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A Sometimes Overlooked Motor Home Safety Tip

November 30, 2013 by Lug_Nut · Leave a Comment 

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our E-mail Digest or RSS Feed. We will then send you the stories that are posted each day in an e-mail digest. We use a service called Feedburner for delivery of these emails. You will receive an e-mail from Feedburner after you subscribe and you must click on that email to activate your subscription. Thanks for visiting and enjoy all the information! RV.Net Blog AdminLug_Nut, with an eye on safety. All motor home owners observe certain procedures prior to taking off from a camp stay. Things like, disconnect all connections, slides in, jacks up, antennas down, and more, are standard rituals they are all accustom to. A vehicle walk around after everything is set, is a good policy and hopefully is done by every RV’er. These often reveal issues that need attention such as open compartments, obstacles beneath the coach or wheels, awnings not locked, etc. A little time spent completing this can save a lot of time and possibly costly repairs later. Okay, all checks out as ready for the road, but, what about loose items within the coach? Those items like toasters, coffee pots, cutlery and other personal things that we all carry, are they safe? They create little or no danger while driving down the road outside of possibly rattling in harmony with the bumps on the road surface. However, in the case of a sudden deceleration caused by a collision or even a panic braking action, these items can become lethal. The sink with... Read more



WHEN IS A TRAILER AN RV?

November 18, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Leave a Comment 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers I’ve been confused for years by the terminology on two park reservations sites:  Recreation.gov and ReserveAmerica.com.  When asking what type of site I’m looking for, among the choices are “RV” and “Trailer.” We have a trailer, but it’s also an RV; so, which one is the correct selection.  After mentioning this to a friend earlier this week, I decided to get the definitive answer on behalf of all owners of RVs of the various classes.  Here’s what I was told by Vicki, customer service representative for Recreation.gov, ReserveAmerica.com, and ActiveNetwork.com: Dear Mr. Zander, Thank you for using Recreation.gov for your camping needs.   It is my pleasure to assist you today. A “standard site” will accommodate 1 RV/trailer/wheeled camping unit with 1 tent, or if there is not an RV/trailer/wheeled camping unit on the site, it will accommodate up to 2 tents.  An “RV only” site will only accommodate 1 RV/wheeled camping unit (no tents allowed) and “Tent only” will usually accommodate up to 2 tents unless specified otherwise.  I hope this information will assist your further. We appreciate your business and I hope you enjoy the beautiful camping season. That does answer my original question.  Thank you.  But my next question is, “What is a ‘trailer,’ as differentiated in the list of types of sites from an ‘RV’?” Vicki replied: An RV is one large... Read more



Why Use Cetane Boost in a Diesel Pickup Truck?

July 30, 2013 by Loloho.com · Leave a Comment 

Why do we use cetane boosting fuel additive (http://goo.gl/v30HmO) in our diesel pickup truck? Last year our diesel truck “SEEMORE” suffered a catastrophic engine failure. Specifically, the EGR cooler failed. We ended up needing to replace both the EGR cooler and the oil cooler with new units. It was quite an ordeal, and not easy on the wallet. As we were leaving the service center, I had an interesting chat with an engine technician. We're now running this diesel fuel supplement in our Ford F250 pickup truck. One 80 oz. container treats about 250 gallons of fuel. If it delivers the claimed fuel economy benefits, the additive pays for itself! (Click the pic for more info.) “What should we do,” I asked, “to help maintain our engine in the future? Are there any products you recommend?” “Get a cetane booster fuel additive,” he replied. “It will really improve the fuel.” He then went on to say some unflattering words about what the government has done to diesel fuel in recent years. So I picked up 80 ounces of this stuff: Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement. This 80 ounce container treats 250 gallons of diesel, so that’s about 10 fill-ups in our truck. It's a sad day when your tow truck gets towed. This is exactly what we're trying to avoid happening again. Will a fuel additive help? It doesn't seem to hurt! (Click the pic for more info.) What are the claimed benefits? It cleans dirty fuel injectors and prevents injector sticking. It boosts... Read more



Winnebago Picks A Winning GPS Solution

May 15, 2013 by Lug_Nut · Leave a Comment 

A look of what’s new, from Lug_Nut. Winnebago has announced it will be offering the Rand McNally GPS in the dash of selected 2014 models. Two screen sizes will be used with the largest being a huge 10.4”. This will give Winnebago the edge of offering the largest in-dash GPS in the RV market today. While there are many, many makes of GPS systems used in vehicles today, the Rand McNally is perhaps the only unit that was built with the RV market and application in mind. The internal user selected mode, can be configured to the real world size and weight of the specific vehicle it is installed in. Additionally tows, be it trailer or flat tow, can be added or removed at any time. How does the Rand McNally stack up against the others? Well, first of all, none are without fault. There are no makes that I’m aware of that are 100% consistently accurate. Small error can happen from time to time. Some of these errors may be due to RF signal propagation as well as possible internal processing logistic issues. But, in general, most receivers deliver fairly accurate data regardless. I believe the Rand McNally’s operation is above average, especially for large vehicles, or vehicle combinations, like found in the RV application. I have four GPS systems currently. One in my current motor home, 2007, updated in 2011, one in my Escalade 2006, updated in 2012, one in my Jaguar 2013 and my stand-alone Rand McNally. All are touch screen units. Generally, in an automobile application,... Read more



An RV White Knuckle Experience!

April 15, 2013 by Lug_Nut · Leave a Comment 

Memories of Lug_Nut. There is an expression in the sailing world that goes like this, ”Hours of boredom interrupted occasionally by minutes of shear terror!” Well, fortunately this does not, or should not, apply to the RV world. The boredom of watching gentle waves going by for hours is probably somewhat understandable. This is not the case of an RV with the constant changing scenery while travelling at nearly ten times the speed of that of a sailboat. The terror referred to may be a sudden squall or unpredicted storm that may render a pleasant sail into a fight for survival. This too is rarely ever applicable to RV travel. I’ve done many motor home miles in every state and province in North America. I’ve done the entire route 1 from Oregon to San Diego pulling a flat tow extended Escalade, somewhere around 68 feet in length. I have encountered severe weather, tough driving conditions and just plain bad conditions. While some of these certainly got my attention, I can’t say they were anything near approaching what one might call terrifying. That all was going to change one day in March of 2013. Alright, now let’s flash forward to that day! We were on route for the northwest and wished to travel California 101, an easy non-event route plan. We approach San Francisco, no problem. We want to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, (Our 6th or 7th time). The GPS, or the actual little green critter that lives within, directed us to head for the Bay Bridge into... Read more



Decreasing The Risk of RV Accidents

March 21, 2013 by Lug_Nut · Leave a Comment 

A Lug_Nut point of view.   Vehicle accidents are unfortunately all too common, especially minor ones, often referred to as “Fender Benders.”  These types of incidents are both costly and inconvenient, not to mention possibly dangerous.  Many insurance policies provide for a loaner, or rental car, while your vehicle gets repaired.  This certainly eases the inconvenience somewhat, but still disrupts one’s life, albeit briefly. Such a safety net does not exist for most, if not all, RV’s.  If your trailer or motor home is involved in a collision, you will inevitably be without a temporary replacement while it is fixed.   But, unlike an ordinary auto repair, the repairing of these specialized units takes a considerable period of time. Additionally, RV’s are generally larger, and some greatly so, to that of a normal automobile or light truck.  To manage the weight for these oversized vehicles, lighter body materials are often used.  These lighter materials can suffer far worst damage in an impact with an object or another vehicle.   Also, the nature of RV applications may often require maneuvering in close proximity to a host of objects while backing into a relatively small space.  All of these things increase the risks of physical damage to the unit. This can be very stressful if such an event happens just prior to, or while, on your vacation.  It can ruin your plans and spoil your entire holiday.   Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way of avoiding these... Read more



YOUR STORIES … AND MY ‘WHAT-TO-BUY ADVICE’

February 22, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Leave a Comment 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers I just read your article about Enon. It gave me a chuckle. I actually live close to Enon and still am not sure where it is.   I hear people talk about it but it remains this mysterious place that only certain people know where it is located. I’ll be following your journey and hope you have a fun and safe trip. Carol Garris In the book “Then There Were None” by Agatha Christy, which was made into a movie in 1959 called, “Ten Little Indians,” the name of the omniscient host was U.N. Owen.  It was later decoded to mean “Unknown.”  Well, maybe the “Mystery of Enon” is that it’s “None” spelled backwards. In response to my request for wrong turn stories, there’s this one from Gary: Perhaps not as good a story as yours, but here goes anyway. My wife and I were traveling south from Mount Vernon, WA, on Interstate 5, talking about anything and everything when we found ourselves on Old Highway 99, the old main north/south Hwy, from Seattle, which is about 10 miles or so to the west, of I-5, without any knowledge of how we got there. We knew where we were, but how we got there remains a mystery even today. That was over 30 years ago and we still refer to that time whenever we find ourselves talking past a turn-off.     Good times.   Yes.  Thanks, Gary AND … We once spontaneously decided to tent camp with canoe, two kids, and a dog. The idea was to get to Flagstaff Lake, put gear and... Read more



Your Next DP May Have Spark Plugs!

December 9, 2012 by Lug_Nut · 6 Comments 

Lug_Nut, with a look at what’s coming.  In the near future your new Cummins powered coach may have spark plugs or like designed igniters.  It will also operate a whole lot cheaper.  It will be like lowering the price of diesel by $1.50 to $2.00 a gallon.  It will not need a DEF system that current produced large diesel engines require.  It sounds too good to be true?  Read on! Cummins Westport has developed and tested a natural gas (CNG) powered engine using the current Cummins series diesel engine line up.   The ISL G, natural gas powered prime mover has been tested and run since 2007 with about 13,000 in operation today.  The ISX 12 G will be marketed to the trucking industry in 2013.  This engine size, the 11.9 liter, is the biggest selling over the road mill.  While both the ISL G and ISX 12 G will be available in North America in 2013, it is not clear if the “B” and “C” series will be. One of the biggest issues currently is the availability of fueling stations throughout the country.  The majority of these are in southern California at this time, but that’s about to ramp up.  Until now, CNG powered vehicles were confined to urban areas where services were readily available. Some big name truck fueling stations, like the Flying J, have already installed the needed equipment and tanks at some locations, with more following. Environmentally, this fuel burns green, with little to no pollutants.  However, there are concerns over the leakage of unburned... Read more



The Weak Link In RV Dash Instrumentation

December 7, 2012 by Lug_Nut · 1 Comment 

A Lug_Nut Thought.  Dash instrumentation has become more and more precise over the years.  Complex informative data can be displayed with near pin point accuracy.  Full “Glass Dashes” like that used in aircraft today are finding their way and showing up on some high end motor coaches.  Digital readouts have become common place in everyday automobiles over the past decade.  Engine temperatures can be observed to the single degree as can speed, engine RPM, manifold pressure, boost pressure, transmission temperature and much more.  In the average vehicle, these multitude of real time data information readings are of little value, outside of a cool looking gimmick.  In most cases “Idiot Lights” would probably suffice.   However, for large vehicles, like heavy motor homes and truck trailer combinations, this information can be vital and of great value.  Observing various data trends and digital readout behavior while travelling, can reveal issues that require attention.  That attention may necessitate an operation strategy change, or, if necessary, a physical investigation. But, there is one instrument that every vehicle has and is used daily.  It has not really evolved operationally over that available when we were born.  While some sensor changes have been made, it is still about as inaccurate as they were 30 years or more ago.  That instrument is the fuel gauge.     Every vehicle I have ever owned, or driven, seemed to have the same inaccurate tendency. ... Read more



An Innovative Idea For RV Transmission Control

November 12, 2012 by Lug_Nut · 16 Comments 

  An innovative product idea from the Lug_Nut file. Automatic transmissions are quickly replacing the mechanically clutched manual gearbox in the world’s high performance automobiles. While many are equipped with single or dual action hydraulic clutches, all are capable of shifting gears automatically. For the positive control of spirited performance shifting, these newer systems employ steering wheel mounted paddle switches. These spring loaded momentary contact levers are located behind the wheel at about nine and three o’clock. They are easily operated with your fingertips while your hands are comfortably gripping the steering wheel. The left one toggles the downshift while the right the upshift. The main transmission control provides a selection of either fully automatic or paddle control shifting. The automatic or manual modes can also be toggled back and forth on some models using just the paddles. Generally the paddle shift feature is not available on the average automobile, other than as a sales gimmick, as it would have little operational value. But what about a large vehicle like a truck or motor home? The ability to manually select the gearing, in this type of unit, is often a need when operating in very hilly or mountainous terrains. Currently, diesel pusher owners control user input shifts by depressing one of two buttons on the Allison keypad. The control keypad is generally located to the driver’s left, often near waist level about equal to the operator’s... Read more



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