Archive for General Info

The Deadly Secret Behind Rv Tires


Motorhome tires are usually sturdy and tough. The tread is intended to cover many miles with minimal wear and tear. The most significant factor nonetheless in avoiding blowouts is the age of the tire. Deadly blowouts at high speeds are repeatedly caused by possessing tires that are too old.

You could see the amount of tread on your tire and consider that the tire is in wonderful condition where as it is actually in an exceedingly risky state and on the point of blowing out. The most hazardous thing about this is that as Motorhome tires are normally changed as sets or at least as axle sets then if you have one blowout it is extremely likely that you will have more within a very short time. When you are thinking about purchasing a used Motorhome at an auction, from a supplier or a private vendor then it essential that you inspect the tires thoroughly. If the tires have a decent amount of tread then this will undoubtedly be pointed out by the vendor or the dealer, this is not the most significant thing to consider here.

Tires on an Rv need to be changed every seven years. Because of exposure to the sunlight and the elements, the side walls of a tire will tend to lose its natural oils. Small cracks will start to materialize to start with and these will shortly convert into larger ones until finally your tire blows out on you.

If you do not have your tires inflated enough then this can be an additional reason for a blowout to occur. Certain owners wanting a ‘soft ride’ will intentionally run their Motorhome on lower tire pressures, this will just generate a load of heat and will cause major problems.

Here are some photos of a blown out tire to show you the gravity of the effect:

BlowoutBlowout Closeup

Verify the tires of a vehicle with attention to detail by searching for the small cracks in the side wall, then attempt to locate the DOT number. The DOT numbers should be somewhere on the side wall of the tire and will consist of a sequence of numbers and letters. It is normally in the format of DOT xxxxxxxx0393, the last digits will correspond to the month and the the year of manufacture. In this example the tyre would have been made in March 1993. Scary if you are recommended to change every 7 years regardless of the mileage of the tire.

A blowout on the freeway can be truly serious. If it’s a front tyre it has the result of slamming the brakes on one front wheel only. The possibly of striking the crash barrier and maybe rolling over is high. Should you be ill-fated enough to have a front blowout you will need to struggle with the steering wheel to control the Rv and steer it to the side of the road.

RV On RampsYour steering is not affected if the blow out is on one of the rear wheels. If you have twin rear wheels and the blowout occurs between the two tires on one side of the Rv, The blast from the one tyre can often kiss the other and cause that to go as well. If the blowout is on the outer wall of a tire then this too puts your bodywork at risk.

With a blowout occurring at the top of a wheel rotation the damage from the blast can literally rip away any fiberglass bodywork. If you were to have a blowout on your vehicle then the best place to have it (if there can be a best place) would be on the inside wall of one of the rear tires.

As an ending note, Unless you are really athletic and have all the right gear, don’t try changing the RV wheel by hand. Always call the insurance or rescue truck as these are heavy duty wheels and need qualified and experienced people to handle them.

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Off Road Motorhomes


The people at Global Xpedition Vehicles have just sent me some great images of their latest off road RVs.

Safari Expedition

These hefty vehicles are designed to cross virtualy any terrain and still they mange to keep all the pots and pans from being thrown around…

kitchen bed TVThey have just launched a new “Safari Expedition” model built on a Unimog U-500 chassis. Twenty-six feet long on a 154 inch wheelbase, with a 31.5 feet turning radius. The Safari model is powered by a Mercedes-Benz 6-cylinder (6.4-liter) diesel engine, water-cooled, turbo-charged and intercooled. However it is the all-wheel drive system that really sets the GXV Unimog apart. It has a fully synchronized transmission, 16 forward, 12 reverse gears, portal axles with inter-axle differential lock at front, rear and center axles, coil springs, telescopic absorbers, and stabilizers front and rear. “It is simply the best expedition vehicle to drive in any terrain or condition” said Mike Van Pelt, CEO of Global EXpedition Vehicles. The extreme expedition vehicle is able to camber over rocks or fallen trees three feet high and yet reach 70mph on the highway.

The expedition cab is enhanced with cab suspension shock absorption and a ceiling console with AM/FM and satellite radio, CD, and iPod connection. The sandwich-panel composite coach is attached to the chassis frame with a 3-Point Kinetic connection to eliminate torque transference to the expedition unit. While the extreme GXV is a rugged 4×4 expedition vehicle, inside of the camper it has all the luxuries and comfort of home.

Dining areaThere is premium solid wood cabinets, a 4-person dining area which converts into a 2nd bed, stainless steel refrigerator and freezer, 2 burner diesel cooktop,  convection microwave/grill, LED lighting, dry-bath with separate shower and toilet, queen-size bed, 2 flatscreen LCD TVs with full sound system, and plenty of storage areas.

For additional information on Global EXpedition Vehicles, call 417-582-5050 or visit www.globalXvehicles.com

Motorcycle Motorhome


In contrast to the monster motorhome in the last post, I have come across this one at the other end of the scale.

Motorcycle RV

This 5 wheel motorcycle RV was originally featured on a family blog but the source is no longer available so there is very little information available. It is however featured on the following websites:

  • Motorcycle Motorhome – Well, that’s no longer a problem with this crazy motorcycle motorhome which has the front end of a chopper and the back end of an RV. Of course the RV part has flames on the side so you can maintain your street cred with the biker set. …
  • Motorcycle motorhome – Customized motorcycle motorhome. This customized 5-wheeler was posted on the “Johnson Family Blog.” No additional information was provided about the owner or who built this unique “fuel friendly” rig.

Renting a Motorhome Versus Buying a Motorhome


Buying or rentingLast week I was expressing the importance of [tag]renting RVs[/tag] to get the feel of the model you really need before taking the plunge and purchasing one for yourself.

Well after having rented for a while there are those who do their calculations and discover that they might as well keep on renting.

For example, if you are going to go for say 8 weeks in every year then you can easily work out the payments on rental. Depending on the size and quality of [tag]RV[/tag] you need and the time of year then the cost for this could be anywhere between $5,000 and $8,000.

Now this is not cheap by any standards but when you take into consideration the depreciation of price on a new or used RV along with any routine maintenance and repairs combined with any off road storage you might have to pay then you might be better off financially renting on a permanent basis instead of buying.

Consider this – Lets say that a 4 year old [tag]class A motorhome[/tag] costs you $125,000. In 6 years time that same vehicle will probably only be worth around $70,000. So, in this case, on depreciation alone, in 6 years it will have cost you $55,000 as opposed to a possible $48,000 rental fees.

It will be worth your while to do your own calculations according to the size of rig you will be using, how often you will be using it and the depreciation, maintenance and storage fees to find out whether it would be financially beneficial to rent or to buy.

Of course, it is always a luxury to have your own RV to hand for any unplanned trips. You will have your own kitchen and food supplies, your own clothes, music and entertainment all to hand and you will get to know and love the vehicle with all its own peculiarities.

So even if the numbers don’t work out and you find that you will be paying a little bit more by buying as opposed to renting then it may be worth the extra investment just to have the luxury and peace of mind of owning your own rig.

Louise at MomReponds.com addresses this very same question well in her blog post Winnebago Motorhomes For Sale Or Rent

[tags]motorhome for hire, rent motorhome, buying motorhome, used motorhome[/tags]

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RV Terminology


[tag]Motorhome Terminology[/tag] – [tag]RV lingo[/tag]

Here are a few [tag]RV terms[/tag] that you need to get used if you are buying your first motorhome.
If you come across any that aren’t listed here or you know some that you think should be added then leave them in a comment below and I’ll update the list if it appropriate.

[tag]Arctic Package[/tag]:
Extra insulation for the holding tanks and water lines for winter use.

[tag]Backup Monitor[/tag]:
A closed circuit camera that is mounted in the rear of the larger class A rigs which has a monitor installed in the driving area so the driver can see behind the vehicle when backing up. Many of the monitors come with graduated guide lines on the screen so you can see exactly how many feet away from an object you actually are.

Basement or Basement Storage:
This is the area used for storage beneath the floor and is usually accessible from the outside.This usually refers to Class-A or Class-C motorhomes.

[tag]Black Water[/tag]:
The waste water from the toilet which is stored in a special holding tank under the RV known as the black water tank.

[tag]Boondocking[/tag]:
Camping without using electrical hook-ups nor sewer or water. The house batteries, generators, water and holding tanks are relied upon. Also known as Dry Camping.

[tag]BTU[/tag] – (British Thermal Unit):
The heat rating applied for RV air conditioners and heating units. The higher the number the more effective the unit..

[tag]Caravan[/tag]:
3 or more RV travelling together in convoy.

[tag]Chassis[/tag]:
The metal frame supporting the engine and bodywork.

[tag]Class A Motorhome[/tag]:
See RV CLASSES EXPLAINED.

[tag]Class B Motorhome[/tag]:
Also known as campers or camper vans- See RV CLASSES EXPLAINED.

[tag]Class C MotorHome[/tag]:
See RV CLASSES EXPLAINED.

[tag]Converter[/tag]:
The device that converts 120 Volt AC electricity into 12 volt DC. When using electrical hookups most of the lighting and other accessories are designed to work at 12 Volts.

[tag]Dinghy[/tag]:
The name for a second vehicle that is towed behind the RV – also referred to as the Toad.

[tag]Dry Camping[/tag]:
See Boondocking

[tag]Dump Station[/tag]:
The facility where you can empty your black and gray water holding tanks.

DW ([tag]Dry weight[/tag]):
The weight of an RV when empty, i.e. with no water, fuel, passengers, supplies or belongings.

[tag]Fifth-Wheel[/tag]:
An RV that is designed to be towed from the back of an adapted pick up truck – See RV CLASSES EXPLAINED.

[tag]Fiver[/tag]:
A fifth-wheel RV.

[tag]FMCA[/tag]:
Family Motor Coach Association.

[tag]Fresh Water Tank[/tag]:
The tank in which clean water is stored and is connected to the faucets.

[tag]Full Timers[/tag]:
Refers to those who live permanently in their RVs all year round.

[tag]Gray Water[/tag]:
The waste water from the sinks and shower. This is held in the Gray Water Tank.

[tag]GVWR[/tag] (Gross vehicle Weight Rating):
The maximum permitted weight for a RV including passengers, supplies, fuel and propane.

[tag] Hook-ups[/tag]:
Electricity and fresh water connections that can be found at campsites.

[tag] Newbie[/tag]:
A newcomer to the world of RVing.

[tag] Pull-Through[/tag]:
These are RV campsites where you drive into the allotted space forwards and later when you leave you drive out forwards too. This saves having to back up.

[tag]Puller[/tag]:
Refers to an RV that has its engine mounted in the front of the vehicle.

[tag] Pusher[/tag]:
Refers to an RV that has its engine mounted in the rear of the vehicle (usually diesel).

[tag] RV[/tag]:
Recreational Vehicle.

[tag] Slideout[/tag]:
A portion of the RV unit can expand to create more room inside the rig.

[tag] Snowbirds[/tag]:
Refers to those who live in their RV in the south during the winter months and move north in the summer time.

[tag] Toad[/tag]:
The name for a second vehicle that is towed behind the RV – Also referred to as the Dinghy.

In the News:

RV Education 101 Simplifies RV Ownership by Releasing RV DVD Value Packs

[tags]Motorhome[/tags]

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Motorhome Recall Process


Defects and Recalls

[tag]Motor Vehicle Defects[/tag] and Safety Recalls:

What Every Vehicle Owner Should Know.

I forgot to include this useful resource in yesterday’s post on recalls.

The NHTSA have put together a very large FAQ on the whole recall process and what it involves. If you are [tag]buying a motohome[/tag] you should definitely check out to see if it has been recalled before making the purchase final. You can also download the booklet free of charge. To download the booklet follow the link below.
Recall Process and Booklet from the NHTSA. (you will need Acrobat Reader to view the downloaded document)

[tags]rv, rv recalls, motorhome, motorhome recalls[/tags]

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Motorhome Recalls


From time to time RV manufacturers find themselves having to recall certain models or their installed equipment due to safety issues. If you own a [tag]motorhome[/tag], especially if you didn’t buy it new then you should check frequently to see if your rig or any of its equipment has been recalled.

If you are considering buying a motorhome then you should especially check on the model you will be purchasing because in some cases insurance companies will not insure a vehicle that has been recalled until the appropriate work has been undertaken.

There is a list of the most recently recalled models over at the Motorhome Magazine web site. I believe they update this list on a monthly basis.

If you really need to check out if a certain rig has ever been recalled then you need to look up the make and model in the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration) Recalls, Defects and Complaints Database. http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov
[tags]RV, RV recalls, motorhome recalls[/tags]

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RV Rentals Try Before You Buy


renting a motorhomeBefore you commit to buying your RV especially if it will be your first you will benefit greatly if you can try it out first. In reality it is unlikely that you will be able to try out the actual vehicle you are considering but you can test out which class of RV really suits you by renting for a week or even a few days before you make your decision.

To spend a few days on the road will give you a very good idea as to how it will be.

  • Is the vehicle big enough?
  • Is it too big?
  • How is the gas consumption?
  • Do you have enough space for your belongings?
  • Is there somewhere to store your golf clubs/cycles/canoo or whatever it may be?
  • Are you comfortable driving it and parking it?
  • Can you get it in your drive or parking space?

…. the list goes on.

Taking a trip in a rented vehicle will present you with many teething problems that might have a solution but on the other hand the solution might be to consider a different class of vehicle beore it is too late.

There are many places to [tag]rent RV[/tag]s accross the US and in other contries too. Rental costs sem to vary between $100 and $300 a week and what ever the cost it will give you peace of mind in the long run.

Renting a Motorhome is also a great way to see a foreign country or a place too far away to drive to.

Check out this site about [tag]Alaska RV Rentals[/tag]:
Cut Travel Costs with an RV Vacation

And this one with information about [tag]Canadian RV Rentals[/tag]:
Renting an RV

Or this one about [tag]New Zealand Motorhome Rental[/tag]:
RV rental New Zealand

And for the UK [tag]Europe RV Rentals[/tag]
Motorhome Hire – Two Beginners’ Tales

And finally,
Finding the Best Place For RV Rental in California

If you are thinking of renting you should also consider joining the [tag]Good Sam RV club[/tag] – This is the major [tag-ice]RV club[/tag-ice] in the Us and you don’t have to be an RV owner to join. Some of the benefits you can enjoy as an RV Renter would be;

  • Camping Discounts (Save 10% on nightly rates at over 1700+ Good Sam Parks)
  • FREE Subscription to Highways magazine
  • Specialized RV Trip Routing
  • Tips & Guidance from Online Forums
  • Enjoy Club Activities
  • and much more

Use this link for a special discount coupon.

Join Good Sam Club Today and Get a FREE Night of Camping!

[tags]RV Rental, Motorhome Rental[/tags]

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