Taking Your Furry Friends On The Road

If you’re taking your pets on new Minnesota RV road trips, you’re probably already savvy about how to plan your trip and care for your pets along the way. But we found a few reminders in Pets America’s Pet First Aid & Disaster Response guide and thought we’d share.

1. Plan ahead. Research Minnesota’s emergency vets along your RV route through the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. You can search for clinics in other states as well. http://www.veccs.org/index.php?option=com_hospitals&Itemid=193&nationid=1&searchword=&rpp=12&stateid=21&action=do_searc

2. Get referrals ahead of time for reliable pet sitters at your destination. http://www.petsitters.org/

3. Make sure your pet wears identification tags at all times. Add a temporary tag with the local number at your campground.

4. Update your microchip contact information. If your pet has a microchip (of course they do!), then call your microchip company to ensure your contact info is up to date.

5. Talk to your vet about motion sickness. If your pet is new to travel, take a short ride to see how your pet reacts, and to find out if they’re prone to motion sickness. If so, talk to your vet about solutions.

6. Never leave your pet in the hot vehicle. Even when it’s a comfortable 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside the vehicle can reach 120 deadly degrees in a matter of minutes.

7. Use a crate or harness to secure your pet inside the vehicle. Pet seats give pets a comfortable place to sit while the harness secures them safely to a seatbelt. This restraint can save a life.

8. Take breaks. Enjoy the journey and take frequent breaks so both you and your pet can… stretch your legs.

For even more tips on pet care, visit Minnesota’s Veterinary Medial Association. (Scroll down to the bottom of the home page to find the pet tips.)  Let’s face it. Not every pet is destined to be a RV road warrior, but for those who are, these tips can make the journey safer so you can enjoy the adventure.

Minnesota RV Excursions: The Farmers Market

If you want to really experience the “flavor” of a new place when you’re on your next trip in your Winnebago RV, consider visiting the farmers markets. They’re a fun blend of food and entertainment, crafts and characters.

I love farmers markets for several reasons. First, the food is fresh and healthy. After all, it just came off the vine or out of the ground. Next, I’m supporting local farmers. I was shocked when I found out that farmers usually get less than 10 cents of every dollar you spend at the grocery store. By shopping at farmers markets, I’m supporting a family for whom farming is still a way of life. Finally, I can get recommendations from the locals about what to see and do in their home communities. There’s nothing like discovering those hidden RV travel gems!

The Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association lists its members on its website including links to most of the growers. In Duluth, the farmers market has operated since 1911 and offers everything from fresh veggies like spinach and radishes to honey and even gluten-free baked goodies.

Where are your favorite places to take your Pleasureland RV?

Minnesota RV Safety: Propane

Getting ready for a big roadtrip in your motorhome can be full of excitement and fun. In the midst of the packing frenzy, you must remember more than just the toothpaste and towels. Having propane is essential for your new Minnesota RV on the road. It’s also important to have the propane system checked out at least once a year. So whether you’ve had the RV in storage or you call it home, here are a few tips on being prepared when it comes to propane inside of your vehicle.

Why use propane?

Propane has many benefits. As far as fuels go, it is considered to be clean. It’s liquid petroleum gas and there is a lot of it! Its low price and wide availability make it an easy option for everything from cooking to hot baths. Because it’s so easily transportable, motorhomes can use it for many things. While it’s usually quite safe, there are important factors to consider when using it.

Precaution

The most important item that every RV should have is a propane detector. They can be bought at any home improvement store and can be assembled without expertise. Having difficulty with set up? Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If something were to go wrong it could save lives. Be prepared to immediately vacate the premises should the alarm go off. In an emergency, aside from calling 911, turn off the propane valve if possible.

Testing

There are a few tests that a technician can do for the whole system to ensure proper working order. The first is an operating pressure test, which is used to determine pressure amounts to the regulator during use.  Too much on either side of the normal range could create problems. Another good test is the timed drop pressure test. Doing this test will show if there are any leaks which no system should have. Once the leak is pinpointed, you will be good to go! The last is referred to as a lock up test that ensures the regulator is completely shutting. This test avoids pressure contamination which could cause an explosion.

These are great ways to protect your family and your Pleasureland RV. Taking these extra steps will remove any unknowns from the safety of your trip. You will rest easier knowing your propane system is good to go.

Have you had your system tested this year? Feel free to share your propane tips with us in the comments below!

 

Thanks to Gary Motley for contributing

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!

How to Properly Use the Mirrors on Your Minnesota RV

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, your backing up your new or used RV is a lot different than backing up your average passenger vehicle. The second you plop into that driver’s seat, you’ll realized that looking over your shoulder or in your rear-view mirror isn’t going to be much help.

However, if you look to your left and right, you’ll see that your RV has some pretty large side mirrors. When these are properly adjusted, you’ll be able to see from the side of your RV to the back bumper. A lot of RVs also have convex mirrors. They will either be separate or part of the main mirror. You’ll need to adjust the convex mirrors, as well, in order to widen your view along the side of your RV. This will help minimize bilnd spots and expand your view to the rear on both sides to include most of the next lane of traffic.

I know this sounds like an overload of info, but to make your mirror situation as easy as possible, I recommend using a set of extended mirrors like the Tow-N-See Mirror. The great thing about these mirrors is that they move along with your power mirrors so you can adjust your view while sitting in the driver’s seat. Extended mirrors provide the best possible view in my opinion. Not to mention they take mere minutes to install.

Come by and check out these mirrors and get some other RV tips on how to use your mirrors at one of Pleasureland RV’s four locations in Minnesota.  Installation takes just seconds with a twist of the knob, leaving no marks and making it easy to transfer from one vehicle to the next. Tow-N-see…The one that works!

[Source: The Fun Times Guide]

Lower Your RV Expenses by Cutting Back on Your Propane Use

A lot of the appliances aboard our Minnesota RVs use propane including the stove, over and hot water heater. The furnace also uses propane, but seeing how the winter months are behind us, we’ll already be saving there. The price of propane has doubled in the last ten years, and even though it’s currently on a decline, it’s still above two dollars a gallon.

I’m not saying you should forgo the use of propane all together, but when you are at a campsite with hookups, odds are electricity is including in your price. So why not take advantage of it? By simply doing the following, you’ll save on propane purchases in the future.

Buy 12V Products Online from Pleasureland RV and Save on Your RV's Propane Consumption

Instead of using the stove or oven, use a crock pot, electric skillet and electric oven. To top it off, Pleasureland RV is offering these items at a Red Hot Special price online. So you’ll be saving even more! When you arrive at the campsite and hook up, be sure your RV refrigerator switches over from propane gas to electric. If the showers aren’t terrible at a campsite, you could also consider using them instead of your RV shower which uses propane to heat.

What other ways can you think of to save on propane in your Minnesota RV? We’d love to hear your ideas!

Use a Central Vacuum System to Keep Your Minnesota Motorhome Nice and Clean

As I’m sure you’ve already noticed, our RV floors track attract a lot more dirt than our houses do. This is because we are always going in and out and tracking everything under the sun, from gravel to grass, back into our RV. If you’ve recently purchased a new or used RV, you’re probably already looking into your options for a vacuum.  When it comes to RVs, there are three main types of vacuums I see people using – a standard vacuum, a hand-held vacuum, and an all-in-one central vacuum system. As with all things, there are advantages and disadvantages to all three.

 

Standard Vacuum (from $70 – $500)

These are the types of vacuums you’d find in a house. You can buy them practically anywhere and they are typically the most powerful. The downside? They are large, heavy and take up a lot of space.

 

Hand-held Vacuum (from $25 – $150)

The main advantage here is how little space a hand-held takes up. But remember, a smaller vacuum equals a longer cleaning time. If you’re traveling in a smaller RV, this may be the perfect option for you.

 

All-in-One (from $300 and up)

pleasureland rv online parts store

Purchase it now at the Pleasureland RV Online Parts Store!

In my opinion, this is the best option for larger RVs. My personal favorite is the all-in-one Dirt Devil® CV950 LE.  Since this vacuum is built into a location in your RV, you’ll be saving a lot of space. You can also conveniently purchase this item at Pleasureland RV’s online parts store complete with the new Deluxe Maxumizer Kit and RugRat Handheld Turbine Powerbrush. Check it out in action.

So there are your options, Minnesota RVers. If you need any help at all with your decision, feel free to swing by one of Pleasureland RV’s four locations or give us a call.

 

Take Advantage of Fee-Free Days at National Parks this Year

Have you already started planning your destinations for this year, Minnesota RV owners? I’ll bet many of you started planning before the year even began! If you’re thinking about heading to any of our wonderful National Parks, check this out. The National Park Service is waiving admission fees on 17 days this year to encourage Americans to explore America’s natural beauty, rich history and culture!

Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, encourages everyone to visit a park near them whether or not it’s during one of the free-free days, but why not take advantage of free admission if you can? Check out the list:

  • April 21-29 (National Park Week)
  • June 9 (Get Outdoors Day)
  • September 29 (National Public Lands Day)
  • November 10-12 (Veterans Day weekend)

To top it off, many park-related hotels, restaurants, gift shops, and tour operators will also be offering specials on fee-free days. There are 397 National Parks to choose from, so you better get to planning, Minnesota RV travelers!

Choosing Between a Travel Trailer and Fifth Wheel in Minnesota

If you’re thinking about joining the vast and wonderful world of RVs by buying a new or used RV in Minnesota, the first thing you’ll have to do is decide is what class is best for you.

The first decision is fairly easy in my opinion. Motorized or towable? Are you wanting to use your RV as a vehicle and a home? Or are you leaning more toward towing an RV with a car or truck?

If you’ve decided that a towable RV is the choice for you, then let’s go ahead and break it down into a few more choices. The most common towable RVs are travel trailers and fifth wheels.

Travel Trailers

2012 Dutchmen Denali Minnesota

2012 Dutchmen Denali

The travel trailer is going to be your most common and usually least expensive RV. They are available in a wide variety of lengths and can be towed behind any vehicle with enough power and torque.

Advantage #1 – Almost any tow vehicle will do.

Depending on the size, travel trailers can be pulled by a sedan, pick-up or even a minivan. Most people use their tow vehicle on a regular basis, so having this advantage is a big plus.

Advantage #2 – Better fuel economy.

Because a travel trailer has a lower profile than a 5th wheel, you’re going to average two to three miles per gallon better fuel economy. Don’t forget to factor in the savings you’ll get by having a smaller vehicle for every day use as well.

Advantage #3 – Lower Cost.

On average, a travel trailer will cost about $10,000 less than a 5th wheel of equal size.

[HensleyMfg.com]

Fifth Wheels

2012 Keystone Alpine Minnesota

2012 Keystone Alpine 3200RL

Fifth wheels are strictly pulled by pickup trucks and get their name from the distinguishing gooseneck hitch. This gives them better stability and a better center of gravity. On the whole, fifth wheels are very spacious and usually have at least one slide-out space. Of the two, fifth wheels are considered to be the more luxurious.

Advantage #1 – Stability.

The fifth wheel has a good reputation for stability. Often times, you’ll hear people complain about the sway when towing a travel trailer. Fifth wheels eliminate this problem and are known for being easy to tow.

Advantage #2 – Luxury.

Though they are more expensive than a travel trailer, the amenities you’ll find in a fifth wheel make it all worth it in my opinion.

Regardless of which towable RV you choose, you’re bound to love it. If this is your first time buying a new or used RV, you can always come down to one of Pleasureland RV’s four locations and look around. While you’re there, ask questions! We’re more than happy to help find the perfect RV to fit all of your needs.

Why You Need to Know the Height and Weight of Your Minnesota Motor Home, Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel

When it comes to owning an RV, there are certain measurements, numbers, weights, etc. that you need to know and keep track of. The second you drive that new RV off the lot at your Minnesota RV dealership, you should immediately make a note of two things: the height and weight of your RV.

Earlier this year, we talked about the importance of knowing your RV clearance level. In case you’re new to this blog, I’ll briefly revisit the subject. When driving a normal passenger car, we often take for granted the clearance signs that you see in overpasses and drive-thru restaurants. This is normal because unless you’re driving a lifted pickup truck, odds are your car will clear practically anything. But this is not the case with your new motor home, travel trailer or fifth wheel. Here’s the best example of what can happen if you aren’t aware of your RV’s clearance level.

In order to prevent this from happening to you, you’ll need to physically measure the height of your RV. You cannot rely on the what it says in the owner’s manual because accessories are not factored in. The only way to be sure, is to measure from the ground up to the tallest point of your RV. I recommend making three measurements: the front, middle and rear.

Now that we know our clearance level, let’s move on to our RV’s weight. Weight can affect everything from your tires and axles to how it handles while driving. The number you’re looking for here is the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). This number tells you the maximum amount of weight that your RV is designed to carry including full tanks and passengers. If you are driving an RV that is over its weight, then you are putting yourself at risk of dangers that can occur while on the road including part failure.

Believe it or not, even the smallest things we keep in our RV, such as picture frames and books, add up. So it’s always best to monitor your weight using a professional truck scale. You can find these scales at truck stops or mechanic shops and they can give you an accurate reading of what your RV weighs. Be sure to have your RV filled to the max (fuel, water holding tanks, etc.) when you weigh it.

With owning an RV, comes responsibility. It doesn’t have to be difficult, which is why I recommend taking note of these two things the second you drive off the Minnesota RV dealership lot. Trust me, you’ll be saving yourself and your RV from unnecessary trouble down the road. If you ever need any help with measuring or weighing your RV, you can always swing by one of Pleasureland’s four locations in Ramsey, St.Cloud, Willmar or Brainerd.