All posts by Daniel Kirsh

new rv content 5/21/19

Just as your regular car won’t do you much good without a healthy battery, neither will your RV. If you are going to get a long and healthy useful life from your RV purchase, you need to complete regular battery maintenance. Fortunately, battery maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult or even time consuming once you understand the basics of what needs to be done, and when to do it.

When talking about maintenance of any kind on your RV, prevention is the first step to success. Rather than trying to fix a problem after it gets to the point of no return, try to stay on top of your RV maintenance to save both time and money over the long run. By spending just a little bit of time working on your RV before and after each trip, you can keep it in good condition and will be able to catch any issues before they become major problems.

Battery Terminal Corrosion

This is a problem that can be found in many cars, and it has the same potentially destructive power in RV’s. Over time, your battery terminals may start to corrode, damaging the quality of the electrical connection. If the corrosion becomes bad enough, you might not even be able to start the engine. Minor corrosion doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with the battery – it can be simply a natural byproduct of using the battery time and again.

To prevent the corrosion from becoming a major issue, stay ahead of it and brush the terminals regularly. If you check the battery before each trip you take, simply brush away any corrosion that has started to show. Use a wire brush or a specialty battery brush that you can find at an auto parts store for the job. If you have enough corrosion to need more than just a brush, try using baking soda to eat away at the corrosion before brushing it off.

Once cleaned, you can use a variety of anti-corrosion sprays that are available on the market to find against this from becoming an ongoing problem. If you have taken apart the cables from the terminals to do the cleaning, make sure everything is reattached tightly and correctly before firing up the engine and heading off for your next trip.

Refilling the Water Levels

If your RV uses flooded cell batteries, you will need to check the water level within the batteries and refill as necessary. The water is going to evaporate over time, so it is to be expected that you will have to refill the batteries periodically. Check them before and after each trip, and add distilled water to the battery so that the water level is slightly higher than the plates found inside. After you have owned your RV for a while you should have a good idea of how much water is going to evaporate over a given period of time, so you can consistently replenish the water on a regular schedule.

Some RV’s run on maintenance free batteries, meaning they are sealed and don’t need to be replenished with water. Obviously, you can cross off refilling your batteries if your RV uses this type. However, maintenance free batteries still can develop corrosion over time, so it is a smart idea to keep an eye on the battery terminals when conducting basic maintenance.

A Tip for Seasonal Users

Many RV owners only use their rigs in the warm summer months, and simply park them in the garage or on the side of the house during the winter. If this sounds like you, you will want to make sure your battery is prepared to live through the winter and is ready to get back to work for you when spring and summer roll around. First, make sure you give your battery a full charge before you park the RV for the winter. Also, disconnect the electrical connections while it sits and waits out the cold months. When the time comes, you can reconnect everything as it was, and give the batter a full charge before starting up the RV for the first time in the new season.

Overall, battery maintenance isn’t a major time-drain for an RV owner. It is, however, very important and something that you need to be sure and keep up with if you are going to get the best possible life and performance from your battery. Make sure to follow the directions that come with your RV and the battery itself, and don’t get lazy on your maintenance schedule. With regular attention, you can keep the battery healthy and keep your RV where it belongs – out on the road.

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There are a lot of features that you need to research before buying an RV if you want to make a good decision that
will work out in the long run for you and your family. The length and type of RV, the number of people that it can
accommodate, the kitchen and bathroom facilities, and more all have to be taken into consideration. Another element that sometimes is overlooked – but is very important – is the gas mileage that you will get from your new RV. Gas mileage is an important element in the overall cost of ownership of the RV, beyond just the purchase price and any insurance costs.

It Matters for All Kinds of RV’s

It is pretty easy to evaluate the gas mileage that a Motorhome will get, as that information should be provided for you by the manufacturer or the dealership – much like when you purchase a car. However, it can get a little bit trickier if you are buying a trailer or fifth wheel to pull behind your existing truck. You might know what kind of gas mileage your truck gets currently, when not pulling anything, but what kind of mileage will it get with the trailer hooked up? That is an important question that you need to find an answer to.

Even though the dealership selling the RV doesn’t necessarily know the specifics of your vehicle and its performance, they are still a good place to start for this information. People who work at an RV dealership will be knowledgeable in a lot of areas related to RV’s, and will have had to answer this question many times before. If you can provide information about the current gas mileage of your truck, the salesperson at the RV dealer can likely give you a good estimate of what to expect when pulling a given RV.

Add Up All Costs

The reason it is important to consider gas mileage is that you need to understand and be prepared for all costs of RV ownership, not just the purchase price. Beyond the cost of buying the RV, things like insurance, maintenance, storage, and gas mileage all should be taken into consideration. Once you have the full picture in your mind of what it will cost you to own and operate the RV, you can better decide if it is something that you can afford of if you should consider a smaller and less expensive model. This ‘number crunching’ might take a little effort upfront, but it will be well worth your time before you commit to a purchase.

Think About Where You Drive As Well

Gas mileage depends mostly on your vehicle and the RV, but it can also be influenced by where you drive most of the time. If your trips consist mostly of freeway driving on open roads, you should be able to get the possible gas mileage from your vehicle. However, if you are frequently driving up into the mountains on steep, winding roads, expect to fall well short of your mileage expectations. This isn’t necessarily a reason to completely change your RV purchase plans, but it is just another minor factor to add in to the overall equation.

Use the Internet to Your Advantage

When trying to get the information you need regarding gas mileage, the internet can be a great resource. Search for the exact vehicle/RV combination you are thinking of using and you can probably find estimates on gas mileage from people who already are using that same setup. Their real world experience can be very useful to you in finding out if the numbers you have come up with will actually be realized when you start out onto the road for your first trip.

Gas mileage might not seem like a huge factor in the grand scheme of buying an RV, but it can play a big role in how much the rig costs to operate on an ongoing basis. Those who like to take long trips across several states should be particularly concerned about gas mileage as the price of filling up the tank time after time can really add up. Try to find the best combination of reasonable fuel economy along with the model of RV that you are looking for to end up with an RV that you love.

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Taking your RV for a long drive to a great destination is something that most RV owners dream of all year long. The open road can be a great place to unwind, soak in some scenery, and catch up with your traveling companions. Where some people count the miles until they will be done with their trip, RV owners tend to savor the miles instead, enjoying each one as it passes.

Of course, that doesn’t mean its always smooth sailing out there on the road. Things can happen when you take off on a long drive, especially in a large RV. Being prepared for a variety of circumstances is the smart and responsible thing to do. While that is true for any trip you take, it is especially important when you are going to be taking the ‘road less traveled’.

Wandering the Back Roads

There are more than 300 million people living in the United States as of 2014. With that kind of population base, you might think that there would be nowhere to go in this country where you could get some peace and quiet. Oh but you would be wrong. There are many many miles of lonely roads all over this country – especially in the west. As you gain experience traveling around the country in your RV, you will find that there is still plenty of desolate land to explore, even in a country with so many millions of residents.

If you are going to be traveling some of these ‘lonely’ roads on your next RV trip, be sure to prepare yourself for as many circumstances as possible. Some of these roads see very few travelers, and you will likely be well out of cell phone range when you get deep into the country. Anytime you head out into such remote territory in your RV, you should always be prepared to spend the night if absolutely necessary. Take food and plenty of water and comfortable clothing so you can get through a night safely if there is a problem with the RV along the way. Hopefully this situation will never come to pass, but you will enjoy your trip more thoroughly if you are prepared just in case.

Where are These Roads?

Still not convinced that there are desolate highways crisscrossing the country? You don’t have to look at a map for very long to find plenty of them. The state of Nevada alone is home to plenty of lonely stretches of highway, such as US-93 which runs north and south in the eastern half of the state. Leaving from the metropolis of Las Vegas on I-15 east, it doesn’t take long to find US-93N, which will quickly take you away from the bright lights of the strip out into the desert. While you will run into a few small towns along the way, there is very little along this highway of note – and you shouldn’t plan on seeing too many other cars on the road with you. Of course, this is just one example of the remote highways that can be explored throughout the western half of the country. These roads can lead to great vacations, but be sure you are prepared before setting off.

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The average person is only used to drive ‘average’ sized vehicles – meaning coupes, sedans, pickup trucks, SUV’s, and the like. Most people, unless they are professional truck drivers or work in another transportation-related field, never pilot anything with more than four wheels. If you buy an RV, however, you will quickly need to learn how to safely and efficiently operate an RV which is likely the biggest thing you have ever put in motion.

One of the considerations that you have to make when driving your RV is the other cars around you on the road. Not only do you want to help everyone stay safe, but you also want to make sure you are being courteous to others. You are taking up a large portion of the road in your RV, so it is only right that you should be aware of your positioning and do what you can to keep traffic moving freely. Following are a few points of etiquette to think about while driving your RV to and from your next vacation.

Get out of the Way!

The main rule of thumb regarding RV etiquette on the road is simply to get out of the way of faster, small vehicles. That means using the right lane whenever possible, and maybe even using a pullout along the side of the road to allow cars to pass on a one-lane highway (when safe). If you are traveling significantly lower than the speed limit – which is likely going to be the case when going up a long mountain pass, for example – you are responsible for allowing everyone else to maintain their speed successfully. Pay attention to cars coming up behind you and share the road in a friendly manner.

Don’t Follow Too Close

Nothing will make a driver nervous faster than a large vehicle coming up quickly from behind. If you are piloting an RV, make sure to maintain a safe following distance from the car in front of you. Even if the car is going slower than they should be going on a given road, you still don’t need to move up within a few feet of their bumper. You don’t have the flexibility in an RV to stop as quickly as you could in a small car, so stay back to provide yourself with more time to react should they stop suddenly for some reason.

Park Well Away from the Entrance

When you stop to park your rig at a store or restaurant, make sure to use parking spaces that are well away from the entrance to the business. You shouldn’t be blocking several spaces right up front with your large vehicle, as you will be getting in the way of several other customers. It is proper etiquette to park out away from the store, even if that means a longer walk to get inside. Your big RV will make it hard to people to get around the parking lot, and the visual obstruction that it provides could even cause an accident. Do the right thing, and park near the back of the lot for the benefit of those around you.
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In recent years, there have been more and more businesses popping up which allow customers to rent RV’s for vacations. Rather than having to commit to purchasing an RV and all that entails, you can simply rent one for however long you need it and then return it after the trip. On the surface, there is a lot to like about this plan. But, does it really work as good as it sounds? In order to decide if renting an RV is a good idea for you and your family, you will need to consider a few different elements. As with any consumer decision, there are both pros and cons to be found with renting and RV. In the end, you will have to decide which side wins out and if renting an RV is something you could benefit from.

Can Be a Good Intro to the RV Lifestyle

If you are someone who has never traveled in an RV, or haven’t since you were a child, renting an RV can be a good option to get a little experience and find out how much you like it. It would be pretty risky to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a new RV without even knowing how much you will enjoy using it, so renting could be a good way to start. You will be able to enjoy a short trip for limited financial investment, and find out what you and your family think of this mode of vacationing. If you find that you enjoy it, you can start to consider the possibility of purchasing your own RV down the road. If not, you will have only spend a relatively small amount of money, and you can move on to other kinds of travel.

It Gets Expensive Quickly

For those who already know they enjoy RV traveling, renting a rig can get expensive in a hurry. While you might think that you would be better off just renting an RV for the one or two trips a year that you want to take, the math will quickly show you otherwise. When you start to add up not only the rental fee for the RV, but also all the other related expenses, you will see that it is no bargain if you are going to do it on a regular basis. When you purchase an RV, you have the possibility of recouping some of that purchase price when you decide to sell it later on. That is not the case with a rental – once you pay for the rental RV trip, that money is spent and it’s not coming back.

No Sense of Ownership

Part of the allure of traveling in an RV is that you can feel like part of home is coming along with you for the trip. You can appoint your own RV with a variety of decorations and touches that remind you of home, and you will get more and more comfortable with your RV as you take more and more trips. That won’t be the case in a rental. Basically, you will be traveling in a hotel room on wheels, and the space will feel generic and unfamiliar. That isn’t to say that you can’t have fun on a trip in a rental RV, because you can – but it will never be the same as traveling in your own rig.

Consider it for Unique Opportunities

There are certain places – such as National Parks for example – that often don’t have hotel rooms available for you to stay in. If you want to visit these places and see everything that they have to offer, you might need to camp in either an RV or a tent. To avoid having to tent camp, renting an RV may be a perfect solution. If you don’t think you will want to RV travel on a regular basis but would love to see one or two specific destinations, opting for the rental option might be the right call.

For most people, renting an RV is a good option only on a limited basis, and for special occasions. If you are going to RV on even a semi-regular basis, it will likely be to your benefit to purchase an RV rather than paying rental fees for each trip. Unless you are just getting started in RV’ing and wish to experience what it is all about without committing to a purchase, renting an RV is just too expensive to make sense in the long run.

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There are no two ways about it – buying an RV is a significant investment, and should be a family decision. If you are going to spend the money to add an RV to your personal property, you want to make sure that it is something you will use and enjoy for many years to come. While many people consider their RV vacations the highlight of the year, traveling in this way is not for everyone. Think carefully about the kinds of things you and your family enjoy doing on vacation, and the kinds of places you like to visit, and then decide if an RV is the best way to make those things happen.

As you work through the process of deciding whether or not to purchase an RV, ask yourself the three questions below.

Where would we go on vacation?

Before you even set foot on an RV dealership lot, take some time to browse the web and look for potential destinations for your RV vacations. You might already know of a place or two you would like to visit, but take some time to do research and see if there are any other options within your general area that would be interesting to you and your family. You want to make sure there are plenty of spots for you to take trips if you are going to spend the money on an RV purchase.

As part of this exercise, think about how far you would be willing to drive for most trips and use that number to focus your search. If you and your family really don’t want to be in the RV traveling for more than five hours, for example, make sure to search within a five hour drive radius from your house. Some people are more willing to drive long distances than others, so this will have to be a personal choice based on your own preferences.

What would we do on vacation?

What sounds like a great vacation to one family might sound terrible to another. Love to play nice golf courses and enjoy high-end resort amenities? There is nothing wrong with that – but an RV might not be the best use of your recreation money. Enjoy fishing, hiking, boating, and other outdoors activities? RV ownership could be right up your alley. Think about not only where you could go on vacations, but what you could do when you get there. If you would enjoy fishing, then you will need to find an RV that allows you to take along a boat as well. Think ahead in terms of activities so you can decide not only if an RV is right for you, but also what kind of RV would serve you best.

What does the future look like for our family?

Buying an RV is not a short-term proposition. In order for the purchase to make financial sense, you will want to be enjoying your RV for many years to come. With that in mind, what does the future look like for your family in the next few years? Are the kids going off to college, or maybe getting married? While a large RV might be perfect for your family today, it may be way too big for you and your spouse in just a couple short years. Conversely, maybe you are planning to add to your family in the near future and might need a larger RV in the years to come. This possibility might lead you to buy a bigger rig than you need now, with the idea that your family will grow into it over time.

RV traveling is great fun, and offers the opportunity to make some wonderful memories. It is not, however, for everyone. Considering how much money you will have to spend to purchase an RV of your own, it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Think about the three questions above, and talk them over with your family. After spending some time thinking and reviewing all of the RV vacation options in your local area, you should soon have a clear decision as to whether or not buying an RV will be the best way to go.

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In many ways, buying an RV feels like you will be traveling in a hotel. After all, your bed is waiting for you in the RV, you have a bathroom, a kitchen, and plenty of room to put your stuff. In a nice RV, you might even have a full-size couch and a TV. Even with all of those amenities, it is important that you don’t forget about the basic camping gear that applies to any kind of trip into nature.

It’s All About Being Outside

There is something of a paradox when it comes to RV ownership. You spend tens of thousands of dollars on a
beautiful new RV, only to take it to places where you want to spend more of your time outside. The beautiful destinations that are available to RV travelers include lakes, rivers, mountains, forests, and more. These are not places that you want to visit only to sit inside and look out the window. The whole point is to get out and enjoy these settings, so you need to be prepared for a traditional camping trip even though you will be sleeping within the walls of your trailer or Motorhome.

The Basics

If you were a tent camper at one point, you probably already own most of what you will need to set up camp outside of your RV. Among the basic items to include when packing are as follows –

Tarps
Outdoor table cloth
Camping chairs
Cooler
Flashlights or a lantern
Fire building materials
With the items on the list above, you should be able to put together a comfortable outdoor area to spend time with your family and friends. You can think of this area as an extension of your RV – you want to make it comfortable and relaxing in order to spend as much time outside during the trip as possible. However, unlike a tent camper, you can always retreat to the controlled environment of your RV if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Don’t Bring Too Much

It is a fine line between not bringing enough traditional camping gear on your RV trips, and wasting space by bringing too much. Carefully think about how many people are coming on the trip and what you will want to be able to do while you are outside. You don’t want to waste valuable space in the RV as you are packing, so it may take a little practice to strike the perfect balance on this point.

One final piece to this puzzle is the specific destination that you have in mind. For example, some locations allow campfires while others don’t – are you going to be able to burn where you are staying? If not, there is no point in taking your campfire equipment. Pack smart by tailoring your items to the destination you will be visiting and you can save space while still being able to enjoy everything about your trip.

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There are no two ways about it – buying an RV is a significant investment, and should be a family decision. If you are going to spend the money to add an RV to your personal property, you want to make sure that it is something you will use and enjoy for many years to come. While many people consider their RV vacations the highlight of the year, traveling in this way is not for everyone. Think carefully about the kinds of things you and your family enjoy doing on vacation, and the kinds of places you like to visit, and then decide if an RV is the best way to make those things happen.

As you work through the process of deciding whether or not to purchase an RV, ask yourself the three questions below.

Where would we go on vacation?

Before you even set foot on an RV dealership lot, take some time to browse the web and look for potential destinations for your RV vacations. You might already know of a place or two you would like to visit, but take some time to do research and see if there are any other options within your general area that would be interesting to you and your family. You want to make sure there are plenty of spots for you to take trips if you are going to spend the money on an RV purchase.

As part of this exercise, think about how far you would be willing to drive for most trips and use that number to focus your search. If you and your family really don’t want to be in the RV traveling for more than five hours, for example, make sure to search within a five hour drive radius from your house. Some people are more willing to drive long distances than others, so this will have to be a personal choice based on your own preferences.

What would we do on vacation?

What sounds like a great vacation to one family might sound terrible to another. Love to play nice golf courses and enjoy high-end resort amenities? There is nothing wrong with that – but an RV might not be the best use of your recreation money. Enjoy fishing, hiking, boating, and other outdoors activities? RV ownership could be right up your alley. Think about not only where you could go on vacations, but what you could do when you get there. If you would enjoy fishing, then you will need to find an RV that allows you to take along a boat as well. Think ahead in terms of activities so you can decide not only if an RV is right for you, but also what kind of RV would serve you best.

What does the future look like for our family?

Buying an RV is not a short-term proposition. In order for the purchase to make financial sense, you will want to be enjoying your RV for many years to come. With that in mind, what does the future look like for your family in the next few years? Are the kids going off to college, or maybe getting married? While a large RV might be perfect for your family today, it may be way too big for you and your spouse in just a couple short years. Conversely, maybe you are planning to add to your family in the near future and might need a larger RV in the years to come. This possibility might lead you to buy a bigger rig than you need now, with the idea that your family will grow into it over time.

RV traveling is great fun, and offers the opportunity to make some wonderful memories. It is not, however, for everyone. Considering how much money you will have to spend to purchase an RV of your own, it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Think about the three questions above, and talk them over with your family. After spending some time thinking and reviewing all of the RV vacation options in your local area, you should soon have a clear decision as to whether or not buying an RV will be the best way to go.

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Getting started in the world of RV travel can be a bit overwhelming. RVs are large vehicles, they are expensive, and they often need to be parked in tight spaces. There is a lot to love about owning and using an RV, but there is a learning curve to be sure. Of course, the only way to get over that learning curve is to get started. In this article, we will provide you some basic tips which can help you transition into becoming a veteran RV user in no time at all.

The biggest thing for a new RV owner to learn is how to maneuver the vehicle safely. No matter what kind of RV you have purchased – a motorhome, a trailer, fifth-wheel, etc. – you are going to need to get comfortable driving this big rig out on the road. Most likely, this will be the largest vehicle you have ever been in charge of operating. To learn how to handle the size and weight of the vehicle, head to a large, empty parking lot to practice. With open space and nothing to hit, you can work on things like backing up, parking in a tight spot (that you can mark out with some cones), and braking in a controlled manner. RV travel will only be fun if you are comfortable driving the rig that you have purchased.

The Trip Will Take Longer Than You Expect

When planning your upcoming vacation, you might just plug your start and end points into Google Maps to determine how long the journey will be. While this is usually a great way to plan a road trip, it isn’t likely to be as effective in this case. The problem comes down to the time you will make in your RV. You aren’t going to travel nearly as quickly as you would in a passenger vehicle, so plan on significantly more time on the road than what your GPS system is suggesting. Rather than trying to ‘make good time’, just enjoy the journey and get there safely.

The Owner’s Manual is Your Friend

Many people toss out the owner’s manual immediately when they purchase a new product. That might be okay if you buy a toaster, but you certainly don’t want to do such a thing if you buy an RV. In fact, you should see the owner’s manual as a great assistant when taking your first trips. Keep it close at hand and consult it whenever you are unsure of how to use your rig. In time, you will need to use it less and less, but it should always be on board just in case.

Bring Relevant Tools

You probably already thought of the fact that you should have a tool kit with you in case repairs need to be made. However, you might be tempted just to toss your tool box from home into the RV – despite the fact that those tools may not be relevant on the trip. Take a look around your RV and make sure you are bringing tools that will actually work when you have a problem to fix.
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RV buyers tend to fit into two general categories – those who are about to retire and want to travel the country, and those who are just getting started with a family of their own. Kids tend to love RV travel, as it feels like an adventure that they get to take to a number of new and interesting places. If you have kids and would like them to develop an appreciation for the outdoors, becoming an RV owner is a great idea.

Of course, as is always the case, there are rewards and there are challenges when dealing with kids. You have to be well-prepared in order to make the most of an RV vacation with your children, and you have to think about their needs when purchasing the rig to begin with. The tips that follow should help you make many great memories along the way in your family RV.

They Need Their Space

It should go without saying that your kids are going to need a space of their own where they can sleep in the RV. However, in addition to having sleeping quarters, it is helpful if they have a space they can call their own during the trip – even if they have to share it with their siblings. Most kids enjoy having a room of their own at home, and this is the same concept. They can keep their toys in this area, and they can head there while you are doing some of the adult tasks that come along with running an RV. As you pick out your RV, think about this requirement and make sure the kids will have somewhere to go.

Break the Drive into Short Stretches

You already know that kids don’t necessarily do well when riding in a vehicle for hours on end. So does that mean you have to limit your vacations to only destinations within a short drive of your home? No – you just have to be smart about how you plan your time on the road. If you can extend your vacation, consider adding a couple of nights on the road so the kids are able to have fun each day rather than just riding along. Alternatively, you could break up a long day of driving with a fun stop to enjoy an outdoor activity for an hour. The key here is planning – know when and where you will be able to break up the drive, and tell your kids so they have something to look forward to while on the road.

Give Them Tasks

Believe it or not, most kids actually take quite well to being given jobs while on a trip. As you are completing all of the necessary tasks to get your RV set up, find ways for your kids to help you. Of course, these should be safe things for them to do, and you should always be supervising. When they feel some sense of pride and ownership in the process, they will become that much more invested in your vacations.

Some of the best times you are going to have as a family will be enjoyed in your RV. As long as you plan ahead, think about the kids when buying an RV, and involve them in the process, you will find that children and RV travel are a natural fit.
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Golf is one of the most popular games in the world, and many RV owners are also golf enthusiasts. If that sounds like you, taking your RV on a golf vacation may just be one of the best experiences you have in your life. There are beautiful golf courses all over the United States, and what better way to visit them than in an RV? With RV travel, there will be plenty of room for your clubs to come along on the trip, and you won’t have to rack up expensive hotel bills all along the way. Also, if you are traveling with your favorite foursome, there should be space for everyone to stay right there with you in the RV.

Look to the West

While there are great golf courses all across the country, the western half of the United States has an incredible collection of scenic courses that every golf should try to visit at least once. Where many of the iconic courses on the east coast are private country clubs, most of the great courses out west are open to the public (although they certainly can be expensive). Consider adding some of the following beautiful courses to your itinerary – Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, Bandon Dunes, PGA West, TPC Scottsdale, and Shadow Creek (in Las Vegas). While there are hundreds of other courses throughout the west that deserve your attention, the names on this list are some of the highlights. If you get a chance to play any of these courses, it will likely be an experience that you talk about for years to come.

Consider Shoulder Season Travel

In the golf world (and in other tourism industries), the early spring and late fall is often considered the ‘shoulder’ season. If you are willing to travel during these times of year, you will enjoy reduced rates at many of the courses you visit. Obviously, you may encounter less-desirable weather during these periods, but the trade may be worth it if you can bring the overall price of your vacation down to a more reasonable level. Check the average weather conditions for the specific times of year you are considering so you will know what you are getting into prior to making any tee times.

See Other Sights

In addition to visiting some of the best golf courses in the country, you can also use this kind of trip to visit other destinations. For example, if you went to play Pebble Beach, you could also spend time visiting nearby Monterey and seeing the various tourist attractions that the area has to offer. Many of the best golf courses are located in areas with plenty of other things to do, so your trip doesn’t have to be only about golf.

To make your golf vacation as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, scout out RV parks near the golf courses as far in advance as possible. Make sure you have both a tee time in hand and an RV spot reserved so your trip can be all about having fun with your traveling companions while enjoying some world-class golf experiences.
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The term ‘snowbirds’ often refers to retired people who split their time in two locations – they live farther north in the warm summer months, and head south for a warmer climate during the winter. This is a popular plan for countless people later in life, as they aren’t tied to a specific geographic location by work or kids. Many people own a home in both locations so they can move easily back and forth from one to the other each year. Owning two homes is a great way to go, but there is another option that might be even more effective for some people.

Instead of having a house in the north and a house in the south, snowbirds can consider owning one house and an RV, with the RV serving as their winter ‘home’. With the high quality of many RV models on the market today, they are more than capable of serving as home for a few months and provide a number of advantages over owning a second house.

Far More Affordable

A challenge that stops many people from living the snowbird lifestyle is simply not being able to afford to own two houses. Owning two homes is a costly proposition, especially when you consider that people of this age are typically on a fixed income. This is where an RV starts to make so much sense. The cost of an RV pales in comparison to buying a whole extra house, even when you factor in paying for the fees to stay at a campground. During the summer at home somewhere in the north, the RV can simply be parked and stored until the winter when it is put back in use. Maintenance costs will generally be less on an RV than a house as well.

Flexible Location

Imagine that you are planning to live the snowbird lifestyle, so you purchase a second home in Palm Springs, California – a popular winter destination for snowbirds thanks to warm weather, golf courses, shopping, and more. There is nothing wrong with this plan, however, you will be headed to Palm Springs each winter because that is where the house is located. You are locked in to that one specific location even if you decide that you would like to mix it up.

With an RV, that is not a problem at all. If you decide that Palm Springs sounds good one year, you can easily head in that direction. Maybe the next year, you choose Arizona – or even Florida. With an RV as your second home, you can pick the destination that you want to visit each year without feeling committed to any one place. Also, you could break up the winter in a variety of places to see different things and meet new people. The choice is yours.

Making Friends

One of the challenges when living part time in two different locations is making friends in both places. While you probably already have a network of friends in the place where you spent most of your adult life, you might not know very many people (or anyone) at your second home in the south. This is another advantage to choosing the RV plan. Campgrounds and RV parks tend to be social places where people with a similar lifestyle are happy to meet each other, share stories, and make new friends. Spending just one winter at an RV facility in a warm location will likely leave you with more than enough friends to stay busy all throughout your winter stay. In fact, you might be surprised to find how many people you meet actually are doing the same thing as you – and might live pretty close to you back at your house in the north, as well.

Working your whole adult life toward retirement means that you should be able to enjoy yourself and live the lifestyle that you have been dreaming about for years. Taking the snowbird approach and living in two locations is a great option, and doing so with an RV provides you with even more flexibility and options. All you need to do is find an RV that you will be comfortable living in for months at a time, and pick out a destination for your first winter. With those preparations made, look forward to a new experience and the opportunity to meet new people living the same lifestyle as you.

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Having a tire blowout from under your RV while on the road is one of the worst things that can happen while traveling to or from your destination. Obviously, losing a tire while moving at freeway speed can lead to very serious consequences, so the best thing that you can do when it comes to this issue is to avoid it in the first place. By caring for your tires properly, you can steer clear of a blowout and keep your traveling party safe in the process.

The first thing you can do to lessen the likelihood of a tire blowout is to keep all of your tires in relatively good condition – which means replacing them as they get old. When the tread starts to wear thin on an old set of tires, consider replacing the entire set before your next trip. Even if you haven’t put all that many miles on the tires to this point, you still may want to replace them if they have been on the RV for several years. The condition of the rubber is going to degrade over time, especially if you live in a harsh climate, so it would be a mistake to push it too far.

Air Pressure Issues

The next thing you need to watch for before heading out on a trip is the inflation level of your tires. When your RV tires are under inflated before you hit the road, they will run the risk of getting too hot as you travel along, especially if you are driving on the freeway – and it is hot tires that are susceptible to blowouts. Before any long road trip, take a moment to check on the air pressure in your tires and adjust them as necessary. The appropriate level of pressure will vary on a number of factors including the tires themselves and the specific RV that you own, so educate yourself on the needs of your situation and respond accordingly.

Watch Your Weight

When packing up your RV to hit the open road, do your best to evenly distribute the weight inside the RV around the cabin. You should be focused on this for a number of reasons, including the fact that it can help you avoid a blowout (and it can help you recover more easily should a blowout occur). If you were to load up one side of the RV significantly heavier than the other side, you would be placing extra load on the tires on that side of the vehicle. Pay attention to heavy items as you pack and do your best to even things out nicely.

A Simple Walk-Around

Sometimes, it is the simple steps you take toward travel safety that are the most important. That is true in this case, as a simple walk-around your RV before you hit the road can give you a chance to inspect each tire for damage before you set off. After camping in the woods for a week, for instance, you might not have noticed that one of your tires suffered some form of damage that will compromise it while out on the road. Take a few moments to have a close look at each tire before heading out and your odds of a blowout will be dramatically reduced.

Have you ever had a blowout on your RV? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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One of the best things to do with an RV is simply to take it to beautiful places. RV’s allow to stay closer to nature than you would be able to do otherwise, while still providing many of the comforts of home. Fortunately, the United States offers countless beautiful locations in which to enjoy an RV vacation. In fact, even going beyond the U.S., there are many great RV’ing destinations in Canada as well.

When it comes to beautiful Canadian destinations, it is hard to imagine doing better than Whistler, British Columbia. A short drive north from Vancouver, Whistler has long been an international skiing destination. With an incredible number of ski runs available on both Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, the appeal of this area is obvious from the moment you arrive. However, even if you aren’t a skier, there is still plenty to love about the greater Whistler area.

Summer is Stunning

Make no mistake, the mountains in this region are incredible when they are covered in show. If you are able to make it up to Whistler in the winter, you will be in for a real treat. With that said, summer should not be overlooked. As an RV traveler, summer provides the advantage of better road conditions, and the Whistler crowds are usually smaller during the warm season. Worried that there won’t be enough to do in Whistler without snow on the slopes? Don’t be. Between the hiking, fishing, biking, shopping, dining, and golfing, you will have more than enough to keep your busy throughout your stay.

Olympic Experience

If you are a sports fan, you probably have a special place in your heart for the Olympics. Playing for country instead of a paycheck brings a different dynamic to each Olympic sport, so many fans wait anxiously for the Summer and Winter Olympics to make their four-year rotations. To experience a little bit of Olympic history, visit Whistler and see some of the locations where the 2010 Winter Olympics were contested. While Vancouver was the official host city for the games, many of the skiing events took place in and around Whistler, in addition to the luge and bobsled races. Even though the games have come and gone, there are still plenty of signs recalling Olympic memories all around the village.

The Sea to Sky is Unforgettable

It isn’t often that you come home from a trip talking as much about the drive as you do about the eventual destination – but that just might be the case when you get back from Whistler. Part of the road from Vancouver up to Whistler is known as the Sea to Sky Highway, and it is truly amazing. The road winds along the water’s edge before rising up into the mountains that wrap around the entire region. Be sure to drive safe and keep your eyes on the road, as it is easy to get distracted by the scenery. Fortunately, there are plenty of places along the way where you can pull of the road and take in the beautiful Canadian landscape.

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Have you recently purchased your first RV? Congratulations! RV ownership can be a ton of fun, especially once you learn how to use your rig properly. In order to help you get off to the best possible start with your RVing experience, we have listed ten helpful ‘newbie’ tips below. Keep these tips in mind as you plan and embark on your inaugural trip in the new RV.

#1 – RVs Take a Long Time to Stop

Forgive us if this should go in the ‘obvious’ category, but it is a point which needs to be made anyway. Most people are used to driving around town in cars or pickup trucks, but piloting an RV is a different kind of experience altogether. Make sure you give yourself as much room to stop as possible, since the weight of these vehicles means they need far more runway than the average sedan.

#2 – You Don’t Need to Pack Your Entire House

It is tempting to pack a ton of gear for an RV camping trip, as you will have quite a bit of space available in the rig. Don’t fall victim to that temptation. Only bring what you need, just as you would when camping in a tent. It is no fun to have to squeeze yourself into tight corners of your RV because you have packed a whole bunch of gear which will never be used.

#3 – Pack from Bottom to Top

Speaking of packing, make it a habit to keep heavier items down low while moving the lighter stuff into higher spaces. Remember, you are going to be driving your RV on the open road, so you want to be logical about weight distribution. Moving heavy stuff up high is going to make the rig less stable overall.

#4 – Buy Food Close to Camp

When possible, plan a stop at a grocery store close to your destination in order to pick up most of your items. You don’t need to haul all of your food the whole way if there is a store near the campground, and it will be easier to keep your food fresh this way.

#5 – Happiness is Being Level

You are only going to be able to enjoy your RV to the fullest if you are able to get it level once in your campsite. Bring along the right equipment for leveling, such as jacks and leveling blocks, and take time to get this task right.

#6 – Master the Sewer

One of the best things about owning an RV is the fact that you have a bathroom on board. One of the worst things about owning an RV is the fact that you are responsible for emptying the tanks associated with that bathroom. Learn how to handle this chore like a pro so you don’t have any smelly problems later on.

#7 – Not Every Road is an RV Road

Just because a road shows up on your GPS as a viable option for your trip does not mean it’s a good choice for your RV. Be smart, avoid narrow, windy roads, and always do your research before setting out.

#8 – Your Checklist is Crucial

Every RV owner should have a checklist of things to pack and review before hitting the road. This list should be a constant companion at the start and end of every trip. There is a lot to remember when traveling by RV, and a good checklist can take the stress out of the process.

#9 – Other RV Owners Are Usually Friendly – But Give Them Space

You should expect to make plenty of friends along the way when travelling by RV. You should also expect to meet some people who would rather be left alone. Be sure to give others the space they request, and enjoy chatting with those who want to make new friends.

#10 – Patience Goes a Long Way

Don’t rush when you are traveling by RV. You shouldn’t be trying to make record time getting to your destination, and you shouldn’t be in a hurry when packing either. This is supposed to be your recreational time, so enjoy it and make the most of the opportunity.
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If you already own a truck, you are halfway to having a great RV setup for travel with family and friends. Instead of having to buy both a truck and trailer, or a Motorhome, you can simply pick out a trailer to pull behind your existing truck. Of course, when taking that course of action, you will need to be sure to pick a trailer that falls within the towing capabilities of your truck – otherwise, you will be stuck in the driveway just trying to make it down the street. This plan is only going to work when you get the right trailer weight for the truck, so use the advice in this article to make the right pick.

What is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating?

This is a number that you need to understand before you go shopping for a truck. The GVWR of your truck is a number that tells you exactly how much weight you can have on your tires when everything is all added up. This number includes the weight of the truck itself, the weight of your passengers and gear, and the weight that the trailer presses down on the tongue. When you go out to shop for a trailer, you will find that they have various ‘tongue weights’ that need to be considered. So, do some basic math to add up all of the relevant weights to decide if a specific trailer is going to be suitable for your truck.

Other Important Numbers

Of course, GVWR is just one place to start. You will need to know more than just this single number if you are going to pick out the right trailer, so your homework must continue on to a few more points. Specifically, look into information on the points highlighted below –

Gross Combination Weight Rating. As you might guess, this is the rating for everything when it is all added up – including both truck and trailer. Exceeding this rating is a bad idea both for the performance of your vehicle and for your safety out on the road.
Maximum tow rating. This is the number that tells you how much weight you are supposed to be able to tow safely with your truck. Naturally, you will want to be sure that you are selecting a trailer that falls well below your maximum rating, as you need to be able to put things inside the RV for your trips which will add to the weight of the whole rig.
Beware of Marketing Hype

You need to be careful to do some math on your own in order to figure out if you can pull a specific trailer – because the marketing department behind some trucks tends to get a little carried away. You don’t want to rely on a single number that you saw in a commercial which said you could tow a certain amount of weight. Do your own research, and your own math, and come to a conclusion that you are comfortable with. Remember, erring on the side of caution is always best, as there is no need to stress your truck harshly while trying to pull an RV for a fun family vacation. Keep everything well within the weight limit and look forward to many great trips to come.

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rv content 5/21/19

Putting your RV away for the winter can be a major mistake. Sure, you might not be able to spend as much time outside in the winter as you can when traveling in the summer, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had. If you plan carefully and outfit yourself with the right gear, you might find that winter RV travel quickly becomes one of your favorite hobbies.

Make Sure the RV Is Ready

You might not mind if your windows are a little drafty when you travel in the summer, but that can become a major problem on a cold winter night. Before you head out in the winter, make sure your rig is ready by checking things like seals and insulation. Make improvements where necessary, and even consider spending a night in your RV at home when the weather gets cold to see how it fares. You don’t want to find yourself hours from home and stuck in a freezing RV, so preparation is key when it comes to winter travel.

Make a Smart Plan

While most modern RV’s are relatively well-equipped to deal with winter weather, your rig is still not a 4×4 in terms of its ability to get around icy or snowy roads. You don’t want to put yourself or your RV in a dangerous situation, so only plan to travel on roads that you know are going to be maintained throughout the winter. Also, call ahead if possible to confirm that your targeted campground is open for business and have spots available. Driving around late at night to find a spot might be a ‘fun adventure’ in the summer, but it is frustrating and potentially dangerous in the winter months.

Pack for the Conditions

Be sure to bring along plenty of cold weather gear for your trip when you head out on an RV vacation in the middle of winter. Things like blankets and coats/sweatshirts should be abundant, and you will also want to make sure your sleeping gear is rated to be able to handle cold temperatures. Remember, although your RV has a heating system on board, you can’t necessarily bank on that system to operate properly throughout the trip. If something goes wrong and you don’t have the heat supply you expected, you need to be prepared to get through the nights comfortably.

Since the weather is far less predictable in the winter as compared to the summer, you also need to bring extra food and water to get by a couple extra days in case a snowstorm strands you in place. If you are planning on taking a three-day trip, for example, bring provisions for five days so you can ride it out in the RV if the weather comes in harshly. Of course, you can always eat that extra food when back at home, so it doesn’t need to be wasted if the weather turns out to be just fine.

Extra Fuel

Many RV’s use propane to power the on-board furnace. If that is the case with your rig, make sure you bring extra fuel as you are going to be going through it far faster than you do in the summer. Since some of the fuel stations near your campground may not be open during the winter months, you want to be as self-sustaining as possible by bringing extra from home.

Travel in your RV is a little bit more work in the winter than it is in the summer. However, that extra effort can be more than worth it when you see some of the beautiful places that you can enjoy in the peace and quiet that usually comes along with the winter months. By travelling smart and planning properly in advance, you can look forward to a great trip in your home away from home.
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Buying an RV is an exciting time – that can be a little intimidating as well. Depending on the exact RV that you purchase, it will likely be the largest vehicle that you have ever operated, and that can be a little scary the first time you get it out on the open road. Even beyond the challenges that come with navigating busy streets in an RV, there are a variety of other tasks and skills that you will need to master in order to operate your RV properly and safely throughout your camping trips.

Don’t let that first paragraph intimidate you, however – many people have gone from RV novice to experienced traveler in a short amount of time, and you can do the same. You simply need to understand a few basic things about how the RV works and then practice some skills that will help you along the way. By putting in just a little bit of time, you will be fully comfortable with your RV before you know it.

Following are five shortcuts meant to help you speed up the learning process.

Drive A Lot – Somewhere Safe
When you first take possession of your RV, find an empty parking lot or some other place where you can safely practice driving – and parking the RV without the risk of running into something. There is no substitute for practice when it comes to operating a large vehicle, so put in the time somewhere away from the rest of traffic. Since many campgrounds have tight parking spaces at awkward angles, make sure to do plenty of practice backing up. It can be helpful to set up some cones into a mock ‘camp space’ and then try to maneuver in and out of the spot.

Learn from Other RV’ers
Learning from the mistakes of others is often a good way to improve yourself, and it is no different with RV’ing. If you know a few people who own RV’s already, ask them about their experiences and what mistakes they made when they were first getting started. If you can learn a little about what they did wrong – and what they know now – you might be able to avoid following in their footsteps.

Read the Owner’s Manual
Most instruction manuals, no matter what product they are for, get thrown into a drawer as soon as they make it home and are never seen again. Don’t make that mistake with your owner’s manual to the RV. Instead, actually sit down and read it carefully. You might be surprised at just how much you can learn from the manual, and how many mistakes you can avoid by gathering all of that information upfront. Instead of turning to the manual after something goes wrong, be proactive and give it a read right from the start.

Take a Trip Close to Home
As your first trip in your new RV, consider picking out a location within an hour drive or so from home. A short trip will allow you to get familiar with living in your RV without being too far from home in case you forget something or need to return home because you are unable to get the RV set up correctly. Most likely, you will have no problems and can enjoy your short trip in your new rig – but you will have the comfort of being near to home just in case.

Talk to the Salesperson at the Dealership
Most salespeople are only concerned with closing the deal, but they will often be glad to help you after the sale is complete as well. Once you decide which RV you are going to purchase and agree to a price, ask them to walk you through anything you need to know and to highlight mistakes that previous buyers have made. People working at RV dealerships will have an in-depth knowledge of the RV’s themselves and should be well-qualified to get you on the fast track toward becoming comfortable with the operation of the rig.

Getting comfortable with your RV is an important process, but it doesn’t need to be a long one. Ask plenty of questions, get practice in a safe location, and take a short trip close to home as your first outing. Before you know it, you will feel like a seasoned RV owner and you won’t be able to wait until your next big trip.

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One of the ways you can get more use out of your RV is by purchasing an RV generator. Most likely, you aren’t always going to be camped somewhere that allows you to plug in to the power grid. When that is the case, one of the best things you can do is have a generator available in order to power up your lights, appliances, and more. Sure, using a generator isn’t quite as convenient as having access to the power grid, but it is certainly better than nothing at all.

When you start to look around the market for a generator, you are quickly going to notice that there is a specific class of generators meant for RV use. You might think that you could just purchase any kind of portable model to do the job, but you are going to want one that has been specifically designed to meet the needs of the RV traveler.

A Variety of Power Options

While all RV generators are charged with creating power that can be used to run the RV, there are a variety of different methods that can be used to reach that outcome. There are generators that run on diesel, on gasoline, and on liquid propane. The right pick for your needs depends on your specific RV and your personal preferences. For example, if you happen to run an RV that has a diesel engine, owning a diesel generator makes a lot of sense. However, if your RV is gas-powered, it wouldn’t be a smart choice to go with diesel in the generator as you would need to keep those fuel sources separate at all times.

Remember the Noise Factor

As you shop for a generator, keep in mind the fact that these units are going to make noise as they run. Naturally, it would be great to have a unit that makes as little noise as possible while it runs – for your benefit, and for the benefit of those around you in the campground. Any generator that you come across in the market should have a decibels rating that you can use to compare one to another. While noise level isn’t the only point to keep in mind when shopping for an RV generator, it certainly is an important point to monitor.

Check for Hours

In much the same way that your car’s age can be measured in miles, generators are often evaluated in terms of how many hours they have been used. As a generator ages and accrues more and more hours, it is more likely to break down at some point. Again, just a like a vehicle, you can get the best possible life from your generator by performing basic maintenance and caring for it properly. If you are thinking of buying a used RV generator, check for the hour reading to make sure the unit hasn’t been used too extensively. A good generator should be able to last for several thousand hours or more, and a diesel unit will usually be expected to last longer than a gas model.

There is no one-size-fits-all model of RV generator that will work for all owners. You need to think about your own personal needs and the budget that you have for your purchase in order to come away with a unit that is a great fit. Fortunately, there are plenty of units on the market – both new and used – so you should be able to track down exactly what you need with relatively little effort.
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Every RV camper has been there at one point or another – you make a drive of several hours across a couple states or more to arrive safely at your camping destination. You find the perfect spot, get the RV parked and leveled, and get ready to settle in for a relaxing week. Everything is perfect until you step inside the RV to start to unpack – and realize that the contents of your cupboards have decided to ‘redecorate’ the interior. Now, you have a mess to clean up before you can start your trip, and you may have lost some of the items you were planning on using for the week. Not a good start.

Properly packing your RV cupboards for a safe trip to or from the campground is an important skill for any RV owner to possess. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but there are some basic rules that you need to follow. Once you get the hang of packing your cupboards safely, you should be able to do it quickly and easily for all future trips.

Start with Non-Skid Liner

As a first step, you should consider placing a non-skid liner on the bottom of all your RV cabinets and drawers. This is an inexpensive item to purchase, and will only take a few minutes to install. While the liner won’t keep everything perfectly in place while you rumble down the road, it will help lighter items get a grip and not be so quick to slide. Considering how cheap and easy this tip is, there is no reason to start using your RV without some non-skid liner in place.

Think from the Bottom Up

It might be common-sense, but many RV owners mess this one up. When packing your cupboards, try to place the heavier items on the bottom, with the lighter goods up top. Obviously, if something is going to sneak its way out of a cupboard and fall inside the RV, you would rather it be something light that isn’t going to do much damage wherever it comes down.

When you get ready to start packing, organize your items by weight just outside the RV. Start with the heaviest items, and fill up the bottom cabinets with them. As your items get lighter, you will start to run out of space on the bottom shelves and will need to move higher and higher. Hopefully, when you get to the top of your storage area, you will only have lightweight items remaining to pack.

Use Bins to Keep Control

This is one of the best packing tips that an RV’er can use. Consider purchasing several bins in which you can pack your food, cooking equipment, etc. By containing all of your loose items within some bins, you will achieve a couple goals. First, you will make it less likely that anything will go flying as you make the drive to your destination. The combined weights of the items within the bin will make the bin itself less likely to move – therefore, you should be able to keep everything in place.

Even if something were to move, it will at least be contained in the bin and less likely to do damage or make a mess inside the RV. See-through plastic storage bins with locking lids are great because you don’t have to open them to find out what is inside, and they come in a variety of sizes to fit your needs on the RV. Take measurements to find out what sizes will fit inside the cupboards that you have, and purchase bins accordingly.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Even the most-capable RV packer will make a mistake from time to time. Sometimes, the best way to improve the packing of your RV cupboards is simply to learn from your mistakes. If you have an item or a certain bin that doesn’t seem to behave itself on the trip, try packing it in a different place until you find the right spot for it to ride. It shouldn’t take too many trips to figure out the best location for all of your gear, so there are no surprises when you arrive.

The last thing you want to start off your camping trip with is a mess to clean up inside the RV. With smart packing, and the use of items like non-skid liner and some plastic bins, you can keep your gear safe for the ride to the campsite and back home again. There might be a slight learning curve for the new RV owner, but packing the cupboards safely is a task you can soon master.

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It should go without saying that RV travel should be fun. After all, if your trips aren’t fun, what is the point? Whether you are traveling with family or friends, you should be determined to have a good time from the moment you leave the driveway until you return home. RV’ing is all about having a great time and making memories that will hopefully stick with you for a lifetime.

Since it is easy to get stuck in the same old routine when it comes to taking RV trips, many RV owners don’t have as much fun as they should. Following are five tips which can help you put the enjoyment back in your RV getaways.

#1 – Bring Games

This might seem like an obvious point, but it can be easy to forget to bring entertainment while you are busy packing up all of the essentials. Take games that suit your destination and the kind of trip you are planning on taking. Want to relax in the RV? Board games and card games are perfect? Prefer to be outside enjoying the fresh air? Pick from the selection of camping games at your local sporting goods store.

#2 – Meet Up with Others

When possible, try to coordinate your RV vacations with friends or family members who also own an RV. Socializing is one of the great parts of RV travel, and your trip will almost certainly be enhanced by the presence of others. This is also a great way to bring together people of like interests during the trip. For example, if you are traveling with your spouse, you might be able to invite another couple who also enjoys the same activities as you (hiking, fishing, swimming, etc.).

#3 – Go Somewhere New

The easiest way to break up your routine when it comes to RV travel is to simply pick a new destination. The whole point of owning an RV is having the freedom to visit different places – so why continue to go to the same spot time after time, year after year? Do some research online to find new potential destinations and give one a try.

#4 – Document the Journey

For a new experience, try taking pictures and videos all along the way so you can document the journey when you get back home. Even if you don’t plan on sharing these pictures and videos with others, the process of taking them will make your trip more fun and engaging. As an added bonus, you will be able to look back on the images you captured and fondly remember your RV travel experiences.

#5 – Turn Off Your Phone

This is a good piece of advice whether you are on an RV vacation or simply trying to relax at home. When possible, turn off your phone for a period of time so you can free your mind to enjoy the moment. It would be a shame to travel to a beautiful location in your RV only to keep your head buried in your phone the whole day.

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Given the significant investment required to purchase an RV, you want to make sure the choice you are making is the right one for you and your family. There are a wide-range of sizes, styles, and designs of RV’s on the market today, so it can be a little overwhelming when you first start out on your RV buying process. Even after you narrow it down to a few particular styles or brands that you like, making that final choice of what to spend your hard-earned money on can be a tough one.

The important thing to consider when making an RV purchase is that the rig should work for you right now, as well as in the future. You aren’t going to want to have to buy another RV after just a few years, so try to plan ahead and balance your needs presently alongside the needs you are likely to have down the road. If you can find an RV that fits both of those sets of needs, you should be looking at a clear winner.

Size of Your Traveling Party

This is obviously one of the first considerations to make when you are RV shopping – how many people will be going with you regularly? For most people, this means thinking about how many kids they have now, and how many they might have in the future. If your children are young and you may have more, the focus should be on making sure the RV is big enough to handle your potentially expanding family. On the other end of the spectrum, those with older children should consider how much longer the kids will be traveling with them. You don’t want to purchase a huge RV to accommodate the whole family, only to be left with a rig that is too large for your needs when the kids move out of the house in a couple years. If this is the case for you, it might be best to consider a smaller RV, even if it means the kids have to sleep in a tent sometimes on your trips. Once the kids are off to college and you are traveling with only your spouse, you will appreciate the smaller RV and the advantages it offers.

The Price

Naturally, just as with any purchase, the price of the RV has to come into play. You should set a budget before you ever go looking to buy an RV, and try to stick as closely to that budget as possible. If you spend all of your money making payments on the RV each money, you won’t be able to afford to take the vacations anyway. Find a good balance between features and size of the RV, and the overall cost. You are buying the RV so you can travel around and enjoy quality time with your family – so don’t spend too much money and leave yourself without the budget to take those trips.

What Kind of Activities Do You Enjoy?

Make sure that any RV you are considering purchasing will enable you to engage in the types of activities that you want to take part in while on vacation. If you like parking your RV and just using it as a home for a week or more, a large Motorhome might be the best pick. However, if you want to use the campground as a jumping off point for all kinds of other activity, you will want to make sure you have a smaller vehicle available and room for any toys you need like watercraft or off-road bikes. This is a purely personal decision, so be sure to take some time and think about where you will be going with your RV, and what you want to do when you get there.

Change is one of the only constants in life, so make sure the RV you purchase is as ready for your changing life as possible. If you are going to own the RV for a decade or more, your life will likely not look the same as it did in the beginning when you first made the purchase. Plan ahead as best you can so your RV will still be useful to you and you won’t be stuck with a rig that doesn’t meet your needs.

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When you think of the advantages of RV camping, what do you think about? If you are like most people, the ability to get up off the ground and away from the critters is one of the best things about sleeping in an RV. Even if you love nature and the outdoors, it is still nice to get inside for a quality night’s sleep. However, if some of that nature has made its way into your RV – specifically, ants – one of the big benefits of RV travel will suddenly be gone.

Unfortunately, it is very much possible to get ants inside your RV during a trip (or even while it is being stored). To reduce the chances of this happening to you, use the simple tips below.

Don’t Build a Bridge

This might seem obvious, but ants need a path to get from the ground up into your RV – so don’t give them that bridge. While there are inevitably going to be points of connection from the ground up into your RV, such as the tires and some hoses or cables, you can prevent ants from following those paths by using an ant powder. There are products on the market today that are meant to be sprinkled around your RV in places where ants may attempt to travel. As long as you cut off these ‘bridges’ effectively, you should be able to enjoy an ant-free vacation.

It’s All About the Source

Your goal should always be to make sure you cut off the ants at the source, long before they make it inside the RV. Once they are in the RV, it will be difficult to get them out. Even if you are able to kill the ones you see, there are always many more waiting behind the scenes. Cut them off at the pass by keeping them outside to begin with whenever possible. If you do find yourself in a position where you have ants inside the RV, do your best to track their trail until you figure out exactly how they got inside to start with.

Seal Up Tight During Storage

Make sure your RV is sealed up tightly while it is being stored to prevent ants from taking up residence during the off-season. By simply checking around your RV for any possible openings, you can pretty easily keep ants on the outside where they belong. Also, make sure you aren’t parked under any long, overhanging branches which could offer the ants direct access to your rig. Of course, no old food scraps or anything of that nature should be left in the RV during the off-season, as that would just serve as motivation for the ants to find a way in.

Ants inside of an RV is no one’s idea of a good vacation. Fortunately, it isn’t all that hard to keep the ants out of your RV, as long as you pay attention and have a plan. Simply by being observant and keeping your rig in good condition throughout the year, you can probably avoid the pain of having to fight an ant war inside of your RV.

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One of the fears that many new RV owners have is learning how to back their RV into a camping space – or even into their driveway at home. If you haven’t driven a large vehicle of any kind before you purchased an RV, there is no doubt that it can be a little tricky at first. However, with some practice and a few good tips, you should have the hang of putting your RV exactly where you want it in no time at all. Remember one important tip before you start – the space must be big enough for your RV in the first place! No matter how good you are at backing your RV up, it won’t fit into a space that is smaller than the RV itself. Scope out the spot first, and only proceed when you are sure it will fit comfortably.

Getting Some Practice

When you are first getting acquainted with your RV, the best thing you can do is find a large, empty parking lot in which to practice your driving. While this might not be your idea of a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon, it is the best way to quickly improve your skills without risking running the RV into any obstacles that might exist in an actual campground. If you would like to make the experience more realistic, purchase a few traffic cones and set them up as a ‘target’ for your parking practice.

While practicing, keep the following tips in mind –

Try to back up from driver’s side, when possible. If you can, try backing the RV in from the driver’s side, so you can look out the mirror right next to you for a good view. It is certainly possible to back up on the passenger’s side, but it is a little bit more difficult.
Take your time. Even an experienced RV driver shouldn’t rush through the backing up process – there is no need to risk a mistake. Take however much time you need to get the RV positioned correctly and in just the right spot in the space you are aiming for.
Practice backing up with a spotter. If you have someone who will be traveling with you regularly (a spouse, for example), practice having them spot for you and direct you through the process. Getting familiar with hand signals and gestures will make the whole thing much easier when you do it for real.
Picking the Right Site

Not all camp sites are created equal, and not all camp sites will be a good fit for your RV. When you arrive at the campground and start looking over the available spaces, make sure to take a moment to get out of the vehicle and walk over the site quickly. Are there any potholes or bumps to worry about? Will you be able to easily level the RV once you get it parked? Is there enough room for your slide outs? All of these questions, and more, should be considered.

Specifically, it is important to check for any serious potholes or bumps that could interfere with the backing up process. You will be moving at a slow speed when backing in, so putting one of your tires into a hole could be a serious problem. When in doubt, don’t risk it – just move on to another space that you are confident in getting in and out of safely.

Have Two Trained Drivers

One potential problem that you could encounter on an RV trip is having only one person who is comfortable and experienced driving the RV – and backing it up. Even if one person is going to be the main driver under normal circumstances, there should be another person who has practiced at least a little bit and feels confident driving in case of emergency. That way, in case the main driver were to twist an ankle or fall ill and be unfit to drive, the other person could step in as needed.

Just like riding a bike, backing in an RV is something that you will get more comfortable with given time and practice. Don’t get frustrated if you have a little trouble at the start – there is nothing unusual about that at all. Given a good amount of practice time to work on your technique, you should expect to be putting that RV right on the spot time after time in the very near future.

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If you have kids, they are probably one of the main reasons you purchased an RV in the first place. Most kids love to go camping, and traveling with an RV instead of staying in a tent makes for a much more enjoyable experience for the whole family. Your RV will provide many of the comforts of home, without the hard work that is required to set up and live inside of a tent for a few days. Without a doubt, there are many RV owners who were first motivated to get into this lifestyle by the prospect of providing a great time for their kids.

So, if you would like to make sure your kids are having fun on each RV trip that you take, it would be smart to plan your trips with them in mind. After all, even though kids tend to love RV travel, not all RV trips are created equal. By picking out a destination and activities that appeal to kids, you can set yourself up for an enjoyable experience from start to finish.

Plenty of Action

With few exceptions, kids like to stay busy. For you, a vacation might be a chance to slow down, get away from work, and just relax. However, most kids don’t like to relax. They like to be on the go, doing one thing after the next throughout the day. With that in mind, make sure your destination will provide for plenty of kid-friendly activities that keep them engaged and excited. You don’t want to wind up with bored kids who can’t find anything to do, as expecting them to just sit around for long periods of time is unrealistic. Plan for plenty of action throughout the trip to make sure they are having fun as often as possible.

Limit the Road Time

Going along with the previous point about kids getting bored, you might want to keep them in mind when deciding how far from home you are willing to drive. It might be good for kids to learn how to sit still in the RV for a period of time, but pushing that time too far is just asking for trouble. Pick out a destination that is a reasonable drive from home so that your kids aren’t bored before you even get to the campground to start your trip.

Find Ways for Them to Help

There are plenty of chores involved with owning and operating an RV, so it is a great idea to find ways to have the kids help get this work done. Asking them to help will give them a sense of ownership in the process, and it will also help you to get everything done faster. Of course, any task that you assign to the kids should be simple, and it needs to be safe for them to perform. Always supervise what they are doing, and teach them how the RV works at every opportunity. As they get older, you should be able to get more and more help from them, and they just might grow up to own their own RV’s one day.

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Caring for RV Toilets When Parked

One of the biggest advantages to owning and traveling in an RV is having access to a toilet at all hours of the day and night. While the tent campers are scrambling in the dark to find shoes and a flashlight in order to walk up to the camp restroom, you can simply take a few steps into your RV bathroom and be back in bed within seconds. Certainly, more than a few campers have been sold on owning an RV simply for the presence of a toilet alone.

Of course, if you are going to enjoy the luxury of having a toilet nearby, you need to give it proper care while you are parked and enjoying a camping trip. RV toilets don’t require a lot of care to keep in good working order, but there are a few important steps that need to be taken to ensure the short and long-term health of your toilet and tanks.

Using RV-Safe Products

The toilet in your RV is not the same as the toilet in your house, and it should not be treated the same. You need to use products that are specifically designed for use in RV’s to make sure that your toilet and tanks keep working properly. Specifically, using toilet paper that is designed for use in an RV is important. This type of toilet paper breaks down easier than ‘normal’ toilet paper, making it easier to flush from the tanks and helping to prevent clogs.

Don’t Flush Anything Else

Nothing other than the ‘essentials’ (waste and toilet paper) should go down the toilet in your RV. If you get in a habit of flushing other items, you are only inviting trouble and asking for problems when the time comes to drain the black tank. Resist the temptation and dispose of all other items in the trash so that you don’t cause issues within your tank that become bigger problems later on.

Keep the Black Tank Closed

If you are going to be parked at the campsite for a considerable time, you might leave the grey water tank slightly open so that it can drain as it is used. While this can be an acceptable practice is some situations, you should not do this with your black tank. The weight of the accumulated waste helps to force everything out of the tank when it comes time to drain, so you want to keep the black tank closed while the RV is in use – until you are ready to dump it.

Dump When Tanks Are Mostly Full

Allow the black tank to fill most of the way before going ahead with dumping. Trying to dump a partially full tank can become problematic, especially if there is more solid waste than liquid. When this happens, the solid waste will tend to accumulate in the bottom of the tank and is less likely to be flushed out successfully on the first try. You will then have to do further flushing procedures to get the tank properly emptied – probably not how you want to spend your vacation.

Use Tank Cleaning Products

There are plenty of chemicals on the market to assist in controlling the odors within your black tank and you should use these on a regular basis. Not only can they help to manage smells, but also to maintain the working order of all the parts within your tank. However, some of these products can be harmful to the environment, and even the sewer that your tank is flushed into, so make sure to purchase chemicals that are environmentally safe. Each of these products will have slightly different methods for their usage, so be sure to always follow all directions provided.

One of the best things about the toilet inside your RV is that it can be mostly maintenance free for the majority of the time that you are parked and enjoying a relaxing camping trip. As long as you follow some of the basic rules of using an RV toilet, and empty your tank when it is mostly full, you should be able to avoid major problems trip after trip. As you gain more and more experience using your RV, the process of caring for your toilet and tank will become easier and easier, and you will be able to complete all of the necessary steps in a short amount of time. With the maintenance complete, you can get back to relaxing in your RV, and remembering how nice it is never to have to walk to the restroom!

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Buying an RV is a large purchase – there is no doubt about that. Since deciding to buy an RV is one of the biggest expenses you will incur in your life, it is only natural to hesitate before actually signing on the dotted line. How do you know when the time is right? It’s one thing to wander the RV dealer lot and look at all the great new models that you can pick from, but it is a whole other thing to actually spend the money and take one home.

Numbers Don’t Lie

The first thing you should do when trying to decide when the time is right to buy an RV is sit down and go over your budget carefully. With an estimate of how much the monthly payment would be on an RV in hand, take a look at your current budget and decide if there is room to add an RV payment while still living comfortably. If the new payment on an RV purchase is going to put you too close to the ‘edge’ financially, you may want to wait a bit longer.

Watch for an Opportunity

Some payments that take up a chunk of your budget, such as your mortgage, likely aren’t going away anytime soon. However, there are other payments that may be due to come off the books, opening up room in your budget for an RV purchase. For example, if you own a car that you are close to having paid off, you may want to think about buying your RV shortly after the car loan has been fulfilled. If the monthly cost of your new RV is going to be similar to the car payment you just finished, there really won’t be any change to your monthly budget outlook. As long as you have the cash available for a down payment, buying an RV when another big payment goes away is a reasonable option.

Look for Sales

Just like any other purchase you make, it is smart to be patient while looking for an RV until you find a great deal that is just too good to pass up. Often, RV dealers will put the previous model year inventory on sale when the new models are set to arrive, so keep your eye out for any upcoming sale events. Also, the end of the summer season is usually a common time to see sale prices, and dealers may be more-willing to negotiate in the fall as they are heading into the quiet winter months. Since finding a sale on your RV purchase could potentially save you thousands of dollars, it is certainly worth the effort to locate a great price before making the purchase.

You don’t want to rush the purchase of an RV. While you are probably excited to get started with your first trip, buying an RV is a major financial decision that needs to be carefully considered before you jump in. Once you have done your homework and found the room in your budget for the RV purchase, you can sign on the dotted line with confidence.

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If you are going to use an RV to do much of your traveling, you will probably want to have another vehicle that works well with your RV to get you where you need to go. Obviously, if you are going to pull a trailer or a fifth-wheel, you will need a truck that is capable of handling the job of towing your RV to the campground. Even if you are going to purchase a Motorhome, however, you will likely want to look into getting a small vehicle that you can tow behind the RV so you can get around with ease while you are camped. Trying to move the Motorhome each time you need to go somewhere gets old quickly, and just isn’t that practical.

As you are shopping for an RV and thinking about which option will be best for you and your family, it makes sense to consider the passenger vehicle you are going to use as well. While you might be able to afford the cost of the RV on its own, the cost of the truck or other vehicle that you will need could put it out of your price range. Only when you think about the big picture of the two together can you really understand how much it will cost you.

Below we will look at the process of picking the right vehicle for the job, either for towing your RV or for being pulled behind your Motorhome.

Finding a Truck to Pull Your RV

In most cases, you will actually end up spending more money on your truck than you will on the RV you are going to pull with it. Unless you already own a truck capable of the job, you need to think about the shopping process in two steps – the truck and the trailer/fifth wheel. It makes the most sense to this shopping somewhat simultaneously so you can see what kind of models are available on both sides and then start to narrow down your choices. However, to get started, make a trip to the RV dealer first and pick out a couple trailers that you might be interested in. You don’t have to get too serious at this point – just get a general idea of the size and weight of the trailers you will be considering. From there, you can head to the truck dealer and find some models that are capable of handling the job. Once you get an idea of what you are looking at with both the truck and trailer, you can then get more specific about your search.

Of course, if you already own a vehicle that you plan to use to haul your RV, the process is much simpler. First, figure out how much your vehicle is capable of pulling comfortably, then start your RV search using that as a limit. As long as you don’t purchase an RV that is too large for your vehicle to pull, you should be in good shape.

Finding a Vehicle to Pull Behind Your Motorhome

For those who are going to purchase a Motorhome, it might be a little easier in that many people already own a passenger vehicle that can serve the purpose of the tow-behind. Generally, this just needs to be a small car or 4×4 that can seat enough people for your needs and get you around the areas where you will be traveling. If you like to go exploring into the mountains or off-road on your trips, make sure the vehicle that you designate as your tow-behind is up to the job. While you can pull a newer car along for this purpose, many people choose to use an older car that they no longer use on a daily basis as their go-to option. The choice is yours.

While owning an RV is a great opportunity to take some exciting vacations and see many new places, it is often necessary to pair one with another vehicle to maximize your experience. Depending on the type of RV you choose, you may need to buy a big truck to haul it – or a small car to pull behind it. Remember to consider this additional vehicle as part of your RV purchase and make sure that your budget works when you start to add in all of the expenses of both the passenger car and the RV itself. Once all those details are worked out, you can get down to the business of enjoying your RV vacations!

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Far too many RV owners put away their vehicles for the winter season and simply forget about them until spring and summer roll around – and that is a shame. While the weather might not be quite as lovely during the winter months, there is still plenty of fun to be had if you know where to look. You probably won’t take a big, week-long vacation like you might in the summer time while the kids are out of school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a long weekend to somewhere new and take advantage of being a proud RV owner.

It is impossible for us to pick out specific places you should visit during the winter months, because that will depend greatly on where you live and what you have access to within a comfortable drive of home. However, we can provide some great tips for how to find the right places to enjoy an off-season getaway in your RV. One of the common complaints that RV owners have is that they don’t use their vehicles enough – so think outside the box, and use the tips below to help you locate some great spots to enjoy your RV all year round.

Find the Path of Least Resistance

One of the major hurdles in the way of enjoying a great RV trip during the winter months is the conditions of the roads. Where you might not worry about heading over a mountain pass in the summer, it could be a completely different proposition if the snow has started to fall at higher elevations. As you are thinking about options for a winter RV trip, take a look at the map around the area where you live and find the roads that are likely to be in good condition all year round. Most likely, those will be roads that are through higher population areas, and don’t venture up to altitudes that are too lofty. After you have charted one or two courses from your home that you would be comfortable traveling in your RV even in the winter, you can start to look along those roads for camping opportunities.

Think Moderate

You might not be able to find a *warm* destination for your winter RV trip, but you can look for spots that will at least be more comfortable than others. Often, if you head toward the coast you can find more moderate temperatures during the colder months of the year. Camping near the coast – if that is possible based on where you live – can also be fun for those who enjoy a good storm while they are out with nature. Areas inland, and at higher elevations, are likely to be colder during the winter months, so they should probably be avoided for most people (unless snow is what you are looking for!).

Stick Closer to Home

When you plan a big summer vacation in your RV, you probably look for places that will allow you to put some miles on the RV and get a good distance away from home. That could mean you are overlooking fun places to camp that are within just an hour or two drive from home. Winter just might be the perfect time to try out these campsites that you would otherwise drive right past. Shorter drives are great for a quick weekend trip so you don’t have to spend too much of your time on the road. Also, staying close to home provides you with a better opportunity to bail out of your trip and head back home if the weather doesn’t cooperate and you end up stuck inside the RV.

Most likely, you will always use your RV more in the spring and summer than you will in the fall or winter. However, don’t rule out taking an off-season trip just because the temperatures have dropped a bit and the clouds have come back. There are plenty of ways to enjoy your RV outside of the summer, starting with the quick tips above. To find your own perfect winter camping spot, do some homework and pinpoint a few options within a short drive of your home. If you get a chance to visit them all over a period of time, you will hopefully uncover one or two hidden gems that you will choose to return to year after year.
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There are a lot of features that you need to research before buying an RV if you want to make a good decision that will work out in the long run for you and your family. The length and type of RV, the number of people that it can accommodate, the kitchen and bathroom facilities, and more all have to be taken into consideration. Another element that sometimes is overlooked – but is very important – is the gas mileage that you will get from your new RV. Gas mileage is an important element in the overall cost of ownership of the RV, beyond just the purchase price and any insurance costs.

It Matters for All Kinds of RV’s

It is pretty easy to evaluate the gas mileage that a Motorhome will get, as that information should be provided for you by the manufacturer or the dealership – much like when you purchase a car. However, it can get a little bit trickier if you are buying a trailer or fifth wheel to pull behind your existing truck. You might know what kind of gas mileage your truck gets currently, when not pulling anything, but what kind of mileage will it get with the trailer hooked up? That is an important question that you need to find an answer to.

Even though the dealership selling the RV doesn’t necessarily know the specifics of your vehicle and its performance, they are still a good place to start for this information. People who work at an RV dealership will be knowledgeable in a lot of areas related to RV’s, and will have had to answer this question many times before. If you can provide information about the current gas mileage of your truck, the salesperson at the RV dealer can likely give you a good estimate of what to expect when pulling a given RV.

Add Up All Costs

The reason it is important to consider gas mileage is that you need to understand and be prepared for all costs of RV ownership, not just the purchase price. Beyond the cost of buying the RV, things like insurance, maintenance, storage, and gas mileage all should be taken into consideration. Once you have the full picture in your mind of what it will cost you to own and operate the RV, you can better decide if it is something that you can afford of if you should consider a smaller and less expensive model. This ‘number crunching’ might take a little effort upfront, but it will be well worth your time before you commit to a purchase.

Think About Where You Drive As Well

Gas mileage depends mostly on your vehicle and the RV, but it can also be influenced by where you drive most of the time. If your trips consist mostly of freeway driving on open roads, you should be able to get the possible gas mileage from your vehicle. However, if you are frequently driving up into the mountains on steep, winding roads, expect to fall well short of your mileage expectations. This isn’t necessarily a reason to completely change your RV purchase plans, but it is just another minor factor to add in to the overall equation.

Use the Internet to Your Advantage

When trying to get the information you need regarding gas mileage, the internet can be a great resource. Search for the exact vehicle/RV combination you are thinking of using and you can probably find estimates on gas mileage from people who already are using that same setup. Their real world experience can be very useful to you in finding out if the numbers you have come up with will actually be realized when you start out onto the road for your first trip.

Gas mileage might not seem like a huge factor in the grand scheme of buying an RV, but it can play a big role in how much the rig costs to operate on an ongoing basis. Those who like to take long trips across several states should be particularly concerned about gas mileage as the price of filling up the tank time after time can really add up. Try to find the best combination of reasonable fuel economy along with the model of RV that you are looking for to end up with an RV that you love.

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When you finally complete the long drive to your campsite and have the RV backed into the space, all you want to do is relax, get some food cooking, and start enjoying your vacation right away. There will be plenty of time for those activities for the rest of your trip, but for now, you need to make sure to get the RV leveled so it can serve as a good home-base for the rest of the vacation. Leveling your RV is something that you will probably get better at with experience, but there are a few tips that can help you get on the right track quickly.

Once you have taken the time to get the RV leveled, you should be able to enjoy your time sleeping and relaxing inside the rig without feeling like you are living on a slant!

Have the Right Gear

I think every RV traveler, at one point or another, has used the pop-can-on-the-floor trick to figure out if the coach is sitting level or not. While this might be a handy little trick, nothing works quite as well – or as accurately – as an actual level. Make sure to have at least one level with you for the trip, and two would be even better. As soon as you back into your spot, you can set up the levels and get a good idea of just how far off you might be. From there, the adjusting can begin.

Leveling blocks are the next piece of the puzzle that you should have along for the trip. Once the levels have done their job of telling you which direction the RV needs to be tilted in order to find a level position, you can use the leveling blocks to actually make it happen. There are many different brands of leveling blocks available on the market today, and you can find them in RV stores or, of course, on the internet. Also, something called a wheel chock is another good piece of gear to have along. This is a block that gets placed behind or in front of a wheel to make sure it doesn’t roll off the leveling blocks. Place the chock on the opposite site from the leveling block so you can secure the wheel and keep it from rolling when it’s not supposed to.

A Little Trial and Error

No matter how much you practice the art of leveling your RV, there is always going to be a little trial and error involved. No two campsites are identically alike, so you will need to keep checking the level and making adjustments until you are satisfied with the position of the rig. It helps to have a good set of leveling blocks that give you some flexibility so you can make small tweaks as the process moves along. It might be frustrating to spend some of your time on vacation worrying about getting the RV level, but it will be worth it once the job is done.

Lower the Jacks

Your RV should have stabilizing jacks installed that can be lowered to give the RV a solid footing for the duration of your stay – if it doesn’t, consider having them installed. There are both electronic jacks, as well as hand-crank models available. You shouldn’t be using these jacks to level the RV as much as just to stabilize it so there isn’t much movement while you walk around inside. For this reason, try to get the leveling done right first, then put the stabilizing jacks down and settle in.

It isn’t much fun to try and sleep in an RV that isn’t level, so take the time to get the job done right before you start enjoying your trip. Just like anything else when you travel, preparation is the key. If you have the right equipment, and understand the process of leveling the RV before you ever arrive at the campground, you will be ahead of the game. If you wish, you could do a dry run at home practicing getting the RV level using your blocks and wheel chock. Even after just doing this a couple of times, you will probably find that the job is pretty simple and you should be able to get it done in a matter of minutes when you reach your vacation destination.

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When you have a gauge for your RV propane tank, checking on the level of gas remaining in the tank is quick and easy. With just a glance, you can determine how much fuel you have left, and you can decide if you need to refill or if you can wait for another day. However, not all RV propane tanks have gauges in place. If you are traveling without a gauge, you will need another option for determining how much propane is left.

Not to Worry

Fortunately, it is not only possible to check out much propane you have even without a gauge – it is actually quite easy as well. To do so, you are only going to need a small container full of hot water. When you wish to check on your propane level, fill a contain with hot water from the tap. You certainly don’t need boiling hot water to do this test, so just use the hot water side of a faucet and you will be set to go.

With water in hand, head over to your propane tank and open up the compartment so you have access. Away from the valves of the tank, pour the water down the side, starting at the top. You are going to let the water just run down the side of the tank and drip off back to the ground. Pour all of the water you have onto the tank – it should take a few seconds to complete this part of the job.

Feel for the Line

Once the water is poured, take your hand and place it on the side of the tank where you have poured the water. By quickly running your hand over the metal tank, you should notice there is a significant temperature difference at some point along the way. Part of the tank is going to feel warm, while part of the tank will feel cold. The warm part of the tank will be where there is air behind the metal, while the cold part of the tank is where the gas remains. So, by finding the point where warm metal turns to cold, you can figure out exactly how much gas remains inside.

Once you find the ‘line’ between hot and cold, look at that spot in comparison with the tank as a whole. Do you have half of your tank left? More? Less? Whatever the case, you will now know within a very small margin of error how much propane remains to be used by your RV. If you are rather low, it may be time to head to a refilling station in order to top off the tank and prepare for your travels to come.

Be Smart

Of course, it is always important to keep in mind that propane, as a compressed gas, should be kept in a tank which is in good physical condition. If your tank is showing signs of age, you may wish to consider a replacement at some point in the near future. With a healthy propane tank along for the trip, you should be ready for a great vacation.