RV Tips for Beginners

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Now that you’ve purchased your first RV, it’s time for the learning curve. Since this is the first time you’ll be heading out in an RV – unless you went RVing with your parents – you may want some tips to make your trip less stressful. The first time you forget something, it’s not so bad, but by the time you’re three days into a trip and find out you didn’t do something before you left – like fill the propane tanks – or you forgot something else – like the chemicals for the toilet – you’re going to blow your top.

About a week before you leave for your trip, make sure all systems are working properly. Check the plumbing, the hot water heater, the fridge, stove, heat and air conditioning unit. If you have a brand new RV you shouldn’t have any trouble with these things, but it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. If you are uncomfortable checking things yourself or if you do find a problem, bring your RV to the service center at PleasureLand RV Center.

To check the stove and possibly the heat, you’ll need propane, so this time would be a good time to ensure that both bottles are filled. Remember to turn the tanks off when you are done testing as it’s not safe to drive around with open propane tanks.

Make a list of things to pack. When you list your clothing, be sure to bring season-appropriate clothing. Don’t forget boots and rain gear. If you are camping in the winter, be sure to pack extra clothing. If you are going to be outside in the snow, you’ll want something warm to change into.

When you make your food list, it is easier to plan meals rather than to just make a list. This way, you are sure to not forget something for a specific meal. If you plan on making something complicated, use the recipe to add to your food list.

Since freezer space is limited in most RVs, buy meat as you normally do, but remove it from the store packaging. Pack it in zippered freezer bags – you’ll fit more into the freezer. Pack a cooler with ice for meat, soda and other perishables you will use during the first couple of days – you’ll have more space in the fridge and freezer. If you pack the meat in the cooler while it’s frozen, it will stay cold for a couple days. It may even be frozen on the second day.

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center for any accessories or parts you may need for your trip or to get your RV checked before you leave.

The Top 10 Campgrounds in the Midwest

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The Midwest is one of America’s most underrated regions. Lakes, vast forests, rivers, sand dunes and so many other natural wonders await those who venture to the Great Lakes states and beyond. The following are the top 10 campsites you’ll find in this must-visit neck of the woods.

1. Wilderness State Park Campground — Carp Lake, Michigan

Enjoy 26 miles of rocky shoreline, stargazing, 20 miles of hiking trails and more at this lakeside Michigan campground.

2. Eugene T. Mahoney State Park — Ashland, Nebraska

Non-stop family fun is on tap at the Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, which features nearly 150 RV sites and a water park with a wave pool, slides and more.

3. Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park Campground — Middlebrook, Missouri

Camp at the foot of Goggins Mountain and spend your days swimming in the shut-ins formed by the Black River.

4. Hocking Hills State Park — Laurelville, Ohio

Discover caves, gorges and waterfalls just a short hike from the comfort of your RV.

5. Brown County State Park — Nashville, Indiana

Indiana’s largest state park is littered fishing spots, hiking trails and areas to swim, bike play.

6. Hayward KOA — Hayward, Wisconsin

Let the kids run wild on the 300-foot waterslide, mini golf course, playgrounds and more.

7. Peninsula State Park — Door County, Wisconsin

This park’s 468 campgrounds are seconds from beautiful bluffs, a lighthouse, the beach, bike trails and a golf course.

8. Indiana Dunes State park — Chesterton, Indiana

The sand dunes are the main attraction to this fun-filled state park, but campers also enjoy hiking trails, birdwatching and more.

9. Blue Bell Campground — Custer, South Dakota

This Custer State Park campground is known for its nearby rock formations, vistas, brooks and buffalo.

10. Grand Marais Recreation Area — Grand Marais, Minnesota

The Lake Superior shoreline, quaint shops and delicious dining options are at your doorstep.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Don’t forget to stop in and see us at PleasureLand RV Center when you’re cruising throughout the Midwest in your RV this spring and summer.

Exploring Grand Teton National Park

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Grand Teton National Park is one of America’s best National Parks, ranking alongside Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Acadia, and Glacier National Parks. The best part is, you can actually get a two for one special when visiting Grand Teton… Yellowstone is actually part of the same park system and is only 10 miles away!

History

The park gets its name from 19th-century French-speaking trappers, who named the mountains les trois tetons, which was later shorted to tetons. The highest peak, Grand Teton, is where the park gets its name. At 13775 feet tall, Grand Teton is almost 850 feet taller than the second highest peak in the range, Mount Owen. The area was prominent among fur trappers through much of the 1800s.

The area was preserved as a National Park in 1929. The adjacent Jackson Hole Valley region was later declared a National Monument in 1943, which was later abolished in 1950 and absorbed into the National Park.

Geography and Wildlife

Besides the obvious mountain range in the park, visitors can also expect to encounter the Snake River, numerous lakes (including the 15 mile Jackson Lake), and a dozen or so small glaciers.

The park supports an almost pristine ecosystem. Animals and plants that have existed since prehistoric times still flourish in the park. There are over a thousand native plants, dozens of mammals, hundreds of birds, and more than a dozen fish species. Though less common, there are also some reptiles and amphibians.

Activities and Recreation

The park is a popular destination for a variety of sports, including mountaineering, hiking, fishing, and camping.

Mountaineers will have numerous climbing options that range numerous skill levels. Hikers have over 200 miles of trails that they can explore. Fishing in the region is world-renowned for its trout fishing.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center to tour a new or used RV that’s perfect for your trip to Grand Teton National Park. If you’ve already got a rig, but want to make sure that it’s in good condition for a road trip, let PleasureLand RV Center look it over for you!

Visit Whitewater State Park

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Continuing the series on Minnesota’s state parks, we’ve got Whitewater State Park up next. Sprawled across 2,733 acres, the park is one of Minnesota’s most popular parks, attracting over 250,000 annual visitors and over 50,000 overnight stays.

Dakota Indians named the river Whitewater because it turned milky white in the spring as high water eroded light-colored clay deposits along its banks. In 1851, a treaty opened up most of southern Minnesota for white settlement, including the Whitewater area. Settlers removed much of the native vegetation in order to farm and graze the land. In 1900, flooding related to land use began. Almost two decades later, local citizens lobbied successfully to establish Whitewater State Park to protect some of the most beautiful parts of the valley. After numerous programs were instituted to help control the flooding in the area, including prohibitions on wood harvesting and forming ponds to serve as dikes, the Whitewater Watershed Project is cultivating a return to the area’s natural state.

The park is a wildlife observer’s dream, containing nearly 50 kinds of mammals and upwards of 250 types of birds throughout the year. Some of the more obvious residents are year-long wild turkey and bald eagles.

Hiking is a great activity in the park, as the scenery is gorgeous. Expect picturesque limestone bluffs and deep ravines. These hiking trails rate from easy to challenging.

Fishers will enjoy the park with its brown, brook, and rainbow trout in the park’s spring-fed Whitewater River and Trout Run Creek.

Those just looking to relax will enjoy the sandy beaches and the modern visitor’s center and group center.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center before you visit any state park in Minnesota to make sure that your RV is in good shape to travel. If you need to upgrade your rig, PleasureLand RV Center is the place to shop. Tour our wide inventory of new and used RVs, from Class A motorhomes to fifth wheel trailers.

The Benefits of Renting an RV

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You don’t have to dive head first in to the RV lifestyle by purchasing an expensive motorhome or travel trailer. Here at PleasureLand RV Center, we offer a huge selection of rental RVs, so you can try out the RV lifestyle before you buy. And after just one family vacation in a rental RV, you’ll realize exactly what’s so wonderful about life on the road.

It’s Affordable

By renting an RV, you’ve already covered the travel and accommodation expenses for your vacation. Flying your entire family to a destination and renting multiple hotel rooms once you arrive can add up really quickly, but RV travel eliminates the need for plane tickets, and all of our PleasureLand RV rentals have plenty of sleeping space. Our RVs also contain full kitchens and refrigerators, so you’ll save big bucks on enjoying family meals inside your RV rather than out at expensive restaurants.

It’s Comfortable

Just because it’s called “camping” doesn’t mean you’ll be sleeping on the ground or living primitively. Our RV rentals are equipped with full bathrooms (with showers), comfortable bedding, a sink, stove, hot water, and all of the amenities you’d expect in a pricey hotel room (and even more).

It Gives You Freedom

Forget about check-in and check-out times and all of the other scheduling that comes along with flights and hotel stays. The RV lifestyle is entirely flexible, so you can stop and roadside attractions, exciting restaurants or anywhere you please.

More Time Together

One of the best parts of the RV lifestyle is that you end up spending more time together as a family. Whether you’re traveling on the highway or hanging out at the campsite, you’re all together making lasting memories, cooking meals and enjoying the great outdoors.

Rent an RV From PleasureLand

Whether you’re interested in a Class A motorhome or a pop-up camper, we’ve got a great selection of rental RVs right here at PleasureLand RV Center. Stop in to browse our fleet or get started with your RV rental immediately using our online form.

RV DIY Projects for Dog Lovers

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If you’ve got your dogs along on your travels, try doing something special for them by trying these DIY projects. Not only are they a good way to pass some time, but they can add functionality and convenience to your RV.

Make a Custom Dog Station

There’s a lot of room for variety and creativity here, but the gist is this: take a board of wood and add pegs and other holders to help organize your dog’s gear.

For example, you could try taking the wooden board, sanding it down and painting it, and then adding a peg to hold your dog’s leash and adding a mason jar to hold dog treats. By hanging this on the wall next to your door, you can not only have all of your dog’s gear in one convenient place, but you can save space elsewhere as well. Other ideas to include on your dog station are a poop bag dispenser or a small basket to hold dog grooming items. Make sure to customize your station with your dog’s name!

Make Your Own Collar

By simply modifying a belt, you can make your own dog collar that will look like it came from a designer. Find an old leather belt with a pattern you like and measure around your dog’s neck with it. Trim the excess material from the belt with a pair of scissors. Taper the end into a point and you’re done! Attach a carabiner to the collar when you want to clip a leash onto it.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center to tour a new or used RV and find one that’s right for you. If you’ve already got an RV, schedule service with a technician at PleasureLand RV Center before you embark on your next road trip.

Head to Maplewood State Park

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If you’re always on the lookout for the next place to take your RV, PleasureLand RV Center is here to give you a suggestion: Maplewood State Park. The park sprawls over 10,279 acres and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually. Maplewood sits on a series of high tree-covered hills that provide visitors with striking vistas of small, clear lakes nestled in deep valleys.

Maplewood State Park features eight major lakes and numerous ponds, offering water lovers places to enjoy their water sports, like swimming, fishing, and boating. The lakes offer plenty of sandy beaches and recreation areas on the shore for sunbathing, grilling, and picnicking.

Drive along the park’s scenic route to view the flora and fauna in the park, including 150 bird species and 50 species of mammal, including deer, beavers, racoon, squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks. The trails are also a great way to see the wildlife while you hike, horseback ride, or cross-country ski (in the colder months).

Spring through fall, the park is “dressed” with displays of trillium, hepatica, bloodroot, yellow lady’s slipper, wild onion, prairie rose, and showy milkweed. If you go in the fall, the park turns into a fall wonderland with brilliant shades of orange, gold, and red.

The park is located 7 miles east of Pelican Rapids on State Highway 108.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Visit PleasureLand RV Center before you head to Maplewood State Park or any other destination this spring. Besides helping to make sure that your RV is ready for the road, PleasureLand RV Center can also help you get into a new RV if it’s time to upgrade or even  if you’re shopping for your first rig.

Explore Wild River State Park

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A great place to keep in mind the next time you’re looking for a place to take the RV, Wild River State Park is located along 18 miles of the St. Croix River.

The park is attractive to those who enjoy camping, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, interpretive programs, self-guided trails, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

The hiking is also great, offering a 35-mile trail system. The trails are especially nice during the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.

For those not using an RV, the camp has a guest house that provides a living room, dining room, kitchen, and fireplace. The park also has six camping cabins, which have bunkbeds, a table, and benches.

You can get to the camp by exiting I-35, taking State Highway 95 to County Road 12. Drive 3 miles on County Road 12 to the park’s entrance.

Contact the park for more information at 651-583-2925 or email wildriver.statepark@state.mn.us. The best time to contact the park is somewhere between 9am and 4pm.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Before you visit Wild River State Park, stop by PleasureLand RV Center to tour a new or used RV and find your next motorhome or travel trailer today. If you’ve already got a rig, you can schedule service with the service center at PleasureLand RV Center to make sure that your RV is in tip-top shape for the road.

Customize Your RV

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Each RV traveler has different wants and needs for his or her RV lifestyle. And the only way to get an RV that’s designed just for you, is to customize it just the way you like it. Whether that involves making interior decor changes, upgrading your RV mattress, swapping out your shower head or installing vent fans, your RV can be exactly what you want it to be with a little creativity and help from the staff here at PleasureLand.

Upgrade Your RV’s Decor

Older RV models often have very outdated decor features or simply a color scheme that’s not as appealing as it used to be. Upgrading your RV’s interior can be made simple by purchasing new bed coverings, rugs, throw pillows, towels and other soft goods. Reupholstering your sofa or dinette and upgrading your laminate countertops to solid surface ones are bigger upgrades that can make a huge difference in the way your RV looks and feels.

Get More Comfortable

Compacting your life inside an RV means you have to sacrifice a few of the luxuries you learned to love in your brick-and-mortar home. But many of those luxuries don’t have to be left behind. Consider swapping your RV’s dull stock shower head for one that can amplify your water pressure and even help you conserve water on the road.

RV mattresses can be less than comfortable as well, but that doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend thousands on a top-end mattress for your life on the road. Consider upgrading your mattress with a simple 2-inch memory foam mattress cover. These are often easy to clean and inexpensive, so you can purchase one for every bed in your motorhome, travel trailer or fifth wheel.

Upgrade Your RV at PleasureLand

For bigger upgrades — like air-conditioning and vent fan installs, battery upgrades, inverters and just about any modification you want to make inside our outside of your RV — PleasureLand RV Center is here to help. Our certified RV service technicians are here to handle all of your install, repair, general maintenance and even body shop needs, so you can enjoy your RV lifestyle to the fullest.

Visit Lake Bemidji State Park

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Looking for a nearby spot to camp and enjoy some outdoor recreation, perhaps for spring break? If you’re centered in Minnesota or plan on passing through soon, check out Lake Bemidji State Park. It’s just 10 minutes north of Bemidji off Highway 71 N. Watch for and follow the park’s signage and you can’t miss it.

Lake Bemidji State Park offers visitors swimming, boating, fishing, birdwatching, hiking, camping, biking picnicking, and snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in colder months.

Away from the lake, hiking is an especially good activity. Trails lead through Lake Bemidji’s tamarack bog, which is carpeted with showy lady’s slippers, pitcher plants, dragon’s mouths, grass pink, and insect-eating sundews. Most flowers start to bloom in the bog between late spring and early summer.

Birdwatchers will also love the lake, as it offers a unique ecosystem with eagles and ospreys. Other common birds in the spring include the red-eyed vireo, tree swallow, red-breasted nuthatch, American robin, yellow-rumped warbler, indigo bunting, swamp sparrow, blue-winged teal, ruby-throated hummingbird, and many more.

Free WiFi is available at the campground and Visitors Center.

The park’s hours are from 8am to 4pm daily.

If you’d like to learn more, contact the park at 3401 State Park Road Northeast, Bemidji, Minnesota. Call 218-308-2300 or email lakebemidji.statepark@state.mn.us.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center before you visit Lake Bemidji State Park or any other destination in Minnesota. PleasureLand RV Center offers RV sales, service, parts and accessories in Minnesota. See us in St Cloud, Brainerd, or Ramsey today!