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  • Most Recent RV And Camping Blog Posts

    Wi-Fi in Campgrounds

    November 26, 2014 by · 9 Comments 

    Wi-Fi in Campgrounds

    Wi-Fi at the campsite has become a necessity. There are very few campgrounds today that do not offer wireless internet, or Wi-Fi.  In some cases they rely on a third party’s service for which the camper must subscribe and pay for.  But rest assured, even for those free Wi-Fi offers, you still are actually paying.  The service costs money and is built into your daily camping rate.  Here the old saying “you only get what you pay for!” really applies. One of the more current issues faced today when using Wi-Fi in campgrounds is very slow and sometimes no service. This issue does not seem to happen, or at least happens far less, on a third party’s subscriber-based package. In some RV resorts, they offer a choice of Wi-Fi or wired modem.  A small rental fee normally applies to the modem, but it may be well worth it.   Generally, the modem plugs into the service pedestal, and then to your computer via Ethernet cable, or direct to a wireless router.  The advantage here is usually... [Read more...]

    Holiday Travel Made Simple

    November 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Holiday Travel Made Simple

    The thought of Thanksgiving and the holidays conjures up so many wonderful ideas – turkey roasting, falling leaves or snow, spending time with family and friends. These days, though, many of us are spread out across the country or even across the world. That means we may be spending time before the holidays traveling to be with our loved ones, and we all know that holiday travel isn’t always as easy as (pumpkin) pie. With that in mind, we’re sharing a few tips to help make your holiday travel a bit easier so you can arrive in a festive rather than frazzled mood: Allow extra time not only after you get to the airport, but also to get to the airport. To make sure you have plenty of time despite heavy traffic and slow security lines, be there at least two hours early. If you live in a busy metropolitan area, be sure to account for congested roads in your travel time. Put your essentials in your carry-on. This includes an ample supply of necessary medications. Increased volume at the... [Read more...]

    Trailer Hitches

    November 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Trailer Hitches

    Trailer Hitches Trailer hitches are found on just about every pickup truck, SUV and of course motorhomes.  These hidden hitches consist of a square receiver, 1-1/2” to 2-1/2” which holds an inserted drawbar and ball.  Mostly motorhomes use these to flat tow a vehicle.  This uses a hitch assembly that is fastened to the front of the towed vehicle and pulls it with all four tires on the ground.  Thus, in this case, it has no tongue weight or downward weight on the hitch itself. There are, however, motorhome owners that choose to tow a trailer that carries their car or other payload.  This type of towing requires a certain amount of weight on the trailer hitch at the ball.  This weight must be about 10% of the overall gross trailer weight, which includes the payload.  If the amount is much less than this, a dangerous situation can result as the trailer may tend to wag from side to side while towing. In an effort to reduce the risks of being too light at the hitch, people may overload... [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...]

    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...]

    Repairing An RV Curtain Rod

    November 21, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

    Are you tired of climbing over seats and dash to spread the curtain around your RV’s front window at night? I was – so I made a rod to guide the curtains along the track and across the windows. At the hardware store, I purchased two dowel rods, each about 24 inches long, and two screw eyes. Screw the eyes into one end of each dowel (first drilling a small pilot hole). To install, unhook the first hanger on your curtain, pass the screw eye over the hanger wire and re-hook the hanger. The wand hangs down alongside the curtains when not in use. It can be sanded and painted to make it more appealing. Credit: Jerrold Reimer, Milton WI

    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...]

    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 · 2 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

    Mark My Words, Mark Nemeth – November 2014

    November 17, 2014 by · 4 Comments 

    Mark My Words, Mark Nemeth – November 2014

      Hi, all: In this month’s column, we’ll cover some general questions on RVing and problem solving. I hope you are enjoying the final glorious fall RVing days before winter truly sets in! Please keep those questions coming! MMW@escapees.com Mark   I have an on board generator to run the electricity in my Winnebago Vista 21b so I can keep the refrigerator going with a small penalty of gasoline. Question:  You stress that it’s important to keep the refrigerator level.  Will it stay level enough while driving to maintain the refrigerator in good working order? Is there a way to level a poorly installed refrigerator? Thank you. Mike Hi Mike While you are driving, there is enough random motion to keep the fridge happy, with one possible exception: if you are on a really long, steep grade. However, for the most part you’ll be fine running the fridge on AC while you drive. Just be sure to turn it off if you stop and the RV is off level, like at a rest stop or roadside pullout.... [Read more...]

    RV Heating Systems

    November 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    RV Heating Systems

    Recreational vehicles are equipped with either a stand-alone forced air furnace or a hydronic heating system.  Both of these RV heating systems require regular maintenance to keep them running efficiently and to provide reliable service.   Today we will look at what service is needed to the hydronic system types. Two of the popular manufacturer makes are Aqua-Hot and Oasis.  Though they differ somewhat in design, the required maintenance is basically the same.  They are designed to heat both the interior of the RV and the hot water supply.  They are equipped with 120 volt AC electric heater element(s) and a diesel fired burner. (Propane versions are also available on some models.)  Many are also plumbed to allow the hot engine glycol to pass through them while driving to provide constant heat even while travelling. The heat provided by one of the fore mentioned methods, heats a non-toxic propylene glycol heat exchanger that in turn heats a small reservoir of fresh water.  The hot... [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...]

    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...]

    Tailgating 101

    November 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Tailgating 101

    Tailgating at events with your RV is no longer just about grilling some hotdogs over a mini charcoal grill. Tailgating has become a culinary and social art form, the success of which will be determined by your guests. Your abilities to perform like a 4-star chef and social director are what will make your tailgating party a praise-worthy event. Nothing makes your party a success like the food, and dishes that will satisfy your party and not leave you exhausted from the preparation require the right recipes. For instance this simple, cold TexMex Layered Spicy Black Bean dip from myrecipes.com received 5 stars. Ingredients: 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened 1 (16-oz.) jar spicy black bean dip 1/2 (8-oz.) package shredded Mexican cheese blend Toppings: sliced green onions, chopped tomatoes, sliced black olives Assorted tortilla and corn chips Preparation Layer cream cheese, dip, and cheese in a 1-qt. serving dish. Add toppings, and serve with chips. Every good tailgate party also... [Read more...]

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