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 > Your search for posts made by 'JimJohnson' found 15 matches.

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RE: a plea for more cool weather sites for migratory travelers

Many KOA's open all year once you get south to I80. Not sure what the issue is? Agreed. The number of year-round opportunities start to expand greatly once you get as far south as I-80. Ask somebody in NW Ontario how many hours they would be driving south before they get to I-80. I know we cross I-80 on our route to Texas after nearly 11 hours on the road from our home in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
JimJohnson 09/16/22 06:53am General RVing Issues
RE: a plea for more cool weather sites for migratory travelers

Lots of good discussion here. I do want to steer this thread back to a couple key points if I may. We are talking about overnight stops at places with electricity in the northern tier, during the two migratory seasons. Which to my observation, the move south ends by the beginning of January. And the move north starts around late March. (snow happens in our home town as early as Halloween, but gets falling in earnest by New Year, and 20 to near 30 feet by April is not unheard of; temps in the northern plains can drop to -40F (or C). Nobody with brains tries to go south by that point) I am not knocking the following, but they belong in a different thread: We are (or at least I am) not talking about setting up camp in winter conditions. We want to get past the cold part of the country as quickly as possible. Daylight hours are really short, especially for the south migration. We just want to be off the road (with AC power and without a generator rumbling near our bed) when it is dark. Solar power doesn't get you much under those conditions; your tow vehicle-motorhome will be charging the house batteries as you drive pretty much all the daylight hours. There ARE campgrounds that are open - usually with limitations - during the migratory season. Just not enough of them. Thank you afidel for mentioning Wisconsin's Black River State Forest. There are 3 campgrounds, two of which are strictly for primitive camping. Castle Mound is touted as 'modern', but the only at-site hookup is electric (and I strongly suspect 15A), and even there, only at half the sites. It is still a long first day haul to get there from home and a bit off our usual route, but I've kept it on the back burner as a possible stop ... unfortunately there isn't much information about the campground conditions in early winter. Castle Mound has only so-so accessibility reviews from RV owners for the summer, and no indication as to how many of the sites with electric are available in the winter. Still, it is worth a phone call.
JimJohnson 09/16/22 06:30am General RVing Issues
RE: a plea for more cool weather sites for migratory travelers

Honestly, you best bet is to have the RV prepared for the conditions and get south fairly quickly if you are going to delay the departure late into the fall/winter. No argument. I wish we could leave in October. However we have family obligations that prevent that. And just within our winter RV park we have a number of friends who can't leave their northern homes earlier and have similar complaints about that long gap to get below the early freeze zone. North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Saskatchewan and Ontario. That is one small RV Park in rural Texas. I cannot imagine our group is unique.
JimJohnson 09/15/22 11:29am General RVing Issues
RE: a plea for more cool weather sites for migratory travelers

Maybe check this out for an overnight with electric. Loves RV Stop Good to know. Won't do me much good (open map, find that peninsula in Michigan's Upper Peninsula that juts out into Lake Superior. Then draw a straight line down to Kansas City. That would be my first/last day's drive to use a Love's. And honestly, there isn't much in-between. I know of one place in NE Iowa (still a long haul) that officially closes, but the manager (and only the manager) will authorize an overnight stop during the unofficial season. More places in the north tier like the linked Love's would work nicely.
JimJohnson 09/15/22 11:11am General RVing Issues
RE: a plea for more cool weather sites for migratory travelers

Costs campgrounds the same money to keep an open but crippled campground open just for electric hookups. Just because water, sewage and restrooms are closed doesn't mean it is cheaper to run. May even cost more in the winter since it would require additional manpower to plow open, salt, maintain campground roads and campsites. The chance of a plow vehicle of totaling campground infrastructure goes up drastically.. Heavy snow drifts can obscure water and electric pedestals making it a minefield of things that can get damaged. Campgrounds must also consider safety on not only their employees but you the "guest". Not every road leading to a campground may be safe to use during off season. You have something wrong if you run out of battery overnight running a propane furnace plus having a propane fridge. A 30K BTU RV furnace fan uses 10A at 12V, assuming 50/50 run time (30 minutes on per hr) and 10 hrs (for overnight) and that is 100 Ahr of battery capacity needed.. Two group 27 batteries in parallel (70Ahr each or 140Ahr combined) or one pair of 6V GC2 batteries wired in series for 12V at 210Ahr will easily be plenty of battery. For the record, I used a single group27 combo marine/starting battery for yrs in a smaller 20Ft TT and never ran out of battery overnight using the furnace (13K BTU with 8A fan draw). During the day while traveling, your battery will be recharged by your vehicle (the amount of charge may vary some due to differences in RVs and wiring to the battery). Addition of some solar panels on your RV and/or a small portable gen can easily handle the rest of the charging when needed. As far as propane, generally should be able to get 4-5 days of running your furnace during extreme cold temps with two 30lb cylinders assuming 24/7 operation. When traveling out of season, it is best to be well prepared to handle most normal and emergency situations. Plan, plan, plan. Plan for enough battery capacity for several days, plan for some solar to fill in, plan with a small gen as a final backup plan. Do a good job planning and there is zero need for campgrounds between your starting point and your destination. Depending on open campgrounds out of season is a recipe for disaster. What you say makes a lot of sense - if most of the campground's sites remain open. What I have found (but due to demand you have to book many months in advance) are campgrounds that fully close most of the sites. The remaining sites are generally close to the office and very likely only provide electric. Staffing is generally the owner(s) and MAYBE one person for part-time phone coverage. Minimal plowing, minimal maintenance - they would keep the office accessible regardless if open or closed. Showers as well as other park amenities are closed. You might be able to get water jugs filled from inside the office. As I said, the few campgrounds that offer this do a brisk business with their limited sites. I wish more campgrounds offered this service.
JimJohnson 09/15/22 11:00am General RVing Issues
RE: a plea for more cool weather sites for migratory travelers

I would install 500 watts of solar and 300 amp hours of battery then you will not need a electric hook up. A DC to DC charger is also nice. Might work for larger rigs - a 21' doesn't have the roof nor storage space for the cells, electronics & battery, and all that would also consume a fair % of weight capacity. However, here is the deal... solar is a glorified battery charger that only works during the day - the same time I am on the road and charging the battery from the tow vehicle. Also, the travel seasons for this thread have the weakest potential solar power efficiency. Not only is the sun far south, but it is usually densely clouded in the northern tier, and can be outright snowing.
JimJohnson 09/15/22 10:47am General RVing Issues
RE: a plea for more cool weather sites for migratory travelers

Many RVs with propane can stop overnight w/o electric in spite of poor RV insulation... Others might just leave the RV in FL or TX. Propane furnaces offen draw a lot of 12v power for both the ignition system and the fan. I am leery about waking up in the middle of the night to find we have a dead house battery. Plus when on electric the refrigerator will shift from propane to that power source. Funny you should mention leaving the full-size RV trailer in the warmer climate - that is exactly what we do. However, hotels were always a pain when travelling with a dog and two cats, and have become even more difficult to find and reserve. We tow a 21' self-contained camper as a 'rolling hotel room' between the two destinations. Further, we use the camper for 'weekend trips' at both north and south locations.
JimJohnson 09/15/22 09:50am General RVing Issues
a plea for more cool weather sites for migratory travelers

We live in Michigan's Upper Peninsula - beautiful place to be between June through October, but unless you are a winter enthusiast (or deer hunter), not the nicest RV destination between November and early May. We have essentially permanent reservations at a Texas Hill Country RV park during those less than ideal times. The problem is GETTING to our destination in the fall and the return in the spring. Semi-annually it is a battle to find campgrounds from roughly northern Kansas northward. We are migrating, need one-night stays, and apparently so are a lot of other RV owners. The winter migration season runs from late October through the end of year holidays (many retired RVers want to do Christmas with family before leaving). I get it, campgrounds want to turn off the water before freeze conditions happen, and leave it off until assured freeze conditions are over. But is it necessary to fully close the entire park? Many times my most crucial need is a parking spot for the night with electric power. That last part eliminates Walmarts, casinos, etc. for overnight parking. To northern tier private campground owners- if you live at or near your campground, I know you won't fill your campground in the migratory seasons, but could you consider a modification to your policies and website announcing limited sites and amenities. It will add a bit more revenue for little more expense. We migratory season RVers tend to be experienced and reasonable travelers.
JimJohnson 09/15/22 08:46am General RVing Issues
RE: jackknife sofa removal

I removed the bed first. Pretty heavy. I haven't personally removed our jack knife sofa, but our RV repair guy recently did to replace the slide-out floor under it. The frame is likely bolted to both the floor and the wall. That's likely not a big deal to move. But unless your first name is Samson, I agree that taking the jack knifed bed out in sections is going to be much easer than trying to wrestle the whole thing through the RV entrance door.
JimJohnson 08/05/22 01:28pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Caulk for fender skirts

Buy paintable door & trim (comes in smaller tubes) and use matching black paint.
JimJohnson 07/04/22 04:33pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Awning Repair Kit Recommendations

Patch or replace? The decision, in my opinion, mostly depends on the location of the defect. The highest stress places on awning material are at the edges, especially where the awning joins the RV side wall or the roller. If the defect is at or adjacent to these locations - I recommend replacement. If in a lower stress location, almost any of the adhesive tape products designed for awning repair will work. I managed to delay awning material replacement for an entire season for a tear at the edge next to the RV side wall. I slipped a Camco plastic light hanger into the awning track and and applied Gorilla Duct Tape that not only covered the tear on both sides of the material, but also wrapped around the light hanger. The light hanger acted like a crutch to absorb some of the stress. But ultimately, I installed new awning material.
JimJohnson 06/13/22 08:11am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Does microwave need to be an "RV" microwave?

No longer a thread on microwave ovens, but here is my two-bits on new RVs & TVs... We just bought a brand new 2022 low-end travel trailer easily towed by our SUV for weekend camping and our semi-annual cross-country march. (our primary RV now stays year-round at our winter home RV park). The 2022 rig had an antenna, wall mounting space for a TV - but no TV. No shelves in the cabinets, no place to hang a towel or any similar frills for that matter. I've been on a first name basis with our UPS driver over the past two weeks given all the little boxes I've ordered.
JimJohnson 05/30/22 05:57pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
Modify standard bathroom roof vent for shorter people

My spouse is 5'2" and cannot reach the vent knob or fan switch in either our larger travel trailer with vaulted ceiling, or in our small SUV towable camper. Here is how I modified the vent without using some kind of stick you have to store. For the fan, I installed a 12v wireless relay just under the vent cover. It does require snipping the fan wires between the fan motor and the switch - but even that is easily reversible. QIACHIP DC 12V 1CH 433Mhz RF Wireless Relay Remote Control While there are two remotes, I only used one and Velcroed it to the wall next to the bathroom light switch. Opening & closing the vent is even more straightforward if you have a round knob. Remove the knob (should be just one screw) and take it to your local hardware store. Find a Fernco in the plumbing section (rubber pipe to join two pipes) with one end just big enough to get over your knob; and the other end just big enough to fit over a short length of PVC pipe. If you want something a bit nicer, look for the furniture grade PVC pipe and one of the matching end caps. Mount the vent knob in one end of the Fernco so that the edge of the knob is just covered and tighten the band clamp. Insert the knob screw through the Fernco into the knob and reattach the knob to the vent. Have your shortest person stand flat footed and reach up for the vent knob. Measure the gap between the bottom of the person's palm and about two inches up inside the Fernco. That's how long the PVC needs to be after you cut it. Wet the inside of the rubber Fernco. Wet the end of the PVC going into the Fernco with water and just a tiny bit of dish soap. Sort of screw the PVC into the Fernco for the distance you you previously measured inside the Frenco. While still wet, have the person you used for measurement double check s/he can comfortably reach around the PVC extension. Here is the trick... you may not need to use the band clamp to secure the PVC. When that water evaporates and leaves a trace of dried dish soap, there should be sufficient friction to keep the PVC in place during use. If you are the doubting type, go ahead and install the band clamp. It will make your knob extension just a trifle uglier, but it will be fully secured. One nice part about the Fernco is if a taller person accidently walks into the PVC part, the Fernco will flex some and minimize the damage.
JimJohnson 05/28/22 05:16pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Does microwave need to be an "RV" microwave?

So far as I'm concerned, if the microwave fits with the required clearances and is anchored in the cabinet, go for it. RV specific microwaves may be built with a little higher vibration tolerance, but I have plenty of non-RV specific appliances that work just fine. At some point I intend to measure our existing OEM microwave and the PowerXL combo microwave/air fryer. At a glance they look the same size, and if so, I plan to upgrade.
JimJohnson 05/28/22 04:39pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: RV door window

The only repetitive complaint I have heard is that you have to open the door to raise/lower the shade as the screen door is in the way. Personally, I would think folks could have figured that out before purchase and installation.
JimJohnson 04/19/22 08:52am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
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