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 Post subject: Essential RV Knowledge
PostPosted: 23 Mar 2015 08:39 

Joined: 16 Nov 2012 17:25
Posts: 14
Essential RV Knowledge
by Joe and Vicki Kieva

The problem with researching the world of RVing is not a lack of information. RV accessory stores, public libraries and the internet are loaded with facts, figures and opinions about RVs and RVing. The challenge is in sifting through all the information available and sorting out what is really essential to know in order to choose, operate and enjoy an RV.

Your learning priorities should be to first learn about yourself, then about RVs and finally, about RVing

Learn about yourself. Initially, your questions should be self-directed. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Keep in mind that an RV is simply a vehicle that provides mobile living accommodations. You want one that will complement your activities and interests.

What road conditions do you anticipate? Will you be driving on winding mountain roads and narrow dirt tracks or do you anticipate staying on the major roads and highways?

Are you thinking about spending occasional weekends camping in primitive surroundings or are you dreaming about traveling for extended periods of time and staying in full-service RV parks?

Drive out to the types of RV parks and campgrounds you think you will frequent. You will find them listed in Trailer Life's RV Park and Campground Directory, Woodalls North American Campground Directory and Kampground of America's (KOA) Directory. Look at the types and sizes of RVs in those campgrounds. Talk to their owners. Tell them where you want to go and what you plan to do. Ask them what advice they can give you.

How many people will normally occupy the RV? What will they require in the way of eating, sleeping and storage accommodations? Does anybody have special needs?

What will you be doing? Will you want to take recreational equipment, tools or toys that require large exterior storage bays?

When will you go? What weather and temperatures will you encounter? Hot weather is made tolerable by awnings, roof-mounted air-conditioners and large windows that provide good cross ventilation. Cold temperatures may call for good insulation, dual pane windows and enclosed, heated plumbing bays.

How much do you want to spend for an RV? Don't forget to include sales tax, vehicle registration fees and insurance in the total purchase costs. What size down payment and monthly payments will you be comfortable with? Your budget should also make allowances for operating, maintenance and storage expenses.

How often will you use your RV? Does the number of days you plan to use the RV justify the cost? Will a less expensive rig make better financial sense?

Once you have determined your own personal interests, needs and budget, you can move on to learning about RVs and how to choose the one best for you.

Learn about RVs. RVs fall into two basic categories, towed and self-propelled. Towed RVs include folding trailers, conventional travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers. Self-propelled RVs encompass motorhomes, van-conversions and trucks with slide-in campers. Become familiar with the different types of RVs, their advantages, disadvantages and price ranges.

All vehicles, including cars, trucks, trailers and motorhomes, have a limit to the amount of weight they can carry and/or tow. If you are going to be an RVer, it is important that you know how to determine any vehicle's weight rating, tow rating and net carrying capacity.

Potential trailer owners should learn how to determine their car or truck's load carrying and towing capabilities. Towing a trailer whose fully loaded weight exceeds the rating and/or capability of the tow vehicle is flirting with disaster.

Motorhome owners need to learn how much weight (including the weight of the passengers) they can safely load into their motorhome. Overloading is frequently the cause of tire failure and blowouts.

Motorhome owners may also want to learn what is involved with towing a car or truck. They should become familiar with each towing method; dolly, trailer and four wheels on the ground. They should also know if the towing method they choose is approved by the car's manufacturer.

Any RVer who plans on towing anything should learn about trailer hitches, their classifications and limitations.

The discussion of diesel versus gasoline will go on forever. Learn the benefits of both. Compare the capabilities and costs of each. Given the choice, you may discover that a gasoline engine will do the job just fine and cost a whole lot less. On the other hand, the
type, size and weight of the RV you select may not give you any option but the diesel engine.

Visit RV shows and RV dealer lots. Look at a variety of RVs. Check out their floorplans and features. Which would be the most practical and convenient for you? As you look at each RV, visualize it taking you where you want to go and letting you do the things you want to do.

What options, amenities and features do you want? Research the costs and benefits of generators, air-conditioners, hydraulic levelers, clothes washer/dryers and other options. What may seem a necessity to some is simply a gadget to others.

What length, width and height rig will meet your interests, needs and budget? An RV with a spacious living room, gas fireplace and built-in spa is very appealing, but will you be able to get it into that remote government campground you like so much? Will the length and width of your RV be practical (and legal) to drive on the roads you plan to travel? Check it out.

It would appear that the majority of RVs being sold today have at least one slideout room. Research all you can about slideouts. What are the advantages to each type of slide mechanism? How much storage space is lost to the slide mechanism? Does the extended room impede access to the outside storage bays? How much weight does the slideout room add? What do you do if the slideout mechanism fails to retract the extended room? Ask the owners of RVs with slideouts what advice they can give you about shopping for an RV with a slideout room.

Learn how the RV's electric, water, propane and sewer systems work. You don't have to be a technical wizard in these matters but you should have a grasp of how they operate.
Understanding the RV's utility systems will allow you to use them effectively whether you are camping with hookups or self-contained.

Most of today's commercial RV parks and campgrounds have "hookups" that allow you to connect your RV's electric, water and sewer systems to the campground's electric, water and sewer systems.

The majority of government campgrounds, however, do not provide hookups. You are dependent upon the RV's battery(s) and/or generator for electricity, the water tank for fresh water and its holding tanks to capture your waste water.

Learn how to determine the capacities of an RV's self-containment features. Obviously, the larger the capacities, the longer you can camp without replenishing them.

Learn how to shop for an RV; how to evaluate its livability. Know what you should expect from the dealer in the way of a "walk-through" on the day you pick up your RV.

Once you have purchased your RV, spend some time getting familiar with all of its features and appliances. It is especially important that you learn how to properly operate and care for the RV's refrigerator. It is different than the one you have at home.

Learn how to drive, back, hitch and unhitch your rig. Quiet roads and empty parking lots are good places to practice these skills.

Your first journey should be a shakedown trip. The purpose of a shakedown trip is to detect any problems with your RV so you can get them corrected. You will also be learning how your RV handles and operates under real camping conditions. This may also be your first opportunity to learn how to level your rig and "hook up" to a campground's electricity, water and sewer.

Learn about RVing. Once you have your RV, you can learn about RVing. Find out how to equip and pack your rig. Learn how experienced RVers deal with housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, medical considerations, communicating with home, RVing with pets, and personal security. Search for tips on self-contained camping and cold-weather camping.

Explore the many information sources available to RVers. There's a lot to learn but you will have the essentials under your belt.

(To learn more about RVs and RVing, take a look at our book "RVing Made Easy")
Enjoy The Journey!

bcrvforum has been thanked by:
 Post subject: Re: Essential RV Knowledge
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2015 03:37 

Joined: 18 Nov 2015 23:16
Posts: 3
Location: Pleasant Prairie, WI
Thanks for sharing this with us, i always appreciate the good work. i hope you will do this in future as well.

Phase Convertor
 Post subject: Re: Essential RV Knowledge
PostPosted: 22 Jan 2016 02:23 

Joined: 22 Jan 2016 00:35
Posts: 3
That's really Essential RV Knowledge shared by Joe and Vicki Kieva. Thumbs up!

 Post subject: Re: Essential RV Knowledge
PostPosted: 28 Mar 2016 23:14 

Joined: 28 Mar 2016 23:08
Posts: 1
aaronrodg wrote:Thanks for sharing this with us, i always appreciate the good work. i hope you will do this in future as well.

i think we all should appreciate good work

Plastic Zip Ties
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