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Living the RV Dream, Issue #003 -- Hello Here is our first issue
September 04, 2016

Welcome aboard to the Living the RV Dream Newsletter third edition.!! We will try to give you timely and useful articles that will help you enjoy your RVing experience.

Again this month we have chosen some articles from a couple of our friends in the consumer side of the RV industry. For now, this will be a monthly publication, but we’ll see what the future brings.

RV Weather Safety

Severe weather can come at any time or place where we travel. Good RV Weather Safety practices can save your life when you are prepared and know what to do. Spring tornadoes in the Midwest, fall hurricanes in the Southeast, and many other possible conditions can cause major damage and even loss of life. The effects of this severe weather are magnified when you are traveling in an RV. High winds can easily topple the high profile of our motorhomes and trailers.

A good safety practice is to always fill your fuel tank before you stop for the night. That way you can get out quickly, or if staying, you will have plenty of fuel for your generator when the power goes out. The same thing goes for on-board water. Have at least half a tank of water in your fresh tank. Campgrounds with wells will have no water without power.

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

These storms can cause widespread damage due to both wind and storm surge. The associated heavy rain from the numerous thunderstorms in the rain bands will also cause localized flooding. These cyclonic storms have wind circulation in a counterclockwise direction. As a result, the strongest part of the storm with the highest winds is located in the northeast quadrant. If you are in an area that will be impacted by that part of one of these storms, the smart move is to drive away to the north and west.

If you must stay put during one of these storms, at least secure all awnings as well as all things outside your rig like BBQ grills and outdoor chairs. I recommend pulling in your slide rooms. Wind can ruin a slide-top awning as well as get under a slide room and cause some severe rocking of the rig. You will also be much more water tight with the slides in.

Even when these storms move inland, they pose a serious wind and heavy rain threat, especially to RV’s and other structures not firmly anchored to the ground.

The question often comes up as to how much wind can an RV take. Do you really want to be the one to find out? One of the main dangers to structures is debris blowing around. This includes tree limbs broken off as well as whole trees toppling in the wind. Trash cans and outdoor furniture become missiles in a heavy wind. At least move your rig away from overhanging tree limbs.

Ask the campground personnel at the front desk where the severe weather shelter is located. If there isn't one designated, look for a building of block construction. Most bath houses fit this description. The worst place to be in this type of emergency is in an RV which can be blown over by strong winds, or set afloat during a flood. As part of their RV Weather Safety program, your campground management should have information on the names of the surrounding counties.

Storm Surge

The storm surge is the wall of water blown inland by the approaching storm. How big the actual surge will be determined by the contour of the bottom close to the coast, the strength and breadth of the winds, and the local tides. Add the huge volume of rain generated by this type of storm and pretty soon you’re talking a LOT of water where there was dry ground before. Many of the more popular campgrounds are on or near coastal areas. The storm surge can happen so fast that your entire campground can become flooded within minutes.

In my mind, this storm surge is the biggest danger to RVers in these coastal campgrounds. Get out as soon as you can long before the storm makes landfall. If you can’t move your rig in time, leave it and get inland as best you can. The rig can be replaced, you cannot.

Once the storm has passed, there will still be dangerous winds and heavy rainfall and lightning in the rain bands which can stretch out for over a hundred miles south of the main storm. That is why I recommend an app that shows the radar picture of the storm.


Tornados are highly destructive cyclones in varying strengths that can do tremendous damage. They are often spawned by tropical storms and hurricanes. In the spring, unstable weather conditions in the Midwest are often beneficial for tornadic storm development. I always spend a little time each morning checking out the local weather to see if there is a possibility of localized tornadic activity. I also know where the nearest storm shelter is located.

Your weather radio can also alert you to possible tornados in your area. It is very important to know the county names of the county you are in as well as the surrounding counties so you will know when a tornado is nearby. This information can save your life. There is a Tornado Watch as well as a Tornado Warning. The watch means conditions are favorable for tornado development. The warning means there is a tornado on the ground. You won’t have much time to get to a shelter after the warning is given.

Weather Radios

We consider our weather radio an essential piece of RV weather Safety equipment. We turn it on and tune to the one of seven frequencies that is strongest, and we get National Weather Service (NOAA) forecasts and severe weather alerts for our area.

Our radio also can use the Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) system. A programmed NWR SAME receiver will turn on for the alert message, with the listener hearing the 1050 Hz warning alarm tone as an attention signal, followed by the broadcast message. At the end of the broadcast message, listeners will hear a brief digital end-of-message static burst followed by a resumption of the National Weather Service broadcast cycle. To program NWR SAME receivers with the proper county(s) and marine area(s) of choice, you need to know the 6-digit SAME code number(s) for that county(s). Once you have the number, follow the directions supplied the manufacturer of your NWR SAME receiver for programming. The number is available either online at the , or by telephone at 1-888-NWR-SAME (1-888-697-7263) for a voice menu.

We use a Midland Model WR 120, which has the SAME technology. It retails for about fifty dollars but can be found at many stores for around twenty-five. We don’t always program our radio as it will give broad area information including severe weather alerts constantly. Our radio is on constantly, so we check its internal battery often.

I also have a small handheld weather radio with AM and FM bands as well. The brand name of mine is La Crosse. It’s our back-up radio and resides in the Go Bag. Read on for information on the Go-Bag.

RV Weather Safety Apps

We also use weather apps on both our Android and IOS smart phones. These are “The Weather Channel” and my favorite, “Radar Now” which uses the built-in GPS and shows live weather radar in your area. There are many other weather-centric apps that you might choose. All these apps and radios will only alert you to the fact that you must find a safe place when severe weather is imminent. These Apps are also available for the IOS operating system. Of course none of these apps are much good when your phone battery is low and the power is out. Keep your cell phones charged at all times when heavy weather is present or on the way.

The "Go Bag"

What RV Weather Safety thing do you take with you when evacuating to a shelter or out of the area? Good question. The answer to this RV Weather Safety issue is a "Go" bag. A go bag will contain the essentials to get you through a stressful period away from your rig. Any bag will do, but a zippered gym bag is probably the easiest to grab and go if it is ALLWAYS in the same place and constantly filled with up to date items. Here are some of the essentials:

• Photos of labels from medicine bottles and packages • photocopy of eyeglass prescription(s) • Photocopies of Driver's Licenses, credit cards, and Passports • Photocopies of Insurance policies • A printed page or two with phone numbers and addresses of family members, doctors, pharmacy, lawyer, broker, insurance agent, and other people you may need to contact • Pet information and vaccinations

Note: All the above items can be placed on a flash drive to save space

• several days’ worth of essential medications • Cell phone(s) with car charger(s) • A small flashlight, preferably one with an LED lamp and extra batteries • An extra set of vehicle keys • Several bottles of water and perhaps a few protein bars • Change of clothes, especially if going out of the area

What you take with you in that bag may well be all you have until the threatening weather passes. Choose wisely and give it some thought. I would never consider bringing a laptop computer, but I have a large capacity flash drive on my key chain with up to date copies of all my important files. RV Weather Safety is serious business and preparation and knowledge can save your life.

What is That Smell Coming from my RV Sink?

by Tami Johnson TechnoRV

When I decided to become a fulltime RVer over a year ago, I knew there were things that I was going to have to get used to that I had never had to deal with while living in a house. Washing dishes to me used to mean loading and unloading them - never actually washing them; the toilets I was used to didn't require me to use my foot to flush them; and I was used to being able to actually walk into my closet instead of barely being able to get my clothes into it.

Sink Odors

I've adjusted to everything and then some, and I absolutely love the RV life, but time and time again, there was one thing about it that I just could not get used to...the odors coming from my sink when I turned my water on! When you live in such a small place, any smell is pretty serious, and we kept having odors coming from the sink for no reason at all. We would turn the water on to wash dishes or just to fill Lincoln's water bowl and a horrid smell would come up from the drain that was disgusting.

No woman wants to make effort cleaning her home only to have it stink when the water is turned on! I started googling and searching for answers because I couldn't take the thought of my home stinking every time I turned the water on. Something had to give. I had no experience with the idea of carrying my sink/shower water waste with me everywhere, so I wasn't sure just what I should expect. Was I wanting too much when I didn't want to smell anything when I turned my water on?

The Solution

Needless to say, we tried everything. We bought many grey tank treatments and tried the GEO method when we moved. The cleaners wouldn't take care of the odor, and although the GEO method cleaned the tank well (and I love it for cleaning the black tank), it never removed the odor once I started using the sink again. Enter my new favorite product -- Elemonate! It is not only a grey tank deodorizer but also freshens sink/drain lines, and dissolves grease and organic sludge. Organic sludge is all of the food that comes from plants or animals that is biodegradable. As much as we try to keep these things from our sink drains, we all know some ends up there, and boy do they stink once they get in there -- especially in the heat! Even though I know better, I am definitely guilty of the lazy move of shoving a corn kernel or spaghetti noodle down the drain after a dish washing session!

Elemonate is a quick-dissolving tablet that smells like fresh lemon. One tablet is good for a 60-gallon grey tank and works for a kitchen sink or a shower drain, though we haven't tried it in the shower drain yet. From the first time we used it, we have had NO odors coming from the sink drain, and I cook/clean in my kitchen daily. After emptying the tanks, I just drop one in the sink and spray some water on it and it dissolves in less than a minute (and smells great while dissolving!). From empty to full, my tank is odor-free! It may seem like a small thing, but I love to know that the tank has something in it working against all the food and grease that might end up in it while I'm washing dishes.

Where to get it

If you have been having any issues with odors from your grey tanks, you should give Elemonate a try. If you are like me, you love to fill your RV with wonderful scents like candles, cleaners (yes, I like the smell of a good cleaner), yummy food, and more. With Elemonate, you no longer have to work against the not-so-wonderful scent coming from your sink!

Try Elemonate today at TechnoRV. You won't be disappointed! While you are there, check out our other tank treatments and cleaners. We test the majority of our products to be sure we are selling products that work! If you have a product that you'd like us to consider, please let us know. For more information, contact us at or 866-324-7915.

~ Tami Johnson, TechnoRV

A Map of Visited States

by Chris Guld Geeks on Tour

Would you like to have your very own map of visited states? Many travelers include this as part of their email signature, or in their blog posts or on Facebook. It’s easy and free by going to Just choose ‘Visited States Map’ and ‘Create Map.’ You should now see the choice of Visited States, Visited Provinces, or Visited Mexican States. Just click the one you want.

If you have visited lots of states, it’s easiest to click on Select All, then click on the states you have not visited to clear them. You also have the choice to select states by name, select none then add the states you have visited.

When you’re done selecting the states you have visited, select a map size – small, medium, or large – and a file format – GIF, JPG, or PNG. Any of the formats should work, I prefer PNG. Now click on Create Map. You may want to share your map on Facebook! But, if you want it for your email signature, you should “Download Map”

If you find that you’ve missed some states, or selected some by mistake, you can click the Edit Map button.

Once the map looks how you want it, you click the Download Map button. Navigate to the folder where you want to store it and click OK. Now the map is a picture on your computer that you can use like any other picture.

How about the World?

If you travel the world and want to have a map of visited countries, check out It works similarly to the visited states above except at the very end. Instead of saving an image file, you get html code to put on a blog or website. It also only uses one color. I find for a world map that one color is better anyway.

Using your Visited States Map in your Gmail Signature

If you use Gmail, you can include your visited states map as part of your signature.

1. Open on a computer 2. Click the gear icon in the upper right and settings 3. Select General and scroll down until you see Signature 4. Choose the email address 5. Use the editor box to type your signature 6. Click the Insert Image tool: and Upload, Select a File from your Computer, locate your map, Open

7. That’s it!

Chris Guld – Geeks on Tour

15 Things Every RV Driver Should Know

By Nick Russell, Editor, Gypsy Journal

I’ll admit that I stole some of these from advice I received back when I was learning to fly or ride a motorcycle, but I think they are just as appropriate to driving an RV.

1) No one has ever hit something at too slow a speed.

2) Always try to keep the number of times you park the RV equal to the number of times you’ve driven it.

3) If all you can see in your rear-view mirrors are sparks and pieces of flying debris, and your passengers are screaming, things may not be going as well as they should be.

4) Anytime you see another vehicle coming at you from the opposite direction, or waiting on the shoulder of the road or at a cross street, ask yourself “What is the dumbest possible thing that driver could do to kill me?” and plan accordingly.

5) Never drive your RV somewhere your brain didn’t go five seconds earlier.

6) Keep looking for hazards on the road and in your travel path. There is always something you have missed.

7) Eighteen wheelers bearing down on you at high speed always have the right of way. This is not open to debate.

8) You start RVing with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.

9) When traction is negligible, the probability of survival is inversely proportional to the speed of your vehicle.

10) Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, experience usually comes from bad judgment.

11) During bad weather, it is always better to be in the campground wishing you were on the road than to be on the road wishing you were in the campground.

12) The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.

13) Learn from the mistakes of others. You will not live long enough to make all of them yourself.

14) The chances of you backing over the utility hookups in a campsite are directly proportional to the number of neighbors watching.

15) In the battle between objects made of metal, rubber, and fiberglass going dozens of miles per hour, and immovable objects like trees, boulders, and guardrails going zero miles per hour, the trees, boulders, and guardrails have yet to lose. Draws don’t count.

It’s not too late to sign up for this year’s Living the RV Dream Gathering rally.

Registration is still open for the second Living the RV Dream Rally from the 11th to the 16th of October, 2016 at the Horseshoe Cove RV Resort in Bradenton, FL.

We will have 4 provided meals, entertainment on Friday night the 14th, door prizes, and seminars by the Geeks on Tour, TechnoRV, Al Hesselbart, John and Kathy Huggins, and a few others to be named later. Rig weighing will be available from the RVSEF at $60.

We will have to limit this event to 100 Rigs and there will be a waiting list. The camping cost will be $22/night during the event and $150 for a 7-day week. First time visitors to the park can stay 30 days for $199 plus E, a popular option. There will be a special price for those who used that option last year.

A special 1-month golf cart rental has been arranged with Gator Carts of $220/mo.

Due to the extra day and meals, the rally fee will be $150. Email to for sign-up form and information.

Living the RV Dream, LLC is the parent company of the podcast, newsletter, website, and Facebook group all of the same name.

John and Kathy Huggins Living the RV Dream, LLC Email

Podcast - Website -

Facebook Groups Main Group - Podcast Group - Sales Group - Rally Group -

Our books available as eBook or print from So, You Want to be an RVer? So, You Want to be a Workamper? How to Survive an RV Show and Have a Really Great Time

These books are also available as autographed paperbacks on the Living the RV Dream Store page on our website,

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