With the weather heating up, it’s time to clean out the conversion van and get it ready for travel. Over the winter, your van has probably suffered from the effects of cold weather, and the inside could use a good scrubbing. Below is a list of things you need to take care of before heading out on your summer vacation.

Eliminating Mold And Mildew
Even if you gave the inside of your van the once-over last fall, you should make sure the appliances and upholstery are completely sanitized. If your vehicle has a liquid propane stove, the burner elements need to be removed and thoroughly cleaned. Pay special attention to the burner plates, as soot particles can easily become lodged in tight areas around the base of the unit. A diluted cleanser – preferably an organically formulated one – should be used to clean the exterior cabinetry. The van floor is susceptible to moisture condensation during the winter months, so it is a good idea to use a carpet cleaner. A mold-killing spray should be applied to the floor and walls of the van.

Sealing Cracks
Many of the late model conversion vans have sliding doors and windows. These should be inspected for dirt particles that have gotten trapped in the space between door and frame. If the sealing strips are becoming cracked or brittle-looking, remove them and install new weather stripping. The base of the doors should never be sealed. The vehicle manufacturer designed the sliding doors to allow moisture to drain out.

Inspect the windows of the van carefully for signs of mildew. If discoloration is seen, use a seal compound to make the area waterproof. The roof vents should also be inspected for leakage. During the winter, cold temperatures cause contraction and fatigue to the seals.

Electrical Inspection
If your conversion van came with a set of kitchen appliances, the electrical circuitry needs to be checked before heading out on a road trip. The vehicle experiences constant vibration during travel, and this causes eventual problems with electrical connections.

Auxiliary power sources such as extra vehicle batteries should be checked at a tune-up shop for voltage and amperage output. Running the engine several times during the winter months is insufficient to keep the batteries at optimal output level.

Propane And Water Tanks
If you leave propane in the tank over the winter, chances are some of it has escaped. Fill the tank completely and do an odor test by opening the burner valves. If you smell gas, locate the source by applying soapy water to the tank and line valves.

The holding tank should be flushed prior to your road trip. Make sure you inspect the holding tank valves carefully. The connection gaskets also tend to become weak during the winter. Replacing them now is far less expensive than dealing with the problem while on the road.

Driving a Class B Camper Van like a Pleasure Way or a Winnebago Era can be an amazing way to see the country, reconnect with family, and enjoy the pleasures of AscentExternal21the open road. However, with the power and freedom of a camper van comes a responsibility to share the road and be a respectful and safe driver. Here are 10 ways to become a more respectful and considerate driver while driving one of these RVs.

1. Keep the left lane for passing vehicles

Most states already have laws that state that the left lane should only be used when passing or when turning. If you aren’t doing either of the two, you should be in the right lane.

2. Learn to zipper merge

Zipper merging is a good way to make construction zones or quick lane closures work more efficiently. Most drivers think that they’re supposed to merge as soon as possible when they see lane closures on the highway. However, the most efficient way to merge is actually to wait as long as possible to merge and to do so at a higher speed. Doing so helps keep traffic jams to a minimum.

3. Keep an eye out down further when driving

The farther ahead you look when driving, the better you are able to react and avoid potential accidents, traffic jams, and other problems on the road. A number of accidents happen when people are simply looking at the car right in front of them. Learning to anticipate is crucial when driving a larger vehicle.

4. Maintain a safe following distance

Just as it’s important to look out further down the road, it’s also important to keep a safe distance when following other vehicles. This helps prevent accidents and helps you anticipate what’s coming up next.

5. Don’t be a rubberneck

Accidents are an unfortunate part of driving, but we can reduce the risk of causing additional accidents by keeping our eyes focused on the road ahead rather than by looking at accidents that have already happened.

6. Keep those high beams off

Unless you’re in the middle of the night and on roads where there aren’t lights set up, you shouldn’t be using those high beams. They blind other drivers and increase the risks of accidents.

7. Maintain the right of way when it’s yours

It might seem polite to yield the right of way when it’s yours, but don’t do it, as it leads to accidents.

8. Use your hazard lights to say thank you

It’s a quick way of being polite and acknowledging others when they let you in on the road.

9. Remember those turn signals

It’s a way of showing your manners to signal before you turn. It’s also the law.

10. Leave extra time for your trip

Finally, haste makes waste. Leave early to arrive on time.

wheelchair iconUnlike the average van and large utility vehicle, vans designed to accommodate wheelchairs are much more complicated when it comes to maintenance and service on a regular basis. The good news for consumers is that the majority of vehicles of this kind come with outstanding warranties and a team of experts who are on standby to answer questions and concerns that customers may have. It is a good idea for people using wheelchair-accommodating vans on a daily basis to adopt a schedule of regular maintenance that they conduct from home in order to avoid costly repairs down the road as the vehicle ages.

Develop Relationships

The first step in securing the future of your vehicle is to keep in constant contact with the dealer that services your equipment. When there is a detailed history regarding the problems and conditions of the vehicle’s operation, the problems you might encounter will be easier to diagnose and fix. It is also wise to rely only on the expertise of these individuals. Local repair shops rarely deal with vans of this kind. (more…)

 Understanding class b motorhome weights may seem an impossible task and nothing but a jumble of acronyms when first exposed to them. However, it’s the responsibility of every class b and RV operator to understand and abide by each one. Note that it is the responsibility of the operator to abide by these rules, not necessarily the owner of the vehicle. If ever stopped, the driver is the one who will most likely be liable for any violations. Always be on the safe side and find a full set of scales to determine the actual weight for each category listed here.

Obviously, the most important reason for these limitations involves the safe operation of the vehicle. Overloading an RV may cause equipment failure or loss of control which could lead to accidents. Over time, one can expect the continued abuse of the set limitations will greatly diminish the life expectancy of the equipment, thus posing greater risks each time the vehicle is taken out on the road.

RV manufacturers provide two categories regarding weight limitations. One is the actual measured weight of the vehicle and any contents or towed vehicles.

The other is the weight rating, or limitations, established for any particular component, like the drive-train, engine, a tire, or an axle. It’s important to fully understand the difference between the two so to avoid too much more confusion.

A tire’s rating might be something most are already familiar with. Each tire is clearly marked with the maximum air capacity and weight limit it will safely bear. The actual weight an axle can sustain is labeled the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). When the motorhome is actually weighed by each axle, it’s easy to see if every tire is within the required limitations by dividing that weight shown, the GAW (gross axle weight) by the number of tires on the axle. Of course, it’s always a goal to keep the weight equally balanced on each side.

When all of the axle weights are combined, the result is listed as the GVW (gross vehicle weight). If a vehicle or trailer is being towed, the GTW (gross trailer weight) is added so you’ll have the GCW (gross combination weight). It must remain under the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) or the Maximum Loaded Trailer Weight.

Another safety factor involved when towing is to always stay within the limitations of either the Tongue Weight (or Tongue Load) or the King Pin Weight ratings. This is the weight that can be withstood by the hitch ball or a mounted fifth wheel. The actual weight can be obtained by finding what ten to fifteen percent of the GTW is for a ball hitch or fifteen to 25 percent for a King Pin.

As far as the weights for the RV itself are concerned, there are several other ratings to be aware of. One is the determined when it leaves the factory. It includes only full fuel tanks, oil and coolants. The UVW (unloaded vehicle weight) doesn’t include anything added by a dealer, LP gas, water, cargo or passengers. When those are included you’ll have the CCC (cargo carrying capacity).

By subtracting the UVW from the GVWR, it’s possible to quickly calculate the amount of other things you can bring along like gear, food, passengers, and other cargo after factoring in anything being towed.

Just know that along with the sense of freedom, the joy, convenience, and memories that traveling in an RV can provide, there also comes a tremendous amount of responsibility. These are large vehicles that will take a longer time to get up to speed or to stop. They also require more room to maneuver, especially if towing anything.

It is imperative to stay under the load restrictions for any roads you plan to travel. Overweight violations can be very expensive propositions. Plan ahead because weight restrictions can vary by seasons.