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The following are some lessons learned at Life On Wheels.  Henry Lahore   hlahore at skyaid.org 

Tips for any RV owner from Life On Wheels

We attended a great RV school in June 2002: Life On Wheels (www.lifeonwheels.com).  This week long school is available at Universities in Idaho, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Tucson (2006). My wife and I each took about seventeen of the over one hundred 90 minute long classes.  Tuition is under $200 per person. RV parking with electrical and water was available at the Idaho location for $130, which we needed for air conditioning in the 100 degree heat. Dry (hot) camping was available for $35. The following are just a few of the ideas we learned at LOW.

Foam Fire Extinguisher is much better than Dry.

A Life On Wheels excellent class dealt with RV fires.  Mac McCoy’s (503-559-7623) class was sponsored by RV Alliance America, which sells RV Insurance.  RV manufacturers are required by law to provide dry type extinguishers which emit corrosive and toxic material.  Dry fire extinguishers (type B& C fires) are not designed for wood, fuel, or cloth type of fires, but the new foam (type A) is. His demonstration of the extinguishing capabilities of foam was very impressive.  A 8A extinguisher is rated for 8 square feet of wood, fuel, or cloth type of fire.  Foam has only recently become available for use in RVs.  We immediately purchased 3 small (Hawk) and one large (Fire Out Foam by Kidde 8A, 70B) foam extinguishers for our RV and truck for about $100. 

Velcro glue can be removed with heat.

Some Velcro products have glue backings.  The Velcro glue residue can be removed by heat from a hair dryer. 

Glued attachments which are designed to be removed

3M makes a neat set of glue hook attachments which are designed to not leave any residue.  These cost $2 to $4 at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc.   The 3M Command Adhesive comes in three sizes: small = 1/8 pound vertical, medium = ¼ pound vertical, and large = ½ pound vertical.  We use 3 large attachments to glue our multifunction printer down to the desktop.

Membership parks

We have very cost effective memberships to Coast to Coast, Adventure Outdoor Resorts, and Resort Parks International.  Our “home park” for all of them is Wind River View in Wyoming (307-537-5453) Please note: each RV membership park is unique, with different initial costs, annual costs, daily costs, reservation policies, maximum length of stay, minimum number of days between stays, distance from “home park”, etc.

Keep turbo-charged diesels running for at least 30 seconds after stopping

The turbo chargers on most diesel engines turn at about 150,000 rotations per minute.  It is important that a turbo charger is not left without lubrication when it is hot.  Therefore a diesel engine with a turbo charger should be running for at least 30 seconds under normal use.  You should wait about 3 minutes after a hard pull (say uphill) before turning off the engine. If you should happen to have an exhaust temperature gauge, do not turn off engine until you see the exhaust temperature fall below 300 degrees.

BLM Boondocking

You can boondock in all Bureau of Land Management Long Term Visitor Areas ( BLM LTVA) with a $100 permit for all year  www.ST.BLM.GOV – where “ST” can be AZ, OR, CA, etc.

“Closed” weigh stations on the interstate often leave scales turned on. 

You can leisurely measure total weight, weight of each side, weight on each axle, etc. Washington, Idaho, and Oregon all have this policy

Truck wash chemicals probably remove wax from RV.

Life on Wheels class on exterior care by Steven Scott of Valley RV Center indicated that Truck wash and other strong soaps were to be avoided.  However, car wash soaps do not remove RV wax

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