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Ask the RV Experts

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November 29, 2011 by · 18 Comments 

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Bob LivingstonGet answers and advice from our technical pros

Whenever Good Sam members get together, the topic of conversation often turns to technical advice. RVers have a real need for maintenance, mechanical and product information, and the Good Sam Club is dedicated to meeting that need.

Good Sam has been answering members’ technical questions on everything from RV suspension systems to solar power since 1989. That’s the year members were invited to submit their queries to a new section in Highways magazine called GS Tech Tips.

Three years later, renowned RV expert Bob Livingston took over the column and renamed it Tech Topics. Author of The RV Repair and Maintenance Manual and owner of a Nevada RV dealership, Bob worked with a panel of trusted technical advisers to develop one of the most comprehensive technical advice forums found in any RV magazine.

Now the publisher of Trailer Life, MotorHome and Camping Life magazines, Bob continues to answer many members’ technical questions in the pages of Highways, with the remainder being fielded by noted RV writer Ken Freund, coauthor of Trailer Life’s RV Clinic column. With a reputation for providing reliable solutions to common and not-so-common RV problems, Tech Topics is the first section many members turn to when they open an issue of Highways.

Good Sam members are encouraged to take advantage of this exclusive member benefit. If you have a question about tire pressure, tow vehicles, fluctuating temperatures or anything else in or on your RV, send an email to and be sure to include your name and contact information. Whether your letter appears in Highways or not, you’ll receive an answer.

View Tech Tips from Bob Livingston

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18 Responses to “Ask the RV Experts”
  1. David Archambault says:

    I have a 2010 5th wheel Montana 3400 RL. I have had 5 flat tires since I purchased it new. On my last trip I had one tire wear down to the cord on the inside edge. The tire had < 4000 miles on it. The other 3 tires look fine. I have tire pressure monitors on all 4 because of pasted blowouts.
    I run the tires at 75- 80 psi cold pressure. why did I have the inside edge wear … is it bad wheel bearings or what?

  2. FRANK CANNON says:


  3. Gerald Winsemius says:

    Frank you probably have a defective output mixer vavle. I had the same problem on my 2008 Damon Astoria

  4. DAVE KOCHER says:

    I have a 2003 Zephyr 42.5 Deisel pusher with 3 Dometic a/c heat pump units on a “Zone System” Two that have been replaced for some reason or another.

    My problem is the units don’t work in unison, or don’t work at all when I want them to. They dont come on when its cold or hot, sometimes tehy will not come on until 7-8PM every ecening. Sometime they will not come on in the summer when it’s 85 – 90 degrees, uintil the evening, same with the heat pumps.

    The center unit has been replaced twice due to warranty, and now freezes up shortly after you turn it on. Sometimes one unit will come on for 30 seconds then shut down?? The center a/c unit is turned off and it comes on for no reason? Sometimes the gas frunace will come on fan only for 30 seconds only. Temps are not that cold at that time.

    Thhis is very frustrating when you are cold or hot and the units will not work as designed.

    Dometic will not let the installer repair the units, so everytime we have to wait for a new unit. Do you have any suggestions.

  5. Oliver (Ollie) Hill says:

    We own a 2007 Fleetwood Excursion and have continuing problems with the 4 house battery connections and the hold down bolts with major corrosion. We power wash and remove and clean the cables 3 to 4 times a year and put grease and or terminal spray on all the areas and it comes right back.
    What are we doing wrong? What can we do to get this under control??
    Thank you very much for your assistance and advice!
    Ollie Hill, 330 Pahlow Lane, Laramie, Wyoming 82070

  6. Richard Hull says:

    Hey, Jerry, I agree with Gerald. It is a defective mixer valve. To be sure, you can remove and cap the cold water line going to the brass mixer valve on the back of the water heater. Then put a cap on the mixer valve. This removes the mixer valve from the water flow. Presto, hot water now. Replace the mixer valve and reconnect and you are in business. Had the same problem and used the solution on a 2009 5th Wheel with a 16 gallon water heater. Good luck

  7. Richard Hull says:

    Sorry, I meant, to Frank

  8. Debby Schoenleber says:

    We have a Class C Sunseeker 2003 (I believe). My question is “can a hot water on demand unit be installed”? If so how would it be done? Thank you

  9. randy nerrlow says:

    Unexpected freezing weather in south Texas has led to a lot of condensation, any sugggestions other than damp rid or a dehumidifier; and will those work?

  10. Good Sam says:

    Richard – Chances are the charging voltage is too high causing excessive gassing. Check voltage with a multimeter. Values depend on battery type. Chances are that his rig already has a decent multi-stage charger but it may not be adjusted properly. If not, consider installing one.

    - Bob Livingston

  11. Good Sam says:

    Debby – Girard has had a direct replacement model on the market for some time. Atwood has just announced a new direct replacement that should be available very shortly. Installation is very easy.

    - Bob Livingston

  12. Good Sam says:

    Randy – Dehumidifiers are the best bet. If 120-volt AC power is available consider using an electric model (available at home stores and Sears). If power is not available, Dri-Z-Air has units that will help (available at Camping World). Much of the sweating comes from the metal window frames. Might want to install plastic insulation (that creates a vapor barrier) to each window for the winter. Kits are available that are taped to the frames, and a hair dryer is used to shrink the plastic for a snug fit. Home supply stores usually carry these kits, although harder to find in areas where cold weather is not an issue.

    - Bob Livingston

  13. Jeff Desmarais says:

    BOB I have a 99 monoco lapalma 2 questions front side windows keep getting moister buildup had to replace passenger side do to safty could not see out mirrow what can i do to stop this.second what kind of tires do you recomend have 19.5 goodyears on it but i am partial to michelins myself could you give me your thoughts on this please email me thanks jeff

  14. Charles Hulings says:

    To David Archambault. I had the same trouble on one of my trailers. It was a bent axel. I removed it had it straightened. solved the problem

  15. Marion says:

    I have a Fleetwood Expedition and the dealer is unable to replace the side driver’s window in time for our vacation(right now it appears foggy and hard to see out of when driving).
    I’m very disappointed, we have planned our first trip out west. He thinks it will be o.k. to drive, but I think it’s unsafe. We plan to leave in one week. I’m a newby at RV’ing -Please advise.
    Thanks, Marion

    Good Sam says: Marion, we’re sorry to hear of your troubles. Unfortunately, there are places that can fix the fogged window, but not in a week. Considering the time limitations you’re in, you may want to replace the glass instead with single pane glass as an interim fix. Glass shops should be able to do that easily within a week. Good luck and safe travels!

  16. Don Wold says:

    Bob I would like to buy and tow behind our motorhome 2012 GMC Deneli. What aftermarket system would you recommend? I know that they cannot be towed as is. Thanks Don

  17. Good Sam says:

    Don – It depends on the type and weight of the vehicle you wish to tow. However, you can’t go wrong with the Falcon All Terrain Tow Bar which has a 6000 lb. capacity. And since it’s available at Camping World, you can utilize your member-exclusive discounts on it as well.


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