Extreme RV Weather: High Winds

You don’t have to be in the middle of a hurricane or F3 tornado to experience high winds while on the road. The skies may be clear and the sun brightly shining, but we should never forget about that unseen force of nature that can so easily leave you’re fifth wheel or travel trailer overturned on the side of highway 90. I’m pretty sure this RV driver did not see this coming…

Crosswinds pose the greatest threat to fifth wheels and travel trailers because they can push the vehicle into another lane, or as we saw above, they can cause the vehicle to turnover.

So how can we avoid this situation, Minnesota RV enthusiasts? You can do one of two things: slow down to a speed where you feel comfortable or pull over and wait for conditions to clear. Unfortunately, these are really your only two options. If you have any questions or need some more tips on how to handle your RV in high winds, you can always give us a call or stop by one of our locations.

RV Decorating Ideas

How do you decorate your RV?

How do you go about decorating your RV?  When you spend so much time in a smaller space, you should get the inspiration to decorate.  Because it is so much different decorating a RV compared to a home or apartment, we found a article that gives you a great place to start!

RV living is very different than living in a stick house or apartment, but you still want your place to feel and look like your home. No one wants to live in a carbon copy of every other RV in the park yet you may be afraid to change things around too much if you are worried about the resale value of your RV. The truth of the matter is however that there are still lots of things you can do, without a radical remodeling job, to add style, ease, and individuality to your RV home.

Furniture is very important and you may want to consider purchasing a beautiful sofa bed in an up-to-date color and style to replace the standard (and often boring) couch that came in your RV.

If your RV is your home then it should make you feel good every time you walk in the door. Color can help with this, as often RV interiors are designed and decorated to appeal to the most people and somehow that often transplants into a bland look that reflects every other RV on the lot.

You might not want a bright green couch but if you do, go for it. Or, if you prefer to keep the couch that came with your RV, at least add some bright and beautiful throw pillows or toss a colorful quilt or throw across the back of your couch.

Curtains can be purchased, or made if you are handy with a sewing machine, that contrast with or that match your furnishings. Personally I can’t stand blinds of any kind, and that would be the first thing to go for me, to be replaced with an attractive set of curtains that I made myself.

Many RV owners pick a “theme” like western, vintage, nautical or country style, but I prefer to have a free hand and don’t like to limit my decorating in that way. However, done right, a theme RV decorating scheme can be very attractive. Just don’t go overboard with it. A subtle touch here and there works much better than cramming every inch of your RV with nautical items for example.

Lighting matters too, so be sure your RV allows for plenty of natural light and ventilation, as well as adequate lighting in the kitchen, and where you read, work at your computer, and other tasks.

An awning outside your RV adds a whole new dimension to your RV, virtually adding a new room to your home. Put a folding table and chairs outside under your awning and you’ll find yourself enjoying your stay in the great outdoors a whole lot more. Plus it encourages outdoor barbecues and eating outside which can be fun too.

Get rid of clutter in your RV. If you haven’t already given away or donated all the things you just don’t need anymore, or have room for in your RV, then do it now. Not only will it give you more room to breathe, your place will just look and feel better without all that excess stuff.

Make sure you have some family photos somewhere in your RV. You can make any place feel more like home when you add your own pictures. Change them around once in awhile, especially when you get wonderful new photos, or perhaps when the seasons change. Posters and lightweight pictures can also brighten up your RV, in addition to your family photos.Make room for your hobbies, you’ll want to occupy your time with things that are fun and interesting for you. Store the supplies in attractive wicker chests or other furniture. If you don’t have a place for the things you enjoy doing, then find one somehow. Either store in cupboards or chests or baskets, whatever looks good and you have room for.

Avoid sharp corners on furniture and cabinets. With the smaller space of an RV, you’d be running into those sharp corners too often for comfort.

There are even RV fireplace heaters with mantels. The best ones look very realistic and aren’t terribly expensive. Perfect for Christmas and the cold weather months.

Whatever you do to decorate your RV make sure it fits your needs and you like it. Don’t just stick with the furnishings that came with your RV, it’s your home now and the fastest way to feel comfortable and at ease is to decorate in your own favorite style, get rid of furniture, curtains, and other things that are not to your taste or, if used, that are too outdated.

How do you decorate your RV! Leave us a comment or come show us at Pleasureland RV!

Dealing With an RV Flat Tire

If you are driving your RV with too heavy of a load, under inflated tires, or old and damaged tires, then you are putting yourself at risk for a massive tire failure while driving down the road.  If this has never happened to you, then you should consider yourself lucky.  For those of us who have gone through this, then you know that it can be a bit frightening as well as confusing.  What should you do if this happens?  Well I found an excellent video produced by Michelin Tires about handling your RV in case a blow out occurs.

While the video is a little long, coming in at around 10 minutes, I do highly recommend watching the whole thing if you are not sure what you should do while experiencing a blow out.

We hope you found this information useful during such a stressful situation.  If you need for information, leave a comment or visit us at Pleasureland RV!

 

Helpful Campground Review Site

The internet has always provided a forum for people to review different things.  When someone wants to go on a vacation, they might look at Trip Advisor.  If someone has a bad experience at a restaurant they might visit Google Places or Yelp.  But until recently, a quality site that allows people to review and share their tales from campgrounds has not had one solidified place to go.  That is until now.

Camping.com has developed an all-encompassing site that will allow RVers and campers to share their thoughts and feelings with other potential campers.  Check out this excerpt from an article announcing this new site:

“Camping.com & the LI Partner Network is thrilled to offer our consumers quality reviews and ratings with the introduction of GuestRated”, said Kelly O’Bryan, EVP, Marketing, Camping.com. “Campers and RVers will now have access to more useful reviews written by people who camp and RV. Plus, our consumers can now easily rate and review their favorite RV Parks and Campgrounds from any of our web properties”.

Campers and Rvers will now be able to quickly and easily find reviews and ratings from other like-minded travelers CAMPING.COM and other sites on the LI Partner Network.

“Mainstream travelers have long had access to reviews and ratings for vacation lodging but campers and RVers have had a much more difficult time finding information about campgrounds and RV parks, GuestRated changes that. “, said Kelly O’Bryan, EVP, Marketing, Camping.com, “The tagline for CAMPING.COM has always been ‘everything camping’ and this is one more step in delivering that promise. We are encouraging campers and RVers to visit CAMPING.COM to add reviews of their favorite RV Parks and Campgrounds.

CAMPING.COM, LLC, is a leading one-stop provider of camping and RV travel information and trip planning tools. Camping.com is the leading provider of online reservations for commercial campgrounds and offers the most complete private campground directory. The site features tips on everything from camping with kids, recipes for camp cuisine, RV travel information along with trip ideas to “must-see” destinations for both weekend and longer trips.

Is this new site something that you would use, either to comment on a previous trip or when planning out your next RV trip?

[Source: World News Report]

 

RV Trip Tips: Eating Healthy

Eating healthy, even for the healthiest of us, can be difficult while out on the road.  Even with the amenities of an RV, always eating healthy can be difficult.  With our loved ones usually in tow, it is nice to have some back up plans in case you are forced into an unhealthy situation.  Here are some tips I came across to help you out on your next RV adventure!

Dealing with Fast Food and Restaurants:
No matter how you well you plan, there will be times when you’ll be faced with needing to eat out. Let’s face it, a vacation is just that and sometimes that includes time away from the kitchen!
• Keep an eye on portions. Some restaurant portions come super-sized. Ask about portion size and if it’s large, split it with someone else or take part of it with you for a snack or meal later in the day. Also check out senior or children’s meals which often have more realistic portion sizes.
• Dining at the hotel. Many hotels offer a complimentary breakfast with a variety of fruits, whole grain cereals and more. Take advantage of the offer!
• Look for grocery stores with an in-store deli. Many grocery stores now offer full service deli departments. Not only are the choices generally better for the heart conscious, but you just may find the meal less expensive as well.
• If you don’t find what you need to be heart healthy, ask if they’ll consider a special order or make substitutions. For example, if the entree is chicken breast with French fries, ask if they’ll substitute a salad, broccoli or baked potato instead of the fries. For breakfast, many restaurants are willing to make egg white omelets even if they aren’t on the menu – all you have to do is ask.

Heart Healthy Snacks:
Despite planning, it won’t always be possible to eat heart healthy all time. Look for heart healthy snacks that are easy to pack and take with you to tide you over.  Depending on your method of travel, consider snacks such as dried fruits, seeds, nuts, and beef jerky. Veggies such as carrot sticks and celery packs easily can be carried outside of an ice chest for short periods of time. Apples also pack well and are less prone to bruising than other fruits such as bananas or apricots. Try to avoid alcohol, sodas, and fruit drinks with added sugars. As an alternative, carry a water bottle which can be refilled.

Being healthy on the road is one of the advantages to having a kitchen in an RV.  However there are times we are forced into an unhealthy situation and hopefully the above tips will help you the next time you are put between a healthy and unhealthy choice.

Any other suggestions? Please leave us a comment below!

[Source: EmpowHER]

 

Go Rving on Fox and Friends Discussing Pet Travel

With everyone heading back out on the road in your RV this season, it’s time to think about the little things when on the road.  One of these things is your pets safety on the road.  We love to bring all of our loved ones on our trips with us, and pets are no exception.  There are a bunch of tips and hints to help you in the event you do have a pet with you.  Recently GoRving.com and went on Fox News with Fox’s pet safety expert Lady Christina Selter to give their audience a few helpful hints.

“We’re here with GoRVing.com to give pet safety tips,” said Selter as she took viewers on an on-camera tour of pet-friendly features of the RV such as a pet-level window and built-in food and water dispenser, in addition to human comforts and conveniences.

Click on the video link below to see what these experts had to say:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/989075494001/travel-safely-with-your-pet/

According to the RVIA’s latest Campfire Canvass study of seasonal travel plans, 57% of RV owners will bring a pet along on RV trips this summer, to make the trip more enjoyable, provide companionship and save money on boarding.

We hope that this information is helpful for your trip if you decide to bring your furry friends along with you.  If you have any suggestions or questions, please leave a comment or come by and check us out at Pleasureland RV.

[Source: RV Business]

Need an RV Propane Safety Refresher?

It’s time to get back on the road again!  And while people who drive RVs tend to concentrate more on what’s going on under the hood, making sure that you propane system is working properly is very important.  Because of the volatile nature of the propane system, it is necessary for you to be thorough so you can be sure that you and your family are safe!  Check out these tips I found that should be helpful.

Checking For Leaks

This should be done periodically, between annual inspections. There are portable leak detectors than you can buy for this very purpose. Or you can simply spray the connections with soapy water. If you see bubbles, you’ve got a leak. Immediately turn off the main supply valve until the leak has been repaired by a professional.

Know Thy Cylinder

If you’re using DoT cylinders, make sure to always transport them in an upright position, secured to something in the vehicle. While there are plastic rings designed specifically for this purpose (see video below), you can just as easily use a milk crate or a cardboard box to keep it from rolling around.

Also keep in mind that DoT tanks are good for 12 years after their manufacture date, and must be re-certified for use every five years after that. Don’t rely on the propane seller to check the date, even though they are supposed to.

Before You Go

Here’s a quick list of things to check out before you get on the road:

– Check that exterior vents are clear of sticks and debris

– Inspect propane system for rust, corrosion, or wear and tear

– Make sure you have properly installed carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers!

In the Rare Event of a Leak

Ok, it could happen. And if it does, here’s what you do:

1.  If you smell gas, leave immediately, only stopping to put out any pilot lights or smoking materials.

2.  Leave the door of your RV open to air out.

3.  Turn off the supply valve on the propane tank.

4.  Call 911 or the local fire department.

5.  Do not turn the system back on until it has been repaired and inspected by a trained professional.

I hope that these tips will assist you before the next time you head out on your next RV adventure.  Have you ever had a leak or problems in your RV?  Let us know by sharing a comment or stopping by Pleasureland RV.

[Source: Propane Pro]

 

30 RV Money Saving Tips!

With the RV season in full swing, I thought it would be helpful for us to share some ideas on how to save some money on your RV trips.  Hopefully some of these tips will allow you to keep a little more money in your pocket after your next trip.

  1. Buy a local newspaper when checking into a campground or RV park and check it for coupons, bargains, and savings before going out to shop for groceries.
  2. Don’t buy all of your groceries at supermarkets. Buy food and other necessities at thrift bakeries, discount stores, dollar stores, church and charity bazaars, flea markets, roadside fruit and veggie stands, canning plants, and u-pick orchards.
  3. Shop at a local farmer’s market and chat with the folks selling the fruits and veggies. Pick up something “new to you” and ask them how to prepare it—then go back to your RV and try it.
  4. When in a campground connect to “shore power” and use THEIR electricity, not YOUR propane, to heat your water and run your refrigerator. Water heaters in particular consume considerable amounts of propane.
  5. If you’re staying in a metered park and paying for the electricity, you can determine which energy source is most economical—paying for the electricity or using your propane. Multiply the kilowatt rate being charged by 20 and compare that to the price of a gallon of propane.
  6. When eating out, look for 2-for-1 coupons and early bird specials.
  7. Eat out at lunch instead of dinner.
  8. Eat in. Cook your family favorites in the convenience of an RV and avoid the higher costs of eating out. Better yet, cook over your campfire!
  9. Check the local paper for free community events including concerts in the park, lectures, plays, etc.
  10. Attend festivals, fairs, and parades. Tourism offices and RV magazines offer calendars of events.
  11. Visit the public library and check out a few movies, make some popcorn, set up the TV outside the RV and have a date night or family gathering under the stars.
  12. Take free tours of state capitol buildings.
  13. Visit churches, cathedrals, and architectural sites.
  14. Visit museums on their free days—most have at least one a month.
  15. Take a factory tour—sometimes they’ll include bonus samples.
  16. Try local wineries for wine tasting and tours.
  17. Check out cheese factories, breweries, and farms that offer tasting tours.
  18. Pack a picnic and spend an afternoon at a local park relaxing, eating, talking, reading, exploring, daydreaming…did I mention relaxing?
  19. Window shop a fancy part of town. End the afternoon with a cup of coffee, tea, or other refreshing beverage in said “fancy part of town.”
  20. Follow the trails of the pioneer settlers as traveled the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri to the Pacific Oregon.
  21. Discover the history and charm of America’s historic routes such as the Ohio and Erie Canalway in Ohio; Historic National Road in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia; and Historic Route 66 in ArizonaCalifornia, Illinois, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
  22. Explore Americas Scenic Byways such as the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway in Oregon, Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia, and Natchez Trace Parkway in AlabamaMississippi, andTennessee.
  23. Check out the travel section of local bookstores for guidebooks on historical, cultural, and scenic travels.
  24. Visit the birthplace and memorial libraries of presidents such as the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts and George Herbert Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas.
  25. Visit the birthplace and homes of other famous people such as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida.
  26. Take up bird watching.
  27. Explore the public parks and gardens around the continent such as the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and Stanley Park in Vancouver.
  28. Explore the beauty of the outdoors by taking a walk along a river or lake or hiking into the wilderness.
  29. Take advantage of regional bargains. Each area of the country has bargains you can take advantage of as you RV.
  30. Take a walk in nature—breathe deep, walk softly, and observe your surroundings.

While all of these tips might not be applicable to your RV vacation, take the principles that are above to heart and you will certainly be able to keep a little more money in your pocket.

Let us know what you think of this list by leaving a comment below!

[Source: RV.net]

 

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]