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Monday, December 21, 2020

What an RV Leveling System Does for Your RV


Before you hit the road with your camper, don’t forget to remember the most important camping essentials. Don’t forget to bring along spare batteries and flashlights, spare fuses for your RV, cleaning and cooking essentials, holding tank care, water softener essentials, and all the rest of them.

There are a lot, and our purpose in this article isn’t to painstakingly remind you of each and every one of them. You can consult our blog for that instead. What we’re here for today is to remind you of a different, but still critical, accessory, or system, if you will, for camping: an RV leveling system.

Some RVs come with their own leveling systems, whereas others do not. Why some would and others wouldn’t is up for you to debate. What isn’t up for you to debate is the necessity of them. Keeping your RV level, all the time, and not just in camp, is not a matter to be taken lightly.

If you’ve ever gone camping before at all then you are familiar with how not all ground is level. That is a fact to be reckoned with and managed than attempted to correct since nothing can be done to level the ground. Instead, you level your RV. Here are some of the reasons you need to make sure you use an RV leveling system and use it properly.

-       To prevent damage to your RV fridge - If you operate your absorption fridge off-level, you’re going to damage it. You might even destroy it, actually. There’s no way to sugar coat that, and by off-level, we’re only talking a couple of degrees. In short, if you run your RV fridge when it isn’t leveled you’re likely to cause irreparable damage.

This is because when it operates off level, liquid ammonia will pool and accumulate in sections of the evaporation chamber or tubing, which can block circulation and the fridge will stop working. If this goes on for too long, it will ruin the fridge. Basically, keep your RV level.

-       To prevent damage to the frame and structure of your RV - When you are in camp, but off-level, your vehicle’s frame, chassis, and other components are also off level, which will result in a lot of structural stress. Think about how a boat can be damaged by being suspended over the trough between two waves. It’s the same basic thing here; the RV is designed to support its own weight on a level surface, not on a slanted one.

-       To prevent things from rolling around, falling over, or otherwise being misplaced - It might be a minor annoyance to you, but if you open up your cabinets and spill out all the plates, breaking them, you might think otherwise. Keeping your RV level will avoid this unfortunate happenstance.

-       To ensure the comfort of your fellow campers - Finally, keeping everything level will make everything much more comfortable and enjoyable in camp. Ignoring it during the day is one thing, but sleeping on a slanted bed is quite another. Keeping things level will result in more comfort, in addition to protecting your RV’s fridge, frame, and other components.

All of those things will require you to use a leveling system when you go camping unless you are camping on very level ground, to begin with, which is rare in its own right. If your RV already came with a leveling system, then you can use what your RV provides. Otherwise, you’ll need to invest in a separate leveling system, which, if you haven’t gleaned from this article so far, is necessary.

Luckily, we provide RV leveling systems of all natures here at RV Upgrades, so all you need to do is pick out the model that fits your budget, and most importantly, your RV.

One thing we’d like you to know here is the important difference between stabilizer jacks and a leveling system, which uses leveling jacks. Stabilizer jacks are used to prevent side to side and back and forth movement of your RV when you’re setting up camp and then in camp. These increase comfort, but they are not intended to fully support the weight of your RV. Levelers are for that. If you have any questions, make sure you get in touch with us and we’ll clear the matter up.

Actually, give us a call anyway and we’d be more than glad to help you solve the problem of finding the right leveling system for your RV. All of the different levelers on our website have their own strengths and weaknesses and some are more suitable in given situations than others. Given our collective pool of experience with the RV lifestyle, we’ll answer the questions you might not even think to ask.

Call us up at 866-332-7881 if you want to learn more - we’re waiting to hear from you!

Thursday, December 10, 2020

You Need These Motorhome Accessories

Here at RV Upgrades, we’ve already covered some of the most important motorhome accessories and other camper supplies that you could need before you head out on the road. Some of them you’re going to see again in this list, and if you look through all of our blog’s entries you’ll start to get a better impression of the types of equipment and you can and cannot go without. You’ll also get a better impression of what RV supplies you need and which ones are extras for making life more comfortable but are not necessarily critical.

This list serves as a complement to those other entries. You’ll want to bring along some of these camper accessories for more than just comfort. Some of them will improve your safety on the road whereas others will protect your RV itself.

These are some more of the most critical RV accessories we could come up with. These are highly recommended, so there’s no chaff on this list. Add these to your list of essentials and if you have any questions. Don’t feel as though you need to answer them on your own. Get in touch with us and we’ll clear up any that remain!

1.    Drinking water hoses - more than one

Fastidious freshwater management when you are in an RV is not just a matter of comfort, it is a matter of safety. You will need to be managing your use of potable water as well as your creation of wastewater and the disposal of it, and you can never use the same hoses interchangeably.

Therefore you need a good supply of clean drinking water hoses, and we suggest you have a few spares on hand. Just in case you ever use the hose for the wrong thing, having a spare in reserve could be a game-changer for a camping trip.

These freshwater hoses, by the way, are not the only important freshwater management supplies that we suggest you take along. Check out our collection of freshwater supplies and get in touch with us if you have any questions.

2.    Sewer hoses

You shouldn’t be too surprised to see this item making its presence known in this list. As we mentioned right here in this article, gray and blackwater (different grades of wastewater) management are just as important as potable water management. In fact, they are even subject to regulations that you need to follow in order to comply with the law.

Now, some portable holding tanks come with sewer hoses built into them, along with connectors that make them easier to drain out at disposal sites, so theoretically you might not absolutely need to bring along a sewer hose on a camping trip. You just need to be very familiar with your wastewater management supplies to be sure.

Also, that doesn’t mean bringing along a spare is a bad idea, as long as it’s compatible with your holding tank. Take a look through our collection of sewer hoses if you decide that a spare is a good idea. Otherwise, you need one if your tank doesn’t have one.

3.    Holding tank treatment (and toilet paper and other toiletries)

There’s more than one type of holding tank treatment in our collection of sanitation supplies, but using some form of holding tank treatment is practically a must. Even if you only consider their value for the comfort they will provide while you are camping they are worth it.

Each holding tank treatment has its own mechanism of action but they all perform basically the same function. They break down the wastes in your holding tank, which makes managing the tank much easier, and easier to clean. The added side effect is that they help cut back on odors that would otherwise quickly make an impact on your camping trip.

Check out our collection, and if you’re looking for any specific recommendations, reach out to a member of our team for some guidance.

4.    Surge protectors

If you hook up your RV to shore power when you are in a campsite, and a lot of people do, there is a good chance you’re going to face the risk of a power surge or dip at some point. Power surges can be damaging to the appliances in your RV as well as to your RV’s electrical infrastructure.

If your RV is ever exposed to a serious spike, it can necessitate costly repairs, not to mention incapacitating your RV’s electrical system for the time being. You can learn more about the need for surge protection in our recent blog post, but for now, take our word for it and keep yourself covered. Check out our collection of surge protectors and other electrical equipment and call us if you want to learn more or have other questions.

5.    Shore power connectors

Unless you want to remain electrically autonomous, the use of shore power is a must. You could theoretically run off of solar power, and some people do, especially away from campgrounds. However, shore power is an economical and relatively easy way to secure power for you and your fellow campers where it is available.

Most shore power supplies for RVs are rated to either 30 to 50 amp service, so you’ll need a shore power connector that is rated accordingly. We offer a lot of different shore power connectors here at RV Upgrades, but pick a high-quality, heavy-duty model with added bonus features, like secure grips or handles for attaching or removing the cable.

6.    Spare fuses

Check out your RV’s fuse box and then perform this simple trick that will save your camping trip one day. Get a replacement (at least one, preferably more) for each of the fuses in the fuse box.

If you blow a fuse to a portion of the circuit inside your RV, then all of the appliances (or anything else) that draws power from that portion of the circuit will be inoperable until the fuse is replaced. It’s one of the quickest and easier electrical fixes anyone can make, but unless you make it, you won’t be able to close the circuit.

Doing this will save you a lot of comfort and peace of mind down the line because if you blow a fuse way out in the country and aren’t near any help, you’ll wish you could just pop a new fuse in.

7.    Jack pads, chocks, or leveling blocks - just in case

This one comes with a slight caveat. Theoretically, some RVs might not have a distinct need for jack pads, chocks, or leveling blocks, but there’s a good chance you should bring some along as a backup.

For example, if you ever need to use a jack on soft ground, then you really should put down jack pads so that you don’t sink into the earth. You might not need them if your RV is self-propelled and not towed, but they’re helpful to have on hand anyway.

Chocks are good to have around if you ever want to add stability to your RV, and as for leveling blocks, some RVs have their own leveling systems and so don’t need them. Still, they can be useful as a backup, as RVs should be kept level all the time.

8.    Pressure regulator

There are a couple of reasons that water pressure regulators for your RV are important, but we’re just going to address what is arguably the most important one here. When you hook up your RV to an external water source, your RV’s plumbing, and any appliances that draw water are at the mercy of the pressure of the source.

If the pressure in the source surges for any reason, it could damage your appliances, even bursting your pipes. If that happens, you’re going to be up against some costly repairs, not to mention a ruined camping trip. The safe thing to do is to hook up a water pressure regulator whenever you take water from an external source.

9.    Fire extinguisher

Whether or not your RV came with a fire extinguisher, you should have a spare. There shouldn’t be too much of a reason to elaborate more fully on this as it is a fundamental matter of safety. Houses and other occupied buildings and places of business are largely required by law to have them. Whether you actually have to or not, you should invest in this security measure that may someday enable you to effectively respond to a fire. You can find them in our collection of RV kitchen accessories.

10.  Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS)

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems are extremely valuable to those who operate recreational vehicles. They can improve your gas mileage, extend the life of your tires, and improve your braking and handling. These alone are reasons enough to justify the investment in one.

However, that only scratches the surface of their value. A TPMS can also give you valuable, real-time information on the temperature and pressure of your RV tires. Some of them even do so individually. Having real-time access to this information can be crucial to preventing a blowout, which is an extremely dangerous situation.

You can learn more about why you need a TPMS in our recent blog. Otherwise, check out what we offer in the way of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems here in our store.

11.  A dehumidifier

There is a small chance you don’t need a dehumidifier, especially if you don’t go anywhere in the country that has high levels of humidity. Unfortunately, almost all of the country is routinely plagued by high levels of humidity with the notable exception of the Southwest. Check out our recent blog on signs of high humidity to see if your RV actually does have problems with high moisture levels.

If it does, shop through our collection of dehumidifiers to keep your RV dry inside and stave off problems associated with moisture like mold and mildew.

12.  Hard water treatments

Just like most areas of the country have high humidity a majority of the time, most areas of the country have fairly hard water as well. If you take your RV there and draw from local water sources, you’re going to eventually have a problem with scale.

Excessive exposure to hard water can damage your plumbing and your appliances, which is both annoying and expensive to fix. We recently published a blog on the benefits of water softeners that also gives you some pointers on what to look out for to see if you have problems with hard water.

If so, take a look through our collection of water softeners for your RV; we offer a lot of different types that can help soften your water efficiently.

This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the most important motorhome accessories that you should not leave home port without. While you’re going to see other lists containing additional entries like instant pots and other RV kitchen accessories, we’ll leave that up to you and your own experiences, but these are some of the most basic essentials.

If you want to learn more about some of the other critical RV and other motorhome accessories that you should bring along with you on the road, make sure you read our blog. We’ve included links in this article to some of our other relevant blogs, but take a look through and you might surprise yourself with what else you find.

Otherwise, experience is the best teacher, and sometimes you really learn about what you need to bring along just by getting out there, doing, and then reflecting.

You could also get in touch with our customer service department. We don’t just have one of the best selections of camping accessories at great prices. We also have a pool of many years of experience in camping and RVing that we can put to use for you.

Send us a message via the live chat feature on our website or give us a call at 866-332-7881 if you want to get some more insight into what other essential accessories you could need, or why you should bring these. We’re always happy to hear from our customers and we’d love to help you out.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Do You Need a Water Softener for Your RV?

Of all the things you might need for your RV, it’s a little bit too easy to lose sight of something like a water softener for your RV. To understand what they do and why you might need one, you first need to understand the difference between hard and soft water.

Water is considered ‘hard’ when it contains high levels of dissolved minerals. Specifically, the two minerals that are taken into account as indicators of water hardness are calcium and magnesium, but there are almost always other minerals dissolved alongside them.

Water is considered soft when it does not contain a high concentration of dissolved mineral ions (specifically calcium and magnesium) in its solution. Water may either be naturally soft or it can be softened with a water softener, but most water in the United States is fairly hard. 

What a Water Softener Does 

The short answer to this question is that a water softener removes the dissolved calcium and magnesium ions from the water, making it categorically ‘soft.’

There is more than one type of water softener, but many of them trap and remove the magnesium and calcium ions, replacing them with sodium, which does not have the same harmful household effects as the former.

This is the reason that many water softeners must be ‘recharged’ from time to time to ensure that they continue to function as intended. 

How to Tell if You Need a Water Softener for Your RV 

Now you need to know what signs to look out for to determine if you need to install a water softener for your RV. Here are a few of the things to look out for to determine if you need a water softener, without conducting any formal tests.

-       Your skin or hair feels off (or dry) after a shower or prolonged contact with the water - The calcium and magnesium ions in hard water will dry your skin out, and soap has a hard time removing them

-       There are stains or scale on your appliances or in your sinks or tub - Hard water causes scale to build up on your appliances and in your sink, or stains to form. These typically look like white stains on appliances and on fixtures, but the colors can vary.

-       You constantly need to replace pipes in your RV due to scale buildup - Scale can build up in your recreational vehicle’s plumbing, causing high flow rates and pressure which can damage your plumbing.

These are some of the most common ways to tell if your water is too hard and needs a softener to bring it down to reasonable levels, but the most sure fire way is to get a professional to test your water or to use test strips to determine the hardness. This can be tough with an RV, though, because they are constantly moving around the country.

When in doubt, get a water softener for your RV. They’re effective, practical, convenient, and easy to operate, and many of them are cost effective. Here’s what can happen if you don’t install a water softener. 

What If You Don’t Get One? 

If you don’t install a water softener and you subject your RV to consistently hard water levels, here are a few of the problems you might encounter, which can be unsightly at best and expensive to repair, at worst.

-       Hard water will damage your clothes or fade them - Hard water can make your laundry fade and feel itchy or brittle, damaging it over time.

-       Hard water can make your glassware more brittle - Hard water can cause stains on your glassware, but it will also make them more prone to breakage as well.

-       Hard water causes staining and scale buildup on your appliances - Scale buildup on your sinks and appliances is unsightly, looks dirty, and is expensive to fix. It also can negatively impact the value of your RV.

-       It will damage your plumbing system and stress the pipes - Hard water will also damage your pipes over time. It will build up on the inside of pipes, increasing the pressure of the water flow and causing issues that will need to be addressed with a replacement that will become costly in short order.

None of that sounds particularly enticing, and some of those problems can only be repaired at great expense to the owner of the RV. Save yourself the trouble and install a water softener system so you never have to worry about these problems in the first place.

You’re in the Right Place to Learn More! 

If you want to learn more about hard water and water softeners, read our blog where you’ll find plenty of interesting information about your RV and how to care for it. You can also get in touch with us at 866-332-7881 for more information!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Benefits of an RV Dehumidifier (and How to Tell if You Need One)

RV owners are tasked with a lot of responsibility. They have the responsibility to take care of their camper, which means they need to know a lot about, well, a lot of different things. There is an entire niche industry devoted to the care of campers and of camper related accessories, and it’s a lot to learn.

Owners of such recreational vehicles will have to take the time to get to learn more about the uses of a water softener and why they are valuable; they’ll have to learn more about the different types of hitches and more about towing; they’ll have to learn, among other things, that some RV fridges must be operated on a level surface in order to prevent damage to them.

This is a very small cross-sectional sample of the world of information that lays before an RV owner, but it barely scratches the surface of what you’ll need to know if you own one. As we stated, there’s a lot to learn.

Luckily, here at RV Upgrades, we have a lot of experience to fall back on, so when you need to learn a lot about something new like an RV dehumidifier, you can come right to us to get the low down.

Without getting into the science of how different dehumidifiers work, all you need to know is that they remove excess moisture from the air. Here are some of the best benefits that you can enjoy from the proper use of an RV dehumidifier. 

1.    Reduce the risk of mold

Mold is a dangerous fungus that can make structures uninhabitable because it poses a threat to the health of humans and animals. Mold, especially the dreaded black mold, can also only survive in locations that have adequate moisture.

If you have never dealt with mold as a homeowner or an RV owner, you’re lucky, but that’s no reason to roll the dice. Any dark location that is typically over 50% relative humidity is at risk of developing mold, but a dehumidifier is a great way to keep it at bay.

Let’s put it this way. A dehumidifier is a much more cost-effective solution for preventing mold than a mold removal and remediation project would cost. If your RV has wet air, invest in a dehumidifier ahead of time.

2.    Control the growth of bacteria and other pests

Mold is not the only nefarious denizen of humid locations. Mildew, dust mites, and other pests, along with other microorganisms are all right at home where the moisture level is high. Take the moisture out of the equation, and away they go.

They’re not just an unpleasant sight (in the case of mildew) or a cause of sickness (in the case of bacteria or mites), they also can diminish the value of your camper and make it much less comfortable, not to mention less sightly, to occupy - but more on that later.

For the present time, know this - you can keep all of these pests at bay and prevent mildew from forming just by keeping a handle on the moisture levels in the interior of your RV.

3.    Control allergies

So you can keep mold, mildew, mites and pests and bacteria, and other microorganisms away with the help of an RV dehumidifier. Luckily, doing so can help to keep a handle on allergies and related symptoms as well.

People who have common allergies associated with all of these factors, or have conditions such as asthma that can be easily aggravated, will not do well in excessively humid environments. Now, granted, that is not a blanket statement, as many respiratory issues can be exacerbated by overly dry air as well. The problem is simply that most areas of the country deal more with high humidity than with low humidity.

The solution is not to make the air too dry, but rather to maintain it within the healthy range of 30-50% and not to exceed it on the upper range. That will keep most people happy, healthy, and allergy-complication-free.

4.    Protect your skin

See, as we mentioned above, low humidity can cause issues for your health, and it can impact your eyes, skin, and hair as well, but high humidity can be just as bad. If you or someone you know has a skin condition that is aggravated by excessively high moisture in the air, then a dehumidifier may be able to help.

Low humidity can cause redness and irritation, but high humidity makes it easier to develop infections and rashes, and therefore as mentioned the best thing to do is to stay within the healthy range. Keep your humidity down and your skin will thank you!

5.    Help to alleviate potential respiratory problems

Besides the allergies mentioned above, other respiratory problems can be complicated and aggravated by high moisture content in the air. Conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, or even something as simple as a sore throat can be caused or exacerbated by excessively humid air. Spending too much time around a humid location with any of these conditions is almost sure to result in more discomfort.

Again, the simple solution is no harder than keeping the air at a comfortable level of humidity, which can easily be accomplished with the help of a dehumidifier for removing moisture from the air.

6.    Protect your RV and its furnishings

Too much water vapor in the air of a small space is sure to make you uncomfortable, and it might even allow mold to develop, but it can damage your RV’s interior and furnishings as well, with or without the pernicious influence of mold.

Naturally, rot (see below) is one of the worst influences associated with excess moisture, and there’s more than one thing in your RV that can be damaged by it. Upholstery and drywall can both be damaged by extra humidity and so can appliances. If you allow the moisture level in your RV to remain high for too long, you might be in for some costly repairs to the interior. Speaking of costly repairs, see our next point.

7.    Prevent wood rot

If there’s one good thing about the modern construction that makes up an RV, it’s the fact that they’re mostly made from metals and composites and these are typically not too pointedly affected by moisture. 

However, any exposed woodwork or wood furniture in your RV will suffer the ill effects of high humidity. First, they will absorb moisture and swell, which can cause two things to happen. On one hand, it will decrease the usable lifespan of the furniture. It may also cause enough damage that the furniture can no longer be used.

Also, though it takes a much longer period of high humidity to cause this, wood rot can occur with too much dampness. There is no way to reverse the damage done due to wood rot; it can only be prevented. 

8.    Energy savings potential

If you need a few more reasons to keep the influence of humidity in your RV under control, consider the fact that preventing damage to your RV is not the only way to save money with an RV dehumidifier. A dehumidifier also has the potential to bring you energy savings.

Never mind the fact that some dehumidifiers don’t even need the power to run; if your RV has an air conditioner, it will take a lot less power for the AC to bring down the temperature of the air without the need to remove all of the moisture first. So think of it that way; a dehumidifier is great for the maintenance of your RV in many ways. 

9.    Improve comfort

Finally, there’s just the simple, plain old fact that the more humid air is, the less comfortable it becomes. Now, there is a degree of personal preference wrapped up in the matter, but maybe you are someone who can commiserate. For some people, humid air is unpleasant regardless of the temperature, and when it gets hot out, it’s even worse. Hot, humid air is a recipe for discomfort and property damage, not to mention some of the problems already mentioned above in this article. If for no other reason, you might want to invest in a dehumidifier simply to keep your RV more comfortable.

How to Tell if You Need One 

That’s all great, and it’s quite a list of safeguards that an RV dehumidifier can help protect for you, but how can you tell if you really need one? As it turns out, excessively dry air is not good for your respiratory system or your skin either, so not every single situation requires the use of a dehumidifier, so we put together a list of conditions that might suggest it’s high time for you to get one for your RV. 

1.    Water stains on the walls or furnishings

You know what water stains look like, right? Usually, they form indoors as a type of weird discoloration on the ceiling or less commonly on the walls, wherever there is a leak or has been moisture intrusion.

If you start to see stains like that anywhere inside of your RV, it means that that surface has been absorbing excess moisture for long enough for it to leave a mark. Also, if it’s occurring in the absence of a known leak, it’s probably due to high humidity.

2.    The air feels wet or close

Here’s a dead giveaway. If you walk into your RV and it feels stuffy, close, or wet, the humidity is too high. There’s no magic in this one; if you know what humid air feels like, and your RV’s interior feels like that, then the humidity is too high - it’s simple.

3.    The windows have condensation on them, even if there isn’t a big difference in temperature between the outside and inside

Another nearly dead giveaway that the humidity inside your RV is too high is if your windows constantly have moisture on them, especially when there is no one cooking or showering inside. This is also a big red flag if there isn’t a huge temperature difference between the inside and outside of the RV. If there’s always condensation on the windows, it’s too wet in the RV.

You have problems with mold or mildew

If you have already had problems with mold or mildew, then you have a humidity problem, considering the fact that both of them need a moist environment to survive and thrive. That’s one of the signs that you need to take some steps to diminish the humidity inside of the RV, as mold and mildew will both damage your RV and cost you money in the long run, either in restoration or with repairs.

5.    You notice a persistent musty smell

Another way to tell if your RV is too humid inside is from the smell. Some people are better than others at gauging the feel of wet air, but if you aren’t, you might be able to tell from the way it smells when you walk in. If there is a persistent musty odor, it is probably due to damage caused by high levels of humidity. It’s also another sign that you need to do something about the levels of moisture in the air because if it smells that way it’s only a matter of time before real damage occurs.

 Where to Get One

Once you’ve decided to pursue some options in an RV dehumidifier, you’ll be pleased by the number of choices that you’ll find here on our site. You’ll love the passive models with quiet operation here on our website - they keep noise levels down because they don’t make any noise!

On the note of energy consumption, they don’t require any, which is the ultimate statement for an energy-efficient dehumidifier. Just keep them charged with their crystals and replace them when they are waterlogged.

Additionally, if you have any questions about dehumidifiers, how to use them, where to use them, or why, contact our customer service team. You can get to us by texting or calling us at 866-332-7881 - and we’d be happy to help!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Do You Need a Surge Protector for Your RV?

With all of the items that you need to remember to bring along on your average camping trip, or just to keep in the garage for maintenance when you’re in home port, it might seem like a surge protector for your RV is just another extra.

Well, to make very short of a long topic, there is a chance that it might be. However, there are some situations in which you really would not want to go without a surge protector. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what surge protectors do and how they can be valuable for you when you are out in camp.

How a Surge Protector Works 

You’re most likely already familiar with surge protectors as they are commonly used in domestic, household settings. They frequently take the form of a long power strip with a thick wire and a switch that you plug into an outlet, giving you the ability to plug in more than one device.

They don’t just allow you the convenience of “extra outlets,” though. A surge protector is also instrumental in protecting your electronic devices from surges in power, which can destroy them past repair.

All electronic devices are rated to operate safely within a specific range of electrical potential. In the United States, 120 volts is standard for most household appliances. If the electrical potential fed to the circuit exceeds 120 volts, then the circuit is experiencing a surge. Surges heat electronics, damage their circuitry, and in extreme cases can cause fires.

As for surge protectors themselves, there are quite a few different types of surge protectors available to consumers. Without getting into the physics of how they work, think of them as a switch that stands between the power source and your electronics. If the power source suddenly surges, the surge protector will cut off the supply to the electronic devices, thus sparing them damage. 

What Does a Surge Protector Provide for Your RV? 

As you may know, RVs contain their own electrical systems, and the real value of a surge protector for your RV comes when your RV is hooked up to a shore power supply at an RV park. Some camps provide you with electrical hookups for shore power so that you can draw power from the campsite without having to drain your RV’s battery or tax its onboard electrical system.

A surge protector for your RV does the same thing for your entire rig that a surge protector connected to an outlet does for your electronics. In this case, think of the outlet in the wall as the shore power connection, and your RV as the “big electronic device.”

Only in this case, the RV is a large electronic device that is not only much more valuable than domestic appliances but also a lot more susceptible to damage from a surge. If your RV experiences a surge from a shore power connection, it can damage or destroy many of the electrical components of your RV. Very bad surges can even start fires, putting you at greater risk.

An RV surge protector does the same thing described above. If the potential supplied to the RV spikes or even goes too low, the surge protector will shut off the power, sparing the RV’s electrical systems and components. Many RVs have either 30 amp or 50 amp service, so, to keep things simple, you’ll want to get a surge protector rated accordingly to your RV.

Surge protectors are not the only solution you can find out there to afford you a high level of protection against electrical surges, but they are the simplest to implement. You might also be interested in an Energy Management System or EMS for your RV, that will do much more than just protect your RV against high voltages. You can find some of these in our collection of surge protectors above, among user-friendly options with LCD displays and much more. If you have questions on the different types of surge protectors we offer and their differences from energy management systems, reach out to us! 

Get in Touch with Us 

If you’re looking for a surge protector to help safeguard your RV against electricity issues like surges, spikes, and dips in voltage, then take a look at our collection via the link above. We offer a lot of quality models that offer a high degree of electrical protection, and if you make a habit of hooking up to shore power, then it’s a good idea to use a surge protector.

If you’ve come here to learn more but want to know more than what we have provided in this article, don’t be shy about getting in touch with our team. We pride ourselves on customer service and that’s why we provide a number of different ways for you to get in touch with us at your convenience. You can reach us via a live chat while you are on our website. If it’s easier for you or you want to speak with a person, you can give us a call at 866-332-7881 anytime you need to learn more - give us a call, our team is always ready to help!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Patio Mats, Water Softeners and More: Useful Accessories and Tools for Your RV

There are so many different types of accessories and tools that you might want to consider bringing along on the road that there is no way to neatly summarize them. Look up “camper supplies” on Google and you’re going to come across lists that come close to housing a hundred entries. Some of them probably have more.

That’s partly because an RV, like a home, needs a lot of tools and accessories to keep everything running smoothly. The difference is that an RV is often out on the road where supplies can’t easily be replenished, and therefore there are some things that should be brought along as a safeguard.

Then again, not everything on this list is a tool or meant to be kept as a redundant safety measure. Some of them will maintain your RV over time, whereas others will simply allow you to more fully enjoy your time on the road. Check out some of these accessories that you would do well to bring on the road with you, and if you have any questions, you can always get in touch with us. 

Patio Mats and Awning Mats 

Awning and patio mats are great for bringing along on your trips for a number of great reasons. Not only will they simplify keeping things clean and enhance your comfort by keeping you off of the ground, but they will spruce up a space as well.

However, some of the greatest advantages of RV patio mats and awning mats come from their utility and not their aesthetics. Consider models like the Faulkner Reversible RV Patio Mats and Camco Reversible Awning Leisure Mats. Among these models, you can enjoy a suite of features that make them tough, comfortable as well as great at keeping dirt out from the inside of your RV.

Both of these mats and others have woven designs that allow snow and rain to drain right through them, helping to keep you off of the ground as well. They’re also very light and mold and mildew resistant. They can be folded up tightly and stored out of the way until they are needed.

Even though they are resistant to mold and mildew, cleaning them is easy; both of them can be cleaned with soap and water and allowed to dry before storing; and they dry quickly. They also have grommets that make it easy to stake down the mats in areas where they might be pulled up or blown away. Many of them even have reversible sides and are treated specially so as to afford a measure of UV protection to prevent sun damage.

One more thing to keep in mind is that some mats don’t just help you by keeping dirt out of the RV by clearing it off of the bottoms of your shoes. Some of them allow dirt, sand, grass, and debris to filter through one way but not come up through the bottom. This streamlines maintenance while enhancing your comfort as well. 

Generators and Solar Panels 

Think about your time out on the road in your RV. There are a lot of appliances in your RV that require power to use, and while you can disconnect from power from time to time and simply enjoy the great outdoors, there is still a lot in a motorhome that requires power to operate.

Some RVs can connect to a power supply in camp, for which purpose they would need to be well equipped with a heavy-duty power cable so that you could connect to power when you were parked in camp. With one of these, you can enjoy all of the creature comforts that your RV was intended to provide you with even when you were away from home.

However, for those times when you really go off the grid, even if you are in a formal “campsite” without power, there are still some occasions when you would like the peace of mind to produce some. There are a few ways to go about this, and two of the best are with the help of solar panels or with generators.

It’s not all about convenience, though. It’s a good idea to keep one of these systems around just in the event of an emergency. You might not actively have a need to use power, but knowing that you have the option should you need it will give you the ability to rest easy, even when you are out in the woods.

Water Softeners

Water softeners are systems that really can be worth a lot to a camper, although, depending on where you live, they can be worth a lot in your home as well. For example, it’s fairly well known that a water softening system in a home with hard water can improve the taste, smell, look, and even feel of the water. Those who have showered with hard water will know that particularly hard water will leave their skin and hair feeling odd, for lack of a better term.

However, there is more to the value of a water softener than removing an undesirable smell or taste. A water softening system to remove minerals from the water will preserve your appliances, fixtures, and plumbing and even can prevent costly repairs.

Because RVs are constantly on the move and much of the country is plagued by hard water, it can be tough to predict just when and where an RV will hook up to a hard water source. Over time, hard water will cause scale buildup in your fixtures that will diminish the flow rate, cause ugly streaks on your appliances, and can cause damage too.

Meanwhile, you could just invest in an affordable water softening system for your RV in order to easily, conveniently, and passively prevent all of this. Many of them are easy and simple to hook up and need to be resupplied with resin only infrequently. 

LED Lights 

We’re not going to get into the specifics of what lights you can and can’t replace in your RV with LEDs, or how exactly you can do it. There are some retrofit LED light kits out there that make it possible for you to switch out incandescent and halogen fixtures for LEDs, but that is neither here nor there. This is simply about the value of light, and based on the fact that we have included flashlights in lists of critical RV accessories in the past, you accept that light is important.

On that note, then, the value of LED lights is that they are reliable, last for a very long time, and also draw almost no power. Let’s break this down a little further; if you are able to incorporate LED lights into your RV, you should do it.

LEDs significantly outlast all other forms of lighting, even forms of lighting like fluorescent lights that are renowned for their long lifespans. LEDs are also tough, resistant to changes in moisture and temperature, and light up instantly. Finally, as if you needed another bonus, LED lights draw very little power compared to any other light source, and will not tax an electrical system.

Check out our collection of LED lights via the link above to learn more about some product specifics, and if you have any questions, give our team a call.  

Leveling Blocks

Leveling blocks are also pretty important RV accessories that you should probably have on hand, especially if your RV does not have a leveling system. Leveling blocks are designed to give you a steady, level surface, even on uneven ground.

This is another thing that has more to do with function than it has to do with comfort. Sure, you’ll enjoy your trip more if your RV isn’t slanted up a slope, but there’s more going on here.

If your RV is slanted for any extended length of time, it will put a huge amount of strain on the frame on the structure and it can also negatively impact the tires. In addition, if your RV has an absorption refrigerator, it is imperative that you only operate it on a level surface. If you don’t it will suffer irreparable damage and you will need to replace the refrigeration unit.

Leveling blocks are only one way you can level your RV, but there are a lot of situations in which they can come in handy. Check out our collection and call us if you have questions on use or product features. 

Dish Cleaning Essentials 

Most if not all RVs have a kitchen, and most if not all people enjoy at least one nice meal a day, even when on the road or in camp. The thing is, if you do cook, there’s going to be clean up, and clean up does not perform itself.

That means you will need to be prepared with rags and soap and preferably a place to keep drying dishes as well as a trash can for all of the waste. At the same time, it can be useful to have a pop up trashcan of sorts so that you have a place for trash you create when you’re on the go, especially if you are outside of your camper and in a camp kitchen.

It’s not that these types of things are specialty items, but be sure you are prepared with them before you hit the road since you might not be able to come by them on your way.

A Grill 

We don’t care whether you love gas or charcoal, speaking of cooking, you’ll want the chance to get outside from time to time, weather permitting. A grill will give you the chance to do some cooking out there in camp without the need to rely on your camper kitchen. Check out some of our models in our store and pick out one that works for you, even if it's just a little portable model. 

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Another system that doesn’t get a lot of press time is a tire pressure monitoring system, but it’s one that you need to have. There are different types of TPMS units and sensors, but the point is that one is critical not only to the performance of your RV but to your safety as well.

We don’t have a lot of space in this article to go over the specifics of a given unit, and pages could be written on how they work and why they are important. What you need to know is that a TPMS will protect you against blowouts, alert you to high or low pressure in your tires, improve the handling and braking of your RV, and improve your gas mileage.

If you need more specific information, consult our blog on the importance of a TPMS, or read up on the products themselves; they are worth every penny.

Jump Starter 

Another thing you should carry with you in your RV (and really in any vehicle) is a set of jumper cables that are adequate to jump your vehicle. Even more useful than a set of cables is a jump starter itself. Some models can be used to charge batteries and some are powerful enough to jump an engine even when the battery is dead. This will, of course, vary by the power and capacity of a given jump starter, but if you’re ever in the woods with a dead battery, you’ll be glad you brought it.


We’re not going to tell you what specific tools you need to bring with you, but if you can spare a little space for a toolset or a tool chest or a toolbox (you can) then you should carve out the room and add one in. There’s no telling what will come up during any given trip, and without the right tools to address it, you’ll be on your own. Any tools are better than none, so let experience dictate your selection.

As you will notice if you spend more than two minutes investigating our collection of goods online, there are tons and tons of RV essentials here in our online store. This is just a small jumping-off point, and there are plenty of other accessories you’ll want to bring on the road with you. Read our blog for more suggestions, and if you want to talk to a human about it, give us a call at 866-332-7881.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Repair Leaks and Seams with RV Roof Tape

One factor of maintaining your RV that may get overlooked is the roof. Because it is not easily visible, you may not think to check on it as much as other parts, however, doing so can prevent dealing with potential water damage further down the line.

As you take your RV along with you on your travels, your vehicle will endure various conditions that may take a toll on its roof. If you want to monitor whether or not your roof has endured any damage over time, it will be useful to periodically check on it throughout the year.

If for any reason your RV’s roof has been damaged or punctured, there’s no need to worry as we have the products available on our website to fix it. One of the products that we carry on our website is RV roof tape, a product that can be used for RV roof repair.

RV roof tape works simply but can have a large impact on the condition of your recreational vehicle. First, you must make sure to thoroughly clean your RV roof to make sure that you get rid of any excess moisture, grease, or oil on the surface.

Once you’ve done so, you can go ahead and apply the tape over the area you are repairing. The tape will then bond to the area, tightly sealing the crack or crevice to prevent any further damage.

There are a few things you’ll want to consider when purchasing RV roof tape. One thing to keep in mind is that there are many different roof types that exist. When you purchase tape, you need to ensure that the tape is compatible with the roof your RV has.

For instance, some motor homes or RVs have rubber roofs, aluminum, fiberglass, steel, and more. Not all forms of RV roof tape will be able to accommodate the type of roof your RV has, therefore, you’ll want to carefully review your options to find the one that works best for you.

If you shop from our selection of RV roof tape on our website, you’ll notice that we have a lot of options available from different brands. If you are new and are looking for something that is highly favored and preferred by many of our customers, you may want to consider Eternabond products.

Eternabond is a brand known for its repair products that fix roofs of all different types. Some of the factors that make their products so notable are that they are durable, versatile, and easy to use. If you don’t have plenty of experience repairing roofs, you won’t have to worry about enduring too much difficulty.

As for Eternabond roof seal tapes, we have plenty of options in stock to address leak repairs. If you’re looking for a product from our website that is highly rated and reviewed from our customers, consider taking a look at the Eternabond AS-4-25 AlumiBond 4” X ‘25 Repair Tape.

This option bonds to different surfaces aside from just roofs, making it a versatile choice. It can be used on different roof materials including carbon steel, aluminum, galvanized steel, aluminum foil, wood, rubber, tar, fiberglass, and more.

If you ever come across other parts of your RV that need a protective coating, other than your roof, you can use this product for that as well. Other materials that this tape can repair are drain pipes, ductwork, boats, canoes, and metal buildings.

Eternabond makes a great choice as it provides an air and watertight barrier to the surface you apply it to. It is also UV stable and can endure the harshest of weather conditions like weather as cold as -20 degrees.

There are so many qualities that make EternaBond tapes a great choice. At RVupgrades, we only provide our customers with the best products so they can enjoy their RV experience.

Our customer feedback means a lot to us, therefore, if there is a product they enjoy the most, we make sure to keep it around.

No matter what form of RV roof tape you choose to purchase from our website, you are guaranteed to have a great product in your hands. They are also easy to install so that anyone regardless of their repair experience can figure out how to use it.

At RVupgrades we welcome your feedback and are always happy to answer your questions. If you’d like to get in touch with us about any of our products, you can contact us at 1-866-332-7881. Our team is available during the week from 8 - 5 pm (EST time) to address any of our customers’ needs.

If you prefer to communicate with us via email, feel free to send us an email at sales@rvupgradestore.com for pre-product questions and information. For all post-order returns or product damage, please contact returns@rvupgradestore.com.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

8 Useful RV Supplies You Should Consider Having At All Times

There are certain tools and accessories that you can’t afford to go without when you are out on the road in your RV if you want the best possible experience. Once you know you have everything essential, you still may want to consider a few other useful RV supplies for your trip, however.

Having the proper supplies as you are utilizing your RV can make or break a road trip or vacation. While you can certainly live without them, the quality of your outing may be dampened considerably without the right accessories on hand. While the idea of “roughing it” will always have a certain appeal, sometimes you simply want to have the right useful supplies on hand that will make your life easier and reduce hassle and stress.

With that being said, this guide will cover some of the more useful RV accessories and supplies that, while not essential, should still be given serious consideration if you want to make the most of your RV excursions. The quality of your time while using your RV can be greatly impacted by the supplies that are available to you or lack thereof. When certain situations arise, you want to be fully prepared so you can get back to enjoying yourself as quickly as possible.

A Reliable GPS
The first item you may want to consider having on hand at all times in your RV is a reliable GPS. You might be thinking why a GPS would even be necessary in this age of affordable smartphones equipped with Google Maps, but the truth is, there are several valid reasons why a dedicated GPS is better than a phone in this instance.

On a short drive, a smartphone certainly comes in handy if you simply need local directions, but if you have to rely on your phone for hours on end, it could drain the battery. This is especially true if you want to use your phone for anything else at the same time. A GPS is not a mobile device and can be easily plugged in, so there are no concerns over it possibly quitting on you.

Another important thing to consider is that depending on where you are driving, your phone could lose service completely. A high-quality GPS, while connected over the Internet, also stores data locally at all times. This means that even when you are in the middle of nowhere, you will still be able to find out where you are with ease, which is not always the case with cell phones.

A GPS simply provides a much more streamlined navigation experience. They are designed to be utilized by the driver, unlike a smartphone that should not be handled while you are on the road. Their displays are larger which means you won’t have to worry about squinting or fiddling with your phone’s pinch and zoom features just to get a good view of the map, and the device itself is large and accessible, with easy to use features and simple design. Your smartphone could be throwing annoying notifications while you are in the middle of trying to use the map, or you may even receive a call. They are convenient to a fault - in this instance and especially on long drives, your best bet is to stick with a dedicated GPS.

Folding Chairs and Tables
While there is certainly nothing wrong with staying inside your camper or RV to relax and get away from it all, part of the joys of adventuring and camping include spending time in the great outdoors, sitting around fires, grilling, or simply soaking up some sun.

Well, unless you want to find a log to sit on, you’re going to want to invest in some high-quality folding chairs and maybe even a table or two. When you are traveling, you may not always have the convenience of picnic tables and other luxuries. In these instances, if you want to enjoy the outdoors while you eat or if you simply want to sit and read a book under the sun, having the right adaptable camping furniture is a must.

Folding tables and chairs are convenient because they do not require that much room but offer a substantial amount of functionality.

The Right High-Quality Grill Accessories
No RV trip is complete without the right grilling equipment on hand. You could forgo the grill and simply perform your cooking tasks using what appliances you have inside your RV, but this takes away some of the charm and appeal of venturing around and spending time outdoors.

There are several key items here that you want to think about keeping with you in your RV. These would include the grill itself, propane if you are using a gas grill, forks and tongs, pans, tin foil, and anything else you need to cook up a good meal.

Here at RVupgrades, we offer a wide variety of different high-quality grills, including campfire grills and portable gas options. We also offer stainless steel smokers and charcoal grills as well, to meet the needs of every grill-lover. Grilling is such an important aspect of crafting an enriching outdoor trip so it’s important you come equipped with everything you need to cook ‘till your heart’s content.

RV Interior Cleaning Products
This is something that may go overlooked, but your RV needs to be thoroughly cleaned just like any space in your house, perhaps more so because of the tight spaces and high amount of foot traffic. Before embarking on any lengthy journey using your RV, you want to make sure you have an array of quality cleaning supplies available to perform general maintenance as needed.

Cleaners you want to consider are toilet bowl and tile cleaners, all-purpose disinfectants, stove-top or range cleaners or degreasers, mildew and stain removers, air fresheners, and glass cleaners. If you aren’t sure exactly what kinds of cleaners you may need in a pinch, simply take a look at the interior cleaning section of our online store. We have exactly what you need right there.

While you also may want to invest in a few exterior RV cleaners as well, you likely won’t have to rely on these as often and if you forget them on a trip, you’re not liable to miss them much. Whereas, if you forget to bring the toilet bowl cleaner or the disinfectant on a trip, you could be dealing with unpleasant odors or worse. Always best to be prepared!

Durable and Convenient Coolers
Your RV likely has some kind of refrigerator or mini-fridge, but coolers are necessary as well if you intend on keeping your food and drinks cold while you are outside and moving about. What is convenient about quality coolers is that they allow you to easily take your favorite drinks or perishable snacks into the woods or onto the beach without a second thought. They are perfect for outdoor get-togethers and parties and are simply convenient if you want to lounge outside for a while and not have to keep coming back into your RV every time you want a refreshing beverage.

RV Surge Protectors
Protecting your electrical equipment is simply a common-sense move when you are traveling in your RV but purchasing a surge protector may go overlooked. Depending on the capabilities of your RV, you have to be careful about overloading the electrical system. RV surge protectors work similarly to the common surge protectors that you use throughout your home but are heavy-duty and better suited for the various appliances you will be using in an RV. Make sure you have one of these on hand and a backup as well just to be prepared because, in terms of handy RV supplies, they are easily one of the most important.

Energy Efficient LED Bulbs
Unless you are only using your RV for travel and not much else, you’re going to be using its lights for your convenience. Having energy-efficient LED bulbs on hand will help you save a bit on energy, plus you know you will be helping the environment as well. Having a bunch in storage will ensure that in case one goes dim you always have a spare.

It can take quite a bit of energy to run an RV so it’s important to know how to save energy (and money!) wherever possible. LED bulbs are one way to trim the fat on your energy usage and also care for the environment at the same time.

An All-Purpose Step Ladder
The last item on our list may be the most functional of all of them, and perhaps one of the most overlooked. A step ladder can be used for a wide range of different purposes, and while it isn’t absolutely essential to have, it can have a massive impact on your ability to maintain your RV and perform certain routine tasks.

For instance, a step ladder can help you clean the exterior of your RV far easier than if you had to go without one. Depending on the specific cleaning task, you may even consider a step ladder essential. There are certainly tools you can use to improvise which negate the need to climb onto a step ladder, but they do make quite a bit of difference and provide a load of convenience in this area.

Another reason why you may need a step ladder is for adjusting or attaching certain items or accessories to your RV. This includes your awning, satellite dish, or anything else that may require you to interact with the roof or higher areas of the RV. If something appears off or damaged in this area, a step ladder may be necessary to get a good look at the issue or address it directly.

There are plenty of other practical uses for having a step ladder aboard as well. You can use them out in nature to help you hang flags, clotheslines, or hammocks, and can even provide you with some much-needed height when setting up larger tents as well. As useful as a step ladder is to have around your home, these simple items are just as useful on the road as well. Every RV owner should have one on hand.

Where to Find High-Quality RV Supplies
Having the right supplies for your RV can make a huge difference in terms of how you are able to enjoy yourself and make the most of your vacation or outing. Whether it’s important cleaning tools or useful gadgets, cooking supplies and utensils or items for outdoor recreation, you will be able to find them right here in our store at RV Upgrades. Our selection of RV supplies and equipment is truly substantial, which will allow you to find everything you could possibly need during the course of a road trip or extended excursion.

It’s important to note that you want your RV experience to be as smooth and fun as possible. The right supplies can help you craft the exact experience you are looking for. Once you have your RV and the proper appliances and necessary tools, you can stock your RV with all of the unique and special supplies that will flesh it out and make it your own.

It all depends on what you want out of your RV and how many creature comforts you are looking for. Some of the supplies we have in our store are downright essential for a complete RV experience while others will simply reduce headaches or make your time on the road easier. Either way, take a look through our store if you are curious as to what we have available, or feel free to get in touch with us if you are looking for something specific or have any questions. We want to make sure you have everything you need to get the most out of your RV and have an incredible time while you are camping, sightseeing, or on the road.