Thursday, 29 November 2018

RV Tankless Water Heater Buying Tips

One of the smartest upgrades you can make to your RV is the investment in a tankless water heater system, essentially giving you on-demand hot water whenever and wherever you need it – all without having to worry about maintaining hot water temperatures around-the-clock.

Folks that own RVs regularly find themselves on the kinds of adventures that routinely require them to have access to a hot shower afterwards. There is nothing worse than having to sit around and wait for your standard hot water heater to fire up and pump out enough lukewarm water for a quick shower – and that’s assuming you even have a standard hot water heater in your system.

Some folks go with cold showers just because they don’t have the real estate available for those oversized appliances. Imagine that!

With a tankless set up, however, not only are you going to have an opportunity to enjoy on-demand hot water whenever and wherever you want it but you also aren’t going to have to worry about your hot water tapering off as more people use it, either.

It doesn’t get much better than that!

Of course, finding the right tankless water heater system for your RV is nowhere near as simple or as straightforward as most people would think it is. With so many different options on the market to pick and choose from already, and more pouring into the market every day, finding the perfect tankless set up has become more of a challenge than ever before.

But that’s why we’ve put together this quick guide.

By the time you’re done with all of the inside information, we highlight below you better understand exactly what you should be looking for in a new tankless water set up. You’ll know which features are important and which ones are little more than marketing buzz, what kind of setup is ideal for your particular RV and hot water needs, and what your budget is going to have to be to get your hands on a top-quality system you can rely on for years and years to come.

So let’s dig right into the rest of this guide where we focus on the critical elements you’ll need to look out for when you want to get the right tankless water heater for your new RV!

Figure Out Your Water Usage Before Anything Else

The most important thing you can do before you go on the hunt for a new tankless solution is to figure out exactly how much water you use on average, and how much on-demand hot water you’ll need while you are driving around in your RV.

Most folks (especially those that live in traditional homes or apartments) have absolutely zero idea how much hot water they run through on a day to day basis, or even how much water they use across the board. And it’s easy to understand why!

Traditional taps seem to be unlimited sources of water that we don’t ever have to worry about running out, but nothing could be further from the truth when you’re talking about the water system on an RV.

This is why you’ll have to figure out your water usage before you can comfortably start to research options to invest in when it comes to your new tankless setup.

As a ballpark figure, here are a couple of basic water consumption “rules of thumb” for most of the RV appliances you’ll have already installed:

  • Toilets – ½ gallon per minute
  • Bathtubs – Between 2 and 4 gallons per minute
  • Showers – Between 1 ½ and 3 gallons per minute
  • Kitchen Sink – Between 1 and 1 ½ gallons per minute
  • Dishwasher/Washing Machine – Between 1 and 3 gallons per minute

Obviously, you’ll need to figure out exactly how often you use each of these individual appliances to calculate exactly how much hot water you might need on a day to day basis. The overwhelming majority of top-tier tankless setups are going to be able to produce on-demand hot water at rates of anywhere between 2 gallons a minute and 6 gallons a minute, which may or may not work for your specific situation depending upon how you use your appliances.

Where Are You Going To Install Your New Tankless Heater?

Another core question you’ll have to tackle before you can pull the trigger on a tankless heater is where you’re going to install this new appliance in your RV.

One of the biggest advantages of this specific piece of technology is that you’re going to be able to avoid having a standard hot water holding tank set up in your RV. On the flip side of things, only the most modern RVs are designed specifically with tankless heating systems in mind, which means you’re going to have to find available real estate for this new tankless heating system to be installed. And that means finding out how to route new plumbing and electricity lines as well.

Some people have taken to installing their tankless water heater to the outside of their vehicle because they do not have any room inside, which may or may not be acceptable in your specific situation. This is especially true if you’re going to be driving your RV to locales that have temperatures that get below 0°F on a regular basis, or if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in subfreezing temperatures as a general rule.

On top of that, different municipalities and state laws may have specific rules and regulations regarding how and where you can install your tankless heater, whether or not it needs specific ventilation and a whole host of other issues that will have to be considered before you simply slap your RV somewhere on your vehicle.

This is something of critical importance to consider before you dive right in.

What Kind Of Fuel Source Are You Looking For?

Again, this is going to be entirely dependent upon how you use your RV, where you plan to park on a regular basis and the overall set up of your RV as it sits right now if you’ll be adding a new tankless water heater to it.

The overwhelming majority of options on the market today fall into two different fuel sources – electricity or gas.

You’ll have to figure out which one of these fuel sources works for you, not only from a budgetary standpoint (one of these fuels is almost always less expensive than the other, depending upon where you are at any one particular point in time), but you also have to figure out which one makes the most sense for how you anticipate using your new tankless solutions going forward, too.

Electrical setups are going to require a pretty involved installation process, though some find them to be easier to use and more consistent. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they can usually be modified to run off of electrical hookups when you are “in camp” but also off of generator power when you are out in the wilderness, too.

On the flip side of things, gas powered tankless water heaters are usually much less expensive with slightly higher hot water flow rates compared to their electric brethren. On top of that, gas powered systems are usually much easier to install. You will have to also consider installing a propane tank dedicated to the new tankless water heater somewhere on your vehicle, too. Should you run out of propane in the middle of nowhere you’ll be going without hot showers – something else to consider.

Something else you want to think about when it comes to the fuel source you are using our any of the rebates you might be able to take advantage of that could offset the expense of investing in one particular tankless solution versus another.

There are $300 of federal government tax credits for gas powered tankless water heaters that meet specific efficiency requirements, for example, that can significantly offset the expense of this new investment. It’s well worth looking into.

Overall Design Considerations Will Have A Big Impact, Too

At the end of the day, the overall design and layout of your new tankless water heater will have a huge impact on its utility and functionality as far as your day to day operations are concerned.

You’ll want to look for a tankless water heater system that is easy to maintain and repair via DIY solutions, as getting mechanics or plumbing professionals out to your RV in the middle of nowhere can be pretty challenging.

You’ll also want to look for a tankless water heater system that is easy to clean and maintain so that you can keep them running pitch perfect even while on the go. Some of the best systems out there are self-maintaining and self-regulating, though you’ll usually have to spend a little bit of extra money to get your hands on that kind of technology. Many find them to be well worth the additional expense, if only not to have to deal with the hassle and headache of tinkering with regular maintenance on such a key appliance.

Of course, you’ll have to be sure to find a system that “plays nicely” with your plumbing set up as it exists right now. Most every unit can be modified to work with any RV plumbing situation, but some are going to be more user-friendly than others and those are the units well worth investing in.

Highlighting Some Of The Best RV Tankless Water Heater Systems

RV Atwood 6 Gallon GC6AA-10E

The biggest advantage with this particular unit – and the true stand out feature that helps it separate itself from the rest of the pack – has to be its patented “tube combustion chamber” that dramatically improves its heating efficiency capabilities, giving you a lot more on-demand hot water then you would get from almost any other RV tankless unit on the market today.

A gas powered system, you’ll be able to enjoy upwards of 6 gallons per minute of piping hot water with this tankless solution installed. On top of that, it has advanced energy efficiency technology that allows it to utilize 90% of ALL the heat it produces to warm up your water, guaranteeing that you will be able to conserve fuel – and cut costs – without having to go without hot water.

It is a little bit loud when it is running at full blast, but other than that it’s probably the best unit in the business today.

59 Reviews
  • 6 Gallon Capacity
  • Part# 96160
  • Direct Spark Ignition
  • Input 8,800 BTU or 1400 watt

PrecisionTemp RV 550

This specific tankless water heater for RVs has been designed to utilize electricity to handle the heavy lifting of heating up your water supply, allowing it to remain a lot more compact than any of the other units available.

Taking up less than half the space a 10-gallon hot water holding tank would take up, you’ll be able to effortlessly install this unit inside of your RV for on-demand and always consistent hot water whenever and wherever you like.

Manufactured 100% in the USA, it comes with one of the best warranties in the business that you could set your watch to. The ability to run this hot water heater off of generator power when you go “off the grid” is another huge advantage.

PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater - Wall Vented
14 Reviews
PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater - Wall Vented
  • Designed specifically for RVs, trailers, tiny homes, cabins, mobile washing services, and more
  • Takes up 1/2 the space and weighs 1/3 as much as a 10-gallon tank
  • No pilot light and very high propane efficiency
  • Reliable, proven VariFlame technology control system
  • Designed, assembled and tested in the USA

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG

One of the most flexible hot water tankless heaters you’ll find on the planet today, this particular unit is legitimately portable. Not only are you going to be able to effortlessly install it in your RV but you’ll also be able to “pop it” out of your RV if you want to take it down to the shoreline to wash off a boat, clean out the horses at the barn, or just have a camp source of hot water separate from your RV.

This is all possible thanks to the fact that it runs off of D cell batteries data guaranteeing you are not only able to use your RV when you go off the grid and get away from traditional power hookups but also guarantee that you’re able to enjoy hot water should your generator power go down as well.

It doesn’t get much more flexible than that!

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless Water Heater, Natural Gas
274 Reviews
Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless Water Heater, Natural Gas
  • 140,000 BTU. Voltage: AC 120V
  • 6.6 GPM max flow rate. Water connection location- bottom
  • 4-Inch category III stainless steel venting required
  • Inlet, outlet thermistors for constant temperature monitoring
  • Energy factor of 0.81-0.83


The post RV Tankless Water Heater Buying Tips appeared first on Crow Survival.


RV Washer Dryer Buying Tips

Buying an RV is going to open up a world of adventure and opportunities for you that simply wouldn’t have existed with the “traditional” housing arrangement of renting an apartment or buying a home.

No longer are you tied to the physical real estate your property sits on top of, and instead you get to slide behind the wheel of your RV and lead as nomadic a lifestyle as you wish – driving up and down the coast, clear across the country, and even visiting other nations knowing that you are always going to have a nice, warm, safe place to stay whenever you decide to park.

At the same time, your RV is going to change your lifestyle more than you might expect – especially at first.

Sure, you’re obviously going into this purchase recognizing that your RV is going to require some sacrifices be made compared to the way that you have been living previously. The space available is considerably smaller, your house is going to have wheels and no permanent address, and even tackling things like finding electricity and plumbing hookups becomes a lot more challenging than it is with a home or apartment.

A lot of people don’t realize that even regular chores are going to change quite a bit with the purchase of an RV. Sure, RV appliances have gotten better and better as time goes – and today they represent major leaps forward in appliance technology that were once thought impossible just a decade or so ago – but you have to look at these appliances differently than you would when purchasing their traditional “big brother” setups for your home or apartment.

This is particularly true when you’re talking about RV washer and dryer setups.

Doing the Laundry on the Road Can Be a Challenge

Investing in a quality washer and dryer set up for your RV is going to dramatically improve your quality of life.

Not only will you be able to pop in a load of laundry at almost any time you want to, firing up the dryer even if your clothes are only wet from rain or snow, but you’ll also be able to avoid having to find expensive laundromats and be tied down to locations around those hotspots just to knock out these weekly chores.

Unfortunately, purchasing a top-tier RV washer and dryer set up is nowhere near as simple or as straightforward as getting your hands on these appliances for your home or apartment. They have different spatial requirements, utilize different types of technology to get the job done, and usually aren’t represented by the top-tier brands that you are used to shopping for when you’re looking at a traditional setup.

Thankfully though, by paying close attention to all of the inside information we share below, you’re going to have no trouble whatsoever finding the right RV washer and dryer for your needs.

We’ve put together a couple of quick tips and tricks to focus on while you conduct your research, couple of features and factors you’ll want to zero in on before you pull the trigger on this purchase, and even highlight a couple of the best washer and dryer options for RVs on the market today that you’ll want to look into.

Let’s dig right in!

Highlighting the Main Three Types of RV Washer and Dryer Setups

Right out of the gate, it’s important to recognize that while there are literally dozens and dozens of different washers and dryers to pick and choose from when you go shopping for these appliances there really are only three major types of washer and dryer design for RVs – and only really two major variations across all three of those setups.

This is going to help you narrow down your options significantly, saving you time, money, and energy as you look across all the options available. You’ll need to think about your own RV, how it is set up, the kinds of modifications needed to accommodate your new appliances, and a host of other issues will touch on in just a second. But by and large, you want to focus on finding the right washer and dryer of these three main types before you do anything else.

The three major types you’ll want to be on the lookout for are:

• Compact and Stackable Washer and Dryer Units
• Washer and Dryer Combination Units
• Portable Washer and Dryer Units

Each of these three types has their pros and cons (something we will dive into in just a second), but they also have two major variations across the board that will impact which RV washer or dryer you should purchase as well.

Those two variations are:

• Vented Systems and
• Non-vented Systems

Even though the technology for non-vented systems has improved significantly in just the last 15 years, by and large, you’ll want to get your hands on vented RV setups. They use a lot less power, they dry clothes a lot faster, and they aren’t going to use a lot of water along the way, either.

Vented models are going to require some modifications to your RV if appliance “cutouts” don’t already exist. That can be daunting to tackle all on your own and reasonably expensive to have professionals handle for you, which makes non-vented systems attractive. But if safety, efficiency, and long-term expenses are a priority you want to go with a vented set up.

Let’s get to the three major types of washer and dryer systems right now.

Compact and Stackable Washer and Dryer Units

Probably the most common of all the different RV washer and dryer units out there (especially in larger RVs), you’ll be able to wash and dry two separate loads of laundry in most of these solutions without any headache or hassle whatsoever.

The most similar of all the RV dryer and washer systems to the traditional units you have in your home or apartment (though always quite a bit smaller and significantly lighter), if you have the available real estate in your RV for these systems and want to be able to knock out larger loads of laundry at the same time this is the kind of technology you’ll want to shop for.


• You’ll be able to knock out larger loads of laundry had once with these appliances
• You can wash and dry loads of laundry at the same time
• You are going to get relatively quick and efficient results with this setup


• Definitely on the larger side of things when it comes to RV appliances
• Use a considerable amount of water
• Will require you to have access to sewer and water hookups for usage
• Are going to consume a decent amount of electricity

Washer and Dryer Combination Units

Relatively new, the overwhelming majority of new RVs that are being built with washer and dryer capabilities inside of them are taking advantage of these combination units – and it’s easy to see why.

Big on saving space, you get a singular appliance that handles double duty – both the washing and the drying of your laundry. Just a little bit smaller than a washer and dryer unit that can be combined or stacked on top of one another, because this is a singular appliance you actually get a little bit of extra room to do larger loads of laundry all at once.

Energy-efficient, water efficient, and automatically switching between washing and drying so that you only have to load and unload laundry just the one time, these are a little bit on the more expensive side of things but definitely provide you with the benefits you are looking for when out on the road.


• Relatively compact footprint as a single appliance
• About as easy to use as it gets
• As close to “set it and forget it” as you’re going to find in the RV appliance world
• Most modern RVs are already set up to use this technology
• Takes advantage of less resources to get the job done
• Available in both vented and non-vented setups
• Can run off of generator and holding tank resources


• Will take upwards of three hours to complete a single load of laundry
• Uses upwards of 20 gallons of water for a single load of laundry
• Isn’t going to operate efficiently if you overload it

Portable Washer and Dryer Units

Incredibly compact and easy to use, portable washer and dryer units are ideal for RVers that are going to be doing a bit of “dry camping” without reliable or consistent access to outside electricity.

Small, almost always non-vented, and taking advantage of a condensing system, you aren’t going to be able to do quite as much laundry with these portable systems all at once as you would with the other options but you are going to be able to knock out laundry relatively quickly even without having to have access to all kinds of extra resources.


• Will not require outside electricity sources
• Incredibly water and energy efficient
• About as compact as they get
• Very inexpensive
• Washes loads of laundry faster than you think


• Some of the best portable units require manual agitation
• Longevity is a concern
• Have to be “babysat” to knock out a full load of laundry

Highlighting Some of the Best RV Washer and Dryer Options

LG WM3997HWA Steam Washer/Dryer Combination

One of the best combination units money can buy today, you won’t go wrong getting your hands on the LG unit for your new RV.

Utilizing a lot of the same engineering and construction materials found in the traditional washers and dryers LG produces for homes and apartments, this space-saving unit is feature-rich, capable, and incredibly efficient. Some find that it doesn’t dry clothes as quickly as folks would hope, but it has the largest amount of control options, the largest amount of flexibility, and has a reputation for longevity and durability you won’t find anywhere else.

Splendide WD2100XC White Vented Combo Washer/Dryer

Another of the top-tier combination units that can go almost toe to toe with the LG unit we highlighted above, the oversized capacity of this still compact system is what makes this such an attractive purchase for RV owners.

You’re looking at a laundry set up in a single unit that can handle loads of laundry upwards of 15 pounds at once, running through a 10 wash cycle/3 dry cycle ratio set up that guarantees your clothes always come out quickly and completely clean.

Installation is simple and straightforward and the nearly silent operation of this set up makes it one of the most attractive systems for RV years that are serious about their nomadic adventures.

Splendide WD2100XC White Vented Combo Washer/Dryer
110 Reviews
Splendide WD2100XC White Vented Combo Washer/Dryer
  • Max Spin: 1200 RPM; Cycle: 10 wash/3 dry
  • Max Wash Capacity: 15 lbs.; Max Dry Capacity: 11 lbs.
  • Super-silent technology
  • Automatic water level control
  • Dimensions: 33-1/8" Height x 23-1/2" Width x 22-5/8" Depth

Panda Compact Combo Machine

If you don’t want to spend a small fortune on your RV appliances, but still want to be able to take advantage of outsized capabilities from a reliable system you know what isn’t going to fall apart while you are out on the open road, this Panda unit is well worth looking into.

Lightweight, easy to install, and super efficient the actual laundry load capabilities and capacity are a little bit limited compared to other options – but it handles washing and drying your clothes very, very quickly.

Best of all, it has a simple and straightforward control system and scheme you can flip through effortlessly though you do sacrifice some of the “set it and forget it” capabilities of the more digitized options on the market today.

KUPPET Portable Washing Machine, Compact Twin Tub Washer and Spin Dryer Combo for Apartment, Dorms, RVs, Camping and More, White&Blue, 17Ibs
230 Reviews
KUPPET Portable Washing Machine, Compact Twin Tub Washer and Spin Dryer Combo for Apartment, Dorms, RVs, Camping and More, White&Blue, 17Ibs
  • 🧥

    Quick & Easy Clean - Our mini compact twin tub washing machine, which is prefer for doing laundry in a compact environment. it's very easy to operate, allows you to simply put in your load of clothes, fill with water, set the timer and start washing, completely suitable for dorms, apartment, RV's, camping.
  • 👖

    Large Capacicy - Feature the twin tub dual function design can save your precious time by washing and spinning dry loads at the same capacity:17lbs(washer:10lbs,spin cycle:7lbs).saving so much time that you don't have to go to a laundry mat or wash things by hand in the tub.
  • 🧣

    Timer Control & Powerful Performance - Our washing machine has separate timer control settings for washer and spinner operations.washer timer for 15 min and the spin timer to 5 minutes per load,this unit features a 1300RPM powerful motor with a max frequency of 60Hz,very save your time to clean clothes!
  • 🧤

    Drain out Easily - This machine features a drainage tube which allows you to easily drain out dirty water.drainage tube dimensions:2.8",suitable for most apartments. what's more,less water and detergent used which leads you for money saving, easy storage and space saving.
  • 🧦

    Washing Capacity & Specifications - Total capacity is 17lbs,washer:10 lbs,spin cycle:7 lbs.overall dimensions:29.9*15.9*25inches.power supply: 110v/60hz,rated wash input power:240w,rated dry input power:360w.ideal for small loads and delicate, lightweight and easily moveable.

Closing Thoughts

At the end of the day, if you are on the hunt for a top-tier RV washer and dryer set up hopefully you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for with the help of all the inside information we have outlined above.

Focus on the real estate availability you have inside of your RV, whether you want to go with a vented or non-vented system, and the kind of budget you are working with – while looking at three options we highlighted above – and you’ll have zero difficulties whatsoever getting your hands on a new RV washer and dryer system that makes life out on the open road a lot more enjoyable!

The post RV Washer Dryer Buying Tips appeared first on Crow Survival.


Thursday, 22 November 2018

The RV Black Water Tank Complete Guide

RV black water tank is one of the quintessential installations. It serves an important purpose of holding and subsequently removing the unavoidable human waste from your recreation vehicle. As unpleasant and yucky the topic may be, you have to understand everything about an RV black water tank. No one wants a disaster in the making and there will be one if you are not familiar with an imperative component of your RV lifestyle.

RV Black Water Tank’s

As integral as it is, you can avoid the whole premise of using or even having an RV black water tank. There are many people who prefer to camp in places that have private or public bathrooms. Having access to such facilities, even if it requires a short drive or hike may suffice for some people. There can be more than one reason for preferring such access or facilities. Not everyone is comfortable dealing with an RV black water tank, especially emptying it from time to time. Many people simply prefer a more traditional bathroom than the compact one in a recreational vehicle. Some may not like the idea of using the bathroom in a vehicle that is so close to the living quarter, bedroom and kitchen. It is as normal to not use an RV black water tank as it is to have one and use it every time. A solid and liquid waste holding tank should not only be emptied but also cleaned at regular intervals.

There are two types of tanks used in a recreational vehicle. These are gray and black water tanks. An RV gray water tank captures and holds the water drained down from the sinks and showers. This is also basically waste matter but mostly water and includes everything from dirt to residues of soap and other products. The choice of the word gray is because of the color of the waste. An RV black water tank captures or accumulates and holds waste from the toilet. The choice of the word black is owing to the obvious reason.

An RV black water tank holds liquid and solid waste. The gray tank rarely holds solid waste. Even if it does, it is inadvertent as some solid matter may get drained down the sink or during a shower. The RV black water tank holds human waste and also water that is flushed down the toilet. It also holds toilet paper. An RV black water tank should have a proper base. The internal surface at the bottom of the tank cannot be bare. There is a reason why toilets have some water in them when not in use. The water prevents the waste from sticking to the material. The water also traps foul odor so it does not spread and contaminate the bathroom, possibly nearby rooms. This is crucial in case of a recreational vehicle as it is already a small space and any odor will easily spread all around.

An RV black water tanks should not only have some water at the base but also some chemicals. There are many types of chemicals available today. These are mostly in the form of liquid and they can be flushed down the toilet without any waste to accumulate at the base of the tank. These chemicals serve two important purposes. You do not have to use more than one suitable chemical for both functions. The first function of the chemical is to facilitate the breakdown of human waste, including solid and liquid matter, and other materials such as toilet paper. The second function is to ensure the odor does not spread beyond the tank, up the drainpipe and through the toilet upwards to contaminate the bathroom. You may choose chemicals that can not only treat the waste but also have some scent to combat the problem of odor. You can choose eco-friendly chemicals these days.

The most challenging aspect of an RV black water tank is emptying it. This is unavoidable. Unless you have the money to pay a technician to service your entire recreational vehicle including the emptying of the tank, you have to do it yourself and it can be quite an unpleasant experience if you do not have the know-how. First, you should find a place where you are legally permitted to dump the waste from the tank. You will need a waste hose that should be connected to the tank in your recreational vehicle. Every manufacturer has a recommended waste hose for their tanks. You must not use any incompatible hose. Else, a disaster is waiting to happen. Choose a dump station and then set up the waste hose, securing it properly and double checking the apparatus to ensure it is absolutely fine.

Your recreational vehicle will need a gray water tank, regardless of your preference of using or not using the toilet facility and hence having or not having the black water tank. The gray water tank must also be emptied from time to time. You can empty the gray water tank at every dump station where the black water tank can be emptied. You should empty both the tanks at the dump station whenever you swing by one or when you know the tanks are sufficiently loaded. Always empty the RV black water tank before the gray water tank. The actual act of emptying is quite simple really. Secure the hose and then open the valve that will let the waste out. Close the same valve after the black water tank has been emptied and then turn on the valve of the gray water tank.

You may wonder why the RV black water tank should be emptied before. This is to use the comparatively cleaner water out of the gray water tank to flush out any waste that may remain in the hose. The gray water is definitely going to be cleaner than the black solid and liquid waste. A bit of this waste getting stuck or lining the inside of the hose is not only natural but also obvious. Since gray water tank has mostly water, it is emptied quickly and the waste gushes out so to speak. This pressured emptying gets to wash the inside of the hose to a large extent.

This does not mean you do not have to flush the RV black water tank. You must clean and flush it after emptying the tank. There is a possibility of some leftover waste in the tank. Some of the waste may clog parts of the tank. All modern tanks have sensors indicating if they are nearly or completely full. These sensors may not work properly if you do not clean and flush the RV black water tank. Flushing is also crucial to avoid buildup of waste that may not get emptied on its own. Your recreational vehicle may have a valve that can be used to flush the black water tank. You will have to use a hose and a rinse valve will run water through it to flush the entire tank. This is the simpler way to flush an RV black water tank.

Your recreational vehicle may not have a flush and rinse valve. You can install one if you want. There is no dearth of aftermarket options to upgrade. Ideally, you should have the flush valve as this feature can make life simpler, easier and more comfortable. If you cannot have a flush valve for whatever reason, the only other options is manual cleaning. You cannot avoid cleaning and flushing the RV black water tank. You may get a professional specializing in it to do the job.

Some of the companies that make RV black water tank also manufacture cleaning essentials. There are hoses, extensions and rinsing tools. You can use some of these products to clean and flush your RV black water tank. Make sure you have a reliable source of water. The water supply should have sufficient pressure to effectively clean and flush the tank. You need to clean the entire tank, not just the base. The sides and the top of the chamber must also be cleaned effectively. The water has to be sprayed at a substantial pressure to scrape waste off the surface.

You will have to empty the tank again after you have cleaned and flushed it. This will again require you to drive over to a dump station unless you are doing the cleaning and flushing then and thereafter emptying the tank and getting rid of the waste the first time. There are times when recreational vehicles are on a long exploration and the tanks cannot be emptied anywhere due to lack of access to sewer hookups or dump stations. This necessitates using a portable waste tank. Such waste tanks are basically a backup. You can empty the RV black water tank and the gray water tank into the portable waste tanks and they can be dumped at appropriate places. These tanks come with wheels so they can be moved around to get to the dump site.

An Introduction to the Best RV Black Water Tanks

39000 Rhino

Camco has several RV black water tanks. The 39000 Rhino model has a capacity of fifty gallons. It is a heavy duty portable waste holding tank for recreational vehicles. It comes with a hose and other accessories. The tank is durable and leak free. It is an odorless tote tank priced at $106.41. There are variants with larger capacities. You may go for twenty-one gallons priced at $142.12 or twenty-eight gallons priced at $180.40. You may also want to buy the 90 Degree Tote Tank Adapter and RhinoFLEX Tote Tank Sewer Hose Kit. Camco offers an inclusive kit. You will have all the essentials to manage the black water tank.

The drain hole is quite low so emptying is more effective. The interior has a smooth finish so cleaning, flushing, and rinsing is easy. The tank has an integrated rinse feature. There is a hook that can be used to clamp the tank on to the ladder of a recreational vehicle or camper when it is not in use. The tank is made of durable and leak-proof material. There is a warranty for two years. the box comes with three inches sewer hose, bayonet, lug fittings, fifteen inches water hose rinse adapter, clear double bayonet elbow with four in one adapter, three storage caps, steel tow adapter and two caps with lanyards to facilitate the rinse connections.


Tote-N-Stor has a portable waste tank. The 25608 model has a capacity of twenty-five gallons. Tote-N-Stor has a listed price of $146.58. You will get thirty-six inches long three inches drain hose, a tow bracket, and a hose clamp. The tank is completely assembled when delivered. It has a rugged and hence durable construction. It has rubber wheels so carrying it around is easy and also quiet.


Barker has a tote tank of thirty gallons capacity. The 31342 model is priced at $210.25 but you may get a discount. There are variants, starting from a capacity of five gallons through ten gallons and then fifteen gallons and twenty-two gallons. It is made of blow molded polyethylene and has zinc plated steel brackets. There are heavy duty wheels, bayonet fittings, a five inches sewer hose, and garden cap hose, hose adapters and bayonet cap, adjustable clamps made of stainless steel and a drain hose.


RecPro makes an RV black water tank. It is also suitable for campers and trailers. The capacity is forty-four and a half gallons. It is one of the highest rated RV black water tanks on Amazon right now. Priced at $179.95, the tank has a uniform thickness and is hence more reliable and durable than some of the other molded tanks. This model is much better than thermoformed tanks. RecPro has adhered to the standards stipulated by International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials and Canadian Standards Association to make this tank that is twenty-five inches wide, sixty-three inches long and just over nine inches high.

Some other options are Custom Roto-Molding H42 RV Holding Tank, RecPro Fresh and Gray Water Holding Tank and Icon 437 Bottom Drain Holding Tank.

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RV Bike Rack Things to Consider

There’s no doubt about it. Traveling in an RV can be one of the most rewarding experiences, especially when you’re RVing with your family and loved ones. The opportunities to see unique places, visit stunning beaches and beautiful mountains, are just some of the adventures that await you. Having a bike to pedal your way through these paths is even more fun. Since the inside space in most RVs is limited, the perfect solution is to buy an RV bike rack to accommodate your bikes.

Selecting an RV bike rack involves finding the one that suits all your needs. The perfect bike rack would be compatible with your RV and your bikes should fit the bike rack as well. Thus, the key to finding the best fit is doing a thorough research, asking questions, and studying your own bikes. We know you’d rather prefer having fun in your RV than doing tons of research, that’s why we’ve done the hard task for you. In this article, we’ll be revealing everything you need to know when choosing an RV bike rack as well as some of the best one’s available today.

Choosing the Best Bike Rack for Your RV

The process of selecting a bike rack for your RV starts with knowing the requirements of your RV. Will you be mounting it in the front? How many bikes will you be carrying on your trips? If mounted at the front, won’t it affect your driving? Do bikes have similar styles and sizes? Will you be using them often or just occasionally? These are some of the questions that you’ll have to answer.

There are three styles of bike racks you’ll find in the market today. Each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages and you’ll have to choose one depending on your requirements.

Bumper Mounted Racks

This type of bike rack is perfect for those who have a square bumper and are not traveling with more than one or two bikes. It can be easily adjusted so that your bike doesn’t serve as a restrictive factor when driving. You should, however, be aware that bumper mounted racks are mostly suited for RVs that are made with steel with a wield that spans the entire length of the bumper.

A bumper mounted rack also allows you to carry up to 2 or 4 bikes, allows for optimum strength and doesn’t require a lot of effort to install. It also makes accessibility easy for children or people who are shorter. Before choosing bumper mounted bike racks, be sure to consider the type of journey you’ll be embarking on, the road, the parking space, and how good your own driving skills are.

Ladder-Mounted Bike Racks

This is one of the easiest solutions to taking your bike with you during an RV trip. Just as its name suggests, the ladder mounted rack is fitted on the ladder at the rear of your RV. Your bikes, which can be up to two or more, are then held in place with their front tires facing vertically facing down. It provides a secure set-up for your bikes especially when you’re parking or when your RV hits obstacles on the road.

Ladder mounted bike racks are also quite fast and easy to install for those who have the upper body strength to fix it in place on the ladder. However, the biggest disadvantage is its height as kids and shorter people won’t be able to gain easy access to the bikes. Another disadvantage is that you need to have a ladder on your RV and for those who have a ladder, you’ll need to dismount it whenever you need to use the ladder for another purpose.

Hitch-Mounted Racks

Hitch mounted racks are the best solution when it comes to RV and bike racks. It has a unique design and can easily accommodate up to 4 bikes. There are usually two styles; platform mount, or hanging. Your choice of hitch mount style will depend on your RV and your bike design. The biggest advantage of hitch mounted bike rack is its ability to fit easily with other vehicles. You can easily dismount them from your RV and transfer them to a truck or other vehicle. It can be very useful when you are using your RV to tow your car, the hitch can be detached from your RV and gotten onto the car with ease.

Now that you understand how to choose a bike rack that fits the requirements of your RV and bike styles, let’s look at some of the best RV bike racks available today.

Swagman RV Ladder Rack

We start with one of the most popular brands in this category, Swagman. Swagman is one of the top manufacturers of RV bikes racks and is trusted by many users. However, if your RV does not have a ladder or its ladder is on the side, then this is probably not the type of bike rack you’re looking for.

The Swagman RV Ladder Rack can accommodate up to two bikes, provided their individual weights are not more than 35 pounds. This simply means that the maximum load this rack is designed for is 70 pounds. It is also known to be lightweight and corrosion-resistant as it is made of aluminum.

The rack also has a unique hook design which makes installing it quite easily. When installing it, fit it on the top rung, so the tires of your bikes won’t be touching the ground when hung on the rack. The rack also comes with straps which allow you to secure the bikes after hanging them. This will ensure you enjoy your trip without the fear of your bikes falling off from the back.

As is the case with most Swagman products, the bike rack gives you peace of mind as it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Swagman Traveler XC2-RV 2 Bike Carrier

The name “Swagman” appears again on our list and with good reason. The brand is one of the best in the market, and all their products justify their dedication and have helped maintain their reputation. The Traveler XC2-RV 2 Bike Carrier is also one of the products that do this great job. We are not surprised though, this rack also has a limited lifetime warranty from the company.

The rack mounts on 4 – 4.5-inch bumpers which makes use of the bumper adaptor. It also works with a class III hitch receiver when it is not used with the bumper adaptor. Thus, it gives you more than one choice in terms of mounting. This may not seem as much, but it is very useful in cases when you need to use every single space available.

The Swagman Traveler can take up to two bikes, with a maximum designed load of 70 pounds. The rack mounts horizontally which means you won’t have to disengage the wheel. Because of this, the rack has a sliding wheel that can hold any wheel within 20 to 29 inches. It also has racket arms which can be adjusted to allow them to hold onto the bike.

Swagman 2-Bike RV Bumper Rack

This rack does exactly what its name says, and even more. It falls in our category of bumper-mounted racks and works perfectly with square bumpers with 4 – 4.5 inches. It installs around the bumper using a 6.5 and 8-inch long bolts. With a frame made from heavy-duty steel, it can handle and survive huge amounts of stress. It is also painted in black color and powder-coated which makes it corrosion-resistant. The bolts used to fasten it in place too are not left out as they are also made with heavy duty steel.

As you may have likely guessed, the Swagman 2-Bike RV Bumper Rack can carry up to two bikes, but individual weights of each must not be more than 30 pounds. It can accommodate just about any bike design, including mountain, road, hybrids bikes, and also bikes of different frames and wheel sizes. There is also an upright bar in the center which helps to prevent your bikes from falling during towing.

The cable lock provides additional support and helps to prevent wobbling. Considering its features and qualities, and comparing the price of this bike rack with others, the Swagman 2-Bike RV Bumper Rack is a steal.

Surco 501BR Ladder Mounted Bike Rack

Another top bike rack on our list is the Surco 501BR Ladder Mounted Bike Rack. Made from heavy gauge aluminum, it has a smooth feel due to the satin finish around its body. It is suitable for any van with a ladder that has a tube of at least 1-inch on it. It ensures the ladder is accessible without the need to unmount it every time. It can hold up to two bikes with ease and there are no exact limits for the maximum load, although you have to be careful the amount of load you hang on it. The rubber cradles on the rack allow you to securely fit in your bikes, with flexible rubber straps also available for you to hold them in place. Considering all the features it comes with, the Surco 501BR is a cheap bike rack.

Swagman Mighty Rack

Swagman has dominated our list of the best RV bike racks and another product on our list is the Swagman Mighty Rack. The Swagman Mighty Rack is the perfect choice for those who are interested in keeping their ladder on their RV. It does this in a simple, but ingenious way. The rack mounts around the spare of your RV and onto the bumper. Even when you don’t have a spare tire, you can still use the rack. You’ll only need to mount it straight onto the bumper.

The installation is quite straightforward too and only involves positioning it around your spare and then locking in the U-bolts around the bumper with a lock washer which keeps it from coming loose, and a nut. In case you need access to the spare, all you have to do is take out the pins that hold the upright bars of the bike rack and heave them off. You don’t need to be an expert to be able to hook it up, everything you need, including; bolts, U-bolts, nuts, washers, etc. are supplied with your purchase.

The rack can accommodate two bikes, each with a weight of 35 pounds – a total of 70 pounds maximum weight. The J-hooks supplied with the rack helps you to secure your bikes, and hold them down with the handles. If you don’t want to completely eliminate wobbling, just use the straps provided and tighten them around the frame.

Accessories to Complement Your Bike Rack

While your bike rack may have all the features you need, it can still fall short during certain periods. The weather, for example, can suddenly change and cause damage to your bike. Just as rain or mud stick to your RV, they can also cling to your bikes. One of the easiest solutions to this is the use of a bike cover. You can purchase a bike cover at a low cost and save your bikes from getting damaged. Most bike covers are big enough to accommodate two or more bicycles. If the safety of your bike is your major concern, you can purchase a lock and chain to secure each bike.

Pedal Your Way through Adventures

When it comes to carrying bikes along with you on your RV travels, bike racks make it a dauntless task. Whether it is a ladder mounted, bumper mounted, or hitch mounted bike rack, you have to decide depending on your needs. Be sure to check out the strength of your ladder, bumper, as well as other areas to ensure that they are safe for mounting.
As with any product, searching for the best takes a bit of time and requires some patience. We hope we have been able to shed some light into choosing bike racks to suit your purpose. Now, the adventures await you. Happy RVing!

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RV Propane Regulator’s What You Need to Know

A propane tank requires a regulator. The propane regulator is just as important, if not more, as the propane system in your recreational vehicle. The entire apparatus is tasked with making the ambiance comfortable for all occupants. The propane tank also serves other purposes including but not limited to power appliances. Propane or liquefied petroleum gas is flammable and hence the job of the RV propane regulator is extremely significant. It is integral to your safety and the recreational vehicle itself including every installation inside and outside.

RV Propane Regulator

Propane powers appliances and heats water for a hot shower. Propane heats water for dishwashing and other purposes. It keeps the indoors warm and cozy. The propane regulator is an integral part of the entire system. There are two types of propane regulators. There are variants but the two categories are the broad and primary classification.

An RV propane regulator controls the pressure in two distinct stages. One stage reduces the pressure down to ten or at the most fifteen pounds per square inch. The pressure is much higher inside the propane tank, usually two hundred and fifty pounds per square inch if not more. The other stage regulates the flow of propane through the system. This is usually regulated at around eleven water column inches. This is the standard flow of propane in recreational vehicles, especially for appliances. To facilitate the two stages of regulation, an RV propane regulator has one component segregating the tank from the entire system.

An RV propane regulator assures safety and also ensures the appliances work as they should. A malfunctioning regulator will make your recreational vehicle unsafe. An issue with the regulator will make the ambiance uncomfortable. Glitches will render your appliances ineffective. The appliances will not function if the pressure is not optimally regulated and this is regardless of how much propane you have in the tank. Despite the significant role of an RV propane regulator, it does not cost much and you can get durable, reliable and efficient models priced at around thirty bucks. You may pay less if there is a discount.

An RV propane regulator does not require professional installation. You do not need many tools, albeit the components are necessary to complete the installation. You should know that some manufacturers do not provide the screws and other components that are needed to install the regulator. You may have to buy them separately. Some manufacturers include everything in the box. If you are unsure of the installation process and do not wish to test the waters, you can hire a professional or you can get someone who knows to simply plug the device in. The whole process is quite simple.

You should get familiar with the various features of an RV propane regulator. The device is not complicated so getting accustomed to the inlet & outlet, the vents, and the docking mechanism will be sufficient. An RV propane regulator should be covered. You can get plastic covers specifically designed and made for such regulators. Many new recreational vehicles have the cover. Older models do not always have it so you must buy one. Buy a new cover. Do not use a damaged or cracked cover.

It is necessary to accept the reality that an RV propane regulator will not last a lifetime. Most regulators work well in the first ten years. Some of the better models run well for fifteen years or so. You will have to replace the regulator thereafter. It is possible for a regulator to have issues during the first few years. Some issues can be addressed with timely repairs.

A few issues can be averted if you follow the instructions of the manufacturer and do not tamper with the regulator in any unnecessary manner. It is best to replace a malfunctioning regulator that cannot be fixed. Do not continue using one that is having problems. Never compromise on safety. Most people replace an RV propane regulator when it is old enough and starts having some symptoms of wearing out. It is always better to replace an RV propane regulator before it breaks down.

An RV propane regulator operates in a simple manner. There is a regulator valve. It should be turned off when you are filling the propane tank. Turn the valve back on when the tank is full. Do not keep the valve turned off after the tank has been filled. If you find the appliances are not working after you have just filled your propane tank, then it is perhaps owing to the regulator valve. People do forget to turn it back on. The technician servicing the tank and filling it up with liquefied petroleum gas can also turn the valve on if you ask.

Many recreational vehicles have more than one propane tank. You may have two but you do not need more than one RV propane regulator. You can use an automatic dual tank regulator with a changeover feature. You will be able to use one propane tank at a time. These regulators have a lever. You can use the lever to access the propane in one tank and when it has run out of liquefied petroleum gas you can switch the lever to the other tank and everything will function as they should.

Having two propane tanks makes sense since you do not want to run out of gas and hence heat and power in the middle of nowhere. All you have to do is make sure both tanks are filled and the one emptied is filled at the first opportunity you get. It is needless to switch the lever from one tank to another when neither is empty. Some people may want to alternate but it is not necessary.

Propane or liquefied petroleum gas is infused with a distinct odor. There may be times when you will smell the odor. The odor is always concealed inside the tank and the hoses or pipes. You should not get to smell it unless there is a leak or an appliance is unable to keep the gas in check while using it or being powered by it. Try to find the source of the gas leak. Shut off the valves, turn off the supply of propane from the tanks, shut down all appliances and also make sure there is no other source of the odor, from cigarettes or a campfire, grills or other methods of cooking and steaming. Find the problem and address it fittingly before you resume using the propane tank, the gas itself or any of the appliances and luxuries powered by liquefied petroleum gas.

An RV propane regulator is not always treated as significantly as the recreational vehicle or the tank. It is actually as important as the vehicle, its engine or transmission, the furniture you have inside, the various essential and non-essential components among other fixtures. Stay abreast about safety, functions and timely actions regarding your RV propane regulator.

The Best RV Propane Regulators


UFPD has a two-stage RV propane regulator. It comes with two pigtail hoses. It is one of the highest rated regulators for recreational vehicles on Amazon right now. The regulator works with two propane tanks. It has an auto changeover feature. You do not need to switch a lever when one tank is empty and you need to access the second tank. The regulator can detect an empty tank and automatically switch to the full tank for continuous flow of gas and hence functioning of all the connected or powered appliances and features in your recreational vehicle. You can also remove the propane tank or cylinder that has been emptied without removing the regulator and hence interrupting the supply. The box has two twelve inches pigtail hoses.

Marshall Excelsior

Marshall Excelsior has a two-stage propane regulator for recreational vehicles. The MEGR-253 model is compatible with an inlet pressure of a maximum of two hundred and fifty pounds per square inch. The regulator has a quarter of an inch female inverted flare inlet connection, a three-eighth of an inch female national pipe thread outlet connection and raw zinc powder coated exterior. Marshall Excelsior has another model MEGR-253H with an auto change feature. The model has a full warranty from the manufacturer.


Fairview has an RV propane regulator, also for campers, with a capacity of handling over two hundred and sixty thousand British thermal units per hour. The two-stage automatic propane regulator has two fifteen inches QCC Acme pigtails. The standard low pressure of propane is eleven inches water column. Those unfamiliar with the specific method of installation should get a service technician to take care of it. This RV propane regulator can be hooked up with two tanks. It will automatically switch from the empty tank to the one that still has propane without interrupting the supply. The box does not include the mounting screws. Available now from Amazon.


Camco has a double or two stage RV propane regulator with auto changeover. This works with two propane tanks and can switch conveniently and timely from the empty tank to the full tank. The regulator is effective at maintaining a constant pressure. Camco sells this RV propane regulator at $40.99. You may get a discount on Amazon, bringing the price down to $31.07. You may save one more buck with an online coupon. You can refill the empty propane tank or cylinder without affecting the operation of the regulator and accessing the gas in the other tank. The box includes an inverted flare inlet and female pipe thread outlet connections. The switchover from primary tank to reserve tank is instantaneous. The capacity handled by the RV propane regulator is two hundred and ten thousand British thermal units per hour for the primary tank and a hundred and thirty thousand British thermal units per hour for the reserve tank.

RV Propane System Parts, Fittings and Accessories

Just as you must be familiar with an RV propane regulator and choose a reliable one, you should be aware of the various parts, fittings, and accessories required for a propane system to be fully functional and efficient. You will need a propane adapter kit or individual components such as the adapter tee, valve and extension hose, assembly hose, pigtail hoses, cylinder or tank adapter, pigtail flares, connector kit with the shutoff valve, nuts and screws, low pressure hose, distribution post, storage bag, plugs, pipe threads, converter and other fittings for appliances.

There are many types of fittings used in a propane system. All such fittings have female and male ends. There is no one size that fits all. You must choose appropriate fittings depending on the configuration of the system you have in your recreational vehicle. A standard RV propane regulator will be suitable for all propane systems unless there is something truly unique in your setup. Propane tanks are standardized, regardless of their capacity but you should know about the various types of fittings. For starters, you can read about Type 1 or ACME fitting, POL fitting, Male Disposable Cylinder Port, Female Disposable Cylinder Port, Male Inverted Flare, Female Inverted Flare, Male NPT, Female NPT, Male Quick-Disconnect, Female Quick-Disconnect, and Flare Fitting.

These are simple components of the propane system. You should be familiar with these as you will have to buy most of them at some point in time. All these components should be perfectly compatible with the system. Compromising the quality of fittings will make your system unsafe. You will be unable to use most of the incompatible fittings so buying them will be a futile expenditure that you must avoid at all times. Some incompatible fittings may seem to work in a system and you may be oblivious to the fact that the system is not safe with such components. If you are ever in doubt, consult a technician or you can contact the company whose fittings you are purchasing just to be sure that you are choosing the perfectly compatible fitting.

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The Best RV Dishwasher A Complete Guide

There are a few quintessential elements for a satiating lifestyle pivoting around a recreational vehicle. An RV dishwasher is not always deemed to be a must-have item, but it is a significant time saver and is something you might want to seriously consider purchasing, at the very least for the convenience factor.

Some people never really cook and prefer using disposable plates, cups, glasses, and cutlery. If you do not intend to use dishes, pots, and pans, then you should not buy an RV dishwasher. The installation will add to the weight of your vehicle. It is also futile to have an appliance that you will never or rarely use.

However, most people consider the kitchen in a recreational vehicle to be incomplete without a dishwasher.

Overview of an RV Dishwasher

RV dishwashers are lighter and portable than the standard models used in residential kitchens. There is no dearth of brands or variants so you will not be tied down to a couple of options. An RV dishwasher is not a miniature or basic version of state of the art dishwasher. You will find multiple place settings and enough capacity for a single load.

There are models that can easily accommodate plates that are as much as eleven inches wide. RV dishwashers are sturdy and durable appliances. However, you should be conscious of the fact that the water can quite hot, at times well over a hundred and fifty degrees, so exercise caution. The usual detergents used in such dishwashers are also quite powerful.

Before you delve into the specifications, advanced features and the prices of different models of dishwashers made by all major and lesser-known brands, you should have a comprehensive understanding of your needs as they may be quite common or rather distinct. The size of the kitchen and the countertop in your recreational vehicle, the frequency of use, the load you must take care of and other factors must be weighed in even before you set out to compare different models.

An RV dishwasher needs a water source and power. A countertop model may need around three to four gallons of water for a single full load. A more compact dishwasher may consume up to twelve gallons of water. A relatively small dishwasher will need a power of around twelve hundred and fifty watts through a standard hundred and twenty volts source.

An RV dishwasher should be quieter than one you may have at your home, especially if you are exploring remote places and do not want the noise to affect the ambiance. You must check the noise ratings for the dishwashers during a holistic comparison. Some dishwashers have hot air or steam issues so you have to ensure the exhaust fan is turned on before you start operating the appliance.

You must also remember to winterize the RV dishwasher. The appliance has pumps and uses hot water so it will have to be prepped to deal with freezing temperatures. Many people travel far into the wilderness and often tread up north to places where the mercury can dip dramatically in the evening and remain at uncomfortable lows through the night. You do not want a crisis when you are on the move. Winterize the dishwasher. Portable countertop dishwashers can be uninstalled or simply removed and you can use it indoors if you want.

Choosing a Suitable RV Dishwasher

You will definitely want a compact but efficient RV dishwasher. It should be compatible with your recreational vehicle. If you have an old one, then look for an appliance that can be a suitable retrofit. There are several prerequisites you need to consider before you choose a suitable model.

Consider how frequently you will use the appliance, whether or not you will wash pans and pots, if you need multiple place settings, how much counter space you can allot and the kind of water you can provide, if you need the plates to air dry or you want to use heat and if you will be cleaning glassware and China.

There are three types of RV dishwasher. One is countertop and another is compact. The third type is dishwasher drawer. It is quite popular among owners of recreational vehicle. None of these variants or types is a natural fit for all vehicles. They have their advantages and disadvantages. You must choose one that satiates your needs and delivers a performance that you will be content with.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Countertop RV Dishwasher

A countertop RV dishwasher is simple and quite easy to use. It can be installed anywhere on the counter as long as it is possible to connect it to a water source. Connecting it to a power source is easier. Most people prefer to install this variant next to the sink. It gets easier to connect to the water source and drainage also becomes simpler. Countertop variants are not expensive and professional installation is not necessary. Typical countertop dishwashers are as large as a big microwave.

A countertop RV dishwasher can take up substantial space on the counter. Recreational vehicles have compact counters. Some smaller models have very little counter space. Countertop models are also heavier than other variants so they will add some considerable weight. The weight and size make these a little hard to quickly move around and you may not be able to store it anywhere in the vehicle when you do not intend to use it. Many people do not have a storage plan. Do not make this mistake.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Compact RV Dishwasher

A compact or slimline RV dishwasher takes much less space. They are noticeably quieter. You can remove a cabinet or drawer from the kitchen in your recreational vehicle to install this appliance. A typical model requires just eighteen inches of space. These models are not absolutely basic as you can get multiple place settings.

One common problem of such models is water consumption. You will also need the appliance to be plumbed and wired into your vehicle. This is a built-in model so it will need to have a discharge and must be connected to the grey tank. The variant also needs professional installation.

Advantages and Disadvantages of RV Dishwasher Drawer

RV dishwasher drawer does not need much space. It is a rather cool and trendy appliance. It is more popular among owners of high-end recreational vehicles. Many brands now offer both countertop and drawer models. An RV dishwasher drawer will not consume over four gallons of water. These models can wash and dry. Typically, you can get as many as six place settings.

An RV dishwasher drawer needs professional installation. Not every recreational vehicle will find this option to be appropriate if the connections are not there. You should ensure that your recreational vehicle will be able to host this appliance, primarily with regards to space and connections.

General Tips for Buyers

You should have a checklist including sources of water and power, drainage and possible discharge into the grey tank. You should have a storage plan. Unless you take good care and are always alert, you may have a frozen dishwasher during winter if there is leftover or residual water inside.

You can buy an RV dishwasher online or offline. The best place to shop for such an appliance is Amazon. You will get access to all major brands and some of the companies you may not know of but which are just as good as the more popular manufacturers. You will also get to read what fellow recreational vehicle owners have to say about the various models.

The Best RV Dishwashers


EdgeStar has more than one type or variant of RV dishwasher. The DWP62SV model is a countertop dishwasher with six place settings. The Energy Star rated dishwasher is portable and comes in three colors: silver, black and white. It is presently one of the highest rated RV dishwashers on Amazon.

The six place settings include a rack for dishes, a shelf for cups and a basket for cutlery. You can wash plates as big as ten and a half inches in diameter. The RV dishwasher is around seventeen inches high, twenty-two inches wide and twenty inches deep. There are seven wash cycles. The adapter is compatible with standard faucets.

There is a digital display, the interior is of stainless steel, the design makes it suitable for most cabinets and water consumption for a normal wash is just short of three gallons. The EdgeStar model runs on 1160 W or 10.7 A power with an input voltage of 120 V or 60 Hz. It has a noise level of 52.3dB. There is a warranty on parts valid for a year and on labor for ninety days.


DELLA has a portable and compact countertop dishwasher for recreational vehicles and small kitchens at homes. The model comes in black and silver. It has six place settings and a basket for silverware. The appliance is capable of reliable and effective performance. The interior is of stainless steel, there is a powerful spray arm and the model is heat proof for up to a hundred and forty-eight degrees.

Della markets the product is compatible with small and compact kitchens in houses or apartments, boats or yachts, and recreational vehicles. The appliance is easy to use. Filling it up with detergent and the rinse aid dispensers are easy operations. There is an LED display highlighting the cycle and its progress. There is a signal when the cycle ends. There is a control panel with light indicators for power, start and end of the program, a selector for programs and wash cycles, buttons for start or pause and delay, an indicator for water faucet and warning light for rinse aid. We found a deal on Della here.


HOmeLabs has a portable and compact RV dishwasher. It is actually a mini RV dishwasher, also suitable for small homes and offices. The model comes with stainless steel interior and six place settings including a rack and basket for silverware. The countertop model takes little space and looks rather sleek. It comes in white only as of now. The light dishwasher comes with light indicators and a control panel providing a program selector, as many as six wash cycles to choose from and a delay option.

The six wash cycles are normal, heavy, glass, speed, eco and rinse. This RV dishwasher comes with the accessories needed to set it up. You do not need any tools to install the appliance. The box includes inlet and drain hose, faucet adapter and removable aerators. It has a rinse aid dispenser to dry glass, mugs, and plates without streaks or marks. There is an indicator to alert you when you must refill the dispenser. The mini dishwasher is only seventeen inches by just short of twenty inches by twenty-two inches. We found a deal on HOmeLabs.


EdgeStar has a BIDW1801BL model which is more suited for those who use larger plates. The Energy Star rated RV dishwasher is eighteen inches wide, twenty-two inches deep and almost thirty-three inches high. It has eight place settings and comes in black or stainless steel color. There are a cup tray and silverware basket. There are two dish racks that can be pulled out. There are six wash cycles including normal, heavy, light, speed, glass and rinse. The appliance has light indicators and produces buzzer sounds at the end of a wash cycle.


Furrion makes a compact RV dishwasher made of stainless steel. The FDW18SAS-SS model is durable. It has electronic controls that can be operated with a light touch. All these controls are integrated. The interior is of stainless steel, so is the front that makes the appliance look quite posh. There are sturdy racks making loading efficient and the dishes are secured. There is a wash cycle for glasses. The model is quite effective at handling glassware, even when it accounts for the full load.

There are other brands and models of RV dishwasher, on Amazon and elsewhere. You can compare as many as you want to find the most suitable variant.

The post The Best RV Dishwasher A Complete Guide appeared first on Crow Survival.


Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Living Big in These 12 Spacious Teardrop Trailers

So, the roadtrippin’ adventurer in you wants you to buy a teardrop-shaped trailer.  And why not?  Not only are you leaving just a small footprint on this world compared to a conventional RV (recreational vehicle for the uninitiated), it’s compact enough to easily fit the tightest parking spot.  An average-sized teardrop trailer is only about 5’ tall and 10 ft length.  And that’s not a lot of room, is it?  Your bathroom at home could be way bigger than that.  You’re thinking that the teardrop should, at the very least, accommodate your basic activities inside such as cooking and sleeping? And maybe a little more?

With teardrop trailers becoming popular once again and having evolved since its modest beginnings in the 1930s, manufacturers are also keeping up by building more ambitious models to suit the needs of the modern man or woman.  Teardrop trailers are often more affordable options than a typical motorhome.  We guarantee you will be amazed at how spacious they can be with our top 12 teardrop trailers.  We can wholeheartedly recommend any one of them to be your next teardrop trailer purchase.  From small-scale manufacturers such as Little Guy Trailers to a more familiar Winnebago brand, these trailers are taking RVing to a higher level with their generous floor plans.  Come to think of it, teardrop-style trailers are often much more capable and luxurious than you might initially think.

For each teardrop trailer in our list, we will list items you probably would not expect to find inside a traditional teardrop trailer.  Believe me, it’s not magic – it’s space redefined, teardrop trailer-style!

Winnie Drop Brand: Winnebago

  • approximate dimensions L x W x H in feet:  18.4 X 8 X 9.3
  • other specs available: overall vehicle weight – minimum 2,360 lbs

This retro-inspired trailer is like having your own cosy nook with many lavish creature comforts. Towing is very straightforward given its size, and camping is made even more pleasant and spacious thanks to its slide-out capabilities.  Surprisingly, it can accommodate up to 4 sleepers at a time.  It comes in a range of different floor plans and in three variants namely: WD170, WD170S, and WD170K.


  • relax in a 60 X 40 queen-size bed with storage underneath
  • the kitchen space contains a handy micro-refrigerator to store your meats and other perishable food items
  • a kitchen with sink, a stovetop-style cooker and yet another storage space, albeit overhead this time
  • dine comfortably with your friends and family in a 42 X 74 dinette
  • a toilet with a sink in a bathroom
  • a living room with a mount for your TV and a sliding seat


  • All the items found under WD170 plus:
  • a bigger bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet – a definite plus!
  • Space for your pantry and wardrobe in the back of the bathroom
  • ample space above the kitchen and dinette


  • All the items found under WD170 plus:
  • has 30 X 74 bunk beds to replace a queen-sized mattress
  • a larger 58 X 74 U-shaped dinette perfect for bigger groups or families
  • a complete bathroom with shower and toilet
  • a TV mounting cab unit begging for a small flat screen

For more information, check out Winnebago website at


  • Brand: Little Guy Trailer
  • approximate dimensions L x W x H in feet:  11.7 X 5 X 5.2
  • other specs available:
  • overall dry weight: 630 lbs
  • tongue weight: 110 lbs
  • interior height: 37 inches

This compact fiberglass trailer is aptly named MyPod for obvious reasons. It’s a tiny marvel weighing 630 lbs with a 110 lb tongue weight, your regular car could probably tow it without much difficulty.  It comes in five different colors: blue, red, silver, white and black. The Mypod could very well be your designated camping companion.  And it has space for the following:

  • a 52 X 76 full-size single bed which could fit up to 2 slender sleepers
  • a three-speed fan to cool you during hot summer months
  • built-in air conditioning unit to even make extremely hot summers disappear
  • window shades
  • an entertainment center which can house your TV and video game console
  • a roof rack where you can place your camping gear
  • can be pimped even further to fit tailgate and side mount screen room tents, and trailer cover when in hibernation, so to speak

For more information, check out Little Guy Trailers website at


  • Brand: Oregon Trail’R
  • approximate dimensions L x W x H in feet:  8 X 4 X 5
  • other specs available:
  • base towing wt = 1000 to 1300 lbs
  • tongue weight = 100 to 140 lbs

The FronTear is a popular teardrop trailer from its manufacturer which you can further customize by choosing the exterior color and interior design. Interestingly, it is perhaps the smallest teardrop trailer in the market today.

Here are some of the customizable items as well as some standard features you can squeeze into this cute little wonder:

  • set of cabinets with drawers, some of which you can place overhead or on the rear side of the trailer
  • key holders based on your design
  • backup lights controlled through a tow connector
  • a battery holding tray for maintaining your batteries
  • a tongue rack for storage
  • folding holders for cups – great for your cup of joe
  • galley to host your kitchenware
  • drapes with a barrier backer layers that resist moisture
  • custom-sized door units
  • Digital audio amplifiers
  • a reversible Fantastic Fan and rain sensor
  • LED lights (Halo Dome)
  • TV and DVD prep
  • a bed with 4-inch thickness plus a custom cover
  • stainless steel sink and faucet
  • A propane set with a two-unit burner stove, 11 lb propane tank
and heat shield
  • a panic siren to ward off unwelcome guests such as a black bear for instance
  • a rooftop rack system where you can put your camping gear

For more information, check out Oregon Trail’R website at

Diamond in the Rough

  • Brand: Teardrop Trailers
  • approximate dimensions L x H in feet:  8 X 5
  • other specs available: none

Just like its name, the Diamond in the Rough is a mini sparkler with so much potential despite being one of the smallest teardrop trailers.  It has eponymous features such as the roofing, checker plating, and diamond-plated plate fenders.  The 14-inch chrome rims shine like diamonds, too.  Check out other features available by default and by order for this polished teardrop trailer:

  • a small portable kitchen which comes with a faucet and sinks which can be upgraded to an electric type
    drapes and a mattress
  • shelves and wooden rack to hold your plates, glass, cutlery and cooking gadgets
  • an oven that you can pull out for baking delicious pastries and other specialties
  • space for refrigerator or cooler
  • optional small bunk bed for children
  • a 3,000-watt inverter
  • a large-sized front box to help you with additional storage needs
  • a trickle charger using seven round blade
  • solar panels for the green buyer
  • Plugin (12v)
  • deep cycle marine battery

For more information, check out Teardrop-shaped Trailers website at

Brand: nuCamp

  • approximate dimensions L x W x H in feet:  13.7 X 7.8 X 6
  • other specs available:
  • tongue weight – 100 up to 1,210 lbs when spare tires and its battery unit are accounted for
  • Gross Axle Weight rating – 2,220 lbs
  • interior width – 70 inches
  • interior height – 47 inches

The T@G XL trailers are deemed to have more space than what you are used to with teardrop-shaped trailers.  In any case, it’s still small but can pack a lot of punch. It could also be a sight for sore eyes with the color white combinations on the exterior with red, yellow, and black.  Unfortunately, there are no bathroom facilities in this trailer so you might have to find your “spot” outside in nature.

Meanwhile, these are  the amenities you will find inside the T@G XL:

  • an ample cooking surface for prepping your meals
  • a stovetop oven
  • a microwave oven that’s built-in a panel for your quick bites
  • a kitchen sink to wash your used utensils
  • cabinets on all sides for more storage space; it can also house an A/C and cooler
  • water capacity of 11 gallons enough to supply your needs at a time
  • 70 X 78 king-sized bed located in the middle of the room
  • interior with wood paneling for a bit of rustic feel

For more information, check out nuCamp website at

Timberleaf’s Teardrop Trailer Brand: Timberleaf

  • approximate dimensions L x H in feet:  15 X 5.5:
  • other specs available:
  • overall dry weight: 1,400 lbs
  • tongue weight 140 lbs

Touted as a featherweight by its manufacturer, the Timberleaf teardrop trailer looks eerily similar with the MyPod and FronTear with its retro-modern structure.  It also comes in different exterior colors with their interesting color names such as Pepsi blue, Extreme green, Caution yellow and Bright red.  You will be even more amazed at the facilities and optional extras you can find inside.

  • Plywood walls (Baltic birch) treated with low-VOC acrylic polyurethane
  • a  shelf with a drawer that pulls out to store all your cooking essentials
  • 12-gallon water tank including a sink with a dispenser for cold water
  • gallery-type cabinets with sliding doors that serve as extra storage
  • a 20 square-foot retro laminate countertop
  • a queen size mattress (Colorado style) with 4” thick foam
  • a tinted polycarbonate (44×26) skylight  complete with pull-down shades and double screen (14×17 each) venting windows
  • a Fan (‘Fantastic’ brand) to provide some air circulation
  • R-11 rated anodized aluminum roof and aluminum sides complete with ceiling and wall insulation
  • roof rack in euro styling to hold your off-road bike and other gear
  • tent room with mesh material to let more of the outdoors in
  • a roof storage using a pioneer platform that can fit any trailer size
  • awning for some shade and curb appeal
  • a stove paired with windscreen and a couple of 22” burners
  • a tongue-style aluminum storage unit which can be locked to secure your items
  • a wooden cooler that comes with a handy 45-liter optional countertop lid
  • a wooden shelf on the exterior which can be detached or 2 wooden foldable shelves on the interior

For more information, check out Timberleaf website at

Vistabule’s Teardrop Trailer

  • Brand: Vistabule
  • approximate dimensions L x H in feet:  14 X 5 X 5.7
  • other specs available:
  • tongue weight – 130 to 1520 lbs depending on load
  • overall vehicle weight- 1220 lbs

The Vistabule teardrop trailer is another small wonder which boasts of large windows as if bringing the outside in. You can enjoy viewing the horizon with the front window which changes to your skyview when you’re lying down on the bed. Towing is an uncomplicated process with its aerodynamic properties and its ball hitch that measures 2 inches.  You will be very excited to see what’s inside a Vistabule:

  • a kitchenette with outdoor cooking that has a sink and a two-burner stove
  • a pass-through feature that allows food the be easily shared when it’s time to eat
  • several cabinets for storing your cooking gadgets and dinnerware
  • a 58.5 X 78 main bed with underneath storage with a length of 6.5 inches and foot room
  • a gallery counter which approximately measures at 36 inches in height
  • a dining space to share with your family or group of friends
  • a two-in-one sofa bed
  • a nice headboard with which you can hang your keys has upper storage capacity for your clothes and other miscellaneous items
  • a nine-gallon storage tank each for graywater and freshwater
  • a floor mounted table when sofa bed is in sofa mode folds to become a side table if in bed mode

For more information, check out Vistabule website at

560 Raindrop Brand: Camp-Inn Teardrop Trailers

  • approximate dimensions L x W x H in feet:  14 X 10 X 5
  • other specs available:
  • overall vehicle weight – between 1,000 and 1,500 lbs
  • tongue weight – 150 to 180 lbs

The  560 Raindrop figures as one of the biggest teardrop trailer from the Camp-Inn fleet with its width of ten feet.  That said, you can expect this hefty teardrop RV to break conventional boundaries in its industry.  Towing and parking this RV are made simpler with the chock blocks, folding hitch, leveling jacks, and a hitch ball.  The front panoramic windows are big enough to enjoy the view outside.  Be dazzled some more by the following items you can discover about the 560 Raindrop:

  • dual cabin doors for gear storage
  • a set of bunk beds for small children
  • a queen-sized foam mattress with cover
  • a couch that can fit two adults
  • a propane gas tank for your cooking needs
  • graywater and freshwaters tanks with monitor and a capacity of 8 gallons each
  • outdoor kitchenette with underneath storage, a two-unit burner stove, birchwood cabinets, drawers, a sink with faucet spray hose that is made of stainless steel
  • more storage beneath the flooring and on the front side
  • curtained and screened windows
  • a ceiling fan
  • coat hooks
  • optional appliances such as 15-inch TV, DVD player, sound system, and air conditioning unit
  • solar panel prep

For more information, check out Camp Inn Teardrop Trailers website at

Mount Massive Brand: Colorado Teardrops

  • approximate dimensions L x W x H in feet:  14 X 6.8 X 6.8
  • other specs available:
  • overall vehicle weight – 1,430 lbs
  • tongue weight – 199 lbs
  • Cabin height – 56 inches

If you’re a family of 5 or more, the Mount Massive Teardrop trailer is perfect for you.  Yes, it is a massive teardrop which should be towed by a pickup, minivan or an SUV.  This trailer is beautiful with its maple plywood walls, huge stargazer windows, and ample insulation not only on the walls but also the floors, ceiling, and doors.  The walls will not corrode or degrade easily because of its low VOC polyurethane covering. And of course, you will be impressed by the many possibilities it can hold in its interior.

  • a kitchenette with countertop, shelves that slide and rotate for your stove and other cookware
  • 41-inch galley counter for your kitchen prep
  • a 60 X 78 queen size bed with shelves
  • a convertible sofa bed
  • lighting
  • dividers for cooler/ water tank
  • a cleanup tub
  • cabinets to hold your utensils
  • a 14 X 14 pop-up vent
  • optional power package including plug-in, AGM batteries, an inverter and solar panel
  • a spare tire

For more information, check out Colorado Teardrops website at


  • Brand: Escapod
  • approximate dimensions L x W x  H in feet:  13 X 6.4 X 6
  • other specs available:
  • Maximum weight capacity – 3,500 lbs
  • tongue weight – 185 lbs

The Dreamscape teardrop trailer is a mobile version of the capsule hotel which is common in Japan.  It is as efficient but even capable of more functionality.  It is proudly American-made with powder-coated steel ensuring your trailer to rack up miles without problems.  It has complete insulation covering not just the walls but practically the entire trailer that will not only keep your interior at room temperature but also soundproof it somehow. The Dreamscape will continue to wow you with these awe-inducing standards and optional add-on line-up:

  • an outdoor kitchenette with cabinets on the backside and several drawers where you can keep your utensils
  • countertop with stove top made with stainless steel
  • a  good space for small kitchen appliances such as coffee maker, microwave, electric mixer, etc.
  • a 65-liter cooler
  • a queen-sized 5-inch memory foam mattress with underneath storage for your personal items
  • USB charging device and deep cycle battery
  • LED lighting
  • a triple speed fantastic fan
  • Three cubbies and four cabinets to keep your things organized
  • hitch that fully articulates
  • electrical converter (110v)
  • propane heater with water tanks
  • a water heater and shower unit to refresh you after a tiresome hike in nature
  • rooftop tent and awning combo
  • racks for bikes and kayaks
  • spare tire and mount for security in case of emergency
  • a stove with a propane tank

For more information, check out Escapod website at

Sierra Madre Basic On-Road Teardrop Trailer

  • Brand: Sierra Madre
  • approximate dimensions L x  H in feet:  8 X 4 (smallest model)
  • other specs available: none

The Sierra Madre Basic On-Road Teardrop Trailer could be your good start in a trailer lifestyle.  It comes in different sizes (4 X 8, 4 X 9, 5 X 8, 5 X 9, and 5 X 10)  which should suit the amount of stuff and number of people you’d like to join your trip.  The chassis of this teardrop trailer has a torsion axle (Dexter type), wheel jack in front, safety chain, 14-inch powder-coated tires and 2-inch A frame in square tube.

The Birch plywood wall interior gives you UV protection with its clear lacquer covering and the anodized aluminum exterior.  The 12 X 18 windows provide a nice view of the outside. The ceilings are insulated to keep you comfortable during cold weather.  You can also enjoy more amenities inside this teardrop force to be reckoned with.

  • a foam mattress
  • a kitchen with counter, shelves, storage compartments where you can stash your cooking gadgets to make your prepping a lot easier
  • bedroom lighting, gallery and cabin domes.
  • a bedside shelf to hold your night lamp and some books

For more information, check out Sierra Madre Trailers website at

RetroRide 5 X 10  Teardrop Camper

  • Brand: RetroRide Teardrops
  • approximate dimensions L x  H in feet:  10 X 5 (biggest model)
  • other specs available:
  • Tongue weight – 160 lbs
  • Overall vehicle weight – 1,110 lbs

The RetroRide 5 X 10 is the largest among the company teardrop trailer variants.
It also looks like it comes from an era gone by with its basic aluminum exterior but this time only a bit more polished.  You always have the option to customize the color to your own liking for an extra charge.

This simple teardrop trailer has varnished interiors and bare essentials such as front rack, and two doors.  The low price tag will give you room for upgrades which you can add to your trailer’s stash.

  • A/C and heater units
  • replacement tire
  • Additional windows for some nice view
  • battery in 12 volts to accommodate your small appliances
  • radial tires measuring 15 inches (standard is 14 inches)

For more information, check out RetroRide Teardrops website at

Is it truly for you?

These teardrop trailers make you think twice on getting a more a conventional RV not only because of the price but also, you may have realized that you don’t need a lot of space to experience a home away from home atmosphere.  All you need is creativity, smart planning, and I must admit, a bit of compromise.  Yes, you can fit the queen-sized mattress of yours, you just have to be strategic in doing so.  As you have discovered from our 12 teardrop trailer examples, no space is wasted, there is always a purpose it can serve one way or another.  While you manage your expectations, perhaps you will find yourselves pleasantly amazed when you step inside the not-so-small world of the iconic teardrop trailer.  It will take you to places literally and figuratively speaking.  Living big in a teardrop-shaped trailer is not impossible indeed.  But then again, is it really for you?  In spite of all the details I have provided here, only you can answer that for sure.

The post Living Big in These 12 Spacious Teardrop Trailers appeared first on Crow Survival.