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"He who is
outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him."
A long time
before anyone ever thought of a “mobile home or RV” hollowed out logs were also
used to house and feed the logging crews.
are accustomed to our modern conveniences like electricity and gasoline powered
chainsaws, and it is always such a mind-boggling experience to see how such
monumental tasks were performed before these conveniences
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Solar Power Generator or a Portable Solar Power Generator
To help your camping or RV trip even
more enjoyable, why not invest in a solar power generator? If you do this then
you can create electricity for yourself wherever you are and save additional
money on electrical charges for your RV. It also means having electricity when
tent camping even if you're miles from an outlet. You can even
make your own solar panel for your RV.
Choosing a solar power generator for
your camping will mean deciding on what you can carry and your budget. Some are
quite large and are meant for RV use only whereas some are portable and can be
packed away with other camping gear. The larger ones will mean more power
overall whereas the smaller ones might mean a few hours for a few appliances.
Typically you can purchase a solar
power generator that is used for camping wherever you pick up your camping gear
or supplies for your RV. To really save money, you may even consider shopping
online. This will mean having a larger selection and shopping right from the
comfort of home. Often online stores carry more brand names than those you shop
in person, and you may even be able to get a used solar power generator from a
site like eBay or Craigslist. This will save you additional money.
It's important when you do choose a
solar power generator that you maintain it properly. Some mistakenly believe
that solar power means never being without power, and some assume that it needs
to be in constant direct sunlight for it to work. Each generator is different in
how it works and what it needs, but it will need to be maintained and cared for
properly. You'll also need to use it according to the instructions in order for
it to work, as it should.
Having a solar power generator with
you when camping can make your experience that much more enjoyable and even more
affordable. You can even charge your batteries with a
solar power battery charger.
They are designed to last a lifetime and to provide you with enough energy to
run your necessary appliance and items like lights when camping, making your
vacation safe and enjoyable.
The Long, Long Trailer
Every avid RVer should rent the movie about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez in The Long, Long Trailer. Desi hitched a 28 foot, three ton New Moon travel trailer to the back of a 125-horsepower 1953 Mercury Monterey convertible.
The movie was made in 1954 and features Desi buying a car and a trailer and hitch. Lucy tried to take some boulders home in the trailer. She also tries to cook a meal while traveling down the road. It's ridiculous and funny especially by today's standards. Take note of some important errors about towing. I don't know if auto manufactures had GCVWR or towing weight ratings then.
to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across
from coast to coast without seeing anything. ~Charles Kuralt
America at 75 MPH
Motor Homes are great for the road. The driver
can keep driving while someone else fixes lunch or uses the restroom. You can
really make time. Think about it, one driver can take a nap while the other
driver speeds down the highway at 75mph.
Well it all depends on why you are on the
road. If you want to see the country and get some stress relief... this ain't
the way to do it.
No, the interstate does not give you the best
view of America. You have the opportunity to feel the pulse of America. You must
STOP to enjoy the scene and you can't stop on the Interstate.
highly recommend that you turn the clock back by traveling the two-lane roads
whenever possible. Seeing America at 30 to 45 mph and stopping often will teach
you how to relax and learn what makes this country wonderful and beautiful. You
will cherish what you see. You will meet people and understand much more than TV
can show you.
Often we go only 50 or 100 miles in one day.
Try to not get yourself tied down to a schedule and things will happen in a way
that you've never experienced before. Don't miss America! It's the greatest land
on the face of the earth.
FA$T Today with
the high prices of fuel you might think about not traveling so fast. Save by
slowing down and getting more miles per gallon. The most enjoyable trips are the
ones when you don't know where you are or what time it is. Remember, "Half of
the trip is getting there."
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RV's for the handicapped.
Handicapped persons can be handled in an RV designed for their needs, far better than traveling from motel to motel and restaurant to restaurant. Owners of units that were designed for a handicapped person have a unique situation, because their unit has special features that would be hard to find in the average Motor Home.
manufacturers will build a unit to fit your requirements. Check with
the manufacturer on line or call. Search the internet for the brand
Renting out your coach would offer many benefits. Potential owners with handicapped individuals could rent your unit for a trial run. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the handicapped person.
If you are in the market for a handicapped RV you may want to check out our
RV's for the Handicapped pages.
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have many advantages over Motels.
On an RV trip there's no problem with restless kids or meals. Keep the kids happy on the road with readily accessible bathrooms, a well-stocked refrigerator and even VCR's and stereo headsets. Stop at a roadside park to rustle up a picnic lunch or nourishing familiar foods.
There is no need to make sure you are in a town and find a restaurant
Keep basic staples and a change of clothes aboard and
you're ready to roll when the whim hits you. No suitcases to pack, unpack and lug
around every day. You unpack once, sleep in the same bed every night, and gradually add the small touches that turn your rolling house into a rolling home.
Hit the road without the hassle of hotel bookings, flight delays and crowded restaurants. Restaurants are great for an occasional outing, but eating every meal out is expensive, too formal, and not as relaxing as eating at "home". At the campground build a campfire and rediscover each other in a way that a motel stay can't offer. Leave the rush of traffic, concrete,
noise and lights at the road and enter a world of enchanting nature,
soft sounds and peace.
RVers are the most friendly people you will ever meet. Try spending time with your neighbor at a motel. The atmosphere is totally different. It's even harder to make acquaintances at a hotel. OK, you don't want to chat with your neighbor. You don't know what you are missing.... but that's another story.
When someone sees a Bear or a Deer everyone comes running and the children get
excited and so do the adults. That's what I'm talking about. These things happen at campgrounds in National Parks, not at Motels.
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follow the sun. The RV lifestyle is just right for you.
One of the best
ways to "follow the sun" is to travel in an RV. Many retirees have the opportunity to travel
and stay for extended periods where they can find the weather to their liking.
Snowbirds leave their house up north and head south for the winter. Some enjoy living the RV lifestyle permanently. RVers refer to these "gypsies" as full-timers.
Northerners who spend the winter in the Sunbelt are called "Snowbirds".
Florida, Texas and Arizona are the most popular states for snowbirds,
but very good deals and less crowed places found in other states are
becoming more desirable every year. Another turn of events occurs when
north for the summer. What are they called? Sunflowers!? or
Polar Bears!? or maybe Hotcakes?
Snowbirds can easily turn into fulltimers. They
buy an RV lot in the sunbelt where they spend the winter and another
one in the mountains for the summer. Another idea is to own Park
Models in both areas and travel by car back and forth.
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There are three types of RVers; The "RV-traveler", the "RV long-termer" and the "RV camper".
The "RV traveler" can be the person who gets two
to four weeks vacation and must be on the go to see lots of places or just those
RVers who prefer to keep moving. This type of RVer does not stay in an RV Park very long.
Having a campground membership would benefit this type of RVer if they stopped at associated campgrounds for about 20
nights per year. This is based on the annual fee or dues plus the $10 per night. Add this cost against the cost of the average campground fee per night (about
$28) for 20 nights. The price of buying into the campground (your
home park) would be considered an investment with the potential of
getting your money back when you sell it. A potential buyer can
possibly get a bargain by buying from an individual. Look for ads on
Remember you can always enjoy your
Home Park for free during the year. This leads to a decision as to whether you want your home park to be nearby or far away. There are benefits to both. If it's nearby you can go there for weekends every now and then. If it's far away, it might be a beautiful resort where you like to spend a vacation. But, your traveling style would not apply in this case. You would become a long-termer.
There are different rules for the various Home Parks and you should be aware of
these rules before purchasing a membership.
The "RV long-termer" is a classification that I identify as the snowbird type of RVer or the
Full-timer. They escape the cold in winter or the heat in summer and stay for long periods at the same campground or they may just like to go to the same place for relaxation and not move. They like resort type camping. We
would suggest looking into buying a deeded lot in a small owner
associated park or a RV Resort. The difference here is that you own
your lot and can rent it out when you are not using it. See RV
Lots For Sale or Rent.
The only way to enjoy the benefits of saving money with a
campground membership club is to move every two weeks. You can buy
into your home park at a particular location within a days travel of another associated campground and spend two weeks at one, then move to the
other and pay the low campground fee, then go back to your home park. It's doable and some do. The rule is that the other campground must be at least 125 miles away, as the crow flies.
Before buying a membership you should study the bylaws and covenants
and understand the rules.
The "RV camper" is usually young-at-heart and still likes to "rough it". The campground membership tag might not fit, as they usually like to camp in places like State Parks and National
Parks for short weekend type campouts. They enjoy primitive style camping. Some
Camping Clubs might have a format for you. You will have to
investigate the club and find out what its motives are. Some of these
clubs are for singles or women or families or bikers, etc. They all
have an agenda.
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Roadside Assistance – Know What You Need Before You’re Stuck Somewhere!
What Is RV Roadside
RV Roadside Assistance frees
you from the hassle of an emergency mechanical breakdown or accident. A good
program will look after your family, your RV and all your household cars. This
doesn’t preclude the need for regular
RV and motor home maintenance such as
checking and flushing fluids on a regular basis and annual or even more frequent
brake system and engine inspections by a mechanic.
What Should RV Roadside
Assistance Help You With?
Emergency towing: you
should be able to call your program’s dispatch center 24-7, 365 days per year.
Flat tire changes: by
simply calling your program’s network of tire providers, their technicians
should replace a flat tire with your inflated spare, even if they have to tow
you to the nearest professional service center (at no extra cost).
Travel delay assistance:
your program should refund your emergency travel expenses if you’re more than
100 miles from home and involved in an accident.
Lock out service: one
simple call and your program should send out a pre-paid locksmith to you right
away, wherever you happen to be.
your program should cover you, your spouse and your minor children.
Fuel delivery: your
program should provide you with up to 5 gallons of fuel to get you to the
nearest service station, free of charge, if you run out of gas.
Tips for RV maintenance and winterizing:
your program should provide you with tips in print or on their web site for
maintaining and winterizing your RV.
A cell phone is necessary in
the event that you need to summon roadside assistance. Keep a list of important
phone numbers and RV data handy to aid in getting proper service. Carry the
service manual for your coach, and the tech service manuals for the
manufacturer. You should also keep a supply of visibility items in your RV:
reflective triangles, flares, flags and even reflective vests.
Different RV Assistance Programs
The two main options for RV
roadside assistance are the AAA and the Good Sam Emergency Roadside Service
Program. Many insurance companies, such as Allstate, and campgrounds, such as
KOA also offer RV roadside assistance. Coach-Net specializes in emergency road
service for RV’s. The best service providers are those that are RV oriented, as
they are better acquainted with the unique needs of the RVer.
Why You Need An RV Assistance Program
Without emergency road
assistance, an enjoyable tour can rapidly become a costly catastrophe. That’s
why it’s important to have a reliable emergency road service available if you
own an RV – whether it’s a motorhome, toterhome, travel trailer, fifth wheel, or
To minimize the need for
roadside assistance, review maintenance procedures, service your RV and check
system operation before you leave for your trip. In a survey done by Coach-Net,
it was found that the majority of operational RV issues are preventable, with
engine issues topping the list at 31.7 percent of all calls.
Article by Adam O’Connor
RV Motorhomes and Toterhomes Guide
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Recreation Vehicle Safety &
Education Foundation or RVSEF opines that the most
vulnerable safety component of an RV is its tires. As
any experienced RVer would know, weights and tires are
interrelated and thus, it is important to balance the
weight as well as to stay within the safe weight limit.
In order to understand the role your preferred tires
will play, you need to have a clear idea about the
weight limitations of your
The weight limitation is mentioned on the federal data
plate and in the user manual. In addition, the
Recreation Vehicle Industry Association requires its
member manufacturers to provide the detail information
inside the RV’s cabinet door. Some of such basic
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: Gross
Vehicle Weight Rating or GVWR is the maximum amount of
weight that your recreational vehicle can carry, when it
is fully loaded including the gear, fluid, supplies,
propane, and passengers. It also includes the tongue
Unloaded Vehicle Weight:
UVW or Unloaded Vehicle Weight is the weight measured
when your recreational vehicle leaves the factory. This
includes only the weight of the mohorhome along with
oil, lubricants, and fuel.
Gross Axel Weight
Rating: It is also referred to as GAWR and is
the maximum amount of weight each axel of your
recreational vehicle can bear. The RV must be fully
loaded including the axel’s weight.
Capacity: This is also termed as CCC and is an
important weight for the RVers to know. This denotes the
amount of weight that you are allowed to load into the
recreational vehicle. Cargo Carrying Capacity is
calculated by subtracting UVW along with the weight of
LP gas and water, sleeping capacity (154 lbs/person),
dealer-installed accessories, and tongue weight from
Weight Rating: Also known as GCWR, it is the
maximum amount of combined weight allowed for both your
recreational vehicle and its tow.
Once you know the RV weights and
the details associated with it, you can decide about
The tires of the recreational
vehicles are specific to their size and carrying
capacity. In addition, measure the tire pressure cold.
As you travel, the air will heat up. The temperature can
also vary depending on various factors including speed,
weather, and type of road material. To measure the tire
pressure of your motorhome while travelling, you need to
stop for around 20-30 minutes to let the tires cool
RVers also need to measure the
tire tread. Those who have duals must have at least
13/32 on their outer wheel and 10/32 on their inner
wheel. Also check the sidewalls for cracks and never use
chemicals to shine or clean the tires of your
recreational vehicle. Such chemicals tend to break down
your tire material. And to brace the tires use graduated
chocks instead of squared edge blocks. You are also
required to rotate your RV tires regularly.
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Know Your RV Weights
the RV weights is crucial for a safe RV ride. In
addition, you must stay within the RV and town vehicle’s
weight ratings. The weight numbers of recreational
vehicle fall into two categories – actual weights and
ratings. The actual weight is the measured weigh of your
recreational vehicle and its components. In general,
weights quoted by RV factories are averages or estimates
of the vehicle’s actual weight. Weight ratings are the
limits, which are placed on your recreational vehicle
and its components. You should never exceed the weight
ratings. And confusion occurs if you mixed up these two
As an RVer
you need to understand the difference between the weight
categories. Many new RVers often get confused with RV
weights, especially with gross vehicle weight and gross
vehicle weight rating. GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight is
the total weight of your fully loaded recreational
vehicle or travel trailer. This includes the weight of
the passengers, all cargo, fluids, and optional
equipment. Gross Vehicle Weight is measured by a scale.
Those who are using a motor home without towing
anything, the Gross Vehicle Weight will be the total
weight of the vehicle including all its components and
the passengers. However, if you are using an RV with
more than one unit, the Gross Vehicle Weight is just a
part of the total weight.
important to know your Gross Vehicle Weight, without
which it is impossible to determine whether or not you
are within the weight limits of your RV. Though the
manufacturer or dealer provide information about the
average or estimated weights of your RV, it is better to
drive the vehicle on a scale to get the accurate weight.
Vehicle Weight Rating or GVWR, on the other hand, is the
maximum weight and the Gross Vehicle Weight of your RV
should not exceed this number. GVWR is applicable to
both recreational vehicles and travel trailers. It is
also referred to as Maximum Loaded Trailer Weight.
are using large towable
trailers, especially that weigh
more than 5,000 lbs, can use a
Weight Distribution Hitch
System. This system applies a
leverage to distribute the
weight of your motor home to all
axels of RV and tow vehicle. As
a result, you can enjoy improved
ride, braking control, steering
and safety. In addition, it’s
important to check the RV weight
on a regular basis. And those
who travel a lot on their
recreational vehicles need to
get their motor home checked
important factor that RVers need
to consider is what they pack
while traveling. You must choose
and pack items wisely while on
the roads. Keep the heavier
items forward and low, while the
lighter items high. Also,
balance your personal belongings
smartly between right and left
sides and avoid taking any loose
items. Finally, never stow your
heavy items in places where they
can tumble into electrical,
plumbing, and other equipment.
are ones of the most important
aspects, when it comes to RV
weight distribution. Both
overloading and under-inflation
will damage the tires, causing
premature tire failure. You can
find the maximum load rating on
the tire sidewalls. However, the
amount of pressure you need to
use will depend upon the load
you put on the tires. Companies
manufacturing tires usually
publish charts so that you can
get a proper idea about the
inflation pressure that you can
put for specified weight loads.
Some of these charts also come
with speed ratings.
Finally, re-organize your RV
occasionally and get rid of the
things that you have not used in
a while or you think are now
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and Cons of fifth wheel towing
The fifth wheel type of trailer
has been used in the trucking
industry for almost 100 years
because it is a safe way of
carrying heavy loads. It's safe
because the hitch configuration
allows the trailer to be
attached over the truck's rear
wheels, and typically up to 20
percent of its hitch weight to
be exerted on the front
suspension of the towing
vehicle. Because of its
forgiving nature to road and
driving conditions, commercial
truckers use the fifth wheel
hitch configuration to carry
extremely heavy loads. A fifth
wheel trailer will stick to the
tow vehicle through thick and
thin. In many adverse handling
situations, a fifth wheel
trailer will actually enhance
the ability of the tow vehicle
to stick to the road. Whether in
tractor-trailer rigs or in
travel trailers, the fifth wheel
configuration is popular because
of its safety and handling
Wheels are the most popular form
of towable campers and are very
easy to tow. However, they are
expensive, starting at around at
$26,000 – $30,000. In fact, just
like any other recreational
vehicles, a fifth wheel trailer
has its own set of pros and
cons. And its major advantage is
that fifth wheels are very easy
to tow due to the gooseneck
hitch. Moreover, this hitch
provides better center of
gravity and stability to such
wheels are also spacious and
roomy inside. The interior of
these towable campers has lots
of room, providing enough space
for everyone if the weather is
inclement. Since fifth wheels
are towable campers, you can
detach them at your destination
and use the towing vehicle for
trips and excursions around the
already mentioned, one of the
major disadvantages of fifth
wheels are their costs. They are
the most expensive towable
campers, which make such
recreational vehicles hardly
affordable for entry level
RVers. However, you may consider
buying a used fifth wheel, as
they will be cheaper than a new
cost mentioned earlier in the
post is just the price of the
fifth wheel; you need to add the
price of the towing vehicle as
well if you don’t own one. These
travel trailers require towing
vehicles for housing the
gooseneck hitch. And you need a
heavy-duty truck, as most of the
fifth wheel trailers are heavy.
However, manufacturers are now
offering lightweight fifth
wheels, which can be towed by
travel trailers come with
bi-level design and have
interior steps leading to master
bedroom, which generally sits
over the towing vehicle’s bed.
Some people do not like such
interior design and steps. If
they are a problem for you too,
you may consider buying a
motorized RV rather than opting
for a fifth wheel.
as it is
car in a
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