RV Dampness & Humidity

August 20, 2011

by Rae Crothers
damp

Dri-Z-Air Dehumidifier - Dri-Z-Air

Dampness, humidity, and condensation are some of the biggest threats an RV will face. This article provides tips for keeping an RV dry.

Dampness, humidity, and condensation in an RV may lead to mold and mildew, which can quickly take over the RV and make it uninhabitable. Unless they are parked in a very dry climate, most RVers would benefit from some suggestions on how to reduce the dampness, humidity, and condensation that is threatening their RV.

Windows

While all window types are subject to condensation, single pane windows are especially prone to it. Condensation occurs when the inside of the window is warm while the outside is cold. An easy way to insulate windows is to add window film. The shrinking type of film is applied seasonally and then removed, but there are also more permanent films which can not only improve the energy efficiency of the window, but also add privacy.

A window or roof hatch should also be left open a crack for ventilation and to maintain air quality.

Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers are very efficient at removing excess moisture from the air. There are many sizes available, so there is one for any type of RV. If power consumption and/or noise are a concern, there are non-electric dehumidifers, such as Dri-Z-Air, which use pellets to trap moisture and then accumulate it in a basin that needs to be emptied. Such dehumidifiers can be left in the dampest areas of the RV, such as the shower and the over-cab loft in a class C motor home. It is a good idea to leave a few in an RV that is being stored.

Heating

Propane releases water vapor into the air, so electric heat is more conducive to keeping an RV dry. Electric conduction heaters are quiet and effective at taking the dampness out of the air. Propane heating should not be completely eliminated, however, since the furnace ducting reaches and heats areas under the RV that would otherwise not be heated.

Exhaust Fans

The range fan and bathroom fans should always be run when cooking and showering to vent moisture to the outside.

Shower

It is a good habit to squeegee and then wipe down the shower after using it. A microfiber cloth will trap the water and clean the shower at the same time.

Keeping Fabric Away From Outside Walls

Fabric against an outside wall will cause condensation that will lead to mold and mildew. A vigilant eye must be kept on not only the clothing in the wardrobe and cabinets, but also the mattress if it rests along an outside wall. If there is not a lot of insulation under the bed platform, condensation can accumulate under the mattress as well. In such a case, elevating the mattress onto slats would allow air to circulate underneath.

By combining the above suggestions, it is possible to significantly reduce the dampness, humidity, and condensation in an RV. Doing so will improve the air quality in the unit as there will be less risk of contracting mold or mildew issues.

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Wreck-creational Vehicles!

August 19, 2011

by Jeff Miller
The Orange County Register

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click picture to see more photos

Costa Mesa, CA – What, exactly, would possess a man to do this?

To take an otherwise innocent motor home, spend months gutting the thing and money modifying it to precise specifications, spray-paint “Hit Me” above the back bumper and then – while a clown runs around goosing the crowd by wielding a shish-kabob full of rubber chickens and those fans lean forward closer and closer, unable to watch yet unwilling to look away, and a public-address announcer prods for more speed, more collisions, more violence – intentionally smash all his hard work and long hours into another man’s hard work and long hours?

What, exactly, we ask.

“It’s a chance to do something you normally can’t do,” Bob Basile says. “You can go out in the yard and play ball, right? You can’t go out in the yard and play demolition derby.”

No, you can’t, unless you’re willing to play by someone else’s even stricter specifications – society’s.

“I like to say it’s the most fun you can have,” Basile explains, “without getting arrested.”

So, history happened again here last week, on the dirt floor of the big outdoor arena at the Orange County Fair.

Three years ago, this was the site of the first “Motor Home Madness,” a demolition derby featuring RVs, recreational vehicles turned wreck-creational vehicles.

And why not? Why wouldn’t someone – bored with traditional tiny cars crushing one another – concoct a greater level of destruction, a louder volume of chaos?

The O.C. Fair’s theme in 2009 was “Think. Big.” So that’s just what Basile did.

The long-time derby promoter, after first considering pickups, decided instead to employ motor homes. And what was his inspiration?

“I was talking to a guy at Pick-A-Part and he told me he had a surplus of RVs,” Basile says. “That’s all I needed to hear.”

Basile tweaked the rules, recruited a handful of experienced demolition derby drivers and unleashed the madness.

First, though, he said a prayer.

“I was scared to death,” Basile admits. “This is a very violent sport. The last thing we want is for someone to get hurt.”

That’s why, upon entry into the arena, each fan is greeted by a sign that reads, “For your safety please remain seated while vehicles are in motion.”

And why there’s the presence of an ambulance, a fire vehicle and a group of firefighters, eager volunteers each armed with an extinguisher.

That’s also why Basile travels with stacks of flyers detailing each rule and requirement to compete in one of his events. Two highlights:

Rule No. 17: Horns MUST be disconnected.

Rule No. 21: NO concrete allowed.

Bill Altfather of Westminster was one of the early competitors at the O.C. Fair. Now 54, he drove in his first derby at age 15.

Not a single crash or crunch, though, could have prepared Altfather for the initial installment of “Motor Home Madness.” But that’s how history works; if you want to make it, sometimes you have to fake it.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” Altfather says. “I had stuff flying around in my coach. We had all the appliances still in there. I had everything. The microwave, the stove. Everything was in there.”

A man named Mark Carter won that first derby, but he had company in triumph.

“Probably 30 seconds after the event was over,” Basile says, “it was on YouTube.”

A victory gone viral, that’s what “Motor Home Madness” was.

Last year, Altfather won, and this year, there were enough interested drivers with access to disposable RVs that two nights of madness were staged.

“I do this because I love it,” Altfather says. “I like putting on a show for the crowd. That’s why I’m here.”

For prerace introductions, Altfather often climbs atop his motor home and stands with his arms raised, begging for crowd noise.

During stoppages in the event, his signature move used to be to unbuckle himself, rush back into his coach and throw something – a sink, a chair, a table – out the rear end.

For the record, he was the only competitor during the first derby last week to attach a bike to the front of his RV and a spare tire to the back.

“I’ve had the door on the passenger side pushed all the way over and cut my elbow wide open,” Altfather says when asked to detail his worst injuries. “Dislocated my hip once. You know, I’ve been there, done that.”

The YouTube video is how Robert Regnier of Yorba Linda was introduced to “Motor Home Madness.” He helped build three of the RVs used in this year’s events and drove one of them.

He estimates he and two friends spent two months and more than 100 hours preparing the vehicles. Each of their motor homes had been turned to rubble after 15 minutes.

Now, as a service manager at Fairway Ford, as someone who has spent 33 years in the RV business, as a man who makes a living repairing motor homes, such sudden and complete devastation must seem senseless, huh?

“I’ll do it again,” Regnier promises. “It was worth it. It was worth every minute of it.”

Why, exactly? Why not? Exactly.

[five-star-rating]

Grown Men Don’t Cry

August 16, 2011

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Latecrying

How often we have heard it said, but I for one will never believe it! I cried today. Not just a little but several times, and I will probably cry over and over again in the next few days.

Why am I crying? you might ask. Did you lose a relative? Did some financial loss take you by surprise? Did your wife run off with someone else?

None of those things happened to make me cry. However, I did have to say goodbye to a very close companion—one from whom I have learned many lessons about my God and Master.

In fact, in my book, Its Never Too Late – A Prodigal Pastor Returns by WinePress Group (1-877-421-7323) I devoted an entire chapter to lessons I learned from this special friend that God gave to my wife Ruth and me for our 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Now after eight years he has left us, and I find myself praying, “God let there be a place in heaven for good and faithful friends like him. You even declared in your Word, ‘A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel’ (Proverbs 12:10).”

Yes, grown men do cry and sometimes it is for one of God’s other creations like our dog Elvis. I am not ashamed that I learned to cry over many things that come my way in this life on earth. How about you?

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at john@faithrescued.com

[five-star-rating]

Motor Homes Getting Smaller

August 16, 2011

From USAtoday.com

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You may have to look harder to see those convoys of motor homes headed for vacation spots this summer. The RVs are getting smaller.

While sales of traditional motor homes have grown at a respectable 6.2% rate for the first six months of the year, two smaller classes encompassing large van conversions have grown nearly twice as fast, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association reports.

“The era of bigger-is-better and more ostentatious” is over, declares RVIA President Richard Coon. Now, “The trend is toned down quite a bit.”

Blame the economy and gas prices, but also retirees who have decided they don’t need rolling McMansions for status in otherwise hard times.

“Fuel prices are driving it, but this is a cultural shift,” says Bob Wheeler, CEO of Airstream, which converts delivery-van-style Mercedes-Benz Sprinters into low-key motor homes. “There’s a shift away from conspicuous consumption.”

Though these units are priced upwards of $125,000, Wheeler says they typically don’t have the fancy paint and graphics of larger units. “No flashy paint job,” he says. Rather, it’s “understated elegance” — and up to 18 miles a gallon from the modest diesel engine, triple the gas mileage of some big gasoline-powered motor homes.

Even in the bigger vehicle classes, some RVers are downsizing. RV-maker Fleetwood says many buyers of more traditional motor homes, who formerly would have opted for 36-footers or bigger, today are buying downsizing to its 28- to 32-foot Storm line, which starts at about $92,000, says Lenny Razo, eastern regional sales director.

Those RVs are being fitted with more space-maximizing features, such as bunks that drop from the ceiling. Many buyers “are getting older, and they don’t need as much” space, Razo says.

Winnebago, too, has introduced more lower-priced motor homes and fuel-saving diesels. “In the last couple of years, people are wanting value products, not necessarily all the bells and whistles like in 2004,” says spokeswoman Sheila Davis.

Smaller motor homes also can be more versatile, such as serving as a base camp for little leaguers at games, as well as a home away from home on vacation, she says.

[five-star-rating]

“Smokin Hot Wife” Prayer at NASCAR

August 3, 2011

by Duane Careb – President RVchurchesUSA

Alex Murashko of Christian Post Reporter reports that a prayer by Pastor Joe Nelms thanking God for his “smokin’ hot wife” during the invocation at a NASCAR event in Nashville has more than just race fans buzzing. Nelms, a pastor at Family Baptist Church in Gladeville, Tenn., and obviously a race fan, was asked to give the invocation at Nationwide Federated Auto Parts 300 on Saturday. His prayer, which included praise for just about all-things racing, caught many by surprise.

“Heavenly Father, we thank you for all your blessings. You said in all things give thanks. So we want to thank you tonight for these mighty machines that you brought before us. Thank you for the Dodges and the Toyotas,” Nelms prayed before the crowd at the Nashville Superspeedway.

“Thank you for the Fords … Thank you for GM performance technology … and Goodyear Tires that bring performance and power to the track,” he continued.

“Lord, I want to thank you for my smokin’ hot wife tonight, Lisa, and my two children, Eli and Emma, or as we like to call the ‘The Little E’s.’”

Nelms inclusion of “my smokin’ hot wife” is a line from the movie “Talladega Nights.”

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He ended his prayer: “In Jesus’ name, boogity boogity boogity, Amen.”

Reports from those in attendance at the speedway say the crowd roared and many race fans were sent into hysterics during the conclusion of the prayer. A video of the invocation shows drivers chuckling with heads bowed.

Reaction to the prayer has been mostly positive. Race winner Carl Edwards told The Tennessean that he appreciated Nelms’ humor in the prayer.

“I turned to Jack (Roush) after that. I said, ‘If anything happens, I want him to be at my funeral.’ That was one of the best invocations I have ever heard,” Edwards said.

[five-star-rating]

New RV Park Finder Phone App

August 1, 2011

by Woodall’s Campground Management August 1, 2011

The Trailer Life Directory announced that its new RV Park  Finder app is now available for iPhone, iPad and iTouch in the iTunes App Store.

The RV Park Finder application provides RVers with the  same comprehensive and accurate campground information  that they have grown to expect from Trailer Life Directory, according to a news release.

Users can search by  city, state or province to find all of the 11,800 RV parks, campgrounds, attractions and travel services that are listed  in the Trailer Life Directory. Listing information includes location, park amenities, site information, photos and website link.

All of the Good Sam discount locations are marked by red icons on the map and have the Good Sam logo in the listing.

The RV Park Finder app is also equipped with RV friendly routes and Google maps to make getting to each of the campgrounds even easier.

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