Saturday, March 03, 2012

Do YOU Have a Weather Radio?

Zephyrhills, Florida  ( high 86, low 59)

The tornado outbreak the past few days has been really bad.  I hope all our blogger friends are safe out there.  I know a lot of you are making plans to leave Florida and start your summer travels.  Some of you have already started your journey and I hope you stay out of harms way.  I’m sure glad we’re staying put right now and I’m glad we’re no longer living in southern Georgia.

I hope everyone has a good weather radio and that you keep it turned on all the time!

This is what we have and it’s worked perfectly for several years.

WR602 Oregon Scientific Portable Public Alert Weather Radio with SAME Latest Model

They only cost about $50 and in my opinion everyone should have one, but most especially people who travel in an Rv.  What are you waiting for…..go get one!


The community yard sale is today, so I’m up early to have some coffee and computer time before we have to get started.  Al is still in bed.  He’s trying to sleep through it!

We gathered up quite a few things and hopefully we’ll be able to clear it all out.  Al doesn’t want to have a sale today…he wants to GO to other peoples sales, in case they might have some good deals…..and there is the reason we NEED to have a yard sale!

Our weather continues to be warm, but it looks like it will change tomorrow.  Thankfully, there is no severe weather here.  The high on Sunday is only supposed to get up to 65.  That’s about a 20 degree drop for us….and I’m looking forward to it.

Yesterday was spent on projects around here.  Al washed both cars and I finally got a “new” computer program to installed properly and working.  In November, we bought a computer program called VMSpc

It is a vehicle monitoring system, that plugs in to the diagnostic connection of our motor home.  It gives you all sorts of engine readings and much more information than your standard gauges.    

Some coaches have these types of systems built in and we first saw one on the Beaver motor home we looked at.  We  always remembered the nice VMS it had, and wished we had one,  but they are thousands of dollars installed.

VMS Gallery   SilverLeaf Electronics  Inc.

So, in reading some Rv forums, I discovered one for around $300 that uses your computer monitor to give you the very same information the more expensive ones give.

It has a little box that connects to my laptop and the engine diagnostic plug. 

The following picture shows an example of what information I can get from the program.  It is completely customizable.  There are many, many things you can monitor, including, engine and transmission and  manifold temperature.


VMSpc   SilverLeaf Electronics  Inc.


You can monitor your fuel mileage and MPG.  How much fuel you have until empty,  travel distance for the day or for the trip, not to mention any and every oil and temperature reading on the motorhome.

This is what the system looks like.  You use your computer monitor.

vmspc 2

It is much more accurate than the gauges on the dash and there is a lot more information available.  These big diesel engines are very expensive and the more we know about what’s going on with them, the better. 

All this information is available for mechanics when you take the vehicle in.  They plug in their little computer and can get a lot of engine diagnostic codes as well as what has been going on with the engine.  This way, we can get the info ourselves while we’re traveling.  Of course, we need to know how to interpret them, but at least we’ll have the information at our finger tips.  It could be handy to give more info to a mechanic if we’re stuck on the side of the road somewhere.

I had not been able to get it installed properly until yesterday.  It turns out I needed to install some drivers and I didn’t know which ones, or where to find them.

I procrastinated getting it installed because I needed to make a phone call on a business day on a day when I could run the engine.  The problem with a diesel pusher is when you run the engine, the airbags inflate and then you have to deflate them and re-level.

Anyway, I got it done yesterday, and we just need to learn more about what information we want to see and then set the program to show us that information.  There is a LOT of information available. 

Have a happy week-end and go get your weather radios!


  1. We agree. A GOOD RELIABLE weather radio is a necessity!
    Thanks for doing a great blog on the VMSpec. Paul wants to do this but hasn't read much about it.
    Enjoy your weekend. ~wheresweaver

  2. Thanks for the reminder to USE the weather radio. Ours sits in the cupboard and we need to get it OUT! Of course, our travels have been out of the way of the dust storms, wind storms and bad weather, but we are going to be moving back north, so we need to do that.

  3. I will be interested to hear how the VMSpec works out for you.

    Becareful down your way today looks like you have storms moving in your way..

  4. That monitoring program looks awesome. The motorhome we owned was only OBD1 compliant, as opposed to OBD2 (which is what you have, btw) so when the check engine light came on, I had no way of telling what was going on even though I have the diagnostic tool.
    It passed it's emissions tests (this is a cash grab in Ontario, Canada) so I knew there was nothing seriously wrong. Eventually I figured out that it was an oxygen sensor that would throw a code if the motorhome had sat in storage for a time, and would clear up after a couple outings.
    Good advise about the weather radio, especially for folks in RVs.

  5. One of the first things we bought was a weather radio. And boy have we used it. Not so much here in AZ but when we traveled east. Can't imagine not having one.

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  7. wheresweaver...
    Now that I finally got it installed correctly on my laptop..maybe I'll be able to use it!

    Kenny and Angela
    Thanks for the warning, but we are in central Florida and no storms are predicted down this far...thank goodness!

    I guess I need to Google OBD1 and see what the heck that is!

  8. I am in the dreaming stages of living and traveling in an RV, and I think having a weather radio is one of the best pieces of advice I've gotten so far!

  9. I am in the dreaming stages of living and traveling in an RV, and I think having a weather radio is one of the best pieces of advice I've gotten so far!

  10. I agree on the weather radio. We are from an area that has tornados and last summer it went off quite a few times and as much as I hate when it goes off in the middle of the night, I am also thankful that we have a heads up on what is happening. Ours radio took a little bit to learn to program but I try to program it every time we stop. It takes a little time but our lives are worth it! Hope the sale goes well!

  11. We've had the weather radio set up for a while in the condo to make sure it's working OK. It went off a few nights ago to alert us to flood-possibility in the area. No concern for us because we're on high-ground now, but sure was glad to hear the alert sound and the red strobe lights flash for the first time.

  12. I'll be very interested to see how your vehicle monitoring system works. Sounds like a great idea and something we might buy if you like it.

    Weather radios - YUP - two of em. Winnona, our Winnebago Brave, came with one and we already had one so we are covered.

    Good luck on getting ahead of Al's yard sale purchases in your yard sale sales. LOL

  13. We don't have a weather radio. If we ever travel to an area where tornadoes occur, I'd most likely pick one up.

  14. Rick

    The weather radio also alerts you to flash floods, earth quakes, fire, winds....some of the things you could find out west.


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