It’s not quite an old adage yet, but it seems that the more we RV the more we find we don’t know. Like the times when we’re trying to change a thermocouple in the water heater or installing a new left-handed framistan. That’s when blogs like this one and the forums are like a oases in the desert. And not just for newcomers to the RV Lifestyle, but for we oldtimers too (why I remember when a camper was a Conestoga Wagon with a buffalo hide for a bed). Maybe even more so for we oldtimers, since RV systems seem to keep changing and adding new geegaws.

Several years ago RV Hall of Fame member Gaylord Maxwell, who even then had spent more years in the RV business and as an active RVer than many of us will ever see, wondered how all these newcomers (he likes to call them “newbies”) learn all the stuff they have to learn to make their RV experience fun and enjoyable, instead of stressful and unpleasant. His idea was to teach a class on RV Basics. He proposed the idea to the University of Idaho and that first class became the incubator for what is now the Life On Wheels (LOW) RV Conferences. LOW is a non-profit operation, with no commercial booths, much of its financial support coming from the RV industry, and instructors are not permitted to pitch specific products.

This week-long program of classes offers everything you could possibly think of in RVing, with beginning classes such as How to Pick an RV and RVing Made Easy, technical classes like RV Electrical Systems, MotorHome and Tow Car Braking Systems, All About Batteries, and Is Solar Power Right For You, and lifestyle classes including exercising for RVers (taught by my wife, Lynn–I had to mention that), Work Your Way Across the USA, Hosting in NW State Parks, Boondocking (one of my seven classes), and Digital Photography. And many more. More than thirty classes a day, spread over four 90-minute periods, are taught by some of the most well-known experts in RVing–Gaylord, of course, Joe & Vicki Kieva, popular seminar leaders and book and magazine article writers, Greg Holder, owner of AM Solar, Al Cohoe, RVIA Master Technician certified in both the USA & Canada with thirty-six years of RV experience, Mike & Teri Church, writers of seven popular RV Guidebooks including Alaska and Baja, Eric Davis,who founded and operates Eric’s RV Performance Center in Sequim, WA, Mac McCoy, Fire Training Coordinator for Oregon’s Fire Marshal’s Office and Public Safety Academy, Nick Russell, publisher of the Gypsy Journal–the list goes on.

You can learn just about everything you need–or want–to know at Life On Wheels. But no matter how hard you try, you can’t attend all the classes, there are too many, often with eight or nine classes going on at once. That is why RVers attend year after year, to pick up what they missed and to get updated on what is new.

This year’s Idaho Conference is at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston on July 6 – 11. Additional conferences are in Harrisburg, PA (September 7 – 10, 2008), Tucson, AZ (March 18 – 21, 2009), and Bowling Green, KY in May 2009. Space is still available for the Idaho Conference. For more information or to register click here. You can read my wife Lynn’s take on Life on Wheels in a previous post and you can also visit RV.Net’s forum thread on this topic.

Leave a Reply


  1. Tom Barnett

    I can’t seem to find dates for 2010 Life on Wheels. Is it no longer being held at the U. of Idaho? I see other activities identified with it. but not the event itself. What is being held and where?

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    I seldom create remarks, but i did a few searching and wound up here Life On Wheels RV Conferences: College for RVers.

    And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be simply me or does it seem like some of these comments come across as if they are coming from brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional online social sites, I would like to follow anything fresh you have to post. Would you list of all of your shared sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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