For" tRaVersing Thursday, or RV Day:
Who makes the best RV?
"Given that I spend a good deal of time working on RVs, I'm often asked who makes the best of "whatever category RV a person might be seeking." Not an easy question to answer as I do not believe there is a single answer. There are, however, some things to consider — the most important of which is price.
Simply put, you never get the same things in an entry-level RV you find in a high-end one. There really is a reason some things cost more than others, and an entry-level product, regardless of manufacturer, is intended to be sold based on price, not quality. In my experience, it may look good when new but the "new" is short-lived.
For example, the shine quickly fades on the exterior as the gel coat is very thin. The carpet quickly looks matted down, and the cushions in the furniture sag and look worn out almost overnight. The reason, of course, is because they are made as cheaply as possible in order to meet an impossibly low price point. The same things hold true of axles, frames, sidewall construction, and all the things folks either cannot see or do not know how to assess. Manufacturers, by the way, acknowledge in private that their more expensive products wear much better and require much less maintenance than their entry-level models for these exact reasons.
For occasional seasonal use, entry-level products do just fine. They also are not a bad choice if the owner is willing to perform regular maintenance. For serious campers, however, I question the wisdom of buying at the lowest price points.
How do you tell quality? You start off by doing plenty of shopping so you know what you are seeing. With some practice you'll be able to tell thick versus thin gel coat and the quality of slide seals, and know the difference between photographed vinyl finish on woodwork versus real wood.
In the end, you'll quickly discover there are real differences between manufacturers and product lines. When you are able to tell the difference, you are ready to buy. Until then, getting taken in by an inferior product is never far away. By the way, you really are much better off buying a high-end pre-owned product than an entry-level model off the dealer’s lot. If you can, try to stay within five years of the current date to be up-to-date with technology. Happy Hunting!" by Steve Savage, Mobility RV Service
A demonstration of a portable waste tank tote
"When camped without a sewer hookup, sooner or later you'll need to empty your holding tanks. The way to do it without moving your RV is with a portable tote that you can use to transport your waste liquids to the dump station. Here is a demonstration of one such tote:
Satellite Television Options for Recreational Vehicles
"Different types of TV satellite systems for RVs explained. This four-minute video was made in 2011, but it still does an excellent job of explaining the four types of satellite systems for RVs, from manual to fully automatic. They typically deliver programming from both the Dish and Direct TV systems." Watch the video:
Android App helps locate military campgrounds and RV parks
"If you are current military or retired, you know that one of the benefits of serving with Uncle Sam is the nationwide network of U.S. military campgrounds and FamCamps available for you and your family. This app will quickly track down the available amenities."
First-time family RV trip tips
"RV holidays are fantastic for family trips away because of the freedom and flexibility they give. It can be quite daunting for those who are thinking about taking their young children away on an RV trip for the first time, but it really is a great experience.
Surviving a trip on the road with the kids isn't as hard as you think. Kids love an adventure as well as being able to feel secure and on an RV holiday. There's the best of both worlds as they can take their favorite toys and games as well as have their home comforts, which is often restricted with flights and hotels.
Even though RV trips are a great choice, they should always be planned in advance to maximize a holiday and avoid cabin fever. It's tempting to take everything with you, but don't over-pack as items like clothing can take up a lot of room. Plan well to suit all weathers and make room for the fun stuff like wetsuits, racquets and games." More at: http://www.newrver.com/family_rv_trip.shtml By Russ and Tina DeMaris
Feedback on noisy water pumps
"In a story published a while ago, we posted information on how to quiet down a noisy RV water pump. Readers were quick to dip into their own experiences and shower us with advice. Here are a couple of comments that may give you further fodder for fixing your fixtures:
Alan writes: "Yes, those darn pumps can be noisy! I discovered a solution out of need. I installed a valve in order to winterize the rig myself and discovered that I did not have enough room in the truck camper space allotted. What I did was create a loop with plastic tubing at the pump entry point and another at the exit of the pump in order to get the valve to fit. It worked just great and I found that the noise was reduced almost to the point I could not hear it."
Adds reader Bruce Mitchell: "Several years ago I purchased a 5th wheel trailer. Whenever the water pump was running everything vibrated. It was so bad that it felt like you were standing on a foot massager. I took the trailer back to the manufacturer. They did everything that you mentioned in your article, to no avail. Out of frustration, I called SurFlow. They informed me that they had a Service Bulletin out on that very problem. They sent me a copy which I took back to the manufacturer. I had to do some talking but they finally followed SurFlow's advice and solved the problem.
"The pump was mounted on the plywood floor under the kitchen cabinets. It was mounted right next to an 8-inch square hole where the plumbing went through the floor. This was part of the problem as the hole allowed the floor to vibrate more. They moved the pump to the wall. The main issue and the subject of SurFlow's bulletin was that they recommend that no hard piping be connected directly to the water pump. They suggest at least 3 feet of soft hose between the pump and the hard piping. On mine they put approximately 18 inches on both the intake and outlet of the pump that connected to the hard piping. That totally took away the noise and vibration. They used a clear reinforced vinyl on my rig to connect to the water pump.
"SurFlow said that they have advised manufacturers of this, but I still see most RVs have the hard piping connected directly to the pump."" Thanks, Alan and Bruce! By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Preventing Seasickness While Fishing
"Ginger helps prevent seasickness. There’s really not enough in most cookies to matter. Get the candied (crystallized) slices in the spice section or with the dried fruit. Eat it like candy throughout the day on the water."
"Rich, The Wanderman" likes simple solutions to complex problems.
This week Rich tackles high moisture and humidity levels in RV showers. Too much moisture and you can have all sorts of problems. See how to fix it ... simply!"
Preserve the coating on nested cookware
"Don't let nested coated cookware scratch while bumping down the road. Toss oven pads, pot holders, or dish towels between the pans."
Have the right-sized tools
“Make sure that you have a lug-wrench and jack that will work with YOUR trailer. The jack must fit under the axle when the tire is deflated.” Bill's Hints
"When you first check into a campground, locate your site and conduct a site survey. Identify where the campground connections are and where to locate the RV so you have easy access to all connections. If you have a slide-out make sure there are no obstacles in the way. Allow plenty of room for extending the awning."
"Be sure the ice cubes in your fridge are at least partially frozen before heading out in your RV. Don't fill the tray just before you leave or the water might splash around and then freeze all over the place."
Help keep the toilet rim clean
"Dirty toilet rim got you down? Shoot it! Spray the bowl rim with cooking spray to ward off "Klingons" of every kind."
On This Day:
Men fly over Paris, Nov 21, 1783:
"French physician Jean-François Pilatre de Rozier and François Laurent, the marquis d' Arlandes, make the first untethered hot-air balloon flight, flying 5.5 miles over Paris in about 25 minutes. Their cloth balloon was crafted by French papermaking brothers Jacques-Étienne and Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, inventors of the world's first successful hot-air balloons.
Joseph and Étienne Montgolfier ran a prosperous paper business in the town of Vidalon in southern France. Their success allowed them to finance their interest in scientific experimentation. In 1782, they discovered that combustible materials burned under a lightweight paper or fabric bag would cause the bag to rise into the air. From this phenomenon, they deduced that smoke causes balloons to rise. Actually, it is hot air that causes balloons to rise, but their error did not interfere with their subsequent achievements.
On June 4, 1783, the brothers gave the first public demonstration of their discovery, in Annonay. An unmanned balloon heated by burning straw and wool rose 3,000 feet into the air before settling to the ground nearly two miles away. In their test of a hot-air balloon, the Montgolfiers were preceded by Bartolomeu Lourenço de Gusmão, a Brazilian priest who launched a small hot-air balloon in the palace of the king of Portugal in 1709. The Montgolfiers were unaware of Lourenço's work, however, and quickly surpassed it.
On September 19, the Montgolfiers sent a sheep, a rooster, and a duck aloft in one of their balloons in a prelude to the first manned flight. The balloon, painted azure blue and decorated with golden fleurs-de-lis, lifted up from the courtyard of the palace of Versailles in the presence of King Louis XVI. The barnyard animals stayed afloat for eight minutes and landed safely two miles away. On October 15, Jean-François Pilátre de Rozier made a tethered test flight of a Montgolfier balloon, briefly rising into the air before returning to earth.
The first untethered hot-air balloon flight occurred before a large, expectant crowd in Paris on November 21. Pilátre and d'Arlandes, an aristocrat, rose up from the grounds of royal Cháteau La Muette in the Bois de Boulogne and flew approximately five miles. Humanity had at last conquered the sky."
Sorry for the vent! Yesterday started out with a fiasco. Shay next door, was in my front yard hollering and screaming at her son who lives on the other side of my house. He was in the process of throwing out an unwanted, uninvited guest, and Shay just had to get in the big middle of it all. She was strutting around, shouting and screeching at everybody, in her bathrobe, like a fish wife. (Shouting like a fish-wife isn't all that attractive!) Then she said that she was having chest pains, in her usual dramatic fashion. I gave her an aspirin and she called 911. Some more people arrived, so she got even more upset while waiting for the ambulance, and threatened to shoot some of them. Not only did they send an ambulance, and 2 cop cars, but a great big fire truck, too. All that for a little 50 year old "lady"!
Ray had gone into town so he missed all the commotion, but upon his return he went to the Conroe hospital to see her. So when Shay's sister, who has just had open-heart surgery, arrived for someone to drive her to Conroe for a doctor's appointment, neither Ray nor Shay was here. Shorty afterwards, Ray came back to take her to the doctor, and in the afternoon all three came back together. Apparently, the doctors told Shay to avoid stress, but she causes it herself trying to run everybody else's lives.
My guest house rent was reduced when I rented to just Ray and his one cat when he and Shay were divorced. One bedroom, one bathroom, one utility room, and one carport. But a few years later, when she had nowhere to go, she moved in, without my permission, and has been upsetting Ray's life, their son's life, and mine, since then. She also took over another of my carports and made it into her outside sitting area. The rent wasn't raised when she moved in, even though it causes a lot more wear on my water heater, washer, dryer, furnishings, etc.
Some months ago, Shay had said that she wanted to move some things in my storeroom so they could use it, too. I told her that it needed to stay just like it is, as there is a lot of glassware in there. They have their own storage areas in their utility room, and in the attic above the guest house.
Then, the other day, Shay informed me that she was going to move some things around in MY storeroom, so that they could put two tall potted plants in there when it freezes. I was too dumbfounded to speak, and assumed that Ray would say something to me first, so that I could offer other options.
Yesterday, I went to get something out of the storeroom, and found that my stored van's bench third seat had been moved on top of some of my things, squashing several items, including the very one that I had gone to get. And there sat the plants in the bench seat's place. Now, that is a bloody nerve! Especially when they are behind on their rent.
As you can tell, I am fed up with the whole rental kit and caboodle! So far, I have kept my mouth shut, but Ray and I are to have to have a talk today.