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diyrvguy

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About diyrvguy

  • Birthday 12/10/1966

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  1. Good points, easy setup, pleasant ride and similar fuel economy!
  2. I hear this question often, and the answers vary… “Motorhome or Towable … Which is best for me?” The simple answer is “It Depends…” But…that’s probably not what you want to hear. Honestly it depends on how you answer this 1 simple question… “What’s your intentions?” Do you intent to ‘camp’ or ‘travel’? There’s a difference… If life is busy and weekends are your primary escape. If your plan or desire is to visit campgrounds for long weekends and the occasional week long getaways or vacations you fit into the ‘camping’ category. If your desire is to travel longer distances, visit sites along the way and move frequently then you fit into the ‘traveler’ category. Towable RV’s are great for short term stays, infrequent use and are low cost entry points for camping. Motorhomes excel at comfort on the road often granting quick and easy access to supplies and facilities. Setting up and breaking camp is often less time consuming when compared to a towable RV. I’ve owned, traveled and camped in pop ups, travel trailers, fifth wheels, pickup campers, class C, Class A, bus conversions and diesel pushers. When traveling and discovering a beautiful beach, hiking trail or roadside attraction - having all supplies on board are often the difference between, ‘maybe next time’ and ‘let’s do it!’. The comfort, convenience and mobility of traveling in a motorhome is my current choice. What’s your choice and why?
  3. Danger, Will Robinson! Danger, Will Robinson! Whoa! That brings back memories… Memories of carefree days and afternoons in front of the tube. If your not familiar with the phrase “Danger, Will Robinson” or have no idea what the “tube” is or was, then Google It! What’s this got to do with Engine’s and what’s a DPO? DPO is short for Diesel Pusher Owner, I’m an ex-IT guy and seems like everything in the IT world has an acronym. Which, now that I think of it, I really despised… Enough dilly dallying because there is a point here. Close your eyes, take a deep breadth and recall the first time you heard the soft murmur and throaty rumble of a diesel pusher. There’s something sweet about that sound, as it rumbles into town, down main street and into the campground. A finely tuned machine whispering a song… “I’m big - I’m Bad” (theres a song there somewhere) The sweet whisper that says - “Hey, Look at ME!” Oh - Yeah! OK, to the point of this post. There’s a silent killer of diesel and gas engines that far to many people ignore. The radiator. Diesel pushers suffer far to many engine failures as the result of failed cooling systems. Front engine coaches and vehicles experience these failures but, with the radiator located in front, directly in the drivers line of sight, the failures are less common. Diesel pusher owners aren’t so lucky. The engine and radiator are way, way back there. Often 40 or more feet behind the driver. So far back that problems, and signs of problems often go unnoticed until it’s to late. Heck, I can barely hear the exhaust sing from the front. And as my age continues to climb my hearing continues to decline. Sound familiar… So here’s the point. The cards are stacked agains’t us DPO pilots and there not getting any better. And the cost of rebuilding or replacing that powerhouse in the rear is staggering. And you know what else? Cleaning that monster of a radiator doesn’t appear to be a priority for many owners…until the damage is done. Diesels love heat, heat makes power. The more power, the more heat. That heats, gotta be shed or the results will be felt. So, heres DPO Tip #1 : Clean the radiator annually at the least. Your banker will thank you.
  4. Buyers rejoice and sellers beware… If you’re searching for your first RV prepare to be shocked! Sellers won’t tell you what you don’t ask! That’s right, if you don’t ask, the right questions, your chances of getting the whole truth and nothing but the truth are slim to none (and slim just left…). I’ve worn both pairs of shoes, buyer and seller, several times and to many times if you ask my wife. And this may be the most valuable lesson I’ve learned. Asking the right questions is critical. And perhaps even more importantly… Waiting, silently, patiently and listening intently will entice the desired responses. Notice the plural, responses. The short, one word seller responses are the worst possible answer. Either the seller doesn’t know, hasn’t owned it long enough to know or doesn’t care (almost always bad signs…). The first 2 questions I learned from my father, back when I was a teenager searching for my first car, and have continued to use since (with excellent results). The third question I recently added and it has quickly climbed into the top 3. Here’s my 3 top questions to ask sellers: 1) Why are you selling? Good Answers : Upsized, downsized and switched to different type (motorhome vs trailer) Bad Answers : Got a new one (what’s wrong with this one?) Great Answer : Get a new one every year (Same brand) 2) Does it need anything? Good Answers : Recently repaired or replaced these things Bad Answers : Nope and silence Great Answer : Not right now and here are the maintenance records 3) Do you have maintenance records? Good Answers : Yes, some Bad Answers : What? Great Answer : Records and Receipts Seldom have these questions been asked of me. And honestly my maintenance records aren’t the best. Most receipts are crumpled, difficult to read and disorganized. Maintenance logs are sketchy and inconsistent, do the work first and I’ll enter it into the log book later (sometimes much later…). Yet, every single time I ask these questions the results are enlightening. Put on your detective hat, ask, listen and listen some more. People like to talk, detectives use this tactic successfully, both on TV and in life. Silence is your friend, your silence.
  5. If you’re running your generator mornings and evenings you’re missing out. Running the generator mid day to recharge batteries may defy conventional wisdom, habits AND help you look like a genius. If you enjoy napping, and who doesn’t, these benefits are the simple, logical and refreshing. Your campground neighbors will be curious, envious and wonder why they hadn’t thought of it! The Early Bird gets the Worm I like to get up early when traveling, camping or vacationing. The anticipation of another beautiful day and adventures waiting are to great to wait any longer. I’ve also realized that I can’t get them all done at the same time or in the same day. I’ve learned to prioritize and target 2 activities each day. There are morning activities and afternoon or evening activities. Relaxation, lunch and nap time in between. This pattern developed after a few very long days spent at Disney World with our two children. There’s so much to see and do at Disney that the excitement and desire to keep going lead to burnout. After 3 days of non-stop rides, tours and snacking our minds and bodies revolted and refused to go on. A full day of resting, sleeping, relaxing and plain old doing nothing was required. We enjoyed Disney and returned a few short years later. This time with a plan. We decided to take advantage of the early morning hours, energetic happy people and short lines. Just when the crowds started to build around noon we headed back to the campsite for lunch and to recharge our batteries. Shortly before nightfall we would return for another round. As we reentered the parks, rested with a plan, the first thing we noticed was the people slogging out. Tired, crabby and ready to collapse. Yea, that was us the first time. Not anymore. Afternoon naps are welcome and often expected now. Traveling, camping and vacations are more enjoyable now. Naps are good for the mind, body and soul. Utilizing this downtime to reenergize the coach batteries has proven good also. Secrets Running the generator mid day offers several benefits many are RV owners are missing. White Noise! that soft murmur and vibration that radiates through out the coach. A gentle rocking, soothing reassuring comfort that your investment is working for you while you sleep. Do Not Disturb! That sound alerts Spouse to be considerate and tread quietly. It may sound selfish but, when disturbed or woken from a sound sleep I tend to be groggy, grumpy or expecting an emergency with the ‘fight or flight’ reaction. Please, let me sleep, everyone will be thankful. Alert! Neighbors and Evil doers are hesitant to risk getting caught and the perception that someone is home may be all that’s needed. Nap Time I may not nap everyday but when I do it’s with white noise, batteries charging and generator running.
  6. Click on my profile and follow the website link to DIYRVGuy site.
  7. If you’re running out of hot water when showering in your RV you’re torturing yourself needlessly. If you’re serious about comfortable RV travel the solution is simple. I’m talking about tuning you’re existing solution to deliver consistent hot water performance. In all the years I’ve showered inside the RV there is only 1 time the hot water ran out. Yes, I enjoy long hot showers. A 15 minute long steam filled hot shower. The answer to your problem doesn’t require replacing the water heater or water pump. A new high flow pump alone won’t solve the problem. A new water heater with ultra fast recovery rate may help mask the problem. The answer to your problem depends on tuning each and every component of the system to work together. There are 5 aspects or components that must be addressed when pursuing the elusive long hot shower. This weeks article, “The 5 Laws for Long HOT Showers (your campground neighbors already know and don’t tell you)” dives into the 5 requirements for long hot showers inside your RV. In the article I share the secret your campground neighbors already know. The neighbors that happily shower inside their RV. The neighbors that truly enjoy comfortable RV travel. They’re easy to spot, they’re the ones sitting comfortably outside the RV watching you trudge to the public shower house. A little time now just may save you valuable vacation time in the future.
  8. Do you feel like there’s always something to fix on your RV? Are you tired of fixing problem after problem? Are you constantly finding new things needing maintenance and repair? Many RV owners feel the repair list continues to grow and grow and grow. There’s a solution. I’m not talking about the pay someone else to do it solution. I’m talking about the do it yourself solution that reduces unwanted repairs and gives back your free time. I’m talking about the list. Not just any list, an inspection maintenance and repair list for your RV. Law #1 : Create a Spring Preparation List Spring cleaning time where many of those dreaded nasty chores get done. Rug and carpet cleaning Water supply line inspection and cleaning Exterior caulking inspection Law #2 : Create a Summer Maintenance List Mid camping season may be the best time to inspect and address those new things that occur with use. Check the wheels, bearings, seals, grease and tire pressure Check the refrigerator vents for wasp nests Check the rooftop caulking for sun baked damage Law #3 : Create a Winter Preparation List Winter often signals season ending storage preparation. Drain fresh water supply lines Check the batteries Replace the rodent poison Law #4 : Create a Must Do repair List Do you find items to repair while traveling or camping? Seems like that’s the only time. Put this list inside the RV so you can jot down items when discovered. Law #5 : Create a Nice to Do List Keep another list of items that you would like to replace or upgrade when resources (time and money) are available. These lists are examples and no where near complete lists. Set a goal to review this list monthly and knock one item off the list. By setting goals with purpose and continually improving the process, and list, those pesky or dreaded tasks consume less of your time and give you more time to do what you enjoy, Travel and camping.
  9. This ain’t Kansas, Toto… Lights not lighting? Water pressure a trickle? Refrigerator not refrigerating …errr… cooling? It’s annoying when the lights work most of the time (only happens when it’s dark outside)… It’s aggravating when the shower barely spits and dribbles water (only happens when theres soap in my eyes)… It’s infuriating discovering warm beer in the refrigerator (only happens when thirsty)… What if I told you the problem may not be the light switch or the water pump or the refrigerator… Awe Baloney! (that would be my response to…) There’s one thing every one of these systems rely upon to work properly. Electric power. Without electric power a light switch is decoration. Without electric power a water pump is a fancy pipe connection. Without electric power a refrigerator is poor quality oven. You know what’s worse? Low power. That’s right, because low power (weak voltage) enables lights to work, water pumps to pump and refrigerators to cool. Yes it does, only poorly. And worse, low voltage wreaks havoc on electric motors and electronics. So what’s this got to do with inverters, converters and chargers (Oh My…)? Plenty. When the devices that provide the raw power aren’t working properly the symptoms can be difficult to detect AND inflicting invisible damage! This weeks blog post dives into the differences between inverters, converters and chargers, how to easily identify each type and why they are different. Look me up, visit and enjoy the journey!
  10. If you’re RV lives outdoors you need to take action now. The suns harsh rays combined with drastic climate changes in temperature and humidity are rapidly exposing your RV to the ravages of water infiltration. If you’re serious about maintaining your RV and avoiding costly repairs take action now. Investing 30 minutes of your time twice a year will save you aggravation and lost money. Detecting entry points for damaging water requires frequent inspection and a keen eye. Developing the eye to detect pending failures begins with understanding and honesty. Why honesty? Because honestly I don’t enjoy crawling up onto the roof. And I especially don’t enjoy crawling around on my hands and knees, nose nearly touching the roof inspecting seams and caulking for signs of failure. I don’t enjoy smearing that sticky caulking around or explaining why my clothes have dried goop on them. Most of all I don’t enjoy explaining how that goop got onto the couch! And I bet you don’t enjoy that either. But, I do it anyway, because ignoring the maintenance now costs way to much later. Set aside 30 minutes during spring and fall to inspect the exterior seams and caulking. For many spring time includes dusting off the RV, draining the antifreeze and prepping for summer adventures. Fall indicates the end of another camping season and time to winterize. Add 30 minutes to the routine and put your eyes to work. Inspect those seams and caulking for any signs. And do yourself a favor, if there are any signs of aging or failing caulking. Fix it now! Tomorrow may be to late.
  11. Are Your Tires Tired? Are your tires brand new or near new? Are they showing their age? No tires last forever but they can safely serve for several years. Give your tires a fighting chance to carry you down the road for many years to come. Avoid roadside tire repairs and save wasted time and money in the future. Prolong the serviceable life of your tires with regular care. Avoid using commercial tire cleaners. Those chemicals that add shine inhibit the ingredients added during construction and increase the aging process of the rubber. Avoid damaging sudden impacts. Sudden impacts produced when jumping a curb or slamming thru a crater sized pothole commonly result with interior tire damage. Avoid over heating your tires. Overloading or under inflating tires increase heat buildup. High heat weakens the bonds within the tire and often result with sidewall failures. Maximize your chances of many successful road trips by caring for your tires properly and frequently. Good luck and enjoy the journey!
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