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Posted in The RV Lifestyle

Important News for RV Owners!

RV Daily Report to Turn Off the Lights

The RV Daily Report is closing down its eZine, this time permanently. June 21st marks a sad day for RV enthusiasts. We count on Greg Gerber to keep us updated about the latest shenanigans the RV industry is pulling or planning. How are we going to stay current on the RV industry’s current plans to remove RV Lemon Laws from all 48 states? Who is going to speak up for us now!

The RV Daily Report also echoes the latest recalls from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.gov) to help us make better choices when we buy new RVs. Notifications about new RV parks opening across the country, opinions from RVers out there telling it like it is, the list is long.

Mr. Gerber has many reasons for shutting down this great resource. I mention only one here that resonates with me.

“I’m also cognizant of the fact that some firms are afraid to be seen associating with RV Daily Report. I do tend to stir the pot and we do tend to post stories that no other industry publications will touch.

That makes us a lightning rod for powerful companies and powerful people. And some CEOs simply don’t like journalism. They only want to see happy news.

One of the big players in the industry once asked me if I had ever considered how my coverage of hot-button issues would impact my ability to bring in advertising to sustain my business.

I did, and yet I made a conscious decision to do what was right and not turn a blind eye to the plight of people who saved their entire lives to buy an RV only to be left making payments on a piece of equipment that could not be used, nor could it be fixed in a timely manner.

A large swath of the RV industry is okay with that scenario. I’m not.”

The rest of the story . . .

Florida Lemon Law

My take on Florida’s lemon law: Rescue the dealers that sell the RVs. Put all repair responsibilities on the manufacturer(s). Dealers can continue to slide by the truth and tell the customer whatever seems appropriate without penalties. Buyers beware!

Will this force manufacturers to put quality before quantity? It is certainly going to educate the consumer (if they pay attention). Can you imagine trying to get repairs done from, say, 4 manufacturers at the same time?

For example, Lippert® supplied the axle that cracked, Dometic® manufactured the refrigerator, Suburban® made the water heater, Coleman® supplied the compressor for the air conditioner, but Dinosaur Electronics make the control board. Wow! Most consumers would just give up and limp along or sell the RV at a loss to an uninformed fellow traveler.

Pre-purchase inspections should become standard practice with consumers. (More info on RV Inspections.)

The RV Daily Report was instrumental in educating the customer to the problems facing them in the current marketplace. New RV sales are down 30%. The manufacturers stock has dropped in value. More consumer websites are documenting their issues with new RVs.

The average consumer now knows to get a pre-purchase inspection even when purchasing new. With RV dealers facing the same reputation as used car salespeople, this lemon law should help lift them up (see Dealer Requirements).

Summary of the Florida Lemon Law

Dealer Requirements:

  • Information on how and where to file a claim with the RV Mediation/Arbitration Program (These documents are produced by the manufacturer and provided to the customer by the dealer.)
  • Dealers must obtain the signature of the customer acknowledging receipt of the consumer guide. This form must be kept by the dealer for three (3) years.
  • Service agents that perform any examination or repair under the manufacturer’s warranty must provide the consumer with a written, legible repair order each time the vehicle is brought to the shop.
  • According to a representative of the Florida Attorney General’s Office, the written repair order must be fully itemized, it must include test drive mileage, the diagnosis made, the work performed, a general description of the problem or defect, and the parts and labors, along with dates, must be identified. If any labor was performed by a subcontractor, that must be documented.
  • Dealers cannot refuse to give consumers written repair orders. Both dealer and customer must complete the retail disclosure form.

The Lemon Law:

  • Does not cover flooring, plumbing system and fixtures, roof air conditioner, furnace, generator, electrical systems other than automotive circuits, the side entrance door, exterior components and windows other than the windshield and driver and front passenger windows. (This is not a complete list.)
  • Covers the first 24 months from the date of delivery.
  • Repair of defective components should be sought from the service agent who is authorized to perform the repair by the manufacturer that warrants the component, not the dealer who sold it.
  • If the recreation vehicle has been subjected to at least three repair attempts for the same defect (that is not a defective living facility component [not covered]),  for 15 or more days, then, written notification must be sent to each manufacturer (not the dealer) which may provide warranty coverage of the defects. If the consumer is not certain which manufacturer’s warranty covers the complaint, it is better to send the notification to all potentially responsible manufacturers.

Florida Attorney General’s website:

http://myfloridalegal.com/pages.nsf/Main/a510d1364b15502a85256cc9005da68a

Florida RV Trade Association:

http://kb.frvta.org/lemon-law-for-recreational-vehicles/

Read the RV Industry Association’s explanation why they are working to eliminate current RV Lemon Laws in the states that have them.

https://www.rvia.org/advocacy/policies/lemon-law


Support MovingOnWithMargo, buy one of her books…win/win.

Conquer the Road: RV MaintenanceConquer the Road: RV Maintenance for Travelers

“This is a great book for beginning do-it-yourselfers (like myself). A lot of overview about basic things, so you know you are doing the right thing for yourself.

It’s a guide more than a How-to book. But it includes proper procedures for many things like how to properly maintain and handle your sewer system, troubleshooting the water heater, refrigerator, furnace, etc.

This book also includes how to communicate with the repairman so you don’t get swindled. I particularly appreciated this part of the book. Another useful tool in the book that is very handy are the commonly used acronyms for weight balance.

Detailed descriptions about these acronyms. These help you keep your rig balanced! Very important! I feel more confident now that I know more about my RV. A book worth getting!” … Amazon Customer

Would you like to understand more about your RV? Some questions answered in “Conquer the Road: RV Maintenance for Travelers:”

  • How does the refrigerator work and why does it need to be level when in use?
  • How do hydraulic levelers work and why do they need maintenance?
  • I need to flush the hot water heater, what is the best procedure?
  • What is the best practice to keep the septic system working properly?
  • What is an inverter and why do I need one?
  • What is involved in roof maintenance?
  • Why do I need to check the batteries every three months?
  • How do I keep the generator working properly?

 

 

Posted in The RV Lifestyle

How to Start the Solo RV Lifestyle

You can’t wait for the latest RV and travel magazines to reach your mailbox every month. You spend several hours reading the stories of other people that made their dream come true.

So, what is keeping you from realizing your own dream? Too many financial responsibilities, fear that living in a small box on wheels is not for you, worried how your extended family would survive without you, afraid of losing friends and feeling isolated…did I miss anything?

Making the decision to follow that dream is the difficult part of getting started down the path to fulfillment. Here are five basic tips that can help with the reality check:

1. Sell the house and buy a quality used motorhome (if you want to travel) or a fifth wheel/truck combination if you are thinking several months in one location. If you are concerned that you may not enjoy the RV lifestyle, lease your house instead of selling.

2. Take the money from the house sale (or rental income), the furniture sale, the gardening tool sale, the workshop sale, the extra toys sale, the clothing sale, and put it in a bank that has national branches. This allows walk-in access for cash anywhere you roam. Of course, your ATM card always gives you access and those machines are everywhere.

3. Handle the responsibilities issue. This turns out to be the easiest part of the decision-making process.

    * Go down the street to The UPS store and open a mailbox. This handles the snailmail.

    * Sign up for automatic payment on your bills.

   * Get your paperwork in order. Create a will, make a health directive from the many online forms available, and get a passport in case you want to wander into Mexico for the winter.

   * Announce your independence to the family and give them a copy of your completed paperwork.

4. Join the workampers and find employment wherever you roam. Work from your rig providing web services or find employment within the RV park, just to name a few options.

5. Let go of the old life, leave the stuff behind and enjoy the open road. Find solo travelers at every stop and join the fun.

Spend a few moments thinking about my suggestions. Does it work for you? Find out more by visiting RV clubs that offer support.  The most popular clubs are the Escapees (escapees.com), Wandering Individuals Network (rvsingles.org), and RVing Women (rvingwomen.org).

Recalls - MovingOnWithMargo.com

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.gov) maintains a list of all RVs that are recalled by the manufacturer. To narrow the chances of buying a defective vehicle, check the VIN number on this website.  If you have a question about a particular make or model, enter the VIN number of the vehicle to see the details.

For the latest recalls, click here.

“This is a great book for beginning do-it-yourselfers (like myself). A lot of overview about basic things, so you know you are doing the right thing for yourself.

It’s a guide more than a How-to book. But it includes proper procedures for many things like how to properly maintain and handle your sewer system, troubleshooting the water heater, refrigerator, furnace, etc.

This book also includes how to communicate with the repairman so you don’t get swindled. I particularly appreciated this part of the book. Another useful tool in the book that is very handy are the commonly used acronyms for weight balance.

Detailed descriptions about these acronyms. These help you keep your rig balanced! Very important! I feel more confident now that I know more about my RV. A book worth getting!”
Amazon Customer

  • Would you like to understand more about your RV?

  • How does the refrigerator work and why does it need to be level when in use?
Posted in The RV Lifestyle

Beating the Heat

MovingOnWithMargo.com

With the erratic seasonal temperatures of the last few years, we don’t know what to expect from the coming summer season. Will it be a scorcher or pleasantly warm? In the RV world, there are two appliances that need to keep working regardless of the heat: the refrigerator and the air conditioner.

High Temps and the RV Refrigerator

 If the refrigerator tends to heat up to over 45 degrees in the summer temperatures, don’t buy a new refrigerator or replace the cooling unit until you try this little trick.

Keep the Refrigerator Cool

Install Exterior Flue Fans

If your travel plans include an extended stay in a very hot climate (over 90 degrees F daily), the refrigerator may not stay cool enough to keep food fresh. Installing a couple of 12 V computer case fans at the top of the refrigerator flue vent eliminates this problem. Depending on the size of your motorhome refrigerator flue, there may only be room for one large fan.

Refrigerator designs may require the fan to be installed at the bottom. Avoid this if possible. Service installers may spin a tale about the best installation, but I have tried both top and bottom vent placement. The fans installed in the top of the vent far outperform the bottom location.

The top vent design is a tougher install project and may cost a few more dollars in labor, but well worth it when the temperature hits 110 degrees. If you understand 12V schematics, it is an easy installation.

Measure the top surface opening of the flue. Buy these small computer case fans yourself at a local electronics/computer store or online (around $5 each).

Do it yourself or contact a local RV repairperson to install the fans at your RV park site. Install an on/off switch within easy reach for flexibility in colder climates.

Caution: Do not allow the RV repairperson to buy the fans. They do not usually have the correct specifications or understand the reasoning behind using computer case fans over conventional refrigerator vent fans. Computer fans are also less expensive ($10 versus $35).


Note: Unless your motorhome is less than 20 feet long, ignore the solar-type vent fans, as they do not produce enough airflow to do the job.

Minimum specifications to ensure high airflow and low fan noise:

12V Flue Fans

80 mm Computer Case Fan (3 inch):
Air Flow (CFM) 28.89; Max Noise (dBA) 20.9

120 mm Computer Case Fan (5 inch):
Air Flow (FM) 44.03; Max. Noise (dBA) 23.5

Conquer the Road: RV Maintenance

For more information on this and other helpful tips, see the book designed for non-mechanical travelers, “Conquer the Road: RV Maintenance for Travelers.

 

Recalls - MovingOnWithMargo.com

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.gov) maintains a list of all RVs that are recalled by the manufacturer. To narrow the chances of buying a defective vehicle, check the VIN number on this website.  If you have a question about a particular make or model, enter the VIN number of the vehicle to see the details.

For the latest recalls, click here.

“This is a great book for beginning do-it-yourselfers (like myself). A lot of overview about basic things, so you know you are doing the right thing for yourself.

It’s a guide more than a How-to book. But it includes proper procedures for many things like how to properly maintain and handle your sewer system, troubleshooting the water heater, refrigerator, furnace, etc.

This book also includes how to communicate with the repairman so you don’t get swindled. I particularly appreciated this part of the book. Another useful tool in the book that is very handy are the commonly used acronyms for weight balance.

Detailed descriptions about these acronyms. These help you keep your rig balanced! Very important! I feel more confident now that I know more about my RV. A book worth getting!”
Amazon Customer

  • Would you like to understand more about your RV?
  • How does the refrigerator work and why does it need to be level when in use?

 

Posted in The RV Lifestyle

RV Driving Schools

At last, the perfect RV materializes. Now what? Just looking at it sends chills down your back. Sitting in the driver’s seat gives you goose bumps. Will you ever get up the nerve to turn on the key and hit the road?

RV Driving

This scenario is very common among new and not-so-new RV owners. If you are tired of white knuckle driving or just want to get on with the RV lifestyle, find a driving school and graduate with new confidence.

RV Driving School

Their driving lessons are designed to make you more confident and safe on the road. Their priority is to make sure you have the knowledge and training you need to arrive safely at your next destination. Classes scheduled from coast to coast. www.rvschool.com

 Lazydays RV Sales

Lazydays has two locations, Tampa Florida & Tucson Arizona. Both sales lots have a driver’s training class each week. Free if you buy your RV from them, otherwise a minimum charge. www.lazydays.com/education-training

RV Drivers Confidence Course – YouTube 

Series of videos demonstrating Lazydays RV driving and safety class.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CeThR_A4VI 

 My RV School

Based in Florida, this company is a new entry into the RV driving and education field. They are currently providing classes at rallies around the country.  www.myrvschool.com

FMCA

FMCA, in partnership with the RV Driving School, has developed a pair of programs for those wishing to become safer and more confident drivers. All training uses your RV. The RV Driving Class is a two-day class with classroom training on day 1 and behind-the-wheel training on day 2 ($425). The RV Backing Class is a one-day class with 2 hours of training in the morning and 3.5 hours of individual backing practice in the afternoon ($199). There are a limited number of seats available for each class. You may be able to save on the cost of your insurance after completion of the course. Call 800-543-3622 to register.

 RV Superior Driving School

Superior Driving School, established in 1997, is a Women-owned and operated corporation. Located in Toms River, New Jersey, the school was created with the goal of increasing traffic safety and driver awareness on New Jersey’s heavily traveled roads. www.superiordrivers.com/rv-and-campers.html

Escapees Boot Camp and Driving School

Price includes all training, handouts, RVer’s Ultimate Survival Guide (CD), breakfast Saturday and Sunday morning, and dinner on Saturday evening. There are campfire gatherings each night, weather permitting. RV parking is available on site at an additional cost.

Optional services, such as RV driver training, RV weighing by Escapees SmartWeigh, and fire/life safety products, are available at the event.

Online Edition of Boot Camp

RVers Online University (RVOU) is Escapees RV Club’s answer to the demand for more RV education. With millions of RVs now on the road, and more joining every day, it is important for RVers to understand the capabilities and limitations of their rigs. RVOU brings Escapees acclaimed RVers’ Boot Camp online to offer lessons on topics ranging from driving safety to RV maintenance, with new lessons and topics added regularly. www.escapees.com/knowledge/boot-camp/program-info

 RV Basic Training

You receive one-on-one instruction in your RV, with a Professional Driver / Trainer. Your experience begins with classroom instruction and progresses thru to driving in the country, city and on the freeway. Classes scheduled coast to coast. They show you the “tricks” professional Drivers use to keep safe. There is also a printed RV Basic Training Manual available. www.rvbasictraining.com

Learn more about the RV Lifestyle HERE!