Troubleshooting your RV while in our Park and Newbie Guide

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ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS, SEWER SYSTEMS, WATER SYSTEMS, PROPANE SYSTEM, SLIDES,

LEVELING, SMELLS, BACKING IN TO A SITE, MOBILE RV TECHNICIANS

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This guide gives some guidance for troubleshooting RV problems that might occur during your stay with us. We cover Electrical, Sewer, Water, Propane and other problems you might have during your stay with us. This article also provides information that might be of use to those that are new to RVing. Yellowstone RV Park at Mack's Inn is not responsible for any damage done to your RV or yourself as a result of following these guidelines. You assume all responsibility for knowing what is the right and safe thing to do with your specific RV.

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM PROBLEMS

1) First, check that others nearby you have not lost power. It is rare but the power to the park can be lost during area wide power failures. In this case, you are permitted to run your generator until the power is restored. PLEASE have a way to discover when the power is restored and turn off your generator immediately afterwards to avoid disturbing neighbors with noise and smoke.

2) Often, the cause of your loss of power is an overload caused by running too many appliances at once. Running the microwave and another device, like a hair dryer or electric hot water heater, or electric space heater at the same time can cause your circuit to break. Use high resistance appliances one at a time to avoid this. Just because you have 50A doesn’t mean you are immune from this. Every RV uses 50A differently. If you are sure this isn’t the problem, continue.

3) Turn off the outside circuit breaker at the electrical stand first, then make sure your main electric power cable is securely plugged in to our electrical stand. If you have plugged in your cable to your RV, check that the connection to the RV is tight. Some connectors require twisting. If you have a power protection device check for an error code and check that it is securely fastened to the power cord. If you have used an adapter between our outside panel and your power cord, make sure it is secure and working. (Look for overload signs, like burned sockets.) Then turn on the appropriate outside circuit breaker again. Check inside for power. If it still doesn’t work, continue.

4) Make sure your MASTER circuit breaker is not tripped or an individual circuit breaker if you are missing power in certain areas of the RV. This may be difficult to find if you are not familiar with your RV. Look for an electrical panel. It might be under the refrigerator or oven or in a cabinet. Consult your user manual. Sometimes a circuit breaker switch is not obviously tripped. Reset any that might be the culprit by turning it on and off again. If this fixes the problem, see #1 above for possible cause. You can also have a short circuit in an appliance that causes a tripped breaker.

5) If only 12V lights are affected look for the 12V panel. It is sometimes under the dash of a motorhome. A fuse may be blown. Examine the fuse of the circuit that isn’t working and replace the fuse if it is blown. (We have fuses in the office.)

6) Take a small light fixture and plug it into the outside electrical stand 120V plug and turn on the switches. If the light is working the problem is most likely not our stand (however, it could be the switch or plug on the 50 or 30 AMP circuit.)

7) If you suspect that the 30A or 50A switch is broken on our stand, call the office and ask for one of our hosts to inspect it.

8) Finally, you might have to call a repairman to your site. (see numbers below).

9) IF you experience sparking or smoking at any appliance, turn off the outside breaker until you determine the cause.

10) Other things you can do is to try unplugging from the outside panel and running your generator to eliminate our panel as a cause. Many RV’s have a transfer switch that automatically switches from outside power to generator power. In rare cases, the transfer switch sticks which prevents the switching between generator and shore power. It is best to have a repairman look at that if you suspect it to be a problem.

11) Any electrical fire should be reported to 911 immediately and the outside power turned off.

12) NOTE that a few electrical stands in the park are used to plug in 120V adapters for our WiFi repeaters. Please do NOT turn off the 120V circuit breakers to those when you leave.

Please don’t expect our camp hosts to fix a problem inside your RV. If they do assist it is with your full permission and acceptance of the liability if anything goes wrong when they are helping you.

SEWER PROBLEMS

There are rarely problems with our sewer system but here are a few tips to help you connect to our system.

1. Local and state law require that you have a sealed connection to our sewer dump connection. Most RVs come with a screw-in elbow that fits our connection. If you don’t have one, please either buy one in our office or use a rubber donut to make a seal with your hose. (We sell those in the office.)

2. Please position your sewer hoses to avoid people tripping over them.

3. Make sure you CLOSE the valves to your RV Sewer connection before you disconnect a hose. Notify the office if you spill raw sewage on the ground so we can properly disinfect the area for the next guest.

4. NOTE that in hailstorms some of the weaker sewer hoses can be damaged and leak. Please either stow the hose or examine it after a hailstorm to look for holes. We try to have hoses for sale in the office if this occurs.

5. NOTE that in freezing weather, sewer hoses and contents can freeze. A frozen hose that is lifted before it thaws will crack, spilling contents onto the ground. If it has frozen hard overnight, please wait until it thaws. It is best to disconnect the sewer hose and stow it if you are aware of the freezing weather in advance, especially if you plan to leave the next morning.

6. If you suspect that our sewer connection is plugged, call the office and we will send a host to investigate.

7. Sometimes your in-RV sewer or toilet becomes clogged. Most toilets empty almost straight into a holding tank. Often taking a stick or your awning wand and poking it down the toilet will fix the problem. DO NOT put sanitary napkins or paper towels into your toilet.

8. DO NOT use a white-water hose meant for drinking to rinse your sewer hose. If you do, make sure it doesn’t touch the hose. Do not touch the end of the sewer hose to our water faucet. Rinse sewer hoses into the sewer, not onto the ground.

9. Most of our sewer connections are located where you’ll only need a 10 to 20 foot hose, but a few might require up to 25 or 30 feet depending on where your RV connection is located in relation to ours. We recommend that you bring at least 30 feet of sewer hose (with appropriate joining connectors). We usually have additional hoses for sale in the office.

WATER SYSTEM PROBLEMS

Our water system uses special faucets that turn valves on and off which are buried 3 feet below the ground to avoid freezing. Grab the handle and pull the handle ALL THE WAY up to turn on the water. Many of our faucets have back-flow valves connected to the faucet. Sometimes these valves leak. Let us know if this happens.

1. If you have low water pressure, it is most likely due to items you have put onto your water hose. Check for kinks, and if you have a water filter unit take that off and check the pressure again. Generally, you do NOT need a pressure valve on your unit. Our pumps exert no more than 45 psi. Make sure you are connected to our system and not just your internal pump.

2. In May and September, the low temperatures can reach hard freezing occasionally. We try to warn people but It is best, if you know it will freeze overnight, to fill your internal tank and disconnect and empty your water hose. MAKE SURE the handle on our faucet is COMPLETELY down. An occasional dip below 32F won’t be a problem, but several hours below freezing can cause hoses to freeze up.

3. If your water hose leaks at the RV or at the faucet, please tighten the connector, or re-seat it. Your hose may need a hose gasket. We should have some at the office. Please do NOT allow your water to leak. We will shut off your water if you are gone and it is leaking.

4. If you find that your own hose will not reach our faucet or you can’t reposition your RV to allow it to reach it, we sell hoses at the office. You should bring at least 30 feet of drinking water certified hose with you.

PROPANE SYSTEMS

1) If your propane system is not working, check that it is connected and turned to the on position. Many trailers have two tanks and when one runs out you have to manually switch to the other tank.

2) When you run out of propane, our neighbor to the east, Island Park Builders Supply, sells it and can fill up your external tank or your in-RV tank.

3) When you make any connection to your propane system, check for leaks using a liquid designed to check for leaks (bubbles) at the connections. Tighten any loose connections. NO SMOKING around propane while working on it.

4) MAKE SURE your propane stove or oven knobs are in the off position before you leave the park each time during your stay. If we discover a strong propane smell coming from inside your RV by chance, we will turn off your external tanks.

SMELLS

1) Bad smells can originate from your sewer or temporarily from your neighbor’s sewer connection when they are dumping as they are leaving. They can also emanate from your holding tank. Most people wait until their holding tank is near full to empty. It might indicate it’s time to empty your tank. We sell some holding tank cleaner/deodorant in the office also.

2) One of the most dangerous smells can emanate from a bad battery. If you smell sulfur, suspect a bad battery. It indicates that it is hot and swelling and could explode causing a fire. If you need help isolating a sulfur smell, call the office and ask for a host to help you. New and old batteries can go bad.

SLIDES

If you have trouble getting your slide in prior to leaving, please let us know as soon as possible. Sometimes it is an electrical problem (check fuses), sometimes a mechanical problem and sometimes a user error. Some RV's have a way to manually crank or push slides in. Check your RV user manual for instructions. Since someone else may be coming into your site at noon, please let us know if you think you will be delayed. We can help you find a RV repair person.

LEVELERS or Automatic JACKS

Most of our sites are relatively level, but to get your RV perfectly level you’ll need to either use your on-board levelers or put blocks under one or more tires. We have a few blocks we can loan if you need blocks. Just call the office and ask for help.

1. If your levelers don’t go down or up it might be a fuse or a lack of hydraulic fluid. Look at your owner’s manual for instructions on how to replace fuses or troubleshoot the levelers.

2. We don’t recommend jacking your RV up so it is off the ground on one or more tires. Sometimes people make the mistake of jacking all tires up instead of jacking the RV until one or more jacks is just touching the ground. In other words, only jack the tires that need to be raised.

3. Please notify us as soon as you know you are having problems raising your jacks prior to leaving as that might cause a delay in your departure that we need to know. A RV Technician might be called to help.

BACKING IN TO A SITE

Our RV Park is heavily forested and sometimes newer or infrequent travelers experience some apprehension in backing into our sites.

1) We assist each guest in backing in to a site. This is not an optional service as we want to make sure you don’t harm your RV or our utilities. If you have a long RV we usually have at least two hosts watching your RV.

2) Please listen or watch the host as he assists you in backing up. He will either stand at your window or use hand signals to assist you. We prefer that one person direct you to avoid complications. If your passenger wants to assist, the best they can do is watch and only assist when he/she feels you are going to hit something.

3) The main trick in backing a 5th wheel or trailer is to go slow and put your hands at the bottom of the steering wheel and turn the wheel in the direction instructed. Always stop immediately when so instructed. If you can’t see the host, STOP until you do.

4) Trying multiple times is no shame! We’d rather get you in safely and take extra care than quickly get you in and damage something.

5) If you feel uncomfortable the way you are being directed, please stop and ask the host to come and explain what you’d like to do.

6) Please do not use automatic backing systems.

7) Even though we try to assist you, ultimately, you are responsible for any damage, so please be careful and don’t follow instructions you feel are wrong.

8) No matter what type of RV you have, please make slow movements. Do not rush into a site because you are experienced.

MOBILE RV REPAIR TECHNICIANS

There are a few mobile RV Repair companies within 25 miles that may come to our park. RV Fix-it Pro 801-831-8111, RV Repair Mobile 480-495-9579, Mobile RV Tech 406-682-4100, Mobile One RV Repair (509) 262-8284.

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