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Sunday - January 20, 2019 7:11 am     Article Hits:51     A+ | a- 0
10 Tips for Those New to RV Ownership
10 Tips for Those New to RV Ownership
WHEW!!  You have completed your research; followed and commented on the 28 conversations on your favorite RV Facebook sites; discussed “your” first RV with family and friends; have read ALL the sites and magazines regarding:
  • What to buy
  • When to buy
  • Why buy
  • Pricing, design, size
  • Where to keep your RV
  • Buying new versus used
  • Insurance, supplies and RV routine maintenance
  • Who will drive, where to go
  • And found someone who can help you in an emergency
It has been fun, but it also felt like you were getting your PhD. in RV knowledge.
 
YOUR RV is now sitting in your driveway. OMG. You keep going to the window and looking at it, and your adrenaline is building. You are proud, excited and a tiny bit nervous (ok, scared) with this decision.
 
The plan is to RV part-time with your family for weekends, family visits and maybe even a two-week adventure this next fall. 
 
I am delighted to share with you what National Vehicle and I consider ten (10) great tips for your first-time part-time ownership and use. Sure there are other tips, as you will learn with the use of your RV, but right now…
  • Know where you will store your RV? Lots of people have them in their driveways and have even built an RV carport to protect it. Maybe a storage unit business has space for your RV.
  • On the road readiness. You can easily take off with your RV now anytime you want. The caution is to have a checklist of the last time you used it and the next time you use it. Even experienced pilots have a list of what needs to be in place for the flights. You should too! 
  • Emergency help. As a first timer, you need to know who is going to get you or help when something goes wrong. If you are visiting an RV park, there will be so many experienced RVers to give you advice on how to fix something, but you need “expert” help if it is not you fixing your RV.
  • RV supplies that make the trip fabulous. I would also have a checklist for these supplies. It will depend much on where and when you go RVing, (cold, hot, dessert, mountains), but what are the bare necessities you want to have with you? Comfy blankets, favorite soap, mustard, bucket for the clams
  • Storage stuff for outside use. Depending on where you go, you will want chairs, towels, sunscreen, leash for the dog, toys, toolbox, firestarter, etc. (on a personal note, the RV I am researching has the most storage because I will also have my mobile office on the inside, so I need under storage to keep lots of stuff). Know your needs.
  • First aid kit.  You will need it at some point.  Here is a site that I love for first aid kits – or you can easily make your own. Remember, when you need a first aid kit, it is usually a fast find. So have your supplies in a case with a handle and easily accessible. https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/anatomy-of-a-first-aid-kit.html
  • Call list. Put together a list of all the people who are important to you and make a PAPER list to keep with you.  There will be many times where you will not have electricity or cell coverage but need that information. Make a list that includes; RV license number; telephone and travel plans and leave (or email) to those who will need to know. (I never travel without sharing my itinerary with my family). 
  • RV manuals about the operation.  No matter how many times you review and learn your manuals, you will need them.  Trust me, bring them. 
  • Fun stuff. Games, cards, dice, paper/journal for writing about your trip.  Keep track of your trips – the good, the bad and the ugly. It will help you make great decisions for your next trip(s).
  • Food and meal prep/restaurant visits. Your RV is small, and meal prep can get to be messy quickly.  Make a budget for the food you will prepare, and the times you will eat out at diners, restaurants and food trucks.  
We first-timers need support, help, and knowledge. Oh, and laminate those lists, or use sheet protectors to keep them in good shape. Because RVing is so personal, I know you will add things to your list that are important to you.
 
For your storage area, I would not leave town without a cooler, empty bags for filling with stuff (shopping, toys, beachwear), toolbox with a hammer, saw, and matches. DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT MATCHES. 
 
Most of all, congratulate yourself for getting this far. I am a class C girl, so if I had purchased mine, I would be sitting in the driver's seat right now dreaming about my adventures. Whatever RV you have decided to get, remember your lists; check out your RV for mobility and take your favorite pillow and blanket and GO.


by Natalie R. Manor
She 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 fourth year of researching which RV she is going to buy to see the good ole’ USA. 
Sunday - December 23, 2018 7:24 pm     Article Hits:416     A+ | a- 0
Great Resources for RV Remodeling DIY’ers
Great Resources for RV Remodeling DIY’ers
by Ashlee Zotter
Blog Contributor

Remodeling New/Used RV Tips
 
Whether your RV is new, or it's just new to you, you may find yourself wanting to update or simply change things to your own taste. We've done a little digging to give you some ideas and tips for simple DIY projects to help you make your RV feel a little bit more like your very own home-space. A great thing to remind yourself before starting is that no matter what kind of project you have before you, you aren't doing it inside the Taj Mahal. You have a small space to work with, and thus, you'll make good time and spend less money.
 
If you're wanting to start small in the RV DIY world, consider first how much storage you can add to your camper, cheaply and quickly. For instance, a hanging fruit basket, over the door holder, hammock or other great option, will free up some counter and refrigerator space. A paper plate holder that hangs from a shelf will free up cabinet space. Roll out silverware organizers under the dining table will free up a whole drawer, and you can add a magnetic knife bar by your oven to hang your heavy duty knives. Don't want to hang a calendar or have a metal fridge for magnets? Spray your refrigerator with chalkboard paint for easy notes and reminders; and it's a bonus for kids, too! If you have deep cabinets, consider getting a 3-tier organizer so you can stack your cans and see what's in the back easily.
 
Check out these endless hacks on Pinterest for more DIY storage ideas!
 
These days a lot of RVs are getting with the trends and styling the inside with colors and designs that are easy on the eyes. But if you find yourself in a much older model, or something a little outside of your taste for curtains or wallpaper, there are a lot of simple DIY projects you can do to completely change the feel of the camper and make it feel more like a home space.
 
Consider peel and stick wallpapers to revamp that counter's backsplash. They even make fabulous tile stick-ons! Another quick and simple peel and stick project is a bathroom. You can re-do all the bathroom walls for cheap and make it a much more comfortable looking space in almost no time at all. If your shower glass is uncomfortably clear, give it a couple coats of frosted glass spray paint. Even dinette cushions can be re-upholstered cheaply and without sewing! Curtains? Easy peasy! Remove the stock curtains and re-cover the hardware, or throw it out altogether and simply hang a bar and your favorite curtains. Even the blinds can be taken out or changed to wooden blinds or even roller shades.
 
Once you've begun to make your RV look and feel like home, you may be ready to tackle bigger DIY projects. Removing carpet and old flooring is not the simplest or quickest project, but is entirely doable on your own. As is replacing it with a cleaner carpet or an easily cleanable linoleum. Some folks have even revamped their dinette benches into small animal spaces or crates!
 
Whatever project you decide to take on, there are almost always DIY resources out there. YouTube will offer step by step videos in most cases, and Facebook RV groups are a great place to ask questions and see projects other people have done, sometimes in your same camper model. And Pinterest is great for RV ideas of all kinds. Be sure to read your RV warranty and confirm that your projects won't affect it negatively before you start. Also, consider whether you're going to be on the move often. Pulling a heavy rig can be difficult, and there are weight restrictions for roads, bridges, and tires. Not to mention, the wear and tear on your vehicle/s from being overloaded. So when you start your DIY projects, consider light materials, especially when replacing furniture or adding washer/dryer combos.
 
What have been some of your favorite projects or resources for DIY?
Thursday - December 20, 2018 8:33 pm     Article Hits:474     A+ | a- 0
Selling your RV? What Buyers are looking for!
Selling your RV? What Buyers are looking for!
The people who are looking to buy your RV have counted their pennies and decided an RV is for them. They have looked at dozens, maybe hundreds, of pictures of RVs online and want the following:

• They need to know the year, make, model and trim code, so your buyers can do adequate research on your FSBO vehicle
•  A clean RV – that means the entire interior and exterior need to be clean
•  No leaks; how many it sleeps; condition of the awning(s), and how many slides outs
• Lots of pictures of your RV – inside and out – GREAT pictures are one of the most important pieces in your marketing strategy, use them to help tell a compelling “buy me” story
•  Good storage in the undercarriage – pictures too
•  How many hours on the generator
•  Do you have the manuals for the RV
•  Is it non-smoking
•  Any pets (make sure there are no pet stains)
•  Miles on the tires, with pictures of the tread
•  Miles on the ODO and a picture of the ODO – wipe the glass over the ODO so it is perfectly clean
•  Everything works – AC, microwave, toilet, refrigerator, generator, storage tanks etc.
•  Are there any repairs needed nowYou will especially get detailed questions from first-time buyers, so be prepared to answer them.

This is a big purchase for them and a new addition to their lives. They want the best for the dollars they are spending. 

PRICING:  One of the key elements that National Vehicle – the experts – recommend is to make sure you consider carefully the pricing on your vehicle. There are many ways to determine the pricing, so do your research so you can justify and feel really good about the price. Check out the original eBook from National Vehicle on pricing your vehicle: Selling Your RV Fast and For a Fair Price
 
Depending on how you advertise your vehicle (National Vehicle is the best way), make sure you have at least 25 – 30 high-resolution pictures. The more pictures of the RV, the more comfortable the buyers will be. They help show a complete picture of what they are buying. 
 
MAKE IT LOOK FUN!!.
Write a story about the most fun or the best trip you took with your RV. Include a family picture of where you went – make sure everyone is smiling. 
 
If you have maintenance receipts, include them with the sale. You might want to make a binder of the manuals and receipts and take of picture of that also. People will love your thoroughness. It implies you took very good care of your RV. 
 
If you did all the maintenance yourself, it is still a good idea to keep a record of what you did and when with the date; item repaired and money spent repairing.    
 
REMEMBER Some main points when selling as a private seller is offering a competitive selling price; including many quality photos and sufficient exposure to make a decision. 
 
P.S. Many of the RVs that I researched did not have: length; how old; tow capacity; miles per gallon. If you have dishes, a rug for the outside, or storage stuff, include it as a BONUS. People love love love stuff for free. Be thorough with your information and the buyer will not be able to wait to be the new owner of your RV. 
 

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.   
Monday - December 17, 2018 7:45 pm     Article Hits:540     A+ | a- 0
Celebrating the Holidays in Your RV
Celebrating the Holidays in Your RV
by Ashlee Zotter
Blog Contributor

Celebrating the holiday season in your RV is a fun and cozy way to enjoy time spent out of state or away from your homestead. But many people wonder, how? Whether you're on the road or hosting a feast of your own, we have some tips to help make this holiday season a little less stressful and a lot more festive!
 
Location
First, consider where you want to be. If you're going to be traveling South to warmer weather, you'll want to make your reservations many months in advance. A great portion of full-time RV travelers head to warmer places when winter rolls around, and that makes finding a spot very difficult if you wait until the last minute. Those spots can sometimes fill up a whole year in advance! But if you're going to be in an area with freezing weather and snow, be sure you're able to ready your rig to avoid things like busted pipes and icy cabinets. Check out some of our best tips on how to prepare for cold weather here: Tips for Preparing and Using Your RV in Extreme Weather.
 
Decorating
Picking a tree will be unique for every camper. Consider a tabletop tree or a pencil tree that can sit in a corner for saving space. One of our favorite ideas is buying a potted plant (a small pine or festive palm if you're enjoying a warm holiday) and then planting it somewhere outside together when the season is done. Many people simply decorate a nearby outside tree and save the indoor space entirely! (Be sure that you check with park management first if you decide to go that route.) And others get creative with tree wall decals or DIY wall hanging trees.
 
Another thing people question is decorations, and we get it. Decorating is sometimes one of the best parts of the holiday season. What feels more festive than all the warm colors, happy trinkets, and delicious smells? Whether you're bringing your decor or buying new, remember that you're going to have limited space and that you want to travel light. Plastic ornaments and window decals are light and easily stored. What's better is that they're cheap, so if you don't want to haul them along and decide to donate them instead, you aren't throwing away much in cash.
 
The meal
When it comes to hosting a meal, things get a little trickier with a small oven and refrigerator. Consider a small ham or chicken, or if you prefer turkey, consider quartering it or cooking a breast instead. Remember that many sides can be prepared ahead of time, then easily reheated in the oven or microwave quickly. And the bonus for preparing over the days ahead? Your camper is going to smell like a scrumptious holiday feast all week long!
 
Gifting
Gifts are another thing to put a little extra thought into. Where will you put them? Specifically, if you have children. The holiday can be a stressful time as presents start arriving from family members or as you begin to do shopping of your own, knowing you have such a limited amount of space. Consider practical gifts for traveling on the road; journals, clothing, one-time use activities, etc. But our favorite giftings for travelers? Experiences. Find out what fun things there are to do in your area, and when the grandparents ask, tell them to gift tickets to a nearby theme park, state park, skating rink, etc.
 
No matter where you plan to be or who you plan to see, the holidays are and can always be special and memorable. Bring a few of your favorite holiday movies and stock your cabinet with hot chocolate and marshmallows. You don't have to leave behind your favorite traditions. The popular Elf on the Shelf can always come along to keep an eye on those kiddos, an advent calendar can be hung from your refrigerator, a Menorah can burn beautifully on any surface and you can still bake some yummy snickerdoodles for Santa!
 
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions for RVing?
Saturday - December 8, 2018 1:08 pm     Article Hits:631     A+ | a- 0
Harvest Hosts ads 20 new FREE locations per month for RVers to their listings!
Harvest Hosts ads 20 new FREE locations per month for RVers to their listings!
By Natalie Manor
Blog Contributor

A Holiday Adventure…or any other time of the year

 
RVers, you love to go to new places and see the views, try the food and share the sunsets. What if you could visit spectacular locations WITHOUT having to pay anyone for parking your RV? Best holiday present ever - You can be the hero with these ideas – planning a Holiday Adventure – and have trips of a lifetime without any planning hassles. 
 
Here is how…it’s a good story!
 
I met Joel, the owner of this terrific service (Harvest Hosts), via an article that caught my eye. I asked him if I could interview him and we had a TERRIFIC conversation. His story, along with his lovely wife Mary Ashley, started with traveling all over the USA in their RV. While they were traveling, for a full year, Joel kept thinking there has to be a way to visit the back roads and unique spots that are not just RV campgrounds. Don’t get him wrong, he is a dedicated RVer, but he is also a very curious guy.
 
He wanted to be able to visit farms, wineries, out of the way and beautiful locations, breweries, mountains, hiking, and all with his RV and not have to be in a “parking” lot with so many other people.   
 
Well, he went even further than being curious, he put together a hosting site so you could do just that.  You can now visit hundreds of places in the USA, Canada, and Mexico – for free and stay in their gorgeous locations and meet amazing people and not have to pay a fee to the location. 
 
What??
 
What a gift to give yourself for a holiday adventure or a road trip of a lifetime – choosing so many places you never thought even existed or would invite you to bring your RV to their property. Many of these places make unique products; do wine, beer, and cider tastings; have farms with animals and beauty with great organic and healthy food.   
 
Joel shared with me that Harvest Hosts adds 20 new locations a month to their listings of where you can go with your RV. Right now they have 600+ locations. 
 
Harvest Hosts even have an app you can use to find out events, newsletters, new listings, happenings etc at all the locations.  I love love love that they do all the work for you. Just fill your tank up and head out to some of the most interesting and best fun you have had with RVing.    
 
National Vehicle truly appreciates their clients and customers. They want you to have the best experiences and more fun on the road with your RV than has ever been possible. That is why they have contacted Harvest Hosts to find out the “back story” on this service. When you see Joel and Mary Ashley on the road, tell them thank you for creating this service for you and your RVing family

Never ever has it been more fun to visit this extraordinary country of ours and now our neighbors in Canada and Mexico. Be sure to email us some of your pictures from your travels.
 
From everyone at National Vehicle, Happy Holidays and be safe on the road. 

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.

Tuesday - November 27, 2018 7:26 pm     Article Hits:1006     A+ | a- 0
Sealing the roof of your RV is an important part of winterizing and preparing your RV for storage.
Sealing the roof of your RV is an important part of winterizing and preparing your RV for storage.
by Natalie Manor
Blog Contributor

Hi, all you terrific RVing people…National Vehicle and I wanted you to have at least 3 different resources on how long-term storage and/or winterizing your RV that will work for you.
 
There are so many details to winterizing, that unless your job is working on RVs full time, we knew that even the best of you would enjoy and value the variety of resources on winterizing and storage for your RV. 
 
In my research, an important topic that continually came up was the water lines and how to have them not freeze or get damaged during storage. You do not want to have to take your RV apart to fix them. Other important topics were the batteries, generator, and tires. How to make sure they are protected from long-term “non-use” and have them be in great shape when you take your RV out again for fun and exploring.
 
Here are the resources we wanted you to have to be informed, thorough and feeling good about winterizing and storing your RV:
  • http://rvservices.koa.com/rvinformation/rvmaintenance/step-by-step-rv-winterizing-checklist.asp  Kampgrounds of America, Inc. has been a trusted source of information for years for the beginning RVer and for the very experienced RVer. Their article on the step by step winterizing checklist might even be the article you want to print and keep in your manual folder. We found the information invaluable and thorough. 
  • https://blog.gorving.com/2015/12/rv-101-winterizing-your-rv/  This article from The Scenic Route  “RV 101 – Winterizing Your RV” is impressive and filled to the brim with great information. One of my favorite aspects of this article is the pictures which give the details easily to us to need to “see it to do it” skill set. 
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdLs8kTd26I  And finally, for those of us that learn well from videos, we have an experienced RVer and his winterizing video from October 2018 – can’t get any fresher information than that.  He talks a great deal about the water systems and the need to take extra special care of them…along with tons of other information you will be grateful to have. 
So you got all of the technical stuff done. Are you done yet winterizing and storing your vehicle? Not yet. Here are some other ideas you might want to do so when you open up your RV the next time you use it, it will be all ready to go.
  • Take the sheets, blankets, and towels and get them washed and put away.  A dryer sheet folded with them keeps them extra fresh.
  • I love Lysol, so I would open every drawer and give them a little spray.  Keeps everything fresh and keeps the bacteria away.
  • Keep your stored RV out of the sunlight for long periods of time especially if being stored. 
  • Clean and store your sewer hose, for obvious reasons.  Old gunked up sewer hoses are nasty.
  • Clean all the storage areas – over, microwave, refrigeration, and the areas around the dinette – I love some apple cider vinegar half and half with water. It cleans so well.
  • Park with your emergency brake on and use wheel chocks.
  • Before storing, might be a really good time to wash and wax your beloved fun machine. 
  • Caulk the seals around exterior doors and windows if needed.
  • Always remove any food so you do not attract mice because they will find it. 
  • Any roof leaks need to be fixed so the RV stores well. 
  • Check all the vents like plumbing, roof, and air conditioner in case they need some help. 
  • Clean that wonderful awning – vinegar works well. DO NOT use dish detergent as it will dry and crack the awning. 
Sure sounds like a lot of work to me. You will get to know your RV very well when you perform these necessary and cost-saving items. You might even find some places you did not know needed your attention and save time and dollars the next time you take your RV out.
 
Just the thought of getting into a clean, oiled, cared for RV sounds absolutely like heaven to me. GOOD JOB!!! 
 
Be well and have fun RVing.  My best,  Natalie 
 
 
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.   
Tuesday - November 27, 2018 7:11 pm     Article Hits:774     A+ | a- 0
by Ashlee Zotter
Blog Contributor

When the summer and winter months roll around, they can be challenging if you aren't prepared in your RV. So we've done the legwork for you! By experiencing and talking with other full-timers to figure out some of the best things to do to prepare for living in an RV during extreme heat and extreme cold, we've prepared you a guide.
 
Cold Weather Prep
 
Some RVs have heated underbellies, heated tanks, etc., and some don't. If you don't have these features, you're likely going to wake up to some pretty cold floors if you don't have rugs or carpet and in extreme cases, frozen or busted pipes and icy cabinets. In some Northern areas, even a heated underbelly won't be enough to handle winter. To begin combatting freezing and to keep the inside warmer, consider purchasing a skirting kit. An RV skirt is something that will wrap around the entire bottom of your RV to help keep things toasty and keep you from having to run your heater as much, ultimately saving on propane or at the very least helping your rig to retain the heater's heat. It will also help to keep your pipes and tanks from freezing. Using an insulated tarp around the bottom with a ceramic heater (or two) is something many people do, and others use hay bales.
 
Also, consider how you're going to keep the inside warm. You need to have a plan B in case you run out of propane, though some people prefer not to use their propane anyway. An electric heater or catalytic heater are things you can consider but do your research on those items as they are a hot topic regarding safe use inside of an RV. Also, a quick Amazon search of foil insulation wrap will lead you to an RVer's best friend. You will want to cover your windows and line the walls in your cabinets and storage compartments with this insulation to help keep the heat in, and the cold out.
 
Your plumbing system now is your main concern. You can heat trace/tape and insulate your water lines as well as the supply hose. Purchasing heated hoses is an option, too. You won't regret buying heat tape for your tanks either. Also consider wrapping any exposed pipes in foam to protect them from wind chill, ice, and snow. Pipes in an RV can be very difficult to get to, and since they're not as common as other fixes, busted pipe repair can be incredibly costly.
 
Hot Weather Prep
 
Preparing to live in your RV in extreme heat is a little easier than preparing for the cold. Unfortunately, though, there aren't a lot of things you can do to escape the sweltering heat. Try to have your rig parked in the shade, and use foil insulation to cover all of your windows. If you can, use your awning and consider adding slide awnings if possible.
 
Keep cold air circulating. Even in a rig with more than one A/C, you're going to find that your unit is likely still struggling to keep the temperature at a comfortable level. Consider buying a portable A/C unit, or a fan or two to keep the cool air circulating. And when it comes to cooking, if it's possible, cook outside. By using a grill or outdoor kitchen you're going to cut down inside heat immensely. Go ahead and use your foil insulation to line your cabinets and storage compartments, as well.
 
Do you have any tips to share on preparing for extreme heat? Let us know in the comments!
Thursday - November 15, 2018 8:44 pm     Article Hits:1244     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:1327     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:1367     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!