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  1. GenericET

    Tips and Hints.

    To add to your list: We have recently added pool noodles to our slide-out. I split one side of the noodle (lengthwise) and wrap the noodle around the bottom edge of the slide-out. I did this out of necessity because the wife almost knocked herself out when she stood up under it. I also got the noodles in blaze orange so the edge is visible. It is a cheap way to keep from going for stitches in your skull. I picked mine up for $1 each. Another handy item to have in the RV is a folding step stool. I picked up a short folding stool at bed bath and beyond. Now the wife doesn't need my help to put things away in the upper cabinets. Almost every trip someone on our group needs tools. I bought a cheapo made in Taiwan tool set at Harbor Freight and tool. My buddies laughed at me when they saw it but it has saved the day more than once. Here is my favorite camp fire trick. For not much money, you can buy a propane torch with a push button igniter. The kind you use to sweat pipe together. I am all for building a good fire from scratch with one match. But there are times when you just need to get that bad boy burning. One last thing to add the your list, My wife bought a folding bucket at a camp store a while back. At the time I thought it was the most ridiculas thing I had ever seen. I used it so much I wore it out! Great bunch of tips Gramps! Thanx! GenericET
  2. Update: We have solved the broken generator problem by "Backing in" a new one. We cut a heck of a deal at the Hershey PA RV show. We will be taking delivery of a brand new Jayco Greyhawk in December. I will be sending a picture to Beckleys of us in front of our new Motorhome with the caption. "Look what you did! We vote with our dollars" Take care friends, Eric
  3. That sounds incredible. You would think that campgrounds would be nice to people so they get repeat business.
  4. I have made a lot of mistakes while starting this hobby of RVing. One of which is trusting a little too much on what salesmen tell me. I hate to burst anyones bubble, but not all RV dealers are honest trustworthy individuals. I guess it is a flaw in my character that I assume people are telling the truth and doing thier best for the customer. Here is the latest chapter in a long history of bad service from one dealer who we will never do business with again. I don't know if it is breaking a rule to mention the dealers name but everything I am writing is the truth. We have had a gob of trouble with Beckley’s camper sales. They are the ones who took severe advantage of us when we bought our motorhome last year. We ended up paying $4000 in repairs after we bought it before it was safe to camp in. So we do not like Beckley’s. Unfortunately, they are the only shop around who deals with generators. We have the warranty through them so we have to take it back to them if anything goes wrong with the on board generator. The last day of a three day weekend the generator quit. I was hoping that it was broken beyond compare and Beckley’s would have to put in a new one. I called Beckley’s and told them I needed to get in there for service. The guy I talked to told me he could get us in on Tuesday. I told him I couldn’t do it on Tuesday so I would drop it off Saturday. He said that would be fine just drop it off between 8:30 and 12:00. So we hooked the car up to the motorhome and headed down. I had to put $70 worth of gas in it which was a good estimate of how much the trip down and back would take. It takes over an hour to get there because it is clear down toward Frederick MD. We get there and start unhooking the car and some guy walks by and asks our name so he can get us checked in. I told him my name and that our appointment was on Tuesday. So I get the car all separated from the camper and head in the service office to pee. I come out from the bathroom and the service people are searching through the books looking for our appointment which they can’t find. They finally look in the computer and print out a work order. Well it turns out my appointment was made for Tuesday Aug 7th! The guy behind the counter told me that I must have misunderstood the date. I told him that Aug 7th is the middle of our vacation and I wouldn’t have agreed to bring the camper down the Saturday that we are at the ocean. I was told “Tuesday” not “Tuesday Aug 7th”. I told the guy that I hoped he have room to store it now that it is here and he says, “Oh no sir, that is one thing I do not have”. Kristin busted out the door at this point. I stuck around and argued with the guy for about 30 more seconds before I turned around and hit the door with all intentions to take it off its hinges. So I jump in the camper and turn it around. I hook the car up with all kinds of attitude. The guy behind the desk rode by on a golf cart and gave us dirty looks. We finally get on the road to make the hour plus trip back home. After about ten minutes of driving I call the service department. I apologized for losing my temper. I told the guy that it was not my intention to ruin anyone’s day but that we have a history with Beckley’s and should have expected to receive crappy service and not be surprised. He assured me it was a miscommunication and I assured him that, if it was, it was number 10 or 12 on the list of times Beckley’s has said one thing and done another. Also following the same MO which is “Oh you must have misunderstood”, or “That is not what we said”, or “This is not our fault”. I told him that I will find another dealer to take my camper for warranty work even if it is in Ohio or New Jersey. I just pissed away $70 worth of gas and a whole Saturday morning for nothing and they will not have the opportunity to do it to me again. It is not worth the heart attack. I don’t care if I have to pay $1000 in gas to get work done on my camper, they will never get my business again. I will be telling everyone I know and everyone I have yet to meet not to go to their business for sales or service. So true to my word, if you find yourself at beckley's remember that they do not have you best interest at heart. They are the biggest game around and they have enough customers that they do not care about losing you.
  5. I can't answer your question but I just wanted to mention my first RV was a 1979 Dodge Honey. Not sure why you would want to insure it. You could get another one for $1000. At least that is what they gave me for it at trade in. Maybe you could find something similar the same year that would give you an approximation.
  6. I am inspired by “Gramps” and his “How it all started” blog. Gramps tells a good story of him and his wife who are avid campers who eventually found their way to a motorhome. I am not that guy. I have never liked camping. I always figured if you were going to rough it then why go to a campground at all. To me it was always make believe. As a kid my parents had a pop-up camper. My Mom packed us up and took us to Delaware for a week in it. We ended up coming home after it rained for three days straight and she thought my brother and I were going to die from pneumonia. Everything in that pop-up was damp and there was nowhere to get away from it. Mom soon sold the pop-up which was too much for her to keep up with anyway, and we took vacations by renting cabins or cottages. I went camping with my first wife on most vacations. If we wanted to go to the beach we found a camp ground nearby. These are the things you do when you don’t have much money. I hated the heat of summer in a tent and the sand got into everything. After we had a few kids I started hating that tent even more. Anyone who has had to get up in the middle of the night in the rain to take a little girl to the public bathroom can probably sympathize with me. After I divorced my ex-wife, I didn’t take any vacations for a while. She kept all the camping gear in the divorce and also kept a good chunk of my weekly paycheck for child support. It is not that I am complaining about paying my fair share for my children, I am just stating the fact that there wasn’t much left over for vacations. I met, fell in love and married my current wife and she also was not a camper. My wife grew up going to the beach and various ski trips but her family always had a condo at the ocean and hotel rooms elsewhere. I had little vacation time when we first got together so we just tagged along with her family to the ocean once a year and that was our vacation. This was just fine with me. One day about 5 years ago one of our friends decided it would be a good idea for all of us to go camping together. I figured, ‘What the heck. I haven’t been camping for a while. Let’s do it.’ Most of us had acquired tents at one point or another. So after we bought or borrowed all the camping gear we could lay hands on, we ended up with 6 tents in formation at a camp ground in Gettysburg. Things started off pretty well. We were cooking over the fire, laughing and imbibing in adult beverages when it started to rain. And rain it did. Big fat torrential rain fell for the next 12 hours. We all retreated to our tents and soon after were trying to keep our gear dry by moving it out of the steady pooling water in every single tent. Even the new tents had water in them. It was raining so hard and so fast that water had no where to go so it was seeping in from the bottoms. My wife and I had set up an air mattress and at one point I am sure it started to float. I had to sleep with the covers over my face and ignore water dripping on my head. The next morning every tent had a pool of water in at least one corner. My wife and I decided we were done and going home. Everything was wet if not soggy. I went over to where my friends were gatheredand told them we were leaving as soon as we could pack up. My good buddy pointed over my shoulder and said. “You know, you could rent one of those cabins”. I looked over my shoulder and saw a log cabin not 20 yards away. So we cut a deal for the difference between the next nights camping that we already paid for and the rent of the cabin and moved our stuff into a nice dry cabin. My wife spent a good amount of time drying our bedding at the local Laundromat. Our tent went into the dumpster. From then on we had a good time. The weather was still bad but we made the best of it. We played some volleyball, minnie-golf and grabbed some ice cream from the camp store (what is it about camp store ice cream? It’s always so good!). We spent the next night in our little cabin shared by some friends and their kids. The rain beat on the roof and smiled because I was safe and dry. The next time we took a camping trip we all had campers. We all enjoyed our little camping outing in spite of the rain but none of us wanted to go through that again. Over the next 6 months, one after the other of us bought different kinds of campers. My wife and I did not own a vehicle that could pull a camper (my civic just wasn’t going to cut it) so we bought a used motorhome. We bought a 1979 Dodge Honey for $3000 (which is $2999 more than we should have paid for it). I spent many a weekend fixing it up, patching holes and replacing parts until finally after a year and a half we broke down and bought a 2001 Winnebago Minnie. Still it was not new but after the 1979 Honey it was like driving a Cadillac. We have had our issues with this one but that is a story for another blog.
  7. Hello Gang, I recently bought a Blue Ox towing system for my Class C and my Element. I installed the base plate myself. I am very happy with how this part of the project turned out. The instructions were 'good enough' and the base plate fit just like it was supposed to. I have yet to try towing but I am optimistic that it will work well. Through all of my research, I know about the procedure to tow the Element. I know I am going to have to leave some room when I turn. What I am not sure about is braking. I was not planning on adding a braking system for the toad. So my question is; Do I really need a braking system? Is it safe to tow without one? Thanx, Eric
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