RV Roof Repair – Rubber Roof Patch + Holding Tank Vent Cap Replacement!

We recently repaired some rips and tears in our RV’s rubber roof, and we also replaced the roof vent cap for our trailer’s black wastewater holding tank. These are easy projects for anyone to do. This article shows the steps we followed to complete these repairs.

RV Roof Repair patching a rubber roof and replacing a black water tank vent cap

RV Roof Repairs — Patching a rubber roof and replacing a black water tank vent cap

We were in a hurry as we tackled these jobs because a days-long rain storm threatened to begin at any moment. Also, our “ten year” RV rubber roof is now nearly twelve years old, so it is overdue for replacement. With these things in mind, our goals were speed of installation and watertightness that would hold for a few months.

In this article we’ll point out the few shortcuts we took just in case you ripped your RV roof or knocked a holding tank vent cap off when your rig was years out from needing a new roof!

RV Holding Tank Vent Cap Replacement

We boondock all the time, and this kind of travel takes our trailer into some gnarly situations where it gets scraped by tree branches on the exterior walls and roof. The sidewalls of our rig bear the tell-tale pin-stripe scars from tree branches, and our RV roof, well, the tallest items have taken the brunt of the damage.

The black wastewater holding tank vent pipe has a cap on it to keep rain and creatures out, but ours got sheared right off when we accidentally dragged on an unforgiving tree branch.

The first task in the repair was to remove the screws holding the cap onto the roof. These were easy to locate because there was a dollop of Dicor Lap Sealant covering each one.

RV black tank roof vent broken-min

The black tank vent cap was knocked off by low hanging tree branches.
In this photo Mark has already removed a few screws that attach the cap flange to the roof.

The next task was to lift the entire vent cap flange off of the black tank vent pipe.

Remove the old vent cap flange

Remove the old vent cap flange

This revealed the black tank vent pipe. A small piece of the top of the black tank vent pipe had broken off, but the damage was merely cosmetic. The new black tank vent cap would cover it.

The next step was to clear away the old Dicor Lap Sealant that formed a ring around the old black tank vent cap so the roof was smooth instead of having a crusty ring of old sealant.

RV black tank roof vent removed and waiting for new replacement-min

Scrape away old Dicor Lap Sealant

The key to this RV roof repair is making sure the new black tank vent cap has a watertight seal with the roof so there won’t be any leaks. A generous spread of Dicor Lap Sealant does the trick. It comes in a tube and is applied with a caulk gun. Before placing it in the caulk gun, Mark clipped off the tip so the Lap Sealant could flow out.

Remove tip of Dicor Lap Sealant tube-min

Prepare new tube of Dicor Lap Sealant and then lay a thick layer around the vent pipe.

Then he spread a thick bead of Dicor Lap Sealant around the vent where the screws would attach the cap, and then screwed in the screws.

Screwing an RV black tank roof vent onto a fifth wheel trailer roof-min

Screw the new vent cap onto the roof.

A final screw went into the top of the cap. The old black tank vent cap may not have had this screw right from the factory, and that may be why it was knocked off so easily. We don’t know because we never looked at the old cap that closely!

RV black tank roof vent-min

Be sure to screw the cap itself onto the base.

Then Mark spread generous bead of Dicor Lap Sealant around the outside of the vent cap, leaving a nice dollop on each screw head, including the one on the top of the cap.

Sealing the RV black tank roof vent with Dicor Lap Sealant-min

Put a thick layer of Dicor Lap Sealant around the base with a dollop on each screw head.

Here’s how it looked a few months after the job was completed. If you’ve been wondering about the wire next to the vent, it is the cable that connects our four solar panels together in series on our roof.

RV roof black tank vent repair completed-min

.

Down on the ground far below us, our little project supervisor wondered how it was all going.

Project supervisor for RV rubber roof repair-min

The project supervisor asks how the vent cap replacement is going.

RV Rubber Roof Repair Patch

Our other RV roof repair was to fix a tear in the thin rubber sheet that covers our RV’s roof.

This job is so quick to do that the first time Mark did it in a location on the roof of one of our slide-outs, I didn’t even know he had started the job when he bounded in the door announcing he had just finished it.

“But I wanted to take pics!” I said.

“Ya gotta be faster next time!” He joked.

So, this time around, when I heard him mumble something about fixing a tear in the roof, I jumped up and ran for my camera and made sure I followed him up the ladder right away so I wouldn’t miss anything.

Tear in RV rubber roof needs repair-min

As rubber roofs age, they become more and more susceptible to rips and tears from low lying branches and other obstacles dragging as you drive underneath.

All that is needed to patch an RV rubber roof is a cleanser that can clean the crud off the roof around the tear, some scissors and some repair tape.

The preferred repair tape is EternaBond Tape. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a roll with us and there were no RV supply stores within 100 miles or so. But the local hardware store carried Flex Tape, and that worked just fine.

Tools needed for RV rubber roof repair-min

Applying a patch requires just a cleanser, some patch tape and scissors.

Mark cleaned the area throughly so the tape would stick well. He used a glass cleaner to cut any grease.

Clean the RV roof tear area before repairing-min

Clean the area thoroughly so the new patch tape will adhere well.

Wipe down RV roof tear before repair-min

Wipe off the cleanser.

Then he felt under the torn area to see if there was any lumpy debris in there. Sure enough, he pulled out a twig!

Check for debris under rip in RV roof_-min

Check to be sure nothing is lodged under the rubber roofing material.

Twig found under RV rubber roof tear-min

A twig was hiding under there!

This was a serious tear, but once he got the wound cleaned up it was ready to for a field dressing.

Rubber RV roof tear ready for a patch-min

The thin rubber roofing sheet is all that protects the underlying plywood from the elements.

RV roof tear ready for a patch-min

All cleaned up and ready for the patch.

He cut a piece of Flex Tape big enough to cover the tear. Then he pressed it in place, first with his hands and then with the back of his scissors.

Place patch on RV roof tear-min

Cut a piece of tape that is generously wider than the tear.

Press patch on tear in rubber RV roof-min

Press the patch into place.

Seal the Patch repair of RV rubber roof tear-min

Seal it and make sure there are no air bubbles by pressing something flat on it.

As an aside, Mark really likes these heavy duty Fiskar shears. They have a wire cutting notch on the back and they come with a sheath and a clip for hanging them from a belt loop.

Patch repair of RV rubber roof tear completed-min

Done! If we weren’t hurrying, the corners would be rounded and the tape wouldn’t rest on the old Dicor.

So, the job was done in just a few minutes.

A better way to cut the patch is to round the corners so they aren’t inclined to peel up. Also, sizing the patch so it is attached only to the rubber roofing material and not the lap sealant on the front cap would have been a better technique. But, as I said, rain was on its way in a few moments and a new roof was on its way in a few months.

Here is a pic from the other roof patch he did on the roof of one of the slide-outs several months ago.

RV roof repair for torn RV rubber roof-min

Another patch about 6 months after completion on the roof of one of our slide-outs.

Not long afterwards, the wild rain storm rolled in. Fortunately, the RV roof repairs were good and we were snug and dry in our trailer.

Puppy looks at a stunning sunset-min

The project supervisor was satisfied with the work, and we were warm and dry when the rains came.

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Tools and goodies needed for these repairs:

Holding Tank Vent Cap Replacement:

RV Rubber Roof Patch

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    RV Awning Installation and Repair

    Our RV awning is 11 years old now, and the canvas fabric recently tore at the top and bottom. RV awnings are a pain in every respect (except for the wonderful shade they offer), and we knew we were in for a challenging DIY repair if we tried to do it ourselves.

    Fixing an RV awning is a job for at least two people, preferably three or four for certain parts of the job, and it’s easiest if someone in the group has done it before because it can be a little tricky.

    Ripped RV awning torn before replacement-min

    Oh no! Time for new RV awning fabric!

    We were traveling through Rapid City, South Dakota, and recent hail storms had made a mess of many RVs and RV dealerships all around the area. Only one of the local RV dealerships and repair shops could get us in within the week, so we were thrilled when we backed into a bay at Jack’s Campers.

    Fortunately, they had the fabric for a 17′ Dometic Sunchaser awning in stock, an old manual model that is not installed on new RVs any more. Luckily, there must be enough oldies-but-goodies on the road these days that Jack’s Campers stocks them.

    We back our fifth wheel trailer into a bay at Jack's Campers in Rapid City South Dakota-min

    We got into position at Jack’s Campers in Rapid City, South Dakota.

    We called our RV Extended Warranty folks, Wholesale Warranties, to find out if this awning failure would qualify for reimbursement under our warranty plan.

    We have had so much good luck with our extended warranty on major repairs like our refrigerator, trailer axle, suspension, toilet and window leaks and plumbing, that we were hopeful this repair would be covered too. However, only the mechanical aspects of the awning were covered, not the fabric.

    In the end, the whole RV awning repair job ended up costing $444 out of pocket, most of that being for the new fabric, and it took the guys at Jack’s Campers just 45 minutes to do it.

    The first step was to remove the awning arms and roller from the sidewall of our fifth wheel. They unrolled the fabric about a foot and unscrewed the mounting brackets that attached the awning arms to the side of the trailer.

    Remove the bolts attaching RV awning to the side of the fifth wheel trailer-min

    First, remove the awning arms from the sidewalls of the trailer.

    There was putty in the awning fabric track where the mounting bracket had been, so this had to be removed with a flathead screwdriver.

    Use flathead screwdriver to remove putty from RV awning track on fifth wheel trailer-min

    There was some putty in the awning track, so it was removed with a flathead screwdriver.

    Next, two guys slid the awning fabric off of the awning track on the RV wall and marched the whole thing into the workshop and rested it on some saw horses.

    Two people slide the RV awning off the track on a fifth wheel trailer RV-min

    Two mechanics walked the awning out of the track on the trailer.

    Rest the RV awning on saw horses to remove the fabric-min

    Once in the shop the awning was laid across some saw horses.

    Manually operated RV awnings have a spring inside the roller mechanism (a “torsion assembly“) for rolling up the fabric. At one end of the roller there is a locking mechanism to keep the spring inside the roller tight so the fabric doesn’t unroll. This locking mechanism became important when the new fabric was installed to get the spring tensioned correctly inside the roller.

    Locking end of RV awning-min

    The right arm of the awning has a locking mechanism which keeps the fabric from rolling off the roller.

    At the opposite end of the roller there was no locking mechanism. The bolt holding the awning arm to the roller at the non-locking end was removed and the arm was pulled off. The arm at the locking end of the roller remained attached throughout the job.

    Remove bolt holding RV awning arm to the roller-min

    Remove the awning arm from the non-locking end of the roller.

    RV awning endcap and spring-min

    Awning arm removed.

    Then the rivets on the endcap were drilled out and the torsion assembly was pulled out.

    Drill out rivets from endcap on RV awning-min

    Drill out the rivets on the endcap.

    Remove spring and endcap from RV awning to replace fabric-min

    The endcap and spring (torsion assembly) are removed from the roller.

    RV awning spring and endcap-min

    The torsion assembly is out of the roller.
    Spraying it with silicone spray will help the awning roll more easily.

    Then the awning fabric was slid our of the roller.

    Two mechanics hold the RV awning to slide the torn fabric off the track-min

    Two mechanics slid the old awning fabric out of the track.

    The new fabric was unfolded and laid out in the workshop, and then it was slid into the track on the roller until the fabric stretched the whole length of the roller.

    Open up and spread out the new RV awning fabric-min

    The new awning fabric was unfolded and laid out.

    Opened up RV awning endcap-min

    The new awning fabric will be slid into the track on the roller.

    Install new RV awning fabric by sliding it along the track-min

    The new awning fabric was started in the track on the roller.

    Spraying the track with a heavy duty silicone spray helped the fabric slide along the track smoothly.

    Spray heavy duty silicone on the RV awning track before sliding the fabric onto it-min

    Spraying the track with silicone helps the fabric slide more smoothly.

    Slide new RV awning fabric onto the roller along the track-min

    Two mechanics slid the new awning fabric along the roller track.

    Then the torsion assembly was placed inside the roller and new endcap rivets were installed.

    Reinstall RV awning endcap and spring-min

    The endcap and spring were reinserted inside the roller.

    Install new rivets on RV awning cap-min

    Put new rivets on the endcap.

    New rivet installed on RV awning endcap-min

    New rivet in place.

    The fabric was positioned so it went all the way to the locking end of the awning. At the opposite end a set screw was screwed in to prevent the fabric from sliding off the track.

    New RV awning fabric at endcap on locking end of roller-min

    Make sure the awning fabric has been slid all the way to the locking end of the roller.

    Screw in set screw to keep RV awning fabric from falling off the track-min

    Put a set screw at the non-locking end of the fabric so it doesn’t slide off the track.

    The new fabric was laid out so it could be rolled onto the roller. Then a vice grip was used to turn the spring between 15 and 18 times to get the right spring tension.

    New RV awning fabric installed-min

    New awning fabric is in place.

    Use vice grips to wind up the new RV awning fabric-min

    Use vice grips to rotate the spring 15 to 18 times to ge the right spring tension.

    Then the awning arm was reattached to the roller with a bolt.

    Bolt on the RV awning arms to the roller-min

    Bolt on the awning arm.

    New RV awning fabric with set screw and awning arm attached-min

    Awning arm (non-locking end) is reattached.

    Back at the trailer, the awning track was sprayed with heavy duty silicone.

    Use heavy duty silicone spray to lubricate the RV awning track-min

    Out at the trailer spray the awning track with silicone.

    Then the new awning fabric was loosely wrapped around the roller and the whole thing was marched outside to the trailer.

    Wrap the new RV awning fabric around the roller-min

    Four guys assisted in wrapping the new awning fabric around the roller a few times.

    Carry the RV awning out to the fifth wheel trailer-min

    The awning is taken out to the trailer.

    Our little project supervisor, Buddy, had been watching all the goings on through open big shop door from a safe distance out by the trailer. When the awning and its new fabric were brought out to the trailer, he backed up as far as he could into the parking lot to give the guys room to work!

    Supervising puppy keeps his distance from the RV awning project-min

    Stand back!

    Using ladders and reaching overhead, four guys maneuvered the awning fabric into the track on the trailer and slid it all the way to the front end of the track. This is where having lots of hands can help.

    Slide the RV awning fabric along the track on the wall of the fifth wheel trailer RV-min

    The awning fabric is slid along the track on the side of the trailer.

    After installing the awning on the trailer, the mechanics noticed that the two feet that held the bottoms of the two awning arms had each developed hairline cracks. So, they replaced each foot.

    Replace the cracked RV awning foot-min

    The feet of both awning arms had developed small cracks, so they were replaced.

    The last step was to test the awning by rolling it all the way out and then all the way in again.

    New RV awning installed on our fifth wheel trailer RV-min

    Test the awning to make sure it rolls all the way out and all the way in again.

    Completed installation of the new RV awning fabric on a fifth wheel trailer-min

    Done!

    Ta Da!! A job well done. The whole project took 45 minutes from start to finish.

    Now that we’ve seen how a manual RV awning gets installed, Mark is confident he could do it without going to an RV repair shop as long as he had some extra hands for sliding the awning fabric on/off the trailer awning track and on/off the roller track.

    Side note: If you have a manual awning, it is really important that you use some kind of velcro straps or bungee cords wrapped around the awning arms as extra security to keep the awning from accidentally opening while you are traveling.

    Our photo above doesn’t show them, but we have used these awning straps ever since we bought the trailer.

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    Amp’d Throttle Booster Installation and Review

    August 2018 – We absolutely love our 2016 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually truck, and we recently installed an Amp’d Throttle Booster on it. This small electronic unit decreases the occasional throttle lag you feel when you depress the accelerator pedal by increasing the throttle sensitivity and responsiveness.

    Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster Installation and Review

    Amp’d Throttle Booster Installation and Review

    On older vehicles the accelerator was connected to the carburetor with a cable, providing a physical connection between the action of your foot depressing the accelerator and fuel flowing to the engine to make the vehicle go faster. On newer vehicles electronic signals do the job instead, and occasionally there is a slight lag between depressing the accelerator and fuel flowing to the engine. This is sometimes referred to as a “dead pedal” kind of sensation, and it can be a little frustrating to hit the gas and not have the vehicle jump in response right away.

    The Amp’d Throttle Booster allows you to increase the throttle sensitivity by slightly raising the voltage. There are three sensitivity settings along with a Stock setting that doesn’t increase the voltage at all.

    Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster in the box-min

    Edge Amp’d Throttle Booster

    Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster core unit-min

    The Amp’d Throttle Booster core unit

    The Amp’d Throttle Booster is a small product that comes in two parts: the booster unit itself and a wiring harness.

    The harness assembly has three ends:

    • One end that connects to a selector switch that gets mounted on the dashboard (labeled “A” in the photo).
    • One end that connects to the booster (“B”).
    • One end that has a Y connection that connects to two points under the dashboard (“C”).

    Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster cable harness assembly-min

    The wiring harness has three ends.
    A = Dashboard mounted selector switch
    B = Connects to the Amp’d Throttle Booster unit
    C = Both connectors connect under the dashboard.

    The installation took 17 minutes, but allow a little bit more for reading the manual, etc!

    The first step was to connect the pair of connectors at the Y end of the wiring harness to the corresponding connectors under the dashboard. These two connectors are keyed, so you can’t connect them backwards or accidentally plug them into the wrong spots.

    Working under the dashboard was a tight fit, so I have a link to the Amp’d Throttle Booster manual at the end of this article to give you the nitty gritty about each connector and where it is positioned under the dashboard both for the Ram trucks and for other brands and model years.

    Installing the Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster_-min

    First connect one of the two ends of the Y on the wiring harness to the corresponding connector under the dashboard.

    Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster wiring harness installation-min

    Connect the second of the two connectors at the Y end of the wiring harness under the dashboard.

    Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster wiring harness installation-min

    Both connectors are in place (only one is visible).

    Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster wiring harness assembly-min

    It’s tight under there but the connectors are keyed to make it easier.

    We got the kit that includes the dashboard mounted selector switch. If you don’t buy this external switch there is a switch right on the circuit board inside the Amp’d Throttle Booster unit that has two sensitivity settings, Low and High.

    Regardless of whether you get the dashboard mounted selector switch or rely on the circuit board switch instead, the next step is to set up the Amp’d Throttle Booster so it can learn the throttle response of your truck’s accelerator.

    To begin this learning sequence (and to access the circuit board’s selector switch), simply unscrew the outer casing.

    Opening up the Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster-min

    Access the Amp’d Throttle Booster circuit board and go through the Learn sequence by removing the outer casing.

    Circuit board inside the Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster-min-min

    The red arrow shows the location of the circuit board selector switch. It is set to Stock (Off).

    Then attach the wiring assembly to the connector on the Amp’d Throttle Booster unit and follow the sequence of steps given in the manual to enable the throttle booster to learn the throttle response of the truck’s accelerator (this involves depressing the accelerator pedal a few times and monitoring some LED flashing lights on the circuit board).

    Plug the wiring harness into the Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster-min

    Plug the wiring harness into the connector on the Amp’d Throttle Booster unit.

    Then mount the selector switch on the dashboard. One handy location is on the plastic tab at the bottom of the dashboard that holds the dashboard in place. Simply remove the existing screw, position the mounting bracket and screw it back in.

    Use tiewrap to mount Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster on dashboard-min

    Mount the selector switch on the dashboard and tidy up the wiring harness with tie wraps before tucking it under the dashboard.

    Once it’s mounted, tuck the harness assembly and the Amp’d Throttle Booster unit up under the dashboard and secure them in place with zip-ties.

    Edge Amp'd Throttle Booster installed on Dodge Ram 3500 diesel truck dashboard-min

    Finished. The selector switch is easy for the driver to reach.

    After the installation of the Amp’d Throttle Booster, Mark tested it with the truck in Park. He put the selector switch to Stock (Off) and revved the engine. The he did the same thing at each of the three settings: Low (50% sensitivity increase), Medium (75% increase) and High (100% increase). At each increased setting the engine responded faster to his foot depressing the accelerator pedal — as expected.

    Mark has been driving with the Amp’d Throttle Booster installed on the truck for the last 5,000 miles, and he’s found he likes it best at the High setting (100% increase) which is where he keeps it set all the time.

    He finds he notices the improvement a lot when passing people and also when driving in the mountains as well as when he’s in stop-and-go traffic.

    Without the booster he sometimes finds that on a steep incline or when “gassing it” for whatever reason, he’ll depress the accelerator and then have a moment or two of no response from the engine before it kicks in. With the booster on High, the truck reacts and accelerates much more quickly.

    We also have an Edge Juice with Attitude engine tuner on the truck, and Mark finds that the two work together well. He puts the engine tuner in Level 2 (Towing) and leaves it there most of the time. This improves the engine’s power when it’s towing our trailer.

    Whenever we’re going to be driving the truck without the trailer attached for a long drive or for a few days of in-town driving, then he puts the tuner in Level 1 (Economy). This improves the fuel economy significantly.

    Our truck has about 35,000 miles on it now, and we’ve owned it for two and a half years . For anyone wondering how many miles they might drive in the full-time RV lifestyle, there you have it — we’ve averaged 14,000 miles a year since January 2016, about half of that towing our trailer and half of that driving without our trailer hitched up.

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    Repairing and Replacing RV Roof Vents After a Hail Storm!

    July 2018 – We have been floating around northern Wyoming and the Black Hills of South Dakota for the past few weeks, an area that is prone to wild hail storms. The other day, while we were away from the trailer in town, a horrific hail storm came through our campsite and wreaked havoc on our RV roof.

    A hail storm damaged a RV roof vents on a fifth wheel trailer-min

    Will these gathering storm clouds dump hail on us?

    We didn’t know this was happening while we were gallivanting around town, sipping lattes, running errands and chatting with the locals. It was nice there!

    But we got a hint about what had happened (that we didn’t understand at first) as we drove back to our campsite when we saw a fifth wheel trailer going by us on the highway with a wildly flapping tarp strapped down over its roof.

    When we got back to our trailer we noticed some large clumps of ice in the grass and began to wonder.

    Large hail fell and broke RV roof vents on fifth wheel trailer-min

    At least half an hour or more after the storm ended, big chunks of hail were still on the ground.

    We’ve been through hail storms before, most notably at Bryce Canyon and at Cedar Breaks National Monument, but the hail has always been about the size of a pea. Even at that, the thunderous sound on the trailer roof is astonishing.

    But this time, considering the storm must have ended at least 30 minutes or even an hour or more before we got back to the trailer (the ground wasn’t very wet), these ice chunks were still pretty big despite melting fast. Suddenly it hit us, “Uh oh. Are the solar panels okay?” Mark quickly climbed up on the roof to find out.

    As he yelled, “Oh, WOW!” from the rooftop I noticed that another storm was darkening the sky and was on its way.

    Checking RV roof vents on fifth wheel trailer after hail storm-min

    Mark surveys the hail damage on our roof while another storm threatens…

    Luckily, there was no damage to our solar panels. However, the hail storm had smashed two of our RV roof vents!

    These were basic RV roof vents with small 12 volt fans, one located in the toilet room and one in the shower stall, and the damage to each one was severe.

    Broken RV roof vent on fifth wheel trailer-min

    Yikes!

    Broken RV roof vent on fifth wheel trailer-min

    And more yikes!

    Not only were the RV roof vent dome lids broken in multiple places but the fan blades above the screens had been broken off too!

    Broken RV roof vent on fifth wheel trailer inside view-min

    Not only did the lid get broken but some 12 volt fan blades broke too!

    Broken RV roof vent on fifth wheel trailer view from inside-min

    The other vent fared no better!

    Interestingly, our two Fantastic Fan RV roof vents were still 100% intact and sustained no damage. That’s an especially good thing because they are over our bed and over our recliners which would have all gotten soaked.

    We had little time to puzzle over it all because another storm was on its way and would be dumping either rain or hail or both on us again momentarily. If we didn’t fix the vents in the next 10 minutes or so, our shower and toilet room would get drenched inside once again. That wouldn’t be a disaster, but who would want to sop up the mess twice?

    Mark surveyed the damage and decided the best way to fix the RV roof vents for the short term — until we could get some replacement RV roof vents — was to tape them up with Gorilla tape.

    Gorilla tape temporarily repairs RV roof vent-min

    A quickie repair job with Gorilla Tape was enough to withstand a few more violent storms!

    The storm arrived with a vengeance and we were pelted with rain. Then another two storms passed over us in the next 12 hours. Not much hail fell, but one storm pounded us with a deluge of rain for over two hours.

    Lightning strikes during a storm-min

    As I clicked the shutter on this eerie landscape I saw a flash of lightning through the view finder. What luck!

    Gorilla tape is amazing stuff, and not one drop of water leaked through the broken roof vents in all that rain. So, if you’re ever in a bind like this, it doesn’t hurt to have a roll of Gorilla Tape on hand!

    Insurance? Warranty??

    We debated whether to file an insurance claim, but the cost of this repair would barely meet our deductible. We also debated whether to try using our RV extended warranty since it had worked so well for us in the past when we needed some truly major equipment replacements (axle, fridge, suspension, toilet and plumbing). But warranties cover system failures, not accidents or acts of God (like hail).

    So, this would be a DIY job without any outside financial assistance.

    The next day we picked up two replacement RV roof vents (Ventline V2094 units by Dexter) at a local RV dealership and parts store. We didn’t get there until the afternoon, and we were amazed to find that there had been a run on RV roof vents that morning. They had just one left. The other had to be brought in from a partner store in the next town!

    We also picked up a bunch of tubes of Dicor Lap Sealant, and then Mark got out the tools needed for the job and went to work.

    Tools used to install new RV roof vents on fifth wheel trailer-min

    Tools for the job: Screwdrivers, drill, wire cutters and a knee pad. Not shown: a caulk gun.

    First, he used a flathead screwdriver to get the old Dicor Lap Sealant off of all the screw heads holding the damaged roof vent to the roof of the trailer.

    Remove caulking from screw head on RV roof vent-min

    First, scrape off the old Dicor Lap Sealant to reveal the screw heads.

    Screw head revealed so RV roof vent can be removed-min

    All the screws are #2 square heads.

    Unscrew screws attaching RV roof vent to fifth wheel trailer roof-min

    Unscrew the screws using a #2 square drill bit in a cordless drill.

    Then he used a #2 square bit in our Rigid cordless drill to unscrew all the screws.

    All the screws on the old RV roof vent are removed-min

    All the screws have been removed.

    Then he used the flathead screwdriver to remove the Dicor Lap Sealant from the top of the RV roof vent flange.

    Remove Dicor Lap Sealant from RV roof vent before removing the vent-min

    Scrape the Dicor Lap Sealant off the flange so the RV roof vent can be removed.

    The old RV roof vent was now ready to be pulled off of the roof all together. However, the wires for its 12 volt fan were still attached, so he clipped those off with diagonal cutting pliers.

    Remove old RV roof vent from roof of fifth wheel trailer-min

    The old RV roof vent is ready to be removed except for the 12 volt fan wires.

    Wires for 12 volt fan still attached to old RV roof vent before it is removed-min

    .

    Cut the wires on the old RV roof vent before removing it from fifth wheel trailer-min

    Cut the wires leaving plenty of wire remaining for the new RV roof installation.

    At last the old RV roof vent was completely removed leaving just the gaping hole into our shower stall below.

    Hole in fifth wheel trailer roof after removing RV roof vent-min

    Ready for the new RV roof vent.

    The next step was to prep the new RV roof vent for installation. Mark unrolled some putty tape, which is sticky on both sides, and pressed it onto the bottom side of the flange of the new RV roof vent. Then he cut it to the proper length and peeled off the protective strip to expose the sticky part.

    Place butyl putty tape along edges of RV roof vent before installing it on fifth wheel trailer-min

    Place strips of putty tape on the bottom side of the flanges on the roof vent. This is double sided sticky tape.

    cut double-sided putty tape before installing RV roof vent on fifth wheel trailer-min

    Cut the tape.

    Remove protection from double-sided sticky tape before installing RV roof vent on fifth wheel trailer-min

    Remove the protective strip to expose the sticky side of the putty tape.

    At the end there was a tiny gap in one corner. He rolled a small bit of the putty tape into a ball and pressed it into the gap.

    Double sided sticky tape ball-min

    If you end up with a gap, ball up a little putty tape and press it in the gap.

    Fill gap in double-sided sticky tape before installing RV roof vent on fifth wheel trailer-min

    .

    One of the interesting things about these RV roof vents is that the lids are flexible. Our old ones were heavily scraped from going under low hanging branches (as you can see in the first pictures of the broken vents near the top of this article), and they are designed to flex when something presses on them.

    We didn’t want to demonstrate this with the new RV roof vents, but Mark pushed his shoe into the old vent so you could see. Obviously, the lid is weakened by the taped up holes, but it still has huge amount of flex to it.

    RV roof vent has flexible dome-min

    The dome lids on these RV roof vents are very flexible which helps when you hit low hanging branches.

    The next task was to get the RV roof vent installed on our trailer roof. We often pass things up to and down from the roof via the slide-out next to our front steps. This is much easier than climbing the ladder with one hand while holding something in the other.

    Put the new RV roof vent on the slide-out of the fifth wheel trailer-min

    The new RV roof vent goes up on the roof.

    The Ventline RV roof vents had embossed labels showing how to orient them on the roof. The idea is to install the RV roof vent so it opens to the rear of the RV. That way, if you accidentally leave it open and drive off, the hinges won’t be fighting 65 mph winds on the highway that could rip the lid off.

    New RV roof vent orientation towards the front of the trailer-min

    Be sure to orient the RV roof vent so it opens towards the back of the rig.

    Vehicle Front lettering on RV roof vent-min

    It says “Vehicle Front” with an arrow. You may need to feel around to find the lettering!

    New RV roof vent is in place and screwed onto fifth wheel trailer roof-min

    The new RV roof vent is in position.

    Before securing the RV roof vent in place, Mark wired up the 12 volt fan. First he made a note of which color pairs had been wired together before and then cut off the crimp-on barrel connectors from each pair of wires. Then he used wire strippers to strip off a little bit of the outer casing of each wire to reveal the copper strands inside. Some errant strands were sticking out of the group so he he twisted all the copper strands together.

    Strip wires for 12 volt fan on RV roof vent installation-min

    Note how the fan is wired, remove the existing barrel connectors and strip the casing from the wires.

    Prep wires for 12 volt fan for RV roof vent installation-min

    Twist all the strands so no stray ones stick out.

    After doing this to all four wires he twisted the two pairs of wires together and screwed on new wire nuts.

    Prep wires for 12 volt fan on RV roof vent installation-min

    Twist the pairs of wires together and screw on the wire nut.

    Completed wire nut for 12 volt fan on RV roof vent installation-min

    The last squeeze.

    At this point he turned on the 12 volt fan just to be sure that it not only was wired correctly but also rotated in the right direction to exhaust air out of the RV. If he’d reversed the pairs of wires by accident, the fan would have run backwards, forcing air into the RV instead of exhausting it out.

    12 volt wires for 12v fan on RV roof vent installation-min

    Test the fan to be sure it turns on and spins in the right direction.

    Then he tucked the wires in and closed the lid so he could screw it onto the RV roof.

    Place new RV roof vent on fifth wheel trailer roof-min

    Then tuck the wires in and position the RV roof vent so the screw holes line up.

    Using the #2 square bit on his cordless drill, he screwed down the four corner screws first.

    Screw in corner screws on new RV roof vent installation on fifth wheel trailer-min

    Screw in the four corners first.

    Then, to ensure the RV roof vent would seal evenly on all sides, he placed all the screws in their positions around the edges of the vent and screwed them in using a star pattern in the same way that lug nuts get tightened when changing a tire.

    Use a cordless drill and #2 square bit to screw in new RV roof vent to fifth wheel trailer roof-min

    After placing all the screws in the holes, use a star pattern to screw them in evenly.

    New RV roof vent installation on fifth wheel trailer-min

    Done.

    The next task was to cover all the screws with a thick layer of Dicor Lap Sealant. Mark had tackled this project in the early morning so he wouldn’t have to sweat it out on the RV roof at midday, but this meant the Lap Sealant was still quite cold and wouldn’t flow well. So, he took a break and left the tubes of Lap Sealant out in the sun to warm up for a while.

    Dicor Lap Sealant for RV roof vent installation-min

    Dicor Lap Sealant has to flow, so make sure it is warm enough that it will flow smoothly.

    When the Lap Sealant was finally warm enough to flow, he clipped off the end of a Dicor Lap Sealant tube and set it in his caulk gun. He wryly joked with me that if you don’t invest in a quality caulk gun at the outset, you’ll keep throwing them out until you do!

    Cut the end off the tube of Dicor Lap Sealant-min

    Cut the end off the Lap Sealant tube and place it in the caulk gun.

    Then he flowed the Lap Sealant along the edges of the RV roof vent flange, flowing a little over each screw head as he went. It took almost two tubes of Dicor Lap Sealant per RV roof vent.

    Sealing the new RV roof vent with Dicor Lap Sealant-min

    Flow the Lap Sealant along the flange and over each screw head.

    And Ta Da — he was finished!

    This installation project took about 45 minutes per roof vent.

    Seal the new RV roof vent with Dicor Lap Sealant-min

    Done.

    Our old RV roof vents had been installed at the NuWa factory in 2007 when our trailer was built, and they had worked flawlessly right up until this hail storm in 2018.

    We were intrigued to discover that the old RV roof vents had been tinted a dark shade. The new ones were pure white, and what a difference that made inside! The first time I used the toilet room I opened the door and wondered why the light was on because it was so bright!

    These lighter colored RV roof vents may let in a lot more heat, but vent insulators can help with that on the hottest days.

    RV roof vent installed on fifth wheel trailer-min

    One RV roof vent finished and one to go. After that, time for a beer!

    Mark did some other RV roof repairs while he was up there, but I’ll save those projects for a future article!

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    MORryde SRE 4000 Installation & Review – Smooth Trailer Towing

    The MORryde SRE 4000 is a fabulous replacement for the standard equalizer used in most trailer leaf spring based suspension systems. We recently replaced our fifth wheel trailer’s equalizer with a MORryde SRE 4000, and what a difference this has made when we tow on bumpy roads!

    MorRyde SRE 4000 Trailer Suspension Installation and Review

    MorRyde SRE 4000 Trailer Suspension Installation and Review

    We have had our 14,500 lb. 36′ Hitchhiker fifth wheel trailer for over ten years, and during that time we have replaced the leaf springs, the shock absorbers and the equalizer with beefier components than the ones that were installed at the factory. We also cut the hangers off the frame and placed them at a slightly wider spacing when the tires threatened to touch each other due to a failure within the suspension system (blog post about all that here).

    Our leaf springs are now Rockwell American leaf springs made in America from American steel. In addition to switching brands, we upgraded our leaf springs from the factory installed 7,000 lb leaf springs to 8,000 lb springs.

    These wonderful upgrades meant we no longer had a problem with sagging leaf springs or a faulty suspension system, but the ride inside the trailer had become very harsh. It was now routine for us to find things in total disarray inside our trailer after towing it down even modestly bumpy roads.

    MorRyde SRE 4000 installation and review-min

    The MORryde SRE 4000 includes equalizer and wet bolts (heavy duty shackles) for each axle.

    After arriving at a new campsite we’ve found our sconce lights dangling and we’ve had several light bulbs on our ceiling fan shatter all over the floor.

    We keep some books in a cabinet in the far back of the trailer, above the rear window, and that cabinet was always a total disaster whenever we unhitched. Books and pamphlets and maps would be toppled all over each other.

    In another rear cabinet in the trailer I keep a pocket flashlight and a chapstick, among other things, and darned if those two items didn’t always roll away and disappear under a pile of camera cleaning supplies every time we towed the trailer.

    We had to be super careful opening our RV refrigerator door, because bunches of things would fall out onto the floor.

    We have a few battery operated LED lights mounted under cabinets with Velcro, and they invariably would fall onto the counter tops. And from longstanding habit we tend to leave our place mats on our dining table, and they would always be on the floor when we arrived anywhere.

    Mark’s tools down in the Man Cave? Oh my. We won’t even talk about that mess with all those tool boxes tipped over on their sides.

    MorRyde SRE 4000 installation and review-min

    Here’s another look at the components of this system: MORryde SRE 4000 and heavy duty shackles

    We had resigned ourselves to fixing a disaster every time we parked and set up camp, but it sure was frustrating.

    Then Mark started reading up on the MORryde SRE 4000. MORryde is well known among RVers for their patented IS (Independent Suspension) system which is an axle-less rubber based system that doesn’t involve leaf springs at all. These are standard on the upscale New Horizons fifth wheels, and they are a pricey but popular upgrade with many RVers who have replaced their factory installed leaf spring suspension with the MORrydes IS suspension on their fifth wheel trailers.

    However, the MORryde SRE 4000 simply replaces the equalizer in a leaf spring suspension system and leaves the rest of the system intact, including the leaf springs, axles and shock absorbers. Rather than having a boomerang shaped piece of steel (an equalizer) that rocks back and forth between the two axles’ leaf springs, the MORryde SRE 4000 adds a rubber component that provides 4 inches of travel. So, not only does it rock back and forth, but it absorbs the bumps.

    Replacement of trailer equalizer with Morryde SRE 4000-min

    The MORryde SRE 4000 replaces the above equalizer and bolt assembly that sits between the hanger at the top and the two sets of leaf springs on either side.

    We decided that this seemed like a really neat solution to our problem, so we headed over to Rucker Trailer Works in Mesa, Arizona, to have the MORryde SRE 4000 installed.

    Rucker Trailer Works has worked on our trailer before. They aligned the frame and rehung the hangers to laser-point perfection after our initial suspension replacement at another shop. They have been in business for decades and they are true trailer experts. We would trust them with our trailer any day of the week and will eagerly return to them for any work we need in the future.

    If we had known about them at the time, we would have gone to them for our electric over hydraulic disc brake conversion, and they also would have been our initial choice when we had our failing suspension replaced.

    Rucker Trailer Works Mor-ryde SRE 4000 installation-min

    Rucker Trailer Works in Mesa, Arizona, did a superior job.

    We got set up in a bay and three mechanics quickly got to work.

    Fifth wheel trailer ready for Morryde SRE 4000-min

    We parked our buggy (a 36′ Hitchhiker fifth wheel) in one of the work bays.

    Our new puppy, Buddy, wanted to be the Project Supervisor. But he had been caught sleeping on the job when we did our RV screen door upgrades a few weeks ago. So, he reluctantly went away to take a nap in the truck while the experts did the installation.

    MORryde SRE 4000 review and installation-min

    Our new puppy, Buddy, wanted to be the Supervisor but he napped in the truck instead.

    The first step was to remove the wheels and jack the trailer up with floor jacks, placing the jacks under the frame.

    Remove 5th wheel trailer wheels for MORryde SRE 4000 installation-min

    First things first: jack up the trailer and remove the wheels.

    Once the trailer wheels were off the ground, additional jacks were slid beneath the axles to support them. This was an important step because the project would involve disconnecting and reconnecting one of the points where the axles are attached to the trailer via the leaf springs.

    There are five attachment points on each side of the trailer between the axles and the frame. Three of these attachment points are the hangers. The hangers connect the endpoints of the leaf springs: one at each of the two the outer endpoints and one in the middle supporting both leaf springs via the equalizer. The other two axle/frame attachment points are the two shock absorbers.

    When the equalizer is removed, each leaf spring loses one attachment point to the frame. That is, each leaf spring ends up connected to the frame by only one hanger at one end while the other end is left dangling where the equalizer used to be. As each leaf spring drops, the shock absorbers could also be stretched open and possibly damaged. Also, it’s much easier to line up the bolt holes when installing the MORryde SRE 4000 if the axles are supported!

    Therefore, jacks were positioned beneath the axles to hold the axles in place during the job.

    This “after” pic shows the five connection points between the trailer frame and the axles.
    The axles must be supported when the center attachment point is removed during this job.

    Because we have electric over hydraulic disc brakes on our trailer (an upgrade we highly recommend to anyone with a large fifth wheel trailer), the disc brake calipers were removed and set aside with the hydraulic lines still intact and attached.

    Fifth wheel trailer disc brake rotor and caliper-min

    Because we upgraded our trailer to disc brakes, the brake calipers had to be removed temporarily.

    Fifth wheel trailer disc brake with caliper removed-min

    The disc brake calipers were set aside with the hydraulic line still attached & intact.

    The equalizer was now at a crazy angle because the trailer was raised up on jacks.

    Fifth wheel trailer equalizer replaced by Morryde SRE 4000-min

    The old equalizer is cocked because the trailer is on jacks and the weight is off the wheels

    The bolt holding the equalizer to the hanger was removed, and then the bolts holding the equalizer to the leaf springs were removed.

    Remove 5th wheel trailer equalizer to install Mor-Ryde SRE4000-min

    The bolt holding the equalizer to the hanger was removed.

    Bolts removed from fifth wheel trailer equalizer to install MorRyde SRE4000-min

    Next, the bolts holding the equalizer to the leaf springs needed to be removed.

    These were not the original factory-installed bolts. They were wet bolts that we had had installed when our suspension was replaced a while back.

    Wet bolts and equalizer from fifth wheel trailer-min

    The old equalizer and bolt assemblies.

    To our surprise, the mechanics discovered that the one of the equalizers was damaged. The top hole had started elongating and the brass bushing had broken. We were both astonished because we had towed our trailer only 7,500 miles since the equalizer had been installed. Our trailer weighs in at its GVWR and is not excessively heavy.

    Damaged Dexter equalizer removed from fifth wheel trailer-min

    One of the equalizers was already damaged after just 7,500 miles of towing.

    Damaged Dexter equalizer removed from fifth wheel trailer suspension-min

    The top hole had elongated and the bronze bushing had broken.

    As we pondered how this damage could have happened, we remembered one particularly nasty road we had driven down this past year. It was a 3 mile long stretch of miserably rutted dirt road that took us 45 minutes to cover. At the end of it we noticed that the top equalizer bolt was hanging halfway out because the nut had worked its way off.

    You can read about the details and see Mark’s incredibly ingenious solution to get us back on the road in this post: Trailer Suspension Nuts & Bolts – One Nut From Disaster!

    Here’s a pic from that scary moment many miles from nowhere:

    Bolt falling out of equalizer in fifth wheel trailer suspension-min

    Last year, after driving for 45 minutes on the nastiest dirt road we’ve ever been on, Mark noticed the bolt holding the equalizer to trailer frame was working its way out. This may be what caused the damage to the equalizer that we saw during the MORryde SRE 4000 installation.

    Past damage behind us, the next step was to hang the MORryde SRE 4000 on the leaf spring hanger.

    MorRyde SRE 4000 installation on fifth wheel trailer frame hanger-min

    The MORryde SRE 4000 was suspended by a bolt at the top.

    Prior to tightening the bolt, the mechanic used a C-clamp to tighten the hanger arms and hold the MORryde SRE 4000 in place.

    MorRyde SRE 4000 installation on fifth wheel trailer frame hanger-min

    A C-clamp held the MORryde SRE 4000 in place

    Then the C-clamp was removed and the MORryde SRE 4000 was centered between the leaf springs.

    Position MorRyde SRE 4000 on fifth wheel trailer frame hanger with disc brake caliper removed-min

    The MORryde SRE 4000 was bolted onto the hanger.

    Fifth wheel trailer suspension with disc brakes and MorRyde SRE 4000-min

    The MORryde SRE 4000 was suspended from the hanger.

    MorRyde SRE 4000 and fifth wheel trailer leaf springs-min

    Looking good.

    The next step was to install the heavy duty shackles (or “wet bolts”) on either side of the MORryde SRE 4000, first bolting together one side and then the other.

    Leaf springs attached to Mor-Ryde SRE 4000 on fifth wheel trailer suspension-min

    A new wet bolt assembly attached the MORryde SRE 4000 to one leaf spring.

    MorRyde SRE 4000 installed on fifth wheel trailer hanger and leaf spring suspension-min

    Now it was fully bolted on to the hanger at the top and to both leaf springs on either side.

    And that was it! Of course, the process had to be repeated on the other side of the trailer.

    The mechanic held up the equalizer to show where it had been.

    Comparing fifth wheel trailer equalizer and MorRyde SRE 4000-min

    For comparison, here’s where the equalizer used to be.

    The next step — after admiring how the MORryde SRE 4000 looked between the leaf springs — was to reattach the disc brake calipers, mount the wheels and lower the jacks until the trailer was standing on its own wheels once again.

    MorRyde SRE 4000 installed on fifth wheel trailer leaf spring suspension-min

    The disc brake calipers were reattached.

    Reinstall wheels on fifth wheel trailer after MorRyde SRE4000 installation-min

    The wheels were mounted back on.

    Finished installation MorRyde SRE4000 equalizer-min

    The jacks were removed and the trailer stood back up on its own wheels.

    We crawled underneath to have a look at the new MORryde SRE 4000 from the insides of the wheels.

    MOR-ryde SRE 4000 seen from beneath a fifth wheel trailer-min

    View from under the trailer looking at the back side.

    One of the things we were curious about was whether the MORryde SRE 4000 would raise or lower our trailer. We often travel on dirt roads and tow our trailer through washes, and we prefer it to be quite high off the ground. Even driving up or down a short ramp into or out of a gas station can cause havoc at the back end of the trailer. A few years ago when our trailer still stood at its original factory height, we left a deep 50′ long scrape in an insanely sloped parking lot in Boone, North Carolina.

    We measured the trailer height off the ground both before and after the MORryde SRE 4000 installation and were pleased that it raised the trailer over an inch, from 28 5/8 inches to 29 7/8 inches. Woo hoo!

    Trailer height before installation of MOR-ryde SRE 4000-min

    BEFORE the installation the measurement was 28 5/8 inches.

    Trailer height after installation of MOR-ryde SRE 4000-min

    AFTER the installation the measurement was 29 7/8 inches, 1.25 inches higher.

    We have towed our trailer a few hundred miles since the installation, and quite a few of those miles have been on both bumpy paved roads where we were going 35 mph or so and on miserably rutted dirt roads where we were going 10 mph or less.

    The first thing we noticed is that we were chucking around a lot less in the cab of the truck. So often in the past it seemed like the tail was wagging the dog, so to speak, and the trailer’s bouncing was making the truck bounce too. We have a Demco Glide-Ride fifth wheel pin box, which reduces the fore-and-aft movement of the trailer, but we were still being thrown around in the truck by the motion of the trailer.

    But it is the difference inside the trailer that is most remarkable. We have been truly astonished each time we’ve gone inside the trailer to find everything is still intact. The books on the back bookshelf miraculously stay put. I haven’t lost that chapstick or that flashlight since the day the MORryde SRE 4000 was installed. And today, when we drove several miles on one of the rockiest and pot-hole filled dirt roads we’ve been on in ages, I was stunned to see that the placemats were still on the table when we arrived and the LED lights were still happily hanging under the cabinets.

    Buddy was also excited that the water in his water dish was all still inside the bowl and hadn’t spilled out all over the sink.

    He was also excited when we visited the parts shop at Rucker Trailer Works and scoped out what they had on their shelf: Buddy Wheel Bearing Protectors!!

    Bearing Buddy wheel bearing protector-min

    Buddy didn’t get to supervise, but he found a product he really liked in the Rucker Trailer Works shop!

    If you are tired of cleaning up the mess every time you set up camp, look into the MORryde SRE 4000. We were actually a little skeptical about how much this system would improve our ride, and we merely hoped for a little less turmoil in the trailer. But we are absolutely delighted that it truly smoothed out the ride, enough so that things in the bumpiest part of the trailer — the far rear end — now stay in place.

    Also, this smoother ride will help our trailer and everything in it last a little longer. With less jiggling and outright bouncing going on, there will be less wear and tear on every component in the trailer from the walls to the windows and cabinets to all the appliances that were never intended to withstand endless jolts and shocks.

    In addition, our more delicate belongings, from our camera gear to our laptops and external hard drives, along with everything else we’ve put into the trailer will be much happier and less prone to breakage with our new smooth ride.

    For RVers visiting Arizona, Rucker Trailer Works is a great choice (website here). We were back on the road in less than two hours. MORryde also does installations at their facility in Indiana (website here), and we found out they do electric over hydraulic disc brake conversions there as well, so you can get two excellent upgrades done at once!

    Buying the MORryde SRE 4000

    The MORryde SRE 4000 can be purchased with or without a steel crossmember (“X-Factor Performance Crossmember”) that goes between the two leaf spring hangers to eliminate flex. Our trailer already had a crossmember that was welded onto the frame when our suspension was upgraded, so we got the unit that doesn’t include it. The difference in the part numbers is that the unit with the crossmember has an “X” at the end of the part number.

    Also, you must measure the distance between the axles (the wheelbase) to determine whether you need the 33″ or the 35″ version of the product. We needed the 33″ version.

    Lastly, the heavy duty shackle wet bolt kit is sold separately.

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    RV Screen Door Modifications & Upgrades

    We have recently made two upgrades to our RV screen door. Combined with our annual screen door shrink-wrapping project (explained here), that makes for three easy DIY RV screen door modifications we’ve done. Who knew you could do so much to a silly screen door??

    RV Screen Door Modifications and Upgrades

    RV Screen Door Modifications and Upgrades

    INSTALLING A GRAB RAIL ON AN RV SCREEN DOOR

    Although we’ve been in and out of our RV door countless thousands of times over the last decade of traveling full-time, we had never installed one of those handy grab handles that crosses the door’s mid-section. Until this week!

    Grabbing the screen door when it’s being whipped out of your hands by the wind is nearly impossible without one of these grab bars, and when we saw one of these handles on a friend’s fifth wheel trailer, we just had to have one.

    Our screen door is 24″ wide (skinny by today’s standards) but these handles are variable in length. The instructions that came with the handle involved drawing templates and other complicated things, so Mark went with his instincts and got it mounted just fine. Here’s what he did:

    First, after holding the handle up to the door at various heights to decide where to mount it, he drilled a hole in the RV screen door frame and then screwed one end of the handle into the door frame.

    Drill hole in RV screen door to install the door handle-min

    Drill a hole in the door frame to hold the handle in place.

    Attach RV screen door handle to the screen door frame-min

    Screw the handle to the door with just one screw at first.

    Then he held the handle in place on the other side of the door frame and put a level on it to ensure it was level. Then he used a fine pointed Sharpie pen to mark the location on the door where the handle would be screwed in.

    Position the RV screen door handle on the RV screen door frame-min

    Position the other end of the handle so it is level and mark the door frame where the hole must be drilled.

    The grab handle expands and contracts to fit the width of various RV screen doors, so he adjusted both ends of it to get it to the proper width and also have an equal amount of the aluminum center part extending into the two plastic ends (rather than having it shoved far into one plastic end and barely dangling in the other).

    Once he had it positioned correctly, he marked the aluminum center part with a pencil mark at each end where the plastic ends would be permanently screwed in.

    Expand RV screen door handle and mark the proper width on it with a pencil-min

    Expand the handle and center the aluminum centerpiece between the ends. Then mark the aluminum with a pencil.

    Expand RV screen door handle and mark the proper width on it with a pencil-min

    The handle can be extended and retracted, so this step centers the aluminum between the ends and marks where the ends should be permanently positioned.

    Then he unscrewed the one screw that was holding the handle to the door frame and removed the handle from the frame so he could screw in the two handle ends.

    On the back of each plastic end of the handle there is a pre-drilled hole so the plastic ends can be screwed to the aluminum center piece.

    Hole drilled in RV screen door handle-min

    On the back of the handle each plastic end has a hole in it.

    With the aluminum piece in the proper position according to the pencil marks he had made, he drilled a hole in the aluminum and then screwed the plastic end piece on. He did this at each end. Now the handle was fixed at the proper length to span the width of our door.

    Installing an RV door screen handle-min

    Drill the aluminum strip so the end cap can be screwed into it permanently.

    Next, he drilled a hole in the door frame where he had made the mark with the fine pointed Sharpie.

    Drill hole in RV screen door frame to support the RV screen door handle-min

    Drill the hole in the frame where you put the Sharpie mark.

    Then he screwed the handle to the door frame and then repeated the process for the lower hole on each side.

    Screw the RV screen door handle into the RV screen door frame-min

    Screw the handle onto the door frame.

    Screw hole in RV screen door fram to install RV screen door handle-min

    There are upper and lower holes in each endcap.

    RV screen door handle screwed onto frame-min

    Done!

    We’re really happy with this new grab handle. It strengthens the flimsy door a bit and is great to grab onto when opening and closing the door!

    RV screen door handle installed on RV screen door-min

    .

    RV screen door with handle and plexiglass protector installed-min

    .

    Goodies needed to install a grab handle on an RV screen door:

    INSTALLING A PLEXIGLASS PROTECTOR ON AN RV SCREEN DOOR

    The other mini-project we did recently on our RV screen door was to replace the lower shrink-wrap film with a sheet of 1/8″ plexiglass.

    We recently acquired an adorable puppy, and all it took was one swipe of his paw at the door to rip the shrink-wrap film we’d had on there for months.

    So Mark got a big sheet of 1/8″ clear plexiglass and cut it to fit the screen door.

    Of course, Buddy insisted on supervising this project.

    RV screen door handle installation supervisor-min

    The back of this chair says “Supervisor.”

    Mark used a straight edge and a utility razor blade to score the plexiglass. Then he bent it along the edge of a table to snap it.

    Then he took short strips of industrial strength velcro tape and placed the hooked half on the plexiglass and the matching fuzzy half on the door frame so the hooks wouldn’t grab things as we go in and out of the door when we remove the plexiglass later.

    RV screen door plexiglass protection-min

    The lower half of the door has a clear plexiglass sheet mounted on the frame with velcro. You can see our patio reflected in it. Hey, where’s the Supervisor?!

    Velcro attaches plexiglass sheet to RV screen door-min

    Cut short strips of velcro and put the matching halves on the plexiglass and door frame.

    The beauty of using velcro to mount the plexiglass on the door frame is that once the warm weather of summer rolls around we can remove it and let the cool breezes flow through the door. Or, perhaps we’ll just leave it up in case Buddy decides to paw at the screen. We can remove the shrink-wrap from the upper half of the door and enjoy the cool breezes up there and leave the plexiglass on the bottom to protect the screen from the mighty Watch Dog.

    RV screen door with RV screen door handle and plexiglass installed-min

    Ta Da! Our original shrink-wrap is still on the top half, the nifty grab handle is in the middle and the puppy-proof plexiglass is on the bottom half.

    In hindsight, rather than shrink-wrapping an RV screen door for cold weather, another option would be to use plexiglass sheets and velcro. Certainly the installation each Fall would be a lot easier. Or, drill holes in the corners of the plexiglass and use sheet metal screws to attach it to the door. Every Spring and Fall the plexiglass could be screwed to or unscrewed from the door frame. However, the plexiglass sheets would have to be stored somewhere during the warm season…

    Puppy chow our RV dog Buddy

    When the project was finished the Supervisor reappeared.

    Dog looks out the RV screen door-min

    Buddy loves his new plexiglass window in the door!

    Goodies needed to install a plexiglass protector on an RV screen door:

    The details of our screen door shrink-wrapping are shown here:

    How To Shrink-wrap An RV Screen Door

    Goodies needed to shrink-wrap an RV Screen Door:

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    Repacking and Inspecting Fifth Wheel Trailer Wheel Bearings

    Repacking the wheel bearings is an important annual maintenance task for a fifth wheel trailer, especially one that is lived in full-time like ours. This is also a good time to inspect the bearings and brakes.

    The first step is to jack up the trailer and remove the wheels.

    Remove wheel from fifth wheel to grease wheel bearings-min

    After jacking up the trailer, remove the wheels.

    A few years ago we did a disk brake conversion on our fifth wheel trailer, upgrading from the factory installed electric drum brakes to electric over hydraulic disk brakes (you can read the details about what was involved in doing this phenomenal and highly recommended upgrade here). So, behind each of our wheels is the disk brake rotor and brake caliper.

    Disc and rotor on fifth wheel trailer-min

    Inspect the rotor and disc brake pads.

    The first step for repacking the wheel bearings was to remove the brake caliper and inspect the brake pads and check out the braking surface on the rotor. All looked good. Then the brake caliper was moved out of the way.

    Next, the grease cap and cotter pin were removed. Then the castle nut holding the bearings and the disk rotor in place was unscrewed. Gently pulling the rotor out about an inch and then pushing it back in released the outer bearing so it could be removed. Then the rotor was pulled off the axle spindle which revealed the inner bearing, allowing it to be slid off the axle spindle.

    Remove castle nut and cotter pin from fifth wheel trailer hug to grease wheel bearings-min

    Remove the cotter pin and castle nut, then the inner and outer wheel bearings and then pull the rotor off the axle spindle.

    Greasy spindle on fifth wheel trailer axle-min

    The axle spindle is full of grease.

    Using shop towels, the grease was wiped off the axle spindle.

    Clean spindle on fifth wheel trailer axle-min

    Wipe the old grease off the axle spindle.

    The inner and outer bearings, D-shaped spindle washer, castle nut and grease cap were then wiped clean of grease.

    Inner and outer bearings fifth wheel trailer hub grease wheel bearings-min

    Wipe off and inspect the outer and inner bearings, the D-shaped spindle washer, the castle nut and the grease cap.

    It turned out that one of our wheel bearings was slightly scored, showing early signs of wear. We decided to replace it. Wheel bearings come in a bearing and race assembly, so the race would be replaced too.

    Finding worn parts before they become a problem is one of the reasons that greasing the wheel bearings is an important annual task. Even if a trailer has EZ-Lube bearings, it is still important to remove the bearings periodically to inspect them so they can be replaced before they fail on the road.

    Trailer wheel bearing damaged with scoring marks-min

    One of our wheel bearings showed signs of wear — light scoring marks on each bearing.

    First, the grease needed to be removed from the inside of the hub. It was scraped out and then wiped out with a shop towel.

    Remove old grease from fifth wheel trailer disc brake hub-min

    Remove the old grease from the rotor.

    Greasing wheel bearings on fifth wheel trailer remove old grease-min

    After scraping the grease out, wipe the area down with a shop cloth.

    Remove old grease from fifth wheel trailer disc brake hub-min

    Grease removed.

    Then the old race was knocked out and the new race was set in place.

    Knock out the old bearing race.

    Knock out the old bearing race.

    Put new wheel bearings into fifth wheel trailer disk brake hub-min

    Set the new race in place.

    The race was lightly tapped in place to make sure it was square. Then, using a race setter, the race was tapped securely into place.

    Tap in the wheel bearings into fifth wheel trailer disk brake hub-min

    Tap in the new race.

    Press new wheel bearings into fifth wheel trailer disk brake hub-min

    .

    Next, the rotor with the greased inner bearing was mounted back on the spindle.

    Place fifth wheel disk brake hub back onto axle spindle

    Place the rotor back on the axle spindle.

    Put new grease around wheel bearings on fifth wheel trailer disk brake hub

    Newly greased bearings and spindle.

    Then the castle nut was screwed on and hand-tightened.

    Place greased castle nut in fifth wheel trailer disk brake rotor hub-min

    Hand-tighten the castle nut.

    Adjust greased castle nut in fifth wheel trailer disk brake rotor hub-min

    Adjust the castle nut.

    A new cotter pin was put in place and bent over to hold everything securely.

    Place cotter pin in greased fifth wheel trailer disk brake rotor hub-min

    Put a new cotter pin in place and bend it over.

    Then the grease cap was screwed back on.

    Screw in grease cap on fifth wheel trailer disk brake hub-min

    Screw in the grease cap.

    Completed grease wheel bearing job on fifth wheel trailer disk brake hub-min

    Presto. Three more wheels to go!

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    RV Tech Tips – RV Upgrades – RV Maintenance Tips + Buying an RV!

    This page contains links to all the articles we’ve written about our favorite RV tech tips and that describe the many RV upgrades and modifications we’ve done to our rig. In addition, there are articles full of important RV maintenance tips as well as suggestions for things to consider when choosing and buying an RV.

    RV Tech Tips Upgrades for Motorhome and 5th Wheel Trailer owners - Maintain and upgrade your RV

    From little RV maintenance tech tips to big RV upgrades, the article links are all on this page!

    Ever since we began this website back in 2008 (after being on the road RVing full-time for a year), we have written lots of articles that are chock full of the many RV tech tips we’ve learned along the way.

    Below you’ll find all the article links, grouped by subject, to make it easy for you to peruse our online library of RV tech tips, RV maintenance tips, modification ideas and RV upgrades.

    For reference, you can see the various rigs we’ve owned, both for vacation purposes (before we started full-timing) and then for living in 24/7/365 once we took the plunge to go full-time.

    CHOOSING and BUYING AN RV

    RV MAINTENANCE, CLEANING and DRIVING

    RV MODIFICATIONS and UPGRADES (except SOLAR and BATTERIES…see below)

    SOLAR POWER UPGRADE – INTRO and OVERVIEW of SOLAR POWER SYSTEMS

    SOLAR POWER UPGRADE – TUTORIAL SERIES

    BATTERY UPGRADE – ALL ABOUT BATTERIES and BATTERY CHARGING

    INVERTER UPGRADE – ALL ABOUT INVERTERS

    CHOOSING and BUYING a TRUCK

    • Buying a Truck – Things to consider: Which Make & Model? Single Rear Wheel or Dually? Long Bed or Short Bed?
    • More on Choosing a Truck – With a link to the article Trailer Life Magazine asked us to write

    TRUCK – UPGRADES and MAINTENANCE

    REPAIRS and CRISES ON THE ROAD

    Companion indexes of other RV Tips articles:

    You can find this page again by clicking on the “Tech Tips” item in the menu.

    Happy Reading!

    RV Tech Tips for Motorhome and 5th Wheel Trailer owners - Maintain and upgrade your RV

    RVing is easy and fun!

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    Trailer Suspension Nuts & Bolts – RV Blues on Rough Roads!

    Lots of full-time RVers with big rigs are very sensible and stick to traveling on paved roads. But we like to get off the beaten path, and sometimes that puts us on crazy, rough and rugged dirt roads.

    On our recent trip to Bisti Badlands in northwestern New Mexico, a 45 minute drive down three miles of extremely washboarded, nasty dirt road wreaked havoc with our trailer’s suspension.

    Equalizer bolt walks out of fifth wheel suspension

    Hmmm…. That center bolt on the equalizer doesn’t look right!

    As we were hitching up to leave, Mark did his usual walk around our trailer to make sure nothing was about to fall off and that everything was secure. To his shock, he noticed that the long bolt that goes through the equalizer on our trailer’s leaf spring suspension system had walked almost all the way out!

    Fifth wheel suspension Equalizer bolt unscrews itself on rough road

    Yikes!

    Holy Smokes! Our 14,000 lb. 36′ fifth wheel trailer was about to lose the bolt holding this vital piece of gear together!

    We were miles from nowhere, and I immediately began scenario building in my head to plan various ways we might get out of this mess.

    While I theorized, Mark calmly set about getting out his tools and tackling the problem right there in the dirt. His first task was to raise the trailer up so he could get the bolt properly aligned horizontally and tap it back into place with a hammer.

    So, out came the 12 ton bottle jack.

    Raise fifth wheel trailer with bottle jack for suspension repair

    First things first:
    Raise the wheels totally off the ground with our 12 ton bottle jack.

    He needed to raise the trailer up quite high to relieve all the pressure on that bolt, so he took a piece of wood we sometimes use under the fifth wheel landing legs and put it under the bottle jack to raise it higher. Then he took a second block of wood and put it on top of the bottle jack to span the c-channel tube that runs the width of the trailer.

    Pumping away on the bottle jack, he finally got the wheels entirely off the ground and began tapping the bolt through the two sides of the hanger with a small hammer.

    Hammer fifth wheel equalizer bolt pack in place in suspension repair

    With the pressure off, Mark taps the bolt back into place.

    It took a little finagling to get the bolt to line up and go through the second hole on the back side of the hanger.

    Fifth wheel equalizer bolt holds suspension together

    At first, the bolt didn’t want to go through the second hole on the axle hanger.

    But he was able to get it aligned and he got it to go through.

    Equalizer bolt in position for fifth wheel suspension hanger assembly

    All the way through. Yay!

    The bigger problem, though, was figuring out what had happened to the nut that had been holding this bolt in place. It was nowhere to be found and undoubtedly was somewhere out on that nasty 3 mile dirt road.

    So, now what?

    Mark is a really amazing mechanic, and he keeps a magic container of potential spare parts in his Man Cave in the basement of our trailer. This magical container is a lot like the carpet bag that Mary Poppins carried.

    Remember how Mary Poppins pulled all kinds of surprising things out of that bag, to the sheer delight and amazement of Jane and Michael Banks? Among other things, she pulled out a hat rack, a potted plant and a full-size standing lamp while Michael searched under the table to try to figure how she did it.

    Well, that’s just the way Mark’s magic box of spare parts tricks works. When he needs a special little gizmo to make things right again, he fishes around in the box and finds just the thing while I scratch my head wondering how such a little container could always produce exactly what he needs.

    A few months back we’d replaced the tires on our fifth wheel trailer and decided to replace the original lug nuts with locking lug nuts. A few of the original lug nuts also had cosmetic cracks on them which didn’t look attractive, so the new locking lug nuts were much nicer all around. Mark had decided to put a few of the old lug nuts in his magic box of tricks.

    5th wheel trailer wheel lug nuts

    A few months back we had replaced all the lug nuts on our trailer wheels.

    So, as he fished around for an appropriately sized nut, lo and behold, it turned out those lug nuts were the exact diameter he needed!

    Fifth wheel trailer lug nut_

    This old lug nut is exactly the right diameter for our wayward bolt!

    The thread pitch on the lug nut was not quite right, but the threads on the bolt had been damaged anyway as it walked itself out of the hanger.

    While I held the bolt in place with a wrench on one side, Mark ratcheted the lug nut on the other side. He was able to jam the nut on the bolt and re-groove the bolt’s threads enough to make a super tight connection.

    In no time we were back up and running and towing our fifth wheel trailer back down that crazy 3 mile road to the paved highway to go see other new and exciting destinations.

    As I mentioned in my post about Bisti Badlands, it’s okay for a passenger car or van, but I would leave a bigger RV in Farmington and drive the tow vehicle or toad to Bisti instead!

    Ratcheting 5th wheel equalizer suspension bolt in place

    With some force, we secure the lug nut on the bolt. What a terrific temporary fix!

    Who would’ve ever thunk that a rough road could loosen the nut on a big fifth wheel trailer’s suspension and walk the bolt that holds the equalizer in position almost all the way out?!

    And who would’ve ever thunk that a lug nut from the trailer’s wheels would give us such a great temporary fix to get us back on the road?!

    Other blog posts about our fifth wheel trailer suspension:

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    RV Plumbing Tips – Cleaning RV Faucets, Sink Drains & Shower Wands

    The effects of hard water on RV sinks, faucets and drains can be an ongoing problem for RVers. This page describes a few tips for how we remove these pesky mineral deposit buildups from our bathroom and kitchen sinks in our fifth wheel trailer and keep the water flowing smoothly in our shower wand and RV toilet rinse sprayer.

    RV plumbing tips for cleaning RV faucets and drains and removing mineral deposits

    RV plumbing tips for removing mineral deposits and cleaning RV faucets and drains.

    We like the water to flow freely in our RV vanity sink faucet, kitchen sink faucet and in the shower and RV toilet sprayer wands, however, periodically these faucets begin to spray water in weird directions because their inner workings have gotten clogged up by mineral deposits from the hard water.

    In our bathroom vanity, our first step is to remove and clean the screen filter in the faucet. Sometimes the faucet tip can be unscrewed by hand, but if we’ve let it go too long, we have to use a pair of pliers to break the faucet tip free due to corrosion that makes it impossible to unscrew.

    Remove RV faucet screen with pliers

    Remove the RV faucet screen (with pliers if it’s stuck!)

    Then we unscrew the entire screen assembly from the faucet.

    Disassemble RV faucet

    The faucet tip unscrews from the faucet.

    Dirty RV faucet screen

    Ugh… the screen is pretty dirty. No wonder the water comes out funny!

    This time the screen was very corroded. We remove the corrosion and mineral buildup by putting all the pieces in a bath of white vinegar for 20-30 minutes or so.

    Prior to putting the pieces in the white vinegar bath, it is a good idea to make note of the order that these parts go into the faucet assembly!

    Soak RV faucet parts in white vinegar

    After noting how the pieces go together, soak them in white vinegar.

    After the bath, the bits of corrosion can be seen in the white vinegar!

    RV faucet parts get cleaned with white vinegar

    Here are all the pieces. You can see the dirt that came off in the vinegar bath!

    Using an old toothbrush, we scrub each piece until it is clean.

    Use toothbrush to clean RV faucet screen

    Use a toothbrush to get the screen totally clean.

    RV faucet cleaning with toothbrush and white vinegar

    Scrub all the parts with the toothbrush.

    Then we reassemble the pieces in the correct order and orientation.

    Reassemble RV faucet after cleaning 2

    .

    Reassemble RV faucet after cleaning 1

    Reassemble the pieces.

    Put RV faucet together after cleaning it 2

    .

    Put RV faucet together after cleaning it

    .

    To make it easier to remove the faucet tip the next time we do this job, it helps to grease the threads with a marine PTEF lubricant prior to screwing the assembly back onto the faucet.

    Lubricate RV faucet with PTEF lubricant grease

    Lubricating the threads makes it easier to unscrew next time!

    Lubricate RV faucet after cleaning

    .

    Reassemble RV faucet

    Screw it back into the faucet.

    RV faucet cleaned and lubricated

    Ta da! Now the flow will be smooth and full.

    Our trailer has white plastic sinks in the bathroom and kitchen, and these sinks often develop a skanky brown ring around the sink drain. For years, we relied on Comet to clean these sinks. We sprinkled it on the entire sink, let it sit for a bit, and then scrubbed.

    We recently discovered that Baking Soda is just as effective!! The fantastic thing about Baking Soda is that it is non-toxic. This is wonderful not only for our gray water holding tanks but also for the RV dump stations as well as the septic fields and municipal waste water treatment systems that are downstream from them.

    It’s also really cheap!

    Tips for cleaning an RV sink drain

    White plastic RV sinks are prone to getting ugly stains.

    Dirty RV sink drain

    Yuck!

    We simply sprinkle it on the sink and then scrub the sink with a damp Scotch-Brite scrubbing pad.

    RV sink drain cleaning with baking soda

    Sprinkle the baking soda in the sink and scrub the stains with a damp scrubby pad.

    What a great result — a wonderfully squeaky clean sink!

    RV sink drain is sparkling clean

    Sparkling!

    The drain plug also gets gummy, and we use an old toothbrush to scrub it clean with either baking soda and/or Murphy’s Oil Soap (a handy all around biodegradable cleanser).

    In an RV that is used for dry camping a lot, like ours, the bathroom vanity sink drain can get really gross really quickly because in an effort to conserve fresh water not much clean water gets flushed down the drain.

    This can result in foul odors in the sink drain, and it’s pretty unsightly too.

    So, we do two things.

    First, we scrub the inside of the bathroom sink drain with an old toothbrush. To get a longer reach down the drain, we taped our toothbrush to an old tent stake we had lying around. Anything long and narrow will work.

    Toothbrush and extension rod to clean RV sink drain

    Tape an old toothbrush to a long stick to reach deep down the RV sink drain.

    Cleaning an RV sink drain

    Scrub inside the sink drain.

    We also scrub the sink drain plug.

    Second, to keep the RV bathroom sink drain fresh smelling, we use Happy Camper Holding Tank Treatment which we’ve found is a particularly good deodorizer. We put scoop of powder in an old water bottle, fill it up with water and shake it well (the bottle gets warm as the enzymes get activated!), and then pour it down the drain.

    Most of it goes into the gray water tank, but a small amount stays in the bathroom sink drain p-trap and does its magic there, killing off the offensive odors.

    Use toothbrush to scrub RV sink drain plut

    Scrub the sink drain plug with a toothbrush.

    To keep our RV shower in tip-top shape, we clean the drain there as well. The biggest problem in our RV shower drain isn’t foul odors, because the shower drain gets flushed with lots of water everyday. Instead, the challenge with the RV shower drain is accumulated hair.

    In a house, it’s easy enough to use a powerful cleanser like Drano to clean out any clogs caused by hair, but we don’t want strong chemicals like that sitting in our gray wastewater holding tank. Afterall, we want the enzymes and bacteria in the Happy Camper and Unique RV Digest-It holding tank treatment products we use to thrive and go to work breaking things down!

    So, we use a long spring hook (and flashlight) to pull the hair out. It just takes a few minutes and then the drain is clear.

    Some RV shower stalls may have drain components that can be removed for cleaning. Ours doesn’t.

    Cleaning hair from an RV shower drain

    Use a spring hook to pull hair out of the RV shower drain.

    Periodically, the RV shower wand gets crudded up with mineral deposits just like our RV sink faucets do. Again, we rely on white vinegar to clean up the deposits clogging the spray holes in the shower nozzle.

    First, we pour the white vinegar through the shower wand to let it soak from the inside.

    Tips for cleaning an RV shower wand

    The RV shower wand can be cleaned with white vinegar.

    Then we soak the shower wand’s face in a bath of white vinegar.

    Tips for cleaning an RV shower wand

    Put the RV shower wand face down in a white vinegar bath to clean all the little holes.

    If we’ve let a little too much time pass, we’ll also use a toothpick to clean out each hole in the shower head. We use bamboo toothpicks because they hold up well in water. Ordinary wooden toothpicks tend to disintegrate when they get wet. A scribe also works well.

    The before-and-after difference in the flow of water through the shower wand is startling. When half of the little holes are blocked from mineral deposits and the other half have an impeded flow, the water can feel like needles on your skin. After cleaning the wand, it is more like a waterfall.

    Clean each hole in an RV shower wand with a toothpick or scribe

    Use a toothpick or scribe to clean each hole in the shower wand.

    Lots of RVers love the Oxygenics RV shower head. We don’t use it because it doesn’t work well with the low water pressure we use to conserve water since we dry camp every night, but for RVers who get water hookups a lot, these shower heads are extremely popular. Of course, in hard water areas, these shower heads will need periodic cleaning as well.

    The RV toilet bowl rinsing wand is also subject to corrosion from mineral deposits, and after a while when we go to rinse the toilet bowl we find the water flow from the sprayer is restricted and funky.

    RV toilet sprayer wand cleaning

    The RV toilet sprayer wand gets clogged with minerals too.

    Again, it’s easy to unscrew the end of the toilet spay wand, put it in a white vinegar for 20-30 minutes, scrub it a bit with a toothbrush, and then put it back on the wand.

    RV toilet rinse wand cleaning

    Unscrew the tip of the toilet rinsing wand and soak it in white vinegar to clean the holes.

    As an aside, if you have energy leftover after cleaning all your RV sinks, faucets, drains and spray nozzles, a spray bottle filled with a water and white vinegar mixture is super for washing the windows. As I wrote this, some flies got in our trailer and Mark started spraying them when they landed on the window next to him using a spray bottle filled with water and white vinegar. Besides slowing them down and killing them, he was really impressed with how clean the window was when he finished!

    So, these are a few of the things we do to keep our sinks and drains flowing smoothly in our life on the road in our RV.

    We hope they help you too!

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