Issue 8, 3/18/2006

Changin' Gears - Trading City Lights for the RV Lifestyle

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1) Trailer Towing Game
2) Boondocking Etiquette
3) Three Bedroom, Two Bath RV
4) Charlie's RV Travelogue
5) RV FAQ's & Tips

1) Trailer Towing Game 
Before we bought our first RV, a friend at work referred me to 
the trailer towing game on the Pepere web site.  The object of 
the game is to back the small trailer into a slot between three 
palm trees.  The car is driven and steered with the four arrow 
keys on the keyboard.  

The first time I tried this game in 2004, I had a very difficult 
time backing the trailer.  Now that I had a year and a half of 
experience with our fifth wheel, I can park between the three 
palm trees pretty quickly, without bumping against them.  

While there are many differences between towing this virtual 
trailer and a real one, I found it a useful teaching aid of how 
steering works when backing a trailer.  Try it and see how well 
you do.  

Play the trailer towing game here (requires Flash):

2) Boondocking Etiquette 
RVers' code of conduct when spending the night in private 
business parking lots 

Many RVers, including myself, occasionally park overnight on the 
property of generous retailers, such as Wal-Mart.  Even though 
retailers are located in urban areas (not the boonies), this 
practice has become commonly known as boondocking.  

Unfortunately, a small number of RVers overstay their welcome and 
act in an un-neighborly way.  This reflects poorly on the entire 
community of recreational vehicle travelers.  In response, an 
increasing number of retailers and communities prohibit the 
practice of overnight parking, except in licensed campgrounds.  

Read the entire article here:

3) Three Bedroom, Two Bath RV 
As the birth of our first child was drawing near, we started 
thinking about a larger RV to hold the growing family.  Our one 
bedroom fifth wheel offers plenty of room for the two of us, but 
a third person would make it tight.  

We looked at various RV models that can accommodate two adults 
and one child, and have all of the amenities needed for the 
fulltimer lifestyle.  

Read the entire page here:

4) Charlie's RV Travelogue 
My wife is a journaler; I'm not.  She is diligently writing into 
three different journals; mine is still blank.  This travelogue 
is my attempt at electronically journaling our RV travels, not 
only to help me remember, but also for anyone interested in 
following our adventure.  

Read Charlie's RV Travelogue here:

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

What is a wide-body RV?

A wide-body RV is one with an external body width greater than 96 
inches (8 feet).  The most common wide-body widths are 100" and 
102".  On some models, equipment such as mirrors, lights, and 
awning mechanisms may extend farther than the body width.  

Most large motor homes, fifth wheels, and travels trailers being 
manufactured today are 102" wide.  The wider body permits a more 
spacious floor plan for snowbirds, fulltimers, and others with 
longer travel plans.  

Before buying a wide-body RV, be sure to check the maximum widths 
allowed on the roads in the jurisdictions you plan to travel.  

How do I calculate GCW?

Gross Combination Weight (GCW) is the actual weight of the tow 
vehicle, towed vehicle(s), and everything in them.  To calculate 
GCW, weigh each individual vehicle to get their Gross Vehicle 
Weight (GVW).  Then, add up all GVW's to get the GCW.  If a large 
truck scale is available, the GCW can be determined with a single 
weighing by driving all connected vehicles on the scale.  

How do I calculate GCWR?

Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) is the maximum allowed 
weight of all connected vehicles, as established by the vehicle 
or RV manufacturer.  Therefore, GCWR cannot be calculated by the 
vehicle operator.  

Complete RV FAQ's & Tips:

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