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]

National Parks to Offer Free Admission Days!

What’s better than getting out on the road in your RV?  How about a free stay at a National Park!  The National Park Service has announced that they will offer a couple free days at a National Park this summer.  Check out the press release and remember to mark these dates on your RV calendar:

The U.S. Park Service will celebrate the first day of summer with free admission to all national parks on June 21. Many families schedule their RV trips and vacations around free admission days or use the free days to explore lesser-known national park sites. Admission to national parks will also be free on September 24, National Public Lands Day, and on Veterans Day weekend November 11 to 13.

With budget worries causing several states like California to close some or all of their state parks, RVing families are taking the opportunity to explore the country’s 394 national parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, recreational areas and more. Last year, more than 280 million people visited America’s national parks, from the tiny .02 mile Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial inPennsylvania, the nation’s smallest park, to Alaska’s massive 13.2 million mile Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the largest U.S. park.

If you are planning RV vacations to multiple national parks this year, the $80 annual America the Beautiful pass is a good value, providing a year of free admission to national parks and federal recreation areas. Seniors (age 62 and over) can obtain a lifetime pass for just $10. The senior pass also provides a 50% discount on certain amenities such as camping, swimming, boat launch fees and other special services. U.S. residents with disabilities are eligible to receive a lifetime America the Beautiful pass at no charge. Find details at www.nps.gov.

Do you plan on taking advantage of either the free days or the ‘America the Beautiful’ passes?  Leave us a comment below and share with the rest of the RV readers!

[Source: RVT.com]

Do You Always Drive Around With Your Trailer Hitch?

Have you ever heard anything about trailer hitches being hazardous on your truck when not in use? Well, apparently the answer is a resounding yes!  The following video will show how it can affect your driving.  Do you keep your hitch on your truck all the time?

When you think about it, hitches are used to pull boats, RV trailers, jet skis, work trailers and more.  Logic would stand to show that many people have hitches on their cars.  Let’s find out why it can be dangerous.

Roughly 40 percent of vehicles on the highway have a receiver hitch (sometimes referred to as a trailer hitch). Many times when a vehicle is finished towing, the ball mount is just not removed from the hitch. This result’s in a collision from the rear there’s a 22 percent increased chance of a whiplash injury to passengers. Learn more in this one minute video. [RV Videos]

While I had thought about hitches sticking out and the accidents that they may cause, that statistic really makes me think of the importance of removing your trailer hitch when not in use.  Check out the video below for some more information.

 

8 Quick Tips for the RV Season

Before you head back out on the road in your RV for the season, there are a many things you need to do and check.  Safety is always very important and going through your checklist is a good way to be prepared.  I came across an article with a few such tips for your viewing pleasure:

Clean it up and air it out. Open all roof vents and windows and then remove any pest control items you may have placed during winter storage. It is also a good idea to clean or replace air conditioner filters.

Check for damage.

  • Look for deterioration of seals around doors, roof vents and windows and reseal as necessary.
  • Check awnings for damage, mildew and insects.
  • Examine the hitch system for wear, loose bolts and cracks.

Change the engine oil and spark plugs. Many manufacturers recommend changing the oil and filter prior to storage and again in the spring. During storage, oil can separate and cause condensation buildup that may harm the engine. While replacing spark plugs, be sure to set the gaps to the recommended manufacturer’s setting.

Inspect the engine.

  • Check the battery.
  • Check the cooling and fuel systems.
  • Drain and flush the entire system of the nontoxic antifreeze you used before placing the RV into storage and replace with the proper coolant.
  • Check for cracks in hoses and fan belts and replace if necessary.
  • Replace fuel filter, and examine the fuel lines and fittings for cracks and leaks.
  • Change the transmission fluid and filter.
  • Flush the water system.

Inspect the tires. Check for cracks, worn treads and correct tire pressure.

Check all lights. Make sure headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are all functioning properly.

Prepare for a safe season. After checking all mechanical components, it’s always a good idea to inspect your safety equipment. This means installing new batteries in flashlights and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and restocking the first-aid kit.

Check your coverage. After making these routine checks, don’t forget to review your insurance policy to make sure it meets your current needs.

Just like you we are really excited for the upcoming season, but make sure your RV is in tip top shape before heading out on the road.  While these tips are a good start, make sure you do your due diligence.  Is there anything that you can think of that can be added to the list?  Leave a comment below and share it with us!!

[Source: Village Soup]

A Way to Convert your RV to a Hybrid?

Hercules, in mythology, is known for his great power.  When talking about RV’s, what is one way we categorize power?  It’s MPG!  MPG is a powerful acronym when speaking about RVs and automobiles in general.  The rate your vehicle burns through miles per gallon, can effect which auto you choose or your wallet.  Green technology has been booming over the past decade or so with little to help people with bigger vehicles to achieve “higher MPG”.  In steps Mary Meadows, a retired environmental medicine physician, who decided that she wanted to look beyond helping just people, and focus on helping the Earth.
Mary has come up with the newest in MPG technology to help all of us save the world as well as save some money in the process.   She came up with a product that produces hydrogen and injects it into the gas in order to increase MPG and overall fuel usage.  It is made for all sorts of vehicles and is constantly evolving in order to meet the needs of different automotive patrons.  Here’s how it works:

The company manufactures the Hercules Hydrogen System, which is about the size of a car battery and can be installed under the hood or in the trunk. The system manufactures hydrogen, mixes it with gasoline and puts the mixture into the engine by air intake.

“It’s a very sophisticated system,” Meadows said. “A lot of systems out there don’t work; they don’t last.” She says her system works and lasts.

One of the problems to overcome was that cars and pickups newer than 1996 models contain computers that sense when a vehicle is using less fuel. That triggers the computer to increase gasoline or diesel to compensate.

To counteract that problem, Meadows has a chip that affects the air/fuel ratio and allows the hydrogen mix to power the vehicle without triggering the computer.

Meadows recommends that mechanics install the system, but some vehicle owners have installed it themselves. She provides buyers with detailed instructions on how to install, and she will stand by on the phone to advise mechanics.

Hercules retails for $3,500, but Meadows is offering it at a discount for $2,500. The system works with any kind of fuel: gasoline, diesel, propane or biodiesel. It can also be traded among vehicles, such as moving it from an RV to a car.

Long-haul truckers can expect a 30% increase in mileage, she said. Cars and pickups have seen increases of 30% to 50%, and RVs, 50%, Meadows said.

Imagine being able to increase your RV mileage by 50%!!!  While this technology is new and is continued to be studied, we can only hope that this will lead to worldwide change in the industry as we know it.

Have you ever heard of the Hercules Hydrogen System?  If so, give us some insight below as to how it works for you.  If not, let us know what this could allow you to change in your RV adventures!!

[Source: RV Business]

Looking for a GPS for Your RV?

Rand McNally has just launched its first “RV Only” GPS device called the TripMaker RVND 5510.  How many times have you been in a car and saw the functions brought to you through a GPS and wondered how this could help you on your next RV vacation?  Just a couple more weeks to find out as they have marked June for its release.

Take a look at some of the features this RV GPS device allows:

– RV-Easy Routing with a base of award-winning navigation from Rand McNally, the TripMaker RVND 5510 layers on all the information needed to have an enjoyable and safe trip in an RV.  The routing includes legal (including propane and other RV-only), height and weight restrictions, right- or left-turn preference based on 11 different RV types, and a quick reference to the Rand McNally Road Atlas. Turn-by-turn spoken and text directions keep the driver focused on the road ahead.

– The TripMaker RVND features more than 14 million points of interest – including festivals, and national, state, and regional parks.  Other key information includes:
•    RV campgrounds, RV dealers and service, parking and rest areas, travel centers with detailed amenities such as dump stations, propane availability and more.
•    Detailed exit information and available amenities on upcoming interstate exits.
•    RVer Tools such as checklists for set up and take down, maintenance logs, trails back to your campsite, and quick mileage calculators.
•    Pet-friendly locations including parks, animal hospitals, and beaches.

In addition to routing and tools critical to RVers, the TripMaker RVND features Rand McNally Editor’s Pick Content – proprietary data provided by our editorial staff with video and photos.  The content includes:
•    Best of the Road – three-to-four day adventures including unique stops, photos of the locations, maps and more to plan a memorable adventure.
•    Regional Trips, Scenic Tours, Weekend Getaways, and City Trips.
•    12,000 researched locations that will make any trip exciting and unique.

How would you use a device like this on your RV travels?  Are you gonna purchase one upon their release?  Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think about it!!

[Source: RV Business]

 

WIT Show and Tell Rally

At Pleasureland RV, we like to host RVers from time to time to come stay in our lot and use our facilities.  One of these occasions was this past weekend when the Winnebago & Itasca Travelers – Winnehaha & Sundowner Chapters, Show & Tell Rally was hosted in our facilities.  People started pulling in their RVs on Friday and by the time things were in full swing, there were 45 coaches in all!   We had workshops, dinner, entertainment, etc. for them. Included in the weekend, they had a motor home building workshop on Saturday with legos (check out the pics below!) and a Cal-Tex workshop.  Saturday night  dinner was made by our own Bill Moran and we provided entertainment afterwards.  The weather was very chilly, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves!

Make sure you check out the photos below to see all the fun!! Make sure to leave a comment if you were there and let us know what you thought!!

 

 

St. Cloud, Got your Keys?!?

There are a few situations that people get themselves into that absolutely drive them crazy.  One of these situations is losing or locking your keys in your car or RV.  Even if you have some sort of roadside assistance company such as AAA on your side, it can still run you upwards of $150 to have a new keys made for you.  If anything could make that situation worse, it would be having to shell out money to resolve the issue.

Are there some things you can do to prepare for the situation?? Absolutely!!  I came across an article that has some such suggestions to help you prevent a costly situation:

Main Set… Separate one set of keys into three groups–Door key, Ignition key, and all the rest. Carry the door key when you lock and leave the RV. If you have a motorhome, leave the ignition key inside–keep reading to find out where. Store the rest of your keys (compartment, fuel door, etc.) near the front in case you need them.

Backup Set… Keep a set in your other vehicle–just in case.

Emergency set… Get one of the magnetic key holders used for hiding keys. Put one door keycompartment keyignition key, and a fuel door key inside. Hide it well. Crawl around underneath and find a great hiding place not visible by just walking around and looking at the coach.

Test the magnetism. Is it easy to remove? Can it fall off? Secure it with one of the plastic electrical ties. Cover it with mud or spray paint it to look like the background. Do not make this easy to find or access and make it impossible to see. After all, it is only for emergencies.

Additionally, in our seminars, one topic that always comes up is the number of RVers that forget to crank down their TV antenna or satellite dish before driving out of the campground. Since your ignition key will be separate from the others, when you crank up your TV antenna or satellite dish, hang your ignition key from the crank. That way, you can’t drive away without being reminded to crank down these items. Without a firm reminder, you will forget at some point but if so, it’s only about $150.00 to replace the antenna. The only way to ensure you will remember to crank it down is to force yourself to reach up there for the ignition key.

Have you ever locked your keys in your RV, or even lost them??  Leave a comment below and let us know!!

[Source: New RVer]

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]

7 Tips for Driving Your RV in the Rain

There are a lot of things that you can control on your RV trips.  You can make sure you pack everything and that your RV is tuned up, but weather is something you just have to deal with.  Like a car or a bike, riding in the rain takes precaution and safety.  I came across some useful tips to help you maneuver through the bad weather on your next trip over at rvtravel.com.  Here are a few:

Be the middle-man:  If you have an option of which lane to occupy, take to the middle. Most roads have a crowned surface to encourage water to run off to the side.  The center lane is often on high ground, and so less water accumulates here.

Slick ‘em up:  The places you’re most likely to encounter greater road slickness are where oil (from vehicles) can accumulate.  Read that as intersections, parking lots, as well as on and off ramps.  If it’s been some time since the last rain, you’ll also find high traffic areas are slick too.  Why so?  Take your typical freeway lane–after weeks or months of traffic dripping oil and fluids, the first rain to come along washes the oil off the drop spot, and mixes it with water, making for a slick trip.

The eyes have it:  When it rains, make it easier on your own–and others–vision.  Turn on your headlights for greater visibility.  Yeah, there may be a bit more glare, but better to be seen.  Turn on your windshield wipers, of which you’ll have changed the blades every 12 months.  Seems extreme, especially if you don’t live in rain country, but if you’re a desert dweller, you’ll find UV radiation and heat eats up your wipers faster than using them like those folks in the Northwest do–every day.

Exercise self-control, not speed control:  Time will tell whether or not vehicle speed control units may actually contribute to loss of control on rainy roadways, but this much is certain:  Speed control use slows the driver’s ability to note and respond to changes in road surfaces.  Save it for dry pavement.

Be treadful! Generally speaking, the deeper your tire tread, the less likely you are to hydroplane on a wet road.  And other drivers’ tires can help, too.  How?  If you track behind another driver (at a SAFE distance) in his tire tracks, you’ll find less water there–he’s already “dried out the road” with his passage.

Give it a (correct) brake:  If you have anti lock brakes and find yourself needing a slowdown, don’t pump–press and hold, the same as you would on ice.  If you don’t have ABS, then indeed, pump-release-pump-release to keep yourself out of trouble.  And if you’ve driven through water, to dry your brakes, lightly tap them a few times to dry the linings.

Don’t play Moses:  You can’t part the Red Sea with your RV.  As the good folks in Arizona will tell you, NEVER cross a flooded wash.  It takes but a few inches of water to push a vehicle off the roadway and into harm’s way.

Safety is concern number one when traveling and should be treated as such.  Hopefully you will take these tips seriously and be careful out there on the road!!  Leave a message below and let us know if they left anything out.