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!

 

Minnesota Drivers: Stop Texting While Driving!!

Most people wouldn’t drive a moving vehicle while attempting to read the paper or write a paper for school or work on a proposal for work.  Why then are so many people texting while driving?  Texting while driving has become a major concern for America’s teens.  Anytime you take your eyes and attention away from the road you are asking for trouble.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center has looked at traffic data from the Fatality Accident Reporting System and texting data from the FCC and CTIA, and — after some hefty number crunching — has come to the conclusion that texting while driving is responsible for accidents that claimed 16,141 lives during the period of 2001 – 2007.

Obviously these numbers are staggering but people just don’t seem to get it as they continue to increase each year.  The number of cell phones certainly isn’t going down, so it seems like to combat this problem either technology needs to change or legislation needs to be put in place to prohibit these activities.  Maybe cell phone makers can create phones that can do voice transcription for texting so that you don’t have to physically type your message in on your phone.  My research shows that 30 states so far have adopted rules banning texting while driving, but this is not enough.  The remaining states should follow suite in my opinion.  Not only that, but rules can be broken, so more education is also necessary.

One life is too many to lose to distracted drivers.  Usually a text message can wait until you’re parked, but if it’s an emergency, please pull over to respond.  Safe driving friends!

 

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]

 

 

Protect Your RV from the Elements

With all the perks that come along with purchasing an RV, there is certainly a lot of work that goes into keeping an RV in optimal condition.  While we would all like to have a garage that could hold our RV, leaving it outside is sometimes the only option we have. Rain, snow, changing temperatures, sunlight, and falling debris such as acorns and bird droppings can really take its toll on the exterior of the RV.  There are alternatives such as RV covers to give you a layer of protection.

With the above mentioned forces plus many others, a cover could certainly be of use to all RV owners.  As opposed to a tarp, covers are made to keep water off and allow the right amount of air flow.  The writers at rvwheelcovers.org have put together a nice article about the pluses of using an RV cover.  Here’s an excerpt:

If you intend to store your RV for a long time, the best option is to buy a custom fitted cover. When selecting the cover for your RV, it is important to take the measurements of the RV from one end to the other, while ensuring that you provide an allowance for the 5th wheel, bumpers, ladders and propane tanks attached to the vehicle. If you have to choose between two RV covers which near the size of your RV, select the larger cover. This is because it is better to have an over-sized cover than a small one which you have to stretch over the RV. Stretching the RV cover is likely to lead to damage due to stress.

When shopping for an RV cover, you should look for one which is able to block sun damage, is water resistant, and fits well onto your unit. Some RV covers are quite functional even when the RV is in use, and are thus able to protect your unit even while you are out in the park. Always remember to remove your cover before driving off in your RV. There are also covers available for your RV tires. These slip over the tires when not in use and are able to protect the tire rubber against damage when in storage.

Always keep a patch kit for your RV cover in the event that you get tears or rips. Taking some time to patch up your RV cover while on the road is much more cost effective than having to buy a brand new cover. For this reason, you should ensure that you conduct regular inspections of your RV covers to check that they are in tip top shape. Be sure to replace any cover which has lost its overall integrity and can no longer withstand the vagaries of harsh weather.

As you can see by the above, it is recommended to use an RV cover whenever storing an RV outside in the elements.  While we usually look at the fun stuff involved with RVs, it is important to remember that it is an investment and needs to be treated accordingly.  Do you use a cover?  Let us know by leaving a comment.

[Source: RV Wheel Covers]

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]