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Expert RV Driving Tips You Need to Know

| Updated May 1, 2024

This week on the RV Podcast:

  • In the interview of the week, we have practical RV driving tips from an expert on operating, backing up, and navigating mountains and steep hills in an RV.
  • A Massachusetts couple dropped off their RV to get repaired. The dealer then moved the RV to an unsecured parking area down the street, where it was then stolen. The dealer basically shrugged and said it wasn't their problem. We’ll explain in the news of the week.
  • Good News! The National Parks Service has abandoned its plan to remove the wild horses from Theodore Roosevelt National Park thanks to public pressure.
  • Plus the latest in RV recalls and your questions coming up in Episode #495 of the RV Podcast

You can watch the video version on our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel by clicking the player below.

If you prefer an audio-only podcast, you can hear us through your favorite podcast app or listen now through the player below.

SOCIAL MEDIA BUZZ – Wendy Bowyer

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Wendy Bowyer reports on the hot issues most talked about this past week on social media and our RV Lifestyle Community group.

In the RVLifestyle Community General Discussions Space, Angelina asked Where do you store your shoes and how do you keep the bed up so you can store things under it? 

For the bed up question, Lynnette suggested she get stronger hydraulic arms to make this easier to lift – sounds like a simple and relatively inexpensive fix. And for the shoes, many weighed in. Scott suggested Angelina try hanging canvas shoe pockets along the base of the bed. He said this could easily store about a dozen pairs. Kathy said they use white racks from Walmart that are meant for kitchen cabinets but work great on the shelf that runs along the foot of her bed. And Ari and Jesse suggested getting a shoe organizer, one that could hang over a door.

This next question in our RVLifestyle Community was in the Apps & Planning Tools Space and I have to admit it – I was the one who asked this question. In last week's podcast I learned that I could get a 10-cent per gallon discount by using the Love's App and I wondered what other good fuel apps I was missing out on.

So many good suggestions in this thread, had to share them with you. Many recommended Gas Buddy to see which nearest station had the best price. Several people pair that with Upside, which is an app where you scan your fuel receipts and to get cash back for just buying what you would normally buy. I thought that one was super interesting.

One person said he is getting $1 per gallon off the first three fill ups by using the Chevron app. Others that came up often included Shell, Costco, Kroger, and Good Sam's for Pilot and Flying J. The diesel users often recommended Open Roads.

Meanwhile, over on our RVLifestyle Facebook Group, Ro asked, What do people think is best for putting down the black tank to break up waste material? Ro tried a few things, but was still searching for what is best. This question comes up a LOT but there are also common recommendations.

Many say they use Unique RV Digest or Happy Camper with great success. Many have homemade mixtures, trying the Geo Method or other combinations that often include Dawn Dish Soap along with other things.

And some reminded Ro that the black tank is a holding tank – not a septic field where things break down – which means you really need water, lots and lots of water, to keep things moving.

RV INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – RV Driving Tips

Interview with George Mayleben driving school RV driving tips
Interview with George Mayleben

We regularly receive questions from RVers about their challenges backing into a camp spot and handling certain road conditions, such as navigating steep hills. This observation got us wondering: Who could benefit from going to an RV Driving School?  

And the answer we have since learned is EVERYONE.

Our guest in this podcast episode is George Mayleben, the owner of the RV Driving School, a national organization that has been teaching RVers how to be better drivers since 1991. 

Interview Summary:

George Mabelin, owner of RV Driving School, discusses the importance of professional training for RV owners. The school is aimed at anyone who owns a large RV and provides lessons on safe driving techniques.

The industry often fails to take responsibility for properly preparing RV owners, which is why the school was created. The school has instructors located across the US and offers lessons tailored to the individual's driving experience.

Skills taught include backing up, making turns, and driving in mountainous areas. The school emphasizes the importance of safety and recommends a maximum speed of 70 mph for RVs.

Takeaways:

  • RV Driving School provides professional training for RV owners to ensure safe driving techniques.
  • The industry often fails to take responsibility for properly preparing RV owners, which is why the school was created.
  • Lessons cover skills such as backing up, making turns, and driving in mountainous areas.
  • Safety is paramount, and the school recommends a maximum speed of 70 mph for RV

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK

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Couple's RV stolen from dealer after dealer temporarily stored rig at unsecured parking lot down the road

A Massachusetts couple say their RV was stolen after the dealer stored it an unsecured shopping center parking lot without their knowledge.

The couple dropped their Jayco off with Pete's RV Center for maintenance at the dealer's service center, and when they returned to pick it up, they discovered it was missing. Turns out the dealer stored their rig down the road at an unsecured parking lot where it was stolen. 

The couple ended up getting a local television station involved after the dealer dragged its feet on filing a police report and was not helping them get compensated. 

Eventually, the couple learned they had to file the loss under their insurance policy, and then their insurance company could go after the RV dealer. But the couple is out a $1,000 deductible, plus all of the precious memories made camping in that unit with their children.

The story is a good reminder to ask if the RV service center keeps your RV in a secure location when work is done. If you want to see the news story, click here.

Good News! Wild horses will remain at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Wow. How about this story? A government agency that actually listened to complaints and changed its mind. 

The National Park Service announced this past week it will abandon its wildly unpopular plan to remove the wild horses at North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Activist groups, wild horse advocates and tourists bombarded the parks service with resistance and criticism of the idea.

The NPS wanted to remove them out of concern the animals were damaging to the environment, as horses are not a native animal.

The horses are descendants of those owned by ranchers and tribes of the old West. They roamed wild when Teddy Roosevelt, the park's namesake, was there just as they do today, giving them historical significance. Plus the wild horses are wildly popular with visitors.

Currently, there are about 200 wild horses in the park. A leading group that advocates for the horses says now that this plan has been abandoned this time, they want those wild horses to have federal protection forever to prevent the Parks Service from changing its mind and trying to cull the herd again in the future.

We have visited the Theodore Roosevelt National Park a couple of times and love it. Here is a video we made of one of our trips.

Colorado's re-introduced wolves tracked in Rocky Mountain National Park, but are they heading to Wyoming?

Remember when we told you about the wolf re-introduction plan of Colorado? Well, the pack flown in from Oregon and released in Colorado may be headed into Wyoming – where it is legal to shoot them.

In December, 10 wolves were released in Colorado under that state’s wolf reintroduction program. The animals were released in a ranching area where ranchers did not want them, and since December, they have killed six heads of cattle.

But the pack is moving, as wolves do. The state releases regular reports based on their tracking collars and have confirmed the wolves did wander into the Rocky Mountain National Park. And one wolf did die of natural causes – likely a mountain lion.

The pack is now very close to the Wyoming state line. While wolves are a protected species in Colorado, they are not protected in Wyoming. In fact, a wolf in Wyoming can be shot legally for any reason.

New list of RV recalls includes Tiffins, Keystones, Forest Rivers and more

Those who are complaining more and more about shoddy manufacturing by the big RV companies have some more evidence to back up those complaints.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a number of RV recalls that you might want to check out.

The list includes certain certain 2022-2024 units built by Tiffin Motorhomes. The LED backlight circuit board in the cooktop range may fail, causing the board to overheat. Allergro Open Road, Allergro RED 360, 2024 Byway, and 2022 Phaeton motorhomes are affected and owner notification letters should be mailed to owners by May 31.

Keystone RV Company is recalling a bunch of units because the equalizer may provide inadequate clearance, allowing the axle to contact the frame. Certain 2024 Keystone Retreat, Residence 40CLDL, Residence 401CLDL, Dutchmen Aspen Trail 421LOFT, and Crossroads Hampton 390PVL trailers are affected with letters mailed to owners by May 31.

The recall at Forest River Inc. is because the operator may utilize the rear towing hitch without locking the turning point fifth wheel hitch into the “Conventional Transport” position. Certain 2024 Cardinal and Wildcat Fifth Wheels trailers are affected with letters mailed by May 22.

Outdoors RV Manufacturing's recall is because the LED backlight circuit board in the cooktop range may fail, causing the board to overheat. Certain 2022-2024 Titanium trailers are affected with letters mailed by May 17.

Forest River Inc. also has a number of recalls because the LED backlight circuit board in the cooktop range may fail, causing the board to overheat. A number of different units are affected with letters going out to owners by May 27.

For more information on any of this check out this story by our friends at RVBusiness.

RV QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

QUESTION: My husband and I want to start our retirement with RVing. How do we stay safe out there now with this open border situation? We live in Arizona and things are really changing! We have a dog and we are both CCW certified.  Is it worth investing in all that is entailed in RVing with all the changes in America today? – Katherine

ANSWER: Granted, America has more than its share of problems. And in Arizona, closer to the border, you certainly are more aware than most people of all the problems associated with illegal migration. But that said, after doing the RV Lifestyle for more than 12 years now, traveling repeatedly from one end of the country to the other, numerous times, we have had no time, ever, when we felt unsafe. 

Maybe 10 years ago, while we were eating dinner at a shopping center on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, our RV was broken into, and a lot of gear was stolen. Insurance covered the loss, and that is the only time we have experienced crime in any form.

Yes, there are neighborhoods and places where it is not safe. But those are not places RVers tend to visit. 

To answer your question. Yes, RVing as a lifestyle is more than worth it. It was enjoyable, fulfilling, exciting… and safe.

I won't even start to get into the topic of concealed weapons or firearms. I will say use common sense in planning your routes, be aware of your surroundings, trust your gut if you get an uneasy feeling and move on if need be. But America is not unsafe. Plan your retirement. Get out there and enjoy it!

We're OVER 12,500 members in our NEW Community!

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We have a Space for all sorts of things you want to know as an RVer, including Boondocking, Travel Planning, Electrical, Plumbing, Traveling with Pets, Gear, and more.

You can join each Space individually and only see what's being discussed in just that Space. Or you can see everything in the main Feed.

You can watch livestreams that are focused on one Space or another – like we recently did for Internet on the Road!

It's a calm, well-organized, friendly space to meet other RVers who might be traveling near you!

Join us https://community.rvlifestyle.com

Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-05-01

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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