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!

Go Green in Your Minnesota RV Part II

The phrase “going green” means different things to different people. Broadly put, going green is the process of changing one’s lifestyle for the safety and benefit of the environment. As Minnesota RVers, we spend a lot of time out in the environment. It’s clear to see that RVers love the outdoors and nature, but sometimes it’s not so clear to see that we respect it. As an RVer, it’s always important to be mindful of the environment your in and leaving it in a better state than when you first arrived.

The other day, we talked about little ways we can go green in our RVs. After all, on top of helping the environment, we’re helping our finances, as well. With April being the Earth Day month, I thought I’d share a few more tips for going green.

Water Heater. When you aren’t using your water heater (at night for example), turn it off. If you can, try to time out your showers and dishes. This one may be a little difficult for some, so just try and turn off the heater as much as possible.

Shade. Try to park your vehicle in the shade where you can during the summer and spring months. You’d be surprised at home much it helps with your A/C usage.

Organics. Use organic bug sprays and sunscreens. These are better for both you and the environment.

Dish Towels. Reduce your paper towel usage by using dish towels.

Lights. Switch to LED lights everywhere possible (i.e. cabin lights, flashlights, etc.). You could also try using motion sensor lights or timers for our outdoor lights when you’re at a campground.

Remember Minnesota, if we want our future generations to be able to enjoy the same Earth we enjoy now, we have to take care of it. For more ideas on how to go green, call Pleasureland RV.

Foil Packs: A Simple and Healthy Recipe for Minnesota RVers on the Road

There’s nothing I love more than preparing simple and healthy meals while on the road, besides sharing these great recipes with my fellow Minnesota RV travelers! What a lot of new RVers and campers don’t realize is how easy what may seem to be a complex meal can be to prepare without using any cookware. I’ve already told you how to use a Ziploc bag to make delicious omelets, and now I’ll share one of my favorite dinner recipes prepared in foil!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat – cubed
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 small potatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced

One of the many things I love about this recipe is that you can do most of the preparation at home or beforehand. You can also substitute any one of the ingredients to create your own version of the foil pack.

Once you have all of your supplies, let’s get to easy cooking!

Directions (Recipe Makes 4 Foil Pack)

  1. In a large bowl, or in a large zip-top bag if you are preparing this at home, combine your chicken cubes, onions, mushrooms, yellow and red bell peppers, garlic if you prefer, and cubed potatoes.
  2. Next, pour the olive oil and lemon juice over your meat and veggies, and mix well.
  3. Evenly divide the mixture between 4 large square sheets of aluminum foil. Cover each with an additional sheet of aluminum foil, and roll up all four edges tightly. For safety’s sake, wrap each packet again securely in another sheet of foil to help keep the juices and flavors in as well as to avoid losing any of your ingredients in the cooking process.
  4. Cook the foil packs on the hot coals of your campfire until the chicken is fully cooked through and the potatoes are tender. The entire cook time should take around 40 minutes, give or take the amount and size of your ingredients.

There you go, Minnesotan RVers! A hearty yet healthy, delicious and simple meal prepared on the go. Share your variations and creations with Pleasureland RV! We always love trying to new things!

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

Take Advantage of Fee-Free Days at National Parks this Year

Have you already started planning your destinations for this year, Minnesota RV owners? I’ll bet many of you started planning before the year even began! If you’re thinking about heading to any of our wonderful National Parks, check this out. The National Park Service is waiving admission fees on 17 days this year to encourage Americans to explore America’s natural beauty, rich history and culture!

Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, encourages everyone to visit a park near them whether or not it’s during one of the free-free days, but why not take advantage of free admission if you can? Check out the list:

  • April 21-29 (National Park Week)
  • June 9 (Get Outdoors Day)
  • September 29 (National Public Lands Day)
  • November 10-12 (Veterans Day weekend)

To top it off, many park-related hotels, restaurants, gift shops, and tour operators will also be offering specials on fee-free days. There are 397 National Parks to choose from, so you better get to planning, Minnesota RV travelers!

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.

How to Disinfect a Contaminated Fresh Water Tank in Your Minnesota Motor Home

The fresh water tank is one of the most important parts of your RV because you use that water to shower, clean dishes, do laundry, brush your teeth and even drink. So what happens when the water is not tasting so fresh?  You may have somehow contaminated the fresh water tank and it might need a good round of disinfecting. Not to worry, though. This can happen to just about anyone.

Being on the road all the time sometimes means we’ll have to get water from a not-so-good source (though we don’t know it’s “not-so-good” at the time). If this should happen to you, there is a pretty simple process that can be done over night to disinfect the entire system. Trust me, you’ll be extremely happy with the results.

First, you’ll need to drain all of the bad water out of the tank. Then, mix one cup of household bleach with a gallon of water and pour it into your water tank. Once you’ve done that, go ahead and fill the fresh water tank from a trusted, clean source. When its full, turn the water pump on and go to every faucet, shower, toilet and anywhere you use fresh water. Run them all until you smell bleach. Don’t forget to run both cold and hot water. Once you can smell the bleach, turn off the pump and leave the system overnight.

On the following day, go ahead and drain the fresh water tank and refill it with clean water. Go back to all of the places you ran the water yesterday and run them until you no longer smell bleach (this may take an additional filling of the water tank). When you no longer smell bleach, your Minnesota RV fresh water tank is sanitized and ready to use again! See, that wasn’t so bad now was it?

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!

Minnesota Wildlife – Black Bears

The black bear: a symbol of Minnesota’s wilderness. As a Minnesota RVer who enjoys camping in the great outdoors, it is important to be mindful of what type of wildlife, and in this case bears, you may encounter. Bears are most common in the northern parts of Minnesota, although they have been known to wander into more urban areas.

Conflicts between people and bears have increased as more people build homes and cabins in northern Minnesota. These types of conflicts between bear and human can arise when bears damage personal property, beehives, livestock and even agricultural crops.

The black bears natural source for food are nuts, fish, berries, insects and certain types of vegetation. However, when their natural food sources become scarce, a bear will take advantage of any food they find available and eat anything that might resemble food by its look, smell or even taste. It is when a bear’s desperate search food occurs that they will often come in contact with people.

Reducing Bear Encounters

  • Move campsites if there are any signs that a bear has been there recently.
  • Never leave food in your tent or outside your RV.
  • Use canned or dried foods to minimize the scent of food.
  • Store foods out of a bear’s reach, either in a bear safety storage box or by hanging it at least 15 feet off the ground from a
    tree limb.
  • Burn any used napkins or paper towels in your campfire.
  • Remove all garbage and any fish or other meat remains from your campsite immediately after use.

People share in the responsibility to avoid conflicts with bears. Learning effective measures to prevent bear problems will help both bears and people. The best way to avoid bear conflicts is to not attract them in the first place. If you would like more information about bear safety, we’d be happy to help!