Parking With Two-Way Radios
Two-way radiosMy husband and I don’t rely on hand signals to help us park the motorhome. Instead, we use a pair of personal two-way radios. By using these radios, I don’t have to worry about standing where my husband can see “” and understand “” my hand signals. I can position myself where I can see what needs to be watched and tell him directly what he needs to do. We also make sure to use the directions “driver’s side” or passenger’s side” instead of “left” or “right.” That way, there’s no question as to whose left or right each of us is talking about.
Besides using the radios for parking, we’ve found that they also come in handy when we have to drive the towed vehicle separately from the motorhome or when we have a group traveling in more than one vehicle and need to keep in touch. See the entry below for a related Tech & Travel Tip.
Gayle McNeece, F292211
Remote Control Storage
Remote control storage ideaMost people have a plethora of remote controls or other small devices that need a place to be kept when traveling. My husband’s solution was to mount a piece of short-pile carpet on the back of one of the motorhome’s front cabinets. A piece of hook-and-loop fastening material was attached to each device that we wanted to store in the cabinet (some of the material had to be glued to the device so it would stick). Now, when the remote controls or other devices aren’t being used (or when they’re stored for travel), they can simply be stuck to the carpet, making for easy storage and access.
Gayle McNeece, F292211
Alternate AC Power For Refrigerator
The refrigerator in our motorhome normally is powered by propane or a 115-volt AC circuit (using approximately 2.9 amps). The AC power to the refrigerator is connected to a circuit that is activated only when shore or generator power is available. In order to run my refrigerator using inverter power instead of propane as I drive down the road, I installed an alternate power cable from the inverter in the basement electrical compartment to the back of the refrigerator. The new cable (15-amp wire) has a female receptor mounted near the refrigerator’s male plug. The inverter uses the coach’s 12-volt DC power from the alternator to make 115-volt AC power.
When I am traveling long distances and do not want to run the refrigerator on propane, I can remove the outside door on the refrigerator compartment and quickly swap power sources. Just remember to turn on the inverter.
The safety aspect of this tip is that the propane master valve can be shut off and thus reduce a potential propane leak and fire in the event of an accident. Just make sure to unplug the refrigerator from the inverter when dry camping or you run the risk of discharging your chassis batteries. Using the motorhome’s inverter as the primary power source for your refrigerator while traveling could place a significant extra load on the engine alternator. If it becomes apparent that the added load is excessive, a simple upgrade to a higher-output engine alternator may be necessary.
John McHale, F245128
Silver Spring, Maryland
Bathroom Waste Basket
If your motorhome bathroom is small like ours, finding a place to put a waste basket can be a problem. However, I found a solution. I bought a plastic loaf container at Wal-Mart, and it fits perfectly in the corner behind the toilet. It’s not very wide (approximately 5 inches), but it’s high enough (approximately 14 inches) to be practical. Liners aren’t a problem either, as the thin bags from the grocery produce department fit perfectly. Put extras in the bottom of the can, and you’ll have a new one ready when you dispose of the used one.
Heather Dina, F35300
Leicester, North Carolina