Add this To Your Must Haves…Medical Alert Flag for RVers

Have you ever wondered how fast an ambulance or medical team would be able to find you in campground loaded with RVs or what if you’re in the middle of nowhere?  If you’re an RVer with any type of medial issue, a medial alert flag will help to identify you that much quicker!

After Shirley had open-heart surgery, she was concerned about how Emergency Medical crews would be able to find her quickly if “we were camping out in the middle of nowhere.”

Shirley says she did a lot research and couldn’t find any medical alert flags anywhere. “So I made one.”

After talking with a number of RVers, she thought others who had medical concerns might be interested and decided to make the flags available for $20 which includes a storage tube, ID label and shipping.

For information about how to order the flag go to http://www.shirley123-lizard.com/, or contact Shirley by email at: Shirleym6951@sbcglobal.net [Women RVers]

Medical condition or not we think this is a great addition for any RV, travel trailer, pop-up or fifth-wheel.  And it might be especially handy if you have children that camp with you as well.  What are some of your RVing safety must-haves?

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Uphill, Downhill…Save Your RVs Brakes With These Tips!

Mountain driving can be a bit challenging at time and it can be especially hard on your RVs brakes. You need to be extra cautious on these roads and definitely take your time. And it’s always good to know in advance just exactly what your RV is capable of handling.

Uphill Tips

When climbing long inclines, your RV needs to be operated within its power band.

The power band is a span of engine RPMs where you have the maximum horsepower available to handle the extra load imposed when going up long inclines.

This becomes even more noticeable with diesel engines. Their power band is usually a rather narrow band of RPMs. When operated within their assigned power band, you will have a tremendous amount of pulling power. Fall below that RPM, and it will do you no good to push harder on the throttle. All you’ll get is more black smoke coming out of the exhaust.

To stay within the power band, you must downshift to a lower gear, and you may even be required to  let off the throttle a bit so the engine can work more comfortably. Pushing too hard will only create more heat and increase the likelihood of overheating.

The whole point when climbing long inclines is to adjust your gearing, so you will remain within the comfortable RPM range that your engine likes. Maintaining a certain speed because the sign on the side of the road says that’s the speed limit may be impossible. Slow down and use a lower gear instead.

Downhill Tips

So you’ve safely crested the high point in your RV. Now it’s time to come down the other side of the hill.This is where you make your engine and transmission work to hold you back. That way, you save your brakes for when you really need them.

The time to set up your downhill decent strategy is at the top of the hill — well before you’ve picked up so much speed that you’re in trouble.

You only have one set of brakes. If they get too hot, they may fade away and your RV will become a runaway train — a situation rapidly headed for disaster.

Experience will teach you how many gears down you need to drop from top gear in order to descend a hill without constant use of the brakes. If you’re new to steep descents, it’s best to error on the safe side by going down a hill in too low a gear. You may be slow, but at least you’ll be safe. It’s very hard to go back and have a do over, if you picked too high a gear at the top of the hill.

Many diesel engines are equipped with a retarder that will help hold you back. It functions by blocking off some of the exhaust gases from your engine. This helps to keep the engine from revving too high when the weight of your RV is trying to push you down the hill.

Some large diesel pusher motorhomes are also equipped with jake brakes.  A jake brake is an engine-mounted device that turns some of the cylinders into an air compressor when you let your foot off the throttle. Jake brakes are a very effective way to control your descent speed without the need for constant braking.

If you find yourself going downhill faster than the engine and transmission can hold you back, your braking should be done in short bursts. It’s far better to brake hard for a shorter distance than to ride the brakes for a long period of time.

The longer you apply the brakes, the hotter they will become.  At some point, they may just fade away — leaving you helpless and unable to slow your RV to a safe speed. Overheating your brakes can also do permanent damage to your RV’s brake components. Rotors, drums, and shoes can all be quickly destroyed by riding your brakes too long down a long hill. [RV Road Trips]

When you’re RVing on a mountainous road, we think you should just enjoy the ride and take it nice and slow and be safe rather than sorry.

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Reduce Your RV Clutter By Using These Tips!

Clutter is not very pleasant regardless where you are, but it can be even more unpleasent when you’re home is 38 feet long. Unclutter your RV with these simple tips:

1. Go Electronic – do as much online bill paying and baking as possible online which will free up unnecessary mail clutter

2. Use decorative leather baskets and containers to keep remotes, cameras, glasses, pens, etc. in. This will make it easy to access and put away highly used items as well as secure them while traveling.

3. Use the One In/One Out rule. That means when bring a new thing into the RV, you must get rid of one thing. Things add up very easily and this will also add to the weight which you must be mindful of.

4. Multiple Use Items – when you do buy new things for the RV make a rule that it must do more than just one thing

5.  Quarterly Cleaning – clean out the RV four time a year, twice a year if you’re not a full-timer. Donate items that you haven’t use in the past 3 months and get rid of anything that is a duplicate.

6. Collapse-able Items – keep an eye out for items that can easily collapse for easier storage

7. Organize your outside storage.  Use plastic bins to keep your items safe.

In the life of a full-time RVer less is usually more. How do you keep your RV clutter-free?

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RV Skid Recovery Tips

Skidding on the road in your RV might be one of the  more scary things that can happen to you. I think it’s important to understand the reasons why skidding can happen as well as how to recover from them should you find yourself in that situation. Here’s an article that I found very help and wanted to share:

Skidding occurs whenever the force applied to the tire (from braking, cornering or acceleration) by the vehicle exceeds the tire’s traction. Tires deliver the most force to the road surface just before they “break loose” and begin to skid. Once they start to skid, you lose both tractive force and directional control. Therefore, your goal must be to keep the tires below the threshold of skidding. Once a vehicle starts skidding sideways, so it’s perpendicular to the direction of travel, it is almost impossible to recover. Hence, you have to work quickly and decisively to stop a skid.

The dynamics of skidding and recovery are the same on any surface, although tires will skid easier and at lower speeds on slippery surfaces. Abrupt turning maneuvers and overreacting with the brakes cause most skids. Many drivers panic when a vehicle starts to slide and then slam on the brakes reflexively. This is usually the worst thing you could do.

There are several types of skids, and by understanding them, you can react more effectively. The ones that occur while driving straight are usually caused by braking too hard for the available traction (even if the road is dry). If you find the coach skewing sideways without braking, it’s usually because of extremely slippery surfaces, such as “black ice,” combined with a wind gust or other unsettling force, like a bump or unintended driver input. Skidding in a curve is usually caused by excessive speed, excessive braking (for available traction) or a combination of the two. To prevent a skid on slippery roads, drive slowly, and steer and brake more smoothly and with less force than on dry roads.

Vehicles respond to a skid in various ways, depending on factors like tires, loading, balance and available grip. Oversteer is the term used to describe “tail swing,” when only the rear wheels skid and the back tries to pass the front. It’s called oversteer because a small steering input seems to produce a large change in direction of the body. Rear-wheel skids often occur when a driver brakes heavily or applies too much power on a slippery surface.

Understeer describes a front-wheel-only skid where turning the steering wheel seems to have little effect. The vehicle just seems to continue “plowing” forward and refuses to turn. Most front-wheel skids are caused by braking harder or driving faster than traction conditions allow. If the front and rear axles all slide equally, it’s called “neutral” handling.

To recover from a skid, you have to reduce the input(s) that caused the skid (braking or turning) and then get the wheels rolling again to regain control. For example, if overbraking started the skid, ease off the brakes. Then, if the motorhome is still traveling straight, reapply the brakes just below the threshold of skidding. If the tail swung out because of too much throttle, ease up on the accelerator, but don’t slam on the brakes.

If the motorhome is sliding sideways, turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid enough to get the wheels turning again. When only the front wheels are skidding sideways (understeer) due to cornering, reduce the angle the front wheels are turned until they regain traction. As the vehicle comes back on course, you may need to countersteer, or you might skid in the opposite direction. After you get control of the steering again, use the brakes carefully to get speed under control.

Practice on a flat, empty snow- and ice-covered parking lot where there are no curbs, dividers or other obstructions like trees. Drive around to get the feel of your coach, and try sudden braking and turning maneuvers to get the feel of how it reacts. Then practice skid recovery until it becomes an automatic response. [Source: Motorhome Magazine]

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10 Tips to RV Traveling on the Cheap

RVing expenses can add up fast and it’s great to save money here and there to keep within your RVing.  Below are some money saving tips that we’ve found to be very pocket friendly:

  1. Buy a RV that fits Your Budget. Consider the options of both new and used RVs. It may be used, but it will still be new to you.
  2. Travel during the off-season. You can get lower prices if you camp off-season.  Theme parks and other attractions will also discount prices during the off-season as well. Utilize this by starting your RV travel earlier or later to overlap into the off-season to save money.
  3. Stay at Low Cost RV Sites. Instead of staying at big commercial RV campgrounds, look for sites that might be off the beaten path. You might want to consider BLM land as well.
  4. Boondocking! There are several places that you can stay overnight for free or even a few days. Just make sure you’re prepared with enough water as most places will not have hookups.
  5. A Longer Stay. Some campgrounds will offer discounts if you stay for a longer period of time. Call ahead and see if arrangements can be made before you get there.
  6. Food Coupons. Occasionally you’ll want to go out to eat. Try to look for coupons in the free local newspapers or go early for early bird specials.
  7. Regional Bargains. Each state is wanting you to come visit so check their tourism websites for discounts.
  8. Grocery Shop Smart. There’s no need to spend all of your money at one grocery store. Check out thrift bakeries, dollars stores, discount stores, roadside stands, farmers markets, etc. for your necessities.
  9. Do Your Own RV Maintenance. Some RV maintenance can be done by yourself and leave the big stuff to the professionals. Fix only what you feel comfortable with. After all, your RV is a big investment and you want it taken care of properly.
  10. Jobs on the Road. There are lots of jobs that you can do while RVing such as working at the campground you’re staying , also called work-camping.

We hope that these money saving tips help you out! And if you’re have some tips you’d like to share, we would love to hear from you!

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How To Handle A RV Blowout! A Must Watch Video!

When one or more tires of your RV looses air rapidly it’s hard not to panic. Here’s a video we came across that will help you understand what you need to do should this happen to you. But we’re hoping you never have a blowout!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkwOE1yKY5c&feature=player_embedded#at=55

Take the precautions necessary to help avoid a blowout situation such as making sure you’re not over your RV carrying weight, check your tires to make sure that they are properly inflated and check the air pressure often.  If you’ve experienced a blowout let us know what you did to help you make it through it. Safe driving fellow RVers!

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What You Need to Know About RV and Travel Trailer Locks

You lock up your RV, trailer hitch or fifth-wheel and think it’s safe to leave to go check out a few sites but only to come back to either your entire rig missing or very valuable items missing from storage compartments. Both are frightening because what you thought was secure has been breached and leads to a very big headache to recover your items via insurance.

Take the steps necessary to ensure this doensn’t happen in one simple solution, change your locks!

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that the storage compartments on at least 75% of all travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, and motorhomes are accessed by the same key.  If the key for your outside storage compartments has CH751 printed on it, then your storage areas can be accessed by almost every RVer on the road.

Sometimes when dealers get used RVs in on trade or purchased from auctions, they don’t get keys with them.  Almost all keys can be ordered at RV dealerships, including master keys that will open all doors of a specific brand lockset.  If the dealer doesn’t have the correct key when it comes time to sell a used RV, they will just give out master keys instead.  It’s quicker and cheaper than replacing the door locksets.

So, you might want to think twice before you leave valuable items in your RV storage compartments.  It sure would be a shame if your fancy tailgating barbeque turned up missing one day.  Those matching outdoor recliners you have were probably pretty expensive too.  Those types of things are easy pickings when left in your RV storage compartment.  If you leave your RV trailer in public storage when you’re not using it, you might want to remove some of the more valuable accessories that you keep onboard.

The point I’m trying to make is that a fresh-from-the-factory RV with all factory locks in place can be entered in less than a minute by anyone who is aware of the shortcuts that the factories take to save money.  Standardization is good for the factory, but doesn’t leave you with much security.  When you turn in for the night or leave your RV unattended, always lock the deadbolt!

A common saying is that locks simply keep honest people honest.  If a thief really wants something, they will get it.  There’s only so much you can do to prevent theft.  Hopefully, if you throw a couple stumbling blocks in their way, they’ll go after the next guy who didn’t bother. [Source: RV Road Trip]

Here’s a video that shows your how to replace your locks:

There are also special travel  trailer hitch locks and  fifth-wheel hitch locks are made specifically to prevent theft of your rig. Cable locks are also very handy to have around and are very universal. For new locks and parts check out Jim’s RV Centers Parts Department. They’ll also be able to help you with any questions you have about locks and lock accessories.

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Plan Your RV Emergency Escape Plan Today!

You most likely have or had an emergency escape plan for your stationary home, but odds are that you don’t have one for your home away from home! Plan your RV emergency escape plan today!!  Here are some tips to get you started:

* In the event of an emergency the mission is to get everybody out of the RV quickly and in an orderly fashion.

*You should have an emergency escape plan for the front of the RV and the rear of the RV.

* Time is your biggest enemy if there is a fire.  An RV can fill with smoke in as little as one minute.

* Design an escape plan specific to the needs of the individuals in the RV.

* Sketch your plan on paper and indicate which windows and doors can be used to escape. Review the plan with everybody in the RV. Make sure each adult understands their duties when it comes to assisting others.

* Make sure everybody knows where the emergency escape window is located and how to use it.

* Make sure everybody knows how to use other windows and door latches in the RV, before there is an emergency.

* Practice your escape plan so everybody is familiar with how to get out of the RV in case of an emergency.

* If possible, designate a meeting place outside where everybody will meet immediately after exiting the RV so you   can get accountability.

* When everybody is safely out of the RV call 911 for help.

* Never re-enter a burning RV! [Source: Open Road]

We hope that no one ever find themselves in a position of harm, but should an accident happen, it’s vital to have an emergency espace plan in place for you sake and those traveling with you. It’s also a great idea to include your pets if you travel with any as well. The top priority is the safety of you and other, not the RV. Safe travels fellow RVers!

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RV Add-on’s that Make RVing that Much Better!

Today’s RVs are usually loaded with great amenities like flat screen TV’s, DVD players, awesome sound systems, etc. and definitely make your RVing lifestyle very comfortable. But how can you make it even better?  There are tons of add-on’s you can do to take your RV up a notch.

The Best RV Accessories

A self-aligning satellite dish is one of the most popular RV add-ons. After all, you don’t want to miss your favorite TV show while you’re rolling down the highway.

You want to be entertained outdoors too? You can have your side storage compartment converted to an outdoor entertainment center. Many different things can be mounted in the side compartment of an RV, including stereos and TVs.

If you’ve ever been to a NASCAR race and walked through the pits, then you’ve probably noticed that the luxury coaches that the teams use as their corporate headquarters are decked out with every possible RV accessory you could possibly imagine. When they open their outdoor storage compartments, you can find everything from ice machines to extra freezer space for the kitchen!

Do you like to show your stuff when it comes to outdoor cooking? How about a swing-out stainless steel grill? You can have one mounted so it swings around the end of your RV trailer creating a picnic table, as well as a cooking station.

An RV awning is the most desired accessory of all. Many RVs come from the factory without this marvelous shade maker. RV dealers can easily add this to the sales ticket and have it ready for you in no time at all.

You might also want to consider RV window awnings for every window. They help keep your RV cool in hot climates. Plus, they keep the glaring sun out of your eyes when you’re inside the RV.

The list of available RV accessories aimed at making life easier on the road (or perhaps just more luxurious) is virtually endless. Many can be added during the building process at the factory. Your salesman can include most items when you’re ordering your new RV.

For items that you may want to add later on down the road, your RV dealer will be happy to arrange installation for you. When it comes to installing some electronic devices, they may bring in an outside specialist to make sure everything is done to perfection.

You say having a back up camera would be a good idea, but your motorhome didn’t come with one? Not to worry. One can be added in a matter of a few hours labor.

Everything from a talking navigational GPS unit to a brand new dishwasher or ice maker can be added to your RV before or after you drive it off the lot. Pretty much the only limitation is your imagination and the size of your wallet! [Source: RV Road Trips]

You can always head to Jim’s RV where they can help you find the perfect add-on that you’re looking for. What add-on have you been considering for your RV?

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RVers…Make It A Valentine’s Day Road Trip!

Valentine’s Day will soon be here once again. Instead of getting the standard gift, why not plan a romantic road trip for the both of you to enjoy. There are two ways to do this. Either plan the trip yourself and surprise your partner or do the planning part of the trip together, but make it special by talking about the places you’d love to go and see together.  Below are six tips to get you started planning:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Find a couple of romantic places nearby that you both enjoy. Maybe you like wineries or romantic outdoor settings? Do you both love the beach? Just remember not to plan too much. This is not a military expedition.
  • Create a soundtrack for your romantic weekend. Do the two of you have a song? Do you have favorite bands or music from those romantic moments in your past? Create a playlist of all your music and bring it along to listen to while you are driving or for slow dancing in the motorhome or around the campfire. This will not only bring back those great romantic memories, but it will also stimulate some great conversation.
  • Don’t forget the special things that you might need on your trip. Some couples want to bring a bottle of champagne to share by the campfire. Others might want to bring extra blankets to use while they lay under the stars together at night. Candles, flowers, and other items can help set the mood.
  • Consider bringing essentials to help you remember the trip. You will at least want to bring a camera or video camera, and maybe a tripod.
  • The person you are taking with you is the reason for this trip. Before you go the two of you should each think about reasons why you want to spend time together exploring. A great way to show your partner you thought about them would be to bring a few small gifts to surprise each other with along the way. Does your partner like chocolate? Maybe they love a certain cologne or perfume? Is there something special you could give them that would let them know you were thinking about this trip with them?
  • Mementos are a good way to remember a great trip. As you travel along don’t forget to pick up little items that will help you remember significant events and destinations you experienced. Plan to look for these special items on your way. [Source: RV News]

 

Remember not to stress out on this RV trip; romance is the goal! Get planning and enjoy your lovely Valentine’s Day road trip.

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