Welcome to our website

Our goal around here is to uncover some of the negatives of the RVing world and show off some of the positives.

Details you as a viewer will have to look forward to around here, is great ideological exchange of down to the core vital information about everything to do with RVing.

We will provide great new information about different RV parks, places of interest, RV manufactures, RV dealers, RV related businesses and products and so on…

An Important Question Might Be, Do You Carry An RV Spare??

Do you need to carry a spare?

One of the latest trends for new cars is to eliminate the spare tire. This is done primarily for weight reduction, which translates to improved fuel economy. There is also the benefit of cost reduction and increased storage space if needed. In the RV market not having a spare seems to be normal for Class-A as well as many smaller RVs and towables. To a lesser extent the same benefits apply but with RVs having a higher probability of tire problems than cars, some still want to know if they should buy and carry a spare.

There are a couple of things to consider. First do you have the space? I have never seen an RV review that mentioned if the RV had a spare or if there was a space large enough to hold a spare tire. I also know that there are many that do not have a space large enough, even if they only had just a tire and stored miscellaneous small items inside the tire. I would suggest you confirm this on your unit. Second there are safety concerns. Can you lift a 150lb tire and wheel out of storage? Do you have a strong enough jack? Can you prevent the jack from sinking into the side of the road? Are you strong enough to tighten the nuts at hundreds of foot-pounds torque?

For many, having a Road Service is the answer but there may still be a reason you would want to carry an un-mounted spare tire but no wheel. Many RVs have unusual tire sizes and some people have been confronted with the choice of buying the wrong size tire or waiting for days at the side of the road while a tire is shipped in. You can learn if you have an unusual size by contacting your road service supplier and asking how long it would take to get the correct size and load range for your RV. If they can get one quickly you may not want to carry a spare. If however the size is not in stock you may want to find an older almost worn out tire to carry for a spare. The road service can mount your spare and you can then drive off the interstate to a service location where you can wait to get your damaged tire repaired or a new tire delivered.

 

About Roger

Retired Tire Design & Quality Engineer w/40 years experience, and owner of a Class-C RV. Roger has given numerous seminars at both large and small RV Rallies in the Mid-West. Check out his website RV Tire Safety.

Along with seminars on tires, he also give presentations on genealogy with a focus on some of the challenges confronting RV owners who are interested in genealogy. He has served on the Board of Trustees of The Ohio Genealogical Society and has been researching his family tree since 1992. He’s also a contributing author at RVT.com’s blog, found at RVT.com.

If you have questions you can send email to  tireman9  at  gmail. Please be sure to include the information listed in the original post for reference.

Find Out Where to Buy RV Tarps

We walk under them, and often sit under them and never even notice until there is not one around when we need one. They seem to be everywhere doing their jobs, and we take them completely for granted. Who are we talking about, tarps. That wonderful protection from the cold, the heat, the sun, and the rain. Continue reading and find out where to buy RV tarps.

At large sporting events, you have probably seen huge tarps and not thought very much about them. The are used on industrial and construction sites, and even for weddings and family reunions. Farmers use them in the fields to keep hay bales and equipment dry. You have probably been under one many times on many different occasions, and never noticed, that is because they are doing a good job.

We are not really supposed to notice them, other than to see shade and shelter. There are many different types of tarps, and they are made from many different types of materials, and a large variety of styles and sizes. They are also available for home use.

When and if you decide to purchase an recreational vehicle (RV), you will most likely want to protect it while it is not in use. You have probably noticed individuals covering boats. RV tarps are made slightly differently than tarps for other type vehicles and boats, however, they are made to allow air to circulate between the tarp and the vehicle. It is suggested that the RV be lined with wood before applying the tarp to allow extra air to circulate. The suggestion is to use two by four boards.

They are usually heavy duty and come in silver or white. These type of Tarps are generally waterproof, rot resistant, UV resistant, mildew resistant, and tear resistant. You can purchase fitted covers, or RV shelters that are like a type of tarpaulin garage. The heavy duty tarps done as instructed are usually sufficient.

You can find tarp products and information for your recreational vehicle online. There are a variety of options with respect to vendors and the tarps available. Happy trails.

How to Read and Choose RV Trailer Tires

When it comes to RV’s, tires are the most crucial element to the whole RV system. The tires you put on your RV must be correctly chosen and configured properly so that the weight of your RV is sustained.

The following 5 steps will go through how to read your tires so that you can choose the best ones for your RV:

1. ST Tire Code
RV tow-able trailers have special tires designated for them. They are called Special Trailer (ST) tires and will have an ST on the tirecode which is located on the sidewall, near a series of other numbers. ST tires are constructed with RV trailers in mind. The sidewalls are much more rigid than regular tires and they are great for your trailer when cornering and backing up. Always look for the ST code for your RV.

2. Load Range
Fully load your RV trailer and weigh it. If you cannot fully load your RV unit and weigh it, use the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of your trailer, found on the weight specifications sticker. It is important to fully load your vehicle, the maximum weight that it will be travelling at when you take it out. This will help us determine the weight capacity that each tire must handle, which will help us pick the right one.

3. Determining Load Range
With simple maths we can figure out the load range for each tire. Take the total weight of your trailer and divide by the number of tires that will support your trailer (dual tire configurations will count as 1 tire). Another way to think about this is to count the axles rather than the tires. 1 axle will divide the total weight by 2 and 2 axles will divide the total weight by 4. For example, you have a 4 tire 2 axle configuration for your trailer. Your total weight of the RV is 8000lbs. 8000/4 = 2000. 2000lbs is the load range you require for each tire.

4. Consulting Tire Load Charts
Look up a tire load chart to see which size tire and inflation pressure you will require. You can find one at the Goodyear RV website.

5. Tire Dates
Now that you know which tire to choose, head to the tire store and select the right tires for your RV trailer. When looking at the tires, you are choosing tires that have been manufactured a few months ago, so that you are choosing the best and newest tires available. To do this, look at the 4 digit number that follows the DOT code letters i.e. “DOT PDHH MLOR 3403″. The first 2 numbers of the date code represent the week that it was made. The last two numbers represent the year. So in our example, the tire was made on the 34th week of 2003. Always pick the newest tires available.

These are the steps for choosing and reading RV trailer tires. You can find more information about RV trailer tires below.

RV’s Trade-in Value to a Dealer

Determining your RV’s TRUE Wholesale Value

The first thing you need to know is that the ONLINE valuation guides for RVs are usually much higher than the values in the dealer’s copy of the NADA guide. In other words, what YOU think your RV is worth is probably much, much higher that what the DEALER will actually allow for it.

This is the same for the automotive, boat or RV industries. The dealer MUST take trade-ins at or below wholesale to ever hope to eventually make a reasonable profit. He must allow for interest payments on his used inventory, commissions to sales people, overhead, and much more.

A typical mid-sized RV dealer will have a monthly overhead of $50,000 to $150,000… or more per MONTH! Believe me, it’s not an easy game. He has laid out millions of dollars to allow you to browse a decent selection of RVs, so please… Don’t think of him as the bad guy.

Online RV Valuation Sources

Lets take a look at the online RV valuation sources and how to use them in order to place a realistic wholesale and retail value on your RV.

The best place to get fairly accurate online values for RVs is at: [http://www.nadaguides.com]

Go to the RV section and select the appropriate letter that corresponds to the make of your RV.

Now is where you’re going to have to grit your teeth and do something completely against your nature. DON’T ADD FOR ANY OPTIONS! The dealer won’t, so in this case we won’t either. Understand that we are only trying to determine what the dealer will allow for your trade-in. This doesn’t mean that you have to take it. In fact, you will be many dollars ahead if you decide to market your RV on your own, and then approach the dealer on a cash only basis…. But that’s another topic we’ll address in another article.

At the bottom of the NADA page, click on the “Get Price” button. Now, let you your jaw drop as you look at the value for: “Low Retail.”

Now emit a mild groan, because it gets worse from here. DEDUCT another 7% to 10% of that figure to establish the wholesale value in the dealer’s copy of the NADA book. This is the value that the dealer will be looking at. If your RV is an upper-line or luxury RV, or if it is a specialty RV you will need to deduct even more – 10% to 15% of the “Low Retail” figure. Since the online Low Retail prices do not match the wholesale prices in the dealer’s NADA guide, this is an educated guess for you. It will however, get you close enough to decide whether or not you are willing to trade your RV, and accept the actual cash value the dealer will allow.

Remember NOT TO ADD FOR OPTIONS! I know you tried to sneak a few in there didn’t you? Remember… The dealer NEVER adds for options when determining an ACV on a trade-in. In some rare cases such as hydraulic leveling jacks or other options that are very expensive, he MAY allow a little more, but nowhere near the actual cost of the option.

Your best bet in determining what the dealer is allowing you for your trade-in is to take the “Low Retail” figure minus 10%. (More for upper-line or specialty units.)

Certain factors such as mileage, condition and unit popularity and salability my influence the actual cash value allowed for your vehicle. Remember that we are dealing with an inexact science. We are simply trying to establish a guideline for estimating the actual amount allowed for your trade-in. Whether or not you decide to trade, is completely up to you. Now you have a way to weigh one against the other. The final decision of course… is up to you.

Benefits of RV Storage Buildings

It is not uncommon to find that some people, after making a great investment in a RV chose not to take good care of it. Instead of parking it in proper recreation vehicle storage buildings, they opt to leave their RVs at the roadside. Unless you are using your RV every day, so you will get to start the engine and ensure that it is in good working condition when you need it. Even so, it deserves better treatment as by simply parking it by the roadside, you are exposing it to the harsh weather.

On the other hand, there are people who do not need to use their RV every day and when it is finally needed, they find that the vehicle cannot be started! This will not be the case if you have taken proper care of your RV by keeping it in RV storage buildings. If you are unsure how to choose the most appropriate storage space, below are some tips to assist you.

1. Storage space
Before you decide on the space to rent, you should first check if the storage building is big enough for your vehicle. Your RV will need to have ample space to rest in. This will also free up your drive way so you will now have more space in your house.

2. Material of the building
Check to see what the metal storage building is made of. Most of these storage buildings are made from either wood or steel, with steel fast gaining popularity these few years. Of course, if the storage building is made of stronger and safer material, your RV is better assured of safety. In case of natural disasters such as hurricanes, fire or earthquakes, you do not want to find that your vehicle had perished with the building in the process! If the storage building is made of steel, you can be sure that the building is not likely to collapse in such unfortunate disasters.

3. Budget
You will be wise to set a budget for yourself before heading off to rent the storage space because different sizes will cost differing amount to rent. In fact, the length of time that you choose to rent the unit will also play a part. Therefore, you might need to look at a few more units, make some comparisons before you make your commitment, unless it is the only one in your neighbourhood. When that happens, you will still have the option of either renting or buying a steel RV storage. Such pre-fabricated steel houses are very inexpensive and if you have the space in your backyard, you might want to consider buying one as storage for your RV. That might be more economical in the long run.

The above are some pros of utilizing RV storage buildings. Make sure you exercise caution when you are looking for the most suitable RV Garages and you can be assured of a longer lifespan for your expensive vehicle.

The Benefits of Installing Solar Panels on A Recreational Vehicle

Do you like the freedom of a recreational vehicle (RV) lifestyle? Taking long RV trips on the road is a great way to spend quality time with the family. An RV is basically a house on wheels with all of the basic amenities and comfort on a home. Most people going on RV road trips would want to bring along all of their electrical gadgets such as television, personal computer, satellite dish, hair dryer, Xbox, microwave oven etc on the vehicle.

Due to the limited power supply on board the RV, you cannot run all of the appliances simultaneously because doing so will deplete the battery very fast. To overcome this issue, many recreational vehicle owners are installing RV solar panels.

There are many benefits of using a solar power kit on a motor home. Firstly, it is clean, quiet and easy to use. The solar system does not consume any gasoline or diesel and does not produce any unwanted waste also. All it does is harness the free energy from the sun and converts in into usable electricity.

In fact, an RV solar system design is quite simple. There are only 4 key components in the entire setup which are the solar panels, charge controller, battery bank and power inverter. The solar panels, usually installed on the roof of the vehicle are used to collect the energy from the sun. It is made from a semi-conductive material known as Photovoltaic (PV) cells. Solar cells have a natural tendency to generate electric current when exposed to sun light.

To use the current from the solar array, it is to be connected to a charge controller via electric cables. The charge controller will take the current from the panels and use it to charge the RV on board battery bank. Doing so will actually extend the life span of the vehicle batteries.

If you need a lot of power on your motor home because you have multiple electrical appliances, you may consider setting up separate battery bank just to fulfill the energy needs of the living compartment.

The type of battery most suitable for a solar system is the marine or deep cycle type. Deep cycle battery is very durable and can be discharged to a very low level without damaging its internal plates.

Since the batteries can only store Direct Current (DC), the power inverter will be used to convert the DC to Alternate Current (AC). Most modern electronic gadgets are designed to run primarily on AC. The final step is to run an extension cable from the inverter throughout the RV internal spaces.

How to Make a DIY RV Solar Kit

Why would any recreational vehicle (RV) owner wants a Do It Yourself (DIY) solar system? One of the reasons is the high cost of a custom built solar power setup. An RV usually has 2 options to generate electricity for the living compartment. The first option is to use a gasoline generator to produce electricity when the vehicle is parked. Some people do not fancy this option because it is noisy and creates a lot of pollution. It also has a high running cost because you have to constantly top it up with gasoline.

The second option which is more desirable is to use solar panels to generate electricity. It is clean, efficient, does not generate any pollution whatsoever and require minimum maintenance. The only drawback in the installation cost. A custom built RV solar power system which can generate up to 440 watt can cost as much as $3000! Many RV owners would rather spend the money on other improvements. Because of the high cost, many motor homes owners are turning to Do It Yourself (DIY) solar kit for RVs. The system is not perfect, nonetheless, it is capable of generating usable electricity for the living area at a lower cost.

A homemade solar system is actually quite simple. The key components are the solar panels, charge controller, battery storage unit and power inverter. The other miscellaneous parts supporting the system are amp meter, voltage meter, disconnect switches and safety cut off fuses. The heart of the entire system which is the solar panels is to be installed on the roof of the vehicle. If your RV has a flat roof, this will be a simple process. However, if the roof of the vehicle is curved, then a special mounting would have to be made to cater for it.

The mounting plays a major role to ensure the Photovoltaic (PV) panels are working at its optimum capacity. When it is laid flat on the roof, the panels will not have the best angle to capture the sun light. Movable mounting which can be adjusted or tilted would be the best solution.

All the PV panels are to be connected to the charge controller which will use the current generated to charge the battery bank. When building the battery bank, it is best to choose true deep cycle battery. This is the type of battery used on electric golf carts. They are more durable and can be discharged to a lower level without damaging its internal plates. The final step is to hook up a power inverter to the battery and then run an extension cable around the RV living compartment. You can now enjoy free electricity on the open road courtesy of the sun.

Looking for more ideas on how to use solar power for RV? Learn how to build your own DIY solar system by downloading a free copy of “30 Solar And Wind Power For Homes Videos” e-book at http://www.diysolarenergy.info/

RV Solar Panels Are a Must

RV solar panels are fast becoming a hot item among RV enthusiasts in this day and age of alternative energy. Most people who own RVs including myself are very environmentally conscious, and thus we should all consider tapping into the wealth of energy our sun has to offer, at least to compensate for the large sum of gasoline our rigs eat through, and the nasty emissions they spit out.

The first time I saw an RV equipped with solar panels was a couple years ago, and since then I have seen dozens over the course of my travels. I must say that this is huge in certain areas of the country and hasn’t quite yet reached other areas. After talking to several of these RV owners they all had one thing in common, they seemed to be very wealthy retired people who were enjoying life on the open road.

It was no coincidence they all fell into the ‘wealthy retired’ because as soon as I started doing research for RV solar panels I found that they can cost as much as the RV itself! I found one grid tie system which was right for my RV, and was quoted $21,999, and they would knock off an additional thousand if I bought it within 24 hours of receiving my quote, wow what a deal! NOT!

It wasn’t until I recently ran into a fellow RV’er at Burr Oak State Park in Ohio, when I questioned him about his RV solar panels and was amazed to hear him tell me he had done it all for less than a few hundred dollars. He claimed to have built the solar panels himself, and to my untrained eye they looked just as good as the panels on the RVs with the expensive systems installed.

He was certainly kind enough to give write down a couple of websites for me, one selling the instructions to build these solar panels and the other was his own blog which he was still working on. I must say I owe him a huge thanks, because of him my RV is now equipped with 4 panels and I get people asking me at every single campground where I got them…and the look on their face when I told them I built them is priceless.

Ontario Campgrounds

If you want to discover Ontario nature, then Ontario campgrounds may be the answer. Before you start scrolling through descriptions of the hundreds of parks available, though, it’s a good idea to think about what KIND of Ontario camping experience you’re seeking. That way, you can narrow down your selection.

Basic: Do you want a simple plot to park your tent?
Some services: Do you want somewhere to hook up a trailer to electricity?
Fully serviced: Do you want a fully serviced site with cable tv, internet, swimming pools and options to rent sailboats, canoes, etc… basically a resort where you bring your own house on wheels?
Wilderness/back country: Maybe you just want to get away from it all. Some regions of Ontario offer chances to go wilderness camping, or “back country camping”, as it’s called. Algonquin Park is a popular place for this kind of experience.

Once you have a good picture in your head of your ideal camping experience, it’s time to start looking for the Ontario campgrounds.

Campground-Booking Organizations

“Parks Canada” is a non-profit government organization that runs the national parks system in Canada. They offer camping at Bruce Peninsula National Park.

“Ontario Parks” is the non-profit government organization that runs the provincial parks system and they operate campgrounds in some of those parks.

“Conservation Ontario” is another non-profit group that oversees the many regional conservation areas that operate campgrounds in Ontario.

Plan ahead

The best Ontario campgrounds book up early, so if you’re camping in Ontario in the summer (high season), and want your first choice, PLAN AHEAD by several months if possible. Some of the provincial campgrounds do hold back a few “non-reservable sites,” though. These are given away on a first-come-first-served basis for last-minute travellers.

Camping in Kauai – State and Private Campgrounds

Kauai has four campgrounds located in its state parks. Two of these, both located in upland forest meadows are easily accessible by car, one, on a beach, is best reached by four-wheel, and the fourth is a backpacker’s campground at the end of the Na Pali’s 11-mile trail.

Koke`e State Park – Mosquito Free, Upland Camping on Kauai

Two campgrounds are found here in Koke`e State Park’s cool and misty uplands just a few miles from the desert dry Waimea Canyon. Many of the State Park’s numerous hiking trails begin near the campgrounds and meander through fragrant cedar and eucalyptus forests, under ancient koa and towering redwoods and past fragrant blossoms and succulent fruit.

It’s not what you might expect from a tropical vacation, but it is a very beautiful rainforest and for those interested in Hawaii’s flora and fauna very intriguing. The area is steeped in legend and also home to one of the island’s most magnificent vistas that opens up to the Na Pali. And an extra bonus – the mosquitos don’t care much for the coolness, so you will rarely see one, but you will see lots of colorful birds that also appreciate the mosquito free climes.

The temperature typically dips into the 40s at night up here at 3,600 feet, so bring or rent warm sleeping bags (or stay in one of the well heated cabins, cottages or YWCA hostel). The temperatures are quite pleasant in the daytime, and you will likely only want a lightweight rain jacket.

Koke`e State Park Campground

The State Park campground is situated in a long meadow bordered by tall evergreens. The Koke`e Natural History Museum and main office of the privately run Koke`e Lodge (with a restaurant/bar) also are right here. Like most of Hawaii’s State Park camp sites, it’s only $5 per tent site for the night. Camping permits can be booked up to a year in advance. If you’re not ok with getting up early though, this may not be the place for you – the resident roosters crow at dawn.

Camp Sloggett

The other campground in Koke`e State Park is Camp Sloggett, named after the family who donated this to the YWCA in 1938. This includes the tent sites (with showers and restrooms), a charming 1925 built lodge along with the bunkhouse (hostel) and beautiful grounds, all maintained by the Kauai YWCA. This is a fun place to stay – you’ll feel like your back at summer camp! There’s a historical fire pit with seats for 40 and lots of activities.

The campground’s rates are significantly higher than the Koke`e State Campground: $10 per person opposed to $5 per site, but this is a really fun and nice place for families, while the Koke`e State Park campground and private cabins mainly attract hunters and backpackers.

Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park

This is backcountry camping for experienced backpackers and hikers. It is set on the Na Pali’s stunning rugged coastline at the 11-mile turn around point for the Kalalau Trail. Camping fee: $10, and instead of per site as with the other two, it’s per person on the Na Pali.

Camping on the Beach at Kauai’s Polihale State Park

This Polihale State Park campground is located on a strikingly gorgeous white sand beach on the sun drenched west side of the island near where the Na Pali Coast ends. It is an extension of Barking Sands Beach and has huge sand dunes, as tall as 100 feet in places.

The downsides to this campground: you need to traverse about 5 miles on a pot hole ridden dirt road. Most don’t go here without 4-wheel drive.

The other downside is that this is not a safe swimming beach due to its treacherous currents. There is the possibility of swimming in Queen’s Bath, a rock lined pool on the south end, but Queen’s Bath is only safe when the surf is small or the ocean is calm. Otherwise it is very dangerous. And there’s no lifeguard at this beach.

On the upside: the setting is as mentioned awesome and you’ll have romantic sunsets, views of the Na Pali, shore fishing (when it’s calm), restrooms, picnic shelters, camping areas, outdoor showers and drinking water. Camp sites here are $5 per night.

Camping Kauai can be a really fun way to save money and meet locals and other visiting campers, if you enjoy camping. And if you do, there could be just the perfect campground for you on the Garden Isle.