Helpful Hints, Ideas and Solutions for Today’s RVer


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Silicone Earplugs
We’ve found the best earplugs for blocking noise, such as at busy rest areas and truck stops. The plugs are Putty Buddies by Ear Band-it and only cost $1.50 (plus shipping) per pair. They are made of silicone and come in assorted, bright colors. To order, visit www.earbandit.com/swimming-ear-plugs-original-putty-buddies. You may also be able to find them in drug stores and on Amazon.com.

Although these earplugs don’t completely eliminate noise, the reduction is much better when compared to other earplugs we’ve tried. 
-Joyce (and Larry) Space #61818
Pest Elimination and Control
I don’t use toxic sprays inside my RV. Instead, I use a loosely-wound, round ball of Gorilla tape attached to a three-foot stick to catch them. Also, spraying Pam cooking oil at the RV entry point of outside water hoses and electric cords will stop ants entering.
-Les Brooks #91502
Water | No gravity, No Problem
My wife, Camille, and I have a 2007 Itasca Horizon. It is a great motorhome except for one problem. We have no way of refilling the fresh water supply without being hooked up to a pressurized water source.

All motorhomes have a threaded connection to hook a water hose to a pressurized water supply, but not all have a gravity fill port to refill your tank from a non-pressurized source. Not having a gravity fill port will limit how long you can boondock, our favorite way to camp. Running out of fresh water always sent us looking for an RV park until we figured out a simple way to take on fresh water using our winterization system.

All you need is a bucket, short section of tubing and threaded fittings to extend the length of your RV antifreeze siphon tube.

• Extend your siphon tube as far as it will go.
• Measure the length of additional tubing you will need to reach a bucket sitting on the ground.
• Build an extension of tubing and fittings. We got ours at Home Depot. I choose metal fittings so the extension wouldn’t float.
• Once attached to the antifreeze siphon, place the “winterization” selector to “winterize” and the “fresh water valve” to “tank fill.”
• Turn on the water pump and the water should be pumped directly into your onboard tank. Our pump will move five gallons of water into the tank in about 30 seconds.

Now, when we are boondocking, we carry several water cans in the tow vehicle so that while we are out and about, we can continuously replace the water we use.
-Bob McCullough #110158

Border Crossing to Canada
My wife, Betsy, and I have traveled into and out of Canada four times in recent years. Here are tips to avoid problems passing through the U.S./Canadian border.

• Crossing the border is a serious part of the journey. Border agents on both sides do not make jokes, so don’t try to be glib or clever with them.
• Remove all fresh fruits, vegetables and potted plants from your RV before arrival at the border crossing.
• Canada has a long list of what they consider weapons. While certain rifles and shotguns are allowed into or transported through Canada, others are under strict criteria. No weapons are allowed into Canadian national parks. This includes certain types of knives, flashlights and other items, such as gun cases and holsters. These items should be stored on the U.S. side of the border prior to your arrival. We rented a bank safe-deposit box for our small items (handgun, ammunition, holsters, etc.). Keep a copy of the deposit box rental with you in case they ask for it. If you do not have a place to store the items, or your route brings you back to a different crossing, you can ship them to a friend, relative or yourself, in care of General Delivery at a convenient U.S. Post Office. (Check postal regulations beforehand.)
• Now that you have left all the forbidden items safely stored in the U.S. and you are approaching the border, have your passports and vehicle registration ready to hand out the driver’s window.
• As you approach the actual crossing, be sure to follow the instructions on the signs and lane signals. Go slow.
• Refrain from idle chitchat. Only hand over the documents they ask for and wait quietly for instructions. It may take a while, so turn off your engine.
• If the officer asks you to pull over, follow their instructions. Once parked, get out immediately. Do not take time to tidy up. Be ready to give the officers your keys and stay right where they tell you.
• Once they are satisfied that everything is as it should be, you will be on your way.
• Do not complain or argue with the officers. It will only complicate matters.
After four border crossings, we have only had our coach (not including the basement compartments or our tow vehicle) searched once. It only took about 20 minutes and we were back on the road. However, we have seen RVs and buses completely vacated and all compartments searched.

If you are going through Canada to Alaska, I recommend acquiring a recent copy of The Milepost magazine (www.themilepost.com). It is updated annually and well worth the cost. It is useful both while planning your trip and during daily travels.

Visit www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html for official Canadian border patrol information.
-Robert H. Baker, Jr. #105974

Have Paws; Will Travel
Now more than ever, our four-legged friends have become an integral part of the RVing community. It seems that most of us have a soft spot in our hearts for a warm and fuzzy travel companion.

Pets are a part of our family and, as their caretakers, it is our responsibility to be aware of their needs.
Below are rules to follow when traveling with your pets.

• Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows slightly open. Temperatures inside it, hot or cold, can change rapidly and become deadly.
• Holding your pet on your lap while driving may hinder your ability to react to unforeseen situations and limit your steering, braking and vehicle control. Also, it is against the law in many areas.
• Be sure to have your pet on a leash before opening your RV or car door so they can’t dart out into a busy street or parking lot.
• The U. S. Department of Agriculture enforces the Animal Welfare Act, and requires that dogs have current rabies immunization and a valid health certificate when crossing state lines. (Visit www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel for information.)
• Update your pet’s ID tags, microchip or tattoos with your current contact information.

Traveling with your four-legged family members is both challenging and rewarding. By doing the necessary homework and preparation, you and your pets can enjoy many RV adventures.
-Art Foss, Guest Contributor

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