Changing a Flat Tire on Your RV

RV parked by the beach

It’s a dreaded event that no RVer ever wants to encounter, but if you travel enough it’s bound to happen eventually. When it does, it pays to know what to do and how to do it correctly.

Changing an RV tire is similar to a vehicle tire, except that you want to use a ramp rather than a jack.

What you’ll need.

  • A spare tire in good condition
  • A lug wrench that fits the lug nuts on your RV’s wheel
  • A Tire pressure gauge
  • A Portable air compressor
  • Chocks
  • A Ramp
  • A Standard wrench
  • A lubricant (such as WD-40)

How to change the flat tire.

  1. Make sure you’re not in a dangerous area; pull as far away from traffic as you possibly can while remaining on a stable driving surface.
  2. Break loose the lug nuts on the flat tire with your lug wrench.
  3. Drive your good tire on the same side as the flat tire onto the ramp in order to get the flat tire up off the ground. If the flat tire can’t spin freely, get higher up on the ramp, add blocks under the ramp, or even dig under the flat tire to gain enough space.
  4. Chock the tires on the opposite side and set the parking brake to make sure that your RV or trailer remains in place while you work.
  5. Use the lug wrench again to fully remove the lug nuts on your flat.
  6. Remove the flat from the hub and then install the spare onto the hub.
  7. Lubricate the studs before replacing the lug nuts and then tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern.
  8. Stow the flat, disengage the brake, remove the chocks, and drive off the ramp.
  9. Finish tightening the lug nuts.
  10. Check the tire pressure in all tires, including the spare. Equalize and top off as needed with your air compressor.

Subscribe to roadside service.

If you prefer to avoid a situation where you have to change your own tire, look into roadside service for your RV. Just remember that roadside service, while reliable in most cases, may not come through if you’re unable to call due to poor reception or are on a road that they don’t respond to.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

If you need any RV service that’s beyond your capabilities, don’t hesitate to stop by PleasureLand RV Center to schedule an appointment with our service department. Looking for a new RV? Shop our inventory of new and pre-owned motorhomes and travel trailers.

Roll With Your Favorite Furry Friends

https://www.flickr.com/photos/curtisperry/56964816/sizes/z/

One of the greatest parts of RV travel is that you don’t have to leave your furry friends behind when you hit the road. And while some of your best family memories will be with your pets by your side, there are a few simple steps you’ll want to take before you load your cats or dogs into your RV and hit the road.

Take Your Pet for a Test Drive

It’s important to make sure your pet is comfortable with road travel before you bring him or her along for a longer ride. Start by taking your pet on short rides to see how he or she fares on the road. Does your pet seem uncomfortable, anxious or even sick when he’s in your vehicle? If you answered, “Yes,” after a few trial rides with your pet, he may be more comfortable with a pet-sitter while you’re away.

Consult Your Veterinarian

Before you hit the road for your big adventure, take your pet to his veterinarian to ensure he’s in good health for the ride. You’ll also need to make sure your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up-to-date, and your vet can tell you if any other vaccinations will be necessary for the areas you’ll be traveling. If you’ll be crossing borders, your vet can help you understand quarantine laws and compile all of the paperwork your pet will need.

Bring Some Pieces of Home

Even if your pet seems excited to be in your RV at first, he may feel a little out of place when you start traveling to new destinations. Be sure you bring your pet’s bed, a few favorite toys, a collar, leash, food and water for your journey. Your pet will adjust to his new home more comfortably and quickly with a few familiar items from his old one.

Upgrade Your RV at PleasureLand

Need a little larger RV now that you’ll be bringing your furry friends along for the ride? Come browse our huge selection of new and used RVs at PleasureLand RV Center — your go-to RV dealership in Minnesota — and our certified staff will help you find the perfect motorhome, travel trailer, fifth wheel or pop-up for your entire family.

Image by Curtis Perry via Flickr Creative Commons

Visit the Continental Divide

PleasureLand RV Center is your premier family owned and operated Minnesota RV dealership that will prepare you for a travel adventure in comfort and style. When planning a trip to a destination like the Continental Divide, a capable and reliable recreational vehicle is necessary. With the available inventory of quality RV’s, travel trailers, and fifth wheels from PleasureLand, you’re sure to find one that will safely get you where you want to go and back home again.

Continental Divide NST

Photographer: Bureau of Land Management

Facts About the Divide

The Continental Divide runs from Canada to Mexico and spans multiple states including New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana for approximately 3000 miles. The U.S. portion runs from Montana’s Glacier National Park, south through the Rockies, and on to New Mexico and the Mexican border.

The scenic and rugged terrain of the Continental Divide navigates through an array of ecosystems. From mountain meadows and high-desert plateaus to massive granite peaks, the Divide offers challenging hiking trails, scenic landscapes, and picturesque vistas. It is nature at its best with endless examples of unspoiled beauty, incredible open expanses, pristine wilderness, alpine forests, miles of Saguaro cactus, mountain peaks, and an abundance of wildlife.

Exploring the Continental Divide

Hiking and backpacking along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is one way explore. Another option is riding and discovering the peace and serenity of the backcountry on a motorcycle. Traveling the Divide in a recreational vehicle provides the best of both worlds by having your mobile home-away-from home for camping along the way at area campgrounds and RV resorts.

Planning Your Trip

When visiting, it’s important to plan your trip according to the season. Weather conditions will vary from state to state and inclement conditions may be encountered. Sand storms, torrential rain, flash floods, and snow and ice are conditions to be expected on the Divide. It’s also important to be prepared with plenty of food, water, fuel, and cell phone as many portions of the trip will be long stretches of wide open expanses.

Contact PleasureLand RV Center whenever your plans involve over-the-road traveling. With an extensive inventory, our knowledgeable staff will have you in the recreational vehicle of your dreams so you can explore and discover the ultimate adventure known as the “Great Divide.”

Photo Source

Taking Your Furry Friends On The Road

If you’re taking your pets on new Minnesota RV road trips, you’re probably already savvy about how to plan your trip and care for your pets along the way. But we found a few reminders in Pets America’s Pet First Aid & Disaster Response guide and thought we’d share.

1. Plan ahead. Research Minnesota’s emergency vets along your RV route through the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. You can search for clinics in other states as well. http://www.veccs.org/index.php?option=com_hospitals&Itemid=193&nationid=1&searchword=&rpp=12&stateid=21&action=do_searc

2. Get referrals ahead of time for reliable pet sitters at your destination. http://www.petsitters.org/

3. Make sure your pet wears identification tags at all times. Add a temporary tag with the local number at your campground.

4. Update your microchip contact information. If your pet has a microchip (of course they do!), then call your microchip company to ensure your contact info is up to date.

5. Talk to your vet about motion sickness. If your pet is new to travel, take a short ride to see how your pet reacts, and to find out if they’re prone to motion sickness. If so, talk to your vet about solutions.

6. Never leave your pet in the hot vehicle. Even when it’s a comfortable 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside the vehicle can reach 120 deadly degrees in a matter of minutes.

7. Use a crate or harness to secure your pet inside the vehicle. Pet seats give pets a comfortable place to sit while the harness secures them safely to a seatbelt. This restraint can save a life.

8. Take breaks. Enjoy the journey and take frequent breaks so both you and your pet can… stretch your legs.

For even more tips on pet care, visit Minnesota’s Veterinary Medial Association. (Scroll down to the bottom of the home page to find the pet tips.)  Let’s face it. Not every pet is destined to be a RV road warrior, but for those who are, these tips can make the journey safer so you can enjoy the adventure.

Minnesota RV Safety: Propane

Getting ready for a big roadtrip in your motorhome can be full of excitement and fun. In the midst of the packing frenzy, you must remember more than just the toothpaste and towels. Having propane is essential for your new Minnesota RV on the road. It’s also important to have the propane system checked out at least once a year. So whether you’ve had the RV in storage or you call it home, here are a few tips on being prepared when it comes to propane inside of your vehicle.

Why use propane?

Propane has many benefits. As far as fuels go, it is considered to be clean. It’s liquid petroleum gas and there is a lot of it! Its low price and wide availability make it an easy option for everything from cooking to hot baths. Because it’s so easily transportable, motorhomes can use it for many things. While it’s usually quite safe, there are important factors to consider when using it.

Precaution

The most important item that every RV should have is a propane detector. They can be bought at any home improvement store and can be assembled without expertise. Having difficulty with set up? Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If something were to go wrong it could save lives. Be prepared to immediately vacate the premises should the alarm go off. In an emergency, aside from calling 911, turn off the propane valve if possible.

Testing

There are a few tests that a technician can do for the whole system to ensure proper working order. The first is an operating pressure test, which is used to determine pressure amounts to the regulator during use.  Too much on either side of the normal range could create problems. Another good test is the timed drop pressure test. Doing this test will show if there are any leaks which no system should have. Once the leak is pinpointed, you will be good to go! The last is referred to as a lock up test that ensures the regulator is completely shutting. This test avoids pressure contamination which could cause an explosion.

These are great ways to protect your family and your Pleasureland RV. Taking these extra steps will remove any unknowns from the safety of your trip. You will rest easier knowing your propane system is good to go.

Have you had your system tested this year? Feel free to share your propane tips with us in the comments below!

 

Thanks to Gary Motley for contributing

It’s Motorcycle Awareness Month, Minnesota RV Drivers

Hey Minnesota RVers, did you know that it’s motorcycle awareness month? As RVers, we have to be especially careful of our fellow drivers on the road… especially motorcycles. Because of there size, motorcycles can look a lot farther away than they really are. This also makes it difficult to judge their speed.

In light of motorcycle awareness month, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) recommends that we as drivers remember a few things when it comes to the safety of motorcyclists.

First, always focus on driving. Nothing is worse than a distracted driver, let alone a distracted RV driver. So put down the cell phone. Remember, food, pets and even other passengers can be bad distractions.

Second, look for motorcyclists.  Like I said before, motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and are often harder to see.

Third, give motorcyclists enough room. Always keep a safe distance when following a motorcycle. Don’t change lanes too close in front of a rider. Motorcyclists and their machines generally don’t just have fender-benders…

Fourth, use your turn signals. Not only does this help everyone’s safety, it’s also the law.

Lastly, keep it in the car.  Trash, including cigarette butts, should stay in the car, not thrown out where it could hit a motorcyclist. Road debris can kill a rider. Besides, littering is a hefty fine. This also goes for things on the outside of our RVs. Make sure everything is tied down tightly.

For us Minnesota RVers, we live our lives on the road. Sometimes, we can forget that there are others on the road, too. And since motorcycles are harder to see, we have to especially look out for them.

[Source: Motorcycle Safety Foundation]

What To Do If Your RV Runs Away From You

Photo Courtesy of RVTravel

I’m sure we all remember the awful California incident of unintended acceleration. A state trooper, along with his family, were killed when the car’s accelerator pedal was held down by misaligned floor mats. Though the trooper was driving a passenger vehicle, that doesn’t mean that this can’t happen while driving our Minnesota RVs.

There are many ways the floor mats can become unaligned, and luckily there are several preventative steps we can take to keep our RVs from experiencing a similar issue.

  • Always make sure your floor mat is properly positioned and secured by hooks or fasteners.
  • Recheck the position of the floor mats after every car wash or service visit.
  • Never stack heavy rubber winter mats on top of carpet mats. Remove the carpeted mats from the car and attach the winter ones to the retaining hooks or clips.
  • Avoid using aftermarket floor mats that don’t connect to the retaining clips in your car unless they provide some other reliable retention method. Rubberized treads on the bottom are insufficient because they wear down over time and become ineffective.
  • Always use floor mats cut specifically for your make and model of car. In the crash that killed the trooper, the mats were too large for the car they were in.
  • Test the throttle pedal clearance by hand, making sure the mat stays clear of the bottom edge of the pedal as it moves all the way to the floor. This is particularly important in cars that have top-hinged pedals.
  • If there is any doubt, take the floor mats out. A floor mat in the trunk cannot interfere with the throttle pedal.

In the unfortunate case this happens to you, there are several steps you can take to bring your RV to a safe stop.

  • If possible, reach down and pull back the floor mat to dislodge it from the accelerator pedal. Then pull over and stop the vehicle to inspect it before continuing.
  • Insert your shoe behind the gas pedal and pull it up from behind. This can release a throttle held down by a mat or a defective pedal return spring.
  • If these steps don’t correct the situation, shift the transmission into Neutral (N) and then brake to a stop. Be prepared to hear the sound of the engine revving loudly. This does not mean the car is going faster, only that the engine is disengaged from the transmission. It could also damage the engine, but this is a matter of personal safety, so it is unavoidable.
  • If you’re unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine off, or to ACC. Without the engine running, power assist will be lost so it will be much harder to turn the steering wheel and apply the brakes.
  • If these steps don’t work, firmly and steadily step on the brake pedal with both feet. Do NOT pump the brake pedal repeatedly, as this will increase the effort required to slow the vehicle.
  • If the vehicle is equipped with a key ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. Do NOT remove the key from the ignition, as this will lock the steering wheel and you will not be able to turn.
  • If the vehicle is equipped with an engine start/stop button, manufacturers have different procedures to shut off the engine while it is in Drive. Check your owner’s manual next time you get in your car for which method it uses. For example, some carmakers require you to firmly and steadily push the button for at least 3 seconds to turn off the engine. Others require you to press the button three times in succession.

Pleasureland RV strongly recommends you take preventative action to avoid having this problem. It’s also a good idea to take your RV out to a vacant parking lot and practice the steps mentioned above. Safe travels, Minnesota!

[Source: Edmunds.com]

Are You Familiar with the RV Road Rules?

Traveling across the states is common among RV owners. In fact, we may spend a fair amount of time in other states visiting different campgrounds and RV resorts. But there is something you should be mindful of when traveling across numerous borders in your RV, and that is the law. As you know, laws vary from state to state, and unless you have a photographic memory or want to carry about a current book of the state’s various laws, you won’t know them all. You can, however, stick to the three basics pointed out by USAToday.com.

Lane Usage.Drivers must stay in the right lane when driving an RV except when passing, preparing to make a turn, or going on or off the highway. If the highway has four or more lanes in either direction, you must stay in either of the extreme right lanes.

Trailer Lights. When your RV includes a trailer, it is important to keep in mind that the trailer’s weight often forces the RV’s headlights upward so that they glare into the eyes of oncoming drivers. This is illegal; you must check your headlight alignment once the trailer is attached.

Parking. Checking with any neighborhood associations or cities where you plan to stop, to see if they have any rules or ordinances against parking RVs. Many residential neighborhood homeowner associations will let RVs be parked for short periods of time, but not overnight.

These are three things you should always do when traveling in a new Minnesota RV, no matter where are you. Another thing you should do before you head out on your next RV voyage, is check the state’s towing laws. There are several websites out there that list the requirements and restrictions of each state. All you have to do is look!

 

Does Your Minnesota Travel Trailer Need a Sway Bar?

As I’m sure most of you who own travel trailers in Minnesota know, our rolling homes tend to sway side to side while we are traveling down the road. To top if off, Spring is starting and you can definitely count on encountering some high winds along the way. If you’ve already experienced a sway, then you know how unpleasant it can make your travels. Lucky for us, someone came up with the ingenious idea of a sway bar to help stabilize and reduce swaying. The cool thing about sway bars is that they actually use your travel trailer’s weight to create stability by bracing the weight of the vehicle’s axle against the chassis.

So are sway bars actually worth it? Yes, hands down. Think about traveling along a winding road and a gust of wind suddenly hitting the enormous amount of surface area on your box-on-wheels. Scary, isn’t it? Not only will a sway bar make your RV travels safer, it’ll also help prevent your travel trailer and the vehicle you are using to tow it from unnecessary wear and tear.

Sway bars come in a wide variety and vary depending on the size of that which you are towing. Pleasureland RV has several makes and models you can check out at our online parts catalog. If you’re ready to get a sway bar installed on your Minnesota travel trailer, swing by one of the four Pleasureland RV dealerships in Minnesota. We’ll be happy to help you find the right one and even install it when you’re ready.

How to Choose a Safe Rest Area While Traveling in Your Minnesota RV

During those longer road trips we take (from Minnesota to California for example) in our new or used Minnesota RVs, you may find yourself in need of a break that wasn’t originally part of your plan. For instance, let’s say you had planned to stay the night at a specific campsite, but unforeseen reasons have put you behind schedule and you could really use a break. This is where “rest stops” come in. If you haven’t already guessed, a rest stop should be used for exactly what its name says. A rest stop.  While the average family or person stopping at a rest stop will have a pleasant experience, there are some rest areas known to be commonplace for criminal activity and potentially dangerous situations. Luckily for us, TLC has provided some great tips on how to choose a rest stop and what do once you are there. Stay safe out there, Minnesota RVers!

Be Aware of Your Surroundings. As you pull into a rest area, it’s important you remain alert. Take note of the stop’s name or the closest mile marker, so if you have an emergency you can give the authorities your location. Avoid individuals who seem to be hanging around parking lots and restrooms; that’s a good indication he or she is up to no good. It’s also a good idea to stay away from places where criminals might hide. Don’t park beside large trucks, which can block your view of the parking lot. When you’re walking up to the building, be wary of blind corners, recessed areas and thick vegetation. A well-designed rest area will have a rectangular design with few walls or bushes behind which people could hide.

Look For Secure, Well-Lit Areas. Proper lighting can go a long way in discouraging crime at rest areas. Buildings are often well-lit, but look for places where the parking lot is illuminated as well. At night, avoid the peripheral parts of the rest area, like picnic tables, trails and surrounding woods, where illegal activity sometimes occurs. At rest stops where crime is particularly bad, frequent police patrols or even permanent security officers may be present. If this is the case, approach the trooper or security guard and ask them to look out for you while you visit the facilities, especially if you’re alone.

Choose Your Stop Carefully. While crime can occur at any time of day, a rest area is most dangerous after the sun goes down, especially if it’s isolated and empty. If you’re traveling alone at night, it might be a good idea to visit a staffed facility like a fast-food restaurant or a convenience store instead of a rest area. If you want to know how safe a rest area is before you visit it, there are a limited number of resources available to help you plan your trip. One such book is the “Interstate Travel Guide,” a directory of America’s rest stops that, among other details, employ onsite security.

Take All Reasonable Precautions. Often the simplest safety measures are enough to keep you out of trouble at a rest stop. When you pull in to a parking place, don’t linger in your car. Closed up inside with the music on, you can easily become oblivious to your surroundings, giving criminals the time and opportunity to target and confront you. When you get out of your vehicle, lock the doors to prevent theft. Also, try not to enter the rest area facilities alone. If you’re traveling with young children, see if a family restroom is available. Even older children and adults should have someone accompany them to the restroom or wait for them outside.

Don’t Spend the Night. While it may be cheap to spend the night at a rest area, it isn’t necessarily safe. Many states have banned sleeping at rest stops due to increased crime, and many others have put up signs that discourage it. Your best bet is to look for campgrounds or state parks along your route where, for a small fee, you can more safely snooze in your car. If you have to sleep at a rest area, in an RV or car, keep the doors locked and don’t open them to strangers. Talk to any strangers through the window or door, and if you feel threatened, drive away.