Full-Time RVing- Top Six Things We Learned
In the last six months of full-time RVing, we have learned a lot about our RV and about RVing in general. In this article, I will share the top six things we learned. Possibly, it will help you with your full-time RV adventure.
6. With the rising cost of fuel, you need all the tips and tricks you can add to your tool belt. We use multiple tools depending on our location and which fueling stations are available in that location. Our first choice is to use our TSD Logistics account. You are probably wondering what the heck is a TSD Logistics account? For diesel rigs, it’s the best thing since sliced bread. TSD Logistics is a trucking company,
That thought of an excellent way for them to save on fuel then pass it along to its members. The more fuel trucking companies buy, the bigger the discount. The size of the company’s fleet limits the trucking company on how much fuel they buy. This is where we as RVers come in. The more members who join, (adding to the size of the fleet) the more the trucking company saves on fuel, and the more we save as RVers. https://www.tsdlogistics.com/services/fuel-program/
To locate truck stops with the best discounts, we use the Open Road app–
Where it gets a little tricky is their process for joining and possibly why people would be uncomfortable to join. Part of the approval process is to provide TSD Logistics with your social security and a bank account. They run a credit check similar to any credit card application (this is not a credit card). They also use your social security number in the event they can’t collect payment. Your bank account information is for ACH for purchasing fuel. (application link) https://apply.myopenroads.com/
***** PLEASE PUT ANDREW WISHART / BELLS RIDES IN REFERRED BY SECTION*****
It sounds scary, but it really isn’t. Upon membership approval, they issue you an EFS payment card.
So essentially they pay for your fuel upfront, then they automatically collect the funds from your bank account minus the discount you receive as a member. This being said, we were still uncomfortable with a company having access to our primary bank account. So we opened a small checking account that is strictly for fueling the rig. It’s electronically connected to our major account for ease of transfer of funds.
Another tool we use for fuel or gas is our Good Sam card- https://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=pyijN36AFBQ&offerid=372296.38&subid=0&type=4
When using the Good Sam card at Flying J or Pilot, the discount on fuel is $.08 cents per gallon and $.05 cents per gallon for gasoline. Which is nowhere near the $.28 cents per gallon at Loves or as much as $.32 cents per gallon at Petro or TA, through the TSD Logistics account.
For up to $.20 cents per gallon savings at the pump, the Dino Pay app for Sinclair stations–https://www.sinclairoil.com/customers/dinopay-app You can use the Dino Pay App for gasoline or diesel rigs.
All the discount programs may not seem like much savings, but they really add up. For instance, a hundred gallons of fuel with TSD is as much as $32.00 savings. And with crossing the United States nearly three times in the last six months, those are hefty savings.
5. The importance of knowing how your rig is supposed to perform can’t be expressed enough. For instance, your rig’s alignment can affect your fuel efficiency and chew up tires. When we first purchased our rig, as soon as we got her home we had to replace the front tires, shocks, and have it aligned. The shop we took her to didn’t do all four corner alignments but could do measurements and said the back was within the spec tolerance. Both my husband and I had our doubts because the adjusting bolt was backed out. However, we took him for his word, as it rode beautifully after getting the front end dealt with. After we were on the road for a little time, I had an occasion to follow my husband and noticed the rig was crabbing down the highway by as much as four inches to the right. Luckily, we were only moving the rig from one park to another within the same town. We immediately started our search for an alignment shop for big rigs familiar with our type of chassis. We found a shop in Sioux Falls called Dakota Alignment. Not only were they knowledgeable about our rig, but they could get us in within a couple of days and they were very affordable.
4. Here is one I used as a truck driver. Before leaving your driveway, take an actual measurement of the highest point of your rig. This will take two people and a long straightedge, like a six-foot level. Put the level on the highest point of your rig and hold it level. The second person measure from the ground to the bottom of the level.
Next, if you don’t have a GPS that you can program your rigs height, weight, and length, I highly recommend getting one. When I retired, I brought my trucker GPS with me in the RV. It is a Garmin Dezl OTR 700
is an older model, but it still takes online updates. You can get one at any truck stop and by adding your rig’s specs, you are less likely to be routed with low height or weight restrictions.
3. Another helpful item from my truck I brought with me when I retired was my CB (Citizen Band) radio. Tiffin manufacture built our rig pre-wired with power and the antenna. We just needed to mount the CB and upgrade the antenna with a long-range antenna. I also purchased the antenna from a truck stop. Most truck stops have a decent selection of CB accessories.
As long as your CB has a decent signal strength and antenna, you can communicate with your travel buddies without relying on a cellular service. All you need to remember is not to use the emergency channel (9) or the channel truckers use (19) for reporting traffic issues. Which is another reason to have a CB in your rig. It comes in handy when there is a big slowdown on a highway. You can communicate with the truckers ahead of you to find out the cause for the slowdown and what lane is blocked. When your RV is 70 feet long, it can take a while to change lanes in heavy traffic.
2. This one probably seems like a no-brainer, but worth mentioning just in case you may try to run as light as possible. I mean, it’s great in theory to run light, but you must pick what you will sacrifice. Some folks only put on the bare minimum of water, but for us, we keep our freshwater topped off. We learned this the hard way when we had a flat, and it took two days to get roadside service out to the RV. We have great roadside services (Yes, that is services, as in plural) we have multiple roadside coverage. Our RV insurance has roadside coverage, but our favorite is AAA Premier. We originally had the basic AAA for our cars but upgraded to AAA Premier for our motorcycles because they have the best towing for motorcycles. As luck has it, the AAA Premiere has great roadside service for RVs too. The AAA operator who took the call for the flat on the RV was incredible. She worked tirelessly to find someone who had our tire and someone who would come out on a Sunday to change the tire. This leads me to our number ONE thing we learned in the last six months.
1. If you are thinking about going full time in your RV and traveling a lot, take this one into consideration. Also, learning this lesson from the flat tire. We now do everything we can not travel on the weekend. In fact, we try very hard to only travel Monday through Thursday.
We avoid Friday travel days because the weekend warriors are out in full force and at top speed, trying to get to their destination as fast as possible. We avoid Saturday and Sunday travel because it can be very difficult to get a service provider on the weekends. And Sunday we avoid at all costs because the weekend warriors are all trying to get back home in time to get back to work, which would slow down response time even more if you could find a service provider at all.
Thank you for stopping by. If you have questions please contact me.