Monthly Archives: August 2014

Easy Ways To Save Money RV Camping

Vacations are a wonderful time for a family to enjoy their free time together. But the cost of travel, hotels, and other expenses put such a venture well out of reach of many families. That’s why so many have decided to get back to the basics with an RV camping trip. Whether you choose to purchase your own RV or you just want to rent, you’ll still want to save money while having some wonderful experiences along the way. There are some great ways to get the most bang for your buck when you decide on taking the family on a RV camping trip.

Plan Ahead

While the idea of traveling the roads can be very inviting, driving an RV does require fuel, which can be very costly. In order to save on your next road trip, you’ll want to conserve as much fuel as you can. Map out your route before hand and choose the routes that will take you to your destination through the shortest routes possible. This way you can cut miles off your travel and choose more economical places to stay rather than stopping along the route without a specific plan.

Stay Longer

Most people choose to visit locations for the weekend but many parks where you can park your RV will offer discounts when you decide to stay longer. Most discounts offer special rates for those who choose to stay for a week or longer. If you’re planning an extended vacation this might be a great way to save some major dollars on your vacation plans.

Boondocking

If you have a fully contained RV, you might consider boondocking where you can park in a variety of locations that do not offer hookups. You can choose to park in a remote area where you can be away from all the crowds found in most of public camping grounds or you can choose to park in a shopping center or Wal-Mart parking lot for a nominal fee.

Look for Free Campsites

Some areas have public RV parks where you can get a night or two of free docking. These may require you to follow certain rules or guidelines set up by the site, so it would be advisable to find out what will be expected before you agree. However, it is a great way to reduce your expenses considerably so that you can make the most out of your vacation time. Still, these are great ways to take advantage of some great experiences without hurting your budget.

There are many reasons why you might seriously be considering an RV vacation. It is a well known fact that camping can be a great way to bond with your family and friends while at the same time save some money. However, it is always important that you plan your vacation well enough ahead of time so that you can get the most for the money you spend. There are more than enough ways to save money when you go RV camping, with just a little pre-thinking and planning you are sure to have a vacation that will provide you with memories to last a lifetime.

Things I’d Do Differently When Going To A Full-time RV Lifestyle

rv livingThere are few transitions in life that require as unique a style of preparation than that of moving to an RV full time. More often than not, however, there are some challenges that we all face that could lead to other difficulties. When speaking to others who have successfully made this transition, they often give some solid advice about things you should avoid for new comers. Here are a few pointers on things that previous owners would do differently if they had the chance.

More Research

You can never do enough research when it comes to the full-time RV lifestyle. Your transition is not going to be for a weekend getaway but you’re planning to uproot your entire life and compact it into this new style of living. Read as many books, watch as many films, and talk to as many experts on the topic as you can find. You might be amazed at the kind of information you can glean from RV rallies and similar events you can attend.

Learn to Downsize

It should be painfully obvious that your four bedroom two story home will not fit in the confines of your new RV, but many people are surprised just the same. You will have to be realistic and break your attachment to many of things you have come to know and love. You will find that the space that comes with even a small apartment will outstrip the space of your new home RV. Begin downsizing long before you’re ready to make the switch to full time living in an RV.

Wait to Buy a Campground Membership

It may seem logical to buy a campground membership but unless you plan on making frequent and regular trips to that location you’ll most likely find your money could be better spent elsewhere. Some RVers recommend that you wait at least a year before you decide on this type of investment to better understand your personal traveling style and where you can find a membership that you will actually be able to use.

Motor Homes Can be Moved

Your transition to full time life in an RV provides you with a portable lifestyle. Your address could change from week to week so try to shed the idea of permanency and gradually adjust to your new lifestyle. Switching from one location to another too frequently could cause a newcomer to be overwhelmed but not taking advantage of your new sense of freedom could also cause you to burn out. Embrace your mobility but increase at a slower pace and you’ll find your balance.

It’s true that full time RVing is an exciting lifestyle but it is not one that everyone can appreciate. The person that gets the most out of this new kind of life has to be adaptable and relaxed. You’ll find that you’re in places where the weather may not be favorable or that is not convenient for other types of travel. Learn to love the life that you’re surrounded in and make the most out of your space and you’ll find that full time RVing is a viable option that the right people can enjoy.

 

Troubleshooting An RV Power Converter Problem

rv powerTraveling the roads in an RV can be an exciting adventure as long as your converter is working properly. Without your power converter, your home will not be able to transform any 110V AC power to 12V DC. These are two separate electrical systems that can provide the needed electric power to your RV. Without it, the comforts that you’re familiar with in your home will not carry over. Whenever you’re facing a problem with these two systems, chances are you’re dealing with a converter issue. You can get servicing for this problem but there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem before you take that step.

Determine the Cause of the Malfunction

The first thing you need to do is determine the source of your problem. Not all electrical problems in your RV will be converter problems, so you’ll need to test your device to find out the cause. You could spend loads of money repairing a converter that was already functioning properly. To determine that the converter is really the problem you should first check your AC Voltage, Circuit Breaker, Fuses, your battery and any other potential reasons that may cause an electrical issue. Once you rule out each of these factors then you can safely be assured that your converter is truly the problem.

Check Your AC Voltage

When you plug your RV into a campsite pedestal, you can use a ground fault circuit interrupter to check if you’re getting 110V AC. If it registers too high or too low the voltage could damage your converter and the appliances you’re using. Ideally, you want to see a number that falls between 103 and 130V AC.

Check Your Circuit Breaker

You can usually find your circuit breaker somewhere near you 12V DC battery bank. Open all the circuit breakers starting with the primary input breaker and then close them again ending with the primary input breaker. Check any metals or connector tabs to make sure they are clear of acid residue that may have accumulated. If you find any, clean them with baking soda and water. Wait until it is all dried before attempting to use your power again.

Check Your Fuses

Make sure that all of your fuses are functioning properly. Open each of the fuses to check for continuity and replace any that are not working. Make sure that you match the voltage and amperage exactly so that you don’t create any additional problems.

Check the Battery

You also want to be sure that the battery isn’t the cause of your power issues. Sometimes the battery is not properly charged so there is not enough current running through it. If it is fully charged, find the battery cutoff switch and make sure that it is in the “on” position.

Other Possible Causes of Power Failure in Your RV

There are a number of other things that could cause you to have power issues in your RV. Check all of your electrical connections to ensure that they are clean, dry and tightly fitted. It is important that you look over your entire power system from beginning to end to make sure that nothing else could be causing an interruption to your power. When you systematically check the entire system you’ll soon be able to identify any possible causes.

All of these other issues should be ruled out before you conclude that the power converter is the source of your problem. Only after you have checked all of these other issues should you consult a technician about repair or replacement of your converter.

Check the Power Converter

If you find that none of these other issues are the cause of your power problems, you need to carefully look over your power converter. First check the housing while the 110V AC power is disconnected. If the converter is blown you will see signs of scorching or white flaky acid accumulation on the housing.

Should You Repair and Replace Your Converter?

Once you’ve determined the root cause of your power problem you have to make a decision. There are times when repairing a power converter may not be an easy task. In many cases, it may not even be cost effective to do so. Your best option is to discuss the possibility of repair with a certified technician to determine if it would be worth it to repair.

Your RV power converter can make the difference on how well you enjoy your time away from home. Whether you want to rough it in the wilderness or live in the lap of luxury, it is important that you keep your power converter working at its best.

Top 10 Questions To Ask When Buying A New RV

tips on buying a new rvBuying your first RV can be a thrilling experience; the idea of the family bonding together in the great outdoors can be very enticing. Still, it is considered to be a major investment that could be fraught with risk. It is better to take the extra time before you make your purchase to learn some very important information about buying an RV. Here are some basic questions you should ask when you’re looking to make this type of purchase.

1. What kind of RV do you recommend?

There are many different types of RVs, each designed to target a certain lifestyle. Let the dealer know the size of your family, how often you want to travel, and the kind of adventures you’re looking for. This will help you to narrow down the best RVs to fit your lifestyle.

2. What is the best RV to fit within my budget?

Always have in mind a dollar amount that you want to spend on your RV purchase. This will help the dealer to keep you focused on something that you can afford and not tempting you to extend yourself beyond your means.

3. New vs. used?

There will always be pros and cons to buying new vs. used in any type of vehicle you choose. Only you can determine which one will be best for you, but your sales representative can outline the different issues that you may not be aware of. If you buy used, click here to learn more about some common and low cost upgrades to improve efficiency.

4. Gas or diesel?

You also have to evaluate the cost of running your new RV. Since gas costs less than diesel fuel some may believe that they are getting a better deal when using diesel because it can go further on a gallon than gas. However, there are other economical factors to keep in mind besides the cost of the fuel. The final decision will depend on how you plan to use your RV.

5. What about maintenance?

You also need to consider the amount of time, money, and effort needed to keep your new RV in tip-top condition. Without regular maintenance, the joy you’ll get from your RV will certainly be short lived. You need to factor in the costs of maintenance as well as the type of maintenance you’ll be expected to have in order to have your RV ready when you need it.

6. How much can you tow?

For those considering buying a trailer or a fifth wheel to haul behind your vehicle, you need to know the exact weight capacity of the towing vehicle. In order to avoid any major problems from arising in the future, you need to understand exactly what type of vehicle will be capable of pulling the full weight of the trailer you plan to purchase.

6. What kind of insurance should I get?

RV insurance is very different from any other type of vehicle you may own. The rates will depend largely on the type and model of RV you buy. Insurance regulations can also vary based on how you plan to use your RV and what state you’re living in. Whether you’re planning to use it as a primary residence or as an occasional means for vacationing can have a major impact on how much you should pay.

7. What type of problems can you anticipate?

This is an important question especially if you’re buying used. You want to know about any potential mechanical, electrical, or structural issues that may arise in the future. You also want to know the repair history of the vehicle so you can see what kind of things you could reasonably anticipate.

8. What type of warranty do you offer?

There are many different warranty types that come with an RV depending on a variety of different factors. Aside from the type, model, and age of the RV, dealers may include other types of guarantees like wear and tear, replacement of obsolete parts, or even repair options.

9. What type of financing do you offer?

Unless you plan to pay cash for your RV, you need to find out about your financing options. Often dealers compete for different financing plans so it will be worth your while to check with a number of different dealers to see what kinds of options are available.

10. What about meal preparation?

Whether you buy one of the top of the line palatial homes on wheels or you’re looking for a simple camper to hitch up and pull when you need it, you’ll want to know about accommodating your hungry campers. Will you have to go back to the basics and cook over a campfire or does it include kitchen facilities?

Getting a new RV can be one of the most exciting investments you can make but if you’re like most people, there is always going to be some hidden danger that you might not be aware of. Knowing how to ask the right questions can reduce your risk of making the wrong type of investment and getting the most out of your new purchase.

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