Saturday, June 28, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
I seem to be noticing more about things related to resources and impact on the surroundings.
With the compact nature of this lifestyle, it becomes very obvious how much trash you're generating, and how much is being recycled versus thrown into trash.
Since you have to stay aware of your black tank (sewage) and it's generally a good idea to use the grey water tank to flush things out as you empty the black tank, it makes you aware of how much water you're going through as well.
The furnace and hot water system use liquid propane which I monitor and have refilled as needed. So again this keeps me keenly aware of my usage of these resources, and I'm heating a far smaller space than my former home, and my hot water is on demand. It is heated only when I use hot water.
Walking the dogs a few times a day and seeing others out walking their dogs, cleaning up after them, being respectful of other RV'ers in the camp ground or RV park... General awareness of your neighbors and the camaraderie that comes with it.
All of these details seem to just bring me, at least, more in tune with my impact on the environment, on the park or campground, on my neighbors. So far everyone seems very respectful and friendly. Waving from their car, saying hello walking around. It's a great feeling and a lifestyle I'm really loving.
Now I'm sure some are thinking about the fuel an RV consumes, but if you think about it my 2003 RV only came to me with 26k miles on it. That's far less miles and therefore consumption than a car on the road. That's also instead of me living in a brick&mortar home with water run off, gas and electric and other carbon footprint items.
Just something that I've been thinking about...
Check out this related article: http://www.campingroadtrip.com/outdoor-living-newsletter-january-2010/campgrounds-and-rv-parks-are-going-green
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Saturday, June 21, 2014
The boat anchor of a big ole box tv is OUT! Nearly 100 pounds of av antiquity is out beside the RV along with the smaller brother from the bedroom.
Now I'm going to insert a piece of plywood with a hinge and bolt that I can attach the new LG 39" led tv to and then will hook it all up with a new Yamaha receiver and my other components and the surround speakers and Wellington will ROCK! More to come.
CLASSES / TYPES
Trailers, or towables, range from a travel trailer to a toy hauler that folds open with a rear "garage" for atv's or motorcycles, popup trailers of different sorts - half trailer, half tent, and 5th-wheel trailers which are the largest and require a special hitch in the back of a truck.
I originally was leaning toward a 5th wheel trailer. I'd seen many of them at rv shows and was very impressed with all the space and storage in them. Many have slide outs on both sides of the living space which can quite literally make it feel like a very large living room. Some had full kitchens with a wrap around bar and more. One I saw had a "forward living" design where instead of the bedroom being in the upper area, the living room was there with 2 couches, a recliner, a fireplace with tv above, and the sleeping area was in the back. So they are very versatile and spacious.
The downside of a 5th wheel, or even a large trailer, is that you have to have a pretty beefy truck to pull it. The bigger the 5th wheel (and I would have wanted pretty large to live in full time) the bigger the truck needed. Now I plan to be stationary in the Portland area a good portion of the year, and even when traveling I'll likely be in one place a few weeks here, a couple weeks there, or more. So during the time the trailer was parked, I'd have to drive that big truck around as my daily vehicle.
I also spoke with my friends Bobby and Darrell (Hi guys!) who have been full-time rv'ers for going on 4 years now and the informed me too that the setup when you reach your destination is more time consuming and involved. Additionally, passengers including my pugs, could not ride in the trailer when in motion. If you have a guest with you, they can grab a beverage a snack, etc (carefully) on the road. Not so when it's a trailer of any sort.
So with those details in mind, I shifted my search back to a Class A motor home. With a class A everything is self contained and it's very easy to arrive, park, level, extend the slide outs, hook up to the park water, power, etc, and you're done.
GAS VS DIESEL
Then, I had to consider a gas or diesel model. This is a considerable piece of the puzzle. It seems that most people would tell you that diesel is better. They often get better MPG, I believe I've been told that the motors likely are more durable and longer lasting, and you'll usually hear that they have more power for climbing hills, for towing, etc.
|Wellington RV! A 2003 Fleetwood Pace Arrow |
with GM 8100 gas motor, Workhorse Chassis, Allison Transmission
Also, with a class A I can tow my jeep wrangler unlimited behind the RV from place to place. With the addition of a tow bar on the jeep, a tow bar, and some lighting wires installed, I can quickly hook up my jeep to the back of the RV and tow it down the road. It's easy to disconnect when I arrive and then I have my beautiful Mango (name of my jeep) with me to drive around wherever I happen to be.
It happens that Jeep Wranglers are one of the easiest vehicles to modify and tow 4-down (all wheels on the ground) of the limited number of cars that can be towed this way. And since the transmission is completely disengaged when towing, no miles are added to the odometer while towing it.
So all of these considerations have to be weighed if you're considering an RV for part time or full time use. In the RV parks I see probably a near equal number of Class A and 5th Wheel types, and then a lower number of trailers. Of course I don't know how many of of them are full-timers. And within each class there's many near standards of floorplan pieces, but also many many creative and unique layouts suited for different needs. It's a good idea if you're considering an RV to try to visit a good RV show, to see how things vary and get a sense of options. If you're looking for a used RV, check out a number of different dealerships to see what might be available and in your price range.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
- put all things away in cupboards
- use black storage bin to assemble all small items from counters and rest on bed
- rest fan and radio and other items on bed
- lay down vacuum beside bed
- make sure the bifold door and slider are latched in place
- stow all things in cupboards
- use black storage bin for any counter top loose items and rest on bed
- secure hanging things in the shower, close shower door and apply the door catch
- make sure the pocket sliding door is secured with catch on the floor
- make sure all items in toilet room are secured and door latched
- move scale so it doesn’t talk at me on the road!
- wash dishes and put away
- cover the stove with panels
- put all counter top loose items in sink
- make sure all cupboards are secure
- empty keurig water tank, secure table items
- move garbage and recycle bins to under table
- move dog bows etc so out of way of slider
- bring in outside thermometer
- make sure nothing blocking the bed or living room sliders - slide them in
- bring down the hanging decor with bell
- make sure all blinds are up for visibility and so they don’t rattle
- leave windows open for ventilation if needed
- turn off ceiling fans and interior lights to not drain batteries
Make sure tv antenna is down
Lower leveling jacks
Remove leveling blocks
Remove wheel chocks
Empty black and grey tanks - add chemicals and water so they can rinse while driving
disconnect rinse and stow hoses and cables
make sure all storage compartments are closed and locked
Prep jeep to tow, if towing
- uncover tow bar, connect to jeep
- connect light power cable to jeep
- connect safety cables
- install Patriot Brake and test/activate in jeep
- disengage transmission in jeep
Test brake and turn signal lights on coach and jeep
bring in all exterior items - bbq, lights, rugs, chairs, plastic step, metal step support, etc and stow them
Get any beverages or snacks needed for the first leg of travel
make sure glasses and sunglasses are at the dash
Get phone in place with charging cable. Look up map route if needed.
Program music for the road
Make sure leveling jacks are up, step is in, emergency brake is off.
Check fuel level - get gas if needed
When ready to go, ease forward to extend the tow bar arms into locked position. Check to verify they are locked.
Rock & Roll!