Hershey RV Show

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This was the first coach that we could see as we entered the RV show in Hershey, Pennsylvania last year. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the show and we are leaving bright and early tomorrow morning to attend again this year.

We are taking the Castaway down and staying at a site about an hour or so from the show. From where we live, it is a short drive to the U.S. border and then about a 6 hour drive straight down I-81 to our exit.

I will post where I can and hopefully Lorraine and I will have lots to share about the RV show this year.

By the way, the Entegra pictured above is a pretty nice machine. We almost bought that one at the show last year. Some great deals can be made here if you are in the market. After doing all of our research we opted for the Dutch Star and for working with a local dealer here in Canada.

How to Clean the Windshield

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Yesterday I posted about cleaning the inside of the windshield. And today? My approach to cleaning the outside of the windshield. Well, not my approach. The approach that I follow. I use the same approach for my car as I do for the coach. The only difference is that it takes a lot more time to clean the windshield of the coach. Oh, and there are ladders involved with the coach.

Cleaning the exterior windshield is a four-step process:

  1. Clean the windshield thoroughly with an automotive glass cleaner like Invisible Glass. I usually wash and dry the front cap first and then use the cleaner. Apply with a microfiber cloth using random circular motions. Buff out in an up and down motion. Given the size of the windshield, I generally place my ladder in four positions to clean. By necessity, I have to work in smaller sections.
  2. Clay the windshield. The video suggests using hot water. I use a detailing spray, Griot’s Speed Shine. The important point is to have some lubrication for the clay to do its work. Wipe of the excess spray with a microfiber cloth.
  3. Clean the windshield again as in step 1.
  4. Wax the windshield. I, however, do not use wax. I use Griot’s Glass Sealant. The application process is a bit different as the sealant gets applied two times. One coat applied, buffed and then a second coat applied, buffed. If you follow the video, you will only apply one coat of wax.

And that’s it.

Now go and enjoy those amazing panoramic views through a super clean windshield.

The video is from ChrisFix. His videos really helped me in my quest to get a super clean windshield.

How to Clean the Inside of a Windshield

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Dirty windshields. They really bother me. And for years, I’ve tried lots of different approaches to getting them really clean. All have fallen short for me until I came across this video:

This is basically the approach:

  1. Use a clean microfiber cloth and, with a circular motion, wipe down the interior windshield. I break the windshield down into more manageable sections because the Castaway has a really, really big windshield. Once a section is wiped down, turn the cloth to an unused section and wipe down again in an up and down motion.
  2. Use the secret ingredient to get the inside of that windshield really clean: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I’ve also used the original Magic Eraser and it works just fine. Apply using circular motions. Once done, quickly grab a clean microfiber cloth and dry the windshield off using circular motions.
  3.  Then take your favourite automotive glass cleaner — mine is Invisible Glass — and, with a clean microfiber cloth, use circular motions to apply the product to the windshield. Buff using a clean part of the cloth in an up and down motion

I am astonished at how clean it makes the windshield. It takes a bit of time to get the windshield of the coach detailed but on a nice sunny day, it is wonderful to look out of a windshield devoid of any haze or streaks on the interior.

I’ll share my method of getting the outside windshield really clean in another post.

Airstream Basecamp

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We will be heading out to the RV show in Hershey next week. Billed as America’s largest RV show, we are looking forward to seeing a lot of the new models.

I have a bit of a soft spot in my heart for the Airstream travel trailers. Their designs really bring back memories of when I was growing up, probably because of all that aluminum. It looks like something from the 1950s or 1960s although the first Airstream was built in 1929. You can find an interesting history of the Airstream trailers here.

The folks at Airstream were kind enough to let me know about their new Basecamp travel trailer.

They market the trailer this way:

Loaded with innovative features that will satisfy and amaze both the experienced long haul traveler and the weekend warrior who is just getting back in their adventure groove, Basecamp is the result of nearly a decade of planning. With comfort and convenience in mind, Basecamp allows campers to stop wondering and start wandering.

This is one of their marketing photos of the new trailer:

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The Basecamp looks like the type of unit that would appeal to an active, younger couple without children. What fascinates me about the design of this particular trailer is the attention to detail and the use of space.

Within that really small footprint is a kitchen, a washroom with a shower, and a living and sleeping area. 16 feet long by 7 feet wide.

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Check out the details behind the floorplan here.

I hope they have one on display at the RV show. It would be cool to see one in person.

Mirrors

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Being able to work with the mirrors of our coach has been a bit of a learning experience. Seeing what is happening around the coach is critically important. It took me a bit of time to learn the best way to position and adjust our mirrors.

The mirror on the passenger side of our coach extends in front of our motorhome.

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Apparently, most coaches have this mirror set incorrectly.

The best way to check is to stand in front of the coach and look down the passenger side. The inside of the head of the mirror should look like it is just touching the coach. When it is set flush to the side of the coach, you get the best overall view. When we received our coach, our mirror was set in too far.

The mirror on the driver’s side of our coach is swung around to the back.

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A number of Dutch Star owners do not like this look. They think it lacks symmetry and some people have rotated the mirror forward. The driver’s side mirror is on a short arm so I am not sure how well it would truly balance the look of the coach. I also wonder whether the corner post would get in the way when positioning the mirror properly. I suspect that Newmar went with the short arm for a reason: to maximize visibility and to give the driver’s side a bit more maneuvering room.

My driver’s side mirror remains swung around to the back. The mirror is aligned in the same fashion as the passenger side mirror so that when I look at the mirror from the front, it looks as though it is just touching the coach.

With the mirror heads positioned properly, there are a few additional adjustments.

With the flat part of the mirror, I move it until I can just make out the side of the coach along the inside edge. I do not need to see very much of the side of the coach with my flat mirror. I adjust the flat part of the mirror so that I can see the horizon at about one quarter of the way down. I do not need to see a lot of sky when driving.

With the convex part of the mirror, I adjust it so that I can see out horizontally to the ground and the side of the coach.

I’m still learning how to drive confidently with the mirrors. I use them far more frequently that I would ever use the mirrors of a car. And that makes them far more important for driving safely.