Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Mark...My Words

Hi all,

Well, September is upon us, but that shouldn’t mean an end to your RV adventures! This time of year offers cool nights (perfect for campfires), crisp mornings, and fall colors, so get out there and enjoy them. All too soon, we’ll be talking about winterizing again! Please send your RVing questions to


Hey Mark,

I have a 2009 travel trailer (approx. 32’) we enjoy about 10 times per year here in SC/GA, and in the summer months the air conditioner cools it well, but the inside temperature gets too hot before the AC kicks on again.  It’s more noticeable at night when you are trying to sleep. Is there a method to maintain a more even temperature by adjusting the existing thermostat, or is there an aftermarket product for this application? 


A lot depends on whether you have a wall-mounted thermostat or are using a temperature-control knob on the air conditioner. If you have a wall-mounted thermostat, the physical location is critical. It must be in the path of return air or general air circulation in order to work properly. All too often, RV thermostats are mounted in poor locations. Make sure that the thermostat is unobstructed and that ambient air can easily circulate around it. One silly but simple fix is to point a small fan to move air past the thermostat. In most cases, this will help it properly sense the rising temperature and turn the A/C back on before a large temperature swing occurs. It’s also possible to replace the thermostat with a better quality solid-state unit, but it can be difficult to find thermostats that are compatible with the RV’s systems. Most stock RV thermostats are pretty simple and do not have any adjustable features. For the simple A/C unit with a temperature-control knob, remove the shroud or filter holder on the return air duct, and look for the thermostat sensing bulb. It will look like a thick piece of silver or copper wire. The end of this sensing bulb needs to be directly in the return air path to operate the thermostat properly. It can easily be bent and moved until it is in a place where the air flows directly over it. This should help the A/C cycle properly.



This will be the third long-term site in Texas where we are being bombarded by ANTS! We are in San Antonio, Texas, on a complete concrete pad that extends far beyond tires and trailer, with only one small branch (of a crape myrtle) that extends maybe a couple of feet over our 30-foot tongue-pull travel trailer.  There appears to be an infestation of ants (although the mounds aren't observable, they are crawling around everywhere) throughout the grass surrounding the concrete pad.  We've used Andro yard spray for insects, Spectracide yard spray for ants, and countless sprays of Ortho Home Protector spray indoors.  The ants still seem to get through our poison “barrier,” and I'm worried that anymore and we'll be the dead bugs in the trailer.  We've used the spray on the grass and concrete pad as well as halfway up the trailer sides and a few bursts over the top of the roof, as suggested by a Home Depot representative. But we are still having the little critters appear inside, crawling on the ceiling, cabinets, and counters.  Any suggestions to beat the bugs? We'd appreciate ANY help!

Chris & Kristin

You know, it sounds like you may have an onboard colony of ants living in your RV. The steps you have taken should prevent ants from getting access to your RV from the pad, so I’m wondering if the source of ants is actually right there in the RV with you. I once picked up a colony of sweet ants down in Florida and they traveled all over the country with me. I tried all manner of ant baits and sprays, but I couldn’t get rid of them. Then, a friend of mine in Pennsylvania told me about Terro. It is liquid ant bait, and you simply put a few drops on a piece of paper or cardboard and put it where the ants can find it. After a few hours, you’ll have a huge crowd of ants all gobbling up the Terro, and then they take it back to the nest. In a couple of days, they are all dead! Yay! Seriously, I have found that Terro is very effective on those little sweet-eating ants that are common in the South, and it may win the battle for you.


Hello Mark,

What is the expected life for RV water hoses which connect between the RV and water supply outlet, especially stationary RVs such as park models, which never get moved? How does one know if the water hose is failing and about to burst? Also, are pressure-reducing valves essential for in-line installation?


The first step is to protect your hose from high water pressure. A water pressure regulator should be attached to the hose bib or faucet and the hose attached to the regulator and run to the RV city water inlet. That way, the hose is protected by the pressure regulator. Most potable water hoses will last at least a few years, and their life can be extended by covering them with something to prevent UV exposure. Most folks use inexpensive foam pipe insulation that can be found at any home improvement store. This will also help protect your hose from freezing. However, if you need to use the hose in extreme cold, check out this unfreezable, heated fresh water hose: Most hoses are getting ready to fail if you see any bulges or cracks in their skin. As long as the outside looks good, the hose is probably OK.


Dear Sir: 

We have a 2008 Lincoln MKX luxury crossover that we have been towing using a tow dolly behind our 34-ft. Hurricane motorhome. We would like to know if we can tow 4 wheels on the ground. It's front-wheel drive. Thank you for any information you can give us.


The first thing you need to determine is whether or not your intended toad (towed vehicle) is capable of being towed with all four wheels down. Visit www.motorhomemagazine.comand click on their Dinghy Towing link. In addition, check your owner’s manual under “towing.” Most vehicles will specify any restrictions on towing the vehicle long distances. If your MKX is safe to tow 4-down, then all you need is the proper baseplate and towbar. Visit or to view some good examples of modern towbar systems. These vendors will be glad to help you choose a solution that will work the best for you. You can also find towbar manufacturers’ representatives at most large RV rallies, usually at a booth in the market area. If, by chance, your vehicle is NOT towable 4-down, there are a number of ways to modify it to allow it to be towed. Visit for information on driveshaft disconnects and lube pumps. Finally, if you prefer the easy way out, many RV dealers and most Camping World service centers can take your motorhome and tow vehicle and set you up with a complete, ready-to-drive towing system. Just bring your checkbook! Costs vary a lot, so shop around to find the best deal.


Hi Mark: 

I just drove to Oconomowoc, WI, from Falling Waters, WV, with my 15 pugs.  Whenever I turn the generator off at night, the refrigerator will automatically switch from A/C to gas.  Well, it does switch, but after about 10-15 minutes, it says “check.”  I turn it off, then back on and it goes to gas.  Sometimes it will stay for an hour or even much longer, 4 or 5 hours, and other times it turns back to “check” after a few minutes. When the generator runs, it will stay on A/C and is good to go; only when it runs on gas is there a problem. What do you think causes that check light to come on?



Since your refrigerator works properly on AC, the most likely problem is a dirty propane burner. If you are comfortable working on appliances, you can easily remove the sheet metal cover over the burner area to access the burner. Be sure that the refrigerator is off before you start working on it. Then, remove the screws holding the burner cover in place and remove the cover. Take a small brush and remove any rust flakes or debris from the top of the burner and the area around the burner. It may be helpful to remove the burner assembly to clean it. Make sure the ignition electrode is clean and the spark gap is about 1/8”. Once it’s all clean and back together, and before you replace the burner cover, turn the refrigerator on and force it to gas mode. When it lights, you should see a nice blue flame with very little yellow in it on the burner. In most cases, a simple cleaning will be all that’s needed. However, if the flame is yellow, or unstable, or the check light continues to come on, there may be a problem with the burner or gas controls, and you should probably have a certified technician look at it. This blog has some great pictures that show the burner cleaning process:  It is for a Norcold refrigerator, but the Dometic refrigerators are similar.

Have fun and stay safe on the road, and please send your RVing questions to


Mark Nemeth has been involved with all things RV for more than ten years, including almost 5 years on the road as a fulltimer. Nowadays, Mark is parked for a while and works on staff for the Escapees RV club as technical advisor, consumer affairs director, and instructor in the Escapees RVer's Boot Camp program.

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Please remember, material will be edited. Because of the large volume of material and correspondence submitted, individual replies will not be possible, nor can we acknowledge receipt of your material. Selected questions will be answered in future issues of the Woodall's/CampingLife Navigator newsletter in the Mark, My Words column.

Founded in 1978, the Escapees RV Club provides a total support network for RVers that includes a wide variety of opportunities for fun, adventure, and education. CHAPTERS There are 51 chapters across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that offer local luncheons and rallies within 150 miles of home. Everyone is welcome to attend. HOPs Theme–related outings and adventures held across the country. ESCAPADES Five–day events, Escapades offer over 60 seminars and workshops to educate, entertain, and enhance the fun and use of RVs. PARKS Our RV park system offers short–term, long–term, and home–base parking options. MAIL SERVICE The best mail–forwarding service in the country. Members can personalize their mail delivery receiving only the mail they want when they want. PLUS MUCH MORE! A complete listing of all Escapees events, and a comprehensive list of member benefits are found at

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Some content previously printed in Escapees magazine, published by the Escapees RV Club. All material provided by Mark Nemeth, Escapees Magazine Technical Advisor and Boot Camp Instructor. For more information about the Escapees RV Club, please visit or call 888–757–2582.

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