Using The Sun To Power Your Rv
Jumping in your RV and leaving the rat race for the weekend is an American tradition. Did you know you can provide power to your RV with the sun while getting away from it all?
The Sun is Everywhere!
One of the biggest misconceptions regarding solar power is that it is limited to large panel systems on roofs. Au contraire! With new nanotechnology, solar power systems will soon be applied with the paint you use to improve your home. That's still two or three years away, so what about now?
If you enjoy taking the RV out for an excursion, you can use solar power to provide your electrical needs. Whether you are going camping or to a NASCAR race, it is an exceedingly simple process.
Unlike homes, RVs run on direct current electricity. This makes them perfect for solar electricity since solar systems produce direct current electricity instead of alternating current. Put another way, there is no need for bulky converters to flip the electricity from direct to alternating. Instead, you can use the sun to power up your batteries directly.
Portable solar systems consist of pop-up solar modules with four or five panels. Essentially, they look like small ladders with solar panels instead of steps. You just pop them up on the roof of the RV or in an area where the sun hits them. The systems tie directly into your batteries and power them up during the day. Super easy and super clean.
The real advantage to solar RV systems has to do with noise. The traditional method for recharging your RV batteries is to turn on a generator and generators can be very loud. Even the quietest generator makes enough noise to make you feel like you live next to a construction site. Solar systems make no noise at all. There are no moving parts, just the sun beating down on the panels. You'll never know they are even there.
If RVing is your thing, portable solar modules are worth taking a look at. With high fuel prices, you need to save a buck wherever you can.
Top 2 Reasons Why Motorhomes Are The Wave Of The Future
Did you know that motorhomes have been gaining rapidly in popularity over the last few years? It's true. If you've driven on the freeways recently, you might have noticed that there are an awful lot of people taking to the roads of America in their new homes on wheels (motorhomes). This country is huge and so are the number of attractions that you could see in a motorhome. Motorhomes have always been popular among the more mobile of our population, but recent models have shown that manufacturers have been producing incredible automotive works of art. Here's the 2 reasons why motorhomes are the wave of the future.
1)Retirement. There is a huge amount of the US population that is considering retiring in the next few years. Baby boomers have worked all their lives and have been spending their money like there is no tomorrow on all sorts of travel accessories. Motorhomes are no exception. One of the biggest things that all retirees want to do after they finish work is travel. Motorhomes provide future domestic travelers with lots of transportation options. Seeing the country (or even the world) in style is possible with a motorhome.
2)Cheap Mobility. Let's be honest here, gas prices are expensive. They've been expensive and probably will remain so for a long time. However, 2 or more people traveling in a motorhome can see a lot of things for relatively little money. Imagine how much money it would cost you in airplane tickets to fly to each destination individually? A lot more than the gas it costs to navigate from city to city. A tank of gas, financially, doesn't go as far as it used to, but it certainly isn't that bad considering all the place it can take you.
There is a lot more to motorhomes than just what's been covered here. In fact, there is a ton more of material available out there about motorhomes. Get informed before deciding to invest in a motorhome.
Get Your Own Collectible Motor Home
In the 1970's, General Motors entered the RV market. Drawing on the exuberance of the times, the company set out to create the ultimate American Motor home. Their aim was to produce a top-of the-line vehicle with cutting-edge design and construction, not just another competitor in the already crowded vacation vehicle market. The common design in this era was a boxy, ungainly and top-heavy unit on a truck chassis. The GMC vehicle was intended to be a completely new design in every way. Design work began in 1970, with the market introduction planned for 1973. "Doesn't look like a box or ride like a truck" was the GMC ad slogan.
The new vehicle would be unusual for this era in several ways. First of all, it was to have a front wheel drive, a rare concept in cars of that day and unheard-of in mobile homes. The drive train and suspension were taken from the design of the Oldsmobile Toronado. The 265 horsepower 455 cubic inch Oldsmobile engine was attached to a Turbohydramatic 425 transmission with torsion bar suspension. The rear suspension was a product of GM's bus design, using dual swing arms, one leading and one trailing, with a single air spring on each side. Instead of a auto body steel, the body was to be made of lightweight aluminum and molded fiberglass-reinforced plastic such as was used in the Chevrolet Corvette.
The front wheel drive and independent swing arm rear suspension brought great improvement to the standard motor home design. The lack of drive shafts and axles underneath the coach allowed a very low floor height, leading in turn to a low overall vehicle height and lower center of gravity. Aside from easier entry and exit, this reduced rollover risk and wind resistance and made the vehicle much safer and easier to operate for buyers accustomed only to car driving. A six-wheel braking system, with disc brakes on the front and drum brakes on all four rear wheels, further enhanced drivability.
Previous motor home design focused mainly on the use of the vehicle as a temporary home once it had reached its destination, an extended stay in a mobile home park or a camping spot. Ease of getting to the destination was of secondary concern, and cumbersome handling on the road was taken for granted. GMC made a special point of targeting this feature for improvement by adding visibility from the driver's seat with a panoramic expanse of glass.
The motor home was featured in 23 foot and 26 foot lengths, fairly small even for this era. Nowadays, much larger models are common. The motor home's interior design was compact, with no permanent sleeping areas in the original design. All beds were converted from seating areas when required.
Hot water was provided by water heaters using engine coolant loops, which produced water so hot it could actually present a scalding hazard since coolant temperatures usually exceed 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The refrigerator was powered by a standard automotive battery, adequate only for overnight use before recharging.
The prototype was first displayed in May 1972 at the Transpro '72 trade show in Washington, D.C. Production started in 1973 with two models, Model 230 and Model 260, 23 and 26 feet long respectively. They were sold with a finished interior for the public as well as unfinished to other RV manufacturers such as Avion and Coachman, who then provided their own interiors before reselling to consumers. 30 different floor plans were available, and models were priced from $35,000 to $40,000.
The GMC vehicle changed slightly over time, the most notable alteration coming in 1977 when the 455 cubic inch engine was replaced by a 403 cubic inch model in response to the energy crisis. This decade caused hardship for all RV manufacturers as the increased price of fuel pushed large gas guzzling vehicles out of the market. The GMC motor home had never sold at high volumes, and the company decided that the RV production facilities could be more profitably used to make light trucks. After the manufacture of 12,921 vehicles, production of motor homes was discontinued after the 1978 model year.
Almost immediately after production ceased, GMC motor homes became collectors' items, with owners' associations being established to provide parts and service for these vehicles. Small manufacturers and garages developed a cottage industry servicing them. In 1992, as General Motors prepared to scrap all remaining tools and parts, Cinnabar Engineering purchased all the motor home manufacturing supplies and negotiated a deal to continue to provide parts for the discontinued vehicles. In 1992, a monthly magazine called GMC Motor home Marketplace was introduced, and in 1994 Cinnabar started publishing a quarterly newsletter called GMC Motor home News.
The vehicle's futuristic design has even found a place in pop culture: Mattel Toys created die-cast versions of the GMC motor home for its Hot Wheels line. More than 50 different GMC Hot Wheels are available, and in 1977, Mattel released three toy GMC versions in a Barbie Doll Star Traveler promotion.
In an amazing example of customer loyalty and product durability, more than 8,000 units are still registered by owners. An internet search of "GMC Motor home" produces 771,000 results, as sites advertise motor home parts, engines and upgrades as well as classic car rallies for owners. Used GMC motor homes sell for $10,000 to $15,000 depending on the condition of the vehicle.
RV camping can make for a great trip almost anywhere, but I think it is best in the west. In many areas, you can just drive into the desert, and stay free for up to two weeks. It's true of most BLM (Bureau Of Land Management) and national forest lands, and many state forest lands too. You have to move every two weeks, but how far is open to interpretation, and mostly yours will be accepted.
Long Term RV Camping on BLM Land
RV camping, or "boondocking" is growing in popularity. In fact, the BLM has begun to establish special areas for longer stays, particularly in Arizona. A permit fee is around $140 now, but this allows you to stay up to six months, and you get pump stations, dumpsters and water. People are living in some of these areas. It's cheaper than paying property taxes or rent for a lot to park on.
RV camping is common in Winter in Arizona. One of the largest gatherings of "boondockers" is in Quartzite. Several hundred thousand people spend at least part of the year in their RVs here. It's near the California border, on Interstate 10, only 20 miles from the Colorado River. Surrounded by BLM lands, Quartzite is famous for gem shows, swap meets, and the multiplying of its population each winter.
If you ask around when you are in the desert southwest, you'll find there are RV communities that form every winter. Some of these temporary towns like "Slab City" in California, have bookstores, grocery vendors, and other businesses run by RVers. Once summer returns, these boondock communities disappear, and reappear again the following winter.
Other RV Camping Opportunities
Just look around, and you'll find "hidden" places where you can park your RV for a week or a month in the desert southwest. Some are inexpensive, other's free. The Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area, for example, north of Bowie, Arizona, costs $3 per night, and has nice hotsprings and plenty of wildlife. An annual permit costs $30, but you're limited to two weeks per month (permits are sold at the BLM office in Safford). You can stay outside the fenced area free, but then you don't get the hotsprings and shaded picnic tables.
For information on other areas, contact the Bureau of Land Management. They can tell you what's available under their jurisdiction. Also, the Woodall's campground guide lists campgrounds that are free. Keep your eyes open for other RVs parked out in the desert or forest. Finally, ask around. Other RVers will give you the best information on RV camping.
Motor Home Extended Warranty
You will find that any motor home that you buy will come with a warranty of some sort. Of course, the warranty will vary depending on whether you buy new or secondhand. New vehicles will attract a longer term warranty than secondhand vehicles, however, at some point the warranty on either vehicle will expire, leaving you exposed to the risks of paying for expensive repairs should something happen to your vehicle after that expiration. And guess what - something normally does happen!! You can, however, protect yourself against this by taking out an extended warranty on your motor home.
For many motor home owners, an extended warranty provides peace of mind and with companies offering extended warranties directly to owners via the internet premiums have come down a lot, thus making an extended warranty quite reasonable. You will find that dealer's extended warranties are much more expensive because the insurance companies must raise their price to cover the commission paid to the dealer. Online companies don't have this commission to pay and can therefore offer a better price.
When buying an extended warranty make sure that you are dealing with a reputable company. The most reputable companies are underwritten by "A" rated insurance companies, rated by Standard & Poor and others. Do not buy a motor home extended warranty from a company that will not disclose the rating of the company that backs the policy. You will find that extended warranties are available on new and used motor homes, however if a vehicle is very old or has very high mileage, you will not be able to take out a motor home extended warranty.
The cost to protect yourself from expensive repairs will vary on motor homes so here are a few guidelines to assist you.
1.Generally, you will pay more for diesel engines and then depending on the location of the engine, you will pay more or less. Generally rear engines are more expensive.
2.Most companies will exclude Renault built engines.
3.Some modifications on engines will void warranty, however the cost of coverage will be more if a turbo charger is added.
4.There will be a surcharge added for every year added over the first few years of age of the vehicle. With mileage, the surcharges will start earlier.
5.Any accessories added such as satellite dishes, TV, stereo etc...will incur a surcharge.
The best way to find out the cost of a motor home extended warranty is to contact a few companies and get a full run down of all aspects of the policy. In this way you can make an informed decision and then choose the policy that you feel suits you best.
You can find more information by clicking on the link in the resource box, or go to: www.motorhomessite.com
Purchasing A New Recreational Vehicle
When looking to buy a new recreational vehicle think about what you would do if you were going to purchase a new car.
You certainly aren't going to take the first deal you're offered. You certainly aren't going to purchase from the first dealer you visit without comparing prices. You certainly wouldn't go without any idea of the value of the vehicle beforehand.
It is very important that you go armed with information when you're thinking about purchasing a new recreational vehicle. This is some serious cash you're going to be spending and you want to get the best possible deal. Recreational Vehicle dealers must make a large profit on the sale of each vehicle. They don't sell the numbers that car dealers do so they have to make the maximum mark up on each vehicle.
There are many sites online that can be a help to you with finding the actual MSRP (manufacturers suggested retail price) of a new recreational vehicle. Recreational Vehicle dealers, like car dealers, buy their vehicles wholesale due to the number they buy, they have a fairly wide profit margin generally 15% to 35%. The dealer price you see on the vehicle isn't necessarily what he has paid for it with incentives he receives from the manufacturer.
Make sure that you visit at least three recreational vehicle dealers with the same or similar vehicle. When you're spending potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars on a motor home you want to make sure you are getting the best deal. Deals do differ from region to region and from dealer to dealer.
Don't become attached to any one recreational vehicle. Again, when you're talking potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars it's a business deal and not one where you should wear your heart on your sleeve. Remember, this is a new vehicle, and if you bypass this one the factory can always build another exactly like it.
Make sure that you do a little research into the dealers after sales service. Many dealers are your best friends during the deal, but then lose interest in you afterwards. You will want to check with friends and family that own recreational vehicles and perhaps with the Better Business Bureau before you purchase. Also, RV blogs and forums are a good way to get information about a particular dealer.
Recreational Vehicle Ownership
The joy of recreational vehicle ownership hasn't been dimmed by rising gas prices. As late as August of 2005 recreational vehicle sales were seeing only a very small affect of rising gas prices. Sales of recreational vehicles in 2004 were the highest see in twenty five years. The popularity of recreational vehicles doesn't seem to be waining at all. In fact, there is an RV and MV (Manufactured Vehicle) hall of fame located in Elkhart Indiana.
Today's motor homes or recreational vehicles have all the comforts of home, and then some. With luxury leather recliners, granite floors, washers and dryers, plasma TV's and looks of professionally designed spaces recreational vehicles are a stylish and comfortable home away from home.
There are several different types of vehicles considered "RV's". The first is a truck camper which is a unit affixed to the bed or chassis of a pickup truck. Then there is the folding camping trailer, or pop-up trailer. A travel trailer is a unit that is towed by another vehicle. A fifth wheel travel trailer is designed to be towed by a pickup truck. A motor home or what is frequently called a Winnebago which resembles a bus.
The process of purchasing a new recreational vehicle is somewhat like purchasing a new car. A recreational vehicle dealer will sometimes take advantage of an uniformed customer. There are huge markups on recreational vehicles by all dealers. The only way to come out with a fair deal is to do your homework before you buy.
There are several fixed prices when you are looking at new recreational vehicles. The dealer price, the taxes and any motor vehicle fees. As with a car, the only option left for the dealer is to play with the profit margin. As recreational vehicle dealers sell way less than car dealers do they must make a much higher profit margin per vehicle. As it is widely known that used recreational vehicles have a huge depreciation you don't want to overpay for your vehicle.
Benefits Of Owning Motor Homes
Why would you want to own one of the many different motorhomes that are available for sale from many motorhomes dealers? The main reason for this is the fact that you gain access to multiple benefits that motorhomes offer. For example, you will be able to use motorhomes to travel to many outside locations for a long vacation or just a simple weekend getaway. There is no more need to spend all this time planning where you are going to stay, where you will eat and cook food and what car you will have to rent. Motorhomes will provide you with the simple solution for all these dilemmas.
With the help of motorhomes you will have access to basic household items, appliances and amenities and will not have to deal with the uncomfortable hotel stays or even more unpleasant stays in tents. Owners of motorhomes can prepare them in such way that everything that is needed for the enjoyable trip is available at all times. You don't have many limits to what you can take with you. You can cook food, sleep and even shower in most of the motorhomes. You can even attach other equipment and vehicles (boats, jet skies and other sport equipment, for example) to your motor home.
Motorhomes can be helpful not only for vacation purposes. Even if you are traveling to a different city on a business trip or to visit your friends or family, motorhome will make the ride more enjoyable for you and your family. You will have more freedom to change destinations and will even save money on hotels and restaurants. You can choose which one of the many available motorhomes to purchase depending on your personal needs, size of your family and your travel plans. Motorhomes come in different sizes and variations and will have different amenities and equipment installed. Different types of motorhomes will have different prices so it is up to you to decide which motorhome to purchase.
For more information on Motor Homes please click through to our site.
Diesel Motor Home Vs Gasoline Motor Home
When considering the purchase of a motor home, one needs to decide whether to buy gasoline (petrol) or diesel. Essentially, there will be very little difference between the two in terms of the interior comforts and road performance, however, there are differences that one needs to consider before making a purchase.
To begin with, price is going to be a consideration since diesel motor homes will cost more than motor homes run on gasoline. There are new super chassis gasoline models available (Ford and GM) which present excellent buying. They have excellent carrying capacity and are less expensive than diesel. Alternatively, some of the more popular diesel motor homes include, Monaco, Newmar, Holiday Rambler and Fleetwood.
Oil and maintenance are also considerations when deciding whether to purchase a diesel motor home or gasoline model. Generally, oil changes and maintenance are less expensive on the gasoline models with an oil change on a diesel motor home costing between $175-$250. However, diesel motor homes tend to ride quieter because the engine is in the rear on most. Another advantage that diesel motor homes have over standard gasoline models is the cargo carrying capacity. Diesel models can carry more cargo and this includes heavier materials in the interior of the motor home such as Corian counter tops, china toilets etc.
Additionally, diesel motor homes usually have superior transmissions and pac brakes. These are important considerations if you intend to do a lot of mountain driving. Another important factor to consider when buying a motor home is the longevity of the vehicle. Diesel motor homes tend to run forever whereas in the long run, gasoline motor homes will generally require much more maintenance.
So there you have it! Make sure that you fully understand the fundamental differences between a diesel motor home and a gasoline motor home before making your purchase. You will also need to research a variety of companies who offer these motor homes for sale to ensure that you are paying the right price for your vehicle. Whether you decide to go diesel or gasoline, the flexibility that motor homes bring to your holiday adventures will be both exciting, flexible and extremely comfortable.
To access more information on motor homes click on the link in the resource box or go to: www.motorhomessite.com
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