Feb 052011

Living in an RV means that we always have to to be aware of weight and how much we are hauling around. Yeah, I know, I’m hauling a lot of weight around! But right now, I’m talking about the weight of our motorhome and the things we carry in it.

Every RV, be it a slide-in truck camper, a travel trailer, a fifth wheel trailer, a Class C motorhome, or a Class A diesel pusher, has a certain Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which is the maximum allowable total weight of the vehicle and everything in it, including cargo, people, fuel, fresh water, etc.  

A lot of RVers who are pushing their weight limits (and a lot of RVers are pushing their weight limits) have a rule that if something new goes in, something else has to go out. We haven’t gotten to that point yet, but I’ll admit that I keep a pair of my dad’s old police handcuffs in my desk drawer, and if I see Miss Terry lugging in one more sack of groceries, or another kitchen gadget, I’m locking myself to the steering wheel so I don’t get kicked out to the curb!

Actually, we have had our Winnebago weighed by the good folks at RVSEF, and we are safely within our carrying capacity. Every RVer should have their rig weighed, and have it done by somebody who specializes in RVs, not simply pulling onto a scale at a truck stop. That might give you your overall weight, but as an RVer, you also need to have each corner weighed individually. You can be under your overall weight limits, but still have too much weigh on one side or the other. Knowing that information will allow you to redistribute things inside your RV to get it balanced out better.

Since we have a nice margin between our actual weight and our GVWR, I wasn’t worried when Miss Terry splurged a little bit this week and bought two things she has been longing for for years, a Lodge Logic serving pot and one of their Dutch ovens. Now, I don’t know what she’s going to use them for, and they are a little bit heavy, but I learned  a long time ago that if Terry wants something like that, I am the ultimate beneficiary, because she’ll use them to create something for our table that will be beyond delicious!

Lodge Logic dutch oven

I also picked up something I have been wanting. A while back my buddy Greg White bought a Sears 150 PSI air compressor, and I’ve been waiting to see what he had to say about it. Greg said the air compressor works great, and he was able to top off his big RV tires with it with no problem. Like Greg, we have an onboard air compressor on our diesel pusher, but that requires firing up the engine, just to top off a tire now and then, and there are times our campground neighbors don’t appreciate that.

Sears air compressor

With Greg having given the air compressor his blessing, yesterday I stopped at Sears and bought one of them. They are found in the hardware department, not the automotive section. And I lucked out – Greg paid $99 for his, and mine was on sale for $89! Anytime I can get one up on Greg is a good day! 🙂

Today Terry’s sister Lisa and her husband Jim are hosting a family dinner to celebrate their mom and dad’s birthdays. Bess celebrated her 79th birthday this week, and Pete turns 81 on the 11th. Both of them are in excellent health, and will probably outlive me. A lot of people mistake Bess for Terry’s sister, and her dad can outwork any two men half his age. I like to think that I’m at least partially responsible for their good health. I figure all of that walking the floor, worrying about their oldest daughter’s choice in men, has to have been good exercise!

Thought For The Day – Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It just means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  8 Responses to “Dutch Ovens And Air Compressors”

  1. Cooking with cast iron dutch ovens is fun, and RVers have perfect opportunities to do so, since so many RV sites provide fire pits. Mine is a #10 Lodge, and has feet and a lid with a lip, so I can cook using only coals (a few at the bottom) and around the lip of the lid. Our favorite is cobbler. We can use berries or other fruit that we find locally as we travel. One hint: I line the oven with foil before pouring in the ingredients, for easier cleanup. In Scouts, we used to stack four ovens in a tower, with coals in between, and fix a whole meal: beef stew on the bottom, then potatoes, then cornbread, then dessert!

  2. Nick, we have almost the identical Sears Air Compressor, except that we don’t have the coiled hose. We’ve had it about three years, and have had excellent results. As to quadrant weighing, the first time we had that done we elarned that our rear end passenger side corner was overweight. However, it’s hard to relocate the heatpump that was built in, the propane tank that was built in. We had to throw out all of my clothes and hang Suzy’s in the closet on my side!

  3. Nick I’ve had the same compressor you have pictured for a few years now. We love it. Just a recommendation. Get yourself a long air hose and make up some quick disconnects. You’ll be able to plug the compressor in at your 120 volt plug and then be able to reach all of your tires with the hose without moving the compressor around.

  4. We also have the same air compressor, and we are happy we have it. It has come to the rescue a few time not only on the motor home but the car as well. We are still under our weight limit thank heavens. We were told the right side is always the heaviest side since all our tanks,and closet are on that side. Mike has been good at trying to keep the weight even on both sides. We will even weigh less now that we have our site and a place to store a lot of the stuff we have been carrying around, Now we will maybe get it done since our temps will be in the 60s today and not in the 20 that it has been all week.

  5. Nick……How much does that compressor weigh? Skuh kuh kuh kuh

  6. Don’t know if your RV neighbors will appreciate you starting up your new Sears air compressor either. I have one, it works gread, but it’s loud. No diesel clatter, but still. They’ll just have to get over it.

  7. I think that having a compressor is right up there with a good work light and one (or more) fire extinguishers. The coiled plastic hoses are great and while they are about 25′ long they don’t uncoil to that length so you’ll find that you will be tipping over or unplugging the compressor if you try to go too far. Purchase two or three and connect them together with male connectors wrapped with teflon tape. Hoses and connectors are cheap at Harbor Freight or the Quartzsite tool tents and since you’re not going to be installing roofs or spray painting houses, you don’t need the highest quality. I also wouldn’t be without a good tire pressure gauge and a tire inflation chuck with a clip so I don’t have to kneel in the gravel while inflating the tire. Most of this stuff is only rated for 125 psi so don’t try to use it on your eighteen wheeler.

  8. Rick,
    The Sears website says 25 pounds

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