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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.


4.   
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.

Tools

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.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

5 Essential Camper Parts to Purchase

 

If you’re a first-timer when it comes to using your camper, it may be hard for you to evaluate the kind of camper parts and accessories that are essential for you to purchase. If that is the case for you, there’s no better place to be than on our website.

We have a multitude of parts and accessories that will improve your RV or camper experience in just the click of a button. Whether you are looking for electrical supplies, cleaner, lighting, and more to maintain the quality of your camper, we have it all.

There are so many camper parts that are deemed necessary to have, and a lot of them, you’ll be able to discover along the way. Other parts can be essential to have with you to make each experience with your camper as enjoyable as possible.

Below are some essentials from our website that may be useful for your camper:

Leveling Blocks

One essential for your camper that many don’t think to purchase are leveling blocks. As the name suggests, leveling blocks allow you to level your vehicle or camper and keep them stable. This will come in handy, especially as you bring your camper to a campground.

Another reason why leveling is important for your camper is that they prevent any additional stress or damage to your camper’s frame. This can cause long term issues with some of your campers’ general parts.

On our website, we sell Camco RV FasTen Leveling Blocks that are affordable, durable, and very easy to use.

The Camco set comes with a T handle so that you can bring the blocks with you. They are also UV stabilized so that they don’t get damaged by sunlight. Just this minor addition can maintain the stability of your camper.

Drinking Water Hose

If you want odorless, fresh-tasting water, you’ll want to invest in a drinking water hose. These allow you to run safe drinking water to your camper without having to worry about drinking water that isn’t FDA approved.

We offer many water hoses on our site, many of which differ in terms of brand and length. One affordable option that you can trust is the Aqua Pro Supreme Drinking Water Hose - 50 ft.

It is designed with lead-free material so that your water is safe to consume. It is also flexible making it easy to pack up with you when you’re finished using it. The hose coupling that it comes with attaches easily to the faucet without any hassles.

Sewer Hose

One camper part that is essential for you to have is a sewer hose. The quality of the one that you get can make all the difference in terms of how easy or difficult it is to hook it up.

To avoid any mishaps when setting up yours, investing in one that is durable and gives you the support you need to maintain it will make the process a lot easier. 

One popular pick that we sell on our website is the Camco RhinoFLEX RV Sewer Hose Kit - 20’. For many, it is considered to be the toughest sewer hose you can buy due to its 23 mil. thickness. Polyolefin reinforced with steel wire material gives you the ability to mold it and shape it into the way that you want it.

The kit contains two 10’ hoses, so depending on the length that you need, you can adjust accordingly.

Fire Extinguisher

Although most RVs come with fire extinguishers, an extra compact one can always come in handy for further safety measures.

What makes the Element E50 Professional Compact Fire Extinguisher that we carry on our website so different is that it is non-toxic, eco-friendly, and more compact.

It also has a quick discharge time, thus being useful to put out fires with ease. Its lightweight and small size makes it easier to maneuver and bring along with you.

Water Pressure Regulator

To prevent damage to your camper’s water hose and inconsistent water pressure, you’ll want a water pressure regulator to regulate it.

The proper water pressure regulator can sustain the life of your equipment for more extended periods of time. The Camco 40052 Water Pressure Regulator is an affordable piece that we carry, although you are free to take a look at some of the options we have as well.

Shop Our Selection

No matter what various additional parts you are looking for, we have just what you need. We give our customers plenty of options in terms of brands and prices so they can select what they want and need comfortably.

Anything that you buy from our website will be of durable and high quality to enhance your RV experience.

If you have any questions while shopping, our team can help you. Simply call 1-866-332-7881 and a member of our team will be ready to assist you.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Choosing the Best 5th Wheel Hitch For Your RV

 



If you’re planning on bringing your RV or camper around with you on your travels, you may want to consider investing in a 5thwheel hitch. The tool will play a crucial role in enhancing your ability to travel with your RV or camper safely and with ease.


With that said, it is important to make sure that you choose one that is high quality and durable so that you can have peace of mind knowing that your RV or camper is secure as you tow it.

Allow us at RVupgrades to be your resource for all things related to your RV and camper accessories.


Since the early 2000s, it has been our core mission to provide high-quality RV accessories and parts to our customers to improve their general RV experience. Our team works together to provide the best products in the industry at affordable prices so that we can develop a stronger connection with anyone who visits our website.


Aside from our products, we also take pride in providing our customers with quality service and expert tips. If you are new to the world of RVs, you are bound to have questions about which products are the best for your RV or how to properly use them. If this is the case for you, this is where our team will come in.


When it comes to 5th wheel hitches, you may have some questions, considering we have a large selection to choose from. This article is going to act as a guide where we provide tips, recommendations, and advice on choosing the best 5th wheel hitch for your RV. There may be some additional accessories that can be useful when it comes to using one that we will tell you about as well. First, it's crucial that you understand what a 5th wheel hitch is and how it works.


What is a 5th Wheel Hitch?

If you’ve never heard of 5th wheel hitches, you might be curious as to what they are. A 5th wheel hitch is an attachment system made for 5th wheel campers and can be installed over the bed of a pickup truck. Once it has been connected, you can then take your RV or camper with you wherever you need to go.

A good quality hitch will encompass a few different qualities. For one, it will make driving your vehicle with an attachment a lot smoother and easy to navigate. When your hitch is properly connected, you won’t have to worry about experiencing too much rattling, noise, or even any issues with it disconnecting or not being strong enough to hold your attached RV.


They will also be durable and heavy-duty to guarantee a very secure towing experience for you and others who are tagging along.


The ones that we offer here on RVupgrades are durable and guaranteed to make installation and navigation easier for you. The last thing we’d want to provide you with is a hitch that is too complicated or hard to install. We want to ensure that you walk away from our online store equipped with the knowledge to install your hitch with ease.

Typically, 5th wheel hitches are compatible with vehicles like pickup trucks to make towing your RV or trailer as easy as possible. If you are ever curious about what vehicle the 5th wheel hitch you are looking for is compatible with, you can view the product description for additional information, or, you can contact a member of our team to assist you.

Gooseneck Hitch vs 5th Wheel Hitch

When looking at hitches to tow your trailer or RV, you may come across the term 'gooseneck hitch’ every now and then.


Both gooseneck and 5th wheel hitches have very similar capabilities which make the two sometimes difficult to differentiate. For example, they can both be attached to pick up trucks and can be used to tow heavy trailers.


The primary difference between the two kinds of hitches heavily lies within their size, pricing, and how they can connect to your vehicle.


Gooseneck hitches tend to use a hitch ball connection to hook into place, whereas 5th wheel hitches use a kingpin connection to properly hook into place.


You may also find that pricing between the two varies. Gooseneck hitches tend to be less expensive than 5th wheel hitches because they can take up less space on your truck bed and aren’t as bulky.


The main question you probably have in mind is: Which one is better for towing your 5th wheel RV?


If you are going to choose between the two, 5th wheel hitches are a much better option when it comes to towing your 5th wheel RV. They are designed for recreational towing so that you can simply attach and bring it along with you.


As for gooseneck hitches, it is best to use those when it comes to livestock trailers or anything related to commercial and agricultural towing.


The right 5th wheel hitch will have good mobility so that you can experience a smooth and quiet ride. Our selection of 5th wheel hitches is also suitable for many different vehicles. If you need a specific one for your vehicle, you’ll most likely find it on our website.

 

5th Wheel Hitches at RV Upgrades

Now that you are familiar with how the different types of hitches work and which is best to use for towing your RV, you are ready to begin searching for the best one for you.

On RVupgrades.com, we split all of our accessories and supplies into categories so you can narrow down your search and go directly to where you need to be. Our RV Tow hitches product page is where you can find all things related to hitches and their accessories.

Our fifth wheel hitches product page is specifically where you can start your fifth wheel hitch search. Price points and brands will vary depending on which one you get, however, just know that no matter which one you decide to choose on our website, our team of experts have carefully curated the most durable, heavy-duty and safe to use hitches in the industry.

Another thing we continue to keep in mind as we stock our hitches is easy installation. We want all of our customers to have an easy time installing their hitch so we made sure to stock up on fifth wheel hitches that are simple to do so. Below are some recommendations from our very own website so you have options to choose from.


 

R eese 30081 Select Plus 20K Fifth Wheel Hitch




This specific fifth wheel hitch is a popular pick on our website as it uses a base and mounting kit that is known amongst our customers from the Select Series Line of Fifth Wheel hitches. This hitch is easy to install and can be removed in seconds if for any reason you need to access the rest of your truck bed.

 

If you are interested in a simple, sleek look, this 120-pound model has a black powder coat that is made with steel. For easy installation, this hitch comes with instructions and the installation hardware needed to assemble the piece together.


 

Blue Ox BXR6200 Super Ride Adaptable Fifth Wheel Hitch



Although a pricier option, with this hitch you know you are getting something that is both high performing and heavy-duty. This is another hitch that you don’t have to worry about difficult navigation or assembly.


It is easy to hook up, easy to remove and it has 11 inches of adjustable range making it convenient if you have a truck with a shorter bed. Because of the springs that are used to support the head of this hitch, you won’t have to worry about there being too much stress on your truck or on your RV. This will ensure a smooth ride.


There are plenty more hitches to choose from whether you want to view the fifth wheel hitches or another kind. You can also view products based on what is popular amongst our customers if you’d like to have additional assurance.


Installation Tips

When it comes time to install your hitch after you’ve purchased the one that meets your needs best, you are ready for installation. This may be the most daunting part of the process, but with our expert tips, tools, and knowledge, we’ll make it as easy as possible for you.


We recommend that with all of our hitches, you first refer to your vehicle’s manual for towing guidelines and restrictions first. This is just to ensure that your hitch and towing doesn’t take too much of a toll on your vehicle as you begin to use it.

 

With all of our product descriptions for our hitches, you’ll be able to view the gross trailer weight capacity of each hitch model. This may be useful to keep in mind especially depending on the RV or trailer that you are planning on attaching to your vehicle.


With our products online, we always make sure to attach an instruction manual online to further guide you with the installation process. You are more than welcome to reach out to our team or ask any further questions as they arise and our team will be available to support you as best as possible.

 

Additional Hitch Accessories

As you shop for RV Tow Hitches on RVupgrades.com, you notice that we have plenty of relevant accessories in stock as well. For example, we have hitch extenders, to accommodate those who want to extend the length of their hitch.


One of the ones we carry is the B -Dawg D-HE3 Class III Hitch Extender, a simple and affordable option you can purchase to meet that need. We also have ball adapters, sway control pieces, base rails and so much more to maintain the integrity of your hitch.


You can narrow down your search for RV tow hitches and accessories based on brand, pricing, category, and what’s trending for other customers who are purchasing similar products as well.


No matter what, we’ve made sure to give all of our customers options when it comes to RV tow hitches and the other products that we carry on our website as well.

 

How RVupgrades Can Help You

If you are interested in RV hitches or anything else related to RVs, we have them on our website. This includes the products necessary to keep your RV clean, electrical pieces, lighting, sealants, wheels, and many other things.


We understand that sometimes you may not be completely happy with a product or mistakenly have purchased the wrong item. This is bound to happen especially as it relates to ordering things online. We don’t want our customers to have to worry about that, therefore, we have an easy return system.


If you aren’t happy with your purchase you can return your product in unused condition within 90 days of purchase. Once you do that, you will get 100% of your money back.


Your RV experience is valuable to us as we know how large of a role they can play in creating memorable life experiences.


To align with our mission of providing as much support as possible to our customers, you can go to the Q&A section of our website. This allows you to ask questions or even find the answers to the questions you may have. Head over to our Q&A page and you may be able to find the exact answer you are looking for.

 

If you can’t find an answer to your questions anywhere on our website, our team is easy to get into contact with. You can go ahead and call us at 1-866-332-7881 where our team is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

 

Another way you can get into contact with us is by sending an email to s ales@rvupgradestore.com for further inquiries, or you can email us at r eturns@rvupgradestore.com for questions regarding returns.