www.trailerlife.com Everything about Travel Trailers and How To RV from Trailer Life Magazine 2018-06-12T17:12:43Z http://www.trailerlife.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Donya Carlson <![CDATA[Southern California VW Show & Shine]]> http://www.trailerlife.com/?p=31324 2018-06-10T16:19:04Z 2018-06-08T22:58:46Z

Volkswagen enthusiasts gather in Chino Hills for annual El Prado gala.

Volkswagen enthusiasts are gathering June 10 at Prado Regional Park in Chino Hills, California, for the annual El Prado VW Show & Shine. Along with an enormous variety of VWs ranging from Beetles, Buses, Things, Vanagons and Jettas are pop-ups, travel trailers, motorhomes and vintage trailers that owners have lovingly restored.

Weekend fun (June 8-10) includes the giant Blackstar Campout the whole family can enjoy with cookouts and games. People park on the grass, hang out under the trees and enjoy walking around and talking to other folks. Vintage trailer owners are happy to show off their trailers. On Saturday, June 9, there’s a cornhole tournament and Dutch oven cookoff.

Bring your barbecue and the whole family on June 10! The VW car show, which started with a group of owners who enjoyed getting together and camping out, has gone over the top with hundreds of VWs on display representing every make and model, sponsors, vendors, trophies, awards and a swap meet. A ’65 VW beetle with new drivetrain that you can “build” yourself is among other prizes that will be raffled off.

Admission is $25 per car so load everyone in! The park is located at 16700 S. Euclid Avenue in Chino Hills, California. Gates open at 5 a.m. for the El Prado Show & Shine where everyone is invited.

El Prado Show & Shine


 

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Chris Dougherty <![CDATA[RV-Door Window Shade: Now You See It. Now You Don’t]]> http://www.trailerlife.com/?p=31301 2018-06-07T19:32:16Z 2018-06-06T22:19:35Z

Boost your safety and the view with Zarcor CloZures Door Window Shade

Knock-knock. Who’s there?

For many trailer owners, seeing out the entry-door window is impossible because the frosted glass lets light in but doesn’t allow occupants to see out. This can be a security issue if you don’t know who’s knocking on the door, not to mention that light streaming through the window can be annoying for those who sleep late. Adding a roller shade above the door is an option, but it doesn’t always do a great job providing privacy, and it has to be retracted before entering or exiting the trailer.

Zarcor Solutions has been making its patented CloZures shutters for the marine industry since 2004 and has redesigned its flagship product, calling it the RV Door Window Shade. These shades, which are made for Lippert Components entry doors, are available in two colors and two main kits. The complete kit (part number DWK101; $129 MSRP) includes a replacement window. The other kit (DWK102; $99.99 MSRP) comes without a window for those who are happy with the original frosted glass.

A remarkably simple idea, the Zarcor shutter is one of those things you wish you had invented and patented yourself. It is two sheets of Lexan polycarbonate, silkscreened with light beige or chocolate stripes. The sheets are attached to each other with plastic rivets and elongated holes that allow them to be slid back and forth with a handle that extends down at an oblique angle into the screen-door opening. In one position, the shade is open and the window can be seen through; in the other, the window is fully obscured. The chocolate version is a room-darkening shade, and the beige version allows some light through, creating a soft glow.

Both kits fit standard RV-door windows with a 12-by-21-inch inner opening, and Zarcor has been adding other sizes and designs to its product line (check the website for options). If your door doesn’t have a window, you may be able to cut one in with the right tools and a steady hand.

The complete kit comes with a tempered-glass window, and Zarcor President John Halter says a tinted version is forthcoming. In the meantime, Camping World carries a tinted safety-glass window kit from Ross RV Interiors ($159.95 MSRP; www.campingworld.com/clear-view-entry-door-window-kit), which we installed for this evaluation.

Replacing the window is straightforward, and butyl sealant is included.

We recommend using a clear window and door silicone or polyurethane sealer, or a product like Lexel clear sealant (www.sashco.com/products/lexel) around the installed window frame and glass for an extra layer of protection against the elements.

Attaching the shade is quite simple. The kit comes with small self-adhesive 3M Dual Lock tabs on the corners to attach the shade to the window glass and the handle to the shade. Simply remove the backing on the tabs, line up the shade on the glass and attach it by pressing on the tabs to activate the adhesive. This makes removal for cleaning as easy as it gets. And since the shade sits against the recessed glass, light coming in from around the unit is almost eliminated.

The handle has two screws and spacers, which replace two of the window-frame screws. Store the original screws in the owner’s packet, so if you ever want to remove the shade and transfer it to a new RV, you’ll have them.

The CloZures RV Door Window Shade is a simple, compact and effective way of covering the entry-door window while still allowing visibility. We love having the ability to see through the window for security and to check out the view.

Zarcor Solutions
800-877-4797 | www.zarcor.com/rv_products/rv-door-window-kit


 

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Chris Dougherty <![CDATA[Dump Station to Go: Thetford SmartTote2 LX and Tote Storage System]]> http://www.trailerlife.com/?p=31285 2018-06-06T19:32:03Z 2018-06-06T19:32:03Z

Employing a portable tank eliminates the need to break camp while staying in parks without sewer hookups

Taking a rig to an RV park that has a dump station but no sewer hookups requires additional planning, especially for a family, as the gray and black tanks can fill up fast. Having to break camp every time the holding tanks need emptying is downright inconvenient, making the purchase of a portable waste tank money well spent.

Portable tanks come in a variety of sizes, with varying features, depending on the size and price point. The problem, in many cases, is where to store the tank in an RV. A 35-gallon tank is quite large and can displace needed stored items that tend to fill up compartments. However, using a portable tank that’s smaller than the onboard holding tank entails an attentive transfer process to avoid an overflowing mess. A portable model that’s equal
in size or larger than the onboard tanks is preferred.

1) After removing the SmartTote2 LX from the packaging, the handle is unfolded, and the tank can be pulled easily. The handle extends for more leverage, if needed. It fits over the tow vehicle’s 25⁄16-inch hitch ball for slowly towing the tank to the dump station. 2) The LX has a floating AutoStop level gauge/vent and a rinsing port toward the top. When getting ready to transfer waste from the RV or empty the contents at the dump station, open the gauge side to see when the tank is full and allow the tank to vent when dumping. Leave the rinse door (right) closed until it’s time to flush the tank with clean water. 3) The PermaStore cabinet houses a heavy-duty collapsible sewer hose with an ergonomic bayonet fitting and cap, and  a 90-degree elbow for use with a sewer connection. The elbow is shallow, so it’s best to use  a sewer donut. 4) The hose connects to the RV’s sewage outlet for evacuating the tanks. While dumping, watch the AutoStop level gauge closely.
1) After removing the SmartTote2 LX from the packaging, the handle is unfolded, and the tank can be pulled easily. The handle extends for more leverage, if needed. It fits over the tow vehicle’s 25⁄16-inch hitch ball for slowly towing the tank to the dump station. 2) The LX has a floating AutoStop level gauge/vent and a rinsing port toward the top. When getting ready to transfer waste from the RV or empty the contents at the dump station, open the gauge side to see when the tank is full and allow the tank to vent when dumping. Leave the rinse door (right) closed until it’s time to flush the tank with clean water. 3) The PermaStore cabinet houses a heavy-duty collapsible sewer hose with an ergonomic bayonet fitting and cap, and a 90-degree elbow for use with a sewer connection. The elbow is shallow, so it’s best to use a sewer donut. 4) The hose connects to the RV’s sewage outlet for evacuating the tanks. While dumping, watch the AutoStop level gauge closely.

One of the best-designed portable tanks on the market is the Thetford SmartTote2.
Thetford started from ground level and developed the SmartTote2, a portable tank that is light, strong and easy to use. The tank is made of a durable plastic that’s relatively lightweight but can handle the stress of carrying heavy contents, being pulled around and then dumped.

5) When the level rises, close the RV’s termination valve. While keeping the end of the hose elevated above the tank, replace the cap, collapse the hose and secure the compartment. Close the AutoStop gauge hatch and proceed to the dump station. 6) Once at the dump station, open the compartment and remove the hose, keeping it elevated; do not open the AutoStop gauge compartment yet. Remove the cap, attach the elbow and place the donut in the sewer connection. While keeping the center section of the hose elevated to help prevent flow, place the elbow in the sewer connection, then depress the center section of the hose to allow free flow of the contents. Open the AutoStop gauge hatch to vent. 7) Once the tank has dumped, open the rinse door and fill the inside of the tank with the water hose, then tilt the tank up to drain the last bit out of the tank, and you’re done.
5) When the level rises, close the RV’s termination valve. While keeping the end of the hose elevated above the tank, replace the cap, collapse the hose and secure the compartment. Close the AutoStop gauge hatch and proceed to the dump station. 6) Once at the dump station, open the compartment and remove the hose, keeping it elevated; do not open the AutoStop gauge compartment yet. Remove the cap, attach the elbow and place the donut in the sewer connection. While keeping the center section of the hose elevated to help prevent flow, place the elbow in the sewer connection, then depress the center section of the hose to allow free flow of the contents. Open the AutoStop gauge hatch to vent. 7) Once the tank has dumped, open the rinse door and fill the inside of the tank with the water hose, then tilt the tank up to drain the last bit out of the tank, and you’re done.

The SmartTote2 is available in four two-wheel models in capacities from 12 to 35 gallons. The more elaborate four-wheel models come in 18-, 27- and 35-gallon sizes with an extendable towing handle, an AutoStop level gauge so the fill level can be determined, a vent for fast emptying, and a rinsing port. There is also a built-in hose with connectors mounted inside a closable PermaStore compartment. The four-wheel SmartTote2 LX we tested is the company’s deluxe tank.

8) The Tote Storage System ladder mount has a left and right arm, which must be mounted in the proper position for unlocking and folding, and high enough  so the tank doesn’t block the taillights. 9) The arms feature an aluminum bracket to lock the rotating arms in place.
8) The Tote Storage System ladder mount has a left and right arm, which must be mounted in the proper position for unlocking and folding, and high enough
so the tank doesn’t block the taillights. 9) The arms feature an aluminum bracket to lock the rotating arms in place.

The LX comes with almost everything needed, but to dump the tank cleanly and safely requires a few more things. First, a donut for the sewer-hose elbow attachment helps ensure that the hose remains sealed to the sewer connection. Second is a rinsing hose dedicated to black and gray water; never use a potable-water hose for sewage purposes. Short hoses are available in black and gray colors to differentiate them from freshwater hoses. Lastly, rubber or latex gloves and safety goggles should be used to protect against sewage spills and splashes.

The tank requires no assembly and is ready to use out of the box. The included attachments make the process as clean and easy as possible.

10, 11, 12) The arms lock straight out for carrying the tank and to the outsides for climbing the ladder. When the tank isn’t mounted, the arms remain unlocked, folded inward and strapped down. 13) The tank is secured to the ladder with the included cinch-strap. It sits nicely on the bracket, with tabs on the tank (inset) that help secure it to the arms.
10, 11, 12) The arms lock straight out for carrying the tank and to the outsides for climbing the ladder. When the tank isn’t mounted, the arms remain unlocked, folded inward and strapped down.

Transporting a portable tank in an RV can be a challenge because of the size, and — let’s face it — we don’t want a sewage tank near anything we touch regularly. Thetford has come up with the Tote Storage System ladder mount that is designed to support an empty portable tank, no matter the size, on the RV’s roof-access ladder.

13) The tank is secured to the ladder with the included cinch-strap. It sits nicely on the bracket, with tabs on the tank (inset) that help secure it to the arms.
13) The tank is secured to the ladder with the included cinch-strap. It sits nicely on the bracket, with tabs on the tank (inset) that help secure it to the arms.
Thetford
800-543-1219
www.thetford.com/products/evacuation/smarttote

The lightweight aluminum ladder mount has swiveling arms that are wrapped in a rubber sleeve on the bottom to cradle the tank, which is held in place with a pull-strap. The mount permanently attaches to the ladder via swivel brackets that allow the arms to swing out of the way. It took about 20 minutes to install the mount on a travel trailer ladder. SmartTote2 LX tanks sell for $225 to $325 and come with a one-year warranty. The Tote Storage System ladder mount has an MSRP of $74.99.


 

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Chris Dougherty <![CDATA[High-Class Fiberglass: Oliver Legacy Elite II]]> http://www.trailerlife.com/?p=31057 2018-05-18T23:16:06Z 2018-06-01T18:37:10Z

Oliver brings impressive quality and comfort to the custom-crafted Legacy Elite II

The old saying “you get what you pay for” rings as clearly in the RV world as
it does everywhere else. Hailing from Hohenwald, Tennessee, Oliver Travel Trailers has built its business on producing some of the finest hand-made fiberglass trailers that money can buy. Attention to detail, extremely high level of customer service and factory-direct sales have served Oliver and its clients well.

The 2018 Legacy Elite II is a prime example of the models offered by Oliver, and this one, being the largest, was a perfect fit for a test trip to Tropical Palms RV Resort in Kissimmee, Florida. Five minutes from the entrance to Walt Disney World, Tropical Palms is a nice 200-site resort with paved pull-through sites, a swimming pool, 24-hour professional security and easy access to all the greater Orlando area has to offer.

The interior of the Oliver Legacy Elite II is exceptionally well made with admirable fit and finish of every component. Drawers are solid hardwood with dovetail joinery and full-extension, soft-close slides.
The interior of the Oliver Legacy Elite II is exceptionally well made with admirable fit and finish of every component. Drawers are solid hardwood with dovetail joinery and full-extension, soft-close slides.

The Legacy Elite II, with a twin-bed floorplan, has an overall length of 26 feet, which includes the custom-fabricated aluminum bicycle rack on the rear of the trailer. The removable rack has a Thule two-bicycle setup ($1,199), which is strong and easy to use.
It’s important to note that this company fabricates the components it needs to make its trailers truly custom. The custom-built aluminum entry step is the strongest I’ve seen on any RV; the optional generator tray on the A-frame is rock solid. The strength of the aluminum stock and the quality of the welds are exceptional.

Oliver trailers feature a modular, clamshell design consisting of four separate hulls — two exterior, top and bottom, and two interior, top and bottom. This double-hull construction is remarkably strong, with a carbon-reinforced-fiberglass outer shell, a layer of Prodex (a roll-type R-16 insulation that is also a radiant and vapor barrier), air space and then the inner hull. This means the inside of the trailer is like the outside: shiny white gelcoat similar to the surface found on boats.

Oliver color-matches the exterior graphics to the purchaser’s tow vehicle. Towing the Legacy Elite II through Walt Disney World and the Orlando area was effortless.
Oliver color-matches the exterior graphics to the purchaser’s tow vehicle. Towing the Legacy Elite II through Walt Disney World and the Orlando area was effortless.

The design offers several benefits when compared to typical RV construction. First, there are very few seams; the main body seam at the beltline overlaps and is sealed to prevent water intrusion. Necessary protrusions through the roof for hardware and accessories are all well sealed. Second is the inherent strength of the hull. There is quite literally no twisting or movement of the body. Third, the exterior gelcoat, like a boat, will remain untarnished for years, if well cared for. And, because the hull is made like a boat, it is impervious to water and condensation, which means it can’t rot. In the unlikely event of a plumbing leak, the lower hull has chrome drains along the bottom to let the water run out. Even the insulation isn’t affected by water.

Minimalist graphics accentuate the clean, simple lines of the exterior, and, like the trailer itself, which is custom built for each buyer, the graphics are customized to match the color of the new owner’s tow vehicle. Oliver can even design custom graphics to the client’s wishes. For the test, we sent Oliver a photo of the truck we were using, and the company color-matched the graphics.

illustration by BILL TIPTON

The Legacy Elite II is designed to be a go-anywhere, anytime RV. While we couldn’t test its cold-weather capabilities, the R-16 insulation and thermal-pane windows keep thermal transfer to a minimum, making the trailer suitable for winter travel. The LP-gas furnace warms the enclosed and insulated space below the floor where the holding tanks and plumbing are located.

During our stay at Tropical Palms, we enjoyed sitting outside under the lateral-arm Carefree of Colorado awning with acrylic fabric. The crank rod is stowed just inside the trailer in the closet, which is easily within arm’s reach from outside the entry door. Oliver has carefully placed the lighting on the outside of the trailer, with wall-mount LEDs that turn night into day for whatever work needs to be done around the rig, and ground-effect LEDs that create a pleasant campsite atmosphere. Exterior LP-gas fittings ($299) are conveniently placed front and rear to connect a grill or even a campfire unit.

Storage space is extremely well conceived and abundant. Larger items like folding recliners will need to reside in the tow vehicle, but almost everything else will find a home somewhere in, on or around the trailer. The two 7-gallon LP-gas cylinders ($129) are enclosed in an aerodynamic front cover, with an access hatch for opening or closing the valves. On the rear of the trailer, the full-size spare tire with a matching billet aluminum wheel is sequestered behind a continental-kit-style fiberglass cover. Below it is a custom-fabricated aluminum box built into the chassis, which houses the sewer termination and provides plenty of space for all the sewer hoses and fittings.

On the driver’s side, a rear-storage compartment reaches across two-thirds of the trailer and is accessible from inside as well. The hatch for the compartment is made of the same carbon-reinforced fiberglass and is secured by a chrome marine latch. Behind this hatch are the remote sewer-valve handles, which operate the valves in the enclosed, heated space in the hull. Automotive bulb seals ensure integrity.

Four optional 12-volt AGM batteries ($1,199) on a locking slide tray are enclosed in a side-wall compartment in the middle of the trailer. The attention to detail is evident here as well, as the slide tray and wiring are well laid out and make battery service easy.

Freshwater connections and gray- and black-water flushing connections are easily accessible on the frame underneath. Cable and satellite TV connections are on the rear corner. The test trailer came equipped with a Winegard Carryout G2+ satellite system ($1,299) with a tripod.

Hatches have chrome marine latches. Storage is abundant for an RV this size, with hidden caches utilizing every inch of space.
Hatches have chrome marine latches. Storage is abundant for an RV this size, with hidden caches utilizing every inch of space.

The aforementioned generator tray ($599) is adjacent to an additional Furrion shoreline connection on the front of the trailer with an integrated transfer switch ($499), allowing a generator mounted in the tray to be plugged in up front using the same shoreline cable. If the generator is not needed, the tray can be used as a storage basket.

Equipped with an RV Lock keypad and wireless remote lock ($395), the entry door opens to a bright and airy living space. First impressions of the exterior suggested that the inside would be cold, white and sterile, but quite the opposite was true. The interior, which had been custom-decorated by the company for the test was warm and attractive in a modern fashion. The positive ions that flow from this trailer can’t help but put a smile on your face.

Lighting is extremely well thought out and plentiful. The LED fixtures, including the recessed ceiling, floor/under-cabinet task and in-cabinet lighting behind frosted-glass doors, are on individual circuits, so the owner can turn on whatever lights he or she wishes. LED reading lamps, which can be aimed at will, are located at each bed and seating position. The storage compartment, bathroom and closet are also well illuminated.

High-end electronics are used throughout.
High-end electronics are used throughout.

Counters and tabletops are covered with a fiber-granite material that is strong and attractive. Some of the panels are held in place with hook-and-loop fasteners, concealing hidden storage compartments. The compartment between the twin beds features a removable solid-wood basket. All the drawers are solid hardwood with glued dovetail joints and full-extension soft-close slides. The fronts are matching fiberglass, of course, with the same quarter-turn marine latches.

Overhead cabinets are molded into the hull with rubber sheeting on the bottoms. There are no dividers, so using small baskets and other storage containers would be in order. These cabinets feature recessed LED lighting and frosted-glass doors with quarter-turn marine latches, so access and visibility are excellent. A nice pantry behind the two-person dinette has wire shelves and plenty of space for foodstuffs.

This is a two-person trailer, and while the dinette can fold down into a small extra bed, there’s nowhere for that extra person to sit. That’s OK. After all, that’s what outdoor picnic tables are for. The dinette is pretty comfortable, and one seat has storage beneath it, while the other encloses the converter, inverter and fuse panel.

 The two-seat dinette is compact but functional, with storage under the forward seat, and it converts to a small single bed
The two-seat dinette is compact but functional, with storage under the forward seat, and it converts to a small single bed

This floorplan has two single beds, a rare layout in the RV industry. The custom-size KTT mattresses ($1,600) are quite comfortable, with a unique nightstand between the beds that features additional hidden storage. The bedside stand has a locking pull-out drawer and a hatch to access the underside storage ($175). Under the beds are more hatches for the storage compartment and access to the utility areas.

Watching the fold-away Furrion 22-inch LCD TV above the beds is almost impossible, except for the person sitting in the rear-facing dinette seat. Above the TV is a cabinet for a satellite-TV receiver. A Furrion DV-330 entertainment system is mounted on the driver’s side near the pantry and must be operated from the dinette by the Furrion app in a smart device since the included remotes require line-of-sight control. The Furrion TV and stereo match up well with the HDMI Audio Return Channel feature. Both will operate from the same multifunction Furrion remote.

The well-thought-out galley has a surprising amount of counter space, even if it is broken up a bit. The main counter includes a residential stainless single-bowl sink with a gooseneck faucet and pull-out sprayer. The Dometic two-burner LP-gas cooktop has a fold-down tinted-glass cover, which adds to the counter space when not in use. The standard microwave is built into the cabinet to the left, with more counter space in front of it. Across the aisle is a removable counter in front of the pantry with storage underneath and the dinette table, all topped in the fiber-granite color of your choice. A 4-cubic-foot Dometic three-way refrigerator-freezer is standard.

The front wet bath provides adequate space to get the job done, even for 6-footers. The chrome faucet on the stainless sink has a pull-out shower wand that attaches to a wall bracket.
The front wet bath provides adequate space to get the job done, even for 6-footers. The chrome faucet on the stainless sink has a pull-out shower wand that attaches to a wall bracket.

Bathroom duties aren’t as easy in the Oliver as in some travel trailers, but all said and done, everything works just fine. The forward-mounted wet bath has enough room for a 6-footer. The porcelain RV toilet has plenty of space around it, and the stainless sink, while small, gets the job done. The faucet handle pulls out and doubles as the showerhead with a bracket on the wall. The adjoining lighted closet with shelves is ample.

Utilities in the Legacy Elite II are a thing of beauty to an RV techie. Everything from the piping to the wiring to the components is assembled with the best materials in the business and is thoughtfully laid out and accessible. Oliver uses 5-inch marine twist-off hatches in otherwise inaccessible areas, so everything can be reached and worked on, if necessary.
The test trailer was equipped with every bit of technology an owner could want.

Complementing the Carryout G2+ antenna, the trailer had a Winegard omnidirectional boosted antenna, a WeBoost 4G-M cellular booster ($625), a WiFiRanger SkyPro pack repeater system ($699), a Voyager wireless backup camera ($799), a 320-watt Zamp Solar package ($2,800), a Truma AquaGo Comfort instant water heater ($1,299), and multiple USB and 12-volt DC charging stations throughout the trailer.

The plumbing system is exceptionally well designed and executed. All of the fittings and pipes are in a heated space, supporting the trailer’s extreme-temperature capability. The demand water pump and various valves are under the passenger’s-side bed and include freshwater fill, winterizing and even a water-drafting position with a dedicated outside fitting to pump from an external static water source or tank and fill the onboard tank without using an external pump. You can run on city water, turn a valve and fill the fresh­water tank from that hookup or connect a pressurized source to the dedicated tank-fill port on the driver’s side. The tank overflow dumps under the trailer by the entry door to let the user know when the tank is full, even if you don’t pay attention to the accurate Garnet See-Level II tank-monitor system.

The bedside table features a large drawer with a lock, and the counter lifts off to reveal a hidden storage basket and charging outlets.
The bedside table features a large drawer with a lock, and the counter lifts off to reveal a hidden storage basket and charging outlets.

The gray-water tank is close to the floor and shower-pan drain to keep it enclosed and warm. The result is that the gray tank can slosh into the shower when the trailer is in motion. Oliver’s fix is to install a gray-tank shut-off valve next to the toilet, which needs to be opened anytime the gray-water system will be used and closed before travel. It’s a small item to remember, but given the functionality of the trailer, it’s a minor inconvenience.

Towing the Legacy Elite II with our F-350 diesel was overkill. We had almost no idea the trailer was even there and towed it without weight-distribution hardware. With a gross vehicle weight rating of 7,000 pounds, the fully loaded Oliver tipped the scales at only 5,760 pounds wet with water, batteries and LP-gas full. This left a respectable 1,240 pounds of carrying capacity, which is plenty adequate for a trailer this size. The wet hitch weight was 680 pounds, so once the trailer is loaded with gear, that should equate to an almost perfectly balanced trailer. Any properly equipped pickup or SUV with a tow rating of 7,000 pounds or more would easily tow this trailer.

Access to plumbing, electronics and more storage is easy under the two twin beds.
Access to plumbing, electronics and more storage is easy under the two twin beds.

Given its size and the factory-direct price of $70,785, the Oliver Legacy Elite II may not be for everybody, but for those looking to spend a bit more for a customized four-season trailer that can be handed down from one generation to the next, it should be at the top of the list.

 

 

Oliver Travel Trailers | 888-526-3978 | www.olivertraveltrailers.com


 

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Jeff Johnston <![CDATA[RV Tech Q&A: Downhill Braking]]> http://www.trailerlife.com/?p=31014 2018-05-11T17:42:51Z 2018-06-01T00:43:24Z

I read February’s “Tundra Brake Problems?” letter from David Chapman and your reply about truck and trailer brakes. Neither your reply nor Chapman talked about downshifting the transmission, which is an important part of driving down long or steep hills, particularly with a trailer. Some newer truck automatic transmissions downshift themselves on a downhill grade.

My opinion is that the engine and transmission should provide most of the retarding, and that the brakes should be used only to help hold the speed down. If Chapman’s truck wasn’t downshifted to help retard the unit, then that might be the cause of the overheated brakes. The owner’s manual should provide information about towing and descending grades.

Rick Stuchell | Centennial, Colorado

You’re right, Rick. Using downshifting and engine compression to help control speed down a grade should always be part of the discussion. Some of the people who report consistent brake problems when others have great towing success with the same vehicles are likely among those who don’t downshift to help maintain speed and experience brake fade, adverse wear and/or warped rotors due to heat. That wouldn’t apply to all of those with brake problems, but certainly the majority.


Disc-Brake Selection


My wife and I are planning a cross-country trip in about two years. After reading various articles about disc brakes, I am considering changing my fifth-wheel drum brakes over to disc brakes. We own a 2013 Keystone Montana 3582RL. I believe the axles have a 7,000-pound gross axle weight rating (gawr), and dry weight is 12,600 pounds. Can you recommend a brand of disc brakes that has performed better than the others?

Art Frament, Clifton Park | New York

The use of disc brakes will make a big difference in stopping ability. Titan is a well-known brand, and there’s also Kodiak, and both offer parts and kits to fit today’s trailers.
You might want to make sure that you’ll own the trailer you want to convert for a while, as the kits aren’t cheap, and you’re unlikely to recover the full investment cost at resale.

Even at a price, it’s one of the best safety-related accessories you can add to your trailer.


Hitch Extension

I have a 2014 Toyota Tundra with which I towed a 26-foot Aljo trailer. Aljo had trailer models many years ago, but its Skyline brand was built until fairly recently. We traded it in on a 2018 26-foot Keystone Cougar. I am using the same hitch with the new trailer, but I can no longer lower the tailgate while hooked up. It contacts the electric jack, which makes it difficult to get our dog into and out of the bed shell.

I searched for hitch extensions but found that they generally are not recommended for towing trailers. I did find that the Roadmaster Anti-Rattle Hitch Extender for Tow Bars (item number RM-071-1075) can be used for trailer towing, if the tongue weight is less than half the extender rating.

Do you have any suggestions?

David Tyler | Las Vegas, New Mexico

The use of a hitch extender can go overboard when people use one that’s too long. This places an undue amount of leverage on the receiver, and that’s where the problem arises.
The extension you identified (which is listed at 7½ inches) is fairly modest. Roadmaster posted a 10,000-pound trailer weight and 400-pound hitch weight for that extension, and as long as you observe the hitch-weight limitations, you should be OK.

The use of a weight-distribution hitch also helps because it redistributes some of that dead-weight torque on the receiver, so that’s also in your favor.


RV-Cover Sunburn


My next-door neighbor recently purchased an ADCO RV cover for his travel trailer that he parks beside his house, which is about 30 feet away from our two-story home. A few weeks ago, I noticed what appeared to be a long “burn” in a 12-foot arc on his cover on the side that faces our house. After taking a closer look and experiencing a couple sunny days here in the Pacific Northwest, we determined that the burned and melted arc was caused by sunlight reflecting off our upstairs window onto the cover.

My neighbor called ADCO, whose customer service told him they had never heard of such a thing and that it was not covered under the warranty. They suggested that he park his RV in a different location and somehow block the reflected light or purchase another cover made from a different fabric.

Of course, the fabric that might be immune to reflected light was well over $1,000.

Larry Lucas | Portland, Oregon

The chance that an RV cover could be burned by a sun reflection seems unlikely, especially in Oregon’s not-always-sunny Willamette Valley, where I live as well. There would need to be something reflecting the light that focused and concentrated it enough to make the burn, and that wouldn’t happen with straight, flat windows.

The reflection image you sent shows an irregular section of reflected sunlight, and the center where it’s brightest could be some type of focused spot. You’d need to track that back to one of the windows on the house by alternately covering each window until you find which one is creating the reflection. If there’s something inside your house that’s reflecting, it may need to be moved. If the window glass has some type of flaw that causes the focused reflection, you may need to replace the glass or add something like a couple layers of window screen to diffuse the light enough to avoid future problems.

Drop another note and let us know what you discover.


Trailer Level and Tire Wear


Last year I purchased a 2017 Ram 2500 4×4 truck to pull my 31-foot 2016 Dutchmen Denali 262RLX fifth-wheel. The mounting-surface plate of the fifth-wheel hitch on the new truck is 7 inches higher than it was on my old 1995 Ram. The nose of the fifth-wheel is up, and the trailer does not travel parallel to the road surface by less than 2 degrees, measured from the kingpin to the center of the tandem axle.

On our last trip, there were two blowouts on the rear axle. The trailer has an Equa-Flex leaf-spring suspension and had the original ST225/75 R15 load range D tires. I kept the air pressure up to 65 psi max and was well within the gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) and gawr.

Is it possible that when the trailer travels nose up there is more weight on the rear axle? I replaced all four tires with Goodyear Endurance ST225/75 R15 load range E and hope that I don’t have to go through that nightmare again.

Klaus Krolik | Fallbrook, California

Although the equalizing suspension part of a dual-axle trailer is supposed to provide more or less equal weight on the axles, that’s not 100 percent the case. If the trailer body is angled back somewhat, there’s going to be a weight transfer toward the rear axle, but how much weight is transferred depends on a lot of trailer-body design factors and the suspension configuration. It also depends on how much weight is carried on the axles and tire carrying capacity. The weight transfer would need to be pretty significant to have an effect like overloading and blowing out two tires.

You can use a commercial scale to determine the trailer’s axle weights. Park the trailer so both axles are on the scale and note that figure. This is also a good time to compare the trailer’s posted gawr to those scale results, as this will tell you where the RV stands on being overloaded or not.

Now, with the help of a spotter, roll ahead until one axle is off and one is still on the scale. Note that figure and deduct it from the total for both axles to determine how much weight is being carried at each axle. If there is a significant difference in weight, that could aggravate the blowout situation. It would also affect the tires during a sharp turn, which will scrub sideways, placing a lot of stress on the sidewalls.

It’s best to figure out a way to get the trailer riding level. This can be done by lowering the fifth-wheel hitch saddle, if there’s still enough bed-rail clearance for trailer movement, or raising the suspension somewhat using the techniques we discuss in this column on a regular basis. A level ride will help with the axle-loading situation.

Have a Question?

Email or write to RV Clinic, 2750 Park View Court, Suite 240, Oxnard, California 93036. Include your full name and hometown. Selected letters will be answered in the magazine, but time does not permit individual replies. No phone calls, please.


 

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Jane VanOsdol <![CDATA[Vintage Trailers: Living the Dream]]> http://www.trailerlife.com/?p=31004 2018-05-18T23:13:58Z 2018-06-01T00:19:39Z A spur-of-the-moment road trip turned into a life-changer for an Alabama couple when they discovered a classic trailer to renovate

Five years ago Robert Fouts and his girlfriend, Pat Grumm, hopped in the car for an adventure. The day’s plan changed, however, when they happened upon an old travel trailer sitting at the side of the road with a “For Sale” sign on it. On a whim, they stopped
to take a look.

“We really didn’t wake up in the morning and say we were going to buy a vintage camper,” Fouts says. “But we ended up buying it for $700 — and didn’t know what we were getting into.”

Serro Scotty Remodel

Almost immediately, they began researching how best to renovate their 15-foot 1977 Serro Scotty HiLander. Over the next three years, they worked on the trailer, totally remodeling it. Since both love to garden, they chose a gardening theme for decorating and nicknamed the trailer Garden Party.

Wiki Up attracts visitors with its colorful motif, vintage appeal and fun-happens-here ambience. Made for relaxing, the inviting front porch is surrounded by beautiful landscape.
Wiki Up attracts visitors with its colorful motif, vintage appeal and fun-happens-here ambience. Made for relaxing, the inviting front porch is surrounded by beautiful landscape.

Soon afterward, Fouts and Grumm attended their first vintage-camper rally at Chewacla State Park in Auburn, Alabama. They quickly struck up friendships with other vintage-camper enthusiasts, sharing remodeling stories and talking about old times.

“After the first rally, we looked at each other and said, ‘This was so much fun. When’s the next one?’” Fouts says. The couple now proudly talks about their camper family, a large group of people who live within two hours of them. They frequently camp together, and anywhere from two to 30 people may show up.

Hobby or Lifestyle?

Wiki Up’s renovated interior oozes 1960s charm and Native American influence.
Wiki Up’s renovated interior oozes 1960s charm and Native American influence.

At this point Fouts and Grumm were hooked on vintage camping as a way of life. They purchased a second vintage trailer in need of renovation — a 21-foot 1968 Cree Balboa Deluxe — for $495.

“We learned a lot from our experiences with the first camper, and with the second camper, we knew it was all about the bed,” Fouts says.

He elaborates by explaining that they cook outside and live outside, so most of what they do inside is sleep. With that in mind, the first thing they did on the Cree remodel was fix up the bed with room on each side to walk around, making it a comfortable and functional space.

This time, the couple chose a Native American theme to decorate the trailer and named it Wiki Up. Wikiup is the nomadic Indian word for a temporary shelter. Coincidentally, Cree is also the name of one of the largest groups of Native Americans, and it all just seemed to fit, particularly since Grumm is part Native American.

Fast-forward to 2016, when Chewacla State Park had a vacancy for its campground-host position. The park ranger, a friend of Grumm’s, offered the position to her, as she had recently retired from nursing. She jumped at the chance to make the switch to work-camping.

Even though the owners cook most of their meals outdoors, the well-thought-out kitchen is a functional and comfortable layout for year-round living and matches the look of the rest of the trailer.
Even though the owners cook most of their meals outdoors, the well-thought-out kitchen is a functional and comfortable layout for year-round living and matches the look of the rest of the trailer.

“I love it,” she says. “We sold everything in my house — including the house.” Grimm moved into Wiki Up, which is now permanently located at Chewacla State Park. “It takes me 15 minutes to clean my house. I don’t miss the stuff at all. Things aren’t necessary to make you happy.”

As a full-time camp host at the state park, Grumm works part time, usually 10 to 20 hours per week, which she splits with Fouts. Grumm loves cutting the grass, while Fouts often helps the park with special projects. In return, they receive a free campsite and electricity, sewer, water and cable hookups.

Flamingo-Themed Campsite

The two have worked hard to make their host campsite into a colorful, quirky, fun place. The campground’s former host had started by adding a pink flamingo to the outdoor decor. It became so popular that Grumm and Fouts have drastically expanded the flamingo family with enough birds to populate a whimsical Flamingo Park and Flamingo Rescue Center (pictured above). Campers often gift flamingos to the campsite, personalizing them with their names and taking photos to make it official. “They’re quite a hit,” Fouts says.

Additionally, the entire campsite is filled with interesting knickknacks, seating areas and an outdoor tent-covered kitchen, and the couple has landscaped extensively with large rocks. A happy and welcoming orange, red and teal pattern ties it all together, inside and out.

Making sure they had walking space on both sides of the bed was the first item on the couple’s remodeling list.
Making sure they had walking space on both sides of the bed was the first item on the owners’ remodeling list.

Cost of Renovation

Fouts estimates that he has spent about $5,000 on the renovation of Wiki Up, with a large portion of that going to new appliances including a refrigerator, an induction oven, a water heater, a shower, sinks and a toilet. He also added a deck off the front side.

According to Fouts, the package wouldn’t be complete if the towing vehicle weren’t also vintage, so he purchased a 1966 Ford F100 pickup, “like the one I had in high school,” and spent three years fixing it up. He’s done an eye-popping job on it, down to the gleaming blue paint with red accents on the tires and chrome.

Ultimately, what really comes across is how vintage camping has changed their lives for the better. Fouts and Grumm have fallen in love with Chewacla Park, camp-hosting and their camper family. They enjoy having new neighbors every night, and they find Wiki Up is often the center of attention at the campground.

In addition, Fouts pointed out that the dynamic of camping is such a de-stressing experience that people will often take time to socialize, unlike at home where neighbors often are too time-crunched to talk to each other.

“It’s nothing to get into an hour conversation with a stranger,” Fouts says. “It’s like a mini-retirement for people.”

Following a Dream

This couple has found that vintage-trailer living agrees with them immensely. Since Wiki Up is permanently located at Chewacla, they use Garden Party for their own camping trips. Work-camping has allowed them to retire in a way they never dreamed possible.

“You can retire at home and try and keep up with the mortgage and the bills and all that, or retire at a campground and have different neighbors every night and social activities and no bills,” Fouts says. He jokingly refers to it as his “gated community.” He adds, “The only time I spend money is when I leave the gates, so I try to stay inside!”

Grumm agrees and offers these words of advice to others: “Don’t be afraid to live your dream. And do it while you have time.”

Working and Camping

The following websites provide information on job opportunities for RVers looking for seasonal and temporary work.

CoolWorks | www.coolworks.com

Recreation Resource Management | www.work-camping.com

Workamper News | www.workamper.com
The longtime service for matching RVers and employers is hosting the Workamper Rendezvous job fair in Heber Springs, Arkansas, October 15 to 19 this year.

Workamping Jobs | www.workampingjobs.com

Workers On Wheels | www.work-for-rvers-and-campers.com


 

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Kenneth W. Dahse <![CDATA[America’s Rhine: New York’s Hudson River Valley]]> http://www.trailerlife.com/?p=30993 2018-05-18T23:15:29Z 2018-05-31T23:34:51Z

Exploring New York’s Hudson River Valley where historic sites, cultural events and outdoor recreation collide in a burst of natural splendor

New York’s Hudson River Valley has long been described as America’s Rhine. With its scenic splendor, rolling farmland, picturesque villages and historic mansions, it deserves that name. Atop Bear Mountain, there’s a 360-degree panorama of the mighty, meandering Hudson River and the surrounding mountains. On clear days, the tops of New York City’s skyscrapers more than 40 miles away are visible as they rise above the mountains like rockets ready to blast into the heavens.

Not far from Bear Mountain State Park is the United States Military Academy at West Point where some of America’s most famous and infamous generals graduated — Lee, Custer, Eisenhower, Patton and MacArthur among them. My father fought under “Old Blood and Guts” Patton in World War II and considered him a great general; however, he said in real life he was even more outrageous than George C. Scott’s portrayal in the 1970 film Patton.

With its scenic vistas and recreational and sightseeing options, it’s no wonder the Hudson River Valley has plenty of RV campgrounds, but peak-season reservations are recommended.
With its scenic vistas and recreational and sightseeing options, it’s no wonder the Hudson River Valley has plenty of RV campgrounds, but peak-season reservations are recommended.
photos by Kenneth W. Dahse

In Hyde Park the former estates of 19th- and 20th-century Hudson Valley aristocrats are now historic sites. Some of the most impressive are the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt estates, and the Persian-style home of Frederic Edwin Church, famed artist of the Hudson River School of American landscape painters. All of this, along with camping, boating, hiking, biking and more, makes the Hudson River Valley a fascinating region for RVers to visit.

Bear Mountain and West Point

Exploring the valley is best done after setting up camp. The region has many campgrounds, but my wife, Linda, and I prefer North-South Lake State Campground in Haines Falls. Sitting 2,250 feet on the escarpment above the valley floor, the campground overlooks the valley, and on clear days five states can be seen. With two lakes, hiking trails, waterfalls and wooded sites, this is a popular spot, and reservations are highly recommended.

 The Shawangunk Mountains rise up behind a Hudson River Valley farm.
The Shawangunk Mountains rise up behind a Hudson River Valley farm.

A good place to begin an excursion through the Hudson Valley is in the south at Bear Mountain State Park, which combines with Harriman and Sterling Forest state parks to encompass more than 70,000 acres filled with miles of hiking trails and roads for bicycling. Scenic Perkins Memorial Drive leads to the summit of Bear Mountain. An observation tower open during the summer months gives a 360-degree view of the countryside spreading out like a massive quilt created by Mother Nature. The expansive Bear Mountain Inn was used for an episode in the CBS series The Good Wife.

West Point Military Academy is another gem of the Hudson Valley. Steeped in history and with an extensive war museum, the grounds offer much from statues of famous generals such as Eisenhower and Patton to fortresslike buildings, sporting events and scenic views. Eisenhower served under MacArthur in the Philippines. Referring to that tour of duty, MacArthur said Eisenhower was “the best clerk I ever had.” Recalling that same time, Eisenhower said of MacArthur, “I studied dramatics under him.” When you enter, it’s required to show identification and have both your person and your vehicle searched. Taking a guided West Point tour makes it easier.

Cold Spring and Poughkeepsie

Leaving Bear Mountain, we crossed the spectacular Bear Mountain Bridge spanning the Hudson River to its eastern shore. The river runs 315 miles from its source, Lake Tear of the Clouds in the Adirondack Mountains, to New York City where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Taking State Route 9D north leads to Cold Spring Historic District with notable 19th-century buildings and great views of the river. Restaurants and unique stores abound, and kayak and paddleboard tours on the Hudson are available. Nearby Clarence Fahnestock State Park offers campsites along with swimming, boat rentals and hiking trails on its 14,000-plus acres.

Olana is the Persian-style home of Hudson River School landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church.
Olana is the Persian-style home of Hudson River School landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church.

North of Cold Spring is Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park in Poughkeepsie. Once a railroad bridge, the walkway is 1.28 miles long and 212 feet above the water with a bird’s-eye view of the silky river flowing silently below. Enter via Parker Avenue, or, if you want to dine first, visit River Station Restaurant.

River Station is the oldest continually operating restaurant and bar in Poughkeepsie. Indoor and outdoor seating overlook the river and the Mid-Hudson Bridge. A chowder bar offers free samples of soup, and the meals are tasty. A toy train occasionally circulates around the dining area on wall-mounted rails, adding to the funky, rustic ambience. For customers, a free shuttle to the walkway is provided.

Hyde Park and Staatsburg

Hyde Park is home to the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Springwood estate embodies the grace and elegance of the 20th-century Hudson Valley aristocratic lifestyle. This is the four-term president’s birthplace, and the home and final resting place of Franklin and his wife, Eleanor. The mansion, presidential library and museum are on 200 acres above the river. The 1826 Victorian home was purchased by FDR’s father in 1867 and enlarged in neo-Georgian style in 1915, and tours are now offered. The structure is basically the same as it was when FDR died in 1945.

Here, on June 20, 1942, FDR and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed the agreement to manufacture the first atomic bomb. An outdoor exhibit consists of busts of both men and a sculpture made from remnants of the Berlin Wall. The West Berlin side of the sculpture is graffiti-covered, while the East Berlin side is clean because anyone who tried to get near the wall in the Communist east was shot on sight.

Springwood, the Hyde Park home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, sits on 200 acres above the river.
Springwood, the Hyde Park home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, sits on 200 acres above the river.

Today, there is still controversy over FDR’s policies, but there’s no dispute that he extensively transformed the country. Because of his efforts to help the less fortunate and restructure society, his fellow patricians condemned him as a “traitor to his class.”
However, his New Deal is credited with elevating the working poor and planting the seeds for the rise of the middle class after World War II.

Nearby is Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site where the first lady retreated from public life and lived after FDR’s death. You can explore the grounds on walking trails and view the home. Its simplicity is refreshing in contrast to FDR’s grand home and the Gilded Age opulence of the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Built for $2.25 million in 1898, when workers made a dollar a day, the Italian Renaissance-style Vanderbilt structure sits on an estate of 211 acres overlooking the Hudson and was referred to as “Uncle Freddy’s little cottage on the Hudson” by younger members of the wealthy Vanderbilt clan. For decades, the estate had a full-time staff of 60 and was completely self-sufficient.

Entering the reception hall, you stand under 20-foot ceilings and a three-story skylight. The dining room is 30 by 50 feet, and the table seats 30.

It is no wonder that for years after taking our daughter, Shannon, there as a child, whenever I asked where she wanted to go camping, she’d say, “To the big house, Daddy.” Not a roughing-it kind of kid, my daughter; no pop-up camper for her.

To the north in Staatsburg are the contiguous Ogden Mills and Ruth Livingston Mills Memorial State Park and Margaret Lewis Mills Norrie State Park, which comprise more than 1,000 acres and are home to the Mills Mansion, which is similar in style and grandeur to the Vanderbilt estate. These lush, green parks offer golfing, camping, a marina, nature trails, picnic areas, kayak tours and other amenities.

Rhinebeck, Germantown and Hudson

Visiting the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck is like taking a step back in time. The museum has “one of the largest collections of early aeroplanes in the world, as well as automobiles, motorcycles and memorabilia spanning the period 1900 to 1939.”

The museum is open daily from June through October, and air shows are performed weekends from mid-June through mid-October. Open-cockpit biplane rides are available weekends from June through October on a first-come, first-served basis, and weekday plane rides can be arranged. Watching the biplanes roaring closely overhead in a mock World War I battle is quite an adrenaline rush, even if at times the narration gets a bit corny.

Just north of the airfield are two more historic homes: the Livingston Mansion in Germantown’s Clermont State Park and the Frederic Edwin Church estate at Olana State Historic Site in Hudson. Both are worth a look- see, but Olana is the most interesting. The artist’s Persian-style home is a colorful multilevel structure with towers and complex exterior designs that make it a work of art in itself. Gazing upon its unique beauty encourages one to utter a 1960s expression: “That’s really far-out!”

Views, Views and More Views

After Olana, we crossed to the western side of the Hudson Valley to return to our campsite. One of the best hikes from the campground is the Escarpment Trail to North Point, which gives a panoramic view of the Catskill Mountains, the Hudson River Valley and five states. A nearby trailhead off Route 23A leads past impressive Bastion Falls to the two-tiered, 231-foot Kaaterskill Falls, the highest in the state.

South of the campground is the 12-mile-long Ashokan Reservoir, covering more than 8,300 acres and ringed by mountains. Walking or bicycling across the dam is impressive. Biking on State Route 28 and 28A, which encircle the reservoir, is enjoyable as well. Another great biking and hiking area is Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

The 21,106-acre preserve in the Shawangunk Mountain Range rises 2,000 feet above sea level and has 35 miles of carriage roads and 20 miles of footpaths. Some are cut along the cliffs, providing spectacular views of the valley and mountains. A great circular hike or bike ride is to the pristine and secluded 2-mile-long Lake Awosting. The water is so clear, with visibility more than 10 feet down. Lake Minnewaska beach is a short stroll from the parking area, but it is not as expansive as Awosting beach.

From Minnewaska State Park, we headed back to Bear Mountain, but there is still much more to explore: wineries, farms, parks and villages. That is why the Hudson River Valley
will call you to return to America’s Rhine for years to come.

Visiting the Hudson River Valley

Designated a National Heritage Area, New York’s Hudson River Valley runs north to south along the eastern edge of the state. The region stages festivals for every occasion — from fruit and wine to film and music — along with farmers markets, and art and cultural events, all with breathtaking views
of the Catskill Mountains as a backdrop.

RV camping

North-South Lake Campground
Located in Haines Falls, this state campground has RV sites (no hookups),
hot showers, a dump station, two lakes,
a beach, boat rentals and hiking trails.
518-589-5058 | www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/24487.html

New York State Parks Camping Reservation System
800-456-2267 | www.newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com

Good Sam Campground Database
www.goodsam.com/campgrounds-rv-parks

More sights and sites

Bear Mountain State Park
845-786-2701 | www.parks.ny.gov/parks/13

Clarence Fahnestock State Park
845 225-7207 | www.parks.ny.gov/parks/133
www.nystateparkstours.com/fahnestock

Clermont State Historic Site
518-537-4240 | www.parks.ny.gov/historic-sites/16/details.aspx

A popular trail through the Catskills takes hikers to the two-tiered Kaaterskill Falls.
A popular trail through the Catskills takes hikers to the two-tiered Kaaterskill Falls.

Cold Spring Historic District
www.coldspringliving.com

Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area
518-473-3835 | www.hudsonrivervalley.com

Hudson Valley Tourism
800-232-4782 | www.travelhudsonvalley.com

Mills Norrie State Park
845-889-4200 | www.parks.ny.gov/parks/171

Minnewaska State Park Preserve
845-255-0752 | www.parks.ny.gov/parks/127

Ogden Mills and Ruth Livingston Mills State Park
845-889-4646 | www.parks.ny.gov/parks/33

Olana State Historic Site
518-828-0135
www.parks.ny.gov/historic-sites/23/details.aspx

Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
845-752-3200 | www.oldrhinebeck.org

Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites
845-229-9115
www.nps.gov/hofr/roosevelt-vanderbilt-national-historic-sites.htm

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park
845-834-2867 | www.parks.ny.gov/parks/178

West Point United States Military Academy
845-446-4724 (tours) | www.usma.edu/visiting


 

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<![CDATA[10-Minute Tech: Not Gone With the Wind]]> http://www.trailerlife.com/?p=31030 2018-05-18T23:24:26Z 2018-05-31T17:44:03Z In our RV’s outside kitchen, we have a hanging roll of paper towels that would unroll in the wind. We fixed that by spending less than $1 on a plastic headband that has teeth on the inside of it. We place the headband over the roll of paper towels, which grips it — and problem solved! Once the roll gets small, the headband sits right on top of the roll. Between the weight of the headband and the teeth, it still keeps it from unrolling.

Marilyn Sticek and Jeffrey Furash | South Dayton, New York


 

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Bruce W. Smith <![CDATA[GrubStick: Campfire Cooking on a Stick]]> http://www.trailerlife.com/?p=31019 2018-05-18T23:17:06Z 2018-05-31T17:18:27Z For those who love cooking over an open fire with family and friends, the GrubStick Master Kit takes that simple pleasure to a new gastronomic level, making it easy to whip up everything outdoors from golden-brown marshmallows to savory mushroom burgers. The foundation of the 21-piece kit is four telescoping GrubStick grips that extend up to 30 inches, so dinner gets toasted instead of your arm. These heat-resistant handles connect to accessories designed for melting s’mores, roasting hot dogs and a wide range of other cooking duties. Everything in the kit is dishwasher safe and cleans easily, and the rugged canvas carrying tote stows just as easily.

MSRP: $139.95 | www.grubstick.com


 

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<![CDATA[10-Minute Tech: In a Good Light]]> http://www.trailerlife.com/?p=31025 2018-05-18T23:24:53Z 2018-05-30T17:33:56Z After having my wife complain about the light shining in her eyes while she worked in the kitchen in our Keystone Bullet travel trailer, I came up with a solution to keep her happy. I created a shade using some wood I had from an earlier project. I cut a length of 90-degree outside corner molding and glued a piece of flat wood to the inside of one side. Once the glue was dry, I attached the makeshift shade to the base of the cabinet in front of the light.

The length and depth of the wood pieces depends on how large a shade you want. We installed it to be right at eye level when working at the sink and counter. Now when my wife stands at the counter, the light is no longer right in her eyes.

Bob Edmondson | Hendersonville, North Carolina

Technical editor’s note: If you’re going to attach anything to the base of cabinets in your RV, it’s recommended not to use glue or double-sided tape, as those could damage the lamination if they are later removed. Staples, screws or brads are less damaging, as holes can be filled with putty.


 

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