Most Recent RV And Camping Blog Posts
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...]
November 21, 2014 by Good Sam Team · 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
“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...]
November 19, 2014 by Christine Mays · 5 Comments
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...]
November 18, 2014 by Rex Vogel · 2 Comments
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...]
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
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
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
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...]
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...]
November 15, 2014 by Bob Difley · 2 Comments
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...]
November 14, 2014 by Cynthia Baum · 1 Comment
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 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.
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
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...]
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.
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
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...]
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...]
November 7, 2014 by Cynthia Baum · 1 Comment
When it comes to planning the Perfect Weekend RV trip, many things come into play. Driving distance, location, food and drinks, and activities, to name a few of the factors that can make or break the perfect weekend RV trip. Since the plan is for a weekend, so 2-3 nights max, I like to stay closer to home. The ideal distance is under 60 miles to drive for a short weekend trip. From where I am located, that leaves a lot of options for ideal locations. From lakes to beaches, mountains, or desert; I can choose from any of these and be there in under 60 miles. Depending on the weather and the season, each has its pluses and minuses. For example, if you are looking for nice, sunny days in the early fall, you are likely to find the beach around here will be hot and gorgeous (not to mention amazing sunsets at this time of year). Whereas if you are looking for some fall foliage and slightly cooler weather, head for the mountains. Another factor to consider when thinking of location, is the activities... [Read more...]
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