Posts byPeter Mercer

Can Low-End RVs Deliver High Recreation Rewards?

Low-end RVs open up high-recreation possibilities. Recreational vehicles come in a wide variety of costs from “entry level” to “over-the-top” palatial luxury. So what drives people to buy the higher-priced units? Do they fit the application better and therefore deliver more of the RV lifestyle pleasures? Do they travel better and are they more overall efficient? Once
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RV MPG — Big Impact From Slight Elevation Changes

RV fuel consumption — the big impact of slight elevation changes. Most people who own a recreational vehicle have on occasion wondered why their fuel mileage varies from time to time. Alright, we all know that driving speed, stop-and-go traffic, and wind resistance affects fuel mileage greatly. This is further amplified by weight and aerodynamics of our
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Diesel Pushers — How Much HP is Enough?

Diesel pushers require pretty brawny engines. So how much horsepower is enough? This is a common question often appearing in RV forums in regard to diesel pushers. Well, there are six common Cummins engines and several Caterpillar that can be found in diesel pushers made in the last decade. They range in size from 6.7
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Choosing an RV Floor Plan

RV floor plans — finding the right layout for your lifestyle. There are many decisions to be made when purchasing an RV. But whether it is a motorized unit, a fifth-wheel or a travel trailer, one of the most important choices is the floor plan. After all, you will spend most of the time using
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Why RV Travel Appeals to so Many

RV travel appeals to many — here’s a few reasons why. For those who have experienced RV travel for their vacation, it comes as no surprise that they feel it’s the only way to go. The journey riding in a Class A, for example, provides a much higher view as opposed to a regular automobile. This
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Why RV Travel is the Only Way to Go

RV travel is the only way to go … Many of us have a passion to travel. That desire, for the most part, has been met using automobiles, trains, planes and ships. Decades ago, air travel was a thrill and an enjoyable mode of getting to faraway places. However, that excited, exhilarated atmosphere that once
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How to Be an RV D.I.Y. Pro

For many, the RV lifestyle involves travel and destination relaxation. For some, tinkering and maintenance chores are also part of the RV experience and hobby. Not only do they enjoy this activity, but it also protects their investment in this lifestyle/hobby. In addition, a certain pride goes along with successfully maintaining or repairing your own
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Cross Canada’s Dynamic Eastern Border for its 150th

Cross Canada’s Dynamic Eastern Border for its 150th. See our ongoing coverage of Canada’s 150th birthday. One of the most spectacular crossings from U.S. to Canada is the Thousand Islands bridge, which spans a scenic 8.4 miles. Americans start the crossing in Alexandra Bay on the river’s southern, New York shore. The journey on the bridge encompasses four stunning
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Oasis Hydronic Heating Unit: An Innovative Approach

Hydronic heat has replaced the furnace and water heater on many motorhomes over the past decade.  These systems deliver heat to the coach’s interior while also supplying continuous hot water on demand.  Recently, I had the opportunity to tour one of the manufacturers of these marvelous inventions. International Thermal Research, a manufacturer of advanced diesel
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Canadian Currency — What You Need to Know

See our ongoing coverage of Canada’s 150th birthday in the coming weeks. RVing and Canadian currency — what you need to know. American RVers planning a trip up to Canada should not forget to obtain some Canadian currency sufficient to cover their cash needs. This will save you money and hassle: Although U.S. dollars are accepted in many Canadian businesses, the U.S.-Canada
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Choosing Between Electric-Induction or Propane Stoves

RV electric induction or propane? Which is the best cooking solution for you?  Through the years, propane gas has been the go-to for RV cooking fuel. This worked well, as propane also was used for the hot-water heater as an additional fuel for the refrigerator and for the furnace to heat the interior of the
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Personalizing Your RV on a Budget

RV personalizing — putting your stamp on your ride. Personalizing your RV can be an expensive proposition if you opt for custom body paint, graphic designs and pricey interior treatments. But you don’t have to spend big bucks to make your RV uniquely customized for your own tastes. Inexpensive automotive contrasting pin striping can highlight
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Replacing an RV Sofa With Reclining Chairs

Reclining chairs add comfort and appeal to RV interiors. RV renovating can be a way to bring new life to an aging rig. One popular item is to replace a sofa with reclining chairs. These can both look good and provide a relaxing setting for watching TV or just lounging around. There are some things
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Getting the Skinny on Synthetic Motor Oil

The use of synthetic motor oil compared to the general petroleum type has been the center of many discussions throughout the years. While there have always been two sides, each favoring their choice, there is no question that synthetic oil is superior.  However, is that superiority a needed benefit in a motorhome application, and can the
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Justifying an RV Purchase

RV Purchase Upsides Are you weighing the cost of a new RV? In addition to saving all the costs you would otherwise incur from air travel and hotel stays, an RV rewards its owners in a number of ways that can’t always be measured by a calculator. So, what are the lifestyle returns of owning
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Canning: a Great (and Nutritious) RV Hobby

Canning preserves food—and it’s fun. There are many things that people enjoy while camping. Whether it is outdoor sports, fishing in that secret lake lagoon or just lounging beneath a shade tree reading your favorite book, everybody seems to seek the break from the daily grind. The end of August this year found me in Qliver,
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Bead Balancing RV Tires

The need to balance automobile wheels whenever the tires are replaced is a necessity for smooth operation. That same principle exists for large RV wheels, even though they rotate at a much slower rate.  While the standard lead weights that fasten to the edge of the rim are still used, a newer method is being
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RV Travel Soars as International Travel Declines

RV Travel Soars–and the sky’s the limit. Domestic holiday destinations seem to be the latest craze, or perhaps more correctly, what many believe to be the better alternative.The international travel climate is becoming much more uncertain. Conflicts throughout the world have left many with doubts. While airlines and overseas travel destination vacation sales are slumping,
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Sani-Con Sewage System: Powering Waste Disposal

Is the Sani-Con Sewage System the solution? When it comes to RV sewage waste tanks, the 3-inch “Stinky Slinky” comes to mind. Used on most RVs, the large hoses rely on gravitational force to empty the tanks.  While all motor homes come standard with this setup, an optional macerator type is available in addition on some
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Reviewing the Jeep Wrangler Toad

Rolling With a Jeep Wrangler Toad Many owners of a Class A coaches flat-tow vehicles behind their RVs. For this, they must choose a suitable “toad”: a vehicle that can be flat-towed (all 4 wheels on the road) without damaging the running gear. Unfortunately, not every vehicle is capable of this kind of transportation, so caution is advised. 
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A Leading Toad Brake System for Diesel Pushers

There are many good toad brake systems on the market for vehicles that are being flat towed. All rely on a signal to trigger the unit to apply the brakes. Generally, the most common is the inertia switch, which applies the brakes based on deceleration. These work well on vehicles towed by gas-powered rigs and are
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Beware of B20 Fuel for Your Diesel Vehicle

Beware of B20 fuel. If you have a diesel-powered motorhome, or tow vehicle, you are probably used to seeing fuel pumps labeled with biodiesel content. Typically, they are marked with B-5 and up to B20.  This is the percentage of the oilseed produced biodiesel that is in the fuel.  Like the “E” (Ethanol) that many
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Beware of Overbilling: Check Your Charges

Don’t let overbilling take the joy out of your next RV adventure. Planning an RV holiday can be lots of fun. In addition to making reservations and calculating travel times, a focus on maintaining your vacation budget is important. With all your attention directed toward this, one must remember to be sure the regular home services
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The Importance of OEM Replacement Parts

Throughout the life of your RV, you can expect to have to deal with RV replacement parts. Some of what you must replace can be referred to as a consumable, an item that has a predetermined life, such as engine fluids, filters and tires, to name a few. Light bulbs, even though they have a less
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RV Driving Is Getting a Lot Smarter

When most of us aging folks were young, we had to learn many new skills in order to operate automobiles, boats, aircraft and other mobile equipment. Who can forget the first few times we drove a clutch-equipped car or truck? Getting the quick coordination of releasing the brake, applying power and releasing the clutch on a steep incline
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Tombstone, Arizona—a Gunslinging RV Destination

Go back in time for your next RV destination and visit Tombstone, Arizona. Located about 60 miles southeast of Tucson, the notorious town of Tombstone can be reached off Interstate 10 on Highway 80 south. During high season, it’s best to secure a reservation in one of the nearby Good Sam Parks, as Tombstone can be a popular
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Class A Performance Specs for Buyers

When most people do research prior to buying a new vehicle, they generally compare the models they are interested in. For this evaluation, they probably should look at performance specs in the following areas. • Engine Horse Power and Torque • Acceleration Performance • Braking Distance from 60 mph • Fuel Economy • Number of Forward Gears
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Taking Your RV Onto a Ferry

There are many different driving experiences that challenge today’s RVers throughout the country. Transporting an RV on a ferry is one that not everybody has done. While it sounds pretty cut-and-dry, there can be some issues. First, it can be very costly. Fares in the hundreds of dollars may be experienced on some routes. For
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Toy Haulers Rev Up the RVing Fun

Toy hauler RVs can be found in trailers, fifth-wheels and motorhomes. They are capable of providing full RV living quarters as well as mobile garages for vehicles like ATV’s, motorcycles, jet skis and more. These unique, bi-function recreational vehicles are surging in popularity and bring a younger generation of users into RVing. For many of these RVers, reading
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Dinghy Decision: To Tow or Not to Tow

Motorhomes pulling autos—so-called “dinghy” vehicles—are a common sight on the nation’s highways as another summer nears. Dinghies are four-down flat-towed, two-wheel dolly-pulled or carried in an open or fully enclosed trailer.  All of these to provide a vehicle to get around at various destinations. Flat towing, that is towing with all four wheels on the road,
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Importance of the Pre-Trip Walkaround

There are many things that must be done when breaking camp with your trailer or motorhome. Often, a checklist is followed to assure that each item has been readied and checked before hitting the road. Generally, the last item to be completed is a full walk around. This involves the driver walking entirely around the vehicle
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Campground Wi-Fi—Getting a Signal

Somewhere around the turn of the century, Wi-Fi became an added convenience for RVers at RV parks. Mostly, it a was a tethered service offered in clubhouses or like gathering places. Today, Wi-Fi is considered a “must-have” amenity. Wireless service grew significantly as the popularity of the Internet exploded throughout the country. Now, years later, a new issue has
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Digital RV Dash Readouts vs. Analogue

Digital instrument readouts, in lieu of analogue gauges, have been a trend in the auto industry for some vehicles for years. Motorhomes, however, are pretty well still in the analog stages for general engine- and speed-related data. The exception for this would be the SilverLeaf Glass Dash, which was available as aftermarket equipment. But is
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RV Residential Refrigerator Advantages

Recreation vehicle absorption refrigerators have been around for decades.  Operating on propane or electric, these types of appliances have been ideal for off-the-grid camping. They do, however, have several shortfalls when compared to what you are used to at home.  First, they have a reduced interior volume due to the shallow depth needed for the
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RV Inverter/Charger Basics

Motorized RVs come equipped with either a battery charger/converter or a battery charger/inverter. The converter basically charges the house battery bank, which supplies 12-volt DC (direct current) to the coach. Of course, this only happens providing the charger is plugged into a 120-volt AC (alternating current) shore power source. If no shore power is available, the
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Vorad Collision Radar Review

Bendix VORAD (Vehicle On-Board Radar) is an option offered by many class A motorhome makers. Basically, it is a forward-viewing radar that provides following distance alerts, collision warning and stationary object alerts. This continually monitors the vehicle’s current path, warning the operator of any immediate action that may need to be taken. Additionally, The Bendix
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Quieter Diesel Engine Innovations

In years past, it wasn’t difficult to recognize the sound of a automobile diesel engine. Sounding like a herd of knock-kneed cattle, they were a stark contrast to their relatively silent gasoline-powered cousins. Even the use of sound dampening materials did little to mask the familiar mechanical clatter. Basically, the loud sounds were a product
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