iExit App Takes the Guessing Out of Pit Stops for Minnesota RVers

Hey Minnesota RVers, I have the latest must-have iPhone and iPad app. It’s called iExit and to put it plainly, it takes all of the guessing out of those pit stops we take while on the road.

The iExit app tells you what’s coming up at each exit in real time. Are you craving a certain fast food or chain restaurant for dinner? iExit will let you know which exits will have it and even give you the option to call ahead and make reservations. Select the Deals tab and you can see which upcoming exits have chains currently running promotions. I wasn’t kidding when I said this was a must-have, was I?

Not quite ready to make a stop? No problem. You can search up to 100 exits ahead of your current destination and even in different states. Not looking for a meal? No problem. iExit is unique because it tells you everything from gas stations to shopping opportunities exit by exit. Here’s the full list of searchable categories:

Searchable Categories

  • Unleaded Gas
  • Diesel Gas
  • Biofuel
  • Fast Food
  • Sit Down Food
  • Coffee
  • Ice Cream
  • Chain Hotels
  • Independent Hotels
  • Auto Services
  • Trucker Services
  • Campgrounds
  • Shopping

Unlike other road trip apps, this one is especially tailored the RV community, in my opinion. Why? Because campgrounds, diesel or alternative fuel stations, weigh scales, and rest areas are all included in your search results. For $.99, what more could you ask for? I’d even be willing to pay five dollars for this handy little app. Give her a try and let us know what you think!

Is It Time to Replace the Mattress in Your Minnesota RV?

If you are spending a lot of time on the road in your motor home, travel trailer or fifth wheel, then you already know how important your level of comfort is when it comes to the bedroom. Whether it’s time to replace your old mattress (rule of thumb is about every eight years for household mattresses) or you simply want to upgrade to higher quality mattress, you’ll need to know a few things first.

To start, let’s figure out exactly what size area we are working with. RV mattresses are typically shorter than your average household mattress for obviously reasons. So you won’t be able to just go out and buy any old queen or king mattress. Grab a measuring tape and record the following measurements:

  1. Width – measure from the inside of one side of the mattress to the inside of the other side where the mattress will rest.
  2. Length – measure from top to bottom where the mattress will rest.
  3. Height – measure from the resting area of the mattress to the highest point vertically you want the mattress to reach.

The most common RV mattress sizes are listed below. Use your length and width measurements you just took to determine the best fit.

  • Queen Short: 60″x75″
  • Three Quarter Size (also known as an antique size): 48″x75″
  • Twin Size: 38″x75″
  • RV King: 72″x80″
  • Regular Queen: 60×80
  • Full Size: 53″x75″
  • Regular King: 76″x80″

If you are looking to replace a mattress in the bunk in your RV, then you’ll need a different type of mattress – a truck mattress. Here are the most common sizes for truck mattresses.

  • 42″x80″
  • 38″x80″
  • 32″x79″
  • 36″x76″
  • 35″x79″

Don’t forget to write the size you decide on down somewhere. You’ll also need it to buy that super soft new set of sheets you’ve got  your eye on.

Now that we’ve determined what size mattress you’ll need, let’s talk about options. Did you know that Select Comfort makes the sleep number mattress for RVs? Or maybe you’re looking for a tempur-pedic mattress. They come in RV sizes, as well. Happy hunting, Minnesota RVers! You’ve got a little shopping to do!

If you need any help at all determining the size of the area, give Pleasureland RV a call or swing by one of our four Minnesota RV dealerships. 

[Source: TheFunTimesGuide.com]

Summer Towing Tips for Your Minnesota RV

Whether you’ve been in the travel trailer world for years, or this season will be your first, it’s important to remember that pulling this extra weight can be extremely dangerous at highway speeds. Since we’re finished with the cold months, a lot of you Minnesota RVersout there are probably gearing up for your Spring road trips. Before you head out, lets review some of the basic safety tips.

  • Odds are, your travel trailer is wider than your tow vehicle. So you’ll need a set of extended side mirrors to see around it. I strongly recommend using Tow-N-See mirrors.   They are extremely easy to install and are the only extension mirror that adjusts with the power mirrors on your tow vehicle.
  • Federal law requires that trailers have operating taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and side-marker lights. So be sure to check all of your travel trailers’ lights. Corroded connections can be freshened up with spray electrical cleaner, available at auto parts stores. Water resistant, non-conductive Dielectric grease can help protect connections.
  • Make sure all lug nuts are tight, check tire pressure regularly, and inflate your tires to the trailer manufacturer’s recommendations. Consider investing in a spare tire and wheel if your trailer doesn’t have one, and include a lug wrench and a scissor-style jack or other compatible jack. Always bring along a wheel chock.
  •  If you’re traveling through another state, check to make sure your trailer complies with all local regulations and weight restrictions, and always plan any route ahead of time to be aware of bridges, tunnels, and other potential concerns.

When it’s time to hit the road, keep in mind that accelerating, turning and especially stopping all take longer with a travel trailer in tow. So remember to give yourself plenty of room on the road and take it easy. It’s okay to drive at slower speeds until you feel comfortable.

Remember, Minnesota, if you need any help at all, you can always give Pleasureland RV a call. Safe Spring and Summer travels!

[Source: ConsumerReports.org]

What Do You Listen to When You’re On the Road in Your RV?

During the spring months, I love driving down the open road in my Minnesota RV and listening to good music. Music can really make your long drives much easier, but sometimes it can be hard to find a good radio station. Even if you do find a station you like, you’ll only be able to listen to it for so long until you’re out of its frequency. Once that happens, you may turn to your CDs or a playlist on your iPod. But even that can get old after awhile. Especially if you haven’t had anytime to add new music lately. Luckily in this day and age of technology, we have quite a few alternative options.

Satellite Radio. You can’t go wrong with Sirius XM in my opinion. With more than 140 commercial-free music, news, sports, traffic and weather, talk radio and entertainment, and comedy channels, you’re bound to find something you like. Another plus is that Satellite radio will work even when you’re out in the middle of nowhere in your RV. The only downside (and a small one in my opinion) is that it costs between $12-20 per month.

Photo Courtesy of Pocketnow.com

Pandora Internet Radio. If you have a smartphone capable of downloading apps, then Pandora is a must-have. This free app allows you to create your own radio stations from a song, genre or artist. The more you use it, the more it will conform to the exact type of you music  you like. The only downside is that you’ll occasionally hear a commercial or two.

I Heart Radio. This is another smartphone app that you can use to listen to your favorite radio station from back home. The downside? You’re favorite radio station may not be an “I Heart Radio” station.

So Minnesota RVers, don’t settle for continuously scanning the radio for a station you like or listening to the same music over and over again. Make your RV road trip more enjoyable with one of the options above!

Does Your Minnesota Travel Trailer Need a Sway Bar?

As I’m sure most of you who own travel trailers in Minnesota know, our rolling homes tend to sway side to side while we are traveling down the road. To top if off, Spring is starting and you can definitely count on encountering some high winds along the way. If you’ve already experienced a sway, then you know how unpleasant it can make your travels. Lucky for us, someone came up with the ingenious idea of a sway bar to help stabilize and reduce swaying. The cool thing about sway bars is that they actually use your travel trailer’s weight to create stability by bracing the weight of the vehicle’s axle against the chassis.

So are sway bars actually worth it? Yes, hands down. Think about traveling along a winding road and a gust of wind suddenly hitting the enormous amount of surface area on your box-on-wheels. Scary, isn’t it? Not only will a sway bar make your RV travels safer, it’ll also help prevent your travel trailer and the vehicle you are using to tow it from unnecessary wear and tear.

Sway bars come in a wide variety and vary depending on the size of that which you are towing. Pleasureland RV has several makes and models you can check out at our online parts catalog. If you’re ready to get a sway bar installed on your Minnesota travel trailer, swing by one of the four Pleasureland RV dealerships in Minnesota. We’ll be happy to help you find the right one and even install it when you’re ready.

What to Look for in the Bathroom of Your Next New or Used Minnesota RV

2013 FIFTH WHEEL Winnebago Lite Five

So it’s time to start shopping for that new or pre-owned RV before the season gets full under way. Looks like you’ve got quite a few decisions to make in the near future!

When it comes to RV shopping, most people think of “the big picture”. What class RV, what manufacturer, what size, etc. There are, however, some other features you should take into consideration when deciding on the right Minnesota RV for you.

My favorite example is the bathroom. If you are planning on spending a lot of time on the road or becoming a full-timer, the bathroom features should be high on your list of things to check out in each of the RVs you are considering.  Here are some general tips you should keep in mind while RV shopping that will ensure you are happy with your bathroom.

  1. The shower stall needs to be 36 inches wide to give you room to turn around comfortably.
  2. The shower head needs to be mounted high enough so the spray is at least hitting you in the face, but not too high that it sprays over the shower door/curtain.  If it’s too low, you’ll have to duck down just to get your head under the water.
  3. A shower door is much better than a shower curtain.  You’ll always end up with water on the floor with a shower curtain.  And since RVs have small showers anyway, you’re pretty much guaranteed to make a mess of the room if you have a shower curtain.
  4. A 10-gallon water heater  will allow you to run the water continually. A 6-gallon will require you to wet down, shut the water off off, soap up, then turn the water back on to rinse off.  Believe me, if you’re living in your RV, the 10-gallon water heater is the way to go!
  5. If you live in the Great White North, moving your RV trailer in the winter when the temperatures are below freezing isn’t a good idea.  Cold plastic showers become brittle at those temperatures, and they will most likely crack.  I found out the hard way and had to replace the shower walls on my 37-foot fifth wheel trailer.

The next time you’re at the Pleasureland Minnesota RV dealership, be sure to check out the bathroom. Go ahead and climb on in the shower, sit on the toilet (may want to leave the cover on for this one) and get a feel for how much room you’ll have. After all, this is going to be your bathroom every time you’re on the road, so make sure it suits you.

 

[Source: TheFunTimesGuide.com]

Be Sure to Routinely Clean Your RV Rubber Roof

As I’m sure you all know, proper RV maintenance is key to a long-lasting Minnesota motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer. One important thing we often forget about cleaning is our rubber roof. Can you remember the last time you gave it a good cleaning? If not, don’t worry. You’re probably not alone. Because our RVs are considerably tall, we don’t always see the tree sap, bird poo, dirt, etc. building up on the roof.

In general, you should be cleaning your rubber RV roof at least three or four times a year. This can vary depending on where you park your RV the most. For example, if you like to park under trees in the summer to stay cool, you’ll probably have more of a sap build up and may need to clean the roof a few more times throughout the year.

So why is it important to the clean your RV roof? First off, it will help prevent deterioration and staining from all the above mentioned and second, it’ll drastically help reduce streaking of the sidewalls. Your rubber roof is made from a material called Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM), which is made to last 20 years or longer. On average, rubber roofs come with a 10-12 year guarantee.

If you’ve owned an RV with an EPDM roof, you may have noticed that the roof’s surface looks chalky or that there are white streaks on the side of your RV. This is the result of not routinely cleaning. Don’t panic though, there are products made specifically for this and can be purchased online in the drop of a hat.

rubber roof cleaner minnesota rvMy personal favorite is THETFORD’s Premium Rubber Roof Cleaner and Conditioner. This product deep cleans, conditions and protects all in one easy step. It will remove all of that oxidation, tree sap, bird droppings and dirt buildup and also contains a UV blocker to keep your RV roof looking better longer.

Of course there are plenty of other products made for rubber roof cleaning that you can find at Pleasureland RV’s online parts and accessories store. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or swing by one of our four Minnesota RV dealerships.

 

Three Ways to Stay Warm Using Your RV’s 12-V Socket

During the winter months, Minnesota RVers are always looking for ways to stay warm. Whether you want to conserve energy or your RV heater stops working, it’s nice to have some form of backup in place so you don’t freeze to death during the night. I’ve compiled a short list of my three favorite RV accessories that are great for providing heat via one of your RV’s 12-V sockets. All of these products are available at Pleasureland RV’s Online Parts Store where you can order online and have them shipped directly to you. If you’re out and about during the winter months, I promise you’ll be happy to have at least one of these on board.

12-VOLT 300 WATT CERAMIC HEATER/FAN
This one is a no-brainer. I always recommend having a portable heater on board. This heater provides a great way to save money and keep you warm at the same time. For example, when you’re ready for bed, you can turn off (or at least turn down) your RV’s heater, close your bedroom door and use the heater to keep your bedroom warm.

12-Volt 300 Watt Heater Pleasureland

Currently On Sale at Pleasureland RV's Online Parts Store

 

  • Direct-wired, includes all installation hardware
  • 300 Watts of powerful heating comfort
  • Heat or cooling feature with a flip of a switch
  • Adjustable fan speed provides precise comfort level
  • Swivel stand allows airflow to be directed just where you want it
  • 90 Day Limited Warranty

 

12-VOLT HEATED BLANKET
Nothing beats a heating blanket. Similar to the portable heater, heated blankets are another great alternative for staying warm throughout the night.

12-V Heated Blanket Pleasureland

Currently On Sale at Pleasureland RV's Online Parts Store

  • Large 60 x 42 wrap-around blanket
  • Made of a comfortable and durable cotton blend
  • Built-in thermostat
  • Convenient 8′ cord
  • Replaceable 5 amp fuse
  • CE Certified

 

12-VOLT HEATER AND FAN WITH MULTI-POSITION ROTATING BASE

This is a wonderful little product that is actually serves as a heater and a fan. I personally enjoy keeping mine upfront while I’m on the road, but you can use this just about anywhere.

12-Volt Heater and Fan Pleasureland RV

Currently On Sale at Pleasureland RV's Online Parts Store

  • Swivel base for adjustment to any position
  • Includes all installation hardware
  • 6′ Power cord

Does Your Minnesota RV Need New Windshield Wiper Blades?

Driving in inclement weather is bad enough in an average passenger vehicle, but doing it in an RV? Awful. Especially if you don’t know what you are doing. The most common weather you’ll probably drive through in your RV is rain, and there’s nothing worse than flipping on your windshield wipers and realizing it’s only making it worse. If you’ve been on the road for awhile and haven’t been able to clean the bugs off your windshield, you can bet your visibility will decrease even more.

Many things contribute to the deterioration of your RV‘s wiper blades including the sun, oil from other vehicles and the random dirt and other debris carried by the wind. When blades start to deteriorate, they may start to streak, skip or split.

Skipping: This is caused by a curvature due to lack of use. If your RV has been parked for a long period of time, your wipers may have molded to the curvature of your RV’s windshield. This curvature will mess up the contact the wipers have with the rest of the windshield’s surface as it moves causing the blades to skip.

Streaking: When your wiper blades harden and crack, the result is streaking. Usually this is due to dry rubber, but tree sap, bugs and grime from the road also contribute to this issue.

Splitting: Over time, your blades will naturally wear down and split. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays will also contribute to split rubber.

Seeing how our RVs spend a lot of time on the road, their wiper blades are prone to wearing out quicker than those on our cars. There are  few simple things you can do to help prevent this, though. First and foremost, you should add checking your blades to your regular maintenance list. Look for broken frames, tears and missing pieces and curvature. It’s also good idea to clean your windshield often and wipe the rubber part of the blades with a damp paper towel. During the winter months, pull the blades away from the windshield and never use them to try to get ice off of your windshield.

As a general rule of thumb, wiper blades should be replaced once a year.  This can very a little bit depending on the amount of usage, and as I mentioned earlier, RV wiper blades will probably wear out quicker. So be sure to always inspect your blades before heading out. If you need any help inspecting your blades or installing new ones, you can always give Pleasureland RV a call or swing by one of our locations in Minnesota.

Organizing Your Motorhome Will Help You Keep Things In Place While Driving Down the Minnesota Highway

Because our Minnesota motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth wheels spend most of their time in motion, our belongings can easily slide around. Not only does this create a mess, but it can become a safety hazard for the driver. Have you ever had something in your lap while driving a regular passenger car, and suddenly you have to jerk or slam the brakes? If you have, you know that whatever was in your lap or lying loose next to you is probably now in the floorboards and possibly stuck underneath your gas or brake pedal. It’s stomach-turning to realize that something is jammed underneath your brake pedal. I know because it’s happened to me.

Unless you’re living out of your car, you are much more likely to experience things rolling into the floorboards of your RV. That  should be reason enough for you to want to get organized and make sure everything has a place inside your home on wheels.

Just making sure you don’t have loose articles rolling around the RV floor isn’t enough in my opinion. Have you ever noticed that after a long drive, you open up a cabinet to pull out a can of green beans and everything falls out or is tipped over? Now you have to go in and clean up or reorganize the mess.

Luckily, I’m not the first person to realize that RVs need some sort of organization in order to prevent these things. There are a few inexpensive and really helpful things you can do including:

    • Line all of your cabinets and drawers with non-slip liner. You can find non adhesive shelf liners almost anywhere and they are great because they also cushion and protect your contents.

 

    • Add slide-out shelving in your cabinets with attached baskets. Not only will this help keep your belongings in space, it will also maximize the space your working with. Slide-out shelving is also a great idea for your RV kitchen. Shelves with lips on the end are perfect for your pots and pans and there are even ones you can find that are specifically for food items like cans and sauces.

 

    • Use stacking bins or shelves to divide your cabinets or cubby space to further help prevent items from shifting. You can find inexpensive, freestanding drawer units that serve as shelves. Be sure to use ones with lips on the end, though. That way your things won’t be able to slid off the edge.

 

  • If you have limited space in your RV bathroom, try using containers with suction cups on your mirror. This is great for organizing and keeps your toiletries in place while you’re driving. Another option is to use a hanging shoe holder to store.

Though it may sound like a lot of work, it’s really not. And besides, you will thank me for it in the end when you arrive to your destination and everything is exactly where it should be. If you need any help finding anything I mentioned above, don’t hesitate to give Pleasureland RV a call. We’re more than happy to help. If you’re in the market for a new Winnebago Adventurer or Dutchman Denali to organize, then swing by one of Pleasureland RV’s four Minnesota locations in Ramsey, St.Cloud, Willmar and Brainerd.