FROM OUR BLOG

Most Common RV Problems You Can Encounter And Their Solutions

RVs offer a great way to travel and see various places like Colorado while enjoying all the comforts of home. However, like any other mode of transportation, they are not immune to problems. Here we will discuss some of the most common RV problems and their solutions, so you can be better prepared for your next road trip!

Leaking Roof

One of the most common RV problems is a leaking roof. This can be caused by a number of things, such as loose or missing seals, cracks in the roof, or even tree limbs falling on the roof. If you suspect your roof is leaking, the best thing to do is have it inspected by a professional. In most cases, leaks can be easily repaired.

Electrical Issues

Another common problem is electrical issues. This can range from blown fuses to more serious problems like faulty wiring. If you are having electrical issues, it is best to consult with a qualified RV technician. They will be able to diagnose and repair the problem quickly and safely.

Plumbing Problems

A third common RV issue is plumbing problems. These can be anything from clogged toilets to leaks in the pipes. As with electrical issues, it is best to consult with a professional if you are having plumbing problems. They will be able to diagnose and repair the problem quickly and safely.

Structural Issues

Another common RV issue is structural problems. These can include things like a cracked foundation, warped walls, or even collapsed roofs. If you suspect your RV has structural issues, it is important to have it inspected by a professional as soon as possible. These types of problems can be very dangerous and should not be ignored.

While there are many common RV problems that you may encounter on your travels, don’t let them stop you from enjoying the open road! With a little knowledge and preparation, you can easily solve most of these problems yourself. So get out there and start exploring!

How To Prevent RV Problems From Happening In The First Place?

As with anything else, the best way to deal with RV problems is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:

Regularly inspect your RV for any potential issues.

This includes checking the roof, seals, windows, and doors for any cracks or leaks. By doing this, you won’t be surprised to find any problems with your RV while you are on the road. You’d also be able to discover if there is a potential problem in its early stages so you can remedy them immediately and avoid costly repairs.

Pay close attention to your RV’s electrical and plumbing systems.

Be sure to check for any loose wires or fittings, as well as any leaks in the pipes. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, be sure to have it checked out by a professional right away.

Be sure to properly maintain your RV.

This includes regularly cleaning it, checking the tires, and making sure all the fluids are at their proper levels. By doing this, you can avoid many potential problems with your RV down the road.

How To Make The Most Of Your RV Vacation In Colorado

If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to explore Colorado, consider taking your RV for a spin through the state. With its many campgrounds, stunning scenery, and ample opportunity for outdoor activities, you’ll never run out of things to do when you’re on the road. Let me tell you about my experience when we once took the RV on our vacation through Colorado. Here are also some tips to help make the most of your trip!

Where Do You Want To Go?

The first thing you should do before your journey is make a list of all the places you want to visit. Do some research beforehand and figure out where you want to end up. Some good options are Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, or Pikes Peak State Park. The Black Canyon is our personal favorite. It’s simply gorgeous, especially at sunrise and sunset.

When setting up your trip itinerary, keep in mind that many national parks only allow RV access to certain parts of the park starting at specific times during the day. This is why it’s important to check out what time you can access each location before choosing where you want to go. That’s one of the crucial mistakes we made and you’d want to avoid the hassle of going through all that.

When Are You Going?

Make sure to pick a time of the year that is suitable for your trip. It’s best to plan it during the summer so you can get more daylight hours and have enough time to visit all the amazing parks across Colorado. The weather in this state is relatively mild throughout most of the year, which makes any time good for travel.

We were lucky to go during the summer, but it would be nice to see other seasons as well. The fall is especially beautiful in Colorado with all the leaves changing colors. If you’re into skiing or snowboarding, then winter would be your best time to go.

Options For RVs In Colorado

When it comes to finding a place for your RV to stay each night, there are many options available to you. Many people like to stay at RV parks, but we prefer more natural and secluded campsites.

We suggest checking out online resources to help you find the best camping spots in Colorado. There are quite a few websites that provide detailed descriptions of all the campgrounds in this state. The only downside is that many of them require reservations well in advance, which could be challenging if you’re traveling at the last minute as we did. We had to wake up early in the morning to book all our spots before they were taken.

Another good option for RV owners is to stay at private properties that allow camping on their property under specific conditions. When staying at these kinds of places, it’s crucial to find out exactly what you need to do in order not to violate any rules and be respectful of your hosts.

Know What To Pack

The last thing you should consider when planning your trip is what to take with you. It might be a good idea to invest in camping equipment that will make things easier for you while on the road. You can even rent some stuff if you don’t have it at home but only plan this option if you’re not taking too much luggage with you.

We suggest taking food that doesn’t need to be cooked and a cooler with drinks, especially if you’re going to stay out in nature for a few days. Having a propane stove will also come in handy since it’s good for cooking without electricity or running water. You can even make your own coffee maker so you have hot coffee every morning.

As for clothes, make sure you take enough warm items since it can get chilly at night. Also, bring some bathing suits and sunglasses to make the most of your time in the sun. Of course, don’t forget about good hiking shoes or sneakers even if you only walk around town. You might also want to consider taking an atlas because GPS signals can be spotty in some areas.

You should also remember to bring all the camping equipment that you need such as lanterns, flashlights, and matches for lighting campfires. Since you’ll probably want to take a lot of pictures while traveling, don’t forget about your camera and chargers for all your electronic devices.

RV traveling through Colorado is the best way to experience the state’s distinct beauty. Start planning your trip now and visit all these amazing natural landmarks.

taking a vacationn with an RV

Top Reasons To Go On A Vacation On Your RV

Are you stressed with work? Are the kids fed up with staying at home and being left with nothing to do but school work? Bring back life into your daily routine by taking a quick family vacation. There are fantastic places in the US where you can take some time off and just enjoy what life has to offer.

The pandemic has hit everyone and in different ways. However, that doesn’t mean you should let it stop you from unwinding and enjoying life. An RV is a great way to enjoy a vacation and still feel safe at this time. Apart from that, here are more reasons to consider a vacation on your RV.

A Vacation That Won’t Cost A Fortune

Whether you are renting out an RV or you have your own, taking one on a vacation proves to be cost-effective. You get to save on meals because you can prepare them on your own. RVs are fitted with amenities and tools that you need for cooking.

Staying in a hotel could feel luxurious but you won’t be staying in your room throughout the vacation. You’ll be going outside to enjoy the scenery or do other activities. Staying in an RV is comfortable enough and a lot more affordable.

A Great Way To Unplug

Let’s face it, nowadays we spend most of our time in front of a screen. You need to unplug and slow down too. You can do that with an RV vacation and just focus on nature’s scenery or what your vacation spot has to offer.

Although most RVs already come with WiFi, you can still enforce rules on your vacation to stay unplugged and just enjoy doing other things that don’t involve staring at a screen or using other devices.

Encourages You To Move

RV vacation spots offer lots of activities and adventures that you can do. You can hike, swim, kayak, bike, or just build a bonfire. All those things encourage you to move. There are different activities that adults and children alike will enjoy.

Go On An Adventure

Getting to your vacation spot with an RV is an adventure in itself. You get to decide which roads to take and there are so many different routes you can take. Plan to pass by different areas so that each family member gets to do or visit what sparks happiness in them.

Closer Family Ties

Doing activities with the whole family improves the family bond. We get to discover more about each other when we spend time doing things with each other. The RV vacation is a perfect time to do that.

It’s a great time to create memories. There can be unforgettable experiences that you get to tell each other for years to come. RV vacations aren’t only great good for families but for friends as well. You get to discover each other in a whole new way.

family vacation on an RV

Use An RV For Your Next Family Vacation

Having an adventure with an RV is popular not only for retired people but also for young families. There are still a lot of people whose happiest memories involve riding an RV and discovering different adventures that await them.

It is simply an affordable way to travel and have an adventure. Yes, there can be mishaps and discomforts as compared to just staying at home or a hotel but that’s all part of the fun.

Plus, it helps keep the family bond. When was the last time you actually did an activity as a whole family and enjoyed it? Even with the lockdowns, technology may have been used to distance ourselves from each other even if we live in the same house.

What better way to rekindle the bond and enjoy time with the family at the same time than by going on an adventure with your RV. If you are still not convinced that a family vacation on an RV is an awesome idea, read the following reasons below:

Makes Everyday Exciting

A family vacation in an RV is an exciting experience. Each day, you wake up and wonder what activities you’d be doing that day. Depending on where you go, there will certainly be a lot of things that you can do.

Even if the day’s schedule simply involves exploring nature, a kid’s curiosity and excitement can be infectious. Being observant with the things around helps them appreciate even the small things like the beauty of sunsets or the cold and refreshing feeling of washing their hands on flowing water.

Of course, there are also other far more exciting activities that you can do with the kids in camps or designated RV areas. Swimming in lakes, kayaking, building tents, and many others. These may be small things but could be very exciting and doing something new that we don’t usually do at home gives us fire to enjoy and live.

Eating Together

When was the last time everybody sat down together at the dinner table to eat as a family? Some still do this as a family but there are others who are too busy doing different things that they often eat whenever it is convenient.

Having a vacation in an RV with the family guarantees eating together. Apart from eating together, the family could also prepare the food together and help each other. Not only that, the meals prepared could be far healthier than what you get in fast foods just because you are hungry, running out of time, and need to eat.

Eating together isn’t just about nourishing your body. It also helps create a bond with the family as we tend to chat with each other as we eat. Of course, it would be best to leave all gadgets, cellphones, and computers when eating together.

A family meal shared by every member is a tradition that must go on. Vacation with an RV helps remind us of how great that feels.

Flexible And Relaxed Vacation

Vacationing on an RV gives you the leisure to travel and not be too strict with your itinerary. Sometimes, there are detours and adventures you decide to take as a family at the spur of the moment. These unplanned and unexpected activities or adventures turn out to be the most unforgettable ones that further bond the family together.

At times, even when things and activities have been planned, there are unforeseen circumstances that could push us to change those plans. Spontaneity adds to the excitement. There is thrill and happiness in doing unexpected things.

An Affordable Vacation

Travelling can be costly, especially if you have a huge family. However, using an RV helps significantly cut down on cost. It can save you on expenses when it comes to airfare, hotel rooms, or the expenses of dining in restaurants. An RV can be an affordable substitute for all of these.

Apart from that, RVs are also spacious enough that you can bring some of the gears that you would be using on your vacation. Gear rental is a profitable business because many people don’t have their own gear at the site and have no choice but to rent them just to have the experience.

Unplugging

Gadgets are very useful to us all. However, we should not forget to take time to unplug. Sure you can use gadgets while on the road but when you take the kids for a walk, a hike, swimming, or other outdoor activities, they could leave those gadgets and unplug even for a while.

There are so many things to see and do outdoors without using gadgets, computers, or cellphones. Our country is blessed with lots of natural scenic sites. There are different parks that accept RVs so the family can have an unforgettable adventure.

hiking gear essentials

Hiking Gear Essentials For Kids

One of the perks of traveling with an RV is having lots of outdoor adventures. If you have kids, you don’t only need to prepare yourself but your kids too. Kids enjoy the great outdoors but sometimes they can get grumpy, bored or just hungry because of your outdoor activities like hiking.

Even if kids might have more energy than adults, you can still make hiking a more pleasurable and comfortable experience for them. That is by equipping them with some of these essentials. This list includes those that I found worked really well with my kids and I hope they work well for yours too.

Zip-Of Pants

The temperature fluctuates and although most adults can handle it, kids can get a bit more grumpy when they are uncomfortable. With zip-off pants, they’d easily remove the leg part off when it is too hot or put it on when they feel cold.

Kids can easily do this on their own and it is more convenient than changing pants to shorts and vice versa. It prevents exposure of their undies and we know that many kids are uncomfortable with that. The detachable pieces are also lightweight and could easily fit inside their backpack.

Quality Hiking Sandals

Find high-quality hiking sandals that have a closed-toe. This makes sure that your kids’ toes are safe while exposure in some other parts makes it more breathable and comfortable. Waterproof ones are a must because hiking doesn’t just mean a rocky pathway. You may also get into some puddles on the way and kids just can’t resist making a splash.

Backpacks

Kids like feeling independent so getting them their own backpack where they can fit their essentials boosts their confidence. Brands that offer trekking gear for adults may also have small-sized backpacks that are light. These may or may not come in bright colors but they will serve their purpose well.

Utility Cases

Utility cases are multi-functional. For us, they double as storage for food, especially the ones that can get squished and squashed by the time the kids decide to eat them. These sturdy cases can also be used to contain different items that they want to collect through their hike.

Hats

Whether it is a sunhat or a regular stocking cap, hats are a must-have for kids. These can protect their eyes when hiking especially if they aren’t comfortable wearing their sunglasses at all times.

Best get them hats that are adjustable so that it could also grow with them. When choosing a hat, make sure you let your kids choose the styles that they like. This will make it more likely for them to use it. Just help them select the lightweight and durable ones.

Binoculars

Binoculars will make your hiking even more fun for your kids. They get to see all around them more clearly. They can even see some wildlife birds closely from afar with their binoculars. This simply makes exploring and hiking more fun and interesting for them.

Water Bottles

When shopping for water bottles, find those that are leak-proof, easy to drink from, and those that are just the perfect size for your kids’ backpack. Dishwasher safe ones are also a bonus feature for you. It is best to stick with the ones that are sleek so they can easily fit the pocket of their backpack. This makes them more accessible for your kids.

Do you think I forgot anything essential? Are there any other essential hiking gear essentials that worked well with your kids that you can share? I’d greatly appreciate it if you can share those with me in the comments section. Thanks!

5th Wheel Towing An RV

Everything You Need To Know About 5th Wheel Towing An RV

Towing a 5th wheel camper can seem a bit intimidating, especially if it’s your first time.

Some trailers can reach as much as 53 feet in length. You may be thinking that such a massive vehicle is bound to outweigh the towing truck, and you’d be right because it can.

With that said, you can successfully maneuver a 5th wheeler if you do it properly. So here’s everything you need to know as an RVer about 5th wheel towing.

Getting the weights right

The first thing you need to know is the weight of the 5th wheeler. This means the weight of the vehicle when empty, but also its weight when attached to the truck.

This will help you make sure you don’t exceed the weight limit when you want to match your truck to the trailer.

The manufacturer will usually provide you with information regarding the 5th wheeler’s weight -you can check their website or the user’s manual if you have one. If you want to be absolutely sure, you can always use an industrial scale to double-check.

5th Wheel Hitch Attachment

Connecting the 5th wheel hitch

Hitching a 5th wheel to a truck isn’t the easiest tow. With that said, once you have that rear hitch mounted, that is after installation, it becomes more manageable. To begin the installation, make sure that you have properly matched the power of your truck to the right weight in the 5th wheel.

If the 5th wheel is large enough that it requires a hitch to be mounted on the bed of the truck, you need to make sure that the truck has enough power to handle this process. With the right size and sufficient room to accommodate the 5th wheel, you’re ready for installation.

Towing the 5th wheel

Now comes the crucial part, which is moving that giant trailer around. If you’ve closely followed the previous steps, then you should have a 5th wheel of the right weight fixed to a vehicle that can handle it. Keep in mind that the overhang of the trailer shouldn’t be too close to avoid it bumping into your truck when you’re making a turn.

First, make sure the connections of your hitch are locked shut and the kingpin fits into the hitch cradle before you start driving.

Next, secure the emergency breakaway line so that it’s connected to the hitch. Raise the jacks so the truck is supporting the trailer. And finally, ease out onto the road and make sure you use your mirrors.

On The Road

Big mirrors that are far out from the truck are your best friend!

They will allow you to see the trailer walls as well as the tires. This way, you will be able to see whether the 5th wheel is running low -or worse if it’s completely blown.

When making a turn, go slow and use your mirror to check if the 5th wheel is clearing the corner. Also, note that the rear of the trailer will turn wider than the truck path, so make sure you allow enough space for this.

Don’t forget to check your tires for pressure and the torque on lug nuts to avoid any blowouts.


Next up:  How I prep for my RV trips

How I Prepare For Emergencies Before An RV Trip

Planning For An RV Trip Emergencies

How I Prepare For Emergencies Before An RV Trip

While preparations for your next RV trip can be an exciting exercise, many (like myself), feel somewhat overwhelmed at the prospect of planning out stays and activities for a family of five in a home on wheels.

My mind seems to always go to the worst-case scenarios (which drive my husband and kids absolutely bonkers) as I admittedly have an inherent need for a thorough plan in place for every scenario.

Eventually, thankfully, I get through it, and once the planning process is over, I can focus on having actual FUN!

The benefit for you – fellow reader – is that I’ve come up with the bones of a good emergency preparedness for RVer that you can use on your next RV adventure.

Step1:  Roadside Assistance

The first step we take as a family is plot the time and trajectory of our trip, which for me – this is the most fun part of the planning process.

The end result is a list of places and dates we’ll be staying.

To state the obvious:  this is important information for not only campground reservations and event planning, it also lays the groundwork for the roadside assistance number I need to look up just in case our RV gets a flat, engine blows, or battery dies (among other things).

In a notebook I Google the date and destination, and jot-down the best rated towing service or roadside service companies in the area for quick reference.

(If you’re ever in the Dallas Fort Worth area, I can vouch for Premio Towing Service – they’ve helped us here recently when our Starcraft RV wouldn’t get out of the driveway!)

While this may seem like overkill, I’ve actually used the list two times in as many years for a flat tire and dead battery, once where the service had to tow the RV to an auto repair location.

Step 2:  Vehicle Maintenance

Closely related to emergency roadside assistance is proper vehicle maintenance.

The idea is:  if you properly maintain the RV, you can avoid preventable vehicle issues.

Just like any gas or diesel-powered piece of machinery, your RV needs to be properly serviced on regular intervals.

So before you leave ensure that your RV has had it’s…

  • Oil changed
  • Transmission fluids filled
  • Coolant fluids topped off
  • Windshield wiper fluid topped off
  • Hydraulic Brakes – check pads . rotors/ drums / linings checked (! Super Important if you’re driving in the mountains)
  • Air Brakes – check / replace filters (I like to have one on hand in case of failure)
  • Battery tested
  • Belts checked / replaced
  • Tires – aligned and checked for wear
  • Spare tire – properly inflated

Also note, I keep a log of the PM items we’ve completed with dates in the glove department so I can reference it later.

Step 3.  Pack An Emergency Kit

Every vehicle should have a proper emergency kit in case of an emergency roadside need.  Prior to the trip I make sure to check the integrity of the kit items as many of the items can expire.  Here’s what we pack before every trip

  • 3 Gallons of drinking water
  • Jumper cables
  • Multi-purpose utility tool
  • Reflective road triangles
  • Reflective vests for the family
  • Compass
  • First Aid kit (make sure it has a snake bit kit!)
  • High, non-expiring dry foods, bars, fruit, and / or candy. Enough for 2 days.
  • Portable cell phone charger / power banks (ensure that it is charged prior to departure
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Rain ponchos
  • Warm blankets or sleeping bags, one for every family member
  • Shovel
  • Cash
  • Hiking shoes
  • Warm Clothes
  • Spare tire jack
  • Sewing Kit
  • Bug Spray
  • Emergency toolbox (wrenches, screwdriver, rope, ratchet straps, duct tape)
  • Paper map of areas visiting

Step 4:  Pre-Launch Checklist

A few days before we leave I like to go over a checklist of RV-specific items that should be prepped prior to the trip.  These include:

  • RV Jacks: Test before leaving and make sure they are up prior to pulling out of the driveway
  • Water Heater / Filters
  • RV Generator: Empty old gas, top-off with new and run generator prior to leaving.  Make sure you have all necessary wires and cable stowed.
  • Carbon Monoxide / Smoke Detectors Check
  • Sideout Check: If you have a sideout, ensure that the hydraulic work smoothly
  • Exterior / Interior Lights: Ensure all lights turn on and function.  Have spare bulbs on hand
  • A/C Check

Conclusion

And there you have it.

Hopefully this comprehensive list above has helped take some of the worry out of planning for emergencies so you can concentrate on looking forward to planning the fun adventures on your next RV Roadtrip.

RV Riding Uphill During A Fall Trip

5 Unique RV Trips To Take This Fall

If you anything like us, the late summer heat make us think of the cool autumn night and changing leaves.

And of course, another RV Road trip.

Problem – is:  so is everyone else!  If you’re trying to find the right place to visit with reduced crowds, and you’re not sure where you should go, check out some of the most overlooked destinations for roadtrips in the US during fall.

Any of these five spots would be great to visit during the fall.

Travel With Kids

Best Tips for Amazing Family Travel With Kids

Traveling with kids can a really good memory for any family, but the close quarters, unfamiliar terrain, and long hours in the RV, can fray the nerves of even the most patient parents and kids.

While there’s ups and down to all extended trips, there are certain things that you can do as a parent which will allow you to have the time of your life in order to create those awesome memories that last a lifetime.