Issue 1056 • February 25, 2019
Welcome to another fabulous edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here, you’ll find helpful RV-related, and small-space living, tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate your readership.
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Don’t make these national park visit mistakes
Former park ranger Ash gives her take on five common mistakes of National Park visitors. We boil ’em down, but for a more detailed take, visit her blog.
Sleeping in: Be in the park by 7:30 a.m. and hit the most popular spots first! The early morning hours provide the best opportunities to see wildlife, get from Point A to Point B more quickly, and enjoy the most popular areas in the park without the overwhelming crowds.
Never turning off technology: Take a few technology-free minutes for yourself whenever you are experiencing something new. Turn off your phone or camera and just allow yourself to be in the moment! Experiencing a national park from behind a tiny screen is limiting your ability to truly connect to a life-changing place.
Showing up without a plan: Do some research and make a list of things that you absolutely don’t want to miss while you are there! You don’t have to plan out every second of every day (in fact, I wouldn’t recommend that either), but it is a good idea to have some type of itinerary or plan for your national park vacation.
Driving too much: Make things easier on yourself by planning your day of activities by region. For day one, do everything that you want to do in Region One. Then on day two, drive to Region Two and do everything that you want to do in that region. By compartmentalizing your days, you will have more time to enjoy the great outdoors! This mistake is often made when planning things to do within the park. Driving Yellowstone’s 142-mile Grand Loop, for example, can take as long as 7 hours because of wildlife crossings and overflowing parking areas. And that is without stopping the car to get out and see the sights.
Not being flexible: Be prepared for as much as you can and then enjoy the experience, come what may! Turn the unanticipated events into fun memories. Flexibility is critical on a national park vacation. Most of your time will be spent outside and you never know what may happen. Preparation is key. Always bring rain gear. Always keep stuff in your hiking bag like snacks, water, a headlamp, sunscreen, an emergency blanket, and a first aid kit. Being prepared with the right equipment increases your flexibility when things unexpectedly change. Preparedness also helps you to be in the right frame of mind to make the most out of your vacation. Make a plan and then plan to be surprised! Experiencing the unpredictability of nature can be an incredibly rewarding adventure … one that you will always remember!
Used RV shopping – What about paying for an inspection?
Ask for an inspection. Worth every penny – and likely less than $200. Ask the owner if you can have the rig professionally inspected before buying. We didn’t buy a truck camper because we made this request and were vehemently denied. If the owner isn’t hiding anything, they’ll likely acquiesce. This is good mostly for your peace of mind about buying a used RV. If your rig passes the third-party inspection, I’d say you’re ready to start negotiating on the price! —From Beginner’s Guide to Living in an RV: Everything I Wish I Knew Before Full-Time RVing Across America.
When is 99 more than 100? Answer below.
MORE QUICK TIPS
Proper use of your RV slideouts
Here are a few tips on using your slideouts from the folks at letsrv.com.
• Make sure all travel locks, travel nuts and spring locks are in the proper position before attempting to operate a slide.
• Cabinet doors, drawer fronts, etc., can create problems when extending or retracting slides. Be sure they are positioned properly for this purpose. I have seen some pretty ingenious ideas to keep them from opening while traveling. Often they can come out and when the slide is extending they are not visible. If they have come out, you will not know. This is the reason for these devices.
• Do not use the top of a retracted slide for storage.
• Make sure there is no debris on the top of the slide before retracting or extending. Clean the top of the slide awning or slide. This is a good idea each time.
• All lower compartment doors should be closed and the area below the slide clear of obstructions before retracting.
• A slide is designed to operate properly with the weight the factory installs. A small amount of additional weight is acceptable. Use judgment when storing additional weight on the slide. This is also true for slide bays. Put the rock collection elsewhere. On a side note, be aware of overall weight factors for your RV.
• Always check for obstruction in front of the slide before retracting. The same is true for extending.
Stop cupboard shift – with a doorstop!
Open the cabinets after bouncing down the road and you may never know what hit you. Things just tend to “float around” in cabinets. Here’s an idea to put a “stop” to that: Screw a spring-style door stop down to the cabinet floor to help stop the shifting. Thanks to rugged-life.com.
Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com
Use your car’s floor mats (especially if they’re rubber) to get traction when you’re stuck in the snow. Click the image to watch a video of how this works.
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
The best last-minute trip ideas in every state
If you don’t have a lot of time to plan a trip, or just want a weekend getaway, check out this list for some trip-planning inspiration.
Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.
LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
Jake was dying. His wife sat at his bedside. He looked up at her and said weakly, “I have something I must confess.” “No, there’s no need to,” his wife replied. “No,” he insisted, “I want to die in peace so I must tell you. I slept with your sister, your best friend, her step-sister, and your mother!” “I know, I know,” she replied. “Now just rest and let the poison work.”
Today’s Daily Deals at Amazon.com
Best-selling RV products and Accessories at Amazon.com. UPDATED HOURLY.
On a microwave. When you press 99 on a microwave, it will go on for one minute and 39 seconds; when you press 100, the microwave will go on for one minute.
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RV Daily Tips Staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
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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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Tips for traveling the National Parks? The biggest mistake is not hiring a guide. We did with Yellowstone and did a three day tour there. Did a tour with Glacier in Montana and plan to with Grand Canyon and Escalante and Mesa Verde. So if you want to see the parks off the beaten trail without the hassles and more info? Get a guide or travel service to help you. It is worth the money. Can’t wait until the summer. 3 more tours. Good luck.
State Parks, too. We toured Hueco Parks in Texas with guides which was fabulous. Got into areas we never would have known existed without the volunteer rangers.
Thank you for sharing! We are full-time RVers and are happy to be of service to anyone in this community!
Thank you very much, Ash! You have a great website! (I think we’ll list it soon as a Website of the Day.) ? —Diane at RVtravel.com
Regarding whether we get tired of living in a small space (we travel in a Class B), I hesitated between Sometimes and Often because there comes a time when we decide to head for home. I realized that it was not due to the small space, we had just had our fill of traveling for a while. We soon enough get eager to head out again.
I would appreciate a discussion of wi-fi signal ‘boosters’. Affordability, ease of installation, etc. Too many parks have wimpy wi-fi.
RV park owners do that to “entice” more dollars into their pockets.They supply the least amount of WI-fi just enough to say they have it.I have tried different boosters…some help some not.The usual bottleneck is the parks router and too many users.If the park owners would reboot their router a few times a day for at least 10 minutes..it would help to keep the “internet hogs” at bay.CCrane provides some good boosters and antennas.
Quick tips: no mention about how level the vehicle is or having levelers down! Guest
I have another answer for the riddle,
99% empty is more than 100% empty.
Is this considered a “negative” comment :-))
I’m positive it’s not
Oh, our readers are soooo clever! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com
Ref: What about paying for an inspection
Hi Chuck, I have some questions that the above article doesn’t cover. The subject matter that RVtravel.com provides is usually quite extensive and informative, with links to complete articles, but I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to buy anything from this site to find the answers.
1. Is there a national listing of qualified RV inspectors?;
2. Is there formal training for RV inspectors?; and
3. Is there a national industry standard/licensing for the inspectors?
The reason I ask is, what is an RV buyer supposed to look for when hiring a third party inspector. If there is no standardized training and accountable national qualifications, isn’t it the luck of the draw that you get an inspector who is properly trained and knows what to look for? Or are you just wasting your money for something you can do yourself, with a checklist found on the internet.
As an additional observation, I have read some snippets from the book, mentioned in the article and that too appears to be a waste of money. These “how to” books are based on personal experience and opinion only, while there are dozens of sites and social media forums, from RV owners who support their own travels, that provide information on this and other subjects for free. It is my understanding that the author, Heath and his wife Alyssa, are no longer RV’ing. Why would I support them?
I too have always wondered the answers to Bill T’s questions. You don’t just look in the Yellow Pages (OK, I’m old) to find a RV inspector.
Re: RV inspections. The National RV Inspectors Association (NRVIA) trains and certifies RV inspectors, who work across the USA. Inspectors spend up to 8 hrs in a unit, including checking areas that potential buyers cannot access. We have alerted people to problems they never would have known about prior to purchase. They can use that information to bargain for a better price, to insist on repair before purchase, or to simply walk away. Check out http://www.NRVIA.com .
Thanks for the response and answers to my questions.
I used an NRVIA certified inspector who I found through their site. I interviewed him via phone and got references from him. His fee was $500 – more than many others I had considered but after arranging with the dealership (they were initially reluctant but I was firm about not purchasing without an inspection) for him to have an entire afternoon, including road test he did a very thorough inspection. He furnished me with a 62 page report that had all categories and had photos of all components and systems, especially those that he had marked as “deficient”. I used his report to negotiate a few repairs but mostly it gave me confidence to complete my purchase sight unseen. I arrived with my trade-in, transferred all my stuff and set out on a 3,000 mile trip through the Grand Canyon, Rockies and badlands without incident.
I can guarantee you his inspection was far superior than any I would undertake and recommend the process entirely.
Thanks for the response and answers to my questions.
I wanted to answer your question about a professional inspection. There is a national organization that has been set up to provide certification and training for RV inspectors. The professional inspections that are provided by these certified inspectors are very thorough and require 4 to 8 hours to complete.
1. The National RV Inspectors Association.org (NRVIA.org) provides training and certification for inspectors.
2. If you want to be a certified inspector you have to go through their training process and pass their exams. The training can consists of hands on, online and pod cast training sessions. Several years ago I became a class II certified RV inspector. I went through several weeks of hands on training plus follow up refresher courses every year to keep my certification current. To keep my certification I also had to maintain liability insurance policy of 1M dollars.
3. The NRVIA.org sets the standards and provides certification for all those inspectors that qualify for a professional certification.
To find out more about these inspectors and a list you can go to NRVIA.org
Thanks for the response and answers to my questions.
I answered “sometimes” on the poll question. We lived in our 36-foot 5th-wheel with three large slides full time for three years after doing extended travel in it the prior ten years. Our rolling residence, a Carriage Cameo, is cozy, comfortable, and plenty big for two adults and two Labs. Since we are active outdoors we could easily escape when we got cabin fever or needed some “alone time.” For various reasons we don’t travel in it as much now. And now that we have a (relatively small) stationary house again, we appreciate having a bigger refrigerator and unlimited water in the shower!
I love telling my wife the jokes. Always a chuckle.