I’m getting better at not being afraid of making adjustments to my rig. At first, there was something about not wanting to mess with the way the rig came. Maybe because it was new and pristine and expensive. Maybe because I didn’t feel like I was qualified or knew enough to be changing things. I don’t know. But that has shifted. Today, I share a couple easy, fast and low-cost RV hacks I’ve figured out along the way. And as a bonus, I’m sharing a couple easy, fast, low-cost RV hacks that others have figured out along the way.
If I hadn’t already written about it, installing a water pressure regulator belongs on this RV hacks list. In all honesty, it’s hard to call it a hack when all that’s involved is threading the regulator onto the end of a hose. I called it a hack because it came with a story of how I almost made my water tank explode. Okay, maybe it wasn’t going to actually explode. But it sure sounded like it might. Plus it took me 24 hours to diagnose the explosive sound and to find the solution. Hack-worthy or not, it got its own post.
Hack for Quill
Most RV manufactures promise super-secret special technology that prevents drawers and cabinets from opening.
I bought into the lie until a mysterious thing started to happen. I found random items on my floor following a day of travel. A bamboo spatula. A pair of socks. Fork and spoon.
A mystery, indeed. I thought about it long and hard, and came up with three possible causes.
First, maybe I had a clown ghost who found it amusing to throw things on the floor. Second, maybe I have a brain tumor that prevented me from remembering I threw things on the floor. Or, third, the super-secret special technology failed to keep the drawers closed and, during travel, the drawers opened and things jumped out.
While I gave due consideration to the first two, ultimately I decided my drawers were opening during transit. It wasn’t so obvious though because each time it happened, only one item was on the floor and I never found the drawers opened when I stopped. But after a few times, it became clear what was happening inside the rig while I drove merrily down the road.
An awesome benefit of attending a rig-specific rally, like the Oliver Travel Trailer rally I attended last May and plan to attend this coming May, is getting to see what solutions and RV hacks other owners have come up with.
When it comes to the drawers opening in transit, one Oliver owner took two heavy-duty suction cups with hooks, put one at the top of the drawers and one at the bottom. Then she pulled a bungee cord between the two.
I love the solution because it’s easy, inexpensive and not permanent. You remove the suction cups once settled into a campground or boondocking spot. It’s also a small solution, so when not in use, the suction cups and bungees easily store in a closet or drawer until the next travel day.
It’s fantastic to have found a solution to the mystery of random items on the floor.
Well, I think I found the solution. Either that or my clown ghosts moved out. Or my brain tumor cured itself.
Hack that Works in Theory
So, I had what I thought was a brilliant hack idea. I still think it is. The problem, I have discovered, is that it only works if it doesn’t rain. What that means for me is that I have started this hack several times. And completed it zero times.
This hack is for those with trailers and fifth wheels. But maybe it could apply to Class A and Class C coaches that tow a car. I’m not familiar enough with how toads (a car that is towed behind a coach) are connected to the coach to know for sure.
When I hook the van up to the trailer, it takes me 15 – 25- times of pulling up and back before I get the ball which is attached to the van to be in just the right spot to properly attach to the coupler of the trailer’s hitch.
The van came with a backup camera but still it takes many tries because the backup camera only helps me not run into the trailer. But the camera isn’t in the right place or sharp enough to assist me in lining up everything perfectly.
Not only do the ball and hitch have to line up just right, I also need the van angled correctly. If it isn’t lined up at the same angle as the trailer, then the sway hitch won’t attach even if I get the trailer hitched to the van.
My brilliant idea? When I first pull into a new spot, before unhooking, if I draw a chalk outline around the tires, I would have a guide when it came to hooking back up again. I thought it would be most useful for getting the angle correct. But no doubt it should also cut down on the number of back and forths required to get the ball and hitch in the proper spot.
Sadly, as I said, this remains an untested hack. I’ve drawn chalk outlines over concrete, black top and even over gravel (that’s a little more challenging). If rain arrives and it isn’t too heavy, I’ve managed to see a ghost chalk outline and go over it again. But to date, a heavy rain arrives and washes away all remnants of my chalk.
I’m not giving up on this idea. I’ll keep trying. And I’ll report back. Maybe in the dessert southwest. Plus, if this hack works, the chalk will belong on the best RV gadgets under $10 list.
Black Tank Hack
This hack comes from the artist who designed my logo. I chose to add a composting toilet to my Oliver Trailer so I do not deal with black tank issues. But lots of people do so I thought a black tank hack worthy of mention here.
When emptying the black tank, turn off the water to flush the black tank out. While flushing the black tank, open the flap to clear the toilet completely of water. Close the flap and then pour a small amount of olive oil into the toilet. Any oil works, but Elizabeth likes to stick with natural products as much as possible. Open and close the flap a few times, which accepts the oil since no water is running.
What does this hack do? It lubricates the seal around the flap. As a result, the flap glides smoothly over the seal. This should prevent your pin from breaking due to a stuck flap. And, in case you’re wondering how she knows this. She learned the lesson the hard way.
The small pin that connects the pedal to the toilet had been sticking for about a week and she couldn’t figure out why. Until the pin broke. What she learned is often pieces of toilet paper get caught in the flap and dry out or the flap simply dries out over time. Either way, that’s when the flap starts to stick and you are on the way toward a broken pin.
Her seal gets oiled every 10-14 days as that’s how often she flushes the black tank. Elizabeth says lots of people know about the oil trick but her hack is to do it to do it while flushing the tank since the water is already turned off.
RV Hack for Those with Slide Outs
This is another hack that doesn’t apply to me. I stole the idea to share with you. The first time I saw it, I thought it was for decoration. Albeit very odd decoration. After it was explained to me I thought it was a smart easy hack.
You know those swimming pool noodles? RVers with slide-outs buy those and slice them lengthwise to the halfway depth. Then work the cut noodle onto the edge of the slide.
Why? It provides cushion in case you hit it with your head, arm, etc. on the jutted out slide. Basically, it will make your clumsiness not hurt so much. Speaking as a clumsy person, I’d be all over this hack if I had slide outs. I found black noodles on Amazon which might blend in better than brightly colored ones. But, of course, if I needed a noodle, I’d be ordering mine in purple.
More RV Hacks to Come
If you liked this post, then I have good news. It won’t be the last like it. I keep a list of other fast, easy, low-cost RV hacks like these to share. In the meantime, if you have one I’d love to hear about it.
Links to Referenced SSL Blog Posts Above:
- How to Install a Water Pressure Regulator
- 5 Best Things I Heard at the Oliver Rally
- 9 Most Used RV Gadgets Under $10
- Supersize Life Blog: The Same But Different
To see products recently purchased by readers or to browse and shop at Amazon, follow either of these links. Huge thanks for your support.