Issue 6, 1/16/2006

Changin' Gears - Trading City Lights for the RV Lifestyle

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1) RV Boondocking
2) Faxing from the Road
3) Discontinued RV Models
4) Photo Developing with Local Pickup
5) RV FAQ's & Tips

1) RV Boondocking 
What is RV boondocking?  It is simply camping in your 
recreational vehicle in an area with limited or no facilities.  
In many areas of the west, you can just drive into the desert, 
and stay free for up to two weeks.  This is the case on most BLM 
(Bureau Of Land Management) and national forest lands.  

Read the entire article here:

2) Faxing from the Road 
Until recently, we have been using SmartFax to fill our sporadic 
faxing needs.  They were offering a plan with free receiving and 
inexpensive sending, perfect for those who fax infrequently.  

SmartFax has discontinued the free plan as of December 2005, 
offering their fax service by monthly subscription only.  Because 
we rarely send or receive faxes, the $9.95 monthly fee is not 
cost effective.  So, we took a fresh look at the Internet faxing 
landscape and updated our "Faxing from the Road" page.  

We have re-organized this page into "Light Fax Users" and 
"Frequent Fax Users" sections with recommended services for both.  

Read the entire page here:

3) Discontinued RV Models 
Manufacturers have discontinued several RV models recently.  If 
you had your eyes on one of these models, this may be the time to 
visit dealers to see if they are willing to move them off the lot 
at a lower price.  

  Born Free:  Bed and Breakfast

  Starcraft:  Rancher, Settler, and Tahiti

Comprehensive RV manufacturers database:

4) Photo Developing with Local Pickup 
As we roam the country in our fifth wheel, we take many photos 
and like to share them frequently with family and friends.  Most 
of our photos are shared on a personal web site, but occasionally 
we like to send actual prints.  

Even though we carry a small color printer in the RV, the quality 
is not nearly as good as lab-developed photos and the cost of 
printing is around $0.50 each.  

When we have plenty of time to wait for photos to arrive in the 
mail, we take advantage of inexpensive developing by ordering 
online.  But, when we need the photos sooner, we seek out local 
retailers that allow us to upload photos over the Internet and 
pick them up in the store within an hour, next day at the latest.  

If you have been looking for a similar solution to get your 
digital photos printed, be sure to check out "Photo Developing 
with Local Pickup" on our "Sharing Photos from the Road" page
for a list of major retailers offering local photo pickup.  

Sharing Photos from the Road:

5) RV FAQ's & Tips 
A selection of RV Frequently Asked Questions & Tips from the 
Changin' Gears web site: 

Don't be exposed by day/night shades

The day/night shades found in most RV's work great to provide 
privacy any time of day.  Some shades have a darker color 
material for the night shade, making it easy to see if they are 
down.  But, many shades use the same color canvas for the day and 
night portions.  On these shades it is more difficult to 
determine if the night shade is down, making it more likely that 
you expose yourself unintentionally at night.  To avoid 
embarrassment, look for another cue that tells you if the night 
shade is down.  On ours, the knobs are invisible with only the 
day shades down and visible when the night shade is down.  A 
quick glance around the RV to confirm that the knobs are down 
reassures us that passers-by can't see in from the dark.  

Always remove small cap from sewer pipe first

Watch out!  The capped sewer pipe on your RV could be holding a 
nasty surprise.  Two common scenarios can release black water 
from the holding tanks into the pipe: valve not sealing 
completely or valve unintentionally left open.  

When hooking up to sewage, follow this sequence to avoid a major 

  1) Connect the sewer hose to the septic system first
  2) Hold the other end of the sewer hose under the sewer cap
     on the RV
  3) Slowly unscrew the small cap on the larger sewer cap,
     allowing any drainage to fall into the sewer hose
  4) Wait until water stops flowing from the small cap and then
     remove the large cap
  5) Connect the sewer hose to the sewer pipe on the RV

Install a strainer cup in shower drain

RV piping is made of narrow plastic tubing and is known to clog 
easily.  To reduce the frequency of clogged or slow drains, 
install a sink strainer in the shower drain.  The strainer will 
catch hair that would otherwise build up in the pipes from where 
it is much more difficult to remove.  These small, inexpensive 
plastic strainers can be found in most stores that sell kitchen 

Complete RV FAQ's & Tips:

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