Tuesday, August 9, 2022


 The roof of the Chevy Roadtrek's - 170, 190, and 210 are added to the van to raise the indoor ceiling so that walking around inside the Roadtrek is possible.  The height is a little over six feet - and is lower in the bed area by a few inches where the floor is raised and where the air conditioner is the ceiling is lowered by the air conditioner.  The increase in height brings the exterior height of the Roadtrek to 8 feet 10" tall. This, according to Roadtrek, includes the television antenna and the lid of the Fanatastic Fan ceiling ventilation van.  The roof is made of fiberglass.

When one needs to get up to the roof outside to do any work - perhaps on the antenna or the ceiling fan, Roadtrek was very clear that the fiberglass roof cannot support full body weight.  Their recommendation was to use a ladder to get up to the roof up to your waist and lean over onto the roof still standing on the ladder which would evenly support part of your weight and be able to get to whatever you needed to work on. 

I have several ladders and step stools. The only place that I can store my Roadtrek when we  are at home is at the top of our suburban driveway which does have an incline  Going up to the roof of the Roadtrek means the ladder is not sitting on level ground but rather at an angle of the incline of the driveway. Going up on ladders is not one of my favorite things and whenever I have needed to go up there I have had Meryl on the ground holding the ladder on the side where if gravity wants to take the ladder down at that angle she is there to stop it.  She has been very good at doing this. 

The ladder I used for several years was a regular step ladder that would get me up to the top of the Roadtrek but was rather precarious and with me on the top, top heavy.  I never was really happy going up on that ladder to the roof of the Roadtrek - especailly if I had to move around up there to do whatever it was that I had to do.  I would first try using one of the step stools we have - one with two steps which never got me all the way up to the roof - so that did not work unless I wanted to reach the A/C vent over the cargo doors in the back of the van.  We also have a taller one that got me up a little higher but not enough to get up high enough to lean over the roof. At some point, I bought an extension ladder to be able to get up at the side of my house to outdoor light fixtures or the roof of the detached garage - all of which have level ground to put the ladder on.  I tried this ladder with the Roadtrek and it was not bad, but I did not want the metal ladder to lean on the painted roof of the Roadtrek. I bought rubber bumpers that went on the ladder but when they leaned on the side of the Roadrek with me moving around they were going to scuff the roof. That was no good. I got a thick, quilted moving blanket at Harbor Freight,  That was a little better but it slid easily on the side of the roof - and when it slid so did the ladder.  Not good - as far as I was concerned. 

I said to Meryl why don't they make a really tall step stool. She did not know. I did not know. So I went to find out. I found the ladder in the photo below at Home Depot. This was several years ago and they may not carry this same ladder but they do have very similar ladders. This ladder is made by Werner.


The ladder takes you up 5 feet 5 inches. One is not supposed to stand on the very top platform which is there for tools. The ladder is very sturdy and even on the angled driveway next to the Roadtek it gets me up to the roof easily - and not as precariously as the regular ladders were. I still have Meryl holding the ladder when I am up on the roof - though I did go up on my own once - not wanting to wait for Meryl to come out of the house to hold the ladder - and it was OK. It does not touch the side of the Roadtrek. I am not tall and I can get up to the roof enough to put myself bending at the waist with my upper body flat on the roof and my arms and hands free to do whatever I have to up there.  I will share this - I cannot get to the three windows on the roof from the side of the Roadtrek with any of the ladders I have including this one because it means leaning way too far toward the downward angle of the driveway by how these windows are positioned over the windshield.  When I clean these windows I do so the way I wash the rest of the Roadtrek from the ground with an extending pole hose nozzle  and an extending pole vehicle cleaning brush.   See this article -

 This, of course, is not a take with you when traveling ladder. It is too large to put anywhere inside the Roadtrek - much less even get it inside the Roadtrek without damaging something.  There is no need to get up to the roof of the Roadtrek when we are traveling - and if there was, I would go over to the campground office and ask to borrow a ladder.

 I know that some Roadtrek owners will say it is no problem going up on the roof - being up on the roof with full body weight - we do it all the time.  My response is "Do whatever you want with your Roadtrek. I heed the advice given by Roadtrek, not to do this."  Many of my readers know we bought the Roadtrek new. It is now 11 years old and it still looks the same as the day we took delivery of it. It was a major investment for us and we have to keep it in as best condition we can - so I do not take any chances with it.  I think of what "Dirty Harry" said in one of the movies - "Feeling lucky?" - when I hear or read the "we do it all the time". Sooner or later luck is not always with you.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022


 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.


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 ?


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!


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. 


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! 



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.


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!