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Casino Camping in Oregon and California February 16 2017, 0 Comments



TOUGH TOP COMMUNITY January 23 2017, 0 Comments

We love the RV industry!!

Last year we celebrated our 10th year in business manufacturing and selling RV awnings. Looking back on all the success, some failures, all the wonderful people and businesses we have met we all know how lucky we are, and this is where we belong. 

We started kicking around an idea to further connect our community of RV businesses and all the people who support us all. We fully believe in community and even more so from our travels and being is business for 10 years, believe in the RV community.

So, we decided to launch the Tough Top Community! It's simple in nature, we want a place were RV businesses and organizations can promote themselves and introduce themselves to the RV world, and we want a place all of YOU can meet these businesses, connect with them and receive consistent information as well.....under one roof.

We are new and need all the help we can get....We are very forntute to have a few well established businesses believe in our idea and join us. Please take a look at the Community, let us know what you think....But more importantly share with others, connect with the Community businesses and help us make this a powerful tool in the RV industry.

We at Tough Top Awnings thanks you in advance for your help and look forward to grow the community.

 http://toughtopcommunity.toughtopawnings.com/index.html


RV Awning Discount + RVgeeks Quartzsite Appearance! December 09 2016, 1 Comment

Happy Holidays!

We are excited for the holiday season, but want to keep the excitement going through the New Year! We will be in Quartzite in Jan. for the RV Show with our friends the RVgeeks, and offering a 10% discount starting now and running till the end of the show.

 

 

CLICK HERE TO GET ALL THE DETAILS....AND WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW!!

 


RV Recipe - Chicken Sausage Scramble - Fall Style December 06 2016, 0 Comments

This is one of my own….I first started making this on camping trips in tin foil, then started making it at home on the skillet, now a staple of RVing….I change it up depending on what I have and time of year….there is my fall version!!

 

This is just to get you started….Ive never been one to stick to a recipe

 

  • - 1 Package of Aidells Chicek & Apple Sausage

http://www.aidells.com/products

 

  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Apple of your choice
  • Cinnamon
  • Raisons (just an option)
  • Sea Salt and Pepper (optional)

 

 

Start with cooking the Peppers and Onions in a skillet, then add apple and sausage as its pre-cooked…..I like to add a bit sea salt and pepper…..then add some cinnamon for a nice fall taste…maybe even add a pinch of nutmeg…..add the raisons if you would like and let simmer…..when the peppers are soft i know its read to go 

 

again….this is to get you started….as i like to cook by eye and taste….enjoy


RV Recipe - Chicken Sausage Scramble - Winter Style December 06 2016, 0 Comments

This is one of my own….I first started making this on camping trips in tin foil, then started making it at home on the skillet, now a staple of RVing….I change it up depending on what I have and time of year….there is my winter version!!

 

This is just to get you started….Ive never been one to stick to a recipe

 

  • - 1 Package of Aidells Chicek & Apple Sausage

http://www.aidells.com/products

 

  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Apple of your choice
  • Cinnamon
  • Raisons (just an option)
  • Sea Salt and Pepper (optional)

 

 

Start with cooking the Peppers and Onions in a skillet, then add apple and sausage as its pre-cooked…..I like to add a bit sea salt and pepper…..then add some cinnamon for a nice winter taste…maybe even add a pinch of nutmeg…..add the raisons if you would like and let simmer…..when the peppers are soft i know its read to go 

 

again….this is to get you started….as i like to cook by eye and taste….enjoy


5 real easy ways to be “green”er on the road September 26 2016, 0 Comments

 

1. You like beer? Buy cans…or better yet, buy a growler and re-fill it

2. Don’t use paper towels - I know, its easy, but get some cleaning rags….its a breeze to hand wash them yourself and reuse

3. Shop at Farmers Markets - Bring your own bag, saves on packaging and plastic bags

4. Be sure to recycle - Have a relying bag or container to keep in your RV for when a RV park or campground does not have a receiving bin….If your at a grocery store or Costco…unpack in the parking lot and take the recycling back to the store and ask if they can recycle for you

5. Be aware of your electric use as if you were home - Turn off lights when not needed, look into high efficient lightbulbs, or possible solar options, there are some cool outdoor solar lights out there….along solar lamps and lanterns 

Wapiti RV Park - Lincoln City OR August 24 2016, 0 Comments

 

I hit the Oregon coast last week, and I’ve had a wonderful time, it’s a wonderment of trees, ocean, cliffs and sand. But with beauty does come traffic, a lot of people and challenges to find a place to stay, and stay at a reasonable price. After spending the night in Tillamook, OR I was looking for a place around Pacific City, not having much luck I branched out and started emailing a few places inland along with Lincoln City. About the time I made the decision that I would drive inland to a casino about 40 miles from the coast I got an email from Wapiti RV Park and they said they had dry camping for $20! So, that was a no brainer, to have a spot and be close to the coast, it was HOT and the idea of spending the night in heat and asphalt was not exciting me at all.

 

Wapiti RV Park is located on the south side of Lincoln City off the 101 in the country about 3 miles from beach access. I rode my e-bike to the beach with my dog with no issues. It’s a very beauty property with trees all about and a lot of green grass, there is also a small river right across the highway with wild blackberries to pick.

 

Wapiti RV Park is nothing fancy in terms of amenities. Their RV sites have water and electric and there is a dump station on site, I think the RV sites are around $30. The property used to be owned by the Elks, and this is the 2nd or 3rd summer it has been open to the public. There is a area for special events as there was a wedding while I was there. They also have a basketball court, some play equipment, horseshoes and a gazebo you can rent that has a place to cook and such, a nice little community hangout.

 

What I loved was the dry camping! Being self-sustainable I had no issues with it. They told me to drive out on the grass and park where I want! By the end of my first night there were probably 20 people dry camping and it was very nice and peaceful, Saturday was a bit more crazy with the wedding, but still nice….just people having a good time and not noisy at all.

 

All in all I just loved this place…. Lincoln City and the 101 was crazy busy and I felt I was no where close to that, but still able to take advantage of the beach without even moving my camper. Finding places like this is rare and should full be enjoyed when you come across them.

 

More info on Wapiti RV Park: http://www.wapitirvpark.com

 


Travel Planning Tip: My Maps by Google August 02 2016, 0 Comments

There are so many websites, apps and other tools these days to help us plan our adventures….As I get ready to hit the road again I wanted to be a bit better of a planner for the Oregon and California coast. I wanted to map out the places I wanted to visit, the hikes and sites I wanted to see, and then hopefully find inexpensive camping around those areas as well. And not being a good planner, this sorta stresses me out!

After going some research I cam across this article taking about “My Maps” on Google

http://www.kevinandamanda.com/create-a-custom-travel-map-with-google-maps/

It’s a simple but cool tool to use. If you have a Google account you can just login go to this link and get started.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/?pli=1

You can name your map, do multiple maps too. If you have spots which you already know you want to camp or visit, you can type it in the search bar, then add a pin and label that pin. You can even color coat your pins….I colored all my “camping” pins in green. You can also create pins if you know your map coordinates as well.

Once you create a pin, there is a list of pins on the left side which you can click and the map will go to that pin. If you are a visual person like me its great to look over an area on a map and see a hike a really want to take, then see the campsite I want to stay at or realize I need to find a campsite in the area.

From there you can create directions, find distance from pin to pin, draw lines and even create layers on the map.

I’m really just diving in so I’m sure there are many other features to use but I wanted to pass this tool along….

 

Do you have a site or app you use to plan your trip? I would love to hear about it.


THE VALUE OF THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE July 27 2016, 0 Comments

 

It seems each passing day the world is evolving around us, some for good, some maybe not so much! The age of technology and the internet was created to make our lives easier, right? A streamlined process to give us more time in our days and have everything we need at our fingertips. But when it comes to some things, customer service and the user experience I think the internet and automation has built a wall between the customer and the business.

 

One of the things Tough Top Awnings takes great pride in is the customer experience and excellent customer service. We are a mostly online company and we sell our products all over the world, but that does not mean the customer must suffer because of it. We have taken many measures and given great thought to be sure each customer has the best experience they can….starting with finding out the information you need, to buying an awning, shipping and receiving a great product for your RV to 5th wheel. 

 

Out website has information about all our products, a buying checklist to follow so when you are ready to buy, you have all the information needed to make your purchase…AND a easy to use online store to make your purchase stress free and secure!

 

We also work with the RV Geeks, who help us make how-to and installation videos to make the process of installing your new awning as easy as possible too.

 

AND on top of all that, if you have a questions or concerns about anything at all, Tyler, our Operation Manager, his phone number and email is on every page of your website for easy access. There is no automated person on the other end…no “push 2 followed by the pound key”…just real people with a passion for what we do.

 

We all come from a background of hard work, but realize hard work only gets us so far….the customer and the ability to create an excellent experience will give us longevity in a wonderful industry we love.

 

Happy RVing


RV 110 VOLT AC TROUBLESHOOTING July 25 2016, 0 Comments

This is an introductory guide to RV 110 volt troubleshooting


First and foremost safety precautions should always be exercised when working with electricity, particularly 110 VAC because it can not only cause serious injury but it can also kill so 110 volt troubleshotting should not be attempted by the inexperienced. For those who are not experienced with electricity its as simple as getting help. Most likely you have a friend or acquaintance who would be glad to show you the "do's" and "don'ts" of AC troubleshotting or you could take a course at a local community college or vocational school. Do not attempt this till you do one or the other.Anyone with the desire can learn these things so you are not doomed to taking your RV to a service center every time a problem rears its head.

 

The tool you'll need in AC troubleshotting is a decent multimeter or VOM (volt ohm meter). A RMS meter really isn't necessary unless you need accurate readings from a non-sine wave AC power source such as an inverter.

OK, let's get started!

STEP ONE: Check for "good" voltage at the source, where ever you're plugged into. 110-120 volts is normal



The above is a typical 30 amp plug. The round hole at top is ground, with hot and neutral on the bottom where you would place your VOM probes.


This is a 50 amp plug. Again ground is on top, the left and right slots are 110 Volt hot legs(50 amp is actually 220 volts) and common is the lower leg. Here take your reading from common to each 110 volt leg.


STEP TWO: Check for voltage at the main breaker box in the RV.

 

  • Exercise caution here because its "live" when you're doing this

     

  • Look for obvious problems such as loose or burnt wires. If wires are secure and in place take a reading between the hot(black) wire and neutral (white) wire. Reading should be about the same as at the power source.
  • (Note: If there is an inverter in the coach you may have an isolated neutral, isolated that is from the regular neutral bus bar so if you run across this it is normal.)

     

  • No voltage at breaker box.

  •  This means there is an "open" or break in the circuit somewhere between shore plug in and the breaker box

 

SUCH PROBLEMS COULD BE:

 

  • Shore line plug in Check the condition of your power cord plug and the receptacle you're plugging into. Are the blades and the receptacle clean and in good condition? If not don't be surprised if you experience any type of power problem.

     

     

  • Inspect your power cord - both ends and in between>Sometimes problems are obvious...and sometimes not so obvious. It could be a break or partial break near the plug as this is a high stress area. (Intermittent electrical problems can be caused by a partial break near the plug depending upon how the cord might be twisted or turned. If you suspect your cord spend some time changing the position of the cord and see if there is a pattern of continuity and not continuity.)

     

     

  • ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch)

     

    If the coach has a generator there is a switch somewhere, automatic or manual, depending upon the age of the coach which regulates which power source is being used. (You sure don't want BOTH at the same time). If you have power from one source (generator or shore power) and not the other your problem in probably right here. Depending upon your expertise you may want to stop here. They're not always easy to get to or to diagnose.

REMINDER: Older coaches equipped with a generator may need the power cord plugged into an outlet usually located in the power cord storage area. Also if you have no power from the generator be sure the breakers at the generator are turned "on".

 

INVERTER

 

    An inverter can cause an open Having power in some areas and not others is a tip off it could be the inverter

 

STEP THREE: Check for voltage out of main breaker box.

 

      Check all breakers - switch them off and on a number of times to insure they're working. Next check for output voltage on the load side. (This is the black wire coming off of each single breaker going to its respective load.)

 

If the breaker panel is marked and you're experiencing a power problem in one specific area you already know which breaker to check. If not you'll have to figure it out through the process of elimination.

If you have power into the breaker it is unlikely you have no power out. (ie. all the breakers being bad.)

REMINDER If you have power in and no power out be sure MAIN BREAKER is on and operating correctly.

 

 

    No voltage at the load side of a particular breaker.

 

 



Here is a typical 30 amp breaker box to help illustrate what we're discussing. On the left is the incoming ground (green) wire going to the ground bus bar. Also note the incoming neutral(large white wire) going to the neutral bus bar along with other neutral load wires attached. Looking carefully you will note the hot incoming(large black wire) looping down and up to the left most breaker.(main breaker) The other three breakers comprise the three separate 110 circuits in this RV. Incoming voltage reading would be taken at the neutral bus bar and at the bottom of the main breaker. To test other breaker operations reading would be taken at the bottom where the load wires are attached and the neutral bus bar. 



Above is a typical 50 amp breaker.(There was no inverter in this coach) Note the 2 incoming hot legs (large RED and BLACK wires) going to the two main breakers for this coach. Also note the neutral bus bar in the foreground with the ground bus bar immediately behind it. The incoming ground wire is difficult to differentiate but it is on the left with the 2 incoming hot wires. Here again VOLTAGE READINGS are taken between neutral and hot. 

 

  • incoming voltage- at the bottom of the two main breakers(on the far left)

  • outgoing voltage- at the bottom of any of the other breakers which is "load side" for the rest of the 110 circuits.




DISCONNECT

 all power (shore cord and inverter)

 Check for continuity through the breaker.

Disconnect black wire from the load side of breaker.

Check for continuity through the breaker.

Go to hot bus bar (if so equipped) and check for continuity from there to the load side of breaker (where you disconnected the black load wire.)

No continuity...replace breaker.

 

Voltage out of circuit breaker and yet no operation at the load (appliance, outlet, etc)

 

    This means there is an "open" or break in between the breaker and the load. Next step is to check all junction boxes in the circuit. (This would be at the air conditioner, water heater, if equipped for AC, junction box under slide for AC outlets, etc, etc.

 

STEP FOUR JUNCTION BOX INSPECTION:

Check for loose wires, burnt wires, or burnt wire insulation.

Remove wire nuts, separate wires and check for voltage between black (hot) wire and neutral (white) wire.

No voltage then there is an open between here and breaker box. Anytime you're in a junction box suspected of an "open" pull wire nuts and retighten and wrap with electrical tape. Could be another junction box, a pinched, broken or pierced wire somewhere in between. If you trace it to this point you may want to refer this headache to an RV technician.