Is Spontaneous Combustion real or not?

RV FireFire Spreads faster than you think in an RV

What a strange topic, huh? I’ll bet you are either chuckling to yourself thinking I’ve lost it, are interested in the topic but aren’t quite sure about it or are a firm believer and cite the 1951 case involving Mary Reeser, also known as the “The Cinder Lady”, to support your belief.

What I want to cover isn’t necessarily proving the existence of Spontaneous Combustion, but talk to you in brief about the physics behind it and how it could be a very real danger while traveling in your RV.

First the physics: Spontaneous Combustion is loosely defined as a fire started without an outset ignition source. “Can that really happen?”, you might be asking yourself. The simple answer is, “Yes”. When you have a substance with a low ignition point that begins to release heat,  the heat being unable to escape, begins to rise.  When the temperature of the material at hand rises above its ignition point, and with the presence of oxygen,fire is the result. Should this happen in a basement storage compartment of your motor home or fifth wheel the results could be disastrous.

Some things just seem to naturally lend themselves to spontaneous combustion, in particular, oily rags play a role in insurance payouts every year for fire damage brought about by spontaneous combustion.

Now I know what you are saying. “Oily rags?” Yes, and that also includes motor oil, diesel, gasoline, linseed oil, paint thinner,wood stain and believe it or not, even the polyunsaturated vegetable oil you use in your galley. If you use rags for clean up, DON’T just carelessly kick the rags aside, or throw them into storage. Throw that rag away. If you must store the rag, put them in an airtight metal container with a tight lid.

I hate to say it, but if you are among the group that doesn’t think spontaneous combustion is real, let alone happen in your RV, think again. Proper disposal of all oily substances should be a no-brainer. If you don’t, you might find yourself hitching a ride to your next campsite.

And if you still don’t believe that you DON’T need a spark or flame to start a fire, how about water? Check out the video below:

If you have experienced an RV fire, you know how quickly things can get out of control. If there is a fire aboard your right, you should leave it immediately and get to a safe distance.

Any questions or comments. leave them here or contact your Central PA RV Dealership.

Solar Power: Your RV can use it!

RV Solar Power Panels.

Rooftop mounted solar panels.

Having an RV is a great way to travel around the country with family and love ones. It is basically a mobile house but minus some of the electrical appliances you use every day…but not many.

An RV uses only a small amount of power hence it has a limited on board power source. Therefore, you cannot run multiple electronic gadgets at the same time using the existing power source or supply or it will drain the battery very fast. You would not want to be stranded by the side of the road just because your battery went dead.

To increase the power supply on an RV, many people are opting to installing a solar power kit on their vehicle. Unfortunately, these type of portable solar kits are quite expensive. A typical 330 watt system can cost upwards of $2800! However, that could be money well spent.

To save cost, you can actually make the RV solar system via a Do it Yourself (DIY) approach. The setup is quite simple with only 4 major components which are the solar panels, charge controller, battery units and power inverter.

The function of the solar panel is to collect the energy from the sun and converts it to electric current. This is done by using a semi-conductor material known as Photovoltaic (PV) cells.

You can purchase good quality solar panel from most hardware stores. For an RV, you may have to bolt the panels on the roof of the vehicle making sure it is secure. Having those panels flying off  your RV when traveling at high-speed is a sure-fire way to ruin your vacation. Not to mention who ever is behind you.

The solar panel array on the roof of the RV will be connected to the charge controller. The charge controller will take the electric current generated to charge a series of batteries. The type of battery most suitable for solar system is marine type or deep cycle battery. This kind of battery is more durable and can be discharged to a very low-level without damaging the internal components. For an RV, 4 – 6 units of battery will be more than enough to fulfill the power needs.

Since all deep cycle battery can only store Direct Current (DC), the power inverter will be used to convert the DC to Alternate Current (AC). Most modern electrical equipment are designed to run on AC.

How much would it cost to make the solar system for your RV on your own? All of the parts can be purchased from major hardware stores. If you do your shopping during bargain or discount period, the whole setup can be built with a budget of less than $1,300.

If you are not much of a do it your-selfer. And want to let qualified technicians install your solar panels or a whole RV solar-powered system, look no further than your Central Pennsylvania RV Dealer. We will gladly help guide you in the your search for renewable RV power.

Introducing the remarkable Bufalino.

Are you single? Do you want to go camping? Get rid of the tent and check out this RV that caters to you!

German industrial designer Cornelius Comanns designed a single-person small camper, Bufalino, that is equip with the comforts of home. The Bufalino’s design encourages users to explore trails and camping areas off the beaten track. The concept of this little RV is to offer absolute flexibility when traveling. Inside this little chassis there is a bed, two seats, a cooking area, storage space, a water tank and a refrigerator. Do not forget space for your laptop as well. Oh, this wonderful little beauty also has an engine and get’s excellent gas mileage! Although keep in mind, this radical design is more suitable for our European friends, I’m not sure I would want to travel on America’s roads.

Would you buy the Bufalino to camp or road trip in? Tell us what you think in the Comment Box below.

Bufalino

Click Here to check out more pictures (Original published by http://www.designboom.com)

Full time RVing Tips.

It is a dream for many RVers…RVing full-time. But before you make it your full-time lifestyle, give it a trial year to see how you like it before putting your house on the market. But once you have made the decision to go RVing full-time, there are a few things you need to take care of before hitting the open road.  It is a dream for many RVers…RVing full-time. But before you make it your full-time lifestyle, give it a trial year to see how you like it before putting your house on the market. But once you have made the decision to go RVing full-time, there are a few things you need to take care of before hitting the open road.

Tips for Full-Time RVing

Begin your full time RVing dreams at Lerch RV.

With your home on wheels, your destinations are endless.

Residency: Choose a single state to use as your official state of residency.
Use this permanent mailing address for your driver’s license, voter’s registration, insurance policies (auto, medical, property), wills and trusts and any other legal matters. This makes it less confusing for all legal matters.

Downsize: Keep anything you may want in a storage facility and make sure a family member or close friend has a key to the lock. Donate, sell or give away the rest.

Mail: Use a full-service mail delivery service to handle everything or ask a relative to help you. Make sure you notify all billing companies and organizations you are with of your permanent address.

Bills: Arrange to pay all of your bills online or by automatic withdrawal from your account. That way you don’t have to worry about where you will be when a certain bill is due.

Banking: You can either keep your local or credit union bank by banking online or you can choose a nationwide bank or a reputable online bank to handle your finances. You’ll need complete online access to your bank accounts and make sure you either have a low fee or no ATM fees.

Stay Connected: Purchase a cell phone with plenty of free minutes and good regional/national coverage. Webcams can be inexpensive and an easy way to talk with children and grandchildren face-to-face. To access the Internet, sign-up for a mobile Internet service through your cell phone provider. Also, set up a Facebook page to keep family and friends updated about your RVing adventures. And, if you don’t have one, purchase a digital camera to help share your memories with your family and friends.

Emergencies: Have an emergency contact plan ready and share it with your family members and anyone traveling with you. Also, don’t forget to check in with your relatives at least once a week.

Protecting Your RV from Heavy Snow Loads.

Winter is here and once your RV is parked for the winter, it may be the last thing on your mind. Well at least until Spring. But if your RV is parked outside, you should start to worry. Especially if there is snow. High amounts of accumulating snow can serious damage your RV, costing you thousands of dollars in the spring.

Today, many RVs are constructed with lightweight materials, especially the materials used for the roof. When 12″ to

Hard to drive in weather like this.

18″ of wet slushy snow builds up on a lightweight constructed roof, the damage can be devastating, possibly collapsing your roof in. Even a few inches of snow can cause serious damage.

The ice buildup can be the worst damage your RV could endure. If the snow is not removed, the snow acts like an insulator and starts to melt the ice under the snow. The water can start to open up seams on your roof. It then can migrate throughout your RV, causing serious structural and cosmetic damage. If you don’t take care of the buildup snow during the winter, you could have a big surprise waiting for you in the Spring!

Here are some tips to keep your RV protected from the snow during the winter months:

1. Before putting your RV into storage, winterize the whole trailer. Not only do your pipes need to be winterized, but the items inside your RV need to be protected too. Make sure to remove all the food from the cabinets, remove anything that can freeze and bust, and clean your RV one last time before putting it up for the winter. Also, go through your RV and make sure there are no holes or entry points where mice or small critters could enter.

2. Unplug all the batteries and propane bottles from your RV. If you have a garage, store your RV batteries and your propane tanks in there during the winter months. Just make sure both the RV batteries and the propane tanks are secure and away from moisture.

If using a traditional blue tarp to cover your roof, make sure it is tied down securely.

3. If your RV will be stored outside during the winter, make sure to cover it. Buy an RV cover to cover the entire trailer or use a breathable tarp to cover the roof. A well fitted breathable RV cover is recommended. Whichever cover you decide to use, make sure it is secure, especially if the wind picks up. If you choose a tarp to cover your roof, make sure you purchase wheel covers for your tires. When putting on your wheel covers, make sure the covers are secure from the winter elements.

4. Once a snow storm is over, bundle up and go out to your RV to remove the snow off your roof. Even though you have a cover over your roof, that still doesn’t protect it from the heavy snow. Use a plastic snow shovel to remove the snow (DO NOT USE AN ALUMINUM SNOW SHOVEL OR A SHOVEL WITH A METAL TIP). Plastic snow shovels are less likely to tear or damage your roof. When removing snow from your roof, concentrate on removing the snow and leave any ice that has built up. Once the ice is exposed to the sunlight, the ice will start to melt and run off your RV. DO NOT USE A HAMMER TO REMOVE THE ICE: this will damage your roof.

RV winter covers available at Lerch RV in Milroy,PA

A breathable RV-specific cover is recommended for winter storage.

5. When removing snow, make sure to use a portable ladder that you can move around the RV. Do not stand on your RV roof! The extra body weight along with the heavy snow could collapse the roof in by just stepping in the wrong spot. Just remember safety first.

For more tips about protecting your RV from the snow, read “Winter Snow Load Can Seriously Damage Your RV” or “Heavy Snow Load Will Stress Your RV Roof To The Point Of Destruction.” Both articles are by Curtis at thefuntimesguide.com in the RV Road Trips section.

Wallydocking. A free overnight campground.

Walmart, the place to 'Wallydock'

When one thinks of urban campgrounds, I’m sure Walmart is not the first place that comes to mind.  However in the economic times of today, anywhere to park for free and spend a peaceful night, is always welcomed.  A twist of sorts on boondocking. Which by definition means: To camp in a remote location; To stay in a recreational vehicle in a remote location, without connections to water, power, or sewer services. The not so new fad of Wallydocking has given rise to free spots for wayward RV travelers to park for the night.  And on some occasions multiple nights.   But how do you know which Walmart is RV friendly.  I have recently come across a website which list, by state, the Walmarts which are ‘Wallydocking’ friendly.  If you are a true Wallydocker, you probably already have your list of overnight stay Walmarts, however if you are novice Wallydocker, visit Allstays.com.

PA Wallydocking Map

Each blue pin is a RV Friendly Walmart in PA.

This site breaks down, by state, every RV friendly Walmart.  So before taking your next trip, consult the maps.  It might just save you money.  Although take a moment to think about the genius of allowing RVers to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot. The majority of people who ‘Wallydock’ also can not avoid going into the store to pick up some supplies.  I for one can never just go to Wally World to pick up that one item I need, I always leave with a few more things.  So by allowing campers to enjoy a peaceful nights rest in the parking lot,  that courtesy is usually rewarded by the camper making a purchase of some kind. This is a win-win situation for Walmart.

I also came across a blog posting from Has Been There mentioning Wallydocking.

We have been using Walmart parking lots a lot as we travel across the country. We usually look for super centers and we usually ask the manager if it’s ok, unless there’s like 4 other RV’s already parked there. Some towns will have a sign stating no overnight parking, but usually if you ask the manager will tell you that there is no problems parking.

The other places we use a lot in our travels are rest areas along interstates. Some of these will have dump stations as well. We try to look for ones where the trucks and RV park behind the bathrooms as it’s usually quieter.

Before you hit the road, think about the urban asphalt campgrounds that are available for that overnight stay, or just to grab a few winks. Just make sure you are courteous and respectful of your surroundings. Much like you would if you were in a paid campground. Using common sense will allow many other fellow RVers to continue to experience Wallydocking at its finest.

Travel Trailer Retirement. The golden years of RVs.

I don’t know what is crazier,thinking you can  jump 5 travel trailers, or trying to jump 5 travel trailers in a Volvo hatchback? Or should I say Caravans…

Now, after watching this video I started to wondered about where all of those old RVs have gone. Apparently they have shipped them all over to England to go out in a blaze of glory. Of course with the ownership alternatives these days, I guess it doesn’t really matter where they go after their retirement. Maybe I could interest them in some of our pre-owned selection of late-model travel trailers.

Myself and some of fellow sales team members like the idea of shipping them overseas for even more entertaining RV stunts. The Brits from Top Gear are entertaining and truly despise caravans.