Oct 232015

Use Your Noodle 2

Here’s an RV Do It Yourself tip to help you secure your free standing dinette chairs to make sure they stay put and don’t bang into anything during travel.

Over the past summer, we bought a fifth wheel that has a dinette with free-standing chairs. The previous owner (it’s a three year old rig) hadn’t used it much and said he’d never even seen any tie-down straps for the chairs. Some RVers don’t secure their dinette chairs. Others report damage caused by unsecured chairs during a panic-stop or accident. We opted to be safe rather than sorry.

Having used the noodles to make pads for the RV cover, we started thinking about how we could use them to solve this problem. The pictures show what we came up with:

We leaned the chairs into the table so that the chair backs touch the edge of the table, making sure the chair legs clear the wall and the couch.

The noodles we used are about 3 inches in diameter and approximately 52 inches long. We used two noodles. First we slit each of them lengthwise through one side into the center hole. Then we cut each of them into four 13 inch pieces.

The pieces could now be slipped over the outer stiles of the chair backs as shown to provide padding between the table and the chairs.

To hold everything together while on the road, we considered rope, bungee cords, and nylon strapping. We ended up using Velcro One-Wrap strapping and it works great. This stuff sticks to itself and holds firmly, so no knots, hooks, clips, or buckles are needed. It’s easy to remove and simply wrap around the noodle pieces for storage between trips. We bought two 3/4 inch wide by 12 foot rolls. The strip securing each opposing pair of chairs is roughly 9 feet long.

The sketch attempts to show the whole thing from the top of the table. You can see how the Velcro strap (in red) runs around the backs of of the chairs, then under the table and around the center pedestal. There’s another strap for the other pair of chairs, but I just showed one for clarity. One side of the Velcro strapping is soft and fuzzy. We’d suggest you make sure that side is the one that comes in contact with the table and chairs so there is no scratching of the surfaces. Finally, adding a short strap at the top of each pair of chairs, as shown in the last photo, made everything very stable and secure.

There are other ways to secure dinette chairs, and some RVers don’t even bother. We decided to do it and we wanted something that would work and would be inexpensive and fairly easy to use. The two noodles and the Velcro straps cost us less than $30 and everything is lightweight and reusable. While you do have to crawl under the table a bit to put the straps on, it’s pretty easy to do.

So far we’ve used the pool noodles to pad slide-out corners, to make protective pads for an RV cover (post is here),  to help secure chairs for travel (this post), and to help winterize the refrigerator (post is here). I’m beginning to think these foam noodles may join good ol’ duct tape in the “don’t leave home without it” category.

We’d love to hear how you secure things for travel. What has worked for you? What hasn’t? Leave a comment

 October 23, 2015  Posted by at 6:00 pm RV Do It Yourself Tagged with: , , , ,  2 Responses »
Aug 132008

No, this isn’t a rant! I try not to rant. I don’t always succeed, but I try. This is more a statement of surprise that a company would spend money on print advertising that left at least this potential customer puzzled and frustrated. In my work-a-day world, I’m Operations and Marketing Manager for a software company. I’m interested in what does and doesn’t work in online marketing. So, I guess this is more an open letter to the company in question, asking “Am I missing something here?”

To the marketing manager of Company X: You placed an ad in Trailer Life™ magazine in which you warned me that “Your RV is at risk!” You told me that if the keys to my RV’s storage compartments bore the number CH751, I was in trouble. You told me to call your 800 number immediately! You also gave your company web address. Well, like a lot of people today, I’ll go to a web site LONG before I’ll call and chat with a salesperson! You listed your site URI and I was there in a flash, expecting to find out why my “RV is at risk” because of these keys. NADA! I could tell what you make. My impression that you sell on a wholesale basis to dealers, OEMs, etc. was confirmed when I clicked your “Order Online” link and woke up on a ThomasNet page where I could view your catalog and request a quote! Like that’s something a Trailer Life reader is likely to do!

Nowhere on your web site could I find any reference to your Trailer Life ad, the problem with my keys, my “at risk” status or how to fix it. IMHO, what your advertising dollars really did was waste my time and your money. You left me frustrated because you got my attention with your ad – that’s a good thing. You told me I might have a problem and gave me the impression you could solve it and made me want to know more – a good thing, too. Then you left me with nothing – not so good.

Ok, so maybe if I’d called your toll-free number one of your sales people would have taken care of everything. But come on, people go to web sites today – for information – to learn about how to solve their problems – to buy things. You ran an ad that got my attention, now take me to a landing page that follows through on the story you started to tell. Explain the problem. Explain your solution. Tell me how to buy your solution. Maybe I will.  Maybe a lot of other Trailer Life readers will too. Give us a chance, or don’t waste your advertising dollars.

Oh, by the way, I think you’re telling me that my CH751 key might open my neighbor’s RV storage compartments, and vise-versa. In fact, I found an eBay listing for “Replacement Keys for RV Locks CH751 – 6 Keys.” Certainly, if anyone with a similarly numbered key could open one of my storage compartments, he, she or it could get inside my trailer. Of course he, she or it could do the same with a crowbar!. Anyway, I think this company is trying to tell us to replace our old locks, to which many people may have keys, with new ones having unique keys. If that’s the case, I’m with them. I’m just not buying from them because they’re not helping me to do so.

May 312008

Knots are for RVers too Whether you’re a tent camper or drive a big RV, every so often you just have to grab a piece of rope and tie something down…or up. We all know there are lots of different knots and that using the right one for a particular task is a good thing. But can you always remember what knot to use and how to tie it?

Me either! But I found this neat web site called I Will Knot! (www.iwillknot.com). The author, a fellow named Peter Hudson, includes pictures and descriptions of quite a few popular and useful knots. There is also a quick video showing how to tie each knot. So, if you travel with a laptop, or a web-capable cell phone or PDA, you can be a knotty pro where ever you are!

 May 31, 2008  Posted by at 5:19 pm How To Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
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