Driving an RV for the First Time? Read These Helpful Tips!

For most, owning a RV is a big dream come true. And with owning a RV, one must learn to drive this huge house on wheels! The word intimidating may not even come close to relating uncomfortable some may feel at the wheel of their RV….at first! But with time, practice and these helpful hints, you’ll be driving your RV like it is the easiest thing to ever do!

First, we need to address driver comfort.  So go ahead and just sit in the drivers seat and adjust everything to your liking. The seat most likely has a minimum of 4 ways to adjust, so get it just right. You need to be able to reach the pedals comfortably as well as be able to reach all of the controls too. Long distance driving can take a small toll on the body so make sure you’re dialed in!

Next, mirrors and camera’s (if applicable) need to be adjusted. Your rear-view mirror isn’t as important as it was in your vehicle, however your side mirrors are extremely important!  And if your RV came with a backup camera or you installed one yourself, double check it to make sure it is angled the correct way.

Now it’s time to practice your turning, parking, backing up, etc. You can do this by just hitting the Hroad or  you can find a large parking lot and set up a test course for yourself.  Practice makes perfect, well almost! So where you’re out there here are a few more tips while on the road.

Don’t you just wish the road would just stay straight forever? Well that’s not going to happen and you’re going to have to learn to master turning.  Don’t just turn the wheel when you reach the corner otherwise your back end will wind up eating the curb and quite possibly others things too. Instead, swing out just a bit into the intersection and then take your turn, slowly.  Don’t worry, you’ll get it soon enough.

When you’re on the road don’t concentrate on the lines right in front of you. Instead use the wide-screen windshield you have and look about four to five cars in front of you. This will automatically center you in your lane. Also, since you’re up much higher you’ll be able to see much more of what’s going ahead of you. Take advantage of this and avoid sticky situations.

The more you get out and drive your RV, the more comfortable you’ll get and the more confidence you’ll gain. Practicing in a parking lot is a great idea if you’re very uncomfortable. And a good rule of thumb, if you’re ever in doubt, get out of the RV and take a look to make sure the space you’re driving in to or out of is clear. Pretty soon you’ll be a pro just like the rest of the RVers on the road!

If you have any funny first time RV driving stories or helpful tips you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them! You can post here or post on our Facebook page.

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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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Signs You Many Need a New RV Mattress…Bed Bugs!

There’s been what’s called the Bed Bug Epidemic that began in early 2010 and so far it’s shown no signs of stopping. Gross, right? So it may be time to invest in a new mattress for your RV, travel trailer or fifth-wheel. And who doesn’t love getting a new mattress? Time isn’t really the best telltale sign that you need a new mattress. Here are few signs that it’s time to replace your mattress:

  • You are uncomfortable when you lie down, and wake up tired and achy.
  • You see visible signs of wear and tear in your mattress. There is sagging, or you notice lumps. You can hear the bed springs when you lie down.
  • You’ve tried rotating your mattress, but it doesn’t feel more comfortable.
  • You suffer from allergies, and have had the mattress for a long time. Dust mite feces can double the weight of a mattress in ten years, and even the cleanest of beds can have dust mites. There are other ways of addressing the dust mite problem, but it helps to start with a clean, mite-free mattress.
  • You are older than forty and have had the mattress around ten years. Your body becomes more sensitive to pressure points with age. Pressure points can lead to tossing and turning and disturbed sleep which can be bad for your over all health.

Think you may have bed bugs? Here are the signs:

1)    You have bed bug bites on your back and maybe even all over your body. The bites are usually red, swollen and clustered together.2)    Bed bugs bite around areas that don’t have hair; if this is the case with your insect bites, you have bed bugs.

3)    Waking up with insect bites. If you only noticed the bites in the morning after waking up, those bites are sure bed bugs signs. Bed bugs are nocturnal and usually come out past midnight.

4)    Small, round seed-like things under your bed that resemble poppy seeds. These are eggs and definite signs of bed bugs.

5)    You have dark brown or black beads or smudges on your bed. Bed bugs excrete where they eat so these can be bed bug droppings that have been crushed while you move around in bed.

6)    Mysterious blood on the beddings. When a bed bug is bloated with blood after feeding, it releases some of the blood to gain back mobility.

7)    Discarded bed bug skin. Bed bugs pass 5 levels of growth before they reach maturity. At each stage they feed and then cast off their old skin. Discarded skin might be hard to see, except through a magnifying glass.

8)    Sweet smells. Infested areas can have a smell that’s been compared to almonds, coriander, raspberries (rotting or ripe) old granola bars and even old shoes. If you’ve been living with them long enough, you might have grown accustomed to their smell and not be able to tell. [Bed Bugs Signs]

So really, don’t let the bed bugs bite! And make sure you’re getting good rest on your mattress. If not, then it’s definitely time to start thinking about investing in a new one. Stop by today to checkout a mattress and other great RVing and camping accessories!

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Hey Nichols, My RV Can Fit in that Gas Station, Right?!

Knowing how tall your new RV, travel trailer or fifth-wheel is very, very important. I mean you don’t want to pull into a covered gas station and take the air conditioning off! Or worse, you completely damage the covering of the gas station or drive thru!  It seems like common sense, but sometimes it’s just overlooked.  Believe me, I have friends that’s it’s happened to.  You really do need to know exactly what spaces you can and more importantly can’t fit into.

Here’s a funny clip of an interview with Drew Barrymore about her one month RV roadtrip across the US and her experience of not knowing the height of her RV:

Pretty funny, right? Well I guess so if you’re a celebrity with deep pockets. Most of us would most likely think twice about RVing again..or for a while at least.  So make sure you know the height of your RV, travel trailer or fifth-wheel so you don’t make the same mistake.  Feel free to comment with any questions!

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RVs, Travel Trailers and Fifth-Wheels Aren’t Just for Camping!

RVs, motor homes, fifth-wheels and travel trailers…they aren’t just for camping!  They are all very versatile in that they really complement sports and hobbies. From tailgating, bike touring, geo-caching, bird watching and winter get-a-ways, these home away from homes can be used in just about any outing.

Tailgating is all time favorite past time to do with old friends. Whether it be a football game, college or pro, NASCAR….or any sport for that matter a RV is the perfect part host!  And if your has a RV with an outdoor kitchen, even better!  But no matter what, RV, motor home, fifth-wheel or travel trailer it will make for a great pre-event kickoff!  And it’s so convenient.

Next time you go out RVing you should take along the bikes. It’s a great way to get exercise and to see the area in a more up close and personal way. You can mount bicycles to the nose or tail of any RV for easy access.

Geocaching can takes you search upon search upon search so it’s great that a RV, etc., can keep you on your treasure hunt for longer. If you’re not too familiar with geocaching, check out my blog about it by clicking here.

Cold weather certainly does not mean the end of RVing fun. From snowmobiling and skiing to just escaping cabin fever, RVers are still able to enjoy their favorite winter activities and still have plenty of storage for all of the winter sport equipment.  A “toy hauler”  allow storage for your snowmobile, sled or skis. And after a nice day on the slopes you can get back into your RV and enjoy a nice hot cup of coco.

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Fifth-Wheel Towing

If you’re looking at towing a fifth-wheel there are definitely some great benefits when it comes to stability. The only down side would be the space that it takes up in your truck bed.

Not as much attention is given to balance, hitching procedures, and weight restrictions for fifth-wheel trailers because they are basically very stable. A disadvantage that the fifth-wheel has over conventional trailers is that much of the truck bed space is not available. The fifth-wheel hitch occupies the center of the truck bed and the hitch pin is in front of the center line of the tow vehicle’s rear axle. Hitch weight of fifth-wheel trailers is usually around 20 percent of the trailer weight. Hitches are rated for up to 15,000 pounds of gross trailer weight. Here are some terms used to describe typical fifth-wheel hitch components:

  • Fifth-wheel Plate: Unit that contains hitch plate, plate jaws, and handle (mounted in the truck bed).
  • Handle: Device used to release or lock the plate jaws.
  • Hitch Plate: “Wheel” that allows the trailer to rotate.
  • Pin: The connecting device attached to a fifth-wheel trailer (designed to fit into the plate jaws mounted in the truck bed).
  • Pin Box: Structure attached to the bottom front section of the trailer frame (the pin is attached to the bottom).
  • Plate Jaws: Holds the pin.
  • Side Rails: Support rails, bolted to the tow truck bed (supports the fifth-wheel hitch).

If you’d like to discuss the pros and cons of getting a fifth-wheel I’d love to help out!

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