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Category: RV Modifications

DON’T BECOME A VICTIM OF RV LOCK-IN (or, how to fix an important safety fault.)

August 12, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

DON’T BECOME A VICTIM OF RV LOCK-IN (or, how to fix an important safety fault.)

We had pulled into a rest area/welcome station just across the state line.  Due to our RV’s longer length, we had to park with the big trucks. While Nancy took Oscar for his walk, I popped into the camper to complete a quick check of the contents then closed the door and headed to the Men’s rest room. Upon returning to the truck, I saw Oscar sitting in the front seat looking out the window.  The assist handle next to the camper’s only door was jutting out in the open position. Figuring that I had neglected to move the handle in to the transport position, I snapped it back in front of the camper door and made myself comfortable in the driver’s seat of the truck, all the time assuming Nancy had left Oscar in the truck and made a visit to the Lady’s rest room. An unusually long period of time had passed and I was getting worried about Nancy.  Then, a trucker rapped on my door indicating for me to roll down my window.  He looked up and said, “Hey, mister, your wife is locked... [Read more...]

Modifying our bathroom – a review for Extend-A-Shower

August 8, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

Modifying our bathroom – a review for Extend-A-Shower

RV Extend-A-Shower Created by Stromberg Carlson Products Inc. About the product Enjoy the comfort and privacy of your RV’s shower with Extend-A-Shower. Extend-A-Shower creates more room in your RV’s shower so you won’t need to run to the public showers anymore. When not in use it folds out of the way with no tools required. To fold in or out, simply move the main bar to one side, swing one leg in or out, move the bar to the other side and position the other leg. Fits shower stalls 35″- 42″ wide Pivots into your shower stall when not needed. Can be used to drip dry laundry over your shower basin. Our Thoughts We always found that our bathroom in our RV was small. And we wished that there was a way to have the area feel bigger at times. One day while looking into an RV magazine, I saw the Extend-A-Shower product being announced. Being a reviewer, I decided to email the company behind this intriguing product to see if we could review one. They... [Read more...]

RVng, A Great Way To Make New BFFs

July 20, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

I just finished reading a book about time travel. The lead character finds himself in the early 1900s in New York City. He finds a more optimistic and open society. People were less suspicious of each other; worrying less about someone else’s ulterior motives and hidden agendas than just being hospitable. It made me think about how nice it would be if the world were more like that. My story this week is about our RV trip out West and the seven days we spent with a family we had never met before who opened their home and lives to us. They live on a picturesque hobby farm in the beautiful state of Washington, with a picture postcard view of Mount Rainer. But first, we had to get there. By the first of the year, 2010, all of our belongings were in storage. We spent the first several months RVng around Florida, our home state for the past 15 years. We visited a lot of the places we had always wanted to see and said our goodbyes to family and friends. By May, we had reached Florida’s... [Read more...]

Working From Your RV: Step One–Building an RV Office

June 2, 2011 by · 7 Comments 

Working From Your RV: Step One–Building an RV Office

If you are an RV owner, finding a way to balance relaxation time with work time is actually much easier than you may realize. One of the beauties of owning an RV is the ability to have a mobile office AND enjoy a  good ol’ American road trip Constructing a home office in your RV is the means for accomplishing such a task and believe it or not, is a very real possibility with a little creativity and elbow grease. Not only that, but you can also build an office which is comfortable as well as functional. Where Do I Start? It depends. For those individuals looking to do a little casual office work while traveling, a simple recliner and lap tray for your computer can go a long way. However, if you’re the type of traveler looking to build an actual dedicated home office, here are a few tips I’ve found after spending countless hours scouring RV forums. -          A majority of RVs usually come with some sort of dining table. With that said, many travelers don’t necessarily eat... [Read more...]

Go Hydrogen in Your RV

May 20, 2011 by · 7 Comments 

Go Hydrogen in Your RV

Mary Meadows says she can increase mileage and reduce emissions. She’s the founder of an Arizona company that makes a system that converts cars, pickups, trucks, recreational vehicles, and boats to hydrogen hybrids, reported The Arizona Republic. (Credit: h2purepower) Mary Meadows is an environmental medicine physician who had a clinic in Texas. In Corpus Christi, Texas, she tested toxicity levels in workers at industrial businesses and farms and treated them for related ailments. When she retired, she looked for something to invest in that helped the Earth. “I have been very concerned about pollution issues, and this hydrogen system takes vehicles to near-zero emissions. The technology has been around, but it’s getting more attention now because fuel costs are high, and the federal government is encouraging alternative and sustainable energy. She has been doing research and development of the hydrogen system for three years, but only in the past year and a half has she... [Read more...]

REDUCING THE PAIN AT THE PUMP – Planning Ahead

March 25, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

REDUCING THE PAIN AT THE PUMP – Planning Ahead

Yep, they’re going up again.  But, we knew it was going to happen, we just didn’t know how much or when. I hate to do the old “I remember when” thing and start telling stories about other times fuel prices soared.  But, for those of us that have weathered previous storms and have become somewhat seasoned veterans of persistent price hikes, it really isn’t as bad as it may seem (on the surface).  We continued to pull our camper at 8 mpg with a gas engine (7.1L) 1-ton dually even when fuel hit $4.13 a gallon during the summer of 2008.  Looking back, I don’t remember the punch in the pocketbook, I remember the fun we had, and the great people we met.  As they say in the TV commercial – priceless. For Nancy and I, the issue isn’t so much that fuel prices are up almost a dollar from last year (current $3.79 for diesel)  as it is being prepared for the inevitable increase. Being ready for higher fuel prices is a lot like preparing for a power outage, snowstorm, or even... [Read more...]

How do YOU Dump YOUR Gray Water? (Safely, Easily and Legally – of course)

February 26, 2011 by · 8 Comments 

How do YOU Dump YOUR Gray Water? (Safely, Easily and Legally – of course)

There were six of us.  We were sitting around a campfire sharing stories and talking about most anything that came into our minds. All of us had settled at a Corps of Engineers campground in Southside Virginia for a week of boating, fishing and swimming in Kerr Lake. The campground was nicely laid out and offered both water and electric on our sites – but there were no sewer hookups.  The dump station was a considerable distance away, near the entrance to the park. One of the guys looked up at the rest of us and asked, “What do you do with your gray water?”  “My gray tank fills up in a couple of days – I can go a full week with my black tank, but not the gray.” Pete, one of the younger men in the group, responded, “I crack the drain valve after dark and let it slowly dribble out onto the ground.  Shucks, it ain’t poison – it’s just used wash water.” Mike stared in stark surprise.  “That is against the law!”  “If you get caught they will write you a ticket... [Read more...]

The Birth of THE GREAT WHITE – Part 2 (Am I Insane for doing this?)

February 20, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

The Birth of THE GREAT WHITE – Part 2 (Am I Insane for doing this?)

Purchasing a second-hand 17,000 pound, ten wheel ex-mail hauling semi-tractor trailer truck and driving it over 200 miles to get it home so that it could be parked in our driveway for conversion into an RV was my first exercise in insanity. The second insane exercise would be actually making all of the required modifications to turn it into a recreational vehicle, or as the Federal DOT calls it, a “House Car”, with nothing but your own ideas, tools and hands.   The conversion was required so that I could  legally register it, insure it, and drive it as something other than a commercial vehicle. Normal folks wanting to move into a heavier and more powerful tow vehicle for their fifth-wheel trailer usually just buy a medium-duty Freightliner M2 or have one of several companies specializing in truck conversion build a body, install the new hitch, paint, everything, and then bring it home. But I don’t do things the “normal” or easy way.  Shucks, I’m not even sure what normal... [Read more...]

The Birth of THE GREAT WHITE – Part 1

February 10, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

The Birth of THE GREAT WHITE – Part 1

It’s like this:  Winter is still making its frigid call on Central Virginia.  The camper is sitting in “dry-dock” and unlike my fellow blog writers that live the nomadic life skipping across the country and reporting on the places, sights and events that make RV’ing so great – I’m stuck here until the  daffodils and dogwoods bloom while trying to think of something to write for a Family RV Blog.  Frankly, after doing this every week for more than a year, I find myself running out of ideas. You see,  I am retired, but my younger and much more beautiful wife is still working.  She is a Librarian in a Middle School.  When you are a teacher, it is hard to take off just any time you want when school is in session.  So, she works to support all of my bad habits and projects while we wait for the day when she can kiss all of the children good-by and set out on a new adventure.  We are getting close to that day, but for now our RV adventures are limited to the 180 days... [Read more...]

IS SWEATING A GOOD THING?

January 28, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

IS SWEATING A GOOD THING?

I was visiting one of our local RV dealerships when I ran into a friend of mine.  He and his wife were looking at a new fifth wheel trailer to replace their 8-year-old Montana. As we were talking, he mentioned that he wanted the thermal pane windows on their new RV.  He was tired of having to take a towel and wipe the condensation off his single pane windows that accumulated when they were camping in cool or cold weather. He seemed determined to order a trailer with this window option, so I decided, “Not to go there” and withheld my opinion on double pane insulated glass windows in a RV. You see, I don’t believe they are the solution for eliminating condensation.  In fact, I believe the single pane window that “sweats” in cool weather to be a good thing. Single pane windows are the least insulated part of an RV.  It is where the most heat loss occurs and will be the coldest surface when outside temperatures drop and we turn the heat in our RV on. As occupants living in an... [Read more...]

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