RV Lifestyle eZine

Nov 2017  Issue #358

In This Issue

Dealing With Repairs
Cellphone Solar Charger

Motorcycle Rally Trailer

USA Trivia

RV Lifestyle Books

by Margo Armstrong


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Dealing With Repair Shops


When you are on the road, every place is new and interesting until you have a maintenance problem to solve. With all the horror stories floating around about the RV repair business, who can you trust to take care of repairs or install add-ons to personalize your RV. Here are a few suggestions:

  • The first stop should be the RV park front desk. Often they know from guest feedback where to send you for reliable services. Next, look for business card or flyers on the park’s bulletin boards.
  • Once at the repair shop, ask for a written work order with the repairs or services listed and a cost estimate explained in detail. Have them place right on the work order that any extra costs over $100 requires a phone call and approval from you before any work is performed. Make sure that you walk away with a copy of the work order.
  • Do not hesitate to discuss the final bill with the shop owner if you have a problem with it.
  • If the shop refuses to follow your guidelines, find another vendor in the area.

A word to the wise: Before making any expensive cosmetic changes, make sure you are happy enough with your first RV to keep it for a few years. Any upgrades you make now are most likely not going to deliver any monetary gain when you sell it. Try to hold back the tendency to re-decorate until you live in it for at least six months


For more information, “For Women Only: Motorhome Care & Maintenance.”



Cellphone Solar Chargers



When I hear that dreaded chirp my cellphone makes when dying, the stress starts to mount. Even though I carry an extender, I must attach it at the 50% mark (in that range) or the extender fails to boost the power.


When my cellphone reaches the 15% mark, all is lost if I am not close to an electrical outlet.


Needless to say, finding alternate ways to charge my phone no matter where I roam is important. Here are my latest finds.


iPhone Solar Charger



Outdoor solar charger: water-resistant shock-resistant and dust proof, equipped with compass and 2LED flashlight. Perfect for camping, hiking, travel and emergency uses.


Dual USB: universal 5V/1A and 5V/2.1A outputs are available for most digital devices; 2.1A port for iPad/Tablets, 1A ports for phone/Bluetooth or other 5V USB supported devices.


Superior portable design: made of durable material ABS, PC, and Silicone. Hang it on your bagpack for hands free charging.


Powerful LED light: 2 LED lights can be used as a flashlight with a Steady-SOS-Strobe mode.


Five indicators show the status of the battery charger. Green light on when charging by solar, blue light on when USB charging.


Battery can be recharged by solar or outlet.


RAVPower Solar Charger 


16W Solar Panel with dual USB port. Waterproof and foldable for Smartphones and Tablets. Use for Camping and Travel.


High Energy Conversion: Charge up to two USB devices simultaneously


Charge Smarter: iSmart technology detects all connected devices' input and distributes current output accordingly up to 3.2A..


Compact Size


A waterproof rugged polyester canvas for  weather-resistant protection. Four hooks to adjust for sunlight capture.



SolarSak External Frame Camping / Hiking Hydration Backpack With Water Filtering System


  • Size: 22.84” x 13.39” x 5.91”
  • Weight: 3.32lb
  • Material: 55% Nylon and 45% Poly
  • Solar Panel: Removable 7W power
  • Hydration Support: Supports hydration bladder pack
  • 7W waterproof removable solar panel.
  • Sun Straw attachable water filtering system with 2L hydration bladder
  • Mini USB cord

Water Filtering System uses hollow fiber membrane technology to filter out 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, and up to 1000 liters of contaminated water without iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals. You can drink water safely anywhere you go.



Motorcycle Rally Perfect



I am so in love with Germany’s new RV designs. You may remember my post a few months back that introduced the first German import, the Hymer, a small quality Class B+. I raved about the layout and quality interior, not to mention the Mercedes engine and chassis.


Well, the Germans have done it again. This may not be available on the American market yet, but it is coming. The Knaus Deseo, the perfect motorcycle rally vehicle.



If you have been looking for lightweight trailer that can accommodate your motorcycles and yet sleep at least 2 people in style, take a peek.


The trailer, designed in a highly flexible and comfortable layout, has excellent equipment and a cool style.



This unique design offers a drop-down bed actually built into the frame plus the usual seating conversion. Another unique design in the bathroom, an inflatable curtain that does not stick to you when using the shower.



DESEO Profile

Perm. total weight: 1.500 kg (3300 lbs.)

Length (min/max): 599 cm (20 ft.)

Width (ext.): 230 cm (7.55 ft.)

Height (ext.): 258 cm (8.47 ft.)

Sleeping berths: up to 4


USA Trivia


1. The ocean east of the United States is:

            a. the Pacific

            b. the Atlantic

            c. the Indian

Hint: The Pacific borders California.


2. The U.S. and its territories cover how many time zones?

            a. 4

            b. 9

            c. 12

Hint: Don’t forget Hawaii, Alaska, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Guam.


3. Which of these islands is NOT an island off the eastern coast of the U.S.?

            a. Bermuda

            b. Nantucket

            c. Catalina

Hint: You can take a one-hour boat ride from Long Beach, Calif. to get to this island.


4. Which geographical area receives the most average rainfall each year?

            a. Mt. Washington, New Hampshire

            b. Juneau, Alaska

            c. Seattle, Washington

Hint: This site is in the eastern part of the U.S.


5. What share of the world’s land area does the U.S. hold?

            a. 6.2%

            b. 25%

            c. 1%

Hint: Russia is the world’s largest country and covers about 12.5% of the world’s land area.


6. Which of the following states does not share its name with a U.S. river?

            a. Arkansas

            b. Nevada

            c. Delaware

Hint: The capital of this state is Carson City.


7. Where is the geographic center of the 50 states?

            a. Kansas City, Kans.

            b. Jefferson City, Mo.

            c. Butte County, S.D.

Hint: Don’t forget to consider Hawaii and Alaska



1. The Atlantic. The continental United States are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Pacific ocean to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south.

2. 9. From east to west they are: Atlantic Standard Time (AST), Eastern Standard Time (EST), Central Standard Time (CST), Mountain Standard Time (MST), Pacific Standard Time (PST), Alaskan Standard Time (AKST), Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HST), Samoa standard time (UTC-11) and Chamorro Standard Time (UTC+10).

3. Catalina.  Bermuda and Nantucket are both accessible from the eastern seaboard, while Catalina is off the coast of California.

4. Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. Mt. Washington’s wettest month is November, with an average 10.49 in. of rain, compared with Juneau’s October with 8.3 in., and Seattle’s December with 6.06 in.

5. 6.2%. The world’s total land area is 57,393,000 sq mi, and the U.S. land area is 3,537,438 sq. mi.

6. Nevada. The Delaware River originates in the Catskill Mountains and empties in the Delaware Bay, while the Arkansas River begins in the Rocky Mountains and joins the Mississippi River in Arkansas.

7. Butte County, S.D. If you travel to Butte County, S.D., just west of Castle Rock, you will be at the geographic center of the United States (44' 58' N. lat., 103' 46' W. long.)