What do you need to know before you tow?

If you ever plan to involve yourself in activities such as moving, hauling equipment, boating, camping or some sort of automotive pastime, such as auto crossing or drag racing, then chances are you’ll need to do some towing and you may need to rent a trailer to accomplish the task. At Rental Stop we carry a variety of trailers that our customers use to move all kinds of things. One of the most critical factors to consider will be the capability of your vehicle to tow the trailer you need to perform the job safely and with as little effort as possible. Must paaenger car bumpers are not able to tow a medium weight trailer woithout being re-enforced.

Make sure you truck, van or car is prepared to tow the rental trailer before you go and rent the item. Here at Rental Stop , we have had customers try to rent a tractor and pull it with a Toyota Camry. This will not turn out well for the customer or for Rental Stop. Two of the most important things to have when you tow are basic common sense and the ability to adjust your driving. In other words, when towing, everything you do while driving needs to be done at about half the speed when compared to driving without a trailer. When you turn, go much slower. When you accelerate, do it much easier. When you brake, allow yourself a great deal more space to stop. And when you change lanes, allow room for your vehicle and the trailer.

As far as cars go, a full-size body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive car like a Ford Crown Victoria (rated to tow 2,000 pounds) or Chevy Caprice is a basic minimum for towing anything approaching the weight of a 2,000-pound trailer. For smaller trailers, a smaller car can work, but for hauling anything more than 2,000 pounds you’re going to need a truly tow-friendly vehicle. Ideally, a truck or an SUV is always a smart choice for towing a boat or camper. Even a compact pickup is going to be better than just about any car. For heavier loads (say more than 4,000 pounds) a half-ton truck like will meet the needs of just about any of the trailer-towing basics we’re discussing here. But even among half-ton trucks, towing ability can vary.

Besides the tow vehicle and the trailer, the other critical element is, of course, the hitch. Trailer hitches are rated according to capacity of the load weight and tongue weight. Load weight is referenced in terms of Gross Trailer Weight (GTW, see chart at the end of article). Tongue weight is the downward force exerted on the hitch ball. This is usually calculated at 10-15 percent of the maximum rated GTW. The tongue is usually formed from the V-shaped merging of the trailer framerails at the front of the trailer. The coupler of the trailer is what accepts the hitch ball. At Rental Stop, we use a 2″ ball which is the most common size in use today. Also, be very concious of the air pressure in your trailers tires. A blowout there can create real handling and braking problems for the most experienced driver. So, ask that the tires be checked before you leave the rental facility.

As we mentioned at the beginning, your driving style when towing a trailer needs to change dramatically. If you’ve never towed a trailer before and you’re nervous about it, we’d strongly recommend seeking out someone who has had experience with towing. In general, you need to remember that when you are towing, you have considerably less room for margin of error. Your vehicle and trailer are much less maneuverable and nimble than your car or truck is without a trailer, and it’s critical that you always compensate for the added length the trailer adds when you change lanes so that you don’t run anyone off the road.

If you are unsure of what you need to safely complete your towing task, call us at 972-336-0059 and our expert Rental Stop staff will assist you in making a great decision.


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3 Questions to ask before your next Kitchen Remodel

Thinking about renovating your kitchen? You’re not alone. The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms of any house to remodel. Whether you’re updating you kitchen with a fresh coat of paint, adding more storage or doing a complete overhaul, here are three questions to ask before you go and rent that air hammer. I suggest that you rent the heavy equipment needed for the job, so that you can make the job easier in the long run.

1. What does your dream kitchen look like? Make a list of everything you want in your ideal kitchen, including floors, countertops, appliances, fixtures, backsplash and the equipment you will need to do the demolition, clean-up and installation. Most of the items you need can be rented from your neighborhood Rental Stop store. Look through magazines to get some ideas.

2. How much of your dream kitchen can you afford? A basic upgrade would keep the same floor plan and some DIY cosmetic makeover with new paint, new appliances, new fixtures and cabinet hardware. You can rent a paint sprayer to save a lot of time or just use a brush and roller. The appliances will determine the major cost of this kind of project, so the average budget is between $5000 to $10,000. A midsized renovation usually includes new floors, cabinets and countertops and those items in the basic upgrade. If you want to do some of  work yourself, be sure to checkout what items you can rent from Rental Stop. You should budget around $10,000 to $35,000. A major remodel includes all of the above aspects and involves changing the footprint of the room or adding additional space. You could end up tearing down walls and relocating plumbing which could require larger and more equipment to do the work. Remember your local Rental Stop store will have everything you need to get the job done quickly and safely. The average cost of a major renovation is between $35,000 and $75,000.

3. Do you have to hire a professional? While most homeowners can do minor improvements themselves. It’s often best to leave the bigger jobs to the professionals.

Whatever you decide the investment can really payoff when you get ready to sell your home. Best wishes for a successful project no matter the size or budget.



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The considerations for renting a sewer snake camera?

So, what is a sewer inspection camera (aka sewer snake camera) and how do you choose one to fit your needs? You can call your local Rental Stop store and their helpful equipment experts will be glad to give great information.

There are different types of pipe inspection cameras, for different  sized pipes, as well as for different types of inspection. Sewer  Inspection Cameras are manufactured in various working lengths, camera  diameters, and optional features, such as traceability (incorporated  sonde), water pressure resistance, image and video capture, self  leveling or remotely moving pan-and-tilt head, etc. You will be able to rent the sewer camera that will cover most of your needs.

So, take into account this information when you’re renting an inspection camera: 1. Camera Working Length: our most demanded and easy to operate are cameras with push rod from 20 to 60 meters (65 to 197 ft.). 2. Camera Head diameter: it should be at least few millimeters less than narrowest pipe you’re going to inspect. For centering camera in a pipe line special skids can be attached to a camera head. The smallest sewer camera heads available (from 0.9″). 3. If you need to keep your camera in a horizontal position, a system with self leveling camera would be a good choice. Looking for better observance pipes walls and lateral joints?A camera with remote control will deliver. 4. All of our cameras are waterproof but some inspections have to be done under significant water pressure. A heavy duty inspection camera will operate under 11 Bar water pressure. 5. While all of our rentable cameras are equipped with a color monitor to see inspections in real time, they also have the ability to record images and video. You can view it at a later date, or use the recording for documenting problem areas. Files can be saved on СF or SD memory cards depending on the chosen sewer camera system. 6. Sometimes it’s very important to not only detect a problem but to locate it from ground level. Some of our snake, sewer, and drain cameras that will transmit signal to locator and you can localize issue place in minute detial.
The Rental Stops in Grand Prairie and Arlington offer a variety of sewer snakes, pumps and other plumbing tools thet will make your job easier. They are convenient to the whole metroplex area. Check out our comprehensive website at www.rentalstops.com.

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How to use a pressure washer?

Pressure washers are one of the handiest tools a homeowner can use.  They can be used for everything from cleaning out your dog kennel to preparing a house for a new paint job. And you can rent a great piece of all-purpose cleaning equipment from your local Rental Stop store right here in the DFW area.

What Do I Need A Pressure Washer For?
The answer to that question is simple: just about everything. When most people think of renting  pressure washers they conjure up images of professional painters dangling off ladders in order to prep flaking surfaces for a facelift. The truth is that pressure washers have a number of possible uses that encompass just about any outdoor cleaning task you can imagine. Some of the most popular everyday uses of these inexpensive rentable machines include cleaning cars, driveways and walkways, gutters and downspouts, siding, outdoor furniture, dog kennels, garage floors, lawn mowers, garden equipment, and trash cans, and other soiled receptacles. Add to these a few of the more industrial uses, such as preparing surfaces to be painted and washing hard to clean areas and equipment where grease, heavy dirt and oil buildup occurs, and it’s easy to see why renting a pressure washer from time to time is an excellent idea. Remember, it’s really a cost-effective maintenance solution for the upkeep of your home, property, vehicles, tools, and a whole lot more.

How to Choose the Right Model for You
Many things need to be taken into account when renting the right power washer. If the washer use is limited to some spring cleaning (washing off your home’s siding, cleaning off the driveway and walks, etc.) you’ll probably be okay with a lower end, direct drive washer. If you plan to use a rented washer more frequently, say more than 100 hours per year, you’ll probably want to step up to a more agricultural or industrial rental model. Most cheaper residential models simply won’t hold up over the long run when exposed to more vigorous use.

Other things to pay attention to are the GPM and (PSI) of the units you’re renting. This refers to the gallons per minute of water that are dispensed and the pressure per square inch with which the unit expels that water. Generally, the higher the GPM, and more importantly the PSI, the more powerful and effective your pressure washer will be. The final consideration you’ll need to make is whether you want a gas or electric model. Electric washers are fine and efficient, especially if you’re fairly certain you’ll only be using the washer where outlets are accessible. However, if you plan on toting the washer around and want a more portable unit, renting a gas run model is well worth the extra money it will cost you.

Power Washer How To’s
The main thing to remember when using a pressure washer is simply that these units, even the smaller ones, pack a punch. I’ve seen an inexperienced painter strip not only the paint off of old wood siding with an industrial grade power washer, but a size-able portion of the wood as well. The key is start out at a good distance away from the object you’re washing, then work your way closer until you get the effect you’re looking for. Also, start with wider spray nozzles or settings and move to smaller ones only when you’re sure you need more power. Smaller nozzles and settings mean more pressure and more focused point of attack, so it’s better to play it safe and start bigger before working your way down. Once you get the hang of it, however, working with one becomes a breeze and pretty near to second nature for the operator.

Rentals are available at your local Rental Stop Store in the DFW area.

I am convinced it’s worth the investment? Don’t fret. Rental Stop usually have a fleet of these beauties on hand, and they can be cost effective to rent one for a few weekends a year. Good luck with your projects.

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What you Need to Know about Ladders

The holidays are here and so is the time of the year when most homeowners are likely to be using their ladders more often – hanging Christmas lights or decorating a tall tree, cleaning gutters and cutting dead tree limbs. So, your first thought should be: Do I need a buy or rent a ladder for this job?

The reason for renting a ladder is to get the proper ladder for the job a hand. Old guys like me just can’t do some of the things we used to do, especially while balancing on a ladder. Therefore, you don’t want to use a five foot ladder for a job that would require you to reach over ten feet high. I recommend that you go to your local Rental Stop location to find the exact ladder or lift for your project. I almost ran out of luck a couple of times and now use a taller one because I figured my luck was running out! Don’t test your luck. Renting ladders are cheaper and less painful than a trip to the emergency room.

Any time you are using a ladder it is smart to have another person with you. They can steady the ladder, put it back up if it falls while you’re on the roof or call 911 in an emergency. A “ladder buddy” is always a good idea on even the simplest projects.

Another comment on hanging lights with a six-foot ladder if it is aluminum. Not smart! Metal ladders conduct electricity (I hang my lights lit to check for loose connections, blown fuses and dead bulbs.). Rent a fiberglass ladder, like I now do, when hanging lights or doing other electrical work around your home. We’ve all done projects without having the proper equipment but don’t stretch your luck with ladders like I did. If it’s a one-time job, rent the right equipment and if it’s a recurring project you want to do (like your Christmas lights) invest in proper safe equipment and tools.

Q & A:

How do I know the height of the ladder that I need for my job? Most folks have only two kinds of ladders around the home – step and extension. The highest permitted standing level for an extension ladder is four rungs from the top and for a step ladder is two rungs from the top.

Is there anything other than height to consider when buying my ladder?  First, ladders are rated by weight they will support (the Duty Rating). Heavy folks like me will need a higher rated ladder. Keep in mind this rating isn’t just what you weigh on the scales after your shower! The weight should include clothing and tools & equipment that will be on the ladder with you. Also, rent the right ladder material for your project. As we mentioned, use non-conducting ladders if you are doing electrical work.

Your local Rental Stop will have the correct ladder for your specific need. Call or visit their award winning web site http://www.rentalstops.com.

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How to install a Lawn Irrigation System

After you plan your underground lawn irrigation system and purchase all your materials and equipment, you’re ready to start installation. I would suggest that you rent a trenching machine for the job. Plan to rent as many of  these tools and have them on hand when you start the project.

Roll up your sleeves and get out that elbow grease. Following is a step-by-step look at how you can install the sprinkler system.

  1. Lay the pipe out in your planned configuration.After you have all your pipe, fittings, and everything else on hand, double-check that you have everything you need from your design and parts list by laying the pipe out in the yard.
  2. Dig the pipe canals.The trenches that the pipe is going to lie in must be 3 to 4 inches wide and 8 to 10 inches deep. Digging the trenches can be hard work, especially if you’re not used to it. You may be better off hiring someone to do this for you or renting a trench-digging machine. If you’re doing the work yourself, then you need to stake out the trench area. Run string from stake to stake. This helps keep your trench lines straight.
  3. If you want to save your sod, rent a sod cutter from your local Rental Stop store to cut the turf  about 2 to 3 inches deep along the outlines of the trenches.If you’re installing a system in an existing lawn, you can remove and save the grass on top of the trenches for replanting later.Cut the sod pieces into comfortable size lengths (2 to 3 feet is usually about right). Pick up the pieces of sod (roll them up, root side out, if you can) and put them in a shady, out-of-the-way place. Water the pieces of sod lightly and occasionally so that they don’t dry out. You may want to rent a lawn roller while replacing the sod to make the installation look as best as possible.
  4. If you have to dig under a sidewalk or some other surface impediment, make sure that you flush the area underneath with water to loosen the soil.
  5. Drive a 1-inch-thick piece of galvanized pipe under the sidewalk and through the area where you want your PVC pipe to run. Pull the galvanized pipe out, tape one end of the PVC to keep out dirt, and run the PVC through the tunnel that you just created.
  6. Lay out and fit together all your pipe in the trenches without gluing the ends, to make sure that everything fits.
  7. Measure the length of pipe carefully and using a hacksaw or pipe cutter, cut the pipe to the correct lengths.
  8. Scrape off any rough edges with a utility knife. Carefully clean the two ends of pipe you’re going to fit together.
  9. When you’re sure everything measures out right, brush primer on the outside of the standard pipe and on the inside of the flared end. Brush the adhesive solvent over the primed areas and fit the pipes together.

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What to do to get your pool ready for swimming?

Having a pool is great, but do you know what it takes to maintain a pool, and keep it clean and healthy for your family?

Maintenance of a pool is a fairly simple thing, but it is a routine that must be followed religiously if you want to get the utmost benefit out of your pool. The best thing to remember in owning a pool is to take care of any problem before it happens, and not after the fact. Repairing a cracked or corroded pool is high dollar, and besides, you don’t want to be without the benefit of the pool during the summer months! Therefore, you may need to rent some equipment to repair or maintain your pool.
Guidelines for Regular Pool Maintenance
Pools are much like hot tubs or spas in that they require filter changes, routine cleaning, and a careful check of the pH water balance during the swimming season. If proper water balance is maintained, and you insure that the circulation system in your new pool is adequate and always working properly, then two thirds of the battle is done. A lot of the chemical considerations are determined by the amount of usage the pool gets during the summer months.

Sanitizing your pool is a must to insure the health of pool users. You may need to drain your pool to make cleaning and repairs easier and more permanent. Your local Rental Stop store will have a rentable pump to make the draining much quicker for you. I would suggest that you rent a pressure washer and clean the entire pool area.

Typically, chlorine is added to the pool on a weekly basis. Chorine works in the water to kill bacteria and contaminants. This can be accomplished by several methods. A chlorine feeder is available from your local pool dealership. You can also mix the chlorine, which always come in a granular form, with water, and apply it yourself. Always be careful in the process and not dump it all in quickly, but add only a little at a time. Any chemical is caustic, and safety is a must.

After the water has been sanitized, it is then “shocked” approximately every two weeks before adding chlorine again. Because chlorine loses its effectiveness after a period of interacting with pool waste and contaminants, the shocker is used to clean out all of the leftover debris from the chlorine interaction in the water. The process, called oxidization, cleans the swimmer waste from the pool, such as skin cells, suntan lotions, cosmetics, and even urine, and rids the pool of old chlorine. If you notice the pool has a strong chlorine smell, or is cloudy, it’s probably because the pool is not being maintained properly. Shocking the pool will quickly cure this ailment. The pool will then be re-chlorinated.

It is always a good idea to take a sample of your pool water to your local pool dealership for testing on a monthly basis to insure that the water is correctly balanced. This will also help to foresee any problems that may be arising in your pool. Be sure to circulate the water in your pool for at least 8 to 12 hours continuously during the day.

On a weekly basis, vacuum and skim your pool to remove any debris. Doing so helps control pool contamination. It is also effective in discouraging algae growth in your pool.

Other regular maintenance includes the changing of filters on a regular basis as recommended by your pool dealership, and making sure that all O rings in the system are greased and void of cracks or abrasions. Check electrical connections on a regular basis to insure there is no frayed or cracked wiring. Keep skimmer baskets free of debris, and keep the pool area free of vegetation and leaves to insure there is no contamination of the pool. If you have trees around your pool it would be a good idea to rent a pruning saw so that leaves and twigs would not fall into the pool.

Pool maintenance should always include checking things such as diving boards, handrails, and ladders to insure there are no loose or rusted bolts. Inspect your diving board for any cracks or stressed areas, and replace if you find these problems. Doing so will insure the safety of all pool users.

Closing and Opening the Swimming Pool
At season’s end, the procedure for closing the pool is very important. First, drain the water to below the line marked for freezing on your pool, and drain all water lines. Add the recommended amount of anti-freeze to the lines to avoid cracking of pipes and lines during cold winter months. Cover the pool with a heavy duty pool cover, designed for your pool, to keep leaves and debris out of the pool during the closed months. Using a cover that is designed for your pool helps to keep debris out of the filter and circulation system during the time of the year when the pool is not used.

Opening the pool in the warm months is simply a matter of removing the pool cover, and cleaning it for storage during the summer months. If you need to remove any anti-freeze from the lines don’t forget to rent your pumps from your local Rental Stop store. Then refill the pool with water. Sanitize properly, and check to insure all filtration systems and circulation systems are functioning properly. You are then ready to enjoy the pool for another season of summer fun.
Owing a pool requires a regular regimen of maintenance and care. Although caring for a pool sounds like a lot of work, by doing so you save yourself a lot of grief further down the road. Remember the old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and you will have a sparkling clean pool, and a happy family in the bargain!

For all your cleaning and maintenance work around your pool, make one call to Rental Stop to rent the items you need to make the job as easy as possible. You can go to our award winning website to find just the right piece of equipment at www.RentalStops.com

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