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Category: Preparation & Readiness

What To Do If Your RV Doors or Windows Freeze

January 9, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

What To Do If Your RV Doors or Windows Freeze

Winter’s bitter winds can freeze RV door locks, windows, and doors. It’s important to know what to do if your RV doors or windows freeze and how to prevent this from happening. Use these quick and easy tips to combat the ice. Frozen RV door locks, windows and doors (Photo source: accuweather.com) Frozen Door Locks: Prevention Nothing can be more frustrating than finding your RV door locks frozen. One way to prevent frozen locks is to dip your key into Petroleum jelly or Vaseline, put it into the lock, and turn the key back and forth a few times. Repeat this to make sure the Vaseline is well-distributed onto the parts of the lock. Frozen Door Locks: Solutions Petroleum jelly or Vaseline. Dip the key into the Vaseline, then insert it into the lock. Once in the lock, try to wiggle the key. Do not force the key to turn; this could result in breaking the key off in the lock. De-icer. If you find the lock already frozen, spay de-icer into the lock. Heat the key. Hold the key with... [Read more...]

Winterize Your Home While You’re Gone Camping

January 8, 2015 by · 3 Comments 

Winterize Your Home While You’re Gone Camping

© Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Migrating birds don’t have much prep work before they fly southward for the winter. Snowbirds, on the other hand, must consider how to shut down their fixed dwelling before taking flight to flee the coming winter’s snow, ice, and bone-chilling cold for southern Sunbelt states. Leaving a home unoccupied for an extended period of time can put homeowners at risk. Preparing your home for an extended absence requires thorough thought and planning. Before heading south for the season, take steps to secure and winterize your home. Whether you’re new to the snowbird lifestyle or an experienced RVer, creating your own customized checklist is a great way to keep track of your seasonal preparations. Consider the following seven tips when creating your own winter-ready checklist: Home insurance Check with your insurance agency to determine how extended absences may affect coverage. Determine if your insurer requires regular walk-throughs during your absence,... [Read more...]

Packing Tips For Cold Weather RVing

January 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Packing Tips For Cold Weather RVing

Winter in Michigan. Photo by John Michael Tabor Cold weather RVing has its challenges.  These can be minimized if you follow a few packing tips as you prepare to leave for your outing.  Advance preparation will help to ensure the best possible experience if you believe there is potential for cold or even freezing weather. First consider what you will need for the exterior care of your camper or coach. Check the forecast predicted for the area you plan to visit on television or online for the most up-to-date information. Bring an interior/exterior thermometer and place the exterior sensor in one of the storage bays of your coach or camper. Pickup a Diesel Fuel Supplement and add it to your coach’s fuel tank.  Run the engine and the generator to circulate it through both to prevent your diesel fuel from jelling BEFORE you encounter freezing weather. Next add some RV non-toxic, biodegradable antifreeze to your holding tanks via your toilet and shower drain to keep the tank water from... [Read more...]

The 3 Most Common Travel Trailer Issues

January 6, 2015 by · 12 Comments 

The 3 Most Common Travel Trailer Issues

Travel Trailer at the Campsite. Photo by Steve Humphrey While the description of a travel trailer may also fit a 5th wheel trailer, there are differences. Today we will focus on the bumper drawbar type travel trailer.  This type of caravan is available in a variety of lengths, generally ranging from 12 to 35 plus feet or so.   It is a popular choice RV as it comes in many sizes, floorplans and is priced very affordably. There are, however, three common travel trailer issues that are faced by the owners.  They are as follows: Weight and Balance – While the trailer’s weight and balance is manufactured as road ready, it does not account for the user’s loading of personal equipment and supplies. Unlike the 5th wheel design, the hitch weight of the tongue must be about 10% of the total trailer weight.  Too heavy a load may over-stress the hitch and tow vehicle.   This may seriously compromise the tow vehicle’s handling.  Not enough weight may cause “Tail Wag”, the trailer... [Read more...]

Items You Should Always Have In Your RV

December 28, 2014 by · 11 Comments 

Items You Should Always Have In Your RV

It would be nice if you didn’t have to reload your RV before every trip. Everything you need would always be there, and all that would be required to start your trip was walking out the door, climbing inside, starting your engine, and driving off. It would be nice, but wouldn’t be practical, and wouldn’t work. Every member of the family would always need or want something that wasn’t there, no matter how well you planned it. However, there are certain items that you should always have in your RV. Essential Items for RV Travel Items that should always be stowed on board: First Aid kit – Heart surgery implements not necessary, but you should have the tools to patch up simple wounds and treat minor injuries. Tool Kit – Even if you’re not a Jack-of-all-Trades, with a basic tool kit you can make simple repairs or replace a part out on the road, possibly avoiding a trip to the repair shop. Copies of important medical data – Insurance, prescriptions,... [Read more...]

Highs and Lows of Winter Camping

December 21, 2014 by · 18 Comments 

Highs and Lows of Winter Camping

Photo by Mike Colyer Winter camping with your trailer or motorhome can be a wonderful experience.  The cold weather and a little snow can heighten the senses of true camping.  The lack of other campers in the park can add to the changes you might otherwise not encounter.  The managing of the heat, power and water supply can provide a sense of accomplishment. There are, however, other factors that may not be as enjoyable.  Being somewhat cold and uncomfortable during both camp set-up and the breaking up can be expected.  Some isolation may be felt as night falls, and there are no neighboring lights to illuminate the surroundings. While there are certain items you will require to survive this camping trip, like plenty of propane, fuel, water, groceries, warm clothing, boots, gloves, and much more, there is one intangible that can make or break your enjoyment.  That is attitude!  The difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude. This can be one of the most interesting... [Read more...]

RV Mountain Driving Part 3: Road Hazards

November 30, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

RV Mountain Driving Part 3: Road Hazards

RV Mountain Driving In addition to navigating steep grades, RV mountain driving comes with a few unique hazards. Let’s take a look at some. While wildlife can be encountered on many highways, some mountain roadways have an additional animal, the mountain goat, that often wanders on the road.  Rugged terrain can also make the road edge an appealing passage for wildlife on the move.  Combine this with the twisty roads and reduced forward view, a shorter warning of wildlife is to be expected. Rock slide warning signs are common in the mountains. While a rock slide is highly unlikely, the possibility of encountering some small rock pieces on the roadway can be very real, particularly after a heavy rainfall.  These rock fragments are jagged and can damage or destroy a tire.  Reducing speed when such warning signs are posted can increase your maneuvering and stopping ability. When operating in mountain ranges that are snowcapped, precipitation can be encountered even on a clear day. ... [Read more...]

RV Mountain Driving Part 2: The Descent

November 29, 2014 by · 5 Comments 

RV Mountain Driving Part 2: The Descent

RV Mountain Driving Perhaps the most white-knuckle experiences during RV mountain driving occur while descending a steep grade. The heavier the rig, the more daunting it can be. But it does not have to be if you follow a good plan. When approaching a grade that is descending, slow to the speed, or slightly lower, that you intend to descend at prior to reaching the crest. Select a lower gear to maximize engine RPM and driveline resistance. Maintain any excess speed by short, hard applications of the service brakes. Remember, the wind resistance is now working with you, and can aid you to keep a comfortable speed. If equipped, engage the exhaust brake or single speed Jake. Observe both speed and engine RPM during the descent and control same, if required, with short, firm service brake applications. Tip: Get to know your speed in each gear when the engine RPM is at the optimum braking speed; for a diesel, about 90% of the maximum governed loaded speed. If you can’t always remember this... [Read more...]

RV Mountain Driving Part 1: The Climb

November 28, 2014 by · 7 Comments 

RV Mountain Driving Part 1:  The Climb

RV Mountain Driving RV mountain driving can have its challenges.  This is the first part of a series of three dealing with some of those challenges. The Climb: Before venturing up into the mountain range, be sure you have adequate fuel for the run.  You will be burning more fuel per mile and gas stations are all but nonexistent in the mountains. The ascent up long, steep mountain grades takes a lot of power.  It places a heavy load on your engine and transmission, which can cause their temperatures to rise quickly.  You must keep the engine RPM towards the high side.  This includes even diesels that attain the highest torque at a fairly low engine speed. The higher speed helps cooling of the transmission and also increases the efficiency of the motor cooling package. Accomplishing this with the transmission selector in “Drive” would require holding the throttle wide open.  Otherwise, an upshift can occur.  So, you must manually select a lower gear appropriate to the speed you... [Read more...]

RV Security Lights

November 23, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

RV Security Lights

Arcon “Scare Light” for your RV. RV Security lights are found on many trailers and motorhomes.  Essentially, they are just a white-lensed exterior light that is mounted up high on both sides of the unit.  They are also referred to as “Scare Lights”.  They create very bright lighting around the outside of your camper to hopefully ward off intruders. They also provide some useful benefits apart from the “scare thing.”  Their elevated light position serves as great lighting for after-dark patio activities in camp.  They are also great for lighting both sides of the RV during your walk outside when your pet just has to go out.  Some people even use them as a signal while in a campground.  If the light is on, we are up.  You are welcome to drop in. These lights are a relatively low priced option on a new unit or can be purchased as an aftermarket add-on.  They are fairly easy to install on any RV.   L.E.D. Lighting A great upgrade would be to replace the light... [Read more...]

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