Back Issues | Family Motor Coaching magazine

Tech & Travel Tips: October 2006

Trucker's AtlasMost RV trips begin with careful planning. Even so, some of us with motorhomes whose height exceeds 13 feet take detours on country and state highways without thinking about low clearances. Low-Clearance Information

Trucker's AtlasMost RV trips begin with careful planning. Even so, some of us with motorhomes whose height exceeds 13 feet take detours on country and state highways without thinking about low clearances. To avoid this problem, I purchased American Map's Trucker's Atlas for $19.95. The atlas lists data for more than 9,000 low-clearance areas, detailed city vicinity maps, detailed downtown city street maps, and bridge law charts. This atlas has saved me time by avoiding low overpasses and not having to backtrack. (One example is in California, which has a 14-foot maximum coach height rule. However, in Ventura County there is a 13-foot-8-inch-high tunnel and a bridge with just a 13-foot-4-inch-high clearance.) Some county roads have railroad underpasses that are less than 8 feet in height with no easy way around them. This atlas is a good book to have in your motorhome.

Gerald Smith, F353608
Talladega, Alabama

Hat Holders

Using hook-and-loop fastening as hat holdersThis tip works for those who have carpeted ceilings in their motorhome. Using the "loop" side of the hook-and-loop fastening material, cut two thin lengths of the material and attach them to the ceiling parallel to one another approximately 8 to 12 inches apart. When it's time to hang a hat up, slide the brims of the hat under the strips of material. The hats stay in place during travel and out of the way while parked. This idea makes for a happy husband, too.

Don & Timi Ruiz, F176638
Emery, South Dakota

Winter Storage Crate

Winter storage crateWe use our motorhome for winter day trips and on the weekends. Each time we returned home I had to remove anything that could freeze and explode or break in the closets. Bag after bag had to be brought into the house and then carried out again. To make life easier, I found a large plastic crate to solve my problem. During the freezing months, I keep detergents, hairspray, cleansers, sprays, medicines, syrups, and anything else that would freeze or spoil in this container.

I store the crate in a corner of the motorhome and whenever an item is used it's returned to the crate so it's not forgotten. I can then carry everything back inside when we get home.

Arlene Chiarlanzio, F181694
Florham Park, New Jersey

Saving Water

When camping without full hookups, I decided that there was no need to waste the pre-shower water that usually goes down the drain while I'm adjusting the water temperature to my needs. So I purchased a 1-gallon plastic pail that I place under the faucet in the shower stall to collect the clean water.

This water then can be used for watering plants or the lawn (if there is one); or it can be put into another container to use for washing the motorhome or car. Since the water is clean, it can be used for pets, too.

James Doherty, F152581
Arcata, California

Shoe Holders Around The Bed

Shoe holders around the bedAre your shoes in the way? To solve this problem in our motorhome, we purchased a canvas over-the-door shoe holder and cut it crossways into three sections (two pairs of shoes fit in each section). At the top of each section we made two holes "” one at each end "” through which a heavy cord or rope can be attached. We lifted the mattress from the motorhome's bed and, using U-shaped nails, fastened the ends of the cords to the inside of the bed frame.

Then we put the mattress back in place.
Now we can place shoes in the holders all around the bed. Since the mattress overhangs the bed frame and shoe holders, we can walk around the bed without kicking the shoes. This idea keeps our shoes in order and easy to get to.

John & Teresa Bohn
Marion, Michigan

Auxiliary Lighting

DOT-it self-adhesive LED lightA quick solution to adding light anywhere can be found in DOT-it self-adhesive LED lights from Sylvania. Each DOT-it light comes with three AAA batteries and, thanks to its 3M adhesive backing, can be stuck anywhere "” under cabinets, on the sink or dash, etc. I put hook-and-loop fastening material on the back so I can remove the light to change the batteries. The lights will even stick to carpeted ceiling. They cost approximately $10 each and can be found in mass merchandise stores, home improvement centers, or on the Internet.

Marjorie Grubka, F283339
Mesa, Arizona
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