20 Essential RV Parts & Accessories

 

RV tailgating

At a camping store, the selection of parts and accessories can be overwhelming!  To make it easier, here are the 20 items every owner of a motorhome, travel trailer or fifth wheel should have. These items will help you keep your RV clean, safe, well maintained and more enjoyable!

Sewer Hose

Your sewer hose connects at the RV drain valve to the RV park’s sewer line or dump station.  We recommend that you have a heavy duty sewer hose.

Electric Cord Adapter

You need this to connect your RV’s electric cord to the outlet at a campground or home if the plug and the outlet don’t match.

Wheel Chocks

Slide these beneath the wheels of your RV to keep it from moving or rolling when parked.

Non Toxic Water Hose

These are specially made for RV drinking water lines.  Made from non-toxic materials, they won’t give drinking water any taste or odor.

Water Pressure Regulator

A water pressure regulator will prevent the water pressure from fluctuating in your RV.

Surge Protector

In case there is a power surge, a surge protector will protect your RVs appliances, TVs, stereos, microwave oven and other electrical components.

Roof Vent Covers

Roof vent covers will allow you to keep your roof vents open in any type of weather.

RV Toilet Paper

Quick-dissolve and biodegradable, RV toilet paper prevents clogs and makes emptying holding tanks easier.

RV Toilet Chemicals

Toilet chemicals are a necessity to prevent odors, to help break down sewage and to make emptying the black water tank easier.

RV Wash

Wash your RV with a product specifically made for RVs.  It will keep your RV’s finish in good condition.  Many RV cleaners are environmentally safe so that when they are rinsed off and run into the ground, they won’t affect the environment.

RV 30 Amp Extension Cord

A heavy duty 30 amp extension cord will enable your RV to be safely connected to an outlet that is some distance away.

Campground Directory

Campground directories give listings of campgrounds along with ratings, reviews and descriptions of the facilities and amenities.  They’ll tell you how many sites have pull throughs; how many have full hookups;  whether there’s a grocery store; if there are any size restrictions and many other valuable pieces of information.

Patio Mat

A patio mat helps keep dirt from being tracked into your RV.  It usually has grommets allowing you to stake it into the ground.  It creates an attractive space for your outdoor area and is easily cleaned and stored.

Patio Chairs

RV patio chairs are usually quite comfortable.  Many come in regular and plus sizes and the loungers have extra cushioning.  You’ll find them very useful for outdoor eating, lounging, campfires and tailgating.

Water Filter

A water filter will create better tasting water and eliminate any sediment that may be there.

RV Cover

When your RV is in storage, it’s a good idea to use a fitted cover to keep it clean and pest-free.

Grill

Grills come in many sizes and shapes.  Many are small and easy to carry.  You can even get a football shaped grill with your team’s colors for tailgating!  Some grills use a small propane tank or have an adapter allowing you to tap into your RV’s propane system.

Patio Lights

Patio lights can attach to the open awning on your camper and can be plugged into an outlet on the outside of the RV.

Portable Satellite Dish

With a portable satellite dish and a subscription to a network, campers can enjoy hundreds of TV channels no matter where they are.  Some dishes are roof mounted while some can be set up outside the camper.  Models are available that also provide service to motorhomes as they are traveling!

Vinyl Wheel Covers

When the RV is parked, it’s a good idea to cover the wheels with vinyl wheel covers.  They protect the tires from the sun and prevent dry rot.

 

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Reines RV Center: A Look Inside A Virginia RV Center

Reines Motor Co.

When “Dusty” Reines began his used car business, Reines Motor Co., after returning from his military service in World War II, he would have no way of knowing what the future would hold. This year, Reines RV Center is celebrating 65 years in business.  Still family owned and operated, it has blossomed from a tiny rented space at a gas station to their 51,300 square foot building on 10 acres!

“Dusty” started Reines Motor Co. in a small rented space beside a gas station in 1946.  Cars were hard to get.  He traveled up and down the east coast to find used cars to sell.  In the 1950s he had saved enough to buy a lot with a small office and attached garage in Arlington, VA and Reines Motor Co. moved into it’s own space.  The sign out front said “Any Car $10 Down”.

In the early 1960s, he bought three travel trailers to sell on the lot and they quickly sold.  He bought a few more and they also sold right away.  So, he decided to phase out of used cars and go into the recreational vehicle business.  He said, “I had no idea what I was getting into.  It never dawned on me that these would be so popular.”  The early days of the RV industry were not easy.  “It took a ‘helluva lot’ of work:  seven days a week without a vacation for 20 years,” “Dusty” said.

Soon, his two young sons, Richard and Lindsey, began going to work with “Dusty” from time to time when there was no school.  They loved it!  Lindsey said that he started washing RVs when he was 13 years old and sold his first trailer at 14!  As a teenager, Richard designed some travel trailers that were manufactured and sold!

When they finished their educations, Richard and Lindsey began working at the dealership full time.  Richard suggested that “Dusty” change the name from Reines Motor Co. to Reines Motor and Trailer Co. and he did. They eventually decided that their facility was too small.  They sold it, bought a former new car dealership in Fairfax, VA and moved in 1982.

Shortly after the RV center moved, “Dusty” retired, although he came in once a week to chat with customers and see how things were going.  Richard and Lindsey took over and began expanding and modernizing the company.  They took on more RV lines, expanded the inventory, hired more people and started a rental department, among other innovations. They also changed the name to Reines RV Center.

At first, they wondered how they would fill the space of their new location.  But, in less than 15 years, they began to see that they were running out of room!  They began looking for a larger piece of property where they could build their own state of the art RV center.  They found a ten acre lot off of Rt. 66 in Manassas, VA and started planning the new facility.

In the summer of 1998, Reines RV Center moved.  The 51,300 square foot building could accommodate a large, comfortable RV showroom.  They had a separate space for a large parts and accessories store and a 16 bay service department.  Richard and Lindsey couldn’t have been more excited!  And, “Dusty” couldn’t have been more proud!

A few months later, however, the family received the worst possible news.  Richard was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.  He was unable to continue working at his beautiful new RV center and began cancer treatment.  After five months, he passed away.  Lindsey was left to carry on the Reines family legacy.  He said that “Dusty” and Richard would be very pleased that the dealership they worked so hard to establish continues to grow and prosper.

The dealership employs many of the same people who were hired in the 1980s in Fairfax, VA.  It’s truly a family business!  Lindsey is proud to carry on the dreams of his family and help fulfill the dreams of other families!

Over the years, Reines RV Center has adhered to the commitment to customer service that “Dusty” made so many years ago.  Many customers have been coming  to the RV center for 20, 30 and 40 years.  Children of customers have also come back as adult customers.  Reines RV Center has won many awards from industry groups for customer service, including two “Top 50 Dealer” awards and a “Top Quality Dealer of the Year” award.  Lindsey is on the board of directors of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association.  He still loves the business as much as he did when he was a teenager!  And, Lindsey and the entire staff are committed to working with the manufacturers, suppliers and other business partners to improve the RV experience for all of their customers.

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Winnebago – Itasca Travelers (WIT Club): Why Members Love It

 

2011 Winnebago Sightseer 35J

If you own a Winnebago or Itasca motorhome, you are eligible to join an exclusive club: the WIT Club.  Many benefits are available to members; but the most important are the friendships and camraderie. Among the other benefits are WIT sponsored caravans and rallies throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico,  discounts on campgrounds and various serivices and trip routing.  Members can belong to a state or province chapter, a local chapter and a special interest group. There are about 14,000 members (motorhomes).

The special interest groups  are active throughout the year in different areas around the country and have their main meetings at the annual WIT Grand National Rally.  Some of the special interest groups are WIT Singles, MILWIT (retired and active military), WIT Alley Cats (bowlers), WIT Duffers (golfers), WIT Handicap Club, NETWIT (computer enthusiasts) and WIT Singers.  A complete listing of the clubs and contact information is available on the WIT website.

The Grand National Rally is held every summer in Forest City, Iowa, the home of Winnebago Industries.  Approximately 1600 motorhomes are there for pre-rally activities the week before and six days and evenings of programs during the rally.  There are seminars about motorhomes and related products plus seminars given by members on a wide range of topics.  In the Women on Wheels seminar, female members teach other female members how to drive and park a motorhome.  There’s another seminar on Railroad Crossing Safety.  There are arts and crafts classes and vendors, games and top flight entertainment in the large amphitheater. Activities for children take place throughout each day.  Winnebago factory tours are available several times a day during the rally.  People enjoy the activities and fellowship with other motorhome owners.

WIT’s rallies and caravans are planned by experienced professionals and are reasonably priced.  The caravans go from place to place and usually last from about 16 to 49 days.  Rallies take place in one location and last from 4 to 11 days.  Activities have been planned, campgrounds have been booked, show tickets have been bought, so members can enjoy the trip without having to make any arrangements.  For the rest of 2011, WIT Club members will be enjoying these rallies:  Savannah / Charleston, New York Fall Rally, The Smoky Mountains and the Pasadena Rose Parade Rally!  In 2012, the plans include:  Rallies in Puerto Penasco, Mexico, Kissimmee, FL, San Antonio Fiesta, Cajun Culture & Heritage in Breaux Bridge, LA, Alaska caravan, Albuquerque, NM Balloon Fiesta, Canadian Rockies / Calgary Stampede, Atlantic Canada caravan, Grand Circle caravan and much more!  Complete details are available on the website.

The WIT Club is a great opportunity for Winnebago and Itasca motorhome owners to enrich their lives through friendship, travel and shared interests!  For information and a membership application, go to www.winnebagoind.com/clubs/wit/.

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Blue Ridge Parkway: Camping At Its Best

RVs at lake

The Blue Ridge Parkway, running through the Blue Ridge mountain chain (part of the Appalachian Mountains), is the longest, narrowest National Park in the world and the most visited area in the US National Park System.  The Parkway has east and west facing slopes and elevations from just under 650 feet at James River in Virginia to over 6,000 feet south of Mt. Pisgah in North Carolina.

The scenic highway connects Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee.  Renowned for its mountains, forests, wildflowers and lakes, it’s ideal for a wide range of outdoor sports and activities.  Throughout the area are charming historic buildings and towns to visit, including Asheville, NC, the site of The Blue Ridge Parkway’s headquarters.

For RV lovers, The Blue Ridge Parkway is a dream destination any time of year.  There is a great variety of campgrounds nearby from which to choose.  A list of 39 of them is on the “Campgrounds and RV Parks Page” of blueridgeparkway.org.  In addition, there are 9 public campgrounds, most of which are at elevations higher than 2,500 feet.  These campgrounds offer access to miles of hiking trails, Ranger talks and campfire programs, but they do not offer hookups as they were built years ago.  These campgrounds are open May through October.  Reservations may be made for some of them by calling 877-444-6777 or visiting www.recreation.gov.

The Blue Ridge Parkway hosts numerous events throughout the year.  There are concerts, wine events, art and craft festivals, motorcycle events, dancing, an apple harvest festival and more.  You’ll find a calendar of events on virtualblueridge.com.

Whether you like skiing, hiking, bird watching, fishing, enjoying the fall foliage and the spring flowers, or exploring historic towns, you will have a wonderful camping experience at The Blue Ridge Parkway.

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