This column seems to be focused on traveling lately, but summertime is a wonderful time to do that for many folks, and a great way to escape the West Texas heat! One manner of road escape, RV traveling, seems to be growing in popularity. In order to maximize the fun and minimize the hassles, dangers and expense, first consider educational resources at your Abilene Public Library. We have several for either the novice or the experienced.
Aside from buying a home, a recreational vehicle will for most folks be the largest purchase they ever make. Once the decision is made to buy, one must then choose the type and size from among dozens of options. The Complete Idiot's Guide to RVing by Brent Peterson is a great starting point for those thinking of an RV purchase. In addition to helping you decide whether to buy and if so, what, it extensively covers proper maintenance and is loaded with tips on how to insure the experience is enjoyable and safe. "RVing, though wonderful and positively a blast when you know what you're doing, is not necessarily easy - especially for novices" according to the author.
Very similar is The RVer's Bible: Everything You Need to Know about Choosing, Using & Enjoying Your RV by Kim and Sunny Baker. Included is advice on how to get the best deals in purchasing and equipping the unit best suited for you, precautions to take before hitting the road and how to choose the best, most economical and safest places to stay. Basics such as safe handling on the road are also among the myriad of topics covered.
301 Ways to Make RV Travel Safer, Easier and More Fun is also chock full of wisdom from experienced RVers. Among them: know in advance if a campground allows pets. Get wiring diagrams from the manufacturer of your RV and chassis so, in the event of an electrical problem, a service technician can then do the job faster and at less expense. Chlorine bleach flushed with water down each drain will retard bacteria and minimize odors.
For some RV owners, typical retired couples, RVing can be full time. If you're considering living out of your RV, consider Bill and Jan Moeller's Complete Guide to Full-Time RVing: Life on the Open Road. It will help you determine if that lifestyle suits you. It will provide estimates of what costs might be expected and how to make your RV livable for full time use to name just a few.
Just as we carry repair and maintenance manuals for cars and trucks, so we also have them for RVs. Trailer Life's RV Repair & Maintenance Manual is a comprehensive technical manual and troubleshooting guide for motor homes, travel trailers, fifth-wheels, tent trailers, truck campers and van conversions. Others include RV Repair & Maintenance Manual by Bob Livingston and Woodall's RV Owner's Handbook. All three offer detailed step-by-step instructions with helpful illustrations.
Before departing on your RV trip, it's important to know what campgrounds and RV parks will be along your route. The 2016 North American RV Travel & Savings Guide in the reference collection at the Main Library contains much useful information on over 12,500 public and private parks and campgrounds across North America including cost, facilities available, restrictions and how each is rated. We also have the Coleman National Forest Campground & Recreation Directory covering more than 4,300 national forest campgrounds.
While all of the above can be found at the Main Library, our Mockingbird Branch also has such selections as Exploring America by RV and RV Vacations for Dummies. Whether RV life is new to you or you are a veteran road warrior, we hope you'll come by your Abilene Public Library and see some of our resources - we may give you some new ideas before the next time you hit the road!
Article Contributed by Dennis Miller, Information Services Librarian at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library