Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Monday, April 27, 2009

RV there yet?

From Wikipedia: In North American the term recreational vehicle, and its acronym RV, are generally used to refer to an enclosed piece of equipment synchronously used as both a vehicle and a temporary travel home.

We got a RV from Salt Lake City for 8 days, which should be enough to allow us to visit (yet) another 2 National Parks - The Grand Teton and Yellowstone. We could have driven and gotten motel stays like what we have been doing, of course, but one of the purposes of our trip is also to try new experiences that we normally would not be able to get at home. First thing that really hit us about the RV was its size.

One of the smallest RVs is the biggest vehicle I ever drove

I mean, we drive a Suzuki Swift back in Singapore. And so far, we've only needed to rent Compact or Economy cars to get around. The RV is probably 4 times the size of any of the cars we've driven - I felt like such a bug.


The size of the RV makes the rear-view mirror pretty useless. So I also had to learn how to use only the 2 side mirrors to tell if there are other vehicles coming up beside me.

Oops! Big truck coming!

The second thing about the RV is how compact the interior is. Our RV can comfortably sleep 4-5 pax, which was just nice for all of us.

We have a "bedroom" near the rear of the RV, right next to the toilet/shower cubicle.

The rear bedroom, which became our "bag dump"

Facing the back of the RV

Facing the front

Then, moving towards the front of the vehicle, we have a wash basin, stove, kitchen sink, refrigerator, freezer, sitting/dining area, then the driver and vehicle commander's seats. The sitting/dining area can also be converted to bedspace, and there is one queen-sized bed above the cab as well.

A skylight above the bed above the cab! And windows too!

The third thing about using the RV is resource management. The RV comes with a fresh water tank, a grey water tank and a black water tank. Fresh water is what we normally use from the taps. The grey water tank contains water that we have used for washing dishes, brushing our teeth, shower, etc. The black water tank contains all sorts of pea and sheet from the toilets. Obviously, we need to constantly top up the freshwater tank, and dispose of the contents of the other two.

One bathroom shared by all of us. A tough juggle for fresh water, grey and black!

In addition to water and waste management, we also have to work under limited power sources. The thermostat runs on propane, as does the stove. The refrigerator runs on a mixture of battry and gas, whichever is more energy efficient. Visits to RV campsites are therefore a necessary part of renting an RV. Sure, we try to manage our costs by sleeping in free campgrounds - either in approved park spaces or the "unauthorised, one-eye closed" carparks of the nearest supermarket, but we also alternate those with campsites that offer hookups, so that we are able to tap on additional electricity to power our laptops, charge our cameras and phones, obtain fresh water, and also to dump the our waste.

Clearing the waste from our RV:

Step 1: Wear your gloves, and grab the same sewage hose that everyone who rented the RV before me has been using

Step 2: Connect one end to the designated dump point, and the other to the waste tanks. Black water first, then grey water - so that the grey water also rinses the hose

Step 3: Open the valve and watch in horror as the hose leaks while it empties your waste.

All in all, renting an RV is a pretty interesting
experience. It's a little scary at first, but you learn to manage. And it is great, as long as you have good friends with whom you can get comfortable with, and not worry about nudity or snoring. So far, it's been a great time!

Ben & Jerry - Our friends who travelled with us


Zennie said...

Hah, that's pretty spacious! Like a compact Studio aptmt! =)

Dannie said...

Yeah. It was pretty spacious for us. But if we fit the 5 people that the RV was rated for, I think it would have been a squeeze!

Prayer Warrior said...

Dan, this is hilarious! And, I've been sooo entertained reading your blog! Stay safe!

Sha (fr AJ)

Dannie said...

Hey Sha,

Thanks for liking our blog! And I'm glad you are being entertained by it. Keep checking back for more of our adventures, and if you like any posts, feel free to post it onto your Facebook profile! (We're trying to get more readers to score some sponsorships! :p)

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