Most Recent RV And Camping Blog Posts
September 29, 2014 by Peter Mercer · 13 Comments
RV Privacy Shades
RV Privacy shades are a necessary item given the closeness often found in many campgrounds. The standard window shades fitted to most RV’s are “Day/Night” pleated fabric that have a lighter opaque section and a darker full block material. This allows daytime privacy with the lighter one while the full block provides the same for night time.
Some motor homes are equipped with dark tinted windows that provide adequate privacy during the day. These still require a full cover for night time. The windows in the front, including the driver and passenger side along with the windshield, have a far less tint and offer little privacy in the day with zero at night. These normally have a horizontal tracked draw curtain or a vertical rolled blind that provides a solid privacy barrier.
Front Area Shades
Higher line coaches often are equipped with electric powered shades and automatic front privacy blinds. These are capable of shutting off the outside world at the... [Read more...]
RV Battery Care
Many RVs rely on batteries to provide electrical power when no other power source is available. Therefore, it’s important to maintain proper RV battery care. There are two types of batteries used in the RV industry: lead acid flooded and AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat). The most commonly used are the lead acid flooded configuration.
Wet cell batteries require regular maintenance, fluid level checks, water top ups and periodic external cleaning. AGM’s, though substantially more expensive, are virtually maintenance-free, as they are a sealed unit. They also are capable of a longer life cycle.
Batteries are sized, or rated, in ampere hours (A.H.). Some RVs use 12-volt deep cycle batteries while others may use 6-volt units wired in series to deliver 12 volts. 12-volt batteries are wired parallel – connected positive to positive and negative to negative. Two batteries rated at 220 A.H. would deliver 440 A.H. Those using 6-volt batteries are wired in... [Read more...]
Off-Season RV Camping
Off-season RV camping can offer advantages and great rewards with few drawbacks. The need to make reservations for campsites in advance may not be necessary. This allows you to stay where and for how long you desire without worrying about schedules. Some premium water-view campsites normally impossible to get may well be easily attainable. All of this at probably a shoulder or off season rate.
RV campgrounds and resorts are much quieter during the off seasons. This can further add to the relaxation normally associated with camping. Should this also coincide with school being in, the lack of children may appeal to some.
While some attractions may be closed for the season, many may not. Those that are open generally will be less attended allowing easier access and perhaps a reduced admission cost. Rides and specific shows that require wait times of 10 to 30 minutes at some theme parks may have no wait time.
Great restaurants that are normally packed with... [Read more...]
September 23, 2014 by Peter Mercer · 16 Comments
RV Log Book
Log books are not only common, but are a requirement on ships, aircraft and commercial vehicles. While they are not a mandatory item for a recreational vehicle, there are many owners that do maintain an RV log book. When we look at how they can be used in such an application, it is amazing that more people are not doing it.
So, what benefits can be found keeping a log of all your RV travels and events? Well, a detailed record of repairs and maintenance speaks for itself. It can help to support warranty claims, fuel mileage variations, maintenance irregularities and much more. The information can ensure regular scheduled maintenance items get done at the correct frequency while also getting the full use of each. The study of some repair records can also reveal areas that may require future attention.
The daily travel entries generally include the date, mileage and the location as well as any interesting events that occurred that day. Some people like also to record... [Read more...]
September 22, 2014 by Peter Mercer · 5 Comments
Packing Up to Break Camp
For tent campers, packing up to break camp involves a bit of cleaning, some tent rolling and trying to get that bulky mass stuffed into what seems like too small a bag. It came out of it, it must go back in. Once complete and all the tent pegs have been gathered, the happy campers move about making sure they have everything. They are soon driving through the park toward the main gate passing several large shiny motorhomes. “That’s the way to camp!” one quips. “Breaking camp is the twist of a key!”
Well, it may seem that easy and quick, but it is not. Slides that expand the living space must be powered back in. Leveling jacks must be retracted. Disconnecting of the water hose, sewage hook-up, and the electric power cable must be done, storing each in its unique place. Awnings and TV antennas must be stored. Basement lockers are checked that they are all latched and secure. Tires are inspected to verify they are ready to go and may... [Read more...]
Dash instrumentation has become more and more precise over the years. Complex, informative data can be displayed with near pinpoint accuracy. Digital readouts have become commonplace in everyday automobiles over the past decade. Engine temperatures can be observed to the single degree as can speed, engine RPM, manifold pressure, boost pressure, transmission temperature and much more. In the average vehicle, these multitude of real time data information readings are of little value. In most cases “Idiot Lights” would probably suffice.
However, for large vehicles, like heavy motor homes and truck trailer combinations, this information can be vital and of great value. Observing various data trends and digital readout behavior while travelling, can reveal issues that require attention. That attention may necessitate an operation strategy change, or, if necessary, a physical investigation.
But, there is one instrument that every vehicle has and is used daily. It has not really... [Read more...]
The best way to visit a theme park is to take the RV with you! It’s perfect for those inevitable (and necessary) rest times in-between shows or after a nonstop fun, full morning of rides! You will take the best nap ever in your home away from home. You’ll even have a full kitchen at your disposal for making scrumptious meals – not to mention save you an arm and a leg on not-so-scrumptious, expensive theme park food. Plus, you can skip carrying a heavy backpack around the park with sweaters and snacks, since the RV will be fully stocked and just a short jaunt away. Have kids? Not to worry, naptimes and meal times are a cinch with the RV parked right outside the theme park.
So as you can see, there really is no better way to visit a theme park than to stay at the RV Park in your home sweet home on wheels! Not only will you have the ultimate convenience of staying right at your destination (without having to concern yourself with driving to/from the theme park), but you’ll... [Read more...]
September 18, 2014 by Peter Mercer · 19 Comments
There are a lot of unique words that RVers use in everyday life. I had some fun defining the “true” meaning of some of the most common RV phrases and lingo. Read on to find the true definitions of RV lingo.
RVers around the campfire. Photo by Dan Hedgpeth.
Air Brakes: Useful if awnings deploy during high speed travel. (See Awnings)
Air Horns: Used late at night in campgrounds by Air Heads.
Allison Tranny: The girl that works the RV show information booth that is married to Joe Tranny.
Awnings: Wing-like appendages that can deploy at high speeds to add lift and reduce vehicle weight. (Also see Air Brakes)
Batteries: Black square things that are capable of lighting your coach for about 15 minutes when it is not plugged in.
Blown Fuse: A fuse located in an inaccessible secret location that powers everything.
Charger: A small piece of plastic that that is frequently used to fix stuff on your RV that breaks, also called Visa..
Departure Angle: A scheme to skip... [Read more...]
September 17, 2014 by Peter Mercer · 25 Comments
There is an old expression, “be the person your dog thinks you are.” In line with that statement, campers should be the neighbor you would like to have.
In many campgrounds, your camping neighbors are relatively close in proximity. This closeness can provide an opportunity of meeting and getting to know fellow campers. Many great friendships have evolved from this type of setting. However, this co-existing event can also come with challenges.
We have probably all been camped beside an inconsiderate person or group of people. These folks play music non-stop at a sound level only exceeded by a live Rolling Stones concert. They stay up most of the night and sit by a campfire talking and shouting loudly. Their dog wanders unattended through your campsite, stopping and leaving a calling card that will remain there well after they have departed the camp. Their departure at six o’clock in the morning is highlighted by the clatter of a diesel pickup truck... [Read more...]
September 16, 2014 by Peter Mercer · 2 Comments
RV Instrument Clusters and Glass Dash
The Glass Dash has been solidly endorsed by the aviation industry for the past decade and beyond. Here the Garmin G2000 offers everything and much more than was ever available to the modern pilot. In addition to engine data, GPS navigation, flight information and much more, virtual visual terrain can be displayed when required.
Not quite as sophisticated, but still very impressive, is the motor coach Glass Dash by SilverLeaf. The flat panel dash is capable of displaying a host of information and can produce the general operational readouts in either analogue, digital or both. Digital is great for precise reading down to a single unit. Analogue can deliver a faster glance study allowing a driver to quickly view the panel taking in only the gauge angles to confirm all is good. Each method can fill a predetermined need depending on the driving event at hand.
The Glass Dash can also display video feeds from the back up camera or GPS mapping... [Read more...]
Packing for an RV weekend getaway can be stressful. First, you have to find the time to pack during your normal weekly routine. Then, you might stress over lists, hauling your stuff back and forth, and forgetting things that you wish you hadn’t – or even worse, forgetting absolutely mandatory stuff, such as mom’s mystery novel when the perpetrator is about to reveal himself, or junior’s freestyle BMX bike – not to mention dad’s favorite Crankbait trout lure.
You might think that duplicating everything from your home in your RV is a good idea, until you consider the cost, how to handle perishable foods, what to do with the pots and pans you didn’t get washed before leaving camp on the last trip, and all that dirty laundry that has to be washed.
However, to get close to “duplicating everything” there are steps you can take to make packing for the weekend getaway relatively painless. If at all possible, park the RV in front of your house the night before your trip so it can... [Read more...]
Hi, folks. This month we’ll talk about bearings, generators, long term parking, water heaters and tire problems. Remember, you can submit your RVing questions to email@example.com. Happy Trails!
How often should you repack your wheel bearings on a travel trailer? I am hearing once a year. Is this correct? I can do myself but was wondering is there a video or something that can walk a person through this, as taking it to an RV dealer is rather expensive yearly. Thanks, Nolan
If your trailer is only used a few weekends a year and is never submerged in water (like a boat trailer), you can probably go quite a bit longer than one year before you need to worry too much about repacking the bearings. If you travel extensively, the one-year interval is actually a good idea. Even if the bearings are fine, pulling the hub and drum allows you to inspect the brake components for wear. Repacking... [Read more...]
September 10, 2014 by Good Sam Team · 3 Comments
RVers enjoy taking their pets along when they travel, but one problem with having a pet on board is where to put the food and water dishes. We all look for an out-of-sight spot where the dishes won’t get kicked or stepped into. This RV tech tip is a great solution.
My wife came up with a great idea to hide our pet bowls. She asked me to remove the door from the storage compartment below the stove. This provides an area for the pet’s dishes, where they are out of the way and virtually out of sight.
Credit: Bruce Trudgen, Williamsburg MI
On Thursday, the Good Sam Camping blog discussed ways to reduce rattling in the RV’s interior compartments. Today’s article focuses on tracking down rattles in other parts of the RV.
There is a new saying for RVers. “There are two types of RVs, those that rattle, and those that don’t move.” If you want to avoid rattles, leave your RV in the driveway or in a long-term park. If you drive it, it will rattle.
But if the rattles are driving you batty, there is hope. If you take the proper steps and follow certain precautions, you can minimize—if not completely stop—those annoying rattles as you venture down the highway.
Reducing Rattles in the RV Itself
It stands to reason. If you drive your RV down the road, you will over time shake your RV loose from its fittings.
But rattles are your friends. They tell you something is working loose—a screw, a bracket, or a clamp. Locating these rattles takes a bit of sleuthing. The first step is to inspect in your lockers, grabbing... [Read more...]
September 7, 2014 by Rex Vogel · Leave a Comment
You’re on what you hope will be a leisurely RV camping trip. It’s a warm summer afternoon. Suddenly, a few raindrops splat your arms, and before you know it, the sky opens up. Then you hear thunder in the distance. What should you do to ensure your family’s safety?
Following heavy rains in the mountains a wash separating the campground from the entrance road at Catalina State Park near Tucson flooded stranding campers for several days. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Stormy weather can happen at any time, anywhere.
While your best choice depends on the severity of the storm and your location, being prepared to act quickly could be a matter of survival. Knowing what to do before, during, and following severe weather is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Know the risk in your area for hurricanes, tornados, thunderstorms, damaging winds, dust storms, blizzards, ice storms, and other severe weather phenomena.
NOAA... [Read more...]
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