An RV road trip is steeped in Americana lore. With the grandness of this country, there is so much to see. But with a home on wheels, there comes some stress. I know after a few days of driving and lots of miles covered, I can feel the tension in my shoulders. So we are going to list off some things that can ease your stress as you hit the highways and byways of America.
4 Things To Upgrade in Your RV
When you think you’re ready to live in your RV, you’re probably 90% of the way to your goal. Now, you need to make sure you are comfortable getting your RV to that coveted destination without any issues. Here are the 4 things that I believe will help you get there—while enjoying the process.
RV tires are no joke. They carry a heavy load—literally. And having a flat can ruin a trip in a hurry. Most manufacturers sell their RVs with tires that meet load ratings. Meaning, the tire can handle the current weight—plus some added weight for your belongings.
This isn’t necessarily bad, but realize that you will probably be traveling at speeds in excess of 60 MPH. With that, and the reality that our roads aren’t perfect—because of the potholes—it really is a recipe for disaster. As your RV rises up, slams down into a pothole, and immediately hits that sharp edge coming out… you’re just asking for it. By increasing the tire rating, you are giving yourself some more room for your tires to handle these road conditions.
Most trailer tires are rated either C, D, or E with 14 to 15 inch diameter tires. If you look on your tire, you should be able to find a line of numbers to help you identify these. Whatever your tire load capacity is, you can multiply that by the number of tires, and this will give you the total carrying capacity. Now, take the GVWR—Gross Vehicle Weight Ratio—and subtract that from your total. This gives you the amount of margin you have.
If you need more help figuring this out, you can contact One Source RV, and one of their Master Certified RV Technicians can help.
If you have an older RV, you might want to check those tires for an expiration date. Yes, tires do expire. On the side of your tire, there is a code that can give you the week and year your tire was made. The code will start with DOT (Department of Transportation), followed by another 8-13 letters and numbers. The last four numbers indicate the week and the year that the tire was created.
For example: DOT XX XX XXX 1011 would indicate that your tires were manufactured during the tenth week of the year 2011. If your tires are over 6 years old, it is probably a good idea to consider swapping them out.
If you are going to get new tires, it is good to remember how to identify the date. Ask to see the tire date before you purchase. If they look at you like you’re an odd bird, that's ok. Remember the tires they have in stock won’t be fresh, but it is reasonable to expect tires to be from the past several months. If they don’t want to show you, then you should probably search for a new tire shop.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
While you are talking with someone at One Source RV, you might want to talk with them about a new—or upgraded—tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems will help prolong the life of your tires, maximize the comfort of your ride, and maintain your MPG. The thing that I like about TPMS is it allows me to see if something is wrong. The more you see the trends of your tires, the better you are able to identify possible issues. When you see something off, it is time to slow down and check on them before a major mishap occurs.
I started out getting a “cheapie-chicken” TPMS from a certain well-known online retailer. It was the wrong choice because their TPMS never gave proper readings, and this company didn’t give any customer support.
The best thing to do is contact someone from One Source RV and talk it over with them. With this decision, you will be sure to get a great product that meets your specific needs. Plus, you will have the luxury of excellent and trusted support.
I lost my first RV to a bad suspension. I didn’t total it or have an accident. I lost it because my wife hated the bumpy ride. Before I knew there were ways to solve this problem, it was too late. We had moved on, but I miss that RV. Needless to say, a good RV suspension makes a big difference in your travel experience.
RV suspensions are responsible for providing stability to your RV as it travels down the road. As you know, whatever your RV experiences, it gets passed along to you. A suspension will do its best to dissipate the unpleasant energies, but it can only do so much.
Leaf springs and shackles have been around for a long-time. They do a good job for a lot of big rigs, but as RVs get heavier the manufacturer’s suspension will struggle to keep up. Eventually, they will wear down. I cannot tell you how many RVs I see in campgrounds that are messing with their suspensions—when it's already too late.
These days there are a lot of options for your suspension. You can upgrade what you currently have. This will help you prolong the life of your RV, but probably won’t help make it a better ride. You can add compression rubber equalizers to help absorb the imperfections of the roads. You can even add air suspension. But not all RV suspensions are created equal.
There are a lot of things that go into the right suspension for your rig. Contact One Source RV and let them help you make the right decision for you.
It is a good rule of thumb to not drive your RV at night. It’s much harder to see, and you’re more likely to get into an accident. However, I’ve definitely broken this rule a number of times because I had to get somewhere—self-imposed due date. And after the first time, I knew that I needed upgraded headlights.
Make sure you take a look at your headlights and replace them before you hit the road. While you are upgrading your headlights, I would also recommend you replace all your exterior—and probably interior—lights with LEDs. It’s important that you can see, but it is equally important that everyone else can see you. I’ve noticed people are more gracious when they see a big rig coming. They seem to let you into traffic, give you more space, and are more courteous in general. Having all those lights nice and bright will get you that safety and respect at night too.
Let One Source RV Help You Keep Your RV in Tip-Top Shape
One Source RV is making huge strides to help RVers stay safe on the road for the long haul. With a dedicated team to help provide quality products, honest information, and genuine care, you’ll be well-prepared for all of your journeys ahead.