But My Wife Doesn’t Want An RV

If you are married the decision to buy an RV really must be a joint one. For most people it is a very large investment and certainly one that will not appreciate in value. You simply have to use it or lose it. So here are a few thoughts that might help you change her (or his)  mind.

Having an adequate and comfortable shower is a must for many women. Generally they don’t like trekking in their pajamas to the bath house to shower in a public facility. Be certain that the RVs you look at have generous shower space. It won’t be like at home, but it can be quite adequate.

The idea of “roughing it” just doesn’t hold the same appeal for women as it does for some men. Find RVs with little extras that might make her feel more pampered. My wife particularly enjoys the bedroom television. She can watch her programs as I watch mine on the TV in front. She also appreciates the bunk beds where the grandchildren sleep.

Some women just don’t want to stay in a “trailer park” when they could be in a nice hotel. Find the nicest State Park or, if possible, a resort type RV Park to tour. If it is a State Park emphasize the quiet and scenic views. If it is a resort RV Park talk about the swimming pool, on site restaurant and look at the luxurious RVs parked there. If neither is available check out the Internet and show her the photos.

If she doesn’t want to be stuck with the cooking and cleaning, then you’ve got to convince her that you will do more than your share. In our first RV my wife rode. I cleaned, cooked, and generally did everything else. She has taken on a bigger role in our larger RV.

Traveling in an RV is just not like traveling in a car. Instead of rushing to get from point A to point B you are more relaxed and tend to travel as far as you wish and no more. You might explain the benefits of not having to stop at a service station to use the restroom. Your wife will likely enjoy being able to grab a cold soft drink or water from the fridge.

She will ask a lot of questions and you need to have most of the answers. Do plenty of research and if possible visit an RV showroom on your own. Show her the RVs that you believe she will like and the ones that are showroom ready. Women don’t like a mess or something that doesn’t work correctly in a new RV. It doesn’t matter if it is a small thing.

If the true issue is money, well I’m afraid you are on your own. Whatever the decision I hope it is the right one for you and your family.

For more great information on the true cost of RV ownership check out RV Fun and Facts.  What does it cost to store an RV and many other questions answered. My latest RV ebook How To Decide If An RV Is Right For You is also available through RV Fun and Facts or at Amazon.

Lessons From A Tow Dolly Newbie

 After moving up to a 32 foot Class C from a much smaller Rialta (21 ft) we quickly decided on the need to tow our car for increased mobility at our destinations. Unfortunately for us neither of the cars we currently own could be towed four on the ground. That meant either a new car or a tow dolly. We opted for a tow dolly. 

A few months later Camping World had a Roadmaster tow dolly on sale and compared to the prices I had seen it was a reasonably good deal. The Roadmaster tow dolly is a well respected name, and it was advertised for around $1,500. I called the closest Camping World, (80 miles) and made arrangements with a knowledge technician to drive over on the following Monday. 

Everything that has happened since that conversation has been a learning experience for this tow dolly newbie. After arriving at Camping World around 9 AM as requested, I learned that the knowledgeable technician had a family emergency and would not be in. Lesson: Monday is not the best day for any type of service. You may disagree, but much can happen over a weekend and Mondays seem busier in any event. 

Lesson: Just because your new tow dolly’s specs say electric brakes doesn’t mean you won’t have to buy electric brakes. If your RV is not already equipped with electric brakes for a tow you will need to purchase a system and have it installed to safely stop your tow dolly. While the system only cost a little over $100, it had to be wired into the RV. 

After 7 1/2 hours, which included an oil change for motor and generator, I was ready to take my new tow dolly home. Lesson: If you don’t have the car you will be towing with you; you will not know how to properly and safely use your tow dolly. After asking about the proper usage of the tow dolly, I was given a very short course in how to load and attach my car. It is the difference between theory and reality. 

In a couple of weeks we were ready for our first trip towing a car. I dutifully read all instructions given and the car’s manual on towing. With some trepidation I drove my car up the ramps and onto the tow dolly. The tow dolly has a pin that you remove to get the ramps to the ground and when your car is in place it pivots back in place. That is the theory. In reality my car wasn’t heavy enough to make the tow dolly pivot back into place. Of course it cannot be used until the ramps are off the ground. 

Fortunately a neighbor had a very large screw clamp that I was able to use to force the tow dolly into the proper position to reinsert the pin. Now all that remained was to properly utilize the straps to securely attach the car. Lesson reminder: Have your tow car with you when getting you tow dolly in order to see exactly how to secure vehicle. After some time and effort I finally managed to attach the car and drove it around the neighborhood. 

Luckily, except for the light that fell out, we were able to travel without further incident. On our way out of Gulf Shores, Alabama, we got Camping World to inspect the tow dolly. They replaced the nuts designed to hold in the light. They discovered a bolt that was not in place on one of the ramps and tightened the nuts on all.

Check out RV Fun and Facts for Jack’s latest RV ebook How To Decide If An RV Is Right For You.  Great articles on the true cost of RV ownership. 

 

Final lesson: The more you know about tow dollies, the safer you will be.

The Worst Enemy of Your Stored RV

From time to time most RV owners, who are not full timers, have to store their RV for a while. It may only be for a few weeks or it could be for several months. Even though the RV is stored you need to take a few extra steps to protect it from the sun. Yes, the sun can be the worst enemy of your stored RV. 

Protecting your RV from the sun is critical if you don’t want to replace your tires much more often than necessary. Other rubber and plastic items such as windshield wipers also need protecting. 

While it may seem counter intuitive, driving your RV more frequently will help protect your tires. Flexing them releases chemicals made into the tires that help protect them from the sun. However, if you are parking your RV for a while one of the first things you need to do is buy tire covers.  

A windshield cover that extends from one front door to the other on a class C is a worthwhile choice. This cover protects not only the windshield wipers, but the dash and all of the front interior of your RV. In a large class A your protective covering might well go inside the windows. 

Most, if not all, tire manufacturers suggest that you not use a product to make your tires shine. However, if you want to use such a product make certain that it is non petroleum based. Several products including: Lucky Earth Tire Shine from alice.com; and Gloss It TRV from glossitonline.com are available. 

There is disagreement on whether you should put something under your tires to keep them off the ground. If you choose to do this make certain that what you use fully supports the tires.

Check out RV Fun and Facts for more great RV information including How To Decide If An RV Is Right For You, my latest RV ebook.

Clean Your RV Awning For $1

Our new Jayco Greyhawk RV has an electric awning and while an awning can provide needed shade and a good place to sit while grilling burgers or just people watching, nobody wants to sit under an awning covered with mold, mildew and dead insects.

Since this is our first RV with an awning, I asked several RV owners what they used to clean their awning and they each had a different answer involving purchasing some cleaning product that was relatively expensive. Some of them use rather strong chemicals as well.

While I most often follow the suggestions of other RV owners I hoped there would be a better and cheaper solution to the problem. Also, since I am on a tight budget while saving for a future trip, I ventured into Dollar Tree and purchased a bottle of their regular car washing liquid called Street Appeal. If it didn’t work at least the lesson would only cost a dollar.

The bottle did indicate that it was also good for awnings. I next took the RV to the front of my house and rolled out the awning. Using an eight foot ladder, a soft bristled brush with a long handle, a high pressure nozzle on the end of a garden hose and the aforementioned dollar store car wash liquid, I cleaned the awning quite well.

First I used the high pressure nozzle to wash off what it could. Then, after not being able to find my collapsible can, I made do by pouring the liquid directly onto the brush. With a little elbow grease the awning cleaned up just fine and I finished the job with a thorough rinsing. I then used more of the dollar store car wash to wash the entire RV.

Of course I left the awning extended until it had fully dried. Keeping the awning as dry as possible will help prevent mold and mildew. In the future I will try and extend the awning after it rains to let it dry. That and a regular cleaning should keep my awning in good shape for years to come. Keeping your awning dry and clean will allow it to be a real asset to your RV and you don’t have to spend a lot of money.

For a lot of good RV information and my latest ebook How To Decide If An RV Is Right For You check out RV Fun and Facts.

Do You Have Time For An RV?

 When you consider buying an RV you are likely thinking about taking long trips and camping along a gently gurgling stream with all the comforts of home. Or maybe you are thinking about the fun of tailgating at football games or spending a couple of weeks at the beach. Whatever the dream, it does not include getting the oil changed. 

An RV, as with all equipment you own, requires some attention to keep it in good working condition so that you can take your dream vacation when the mood strikes. If you are considering a motor home remember that it is a house and a vehicle. Inside you have a heating and cooling system along with plumbing, hot water heater, refrigerator, microwave and much more. 

So what does that all mean when it comes to your time? That of course depends upon the condition of your RV. For our example we will assume your RV is rather new and has no ongoing problems. After returning from a trip you will need to thoroughly clean your RV inside and out. All of those pesky chores you don’t like around the house such as dusting and vacuuming have to be done. 

Washing an RV is not exactly like washing a car. It takes some special equipment including a soft bristled brush with a very long handle and a high pressure nozzle. Keeping your RV clean inside and out is essential if you want to use your RV at a moment’s notice. Besides, who wants to invest thousands of dollars in an RV and let it sit dirty and uninviting? 

What we have discussed is a best case scenario. So when you think about purchasing an RV remember that it will take time as well as money to keep your RV ready for the road.

Read more about taking care of your RV at RV Fun and Facts.  Great articles on the true cost of RV ownership and travel photographs as well.

Is An RV Right For You?

 

The truth of the matter is that an RV is simply not right for everyone. Maybe you wouldn’t use it enough to justify the cost or possibly some member or members of your family can’t imagine themselves in an RV. Possibly the idea of taking care of an RV holds you back. So the decision making process for you has to include all of that and much more. 

You can read many articles and get some ideas about owning an RV. However, you can search the Internet until doomsday and still not find the answers you need. So what is the best way to determine whether an RV is right for you? 

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a friend or family member, who owns an RV, sit down and go over all the pros and cons. Not someone who wants to push you into doing what they are doing. Certainly not someone who likes to brag about their possessions. 

What does an RV cost? I mean what does an RV really cost? Not the list price or the big sale price, but the actual cost. People often ask me how much I paid for my English Bulldog. My answer is always the same, “It doesn’t matter because the purchase price is just a down payment.” Much the same can be said of buying an RV. 

The following questions need to be answered during the decision making process. Where will I park the RV? How much are the monthly payments? How much will insurance cost? How much will a tag cost? Can I tow my car?

Visit RV Fun and Facts for more great information about owning an RV.  Save money with some great RV advice and books.  Jack’s latest ebook How To Decide If An RV Is Right For You is also available through RV Fun and Facts or at Amazon.

Review of Montgomery South Campground

RV parks vary in amenities and price as much as the hotel/motel industry does. In RV parks as in hotels you can go from Motel 6 to New York Rich. But the key to a good RV park is for the owners to know their niche. In other words, be what you can comfortably be and charge accordingly. That pretty well describes the Montgomery South Campground, though one might suggest the price is a little on the high side.

Sometimes you want all the amenities and none of the hassels. Sometimes you just want a nice place to spend the night where you feel secure. Sometimes a place like Montgomery South RV Park is just right. We spent a quiet night there and with most of the amenities one might expect.

There are 30 sites, most of them gravel, all of them large and pull through. Clean restrooms that are particularly nice with chairs, mirrors and showers along with WiFi and full hookups are included. 30 and 50 amp service is available at all sites. There is no cable, but they indicate five channel are available. They also sell propane, which is a nice feature.

Montgomery South RV Park is between 12 and 14 miles south of Montgomery, Alabama, depending on the map you read. It is located at Exit 158 off of I-65. 1/8 mile east and one mile north on Venable Rd and you are there.

The owner was on site to greet us and in general the staff was very helpful and friendly. The office has a large television and an inviting couch or two. I’m looking out the window of my RV and watching traffic whiz by on I-65. However the noise does not seem to be a problem at all.

I paid $26 with a discount. The park is a Good Sam park and is rated in Woodalls. The accept most major credit cards.

The WiFi signal is not as strong as I would like it to be, though generally it is servicable. There are several acres of pastureland for walking your pet. I think you will find this a great place to spend the night.

Montgomery South RV Park is located at 713 Venable Rd. Hope Hull, AL 36043. Their telephone number is 334-284-7006 and their email address is: resv@ montgomerysouthrvpark.com

Jack’s web site is RV Fun and Facts where you will find great articles on RV cost and ownership. Save money and learn the facts about RV ownership.