René M. Agredano
Give your pet some RV brain training on your next trip.
Dog fitness tips — keeping your pet in good shape during your RV travels.
The weather gurus at the Old Farmer’s Almanac released the Winter Weather Forecast for 2017 – 2018 and it’s not great. If you’re a snowbird RV you need to pay attention to these three ways to keep warm when RVing in winter.
Is your RV winter-friendly? Image: iRV2 member kgchampagne
Snowbirds in Texas or California won’twon’t escape a cold wet winter in the coming months. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, “much of the South and West can expect to feel cooler than normal.” However you may be able to ditch the heavy coat if you head to Florida or the Southeast, “where milder-than-usual temperatures will be felt” according to the 2018 winter weather forecast.
3 Ways to Keep Warm When RVing in Winter
Regardless of where you go, cold snaps are inevitable. The good news is you can do something to prepare for those brisk days. Here are three ways to keep your RV warm in winter.
Invest in a secondary heat source.
A secondary heat source is helpful for RVing in winter. Image: iRV2 member Mau Mau.
Ditch the expensive and dangerous space heaters for a secondary heat source. In his RV Life article “How to Avoid Winter Camping Problems in Your RV,” boondocking expert Dave Hegelson suggests a catalytic RV heater or an oil-filled electric heater.
“Your built-in forced-air furnace should always be the primary source as the ducts are routed to keep the plumbing from freezing and keeping the occupants warm. Further, a secondary option are oil-filled electric heaters. They emit a mild radiant heat, are essentially noise-free and present little fire hazards. Catalytic safety heaters too, which run on propane rather than electricity, offer radiant heat and operate safely below the combustion level of flammable materials.”
Get an electric blanket.
Save money and warm upwith an electric blanket.
Don’t want to invest in an extra heater?
When RV camping gets a little too routine, consider adding some variety to your adventures with fire tower lookout rentals in the west. It’s not as luxurious as sleeping in your rig, but these antique relics of a bygone era are a best-kept-secret for travel memories of a lifetime.
Tall Sentinels Watching Over America’s Forests
Fire tower lookout rentals are reservable each summer.
America’s forests have always been vulnerable to fires. In 1910, a devastating fire that burned three million acres and killed 85 people in Washington, Montana, and Idaho prompted the construction of over 5,000 high rise fire tower lookouts across the U.S., 600 of which were built by President Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps (the CCC) in the 1930s.
Volunteers teach visitors about the Osborne Fire Finder.
Situated in some of America’s most remote areas, fire tower lookout accommodations were made as crude shelters, with no running water or electricity. Early technology in these towers was bare bones, with “smoke chaser” staff using mirrors to send out Morse Code signals when a fire broke out.
Later the “Osborne Fire Finder” device was invented, which made pinpointing fires much easier.
Telephone service was gradually brought in to fire tower lookouts, and fire spotting technology later developed to the point that it was no longer cost-effective to pay people to stay in these lookouts.
Over time, America’s fire tower lookouts faded into obscurity, with less than 250 in use by 1964. Although some fire towers are still in use and staffed by dedicated (and hearty) volunteers, the forest service only uses the system to enhance their high tech fire fighting strategies.
Today, that loss is your gain. As you travel across the west in your RV, consider taking a break from the road by renting a fire tower lookout.
For a change of scenery from RVing.
Fire Tower Lookout Rental Facts
If you aren’t afraid of
Deciding to live as RV nomads is relatively easy. But winnowing your stuff down and knowing what not to pack for full-time RVing is the hardest step of the journey. Here’s how to get started:
If you haven’t worn it in six months, donate it. (Image: iRV2 member lynch763)
Downsizing for full-time RVing is a shocking process. I never thought I was a consumer until I started taking dusty boxes off garage shelves and emptying my closet to begin downsizing. When everything was laid out on the floor and I had no room to walk in my home, I couldn’t believe the items I was hanging onto. Here are some lessons I learned while ditching these boat anchors.
Things you haven’t used for six months or more
There’s an old rule that says if you haven’t used a piece of clothing in a year, get rid of it. That’s well and good for conventional living but for tiny house living you need to speed up that timeline. If you haven’t worn something in your closet at least once every six months, donate it. The same goes for cooking utensils, books and even non-perishable food. All of those things can be bought somewhere along the way if you need them. The only place this rule doesn’t apply is your tool box. You hope you’ll never need to use that roadside emergency kit or jumper cables but you’ll be glad to have them if you do.
The kitchen utensils you carry seem like such a small thing but each one takes up space and weight. Although new culinary gadgets are fun to have on hand, most only serve one purpose. That Smore maker, kiwi peeler, and pineapple corer should all go in your Goodwill pile. If your Grandma lived without it, so can you. Only carry