First Aid Kit Musts for your RV

Emergency situations are always unexpected and it is crucial to be prepared when disaster strikes. You can easily customize your own first aid kit to fit your exact needs and generally save money while doing so. Before heading off you should always consider where you will be traveling, what type of climate you’ll be in and what type of activities you may be doing. Anytime you decide to take your RV out on the open road, it is essential to be prepared in the event of an emergency.  The American Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits should include the following:

Supplies

  • absorbent compress dressings
  • adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • adhesive cloth tape
  • antibiotic ointment
  • antiseptic wipes
  • aspirin
  • blanket
  • breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • instant cold compress
  • non latex gloves
  • hydrocortisone ointment
  • scissors
  • sterile gauze pads
  • oral thermometer
  • tweezers
  • First Aid instruction booklet

Extras to consider

  • whistle
  • nail clippers
  • jackknife
  • a fire steel to start a fire
  • water purifying tablets
  • flashlight and extra batteries
  • disposable camera
  • cell phone and charger

Tips

  • Be sure to store your kit in a place out of reach from children but easily accessible to adults.
  • Include personal items including medications, emergency phone numbers and any other items your doctor may suggest.
  • Be sure to check that the kit’s contents before each trip and make sure to check expiration dates on each item.
  • Learn about the contents of the kit and how to use them in different emergency situations. Having the supplies means nothing if you do not possess the know-how to use them.

It is always important to make sure that you are ready for anything the road can throw at you.  Before your next road trip, would be a good idea to start putting together an RV first aid kit.  Leave a comment below with anything you would like to add to this list.

[Source: American Red Cross]

7 Tips for Driving Your RV in the Rain

There are a lot of things that you can control on your RV trips.  You can make sure you pack everything and that your RV is tuned up, but weather is something you just have to deal with.  Like a car or a bike, riding in the rain takes precaution and safety.  I came across some useful tips to help you maneuver through the bad weather on your next trip over at rvtravel.com.  Here are a few:

Be the middle-man:  If you have an option of which lane to occupy, take to the middle. Most roads have a crowned surface to encourage water to run off to the side.  The center lane is often on high ground, and so less water accumulates here.

Slick ‘em up:  The places you’re most likely to encounter greater road slickness are where oil (from vehicles) can accumulate.  Read that as intersections, parking lots, as well as on and off ramps.  If it’s been some time since the last rain, you’ll also find high traffic areas are slick too.  Why so?  Take your typical freeway lane–after weeks or months of traffic dripping oil and fluids, the first rain to come along washes the oil off the drop spot, and mixes it with water, making for a slick trip.

The eyes have it:  When it rains, make it easier on your own–and others–vision.  Turn on your headlights for greater visibility.  Yeah, there may be a bit more glare, but better to be seen.  Turn on your windshield wipers, of which you’ll have changed the blades every 12 months.  Seems extreme, especially if you don’t live in rain country, but if you’re a desert dweller, you’ll find UV radiation and heat eats up your wipers faster than using them like those folks in the Northwest do–every day.

Exercise self-control, not speed control:  Time will tell whether or not vehicle speed control units may actually contribute to loss of control on rainy roadways, but this much is certain:  Speed control use slows the driver’s ability to note and respond to changes in road surfaces.  Save it for dry pavement.

Be treadful! Generally speaking, the deeper your tire tread, the less likely you are to hydroplane on a wet road.  And other drivers’ tires can help, too.  How?  If you track behind another driver (at a SAFE distance) in his tire tracks, you’ll find less water there–he’s already “dried out the road” with his passage.

Give it a (correct) brake:  If you have anti lock brakes and find yourself needing a slowdown, don’t pump–press and hold, the same as you would on ice.  If you don’t have ABS, then indeed, pump-release-pump-release to keep yourself out of trouble.  And if you’ve driven through water, to dry your brakes, lightly tap them a few times to dry the linings.

Don’t play Moses:  You can’t part the Red Sea with your RV.  As the good folks in Arizona will tell you, NEVER cross a flooded wash.  It takes but a few inches of water to push a vehicle off the roadway and into harm’s way.

Safety is concern number one when traveling and should be treated as such.  Hopefully you will take these tips seriously and be careful out there on the road!!  Leave a message below and let us know if they left anything out.

 

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]