Oregon West RV Sales and Service
OREGON WEST RV
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Oregon West RV Sales and Service

Camping Tip: Winter Camping in Oregon

by John Clarke on 02/12/14

Do not miss out on all the beauty that Oregon has to offer even in winter. Camping in winter can be just as fun as any other time of year. Many campgrounds are very peaceful this time of year, and offer great off season discounts. Our family's favorite spot for winter visits is on the McKenzie River. The evergreen forests are beautiful in winter, and the hiking is phenomenal. Definitely prioritize a stop at beautiful Sahalie Falls. There is a beautiful well kept trail there that leads you down to Sahalie Falls and further down to Koosah Falls. Also when you are staying on the McKenzie, snow is a short drive away. So you can have a snow day, and then come home to the warm camper. Though there are many beautiful places to stay, we would recommend camping at Belknap Hotsprings Lodge and Gardens. They have full service sites and partial service sites. Many of their RV sites back onto the river with a breathtaking view. However the best part of Belknap is the large pool of water that is from the natural hot springs on the property. The springs have a long history of providing visitors with rest and relaxation. The pool is located right next to the river. However there are many places to stay in the area, and if you chose to camp elsewhere Belknap Hotsprings Lodge offers day passes to the pool. So you can stop in and walk the beautiful gardens, they are serene even in winter (do not miss searching for the secret garden). Another great campground in the area is Holiday Farm RV Resort. It is a beautiful campground with many private wooded RV sites. There is so much to do and explore along the McKenzie river. In the Summer there is great fishing, boating, hiking, rafting.................... however don't miss out on all it has to offer in the winter months as well. Below are links to the places mentioned above and more. Simply copy the website address and paste it into your browser to view these webpages.


Belknap Hotsprings Lodge and Gardens

Holiday Farm RV Resort

Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls trail information

Takoda's Restaurant

RV TIP: Check Your Roof Seals Before and After

by John Clarke on 03/27/13

We know many of our local RV-ers are busting out their RV's from winter hibernation. Here is a quick tip to help you along with your preventative roof maintenance. Before and after your first trip out for the sunny weather season, make sure to check all the seals on your roof, and around the whole exterior. The reason why you check after your first trip out is because, when your motor home or trailer sits all winter long then goes out for its first trip of the season, that is one of the most likely times for seals to crack and show their age. The reason is because the seal may not be as malleable as it once was, so when you drive your RV down the road, as it goes through all the bumps and shakes during the trip, the weak spots in your seals will start to show.  You will see small cracks beginning to form on your seals on your roof, and that is the sign that you simply need to coat over the cracks. Make sure to use a self-leveling caulking on your roof DO NOT USE REGULAR SILICONE CAULKING on your roof. Regular silicone caulking is not designed to withstand the stresses that an RV roof is built to go through. We recommend Dicor self-leveling silicone based caulking or another product like that. Apply your caulking cleanly and relatively generously. Do not use self-leveling caulking on the sides of the trailer, or else it will do just that, self-level and slide down the sides. Make sure you chose a dry day to do this; otherwise all your hard work will wash away. The dryer and warmer the day the better the products will set. If you would like to have your trailer resealed by a professional our mobile service department can make a house call, or you can bring it in, and we will take care of it in our shop which provides cover from the elements. Give our service department a call if you have any questions about how to seal your RV properly, or if you require seasonal maintenance. Our service number is 541-895-4321.

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RV TIP: Make sure you have the right tow vehicle for what you want to tow.

by John Clarke on 02/20/13

It is very important to make sure you have the right tow vehicle for the job. There are so many options, that we can't go over them all today, but here are 4 helpful tips. 

1. Check the manufacturer listed tow ratings for your vehicle. This will give you the starting point for what you can do with your vehicle.

2. Check into the consumer provided information (forums, and reviews) on what people have experienced about the engine of the truck you have, or are looking to buy.

3. Key questions to ask yourself: what am I wanting to tow? Where and when am I going to tow?

For example:

  • If you are going to go off road or in the sand, 4x4 capabilities are invaluable. 
  • Are you going to be going on very long trips or in places with many hills? You will want more torque ability if you are. 
  • So do you want a gas or diesel truck? A gas truck is less expensive to initially purchase, and for now gas is cheaper than diesel. However in general the torque of a gas truck is not comparable to that of a diesel. In general a diesel truck has more torque, more towing power, better fuel mileage and in general the engines are built to last longer, but the initial investment is far greater.
  • Or, are you just wanting to tow something small over long distances? Even if you are planning to tow something small, we would still recommend a truck or SUV truck based vehicle for most anything that you are going to tow. The reason for this is because the transmission and suspension will be better for towing. This means you will be less stressful on your vehicle, and more comfortable driving down the road. However always refer to the towing specs that the manufacturer provides.

4. Pay attention to the size of your truck bed.

  • Be aware of the size of the truck bed, it will need to be a minimum of six feet long to haul a fifth wheel. This will make a difference on your fifth wheel hitch cost. If you have a short bed truck you will need a slider hitch, and that is more expensive. If you have a long bed you will save fifth wheel hitch cost.
  • Also if you are looking for a truck camper the size of your bed will dictate the size of your camper carrying abilities.

For more towing information just give us a call 541-895-3599.

Speaking of the right combination of truck and trailer, here is a video of the fastest truck and trailer ever recorded. This is the video of them setting the record. It just goes to show great things can be accomplished with the right pairing of truck and trailer.

RV TIP: Camping in Cottage Grove? Do not miss the Covered Bridge History!

by John Clarke on 02/04/13

Cottage Grove has a large collection of scenic covered bridges from a bygone era. Covered bridges were popular in Oregon, and the particularly Lane County because timber cost in the area has historically been very low relative to steel and concrete prices. The historic tradition of covered bridge building can be dated back in our area to the 1850s. The reason for the “covered” part of the bridge is to help preserve the timber of the bridge from our wet Oregon weather. Now they provide a photogenic addition to our local landscapes. There is a wonderful drive in Cottage Grove that we recommend.  There are great camping sites near each of the 2 lakes (Dorena Lake and Cottage Grove Lake) near Cottage Grove. Cottage Grove also has a beautiful historic down town with many beautiful shops. If you decide to camp in the Cottage Grove area, defiantly make these historic covered bridges a priority on your list of things to see.





RV TIP: TIRE CARE CAN HELP AVOID A BLOW-OUT!

by John Clarke on 01/13/13

There is a common problem to watch out for with RV tires. It is called weather checking. Weather checking is when the tire side walls begin to get little cracks. This is a sign that the tire is losing its integrity, and needs to be replaced. It can be an easy thing to overlook if you are not looking close. Here is an example picture for your reference. Examining your RV tires after long term storage is vital to the safety of towing. To prevent tire blow-outs not only should you watch out for the development of weather checking, but you should always check the tire pressure of your RV tires before an outing. The tire pressure is vital to the weight distribution of the trailer while going down the road. Also if you check your tire pressure regularly it can help alert you that you have picked up a nail or sharp object that has punctured the tire, which is another large cause of RV tire blow-outs. We highly recommend keeping a tire pressure gauge, and small air compress in your travel tool kit. For referencing your manufactures tire recommendations, you can find that info many times on the VIN plate, or of course in your manuals. If you have any other tips for us on tire safety please leave us a comment, we love hearing from you!



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