Deciding Between a Diesel or Gasoline Motorhome Engine Part II

One of the great things about RVs is the fact that we have choices. A lot of them. If you’ve already decided on a Class A Motorhome, you’ll now have to decide on the type of engine. Should you go with diesel or gasoline? There really isn’t a right or wrong choice. It all depends on your needs.

Recently, we talked about the advantages and disadvantages of buying a gasoline-powered RV engine. Now let’s look at the PROs and CONs of a diesel-powered RV engine.

PROs:

Fuel Efficiency. This is the biggest selling factor for most people. Diesel engines provide about 15% more mileage per gallon, about 15% more.

Torque Power. If you’re planning on toting a toad or dinghy around on your RV trips, then a diesel may be the right choice for you. These engines pack a lot in the torque department.

Maintenance. A diesel engine is more cost efficient in terms of maintenance and repair.

CONs

Horsepower. Though you’ll have more torque with a diesel engine, you’ll be lacking in the horsepower department.
Cold Weather Conditions. If you’re planning to do a lot of winter travel in Minnesota, you may have to invest in a block heater or buy one with that option. Diesel engines can be tough to start in temperatures below 40 degrees.
Fuel Prices.  You may find yourself spending more at the pump to fill up a diesel engine, but overtime you’ll save more. It just may take awhile to see the savings.

Now that we’ve examined both options, hopefully we’ve made your decision easier. If you’re still unsure, you can always swing by one of Pleasureland RV’s four Minnesota RV dealerships or give us a call.

[Source: TruckTrend.com]

Deciding Between a Diesel or Gasoline Motorhome Engine Part I

Now that you’ve already decided on a Class A Motorhome, you’ll need to decide on what type of engine you’d like to have – diesel or gasoline? As with all things, there are pros and cons to both. But that’s why Pleasureland RV is here! Let’s start by looking at the more familiar first – the gasoline motorhome engine.

PROs:

Upfront Cost. The gasoline engine is cheaper to purchase upfront and upgrading is cheaper as well.

Engine Noise. The gasoline engine is quieter than its diesel counterpart has less vibration.

Cold Weather Camping. If you camp often in the winter months, a gasoline engine gives a small advantage. The diesel engine struggles to start in extremely cold weather; however, your gas engine will start easier in these conditions. You can probably go without a block heater unless you are camping in North Dakota in February.

CONs:

Long-term Cost. However, the cost of maintenance for the life of the gas engine is a actually a slight disadvantage in comparison the diesel engine.

Fuel Economy. You’re looking at less MPG with a gasoline engine since a gas engine burns fuel faster.

Long Term Maintenance. The gasoline engine has been known to have a shorter life than the diesel engine and replacing parts like the head gasket and cylinder work on gasoline engines happen more often.

Towing Weight. The gasoline engine does not have as much torque so the GW on towing will be lower in gasoline engines.

So what do you think, Minnesota? You may want to stick around and hear about the PROs and CONs of diesel engines next. As always, you can swing by one of Pleasureland RV’s four Minnesota RV dealerships or give us a call.

[Source: TruckTrend.com]

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Different Ways to Tow Your Toad Behind Your Minnesota RV

Taking a toad (a tow vehicle, also known as a dinghy) along on our Minnesota RV trips is not only the safe choice, it’s also the smart choice in my opinion. Toads help you save on wear and tear on your motorhome while giving you freedom and flexibility on your vacations.

If you decide to add a toad to your next RV trip, you’ll have to choose a method of towing it. Let’s take a look at three different options and hopefully help you decide which is right for you. Remember, you can always give us a call if you need more help deciding.

Tow Bars

A tow bar pulls a dinghy while all four wheels are on the ground.

Pros: Relatively speaking, this method is the easiest to use and least expensive. A lot of RV manufacturers offering mounted tow bars which remain connected to your RV at all times. This provides the advantage of built-in storage and also has a clean look.

Cons:  Because the base plate portion of a tow bar is unique to different vehicles, you may have to have a custom install if a base plate for your dinghy does not already exist… and that can get a little pricey. Unless your dinghy is equipped with a speedometer disconnect or electronic speedometer, it’s going to tack on the same mileage as your RV. A lot of tow bars systems, backing up your RV while the dinghy is attached is going to be out of the question. Unlike tow dollies and trailers, tow bar systems do not come with lights. So you’ll need to use a tow light kit or wire into the towed vehicles system.

Tow Dollies

Tow dollies are two-wheeled trailers that tow two wheels of a car. First you attach the dolly to your RV and then drive your car up the ramp where it is secured by straps or chains.

Pros: One dolly can be used to tow a variety of vehicles and can tow almost all vehicles that cannot be towed by all four wheels.

Cons: Similar to tow bars, dollies are not easy to back up. If your car is rear-wheel-drive, then forget it. We strongly advise against towing vehicles backward. Dollies can be a bit on the expensive side, and you’ll also run into the issue of where to store the dolly once you arrive at your location. If you decide to use this method, be sure and check with the licensing requirements before heading out.

Trailers

Trailers provide the only way to tow a vehicle with all four wheels off the ground.

Pros: By using a trailer, you can forget about putting wear and tear on your car, as well as mileage. Trailers also allow you to reverse while attached and many come equipped with brakes.

Cons: The main disadvantage in using a trailer, is factoring in the added weight to your trip. You’re also going to have to find a place to store the trailer once you arrive at your destination.

So Minnesota, which option suits you best? For more help, come by one of Pleasureland RV’s four Minnesota locations. We’ll be happy to help you make your decision.

How to Properly Use the Mirrors on Your Minnesota RV

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, your backing up your new or used RV is a lot different than backing up your average passenger vehicle. The second you plop into that driver’s seat, you’ll realized that looking over your shoulder or in your rear-view mirror isn’t going to be much help.

However, if you look to your left and right, you’ll see that your RV has some pretty large side mirrors. When these are properly adjusted, you’ll be able to see from the side of your RV to the back bumper. A lot of RVs also have convex mirrors. They will either be separate or part of the main mirror. You’ll need to adjust the convex mirrors, as well, in order to widen your view along the side of your RV. This will help minimize bilnd spots and expand your view to the rear on both sides to include most of the next lane of traffic.

I know this sounds like an overload of info, but to make your mirror situation as easy as possible, I recommend using a set of extended mirrors like the Tow-N-See Mirror. The great thing about these mirrors is that they move along with your power mirrors so you can adjust your view while sitting in the driver’s seat. Extended mirrors provide the best possible view in my opinion. Not to mention they take mere minutes to install.

Come by and check out these mirrors and get some other RV tips on how to use your mirrors at one of Pleasureland RV’s four locations in Minnesota.  Installation takes just seconds with a twist of the knob, leaving no marks and making it easy to transfer from one vehicle to the next. Tow-N-see…The one that works!

[Source: The Fun Times Guide]

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]

Go Green in Your Minnesota RV Part I

These days, going green not only helps our environment, it also helps our pocketbooks. Given the state of our economy, we have every reason in the world to make travels in our new Minnesota RV as green as possible. When people think of going green in RVs, they immediately think of solar panels. But there are some many other little things you can do that you might not have even known were considered as “green” or that were even an option for you. Here are some of my favorites:

Laundry: Now that we’re back into the warmer-weather months, hang your laundry to dry outside when you’re at a campsite.

Rechargeable Batteries. Granted this will cost you more upfront because you will need to buy a solar recharger, over time you’ll save loads by not having to purchase batteries. When the battery runs out, simply put them in the sun. The easiest thing to do is put them in on your dashboard as you head down the road.

Tote Bags. Have you ever seen the option to buy a tote/cloth bag in line at the supermarket or any other store for that matter? Start buying them! They are usually no more than $2 and you can eliminate the use of plastic bags all together. I’ve even found that groceries are much easier to carry than those small plastics ones that tend to tear easily. 

Dishes. If you already have a full set of dishes in your RV, use them. Try to eliminate buy paper products as much as possible. Another tip: clean off your dishes right after a meal. Once they sit around for awhile, they become harder to wash and usually require a lot of hot water.

Water Filters. There are too many types of waters filters to count. You can buy ones that attach directly to your sink, pitchers that you fill up and put in the refrigerator, personal use water bottles, etc. Try to quit buying bottled water. Besides, we’ve all heard that bottled water companies use tap water anyway, haven’t we?

See Minnesota RVers? I bet you didn’t know that these little tips are considered as green, did you? Stay tuned to Pleasureland RV for Part II of Going Green in Your RV.

[Source: AllStays.com]

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.

Crock Pot RV Cooking

The other day, we talked about ways we can save on one of our large RV expenses – propane. One of the ways we can do this is by using alternative cooking methods like an electric skillet or crock pot. If you’ve become accustomed to using your stove and oven to prepare your meals, then using alternative methods may seem a little difficult to you. But it doesn’t have to be!

When most people think of crock pots, they immediately think of stew or chip dips and nothing else.  What most people don’t know, is that you can use a crock pot for almost any type of meal whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner! On top of saving on your propane consumption, you’ll also be enjoying a delicious meal that was super easy to prepare. Most of the time, you can just throw your ingredients in the pot in the morning and by dinner time, you’re all set. That’s all there is to it! In case you don’t believe me, I’m going to share one of my favorite crock pot recipes of all time – chicken casserole. I bet you would have never thought a crock pot was capable of this one! If you don’t already have a crock pot, you can purchase a 12V 1.5 qt. crock potat the Pleasureland RV online parts store.

What You’ll Need:

4 lg. chicken breasts
1 sm. can cream of chicken soup
1 sm. can cream of celery soup
1 sm. can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. diced celery
1 c. Minute Rice ( if you want you can try different flavors)

How to Cook:

Mix in crockpot the soups and rice. Place chicken on top of mixture, then sprinkle diced celery over chicken. Then let it sit on low for four hours and you’re ready to serve four people! For a little more flavor, add some salt and pepper and other seasoning of your choice.
This is one of thousands of recipes you can make in a crock pot. Who knows, this could even become your new hobby while on the road in your Minnesota RV. Are you already using a crock pot to prepare delicious meals on the road? Share some of your favorite recipes with Pleasureland RV!

Lower Your RV Expenses by Cutting Back on Your Propane Use

A lot of the appliances aboard our Minnesota RVs use propane including the stove, over and hot water heater. The furnace also uses propane, but seeing how the winter months are behind us, we’ll already be saving there. The price of propane has doubled in the last ten years, and even though it’s currently on a decline, it’s still above two dollars a gallon.

I’m not saying you should forgo the use of propane all together, but when you are at a campsite with hookups, odds are electricity is including in your price. So why not take advantage of it? By simply doing the following, you’ll save on propane purchases in the future.

Buy 12V Products Online from Pleasureland RV and Save on Your RV's Propane Consumption

Instead of using the stove or oven, use a crock pot, electric skillet and electric oven. To top it off, Pleasureland RV is offering these items at a Red Hot Special price online. So you’ll be saving even more! When you arrive at the campsite and hook up, be sure your RV refrigerator switches over from propane gas to electric. If the showers aren’t terrible at a campsite, you could also consider using them instead of your RV shower which uses propane to heat.

What other ways can you think of to save on propane in your Minnesota RV? We’d love to hear your ideas!