Camping and fishing go hand in hand, I would say. Motorhome and travel trailer owners carry a set of fishing poles with them, right? If you don’t, you should. Fishing is such a peaceful and easy hobby to enjoy.
I found this forecast on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website and thought it could help you in your quest to find the best fishing spots in Texas!
It’s no secret that fish populations, like all natural resources, are being affected by the drought. West Texas and Panhandle lakes have been hit hard. Lakes Baylor Creek (near Childress) and O.C. Fisher (San Angelo) have dried up completely, and many other water bodies are at critically low levels. That’s good news and bad news for anglers.
The good news, say Texas Parks and Wildlife Department fisheries biologists, is that less water means less dead water (the areas on a lake where fish aren’t likely to be because of a lack of habitat). The adage about shooting fish in a barrel comes to mind, as fish will congregate and concentrate in remaining available habitat, making them more susceptible to angling. Because Texas fisheries came into the drought in good shape, the added pressure on the resource is not expected to hurt fish populations.
“With low water levels there will be some impact to recruitment and reproduction, but a weaker year class doesn’t mean fishing will be a bust,” says Brian Van Zee, TPWD regional fisheries director in Waco. “Drought conditions likely will not impact angler catches because most of our fisheries can miss a year class and still be OK.”
So, there’s no reason not to dust off the tackle box, spool up fresh monofilament line and go fishing. Just be prepared, because less water also means less access with many boat ramps high and dry, making it tough for anglers to get on the water in some areas. Until water levels increase, do some homework ahead of time by checking with marinas or water authorities to find a suitable launch site.
It’s nice to know that the drought wasn’t all bad.
Maybe this year I can catch some fish. It would help if I got out there more than I did last year!
If you see me around the dealership, just remind me to go fishing!
It goes without saying though that having a service agreement and a warranty from the manufacturer helps us sleep a little better at night. After all, RVs need repairs sometimes just like our cars do.
Thank goodness for RV manufacturer warranties. Now, RV companies have warranties that are a little different from each other. Let’s compare warranties from some of the most popular RV manufacturers.
First off, let’s look at Jayco‘s warranty. This warranty is a 2-year “Co-Pilot” Warranty, and is touted as the best warranty in the business. The Jayco Co-Pilot Warranty is a manufacturer’s limited warranty. It doesn’t come from your dealer and it’s not an extended warranty. It comes from the people who build Jayco recreation vehicles to the people who buy them.
Each Jayco is warranted to the original purchaser for twenty-four (24) months or twenty-four thousand (24,000) miles (mileage limitation applies to motorized products only), whichever occurs first, from the original date of purchase against defects in materials and workmanship.
Compare this with Tiffin motorhomes, which has a 5-year delamination warranty and a 10-year construction warranty. The delamination warranty is for any wall separation between the outside fiberglass and the inner frame. This sort of warranty is a great value for the Tiffin owner. Sometimes the fiberglass glue can bubble up and be visible, so this warranty takes care of that. Additionally, 10 years of coverage for any construction issues on your Tiffin motorhome and the manufacturer will make the repairs.
CrossRoads RV offers the original purchaser a 2 year (from date of delivery) warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. This includes a limited, 5-year structural guarantee against floor, walls and roof defects from the date of delivery. Crossroads also offers a 2 year (from date of delivery) limited warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
The manufacturer warranty is one of the many points you need to consider as you narrow your selection of RVs. Choose a trailer, fifth wheel or motorhome from a company that you will enjoy communicating with in the coming years. That will add even more peace of mind as you travel the country in your new RV!
For those of you out there who are thinking about joining the growing ranks of new RV owners everywhere, this is how it should go:
Research online to determine that type of motorhome or travel trailer that you want to purchase.
Visit the nice folks at Vogt RV, a TX RV dealer just east of Ft. Worth, to find that RV you want. I’m pretty sure that we will have it on our lot just waiting for you.
Buy that RV.
Buy the insurance for your new RV.
Buy roadside assistance for your new RV.
In that order. Why buy roadside assistance for a brand new RV you say? Because you never know what your tire will run over, and you never know when you are going to lock yourself out of that new RV. Right?
Roadside assistance will allow you to sleep well at night. It’s worth the money, even if you use it only once a year.
What Should RV Roadside Assistance Help You With?
Emergency towing: you should be able to call your program’s dispatch center 24-7, 365 days per year.
Flat tire changes: by simply calling your program’s network of tire providers, their technicians should replace a flat tire with your inflated spare, even if they have to tow you to the nearest professional service center (at no extra cost).
Lock out service:one simple call and your program should send out a pre-paid locksmith to you right away, wherever you happen to be.
Family protection: your program should cover you, your spouse and your minor children.
Fuel delivery: your program should provide you with up to 5 gallons of fuel to get you to the nearest service station, free of charge, if you run out of gas.
Keep a list of important phone numbers and RV data handy. Carry the service manual for your coach. You should also keep the following in your RV: reflective triangles, flags and even reflective vests.
The two main options for RV roadside assistance are the AAA and the Good Sam Emergency Roadside Service Program. Many insurance companies, such as Allstate, and campgrounds, such as KOA also offer RV roadside assistance.
Why You Need An RV Assistance Program
Without emergency road assistance, a vacation can turn into a money pit. That’s why it’s important to have a reliable emergency road service available if you own an RV – whether it’s a motorhome, travel trailer, fifth wheel, or camping trailer.
To minimize the need for roadside assistance, service your RV before you leave for your trip. The majority of operational RV issues are preventable, with engine issues topping the list at 31.7 percent of all calls. [RV Travel Pro]
Like it says, the majority of repair issues can be avoided if you get your RV serviced before you travel. Call us at Vogt RV today and set up an appointment with our service department.
Now that we are in the midst of cold weather season, let’s take a close look at our RV furnaces. We want to give them some TLC now, before they decide to break down on us, leaving u cold and in the middle of nowhere!
Some motor homes have two furnaces and some have one. They should be located on one of the sides of the unit. In the shape of a medium sized rectangle. This compartment will also have a grill and it does stay hot. In order to open it up, remove the screws, remove the first door, and then there will be another one that just comes down as well. Then you will be at the control board located usually to the left of the compartment, you will also see your blower motor and your burner. First thing you want to do is check the connection on the control board and make sure there is no build up or corrosion. If there is you can take some canned air and clean it out, then reconnect it.
Also, make sure your igniter has a good connection and follow across and start checking all your connections and make sure they are all tight and secure. Blow air into your burner assembly to get all the buildup out. This video shows how to do this in a little more detail.
If you find that you are not able to do preventive maintenance on your furnace, please call us at Vogt RV to schedule a time to bring your RV in. Preventive maintenance is important for keeping your RV in top condition all winter.
The RV lifestyle is a pretty great lifestyle overall, don’t you think?
But as with anything else, it has its pros and cons. Let’s talk about those wonderful RV smells.
A frequent complaint about a new RV is that of the odor of formaldehyde. New RVers quickly learn to leave the refrigerator and freezer “cracked open” when turned off and not in use. But then, there are some wonderful odors that we associate RVing with, like the smell of the beach, or the smell of a fresh mountain rain.
Fragrance or odor. Scent or smell. It’s all a matter of perspective.
If you have ever detected the smell of rotten eggs in your RV, chances are you may have a propane gas leak. Hopefully, you have a gas detector in your rig. If not, you may want to invest in one. Although propane is an odorless gas, liquid propane producers add a substance called ethanethiol, which alerts people to a possible propane leak.
What other types of smells do you associate with your RV? Good or bad, leave your comments below.
Trust me, nothing is worse than camping in 100 degree weather when your air conditioner stops, leaving you with a sauna on wheels. Simple maintenance, if done periodically, will minimize that possibility.
Now that your A/C has been running for several months, it’s time to give that system a check up.
If you are planning on heading to warmer climates during the winter, or if you are planning on putting your RV in storage until the spring, its always smart to clean out your A/C to ensure that when summer time does come back around, you don’t have to do any costly repairs.
If you would rather us take care of that for you, just give us a call. Stay cool everyone!
If you are anything like me, I need to have the big picture on something long before I have to pay for it.
If you plan ahead for your RV maintenance it’ll be easier to handle down the road. Plus, your investment will stay in good condition and your resale value will stay high.
RV costs will definitely vary determined by style of RV, how well it can be maintained, how well it can be used, and maybe how your luck goes during a given year.
A diesel won’t need the same kind of annual maintenance like a pop up trailer. If something goes wrong, the amount of the bill will likely be less.
Should you use your RV only for summer vacations, it should suffer less damage than a RV that is out on the road all of the time. On the other hand, a motorhome left sitting too long may suffer from not enough use. A year in which tires need to be replaced will amount to more. Also, a motorhome and tow vehicle means maintenance on two engines. Keep that in mind!
Since you can tell, there are several variables in these RV costs. A few suggestions for budgeting and managing maintenance expenses:
1. Seek information specific to the type of RV you’re considering buying plus how it can be used. Once you have narrowed down the kind or brand of RV, check for discussion of this subject on relevant brand or owner forums. You are usually more likely to get reasonable opinions on average expenses if they come in relevant context.
2. Develop a Maintenance Fund and start it off with a decent sum of money, for unexpected or emergency repairs.
3. To keep it safe, overestimate monthly maintenance expenses. If you have a very good year where you do not need that much, put it aside anyway. Add it to your maintenance fund. It is there during the bad years, or the “tire years”. In case you accumulate a lot of money in such a fund, you may decide to use part of it for upgrades or accessories. Or you might want to create a separate Improvement Fund, and add to that each month.
4. Consider an RV Warranty as a safeguard against major and unexpected repairs.
5. Do It Yourself options – If you are handy, look into repairs and maintenance you might be able to do yourself to reduce RV costs. Do make sure you are comfortable and knowledgeable – you don’t want to do more harm than good. [Your RV Lifestyle]
If you need parts for your do-it-yourself project, some on down to see us. If you want to leave all the repair work to the pros, call our service department.
I don’t know about you but I think this is one of the hottest summers we’ve had in a long time. We know how that heat affects you and me, just think how it can affect your RV fluids, or air conditioner over time. So what can you do to keep your RV humming along in the hot summer?
These preventive maintenance tips can make the difference between heating up out on the side of the road, or cooling off in the comfort of your RV.
Check your owner’s manual for Routine and scheduled maintenance intervals. Service as recommended.
*Check water level, battery state of charge, cables & connections
*Check belts: worn or cracked & proper tension
*Check dash air for correct operation
*Check all fluid levels: brakes, engine oil, windshield washer, transmission, power steering
*Check air filter
*Check for just about any leaks: Look under the RV for any indications of leaks
*Check emergency kit to incorporate a flashlight, extra batteries, jumper cables, first aid kit, basic hand tools, warning devices & mobile phone
*Check fire extinguisher, smoke alarm, carbon monoxide and LP leak detector
*Check auxiliary battery(s) water level, state of charge, cables & connections.
*Test roof air conditioner(s) replace or clean A/C filters
*Test refrigerator in A/C & LP gas mode. Install a thermostatically controlled refrigerator vent fan.
*Install Maxx Air vent covers over roof vents to allow ventilation even when it’s raining.
*Check all awnings for correct operation.
*Check operation of generator under load. Check generator engine oil & all filters. It could be essential to change oil using the manufacturers recommended oil viscosity for hot weather operation. Put the summer/winter preheat lever in the summer position (if equipped).
*Check all electric and gas appliances for proper operation.
*It could be necessary to add more chemicals when treating the black tank during hot weather camping.
*Strategically park your RV to take advantage of shade. This could make the refrigerator and roof A/C more efficient.
Take all precautions when traveling with pets in hot weather. Give them a lot of fresh water and ventilation. Never leave them in a hot RV. [RV University]
Keep that RV, and your RVing pets, cool in this hot, hot summer. Check your fluids often. You may even want to take a look at the roof to check for any cracking.
If all of this is too much for you to handle, bring your RV by the dealership. We can do this preventive maintenance for you!
One of the first lessons for a new RV owner to learn, is the importance of the RV waste system.
This system can be a large pain if you don’t figure out how to manage it in the beginning. Because the last thing you want is an RV waste mishap. Those can be pretty smelly!
1. Pin holes in the sewer hose don’t necessarily spell the need for a hose purchase. Put a drop of vinyl repair glue over the pinhole, and add a wrap of electrical tape over the repair for good measure.
2. Can’t route the fitting into your new sewer hose? Soak the end of that hose in a bucket of very hot water for only a few minutes. The fitting will slip in with ease.
3. When hooked up, don’t leave the black water drain valve open. If you do, there won’t be enough liquid to completely evacuate the sewage solids from the tank. The result, a chunk of “concrete” in the bottom of your black water tank which may eventually result in a complete blockage. Best to not dump your black tank until it’s at the least three-quarters full. Yes, you can leave your gray water drain valve open with impunity.
4. While you’re on it, be cautious to make sure the black water tank has completely drained before you slam the valve shut. Closing it before everything has cleared the valve runs a risk of getting paper (or worse) stuck within the valve’s slider track, a sure call to get a leak.
5. When hooking up your drain line in an RV park, resist the urge to shove the sewer hose into the outlet. If you do, there’s a good chance you may restrict the flow of sewage into the main line. Backing up must be reserved for parking your rig.
6. Buying a new sewer hose? Get a 20-footer and a slip coupler. Cut the hose into two pieces, but make one longer than the other. Use the shortest chunk that will reach, and if needed, bring on the other chunk to make an extended hose.
7. Here’s a conservation clean-as-a-whistle trick: Dump your gray water tank whenever you pull into an RV park. Leave the hose connected and the grey water dump valve open. Now take a shower and clean up both yourself, and rinse the sewer hose clean with fresh, soapy water.
8. It isn’t a bad idea to periodically rinse your black water tank to free it from Klingons. An affordable water wand shoved down through the toilet will keep it clear.
9. A sticky dump valve can lead to a lot more than just frustration: Several RVer has had the unhappy experience of truly pulling off a valve handle–leaving them with a full tank and no ways to dump. You needn’t buy special “holding tank lubes,” to ensure your valve handles moving smoothly. For metal to metal contact, a dry graphite spray is said to work well, or perhaps a Teflon based spray lubricant. Avoid the omnipresent “shot of WD-40,” as the slick stuff can evaporate, leaving a gummy, yuck attracting goo which could really stick up the works.
10. Try and keep grease out of the holding tank system. Don’t pour grease down the drain, dump it inside a throwaway lidded container and toss it out with the trash. Some quantity of grease inside the drain is inevitable from washing dishes. For gray water systems, try pouring some white distilled vinegar down the sink before travel time. The sloshing acidic content can help scrub grease loose and wash it away. Don’t put vinegar down the black water system, especially when you use an enzyme or bacteria based holding tank treatment. [RV Travel]
You may want to print this off and keep it with you in your RV.
If you need any parts for your waste system, visit our online store here. We can ship directly to you, wherever you may be!
I found this to be a very informative article on a subject that few people know anything about. When you join the world of RVing, propane can become your best friend!
For years, propane has been heavily advertised as a clean, efficient, safe way to heat your home.
It’s a clean fuel.
It’s a lot cheaper than gasoline.
It’s available almost everywhere.
There is no shortage of it; it will be available for many years.
With normal precautions, propane is very safe to use.
Otherwise known as LP (liquid petroleum) or LPG (liquid petroleum gas), propane is the most versatile system in your RV. Without it, today’s RVs would be rather impractical.
Its most common use onboard RVs is to provide a way to cook meals, though in most recreational vehicles it does so much more…
RV Propane Uses
Today’s fully furnished RVs, regardless of size or class, make use of propane in many ways.
Beyond cooking, propane also provides hot water, refrigerates your food, and provides warm air heat to keep you cozy and comfortable.
If you’re into longterm boondocking, (living off-the-grid without services), then propane can even do more for you.
Basic Info About RV Propane Systems
Most generators can be converted to operate on propane, even portable generators.
Taking your empty propane cylinders to town for refilling is so much easier then messing with gas cans and pouring dangerous flammable liquids. Propane is clean with less potential for fire or explosion.
The forced-air furnace in your RV can be supplemented by a propane catalytic heater which burns even cleaner, uses no electricity, and is overall more efficient than your standard furnace. Just make sure that your catalytic heater has an automatic low oxygen shut down feature and that your space has adequate ventilation.
With an Extend-A-Flow kit coupled into your RV propane system, you can hook up to a portable gas grill and do your cooking outdoors. I use both a grill and a 3-burner portable propane stove when I camp, so the cooking mess is seldom taken into the RV itself. After all, we’re there to enjoy the outdoors, so why cook inside?
A similar hose kit called Extend-A-Stay lets you hook up a portable tank to your house propane tank. This allows you to avoid moving your motorhome to continue staying set up when you need more propane.
A few years back, the installation of overfill protection device valves became mandatory in all portable propane tanks. The purpose of the OPD valve is to prevent too much liquid propane from being placed in your tank. Your appliances are designed to run on gaseous propane. Before the propane leaves the tank, there needs to be adequate room to allow it to revert back to a gas. The OPD makes sure that’s possible by closing the fill valve at the point required to protect that space in the tank.
If you are looking at a used RV, be sure the tanks have been converted to the new style valve. Also, be aware that portable propane tanks must be recertified when it’s 12 years old, then every 5 years after that. This can be done by your local propane dealer. They inspect tanks for rust, damaged valves, dents, or anything that would indicate the tank is not safe to use. The cost to install an updated fill valve will run you about $40, if your tanks are the old style.
Getting your portable propane tanks (or your on-board propane tank) refilled is simple. Even small towns will have at least 2 or 3 locations that provide this service. The local phone book will list home heating fuel companies that fill propane tanks. Or you could go to practically any RV dealership you pass on the road. Many gas stations sell bulk propane. Even your local home center will have an exchange program where you trade your empty 20-pound cylinder for a full replacement one. You pay a bit of a premium for this, but if it’s Sunday afternoon and everyone’s waiting for hot dogs and bratwurst, then you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
Current RVs are built with protective sensors for everything. There’s one for smoke, one for carbon monoxide, and there’s even a sensor to detect leaking propane. It’s plumbed right into your propane system. If it detects the presence of propane gas, it will close a valve and shut down the supply of propane to the RV.
When it comes to problems with the LP system in your RV, the most common failure will be the regulator. Located at the propane tank, it takes the high pressure gas coming from the tank and lowers the pressure to what is required by your appliances. Inside the regulator is a rubber bellows that moves back and forth. Over time, with continual movement and exposure to the elements, regulators do wear out. You can expect to get about 10 years out of a regulator. When it does fail, it can’t be rebuilt. It must be replaced.
Whenever you work on your RV propane system, be sure to test any connections you have disturbed by spraying soapy water on them while under pressure. Never use a flame to test for a leak! An explosion may be the result if there is, indeed, a leak.
Mike and Mindy love traveling and seeing new places in their RV. They love to share their stories with you, along with any tips and tricks they pick up along the way. Follow them and their adventures across the country.