Traveling with an RV
Now is a fantastic time to take to the open road while exploring in an RV. Many families have recently purchased and rented RVs for safer means of transportation. Be sure to read through these RV travel and maintenance tips before your trip!
Do Your Research for the Perfect RV
Like many vehicles and accommodations, RVs exist in a range of basic to lavish. Lower end RVs (class B) can look like a van, and higher end, class A RVs look more like actual homes and might actually require a license upgrade. It’s important to know which RV you will need and can drive properly before purchasing or renting. Here’s a handy guide to RV classes.
Create a Travel Plan
Planning your trip will call for research, but it’s also important to not over-plan! Keeping a fairly open itinerary will allow you the adventurous spirit so characteristic of RV trips. Be sure to identify important items like campsite requirements, accessibility and availability before your trip. A common RV method is called boondocking, where you park in an area without water, electricity or other services overnight. Learn more about this cost-saving tactic.
Make Sure You Know Your RV’s Measurements
Keeping track of your RV’s height and length on the dashboard will allow you to easily tell if you can clear a bridge or overpass when you’re exploring.
It can be overwhelming to determine which creature comforts to bring with you on your adventure. Try to begin by visualizing which items you use on a daily basis, starting with your morning routine. Items like towels, toilet paper, cookware and eating utensils, bedding are frequently forgotten items. Entertainment is crucial during road trips of this length, so make sure you bring books, games, electronics and other items to entertain passengers. Be aware of the weight that your items add to the RV and pack the weight evenly for proper weight distribution. Potholes and otherwise bumpy roads can dislodge items, so pack things appropriately.
Record Your RV Travels
A recurring tidbit of advice from RV fanatics is to document your journey with pictures, videos and written notes. Making a scrapbook is a good way to keep the memories fresh for many years to come.
Maintaining an RV
Regardless of where your RV journey takes you, do not forget maintenance or you won’t be traveling far.
Everyone knows that changing oil is integral to optimal engine performance and lifespan in vehicles, and an RV is no different. RV engines are often put under large amounts of stress, especially if towing a car or boat. Running this engine in the powerful summer temperatures is an added challenge for the engine. Increased stress and heat can lead to breakdown of chemicals in many oils. High heat leads to damaging deposits that deprive the engine of life and efficiency. Make sure you are using a premium synthetic motor oil for your RV during maintenance to ensure maximized wear protection and service life. AMSOIL synthetic diesel oil and synthetic motor oil for gas engines are specially formulated to endure extreme stress and heat so you can rely on your RV for miles.
Synthetic lubricants can increase fuel economy. A significant benefit of synthetic oils is their ability to maximize fuel economy. Synthetic oils flow more easily when they’re cold, which means the engine uses the oil more effectively upon start up. Steve Scheuring owns Scheuring Speed Sports and provides a perfect real-world example. Steve’s winters consist of traveling across the country so his racers can participate in the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series. During non-winter months, he and mechanic Elliot Burns journey across the Midwest region to compete in the Championship Off-Road Series. During the summer, Scheuring typically parks his Monocao Dynasty Yorkshire in his pit. AMSOIL Signature Series Max-Duty Synthetic Diesel Oil is his pick for most reliably cooling engines in the summer heat.
“Running AMSOIL Synthetic Diesel Oil, we get about a half-mile better per gallon, which is a lot when you are only getting about five miles per gallon.” – Steve Scheuring
The transmission offers a similar story; a complicated system of gears, clutch packs, solenoids and other components rely on a steady stream of clean, high-quality fluid to make sure the shifts are reliable and smooth. The stress caused by a heavy RV with hot summer temperatures and towing leads to increased stress on clutches and gears. The fluid breaks down in the heat, causing gear and clutch wear. Sometimes sludge will form, which leads to plugs in the narrow passages and fine solenoids. As time goes on, the transmission can shift jerkily, hard, or can hesitate if your fluid is of low-quality. A premium synthetic transmission fluid will combat the heat and provide exceptional wear protection. AMSOIL synthetic transmission fluid distributes protection against heat and encourages consistent shifting for mile after mile.
You can also imagine that the differentials will need exceptional protection as well. The power and torque will need to pass through the differential gears and bearings before it can reach the wheels in order to propel your RV down the road. As differential temperatures increase, lubricants on gears can lose viscosity, and extreme pressures and loads can disrupt lubricant film and increase metal-to-metal contact and heat. That increase in friction and heat will cause further loss of viscosity and even more increase in friction and heat.
Friction and heat will continue to spiral up, generating a vicious cycle called thermal runaway which will eventually lead to increased wear and irreversible equipment damage. AMSOIL synthetic lubricants are up to the task once again. AMSOIL synthetic gear lube not only resists mechanical shear, but it fights thinning at high temperatures to protect high-stress gears in the long-term. If you change fluids by yourself, check out AMSOIL’s easy-pack, which is a convenient way to change gear lube and transmission fluid.