RV Maintenance When You are Staying Awhile

There are certain procedures to that you make when you open up your RV for the season as well as when you must put your RV away.  But what kind of maintenance do you need to do when you are staying at one place for an extended period of time?  I found an interesting article that has some helpful hints when it comes to the maintenance of your RV while using it in one stationary place.
  • Inflate the tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Tires can lose as much as 2 to 3 psi a month. If you stay in one spot for three or six months the tire pressure could be dangerously low. If the unit is not being moved check and adjust the tire pressure on a monthly basis. If you notice any damage, have the tires inspected by a professional before using the RV. Tire failure on an RV can be extremely dangerous and can cause costly damage to the RV. Keep the tires covered with covers that block out the sunlight when the RV is sitting in one spot or not in use.
  • Place some type of RV leveling blocks between the ground and the tires. Be sure that whatever you use is larger than the footprint of the tire. No portion of the tire should hang over the edge of the tire block. This can cause internal damage to the tire. You also don’t want them exposed to constant cold or moisture, like sitting on the frozen ground. The wood or blocking acts as a barrier between the tires and the ground surface they are being stored on.
  • If it’s a motorized RV you should fill the fuel tank prior to parking it for a long stay and add a fuel stabilizer. Run the engine and the generator long enough for the fuel stabilizer to get through the fuel system. If you are not using the generator you should exercise it monthly with a minimum of a ½ rated load on it. Consult your generator set owner’s manual for rated loads.
  • Check and fill the water levels in all batteries and make sure the batteries stay fully charged. The electrolyte levels in batteries will be depleted through long term use. Check the water levels once or twice a week depending on usage.  Don’t check the voltage when the RV is plugged in, you will get a false reading. For a true reading of the batteries they should be tested after resting for 12 hours. Resting means the battery is disconnected from any charger or any load for at least 12 hours.
  • Change the oil and oil filter on the engine and the generator prior to long stays or long term storage. Acids accumulate in used oil and can corrode engine bearings.
  • Routinely test the operation of the carbon monoxide detector, LP gas leak detector and smoke alarm. Check the fire extinguisher monthly to make sure it is fully charged. Clean or replace air conditioner filters as required.
  • Complete your normal pre-trip checks before heading out on the road again.
All of these are helpful tools in making sure that your RV is in the proper condition when you head back out on the road after an extended stay.  Before or after your trip make sure you stop on by for a quick look by our trained experts at PleasureLand RV.

Knowing Your RV Clearance!!

When driving RVs, there are a lot of things that you pay attention to as compared to a car or truck.  Knowing the height of you RV is very important when heading out on the road.  Most of the time when driving a normal car we take for granted the clearance signs that you see in overpasses and drive-thru restaurants.  But this is not the case when navigating an RV.  So it is absolutely imperative that you are diligent with the actual height of your RV.  While knowing the listed height will give you a good idea of what you are dealing with, make sure that you include anything attached to the roof, such as air conditioning units and satellite dishes.

As a cautionary tale of how things can quickly go wrong, I’ve included a video with someone who neglected to be as careful as they should have.  ALWAYS, ALWAYS be careful when pulling into any type on overhang.  The person in the video didn’t calculate when pulling into a bank and as you will see, it didn’t turn out well.  Make sure you always protect your investment.

 

 

Anyone willing to share a story about a similar clearance issue?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!!

RV Driving Refresher Course

We all could use a little refresher course every once in a while.  When it comes to RVs and the different style of driving, it couldn’t hurt to take a minute and watch the below video.  With the sheer size and expense of your RV, being cautious and prepared can always be of help.

Jim Twamley, also known as the professor of RVing, narrates this video. There are some pretty good tips here so listen closely!!

 

 

Did you find any useful tips in the video?  Do you have any other suggestions for drivers who haven’t been behind the wheel in a long time?  Leave a comment below and let us know.

Minnesota Spots: North Shore Drive

The North Shore Drive of northeastern Minnesota, with its eight state parks, mountainous backdrops, and vast inland coast, makes this destination unlike any other. The Lake Superior shoreline is a welcome place for snowmobile enthusiasts from all over the country due to its yearly snow covered countryside.

The North Shore State Trail System is the crown jewel of northeastern Minnesota that runs from Duluth to Grand Marais. A 153-mile system along Minnesota’s Sawtooth Mountains is filled with a diverse terrain.  From ridgelines, hillsides or woodlands, it’s a sledders’ dream. If that’s not for you, the views of everything from the crashing of waves on the glacial shoreline to the staggered cliffs of the Lake Superior.

The “Lake Superior Ice Train” is named this since it seems like a crumbling building. But be sure to use caution while observing this astounding phenomenon—ice storms can occur in this area. Make sure though that you stop along the cliffs edge and catch that amazing sunset.

Share your stories with your fellow travelers.  Leave a comment below!

 

Awning Upkeep

If you are planning on using your RV for this upcoming summer, you need to make sure that your awning is in good shape.  Whether vinyl or acrylic, awnings have become a must have when enjoying your RV.  It could be as simple as having a place to take a break from the elements or just giving your RV that at home feel.  With the awning out, we try to convey a warm feel to people in the area that we are “open for business” so to speak.  When someone sees an open awning, they usually feel that the people are welcoming or that they are there for an extended period of time.

Not only does it give you shade from the sun, but using different add ons, you can customize the outside of you RV to your specific tastes.  For some, the overhang is good enough, but for others, certain touches can add a little pizazz.  If you are worried about bugs during those humid summer months you may choose to add a screen that can attach right onto your awning to keep them away.  Another way to spruce it up would be to add some lights to give you a little more coverage than a fire can typically give.  There are plenty of other options out there for you to personalize your patio area.

With all of the bonuses that an awning offers, it is very important that you keep it in tip top shape.  As their use is tied into keeping you protected from the rain, it is safe to assume that it will get wet at times.  This situation, compounded with the fact that for a good majority of the time it is rolled up or stored away, can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew.  Because of these deteriorating situations, it is necessary to maintain you awning with a lot of care.  Not only after it becomes stained or needs replacement, it is imperative that you do some preventative care.  One way to prevent would be to make sure that the awning is completely dry before it is stored away.  This moisture is sure to cause some sort of problem if not taken care of.  In an instance where this is not possible, such as leaving your destination during a rain storm, you should just be prepared to unroll it and let it dry as soon as you get the chance.  And if you do not use you awning for a while, it might be a good idea every once in a while to check on it for any kind of problems before it gets to the point where you need to replace it.

Finally, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the mechanical aspects of your awning as well.  Whether it is a automatic awning or one you crank by hand, knowing what to do in the situation could prevent a bad situation should it malfunction.  If you are unaware of how to fix a problem while on the campground, try to ask a neighbor for help or just use that imagination you have to find a solution.

Remember the awning is only is as good as you keep it, so make sure you are diligent in keeping it in the best shape as possible.  What kind of awning do you use?  Do you customize yours or just sit back and enjoy the shade?  Let us know in the comment section below!

Privacy Outside Your RV

The privacy of an RV, when compared to camping with a tent, is one of the pluses for owning such a vehicle.  It provides safety while inside, as well as privacy from the eyes of neighbors.  But what happens when you are enjoying a beautiful day outside of your RV and need a little more privacy?  That’s where the new product, “Wallup!” comes in.  The manufacturer of this ingenious invention was searching for a way to get the privacy people need at places such as an RV campground.  The director of Walluping Industries, Aaron Inman, had this to say:

The Wallup! is described as the “do it all, easy to haul, won’t fall, portable wall” and can be erected with minimal skill or effort and does not require the use of strings or other attachments to stand straight upright and stay standing upright.

In just a few minutes it assembles into a 6-foot high by 12-foot wide freestanding wall. The most amazing thing, Inman said, is it won’t fall over in winds excess of 15 mph and when it’s time to pack up the Wallup! collapses back into its tote bag.

The heavy duty poles and solid steel stakes used to secure the product are the secrets to helping it stay up, even in strong winds.

Now a little cold or difficulty lighting a fire outside your RV or tent can be diffused by the makeshift walls that “Wallup” provides.  Does this product look like something that you could use on your next RV trip?  Leave a comment below and let us know!

[Source: RV Daily Report]

 

 

Hey Minnesota, Are Gas Pricing Effecting Your RVing?

Remember those days in the not so distant past where you could leave a gas pump paying under $2 a gallon?  Seems like a pleasant dream at this point.  With all the political drama taking place in the Middle East, the ramifications are felt here mostly at the pump.  According to most sources, the average RV gas tank size is roughly 55 gallons, and with the national average for gas hanging around $3.54, you are looking to spend about $195 for a full tank of gas.  While some prognosticators have predicted that the price will exceed $4 and maybe even reach as high $5, it is unknown how this will effect RV travel plans this summer.  Doing a little research, I found a 2006 study of 702 RV drivers in dealing with higher gas prices at the time.  They concluded:

“Most people think that as gas prices go up, RV use goes down,” says Richard Coon, head of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. “We haven’t seen that happen.

Owners and renters “change their habits, but they don’t stop going.”

In the association’s April survey of 702 RV owners, two-thirds said they intended to use their RV more this summer than last, and nearly one-third planned to use it the same amount. What’s more, 37% said the cost of fuel — a typical Class A motor home gets about 10 miles a gallon, and takes 100 gallons to fill up — would not affect their plans.With airfares and hotel bills increasing, RV travel is “still a bargain,” says Bob Calderone of Cruise America, a Mesa, Ariz.-based RV rental company. For a typical family of four traveling 150 miles a day, higher RV gas costs amount to “the difference between hamburgers and cheeseburgers at McDonald’s,” he says. Advance reservations for the company are on par with last summer, which set a record for U.S. bookings.

So will you do what the majority of the people in the study do and change your RV habits or will the recent spike in gas prices force you to curb RV time? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

[Source: USA Today]

Satellite TV for RV

While most RV users have in the past have relied on watching TV while hooked up at whatever campground/park they set up at.  As with much of the world, the state of RV TV technology has exploded over the past couple years.  As with expansion in any technology explosion, the market has spread out to various different practices and packages when it comes to watching TV in your RV.  Once satellite TV came along, it changed the way people viewed the medium, not only in their houses, but in their RVs!!  This was accomplished by either having a detached satellite dish that was either propped up by a tripod or connected to the roof of your RV.  Heck, you can even take your dish from home and connect it to your RV using an adapter that would allow you to use it when travelling.  Just make sure that if your dish is affixed to the top of the RV you make sure that it has been taken down or is under clearance level.  The last thing you want is to look in your rearview and see the dish laying in the street behind you.

What about if you would like to watch TV while you are in motion?  While this might have seemed like a pipe dream years ago, the technology has caught up and it is now available.  CampingWorld.com recently did a story on the different levels of service and had this to say about “The In-Motion RV Satellite”:

Do you want to watch TV while you’re on the road? With an in-motion RV satellite you can do just that. These systems can acquire a satellite signal even when you’re moving, so your family can enjoy their favorite TV programs while you’re on the way to your campsite and beyond. In addition, many of these systems offer dual hook-ups, so you can hook up more than one TV at once.

You want to look for an in-motion RV satellite that offers digital video broadcasting (DVB) signal acquisition for the fastest results, and one that is compatible with all the satellite networks, like DISH and DIRECTV. You also want an in-motion RV satellite that can use the standard satellite network receivers, so you don’t have to invest in another receiver when you buy your in-motion RV satellite.

How cool is that? So now instead of being forced to keep the family or children occupied with a variety of DVDs while in route to your destination, you can now have plethora of shows brought to you by the different satellite companies.  I don’t know about you, but the idea of having the NFL package in a moving RV is quite enticing.

What kind of TV system do you have in your RV and would you suggest it to other owners?  Leave a comment below and let us know!

[Source: Camping World]

 

Minnesota RVers, Do You Have Campground Etiquette?

Etiquette is always important, but certainly varies by circumstances.  The golden rule always applies, but depending where you are, you have to aware of your surroundings.  This is especially evident in a campground setting.  Thinner walls and more crowded areas with people you might not know can certainly affect how you should or do act.  I found a list of some reasonable rules for RV living from The Marine Web that you all might find interesting.

  • 1. Ground Rules: Usually when you register for a particular park, they give you a copy of their rules: following these rules is the first of such manners. These rules will specify when you should not be making noise, driving carefully around the park, rules related to cooking etc.
  • 2. Eliminating Pet Peeves: If you are bringing your pet along on your vacation, make sure it does not disturb or harm anyone else! Your dog will need to be taken care of, cleaned up after and kept on a leash to avoid bothering the neighbors at all. Remember, your dog may be well-behaved but you’ll still have to be careful.
  • 3. Rig Parking: In a number of cases, it will not be clear how to orient the rig on a site; the only guide being a hookup for electric and sewer. Ground rules will require you to stay on your side of the hookup and not encroach in any way. If all people are situated in the same way, everyone will get more camp site.
  • 4. Arriving Late: Try not to do that but even if you do, make sure you avoid disturbing your neighbors who might be trying to rest for a long day. This means not talking loudly, quickly parking your RV & setting up and reducing the general noise level while you do the necessary work.
  • 5. Connecting the Sewer: This will also require you to be discreet and to do it right. Usually, the connection should face the side where your neighbor has their patio area.
  • 6. RV Cleaning: Most of the time, campgrounds don’t allow you to wash your RV with open water in order to avoid muddy areas, high water bills and general wastage of water. They will give you a water bucket for the most minimal cleaning but even if you are allowed to wash your RV, be very careful not to waste the water or allow it to splash on someone else’s area.
  • 7. Don’t Trespass: When everyone is sharing the campsite, they’re all paying for their spots and it is against most rules to be on someone else’s spot without their permission and consent. One of the major campground etiquette requires you to treat your neighbor’s or someone else’s area as their personal property and stay away from it unless invited or permitted.
  • 8. Campfire: Before you make one, be sure that it is allowed in the regulations copy. Keep it safe and make it properly and most importantly, don’t use it as a trash can for your cans and other garbage.
  • 9. Be Tidy: Make sure you do that to keep your neighborhood clean; RV vacationers tend to be laid back but being dirty and sloppy is very hard to deal with so don’t be messy.
  • 10. Treating others: Whenever you are unsure of any campground rules, try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and act only if you’ll like to be treated in the same manner. Otherwise, don’t!

I know there has to be some funny stories out there where maybe people didn’t use as much etiquette as the list above might suggest.  Leave your stories and comments below!

[Source: Marine Web]

 

 

Facebook for Campgrounds

The internet has given the world a pulse on what’s going on in our area as well as areas foreign to us.  This has allowed us to be able to connect to not only people, but to places.  Finding out about attractions and different areas as easy as clicking a button.  Even Social Media such as Facebook can be good for not only keeping up with friends and loved ones with comments, pictures and posts, but catalog our trips as well.

With all this additional information at the consumers fingertips, it is no surprise that even campgrounds are getting involved in order to reach their ever widening customer base.  While most campgrounds already have their own websites to tout their business, Social Media networks such as Facebook have largely gone unused up to this point.  But luckily BigFamilyVacation LLC has developed a Facebook application that allows for the company to combine the informational aspect of their personal website with a more friendly, interactive nature of Facebook.  The ability for people to post personal comments and pictures allow perspective patrons to get a more personal view than they might be able to get somewhere else.  The application also has a place for you to enter the zip code of your destination and it will produce all of the campgrounds in the area to give a traveler a better idea of what resides in the particular area.  The “Campground” application contains over 1,400 campground listings (including phone numbers, addresses and photos) from the website www.greatrvspaces.com to assist the user in their decisions.  Don Sumner from BigFamilyVacation LLC added:

“We know that there are now many thousands of people who are enthusiastic RV travelers, who regularly use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, such as kids and grandkids, while on the road. We think this application will provide a great resource to help them plan where to stay at their next destination.”

Have you used this application before?  Do you think it would be something that you would find helpful on your next vacation?  Leave a comment below and let us know!

[Source: American Banking News]