American Motohome (RV) Lifestyle for Europeans

Book Index

On Amazon we have published  a book with information about not only the choosing and buying of an American RV but extensive content on all aspects of operating and maintaining such a motorhome.. Below is the index for this book – so that you can see what you are purchasing.  This Kindle book is listed as 430 pages by Amazon. but as A4 sheets, it is 304 pages .  Buy a copy on Amazon

Although aimed at non US residents there is also a wealth of information for all Americans wishing for their own RV, including how to save an extra $300 on the purchase of a Cruise America used RV. Delve into this mine of practical information: the book covers a wide range of topics including buying, registering, keeping, and maintaining your motorhome, alongside the more exciting bits of where to go and how to choose your campsites.
Colleen and her engineer husband, Alan, have travelled extensively in the last 4 years through the USA in a 30’ motorhome. So what? Lots of people are travelling like that in America! The difference is that they live in Europe and had to learn to cope with the difficulties of owning an RV from afar. At first it seemed an impossible thing to do but with determination and the help of the internet they solved all the problems. Now they are able to spend two to three months, twice a year, meandering in their own time through rural America. Extraordinarily satisfying.
Although an apparently expensive project, the fact that they spend most of their time “boondocking” (free camping in gorgeous places) makes the whole project affordable.
The vehicle is always stored within reach of an international airport for when they have to return to Europe. To remain in a serviceable state ready for their next trip a great deal of thought and planning has been given to the whole scheme. This book is the product of their gathered experience. Hopefully you will find it useful and maybe it will give you the incentive to try the same thing … the joys of having time to “stop and stare” cannot be measured. Try it!

Please leave reviews on Amazon 🙂

BOOK CONTENTS LIST

 

Copyright

2

Dedication

3

Forward

4

Contents

5

Chapter 1 – The Idea to Travel America by Motorhome

18

Glossary

19

Chapter 2 – Budget for Annual Costs

21

Travel Insurance

21

Single Trip/Multi Trip

22

31/45 or 90 Day Trip

22

6 Month Trip

23

365 Day Trip

23

Medication Costs

24

RV Storage Costs

24

RV Insurance

24

Chapter 3 – Driving Licences

25

Federal Class A & B CDL Requirements

25

Special Licences for Large RVs

26

Chapter 4 -Types of RV

27

A Class

27

B Class

29

C Class

30

Truck Campers

32

Mobile Home/Static Caravan

33

5th Wheeler and Travel Trailers

33

Toy Hauler or Sports Utility

35

Trailer Tents and Folding Trailers

36

Trailer Tents

36

Independent Home Conversions

37

Chapter 5 – Standard Interior Build Items

39

Air Conditioning Units

39

Fridge/Freezer

39

Microwave

41

Combi-Oven

41

Oven

42

Gas Hob

42

Cooker Hood Extractor Unit

42

Level Control Panel

42

Internal Lighting

43

House Battery

43

LPG Leak Detector

44

Electrical Control Panel

44

Carbon Monoxide Monitor

45

Smoke Detector

45

Emergency Exit

45

LPG Storage Tank

45

Filling the LPG Tank

45

Roof Air Conditioners

46

Keeping Cool Tips:

46

Electric Hook Up/Shore Power Cable

46

Water Hook Up

47

Water Filling Connection

47

Dump Tank Hose

47

Water Supply System Pipe-Work

48

Water Pump

48

Bathroom

48

Toilet Paper

49

Shower

50

Water Heater

50

Generator

51

Furnace (Heating System)

52

Chapter 6 – Standard Exterior Build Items

53

Driving Mirrors

53

Storage Lockers

53

Additional Locker Doors:

53

Water Connections

53

Slideouts

54

Electric rack and pinion

54

Hydraulic

54

Automatic Levelling System

55

Solar Panels

56

Bumper Racks

56

Rear End Lifter

56

Roof Racks

57

Ladders

57

Towing Hitch

57

Towing your Second Vehicle

57

Car Trolley

58

Towed Vehicle Mounted Tow Bars

58

Extras Required for Towing

59

5th Wheeler hitches

59

Weight Distribution and Sway Control Hitch

59

Canoe Rack

59

Motorbike Rack and Trailers

61

To Load the Motor Scooter:

63

Bicycle Racks

64

Front Stowage Racks

64

Chapter 7 – Essential Extras to Buy for your Fit-Out.

65

Shore Water Connection Hose

65

Water Pressure Reducing Valve

65

Water Filter

65

Short Flexible Hose

65

Set of Plastic Cheap Funnels

65

Grey Water Hose

65

Dump Valve 90 Degree Clear Fitting

66

Dump Tank Hose

66

Electrical Protection

66

Inline Surge Protector

66

UPS – Uninterrupted Power Supply.

67

Tools

67

Window Washing Gear

67

Extension Ladder/Folding Steps

67

Breakdown Equipment

67

BBQ

68

Household Items

68

Chapter 8 – Camping

69

Arrival at a Campsite

69

‘Primitive’ Sites

69

Hook Up Sites

70

Departing the Campground

71

Camp Hosts

72

Vehicle Security

72

How to Find Campsites

72

GPS Locations

73

Google and Google Earth

73

Maps Me

73

AllStays

74

Freecampsites.net

74

Compendium.com

74

Government Campsites

75

Army Corps

75

BLM – Government Land

75

National Forest  and National Parks – Government Land

76

National Sea Shore – Government Land

77

State Parks

77

County Parks

78

City Parks

78

Trailer Parks

78

RV Resorts

78

Farms and Wineries

79

Booking Fees

79

Pay on Arrival – Walk Ins

80

Campsite Etiquette

81

Overnight Stops

81

Black Top Camping

82

Highway Rest Stops

82

Interstate Stops

82

Other Main Road Stops

82

Truck Stops

83

Car Park(Parking Lot) Camping

83

Walmart Overnight

83

Cracker Barrel

83

Casinos

84

Boondocking

84

Dispersed Camping

85

Designated Camping

85

Yellow Post Sites

85

Where Can I Disperse Camp/Boondock?

85

How to Choose Your Campsite

86

Campfires

86

What Do I Do For a Toilet?

87

What Do I Need For Boondocking/Dispersed Camping?

87

Tanks

87

Electricity/Power

88

House Battery

88

Solar Power

88

How to Increase Your Dispersed Camping/Boondocking Time

88

Cost of Campsites versus Boondocking

90

Two-Month Actual Boondocking Cost in 2018

91

Conclusion

91

Chapter 9 – Camping Passes and Clubs

92

Clubs

92

GoodSam

92

Harvest Hosts 2019

92

Passport America

93

Thousand Trails – Encore 2018

93

KOA – Kampgrounds of America

94

National Park Pass

94

Annual pass – America the Beautiful

94

$80 Lifetime pass for Seniors

95

Access Pass

95

Armed Forces Pass

96

Active members of the US Armed Forces can have an annual free pass.

96

State Parks with Passes for Camping

96

Georgia – 2019

96

Kansas – 2019

97

Kentucky – 2019

97

Montana – 2019

97

New Mexico – 2019

98

Nevada – 2019

98

Texas -2019

98

Utah – 2019

99

Wyoming State Park Pass 2019

99

States without Camping Discount Passes

99

Alabama State Park Annual Passes  – 2019

99

Alaska State Park Annual Passes – 2019

99

Arizona State Park – 2019

100

Standard Annual Pass

100

Arkansas – 2019

100

California – 2019

100

Carolina – South 2019

101

Carolina North – 2019

101

Colorado – 2019

103

Connecticut 2019

103

Dakota – North  2019

104

Dakota – South 2019

104

Delaware State Park – 2019

104

Florida State Park 2019

104

Georgia State Park Pass – 2019

105

Hawaii State Park – 2019

105

Idaho State Park -2018

105

Illinois State Park – 2019

105

Ohio 2018

106

Indiana State Park – 2019

106

Iowa State Park – 2019

106

Louisiana – 2019

106

Maine – 2019

107

Maryland 2019

107

Massachusetts 2019

107

Michigan 2019

107

Minnesota 2019

107

Mississippi – 2019

108

Michigan 2019

108

Minnesota 2019

108

Missouri 2019

109

Nebraska 2019

109

New Hampshire 2019

109

New Jersey 2019

109

New York 2019

110

Oklahoma 2019

110

Oregon – 2019

110

Pennsylvania 2019

111

Rhode Island 2019

111

Tennessee 2019

112

Utah 2019

112

Vermont 2019

112

Virginia – 2019

112

Wisconsin 2019

113

Washington (State ) – 2019

113

Wyoming – 2019

114

Conclusion

114

Chapter 10 – Communication with the Outside World

115

Mobile Phone Access

115

Comparison of Mobile Phone Charges – 2019

116

Three

116

Skype

116

Jersey Telecoms – Ekit

116

One SIM

117

AT&T America

117

Verizon America

117

Internet Access

117

US Internet Web Pages

118

Receiving Mail

119

General Mail

119

Mail Service/Post Boxes

120

Mail Service Companies

121

MyRVmail

121

GoodSam mail

122

Escapees Mail

122

Category A mail

122

Category B mail

122

Category C mail

122

USA2me mail

123

Americas Mailbox

123

Travelling Box Mail

124

US Postal Requirements for a Mail Service

124

A Guide to Completing the USPS Form 1583

125

Parcel Delivery from Online Companies

127

Walmart deliveries

127

Amazon

128

Courier Companies

128

Chapter 11 – Road Systems

129

Road Numbering

129

Interstates

129

Freeway

129

Commuter Lanes

130

Toll Roads

130

Express Roads

130

Turnpikes

130

Road Signs

130

Sink Holes

131

Tunnels

131

School Flashing Lights

131

School Bus Flashing Lights

131

School Bus Stops Ahead

131

Historical Markers

131

Highway Trail Signs

132

The Superfluous Signs:

132

Road Conditions

132

Fuel Costs

133

GasBuddy

134

Petrol Stations

134

Arco

135

Flying J

135

Loves

135

TA

135

Chevron

136

Shell

136

Chapter 12 – Paperwork

137

Paperwork for Non US Citizens Travelling to the USA

137

RV Insurance

137

Banks

138

Chapter 13 – Vehicle Ownership

141

Purchasing versus Renting an RV

141

Buying an Ex Rental

143

NADA Guides

144

The Dance

144

Where to Register Your Vehicle

144

Purchase Tax

145

Each state has different tax rates and also local rates within that state.

145

Other Purchase Costs

145

Tags (Number Plates)

145

Annual Registration Fee

145

Florida Registration

146

Independent Company to Register your Vehicle

146

Insurance

147

Credit Rating

147

Foreign Driving Licence

147

Insurance State

147

Insurance Terminology

148

Insurance Document for Police

149

Breakdown/Towing

150

In the Event of a Breakdown

150

Chapter 14 – The Fit-Out Cost of your RV

152

Chapter 15 – Maintenance and repairs

159

Engine Oil Changes

159

Tyre (Tire)/Wheel Changes

159

Toilet Maintenance

161

LPG System

171

Furnace Maintenance

171

Hot Water Heater Maintenance

172

General Generator Maintenance (including Onan)

172

Onan Carburettor  Overhaul/Clean.

173

Air Conditioning

183

Fridge/Freezer Maintenance

183

Chapter 16 – Electrical System Maintenance

184

Circuit Breakers

184

Battery

184

Safety Sensors

185

Solar

185

Electrical

185

Electrical Abbreviations Used

186

Electric Cable Sizes

187

Electrical Multimeter

187

Testing for Positive and Negative DC Cables in your RV

188

Cable Colours

188

Upgrading The Electrical System

188

Installing the Solar system

191

Inverter

195

USB Outlets

196

Electrical Management Systems

198

Chapter 17 – Modifications and Upgrades

200

Three Important Tools:

200

Coping with RV Panel Construction

200

Bed  Upgrade

201

Shoe Cupboard

202

Bed Upgrade – Continued

204

Propane Auxiliary Connection

205

Propane Stay-a-while Fitting

206

Tank Heating

209

Pipe Trace Heating

210

Extra Cupboards and Shelves Fitted at an Angle.

210

Kitchen under Sink Space

212

Rusty Steel on RV’s Underneath

214

Under Rear Seats

214

House Air Outlet Vent Removal

216

Front Cab Curtains

216

Tyre Covers

217

Water Ingress

217

Side Door Glass: Replace with Clear Glass

218

How and Where to Shop for Your Needs

218

HomeDepot

219

Lowes

219

Walmart

219

Amazon

219

Target

220

Harbour Freight.

220

Tractor Supply

220

O’Reilleys

220

Camping World

220

Alcohol

221

Dry Counties

221

RV Wash Stations

221

Chapter 18 – Storage of your Motorhome

222

Types of Storage Facilities

223

Easy Winterizing Instructions

223

Positioning Your Vehicle in the Storage Facility

223

Cleaning the Outside

224

LPG

224

Water System – winterisation

224

Fuel System

229

Tyres/Tires

230

Jacking the Vehicle

230

Furnance System

231

Water Heater

231

Fridge/Freezer

231

Battery System

232

Fuses

233

Windows

233

Windscreen Wipers

233

Wheel Covers

233

Rodents/Insects

233

Sundries

234

Removing Vehicle from Storage

234

Chapter 19 – Troubleshooting /Fault Finding

237

Toilet

237

No Electrical Power

238

Generator

238

Safety Alarms

239

Tank Level Panel

239

Fridge/Freezer

240

Water Heater

241

Furnace (RV Heating System)

242

Microwave/Combi Oven

243

Dump Valves

243

Fresh Water System

244

LPG

244

Vehicle Gauges and Instrumentation

245

Engine Ignition System

245

Chapter 20 – Stay Safe

247

Wildlife and Other Hazards of Rural Locations

247

Alligators

247

Snakes

247

Scorpions

248

Spiders

248

Bears

248

Mountain Lion/Cougar/Panther/Catamount/Painter

249

Coyotes

249

Insect Screens on your RV

249

Feeding Wildlife

249

Poisonous Plants

250

Dehydration

250

Hot Spring Infections

250

Lifejackets

251

Cold Water

251

Cell Phones

251

The 7 Steps of CPR

251

1. Position your hand

251

2. Interlock fingers

251

3. Give chest compressions

252

4. Open the airway

252

5. Give rescue breaths

252

6. Watch chest fall

252

7. Repeat chest compressions and rescue breaths

252

Weather

252

NOAA is the official forecaster for the US (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

252

Vehicle Safety

253

Breakdown Safety

254

Carry the Following in your RV in Case of Emergency

254

Sudden Tyre Failure

254

LPG Tank

254

Emergency Windows

254

Reversing

255

RV Height and Width

255

Brake Wear

255

Chapter 21 – Buying our RV

256

The Background

256

Second Means of Transport

256

Try a Rental First

257

Buying Inspection Check List

257

Rental in Florida

261

Finally – Time to Pick Up Our Own RV!

262

Our Store in Dave Jones’s Office

262

Paperwork Sorted

263

More Shopping

263

Chapter 22 – Living in our RV

264

The K.I.S.S. Principle

264

Keep It Safe and Simple

264

Take your Time

264

Getting There

264

Keeping in Touch

265

Our C Class Capacities

265

Water

266

Water Tanks

267

Paid Campsites

268

Our Overnight Stops

269

Boondocking/Dispersed Camping/Designated Sites

269

Criteria for Choosing a Campsite

270

Propane

271

Cold Weather

271

Hot Weather

272

Entertainment

273

Electrical Use

274

Communication

275

Loading our Vehicle

277

SVTech Motorhome LDA

278

Clubs – Vehicle Breakdown

279

Trip End

279

The Last Day in our RV

279

Storage day

280

Chapter 23 – Food Lore on Wheels

283

Shopping List

285

Alcohol

287

Recipes

288

Chapter 24 – Entry into North America

292

USA, Border Control and Customs (CBP)

292

Visa Waiver Program

292

ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation)

293

Visa program

293

Non-Immigrant Visa

293

Visa Free Travel

294

Trusted Traveller Program – Global Entry

295

Preclearance Facilities

296

Customs Clearance at Non US Border Controls Areas

296

Crossing the Border to Extend your Visa/Visa Waiver Period

297

Border Queues at US Places of Entry

297

APC – Automated Passport Control

297

Preclearance Airports

299

Appendix 1 – Vehicle Weights

300

Recreational Vehicle Weight

300

CAT scales

300

SVTech UK

300

Definitions of Weight

301

Table of Truck Class Sizes

302

Appendix 2 – American to English Translation

304

  
  
Total Page Visits: 42 - Today Page Visits: 1