How to winterize your RV water system

Now that we’re into November here in Pennsylvania it’s time to do the dreaded dead.  It’s time to winterize our travel trailer.  It’s a sad day in the RVcircus household because it means less camping and less camping just plain stinks.

Every year I see a million questions asking how to winterize an RV.  I also see just as many answers as to how it’s done.  This year we’re adding our own opinion to the pile.

What you’ll need:
1 1/16″ socket (if you have a Suburban water heater)
RV Waterline antifreeze (I buy 3 gallons and avoid anything with alcohol)
Blowout plug (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Air compressor
Winterizing kit (Amazon Affiliate Link) < this is optional, but well worth the cost to install

That being said, checkout the below video to see how we do it.

If you have tips of your own or questions leave them in the comments below.

Checking out the Spartan Motors RV motorhome chassis

We recently began focusing our search for our next RV on Class A motorhomes and quickly realized there’s a whole lot more to consider than gas vs diesel.  While we’ve always enjoyed drooling over motorhomes at RV shows we never really got into the weeds until we really started shopping.  It was then that we really started looking at the structure that keeps it all together…the chassis.

We see each RV manufacturer tout the chassis used in each model as if it’s part of the winning equation, but we what’s really important to us?

* Do we need the million mile capability of a diesel pusher chassis?  Probably not.
* Is the extra cost worth the better fuel mileage?  I doubt it.
* Is the extra power from the diesel pusher worth the extra cost?  I think so.
* How about ride quality, reliability and safety?  Yes, I think.
* Freightliner, Spartan, Ford, Cummins, Detroit, V10?  Jeez, we’re not sure.

We had a lot of these questions and the more we searched the more questions we came up with.  We’re leaning towards a diesel pusher for many reasons, but there’s still the question of chassis.  A motorhome is a huge investment and don’t want to base our decision based solely on floor plan and color cabinets without understanding what makes it all tick.

So when we had the opportunity to speak with the folks over at Spartan Motors we jumped at it and I’m glad we did.  They were super knowledgeable and it’s not everyday to have the chance to see these details up close and personal.  They have us the grand tour, answered questions (lots of them) and even got some tips on what to look for in a used motorhome if we decide to go that route.

Checkout the below video to see some of what Spartan Motors has to offer.

And for more info visit http://www.spartanmotors.com/why-spartan/

Making a prop Robin Hood bow for Halloween

With Halloween right around the corner it’s time to make come costumes and accessories.  The first thing on our list is to make a bow to go along with Miranda’s Robin Hood costume.  Our plan was to make this using scraps we had around the garage and have it look fairly good from a few feet away.  Below are all the pieces, parts and tools we used to put it together.

A scrap of 1/” PEX
Black twine
A strip of leather (or an entire jacket)
Spray adhesive
Contact cement
Brown sprat paint
Heat gun
Vice or a clamp
Scissors
Razor
Respirator if you don’t want to breathe paint

To see how we put it all together checkout the video below.

Silicone glow stick clips using Proto Putty – Inspired by The King of Random

Well, this may have been one on our most over complicated projects, but it’s something I wanted to play with and I needed an excuse (not necessarily a good excuse).  I’ve been wanting to try Sugru (Amazon Associate link) for a long time now and never got around to buying some and when I saw this How to make Proto-Putty video I needed to give it a shot.  I didn’t necessarily make these clips because they’re a great idea, but more to see what could be done with Proto Putty.

We tend to give the kids glow sticks while at the campground and after we get inside the kids leave them everywhere.  I’ve been meaning to add hooks for them to hang by their beds for some extra light, but I decided it would be much more fun to make some overkill silicone brackets to hold them.

To get started you’ll need:

100% clear silicone #1
Cornstarch
Food coloring
Something to mix the silicone
Disposable plates or bowls
Maybe some disposable gloves

To see how we did it checkout the below video.

For a great step by step tutorial check out Grant Thompson’s How to make Proto-Putty video.  If you’re looking for an easy way to hang glowsticks you can just use a hook.

Mini replica of Lucille the Bat from The Walking Dead

For our first project, we decided to celebrate The Walking Dead season 7 premier by creating a replica of Neegan’s bat Lucille.  I know, it’s not the most kid friendly project, but it had to be done.

We’ve seen plenty of Lucille replicas out there, but didn’t see one done with a mini-bat.  Our goal was to create something that we could display, is easily removed from the display (and used in the event of a zombie apocalypse), and is as accurate and detailed as possible.

We started with a $7 wooden mini-bat, sanded, stained, weathered and added some handmade mini-barbed wire to finish it off.  Below are all of the supplies we used for this project.

  • 18″ mini baseball bat (Amazon affiliate link to a cheap one)
  • Sandpaper (150-320 grit)
  • Minwax Colonial Maple stain
  • Red spray paint
  • Brown spray paint
  • Flat black spray paint for the oval
  • Satin spray polyurethane
  • 18ga galvanized wire for the twisted barbed wire
  • 18ga jewelry wire (I stole it from mom) for the actual barbs.  It was much easier to twist.

To see how we did it checkout the video below.

Weekly projects coming soon!

As a parent, it’s easy to get distracted by the million things going on around us.  As a way to spend more time with the kids and teach them (and myself) something new and stimulate their creativity, I’ve set a goal of creating something new each week.  We’ll be selecting each project as a family and the kids will help with each step with good old dad helping along the way.  As we make our way through each project they’ll be documented here.

How to make a whiteboard for the RV

A whiteboard?  If you know us, you’ll also know organization and planning aren’t our strong suit.  We struggle with keeping organized when on the road and that includes having notes scrawled on random scraps of paper tucked in corners throughout the truck and trailer.  Well, to combat this weakness we decided to make a central place to keep notes while camping.  And to accomplish this menial task I wanted to use power tools to do it.

The idea is simple.  Our RV refrigerator has removable front panels that we’ve already removed and painted to match the walls.  So, we removed the panels (the only thing holding them in is some plastic trim and double sided tape) and replaced them with whiteboard paneling that we picked up at Home Depot for $10.  All you need to do is remove the original panels, cut replacements the same size and slide them back in.  I used a table saw to make all the cuts, but you can use a circular saw, jig saw, hand saw, razor knife or any other sharp tool capable of cutting paneling.

To see how we did it take a look at the below video.

Minute Tips: Securing RV cabinet doors

When I made the drawers for our tall cabinet I intended to use push-to-open drawer slides to prevent the drawers from smashing the door open when on the road.  Well, I ordered the wrong slides and instead of returning them and waiting for the slides I wanted I decided to use what I had.  I was hoping the spring loaded cabinet door catch would keep everything put, but was pretty sure I’d be dealing with this down the road.

When the drawers aren’t loaded all the way everything stays closed just fine, but when we have them loaded up for longer trips the weight slams the drawers into the door and they blast open.  While on out trip to Tennessee we made a pit stop at Home Depot to pickup some magnetic catches to help the door hold those drawers in place.  I ended up picking up two heavy duty magnetic catches for the task and left them in the cabinet for a month and a half and it turns out you need to install them for them to work.  The time has finally come to install them giving us our 2nd Minute Tips video, so check it out below.

500 Subscriber GIVEAWAY and our first Q&A

After 11 months, 53 videos and almost 90,000 video views we finally hit 500 subscribers! To celebrate, we answer your questions and are having our first giveaway.

 

 

500 Subscriber Giveaway

Our visit with Augusta RV at the 2016 Hershey RV Show

So, we’ve started looking for our next RV which made this trip to Hershey even more fun.  Most of the time we wander around RV shows, dream and drool over the sea of new RV’s but this year we had a mission!  Find the best family friendly RV’s on the market.  Well, this mission was derailed when we happened upon the Augusta RV booth.  We love to checkout the amazing 5th wheels on display and we were sucked right in.  After spending about an hour in their booth we knew Augusta was something special!

As soon as we stepped foot into the first Augusta unit we knew we were in for a treat.  These are obviously premium RV’s and are what we’d call “semi-custom”.  The fit and finish were second to none.  The colors, textures, and materials used were a step up from most other RV’s we’ve been through.  During our tour through 4 different units we were able to checkout a good combination of floorplans and interior decor (our favorites were Beachfront and Manhattan). Speaking with the folks from Augusta you could tell they REALLY care about making the best 5th wheels possible.  They pride themselves on producing 5th wheels that are designed for full time use and it shows.  For example, the walls in the Luxe model are 3.25″ thick and the frame rails are 12″ I beams.

To see the highlights of our time with Augusta checkout the below video:

Augusta RV is a factory direct manufacturer which is an interesting prospect.  I know everyone loves the process of going to a dealership and that whole carnival show, but if you decide on an Augusta you’ll need to skip that step.  Buying from a local dealer has always given me a warm and fuzzy feeling, but in reality what are the chances of something breaking on your RV while at home.  Augusta also has a list of nationwide service centers that they’ve already vetted.

For those in the market for a toy hauler, keep an eye on Augusta.  They’re working on a Luxe Toy hauler which should be available soon.

To see all of what Augusta has to offer, visit:

http://www.augusta-rv.com
https://www.instagram.com/rvaugusta/
https://www.facebook.com/AugustaRV
https://twitter.com/RVaugusta