When people think of RV-ing, the image of a busted up old camper and the camping equipment that is still collecting dust in your parents garage usually pop up (no pun intended). However, RV living has become an extremely viable option for people struck with wanderlust, or an insatiable appetite for majestic landscapes and American traditions. While living in an RV, adventurers may run into a number of obstacles that they simply hadn't anticipated, but don't let these little bumps in the road derail your RV adventures. The following are useful tips for RV beginners to help tackle the unexpected quirks of modern RV living.
The Septic Tank. While at least slightly unpleasant to say the least, emptying the septic is important to ensure the health and well-being of yourself and your fellow travelers. The United States has a large number of designated dumping stations, where campers can empty their septic tanks. Besides where to dump the septic, campers need to also be aware oh how to properly dispose of their waste. Using protective gloves, rubber boots and a sewer hose will minimize spillage and help protect against infection.
What to Eat While On the Road. Using a full refrigerator in an RV can get quite expensive and drastically increase your energy consumption and electric bill. Consider investing in a mini-fridge that is both energy efficient and saves valuable space in the RV. Shop for perishable supplies when available and plan ahead. Follow the Boy Scout motto and “be prepared”. The experienced camper can attest to the importance of planning ahead and stocking up on everyday supplies, including perishable and non-perishable foods and clean drinking water. Consider packing a box with canned and boxed foods that are easy and quick to prepare after a long day of traveling or exploration.
Proper RV equipment. The point of many RV expeditions is to relax, see the country, and step back into a simpler time to enjoy simple pleasures. That being said, campers do not need to pack the entire contents of their homes into their RV. Consider bringing only what you need, seasonal clothing, toiletries, minimal cooking equipment, and emergency supplies are essential for a comfortable and rustic RV getaway. It is also recommended that serious RV enthusiasts invest in a GPS system. Include the following supplies in your emergency kit:
Iodine tablets to disinfect any water supply
First aid supplies (e.i. Bandaids, gauze, rubbing alcohol, allergy medication, ect.)
Spare tire and/or Fix-A-Flat®
In It For The Long Haul. If you are planning an RV excursion that will last months or years at a time, there are few extra precautions that should be taken. The best way to clear out your home before moving into an RV is to have a yard sale. Decide what to hold onto and invest in a storage unit while you are away. Another option is to rent out your home as a furnished sublet, this can provide a steady and secure supplemental cash flow. To avoid mail being sent to a wrong address, consider using online or paperless bill pay, or ask a reliable friend or family member to handle your finances while you are away, the same can be done with regular mail.
From Full Timing America.com
Renee Nicole wrote this excellent piece for Woodall's on essential camping and RV supplies:Start with personal items, like your clothing: Are you camping somewhere warm, or near the water? Will it be cold? Will you be outside a lot, or hitting the local museums? Your destination plays a big role in what you pack. Be sure to take at least 5 changes of clothing that are suitable for where you are headed. Bring comfortable shoes for sightseeing. If you’re planning something special, bring one nice outfit. Don’t forget about your toiletries, including shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, mouth wash, floss, and sunscreen. If you plan on using the onsite showering facilities, remember to bring sandals or flipflops, too. Bring books, games, cards, and other items that you enjoy.
Also, Bernhart says don't forget these water hook up basics:
A friend and fellow full time RVer, Bill Randolph told me how he uses something other than household bleach which works well for him and I also started using it. I think it is worth passing on to you. Before he retired, Bill spent twenty years in the swimming pool business. He's an expert when it comes to sanitizing swimming pools and spas and says the same rules apply to RV fresh water systems.
Bill uses Chlorinating Concentrate (Sodium Dichloro-s-Triazinetricone or Sodium Dichlor for short). Sodium Dichlor contains 62% available chlorine. Compare that to household bleach which has something close to 3%. One pound of Sodium Dichlor is equal to 8 gallons of bleach! Also, household bleach contains other stuff, including a lot of salt, and that salt and other stuff is what causes the bad taste and why you have to flush the fresh water tank so well.
Bill says it takes only 1 teaspoon of the concentrate per 100 gallons of water to initially sanitize the system. Remember to run water through all the faucets. It's okay to use the full teaspoon even on smaller tanks because you will be flushing the tank before adding the water you intend to drink but it seems wasteful.
Like most of us, Bill travels with a near empty tank to reduce weight. So if he arrives at park where he plans to stay and they have well water, he drops a half teaspoon per 100 gallons of the concentrate into the fill tube and fills his water tank. This insures the system will always be sanitized. No, you do not have to flush again. It's the equivalent to drinking chlorinated city water. If you are filling your tank from a source that is already chlorinated then you don't need to add the concentrate.
That said, if you don't like to drink chlorinated water, don't add the concentrate to the water you intend to drink. Assuming, you fill your water tank from a trusted source you should be safe. Or, you can add the concentrate and then filter the water you drink or cook with.
Truth is I almost always seem to be filling the fresh water tank from a chlorinated source (city water supply) so I seldom need to to use the concentrate. And we do filter our drinking water.
This is not a case where more is better. This stuff is concentrated and it's best to use just what Bill recommends.
Because Sodium Dichlor is so highly concentrated you only
need to carry a very small container... buy the smallest container
available. And it is dry crystals so there is less chance of a spill.
However, because it is so concentrated it is highly corrosive so you do
have to be careful how you store it and use it. You should be able to
find Sodium Dichlor (Chlorinating Concentrate) at any pool supplies or
spa store. Bill says there are several brands to choose from but brand
should not be a factor in your choice... it's all the same stuff.
Here's a list of basics to remember:
Check out the other Bruce Bernhart RV Websites and Blogs:
Bruce Bernhart mandolin lessons- common scales
Bruce Bernhart on mandolin history and basic chord structures
Also, be sure to check out the Bruce Bernhart Mandolin Websites: