9781119790341

RVs & Campers For Dummies

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9781119790341

  • ISBN10:

    1119790344

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2021-06-29
  • Publisher: For Dummies

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • eCampus.com Logo Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $24.99 Save up to $4.75
  • Rent Book $20.24
    Add to Cart Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping

    TERM
    PRICE
    DUE
    USUALLY SHIPS IN 3-4 BUSINESS DAYS
    *This item is part of an exclusive publisher rental program and requires an additional convenience fee. This fee will be reflected in the shopping cart.

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

Summary

Make yourself at home on the road

Live down by the beach one week and way up in the mountains the next? It sounds like an impossible dream, but motor-homers do it all the time.  Whatever draws you to the mobile life—adventurous domestic vacations or permanently itchy feet—RVs & Campers For Dummies helps you feel right at home. The book explores the key aspects of glamping-with-wheels.  Discover how it’s possible to bring beauty spots right to your doorstep without sacrificing domestic comforts like a comfy bed, private bathroom, and wholesome, healthy home cooking!

In a down-home, friendly style, mobile-living veterans and husband-and-wife team Christopher Hodapp and Alice Von Kannon welcome you inside to discover everything from deciding to rent or buy the vehicle that best suits your needs to planning and prepping your first journey and then setting yourself up wherever you arrive at the perfect spot. Along the way you’ll learn how to adapt your driving skills to pilot your home on the road, as well as how to keep every aspect of it shipshape and ready for action.

  • Explore your RV and camper options
  • Stock up with the right supplies
  • Get a snapshot of the mobile home lifestyle
  • Troubleshoot common problems

Getting there is half the fun—and this guide shows you how to do it safely and in style. So, buckle up (or relax in the back) … it’s going to be a wild but incredibly comfortable ride!

 

Author Biography

The husband/wife team of Chistopher Hodapp and Alice Von Kannon (metro Indianapolis, IN) have a deep history with motorhomes and campers. Alice grew up in a family that owned and traveled in motorhomes since her birth. Christopher travelled and worked extensively in motorhomes for his business as a commercial filmmaker for over two decades. Together the couple has owned and maintained motorhomes for personal use for over a decade. They have visited and camped in 44 of the 50 United States in conditions ranging from sweltering summers to monsoon-like rains to the dead of winter. They are also authors of several books in the For Dummies series.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1: Getting Started with RVs and Campers 7

Chapter 1: Joining the Cavalcade of Rolling Nomads 9

Chapter 2: Surveying the Wide World of RVs and Campers 25

Chapter 3: Decisions, Decisions: Knowing What You Need 55

Part 2: Buying Your RV 73

Chapter 4: Fitting an RV into Your Budget 75

Chapter 5: Doing Your Homework 85

Chapter 6: Dealing with Dealers 99

Chapter 7: Adding a Tow Vehicle to Your Trailer 111

Chapter 8: Getting Hitched and the Alchemy of Weight 127

Part 3: Taking Your First Camping Trip 139

Chapter 9: Stocking Up on Accessories: What Your RV Didn’t Come With 141

Chapter 10: Packing for the Road 159

Chapter 11: Driving, Parking, and the Dread of Backing Up 173

Chapter 12: The Shakedown: Your Maiden Voyage 193

Chapter 13: Setting Up Your Campsite 209

Part 4: Understanding How Your RV Works 227

Chapter 14: Electrical Systems 229

Chapter 15: Water World: The Wonders of Plumbing 247

Chapter 16: The Propane Gas System 279

Chapter 17: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning 301

Part 5: Tackling Some Advanced RV Topics 313

Chapter 18: Storage and Old Man Winter 315

Chapter 19: Tow, Tow, Tow Your Toad: Towing Your Car Behind Your Motorhome 333

Chapter 20: Boondocking and Living off the Grid 343

Part 6: The Part of Tens 357

Chapter 21: Ten Potential RV Catastrophes and How to Avoid Them 359

Chapter 22: Ten Smartphone Apps You Can’t Live Without 369

Chapter 23: Ten Great Attractions Just off the Highway 375

Index 383

 

 

Introduction 1

About This Book 2

Foolish Assumptions 3

Icons Used in This Book 4

Beyond the Book 4

Where to Go from Here 5

Part 1: Getting Started with RVs and Campers 7

Chapter 1: Joining the Cavalcade of Rolling Nomads 9

Everybody’s Doing It 10

Weekenders and vacationers 11

Snowbirds and retirees 12

Full-timers 12

Workampers 14

Road scholars 15

Going green and living off the grid 15

Glampers 16

International tourists 16

The Song of the Open Road 18

“Intrepid autoists” 18

Getting scientific 19

President Eisenhower and the Interstate Highway System 20

The Road Less Taken 21

Chapter 2: Surveying the Wide World of RVs and Campers 25

Motorhomes 26

Class A motorhomes 29

Class B motorhomes 34

Class C motorhomes 37

Towables 41

Toy haulers or sport utility trailers 44

Lightweights 45

Teardrop trailers 46

Off-road trailers 47

Pop-up trailers 48

Fifth wheels 51

Truck Campers 53

Chapter 3: Decisions, Decisions: Knowing What You Need 55

To Pull or Be Pulled, That Is the Question 56

Go big or go home: Opting for a motorhome or fifth wheel 57

Space Odyssey: How Much Do You Need? 60

Traveling with kids 64

Traveling with pets 65

Working from the road 67

Honestly Assessing Amenities 68

Fireplace 68

Washer and dryer 68

Dishwasher 70

Part 2: Buying Your RV 73

Chapter 4: Fitting an RV into Your Budget 75

New or Used: The Wide World of RVs 75

Buying used 76

Buying new 77

Taking Out a Loan 78

Expecting the Unexpected 80

The tax man cometh 80

Insurance 81

Storage 82

Chapter 5: Doing Your Homework 85

Working on Your Short List 85

Getting to know the major players 86

Considering smaller RV makers 86

Zeroing in on the RVs you’re interested in 90

Finding Resources You Can Trust 90

The Internet 92

Books and magazines 94

RV shows 96

Campgrounds 96

Factory tours 97

Chapter 6: Dealing with Dealers 99

Getting the Lay of the Land 99

Choosing an RV Dealer: Giant and Nationwide or Small and Local 101

Following the Rules of the Road: Tips for Working with RV Dealers 104

Worrying Over Warranties 106

Chapter 7: Adding a Tow Vehicle to Your Trailer 111

Choosing Wisely 112

Finding Your Vehicle’s Tow Ratings 114

Shopping for a Tow Vehicle 116

Understanding truck sizes 117

Cab and bed configurations 121

Considering optional features 123

Chapter 8: Getting Hitched and the Alchemy of Weight 127

Getting to Know Your Trailer Hitch 128

The hitch receiver 129

What’s what on the trailer hitch 130

Trailer hitch sizes 132

Weight-carrying and weight-distributing hitches 133

Weighing Your RV 134

Part 3: Taking Your First Camping Trip 139

Chapter 9: Stocking Up on Accessories: What Your RV Didn’t Come With 141

The Bare Necessities 143

Wheel chocks 143

Leveling blocks 143

Water hoses 144

Sewer drain hoses and accessories 145

Electrical cables and accessories 146

Gozintas, gozontas, and dog bones 149

Basic tools 151

Expendables 154

Fun Extras 156

Chapter 10: Packing for the Road 159

Following Some Basic Packing Tips 160

Packing a First-Aid Kit 161

Finding Fun Storage Hacks 162

Plastic storage totes 162

Hooks and Command strips 163

Shelf and drawer caddies 164

Tension bars 165

Stackable cabinet organizers 165

Packing Your Tuxedo 166

Kitchen Aid: Packing Food and Utensils 168

King of the roast 169

Food safety and storage 170

Chapter 11: Driving, Parking, and the Dread of Backing Up 173

Preparing to Pilot Your Own Private Battleship 174

Drafting a copilot 174

Practicing until you can’t practice any more 176

What’s Your Clearance, Clarence? Knowing How Big You Are Before You Hit the Road 179

Backup Plan: Backing Up Like a Pro 181

Getting from Point A to Point B Stress-Free 182

Paying attention to your speed 182

Keeping your distance 185

Steering you right 185

Coming to a stop: “Trailer brakes first!” 187

Handling hills 190

Chapter 12: The Shakedown: Your Maiden Voyage 193

Taking Your Shakedown Cruise 194

Whither do we wander? Deciding where to go 194

Getting set to set up camp 195

Knowing what to check 196

Finding a Campground 201

Knowing your options 202

Making reservations 206

Checking in 207

Chapter 13: Setting Up Your Campsite 209

Pulling into the Campground and Finding Your Campsite 209

On the Level: Leveling Your RV 211

Leveling side to side 212

Unhitching your trailer from your tow vehicle 212

Leveling front to back 214

Connecting Your Utilities 215

Electricity 215

Water 217

Sewer 218

Propane 218

Making Life Comfortable 219

Opening your slides 219

Getting TV service 219

Communicating with the outside world 221

Part 4: Understanding How Your RV Works 227

Chapter 14: Electrical Systems 229

One RV, Two Kinds of Power 230

What Runs What 232

Engine or chassis system 232

The 12VDC house power system 233

Shore power 235

Convertible Electricity 238

The Fuse Panel 239

12V fuses 239

120V circuit breakers 240

Generators 241

Power output 242

Weight 243

Fuel 243

Noise 243

Maintenance 244

Security 245

Chapter 15: Water World: The Wonders of Plumbing 247

Understanding How Water Works in an RV 248

Using the Freshwater System 250

Getting fresh water 250

Getting to know your water heater 257

Dealing with the Wastewater System 260

Getting down and dirty with your RV toilet 260

Checking your holding tank monitor 262

Emptying your wastewater tanks 263

Washing out your blackwater tank 272

Caring for and feeding your blackwater tank 276

Chapter 16: The Propane Gas System 279

Understanding the Basics of Propane 280

Knowing what it runs 281

Getting to know your propane tank 286

Keeping Your Tanks Full 293

Determining how much propane you have left 293

Filling up your propane tanks 294

Locating Leaks 297

Chapter 17: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning 301

Starting with the Basics 302

Awnings 302

Rooftop fans 303

Depending on Your HVAC System 304

Air conditioners and heat pumps 304

Propane furnace 307

Hydronic heating 309

Trying Alternative Heating Methods 309

Electric space heaters 310

Propane space heaters 311

Part 5: Tackling Some Advanced RV Topics 313

Chapter 18: Storage and Old Man Winter 315

Winterizing and Storing Your RV 316

Step 1: Housecleaning and more 318

Step 2: Away goes trouble down the drains 321

Step 3: Dealing with the water heater 322

Step 4: Dumping your wastewater tanks 322

Step 5: Evicting the last of the water 322

Step 6: Dosing your drains 324

Step 7: Beware the phantom menace 324

Step 8: Taking care of odds and ends 326

Pulling Your RV out of Storage 327

Wintertime RVing 328

Keeping you and your RV warm 328

Keeping water from freezing 330

Using helpful cold weather accessories 331

Chapter 19: Tow, Tow, Tow Your Toad: Towing Your Car Behind Your Motorhome 333

Considering Your Towing Options 334

Flat towing 334

Tow dolly 338

Car trailer 338

Considering the Vehicle You’re Towing 339

Chapter 20: Boondocking and Living off the Grid 343

This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land:

Finding a Place to Boondock 344

Attending to the Necessities of Life 349

Power me up 350

Water: Finding it, storing it, conserving it, dumping it 352

Part 6: The Part of Tens 357

Chapter 21: Ten Potential RV Catastrophes and How to Avoid Them 359

Destroying Your Jack 359

Watching Your Rig Roll Away 360

Tangling with Wildlife 360

Running on Empty 361

Causing Your Own Power Failure 361

Dancing on an Uninsured Ledge 362

Losing Your Own Trailer 363

Flooding Your Rig 363

Swarming Nightmares 364

Losing It All 365

Chapter 22: Ten Smartphone Apps You Can’t Live Without 369

Google Maps 369

CoPilot GPS 370

Roadtrippers 370

GasBuddy 371

Allstays Camp and RV 371

RA Camping 372

SkySafari 372

AccuWeather 373

RV Pocket Reference 374

Ultimate RV Checklist 374

Chapter 23: Ten Great Attractions Just off the Highway 375

National Route 66 Museum 375

Custer Battlefield Museum 376

The Thing 377

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site 378

Meteor Crater 378

Wisconsin Dells 379

Pedro’s South of the Border 380

Wall Drug 380

Solvang, California 381

Star Trek Original Series Set Tour 382

Index 383

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Rewards Program

Reviews for RVs & Campers For Dummies (9781119790341)