99 Things Not To Do While RVing

source: www.teamliquid.net

source: www.teamliquid.net

I’ve been enjoying the RV lifestyle for many, many years and I can’t tell you that I’ve made some of the best memories of my life in our RV. I’ve also had a few, “not-so-fun” experiences ,so when I recently ran across this “Things not to do while RVing” list originally written by Tim R. Enright, for Bugsmacker.com, I had to share it with the rest of my RVing family! It’s certainly a satire, so don’t take it to seriously…unless you really do have a problem with #44.

Don’t…

1. Drive down the road with more than 2 slides out.

2. Use your sewer hose to fertilize your neighbor’s flowers.

3. Backup your RV into the … FILL IN THE BLANK.

4. Hang raw meat on the clothesline to scare away the bears.

5. Tie the dog to the rear bumper while you pack to go home and forget.

6. Put your awning out over the fire pit so the rain won’t put it out.

7. Use the air conditioner, microwave, coffee pot, hairdryer and toaster all at the same time and wonder why the TV went out.

8. Drive your rig down a one-way road if you don’t know what is at the other end.

9. Plan a camping trip for your church group only the find out the place you booked is clothing optional.

10. Fill your air mattress with LP gas if you smoke in bed.

11. Believe the salesman when he says that you can easily tow that new Toy Hauler with your Smart Car.

12. Put the RV up on blocks and yell out to the kids “we’re home now!”

13. Run out of gas only to realize that you put the gas into your water tank instead.

14. Use honey as suntan lotion in August.

15. Drive your Rig through the fast food drive-thru window without looking at the menu first.

16. Hang Grandma’s lawn chair (with her in it) on the bike rack because the seats inside are full.

17. Park your RV directly on your neighbor’s water hose.

18. Forget to put the support bars under the slide out of your Pop-Up before you leap into bed.

19. Take binoculars to the beach and try to convince your wife you are just going to look for birds.

20. Fix your flat tire with Duct Tape.

21. Put whiskey in your fresh water tank to keep it from freezing (OK, this one really doesn’t sound so bad.)

22. Hook the trailer up to the truck while your wife is still inside on the toilet.

23. Go up top and check the TV antenna during a thunderstorm because you can’t get the weather channel.

24. Pour water down the outside of the kid’s tent when they are inside while moaning “AHHHH”.

25. Carry your PETA sign through a deer hunting camp.

26. Feed the Seagulls and wonder where all the White Rain is coming from.

27. Put Arm Floaties on Grandpa, push him into the lake and expect him home in time for dinner.

28. Leave the parking brake in your toad on as you travel.

29. Explain to the kids how you through the cat’s toy into the fire and you’re waiting for it to return.

30. Walk past the neighbor’s Pit Bull with a pocket full of Hotdogs.

31. Cook marshmallows over a fire taller than yourself.

32. Steal the neighbor’s Cable connection on game day.

33. Clean your fish with a chainsaw.

34. Jam a stick into the black tank drain to unclog it.

35. Pet the neighbor’s dog if he has foam coming from his mouth.

36. Whisper sweet nothings into your wife’s ear while sitting in a group around the campfire, if you forgot to put on your hearing aid.

37. Try serving a veggie burger to a hunter.

38. Sunbathe on a Tuesday in the rain.

39. Cook microwave popcorn on a campfire.

40. Ride your bike if someone stole the seat and the tire is flat.

41. Get out, drop to your knees and kiss the ground after the first time your wife drives the RV.

42. Use a Roman candle to start a campfire.

43. Go jogging in high heels before 6AM.

44. Eat all your worms before you go fishing.

45. Sit with your back to the campfire after eating baked beans.

46. Take the Pop-Up down with your wife still in it.

47. Fill your fresh water tank using the hose marked “not to be used for drinking” at the dump station.

48. Light your cigarette with a bon-fire.

49. Practice casting your new fishing pole into a crowd.

50. Go swimming with bait in the pockets of your shorts.

51. Use a hack saw to disconnect the power cord because it is stuck.

52. Stretch a rubber glove over the head of your neighbor’s little barking dog.

53. Dive into a frozen lake within 30 minutes after eating.

54. Yell out profanities because you dropped a log on your foot at church camp.

55. Sing campfire songs around the fire in the middle of the night, all by yourself.

56. Drive a 13 foot trailer under a 12 foot bridge.

57. Roast marshmallows over the fire on the tip of your finger.

58. Go for a hike in the woods wearing a brown jumpsuit with a white hanky sticking out of the back pocket during Deer Season. (Actually, I wouldn’t find this fashionable
any time of the year.)

59. Eat a Popsicle after it falls on the ground and more than 2 ants get on it.

60. Dump your tanks while driving down the road.

61. Water ski behind a red row boat.

62. Use gasoline to start the electric fireplace in your RV.

63. Swim in shark infested water if you are blonde.

64. Go to the beach wearing only the top half of your wife’s swim suit.

65. Kiss that sweet little puppy if you can’t tell which end you are holding up.

66. Pull the handle on your tanks before you hook up the hose.

67. Expect the life guard to save you if his seeing-eye dog is a sleep.

68. Go hiking with the wrong map.

69. Use your outside shower in the nude.

70. Put peanut butter on a jellyfish.

71. Start the campfire with your only remaining roll of toilet paper.

72. Take ownership of your air mattress by carving your name in it.

73. Play the cornhole game with cream-style corn.

74. Brush your hair with a grill cleaning brush.

75. Use a meat thermometer if you think you have a fever.

76. Yell “Fire” in the middle of bingo.

77. Run and Jump head first into the kiddie pool.

78. Clean your fish in the hot tub.

79. Shoot hoops with a shotgun.

80. Pitch a tent that is two-thirds or more in a lake.

81. Forget to duck under the bed slide on your 5th wheel while chasing after the dog.

82. Put all the snacks in the kid’s tent so the bears don’t steal them.

83. Shove all your fishing hooks into your front pockets.

84. Crow like a rooster at Dawn, or Sue, or Peggy, or Mary, or Jill…

85. Whittle a snake out of Grandma’s cane.

86. Try to squeeze your big butt into a small folding chair.

87. Throw flaming marshmallows at the neighbor’s kids.

88. Rent a RV for vacation if you don’t know how to drive.

89. Pour sugar all over the table to create a sand trap for the ants.

90. Run barefoot through the campfire so you don’t mess up your new sandals.

91. Practice your yodeling at 3AM.

92. Drive into town without unhooking either the electric cord or the hitch.

93. Tell the nice man at the boarder that your husband needs to carry a lot of guns because he likes to kill stuff every once in a while.

94. When your wife and kids go back to the trailer to eat lunch at the rest stop, unhook and take off. (However tempting this may be, it never works out well.)

95. Ask the salesman if you will need reindeer to pull your new Toy Hauler.

96. Shove the Kid’s hamster into the tank drain so they can run around and clean the tank out.

97. Put the steps away without letting anyone inside know.

98. Try to write a book about 99 things NOT to do while RVing, when you can only think of 98 things.

Now, the only thing I can think of that this list is missing is #100: Don’t go camping without having HatchLift lift kits installed on all of your hatches and BedLifts for your bed! If you have any questions about ways HatchLift can make your camping trips more enjoyable, just give us a call!

Being A Newbie To RVing

Hello-Im-New-LOGO

You did it. You bit the bullet and bought yourself an RV. So, what’s next? Where do you go? What do you do? What do you bring? We aren’t all born expert travelers, or RVers. In fact, I’d go as far to say that RVers invented the “Trial and Error” philosophy. OK, so we really aren’t that terribly ill prepared as group, but it does take a little practice to really get into the swing of RV travel.  When going on your first few trips in your brand new RV here are a few things to keep in mind.

First Trip | Every new RV has a few kinks it needs to work out. You really don’t have to go very far for your first trip. A few hundred miles is all you really need to travel on your maiden voyage. The reason for this is simple: Confidence. That’s confidence in your rig and confidence in you ability to work well with that rig. But, don’t worry, after your first couple of trips you’ll probably feel like a pro and will want to take your RV out for a long haul.

Before You Head Out | This is really important, check all locks, doors, windows, and latches before you actually head for the horizon. Make sure everything is locked, closed, and windows and hatches are properly aligned. Plus, if your RV has a slideout and and/or an awning, check those too for ease of operation and void of any unusual popping, or clicking noises.

Book in Advance | Don’t just assume that a campground or RV park will have a vacancy. Plot your trip ahead of time and call to reserve space. As the summer comes to a close, you may find yourself running into a horde of last minute vacationers trying to get one more weekend under their belt. It truly pays to book in advance.

Keep Your Water Full | Ensure your freshwater tank is always full. Although it does add weight to your RV, it’s better to always have water available than to need it and not have it. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard from RVers who have assumed they would have freshwater hookups at the site they’re headed to only to find that it’s either non-existent or out for the day.

Glove Up | Here’s a tip from an old timer. Always keep a box of latex gloves on board your RV. Why? If you have yet to experience the dumping your black water tank, then you will truly be grateful you had some on board your RV when you do. Use the gloves to secure the hose BEFORE you pull the release handle. Trust me…you’ll thank me later for this.

After your first Rving adventure, I have no doubt that you will be instantly hooked. After all, you’ve no doubt invested an incredible amount of time and energy in researching and planning to Go RVing. Make that first trip one filled with great memories by prepping well and keeping it simple.

Oh, and here’s one more tip. You know those hatch doors you spent an inordinate amount of time holding up while you carefully packed your stuff? I recommend installing HatchLift kits before your next trip. Trust me, they are easy to install and will save you from a ton of headaches and smashed fingers.

How to Keep Your RV Odor Free

Source: rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguide.com

Source: rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguide.com

If you own an motorhome, travel trailer or fifth-wheel with indoor plumbing, then you probably know of the odor of which I speak. It’s neither pleasant, nor that type of odor you look forward to when getting ready to fire up your RV for your next trip. In fact, it’s probably just a constant reminder that you need to do a thorough cleaning of ALL of your tanks.

However, keep in mind that cleaning and disinfecting you grey, or black water tanks really is a temporary fix. That is until your next cleaning.

So, what’s the easiest way to go about helping rid your RV of that “not so fresh” odor? Well, not surprisingly, aside from chemically cleaning your tanks, proper ventilation can vastly improve the odor conditions of your RV. As you are certainly aware of, there are plumbing vents on the roof of your RV. These are most likely capped off and do nothing to actually vent your RV from the stale and sickening odor that being emitted directly into your rig.Source: rv-pro.com

As luck would have it, there is a product that addresses this very issue. It’s called the 360 Siphon. It has no moving parts, but instead uses design to create a positive airflow up and out of your RV. Using the 360 Siphon might be the easiest and wisest decision you’ve ever made in regards to keeping your RV odor free. Even better, it’s not terrible difficult to install on your own.  Check out the video below from RV Geeks on how simple it is to actually install.

Odor in your RV is a given. It’s just something that we as RVers have to live with..sort of. Using a product like the 360 Siphon might not make the RVer’s life easier, but it will certainly make it more enjoyable.

All of us here at Hatchlift are always interested in products like our hatchlift and bedlift kits that are designed to make the RV lifestyle even more enjoyable. If you know of any products that make RVer’s lives easier, or more pleasant tell us about it!  We’d love to look into it and possibly share it with the rest of the RV world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protect Yourself From The Sun’s Damaging Rays

Photo Courtesy of rvsandohvs.blogspot.com

Summer vacation is a time to create memories with your family and friends, not a time to wish you had remembered to protect yourself from the sun. Skin cancer rates are rising every year, but there are plenty of ways to protect us. Even if you aren’t outside for very long, you can get a wicked sunburn that demands some aloe vera to alleviate the burning sensation. Here are a few tips to lower your risk of getting burned this year when you’re out on the lake (or anywhere, really).

1. Don’t be afraid of the sunscreen

Sunblock works wonders for keeping the sun’s damaging rays from damaging your skin. A couple of the most common complaints I hear are that it takes too long to apply and that you have to keep applying it. It’s a small price to pay for protection, otherwise you will be one sad RVer. Here within the last few years, sunblock spray has become more popular (I even use it) because of it’s ease of use. You can cover your entire body within a minute or 2. Don’t forget to check the instructions to see how often you need to reapply. It does no good to stay out in the sun for 3 hours if your sunscreen is only effective for 90 minutes.

2. Seek out the shade

Setting up shop underneath a big oak tree is ideal, but you can also stay under your RVs awning, inside your RV, or carry an easy to put together canopy with you when you travel so you always have portable shade. Avoiding the sun during the hottest part of the day and staying directly out of the sun’s rays cuts your chances of getting burned dramatically.

3. Cover up

Cover up? During the summer? Are you crazy? It may sound crazy, but it works. Purchase a wide brimmed hat so that it covers, not only your scalp, but your face and neck, too!  If you can go without being bare-chested while you’re out cooking lunch or dinner, then keep your shirt on, no one likes having sunburn over half of their body.

The Mosquitoes Are Back In Force

Photo Courtesy of alltop.com

It’s a proven fact. Mosquitoes cause 100% of mosquito bites across the nation. With the weather getting warmer, they’re back and they aren’t going away anytime soon. We can all look forward to sitting around the campfire this Summer and being forced to squash bug on our arms, legs, neck, face and any other exposed parts of our bodies. It’s not fun. But there are a few things we can do to minimize getting bit by these disease carrying insects. Here are a few things I’ve learned:

1. Get rid of their breeding grounds. When you pull up into a campsite, take a few minutes to walk around and get rid of any puddles you standing water that you see.

2. Install a screen around your awning or gazebo. Screened-in areas have significantly less mosquitoes and still allow you to spend your evening outside.

3. Purchase a bug zapper. Sure, it may be bright, but gosh, it’s fun to watch those little buggers get zapped!

4. Try citronella. By placing citronella candles around your seating area, you’ll ward off a good chunk of those pesky biters.

5. Use a spray-on repellant. Nothing works better that a coat of OFF to keep from getting bitten. But you may want to take a shower at the end of the night to avoid having your RV smell like OFF for the rest of the trip.

6. Carry a fan with you. If you are RVing during the hot summer months, more than likely you’re already carrying a fan to keep cool. Post it up outside where you and your family are sitting and you’ll blow the mosquitoes away from you. A good gust of wind will keep them searching for blood elsewhere.

7. Try something new! I’ve heard that the clip-on repellants work well. I’ve also heard that fabric softener sheets, rubbed on the skin and clothes can have an impact.

What have you tried and what works for you?

 

Get The Grill Ready!

Photo Courtesy of DRosengarten.com

It’s that time of year. The time of year when we take our RVs out for a long weekend (or longer) and enjoy being away from the daily grind. For a lot of us, that also means cooking outdoors with our trusty grill. Everyone knows that a steak tastes better when it’s been cooked outdoors and on a fiery grill. Even chicken tastes better when prepared and cooked over a hot grill. Whether it’s hamburgers, steak or chicken, it’s always a great time to fire up the grill. Here are a few tips to make sure your next foray into grilling is a success.

Hamburgers

Hamburgers are always a crowd-pleaser. If you’re entertaining a couple of people and need to whip something up for dinner, you can’t go wrong with a burger.

  • Choose the best meat. Stay away from lean hamburger meat. It may sound healthy, but the flavor suffers. A good burger needs some fat on it.
  • Cook them using high heat. Cooking it at high temperatures ensures that it is cooked how you want it and retains the flavor of the meat.
  • Resist the temptation to squeeze. Squeezing the patty while it’s on the grill means 2 things. First, you’re creating a fire hazard. That grease is flammable and could easily flare up. Second, you’re getting rid of all the flavor!
  • Pay attention to the meat! By keeping an eye on the burgers, you’ll keep it from overcooking and being forced to eat a burned, crispy meat patty.

Steaks

There are few things that taste as good as a well-cooked and well-prepared steak. There’s a reason why we make it an event when we go to a steakhouse. If you’re like me, you can even remember just how great the best steak you’ve ever had was and where you got it.

  • Pick a good piece of meat for steak. Top loin, filet, or T-bone are all great choices to throw on the grill. Don’t be cheap when it comes to good meat. You get what you pay for.
  • An hour before grilling, marinade your steak. Salt and pepper, seasonings, oil, take your pick, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to overpower the taste of the meat.
  • For a medium-rare steak, cook on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side. If it’s thicker than 1.5″, up it to 5-6 minutes per side. Flip it over only once or you risk losing the juice of the steak.
  • Once it’s close to being cooked how you like it, move your steak to a cooler part of the cooking area to fine tune it to your liking.

Chicken

There’s just something about a well-cooked piece of chicken. Juicy, tender and flavorful. There’s a reason why chicken wings are so popular.

  • Start with a coat of non-stick spray, otherwise your chicken will fall apart and stick to the grate.
  • Medium-high heat is a good temperature. If it’s too high, you run the risk of burning the skin and barely cooking the inside.
  • Don’t flip! Letting your chicken cook on the same side for a few minutes helps to cook it all the way through. If you keep flipping it over, you never really get a good, even cook.
  • Check the temperature. Carry a meat thermometer in your RV’s kitchen so you can make double sure that you cook it to 165 – 170 degrees. Once it reaches that temperature, it’s safe!
  • Slather it with sauce. If you’re like me, you like to cover it with barbeque sauce. Wait until they are almost done to cover your bird with sauce. If you leave it on too long, you’ll get a bitter taste and most of it will drip off and potentially cause a flare-up.
  • Clean your grate afterwards.

What are some of your RV grilling tips for hamburgers, steaks and chicken?

 

Do You “Exercise” Your RV

If you are a motorhome owner, you are well aware of the amount of responsibility it can take to keep your rig in the best possible shape, not only while you’re using it, but, more importantly, when you’re not.

As much as you love you go RVing, you might not get to spend as much time traveling as you’d like. Or, maybe you are a full-timer and spend long periods of time hooked up. Something that you need to remember is that, just because you’re not driving your motorhome doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still need a little “exercise”.

If you don’t have the opportunity take your rig out at least every month or so, there a myriad of things that you can do to check the operation and function of your motorhome’s engine and equipment when you don’t get to use it as often as you’d like.
I found a great video that from RV Geeks that will help you run some monthly “soft” maintenance. Some of the items covered in the video below are specific to diesels, but many things are relevant to all motorhomes, whether diesel or gas. One thing to remember is that your engine and transmission are the most expensive pieces of equipment on any motorhome, it is certainly well worth your time and effort to care for them as thoroughly as possible.

So, the bottom line is that when you’re not using your motorhome, it’s a good idea to jump into your rig every now and then and give it a little attention. And hey, while you’re “exercising” your motorhome, why not retrofit your hatches with new doorlift and bedlift kits? They can both you a lot a headaches…literally.

RV Maintenance – Lift Kits You Need

SPRING! After a long cold winter, nothing sounds better than loading up the RV and going camping. For most of us that means getting out the list of the things we needed to fix from last season and didn’t have the time or the parts on hand. However, there is also that “wish list” of things to fix or improve to make the camping experience more enjoyable.

Of all the areas in the RV none are more important than the storage spaces where the gear and equipment is kept. For many RVs, access to the outside storage usually means lifting an exterior door and when available, securing with wall clips. These clips work reasonably well but can be difficult to attach and provide very little safety from dislodging – especially in windy conditions or when camping on a non level surface.

A solution to this problem is to install hydraulic lift kits. The kits are easy to install and are secured to the inside surface of the door with an adhesive tape. Kits are available in many sizes and will fit most lightweight RV doors, including doors located under slideouts. One of the strongest reasons for installing lift kits is the safety factor – after installation, the risk of being accidentally struck by a falling door is virtually eliminated.

If you have an existing gas spring installation where the attachment bracket has torn loose, repair kits are available that after installation, will provide a structural plate for remounting the springs. The plates are attached with a VHB tape and can repair virtually any flat surface.

Another prime storage area often overlooked is located under the RV bed platform. Many RVs have bed lifts installed from the factory and a lot are installed incorrectly, improperly sized or have failed.

Although not used as frequently as the outside storage, safe and correct access to this space is critically important – the beds are heavy and can cause serious injury when dropped. Installing the proper lift kit here will definitely improve the camping experience! Bed lift systems are designed to lift the weight of the standard RV bed, including a typical upgrade to a residential style, heavier mattress. Bed lift kits can be used to fix an existing application or for new installations. Sizes are available for most RV beds including the small or partial front storage compartments.

What Does It Take To Be A Full-Time RVer

Source: www.frugal-rv-travel.com

Source: www.frugal-rv-travel.com

First, of all, in order to be a successful, full-time RVer, you have to love RVing, and I mean LOVE RVing. You are going to have to take the good with the bad, the fun with the work. If you can do that, you might be a prime candidate for exploring the ever-eventful world of being a full-time RVer.

The general misconception is that being a full-time RVer is both expensive and generally reserved for retired folks. That really isn’t the case. If you do your research you can find easy ways to make a full time RV lifestyle both enjoyable and affordable. Here are a few things to consider before you make the big decision to live in your RV full time.

Keep in mind that becoming a full-time RVer is something that you just wake up and decide to do. There are considerations to be taken into account. For example, what are you going to do for money? Where are you going? Do you have a plan? Do you know what you are giving up and what you are gaining? Remember, no matter if you live in a house, or on the road being a full-time RVer and perpetual boondocker is all about attitude. As much as I want EVERYONE to start RVing, being a full-timer and living in your RV is not for everyone. You really do need to think about what you give up by not being in a house, is worth what you gain by being free to wander? There are thousands who believe it is totally worth it. It very well may be, but understand that there is a process involved, it’s a learning experience and it could be an amazing lifestyle change for you. Or, it might just be a dream.

Now, of course not everyone is into this type of extreme RV living. Maybe you are a weekend warrior? Maybe you are a holiday RVer? Either way, spending any amount of time RVing is going to be a great time!

If you are a full-timer and want to share your story, leave it in the comments section below. IF you have any questions about becoming a full timer, ask us, or check on line, as there are enormous amounts of information available for an education on becoming a full-time RVer.

Now, regardless if you are a full-timer, or an average RVer, you’ll want to equip your rig with everything you can to make your packing and unpacking efficient and painless. For that, grab a couple of Hatchlift and Bedlift kits…it’s the perfect addition to any RV you are going to be spending time in.

Bedlift Kits Keep Your Fingers Safe

A prime storage area that is often overlooked is the space underneath the RV bed platform. It’s often big enough to fit plenty of necessities underneath where you sleep. Most RVs have bedlifts installed straight from the factory and unfortunately, a lot are installed incorrectly, are improperly sized or have already failed.

Although they aren’t used as frequently as the outside storage, safe and correct access to this space is critically important – those beds are heavy and can cause serious injury when dropped. When’s the last time you smashed your finger underneath a heavy RV bed? After you do it once, you won’t want to do it again, that’s for sure. That’s why installing a Hatchlift RV Bedlift Kit will improve your experience while camping! Bed lift systems are designed to lift the weight of a standard RV bed, including a typical upgraded residential style, heavier mattress. Regain that space under your bed and keep the clutter to a minimum. If you’re not utilizing your under-bed storage because your current bedlift kit is weak, it’s time to replace it with one that can handle the job.

Bed lift kits can be used to fix an existing application, or for a new installation. Sizes are available for most RV beds including the small or partial front storage compartments. Visit the Bedlift Kits page on Hatchlift.com for ordering information.