The Top 3 Snowbird Locations for 2018

As snowstorms blast the Midwest, many RV travelers are trading frigid temperatures for cozy winters, palm trees and sugar sand beaches. These three snowbird destinations, ranging from the mild winters of Arizona to the summer-like temperatures of the Florida Keys, are some of the best places to make the most of this year’s coldest months.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is popular with snowbirds who like to stay active in the winter months. RV parks are affordable, the city’s surrounding scenery is breathtaking and the area is littered with hiking trails, golf courses, museums, gardens, shops, world-class restaurants and so much more. Phoenix’s abundant sunshine and mild winter temperatures create the perfect atmosphere for outdoor exploration.

Key Largo, Florida

When you’re seeking a tropical winter destination without the outrageous travel expenses, Key Largo is the place to plant yourself. It’s the northernmost of Florida’s keys, which means you spend less time on the road, but still enjoy the area’s crystal clear waters, world-class diving and snorkeling, scenic mangrove trails and so much more. Key Largo is also home to several campgrounds, including the Key Largo Kampground and Marina, which welcomes RV campers for the full winter season.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is a historic city that offers a little bit of something for everyone. World-renowned restaurants and countless shops dot the city’s happening downtown streets, and some of South Carolina’s best beaches sit just minutes away. The area is littered with famous golf courses, waterways and historic areas to explore. A variety of RV parks and campgrounds close to the city center and beaches make the southern city of Charleston a must-visit snowbird destination.

Stock Up on Snowbird Supplies at PleasureLand RV Center

Don’t forget to stop by one of the PleasureLand RV Centers throughout Minnesota before you hit the road for your snowbird getaway. We’re fully stocked with all of the latest RV models, camping supplies and parts to help you make the most of your winter.

Go Fat Biking in Minnesota

Fat biking isn’t a winter sport that’s as well known as, say, skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, or ice climbing, but that’s not really fair. Fat biking allows you to ride a bike anywhere you want over the winter landscape, even over snow. Instead of being restricted to icy trails and slushy roads, you can ride your bike like you would in summer and go wherever you please due to the oversized tires.

Like most winter sports, fat biking is a great activity to enjoy in Minnesota during the winter thanks to Minnesota’s plentiful snowfall and outdoor beauty. Plus, thanks to a recent project in Minnesota, there are more trails than ever to fat bike on throughout Minnesota state parks. These trails are groomed specifically for the large, low pressure tires that a fat bike uses.

Fat bikes are easy to stow in your RV and offer unprecedented control for those wishing to explore a winter landscape.

Some of the more popular trails include Douglas State Trail between Rochester and Pine Island, which is 13 miles long. There’s also the Richard J. Dorer State Forest near Winona that has about 7.5 miles of fat bike trails. Farther north in Minnesota, you can find Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area near Ironton with 20 miles of trails.  Split Rock Lighthoust State Park near Two Harbors has 8.7 miles of trails. Finally, you can check out Jay Cooke State Park in Carlton, which has 5.4 miles of trails.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center to tour a motorhome or travel trailer and find an RV that’s right for you and your family. Stay out longer on your fat biking adventures by traveling in an RV. With the warmth of an RV to return to at the end of the day, you can stay out as long as you want and not have to worry about a trek back home.

How to Use the Proper Campground Etiquette

Camping seems simple enough — arrive at the campsite or RV park, sprawl out and enjoy a weekend, week or even months at your new destination. However, there are certain things that make campgrounds work, and many of those things involve the behavior of those who are camping there. This simple guide to campground etiquette will help you and your fellow campers enjoy each camping experience to the fullest.

Leave Nothing Behind

The first part of enjoying the great outdoors is doing as little harm to it as possible. Always pack up your campsite, then double and triple check that you haven’t left any items or trash behind. Leave your campsite cleaner than you found it.

Be Friendly

When you’re at a campground or RV park, you know you have a common interest with everyone else there. Invite your campground neighbors over for snacks or drinks and encourage your little ones to make new campground friends. Often times, the people you meet at the campsite become lifelong friends.

Time your Awning and Outdoor Lights

It can be easy to forget to turn off your awning, porch or other outdoor lights. Set your lights on a timer, so they never use excessive power and keep your fellow campers up at night. Your outdoor lights may not seem bright to you, but the camper next door may be staring at them all night long.

Leave Extra Wood Behind

Every camper has arrived at a campground late and endured the struggle of finding firewood at night. One of the best bits of campground etiquette you can practice is leaving some of your firewood behind for the next camper. They’ll be elated to be able to start a fire upon arrival, and hopefully the favor will be returned to you by someone else.

Find Your Dream Camping Vehicle

A happy camper makes a good camper, and there’s no better way to get excited about camping than to purchase a top-quality new RV. Stop in and see us at PleasureLand RV Center to find your dream RV today.

Go Snowmobiling This Winter in Minnesota

Minnesota is one of the country’s top winter destinations if you’re more into embracing the snow than escaping it. From skiing and sledding to snowshoeing and ice climbing, Minnesota’s got it all. And if you’ve got a snowmobile, you’re in luck: Minnesota caters to you every winter as well.

All told, there are about 22,000 miles of maintained, groomed, and marked snowmobile trails that are spread throughout Minnesota and her wilderness spaces. While riding your snowmobile, you’ll enjoy seeing Minnesota’s rolling terrain, hundreds of lakes, and sprawling forests.

Brainerd Lakes

The Brainerd area is popular in the summer for its lakes and those same lakes make it a great winter destination as well. There’s an intricate web of snowmobile trails that spread out between the frozen lakes, such as Pelican Lake, Gull Lake, Crosslake, and more. The area is interspersed with villages and towns that are more than happy to have snowmobilers stop in for a bite to eat and to rest. If you don’t own your own snowmobile, you can also rent one from a number of local businesses.

Voyageurs National Park

The park and the land surrounding it are more than welcoming to snowmobilers. There’s that great mix of established trails and a support network from local communities that make riding in the region a joy. As you move through the park and the surrounding wilderness, you’ll not only enjoy the natural beauty and solitude, but you’ll also encounter small towns that offer shopping, dining, and more. The best part is that the area has few roads that you’ll encounter between stops, so it feels like one continuous journey.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center to tour a motorhome or travel trailer and find an RV that’s right for you and your family. Stay out longer on your snowmobiling adventures by traveling in an RV. With the warmth of an RV to return to at the end of the day, you can stay out as long as you want and not have to worry about a trek back home.

Check Out Bentleyville Tour of Lights in Your RV

If you’re on the road this December in Minnesota (or you will be soon), chances are you’re going to be spending the holidays in your RV. On your way to your ultimate holiday destination, be sure to stop in at Duluth to catch the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. It’s going on right now and is up and running through December 26.

The annual event transforms the Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth into a magical illuminated winter wonderland that includes colorful displays, holiday music, and warm food and beverages.

It’s known as the country’s largest free walk-through lighting display and possesses more than 4 million individual lights. With such a brilliant display, you know that it’s not something you’re going to be able to see anywhere.

The main attraction is definitely the 12-story Christmas tree, which is over twice as tall as the one in Rockefeller Center in New York. It’s covered in over 100,000 LED lights that are synced to holiday music. Other displays borrow from your favorite holiday and family icons, such as Sesame Street, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and more. Children will also have the opportunity to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus every night.

Concessions like popcorn and hot cocoa are available for your enjoyment while you view the displays.

While the event is free of charge, guests are encouraged to offer donations or help a charity present at the festival in lieu of admission fees.

While you’re in Duluth, you can also check out the Great Lakes Aquarium, Lake Superior Zoo, the Spirit Mountain Ski and Recreation Area, or the numerous local eateries and shops.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Looking for the ideal RV or ice house for the winter of 2017/18?PleasureLand RV Centers, located throughout Minnesota, are loaded with all of the latest and greatest ice houses and four-season RVs. Stop in and see us in St. Cloud, Ramsey, Brainerd or Long Prairie to view ourselection of new and used RVs today.

Sledding and Snow Tubing in Minnesota

Happy couple sledding down the hill

While some might consider it “kid’s stuff,” you’re never too old to go sledding or snow tubing. Of course, any kids you have in tow will also appreciate it. And if you live or are traveling through Minnesota, you’re in luck — Minnesota has got some of the best downhill sledding and snow tubing locations in the country with its hilly terrain and consistent snow coverage.

If you’re an RVer, one of the best parts about sledding is that it requires minimal equipment, which is nice if you’ve got limited space.

Region by region, some of the best sledding and snow tubing opportunities in Minnesota can be found at the following places.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Area

Theodore Wirth Regional Park – Minneapolis

Green Acres Recreation – Lake Elmo

Brookside Park – Bloomington

Northeast

Pine Valley Tubing Hill – Cloquet

Newton’s Sliding Hill – Grand Rapids

Sphunge Island Sledding Hill – Kabetogama

Central

Primetime Restaurant and Music Loung – Pequot Lakes

Glendalough State Park – Battle Lake

Robbins Island Park – Willmar

Southern

Upper Sioux Agency State Park – Granite Falls

Judd Park Sledding Hill – Rochester

Frontenac State Park – Frontenac

Northwest

J.A. Hughes Elementary School – Red Lake Falls

Bemis Hill – Warroad

Coviseir Park – Detroit Lakes

Have fun, but play safe.

  • Sledding is generally safe, but to be fair you are sliding down a slipper slope at some fast speeds, so a little precaution can go a long way to prevent injury.
  • Children should sled only under adult supervision. If the child isn’t confident with their sledding abilities, an adult should accompany them on the sled.
  • Wear a helmet (such as a bike helmet) to help reduce the risk of head injury.
  • Avoid hills that have obstructions (trees, water, roads, fences, stones, etc.). The clearer the hill, the safer the sport.
  • Make sure that there’s a large and clear flat area at the bottom to safely glide to a halt.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center to tour a motorhome or travel trailer and find an RV that’s right for you and your family. Stay out longer on your sledding adventures by traveling in an RV. With the warmth of an RV at the bottom of the hill, you can stay out as long as you want and not have to worry about a trek back to the car or home.

Visit Voyageurs National Park

Not all state and national parks are closed in winter. Voyageurs National Park, near International Falls, offers just as many exciting winter activities as summer ones. The park is transformed into a winter wonderland in the coldest months of the year, providing world-class snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and countless other winter activities. Don’t save all of your adventures for summer, because Voyageurs National Park is the place to be when snow falls.

Park Details

Voyageurs National Park is open in all seasons; however, the Rainy Lake Visitor Center is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays from Jan. 9 to May 21. The Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center and Ash River Visitor Center are closed from late September through late May.

There are no fees to enter Voyageurs National Park. Although, the campground does require campers to register and pay an amenity fee. Pets are allowed in many areas of the park, including the Frontcountry campsites. They are not allowed in the Backcountry campsites on the Kabetogama Peninsula. Pets must be under control and on a 6-foot leash at all times.

Things to Do

There’s no shortage of things to do at Voyageurs National Park in winter. Visitors who don’t mind the colder temperatures will be wowed by the quality winter trails that are ideal for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Snowmobilers will also find the park an uncrowded and stunning place to ride. The park offers a report on the snowmobile trails and ice roads, so you can check the conditions before you go. Ice fishing and ice road driving are also popular activities for winter fun.

Stop and See Us

Looking for the ideal RV or ice house for the winter of 2017/18? PleasureLand RV Centers, located throughout Minnesota, are loaded with all of the latest and greatest ice houses and four-season RVs. Stop in and see us in St. Cloud, Ramsey, Brainerd or Long Prairie to view our selection of new and used RVs today.

Learn Ice Climbing at a Minnesota Festival

Climbing is often viewed as a dangerous, adrenaline-pumping activity that only the most physically strong and skilled people are able to do. Adding ice to that mix? You may want to say “forget about it,” but ice climbing is, in reality, less about physical strength and climbing skills and more about thinking and patience. It’s also a lot more safe than you probably assume so long as you practice tried and true safety precautions when you climb.

If you’re curious about giving ice climbing a try this winter in Minnesota while you travel about in your RV, you’re going to want to learn how to do it from someone experienced. It’s not advisable that you try ice climbing by yourself if you have no experience. Minnesota actually has two great opportunities to learn in annual climbing festivals: the Sandstone Ice Festival and the Duluth Ice and Mixed Fest.

The Sandstone Ice Festival is scheduled from January 5 through 7. It’s been going for over a decade now and is held in Robinson Park, which is the first park in Minnesota set aside specifically for ice climbing. It has climbing opportunities for any skill level, but more importantly it’s got beginner courses to teach you about safety, the climbing equipment you need, and the basic movements to get you up an ice cliff.

Happening later in the season, the Duluth Ice and Mixed Fest is scheduled for February 2 through 4. It’s a newer festival, but offers the same benefits as Sandstone. The event takes place in Duluth at Casket Park.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Before you hit the roads this holiday season, bring your RV by PleasureLand RV Center in Minnesota to ensure it’s in top shape for the winter roads. And if you’re in the market for a new or used RV, stop in or log online to browse our huge selection of top-quality RVs in stock.

Where to Ice Fish in Minnesota

Little child fishing on a frozen lake in winter.

Minnesota’s more than 11,800 lakes make it a hotspot for ice fishing. However, having so many places from which to choose can make planning your getaway more difficult. These three places to ice fish around Minnesota are some of the best of the best for catching fish and enjoying your stay.

Mille Lacs

St. Paul residents don’t have to travel far to find some of the country’s best ice fishing. Minnesota’s second largest lake, Mille Lacs, offers 74 miles of coastline and numerous access points to make your fishing excursions more convenient. The lake’s more than 130,000-acre size also means fishermen have plenty of room to spread out. The lake is known to be home to an abundance of rock bass, walleye, northern pike, small mouth bass, jumbo perch, tullibee and muskie, so bring a large cooler for your catch.

Gull Lake

Gull Lake is known across Minnesota as one of the best fishing spots. It’s home to the annual Ice Fishing Extravaganza event, which is the largest ice fishing event in North America. This fishing spot in the Brainerd Lake Region offers great water quality, which sustains huge populations of northern pike, bluegill, walleye, rock bass, largemouth bass and crappie. Park your RV in nearby Nisswa or Brainerd to enjoy a little bit of off-the-ice action during your stay.

Upper Red Lake

Red Lake is the largest lake in Minnesota, and it’s a hotspot for world-class fishing conditions. Head to the lake’s upper region to enjoy the best walleye fishing in the state. However, don’t be surprised if you reel in some crappie and northern pike too. The entire lake is 288,000 acres in size, so you’ll never feel like you’re fishing in a crowd.

Stop and See Us

Minnesota’s PleasureLand RV Centers are located near some of our state’s best ice fishing spots. We’re offering a huge selection of ice houses on sale for the holiday season, so log online or stop in and see us today.

Go Snowshoeing this Winter in Minnesota

When you’re traveling in Minnesota this winter, you may feel limited on where you can go, especially if you’re focusing your travels on the numerous state parks dotted around the state. With a good pair of snowshoes, however, restrictions are lifted and you’re able to get out and hike even when the snowfall is piled up on the ground.

Not only do snowshoes open up more wilderness for you to explore, but they’re easy to use and basic snowshoes are cheap, so there’s basically no barrier to entry if you want to start snowshoeing tomorrow.

Wilderness lovers will love snowshoes: during the spring, summer, and fall, foliage often means that you’ll startle any wildlife near you before you have a chance to spot them. Walking on snow with snowshoes, however, means that you’re nearly whisper quiet when moving through the forests and meadows. You have a much better chance of observing wildlife in their natural state before they become aware of your presence.

In Minnesota, snowshoers are allowed to walk nearly anywhere they desire. The only exceptions are areas and trails that are specifically designated for other activities, such as skiing or snowmobiling.

Don’t hesitate to take your snowshoes to your favorite Minnesota park — the winter landscape will transform it into something familiar yet new, and snowshoes are your ticket to checking out the winter wonderlands all over the state.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Before you hit the roads this holiday season, bring your RV byPleasureLand RV Center in Minnesota to ensure it’s in top shape for the winter roads. And if you’re in the market for a new or used RV, stop in or log online to browse our huge selection of top-quality RVs in stock.