Hello campers! Winter continues to bring us opportunities for extended ski resort fun, a promise of precious water feeding our lakes and streams, along with wildlife and wildflowers as happy as can be this spring. We would like to touch on a couple of concerns some folks have about RV’s, as well as some RV safety/equipment issues that may be of interest.

Russ and Lori were asked if there are any Class A recreational vehicles that may have the new drive-assist options. This would include braking and lane correction. To be honest, Russ and Lori have an opinion about that, so here we go! We feel that an operator of any RV should have full attention at all times when driving. There are far too many variables that require a human fully operating the RV. Road conditions, wind, traffic, preparing for cross traffic that the driver needs to watch, and weather, require instant decisions and predictions that only a driver can correct with precision. Folks have been driving RV’s in their own lane for nearly 100 years now without drive-assist. For now, we feel that humans do the best job in an RV.

Another question Russ and Lori often get is how to get started in camping inexpensively with less expense of maintaining an RV. That’s easy, don’t start with one. Russ and Lori started camping in a $10 tent from Sears in 1973. Ten bucks was a chunk of change to lay down for a tent back then, but that is what we could afford. We all have to remember the core reason for going camping. The million dollar rig in a site next to the hundred dollar tent share the same view, fine company, and enjoying being where you are at the time. Regardless of vehicle you drive its fun to plan and select camping supplies for tenting with what vehicle room you have. For around $300 you can have a grand start in camping. Tenting may appeal to you so much, an RV may not be what the best seemed at the time anyway.

With such extended cold weather, many areas not seeing freezing weather like this have had folks experience some RV situations that we certainly want to pass along. Many folks chose not to winterize their RV this year. It is sort of a roll of the dice. If it doesn’t freeze you are good to go. Russ and Lori always suggest winterizing in any climate that ‘may’ freeze. Some borderline freeze areas saw RV’s with one area that caused freeze damage. The flush valve to the commode can have a teaspoon of water in it. The valves froze and separated. With no water pressure to the RV, it is hard to see that happened, until you apply water pressure next trip. The water pump acts the same way. You don’t want to freeze the water pump. Take note to check all water lines, fittings, and valves before venturing out on the next adventure.

Here is an interesting one that we rarely heard of, but there are enough instances to warrant letting our readers know. Stabilizing jacks are being bent or totally broken by travel trailers that have slid or moved a bit from front to rear. As an example, the stabilizing jacks on our travel trailer offer stability when parked and already leveled. There are side to side braces, none front to back. If a trailer like ours were allowed to roll forward or backward just a little with stabilizer jacks down, they could easily fail. It is best to ensure that the trailer is secure front to rear, tires correctly blocked, when unhooking. Also true for the trailer tongue. You want the trailer to slide off the ball nice and smoothly when unhooking, no jolting to front or rear.

Camping is an adventure. We all start somewhere. We all have a budget. Yet, the destination is always absolutely wonderful to arrive at. Why have the stress of driving an RV that overshoots the budget by a bunch? We don’t need to keep up with anyone but ourselves. Enjoy, relax, so, Let’s Get Rollin’!

– To contact Russ and Lori, email them at Russ.Lori.Rollin@gmail.com.


The views expressed are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the official stance of the Daily Independent.