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ASK RV BILL - January/February 2018


Mail Forwarding

Q– Hello Bill, I know you are the expert in tech stuff but hoping you might be able to direct me to someone who has experience regarding the best mail services available to those of us who travel. We live in Oregon but are planning to travel to California and Arizona in September and come back in March. There appears to be many options–but of course they all ‘sound good’ on their websites. Are you familiar or can you direct us to someone who might suggest the service to use?
Thanks in advance for your attention to our question– enjoy the summer!

Just Livin’ the Dream,
Bill and Kathy

A– Hi Bill and Kathy,
If you haven’t already made a decision on your mail forwarding service, my recommendation is the Escapees organization. You will need to join the Escapees to utilize their mail forwarding service, which can be an advantage as they have a lot to offer ( We personally use their mail forwarding service and they are always prompt and willing to send it to any address. The Escapees even offer a digital service where you can view pictures of incoming mail. If you so choose, this mailbox can actually be used as a Texas domicile address.

Shower Crack Check

Q– Hi, Bill —
I enjoy your column and appreciated your response (“Shower Crack”) to Tom in this March issue of Trailblazer. You wrote, “Make sure that you drill a hole on either end of the crack to prevent it from creeping out from under the repair kit.” I might need to do this at some point, so can you explain that sentence a bit more? What is “it” and how does drilling holes at each end of the crack prevent the “it” from creeping?

Don – Claremont, CA

A– Don,
Any type of stress crack in plastic or fiberglass over a period of time will just simply continue on its path in either direction. The patch kit simply sits on the surface of the plastic, which could allow “it”, aka, the crack, to continue in either direction. By drilling a small hole at the end of the crack you will stop the crack from extending any further. Make sure that you drill a hole large enough to extend slightly beyond the end of the crack.

Trailer Weight

Q– Bill, We saw a question and answer in a Thousand Trails magazine about trailer weight and towing. We are not clear on the answer. We have a 2008 Tundra 5.7 liter with all the towing package bells and whistles. The book indicates we can tow 10,000 lbs. We weighed the truck and trailer and the total weight was 12,000 lbs. Are we in trouble?

The trailer GVWR is 6000 lbs.

Kevin and Laurine Buck

A– Kevin,
I do not think you are in trouble, the most important weight measurement that you need to know is GCWR. This would be the gross combined weight rating which includes the truck and the trailer fully loaded, as it would be on the highway. The GCWR rating will take into account the amount of weight in the truck and the trailer above and beyond the dry weights. In other words, total weight will be different for each and every owner as we all have different needs when packing our RVs for outings. I suggest that you weigh the truck and trailer while fully loaded, hooked together and individually to accurately determine where your weight ratings are currently before making adjustments.


Q– Bill: We finally made the decision to park our trailer on a seasonal site. My husband and I are at odds regarding the slide-outs. I think they should retract when we leave, and he would rather just leave them out. What is your opinion on this? A steak dinner is on the line.

Thanks, Sue

A– Sue,
The answer to this question could go either way so that steak dinner might need to resolve at a truce. Yes, slide-out rooms can be left out for long periods of time. You did not mention which RV you have so I’ll give you a few options. Pulling the slide-outs in can reduce fatigue on the mechanism and protect the rubber roof from the elements. The drawback would be repeated in an out will wear the slide-out mechanism parts faster because of the repeated stress. If you do decide to leave the rooms in an out position, support them with slide out supports, Stromberg Carlson model JB-20 or Ultra Fab models 19–96001 to 96003.

Greased Hubs

Q– Bill, I have a 1991 Komfort Sunchaser. I use my trailer a lot. Sometimes taking 3000 -4000-mile trips. How often should I have the wheel hubs greased? Can I put Grease Buddies on the hubs?

Thanks, Mary

A– Hi Mary,
I am assuming that your question is whether or not to grease the wheel bearings and not the hubs? Wheel bearings can deteriorate over periods of time and will need to be serviced within a maximum of every two years or 12,000 miles. The advantage of servicing the wheel bearings includes checking brakes, magnets, and springs that could come loose or break and cause catastrophic failure.
Do not use Bearing Buddies, as they are designed for boat trailers that are constantly submerged in water. The problem with using Bearing Buddies is that when the hubs are full of grease when you add more the excess will leak out through the grease seals and contaminate the brake shoes and drum surface. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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