RV Travel Maintenance, Preparation, & Repair Tips

Your recreational vehicle (RV) requires regular maintenance checks and repairs to ensure it remains in pristine condition and capable of handling a grueling country trip. With that in mind, below are must-know RV maintenance and repair tips, as well as the necessary items you should take on RV travels in Virginia.

fifth wheel

Maintenance Tips


  1. Tires


According to the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), UV rays cause damage to RV camper trailers tires by heating up and flexing the tire material, resulting in cracking and dry rotting. It is worth noting that this damage often occurs much faster in RV tires that are rarely used. To avoid this problem, you should inflate your RV’s tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure level. At the same time, avoid parking your RV outdoors on heat-absorbing surfaces such as asphalt. In fact, you should always park your RV in a covered garage. To prolong the lifespan of the tires on your RV, you should drive your RV frequently, because tires tend to deteriorate faster when not in use. In addition, clean the tires regularly using a mild detergent and water. Finally, you should park your RV unloaded to avoid exerting too much pressure on the tires.


  1. Roof


Inspect the roof of your RV at least twice annually for signs of cracks or damage that could allow water leakage. While performing this inspection, pay special attention to the roof sealant, joints, and roof fixtures that could develop water leaks. If you come across flaking sealant, the rule of thumb is to scrape it off or use a hot air gun to remove it and apply a new sealant layer.


  1. Battery


The lifetime of your RV’s battery will depend on how frequently you use it and how well you maintain it. In particular, the charge-discharge cycle plays a big role in determining the lifetime of an RV battery. In this case, one cycle refers to discharging a battery and recharging it again. A simple procedure you can use to extend the lifespan of your RV’s battery entails discharging the battery up to the 50% level, recharging it fully and then repeating this procedure several times. However, to be on the safe side, follow the manufacturer’s recharge-discharge cycle recommendations.


  1. Air filter system


Make sure you check your RV’s air system 3 to 4 times per year. If you live in a dusty environment or regularly use your RV, check the air system at least once every two months. While at it, clean the dirty filters and replace any damaged ones.


  1. Braking system


Check the brake pads, brake fluid, and brake fluid lines of your pop-up camper regularly to avoid driving with a faulty braking system. In fact, you should always do this before embarking on long road trip. More importantly, you should take your RV on a test drive after checking these parts. If you are not satisfied with the performance of the vehicle, take your RV to your RV dealer for thorough checks and repairs where necessary.


  1. Fuel system


Another RV part that you should check regularly is the fuel system. Specifically, check the state of the fuel filter. A filter clogged with dirt and debris will make it impossible for your RV to maintain the right mixture of air and fuel in the combustion chamber. This will hamper its operating efficiency.


  1. Water system


Without a properly functioning water system, you will be unable to cook, wash utensils, or flush your RV’s toilet. To avoid such a problem, check the water system in your RV thoroughly before going on a cross-country trip. If you have not used the water in your RV for months, drain the water storage tank and refill it with fresh water. Simply locate the low water lines (one each for hot and cold water) and open them to drain all the water.


Items to Carry on a Cross-Country Trip

lots of tools


To start with, you should always carry key RV parts and accessories such as electrical fuses, spare tires, tow chain, roadside flares, fan belts, tire pressure gauge, duct tape, jumper cables, ropes, shovel, extension cord, tarp, leveling blocks and vehicle repair toolkit. Furthermore, you will need kitchen supplies such as plates, spoons, cups, knives, mixing bowls, dish soap, sponges and towels, paper napkins, matches, pan, can opener, bottle opener, condiment, and aluminum foil. For personal hygiene, you will need soap, towels, toilet paper shampoo and conditioner, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Other essentials include clothes, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, comfortable shoes, sunglasses, hat/visor and a first aid kit.


If you have an RV, it is wise to undertake regular maintenance checks and repairs. Areas that you should pay special attention to include the braking system, tires, roof, water system, battery, air filter system and fuel system.

Looking After Loved Ones

Traveling has always been one of my passions.  I love seeing the world and experiencing new cultures.  National parks, cities, farmland, I love it all!  However, over the past number of years, it’s been harder and harder to get out and see new and wonderful things due to an aging loved one, my uncle.  I’ve been so hesitant to leave town for too long because I don’t feel comfortable without someone taking care and watching after him.

Two months ago, after having put off several trips I had been looking for, an old college buddy of mine called me up and invited me to his wedding he was having in Seattle.  I couldn’t miss it.  However, living in New York meant that a trip to Seattle wouldn’t just be a quick day trip; I would be gone for several days.  I was quite conflicted.  I really wanted to be there for the wedding, but I didn’t want to leave my grandfather behind.  After a few days of constant stress, a colleague of mine informed me that she had used a service that helped to watch after her grandmother.  She mentioned that there were plenty around and that maybe I should look into one for my uncle.

This was the advice I needed!  After doing a quick search, I found the perfect service for my situation.  Seniors Helping Seniors was the answer for me.  Offering home care in Berks County PA, they were able to have a senior helper stop by my Uncle’s house to help him with any house chores and errands he may need done.  I could now leave for the wedding knowing that my uncle was being well watched over.  What’s better is that my uncle struck up a bond with his senior helper.  He says he feels comfortable having his helper come over every weekend to help out around the house.

This has left me with the ability to continue traveling around and seeing many new sights.  If you have a loved one that could benefit from a service like this, I highly recommend you reach out to your local organization.  You’ll be surprised at how beneficial senior home care can be!

Oh, and by the way Seattle was awesome!  I highly recommend you go if you ever get chance.  My favorite part of the trip was visiting the Space Needle.  It really gives you the view of the entire city.  And be sure to stop by their local fish markets to pick up fresh fish.  It’s the best I’ve ever had!

Tips on Choosing the Best Car Insurance

used car lot
When shopping for car insurance or motorcycle insurance it can be pretty confusing. There are many companies out there with many different quotes and monthly specials. They are also very creative in grabbing your attention like Geico’s Gecko or Caveman advertisements. It’s important to not get side tracked by their clever distractions and to know exactly what you want. Always be prepared before you even approach the insurance company.

 Below is a short list of things to do when looking for motorcycle or auto insurance:
  1. Know what types of coverage you want
  2. Establish a suitable deductible
  3. Research 5-7 different car insurance companies
  4. Compare Quotes
  5. Ask if they have any discount programs or would be willing to compete with a competitor

 1) Types of Auto Insurance Coverage:

  • Liability- If an accident is in result of your doing then you will be covered by this coverage. It will cover any property damage or bodily injury resulting from the crash, up to you agreed up adjustments. This is usually required in many states.
  • Collision- This coverage will pay for any repairs that your car needs due to a covered accident. If your vehicle is totaled then the value of the car will be paid in full. Sometimes, for older cars, it may not be beneficial to hold this coverage because the premiums may exceed the value. Liens on a care require you to have this coverage. It is part of full coverage.
  • Comprehensive- This type of coverage will help cover you with incidents that are unrelated to a covered accident. Whenever you hit a deer, you vehicle is stolen, or weather damage occurs, your insurance company will help cover the costs. Sometimes you may get a discount if you have tracking devices or anti-theft equipment in your car.
  • Personal Injury Protection – This option is excellent if you have large medical bills coming your way. Your injuries and your passenger’s injuries will be paid and this all happens no matter which driver is at fault. This type of coverage is only available in select states.
  • Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Protection – It is true that state laws require insurance for all drivers, but not every plays by the law. If someone is uninsured or doesn’t have a sufficient enough insurance to cover an accident then this coverage will come into play. This is usually available at affordable rates and will save you a lot in the long run.

 2) Establish a Deductible that is Right For Your Budget

model by careThe deductible is the amount that you cover upfront when an accident does occur. Anything after is covered by the car insurance company. Setting the proper deductible can help you decide on how much you need to save in the case of an emergency. If you have low deductibles you will have higher premium rates. If your deductible is higher, you will generally have lower premium rates.

3) Investigate at Least 5-7 Different Auto Insurance Companies

It is important to do your research when it comes to shopping for the right insurance for you. Before even approaching each insurance company, make sure that they are giving you quotes for the exact same coverage. This way you can accurately establish which company is the most affordable. You will also want to research the reliability of each company. Are they going to be able to pay you what they offered? You can check city records and review online reviews to see how others have rated their services. You may want to pay a little more for a little more added trust.

 4) Compare Quotes

Like we said before, carefully look into each quote you receive. Read all the fine print and ask many questions.

 5) Are There any Discounts or Competitive Pricing?

Many auto and motorcycle insurance companies offer discounts. There are some that offer relief when you have multiple accounts like motorcycle insurance along with homeowners insurance. Some have senior discounts while others have safe driver discounts. By taking a defensive driving course, you may also be able to have your premium dropped. Like we said above, anti-theft devices may also lower your rates. In some instances, you may be able to haggle the premium down when presenting that a competitor is offering lower rates. These guys can sometimes be very sneaky with their words so always make sure to listen carefully and read any documents that are sent to you thoroughly.

When you have found the motorcycle or auto insurance provider that you are satisfied with then it is finally time to purchase. It will take a little time and patience, but it is all worth it financially in the long run. Happy Hunting!


Get Your Car Ready for Your Next Vacation

road trip3The summer may have just come to an end, but many people are still taking to the road before snowy winter weather eventually arrives. If you’ve been planning your family road trip vacation, chances are that your schedule is booked with time for packing, planning out stops along the way, going over your vacation itinerary, and maybe even making arrangements for having the family pets looked after. With all the components involved in planning a successful family vacation, have you taken a moment to consider the condition of your car?

If your car is older than a couple years, you may want to take your car in for a simple tune-up to make sure that everything is in working condition before you hit the road. The last thing you’d want to happen is let a preventable automotive breakdown leave you stranded and ruin your vacation. Here are a few tips on how you can make sure that your family car is ready to ride off into the sunset:

Locate Your Owner’s Manual

More often than  not, your vehicle’s manual can be found in the glove box. If you don’t have your manual, or if it’s been misplaced, consider printing one out online or requesting one from your local dealership. In the event that you need to check your engine oil, change a tire, or see how much weight your vehicle can tow, your manual will be able to help you. Additionally, it contains your maintenance schedule which is specific to your car’s make and model. Consult this schedule to make sure that all of your regular repairs and services are up to date. This could potentially save you an inconvenient breakdown on the road.

Get a Checkup

If you haven’t taken your car in for a checkup recently, now may be the time. Have your necessary, routine services taken care of, such as an oil change and tire rotation. You’ll also want to check your windshield wipers and make sure that your transmission and brake fluids aren’t low. Your transmission is particularly important, especially if your car is more than a few years old. If you notice your transmission leaking fluid or not shifting gears as smoothly, consider scheduling a transmission repair before it can get any worse.

You should also check your battery and make sure that the terminals are clean, and check to see that the tread on your tires isn’t worn down too low. You may not be able to prevent all potential accidents and breakdowns, but making sure that the basic components of your car are functioning properly is a simple way to prepare your vehicle for a long trip.

Build an Emergency Kitroadside assistance

You never know what can happen when you’re driving a long distance. It’s always best to be prepared in the event of an accident or breakdown. Make sure that your car is stocked with a well-equipped emergency kit, including a flashlight, jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, first-aid kit, a blanket, and some tools for emergency repairs. You may also want to pack some water and non-perishable snacks like energy bars in your kit as well in case you get stuck somewhere for a while. Another good idea is to enroll in some sort of roadside assistance coverage, such as AAA. You’ll feel safer knowing that if you get into an accident, help will soon be on the way.

On a long trip with the whole family in tow, there’s a lot that can potentially go wrong. Your GPS can lead you astray, maybe you forgot to actually make the hotel reservation, or worse — your kids could be fighting the entire way. But the last thing you want to happen is an automotive breakdown that could have easily been prevented if you had only taken the time to prepare before the trip. For your next road trip, follow these simple tips and let your family vacation be a success.

Tips on Choosing the Perfect Engagement Ring

diamond engagement ringGoing on an RV road trip with your significant other is an excellent and unique way to celebrate your engagement. You might already have the celebration details all figured out, but before the festivities can occur, you should probably consider picking out the best ring for your loved one if you haven’t already.

The custom of exchanging rings as a token of love has been around since the 4th century. By the 18th century, the popularity of diamonds for this purpose had increased significantly and such gems are likely to remain a favorite among engaged couples for many future years. Engagement rings symbolize the pledge made between two people who have committed themselves to each other for a lifetime. For this reason, virtually all couples want their rings to be perfect.

When selecting diamonds or other precious stones for an engagement ring, shoppers will discover there is a broad range of options from which to choose, and the rings selected will depend upon the personal preferences and budget of the engaged couple. There are many things to consider when shopping for an engagement ring or wedding jewelry, the most important of which are the stone’s cut, color, clarity and carat weight.


The brilliance of a diamond ring greatly depends on its cut. Certain cuts, such as a brilliant or princess cut will feature a greater sparkle and shine than an emerald or cushion cut. However, choosing a cut is a part of the selection process that will largely depend on the personal taste of the individual for whom the ring is being purchased.


The clarity of a diamond ring is determined by both external and internal characteristics. External characteristics include obvious blemishes such as chips or surface irregularities. Internal flaws are typically known as inclusions, meaning that under a microscope, cloudy areas will be visible in the stone.


When a stone cutter at a jewelry store speaks of the color of a diamond, he or she is referring to the absence or presence of color in a white diamond. Such color is a result of the composition of the stone, which will not change as time elapses. A colorless diamond allows more light to pass through, therefore, the whiter the diamond, the greater its value.


The term carat simply refers to the weight of the diamond. The number of carats selected when purchasing a diamond ring is almost always dependent upon the couple’s budget, as the number of carats is reflected in the stone’s price, with weightier stones costing the most.

Colored Diamond Rings

While the clear white diamond is by far the most popular and well-known version of this stone, diamond rings also come in a variety of colors. The world’s most valuable diamonds are actually pink–an option currently being made popular by various celebrities and famous athletes. Diamonds are also found in shades of pale gold, green or blue, all of which are more difficult to obtain, and therefore more costly than their white counterparts.

Customized Rings

Custom made engagement rings are also an option, which are hand crafted by a jeweler, rather than manufactured in bulk. Such rings have an appeal all their own. Even though mass produced pieces feature attractive, traditional designs, a customized Richmond engagement ring is all about the prospective bride and groom and their own unique personalities and preferences.

When shopping for such an important item, consumers often feel overwhelmed by the many options from which they can choose. However, when the appropriate amount of time and effort is devoted to the task, finding the perfect engagement rings and wedding jewelry can be a fun and exciting activity.


Parent Getaway Tips

Living in Florida is a great living experience.  I moved here to the Riverview community about 10 years ago and have loved it ever since.  There are so many great places to visit and my wife and I have made it our hobby to travel about the state seeing all there is to see.

However, now that we’re parents, it’s not so easy to get out and travel.  There’s a lot of planning that needs to go into one of our trips nowadays.  We need to plan ahead and make sure there will always be accommodations for our child.

As much as we love our little one, it’s nice to sometimes get away without him in order to have some shared privacy with my wife.  If you’re anything like us, you’re probably reluctant to leave their child in the hands of someone else.  However, despite the challenges with finding a responsible caretaker, there are many benefits to getting away without the kids sometimes.

Below are a few options to think about when you’re trying to get away.

Finding a Good Day care

If you’re trying to get away for even just a few hours then finding a good day care for y our child could be a good option.  Day care is a great option for parents who are looking to get away for a few hours on a weekday and don’t want to bother any friends or family to watch after their child.  My wife and I have already enrolled our child in a nearby Riverview day care that we are very familiar with.

If you haven’t already enrolled your child in a day care, this could be a great opportunity to look around and find a good fit for your child.  Daycare and child care can ease a lot of parent’s minds when it comes to scheduling chores and other daily activities.

Have a Friend or Relative Watch Them

Having a friend or relative watch after your children is one of the best and easiest ways to offload them for a while.  Chances are, they’re looking to spend some quality time with your kids anyway, which makes this a great option for parents looking to get away for a night or a weekend.

You’ll also feel more at ease leaving your child with someone you trust, so you won’t spend your entire trip worrying.

We always drop our child off at his grandparent’s house when we’re looking to take a weekend trip.  He loves it there because it’s like a mini-vacation for him too!  He doesn’t have to follow by any of our rules and gets to stay up as late as he wants.

Road Trip Vehicles

Choosing the Car for You

When it comes to taking road trips, it can be difficult to decide which car to take. Do we take the one with more room that will be more comfortable, or do we go for our smaller, fuel-efficient sedan? And if you are in the market for a new car and know you will be taking lots of vacations, you have more options than ever before. Click here for a used car dealership with a wide selection of inventory and financing options that make things easy for you.

We decided that the best car for your trips can be broken down into several categories.

Best Family Road trip Vehicle:

Honda CR-V: This crossover SUV is safe and fairly fuel efficient for an SUV. This vehicle is also very functional spatially. For instance, back seats fold over for extra packing room and large doors make it easy to load in taller boxes or other items. Kids can enjoy some extra wiggle room in the back seat and no one will feel too cramped- leaving you with a complaining-free driving experience.

Best Camping Vehicle:

Whether or not you have a family, you are likely to have to stuff tents and large pieces of gear in the back seat when taking a camping trip. If you are going to be driving through some rough terrain for your trip, consider a Jeep Grand Cherokee. These vehicles have different four-wheel drive systems to select depending on where you are driving, whether it’s through water, dirt, or a rockier plain. There is plenty of room for 5 passengers and a large trunk area to pack up all of your gear.

Best Solo Business Trip Car:

If you are driving long distances, through large cities, and are likely to park in tight spaces, look into purchasing a smaller, fuel efficient car. Toyota Corollas are reliable, small, inexpensive, and good on gas mileage. For a car that will take longer trips multiple times a year, a trusted brand name and durable model.

For more information on the best car for you, visit this website.