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Category: RV Maintenance

Cramper Van: Mini-House on Wheels

July 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Cramper Van: Mini-House on Wheels

Dubbed the Cramper Van, the world’s smallest, lightest RV can seat up to four close friends in a pinch although one of the seats folds down over the two-ring hob and sink. It’s the cramper van! The invention of custom car fanatic Andy Saunders, owner of Kampers Kars in Poole, Dorset, Cramper Van is a mash-up of an old Bedford Bambi van and a Butlins-style pedal cart. Saunders, 50, has made a name for himself creating weird and wonderful custom cars including a Picasso-inspired multi-colored Citroen 2CV, a mini Mini, and a 21-inch tall car. Saunders chopped six feet off the front of a Bedford campervan and attached it to the pedal cart before refitting the interior. The only other thing that sets it aside from its bigger brothers is its lack of an engine, instead relying on pedal power to pull it along. With four foot by four foot living space, the Cramper Van is filled with seats, stove, table, and bed. Despite its confined size the pedal-powered mini mobile home still has room to squeeze... [Read more...]

Mark, My Words: Q & A with Mark Nemeth – June 2013

June 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi, all! This month: Roof coatings, paint protection, anode rods, rentals, and more! I hope you are enjoying your summer vacation somewhere in an RV! Have fun, and keep those questions coming! MMW@escapees.com ——————————— Mark: We have a 1985 Southwind 34′ Class-A. We purchased it 4 years ago. We noticed the roof has cracks around the vents, etc. The roof membrane/coating is most likely the second or third roof on the vehicle. Would like to update the roof. We have seen the different roof coating materials available in the stores and catalogs, but do not know what material would be compatible with the existing roof (rubber, acrylic, elastomeric, etc.). How do we find out what type material is currently on the roof, and what materials do you recommend recoating the roof with? Thank you in advance for your advice. We enjoy reading your helpful articles. Rees Hi, Rees, I believe that most Southwinds of that era had... [Read more...]

Lifestyle Tech Tips – ‘On The Level’

May 23, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Lifestyle Tech Tips – ‘On The Level’

This month’s reader submitted, handy tech tip, comes from William Andersen, Irvine California: ‘When you don’t have power levelers, you must make a visual determination of how far the RV is out of level and then make your corrections. This is a multi-step operation. I found that being able to get a visual estimate of what needs to be done — before leaving the cockpit — helps greatly. To that end, I permanently mounted a bulls-eye level to the engine cover. To mount the bubble level, I drilled three equally spaced holes around the rim (to accept a #4 machine screw), then drilled and tapped three matching holes in an out-of-the-way, but reasonably level, spot on the engine cover. Put three #4-40 × 1-inch screws through the holes in the bubble level. Run nuts to the top of the screws, but leave them loose. With the coach parked in a known level position, turn the screws into the threaded holes until the bubble is centered, then tighten the nuts against the level. Adjust... [Read more...]

Mark, My Words: Q & A with Mark Nemeth – May 2013

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi, folks: I hope you are enjoying this great RVing weather we’ve been having! Get out there and make the most of it. Maybe I’ll see you out there on the road. Remember, keep those questions coming! Email your RV questions to MMW@escapees.com. Mark: Do you have Garmin maps for RVing?  Seems the ones we have sometimes take us through towns, etc. Judy Hi, Judy, Several of the major GPS manufacturers are now offering units that have been designed for RVers. Garmin offers the Nuvi 465 LMT Truck and RV GPS System, which is loaded with specialized routes and truck-friendly points of interest from the National Truck and Trailer Services breakdown directory. It includes four map updates per year for the life of the GPS unit. Magellan offers the RoadMate 9165T-LM RV 7″ GPS, which includes the Good Sam campground directory and free maps for life. Rand McNally offers the RVND™ 7720 LM, which includes WiFi®, dynamic weather, video input, and Lifetime Maps. It is loaded with campground... [Read more...]

Protecting Our Investment

May 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Our camper is very important to us—both as a vehicle as well as for what it represents. Our camper means recreation, the freedom of the open road, good times with our kids, not sleeping in a tent, vacation, relaxation. The list goes on… That is why we take care of it. We clean it up every year when we take it out for the first time. We clean it before every trip. We sweep our travel dirt out of it when we return home. And, before we put it away for the winter, we wash floors, take out everything that could freeze and explode over winter, empty water out of the tanks and lines and put antifreeze in them to protect it in the cold Rocky Mountain winter weather. Our camper, backed into its storage location in northern Wisconsin When something goes wrong with our camper, we are quick to take it in to the repairman. We want to avoid having our next trip delayed by a malfunction, or worse yet, to experience a malfunction on the road. When we moved to New Mexico, one of the first professionals... [Read more...]

It’s Finally Here – Time to De-Winterize!

April 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s Finally Here – Time to De-Winterize!

For those of us who live in the Northeast, it’s been a pretty long winter and it’s finally here – that glorious time of the year when we break out the buckets, clean the cobwebs and open the camper for the season! So since your camper was winterized before the snow started to fly, it stands to reason that once you’re ready to take it out in the spring you’ll need to de-winterize. It’s really pretty simple – you just winterize in reverse. The first step is to check your hot water heater. The plug should be out, so the first step to de-winterizing is to replace the hot water heater plug. Something else you’ll want to check for is Spiders. Spiders LOVE to hang out near the hot water heater over the winter. They build their little spider nests and make quite a mess. If you grab a can of compressed air that should sufficiently eradicate the creepy crawlers. Next step is to un-bypass the hot water heater. Turn the valve so water can run into the system... [Read more...]

Tow Ratings Standardization: Now You Will Never Know

April 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Tow Ratings Standardization: Now You Will Never Know

Automakers often brag about the towing abilities of their pickups, encouraging shoppers to believe that their vehicles could safely pull almost anything. The towing claims are effective, moving heavy metal in the single most profitable product segment in the auto industry. They are also dubious. In an August 2011 post, I wrote: Have you ever wondered if 10,000 pounds of towing capacity means the same for trucks manufactured by GM, Ford, and Dodge? You will soon know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. One and a half years later, all but one pickup manufacturer refuses to follow standardized towing-capacity tests they all agreed four years ago to adopt for 2013 models—test procedures that would lower the towing capacity ratings they now claim, reports Autonews.com. Instead, automakers follow their own test regimens and advertise claims that could encourage customers to push their vehicles beyond safe limits in terms of stopping and control. The years-long industry effort... [Read more...]

We asked “What piece of advice for the new RVer would you share about living in an RV?” You said…

April 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We asked “What piece of advice for the new RVer would you share about living in an RV?” You said…

Lots of sage advice and wonderful anecdotes were shared. Read on…whether you’re new to RVing or consider yourself an RVing guru, you’ll find something helpful or maybe will have you nodding with a smile! (Have one piece of RVing advice you’d like to share too – go to our Facebook page and post your own!  If you haven’t ‘Liked’ us yet – do it now!) “Electric frying pan and heaters.  Don’t use your propane use their electricity. And get walkie talkies instead of having to shout at each other or use hand signals backing up.” Jay Myshkowsky “Stay off the interstates when possible. Take the back roads and really see the country!” Karen Frevert Knorr “Relax, take your time and ENJOY!” Stan N Sharon Rowlands “A smart phone is not only useful as a GPS, but when you are parked you can use it for weather warnings. I set mine for the area we are staying at and if we should be asleep and there is a warning it will ring a specific ring I set... [Read more...]

Mark, My Words: Q & A with Mark Nemeth – April 2013

April 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi, folks. I’ll cover some common RVing questions this month and share some tips on window and roof sealing. I hope you are enjoying the spring weather! Remember to submit your RV questions to woodalls@escapees.com! Mark: Would you know where we can get a list of makes of vehicles that are safe to tow without having to use a dolly? Thanks, Joan Hi, Joan: There is a comprehensive list of vehicles that can be towed 4-down (without modifications) available at Motorhome magazine’s website. See www.motorhome.com   and click on “Resources” / “Dinghy Guides.” Many vehicles with automatic transmissions can be towed this way without modification, and most are supported by at least one tow bar manufacturer for baseplates and adapters. Also, vehicles that are not listed as towable-4-down can often be modified with either a transmission lube pump or a driveshaft disconnect. Remco makes lube pumps for most vehicles, and their website is at www.remcoindustries.com/Towing/, or you can call... [Read more...]

Mark, My Words: Q & A with Mark Nemeth – March 2013

March 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Hi, Mark, While visiting an RV parts place, I heard a customer going on and on about the virtues of adding liquid Drano [or similar product] to the black tank.  He stated that the stuff will clean out the tank, clean off the sensors, and clean and lube the waste drain valve.  The idea sounded useful to me.  I asked the parts counter guy about the idea.  He did not want to answer my questions.  Can you provide some insight as to the benefits and/or dangers of using this stuff in RV holding tanks?  Thanx, Brent & Barb   Hi, Brent & Barb, I would not recommend Drano for regular use in an RV holding tank. It is not designed for that kind of use and, over time, it might cause problems as it is a very strong caustic agent. OK, now I’m really going step WAAYYY out on that proverbial limb and talk about what to put in your holding tank. The reason that this is such a controversial topic is that absolutely everyone has a favorite toilet chemical. They are also certain that... [Read more...]

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