The Boondocking Code of Ethics

For those of you new RV owners who may be unfamiliar with the term, boondocking, also known as dry camping or primitive camping is basically camping without the electic, sewer or water hookups.  There are generally two types of boondocking – blacktop and boonies – and there is a certain code of ethics associated with each one that we should follow. The general rule of thumb is to always leave the place nicer than it was when you got there. Let’s check out some other rules we should follow.

Blacktop boondocking is when you pos up in a parking lot (Wal-Mart, Casinos, etc.). The main appeal of this type of camping is the convenience and budget. Some places have actually passed bans on this type of boondocking. To make sure bans aren’t passed, RV clubs like The Escapees, have come up with their own code of ethics for blacktop boondocking. They have even gone far enough to post a print out of these rules that you can leave on offender’s vehicles.

Blacktop Boondocking Rules

1. DO obtain permission from a qualified individual. This way you’ll never have to worry if you are violating any sort of code or law.

2. DO try and park out of the way. Most of these parking lots are huge, and most likely there are spots way in the back that will be vacant.

3. DON’T use your awnings, chairs, or barbecue grill. These things tend to send the message that you are here to stay.

4. DON’T use slide-outs if at all possible for the same reason as mentioned above.

5. DON’T use your leveling jacks on asphalt.

6. DO try and limit your stay – one night is best, and two is the absolute maximum. We recommend staying two night only if you must.

7. DO purchase gas, food, or supplies as a way of saying “thank you”.

8. DO leave the area cleaner than you found it. This one is sometimes dificult for people to folllow, but think of it this way… you’re only helping blacktoppers reputation climb by cleaning up. Even if it’s after other’s.

9. DO practice safety precautions. This is important in any situation.

You can print out of these rules and then leave them on offender’s vehicles. Everyone should know proper boondocking etiquette.

[The Escapees]

Now let’s switch gears and take a look at the guidelines we should follow for boondocking in the boonies. As you can probably guess from its name, this type of boondocking is done out in the wilderness. A lot of campers do this purely for the wilderness experience and enjoy the peace and quiet they wouldn’t necessisarily have at a slotted campground. The more serious boondockers even modify their vehicles with solar panels and an inverter to charge their batteries so they can freely camp in the beautiful wilderness.

Rules for Boondocking in the Boonies

  • Park in previously used areas. Do not create a new road or parking spot or run over vegetation.
  • Park away from other RVs so each can enjoy the peace and quiet. If you do have a generator you plan to run, park far away from other RVs and limit your use to an hour or so in the morning and another in early evening. Generator noise carries and is not part of the wilderness experience.
  • Respect quiet hours. Do not run generators or play TVs or radios loudly after 10 p.m. or before 7 a.m. (Some areas may have different quiet hours so check with the agency.)
  • In some areas dumping grey water on the ground is permissible. Always check with the agency first. Dumping black water on the ground is never permitted.
  • Leave the area cleaner than you found it. Dispose of trash in a trash container after you leave.
  • Read and follow the agency’s rules regarding fires, collecting firewood, and quiet hours. Respect time limits, which are typically 14 days.

Boondocking is one of my favorite aspects of owning an RV, but we have to remember to always follow that golden rule in order to continue boondocking for years and years to come. Leave the place nicer than it was before you arrived.

The Number One Source for North American RV Park Reviews

Hey fellow RVers, I have found the perfect web site for picking a campground! From rates to reviews, this site has it all! Whether you’re the type of person who likes to strategically map out your camping spots or if you like to decide at the last minute, it doesn’t matter. This site is fully compatible with smartphones!

First, you select Mexico, the U.S. or Canada. Then you can choose your desired province/state and narrow your selection even further (see image below). Once you’ve chosen your area, you’ll see reviews of all the campgrounds nearby.

 

Once you’ve selected a campground, you’ll find the general camp information on the left-hand side of the page including the number of sites and the latest rate. Below that are the campground’s contact numbers, website and a map view.

On the right-hand site of the page, you’ll find a section for the campground’s accommodations and the type of hookups provided. If you scroll down the page, you can read reviews of other campers.

Click on the image to be taken to this site's information page.

The other cool thing about this site is the ability to submit reviews. There are currently more than 133,900 user-submitted reviews. If you’d like to review a campground, all you have to do is choose “Downloads” from the main page and fill out a review form.

The site also features a search function, so if you already have a campground in mind, why not check out the reviews before hitting the road with your fifth wheel or motorhome?

This site definitely gets a five-star rating from me, and I highly recommend you check it out for yourself!

 

 

 

Properly Store Your RV Minnesota

Unless you’re a full-timer, there’s going to come a time when you’ll need to store your RV. Whether its for a few weeks or few months, proper storing techniques must be applied in order to protect one of the biggest investments you’ve made. If you’re planning on storing your RV on your own, here are a few things you should keep in mind and consider.

RV Storage Tips

  1. Get rid of the gas. If you’re planning on parking your RV for longer than a month, you may want to consider emptying the gas tank. Gasoline begins to deteriorate over time and can end up causing your engine some problems and causing you a chunk of change. This is especially true in the hotter months. If you’re unable to empty the tank, you can use a gas stabilizer.Stabilizers can preserve your gasoline for up to a couple of years but they can’t fix what has already started to deteriorate. Once your tank is nearly empty, measure out enough stabilizer to treat a tank of gas; pour it in your tank; then fill your tank with gas to about 95% capacity. Filling your tank to 95% capacity minimizes the possibility of condensation and still leaves a bit of room for expansion and contraction.  [ViringiaWind.com]
  2.  

  3. Custom-fitted RV covers. The best thing you could possibly do for your RV is buy a custom-fitted RV cover. Look for one that blocks sun damage, is water resistant, and fits your unit. Do not use a regular, old dark blue tarp. This will attract the sun’s heat and allows many areas for moisture to accumulate.
  4.  

  5. Tires. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t take tire care into consideration when storing their RV. It’s good to use tire covers to protect the rubber and prevent cracks and dry decaying from the sun. It’s even better to remove the tires all together and store them in a cool, dry place away from gasoline and oil.
  6.  

It may sound like a lot of work, but it really doesn’t have to be… you could leave it up to the experts. Storage services offer all sorts of cleaning and maintenance, and is probably your best bet if you are unsure of how to properly store your RV on your own.  If you need any advice or more information about properly storing your RV, don’t hesitate to give us a call or visit one of our four locations!

Extreme RV Weather: High Winds

You don’t have to be in the middle of a hurricane or F3 tornado to experience high winds while on the road. The skies may be clear and the sun brightly shining, but we should never forget about that unseen force of nature that can so easily leave you’re fifth wheel or travel trailer overturned on the side of highway 90. I’m pretty sure this RV driver did not see this coming…

Crosswinds pose the greatest threat to fifth wheels and travel trailers because they can push the vehicle into another lane, or as we saw above, they can cause the vehicle to turnover.

So how can we avoid this situation, Minnesota RV enthusiasts? You can do one of two things: slow down to a speed where you feel comfortable or pull over and wait for conditions to clear. Unfortunately, these are really your only two options. If you have any questions or need some more tips on how to handle your RV in high winds, you can always give us a call or stop by one of our locations.

Got an iPhone and An RV? Check This Out!

As the years have passed, it has become overwhelming apparent that technology is going to make its way into our life.  We have social networks, seach engines, You-Tube, and informational blogs like this one!  And while all these different mediums have helped RV users out in some way, some of the newer technology has been lacking when it comes to getting quick information on your phone.

In comes a new iPhone application called Camping Finder made by CampingRoadTrip.com.  This handy app allows for a bunch of features to help an RVer or camper plan and execute a great trip.

“Camp Finder puts 14,000 U.S. campgrounds and RV parks in your pocket,” says Julian Fenn founder of CampingRoadTrip.com. “We want to help people have a great time in the outdoors and also save a few trees by getting rid of the big paper based camping directories. Camp Finder app is all about giving campers and RVers the freedom and spontaneity to have a great time on the road.”

The reality of being on the road means that plans do change. RVers and campers can now use the Camp Finder iPhone app to access the most up to date information and search for campgrounds and RV parks by name, city and state or current location. With just one touch campers and RVers can check out rates, amenities, camping discounts, contact details and even photos and reviews posted by others. “Camp Finder is even smart enough to give you directions to your destination. The only thing it won’t do is drive your RV or car there!”

Check out a video demonstration below:

httpv://www.youtube.com/campingroadtrip

So if you do have an iPhone, make sure you spend the $1.99 to purchase this very helpful and informative application.  And when you do download the app, make sure you put in Pleasureland RV first!!

[Source: PR Web]

Dealing With an RV Flat Tire

If you are driving your RV with too heavy of a load, under inflated tires, or old and damaged tires, then you are putting yourself at risk for a massive tire failure while driving down the road.  If this has never happened to you, then you should consider yourself lucky.  For those of us who have gone through this, then you know that it can be a bit frightening as well as confusing.  What should you do if this happens?  Well I found an excellent video produced by Michelin Tires about handling your RV in case a blow out occurs.

While the video is a little long, coming in at around 10 minutes, I do highly recommend watching the whole thing if you are not sure what you should do while experiencing a blow out.

We hope you found this information useful during such a stressful situation.  If you need for information, leave a comment or visit us at Pleasureland RV!

 

Helpful Campground Review Site

The internet has always provided a forum for people to review different things.  When someone wants to go on a vacation, they might look at Trip Advisor.  If someone has a bad experience at a restaurant they might visit Google Places or Yelp.  But until recently, a quality site that allows people to review and share their tales from campgrounds has not had one solidified place to go.  That is until now.

Camping.com has developed an all-encompassing site that will allow RVers and campers to share their thoughts and feelings with other potential campers.  Check out this excerpt from an article announcing this new site:

“Camping.com & the LI Partner Network is thrilled to offer our consumers quality reviews and ratings with the introduction of GuestRated”, said Kelly O’Bryan, EVP, Marketing, Camping.com. “Campers and RVers will now have access to more useful reviews written by people who camp and RV. Plus, our consumers can now easily rate and review their favorite RV Parks and Campgrounds from any of our web properties”.

Campers and Rvers will now be able to quickly and easily find reviews and ratings from other like-minded travelers CAMPING.COM and other sites on the LI Partner Network.

“Mainstream travelers have long had access to reviews and ratings for vacation lodging but campers and RVers have had a much more difficult time finding information about campgrounds and RV parks, GuestRated changes that. “, said Kelly O’Bryan, EVP, Marketing, Camping.com, “The tagline for CAMPING.COM has always been ‘everything camping’ and this is one more step in delivering that promise. We are encouraging campers and RVers to visit CAMPING.COM to add reviews of their favorite RV Parks and Campgrounds.

CAMPING.COM, LLC, is a leading one-stop provider of camping and RV travel information and trip planning tools. Camping.com is the leading provider of online reservations for commercial campgrounds and offers the most complete private campground directory. The site features tips on everything from camping with kids, recipes for camp cuisine, RV travel information along with trip ideas to “must-see” destinations for both weekend and longer trips.

Is this new site something that you would use, either to comment on a previous trip or when planning out your next RV trip?

[Source: World News Report]

 

RV Trip Tips: Eating Healthy

Eating healthy, even for the healthiest of us, can be difficult while out on the road.  Even with the amenities of an RV, always eating healthy can be difficult.  With our loved ones usually in tow, it is nice to have some back up plans in case you are forced into an unhealthy situation.  Here are some tips I came across to help you out on your next RV adventure!

Dealing with Fast Food and Restaurants:
No matter how you well you plan, there will be times when you’ll be faced with needing to eat out. Let’s face it, a vacation is just that and sometimes that includes time away from the kitchen!
• Keep an eye on portions. Some restaurant portions come super-sized. Ask about portion size and if it’s large, split it with someone else or take part of it with you for a snack or meal later in the day. Also check out senior or children’s meals which often have more realistic portion sizes.
• Dining at the hotel. Many hotels offer a complimentary breakfast with a variety of fruits, whole grain cereals and more. Take advantage of the offer!
• Look for grocery stores with an in-store deli. Many grocery stores now offer full service deli departments. Not only are the choices generally better for the heart conscious, but you just may find the meal less expensive as well.
• If you don’t find what you need to be heart healthy, ask if they’ll consider a special order or make substitutions. For example, if the entree is chicken breast with French fries, ask if they’ll substitute a salad, broccoli or baked potato instead of the fries. For breakfast, many restaurants are willing to make egg white omelets even if they aren’t on the menu – all you have to do is ask.

Heart Healthy Snacks:
Despite planning, it won’t always be possible to eat heart healthy all time. Look for heart healthy snacks that are easy to pack and take with you to tide you over.  Depending on your method of travel, consider snacks such as dried fruits, seeds, nuts, and beef jerky. Veggies such as carrot sticks and celery packs easily can be carried outside of an ice chest for short periods of time. Apples also pack well and are less prone to bruising than other fruits such as bananas or apricots. Try to avoid alcohol, sodas, and fruit drinks with added sugars. As an alternative, carry a water bottle which can be refilled.

Being healthy on the road is one of the advantages to having a kitchen in an RV.  However there are times we are forced into an unhealthy situation and hopefully the above tips will help you the next time you are put between a healthy and unhealthy choice.

Any other suggestions? Please leave us a comment below!

[Source: EmpowHER]

 

Go Rving on Fox and Friends Discussing Pet Travel

With everyone heading back out on the road in your RV this season, it’s time to think about the little things when on the road.  One of these things is your pets safety on the road.  We love to bring all of our loved ones on our trips with us, and pets are no exception.  There are a bunch of tips and hints to help you in the event you do have a pet with you.  Recently GoRving.com and went on Fox News with Fox’s pet safety expert Lady Christina Selter to give their audience a few helpful hints.

“We’re here with GoRVing.com to give pet safety tips,” said Selter as she took viewers on an on-camera tour of pet-friendly features of the RV such as a pet-level window and built-in food and water dispenser, in addition to human comforts and conveniences.

Click on the video link below to see what these experts had to say:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/989075494001/travel-safely-with-your-pet/

According to the RVIA’s latest Campfire Canvass study of seasonal travel plans, 57% of RV owners will bring a pet along on RV trips this summer, to make the trip more enjoyable, provide companionship and save money on boarding.

We hope that this information is helpful for your trip if you decide to bring your furry friends along with you.  If you have any suggestions or questions, please leave a comment or come by and check us out at Pleasureland RV.

[Source: RV Business]

Fun Family RV Tips

We all love to bring our kids along with us on our RV adventures! But this may not always be the easiest things to do.  With all the stimuli children are accustomed to, sometimes it can be difficult to convince them of the greatness of the outdoors.  While this might be difficult, but with some planning and ingenuity, you can help create a wonderful atmosphere that you will all enjoy!

Seven strategies for traveling families:
  1. Leave a bit of give in your schedule. Most youngsters usually are not naturally continuous do-ers on a vacation. If you have an agenda packed end to end with activities, the kids will start complaining and need to stay somewhere and just hang out. Think of your kids sweating in Washington DC, hiking from monument to monument with the blistering heat and waiting in the sun at the Spy Museum. All good ideas but some down time is needed for them to retain their trip enthusiasm.
  2. Don’t expect kids to be grateful for all of the sacrifices it takes to travel on a trip. They are not going to thank you profusely or act wonderfully. Instead, watch for that moment of wonder or the pure joy smile – it is these ìmomentsî that make the trip happy and memorable. Photograph those moments and it will be all you might remember later.
  3. Set the expectation – traveling may be a nightmare. Whether by plane or car, summer vacations are filled with other people on vacation and there can be inevitable delays, traffic and waiting. Have a plan for the long waits. Donít expect a really perfect trip; if everything goes swimmingly, then it’s a bonus. Electronics might be your best friend during these moments.
  4. Let everyone choose one event/activity and one restaurant destination for the trip. After we select our destination (even if it’s a repeat), we put out a menu of options and every child can choose one of those options or propose something else. If one child chooses swimming, we make sure we get some swimming into the holiday, whether in a hotel pool or a beach. In addition they get to choose one kind of food that we will be sure to eat. This is a huge hit with our kids and helps us minimize complaints in the middle of trip. Our youngest and oldest like to do very different things but each knows that their treasured turn will come.
  5. Try to pack light and smart. It is a basic but all of us still ìoverpackî and drag around things we just donít need. So now we sit down and make a list together, then make it an event. Okay everyone bring down three pairs of pajamasî, then ìeveryone go get five shirts and one has to have a collarî, etc. And they need to carry what they pack.
  6. Everyone has to take a book. This is the big rule and my kids now look forward to going to the bookstore to select a special book for the trip. We have a kindle and the kids love to borrow the kindle to read. I also give extra credit for creating and writing inside a journal; they can write words or draw or both. I give them $1 a page for quality journal writing. It is almost certain the youngsters will be asked to write down something about their summer when school resumes so they have gotten a head start.
  7. Electronics are awesome but you’ll want to set some ground rules about usage. The ipods, phones, ipads, DSs, and other devices are amazing and really help children stay distracted during the hectic travel challenges but they should not check out and not participate in your trip.

We hope these tips will be helpful on your next RV excursion with the family!  Comment below to share a family story or add some tips to the list!

[Source: RV Cooking Show]