Driving Your RV in Poor Weather

Traveling in your RV is a real joy and you generally don’t have a lot to worry about. But, occasionally, you’re going to run into some bad weather, perhaps even dangerous weather. The worst weather phenomenon, like severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, or hurricanes, can cause major to catastrophic damage to your RV if the conditions are sufficiently dire. If you do encounter bad weather, it pays to be prepared and to know how to deal with it, assuming you can’t simply evade it.

Monitor the Situation

The best defense against severe weather is correct and up-to-date information on its severity, current location, and projected path. To this end, make sure that you download some reliable weather-monitoring apps on your smartphone. Check around and find ones that are well-rated. Having a few options at any given time means that you’re not reliant on any one of them for correct information and can cross-reference the apps to determine the situation’s true conditions. You can go a step further and purchase an NOAA radio for your RV. It’s great in areas where there’s poor cell service or when your phone is turned off or the battery is dead. Speaking of dead phone batteries, prevent this by purchasing a portable phone charger. They store charge that can then be used to recharge your phone if the electric grid goes down.

Have Emergency Supplies

Have some basic emergency supplies stocked in your RV. These include food and water rations (non-perishable canned or vacuum-sealed staples and a minimum of 10 gallons of water are a good start), flashlights and extra batteries, heavy-duty blankets (warm, large, and water-resistant), and a well-stocked first aid kit.

Know When to Stay Put and When to Seek Better Shelter

If the weather is something that you can ride out in your RV, be sure to stow all of your belongings and close up your RV. This will reduce the chances that your RV is damaged or that property is lost. Be aware of when the severe weather is going to hit and plan to be stopped somewhere to ride it out. Don’t try to outrun severe weather as you don’t want to be caught out on the road when it hits. If the weather is so severe that you’re likely not to be safe in your RV, immediately seek better shelter in a local town or community. Your RV can always be replaced and you’re better off riding out the worst weather in a brick or concrete structure.

If there’s a longer forecast that predicts severe weather in the next few days, you as an RVer always have the option of picking up and leaving the area before it hits, which is often the best plan.

Find Your RV Supplies at Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this summer to tour a new or used motorhome or travel trailer. Find one that’s perfect for your travel and vacation plans and leave the lot in your new RV today. Not on the market for a new RV? Jim’s RV Center can also help with RV service, parts, and accessories.

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Traveling with Pets in an RV

At Jim’s RV Center, the staff has years of experience getting everyone – including furry and feathered friends – ready to go on adventures across the highways of America. Whether you choose to travel in a new or used travel trailer, fifth wheel, truck camper, or Class A or C, we’ll help get everyone to the vacation destination in style and comfort.

When traveling, there are certain necessary items to bring along and steps to take to ensure everyone onboard is entertained, comfortable, and secure. When traveling with pets, these same conditions apply plus a little extra since our faithful friends rely on us for everything.

For those new to traveling with pets or experienced pet providers, these tips can help make the trip the best it can be.

Dogs

  • Maintain your dog’s regular walking routine plus a couple of extra to prevent accidents as traveling doesn’t mean your pup’s system will be accommodating.
  • Secure your dog in a metal crate that is itself secured so your pup isn’t sliding around the RV. In case of an accident, a metal carrier provides more protection than a lightweight carrier.
  • Provide ample water throughout the day and use non-spill food and water bowls.
  • Bring your pets favorite toys for entertainment.
  • Have your pet’s health information available, including the veterinarian’s name, address, phone number and any medications.
  • Do not rely on just a collar and standard leash when taking your dog outside the RV. Use a harness which is much sturdier than a leash and provides better control.
  • Do not change your dog’s food as this leads to upset stomachs. Stick with what he’s used to eating.

Cats

  • Cats are wily creatures, so be sure they are contained in a metal carrier. An open door to the outside is an invitation for kitty to escape.
  • If you let your cat out, put her in a separate room and secure the door and windows.
  • Use a carrier large enough to hold a small litter pan and a non-spill water/food bowl.
  • Bring a cover to place over the carrier if your cat is nervous or afraid.
  • Do not change the menu and have vet information readily available.

Make Jim’s RV Center your first stop before heading out of town for any necessary upgrades, services or accessories.

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The Winter Months And Frostbite New York!

The freezing temperatures of winter can bring with it some scary and severe complications from the cold. Generally, when you think of frostbite you may think of extreme sports such as mountain climbing or unexpectedly getting stuck in the cold for an extended amount of time and not being prepared for it. However, you can be at risk anytime you are exposed to temperatures below freezing.

Whenever you are in below freezing temperatures you can be at risk of frostbite. Generally, it affects your extremities including fingers and toes and hands and feet. However, it can also affect your nose, ears, cheeks, forehead and shins as these areas are generally exposed to the cold and they do not have as much blood circulating to keep them warm. You are also at an increased risk of frostbite in higher altitudes due to the cold temperature, hypoxia or reduced oxygen intake while breathing and dehydration from the drier atmosphere. Frostbite is considered a medical emergency due to the destruction of your tissues. You can take steps to prevent frostbite, especially if you will be RVing in the cold temperatures this winter.

• Protect any skin that is exposed to temperatures either at or below freezing. If it is cold enough your flesh can freeze, whether hiking, skiing or snowmobiling.
• Keep your clothing dry. Wet clothing does not protect your skin.
• Keep moving in cold temperatures. Physical exertion keeps the blood pumping and warming your body.
• Make sure you stay well nourished to give your body the fuel it needs to keep you warm.
• Stay hydrated. If you become dehydrated, your blood thickens and will not circulate as well.
• Cover all parts of your body including your head, ears and hands. You can also use neck warmers and hand and foot warmers to help keep you warm.
• Pack extra socks, gloves, boots, hats and other items in case those you are wearing get wet.

Follow the above recommendations when you head out this winter in your Used New York RV. For more information visit trailerlife.com. And if you need any help keeping your New York RV warm too, visit your local New York new and used RV dealer, Jim’s RV!

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Sun Safety Tips New York!

 

We all love summer and the sun!  However, as you enjoy all the fun summer fun activities with your family while RVing it is important to keep them safe and happy!

Here are some basic heat safety tips that you and your family should strive to follow:

  1. Drink cool water to avoid dehydration.  In the hot summer sun it is smart to drink water continuously in small amounts.  About 1 cup every 20 minutes is ideal.  Do not drink liquids with dehydrating caffeine, alcohol, or heavy amounts of sugar.
  2. Dress appropriately.  Lightweight, loose fitted, light colored clothing is best for staying cool.
  3. Protect your skin from the sun.  Wear hats and waterproof/sweat proof, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPH of over 15–reapply throughout the day!  Sunburns make it hard for your body to dissipate heat.
  4. Wear sunglasses.  Protect your eyes from the sun’s intense rays!
  5. Avoid exercising and strenuous activities in the heat of the day, especially between 11am and 3pm.
  6. Move into an air-conditioned place or take a bath or shower to cool off.
  7. Eat small meals and eat more often.  Avoid high protein foods.
  8. If outdoors, take frequent breaks from your activities to cool off.
  9. Get trained in first aid and know the signs of heat related emergencies.
  10. If signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration occur take prompt action and seek emergency medical attention  immediately.

Remember to follow these tips and stop by Jim’s RV for all your RV needs to have a safe, fun filled summer!

To get more tips on how to beat the heat, visit: http://www.almanac.com/heat-index-chart

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New York RVers: Keep Your Laptops Safe

Laptop computers are a major part of the modern RVer community. We have instant communication with friends via things such as e-mail and chat,  access to our bank accounts and bill paying services, and a host of information about whatever we might need in our lives as full-time RV travelers. Unfortunately,  laptops (and other computers or tablets) are certainly an attraction to thieves. Here are some tips to help keep your experience with your computer as safe as possible.

Keeping Your Data Safe: If you store sensitive information on your laptop, make sure if your computer falls into the wrong hands, at least the information is secure. If you have Windows, you may already have a way of encrypting your data to make it impossible to read without the code. Or purchase some data encryption software and use it–you can “Google” for more information on this kind of software. When using public WIFI networks, many experts recommend you don’t transmit sensitive data (including credit numbers or bank account information) but if you must, BE SURE the little “lock” symbol shows on your web browser, and that the URL (address) of the web site begins with https (for “secured”).

– Digital RVer

Make your Password STRONG: Don’t use your name, your child’s name, dog’s name, etc., as a password. Repeated numbers or letters are a sure-enough “breakable” password. Some folks use a phrase they can remember, like “My dog is lazy,” and string it together without spaces: Mydogislazy is the resulting password. Using symbols (%@&!) in your password also makes it tougher to break. And of course, the longer the better. IF you think you will forget your password, I recommend writing it down on a piece of paper that you keep on you in a safe place.

Backup Your System: Lost or stolen, your data is no good if you don’t have access to it. Use a data backup system–the Windows XP operating system has one. Back up frequently, and back up to something OTHER than your computer such as a small “thumb drive,” or an external hard drive. And keep that backup drive safe too. A lost thumb drive with unencrypted information could be an identity thief’s paradise.

Guard Your Laptop: Don’t leave your laptop in plain sight, no matter how tinted your windows are. Hide it in the trunk, stick it in a closet, put it in a secure cabinet with a lock and key. If you travel on a plane with your laptop, don’t put it in the overhead storage compartment, keep it with you at your seat–right in front of you. Find a location in your used or new RV to place it whenever it is not in use.Regardless of what you are doing, make sure that you make it a priority to know where your computer is at all times – this will save you mounds of headache later on down the line.

Do you have any tips in regards to safety for RVers who carry a long a laptop, tablet, or other valuable electronic device?

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Germs and Your RV New York, Prevention is Key!

There are several common areas where germs lurk around campsites. One source of contamination comes from the misuse of your  RV’s black water tank — which holds waste. There are many diseases that are spread through contact with human waste – cholera, dysentery, hepatitis, measles, polio, typhoid fever, amoeba, giardia, hookworm, pinworm, roundworm, tapeworm, trichina worm – to name a few. Gloves are a must when handling black tank hoses and valves.  Always be sure to close the valve and tip the drain hose below the valve to catch any spillage that may continue to flow. After draining the tank, rinse the drain hose and drain area with water. Do not use the same hose you use to connect to your RV for fresh water. The key is to isolate clean from dirty.

The water supply (city water connection) to your RV can also be a source of germs. Before you go ahead and hook your hose to your campsite water hydrant, you may want to give it a wash down with some bleach or disinfectant spray. Dogs are a staple in most campgrounds and they tend to use the water hydrant for purposes other than drinking, if you get my drift.

Prior to using your fresh water holding tank disinfect it with chlorine bleach or an RV product made specifically made for this purpose.  Always use cleaners according to the specifications in your Jim’s RV manual.

The galley is a typical area for germs. Your RV kitchen can be a playground for cross contamination of foods.  After you have handled uncooked meats wash your hands, this will keep germs from being a part of the meal at your dinner table.

Germs that can cause disease or illness include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Germs really can’t harm you until you come in contact with them, so it’s a great idea to focus on prevention. Germs typically enter the body through the nose, eyes, and mouth; often transmitted from our own contaminated hands and fingers.

The key to prevention is to create a barrier between your hands and the infectious matter. Caution should be used when dealing with anything that can possibly be contaminated. Sanitary gloves can go a long way in these scenarios. There are many styles and materials to choose from. I, however,  recommend a disposable sanitary glove so that you can just trash it when you are done.

With so many odd bugs and illnesses surfacing from time to time, hand sanitizer is all the rage.  Therefore, another preventive measure is to sanitize your hands following any contact with germs. Oddly, people pass their hands through a faucet of running water and then rub them against a hanging towel which only makes the germs “wet”. To effectively control the spread of germs you must use soap. If there is none, then a bottle of hand sanitizer or antiseptic hand wipes are the next best thing.

Is this approach to germs obsessive compulsive, is it over-kill? It is up to you whether or not you want to fight this war, traveling sick isn’t optimal. Prevention is necessary and gives you a one-up in the battle with germs.

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10 Five Minute RV Maintenance Tips

Of course, Jim’s has a state-of-the-art RV service department with the latest in diagnostic and repair tools and parts that can handle just about any problem your RV faces. I say, why not just avoid RV problems all together. Here are a few quick and easy RV maintenance tips you can follow on your own to keep your camper in great shape from year to year.

Quick And Easy RV Maintenance Tips

Check sealants twice each month – check the rubber sealants around your windows to make sure they’re tight and not cracking. Cracked or loose sealant can let air in which causes drafts and leaks.

Check tire pressure before every trip –this one should be a no brainer. Make sure your tires are fully pressurized before you set off on your next road trip – it’s an easy RV maintenance tip that will prevent blowouts and it also  improves your gas mileage!

Run generator 2 hours per month under 50% load –letting your RV sit unused for months is not good for the generator. Run it under a light load for a few minutes each month to keep it primed so that it is ready the next time you decide to hit the road.

Check battery water level–making sure your batteries have enough water in them is crucial to ensuring that they will hold their charge. Check your battery water level frequently and add distilled water when necessary.

Clean holding tanks regularly –clean out your gray and black water tanks frequently to prevent bacteria and odors from leaking into the rest of your RV. Black and gray water tanks can get really gross, really fast – this is one RV maintenance tip you don’t want to forget! If you have to spend a vast amount of time on the road, cleanliness is a must.

Lube slide rails and gaskets twice each year –make sure all your slideout rails and all gaskets on your RV are properly lubricated to avoid friction. This will help make sure your slide rails stay in working condition all season long.

 Torque lug nuts before each trip – it is very important that you always make sure your lug nuts are fastened tightly before you head out. This RV maintenance tip is crucially important – if you’re not careful, your whole wheel assembly could fly off! Accidents slow down trips and can drain your pocket book, this type can be easily avoided.

 Sanitize fresh water system each spring – this is an RV maintenance tip that you should follow at the beginning of the RV season. Before your spring RV season starts, make a point to thoroughly sanitize your fresh water systems to keep your drinking water fresh and clean.

 Properly winterize each fall –this is one of the most crucial RV maintenance tips that you can follow. Before the winter hits it’s absolutely necessary to follow all of the steps to winterize your unit to protect it from the winter cold and lack of use (if you need help, check out our previous posts about how to winterize your RV!).

 Retract awning during heavy wind and rain – this RV maintenance tip is extremely important. On at least one of your camping trips you’re going to have to weather a storm. Make sure your awning is pulled back – otherwise, it’ll collapse like an umbrella and bend like crazy!

If you follow the above RV maintenance tips throughout the season, you may end up saving thousands of dollars in service costs! And remember, for all your RV maintenance and service needs, visit Jim’s RV Center in Nichols NY.

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In your RV Pay Attention to Clearance

 

If you are new you RVing, then you have probably had the thought go through your mind about how much bigger it feels behind the wheel than it looked at the dealership.  There is nothing wrong with buying a large Class A sized RV.  They come packed with features and accessories, but it can be a huge shock when you start driving it from place to place.  One of the biggest things that you have to deal with is all the new rules that go along with owning such a large vehicle.

One of the things that you need to know is how tall your rig is.  From fast food joints to bridges, you have probably already noticed height warnings before you even bought an RV.  It is important to know how tall your RV is, and be sure to measure again if you add anything to your roof such as solar panels or air vents. If you hit something that is too low it will cause a large amount of damage to your rig and may put others around you in danger as well.

One of the lesser known issues that you have to be aware of in your RV is the width.  While like height it is important to know so you don’t cause any RV damage, but it is also important to know because some roads have width restrictions.  While the road may look about the same size as most others, a width restricted road may put other cars in danger because they do not have enough clearance around you while passing.  Many of these roads will have signs alerting drivers of these rules.

It is important to know the dimensions of your rig so you can become a safer driver.  Your owners manual should have these measurements listed inside, but if not, be sure to carefully measure yourself. If you are looking for a great new RV, no matter the size, then be sure to come into Jim’s RV.

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New York RVers, Make Sure You Stay Awake!

I love taking my family on long trips in the RV, but it can be hard to keep my eyes open late at night or after many hours on the road.  My wife can’t even stay awake for 30 minutes after we get into the RV for a trip!  There are some things I have learned over the years the help me stay awake and focused on driving those hundreds of miles.

  • First thing I do is make sure I get plenty of sleep the night before we leave on a trip.  It really helps when I am well rested the night before and can focus on driving instead of going back to bed.
  • If I am feeling a little groggy, I will stop to walk around, get some fresh air and either a coffee or a energy drink.  Energy drinks make some people feel jittery, so make sure you know how you react to them before you take one before a trip.
  • I like to have conversations to my passengers in the car, because not only does it keep me awake, it makes the time fly by faster!
  • To keep my mind active when I start to become weary, I will chew sunflower seeds, ice or gum.  It makes sure that I have another ‘task’ to do while driving.
  • I love to have a upbeat playlist for road trips, because not only is the music fun, but I love to sing-along!
  • If I am feeling tired and I am driving by myself, sometimes I will pull into a parking lot and take a 15-30 minute power-nap.  It is just enough sleep to reset my brain and get me through until I reach my destination.
If you try all of these and they still do not work, it is best to either switch drivers, or stay at a hotel and rest.  It is easy to think you are ok to drive when tired, but 40,000 people a year are injured because of drowsy drivers. If you are looking for a new RV, then be sure to come into Jim’s RV.
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Fight off the rain with a quality cover

 

If you are a part time RVer, or a full timer who makes there home in the area, then you have surely heard about the big weather that is heading this way.  While hurricane Irene is sure to make its presence felt in the area, that doesn’t mean that you should just cross your fingers and hope for the best when it comes to your RV.  Taking care to insure that your rig is safe from the incoming weather, you should make sure that your RV is ready to take on the water that is sure to come.

While it would be best to plan a quick trip to the west, that may not be an option if you are storing your RV during the coming days.  The best way to shield your RV from the elements is with a heavy duty cover.  A quality RV cover will help protect your rig from any rain and wind that is sure to come into the area.  You not only have to make sure that your RV is safe from the rain, but also any debris that may be swept around from the wind.  RV covers will not only keep the water off of your investment, but also stop branches, rocks, and any other swirling debris from making a direct impact against your RV’s glass.

Be sure to have your RV cover tied down securely, and if you have a sturdy covered shelter, use that for extra protection.  If you have the ability to pack up your things and take a quick trip a few hundred miles away, then that would be a good plan to follow.  Planning ahead for natural disasters is always smart, and as an RV owner you have more flexibility than other to take extra precautions in this situation.  If you are a full timer in a densely wooded area, then be sure to take into account an large branches or old trees that are around you.

Please be safe over the next couple of days, and if you need to pick up any extra RV supplies, come into Jim’s RV.

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