On this week's show, we take another look at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a great RV destination to get rid of those winter blues and enjoy some time in the sun.
Then, Jeff Johnston tackles a project that no one enjoys doing at home or in your RV, and that is changing and/or upgrading your RV toilet. Later, Jeff introduces us to the Omnia oven, a unique concept that allows you to bake items on an open campfire or a cooktop stove anywhere. Also, Mark and Dawn Polk from RV Education 101, give us some pointers on what to look for then shopping for a pre-owned RV. "Rollin' on TV" is sponsored by Carefree of Colorado, celebrating over 45 years of RV awning innovation.
Myrtle Beach and Ocean Lakes Campground
Hey, everybody, this is John DiPietro for "Rollin' on TV," and in this segment, we visit beautiful Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We're staying at the fabulous Ocean Lakes Family Campground, which is situated right on the Atlantic Ocean.
Myrtle Beach is one city in an area called the Grand Strand, which stretches from north to south, right on the Atlantic, with over 40 miles of family-friendly beaches. Let's go see what's going on here at Ocean Lakes and the area immediately around us.
Barbara Krumm: Ocean Lakes Family Campground does have a lot of water. We have one mile of oceanfront, and then we also have five large lakes that you can fish in. We have 859 campsites for RVs and tents. Most of our sites are averaged 45 feet long and 35 feet wide. We have some that are much larger, up to 80 feet long.
You don't have to be a camper to enjoy this campground. You can rent a house that sleeps 6 to 22 guests, five, six bedrooms, four beds. The water park opened May 2016. It has 68,000 square feet of pool deck, two very large slides, a mat racer with four lanes, a tube slide with single and double riders, a huge adventure river with 17,000 square feet of water. It'll take you about 15 minutes to coast around that.
The sunrise service was a really important feature that we started many, many years ago. Mr. And Mrs. Jackson, our cofounders, believe in church. It's a big part of our campground. We have Sunday church service every week, and the sunrise service is a huge tradition with about 2,500 guests attending the 6:30 a.m. service.
Barbara: The golf cart is a huge part of Ocean Lakes' culture, and it's not anything our team invented. It just kind of evolved over the years, and although Mr. Jackson, one of our founders, he loved the Fourth of July golf-car parade, the guests were not happy with just that. So every evening, around 7 o'clock, along the Ocean Lakes front drive there on the beachfront, you will see hundreds of people line up with their golf cars and drive back and forth along that mile of oceanfront, high-fiving, cheering each other on, all ages. We have guards place down there, as this event took on its own life, and try and make sure that it stays family-friendly
Barbara: We have a great website. Oceanlakes.com, will tell you everything you need to know, and you can book reservations for campsites and search for our rentals as well, but we also have an avid Facebook page and other social media, such as YouTube, and you can link right from our site.
John DiPietro: After you've taken part in all the activities at the campground, one of the things that you may wanna do is venture outside. There's so much to do here at Myrtle Beach, from great golf, to legendary concert performances, to great local restaurants and amusement parks. And if you wanna be a big wheel, you can be a big wheel at the SkyWheel at Myrtle Beach.
While at Ocean Lakes, John caught up with Chris Allen, manager of the Ocean Lakes RV Center and learned a few things about RV care along the Carolina coast.
John: I'm talking with Chris. Chris, when you RV on the ocean, there are special precautions that you need to take to keep your RV safe and sound, right? Chris Allen: Yes, there are. The most important thing is, when you go out to dinner at night or goin' for the afternoon for an attraction, always put your awning in because you never know when a sudden storm may come up.
What are some precautions that people should take, actually, when they get home, if they've been camping on an ocean site? Chris: Wash and wax. You gotta stay on top of your product. Wash it, repeatedly. Wax it. Keep a fresh coat of wax on it at all times.
John: Okay, so it's not just the metal components that we're talking about. You're talking about the clear coat, as well, right?
Chris: That's correct. The aluminum siding trailers as well as fiberglass,
John: Okay, and the big thing that people always do when they go out, because they don't wanna run the air conditioner, is they keep the windows open, but, again, ocean setting, little bit different idea?
Chris: That's correct. I would suggest, if you don't want the air-conditioning running, just put it on fan mode. You don't wanna leave the windows open because, once again, an unexpected storm could come up at any time. John: Okay, there you go, direct from the pros who've won many national awards. I saw it in their showcase a little bit earlier at Ocean Lakes RV Center here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. So, for "Rollin' on TV," it's John DiPietro and my good friend Chris, saying, "Let's go camping."
Replacing an RV toilet
Jeff Johnston: One of the fun things about owning an older, used RV is customizing it, upgrading it, getting something to replace an old component that maybe works a little better. One thing that is really easy to replace and very worthwhile to replace is the toilet. Now, the one that's in this older model is a Thetford, and it's 14 inches tall, which is right about this high, approximately. Some of the manufacturers seem to think people were a lot shorter back then, and they put these little tiny toilets in, and this one is a new Thetford Aqua-Magic with a foot flush, and it's about 17 1/2 inches tall, and for your average, full-sized adult, that's a little more space you have for your knees, and so on, just making it more comfortable. And the owner this trailer is also suffering from some mobility issues, so when you are down close to the ground, it's a little harder to stand back up than if you're a little bit higher, so this is gonna help him along those lines.
If you want to raise your toilet for similar reasons, for example, one other option with Thetford is their toilet riser. They have this kit that's about a 2 1/2-inch riser, and it simply fits down on the floor, and then your original toilet bolts right down on top of it. Has all the same connections and so on that are used in a typical RV. So this is one option that's very useful and little bit less expensive, maybe, than buying an entire toilet, however, the toilet is not that expensive, and it's one of those items you can replace, and this one also has the option of the hand-flush little hose, which we're not installing today. But doing a toilet swap on an RV is one of the easier projects you can do.
All you need is a half-inch open-end wrench or socket, and a pair of pliers or the correct size spanner wrench in order to get the plumbing off the back. So we're gonna jump into the trailer here and see what we can do to be able to get the old toilet out, put in the new toilet, and make it a lot more comfortable and easier for the owners to use. Be sure to watch the show to see the actual installation by Jeff.
With very little effort, a new Thetford Aqua-Magic V toilet can add a new level of comfortable functionality to your RV.
Omnia Oven for your Camping Fun
Greetings, Jeff Johnston here for "Rollin' on TV." Not all RVs come with ovens. For people who like to bake things, this may be an excellent partial solution to that. It's called the Omnia Stovetop Oven.
There's a little bit of a grill that you can use on the inside if you wanna put something like little rolls or something
on there, and there is a high-temperature silicone liner that's also part of the baking process.
The bottom of the pan is stainless steel, and this is the part that goes directly over the heat source. In this case, we're gonna be using a Coleman or gas stove to be able to do the cooking rather than inside an RV, just for the convenience of shooting.
So this goes on the heat source. The aluminum baking pan goes on there, and then, the heat goes into the opening at the bottom of the pan, comes up, and then works its way around the top of the cooking item. So we're gonna try this with some beer bread that we made up, and we're gonna take a look and see how it works. So far, we're kind of excited about it.
All right, we have our beer bread ready, made with some wonderful Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest ale. Good stuff. Step number one is, even though it's a silicone liner that's nonstick, we're gonna rub a little bit of butter in there anyway. And I recently learned that one sure sign of getting older is when you have a favorite spatula.
This pan will hold a fair amount of material, and you can use this for meat products like sausages, little burger patties, and so on. You can put biscuits in here, sweet rolls. Just about anything you can put into an oven, you can put in the Omnia oven.
Looks like it's nicely in the pan, so add the lid, and from here, we put it on the stove. All right, we've got the beer bread ready to go. Stove is fired up, and we just placed this directly over the heat. Come back in about 45 minutes and see if we got some tasty goodness waitin' for us. By the way, the oven comes with this cool recipe book that includes all kinds of things you can do with it. Kind of surprising for a non-cook like me to be able to look at that and say, "Hey, that's really neat." We'll be back.
How did the beer bread turn out? Check out the video to see!
Nice. Beer bread is just one of the many things you can cook, of course, in a little stovetop oven like this. In our case, it was pretty successful. What beats hot bread out of the oven? I can just see you sitting next to a campfire with a big slice of this loaded with butter, and a beverage. Great way to spend an RV camping evening.
Now, if your RV doesn't happen to have a built-in oven, this little Omnia Stovetop Oven may be just what you need to be able to come up with something like this once in a while in camp. It's not a bad idea, and it's a cool little item. Check here for more information about the Omnia oven.
Tips on Purchasing a Used RV
Hi, I'm Mark Polk with RV Education 101. Sometimes a used RV can be a great buy. Used RVs have already suffered the brunt of depreciation. Many are only lightly used at a good price, and you will more than likely have an affordable monthly payment, but, on the other hand, a used RV could be a disaster if you don't know what to look for.
Here are a few important checks to make prior to purchasing a used RV. Number one on my list is to check the RV thoroughly for water damage. Water Damage is quite common on used RVs. There are several reasons for this, but the leading cause is seams and sealants on the RV flex and move until there's a small crack or opening that water can penetrate.
If the previous owner did not inspect and reseal these seams and sealants, chances are there's some water damage. Another problem is water damage can be difficult to detect. All the seams and sealants on the RV roof and sidewalls need to be inspected. Indicators of leaks on the exterior are soft spots on the roof, cracked or separated sealants, and soft spots or what looks like bubbles on the sidewall of the RV, where the fiberglass delaminate from the backing. Anywhere the manufacturer cut an opening in the roof or sidewalls is prone to water leaks. On the interior of the RV, you can detect water damaged by signs of staining or discoloration, soft spots around window slide-outs, inside cabinets, or on the floor. Water damage is expensive to repair, especially if it had time to spread. I would avoid buying a used RV that has water damage. I've looked at many used RVs we were considering purchasing and never made it past the water damage check.
Getting past the water damage check is a good sign, and you can move on to the next item on my list, which is checking all the systems and appliances on the RV for proper operation. This check includes the water system, the LP gas system, the electrical system, and every appliance in the RV.
If you are buying it from an RV dealer and they tell you the RV will go through a predelivery inspection or "PDI," prior to delivery, let them know you wanna know what items are included in the inspection and anything they find wrong during the inspection. If you are buying from a private owner, any inspections conducted will be on you. If you are not comfortable performing these inspections, hire a qualified RV inspector to perform the inspections for you. If, for any reason, the owner does not cooperate with any of these inspections, I would not purchase the RV. Remember, there is no warranty, and replacing almost any appliance in the RV can cost $1,000 or more. This can add up quickly.
Motorized RVs with an engine and transmission and rear axle need to be inspected too. If you're not comfortable inspecting the driveline, try to find an RV inspector who's qualified to do this. You want to inspect the underside for evidence of leaks. Check the condition of the belts, radiator hoses, and heater hoses. Check all of the fluid levels to make sure they are topped off and the fluid is clean. Ask the owner for maintenance records you can review. You need to drive the RV before you buy it. When you drive an RV, check the engine, transmission, and brakes, for proper operation. Turn the windshield wiper on, check the air conditioner, the heat, the radio, and other controls on the dashboard.
It is usually easy to tell if an RV was taken care of, or if it was neglected. I would avoid any RV that shows obvious signs of neglect. Do not forget the tires. It's not uncommon for RV tires that look okay to be very old. Tires that are six years old or older need to be inspected by a tire professional. If there's visual evidence of weather cracking or checking caused by exposure to the elements, it's likely the tires need to be replaced. This can be expensive, especially if it's a motor home. Make sure the used RV you're considering meets your needs. Is it large enough or small enough? Do you like the floor-plan arrangement? Is there adequate storage inside and outside? Are there enough sleeping arrangements? Are the holding tanks large enough for the way you plan to use the RV? These are just a few considerations. Think about how you plan to use the RV and make sure the used RV you are considering to purchase fits the bill.
If it's a travel trailer or fifth-wheel trailer, do you have the vehicle that can safely tow it? Buying another tow vehicle can be an expensive proposition. Check all of the trailer weights and make sure your tow vehicle is rated to safely tow it before you purchase the RV. If everything checks out, it's time to discuss price. Some RV owners owe more on the RV than it's worth. They need to pay the loan off, and they want to sell it for the payoff amount at a minimum. Don't overpay for a used RV.
There is an RV edition to the National Automobile Dealers Association, or "NADA" guide. This is the appraisal guide most RV dealers use to determine used RV prices and values. The online NADA guide offers low retail and average retail pricing on used RVs. Prices in the guide assumes everything on the RV works as it should, and the RV is in good shape. I always tell people you wouldn't buy a new RV for full retail price, so you shouldn't pay full retail price for a used RV. Ask what the price is and try to negotiate the price closer to the low retail price in the NADA guide.
If the RV needs new tires or other repairs, asked if the seller is willing to replace the tires and make the repairs or lower the selling price so you can purchase new tires and make the repairs.
If everything on the RV works properly and you can get the price somewhere between low and average retail, it's probably a fair deal for both you and the seller.
Mark Polk with RV Education 101.