Harris, Reed & Seiferth
When traveling in an RV, you may find it helpful to have a vehicle available for a run to the store or a short excursion without having to pack up all your gear and maneuver your rig through crowded city streets. Many experienced RV owners tow a car or truck for the convenience of having a more compact vehicle on hand. Here are the different options for towing and tips on how to do so safely.
Four Wheels Down (Toading, Dinghy Towing or Flat Towing)
This is the most popular method for towing a vehicle behind an RV, which involves attaching a tow bar and letting your vehicle roll behind the RV on its own four tires. Benefits of this method include minimal, if any, impact on the gas mileage, handling, and wear and tear of your RV; the equipment needed to attach a car by a tow bar is cheaper than purchasing a dolly or flatbed trailer; and you don’t need a separate trailer license. However, there are a few drawbacks. Not all vehicles are equipped to be towed on four wheels so check the owner’s manual, manufacturer’s guidelines and mechanical capabilities of your vehicle before investing in this option. In addition, though this shouldn’t add miles to your car’s odometer, it will cause wear on the car tires.
Two Wheels Down (Dolly Towing)
For this method of towing, a dolly attaches to the back of your RV and the vehicle rides with two tires up on the dolly and the other two tires down on the road. Any front-wheel-drive vehicle can be towed this way. Plus, you won’t damage your car’s transmission or increase mileage while it’s in motion. The downsides of this method is that a quality dolly trailer is expensive; you may need a separate license for the dolly; it could be difficult to store at a campsite; it puts wear on the two car tires that are down; and it adds weight to the capacity of your RV. If you’re thinking about choosing this option, calculate what the overall weight will be (before purchasing the dolly) to ensure your RV will be able to handle it.
Four Wheels Up (Flatbed Trailer)
The third option for towing a vehicle is with all wheels up on a flatbed trailer that’s attached to the RV. Any vehicle can go on a flatbed trailer as long as it can be secured and as long as the trailer is built to handle the weight of your specific vehicle. Before purchasing a trailer, decide what vehicle you’re going to bring with when traveling and then compare trailer options based on the amount of weight they can haul. Similar to dolly towing, the drive shaft is off the ground so you won’t rack up mileage. Also, with this method, your tires won’t endure any wear and tear. Disadvantages of four wheels up is you’ll have the extra cost of the trailer; you may run into storage issues at campgrounds; and the weight of a flatbed trailer will use up a lot of the weight your RV can carry.
Whichever method you choose, it’s important to take extra precautions when you tow a car behind an RV. Here are some basic safety guidelines to follow:
Some people have trails or areas where they can ride their Off-Road Vehicles at home, but others may have to take their ORVs somewhere else to ride. For instance, many people take their Golf Carts with them when camping or haul their ATVs and UTVs to designated riding trails. To get your ORV to these places, you'll probably want to tow it with a trailer. If you've never towed an ORV with a trailer before, follow these steps to keep your ORV from moving around or falling off!
Owning an RV is a wonderful experience – whether you’re a full-timer, a summer traveler or just prefer a weekend getaway, the opportunities for adventure are endless. After all, that’s part of the allure with owning an RV. But, after being in your RV for multiple years, it may need an update! This has drawn many people to renovate their RV DIY style, and if you’re up for the challenge, you can too!
Adding some upgrades or changing the interior of your Recreational Vehicle doesn’t mean you need to gut it and start from scratch. There’s many projects you can do that are simple; such as switching out some of the furniture, or adding some décor to make it feel more homey. To help you get started, we put together six customization ideas for your RV if you’re ready for a new and fresh look.
There are many benefits of having solar panels on your RV, and depending on your lifestyle they could save you a TON of money. However, there are also reasons you could argue for why you shouldn’t install panels. If you’re thinking about getting them for your RV but are still on the fence about it, here are some things to consider!
Are solar panels worth it?
This depends solely on your lifestyle. If you enjoy spending a majority of time “off-the-grid” or frequent dry camps without power hookups (this is known as “boondocking”), then solar energy may be the way to go. Having solar could open up a lot more possibilities and allow you to explore different spots, rather than just hunting down the next camp with a hookup. Plus - you will certainly see some long-term savings if you compare solar panels to a gas generator. According to experts, you can expect your solar “payback period” to be around five years.1
However, if you are someone that spends a majority of your time at campsites with hookups or you only take big RV trips a few times a year, installing solar panels wouldn’t be practical. You are better off using the camp’s local power system and paying the associated fee.
How do solar panels work on an RV?
Most people think that solar panels are meant to power an RV – and that’s not entirely true. The purpose for solar power is to recharge your battery bank. Solar panels work the same as a gas generator except it requires no gas, makes no noise and can charge your batteries for a long period of time (as long as the sun is out and shining).
According to EnergySage, if you have an 800 W system that’s in direct sunlight for five hours a day, it will produce 4,000 watt-hours (Wh) of energy each day. To put that into perspective, you’ll be able to power small electronic devices like a TV or a microwave, but you won’t be able to run your refrigerator for an entire day.
If there isn’t any sunlight for a few days, however, that can pose a problem. It’s a good idea to have a plan B – like a back-up generator.
How much do solar panels cost & how many do I need?
The price varies with what wattage you would need for your RV, but it’s certainly not cheap! A good list of solar panels specifically designed for RVs, their prices and how many you would need can be found in this article from EnergySage.
Can I install solar panels myself?
Yes! With the proper tools and parts, you can install them yourself, but it’s not an easy process. If you decide to do it yourself, make sure you do extensive research on the installation equipment you’ll need to run an RV solar setup. If you’re not the handy type, call a professional solar panel installer to do this for you.
Overall, if you decide to take this next step in your RV lifestyle, you won’t regret it. Not only will it enhance your camping experience, it’s also great for the environment and will save you big bucks long-term. Happy camping from Foremost Insurance!
Many say that once you ride a motorcycle, you can never go back. The exhilaration and freedom are enough the get you hooked, but have you thought about the economical and lifestyle benefits of riding? Studies show that motorcycles are good for riders, the economy and the earth! Keep reading to see what makes motorcycles so great.
You already know that motorcycles are awesome, but now you have the facts to back it up. Share this article with your family and friends to show them why motorcycles really are the best!
No matter how much you enjoy being on the water, suffering from nausea and fatigue on a boating excursion might make you wish your feet were planted on land. According to Montavit, about 10% of the population is extremely sensitive to motion sickness, with another 75% subject to occasional motion sickness. This travel illness can take a nice trip out at sea and turn it into a nightmare, but don't fret, I've got the answers for you. Here's some useful info on sea sickness so you can have a fun day out on the waves!
Why do I experience sea sickness?
Sea sickness is defined as motion sickness that happens on the water. The inner ear becomes unbalanced due to the rocking motion of a boat or ship and can have side effects like a cold sweat, upset stomach, fatigue, and/or nausea and vomiting.
6 Methods to Cure Sickness
It's so easy to get wrapped up in the notion that "bigger is better." Contentment always seems to be tragically unreachable whenever cravings for more and more consume us. We want more so-called "friends" on social media. We want more closet space for an ever-growing pile of clothing that we rarely wear. "Why yes, I'd like to supersize my meal!" we chant in a frenzy at our favorite fast food joints. Our appetites never seem to be satisfied.
OK, perhaps I'm making hasty generalizations and exaggerations, but we can all at least admit to occasionally being tangled in the chaos and busyness of life. Everyone has their own tedious tasks to take on and along with them come bills to pay, relationships to build and hours of sleep to never completely catch up on. Organizing, compartmentalizing and managing all of the overwhelming "stuff" that accumulates in life can make one weary and stressed. From this perspective it's easy to see why we have the tendency to think that more money, more space, more tools, more time — more everything — will help us solve all of our problems.
However, there is a group who has found contentment in having less; satisfaction in the simple life; and freedom in letting go of materialistic burdens. These unique and inventive individuals are the ones who are driving the rising tiny house movement.
The tiny house movement refers to the social and architectural movement that encourages living simply, efficiently and sustainably in small homes. Just how tiny are these homes? Typically containing a living area, sleeping loft, kitchen and bathroom, these homes rarely exceed 400 square feet. Some of them are built on permanent foundations, but many of them are on wheels and are easily portable.
Architect and author, Susan Susanka, is often credited with starting the movement in 1997 when she published The Not So Big House. Since then, the idea that bigger doesn't always equal better in home building has continued to grow. There are many strong advocates for the movement, like Jay Shafer, who founded the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Schafer's manufacturing company builds customized tiny houses and ships them to customers who are eager to pursue a simplified lifestyle.
In an interview with Shareable, Schafer explains that the movement is about people not wanting to consume more than they have to. "It boils down to efficiency," he remarks. When asked about what qualifies a home as part of the tiny house movement, he states, "Any house in which all the space is being used well."
Indeed, the idea of living an efficient, self-sufficient and simplified lifestyle has attracted many to the movement. The appeal of environmental consciousness is also a large contributing factor: tiny houses require much less energy and greatly reduce one's ecological impact. Lastly, tiny houses are much less expensive when it comes to building, heating and maintenance, so the more economically-balanced lifestyle that is offered through tiny house living is more than enough to draw interest.
Tiny houses are capturing the attention of the public and, for many, are becoming a legitimate housing alternative. The movement is gaining increased media coverage. TV shows like Tiny House Nation, Tiny House Builders and Tiny House Hunters celebrate the exploding movement by offering building tips and spotlighting unique tiny houses and their owners. In addition, nonprofits like the American Tiny House Association and groups like the Tiny House Community are working to promote the tiny house as a formally acceptable dwelling option and are sponsoring workshops, fairs and conferences that bring together builders and enthusiasts. Online communities like Living Big in a Tiny House, Small House Society, The Tiny Life and Tiny Home Builders create opportunities for people to connect and share advice and stories from their tiny house lifestyles.
Though living in a tiny house may not be for everyone, there is definitely something we all can learn from the movement. Learning to share, adapting more efficient and sustainable practices and choosing to live freely and fully by slowing down and taking the time to refocus on what's truly important in life are certainly all commendable endeavors.
Foremost offers solutions for insuring tiny houses. If the unit is on permanent foundation and attached to permanent facilities, it is eligible for a Dwelling Fire or Specialty Homeowners policy. If the unit is RVIA approved, with the wheels still intact, it is eligible for a Travel Trailer policy.
You may tend to overlook your roof, but it's actually the most important component of your home - and the most vulnerable. It protects you from the elements like rain, snow and sun, but roofs don't last forever!
I didn't really think about the importance of roofs until recently when my friend and her husband bought their first home. It was built in the late 40s, and since she moved in she's been saying how badly her roof needs replacing. Of course, that was five months ago, and work has still yet to be done. I then thought to myself, is putting off the project really going to affect you that much?
The answer is, yes!
So — I began to research how one would go about replacing or repairing a roof.
The first order of business: understand the relationship between the age of your roof and its life expectancy. According to the Good Housekeeping magazine, shingle roofs should last between 20-30 years (if you have a different type of roof, such as metal or clay tile, you may have to follow different rules). If your home is new or the roof was recently replaced, you should be in the clear. However, it doesn't hurt to do a checkup after getting hit with severe weather like a hailstorm, ice and snow or crazy rain.
If your roof is getting close to its 30th birthday, keep your eyes open for warning signs that tell you it's time for a revamp. Here are a few things to look out for:
According to Home Advisor, a roof replacement can range anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000. The size of your home, the materials used and where you live will affect that price range. It's no small sum, but in return for the investment, you'll add thousands of dollars to the resale value of your home and ensure a safe and habitable dwelling for years to come. Don't need a new roof right now? Do a quick check each month to see if maintenance is needed. If you notice problems like missing shingles or signs of water damage, be sure to call a roofing specialist to make the repairs as soon as possible - it could save you a bundle by prolonging the life of your roof and stopping costly leaks in their tracks.
Whether you're a "sailor" who's going out to sea on a pontoon, speed boat, or sailboat, there's something special about being behind the wheel, cutting through the waves. However, I don't want your day to be ruined by forgetting the most essential items needed for your trip out at sea.
That's why you should follow this checklist cleverly titled the Sailors Scroll for Stocking Your Seaboat and never forget another important item again:
And don’t forget these other items:
I am guessing I'm not the only one who doesn't want to share their home with eight-legged strangers. When I see those creepy spiders crawling across my floor I immediately feel like I need to check under every chair, table and rug for the rest of their families. Of course, in the part of the country I live in, the spiders are harmless, but that doesn't stop me from feeling just a little uneasy when crawling friends start taking over my home.
It's starting to get warmer out and that means that my home is beginning to be infiltrated with spiders! Because of that, I feel the need to share some tips and tricks for keeping those creepy, crawly creatures out of our homes:
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