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Category: The RVs We Drive

Fuel Consumption Trip Computers

November 22, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Fuel Consumption Trip Computers

TripTek Fuel Consumption Trip Computers Fuel consumption trip computers are now commonplace in many automobiles, trucks and recreational vehicles, but are they accurate? Do they really display the actual miles per gallon that you have been achieving? Well, yes and no.  The auto industry’s O.E.M. standard on-board computer display is not a scientific measuring device.  Some of its input data comes from the E.C.M. (engine control module) through the OBD (On-Board Diagnostic system) and calculates the requested information to be displayed. Regardless of marginal error, these onboard readouts can be very helpful.  While 100% accuracy is not attainable, the calculation repeatability is quite good.  Therefore, generally they are a reliable fuel consumption indicator and certainly far more accurate than your fuel gauge. There are two MPG (miles per gallon) readings that people primarily use: instant and average.  Instant is exactly that, nearly real-time MPG.  I used the phrase “nearly... [Read more...]

Words Only RVers Will Understand

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Words Only RVers Will Understand

“While boondocking, after visiting the dump station, we took the toad to a potluck where we sat in the shade next to the basement of a fifth-wheel slideout parked beside a Class C.” I doubt anybody other than an RVer could figure out that sentence loaded with jargon specific to the RV lifestyle. This “language,” usually undecipherable to the mainstream populace, becomes even more mysterious when used with new arcane definitions. In fact, even the term “RVer” doesn’t appear in standard dictionaries. Search RVer in Google and you receive the response, “Did you mean: def:SERVer defEVer define:EVer def:REFer.” Take “boondocking” for example. Most people have heard the word boondocks, but few could describe boondocking as driving an RV down a small two-lane or dirt forest service road and camping without any water, electric, or sewer hookups – not even in a campground for heaven’s sake. One might also guess that... [Read more...]

Cold Weather Driving Tips

November 18, 2014 by · 3 Comments 

Cold Weather Driving Tips

RV travel doesn’t have to stop with the arrival of winter, but there are considerations to keep in mind when driving in cold weather. There are no secrets when it comes to winter driving. If there is ice on the road, it is dangerous. The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination. If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure you and your RV are prepared, and that you know how to handle winter road conditions. Prepare an emergency survival kit containing a cell phone, warm blankets, gloves, salt or sand, LED flashlights, first aid kit, NOAA weather radio, road flares, bottled water, and non-perishable food. Inspect tires, use tires designed to operate in snow and ice, and keep tires inflated to proper levels. Inspect wipers and wiper blades. Make sure you have a snowbrush and ice scraper... [Read more...]

Keep Pests Out Of Your RV During Winter Storage

November 15, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Keep Pests Out Of Your RV During Winter Storage

Mouse invasion In the dark confines of your RV that you parked for the winter, there lies an insidious and uninvited guest. Pests insist on inflicting damage in order to provide comfortable accommodations for their family. He is unconcerned with the damage he causes to upholstered furniture, mattresses, clothing, paper, or other materials he collects for his home building project. Mus musculus (familiarly known as the field or house mouse) is not alone in seeking accommodations. Spiders, chipmunks, ants, bees, squirrels, and other uninvited species, though not as commonly encountered, are also in search of warm winter digs. When using your RV regularly, you can usually spot the signs (droppings, chewed upholstery and wires, debris piles) of these invaders and evict them. But when stored for longer periods you may not spot these signs until after significant damage has been done. The best way to control pests is to keep pests out of your RV. That will require some serious Sherlock Holmes-ing to... [Read more...]

Famous RVs

November 2, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Famous RVs

The RV lifestyle has been adopted by people involved in a variety of different professions. From entertainers and professional athletes to sports commentators, some of the best known and famous celebrities make use of RVs for a variety of reasons. The Madden Cruiser at the Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, LA., on Sunday February 3, 2002. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect) John Madden, the football and broadcasting legend, is famously afraid of flying. In order to travel to NFL games to call, he got around in “The Madden Cruiser,” a tour bus that doubled as an RV with all of the comforts of home. Oscar winning actor Matthew McConaughey worked and lived in his tricked-out International CCD 28 Airstream trailer, nicknamed the Canoe, which he kept on a Malibu lot near prime surfing terrain. Action star Vin Diesel of The Fast and the Furious fame has a customized and insanely over the top, two-story, 1100 square foot mansion-on-wheels. Once on location, the roof pops up and walls slide... [Read more...]

Understanding Shore Power

November 1, 2014 by · 3 Comments 

Understanding Shore Power

RV Shore Power Service Understanding shore power is essential to properly manage your electrical usage in camp.  Motorhomes, depending on size, may be capable of using a 30 amp or a 50 amp service maximum.  With adaptors all will operate on a 15/20 amp, albeit a minimum service. There are three basic service sizes provided in campgrounds in North America. 15/20 Amp Duplex will provide 15/20 amps at 120 volts or about 1,800/2400 watts of power. 30 Amp RV receptacle will provide 30 amps at 120 volts or about 3,600 watts of power 50 Amp RV receptacle will provide 50 amps at 240 volts or 100 amps of 120 volts or about 12,000 watts. You will notice that going from a 30 amp to a 50 increases the available power by 333%.  That’s over three times more power.  This is due to the 50 amp service has four contacts.  These are ground, neutral and two 120 volt hot lines.  Providing these two hot lines, L1 and L2 are out of phase, they will deliver 240 volts when used on a 240 appliance, like... [Read more...]

RVing In Freezing Weather

October 31, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

RVing In Freezing Weather

Motorhome Camping in Freezing Weather RVing in freezing weather can have its challenges.  Not only do you have to keep the inside at a comfortable temperature, but you must also provide some heat to the basement to prevent any fluids from freezing in the tanks, lines and related components.  Additionally, the engine may require heating several hours prior to departing camp. So let’s look at some of the things you may face while traveling and camping in winter like temperatures.  Obviously there are slippery road surfaces and winter driving hazards, but we will only look at dealing with the temperature issues related to your coach.  Winter driving is a separate topic we can examine at a later date. Interior heat in motorhomes is provided by an RV furnace or a hydronic heating system. The RV furnace is generally a propane fired unit that blows heated air into the living area.   A hydronic system may be propane or diesel fired.  The hydronic unit heats both the household hot water... [Read more...]

New To Pop-Up Camping?

October 18, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

New To Pop-Up Camping?

Pop-up trailers are a blend of RV and tent, combining the best of both types. They give you the comfort and security of a travel trailer and the openness of a tent. Viking Epic Pop-Up Trailers Consumers Digest Best Buy Pop-up trailers, which are also known as pop-up campers, folding tent trailers, and folding campers are lightweight trailers with collapsible (usually canvas material) sides that fold for aerodynamic towing by a motorized vehicle. When set up, they provide cooking, dining, and sleeping facilities for up to eight people. Pop-up trailers are an affordable way for the budget buyer to get into RVing, a viable first step of RV ownership. They are lightweight and make a lot of sense to campers especially young families and those looking at upgrading from tent camping to an RV. Also, purchase prices are much lower than a conventional RV. They provide a wonderful camping choice. The RV Industry Association (RVIA) is forecasting the industry will ship 10,900 pop-up units to retailers... [Read more...]

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...]

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