Posts byPeter Mercer

RV Fuel Gremlins: 5 Major Wheel Factors

RV MPG gremlins — where the rubber meets the road. Part II in a series. One of the prime factors that affect a vehicle’s RV mileage is the rolling-wheel resistance. This is a force or drag that acts against the travel direction. The resistance measure is determined by a number of causes: The first, and most obvious,
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RV Fuel Gremlins —  Environmental Factors

RV Fuel Gremlins — Environmental Plays a major role. Part III in a series.  Environmental elements also play a major role in altering our fuel consumption numbers. The biggest of these factors is wind. This can drop your expected fuel mileage substantially, or it can boost it to surreal levels. It all depends on the
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RV Fuel Gremlins: Looking at Hidden Factors

RV fuel gremlins — finding the hidden factors that affect mpg. Part I of a series. RV owners seek to reduce fuel consumption — it’s one of the things we all have in common. The financial savings, reduction of carbon footprint and enhanced peace of mind that come from consuming smaller amounts of fuel make
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Spring Trips: Wet Sunny Fun for the Whole Family

RV water park excursions — slip and slide during your spring RV trips. Spring break is not far off, and that means traveling with extended family. During this season, our grandchildren regularly show us that there is little question that most kids love RV camping. So what do kids really like when it comes to these
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Lessons Learned From My First Camping Trip

My first camping trip taught me the importance of a little planning — and the having the right gear. For many RVers, first camping experiences usually involve tenting in the great outdoors. For most, it’s an exhilarating adventure that soon becomes a regular summer activity. However, such was not the case for my first camping
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RV Dishwashers — Getting the Dish on the Options

RV Dishwashers — coming clean on available options. Dishwashers have been popular options offered in Class A motorhomes and large trailers for years. But are these “must-haves” worth the space that they occupy? Generally, RV manufacturers install drawer-type washers or conventional door models. Both work well in the RV application. One drawback to the drawer-type
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Why Do Diesel Pusher RVs Cost So Much More Than Gas Motorhomes?

Diesel pusher RVs cost significantly more than their gas-powered counterparts. Here’s a breakdown of the differences. Over the years, many motorhome enthusiasts and prospective buyers have asked, “Why do diesel-powered coaches cost so much more than gas-powered motorhomes?” This is often heard at RV shows, in dealer showrooms and over the campfire. Well, perhaps one
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The Perks of Full-Body RV Paint

RV full-body paint — the full spectrum of appearance and protection. Not many years ago, RV’s were mostly white in color, with the exception of colorful decal flairs on some models. However, the fiberglass composition and gelcoat surfaces tended to oxidize over time. After several years, dependent on the environment, this dulling oxidization required a
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RV Galley Dessert: Apple Rose Cream Cheese Tarts

Top off your Thanksgiving dinner with a simple pastry treat

RV galley dessert — add an easy-to-make confection to your Thanksgiving menu. If you are looking for a fancy dessert that looks like it came out of a Viennese bakery, but can be made easily in your RV, you may like this recipe my wife makes. All you need is a microwave/oven and a little
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Floor Plan: The Key RV-Purchase Consideration

RV buying considerations — choosing the floor plan that fits your lifestyle. Apart from the initial financial decision, RV buyers are faced with a host of considerations involved in their purchase, whether it’s a used unit or brand-new. There are feature choices such as make, chassis, engine type and size, RV class, one or two
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Winterizing Your RV

The shorter days and cooler nights are a sign that seasonal changes are afoot. It soon will be time to get your RV ready for the cold grasp of winter. This means winterizing the unit for its long off-season hibernation. With so many RV brands and model levels, it is impossible to list the step
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RV Demand: How it Affects the Buyer

High RV demand might impact your search for your new home on wheels. Consumer demand for recreational vehicles appears to be increasing at a rate that exceeds some RV manufacturer’s output. Even north of the border, the industry is reporting record sales, with motorhome shipments up nearly 40% in the first eight months of 2017. The once
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Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems — A Worthwhile Option

RV Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems— a key safety feature. Onboard real-time TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) technology has been around for years. The early generation type was ITPMS (Indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems).  These systems electronically measured the tire rotations. This was designed on the principle that the inflation level of a tire changed the
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Power Memory Seats — A Worthwhile RV Option?

Power memory seat options — expanding RV possibilities. Power memory seats have appeared in the automobile market for years. Today, this feature may be more correctly called “Memory Driver Setting Recall,” as it may configure many specific driver preferences as well as the seat position. Generally, this option may also include steering wheel tilt and
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The RV Lifestyle Attracting a Younger Crowd

A younger RV crowd is entering the RV lifestyle — and expanding RV horizons. A few months ago I was camped at one of my favorite RV resorts. I was walking my dog through the campground when I came upon an old friend whose site was a couple of rows over from mine. While chatting
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Driving Your RV in the Fog

Driving your RV in the fog — clear and safe tips. You can be driving your recreational vehicle on an otherwise beautiful day, when suddenly you’re engulfed in fog. Fog banks often lay in the lower wetlands in the early morning, and there are spots around North America that seem to spawn dense fog. High
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RV TV Media Choices — Which is Right for You?

RV satellite, Wi-Fi, campground cable… cutting through the RV TV media clutter. With multiple TVs in many of the RVs sold today, travelers have to ponder what service network is best. The first media choices that come to mind are the satellite broadcasters, such as Dish Network, DirecTV, Shaw Direct, etc. WiFi is certainly a
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Improving Motorhome Hydraulic Brakes

RV hydraulic brakes — a little maintenance makes a big difference. Maintenance on motorhomes can differ from your daily driver due to the infrequency of use and the age of the vehicle. While your car is used pretty well on a daily basis, the same is not true with most motorhomes. Also, unlike an automobile,
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RV Shore Power Fundamentals

RV Shore Power fundamentals. Understanding RV shore power is essential to properly manage your electrical usage in camp. Motorhomes, depending on size, may be capable of using a 30-amp or a 50-amp service maximum. With adaptors, all will operate on a 15/20 amp, albeit a minimum service. There are three basic service sizes provided in
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Passive Steering on Diesel Pusher Tag Axles

Passive steering on motorhome tag axles. Many larger diesel pushers made today are equipped with tag axles. This is a third axle having single wheels at each side that resides behind the dual wheeled drive axle. This feature increases the carrying capacity to help meet the heavier optioned coaches. They also can reduce the weight distributed
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RV Freshwater Tips — Simple Steps to Clean the System

RV freshwater tips for clean lines and clear H20. Your RV internal fresh water supply is an important system in filling your camping needs. Unlike your home water, some component maintenance is a requirement periodically.  Over time, bacteria can gather in your water tank, pump, lines and related valves.  Cleaning these is a fairly easy project
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Protecting Your Class A Windshield

RV windshield tips — getting a clear view. Windshield damage from road debris like stones is an all-too common occurrence. For automobile owners, replacement can be done by an auto glass supplier quickly and conveniently at their shop or, in some cases, in the field wherever you are. But if your Class A windshield suffers
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Big Changes in Quality and Size of RV Televisions

RV televisions — a look at the big changes in quality and size. Televisions in RVs have undergone a sea change in both quantity and size. The 17-inch over-the-dash mounted TV has been replaced by a 40-inch (or larger) high-definition flatscreen. The loaded motorhomes of the ’90s that bragged of a TV in the bedroom
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Avoiding an RV Tire Blowout

RV tire blowouts, though somewhat rare today, can be dangerous when traveling at highway speeds. These events can be significantly worse than automobile blowouts. If a blowout occurs on your motorhome, the results can be far more costly, even if you manage to stop your vehicle safely. Unlike an automobile, a motorhome often suffers body damage in
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Motorhomes With or Without LP-gas

Motorhomes with or without lp-gas — looking at the pros and cons. Many larger class A motorhomes sold today are “all-electric.” Now, the name may be somewhat misleading, as it has nothing to do with the vehicle’s propulsion, so don’t confuse it with those automobiles that use battery-power drive. The “all-electric” term refers to using no lp-gas for
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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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