Tip of the Month

RV Tip of the Month April 2015

tip april 2015 motorhome

tip april 2015 panama

 Trivia Quiz, what does a 102” class A motor home, driving on a 12’ freeway lane and a Freighter, going through the 120’ wide Panama Canal locks have in common? 

 

They each have less than two feet of clearance on either side of their respective vehicles!

 

 

tip april 2015 road width

When driving a vehicle that is 102” wide, (a Class A motor home) on a road that is 144” wide, (a freeway lane or any new road construction) simple math tells you that if you’re perfectly centered in your lane, there will be 21” on each side of your vehicle. Add to this information the fact that your mirrors are allowed by law to be 10 inches away from the side of your vehicle and you can see that it is tight!

The first thing all new Class A motor home drivers experience is a feeling of being too far to the left in their lane. This is because when driving your car, you experience a feeling of space alongside your car as a result of your peripheral vision. When driving your motor home you lose that feeling, so how does a driver go about knowing where they are in the lane. A simple answer, REFERENCE POINTS!

 

tip april 2015 bus driver trick

One great reference point is The Bus Drivers’ Trick. When looking up the road you will most often see a “dark” patch in the middle of the road. This is known as the “OIL PATCH” The Bus Drivers’ Trick has your brain telling you that your foot on the Gas Pedal feels like it is on the middle of the Oil Patch as you look up the road. Really, it’s that simple!

Now you can verify your position in the lane by checking your convex mirrors and noting that you have the same amount of room on each side of your vehicle. This is great tip when you get into construction zones and have K-rail on one side of you and barrels or cones on the other.

Keeping centered and using reference points are just some of the Tips you will learn when you take RV Boot Camp. Sign up today!

Gary

RV Tip of the Month March 2015

Tip of the Month, March 2015: Are you overloaded?

Are you overloaded

No one would overload their vehicle like this, right?  
Well before you answer that question, let’s examine what you need to know about loading your RV or Mobile Clinic and how overloading can affect your SAFE operation.

GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is the MAXIMUM permissible weight of your vehicle, FULLY LOADED and includes liquids,  passengers and cargo.  (GVWR=NCC) Important because you are unsafe operating near or above this weight.     

GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating) is the MAXIMUM allowable combined weight of the motorhome and the attached tow vehicle.  Important because exceeding this weight places stress on the vehicle’s engine, cooling system and transmission, that exceeds the designed and engineered limits.  GCWR assumes the towed vehicle has its own braking system.

GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) is the MAXIMUM permissible weight each axle assembly is designed to carry, as measured at the tires (including tires, wheels, springs and axle).  The GAWR assumes that the load is equal on each side of the vehicle.  Important because you want your vehicle to be weight-balanced.

UVW (Unloaded/Unladen Vehicle Weight) is the weight of the RV AS BUILT at the factory with full fuel, engine oil and coolant, but otherwise empty.  (GVWR=UVW+NCC).  Important because this number is needed to calculate what you may safely store aboard the vehicle.

NCC (Net Carrying Capacity)is ALL YOUR STUFF; including all occupants, food, tools, LP gas, fresh water, personal belonging, after-factory installed accessories and the tongue weight of any towed vehicle.  Weight Distribution also plays a role in safely loading your vehicle.  (GVWR=UVW+NCC)

CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity) is the GVWR MINUS each of the following:  UVW, full water tank (including not water tank), full LP Gas weight and the SCWR.

SCWR (Sleeping Capacity Weight Rating) is the manufacturer’s designated number of sleeping positions multiplied by 154 pounds.

It’s easy to have your vehicle weighted and this will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your vehicle is balanced and properly loaded.   

For more information, go to www.rvweigh.com .

Did you know Water weights 8.3 lbs per US Gallon, Gasoline weights 5.6 lbs per US Gallon, Diesel Fuel weights 6.8 lbs per US Gallon and Propane weights 4.2 lbs per US Gallon?

RV Tip of the Month February 2015

glasses tip feb 2015What RV Drivers NEED to know when ordering glasses . . .

If you’re like me and thousands of others, we all have one thing in common; we wear glasses to make our vision better. Not only that, many of us have dual-vision glasses with reading lenses at the bottom. This is what I have had for many years and thanks to an Optometrist who had experience with commercial drivers, he had recommended that I have the “focal-point” for the reading glasses set so it was at the end of my arm’s length.

What this did was to allow me to sit in the driver’s seat and see the instruments perfectly clear through the bi-focal lenses without moving my head forward; all I had to do was to look down.

Why do I bring this up? Well I recently purchased new glasses and forgot to mention to the Optometrist that I drive large vehicles and need the bi-focal distance to be set out about 36 inches so I can see the dash instruments. It was when I put on the new glasses and could NOT see the dash instruments that I realized what a great tip this is for any large vehicle driver. My new glasses will be here soon.

RV Tip of the Month January 2015

RVTC Inspection

PRE-TRIP INSPECTION

Once again, I was reminded yesterday of the importance of doing a Pre-Trip Inspection. To review, the Pre-Trip always begins in the engine compartment, checking fluids, belts, hoses and underneath the engine for signs of leaks. Next is the light check, clearance lights, turn signals, hazards, brake lights, backup lights and horn. All was good.

Last but never least, the Safety Check. Starting at the entrance door, making sure the steps retracted, I worked my way around the coach, counter-clockwise, so I was facing possible on-coming traffic. I checked the windshield wipers, made sure the mirrors were secure, the compartment doors were secure and tires had proper inflation.

Guess what I found when I checked the outside dually on the drivers side? The tire had only 22 lbs of pressure! Further examination revealed there were two nails in the tire and there was no way I would have made the 231 mile trip without having the tire go totally flat or even worse, come apart. Never assume everything is OK, always do your checks to make sure that everything REALLY is OK!

What you find may delay you for a few minutes but it’s better to fix a possible problem BEFORE you begin your journey rather than trying to do it on the side of the freeway.

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