For “tRaVersing or RV Thursday”:
“Now you can check your location for free TV with our interactive mapping tool. See the local TV transmitters on a map and check their signal strengths. This tool give you all our latest database updates, coverage maps, and signal analysis on a dynamic map with lots of information about every transmitter right at your fingertips. This tool will let you do all of the following:
- List available channels for any location
- Adjust the location being analyzed (to fix address lookup errors)
- Play "what-if" scenarios with different antenna heights
- See the direction of each transmitter to help you point your antenna
- Overlay coverage maps for each station
- Generate a summary report, which can be shared, printed, or saved for future reference
To see maps of your area, click... >> Start MAPS <<
Things to check BEFORE you buy an RV
”About to buy an RV? Don't be satisfied simply because you like the floor plan and the color scheme. There are several important tests you need to make before closing the deal. Otherwise, you may be very disappointed and disillusioned down the road. Read more.”
“If you find a particular RV that you like but the floor plan is not exactly what you wanted, look in the manufacturer brochure for optional floor plan arrangements. In many cases there will be a different bedroom, kitchen or other configuration available. The dealer will be happy to order the RV configured the way you like it. This will involve a waiting period until the unit can be built and shipped, but it can be well worth the wait to get it the way you want it. In some cases it may be possible for the dealership to call their manufacturer sales representative to try to locate one already built the way you want it.”
Should you invest in a generator
”Stay at just about any campground and you'll see some RVs with a generator and some without. If you're just getting started in RVing with a basic trailer, you may be wondering which way to go -- whether to invest in a generator or not. Of course you hope to keep expenses down, but you don't want to do without a source of energy that might be important to your RVing satisfaction. This article will help you decide. Click here.”
Trade in your old propane cylinder? Be prepared to pay top dollar!
“Look outside nearly any hardware store, supermarket or Walmart and there's the enticing offer: Bring in your empty propane cylinder and "trade it in" for a full, refurbished one. With the number of live "filling stations" said to be decreasing and the "convenience" of nearly 24-hour access to propane, it may seem a real temptation. But when you read the fine print on these tanks you may think twice about buying one.” Read more.
“Hold on to your wallet. Here's the "fine print," in the deal. In fact, in small type on the advertising sign, Amerigas is offering you, "Net Weight 15 lb." With propane scaling in at 4.23 pounds per gallon, you're not just paying $1.64 per gallon more, you're getting nowhere close to a full tank capacity and paying $6.20 a gallon--a whopping $3.45 more per gallon than doing a refill at the local fill station.” (Blue Rino used to fill with 17 lb but year or so ago started using 15lb. They said it was to avoid a “price increase” LOL. They did not hide it, but did not go out of their way to broadcast it either.)
Refill your propane bottle safely
“If you've traveled through the RV time machine from the days of the old "star wheel" valve handle ("POL" valve) to the new three-cornered ("OPD") on your propane tank you know the pain we all suffered in the change-over. For those who never had that pleasure, we share a bit of history, and some tips on staying safe with propane bottles.”
Water heater pilot outage
”Dear Gary, I have a Suburban water heater. The orifice was plugged on the LP pilot. I replaced the pilot unit, but now I can't keep the pilot lit. I even made sure all of the air was out of the lines by lighting the stove at the other end of the trailer. Any suggestions?” Read Gary's response.
Pulling a trailer in the mountains
“If you plan to pull a trailer through mountainous regions, take caution. A gas engine will lose three to four percent of its available power for every 1,000 feet above sea level. Ford Motor Company recommends a reduction in gross vehicle weights and gross combined weights of two percent for every 1,000 feet above sea level to maintain performance.
The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum permissible weight of the tow vehicle when fully loaded for travel. The Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is the maximum permissible weight of the fully loaded tow vehicle and the fully loaded trailer together. Let's say, for example, we have a tow vehicle with a GCWR of 14,000 pounds and a GVWR of 8,800 pounds. If the vehicle were loaded to its GVWR, this means we can tow 5,200 pounds before we exceed our GCWR.
At 10,000 feet, we'd need to reduce these ratings by 20 percent to maintain performance. That would mean our GCWR is 11,200 pounds and the GVWR is 7,040 pounds, limiting what we can safely tow to 4,160 pounds. A simple rule of thumb you can use to add a built-in margin of safety is referred to as the 75 percent rule. Multiply the GVWR and GCWR by 75 percent. Subtract the GVWR from the GCWR and this is the amount you can tow. In our case it would be 3,900 pounds, which is below the 4,160 pounds we could safely tow if we were 10,000 feet above sea level.” Tech Tips from Mark Polk
“Be aware of the age and condition of your RV's fire extinguisher. If it's been just sitting there for a couple of years and has never even been touched, get rid of it: it's probably worthless. If nothing else, get a new extinguisher every year. Better yet, get two. And make sure everyone in your rig knows the proper operation.” Learn all about RV fire safety from Mac the Fire Guy.
Can you 'limp home' on a failed dual tire?
“Our tire expert Roger Marble has read posts on RV forum sites about the topic of what to do when a tire fails and there is no spare. Many times it has been suggested that the person plans on "limping" home or to the tire service center with just one tire in the dual position of their RV. While on the surface this might seem to be a reasonable approach, there are a few things that need to be considered.” Read more.
Beware of scammers
“Not everyone has your best interest in mind, and that goes for some of the people you might meet in your RV travels -- like the "nice young man" you meet in a Wal-mart parking lot who informs you there's a problem with your RV's springs that you "really should have fixed." And it just so happens he knows of a nearby service station that can perform the work. And that's where the scam plays out.” Read more
"The BreatherTM," Portable washer.
“Need to freshen up on that long trip but you have a minimal amounts of fresh water?
With "The BreatherTM," clothes can be washed in as little as 1 1/2 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket.”
“Actress Elizabeth Taylor who starred the title role in the 1963 film, "Cleopatra" had the film studio by the tail. Reportedly 20th Century Fox spent about $75,000 buying a spiffed up a 36' travel trailer for her use as a dressing room. In today's dollars, that would be worth over a half-million. Built by Aljo, the modifications included hand-painted ceilings and murals, full columns and capitals, silk curtains giving privacy for the bedroom area, and plenty more. The 36 foot travel trailer spiffed-out for Elizabeth Taylor's use as a dressing room during the 1963 filming of "Cleopatra" recently auctioned off for a paltry $52,000.”
On This Day:
Grasshoppers bring ruin to Midwest, Jul 26, 1931:
“On this day in 1931, a swarm of grasshoppers descends on crops throughout the American heartland, devastating millions of acres. Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, already in the midst of a bad drought, suffered tremendously from this disaster.
Since the very beginning of agriculture, people have struggled to prevent insects from eating their crops. Locusts and grasshoppers, insect cousins, are among the most feared pests. A plague of these insects can occur when conditions cause their populations to suddenly explode. Usually this happens under drought or very dry conditions, since their egg pods are vulnerable to fungus in wet soil. When the soil is very dry, swarms can develop.
Professor Jeff Lockwood of Wyoming describes being in a swarm as follows ‘They explode from beneath your feet. There's sort of a rolling wave that forms out it front of you. They hit up against your body and cling against your clothes. It's almost like being immersed in a gigantic living being.’ Locusts and grasshoppers undergo a significant transformation when they become part of a swarm. Their wings and jaws grow, enabling them to travel greater distances and increasing their appetite.
The July 1931 swarm was said to be so thick that it blocked out the sun and one could shovel the grasshoppers with a scoop. Cornstalks were eaten to the ground and fields left completely bare. Since the early 1930s, swarms have not been seen in the United States. However, North Africa and parts of the Middle East continue to experience problems with insect swarms, which sometimes includes as many as 1 billion bugs.”
The other day when Ray and I were outside, I had noticed that some wasps were paying attention to a space between the trim boards at the peak of the house. It is so high, that I knew Ray wouldn’t go up there, but Jay would. So Misty and I went to get him.
With the extension ladder at it’s highest, Jay could only just reach it.
The left side (front) of the roof is a lot longer, than the right ride, so these are at two different angles. We always take the table saw outside to use it, as it is easier to use that way. It is kept just inside the big overhead doors of the workshop, with the chop saw on top of it, with a piece of cloth and board between them. So we had to move all that, to cut just that one board to cover the soffit. Even then, it took several cuts and trips up and down the ladder, to get the angles just right. Jay has a mental block about using my angle finder, a drinking thing, I expect. Then Jay cut the one to go over the trim, and some drip edge to go on top of it. I primed and painted both boards on all sides, and hung them up to dry. We might even put Eternabond over the cracks first, to keep the rain and critters out.
We still had some time left, so Jay mowed again. The grass and the hedge keep on growing with these showers we have had.
I have some screen wire and caulk ready to put on the inside, and maybe we will get all that in place today.