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What You Need To Know Before An Rv Road Trip

If you're searching for a fun and exceptional way to see the country, traveling in an RV is a fantastic thing to do. In a sense, you taking your house on the road with you, and you may stop anywhere you want on the way.

Driving an RV differs from driving many other vehicles, and knowing these differences can make your trip safer and more pleasurable. No matter what type of RV you're driving, you need to be sure it is roadworthy before you pull from your driveway. Whether you own the RV or are leasing it, always take time to do a pre-trip service and full review.

The very last thing you need is to have your long-anticipated road excursion come to a premature end because of a preventable maintenance issue. Take the time for this much needed exercise, you wont regret it!

Practice driving the RV until you hit the Road

Chances are you won't have a lot of problems driving an RV on the street, but navigating smaller city streets can be a real challenge in this type of large car or truck. Put in plenty of practice driving hours before you leave home and understand how to use all of your mirrors to ascertain your position and back this large automobile up securely.

Consider installing a backup camera on your RV

If your RV doesn't already have one, consider installing a backup camera. It's a handy accessory which will make pulling into these tight parking spaces a lot simpler and give you additional peace of mind. Alternatively, if you are traveling with passengers, then you may always ask them to check behind the automobile before you reverse.

Driving an RV differs from operating a car or even a full-size pickup truck so understand this and practicing will make a huge difference. The higher center of gravity means you need to take much wider turns, and the large size of the RV says you are going to want a larger turning radius.

Again, practicing beforehand can help you get used to handling such a large car or truck. You'll also have to be mindful of this wind speed as your driving. When the winds get strong, it could create the potential for the RV to drift unexpectedly. Just take a looser grip on the wheel if it is windy, and provide other vehicles around you more distance.

Think about forming an RV caravan

Odds are you'll meet other RV drivers on your road trip, particularly if you're traveling down a favorite road trip route. If you're all going the same way, think about teaming up with all the RV drivers you meet at campgrounds, local attractions and restaurants, and forming an RV caravan.

Traveling along with additional RV drivers is enjoyable, but it can also enhance your sense of safety. A large convoy of RVs will be easier for other drivers to see. It also means less smaller cars around your RV which are tougher to see.

Hovercraft Construction Materials

Designing and building a hovercraft

Building a hovercraft isn't the easiest of tasks as there are a number of essential design and construction principles to adhere to. But with some good guidelines or instructions, some handiness with tools, time and patience, success is assured. Of course you can always buy one instead and the price of small hovercraft are coming down all the time.

The basic principle

The basic principle of an air cushion is that if you lift an object off the ground using air you reduce the force needed to move the object. Because the object is no longer in contact with the ground the friction this causes (surface friction) is reduced, making it easier to move the object. This also implies that the smoother the surface the less the friction. This is also true. Uneven surfaces with rocks and other obstacles can significantly slow down or even stop and damage an air cushion vehicle if the chamber containing the air cushion (the plenum chamber) was made of rigid materials.Hence the use of a flexible skirt and the need for sufficient lift. This allows the craft to pass over (smaller) rocks and other uneven terrain obstacles without (too much) trouble or damage or slowing down.

The basic parts

That said with a hovercraft we can identify four basic construction necessities - 1) the hull, below which is attached the skirt system, 2) the carriage or cabin part which needs to hold the passenger(s), crew or freight, 3) a propulsion system to move the craft, and 4) the lift system to feed air into the plenum chamber below the craft in order to create the air cushion.Some hovercraft use a single engine system to provide both the air for the plenum chamber and propulsion. The difficulty in using one engine is to provide optimal efficiency for both systems, dividing the power for propulsion as well as for the fan to produce enough air for the lift. Many modern air cushion vehicles use separate systems for air and propulsion. But advances in engines have made it possible to choose between one and two engine systems, especially for smaller, recreational hovercraft. Bigger, industrial, commercial or military hovercraft can have anywhere up to eight engines for propulsion and lift.

Power-to-weight ratio

Although an air cushion vehicle does not require the critical power-to-weight ratio precision as does an airplane in order for it to still operate, it is nonetheless necessary to consider the power-to-weight ratio at the design stage of an air cushion vehicle, rather than find out later that there isn't enough power to lift or move the craft. The power-to-weight ratio determines in large part the amount of ground clearance between the skirt and the ground surface. The greater this ground clearance the more efficiently the propulsion system operates. That is not to say that the higher the hovercraft lifts into the air the better. Lifting it too high will cause instability. Such is the power of the lift that even a severely overloaded and miscalculated power-to-weight ratio hovercraft construction will still work, but it is far from ideal.

Military Use Of Hovercraft

Its well known that any scientific development or discovery is quickly exploited for military purposes, and the hovercraft industry is not different from any other in that respect. In general, an air cushioned vehicle cannot change direction very quickly, so would be no good in a combat situation for example, but the fact that it rides on a cushion of air without touching the surface of the ground raises very interesting possibilities.

Imagine a military commander needing to transport men and equipment many miles over marshy terrain, sometimes hard ground, sometimes shallow water and in places a sticky mud. The variety of surface conditions requires a mode of transport that isn't land based, nor marine in nature. A hovercraft simply glides over any surface and the flatter the better. Water, mud, slippery ice and snow are no obstacles to a hovercraft.

Although the principle of using a contained air pressure as a means of transport was known for decades, it was mostly seen as a novelty having no real commercial value. After all, steering the craft was difficult. It couldn't stop very quickly, or manoeuvre tight corners, but then neither could large ships. In fact, sea travel was the most interesting early application of ACVs, both for private commerce and the military.

After World War 2, Russian hovercraft manufacturers built an enormous craft, possibly still the largest in the world, which could carry hundreds of tons of men and machines. Russia is of course a vast country with plains and ice which are easy to traverse using a vehicle that hovers just above the surface. It's not how nimble the craft is, but it's carrying capacity for this type of work. It doesn't get bogged down because it has no wheels. If it cannot stop quickly then it's relatively easy to allow more time to stop, it's a simple as that! A bit of planning will ensure that the terrain to be hovered over has plenty of space for turning.

The engines used for thrust and lift are of course much bigger than a comparable size commercial hovercraft. In fact, the supersized model has many engines. If you think about it, military vehicles of all kinds are always much heavier than regular machines, due to the fact they they are intended for rough and frequent use. It's also true that military hovercraft maintenance schedules are second to none, so that the motors are always in tip-top condition.

Specialist training is required to pilot such a craft. It isn't an aircraft, marine craft or land vehicle therefore a different approach has to be taken to controlling direction and speed.