Tech Tips

Does Your RV Need to be Repaired due to the recent Snow Blast?

Snow is beautiful. Snow is fun. Snow is dangerous for RV Roofs!

The reality is that when it’s not Camping Season you’re probably thinking about, well everything except your RV. Unless of course you’re dreaming of jumping in and heading somewhere warm! While you’re in the house cuddling up in your warm house watching TV, snow could be building up on your RV Roof. Read More

RV Skywatching in 2017 — Preparing for the Eclipse

So, you’ve decided that this is the perfect RV season to begin skywatching. With this year’s upcoming eclipse, you picked the right year.

Let’s start with what you need to view the eclipse. For no money at all, you can build a pinhole projector. For this method, you’ll need:

2 sheets of white cardstock or stiff paper
scissors
aluminum foil
tape
a pin

Step one is simple; cut a square hole in the center of one sheet of cardstock or stiff paper. Next, cut out a piece of aluminum foil larger than the cut out hole in the paper. Tape the foil to cover the hole in the cardstock.

Finally, make a small pinhole in the foil. You are now the proud owner of a pinhole projector.

To use it, place the uncut piece of cardstock on the ground. Then, with the sun (or eclipse) behind you, hold the foiled cardstock a few feet above it. The further you hold your pinholed sheet from your projection screen, the larger the projected image will be. Play with the distances until you get the best image for you.

Pinhole Projector Diagram

Pinhole Projector Diagram

And that’s it. Or do you want something better. More direct?

There are glasses that will protect your eyes if you look toward the eclipse itself.

We at Poulsbo RV cannot stress strongly enough that you should NEVER look directly at an eclipse.  You cannot trust your sunglasses, your ski goggles or anything not made to those specifications to protect your eyes. That said, there are glasses specifically made to let you watch the eclipse SAFELY.

What you want to look for are glasses that meet or exceed the ISO 12312-2:2015 specifications. As an example, you can order inexpensive, disposable viewing glasses (in bulk or just a few) at http://www.eclipse2017.org/glasses_order.htm.

For and example of something more substantial, Amazon carries reusable eclipse glasses such as these.

Do you want to photograph the eclipse, or view it through binoculars or a telescope? For less cost than a specific-made filter for these devices, there are filter sheets which you can securely affix to those devices, such as this.

There are many options to pretect your eyes from an eclipse.

Eclipse Eye Protection Options

Whichever way you choose to view this once-in-a-lifetime local event, be sure be safe. Your eyes can’t be replaced. Once you’re certain of that, enjoy. Listen as the natural world around you hushes over and colors become not-quite-right. And then rejoice at the beauty of the sky above. It’s truly a wonder. Don’t miss it!

RV Skywatching in 2017 — The Show that Never Ends

One of the unique opportunities of RVing is the ability to see the night sky—not the night sky of our cities and suburbs—but the true, inspiring darkness and sprays of stars that fascinated our ancestors. That moment when you show a child the Milky Way for the first time and watch the realization of the true sky seep into them…

Step one to enjoying the night sky is to find a place to camp that gets TRUELY dark. This can actually be harder than you might imagine. A good resource to tell if your destination will have good darkness levels is http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/. This web site, even though it was created in the fly, has the best interface I’ve found for locating good observation sites.

A telescope is a wonderful investment for an RVing family, but even if you choose not to go quite that far, 2017 has several great sky shows for which no (or little) equipment is needed. For instance, plan to stargaze during meteor showers. Here is a handy table of this year’s most spectacular displays:

Meteors 2017

Most easily viewed Meteor Showers of 2017

 

But best of all, Aug. 21, 2017 will bring a nationwide Total Solar Eclipse, ideally viewed locally in Oregon (see totality illustration below). The eclipse begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 11:30 a.m. The 60-mile wide path of totality—when the moon completely blocks the sun—will last for two minutes starting at 10:15 a.m. You MUST protect your eyes (NEVER look directly at an eclipse), but a quick pinhole camera or ISO certified eclipse viewing glasses will do.

Note: This is an event that people travel the world to see. To get a campground spot, call for reservations as soon as possible.

 

Total Eclipse Path

Eclipse Totality Region through Oregon

Basic Rules of Boondocking

Have you heard of boondocking?  Boondocking is the practice of camping without hookups.  The benefits to boondocking are that you can camp on any land, usually BLM land, see places you wouldn’t usually in your RV, and it’s free!  What’s better then free camping?!  If you’re going to start boondocking, there are some rules you should be aware of.

Read More

Tips for RV Winterization

The leaves have changed and the weather has turned chilly. That means we are officially in the fall season. This also means that the camping season is over for a lot of people. For those non-snowbirds, it’s time to make sure that you winterize your RV to save yourself costly repairs from winter’s freeze. Is this something every RVer can do?

1 Read More

Why the iPhone 7 is Great for RVers

We all know that RVers love nature as well as a little technology in their lives, after all they are camping in an RV instead of a regular tent.  Our love of technology is perfectly displayed by our relationship with our phones.  It’s one of the best and most useful tools to have on hand when RVing.  It’s a navigator, camera, stereo, computer all compacted into one device that can fit in your pocket.  So the question is, which of these smartphones is currently the best on the market for RVers?   Well, Apple may be able to answer that question…

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After Apple’s big keynote event in the beginning of September, the internet went a buzz with debate over the latest iPhone.  After the presentation however, one thing was clear, the iPhone 7 is the greatest phone that Apple has released thus far.  One of the biggest draws of the iPhone 7, and generally Apple itself, is it’s meant to enhance your everyday life, including your everyday RV life.  Using this pocket sized tool is meant to make everyday tasks a little easier, it’s meant to provide small functions to turn a good day into a great day.  We’ll go more into detail, but to quickly give you an overview, the iPhone 7 has a faster processor, incredible camera, is water and dust resistant, and now includes stereo sound.

Phone or Computer? 

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technology news extra

So most people are attracted to the iPhone’s (slightly) new look, with it’s newly introduced black colors and it’s now hidden antenna line.  However, what’s most impressive is what’s on the inside.  Apple has placed it’s new A10 processor inside which makes your phone that much faster while simultaneously reduces the amount of energy drained from your battery.  It’s incredible and the best of both worlds!  This new feature is great for today’s mobile entrepreneurs, managing your business on the road has never been easier for the location independent worker than it is now.  Check emails, create spreadsheets, documents, presentations, videos, all done in the palm of your hand at lightning fast speed.  Additionally, the iPhone 7 finally removes the 16GB option, and gives you the choices of a 32, 128, and 256GB phone.  Finally, you won’t have to worry about getting the “Storage Almost Full” notification every time you pick your phone up.  Store all the documents, photos, apps and videos you like on these devices.  With a new and innovative processor and more storage this iPhone is practically a computer!

Capture your Favorite RV Memoriespio-pico-34

More good news for RVers, the iPhone 7’s camera is amazing and the pictures on it look incredible.  The iPhone 7 comes with a 12MP rear facing camera and an upgraded 7MP front facing camera, this means higher quality selfies.  Additionally, the 7 Plus has a dual lens with the second lens being a telephoto lens, perfect for portrait photos.  This also allows users to seamlessly go from a 1x zoom to a 10x zoom!  And now that the iPhone registers and displays more vibrant colors, the beautiful landscapes you capture while on the road will look even more realistic.

Tougher than it Looks

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A tougher iPhone is just what the modern RVer needs nowadays to suit their rugged lifestyle.  The iPhone 7 can tag along with you on almost any adventure now.  Since the 7 is water resistant, it can endure your rainy days and can also be handy on those warm summer days by the river.   No longer will you have to fret over getting a few splashes on your phone.  On top of that it’s also dust resistant, and we all know how dusty some of those campsites can be.  So this phone is perfect to have at your side while not having to worry about it getting ruined by your surroundings.

Campfire Jam

200501866-001Last, but definitely not least, one of the iPhone 7’s new features is perfect to help any RVer unwind after a long day.  Imagine you, the family, friends are all gathered around a roaring campfire, listening to some sweet tunes booming from your… iPhone?  That’s right, the new iPhone now has real stereo sound to enhance your listening experience.  So jam out all you want around the campfire, of course before quiet hours!

What do you think? Is the iPhone 7 just the smartphone for you on the road?  What features do you wish Apple included to improve your experience as an RVer?

What Type of RV is Best for YOU?

Looking at joining the Happy Campers of the RV World? With so many options it can be tough to figure out which is best for you. Here’s a brief guide to narrowing down your search.

Class A

Description: These are the big boys that look like a bus. They are typically very luxurious with all the bells and whistles you can imagine. They can be gas or What Type of RV is Best for YOU? 1diesel however gas is typically less expensive to purchase and maintain. Diesel however has more power and safer braking.

Typical Amenities:  Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom (including shower, sink and toilet), dining facilities and slide outs. Comes with electricity, heating, A/C, generator, water and propane gas, stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator, sink, sofa and two televisions

Length:  24 – 45 feet

Sleeps:  Up to 8 people

Price:  $55,000 – $600,000 (new)

Pros

 

  • Best visibility for sightseeing with full windshield and high elevation
  • Larger tanks (water, fuel, LPG, holding) and battery capacity than other models, useful for extended dry camping
  • Hydraulic levelers
  • Smoother ride
  • Larger storage compartments
  • More room for driver and passenger
  • More room inside the RV
  • Access to the whole RV without ever going outside
  • Can easily tow a small car behind for local drive

 

Cons

 

  • Most expensive type of RV
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Harder to drive and park than other classes due to size.
  • Ground clearance isn’t as good as other classes and you have to careful not to bottom out on uneven ground, especially if backing up hill when you can easily hit the large tail
  • Width, length and height clearance means you cannot drive down some narrow and windy roads or roads with low bridges limiting your access to some National or State Parks
  • If the engine or chassis breaks down and it requires more than a day to repair, you may need to stay in a hotel as the living quarters are not separate like a trailer
  • May not fit on your driveway requiring special storage

 

Overall Recommendation

Great if:

 

  • Money is no object
  • You are a large family or want the most amount of room and storage as possible
  • You don’t stay in one place for long and travel frequently
  • You are a full time RVer


Not Great if:

 

  • You plan to stay at small campgrounds and RV parks
  • You plan to boondock in remote locations with difficult access

 

Class B Motorhome

Description:  Drives like the family van and has an elevated roof. Both gas and diesel models are available.

What Type of RV is Best for YOU? 2Typical Amenities:  Small sink, small stove, small refrigerator and a couch or dinette that converts to a bed. In addition, they have hookups for electricity and fresh and grey water tanks. Some have a portable potty

Length:  16 – 21 feet

Sleeps:  Up to 4 people

Price:  $40,000 – $125,000 (new)

Pros

 

  • Great for stealth or city camping
  • Can drive on virtually any road
  • Great fuel economy
  • Access to the whole RV without ever going outside
  • Will fit on your driveway, no special storage required

 

Cons

 

  • Doesn’t have as many amenities as the Class A or Class C
  • Less space and storage than other motorhomes or large trailers
  • Small water and holding tanks
  • Small battery capacity
  • No privacy


Overall Recommendation

Great if:

 

  • You don’t stay in one place for long and do lots of weekend or short trips
  • You plan to stay at small campgrounds and RV parks or boondock in remote locations with difficult access
  • You are a single traveler or two adults

 

Not Great if:

 

  • You plan to have an extended dry camping period with no hookups
  • You want all the amenities so it really is a home away from home
  • You need lots of space and storage
  • You want a self-contained RV
  • You are more than two adults
  • You are a fulltime RVer

 

Class C Motorhome

Description:  Similar to a Class A, but smaller. It has almost identical amenities but usually a little less luxurious.

Typical Amenities:  Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom (including shower, sink and toilet), dining facilities and slide outs available on some models. Comes with electricity, heating, A/C, generator, water and propane gas, stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator, sink, sofa and television

Length:  20 – 34 feet

Sleeps:  Up to 8 people

Price:  $50,000 – $150,000 (new)

Pros

 

  • Cheaper than a Class A
  • Easier to drive than a Class A and most trailers
  • Can drive on most roads
  • Good storage, space inside the RV and amenities
  • Climate inside is easily controlled when traveling as you are in the living quarters
  • Don’t need to use restrooms at a campground or RV park to take a shower
  • Better protection for the driver and passengers in the event of an accident than a Class A

 

Cons

 

  • More expensive than most trailers
  • Less space and storage than a Class A motorhome or a large trailer
  • May not fit on your driveway requiring special storage

 

Overall Recommendation

Great if:

 

  • You don’t stay in one place for long and travel frequently
  • You are a full time RVer
  • You plan to stay at small campgrounds and RV parks or boondock in remote locations with difficult access
  • You are a family of four or more

 

Not Great if:

  • You need a lot of living space and storage

Towable RVs

A towable RV consists of living quarters only without an engine and are designed to be towed by a car, van, SUV, or pickup truck or mounted on a What Type of RV is Best for YOU? 3pickup truck. There are four main types to consider:

  1. Fifth Wheel Trailer

Description:  Largest of the trailers, it is similar to Travel Trailers, but has an extension that sits over the tow vehicle giving it a two-level floor plan.

Towed By:  Full size pickup truck

Typical Amenities:  Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom (including shower, sink and toilet), dining facilities and slide outs. Comes with electricity, heating, A/C, water and propane gas, stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator, sink, sofa and television

Length:  20 – 44 feet

Sleeps:  Up to 8 people

Price:  $15,000 – $125,000 (new)

Pros

 

  • Lots of storage, space and amenities
  • Highest ceiling of all RVs (may be an important factor if you are over 6ft 2in)
  • The safest of all towing systems
  • Easiest of the trailers to backup due to the fifth wheel design
  • Can be left at the campsite while you enjoy the local attractions in your tow vehicle

 

Cons

 

  • Most expensive trailer
  • Requires a large pickup truck with a 5th wheel hitch to tow
  • Lower fuel economy
  • Width, length and height clearance means you cannot drive down some narrow and windy roads or roads with low bridges limiting your access to some National or State Parks
  • Can be hard to maneuver in tight spaces
  • May not fit on your driveway requiring special storage

 

Overall Recommendation

Great if:

 

  • You are a full time RVer
  • You plan to have extended stays at campgrounds or RV parks
  • You are a family of four or more
  • You need a lot of living space and storage

 

Not Great if:

 

  • On a tight budget
  • You don’t stay in one place for long and travel frequently
  • You plan to stay at small campgrounds and RV parks
  • You plan to boondock in remote locations with difficult access
  • Want to drive lots of windy scenic routes

 

 

  1. Folding Camping TrailerWhat Type of RV is Best for YOU? 4

Description:  Small trailer that folds for light weight towing, more open than other trailers giving you a closer to nature experience. More basic than other RVs.

Towed By:  A typical mid to full size car

Typical Amenities:  Propane system, a 120 volt electrical system, a fresh water and waste water tank, a small stove, furnace, sink, refrigerator or ice box, and with some models a portable potty

Length:  15 – 23 feet when opened

Sleeps:  Up to 8 people

Price:  $5,000 – $15,000 (new)

Pros

 

  • Cheapest of all RVs
  • Can be pulled by most vehicles
  • Doesn’t reduce you normal fuel economy by much
  • Can be driven on most roads and easy to maneuver
  • Can be left at the campsite while you enjoy the local attractions in your tow vehicle
  • Can be parked on your driveway, no special storage required

 

Cons

 

  • No toilet or bathroom
  • Minimal storage and space
  • Need to set it up and take it down every time you stop overnight
  • Small water and holding tanks
  • Small battery capacity
  • No privacy

 

Overall Recommendation

Great if:

 

  • You are on a tight budget
  • You plan to stay at small campgrounds and RV parks or boondock in remote locations with difficult access
  • You plan to have extended stays at campgrounds or RV parks
  • You are a couple or family of four
  • You mainly do weekend or short trips


Not Great if:

 

  • You plan to have an extended dry camping period with no hookups
  • You need a lot of living space and storage
  • Want all the modern amenities
  • You are a full time RVer
  • You are more than two adults

 

  1. Travel Trailer

Description:  Smaller and lighter than a fifth wheel trailer with a single level floor plan. There are several types travel trailer such as conventional travel trailer, travel trailer with expandable ends and sport utility RVs

Towed By:  Most full-size sedans, vans, SUVs and pick up trucks

Typical Amenities:  Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom (including shower, sink and toilet), dining facilities and some models come with slide outs. Comes with electricity, heating, A/C, water and propane gas, stove, oven, refrigerator, sink, sofa and television

Length:  15 – 35 feet

Sleeps:  Up to 8 people

Price:  $10,000 – $65,000 (new)

Pros

 

  • Less expensive than a Fifth Wheel trailer
  • Better fuel economy than towing a Fifth Wheel trailer
  • Good amount of storage, space and amenities
  • Can be towed by a variety of vehicles
  • Can be left at the campsite while you enjoy the local attractions in your tow vehicle

 

Cons

 

  • Least stable on the road
  • Requires the most skill to tow and back up
  • May not fit on your driveway requiring special storage

 

Overall Recommendation

Great if:

 

  • Don’t have big enough budget for a Fifth Wheel trailer but want the most space you can get
  • You are a full time RVer
  • You plan to have extended stays at campgrounds or RV parks
  • You are a family of four or more

 

Not Great if:

 

  • You don’t stay in one place for long and travel frequently
  • You plan to boondock in remote locations with difficult access
  • You need a lot of living space and storage

 

 

  1. Truck Camper

Description:  Mounted on pickup bed or chassis that allows you to go wherever your truck takes you. Modern truck campers offer most of the features of larger RVs including slide outs

Mounted On:  Standard pickup truck

Typical Amenities:  Comes with electricity, heating, A/C, water and propaneWhat Type of RV is Best for YOU? 5 gas, stove, oven, refrigerator, sink, dinette and some have a portable potty

Length:  18 – 21 feet

Sleeps:  Up to 6 people

Price:  $5,000 – $30,000 (new)

Pros

 

  • Low price
  • Can get into remote areas that other RVs can’t
  • Can tow a boat or trailer
  • Easy to drive and more maneuverable than other RVs
  • Can be parked on your driveway, no special storage required

 

Cons

 

  • No toilet or bathroom
  • Little storage space or room
  • No privacy
  • Small water and holding tanks
  • Small battery capacity
  • Cannot leave camper part at the camp site

 

Overall Recommendation

Great if:

 

  • You already have a pickup truck
  • You plan to boondock in remote locations with difficult access
  • You don’t stay in one place for long and do lots of weekend or short trips
  • You are a single person or couple

 

Not Great if:

 

  • You need a lot of living space and storage
  • You plan to have an extended dry camping period with no hookups
  • You want a self-contained RV
  • Want all the modern amenities
  • You are a full time RVer
  • You are more than two adults

 

So, what type RV is right for you?

RV Showering

1Heading out camping for a week in an RV doesn’t mean going without a shower for a week. One of the great things about RVing is that you are able to have all of the conveniences of home while traveling to your favorite destinations. When you’re looking at purchasing an RV it’s important to know the differences in your RV Shower options. Read More