Minnesota Spring Break Destinations for RVers

Minnesota is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful states in the union, and one of the very best to cruise through in your RV, especially in Spring. Watching the flowers bloom and animals frollicking by the roadside as you roam from town to town, it’s really what being an RVer is all about. Here are a few of the best locations to hit up in Minnesota on your Spring Break vacation:

Beaver Trails at the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort

If you like to mix your outdoors explorations with a little bit of good old fashioned R’n’R and maybe even a little pampering, this camp/resort in Jellystone Park offers you everything that you could possibly want whether you’re after rugged or relaxing. With 225 full hook-ups, you can probably bet that there’ll be a spot open for you when you arrive, and the five star resort boasts an arcade, shuffleboard and boat rentals. A great place to get away from it all this Spring Break.

Stony Point Resort

Stony Point Resort rates five stars from Woodall’s, thanks to its great fishing spots, swimming opportunities, boat rentals, grills, and a small shop with some groceries in case you don’t want to make the trip to town for some supplies. Stony Point Resort is great any time of year, but especially in the Spring.

Dakotah Meadows Park

With 122 pull-through sites and full hook ups including Wifi and electric, this incredible spot actually has a rock climbing wall, a family fun area, a fitness center and a swimming pool. It’s almost a luxury apartment building for RVers, so it’s no wonder it regularly scores four and five star reviews from a wide range of RV park review websites. If you love the outdoors as much as you love your creature comforts, Dakotah Meadows mixes the two so that you never have to compromise. The only problem with staying here for Spring Break is that you might not want to leave.

Spring is really just about the best time of year to be an RVer, and these three camp sites prove it.

Cargo and Utility Trailers

Our Minnesota RV dealership  now carries cargo/utility trailers. Now, you can haul your toys or extra gear behind your Class A motorhome; or you can pack everything in the trailer and “tent it.”

You can choose from several sizes of trailers, both enclosed and open. If you are going to carry a motorcycle or an ATV and do not need extra space to carry equipment or additional luggage, an open trailer is lighter to haul and will do just fine. But, if you want your things protected from the elements and from stones and dirt getting kicked up on the highway, an enclosed trailer is a better choice. Furthermore, the enclosed trailer can also be used to haul things locally – you can use it for many things that wouldn’t fit into a truck bed – or would only fit with more than one trip.

If you are tenting it and the tent leaks because of an unexpected torrential downpour, you can always move everything into the enclosed trailer and still get a good night’s sleep. And, if you are towing it behind an RV, you can protect all of your stuff from the weather. A 12-foot trailer will easily hold a motorcycle or two ATVs plus your patio furniture and hunting or fishing gear – this way, nothing gets wet while it’s raining.

Before you buy a cargo/utility trailer, be sure to check the weight it can carry. You want to be sure it will safely haul your things, especially if you plan on carrying a motorcycle or two in the trailer. For heavier loads, you may want to consider the longer trailer with dual wheels.

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14-foot Cargo/Utility Trailer. Photo Credit: Pleasureland RV Center

You must also check how much your vehicle can tow – the weight of the trailer plus everything in it cannot exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity. If you have a pickup truck or are planning on towing the utility/cargo trailer behind a new motorhome, you should have plenty of towing capacity for the 14-foot dual-wheel utility/cargo trailer.

When purchasing a trailer, whether open or closed, be sure to purchase the appropriate equipment to tie your toys down. You must tie down vehicles even when in an enclosed trailer. Ratcheting tie downs secure vehicles to the floor or sides of the trailer. Visit us at Pleasureland RV Center to look at our cargo/utility trailers. If you bring the towing limitations of your vehicle and the weight of your “toys,” the sales person will help you determine which cargo/utility trailer will best meet your needs.

Staying In Shape On Your Minnesota RV Travels

Staying in shape can be a challenge on any given day; staying on track with a fitness plan while traveling in your new or used Minnesota motorhome can sometimes seem next to impossible. But with a little determination, you can work out (with no need for fancy equipment) and keep fit for those fun, outdoor activities.

Here are four ideas:

1)    Plan a few challenging hikes along your trip route that offer a break from the road and get your blood flowing.

2)    Choose a variety of workout DVDs ranging from aerobics to yoga, and leave your favorites in the RV. Pop one into the DVD player and you’re set.

3)    Load a workout app on your phone (like Nike Training Club or P90X).

4)    Or create your own workout using any combination of these moves, whether inside the RV or outside by the picnic table: 100 jumping jacks, 50 crunches, 20 tricep dips, 15 squats, 20 lunges, 70 Russian twists, 20 calf raises, 5 push ups, 30 second plank, and 10 lunge split jumps. How many sets can you do?

There are plenty of excellent workout monitors out there, like Bodybugg, or apps for your phone to track your progress and keep you on the right path. Once you get in the habit of logging your food, caloric intake and output and exercise, you can really begin to see how your daily progress affects your goals, and those RV travel days won’t slow you down!

If you’re feeling ambitious and ready to take your fitness to the next level, check out Minnesota’s upcoming race schedules and sign up for one that sounds like a good fit. You might be supporting a philanthropic cause or just joining up with some other fun folks to get sweaty! If you need a kick-start, find a local training group or running buddy to keep you motivated.

Try these race schedule websites for a complete list of what’s happening near you:

How about White Bear Winter Frolic 5K or the 100% Irish for a Day 5K & 10 Mile in Minneapolis? For whatever your fitness, lifestyle or goal, you can find something to get your heart pumping!

RV Road Trip Reads

The Great American RV Road Trip tops our list of life’s greatest joys. The Great American Novel ranks close behind, even if what you like most might accurately be classified under “beach read” or “guilty pleasure.” So why not combine both those loves with some terrific road trip reads on your next Minnesota RV excursion?

If you’re fond of travel times, check out these books about Minnesota to help plan your getaway, where the journey—filled with fun day trips and scenic drives—is the destination.

 

  • Backroads & Byways of Minnesota: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions
  • Explorer’s Guide Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes
  • Backroads of Minnesota: Your Guide to Scenic Getaways & Adventures

Or support local culture with these books set in Minnesota or by Minnesota authors:

  • John Sandford will release Silken Prey in May 2013, the eagerly anticipated next Lucas Davenport thriller. Check out the other entries in the series.
  • What Minnesota list would be definitive without Laura Ingalls Wilder? Dive into the 9-novel Little House series with the box set. Truly enjoyable for the whole family.
  • Of course, no RV road trip would truly be complete without On the Road, Jack Kerouac’s classic and revolutionary tale of wandering spirits at mid-century.

How about something to keep the kids busy and happy on those long stretches of road? Look no further than National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas: Maps, Games, Activities, and More for Hours of Backseat Fun. It’s jam packed with maps, trivia, games and ideas for pit stops to keep the young ones engaged. Whether you’re planning your next RV road trip, or just planning your next escape into a new story by the campfire, these books offer something for everyone!

Becoming A Full Time RVer After Retirement

For us working stiffs, RVing in our new or used RV is largely a vacation thing. If you’re lucky enough to work on the Internet, you can go ahead and take off and go where you like when you like, but that’s simply not a realistic option for a lot of us. The dream of RVing full time isn’t so far-fetched on any retirement plan so long as you have an idea of how you’re going to make it work, and you’re willing to make the compromises that you need to make in order to stay on the road.

Keeping the House?

One of the big decisions that homeowners will have to make regarding retirement is whether or not to keep their home. The decision of whether or not you’re comfortable relying on an RV as your one and only home is a big one, but, there are other assets that will need to consider, as well. We need to expand this question to cover your car that you love, the boat, or that acre of land that you own. Selling off your assets might allow you to live like a King on the road, but it’s a total severance from the lifestyle that you lived while working, and not everyone is up for that. Weigh your options carefully and decide what you might want to keep (just in case) and what you might want to consider selling or giving away.

Adjusting to the Road Life

Being on the road all of the time can wear you down if you’re not ready for it. Before you decide whether or not you want to become a full time RVer in your golden years, take whatever vacation time you have and spend as much of it as you can in your RV so you can get a feel of what life on the road would be like.

Full time RVing isn’t for everyone, but if you feel that you are a true nomad at heart, then you may be ready to turn your hobby into your lifestyle.

Minnesota RV Resolutions

Welcome to 2013 and all the promise it holds! It’s that time of year when many of us make New Year’s resolutions, when we vow to stop and smell the roses a little more each day. If you’re feeling the need to reconnect–with yourself, your family or with nature, making a special resolution to travel more in your RV might be just the ticket.

Last week we mentioned the First Day Hike program offered all over the U.S. in our state parks. Whether you and your family jumped in the RV and kicked off January 1 with a hike, our state and national parks are there year-round with adventure, activities and all the diversity of nature.

Maybe you want to expand your horizons with some sport travel like snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing at Afton. Minnesota State Parks have adventures for all seasons and activity level. Check out their Winter Activities Guide to get started.  Or maybe you want to take in the sights at your own speed. You’ve got hundreds of miles of trails waiting for you, from Frontenac to Bear Head Lake, so check out the parks website to find one perfect for whatever trip you have planned. You can explore on foot, horseback, bicycle or snowshoe.

Or maybe it’s a perfect time to take the RV to Yellowstone, or visit one of our national treasures like Ellis Island. The National Park Service urges you to “See Your America” and so do we! From outdoor wonderlands to national monuments to battlefields to historic preservation sites, our parks have it all.

 

Go explore! And we’ll see you on the road!

Remember Pearl Harbor Day

If you like exploring American’s history in person, then hitch up your Minnesota RV and hit the road. December 7, 2012 will mark the 71st anniversary of the “date which will live in infamy,” the attack on Pearl Harbor in the early morning hours at the United States naval base in Hawaii so long ago. The attack by Japan resulted in the destruction of 188 U.S. aircraft, the loss of 2,402 Americans and 1,282 wounded. And of course caused the entrance of the United States into World War II.  And while RV trips to Hawaii may not be practical, we can honor the service of those who served in World War II with visits to memorials and museums across the nation. There’s an array of online tools to bring history to life and help you plan your trip.

When you hit the road, you may want to check out the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. Founded by historian and author, Stephen Ambrose, the Museum tells the story of the war that literally changed the world. Or if your route crosses through the northeast, then plan to visit the U.S. National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. Flanked by the Washington Monument to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west, this monument is truly a lasting edifice to all those who served in the armed forces and as civilians.

Did you know that more than 326,000 Minnesotans of all races and religions served in the U.S. armed
forces during World War II? And more than 6,000 gave their lives. Learn more and honor that service with a visit to the World War II Memorial at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Americans have an intriguing history. Have a great time exploring it on the road!

Explore Native American Heritage Month In Your New RV

November is Native American Heritage Month, and it’s a great time for those of us who pack up our new or used RVs and set out to explore this great nation to take an extra moment to appreciate all the ways Native Americans have influenced our shared American experience, whether it’s through food, art, music or crafts.

The President recently issued this proclamation: “This month, we celebrate and honor the many ways American Indians and Alaska Natives have enriched our Nation, and we renew our commitment to respecting each tribe’s identity while ensuring equal opportunity to pursue the American dream.”

Whether your next RV road trip takes you across the country or across the state, we found several resources to help us all learn more about the rich, varied, triumphant (although sometimes heartbreaking) history of American Indians.

Where to start:

Nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov

A number of institutions, including The Library of Congress, National Park Service and Smithsonian, have joined forces to create a one-stop info-site for events around the country, online museum exhibits, veterans’ support, audio, video and resources for teachers.

Around the country:

  • The National Park Service has created a special list of park sites called “Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary: Places Reflecting America’s Diverse Cultures” not only for sites of Native American significance but all cultures of the Americas.
  • The National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC, is not to be missed.
  • You can also read about Native American Veterans from World War II to Iraq with this collection of personal stories.

In Minnesota:

  • The University of Minnesota, Crookston, will host events November 16 through November 20. Check out their website for more info.
  • Watch the short video “A Day in the Life of Minnesota Tribal Nations”

Did you know?

  • Minnesota is a Siouan Indian word meaning “cloudy water.”
  • The original inhabitants of the area that is Minnesota included: The Dakota Sioux tribe; The Ojibwe tribe.
  • There are eleven federally recognized Indian tribes in Minnesota today, and they comprise the Chippewa, Ojibwe, Sioux and Dakota tribes.

Minnesota RVers: Remember To Thank A Veteran

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Image Via Fotolia.com

As we look ahead to Veteran’s Day on Sunday, November 11, let’s consider how best to observe this holiday so that we live up to its true meaning. How might you and your family celebrate Veteran’s Day, not only on the holiday itself, but all year long?  We have an opportunity to honor and support our veterans, both active and civilian, and here are some ways those of us in the RV community can get involved:

Say “Thank You”

Simply thank the veterans in your life and your community, with words or even with a handshake or a hug. We find veterans among our fellow RV campers at almost every stop. Another simple yet profound way to thank our service men and women is through Shutterfly’s Thank the Troops Campaign. Shutterfly’s Facebook App lets you send a free thank you card to service members overseas and in VA hospitals. You can also send a care package to troops, and there are a number of organizations who help make this easy. Google “send a care package to troops” to get a comprehensive list.

Take part in a local Veteran’s Day observance or ceremony

From parades, to moments of silence, to terrific deals especially for vets, there are a ton of fun and meaningful events for the whole family. It’s also a great chance for you to show your spirit with your favorite patriotic clothing or gear for your RV!

 

  • Check out the list of events happening all over the state, from Apple Valley to White Bear
  • Don’t forget about fitness! St. Paul is hosting the second annual 5K to honor military service around beautiful Como Lake on November 11
  • There are special deals from local and national businesses all over the state for vets and their families
  • Vetfriends.com is always a great place to start to find local events and all things military

Support military charities or service organizations that directly support the military

From clothing to educational opportunities to mental health services, there are a wealth of opportunities to help make a difference in the lives of active and civilian military personnel. Reconnect America is a great place to get started and learn more.

To all of Minnesota’s veterans: Thank you!

 

Minnesota RVers: What Would You Do If You Saw A Bat?

Halloween is coming. And even though we have a blast camping out in the our new Minnesota motorhomes, carving pumpkins and dressing up as ghosts and goblins, it’s also a tough time of year for batty public relations. We thought this would be a great time to set the record straight with a few fun facts about bats from Bat Conservation International:

  • Centuries of myths and misinformation still generate needless fears and threaten bats and their habitats around the world.
  • The more than 1,200 species of bats. They range from the world’s smallest mammal, the tiny bumblebee bat that weighs less than a penny to giant flyig foxes with six-foot wingspans.
  • A single little brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in a single hour, while a pregnant or lactating female bat typically eats the equivalent of her entire body weight in insects each night.
  • Almost a third of the world’s bats feed on the fruit or nectar of plants. In return for their meals, these bats are vital pollinators of countless plants (many of great economic value) and essential seed dispersers with a major role in regenerating rainforests.
  • About 1 percent of bats eat fish, mice, frogs or other small vertebrates.
  • Only three species, all in Latin America, are vampires. They really do feed on blood, although they lap it like kittens rather than sucking it up as horror movies suggest. Even the vampires are useful: an enzyme in their saliva is among the most potent blood-clot dissolvers known and is used to treat human stroke victims.

Minnesota has seven species of bats, and Wildlife Rehabilitation & Release, Inc. says that while some of our bats migrate south for the winter, others hibernate in caves, abandoned mines and buildings.  Two species include the gorgeous silver-haired bat, which lives in forests and has dark fur with silver streaks, and the red bat, which often hangs from its tree roosts by one foot, mimicking an autumn leaf.

This Halloween, help spread the word! Bats are not what you’ve seen in horror movies. Bats are the good guys!