Archive for RV Blog
Many people who first take to the open highways with an Airstream Travel Trailer or Airstream Interstate that has limited cooking facilities often believe that they have little choice but to basically prepare simple meals from cans and other kinds of processed foods, but that is not the truth. It is entirely possible to prepare delicious and nutritious meals while on the road.
Some travelers make the mistake of trying to stock up on necessary food items as much as possible before they hit the road, but this isn’t the best course of action. One of the joys of road travel is the opportunity to discover other communities. Those who are on road trips should locally source as much of their food as possible. This not only negates the need to carry heavy and cumbersome supplies, but it gives travelers the opportunity to explore the culinary nuances of different parts of the country. For instance, who can travel to Washington during the apple harvest and not partake of the regions’s delectable apples? Most parts of the country have farmers markets these days, and purchasing fresh fruit and salad ingredients will result in healthier and tastier meals.
One of the best ways to streamline meal preparation in Airstreams or other motorhomes is to use recipes that only require five ingredients or less. There are several excellent books on this subject as well as helpful Internet resources that can guide cooks in using the five-ingredient meal preparation method.
Fig-glazed ham is an excellent recipe for road traveler because it provides a delicious main course for the evening meal as well as leftovers that can be used in omelets, sandwiches, and soups.
Fig Glazed Ham
1 (10-pound) cooked bone-in ham, preferably shank end, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup fig preserves
1/2 cup mustard
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup bourbon
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the rind of the ham and leave one-fourth layer of fat. Use a paring knife to score a diamond pattern in the ham. Place the ham cut side down in a roasting pan, add the water, cover with foil, and bake for approximately one hour.
While the ham is baking, prepare the fig glaze by whisking the rest of the ingredients together in a saucepan. Simmer three to five minutes while stirring frequently. Set 1/4 cup of the glaze aside.
Remove the foil from the ham and brush it with the glaze. Bake uncovered for an additional 40 minutes. Baste after 10 minutes. When the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, remove it from the oven and place it on a carving board for 15 minutes. Make a gravy out of the rest of the glaze by bringing it to a boil in a saucepan on the stove and then reducing it by half. Serve it on the side with the ham.
This is only one of the easy-to-prepare and delicious recipes that can be made in an airstream kitchen.
RVs are composed of a set of “house” batteries that are used to power things such as the lighting system. However, these batteries are slightly different when compared to those that are used to start engines. Motorhomes have engines that require a chassis RV battery, and this is the same kind of battery that cars use. Though, it is often used with a larger (Cold Cranking Amps) CCA rating. CCA ratings greatly determine battery performance for different situations.
House RV Battery
House RV batteries, unlike starting batteries are made to drive a small amount of current over a lengthy period. House RV batteries also undergo a deep cycling before being fully recharged. Thus, RV batteries that are tailored for low power and deep cycling last longer than engine starting batteries.
Additionally, favorable deep cycle batteries last 3-4 times longer than RV batteries. Deep cycle can be measured in either Amp-Hours or Reserve Capacity. Batteries with more AH are thus better, but AH shouldn’t be compared with Reserve Capacity.
These are batteries that have characteristics of both starting and deep cycling. Marine batteries sacrifice lower CCA ratings with deep cycle performance, and one of its key advantage lies in its cheap price tag.
Technology For an RV battery
All RV batteries utilize the same lead-acid technology as is used in car batteries. In this set up, lead metal is bathed in a water/acid solution. However, during a charge cycle, the battery loses some bit of the acid solution and therefore needs to be refilled with water. This feature makes it unfavorable for use in a house RV battery. Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries are generally more preferred since they tend to retain the acid in a glass fiber sponge.
Golf Cart Batteries
A 6-volt sized battery used in golf carts is an ideal choice for house RV batteries because it is rugged, has a deep cycle design, and can be connected in series to result into batteries that are particularly good for RV applications. These batteries, however, need to be used in pairs, and they are available in the old flooded cell type and AGM types.
Performance vs. Price
Car starting batteries are typically the lowest priced, but they tend to last for only a single season when used in an RV. Marine batteries, on the other, hand last for 1-2 years but still share the same prices with starting batteries. Deep cycle type batteries will survive for up to 10 years, but they also come with a hefty price tag depending on the technology used. They tend to cost more since they are made in lower production volumes.
Overall Best Battery
All in all, choosing the best RV battery depends on the cash you have and one’s personal style of “RVing”. Deep cycle batteries will drain cash from you but last longer. Marine type batteries will be easy on the cash but won’t compare to the lifetime of a deep cycle battery.
Driving an RV can be a lot of fun, but they are a big investment. It’s a good idea to keep your Airstream looking new for as long as possible, regardless of whether you plan to sell right away, or are planning on keeping your Airstream for a long time. Here are a few ways to keep your RV looking clean and well-maintained.
Obviously, cleaning your RV is the number one step in keeping it looking brand new. Unlike regular cars, RVs often have food stored and cooked inside. This can attract rodents and create mold, which can permanently destroy the interior. After every trip where food is involved, do a deep clean of the kitchen area. Also, keep a bottle of upholstery cleaner on hand for the inevitable small spills that will happen with regular use. Wash and dry the exterior of the RV after every trip to keep rust from forming.
If you live in a climate that gets very cold in the winter and you don’t plan on using your RV, you’ll want to winterize it and store it properly. If winterizing it yourself seems too intimidating, you can have a specialist do it for a reasonable price. You’ll need to do engine maintenance like seal and tubing checks, an oil change, and a check of all fluid levels, including antifreeze and washer fluid. Since your RV includes water pipes, you’ll need to have them winterized too, to ensure that they don’t freeze or burst.
In the summer, all vehicles bake. The rubber on the tires and windshield wipers dries out and cracks, the dashboard shrinks and becomes brittle, and the paint bleaches. The best way to prevent this is to store or at least cover the RV when you’re not using it. If you can’t put it in a garage, a custom tarp or cover can be used to keep bird droppings, leaves, and sunlight off your RV. Covering your Airstream is also a good way to prevent rust from forming. A good wax every season or so is a great way to keep the paint looking fresh.
Repair What You Can, Replace What You Can’t
As with any vehicle, you will need to repair or replace items as they become damaged. Periodically inspect your Airstream and replace parts as they deteriorate. Easy fixes like replacing windshield wipers can positively affect the look of your vehicle, and something as simple as replacing a broken taillight can increase its value. Bigger fixes like engine parts or rust spots may require the help of a professional, but they’ll help your Airstream run much more smoothly.
RV awnings are one of the most valuable accessories that allow you to take advantage of the outdoors in comfort. They need routine maintenance in order to last for years. It is important to make notes of the manufacturer, size, and material the awning is made from. Some awnings are made from vinyl while others are made from acrylic. There are custom awnings made from fabric or canvas coated with weatherproofing products.
If in doubt about products to clean or remove stains from your awning, contact the manufacturer and follow the recommendations given. Generally, you can clean most awnings with mild soap and a soft brush. Once clean, allow the fabric and hardware to dry completely before storing it. One safety tip that should not be ignored is this; if your awning rolls up with a spring tension, do not attempt to remove the end caps. Let an authorized RV repair shop remove, replace or repair the spring or end cap hardware.
Begin by setting up the awning and performing a thorough inspection. Take your time and scrutinize each bolt, screw, arm, tie-down and inch of fabric. If the roller, arms or stabilizers are bent, they need to be replaced before the awning is put into service. Mounting bolts should be secure and tight. If they can be pulled out or wiggled with your fingers, they need immediate repair.
RV awning repair kits are available online for holes and tears. Your awning’s manufacturer may also recommend products that work on the particular fabric. The repair kits may or may not be available in multiple colors that match your fabric, but they will prevent holes or tears from enlarging and keep the sun and rain from getting through.
Removing stains depends on two things, the type of stain and the type of fabric. Use appropriate stain removers for your awning’s fabric and follow the directions to the letter. Some stains may need multiple treatments; stains allowed to sit for years may not come out.
Cover the awning with the cleaning product and gently scrub with the soft brush. Clean both the top and bottom of the fabric. For excessively dirty awnings, roll the wet fabric up and allow to sit for a few hours before scrubbing.
For weatherproofing covered fabrics, recoat the fabric with the product after the awning has dried. This will keep the fabric protected from the elements.
The awning hardware can be cleaned with the same products used on the aluminum or vinyl siding. Do not use it on the awning fabric; wipe off any spills immediately.
The best time to maintain your RV’s awning is when it is taken out of storage and put into use and at the end of the season. For full-timers, two or three times a year is best.
Anyone new to the world of RVs and Airstreams is likely to be extremely excited about the possibilities that lay on the road in front of them. However, there is also likely to be a fair amount of anxiety when it comes to developing the skills necessary for backing and towing this addition to your outdoor life. By exploring some of the following tips, you can decrease the worry and be adequately prepared when it comes to facing this obstacle of the open road.
Get to Know Your Airstream
The additional weight that you are adding onto the back of your vehicle must not be taken lightly. You should familiarize yourself with just how heavy your Airstream is both when fully loaded and when empty. This information is valuable when it comes to determining just how capable your car or truck is of moving the load. It can also come in handy when crossing small bridges in remote destinations. Once you know that you have the right amount of power on your side, it is time to familiarize yourself with the process of hitching your trailer to your vehicle.
The Knack of the Hitch
This simple procedure begins with lining up the hitch ball on the rear of your vehicle with the trailer coupler on the rear of the RV. Put these two elements into position so that the two will come together as you lower the RV crank. Give the RV a lift to ensure that the car moves upwards with it. Secure the lock by flipping down the latch on top and then, put the safety chain in place. In order for your brake signals to transfer to the rear of the RV, plug in the electrics and check the lights.
On the Road
Now that you are ready to hit the pavement, be prepared to take corners wider than you normally would. This excess space applies to backing as well. It is also a good idea to install mirrors extensions on your vehicle, and take advantage of the eyes of all passengers when changing lanes and backing into any area. You should also familiarize yourself with the actual dimensions of the Airstream in order to avoid damaging it at low underpasses. When it comes to backing, take things slow and always remember that you are turning the wheel in the opposite direction of the way that you wish the RV to move. If you still have some trepidation when it comes to maneuvering and parking, then take your RV out to a deserted parking lot where you can set up some cones and perfect your technique without the risk of damaging your vehicle or the property of others. Your final considerations involve parking your RV for overnight stays. There are a couple of critical moves when it comes to this task. The first is to always chock your wheels to prevent rolling. The second is to always level the RV after your vehicle is cleared of the towing hitch.
The most thrilling thing about camping is that it is an adventure. There is always some aspect of excitement that comes with setting out into the unknown wilderness.
There is something completely magical about sitting around a campfire. Whether you are making s’mores, telling ghost stores or singing songs, the magic of a campfire is undeniable.
The beauty of the wilderness is one of the things that keeps drawing campers back all the time. The wonder of nature’s beauty just never gets old.
Going on a camping trip with family or friends is a great bonding experience. People who spend some time in the woods together will nearly always come back with tighter relationships than when they left.
You can’t beat the fun you will have on a camping trip. There will be a lot of laughs and a tremendous amount of enjoyment as you enjoy the wilderness setting.
6. Inexpensive Vacation
It may be a bit pricy when you are first purchasing all your camping gear. However, once you have the gear, camping is one of the most economical vacations you can possibly go on. You will usually have to pay a small fee for your campsite. You don’t have to pay for eating out, a hotel room or attractions. The joys of nature are pretty much free.
7. Relieving Stress
There is so much stress relief involved with going camping. Getting out of the crowded urban areas and communing with nature is one of the best stress relievers imaginable.
You will usually do a lot of hiking when you go camping. You may go canoeing, horseback riding or rock climbing. All of these activities are a great way to enjoy some exercise in the fresh air.
When you are camping, you will be creating some great memories that you will enjoy sharing with others for the rest of your lives. It seems like every camping trip has at least one vivid moment that is particularly thrilling or humorous that makes for a great story.
For those who are concerned about the environment, camping is one of the most environmentally friendly vacations imaginable. You will not waste any fossil fuels once you arrive at your campsite. You will be enjoying a vacation in nature that does not use up a lot of resources, and this makes you feel good.
Photographer: Tony Warelius
Before embarking on a road trip, it will come in handy to have several applications installed on your smartphone that can provide valuable tools and information at various points in your journey. There are a few apps that are considered the best and most essential mobile apps for road trips.
The first app that should not be forgotten is a flashlight app. A lot of drivers either forget to pack a regular flashlight or fail to check the batteries for replacement before hitting the road. Travelling at night you might need to look for something in the car or need to find your way somewhere if you are pulled over with car trouble. Whatever the case may be, a good flashlight app can transform your phone into a temporary flashlight. However, keep in mind that this sort of app creates a constant drain on battery and so use it sparingly and don’t forget to turn it off when you’re done.
The second app recommended for road trips is called Urbanspoon. This unique and free app uses your phone’s GPS to derive where the nearest eating locations are. Once that has been done, there are filters that can help you narrow down what kind of food you’re hungry for and what price ranges you may want to fit. If you’re unsure about a particular restaurant, the app also allows you to view how others have rated the restaurant and their respective comments concerning their dining experience there.
The third app that is comes completely free and is invaluable is The Weather Channel app. Knowing what kind of weather conditions you are encountering is essential to forming road trip plans and recalculating them if necessary. It also affects what kind of clothes you pack and lets you know when it’s a good time to be on the road or if seeking shelter is needed. Basically every road trip hinges on the performance of the weather.
The fourth road trip app that will be mentioned is Road Trip Lite. This free app can be used to keep up with your mileage and track any repairs you’ve had to have done along the way. This app is especially handy when travelling with other people. It helps them to know what exactly they are responsible for and what they need to contribute for their part of the journey.
The fifth and last app used for road trips is important if young children are accompanying you. To keep them occupied, you might want to install some free games. If you want to avoid installing individual games, the app Road Trip Fun presents a bundle of activities at the low cost of $0.99 per month.
In conclusion, preparation is key to having a successful, safe, and fun road trip. These apps are a few ways in which you can prepare yourself for keeping up with mileage and repairs, entertaining children, finding good eating locations, always having a flashlight available, and tracking weather conditions.
Each year, thousands of families pack up their Airstream trailers and get ready for a road trip. However, safety should always come first, and it’s important to know how to safely tow a trailer.
Although it doesn’t take a rock scientist to tow a trailer safely, drivers should know that towing a trailer can be quite a bit harder than simply driving a vehicle.
Before blasting off to the desired location, it’s important to perform some simple checks. The trailer and its associated safety chains need to be inspected. If all of the connections aren’t secure, it can lead to a catastrophe. Also, drivers should inspect all of the trailer’s electrical wiring.
The proper functioning of trailer electrical wires is just as important as proper safety chains. The wires that operate the trailers brakes should be functioning properly. It’s also important to check the trailer’s tires and ensure they’re properly inflated.
It’s a good idea to give the vehicle that will be towing the trailer a quick check; fuel, coolant and oil levels should be at the proper levels. It’s crucial that trailer brake lights are working correctly.
How to Load the Trailer
When towing a trailer, proper weight distribution is essential. Drivers should try to load the bulk of the weight onto the front end of the trailer.
In terms of percentage, at least 60 percent of the total weight of items on the trailer should be loaded onto the front of the trailer. Around 10 percent of the total towed weight should be resting on the trailer hitch.
Most people haven’t had extensive experience towing a trailer, so it’s crucial to get enough practice. Towing a trailer is not quite as easy as it looks. It requires the driver to pay attention to the road and safe maneuvering.
It’s especially important to get sufficient practice in before towing a trailer for a long distance. When a driver is backing up while towing a trailer, he or she should always keep on hand on the wheel, which should be in a six o’clock position.
If the driver wants to maneuver the trailer to the right, he or she will need to turn the steering wheel right, and to maneuver the trailer left, turn the steering wheel left. When using a trailer to unload a boat, low gears should be used because they’ll provide better control and power.
How to Handle a Trailer
When towing a trailer, drivers should always avoid sudden movements, which can place what is called side force onto the trailer.
If making a right turn, it’s important to allow plenty of inside room because trailer wheels move on a sharper path than vehicle tires. Changing lanes and passing other motorists are common maneuvers that drivers will need to make.
If performing these maneuvers, it’s important to signal way before changing lanes or passing other drivers. It’s also important to gradually change lanes and avoid sudden movements. By following these tips, drivers will be able to safely tow a trailer long distances.
Summer is almost at an end, and using an RV is the most comfortable way to travel. Without having to worry about hotel reservations or uncomfortable rooms, the RV is a practical alternative to traditional travel. Technology has adapted so much that RVs no longer include a simple pop-up bed; many contain large bedrooms, garages, TVs and kitchens. These advances have made traveling in an RV more like traveling in a house on wheels.
One of the best ways to choose a summer hot spot to visit is to look up the best campgrounds. Choose one of the best campgrounds and then find regional activities the family can enjoy. Schedule lots of day trips to the area and then enjoy the nice campground at the end of the day. (more…)
You have spent years saving and you are finally the proud owner of an Airstream Interstate. Airstream motorhomes are the #1 ranked Class B motorhomes, but if you want your motorhome to hold its value you need to make sure you keep it maintained inside and out. Not only will maintaining your Airstream help protect your investment, it will also extend the life of the motorhome so that you can enjoy comfortable road trips and dry camping trips for years to come. If you are not sure where to start when it comes to cleaning your Airstream, here is a straightforward guide of cleaning the interior and exterior of your Class B motorhome: (more…)