Tag Archives: motorhome

Would you like some ice with that drive?

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ice, freezing rain, ice-coated RV, RVing in the winter, treacherous driving conditions,

We are on our way back to Vegas for Christmas.  Leaving from Milwaukee, our route runs in a southerly direction to avoid the worst of the bad winter weather.  We’re on a deadline, so we can’t afford to be delayed more than a couple of hours.  (We normally try to leave more cushion than this to reduce stress and the risks of “get-there-itis”.)  Despite our best efforts, we hit freezing rain as we rolled through Oklahoma.  The motorhome was coated with ice before we parked for the night, west of Oklahoma City.  As we headed out this morning, we saw two tractor trailers and three cars off the road.  Yikes!

On a side note, yesterday, I drove the most I’ve driven so far in a day: four hours total.  (I generally drive about two hours.)  I also navigated my first toll plaza…at night…in the freezing rain!

Our strategy for handling these conditions is to slow down and avoid using cruise control.  And one more thing…

  • If you have to drive in freezing rain, heated mirrors are worth their weight in gold!

ice, freezing rain, ice-coated RV, RVing in the winter, treacherous driving conditions, heated mirrors, ice on mirrors

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5 Tips for RVing in the Winter

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5TipsForRVingInTheWinter

We’re just shy of five months into this motorhoming escapade, but we’ve already encountered plenty of cold weather.  Where we go is dictated by where Mike is working, which means that we’ll be dealing with frigid temperatures fairly regularly.

Here are five things Mike has learned that are helping us stay warm and watered during the winter.

1.  Not every park delivers propane to you.  Packing up, unhooking, and driving across the street to refill is a hassle.  Plus, propane can get pricey.  Besides that, you surely don’t want run out when temps are below freezing.  (Which we did.)  Using as little propane as you can is crucial.  Buy electric heaters to run off of the park’s electricity – that you’re already paying for – to save your propane.  This is ours.  It’s pet-safe, has other safety features, and comes with a remote so we can control it from anywhere in the rig.  We also have a propane heater.

2.  Stuff bubble pack insulation in the windows. Your rig might feel like a cave, but it makes a HUGE difference, even with double-paned windows.   (This also works great in the summer when you’re cooling the motorhome.  We know from firsthand experience.  We started this lifestyle in Las Vegas… in July.)

3.  When you’re hooked up to park water, keep your hose as short as possible.  Coil the rest of it up and store it inside your wet bay.  Insulate what’s left outside with foam pipe insulation.

4.  If you’re in a Class A, run small electric heaters in the wet bay to keep the pipes and tank from freezing.  Make sure they have tip-over and overheating protection.   You may also want to buy thermostatic plugs that’ll turn the heaters on just above freezing and turn them off at warmer temperatures.

5.  If you have an electric water heater, leave a trickle of hot water dripping into your sink.  It keeps water circulating through the hose so it doesn’t freeze.  Also, leave the gray tank open so the trickle of hot water runs down the hose.  It keeps the gray tank from filling up, and the heated liquid prevents the sewer hose from freezing.

Our first RV rally!

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iRV2Rally-GoodieBag

Goodie bag loot!

As newcomers to the motorhome lifestyle, we were super excited to attend our first RV rally in early September.  The rally was put on by iRV2, an online forum community and social network for RVers.  Mike relied heavily on iRV2 when he was researching rigs before we purchased ours.  Active and packed with information, their forums were very helpful to Mike, so it seemed fitting that their national rally was the first one we attended.

The rally was held at the Amana Colonies RV Park in historic Amana, Iowa.  An opening dinner was included in the rally price.  After a hotdish-style buffet by Dostal Catering, we listened to a detailed overview of the history of the Colonies.  The food was so-so, but the overview was fascinating, preparing us nicely for subsequent tours and explorations of the area.

There were supposed to be two seminars, but Blue Ox, a towing product manufacturer, was a no-show, leaving us with a single presentation on using the iRV2 forums. That was okay, though. This rally was more about socializing than it was about education.

One of the best parts of the event was the morning “Coffee with Don”.  Not for the instant coffee or the storebought donuts Don graciously provided but for the conversation with fellow RVers.  Mike and I would dash over to Serena’s Coffee Café for our lattes  and then head over to the Pioneer Building in the RV park.  I’d bring my laptop so I could get my freelance work done while still sharing in the chitchat.  Mike would be fully engaged, enjoying the dialogue and answering everyone’s technology questions.  We really looked forward to those coffee gatherings.

Almost as much fun were the campfire get togethers in the evening.  After we’d walked the bark babies, we’d stand around the fire and catch up on the news of the day.  We didn’t make it every night but managed to squeeze it in a couple of times.

The rally also included a breakfast one morning and an ice cream social one afternoon.  A final dinner with raffle pries and dancing to music by the Greenbriar Band concluded the event.

The people were so nice.  Park neighbors Ray & Linda gave us a bunch of fresh tomatoes from their home garden.  I used them to make baked tomatoes with oregano and parmesan.  Liz had been on the road about the same amount of time as us, traveling by herself with her dog Roan.  She visits Milwaukee frequently, so we may see her again.  Wally and his lovely wife had raised Boston Terriers, so they were smitten with Sadie.  It was such a delight to meet everyone and share stories.  We’re already looking forward to the 2014 rally in Myrtle Beach.

iRV2Rally-OpeningDinnerLori

iRV2Rally-OpeningDinner

iRV2Rally-MeekosNewFriend

Meeko making a new friend

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