Full Time RV Living and Small RV Motorhomes

Pam and I have been living in Frank since February of 2015. But I have another story coming about that.  Stay tuned!

Before Frank, we had a forty foot 5th wheel, shown below.  We decided to downsize to make our frequent travels much easier than they were with the sixty foot of 5th wheel and a large truck.  We started our full time RV living in 2008.  After nearly seven years of full time RV living, we decided to start looking at small RV motorhomes.  That is when we decided on Frank, our 2013 Winnebago class C RV.

Living in a large RV is fairly easy for the inexperienced RVer.  But to move into something that has nearly half the square footage takes careful planning.  And to enjoy full time RV living in small RV motorhomes also takes a close bond between the people living in it.

These days there are many small RV motorhomes to choose from.  They come in class A RV’s, class B RV’s, and class C RV’s.  Pam and I chose a class C RV because we liked the Ford chassis that it was built on as well as for the ease of regular maintenance at a Ford dealership.

When you are moving around a lot, boondocking in various locations (no services camping), have a need to get fuel anywhere you want without worrying about the length of your RV, and not having to worry about the height of your RV, these small RV motorhomes that are being sold these days can be very comfortable for full time RV living.

However, there are some drawbacks to living in these small spaces compared to a little larger RV.  A lot of the issues will come in relation to the compatibility of those living in it.

Take two people that have never lived in a small space, they have always lived in a large home, don’t spend much time in each others space, and stick them in a small RV motorhome, and there will be friction.  It would be like throwing two outdoor cats in a small cage.  That will never turn out well!

So what are some things that Pam and I can share about living in small RV motorhomes?  After three and a half years of doing so, we can absolutely offer information to help you from making a possible mistake unless you are completely sure you can deal with the things we will discuss here.

I will list the positives and nagatives, and in no particular order of importance, because what may be a big issue to us may not be for you, and visa versa.

Positives

  • Maneuverability:  driving something that is between twenty-six to thirty-two feet makes it easy to travel any roads that you desire to travel on.  Pam and I have been on the back roads in many states, including gravel, and have never had to worry about the road width or the clearance height.  A little over ten feet tall is easy to clear most impediments, but when the RV gets to over thirteen feet, things change.
  • Drivability:  a smaller RV drives a lot like a larger car or van.  Sharper turns when needed can be accomplished when conditions change and you wind up in a tight place filling the RV with fuel.
  • Better fuel economy:  Pam and I have easily gotten ten miles to the gallon while keeping the RV at a reasonable speed.  Now fuel consumption is not a big issue for us.  But, we keep the speed down for safety.  The faster you go the better the chance is to mix it up with everyone else.  RV’s don’t stop on a dime!  Around sixty miles per hour is fast enough.
  • Easy to back up:  plain and simple, the shorter the RV is the easier it is to backup up, to turn sharply, and to see around the vehicle.
  • Easy to Boondock:  when staying overnight in Walmart’s, Cracker Barrels, Cabela’s, truck stops, etc. it is easy to slide in anywhere and blend in.  Plus, some smaller RV’s don’t always need to have their slideouts out to be functional.  We have lived for days in Frank without the slides out.  Keep this in mind when choosing a floor plan.
  • Maintenance is Cheaper:  when it comes to fuel fill-ups, oil changes, tires, batteries, etc. small RV motorhomes are easier to care for than their larger counterparts.  We have been able to easily get service at Ford dealerships around the country because we could easily get in their service bays.
  • Less to clean inside and out:  this is an obvious one!  We can vacuum Frank in five minutes!
  • Easy to Break Camp:  when it comes time to move, it’s slides in, services unhooked, jacks up, and we are off.  When we had the behemoth fifth wheel RV it took hours to get the things ready to move, including hooking it up to the tow vehicle.
  • Towing / Hookup:  hooking up a trailer or vehicle to small RV motorhomes is easy due to you are towing less weight and both vehicles are a lot more maneuverable.  So, getting them connected is much easier.
  • Great if you are moving around a lot:  the ease of getting in and out of RV sites, driving in city traffic, using it to go shopping without a tow vehicle present, and maneuvering in tight places makes small RV motorhomes a very popular choice.

Negatives

  • Carrying Capacity:  depending on the chassis that the RV manufacturer uses, the amount of stuff that you can carry is reduced in these smaller RV’s.  Values can range from five hundred pounds to a little over two thousand pounds.  When you are putting all your worldly possessions onboard for full time RV living, and towing a trailer or a vehicle, this can become a big issue.  You will want to consider this point carefully and look for the label on the RV that shows these figures.
  • Drivability:  you will feel the wind more and the effects of trucks passing you in a smaller RV.  When you have a crosswind while driving highway speeds it can be a fight to keep the RV in a straight line path as you battle the wind gusts.  It is the same with trucks passing.  They tend to push you away when they first pass and then suck you in as they go by.  No big deal, you just have to be aware that this is what happens in these lighter RV’s.
  • Storage:  even though there is limited storage in some of these RV’s you can still overload them.  We had Frank weighed at each tire and found that our rear axle was at maximum load and the front axle was a bit under.  What added the extra weight was the five hundred pounds of tongue weight from the trailer.  But, the trailer allowed us to carry a couple of thousand pounds more stuff that the RV could not carry.  It could tow a maximum of five thousand pound trailer with a five hundred pound tongue weight.
  • Towing:  so, even though we could tow what we needed, for others, the limitations of the small RV chassis and what it can tow can be an issue.  If you have a larger vehicle, the RV may not be able to pull it given the maximum weight rating and what is being towed.
  • Small bathroom:  okay, this can be a big issue!  We have had a small bathroom now for over three years, and we have made it work.  Now we are not large people, but if someone is, the smaller showers will never work!  If you drop the soap you will not be able to pick it up without turning off the water and opening the shower door or screen.  Just moving around can be difficult.  And, you may only have a six-gallon water heater.  Long showers are not going to be an option.  You can use the facilities at the RV park, but most times that is inconvenient and they are not always as clean as we would like them to be.  Also, using the RV toilet and wiping your hind end can truly be problematic with some of the toilet locations!  LOL
  • Personal Space:  chances are, if you are both moving about in the RV, you are going to be in each other’s way.  There is no personal space.  There is no getting away from your spouse if arguments occur.  That is why we recommend to people who are thinking about adopting the full time RV lifestyle, to rent an RV that is very close to the one they are considering so they can go out and experience what life will be like aboard these small RV motorhomes.
  • Laundry:  you will find most small RV motorhomes will not have a washer or dryer.  You really have to be in the thirty-six-foot length, or more, to get either the separate or combo units installed.  Is this a big deal?  It depends on you.  We had a washer and dryer in our 5th wheel and loved them.  It avoided having to go to the RV park laundry and spending hours getting the job done.  Laundry facilities can range from great to not so great.  Also, you just never know what has been washed in them before you get there!
  • Hanging clothing:  there is limited space for hanging clothing.  Having a large wardrobe selection will never work in this type of RV.  That means you will be washing clothes more frequently.
  • Cooking Space:  if you want to cook gourmet meals, the RV lifestyle is not the ticket.  There is limited space and you can only do so much in it.  We cook frozen pizzas, make salads, bake chicken and fish, and can make skillets on the cooktop stove.  You can do pretty well, you are just not going to be able to create four-course meals.  And your dishware should be unbreakable and easy to clean by hand.  Large pots and pans will not be easy to clean in a small RV sink!
  • Kitchen Gadgets:  these are great to have around the house but you probably won’t have room to store them in the RV.  You may be able to bring along a few of your favorites but the rest will have to go.
  • Small Refrigerator:  an RV refrigerator in a small RV motorhome is going to have less than half the storage capacity as one that you have in your home, around seven cubic feet.  Sometimes you may get twelve cubic feet but at the cost of losing kitchen storage.
  • Limited Seating Space for you and visitors:  this is pretty straightforward.  The shorter the RV, the less seating arrangements will exist.  You have to decide what you can live with.  Pam and I can sit at the dinette, spin the front driver and co-pilot seat around (which is not comfortable because they sit too low), and if we want to lay down we have to use the short queen bed.
  • Limited Sleeping Space:  in larger RV’s you have a bedroom, a sleeper sofa, and perhaps some other bunk type arrangements.   But, in a small RV, you get a smaller bed, perhaps a dinette that makes into a small bed, or maybe a bed over the cab.  In most cases, these are fairly small and not very comfortable for six-foot tall RVers.
  • Limited Freshwater, black, and gray tank storage:  you have approximately half the storage. or less then you do in a larger RV.  That is no big deal if you are staying in RV parks all the time.  But if you want to dry camp, then this issue can become problematic.
  • Limited Electrical Supply:  this can be a big issue!   Most people don’t understand that when they leave their sticks and bricks home, where you can turn on anything electrical you want, and live in an RV, that this is not the same when it comes to electrical usage.  You only have limited electrical supply that you can use.  Most smaller RV’s supply 30 amps of power.  That is enough to run an AC unit and something else in the 1000 watt range.  After that, you have to pick and choose.  During the winter months it easier because heating devices can run on propane.   My point is, you only have 3,600 watts of power compared to a larger RV that has 12,000 watts.
  • None of the extras you get in a larger RV:  things like more seating area choices, extra beds, recliners, washer/dryers, ceiling fans, dishwashers, fireplaces, storage space, inverters, multiple AC units, bigger bathrooms, room to move around, etc.  The list goes on and on!
  • One AC unit:  if it breaks you only have the only the one.  This can be problematic when temperatures are in the nineties and it can be days before a fix can be found.  Mobile RV techs can come to the rescue but they will still have to order an AC unit to replace it.  Most times these units cannot be fixed, they have to be replaced unless it is just a fan or control module issue.  When it comes to the cooling unit, when it goes, replacement of the whole unit is recommended.
  • Limited working room for running a small business:  since Pam and I run a small business from our RV home we can tell you that it becomes a lot more challenging in small RV motorhomes!  My printer is constantly moving about so that it is not in the way depending on what we need access to.  And during travel days it migrates between the bed and the kitchen countertop.  Having enough workspace is difficult.  It is either the small dinette table, a freestanding table, the kitchen countertop, or a mixture of the three.
  • Pets play space in bad weather:  due to limited floor space pets don’t have a lot of room to romp around
  • Not full time RV living rated:  most small RV motorhomes are not rated for full time RV living or warrantied if they are lived in full time.  The main problem with this is the RV will not last as long as those that are.   It will be colder in the winter and hotter in the summer.  It will also take more resources to heat and cool.
  • TV viewing may be problematic depending on the floorplan:  In smaller RV’s, trying to watch TV can be a problem because if someone is preparing a meal or moving around a fair bit, there is always someone in your way.  This is a constant annoyance in Frank.  If I am sitting trying to watch TV I can only see half the screen because it is located by the kitchen countertop.  Also, the TV may not be located in a place that allows for comfortable viewing.  It may be good for short sessions, but not two-hour movies.  Just saying.
  • Odors are more intensified in a small space:  this one speaks for itself!  The smaller the space the greater the problem.

I hope these items that have been mentioned will be helpful as you look into full time RV living in small RV motorhomes.  Please remember that these are just opinions that I have expressed that are based on our ten years of full time RV living.

Please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

Blessings,

Howard, Pam, and Lindsey!

Lindsey, the RVing Corgi Early Summer 2018 Update

full time rv living

 

Lindsey the full time RVing Corgi here.  It has been awfully hot lately!  It seems like we went from winter to summer in a matter of weeks.  I have been spending more time indoors because it is way too hot for this furball!

Mom and Dad have been spending a fair bit of time at the National RV Training Academy (NRVTA).  They have had a lot of classes that they have held there so far this year.

They have also been out traveling around Texas doing RV inspections for clients that need their services.  The cool thing is when they leave the NRVTA they bring the RV home and I get to go along.  Isn’t that cool?

 

 

Earlier this year at the NRVTA a small temporary facility was brought in to start classes while the bigger facility is being built.  The picture at the top of this post is the concrete slab awaiting the steel for the building to arrive.  So, the picture above shows where classes are currently being held.  It is called the Little Red School House.

I heard Dad say that once the Big Red School House is completed there will be seventeen thousand square feet of space in the new training facility.  It will look like this picture rendering:

national rv training academy

 

So, what have I been doing while all this stuff that has been going on around me?  I have been sleeping a lot.  I am going to be fourteen years old on the ninth of July.  Wow, that’s at least ninety-eight in human years!  For an old girl, I am still doing pretty well, but this typing thing, and seeing the laptop computer screen is getting a little tough, so Dad has to help me out.

While Mom and Dad are at work I get a lot of sleep.  But when they take me on RV inspections I get a little out of my rhythm.  They just keep waking me up with all the comings and goings and the moving around of the RV home.

A few days ago Mom and Dad packed up the RV again and we have been driving for days.  I think we are in Florida.  It seems familiar.  I recognize some of the smells from when we were here late last year. 

I think Dad is going to see his Mom.  I heard him talking about having a little extra time to get away before they need to be back at the NRVTA for the next round of eager students who want to learn more about their RV’s and how to inspect them.

I think I heard them say that tomorrow they are going to stay at Lazydays RV Park.  There is a 126-acre dealership attached to the facility.  Dad has used the rally facility before to hold classes.  They think I am sleeping and not paying attention, but my big ears are always listening to what’s going on.

I remember the place very well!  Mom and Dad have walked me all over that place looking at all the RV’s.  I think it’s like a candy store for grownups, especially my Mom and Dad. 

Dad has a tentative inspection there on Friday.  I am sure they will also be looking around while they are there.  They always do!  It’s a great place to check out all the new and used RV’s in order to keep the inspection and tech skills sharp.

Well, that’s it for now.  I’ll check back in pretty soon because I think I will have lots more to talk about.

But, right now I am ready for a nap!

 

Lindsey . . . . out!

Lindsey, the RVing Corgi Early Spring 2018 Update

Well, Spring is finally here and I am glad!  It was a cold Winter and I don’t think my old bones could take any more of the cold weather that I and the RV have had to endure.

When I last wrote it was really cold!  I was wrapped up in my blanket that Mom bought me because it was so cold in the RV.  RV’s are not meant to be in freezing temperatures for long periods of time.  We are in Texas at the moment and I thought it is supposed to be warmer than this.

rv dogs

We had the wettest February on record since they started keeping them in the Dallas area and the tenth wettest month on record.

Up until just recently, we have still had nights in the forties.  This Corgi thinks that is a little chilly for April in Texas!  But, it looks like all that is behind us and we are warming up.  The past few days I have been panting a lot so Mom has had to run the AC to cool off the RV.  Big weather swings here in the Southland.  They say everything is bigger in Texas and I think that goes for swings in the temperatures too!  LOL

So what has this Corgi been up to?  Well, not too much.  I sleep all day in my crate because that’s where I like it, sometimes on the floor, I get up for a drink of water and to go out to potty, and then back in for a cookie and more sleeping.  At night I sleep on the bed and protect Mom and Dad.  It’s a tough life but someone has to do it.

rv dog

Mom and Dad did not move the RV as much this winter as they did last year.  At this time last year, we were in Bakersfield, CA and it was one hundred a six degrees.  Yikes!  They were there for teaching an RV Inspector training class. 

We have been taking some short trips around Texas recently, but our full time living RV has been hanging out a lot at the National RV Training Academy because that is where Dad teaches.

I hear Mom and Dad talking a lot about preparing for classes.  They help people with learning how to fix their RV’s themselves and for others who want to become RV inspectors.

I don’t mind hanging out here in Athens, TX because it is a really nice RV park with lots of room to roam, several small lakes on the property, a duck named Alfalfa that I can chase, turtles and fish, I hear coyotes at night sometimes that I can talk to, so it’s really cool.

There is also lots of activity going on the RV park because the National RV Training Academy is being built right now so there is always something for me to watch when I am out taking Mom and Dad for a walk.

Mom and Dad took the RV out last week to go help someone who had purchased a new RV and then had lots of issues with it.  They asked if Mom and Dad could help him by inspecting it, generating an RV inspection report, and then sending a copy off to the manufacturer because the issues were all covered under warranty and they needed an independent third party evaluation done on the unit.

I hear Mom and Dad talk a lot about what is going on with the RV industry these days.  They don’t think I am listening, and that I am sleeping, but my big ears hear everything!

They have noticed that RVers who are buying new ones are sure having trouble getting them road ready because there are so many issues that they are coming with from the manufacturer. 

I think I heard Dad say he was reading in March of 2018 they shipped in excess of 50,000 RV’s out of Indiana.  I was there last summer and got to meet all the Amish people and their horses.  I like it there!  Lots of things to herd because that’s what I am, a herding dog.

Sorry, I was reminiscing!  I get easily distracted in my old age!  Anyway, they talk a lot about people they hear about and how they are having issues when buying these new RV’s. 

Mom and Dad used to only inspect used RV’s, but they get as many calls for new ones now as they do for used RV’s because people are hearing of all the problems with the industry: a lot of demand and not enough laborers to handle the demand!  At least that is what I think I hear Dad say!

So, I think Mom and Dad have a really cool business because they are able to help people and sometimes I get to go along.  When they are traveling a fair distance they have to take me and my RV home along so this old girl is looked after.  And, I get to see what they are doing.

The last place we went to, at an RV dealership, the story I eluded to earlier, they parked our RV home right by the RV they were inspecting and in between naps I was able to watch what they were doing.  Dad was crawling on top, underneath, all around looking at stuff and Mom was inside doing her thing.  Dad has tools and stuff but I don’t know what that’s all about.

rv inspection

Anyway, about four hours into the inspection they were starting up the RV and leaving and I thought that was odd because it usually takes them a good six hours or more to do their work. 

I was cool with that, time to move on!  I found out the RV dealership kicked them out because they said if they had known what Mom and Dad were doing they would not have allowed them on the property.

All they were doing was inspecting the RV according to NRVIA standards.  They were there inspecting an RV that was owned by their client.  It was there because of the number of issues generated in the manufacturing process. 

They were not doing anything wrong other than documenting what they saw.  They did return the next day to finish the inspection once the issue was cleared up.

Oh well, it was a nice trip and I got to see some new places.

Well, that’s about all that has been going on since my last post.   Mom and Dad have been busy, I have been sleeping, and Frank the RV keeps moving.  It’s a Corgi’s life!

Time to go, my paws are tired from typing!

Lindsey out!

Lindsey, the RVing Corgi Winter 2018 Update

Well, what can a Corgi say about this winter . . . . . Brrrrrrrrrrrr!  Mom bought me two new fleece blankets to help keep me warm!   I have been hiding under them a lot!  Here I am in my crate.   Mom caught me trying to keep warm.

full time rv living

It has been so cold I have had a hard time getting my paws wrapped around a keyboard to create a new website post.

full time rv living

But here goes!

Since December I have been keeping my paws at the Texan RV Park in Athens, TX.  Mom and Dad have been busy teaching classes at the new National RV Training Academy that is located at the Texan RV Park.  Needless to say, I get a little lonely sometimes but I do get a lot of sleep.  And that is never a bad thing.

It has been so cold here in northern Texas this year that it even reached a low of ten degrees Fahrenheit one night.  Mom and Dad unhooked the RV from its park services, brought the slides in and had to use some external heat sources to keep the RV and its water systems from freezing.  From what I overheard Dad say, RV’s are not designed to live in this kind of cold weather.  But, this winter has been unusual according to what I am hearing everyone says.

full time rv living

Look at the ice build-up from just a leaky faucet at the RV park’s water service just after two days!  Wow, I wanted to go out and lick it but it was just too cold!

full time rv living

Sorry for the sideways pictures!  I just could not get my fat paws to rotate them.  Oh well!

The day Dad took that picture it was 18 degrees Fahrenheit and predictions of snow showers.  I only went out to do my business and came right back in.  Yikes!  Way too cold for this Corgi that has gotten used to Florida winters!!

full time rv living

This is what my RV home looked like after a Texas winter storm blew through.  Notice the RV is not hooked up to water and sewer service.  It’s a good thing that Dad did that.  Others who did not unhook their RV services had their water hoses and sewer hoses freeze and rupture.  Dad says you have to be mindful in the winter if you are going to enjoy RV living when it is below freezing.

This is the first year in ten years of full time RV living that I have had temperatures this cold!  We had a brief period of teen temperatures while in the panhandle of Florida back in 2014.  I remember Dad took a picture of the RV with ice all over it from an ice storm.

I can’t seem to locate it so you will have to take my word on that.  I do remember it was 16 degrees though.  Dad had to get out a hair dryer to heat up the door and melt the ice so he could take me out to go potty.  Once he got the door open he found the steps of the RV all iced over so he had to thaw those out too.

Fortunately, with our current RV, Frank, there are no steps other than the external step we use sometimes.  It can be removed if it becomes iced over.  I think you can see it in the picture above just to the left of Frank, the RV.

In the past few weeks we have had temperatures in the twenties and thirties at night, but in the next few days, it is supposed to get into the seventies during the day and the fifties at night.  That is much better for February, I think.  I can deal with that.  When it is below forty degrees it is just too cold for me!!

Well, not much else to report so far this year.  Mom and Dad have been working a lot and trying to keep warm.  I even saw ski jackets come out that I have not seen in years.  Oh well, I am tired and need another nap.  This writing this is exhausting.  I don’t know how Dad can write thousands of words doing these posts.

This Corgi just does not have that much to say!

So, bye bye for now and we’ll catch up with you again soon!

Lindsey, the RVing Corgi Early Winter 2017 Update

Hello, from Lindsey the full time RV living Corgi! It has been a few months since I last checked in. Please forgive me as I am an older Corgi and I seem to nap more frequently than when I was younger. Plus, the home on wheels has been moving around a lot these past few months!

With my short legs its hard to use the laptop while the RV is in motion. I keep falling off the dinette seat. And by the time we get to where we are going, I am too tired to think about writing.

So, here’s what we have been up to. Since we left Gettysburg, where I last wrote to you, we traveled to Heber Springs, AR for three weeks of business activities for Mom and Dad.  First, there was another RV Tech Course, the eleventh for the year, the Workamper News Rendezvous, a yearly gathering for work campers to learn more about the lifestyle, then the NRVIA National Conference followed by a five-day advanced RV inspector training class.

I did not see much of Mom and Dad during that time because they were always gone from the RV.  We did get to camp outside the Workamper News office.  Steve and Kathy Jo Anderson, the owners of Workamper News, have RV services so we were able to hang out there.  It was really convenient and allowed Mom and Dad to be closer to the action.

The Anderson’s also have a fur-kid named Charlie that I can play with when I’m not in a grumpy old lady mood!

Dad was able to spend time in the mornings with the students in the RV Tech Course.  From what I understand the class is designed to help people understand their RV better.  Once they complete the five days they are able to solve most of the problems that they will have in their RV’s and do that by themselves. That can sure save time and money! I see Dad fixing stuff all the time. Sure makes me happy! I don’t want to be without lights, water, electricity, etc.

The Workamper Rendezvous is for RVers who want to learn more about living in their RV’s, traveling the country, and working in areas where they want to hang out for a while.  The event was to help people learn how to become a workamper, how to market to employers who want workampers, and planning to get to that point.  Dad did a seminar on the steps to becoming a workamper. Mom said he did a good job!

Then, a few days later, there was the NRVIA National Conference.  This is a yearly event that brings the NRVIA certified RV inspectors together to learn more from each other as well as from vendors who come to share their knowledge.  Dad got to act as Emcee again like he did last year. They must have had fun because they were sure gone from the RV a lot!  I heard Dad talking about all the great stories of how NRVIA inspectors helped folks who bought an RV.  Because of what they do, many have been spared from buying a money pit!

I really like traveling in my RV!   I can’t imagine what it would be like to have one that has constant problems.  Now I know I have heard Dad say that they are not called RV’s, but RVR’s. He says that means “Repair Vehicle Regularly”.   I think what he is saying is that if you move your RV a lot, it is going to develop issues.  The main reason is that it is like a rolling earthquake.  With the condition of highways in the US, things are going to rattle loose and need repair.  At least I think that is what he is saying.

He does not speak Corgi well as I would like, but I think that is what I learned from listening to his conversation with Mom.

After Heber Springs we left and headed back to Athens, Texas to the Texan RV Park. This is the new home of the National RV Training Academy.  Again, Dad and Mom had more classes, just like in Heber Springs, AR.

Then, Mom and Dad had a family emergency, plus they had another class to teach in Baton Rouge, so in mid-November, we left Athens, TX and spent a week in Baton Rouge with some really nice people. I was alone a lot, once again, but I sense the people that Mom and Dad were with great people.

We parked outside one man’s house in a place he had set up for services for our RV home. I also saw Mom and Dad bopping around in a big electric cart. They had to go about 300 yards to a facility that was set up for them to train some advanced RV inspection skills to folks who work with government agencies to help displaced homeowners find temporary housing in RV’s. They need to be inspected first, so Mom and Dad were helping to get them up to speed to do that.

After that, we were off to South Florida. We were on the road for two more weeks and were back in Athens, TX by early December for the last round of classes for 2017.

While in Florida, Mom and Dad decided to buy a new truck. I was thinking it was for me so I could also go with them more, but I don’t think that was the reason. From what I understood by pretending to sleep, but really listening in to what they were saying, was that in order to serve their clients better they felt a Chevy Colorado with a 6-speed manual transmission, that could be flat towed, would be a good choice for their business.

Dad says it a real “Bare-Hare”, a term picked up from Steve Anderson, which means it does not have all the frills that some trucks do, but then again, any truck that has a manual transmission is built that way. Dad likes that because he says all my dog hair really sticks to carpets and it is hard to vacuum up so he is glad the truck does not have any. But, I can still leave nose marks on all the windows . . . LOL!

Dad wants to put a truck topper on the rear truck bed to allow for safe storage of work equipment.  He then wants to create some graphics for that topper to advertise for their company, HMRVI Corporation.  I think he should put a picture of me in the back window for people to enjoy!  LOL

Since the holidays are just around the corner Dad is in the RV all the time and keeping me awake.   I wish he would get back to work!  Uh oh, Dad is behind me looking over my big ears and he just corrected me.  He says he is working, just on different projects from his RV office in our RV home.

Given it is now almost Christmas, I want to wish all my peeps out there a very Merry Christmas and wishes for a healthy and pawporous, I mean prosperous New Year!!

Lindsey out . . .

 

Kidde Safety Recall – Kidde Extinguisher Recall

The Kidde Company (pronounced Kida) announced a massive recall on the fire extinguishers that they produce.  This Kidde safety recall has been initiated for the safety of its customers.  The Kidde extinguisher recall is on certain Kidde fire extinguishers.  The company says they are broadcasting this recall voluntarily and that they will replace it for free, a comparable or better unit if you follow the proper steps.

About forty million of the Kidde brand fire extinguishers have been recalled because they may not work properly.  One death has been reported along with injuries and property damage due to the failure of these units.  The Kidde fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to operate and can fail during a fire emergency, according to this recall notice.

In addition, the nozzle can detach from the body of the unit with enough force to pose an impact hazard!

I will help you identify whether your Kidde fire extinguisher is included in the recall and show you where to find the information you need to process your request for a free replacement.

kidde extinguisher recall

Now, let’s see if your Kidde fire extinguisher is affected by the recall!

There are two styles of Kidde fire extinguishers included in the recall.  They are certain plastic handle fire extinguishers and push button pin fire extinguishers.

kidde extinguisher recallIf the Kidde fire extinguisher has a gauge, the first thing to look for is a vertically oriented pull pin that is either fixed with two connectors or hanging with a single connection.  The other distinguishing factor is a straight, not a curved handle.

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The other type of Kidde extinguisher recall is for certain units with the push button.  These extinguishers have push buttons and a t-shaped pull pin and a loop handle.  They come in two sizes and may be either red or white.  If your push button model is used with a personal watercraft, Kidde does not currently have an exact replacement for it, but they will provide a replacement that is US Coast Guard rated, and of a similar size.

kidde extinguisher recallkidde extinguisher recallkidde extinguisher recallkidde extinguisher recall

Let’s take a moment to identify Kidde fire extinguishers that are not affected by the Kidde safety recall.  If your fire extinguisher has a metal handle and metal pull tab, in any style, it is not affected like the plastic handle extinguishers with horizontal plastic pull pins.

kidde extinguisher recall

Curved black plastic handled units are also not affected.  These extinguishers come in various sizes and are either red, white, or silver and can be BC or BCE rated.  The important thing to remember is the horizontal plastic pull pin and curved black plastic handle units are not on recall!

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To process a replacement as part of the Kidde extinguisher recall you will need to provide three unique identifiers from your unit.

kidde extinguisher recall

You will first need to locate and identify the model number and color of the fire extinguisher.  The model number can be found on the bottom right of the Kidde fire extinguisher label, perhaps below the UL mark.  It may consist of both alphabetic characters and numbers.  If more than one model is listed on the label you will only need to submit the first model listed.

kidde extinguisher recall

If you are entering your replacement request online, the web form includes a drop-down list of affected models in the color of the Kidde fire extinguisher.  Please be sure to select your respective combination of model and color.  If you don’t see your fire extinguisher listed it is not subject to the recall.

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For the date of manufacture, you will need to locate the ten digit code on the side or back of the cylinder.

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You are going to be interested in digits five through nine.  These will tell you the day and year that the Kidde fire extinguisher was manufactured.  Digits five, six, and seven represent the day of the year.  That can be from one to three hundred sixty-five.  Digits nine and ten represent the last two digits of the year.  For example:

kidde extinguisher recallkidde extinguisher recallkidde extinguisher recallThe final item you will need to complete your request for a replacement is the serial number.  The serial number is located near the model number on the unit’s label and it will consist of a combination of both alphabetic characters and numbers.

 

kidde extinguisher recall

Now that you have all the information you need for the Kidde safety recall, and determined yours is on recall based on what I have discussed here, you can go to kidde.com, or call their toll free number to so they can ship you a replacement.

kidde extinguisher recall

From kidde.com:

kidde extinguisher recall
Please keep your affected Kidde fire extinguisher until the replacement unit arrives.  Once you receive the new one you will find instructions on how to return your affected fire extinguisher.

This Kidde safety recall is so widespread that recently fifteen RV manufacturers submitted a recall notice.  These include Midwest Automotive Designs, Winnebago, Thor Motor Coach, Forest River, Keystone RV, Bison Coach, DRV Suites, Entegra Coach, Cruiser RV, Heartland RV, K-Z RV, Highland Ridge RV, Starcraft RV, REV Recreation Group, and Pleasant Valley Teardrop Trailers.

All tolled that equals 1,883,731 affected RV’s with these Kidde fire extinguishers that were factory installed.

These RV manufacturers will let their owners know and direct them to contact Kidde directly using the information that I have shared here.

Best wishes for safe RV travels!

Howard and Pam – usedrvinspection.com

Lindsey the RVing Corgi Early Fall 2017 Update

Since my last post telling you all about my emergency surgery, I have been a busy Corgi!   Mom and Dad keep moving my home on wheels.  Since July I have been in nine states.  I have spent a lot of time getting lulled to sleep by the drone of the road as Mom and Dad drive to all the places they have taken me too.

After a while, one park seems like another.  I can only tell the difference between them by the smells I pick up.  And since they are not mine, I get to read all the other p-mail left by other traveling canines.  And of course, I get to respond in kind.  “Life is never boring for me, the RV traveling Corgi!”

So, after my surgery thing in northern Indiana, near Elkhart, Mom and Dad stayed another week or so conducting business and visiting RV manufacturers while I rested up after my traumatic experience.  My fur has still not completely grown back but I have less of an Amish but then I did a few months ago.  An old girl like me does not grow fur like I used to like when I was a puppy, even given my clean eating regimen that Mom has had me on my whole life.

Before we left Indiana Mom and Dad worked with a client of theirs to provide RV inspection services on a brand new RV.  I thought that was kind of weird since Dad says he inspects used RV’s.  He has been asked by banks to inspect new RV’s.  It turns out these homes on wheels, whether new or used, need someone to take a look at them before unsuspecting buyers wind up with a money pit or a warranty headache.

Dad’s client was very happy after he found out all the things that needed attention.  He was saved from having to bring the RV back for the nine days it remained at the dealership being repaired.  I was out in the RV while Mom and Dad did the inspection.  They were at the RV dealership most of the day, so I know they were really searching to find problems with the RV, and to be sure the RV was ready to be lived in.  I got to see Dad’s RV inspection report that he sent to the client.  Wow!  Even I had to say, what a dog with fleas!  This new RV needed some TLC before it headed out on the road!

After leaving the Elkhart area Mom and Dad stopped in Indianapolis to visit the folks at JG Lubricant Services to see what happens to the oil and coolant samples that they pull from motorized RV’s like mine.  Dad wanted to see how the whole process works once the fluid samples reach the lab.  Once again, I was in the RV while they did their thing.  Sometimes I really feel left out, but I know four-legged kids are not allowed to go everywhere unless they are service dogs, which I am not.  I am just a faithful fur-kid who offers love, affection, cuteness, and guarding services.  LOL

Mom and Dad really enjoyed their time with Tom Johnson of JG Lubricant Services and the folks at the lab.  They said everyone was really nice and very excited about the possibilities that exist with fluid analysis services being offered by NRVIA inspectors.

From there it was time to head to Texas to meet up with friends and business associates at their new RV Park.  It’s called Texan RV Park.  From what I hear there is going to be lots of excitement going on there over the next six months.  I’ll keep you posted on that one.  I get to chase and bark at all the geese that hang out at the pond that is behind our RV site.  Lots of fun for me!

After Dad’s advanced RV inspector training class, we all had a few weeks to chill out before heading out on the road again.  This time it was to Hershey, PA for the RV show that happens every year in early September.  This was my third time to the show.  Mom and Dad were gone a lot so I had to guard the RV and catch naps when I could.

Mom and Dad got to spend time with some of the other vendors that offer awesome RV products!  At least that’s what they say.  They especially love Eric and Tami Johnson who offer products, and great service, to keep RVers connected on the road, safe as they travel, and equipped with lots of other cool stuff!  Dad loves his wifi booster!  I think he also said something about getting a cellular signal booster to help with his MiFi unit when the signal is weak.  They have been in some areas recently where a few extra bars would really help with video streaming.

Dad said he was able to do some seminars and talk to future RV owners about buying and selling an RV with confidence.  He had 30 to sixty folks per session.  I heard him say that people really enjoyed the insight into things to think about before purchasing an RV.  He and Mom also were in the Workamper News booth and the NRVIA booth answering visitors questions about the work camping lifestyle, RV inspections, and becoming an RV inspector.  They told me it was a lot of fun!

So now we are in Gettysburg, PA for a few weeks with a lot of people who want to learn about how to fix their own RV and then possibly becoming RV inspectors.  Dad says nobody should be without a small business of their own.  It’s a great way to take advantage of the American dream.  It’s really a great idea for full time RVers and part-timers too.

Okay, it’s time for another nap!  I will check in next month and let you know what else I have been up to.  THis next month is going to be busy for Mom and Dad with lots more traveling, so check back and I’ll share what me, Mom, and Dad have been up to.

Lindsey out!

Pay Attention to Gas Prices Near State Lines!

So far this year, Pam, Lindsey, and I, as we have traveled, we have gone at least 500 miles to the next destination. This kind of travel has taken us across multiple state lines, sometimes a couple of them a day.  I frequently pay attention to gas prices near me as we move across state lines.

What I wanted to share in this post is something that is of importance to most RVers, fuel costs.  Now, we don’t stress over this subject because it is what it is:  I don’t know of anyone who can move their house and all their possessions so cheaply.  For us, we get around ten miles to the gallon with our current RV.  So, if we travel 1,000 miles, and gas costs $2.50 a gallon, as an example, we would spend $250 for that distance.  Not too bad!

Gas prices Near Me!

What if gas prices near me are possibly less.  What if we were able to buy that same gas for $2.20 a gallon?  Would it be worth knowing that?  If that cheaper gas was located at a place that was on our route, and we could drive a little further to get to it, why would we not do that?  That could save us $30.  No big deal, but it just makes plain good sense, right?  The other case can happen as well, the gas could be more.

Crossing state borders can drastically increase or decrease your gasoline bill.  GasBuddy has identified twenty high-risk areas where knowing that they can exist can definitely save you some moola!  When it comes to filling up a fifty to one hundred gallon fuel tank on an average sized RV, these differences can be significant.  Hey, any savings you can make might buy your evening dinner at Cracker Barrel!

“Generally, the price spread between states next to each other is the difference in state and local taxes, but can be enhanced if the two neighbors have different types of required gasoline from different regions,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst.  “Usually, traveling across state borders isn’t an event that sticks out to motorists who are usually busy taking pictures of the welcome signs, but gas prices can stealthily surge just by crossing over the state line.  To avoid overspending, motorists should mind the price spread and look up gas prices on both sides of the border in advance to make an informed decision on where to fill up.”

gas prices near me

As Pam and I travel we have found that Google Maps, running on a tablet attached to a suction cup windshield mount, has been the best way for us to get where we are going and the easiest to deal with.  Google Maps is an easy app to use as well as it has live updates during travel.  This app also shows gas prices near me.  This information, as well as the GasBuddy app, has definitely saved us money as we travel through different states.

gas prices near me gas prices near me

Now, we have been fans of Pilot and Flying J travel centers because you can be assured there is enough room to navigate the premises with any type of RV.  Plus, if you have the RV plus card you can save five to eight cents a gallon and charge at the pump, no need to go inside.  Now, I still compare their prices against other retailers, but usually, it works out in my favor.

I also want to get back to this live update comment I made.  With the Google Maps app running while I drive, with the traffic feature enabled, if there is an accident ahead that has slowed traffic, or closed the highway, I am re-routed around the slow up and saved from sitting in a traffic jam and wasting fuel.

gas prices near me

gas prices near me

During our travels last month we were stopping for fuel as we had planned to do before crossing a state line, and upon trying to re-enter our planned route the Google Maps app told us that we should not get back on the highway entrance ramp, but travel seven miles south of that and re-enter the highway there.  The app identified a seven-hour delay because of an accident.  As we got further south of our location and were able to see the highway, there were two trucks that had hit one another.  We found out later that one trucker was dead on impact.  The highway was littered with debris and it took all day to clear before vehicles were let through.  We, however, did not have to sit on the highway and wait due to our technology running.  Apparently, not a lot of other people use this great source!

But, when it comes to finding gas prices near me, the Google Maps app is definitely the best way for me to pay attention to fuel prices, as I need fuel, and am near state lines where gas can either be more or less on one side of the price line or the other.

So, use those great resources that are out there and enjoy your travels!

 

Blessings,

Howard and Pam

Lindsey, the RVing Corgi Summer 2017 Update

Well, a lot sure has happened since my last post!  Unfortunately, it happened to me.

Mom was doing her daily brushing of my fur and noticed a bump on my really cute Corgi butt!  No pride here.

Mom was really concerned and decided to take me to the vet for testing on the new growth.  I did not notice it but Mom is always concerned about me given I will be thirteen on July ninth.

Friends of Mom and Dad were so nice and allowed us to borrow their really big truck to take a trip to the vet that was about eight miles away in the next town.  Taking the RV for short trips can be a pain sometimes!  Mom and Dad usually take the Honda out when they need to run errands, but since it does not have a side car it would be hard for me to travel on it.  LOL

I really did not know where they were taking me until I got there.  I am not a big fan of vets because it usually means I am going to get poked.  And that is exactly what happened.  First, it was sticking needles into the growth on my butt and then they wanted some of my blood too!

I am not sure what was going on but Mom and Dad seemed really sad!  They had to schedule some emergency surgery in order to remove my butt lump.  I don’t know what the big deal was but there seemed to be some urgency to getting the thing removed.

I overheard Mom say that if it was not removed I would only have three to six months to live.  Yikes!!

I am so glad Mom and Dad care about me and take care of these things!  I had no idea what was going on the day of surgery other than I got another ride in a rental car.  Mom and Dad had to rent a car because I was going to have multiple trips back and forth to the vet.

So, Mom dropped me off at 8 am in the morning and I was excited to get in there as I remember getting Beggin Strips the last visit.  I am all about the food you know!

I was placed in a little pen, given something and after that, I don’t remember too much till Mom and Dad came to pick me up.  I had a thing on my head and some stuff sticking out my butt.  I think it looked bad because Mam and Dad looked really sad again.

I did not realize how bad I look till I saw these pictures.  Mom worked really hard to keep my incision clean.  I have been taking lots of pills wrapped in chicken.  Yummy!  They are supposed to help me get better.

Mom and Dad had to wait a week to get the report back from the lab on testing of the mast cell tumor that was removed.  I guess the news was good because there was a big cheer when they talked to the vet.  It appears the tumor was the lowest in severity and that they got it all.  According to the vet, there is a low chance of it coming back.  Thank goodness!!

A few days later I had my drain tubes removed.

Five days later I had the stitches removed.  The vet was happy with my progress.  Mom and Dad want me to be around for a lot more years.

As of today, my incision is healing well and I am on the mend.  It has not bothered me and I have been leaving it alone, so no more cone on the head.  Yea!!

Mom and Dad are going to be giving me a natural cancer support concoction that she found online after doing lots of research.  They have been big fans of essential oils and herbs for many years!  So they are going to get something specifically formulated for us four-legged furkids.

Thanks, Mom!   I hope to be doing my bark report for many more years to come!!  Please share your furkids experiences if you want to in the comment area below.

Until next time . . . . .

Lindsey, the RVing Corgi Early Summer 2017 Update

Lindsey here!  Since my last writing, I have been in eleven states.  Mom and Dad still keep moving my home on wheels.  They say full time RV living for them involves traveling and working in multiple locations in order to grow their business.  I don’t know what that means but I do get to leave p-mail in a lot of different states.

Things have improved on the computer usage issue.  Dad bought another HP laptop computer, with Windows 10, so now there are three laptops around.  I guess humans like to look out the window too and that’s why Dad spends so much time in front of the computer.

Dad wanted to get rid of the oldest one but I grabbed it and now have one that I can use to write my blog posts.  With my big paws, I can’t type very well, but I am getting better at it.

I was able to change the fonts sizes on the screen so I can see things a lot easier given my failing eye site!  I will be thirteen human years old next month.  That makes me at least ninety-one in doggy years.

I spent a few weeks in Mesa, AZ where it was hot and there was absolutely no grass to pee on!  It is nothing but gravel, palm trees, and cactus.  Mom and Dad were busy spending time with other people who live in RV’s talking about technical stuff that makes no sense to me.  But they seem to enjoy it!

From there we left to head to a place called California.  I was there when I was a puppy, but I don’t remember that much during that RV trip.  Anyway, we did get a chance to do a little sightseeing on the way there.  We stopped in a place called Lake Havasu.

This place was a little better than Mesa.  At least there was a big lake and a little more grass.  We stayed in an RV park near town.  Mom and Dad were gone quite a bit going to see this thing called the London Bridge and the sites of Lake Havasu City.  They even rented a Hobie kayak and paddled around the bridge and lake.

I couldn’t go because it interrupted my nap time.

After a few days there we headed to Bakersfield, California for another session of classes that Dad was teaching.  It was really hot there!  One day it hit one hundred and three degrees.  I nearly burned my puppy paws on the gravel and asphalt.  We were there for a few weeks and then we got to leave.

The RV park was in the middle of orange groves and there was not much else around.  So, between the heat and that, I was ready to move on!

From there Mom and Dad said we were headed to a much cooler place, and that it rained a lot too. We traveled north to a place I had never heard of.  After leaving California we were in a state called Oregon.  It did get much cooler and rainy.  One day it was in the forties, whatever that means.  All I know is that I was glad to have my heavy fur coat.

After spending a few weeks with more nice people in both Salem and Jefferson, Oregon, we took a long drive to Colorado where Mom, Dan and I used to live.  We were only a couple of hours from where my “stick and bricks” home used to be.

We came across the central part of Colorado on Hwy 50.  We had to cross a mountain pass called Monarch Pass.  We climbed over 10,000 feet and found snow from a late season snow storm.  Dad took a picture of the RV there.

We ventured on and stayed a week in a town called Canon City.  Mom and Dad spent time with more RVers, some that are also enjoying the full time RV lifestyle, talking about the advantages of operating a small business out of their RV home.

Some of them decided to take Dad’s advanced RV inspection training class the next week in Pueblo, Colorado.  But before leaving Canon City Mom and Dad were able to do a little sightseeing.  They visited a place called the Royal Gorge Bridge Park.  They do allow dogs there, and I could have gone except that given my age I am not able to really take long walks like I used to.  So I stayed in the RV and took a nap.

I heard Mom and Dad talking about it.  They said it was really a beautiful place!  They took lots of pictures of the Colorado landscape.  I included some of them here.

royal gorge

After some boondocking nights around Colorado Springs, Mom said we needed to leave the state and head to Indiana.  Now I have been there before.  I was there a couple of years ago when Mom and Dad were there for factory tours and teaching engagements.

So now we are in Shipshewana in what I have heard Mom call Amish country.  There are a lot of horses here and people riding around in buggies, or what some call carriages.  Some of the people here don’t have cars.  They choose a more traditional lifestyle.  They seem to love to make baked goods and country style cooking.

Mom and Dad seem to like it!

We’ll be here for a bit while Mom and Dad conduct more of their business activities.  I have had a chance to meet some big furry beasts that are in the field behind our RV home.  I think they are also horses, but I have never seen ones this big,  I barked at Mom and she said they are draft horses.

Well, that’s all for now.  I’ll bark again soon!  It’s time for a nap.  I wore myself out remembering all the places I have recently been.

Don’t Wait for Service, Learn How to Fix it Yourself!

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