News & Information

Thursday - November 15, 2018 8:44 pm     Article Hits:103     A+ | a- 0
Ensure you maximize your experience and minimize downtime with regular RV maintenance!
Ensure you maximize your experience and minimize downtime with regular RV maintenance!

by Steve Froese
Blog Contributor

Whether you’re a seasoned RV owner or have recently invested in a new (or new to you) RV, it’s important to understand the responsibilities that come with ownership. There are several things you should commit to doing after your purchase. Besides the obligation to your family to get out and use the RV, the most important duty is to perform regular inspection and maintenance on your unit. Too many people neglect proper maintenance, and this can be a very costly mistake!

Whether you have an inexpensive tent trailer or top-of-the-line Diesel pusher motorhome, they are all susceptible to water damage if the seals are left unchecked. Water damage is the single most costly repair to an RV, and it is completely avoidable with thorough RV inspection. This should be performed at least annually by yourself or a professional RV repair center. Aside from safety and mechanical inspections, which should be performed only by professionals, the most important parts of your annual RV inspection are the seams, joints, and other areas requiring sealant. Carefully go up on the roof and thoroughly examine all the sealed joints and components. Look for cracks and voids in the sealant and any other breaches or areas where water may be able to penetrate. Be sure to use only the manufacturer recommended cleaner and sealant to repair the problem areas. Note that different areas of the RV may require different sealants. For instance, on a rubber roof, you should use only sealants designed specifically for that material.

Once you are finished on the roof, do the same with the sidewalls, paying particular attention to windows, lights, trim strips, and anything else that is attached to the wall with screws or allows access to the interior or framework of the RV. Never use silicone-based sealant on the exterior of the RV. Always use acrylic-based materials. It is important to carefully inspect every inch of the RV. It is time-consuming, but failure to do so could be catastrophic in terms of repair time and money.

You should also inspect the tires. RV tires tend to “age” out before they wear out. Look for tread wear cracks, abrasion, or other damage to the tires, and if you find any, visit a reputable tire dealer in your area for assistance. Also, take note of the manufacturing date stamped on the sidewall. Look for the letters “DOT”, followed by a series of numbers. The last 4 numbers represent the week and year of manufacture. RV tires should be replaced within 7-10 years of this date, regardless of the condition of the tires. If you are in doubt about the age or condition of your RV tires, visit your tire dealership.

It is also important to have your propane system inspected annually by a professional RV repair facility. This is not something you can do yourself. They will check the system for leaks, operating pressure, and condition, including the appliances. Do not cut corners when it comes to propane system inspections, as a malfunctioning system can be dangerous, or even fatal.

Whether you have a motorized unit or trailer, keep up with your mechanical inspections. For trailers, it’s important to inspect the brake and chassis components annually. For motorhomes, belts, hoses, filters, fluids, brake components, etc. In either case, you may be capable of doing this yourself, or you may choose to find a good mechanic or RV shop familiar with your type of unit.

If you live in a cold climate, be sure to prepare your unit by winterizing it before the sub-zero weather sets in. If you will be storing your unit, charge the battery, remove it from the coach, and store it in a cool, dry location. You can stave off the onset of mildew by placing a Dehumidifier in the RV. Also, make sure all water/sewage is drained and not stored in any tanks or hoses during the winter months. This will ensure no cracks and subsequent leaks due to freezing fluids.

Following these simple, yet important, steps will prolong the life of your RV and it’s components, and prevent costly damage.

Saturday - November 3, 2018 6:10 am     Article Hits:341     A+ | a- 0
Getting the best deal on a used RV
Getting the best deal on a used RV
by Steve Froese
Blog Contributor 

My wife and I purchased our latest RV this week. It is a 2006 Diesel pusher that currently retails new for around $500K. Of course, we paid much less than that because it is 10 years old. A key point here is that RVs depreciate like any other vehicle. Much of that depreciation occurs the moment the RV is driven off the lot, and most of the rest occurs within the first few years. Our “new to us” RV is in immaculate condition, and being diesel, will not suffer much more depreciation.

If you have decided to purchase a used RV, congratulations on your wise choice. However, even when you buy used, it is still important and to your great benefit to try to negotiate the best deal you can. It is not easy to understand the metrics behind used RV pricing, and even more confusing to navigate through the complexities of trade-in values, etc. As an example, my wife and I paid $30,000 on a private sale when we purchased our last RV. It was old but functional. When trading it in on our new unit, we were given $45,000 on our trade. However, it is important to note this is simply what we were offered “on paper”, which basically means the original selling price of the unit we purchased has plenty of profit margin for the salesperson to work within.
When buying a used unit, I recommend the following tactics to ensure you get a good deal:
  • Check the blue book value using NADA guides online (https://www.nadaguides.com/). This comprehensive website allows you to look up the value of almost any vehicle, including most brands of RV. You simply add the extras and options the vehicle has (although it doesn’t account for multiple TVs for instance), and it will generate a suggested, low, and average retail value. It also provides this information for specific regions. While this is not the be-all-end-all, it is an awesome reference. Be sure you know which options the vehicle has to get the best estimate.
  • National Vehicle offers valuation services to assist buyers with understanding the value of used RVs.
  • If possible, purchase the vehicle in the fall or winter, as this is when demand is lowest and supply is often high. This means you should have a good selection and low buyer competition. 
  • When viewing units, take somebody with you who is knowledgeable about the mechanics and RV systems if you aren’t. This may require more than one person. Have them inspect and test all feasible components of the RV, from lighting the stove to checking the undercarriage. Use any minor issues you find to get a slightly better price.
  • Test drive the unit if at all possible. Aside from the usual mechanical issues, you would look for when test driving a car, listen for rattles and unusual noises coming from inside the vehicle.
  • Ensure that the sales contract can include a clause to replace or repair any significant defects within the first week or so of ownership. Note that you ARE purchasing a used vehicle, so the dealership or private seller should not feel obligated to fix every little defect you find. I usually limit it to operational or safety issues.
  • Purchase from a reputable dealer or private seller who passes the “gut check”. Use the services of National Vehicle, who can facilitate the private sales process and make it easy for you to trust you are getting a great vehicle at a great price. They are a great resource that can be trusted to help you purchase your next RV. They can also assist you in selling your old RV if you are upgrading.
  • Ask the salesperson or seller to give you the best deal possible. Believe it or not, this usually works to get them to “sharpen their pencil a bit”.
Most importantly, use the “gut check” method, as your intuition will usually serve you well. Combine the information in this article with that from my financing article and you should leave the lot with a feeling that you have gotten a good deal on your new ride.
Saturday - November 3, 2018 5:42 am     Article Hits:333     A+ | a- 0
by Steve Froese
Blog Contributor

So, you’ve decided to purchase or upgrade your RV and have chosen your coach. Now it’s time to pay for your home on wheels. Most people will arrange to finance, so in this article, I will discuss some common financing options.
The most important consideration, as I’ve mentioned in previous articles, is to stay within your budget and price range when purchasing an RV. If you’ve already taken the plunge, hopefully, you took this advice to heart. If so, it is likely to make securing financing much easier. In terms of financing, consider the following:
  • The most important thing lenders look at is your credit rating. The better your credit, the more likely lenders are to consider your application.
  • Brand new RVs (current model year) are generally eligible for a very long loan period (up to 20 years), whereas for older ones it will vary with age, institution, and financing terms.
  • You must determine whether you want lower monthly payments with a longer loan period or higher payments over a shorter period. Of course, these factors are governed by things like interest rates, down-payment, etc. It is also possible and may be advisable, to purchase a less expensive new unit. This way, you can achieve low payments, a low principal amount, and a longer repayment period.
  • Approach your own financial institution to inquire about the RV loan. Dealerships will often add on extra interest points to make additional profit. You may find you can secure a better rate and/or repayment schedule with your own bank or credit union. Using a personal loan, as opposed to a vehicle loan, may allow you to negotiate a longer repayment period, especially when the unit is older or from a private seller.
Make sure to get the best possible price on the RV of your choosing. National Vehicle provides valuation services to help both buyers and sellers determine the fair market value for a vehicle. Otherwise, private sellers often do not know the true value of the RV, so if you are well informed, you can likely get a good price from them. Even if the seller has done their homework, your knowledge will generally help with the deal-making. Then make wise choices when it comes to financing your first or next RV. Maximize your trade-in and/or down payment and shop around for the best financing deal.

Remember that any kind of financing is going to affect your credit, not to mention your personal finances. An RV is a lifestyle choice, not an investment, so think carefully before you make a financial commitment. If you do decide to proceed, get the best deal you can!
 
Wednesday - October 10, 2018 6:30 pm     Article Hits:783     A+ | a- 0
RV Full-Time Living
RV Full-Time Living
by Ashlee Zotter
Blog Contributor

If the idea of going full-time sounds both ideal and overwhelming, you aren't alone. Going full-time sounds like a dream. But it also comes with a great deal of planning, budgeting, and sacrifice. We've compiled a list of things that will help the transition into full-time living go a little more smoothly, and hopefully, take some of that stress off of the experience.
 
1. Ease into a plan
First things first when considering to full-time; sit down and weigh your pros and cons and make a rough plan. Full-timing is not for everyone and you really need to consider a lot before you make a major lifestyle change. What will you be giving up? What will you be gaining? Will you be stationary? Will you be traveling? Will you be working? What state will you register your vehicles from? Do you already have a rig or will you purchase new or used? What is your budget? (You must consider things like gas if traveling, park fees if not boondocking, insurance on your rig, upkeep, and maintenance, equipment, etc.)
 
2. Be a lister
Make a list of the things you need and want to take with you. Remember to consider how much space and storage you'll have in your camper and that less is more. You're downsizing to free yourself from the chains of material possessions! But don't overwhelm yourself either. You can still get rid of things from your camper as well. Consider things you have to have for your RV, like sewer hoses, electrical cords, etc. and check out our list of essentials that may not be so obvious to consider. We found that making a list, and coming back to it often to cross things off that weren't so necessary was very helpful.
 
3. Begin the purge
Once you've decided what you'll do with your possessions, for some this includes a house or property, you'll want to start making moves on that pretty quickly. Getting rid of the things inside of a home will likely be the most time consuming and overwhelming of all the things you'll do to begin your full-timing journey. It may help to write out a list of things you're going to take, sell, donate or store (if you plan to return to a specific area or home). While the idea of this, or the beginning of it may feel stressful, we promise you're going to feel a special kind of liberated when you're done.
 
4. Plan your mail
One of the most common concerns for travelers is receiving mail. Before you hit the road, try to go as paperless as possible. Not only is it easier to not worry about paper mail, but it's also better for the environment. For the important pieces that can't be viewed online, there are several options. If you're going to be in one area, find out if your park will let you get your mail. If not, set up a P.O. box. If you're going to be traveling a lot, consider a mail forwarding service. Some services will call you and read your mail to you and ask what you want to be done with it and some will even scan the envelope to you and then proceed to open and scan its contents at your request. Some people find that having their mail sent to a trusted friend or family member works just as well and that once per month shipping costs are cheaper than any other service.
 
5. Make friends
Chatting with like-minded people and those who have already gone through the process of transitioning into a camper will likely be your make or break it. If you're retired, you'll likely be met with the expected congratulations, but if you're anything else, people are going to question your sanity. Why? It isn't the "norm" for anyone else. Locating a forum or Facebook group made for people living full-time will help to ease any frustrations or fears you may have, and help to arm you against the naysayers and Negative Nancys.
 
6. Have a test run
If it's a possibility for you, take your camper or rent one like you're interested in purchasing and take it for a weekend or week-long trip. Make sure you're up for the drives in traffic, the setup and tear down of parking the rig, and the smaller living quarters for a long haul.
 
7. Join a club
Look into RV groups and clubs that give you discounts on parks and lodging. Consider Passport America, Good Sam, Thousand Trails, Escapees RV Club and more. Groups like these offer a lot of benefits and discounts and are also good resources for finding workamping gigs or seasonal park jobs.
 
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and we'll do our best to answer or point you in the right direction!
Thursday - October 4, 2018 7:37 pm     Article Hits:1000     A+ | a- 0
Boondocking Etiquette
Boondocking Etiquette
by Ashlee Zotter
Blog Contributor

What is Boondocking?
Also known as dry camping or dispersed camping; It is essentially camping without hookups and usually free. This means you aren't at an RV park with water, electric or sewer hookups. It also usually means you're out there, under the stars in a place where the city lights don't pollute your view, in the middle of a remote forest, or maybe even just stopping for the night on public land. Unlike an RV park, you may be the only person camping for miles. But for those times when you find yourself near others, there are some things you'll want to keep in mind to ensure that you and those around you can all enjoy your stay.
 
1. Pick up your trash & leave nothing behind
While this may be painfully obvious to some, it isn't to others. Not only will your neighbors thank you, but so will the environment. Keeping these areas clean to ensure that they remain open to the public and ensure that the next time you stay, it doesn't look like a dump. And speaking of the dump, this one stands for a mention, don't leave any of that behind either. If you're filling your grey and black tanks while boondocking, don't dump them until you find a designated dumping hookup area (gas station, RV park, etc.).
 
2. Know the rules for the area
You should try to research the area before you go, but some information may not be internet available. Shocking, right!? Look for signs when you arrive that warn you of potential dangers; wildlife, flooding, fire bans or rig size restrictions specifically. Also of rules, park fees, closures and stay limits. Most areas won't let you stay more than two weeks at a time. If you're considering "black-top boondocking" (in a parking lot) be sure you have permission from the lot owner or store manager and ask what their rules are.
 
3. Turn down your noise and turn off your lights
Boondocking tends to bring out people who are truly enjoying nature. They love the sounds, or quiet, and the stars. Absolutely no one wants to hear your favorite music or be blinded by your porch or car lights when they're connecting with the Earth and getting away from the hustle and bustle and well, people. They also don't want to be barked at every time they come outside, so be sure you're keeping your pets from being a bother, too.
 
4. Don't park in your neighbor's bubble or view
People don't want you in their space. They want to walk outside and see nature, not your camper, and they certainly don't want to be able to hear every word you say. Even more, if there are others around, don't park where no one else can enjoy the view, access the water, etc.
 
5. Generators
Ah, sweet sweet electricity. Most people have a generator on board or travel with an external generator. If this is the case and you find you want or need to use it, be sure the exhaust isn't blowing into someone else's campsite and if it isn't very quiet, that you turn it off at sundown.
 
6. Don't overstay your welcome
Most public land will only allow you up to a two-week stay. Be sure you know the limit to avoid a hefty ticket, ban, or contribute to the closure of the area. People can also dry camp in some parking lots, but this requires permission from the lot owner or store and is generally only accepted for a single night, without unhooking or the use of slides, awnings, etc.
 
So what's the takeaway now that you're on your way to boondocking like a pro? Research the area before you get there, follow the rules and be considerate of the land and the people around you. Happy camping!
Saturday - September 29, 2018 6:01 pm     Article Hits:846     A+ | a- 0
Pack appropriately for an uncluttered living space.
Pack appropriately for an uncluttered living space.
There it is. Gorgeous and soooo much smaller than you thought it would be. You bought your new “House on Wheels” and it is now resting in your driveway – an exciting opportunity and a challenging scary space to fill with what you need to do full-time RV living. 
 
These tips are to get you started and thinking about what will be fun and needed as you take to the road. Make sure you have examined every inch of space inside and outside your new home. Every drawer, nook, cabinet and concealed space needs to be well used because space inside and outside is so much less than what you are used to having access to. Use the space wisely.  These tips are for you to consider what will work for you as you take to the road.
  • Food and drinks – pack the food you like and will eat.  You do not need smoked eel just in case you get a hankering for it.  That can of eel will take up precious space that can be used for your typical yummy stuff.  Keep track for a month at home and write down everything you use, then bring that with you. 
  • Spices are the same category – unless you will be doing amazing cooking and trying new things, pack the spices you use the most – salt, pepper, garlic salt along with some sugar and bouillon cubes.
  • Clothes that you will wear, favorites and not too many of them.  Fill the storage space, but don’t overfill.  Underwear, socks, t-shirts, jeans, sweaters, and jackets. 
  • A first aid kit, vitamins, and any medications you currently use.
  • Dishes that work – most use plastic plates, cups, bowls etc because if they fall out of the cupboard they will not break.  Pots and pans you will use for cooking usual food. Anything like a huge pasta pan I would store in your undercarriage. You will get tired of moving it around looking for things.
  • Cleaning – dishwashing liquid in a small container, sponge, cloth, towels and maybe even some gloves to remove any dead animals around your rig. 
  • Plastic bags for food, trash and for collecting stuff outside – use to store food in the frig and freezer. Quart and gallon size. Leftover containers take up a lot of space. 
  • What tools do you want and need? What kind of carrier will you keep your tools in? Chairs for outside, the welcome mat for the ground so you don’t bring in the dirt every time you go in and out.  
If there are kids involved, get square bins (they fit better in the undercarriage) for their toys.  Keep a minimum of toys inside as it gets crowded and cluttered FAST. 
  • What kind of bedding do you want and need?  Sheets, pillows, pillow cases, mattress pad – what about bathroom supplies – towels, soap, shampoos, and conditions?  Do you get the feeling the RV is starting to fill up?
  • DO NOT leave without an Atlas.  When you get to a place that GPS and the internet are not, the Atlas will be your best friend.
  • What about a clothesline that you can use outside?  Wet, damp clothes and towels inside are not your friends.
  • Bring a tote bag with you that goes easily in and out of the RV so you can carry food, clothes, snacks, drinks out and then back in again.
  • 2-3 flashlights – I love the Primal Camp flashlight because it is small, can be recharged by its solar opening and had a windup for when there is no sun.  I have one hooked to my purse all the time.  One flashlight in the bedroom and certainly another one in the kitchen. 
  • A bugout bag (in case of emergency) with 72 hours of food and water is important – keep this in your undercarriage.  The food in it needs no refrigeration; water in bottles; a whistle; change of clothes; some first aid, small portable windup radio.  You can put one together with this link https://www.outsideonline.com/2314116/ultimate-diy-bug-out-bag
Key to filling your “new home” is that everything to should have a designated place.  You might even want to put together an RV map so you can find that darn thing – where is it?? You want to keep a clipboard of the inventory of the food you have and when used you check it off and know what you now need to get. 
 
You are about to make one of the biggest (and best) shifts in how you live. Make it work for you. RVing is fun. The people are amazing and the clutter “inside” can make you crazy so easily. 
 
Leave your grandmother’s crocheted doilies at home. In fact, you might want to make sure you have a storage unit to keep the things that you could not part with – just don’t bring them with you thinking you will find a place for them. There is no place for them. 
 
Be safe. Have fun. Be blessed. Let us know how you are doing. National Vehicle is totally committed to your new way of living. Me too. 
 

Natalie R. Manor is the co-author of 5 books, a blogger www.NatalieManor.com  an executive business coach, a keynote speaker, a new gramma and in her third year of researching which RV she is going to buy to see the good ole’ USA.   
Thursday - September 20, 2018 8:33 pm     Article Hits:954     A+ | a- 0
By Blog Contributor
Steve Froese

In this article, I will help provide some insight into how to determine the value of your RV when it comes time to sell. Many RV owners struggle with this calculation, resulting in either not getting enough for their coach or a delayed or lack of sale due to asking too much.
There are several ways to determine the fair market value (FMV) for your RV, and I recommend a combination of these.
  • National Vehicle – if you choose to sell your RV through National Vehicle, you can be assured of peace of mind. National Vehicle representatives will make sure you get the best possible value for your unit. They even take care of advertising the RV on the most popular websites and will continue to advertise your rig until it’s sold. Using this service alleviates most of the work for the individual seller, but it is still important to determine YOUR target selling price range using the other suggestions below. This allows National Vehicle to better understand your preferred range. They may suggest higher pricing at the beginning of the process, or lower pricing if the unit proves difficult to sell. National Vehicle has a tremendous track record for selling private RVs. [insert contact information here]
  • NADA Guides (http://www.nadaguides.com/RVs) – National Appraisal Guides, Inc. is the largest publisher of vehicle pricing information for new and used vehicles.[1] This website provides a great tool for valuing your RV. The website provides fairly accurate vehicle values based on base configuration and installed options. Therefore, it is important to know exactly which features your RV has. For instance, what size is your furnace and Air Conditioner, how many AC units do you have, what size awning your unit has, etc? This website also accounts for regional pricing differences. Once you provide the options for your vehicle, the website will generate a screen report showing suggested list price, low retail, and average retail for both the base configuration as well as with options included. This is a very good starting point, although you should not price your RV based on this alone
  • Trade magazines – peruse national and local versions of magazines and websites such as Craigslist, eBay Motors, and RV Trader, to name just a few. This is most useful if you can locate more than one RV of the identical year and model as the one you are trying to sell, although often you can also get an idea of market value with similar years and models. Note that one of the largest price differentiators will be diesel units, which sell for significantly more than gas ones (refer to my previous article on RV types).
  • RV Dealerships – research used vehicle pricing of local and national RV dealerships by searching their websites for pricing. Ideally, locate a dealer that is a distributor for the particular RV manufacturer you are selling. The dealer will often have used vehicles of similar years and models with descriptions.
I have bought and sold many RVs privately and using these simple guidelines has allowed me to maintain a reasonable FMV in my purchasing and selling.
 
[1]a According to NADA -  http://www.nadaguides.com/Company-Overview
Sunday - September 16, 2018 10:21 am     Article Hits:950     A+ | a- 0
Thinking of purchasing an RV or travel trailer? Here are the questions you should be asking.
Thinking of purchasing an RV or travel trailer? Here are the questions you should be asking.
Every “big money” decision needs some thinking time before the big purchase. RVs can run many thousands of dollars no matter what make and model. Your decision to buy your first RV is a happy one but also needs to be practical, economical and smart for your use of your RV.
 
Here are questions to ask yourself and the seller:
  • Gas mileage for the RV
  • How many pounds recommended in towing
  • Water both gray and black – how many gallons
  • If used, do you have the manuals, is it a non-smoking, were the animals allowed inside 
Storage is so important:
  • How much inside storage is there
  • How undercarriage much storage and what can it hold
  • How many cabinets in the interior and what can they hold
Food, entertainment, and cooking:
  • Depending on the size of your family, you need a good refrigerator
  • What sections in the frig are for food and for the freezer
  • Is there hook up for TV and entertainment center
  • Don’t forget to ask about the awning – relaxing outside you will LOVE having an awning 
Outside options:
  • Many RVs now have outside grills – a terrific option when it is too hot to cook inside
  • Showers to clean off before going inside
  • Slides can take up room, so see how they work for where you are using your RV
 Bathroom and Shower:
  • How many gallons for black water do you have for the toilet
  • How many gallons and how heated for the shower?
  • Some bathrooms are tiny, make sure you fit inside especially if you need to close the door 
More questions:
  • How many can the RV sleep?
  • Are there any leaks or have there been leaks
  • Age of the tires
  • If class C or A, how are the engines and generators – how many hours on the generator
Very important for the simplicity of the RV is the electrical system. How is the wiring and are all the lights working? Keep your manuals with you at all times – they are filled with 3:00 am in the morning information. 
 
The most important questions are what you want the RV to do for you? There is a big difference among your choices depending on the number of people who will be going with you; the distances you will travel; the availability of emptying the systems and the comfort of the passengers.
 
The research is critical so you know exactly what will serve you well. RVing is terrific fun, especially when you are planned, packed and positive.
 
Happy RVing. Remember this is supposed to be fun. People who have taken to “RVing” never look back. The friendships you make and the stories of your experiences are remarkable. Be safe. Have Fun. 


By - Natalie R. Manor is the co-author of 5 books, a blogger 
www.NatalieManor.com an executive business coach, a keynote speaker, a new gramma and in her third year of researching which RV she is going to buy to see the good ole’ USA.
 
Thursday - September 6, 2018 9:44 pm     Article Hits:1157     A+ | a- 0
Gas versus Diesel - which is the better option for your RV
Gas versus Diesel - which is the better option for your RV
by Steve Froese
Blog Contributor

One of the questions I am often asked is “Should I buy a gas or diesel RV?” In this article, I will list some of the differences between gas and diesel-powered motorhomes to offer some guidance on which type to choose.

The primary distinction between gas and diesel is the price difference, which can be significant. Therefore, it is important to be able to justify this and work within your budget. If you plan on purchasing a Class B motorhome (refer to my previous article about types of RVs), I highly recommend buying one on a Dodge/Mercedes Sprinter chassis and not consider a gas model. Sprinter van chassis are reliable and boast both a Mercedes engine and transmission. Most Class B manufacturers offer Sprinter options, and many no longer offer gas models.

In terms of motorhomes in general, following are some things to consider when comparing gas to diesel:
  • Mileage – diesel motorhomes are better on fuel than their gas counterparts. This is due mainly to diesel engines having higher torque and better efficiency than gas engines. This results in more energy getting to the wheels with diesel.
     
  • Service & Maintenance – this one is a double-edged sword. While a diesel engine and chassis are generally more reliable than gas, the cost to repair is also higher. However, with a Class A or C diesel chassis, you have better access to repair facilities, since these vehicles are generally serviced by heavy truck dealerships. These facilities tend to be open either 24 hours or very late at night. This brings peace of mind should you require service late at night or on weekends. Heavy truck and engine service dealer networks throughout North America are generally equipped to handle RV repair work. As mentioned, the labor rate and parts pricing are higher, but dealerships often have the parts in stock, or they are generally able to source them quickly. Should you encounter a mechanical breakdown with a diesel RV, you are likely to be closer to a repair facility that can help you, and you should be back on the road faster. In my opinion, this is worth the extra dollars spent.
     
  • Suitability to task – many Class A and C gasoline coach chassis are under-equipped for the task at hand. In other words, the coaches are often overly heavy for the chassis and engine design, leaving the unit under-powered and with very little extra weight capacity for cargo and towing. Conversely, diesel chassis and engines are designed and built to handle the demands of the coach built on them. The frame rails are heavy-duty, and the engines have plenty of power for pulling up hills. The frame design also allows for plenty of basement storage.
There are other comparison factors as well, such as coach grade, which means diesel coaches tend to have higher grade furnishings and workmanship than gas ones (for instance the use of real vs. faux wood). Also, the presence of air brakes and suspension on diesel coaches.

In summary, if you plan on purchasing a motorhome and intend to keep it for a long time, consider spending the extra money on a diesel coach, as you will save money on fuel and the coach is likely to last longer than a gas model. Under these circumstances, the extra outlay to purchase a diesel coach generally results in a positive Return-on-Investment (ROI). If you are new to the motorized RV market, I suggest starting with a gas unit and working your way up to a diesel, unless you can make the financial investment at the outset. I realize that gas motorhomes work just fine for many people, and by considering the points above, hopefully, you will have a better idea of what works best for you. Budget and floorplan are generally the most important factors when purchasing a new RV, but diesel vs. gas should be high on your list of considerations. 
Thursday - August 30, 2018 7:51 pm     Article Hits:1181     A+ | a- 0
Full-Time RV Living Essentials
Full-Time RV Living Essentials
by Ashlee Zotter
Full-Time RVer
Blog Contributor

In becoming an RV owner, there are certain essentials that are more obvious than others; your sewer hose, electric cord, bedding, and toiletries. But some things you don't think of until you realize you need them, and maybe couldn't even really live without! Whether you're a weekend traveler or you live in your rig full-time, we've created a list of 6 things you'll want to consider having on hand.
 
1. Dehumidifier
This is important whether you're going on a short trip, for the long-haul or even storing your camper for the season. A dehumidifier keeps you from getting mold on your windows, mattresses, inside your walls, etc. There's nothing quite like waking up with a headache to find mold spots covering your windows, or finding that you've got a driving petri dish of black mold in your walls. A plug-in dehumidifier will require electricity. But if you plan to do more dry camping or plan to store your RV away for a bit, a bucket of Damp-rid should do the trick.
 
2. Pressure Cooker and/or Outdoor Grill
Using your oven or stove takes propane and heats up your interior, which can be less than desirable in the summer. A pressure cooker like the Instant Pot can cook virtually any meal in a fraction of the time without heating the camper or using propane. That's a game changer when you're traveling with potentially limited resources, limited refrigerator space and/or limited time. A grill, on the other hand, allows you to take your cooking, smells, grease, etc. outside, where a lot of people tend to prefer being so long as weather permits.
 
3. Dishes - Paper or plastic?
Ceramic, glass and other dishes of the like are not always going to handle bumps or stops well. They're also heavier, adding weight to your tow, push or pull. Disposable paper and plastic can be a good go-to for weekend trips. But some people prefer something that produces less waste and might be interested in reusable hard plastic dishes. They're light, cheap, won't break and you can hand wash them and reuse them as many times as you want. Collapsible plastic containers, strainers, measuring cups, etc. are worth having for space saving and easy use, too.
 
4. Wifi Booster
If you're going to be working from the road, or are simply someone who needs their internet, not only will having a hotspot be important but so will having a wifi booster. A hotspot is generally when you use your internet signal from your cell phone to use your computer, Smart TV, etc. Not all cell phone plans include this service so check with your provider to see what they can do for you. Depending on where you are you may have an iffy signal. A wifi booster is a device that boosts your wifi signal so that you can actually use your internet or watch your favorite Netflix shows without buffering.
 
5. Generator
Some driving RV's come with an onboard generator. This is amazing. Say you're driving all day and realize you won't make it to your destination before dark, or you're simply someone who prefers camping on public land to avoid the costs of being in a park with a bunch of other people. You can pull over and have power without ever having to hook-up or even get out of your camper. Other rigs don't come with a generator, generally speaking of fifth wheels and bumper-pulls. If you like to dry camp or simply don't want to be caught in a precarious situation without electricity, consider a generator.
 
6. Washer/dryer
Many RV's have a washer/dryer connection. Some are big enough that folks can stack a washer and a dryer in a closet or toy hauler. But for the smaller rigs or minimalists out there, they also make a small washer/dryer in one. There are also small load hand/foot washers that can be used outside of the camper. You can then choose to hang dry your clothes on a line inside, or outside of your camper. If you don't plan to be in your RV for long periods of time or mind the extra expense of using community washers, consider having quarters on hand for laundromats.
 
This list isn't essential for everyone in every situation. Before you hit the road on a short trip or long-term, sit down and consider what kinds of things are essential for you and your adventure. Happy travels!