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“Roughing it Safely”
I’m sure you are as excited as I am with the camping season about to start. If you get nothing more from my articles it is this. The first thing you buy for your RV and for your family is a new Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector. With permission, I want to emphasize Ric Grant’s letter: “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning” RVT #144. “Ric Grant, a Gas Safety Officer for the BC Safety Authority (BCSA) in Nelson, BC has shared some dramatic statistics. Between 2000 and 2006, 111 Canadians died from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Every year BCSA Safety Officers investigate between 1 and 3 incidents involving CO in our province alone.” Don’t let this silent killer claim you, your family, or your friends as a statistic. Always leave fuel-burning appliances outside; never bring them into an enclosed space like a tent or RV and when using built in appliances make sure you use the exhaust fan and keep roof vents open. I encourage you to go to the BCSA website and take a few minutes to review the carbon monoxide safety materials provided, it could save your life. http://safetyauthority.ca/carbon-monoxide
To optimize the space in the dishes cupboard (1), I installed a wire shelf and cup hooks. I purchased a remnant shelf from a big box store for $6.00. Now all my dishes are organized behind one door. The balance of the shelf was used to organize the microwave shelf (2). I never used this appliance so I removed it and gained some valuable space. It was excellent to store baked goods in sealed containers (3).
To save battery power while boon docking replace the second bulb in a ceiling fixture with an LED bulb. It will use a fraction of the wattage of a regular bulb and will provide ample light while relaxing.
To keep the light from streaming in the bedroom door or from your overhead vents, cut blackouts out of vinyl, attach Velcro on the corners so they are easily removed when not required. Make them for the inside of any windows that are interrupting your sleep.
The ultimate in roughing it smoothly is taking your entertainment with you. I love the great outdoors but spending a few days hunkered down by bad weather can put a real strain on a family. I’m still old school with the 12v/110v, TV/VCR combo. Not plugged in, the TV still works and I keep a few VCR tapes on hand. In the top of my homemade rotating TV cabinet is a DVD player and speaker control box. To the left is a satellite radio receiver. I have this radio in the truck when we travel so an extra base station was all I needed to purchase. The picture on the right shows the satellite antenna bolted to the inside window frame. An amplifier below provides upgraded sound. Hey I’m a guy; as Jacquie just raises her eyebrows.
Getting it and Keeping it Together
The drawers and cupboards in an RV are a challenge to keep tidy and organized. The constant rock and roll of the rig emulates the motion of a blender. A slick way to combat this is put like items into plastic trays. I found that old swiffer containers with clear plastic lids fit nicely into the bottom of the drawers (1). The bins in (2) are rubber maid brand and span across the top edges of the drawer (3) to form a second row, doubling the drawer space and keeping everything within easy reach.
As mentioned above, keeping like items (4) such as electronics has reduced my scavenger hunts for cords and batteries. Larger bins that fit larger cupboards keep things from sliding around, need something, the whole bin can be lifted out. Soups, coffee, cookies, vitamins, people treats, dog food, dog toys, all neat and tidy in their own bin. Other advantages to using storage bins, you can fill them in the house, place them in your RV cupboards and you are packed and organized. Reverse the procedure for unpacking. Now at a glance you can quickly tell what is running low.
Place lighter items in the overhead cupboards to keep the RV from becoming top heavy, canned goods and other heavier supplies should be stored in the lower cupboards.
The RV victim in my past articles is our 28 foot Prowler pulled by “Babe”, my blue ox. A 1991 Dodge ¾ ton with a Cummins Turbo Diesel. Whatever vehicle you use to pull your trailer, treat it as one of the family. Make sure it is ready in every way before setting out on a trip. We will go over hints for your tow vehicle, the exterior of your rig, and some more safety related items in future RV Times.
Thank you all for your kind emails requesting more hints and information, just stay tuned for the next RV Times.
These articles are my first attempt at writing and I really appreciate the encouragement.