RV Lifestyle eZine




Helping to Make Your RV

Lifestyle Run Smoothly



    May 10, 2016

    Issue #340






  • Backing With The Stars - Improve Your RV Backing Skills
  • Stars of Another Kind: Celestial Events of 2016
  • Keystone Grand Giveaway Ends June 20
  • Geography Trivia

Backing With the Stars

So here you are...hesitating just outside the RV site. You choose this site f in the hopes that backing into it is quick and painless. At some point in our RVing lifestyle, we all face this rather tense moment.

Learning to use the outside mirrors correctly is the key to trouble-free parking. This procedure is really a science. Master the math, so to speak, and it all becomes clear.

Adjusting the large side mirrors on your motorhome is similar to your automobile. The major difference is that the motorhome mirrors have broken the scene in the mirror down into two pieces. The top mirror looks down the side of the motorhome (just like in your car), but the bottom mirror looks down to the road and back, so you can see your rear wheels.

Adjust the bottom mirror so you can view 1/4th to 1/3rd of the coach body. The bottom mirror also allows you to see any auto coming up along the side into what would be one of your blind spots.

Graphic Courtesy of Don Bobbitt


In the illustration above, note the stars in the bottom mirrors. These stars are very helpful markers when backing into a site. Affixing the mirror star marker is best attempted with two people. Before we start, borrow a couple of tiny, colorful star stickers from any young girl under age 14. Chances are good that she has them stuck everywhere. Any small adhesive object works too.

Have someone stand at the driver's side rear wheel well. Place the star on the bottom mirror where their knees are reflected. Repeat this on the other side or use the awning arm (if over the wheel well) as the marker. Now, have the person walk back to the rear of the towed automobile. Place another star in the upper mirror where the person is standing. At a glance, you can see how much space to give yourself when using a passing lane.

Knowing the Pivot Angle

Being able to visualize the pivot point where the rear end starts to turn is very helpful. This is usually in the middle of the rear axle. Now you know how close to an obstacle you can get and still not hit this same obstacle on the way out of the site.



"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of
their dreams."    ~ Eleanor Roosevelt


More About Stars of Another Kind

Plan Your Camping Trips Around These Celestial Events in 2016


(Beautiful photos on this site.)


Looking for spectacular celestial events as an opportunity to head out in the RV? Most city dwellers never even look at the night sky, but RVers and campers know all about what the universe has to offer and these are the five best events coming up this year.

According to the International Dark Skies Association, some of the best parks in the U.S. to view the night sky are Canyonlands National Park and Capitol Reef in Utah, Great Basin National Park in Nevada, Acadia National Park in Maine and Death Valley in California. You can use the IDSA’s dark sky interactive map to find a good spot near you.


While you don’t need one, many of these events are best be viewed with a telescope or astronomy binoculars.

  • Jupiter will be closest to Earth in March.
  • The “once in a blue moon” will happen in May of 2016.
  • The beautiful planet Venus will shine brightly in August.
  • The Perseid Meteor Showers in August are one of the best meteor showers of the year.

Known as the king of the meteor showers, this shower can produce up to 120 meteors per hour at its peak in mid-December. The debris of the asteroid 3200 Phaethon can even be seen well during that month’s full moon. Look toward the constellation Gemini for the best show.

  • Keep an eye out for news on the NASA OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. It will be launched in September on a mission to bring back pieces of the Bennu asteroid.

Looking for inexpensive astronomy binoculars for those celestial events, go here for reviews

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Geography Trivia


1. Name the 6,000 ft mountain that displays the likenesses of four American presidents.
a. Mount Rushmore
b. Monticello
c. Mount Swarthmore

Hint: The 60-foot heads belong to presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.

2. This feat of nature is 277 miles long and one mile deep, and was formed by the erosion of the Colorado River. Name it.
a. Royal Gorge
b. Red Rock Canyon
c. Grand Canyon


Hint: This gorge is in Arizona.

3. Name the only Great Lake that lies entirely within the U.S. borders.
a. Superior
b. Michigan
c. Erie

Hint: This lake is bordered by Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

4. Name the state that is second in mean elevation to Colorado.
a. Wyoming
b. Montana
c. Utah

Hint: This state is home to Yellowstone National Park.

5. Which official territory of the United States is located about 1,000 mi east-southeast of Miami, Fla.?
a. Bermuda
b. Haiti
c. Puerto Rico

Hint: The capital of this place is San Juan.

1. Mount Rushmore. South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore was begun by sculptor Gutzon Borglum in 1927 and finished by his son Lincoln in 1941.
2. Grand Canyon. Using uranium-lead dating in 2008, geologists found that the Grand Canyon is at least 16 million years old.
3. Michigan. The third largest Great Lake, Michigan was discovered in 1634 by the French explorer Jean Nicolet.
4. Wyoming. Rectangular in shape, Wyoming is traversed by the Rocky Mountains, which angle south across the state from the northwest.
5. Puerto Rico. Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the U.S. during the Spanish-American War of 1898.





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