Monthly Archives: May 2014

Important RV Safety Tips To Keep In Mind

rv safetyTraveling in a recreational vehicle or RV can be an exciting adventure, as well as a great way to bond with the family, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Those who are thinking of traveling by RV will want to make sure that they put safety first at all times and this is easier with a safety checklist in hand.

Propane

Maintaining and operating propane tanks is a big job and it’s something that individuals will most likely want to take very seriously. These tanks are considered safe, but only when utilized correctly. Propane tank maintenance tip number one is provided by National General;

“No matter how big a home-town fan you are, never paint your tank a dark color, which more readily absorbs the sun’s rays and can cause the tank to overheat and explode.”

What is more, individuals should always be wary of an open flame when it comes to ensuring safety with these tanks, so it is never a good idea to travel with any fires lit within the RV. When refueling, individuals will want to make sure that the engine is turned off, and all units need to be installed with a propane gas detector since this warns the occupants of a leak.

Pre-Drive Checks

Pre-drive checks should be conducted before each journey, much like a person would inspect their vehicles before a drive. Individuals will want to start out by ensuring that all doors are closed properly and all safety cables are in place. All sewer and phone lines will need to be disconnected, as well as jacks, awnings and steps retracted.

Once these checks have been done, individuals will then want to move on to checking all fluids, including oil, coolants, transmission and breaks. The tires should also be inspected for leaks or tears.

Don’t Go Too Hard on the Brakes

Anyone who is going to be driving an RV for the first time will want to make sure that they go easy on the brakes. As the experts at Beckleys RVs suggest;

“Motorhomes use air brakes as opposed to the hydraulic breaks found in normal cars. They have a very different feel compared to car brakes, so don’t panic when it’s not what you’re used to.”

This new breaking system can often confuse individuals for the first time, although with some practice, it will become a lot simpler.

Turning Corners

Turning a corner isn’t as easy in an RV as it is in a vehicle. Whenever a driver is going to be turning a corner, he will want to make sure that he follows the S.A.F.E method. This method cautions individuals to approach the turn slowly, arc the turn, finish it completely and practice, since people will only get better at this with experience.

It is also important to remember that anything in an RV will most likely take about 20% longer than the same actions in a car. This rule applies to everything from accelerating to turning.

Have The Right Tools in Hand

Drivers never know when they might come across a problem they need to fix, so it is always handy to have certain tools around when these situations arise. RV drivers should make sure that they carry around the following tools; flashlight, road flares, jumper cables, flat repair spray, adjustable wrench, screwdrivers, duct tape and pliers.

Dealing With the Weather

Severe weather can put a lot of stress on an RV, so individuals will want to make sure that they know how to deal with it. As the experts of Fun Roads suggest;

“Park in a sheltered area. In stormy weather, avoid trees or power lines that could fall on your vehicle. The safest place during lightning is inside your RV. If you’re in the path of a tornado, you are safest in a tornado shelter.”

Traveling in an RV can be a lot of fun, but it is important that safety always comes first, whether a person is stationed for the night or traveling on the open road.

Staying Connected in the RV World

tvrv-may-saleFace it folks, like it or not, we’re living in a connected world.  Smart Phones, laptops, tablets, iPods, Smart TVs, e-readers, Kindles, GPS units, cameras, even appliances and thermostats, and the list goes on, are just some of the devices we may find connected to our private networks at home. Now, when we are on the road in our RVs, we still want to take a lot of that technology and connectivity with us. Getting and staying connected while traveling about the country in our RVs presents new challenges for us.

Let’s look at a typical scenario.  We have – his and hers smart phones, a laptop (or two), a Kindle, an iPad, and oh yeah, one of those GPS units on the dash that has WiFi to check for weather, traffic and fuel prices while on the go. So in this example we have at least six devices that we want to have connected to the internet, maybe not all the time, but more often than not.

Most of us will get internet one of three ways when we’re out and about.  Either by 1.Cellular (via smart phone hotspots, MiFi devices, or air cards),  2. WiFi (Public hotspots or private sites (campgrounds, truckstops, McDonalad’s etc.),  or 3. Satellite Internet.

Since the cellular connections these days almost all have data limits, the WiFi provided by campgrounds and other outlets is often a first choice to get that internet connection we all want.  There are however some drawbacks to using these WiFi hotspots. We can’t always park our RVs next to the WiFI antenna. Signals are often weak, and or spotty, and the service quality greatly depends on which campsite you get.  There can also be some security concerns when using a shared  WiFi connection with all your devices, but maybe the biggest pain is that each time you find a new WiFi connection, you have to enter the Password or Key into every device you want to connect to the internet. In our hypothetical situation, there are six or more devices that all have to have something done to in order to connect. Now we have all our devices connected to the internet, but what if you want to move a document or pictures from one device to the other? Your devices are not connected to each other at the local level on your network like they would be at home, so you have to “e-mail” the file to yourself via the World Wide Web.

Now, what can we do to make some of these problems and inconveniences go away? 

The WiFI Ranger “Sky”, and the WiFI Ranger “RVPack2” are two, high end, but still affordable solutions, to help make our RV networking much better and easier.  I’ll start by explaining the basics and then I’ll explain the extra advantages of the RVPack2.

 

WIFI Ranger Go Indoor Mobile RouterThe WiFi Ranger Sky is a WiFI booster, external antenna, and router, all in one package, specifically designed for use in the mobile RV environment.  Since the Sky is permanently mounted on the roof of your RV, it’s internal antenna is ideally positioned to capture, and boost, WiFI signals from Hotspots as far away as 2500 ft.  The router portion of the Sky, creates a local private network around your RV for all your devices, and connects your private network to the Hotspot, with a protective firewall in between the two networks.  The Sky continuously scans and evaluates the available WiFI signals and automatically connects to the fastest connection, even if it isn’t the strongest signal. (You still must have any security keys as required.) Since your six devices are logged in and connected to your private network, instead of the campground network, the Sky can switch between different Access Points and you won’t even know it.  Example, you’re connected to “Campground1” access point, and this campground has multiple access points available for improved service. Then, Unhappy Camper down at the end of the row, backs into and knocks over the pole which has the “Campground1” antenna on which terminates the “Campground1” signal. Assuming you entered the keys provided by the campground office, the Sky will automatically switch over to the next best signal which we’ll call “Campground2” and ALL your devices continue to access the internet with no interruption, and with no further action on your part.  This convenience continues each time you move to a new location. You enter the access point key or password one time in the WiFi Ranger Sky, and all your devices are again connected.  Pretty cool, right?   If you need to use a MiFi device, or a hotspot provided by your smart phone, you only have to login to it one time with the Sky, and the Sky will automatically connect as needed and share that connection with the rest of your devices.  Next you say this thing must be really complicated and hard to use. Well, no it isn’t. The engineers at WiFi Ranger have designed ease of use right into the product. Most users will have little need to use more than the basics on the Sky user control panel, however, if you are a power user, you do have access to plenty of advanced settings for things like port forwarding, VPNs, MAC filtering and other advanced options. Again, if you don’t know what it is, you don’t need it…. All in all, the WiFi Ranger Sky is a great tool for making our WiFi life easier in our RVs.

Now you ask, what is this RVPack2 that was mentioned earlier do for me? The RVPack2 takes the Sky and adds an internal router and tightly integrates the two devices into one high performance networking package. WiFi devices in simple terms are nothing but radios, and these radios transmit and receive radio signals carrying data.  When the WiFi Ranger Sky is operating alone, it has to share it’s radio between two separate networks. One network is the campground WiFi, and the second network is your local private network, in and around your RV.  The indoor router of the RVPack2 (called the “Go2”) takes over the radio duties to support the local private network and the Sky is now dedicated to servicing the Campground network. This separation of duties for the two radios, will in many cases provide an effectively faster data connection, allowing each radio to be optimized for the situation. The “Go2” also provides 4 wired Ethernet ports for a high speed wired LAN to facilitate file sharing and faster file transfers in your RV. The Go2 also has a USB 2.0 port for attaching Plug-N-Play compatible Air Cards or MiFi devices for seamless connection to your mobile cellular data plans. The Go2 and the Sky are both controlled from one easy to use control panel, and again if you don’t know what it is, just leave it alone. You also don’t have to deal with the complications of configuring the two routers to work with each other, that task is handled automatically, simply by connecting the Sky to the Go. (Yellow cable to yellow port) The WiFi Ranger engineers have done all the complicated stuff for you.

The WiFi Ranger mobile products are high quality and very easy to use.  If you want to make your RV connectivity the best and easiest it can be, the WiFi Ranger Products are TVforMyRV’s recommendation.

 

How Do I Work The Toilet In Your RV?

RVs are improving every year and modern RVs truly are becoming very similar to our homes without wheels. However, you can’t quite capture every convenience found in a home in your RV and one of those conveniences is the toilet. An RV toilet operated very differently than your home toilet. I was recently reminded that not everyone is aware of this.

We had some friends meet up with us at a campground while we were traveling which led to an awkward and mildly embarrassing moment. One of our friends asked if he could use the restroom, to which we replied right inside to the left. After a long enough time for us to start wondering if he was going to be alright, our friend finally came out “face flushed” and said, “I can’t figure out how to flush the toilet.”

Needless to say we now offer a pre-emptive, “just step on the pedal on the floor to flush the toilet.” For those who have an even more inconspicuously placed flushing mechanism mounted higher on the wall, you may want to give your friends a “heads up” as well.

Water, just like power, is a precious commodity in an RV. This combined with the fact that your RV’s toilet is on wheels, in order to avoid what could be some pretty traumatic sloshing and spilling, RVs utilize gravity along with a small amount of water to clear waste.

This makes clearing the toilet just little more complex than a simple flush, but not too much more. Depending on the toilet, there is a small switch or pedal that is located at or near the base of the toilet (sometimes higher on the wall). To flush, simply press the pedal to begin the first rinse. You will find hose attached to or near the toilet as well. This can be used to wash any remaining solids down (keep pedal depressed to use). Don’t be afraid to use a little extra water to rinse everything down. Once finished, step off the pedal and the trap door shuts out the waste and the odor. Happy Campers makes a great odor-eliminating product for your holding tank, you can check it out here: http://happycampersworld.com/

One other thing that you might want your non-RV friends to be aware of before using the toilet in your RV is that the roof vent fan won’t do what they think it will. If the roof vent fan is on when someone flushes the toilet in an RV it will pull the fumes right into the bathroom.

Nobody wants to discuss poop on their outing, but one uneducated trip to the potty could make your RV trip a LOT less pleasant for a while.

 

 

Working While RV’ing: Making the Dream a Reality

working from your rvIt is a dream life, to be able to travel in an RV all over the country, see new places and meet new people. It is often a dream that is left until retirement, but unfortunately income worries or illness interrupt those plans for many.

Thousands of people are already living out this dream because they are able to work while traveling.

This is not just one method you have to buy into or some pyramid scam you operate on the road. It is about using your current skills, and most likely modern technology, to help you be able to honestly earn income while on RV roadtrip.

Online

The internet has opened a lot of doors for all of us and a lot of opportunity for those of us seeking to work on the road. One of the most important keys to being able to work successfuly on the road is having access to the internet when you need it. There are several products on the market that can help boost your signal while providing a much higher data quality, like the WiFiRanger Sky Products. You’d be surprised to find how many jobs can be done with simply internet access. If you are savvy with a computer and have good typing skills, there are plenty of online jobs to consider. Positions for virtual assistants, transcriptionists and even freelance writers exist all over the web. You can easily perform a Google search and find listings of dozens of legitimate companies that are currently hiring. It may take a little time to find the right match for you and you probably are not going to get rich, but you can earn a comfortable hourly wage once you learn the ropes.

Self-Employment

Create a blog about working from your RV. Use your on the road adventures as the focus. You are going to be living a lifestyle many wish they could have, let them follow along with you and help pay for your fuel. You could also seek out seasonal work in the areas you visit. Pick apples, help on a farm or apply at a summer resort as kitchen help or a maid. Many of these types of jobs pay surprisingly well and the exercise will keep you fit and trim.

The term “Workamper” was invented to describe RV travelers who pay for their campsite fees and utilities by performing tasks for the campground owners. The job description varies and the pay varies as well, but if you can all agree, it can make it possible to stay in a lovely area and still have the freedom to do plenty of sightseeing.

Keep Your Day Job

If your work is something which can be done remotely, the opportunity exists to continue with your current employment, keep your salary and benefits and still hit the road. It might even advance your career. If you are working for a company that has ambitions about branching out, you may be the one who can help them achieve that. There really is no way to know without asking, and a good backup plan is in order just in case the answer is no. Once your boss is aware of your plan to someday work from RV, he may be less apt to consider you for pay increases or promotions.

Temporary Services

Many people who spend time in an RV actually travel very little. Instead they spend a few months in each location, moving as the weather changes. These seasonal folks, often referred to as “snow birds” are in the perfect position to accept temporary jobs. Temp services are always looking for workers for a few weeks or months at a time. Jobs can range from high-level administrative work, to clerical and cashier positions. There are also frequently construction and warehouse workers needed, with all levels of positions available.

Change Your Mindset

There is one thing to remember about this sort of lifestyle, it is unpredictable. You have to be willing to adapt to new routines and work styles. You also have to be able to accept that you are not going to be able to make a standard budget and expect that check their every week. Much of this work will come and go and you have to have a savings plan for those times when it does not come back as quickly as planned.

Working While RV’ing will not offer the security you may be used to with a regular 9 to 5 job and a regular salary. But the important thing to remember, and it is what keeps people coming back to life on the road, what you lose in security, you gain in freedom.

Recipes For Your Next RV Trip

RV Cooking

Traveling in an RV presents individuals with some unique challenges, as well as some exciting opportunities. Most ordinary RVs aren’t fitted with state-of-the-art kitchens, which means that most cooking will take place on a tabletop. Still, this also means that individuals will be given the chance to try out some exciting new recipes along the way.

Chicken With Tomato and Olives

This recipe is a healthy addition to your RV recipe cookbook and all it requires to begin are; chicken breasts, 1 cup of grape tomatoes, 20 olives, half cup feta cheese and 3 teaspoons of olive oil and vinegar dressing.

To start cooking, turn on the grill to medium heat. You will want to lightly season the chicken before placing it on the grill. Grill the chicken for about 6 minutes on both sides before combining the tomatoes and dressing and warming them on a skillet. You will then want to brush any dressing that remains on the chicken. Once it is ready, place the tomatoes and feta directly onto the chicken and serve.

Sunflower Seed and Cherry Kale Salad

To prepare this dish, you will need; a quarter cup red sliced onion, 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, 5 ounces of baby kale, a quarter cup dried cherries, a quarter teaspoon of pepper and salt, a teaspoon of honey, Dijon mustard and olive oil, and 1 and a half tablespoons of cider vinegar.

To start off, make a dressing of vinegar, mustard, olive oil, pepper, salt and honey in a bowl. Then, according to the contributors of Beckleys RVs;

“Add the remaining ingredients (kale, dried cherries, onion and sunflower seeds) to the large salad bowl and toss all of the ingredients with the dressing.”

Once this is done, the salad is ready to be served.

Applesauce and Oat Muffins

This recipe calls for; a cup of rolled oats, half a cup of applesauce, half a cup of brown sugar, an egg, a cup of buttermilk, a cup of whole wheat flour, half a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of baking powder.

To begin, add the oats to a bowl before pouring in the buttermilk. You will want the mixture to remain for two hours so that it can get down to room temperature. Preheat your oven to about 375 degrees. Grease the muffin cups and mix in the whole wheat flour, baking powder, brown sugar and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in your egg, oats, applesauce and buttermilk and mix well. You will then want to place your mixture into the muffin pan and bake for about 30 minutes.

Burritos

These burritos are perfect for breakfast and all they require are; ground sausage, a jar of salsa, 12 eggs, a quarter cup of chopped onion, a quarter cup of chopped bell pepper, a quarter cup of yellow pepper, 12 tortillas and a back of shredded jack cheese. Then, according to the contributors of Gorving.com;

“Cook sausage in a deep frying pan. Once the sausage is half cooked, put the onions and peppers in the pan. Whip eggs. Once the onions are transparent, put the eggs in and stir frequently. Once the eggs start to get stiff, add the salsa and cheese; stir in.”

You will then want to microwave the tortillas for about 3 minutes so that they roll up easily enough. The moment your filler is done cooking, you can put about a quarter of a cup of filling into each tortilla and roll up before eating.

Cooking in an RV can be a whole lot of fun as long as you have the recipes to give you that little bit of inspiration.

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