9 Best Reasons to Rent an All-Inclusive Blacksford RV

9 Best Reasons to Rent an All-Inclusive Blacksford RV

If you are planning to rent an RV to visit the big National Parks out west then Blacksford RV is absolutely your best choice for your RV Rental. That’s why it was so easy for us to come up with The 9 Best Reasons to Rent a Blacksford RV, which are:

  1. Unlimited Miles and Generator Time
  2. All-Inclusive RV Rental
  3. Top of the Line RVs
  4. Premier Locations
  5. FREE Trip Planning
  6. FREE National Park Pass
  7. No Lines, No Paperwork
  8. Price
  9. Convenient Add Ons

Once you read through our list you will see why we love Blacksford and recommend that you use them for your all-inclusive RV vacation of a lifetime!

1. Blacksford RV Rentals Have Unlimited Miles and Generator Time

Blacksford RV has no limits on mileage for their short term RV Rentals, which range anywhere from a minimum of 5 days up to 8 weeks. When I rented my RV from one of the big national RV Rental Companies we paid .35 cents per mile! And we traveled 1900 miles on our vacation. So, when we returned the RV we incurred an extra charge for the mileage we had driven. And we also had to pay for generator time. We worried during the whole vacation about how much we were spending mileage and generator time. In fact, we limited our generator use rather than using it more to enjoy our time in the RV. What a terrible way to vacation!

But with Blacksford you have unlimited mileage and generator use. So, you can enjoy your vacation without tracking mileage or worrying about how long you are running the generator. And if you RV in the National Parks most campgrounds do not have electrical hookups so you will need to run your generator quite often. Therefore, you can spend more time enjoying your vacation knowing you won’t get hit with a large bill when you return the RV.

2. All-Inclusive RV Rental

Blacksford includes more than just unlimited mileage and generator time. They also offer everything you will need while renting your RV making it an unparalleled all-inclusive RV rental experience. While most RV Rental Companies charge up to $120 for kitchen utensils and cookware, Blacksford includes them at no charge.

Blackford also includes bedding for every bed in the RV at no charge. This includes sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, and washcloths. You could end up paying upwards of $60 per person for bedding with the large RV Rental Companies.

And, if you prefer sleeping bags, or you rent a tent, the sleeping bags are also included at no extra charge.

3. Blacksford Only Rents Top of the Line RVs

Blacksford rents two awesome RV models. They are the Winnebago View and Revel. They only rent newer RVs with less than 50,000 miles on them which ensures that you are renting a clean, up to date, immaculate RV with all of the latest features. The Revel and View both sit on a Mercedes-Benz Chassis and offer the latest comforts and features on the market today.

The Winnebago View is the best selling Class C Motorhome in America today. It is 25.5′ long and can sleep up to 5 people comfortably and the motorhome that started the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter revolution keeps getting better all the time. The View offers a powerful and economical turbo-diesel engine and boasts an amazing 16 miles per gallon. This is double what you can expect from a gasoline engine, which will save you even more money while touring the country.

The Winnebago View features an elegantly appointed interior, which is the ultimate in efficient, luxurious RV travel. The View has three slideout-equipped floorplans that offer a variety of sleeping and living space arrangements. All three floorplans feature swivel cab seats for added seating flexibility in the living area, a motorized awning, and a cabover bed for additional sleeping space. For those seeking the ultimate Sprinter-based Class C motorhome, the View is an awesome choice.

Winnebago View Exterior RV Rental

Winnebago View Interior RV Rental

The 4x4 Winnebago Revel is 19.5′ long, sleeps up to 3 people comfortably and is perfect for those who want to explore and get off the beaten trail. The Revel features a no-nonsense straightforward design with function-driven features. It is built on a 4x4 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, with a 3-liter turbo-diesel engine with an on-demand 4WD system, complete with high/low range mode for added off-road capability.

The interior features include a floorplan designed around a 140 cu. ft. gear garage with a power lift bed which gives you ample storage space. Also included is a full galley with a 2.5 cu. ft. compressor refrigerator. A wet bath with shower and gear closet also contains a cassette-style toilet that eliminates the need for a separate black water holding tank. Also included are a standard 200-watt solar power system, a dinette with a pull-up table that converts to additional sleeping space, and many more innovative features. The new Revel is the perfect 4 x 4 for boondocking or off road adventures.Winnebago Revel Exterior 4x4 RV Rental

Winnebago Revel 4x4 Interior RV Rental

4. Blacksford Rents RVs in Premier Locations

Blacksford operates out of two fantastic locations for those looking to tour the western USA. One location is in Bozeman Montana which serves the Pacific Northwest including Yellowstone, Glacier and Grand Teton National parks. And the other location operates out os St. George Regional Airport in Utah, which serves the Southwest. It provides easy access to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks in Utah, as well as, the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

But the best part about both of these locations is that Blacksford, unlike all of their competitors, rents their RV right at the airport. You can literally get off the plane, jump in your rental and go! This way you don’t have to land at the airport, haul all of your luggage to the taxi stand and catch a 20 to 30-minute cab or Uber to the offsite RV Rental location only to stand in line and complete the paperwork prior to finally loading up your RV.

5. Blacksford Offers FREE Trip Planning

If you have ever planned a huge vacation adventure with multiple locations, attractions and overnight stays then you know the amount of timing and coordination it takes. Susan and I have planned several of these trips and it takes hours and hours of research. We wished we had the benefit of a trip planner who was a local and could provide expert guidance and advice.

Well, guess what! Blacksford has free trip planning included at no extra charge with every RV rental! And the trip planners are locals who reside in the areas where you will be traveling. They can help with planning every detail of your trip so you see everything you want to see on your vacation.

Drivetime CalculatorThey offer the following at no extra charge:

  • Day-by-Day itinerary guidance
  • RV and Camping recommendations
  • Kid and Group Adventure Ideas
  • Fly Fishing Recommendations
  • Float and Tube Recommendations
  • Nature Guide Recommendations
  • Anything else you need!

6. Blacksford Includes a FREE National Park Pass with RV Rentals

Free National Park Pass Blacksford RV RentalHave you ever applied for a National Park Pass? It’s not that difficult. You just go online and order it. But then you have to wait for it to arrive! And that can take months at certain times of the year. So, if you forget this little detail and it’s within 8 weeks of your vacation you will be stressed out hoping that you receive your pass in time. This happened to me and Susan one year! Why do this to yourself when you don’t have too?

Blacksford is the only RV Rental Company that I know of that offers a FREE National Park Pass for you to use on your vacation. So, you don’t have to worry about it and it will save you quite a few dollars since you won’t have to pay to enter any of the National Parks! It’s just another detail that you don’t have to worry about!

7. No Lines, No Paperwork to Rent or Return Your RV

So lines and paperwork are a huge hassle when renting your RV. Not once – BUT TWICE! You have to stand in line and fill out paperwork before you rent your RV and again when you return it! Ugh!

When we rented our RV we waited in line to rent our RV. We filled out all of the paperwork, gave them our credit card to process, signed a million forms and waited in a waiting room for them to give us a tour of the RV. Not a fun way to start the vacation. I hate waiting around and I wanted to get going!

Then when we returned the RV it was the same thing all over again. But worse! We had to turn in the RV and wait for them to inspect it for damage. Again, we waited in the little waiting room. Then we stood in line, and eventually, we were handed an invoice for the extras we had incurred during the week like mileage (at .35 cents a mile) and generator time (at $3.50 per hour). When we rented the RV we had to put up a damage deposit. The invoice was so confusing I actually could not tell if they refunded the damage deposit or not. We figured it out after we got home because I was afraid we would miss our flight if we waited around any longer.

And then the Uber driver took forever to get to us. So, we were completely stressed out that we might miss our flight home!

Blacksford has considered all of this and they take care of all of the paperwork before you even arrive at the airport. There are no lines and no paperwork. You just take some time to get acquainted with the RV and ask any questions. Then you hit the road. Oh – and they have a playroom for the kids so they aren’t interfering while you are learning about your RV putting away your clothes.

8. Blacksford Offers Convenient Add Ons

Although Blacksford RV Rentals have everything included that you will need for your vacation they also realize that people travel from all over the world to rent their RV’s and they may not be able to pack everything they want. So, they do offer add-on products for rent at extremely reasonable prices.

When Susan and I rented our RV we couldn’t rent many items that we needed so we had to buy everything we couldn’t rent from the big national RV rental company. So, we bought 2 bikes, a cooktop grill, a foam mattress pad, marshmallow sticks, bear spray, and a few other items. We couldn’t take any of that stuff on our flight home so we just gave it away to a couple who was renting their RV while we were returning ours. That cost us a few hundred bucks at least!

Blacksford has taken all of this into consideration as well and they have the perfect add ons if you need additional gear for your vacation. Here is a partial list of what they offer:

  • Camp Chairs – free
  • Sleeping Bags in Lieu of Bedding – free
  • Yeti 65 Cooler
  • GoPro Hero Adventure Pack 
  • Bear Spray 2-Pack (purchase) 
  • Camp Stove w/1 Canister and Table 
  • 4 Person Tent 
  • LED Head Lamp 
  • JetBoil w/ 1 Canister 
  • 1 Up DOUBLE Bike Rack 
  • Rod Vault (4 rods) REVEL ONLY 

9. The Cost of a Blacksford RV Rental

Here is the real deal! Renting a newer all-inclusive Winnebago luxury RV on a Mercedes-Bens Sprinter Chassis from Blacksford may actually cost less than renting a Ford 350 Heavy Duty Pick Up Truck Chassis RV from one of the big National Rental Companies. But even if it costs a few dollars more I promise you it is totally worth it.

And, if you are taking the vacation of a lifetime you will want everything to be perfect. And the best part is with Blacksford not only will everything be as perfect as possible but it costs about the same as a lesser RV rental.

For a full breakdown of the cost to rent a luxury RV from Blacksford vs a similar Cruise America rental check out our articles called Why Blacksford is the Best RV Rental with Unlimited Miles.

CONCLUSION

Since Susan and I have rented an RV ourselves we know the added frustration and expense you may encounter while renting an RV yourself. We have spoken with Jonathan Distad on several occasions about how Blacksford operates and we think this is an absolutely great company to rent a quality RV for a great price. We love this company and their all-inclusive luxury RV rentals and if you are going to rent an RV for your vacation of a lifetime you should rent from Blacksford. You will not be disappointed. You can learn more by clicking through to the Blacksford Website.

For more information about RV Rentals please check out our related helpful articles below:

|

Recent Helpful Articles

RV Camping in Humboldt Redwoods State Park

RV Camping in Humboldt Redwoods State Forest is a great way to see the giant redwoods in Northern California. There is a lot to do and see here from driving along the Avenue of the Giants to taking in all that nature has to offer. Including seeing some of the black...

Do I Need Wheel Chocks for an RV or Travel Trailer?

Wheel chocks are necessary for your RV or travel trailer to keep them from rolling away. Parking brakes work well to keep your rig stable, but they are not reliable on their own. Instead, they are much less likely to fail when used in combination with chocks. RV wheel...

9 Best Reasons to Rent an All-Inclusive Blacksford RV

If you are planning to rent an RV to visit the big National Parks out west then Blacksford RV is absolutely your best choice for your RV Rental. That's why it was so easy for us to come up with The 9 Best Reasons to Rent a Blacksford RV, which are: Unlimited Miles and...

21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids

Here is our list of 21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids. We think all of these tips apply whether you're in an RV with kids for a week, a year or indefinitely. Traveling in an RV is a great way to show your kids the world and make memories. Many parents...

21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids

21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids

Here is our list of 21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids. We think all of these tips apply whether you’re in an RV with kids for a week, a year or indefinitely.

Traveling in an RV is a great way to show your kids the world and make memories. Many parents worry that being on the road and sharing a smaller space with kids will be stressful, but with some planning, you can minimize the drama and focus on the fun!

1. Involve Your Kids in the Planning of the Trip. Whether you are traveling for a weekend or a year, check in with your kids about where they would like to go and what they would like to see and do on the trip. Does your child love swimming? Try to find campgrounds with pools or water access. Do you have an aspiring history buff in the family? Look for historic sites in the areas you plan to visit. Making sure there is something for everyone will keep the kids excited about the adventure.

2. Give Children Their Own Designated Space to Relax and Play. Whether it is a bunk bed or special seat in the camper, it is important that everyone have their own space for quiet time or individual play. Having a designated space for play will also keep toys from spreading throughout the camper.

3. Limit the Amount of Toys You Bring. Perhaps the biggest challenge of traveling with children is determining which toys will come on the trip and which ones need to stay at home. Remember that kids can be overwhelmed when too many toys are available. Bringing a few age appropriate toys that are geared toward open-ended play (such as blocks or LEGOs) is a smart move, while weighing your rig down with every toy your kids own is not.

4. Focus on the Reason That Your Family is Traveling. Is it to spend time together? See the great outdoors? You don’t need many toys for those goals! Children are also really good at finding objects to play with in the natural environment. It is amazing what kids can create with just rocks and sticks.

5. Designate a Bin or Area for Children’s Toy Storage. Setting aside a bin or shelf in a closet for each child to fill with toys, books and personal items will help limit the toys that come on the trip while giving kids ownership over what they bring. Think about how much space you have in the RV for each child and be clear about the space limitations.

6. Allow Your Child to Select His or Her Own Toys. Even if the toys they select seem strange to you your child will quickly learn which toys are fun to play with on camping trips and which ones are not. They will probably be surprised at how little they actually play with their toys on the road!

RV Living With Kids7. Bring a Mix of Both Indoor and Outdoor Activities and Games. Bag toss, soccer balls, a baseball and glove, and bikes are all great things to bring for outdoor play. Make sure you also have a few games and activities for bad weather. A few favorite board games can make the difference between a cozy rainy day in the camper and a boring day trapped inside.

8. Bring a Well-Stocked First Aid Kit. Depending on where you are going, you may be some distance from medical care. A first aid kit will allow you to treat minor injuries, bug bites, and illnesses with ease. If possible, consider taking a basic first aid course before hitting the road. Going over the basics will put your mind at ease and could even save a life. We keep the Swiss Safe First Aid kit on board and highly recommend you click this link to buy it. It’s small but packed full of all the supplies you will need.

9. Be Thoughtful About the Clothing That You Bring. No matter what size RV you have, it seems like space is always limited. Clothes take up a lot of space! Be thoughtful about how many clothes you bring for each child. The right amount of clothing depends on several factors- the weather, how long you will be traveling, and if you will have access to laundry facilities. Always bring a rain jacket and don’t forget your swimsuits if you will be near water.

10. Consider a Handheld Two-Way Radio! Two-way radios are a great way to keep in touch in the campground, especially when cell service may be limited. Parents and kids can stay connected when doing different activities in the park, such as hitting the showers or going on a trail. Two-way radios are also a great way to give older kids some freedom while giving parents peace of mind. Susan used to use walkie talkies with her daughters when she took them camping. And they loved it! Follow this link to buy a great set of walkie talkies that your kids will love using around the campground!

11. Consider Using a Small Tent for Children’s Outdoor Play. If you feel like your kids are constantly underfoot in the camper, take it outside! A small tent for “kids only” is a great place for kids to play with blocks or LEGOs, while keeping those items out of your sight and out from under your feet. This can also serve as a child’s space for resting and relaxation during the day or early evening. Older kids may enjoy camping outside in their own tent while parents enjoy peace and quiet in the RV. If you don’t have a tent, the awning on your rig can also serve as a nice place for reading or play.

RV Living With Kids Activity12. Choose “Kid-Friendly” Campgrounds. Whether you are seeking peace and quiet or lots of activities, be thoughtful about the campgrounds that you select for your family. If you are looking for activities that are more nature focused, such as hiking and biking, state or national parks may be the best place to start your search. If you want activities that are kid-focused such as pools, splash pads, mini-golf and playgrounds, a private campground with amenities may be more your speed. Keep in mind that some campgrounds are more kid friendly than others. Be sure to read reviews and check out the websites of private campgrounds in advance to see if they are geared more towards families with children or older adults.

13. Select the Right Campsites. If the campground allows you to book a specific site in advance, check out the campground map and think about which location will work best for your family. If a map is not available or you are not sure which site would be best for you, call the campground and ask for their recommendation. Selecting a site close to a trailhead, pool, activity center or playground can make things easier on parents, especially when traveling with younger children. Camping near or adjacent to the playground allows parents to kick back and relax while the kids have fun. It is also a great way for your children to meet other kids at the park.

RV Living With Kids Travel Activities14. Bring Activities and Snacks for the Drive. Small, portable games such as highway bingo or magnetic checkers can ease the boredom of a long drive. If you allow your children to use electronic devices while traveling, make sure they are charged and ready for the journey. Healthy snacks for the drive will keep everyone in good spirits so the fun can begin as soon as you arrive. Apples, raisins, nuts, carrot sticks and granola bars are all car friendly and easy to prepare. Make sure everyone has their own water bottle to prevent squabbling and keep everyone hydrated.

15. Plan to Make Frequent Stops When Traveling. If you are driving more than four hours, plan a stop along the way. Most kids (and parents) need a break after four hours on the road. A rest stop or park is a great place to stretch your legs, grab some lunch and use the restroom before arriving at your destination. State and national parks typically have RV or camper parking and are great places to take a break along your journey.

16. Maintain Your Same Routine and Schedule as Much as Possible. We all know that part of the fun of RVing is to get away from the daily routine, but remember that kids (and adults) thrive on structure. Let your kids know what you will be doing each day so they are prepared. Keeping meals and bedtimes at their regular times can prevent meltdowns. Take time to relax at your campsite. From hiking to kayaking to exploring a new destination, there are always things to do in any area that you visit. It can be easy to go, go, go and run out of energy on a trip. To prevent needing a vacation after your vacation, remember to plan some down time each day.

17. Try to Plan No More Than One or Two Activities Per Day. Set aside time each day for your kids to just hang out at the campsite. Taking time to read and relax in the afternoon or having an evening campfire are great ways to rest and recharge. Get a schedule of activities happening at the campground. Whether you are staying at an RV resort or a state or national park, there are often free or low cost activities at campgrounds. Ask at check in or check out the message boards in the campground. Ranger hikes, bingo games, ice cream socials and scavenger hunts are all fun for kids and they are often FREE!RV Living With Kids Tips

18. Explore the Area. A day trip is a great way to break up a longer stay at a campground and check out something new. Nature preserves, state and national parks and even city or county parks are all fun for kids to explore. If there is a city nearby, check out the local museums and attractions that are of interest to your family. Look for activities that will interest all ages, not just the kids! Depending on where you are traveling, many of these could be low cost or even free. If your family has a membership at a local museum, aquarium or zoo, check out your membership benefits package to find attractions around the nation that maybe be free or discounted with your pass.

19. Meet Other Families. Even if the goal of your trip is to maximize family time, set aside some time for your kids to play with others in their age group. This is especially important on longer trips. Striking up a new friendship is a great way for kids to work on their social skills. Campgrounds are great places to meet other families. Your child may even make a pen pal or friend for life! Meeting other families can be as easy as walking through your campground. You can also connect with families ahead of time online. Follow the campground you plan to visit on social media. Join a RV travel group to find other families that will be in the area during your visit.

20. Make it Educational. Learning doesn’t have to stop just because school is out! There are many ways to add learning opportunities to your trip. If you will be visiting a state or national park and your child is school-aged, be sure to pick up a Junior Ranger activity booklet for your child to complete. These programs are designed for ages 5 to 99 and some parks offer programs for preschool aged children as well. Junior Rangers learn about the park, how to protect it, and earn badges for their work. You can also have kids learn about the history or culture of the state or area you are visiting, outdoor and/or water safety, and the plants and animals in the region. Older kids can help calculate trip mileage or create a budget for the trip.

21. Give Your Kids Responsibilities. Setting up and breaking down your campsite can be a lot of work! Kids enjoy being a part of “grown up” tasks. Depending on their ages, you can assign kids jobs such as putting away the dishes after meals, helping connect the water hose, or setting up the chairs at the campsite.

Have fun! Remember that sharing your love of travel and the outdoors with your children is a great gift to give them. Take a deep breath, relax and make some memories. Hopefully, you can use some of the 21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids to make your journey even more enjoyable.

Do you have any great tips to share about Living in an RV with Kids? Please leave your comments below!

Please check out some of our other related helpful articles too:

|

Recent Helpful Articles

RV Camping in Humboldt Redwoods State Park

RV Camping in Humboldt Redwoods State Forest is a great way to see the giant redwoods in Northern California. There is a lot to do and see here from driving along the Avenue of the Giants to taking in all that nature has to offer. Including seeing some of the black...

Do I Need Wheel Chocks for an RV or Travel Trailer?

Wheel chocks are necessary for your RV or travel trailer to keep them from rolling away. Parking brakes work well to keep your rig stable, but they are not reliable on their own. Instead, they are much less likely to fail when used in combination with chocks. RV wheel...

9 Best Reasons to Rent an All-Inclusive Blacksford RV

If you are planning to rent an RV to visit the big National Parks out west then Blacksford RV is absolutely your best choice for your RV Rental. That's why it was so easy for us to come up with The 9 Best Reasons to Rent a Blacksford RV, which are: Unlimited Miles and...

21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids

Here is our list of 21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids. We think all of these tips apply whether you're in an RV with kids for a week, a year or indefinitely. Traveling in an RV is a great way to show your kids the world and make memories. Many parents...

Do I Need a Battery for My Travel Trailer?

Do I Need a Battery for My Travel Trailer?

RV batteries are a fundamental feature of your travel trailer, yet they are the least recognized. In reality, they are the backbone of just about every electrical component. But, people always seem to ask: Do I need a battery for my travel trailer?

While operating your trailer without this power source is possible, it is an unnecessary risk to take. Instead, learning about batteries, how to use them, and which kind to get is the only way to encourage their lifetime and efficiency.

Why Do I Need a Battery for My Travel Trailer?

There are various reasons you should use an RV battery in your travel trailer.

First, batteries give power to the system that allows your tail lights, brake lights, marker lights, electric wheel brakes, and dash accessories to function. These features must be operating correctly to pull your trailer legally.

Moreover, most if not all, of your electrical appliances and lighting run on 12-volt DC power and the batteries provide this power. The 120-volt alternating current (AC) power, or shore power, charges the 12-volt DC house battery system. The 120-volt AC power converts into 12-volt DC power, which provides energy components, such as the fridge, furnace, lights, and water pump.

Even those who park their trailer at a campsite need a battery to convert the current. It will also keep your systems functioning correctly if the shore power fails due to an outage.

Without a battery, your detectors for propane leaks, carbon monoxide, and fires will not operate, potentially leaving you and your family in a life-threatening situation. Additionally, you will not be able to use any 12-volt lighting, meaning you will need to rely solely on flashlights. Therefore, having a battery in your travel trailer will keep you safe and out of the dark.

Battery power will charge your 12-volt propane appliances since the last thing you want is for your refrigerator full of fresh groceries to go to waste. Luckily, with this source of power, you will be able to continue running your pre-cooled unit, and, in turn, save your food.

What Kind of Battery Do I Need for My Travel Trailer?

Although batteries may look similar, they are very different. Taking the time to choose the best battery for your camper will pay off in the long run.

Travel trailers only run on deep-cycle batteries. Boats, materials handling equipment, golf carts, and other larger units also rely on this RV house battery, as it is dependable and efficient.

These lead-acid batteries provide continuous power over more extended periods making them more reliable than others. Most versions run dependably until 80% discharged; however, discharge should never exceed 45% to promote battery life.

Deep cycle batteries come in two different varieties – flooded and sealed. Each has unique features but are comparable for their increased recharge frequency and longer lifespan.

Conventional flooded electrolyte batteries are cheaper yet require more maintenance. With this system, users must monitor the water levels and fill them as needed. Flooded batteries also corrode faster and only handle a discharge of 50%, meaning they need to be cleaned and charged more often.

Sealed batteries, on the other hand, are divided into two subcategories. Both are pricier than flooded but require less maintenance and last longer.

Absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries accommodate users, as they do not need regular care. They also charge up to five times quicker than flooded, can handle a discharge up to 80%, and will easily withstand the cold temperatures of winter. Users should be aware that these batteries are highly susceptible to overcharging, resulting in irreparable damage.

Gel batteries are also sealed and do not need as much care. They are great for extreme temperatures and handle excess vibration. Note that these batteries are not for inexperienced RVers due to their slow charging rate and high risk of damage.

What Size Battery Do I Need for My Travel Trailer?

Battery size for your travel trailer is vastly dependent upon your needs as a camper. Choosing a 6-volt versus a 12-volt battery makes all the difference when it comes to cost and longevity.

Although 6-volt batteries may seem small, they have a lot more spunk than you might think. Also called a “golf cart” battery, 6-volts are the only real deep cycle battery. They have more space between each of its 2.1-volt cells, which means their thicker plates will increase its life. Due to their deeper discharge and higher amperage output, they work best for those who boondock or live off-grid.

Conversely, a 12-volt battery is a deep cycle and starting battery hybrid. When in parallel, it will only charge to the weakest cell’s level, making it less desirable than the 6-volt counterpart. Aside from this disadvantage, these batteries are perfect for those who travel from campground to campground.

Keep in mind that you will need to purchase either four to six 6-volt batteries or two 12-volt batteries to accommodate your trailer. Wire the 6-volts in a series and the 12-volts in a parallel configuration to obtain the most amperage.

How to Charge RV Batteries

Learning how to charge RV batteries for your travel trailer properly takes time and practice. Knowing how the system works makes the experience much more pleasant, as well.

While a converter is technically a charger, it does not do the best job. This device transforms 120V AC to 13.2V DC, which powers the 12V DC systems. Although the converter gives out over 40 amps, it charges batteries between three and five amps. Unfortunately, fully charging batteries at this amperage takes a considerable amount of time.

Purchasing high-quality chargers, on the other hand, will effectively juice up your batteries at a faster rate. They will also help you decide when and how long to charge the batteries. Today, there are various chargers on the market that are guaranteed to fit your needs.

Microprocessor-controlled chargers, or “smart chargers,” use algorithms to adjust for the needs of the battery. This method is the most precise and trustworthy for charging, as it changes the voltage and current as needed. Using a smart charger also eliminates worry about overcharging or damaging your battery. I like the Schumaker Fully Automatic Battery Charger and Engine Starter. My Battery charger is over 10 years old and still works great.

If you are looking to charge your RV batteries with solar panels, be sure to use maximum power point tracking (MPPT). Like the smart charger, the MPPT also uses algorithms to measure voltage and alter the current. Unique to this device, however, is the way it regulates power depending upon light conditions. As with any solar-powered device, charge your batteries during the day to utilize the sun’s energy.

For those who dry camp, or boondock, generator power is the best way to charge your batteries. On its own, this method does not work well, as its 8-amp maximum does not supply enough energy. Instead, plug your smart charger into the generator’s 120V AC outlet to increase the charging speed.

How to Make Your RV Battery Last

RV batteries are not cheap, so make the most of your money by following these suggestions to promote its lifespan. Also, consider purchasing a battery monitor to track the amount of charge, voltage, usage, and time left to charge. This feature will alleviate any confusion and keep you informed about the status of your battery.

Perform routine maintenance and immediately recharge discharged batteries to make your batteries last longer. Furthermore, purchasing a digital voltmeter is highly recommended to monitor the status of your batteries.

Note that a 12-volt battery is 12.7-volts, meaning you should never allow discharge to dip below 50% or 12 volts. Realistically, you should not let it drop under 80%, or 12.4 volts to avoid sulfation, or the formation of small, lethal crystals.
Hot temperatures and overcharging will also destroy your battery. Try to keep the system from getting too hot and avoid charging too long. Frequently check your water levels and replace electrolyte levels whenever necessary. Only use distilled water, as regular water causes calcium sulfation.

Always charge your battery in stages. During the first phase called bulk charging, boost it up to 90%. Next, switch to absorption charging for the remaining 10% to prevent gas buildup and water loss. The last step is called the float stage and works to maintain a full charge. As a reminder, prevent water loss by leaving vent caps on while charging and water only after powering is complete.

Travel Trailer Battery Replacement Tips

Deep cycle batteries are not like starter batteries, as you cannot jumpstart them. If your battery no longer maintains a charge, each requires a replacement. For example, if you have two batteries in parallel or six in a series, change them all to avoid ruining the others. Fortunately, swapping them out is rather straightforward once you get the hang of it.

First, remember to put on goggles and rubber gloves to protect yourself from sulfuric acid. In preparation, make sure the main disconnect switch is turned off. Power down individual breakers and switches instead if your travel trailer does not have this switch.

Next, open the battery hatch and check if your battery has spilled at all before handling. If there is any damage or corrosion, seek professional help to fix the issue.

Now, you’re ready to take out the old battery. Remove the negative cable (black) first to prevent any shortages or blown fuses. To loosen the wing nut, use a socket wrench or pliers. Then, disconnect the positive cable (red), but do not let it touch the negative cable. Furthermore, do NOT touch the black and red terminals with your hands, as this can cause a lethal electric shock.

With the terminals detached, carefully remove the house battery. If it is dead, properly dispose of it by visiting your locally approved recycling facility. Otherwise, move it into a secure storage area for next season.

Before installing the new unit, clean the connections and holding area. After completion of this step, place the batteries in their compartment. First, attach the positive cable (red), then connect the negative cable (black). Secure the area, check the voltage, and turn on the main breaker switch or individual breakers to confirm the success of the installation.

Should I Disconnect the RV Battery When in Storage?

Properly winterizing your trailer before storing makes all the difference come spring. It is during this time that you should also be thinking about your RV battery.

Freezing temperatures will kill flooded cell batteries; therefore, you should never leave them in your trailer during storage. Alternately, take them home with you and tend to them over the winter months. Even when batteries are disconnected, they will eventually discharge over time. To prevent sulfation, check them every month and perform an overnight charge if they fall below 80%.

Removing your batteries is also important to avoid excess drainage. For example, utilities that run on standby power, such as your LP gas leak detectors, clocks, appliance circuit boards, stereos, and tv antenna power boosters, decrease the life of your battery. As a preventative, turn off these appliances when they are not in use or while the trailer is in storage.

If you choose to leave in your batteries, you will likely purchase a new one the following season. For those who must leave their batteries in storage, check on your trailer frequently. Taking these simple precautionary measures saves you in the long run, as your battery is the most valuable feature of your travel trailer.

What is the Best Travel Trailer Battery?

Today, many brands offer lower cost, efficient batteries. How long they last, however, varies depending on your maintenance and care routine. Regardless, choosing a high-quality battery gives you a head start and leads you in the right direction.

As previously mentioned, AGM batteries are perfect for campers who enjoy low-maintenance, easy-to-use systems. They are pricier than flooded batteries, yet their benefits outweigh the cost.

The Universal Power Group 12V 100Ah is one of the newest and highest-ranking batteries on the market. It holds a charge well during both storage and usage time and lasts much longer than competing brands. For example, during a month of storage, it only discharges 3%!

AGM batteries are known for their fantastic storage ability and resistance to corrosion, sulfation, and hydrogen gas explosions. For these reasons, they are currently the safest lead-acid batteries to date.

Although the Universal Power Group 12V is a tad heavier than others and a bit more expensive, its safety features and maintenance-free needs make up for its shortcomings.

What is the Best RV Battery for Dry Camping?

Dry camping, or boondocking, requires more thought than campground stays. Without an electric hookup, RVers must be mindful of their energy output.

Some batteries are much better than others for boondocking. Mainly, you want to find one that increases your amperage while maintaining lifespan.

The top-rated VMAXTANKS 6 Volt 225Ah AGM battery does just that, as it is ideal for dry campers looking to get the most bang for their buck. Combining up to six in a series will allow you to power your entire RV longer with no issues. It can also be used to accumulate solar and wind energy and works well as a backup power source.

This battery is leak-free and spill-proof due to its sealed design, and with the appropriate care, it will last you longer than most. The price is well worth the quality, as it is both reliable and convenient.

How Can I Protect My Travel Trailer Batteries From Theft?

Aluminum Battery BoxEvery year someone’s batteries are stolen from their travel trailer. It’s a shame but batteries are valuable because they are expensive and they are easy to get to especially if they are mounted outside of your camper trailer. So, the battery box was invented to protect your batteries from theft. A battery box mounts on the tongue of your travel trailer and keeps your batteries secure under lock and key.

Better battery boxes are made with lightweight bright diamond plate cut aluminum with knock out holes for different trailer configurations and pre-drilled holes for easy mounting. They provide excellent security for your batteries and look great too.

Conclusion

Be sure to give your battery the love and care it deserves, as it works hard to keep your trailer powered and functioning. Contrary to belief, you do not need to replace your battery every year if you follow the proper guidelines. By choosing high-quality batteries and performing routine maintenance, your battery will last you much longer.

Do you have any advice about how to maintain your batteries? Please share your comments below!

For more helpful articles about travel trailers please check out our articles below:

|

Recent Helpful Articles

RV Camping in Humboldt Redwoods State Park

RV Camping in Humboldt Redwoods State Forest is a great way to see the giant redwoods in Northern California. There is a lot to do and see here from driving along the Avenue of the Giants to taking in all that nature has to offer. Including seeing some of the black...

Do I Need Wheel Chocks for an RV or Travel Trailer?

Wheel chocks are necessary for your RV or travel trailer to keep them from rolling away. Parking brakes work well to keep your rig stable, but they are not reliable on their own. Instead, they are much less likely to fail when used in combination with chocks. RV wheel...

9 Best Reasons to Rent an All-Inclusive Blacksford RV

If you are planning to rent an RV to visit the big National Parks out west then Blacksford RV is absolutely your best choice for your RV Rental. That's why it was so easy for us to come up with The 9 Best Reasons to Rent a Blacksford RV, which are: Unlimited Miles and...

21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids

Here is our list of 21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids. We think all of these tips apply whether you're in an RV with kids for a week, a year or indefinitely. Traveling in an RV is a great way to show your kids the world and make memories. Many parents...

Why Blacksford is the Best RV Rental with Unlimited Miles

Why Blacksford is the Best RV Rental with Unlimited Miles

Have you ever dreamt of taking a once in a lifetime trip to see the big national parks out west but felt overwhelmed because of all of the details involved with planning a trip of this magnitude? And one of the biggest details is your RV Rental. What if there was a way to rent a new state of the art all-inclusive RV with everything you need including unlimited miles, a National Park Pass and free trip planning from local experts for one low price with no unexpected extra costs? Well, read on to see why Blacksford is the best RV Rental with unlimited miles and more!

It can be insanely difficult to plan a vacation of a lifetime and have it go perfectly and here’s why. First of all, you don’t know where to begin. You don’t know the best places to see, and you probably have limited vacation time. There is more to see and do than you can squeeze into a 1 or 2 week vacation and you don’t want to waste your money or one minute of your precious time. Plus you have all of the travel arrangements to handle like flights, transportation from the airport, overnight stays, route planning, finding an RV rental at a fair price, making sure you have all of the supplies you need while camping and the list goes on and on. 

The good news is that you can have many of the details of your trip handled all at once when you rent your RV from Blacksford. They can rent you a top of the line Winnebago RV and include everything you will need for your vacation. And, you pick up your RV right at the airport so when you step off the plane you are on your way to your RV. Your RV will be fully outfitted and ready to go. There are no lines and no paperwork to handle because the onboarding process is completed online prior to your arrival. Every detail is taken care of and your itinerary is planned. All you have to do is jump in and drive off.

Who Is Blacksford?

Blacksford RV was founded by Jonathan Distad. Jonathan is an RV enthusiast who found that RV rentals were out of date, inconvenient, overpriced, and ill-equipped. And on top of that they nickel and dime for things that should be included in the price of an RV rental. So, he set out to solve these problems by offering all-inclusive RV Rentals at a fair price with no extra charges for things that should be included in an RV rental like kitchen utensils, bedding and camp chairs.

When I had the chance to speak with Jonathan when he was launching Blacksford I was thoroughly impressed with his insight and attention to detail regarding RV rentals. Susan and I had rented an RV from one of the big national RV rental companies and so we know all of the pitfalls, shortcomings, and frustrations you might experience when renting from one of these companies. When I shared our rental experience with Jonathan, he could relate because he had rented RVs too. And, as we discussed how Blacksford would be diffferent I was totally impressed. Read on and you will see why.

Where Does Blacksford Rent RV’s?

Blacksford rents RVs from two main locations in the western US – Bozeman Montana and St. George Utah.

Bozeman Yellowstone National Airport in Bozeman Montana is where their first location was established to serve customers who want to visit the National Parks near Montana and the Pacific Northwest such as Yellowstone, Glacier, and Grand Teton National Parks. Or you can head north up into Canada and explore Banff National Park.

Their second location is in St George Utah at St. George Regional Airport which serves travelers looking to explore the big 5 National Parks in Utah, as well as the Southwest. St. George Regional Airport is located just south of Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands National Parks, often called “The Big 5.”

What Types of RVs Does Blacksford Rent?

Blacksford RV rents 2 Luxury RVs, the Winnebago View, and Winnebago Revel, which are both built on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. All of their RVs are 1year or less with under 50,000 miles and have the latest features and technology.

The Winnebago View is the larger of the two and can sleep up to 5 people. It is a 25’5″ sprinter based Class C RV. It has 3 luxurious floor plans with the latest in design and comfort. It also includes a 16′ awning, swivel cab seats, a generator, and a continuous hot water heater.

The Winnebago Revel is a 4x4 Class B RV Sprinter campervan that sleeps two. It is 19’2″ and has everything you need for an off road off the grid adventure incuding a 200-watt solar power system.

Both of these vehicles feature top of the line electronics, Wifi capabilities, and luxury features.

Blacksford RV Rental Winnebago View Interior

What is Included With a Blacksford RV Rental?

Blacksford provides an all-inclusive RV rental experience for their customers. I think they go above and beyond with all of the features that are included with every RV rental, such as:

  • Unlimited Mileage 
  • Unlimited Generator Use
  • Kitchen Utensils and Cookware
  • Bedding for Every Bed (rent more than a week and get another set for each week – no charge!)
  • Coffee Maker and Sampler Set
  • Camp Mats
  • Camp Chairs
  • A National Park Pass
  • FREE Trip Planning

Do They Offer Short Term and Long Term RV Rentals?

Blacksford offers both short and long term rentals. The short term rental period is anywhere from a minimum of 5 days to as long as 8 weeks. Their long term lease program is called SeasonaLease. It is an outstanding long term lease program where you can rent a brand new View or Revel for 4, 6 or 12 months. Under the long term lease, a base of 2,000 miles a month is built into the lease and you can purchase more miles if needed. They also include roadside assistance, insurance, vehicle registration, a full warranty, and more.

Do They Rent Add-on Items for Convenience?

Yes! There are plenty of add-ons that you can rent from Blacksford to make your trip as convenient as possible. No other rental company that I know of will rent you these items. And, if you can’t rent these items with your RV you either have to bring them with you or buy them! Here is a list of available add-on rental items:

  • 4 Person Tent (sleeping bags included)
  • Yeti 65 Cooler
  • GoPro Hero Adventure Pack
  • Bear Spray 2-Pack (purchase)
  • Camp Stove w/1 Propane Canister and Table
  • LED Head Lamp
  • JetBoil w/ 1 Propane Canister
  • 1 Up DOUBLE Bike Rack
  • Bike Rentals (available through a third party vendor)
  • Rod Vault (4 rods) REVEL ONLY

They also offer kids pack and plays, scavenger hunts, and other games to keep them happy and occupied. They also have a special kids provisioning pack.

All of the Add-on rental items are subject to availability so be sure to reserve what you need as early as possible.

How Do Arrival and Departure Work?

It’s really very simple. You arrive at the airport and a Blacksford representative will escort you and your belongings to your RV right at the airport! You don’t have to Uber yourself, your kids and all of your luggage to an offsite facility to rent your RV. And, Blacksford handles all of the onboarding details online ahead of your arrival so everything is complete when you arrive. No lines, no paperwork, no hassle – just arrive and go!

And, if you arrive early or need an extra nights stay to catch your flight the next day so you don’t feel rushed, they have pre-arranged rates set up with local hotels so you can rest easy and not worry about missing a check-in or check-out time.

In addition – for those folks exploring the Southwest, Blacksford has a shuttle service that runs from McCarran National Airport in Las Vegas to St. George Regional Airport in Utah. It’s a 2-hour ride but plane ticket prices to Las Vegas are very inexpensive so you can save some a few bucks if you fly in there.

Does Blacksford Really Offer Free Trip Planning?

Blacksford offers free trip planning assistance and has exclusive relationships with RV parks in and around Yellowstone, Teton, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks that make it easy to help you get on your way. They can help you with the following trip planning activities:

  • Day-by-Day Itinerary Guidance
  • RV and Camping Recommendations
  • Kid and Group Adventure Ideas
  • Fly Fishing Recommendations
  • Float and Tube Recommendations
  • Nature Guide Recommendations
  • Anything else you need!

They will help you any way they can but book your RV Trip ASAP because the RVs and especially the campgrounds will sell out before you know it!

How Much Does a Blacksford RV Rental Cost?

Just about every campground in the US National parks has no electricity available for RVers. And if they do, these campsites are the first ones booked every season. So, chances are good that you will have no electricity and that means you will need to run your generator to operate the air conditioner or heat, the microwave, a coffee pot or even a hairdryer! And with other rentals, you pay for generator use time which will be significant. This will add even more unexpected cost to your RV rental.

And there a many other add ons to consider as well such as the cost of the $80 National park Pass, the $100 plus kitchen utensil set, the $100 plus cost for bedding and towels, and extra gas expense since you won’t be in a 2020 model class B RV which gets close to 20 miles per gallon. You will be in a class C RV which gets about 8.0 miles per gallon on the mountains so the gas expense will be incredibly high.

With all of these unexpected expenses, you will end your trip having spent over $1000 on extras! Talk about a bucket of water in your face to bring you back to reality after your awesome vacation.

Here’s a break down of the cost of a Blacksford Rental vs a Cruise America Rental. This comparison assumes a family of four who plans to visit all 5 of the National Parks in Utah. The total miles driven for this trip is assumed at 1,400 miles. Cruise America builds 700 miles into the base price so I show the additional charge for the remaining 700 miles in the graph below. The closest Cruise America RV Rental location is in Henderson NV. The Blacksford RV rental location is at St. George Regional Airport in Utah, near Zion National Park.

 Cruise America   Blacksford 
Type of RVFord 350 – 25′ Class C RVWinnebago View – 25′ Class C RV
Mileage1,400 miles @ .35 cents per mile = $490.00Unlimited Mileage
Generator Time30 hours @ $3.50 per hour  = $105.00Unlimited Generator Use
Kitchen Package$110.00Included
Coffee Pot and SamplerN/A – $50.00 if you buy thisIncluded
Bedding Package$60 per person = $240Included
Uber to and from the Airport$110.00Easy RV Pickup at the Airport
National Park Pass$80.00Included
Gas Expense1400 miles @ 8 mpg at $2.75 per gallon = $481.25     (unleaded gas engine)1400 Miles @16 mpg at $3.05 per gallon = $266.90      (diesel engine)
Trip PlanningN/A but probably worth $100 (or more)Included
New Winnebago vs Ford Chassis RV$500.00Included
RV Rental Price (Not including extras above)$2,005.08$3,593.00
Total for Everything$4,271.33 (RV Rental Price + All Extras + Gas)$3,859.90    (RV Rental Price + Gas)

You might argue that a brand new Winnebago is not worth an additional $500 for the week but even if you only value it at $250, which is very low in my opinion you still come out ahead renting from Blacksford. It’s a no brainer that renting from Blacksford is more convenient, economical, and luxurious.

What If You Don’t Book Through Blacksford?

You don’t have to book your trip through Blacksford. You can choose to handle all of the details on your own. You can spend countless hours researching and reading about other people’s experiences so you can learn what they did, and wish they didn’t do. You can watch countless hours of YouTube videos trying to decide which sights you want to see. And worst of all, you will most likely be stressed out while spending more money to see fewer attractions on your vacation. It’s the exact opposite of what most people want out of a vacation like this.

Susan and I rented an RV from one of the big RV rental companies when we took a trip to California. We had to plan the whole trip ourselves. We spent hours and hours researching where to go, what to see, the best campgrounds, and the list goes on. We had to fly to Vegas, haul all of our stuff through the airport, and pay for an Uber to get to the RV Rental location 20 miles away. We had to pack as much stuff as we could because the Rental Company either didn’t rent the things we needed or they nickel and dimed us for what they did offer.

We paid extra for mileage, generator time, bedding, kitchen utensils, cookware and camp chairs. And after finally getting through the onboarding process, we had to drive straight to Wal-Mart and buy bicycles because they didn’t rent them. We had to put the bicycles inside the RV while we drove because they didn’t rent bike racks either. I would have paid extra to have everything planned out and thought out for me ahead of time so I could just relax and enjoy my vacation instead of prepping for my vacation even after I picked up my RV rental!

You will have to pay anywhere from 25 to 33 cents per mile that you drive your RV rental after you use up your mileage allowance. And as you are driving you may find yourself calculating the cost for the number of miles you have driven rather than focusing on the incredible beauty of the amazing scenery that surrounds you. 

You will waste time and add tons of stress and expense getting from the airport to your RV rental location and back in time to catch your flight! We were so stressed out driving to the RV rental location to return our RV. There was a line, and it took what seemed like forever for the checkout process. Then we waited for the Uber driver which took at least 30 minutes. I thought we were going to miss our flight home!

Plus you will have to purchase your own National Park Pass. And, you will not be in a new 2020 Winnebago View or Revel (I can assure you), which are the perfect size to camp and park conveniently close to all of the major National Park attractions.

If you choose not to rent through Blacksford you will spend more money to see less of the National Parks. 

What Happens Now?

At this point one of three things will happen:

1. You will rent from one of the big National RV Rental companies and spend way more than you thought due to add on charges like mileage, generator run time, kitchen utensils, bedding, and a national park pass. And you will most likely pay more to see less of the National Parks.

2. You may decide to use a company like Outdoorsy or RVshare and rent an RV from a private individual – sight unseen! I can’t imagine how much stress that would add to your vacation. What is something were to break or go wrong? What would you do?

3. Or, you will rent your RV through Blacksford and let them handle all of the details and guide you in the right direction. Imagine the stress-free feeling of the vacation of a lifetime in a luxury vehicle with every detail planned for and accommodated.

Imagine how an incredible luxury camping vacation can create memories that will last a lifetime and create a long-lasting bond between you, your family and nature. What would that be worth? How would you feel after providing yourself and your family with an amazing stress-free vacation with every detail accounted for while experiencing the amazing landscape and nature found in America’s National Parks?

Book Early to Make Your Vacation the Best it Can Be!

Time is of the essence! If you want to vacation at one of America’s National Parks you need to book your trip as far in advance as possible because every single minute that goes by someone else is booking an RV Rental and highly sought after campsites in one of the National Park Campgrounds. Millions of people from all over the world visit these parks every year.  Every minute you wait you risk being able to book the RV you want or a campsite inside the National Park. And this means you will be paying at least double for your overnight stays outside of a National Park in a private campground, which could feel very much like a parking lot full of RVs parked side by side.

For an All-Inclusive RV Rental from Blacksford just click the logo below and book your rental asap! They will take great care of you. Jonathan, the founder of Blacksford, has thought of everything to make your RV rental the most convenient, all-inclusive vacation of a lifetime! And, you have nothing to lose! You can cancel at any time up to 90 days prior to your pick up date and get a full 100% refund! So, book now before someone else beats you to it!

Blacksford RV Rental

 

For additional information to plan your vacation of a lifetime please see some of our other helpful articles below:

 

|

 

Recent Helpful Articles

RV Camping in Humboldt Redwoods State Park

RV Camping in Humboldt Redwoods State Forest is a great way to see the giant redwoods in Northern California. There is a lot to do and see here from driving along the Avenue of the Giants to taking in all that nature has to offer. Including seeing some of the black...

Do I Need Wheel Chocks for an RV or Travel Trailer?

Wheel chocks are necessary for your RV or travel trailer to keep them from rolling away. Parking brakes work well to keep your rig stable, but they are not reliable on their own. Instead, they are much less likely to fail when used in combination with chocks. RV wheel...

9 Best Reasons to Rent an All-Inclusive Blacksford RV

If you are planning to rent an RV to visit the big National Parks out west then Blacksford RV is absolutely your best choice for your RV Rental. That's why it was so easy for us to come up with The 9 Best Reasons to Rent a Blacksford RV, which are: Unlimited Miles and...

21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids

Here is our list of 21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids. We think all of these tips apply whether you're in an RV with kids for a week, a year or indefinitely. Traveling in an RV is a great way to show your kids the world and make memories. Many parents...

RV Window Insulation Tips for Summer and Winter

RV Window Insulation Tips for Summer and Winter

Summers can bring scorching heat, making the inside of your RV feel like an oven. Cold weather can make sitting in your camper a bone-chilling experience. One step you can take to help you meet the challenges created by extremes in weather is to improve the insulation in your RV. An excellent place to start is with our RV window insulation tips for summer and winter.

Most trailers have single-pane windows. And, one of the most significant sources of heat loss for your RVs is these same single-pane windows. While glass is a reasonably good insulator, a single-pane window does not contain enough glass to do the job. However, single-pane windows are easy to manufacture and inexpensive to install, and this is why trailer manufacturers use them.

With single-pane windows, the heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer will cause you to be uncomfortable in your camper. You will experience higher heating and cooling costs, not to mention the wear and tear on your RV’s heating and cooling systems.

You could certainly replace the single-pane windows with double-pane windows. There are several reasons you might not want to do that. The first is that it could be expensive. The second is that modifying your trailer to that extent could void your warranty.

There are several other options for insulating your RV’s windows available to you that can work well, provide flexibility, and are relatively inexpensive.

How Does RV Window Insulation Work?

Window insulation products create a barrier to help prevent heat loss in cold weather. They can also help prevent heat gain in hotter weather. Insulating your RV’s windows against heat loss or gain will help you stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Also, moisture in the RV can condense on colder window surfaces. This condensation can lead to mold or mildew problems as well. Two ways to decrease the humidity in your RV is to either lower the moisture level by using a dehumidifier or increase airflow. However, increasing airflow can create other issues depending on current weather conditions.

The main point here is that, if your single-pane windows feel cold to the touch, that means heat is escaping through them. It also means your RV probably feels drafty and your heating costs are going to be higher. So, let’s take a look at insulating those drafty RV windows.

Should the RV Window Insulation Go on the Inside or Outside?

Deciding if you should place the window insulation on the inside or outside of your RV windows often depends on what you are using to insulate the windows. If you are using insulated RV window curtains, placing them on the outside would be silly at best. However, one of the most effective ways to improve insulation for your windows is to use bubble wrap with a layer of foil (also known as Reflectix) on either side.

Placing the Reflectix on the inside of your RV windows, especially when it’s scorching hot outside, can cause the window to heat up to the point of cracking. The best way to prevent your RV’s windows from heating up is to place this type of insulation on the outside. Placing window insulation such as this on the inside can also contribute to condensation problems.

Homemade RV Window Covers

Bubble Wrap RV Window InsulationHomemade window covers are another great way to insulate your RV’s windows against heat loss in the winter or to keep heat out in the summer. An excellent window cover would be the combination of Reflectix and bubble wrap mentioned earlier and recommend for use on the outside of your RV’s windows.

You can also use bubble wrap by itself on the inside. To insulate a window with bubble wrap, dampen the glass and stick the bubble wrap to it. The bubble side of the wrap will be facing the glass. Just try to find bubble wrap that comes in 24″ wide rolls rather than 12″ or you will find yourself taping the bubble wrap together to cover most of your windows. Also, make sure the bubble wrap is at least 5/16″ thick. The thicker the better.

Use a spray bottle or a damp rag works to moisten the window. Adding a little dish soap will help the bubble wrap stick even better. This method requires you to keep the bubble wrap on the windows all winter. However, if it comes loose, you can dampen the glass again and stick it right back up. You can also use clear tape to tape two or more pieces of bubble wrap together for bigger windows.

An advantage of using bubble wrap alone is that it still lets light through the window. However, seeing clearly through the window is out of the question.

How to Make Insulated RV Window Curtains

DIY RV Window Insulated CoversAnother low-cost way to help insulate your RV’s windows is to make insulating RV curtains. Making these curtains is also relatively simple if you are handy with a sewing machine. To get started you will need some good quilted material such as a mattress cover for the exterior layer, an inexpensive liner material such as sheets for the interior layer, and heavy-duty aluminum foil for the middle layer.

First, measure windows to determine the curtain sizes. Then use the mattress cover for the outside layer, the foil for the middle layer, and the liner or sheet for the inside layer. Bind them all together. Also, you can use a foil tape like that used by HVAC companies use to attach foil or Reflectix for larger windows. If you want to get fancy, use a carpet edge tape to cover the outside edges giving your curtains a more finished look.

The insulated RV curtains can be hung between the blinds and the window, and will significantly reduce heat loss in cold weather as well as help keep the heat out in the summer.

Plexiglass RV Window Insulation

Plexiglas window covers can be an excellent choice for larger windows. You can purchase plexiglass sheets from almost any building supply store. Plexiglass is easy to cut with a utility knife, and you can use clear acrylic mounting tape or even Velcro to hold it in place.

Plexiglass covers allow for the critical insulative air space, while still allowing an unobstructed view through the windows. However, plexiglass can be a bit more expensive than other options, costing in the neighborhood of $45 for a 0.080″ x 24″ x 48″ sheet.

Shrink Wrap Your RV Windows

Another possibility is to use a window insulator kit. These are the same heat-shrink plastic kits people use to insulate their windows at home during the winter. Essentially, you place a double-sided tape (typically included in the package) around the window frame. You then cover the window with plastic by sticking it to the tape.

Using a hairdryer, you heat the plastic which shrinks, causing all of the wrinkles to smooth out. The tape forms a seal around the edges, trapping a layer of air between the plastic and the glass. Again, it is this layer of air which provides insulation against the cold, helping you to stay warm.

Reflectix for RV Window Insulation

Another popular choice is to cover your RV windows with Reflectix. Reflectix has excellent insulative properties. However, if sunlight is key to your sense of well-being, this may not be the best option for you. As its name suggests, Reflectix reflects the sunlight away and will not let it through.

Reflectix may help insulate your RV, but it also repels a useful source of heat in the colder weather, that source of heat being the same sunlight mentioned above.

Because of this, many RVers put Reflectix in their windows at night and take it out during the day. Removing it allows the sun to warm the RV during the day. The problem here is that you have to take it down and put it back up daily. Also, sitting next to a single-pane window on a cold day can be a drafty experience. Some of those methods mentioned above may be better methods for insulating your RV’s windows.

Can RV Window Tinting Help Insulate an RV?

Tinting your RV windows can certainly help to keep the heat out in the summertime. In fact, some of the more advanced window films can help to keep heat inside your RV too. For much more information about how tinting your RV Windows can help insulate your RV check out our helpful article called RV Window Tinting – Increase Privacy and Reduce Heat.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many ways to insulate your RV’s windows. These different options range from simple and cheap to more expensive and complicated. Some may actually be quite fun for the handy do-it-yourselfer.

Adding an insulation layer to your RV’s windows can significantly increase the comfort level in your RV while also reducing your heating and cooling bills. It can also reduce the wear and tear on your heating and AC system, prolonging their service life.

And, you can utilize many of these options full-time, keeping your RV’s comfort zone on your open-road adventures much more consistent.

Do you have some creative ways you have insulated your RV from hot or cold weather? Please share your comments below! We would love to hear from you!

For more related information check out some of our other helpful articles below:

|

Recent Helpful Articles

RV Camping in Humboldt Redwoods State Park

RV Camping in Humboldt Redwoods State Forest is a great way to see the giant redwoods in Northern California. There is a lot to do and see here from driving along the Avenue of the Giants to taking in all that nature has to offer. Including seeing some of the black...

Do I Need Wheel Chocks for an RV or Travel Trailer?

Wheel chocks are necessary for your RV or travel trailer to keep them from rolling away. Parking brakes work well to keep your rig stable, but they are not reliable on their own. Instead, they are much less likely to fail when used in combination with chocks. RV wheel...

9 Best Reasons to Rent an All-Inclusive Blacksford RV

If you are planning to rent an RV to visit the big National Parks out west then Blacksford RV is absolutely your best choice for your RV Rental. That's why it was so easy for us to come up with The 9 Best Reasons to Rent a Blacksford RV, which are: Unlimited Miles and...

21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids

Here is our list of 21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids. We think all of these tips apply whether you're in an RV with kids for a week, a year or indefinitely. Traveling in an RV is a great way to show your kids the world and make memories. Many parents...

7 Awesome Reasons to Buy a Flatbed Truck Camper

7 Awesome Reasons to Buy a Flatbed Truck Camper

There are many types of campers available today so why choose a flatbed truck camper for your RV? There are 7 awesome reasons to choose a flatbed truck camper and they are:

  1. Off Road Capabilities
  2. It Can Tow A Trailer
  3. Easy to Drive
  4. Registration and Insurance Savings
  5. Tax Advantages
  6. More Space
  7. Multiple Uses

Truck campers have been increasing in popularity in recent years, with companies both in the U.S. and abroad creating imaginative floor plans on the basic concept – a truck with a camper body loaded on the back. Their major feature as compared to an RV is that the camper portion can be “demounted,” allowing you to use the truck portion as you normally would.

Truck campers can be separated into two categories based on the kind of truck used as a base – flatbed and pickup campers.

What is a Flatbed Truck Camper?

Truck campers mounted on pickup trucks are the most popular. A unit referred to as a slide-in, or cab-over is lowered or slid into the bed of the pickup then secured in place using tie-downs and turnbuckles. Pickup campers can be mounted on trucks as small as half-ton models, also known as light-duty pickups, such as the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra. These trucks are rated to carry loads up 1,000 lbs. making them suitable for small slide-ins. Larger camper units require a three-quarter or one-ton pickup.

Flatbed truck campers are mounted on trucks with a flatbed. And as the name suggests, they have no fixed sides, tailgate or roof. Tie-downs are typically located along the side of the trailer. Some people remove the truck bed from their pickup truck and replace it with a flatbed.

Flatbeds can range up to 53 feet long, accommodating a larger, more roomy camper body, although most camper bodies are 6.5 to 11.5 feet in length. The resulting vehicle often looks much like a Class C RV. The difference being that the camper portion can be lifted off, allowing the vehicle underneath to revert to use as a truck.

Why Choose a Flatbed Truck Camper?

1. Off-Road Capabilities: Truck campers in general, both the pickup and flatbed based models, are favorites with owners who plan to take their rigs off-road, do a lot of boondocking, or just enjoy going where more “delicate” motorhomes wouldn’t dare. The four-wheel-drive feature of many trucks lets the truck camper tackle sand, mud, and steep and bumpy conditions that would destroy a typical motorhome, or at least leave it waiting for a tow.

2. Can Tow A Trailer: Truck campers, with their more powerful engines, also are great for towing boats, horse trailers, or utility trailers loaded with motorcycles, ATVs, jet skis, snowmobiles or other “toys” that today’s adventure seekers want to bring along on vacation.

3. Easy to Drive: Truck campers are generally smaller than big motorhomes or fifth-wheel combinations. They have a tighter turning radius and are easier to park since they usually fit in a regular parking space. Gas mileage is likely to be a bit better as well. And the units are easier to store and maintain.

4. Registration and Insurance Savings: Another, often overlooked, advantage of a truck camper is the savings in insurance, registration, and licensing fees. Many, if not most, states consider the camper body itself to be cargo, instead of a typical RV that has to be registered as a separate vehicle. All owners have to do is maintain the license and registration on the truck itself. The same goes for insurance, although some companies will offer a special rider for the truck camper, usually at low cost.

5. Tax Advantages: There may be a tax break involved as well. The IRS waives the $25,000 limit on expensing any vehicle “equipped with a cargo area (either open or enclosed by a cap) of at least 6 feet in interior length that is not readily accessible from the passenger compartment.”

6. More Space: Since flatbed truck campers don’t have to fit into a pickup truck bed, they have additional space for storage, water tanks, extra batteries, and propane as well as more spacious living quarters. They are secured to the truck bed itself, often with pins or bolts, without cutouts around the wheel wells and the sides of the truck bed. This lower center of gravity makes them more stable, as well, allowing heavy items like water, propane, and batteries to sit lower in the overall design.

7. Multiple Uses: You can also remove the camper and use your flatbed truck for work or other activities. Therefore, your flatbed truck can be used in a variety of ways.

Truck campers have some “cons” as well. They aren’t ideal for people that need accessible features, due to the higher clearance, and many find that the interior is cramped compared to a big Class A of the sort preferred by full-timers.

While pickup campers have traditionally dominated the truck camper field, flatbed campers have become increasingly popular in recent years. The slide-out design necessarily causes the pickup camper to be narrow on the bottom to fit into the truck bed, then balloon out over the truck sides. This design not only limits storage and living space; it may create a top-heavy rig and affect stability.

What Kind of Truck Is Best for a Flat Bed Truck Camper?

Nearly any kind of flatbed truck can be fitted with a truck camper. Various brands of campers are designed to be compatible with certain flatbed lengths and sizes. But a three-quarter-ton or one-ton truck is generally preferred to handle the various options popular on flatbed campers.

The important requirement for assembling a truck/camper combination is that the camper fits correctly on the flatbed and that the total payload can be handled by the truck. New truck campers are rarely sold already mounted on a truck. People who already own a truck can generally find a camper that is suitable for mounting. Those who have a camper top and want to mount it on a truck can find a suitable truck out there.

The important thing in assembling a truck camper is to work closely with the manufacturers of the truck and/or camper to make sure you have a compatible fit. Once assembled, experts recommend weighing the truck camper several times, both empty (“dry”) and full of liquids and gear (“wet”) to make sure the combined vehicle is operating within its safety parameters.

Several truck manufacturers specialize in making flatbed trucks for conversion to flatbed truck campers. AT Overland, Sherptek and Highway Products make custom flatbeds to match camper manufacturer specifications. The Hillsboro 2000 Series of aluminum flatbeds come in several sizes, including long bed and short bed models.

DIYers can get creative in building their own flatbed truck campers. Popular right now are flatbed truck campers mounted on retired military vehicles, which are definitely ready for rough and tumble conditions.

Do Flatbed Truck Campers Have Bathrooms?

Truck Camper Wet BathExcept for the smallest or oldest models, most truck campers have some kind of restroom or bathroom facilities. Bathrooms in campers are either wet or dry baths, although some manufacturers just have a room with a toilet, a cassette toilet in the main living space, or a cabinet where you can stow a porta-potty.

A dry bath is essentially the kind of bathroom you probably have at home, but smaller. There’s a toilet, a sink, a mirrored vanity and a separate shower (convenient for storage).

Wet baths consist of a single, molded plastic unit that includes a shower stall, toilet and sink all in one. These take up less space than a dry bath, and conversely are also roomier inside, for large or tall people who need more space. You can also sit on the toilet and take a shower.

Many wet bath designs include a dry compartment to stow your toilet paper and perhaps a mirrored cabinet. After using the shower, the compartment needs to be squeegeed down and dried. Otherwise, the bathroom will be wet if you need to use for other than a shower.

These wet bathrooms are widely used in Europe, in campgrounds as well as in commercial settings. From personal experience, I can say that one of the only drawbacks is that the flush button and the shower button in some can be too easily confused. Be sure you push the right one, or you may find yourself unexpectedly soaked.

Most truck campers in the past have had wet baths exclusively, but the advent of slide-outs has changed all that. Just make sure that your dry bath is going to be accessible quickly. Having to deploy your slide-outs before you can get to the toilet gets old fast.

For smaller truck campers (and vans), a cassette toilet may make the most sense. These can be concealed in a cabinet or closet, and are a real space and weight saver. Cassette toilets look much like your toilet at home but drain into a removable black water tank. The tank, which is spiked with chemicals to control odor, can usually last a week before needing to be emptied. It can then be taken out and dumped into an ordinary toilet, making it great for weekends when you’ll be off the grid, and for winter use when dump stations may be closed.

Flatbed Truck Camper Interior Options

Flatbed truck camper interiorFlatbed truck campers are available in two distinct styles: hard-sided or soft-sided, also called a pop-up. In this article, we’ll mostly talk about hard-sided models, with a fixed roof and solid sidewalls, saving pop-ups for another discussion. Solid side units offer better insulation, more interior storage, and less sound pollution than soft sided models.

Inside the traditional truck camper, you’ll find a cab-over sleeping area, a basic kitchen area with sink, stove and refrigerator, a dinette and a bathroom, often all in one room. But times, they are a-changin’.

Until recent years, hard-side campers were known for their limited living space, but all that changed with the advent of truck camper slide-outs. As in regular RV models, slide-outs have increased the interior living room in flatbed models, as well as allowing for larger dry bathrooms, additional beds, couches, and entertainment centers. Many newer models also include space for “toy” storage.

Available in lengths ranging from 6 feet to 12 feet long, flatbed campers are available with one, two, even three slide-outs. Most flatbed designs have doors on the side, although some, like the Hallmark Nevada, has a rear entry. In some, a rear slide holds a couch or a dining area, even a dry bath. The side entry frees up space on the back of the camper to carry motorcycles, bicycles, spare tires and luggage racks.

Who Manufactures Flatbed Truck Campers?

While not as many companies make campers for flatbeds as for pickups, the growing popularity of flatbed truck campers has encouraged a number of manufacturers to enter the field.

Here are a few options:

1. Overland Explorer offers a composite flatbed truck camper which includes a camper and aluminum flatbed installed on your Ford F350 or Ram 3500.

2. Bahn Camper Works custom designs flatbed campers in a light, resin-infused fiberglass shell with a variety of floorplans.

3. Colorado-based Phoenix Custom Campers offers hard sided flatbed campers that can be completely customized by the owner.

4. Four Wheel Campers offer flatbed campers for mid- and full-sized trucks with 6.5 ft. and 8 ft. flatbeds.

5. Alaskan Campers makes an 8.5 foot Flatbed Cabover with a side entry. Like Alaskan’s other models, it features a unique hard-sided telescopic roof that is raised and lowered by a pushbutton operated electric pump.

6. CamperLogic, a new company based in Minnesota, produces all-aluminum, 10 and 12 ft. campers for mounting on a flatbed.

To see the latest in flatbed truck camper design and other adventure vehicles, plan a trip to the Overland Expo, held twice a year in East and West locations.

Which are the Best Flatbed Truck Campers?

With so many options in the marketplace, it’s tough to say which truck camper is the best. A better question is: which truck camper is right for you?

Numerous factors need to be considered, including:

  • Do you want a slide-in model based on a pickup truck or a more spacious flatbed camper?
  • Do you want to use a truck you already own or buy a new one?
  • Do you want a hard-sided or pop-up camper model?
  • What kind of bath do you want?
  • Do you want slide-outs?
  • Will you be towing something?
  • How many people will be going camping with you?
  • Will you be off-roading?
  • Will you be boondocking?
  • Will you be using your camper in the winter?
  • And of course… how much do you want to pay?

Truck campers are a great choice for those who would like the option to use their vehicle as either a truck or a camper. They are especially recommended for those who want to get off-road or into the wilderness to boondock where other RVs can’t go.

Do you have any info to share about flatbed truck campers? Please leave a comment below!

For more info check out some of our other helpful articles below:

|

Recent Helpful Articles

RV Camping in Humboldt Redwoods State Park

RV Camping in Humboldt Redwoods State Forest is a great way to see the giant redwoods in Northern California. There is a lot to do and see here from driving along the Avenue of the Giants to taking in all that nature has to offer. Including seeing some of the black...

Do I Need Wheel Chocks for an RV or Travel Trailer?

Wheel chocks are necessary for your RV or travel trailer to keep them from rolling away. Parking brakes work well to keep your rig stable, but they are not reliable on their own. Instead, they are much less likely to fail when used in combination with chocks. RV wheel...

9 Best Reasons to Rent an All-Inclusive Blacksford RV

If you are planning to rent an RV to visit the big National Parks out west then Blacksford RV is absolutely your best choice for your RV Rental. That's why it was so easy for us to come up with The 9 Best Reasons to Rent a Blacksford RV, which are: Unlimited Miles and...

21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids

Here is our list of 21 Practical Tips for Living in an RV with Kids. We think all of these tips apply whether you're in an RV with kids for a week, a year or indefinitely. Traveling in an RV is a great way to show your kids the world and make memories. Many parents...