RV FAQ's & Tips: Miscellaneous

This section of the web site is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) and Tips about RV's and the RVing lifestyle.

Check battery water level monthly

Make it a point to check the water level on non-sealed house batteries every month. This is especially important in warm weather when the RV batteries are in use. If the level is low, add distilled water to bring it up to the bottom of the filling well.

One of the most common causes of premature battery failure is low water level. Allowing the level to drop below the top of the plates will further reduce battery lifespan, and may cause immediate failure.

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.

Lower one awning corner

If you have a manually adjustable awning, be sure to set one corner lower than the other to permit easier draining. Improper draining will allow water to pool in the middle, weighing down the awning canvas.

The ideal corner to lower is the one farthest from the RV entrance so that the water runoff is away from the main foot traffic.

Use rectangular storage boxes

Most storage spaces inside and outside of recreational vehicles are rectangular in shape. To maximize this space, use rectangular storage boxes with perpendicular sides, wherever possible. The farther the box shape is from rectangular, the more storage volume is wasted.

Questions to ask about wireless Internet (WiFi) in RV parks

If you need Internet access inside your recreational vehicle, be aware that when you ask an RV park if they have wireless Internet (also called WiFi), getting a yes answer can mean various things.

The following questions should clarify exactly what they have:

  • Does the WiFi signal cover the entire park or my specific site?
    We found many parks to have limited implementations of WiFi, covering only a portion of the park.
  • Is there an extra cost for the WiFi service?
  • Is a network name (SSID) or password (network key) required?
    If yes, ask for this information when making reservations, in case you will be arriving after office hours.

For more information about this topic, please see RV Internet Access.

Take your Internet favorites on the road

One of the benefits of recreational vehicle travel is that we get to take most of life's conveniences with us. Why should our Internet favorites (or bookmarks) be any different?

If you travel with a computer in your RV, you already have your favorites stored in Internet Explorer (or bookmarks, if using Firefox). But what if you have to use another computer? Now you can have access to all of your favorites by using one of several free social bookmarking services on the internet.

Among the many out there, I consider the following to be the top choices:

  • del.icio.us — the first and the largest of its kind; no graphics; fastest over slow connections
  • blinklist.com — highly graphical, appealing interface; growing in popularity; easy to use
  • Yahoo! MyWeb 2.0 — ideal if you already have a Yahoo ID; a major contender, simply because it is Yahoo

Click on each link above to see which one fits your needs, and start taking your favorites with you.

Cook full meals

by Jan Christensen

Cook as if you still were cooking for the whole family. I haven't cut many recipes down. Instead, I cook the whole thing, and then we eat the rest later in the week. Some of my favorites are beef stew, chicken casserole, meatloaf, lasagna, and other one-pot meals. I cook up seven or eight chicken breasts at one time and use them that night with rice and a vegetable for a meal, make a casserole, and have more for salad or to throw in with a can of Chicken Chow Mein.

Use adjustable measuring cups and spoons

Save kitchen drawer space by taking along adjustable measuring cups and spoons. These single-unit accessories take less space than their stackable counterparts. You can buy them from The Pampered Chef and other retailers.