Posts byPeter Mercer

Digital Multiplex Wiring Vs. Analogue

The Digital age brought change to the auto industry and is continuing to evolve in more advance levels. Gone are the days of the “Backyard Mechanic” tuning a four-barrel carburetor. Today’s mechanics have been replaced by technicians. This newer breed of repair people spends more time on the computer keys than turning a wrench. This
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Class A Night Driving — Shedding Light on Motoring After Dark

Addressing issues surrounding motorhome night driving. Night driving is a topic that is often raised around the campfire by fellow RVers. Much of the discussion often revolves around the efficiency of some headlight designs used in class A coaches. Perhaps some of the thoughts are driven by the radical front end-designs of these vehicles. But,
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RVing in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley

RVing Okanagan Valley — a fresh British Columbia trip. Okanagan Valley offers visitors some of the finest scenic drives in the country, along with an abundance of activities and attractions along the way. Located in the southern central region of the province, the rugged valley — which is highlighted by Okanagan Lake in the middle
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Managing Engine Temperature in Extremely Hot Weather

RV engine heat — combat the high-temperature summer blues. When temperatures surpass 90 degrees and beyond, automobile engines can become stressed to maintain sufficient cooling. For RVs, this can be far greater an issue, given the overall weight being moved. In addition, many RV travelers traverse scenic highways that often involve hilly or mountainous terrain.
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RV Awnings vs. the Elements — Winning the Weather War

RV awnings versus the elements — protect your shade-maker with some common sense. Patio awnings are popular accessories on most RVs. Just about every rig has at least one awning, which come in a variety of colors, makes and structural configurations. There are manually operated models as well as remote-powered types. RV parks are awash
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RV Floorplan Trade-offs: Making the Right Choice

Today’s RV shopper is confronted with a dizzying variety of RV floorplan choices. Picking the right one for your lifestyle is not always easy, and some designs or features may come with trade-offs. Let’s look at some of today’s floorplan features more closely. The Bath-and-a-Half A popular choice in the large Class A category, a
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RV Rope Lighting Brings the ‘Bling’

Using RV rope lighting to “bling up” a recreational vehicle can be a fun and rewarding project. Fitting it inside the window valences to illuminate the perimeter of the glass rivals the look of those million-dollar custom-built coaches. This particular window treatment is best done with flanged-edge rope lighting. The 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch flange strip
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6 Essential RV Generator Care Tips

RV generator care tips to keep the power flowing. Most motorhomes are equipped with an AC generator to provide home-like power when off the grid. There are various makes, including Onan, Cat and Generac. There are gasoline, propane and diesel-powered generator sets to best suit specific applications. Some are AC-producing units and others are DC-inverter
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RV Flooring Choices — Getting a Solid Footing

RV floor coverings offered little variety in the early days. Back then, linoleum or carpet lined the floors of trailers and motorhomes, with minimal choice in color or patterns. Today, a wide variety of materials and designs are available, including porcelain tiles, rich hardwoods and even inlaid deep pile carpet. With so many options, RV
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7 Diesel-Pusher Mistakes to Avoid

Diesel pusher motorhomes are hardy vehicles, but they’re not indestructible. Here’s a list of seven potentially damaging diesel pusher mistakes that owners should avoid. 1) Fueling from both sides at the same time. Most diesel pushers (DPs) have fuel ports on both sides. Truck fuel stations generally have a master pump on one side with
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RV Fuel Gremlins — the Human Factor

Related Posts: Hidden Factors Wheel Factors Environmental Factors Onboard Fuel Eaters How habits affect mileage. Part V. In the past weeks, we’ve looked at many factors that affect the fuel mileage of RVs, and, in particular, Class A diesel pushers. Some of these factors had the ability to be manipulated by the driver and some
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RV Fuel Gremlins — the Onboard Fuel Eaters

  Related Posts: Hidden Factors Wheel Factors Environmental Factors The Human Factor RV Fuel Gremins — Onboard RV fuel wasters. Part IV in a Series. Your motorhome’s engine-fuel consumption is primarily determined by how much horse power and torque you need. The more you use, the more fuel you will burn. But the power your
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RV Fuel Gremlins: 5 Major Wheel Factors

Related Posts: Hidden Factors Environmental Factors Onboard Fuel Eaters The Human Factor 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
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An Overview of The SaniCon System

Awhile ago, we looked at RV sewage systems and primarily focused on user tips for the most common system, the 3” gravity hose type (Stinky slinky). Today we will discuss the operation and user tips of the 12 volt powered SaniCon System. There are two models currently being used, the 1” output unit and the
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RV Fuel Gremlins —  Environmental Factors

Related Posts: Hidden Factors Wheel Factors Onboard Fuel Eaters The Human Factor RV Fuel gremlins — How RV environment impacts mpg. Part III in a series. Environmental factors 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
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RV Fuel Gremlins: Looking at Hidden Factors

  Related Posts: Wheel Factors Environmental Factors Onboard Fuel Eaters The Human Factor 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
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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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