Minnesota RV Fun: Geocaching

Been longing for a little adventure? Fan of scavenger hunts or The Amazing Race? Want to evoke the spirits of the pirates without the actual plundering and pillaging? If so, grab your GPS (your smart phone will do), load up your Minnesota travel trailer or RV, and hit the road for the very latest in treasure hunts–Geocaching! Check out this simple video on “What is Geocaching?” to get the lowdown on the family-friendly craze.

The beauty of geocaching is in its simplicity. You can plan an easy day trip, take a scenic detour, or build an entire vacation around it from wherever you’ve decided to park the motorhome, because there are over 2 million geocaches worldwide! Geocaching.com is your first stop for finding geocaches on the go, plus they provide a rundown of upcoming events in your state, latest caches hidden and latest trackable items. It’s a goldmine of geocaching tips and tricks.

Geocaching is sure to be tons of fun for the whole family and a great activity with something to engage everyone. You can find the geocaches or hide some—think high-tech hide and seek. Imagine the fun you’ll have picking out the perfect geocache that represents your family. What might you include? Campfire recipes, a stuffed animal, a local rock or gem?

Our state parks are getting in on the action with geocaching guides and special programs and events, like the Geocaching Avian Adventure. Many parks even have GPS kits to get you started. The “sport” has even gotten so big that there are local groups to join and a Minnesota Geocaching Association! Check out their page to learn more about special events and campouts, and which enterprising geocachers have found the most treasure.

Whether you stay close to home or find a far off trail while road-tripping in your new or used RV, geocaching will provide some lasting memories of your shared family adventure!

RV Rentals

If you’ve always wanted to take an RV vacation, but just can’t swing the purchase of an RV, you can take that vacation now. Pleasureland RV Center has RV rentals – you can rent anything from a Class A motorhome to a popup trailer, so start planning your dream RV trip today. If you are not sure what type of RV would be best for you, visit Pleasureland, an RV dealership Minneapolis to tour our rental RVs.

#Portals/10/classicons/classagas.png

Class A RV Rentals. Photo Credit: Pleasureland RV Center

Why Rent an RV?

When you rent an RV, you can afford more vacation. Not only that, but you are not constrained by schedules for flights, the return of rental cars and other constraints. You can simply hop in with the entire family or a bunch of friends and enjoy your trip. You can stop when and where you want, cook home-cooked meals and stay in a place as long as you want to stay, especially if you choose to camp on private land.

Class C Rentals. Photo Credit: Pleasureland RV Center

What is the Best Rental?

The best rental depends on you and your family or friends. If you prefer tent camping, but would rather be off the ground and have some amenities, a popup camper might fit the bill for you. If you prefer to have all the amenities at your fingertips, including an entertainment center and a hot shower, you should choose a motorhome or a travel trailer. If you want to go ice fishing, the ice house is the best rental.

#Portals/10/classicons/traveltrailer.png

Travel Trailer Rentals. Photo Credit: Pleasureland RV Center

Pleasureland RV has several different models to rent. If you need to sleep 10 people and don’t have a tow vehicle, ask about our Class A or Class C motorhomes. If you would rather tow a trailer so you can have your truck to drive around your vacation spot (and you don’t want to tow a car behind a motorhome), choose a travel trailer.

#Portals/10/classicons/tent_trailer.png

Popup Trailer Rentals. Photo Credit: Pleasureland RV

Places to Go

Pleasureland RV offers free mileage to certain popular destinations, including Yellowstone, Orlando and the Great Smokey Mountains. Ask about our free mileage rentals when you choose your RV.

When you are on your RV vacation, be sure to take plenty of pictures so you can share your trip with us when you return.

Take Your Pleasureland RV Out For A Three Day Weekend

Life’s persistent and most urgent question is, “What are you doing for others? –Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On the third Monday in January (January 21), our country celebrates Martin Luther King Day honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., clergyman, activist, and civil rights leader. It’s a three-day weekend for many Minnesota RV owners, which makes this a great time to re-discover this inspiring man and his influence on American history.

To celebrate, you could take a RV road trip to view the Martin Luther King National Historic Site and Park in Atlanta, Georgia. Or, you and your family can learn more about Dr. King and his work through one of his books, such as Why We Can’t Wait or A Gift of Love. And of course, the “I Have a Dream” speech has never lost its power, and you can view a video of the speech or read the full text.

If MLK Day inspires you to give back (we see this a lot in our RV community), consider being a part of the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. On the MLK Day of Service website, you can click, “find a project” to locate a volunteer opportunity in your community or create your own project [http://mlkday.gov/serve/find.php].

There are also plenty of local opportunities to celebrate, remember and give back:

  •  Get involved with The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and food drive.
  • Watch the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast with keynote speaker Marian Wright Edelman and musical performances by Ann Nesby.

Go hook up the your new RV and have a great weekend!

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 RV Pastimes: Stargazing

Stargazing remains one of the favorite camping pastimes for seasoned and new RVers. And in November, if you find a nice dark campground, you’ll have a chance to not only tour the constellations, you’ll have a front-row seat for the Leonid Meteor Showers.  This year, the meteor showers will peak late on November 16 and continue until dawn on November 17.

The famous Leonids radiate from the constellation Leo; and this year, with a waxing crescent moon setting early in the evening, the sky will become a dark stage for the meteors’ spectacular performance.  If you’d like to learn more about the stars before you head out on your Minnesota RV stargazing trip, you might pay a visit to your friendly, neighborhood planetarium.

Part of the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum, the ExploraDome ranks among the top 10 planetariums in the U.S. Programs offer visitors a chance to lay back and take a trip through the cosmos using a high-tech projector. Weekly shows include “Zoom: From Earth to the Edge of the Universe.”

Keep an eye on the sky, and never miss a chance to wish upon a star!

Minnesota RV Adventures: Hiking

For every Minnesota motorhome on the road, you’ll find at least one strong opinion about what makes a great hike, and where to find the most amazing scenery.  For some of us, fall is prime time for hiking, so we thought we’d share a few lists that highlight some of the best hikes in the U.S.

In its article describing the 10 Best Hiking Spots in the U.S., the Discovery Channel pondered why we hike at all. Ultimately, they wrote, “Vistas and waterfalls, giant redwoods and granite mountain faces aren’t typically visible from the interior of your car. And even when they are, it’s not the same as feeling the earth beneath your feet and standing on the edge of the cliff.”

If you’re traveling the country in your Pleasureland RV, there’s a great hiking spot not far from your destination. USA Today published a list of 51 hikes – one in each state plus the District of Columbia.  Not surprisingly, many of the best hikes are found in the National Parks, and National Geographic created a list of its picks for the 20 best trails.

Minnesota has some spectacular trails of its own, including hikes at Afton State Park where you can climb from the banks of the St. Croix River to a bluff overlooking the river valley.  If the name “Afton” sounds familiar, you may be thinking about the Robert Burns poem, “Afton Waters.” Hikes here could easily have been his inspiration.  There’s an easy, four-mile loop, and you can learn more about Afton State Park and read about 19 other popular Minnesota trails on Trails.com.

Finally, here are a few safety reminders. Before you head out on your hike, be sure someone knows where you’re headed, and when to expect you back. Take a backpack with supplies that make sense for the length of your hike, and the terrain you’ll encounter. Even for a short day hike, you’ll want to take plenty of water, a few snacks, a first aid kit, rain gear, and an extra jacket. The weather can change with little warning and it pays to be prepared.  What’s your favorite hike?

 

Creating an Office Space in Your Minnesota Motorhome

Whether you are a seasonal Minnesota RV enthusiast, or have taken to the full timing RV lifestyle, you may find yourself having to log in a few work hours here and there during your excursions. Even though you might be able to leave the office behind this summer and take a few days off, you may not be able to completely leave the work load at home. It is important to have a designated space aboard your rig in order to stay organized and successfully complete any work duties. The Fun Times Guide has provided a list of a few things you may need to have a well equipped RV office.

Designated Office Area . You should find an area that you can set up all of the necessary components needed to efficiently get work done. This space should preferably be away from the common areas and places that get a lot of usage from your passengers. If you simply can’t find a place that is out of the way due to limited space, try to close off your RV office with a makeshift divider like a curtain or screen of some sort.

Cell Phone. While most of us already have a cell phone that we plan on taking with us, you may not have the right plan set up for travel. You will want to get with your cell phone provider and find a plan that has unlimited long distance and roaming anywhere in the country. That way you can talk on the phone for however long you like, however far away you may travel, without additional fees.

Laptop Computer. If you should need to access the internet while RVing in a remote area, get an internet air card that can be installed on your laptop. While you can access a WiFi network at most hotels restaurants and sometimes truck stops, you won’t always find one nestled in a secluded area of a campground.

Wireless Printer. If you plan on needing a printer while working from your RV, it is wise to get one that multitasks and allows for printing, scanning and copying. Set it up wirelessly to your laptop and you can print from anywhere in your RV or even outside your RV if in proper range.

Whoever said you can’t have fun and get some work done at the same time while RVing?

[Source: The Fun Times Guide]

iExit App Takes the Guessing Out of Pit Stops for Minnesota RVers

Hey Minnesota RVers, I have the latest must-have iPhone and iPad app. It’s called iExit and to put it plainly, it takes all of the guessing out of those pit stops we take while on the road.

The iExit app tells you what’s coming up at each exit in real time. Are you craving a certain fast food or chain restaurant for dinner? iExit will let you know which exits will have it and even give you the option to call ahead and make reservations. Select the Deals tab and you can see which upcoming exits have chains currently running promotions. I wasn’t kidding when I said this was a must-have, was I?

Not quite ready to make a stop? No problem. You can search up to 100 exits ahead of your current destination and even in different states. Not looking for a meal? No problem. iExit is unique because it tells you everything from gas stations to shopping opportunities exit by exit. Here’s the full list of searchable categories:

Searchable Categories

  • Unleaded Gas
  • Diesel Gas
  • Biofuel
  • Fast Food
  • Sit Down Food
  • Coffee
  • Ice Cream
  • Chain Hotels
  • Independent Hotels
  • Auto Services
  • Trucker Services
  • Campgrounds
  • Shopping

Unlike other road trip apps, this one is especially tailored the RV community, in my opinion. Why? Because campgrounds, diesel or alternative fuel stations, weigh scales, and rest areas are all included in your search results. For $.99, what more could you ask for? I’d even be willing to pay five dollars for this handy little app. Give her a try and let us know what you think!

Go Green in Your Minnesota RV Part I

These days, going green not only helps our environment, it also helps our pocketbooks. Given the state of our economy, we have every reason in the world to make travels in our new Minnesota RV as green as possible. When people think of going green in RVs, they immediately think of solar panels. But there are some many other little things you can do that you might not have even known were considered as “green” or that were even an option for you. Here are some of my favorites:

Laundry: Now that we’re back into the warmer-weather months, hang your laundry to dry outside when you’re at a campsite.

Rechargeable Batteries. Granted this will cost you more upfront because you will need to buy a solar recharger, over time you’ll save loads by not having to purchase batteries. When the battery runs out, simply put them in the sun. The easiest thing to do is put them in on your dashboard as you head down the road.

Tote Bags. Have you ever seen the option to buy a tote/cloth bag in line at the supermarket or any other store for that matter? Start buying them! They are usually no more than $2 and you can eliminate the use of plastic bags all together. I’ve even found that groceries are much easier to carry than those small plastics ones that tend to tear easily. 

Dishes. If you already have a full set of dishes in your RV, use them. Try to eliminate buy paper products as much as possible. Another tip: clean off your dishes right after a meal. Once they sit around for awhile, they become harder to wash and usually require a lot of hot water.

Water Filters. There are too many types of waters filters to count. You can buy ones that attach directly to your sink, pitchers that you fill up and put in the refrigerator, personal use water bottles, etc. Try to quit buying bottled water. Besides, we’ve all heard that bottled water companies use tap water anyway, haven’t we?

See Minnesota RVers? I bet you didn’t know that these little tips are considered as green, did you? Stay tuned to Pleasureland RV for Part II of Going Green in Your RV.

[Source: AllStays.com]

What Do You Listen to When You’re On the Road in Your RV?

During the spring months, I love driving down the open road in my Minnesota RV and listening to good music. Music can really make your long drives much easier, but sometimes it can be hard to find a good radio station. Even if you do find a station you like, you’ll only be able to listen to it for so long until you’re out of its frequency. Once that happens, you may turn to your CDs or a playlist on your iPod. But even that can get old after awhile. Especially if you haven’t had anytime to add new music lately. Luckily in this day and age of technology, we have quite a few alternative options.

Satellite Radio. You can’t go wrong with Sirius XM in my opinion. With more than 140 commercial-free music, news, sports, traffic and weather, talk radio and entertainment, and comedy channels, you’re bound to find something you like. Another plus is that Satellite radio will work even when you’re out in the middle of nowhere in your RV. The only downside (and a small one in my opinion) is that it costs between $12-20 per month.

Photo Courtesy of Pocketnow.com

Pandora Internet Radio. If you have a smartphone capable of downloading apps, then Pandora is a must-have. This free app allows you to create your own radio stations from a song, genre or artist. The more you use it, the more it will conform to the exact type of you music  you like. The only downside is that you’ll occasionally hear a commercial or two.

I Heart Radio. This is another smartphone app that you can use to listen to your favorite radio station from back home. The downside? You’re favorite radio station may not be an “I Heart Radio” station.

So Minnesota RVers, don’t settle for continuously scanning the radio for a station you like or listening to the same music over and over again. Make your RV road trip more enjoyable with one of the options above!