Frequently Asked Questions

RV

When we first started RV shopping, we had tankless water heater as a desired item and thought we might upgrade to one. However, after using our standard electric / propane tank (12 gal) water heater for over a year full time… we've never run out of hot water. Even with visitors staying with us. So, the Truma tankless fell to the nice to have but not necessary category. I have enough projects on the to-do list… ?

Category: RV

The 399TH was a strong candidate, making the top 2or 3. But on the 399, there were a couple of things that we weren't keen on:

One issue was internal accessibility with the slides in. We wanted to be able to get to our fridge, bathroom and bedroom at rest stops or the occasional location where we can't put out slides. On the 399 only the one rear bath is accessible and only if it's not blocked by something in the garage.

Another issue was the washer / dryer prep. We knew we wanted stackable units versus combo, and we wanted the dryer vented to the outside. In the 399TH, the W/D prep is in the middle of the garage making venting difficult. There are also controls on the wall above the prep, meaning they'd need to be relocated, or some sort of cabinet build around the washer/dryer. All doable but a lot of extra work. Plus we really like the W/D in the bedroom.

The third issue was the patio on the passenger side and all of the nice big windows being on the driver side, which has a lovely view of the front of our neighbors or, better yet, the back of their rig and poop hose. ? We also weren't sure how much we'd like the patio since it really only holds 2 people. If you want to watch a game or something outside and have more than that, some will be on the ground looking up over the rail. In reality this never happens as it's usually just two of us. But it was something we thought about.

Everyone has different priorities and there's no such thing as the “perfect” RV, just perfect enough for you. If we could have everything, our RV would be 75 feet long!

Category: RV

For us (and I think for most), the first step was finding the right floorplan for our needs. There were a couple of brands with similar floorplans but, to us, the Grand Designs just felt more solid with better construction than other's we looked at. Once we were leaning toward GDRV, we researched their warranty, customer service and support. We wanted to make sure that the warranty did not preclude full time living and also that they would work directly with us on any warranty issues, with a mobile tech or sending us parts directly. We also asked around on the Grand Design Owners Facebook page. All of that checked out and we went with it. We've not regretted our choice one bit! Our home has been wonderful and the minor issues we've had were handled directly as they promised.

If you're debating on which brand, what we recommend is to join owners groups for each on FaceBook, and ask the owners what they think. You'll get lot's of negative comments on every brand so be prepared for that. Any time you sell thousands of RV's you're going to have some haters. But I think you'll find that the Grand Design owners will also have lots and lots of positive to say.

Category: RV

Our decision to buy a fifth wheel toy hauler over a class A diesel pusher was primarily economic precipitated by weight. Bringing Lucile (our 2017 Indian Roadmaster) was a MUST.

Lucile weighs about 950lbs with fuel. Since we didn't want to deal with a trailer (and we wanted to flat tow a daily driver), we were looking at lift systems (like Hydralift). When you do the math on a 950lbs motorcycle plus a 400lb lift and factor in leverage based on the average distance from the rear axle to the bumper, it adds around 2000lbs to the rear axle. That put us in tag-axle territory, which starts getting WAY up in price. So, we had a choice between waiting another year to save more money , or investigating a plan B. So, we started looking at toy hauler options. The only Class A toy hauler we found was a Gas model by Thor. Nope.

Then we found fifth wheels! The more we looked at fifth wheel toy haulers the more we realized that, perhaps, it should have been our Plan A all along. A lot more living space when converting the garage to an office / guest suite, two full baths, kitchen with island, etc. And the financial aspect fit too. Class A option: Roughly $300K rig (tag axle) plus $30K daily driver plus around $10K for the lift, braking system, tow system, etc ($350K minimum). Fiver Toy Hauler option: $60K Truck plus $90K rig ($150K) AND we get more living space. That was an option we could fit in our budget and timeline. We've not regretted it a bit!

Category: RV

We initially wanted to get the Ford Trailer TPMS to have everything in the dash. But the more we dug into it, the more complicated it got.

First, the sensors have to be installed into the rims (replacing the valve stems) and there was a lot of confusion about the size of the valve stems and compatibility with our wheels. Second, the system is not completely wireless with a simple repeater like the TST unit. For some reason, it requires wiring to the trailer. You can see the kit and all the wires here: accessories.ford.com/kit-tpms-sensor.html

On top of the complicated install, it’s much more expensive than the TST and doesn’t monitor temperature (only pressure). The bottom line is, it was more complicated and more expensive for a less capable system that can’t be easily moved to a new trailer.

Categories: RV, Truck

When we just do a quick overnight stay, we generally stay hooked up if we have room for it. Makes for easy departure the next day. If we are already fairly level, I will use the Lippert hydraulic leveler system and level manually, taking care to not put any odd stress on the hitch (no side/side or lifting).

Category: RV

We shopped around and found Progressive to be the best option for us. It's Full Timers with Total Loss Replacement/Purchase Price (got this instead of GAP coverage) and costs us about $1500/yr. If you full time, be up front with the insurance company and get appropriate coverage.

Category: RV

Our washer and dryer are both Splendide brand. The washer is model ARWXF129W and the dryer is TVM63F.

We DO like them a lot! Sure, they're not the giant full-sized LG's we had in our sticks and bricks, but they do a very good job and it's nice to be able to do laundry in our own home. It's also nice to have them as separate units versus a combo unit. Note: the dryer is vented to the outside. We've heard a lot of bad reviews about non-vented combo units.

We did not install them. We wanted to be able to do out own laundry on day one of RV life, so we negotiated them into the price and had them installed by our dealer (LazyDays youtu.be/fN1_igB-tDQ ) prior to delivery. We also just didn't want that big of a project on day one! 😳

Categories: Products, RV

These are the tiles: changinglanesrv.com/fireplacetiles

I estimate I used about 10-12 tiles total (lots of cutting). I used our cordless circular saw with a masonry blade to cut them. Also, the tiles are self-adhesive, but I added a layer of 3M 77 spray adhesive to be sure we got a good stick. ??

Category: RV

We got tired of seeing sagging coroplast under the front half (drop-frame) of our RV. We even had one section come loose on one side at one point and had to re-attach it.

To fix the sagging and provide better support for the insulation under our RV, we used 1″ angle aluminum from Lowes as an added support mechanism. I cut it to a length to fit just inside the LED strips and bolted it directly to the frame using self-tapping stainless steel bolts. I pre-drilled holes in the angle aluminum and made starter holes in the frame.

Category: RV

Our awnings are Carefree brand, so we thought it best to buy the same brand of drop shade. This is the one we selected: amzn.to/2GotqEj

In comes in two parts with the short end (3′) connecting into the awning in the groove (just slides right in). That 3′ section stays on and gets rolled up with the awning. The long 9′ section sippers on and we bungee it down using stakes. It provides some extra stability in the wind and we only pull it down if winds are going to be over 15mph.

Installing the shade is super simple, but your awning does have to be designed for it. Most awnings have a channel built into the rolling part and the shade just slides right into it from either end.

Categories: Products, RV

For our first year (2018), we used the CoPilot GPS app on our iPhones. It stores maps locally and allows you to input RV dimensions and weight in and will route accordingly. However, after an update to the app this year, it started doing some really crazy routing (get off this exit, do a U-turn and get back on, etc). Coincidentally, the next week, Eric from TechnoRV asked if we wanted to try a new GPS. So glad you asked!

Since February (2019), we've been using the Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV GPS and LOVE it! Great big display, voice prompts (that aren't overbearing), and it finds rest areas, service stations, etc along our route with ease! We will have a full review here!

Categories: Products, RV, Truck

Simple. Command Strips! We stock up on these (amzn.to/2Q9hGdy), and use them for everything! Our pictures, WiFi Ranger Router, Hotspots, Ring Alarm Keypads, Ring Video Doorbell, all using Command Strips.

We have some pictures that have been hanging for two years now with no issues.

Category: RV

We have never used one, so we do not have any first hand experience. That said, we have seen images online of bent Andersen hitches, and a couple of viewers have sent us pics also. Our opinion on them is that we just don't trust it in a non-optimal situation like a hard braking or some kind of accident evading maneuver.

We started out using the Andersen Jack Blocks. We don't use them anymore because we've broken NINE of them (6 we bought and 4 replacements they sent us). Simply unreliable. The bottom edge would break off and they'd sink into the gravel/dirt/ whatever. They are rated for 6K, but broke way under that load. That experience was enough for us to just not trust our entire home (RV) to their engineering.

Many people do love them and they are definitely an easy hitch to manage. It's just not for us.

Categories: Products, RV

These are the curtains we used for both the back garage door area (in front of the 3 season doors) as well as for privacy between the living room and garage / guest suite. All super easy to install tension rods and they stay up during travel. Except for on I-90 / I-80 in Indiana! (worst road ever!) ?


✅ 3 season door tension rod: amzn.to/2xrcaZm 
✅ 3 season door curtains: amzn.to/2No1TZ0 
✅ Living / Garage door tension rod: amzn.to/2PJGmXl 
✅ Living / Garage door curtain (1 panel): amzn.to/2xmJ1j4

Categories: Products, RV

The red “cans” under out jacks in some of our videos are Andersen Jack Blocks. We don't use them anymore because we've broken NINE of them (6 we bought and 4 replacements they sent us). Simply unreliable. The bottom edge would break off and they'd sink into the gravel / dirt / whatever. 

We've switched to RV SnapPads and love them. They don't help lessen the jack extension like the Jack Blocks did, but they don't break and they stay on the rig, which is great when setting up and breaking down camp.

We've been using our RVSnapPads for several months now and really like them. They are much less expensive direct versus Amazon. changinglanesrv.com/rvsnappads

Note: The same company (RVSnapPad) is going to be coming out with a new product that will integrate with the SnapPads to help with the jack extension / stability this year. We will be helping them prototype those and will do do a video on them when they come out. 

Categories: Products, RV

In many of our videos you will see a simplisafe alarm. We purchased that system thinking we could self-monitor, but simplisafe can only be remotely monitored, controlled, etc if you have their monitoring service. Alarm system monitoring is not possible when one moves every week or two, due to regulations around integration into the 911 system, etc. So, we couldn't actually arm it when leaving the RV. Sure, it would alarm, but there would be no way for us to be notified, no one to shut if off, and Daisy would go insane. We didn't know this when we bought it, so it was essentially just an expensive door chime for over a year

We've since switched to Ring for our security system and have a full article and video on that here.

Categories: Products, RV

The MSRP for our RV as configured (we opted for most features) was around $127,000. We paid around $91,000. You can typically get 25-30% off MSRP. Grand Design has a build and price tool that was very helpful. We used that to build out the RV we wanted, then shopped the build around to get the best deal.

Category: RV

We use a WheelDock (wheeldock.com) and four tie-downs.
The WheelDock has a piston you trigger with your foot to lock in the wheel versus having to rock it in and out. This also allows me to lock it in and get off the bike without it falling over (one person operation).
We don't bolt it in at all, it just sits on the floor and I strap Lucile down on the front forks and rear bars.
We demonstrate it a bit here youtu.be/_X-LAY8Fwlw?t=1341,
then later here youtu.be/uPXNmS0IBRQ?t=1268
and even more here: youtu.be/f56_8ecCTaI?t=777

These are the straps we use: amzn.to/2VcIs8e
with these plush covers on the loops: amzn.to/2PfAsiR

Categories: Motorcycle, Products, RV

We use the AP Products Propane Tank Gas Level Indicators. Been using them since we got the RV and they work great. You can also get the sensors by themselves and use the phone app.

Categories: Products, RV

I use this Waterless RV Wash Wax Mop Kit and LOVE it! I can wash/wax the whole 44 foot rig in about two hours! Three hours if there are a lot of bugs on the cap. Maybe four, if I want to really detail beyond what I can do with the wedge tools in this kit. And it's a “dry” wash, so you can even use it in the majority of parks that don't allow washing, or charge extra to allow you to wash with water.

We've also had the rig cleaned twice at a truck wash. The first one was not a Blu Beacon and they scratched it up a bit (very light brush marks), after which we had it washed and waxed professionally to remove the scratches. Expensive mistake! More recently, the rig was VERY dirty from dust storms and we tried a Blue Beacon truck wash. That one did a great job on the rig AND truck for $44. Will use them again when we can, and maintain using our wash-wax-all kit.

Categories: Products, RV

This can be a hot button topic online. Many say “no big deal we do it all the time for years and years”. And some say “you're going to burn up in a fiery death”. Truth is, there's not a lot of data showing a preponderance of propane fires on the road. While it's obviously a safer move to shut off a fuel source while traveling, we traveled with our propane on for about a year before we upgraded our batteries with enough Amp Hours to handle running the fridge on our inverter for a whole travel day. Now, we run in electric via the inverter and monitor our batteries from the truck with the BMV-712.

Category: RV

No. We have the stock Dexter 7K axles with electric drum brakes and Westlake G rated tires. Well over 15,000 miles so far with no issues. We take good care of them and monitor them with a TPMS.

Don't mistake the Westlake G rated for “china bombs”. I watch this issue very closely online. The E rated Westlakes had the bad reputation and were dubbed the “china bombs”. So, now, some just consider all Westlakes bad, but they're wrong. The only issue I've seen with Westlake G rated was a curb job.

Category: RV

The thing about an RV GPS is it's designed to find the best route from point A to point B based on the criteria entered (size of RV, road type preferences, etc). And most GPSs do this dynamically based on traffic and can also re-route you if you make a wrong turn.

If you export a fixed route from any piece of software (RV Trip Wizard included), you are taking away the dynamic routing ability of a GPS and dumbing it down to just be a fancy map. Additionally, if the software exports a “trip” as just the start and end points, it's no different than entering the same destination on the GPS. So, not a lot of added value unless you have a lot of stops, or are exporting your entire vacation as one trip. But that just gets messy.

For us, a GPS “trip” is one day's travel. We put a ton of stays (usually several months out) into RV Trip Wizard, but are only worried about navigating to the next location for that day. So, we have the location entered into the GPS the night before and just click go in the morning. And, since we have the same location already in RV Trip Wizard, we use the RVLife App as a secondary GPS. Just click on the destination and go. Simple one-day navigation in both apps, backing each other up in case one gets wonky.

Categories: Miscellaneous, RV

We had originally thought we might want to install a dishwasher after seeing them in Class A RVs. It was one of those “let's see if we really miss it” kind of things. While it would be nice to have, we haven't missed it very much. Kind of keeps one motivated to wash them right away after a meal. We're not sure where we would install one even if we wanted to. Don't think it would fit anywhere.

Category: RV

Yes! You can't see our EMS because it's hard-wired inside the RV. We currently have the Progressive Industries HW50C Hardwired EMS (amzn.to/2NZSo1s) installed. However, we might be switching to this surge guard soon (changinglanesrv.com/ems-50-hardwired) to review it for TechnoRV. It's newer and the remote display is a lot better.
Pedestal version: (changinglanesrv.com/ems-50-pedestal)

Beware of the basic surge protectors. They are much less expensive but don’t protect against what kills most RV air conditioners, which is low voltage. And low voltage is more common than is should be in RV parks. A good EMS will protect against Open Ground, Open Neutral, Reverse Polarity, Over/Under Voltage, Accidental 240V, and Bad A/C Frequencies.

If you want to go really deep into the topic of RV surge protection, our friends Eric and Tami at TechnoRV have put together this fantastic in-depth article.

Categories: Products, RV

There's a lot of confusion on this topic. Yes, some states have Class A CDL or some type of non-commercial endorsement requirements for RV's over certain weights. However, Florida (as well as about half of the other states) does not. In Florida, drivers of recreational vehicles are exempt from the requirement to obtain a commercial drivers license. section 322.53(2) (d), Florida Statutes.
Since every state honors the driving and license requirements of every other state, we are perfectly legal to drive in all 50 states under our standard Florida license.
All of that said, our personal opinion is that rigs as large and heavy as ours should require some type of extra certification or endorsement as well as training.

Categories: RV, Truck

Short answer: It depends on the state.

There's a lot of confusion on this topic. Yes, some states have Class A CDL or some type of non-commercial endorsement requirements for RV's over certain weights. However, Florida (our home state), as well as about half of the other states, do not. In Florida, drivers of recreational vehicles are exempt from the requirement to obtain a commercial driver's license. section 322.53(2) (d), Florida Statutes. (www.flhsmv.gov/florida-highway-patrol/specialized-areas/commercial-vehicle-enforcement/recreational-vehicles/)
Since every state honors the driving and license requirements of every other state, we are perfectly legal to drive in all 50 states under our standard Florida license.

In regards to Federal CDL Requirements, see: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/383
Question 3: Does part 383 apply to drivers of recreational vehicles?
Guidance: No, if the vehicle is used strictly for non-business purposes.

Here are a few articles that discuss the topic for each state:
www.campanda.com/magazine/rv-special-drivers-license-requirements/
www.outdoorsy.com/blog/guide-rv-drivers-licenses-requirements

All of that said, our personal opinion is that rigs as large and heavy as ours should require some type of extra certification or endorsement as well as training.

We cover some of the CDL issues here if interested: youtu.be/EY0GfrZIxxs?t=496

Categories: RV, Truck

Yes! However, we rarely use it for backing up. We use it primarily while driving to make sure we have enough clearance behind us when changing lanes and such. That said, be sure any camera you buy is not limited to just backing up. Furrion used to have an “observation” model (good while driving), and a “backup” one (just for backing). However, it seems they are all observation models now.

We have an older version of this one: amzn.to/3asrozS

These newer models now have versions with side cameras also, but we've not tried those.

Installation note!: Many new RVs come with the mount for the Furrion camera pre-installed. However, many (like ours), have that wired to an always hot 12v connection. This means it's powered 24/7 and can drain your batteries when boondocking, or in storage. We chose to re-wire it to our running lights. This way the camera is only powered when the truck is connected and our lights are on. So, it also serves as a reminder to turn our lights on when towing.

Categories: Products, RV

We were in over 45 locations last year all over the East coast of the U.S. and 20 or so out West. We've never had an issue finding a site, and we've stayed in Campgrounds, RV Parks, State Parks, COE (Army Core Of Engineers) Sites, etc. We just plan ahead and make sure to call each site and confirm they can fit our RV. We also use RV Trip Wizard, which has a lot of great tools to find locations. National Parks are a lot more size restricted, but there are always great campgrounds and RV parks outside the national parks. We’ve only been in one or two sites where we didn’t have room for the patio.

Categories: Miscellaneous, RV

OMG YES! When we first got our RV, we thought the mattress was actually pretty decent. That lasted about a month before it was super flat. We decided to try Mattress Insider‘s 8″ Luxury Gel Foam RV Mattress w/Organic Cotton. LOVE IT!!! It has the option of flipping it over for a firmer feel and that's what we use. We've slept on it every night for well over a year and a half and it's still as awesome as the day we got it! They have every imaginable RV size and can make custom sizes.

We liked it so much, we got the 5.5″ queen for the guest bed.

If you use our LINK you will get 5% off your purchase. ??

Categories: Products, RV

We chose to not buy an extended warranty. We knew we’d almost never be near our “home” dealer, so a warranty from our dealer (LazyDays) was out right away. When researching other warranties, it was a mixed bag of reviews. Mostly negative. However, KYD (Keep Your Daydream) recommends Wholesale Warranties (wholesalewarranties.com/rv-warranty/). While we have no experience with them, we do trust Marc and Trish on their assessment. Warranties sold by RV dealers are almost always WAY over-priced.

For us, we knew going into this that we wanted to learn everything we could about our home and fix everything possible ourselves. That was one major reason for choosing GDRV: they will work directly with us on warranty work, and send parts directly.

But, that's us. If you're not into DIY repairs, a warranty might be a great idea. If possible, be sure to get one that allows mobile techs even if you have to pay the service fee.

Category: RV

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