Stabilizing Your Fifth Wheel

What happens when you travel a good distance to get to your destination then you realize that the5th wheel isn’t stable? Don’t panic. It happens all the time, and with the right tips, it doesn’t have to be a tremendous hassle.

Uneven Ground Makes an Unsafe RV

First, check for a shaking sensation. When your 5th wheel is unstable, this may be your first clue. Besides the fact that it is probably uncomfortable, this unstable nature could be hazerdous to your family or others. That is why it is always crucial that you find level ground for your trailer.

When at a campsite, you do not always have the options that you really want as far as parking goes, but finding the most level ground possible is of the upmost importance. Every campsite strives to be as level as possible, but with RVs constantly coming in and out, it is understandable that it could change the landscape.

5th Wheel Stabilizer

When the ground is not even, a stabilizer comes in very handy. They attach towards the front, typically at the king pin to act as a stabilizer to level the fifth-wheel and reduce movement. They are available in both electric and manual styles for your convenience and easy use.

There are many kinds of stabilizing jacks available: C-shaped stabilizer, telescoping jack stabilizer, hydraulic jack, and tripod jack. While many campers use the tripod jack, you will need to do a little analysis to find with is right for you.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoaDPhMSygw&feature=player_embedded

Checking the Adjustments

The most important part of a stabilizer is its ability to adjust. Make sure you check out the footpads of the stabilizer to make sure they move so that they can perform height adjustments. These footpads, even when attached to the trailer, should be capable of move inward and outward.

Along with the moveable footpads, your stablizer also needs to make the smaller adjustments to make sure you get it perfect. Generally, these are made with a turn screw adjacent with a stabilized adjusting level. Remember, if it is not easy to adjust, then you won’t use it. Therefore, thoroughly check the ease of adjustment before you buy.

Checking the Weight Limit

Finally, you should definitely check out the weight capacity of the stablizer you choose. . For example, a stabilizer that will hold up to 5,000 lbs will cost you around $100. But be prepared to pay more the bigger your RV is.

A stabilizer makes traveling in your Fifth-Wheel much easier and safer. Once you start using one, you’ll wonder how you ever camped without it.

 

Record Turnout this Summer at National Parks?

Getting tired of seeing gas prices go up and up and up?? If you are, then you can join the rest of the travelers this summer scurrying to find a sensible vacation for this summer.  Rising gas costs affects virtually all kinds of travel, from airplanes, to cruises to automobile travel.  When gas prices are high overseas or international travel experience a humungous drop, which in turn boosts domestic travel for families.  One such ramification of increased domestic travels will affect the RV community, available space at National Parks become limited.  According to the National Parks Service:

“Last year more than 281 million people visited America’s 394 national park areas. This year, the park service expects attendance figures to increase by 10% or more as people seek less expensive vacation destinations closer to home.”

So how will this effect both public and private campgrounds as well?  RVT.com had this to say:

Increased visitor volume is expected to further strain the competition for the limited number of onsite RV camping spaces available at national parks. Typically, only a portion of national park campsites are available for advance reservation. At the most popular national parks a certain number of campsites are available only on a first-come-first-serve basis to accommodate campers. RV campers should consider booking camping space at a nearby RV park and purchasing an inexpensive multi-day park pass.

Even if an in-park campsite is available, RV campers often prefer to book a reservation at a nearby private RV campground. Private RV campgrounds typically offer amenities not available at national park campsites, including more spacious campsites, Wi-Fi, swimming pools, playgrounds, an onsite camp store and onsite firewood.

So will how will the increasing gas prices effect your travel?  Do you plan on RVing instead of taking some other form of transportation? Leave us a comment below and let us know how you are affected.

Source [RVT.com]

Budget RVing?

We can never save too much money. So between boondocking, clipping store coupons and eating in more often, it will all add up!

Boondocking is one of the best ways for RV traveling on a budget. Boondocking is defined as staying in a spot that’s fairly remote and undesignated. You have no hookups since you are out in the middle of nowhere. There are many places to boondock even for extended stays.

You will discover more places and data if you Google ‘free boondocking areas’. Also, you might have considered trying to seek out places to dry camp. Dry camping means that you will be staying inside of a state park or RV park without using any hookups.

Overnights that are easy on the budget are found in relative’s driveways, parking lots and several RV campgrounds or parks that are fitted with dry camp areas. These usually are very low cost or free.

Rent varies at RV parks, based on the region and season. RV ‘parks’ are the just like RV ‘resorts’ and ‘campgrounds’. Resorts tend to be higher in cost and also have more activites for tenants. Campgrounds have less and cost less. Those called ‘RV parks’ may be in in between these two. This may give you an idea of which one works together with your RV budget.

Amenities in these places can include water, sewer, electric, TV cable, and Wi-Fi. Additional recreational activities could be a swimming pool, horseshoe court, golf course, and more. Basic overnight or weekly charges usually cover the initial five amenities listed above, but that may vary. Additional activities can be free or use a usage charge.

If you vacation at least seven days at an RV park you can save some money. Weekly rates are likely to be lower than the whole of 7 overnights. Lots of places  charge for six nights and also you get the seventh free. If you will not be staying more than six nights and also you belong to Good Sam Club plus the park is a Good Sam Park you will definately get a discount usually only good for those first six nights and sometimes for cash customers only.

Monthly rates (usually 28 days) are more reasonable than four weekly rates and will likely be plus electric.

Even if you happen to don’t remain a complete 12 month year, many parks offer seasonal or yearly rates that can be reasonable. Budget minded like these parks. There are actually RV parks with full hookups and amenities that charge as little as $800 per year for a site. Take into account that you get what you pay for, but not always.

Use the web to discover information about RV Parks in your locale. While planning a stop at an unfamiliar area, ask other RVers for their park suggestions. Strive to choose a park fits your wishes. Then just sign up for a day or two if it looks questionable when you get there. In the event you do not like that park, two days will give you a chance to locate another.

You certainly don’t need to stay a couple weeks or even a month in an RV park you don’t like.

You should be able to find parks that both fit within your budget and that you like. There are many parks to choose from.

And if you want to trade in your RV, now is a good time to do that too!

 

Minnesota Spots: North Shore Drive

The North Shore Drive of northeastern Minnesota, with its eight state parks, mountainous backdrops, and vast inland coast, makes this destination unlike any other. The Lake Superior shoreline is a welcome place for snowmobile enthusiasts from all over the country due to its yearly snow covered countryside.

The North Shore State Trail System is the crown jewel of northeastern Minnesota that runs from Duluth to Grand Marais. A 153-mile system along Minnesota’s Sawtooth Mountains is filled with a diverse terrain.  From ridgelines, hillsides or woodlands, it’s a sledders’ dream. If that’s not for you, the views of everything from the crashing of waves on the glacial shoreline to the staggered cliffs of the Lake Superior.

The “Lake Superior Ice Train” is named this since it seems like a crumbling building. But be sure to use caution while observing this astounding phenomenon—ice storms can occur in this area. Make sure though that you stop along the cliffs edge and catch that amazing sunset.

Share your stories with your fellow travelers.  Leave a comment below!

 

Awning Upkeep

If you are planning on using your RV for this upcoming summer, you need to make sure that your awning is in good shape.  Whether vinyl or acrylic, awnings have become a must have when enjoying your RV.  It could be as simple as having a place to take a break from the elements or just giving your RV that at home feel.  With the awning out, we try to convey a warm feel to people in the area that we are “open for business” so to speak.  When someone sees an open awning, they usually feel that the people are welcoming or that they are there for an extended period of time.

Not only does it give you shade from the sun, but using different add ons, you can customize the outside of you RV to your specific tastes.  For some, the overhang is good enough, but for others, certain touches can add a little pizazz.  If you are worried about bugs during those humid summer months you may choose to add a screen that can attach right onto your awning to keep them away.  Another way to spruce it up would be to add some lights to give you a little more coverage than a fire can typically give.  There are plenty of other options out there for you to personalize your patio area.

With all of the bonuses that an awning offers, it is very important that you keep it in tip top shape.  As their use is tied into keeping you protected from the rain, it is safe to assume that it will get wet at times.  This situation, compounded with the fact that for a good majority of the time it is rolled up or stored away, can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew.  Because of these deteriorating situations, it is necessary to maintain you awning with a lot of care.  Not only after it becomes stained or needs replacement, it is imperative that you do some preventative care.  One way to prevent would be to make sure that the awning is completely dry before it is stored away.  This moisture is sure to cause some sort of problem if not taken care of.  In an instance where this is not possible, such as leaving your destination during a rain storm, you should just be prepared to unroll it and let it dry as soon as you get the chance.  And if you do not use you awning for a while, it might be a good idea every once in a while to check on it for any kind of problems before it gets to the point where you need to replace it.

Finally, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the mechanical aspects of your awning as well.  Whether it is a automatic awning or one you crank by hand, knowing what to do in the situation could prevent a bad situation should it malfunction.  If you are unaware of how to fix a problem while on the campground, try to ask a neighbor for help or just use that imagination you have to find a solution.

Remember the awning is only is as good as you keep it, so make sure you are diligent in keeping it in the best shape as possible.  What kind of awning do you use?  Do you customize yours or just sit back and enjoy the shade?  Let us know in the comment section below!

Privacy Outside Your RV

The privacy of an RV, when compared to camping with a tent, is one of the pluses for owning such a vehicle.  It provides safety while inside, as well as privacy from the eyes of neighbors.  But what happens when you are enjoying a beautiful day outside of your RV and need a little more privacy?  That’s where the new product, “Wallup!” comes in.  The manufacturer of this ingenious invention was searching for a way to get the privacy people need at places such as an RV campground.  The director of Walluping Industries, Aaron Inman, had this to say:

The Wallup! is described as the “do it all, easy to haul, won’t fall, portable wall” and can be erected with minimal skill or effort and does not require the use of strings or other attachments to stand straight upright and stay standing upright.

In just a few minutes it assembles into a 6-foot high by 12-foot wide freestanding wall. The most amazing thing, Inman said, is it won’t fall over in winds excess of 15 mph and when it’s time to pack up the Wallup! collapses back into its tote bag.

The heavy duty poles and solid steel stakes used to secure the product are the secrets to helping it stay up, even in strong winds.

Now a little cold or difficulty lighting a fire outside your RV or tent can be diffused by the makeshift walls that “Wallup” provides.  Does this product look like something that you could use on your next RV trip?  Leave a comment below and let us know!

[Source: RV Daily Report]

 

 

Minnesota RVers, Do You Have Campground Etiquette?

Etiquette is always important, but certainly varies by circumstances.  The golden rule always applies, but depending where you are, you have to aware of your surroundings.  This is especially evident in a campground setting.  Thinner walls and more crowded areas with people you might not know can certainly affect how you should or do act.  I found a list of some reasonable rules for RV living from The Marine Web that you all might find interesting.

  • 1. Ground Rules: Usually when you register for a particular park, they give you a copy of their rules: following these rules is the first of such manners. These rules will specify when you should not be making noise, driving carefully around the park, rules related to cooking etc.
  • 2. Eliminating Pet Peeves: If you are bringing your pet along on your vacation, make sure it does not disturb or harm anyone else! Your dog will need to be taken care of, cleaned up after and kept on a leash to avoid bothering the neighbors at all. Remember, your dog may be well-behaved but you’ll still have to be careful.
  • 3. Rig Parking: In a number of cases, it will not be clear how to orient the rig on a site; the only guide being a hookup for electric and sewer. Ground rules will require you to stay on your side of the hookup and not encroach in any way. If all people are situated in the same way, everyone will get more camp site.
  • 4. Arriving Late: Try not to do that but even if you do, make sure you avoid disturbing your neighbors who might be trying to rest for a long day. This means not talking loudly, quickly parking your RV & setting up and reducing the general noise level while you do the necessary work.
  • 5. Connecting the Sewer: This will also require you to be discreet and to do it right. Usually, the connection should face the side where your neighbor has their patio area.
  • 6. RV Cleaning: Most of the time, campgrounds don’t allow you to wash your RV with open water in order to avoid muddy areas, high water bills and general wastage of water. They will give you a water bucket for the most minimal cleaning but even if you are allowed to wash your RV, be very careful not to waste the water or allow it to splash on someone else’s area.
  • 7. Don’t Trespass: When everyone is sharing the campsite, they’re all paying for their spots and it is against most rules to be on someone else’s spot without their permission and consent. One of the major campground etiquette requires you to treat your neighbor’s or someone else’s area as their personal property and stay away from it unless invited or permitted.
  • 8. Campfire: Before you make one, be sure that it is allowed in the regulations copy. Keep it safe and make it properly and most importantly, don’t use it as a trash can for your cans and other garbage.
  • 9. Be Tidy: Make sure you do that to keep your neighborhood clean; RV vacationers tend to be laid back but being dirty and sloppy is very hard to deal with so don’t be messy.
  • 10. Treating others: Whenever you are unsure of any campground rules, try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and act only if you’ll like to be treated in the same manner. Otherwise, don’t!

I know there has to be some funny stories out there where maybe people didn’t use as much etiquette as the list above might suggest.  Leave your stories and comments below!

[Source: Marine Web]

 

 

Pet Rules of the Road

Traveling with pets can be difficult and expensive.  Extra fees for taking them on airplanes and deposits at hotels (if they allow pets at all) can be cumbersome.  Not to mention if you leave them at a kennel, the cost of your trip can skyrocket.  RVs allow for more freedom when it comes to pets, although it is necessary for you to properly prepare yourself and your RV to have them as travel companions.  Pedata RV Center has recently released a list of 8 safety tips for you and your furry friends.

1. Can your pet travel? If your pet has never traveled try a short road trip before heading out on a long vacation. Some animals have a hard time traveling and will actually become sick. Discover this before you are hours from home

2. Check your pet’s tags. They need to be updated prior to departure if any of the information is old.

3. Make sure that your pet’s tags include a cell phone or other number that will actually be accessible to you while on the road.

4. Consider other identification devices like the chips that can be implanted in order to find a lost pet.

5. Have the appropriate health certificate. Taking your pet across state or international border lines requires a health certificate signed by a veterinarian.

6. Verify that your pet will be welcome at your final destination before leaving on your trip.

7. Bring a portable kennel for times when your pet will be left unattended.

8. Always keep your pet leashed. If you have a pet that you frequently allow unleashed remember that you are in new territory with unknown distractions and stimulants. Introduce a leash in unknown circumstances. Better safe than sorry.

Do you bring your pets along with you on your trips or board them somewhere local?  Leave a comment below and let us know!

 

5 Tips for Motor Home Renters


 

Planning a trip across the country or just to a place too beautiful to fly over?  Maybe traveling in a RV is the way to go.  There are a number of benefits to traveling long distances in a motor home.  Benefits include, however are not limited, to convenience and general comfort.

Even with all the wonderful stories people read about RV excursions, people seem to still be wary of this pastime.  One of the biggest concerns is the cost of buying an RV.  If you are interested in traveling by RV, although cannot afford the cost of owning one, you may want to think about renting one.  Keeping that in mind, if you are not careful motor home rentals can get expensive.  Below are a short list of some tips to think about when renting an RV:

Be aware of All Of Your Options

First, knowing all of your options is of the utmost importance.  Exhaust all of your options in terms of local RV rental providers.  They usually have multiple businesses to pick from.

Next, inspect the kinds of motor homes available for rent.  For comfort, as well as safety, secure a large enough RV that can comfortable seat everyone in your group.  For example, you wouldn’t try to fit a party of nine people into a RV built for six.  Also look at features, such as number of electrical outlets, onboard television, movie players, and so forth to maximize the enjoyment had on the trip.

Research Rental Costs

If you want to reduce the cost of your next outing, always compare prices.  In addition to comparing the average rental price for different businesses, also look at the various motor homes.  You want to get the most out of your money, so after choosing the size of the RV, being selective on additional features may allow you to trim in areas you don’t need.

Read All Fine Print

When renting an Motor home, you’ll be required to sign a agreement.  This agreement is comparable to one that you would sign if you were renting a car.  With that being said, never believe that all rental contracts are the same.  Always fully read an RV rental contract, including the fine print.  Never sign anything that appears too suspicious.  When in doubt, ask to take the contract home and review it first.

In keeping with reading all fine print, it is important to know all Motor home rental rules and restrictions upfront.  Often, these policies and restrictions are highlighted on a rental contract, although there is nothing wrong in getting additional information.  Make sure to be aware of rules that limit the number of people allowed , age requirements for children, and so froth.

Be Cautious With Use

Being cautious is an essential piece of renting an RV.  If you are not watchful, you may be financially responsible for any damage that occurs.  Some tips may be to keep food and drinks covered or in spill proof containers while moving, don’t make foods while driving that may cause harmful stains, and so forth.  Also, for those who have kids, be sure to set some ground rules.  Making sure you are cautious on the road is very important, especially dealing with underpasses and stopping at your campground.

Returning On Time is Important

Returning your rental on time will allow you to keep the cost of your rental low.  Late rentals may incur late charges.  These late charges, should they exist, should be outlined on the motor home rental agreement.  If you know your behind schedule and won’t make it in time, be sure to contact your motor home rental company to inform them of the delay as soon as possible.

In closing, RV renters are encouraged to look at all of their rental options, research prices,  examine rental contracts, use caution, and return their RV rentals on time.  These steps, when properly executed, can not only help to improve the overall quality of your next RV trip, they can also help to keep the expenses associated with that vacation a little more reasonable.  How have your experiences been with renting RVs.  Share your stories below in our comment section!

 

New Accessory: My Camper Kitchen

Have you ever pulled up to your campsite after a long day of driving, get ready to start cooking and remember you forgot the foldable table or utensils?  Just like in your kitchen at home, there are many parts and pieces that can be forgot or go missing if not properly cared for.  Certainly can be frustrating.  In comes a new product designed for RVs and camping in general to help out with such an instance.  The “My Camp Kitchen”, is a one stop shop for all your cooking and grilling needs (minus the grill of course).  Compact design and the ease to assemble should make this a very popular holiday gift this season.  The following is a video put together by the website in order to show how portable and easy this outdoor cooking set is:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4vVIK6O94o

No more dragging a picnic table over or worrying about the sturdiness of your favorite folding table anymore.  Not only that, but this wonderful package also has storage for tupperware and even non-perishable foods.  As you can see in the video, this piece also has room not only to prepare your foods, but also for a single burner for those jobs that cannot be completed on the grill.

How well do you see this product fitting into your RV travels?  Leave a comment below and let the rest of us know!!

[Source: My Camp Kitchen]