MiTAC Announes the New Magellan RoadMate RV9145 for the RV Industry

I have some exciting news for the technology lovers in the Minnesota RV world. On Friday, the MiTAC Digital Corporation announced that they will debut their newest addition to the Magellan RoadMate family: the RV9145 navigator. This new GPS navigation product is specifically designed for RVers and will make its first appearance this week at the 2012 International CES® show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

So what makes this “specific” to the RV industry? For starters, the RV9145 features an extra-large high-resolution 7″ display with customized routing based on a vehicle’s profile and driver preference. It also comes pre-loaded with maps of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico and over six million points of interest. To top it off, the RV9145 comes with the Magellan-exclusive Good Sam Trailer Life RV Parks & Campground Directory, which lists over 11,700 private campgrounds.

rv accessories minnesota

Though official images of the RoadMate RV9145 have not yet been released, it's speculated that it will be similiar to the 7-inch Magellan RoadMate Pro 9165.

Associate VP of Product Management for Magellan GPS, Stig Pedersen, said, “Our new RoadMate RV9145 GPS navigator is the ideal RV travel companion that can make your driving experience safer and more enjoyable.”

According to Pedersen, the device was designed with safety in mind, as it provides both customized routes based on the size and demands of the RV, Highway Lane Assist, and turn-by-turn spoken directions that let drivers keep their eyes on the road.

The RV9145 offers settings and adjusts routes based on a vehicle’s height, width, length and weight. The customizable route feature picks the suitable route based on driver preference, e.g., shortest distance, fastest time, using freeways, or not using freeways. Its multi-destination routing capability allows a user to plan an entire trip in one route.

Magellan’s exclusive OneTouch™ user interface lets users personalize their experience with instant access to favorite destinations and searches and external devices, such as a back-up camera, DVD player, or an iPod, can be easily utilized through the A/V input. The unit includes safety features such as Highway Lane Assist that ensures drivers choose the correct lane well before upcoming interchanges and exits, and spoken street names and directions that alert drivers when to make a turn without having to take their eyes off the road.

Though they haven’t told us exactly when this device will be on the market or given any screenshots yet, we do know it has an MSRP of $349.99. So stay tuned, Minnesota RVers! I’ll give you more details after CES Show finishes this week.

Garmin Navigation Apps Make the Perfect Gift for the Minnesota RV Owner

Hey Minnesota RVers, we’re only days away from Christmas Eve, and I’m sure some of you out there have not finished all of your Christmas shopping. Or maybe you’re just stuck on gift ideas for your spouse or friend. Well, I have a great idea for you at a great price: The gift of navigation! I know that navigation systems can be a little pricey, but  the good news is you can now buy extremely capable navigation apps for smart phones! Here’s some even better news… Garmin has slashed prices for its apps and traffic services for the year-end holidays!

Last week, Consumer Reports said that Garmin announced price cuts of up to 40 percent for its Navigon navigation software for both iPhones and Google Android-powered smartphones. The holiday promotion will last through January 5 and allows users to download and navigate U.S. maps for $30 instead of $40 (Android) or $50 (iPhone). For both U.S. and Canadian maps, Garmin will charge about $40 for its app on either iOS or Android platforms.

Garmin’s live traffic update service will also be discounted from $20 to $15. This app is great for when Minnesota RVers venture out and have to bravely navigate through large cities.  The StreetPilot app for iPhones also dropped $10 to $50 for U.S. and Canadian maps ($40 for U.S. only) during this promotion. So Minnesota RV owners, if you’re in need of a last minute gift, go check out these different GPS apps. Any owner of a motorhome, travel trailer or fifth wheel will be more than happy to have this service with them while on their RV adventures!

Stay Warm Inside and Outside Your RV During the Minnesota Winter

Though many people choose to winterize their RVs or head south for the winter, I know there are some of you out there who absolutely love RVing during these months. If you’re new to the RV world and you are planning to do some RVing this winter, staying warm will be key to ensuring you have a great time. After all, no one wants to spend their trip bundled up and shivering. For the most part, your RV furnace will do the job. But it’s always good to have a back up plan, like a portable heater, if something goes wrong and the furnace stops working.

Portable heaters have many advantages for RVers. There typically pretty small and can easily be stored away . They are great at quickly and quietly heating up a room in your RV without using too much energy.  Be sure to shut off the room you are heating from the rest of the RV, though, to contain the heat. I like to use a portable heater during the night so I don’t have to burn through the battery- or generator-powered furnace. So before you go to sleep, you can turn off the furnace, close your bedroom door and sleep soundly and warmly. They are also great for those chilly days and nights when you want to sit outside and enjoy nature.

One of my favorite portable heaters is the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy. Don’t be fooled by the name, this little guy is capable of heating up to 200 square feet and has a fold-down handle for compact storage. It also has an automatic low oxygen shutoff system and an accidental tip-over safety shutoff. You can find it for about $100 at Wal-Mart and even cheaper at online stores like Amazon.com.

A word of caution, though… if you plan on using a portable generator, be sure you understand how to use it. For instance, if you plan to use it in the bedroom, be sure to set it somewhere away from anything that can ignite. This includes your bedding, clothing and curtains. As I mentioned before, these little portable heaters give off a lot of heat. I’ve heard of the rubber on people’s shoes even melting from propping their feet up too close to the heater. Try to always keep the heater at least five feet away from yourself. If you close off the rest of the RV, I promise the room you are heating will quickly become toasty with the heater sitting in the far corner. Stay safe and warm out there, Minnesota winter-loving RVers!

How Do You Stay Connected on the Road in Your Minnesota RV?

Photo Courtesy of RVBasics

Do any of you Minnesota RVers remember when you’d have to use a dial-up connection at a campground, an Internet café or a public place like a library to connect to the Internet? My how times have changed. Thanks to technology, we no longer have to find a place to get online where we’d have to wait our turn and then be limited in the amount of time we had to use the Internet.

Today we have a number of options when it comes to staying connected on the road. We can send emails, surf the web and more while we’re traveling down the road or even boondocking. The three most common and easiest choices are to simply use  a smart phone itself, tether through a smart phone or purchase an air card. The option that is right for you, all depends on how much you use the Internet.

Option 1: A Data-Capable Smart Phone. This is for those of you out there who only use the Internet to send and receive emails, get directions and occasionally surf the Internet. Your phone basically serves as your computer screen. Just remember, that data packages can get pricey if you go over your designated amount of usage.

Option 2: Tethering with a Data-Capable Smart Phone. The second option also requires a smart phone. If you moderately use the Internet, this may be a better solution for you. This is also good for those of you prefer using computers or laptops on the road. In order to do this, you’ll need to purchase a tethering plan from your wireless provider. Then you can plug your smart phone into your computer and using the Internet connection from your phone, you’ll have the full functionality of a computer.

Option 3: An Air Card. If you’re an avid user of the Internet or you work from the road, then this option is probably the best one out there. Air cards allow you to surf the web more frequently and generally have much higher-speed connections. There are many wireless carriers out there like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon who offer air cards. This is by far my favorite option, but again, you have to choose the best option for you.

So motorhome owners, which option is right for your RV? Make sure you do some shopping around before you decide. If you choose to go with an air card, check with several different carriers. Often times, they will be offering specials that you can take advantage of.

Take Precaution When Working on RV Batteries

The summer months can be hard on your RV’s battery. Overcharging and high temperatures can kill batteries. So frequently check the batteries is extremely important and you may even have to preform some maintenance. This isn’t necessarily difficult, but there are some precautions you should take to avoid spilling or splashing electrolytes or a battery fire or explosion.

Let’s take a look at an excerpt from Gary Bunzer’s book, Woodall’s RV Owner’s Handbook, that details these risks and also provides safety guidelines for how to avoid an RV battery accident.

Risks of Spilling and Splashing Electrolyte

Why it’s Dangerous:

Spilled or splashed electrolytes can cause chemical burns to skin and eyes, destroy your clothing and damage wood, metal, painted surfaces under or around the battery.

How to Reduce Risk:

Protect yourself!

  • Avoid contact between electrolyte and skin, eyes, or clothing.
  • Wear splash-proof safety goggles when working on RV batteries
  • Wear protective clothing such as rubber gloves that extend up the forearms and an apron
  • Rinse off the gloves and apron before removing them

Protect the RV

  • Don’t let battery acid splash on any surface
  • Neutralize spilled or splashed electrolyte with a solution of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)in water
  • Rinse the spill area with clean water
  • Wipe dry with disposable material (rag or paper towel)
  • Use a small plastic funnel or battery fill bulb when adding water to the cells in order to prevent splashing

Risk of Explosion or Battery Fire

Why it’s Dangerous:

Flooded electrolyte batteries produce highly flammable hydrogen gas as a by-product of recharging. This gives rise to the risk of explosion or fire.

How to Reduce Risk:

  • Provide proper ventilation while working on the battery or in the battery compartment
  • Avoid sparks and open flame (don’t light a smoke!)
  • Always reinstall the cell caps before charging or discharging the battery.

 

If you are planning to do any work on your RV battery or need any help checking the battery, be sure to give us a call or come down and see us.

RV Decorating Ideas

How do you decorate your RV?

How do you go about decorating your RV?  When you spend so much time in a smaller space, you should get the inspiration to decorate.  Because it is so much different decorating a RV compared to a home or apartment, we found a article that gives you a great place to start!

RV living is very different than living in a stick house or apartment, but you still want your place to feel and look like your home. No one wants to live in a carbon copy of every other RV in the park yet you may be afraid to change things around too much if you are worried about the resale value of your RV. The truth of the matter is however that there are still lots of things you can do, without a radical remodeling job, to add style, ease, and individuality to your RV home.

Furniture is very important and you may want to consider purchasing a beautiful sofa bed in an up-to-date color and style to replace the standard (and often boring) couch that came in your RV.

If your RV is your home then it should make you feel good every time you walk in the door. Color can help with this, as often RV interiors are designed and decorated to appeal to the most people and somehow that often transplants into a bland look that reflects every other RV on the lot.

You might not want a bright green couch but if you do, go for it. Or, if you prefer to keep the couch that came with your RV, at least add some bright and beautiful throw pillows or toss a colorful quilt or throw across the back of your couch.

Curtains can be purchased, or made if you are handy with a sewing machine, that contrast with or that match your furnishings. Personally I can’t stand blinds of any kind, and that would be the first thing to go for me, to be replaced with an attractive set of curtains that I made myself.

Many RV owners pick a “theme” like western, vintage, nautical or country style, but I prefer to have a free hand and don’t like to limit my decorating in that way. However, done right, a theme RV decorating scheme can be very attractive. Just don’t go overboard with it. A subtle touch here and there works much better than cramming every inch of your RV with nautical items for example.

Lighting matters too, so be sure your RV allows for plenty of natural light and ventilation, as well as adequate lighting in the kitchen, and where you read, work at your computer, and other tasks.

An awning outside your RV adds a whole new dimension to your RV, virtually adding a new room to your home. Put a folding table and chairs outside under your awning and you’ll find yourself enjoying your stay in the great outdoors a whole lot more. Plus it encourages outdoor barbecues and eating outside which can be fun too.

Get rid of clutter in your RV. If you haven’t already given away or donated all the things you just don’t need anymore, or have room for in your RV, then do it now. Not only will it give you more room to breathe, your place will just look and feel better without all that excess stuff.

Make sure you have some family photos somewhere in your RV. You can make any place feel more like home when you add your own pictures. Change them around once in awhile, especially when you get wonderful new photos, or perhaps when the seasons change. Posters and lightweight pictures can also brighten up your RV, in addition to your family photos.Make room for your hobbies, you’ll want to occupy your time with things that are fun and interesting for you. Store the supplies in attractive wicker chests or other furniture. If you don’t have a place for the things you enjoy doing, then find one somehow. Either store in cupboards or chests or baskets, whatever looks good and you have room for.

Avoid sharp corners on furniture and cabinets. With the smaller space of an RV, you’d be running into those sharp corners too often for comfort.

There are even RV fireplace heaters with mantels. The best ones look very realistic and aren’t terribly expensive. Perfect for Christmas and the cold weather months.

Whatever you do to decorate your RV make sure it fits your needs and you like it. Don’t just stick with the furnishings that came with your RV, it’s your home now and the fastest way to feel comfortable and at ease is to decorate in your own favorite style, get rid of furniture, curtains, and other things that are not to your taste or, if used, that are too outdated.

How do you decorate your RV! Leave us a comment or come show us at Pleasureland RV!

Got an iPhone and An RV? Check This Out!

As the years have passed, it has become overwhelming apparent that technology is going to make its way into our life.  We have social networks, seach engines, You-Tube, and informational blogs like this one!  And while all these different mediums have helped RV users out in some way, some of the newer technology has been lacking when it comes to getting quick information on your phone.

In comes a new iPhone application called Camping Finder made by CampingRoadTrip.com.  This handy app allows for a bunch of features to help an RVer or camper plan and execute a great trip.

“Camp Finder puts 14,000 U.S. campgrounds and RV parks in your pocket,” says Julian Fenn founder of CampingRoadTrip.com. “We want to help people have a great time in the outdoors and also save a few trees by getting rid of the big paper based camping directories. Camp Finder app is all about giving campers and RVers the freedom and spontaneity to have a great time on the road.”

The reality of being on the road means that plans do change. RVers and campers can now use the Camp Finder iPhone app to access the most up to date information and search for campgrounds and RV parks by name, city and state or current location. With just one touch campers and RVers can check out rates, amenities, camping discounts, contact details and even photos and reviews posted by others. “Camp Finder is even smart enough to give you directions to your destination. The only thing it won’t do is drive your RV or car there!”

Check out a video demonstration below:

httpv://www.youtube.com/campingroadtrip

So if you do have an iPhone, make sure you spend the $1.99 to purchase this very helpful and informative application.  And when you do download the app, make sure you put in Pleasureland RV first!!

[Source: PR Web]

Go Rving on Fox and Friends Discussing Pet Travel

With everyone heading back out on the road in your RV this season, it’s time to think about the little things when on the road.  One of these things is your pets safety on the road.  We love to bring all of our loved ones on our trips with us, and pets are no exception.  There are a bunch of tips and hints to help you in the event you do have a pet with you.  Recently GoRving.com and went on Fox News with Fox’s pet safety expert Lady Christina Selter to give their audience a few helpful hints.

“We’re here with GoRVing.com to give pet safety tips,” said Selter as she took viewers on an on-camera tour of pet-friendly features of the RV such as a pet-level window and built-in food and water dispenser, in addition to human comforts and conveniences.

Click on the video link below to see what these experts had to say:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/989075494001/travel-safely-with-your-pet/

According to the RVIA’s latest Campfire Canvass study of seasonal travel plans, 57% of RV owners will bring a pet along on RV trips this summer, to make the trip more enjoyable, provide companionship and save money on boarding.

We hope that this information is helpful for your trip if you decide to bring your furry friends along with you.  If you have any suggestions or questions, please leave a comment or come by and check us out at Pleasureland RV.

[Source: RV Business]

Need an RV Propane Safety Refresher?

It’s time to get back on the road again!  And while people who drive RVs tend to concentrate more on what’s going on under the hood, making sure that you propane system is working properly is very important.  Because of the volatile nature of the propane system, it is necessary for you to be thorough so you can be sure that you and your family are safe!  Check out these tips I found that should be helpful.

Checking For Leaks

This should be done periodically, between annual inspections. There are portable leak detectors than you can buy for this very purpose. Or you can simply spray the connections with soapy water. If you see bubbles, you’ve got a leak. Immediately turn off the main supply valve until the leak has been repaired by a professional.

Know Thy Cylinder

If you’re using DoT cylinders, make sure to always transport them in an upright position, secured to something in the vehicle. While there are plastic rings designed specifically for this purpose (see video below), you can just as easily use a milk crate or a cardboard box to keep it from rolling around.

Also keep in mind that DoT tanks are good for 12 years after their manufacture date, and must be re-certified for use every five years after that. Don’t rely on the propane seller to check the date, even though they are supposed to.

Before You Go

Here’s a quick list of things to check out before you get on the road:

– Check that exterior vents are clear of sticks and debris

– Inspect propane system for rust, corrosion, or wear and tear

– Make sure you have properly installed carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers!

In the Rare Event of a Leak

Ok, it could happen. And if it does, here’s what you do:

1.  If you smell gas, leave immediately, only stopping to put out any pilot lights or smoking materials.

2.  Leave the door of your RV open to air out.

3.  Turn off the supply valve on the propane tank.

4.  Call 911 or the local fire department.

5.  Do not turn the system back on until it has been repaired and inspected by a trained professional.

I hope that these tips will assist you before the next time you head out on your next RV adventure.  Have you ever had a leak or problems in your RV?  Let us know by sharing a comment or stopping by Pleasureland RV.

[Source: Propane Pro]

 

Minnesota State Water Trails Interactive Map

As you already know, Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes.  Within all these waterways, you can understand how there could be some difficulty discerning one from the other as well as the tributaries and rivers that connect this wonderland of water.  In comes a new online interactive map to help residents and visitors easily navigate throughout Minnesota.  This new wonderful tool will help all aspects of MN outdoors enjoyment.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released a new online interactive map to help people explore the Minnesota state water trail system, which offers 4,400 miles for canoeing, kayaking, boating and camping along rivers and in Lake Superior.

The interactive map includes all 32 designated water trails, in addition to public water accesses and campsites along each route. The map makes it easy to zoom, search, and pan and to find and print information about facilities.

“Minnesota is the state of paddling,” said Mel Baughman, president of the Minnesota Canoe Association. “We are fortunate to have the premier water trails system in the nation. There is a DNR water trail within about an hour of almost anywhere in the state. These new interactive maps will make it easier for paddlers and boaters to plan outings and find new adventures.” The new digital map format provides paddlers and boaters with an opportunity to create a customized map and to take advantage of the connections between water trails and other public lands, such as state parks, state trails, wildlife management areas, and state forests. DNR still distributes free paper maps as well.

The interactive maps and other trip planning resources can be found atmndnr.gov/watertrails.

This could be a very useful tool in planning your next RV getaway!  Let us know what you think about the new interactive map by leaving a comment below!

[Source: The Pilot-Independent]