Roadtrek

Roadtrek

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

THE VERSATILE POOL NOODLE AND ITS MANY USES IN A ROADTREK!

 I know - some of you are saying as you read this - "What the heck is a pool noodle?" Pool Noodles start showing up in stores as Summer approaches. It is a swimming float made of molded foam plastic. 

The photo is a section of pool noodle. They come in different colors and they come in a few diameters. The size I find that is best is two and a half inches in diameter. The length is six feet when you buy it. They cut easily with a razor blade knife. The center of the pool noodle is a hole. The easiest way to cut it is to insert the blade of the knife into the foam and turn the pool noodle holding the knife in place to cut all around to get a section of the length you want to use.

BUT WHAT AM I GOING TO USE IT FOR IN A ROADTREK?!

Here are things we have used a pool noodle for in our Roadtrek - and I often find new ways when I need to figure out what can I use to ?

A POOL NOODLE IN THE MICROWAVE:

As the Roadtrek drives along there is a lot of vibration inside from the tires on the road surface - bumps, and bounces as you go along. Inside the microwave as you all know is a glass plate that you put what you are going to cook in the microwave on top of. That glass plate just sits inside - and it bounces a lot. Aside from the noise sooner or later if you don't protect it, it is going to break. When we first got the Roadtrek Meryl made a cushioned cloth case for the plate using two quilted placemats and a towel that she stitched into a pouch and put a Velcro closure on to put the plate into. She also made a case for the wheeled plastic rack that sits under the plate to rotate the plate while cooking. She attached the two pouches and they go into the bottom of the microwave. But as we drove the plate was still bouncing around and there are enough noises inside the Roadtrek  to not need this one so we needed to fix the plate into place so that it would not move. What did we do? We used a section of pool noodle!

The section of noodle was cut just a little longer than the height from the plate to ceiling of the microwave. The pool noodle will push into itself and act like a spring when pushed into a space that is just slightly shorter than it.  Don't make it too long or you could push the inside of the top of the microwave too much. This works perfectly in our Roadtrek!

NOODLES IN THE FRIDGE - POOL NOODLES THAT IS!

We want to have cold soda with us when we are traveling, especially when the weather is going to be hot. Soda cans on the shelves in the door of our fridge in the Roadtrek rattle around  a lot. There had to be something that would prevent them from moving.  AS it happens - the two and a half inch diameter pool noodle is about the diameter of a soda can. I cut sections of pool noodle the height of a soda can.  We may fill a shelf with soda cans but as we go along and use up cans the shelf gets emptier - and the cans rattle more - so a  pool noodle section takes its place. And one always joins the cans from the start to stop them from moving along the shelf.

No more rattling cans!  There are other places in the fridge that you can do the same thing. 

A POOL NOODLE TO STOP THE FRONT TABLE FROM BANGING INSIDE ITS CABINET:

Some Roadtreks have table top that is placed on a leg and it stands in a post in a hole on the floor. Our 2011 Roadtrek 190 Popular has a front table that is on a sliding hinge that goes into a cabinet just a few inches wide and it pulls out when in use and sits on a support that slides out from the side of the wardrobe cabinet behind the driver's seat. The table on its hinge bangs and hits the two side walls inside the cabinet. Talk about loud! So a section of pool noodle to the rescue! 


There is also no latch on this door - never was since it came from the factory, and on sharp turns, before the noodle took its place standing guard, the table would hit the door and open it - sliding the table out, which at 60 miles an hour around a highway curve can become very exciting - the kind of excitement you don't want! No more since the pool noodle was pushed into place! 

MOVING OUTSIDE THE ROADTREK!

A POOL NOODLE WHEN THE MOUSE HOLE GOES BAD: 

New owners are going to say - "First its noodles, now its MOUSE HOLES?!" The mouse hole is an RV term for the hole between where the shore power cord is stored and brought outside without having to leave the outside storage cabinet open. It is a hole - with a snap cap on the outside, looks like a cartoon mouse hole in a wall BUT the name is twofold because since the cord is smaller than the opening of the hole to get the large 30 amp socket out with the cord, mice have enough room to walk on the power cord outside, up the cord to the "mouse hole" and walk right into the outside storage cabinet - and from there find their way inside your Roadtrek. (EEEK!)  When the Roadtrek comes from the factory the mouse hole unit comes with flaps to take care of that. Over time, however, the flaps fold out of place - no longer close together to keep anything out - and because Roadtrek in all its wonder, riveted everything instead of installing with screws (yeah - rivets don't come loose - but they also prevent easy repairs requiring drilling  out the rivets). Ours went bad. I thought so what. Nothing is coming in (and nothing has) BUT Meryl said we need to close this! I thought about it - and, of course, what better than a pool noodle!


When doing this you have to get the pool noodle around the power cord - there is no end to just slip it through. I sliced along one side into the center hole of the pool noodle. It just gets pulled open and slips around the cord and is moved into the mouse hole around the cord filling the hole. It has to be slid back - and taken off when pulling the cord back in - and you do not put the noodle on the cord to put in the mouse hole until all of the power cord you need is outside the Roadtrek. Again, the two and a half inch diameter pool noodle is perfect for this - it fits just right - and does need to be squeezed into the hole to fill all gaps and stay in place.

A POOL NOODLE FOR YOUR FRESH WATER HOSE:

When at a campground, the ground can get muddy and you never do know what dog or other animal just came by and added some biological moisture to where you will be dragging your fresh water hose as you stretch it out to empty it of any water when you put it away.  I just did not like the idea of the end of the hose dragging along the ground in the mud - and what else. So I cut a pool noodle section and when we are ready to get the water out of the hose as we wind it up to put it away, the pool noodle goes on the threaded end of the hose. Simple - and I know where the inside of the pool noodle touching the hose end has been. 

SO - there you have the versatile pool noodle - every RVer's friend! I am sure you will figure out other uses for them.  You may even want one to go swimming with! 




 

 


Friday, October 1, 2021

HOW TO SANITIZE THE FRESH TANKS, PLUMBING, AND HOT WATER TANK

This article is a copy of the procedure to sanitize the fresh water tanks, plumbing, and hot water tanks as it appears in our article - THE DEFINITIVE DEWINTERIZING AND SANITIZING - STEP BY STEP.  I have put it in its own article for those who just want to know how to sanitize the the water system in the Roadtrek. 

THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED BEFORE YOU START:

Fresh Water Hose
Water Pressure Regulator
Liquid Chlorine Bleach (Clorox or off brand is fine) PLEASE NOTE: There is something called "Splash-Less" Bleach. DO NOT BUY THIS FOR SANITIZING YOUR TANKS. It does not have disinfectant properties and will not disinfect surfaces." BUY REGULAR BLEACH. (Thanks to one of our readers, "Tom" for bringing this to our attention!)
Funnel with hose on the end
Measuring Cup (for Bleach)
Small paper cups
Hot Water Tank FLUSH  Wand
Ratchet wrench handle
1-1/16" Socket
Plumbers silicone pipe tape to put on threads of the anode rod when putting it back in.

Drain and flush the hot water tank before you start.  

TO DRAIN THE HOT WATER TANK (click here)

TO FLUSH THE HOT WATER TANK (click here)


SANITIZING THE FRESH WATER TANKS

  1. TURN HOT WATER BYPASS VALVES TO HOT WATER FLOW. 
  2. CONNECT A FRESH WATER HOSE WITH A WATER PRESSURE REGULATOR ONTO THE CITY WATER FILL CONNECTION. 
  3.  USE CITY WATER LINE TO FILL HOT WATER TANK BY RUNNING CITY WATER INTO THAT TANK. (NOT CITY WATER FILL - REGULAR USE OF CITY WATER) GO TO THE SINK, TURN ON HOT WATER AT SINK. AIR WILL COME OUT - AND THE TANK WILL FILL. WHEN IT IS FULL THE WATER WILL RUN STEADILY FROM THE FAUCET. DO NOT TURN ON HOT WATER SWITCH. THIS WILL BE COLD WATER AND THAT IS WHAT NEEDS TO BE.
  4. DISCONNECT CITY WATER CONNECT FROM HOSE.
  5. PUT ONE HALF CUP BLEACH INTO THE FRONT EXTERIOR FRESH TANK. (PRE-MIX THE BLEACH IN A GALLON JUG OF WATER BEFORE PUTTING IT INTO THE FRESH TANK - DO NOT PUT PURE BLEACH INTO THE TANK.) A FUNNEL WITH A HOSE ON THE END IS EASIEST TO GET THE BLEACH/WATER MIX INTO THE FRESH TANK THROUGH THE DOOR FILL HOLE.
  6. PUT ONE QUARTER CUP BLEACH INTO THE REAR INTERIOR FRESH TANK. (PRE-MIX THE BLEACH IN A GALLON JUG OF WATER BEFORE PUTTING IT INTO THE FRESH TANK - DO NOT PUT PURE BLEACH INTO THE TANK.) IF YOUR ROADTREK HAS ONLY ONE FRESH TANK - SKIP THIS STEP.
  7. TOP OFF WATER IN TANKS WITH HOSE.
  8. DRIVE BACK AND FORTH TO MIX THE BLEACH INTO THE WATER.
  9. TURN ON BATTERY SWITCH AND WATER PUMP.
  10. TURN ON EACH FAUCET HANDLE PLUS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE SHOWER ONE HANDLE AT A TIME SMELLING FOR BLEACH TO COME THROUGH WITH EACH. NOT THE TOILET.
  11. NOW YOU WAIT. 
  12. LET BLEACH SIT IN TANKS FOR AT LEAST FOUR HOURS. LONGER IS OK!
  13. DRAIN WATER TANKS.
  14.  NOW WE REMOVE THE BLEACH FROM THE HOT WATER TANK FIRST. 
  15.  1) The hot water tank should NOT be in bypass while sanitizing and it should remain NOT bypassed for this process. DO NOT HAVE ANY SINK FAUCET OR SHOWER FAUCET ON DURING THIS PROCESS EXCEPT WHERE AND WHEN NOTED FOR THE OUTSIDE SHOWER HOT WATER HANDLE. DO NOT TURN ON THE HOT WATER HEATER!

    2) Water pump OFF.

    3) Attach a fresh hose WITH A WATER PRESSURE REGULATOR to the city water inlet and a spigot outside. Turn on the water.

    4) Turn on the outside shower hot water handle and open fully - step back!  Only the hot water handle on the outside shower should be open. No other faucet or shower handle should be on.  As the water comes rushing out of the shower (hose optional) you should smell bleach in the water.

    5) Allow to run for at least 15 minutes. THIS WILL FILL AND  EMPTY THE TANK AT THE SAME TIME - ABOUT THREE TO FIVE TIMES.  YES THE WATER IS FLOWING DOWN THE DRIVEWAY FLUSHING THE HOT WATER TANK.

    6) After a steady flow of water for 15 minutes you should no longer smell bleach in the water coming out. (To test, take a small paper cup , slow the flow of water by turning back the handle and put the cup under the streaming water coming out. Step away from where the water has been flowing and smell the water in the paper cup. You should not smell bleach.)

    7) If you still smell bleach allow the water to continue to flow longer until there is no longer any smell of bleach in the water. (Use a new paper cup if you test again.)

    8) Shut off the hot water outside shower handle.

    9) You have now exchanged all of the water inside the 6 gallon hot water tank several times with fresh water, flushing that tank as many times.

    10) Remove the hose from the city water connection.

    11) PUT THE HOT WATER HEATER INTO BYPASS! You do not want to
    put bleach back into the hot water tank.
  16.  FILL FRESH WATER TANKS AGAIN.
  17.  GO INSIDE THE ROADTREK.
  18.  TURN ON BATTERY SWITCH AND WATER PUMP.
  19.  **TURN ON EACH FAUCET HANDLE PLUS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE SHOWER ONE HANDLE AT A TIME SMELLING FOR BLEACH TO COME THROUGH WITH EACH. NOT THE TOILET - YOU NEVER WANT ANY BLEACH TO GO INTO THE TOILET.
  20. IF YOU DO NOT SMELL BLEACH (GOOD!) SKIP TO #23
  21.  DRAIN TANKS THROUGH THE LOW POINT DRAIN.
  22.  FILL FRESH TANKS AGAIN.
  23.  IF BLEACH SMELL REPEAT FROM STEP #16 AFTER DRAINING FRESH TANKS.
  24.  DRAIN TANKS OR LEAVE FULL FOR TRIP. 
  25. PUT YOUR HOT WATER TANK OUT OF BYPASS NOW SO THAT THE TANK WILL FILL AND YOU WILL HAVE HOT WATER WHEN YOUR TANKS ARE FULL OR ARE USING CITY WATER. 

  DONE