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  • The RV Engineer Goes to RV Tech School! (Part 3)

    The RV Engineer Goes to RV Tech School! (Part 3)

    If you’re reading this post before reading Part 1 and Part 2, don’t. That’s like reading the last chapter of a book first, and there’s a special circle of hell reserved for people like that. To briefly recap: Almost a year ago, I left my position as an RV design engineer to become an RV…

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  • RV 101: Intro to the Electrical System

    RV 101: Intro to the Electrical System

    How Does an RV Electrical System Work? An RV’s electrical system is made up of two sub-systems: 120-volt* alternating current (120VAC) and 12-volt direct current (12VDC). You can think of these as “shore power” and “battery power,” respectively. In general, 120VAC electricity is used for “big” electrical loads, like air conditioners, and 12VDC electricity is…

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  • RV 101: Intro to the Propane System

    RV 101: Intro to the Propane System

    Propane is the lifeblood of many RVs. As coursing blood in the body heals and energizes, so does propane carry warmth, enable refrigeration, and help cook. It’s cheap and abundant – but also easily abused or mishandled. Treat it with respect. This is a 101 guide to your RV propane system. You will learn why…

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  • RV Engineer Answers: How Is My RV Grounded?

    RV Engineer Answers: How Is My RV Grounded?

    Electrical grounding is a concept that gives most of us as much trouble as rubbing our stomachs and patting our heads at the same time. It’s abstract and confusing.  This article will keep things somewhat simple (with one exception) – for two reasons. RV Electrical 101 Voltage, as you know, is akin to electrical pressure.…

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  • Here’s How Long You Can Camp Without Dumping Your Black Tank

    Here’s How Long You Can Camp Without Dumping Your Black Tank

    How long can you use your black tank without needing to dump it? It’s a common question for RV families embarking on their first dry camping trip. Nobody wants the surprise of the dreaded poop pyramid.  By the end of this article, you will know exactly how many days you can go without dumping your…

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  • RV Furnace Vibration Noise: An RV Tech’s Troubleshooting Tips!

    RV Furnace Vibration Noise: An RV Tech’s Troubleshooting Tips!

    RV furnace vibration is nothing to laugh at. I fixed one furnace that almost rattled the teeth out of my head. If you’re hearing vibration, buzzing, or grinding when your RV forced-air furnace is running, that should be inspected immediately. Here are the 7 most common sources of RV furnace vibration and noise that I’ve…

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  • Post-Covid Boom n’ Bust: Are RV Mfr Bankruptcies on the Horizon?

    Post-Covid Boom n’ Bust: Are RV Mfr Bankruptcies on the Horizon?

    The RV industry is not the only industry that mummifies its messaging inside layers of dense, banal jargon. That practice has become commonplace. Orwellian double-speak numbs the pain of shareholders while obscuring the fear of consumers. So don’t think that I’m picking on THOR Industries Inc. or RV News. They just happen to be the…

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  • RV Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air? 5 Easy Troubleshooting Tips (No Multimeter Required)

    RV Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air? 5 Easy Troubleshooting Tips (No Multimeter Required)

    Is your RV rooftop air conditioner not blowing cold air? At the risk of being obnoxiously obvious, that’s not a good sign. Unlike your residential or automotive air conditioner, an RV air conditioner cannot be recharged. So you can’t just pump another can of Freon into the tubes and cross your fingers. No, it’s time…

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  • Sure, You Can Run Your RV Air Conditioner on Batteries … If You’re Rich!

    Sure, You Can Run Your RV Air Conditioner on Batteries … If You’re Rich!

    “Hey Andy, can I run my RV air conditioner on batteries alone? I want to go boondocking for the weekend, and I don’t have a generator.” If I had a dollar every time I’ve been asked this question, I could (maybe) afford one payment on the new iPhone. I’ve even helped warranty service and customer techs…

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  • RV Furnace Not Turning On? RV Tech Shares 7 Easy Tricks!

    RV Furnace Not Turning On? RV Tech Shares 7 Easy Tricks!

    A veritable encyclopedia of bad information has been published online about the humble RV furnace. If your RV furnace is not turning on, I highly advise you to take the Top 10 pages on Google and stuff ‘em in the digital trash can. For instance, I saw several articles that suggested “poor gas flow” could…

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  • An RV Technician’s Guide to Replacing Your RV Skylight

    An RV Technician’s Guide to Replacing Your RV Skylight

    Last week, I replaced an RV skylight – and I’ll show you how to do it, too. Like many DIY jobs, 90% of the work is the preparation. It’s a simple job that most anyone can do, but if you want the installation to last for 10-20 years, do it right! Here’s my in-depth, step-by-step…

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  • Why Does Everyone Love to Hate on the Schwintek Slide-Out System? +5 Maintenance Tips

    Why Does Everyone Love to Hate on the Schwintek Slide-Out System? +5 Maintenance Tips

    Every RVer loves to hate the Lippert In-Wall (formerly known as Schwintek) slide-out system. It’s a simple motorized rack-and-pinion drive system that pulls your slide room in and out of your RV, driven by two motors each no bigger than a mouse. And it’s rather infamous for breaking down at the worst possible time.  Why…

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