Logbooks are used in aircraft, ships and commercial trucks. In these applications, vehicle movement and maintenance are the key recorded functions. While RV logbooks are not a legal requirement for recreational vehicles, they are a great addition to any RV and offer a host of benefits.
So what exactly can such a book offer the RV owner? Well, I can think of nine very worthwhile benefits. And while motorists may be tempted to use their smartphones for this task, nothing beats a good, old-fashioned book that you can stow easily in your RV. Let’s take a look at the upsides of an RV logbook.
RV Maintenance Records
There are many good reasons to compile and record repairs, component replacements and the general maintenance of the RV. This information can be beneficial when dealing with such things as warranties as well as providing a documented service history should you one day sell the unit.
Keeping the Actual Driving Cost Record
This information can be very informative when calculating things like the monthly costs of one’s RV lifestyle. These costs would include fuel, tolls, camping fees and just about any expenses related to daily costs. This can be especially interesting to those contemplating retiring and becoming an RV full-timer.
Ongoing Fuel Consumption Performance Tracking
Miles per gallon performance needs a section of its own.
Daily Cost Records
While geographical contours and atmospheric conditions can skew fuel consumption figures greatly, fuel mileage values can tell a lot about your RV’s performance. This can help to find that perfect speed, or sweet spot, that delivers the best fuel consumption. Additionally, fuel consumption can be directly related to an engine’s oil change schedule. For example, many diesel motors are due for oil servicing after consuming 2,000 U.S. gallons of fuel, which makes sense. If you drive harder, your oil works harder. Keep in mind here when calculating your fuel mileage that generator usage must be considered and adjusted to your numbers.
Daily Travel Log Entries and Journey Highlights
Making daily entries of the places and routes you travel may help serve in the future if one day returning to the same area. Likewise, former favorite campgrounds can be retraced for a memorable full stay. Outlining the travel events of that day can be fun and fulfilling. Capturing the day’s interesting highlights and funny happenings can help make your journey, not only noteworthy for the day, but something that can be enjoyed and looked back on in the years to come. Adding photos and embedding them in your daily entries can be very helpful in telling the story, not to mention bringing back many memories.
Travel Contacts and Services Listings
This is where you can keep a list of all folks you meet through your travels.
Contact Card Files
This also should include a couple of clear plastic business cardholder pages in which cards from RV parks, mechanical shops, and like services can be saved. These cardholders can be found in any office supply retail outlet.
Location Listing of Enjoyable Attractions and Local Activities
The entering of special enjoyable venues can bring back fond memories and aid in returning one day in the future. This will alleviate that trying time when you just cannot think of where that great water park with the soothing Lazy River was. Things that should be recorded here can list good restaurants, campgrounds, and important like services of interest.
Date Referencing for Specific Days
Recording of such events as the exact date that you crossed an international border. This can be of great help if a specific number of days is permitted in a visited country. Also, the log entries can aid in determining service or component replacement dates in accessing the possibility of any warranty options.
A Great Addition to Your RV Lifestyle
Keeping a logbook for your RV can be very engaging and fun. It delivers a certain satisfaction of achievement and can become a hobby like scrapbooking.
A Great Aid to Your Future Travel Plans
The longer you have kept an RV logbook the bigger help it is in planning your next season’s trips and destinations.
Well, these are nine good reasons to get a logbook for your RV, there may be more. You may have an application that is unique to you. Either way, just as getting there can be half the fun, planning your journey can be an equally enjoying time.
So, get out there and start writing your RV’s story of faraway places and wonderful journeys.
Peter Mercer — With Your RV’s Autobiography