Monday, September 3, 2012

Oh Shit...

RV Tip #1... If your rv's toilet has a slide valve between the bowl & the waste tank, make sure -absolutely sure- that the valve is closed before you tow the trailer! My bride made the mistake of leaving the valve open. Before leaving the campground I did a check of the tires, signal lights, hitch etc. but I didn't check the toilet. I will never ever make that mistake again! The toilet had only been used two or three times so we didn't dump the tank before making our return trip home. I figured a little sloshing around wouldn't hurt anything. Ya right! Now if you dare, use your imagination. Think sewage. Think open valve. Think sloshing. Accelerate = backwards slosh. Braking = forward slosh. Oh the inhumanity of it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Camplites in Iceland?

├×ingvellir  -  South Iceland
At work today I met a guy (named Magnus) from Iceland. Thinking about beautiful, rugged, Iceland has me thinking how cool it would be to have a little Camplite trailer there to tour around and really experience the scenic wonder of the place.  I wonder how many people there have rv's? I really don't know but I imagine tent camping is popular there. Next time I talk with Magnus, I'll ask!

Since I became interested in small trailers I've noticed a shift in how I perceive other places. I've always been interested in travel shows on TV. Now when I watch one, I find myself day-dreaming how great it would be to have my little trailer there to explore the place! I don't just want to go to all those far-away places -- I want to take the trailer! I realize it is highly unlikely that I'll ever tour Africa or South East Asia with my Camplite but I can imagine it. No doubt about it, having a rv affects how you see travel. The world has countless beautiful interesting places to visit. It would be great to experience many of them having my little trailer as expedition headquarters!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

trailer pricing...

Go RVing!
This posting started out as a comment I made on  Livin' Lite's Facebook page. I thought I could plagiarize myself, expand on the content a bit, and post it here. I had noticed that lots of the visitors to Livin' Lite's Facebook page ask about new trailer pricing and get very frustrated when that info isn't forthcoming. The lack of pricing info no doubt is applicable to other rv brands too. Manufacturers are typically reluctant to publish their suggested pricing.

Rather than seek out a list of manufacturer's suggested retail prices you can find actual asking prices online by searching listings of trailers for sale. They are usually ones that dealers have posted to sites like You may have noticed that some online dealer ads for rv's will note manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) and then offer the rv for less or indicate "make me an offer". Based on those ads, it definitely appears that most rv's sell for less than their published MSRP. More often than not it appears that MSRP's, where provided, are just a marketing ploy to make buyers think they are getting a good deal.

Friday, August 10, 2012

classy camping coffee...

When we ordered our aluminum Camplite camper we went on the search for aluminum products to outfit the trailer. One of my first Google searches was for an aluminum coffee maker. It seemed obvious to me that an aluminum trailer needs an aluminium coffee maker. Of course it does. In my work week I drink a lot of coffee - too much I know. For weekend camping trips I knew I'd be needing caffeine fixes if I am to keep the withdrawal headaches and associated evil crankiness at bay. I soon learned from my Googling that most Italian families have small stove-top espresso or cappuccino makers at home for their daily use. Typically they are made from cast aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum + cappuccino... Now that's the ticket!

Ready to begin 
I ended up ordering a Bialetti "Mukka Express Vitro" from an online chef's store based in Toronto called Consiglio's Kitchenware & Gift. They had the best price I could find + free shipping! The service was excellent with my order shipped within a couple of hours of ordering it.

Consiglio's sell many brands of Italian coffee makers including Bialetti, who is a major manufacturer of such equipment. The stove-top units aren't made to compete with big expensive commercial espresso makers that need a skilled Batista to operate. Instead they are designed to allow us ordinary folks to make a decent cup of a real coffee product at home (or at a campground). It is my understanding that the average Italian home has equipment along this line and never a Mr.Coffee.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

the ferry to Nova Scotia...

Confederation Bridge links PEI to New Brunswick.
Confederation Bridge
We live on beautiful Prince Edward Island. It is Canada's smallest and greenest province and is a great place to live & work. Although we enjoy it here, like most Islanders, we occasionally like to get our feet onto the mainland. To get off the island by car we have two choices. We can take the really big bridge or take the scenic ferry. This past weekend we chose the ferry as our destination was close to the ferry's Nova Scotia terminal.We hitched up the trailer, loaded up the fridge with food & refreshments, strapped the kayaks to the Jeep, did a safety check, climbed in, and headed out.

Monday, July 30, 2012

painting the trailer...

Digital painting of my little trailer
The artist can paint your rv too...
Yesterday for fun I did a little painting of our Camplite trailer. It has me thinking that, sometime in the future, there might be a little side business I could do to earn some gas money. I could offer my artistic services to do commissioned portraits of rv's. I could put together a portfolio "gallery" of examples & market the service primarily on the internet. Perhaps having a booth at RV shows would be an opportunity to line up some work. I would work from provided photos. If I met the client in person I could take my own pics if necessary. In the portfolio I could have examples where I swapped out the background so clients could have their rv in one of their favorite scenic shots. I could expand to the pet market?

Do you think there is any potential in this idea?

Regards, Ross  July 30, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Years ago my uncle had a large utility trailer break free of his tow vehicle. The trailer careened into a car dealership taking out three new cars. They were write-offs. Thankfully nobody was hurt. The outcome could have been much worse. In the United States it is reported that over 15,000 lives have been lost to towing-related accidents since 1975 with many more injured. The death toll includes accidents caused by poor lane changes, where control was lost due to trailer sway, or tire blowouts. It also includes cases where trailers broke free of their tow vehicle - something that never needs to happen.

Trust your trailer to this!
Found one at this price on EBay
The coupler is an important but often overlooked trailer component. Many trailer owners take it for granted that their cheap coupler will securely connect their valuable trailer to the ball on their tow vehicle. They never look up at it from below and see the flimsy mechanism that is supposed to engage with the ball. They don't check that it is properly engaged *every-time* before they pull the trailer. (Accidents have happened because curious kids at rest stops etc. have flipped up the catch without the owner noticing). Many don't grease the ball or the coupler to prevent wear & eventual mechanical failure because they find it messy (and don't want to ruin any more good pairs of pants). They simply don't think about their coupler. Besides they have safety chains. They don't realize that although safety chains help, you can still have an accident or significant damage if the coupler comes off the ball. Most realize that severe trailer sway can cause you to loose control. They don't consider how bad sway could be if the trailer is just being towed by the chains!

Better quality and much safer coupler designs are available...