Most of yesterday was spent getting the initial 5,000 mile oil change and check-up on our Pacifica, then running some errands in Daytona Beach, and stopping for dinner at Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet, the best Chinese buffet we have found in the area. So rather than bore you with the details of all of that, I thought I would share a few tips we’ve picked up in our years as fulltime RVers. Hopefully some of them will make your RVing life a little more pleasant.
One frequent difficulty that people who tow a vehicle behind their motorhome with all four wheels down encounter is trying to unhook the dinghy if it and the motorhome are not completely straight. This can lead to binding where the pins connect the tow bar to the dinghy, making them extremely difficult to get out. I’ve seen people beating on the pins with hammers, trying to force them free. Here is a trick that will make it easier if you are not perfectly straight. Get in the dinghy, start it up, and crank the steering wheel all the way to the left and see if that eases the pressure on the tow bar pins. If not, crank the wheel all the way to the right and try again. One way or the other usually loosens things up and makes them easy to remove. This is less difficult if you have one person in the vehicle turning the wheel and another outside at the tow bar.
Needless to say, having awnings extended over all of your windows goes a long way toward keeping things a little more comfortable inside the RV during the summer. Whenever we parked our motorhome, the first thing we did was open all the window awnings on the side where the sun hit the RV.
Sometimes it’s not hot enough to use your RV’s air-conditioning, but having all the windows open can get warm if the sun is beating down on one side of the rig. If that’s the case, close the windows and the blinds on that side of the RV, open the ones on the shaded side all the way, and turn on your roof vents. Without all of that hot air coming in from the sunny side, you might be surprised at how much cooler it is inside.
Likewise, here is a trick we learned about temperature control when we were teaching at Life on Wheels and dry camping on a blacktop parking lot in the middle of August. At bedtime we closed all of the windows in the front of the RV, opened just the windows in our bedroom partway, and opened our rooftop vents halfway and turned the fans on high speed. The night air was pulled in through the bedroom windows with enough force that it created an effect much like a swamp cooler, and by morning we found ourselves pulling a blanket over us.
Here’s another tip for when you are dry camping. Conserving water is always important, as is putting the minimum in your gray tank. One way to do so is with a simple pump-up plastic garden sprayer with a one gallon reservoir. We kept it outside the motorhome along with some liquid soap, and whenever we needed to wash our hands after doing something outdoors, we lathered them up out there and use the mist from the sprayer to rinse our hands off. It’s amazing how little water it required.
We don’t like to think about bad things happening, but they do, even to RVers. Several years ago one of our subscribers was involved in a bad car accident while out running some errands, and was taken to a hospital. When he didn’t come home his wife, who was back at the RV park, grew concerned and called the local police department to see if they had any reports of something happening. They said no, they didn’t. Two hours later she was more worried and called back again, and again they had no record of her husband being involved in anything. They suggested she call the sheriff’s department. She did, and again, they did not have any information for her. And the two hospitals in the town also had no patients with his name. She spent a long, frantic night, and early the next morning the RV park owner suggested she call the sheriff’s department in the adjacent county, which was only 5 miles away. As it turned out, that’s where her husband’s accident had taken place, and he had been taken to a hospital in that county. The only information they had on him was what they got from his drivers license, which was from somewhere back east. They tried contacting somebody there, with no success.
Once you are parked in a campground, take a moment to write down your name, contact information, the name of the campground where you are staying, your site number, a description of your RV, and its license plate number. Also include information on any pets that may be in the RV, so if both of you are incapacitated somewhere, somebody can get to them and provide the care they need. This story happened before everybody seemed to carry cell phones with them everyplace, but it’s still a practice that you should get into. I’ve heard people say that this isn’t necessary anymore because all first responders have to do is look in your phone. But what if your phone has a password, or is lost or damaged in the accident?
So there you go, six easy tips. Most of you may be doing them already, but it never hurts to have a reminder, right? If you find these useful let me know, and I will try to include some more in a future blog post
Thought For The Day – I have found out that there ain’t no sure way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. – Mark Twain