So we've been encamped at Leisure Acres RV Campground in Cleveland, GA going on 4 weeks, with another week to go before heading out on our longest trip since becoming full-time RV-ers in August. Three months beginning in Texas, then heading to New Mexico and finally to Arizona; taking up all of January-March of 2020.
In one way, it's been nice to not have to set up and break down every couple of days (not that it's that difficult in these Class A motor homes), and it's been nice to reintroduce our grandson, Jace, to Christmas. But Barbara and I bought this Tiffin 36LA to travel – not sit around.
It hasn't been all idle time, however. In addition to the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's been a time to order and install upgrades to make our RV perform better and give us more flexibility as we head across country.
Some upgrades that worked and why we did them:
Maxxair II Vent Fan Covers. These allow us to open our existing Fantastic fan covers no matter what the weather. Open, they allow heat to escape if the RV gets too hot, but also keeps rain out of the RV They also cut back on sunlight (we got the smoke color) so they keep us cooler when we get into hotter weather.
Camco Heated Water Hose. Winter is still here, and even though we'll be heading to Texas and New Mexico, there might still be some freezing temperatures overnight. Keeps water flowing into the coach down to -20 degrees. Of course, if temperatures are going to go THAT low, we're heading further south!
Nutrichef Double Burner Induction Cooktop. This is by far Barbara's favorite upgrade! Our propane stove top works great, but in wintertime propane is best used for our furnaces to keep us warm. Since our Magma cookware is induction capable, we had always intended to get one, but colder than normal temps accelerated our need for one. It also helped us tremendously on Thanksgiving when we suddenly had to host dinner in the RV and needed those two extra burners.
Camco 4 Port Tee. Allows us to “T” off of our main tank to cook on our Weber Q grill. Saves on buying those small green bottles.
Not everything worked out as we had hoped for, however. We had heard a lot about the Oxygenics family of shower products which had been designed to provide for a more refreshing shower. RV showers are typically weak, mainly due to pressure regulators which are recommended for most campgrounds due to campground pressures that can blow out the flexible plumbing usually found in RVs. However, the RV Fury model we tried was disappointing at best. Provided less pressure than our standard Tiffin-installed shower head. I'm sure it provides a wonderful experience at higher pressures, but I'm not missing a high pressure shower in exchange for my plumbing.
As for prepping for travel down the road, our extended stay allowed Barbara and me to reorganize storage; her on the inside, and me on the outside. Gained a whole bin of space underneath, and made things we'll need in campgrounds and parks more accessible without crawling under a slide.
Installed our Sani-Tube underneath the rear of the RV so that our “stinky slinky” (sewer hose) can be stored OUTSIDE of our wet bay, keeping things nice and sanitary around our fresh water supply.
I also ran around the RV today, checking tire pressures and making sure they matched our Tire Pressure Management System. You'll remember an earlier post where our TST system saved our tow dolly on our very first trip, so making sure these two systems match is very important. It's also good to make sure tires are inflated properly; not only for safety purposes, but also for a more comfortable ride.
New Rain-X wipers were added, reducing the size down from 34' to 28”. This is because the wiper motor on these RVs are notoriously under-powered, and they get seriously strained when trying to move that much rubber across a dry windshield (when you're trying to use the window washing feature). Even though you lose 6” of sweep, there is still more than enough clearing done on the windshield. Filled the windshield washer reservoir (nearly empty), and checked the oil.
Installed a bunch of gas apps on the iPhone to make it cheaper, easier and more secure to fill up this rolling behemoth. When you typically spend about $100 a fill-up, anything to make it easier and cheaper is good! It also gets rid of the security issue of swiping a card at the pump where scammers steal your number.
So when next Wednesday rolls around, we store chairs, bring in slides, retract jacks and disconnect from water and electric. It will be good to get back on the road.
We're Dave and Barbara Richard, and we're living the ultimate retirement experience - traveling the U.S. and Canada in style in a Tiffin Open Road 36LA Class A motor home, playing golf and stopping at every weird and wacky roadside attraction we can find.