Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to RVing from RVtravel.com. The information we present here every Monday through Friday is for brand-new RVers – those in the market to buy their first RV and those who just purchased theirs. If you are an experienced RVer, this material may be too basic for you.
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Thursday, December 3, 2020
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DID YOU MISS reading this morning’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter? Good stuff there.
Roadside emergency kit
Pat suggests an item or two that you may not have thought of to put in your “roadside emergency kit.” “I would suggest adding road cones [orange safety cones] and blinking lights [LED road flares] to the emergency kit. We found some that collapse at Harbor freight. We also got reflective vests for the kit too. Found a red tote bag at a thrift store with plenty of space to store it all.” Thanks, Pat, for helping us stay safe out there.
Trailer tow ball height
If your tow vehicle is too low or too high, the trailer weight isn’t distributed evenly on the axles, which can lead to damage. Adjust the height of your tow ball so that the trailer is level when hitched to the tow vehicle and on level ground. Your trailer axles will love it, and so will you – much easier walking about in a level rig.
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Weight capacity declines at high altitude
Tip from Mark Polk, RV Education 101®
The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum permissible weight of the tow vehicle when fully loaded for travel. The Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is the maximum permissible weight of the fully loaded tow vehicle and the fully loaded trailer together. Let’s say, for example, we have a tow vehicle with a GCWR of 14,000 pounds and a GVWR of 8,800 pounds. If the vehicle were loaded to its GVWR, this means we can tow 5,200 pounds before we exceed our GCWR.
At 10,000 feet, we’d need to reduce these ratings by 20 percent to maintain performance. That would mean our GCWR is 11,200 pounds and the GVWR is 7,040 pounds, limiting what we can safely tow to 4,160 pounds. A simple rule of thumb you can use to add a built-in margin of safety is referred to as the 75 percent rule. Multiply the GVWR and GCWR by 75 percent. Subtract the GVWR from the GCWR and this is the amount you can tow. In our case it would be 3,900 pounds, which is below the 4,160 pounds we could safely tow if we were 10,000 feet above sea level.
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In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2021 inTech RV Terra Oasis. As he reports, “This might be one of the better new trailers I’ve seen on the market in a while… and I have seen a lot of trailers. While it’s certainly not inexpensive, it seems to be a decent value for all the thought and components that have gone into its design. Learn more.
Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the Safari Condo Alto R1713 Travel Trailer? If you missed it, you can read it here.
For previous RV reviews, click here.
“If you could tell someone new to RVing just one thing, what would it be?”
From the editors: We asked our readers this question recently. Here is one response:
“Get an experienced RVer to teach you how to drive it/back it, after you get it!” —Jef and Brenda
The best book on RV electricity, hands down!
RV Travel contributor Mike Sokol is America’s leading expert on RV electricity. Mike has taken his 50+ years of experience to write this book about RV electricity that nearly anyone can understand. Covers the basics of Voltage, Amperage, Wattage and Grounding, with additional chapters on RV Hot-Skin testing, GFCI operation, portable generator hookups and troubleshooting RV electrical systems. This should be essential reading for all RVers. Learn more or order
Random RV Thought
It could be successfully argued that one of the most exhilarating parts of an RV trip is the week leading up to when it begins. The daydreaming is magnificent.
• If you buy a defective RV and are unable to get it fixed or its warranty honored, here is where to turn for help.
• If you need an RV Lemon Law Lawyer, Ron Burdge is your man.
Read previous issues of Beginner’s Guide to RVing newsletters here.
RV Travel staff
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Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editors: Emily Woodbury, Diane McGovern.
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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