RV Patio Mats

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A beautiful patio mat extends your living space and defines your outdoor area in an elegant way, and we love ours.

But they can be pricey if you’re just getting started with weekend RVing. An alternative is to get some green indoor/outdoor carpeting. We had this with our popup tent trailer, and it fit the bill perfectly (and our friends who now own our popup still use it!).

What Is Level and How Do You Know?

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Determining what constitutes “level” inside an imperfectly constructed RV is an interesting trick. We used a carpenter’s level on our kitchen floor, in several directions, and on our table, and on the bedroom floor. Of course, none agreed! But we found a good compromise and then mounted some RV levels on the outside of the rig to give us a reasonable guess when we’re setting up.

There are two different types of levels: Bubble Levels that have an air bubble that floats to the high side, and Ball Levels that have a ball that drops to the low side. Bubble levels are more responsive (the bubble moves more quickly as the RV moves). Ball levels take a few seconds to react. If you use both types, you can get confused because they move in opposite directions.

We have a large Level Master level on the fifth wheel pin box that is easy to see from inside the truck. We also have two small bubble levels on the trailer on the corner by the landing jack power button, one facing forward (for left to right leveling) and one facing sideways (for front to back leveling).

Our pin box mounted Level Master, a ball level, is easy to see from inside the truck. When the trailer is higher on one side than the other, the Level Master ball falls to the low side.

Our smaller levels on the front corner of the fifth wheel are bubble levels, so the one on the front of the rig showing the side-to-side level has a bubble that rises to the high side. This is the opposite of the ball level on the pin box, and sometimes, when we are struggling with white line fever from hours on the road, this messes us up.

I’d recommend sticking to either ball levels or bubble levels and not mixing and matching like we did! A good solution might be to mount a ball level like this on both the pin box and on the front of the trailer near the landing jack power button.

Why do you need two side-to-side levels? When I’m running around placing the boards in line with the wheels for Mark to drive onto, I want to see a level on the fiver easily myself, and the front of the pin box is impossible to see from the side of the truck when we’re hitched up.

However, lots of folks rely on a single pin box mounted level that has both side-to-side and forward-back levels in it. There are a few from Camco and Hopkins that are very popular.

Hitching and Unhitching a Fifth Wheel Trailer

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Some folks drive their RVs solo, and although I can’t say much about hitching and unhitching a motorhome and car combo, our good friend Bob has found a great way to hitch and unhitch a fifth wheel trailer solo. He marked the front landing leg that’s near the extend/retract button at regular intervals all the way up and down the leg.

Then he numbered each hash mark. He keeps a pad and pen in the hatch near the landing legs button. When unhitching, once he’s raised the trailer to where he can drive the truck out from under it, he jots down the hash mark number that is visible on the leg. Then he drives out, parks, and returns to the trailer and raises or lowers the landing legs as necessary to get the trailer level.

When he hitches up again to leave, he adjusts the trailer height to the exact position where he unhitched. That way, when he gets in the truck to hitch up, he knows the trailer will be at the correct height as he backs the truck up into the hitch pin (and he doesn’t have to get in and out of the truck several times to check and adjust the height of the trailer).

We marked our landing legs at 1.5″ intervals and have not numbered them. There are only 6 hash marks, and I make a mental note of what mark we were at when we unhitched. Frequently, by the time we leave, I’ve forgotten where we were at before we leveled the trailer, but I’ve developed a good eye for knowing how much to raise or lower the rig as Mark backs the truck towards the trailer.

We also marked the centerline of the fifth wheel pin box and pin plate so it is easy for Mark to line up the hitch with the pin box and king pin when he is backing the truck into the trailer.

Tire Repair Or Replacement

Even the most cautious drivers can accidentally drive over a nail, screw or glass. If a tire loses all or most of its air pressure, you should take your vehicle to a Camping World Service Center. Punctures don’t just affect the
surface of the tire, they affect the inside as well. That’s why only trained technicians using industry-approved methods and materials should inspect and repair, or replace a tire.

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Mixing Tire Types
When you mix tires of different constructions, sizes and stage of treadwear, it can affect handling and performance. Goodyear recommends using the same size and type of tire on the same axle.

Wheels And Ratings
It’s important that tire and wheel ratings are compatible. For example, a tire rated at 3,000 pounds should never be mounted on a wheel rated at 2,000 pounds. Your Camping World Service Center can help you match tires and wheels for enhanced protection and performance.

Outdoor Recreational Vehicle Furniture

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Don’t forget outdoor recreational furniture when you’re stocking your RV for your first trip. Many RVers spend as much time outdoors relaxing as they do inside their RV, and you’ll need comfortable and durable outdoor recreational vehicle furniture if you want to be relaxed and in style outdoors. You can find a variety of comfortable and fun styles as well as a range of colors of outdoor recreational furniture.

As you shop for outdoor recreational furniture, you’ll find that your choices aren’t just limited to plastic chairs and tables. You’ll discover outdoor recliners, folding picnic sets, adjustable height tables, grill tables, and much more. Since you spend so much time outdoors when you travel in your RV, it pays to shop for the most comfortable and versatile outdoor recreational vehicle furniture you can find.

RV Replacement Furniture

If you’re searching for RV replacement furniture, you may be able to find surplus furniture online, or you might find it at local dealers who are closing out discontinued lines or old RV parts and replacements. Some RV furniture manufacturers put their surplus furniture online at deeply discounted prices, so you can save quite a bit of money if you shop around.

When you purchase RV replacement furniture, check with the seller to find out if the purchase price includes installation of the new RV replacement furniture and removal of the old furniture. If you’re purchasing a big piece of RV replacement furniture, such as a mattress or sofa, take time beforehand to make measurements to make sure it will fit in the door of your RV. Many items of RV replacement furniture are so large that you have to take out a window or the windshield in order to get them inside the RV.

RV Ice Fish Houses

Ice fishing is a growing sport among winter camping enthusiasts. Many all season parks and resorts offer luxurious amenities for ice fishing. They offer great discounts on cabin rentals and are shelling out the big bucks on the best of the best in equipment for all your ice fishing needs…at a cost.

Our question to you is why spend the money to rent a cabin when you can turn your own travel trailer into your very own ice house cabin!

Almost any travel trailer can be turned into an ice house just by visiting the right service department at your favorite RV dealership. You just need a couple holes cut into the floor of the trailer with the proper seal and cover for when not in use. Make sure you stock up on extra propane heaters, stoves, and portable toilets if yours doesn’t have one already.

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Ready to tackle the sport of ice fishing yet?

Visit Lewis RV Center in Oklahoma City, OK to see our full line of Forest River, Keystone and Open Range travel trailers. Plus, stock up on all the items you’ll need for your winter adventures by stopping by our parts store.