Using Motorhome for Efficiency and Comfort

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You have a car and a house too. But what happens if the two things that take you where you want to go and the other one which gives you the comfort you need came together? This is exactly what a motorhome can do for you, and if you have not tried one yet, then this sounds like the time to get one, especially if you have a family.

Feel at-home … in a motorhome

Motorhomes are equipped with comfortable living, dining, sleeping and bathroom facilities. Propane tanks fire up the stove and refrigerator. Electrical systems run off the motorhome’s batteries or gas- or diesel-powered generator. A water tank holds fresh water, and holding tanks separate waste water into gray (from sinks and showers) and black (from the toilet.) In a motorhome, it’s all systems go.

Freedom and convenience of motorhome travel

A motorhome’s on-board closets and storage space eliminate the need to pack, unpack and carry bulky suitcases. You can keep the motorhome stocked with food, clothing and essentials so you can just hop in and go. Take off on last-minute mini vacations, tailgating events and weekend trips.

Affordability of motorhome travel

Pre-owned motorhomes can cost substantially less than new models (check the classifieds and Internet postings for deals). Dealers have been known to offer low-rate loans. Many motorhome loans are treated as second mortgages, making the interest tax-deductible. And while fuel costs have been a concern.

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Just because it is a motorhome does not mean you can bring everything you have in the house aboard your RV, there are many things you can take with you; the ones you will need out there of course. On the other end, there are some of the less important and other unsuitable things that you do not need to come with.

Tool Time

I respect the pioneering spirit many of us have in terms of servicing our rigs. RVing is one of the last bastions of active do-it-yourselves and I’m certainly not looking to change that. You love your tools, I love my tools. With that said, there’s a limit to what we can (and should do) in terms of service and maintenance on the road, with self-imposed limits on our tools always a smart move. A basic tool kit? You bet – throw it in a compartment and hope you won’t need it.

Towing the line

What is the point of towing a vehicle behind the motorhome that gets worse fuel mileage than the RV? Whether you call it a “toad,” “dinghy,” or “errand mobile,” a towed vehicle should be everything that a Class A isn’t – small, agile, lightweight, and oh so fuel-friendly. Switching from that bulky SUV to a mid-size will save you countless cash at the gas pump and cut down on the RV’s overtime towing duties.

Heavy Issues

This might sound like overkill, but don’t bring anything heavy. Simply put, if there’s a lightweight equivalent, favor that instead. For instance, opt for paperback books over hard covers. Go with paper plates instead of the usual dinnerware. Substitute cans instead of bottles, plastic instead of glass. Condiment packets over full-size containers of mustard, ketchup, and the like. Take items out of their bulky packaging and store in zip-lock bags or other space-saving ways. The list goes on and on.

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Knowing what to take with you on a motorhome is inevitable, but not all the time will you remember to have everything you need packed prior to starting off your journey. The same case may be even worse when it is time to get back or move to your next destination. There are few things you can train yourself to do to beat the tendency of leaving behind that thing you need the most along the journey.

When you leave home the first couple of points may already be covered, but you’ll need to remember them when you leave a campsite.

Turn off the gas at the cylinder

Empty the fresh- and waste-water tanks and clean out any toilet cassette in an appropriate place

Check the motorhome’s windows and roof lights are closed, internal doors and cupboards are closed, loads are safely secured and the habitation door is locked

Check the handbrake is on, especially if you have released it to turn the front seats to make up a bed

Raise the corner steadies, if appropriate

Remove any chocks

Pull clear of the pitch and check the area for anything left behind.

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