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Well...they are VERY important. Ask me how I know...
So, assuming you asked, when we bought our new RV we wanted to put them on, seeing the wisdom of spending just a little bit now to protect our RV.
But...the store, we went to buy them only had one for our refrigerator and not for our furnace. With so much going on (settling into RV life for the first time) we completely forgot about the missing furnace mesh protector.
Why didn't I just go to Amazon and order them...
Here are a few Amazon links to mesh covers. Be sure to measure to make sure you get the right ones.
Furnace and Water Heater
Fast forward a few years...and you guessed it, we had a problem.
I noticed a black soot coming from our furnace. We were going into winter and this was not good!!!
We called a RV mobile technician and something (wasps or possible a mouse) had crawled up into our furnace and made a nest and/or died up there in enough quantity that we had a big problem.
Our furnace got so hot that the metal discolored and it blew a hole in the metal to boot! I'm pretty sure if this had continued without us noticing we could have had a fire and lost the whole RV. So, I am extra thankful that we caught it before something tragic happened.
We had to completely replace the furnace and we're about to have a $1500 hit to our savings.
What to do...
Somehow, I thought to call our RV insurance company just to see if they cover such things. The lady who answered put me on hold while she asked someone else. I really didn't have hope that they would, but as the saying goes, "Never say, no for them."
Turns out, because we had comprehensive insurance it could be ruled an act of animal they covered the new furnace (minus of course our deductible.) Yipeee!!!
We were so relieved! Now, I don't know what your deductible is, but as happy as we were not to be paying for the whole furnace we sure were kicking ourselves that we hadn't tracked down a furnace vent cover sooner!
Now, that's all the money side of it, there's also that winter was upon us. Thankfully, it was a very mild winter where we were, but there were delays, after delays, after delays getting the furnace from the factory and let me say that electric blankets just can't be over-hyped enough in such situations.
So, the moral of the story is and what we've now done is buy every mesh vent cover that we can get our hands on.
Because I do not want to be responsible for your RV here is a disclaimer: This information is just what I do. If it would damage your RV please don't do this. I am just a fellow RVer like you trying to figure this stuff out and not a chemist or a professional anything to know what could or could not hurt your RV.
I imagined calling 911 only to not know (under pressure) my exact address or where I put the RV park's receipt to find it! When seconds count, I don't want to be searching for our current address.
I also needed something to hang as decor in this area of my living room/kitchen.
Thus the ever changing address chalk board was born. These are just a few dollars and the peace of mind they give me has been worth every penny.
I update them every time we move and now when I need to order something on Amazon, or give my address to order pizza, or put it in Google maps to find out where the closest Walmart is I have it close at hand.
To get the letters to be dark enough to be able to see them across the room I use chalk board marker.
Sorry about the reversed pictures (if anyone knows how to fix this, I am all ears...)
However once we were shown how to empty and flush a black tank, we soon realized that it is not as bad as it seems, but the cost started to add up...
The cost for the special RV toilet paper (I'll be posting about our solution to that soon) and the cost of the special tank cleaners and deodorizers were not something we thought about when buying a RV. Our grocery budget didn't know what hit it!
Worst of all some of them didn't seem to actually do anything!
We tried a few finally settling on one that worked very well from Amazon, but the cost of it (even more than the others) prompted me to look into making my own.
With a bit of trepidation (I had to look up how to spell that!), I made an old enzyme cleaner recipe I had for things like floors etc. and we decided to give it a try.
The results were amazing! It worked better than the store bought expensive stuff and costs pennies!
Here's the recipe along with some tips:
In a large container (think at least a gallon) that has a lid (screw top is better) mix:
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups lemons cut up (or lemon remnants)
Fill the container with warm water (leave about an inch or more of space at the top)
Put the container in something that you won't need to use often (like the cake pan you see in the picture) and put the lid on loosely. Of course, during travel I secure these so they don't spill.
But, if you don't put the lid on loosely pressure will build and....well it won't be pretty.
Now, leave it alone for about 2 weeks or longer.
About a cup or two down the black tank and/or grey tanks (if you like) will keep everything dissolving nicely.
Keep a batch brewing going at all times and when I run out of the batch that I'm using, I switch over to the brewing batch to use and make another batch (draining out the sold bits before I use it).
I use two old laundry detergent containers for this process, one of which I cut the spout off of, so I could fit the lemon pieces into it and the other I left the spout on for easy of use.
Get lemons and make lemon aid. I store left over peels in a zip lock bag in the freezer. This way I always have lemons I can make the cleaner with and my husband gets fresh lemon aid on the regular (which he appreciates).
We've been using this for a few years now with no problems, but because I do not want to be responsible for your RV here is a disclaimer: This information is just what I do. If it would damage your RV please don't do this. I am just a fellow RVer like you trying to figure this stuff out and not a chemist or a professional anything to know what could or could not hurt your RV.