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Secrets of an RV Inspector… Shocking!

| Updated Mar 8, 2023

So you think a new RV is without problems? We will destroy that notion after you hear the secrets of an RV Inspector in Episode 437 of the RV Podcast about how many problems are found in RVs right after they roll off the assembly line.

It's shocking, really. Our guest this week, RV Inspector Brenda Puckett, says shoddy manufacturing and quality control failures are commonplace among new RVs. She shares real-life issues uncovered in the inspection process that every RV owner needs to know about.

You can watch a video version of the podcast in the player below.

If it's an audio-only version, you can download it on your favorite podcast app or click the audio player embedded below.

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Below are the show notes for the entire episode.

We have a new giveaway!

We have a NEW Sweepstakes!

This one is for all our pet-loving RVers. Get a chance to WIN a Free Waggle Pet Monitor GPS & WiFi Pet Camera combo (Worth- $370)! 

There are 13 ways to enter our sweepstakes, AND we'd love you to experience the Next-Gen Pet Safety with Waggle with their Special — see the Sweepstakes page to read all about it!

RV Podcast Interview: Secrets of an RV Inspector

secrets of an RV inspector from Breda Puckett
Secrets of an RV inspector from Breda Puckett

Our guest is Brenda Puckett, a certified RV inspector and registered RV Technician who runs Queen Bee RV servicing Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas.

Brenda has been RVing all her life and is a  member of the National Recreational Vehicle Inspectors Association and a much-in-demand public speaker about RV-related technical problems.

Among the topics we discussed:

– Just what IS an RV inspector?

– What parts of an RV does an RV inspector inspect?

– What are things RV inspectors are trained to find (why is this something I can't necessarily do myself?)

– Are inspectors necessary when buying a new RV?

– What are some things an RV inspector typically finds? 

– How long does an inspection typically take?

– How much does an inspection typically cost?

– What are some things you have found for clients?

– How can our audience find a qualified RV inspector near them?

New Travel Tech – Apple Air Tags

Secrets of an RV Inspector... Shocking! 1
Use Air Tags to track your luggage, too.

We’ve heard a lot lately about thefts of RVs. Travel trailers, motorhomes, and yes, even fifth wheels. Often, these vehicles disappear forever.

However, there’s a surefire way to track your RV, and for that matter, your purse, backpack, or any of your travel gear.

Apple Airtags are a shockingly easy and affordable way to track your belongings wherever you go. They are a small device that can fit anywhere and link to your phone to use as a tracking device.

They are about the size of a large coat button. An Airtag is a small tracking device created by the geniuses over at Apple. It seamlessly links to your Find My app on your Apple device, like your iPhone.

The Find My app is a default app that enables users to track the location of their Apple devices, including Apple AirTags. You simply open the app, and you can see where your device is on a map. 

You can then see where you left your tracked item. Or, if it was stolen, you can direct the police to its location.

Or, if it’s close by, it will lead you to it with a directional compass to within a couple of feet. This is the “Find Nearby” or “Precision Finding” feature.

An Apple AirTag is about the size of a quarter and easily attaches to or drops into any of your belongings. You can even slide it into a card pocket or coin pocket in your wallet.

We have one secreted in our Fifth Wheel, in our Class C motorhome, in our truck, and passenger car.

Most AirTags have a battery life of 1 year. So, you can place it and leave it. Use a single 2032 coin-cell battery that is easily replaceable. You simply press and twist the back panel to pop it off. Then, swap out the dead battery with the new one. 

You can get an Apple AirTag 4-pack for only $99. Or, you can buy a single AirTag for $29. Getting the pack is a much better deal, as it’s basically a buy 3 get 1 free deal.

The New Travel Tech segment of the RV Podcast, drawn from the pages of NewTravelTech.com – our sister blog that celebrates the many ways technology enhances the travel experience.

RV News of the Week

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Minnesota working on law to criminally persecute catalytic converter theft

Minnesota is the latest state trying to do something to stop catalytic converter theft, a growing problem nationwide.

The Minnesota legislature is creating a law to discourage thefts by making it illegal for scrap dealers to have a converter that is not attached to a vehicle unless it has a VIN or other such traceable mark.

If someone is found with three or more illegal catalytic converters, the person would face felony charges based on the number in possession.

Catalytic converters are pollution controlling devices targeted by thieves because of the valuable precious metals contained within them. Theft is a common problem for RVers and car owners, and the number of thefts annually has grown from 3,389 in 2019 to more than 52,000 in 2021.

To learn more click here. To see our story on ways to help reduce the likelihood of thieves stealing your catalytic converter, click here.

RV industry predicts wholesale shipments to drop 32% this year; used RV prices also falling

A report prepared for the RV industry is forecasting RV wholesale shipments to be down 32 percent in 2023 compared to 2022.

The report projects 2023 RV shipments to range from 324,300 to 344,000 units. In 2022, wholesale shipments were 493,000 units.

The cause of the projected drop is inflation, high interest rates and a slowing economy. (To learn more click here). 

Tied to this projection, Woodall's Camping Magazine reported Black Book is predicting used RV prices to drop this year.

Black Book, which tracks used RV sales, says both the price of a used motor home and used towable is dropping.

To learn more on used RV prices and market trends, see the Woodall's story here.

The bears are waking up!

The National Park Service had people talking last week after warning visitors to “never push a slower friend down” when running away from bears in a series of headline-grabbing tweets.

As the weather warms up, bears will be waking from hibernation, and national park visitors may – unwittingly- run into them.

So what to do if you come across one? The National Park Service recommends you talk calmly so the bear knows you are not prey, and remain still, gently wave your arms, staying calm.

If this doesn't work, advice varies by species. If it is a brown or grizzly bear, play dead, lay on your stomach with hands on your neck and your legs apart, so you are hard to turn over.

If it is a black bear flee to safety. If that doesn't work, fight back, aiming for the animal's face.

To learn more, click here. To see our story on what to do when camping in bear country, click here.

NYC sounds alarm on fire danger from uncertified or second-hand e-bike batteries

New York City's Council is considering banning the sale of second-hand e-bike batteries after the number of fires, injuries and deaths has grown substantially over the last few years.

E-bikes are commonly used by delivery workers in NYC, and the number of fires from these batteries has grown from 44 in 2020 to 166 through part of 2022. These fires are often extremely dangerous, causing 147 injuries and six deaths last year alone.

NYC traces the fires to batteries purchased used or from non-reputable sources.

Because e-bikes are so popular in the RV community, we wanted to share this story. We still really enjoy e-bikes and believe they are a wonderful addition to the RV Lifestyle. Just don't buy used batteries!

To see a story on why, click here.

Parents whose children died from falling tree limb at campground launch tree safety campaign

Parents whose two children were killed last year at a campground when a tree fell on them have launched a campaign to raise awareness of tree safety.

The Indianapolis family was camping last April at Indian Oaks Campground when strong winds toppled a large tree, which fell on them while they were driving by in a golf cart.

Tragically the 8- and 9-year-old brother and sister died. The parents were in the cart with them when this happened.

The parents have placed nine billboards around the state urging people to cut down dead tree limbs, and notice signs that a tree may be dead, and remove it.

They hope people will notice the billboards and pay attention to the health of trees whether they are camping at a campground or just hanging out in their backyard.

To see the story click here.

RV Questions of the Week

keypad rv lock

QUESTION:​ With the keypad door locks, what happens if the battery goes dead and you left your keys inside? – Mike

ANSWER: We suggest keeping a spare key for the RV in the tow vehicle and a spare key for the tow vehicle in the MH. If it's just a motorhome with no tow, find a safe place to hide a spare key using one of those strong magnetic mounts. For $7.99 you can get a three pack from Amazon.

QUESTION: “Please settle a bet for us: Are the three little windows on a Roadtrek real?” Julie

ANSWER: They were when Roadtrek first came out. And on the old Chevy versions that they had, they were real windows. But alas, with time, the three windows have become three decals. But they were so popular and Roadtrek people always would show three fingers when you passed another Roadrek, but they kept that nostalgia. But now they’re a decal. So there you go.

Thanks to our Podcast sponsors
The following sponsors made this episode of the RV Podcast possible:

Where are you going next?

What About the Florida Keys?

Secrets of an RV Inspector... Shocking! 3

Do you want to hit Key West, the Everglades National Park, and all the other great things the Keys have to offer? Well, we have just the thing for you. Jennifer and I love traveling to the Keys, so we've created a complete 7-Day RV Adventure Guide: Florida Keys. This downloadable guide includes a suggested itinerary and a list of the best RV parks along the way.

We also have a 7-Day RV Adventure Guide to Florida's Atlantic Coast and Florida's Gulf Coast. If you're interested in all three, you should check out our Florida RV Travel Guide Bundle.

Secrets of an RV Inspector... Shocking! 4

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-03-08

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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