Roadtrek

Roadtrek

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Getting Ready, Always Another Surprise, Part II

Part II

See the previous article for Part I.


So we has two more surprises in getting the Roadtrek ready for the season! One involved the Roadtrek physically, and the other involved the Roadtrek's emergency roadside assistance coverage.

So - the Roadtrek's physical problem. During the process of dewinterizing and sanitizing we are in and out of the inside of the van. At one point I was outside the open driver's door and Meryl was inside standing between the driver's and passenger's seats and looked down at the driver's seat. She said look at the seat and pointed. There were three tiny tears in the upholstery of the driver's seat. One of the tears was along the edge of a seam and was larger than the other two - this one was a tear about a quarter of an inch long - basically a small flap. The other two were not much more than pin holes - one of them hardly that. But once there is a tear or hole, it is destined to get bigger if nothing is done about it.

I am not sure what the Roadtrek seats are made of. It has been implied that they are leather. They may just be a leather look vinyl. The seats are made by Roadtrek and installed - they are not stock seats. They swivel 360 degrees. They have the name Roadtrek across the front under the headrest. They also have an arm rest on each side. These are not stock seats.If you go to any site that sells custom seat covers they want to know what make, year, and model car or van you have. No choices on any of these sites is "Roadtrek". So we started on a quest to figure out how to fix or cover these seats - to stop the tears from becoming major tears.

I started researching fixing vehicle seat holes. The most common method uses a paste that is mixed to match the color of the upholstery and then set with heat or with some, left to dry after pressing a textured sheet over the paste to make it look like the upholstery. I have had some really poor experience with this stuff and I will not use it again. My first encounter with this was with one of my cars. I followed all of the directions and the resulting patch was a globby mess - that eventually peeled away.  My second experience was with a Chevy service using this to fix a tear in a passenger van arm rest. That peeled away within a year. I was not going to use this stuff to fix the Roadtrek seat.

I looked for other alternatives and the best I could find were vinyl/leather flexible glues specifically for upholstery. I have a lot of glues at home. None list vinyl. I have some good glues. As a long time leather worker, I have glues made for leather - but each of the really good glues all say to do the same thing which is not going to work tears this small - you need to coat both sides, put them together and then peel them apart, wait five minutes and push them together again. Peeling a quarter inch flap with glue on it apart would rip it apart. I went to Home Depot - they had no glue for vinyl and leather. Lowes did - a vinyl leather glue from Locktite. We bought that. With a toothpick I applied a little glue to hole in the seat under the flap and the flap and put them together - with the tip of a clean toothpick. Then I went around the edges with a very little more glue. I coated the tiny holes with a tiny dot of glue. The package says tape together to hold until dry. I used painter's removable tape which I place over the holes and to the sides and not on them to pull them, closed. This needed to dry for 24 hours. After that the flap was sealed but one small edge remained open. A small coating of glue on that edge and another 24 hours to dry. It looks like this will hold, but I really would like a seat cover to be sure - and that is another problem.

We went to the chain auto parts stores that are here. They pretty much all have the same seat covers and none are going to work as is on the Roadtrek seat. If they have a high back to go over the built in headrest then they have no slots for the arm rests. If they are sideless they cannot be used on a seat with a built in headrest. There are covers for just the seat part and not the back to be found on Amazon but there are no dimensions and the Roadtrek seat is unusually wide. I know this because I have looked at several seat pads - that just sit over the seat and are strapped on - and these are all too small to cover the Roadtrek seat.

So what to do? Right now we are working on an idea. To buy a truck full seat cover, cut off most of the back, create a section out of what remains of the back to push under the seat and anchor there in some way - and only use the seat part to cover the seat. We did find a cover for a truck size seat which we could buy and return if that it is too small. That is currently in consideration. It seems that we are not alone - and others have told me that they too are looking for a seat cover to fit a Roadtrek seat.

And so finally - the emergency roadside assistance plan. When we bought the Roadtrek - way back when - we received a free one year of Coach-Net Emergency Roadside Assistance Coverage. Coach-Net is an RV specific policy with technicians who know RVs and they will send out a truck to help with someone who also knows RVs - and not the kid from the corner gas station in a tow truck as plans like AAA or the policy thrown in with your vehicle insurance policy. For years they have had gotten good reviews from RVers. Before we found out that we were getting the plan for free for a year we had decided that this was the plan we would purchase. We have renewed the plan every year we have had the Roadtrek - until now.

Here is what happened. Last year we renewed the plan. We sent the check. Got an acknowledgement of the renewal and were all set to face any problem that might come up through the year - which hopefully we would not have - and didn't. Now comes April and it is time to renew. Meryl tells me that we should have received the renewal notice by now and didn't and that I should go to their website and see about renewing there - or getting an application to send with a check. I go to the site and try to log on with my user name and password and a message comes up across the screen that my policy has expired and it rejects my login. I could not get on the site. The next day Meryl called Coach-Net. She is told by the rep that our policy has been expired for more than six months. Since our renewal date was not until a week later from the date of this phone call, Meryl - who is a lot better with this type of thing than I am as she gets direct where I would just get mad and start yelling - let him know that we sent a check last year for coverage to X date and what is going on? She was told that yes he could find that we had paid, but the renewal was NEVER ACTIVATED. Essentially we had no coverage the entire year. Instead of his saying that he would activate the policy and extend it through the next year, he just said that he would activate the policy through the coming expiration date!  Totally unacceptable, but he would do nothing else. That was it for us with Coach-Net! The President of Coach-Net is getting a letter along with a complaint filed with the State Attorney General's Consumer Division. We have also learned that we were not the only ones that this happened to in 2016. But we then had to decide on a new company.

Again, I went to one of the better Roadtrek groups on Facebook to ask. About one or two years ago, Roadtrek stopped giving a year of Coach-Net but became involved in it's own ERS plan with one of the big ERS providers. This is what they now give free. This was recommended to me by a few who have it. They too will respond with a Roadtrek technician on the phone and also will send out someone who knows RVs - hopefully, the Roadtrek but that may be too much to expect in some areas. The price is a little more than Good Sam's ERS plan but that plan gets mixed reviews. One signs up by going to a special website or calling a number on the Roadtrek website. I wish I had called that number instead of going to the website - as my experience in applying was not the best - and I am hoping that this is not an indication of what the service will be. I want to say right here that I have since straightened everything out through a contact I was given directly to Roadtrek - who responded and resolved everything. There is only an enrollment website for this plan. There is no website that you can go to that will show you your account and expiration date, or the services that you are entitled to. All of the services need to be accessed by telephone through one number that has a menu of choices including one that goes to an emergency response operator to report that you need help. The other services that this plan entitles you to are all accessed on that menu. This was a surprise as with Coach-Net their website accessed mapping software and other services - in addition to the phone number that got help to you when needed. Perhaps a phone access solution is better as one generally has phone service but does not always have data service or a computer near by.  According to Roadtrek, they have trained all of the response technicians who will troubleshoot whatever problem you might have on the road in your Roadtrek. That seems like a good idea - and since they no longer have this relationship with Coach-Net, this seems to be the plan to have with a Roadtrek. I hope never to need this service. Like any insurance, a good day is when you don't need to use insurance.

Well, we are set and ready to travel. We just took the Roadtrek to our mechanic for its annual maintenance. He changed the oil, checked all of the fluids, and did the State Inspection. I also asked him to change the air filter in the engine - as I am not sure he has changed it in the past. I checked the air in the tires myself and found them low - though the temp her is just at 60 degrees F - and I filled them. Before we leave on a trip I will check them again - and likely if the temps go up, I will be letting some air out.  When de-winterizing take the opportunity to check the air in your tires - and don't forget the spare.

One more tip - When dewinterizing, check the battery in your Roadtrek's smoke detector. Unlike the CO and Propane Detectors, the smoke detector is just a house smoke detector that uses its own 9 volt battery. Push the test button if you hear nothing or you hear a dim beep, change the battery. The smoke detector should come off the wall with a twist and the entire unit comes off in your hand. The battery is on the back of the detector.

Now all we need is a place to go...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Getting Ready - Always Another Surprise, Part I

Hello all! It has been awhile.

It finally - after what always seems like forever - became time to get the Roadtrek ready for the new season. The winter temperatures seemed to keep holding on. There were some odd days - even series of odd days where the temperatures were going up into the 70s (degrees F) and higher, but they would come and go - and nights were potentially getting cold enough to make problems if we dewinterized. It took until the end of April for the temperatures to begin to stay warm enough during the day - and infrequently cold at night to be able to remove the antifreeze from the plumbing and get the Roadtrek ready for the new RVing season.

We planned a day that would be comfortable enough outside to get wet to de-winterize. Now, just in case you think that since we have written all of those articles about de-winterizing and sanitizing the fresh water system, we just go outside and do it, well, no. Every year before dewinterizing I get the articles up on the computer, read them and print out the step by step guide to dewinterizing and sanitizing. And when we go out there - with all of the instructions in hand, I follow each one step by step because I know if I don't I am going to forget something or mess something up. And every year, I stop and read the next step before I do it. This year was no different.

Before we started we checked the date on the bleach bottle and saw that it was a year old. Meryl looked up how long bleach is good for and it is good for one year - so we went out to buy a new bottle of bleach. One way we discovered one year that we were de-winterizing was if the bleach does not overwhelming hit you with that bleach smell when you come close to the open bottle it is time to buy new bleach - and this one's odor was fading. So armed with a new bottle of bleach, I turned the outside house water on for the first time in 2017, pulled out of the things we would need for the process, and started.

The de-winterizing part is easy - it is all easy - and quick. The most time that any of this takes is filling and draining the fresh tanks the numerous times that is involved. Getting the antifreeze out is as simple as filling the fresh tank(s) with water and turning on all of the faucets, showers, and toilet and watch all of the pink antifreeze in the pipes flow out and go down the drains. But I am not going to go into the steps here - it is all linked above.  We started mid-afternoon and by the time we were ready to put the bleach into the tanks to sanitize it was getting late - late enough that if we were going to start flushing the bleach out after its sitting in the tanks and plumbing for four hours it would be dark outside. So the sanitizing step would have to wait for another day - and not the next day or the day after that because it was going to rain - a lot. So we put that off a few days.

So what surprises did we have. A few. The first surprise was opening the lid of the toilet and finding out that mold had grown on the inside of the bowl - above the level of the antifreeze that I pour into the toilet so that the toilet flap does not dry out over the winter. This is no big deal but it does have to be cleaned and that is something that I will go into later.

Another surprise took place right after we poured the bleach and water mix into the rear, internal fresh water tank through the tank fill hole in the frame behind the passenger side cargo door. The bleach and water (a gallon total) went right down. When I took the hose to fill the tank the rest of the way with fresh water, the fresh water came rushing right back out the fill hole! We have had a similar experience in the past - and always with the rear tank, but never at this stage of the process. It has happened after the bleach and water were drained out of the tank and we were refilling to rinse and flush the bleach out. It has never happened trying to follow the bleach mixture with the rest of the water! I pulled out my gizmo to fill the tank from the bottom up - which has worked in the past to get passed any gas bubble formed from the bleach sitting in the tank. I need to tell you that I have never heard from anyone else that has this problem - and we have it every year we dewinterize. A one tank system should not have this problem, but others have the two tanks - and no one has ever let me know that they too have this.

I pushed the thin tubing down into the tank fill hole down into the tank. The nozzle end was connected to the fresh water hose and I turned on the valve to let the water flow. And the water came shooting back out the fill hole! A few times in year's past with this I let the water keep coming up and out until it broke through whatever was stopping it from going down and into the tank. So much water was coming out that I stopped. So what to do? Meryl had the answer and suggested that I get into the van and roll it back and forth up and down the driveway, shaking up whatever was in the back tank.

I cleared everything out of the way and got in and started the engine. Meryl stood on the side and watched in the area of the rear tank. I pull back fast and hit the break, stopped pulled forward the same way - and then pulled back again. Meryl shouted that a huge amount of water shot out from the bottom of the van over the rear passenger side tire. She and I both knew that this is where the overflow valve of the rear tank is located. The only explanation is that the bleach and water give off enough gas in this small tank to the point that it forms a gas bubble that prevents the water from going down. Tossing the contents of the tank around like this broke that and the momentum of rushing back blew it out the only opening for it to go through - the overflow drain - which is on the top of the tank inside and piped outside. After that the tank filled easily. I realized as I started putting water down into the tank - and it was going down - that we probably blew out all of the bleach that we had put in - so we added another mixture of bleach and water - that all went down and the tank filled with fresh water. It all sat for 24 hours (only four are necessary) but again, by now it would be dark again to go out and rinse and flush the tanks. When we got back out, drained the bleach out, and refilled the rear tank to rinse and flush it, the water went right in!

Now, the mold in the toilet. The toilet in the Roadtrek is not porcelain. It is a plastic composition RV toilet used because it is very light in weight.  The company that makes this toilet, Thetford, says to never use bleach or any bleach product to clean this toilet. We have been looking for such a product that is actually going to disinfect and clean for a long time. What we have been using is dish soap, but with the mold I wanted something more that would kill the mold. We looked at various products that feature right on the label that they contain "NO BLEACH" and each one has some statement on the label about not using it on plastic.  We took the names of several and contacted Thetford which came back with their answer - NO! Do not use any of those! What should you use? "Well we make our own product - just order it." No local store sells this product. Camping World sells the product - a foaming spray cleaner - but they want over $10 plus shipping. I found another that sells the product for $7 BUT shipping is $8!  I went to a good Roadtrek owners forum on Facebook to ask what others use.

It seems the most effective disinfecting cleaner is white wine vinegar. Vinegar seems to be the universal thing to do anything and everything. Most of the things that I have tried that use vinegar have not worked at all - forget killing your weeds with vinegar, salt, and detergent. The weeds in my backyard flourished after being drowned in this mixture. On the forum group other Roadtrek owners insisted that this will work on the toilet - and it will not harm the toilet. We were suggested both using vinegar mixed with dish soap or just vinegar alone. As I write this Meryl has purchased a spray bottle and has the vinegar and is going to try it and see. I will report back when we have the results.

Then we had two more surprises which I will write about in Part II - come back in two weeks.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Review of the Classic Roadtrek Electrical System

We get a lot of questions from readers about the electrical system in their Roadtrek. We always are happy to respond and answer what we can. In 2012 and 2013 I wrote a series of articles that explain the electrical system in our - and in what I would call a "classic" Roadtrek. Classic meaning a basic system that does not include the new electric options that Roadtrek has introduced since my 2011, starting in about 2013/14. This means no solar panels, no lithium EcoTrek batteries, no VoltStart, and no Engine Generator. This does include coach battery or batteries, shore power plug in, an Onan built in generator, an isolater or separator, an engine battery, and a three in one inverter, converter, charger or two units - inverter and converter/charger.

I will start with a very important tool in understanding the electrical system in these "classic" Roadtrek electrical systems - a computer simulation of the electric system. To use you must specify a year and model in the drop down menu that is at the bottom of the left column on the page. Select 2010 for years 2010, 2011, and 2012 - and possibly 2013. If you have a basic electric system in your Roadtrek beyond those years select 2010 also. IN ADDITION, there is a link at the top of the Simulator page for NOTES.  This will open a PDF file that gives a great deal of explanation. I did not create the simulator nor write the "Notes". I was sent this link by Roadtrek back in 2011 and the author of the simulator has updated the Notes since.

ROADTREK ELECTRIC SIMULATOR

Next, some history as I know it. Originally the electric system used a converter/charger unit and in some (and not in some at all) an inverter unit. The converter/charger charges your batteries and takes 110 volt power and converts it into 12 volt DC power. The inverter takes 12 volt DC power and changes it into 110 volt AC power.

During the 2005 model year, Roadtrek began to change this. Instead of two separate units, they started to install a three in one single unit that provided all three functions - inverter/converter/charger. By 2006 the changeover was complete. If you own a 2005 Roadtrek you may or may not have the single unit - you may have the two separate units.If you have a model year before 2005 you have the two separate units. If you have a 2006 you have the single unit. The single unit installed in 190s, 170s, and 210s is the TrippLite 750. In the Sprinter models, there is also a TrippLite but a more powerful unit - greater in wattage than 750 watts. With the larger unit you can run the microwave oven on your inverter. With the TrippLite 750 you cannot.

At the end of 2010, Roadtrek made another change. They stopped using wet cell deep cycle coach batteries and started using AGM deep cycle coach batteries. The change over is complete with the 2011 Roadtrek model year.  I know many with 2010's that got deep cycle wet cell coach batteries, but some have told me that their 2010 came with AGMs - likely late in the model year.  If you have a 190 and have two coach batteries. With the AGMs these are two 6 volt coach batteries wired in series.

I am not going to go completely though each component in the electrical system again, as the articles from 2012 cover these fairly well - and those articles, I have been told, have helped many. I am going to link those articles here so that it is all in one place. Start with the first introductory article and then read the rest from there. Here are the LINKS -

THE ELECTRIC SYSTEM - Intro

BATTERIES

THE GENERATOR

SHORE POWER

THE INVERTER

LOCATING THE INVERTER

CHARGING THE ROADTREK BATTERIES

IMPORTANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE INVERTER

LOW COACH BATTERIES AND THE GENERATOR

GETTING AN ACCURATE READING OF THE BATTERY VOLTAGE

THE BEST WAY TO KNOW YOUR BATTERY'S VOLTAGE 

PLUGGING INTO AN OUTLET THAT IS NOT 30 AMPS

To give you some brief information not covered in the above, your Roadtrek has either a Battery Isolater OR a Battery Separator. Each provides the same function BUT each works a differently to do this from the other. If you have a Roadtrek before 2006 (or 2005 IF your 2005 has the three in one inverter/converter/charger) you have a BATTERY ISOLATER. If you have a Roadtrek after 2005, you have a BATTERY SEPARATOR (specifically, a Sure Power 1315-200 Bidirectional 12 volt 200 amp battery separator. Either should be located in your engine compartment on the rear wall just about in front of the steering wheel. What these do is keep your engine battery and your coach battery(ies) apart and stop one from draining the other. The engine battery and the coach batteries are linked between these units BECAUSE while you are driving your engine battery will charge your coach battery - and similarly, when plugged into shore power or running your generator, your coach batteries will charge your engine batteries. (There may be some exceptions - see the simulator as this will show you exactly what happens when the engine is running OR the engine is off and you are plugged into shore power or running your generator- specifically for your year and model).  The change from a Battery Isolater to a Battery Separator came because of the TrippLite three in one unit which did not work correctly with a battery isolater. Be aware that the Isolater or Separator do not last forever. They can go bad over time. I have been told that when odd things start happening with your batteries and electrical system the first thing to do is have the isolater or separator checked. It can be tested to see that it is working properly. Now - just a personal observation. This past year I was not certain that the battery separator in my Roadtrek was functioning properly. I have since determined that it does. When I was unsure I set out to find the Sure Power 1315-200 Bidirectional 12 volt 200 amp battery separator to replace it. I assumed - never assume - that it was a common part. It is NOT. I contacted a few local RV dealerships (not Roadtrek) and they did not stock this - some had never heard of this particular model. I did locate it on the Internet at just a few RV parts retailers - in the middle and on the other side of the country. It is not a matter if it goes bad you can get a new one right away. You will wait to have it shipped to you or whoever is going to replace it for you. Interestingly, I have discovered the same thing about AGM 6 volt deep cycle batteries - 12 volt are easy to find - 6 volt are not.

Here are three links to help with the Sure Power 1315-200 Bidirectional 12 volt 200 amp battery separator -

LINK 1

LINK 2

LINK 3

Take your time reading the different articles referenced and linked in this article. Read them more than once. It takes some time to put all of this together and understand how this or that works - or even just what it is and does. 

So there you have it. I am still happy to help and answer your specific questions. It is best to use the Email Us link that is located in the column to the right on this page and email us directly rather than putting a comment on this article. It is much easier to interact with you this way and get the specifics. When you email, please remember to include the year and model Roadtrek that you have (or any RV - we get lots of questions on basics from non-Roadtrek or even Class B owners).




Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Camco Power Grip Electrical Protectant and Lube

For a long time I have been looking for some type of lubricant that will make the 30 amp power plugs and sockets come apart easier in the winter. The problem comes more from the plug and socket on the 30 amp RV extension cord than the Roadtrek plug on its power cord, but that has been a problem too.

When I hook up at my home in the winter to charge the batteries, I plug a 30 amp female to 15 amp male adapter into the socket of a 30 amp RV extension cord. The extension cord socket is plugged into the plug of my Surge Guard power protection unit and than then the Roadtrek power cord plug is plugged into the socket on the Surge Guard unit. Between the plugs and sockets I put Plug Dogs. (See my Plug Dog article.) This is done twice a month to keep my batteries charged.

In the summer months when it is time to put all of this away, the plugs and sockets pull apart with only a small amount of resistance. In the cold, it can be a real struggle to pull apart. The plugs stick in the sockets. Even with the Plug Dogs it can take a real heavy yank to get them apart - and there have been some days that some just do not come apart at all. So far, that has not been the power cord of the Roadtrek - and I can get that free with some effort and put the rest in the house and let them warm up enough to come apart. The socket on the 30/15 adapter can be very hard to come apart and I have had to pry that apart even after it has warmed. My concern all along has been if the Roadtrek power plug will not come out of the socket. I have thought that there must be something to use to prevent this.

I have asked on various forums and RV groups. I have been told dielectric grease will work for this by some, while others have said don't use dielectric grease. I have contacted two companies that make dielectric grease and have told that their product is not for this purpose. Yet, some have said it works with no problem. Some said just petroleum jelly. Others said WD-40. Others said never use anything petroleum based on electrical connections. I was about to either give up or take a chance when I found a product made by a well known RV supplies company that is made exactly for this purpose.

It is called Camco Power Grip Electrical Protectant and Lube - the lube part is what I want. Camco makes the RV 30 amp extension cord that I use. It has a big plug and socket each with a solid pull handle on them - "Power Grip" handles  - and this is "Power Grip" lube. The package and product description says that this is to lube the plug to come easily out of the socket (when you want it to). Other benefits are to protect from oxidation and to improve conductivity. It is for use with "all electrical adapters". It is made of a silicone grease mixture. No petroleum.  This may very well be dielectric grease - but it is not labeled as that.

I took a cotton swab and squeezed a small lump of grease unto the tip. A toothpick or a popsicle stick would work just as well. The label cautions about getting this on your skin, so while my inclination would have been to just put a dab on my finger and apply it, I was not going to ignore the warning. I took the swab and lightly coated the blades of the plugs including the ground post with the grease - each just before inserting it into the socket. I inserted the Plug Dogs where there were no plug/socket pull handles as I usually do. The plugs slipped easily into the sockets. When it is cold these take some effort to push them together - it was in the 20's degrees F while I tried the Lube. All lubed and connected. The 15 amp plug was plugged into the outdoor 20 amp socket on the house and power flowed. (The 15 amp plug was not coated - it never has been a problem pulling it out of the house outlet socket.)

I let the batteries charge for 24 hours. The next day was colder and snow was expected later in the afternoon. Without the lube I would have been very concerned about getting this all apart in this cold. I pulled the 15 amp plug out of the house outlet and proceeded to pull the plugs from the sockets. The one that has always been the hardest is the adapter socket from the extension cord plug and it came right apart. Great! Each plug pulled easily from the sockets. This stuff WORKS!

When the plug with the lube on the blades goes into the socket it is putting lube on the socket as well. I plan to put it on the next time I plug in as well. We will see how often it needs to be repeated. There are two more winter months to deal with and I don't want to find out the hard way that it needs to go on every time.

This product is NOT CHEAP. A ONE ounce tube cost me just under ten dollars on Amazon from a third party vendor. There were several vendors - some charging shipping and some not. I chose one that was about thirty cents higher in price than the lowest priced vendor offering free shipping because this vendor had a much quicker estimated delivery date than the lowest priced vendor. It was shipped the next morning and arrived three days later. Since this was coming halfway across the country that was pretty good!

If you have any problem with getting power plugs out of sockets, this works. It is Camco Electrical Protectant and Lube and its product number from Camco is #55013.





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We have no connection with the Camco company or Amazon. We have not been asked to review this product. We paid in full for the product from an Amazon vendor - and we have no connection with that vendor in any way as well.  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Down Time

The Roadtrek is sitting on the driveway since we winterized in mid-November. There has been no real opportunity to go anywhere with it. We have emptied the cabinets of anything that will be a problem if it freezes. And last week Meryl moved some of the things that were in the house stored for the Roadtrek - mostly for winter/cold weather travel into the Roadtrek - not to be used but just to get them out of the house.

In the Northeast there is too much uncertainty with the weather and the extent that the weather can turn at this time of the year - at least for us - to travel other than for a day and back the same day, and the car gets far better gas mileage than the Roadtrek to do that. So the Roadtrek is in down time. I would say that the Roadtrek is in "Winter Mode" but with a 190, Winter Mode means something totally different. (It is when the interior water tank is kept in use and the exterior water tank is taken off line.)

Because the batteries are showing their age we charge the batteries twice a month and run the generator a few days after one of those charges for its monthly two hour exercise. The van gas tank is close to full and has two cans of Seafoam gasoline stabilizer/ethanol treatment in it just for the purpose of running that into the generator when it is exercised. An electric household space heater is inside the Roadtrek to put a half load on the generator when it is exercised.

So there is nothing really new or exciting to write about. There will be articles through the winter into the Spring - but they may not come even every two weeks. I know that there are a few things I have been thinking of writing about - perhaps taking out some of the how tos that wind up in the middle of other articles and putting those each into their own article. We shall see. There is also something that I have been looking to purchase for the Roadtrek that I am having a hard time finding - and when I do I will write about that as well.

But just so no one thinks the site has gone dormant - it is only hibernating for the winter with an occasional awakening and a new article.