Accurate Ratings of Camper and RV Manufacturers

There are numerous sites for manufacturer ratings of small campers and RVs.  Here are the top 4 sites where you see not only user reviews, but floor plans and specifications comparisons. 

RV ManufacturersVS.RV Manufacturers

 

 

  1. Roaming Times: This site probably has the most complete list of makes and models. Great honest user review site. Has detailed specs and floor plans as well as video reviews.
  2. RV section of Epinions: Nice search-able data base with comprehensive owner ratings. Ratings are through and genuine.
  3. RV Guide: Let’s you compare different Models against each other. Also, it practically gives more in depth specs of the campers than the actual manufacturers do.
  4. RV.net: This is not a rating site, but one of the most helpful forums on the topic there is. You can ask anything here and get fast answers from experienced full timers.

 

Making Money on the Road

Otherwise known as “workamping,” there are a lot of opportunities to bring in an income while on the road with your small camper. 

Tips: 
  • Be bold, don’t be afraid to be assertive in your search. Theres no shame in asking around. Confidence goes  along way when job searching.
  • Don’t forget why you are traveling in the first place. Don’t let the job dictate your location. Decide where you want to go first, then find a job.
  • Make multiple sources of income for yourself. You don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket. You can combine a variety
Options:
  • Teach English Online: Start by getting your TESOL or TEFL Making Moneycertificate online and then you can make up to $60/hr teaching students online with sites like Colingo. I taught high school students in Taiwan online for about a year and had a great experience. You will need to have a strong wi-fi signal and have to have flexible hours due to timezones.
  • Seasonal work: There are a lot of seasonal jobs that are great for snowbirds that you can find at sites like coolworks.
  • Jobs at RV Parks: RV parks are always in need of help. There is a wide variety of different jobs available. Good job sites to check out: WorkcamperRVParkStore, and WorkForRversAndCampers.
  • Everyone knows Camping World. They have jobs all over the country: CampingWorldJobs
  • Make Money Online: You can make money online creating blogs or websites, without having any strong technical skills. Be careful, there is a lot of misleading information on the web about easy ways to make money online. Like the rest of the world, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. You have to put in your work to make money in this area. A resource I trust and use is SmartPassiveIncome.
  • Craft Fairs and Other Events: You can make or buy crafts, food and other items and sell them a craft fairs, festivals and other events. Here is a great article to get you started.

RV Parking Ninja 101

Photo credit: quiiver / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: quiiver / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

 

 

You can plan all you want, but if you spend a lot of time on the road you will eventually find yourself in a situation where you have to improvise your parking situation.

First, lets talk about how you can avoid this situation:

Good planning
You’re not driving a fiat 500, RV parking spots are limited, so planning your RV parking ahead of time will save you a lot of headache and time.
Things that can help you plan: Highway Welcome Centers, Country Store Owners, RV Parks appGood Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory App, rvparkfinder.nettrailerlifedirectory.com.


Now, how to approach finding RV parking when it’s unplanned.
RV Parking Ninja 101
What to look for:
  • Public restrooms near by.
  • Safety: Notice the safety of the community, check for signs of flooding, dead trees overhead etc.
  • Wi-FI
Technique:
  • Don’t stand out too much. Don’t unload everything around the camper. Always keep your area as clean as possible. 
  • Be adaptable
  • Courtesy: Know the local attitude toward RVs and campers. Have respect for the people in the area.
  • How to find free Wi-Fi
  • Trust your instincts
Where to look for free and last minute RV Parking:
  • Wal-Mart

    Photo credit: David~O / Foter.com / CC BY

    Photo credit: David~O / Foter.com / CC BY

  • 24 Hour Fast Food and Grocery Stores
  • Strip Malls and other large shopping areas
  • Closed Big Box Stores
  • Truck Stops
  • Highway Rest Areas
  • Hospitals
  • Motel, Hotel Parking Lots
  • Churches
  • Casinos
  • Apartment Complexes
If your in a real pinch:
  • Police Station
  • Industrial Areas
 

Small Camper vs. Air Travel

There are countless reasons why traveling by small camper is superior to flying.
Here are just a few:
Photo credit: ~Oryctes~ / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: ~Oryctes~ / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

 

  • Photo credit: Grant Harder / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

    Photo credit: Grant Harder / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

    Travel on your schedule. You have full control of when you travel and you don’t loose hours waiting at the airport.

  • Travel comfortably, with privacy.  Airplane seats may be the least comfortable way to travel. On top of that you have little to no privacy. In a camper you have tons of elbow room and personal space. Want to take your shoes off? Want to stretch out? Want to sing along with the radio? In a camper you can be yourself!
  • Get to know the land. With campers you can see the country side, mountains and cities. Discover the land. See something interesting, delicious or fun? Stop and get out.  Freedom is priceless.
  • Save money.   No plane tickets, hotels, taxis, etc. Small campers are hands down the best way to travel on a budget.

Simple Living

When you travel or live in a small camper you will become a master at simple living.

Photo credit: evan grant / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: evan grant / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Simple living is undoubtably a healthier way to live. The combination of living in a confined space and traveling makes you quickly realize what is important and what is clutter.

Simple living has a different definition for everyone, but the two key steps to making you life simple are:

  • Determine what is most important to you.
  • Get rid of everything else (or put in storage…)

Easier said then done.

Tip 1: Create storage options outside your camper. One of the biggest reasons people have a hard time de cluttering is they don’t have easily accessible storage options.

Tip 2: Optimize storage in the camper. Look into vertical storage products that can help you organize.

Tip 3: Know when to let go. Clothes and family memorabilia seems to be the most common culprits. If it takes up space and doesn’t serve a practical function, or if it does you don’t use it often, it’s time to get rid of it.

Tip 4: Every time you finish using something, put it away. Less cleaning involved, less family feuds and less clutter in your life.

Tip 5: Create a place for everything. Give everything you’ve decided needs to be with you a proper place in the camper and stick to it.

Tip 6: Resist impulse buys. 90% off is a great deal, but do you REALLY need it? Probably not…

Top 5 Tips on How to Save Money on Gas

When traveling by small camper a lot, fuel quickly becomes your largest expense.   Saving a little here and there really adds up.

1. Avoid idling, skip the drive through, check traffic reports

2. Only use AC on highway, using AC while going slow use more energy (8+% of your tank)

3. Make sure your gas cap has a good seal, other wise gasoline evaporates out, especially in the sun.How to save money on gas

4. Don’t use roof rack as an attic, don’t haul bikes and other things, that aren’t needed, they create drag using more fuel.

5. Always keep good air pressure in the tires, replace air filters, spark plugs and oil when needed.

 

How to Never Run Out of Gas

When you spend a lot of time on the road, running low on gas in inevitable. Running out of

Photo credit: pkingDesign / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: pkingDesign / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

gas will leave you hiking miles to the nearest gas station or calling in roadside service.

There is a product called Extra Fuel
that will help you never be in this situation. Extra Fuel is half a gallon of non-flammable fuel that is just enough to get you to the nearest gas station. It’s not bad for your engine and it’s not cheap, it’s purely for emergencies. It is safe to carry in your storage area without having to worry about pressure build up, spillage or an explosion. I highly recommend adding this to your emergency road supply kit.

What is this stuff? Extra Fuel is a 91 octane non-flammable gasoline derivative that doesn’t contain any of the bad stuff (like butanes, pentanes, hexanes, or heptanes) that are dangerous to store in your vehicle. According to the manufacturer It’s 100% biodegradable and last for 10+ years. It works well in any gasoline engine so it can also be used in your truck, 4×4, lawnmower, motorcycle, car, etc.. The gasoline derivative pushes the little gasoline that’s left in the fuel line and at the bottom of your gas tank to the engine and once the engine is running Extra Fuel will keep it going for a half-gallon’s worth of driving.

Finding Free Wi-Fi on the Road

Photo credit: superfem / Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: superfem / Foter.com / CC BY

 

 

Staying connected on the road can sometimes be difficult and even frustrating. Bringing all your gear inside a cafe every time you need to get online is a huge pain. Here are some tips on finding free wifi inside the comfort of your camper.

National Chains that offer free Wi-Fi
There are a few national chains that always offer free Wi-Fi, thats signal is storng enough to use from the parking lot:
Starbucks: Generally has the strongest signal of all the places listed.
McDonalds
There are a pile of other chains that you would never expect to offer free Wi-Fi as well. These places normally offer Wi-Fi, but not always:
Corner Bakery Cafes
Denny’s
Dunkin’ Donuts
FedEx: Strong Signal
Whole Foods
Office Depot
Panera: Strong Signal
Caribou Coffee
Tim Hortons
Coffee Bean
Tea Leaf 
Other places
Public libraries: Some will need a passcode, that you can get at the front desk.
Hotels and Motels: Here is a comprehensive list of hotels and motels that offer free Wi-Fi
RV Campgrounds: Here is a comprehensive list of RV Campgrounds that offer free Wi-Fi
Book Stores: Do these still exist? The few still around almost all offer free Wi-Fi
Large truck stops:  Flying J, Love’s, Pilot, and TA all have reliable Wi-Fi
Websites to help you find locations:
  • AnchorFree:The good thing about this site is it only shows the free Wi-Fi Hot spots, so you don’t have to sort through the paid ones.
  • JWire’s Wi-Fi Hotspot Finder Ok, besides all the ads, this site is awesome. Shows you paid and free Wi-Fi signals based on your location.
  • Believe it or not, Google Maps can help you find free Wi-Fi as well. Go to the “Find Businesses” tab under the search box. Enter “wifi hotspot” in the first box and the address in the next box. It will show you an extensive list of paid and free Wi-Fi hotspots.
Photo credit: xiaming / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: xiaming / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Finding Free Wi-Fi Apps
Jiwire
wefi
Wi-Fi Boosters for Your Computer 
Many people don’t know this, but you can buy a Wi-Fi adapter for your laptop that will help your computer find stronger signals. What is usually two bars becomes four.  For even more help you can get a Wi-Fi antenna that you keep in your camper window. These aren’t as obtrusive as it sounds and you can leave it up permanently.
The Back-up
If you have to Wi-Fi and you can’t locate signal, a back option is getting a 3G dongle, which turns your cell phone into a wifi router. This can be expensive, so i wouldn’t recommend this for everyday use, but is great in a pinch.

RV Roof Repair



The #1 repair issue camper and RV owners face is a leaky roof. With the sun, rain, tress, rocks debris, etc. your camper roof takes an endless beating.

If your roof is leaking don’t worry, it’s a quick and easy to fix, but you should fix it as soon RV Roof Repairas possible, because the damage could get worse and potentially turn to mold the longer you wait.

Camper RV Roof Repair Instructions: Did you buy your camper new? You may have warranty coverage on you roof!

Tools Needed: Cleaner, Scotch Brite Pad, Utility Knife or Scissors and a roll of EternaBond
In general I would avoid any caulking or tar products. The seals don’t last as long and they’re really hard to remove once applied.

Step #1: Identify the source of the leak on the roof. The damage is most likely above where the water is leaking into the camper. Look for any roof penetrations. A tree branch penetrating the roof is a common source. If there are no penetrations, the water is likely getting through a seam. If you’re still not sure where the water is leaking into the camper, have someone stand inside the camper watching the ceiling for water entry, while you take a garden hose to the roof. Try and get the water to pool above the suspected leak spot and watch for air bubbles. Rubbing soap on the spot will help make air bubbles more visible.


Step #2: Remove any debris and clean the area that needs repair thoroughly with a cleaner and scotch brite pad, rinse off and let it dry.

Step #3: Roll out a length of EternaBond (a few more inches on either side of the damaged area). Put the EternaBond in place over the damaged area and peel back the plastic underneath, while pressing down and rubbing the top of the EnernaBond to activate the adhesive. If the damaged area wider than the width of the EnernaBond, you can use an additional piece. It is made to stick to its self if needed. Let sit for 30 min. You’re Done!

How to prevent future RV roof leaks: 
- Stay off your roof. Hanging out on the roof of your RV is fun, but it rapidly deteriorates the life span of your roof. 
 - Clean your roof once or twice a year. Chalk, grime and salt will eventually build up and deteriorate your roof if you don’t give it a good annual cleaning. There are all sorts of roof cleaning products, but a little bleach or all purpose cleaner mixed with water will work fine.
- Re-coat the RV roof every couple years. There are a bunch of products out there for this. Many will say to re-coat every year, but it’s really not necessary, every couple years is fine. A good affordable option is Camco Roof Care System.

Camper / RV Insurance Guide

Factors to think about when choosing a RV insurance provider:RV Insurance

  • Camper Type and model
  • Your other insured vehicles
  • Your driving history
  • Trailers don’t necessarily have to have insurance in some states, but it’s highly recommended you get coverage regardless of your state’s policy.
  • What level of coverage you want. Some options include:
    • Suspended coverage option: This is a great option if you are not a full time traveler. It will allow you to suspend your coverage while you are not using your RV, saving you a lot of money in the off season.
    • Replacement cost of personal belongings: Like homeowners insurance it will cover all your belongings inside the camper.
    • Emergency coverage: If your RV breaks down, this plan will cover all you living expenses while your RV is in the shop.
    • Full-time traveler or short-term traveler liability coverage: Will cover anyone who is injured in or next to your RV.

Our recommended RV insurance providers based on our research and experiences: