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Category: Safety on the Road

Cramper Van: Mini-House on Wheels

July 6, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Cramper Van: Mini-House on Wheels

Dubbed the Cramper Van, the world’s smallest, lightest RV can seat up to four close friends in a pinch although one of the seats folds down over the two-ring hob and sink. It’s the cramper van! The invention of custom car fanatic Andy Saunders, owner of Kampers Kars in Poole, Dorset, Cramper Van is a mash-up of an old Bedford Bambi van and a Butlins-style pedal cart. Saunders, 50, has made a name for himself creating weird and wonderful custom cars including a Picasso-inspired multi-colored Citroen 2CV, a mini Mini, and a 21-inch tall car. Saunders chopped six feet off the front of a Bedford campervan and attached it to the pedal cart before refitting the interior. The only other thing that sets it aside from its bigger brothers is its lack of an engine, instead relying on pedal power to pull it along. With four foot by four foot living space, the Cramper Van is filled with seats, stove, table, and bed. Despite its confined size the pedal-powered mini mobile home still has room to squeeze... [Read more...]

Top 5 Ways to Survive a Dust Storm

June 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Top 5 Ways to Survive a Dust Storm

A dust storm usually arrives suddenly in the form of an advancing wall of dust and debris which may be miles long and several thousand feet high. In a scene reminiscent of the 1930s Dust Bowl, on October 18, 2011, Lubbock, Texas went from light to dark in an instant, as the 8,000 foot dust cloud, traveling at a whizzing 70 mph, swept through. (Image via YouTube) Dust storms that turn day into night are a hazard to drivers. Dust storms can strike with little warning. Blinding, choking dust can quickly reduce visibility, causing accidents that may involve chain collisions, creating massive pileups. Dust Storms are among nature’s most violent and unpredictable phenomena. High winds lift dirt particles or, in the case of sandstorms, sand, into the air, unleashing a turbulent, suffocating cloud of particulates and reducing visibility to almost zero in a matter of seconds. Nearly all dust storms are capable of causing property damage, injuries, and deaths, and they can occur in any arid or... [Read more...]

Tow Ratings Standardization: Now You Will Never Know

April 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Tow Ratings Standardization: Now You Will Never Know

Automakers often brag about the towing abilities of their pickups, encouraging shoppers to believe that their vehicles could safely pull almost anything. The towing claims are effective, moving heavy metal in the single most profitable product segment in the auto industry. They are also dubious. In an August 2011 post, I wrote: Have you ever wondered if 10,000 pounds of towing capacity means the same for trucks manufactured by GM, Ford, and Dodge? You will soon know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. One and a half years later, all but one pickup manufacturer refuses to follow standardized towing-capacity tests they all agreed four years ago to adopt for 2013 models—test procedures that would lower the towing capacity ratings they now claim, reports Autonews.com. Instead, automakers follow their own test regimens and advertise claims that could encourage customers to push their vehicles beyond safe limits in terms of stopping and control. The years-long industry effort... [Read more...]

Getting Ready to Head Out? Don’t Forget the Final Check on your RV!

March 7, 2013 by · 5 Comments 

Getting Ready to Head Out?  Don’t Forget the Final Check on your RV!

Have you ever forgotten to do the final check on your RV before driving away from your house or campsite? I have an uncle, whom I love dearly, who drove out of his driveway with his RV still plugged into the wall of his house.  As a fairly new RV-owner and having felt rushed for time when departing, he enjoys amusing  his listeners with the retelling of this story… They were headed to New Mexico from Los Angeles, to visit their son and his family, when it happened.  He didn’t realize it at first, but he was dragging the long electrical cord and cover from the wall, behind him for some time.   At first when he spotted the kids pointing at his RV, he thought smugly to himself: “Yep, they must be impressed with my nice Class-A.”  Only once he noticed that they were actually laughing and pointing, did he begin to think something must be up. Then it occurred to him to check all of his mirrors to make sure everything was as it should be.  This is when he spotted the... [Read more...]

Motorhome Purchased on Craigslist Explodes

February 25, 2013 by · 3 Comments 

Motorhome Purchased on Craigslist Explodes

In recent posts I reported that four small dogs died and an RV was destroyed in a fire caused by a propane space heater, space heaters destroyed pets and RVs in two separate fires, and six other RV fires resulted in two deaths. Air Force veteran Thomas Graley was driving a newly purchased motorhome through Phoenix when flames started shooting through the floor. “I was coming down the road and the engine just caught on fire,” Graley told azfamily.com. “All of the sudden flames just started coming out of the pedals,” added Graley’s wife, Candy. The Graleys have been down on their luck. Air Force veteran Thomas Graley lost his job when the cellphone company he worked for merged with another company. They bought the motorhome so they would have a place to live as well as a vehicle. “They foreclosed on my house and repoed my car so we bought this so I would have someplace to live,” he said with tears in his eyes. Today, the Air Force veteran was able... [Read more...]

More Space Heater Fires Destroy Pets & RVs

January 30, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

More Space Heater Fires Destroy Pets & RVs

Whether camping or just relaxing in your recreational vehicle, fire safety is essential. A fire started by a space heater in a travel trailer spread to a second trailer, a car, and a home just. (Credit: Avra Valley Fire Department) In an earlier post I reported that four small dogs died and an RV was destroyed in a fire caused by a propane space heater. In today’s post I report on two RV fires caused by careless use of space heaters. Arizona Fire Started by Space Heater A fire started by a space heater in a travel trailer spread to a second trailer, a car, and a home in Picacho, reports the Arizona Daily Star. When units from the Avra Valley Fire District arrived on scene they found heavy flames and smoke coming from a masonry-built home, Patrick Calhoun, spokesman for the fire district, said in a news release. A car and two travel trailers also were ablaze. It took two engines and two water tenders to extinguish the fires. “The fire was believed to have had started in one of the... [Read more...]

Propane Space Heater Fire Destroys 4 Dogs & RV

January 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Propane Space Heater Fire Destroys 4 Dogs & RV

Studies show that fires in recreational vehicles, especially older units, tend to be more devastating than those in other forms of residence. A portable space heater started the fire that consumed this RV. (Credit: The Spokesman-Review) Heating and electrical system malfunctions are the leading causes of fire in RVs. Together, they account for one-third of the fires. Four small dogs died and an RV was recently (January 15, 2013) destroyed in a fire blamed on a propane space heater in Spokane, Washington, The Spokesman-Review reported. A man had been staying in an RV parked in a driveway and was inside the house watching television with the homeowner when they heard a noise, said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford. They found the RV in flames. “He was trying to get the dogs out and was unable to,” Clifford said. The man was treated for smoke inhalation. Clifford said the dogs may have knocked the space heater over or knocked something flammable into it. A propane heater also shouldn’t... [Read more...]

AIRTABS

January 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

AIRTABS

When we got our RV from the dealer, they were nice enough to bring it to our campsite where it would be parked.  Back then, we didn’t have a vehicle to tow it as we had a Venture van.   But the following year, out of the blue, the motor on our van burned and we had to shop around for a new vehicle.   We knew that since we had to purchase something we wanted to have one that would be able to pull our Rv for long trips.   We found a Suburban that was fit to pull it and since then we enjoy going places with the RV. However, as soon as we were able to take the RV with us on trips, we looked for ways to be fuel efficient.   While navigating the internet one day, my husband stumbled on the website promoting Airtabs.   After he read about Airtabs he was so enthusiastic that we purchased some to install on our RV. What are Airtabs?   Well it is a patented shaped vortex generator designed to increase vehicle aerodynamic performance and fuel economy by reducing the aerodynamic pressure... [Read more...]

Got an iPad? Drive a RV? Check out this new GPS app from Rand McNally!

January 10, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Got an iPad?  Drive a RV?  Check out this new GPS app from Rand McNally!

Rand McNally Launches Industry-first RV Navigation Application for iPad.  LAS VEGAS, January 9, 2013 – Nearly two years after introducing the first GPS designed specifically for RVers, Rand McNally today launched the first RV GPS app for the iPad. The RV GPS is being shown for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev. Rand McNally’s RV GPS for iPad is the first iOS application offered that is specifically designed for RV navigation. The new application, available on the App Store(sm), provides RV class-specific routing (and with a quick toggle, over to car routing) based on Rand McNally’s proprietary road data and navigation, plus thousands of RV parks and campgrounds, RV-friendly locations, RVer tools and pre-planned trips. The app also includes dynamic weather*, a map overlay feature that helps drivers anticipate conditions such as high wind and precipitation along the route. Also included is a bonus feature of the app: An e-book version of America’s... [Read more...]

How to avoid tire blowup while RVing

January 7, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

How to avoid tire blowup while RVing

Having a tire blow up is not fun whether you are rving or not.    In both case, you need to change the wheel when it happens.   However, I think the worse kind of blowup would be the ones when you pull your RV. It happened to us twice so far.  We were driving with the RV behind and then one of the tires on the RV just blew.  The first time, we didn’t realize it and someone driving pass us kindly inform us of the problem.  That tire was on the driver’s side.   Fortunately, in Ontario the sides of highways is quite large and we were able to have space when we proceeded to change the tire.     The second time, we heard the tire when it blew up.   We were on our way on one big highway in the state of New York in the US.   We knew that we needed to stop and change it.   So we parked as best as we could on the side of the highway (which isn’t as large as in Ontario by the way).   Every time a huge truck or bigger vehicle would pass next to the RV we could see it move.  ... [Read more...]

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