Category: Uncategorized

Travel Safety

Make sure you have a great trip by following these safety tips!

As you know many products on your RV have a maintenance or replacement schedule dependent on miles or time. This safe tip pertains to your Safety Alarms, which include Propane, Carbon Monoxide and Smoke alarms. Unlike other electronic devices used in RVs such as TVs, radios, and personal computers, safety alarms work around the clock. They help protect you all day, every day while you are RVing. And just like other appliances, safety alarms need to be replaced with models featuring the latest innovations. Here are some more great tips for safe trips!

 

Generator Tips:

Practice safety when using your RV generator to reduce the risk of CO poisoning:

  • Inspect your RV’s chassis and generator exhaust system before each outing and after bottoming out or after any other incident that could cause damage.
  • Inspect your RV for openings in the floor or sidewalls. If you locate a hole, seal it with a silicone adhesive or have it repaired before using your generator again.
  • Do not operate your generator if the exhaust system is damaged in any way or if an unusual noise is present.
  • Park your RV so that the exhaust may easily dissipate away from the vehicle. Do not park next to high grass or weeds, snow banks, buildings, or other obstructions that might prevent exhaust gases from dissipating.
  • If you don’t feel well and you’re not sure why, shut off the generator and step outside for some fresh air just to be sure.

 

Weight Distribution of a Load:

Proper weight distribution and load management enhances safe travel and should be considered when purchasing your new RV. EVERYTHING you put in the RV has weight. The average couple carries approximately 2,000 pounds of “stuff”, while the average full-time couple carries an average of 3,000 pounds.

 

Think T.R.I.P. :


T – Test and inspect CO,LPG and smoke alarms when your RV is taken out of storage.
RReplace all CO and LPG alarms over 5 years old and smoke alarms over 10 years old.
I – Install only UL-RV listed alarms when you replace or add alarms to your RV.
P – Prevent accidents by teaching family and friends about the operation of alarms. NEVER ignore a sounding alarm.

 

Backing up with a Towed Vehicle:

You’ve had a great day on the road. The traffic was light, the scenery was beautiful and your companions, delightful. Then it happens–you make a wrong turn and have to back up with that towed vehicle attached. There are numerous back up aids available, from backup warning devices to elaborate rear observation systems. Just find the one that works for you, then follow the tips below:

  • Your hand should be positioned at the bottom of the steering wheel. Using slight movements, simply move your hand left to move left and move your hand right to move right.
  • Back up slowly and if you have difficulty, pull forward and realign the tow vehicle and trailer and start again.
  • Always apply the parking brake first and shift into Park before removing your foot from the brake pedal. This will keep your vehicle from being locked in park because of the extra load on the transmission. (Manual transmissions: apply the parking brake, then turn the ignition off in either first or reverse gear.)

M.S. from Heisler, Alberta adds these great tips:

  • Always have the mirrors adjusted so you can see the ground, wheels, and as much of the vertical of trailer as possible.
  • Also, if you’re new to backing up, practice in a large parking lot. Watch for the line the trailer tires make as turning, so to learn how much to turn wheel and how the trailer will react.

 

Emptying the Tanks:

Wait until your tank is at least 2/3 full before dumping. This ensures there is enough water in the tank to flush the solids from the tank. When it’s time to dump, empty the black water (commode) tank first followed by the grey water (galley, shower, sink) tank.

Check out these great holding tank rinsers!

 

Take a Deep Breath:

The air we breathe is not only affected by outside pollutants but also contaminants within our homes such as smoke and by-products from the things that make up our lifestyle. Following the guidelines below can help you eliminate some of the bad things in your air:

Eliminate:

  • Use detectors to measure levels of LP gas and carbon monoxide – buy some here if you don’t already own them.
  • Vacuum often. Vacuum cleaner systems are particularly effective in removing and containing contaminants.
  • Eliminate any other sources of pollutants such as smoking inside the RV.

Ventilate: Another way to lower the concentrations of indoor air pollutants is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming indoors.

  • Open windows and doors when stopped.
  • Use a roof ventilation system to funnel fresh air to the entire area.
  • Holding tank vent caps remove contaminants directly from the source.

Sanitize: Hundreds of air cleaners using a myriad of technologies are available to clean your air. Take your pick and you’re well on your way to cleaner air.

  • Pick the air cleaner that fits your lifestyle and living space – check out these air cleaners and air fresheners.
  • Use and maintain it according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • In a study by NASA, houseplants, especially spider plants, were found to be effective in cleaning and renewing air. So bring along your greenery when you hit the road!

 

Installing a Fifth Wheel:

Installing a fifth wheel premium tailgate increases rear visibility, improves fuel economy, and makes trailer hook-up easier. With Custom Flow Fifth Wheel Premium tailgates, there is no assembly and installation takes less than 15 minutes! Here are two tips to help you get a great fit when installing:

  1. Loosen the bolts on the hinge/swivel brackets on the bottom sides of the tailgate with a 9/16″ wrench. Install tailgate onto the truck. Center tailgate on the truck. Finally, re-tighten the bolts on the hinge/swivel brackets on the bottom sides of the tailgate.
  2. If the OEM rotary style brackets are slightly off-line with the trucks striker posts, try adjusting the truck’s striker posts with a tork wrench.

 

Stay Medication Safe:

Carry all medications (even over-the-counter medications) in their original container in order to retain the warning labels. Many medications interact with each other and not knowing what they are may prove deadly. Adapted from “The Everything Family Guide to RV Travel & Campgrounds” by Marian Eure.

Get Level!:

Getting your RV level as is possible is very important. Your refrigerator will run more efficiently, your waste water tanks will empty more fully and your doors will close properly. Adapted from “The Everything Family Guide to RV Travel & Campgrounds” by Marian Eure. Check out these:

 

Cleaner RV Entranceways:

Use lightweight outdoor carpeting for your entranceway or some other lightweight material that can be hosed off and dries quickly. Household carpet is very heavy, especially when wet, and it does not dry quickly. Adapted from “The Everything Family Guide to RV Travel & Campgrounds” by Marian Eure.Check out these Patio Mats, Rugs and Accessories

 

Fresh Air Solutions:

Have you ever gone back to your RV and it still smells like your last excursion? HMMMM, is that smell smoke, pet odor or the barbequed ribs we had last week? Or is it just that unidentifiable stale odor that we all put up with? Sometimes even noxious odors that we may or may not smell accumulate. But before we can settle down, we quickly open the vents and the windows to “air” our unit out, all the time grumbling and wishing there was a way to provide adequate ventilation while we were away. Check out these Air Fresheners and Odor Eliminators

One of the most innovative solutions is the development of roof mounted vent covers, fan ventilators and louvered window vents. They allow the RV owner to leave his roof vents and windows open, while shielding the interior from the weather, leaves and branches. Adequately and continuously ventilating the RV while in storage eliminates heat and odor build-up and helps prevent mildew damage! As we all know a continuous source of ventilation is beneficial for us while we’re in our RV’s and of great value when we’re away. It simply solves the need for fresh air – rain or shine. Check out these Vent Covers

 

Tips for an odor-free holding tank:

  • Keep your tank clean: Your holding tank should be emptied and flushed with clean water and occasionally a mild detergent. Use a wand on your hose and flush your tank removing all residues to ensure your probes are working properly. Check seals for cracking. Check out these Holding Tank Rinsers and Tank Wands.
  • Use precise measurements: Don’t flush your money down the toilet. If you use a concentrated chemical, you don’t pay for water. 4 oz in a 40-gallon holding tank is all the chemical you should need. If you are using a product that requires more than that, you are paying for water. Check out these Holding Tank Chemicals.
  • Plan ahead: After dumping the waste immediately place water back into your holding tank and add your chemical. You never want to use your tank without having about 1 gallon of water in it to help the natural composting. Check out these Sewer Hoses.
  • Never let waste set in your hose: When draining your hose, make sure the waste is completely out of your hose and then rinse with fresh water.

 

Tips for maintaining your drinking water supply:

  • Always use a water supply hose clearly labeled as “drinking water safe”.
  • Make sure that you use your potable water supply hose for potable water ONLY. DO NOT USE DRINKING WATER HOSE FOR DRAINING HOLDING TANKS.
  • Before connecting your water supply hose to camper, flush with water for several minutes.
  • Drain hose completely after unhooking and before placing into storage.
  • After draining hose and before storing, either cap off ends or connect opposite ends of hose to keep inside of hose clean.
  • Replace water supply hose on a regular basis.
  • Check out these fresh water accessories:

 

Tailgating Guide:

An RV takes tailgating to a whole new level. There’s no need to worry about the ice in your cooler melting or finding a place to heat up your snacks. You’ll have a roof over your head in rain or shine, and you’ll never again stand in line to use a public restroom! Here’s some tips from www.gorving.com to help you create the best tailgate party ever.


How to use a Fire Extinguisher:

Remember the word PASS!

P
ull the pin,or press a puncture lever or release a lock latch.
A im low – toward the base of the fire.
S queeze the handle to release the content.
S weep the nozzle from side to side.

Source: National Fire Protection Association. Check out these Fire Suppressants.

 

Traveling with Children:

Judy Baldoni says that when traveling with children and/or adults, my husband and I play the game of keeping a list of how many fifth wheels, travel trailers and motor homes we see. Also keep a list of how many different states we see on the highway on cars and trucks and trailers. Also how many Ford, GMC/Chevy, or Dodge trucks we see pulling trailers or fifth wheels. Hope this helps on the long highways we travel on our way to campsites.

Make Traveling with Children Fun! Check out these:

Traveling with Your Pets:

Here’s a few things to help you keep your pet safe while traveling.

  • Keep your dogs and cats on a leash.
  • Don’t leave your dogs and cats by themselves unless they are locked inside your RV and have already been taken out for their walk. You would be surprised how many dogs and cats disappear because their owners leave them chained to a tree.
  • Attach a trip-specific tag to your dog or cat’s collar. List the name and phone number of your destination, using a separate tag for each leg of your trip. Remember to change the tags as you move on, or make one tag with the name and number of someone who knows your itinerary and knows how to reach you.
  • Check out these Pet Supplies.

Refrigerator Burner Service and Maintenance is a MUST:

Poor performance of the burner adversely affects the refrigerator’s cooling in the LP-gas mode. The need for service can be established by visually checking the burner performance. Problematic ignition, weak, yellow, or distorted flame pattern, or regular flame-out, usually indicate it needs servicing.

The burner assembly must be removed from the burner box for service. It should never be cleaned in place using compressed air. Once apart, the orifice can be cleaned or replaced and the burner tube and burner box can be thoroughly checked and cleaned. The electrode air gap must be reset after the burner assembly has been reinstalled. The LP-gas connection at the burner must be leak tested before placing the refrigerator in service.

Service, maintenance, and/or repairs to the refrigerators’ LP-gas components, including the burner assembly, must be performed by an authorized service center.

LP Gas and Safety:

trailer-fuelWith all the changes that have taken place in RV Propane system connections over the last five years, it’s important to understand the new safety features and how they work together to afford maximum protection and convenience. One of the biggest safety improvements of the new Type1, ACME connection is its ability to shut off the gas flow in a fire situation. Working together, the thermo sensitive bushing on the female ACME nut melts away at temperatures of 240-300 degrees F which allows a spring-loaded module inside the ACME cylinder valve to push back the internal connecting parts into a shut off position. All the new O.P.D. cylinders have ACME valves so all you need to assure the new fire protection is to install new ACME pigtails on your RV’s system.

For convenience, ACME threaded components offer smooth, right hand, wrench-less connections that are safe, quick and easy. The new “Extend-A-Flow Plus” kit and “Plus” Fitting feature ACME end fittings for making it safe, quick and easy to hook up high pressure, portable appliances like stoves, grills, and lanterns to the RVs with those new ACME pigtails. You’ll love the safety and convenience these products bring to your camping experience. Check out these LP Gas Accessories.

 

Tips for maintaining your tires:


To get optimum performance and life out of your tires, follow these tips:

  • Inspect all wheels and tires regularly for wear and tightness. Look for signs of rust, indicating loose wheels.
  • Inflate tires to the exact manufacturer’s recommended pressure based on weight of vehicle. Check out these Tire Inflators and Tire Pressure Gauges and Valve Extenders
  • Keep tires clean. Dirt on tires can act as an abrasive. Regular washing with a mild soap, water and soft brush can remove dirt, as well as ozone.Check out these Tire Cleaners
  • Sun and the ozone can cause damage to your tires during periods of non-use. Use tire covers to keep the tires completely covered. Check out these Wildlife Tire Covers
  • If tires are worn, replace them. Select tires that provide adequate traction on the drive axles, and adequate tread of the steer axles. Check out these New Tires

Tips on brakes:

  • Good brakes are important. An upgrade to high performance brakes or adding a supplemental braking system to your tow vehicle will reduce your stopping distance and brake fade.
  • Remember your vehicle size and know your motor home’s gross combination weight rating (GCWR). Always allow yourself plenty of time to brake and when changing lanes.
  • When inspecting all brake system components, check for broken or cracked brake lines, and rusted or loose hose hangers. With hydraulic systems, look for evidence of leakage. In air systems, listen for air leaks.


RV Steering Safety:


Many things effect your safety on the road in relation to the steering components of your RV. Often, the steering components and the front end of an RV are given little consideration when it comes to your personal safety and the safety of others on the road. Use these tips to help maintain a “healthy” steering system.
 

Steering controls will also increase your safety factor by reducing driver fatigue and helping you maintain control in side winds, tire blowouts, dropping off the pavement, and while passing trucks.

Check out these Steering Controls and Steering Stabilizers.

What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Weight Distributing Hitch:

  • What is the weight of my trailer – is my tow vehicle rated for towing my trailer?
  • What weight distributing hitch class do I need?
  • How difficult/easy is it to hook-up and un-hook?
  • Does it have torsion bars that need to be set each time I tow?
  • Is it pre-set so I can just hook-up and go?
  • Can I install it myself, or do I need a professional installer?
  • How do I adjust it to the height of my tow vehicle?
  • Does it control both the upward and downward forces on my trailer/tow vehicle?
  • Is a sway control option available? Check out these Sway Controls
  • What type of warranty is available?
  • What type of service does the manufacturer/dealer provide after the sale?

Check out these Weight Distributing Hitches.

Travel & Camping Checklists

View and print these helpful and informative Travel and RV checklists. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these PDF files. If you do not already have this program, click here to download it for FREE.

Keep your RV stocked, and you’ll be ready to go anytime, anywhere.

But before you leave home, be sure to balance your load – and don’t overpack. (Consult the weight label on your RV for more camping-checklistsinformation.)

 

  1. Travel & Camping Checklist    

  2. Road Trip Checklist

Campgrounds & Info

Tourism and Camping in NY State

Tourism and Camping in NY State:

Look What’s FREE:

Links By County:

Other Areas of New York:


Camping from State to State:
Alabama: www.alabama-camping.com

Alaska: www.alaskacampgrounds.net

Arizona: www.azrvparks.com

California: www.camp-california.com

Colorado: www.campcolorado.com

Connecticut: www.campconn.com

Florida: www.floridacamping.com

Idaho: www.rvidaho.org

Illinois: www.illinoisgocamping.com

Indiana: www.campindiana.org

Iowa: www.gocampingiowa.org

Louisiana: www.campinglouisiana.com

Maine: www.campmaine.com

Maryland: www.mdcamping.com

Massachusetts: www.campmass.com

Michigan: www.michcampgrounds.com

Missouri: www.campinmissouri.com

Montana: www.campingmontana.com

New Hampshire: www.ucampnh.com

New Jersey: www.newjerseycampgrounds.com

New Mexico: www.campnewmexico.net

New York: www.nycampgrounds.com

North Carolina: www.campingcarolinas.com

Ohio: www.ohiocamper.com

Oklahoma: www.gocampingok.com

Pennsylvania: www.pacamping.com

Rhode Island: www.ricampgrounds.com

South Carolina: www.campingcarolinas.com

South Dakota: www.campsd.org

Texas: www.texascampgrounds.com

Vermont: www.campvermont.com

Virginia: www.virginiacampgrounds.org

Wisconsin: www.wisconsincampgrounds.com

Wyoming: www.campwyoming.org

 

Nation-wide Campground Directories:

All Campgrounds

A site to locate campgrounds, and includes camping tips, and blogs.

Association of RV Parks and Recreation

GoCampingAmerica.com is the premier source for information on private parks and campgrounds nationwide.

The Coleman Campground Directory

Offers a directory of outdoor recreation and over 100,000 campsites.

Go Camping America

From National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, camping information for over 3,100 member properties.

GORP

(Great Outdoor Recreation Pages) Dedicated to outdoor recreation, scenic drives, a guide to campgrounds, and lists of information sources, clubs and associations.

KOA

Kampgrounds of America lists its campground locations, suggests things to do at campgrounds & provides camping tips.

National Park Campgrounds

Listing of all National Park Campgrounds.

Northeast Campground Association

Breathtaking camping in the northeast… from shorelines to mountains.

State Park Campgrounds

Listing of all State Park Campgrounds.

Woodalls

From Woodalls publisher, places to camp, outdoor activities, RV advice, RV tours and rallies, and events calendars.

Specific Campsites of Interest

Beaver Meadow Family Campground

Branches of Niagara Campground & Resort

Camp Emerald Acres

Darien Lake Camping Resort

Dream lake Campground

Four Winds Campground

Frost Ridge Campground

Green Harbor Campground & Marina

Hickory Ridge Golf & Country Club & Banquet Facility

Knight’s Hide-Away

Leisure Wood Recreational Community

Maple Grove Campground

Mariposa Ponds Camping

Medina KOA at Wildwood Lake

Niagara County Camping Resort

Niagara Hartland RV Resort

Niagara Falls Campground & Lodging

Niagara Falls North KOA

Niagara’s Lazy Lakes Camping Resort

Riverview Family Campground & Marina
13987 Park Ave., Waterport, NY 14571
585.682.4213

Rolling Acres Golf Course & Campground

Skyline Camping Resort

Sleepy Hollow Lake

Southwoods RV Resort

Three Valley Resort

Timberline Lake Park

Windmill Point Park

Woodstream Campsite, Inc.

YogiBear’s Jellystone Park at North Java

Local Campground Reviews:

Nick’s Lake Public Campground, New York :

Description: Nick’s Lake Public Campground is located in Old Forge, NY in the Adirondack Forest. It has 112 sites. It has a picnic pavilion, flush toilets, hot showers, ball field, trailer dump station, sand beach, swimming area, new playground, nature and hiking trails. From NYS Thruway, Exit 31 at Utica, Route 12 North to Alder Creek, Route 28 to Old Forge. Turn right at the Post Office, and follow the Nick’s Lake Campground signs 1.5 miles to the campground entrance.

Opinion: Although there is no electric or water at the sites, we enjoy being right in the forest. We prefer to stay on E loop, as some of the sites have lake access and it’s the closest loop to the picnic/beach area. No motororized boats are allowed on the lake (canoes, kayaks, are fine) to preserve the wildlife. We enjoyed listening to the calls of the loons as well as owls. In the campground, we saw deer, ducks, chipmunks, and even black bears. There are activities scheduled every week in the summer. On Friday night, we got to see Jupiter through the telescope of Barefoot Bob, an astronomer fromSyracuse. We enjoyed visiting the local town of Old Forge, as well. There are hiking trails through the mountains (we enjoyed Bald Mountain); good restaurants (try the cheeseburger at Walt’s Diner); Go carts and an arcade; Enchanted Forest water park; Adirondack Railroad; McCauley Mountain Chairlift; a small but very well stocked grocery store; and Nutty Putty miniature golf course. Everything a family could want to do on a week’s vacation and more! Now you know a little more about where we choose to go camping each summer.

~ Submitted by Dawn Schyve
Lakeside Beach State Park, New York :

Description: Named in 2005 as one of the Top 100 Campgrounds in the nation. Lakeside Beach State Park offers an outstanding panoramic view ofLake Ontario and surrounding farms and fruit orchards. No swimming is allowed, but 274 campsites, four miles of hiking and biking trails, fishing along the lake front, picnic grounds and playing fields bring thousands to the park. Winter activities include hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

Opinion: Lakeside is a great state park. All the sites are large. They have easy access for all size campers. “A” loop is right on the water. Sites “D-16” and “D-18” are the primes sites that are also wooded. Pets are allowed in loops “E, F, and G”.
~ Submitted by B. Rakonczay

Informative Websites:

Cruise America

From Cruise America, a how-to site for renting an RV from one of their locations nationwide.

Fun Outdoors

American Recreation Coalition’s site includes outdoor activities, recreation information sources, research & statistics.

Go RVing

A comprehensive source of RV information sponsored by the Go RVing Coalition, a nonprofit organization. Tailored to meet the needs of first-time RV buyers and renters through user-friendly information and how to order a free “Getting Started” videotape introduction to RVing.

Handicapped Travel Club

The Handicapped Travel Club, Inc. was formed to encourage RV traveling for people with a wide range of disabilities.

National Wildlife Refuge

Discover over 500 National Wildlife Refuges dedicated to wildlife conservation. Camping is allowed if compatible with conservation efforts at each location. Call 1-800-344-WILD for a free list of refuges that permit camping, or visit their website.

RVIA

Sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, this site provides in-depth information including a member manufacturer directory, lists of RV retail shows and clubs and an on-line bookstore.

RV Advice

Created and maintained by an RV service technician featuring basic maintenance and repair information and classified ads.

RV America

An RV sales and industry information site sponsored by RV News magazine that lists manufacturers, associations and more.

RV Club

An Internet gathering place for RV enthusiasts where members have access to numerous discussion forums and topics of interest.

RVDA

How to buy and rent RVs and locations of Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association member dealers nationwide.

RV Doctor

A source of technical information for consumers featuring articles on RV maintenance and puzzles for fun.

RV USA

Find RV dealers, manufacturers, parts & accessory sources, RV rentals, campgrounds, insurance providers and financers, and more.

Scenic Byways

Scenic American Byways, Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation

SMART: Special Military Retired Travel Club

“Seeing the Country We Defend”

Trailer Life

From Trailer Life Magazine, vehicle tests, travel information, RV technical tips, a dealer mall and classifieds.


 

Traveling & Safety Tips

RV Traveling Tips For You and Your Family

Demystifying GPS Routing:

Read about routing safely and legally in Your RV. Learn more…

Useful Reese Hitch Selector Tool:

Click Here to find the hitch that’s right for you!

Reese T-One Connectors:

The Reese T-One Connector means no splicing of wires! Simply locate your vehicles wiring harness connector, unplug the connection and insert the T-Connector into the vehicle’s harness. No special tools required. Click Here to use the handy search tool Reese provides to see if a T-One connector is available for your vehicle.

Helpful Towing Information:

Provided by progress Mfg. Click Here to view or print the article.

Glossary of Towing Terms:

Provided by Roadmaster. Click here to view or print the glossary.

AARP Bulletin: In retirement, a house isn’t the only home

In retirement, a house is not the only home… Go RV-ing. Sell your house and buy one of those homes you see traveling the interstates. You’ll find plenty of state and private RV parks where you’ll meet people just like yourself. With Wi-Fi, you can do business on wheels. Or, stop at destinations that hire seasonal workers. You’ll find tons of tips at the website RetirementRVs.com. From the ” Your Money Financially Speaking” Section of the May 2011 AARP Bulletin by Jane Bryant Quinn.

RV & Trailer Towing Tips:

The following links from the “2011 RV & Trailer Towing Guide” by Ford provide great tips from hitches and vehicle weights to trailer types and classes.

Trailering Tips
Vehicle Weights
Hitches
Trailer Types and Classes

The best way to clean an RV:

An attractive-looking RV adds to your pleasure and pride of ownership – but the benefits of good maintenance go even deeper. After all, your RV is an expensive investment, second only to your home. So, with a little effort and the right products, you can keep your RV looking sharp AND help it hold its resale value.

What is the best cleaning order? Always use the Top-Down Sequence. This means starting the cleaning process at the top of the RV with, for example, Rubber Roof Cleaner & Conditioner. Then work your way down, from the awning, to the sides of the RV and down to the tires. This Top-Down Sequence saves work by avoiding the need to “clean over” an area already cleaned because another solution has run onto it. It saves work as a cleaning solution used above actually helps clean an area below. Lastly, this system minimizes water use.
How often should I clean my RV? To best maintain your investment, at a minimum it’s recommended you go through the entire Top-Down Sequence at the beginning and end of each RVing season. Then, during the season, use any of the individual products as needed. For example, it’s only logical to clean the sides and roof of your RV if it’s parked under a sappy tree for an extended length of time.
What are the best products? We recommend using Thetford’s comprehensive RV Care lineup. The unique Thetford formulas were developed and tested by a full-time staff of degreed chemists dedicated to quality, and designed to be easy to use, be performance leaders, work in harmony with each other, and be safe for the RV and the environment. For top-to-bottom RV Care, be sure to have on-hand the following products:
Premium Rubber Roof
RV Awning Cleaner
Black Streak & Bug Remover
Wash & Wax
Protect and Shine or Wax
Windshield & Glass Cleaner
Slide Out Rubber Seal Conditioner
Slide Out Lubricant

Generator Tips:

Practice safety when using your RV generator to reduce the risk of CO poisoning:

Inspect your RV’s chassis and generator exhaust system before each outing and after bottoming out or after any other incident that could cause damage.
Inspect your RV for openings in the floor or sidewalls. If you locate a hole, seal it with a silicone adhesive or have it repaired before using your generator again.
Do not operate your generator if the exhaust system is damaged in any way or if an unusual noise is present.
Park your RV so that the exhaust may easily dissipate away from the vehicle. Do not park next to high grass or weeds, snow banks, buildings, or other obstructions that might prevent exhaust gases from dissipating.
If you don’t feel well and you’re not sure why, shut off the generator and step outside for some fresh air just to be sure.

Camper Etiquette…

Did you know that most campgrounds have quiet hours, usually from 10 pm or 11 pm until 7 am or 8 am, and the reason is for other guests to be able to enjoy their camping experience? Unlike a hotel or motel there are no sound reducing walls or ceilings. In the open sound travels long distances and your voices can be very annoying to others. Some RV’s and especially pop-tops and tents provide little or no soundproofing. Even loud conversations can annoy others.
Did you know that campgrounds have speed limits for a reason? Roads are usually narrower than streets or thoroughfares; there is a lot of congestion, activity and “things” that are close to the roads, where a person, especially a child can emerge directly into the path of your vehicle, not to mention the extra wear and tear that is causes to the road surface and if the road is gravel the dust is very disturbing to others.
Did you know that it is not polite to walk thru other sites? If you rented a motel or hotel room you wouldn’t want other guests walking thru your room to get to the balcony or other locations!
More and more campground facilities are saying NO to pets; because some pet owners do not pick up after their pets, keep them from annoying others and allow them to run free, contrary to campground rules or policies. A few are ruining it for the many.

Please act responsibly so everyone can enjoy a relaxing memorable camping experience. Taken from the 2007 Campground & RV Park Guide

Weight Distribution of a Load:

Proper weight distribution and load management enhances safe travel and should be considered when purchasing your new RV. EVERYTHING you put in the RV has weight. The average couple carries approximately 2,000 pounds of “stuff”, while the average full-time couple carries an average of 3,000 pounds.

Safety Tip:

As you know many products on your RV have a maintenance or replacement schedule dependent on miles or time. This safe tip pertains to your Safety Alarms, which include Propane, Carbon Monoxide and Smoke alarms. Unlike other electronic devices used in RVs such as TVs, radios, and personal computers, safety alarms work around the clock. They help protect you all day, every day while you are RVing. And just like other appliances, safety alarms need to be replaced with models featuring the latest innovations.

Think T.R.I.P. :

T – Test and inspect CO,LPG and smoke alarms when your RV is taken out of storage.
R – Replace all CO and LPG alarms over 5 years old and smoke alarms over 10 years old.
I – Install only UL-RV listed alarms when you replace or add alarms to your RV.
P – Prevent accidents by teaching family and friends about the operation of alarms. NEVER ignore a sounding alarm.

How Solar Works:

Photovoltaics (PV) is the direct conversion of sunlight into electrical current. With the development of the modern silicon solar cell, light particles which penetrate the cell cause electron activity resulting in the flow of electric current through a circuit.

The greater the intensity of the light, the more current a solar cell generates. The current moves through a series of cells, called modules, to a battery where it is stored. Battery storage assures the user of electricity when needed, day or night. A controller is usually installed between the modules and the battery to prevent overcharging. Linked together, this equipment forms a PV system designed to produce 12 or 24V of direct current (DC).

Through the use of an inverter, the direct current may be turned into alternating current (AC), the standard home current with which we’re all familiar. DC to AC inverters now provide outputs ranging from 100 to more than 3,000W at conversion efficiencies greater than 90 percent and with cleaner power than the utility can provide. Check out these great solar powered battery chargers and kits!

Backing up with a Towed Vehicle:

You’ve had a great day on the road. The traffic was light, the scenery was beautiful and your companions, delightful. Then it happens–you make a wrong turn and have to back up with that towed vehicle attached. There are numerous back up aids available, from backup warning devices to elaborate rear observation systems. Just find the one that works for you, then follow the tips below:

Your hand should be positioned at the bottom of the steering wheel. Using slight movements, simply move your hand left to move left and move your hand right to move right.
Back up slowly and if you have difficulty, pull forward and realign the tow vehicle and trailer and start again.
Always apply the parking brake first and shift into Park before removing your foot from the brake pedal. This will keep your vehicle from being locked in park because of the extra load on the transmission. (Manual transmissions: apply the parking brake, then turn the ignition off in either first or reverse gear.)

M.S. from Heisler, Alberta adds these great tips:

Always have the mirrors adjusted so you can see the ground, wheels, and as much of the vertical of trailer as possible.
Also, if you’re new to backing up, practice in a large parking lot. Watch for the line the trailer tires make as turning, so to learn how much to turn wheel and how the trailer will react.

Improve Cell Coverage – Stop Dropped Calls!

Planning on using a cell phone as your main means of communication as you go RVing? If you haven’t chosen a carrier or plan yet, consider these tips:

Before selecting a carrier consider how you will be using your cell phone (long distance, emergencies, daily, weekends). Knowing this will help a carrier to recommend a plan to best suit your needs.
Be sure the areas you plan to visit are within your carrier’s coverage. If you’re not sure you’ll want to check the coverage map on their website or in the store where you purchase the phone. Be sure to ask your neighbors, friends, and other RV enthusiasts about their experiences and level of satisfaction they have with their carrier.
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Weather radios keep you appraised of conditions and, with today’s NOAA network, hazard and civil emergencies! View a selection of hazard & weather radios
CB radios are invaluable on the road when you’re out of cell phone range or want to keep in touch with other members of your caravan.

Emptying the Tanks:

Wait until your tank is at least 2/3 full before dumping. This ensures there is enough water in the tank to flush the solids from the tank. When it’s time to dump, empty the black water (commode) tank first followed by the grey water (galley, shower, sink) tank.

Check out these great holding tank rinsers!

Take a Deep Breath:

The air we breathe is not only affected by outside pollutants but also contaminants within our homes such as smoke and by-products from the things that make up our lifestyle. Following the guidelines below can help you eliminate some of the bad things in your air:

Eliminate:

Use detectors to measure levels of LP gas and carbon monoxide – buy some here if you don’t already own them.
Vacuum often. Vacuum cleaner systems are particularly effective in removing and containing contaminants.
Eliminate any other sources of pollutants such as smoking inside the RV.
Ventilate: Another way to lower the concentrations of indoor air pollutants is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming indoors.

Open windows and doors when stopped.
Use a roof ventilation system to funnel fresh air to the entire area.
Holding tank vent caps remove contaminants directly from the source.
Sanitize: Hundreds of air cleaners using a myriad of technologies are available to clean your air. Take your pick and you’re well on your way to cleaner air.

Pick the air cleaner that fits your lifestyle and living space – check out these air cleaners and air fresheners.
Use and maintain it according to manufacturer’s directions.
In a study by NASA, houseplants, especially spider plants, were found to be effective in cleaning and renewing air. So bring along your greenery when you hit the road!

RV Water Softener – A Great Idea!

Much of the water that is found in our natural water supply is what we know as “hard water” because it has a high concentration of minerals. Hard water deposits leave behind nasty spots on our glasses, dishes, mirrors, and shower doors. Hard water makes it difficult for soap and shampoo to lather, so we use far more than we need, which results in more soap scum build-up in holding tanks and on tank sensors. Hard water speeds up the deterioration of hot water heaters, faucets, and water lines.

Having a water softener extends the life of appliances such as ice-makers, water heaters, and coffee pots. It reduces the amount of detergent that winds up in your holding tank, resulting in soap scum build-up, and fouling of tank sensors. Buy a water softener today!

Remember as a child taking a drink form the hose in the backyard–that foul taste? All hoses are not the same. Use a drinking water hose made from FDA approved materials like these.

Installing a Fifth Wheel:

Installing a fifth wheel premium tailgate increases rear visibility, improves fuel economy, and makes trailer hook-up easier. With Custom Flow Fifth Wheel Premium tailgates, there is no assembly and installation takes less than 15 minutes! Here are two tips to help you get a great fit when installing:

Loosen the bolts on the hinge/swivel brackets on the bottom sides of the tailgate with a 9/16″ wrench. Install tailgate onto the truck. Center tailgate on the truck. Finally, re-tighten the bolts on the hinge/swivel brackets on the bottom sides of the tailgate.
If the OEM rotary style brackets are slightly off-line with the trucks striker posts, try adjusting the truck’s striker posts with a tork wrench.

AAA Triptik Maps:

If you are a member of the American Automobile Association one of your membership privileges includes Triptik maps. AAA will compile your trip information into a booklet the size of a folded map that maps out your route using the most up-to-date information available with exit numbers and services clearly marked. You can specify whether you want the shortest or the most scenic route. You may even want to consider purchasing a GPS Navigation device – some even come with a DVD player right in the unit!

Reusable Checklists:

Print out your checklists from your computer and slip them into a clear plastic sleeve. Keep them on a clipboard with an erasable marker. Check off items as they are completed before you get on the road. Once all items are checked off, you can wipe the marker off and stow the checklist for the next stop. Print our FREE checklists by clicking here! Adapted from “The Everything Family Guide to RV Travel & Campgrounds” by Marian Eure.

Stay Medication Safe:

Carry all medications (even over-the-counter medications) in their original container in order to retain the warning labels. Many medications interact with each other and not knowing what they are may prove deadly. Adapted from “The Everything Family Guide to RV Travel & Campgrounds” by Marian Eure.

Get Level!:

Getting your RV level as is possible is very important. Your refrigerator will run more efficiently, your waste water tanks will empty more fully and your doors will close properly. Adapted from “The Everything Family Guide to RV Travel & Campgrounds” by Marian Eure. Check out these:

Decorative RV Levels
Graduated RV Levels
Stick-On Levels
Screw-On Levels

Cleaner RV Entranceways:

Use lightweight outdoor carpeting for your entranceway or some other lightweight material that can be hosed off and dries quickly. Household carpet is very heavy, especially when wet, and it does not dry quickly. Adapted from “The Everything Family Guide to RV Travel & Campgrounds” by Marian Eure. Check out these Patio Mats, Rugs and Accessories

FREE sources of Information:

Rvers today have an enormous amount of information available to them in a variety of formats. There are wonderful sources available to your through bookstores, videos, club memberships, RV shows, television, the list goes on and on! Here are a few places for FREE information to help you plan your trips.

The Internet: Each state and government has a web page. Some states provide lists of parks, attractions, special events and tons of wonderful information. Use a search engine like www.google.com.
The Library: The Library is another location that many of us forget to use. Many libraries offer FREE computer access to visit the internet and search on-line.
The Chamber of Commerce: This is an excellent source of information when looking for places to go and ideas of what to do in a specific city or area. Check out www.uschamber.org and then search for your state of interest.

FREE RV Travel & Maintenance Checklists:

Print our Travel Checklist, Camping Checklist, and Towables Maintenance Schedule Checklist by Clicking Here. Please browse other sections in our on-line catalog to locate other items that will enhance your RV travel also.

NOW, Can You Hear Me?

Planning on using a cell phone as your main means of communication as you go RVing? If you haven’t chosen a carrier or plan yet, consider these tips:

Before selecting a carrier consider how you will be using your cell phone (long distance, emergencies, daily, weekends). Knowing this will help a carrier to recommend a plan to best suit your needs.
Be sure the areas you plan to visit are within your carrier’s coverage. If you’re not sure you’ll want to check the coverage map on their website or in the store where you purchase the phone. Be sure to ask your neighbors, friends, and other RV enthusiasts about their experiences and level of satisfaction they have with their carrier.
Still not sure, BEFORE you lock into a service contract, ask the carrier if you can test their plan and coverage on a trial basis. You’ll find many carriers offer this option.
As you travel throughout the US, you will experience some “dead” cell areas even with the best of service providers. Adding an amplifier/repeater will increase your cellular signal strength and improve reception inside your home or RV. Stay in touch with your loved ones and enjoy superb cellular service, fewer dropped calls, safe, clear connections and stronger signals in your RV! Check out this Cell Phone Holder

$ave on Air Conditioning Costs:

Try these tips with Sun & Shade control products:

The sun beats down on your RV all day long, heating it and causing you to run your air conditioner non-stop. Use awnings and other shade products to help keep cool and comfortable.
Our Patio Awnings give you the most shade. Roll it out and shade almost the entire passenger side of your RV! In most cases, it also shades a few windows.
Window Awnings also help save on air conditioning. They shade windows so you can keep them open, rain or shine, for cross ventilation. Window awnings also help protect interior fabrics from harmful UV rays so there’s no more fading on curtains or furniture.
If your RV has a slideout room, you’ll want to cover your room with a Slideout Awning to keep dirt and debris off the top of your slideout and your RV. It also helps keep your slideout room cooler by providing a barrier between the top of the room and the sun.
Check out these great awnings:
Folding Camper Awnings
Motorhome Awnings
Power Awnings
Travel Trailer Awnings
Truck Camper Awnings
Van Awnings

Fresh Air Solutions:

Have you ever gone back to your RV and it still smells like your last excursion? HMMMM, is that smell smoke, pet odor or the barbequed ribs we had last week? Or is it just that unidentifiable stale odor that we all put up with? Sometimes even noxious odors that we may or may not smell accumulate. But before we can settle down, we quickly open the vents and the windows to “air” our unit out, all the time grumbling and wishing there was a way to provide adequate ventilation while we were away. Check out these Air Fresheners and Odor Eliminators

One of the most innovative solutions is the development of roof mounted vent covers, fan ventilators and louvered window vents. They allow the RV owner to leave his roof vents and windows open, while shielding the interior from the weather, leaves and branches. Adequately and continuously ventilating the RV while in storage eliminates heat and odor build-up and helps prevent mildew damage! As we all know a continuous source of ventilation is beneficial for us while we’re in our RV’s and of great value when we’re away. It simply solves the need for fresh air – rain or shine. Check out these Vent Covers

Tips for an odor-free holding tank:

Keep your tank clean: Your holding tank should be emptied and flushed with clean water and occasionally a mild detergent. Use a wand on your hose and flush your tank removing all residues to ensure your probes are working properly. Check seals for cracking. Check out these Holding Tank Rinsers and Tank Wands.
Use precise measurements: Don’t flush your money down the toilet. If you use a concentrated chemical, you don’t pay for water. 4 oz in a 40-gallon holding tank is all the chemical you should need. If you are using a product that requires more than that, you are paying for water. Check out these Holding Tank Chemicals.
Plan ahead: After dumping the waste immediately place water back into your holding tank and add your chemical. You never want to use your tank without having about 1 gallon of water in it to help the natural composting. Check out these Sewer Hoses.
Never let waste set in your hose: When draining your hose, make sure the waste is completely out of your hose and then rinse with fresh water.

Tips for maintaining your drinking water supply:

Always use a water supply hose clearly labeled as “drinking water safe”.
Make sure that you use your potable water supply hose for potable water ONLY. DO NOT USE DRINKING WATER HOSE FOR DRAINING HOLDING TANKS.
Before connecting your water supply hose to camper, flush with water for several minutes.
Drain hose completely after unhooking and before placing into storage.
After draining hose and before storing, either cap off ends or connect opposite ends of hose to keep inside of hose clean.
Replace water supply hose on a regular basis.
Check out these fresh water accessories:
Water Hoses
Water Fresheners
Water Testers
Water Hose Storage
Water Filters
Starter Kits

Tailgating Guide:

An RV takes tailgating to a whole new level. There’s no need to worry about the ice in your cooler melting or finding a place to heat up your snacks. You’ll have a roof over your head in rain or shine, and you’ll never again stand in line to use a public restroom! Here’s some tips from www.gorving.com to help you create the best tailgate party ever.

Get to the stadium early to snag a prime parking space. Look for a spot beside the grass or at the end of the row so you’ll have plenty of room to open your awning and set out chairs. Check out these Tailgating Chairs and Tailgating Picnic Supplies.
Turn on your RV fridge/freezer an hour or two before the big game to keep your food fresh and your drinks cold. Check out this Fridge Airator and Fridge Cool. Get your food ready to set out in stainless steel bowls.
Entertain your guests by showing football highlights or past Bowl triumphs on your onboard TV and VCR. After the game, relax with friends and watch post-game highlights as you let the traffic die down. Check out this TRAV’LER™ DIRECTV® Slimeline KU/KA and TRAV’LER™ DIRECTV® Triple LNB.
Don’t forget to leave your spot clean at the end of the day. Bring plenty of trash bags – and take them with you when you go. Check out these Waste Receptacles.

How to use a Fire Extinguisher:

Remember the word PASS!

P ull the pin,or press a puncture lever or release a lock latch.
A im low – toward the base of the fire.
S queeze the handle to release the content.
S weep the nozzle from side to side.

Source: National Fire Protection Association. Check out these Fire Suppressants.

Summertime Ear:

You can prevent swimmer’s ear – a painful inflammation of the external ear canal – with your hair dryer. Use your dryer on its warm setting and its lowest speed. Hold the dryer about an arm’s length from the ear and slowly move it back and forth. Source: Egleston Children’s Hospital. Check out this 12 Volt Hair Dryer.

Traveling with Children:

Judy Baldoni says that when traveling with children and/or adults, my husband and I play the game of keeping a list of how many fifth wheels, travel trailers and motor homes we see. Also keep a list of how many different states we see on the highway on cars and trucks and trailers. Also how many Ford, GMC/Chevy, or Dodge trucks we see pulling trailers or fifth wheels. Hope this helps on the long highways we travel on our way to campsites.

Make Traveling with Children Fun! Check out these:

Games
RV Toys
Children’s Traveling Books

Traveling with Your Pets:

Here’s a few things to help you keep your pet safe while traveling.

Keep your dogs and cats on a leash.
Don’t leave your dogs and cats by themselves unless they are locked inside your RV and have already been taken out for their walk. You would be surprised how many dogs and cats disappear because their owners leave them chained to a tree.
Attach a trip-specific tag to your dog or cat’s collar. List the name and phone number of your destination, using a separate tag for each leg of your trip. Remember to change the tags as you move on, or make one tag with the name and number of someone who knows your itinerary and knows how to reach you.
Check out these Pet Supplies.

Woof! Woof! Meow! Meow!

Rvers looking for campgrounds that accept four-legged guests can check www.petswelcome.com. This Internet site pinpoints pet-friendly public and private campgrounds, as well as emergency veterinarians throughout the United States and Canada. Source: MH News

Refrigerator Burner Service and Maintenance is a MUST:

Poor performance of the burner adversely affects the refrigerator’s cooling in the LP-gas mode. The need for service can be established by visually checking the burner performance. Problematic ignition, weak, yellow, or distorted flame pattern, or regular flame-out, usually indicate it needs servicing.

The burner assembly must be removed from the burner box for service. It should never be cleaned in place using compressed air. Once apart, the orifice can be cleaned or replaced and the burner tube and burner box can be thoroughly checked and cleaned. The electrode air gap must be reset after the burner assembly has been reinstalled. The LP-gas connection at the burner must be leak tested before placing the refrigerator in service.

Service, maintenance, and/or repairs to the refrigerators’ LP-gas components, including the burner assembly, must be performed by an authorized service center.

LP Gas and Safety:

With all the changes that have taken place in RV Propane system connections over the last five years, it’s important to understand the new safety features and how they work together to afford maximum protection and convenience. One of the biggest safety improvements of the new Type1, ACME connection is its ability to shut off the gas flow in a fire situation. Working together, the thermo sensitive bushing on the female ACME nut melts away at temperatures of 240-300 degrees F which allows a spring-loaded module inside the ACME cylinder valve to push back the internal connecting parts into a shut off position. All the new O.P.D. cylinders have ACME valves so all you need to assure the new fire protection is to install new ACME pigtails on your RV’s system.

For convenience, ACME threaded components offer smooth, right hand, wrench-less connections that are safe, quick and easy. The new “Extend-A-Flow Plus” kit and “Plus” Fitting feature ACME end fittings for making it safe, quick and easy to hook up high pressure, portable appliances like stoves, grills, and lanterns to the RVs with those new ACME pigtails. You’ll love the safety and convenience these products bring to your camping experience. Check out these LP Gas Accessories.

Calculating Your RVs Solar Power Needs:

This requires only a little math and a realistic assessment of how much power you actually use. The formula for computing amp hours is the number of hours multiplied by the number of amps used per hour. For example, one light uses 1.5 amps x 6 hours = 9.0 amps per hour and your television uses 1.4 amps x 3 hours = 4.2 amps per hour.

Selecting the RV antenna that’s right for you:

If you’re confused by which TV antenna is right for you, take a look at the kind of programs you want to watch and the type of Rving that you do. If you only want local programs, you can stick with a batwing-type antenna, standard on most RVs, or an omnidirectional antenna for local signals. If you want satellite programming, like you may have at home, you’ll need a satellite RV antenna. The good thing is, you can use your home receiver and programming with your RV antenna and pay no additional fees. There are many styles from which to choose including crank-up, automatic, tracking, non-tracking, portable and ladder mounts. There’s also your budget to consider and how mobile you are physically. Don’t forget about the kind of Rving you do and where you most often park your RV. More than one antenna may solve your RV viewing needs. The idea is to get the signal to your TV. Check out these Electronic Media Accessories.

Subscribe to Satellite TV and XM Radio. For more information contact:

www.directv.com 1-800-DIRECTV
www.dishtv.com 1-800-333-DISH
www.xmradio.com 1-800-852-9696

Check out these Satellite Accessories and Satellite Antenna Systems.

Taking care of your RV Awning:

The effects of wind and rain on an awning are unpredictable. The best protection from wind or extended periods of rain is to roll up your awning and secure it for travel. Another way to prevent water build-up on your awning is to position one upper arm substantially lower than the other to create enough slope for adequate water runoff. Check out these Awning Options, Hardware, and Accessories

Keeping up appearances:

Carefree of Colorado says that longer awning rollers tend to have a natural bow towards the RV. Some Rvers prefer to eliminate the inward bow by installing a rafter to make the canopy look tighter. This is a matter of personal preference regarding looks and function. A ground support may be used to prevent your awning roller from sagging toward the ground on longer awning rollers. Some manufacturers recommend that one rafter and ground support be used on awnings 22’ to 23’ in length. Awnings ranging from 24’ to 25’ in length should have two. Check out these Awning Supports and Rafters

Spring Cleaning is Year Round in An RV. Make it Easy!

RVs move through different climates and road conditions, and this can make maintenance seem “less than recreational.” The key to quick and easy RV care is the regular use of quality products formulated specifically for recreational vehicles. Here’s a few tips:

Use a black streak remover as soon as you notice the streaks. Black streaks are caused by oxidation of roof and window seals. Frequent touch ups will minimize uneven weathering.
Treat your rubber roof at least twice a year to minimize oxidation. Check out these Rubber Roof Cleaners and Patches or Protectants
An awning cleaner can revitalize faded fabric and extend its useful life.
A rotating schedule for different areas of the unit isn’t a bad idea. Week one: awning clean up; Week two: a complete unit wash-down; and so on.
Check out these timesaving cleaning accessories:
Brooms, Brushes, Cloths, Buckets & More
Automotive Cleaners
Applicators
Bathroom Cleaners
Bug Barriers
Carpet & Fabric Cleaners & Treatments
Canvas Cleaners
Detail Kits
Metal Protection
Miscellaneous Cleaners
Motorized Power Sprayer
Oxy-Kem
Polishes & Waxes
Power Washer
Protectants
RV Cleaners
Stain Removers
Tire Cleaners

Rving is about fun; don’t let maintenance creep up on you. Nibble on it.

Green RVing Guide:

Like everyone, Rvers have a responsibility to protect the environment. Do your part to help preserve the great outdoors for future generations by following these conservation tips:

Keep your RV on roads that it is equipped to handle.
Keep RV and tow vehicle engines well tuned to conserve energy and reduce emissions.
Always use marked RV campsites.
Recycle as you travel. Take note of campground recycling categories; they may be different from those you use at home.
Minimize the use of disposables. Mix your own cold drinks from powders, and assign a mug to each family member rather than using paper cups. Discard excess packaging at home.
Keep campfires small to minimize the amount of ash and pollution. Don’t put anything into the fire pit that will not burn, such as plastics, foils, and metals. Observe fire rules, which may change each day with weather conditions.
Use non-toxic cleaning supplies and tank additives.
Where pets are permitted, keep them indoors or use a screw-in stake. Tying them to trees can damage fragile bark.
Your favorite music may be your neighbor’s noise pollution. Observe quiet hours for generators, boom boxes, and noisy games.
Work with nature. In hot weather, use natural shade, awnings, and canvas covers. In cold weather, park where the RV will be protected from north and west winds.
Leave campground showers, the dump station, and the campsite as clean as you found them.
At the end of your trip, dispose of all trash properly.

Observing these guidelines will make you a Green Rver! Source: www.gorving.com.

RV Cover Measuring Tips:

ADCO RV Covers are designed to cover the body of a motor home or the box of a trailer. As a rule, exclude accessories when determining length. Don’t include bumpers, racks, ladders, hitches, bikes, or tanks.

Check out these awesome covers:

Covers for Class A & C RVs, 5th Wheels, & Trailers
Polypropylene RV Covers
SFS AquaShed® RV Covers
Toy Hauler Covers

RV Cover Installation Tips:

Thoroughly clean your RV
Lower antenna
Pad all sharp edges and corners
Place ladder cap over ladder
Do not over-tighten straps

How to choose the best bike carrier:

Remember, you gotta arrive before you can ride. As you look for a bike carrier, keep these things in mind:

Durability: Look for a bike carrier made of STEEL with a thick powder-coat for protection against the weather. Steel is real, and cold rolled TUBULAR steel is simply the best!
Design: Look for a bike carrier that has TOP and BOTTOM cradle plates which will ensure that your bikes remain on the carrier. Straps, bungee cords, and rope ties could fail to stabilize your bikes.
Simplicity: Form equals function, the simpler the better. The less you have to put together, the happier you are and the stronger the bike carrier is.
Security: Look for a bike carrier that is built by a company that has as their main focus the manufacturing of bike carriers. Focused companies tend to produce innovations that result in better performing products.
Innovation: Look for a bike carrier that allows you to lock your bikes onto the carrier. Use a pad lock hole for locking the top and bottom plates together or optional locking knobs.

Check out these Bike Carriers.

Tips for maintaining your tires:

To get optimum performance and life out of your tires, follow these tips:

Inspect all wheels and tires regularly for wear and tightness. Look for signs of rust, indicating loose wheels.
Inflate tires to the exact manufacturer’s recommended pressure based on weight of vehicle. Check out these Tire Inflators and Tire Pressure Gauges and Valve Extenders
Keep tires clean. Dirt on tires can act as an abrasive. Regular washing with a mild soap, water and soft brush can remove dirt, as well as ozone. Check out these Tire Cleaners
Sun and the ozone can cause damage to your tires during periods of non-use. Use tire covers to keep the tires completely covered. Check out these Wildlife Tire Covers
If tires are worn, replace them. Select tires that provide adequate traction on the drive axles, and adequate tread of the steer axles. Check out these New Tires

Tips on brakes:

Good brakes are important. An upgrade to high performance brakes or adding a supplemental braking system to your tow vehicle will reduce your stopping distance and brake fade.
Remember your vehicle size and know your motor home’s gross combination weight rating (GCWR). Always allow yourself plenty of time to brake and when changing lanes.
When inspecting all brake system components, check for broken or cracked brake lines, and rusted or loose hose hangers. With hydraulic systems, look for evidence of leakage. In air systems, listen for air leaks.

Tips on trailers and fifth wheel stabilization:

Stabilization is an important part for a tent trailer, travel trailer or fifth wheel trailer. Unlike motor homes, trailers do not have a built-in parking brake; therefore, not having much to control front to rear rocking movement. This is where wheel chocks and stabilizers come in to play. Stabilizing jacks, when extended, help put a damper on movement; most people prefer to eliminate movement altogether. Locking chocks provide front to rear trailer stabilization by locking the tires and eliminating trailer rocking. For a fifth wheel, landing gear can help to level it, but it doesn’t provide the overhang stabilization it needs. A strong and secure method for stabilizing a fifth wheel is using a king pin stabilizer.

Check out these Jacks & Levelers

RV Steering Safety:

Many things effect your safety on the road in relation to the steering components of your RV. Often, the steering components and the front end of an RV are given little consideration when it comes to your personal safety and the safety of others on the road. Use these tips to help maintain a “healthy” steering system.

Be certain the front end of your RV in aligned properly.
Check tires for proper inflation and abnormal wear before each trip while cold. Check out these Tire Inflators and Tire Pressure Gauges and Valve Extenders
Make sure all tires are properly balanced.
Be certain lug nuts are properly tightened.
Cover tires when parked to prevent sun damage. Check out these Tire Covers and Wildlife Tire Covers
Frequently check ball joints or king pins for lubrication and looseness. Check out these Fifth Wheel Lube Plates
Check tie rods and tie rod ends for wear and lubrication.
Maintain proper power steering fluid levels.
If excessive play develops in the steering have it checked immediately.
Take frequent breaks to avoid driver fatigue.
Steering controls will also increase your safety factor by reducing driver fatigue and helping you maintain control in side winds, tire blowouts, dropping off the pavement, and while passing trucks.

Check out these Steering Controls and Steering Stabilizers.

What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Weight Distributing Hitch:

What is the weight of my trailer – is my tow vehicle rated for towing my trailer?
What weight distributing hitch class do I need?
How difficult/easy is it to hook-up and un-hook?
Does it have torsion bars that need to be set each time I tow?
Is it pre-set so I can just hook-up and go?
Can I install it myself, or do I need a professional installer?
How do I adjust it to the height of my tow vehicle?
Does it control both the upward and downward forces on my trailer/tow vehicle?
Is a sway control option available? Check out these Sway Controls
What type of warranty is available?
What type of service does the manufacturer/dealer provide after the sale?

Check out these Weight Distributing Hitches.

Camping Recipes

travel-trailer-fireRecipes Your Family Will Love!

Cherry Cheese Turnovers
Ingredients:
crescent rolls
butter
sugar
cherry pie filling
cream cheese
Partially bake crescent rolls in the oven before you leave home and cut them into squares the size of a slice of bread. Butter outsides of crescent roll and sprinkle with sugar. Spread insides of rolls with cream cheese and fill with pie filling. Fold over, sealing edges. Heat over campfire slowly until filling is hot.
Toffee Corn (recipe yields 1 gallon):
Ingredients:
2 qt. popped corn
1 C pecan pieces
1 1/3 C sugar
2/3 C peanuts, chopped
1/2 C corn syrup
1 C (2 sticks) butter
2 tsp vanilla
Remove un-popped kernels from the popped corn. In a large bowl, sprinkle pecans and peanuts on top of popcorn. Do not stir the nuts in or they will end up at the bottom of the bowl. Melt butter, then add sugar and corn syrup to it. Lightly boil mixture, stirring occasionally, until it turns a light caramel color (about 10 minutes) Remove caramel mixture from heat and add vanilla to it. Pour over dry ingredients. Stir gently to coat evenly. Spread on a cookie sheet to cool. Break toffee corn apart and store in an air tight container.
From “Mom’s Camper Cooking” $9.99 – available in our on-line store

Regal S’mores:

Ingredients:
chocolate graham crackers
marshmallows
chocolate candy bar
caramel ice cream topping
peanut butter

Most everyone knows the traditional S’more. But this is a great variation. Brown marshmallow slowly over a campfire. When soft and golden, put it on top of the graham cracker that has been topped with a piece of chocolate bar. Then pour on a teaspoon of caramel topping or peanut butter on the marshmallow and top with another graham cracker. Don’t be afraid to try other combinations on an old favorite.

Bruschetta:

Ingredients:
fresh tomatoes
1 red onion
mozzarella cheese
red pepper
green pepper
minced garlic
basil
balsamic vinegar

French bread loaf
olive oil
cooking spray

Prepare bruschetta Mix (ie: chop into small pieces, add basil and vinegar). Slice bread at an angle, big enough to pile on the mix. Put oil on both sides of the bread. Grill bread on both sides (using cooking spray, spray aluminum foil lined grilling basket). Heap on the mix and grill over coals until cheese melts. Enjoy! Don’t have a grill basket? Get one here!

Campfire Pretzels:

Ingredients:
1 can of biscuits
salt or sugar
cinnamon

Roll out biscuit into a long string & wrap around a hotdog stick or super duty fork. Shake on the salt or cinnamon-sugar mix. Bake over hot coals until done. (You can also butter the biscuit first). Don’t have a grilling fork? Check out these super duty forks, roaster toaster forks, telescopic hot dog forks, extension forks, and weenie roasters!

Easy Campfire Pie:

Ingredients:
bread
butter
choice of pie filling (apple, cherry, blueberry)
sugar

Butter one side of 4 pieces of bread. Mold 2 pieces of bread in one side of the sandwich iron. Make sure that the buttered side is against the iron to prevent sticking. The bread will be overlapping each other to make sure it fills up the iron. Spoon some of the pie mixture into the bread. (If using apple mixture, you can sprinkle a little cinnamon in too.) Cover with the other two slices of bread and close iron. Hold over a fire, turning occasionally to make sure that each side is golden brown. Remove from the iron and sprinkle with sugar and serve. Be careful because the filling is hot!

If you want a low-fat treat, use light bread, light butter and un-sweetened pie mixture with artificial sweetener mixed in before adding your filling.

Did you know there are whole recipe books dedicated to cooking with pie irons? Check out these pie iron recipe books! Don’t have pie irons? Check out these cast iron pie cookers, square sandwich irons, and double sandwich irons!

Hash Brown Casserole :

Ingredients:
2 pounds of hash browns (frozen hash browns thawed)
1 16 oz. sour cream
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/4 to 1/2 Cup green onions, chopped
1 stick butter
2 Cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 can French fried onions (grated)

Place uncooked hash brown potatoes in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Melt butter and add onions, sour cream, soup, and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese. Mix together well. Pour into oiled Dutch oven; put fried onions in a ring around the top and fill the center with cheese. Hang Dutch oven on a medium high hook over low fire (about 12 inches above the highest flame) and bake for 45 minutes, or until hash browns are completely warm and cheese melts. A tripod with adjustable grill height works GREAT for this recipe! If you are trailer camping and have an oven; place mixture in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Camp Chicken Cordon Blue :

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices ham, deli style is fine
3/4 Cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 C parmesan cheese
2 eggs
8 pieces of aluminum foil (spray with cooking spray before covering chicken)

Prepare chicken breasts by cutting a slit along the side, making a “pocket”, do not cut all the way through. In a bowl mix bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. In another bowl beat eggs. Coat chicken breasts with egg, and then coat with bread crumb mixture. Place breaded chicken on greased foil. Stuff “pocket” of chicken with 1 slice of ham and 1 slice of cheese Cover stuffed chicken with the other piece of foil and crimp sides to seal packet. Place packet over coals or on BBQ until cooked through (usually about 40 minutes over coals), flipping halfway through.

Spider Dog:

Ingredients:
1 package of bun length hot dogs
a stick or campfire fork

Take a bun length hot dog and cut X’s down into each end, leaving 2 – 3 inches in the middle of the hot dog uncut for the stick or super duty fork. Place the hot dog onto the stick or campfire fork, and cook over campfire, or on a grill. The ends open up and look like a spider! Don’t have a grilling fork? Check out these super duty forks, roaster toaster forks, telescopic hot dog forks, extension forks, and weenie roasters!

Campfire Banana Canoes:

Ingredients:
1 firm banana
1 Tbs. chocolate chips
1 – 2 tsp. walnut pieces
2 – 3 tsp. mini marshmallows

On a flat surface, arrange a double thickness of aluminum foil large enough to wrap around the banana. Leaving the skin on the banana, cut a long slit along the inside curve. If the banana is very curved, flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand. Press chocolate chips, walnuts, and marshmallows into the opening. (For variety, fill the canoes with granola and chocolate chips, M&M’s and marshmallows, or trail mix.) Wrap the banana with aluminum foil and lay it on hot coals. Cook it for 8 to 10 minutes or until the chocolate and marshmallows are melted. Let the boat cool slightly, then eat the inside with a spoon. Makes 1 serving.

adapted from www.thecampingclub.com

Fruity S’mores:

Graham Cracker Options:
Honey Grahams
Chocolate Grahams
Cinnamon Grahams

Filling Options:
2 Tbs. strawberry jam
2 Tbs. peanut butter
1 chocolate candy bar
2 Tbs. cream cheese spread

Fruit Options:
8 strawberry slices
8 banana slices
8 raspberries
16 blueberries

Roast marshmallows until lightly browned and melted inside. Spread or top each of four graham cracker squares with 1/4 of the filling. Top each square with a marshmallow. Top with fruit and second graham square; press top lightly to secure, and serve warm. Makes 4 servings. Grilling & Campfire Accessories to help with this recipe.

adapted from www.kraftfoods.com

Pie Iron Pizza Sandwiches:

Ingredients:
Sliced sandwich bread
Shredded cheese
Pepperoni or preferred meat
Pizza toppings of choice
Pizza sauce (squeezable)
Cooking oil spray

Take your pie iron and take it apart and spray both sides with cooking spray. On a plate make your pizza sandwich with desired ingrdients. Place pie on one side of the pie iron and close. Make sure it’s secure. Place on top of hot coals, checking every couple of minutes until desired toastiness. Be sure to let it cool for 5 minutes as it will be very hot! Grilling & Campfire Accessories to help with this recipe.

adapted from www.thecampingclub.com

Campfire Banana Boats:

Ingredients:
Bananas
Chocolate chips
Peanut butter
Marshmallows
Nuts
Aluminum Foil

Take a whole banana, peel and cut it lengthwise. Open it up a bit and mash the insides of banana with a fork. Pour in chocolate chips, peanut butter, marshmallows, and nuts. Fold everything back up, wrap in foil and place on hot coals, turning every 3 or 4 minutes. When chips are melted, open up and enjoy with a spoon!

Submitted by Heather – www.thecampingclub.com

Cowboy Quiche:

Ingredients:
1 package of bacon (cut up)
1 package of sausage (crumbled)
1 onion (diced)
1 bag of hash browns
1 dozen eggs
1 package of shredded cheese

Add the bacon, sausage, and onion to a hot Dutch oven, over a fire. When the sausage is browned and onions begin to caramelize, add hash browns and mix. Cook until hash browns are warm, stirring a couple of times. While hash browns are cooking, break eggs and beat. Add eggs to the Dutch oven. When eggs are set, sprinkle cheese over the top. When cheese is melted, pull it off the fire and serve.

submitted by Chad Shyrock – www.thecampingclub.com

Baked Apple:

Ingredients:
1 apple per person
1 tbs. brown or white sugar per apple

Wash apple(s). Cut a slice off the top, remove the core, and put the sugar in the hollow. Recap apple, and wrap in foil. Cook in hot ashes for about an hour.

adapted from “Family Camping Made Simple…” by Beverly Liston

Onion Potatoes:

Ingredients:
1 baking potato per person
1 large onion, sliced
Butter, salt, and pepper to taste
Optional: seasonings

Scrub potatoes and slice into 3/4 ” slices. Place a very thin slice of onion between every third potato slice. Dab with butter between the slices, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and additional seasonings to taste. Wrap each potato firmly in foil. Cook in hot ashes about one hour.

adapted from “Family Camping Made Simple…” by Beverly Liston

GORP (Good Old Raisins & Peanuts):

Ingredients:
1 cup peanuts
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate-covered candies
Optional ingredients: coconut flakes, butterscotch chips, almonds, any dried fruit

Mix ingredients well, store in an airtight container. Check out these Bag Clips to help with this recipe.

adapted from “Family Camping Made Simple…” by Beverly Liston

Beef Enchiladas in a Skillet:

Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 diced white onion
1 can of cream of mushroom soup 10 ½ oz
1 10 oz can of enchilada sauce
1/3 cup milk
1 package of corn tortillas
1 can pitted black olives
3 cups sharp cheese, shredded
2 sliced jalapeno chili peppers

Heat the skillet to a moderate temperature. Add the lean ground beef and diced onion and brown them. Drain off the excess fat. Stir in the cream of mushroom soup and reduce the heat a little. Add milk, enchilada sauce and the jalapeno chili peppers. Cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Heat oil in another skillet and dip the tortillas in the hot oil long enough for them to go limp. Remove and place some cheese and black olives inside. Cover with the meat mixture and top with the remaining cheese. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro. Serve hot. Check out these Can Openers to help with this recipe.

Taken from “Backyard to Backcountry The Out Door Cookbook” by Jim McKinley

Mud Puppy – 1 serving:

Ingredients:
1 soft dinner roll
1 tsp refried beans
1 strip of cheese
1 hot dog

Split the top of the roll. Fill the roll with beans and cheese. Wrap the filled roll in three sheets of foil and seal the ends. Set the pouch in the coals for ten minutes. Push the hot dog onto a cooking stick, lengthwise, and cook over the coals, turning it to cook evenly. Remove the roll pouch from the coals. Open carefully. Put the cooked hot dog into the hot bean-and-cheese roll. Grilling & Campfire Accessories and helpful Utensils to help with this recipe.

Recipe taken from “Sleeping in a Sack: Camping Activities for Kids” by Linda White

Wilderness Peach Pie – 1 serving:

Ingredients:
1 ripe peach
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp cinammon

Peel peach, and set it on a stack of three 12-inch square sheet of foil. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the peach. Pull the foil up, around, and over the peach and twist ends together tightly. Set in the coals for 20 minutes. Pull out the pouch with tongs. Open the foil carefully so the ashes don’t fall in your dessert and the hot juice won’t burn you. Eat with a knife and fork. Check out this BBQ Tool Set to help with this recipe.

Recipe taken from “Sleeping in a Sack: Camping Activities for Kids” by Linda White

Weasel Spuds – 1 serving:

Ingredients:
1 large baking potato
1 pat of butter
salt and pepper
cheese (optional)

Wash one large baking potato, and wrap the potato in foil. Nestle it into the coals and cover with more coals. Ignore it for 30 or 40 minutes, or util it’s soft when you sqeeze it slightly with your camp tongs. Carefully fish the foil pouch out with long tongs or spear it with a stick. Split the foil and potato, top with butter, salt and pepper, and grated cheese, if you like, then enjoy! Check out this BBQ Tool Set to help with this recipe.

Recipe taken from “Sleeping in a Sack: Camping Activities for Kids” by Linda White

S’MORES – 1 serving:

Ingredients:
1 whole graham cracker
1 flat milk chocolate bar the size of half the cracker
1 marshmallow

Break the graham cracker in half. Place the half chocolate bar on one piece of cracker, and set aside. Put marshmallow on stick. Toast it over coals until golden brown. Put marshmallow on top of chocolate and cracker, and top with other graham cracker half. Press together and hold for about 30 seconds while the marshmallow melts the chocolate. Eat, and then make another! Grilling & Campfire Accessories to help with this recipe.

Recipe taken from “Sleeping in a Sack: Camping Activities for Kids” by Linda White

Road Pies:

Ingredients:
2 sticks of butter
½ cup of sugar
2 ½ cups of sifted flour

Cream together the butter and sugar until light, then blend in the flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and keep it in your RV refrigerator.

To bake the dough, cut it in two and pat each portion into a seven-inch circle on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the tines of a fork, prick lines in each “pie” to mark 16 wedges. Bake about 30 minutes, or until very lightly browned, at 300°. Cool slightly and break into wedges. Stainless Steel Bowls to help with this recipe.

Click here to see more recipes from Janet Groene’s books “Cooking on the Go” and “Cooking Aboard Your RV”

Scalloped Potatoes:

Ingredients:
½ bag potatoes, sliced
1 pkg melted Velveeta cheese
3 ½ cups boiling water
1 ½ cups cold milk
4 Tbs butter or margarine

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In an ungreased 2 ½ to 3 quart baking dish, combine potatoes and sauce mix. Stir in boiling water, cold milk and butter or margarine. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, uncovered, or until potatoes are tender.

From Mrs. Sharlene Taylor, Greenfield, MA.

A great tip for Make-Ahead Meatballs:

Cook and crumble the ground meat at home; then freeze it in quart bags for use in your RV. This sure saves handling raw meat at the campgrounds, and part of the meal is cooked.

From Mrs. B.J. Harris, Colorado Springs, CO. “Travel Tips for the RV Traveler”

Simple Pizza Turnovers:

Ingredients:
Pillsbury flaky biscuits
diced pepperoni
shredded mozzarella cheese
pizza sauce

Mix equal parts of pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. Add just enough pizza sauce for the mixture to stick together. Flatten each biscuit and place 1 tsp of mixture in the center. Fold biscuit over and pinch all sides. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes on a non-stick pan.

From www.gorving.com Recipes

Harvey’s Favorite BBQ Sauce:

Great for basting chicken or ribs on the grill.

Ingredients:
1 ½ cup ketchup
6 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
¾ cup water
4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup chopped onions
2 tsp salt
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp thyme

Combine all ingredients above. Boil 6 lbs. Ribs until tender (beef ribs-45 min). Pour sauce over ribs and let marinate 1 hour. Baste on the grill until cooked (about 45 min). Grilling & Campfire Accessories to help with this recipe. Don’t forget to keep your kitchen work surfaces safe and organized.

Lemon Ginger Iced Tea:

Ginger is both a food and a medicine, and is especially helpful for stomach discomforts.

Ingredients:
7-8 tea bags
4 cups water
3 Tbs honey
2 Tbs lemon juice

Boil water. Turn burner off and add 7-8 bags of tea bags. Steep for 15 minutes. Stir in honey. Let tea cool. Before serving, stir in lemon juice.

Source: Hope Heart Institute, Seattle, WA

Harvey’s Favorite Chili Recipe:

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground beef
1 med onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup celery (2 stalks), sliced
½ green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp granulated sugar
3 tsp chili powder
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 (15 oz) can of kidney beans

Makes 10-12 servings. Brown beef in an iron skillet. Drain grease. Add onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Saute for 5 min.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, cumin, sugar, chili powder and pepper flakes. Simmer for 1 hour.
Add kidney beans, and simmer an additional 30 min. Serve with grated cheddar cheese and chopped green onion.

Go Green!

Be an Earth-friendly RV Traveler!

Green RVing Guide
(from www.gorving.com)

green-forest-campingLike everyone, RVers have a responsibility to protect the environment. Do your part to help preserve the great outdoors for future generations by following these conservation tips:

  • Keep your RV on roads that it is equipped to handle.
  • Keep RV and tow vehicle engines well tuned to conserve energy and reduce emissions.
  • Always use marked RV campsites.
  • Recycle as you travel. Take note of campground recycling categories; they may be different from those you use at home.
  • Minimize the use of disposables. Mix your own cold drinks from powders, and assign a mug to each family member rather than using paper cups.
  • Discard excess packaging at home.
  • Keep campfires small to minimize the amount of ash and pollution. Don’t put anything into the fire pit that will not burn, such as plastics, foils, and metals. Observe fire rules, which may change each day with weather conditions.
  • Use nontoxic cleaning supplies and tank additives.
  • Where pets are permitted, keep them indoors or use a screw-in stake. Tying them to trees can damage fragile bark.
  • Your favorite music may be your neighbor’s noise pollution. Observe quiet hours for generators, boom boxes, and noisy games.
  • Work with nature. In hot weather, use natural shade, awnings and canvas covers. In cold weather, park where the RV will be protected from north and west winds.
  • Leave campground showers, the dump station, and the campsite as clean as you found them.
  • At the end of your trip, dispose of all trash properly.

Observing these simple guidelines will make you a Green RVer!

RV Vacation Carbon Footprint Analysis

Ever wonder what impact you, as an RVer, make on the environment compared to flying, driving, or staying in a Hotel? Check out this environmental analysis.

Green Driving Tips for the Road:

  • Avoid quick starts. A smooth, steady starting acceleration and on-the-road speed save fuel and reduce wear and tear on the transmission, engine, tires and brakes.
  • Keep to the speed limit. Each mph over 55 decreases fuel efficiency by about 1%. So when holding steady at the posted 55 mph instead of pushing it to 65, you increase fuel economy by a whopping 10%.
  • Use overdrive and cruise control. Whenever possible, cruise control not only helps you keep to the speed limit, but the overdrive gears slow engine speeds, reducing wear and saving fuel.
  • Hang on to recyclables. With plenty of on-board RV storage, it’s easy to keep recyclable waste with you to dispose of at local recycle stations along the way or through programs offered by many campgrounds.
  • Limit summer AC use. While driving on the road, open windows and vents and turn off the air conditioning system to avoid decreasing your fuel consumption.
  • Refuel in cooler temps. In the heat of the summer, try to refuel when temperatures are lower, like early morning and after sundown, to alleviate the vaporization of the fuel that escapes and aggravates smog formation.

Green Maintenance Tips Before You Hit the Road:

Whether you prefer to travel by motorhome or towable RV, there’s engine power involved in getting you and your RV from home to your ultimate destination and so many places in between. One of the best ways to conserve fuel, reduce emissions and keep costs down is by performing routine engine and vehicle maintenance including:

  • Engine performance. Optimize your fuel performance by having engines tuned and spark plugs replaced according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Just a single misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel economy by up to 4%, says the EPA.
  • Check engine warning lights. Ignoring these indicators could result in poor fuel economy or worse, in costly engine repairs. Heed the warning lights – that’s what they were installed for.
  • Motor oil. Before a trip, check levels and top off oil to keep the engine properly lubricated. Also follow manufacturer-recommended guidelines for the frequency of oil changes to maintain fuel efficiency.
  • Air filters. Replacing a dirty air filter at the end of its suggested lifespan can increase gas mileage by up to an incredible 10%, according to the US Department of Energy.
  • Brakes. While always important in a moving vehicle, the weight of an RV puts added pressure on the vehicle braking system. Brakes that are not maintained properly can create unwanted drag, which is like driving with your foot on the brake pedal. This will wear out brakes too quickly (expensive!) and cut fuel economy because of the resistance.
  • Tire inflation pressure. Properly inflating tires to the manufacturers recommended pressure can also increase miles per gallon. Tires can lose about one pound of pressure in a month and for every three pounds below the recommended pressure, fuel economy goes down by 1%.
  • Tire wear. Replacing worn tires with a manufacturer-recommended size and performance style can save hundreds of dollars each year and can increase safety on road surfaces and in inclement weather conditions.
  • Reduce unnecessary vehicle weight. Excess weight reduces fuel efficiency, so unless you are dry camping along the route, travel to your destination with minimal water in your waste and fresh water tanks, which can be filled up and emptied at the campground. Even purchasing heavy items like campfire wood once you arrive can cut weight and help you comply with local ordinances if certain types of wood from your region of the country are banned in another – this also helps preserve the eco-balance.
  • Turn off before you lock up. Before pulling out of the driveway, double-check that your home’s energy consumption is minimized. Turn off lights or set a few on automatic timers, turn AC up or heat down, set hot water heater on vacation mode, shut off water to the house, pull shades to keep out the summer heat. Also make sure that computers are shut down and energy-consuming electronics like DVRs and cell phone chargers that cycle through energy consumption even when not in use are unplugged.