Do You Always Drive Around With Your Trailer Hitch?

Have you ever heard anything about trailer hitches being hazardous on your truck when not in use? Well, apparently the answer is a resounding yes!  The following video will show how it can affect your driving.  Do you keep your hitch on your truck all the time?

When you think about it, hitches are used to pull boats, RV trailers, jet skis, work trailers and more.  Logic would stand to show that many people have hitches on their cars.  Let’s find out why it can be dangerous.

Roughly 40 percent of vehicles on the highway have a receiver hitch (sometimes referred to as a trailer hitch). Many times when a vehicle is finished towing, the ball mount is just not removed from the hitch. This result’s in a collision from the rear there’s a 22 percent increased chance of a whiplash injury to passengers. Learn more in this one minute video. [RV Videos]

While I had thought about hitches sticking out and the accidents that they may cause, that statistic really makes me think of the importance of removing your trailer hitch when not in use.  Check out the video below for some more information.

 

8 Quick Tips for the RV Season

Before you head back out on the road in your RV for the season, there are a many things you need to do and check.  Safety is always very important and going through your checklist is a good way to be prepared.  I came across an article with a few such tips for your viewing pleasure:

Clean it up and air it out. Open all roof vents and windows and then remove any pest control items you may have placed during winter storage. It is also a good idea to clean or replace air conditioner filters.

Check for damage.

  • Look for deterioration of seals around doors, roof vents and windows and reseal as necessary.
  • Check awnings for damage, mildew and insects.
  • Examine the hitch system for wear, loose bolts and cracks.

Change the engine oil and spark plugs. Many manufacturers recommend changing the oil and filter prior to storage and again in the spring. During storage, oil can separate and cause condensation buildup that may harm the engine. While replacing spark plugs, be sure to set the gaps to the recommended manufacturer’s setting.

Inspect the engine.

  • Check the battery.
  • Check the cooling and fuel systems.
  • Drain and flush the entire system of the nontoxic antifreeze you used before placing the RV into storage and replace with the proper coolant.
  • Check for cracks in hoses and fan belts and replace if necessary.
  • Replace fuel filter, and examine the fuel lines and fittings for cracks and leaks.
  • Change the transmission fluid and filter.
  • Flush the water system.

Inspect the tires. Check for cracks, worn treads and correct tire pressure.

Check all lights. Make sure headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are all functioning properly.

Prepare for a safe season. After checking all mechanical components, it’s always a good idea to inspect your safety equipment. This means installing new batteries in flashlights and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and restocking the first-aid kit.

Check your coverage. After making these routine checks, don’t forget to review your insurance policy to make sure it meets your current needs.

Just like you we are really excited for the upcoming season, but make sure your RV is in tip top shape before heading out on the road.  While these tips are a good start, make sure you do your due diligence.  Is there anything that you can think of that can be added to the list?  Leave a comment below and share it with us!!

[Source: Village Soup]

A VW Towing an RV?!?

When we think of a fifth wheel trailer being pulled by an automobile, we usually think of a truck or SUV.  However, that is not always the case, as seen in this video where a VW Bug pulling a smaller trailer.  If this was the only aspect to the video, it would be interesting.  But with the added value of getting 20 miles to the gallon and being able to turn on a 360 degree radius makes this car concoction nothing short of amazing!!
Check out the video and let us know what you think!!

Knowing Your RV: Class Differences

They always say variety is the spice of life.  And that is no different when dealing with RVs.  From a smaller fifth wheel to the bigger Class A motor homes, you have a lot to take in before you buy or rent an RV.  Do you need a quick refresher on the different types of vehicles?  I found a good excerpt from an article that may clear some things up if you are not sure.

People that are not informed about the RV industry are confused about “Class A” motorhome? “Class C” motorhome? Van campers? Isn’t there some way to keep RV shopping simple?

Class “A” or type “A” is the largest of all of the commercially produced motorhomes. The manufacturer starts with a chassis with an engine and transmission. On top of the chassis the motorhome is built.

Many luxuries and options tend to be put in any Class A motorhome. You will see many “slide out rooms,” which add floor space when utilized. A Class A with slide outs can feel as though you’ve stepped right into a good sized home.

These are also the most costly of all motorhomes, with prices starting at $50,000 and up to over a million dollars or better. Since they’re so large, it can be hard to locate an appropriate spot to park them. Also they are hard to drive, use more gas and are difficult to park. Many National Parks and US Forest campgrounds simply don’t have room for some of those rigs.

Class “C” motorhomes are smaller and are built on a van chassis. These are priced much lower than the larger Class A rigs. They are nice RVs though. Some Class C rigs have slide outs, but are a bit smaller than the Class A motorhomes.

Class C motorhomes are easier to maneuver; can park in public campground spots and often park at a Walmart up by the store. While Class A folks often tow a small round-town car (a “toad” if you will) to permit them to leave their big rig in camp, often Class C rigs are handy enough to be used directly for local transportation.

Costs to get a Class C motorhome, by industry estimates, start out at around $48,000. Insurance and fuel costs are substantially less for a Class C rig.

Finally, the least commonly sold, but not uncommon for its use, is a Class B, or “camper van.” Using a van chassis and body, the manufacturer tricks out the inside, adding sleeping, cooking, and teeny-tiny bathroom facilities. The roof of a Class B rig is often raised, giving occupants more headroom and accommodating cabinets and accessories.

Don’t count on towing much with a Class B rig. But they can go anywhere a car goes, parks easily, and takes up no more space than a passenger van, but don’t count on towing much with them. The fuel economy here might be better of all three . If you can drive a van, you are able to drive a Class B motorhome. Look to pay starting at the low $40 thousands to the mid $70 thousands for a new camper van.

For long-term RVing, it can be quite cozy inside a Class B rig. The other two camps will argue to whether Class A or Class B motorhomes are better for snowbirds and full-time RV living, by the reality shows both of them are used. Look for a fulltime RVer in a Class B? Maybe, but it will be a rarity.

Trying to make a choice? Consider renting one of every class for a quick road trip. Renting a motorhome can really demonstrate how things size up. You will soon see the difference in how these different rigs will suit your lifestyle.

So if you are looking to buy a new RV and are not sure which one suits your needs best, it might be prudent to try to rent the types you are interested in.  Let us know if we can help in any way!

[Source: New RVer]

A Way to Convert your RV to a Hybrid?

Hercules, in mythology, is known for his great power.  When talking about RV’s, what is one way we categorize power?  It’s MPG!  MPG is a powerful acronym when speaking about RVs and automobiles in general.  The rate your vehicle burns through miles per gallon, can effect which auto you choose or your wallet.  Green technology has been booming over the past decade or so with little to help people with bigger vehicles to achieve “higher MPG”.  In steps Mary Meadows, a retired environmental medicine physician, who decided that she wanted to look beyond helping just people, and focus on helping the Earth.
Mary has come up with the newest in MPG technology to help all of us save the world as well as save some money in the process.   She came up with a product that produces hydrogen and injects it into the gas in order to increase MPG and overall fuel usage.  It is made for all sorts of vehicles and is constantly evolving in order to meet the needs of different automotive patrons.  Here’s how it works:

The company manufactures the Hercules Hydrogen System, which is about the size of a car battery and can be installed under the hood or in the trunk. The system manufactures hydrogen, mixes it with gasoline and puts the mixture into the engine by air intake.

“It’s a very sophisticated system,” Meadows said. “A lot of systems out there don’t work; they don’t last.” She says her system works and lasts.

One of the problems to overcome was that cars and pickups newer than 1996 models contain computers that sense when a vehicle is using less fuel. That triggers the computer to increase gasoline or diesel to compensate.

To counteract that problem, Meadows has a chip that affects the air/fuel ratio and allows the hydrogen mix to power the vehicle without triggering the computer.

Meadows recommends that mechanics install the system, but some vehicle owners have installed it themselves. She provides buyers with detailed instructions on how to install, and she will stand by on the phone to advise mechanics.

Hercules retails for $3,500, but Meadows is offering it at a discount for $2,500. The system works with any kind of fuel: gasoline, diesel, propane or biodiesel. It can also be traded among vehicles, such as moving it from an RV to a car.

Long-haul truckers can expect a 30% increase in mileage, she said. Cars and pickups have seen increases of 30% to 50%, and RVs, 50%, Meadows said.

Imagine being able to increase your RV mileage by 50%!!!  While this technology is new and is continued to be studied, we can only hope that this will lead to worldwide change in the industry as we know it.

Have you ever heard of the Hercules Hydrogen System?  If so, give us some insight below as to how it works for you.  If not, let us know what this could allow you to change in your RV adventures!!

[Source: RV Business]

Looking for a GPS for Your RV?

Rand McNally has just launched its first “RV Only” GPS device called the TripMaker RVND 5510.  How many times have you been in a car and saw the functions brought to you through a GPS and wondered how this could help you on your next RV vacation?  Just a couple more weeks to find out as they have marked June for its release.

Take a look at some of the features this RV GPS device allows:

– RV-Easy Routing with a base of award-winning navigation from Rand McNally, the TripMaker RVND 5510 layers on all the information needed to have an enjoyable and safe trip in an RV.  The routing includes legal (including propane and other RV-only), height and weight restrictions, right- or left-turn preference based on 11 different RV types, and a quick reference to the Rand McNally Road Atlas. Turn-by-turn spoken and text directions keep the driver focused on the road ahead.

– The TripMaker RVND features more than 14 million points of interest – including festivals, and national, state, and regional parks.  Other key information includes:
•    RV campgrounds, RV dealers and service, parking and rest areas, travel centers with detailed amenities such as dump stations, propane availability and more.
•    Detailed exit information and available amenities on upcoming interstate exits.
•    RVer Tools such as checklists for set up and take down, maintenance logs, trails back to your campsite, and quick mileage calculators.
•    Pet-friendly locations including parks, animal hospitals, and beaches.

In addition to routing and tools critical to RVers, the TripMaker RVND features Rand McNally Editor’s Pick Content – proprietary data provided by our editorial staff with video and photos.  The content includes:
•    Best of the Road – three-to-four day adventures including unique stops, photos of the locations, maps and more to plan a memorable adventure.
•    Regional Trips, Scenic Tours, Weekend Getaways, and City Trips.
•    12,000 researched locations that will make any trip exciting and unique.

How would you use a device like this on your RV travels?  Are you gonna purchase one upon their release?  Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think about it!!

[Source: RV Business]

 

Basic RV Battery Information

Is there a more annoying sound than turning your RV key and realizing your battery is dead?  Making sure your battery is working properly is very important.  If you ever had this happen to you, check out the following information to help you out the next time!!

Some Basic Battery Info

In today’s RVs everything relies on 12-volt batteries to function–everything from the roof air conditioner to the refrigerator. Once the roof air conditioner and the refrigerator are turned on they run on 110V, but the computer used to start the air conditioner and refrigerator uses the 12-volt. In addition, your water heater and your furnace are also all 12-volt operated.

Without your batteries in working condition none of these things would work properly and the simplest daily functions in your RV would be impossible to carry out.

The type of batteries in your RV should be deep cycle batteries. This just means essentially that they are designed to store a large amount of power, discharge that power very deeply, and recharge over and over again.

To get the most out of your deep cycle battery and have it last as long as possible before you have to pay for a replacement, you’ll want to spend the few minutes it will take to maintain it.

RV Battery Maintenance – Filling With Distilled Water

With proper maintenance an RV battery lasts an average of 5 years. To achieve a longer life span one important thing you’ll want to do is keep your batteries full with water (distilled water is recommended).

To get started remove the battery cap and give a look in there. You’ll see a tube going into each cell with slits up the sides. These slits allow the gases to flow from cell to cell. Fill until the water touches the bottom of the tube and be careful not to overfill.

If you overfill and cover the slits in the side of each tube you will see liquid oozing from your caps and making a mess of everything around there. Battery trays and connections will all stay cleaner if you take care not to overfill and maintenance is done correctly.

When To Get A New Battery

If the lead plates are not covered in water when you check them chances are good you need to get a new RV battery. At this point, if the battery is not completely ruined then you’ve at least taken a lot of the life out of it.

The best and most inexpensive way to avoid this problem is to not let the water get that low. If you regularly follow the above maintenance strategies you will maximize the lifespan of your battery and only have to worry about this when it’s unpreventable.

Charging Your RV Batteries

There is nothing more important than keeping your battery’s connections clean with the above process, but it is also important to keep them consistently charged.

When doing this, keep in mind realistic timeframes to charge up. If your RV batteries are reading low on the monitor, it will take around 72 hours to charge them. If you just charge them for a day, as some owners may do right before a trip, they will only have 1/3 of the total charge.

Think of your batteries as a 5 gallon water bottle. You can pour the water out quickly and easily–that’s apparent enough. But imagine the only way you can fill the bottle back up is through a separate hole the size of a pencil. The refilling will take much more time. In other words, it is much easier to drain your batteries than it is to recharge them.

It doesn’t hurt your batteries to be low on charge, but it will make your life easier just to keep them charged up.

When storing your RV for two months or more, you will want to make it so your batteries do not discharge. To do this, simply disconnect the ground wire. Your batteries cannot discharge without this ground (unless the battery is already bad, of course).

Dry CampingIf you try dry camping–that is, camping with no electrical hook ups–all you need to do is run your generator three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening and you will be fine forever.

If you don’t have a generator consider getting solar power, it works extremely well and I highly recommend it. However, if you don’t have a generator or solar power and want to go camping, the key is just to not bring your kids (They never seem to turn a light off! Ha!)

Other Relevant Info

Most RVs have a 2 amp draw (or more) on the engine starting battery even when the batteries are turned off using the auto disconnects. This is the factory setting. I don’t like it this way, so don’t get mad at you RV technician, it isn’t his/her fault.

Having the RV plugged into 110V shore power will not charge the engine battery, so if stored for a long time, disconnect the grounds at the engine battery. They only charge when the engine is running.

NOTE: To all RV owners, if you are plugged into 110V shore power remember to leave your house battery’s disconnect on. Batteries won’t get a charge if they are off and it overworks your converter charger big time if the disconnect is not on. You should have the engine battery off because remember it won’t get charged from the converter anyway.

I hope this was helpful info for you and your RV health!  Please leave a comment with more suggestions or good RV battery stories!

[Source: Money Saving RV]

Stabilizing Your Fifth Wheel

What happens when you travel a good distance to get to your destination then you realize that the5th wheel isn’t stable? Don’t panic. It happens all the time, and with the right tips, it doesn’t have to be a tremendous hassle.

Uneven Ground Makes an Unsafe RV

First, check for a shaking sensation. When your 5th wheel is unstable, this may be your first clue. Besides the fact that it is probably uncomfortable, this unstable nature could be hazerdous to your family or others. That is why it is always crucial that you find level ground for your trailer.

When at a campsite, you do not always have the options that you really want as far as parking goes, but finding the most level ground possible is of the upmost importance. Every campsite strives to be as level as possible, but with RVs constantly coming in and out, it is understandable that it could change the landscape.

5th Wheel Stabilizer

When the ground is not even, a stabilizer comes in very handy. They attach towards the front, typically at the king pin to act as a stabilizer to level the fifth-wheel and reduce movement. They are available in both electric and manual styles for your convenience and easy use.

There are many kinds of stabilizing jacks available: C-shaped stabilizer, telescoping jack stabilizer, hydraulic jack, and tripod jack. While many campers use the tripod jack, you will need to do a little analysis to find with is right for you.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoaDPhMSygw&feature=player_embedded

Checking the Adjustments

The most important part of a stabilizer is its ability to adjust. Make sure you check out the footpads of the stabilizer to make sure they move so that they can perform height adjustments. These footpads, even when attached to the trailer, should be capable of move inward and outward.

Along with the moveable footpads, your stablizer also needs to make the smaller adjustments to make sure you get it perfect. Generally, these are made with a turn screw adjacent with a stabilized adjusting level. Remember, if it is not easy to adjust, then you won’t use it. Therefore, thoroughly check the ease of adjustment before you buy.

Checking the Weight Limit

Finally, you should definitely check out the weight capacity of the stablizer you choose. . For example, a stabilizer that will hold up to 5,000 lbs will cost you around $100. But be prepared to pay more the bigger your RV is.

A stabilizer makes traveling in your Fifth-Wheel much easier and safer. Once you start using one, you’ll wonder how you ever camped without it.

 

WIT Show and Tell Rally

At Pleasureland RV, we like to host RVers from time to time to come stay in our lot and use our facilities.  One of these occasions was this past weekend when the Winnebago & Itasca Travelers – Winnehaha & Sundowner Chapters, Show & Tell Rally was hosted in our facilities.  People started pulling in their RVs on Friday and by the time things were in full swing, there were 45 coaches in all!   We had workshops, dinner, entertainment, etc. for them. Included in the weekend, they had a motor home building workshop on Saturday with legos (check out the pics below!) and a Cal-Tex workshop.  Saturday night  dinner was made by our own Bill Moran and we provided entertainment afterwards.  The weather was very chilly, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves!

Make sure you check out the photos below to see all the fun!! Make sure to leave a comment if you were there and let us know what you thought!!

 

 

St. Cloud, Got your Keys?!?

There are a few situations that people get themselves into that absolutely drive them crazy.  One of these situations is losing or locking your keys in your car or RV.  Even if you have some sort of roadside assistance company such as AAA on your side, it can still run you upwards of $150 to have a new keys made for you.  If anything could make that situation worse, it would be having to shell out money to resolve the issue.

Are there some things you can do to prepare for the situation?? Absolutely!!  I came across an article that has some such suggestions to help you prevent a costly situation:

Main Set… Separate one set of keys into three groups–Door key, Ignition key, and all the rest. Carry the door key when you lock and leave the RV. If you have a motorhome, leave the ignition key inside–keep reading to find out where. Store the rest of your keys (compartment, fuel door, etc.) near the front in case you need them.

Backup Set… Keep a set in your other vehicle–just in case.

Emergency set… Get one of the magnetic key holders used for hiding keys. Put one door keycompartment keyignition key, and a fuel door key inside. Hide it well. Crawl around underneath and find a great hiding place not visible by just walking around and looking at the coach.

Test the magnetism. Is it easy to remove? Can it fall off? Secure it with one of the plastic electrical ties. Cover it with mud or spray paint it to look like the background. Do not make this easy to find or access and make it impossible to see. After all, it is only for emergencies.

Additionally, in our seminars, one topic that always comes up is the number of RVers that forget to crank down their TV antenna or satellite dish before driving out of the campground. Since your ignition key will be separate from the others, when you crank up your TV antenna or satellite dish, hang your ignition key from the crank. That way, you can’t drive away without being reminded to crank down these items. Without a firm reminder, you will forget at some point but if so, it’s only about $150.00 to replace the antenna. The only way to ensure you will remember to crank it down is to force yourself to reach up there for the ignition key.

Have you ever locked your keys in your RV, or even lost them??  Leave a comment below and let us know!!

[Source: New RVer]