Different Viewpoints | September/October 2017


I have been actively full-timing since 2008 and do not mind performing repairs. I carry a large selection of wrenches and sockets to fit the various bolt sizes I find on the RV. For example, my Suburban RV heater requires a 1-1/16 socket with extension to change the anode rod. I use that socket about once a year, depending on use.

Two bottle jacks are handy for changing tires. When a tire goes flat on a trailer, the axle can drop to the point where a strong jack will not fit under it. Using the small jack, I jack it up slightly, then finish the job with a larger jack.

I like to have an air compressor that exceeds the max pressure in my tires by at least 20 percent. An electric impact wrench for removing and replacing wheel lug nuts and a torque wrench to tighten the nuts properly both come in handy. I also carry a bag of spare lug nuts of the proper size. When I had a large motor-home, I was unable to change the tires, so the jacks were not needed.

Sometimes you may have to bang on something to get the job done, so a mix of hammers, including a rubber mallet and a two-pound sledge, are useful additions to your take-along tools.

Almost everything on an RV has one of the square slot heads, but it’s also good to keep a few traditional screwdrivers for various purposes.

I like to have a grease gun handy to lubricate key places with Zerk fittings. There are dry grease lubricants for better slide operation, but the one you will need depends on your specific RV.

Duct tape is available in a variety of sizes. I have both the standard three- inch rolls and a six-inch roll. It can be a life-saver in emergencies. Along with the duct tape, I also carry a wide assortment of zip ties.

It is smart to anticipate mechanical problems and have the necessary tools accessible. Something may break on Christmas morning when the tool store is not open. Since there is no perfect list, take along basic tools you know how to use that are applicable to your specific RV. Keep your RV weight and space limits in mind. You won’t need a 300-piece toolset that covers everything, because you will never use most of those tools and they are heavy and take up space.
Tom Hiday #116640

Addition for Pill-dispenser Hack
The article, “Quick and Easy RV Hacks,” in the July/August issue, was a good article; however, I would like to make an addition to the “Pill Dispenser” section.

In Texas, it is illegal to carry prescription medicine in a container that is not an RX original bottle issued by a pharmacy. This is the only way to legally transport prescription medication. Otherwise, you could be charged with the transport of a “controlled substance.”

While it rarely happens, why take the chance? I no longer carry medication in a dispenser.
– Ron Norton #125427

Magazine Redesign
The new layout really stands out in the July/August issue. I want to compliment you and the magazine staff for the beautiful new layout, especially the inclusion of photographs with the articles. What a wonderful job you have done. Thank you so much.
– Scott Jordan #80163

Letchworth State Park Correction
The weblink for Letchworth State Park in the July/August 2017 “SKP Stop” column is incorrect. The correct link is https://parks.ny.gov/parks/79/details.aspx. Also, horseback riding is no longer offered in the park.
– Editor
Firearms Laws
We enjoyed the article, “Firearms in your RV,” in the July/August issue; however, we would like to add more about personal protection.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. gives the right for a citizen to keep and bear arms, but responsible rules have also been written. An individual who carries a firearm for protection should become aware of state and federal laws. Not all aggression toward a person warrants the use of deadly force, so knowing and understanding the law for which you may be held accountable will determine the difference between justifiable homicide and murder.

No matter what type of gun is used for self-protection, it requires a lot of practice in combat shooting, not only target shooting. Know your weapon; practice and become proficient.
– Willard (and Laura) Young #93872

New Format and Firearms
We’ve been RVing for over 40 years, have read nearly every RV magazine out there and none has been as helpful as Escapees. You’ve made the best even better! We love it.

The article on firearms by Don Cadden is the most concise and best synopsis of the matter I have read. Every sentence is loaded (pun intended) because he had little space. I urge all Escapees to look into the topics Mr. Cadden introduced. There are many resources available to do so, and they are fascinating subjects regardless of the reasons for your interest.
– Bob Handren #94732

Investing Your Life Energy
I read the July/August article, “Life, Name Your Price,” in which our photo was included. It was nice to see the photo, and the article was interesting. Your sidebar on the article asks, “How do you invest your life energy?”

Although we’ve owned tents and RVs since 1974, we began our recent RV travels in 2003 when we retired, sold our home and bought a new travel trailer. In the first six months of our move to the West, I was diagnosed with cancer. It was at the time of my surgery for removal of the cancer that we were introduced to Escapees. If I had not had cancer, we may not have found Escapees.

Having endured the surgery and it’s followup, I have recovered by the grace of God with my loving husband by my side. I continue to invest my life energy in prayer and appreciation. It really means a lot to experience traveling with my husband while embracing our full-time RV lifestyle, that came to us through membership in Escapees RV Club in 2004.

I took a few photos (another photo on page 3) from inside our RV, as the first monsoons finished one evening in Tucson, Arizona. My photos and your question prompted me to send my story. Thank you for asking.
– Fran Smith #83749

RV Hacks
Here are a couple of RV hacks that my parents, who traveled into their 80s, taught me 30 years ago.

• Glass is heavy and adds weight to your RV. Keep liquids in plastic bottles, especially alcohol. There are cheap brands that can be purchased in plastic and, after use, the bottles can be used with homemade labels for your favorite brand.
• For each cabinet or compartment, write a list of what is inside. Then slide the list inside a clear, plastic sleeve (available where office supplies are sold) and tape it on the inside of the door. You can pull the sheet out and change the contents as needed.
– Bob Heath #108238
Front-mounted Motorcycle
With a small class-C RV, it’s possible to drive the RV everywhere, but I still wanted the option to sightsee or go to the store without breaking camp. For me, towing a car defeats the best aspect of a small RV, making it harder to maneuver and park, and adds complexity. My answer is to carry a small, street-legal motorcycle, a Yamaha TW200.

Since most class-C RVs are already heavy on the rear axle, carrying the bike on the front helps with weight distribution. The bike and custom carrier weigh around 350 lbs, so the load is well within the 600 lbs. of capacity I have available on the front axle. I built the mount myself and added DOT-legal snowplow headlights to the package, since the bike blocks the stock headlights. I’ve carried the bike for more than 50,000 miles, including two trips to Alaska, and never had a problem, other than having to clean the bugs off of it.
– Mark Nemeth #45776

Bella, the RVing Rabbit
Before RVing, we owned rabbits for many years. So, it only seemed natural to take along our current house rabbit, Bella, when we began full-time RVing.

Bella is an eight-year-old, lop-eared bunny we adopted from a rescue group when she was a baby. She is fully littler-box trained and a great little travel companion. I turn a lot of heads when I sit outside the RV and brush her. She is a great conversation starter. Her favorite treats are bananas and strawberries, and she stands on her hind legs to beg for carrots. She’s so cute.

We also have a dog that she would like to play with; however, the dog thinks she’s competition for attention and wants nothing to do with her. House rabbits are full of individual personality and love to interact with people.
– Macy Schwarz #124450

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