Archive for June 2016

DIY Tips for Glamping in an RV

Have you ever known anyone who said they didn’t like to camp because they didn’t like to “roughing it”? Maybe you’re in a relationship where you like to get down and dirty in the wild but your partner likes to stay clean, dry and have the luxuries of home? Glamping is the solution for many people who want to see the beauty of America but still have their fluffy slippers and red wine. Read More

An Interview with Full Time RVers

We recently interviewed the Full Time RV Couple Shorelooksnice.com. They gave up the corporate life to hit the Open Road, visiting 36 states in the past year in an RV. Here’s their perspective on the Full Time Adventure Life:

How has your current lifestyle and outlook changed since making the decision to RV fulltime?

  • We have a much happier marriage and are more family centered. We’ve spent more time with both of our families in the past year RVing than we have in the past 8 years of living and working in Orange County.

What, if anything, did you overlook in the initial planning of your journey?

  • The fuel costs in the mountains were much higher than we budgeted for.
    • When we realized in our first month after making the mistake of driving through the mountains of Big Sur that the fuel was WAY more expensive than we had budgeted Danielle was worried. We adjusted by just staying at locations longer for a few months to compensate until the budget caught up to us on the extra fuel expense

What, if anything, did you plan/worry for that turned out to be unimportant?

  • Internet, being young and working full time while we travel it was critical that we stayed connected. Initially we looked at buying a Satellite Dish for internet and days before our purchase we were warned it was outdated technology. We ended on a Verizon Jetpack which has been incredible! We’ve rarely ran into issues with having service.

Did you plot out your route beforehand, why or why not?

  • Yes, originally we planned on RVing for just 6 months so we were trying to cram in as much “bucket list” locations as possible. We still plan but that is because Danielle is very pragmatic. I tell her where I’d like to go and she plans it out down to the mile on where we will stay and works the budget out accordingly. Although we have a plan we often call audibles and switch things up on a whim.

What were the two biggest factors in determining your RV, and dinghy (if applicable)?

  • Our Class C RV was size and cost. I wanted something that would be small enough to fit into unique camping areas and because we were only going to RV for 6 months we wanted something relatively inexpensive with good trade in value if we decided to sell at the end of our trip.
  • Our Toy Hauler was size and space. We wanted something that felt like home because we found out Danielle was pregnant. Also it was critical that we had separate areas. Now that I’m working full time in the RV to make a living I needed an office so we’ve converted the toy hauler section into our office.

Were you expecting to accomplish certain milestones during your trip? If so, was it good to have them outlined prior to doing so, or did you just wing it?

  • No real milestones. Although we planned based on certain areas like the California Coast, Southern Utah, Florida, etc

What are the most common problems/issues you have experience while RVing full time?

  • We really haven’t had many problems and if we did they were minor or I viewed them as a fun challenge. The biggest thing would be moving the RV safely. Oh, I forgot we almost lost our car that we were pulling on our Tow Dolly behind our Class C in Morro Bay, CA. I was knew to strapping it down because it was early in our trip and I made a mistake….Practice beforehand haha

What are the best methods you have found for staying sane when a setback occurs?

  • This might sound crazy but I enjoy setbacks. I view them as challenges and I feel if you view them as such they become fun.
  • I would add that living full time in our 27 ft Class C full time was a challenge because we lived and worked in the exact same place all day long. We had to come up with a strategy to stay sane while being in a relationship and made sure to give each other space when needed.

Which skills did you have that transferred best to this type of lifestyle, and which ones have you developed (personal and professional)?

  • Attitude, I strongly feel that attitude is one of the most important things in life. When things come up both the optimist and the realist are both right in how they view the situation, but the optimist has a lot more fun! You WILL run into challenges in life and also with this lifestyle. You have to roll with it (pun intended)
  • Work ethic. I’m a grinder! I haven’t met many people with the drive and work ethic as myself and this has allowed us to continue our travels. I started a business about 4 months into our trip that provides Social Media for RV Dealerships and through working 14-16 hour days 6-7 days a week we’ve been able to build something that we’ll be able to do hopefully the rest of our lives. Keep in mind that because of the type of business we have that doesn’t mean we aren’t having fun. It’s work when we go out on a date, it’s work when we do a new adventure, our job is to capture this lifestyle through words, images and videos so although I work long hours it doesn’t actually feel like work.

Did you have a defined purpose in life that you knew you would utilize while RVing, or did it evolve as you have embraced this new and different lifestyle?

  • Nope, we chose an RV because we were living on the Beach in Orange County working corporate jobs and Danielle wanted to settle down and have kids closer to family. She is from Maryland and I told her if I had to leave the beautiful California beach to head to Maryland, I wanted one last big adventure. So I convinced her we should take a set amount of our savings and travel for 6 months in an RV. Then on our travels we started the company and have enjoyed our travels so much we don’t have an end in sight.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about Full Time RVing what would it be?

  • Just do it! Life is short. Create the life you want to live. Most people think about it, some people talk about it, few people live it!

 

A Dummies Guide to RV Tanks

The title of “Dummies Guide to RV Tanks” is very fitting because 11 months ago when we bought our RV I didn’t know the difference between a gray and a black RV tank. Needless to say we’ve learned a lot about RV Tanks and I only have had one black tank DISASTER (more about that later).

Fresh Water

This one is simple, it’s where your fresh water is held. From your fresh water tank it goes where it needs to from your water pump. This is also called “Potable” water.

Gray Tank

The gray tank is where your sink and shower water goes.

Black Tank

When I was a kid I read a book called “Everybody Poops”. In an RV, this goes into the Black Tank.

Even though I’m posing for the above picture, I was actually freaking out. Luckily we found the humor in the situation and I told Danielle to quickly snap a photo for documentation ofmy stupidity. The mistake I made is I didn’t have any weight on the hose so when I pulled the lever it shot back out of the ground like a cartoon water hose shooting all over the place. Luckily the Sunseeker had an outdoor shower…

Here are a few tips that we’ve learned about RV Tanks.

  • Tank gauges are off. Residue can build up and ours read full most of the time. We realized in the Sunseeker that when the gray tank was full water came up through the shower. When the black tank was full a bubble would show up when we would flush the toilet.
  • When we bought our RV they gave us a crappy (pun intended) hose that I had to manually put on the connections. I found this difficult and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing so I went to Walmart and bought a 20 ft hose that already had the connections. It’s well worth it!
  • When we started RVing I wasn’t sure which lever was for which tank. Use a clear piece on your hose to tell if it’s clear water or brown, then you can mark the lever for future reference. In some models like our Sunseeker, we were able to see the pipes leading up to the levers. One was skinny and one was much thicker. The thicker was for the black tank.
  • Always wear gloves when handling your hoses and tanks. You are dealing with waste, it’s not only gross to not wear gloves but it’s also unsanitary.
  • Don’t leave the black tank open at a campground because the liquids will drain out and the solids will become a poop pyramid. Let your black tank fill up to 2/3 or so before dumping. You want the weight and gravity to flush everything out properly. You may leave the gray tank open at the campground but make sure you time it so that it’s full when you dump your black tank to flush out the hose.
  • Make sure you use RV or Marine TP. I read an article awhile back that broke down the best brands and Scott is the brand that worked the best and is what we use.
  • Use a separate water hose for cleaning out your tanks. Fresh water hoses are white, use a different color to make sure you never use the wrong one.
  • Pick up some tank chemicals which gets rid of odor and also breaks down the waste.
  • After you dump your tanks, refill both tanks with just enough water to fill the bottom of the tanks. For the gray tank I use the sink. For the black tank I just fill the toilet bowl 3 times with water.

Stay in Play

In the wise words of the Supremes, “Stop! in the name of… Stay in Play! Before you break your RV…”  I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes and I couldn’t have given you better advice myself.  One of the most important things to have when your RVing to ensure your safety is a proper braking system that won’t cause any wear or tear.  damage. Fortunately, we carry the SMI Stay in Play Duo Braking System, top of the line and easy to install.

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Sway Control

Ever been on the road with your trailer hitched up and feel a little uneasy tension?  You look back and start to see your trailer fishtailing back and forth? Well you’ve encountered “Trailer Sway”.  Trailer Sway is one of the leading causes of trailer accidents resulting in frustrated campers giving up on their perfectly good trailer and storing it away.   Don’t let this nightmare happen to you, for we’ve got the answer to your prayers – the EQUALIZER Sway Control Hitch.  This little apparatus is just the tool to help you wrangle in and add some stability to your trailer.  But before we get into specifications, let’s clear up what the culprits of Trailer Sway are.

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