Four Unrelated Questions From a Newbie

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chaajoad

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1) I'm about to buy a 33' canopy for a 40' coach. The price for a 42' canopy is at least 50% more. I'm thinking a foot exposure on both ends is no big deal. Thoughts?

2) Does anyone carry a portable fire pit and some wood with them while camping? Stupid idea? I imagine some spots are going to be too crowded to mess with this kind of thing.

3) I see some posts on this Forum about mice in the coach. Is this a common problem? Does it mean you have to be pro-active and set traps?

4) Would it make sense or seem silly to carry a pop-up style screened cabana for sitting outside at night? I'm thinking it would make sense for the three of us, as far as enjoying cool air, sunsets, etc and avoiding skeeters and their buddies. But would it look goofy or be frowned upon in any way?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice. I can see I'll be visiting this forum often.

Danny Wright
Christie
Adam
Poulsbo WA
1999 35' Fleetwood Bounder
 

Woody

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I'll try to answer some of your questions, if I can.
All of the motorhomes I have seen only have partial awnings. My 34' Pace Arrow on has an 18' awning, everything in front of the side door and some of the rear side of the coach is uncovered, except I have small awnings on all of the exposed windows. This is how the coach was set up when I bought it several years ago.
If you have field mice where the coach is parked it is possible for them to get into it and build nests during the winter time. Traps or poison in the basement storage compartments work for me.
I have seen many people that have the portable screen rooms outside their coaches, especially in Canada where the mosquitos get the size of hummingbirds.
Enjoy your Bounder, its a good coach.

Woody
 

Betty Brewer

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Hi,
1.? I don't think it would look funny.? We use our window awnings more than we use the big awning though as we camp in places where the wind comes up fast and big awnings could turn into sails if not? fastened to ground.

2. We carry a camp fire in a can with a propane tank.? Haven't used it yet.? We used to carry a big wash tub and firewood.? It was nice to have a fire in the warm desert evenings but when we went "full time" space became more of an issue and we no longer carry the tub or wood. Lots of places won't allow fires.

3. I've never had mice in my coach and have not done anything special to prevent them in 13 years of owning a motorhome.

4. When we first started with RV life, I bought a screen to hang from porch.? Used it once.? It was a bear to put up, took a lot of space, did not hold very many people inside and gave it away.? We move often so it was not? worth the labor to put up and take down for us.? We do see them all the time and I don't think anyone thinks they look funny. The pop up screened cabanas take up a bit of storage room but might fit the bill.?

?You will see all kinds of things on the road and as long as you are having a good time I don't think you have to worry about how you look. Have fun and welcome aboard here.

Betty
 

Tom

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chaajoad said:
1) I'm about to buy a 33' canopy for a 40' coach. The price for a 42' canopy is at least 50% more. I'm thinking a foot exposure on both ends is no big deal.

I once bought a fiberglass boat that had been kept in a covered berth, but 25-30% of the bow was continuously exposed to the sun. That boat had a line that I was never able to get rid of.

Will the 33' canopy help keep your 40' coach cooler? Absolutley, but expect more sun-induced deterioriation on the areas not covered.
 

chaajoad

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Poulsbo WA
Thanks for all the answers. The canopy question was something to store the RV underneath, not an awning. Maybe I wasn't clear on that.

I hate spending a lot more for a few more feet of coverage but I'm thinking it over. Sun exposure is not a big deal here in the NW  ;D but rain, tree sap, etc. is. And I don't like the sounds of that line when it comes time to trade or sell.

I'm thinking, I'm thinking ...

Danny Wright
Christie
Adam
 

Karl

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Danny,

I DO carry the inside tub from a washing machine with me, but it's from my old rv washer/dryer, so it's smaller, lighter, and made of stainless steel. Also carry some wood, but not a lot. You can always buy some from the local supermarket.

Mice? What mice? Very few people have varmint problems, and it usually only affect those that are old, unkempt, and dirty.... and that goes for their rv's too! ;D
 

Betty Brewer

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chaajoad said:
1) I'm about to buy a 33' canopy for a 40' coach. The price for a 42' canopy is at least 50% more. I'm thinking a foot exposure on both ends is no big deal. Thoughts?

Danny,
My husband would tell you to build the longer canopy in anticipation of your purchase of a longer  RV.  If you build bigger  you can always put a smaller RV under it but if you want a bigger RV you may be sorry at some point down the road.
Betty
 

Ron

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Betty Brewer said:
Danny,
My husband would tell you to build the longer canopy in anticipation of your purchase of a longer? RV.? If you build bigger? you can always put a smaller RV under it but if you want a bigger RV you may be sorry at some point down the road.
Betty

Very good advice Betty.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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it usually only affect those that are old, unkempt, and dirty.... and that goes for their rv's too! Grin

I guess Nancy & I must fit in that category, Karl, cause we have had mice, squirrels and even a rat in our rigs.  I knew we were getting older but...  ???

The rat was courtesy of a repair shop where the rig was laid up for chassis work, so maybe that doesn't count, but we have had mice a couple times and a once a red squirrel.  Each happened when we were camped for extended periods (weeks or months) in wooded areas, not the "RV Resort" sort of open campground. I agree that mice or not generally a problem for rigs in active use, but if you say in one place for awhile they may find you, especially when cold weather arrives and they look for a cozy winter home.

Danny, we love a campfire and carry a propane  fireplace with us for those places that don't have fire pits.  You can also use a propane fireplace where regular campfires are not allowed - it is considered the same as a BBQ grill. Ours is a New Frontier Campfire, but there are other brands too.  We often have a few logs in the car too, since wood is not always readily available even when the camp site has a fire place. But wood is heavy and remarkably dirty to lug around so we try to do that as little as possible. You might carry an artificial log or two, though.

New Frontier Campfire

I'm a bit confused about the canopy size - you say a 33' canopy for a 40' coach and hat's 7 feet short, not just 1-2 feet. And your  Bounder is 35'.  I'm guessing you meant a 35' coach rather than 40'?    Are you just trying to keep the roof clean? Or sjield the sides and wiondows from sun damage?  If the latter, go for the longer cover.  I would think that somebody would make you one the right size - there are usually local shops hat assemble and install canopies and in that size/price range you should be able to get what you need. Keep shopping around.

I recently looked at a pop-up screen room and was tempted myself. Light weight, nicely constructed and seemingly easy to set up. Not real expensive either.  I resisted because I know it would be seldom used, but might be a blessing once in awhile, allowing us to sit out on  a buggy night.  Some camprounds would not allow it, prohibiting all "tents" on their grass. Tents and screen houses tend to be a problem where the lawns are nice - they can kill grass in just a few days of use.
 

Jeff

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Betty Brewer said:
Danny,
My husband would tell you to build the longer canopy in anticipation of your purchase of a longer  RV.  If you build bigger  you can always put a smaller RV under it but if you want a bigger RV you may be sorry at some point down the road.
Betty

And Terry practices what he preaches! ;D
 

chaajoad

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Poulsbo WA
I admit to being sleep deprived -

I've been considering a 30' canopy/cover for a 35' coach, leaving a few feet exposed on each side. The jump in price from 30 to 40' canopy is substantial so that's why I asked. I should know better, tho. Every time I try to cheap things out or rig something homemade, it rarely turns out well. So I'll look for a 35-40' canopy. Just speaking for myself, we're definitely on a budget, especially right out of the box with this rig. No telling what expenses might crop up the first year, so ... at the same time, I'm uncomfortable leaving ANY vehicle uncovered in weather. Even a bike, let alone this big investment.

Everything seems to be set for our pick-up of the Bounder a weekfrom this Saturday. The three of us will take the train from Seattle to Portland, drive back in the rig, The 8 year-old boy sees this as an adventure on par with Indiana Jones ... I guess we're all excited. Not sure what to expect but looking forward to it.

I'll say this - I'm glad my wife talked me into a Class A. I was washing my Explorer over the weekend and stamped right on the bumper is a warning that maximum trailer weight is 3500 lbs with a tongue weight of 350 pounds. Even with weight distributing gear, etc., I don't think that Explorer would be very safe hauling a 30 foot trailer with a dry weight of 4,000 lbs.
 

Smoky

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"2) Does anyone carry a portable fire pit and some wood with them while camping? Stupid idea? I imagine some spots are going to be too crowded to mess with this kind of thing."

Like the Brewer's used to do, we carry some firewood with us.? We have a product called Campfire in a Can.? We have yet to visit a campground that will not permit it.? It is treated same as a barbecue grill, and has the further advantage that real wood is used, as opposed to propane.? We do not like propane, as it is not a "Real" campfire, with crackling wood and the aroma of a campfire.? Also propane is bulky with the big cans and hoses.? Firewood can be bulky too, but we only carry a small quantity, and purchase resupply as needed.? Our Campfire in a Can can also burn artificial logs.? However we have not had to do that yet, and use pieces of artificial logs as fire starters.

There is nothing like sitting back under the stars to the sound of crackling wood, and the aroma of oak or mesquite.

Here is a link with more info:

http://www.campfireinacan.com/

Give this web site a couple of minutes to fully load, as it will then present some motion video (when the music starts) and show how the can is assembled and how it operates.

As you will see there is also a propane Campfire in a Can version, but we recommend the $77 wood version.? Any campground that permits a barbecue will also permit this baby.? What I especially like is that when you are finished with the fire, you simply snap the cover on it and the fire is gone in less than 2 minutes. (no oxygen).? I also like the stand it sits on, which prevents burning grass or any other surface.

Most of the folks on this forum prefer propane campfires, but this gives you another viewpoint.  All we can say is no campground has turned us down and we love it and it travels compactly.
 

Smoky

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Oh, one other thing.?

We also carry a Ryobi saw kit on board.? (Drill , circular hand saw and reciprocating saw).? Recently Home Depot has come out with firewood saw blades for the reciprocating saw.? We picked up one and we now use the reciprocating (battery operated) saw to cut the firewood we purchase into 6 inch lengths.? while you can get standard sized firewood into the Campfire in a Can, the 6 inch pieces burn more evenly and give a nicer fire.? Not a necessity, but a nicety, if you carry a small battery operated saw.

We plan to demo our campfire at the next QZ rally in January.? They sell them at QZ as well as at FMCA rallies.? We bought ours at the Pomona rally.
 

Karl

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Gary,
I guess Nancy & I must fit in that category, Karl, cause we have had mice, squirrels and even a rat in our rigs.  I knew we were getting older but...
Nothing personal, and of course you're right about staying in the same place for an extended period; especially when the weather starts to get cool. Heck, I even had a bat fly in one evening around dusk - what a job it was to catch him without hurting the little guy! The last few years we've had an invasion of Japanese Beetles in the area. They look like ladybugs but with more spots - and they bite! It was not unusual to see hundreds of them clingin to the sides, (front, back) some days, and they got into the cargo bays too. No matter how careful you are to eliminate entry points, they find a way in and are a real problem. Oh yeah; they also smell bad when you crush them :mad:
 

Smoky

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We put those little blocks of rat poison in our bays.  Not many, just three of them in key spots.  We also make sure the cat and dog get nowhere near the bay and same for small children.

We have never seen any sign of rodents, nor any pieces of blocks chewed on, but they are there for the inevitable break in attempt.
 

Ned

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We have put film cans (remember them?) filled with moth crystals and holes punched in the lids into each bay and have never had problem with any critters or bugs in our bays or living spaces.  We did have a frog ride in the utility bay from Florida to Arizona one year :)
 

Tom

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Ned said:
We did have a frog ride in the utility bay from Florida to Arizona one year :)

Sounds like the crickets that hitched a ride in a small boat we towed behind our prior coach. We'd never heard crickets in our neighborhood, but that all changed in a hurry.
 

Ron

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Some areas get upset when you carry firewood.  Here in Michigan we have seen signs at the entrance to campgrounds advising that firewood will not be carried into the campground.  Guess they have some kind of wood bug they are trying to contain.
 

Ron

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Karl said:
Ron,
Or they just want you? to buy their wood (maybe at a profit)? ;D

No from what I understand there is a wood bug that they are trying to control its spread.  I think sometime a while back somebody referred to it here on the forum.
 

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