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Category: Roads & Routes

RV Mountain Driving Part 3: Road Hazards

November 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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 · 6 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...]

RVing In Freezing Weather

October 31, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

RVing In Freezing Weather

Motorhome Camping in Freezing Weather RVing in freezing weather can have its challenges.  Not only do you have to keep the inside at a comfortable temperature, but you must also provide some heat to the basement to prevent any fluids from freezing in the tanks, lines and related components.  Additionally, the engine may require heating several hours prior to departing camp. So let’s look at some of the things you may face while traveling and camping in winter like temperatures.  Obviously there are slippery road surfaces and winter driving hazards, but we will only look at dealing with the temperature issues related to your coach.  Winter driving is a separate topic we can examine at a later date. Interior heat in motorhomes is provided by an RV furnace or a hydronic heating system. The RV furnace is generally a propane fired unit that blows heated air into the living area.   A hydronic system may be propane or diesel fired.  The hydronic unit heats both the household hot water... [Read more...]

Renting An RV

October 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Renting An RV

    Renting an RV is one of the best ways to try out the RV Lifestyle without having to shell out the investment required to purchase a vehicle for camping. Several styles and floor plans of RVs are available to rent from the company-owned fleets of Camping World. Smaller rental companies that do not own their own rental fleets utilize privately owned vehicles for their rentals and you will likely find a larger variety of floor plans but few identical RVs so that finding a specific floor plan may be more difficult than when renting from companies with their own fleets. You will also find that the availability of certain types of RVs may not be available in rental fleets, such as  vacation trailers and fifth-wheels. Most of the types readily available fall into the Class A and Class C motorhome style (a class A, or bus type, is built from the chassis up, while a Class C starts with a cutaway van chassis and usually has sleeping quarters in an extension above the driver and... [Read more...]

Off-Season RV Camping

September 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Off-Season RV Camping

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...]

Keeping an RV Log Book

September 23, 2014 by · 17 Comments 

Keeping an RV Log Book

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...]

The Inaccuracy of The RV Fuel Gauge

September 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Inaccuracy of The RV Fuel Gauge

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...]

People of The Road

August 3, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

People of The Road

Photo by Justin Wharton Ask RVers what they like most about the RV lifestyle and one thing always comes up: the interesting people they meet while on the road, at campsites, and at RV rallies &  events. Over the course of your RVing lifetime, you will meet every kind of person and encounter every lifestyle imaginable. You may meet minimalist RVers, whose small rigs, simple lifestyle, and few possessions enable them to enjoy the freedom of the open road with a Spartan budget and minimal expenses. Seasonal jobs or special skills enable them to produce enough income to continue their nomadic lives. Conversely, it is also possible that you might camp in a national park next to a million-dollar-plus motorhome whose owners appear to live a most luxurious lifestyle while “camping” or “touring.” All it takes to meet these interesting people of the road is to spread a smile across your face and start a conversation.  Everyone has a story to tell. Tex and Annabelle             ... [Read more...]

Which Type of RVer Are You?

July 30, 2014 by · 13 Comments 

Which Type of RVer Are You?

Two RV Lifestyles There are many different ways to RV, but today we’re going to discuss two RV lifestyles. There are RV touring folks and there are RV destination campers.  RV destination campers go to a given destination for their entire vacation. Touring folks spend their time traveling from one location to another.  The latter group of “Rolling Stones” may feel they find it more adventurous to keep moving, spending only a night or two at each stop.  Many of them do not reserve a site, except an occasional same day phone call during busy times. Those people that choose to remain at one campsite for extended periods of time may have a larger family accompanying them.  Children, for example, get bored quickly while motor touring and would far prefer playing outside or perhaps swimming at a beach or on-site pool.  This method of RVing is generally less costly as you are not continually consuming fuel moving to the next site. These two types of RV campers gravitate naturally... [Read more...]

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