Have a Question? (866) 332-7881
Back to store

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Hitting the Road with Two Wheels: Choosing the Right RV Bike Carrier


Right RV Bike Carrier

For many RV enthusiasts, adventure doesn't stop at the campsite. Exploring new destinations often takes them beyond the reach of their four-wheeled home, where bicycles become trusty and critical companions. But how do you bring your bikes along for the ride?

RV bike carriers offer the perfect solution, allowing you to seamlessly integrate cycling adventures into your RV travels. However, with various mounting options available, choosing the right RV bike carrier can feel a little overwhelming. This guide delves into the three most popular mounting options – hitch-mounted, bumper-mounted, and ladder-mounted carriers – helping you find the perfect fit for your needs.

Hitch-Mounted RV Bike Carriers: The All-Around Champion

Hitch-mounted RV bike carriers are widely considered the most popular and versatile option. They attach directly to your RV's receiver hitch, offering several advantages:

  • High weight capacity: Hitch-mounted carriers typically boast the highest weight capacity, easily accommodating multiple bikes, including heavier e-bikes.
  • Stability and security: Mounted directly to the frame, they offer excellent stability and security, minimizing swaying or bouncing during travel.
  • Variety of styles and features: Available in various styles (platform, hanging), they cater to different needs. Some even offer features like tilting mechanisms for easy bike loading and unloading.

However, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Hitch requirement: Ensure your RV has a compatible hitch and sufficient weight capacity to handle the carrier and bikes.
  • Potential ground clearance issues: Depending on the carrier and hitch height, ground clearance might be reduced, requiring caution on uneven terrain.
  • Installation: While generally straightforward, hitch installation might require additional tools or professional assistance.

Example: Imagine exploring picturesque coastal roads with your family. A hitch-mounted platform carrier would be a great choice, allowing you to securely transport multiple bikes and enjoy scenic coastal bike rides together.

Bumper-Mounted RV Bike Carriers: Convenience with Cautions

Bumper-mounted RV bike carriers attach directly to the RV's bumper, offering a seemingly convenient solution. However, they come with some limitations:

  • Lower weight capacity: Compared to hitch-mounted options, bumper-mounted carriers typically have a lower weight capacity, limiting them to lighter bikes.
  • Potential for RV damage: Improper installation or exceeding the weight limit can damage the RV's bumper.
  • Limited bike access: Loading and unloading bikes might be more challenging due to the carrier's position closer to the ground.

Example: If you're an occasional cyclist looking to carry a single lightweight bike for short, casual rides, a bumper-mounted carrier might suffice. However, it's crucial to ensure it's compatible with your RV's bumper and weight capacity.

Ladder-Mounted RV Bike Carriers: A Space-Saving Option

Ladder-mounted RV bike carriers attach directly to the RV's ladder, offering a space-saving solution for smaller RVs or those with limited storage options. However, they also have significant drawbacks:

  • Limited weight capacity: Similar to bumper-mounted options, they have a lower weight capacity, generally suitable for only one or two lightweight bikes.
  • Stability concerns: These carriers are often less stable than other options, especially when carrying multiple bikes or heavier bikes.
  • Potential ladder damage: Exceeding the weight limit or encountering rough roads can damage the RV's ladder.

Example: If you have a small RV with limited storage space and only plan to occasionally carry a single lightweight bike, a ladder-mounted carrier might be an option. However, use caution and ensure it's compatible with your RV's ladder and weight capacity.

Choosing the Perfect RV Bike Carrier

Ultimately, the ideal RV bike carrier depends on several factors:

  • Number and type of bikes: Consider the number of bikes you'll be carrying and their weight. Opt for a carrier with sufficient capacity.
  • RV type and features: Ensure the carrier is compatible with your RV's hitch or ladder and doesn't obstruct any essential features.
  • Your budget and desired features: Explore different options within your budget and consider features like ease of use, tilting mechanisms, and security features.

By carefully considering these factors, you can choose the RV bike carrier that perfectly complements your RV and cycling adventures, allowing you to explore new destinations on two wheels and create lasting memories on your journey.

Enjoy Your RV Adventures with Top-of-the-Line Bike Carriers

Now that you have a clear understanding of different mounting options and crucial factors to consider, let's explore two specific RV bike carriers we have available here at RVupgrades:

Versatile and Expandable:

1. Let's Go Aero B00390 V-Lectric FAT PRO Two E-Bike Slideout Hitch Mount V-Rack:

This feature-packed hitch-mounted carrier from Let's Go Aero is ideal for RV enthusiasts who use e-bikes or a combination of regular and e-bikes. Here's why it stands out:

  • Versatile and Expandable: The V-Lectric PRO 3.0 accommodates a range of standard bikes and non-bulky e-bikes, thanks to its BlockHead™ quick-release adjustable wheel cradles. It's even expandable to carry up to four bikes with additional accessories.
  • RV Friendly: This carrier is approved for RV trailer use and features a sliding mechanism for easy access to rear hatches and Sprinter RV van doors.
  • Durable and Secure: Built with a heavy-duty TwinTube hitch platform and including two locks, this carrier ensures your bikes remain safe and secure during your travels.
  • Accommodates Various Bikes: The V-Lectric PRO 3.0 can handle bikes up to 72 inches in length with tires up to 4 inches wide.
Versatile and Expandable:

2. Swagman 80605 2 Position Bike Carrier, RV Bumper Platform:

For RV owners with limited space or who primarily use standard bikes, the Swagman 80605 is a bumper-mounted option worth considering:

  • Simple and Affordable: This easy-to-use and install carrier offers a budget-friendly solution for carrying up to two bikes or even extra gear on the corrosion-resistant rack.
  • Versatile and Supportive: The tire rails accommodate various bike sizes, while upright bars provide additional stability.
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty: Enjoy peace of mind with Swagman's limited lifetime warranty.

Both the Let's Go Aero V-Lectric and the Swagman RV Bumper Carrier are excellent options, but the ideal choice for you depends on your specific needs.

If heavy-duty construction, e-bike compatibility, and a slide-out feature are priorities, the Let's Go Aero V-Lectric might be the perfect fit. If you're looking for a simple, budget-friendly, and versatile option for regular bikes, the Swagman RV Bumper Carrier could be your perfect match.

Hit the Road with the Perfect RV Bike Carrier

At RVupgrades, we understand the importance of having the right equipment for your RV adventures. We offer a wide selection of RV bike carriers in various styles, capacities, and mounting options. Check out our catalog here on our website, and take the next step in your outdoor adventures.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

How to Pick the Right Portable RV Waste Tank For Your RV


Right Portable RV

When venturing around in your RV, the last thing you want to worry about is what happens to all the waste generated during your travels. That's where portable RV waste tanks come into play.

These important RV accessories are essential for maintaining a clean and convenient living environment on the road. Here’s how to choose the right one and go back to enjoying nature, friends, and adventure without thinking about this again!

Benefits of Portable RV Waste Tanks

Not sure you want to get a portable RV waste tank? While it may not feel like the most glamorous addition to your next trip, there’s a lot of reasons to consider getting one.

Waste Management on the Road

One of the primary functions of RV waste tanks is to manage waste efficiently while camping. RVs are equipped with three types of waste tanks: the black tank, the gray tank, and the freshwater tank.

The black tank holds human waste from the toilet, the gray tank collects water from sinks and showers, and the freshwater tank stores clean water for various purposes.

The black tank, in particular, is crucial for preventing unpleasant odors and maintaining sanitation inside your RV. Properly managing waste ensures that your RV remains a comfortable and hygienic home away from home.

Environmental Responsibility

In today's world, environmental consciousness is more critical than ever. RV waste tanks play a significant role in responsible waste disposal. When used and maintained correctly, they help prevent contamination of natural resources, such as rivers and lakes, which can occur when waste is improperly disposed of in the great outdoors.

By containing and controlling your waste in designated RV waste tanks, you contribute to preserving the environment for future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Additionally, many RV dump stations are equipped with facilities to process waste safely and responsibly, further reducing your ecological footprint.

Extended Stay Convenience

RV waste tanks also enhance the convenience of extended stays at campgrounds or remote locations. With these tanks, you can enjoy extended periods off the grid without having to worry about finding a nearby restroom or dealing with the logistics of waste disposal.

By having the means to store and manage waste within your RV, you can focus on the beauty of your surroundings and the joy of the journey without the stress of frequent trips to a dump station.

Odor Control and Hygiene

Properly maintained RV waste tanks are essential for controlling unpleasant odors within your vehicle. Advanced tank designs and chemicals can help break down waste and reduce odor, ensuring a more pleasant living environment. Regular tank maintenance, including flushing and cleaning, is vital to maintain hygiene and comfort on the road.

Peace of Mind

Having well-functioning RV waste tanks provides peace of mind throughout your travels. Knowing that you have a reliable system in place to manage waste allows you to focus on creating unforgettable memories during your RV adventures.

How to Choose the Best Portable RV Waste Tanks

We carry portable RV waste tanks from a variety of trusted brands that are all made with adventure and convenience in mind. Not sure which one is right for you? Here are some of the ways to pick the best option for you.

portable RV waste tanks

Tank Capacity

The first and most critical factor to consider is the tank's capacity. The capacity you need depends on the size of your RV and the number of people traveling with you. Smaller RVs may do well with tanks ranging from 5 to 15 gallons, while larger motorhomes might require tanks of 25 gallons or more. Consider how often you'll be emptying the tank and choose a capacity that suits your travel style.

Material and Durability

Portable waste tanks are typically made from two primary materials: plastic and aluminum. Plastic tanks are lightweight and affordable but may not be as durable as their aluminum counterparts. Aluminum tanks are more robust and corrosion-resistant but tend to be heavier. Your choice should be based on your budget and the tank's intended use. If you plan to use it frequently, investing in a durable tank may be wise.

Portability and Design

Since the tank will be portable, it's essential to consider its design and ease of transport. Look for tanks with sturdy wheels and a comfortable handle for easy maneuvering. Some models come with tow handles that can be attached to your RV, making it even more convenient to transport the tank to the dump station.

Compatibility with Your RV

Ensure that the waste tank you choose is compatible with your RV's sewer system. Most tanks come with standard connection fittings, but it's crucial to double-check. Measure the diameter of your RV's sewer outlet to ensure a proper fit. Additionally, check if the tank includes a hose and necessary adapters for a seamless connection.

Leak-Proof and Odor Control Features

No one wants to deal with leaks or unpleasant odors when handling waste tanks. Our tanks have robust seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. Some models also feature built-in odor control mechanisms, like ventilation systems or seal mechanisms, to keep foul odors at bay.

Ease of Cleaning

Cleaning your portable waste tank should be a straightforward process. Look for tanks with wide openings that are easy to access for cleaning and rinsing. Some tanks even have built-in cleaning wands or systems to make maintenance hassle-free.

Other Essential RV Products

Not only do we carry a variety of portable RV waste tanks, we offer a plethora of other RV essentials as well. From towing and hitching equipment to important RV sanitation items, not to mention appliances and accessories, we have it all. Browse through our store today to find what you need for a successful RV adventure!

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Complete Guide to Hitching and Unhitching Your RV


Husky Jack

The Husky Towing Super Brute Power Tongue Jack is an electric tongue jack designed for ease in hitching and unhitching trailers. It has a lift capacity of 4000 lbs, a 20mm ball screw design for efficient lifting, and features such as weather-protected switches, a 3-sided LED light system, and an 18” stroke.

The jack includes several accessories like a manual crank handle, emergency brake release, and a bubble level. For more information on the Husky Jack and its benefits, as well as general tips and safety measures to be aware of while hitching, read on:

Hitching Your RV: Tips and Procedures

  1. Preparation:
    • Ensure your RV and towing vehicle are on a level surface.
    • Check that the towing vehicle's hitch and the RV's hitch receiver are compatible and in good condition.
    • Lift your RV to the desired height.
  2. Aligning the Vehicle and RV:
    • Align the towing vehicle with the RV's hitch. This may require a spotter to guide you.
  3. Lowering the RV onto the Hitch:
    • Using the Husky Jack, lower the RV's tongue onto the hitch ball of the towing vehicle. Ensure it's securely attached.
  4. Securing the Connection:
    • Lock the hitch coupler and insert the hitch pin.
    • Attach the safety chains in a crisscross pattern under the hitch.
  5. Electrical Connections and Brake Controller:
    • Connect the RV's electrical system to the towing vehicle.
    • Ensure the brake controller is working (if applicable).
  6. Final Checks:
    • Check all lights and signals.
    • Ensure the RV is level and the Husky Jack is fully retracted.

Unhitching Your RV

The process for unhitching your RV is not altogether different from hitching, you’re simply performing some of the steps in reverse. That being said, there are still some things you need to be aware of in terms of prep and how you use your tongue jack, as well as basic safety measures to be aware of.

  1. Preparation:
    • Park on a level surface and apply the towing vehicle's parking brake.
  2. Chocking the Wheels:
    • Place wheel chocks around the RV's tires to prevent rolling.
  3. Disconnecting Electrical and Safety Chains:
    • Disconnect the electrical connections and remove the safety chains.
  4. Using the Husky Jack:
    • Extend the Husky Jack to lift the RV's tongue off the hitch ball.
  5. Separating the Vehicle and RV:
    • Slowly drive the towing vehicle forward until clear of the hitch.
  6. Stabilizing the RV:
    • Lower and adjust RV stabilizing jacks for firm contact with the ground.

As you can see the process for both hitching and unhitching is fairly straightforward. One of the keys to making it a seamless process every time is having a reliable jack on hand. This not only makes the process easier and less time consuming, it also makes it safer.

Best Practices and Safety Precautions

  • Regular Maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain your RV's hitch system and the Husky Jack itself.
  • Weight Distribution: Ensure your load is evenly distributed in the RV.
  • Double-Check Connections: Always double-check the hitch connection, safety chains, and electrical connections before moving.
  • Proper Use of Jack: Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the Husky Jack to avoid damage or injury.
  • Safety Gear: Wear appropriate safety gear, like gloves, when hitching or unhitching.
  • Avoid Overloading: Do not exceed the weight capacity of your towing setup or the Husky Jack.
  • Training and Practice: If you're new to RVing, consider getting training and practice in a safe environment.

Remember, hitching and unhitching your RV is a critical process that requires attention to detail and adherence to safety practices. The Husky Jack, with its features and capabilities, can make this process more efficient and less strenuous.

The Importance of Using a Quality RV Jack

Using a high-quality jack, like the Husky Jack for RVs, is important for several reasons:

Safety: A high-quality jack is designed to reliably support the weight of your RV, reducing the risk of accidents or injury.

Durability: Quality jacks are built to withstand repeated use and harsh conditions, ensuring long-term reliability.

Stability: They provide stable support, which is crucial when your RV is parked, especially in uneven terrains.

Ease of Use: High-quality jacks often come with features that make them easier to operate, like electric lifting, which can be a significant advantage over manual jacks.

Protection of Investment: Your RV is a significant investment, and using a dependable jack helps protect that investment by ensuring proper handling during hitching and unhitching.

Other Important Things to be Aware Of

When hitching or unhitching an RV, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and to make sure you understand the process before actually diving in. Here are some other tips on hitching that are worth noting:

Clear Area: Check the surrounding area for obstacles or hazards. It’s important that both your RV and your towing vehicle have ample room to move around in, otherwise the process will be more difficult than it needs to be.

Correct Load Distribution: Ensure the load within the RV is evenly distributed to maintain balance.

Understand Weight Limits: Be fully aware of the weight limits of your RV, towing vehicle, and hitching equipment.

Weather Conditions: Be cautious in adverse weather conditions, which can affect the stability and safety of your setup.

Level Surface: Always try to hitch and unhitch on a level surface to prevent the RV from moving unexpectedly. While campgrounds aren’t always the most level, it’s something to be aware of.

Communication: If you're working with a partner, maintain clear communication throughout the process. Everyone involved should be aware of what goes into the hitching process and should be able to operate the jack as well.

These precautions help ensure a safe and successful hitching or unhitching process even in less than ideal conditions.

Find Everything You Need to Hitch and Unhitch Your RV Right Here

Now that you know more about the hitching process, it’s time to shop for what you need. Whether that’s a brand new Husky Jack, wheel chocks, or anything else that you might need while on the road or during your trip, we have you covered. Here at RV Upgrades we carry a wide assortment of quality RV accessories, appliances, tools, and more. Browse through our website to see for yourself, so you can equip your RV for any outing!

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Trailer Tongue Jacks


trailer tongue jacks

Trailer tongue jacks are vital tools that facilitate the RV hitching process, so it’s important to know how to use them properly.

In this article, we'll explore common problems that you may encounter with your trailer tongue jacks and provide practical troubleshooting tips to help you overcome these obstacles.

Why You Need a Trailer Tongue Jack

First things first, let's discuss why you need an RV tongue jack to begin with.

When it comes to RVing, having a trailer tongue jack is in most cases essential.

Hitching and unhitching your RV can be a potentially hazardous task if you don’t have the proper equipment on hand to facilitate the process. A tongue jack provides an additional layer of convenience and safety during this process. By raising or lowering the front end of the trailer, it allows for easier coupling and decoupling from the tow vehicle. This reduces the risk of accidents and issues that can arise when trying to hitch. Straightforward but underrated as it pertains to RV tools.

trailer tongue jack

Investing in a high-quality stabilizing trailer tongue jack is a wise choice for any RV enthusiast.  That said, let's now look at some issues you might run into with regards to the operation of these jacks (and similar tools such as stabilizing and leveling jacks).

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of tongue jacks and which one might be right for you, this resource on some of the best trailer tongue jacks might help you.

Now let’s take a look at some of the issues you may encounter while operating these jacks. Like all tools, especially ones like jacks, always review the manufacturer instructions and do not exceed the recommended weight limits associated with your particular model. This is important not only for successful operation but also for your safety.

Stuck or Jammed Trailer Tongue Jack

Sometimes, you might find your trailer tongue jack stuck or jammed, making it difficult to lift or lower. This issue can occur due to various reasons such as debris, rust, or mechanical faults. Here's some simple ways you can troubleshoot it:

1. Inspect for debris

Begin by thoroughly inspecting the internal mechanism and external components of your trailer tongue jack. Look for any signs of dirt, debris, or obstructions that could be hindering its movement. Pay close attention to the base and surrounding areas, as they tend to accumulate mud, rocks, or other foreign objects.

Example: Imagine you're preparing for a weekend getaway, but your trailer tongue jack refuses to budge. After examining the jack, you discover a buildup of mud and rocks around the base. By carefully cleaning the area, you remove the debris and restore the smooth operation of your jack, saving your trip from being delayed.

trailer tongue jack

2. Lubricate moving parts

Another common culprit behind a jammed trailer tongue jack is excessive friction caused by lack of lubrication. To address this issue, apply a high-quality lubricant to the moving parts of the jack, including the gears and screws.

This lubrication will significantly reduce friction, allowing the jack to move more freely and enhancing its overall functionality.

Unresponsive Electric Trailer Tongue Jack

Electric trailer tongue jacks offer convenience and ease of use, but as with any electric tool, they come with their own set of potential issues. If yours isn’t functioning properly or is unresponsive, follow these basic steps:

1. Check power supply

Ensure that the jack is receiving power by checking the connections, fuses, and battery charge. Replace any blown fuses or recharge the battery if necessary.

Example: You're about to embark on a camping trip, but your electric trailer tongue jack fails to respond when you press the control button. Upon closer inspection, you find that a fuse has blown. After replacing it, your jack springs back to life, saving you from the hassle of manually cranking it up.

2. Inspect wiring and switches

Examine the wiring connections and switches to ensure they are secure and intact. Loose or damaged wires can cause electrical issues with the jack.

Troubleshooting for a Smooth RVing Experience

By understanding common issues and implementing practical solutions, you can overcome problems associated with trailer tongue jacks and have a seamless experience when towing your RV. Regular maintenance, thorough inspections, and proper usage go a long way in ensuring a smooth RVing experience. Always remember to clean, lubricate, and inspect your jack regularly to prevent potential issues from arising, and if you are looking for a replacement trailer tongue jack, you’re in the right place.

At RVupgrades, we understand the importance of reliable equipment such as jacks when it comes to managing and enjoying your RV.

Browse our wide selection of high-quality trailer tongue jacks and other RV accessories to find the perfect solution for your needs. Trust us to provide you with exceptional customer service, detailed product information, and competitive prices, allowing you to enjoy hassle-free RVing all year round.