Issue 878 • April 5, 2018
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RVing Tip of the Day
Camping versus RVing: What’s the difference?
by Chuck Woodbury
I think I am finally able to define the lifestyle called RVing, which some people criticize because it’s not really “camping.” What they don’t understand is that RVing and camping are not the same, although sometimes they overlap.
Only one segment of RVers are exclusively “campers” — those who “camp” for a week or two a year. These people generally camp in the summer, often on family vacations. They typically spend their days sightseeing or hiking and their evenings by the campfire. Their RVs, if they have one, are pretty basic and are often rented.
After Labor Day and before Memorial Day, the RVers you see on the road are more often “travelers” than “campers,” using their RVs for both transportation and lodging. Their rigs are larger and better equipped than the vacation campers — sort of “homes away from home.”
Sometimes, however, these well-equipped RVers end up in the same national park or national forest campgrounds as more traditional campers and this is where their lifestyles get misinterpreted.
These avid RVers, in their bigger rigs, are simply living in a portable way. They are essentially living in self-contained, mobile condos rather than in fixed-based houses.
Many of these RVers have simplified their lives. I’m especially referring to the hundreds of thousands of retirees who have sold their homes and moved into a trailer or motorhome. At some point, they had to get rid of a lifetime of possessions. They retained what they considered important —- fishing rods, a sewing machine, favorite books, a TV, pictures of the kids and grandkids, and nowadays, a computer.
These full-timers and serious part-timers would never be traveling America in the first place if RVs didn’t exist. They would not set off in their cars month after month, staying in a different Holiday Inn each night. To do so would be too much trouble and even exhausting. They might fly off to Europe on occasion, but by and large, they would spend their lives at home.
After climbing on Wyoming’s Independence Rock for more than an hour and doing battle with a blustery wind, it was a wonderful feeling to return to my comfy porta-house. When I closed the door behind me, I felt truly at home, even though my street address (at that time) was a thousand miles away.
I understand the concept of the portable house. It’s not the same as camping.
Read yesterday’s tip: What are these NEMA outlets you speak of?
Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.
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Choose the tire pressure monitoring system that RVtravel.com uses
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Keep all your manuals handy
Files of appliance and other RV manuals driving you batty? An inexpensive plastic “magazine file” will keep all the booklets together. A couple of screws will hold it in place in a cabinet or closet.
Never use a concrete block instead of a jack stand!
With electricity expert, Mike Sokol
NEVER use a concrete block instead of a jack stand when working on your vehicle. Concrete blocks have a tendency to fail catastrophically without any notice, and you can be severely injured or even killed if your RV falls on you. So if you’ll be underneath something that weighs TONS, you’ll want the safety of a ratchet action jack stand. Yes, they require careful placement, and there’s extra storage space and weight involved, but never sacrifice safety for convenience. One thing you’ll want to do after placing the jack stand is to lower the hydraulic jack enough to put real weight on the stand to make sure it’s stable. Then bring the hydraulic jack up just enough that the stand is still sharing some of the load. That way the stand can’t be kicked out of alignment accidentally. I recommend this one.
Sink cover in the way? Try this
Plastic RV sink covers are great for more working surface but lousy when you need to access the sink itself. Consider cutting one or both of the sink covers in half to allow you some more real estate, but with “waterfront” access!
HOT TOPIC AT RV TRAVEL.COM
How much is ‘too much’ to pay to dump your RV’s tanks?
Protect your RV’s slideout with this rubber seal lubricant
If you don’t take care of your slideout you’re asking for problems including dangerous, costly water damage. This rubber seal lubricant from Thetford prevents fading, cracking and deterioration. It cleans, conditions and shines, keeping seals flexible and protected from sunlight destruction. It is also useful on door seals and window seals. It’s a mineral oil product and also acts as a lubricant. Learn more or order
WEBSITES OF THE DAY
40 Podcasts to make you smarter
Even if you’re already a genius, give some of these a listen. Nothing like going down the road and stretching that brain a little bit! Learn something new every day.
The quickest way to travel back in time and learn something about the past! WhizzPast is a great website for interesting historical articles that won’t take you all day to read.
Outside Our Bubble
Lots of great RVing tips and tricks; honest location, restaurant and equipment reviews; tech tips from an expert; product recommendations (or not); and even a live webcam! Voted a Top 50 travel blog for RVers.
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 40+ 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. Learn more or order
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Best ways to tow behind your motorhome
Walter Cannon of the Recreational Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation (RVSEF) explains the three most popular ways of towing behind a motorhome, citing each method’s advantages and disadvantages.
See all of our videos on our YouTube Channel.
Help stabilize and keep your RV steps safe
The RV Save-A-Step Brace is designed to be placed under RV entry steps for safety. It stabilizes the RV steps and helps keep the coach from rocking — preventing sag and wear. The brace is made of heavy-gauge steel with a 3/4″ solid metal screw thread, 1000-pound load rating and 7-5/8″ to 14″ adjustment range. Learn more or order at Amazon.com.
MORE QUICK TIPS
Parallel parking your travel trailer
Having trouble backing your travel trailer up next to the concrete patio slab at the RV park? Looking out the curb side mirror is tough. Next time, stretch out a rope, parallel to the slab, about 10 feet out. Now you can use the street side mirror to line up with the rope. Works better!
RV fridge not cooling? Could be your cooling unit coils need cleaning. You can use a mirror to peek up from the access door. If you see dust or other crud, temporarily remove the roof cap then use a leaf blower or a BIG shop vac set on “blow” to blast air UP the back.
‘Earthquake Putty’ keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV you like to keep in place — on a table, bedstand or counter? You need this. Quakehold Museum Putty is designed to keep items secure in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use this, pull off what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object then lightly press it to the surface. Later, it comes off clean. RVers love it! Cheap, too! Learn more or or at Amazon.com.
LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
Lawyer: I have some good news and some bad news.
Client: Well, give me the bad news first.
Lawyer: The bad news is that the DNA tests showed that it was your blood at the crime scene.
Client: Oh no! That’s terrible! What’s the good news?
Lawyer: Your cholesterol is down to 150.
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, Deanna Tolliver, Mike Sokol, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.
ADVERTISE on RVtravel.com and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at)RVtravel.com .
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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