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Important RV Tips


Most recreational vehicles are equipped with a Dometic or Norcold heat absorption refrigerator. Contact the manufacturer to find out if your RV refrigerator has a safety recall. The refrigerator model number, product serial number and the cooling unit serial number will need to be supplied to obtain recall information


    If you ever smell ammonia emanating from the refrigerator, or notice a green yellow residue around the outside cooling unit , shut off the refrigerator immediately to avoid a fire hazard. These symptoms indicate a defective cooling unit that must be replaced.


RV Refrigerators most be operated level for proper operation. Operating a refrigerator that is not level causes cumulative restriction damage to the cooling unit, usually warranting expensive replacement. A repair can sometimes be accomplished by removing the refrigerator and performing a burping procedure. This is accomplished by laying in on its sides and upside down for a period of time.. This may be a temporary repair.

Atwood and Suburban are both major manufacturers of water heaters and have posted bulletins warning against after market parts and heating elements. Atwood direct spark ignition Water Heaters now have an adjustable thermostat available.

Do not operate RV generators while parked in confined spaces. The exhaust emits deadly carbon monoxide gas that must be well ventilated to disperse. All RV’s equipped with a generator should be equipped with a Carbon Monoxide Detector for safety. A Gen-Turi exhaust system is available for Motor Homes, that directs deadly exhaust gas above the roof line. Altitude and heat adversely affect the efficiency of generators, so most carburetors have altitude adjustments on the carburetor bowl.

When storing an RV, as a safety precaution, turn off the LP gas and disconnect the batteries. This will help eliminate dead batteries. Battery life can be greatly extended by keeping them charged wit a small trickle charger or a solar charger. Follow safety precautions when servicing batteries. Use only distilled water when filling and keep the top of the batteries and the battery tray clean. This can be accomplished by using a mixture of water and baking soda . This will neutralize the corrosion. Keep the terminals  and the top of the battery clean.

When your RV is to be put back into use after storage, always inspect the refrigerator, furnace and water heater vents for rodent nests before switching the appliance on. Inspect the water heater flame for a nice blue color. A yellow flame indicates a possible spider nest or restriction in the burner tube. This can be a fire hazard, so do not operate. Before switching a water heater on, always connect a water supply and fill the tank by opening a hot water faucet till all air has escaped.

When an RV is parked for any length of time, it is recommended that you partially unload the suspension by extending the leveling jacks. This will greatly extend the life of the springs and suspension.

Before each use of the RV, check tire pressures, fluid levels, horn, wipers, brake, turn signal,clearance lights and headlamps. Test the braking system of towed vehicles.

Always verify towed vehicles are in park, brake applied, or the wheels chocked before disconnecting from a tow bar or hitch to avoid sudden movement..

RV roofs should be inspected for gaps, cracks, voids breaks, looseness, or any signs of physical deterioration at least twice a year. Treating with a rubber roof cleaner and a conditioner is recommended. Never use any products containing citrus chemicals or petroleum distillates on a EDPM Rubber Roof. Do not use silicone sealant and use only the recommended sealant and cleaner solvents, when repair is necessary. A breathable RV Cover will protect your RV and roof from climate & weathering damage. Covering the RV with a tarp or plastic can trap moisture and condensation inside the RV, which in turn, can result in possible formation of molds and mildews.

The RV LP propane system should be checked annually for leaks and proper operations. Any rotten egg smell indicates a LP leak. Shut off the LP valve immediately. Listen for a initial PSST hiss sound when turning the LP valve on, then the sound will stop. Any flow sound indicates a leak and the LP system must be shut off immediately. Low propane levels and low ambient temperatures can cause the propane appliances work less efficiently. If you intend to use the appliances in cold weather, keep the propane tanks as full as possible.

A beeping LP Detector may be an indicator of a low battery. A continuous alarm indicates a LP gas leak, or can be caused by some cleaners and sewer gasses.

Turn off the water heater and drain monthly to avoid damage to the hot water tank. And electric heating elements.

Inspect area around a RV slide out for clearances before operating. Inspect the slide out seals f or any damage.

Using too small or long an extension cord can pose a safety hazard, as well as damaging the RV appliances from too low an operating voltage. Always inspect the plug and receptacle for damage. It is recommended to use a volt meter or voltage monitor to safely operate the RV. Voltages should be between 108 volts and 132 volts AC. A Surge Protector is recommended to avoid damaging your RV appliances and accessories from electrical surges, high voltage and improper wiring connections.

Test the GFI (ground fault Interrupter) outlets and circuits monthly.

A tripped circuit breaker is reset by pressing the circuit breaker switch firmly to the off position and turning it back on.

Always verify the antenna is lowered, the step is retracted, storage items and portable appliances secured before moving the RV.

Keep Air Conditioner return air filters clean. Inspect the coils for contamination. Listen for unusual noises or vibrations. Use a coil cleaner or have them professionally cleaned for proper performance.

Never leave the black water valve open when connected to full hook up Campgrounds. The black waste water tank must be kept wet at all times. Allow the tank to fill first, then open the drain valve to drain. Close the valve and add about 1 gallon of water and a tank deodorizer to aid in digestion and keep the valves moist. Use RV friendly toilet paper to avoid costly holding tank damage.

Buildup of solids in a holding tank can be broken down by adding distilled vinegar. A bag of ice poured down the toilet, just before driving, will aid in breaking down solids by the cubes sloshing around while driving.

Never use the trailer jacks, landing gear or leveling systems to change a tire. Always use jack stands or supports to secure a jacked vehicle

.Always unplug the RV and disconnect batteries before any welding on a RV.

We hope this information will help you avoid future failures and make your trip more enjoyable. Additional information is available at http://rvsafety.com or you can contact us at (850)866-6999 or visit http://www.rvtrax.com


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