Making the "PLUS" in our name even more prominent
Posted on Aug 24, 2020
As we round the curve on 20 years of assisting RVers with their RV maintenance and equipment needs, we have decided to step forward in a direction that will feature more RV assistance and somewhat less dependence upon selling RV Products. That does not mean that we will not be selling products, just that our emphasis will be more focused on providing knowledge learned over our fifty plus years of RVing to those new to the lifestyle. Technical Tips and our Blog will become even more important on our website, the actual sale of products will recede somewhat. The News section of our website we be a great resource for keeping up with what is happening with RV Parts Plus.
You might wonder why would we be taking this direction now? Great question! There have been some changes in the RV landscape that have impacted our decision. First let me cover where have been.
When we went online in 2001 we were considered innovators, even rebels, supposedly bent on ruining the industry. You ask 'What??" believe it or not, in Canada in the early 2000's hardly any company had an internet presence. There were two or three major distributors of RV components that delivered their goods through to Canadian RV dealers. At that time, the Canadian dollar was considerably lower than the US currency. Given the process to put a catalogue together, prices had to be set by August of the year prior to the January when the new catalogue was effective introducing pricing for the year ahead. As with any business, everybody touching the product had to make money, so manufacturers sold products to distributors which in turn sold those products to their dealers, which in turn sold to the RVer needing the product. Since a catalogue was printed well in advance of the beginning of the calendar year, the distributor had to predict (guess) which way the Currency exchange rate was to go and established their prices then printed their catalogue with prices based on that prediction. Online pricing that could be immediately updated as currency variations occurred was not possible. We were dealers for two major Canadian Distributors and we could see the flaws in their pricing system. We challenged the system because we already were direct dealers for some equipment suppliers, buying direct then reselling to the RVer with the pricing being established at the time of purchase and sale. We used the internet to source those RV parts buyers, in addition to our contacts gained at RV Rallies. This allowed our prices to follow the currency variations and since we did not need to keep a buffer (or overpriced inventory), we and the RVer were able to establish a fair price. When the Canadian Currency began to rise, our prices fell, while the printed catalogue price stayed fixed for the year. So RVer's who checked prices at the RV dealer, then with us, generally bought the products from us. When dealers started to complain, we were notified that we were undercutting the 'Bricks and Mortar" RV dealers and within one week of one distributor withdrawing our ability to buy products from them, the second distributor suddenly also withdrew our ability to buy from them as well. No collusion here?
Regardless in hindsight this was a blessing, since we could focus on the products we could buy a sell both in Canada and in the USA. We did not need to carry a lot of inventory and we could offer the RVer some help with the technical aspects of the products they were buying. We routinely present seminars at RV Rallies and often we had a booth where we could meet and assist RVers with their needs. We had time to focus on solving problems that RVers were experiencing and introduced products to the RV marketplace.
Fast forward to the present and you will see that there are items on our website that we no longer stock, and while in some cases we will order, for others we cannot. The Technical Tips (TT) will continue to address items that we know will assist other RVers. Our Blog will focus on items of interest and the News articles will be more timely, and our way of bringing important topics to your attention. You can always email or call us and we'll do our best to address the issue.
We look forward to assist RVers as we connect in this way. Any items we still have in stock we will be selling as before.
Micro Air Easy Start Air Conditioning Controllers
Posted on Aug 13, 2020
We are pleased to have sufficient stock to be able to offer immediate shipment of the Easy Start 364 Air Conditioning Controllers. These amazing devices significantly reduce the start up current of the typical AC compressor such that a generator as small as 2000 watts will start the air conditioner. Without this device installed typically a generator of around 3,000 watts are needed. We have supplied these units to RVers, Boaters and even industrial users such as builders of train locomotives, which use RV air conditioners to cool the Engineer's cab area. They run these AC units on 5,000 watt inverters powered by batteries. This technology makes the starting of a air conditioner's compressor almost a non event with even cool air effortlessly being provided. We also have limited stock of units designed for small 240VAC residential air conditioners. Read Tech Tip #112 for a more detailed explanation of these wonderful, easy to install units.
Towing an Electric Vehicle? Use a Tow Dolly
Posted on Jun 1, 2020
Some RVers are looking at buying or leasing an Electric Vehicle as their daily driving vehicle. If you want to take it with you on a RV vacation, then selecting the right one and deciding how it can be towed become critical elements in any decision. In my Rob's Blog articles over the last year, I've written a number of ground breaking articles to help people with this decision. I've covered vehicle selection, how to tow, setting up a tow dolly and made recommendations about improvements I made to make towing easier. I also give some recommendations about how to easily install lighting on you towed vehicle while it is on a tow dolly.
Taking this a little further, I've given you an idea of what it is like to actually drive an EV and in a future article I'll given you some hints on how to charge your EV when at a campsite. We often refer to this as 'free charging' since you are using the campground system to charge your vehicle while 'camping' at a RV site.
After more than a year of actually towing and using an EV as our primary vehicle and tow vehicle, I'll share some lessons learned. All of this will help those walking this path after me to avoid some of the pitfalls you can potentially run up against.
Quality LED Accent Strip Lighting
Posted on May 3, 2016
If you have been patiently waiting for Quality, LED Strip Lighting to accent the exterior of your RV, then now is the time to buy. We have UL52 Listed Strip lighting in Blue, Cool White and Warm White colors in 120" (3m) to 196" (5m) lengths. (Not all sizes are available in all colors). They have a black background which blends nicely with the commonly used black awning and slide-topper covers, they are waterproof and use a superior type of 3M adhesive for long lasting adhesion. In addition, we have Remote Controls that use a key-fob sized Remote to control the brightness as well as turning them on and off. Check out our Tech Tip #90 for more information and then read more under our 'Products' tab in the 'LED Lighting' section and the Gold hotlink in the first paragraph.
Rob's Travel Blog
Posted on Sep 30, 2015
The RV Adventures of Rob and
Jane detail trips, we have taken in our 40 foot motorhome. The first
to be documented, in what we hope will be a series, was one we took to
Northern Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon and Alaska during the summer of 2015. The trip lasted 3-1/2 months and covered about 16,000 km
(10,000 miles). This is a compilation of regular messages which we sent to a
small email list of contacts, all of which encouraged Rob to publish it in a
more formal fashion. At the completion of the trip we were able to add sections
not covered in the email messages and include some additional photos with
details. A Blog posting of the trip commentary seemed to be the most practical and
accessible to the widest number of people, thus that is what follows. It may
also be expanded into a book format, including more photos taken along the way.
Each section contains a PDF file of the photos together with a running
commentary. Should you wish to be included on a list announcing future blogs of
RV trips we embark upon, send an email to us from this website.
Rob & Jane Lowe
Click here to go our Travel Blog & Enjoy!
The ABC's of L.E.D.s is Now Available!
Posted on Jan 3, 2015
We are happy to announce that our latest book has just been published and is now available. This book, The ABCs of L.E.D.s has been published as an E-Book, to allow it to be kept current in this ever-changing RV world. You can read it, downloaded as a PDF file, on almost every reader, computer or smartphone with the proper App. The ABCs of L.E.D.s is written in an easy to understand format. It begins by explaining what L.E.D.s are, why they are becoming popular in RVs, the various light colours available along with many other important features and benefits. Not only is there a great overview of the replacement options, there are many pages devoted to explaining how to make the conversion. Over 40 photos in 70 pages contribute to making this world's first book on the topic a trailblazer. Check out our Blog for the Preview Link and the link to purchase and download it.
RVing FuseSwitch-TM Installation on 2014 Chev. Malibu
Posted on Apr 20, 2014
Check out the installation instructions and photos of the installation of a RVing FuseSwitchTm in a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu. This instruction sheet is unique, since it includes the complete information in one area. Prior to this, we provided the photos in one document and in second we provided the instructions.
This new format is easier to use, can be reviewed online as the RVing FuseSwitchTm is being installed, or printed and referred to. There are two separate installation processes depending upon whether the car has a keyless ignition or not. Installation may require one double RVing FuseSwitchTm (keyless ignition) or two with a conventional keyed ignition. The mounting location is easy to find, yet not visible to the uninformed due to its location in the compartment in front of the fuse panel to the left of the steering column. Check it out and consider a 2014 Malibu as an excellent tow car.
Rotary LED Dimmer's Now Available
Posted on Feb 28, 2014
We are pleased to announce that RV Parts Plus can supply Rotary Dimmers designed to properly dim LED lighting circuits that contain "dimmable" LED replacement bulbs. This rotary dimmer replaces the typical Original Equipment Dimmer (which do not properly dim LED's) with one that does. They are available in Brown, White and Black versions and provide linear dimming of lighting circuits with LED's. Since LED Replacement bulbs operate over a wide voltage range, the original equipment dimmer which varies the voltage does not provide proper dimming. These replacements are use electronic controls to dim the bulbs and are very effective in providing linear dimming from bright to low. These Rotary Dimmers join the Rectangular versions we offer in the same color choices.
Rob's Blog Focuses on Battery & Charging Issues
Posted on Jan 24, 2014
In an attempt to assist RVers who are experiencing "Dead" Batteries or lack of charging of either the Chassis/Starting or Coach/House batteries, Rob has presented in his recent Blog postings an overview of how many motorhome charging and battery systems interact and some of the issues surrounding why they may not function correctly. This explanation covers both the charging of the batteries while driving as well as when parked and plugged into Shore power or using a generator. The explanation is somewhat generic however it will provide a basis for many to better understand and possibly trouble shoot a "dead" battery situation. Some Case Studies are presented that detail the problem and how they were solved with the hope that by reading the Blog you will be able to deal with a similar problem. Let us now if you found this series helpful!
LED Fluorescent Bulb Replacement
Posted on Sep 4, 2013
RV Parts Plus is pleased to introduce Gold Star LED replacement tubes for Fluorescent tubes found in RV's. These simply fit into the existing fixture and are wired by means of supplied connectors into the fixture after disconnecting the fixture's ballast that is no longer needed. If the RVer wishes to only replace one of the tubes, this is a possibility, however the other tube must be removed, since it will no longer operate. In addition that side of the fixture will not have any light. This method my be an option in over kitchen counter applications where the fixture is not visible. The 18" tubes can be rotated while mounted in the fixture to direct the light better. Again in applications where the fixture is under a counter and the light needs to be projected forward to cover more of the counter, this LED replacement tube allows you to do this. For a selection of LED Replacement Bulbs click on our Products Page, then LED Lighting to see our selection. For the TechTips on Fluorescent Bulb Replacement check out #75 and #76 or search out Blog.