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Category: Traveling Tips

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...]

RVing On A Budget

November 19, 2014 by · 6 Comments 

RVing On A Budget

RVing on a budget is sort of like the quest to lose weight.  It can be done with a deliberate measure of planning and lots of diligence in sticking to a plan.  Doing so, you will see financial results that are decidedly measurable. During the past year we traveled over 9,000 miles in seven months and being retired we are definitely on a budget.  With a goal for achieving the most travel with the least amount of expenditure, we constantly monitor ways we can save money along the way. When my husband and I purchased our RV, we set out to determine how many miles per gallon it could achieve.  We experimented with driving speeds and discovered that we could increase the mileage an entire mile per gallon just by keeping our coach’s speed between 57 and 62 miles per hour on Interstate highways.  Creeping up to higher speeds just did not pay off with the resulting miles per gallon going down dramatically.  At the slower speed we still get to our destination within an acceptable time frame. ... [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...]

Lifestyle Tech Tips: Lean On Me

November 17, 2014 by · 7 Comments 

Lifestyle Tech Tips: Lean On Me

If a trailer’s tire goes flat while the unit is in storage, it can be a while before the unsuspecting owner discovers it. By that time, the weight of the trailer on the wheel may have already caused permanent damage. To help prevent this potentially disastrous situation, I simply place a wood block beneath the axles, close to each wheel, with no more than 1⁄2-inch clearance to the axles. When it’s time to roll again, if I notice one of the blocks has weight resting on it, I know that tire has lost air and needs attention. Bruce Trudgeon, Williamsburg, Michigan

RVing On Thanksgiving

November 14, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

RVing On Thanksgiving

Fall is one of the absolute best times of year to go camping–RVing on Thanksgiving weekend is the ultimate way to spend the yummiest holiday with family and friends! Pack up your turkey and fixings and head out for the long four-day weekend in the RV! Not only is the weather beautiful for this holiday, but when you are camping, food just tastes THAT much better than when you are at home.  Plus camping provides the perfect venue for your family to spend quality family time together and also gets everyone outdoors to enjoy the gorgeous fall weather! To make your life easier with regards to making your turkey, stuffing, ham, mashed potatoes, etc, you can make or prep everything at home (ahead of time) and then simply bake it or heat it up for your Thanksgiving dinner out at the campground. Then when it comes to pumpkin pie and all of the other yummy Thanksgiving goodies, you can bring everything to bake it in the RV or just throw it together before you leave home and then pop it in... [Read more...]

Festive Fall Meals

November 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Festive Fall Meals

What speaks to fall better than comfort food or spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg mingling with the scent of warm apple cider?  Let’s put together this easy festive fall meal below.  What could be more inspiring to get everyone into a holiday mood on a cool evening?   Let’s start with Crock-pot Lasagna. Ingredients: 1-pound Ground Lean Beef 6 Oven Ready, No-Boil Lasagna noodles 1 24-ounce jar spaghetti sauce 1½ cups ricotta or cottage cheese 1½ cups shredded Italian Blend cheese 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese Directions: Brown one pound of lean ground beef and drain off any accumulated fat. Spoon 1 Cup of tomato pasta sauce into the bottom of a 4-quart crock-pot.  Combine remaining sauce with the cooked ground beef. Place two oven-ready lasagna noodles on top of the sauce in the crock-pot.  Spread one third of the beef and pasta sauce mixture over the noodles. Spread ¾ cup ricotta cheese over the beef and pasta sauce.  Sprinkle ½ cup of shredded Italian Blend... [Read more...]

Traveling During the Holidays

November 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Traveling During the Holidays

Thanksgiving to New Year’s is a special time. This holiday season presents special challenges for those who travel in a recreational vehicle, but the benefits and rewards of traveling during the holidays are numerous. During Nights of Lights, St. Augustine glows with holiday magic Make the most of your holiday by celebrating with family and friends—new and old. And remember how blessed you are to be able to live the RV lifestyle. To ensure your RV camping holiday is as fabulous as possible, take some time to brainstorm ways you can adapt your at-home rituals to the camping environment. Can you re-create your Thanksgiving dinner with dishes made over the campfire or in a Dutch oven? Maybe this will be the year when you hearken back to old-fashioned Christmas traditions including baking apples, roasting chestnuts, and decorating with paper chains rather than lights. You can sing carols over the glow of your lantern, take a hay ride at Thanksgiving, or sleigh ride during Christmas or... [Read more...]

It’s Snowbird Season

November 6, 2014 by · 3 Comments 

It’s Snowbird Season

What Black Friday is to retailers, the coming of November is to RV parks. RV communities count on snowbirds each year to make the difference in their bottom line. The first arrivals begin heading south after the leaves fall in the north and the season continues until April 1, perhaps a week or two later if Easter is late that year. If you want to head out when the flock is the thickest, February is the month when the most snowbirds take flight. It is not even the end of Daylight Savings time yet! It probably was at the Madison Square Garden auto show in 1910 when the Pierce-Arrow Touring Landau was the first motorhome ever introduced that somebody thought, “I could use that to escape the winter and head south where it is warm for a few months.” Florida has always been the most popular destination for snowbirds but since the 1960s the migratory route to the Southwest has been well traveled as well. The Census Bureau does not track migratory habitation but Arizona is thought... [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...]

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