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Category: The Road Less Traveled

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...]

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...]

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...]

Click and Explore North America

March 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Click and Explore North America

Use Good Sam Camping’s Explore tool for travel itineraries, tourism info and great destinations in every state and province in North America. Select your destination on our handy interactive map and start planning your adventure today! From the Explore Tab home page, find your desired state or province on the interactive map and click (you can also choose a state from the list on the right-hand side). Each state/province page gives you three ways to learn about your destination: • The Welcome section provides an overview of the state you’re visiting. Learn about each state’s regions and get a sense of your destination’s climate and character. The Arizona Welcome section, for example, covers the state’s northern region, popular snowbird roosts and Native American heritage. • The RV Trip of a Lifetime section suggests itineraries to some of the most compelling attractions in each state and province. Check out great steaks along the Oklahoma leg of the Chisholm... [Read more...]

Picuris Peak 2: The Royal Road!

January 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Picuris Peak 2: The Royal Road!

In my last post, I described a hike I took with my husband Terry and son Ryan shortly after their arrival in New Mexico this summer. They drove out to join me after a long six weeks here alone. We chose to hike the Picuris Peak Trail, near Taos, NM. We had hiked for several hours and were not sure how far to continue, but curious to see what was around each new bend in the road. Our persistence and curiosity was rewarded when, after about three hours, we came upon a large sign proclaiming “El Camino Real.” Here, in the middle of the forest, we had come upon the oldest road in the country. I had seen an obscure reference to the road in the description of this hike, but not being familiar with it at that point, it meant nothing to me. Also, as we had hiked for quite a time by then, I had forgotten the reference in my research. Along the Camino Real… Officially known as El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (which is Spanish for “The Royal Road of the Interior Land”) it is part of... [Read more...]

Cruisin’ the beach in style…

December 29, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Cruisin’ the beach in style…

Right before Christmas, we spent 10 days out on Padre Island (Texas Gulf Coast). We dry camped out in the National Park campground on the island, and had a great time! We try to spend 2 weeks there every year – it is one of our very favorite places. Every year we try to make sure to do our ‘traditions’ – our favorite things that we have to do every visit, like driving down the beach, hunting ghost crabs, and riding the ferry at Aransas Pass. Every year we try to find some new experiences to do also. One of the things that we did this year was to drive to nearby Port Aransas and rent Beach Carts! I will admit that I was a little nervous about renting a beach cart – well, you know us, we had to rent 2, both 6 seaters! LOL! First, would the cart owner freak when we pulled in and 10 kids piled out of our van? And, beach carts, even if you are just using them on the beach, are subject to the same laws that govern vehicles (meaning seat belts…), so what... [Read more...]

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