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The following article is provided by Outdoorsy

Full-time RVers are faced with daily challenges including maintenance and repairs of the RV, getting reliable networking and communications services and finding or navigating to your next destination. Technology can be a great asset when faced with those challenges. Following are several RV tech hacks that a full-time RVer can tap into to make life in the road a little less challenging.

Battery Maintenance

For your devices to work consistently, you have to keep power flowing to them. That means properly maintaining your batteries. The Black and Decker BC15BD 15 Amp Bench Battery Charger is a small, lightweight charger that has a battery reconditioning mode which will regenerate your house batteries to keep them in top operating condition. Like running an equalization charge, the recondition mode de-sulfates the plates in your batteries. This raises the specific gravity in the electrolyte and gives tired batteries more storage capacity. Unlike an equalization charge, it is safe to use in gel or sealed batteries and does not create dangerous boiling conditions or excessive heat in wet lead-acid batteries. The charger can also charge your house or tow vehicle batteries and do alternator checks to make sure your RV is ready to go when you are.


Black and Decker BC15BD 15 Amp Bench Battery Charger Wi-fi Router and Network Repeater

A Wi-fi router and network repeater combination allows you to create your own internal wireless network within your RV. The repeater feature allows your Wi-fi router to connect to an outside network, like the RV park’s Wi-fi, to gain access to the internet. This has several advantages over simply connecting to the park’s Wi-fi directly. If your park only allows one device to connect to their Wi-fi, the repeater can be that one device. Multiple devices from your internal network can connect to the router and share that single connection to the park Wi-fi. All the devices connected to the Wi-fi router can also share data within your network without having to go through the internet. This is much safer and faster. A good example of this technology is an Alfa R36 USB Wi-fi wireless router coupled with an Alfa AWUS036NH Wi-fi USB Link and antenna.

Full Time Canada Tip: WiFi Ranger is a great addition to your RV to help boost nearby WiFi signals


Alfa R36 USB Wi-fi wireless router Digital Multimeter

Troubleshooting electrical issues in an RV is extremely difficult without a way to reliably test electrical circuits. A digital multimeter is a must have on the road. When selecting one, make sure it can work in the ranges which your RV runs. Most RVs and tow vehicles have a 12V DC side and RVs generally also have 120V AC side. Some RVs may also have 24V or higher battery banks and may use 6V batteries. If you have a solar system, higher DC voltages may present. Ideally, a digital multimeter for full-time RVing should at least work in those ranges and test both AC and DC voltage, current and continuity

Digital Multimeter

USB Charging Stations

A multiport USB charging station can keep several electronic gadgets charged up and ready to go all from a small, lightweight box that only uses a single 120V outlet. 10 port Unitek or Tripp Lite charging stations are a great choice measuring in at about 3” x 6” x 10.5” and weighing only about 2.5 lbs, these units can hold and charge up to 10 devices simultaneously.

USB Charging Station RV Surge Protector

RV surge protectors are another necessity to keep the power flowing to your tech gadgets while full-time RVing. It is best to choose a unit that does more than just surge protection. At a minimum, they should also test for common circuit faults at the pedestal like open neutral, open grounds or dropped legs in 50-amp service. Detecting and avoiding these faults will protect both you and your rig from dangerous electrical conditions.

Full Time Canada Tip: Read more about how our surge protector possibly saved our RV from burning to the ground.

Level Your RV With Your Phone

There are many bubble level apps available and even some specifically dedicated to RV levelling available for both iPhones and Android devices. Simply place your phone on a flat surface in your RV with the app running to get a current state of how level your RV is. Make adjustments based on that until the app shows you are all leveled up. Some of the dedicated apps even have Bluetooth functionality that will allow you to use a second phone outside to read the level of the phone inside. This allows you to make quick adjustments.

iHandy Level App Preload Google Maps

If you use google maps for navigation, make sure you download your map data before venturing out to remote areas. Without a cell signal, Google maps cannot download the necessary data to function on the fly and can leave you stranded. Offline map data is easy to download and can even be stored on an SD card if your phone supports them for later use. Simple instructions can be found by searching the internet for Google Maps Download Map Data or Google Maps Navigate Offline.

With these great tips, the full-time RVer can get those most out of their electronics while on the road. These tips will keep you powered up, connected and travelling safely whether you are working, playing or just hanging out.

The post Tech Hacks for the Full-Time RVer appeared first on Full Time Canada.

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The following article is provided by Outdoorsy

You love full-time RVing, but are looking to travel abroad for a while, or you are living somewhere else for work or leisure. So, what do you do with your RV when you are not using it? Wouldn’t it make sense to rent it out? Many would agree and could use the extra income, and it would be beneficial to make money on something you are not currently using.

How Can You Rent Your RV to Others?

Renting out your RV when you are not using it doesn’t cross many people’s minds because they have no idea how to go about it. Or they think about it and imagine everything that could go wrong. When looking at your options regarding renting out your RV, there are two ways you can go about it. You can either rent it out privately or use an organization like Outdoorsy.

Private RV Rentals

If you opt to rent it out privately, there are some important factors to consider. At the top of your list are:

  • How will you advertise?
  • How will you screen applicants?
  • How will you deal with accidents or thefts?

To find viable candidates to rent to, you can use the internet or newspaper ads. Top internet sites may include Craigslist or Facebook. Newspaper ads may also be a viable option however, this can be costly and may not accomplish your goals. The downsides to this are:

  • It takes a lot of your own time.
  • You are not marketing to a specific camping audience.
  • You may not actually find someone you are willing to rent your recreational vehicle to in the end.

You will also want to screen all applicants; getting a credit check, background check and driving record check should be at the top of your list. Would you want someone who doesn’t pay their bills, has been in jail or has lost their license due to driving while intoxicated to rent your RV? Probably not, safety first. Running the appropriate checks are imperative but comes at a cost. It can also be time-consuming on your part and, again, you might not find someone worthy of driving your private property.

Insurance liability is another thing to consider. Insurance rates might increase if the renter gets into an accident. What if they do not bring it back? Check with your insurance agent and see what the repercussions of a rental on your insurance policy would be if any of these things should happen.

Finally, to consider, how will you get paid? You will need a credit card reader, or you may limit the number of people who will be able to pay you to rent your RV. You will also need to decide a rate and payment terms, including taking a deposit.

Renting an RV with Outdoorsy

Using an RV rental service, such as Outdoorsy, takes the guesswork out of renting your RV to make extra money.

When people want to rent an RV, they will go to Outdoorsy to see what options are available. This is a specific, target audience that is looking for recreational vehicles to rent. Posting your RV on the site is free, and only when a successful transaction takes place, a small fee is taken out of the profits prior to depositing the agreed upon rental fee into your account.

Outdoorsy screens prospective renters for you. All renters must pass an extensive driving history check. Only those who pass this background check will be able to request to rent your RV. This saves you time and money.

Outdoorsy understands the risk of renting your RV, but they don’t want that to be a deterrent. Outdoorsy provides a $1 million liability insurance policy which covers your RV or trailer whenever it’s being rented. This policy covers both the renter and the owner. You’re also covered for theft and damage, subject to their policies, such as interior damage.  Outdoorsy also provides 24/7 roadside assistance should the renter breakdown while travelling with your RV.

How you get paid should not be a deterrent from renting your RV for extra income. Outdoorsy takes the guesswork and stress out of this for you, as well. Within 24 hours after your RV is picked up, Outdoorsy will make a deposit into your bank account for you.

Renting your RV can be a great way to make extra money when you are travelling elsewhere or want a break from full timing. Using a service, such as Outdoorsy makes the process much smoother, with less risk. For full-time RVers having an option to rent their RV when not in use, offers some flexibility

Rent Your RV with Outdoorsy

The post Why You Should Rent Out Your RV with Outdoorsy appeared first on Full Time Canada.

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Up until we moved to Tofino 2 years ago, I had never heard of the Broken Group Islands. About 6 months ago, Adam showed me photos of the Broken Group and immediately I wanted to go see the beautiful aqua blue waters and white sand beaches. surrounded by pristine rainforest. 

Fast forward to July and here we were, about to go out on a 5-day kayaking adventure with Hello Nature. I was a bit nervous and wondered if I could handle that many days of paddling and I couldn’t stop thinking about what the bathroom situation was going to be like. Seriously. What was the bathroom situation on these islands? It’s a crazy thought, but one that goes through your head when you’ve never done a trip like this before.

The following is basically a collection of everything that I felt throughout our trip in the Broken Group – the good and the bad. I can tell you that every change in the weather created a new scene, bald eagles were highly entertaining, and the feeling of remoteness was special and at times a bit terrifying if you let your mind wander to something going wrong.  

The great thing is that we never actually worried to much on this adventure, because we went with Hello Nature tour guides Kevin Bradshaw and Isabelle Cliche. Kevin has 18 years of experience paddling in the Broken Group – the most of anyone in the world. Essentially, there’s no one better to escape into the Broken Group with than Kevin and Hello Nature.

DAY 1 – Departing Ucluelet for the Broken Group

We left from Ucluelet shortly after 8am on a water taxi that included our group of 9 people, all of our clothes, food, kayaks and other camping equipment. As we were leaving my mind started to ask many questions. How would everything fit into the small hatches of the kayak? Do they tow a kayak that is just filled with supplies? Did I pack enough socks? How would I survive without my Red Rose tea? Then a fog settled in around us and I wondered what it would be like paddling in the fog for days. At the end of July and particularity in August, West Coasters call this time of year “Fog-ust.” It’s a regular part of life here. Lots and lots of fog. 

Travelling with us was Ilka Vogt and her husband, Arturo Latigo who are from Vancouver. Also in our group was Heather Hoffman from Chicago, Kathy Powell of Nanaimo and her sister Edith Palumbo from Prince George.

The first island that our group landed on was Wouwer Island. After unloading our water taxi and getting the kayaks on the shore, we learned quickly from Kevin and Isabelle how to pack the kayaks. It’s incredible how much stuff you can put in the hatches of the kayaks. We even had a small guitar with us that Ilka brought along.  

We set off paddling just after 10:30 am. I instantly regretted dressing as warm as I did. I was wearing a stay dry shirt and stay dry hoodie. For me, it’s always better to be a bit cool than warm. When we stopped for lunch on Gilbert Island we all peeled off a layer.

Lunch was made simply by Isabelle and Kevin and included a crunchy salad with hummus and corn chips. It was filling and healthy. I always find food made by someone else tastes better. Hello Nature prides itself on its meals for one day, multi-day, and weekly kayaking and hiking trips. Their goal is to have delicious food that is healthy and will power you through a day of physical activity. Frank of Hello Nature does the meal prep, while Kevin’s wife Alicia does  the baking.   

After lunch, we paddled to Turret Island. We went on a small hike with Kevin who showed us some beautiful old-growth trees and gave us some interesting interpretation on banana slugs.  Afterwards, we paddled to the otherside of Turret where we set up camp. Adam and I managed to set up our tent without arguing. I know, we were shocked too.

Dinner was risotto with zucchini, tomatoes, local salmon, and dessert was carrot cake. One nice little touch I liked was that there was always tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. I managed without my Red Rose tea and instead had Earl Grey. 

That night we had a campfire and got to know our group while Ilka brought out her guitar and sang to us. Adam and I also went off to watch the sunset. It was stunning.  That night we went to bed early as everyone was tired from the fresh air and first day of paddling. I quickly fell asleep listening to the waves and the fog horn.

One of the many beautiful tiny islets in the Broken Group

Campsite on Turret Island

Golden hour in the Broken Group

Soaking up the sunset

DAY 2 – Turret Island | Benson Island 

My eyes opened and I knew it was early. I looked up and could see the outline of a banana slug on the tent. Instantly, I had to pee and as I exited the tent banana slugs greeted me everywhere. They are fascinating prehistoric looking creatures. If you are worried about where to go to the bathroom when camping in the Broken Group – don’t be. All the islands that have campsites also have solar composting toilets. So no – you do not have to dig a hole as I thought we may be doing. 

Breakfast was already being made by Kevin and Isabelle by the time our group met on the beach. Bacon, eggs, and sweet potato hash. Yum. After breakfast we jumped in the now empty kayaks and off we went to paddle by Puffin Island and through a lagoon on Clarke Island. 

We made our way to Benson Island and learned all about midden. Midden is the compost from the Tseshaht First Nations people that lived on these islands until the 1960’s. Archaeologists use midden to determine what was eaten and how the First Nations lived. Kevin told us about a complete grey whale skeleton that was found in a midden pile in the Broken Group. The strength and manpower it must have taken to bring that whale up on to the land. It’s mind-blowing really.  

We hiked out to a blowhole that was the coolest blowhole I had ever been around. I’ve been near blowholes in Hawaii, Mexico and in Atlantic Canada. This was gigantic in comparison. After the hike we ate roast beef sandwiches and relaxed along the beach.

Wildlife that day was abundant. Sea stars, bald eagles, oyster catchers, pigeon guillemots, stone plovers, Ruddy turnstones, seals and we even saw a tiny deer on one of the islands.

We paddled back to Turrett Island for our second night. After two days of paddling I could feel my arms and shoulders were sore. Adam felt the same. 

That night dinner was shrimp pesto with a watermelon feta cucumber salad. Our dessert – a pumpkin spice nut cake. I topped it off with a hot chocolate while we sat around the campfire. Once again, Ilka was singing and entertaining us. We were also joined by a gentleman from Scotland who sang Frankie and Johnny and had us all laughing. After a short walk to take in the beautiful sunset, we were in bed by 9pm, falling asleep listening to the birds.    

Kate paddling through the Broken Group

Beach stop on Benson Island for lunch

Blowhole on Benson Island

DAY 3 – Willis Island

I awoke as the sun came up and I was starving. Adam and I got up and started to pack up our tent and belongings. It was moving day as we would be setting up camp on another island later in the day.

Kevin and Isabelle had prepared bagels, bacon, eggs, avocado and fried up the left-over roast beef. We made ours into breakfast sandwiches and it was a solid, filling breakfast. 

After packing up, Adam and I realized it is important to pack up properly. We didn’t have as much room because we didn’t get the air out of our tent, air mattress, and sleeping bag. A rookie mistake. We should have listened to Kevin. We forced our stuff in the hatches and we were off to Willis Island.

It wasn’t a long paddle and Kevin had strategically got us there early so that we could have the smaller but more private campsite on the west end of the island. There is a larger campsite on the east side but he said it sometimes get a bit crowded. Our tent was set up right by the beach. It was beautiful.  

After setting up our tents, we had a lovely lunch of chicken Caesar wraps with tomatoes, peppers and lot of freshly grated parmesan. 

We took advantage of the beautiful sunshine to have some fun on the beach at Willis Island. The night before all the ladies had shook hands and made a deal that we would go swimming if it was sunny & warm the next day. Kathy was the first in the water. She had told me she swims almost daily in Nanaimo. The cool water (14 degrees – if lucky) doesn’t bother her a bit. I was being a chicken about getting in the water so suddenly Kathy chased me into the water. Once in the ocean, I started to give myself a scrub with a biodegradable soap my sister had given me. It smelled amazing. It had only been three days, but I was sweaty and a sea bath was necessary. Adam eventually came in too, swimming for the first time in British Columbia waters.

Supper that night was a buddha bowl of tofu, cous cous, beets, carrots and kale. Afterwards, we jumped into the kayaks for a sunset paddle. As we rounded Willis Island, I wondered if it was a mistake, as my arms were sore and the water was a bit choppy. I wasn’t nervous about the waves as I’ve been boating almost my entire adult life. I was simply hoping we wouldn’t be constantly paddling into the wind. Within minutes, though, we turned around the back part of the island where there is a smaller island that caused the water to settle into a sheet of glass. What a difference. 

As we went around the east side of the island, the sun could be seen starting to sink into the mountains near Ucluelet. The water bathed in golden light. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever witnessed. I don’t know if it was because I was tired and sore, but I became a bit emotional. At that point, Adam and I pulled our kayaks beside each other in the calm water to watch the sun sink down. It was an unforgettable experience.  

Kevin & Isabelle preparing a meal for the group

One of our gourmet meals prepared by Kevin & Isabelle

Kayaks taking a break at Willis Island

Kate paddling through the sunset

A group sunset paddle around Willis Island

Paddling into the sun

DAY 4 – Willis Island | Pinkerton Islands | Tiny Group

The next morning I woke up feeling fantastic while listening to the sound of bald eagles chirping. I wasn’t sore, I wasn’t tired, and I was looking forward to the day. Kevin had been up since 6am and had the coffee made. Isabelle put out muffins, granola and yogurt. 

As we sat an ate our breakfast we all cheered for a little mink that escaped the clutches of a bald eagle. The mink had a fish and basically threw it to the eagle to avoid being eaten. It was better than any show on TV.

Our plan for Day 4 was to see as much of the Broken Group as we could. I had yet to see the aqua blue waters I had seen in the pictures Adam showed and as we set out into the fog, I wondered if we would at all. But as quickly as the fog rolls in, it rolls out. It became sunny and beautiful. 

We paddled all morning and stopped for lunch just off of Vancouver Island near the Pinkerton Islands. We had paddled quite far and we definitely earned our lunch. Lunch consisted of chickpeas, kidney beans, feta, cucumbers, apples and corn.

We ate in a grassy area that is likely a bear estuary in the spring and fall. We watched for bears constantly. After enjoying lunch in such a beautiful, remote setting it was time to gradually make our way back to Willis Island. This was the most challenging paddle of our week. I think I was running on adrenaline. I kept singing songs in my head and we passed the time chatting to one another as we paddled.

Along the way, Kevin told us captivating stories about hiking the West Coast Trail and kayaking trips where he got injured or someone else did. We all loved these stories, as we shook our heads and couldn’t believe our guide was essentially the Canadian version of Bear Grylls.

As we came close to a tiny island in the Tiny Group – I finally saw it. Aqua blue water! I was so excited. We paddled ashore as I watched giant Dungeness crabs in the clear blue water. The crabs were scurrying over the white sand. This was the paradise everyone talked about. We sat down on the sand, looking at the bleached-out shells while eating biscotti and granola bars.

It was sunny, hot, and felt tropical. I wandered into the water up to my knees and loved every minute of it. All of us felt renewed as we paddled home. That day we went 11 nautical miles, which according to a lot of people is a lot of paddling for one day.  

Everyone went to bed early that night. It had been a perfect day but it was time to go home tomorrow which made happy & sad. Part of us didn’t want to leave this paradise, but we also were ready to go home to our Chocolate Lab – Bella. 

A mystical start to the day on Willis Island

Bald eagle hanging out near Willis Island

Mom and pup harbour seal near Willis Island

Paddling into the Pinkertons

DAY 5 – Heading Home

Bald eagles were having a conversation close to our tent at 6am. It was our final day. We were treated to bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon, pears, apples and hard-boiled eggs to start the day. It was such a good breakfast.

We packed up and departed at 9am. We were to paddle to our pick-up spot and spend our last few hours swimming and enjoying the white sand beaches.

We arrived at our final island and decided we would swim after lunch. Lunch was a charcuterie board with sliced salami, chips, smoked oysters and cheese. It was gourmet in the middle of nowhere. 

After lunch Kathy, Edith, Isabelle and I jumped in the water. It was cold but felt amazing.  We also took part in an island clean up as we noticed there was some garbage tucked into the driftwood and along the beaches. Two old tires were found along with chucks of styrofoam, ropes and water bottles. The ecosystem in the Broken Group is incredibly sensitive, so garbage like this can be detrimental. As we picked up garbage a deer came out on the beach. She didn’t seem bothered by us, so Adam took a bunch of pictures of her. She had adorable white stripes on her ears. 

At 2:30pm our water taxi arrived at the island to take us home. As we left the island, I was happy to be going home to Bella and to have a shower, but I wished our adventure was just a bit longer. I felt like I was changed in some way. I was proud of myself and Adam for doing this trip. We had never done anything like this before but I’m not sure if we could have done it without the expert guidance of Kevin and Isabelle.  Having them there to prepare our meals and make everything about the trip comfortable and relaxing was a huge plus. They also made sure we were safe, never paddling in dangerous conditions and teaching us how to paddle effectively.

We paddled, hiked, camped and had a fantastic time. We were both nervous how our bodies would hold up during this trip, as we don’t do strenuous jobs. We did just fine. That means you could too. Hello Nature is the group to go with.  Kevin is a world-class guide. Plus, he is funny and only hires awesome people to work with him.  A big thank you to Kevin, Isabelle and the entire gang at Hello Nature for an incredible trip to the Broken Group.  

Paddling towards our final island

A deer saying hi before we said goodbye to the Broken Group

Our awesome group that we got to spend 5 days with!

Book your Broken Group Islands trip with Hello Nature

Hello Nature | hellonature.ca |1 844 706 2751 |1705 Peninsula Road Ucluelet, BC

Also see: Hiking Clayoquot Sound with Hello Nature Adventure Tours

The post Kayaking The Broken Group with Hello Nature appeared first on Full Time Canada.

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The following article is by Jason Mueller of  A1AutoTransport.com 

Spring has finally started to peak its head out from the cold winter, and now is the perfect time to start thinking about where you want to take your RV when its time to travel. Before you pack your bags and hit the road for a cross-country trip, however, you need to take time to get your RV ready to go. Even if you use your RV year-round, taking time for necessary maintenance and paying attention to details is an important step to staying on the road. Regular inspections will help keep your RV in good condition and can help prolong the years you will have it to enjoy. The best way to be prepared is with an RV checklist.

Here are the most important steps to take to ensure your next road trip is just as safe as it is fun!

Outside RV Checklist

It’s important to do a complete walk-around inspection of your RV to see if there are any cracks or gaps in the RV or around the windows or doors. Even a tiny crack around a window seal can cause severe water damage. Be sure to inspect the moldings as well as the doors and exterior storage areas for signs of cracking or other damage.

If you have an awning, be sure to roll it all the way out to see if it has tears or any mold or mildew. If you see rips or tears, take the time to fix it before you travel.

Another thing and one of the most important to check is going to be your tires. If you have not been using the RV for a long period of time, check for signs of dry rot or cracks in the rubber. If you see something that does not look right, have a tire pro inspect the tires to ensure they are safe for travel. Also, check the wheels to make sure the rims are good.

Prior to Departure Outside RV Checklist:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Roof
  • Awning
  • Tires and Wheels
  • Moldings
  • Shut Off Propane Tanks
  • Remove Wheel Blocks
  • Secure Steps
  • Secure Vent Flaps
  • Retract Awning
  • Check Lights
  • Check Tire Pressure

Check Underneath

It’s easy to see when something needs to be taken care of when you look at the outside of your trailer, but people often forget about the underside of their trailer when they inspect before a trip. It’s a good idea to check underneath to make sure you don’t have loose bolts and to make sure there is nothing rusted or broken.

Prior to Departure Underneath Checklist:

  • Check Plumbing Lines
  • Black Water Tank
  • Gray Water Tank
  • Fresh Water Tank
  • Chassis
  • Axle

Inside the Trailer

Has your trailer been parked and sealed up all winter long? If so, you need to take time to open the windows and doors, clean everything and get some fresh air circulating before you think about traveling.

Check the roof for signs of leaks and if you see any, stay on top of things and get it repaired quickly. Water damage can destroy a trailer.

Check the electrical inside to make sure it is working properly. This means you need to check switches as well as every outlet in the trailer to ensure they are in proper working order. If you plan on working during your travels and have a job that requires internet access, you need to make sure your Wi-Fi works well so you can access the internet.

Prior to Departure Interior Checklist:

  • Shut Off Water Heater
  • Take Trash Out
  • Secure Food in Fridge
  • Secure Refrigerator Door
  • Close Curtains
  • Close/Secure Cupboards
  • Shut Water Pump Off
  • Clean Interior
  • Windshield (If applicable)
  • Slide Antenna Down or Remove Until Parked
  • Empty Sink
  • Remove Items from Counter
  • Secure Everything Inside

It is also a good idea to walk around the trailer to make sure there is nothing blocking the way that could cause damage when you start to drive out. This includes tree limbs, screws or nails or other items that can cause damage. You should also make sure the power, water tanks and sewage work well before taking off.

Before heading out, you need to do a complete walk-through and make sure everything is secure, the gas and power are disconnected, and everything is safely in its place, so it will not get damaged when you take off.

Careful inspection of your trailer before you take off this year will help ensure you have happy and safe travels and don’t run into any issues during your vacation time.

The post How to Prepare Your RV For Travel appeared first on Full Time Canada.

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The heavy scent of wood smoke from a campfire always unlocks the memories. Through the swirling mist of time, the years part like a curtain and I’m ten years old again. In my mind’s eye, I’m at cub scout camp with all my friends; hiking, canoeing, and fishing. Exhausted at the end of the day, we crawl into our tents as the stars wink on, listening to the thrumming of June bugs on the tent flaps. Before long, my shallow breathing gives way to dreams of winding rivers and unclimbed mountain peaks. A rustling sound in the leaves jolts me awake. “What’s that?” my friend asks, thrashing out of his sleeping bag. Reaching behind my pillow, I grab my heavy flashlight and click the rubber switch. A feeble cone of yellow light shines on the tent door, scaring away whatever small mammal had been sniffing around our campsite. “Walker, you need a better flashlight” my friend moans, rolling over and pulling his sleeping bag over his head.

Indeed.

The Discovery of How Poor RV Light Bulbs Truly Are

Imagine my surprise when I turn on the RV lights in our newly purchased RV. The feeble yellow bulbs glow like the flashlight of old. Removing the cover, I inspect one of the lights. Reaching out to touch it, I recoil from the searing heat. Worse than the old flashlight.

Over a glass of red wine that evening, I problem solve 21st century-style on Amazon. Before long, the solution stares back at me from the screen. I order a 10-pack of LED RV bulbs for $30.

10-pack of LED RV light bulbs available on Amazon for ~$30.

LED RV Light Bulbs = Money Saved!

While we weren’t planning to boondock any time in our first season or two, I have long-term plans to install solar panels and upgrade the single 12V battery. In the meantime, the LED RV light bulbs are the first step in pursuing energy independence. As I waited for the bulbs to arrive, I compared the energy numbers for the new bulbs to the traditional incandescent bulbs that came with the camper. The math confirms the new LED RV light bulbs will use less than 10% of the power of the originals, helping support our future boondocking plans.

Specification Original bulb: #921 incandescent LED RV bulb
diameter 16mm 11mm
length 35mm 42mm
Amperage 1.4 amps 0.12 amps
Voltage 12.8V DC 12.8V DC
Life expectancy up to 1000 hrs Up to 50,000 hrs
Cost/unit ~$1.50 ~$2.90
Power consumed 17.92 watts 1.5 watts
brightness ~120 lumens ~200 lumens

LED RV light bulb specifications vs. old incandescent bulb

Installing The New RV Light Bulbs

Once the new RV light bulbs arrived, I checked the fit. Some users reported problems with the lights not working. I found that the spacing of the small wire filaments was the likely issue. Like many small DC voltage bulbs, the filaments are slightly moveable. To avoid problems, ensure they are spaced properly to make contact in the socket. If not, move them slightly using a fingernail or a flat screwdriver. In my pack of ten bulbs, I had to adjust the filaments on two of them.

LED RV light bulb installed. The 42mm length will easily fit into a standard RV fixture.

The light of the new LED RV light bulbs is brighter and more of a daylight hue than the incandescent bulbs. While they do generate a little bit of heat, it is much less.

LED RV light bulb has a more natural daylight colour compared to the incandescent bulb.

The new LED RV light bulbs survived the first season with no burnouts. The next step will be to install solar panels and upgrade the 12V battery for future boondocking.

And yes, we bought new LED flashlights for the camper too.

Have a story to tell about your own RV LED bulb replacement? Please share your comments below.

The post How to Upgrade Your RV Light Bulbs to LED appeared first on Full Time Canada.

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