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Bus Conversions -- Intercity
A: from JR -- You need to post this question in the "Mechanic's Corner" forum. A guy named "Joe" will know just what ails your brakes. However, as I understand the parking brakes, you must first apply the service brakes and then pull the parking brake knob. My MCI 9 owners manual states such. I can also advise you that my MCI 9 parking brakes will apply even when you don't apply the service brakes (I didn't know about this when I bought the bus). Your parking brakes should apply whenever the brake boosters don't have air available to them. A big spring in each booster is what applies the parking brake. That's why they will hold after all the air has leaked down. Your brakes do apply when your air is down? Joe will straighten this out! Good luck.
Q: Are there a few rules of RV etiquette that I should know before I pull into an RV campground?
A: For the most part, RV etiquette involves common sense and basic courtesty. An RV campground is not too different from a regular neighborhood.
Just like at home, being a good neighbor at a campground means keeping your hookup neat and quiet. Loud music and barking dogs are definitely not welcome at campgrounds. By the same token, litter and foul-smelling garbage is not appreciated either.
Many RVers are early-risers, so allow your neighbors to get their rest once the sun goes down. If you arrive at a campground at night, dim your headlights and hold down the noise as you set up. RVers often stake out their hookups with a chair or a folding table. That means they'll be back and you should look elsewhere for a spot to camp.
Above all, extend a hand of friendship to your fellow RVers. You'll be surprised just how helpful and considerate they can be.
RVCN News Desk
For many travelers, deserts are a place to avoid. Typically hot, dry, and barren, deserts have often marked the limits of human habitation. At the same time, however, deserts have long been prized for their solitude, sweeping vistas, and rugged beauty.
If you're drawn to the desert, early spring is a great time to consider RVing through the American Southwest. Although southwestern states such as Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico are among the fastest growing in the country, there are still plenty of open spaces to explore.
Nature defines deserts, and natural attractions are what bring people into the wilderness. But there's much more to enjoy than treeless desert landscapes. In early spring, wildflowers bring an explosion of color to many desert areas. Each region has its own distinct varieties, so be sure to do a little research before your trip.
While the beauty of wildflowers is fleeting, cactus forests are a permanent feature of the desert. Again, each region boasts its own varieties. If you're in Quartzsite, Arizona, ask the locals about the 300-year-old saguaro cactus with 47 arms. It's worth the detour. (Quartzsite, of course, has special meaning for RVers. It's home to the world's biggest RV show, usually held in late January. Visit www.quartzsitervshow.com to get the details.)
The southwest desert's lack of vegetation, high mountains, fierce winds, and occasional cloudbursts have also created some of the world's most spectacular scenery. The Grand Canyon is the most extraordinary example of nature's sculpting talents, but there are many other sites that are exceptionally striking -- and much less crowded.
Once you've drunk your fill of the desert's natural beauty, you can begin enjoying the many unique activities a desert vacation offers.
Rock hounding, treasure hunting, and prospecting for precious minerals are among the most popular desert activities. The dry climate of the desert has helped preserve both natural and man-made artifacts. Moreover, the barren terrain of the desert means that they're relatively easy to find. If you're especially eager to dig up the past, you can buy or rent a metal detector.
Desert hiking also holds special appeal for visitors. Many are eager to explore canyons and gullies that cut through the desert landscape. Desert caves are particularly fascinating. Many still show signs of past human habitation.
Of course, the desert also presents its own set of dangers. Dehydration and heat stroke are the main concerns. If you find yourself overcome by desert heat, find shade quickly, drink plenty of water, limit your movements, and cover up to minimize perspiration. By all means, take safety measures sooner rather than later.
Flash floods are often overlooked as a threat in a dry climate. If you're hiking in a canyon or gully, always leave yourself an escape route. A sudden cloudburst, even if rain is falling miles away, can send a wall of water in your direction in minutes. Finally, beware of the desert's poisonous reptiles, such as rattlesnakes and gila monsters. Once the sun goes down, reptiles seek warm surfaces, such as pavement and rocks, that have soaked up the heat of the day. Make sure you don't cross their path.
Had enough of the great outdoors? Fortunately, the American southwest is also home to a vibrant mix of peoples and cultures. You can easily build your vacation around exploring the history of the Old West, the art and accomplishments of Native Americans, and the pervasive Hispanic influence.
Also, check out our state-by-state guide to RV campgrounds.
Dewinterizing Your RV
If you live in a climate where winter temperatures dip well below freezing, you're probably familiar with the chores involved in "winterizing" your RV. Now that the weather is warming up, your thoughts are likely turning to RVing again. Before you hit the road, however, take the time to properly "dewinterize" your vehicle. Below are a few maintenance duties that apply to most RVs.
Dewinterizing your RV requires only a few hours, but it's often neglected in the excitement of spring. Keep in mind, however, that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Careful dewinterizing will help you enjoy a trouble-free and fun-filled season of RVing.
For more about dewinterizing and other RV maintenance issues, please visit our Mechanic's Corner discussion forum.
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