Category Archives for "RV Lifestyle"

Hints and Tips For Maintaining Your RV’s Exterior

Whether inside or out, there are many small tips that you can follow which will extend the life of your RV’s exterior, while preventing costly repairs and headaches in the future.

Poor Caulking:

One of the major problems experienced by RV owners with regard to caulking is around the running lights on the top of your RV.  This can, and usually will – given time, allow water to leak through the front and back windows causing mildew build-up and other challenges.  It is first necessary to remove the lens covers as well as the old caulking on your running lights.

Once the running lights and old caulking have been removed, clean the area well and then re-seal the running light unit with a bead of approved RV silicone.  Once complete, simply put the lens cover back on, or use a new one if necessary.

Removing RV Battery For Winter Storage:

If you don’t consider yourself to be mechanical, don’t worry…

Simply place a piece of colored tape to each of the wires and terminals before you disconnect it.  You can use a different colored tape for each combination, and then when it’s time to reinstall, all you have to do is match the colored pieces of tape.

How To Winterize Your Screen Door The Easy Way:

Cut a piece of plexi-glass to cover the screen and then attach brackets allowing for easy removal.  Now you can enjoy the sunny days, without experiencing the cold.

A Word About Automatic Leveling Jacks:

Although automatic leveling jacks certainly add to the convenience of setting up your RV, be sure to purchase only ones that are heavy enough to support your specific unit.  Some RVs come with leveling systems which are sufficient to stabilize, but not lift the unit.

It is always best to place a board or pad between the jacks and the ground, as well as chocking your wheels to avoid rolling off the jacks.  This is especially true if you are parked where mud will be possible, or soft dirt.

Tips For RV Awnings:

While cleaning your awning, apply a coat of soapy solution to the top and bottom of the fabric.  Then, roll up the awning and wait for about 5 minutes, then extend it again and rinse thoroughly with a water hose.  Sometimes it is necessary to repeat.  Be aware that using harsh cleaners can damage the water resistant ability of the fabric.  While there are many solutions available, which are designed to clean awnings, see our recommended awning cleaner here.

And, don’t forget: always roll up your awning if you plan to leave the RV for awhile since winds can come up unexpectedly and destroy your awning!

These Driving Tips Will Help You Travel Like a Pro

Generally, folks traveling by RV travel short distances each day (150-350 miles), make frequent stops to stretch and sight see.  Stopping along pullouts, rest areas, and places of interest help to make the most of your trips.  Since driver fatigue is the number one cause of RV related accidents, you may want to remember the following guidelines the next time you head out on the open road.

#1 Driving Safety Tips

Change Drivers Frequently

If you are traveling with your spouse or travel partner, make sure you switch off often to ensure you’re only behind the wheel when well rested.  If you don’t like driving at night, arrange your schedule so you only travel during the day time.

Chew Gum

While eating does help you stay awake, it can add extra calories to your diet since your sitting the majority of the time.  Chewing gum accomplishes the same thing but without the weight gain.

Don’t Take Medication

Some medications cause mild to severe drowsiness and often will make you extremely tired.  Also, avoid mixing medications which can also have adverse affects, and impair your driving ability.

Recognize Signs Of Drowsiness

Yawning and heavy eye-lids are two of the most common signs of drowsiness.  If you experience these, stop your vehicle as soon as you can and switch drivers.  If you’re traveling along an interstate, pull off at the next exit, or better yet a truck stop or rest area.  Walk for a bit or take a cat nap.  Making frequent stops will help with drowsiness.

#2 Tire Safety Tips

Since tires are one of the most important parts on your RV and your tow vehicle, learning about the proper care for them can mean the difference between a memorable vacation or one filled with anxiety.  While more RV tires have a life span of 4-5 years, always be sure to check the sidewalls for any signs of cracking.

If you particular unit has dual tires, its best to consider spending money on a high quality set of valve extenders. Once installed (which you can do yourself) it will make it a lot easier to reach the tire valves on the inside tires on a dual system.  One end fits onto the valve, and then the hose gets clamped onto the hub of the wheel giving you easier access when reading and increasing tire pressure.  Also, since checking your tires at a gas station can be a bit awkward, you may consider carrying an on board air compressor.

#3 Braking Tips

One of the commonly overlooked safety items on an RV is the brake system. Most people don’t realize how important their brakes are until they don’t work!

All brake systems should be routinely checked and tested.  This is especially true after driving through water.  While driving in wet conditions, apply pressure to the brakes (brake, release, brake, release…) until you have safely stopped your vehicle.  If you have an automatic transmission, you can avoid going into a skid if you shift to neutral.  Once the wheels grip the road you can then shift to drive and begin to maintain a safe speed.

Don’t brake and turn at the same time: While turning, momentarily take your foot off of the brake.

Most vehicles are now equipped with an anti-lock braking system which automatically goes through a repeated brake-release actions as soon as the brake is depressed which eliminates the need for pumping the brake.

3 Main Types Of Braking In Good Road Conditions

1. Threshold Braking: this is when you press as hard as you can on the brakes without locking them up or skidding the tires.  Release brake pressure if the wheels lock and then re-apply without pumping the brakes.  Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use your toes to apply a firm, yet steady pressure on the pedal just shy of locking up.

2. Steer Around An Object: Use the threshold braking method above, and then steer to the left or right.  If you are attempting to enter another lane, make sure there is a clear path before proceeding.  While this may sound like common sense, many new RV owners forget they are in an RV and not a car!

3. Four Wheel Lock Braking: You’ll use this method mainly when you need to stop quickly.  Press the brake as hard as you can and hold it down until you lock the brakes.  While this is the fastest way to stop, with locked brakes the vehicle will continue in a forward direction and you will have no steering capabilities.

RV'ers traveling to new locations often meet unforeseen and possibly dangerous challenges in mountainous terrain because they could not know what type of road lay ahead.  Be prepared!  Click to claim your copy of this invaluable best-selling guide.

Common, Yet Not So Commonly Practiced Points To Remember:

  • Always keep a safe distance from other vehicles.  Maintain at least a 3 second interval from the vehicle in front of you at all times.

  • Adjust your drivers seat to the proper setting before you depart.

  • Adjust all mirrors (rear view, and side) for optimum visibility.

  • Watch for blind spots and frequently check your mirrors

  • Be on the lookout for children and animals which have a habit of running out in front of you.

  • Watch for open doors on other vehicles.

  • Always use your turn signals, even if you know where you are going!

  • Keep a copy of RV driving safety rules handy and familiarize yourself with it frequently.

  • Are you beginning to take the thought of going full time in your RV seriously?  Would you like to get a first hand look at what it's really like?  This guide contains tips and real stories from people living out on the open road.  It's a must have if you're thinking of living full time in your home on wheels and breaks the whole process down into 10 easy steps!

    While RV owners don’t require any special license to operate one at this time, make sure you are up to date on safety regulations, and keep yourself educated by doing your own training and be sure to practice, practice, practice!

    How To Winterize Your RV Correctly

    Properly winterizing your RV can be a daunting task, particularly if you have never done it yourself.  This is why many beginning and seasoned RV owners hire an RV maintenance professional to winterize their unit.  However, for the do-it-yourselfer, we have put together the following tips and techniques to assist you should you decide to tackle it yourself.

    While it is possible to live in an RV during the cold winter months it is certainly not without some inherent problems. Expect to add RV antifreeze through your pump and fresh water tank.  You can still hookup to city water if you wrap your water hose with a heat strip covered with foam cylinders.  Also, plan to dump your tanks when they are near full, and be sure to store your hoses when finished to avoid freezing.

    All lines must be free of water.

    Option 1: Not recommended

    Clear your lines using compressed air through the system.  Some folks claim this is the best way, but it’s certainly not foolproof since some water residue can remain in the lines and freeze causing future problems the following spring.

    Option 2: Preferred method

    Add RV antifreeze to the system.  You can do this by bypassing your fresh and hot water tanks once drained.  If you add RV antifreeze to directly to your fresh water tanks it may be difficult to remove it from the system come spring, depending on the location of the drain.  The location of the drain on some RVs is near the bottom.  If you particular model is set up this way, an uncertain amount of antifreeze will remain in the system if the valve is left open.

    The best way is to insert a bypass hose directly into the jug of RV antifreeze and put it through the system.  Start by opening the water faucet  farthest from the pump.  Proceed by turning each one on (including the shower), until you see antifreeze coming out.  Then, flush the toilet until you see antifreeze coming out, and pour a small amount down the toilet and through the grey tank as well.

    Special Note: If you plan to use your RV in temperatures below freezing and your tanks are not located in a heated compartment, you can add about a 1/2 cup of RV antifreeze to both the gray and black tanks after dumping.  This will also allow the antifreeze to collect next to the valves.

    Caution:  NEVER add windshield wiper antifreeze into your system!  Make sure you are using only approved RV/Marine antifreeze which is safe for you and your unit.

    If you are going to use your RV in the winter, and you don’t have the water hoses wrapped in heat strips, don’t connect to campground hook-ups.  It is better to carry water with you in containers, or if your fresh water tank is heated, fill the tank, disconnect the water hose and then store it where it won’t be subject to freeze.  Take the same precaution with your sewer hose.  Wait to dump your tanks until they are near full and then connect your hose, dump and then store it.  Any hoses which are not protected by heat strips, or properly stored will be subject to freezing and splitting.

    Check, clean and charge your battery

    Top up your batteries with distilled water, but be careful not to overfill them.  If you don’t plan on using your RV over the cold months, you can remove the battery and store it in a cool and dry place.  Draw out a diagram of the connections so you will remember how to install the battery when it comes time to use it again.

    Clean the inside and outside of your unit

    Start with the refrigerator.  Clean it thoroughly and then turn it off.  Keep the door of the refrigerator and freezer open to ensure mold and mildew does not grow.  Place several boxes of baking soda inside the refrigerator and freezer.  Cover all external vents and openings where pipes and cords come into your RV.  Many RV owners use steel brass wool (not steel wool which can rust) into the cracks and crevices to prevent rodents and other pests from moving in your unit!  Also, cover your air conditioner unit with an appropriate cover or tarp.

    Place moisture absorbing agent in several places throughout your unit

    You can use a commercial product such as Dri-Z-Air to control moisture build up.  You can purchase it from most RV parts stores or online.

    Close all drapes and blinds

    This will help to keep the sun’s rays from fading and deteriorating the furnishings in your unit.  It is also recommended to crack open a vent or window to properly ventilate your RV.

    Keep your gas/fuel/LP tanks full to prevent condensation

    Turn off your propane tank and then make sure that your RV is level for storage. Extend/add jacks to stabilize your unit which helps to relieve stress on your RV’s frame.

    Use Dri-Z-Air dehumidifier products to safely remove and absorb excess moisture and musty smells from the air. Dri-Z-Air helps maintain woodwork and items in your

    7 Must-Visit Roadside Cafes For RV Travelers

    Cookin’ From Scratch – Doolittle, MO

    Cookin’ From Scratch offers mouthwatering and lip-smacking food, all cooked from scratch. They have an extensive menu that ranges from appetizers, fresh Angus burgers, sandwiches, country fried steaks and desserts. They also offer a children’s menu.

    The restaurant is a neighborhood favorite in Doolittle, MO. They’ve been around more than 22 years and have won awards from the Best of Rural Missouri Awards and the Local Readers Choice Awards. Taste their signature pan fried chicken and you’re sure to come back for more.

    Located at I-44 Exit 179 90 Truman Street
    Doolittle/Newburg, MO
    Phone: 573-762-3111  
    Open Mon-Thu 10.30am-8pm, Fri-Sat 7am-8pm, Sun 7am-3pm. Breakfast $2.99-$9.99, lunch and dinner $4.99-$13.99

    Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery – Shipshewana, IN

    Be sure to visit the Blue Gate Bakery after your meal. Here you will find fresh-baked goods like homemade bread, cookies & bars, pies and so much more. Order a slice of one of their famous pies or take the whole pie home!

    When you visit the Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery, you will enjoy a warm and inviting atmosphere, great home-style cooking, friendly service and all the baked goods your heart desires. While your table is being prepared, enjoy a peaceful moment on one of the many gliders that line our beautiful wrap-around porch. If there is a wait, feel free to shop around in any of the Riegsecker Family shops. The shops are all equipped with the same paging system, so you can hear your name paged when your table is ready, no matter where you are in the Marketplace.

    195 N Van Buren St.
    Shipshewana, IN 46565
    260.768.4725 | 888.447.4725

    Silver Pine Restaurant – Flagstaff, AZ

    The Silver Pine Restaurant and Bar, a modern Flagstaff eatery embracing traditional roots.  Enjoy casual ambiance and a full menu of Little America Hotel favorites. Set in 500 acres of Ponderosa Pine forest, Little America Flagstaff is a haven from the mundane. Inviting hospitality combined with the natural beauty and serenity of Northern Arizona will instill a passion to return to this distinctive resort.

    2515 East Butler Avenue
    Flagstaff, AZ 86004  
    (928) 779-7900


    Iowa 80 Kitchen – Walcott, IA

    A place where people want to stop. On the eastern edge of Iowa, not far from the Mississippi River, adjacent to the small town of Walcott, you’ll find a place like no other in the world. The Iowa 80 Truckstop, now the World’s Largest Truckstop, established its home here in 1964 and is now in itself a home away from home to countless drivers and a destination for travelers as well. Some say Iowa 80 Truckstop is like a small city, others have likened it to a Trucker’s Disneyland, all can agree it is a place not to be missed.

    755 W. Iowa 80 Rd.I-80, Exit 284
    Walcott, IA 52773

    Casa de Fruta Restaurant- Hollister, CA

    Open 24 hours, Casa de Fruta offers a wide selection of old home favorites and regional specialty menu items,

    including fruit and cream pies fresh from the bakery. Their breakfast menu is available anytime.  Whether its steak, burgers, or wine you’re sure to leave satisfied.

    10021 Pacheco Pass Highway
    Hollister, CA 95023

    The Big Texan – Amarillo, TX

    The Big Texan feeds almost half a million people each year from all over the world. It has been featured in countless TV shows, movies, magazines, and newspapers throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. Countless movies and sit-coms have featured or parodied the World Famous FREE 72-oz. steak dinner (if eaten in 1 hour).

    7701 I-40 East

    The Big Texan Steak Ranch has received many honors such as being named to MAXIM Magazine’s list of Top 10 Steak Houses in America! Our steaks are carefully aged for maximum flavor,and the aroma from the grill will have your mouth watering as soon as you enter our huge dining room.

    Space Aliens Bar & Grill- Fargo, ND

    1840 45th St Southwest
    Fargo, ND
    (701) 281-2033

    The décor features a 30-foot-high domed ceiling that displays a view of outer space. A force field of alien sculptures in the dining room, bar and arcade, showcase a variety of extraterrestrial settings and distinct personalities, encouraging each earthling to relax and enjoy the moment. Earthly explorers can enjoy a menu ranging from Martian Munchies™ to Alien Burgers™. It’s more than enough food to fuel them up for their next flight.

    RV Traveling With Horses?

    Horspitality RV Park & Boarding Stables (Arizona)

    Horspitality is a unique experience. As you enter the Western Arch Entrance you can feel the Old West come over you.

    Look out at the mountains that surround the park. As you drop down into the Hassayampa River Valley observe the giant palm trees and the large Mulberry trees which shade the sites. Beyond are very large Cottonwood Trees located in the stable area.

    51802 US Hwy 60 89
    Wickenburg, Arizona 85390

    On Site Amenities: 16 x 16 or 12 x 24 horse pens (some partially covered), large 160 x 80 arena and two round training and turnout pens which are approximately 60 feet in diameter, horse wash and an excellent farrier who lives at the park, rec room, laundry, LP, Wi-Fi, showers, restrooms

     Rates: Rates vary depending on site, horse accommodations, etc.  Please contact the park directly.

    Kiva RV Park & Horse Motel (New Mexico)

    Horspitality is a unique experience. As you enter the Western Arch Entrance you can feel the Old West come over you.

    Look out at the mountains that surround the park. As you drop down into the Hassayampa River Valley observe the giant palm trees and the large Mulberry trees which shade the sites. Beyond are very large Cottonwood Trees located in the stable area.

    21 Old Highway 60 West
    Bernardo, New Mexico 87006

    On Site Amenities:

    • Barn – 4 Stalls with Runs
    • 4 Stalls – 12×12
    • 7 stalls 10×10 with or without runs
    • Piped Corrals (30’x60′) with Weather Shelter (3 available)
    • Isolation Stalls with or without runs (2 available)
    • Extra large corrals with advance notice.
    • Maximum 4 horses per pen.

    Total available horse accommodations: 14 stalls with or without runs, 3 pipe corrals (30′ x 60′), and 60′ round pen.

    Kiva RV Park operates year round and can accommodate all camper, RV, and tenting needs. We host 36 large full

    • 36 Large RV hook – up sites ( accommodates your towed vehicle)
    • 20/30/50 amp service
    • Daily, Weekly and Monthly Rates
    • Wireless Internet
    • Recreation Room
    • Clubs Welcome (We honor most club memberships)
    • Laundry Facilities
    • Restrooms and Showers
    • Fax Service
    • Tenting area available (close to restrooms and showers)
    • Pets Welcome
    • Horse guided tours (must provide own horses)
    • Clean quiet setting

    Many guests enjoy our proximity to US Route 60 which provides a cutoff to Interstate 40, in turn avoiding the congestion of Albuquerque.

    Rates: $30-$35 for RV site, $20 for first horse, ask about weekly & monthly rates

    Hoof Prints Ranch – RV Park & Horse Motel (Texas)

    A quaint RV Park and Horse Motel, located in the Cowboy Capital of the World.

    1495 S US Hwy 281
    Stephenville, TX 76401

    On Site Amenities: 13 spaces that have full hook ups including sewer, water and 30-50 amp power.  Nine spaces can house some of the biggest rigs on the road with room to spare.  Five additional spaces are back ins with full hook ups.  This is a safe and clean RV Park that is monitored continuously, and the scenery is beautiful!

    RV Sites: $30-$35
    16×16 uncovered stalls for $15 per horse per night.
    16×24 fully covered 6 rail permanent stalls for $20 per horse per night.
    16×16 barn stalls for $25 per horse per night.

    Blake Ranch – RV Park & Horse Motel (Arizona)

    Additionally the ghost towns of Chloride and Oatman are easy day trips.  There’s plenty to do and see in the area. We’re 12 miles East of Kingman, AZ. Historic Route 66 runs through Kingman.


    9315 East Blake Ranch Road
    Kingman, AZ 86401

    RV Sites: $35-$48
    $20 for each horse

    On Site Amenities: Private showers and baths, a modern laundry facility, dog runs, horse stalls, a horse ring, riding areas, a full service park store, and much more!

    No Train Noise • Full Hook Up’s • 30/50 Amp • Cable TV • WiFi Hotspot is “Free to Overnight Guests” • Wide Pull Thrus • Paved Roads • Gravel Sites • Best “Private” Shower Rooms in the West. • Open Year-Round •Conveniently located 12 miles east of Kingman, AZ  just off Interstate 40, on Blake Ranch Road Exit #66, quietly removed from the nearby Truck Stop and Restaurants.

    Hooves N’ Wheels – RV Park & Horse Motel (Texas)

    Hooves N Wheels RV Park is designed with convenience in mind.  Whether you’re in Mineral Wells, Weatherford, Ft. Worth, Cresson or any of the surrounding communities, you’ll love our proximity to highways such as I-20, US-171, US-180 and Granbury Highway.  We are proud to provide a quiet atmosphere, full hookups, hot showers, rec room, laundry facility and much more.

    4128 Granbury Hwy
    Weatherford, TX 76087

    On Site Amenities: Quiet atmosphere, 30-50 amp electric, Large laundry facility, Free wireless Internet Recreation room, Horse stalls, Shower facilities, On-site management, RV & boat storage, On-site propane sales

    RV Sites: $45-$55
    Horse Stall: $30