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Beginning RVing

Getting started in the RV lifestyle.

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  3. A good GPS unit?

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    • Wow, from calling one of my posts about the "inconvenient truth" of slab sided motor homes offering no protection (except for metal frame bus conversions built for passenger service, and Class C motor-homes with the van front driver compartment,) to now arguing with the OP about his preference for fivers for all his reasons. When asked for bogus made up statistics the silence was deafening. The thread was to help with deciding between a fiver and a motor-home. Not what kind of motor-home to buy. He has decided on a 5th wheel? And the comparison became gas MHs versus gassers? Instead of calling a post paranoid, prove with pics and authoritative source links, that class A MHs do not turn into rubble in a rollover. Or prove that in a head on how the cabinets and all  loose items (appliances not bolted or screwed down like toasters) all become projectiles along with any passengers not belted in. I was going to leave those alone but the MHs keep harping on rain. If they get a pull through many of those are not long enough for the MH and the toad, so unhitching in the rain is necessary. If the MH has to back in they have to get out in the rain to unhitch the toad. We are inherently secure in RV parks but for any other stops if you are afraid to get out and walk the dog rain or shine or go from truck to trailer you probably should have stopped elsewhere for lunch like a truck stop or well lit area around others. We had a dog with us during our 7 years RVin, Bogart the wonder dog, so we had to get out to walk him no matter what. He was very protective. Not with friends or people we invited in. His pic is on our website. But if one does feel more secure not getting out, how do they fill their propane tanks, refuel, or boondock? Down here in the South we call our trucks "Cowboy Cadillacs!" Because lots of folks prefer to drive one available but can't afford a third vehicle. on the road you can only tow one without a Heavy duty truck/tractor and a parking lot. (Parking lot is Trucker for car haulers. Flat beds are skateboards, etc.) But we know trucks are not for everyone anymore than all should buy only the type of RV the advisor owns. I chose to ride motorcycles most of my life from my 1966 Motoguzzi 125 through Gold and silver wings one Harley Electr aglide classic, and a bunch of others. In a crash they were more dangerous than a motor home! But those are obvious. Few folks know there are no regulations for motorhome passenger protection above the frame. Thus they get the same wood or aluminum framed foam sandwich panels cabins as travel trailers and fivers. There are preferences and opinions, and then there are facts. It is a fact you aren't riding in an RV cabin when you have a fiver. It is a fact that Motorhomes are the same construction. Many states outlaw humans riding in any travel trailer or fiver. When comparing the crash-worthiness is just one data point. As most advised I also say check out all types and narrow it down to what is right for you! And if a motorhome is your choice, reading a thread like this makes that an informed choice. Good luck with the fiver you choose, and as always - Safe travels!
    • i am wondering if anyone is using the dish for my rv pay as you go service. i am also wondering what there customer service is like are they in america or another country it seems that residential dish support is clue less on alot of stuff. i am wondering how the warranty is handled on the hopper 3 while traveling if something goes wrong like an HDD failure
    • For serious off grid camping. Do continue your off grid electric arsenal to add a battery monitoring system. The Bogart unit recommended, had been a well used and understood highly regarded unit. Victron is not a new kid to the block, and also have a good rep. One has more goodies then the other to play with, and only you can decide which one you'd want to run with.  And remember that the voltage being reflected is 'non resting' voltage. Suspect the battery Voltage to SOC chart you're looking at is referring to 'at rest' voltages. Which because of the way we boon dock, is not very easy to obtain:)!  Once you get you choice of energy monitoring in place. You can then go thru various systems and disconnect them, to see where you are consuming Amp Hours in a non value added way. Trim this down as much as possible. And then go thru some energy auditing days of camping, especially overnight, and learn your actually energy consumption. This will allow you the ability to decide how to mange your battery to balance usage vs charging:)! Best o luck to you, Smitty    
    • After reading your post ....I realized that most of us.....and alot more of us over think this testing thing.  I'm in North Carolina and I took my class A test this past summer....and passed.  The examiner asked me to explain the airbrake process, not perform it. An then asked me to take the rig down the road and follow where he told me to go....1st turn was to the right and HEY...looky there...a R/R crossing.  Note...slow down and when you cross do not change any gears.  It's a fail if you change a gear going across a R/R track.  Be sure to tell the examiner why you are doing this because alot of accident's happen changing gears on R/R crossings.  Then we drove down to the stop sign, made the stop, made a right turn, drove about a mile and made another right turn and behold...another R/R crossing and then on to a stop sign that he told me to make a right turn and there was the license examiner station where we had started 10 minutes ago.  He said...Well done, let's go inside and get your license.  The point here is that I tried to cover everything in the book and as many of us often do.. we over think the problem.  Texas is not I believe that much different than North Carolina when it comes to testing in the realm of a class A non CDL.  If you read up on the airbrake section and here I can't over stress this...be humble and agreeable..be polite.  These guys are slammed with work every day and I'm sure they can get pretty stressed out.  If you can show them that you can work with them...they will do their best to work with you.    Best of luck hope to see you out there on the road. Ben/Chief 916        
    • I made a bolt on hitch plate using 1/2 x 6" bar stock and a 5/8 plate.     This is for a 20 ton pintle hitch, 3/8 and 1/2" would work for a 20K trailer. Steve