More into travel literature, RVing does not have to be the mode. I have some of the Basch/Slater and Moeller books, but have found the RVing part not psrticlarly important, what is more useful wiil be the travel adventure. So into road trip books, whether motorcycling, camping, RVing, hiding out int he back of a van, mode is not so important as the places seen, people met, customs observed and maybe adapted to.
Start with "Travels With Charlie" because the author is a superb writer. I keep reading his "Iberia" taking me back to the Iberia I visited, over and over, half century later.
To the point of the question, I think RVers just don't represent a big enough market that publishers want to target them with a special RV adventure literature. If the publishers aren't interested, doesn't matter how many writers might be active. EBooks will change that.
We don't have Murdock's. One of our alternatives is Atwood's, which tends to have more name brand merchandise than TSC, but not necessarily discounted. I'm not comfortable with my perceptions of quality at TSC, haven't looked at the hardware. I'll go to Atwood's for hardware, work clothing, feed and seed, parts (better hardware prices than Lowes, we don't have Menard's or Home Depot).
But when I need a good piece of equipment like a chain saw, I'll go to my Stihl/John Deere dealer, because they will take care of service, Atwood's doesn't discount the good stuff, hard to tell at Lowe's what is the good stuff, and TSC is not even selling it. Personal prejudice, over the years I've learned to prefer tools that last a lifetime over tools cheap to replace.
You are not always buying plush. Sometimes you pay for capability. Tugboat vs yacht.
$500,000 is not very much money for a HD truck with serious off-road capabilities. On-road, it won't even buy a motorcoach empty shell. It will get you a plastic box, with plush furnishings, on a rail chassis.
I suspect the people buying these have different values. It would probably take no more than another $100k to decorate the interior to look like a bordello, but that's a different market, for a different customer, well serviced by the RV industry here.
What is the big differences between the Newman products. I am getting a 37' Kountry Star but see there are 37' Mountain Aires, and 37'Scottsdale.
What are the biggest differences or is it a good, better, best? If so which is good, better, and best?
Visually all three seem to be very similar.
There will differences in equipment, furnishings, and often the chassis. Whether gas or diesel, a MountainAire is marketed toward top of line. A Mountainaire gasser will be top of line.
In diesel pushers, a Kountry Star will usually be near the base range, below "just short of premium" Dutch Star. But as a gasser, Kountry Star may be mid to upper range, just below Mountainaire if one was made that model year.
I'm pretty sure the Scottsdale was positioned near entry level, where Bay Star gassers are positioned now.
Like other manufacturers, Newmar has shrunk and grown model line offerings with the market, discontinuing some when the market is bad, introducing new names for markets not previously served, recycling other names to new lines in new positions.
Pay less attention to names, more to what equipment is offered, and chassis models, capacities, engine sizes.
Asking prices are what the seller would like to get. Most of the time they are as clueless as the buyers. There may be little or no difference in equipment or condition, for the spread you see in asking prices. Location can make a difference, markets are local, just as for houses. But because you can drive a RV away from the location, I would offer no more than the asking price of the cheapest for any in each group.
That's the strategy I used earlier this year to buy a van at the lowest price. The same thing in another market determined what I was willing to pay to get it more locally.
I can likely get by with one sharp knife. I don't really need to carry more for RV camping than I carried for camping out of the trunk of a compact car. Even looking at it that way, I often find when unpacking after the trip that I didn't use half of what I brought. I'm working with that to refine my packing lists.
The real problem is all the extra stuff I have to carry to take care of the RV, tools and parts for "just in case." The things you would not use if just camping, like hoses and cords for hookups, and the things you hope you'll never have to use.
Five trips to the UK since 2001, nine to Europe, most of what I've seen of RV camping, particularly motorhome camping, has been close together parking in a field, or on a parking lot, with little in the way of hookups. In some places these are clearings designated for RVs, in others it just looks like they've taken over a more general parking lot. And sometimes, shopping center parking lots, and highway rest stops.
Most crowded I've seen have been along waterways in Germany. Maybe they have the greatest number of motorized RVs and the least amount of space for their use. I have caravaning guides for France that list different categories, including campgrounds, public parking areas, and RV parks with facilities and amenities. There is at least one RV park in Rome, not too far outside the city walls, but it looks like a parking lot.
GVWR has legal meaning, not necessarily physically determined. Other things that figure into GVWRs include vehicle class for tax, license and CAFE purposes. Of particular interest are vehicle tax and license categories in various states. Thus you might find the same truck with different GVWR for sale in different places, or with GVWR options, with no physical changes. The GVWR determined for whatever reason will not exceed the sum of GAWRs.
Some states have special tax categories for under 6000 and under 7000 pounds. Some formerly had under 4000 and under 5000 classes, but adjusted as trucks got bigger. Some states require commercial licensing of vehicles over a particular GVWR, no matter how they are used. There was also once an exclusion of "heavy" trucks from the CAFE based on assumption that trucks over a particular GVWR were not used as private passenger cars. As consumers moved toward greater use of trucks as family vehicles, these targets also moved up.
You may or may not effectively change the capacity of your truck to carry loads, by changing particular pieces of equipment. But you cannot change the legal GVWR; only the manufacturer or a certified vehicle builder can change it.
LEDs are pretty much monochromatic, so colors are achieved by using combinations of emitters and filters, trying to approximate the color temperature of a black body (incandescent) emitter, much as was done for fluorescent lamps.
There will be names like "warm white" or "cool white" or "daylight" and maybe a degrees Kelvin range to suggest comparison to an incandescent source, but don't expect a typical color temperature curve, the light will be a spike somewhere in that range.
Incandescents, we are accustomed to brighter also being whiter. LED replacements, brightness and color are two different things. The brightness will be described in lumens, most typically (sometimes also candles per sq ft) and the color will have a name.
I like cool white LED replacements for my low-wattage bedside lamps, though my 15-40 watt bulbs were much warmer, the warm white LEDs are too yellow for me.
I put cool white LED replacements in the over the mirror lights for the bathroom, find the color kind of ghostly, but as I have no longer have women in the house using those lights for trying to figure out makeup colors, who cares?
My experience with camping includes living for a weekend with what I can carry five miles into the woods on my back (when I was about 55 years younger). So camping in a Smart car tends to take me out of "dragging around a house" mode, into "what can I pack into a Smart car" mode, which might be almost as much as what I could pack into my Renault 8 forty-eight years ago. Camping, not RVing.
A full-time device with that much draw is not going to do well in a RV with 30 amp electrical system, if you intend to run air conditioning. Loads are going to be unpredictable with out a load manager (which rarely includes convenience outlets). The circuits you might choose to use may or may not have 6-10 amps available depending what else is running. You could probably make it work if you understood the 120V power distribution of each RV you considered buying, but information with that detail is seldom unavailable.
In a 50 amp rig, you will still have issues with which branch circuits you can safely use, which might be susceptible to other loads. At least you should not have to worry about the main. Many 50 amp RV rigs have one A/C and all the convenience outlet and "hard wired" circuits on one leg of the dual 50 amp, and the second (and third, fourth) air conditioners on the other. They also often have power management systems for running on a single leg. You will not see this kind of electrical sophistication in Class C RVs, more often it is a feature of larger Class A motorhomes, those large enough to need at least two conditioners for comfort.
Most of the places I go, public campgrounds with back in sites, the site length is the length of the site. They are not thinking about what you are going to put into it, as there are all kinds of combinations of RVs, cars, trucks, boat trailers. Some people won't even be coming with a RV, but may need to park two cars and a boat trailer in the site where they put up their tents.
So if you come with a 25 foot towable, and take a 25 foot site, you can expect that what you used to tow it may not fit. One of the situations I often find is that the shorter parking sites are wide enough for two vehicles, particularly toward the entrance.
I go from just north of Tulsa to Lansing or the Detroit area, about 17-19 hours moving, to cover a little under or over 1000 miles. If I do it with one stop, that stop is usually around Springfield, Illinois. As a RV trip, I've used the Springfield KOA, but I don't know if that one is open year round.
You are going enough additional distance that the halfway point will probably be closer to St Louis if you use I-44, Hannibal take a more northern route.
I've done this as a RV trip several times in summer, usually two and a half days, because getting camped in the evening and getting away in the morning cuts into the driving day, and we need more fuel stops with the RV, more rest stops with the grandkids. Typical stops going out have been Hannibal (Mark Twain Cave CG, though we did Injun Joe's once) and someplace in west central Indiana. Other direction, with an early start we can reach Hannibal from Lansing, and from there either stop in southwest Missouri, or make it a really long day to come on home. We've also routed through Des Moines, stopping first night in north central Illinois (think it was around the I-39 junction) then again in Des Moines for a day of visiting there. Des Moines to Tulsa is then a long single day drive, you would need a stop if headed to Fort Worth.
Places to stop might be tricky. Most of the RV parks north of I-40 that I've used in spring, summer or early fall are places that close for the winter. I lot of campgrounds in public parks also close, where they are dependent on volunteer staffing, and the volunteers go south for the winter. You might be using parking lots and truck stops.
I'll admit to not taking my motorhome north to Michigan in the winter season. 30+ years of driving to Michigan and back for the holiday season have taught me that wintry roads are a high probability, usually with freezing rain and sleet through southern and central Illinois, southern Missouri, and northeast Oklahoma. Snow is more often probable through southern Michigan, northern Indiana, northern Illinois, northern Missouri, Kansas and. This is a drive I prefer to make in a front-wheel-drive car rather than a seven ton rear-drive vehicle that blows around in the wind.
I can suggest a route to Fort Worth: I-69 to I-94 to I-80, then either I-57 and I-72, or I-55 to Springfield, Illinois, then I-72 west through Hannibal, becoming US-36, then south on I-35 from Cameron to Fort Worth. This route is mostly level, staying atop the Ozark Plateau rather than cutting through the valleys, and is far enough north and on the plains so that the expression of winter weather is more often snow, rather than freezing rain.
Most routing programs are probably going to put you on I-55 to St Louis, I-44 to OKC, to I-35 into Fort Worth. I-55 south of Springfield, and I-44 through Missouri are the sections where I have encountered most of my winter weather delays, maybe something about how the topography of the Ozarks interacts with weather.
I've used alternatives to get around weather and road construction problems. I've gone as far north on I-35 as I-80, and I've used I-44 to St Louis then I-70 to Indianapolis to catch I-69. I've also stayed further south (US-60) to go through western Kentucky, before going north on I-65 and I-69 from Louisville, to be south and east of a weather problem. When going to Detroit I've stayed south of the Ohio river until catching I-75 at Cincinnati, for the same reason, going around bad weather.
Because I might have to make last minute routing decisions, or make changes on the way, depending on the location of a winter storm system, I don't make overnight stop reservations. Winter weather means I don't really know how many days it is actually going to take, or where I'll be when I have to stop for the night or to wait for a storm to blow through so that the roads can again be cleared.
Once you get into the southern middle of the country, you'll find winter weather handled differently than in Michigan. You won't see plows and salt trucks out at the beginning of a storm running in traffic. More often we wait to see if the roads are going to be too slick or get buried, and if they do get dangerous, we close them to traffic. Then we decide whether to try to clean it up, or wait for it to melt. The highways will usually be reopened as one lane is plowed in each direction, and the stopped cars and trucks are towed off the roadway. We might not have multiple lanes cleared for a couple more days, we just don't have the equipment to do the job, considering we get an average of 2-3 snowfalls, and about as many ice storms, each winter.
The Interstate highways are designed to carry interstate commercial truck traffic through large cities. If you must go through, I don't think you can find a better route than what the big trucks use.
However, I like to avoid big cities by 50 to 100 miles, if I can, not so much because of the cities but because of the universally bad driving behavior I encounter on suburban freeways or expressways. For example, I've worked out a number of routes between NE Oklahoma and southern Michigan where the largest city I must go through is Springfield, Illinois, though the fastest routes might take me through Saint Louis, Kansas City, Indianapolis, or across the south edge of Chicago.
If I must go through, I figure out which lanes the big trucks are using, and blend in with them.
You need to defrost the fridge periodically, the way we used to have to do it from the 1940s through 1960s before "frost free" (actually periodically hidden defrosting) refrigerators became the norm for residential sales.
Actually, more recently, since most "dorm" and "bar" fridges are not self defrosting, nor was the Eastern European refrigerator supplied with my $4500 per month luxury apartment in Beijing, at the beginning of the 21st century.
You've gotten to accustomed to a luxury. Defrost your fridge when it frosts up, takes no more than a couple hours.
Pay attention to the bank. They know the local law and procedures. It varies quite a bit state to state. It usually works better if buyer and seller are in the same state.
I know Oklahoma, Missouri, Michigan, South Carolina, Indiana, Texas in various combinations, but can't help with Illinois details. I kept my Michigan registration the six years I lived in Illinois.
It is a matter of luck.
At that time of year the Mount Rushmore area can be gorgeous, or you could get caught in an early blizzard. Averages are averages, extremes are extremes.
Weather forecasting has reached a stage where we can now get good information four to seven days ahead. Plan the trip based on averages, pay attention to forecasts when it becomes time to go, choose to go or cancel based on that.
I would not pass up the opportunity based on the possibility of relatively rare adverse weather, but I always leave some flexibility in my travel plans to allow for such events.