this:

  • Propane tanks

You should know where your propane tanks are located. Sometimes, you might feel lost because somebody else used to do it for you. But right now, you need to do things on your own. And the first that you need to know is the location of your tanks.

  • Filled tanks

As you are switching your propane tanks, they must have been empty already. Hence, you need to have a re-fill or just another set of propane tanks that are already filled.

  • Strength (Although, not much of it)

As guaranteed in this article, switching propane tanks on RV can be very simple. So, you do not need to have a lot of strength to do it. In fact, one thing that you must be concerned about is the weight of your tanks since you will be switching empty tanks with filled ones. Once you can manage this, there is not so much to worry about.

7 Easy Steps to Switch Propane Tanks on RV

Where-can-I-exchange-my-RV-propane-tank

Here are the steps on how to switch the propane tanks on your RV:

1. Remove the cover

More often than not, dual propane tanks have a cover to protect the same from dust or stains. To switch the tanks, you need to remove it first. It is not so heavy, so be careful and do it slowly but surely.

Apparently, you just need to slide it up. But before doing so, open up the lid at the top. Then, pull it up. If it does not go off quickly, then you should check if there is a strap at the bottom of the cover. It is sometimes attached to secure the placement of the cover on over your tanks.

2. Make sure that the gas is off

You wouldn’t want to cause an explosion or fire at home, at work, or in your camping site. So, after you remove the cover of the tanks, check if the gas has been turned off. It has not been turned off, then do the honors of doing so. We are definitely doing this for precaution purposes.

3. Take off the twist knobs

You can see that both of your tanks have this twist knob. Take it off from the tanks by gently twisting it to the direction that would make it come loose. Then, when it is already loose enough, disconnect the twist knobs of both tanks.

4. Disassemble

It may sound really a complicated step, but you have to know that it is simple. In the middle of both tanks, you can see that there is a huge screw that seems to hold the pole that connects the two tanks to keep them in place.

Simply rotate the wing-like screw until it gets out of the vertical pole. After doing so, remove the horizontal pole that holds the two tanks in place.

5. Re-fill tanks or switch with a filled tank

Now that you have already disassembled everything, you can now replace the tanks. After doing so, you need to re-assemble everything, just like how you did in the disassembling.

6. Re-assemble

First, you need to put the tanks in place. Then, connect the horizontal pole that holds them steady in their positions. Attach the wing-like screw to the vertical pole to lock the pole and the tanks in place. Screw back the tie knots that you have removed earlier as well. It is just an easy rotation, but make sure that you do it tight.

7. Put back the cover

As you have finished switching the propane tanks on RV, it is time to put back the cover. You surely would want to protect your tanks from unwelcome dust and stains. After putting it back on, close the lid that you have opened earlier.

Conclusion

See? These steps are so easy! Once you have done it for the first time, you can do it again on your own next time. You have to feel confident about it. It is not difficult at all!

Did you have fun? Let us know about your experience of switching propane tanks on RV in the comment section below.

How to Remove RV Roof Sealant?

how to remove rv roof sealant

As you are planning for a journey with your recreational vehicle, you want things to go as smoothly as possible. If the weather changes, you can feel secure inside the RV. Therefore, one of the first things to do is to check up your RV’s condition.

You’ve done your check-up and notice something worrisome – cracks on roof sealants. If you still want to take your chances, there is a high possibility that something will leak into your RV. To prevent problems, it is important to reseal the portions and it starts with learning how to remove the RV roof sealant.

Things to Know and Prepare

How-do-you-remove-roof-sealant

There are specific sealants used on certain types of roofing material. Knowing what sealant is used is very crucial on how to deal with them. If you have determined the sealant, then you can check what chemicals or approaches are used to remove them.

If the sealants used are reaching the end of their lifetime, they tend to crack after being hardened. You might be tempted to use a scraper but it can get messy and even damage your roof’s surface. In this article, we will not be assuming a specific roofing material, and with that, here are the things you need to prepare.

For protective equipment

  • Gloves = to safely handle tools and chemicals
  • Goggles = to prevent any foreign objects from entering the eyes

For tools

  • Scraping tools = depends on how efficient they are when used
  • Metal brush = used for further removal of hard adhesive particles
  • Degreasing agents = depends on what type of roof you are having and how sensitive it is to chemical reactions

For polishing

  • Dishwashing liquid = used to cleaning the scraped and degreased surface
  • Acetone or similar liquids = used to further polish the surface in preparation for the resealing

Instructions

How-do-you-remove-old-sealant-from-RV-roof

Step 1: Check the surroundings

If your RV is parked outside without cover, it will be better to work on a time when rain is not expected. Make sure you view the weather forecast ahead before proceeding.

If your RV is parked inside your garage, then you can safely remove the sealants anytime you want. As you are about to remove the sealants, make sure the roof is clean and no debris from the garage’s ceiling or a nearby tree is expected to fall on the surface.

Inspect the coverage of the RV’s roof to know what extent you will be working on. It is suggested to start from one side to the other so you won’t contaminate the cleaned surface.

Step 2: Apply elbow grease

Once you are ready, it is time to put on some hard labor. There are manual scrapers and motorized scrapers. Work with whatever you have, as long as it will not damage the paint or the roof’s surface.

To soften the old sealants, apply an ample amount of degreasing agent, and continue scraping. Remove the debris and check if the surfaces applied with the old sealant are spotless enough.

For areas around the bolts, a metal brush might be a better tool to scrape the sealant particles still sticking. Make sure that the roof surface will not be damaged. Once everything is rid of the old sealant, it is time to prepare for the application of a new one.

Step 3: Prepare for application of new sealant

To clean up the surfaces, use a dishwashing solution. Soak the cleaning rag or sponge and start wiping any residue left. Rinse with water and let it dry.

When it is dry enough, apply a certain amount of acetone on a certain part to be polished. Do not apply acetone or related products when it can’t be wiped directly since it will just evaporate easily.

The goal here is to polish the roof surfaces. Once you are done, have it dry totally before proceeding to apply the new sealant.

Conclusion

Removal of sealants of an RV seems easy enough. Although there are quite many considerations and preparations, however, the task is simple overall. You can now apply the new sealant and move on to your journey once it will be done.

Make sure you stay patient in doing the removal. Small details might affect the effectiveness of the re-application of the sealants and the state of your roof’s surface as well. The success of your work determines how your RV can survive through such unexpected weather changes.

Feel free to express your thoughts below or if you liked this 3-step guide, please feel free to also share this with your fellows.

How to Make RV Dinette More Comfortable?

As the motor home becomes popular, a lot of people have installed RVs, for those who wanted to travel with class and style. Traveling is tiring and stressful; thus, everyone does everything to keep their road trip as less hassle as possible. If you just recently purchased your RV dinette and you wish it to be comfortable for you and your guests, here are things you need to follow to achieve that comfy road adventures:

Buy new cushions

More-comfortable-dinette-seating

Of course, you wanted a comfortable seat while traveling or simply have some snacks on your RV. Most RV dinette chairs are made from soft materials while some are made from wood. If your RV chair is made from the latter, you won’t surely have the comfort you desire while on a road trip. However, you can remedy the same by purchasing cushions you can sit on or you can put on your back.

If you already have cushions at home, you can just re-use it for your motor home. However, if you want to achieve a certain style and wanted to purchase comfy cushions entirely, you can do so on Amazon, eBay, and Wayfair. There are various styles and sizes available there, and this is a wise option if you want a quick fix.

Have your cushion reupholstered

If you are on a tight budget and buying new cushions is not an option, you can reuse old cushions professionally. Buy the fabric you wanted and go to your local seamstresses to re-cover your cushions. The good thing about this is that you can personally achieve the RV dinette design that you desire. You can even request embellishment to your seamstress.

On the other hand, if you can upholster your own cushion, the better. This may not be the quickest option, but this is definitely the cheapest.

Make your RV Dinette set a sleeping bed

How-can-I-make-my-camper-dinette-more-comfortable

If you don’t use your RV dinette set for dining, transform it into an additional sleep bed. In this way, you can maximize space your motor home and, at the same time, have that comfortable snooze while traveling. Transforming your dinette into a sleeping bed is best at night or in times when you wanted to sleep while you travel.

There are special foldable RVs you can easily transform into a bed. But, if you want to DIY, you can simply put together the table and dinette chairs to form a large mattress. Very easy, isn’t it?

Put foams on your RV dinette seat

You can never escape a bumpy road while traveling. Hence, a soft seat is a must. This will require some expenditure, but this is certainly worth every penny. Visit the nearest foam shop and purchase the softest foam you can get. Your seating experience will now be improved, and your most comfortable travel is surely guaranteed

Arrange your RV dinette set in such a way that you can relax your legs

How-to-make-dinette-seats-more-comfortable

Sometimes all you have to do to make yourself comfortable is to rearrange your RV. To achieve this, no money is required but an angled seating arrangement of your RV dinette set. You can push the table a little from the seats. A 12” by 12” tablespace from the angle is convenient. After doing so, there is now more legroom, as your dinette seat is now more spacious compared to before.

Remove the table that comes from your dinette set

Once you do this, you will have a more capacious room. The more your motor home is capacious, the comfier it is because you can relax your whole body. You can also maximize the space by putting another seat. Don’t fret of not having a table for eating though, you can replace the original table by a foldable one.

When you are opting to travel again remove the foldable table. Get a lawn chair, and move it beside your dinette seat. You can definitely relax and travel nicely in this way.

Conclusion

Your RV dinette set is the highlight of your motor house living space. This is most likely where you will let a visitor rest once he/she visits or travel with you. For some, this can be their workspace, study area, a place to eat, or a spot to relax. Thus, comfort should be your priority when you think of designing or renovating it.

Follow this simple guide, and enjoy a comfortable adventure like no other.

How Long Will an RV Fridge Run on Battery?

how long will an rv refro run on battery

RV refrigerator is an essential appliance needed to keep foods fresh and cool while camping in RV. Me and my family always love to go on camping in an RV. Our camping experience would not be complete without a running refrigerator that stores all our food. In order for these refrigerators to run, you need batteries to power them on. But, the question is “How Long will an RV Fridge Run on Battery?”. It is highly important that we know the answer to this question so that we can do some adjustments and prepare ahead. Let us get to know the answer as we get along.

How long will an RV fridge lasts on battery?

How-many-battery-do-I-need-to-run-a-refrigerator

Normally, refrigerators run using AC power. However, when you are out there camping, it is not readily available. Thanks to batteries, having a fridge in RV is still possible. With the help of an inverter, the DC from the battery will be converted to AC to power the refrigerator.

A normal residential refrigerator or an RV fridge that consumes 150 watts of power would approximately draw 12-amp hours from a 12 Volts battery. Under this circumstance, the RV refrigerator could run for about 4 to 5 hours using a single 12 Volts battery that can supply 100 amp-hours.

Most Dometic refrigerators specifically made for RV can run approximately 6 to 8 hours on a single 12 Volts DC battery.

For a smaller RV fridge that only consumes less than 70 watts of power can last up to 30 hours with a single 12 Volts battery.

What are the factors affecting the running hours of an RV fridge?

How-long-will-a-deep-cycle-battery-run-a-fridge

There are actually several factors affecting the number of hours an RV fridge lasts. These factors include:

  • Number of amp hours

One of the factors that affect the number of hours RV fridge lasts is the number of amp factors afforded by batteries. This means that if the battery could give more amp hours, the more hours the RV refrigerator can run.

  • Number of batteries

If you have more batteries on hand, then you can run the RV fridge for more hours. Thus, if you expect your RV fridge to run for about 6 to 8 hours with a single 12 Volts battery, then it is much better to load 2 or 3 more batteries to keep the fridge working.

  • Actual power consumption of RV refrigerator

The number of hours is also affected by the power consumption of your RV refrigerator. For instance, if you have a refrigerator that utilizes 150 watts of power, your refrigerator is only expected to last for 4 to 5 hours. On the other hand, if you are using only a 70 watts RV refrigerator, then you can enjoy more hours as compared to a 150-watts refrigerator.

This factor is also affected by the size and age of the refrigerator. With size, the larger your refrigerator the more power it consumes. As with age, the older the refrigerator the more power it also consumes.

Another factor affecting power consumption is how often you use the refrigerator. Thus, using only minimal features will yield lower power consumption.

Tips in Using battery-operated RV Refrigerator

How-long-will-a-12-volt-battery-run-a-refrigerator

Now, that we already have a sort of idea of how long RV refrigerators last using batteries, then here are some tips that you can use to be able to utilize these RV refrigerators for long.

  • Check the actual power consumption of your RV refrigerator

As we have said earlier, one of the factors affecting the number of hours RV refrigerator works is the power consumption of the appliance. To check the actual power consumption of your RV refrigerator, put off all the devices connected to your battery except for the fridge. Then, check the meter reading to see how many amps have been drawn. The amps drawn are on a per hour basis, so you can easily calculate how many hours your refrigerator will work.

  • Get the right battery size

One good way to prolong RV refrigerator use while boondocking is to get multiple batteries connected together. However, there are two ways to connect your battery. One is by connecting it to a series; with this, you don’t increase the amps but only the volts. For example, if you put two 6 Volt batteries, you will have 12 Volts but amp hours will not increase.

On the other hand, connecting batteries in parallel will increase the apps. If you connect batteries in parallel like two 12 Volt batteries, for instance, you will have more than 150 amps.

Therefore, you need to calculate first the power consumption of all appliances before you configure the batteries. You can connect them either in series or parallel to get the required volts or sufficient amps to keep your RV fridge working.

  • Make sure the batteries are in good condition

To ensure that you get to maximize the amp-hours the battery can give, you have to make sure that they are in good condition. Charge it accordingly as instructed. The most common reason why batteries fail is either they are undercharged or overcharged. Make sure the batteries you are going to use do not lose the charge to less than 50 percent.

Conclusion

When you are on a road trip or camping perhaps, a handy RV refrigerator is very important because it will store and keep your foods fresh for consumption. Thus, before you go, you have to make sure that your RV refrigerator can last throughout the whole journey. We hope this article has given you all the right insights regarding how long will an RV Fridge runs on battery and how, in a way, to prolong its use.

How to Manually Retract RV Steps

how to manually retract rv steps

Nowadays, the focus is on the convenience and easy operation of everything which is why almost everything can be automated. This includes the steps of your RV. While automated steps certainly make things convenient and it surely has safety measures to prevent accidents, learning how to manually retract RV steps is important as well.

This is because knowing how to manually retract RV steps will allow you to operate your RV’s steps even when their automated feature is broken.

With that said, here’s a tutorial on how to manually retract your RV’s steps.

What You Will Need

manually-retract-steps

Before we go into detail about how to retract your RV steps manually, let’s first list down everything you need for the task. They are as follows:

  • Pliers (longnose, regular, etc.)
  • Wrench (traditional and adjustable)
  • Screwdrivers
  • RV manual (physical copy or digital)

Step by Step Guide to Manually Retracting Your RV Steps

manually-retract-rv-steps

Once you have prepared all the tools you need for the task, you can now proceed to do the following steps:

1. Prepare your RV.

Make sure to park it somewhere flat, preferably on concrete, and has decent lighting or a light source bright enough to see. To keep your RV from rolling away or onto you while you work, you can place something behind the tires like a large rock. Make sure to clear your work station as well to avoid preventable accidents and injuries.

Preparing your RV and taking the necessary precautions will ensure that you don’t find yourself with an injury or get caught in an accident while manually retracting the steps.

2. Locate the retraction mechanism.

This is usually located beneath the RV steps themselves. To help you with this, you can consult your RV’s manual as it may provide you with the information to correctly locate it. Once you have done so, identify the following parts of the mechanism:

  • Linkage pin or bolt – This links the steps’ frame and the step linkage or the retraction mechanism. This can be in the form of a pin or a threaded bolt and nut.
  • Step frame – This is the steps themselves.
  • Step linkage – This is the mechanism used to automatically retract the steps.

3. Remove the linkage pin or bolt.

steps-not-working

Once you have located and identified everything, you can now remove the linkage pin or bolt. If it’s in the form of a pin, remove the lock pin and then pull out the linkage pin. If it’s a bolt, unscrew it first then remove it.

4. Detach or unlink the step linkage and step frame.

After removing the linkage pin or bolt, you can now detach or unlink the step linkage from the step frame. To be able to do this, you need to slightly pull the linkage out of its link slot. From there, you can easily do the next step which is to retract the steps manually.

5. Manually retract the steps.

Once you have unliked the step frame and step linkage, you can now manually retract the steps. If you want to keep the steps in place, you can use a rope or cord to tie it down and keep them in place.

6. Reattach the linkage when possible.

Once the steps have been manually retracted, you could reattach the linkage if you can do so. Replacing the linkage pin or bolt will help you avoid misplacing important parts and risk having to replace the whole mechanism altogether.

Conclusion

While every step retraction mechanism of RVs is different, these are just some of the basic steps you can take to manually retract them. To ensure that what you’re doing is correct, make sure to check out your RV’s manual as it may provide you with the necessary information for manually retracting your RV steps.

Although most steps are now automated, it’s still handy to have the knowledge of manually retracting your RV’s steps, especially when the automated mechanism is messed up.

With that said, if you enjoyed this tutorial on how to manually retract RV steps, feel free to share them and if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment.

How to Remove a Thetford RV Toilet

How to Remove a Thetford RV Toilet

When living in an RV, one of its most essential components is its permanent toilet. For RVs that cost around $100,00, the common standard permanent toilet installed is Thetford toilets. However, sometimes, permanent toilets may need to be removed to be cleaned or to be entirely replaced. If that happens, as an RV owner, you must know how to remove a Thetford Toilet RV toilet on your own.

There are plenty of Thetford RV toilet models, but their removal process is generally the same. Removing it is pretty simple, and you can do it in just under 15 minutes if you follow the steps stated down below.

What to Prepare

Thetford-toilet-removal

Before jumping to the step by step instructions of how to remove a Thetford RV toilet, you must first prepare the following tools:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • 1/2 -inch socket wrench
  • 12-inch socket wrench extensions
  • Rag

The tools mentioned above are commonly found in standard toolboxes. Also, if you are an RV owner, it is good to invest in these as it may come handy in other situations as well.

The Step by Step Process

How-to-Remove-a-Thetford-Toilet-From-a-Motorhome

If you have all your tools ready, you are now prepared to remove your Thetford toilet. Here are the steps to do that:

Step 1: Turn Off the Water Supply

You wouldn’t want to make a mess by having water splash all over you when you are working. This is why, before doing anything, make sure that your water supply is turned off. Usually, RVs have a water pump switch nearby that you can just switch to “off.” If your RV is connected in an external water source, make sure to disconnect that as well temporarily.

Step 2: Remove the Bolt Cover

RV toilet bolt covers are what make them look seamless. It also keeps the actual bolts from being accidentally unscrewed for whatever reason and from corroding. So, when removing your Thetford toilet, you must remove it.

To do this, you will need to use a flathead screwdriver. Just put the tip of the screwdriver to the seams of the bolt cover and lift up. There are usually two of these, so you just have to do the same step to the other bolt covers.

Step 3: Remove the Actual Bolts

Thetford-RV-Toilet-Repair

Once the toilet bolts are exposed, take your half-inch socket wrench and unscrew it. However, it is only straightforward if the bolts are located on the sides of the toilet. For some Thetford toilet models, reaching the bolts can be difficult, especially the ones that have bolts located in front and at the back of the toilet.

If you have a front and back bolted Thetford toilet, the best way to access the front bolt is by simply pressing down and holding the foot flush lever. On the other hand, to gain better access to the rear bolt, you can lift the seat cover. Then, take away the access hole that is the upper part of the hopper. Once you do this, you can now easily reach the back bolt. After that, use your 12-inch socket wrench extension and unscrew the rear nut.

Step 4: Lift the Toilet

When the bolts are unscrewed, the toilet can now be easily lifted up from its fixed position. When removing it, make sure to have a rag ready and place it immediately in the hole left by the toilet. Doing this will prevent bad odors from the plumbing to come inside the RV. It will also prevent contamination of the black water tank contents.

Easy, right? If the instructions above still sound a little vague for you, here’s a video tutorial from Recreation Destination that you may find handy in removing your Thetford toilet:

Conclusion

Whether you are replacing your RV’s permanent toilet or you just want to thoroughly clean your existing Thetford toilet, removing it off its fixed position is not that hard. All you need to do is carefully follow the steps mentioned above, and you are good to go. Let us know what you think of this tutorial down below and share some of your Thetford toilet removal experience as well.

How to Remove Stains from RV Awning

How to Remove Stains from RV Awning

Do you know someone who just can’t stand seeing stains in their RV Awning? Let me rephrase. Are you the kind who feels irritated or even freaks out when your sight spots a stain in your RV Awning? Surely, these stains will never let you enjoy having quality time in your RV if not removed immediately.

Wouldn’t it be relieving to think that there are actually ways on how to remove stains from RV awning? Yes, you heard it right. You can now break free from enduring hours of removing the stains from your RV Awning. As an RV owner, you would surely find this article helpful for it will give you practical insights – insights already proven effective by many RV owners

What are the types of RV awning materials?

What-is-the-best-cleaner-for-RV-awnings

The idiom “barking up the wrong tree” is quite familiar to all of us. Its relevance to removing stains from your RV awning material is this: to achieve that stain-free RV awning, you must know first the kind of material that the specific awning is made of. By determining the awning material used, you can now properly choose the cleaning agent needed for that awning.

These materials are as follows:

1. Fabric Awnings

The first kind of awning material is called fabric awning. Fabric awnings are often manufactured by Sunbrella. Commonly, they are referred to as “acrylic” or “canvas” and have the following qualities:

  • Breathable
  • Quick-drying
  • UV-resistant
  • Water repellant
  • Oil-based stain resistant

It’s important to note, however, that the repellant eventually fades and loses its effect over time. When this happens, the awning may get damp and might even leak. So, before this creates damage to the awning, make sure to reapply a water repellant to the fabric awning such as 303 Fabric Guard. When left untreated, the stain in the awning could become permanent.

2. Vinyl Awnings

This kind of awning material is mildew resistant but not totally mildew-proof. When mildew forms on the vinyl fabric due to a humid and rainy climate, it would become particularly difficult to remove the stain. Fortunately, this can be prevented when the vinyl fabric is properly treated with 303 Aerospace Protectant, a quality protectant that can keep away the mold and mildew from staining the awning.

3 Easy Steps on How to Clean your RV Awning

How-to-Clean-your-RV-Awnings

As the famous line repeatedly says “prevention is better than cure”, it is indeed always best to prevent stains, leaks, and mildew from damaging your RV awning by following these 3 easy and simple steps:

Step 1: Clean

The key to achieving that squeaky clean look on your RV awning is by using a high-quality cleaner like the 303 Multi-Surface Cleaner. This cleaner effectively removes surface stains on both vinyl and fabric awning materials. This means that even the most stubborn stain, grease, oil, and even mold in your RV awning will be surely wiped out.

Step 2: Protect

After a thorough cleaning, the next step is to give protection to your awning. Fabric awnings are best protected when being treated with commercial-grade fabric guards like the 303 Fabric Guard recommended by Sunbrella. What’s good about this product is that it does not alter the color and texture of the fabric while adding a coat to repel lost water.

For vinyl awnings, a surface protectant like the 303 Aerospace Protectant should be used. This protectant prevents the fading and cracking of your awning, and it can even restore its shine and color. On top of that, it is safe to use because it is water-based.

Step 3: Reapply

The last step is reapplying a protectant spray into your awning. By doing this, you will have an awning that’s cleaner for a longer period of time and even dry much quicker. You will have to worry less about it getting stained.

Conclusion

So, who says that RV awning stains can’t be dealt with? As a matter of fact, it can easily be dealt with given the right attitude, and of course, the right tips. With these two combined, your RV awning will always retain its attractive appearance, the way it should always be.

Have you personally tried some of the tips mentioned? Did you find the tips helpful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Your RV Awning Roller Tube

A step by Step Guide to Replacing Your RV Awning Roller Tube

Part of the convenience of having an RV is the ability to enjoy the outdoors anytime you wish. Adding an awning to your RV will allow you to relax outdoors without worrying about the harmful effects of being exposed to direct sunlight.

However, constant use can lead to its wear and tear and one of the parts that experience this the most is your awning’s roller tube due to the constant movement it goes through. The good news is that replacing your RV awning roller tube can be done as long as you know what you’re doing.

With that said, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to replace the RV awning roller tube. Check out the steps below.

What You Will Need for This Tutorial

RV-Awning-Roller-Tube-Replacement

Before we start with the process, here’s a list of all the tools you will need to replace your RV awning roller tube. Prepare the following before we proceed with the actual tutorial.

  • Rivet gun
  • Vice grips
  • Drill
  • Drill extensions
  • Razor knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Socket wrench
  • Marker
  • Open-end wrench
  • Allen wrenches
  • Masking tape
  • Silicone spray lubricant
  • A waterproof sealant
  • Replacement awning fabric

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Replace Your RV Awning Roller Tube

Replacing-Your-RV-Awning-Roller-Tube

Once you have gathered all your tools and supplies, you can now begin the process of replacing your RV awning roller tube. However, remember that each awning roller tube has its differences, depending on the brand and other factors. Nevertheless, here are some of the most basic steps you can follow to replace your RV awning roller tube.

Disassembly

  • Locate and remove all the bolts and screws that keep the awning in place.

Don’t forget to use the legs to support and keep the awning in place. That way you don’t have to worry about it falling during the process.

  • Pull and/or undo the clips keeping the awning attached.

Pull the awning rod as well to slightly move the awning itself forward. It’s advisable to use masking tape to avoid damaging the sides of your RV. Moreover, older awnings may require cutting away the sealants keeping everything in place.

  • Detach the awning fabric.

To do this, loosen the track slightly with a screwdriver then pull the fabric. After removing it, place it somewhere stable and secure to avoid damage to the roller tube. Locate the spring mechanism as well at the side of the awning and lock in place with a metal rod or screwdriver. After which release the tension on the other spring by locating and removing the bolt holding both the roller and arm together. This entails removing the bolts and arms on both sides.

  • Clamp the bracket with your vice grip and remove the tension on the lever by lifting the vice grip.

You can do this by turning the lever up to roll-up and gently unrolling the spring. You may use some masking tape to avoid damages and use a marker to mark the control level for easier reassembly.

  • Remove the roller tube.

To remove the roller tube, you need to remove one rivet from the tube. For the rest of the rivets, you may use a hammer. Repeat this on the other side as well and this will make detaching the spring assembly from the roller tube easier.

  • Remove the fabric.

This should now be easy to remove. You can slice it with a cutter for easier removal.

Installation of a New Rolling Tube

How-to-replace-RV-Awning-Roller-Tubes

  • Clean and lubricate the new rolling tube.

This will make the reassembly easier and less of a hassle.

  • Attach the fabric properly.

Remember to align it properly and carefully roll it up the roller tube to avoid potential issues.

Reassembly

  • Place the spring mechanism back in place.

Using the marker used during the disassembly, line up the control level and line up the rivet holes. Replace the rivets using a pop riveter. Repeat this on the other side.

  • Tighten the spring mechanism.

You can do this by placing vice grips on the tube and brackets and moving the control level to “roll down.” After this, turn the spring counter-clockwise to tighten it.

  • Attach the awning arm on both ends.

Remove the metal rod or screwdriver you used as a makeshift lock on one side of the awning and reattach all parts properly.

  • Reattach the fabric to the RV.

To ensure smoother operation, you may use lubricants. You can also use the legs as additional support. Just make sure to line up the edge of the rolling tube’s fabric with the RV track and reattach the fabric properly.

  • Reattach all screws, brackets, and bolts.

To prevent rusting, you can use waterproof sealants after carefully and properly replacing all the bolts and screws. Remember to attach the brackets and legs as well.

  • Check the awning alignment.

Lastly, check your awning if it rolls up and down properly. If it requires adjustments, make sure to be careful when making modifications. Once everything is working properly, you can now lock the fabric in place with screws on either side of the track.

Conclusion

Did you find this tutorial useful? Hopefully, you managed to find everything you need to replace your RV awning roller tube yourself so you can once again enjoy relaxing outside your RV without worrying about the harmful UV rays.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, feel free to share it and let me know in the comments what you think.

How to Regularly Clean Fiberglass RV Siding and Deal with Oxidation

How to Regularly Clean Fiberglass RV Siding and Deal with Oxidation

If you’re a traveler like me who uses recreational vehicles, then it’s pretty normal for you to encounter various environmental conditions. These can be the sun’s heat, the polluted air, a splash of mud, or even waste from human activities. Fortunately, RV sidings are here to help protect you from such elements.

RV sidings are commonly made of fiberglass, and they’re said to be more durable than their aluminum counterpart, regardless if they’re either the smooth or corrugated type. However, even though they provide better insulation and more dent resistance, their surface is still prone to stains, fading, and oxidation. To help you practice regular maintenance, here are some essential steps you want to follow regarding how to clean fiberglass RV siding on your vehicle.

Things to Know and Prepare

How-to-Clean-the-Outside-of-a-Camper-Trailer

Oxidation in the fiberglass siding of an RV appears as a cloud-like appearance on its surface, making it more translucent. This is due to the reaction of the gel raisin coating (which is responsible for the glistening finish) and the extreme changes in temperatures in the environment.

The more the fiberglass is oxidized, the less effective it will be. There are industrial restoration jobs that bring back its clearness for a while, but nothing beats a regular cleaning to keep it well-maintained. To do that, here are the things you will need:

Protective equipment:

  • Rubber gloves, or any gloves used for washing clothes

Cleaning aids:

  • Broom
  • Wiping cloth
  • Sponge
  • Ladder

Cleaning agents:

  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Bug and tar remover, or if an alternative is needed, WD-40 is a good example
  • Fiberglass wax
  • Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), which is used for coating solvents, or acetone as an alternative

Step-by-Step Cleaning Instructions

How-to-Remove-Oxidation-from-RV-Fiberglass

Step 1: Preparatory Cleaning

Given that you have worn the proper equipment, you will now have to sweep the surface for any debris including the roof. Although the RV siding is the target for maintenance, it will be efficient to include the roofing, especially if it is covered with fiberglass. Utilize the ladder to reach high areas.

Step 2: Stain Removal

When your RV has gone to trips closer to nature, chances are there will be areas that are affected by bugs or any secretions from the wild. To remove this, use a bug and tar remover that is safe to be used on fiberglass.

They can be easily purchased at any of the auto parts store or RV-dedicated supply stores. If removal is in need, a WD-40 can be an ample substitute.

Step 3: Washing

After the removal of stains and secretions, begin washing by soaking the sponge to a soapy solution of liquid laundry detergent and a gallon of water. Start applying from the topmost part all the way to the bottom of the siding.

As more dirt is collected, re-soak the sponge and resume applying. Don’t scrub if the sponge you are using has a scrubber. Rinse the detergent solution with another set of water or just use the garden hose for easy targeting.

Step 4: Waxing Preparation

Remove-oxidation-from-rv-roof

When the surface has been washed up, it is time to use the solvent. If possible, use rubber gloves in handling to prevent unwanted irritation when exposed to the liquid.

The MEK is an efficient solvent on surface coatings. They can be purchased on any large stores for home improvement solutions or any RV-focused stores.

Soak the wiping cloth with the MEK and wipe all surfaces possible. For greases and oils where the detergent solution can’t be removed, apply as much amount of MEK as needed. You will see that the cloudy-like appearance is beginning to be more transparent.

Step 5: Waxing

As the oxidation removal process is finished, make sure to wipe the entire surface. This is to make sure that the wax to be applied will definitely be absorbed by the RV’s exterior.

After that, begin applying the fiberglass wax purchased in accordance with the manual’s instructions. The wax will restore the glistening finish your RV used to have. You will know when you are done if the expected results are met.

Conclusion

The said instructions can be very effective on sidings with mild oxidation. For larger damages, there is a process called “wet buffing” in which the surface is buffed to its former state. Also, make it a habit to do the maintenance regularly once a month at most.

The RV fiberglass siding is expensive compared to the aluminum one. It is only logical to maintain its appearance to continue having its effectiveness against the elements of nature. If you have enjoyed this tutorial, feel free to react and express your opinions in the comments section.