Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Mark...My Words

Hi, folks,

Gosh, it's fall already. I love RVing at this time of year! The campgrounds are no longer filled with the summer crowds, the trees are starting to change, and a campfire in the evening really feels good with the chill in the air. Get out there and enjoy your RV before winter sets in! Thanks for all your questions, and keep 'em coming! Email me at [link email] Selected questions will be answered right here in upcoming newsletters.

If you are planning to be in the Houston, TX, area in November, or if you live nearby, be sure to consider attending RVers' Boot Camp at Escapees headquarters in Livingston, TX, November 9-11, 2012. The program includes training in RV maintenance and operation, tire and weight safety, fire and life safety, RV driving, and more. For more info, visit the Boot Camp page at I hope to see you there!


Hello Mark,

I was wondering if there is any kind of a little motor or battery I can hook to my pop-up so I don't have to turn the handle to raise the roof manually. Thank you, Roger

Hi, Roger,

If you are handy, you can probably make an adapter that will fit your pop-up's crank assembly and allow you to use a cordless drill to run the roof up and down, providing it doesn't take too much torque. I made a simple adapter for my cordless drill to allow me to run my trailer's stabilizing jacks up and down. It works great and sure is a lot easier and faster than using the hand crank! If you don't feel like making one yourself, go to and look for their "Socket Jenie." They make drill adapters for most RV cranks and jacks.



I have a 3000 Kipor generator, and, for some reason it won't run a 1300 ac unit, all of a sudden, but only when it's hot outside. Any ideas?? fire

Hi, fire,

I'm assuming that you are referring to a 13,000 BTU air conditioner, and if you are, the 3000W Kipor is going to be barely able to run it under ideal conditions. That is a big load for that size generator! The problem isn't with how much current the air conditioner draws while it is running; it is the high start-up current required by the compressor when it starts again after it cycles off. It takes a big surge of current to restart the compressor and it is worse when the outside air temperature climbs to the high 90s or better. Make sure that everything else in the RV that runs on AC power is turned off. That will give the generator the best chance of starting the A/C. Turn off the "economy mode" switch on the generator as this will make it run at a higher RPM, giving it a better chance of handling the surge. If this is a continuous problem, you may be able to install a "soft start" kit on the air conditioner. This kit is designed to reduce the start-up current requirements of the air conditioner and may help the generator start it reliably even when it gets hot. Most RV air conditioner service facilities can order and install such a kit.



I bet you never heard this one! I have a hot water heater with a "Anode" in it (the spelling I'm not sure of). I emptied the water heater and replaced the anode (and it took some doing to get it off and out, don't think it was ever replaced). When I put the new one in, I could NOT screw it in all the way, you could SEE some threads showing on the bolt, I was thinking that it was hitting the back of the water heater... However, it would NOT go in any further. It is not leaking. Do you have to sometime cut off the end a little of the anode? Or what? Thank you, Robert

Hi, Robert,

I win the bet; you owe me a dollar! (Joking!) I have heard this one before, and generally, if you purchased the correct anode rod for your heater, you won't have to worry about it bottoming out. The threaded segment is a tapered pipe thread on many units and will only go in so far before it is tight. Others have fittings that bottom out against a sealing surface. I wouldn't worry about a couple of threads still showing as long as it is not leaking under pressure. For those folks out there who have never heard of an anode rod, they are typically installed in RV water heaters that have steel tanks. The rod is made out of a sacrificial metal (zinc/magnesium/aluminum). The sacrificial metal protects the tank from rust by corroding first. Once the rod disintegrates, however, the tank begins to corrode. You can at least double the life of your heater by replacing the rod before it dissolves completely. Check your anode rod once a year and replace it if it is more than 50 percent gone. On some heaters, the rod is accessible from inside the rig; on others, from the outside. Check your water heater manual if you can't find it.


Hi, Mark,

I have a Duo-Therm 600315.321 roof AC on my RV. It worked fine in West Texas where I live, but I'm in Arkansas now and the humidity is higher here. We have developed a problem with it dripping water through the intake vent. I had it serviced in May before we started our trip. I have opened the cover and checked to insure the coils are draining properly and they are basically dry and no frozen water. I noticed a cover over the area where the cold air is cooled in the RV but didn't open it. Should I take it someplace to have it checked and possibly cleaned in the ducted part or is there something I can do to see if the water can be reduced? I have two units and only the one in the rear is doing this. Thanks, Gary

Hi, Gary,

We talked about a similar issue in the August column. In most cases, if you are getting condensation water from the air conditioner dripping into the inside of the rig through the air conditioner vents, you have a clogged drain on the unit. Here is the information from last month's column. It is referring to a Coleman roof air, but the procedures will be similar for your unit.

Most Coleman roof airs have two plastic drains for condensation water, located on the sides of the air conditioning unit baseplate. These will often become restricted by a buildup of dirt and goo, and that can cause the condensate water to find a new path, like into the interior of the coach. The cure is a fairly simple cleaning of the drains and the evaporator compartment. Shut the unit off and, to be extra safe, either unplug from shore power or turn off the breaker that serves the air conditioner. On the roof, remove the plastic shroud. Remove the cover over the evaporator core. Use a spray cleaner, like Fantastic or 409, and clean the evaporator coils and the drip pan. Use a small brush or a piece of flexible wire to clean out the little plastic drains that are found on each side of the baseplate. Button it up, and you should be good to go. I found a very good webpage with pictures and info to help you do the job: Take a look at this website before you get on the roof. As always, don't take on a task unless you feel it is within your abilities. If you prefer, most RV service providers can do this for you, and it is a fairly easy job, so it should not be all that expensive.



I have a 1999 Mirada Coachmen 34ft. The rubber gasket on the driver window and a few other windows has shrunk and has caused a large gap. I need to replace the rubber gaskets where can I purchase them? Thanks, Julia.

Hi, Julia,

Finding replacement window rubber for an older RV is a daunting task! One possibility is to visit a full-service auto-glass repair shop. In many cases, they can dig through catalogs of standard window gaskets and trim molding and find something that will be a good match. You can also look at some of the auto parts and restoration websites that offer a wide range of window molding and see if you can find something that matches. This requires you to remove the window and the rubber so that you can see what the cross-section of the rubber looks like. Here are a couple examples of websites that offer a variety of window rubber and trim. Look under "universal fit" Look under standard weatherstrip and trim products

Finally, you might look to RV salvage yards to see if you can find a replacement. That is a bit of a long shot as the rubber is likely to be in similar condition to your current moldings, but it is a possibility. Good luck!


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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