Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and there are all kinds of ways to make your mother feel special, and let her know you love her. A phone call or a card and some flowers is a simple way, but why not try something else like a trip in your RV together, or stopping by for your visit. Mom did everything for you when you were growing up, and means the world to you now, so why not plan a vacation for her that would show her just how much you love her.

If your mom lives close by, you might want to try taking a trip together for the day. There are plenty of lakes, rivers, and parks available now that Minnesota is starting to warm up and the two of you could visit them together. And who knows, with all the amenities that your RV has, you might even want to make a week or a weekend of it. It’s probably been a while since your mom had a vacation, and she deserves a few days away from all the hustle and bustle of home.

You can visit any of the hundreds of RV parks, National Parks or State Parks that Minnesota and the neighboring states have to offer. Or, why not take a trip into Canada, which is only a hop, skip and jump away, and add a little international flavor to your trip.

Or why not bring the party to her. Surprise mom with a visit. The best part about traveling in your RV is that she won’t have to worry about putting you up for the night. Whether it’s a few hours drive, or it takes you a few days, you know that you and your family will be comfortable in your RV from PleasureLand RV Center. With a full kitchen, bathroom, and beds, your trip will be comfortable and smooth sailing. There’s always plenty of room for everyone in the family.

No matter whether you decided to visit your mother or take her on a vacation she’ll never forget, the most important thing is time to create a memorable and fun Mother’s Day with the whole family. At Pleasureland RV Center we would be proud to help you find the right, used or new RV. We also offer RV rentals to anyone who wants to take a trip in an RV.

RVing with Pets and Children

Having kids doesn’t mean that you have to give up the RV lifestyle, and being an RVer doesn’t mean that you can’t adopt that dog that you’ve been longing for. There are some considerations to keep in mind when you have kids and dogs on the road, but by and large, pets and children can love the open road as deeply as you do.

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Caring for Children on the Road

Children do tend to thrive on stability, having the same friends for more than a few days at a time, so you don’t find a lot of full-time RVers on the road, but it’s hard to find a child who doesn’t enjoy heading to a new campground every month, spending every summer exploring lakes, rivers and roadside attractions.

Scheduling a few big trips a year with a few weekends out here and there is generally going to be your best bet at providing both stability and adventure in your child’s life. Summer, Winter and Spring break are all a great opportunity to spend a week in the mountains or traversing Old Route 66.

Caring for Pets on the Road

It might not be a bad idea to look for a smaller pet. Even if you have a large RV, it’s tough on a big dog to always be cooped up inside of the vehicle. As much as they’ll love exploring hiking trails with you, the time spent in between stops can be very stressful for a larger animal.

If your pet has special dietary concerns, then make sure to stock up before you take off for a trip. Don’t assume that every small town in the country has what you need to feed your four legged friend.

The open road calls to us all at some point or other, whether you’re an adult, a child, a dog or a cat. The freedom and thrill of waking up in a new town every morning, of exploring your home country has universal appeal. As long as your pet or child has all of their needs taken care of, then there’s no reason not to take them out on the road with you.

Getting Your Kicks on Route 66

Route 66 isn’t what it used to be. In the heyday of the American highway, it was a tradition to take your family along the famous Route 66, stopping for burgers, taking in a movie, staying in a low cost motel, taking photos at the famous landmarks. In fact, the iconic road trip as seen in a lot of American films still uses Route 66 iconography as the travelers pass by picturesque desert landscapes in the Southwest and send those postcards with the big “Welcome, from Albuquerque!” text.

Although Route 66 isn’t as lively as it once was, it’s still worth traveling for the lifelong Minnesota RVer who wants to take in an important part of American road culture, and while you’re making the journey, you’ll want to make a stop in Gallup, New Mexico.

Gallup was one of the thriving capitals of the Route 66 empire, and a drive through the city shows you a wide variety of beautiful sites. The facades of old movie theaters and restaurants and cafes all have a certain ghost-town charm to them, a bittersweet nostalgic feel, as if you can sense the presence of thousands of fellow travelers who’ve been here before.

Gallup is also the home of the world’s most popular Wal-Mart, as it serves as a shopping center for people from more than a hundred miles away in towns like Bluewater and Thoreau where it’s hard to find a big grocery store. This is useful for any RVer who needs to restock on the essentials or take a day to relax in the parking lot.

Gallup also puts you a stone’s throw away from Albuquerque and Santa Fe if you want to enjoy the whole New Mexico experience, and the state is full of great RV parks and camping sites. The real joy of New Mexico, however, is simply driving through the tremendous landscapes. A few hours on the road in N.M. and you’ll feel what it truly means to be an American nomad.

Feast Your Eyes On The 2013 Palomino Pop-up Camper

Sometimes you just don’t need a full sized Class A motorhome when you want to take a quick jaunt to the mountains or your favorite lake. A small and space saving pop-up model can save on fuel while providing a very comfortable place to relax at the end of the day. If you are searching for a camper that doesn’t leave you feeling cramped, consider the 2013 Palomino Pop-up Camper. A plethora of features help this compact camper compete with the most luxurious options from your favorite RV dealership in Minneapolis.

Expansion

Start by considering the dual pop-out bunks. Each provides plenty of space for sleeping, allowing you to accommodate up to four family members in one camper. The bunk areas are equipped with plenty of screened windows to give you a cool breeze on a hot summer night. Heated mats are also installed into each bunk to keep you just as warm during the fall and winter. A small furnace also makes this pop-up camper surprisingly suited for exploration during the cooler half of the year.

Air Flow

The roof vent pops up to capture the air as well. Many campers find that there is no need for air conditioning when dealing with a small space with great ventilation. Keeping the air moving will reduce heat, even when you’re parked in the sun. There’s no challenge to keeping your food and drinks cold either due to the spacious refrigerator.

Staying Safe

This space saving camper has a number of safety features to help families feel confident in their choice when camping. The CO2 detector will warn you if a propane stove or other appliance is leaking as you sleep. The electric brakes are highly responsive and ensure that your camper doesn’t get out of control when you’re traveling down a steep grade or need to make an emergency stop. There’s even a framed support on the roof that is ready to hold your favorite air conditioning equipment so you don’t have to try and balance it in a window or doorway. If you’re interested in a spacious pop-up camper that can handle the rigors of the wilderness, head to PleasureLand RV Center to see the Palomino in person.

RV Recipe: The Perfect French Press Coffee

The RV lifestyle is tough without coffee. If you’re a coffee drinker looking for a way to spice up your favorite beverage, you may want to start by buying a French press to brew your java. You’ll want to get a coffee grinder, as well. You can pick these up for very little money at most grocery stores, kitchenware shops or big box stores. You don’t need anything fancy. Generally speaking, one French press is as good as another.

There are a lot of different ideas out there on how to get the perfect cup of French pressed coffee, but this one seems to get a great tasting brew every time.

1. Start the Water Boiling

Depending on the altitude, the water for one or two cups of coffee should boil on the stovetop rather quickly.

2. Grind the Coffee Beans to a Fine Grain

You don’t quite need it to be powdery, but it should be a very light, fine ground. Think espresso-ground, or about as fine as plain white sugar.

3. Stir

When you put the grinds and the boiling water together in the French press, you’ll want to stir it with a spin for a second to make sure that it mixes well and you’re getting all of the sweet caffeinated goodness out of the beans.

4. Time for Four Minutes

Set your timer for four minutes and…

5. Press and Pour

Press the plunger down and pour a cup into your favorite coffee mug. Mix with sugar and cream if you like.

You can switch this recipe up a little by adding cinnamon to the grinds before you pour in the boiling water so you can get the great taste of cinnamon without the little specks of ground cinnamon floating on top of your cup of coffee.

The better the beans, the better this coffee will taste, but as long as you’re grinding your own instead of using pre-ground coffee grinds, you’ll at least enjoy a fresh, strong taste and aroma.

Simple Tips For Organizing Every Part Of Your RV

Staying organized in your Minnesota RV requires just a few pieces of specialized equipment. You don’t have to invest in expensive custom storage solutions when you tackle each part of the RV with an organizing plan.

Kitchen and Living Area

  • Use your microwave and oven as extra cabinets when you’re moving. Boxes of cereal or airtight containers full of rice can easily slip into these appliances when they’re not in use.
  • Invest in a big roll of non-stick shelf liners. These liners will keep dishes from slipping out when you’re driving, but they can also be used between plates and bowls to keep a stack from tipping over.
  • Invest in multi-purpose appliances to save space.
  • Hanging wire baskets or suspended shelves under the upper cabinets to hold cookbooks or other relatively flat items.

Bedroom and Bathroom

  • Use the walls of the bathroom and shower stall to expand storage for hair care products and other small items. A plastic shoe hanger with suction cups can hold half a dozen different shampoos and conditioners without cluttering up shelves and countertops.
  • Expand your closet with extra rods or collapsing clothes hangers that allow you to store six or seven items in the space of one. Store any clothing you don’t use at least once a week in a sealed bag in your exterior storage area.
  • Stick with collapsible laundry baskets and hampers. They fold up into a tiny, flat disc when you don’t need them.
  • Cut down on personal items that aren’t useful. If you’re only on a short trip, leave extra blankets or your curling iron at home and focus on your vacation instead. Full-time RV residents can open a small storage unit near their favorite home base to keep heirlooms and other items they can’t carry with them.

Exterior Storage

  • Pack blankets, clothing, and other soft items into large plastic bags and suck out the air with a simple vacuum tool to save space while protecting the items from dirt and insects. Pillows and other puffy items can shrink tremendously when vacuum packed.
  • Divide the storage area into sections with spring-loaded dividers if it’s simply one large compartment. You need to keep your tools for repairing the RV separate from clothing and gifts for your family, unless you want grease and dirt on them.

Many of our models at our Minnesota RV dealership feature extra built-in storage options. Come tour our best models to find one that fits the needs of you and your family when on the road.

An Easter Egg Hunt For The Kids

The Easter Bunny will be hopping by early this year! Easter is Sunday, March 31, and with a little imagination and elbow grease, you can turn your weekend RV camping trip into an impromptu Easter egg hunt.

An easy place to start is with plastic eggs and treats from any local market. You can use the motorhome itself to hide the eggs, because we all know there are plenty of nooks and crannies! Or, if you choose the great outdoors instead, enlist the older kids to find some ingenious places, but make sure there’s something for every age group, including some easy, low hiding spots for the little ones. Think of it as Easter geocaching! Don’t forget to make a map and note the number of eggs you hide. If you want to include the whole family in egg-dyeing fun, this site has easy tricks to make unique dyes and patterns with common ingredients. Who doesn’t love a tie-dyed Easter egg?!

If you don’t want to DIY Easter, you can find lots of fun in our state parks.  Check out Glacial Lakes State Park, which is planning an old fashioned Easter egg hunt and tons of family events. Visit the main page of the Minnesota State Parks website to learn more about great camping spots for your RV, and all kinds of upcoming events. There’s plenty of activity to eggs-cite all your campers!  Happy hunting!

Get Out Your Minnesota RV! It Is Time For Spring!

Little by little, inch by inch, and bloom by bloom, spring will soon be bustin’ out all over! If you’re stuck inside on a rainy or snowy day, it’s the perfect time to plan an Minnesota RV road trip for the whole family. The wildflowers will be blooming in no time!

Minnesota is home to hundreds of native wildflowers, and our state parks and roadsides offer beautiful backdrops to explore and photograph these natural wonders.  Here’s a tip: for the best of the best, start with Wild River, Carley or Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park, and check out upcoming wildflower events in the parks. Each state park offers the perfect setting for maximum RV enjoyment with scenic campsites, hiking trails and more.

Minnesota Wildflowers is also a great place to learn more about where to find your favorites and learn about wildflower preservation. Or, join the Minnesota Wildflowers Facebook page to share your pics and wildflower hunting stories.

For all you amateur shutterbugs longing to get up close and personal with some lowland yellow loosestrife and have the beautiful shots to prove it, try these photo tips from the pros:

  • You’ll get your best photos on a cloudy day.
  • Experiment with using your flash and decide which photos you like best.
  • Don’t be afraid to move in close on your subject.
  • Photograph early or late in the day to avoid harsh shadows.

And most importantly, when you’ve set off in your camper or motorhome, but spot a vista where you just have to pull over and capture a photo, don’t forget these rules:

  • Watch your step.
  • Watch for traffic. It’s easy to get distracted and forget to watch for oncoming traffic when you’re crossing the road or opening your vehicle door.
  • Check the area for insects and snakes before you plop your child or grandchild into the flowers for photos.
  • Don’t trespass on private property.
  • Don’t trample the flowers.

Hooray for spring! Let’s keep our parks and open spaces blooming for years to come!

A Recognition Of RV Women

As we look ahead to Women’s History Month in March, let’s take a moment to reflect on the all the women throughout history who’ve made extraordinary leaps and bounds, advanced the course of our understanding of the world, or simply entertained and amazed us. And maybe the best way to celebrate their accomplishments is to simply thank and honor each of the extraordinary women in our own lives. In the RV community, we’re surrounded by them!

Minnesota’s own pioneering women include: Ann Bancroft, polar explorer and first female to reach both the North and South Poles; authors Louise Erdrich and Laura Ingalls Wilder; screen icon Judy Garland; actress Jessica Lange; and Olympic Gold Medalist Skier Lindsey Vonn, just to name a few.  You can always take the your new motorhome or travel trailer and visit the Woman Suffrage Memorial Garden on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul to discover more about the Women’s Suffrage movement and the extraordinary Minnesotans who made a difference.

Who has inspired you to make a bold move, branch out as a pioneer in your own field, or maybe just pull out the map and plan a daring road trip? Let us know!

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!