Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Satellite Dish Woes.

We are at Colorado River Thousand Trails and I just spent over two hours trying to get our Winegard Carryout Satellite dish to connect to Direct TV.
I finally gave in and called Direct TV to make sure that I still had service, they said , yes my service was still on and did I see any code number on the TV screen? Yes, I see code 771. Here is the rest of our conversation,

Tech...That means you are not connecting to the satellite.
Me...You think?
Tech...You must have a clear view of the southern sky.
Me...Yes I know, this isn't my first rodeo.
Tech... Is there a tree or branches blocking your view?
Me...No, I have a clear view of the southern sky.
Tech...Are you sure?
Tech...There must be something blocking the satellite.
Me...No, not a thing. I can see all the way to the horizon.
Tech...Are you positive.
Tech...Sir, are you there?
Me...Yes. What settings should I be using to set up the receiver?
Tech...You will have to call Winegard.
Me...But it's your receiver.
Tech...But it's not our dish.
Me...Good bye.

Well a quick call to Winegard tech services. This is how that went:

Tech...How may I help you?
Me...  I will cut to the chase, I explained everything just like I did with Direct TV.
Tech... Do you have another piece of coax?
Tech...Take the wire off the dish and put the new wire on and hook directly to the receiver.
Me..(I now have a wire running through a open window and across the inside of the RV to the receiver), OK, it's all hooked up what do you want me to do now?
Tech...Run the set up on the receiver again.
Me..OK, running setup.
Me...Holy %#@*, I have a picture.
Tech..(laughing) Great, is there anything else I can help you with?
Me... No Sir, you just saved my life. You see, tonight is the first night that the TV show Dallas is on and my wife said that I better have that thing working "OR ELSE". I didn't want to know what the or else was so you see....You are a life saver.
Tech...(really laughing hard now)..You have a great day Sir, and thank you for being a Winegard customer.
So, here's my tip...Save yourself a lot of time and aggravation when you have a problem and go directly to the source.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Great TP Debate

One of the most popular threads on RV TIPS is what kind of toilet paper to use in a RV.
A lot of people will tell you to use only TP that says RV safe on the wrapper, well that is not entirely true. Others say only use Septic Safe TP, again not entirely true. You don't have a septic tank on your RV, you have a holding tank.

The best way to tell if your TP is RV safe is to take a couple of squares and place in a container that has a lid. Fill the jar about half full of water, replace lid and shake for 10-30 seconds. If the TP dissolves then go ahead and enjoy.

 The real secret to keeping your black tank functioning correctly is to use plenty of water  and keep the valve on your black tank closed, don't open it until your tank is at least 2/3 full, that way the force of what is in the tank will help flush out any solids that may be in there.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

How to read your tire code

There has been a lot of discussion lately on RV Tips about tires and their age. Well here is the answer on how to read your date code.

When it comes to determining the age of a tire, it is easy to identify when a tire was manufactured by reading its Tire Identification Number (often referred to as the tire’s serial number). Unlike vehicle identification numbers (VINs) and the serial numbers used on many other consumer goods (which identify one specific item), Tire Identification Numbers are really batch codes that identify the week and year the tire was produced.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that Tire Identification Numbers be a combination of the letters DOT, followed by ten, eleven or twelve letters and/or numbers that identify the manufacturing location, tire size and manufacturer's code, along with the week and year the tire was manufactured.
Tires Manufactured Since 2000
Since 2000, the week and year the tire was produced has been provided by the last four digits of the Tire Identification Number with the 2 digits being used to identify the week immediately preceding the 2 digits used to identify the year.
Example of a tire manufactured since 2000 with the current Tire Identification Number format:
In the example above:
 51Manufactured during the 51st week of the year
07Manufactured during 2007
While the entire Tire Identification Number is required to be branded onto one sidewall of every tire, current regulations also require that DOT and the first digits of the Tire Identification Number must also be branded onto the opposite sidewall. Therefore, it is possible to see a Tire Identification Number that appears incomplete and requires looking at the tire’s other sidewall to find the entire Tire Identification Number
The use of a partial Tire Identification Number on the one sidewall (shown above) reduces the risk of injury to the mold technician that would have to install the weekly date code on the top sidewall portion of a hot tire mold.
Tires Manufactured Before 2000
The Tire Identification Number for tires produced prior to 2000 was based on the assumption that tires would not be in service for ten years. While they were required to provided the same information as today’s tires, the week and year the tire was produced was contained in the last three digits. The 2 digits used to identify the week a tire was manufactured immediately preceded a single digit used to identify the year.
Example of a tire manufactured before 2000 with the earlier Tire Identification Number format:
In the example above:
 40Manufactured during the 40th week of the year
8Manufactured during the 8th year of the decade
While the previous Tire Identification Number format identified that a tire was built in the 8th year of a decade, there was no universal identifier that confirmed which decade (tires produced in the 1990s may have a small triangle following the Tire Identification Number to identify the decade).
And finally, hold on to your sales receipt. Most tire manufacturer's warranties cover their tires for four years from the date of purchase or five years from the week the tires were manufactured. So if you purchase new tires that were manufactured exactly two years ago they will be covered for a total of six years (four years from the date of purchase) as long as you have your receipt. If you lose your receipt, your tires' warranty coverage will end five years from the week the tire was produced (resulting in the tire manufacturer's warranty coverage ending only three years from the date of purchase in this example).