Monday, November 16, 2009

Escapees RV BootCamp Comes to a Close

The breakfast line at the Escapees RV Bootcamp was considerably shorter than previous days when it opened at 7:00. I think many folks were sleeping in a little extra before the seminars started at 8:00.

Neil Lekander spoke for a couple of hours on RV Tire Safety. He went through a lot of technical data. He is an engineer by trade and spent 30+ years in the tire industry. Some of the takeaways I had were:
  • RV tires usually last 5-7 years.
  • At year 5 look more regularly for signs of tire wear or deterioration.
  • RV tires will 'age out' before they 'wear out'.
  • Replace tires at 7 years no matter what.
  • RV tires DO NOT benefit from tire rotation.
One thing I found helpful was learning how to read the age of the tire. Every tire has DOT marking on the side which tell the age of the tire. That is the good news.

For example if the marking reads:
the age of the tire is the 12th week of 2001.

Use that date for the age of the tire.

The bad news is that the marking is usually on the inside of the tire. I looked on mine and sure enough, I could not find it on the outside. That means I have to crawl under the Roadrunner some time with a flashlight and maybe a mirror.

Neil also said most wheel cleaners are not good for the tires. He uses Protectorant 303. I think soap and water will continue to work fine for me.

Next, Mark Nemeth and the three other BootCamp Instructors (Neil LeKander, Mac McCoy and Dennis Hill) participated in a "Panel of Experts"
which was a nice way to end it. I thought the whole weekend was well done and a great way to reinforce the things we knew plus learn a lot more.

The first time Pam and I did something like this was last fall when we attended the Life on Wheels Conference*. It had more speakers and more non-technical speakers and each day we felt as if we were in 'information overload'.

* See my post in September 2008 and you will recognize Dennis Hill who was a presenter at that conference too. Sadly, the LOW founder, Gaylord Maxwell died a few weeks after that event. I remember his closing remarks where he encouraged us to do more than enjoy the lifestyle. He said, "Find your purpose" out here. Good words.

Now that we are living the life, we have experienced a lot of what the Escapees RV BootCamp speakers are talking about and can focus on learning more about specific things instead of trying to absorb it all.

After the first session and before the last one of the day, I was talking outside with Mark Nemeth and Lisa Koca. I asked for a picture and they obliged.
Lisa and her husband Jim are full-timers. She augments her income as an Ebay expert. She has an is an Ebay business ( Lisa is a licensed Ebay trainer and does training at rallies and shows.

About noon we said our good byes and went back to the Roadrunner for lunch. We took a Sunday afternoon drive into town and found the Red Barn (where we may weigh our rig) and Livingston Propane. We are looking for a small propane tank for our BBQ grill instead of the disposable propane bottles.

After that we came back, chilled out, watched some football, took a Sunday afternoon nap (one of us did), did some reading. On Sunday Night Football we watched Peyton Manning capitalize on a New England coaching mistake (Colts beat the Patriots 35-34), and went to bed.

Thanks very much for checking in on the Roadrunner Chronicles. As always, I welcome you to 'Follow' or become a regular reader. And Special Thanks! to those of you that are already doing so and for the notes/comments you send along. We appreciate them.

Have a great week!


  1. Hi again guys,
    Sounds like Boot Camp was well worth it for you. Randy, were you able to weigh your coach at the Red Barn? I'm sure other folks would be interested in the individual wheel weights of the coach.
    We're heading to Red Bay and a few dealers tomorrow for the "tour", much the same ones that you did prior to your purchase. Hopefully, we will come back with many positives from this trip.

  2. Thanks for the great tip on finding the age of tires, Randy. We bought our rig 3 years ago and although the tires look good, I really want to find out exactly how old they are. So, I guess I'll be underneath our 5'er soon with a flashlight too! Sounds like the Boot Camp was a very worthwhile experience.

  3. It was a great day to be a Colt fan.

    GO COLTS!!!

    John and Carol