Cover image of The Smart RVer Podcast

The Smart RVer Podcast

Radio Arizona RV is dedicated to bringing you helpful and informative information about RV Maintenance & Repairs for the DIY. Eric Stark is the host and he covers all aspects of maintaining an RV for the DIY. Although, even if you don't do the maintenance yourself this podcast is still for you. Eric helps all RV owners maintain their RV and will educate you about repairs and repair costs so you are armed and dangerous.Eric will cover topics from the ground the tires sit on to the roof of an RV and explain each topic in an easy down to earth way. Eric will also cut through the nonsense that tends to dominate the internet today. Each episode is about 30 minutes and is direct and to the point! Listen Now!

Popular episodes

All episodes

The best episodes ranked using user listens.

Podcast cover

↓Episode 35 – The RV Tool Box Essentials

 Not sure of what tools you should carry in your RV Tool Box? As an RV’er you never know when your RV is going to need a repair whether it is on the road or camping at your favorite get away. The one thing you do know is that you will experience problems that will require repairs. The other unknown is if it will happen when it is convenient with your local repair shop open for business or will it be on a weekend or at night when everybody is closed up tight? It will happen if it already hasn’t, breakdowns are part of the RV Experience. In reality though, don’t cars and boats need repairs? What about ATV’s and personal water crafts? My point is everything fails and for some reason when an RV has a problem it is classified as an absolute inconvenience, when it is just part of the experience. Episode 35 covers this topic and I share with you my thoughts on what tools would be worth carrying and why. I also cover some items that are very handy to have on hand to get your problem solved when the stores are closed or late at night. Being prepared is worth its weight in gold. I know this from experience and a lifetime of Not having to call someone to do something I could do and did do myself. I will provide a list of tools and items I believe that should be part of the RV Tool Box and it can be found below and I will add & subtract as needed. Not all items or tools will work in every RV Tool Box! Open the box and listen now to the Entire Episode!The RV Tool Box Contents! Hand Tools: • Socket Set Metric & American • Wrench sets Metric & American • Screw Drivers – Phillips and Flat Head • 6 In 1 Type of Screw Driver with Torx Bits and a #1 & #2 Square Tip Bits • Bit Driver for a Cordless Drill – with assortment of Bits: Square tip, Phillips, Sockets etc… • Magnet Drive Guide – Usually Included in multi piece drive bit sets • Channel Lock Style Pliers, Regular Pliers • Wire Cutter, Wire Stripper and Wire Crimper • Allen Wrench set • Ball Peen hammers – Medium and Small • Tools to Change Tire – Don’t assume your RV came with everything needed, sometimes they don’t. • Volt Meter (110v & 12v) • 12 Volt Test Light • Cordless Drill & Drill Bits • Pex Tubing Cutter • P&T Relief Valve Tool • Hack Saw – Spare Blades • Tire Gauge that works with your tire pressure Systems: • Pex Tubing 2 -3 feet of 3/8 & ½ inch • Flair It Fittings for Pex Tubing – Couplers for 1/2” & 3/8” female pipe thread, Couplers for female pipe thread to Pex tubing, Shut Off Valve, Pex • • Fitting with cap to close off line. • Fuses – Check your RV styles. Mini, Maxi, ATO/ATC, Micro etc… • Wire Ties • Electrical Tape • 14 & 16 Gauge Wire • Wire Connectors • Battery Terminal Cleaner or a Wire Brush • Duct Tape • Teflon Tape for water systems • Gas/Propane Tape for LP fittings • Spray 100% Silicone • Spray Lubricant • Assortment of screws, nuts and bolts for your RV • Hose Clamps • Rags & Paper Towels Road Side Emergencies: • Flairs and or LED type flairs • Cones or Reflective Triangles • Fire Extinguisher • LED Flash Light • Rechargeable LED Flashlight • Spare Batteries • High Quality Jumper Cables • Ground Cloth • Spare Tire Some retailers recommend small portable air compressors to inflate your tires if they are low. Most of these inexpensive compressors won’t be able to bring RV tires up to the proper pressure. Most inexpensive tire compressors are junk! And quite often not worth the money. The best solution is to check out Power Tanks! Power tanks offers C02 Systems that are awesome! I have 2 of them for my vehicles. Other Stuff: • Rope • Bungee Cords • Work Gloves • Scissors • Shovel • Pocket Knife • 7’ Aluminum Ladder Awning Emergencies – While Driving • Box Cutter to Remove Fabric if needed • Velcro Straps to Secure Awning Arms • Wire Ties to Secure Awnings • Tools to Remove awning if needed In an emergency it might become necessary to remove the fabric or the complete awning on the roadside, be prepared to do so! The post ↓Episode 35 – The RV Tool Box Essentials appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


11 Mar 2018

Rank #1

Podcast cover

↓Episode 41 – Everyday Minor Repairs that can Ruin A Trip

Episode 41 – This episode is about simple repairs that can keep your vacation on track. I recap some of the recent conversations I have had with customers about certain maintenance items that can ruin a trip if not taken care of.  We are in fire season in many parts of the country and rather than be surprised by smoke and fire plan ahead but, do not cancel your trip, just go elsewhere. I once again urge everyone to get organized when it comes to parts and items that need to be replaced on the RV. There are several apps that work with PC’s, Mac’s and portable devices. The post ↓Episode 41 – Everyday Minor Repairs that can Ruin A Trip appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


22 Jul 2018

Rank #2

Similar Podcasts

Podcast cover

↓Episode 45 – The What and How to Maintain Your Black Water Tank

RV Black Water Holding Tank Maintenance↓ When it comes to maintaining your RV Black Water Holding Tank there are many opinions out there. In Episode 45 I give a little history lesson on Holding Tank Chemicals and the how they have evolved and made their way onto the shelves of an RV Store near you. More importantly though, is which Holding Tank Chemical (Product) should you choose and what you should expect.One point I need to clarify before I start to ramble on. I go back and forth using the words Chemical and Product because in today's world not everything that we put in our Holding Tanks can be called a chemical. Many products are not chemical based products! They can be considered safe for the environment. Some products are more safe than others and that is part of the debate when it comes time to empty the Black Water Tank.When Choosing a Holding Tank Product there are 4 objectives that you should try to accomplish. All 4 objectives should be considered equally as important when that wonderful time comes to empty it! 1) The Toilet Paper Should be broken down. 2) The Solids should be broken down. 3) The Sensors should be clean and working. 4) The tank itself should be clean with little or no residual buildup.Toilet Paper:Not all Toilet Papers break down or liquefy while soaking in a bath of human waste or if just soaking in water. All though in the past we sold a Toilet Paper that was so cheap we could sell 6 rolls for a buck! It was also biodegradable and did work fine in RV Holding Tanks. My Dad's sales pitch was really simple when someone asked if you could use it in a RV? He would reply "It works so good it melts in your hands". I just said "what do you expect for a buck". During the winter season we would sell 500 rolls a day, it was quite the lead to get people in the store. Back to reality now!Even though RV Toilet is a little spendy it is the paper that you really want use in your tank, it does break down easier than residential Toilet Paper. When you couple RV Toilet Paper with a holding tank product designed to break down waste you can't go wrong.Solids:The solids can either be preserved or broken down depending on the Chemical/Product that you use. Thetford AquaKem Blue is Formaldehyde based product and works great to mask odors. It is not effective in breaking down the solids or toilet paper in the time needed in an RV Holding Tank. A Bacterial Enzyme product such as Pure Power Blue is the ideal product to use to break down solids and the toilet paper in very short amount of time.I need to confess that I used to be the President of OP Products, the manufacturer of Pure Power Green and Blue. With that said I very familiar with and tested most of the products on the market and I am pro Pure Power because it really works. My brothers and I launched Pure Power at a time when it was almost impossible to get a new Holding Tank Product into a store let alone into the distribution channels. We broke through not because of our spectacular sales pitches, it was the quality of Pure Power and it worked as we said and at that time there was no other product like it. If you find a similar product and it works, by all means continue to use it. I am just using Pure Power as an example of a product that I know first hand that it works.Sensors:The Sensors for the Holding Tank Gauges can be a real pain when they aren't working properly. Quite often they are not accurate due to Waste and or Toilet Paper hung up on the them. When you use a product designed to break down the waste and liquefy toilet paper it will naturally clean the sensors. If you use such a product you should have well functioning sensors most of the time.I want to emphasize "most of the time", these are not sensors that are used on the space shuttle. These are made by the RV Industry and bless their hearts for trying to get it right. Pure Power is the product that I recommend for on going Sensor Maintenance. If you experience serious problems you can try Sensor Power as tried and proven solution. It has special cleaning agents that give the sensors a Deep Cleaning.The Tank:The tank should be free from side wall build up after it is emptied and flushed. This will help reduce any future odors from happening due to a dirty tank. It is obviously hard to peek inside your holding tank see what is going on and that is where a reliable Holding Tank Product will come in. If you continue to have odors and sensor problems you might need to change flavors.If you accomplish these four steps in maintaining your RV Holding Tank you will be as they say "A Happy Camper"! For more details and holding tank tips listen to the full episode. ↓Listen Now!Click here to Purchase Pure Power or any other Holding Tank Product!The post ↓Episode 45 – The What and How to Maintain Your Black Water Tank appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


2 Jan 2019

Rank #3

Podcast cover

↓Episode 3 – Trailer Tire Safety

In this episode I discuss Trailer Tire Safety and how Trailer Tires are unique and require more attention than most other tires on the road. This is what most Rv’ers Don’t Know and Need to Know. Trailer Tires basically face the same issues or have the same problems regardless of what kind of trailer you have. They require specific maintenance steps and they are made for trailers and nothing else. Trailer tires also have an expiration date, in other words, those tires have that great looking tread because you don’t use the trailer that often does not mean those tires are safe. Beware!    Let me explain. Trailer tires have a life span of about 5 years and and for the average RV’er that is about 10,000 miles or 2,000 a year and that is not a lot of miles. The tires can breakdown on the outside from excessive wear and that is what we expect and understand. The other side of the coin is trailer tires also breakdown on the inside whether being used or not although, they do last longer if you use your trailer more often. Trailer tires are made to move and not sit, they get internally lubricated by rolling down the highway. Movement keeps them alive, just like a human. Learn More About Trailer Tire Safety, Listen to The Entire Episode The post ↓Episode 3 – Trailer Tire Safety appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


25 May 2015

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

Podcast cover

↓Episode 39 – RV Surge Protection and UV-LED Water Filtration

Episode 39 covers RV UV-LED Water Filtration as the newest technology to provide Clean Pure Drinking Water in any RV at a an affordable price. We sell the Acuva brand RV LED Water Filter System. This system completely remove all of the nasty things in water that other systems can’t remove. Call us for prices.Surge Protection is the other topic I covered in this Episode and how important they can be to protect the RV’s electronics and appliances that use 110 volt. Surge Guard and Progressive Dynamics are the 2 brands I recommend because it is the brand I have grown to trust and sell problem free.I also explain some of the awesome changes coming to our new location in Victor Montana. The changes are going to be awesome and provide a completely different customer experience not found in the RV Industry. Listen Now!The post ↓Episode 39 – RV Surge Protection and UV-LED Water Filtration appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


10 May 2018

Rank #5

Podcast cover

↓Episode 8 – Managing the Sun by use of Awning Drops & End Panels

RV Awning Drops and End Panels are a great way to create an outdoor space that actually expands the living area. You can create a shaded area to enjoy the sunny days or it can double as a wind barrier at night to create a warm space for enjoying the evening. The Awning Drops are easy to use, just slide it into the Utility Groove on the Awning Roller Tube. The End Panels attach to the Tension Rafter on Manual Awnings or on Electric Awnings they attach at the side of the RV to the awning hardware and out at the roller tube. Both Products are great for adding extra privacy and are extremely easy to use. The Awning Drops can be angled out to give you more room under the Awning while in use. We also make them with our ProZip zipper upgrade so the bottom section can be removed leaving the upper section on the roller tube. This makes it much easier to remove the lower section in windy conditions and then the Awning can be retracted and avoid any wind damage. Listen to the Full Episode for the Whole Story Learn More About Sunpro Awning Drops Learn More About Sunpro Awning End Panels The post ↓Episode 8 – Managing the Sun by use of Awning Drops & End Panels appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


25 May 2015

Rank #6

Podcast cover

Go Power Solar Panels & Inverters Part 1

GO Power Solar Interview Part 1 Episode 52 (part 1) is all About Go Power Solar and as an added bonus Mark Spillsbury from Go Power Solar is my guest. Go Power Solar has been in the RV Solar Panel game for about 23 years making Go Power one of the first Solar companies to become a main stream solar supplier for the RV Industry. Go Power Solar is certainly the industry leader making them the King of the Solar Category!Mark has been with Go Power for about 21 years and is one of their resident experts and he knows their products inside and out. Not only does he understand Go Power products he has an unbelievable knowledge of solar in general. Mark also likes to RV and that certainly gives him and Go Power much deeper insight into the needs of the RV'er be it full time or a weekend warrior. As most of you know I push the products I believe in and I have been sold on Go Power for about 21 years.Rather than trying to pack everything into one episode I am splitting this into 2 episodes and of course you can go to Go Powers website to do your own research beyond what we discussed. The following are the main points discussed in Episode 52 (part 1). These 2 episodes (52 & 53) take the confusion out of Solar and how you can benefit by using it.Can Solar run my RV?Will Solar power my inverter?Will Solar replace my generator?Is installing Solar something I could do myself versus taking my RV to a shop?Will I have to put holes in my roof?What makes Go Power better than the other brands?What is Go Power’s warranty?Click Here for Go Power Solar's Website  or Call Them @ 1-866-247-6527 - They are a very friendly company that can help answer your questions.To Purchase Go Power Solar with Free Shipping Check Out Arizona RV Parts Center!The post Go Power Solar Panels & Inverters Part 1 appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


1 Oct 2019

Rank #7

Podcast cover

↓Episode 9 – Portable Battery Jump Starter about the Size of a Cell Phone

The Portable Power Pack is a great tool to have to charge Cell Phones, Tablets, iPads, iPods, iPhones and any other device that requires charging. The best thing is, these Power Packs can jump start a Full Size PU Truck! I was very skeptical when these were first shown to me, I had to see real results and I did. The salesman jump started his suburban with the battery disconnected, he did it about 8 times. It is the real deal! They come in 2 sizes and are very compact and extremely portable. The other nice thing bout these Portable Power Packs is that they can easily be carried in a back pack, tool box, stored on an ATV for emergency purposes. Every ATV’er should be prepared for emergency situations that come out of nowhere. batteries go dead, light get left on and in the desert a dead battery can be a dangerous situation. The Portable Power Packs also have adapters to charge cell phones, tablets and more. Check Out the Full Story and Listen Now!  The post ↓Episode 9 – Portable Battery Jump Starter about the Size of a Cell Phone appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


26 May 2015

Rank #8

Podcast cover

↓Episode 4 – Leaf Spring Maintenance & Repair

In this episode I get into the importance and simplicity of Travel Trailer Leaf Springs and the importance of inspecting them and being prepared to replace a damaged Leaf Spring before it leaves you stranded. Most Travel Trailers and 5th Wheels have leaf springs and this would also include Utility Trailers as well. Over the years I have listened to a lot of customers complain about their broken leaf springs or related parts and how now they are stranded until they get it repaired. In a lot of scenarios the breakdown could possibly have been avoided. One of the problems leaf springs or suspension problems create is they usually break while you are traveling and not parked. And it is not always easy to find the suspension parts you need on the road, it can be hard even when you are not on the road. Not all RV Parts stores carry suspension parts and they might not have what you need when you need it. It can create a real problem when you are not prepared for it. The worst situation is when your trailer is broken down on the side of the road somewhere, it is dangerous and an uncomfortable situation to find yourself in. It is a good idea to carry a spare leaf spring or two and some basic suspension parts and most importantly, do some Pre-Travel inspections. Listen to The Full Episode to See The Big Picture! The post ↓Episode 4 – Leaf Spring Maintenance & Repair appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


25 May 2015

Rank #9

Podcast cover

↓Episode 16 – How to Maintain a Rubber Roof – Part 1 of the Rubber Roof Series

This is Part 1 of a Multi-Part series about Rubber Roof Maintenance and Care.This episode is about Rubber Roof inspections and finding problems before they become disasters. Rubber roofs are  a great roof for any kind of RV and there are many reasons why. They do not create Black Streaks, they do not create Mold, the Rubber itself does not leak unless it is torn or a leak develops from a roof accessory that is mounted to it such as, a roof rack stanchion, sky light or something else that requires drilling. Leaks are an Enemy to an RV. It is very important to check for leaks and fix the leak as soon as possible. Leaks create mold growth and water damage, even a small leak that is not fixed in a timely manner can create hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars of damage. The ongoing water leak destroys paneling, flooring, cabinets, ceiling panels, insulation and just about anything else it comes in contact with. Check inside cabinets and inspect the roof for leaks, look for stains or damaged ceiling panels. Keep in mind the roof is on the top of the RV and it protects everything under it. Check the roof for damaged vents or cracked and missing sealants. Visually inspect the entire roof for any damaged roof accessories or tears in the roof itself. Check that the ladder and roof rack are still tight and the screws aren’t coming out to make the way for water to leak in. It is usually best to do any big repairs before cleaning the roof. After a big repair you will want to clean the roof thoroughly to look for smaller less obvious problems and then repair as needed. Listen Now to the Entire Episode! Check Out Rudy’s Maintenance Guide from Dicor. The post ↓Episode 16 – How to Maintain a Rubber Roof – Part 1 of the Rubber Roof Series appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


26 May 2015

Rank #10

Podcast cover

↓Episode 17 – How to Clean a Rubber Roof – Part 2 of the Rubber Roof Series

 If you are going to clean your Rubber Roof you might as well wash your RV at the same time, it is more work but, it is easier to do it all at once in most instances. I recommend using a cleaner that is made for rubber roofs such as Dicors Rubber Roof Cleaner, it is designed to clean the rubber better than a product not made for cleaning rubber roofs. If you don’t want to buy a product made for rubber roofs than I would suggest using Dawn Dish Washing Soap, it is safe cleaner for most applications. It is still best to use a cleaner made and has been tested on rubber roofs. When cleaning your rubber roof with a product that is made for it you will need to exercise caution and not let the cleaner run down the sides, it can cause damage. When I clean my roof I will keep the sides of the RV wet and that will reduce any potential for damage. The cleaner can remove wax, stain the Gel Coat, Stain Awnings and Covers. Don’t let that scare you, it is still better to use a roof cleaner. You can also mask off the sides with plastic and that will create a protective barrier although, it will create more work. I just wash the roof and RV at the same time, it is easier. Stains are just that, stains! You can use Tilex or bleach or bleach to try to clean a stain, you probably will not be able to remove the stain and keep in mind it is on the roof and no one can see it. At the end of the day who cares, a stain can’t ruin the roof. Scrub the stain with Tilex but don’t scrub so hard and for so long you ruin the roof, it is just a stain. Even if you selling your RV, you can show them the stain and explain that according to Dicor it will not harm the roof and is no cause for alarm. You will want clean any stains before you do the entire roof. Tree sap can be a problem and hard to remove. It is best to avoid parking under trees. Dicor recommends using an ice cube to remove the sap. Place the ice cube on the sap and the sap may peel up after it freezes. If that doesn’t work you can use Mineral Spirits (Use with Great Caution) and try clean the sap,don’t get carried away with sap, it can’t ruin the roof. Check out the Podcast for more tips on cleaning methods and how to prevent and remove black streaks. Check out all of Episode 17 Now! Part 2 of the 3 Part Rubber Roof Series. Purchase Dicor Rubber Roof Cleaners The post ↓Episode 17 – How to Clean a Rubber Roof – Part 2 of the Rubber Roof Series appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


26 May 2015

Rank #11

Podcast cover

↓Episode 31 – Maintenance for Atwood & Suburban Water Heaters

Epsisode 31 breaks down the basic Annual or as needed maintenance for RV Water Heaters. Atwood and Suburban need to have the Tanks Flushed, Anode Rods replaced and the Pressure Relief Valves replaced as needed. I delve into each area for Atwood and Suburban Water Heaters on what to check, how often and the tools needed along with parts. I also have created 3 Landing Pages on our E Commerce Site www.ArizonaRVPartsCenter.com. These pages bring out in detail the needed maintenance for both brands of water heaters. I explain just the simple maintenance side of the water heaters, not in depth repairs for a malfunction. I will get into the deeper repairs in a future episode. Another point about the landing pages on Arizona RV Parts Center is that I will continue to build these for all podcasts where it will bring some DIY value to enable to do repairs. The pages will create a go to website for RV Maintenance all in one place. The maintenance is not to difficult to do with some education and the right tools. The Water Heater Maintenance should be a DIY project for all RV’ers at any skill level, it is easier to do this than it is to take the RV to a Service Center. Listen Now!Use this these Links for Your Water Heater: Atwood RV Water Heaters   –   Atwood Repair PartsSuburban RV Water Heaters  –   Suburban Repair PartsRV Water Heater ToolsThe post ↓Episode 31 – Maintenance for Atwood & Suburban Water Heaters appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


30 Dec 2017

Rank #12

Podcast cover

The Best Water Filtration for RV’s

In Episode 54 I have Keith Bernard on the show and we discuss water filters for RV's. Keith is an expert in this field and is the owner of Clear 2O water filtration systems. I have always been a firm believer in filtered water and I have often brought bottled water with me on trips in my RV, not any more. I will do it the easy way and filter my water with Clear 2O water filters. I have not come across such a useful product that does what I really want it to do, filter my water so I can drink it.The following are the questions that we covered in the interview. 1.     Why is clean water so important in your RV?2.     What are the different types of filtration available for the RV (in-line filters, countertop, water pitchers, etc.)? What are the pros and cons of each?3.     How does the RVer ultimately decide what solution is best for them? Is it based on how often they use their RV, what they’re using the water for, or some other parameters? 4.     Your filtration systems use solid-block carbon. Why is that a more effective medium than granulated carbon?5.     It’s just as important to have a filtration system that leaves in the good minerals as it is one that takes out the bad ones, correct? 6.     Would you recommend the same filtration solutions to the occasional RVer as you would the serious, full-time RVer? By the same token, would you recommend different solutions based on the size of the RV? 7.     You’ve just come out with a new Dual Canister System for RVs. Tell us about it and what benefits it brings to the serious RVer. 8.     You’re competing in the marketplace with some pretty big players. How have you been successful against this kind of competition?9.     A little off the topic of RVs, but with the crisis a few years back in Flint, Mi and the recent one in Newark, NJ, it seems that many of our water supplies are not as safe as we thought. In fact, studies have shown that some supplies can make you sick, even if they meet legal health standards. How bad is our nation’s water?


12 Nov 2019

Rank #13

Podcast cover

↓Episode 15 – How the New UPS and Fedex Rates Will Adversely Affect Shipping Costs

This Podcast explains why at the beginning of 2015 UPS and Fedex not only raised their rates but, at the same time introduced Dimensional Shipping Rates (DSR). DSR has been created to offset additional shipping costs created by companies like Amazon. Amazon will ship an iPhone in a box that can hold 100 iPhones thus, UPS and Fedex are shipping big boxes that way nothing and take up a lot of space. Instead of dealing with the problem they are passing on the new expenses to the consumers by raising there rates by at least 5% in the best case and 25% or more the rest of the time. The shipping game has changed! The DSR’s have made shipping with UPS and Fedex more difficult and expensive. The items that really get hit the hardest are large boxes that do not way very much. For example, an Air Conditioner Shroud may only way 18 lbs including the box but, because of the size of it could ship at the dimensional rate of 129 lbs. That is not affordable and not every item falls into this category. We have started to ship more with USPS which creates more work for us but, it reduces the shipping costs for our customers. We pay for shipping on items we buy online or from our suppliers and we get hit with the same high costs of shipping and are very aware that high shipping costs can make us lose business. When we process any of our online orders we always look at the shipping charges and see if there is a way to ship it for less to save our customers money and if we find a less expensive method we refund the difference. We have made some deals with our suppliers to get better rates when we have items drop shipped and all of the savings get passed on, shipping is not a profit center of us, it is a tool to deliver goods to our customers. Listen Now to the Entire Episode! The post ↓Episode 15 – How the New UPS and Fedex Rates Will Adversely Affect Shipping Costs appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


26 May 2015

Rank #14

Podcast cover

↓Episode 28- Answering Questions about Purchasing Slide Out Awnings

In this Episode Eric Stark explains in simple terms the steps you should take to get an accurate price quote and what brand Eric prefers. Eric also explains why there could large gaps in price quotes if you are price shopping. Some points might seem to be elementary but I base my information on and how questions related to Slide Out Awnings are asked. I also find if the question is not asked right or properly understood the results will be less than satisfactory. The post ↓Episode 28- Answering Questions about Purchasing Slide Out Awnings appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


14 Jul 2017

Rank #15

Podcast cover

↓Pex Water Lines and Fittings – What to Keep in Your Tool Box

This the Full Transcript of the Podcast!This is Eric Stark with Radio Arizona RV. Today's show is episode number 57 and it is going to be about water lines and fittings and what you should keep in your RV toolbox. And so this episode is based on the amount of customers I have. They come into my store or call and have questions about water lines and what fittings they need, what fitting's are going work. And quite often there's some confusion thinking that the RV Parts guy just knows what an RV has, what fitting goes to the toilet, what fitting goes to a faucet. And in a lot of cases those fittings are narrowed down to one or two. But the question of what size line that the RV has comes up, a faucet takes a 1/2 pipe thread fitting a female pipe thread fitting. Same with an RV toilet, but the waterline going to it might be 3/8 or it might be 1/2.Timing 00:54 So those are the questions. And then is fitting a 90 degree or is it straight? So trying to narrow this down a little bit and help you to understand before you go to the store and be a little more prepared, take pictures, bring a sample. Samples are always the best. Pictures help quite a bit, especially with water fittings and lines. Sometimes you can’t really tell what it is. Sometimes it's harder to tell, but with a sample you walk in the door that this is what I need, who can't argue with that. So breaking this down, I want to go into the different types of fittings, the different types of lines this is not going to take real long. And then kind of a pricing structure too. If you compare the different brands and fittings, that might be what makes the decision for you.Timing 01:37 You might say “I don't want to spend that much and this cheaper fitting will work or this feels and it looks a little bit better, might be a little more expensive, but Hey, I think it'll be easier to use”. But before we get into that, talking about the different fittings and tubing that goes in an RV as well to remind everybody to check out our website, RadioArizonaRV.com and remember that takes you to all of our other websites, SunPro, Hot Boat Ropes, Arizona RV parts Center, you know where we sell all of our products online. And also to join our emailing list and subscribe to our channel on YouTube. Check out our page on Facebook. You know we're going all in on social marketing so we have to advertise this or I have to talk about it, but it just makes it easier, more places for you to get connected.Timing 02:21 And I also want to throw this out there. I would like to know if you would appreciate a Facebook group. I'm thinking about starting one. This is a show about RV Maintenance and Education for the do it yourself so, the group would be designed for like-minded persons to share ideas and thoughts. And I would throw in stuff from time to time along with some tips and tricks and things like that and also answer questions. So if you'd appreciate something like that, email me, go to RadioArizona RV.com and use the contact us page there and you can just email me, tell me what you think. So I'd love to start something like that, but want to make sure that you guys want it, that it'd be beneficial to you. Okay, so now back to the show.Timing 03:08 Again, this is episode 57 this is about PEX fittings and PEX waterline for RVs. Most RVs use PEX tubing in them, they might use some soft vinyl tubing, some reinforced vinyl tubing. There's going to be a little variety there, but most all the time it is going to be a 90% PEX tubing. I think the tubing is straightforward and it might be gray, red, blue, white or opaque white. It's all PEX tubing and it is all interchangeable, if you have gray and you go to the store and they hand you white there shouldn't be any problems. The PEX tubing is pretty straight forward I believe. Now the fittings are a little bit different. I'm sure most stores carry Flair It fittings. That's probably going to be the most popular fitting.Timing 03:54 If you go into a store and tell them you need to work on your water system, they're more than likely going to have Flair It fittings, but there are different brands of fittings and I'm just going to go through them, although not in an order here. I'm looking at a sheet that I have and Sea Tech is the first one on my sheet. It doesn't mean it is the best or the worst, it's just the first one I typed out. Sea Tech works with PEX, C PVC and Copper. C PVC is an off white version of PVC and a unique size it is not the same as PVC, but in an RV you're not going to find a whole lot of CPVC or copper as far as what we're talking about today, but Sea Tech fittings will work with those two other types of tubing and some RVs have copper, but not for water.Timing 04:38 Copper is generally for propane, so you don’t want to use a water fitting on a propane system. And a lot of older RVs, I shouldn't say a lot, some older RVs had C PVC in them, so it might be an option there, but that's not very common anymore. You don't see that a whole lot. But Sea Tech fittings are very similar to Shark Bite fittings, which you find in home Depot, Lowe's, places like that. Shark Bite fittings are primarily a residential application. If you ask me, they're built a little bit different there. I think built more for the long haul. Not that these other brands for the RV industry aren't built for the long haul, but if I was building a house, I'd use SharkBite before I use any other brand of fitting period. Because in the house it is getting built into the walls and ceilings.Timing 05:23 With Sea Tech fittings you just push the tubing into it and that can be really handy if you're working in a tight spot, a place where it is hard to get your hands in there or getting the tools in there. A Sea Tech fitting just pushes right onto the line so you can just push the lines into it and Sea Tech fittings are reusable. You can actually undo them. You can do it by hand, but it's easier if you have what they call a Collet Clip. They are little clips that slide over the tubing and you push down on this little plastic piece inside the fitting and it releases the waterline.Timing 06:04 SharkBite is very similar to that. They have orange clips that you push down on the fitting and it releases the water line. Sea Tech fittings I think are really good. If it's going to be a hard to get tight spot, push that waterline in, make sure it snaps, bottoms out and it's in and you're good to go. Sea Tech fittings come in many different sizes. They will work in just about any application in an RV. So good option. Then there's Qest fittings. Everybody knows Qest has been around forever since the 70s you know, it used to be very big in the RV industry and today Qest is not that big in the RV industry. Now Qest fittings work with PEX tubing and their fittings are gray and they use a threaded nut, cone, and washer. The nut, cone and washer go on the tube and then the cone tightens up onto the threaded portion of the fitting and they worked pretty good.Timing07:02 They're just kind of clunky. They're old, they don't adapt to every situation. Harder to use. You have the nut and the washer and you know the washer and cone can go bad. It's just a rubber washer. The washer itself has kind of serrated center and it's holds the fitting or the pipe in the fitting. When you tighten it up and they are reusable, you can take the nut off the fitting, but you know, if you need to replace the washer you are going to have cut the line, take the washer off and start all over. Not the end of world here, but you really don't see that much Qest anymore. Although people do refer to PEX And PEX fittings as Qest because it was just such a popular name to use for so long, but Qest is not really a, I would say a viable option anymore because there's just better things out there, easier to use and I'm going to do a price comparison in just a moment to kind of help break that down as well.Timing 07:57 Then the next on my list is Flair It fittings. And as I said they are probably the most popular you'll find in an RV store and they just work with PEX tubing. I mean that's it. That's all they're designed for, to work with PEX Tube, period. Straight forward Flair It fittings are pretty simple to use. It has a nut, you take it off the fitting, then you push the tubing onto a barbed end of the fitting, slide the nut onto the PEX tubing first and then tighten it up after you push it onto the fitting. Real simple easy to use and no special tools required, but they can be hard to use in a real tight spot if you can't get both hands in there and push the line on. Because the line is kind of hard to push on. You kind of have to wiggle it back and forth, but it makes a great connection and they're smaller and more compact. Qest stuff gets kind of big and bulky compared to Flair It.Timing 08:48 Sea Tech is similar in size to a Flair It, maybe a little bit smaller, but Flair It works good. Flair It is the Go To fitting. And now another brand is called Best PEX. Now the name's kind of deceiving because their fittings are designed for PEX, but all their fittings are brass. So they're made to have the PEX tubing clamped onto it with the stainless steel clamp. The clamp is made just for it. Shark Bite has the same system as well It's a brass fitting that slides into the PEX tubing and you clamp it off with the with the stainless steel clamp. Now the clamp, you have to use a special tool, you can't just use pliers, it requires a special tool.Timing 09:38  I guess in a pinch you could use a certain pair or a certain type of pliers to tighten it, but the tool they have works the best. The tool runs about $75 Bucks. But if you plan on doing a lot of this or using a lot of, it makes it easier. Now the Best PEX fittings are the brass fittings that are barbed and the PEX tubing slides over it. If you're building a new RV and you wanted to save a few bucks but still do a good job, this would be the way to go. Or if you're doing a lot of plumbing and you can get the tools in there or the tool to crimp the stainless steel rings, that would be fine. It's going to work. It's going to last down the road.Timing 10:14 If you didn't have the tool and you're out on a trip and one of those fittings start to leak and you can't tighten it up, you're going to have to cut it out and put in another fitting, probably a Flair It Fitting or a Sea Tech fitting. And that's where the downside could be. So if you're going to get into the Best PEX type of brass fittings with the crimp rings, you want to just buy the tool and have it. You will also want to have some extra crimp rings. I'm kind of jumping ahead here because I'm going to get into what you should have in your tool box in a moment. But Best PEX is a good option. And then as I said, Shark Bite, that's number five on my list.Timing 10:48 So I got five names on my list and Shark Bite I'd say is just for residential, leave it alone. They get very expensive. Shark Bite quick fittings that you just slide the tubing in, their brass so they get very heavy too. So bouncing down the road probably isn't the best thing for a Shark Bite fitting either. it might stress the line and will start to leak, it could do other things. So I don't think I'd use Shark Bite. Just the money factors would be enough for me. Sea Tech, Qest, Flair It, Best PEX are your options and for me Flair It is what I sell in my store, I like Flair It. Sea Tech is also a good option for those hard to get places. And then of course Best PEX for clamping the PEX tubing.Timing 11:36 I have friends that have used that method in remodeling restaurants and places where the plumbing is exposed. The line and fittings are exposed and it works great for years to come. Using the clamps in an exposed situation is fairly clean looking as well. A brass fitting with just a stainless steel crimp ring on. It doesn't take up a whole lot of space. If you're looking at this price wise or let's say you just want to find a fitting and go with it, whatever that brand is, whether it's Flair It, Sea Tech, Best PEX. You might decide “I'm just going to pick a brand and I'm going to try to stick with that. Get everything the same in my RV”. Or maybe your RV has a certain brand and you want to just keep with that, maybe it has all Sea Tech fittings and it maybe it has all Flair It.Timing 12:19 Let’s look at pricing and what it costs per fitting. So if we go with a ½” x ½” x ½” Tee that is going to take the PEX tubing, it's not going to be threaded. The Flair It fitting would run $6.69 for a ½” x ½” x ½” Tee with no tools required. Tighten it by hand, give it a little more twist with a pair of pliers. Flair It does have a new fitting out called PEX Lock fittings and they're a little bit different. They're similar to the Best PEX in a way. You slide a ring over the tubing, you slide the tubing onto a plastic fitting, and then you use a pair of pliers to tighten the ring.Timing 13:16 It locks down on the PEX and then they're reusable. So that's a little bit different than the other stainless steel type clamp. It's plastic. Just use a pair of pliers, so in some hard to get places that might be another option. If you can't get a big crimper in there, you can get a pair of pliers in there. I'm not 100% sold on these. I haven't used one yet. I'm going to have to use one, try one out. I'm going to get some ordered up in the next week or so to test them out. They run about $6 per fitting, so that'd be the Tee and 3 clamps. That isn't too bad. If it has no leaks and lasts for the long haul, then that might be a really viable option or even another option to have in your toolbox. In case of an emergency type situation, you just need to get back on the road.Timing 13:58 And now the Best PEX brass fittings with the stainless steel clamps. So you'd need one fitting and three clamps. That's going to run about $5.87 plus the tool, which is 75 bucks or more. You might be able to find one cheaper. The last one I got was $75 a Shark Bite one was over a hundred so I opted for the cheaper one. They do the exact same thing and then there's Sea Tech with their push and fitting, so ½” x ½” x ½” Tee pushing the PEX line to it. Now that's a reusable fitting so you can reuse it. If you had to take your plumbing apart for some reason, you can put it back together. You just need to be able to release it with the Collet clips, like I said, are the easy way to do that.Timing 14:42 They're cheap, you know they're pennies a piece. So that fitting will run $9.59 and then a SharkBite fitting ½” x ½” x ½” Tee it would $11.97 so that's suggested retail. You might find them for more, might find them for less, but that just gives you a nice average price. The Flair It fitting really to me comes in as the best. You don't need a tool for it. It's $6.69 for ½” x ½” x ½” Tee yeah, putting the line, tighten it up and away you go. But that's just me. So I would look at this on what's easy to for you and maybe do some research, go to the websites, go to an RV parts store, ask them to see the different fittings, see if they have them and then you become a little more knowledgeable. See what your RV has. You have to be logical about it and don't go 100% on dollars.Timing 15:32 Don't look at the, if you get the brass fittings and clamp on a ring, that might be cheaper. It looks a little cleaner. But is that the best way to go? Okay, so you have to decide it's your RV, look what's best and what's in there and kind of determine if you want to switch it over to something else or stick with the same. Now the nuts and bolts of this, what you should keep in your toolbox, and this is probably the most important thing because a lot of vacations get ruined because of water leaks. I have a friend who does mobile RV repair and all he does is Yellowstone. And during the summertime he describes it as like a mash unit, mobile army surgical hospital. Everybody's on a trip, they just want stuff fixed, they don't care. And so he just goes in and he fixes stuff and gets them on the road and that's fine because they realize their trip is going to be ruined.Timing 16:26 But a lot of these people have rental RVs. They borrowed someone's RV or maybe it's their RV and they just don't know how to do anything or maybe they don't have the parts to do it. So they call him up and he goes in and does it and he doesn't do a slipshod job. That sounds kind of bad. You know a mash unit. But that's what he likens it to. But he does good work. You know I would trust him. It's not cheap to have someone come out. You know? If you're on a trip, you also have your family maybe not too happy and they're not thrilled with you. What happened to this RV? Why did it break again? This is the second water leak in this trip.Timing 17:01  How much time is this going to take to repair? You guys know you've been down this road, I'm sure everybody out there with an RV who's listening to this podcast has had water leaks that cause major problems and any water leak is a major problem. So what I would recommend to keep in your tool box, first off would be a PEX tubing cutter. They're probably $12 to $20 depending on what type you get. And the reason why I recommend one. First off, they're completely safe to use. Yeah, I mean you could be kind of ridiculous, you know a ding dong and cut the tip of your finger off if you really wanted to. But rather than using a razor knife, a big pair of scissors, some wire cutters, a Hacksaw, they just are so much easier to use and they don't take up a lot of space to keep in a toolbox, it's minimal.Timing 17:54 And for 12 to 20 bucks, they work great and they cut the tubing off square so it's not at an angle, you're not trying to clean it up when it's done. With a Hacksaw you're going to have to clean off the end with


24 Jan 2020

Rank #16

Podcast cover

↓Episode 18 – Treating a Rubber Roof – Part 3 of the Rubber Roof Series

This episode is the last of a 3 part series about Repairing, Cleaning and Treating an RV Rubber Roof. Treating the Rubber Roof is the final step of the 3 main steps to Maintaining and Extending the life of the RV Rubber Roof. Treating the Rubber Roof comes in at the end of the cleaning and repair stages. Before you treat the Rubber Roof you will want to recheck the roof for any minor repairs that you might have missed after cleaning. It is important to do these repairs before you treat the roof because the Dicor Lap Sealant or any similar brand of rubber roof sealant will not adhere if the treatment is applied first. We highly recommend Dior Lap Sealant because Dicor manufactures rubber roofs and they know what works. After all of your repairs are done you can take the Dicor Roof Gard or a similar product and go up on the roof and either use a spray bottle or sponge mop and start applying in small areas and work in a pattern and treat the roof in a manner similar to applying Armor All (We do not recommend Armor All for anything!) and you are done. Dicor recommends to treat the roof every 3-5 weeks which could be necessary in certain areas of the country of if you have certain environmental issues that could require more maintenance. If not, you can probably treat the Rubber Roof 2-3 times per year. You should always treat the roof when you wash it. Check Out Dicors website for more information. Click Here to Purchase Dicor Roof Gard! The post ↓Episode 18 – Treating a Rubber Roof – Part 3 of the Rubber Roof Series appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


17 Jun 2015

Rank #17

Podcast cover

↓Episode 36 – Exterior Sealant for an RV

In this episode I cover the essentials of what type of sealants to use on your RV. I briefly cover what is needed for a Rubber Roof because I have done a previous on sealing a rubber roof and the Sealants I recommend are made by Dicor, they specialize in rubber roofs. I also am a fan of Dicor products for maintaining and repairing rubber roofs.  In this episode I use a window as an example of how to seal just about anything on the side of your RV although, the principle holds true for the roof as well. A window typically uses the same process and sealants that compartment door would use as well as an entrance door. The main thing to do in any application is clean the surfaces thoroughly and use Butyl tape to as the main seal and a sealant such as Proflex to seal the top of the window or whatever it is that you are resealing. I also explain the differences in Butyl  Tape and Putty Tape and why you should use Butyl Tape in almost all reseal jobs. There are four main brands of sealants that are widely used across the RV Industry by consumers and manufacturers alike. It brand has it’s different products for the variety of applications that might be found on an RV.  You can also check with the RV manufacturer for their recommendations. The 4 brands that I recommend are listed below and there is also a link to Arizona RV Parts Center for more information and part numbers. • Hengs formerly know as Elixer • GeoCell • Dyco – Not Dicor • Sika also known as Sika Flex For more information use this link! The post ↓Episode 36 – Exterior Sealant for an RV appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


26 Mar 2018

Rank #18

Podcast cover

Buying a Used RV – Avoid the Pitfalls

Purchasing a used RV, Travel Trailer or 5th Wheel etc…In episode 49 I explain why it is so important to thoroughly check out an RV before purchasing regardless of how good the deal might seam to be.There are many things to check out – there are companies that provide this service -They might be pricey.I am bringing this up because I hear of so many RV’ers buying used RV's and they miss so many problems that cost extra money and sometimes even sour the entire purchase. Dry rot, torn awning fabrics, broken steps, bad wiring etc…You may need to segment the RV purchase inspection into 4 main categories. You also need to be a detective and find the problems before you shell out your hard-earned cash. When you’re done with your inspection every square inch of the RV should have been inspected and be in your head.The 4 Segments or Sections:1) The Roof - Inspect every item on the roof including seams, vents, the roof it self etc...2) The underside - This would include all of the chassis components, holding tanks, plumbing, electrical, the underside of the floor, frame etc... With a Motorhome you might want to have the chassis inspected by a professional only after you have you have inspected everything else and it meets your expectations. Why, because the inspection will cost money3) The 4 exterior side walls, 2 sides and the front and rear - Check all of the lights for operation, paint, decals, exterior finish, screw cover, check trim and windows for leaks, awnings, compartment doors, hatches, locks & Keys etc...4) The interior - It might be easier to segment the interior by rooms. Check that the stove, microwave, AC, furnace & water heater are operational. Check lights, converter, all plumbing and related items etc...If you categorize it the inspection it might not seem so daunting. Many people just eyeball everything and take the word of the seller that everything is okay. Some sellers might really not know about a problem where as, some might be trying to hide it.Bring a note pad, have someone take notes if possible. Take pictures of visible problems to review later on and possibly get quotes to repair. Don’t be in hurry to by any RV no matter how good the deal is, there is always another deal.Older RV’s lets say 1995 and older might be pristine but, sometimes they will fall apart when you start to use everything. I am not saying to ignore them, just consider there might still be an extra expense. If the RV is super clean that could indicate someone took very good care of it. A few extra minor expenses might be worth it.The lesson here is to take your time and thoroughly check every thing that you possibly can before making the purchase. You might be surprised what you find and how much it costs. If your hands are clean, you’re not having fun……..The post Buying a Used RV – Avoid the Pitfalls appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


6 Jul 2019

Rank #19

Podcast cover

How to Get Your RV Ready for Winter Storage

Follow These Steps to Get Your RV Reay For Winter StorageIn Episode 51 I go over the essential maintenance steps that every RV'er needs to do to get ready for Winter if they live where it snows and or freezes. Even if you don't need to do an official winterizing project for the winter season this is still a good time check for leaks and potential problems.Fresh Water: The starting point could be with the fresh water system and making sure it is drained of water. You will want to make sure to include the Water Heater and Fresh Water Tank(s). Some RV'ers prefer to blow the water out of the lines with a simple tool that screws into the city water hookup that uses compressed air to clear the line of water. This works very good and is inexpensive to do. Compressed air, a little bit of your time and a 5 dollar blow out plug! The other way to winterize the fresh water system uses RV Antifreeze that you run through the Fresh water system. RV Antifreeze won't freeze (read label for freeze points) and it is a food grade product so it is 100% safe to use in the RV Fresh Water System. Either way works very good. Some RV'ers take no chances at all and do both. They blow out the water lines and then add RV Antifreeze just to make sure. Keep in mind that toilets and ice makers have water valves that can freeze and making sure they are prepped is a must.Holding Tanks: Make sure to drain the holding tanks as well. This should be done after every use but sometimes we forget or put it off for various reasons. Make sure the sewer hose is drained and clear of water as well. A sewer hose would almost always be dry but, you never know?RV Covers: Many RV'ers prefer to cover their RV for Winter Storage and this is a good idea because it adds a layer of protection against the problems that come from exposure to moisture. I have even heard of some putting a tarp on the roof before the cover goes on and this can really add another layer of protection. As we know water finds it way into the RV through the tiniest cracks and crevices. In some areas and conditions you can't do too much!On the Roof: Climb up on the roof and look over the entire roof. Keep in mind the roof is what protects everything underneath it. Check all of the seams, stanchions, vent bases, antenna bases, plumbing vents, solar panel mounts and anything else that is mounted to the roof. In most cases if there needs to be any resealing you can use Dicor Lap Sealant for these repairs.Check the vent lids to make sure they are not brittle and ready to fall apart or have already fallen apart. To replace your vent lids you will need to know which hinge the lid has on it to get a replacement. For the record, the common vent that is called a 14 x 14 all have lids that are almost identical in size, the hinge is what determines which lid you need. Do the same with the Escape Hatch if the lid needs to be replaced except with escape hatches the lid dimensions help in determining which lid will fit.I highly recommend adding Vent Covers made by Maxxair or Camco to help keep the 14" vents covered and protected from the elements. Not only do they extend the life of the lids they will also allow you to leave the vent lid open without the fear of rain or other things such as dirt/dust from easily entering into the RV. I have Maxxair covers on my RV and I have never worried about the lids being open anytime of the year. I also recommend that you use vent stuffers as well. The add some thermal protection for the RV in hot or cold conditions. The are probably more valuable in the summer time.Thoroughly check the entire roof and everything on it for potential leaks and repair as needed. Only use products for the roof that are made for RV roofs. Sometimes RV'ers use products that are not made for RV's and the potential to ruin the roof is great. Check everything on the roof and the roof edges and make sure to take your time and seal/repair every potential leak. For more details on Maintaining Rubber Roofs Check Out the 3 Part Podcast about Roofs.On the Ground: Now that we are off the roof you will need to check everything else for potential leaks. That would include clearance lights, compartment doors, water entries, range vents, cable hatches, windows, specialty trim and anything else that has the potential to cause water damage. Be suspect of any possible leak. It could be years before the damage rears it's ugly head and now it is a repair job and not just a simple maintenance step.Batteries: There is much debate on how to maintain batteries while in storage and in order to cut through the minutia I went to Interstate Batteries to get the straight scoop. I also found a really good resource online as well. This link will take you to the podcast I did just on batteries.  Listen Now to Episode 44 about Battery Storage.Tires: Keep the tires aired up to the maximum tire pressure that is recommended by the manufacturer of the tire. For tips about tire maintenance Click Here!Wrapping it Up For Winter: The last thing to do is determine if there are any repairs that need to be done now or can wait. If any need to be done make a list and do them now or wait and keep the list in the RV for springtime. A repair that could wait could be an Awning Fabric that is going bad and you your not going to be using it and it can wait until spring time. The main thing is to have your list made out and either knock the jobs out now or wait. If you wait and are having a service center do the work keep in mind that they can be really busy in the spring with long waiting periods to get your RV in to repair it. Plan for this in advance. The post How to Get Your RV Ready for Winter Storage appeared first on Radio Arizona RV.


27 Sep 2019

Rank #20