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Tips For Backing Into a Campsite

October 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Tips For Backing Into a Campsite

Photo by Gene Orren. Driving large RVs is a skill that can be quickly mastered, but what about backing them into tight spaces? Backing into the campsite is one of the trickiest parts of RVing. Here are some tips for backing your motor home into a campsite. Walk the site first to assure there are no obstructions or items on the ground that may be of concern. If the site is not paved, check that the ground firmness is adequate. Assess which approach direction would be best if maneuvering may be an issue. Assign a spotter; your spouse, sibling or even fellow camper. Advise your spotter of your desired final position. (Usually such that all services are within easy reach.) Ask your spotter to keep themselves visible in the mirror and to use simple understandable hand signals. Instruct the spotter to direct from the outside of the turn, observing the rear and outside front of the coach. Start backing up only when directed by your spotter. Stop immediately if the spotter moves out of sight. When... [Read more...]

Travel Trailer vs. Motor Home

October 8, 2014 by · 8 Comments 

Travel Trailer vs. Motor Home

MotorHome & Travel Trailer Territory So, you have finally decided that the RV camping lifestyle is right for you and your family.  Now you must decide which vehicle will best fill your needs.  There are travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, and of course, self-powered motorhomes. Determining the best fit for your family will require you to consider your budget, how you plan to camp, your party size and travel plans. Budget, both initial capital and ongoing expenses, is probably the first thing to be considered. After all, there is no point wasting time on something that is financially out of the question.  So let’s look at how these would break down. The capital cost for each, from the least to most expensive, would be travel trailer, fifth wheel trailer and then motorhome.  The yearly fixed overhead would be relatively minimal for either trailer choice. However, the motor home would have some higher ongoing costs. Insurance, for one, would be substantially higher for a motorhome... [Read more...]

RV Departure Check List

September 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

RV Departure Check List

RV Departure Check List People use checklists to avoid missing something during a particular procedure.  Mostly these are used for routine operations, for example, a list of things a pilot may carry out prior to takeoff or landing.  The fact that this procedure is carried out many times is exactly why this is done.  When we get too comfortable doing something, it becomes far too easy to shortcut or miss an item. Along this same line, preparing to depart camp in a trailer or motorhome also requires a list of procedures. Failure to carry out some may lead to damaging the RV, personal injury or other collateral damage.  So, let’s look at some of these items you would need on your RV Departure Check List: Disconnect and store all attachments from the camp services.  Many incidences of pulling away still connected have resulted in damage to the park’s service pedestal and destruction of an RV’s electrical bay door. Retract all TV antennas and physically check that they are stored. ... [Read more...]

RV Privacy Shades

September 29, 2014 by · 13 Comments 

RV Privacy Shades

RV Privacy Shades RV Privacy shades are a necessary item given the closeness often found in many campgrounds.  The standard window shades fitted to most RV’s are “Day/Night” pleated fabric that have a lighter opaque section and a darker full block material.  This allows daytime privacy with the lighter one while the full block provides the same for night time. Some motor homes are equipped with dark tinted windows that provide adequate privacy during the day.  These still require a full cover for night time.  The windows in the front, including the driver and passenger side along with the windshield, have a far less tint and offer little privacy in the day with zero at night.  These normally have a horizontal tracked draw curtain or a vertical rolled blind that provides a solid privacy barrier. Front Area Shades Higher line coaches often are equipped with electric powered shades and automatic front privacy blinds.  These are capable of shutting off the outside world at the... [Read more...]

RV Battery Care

September 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

RV Battery Care

RV Battery Care Many RVs rely on batteries to provide electrical power when no other power source is available.  Therefore, it’s important to maintain proper RV battery care. There are two types of batteries used in the RV industry: lead acid flooded and AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat).  The most commonly used are the lead acid flooded configuration. Wet cell batteries require regular maintenance, fluid level checks, water top ups and periodic external cleaning.  AGM’s, though substantially more expensive, are virtually maintenance-free, as they are a sealed unit.  They also are capable of a longer life cycle. Batteries are sized, or rated, in ampere hours (A.H.).  Some RVs use 12-volt deep cycle batteries while others may use 6-volt units wired in series to deliver 12 volts.  12-volt batteries are wired parallel – connected positive to positive and negative to negative.  Two batteries rated at 220 A.H. would deliver 440 A.H.  Those using 6-volt batteries are wired in... [Read more...]

Packing Up To Break Camp

September 22, 2014 by · 5 Comments 

Packing Up To Break Camp

Packing Up to Break Camp For tent campers, packing up to break camp involves a bit of cleaning, some tent rolling and trying to get that bulky mass stuffed into what seems like too small a bag.  It came out of it, it must go back in.  Once complete and all the tent pegs have been gathered, the happy campers move about making sure they have everything.  They are soon driving through the park toward the main gate passing several large shiny motorhomes.  “That’s the way to camp!” one quips.  “Breaking camp is the twist of a key!” Well, it may seem that easy and quick, but it is not.  Slides that expand the living space must be powered back in.  Leveling jacks must be retracted.  Disconnecting of the water hose, sewage hook-up, and the electric power cable must be done, storing each in its unique place.  Awnings and TV antennas must be stored.  Basement lockers are checked that they are all latched and secure.  Tires are inspected to verify they are ready to go and may... [Read more...]

The Inaccuracy of The RV Fuel Gauge

September 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Inaccuracy of The RV Fuel Gauge

Dash instrumentation has become more and more precise over the years.  Complex, informative data can be displayed with near pinpoint accuracy.  Digital readouts have become commonplace in everyday automobiles over the past decade.  Engine temperatures can be observed to the single degree as can speed, engine RPM, manifold pressure, boost pressure, transmission temperature and much more.  In the average vehicle, these multitude of real time data information readings are of little value. In most cases “Idiot Lights” would probably suffice. However, for large vehicles, like heavy motor homes and truck trailer combinations, this information can be vital and of great value.  Observing various data trends and digital readout behavior while travelling, can reveal issues that require attention.  That attention may necessitate an operation strategy change, or, if necessary, a physical investigation. But, there is one instrument that every vehicle has and is used daily.  It has not really... [Read more...]

The RV Glass Dash

September 16, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

The RV Glass Dash

RV Instrument Clusters and Glass Dash The Glass Dash has been solidly endorsed by the aviation industry for the past decade and beyond.  Here the Garmin G2000 offers everything and much more than was ever available to the modern pilot.  In addition to engine data, GPS navigation, flight information and much more, virtual visual terrain can be displayed when required. Not quite as sophisticated, but still very impressive, is the motor coach Glass Dash by SilverLeaf.  The flat panel dash is capable of displaying a host of information and can produce the general operational readouts in either analogue, digital or both.  Digital is great for precise reading down to a single unit.  Analogue can deliver a faster glance study allowing a driver to quickly view the panel taking in only the gauge angles to confirm all is good.  Each method can fill a predetermined need depending on the driving event at hand. The Glass Dash can also display video feeds from the back up camera or GPS mapping... [Read more...]

RV Tech-Tip: Reducing The Rattles of RV Travel

September 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

RV Tech-Tip: Reducing The Rattles of RV Travel

The Rattles of RV travel Unlike a towable RV, a motorized unit involves travelling in the RV for the entire journey.  This also means listening to all the silverware, dishes and glasses that tend to rattle, sometimes nonstop. They still do this in a towable, you just don’t hear it. In addition to the annoying clatter, tinkling and cracking sounds that emerge from every cupboard and drawer, your pieces are slowly being destroyed.  Cracks, chips and abrasive marks on your dinnerware are going to become evident and finally be ruined, given time.  So, how can it be prevented?  How can you reduce the rattles of RV travel?  How can peace reign within the coach’s cabin? You may have tried towels, rags or napkins inserted between each, but that’s not the answer.  They still move about until they once again start the familiar clattering chorus. Non-Skid Shelf Liner Material So, how do you reduce the rattles of RV travel?  Well, here’s the answer you have been looking for, and it’s... [Read more...]

RVs From Back In The Day

August 20, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

RVs From Back In The Day

Vintage trailers continue their popularity among today’s RVers. There is a certain charm and nostalgia with vintage trailers that is hard to find with new recreational vehicles. Tin Can Tourists, Denver, Colorado (1918) The rolling homes were small – a bed, a kitchen, and a dinette in one room. Over the decades they have expanded into today’s large-sized RVs, but there is an increasing demand for the older trailers. These vintage models are often called Canned Hams, Shiny Hineys, or Tin Cans. Whatever they may be called, classic trailers from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s are rolling back into popularity. When travel trailers first started roaming American roads, their owners were called Tin Can Tourists because they heated tin cans of food on gasoline stoves by the roadside. The Tin Can Tourists formed the first camping club in the United States, holding their inaugural rally in Florida in 1919 and growing to 150,000 members by the mid-1930s. They had an initiation;... [Read more...]

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