November 2021
November 2021 cover
Preview Issue
November 2021
Lance 1475
Trailer Life Readers' Choice Awards 2020 Gold Award Winner
Travel Trailer
Trailer Life Readers' Choice Awards 2020 Gold Award Winner
Small Camping Trailer
Trailer Life Readers' Choice Awards 2020 Gold Award Winner
Truck Camper
Trailer Life Readers' Choice Awards 2020 Gold Award Winner
Travel Trailer
Trailer Life Readers' Choice Awards 2020 Gold Award Winner
Small Camping Trailer
Trailer Life Readers' Choice Awards 2020 Gold Award Winner
Truck Camper
Trailer Life Readers' Choice Awards 2020 Gold Award Winner
Travel Trailer
Trailer Life Readers' Choice Awards 2020 Gold Award Winner
Small Camping Trailer
Trailer Life Readers' Choice Awards 2020 Gold Award Winner
Truck Camper
Ford truck driving in the desert with a Lance Camper
Lance and REV Group logos
Built to Last | Lightweight

Off-grid Capable

Heated Enclosed Holding Tanks

Ready to Roll Anytime & Anywhere

Lance Campers, social distancing since 1965. Visit to locate your nearest Lance dealer and the RV of your dreams.
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November 2021
Volume 1, Number 9
view of man driving truck from the back seat
Peripheral Vision
Backing up into a campsite is tough enough — doing it all by your lonesome is even more aggravating. Positioning your hands at the bottom of the wheel and turning it in the direction you want to go helps — but adding side-mounted cameras to a rear-view back-up system can really mitigate surprises.
working on a motorhome worksheet
Cover Up
Motorhome windshields offer great views — when you want them. However, that usually means that strangers can also see inside. A Magne Shade adds privacy without eliminating outside panoramas — plus, it blocks about 90% of the sun’s harmful UV rays and a lot of its heat in the process.
working on electrical parts
The Right Connection
Want to put your RV into service as “guest quarters” when visitors arrive at your brick-and-mortar house? If you want the RV to provide more than emergency accommodations, you’ll need to install a 50-amp shore power outlet for your RV at home. Here’s how to go about achieving it.
Chevrolet P32 underpinnings
P-Chassis Performance
Once upon a time, there was more than just one Class A gas chassis to choose from — and those Chevrolet P32 underpinnings continue to support thousands of RVs on the road. Unfortunately, these chassis were never known for their handling — but restoring driver control may just require a few select parts.
top of trailer
Making water out of the air, tracking the cost of cruising, taking a tour of ‘Wilmywood’ — and a lot more RV news of interest.
truck towing trailer
Readers ask for assistance in reducing trailer towing “angst,” troubleshooting a furnace and door light and sizing up trucks for towing.
man walking out of RV
A trio of cool components to bring readers out of the darkness and illuminate the patio, entry steps and storage cupboards.
house in Vermont
Vermont is known for its rich maple syrup, wonderful cheeses and eye-popping scenery, but there’s a lot of history on tap, too.
November 2021 cover
Alan Sanders, general manager of Ultra RV Products in Centralia, Washington, completes the installation of a full suspension upgrade to a 2003 Safari Trek motorhome. Photo by Chris Hemer.
man working on RV
The Magnificent 7
No matter which manufacturer built a Class A gas chassis, they tend to ride like buckboards. Ride and handling in these popular motorhomes can usually be improved — or even solved — with a few bolt-on items. We’ve identified seven component groups that help tame these gassers.
man cleaning sink
Inside Job
With fall in the rear-view mirror, it’s probably time to put the RV away for the colder months. Just don’t put it away dirty. None of us really like housework, but cleaning the rig’s living space now with these tips means that you’ll return to a clean, fresh interior come springtime.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Planning a vacation? Museums are a great addition to any trip. Those historical repositories dedicated to vehicles tend to command even greater attention. Here’s a lineup of the best transportation museums in every state you can drive to — and possible parks to stay at in their vicinity.
man hosing a pink liquid into his trailer
Ice Breaker
Water is the lifeblood of humanity — and access to it is a lynchpin of RVing. Leave it in your RV’s plumbing system when the temperature drops below freezing, though, and you’ll discover how expensive such an oversight can be. Winterizing your system is essential to preventing very costly damage.
PUBLISHER – Bob Livingston
(800) 830-9729 ext. 3
[email protected]

EDITOR – Bruce Hampson
(574) 584-4616
[email protected]

Chris Dougherty
(800) 830-9729 ext. 5
[email protected]

(800) 830-9729 ext. 6
[email protected]

(800) 830-9729 ext. 7
[email protected]

[email protected]

Business Office
120 Atwater Road, Springfield, MA 01107
Advertising Director
Sue Seidlitz
(800) 830-9729 ext. 2
[email protected]
To subscribe electronically, log onto:, click on the “subscribe” icon and follow the prompts to add subscriber and payment information. Alternately, you may also mail to: RV Enthusiast Subscriptions, 120 Atwater Road, Springfield, MA 01107. Subscription rates: Subscriptions for U.S. and Canada: $10/one year, $18/two years. Premier membership subscription rates available upon request.
Correspondence is invited from subscribers and readers of RV Enthusiast. Technical inquiries relating to RV function, maintenance, repairs and/or upgrades should be directed to either Technical Director Chris Dougherty or Technical Editor Chris Hemer at the above email addresses. Letters to the Editor should be directed to Editor Bruce Hampson at the above email address. Personal replies cannot be sent due to the volume of mail received. By forwarding letters to RV Enthusiast magazine, the author consents to allow letters to be published at the discretion of RV Enthusiast editors. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarification.

RV Enthusiast is published monthly by RVE Media Group Inc., 3425 East Golden Valley Road, Reno, NV 89506. RV Enthusiast magazine is copyrighted in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and other countries. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint or quote excerpts considered on an individual basis and granted only by written request. Advertising rates and Editorial calendars provided upon request.

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Simply Better
clipart of a flame
Truma Combi
Year Round Camping Comfort
Truma Combi
Truma Gold Standard Cold Weather Certified
Now available in Diesel
Like all Combi models, the Truma Combi Diesel combines RV interior and water heating in one appliance, now with the added benefit of utilizing your vehicle’s diesel fuel source. Your overland adventures don’t have to end during the winter with either the Truma Combi or the Truma Combi Diesel onboard.
On The Road
By Bruce Hampson
Will RV Parks Price Themselves Out of Business?

’m going to step away from my comfort zone for a moment to reflect on a target of all that we do here at RV Enthusiast — because it really doesn’t matter how well you maintain your RV if you can’t find a place to enjoy it.

Yes, I’m talking about RV park/campground sites — or, more accurately, the management of these sites.

For years, the RV and campground industries have touted camping as a relatively inexpensive way to vacation. In fact, the cost of airlines, hotel rooms and rental cars was Exhibit A. By comparison, Exhibit B — an RV trip — could be enjoyed for a fraction of those costs. And yes, it still can — but the gap is closing.

There simply are not enough campsites to accommodate everyone, a situation that’s only worsened due to the jump in the popularity of RVing as a way to continue to travel during the pandemic. Unfortunately, a growing number of park owners apparently now see RVers less as guests than as a captive audience.

News & Notes
Making Water Out of Air — Anywhere
The low-silhouette of the Watergen unit fits snugly atop an RV.
The low-silhouette of the Watergen unit fits snugly atop an RV.
Boondocking may have just gotten a lot more interesting — and a lot more viable. Watergen Ltd., an Israel-based global leader in atmospheric water-generating technology, announced in October it had developed the world’s first aftermarket water generator for RVs.

Scheduled for release early next year through select Camping World locations, the “Watergen ON Board” system harnesses humidity in the air to provide up to 13.2 gallons (50 liters) per day of fresh, clean drinking water. Watergen’s globally patented “GENius” system for water extraction is the first heat exchanger to be composed of food-grade polymers, while the multifunction filtration cascade combines with proprietary “high end treatment technologies” followed by a germicidal UV lamp; vital minerals balance the water PH to achieve both high purification and “tasty” drinking water that complies with EPA and Federal Drinking Water standards.

No more strapping
everything down like you’re
expecting an earthquake.
Use coupon code: RVE25 and get 25% off your entire order.
close up of blue Airless Air Springs
Trailer SumoSprings
Airless air springs that are manufactured from our micro-cellular polyurethane and engineered to remove sway, hop, and vibration.

This results in an entirely different driving experience when you’re towing your moving house. More control. More comfort. More vacation.

Designed, built, and supported in the USA.
Backed by a lifetime warranty.
SuperSprings International logo


a truck tows a trailer on a highway with snow touched mountains in the distance
Trailer Towing Angst
Does the anxiety of pulling a trailer ever get better? I’m just the passenger most of the time. I don’t know how my husband does it. I think I drive him crazy.
— Jennifer Siebeck

There are a number of ways towing can cause anxiety — from hitching to towing and backing/parking. Today’s vehicles are equipped with back-up cameras that can make hitching up a whole lot easier — and Ford offers an option to do it for you. But if your vehicle is older and/or does not these features, there are a number of aftermarket cameras on Amazon and that will do the job. If it’s backing into campsites that freaks you out, go with a product like the Hopkins vueSMART wireless trailer camera, which will provide a view from the back of the trailer.

Towing a trailer is something that makes a lot of folks uneasy, but that’s usually because the trailer hasn’t been properly loaded, the hitch not correctly set up, or the trailer is too heavy for the truck. Travel trailers need at least 10% of the trailer’s total weight over the hitch or they can suffer from instability. As mentioned above, we cover this topic in detail in the article, “Worth the Weight” in the May issue. Use a correctly rated weight-distributing hitch and make sure that it is properly set up (see Travel Trailer Hitches and Hitch Ratings, also in the May issue). Finally, get yourself a sway control if you don’t already have one — this will go a long way towards making your travels angst-free.
— Chris Hemer


Out of the Darkness

Finding reliable LED fixtures to illuminate the patio, entry steps and storage cupboards takes some study. Here are three products that have proved to be reliable through years of testing.
By Bob Livingston Photos by author

JHBOX solar motion light does a good job of illuminating all the rungs on the entry steps. Light will come on when the electric eye senses motion and stays on for 25 seconds.

JHBOX solar motion light

JHBOX solar motion light does a good job of illuminating all the rungs on the entry steps. Light will come on when the electric eye senses motion and stays on for 25 seconds.


ver since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, people have been on a constant quest to find the best way to illuminate dark places. First came incandescent lights, which were hugely inefficient but lit up the world. Fluorescent fixtures, which produced less heat and could generate more light from less power, hit the market in 1934, though it wasn’t until the 1980s when they began showing up anywhere but businesses and warehouses. And then came the light-emitting diode (LED).

To say the invention of LED lighting was a giant leap toward efficiency and cost effectiveness is an understatement. The fact that LED fixtures run cooler, are brighter, last a lot longer, are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased in a variety of color (light) temperatures makes it possible to identify a number of places where added lighting will improve livability and safety. For RVers, lighting up the patio, the entry steps and storage compartments (inside and out) are logical places for additional light — if you go on the Internet you’ll find hundreds of imported products with wacky names that supposedly fit this bill. But not all are created equal; after years of testing under full time usage, we can recommend three products that perform as advertised, are reliable and inexpensive.

Peripheral Vision
Eye illustration
The color monitor is only set up on the dash when a backing event is necessary (driver choice)
The color monitor is only set up on the dash when a backing event is necessary (driver choice). The large screen makes it easy for the driver to glance at the image and decipher what may be in the way while maneuvering in reverse.
Adding side-mounted cameras to a rear-view safety back-up system mitigates blind spots and unpleasant surprises
By Bill Gehr / Photos by Bob Livingston

acking an RV travel trailer or fifth wheel into a site, the side of a house or any other place where access is tight can be challenging. For some outdoor enthusiasts, just the thought of backing up sends shivers down their spine — sometimes to the point where they opt for a motorhome just to keep from making uncomfortable maneuvers. For years, driving experts have touted the importance of practicing backing maneuvers in an open lot to become acclimated to the task. It’s great advice — but those inevitable blind spots can still take their toll on a driver’s nerves. Relying on a partner to guide the driver helps mitigate the problem, but can sometimes lead to regrettable arguments and unexpected contact with stationary obstacles. The situation is even more difficult when backing a big rig.

Fortunately, wireless cameras with advanced features have taken some of the edge off of RVing in reverse. The latest wave of large color monitors provides greater definition than products of just a few years ago. However, being able to see what’s behind you doesn’t mitigate the lack of vision when turning — especially on the blind side where vision via the mirror is compromised because of the articulation of the trailer in relation to the tow vehicle. There is a solution, though — and it’s not trading up to a motorhome. Adding additional cameras is a game changer — and if you already have a back-up vision system with provisions for side cameras, mounting the additional hardware can be achieved in just a few hours.

Cover Up typography
One end of the telescoping pole (provided with the kit) is inserted into a pocket sewn into the fabric, which is positioned over its respective magnet stuck to the windshield. No ladder is required, and the process takes only minutes. (Photo courtesy Magne Shade)
Motorhome windshields offer great views — when you want them. A Magne Shade adds privacy without eliminating outside panoramas, plus it blocks 90% of the sun’s UV rays and a lot of its heat in the process.
By Bob Livingston

xpansive motorhome windshields offer splendid views of the road and scenery. Unfortunately, they also let in a lot of sunlight and heat. It’s just part of the deal; you can’t have that open feeling without some compromises on comfort. Makeshift window covers and standard sunshade material can help — and you can always extend the front privacy shade — but any view to the outside will be completely blocked out, not to mention darkening the cabin.

Magne Shade has just about perfected a sunshade that covers the front windshield as well as applications for the driver-, passenger and entry-door windows — without turning the interior as dark as a tomb. One key is the use of a high-quality PVC-coated polyester fabric that is “porous” in the sense that it’s weaved with innumerable tiny holes that, when installed, diffuse the sunlight entering the RV, providing light without being uncomfortable. It also allows you to see out — but from the outside, passers-by can’t really see in (except at night, when the interior is lighter than the exterior and you will draw your privacy curtains).

The Right Connection
How to install a 50-amp shore power outlet for your RV at home
By Bruce W. Smith (Photos by the author and Larry D. Walton
hands work on a power outlet with a screwdriver

iven the wealth of factory-installed and aftermarket solar power systems available to today’s RVs, living off the grid is becoming a lot more commonplace. That said, with all but the most potent systems — or more powerful AC generators — most boondockers still need to forego the comfort of an air conditioner and will need to carefully monitor what appliances are used at any one time to monitor amp draw and prevent overloading their power supply.

If you want all the bells and whistles while camping or using the RV in your driveway when guests arrive, you’ll still need a major power source — in other words, hookups. Shore power, that source of 120/220-volt AC (alternating current) from a campground pedestal or your home’s electrical system, allows you the ability to run all the “home” AC electrical gear as well as larger RV electricity hogs like A/C units, residential appliances, heaters and microwaves.

Typically, small- to medium-sized RVs are equipped with a 30-amp shore power connection, while larger RVs require a 50-amp power supply to keep things inside operating smoothly because they usually have higher amp-draw residential appliances and a pair of roof-mounted A/C units.

P-Chassis Performance
GM’s popular Class A gas
A few bolt-on additions to GM’s popular Class A gas underpinnings make a world of difference to ride and handling
By Chris Hemer
Photos by the author

nce upon a time, there was more than just one Class A gas chassis to choose from. Long before Ford established dominance with its venerable F-53 chassis, General Motors (GM) offered an alternative with its wildly popular P32 chassis — featuring big-block Chevrolet power and front coil springs that offered a smoother ride than what the Ford could provide. Workhorse Custom Chassis picked up where GM left off with its W-Series chassis, but the company suffered several setbacks in the early 2000s that eventually led to the demise of a GM-powered Class A motorhome chassis.

The good news is, there are still tens of thousands of P32-chassis motorhomes on the road and parts are plentiful, making a P32 chassis motorhome a good used RV choice. However, these motorhomes were never known for their handling; in particular, the rear leaf packs allowed the rear axle to “walk” from side to side, contributing to that queasy “tail wagging the dog” sensation. And the suspension, while offering a softer ride than the Ford, was often too squishy, leading to white-knuckle handling in high winds or when being passed by semi-trucks.

Magnificent 7 typography
Ride and handling problems in popular gas motorhome chassis can usually be improved — or even solved — with one of these bolt-on items
By Chris Hemer

t’s often said that life is a journey, not a destination. This is particularly true for those who travel by motorhome. We all know where we want to go and what we want to see, but it’s the mountain vistas, verdant meadows and roadside attractions along the way that make driving across America so enjoyable.

Unless your motorhome is plagued by ride and handling issues.

When freeway expansion joints sound like muffled explosions reverberating through the chassis, 18 wheelers nearly push you out of your lane or the steering wheel requires constant adjustment just to stay in a straight line, the journey loses some of its cachet. Now, instead of enjoying the passing scenery you’re focused on just getting to your destination so you can put this stretch of highway behind you.

Inside Job
Man cleaning
Keeping your RV’s interior clean is as simple as applying the right products and techniques
By Chris Hemer

s the travel season comes to a close, now is a good time to think about detailing the interior of your RV before Old Man Winter comes rolling in. None of us particularly like the idea of housework, but cleaning the RV’s living space before putting the rig away for the season means you’ll return to a clean, fresh interior come springtime. Besides, keeping your carpet/floors, furniture and cabinets clean will keep them looking newer, longer.

RV interiors are different from many homes in that they can consist of multiple materials and surfaces, like carpet, fabric upholstery, leather/Ultraleather, tile, stone, fiberglass and wood — and each has its own cleaning regimen. The good news is that it only takes a few hours and a few common household and RV-specific solutions to make your RV sparkle like new inside.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles
collage of planes, trains, and automobiles
All images throughout courtesy of the specific museums featured
Planning a vacation? Museums are a great addition to any trip — and here’s a lineup of the best transportation museums in every state you can drive to.
By Bruce Hampson

t’s said that Americans have a love affair with their cars, but that’s only partially true. What we have is a love affair with personal transportation — and with the freedom to point those machines in any direction we choose, whenever we choose. Americans love to travel — and when it comes to travel, mostly we love to drive to where we’re going.

That was just as true before the pandemic as it is today. There’s a reason for that: The United States is a big place. The lower 48 states occupy more than 3,119,884 square miles, and more than 2.95 million square miles of that is contiguous land. Add in Alaska — which we can also drive to and through — and the numbers grow another 20% or so. That’s a lot of real estate.

That’s really the biggest difference between RVers in America and our European counterparts. Stateside, we think nothing of traveling from, say, San Diego, California, to Yellowstone National Park for a vacation; it’s a trip of roughly 1,100 miles in each direction. Put another way, it’s about the same distance as Rome, Italy, is to Madrid, Spain. That’s not a drive many Europeans take.

Ice Breaker
Winterizing your RV plumbing system correctly is essential to preventing some very costly damage
By Chris Dougherty

inter. If you enjoy traveling, it sucks — at least, in the northern part of the country.

I’m probably not alone in that sentiment. There’s no denying that traveling in an RV during winter where very cold weather (think snow) prevails — especially for New Englanders like myself — can be difficult. The popularity of “four-season” RVs has led more folks to take their RVs out in the snow, but for most of us, plummeting temperatures are Mother Nature’s reminder that it’s time to put the toys — and the toy haulers, including those without garages — away.

Whether you store the RV all winter or use it for snowbirding or skiing trips, it still needs to be protected from the elements — and understanding the limitations of its water system and pushing back against the freezing cold is essential.

The primary problem doesn’t lie with the PEX, or crosslinked polybutylene, pipe that is used in all new RVs since the new millennium. PEX can withstand freeze damage and high pressure very well. The problem stems from the plumbing connections, water-fed appliances/hardware (faucets, valves, ice makers, shower heads, etc.) and holding tanks.

Water illustration
Go with the Flow
Water illustration
Lippert’s Floe 636 Induratec allows winterizing on-the-go
By Chris Dougherty
Winterizing the plumbing in an RV involves blowing out the system with low-pressure compressed air, then — especially on larger RVs in very cold areas — drafting antifreeze into the system. That said, blowing out the system requires an adaptor fitting, air hose and compressor, which can be difficult for some people to carry in their RV — not to mention a pain to do.

Lippert’s Floe 636 automatic winterizing system simplifies the process — a lot. First designed and distributed in Ireland for caravans, the system is basically a small air compressor system with a pressure switch and isolation valve that is permanently built into the RV’s plumbing system.

Making Memories
By Sue Strauss photos by author
Cruising Vermont
The Green Mountain state is known for its rich maple syrup, wonderful cheeses and eye-popping fall scenery — but it also offers travelers a plethora of little-known historical landmarks

Image credit:

Hildene, the summer home of Mary Harlan Lincoln and Todd Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln’s son), is visited by thousands of visitors each year.

iving in eastern New York for many years presented many opportunities for me to visit nearby Vermont, a state that boasts a wide variety of exciting travel destinations. Rather than focusing on just one city, a driving tour through Vermont will give visitors a much bigger picture of what this state has to offer. This driving tour through the Green Mountain state covers approximately 170 miles and would make a nice day trip for those staying in nearby RV parks — and provide memorable material for more extensive journeys into this popular region.

Manchester, Vermont

Our driving tour through Vermont begins in Manchester, near the southwest corner of the state about 60 miles northeast of Albany, New York. The city, which lies between the Green Mountains to the east and the Taconic Range to the west, with the Battenkill River flowing through the town, was chartered in 1761 and was primarily an agricultural or farming area for almost a hundred years. Farmers struggled to grow crops in this area, and eventually found that the land was best suited as a grazing area for cows or sheep.

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Thanks for reading our November 2021 issue!