Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints

*Make sure you know the clearance of the RV.
*Make sure your TV antenna is down before leaving.
*Make sure the steps are in the up position before leaving.
*Visually check leveling jacks to make sure they are in proper position.
*Power converters will hum & get hot, this is normal.
*Always refer to your owners manual regarding operation of your unit.
*Proper venting and air circulation will help prevent condensation inside of the RV. Leaving on or more windows or the roof vents slightly opened will help.
*Be sure that drawers and cabinets are closed before extending or retracting your slide out. They can sometimes be close enough to cause interference damage.
*Storage compartments are not water proof. Keep this is mind when storing personal items. Do not ruin your items by improper storage.
*If you've been parked under tree, check the roof of the slide out rooms. Sweep off any debris before retracting the rooms. Slide topper awnings can help prevent debris from being pulled inside the coach and possibly interfering with the weather seal.
Wheels & Chassis 
1: Verify the operation of your trailer brakes before setting off on your trip. Be sure that your brake control is adjusted properly. Our staff at River City RV Rentals can help you with this.
2: Check the oil level every time you get gas. It is not uncommon to use 1 quart every 500-1,000 miles. Your RV is built on a truck chassis and is much heavier than your automobile.
3: Grease your 5th wheel plate, slider bar/spring bars, and bitch ball before each trip to reduce noise and premature wear. 
4: Check the wheel lug bolt torque before each trip. If necessary, retighten them to the torque specified in the manual.
5: Tire pressure recommended by the manufacturer is printed directly on the tires. This is a federal law. Please ensure your tire pressure matches the recommended pressure.
Generator
1: Most generators on RV's will not start if they are more than 1 quart low on oil or have less than 1/4 tank of fuel.
2: Some generators will not supply power to your unit until a time delay has passed. This delay is to allow the generator to warm up and build up speed to supply proper voltage. Units that do not have this delay have to be plugged in manually with the 30 amp service plug.
3: Make sure all 110 volt appliances are turned off, especially the roof air conditioners, until the generator has properly warmed up and the proper speed has been reached (approx. 60 sec.).
4: Check oil level (30wt.) for every 6 hours of use. When checking the generator, if the oil oil level is too high or the oil smells like fuel, have it changed as soon as possible. DO NOT RUN THE GENERATOR!
5: Some coaches have a "plug-in" in the shore power storage compartment. If using the generator, ensure that is it fully plugged in. It may be necessary to pull the shore power cord completely out to access the large plug in the storage compartment. NOTE: Some units have automatic switches, therefore it is not necessary to plug into the compartment with the shore power cord.
6: On larger RV's with 2 roof air conditioners, both can run on the generator's power or 50amp circuit, but only 1 can run on shore power or a 30amp circuit. 
7: Outlets for small appliances are usable only when the generator is running or when the 110V shore power cord is plugged into an outside power source. DO NOT use portable heaters. If you must use a portable heater, use the kitchen outlets because they are the only outlets rated for 1250 watts max.
8: DO NOT overload the generator because the spark plugs can foul or cause damage to the generator. The renter is responsible for any damages to the generator.
9: DO NOT run the generator without running one of the appliances inside of the unit. Running the generator without running one of the indoor appliances can foul a spark plug causing the generator's oil to fill with fuel.
10: If the generator runs but there is no power to the house, SEE #5. If there is still no power, check the breaker box (brown vented box located at the foot of the bed or in the hallway) or check the 110V breaker located on the front or right side of the generator.
Batteries
1: Check the water level in your batteries often. This is especially important if the trailer is plugged into 110V power. Top off with distilled water if needed.
2: If the coach batteries are low, the LP leak detector will sound and alarm. Plug the trailer into an 110V or otherwise charge the batteries.
Electrical 
1: 110V wall receptacles are wired to a common GFI breaker, usually located on the plug in the bathroom or kitchen area. If this has been tripped, no power will be available at any of the other plugs. Push the reset button on the plug to restore power. Note: The refrigerator 110V circuit is often wired to this as well.
2: A 30 amp service is 110 volts, not 220 volts. It will not allow you to run both the roof air conditioners at the same time. Yu can not reduce your 50 amp to a 30 amp and run both of your roof air conditioners without tripping circuit breakers.
3: Never delete a ground. By national code, all parks must have a proper ground.
4: If you trip the breaker at the campground several times, you may have too many appliances running on 110V power. Try running the refrigerator and water heater on propane instead of electricity. They do not use as much propane and will gee up about 12 amps of 110V power for other uses.
5: It is a good idea to carry spare fuses with you for each amp rating the RV has. Common amp ratings are 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 40 amp. These fuses can be purchased at any auto part store.
6: If the left or right turn signal running lights on your trailer quit working, the first thing you should check are the fuses.
Gasoline
1: Use only quality grade unleaded fuel. If you know that you will be traveling in mountainous areas, add premium grade fuel. Turn off overdrive when going up and down hills. Use the brakes as little as possible. 
2: Your generator is feeding from the main fuel tank. Do not run the tank below 1/4th full or the generator will not run. The generator gas-line is tapped in a 1/4th full level.
Propane
1: WARNING: It is not safe to use cooking appliances (oven or burners) for comfort heating. Cooking appliances need fresh outside air. Open windows at least 1" to bring in fresh air while cooking.
2: LP (Propane) detectors are a great safety device but they can be sensitive and send false alarms from somethings as small as hair spray. If the LP detector goes off and you do not smell a rotten egg smell, try opening a window or door and hitting the reset button on the detector. If it does not go off again, it was just a false alarm. They also may not work properly if the temperature inside the unit gets below 40 degrees or above 90 degrees. An LP alarm can also be triggered by a low battery since the LP alarm is hardwired into the battery. TO eliminate this, plug the alarm into shore power to help charge your battery.
3: Most newer towables have auto changeover regulators. This feature allows you to pen the valves on both tanks and turn the selector lever toward the tank you want to use. The regulator will draw from the selected tank until it is empty and then automatically switch to the other tank. The selector will not move but the sight gauge will turn red to alert you that the tank is empty.
4: After the propane valve has been turned off for awhile or the tank has been filled, it may take a little while for the gas appliances to light. So before your trip, light all the burners on the stove and let them burn for a few seconds to make sure all of the air is out of the lines and that the propane is flowing properly. The burners should be a nice steady blue color. Even after this is done, the refrigerator might show a check light. This may have to be turned off and on several times before it lights (it has a small flame and takes a while to purge out any air that is still in the lines). This usually only happens when the unit has sat for a week or longer.
TV Antenna
1: The TV antenna crank handle is located on the ceiling in the living room area. Crank the long handle to raise or lower the antenna. When the antenna is in the raised position, pull down on the large round dish to rotate the antenna for better reception. TO lower the antenna, rotate the dish making sure the two arrow points are lined up as the antenna lands in the cradle on the roof. The gears are plastic. Use caution not to over tighten the crank when raising or lowering the antenna.
2: To improve reception - located next to the cable outlet found next to the TV, there is a switch and a green light. Then the switch is is on, the green light glows. This indicates the TV signal is now being amplified. Turn the switch to the off position while hooked up to park cable TV. 
3: If your crank-up TV antenna is stiff or hard to crank, try lubricating the gears and friction points on the arms. These parts can be easily seen and lubricated without any disassembly (they are located on the roof). WD-40 or a spray silicone work well as lubricants for this purpose.
Water
1: While traveling, do not leave the water pump switch in the "ON" position. If a water line breaks while traveling, this could flood and cause major damage.
2: If the pump does not turn on, check the switch. Make sure it is in the "ON" position. Check the fuses that are located in the RV's electrical panel. The panel can be found at the foot of the bed or behind a vented door in the hallway or next to the pump itself. Use 15 amp fuses. 
3: Occasionally while using the shower, the pump can get to hot and shut itself off. If this happens, shut off the pump and let it cool for 15 minutes. Check the pumps fuses and try it again.
4: To fill the fresh water tank, on some models, open the outside water fill door. Then unscrew the round cap and insert a hose to begin filling. When the tank is full, water will come out of the small vent line. On other models, connect a hose to the fitting marked "PORTABLE WATER" and being filling. When the tank is full, water will tun out from the rear of the coach. NOTE: Water will leak out of this overflow while traveling up hills and on curved roads. This is normal due to the size of the vent opening.
5: Drain and flush the fresh water tank and water tank after each camping use. In the spring, you can pour a cup of bleach into your garden hose and then fill the tank with the water and bleach solution. Turn on the water pump and run the solution through the system and you can then drain the tank. Fill it with fresh water and then run that through the lines.
Water System
1: It is best to use a water pressure regulator any time you hook up to city water. This protects your water system in case the city water has excessive pressure.
2: When filling the water heater after it has been drained, reinstall the drain plug on the outside. Then turn on the pump and open one of the hot taps (faucets) in the unit. You will probable get water first and then air mixed with water. Leave on the hot tap until only water comes out and then shut it off. The pump should pressurize and shut off in a few seconds. If a hot tap is not opened when filling the water heater, it will fill with mostly air and will spit and sputter when the hot tap is opened until the sir is purged out.  
3: If one of the faucets does not seem to have water pressure, but the rest of the system does, the small aerator on the end of the faucet may be plugged with debris. Turn on the faucet to see if there is pressure without the aerator and if there is, clean the aerator and reinstall..
Water Heater
1: The water heater the hold 6.2 gallons has a recovery time of about 20-30 minutes. 
2: To heat water on propane, locate the switch either on the monitor panel and turn it on. A red light should glow for about 20 seconds and then go out. This indicates that water is being heated. If the red light comes back on, turn the switch off and wait for 10 seconds, and try again. If no red light comes on, run the hot water to see if it is already to temperature. If it is not hot, press the reset button on the water heater itself. Turn the switch off while traveling. Trailers have a switch on the kitchen wall to heat the water on 110 volts as well as propane gas.  
3: On water heaters that have an electric heating element, be sure the element is turned off before you drain the water heater tank. They element will burn out quickly if there is no water in the tank.
4: Drain and flush the water heater tank after every use to avoid a skunky smell in the water. 
Toilet
1: Use plenty of water!
2: Leave standing water in the bowl to prevent odors from entering the living space.  
3: Be sure to add at least one chemical pack directly into the toilet with plenty of water after tanks are emptied. This will help to control odors.
4: DO not flush sanitary napkins, paper towels, diapers, garbage, etc. as this will plug the holding tanks. Use only RV/Marine grade toilet tissue. Regular tissue paper will clog the holding tank system.
Heat/Furnaces
1: The thermostat is located waist high on the wall. Turn the lower switch (located on the bottom of the thermostat) to the "on" position. Set the top switch to the desired temperature. Wait for up to 2 minutes for the fan to come on, and up to 5 minutes for the heat to come on.
2: If the furnace fan does not come on, check your battery power. If the battery power is low,start the main engine and try again or plug into shore power.  
3: If the fan comes on full speed, but you have no heat, light the stove top burners to ensure there is propane as indicated by a flame. If there is no flame, make sure the propane tank is at least 1/8th full and is turned on. The tank and valve are located outside of the coach.
4: Some furnaces have a delay after the thermostat is activated before the blower starts, and all have a delay after the blower starts before the burner ignites. Most furnaces will run for a minute or more after the thermostat is off, before the blower will shut off, this is so the blower can cool the unit down.
5: If your RV has closeable furnace heat ducts, it is best not to close them. This will restrict the airflow, be less efficient and be hard on certain parts of the furnace.
Air Conditioning
1: Make sure the fan switch is in the "OFF" position before starting the generator. Let the generator run 2 minutes before starting the roof air conditioning, and turn the roof air conditioning off 2 minutes before turning off the generator. 
2: Use an external 110 volt cord whenever possible to conserve generator use, along with being quieter.  
3: NEVER DELETE THE GROUND! This will cause all circuits to short out. Never use household extension cords.
4: If the air fails to work, make sure the shore power cord is plugged into the electrical box.
5: When the air is turned off (or a breaker trips), wait for at least 3 minutes before restarting. The is let the head pressure bleed off. Failure to do so is hard on the unit and could trip the breaker because the compressor has to work too hard to start up.
6: In high humidity, be sure to run the air on high fan mode. Failure to do so could result in freezing the compressor.
Refrigerator 
1: Unit cools much better on gas operation.
2: Check often to verify thermostat setting. When the outside temperatures are below 30 degrees and 90 degrees, the refrigerator has a harder time cooling, especially when the door is opened constantly.  
3: Make sure the outside vent is clear of debris, branches, etc. If possible, open the outside access door to get more air flow to cool the refrigerator coils.
4:If the refrigerator is not cooling sufficiently:
      A: Ensure that the coach is level.
      B: Open the outside refrigerator vent door to dissipate heat for the coils.
      C: Turn up the thermostat during the day and down at night (if needed). Setting #4 is your average temp setting. Some models are           fully automatic with manual overrides. When the automatic functions sail, it is necessary to completely shut off the refrigerator.           You can us cold ice packs, dry ice, or ice cubes in vegetable bins to cool it manually.
5:After the refrigerator is turned off, dry the inside with a towel and put crumpled newspaper in both the refrigerator and freezer to keep it from molding or smelling.
6: Do not open the refrigerator or freezer doors while traveling. It takes longer to recover when traveling then it does when parked (up to an hour).
7: Both the refrigerator and freezer compartments need air circulation inside to cool properly. Therefore, do not pack them too full of food and do not cover the grates inside with plastic or foil (except the bottom one) because this will reduce the circulation of air.
8: Turn on the refrigerator hours before you plan to load it so it will be fully cooled. Also, it is a good idea to pre-chill the food you plan on taking with you.
9: VERY IMPORTANT: A refrigerator must be close to level to operate properly. Operating in an unlevel state can cause permanent damage to the unit. It is ok to operate while traveling in unlevel conditions as the movement of traveling keeps the refrigerant moving.
10:  Sometimes the doors are hard to open right after closing. This is a good thing, as it means there is a good deal on the door gaskets.
Oven
1: Turn the temperature control knob from the "PILOTS OFF" position to 350 degrees. Immediately light the pilot in the oven. If it did not light, shut off the knob to the "PILOTS OFF" position. Then open the door and wait 5 minutes and try again. Once the pilot is lit, turn the temperature control knob to the desired temperature. When you are done using the oven, turn the temperature knob to the "OFF" position. When traveling, turn the knob to the "PILOTS OFF" position. 
2: To light the burners, use a match and turn the desired burner to high. If the oven has igniters, depress the red knob repeatedly or turn the igniter knob clockwise.  
3: RV stoves and ovens are smaller then most household ones and need good airflow when in use. You will need to use smaller pans in the RV oven because you will need at least 2" between the pan and the sides of the oven and 2-3" above the pan). On the cook top, never use a pan that covers 2 burners or that hangs past the edge of the grate. Never put aluminum foil under or around the burners.
4: When using the stove or oven, make sure at least one window in the coach is open a bit to replenish the oxygen used by the burners. Do not use the window right above the burners, as the wind could blow the burner flame around or even blow it out).
5:NOTE: Never use the stove or over for heating the unit. It is not designed for this and could over heat. It could also use up the oxygen in the unit.
Condensation & Ventilation
     It must first be understood that building materials not construction methods do not cause moisture in the air resulting in condensation. Solely the occupants of the RV and their living habits cause condensation. Condensation resulting from moist air within the RV can be a problem if not properly dealt with. It can cause warp, rot, peeling paint, and staining of woodwork and walls. The formation of condensation is a visible indication of high humidity in the air.
     When living in an RV, one must remember that its main intent and design for use was for short-term occupancy. If you expect to live in a RV for extended periods of time, be prepared to deal with condensation and the humid conditions that may be encountered. The normal activities of even a small number of people in the relatively small volume of space in an RV, coupled with its virtually airtight construction, will lead to rapid saturation of the sir inside and the appearance of moisture; especially during cooler weather.
     Estimates indicate that 2 people can vaporize in excess of 1 1/2 gallons of water daily through breathing, cooking, bathing, washing, and heating. Unless this vapor is removed by ventilation, it will condense on the inside of windows, walls, and the roof cavity as moisture. In time it can cause both visible and hidden damage. In colder weather condensation can appear as ice or frost.
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