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.

Crock Pot RV Cooking

The other day, we talked about ways we can save on one of our large RV expenses – propane. One of the ways we can do this is by using alternative cooking methods like an electric skillet or crock pot. If you’ve become accustomed to using your stove and oven to prepare your meals, then using alternative methods may seem a little difficult to you. But it doesn’t have to be!

When most people think of crock pots, they immediately think of stew or chip dips and nothing else.  What most people don’t know, is that you can use a crock pot for almost any type of meal whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner! On top of saving on your propane consumption, you’ll also be enjoying a delicious meal that was super easy to prepare. Most of the time, you can just throw your ingredients in the pot in the morning and by dinner time, you’re all set. That’s all there is to it! In case you don’t believe me, I’m going to share one of my favorite crock pot recipes of all time – chicken casserole. I bet you would have never thought a crock pot was capable of this one! If you don’t already have a crock pot, you can purchase a 12V 1.5 qt. crock potat the Pleasureland RV online parts store.

What You’ll Need:

4 lg. chicken breasts
1 sm. can cream of chicken soup
1 sm. can cream of celery soup
1 sm. can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. diced celery
1 c. Minute Rice ( if you want you can try different flavors)

How to Cook:

Mix in crockpot the soups and rice. Place chicken on top of mixture, then sprinkle diced celery over chicken. Then let it sit on low for four hours and you’re ready to serve four people! For a little more flavor, add some salt and pepper and other seasoning of your choice.
This is one of thousands of recipes you can make in a crock pot. Who knows, this could even become your new hobby while on the road in your Minnesota RV. Are you already using a crock pot to prepare delicious meals on the road? Share some of your favorite recipes with Pleasureland RV!

Go Green in Your Minnesota RV Part II

The phrase “going green” means different things to different people. Broadly put, going green is the process of changing one’s lifestyle for the safety and benefit of the environment. As Minnesota RVers, we spend a lot of time out in the environment. It’s clear to see that RVers love the outdoors and nature, but sometimes it’s not so clear to see that we respect it. As an RVer, it’s always important to be mindful of the environment your in and leaving it in a better state than when you first arrived.

The other day, we talked about little ways we can go green in our RVs. After all, on top of helping the environment, we’re helping our finances, as well. With April being the Earth Day month, I thought I’d share a few more tips for going green.

Water Heater. When you aren’t using your water heater (at night for example), turn it off. If you can, try to time out your showers and dishes. This one may be a little difficult for some, so just try and turn off the heater as much as possible.

Shade. Try to park your vehicle in the shade where you can during the summer and spring months. You’d be surprised at home much it helps with your A/C usage.

Organics. Use organic bug sprays and sunscreens. These are better for both you and the environment.

Dish Towels. Reduce your paper towel usage by using dish towels.

Lights. Switch to LED lights everywhere possible (i.e. cabin lights, flashlights, etc.). You could also try using motion sensor lights or timers for our outdoor lights when you’re at a campground.

Remember Minnesota, if we want our future generations to be able to enjoy the same Earth we enjoy now, we have to take care of it. For more ideas on how to go green, call Pleasureland RV.

Extreme RV Weather: Fog

Photo Courtesy of OutOfTheFog.com

Driving a Minnesota RV through inclement weather can be somewhat difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. We’ve already talked about driving our RVs through high winds and what to look out for, and today we’ll discuss another extreme condition: fog. Some of you are probably wondering why I consider fog to be an “extreme” condition, but when you take into account that your visibility drops significantly, you may change your mind.

Fog is basically a huge cloud that has dipped down to ground level. It happens when the temperature drops to the dew point and invisible water vapor in the air condenses to form suspended water droplets.  The main threat posed by fog? Visibility. Fog can reduce our visibility to a quarter mile or less. This is not only dangerous for us in the RV, but those around us in passenger vehicles. Obviously, our RV outsize and outweigh almost every passenger car. The damage we can cause is bad enough when we can see that we’re about to hit something or someone. So imagine how bad it would be to have a collision when you didn’t see it coming at all.

Luckily, we don’t have to be completely in the dark when driving through fog. There are several things we can do to increase our chances of arriving at our destination safely.

Don’t turn on your brights. High beams reflect back off the fog and make your visibility worse. Use your low beams only.

Reduce your speed. I know we all hate getting stuck in traffic, but trust me. Reducing your speed is crucial especially because there are a lot of people out there who continue to drive at high speeds in inclement weather. Make sure you keep an eye on your speedometer because fog can create an illusion of slow motion, and you may not realize that your speeding.

Use your windshield wipers and defrosters. It’s also a good idea to crack your RV’s windows so you can hear potential traffic that you can’t see. If you’re having a really hard time seeing the lanes in front of you, use the right edge of the road or painted road markings as a guide.

Don’t stop on a highway or heavily traveled road. If you have RV trouble, do your best to move as far away from other vehicles as possible. Headlights off. Hazards on. Foot off the brake pedal. It’s a known fact that other drivers will subconsciously follow tail lights in fog, and they may not realize you are stopped.

The number one thing you can do when driving your RV through Minnesota fog? Be patient. Take your time, survey your surrounding and remember all of the tips above. Fog tends to appear in the early morning and late afternoon, so if you can avoid traveling through it, I would. Get a few extra hours of sleep or have an earlier dinner. When it comes to foggy conditions, you won’t want to take any chances of damaging your beautiful Minnesota motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer.

Make Your Life Easier and Rid Your Minnesota RV of Hard Water

Hard water can make life on the road in your Minnesota RV much more difficult than it needs to be, and if this is something you are currently experiencing, you’re going to want to fix it soon.

So what exactly is hard water?

Water that contains the hardness minerals – calcium and magnesium.

How does water become hard?

As rain water passes over the through the earth, it absorbs hardness minerals. Eventually this water flows into our lakes, rivers, streams and ground water.

What are the signs of hard water?

The most obvious sign that your water is hard is rust stains or scaling in sink, shower or toilet. Hard water is less effective at washing away dirt, so you may notice that your clothes are not getting as clean as they should be. It’s also hard to work up a good lather of shampoo or soap when you have hard water.

Other signs include a foul odor, difficulty working up a good lather of shampoo or soap, and possibly a reddish tint to you hair (this is caused by all of the iron in the water).

Technically speaking, hard water is not harmful to your health, but it will affect your ability to wash and clean efficiently. There are several remedies to this issue including portable water softeners. In my opinion this is the best option because they’re easy to use and provide soft water for one to two weeks while costing practically nothing.

If you’re experiencing hard water, take it from me… you’ll want to make it soft. Not only will it turn your tough RV cleaning jobs into easy work, you’ll also save time and money. Not to mention, you’ll probably feel much fresher after showers.  If you need any help picking out a portable water softener or would like to look at other options, give Pleasureland RV a call, or pop in one of our four locations in Ramsey, St.Cloud, Willmar or Brainerd.

Should You Switch to Nitrogen in Your Minnesota RV?

Hey Minneapolis RVers, did you know that many automobile and RV manufacturers are starting to use nitrogen in their tires instead of air? Though it may seem relatively new, nitrogen has been being used in airplane tires, giant off-highway tires and racing tires for many years. The question is why?

 

Oxidation. Air is composed of roughly one-fifth oxygen, and contains moisture which is known to cause oxidation. Oxidation can actually damage your wheels and over time, deteriorate the tires.

Tire Pressure. Even if your tire doesn’t have any punctures, over time you’ll notice it that it will lose some air due to permeation. While tires filled with air can lose up to 2psi a month, nitrogen will  “escape” your tires at a much slower rate, and it could be six months before your tires lose 2psi. Nitrogen is also much less reactive than air and doesn’t degrade rubber which means longer tread life.

Fuel Efficiency. Overtime, using nitrogen in your tires can improve vehicle handling and fuel efficiency through better tire pressure retention and cooler running tire temperatures. Because nitrogen-filled tires run cooler, they are said to increase the life of the tires up to 30 percent over air-filled tires.

According to GetNitrogen.org, if 85% of the 220 million vehicles on the road today improved their gas mileage by 3.3%, the U.S. would save almost four trillion gallons of gasoline per year. That statistic alone is enough to make me want to convince everyone I know in Minnesota to switch their RV tires to nitrogen. Here’s a great video on the many benefits of using nitrogen.

Are you interested in making the switch? Stop by our RV Dealership and let us know!

Camping Goes Glamping

Glamping – or glamorous camping – is the latest in RV trends as it offers a new perspective for the luxury camper while offering upscale conveniences. Glamping takes traditional camping to a whole new level while putting a little bit of glamour to the alternative of ‘roughing it.’ Glamping is perfect for those camp goers that desire more well-appointed accommodations, including luxury cabins, tree houses, and much more. Oh, and did I mention there are campgrounds that even offer the ladies manicures and facials?

The following is a list of locations in Minnesota that offer the camp goer an all-star glamping experience:

  • Arrowwood Resort – This luxury resort offers a wide variety of activities including a luxury evening cruise on Lake Darling.
  • Caribou Highlands Lodge – Get pampered by a certified massage therapist at The Superior Waters Spa and Wellness Center.
  • Madden’s on Gull Lake – This resort has three sand beaches stretching over a mile on the beautiful Gull Lake.
  • Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge – Tucked into the trees on this outdoor wonderland is the Fine Line Salon & Spa where you can enjoy a facial, massage or a body wrap.
  • Trapper’s Landing Lodge – Stay in these luxury units that face the shoreline of Leech Lake and take advantage of their outdoor pools and sauna.

Next time you are trying to convince those affluent travelers to hitch a ride on your RV you might want to show them how Glamping can surpass any five-star hotel experience. Know of any other Glamping type activities or have you yourself ever gone Glamping? Tell about your experience, we’d love to hear about it!

Stay Awake at the Wheel of Your RV Minnesota

Photo courtesy of TomandHelenLove

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) estimated that nearly two-thirds of adult Americans experience a sleeping problems several nights during the week, and 43 percent say they are so tired that it interferes with there daily activities. For RVers, this can be especially problematic considering we spend a lot of time driving down the road.

The U.S. National Highway Safety Administration estimates that fatigued drivers contribute to roughly 100,000 highway crashes and cause 1,500 deaths per year. It’s been said that people who have been awake for longer than 17 hours perform worse than someone with a .05 BAC! Hard to believe, isn’t it? Similar to alcohol, sleepiness slows reaction time, decreases awareness and impairs your judgment.

Though most people turn to caffeine when they are tired, this will only temporarily work. If you are sleep deprived and drink coffee, you could even experience brief four or five minute naps called “micro-sleeps”.  In those short five seconds, your RV can travel more than 100 yards at only 55 miles an hour.

The next time your about to head out on the road, please make sure you get a full night of rest before. If you ever feel drowsy, there’s no shame in pulling over at taking a brief nap.

The NSF also recommends the following:

  1. Learn to recognize and pay attention to the warning signs of fatigue. Take a break if you experience wandering or disconnected thoughts, yawn repeatedly, have difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open, or find yourself missing traffic signs or tailgating other drivers.
  2. Don’t count on tricks like turning up the radio or opening the window for fresh air to keep you awake—these things will help for only a short while.
  3. If you’re planning on driving a long distance, drive during the time of the day when you are normally awake.
  4. Also, if possible, have someone accompany you and talk with that person while driving. It’s a good idea for your passenger to stay awake, too, so that he or she can let you know if you are showing signs of sleepiness.
  5. On longer trips, schedule a break (in a safe area) every two hours or every 100 miles and stop sooner if you show any signs of sleepiness.

Use Toothpaste to Clean Your RV Headlights

Have you started to notice while driving your RV at night that your headlights aren’t shining as brightly as they used to? Or maybe you’ve noticed that your headlights have a yellowy film on them. Often times, RV owners think that the problem is on the inside of the lens and will end up spending hundreds on replacements.  However, this discoloration mostly occurs because the outside cover on your lamps has become oxidized and simply needs to be cleaned up.

While there are many different products you can spend a good amount of money on to fix this problem, I have found a solution that is quite effective and hardly costs me anything – and they call it toothpaste. Sounds a little strange, but believe it or not your toothpaste can be quite versatile.

Step 1 – Get your run of the mill, white toothpaste. Notice the word paste and not the gel kind.

Step 2 – Apply the toothpaste to the plastic cover with a dry cloth. and rub in a circular motion until you start to notice the grime wipe away.

Step 3 – Rinse with water, and wipe away any residual paste with a wet cloth.

And there you have it. Clean, clear covers and better visibility at night! If you’re still having visibility issues or the headlights still appear dirty, feel free to give us a call or swing by. We’ll be glad to help you figure out if it’s indeed time for a new set of headlights.

Educate Yourself on RV Fire Safety

This has been a hard summer on the states with record-breaking temperatures and fire outbreaks. Thousands of acres and hundreds of homes have been lost in the lower states due to these fires, so I thought it’d be fitting to talk about the importance of fire safety in our RVs.

Photo courtesy BransonMo.gov

Did you know that fires are one of top contributing factors to RV loss in the US? RVFireExtinguisher.com said that more 20,000 RV fires are reported every year in the U.S., and about 80 percent of them were in gas-powered motorhomes. So what is the best way to prevent  a fire in your RV Minnesota? RVFireExtinguisher.com suggests the following:

To prevent, identify and put out fires there are several things you should have in place. As well as having a working fire alarm and carbon monoxide and LPG gas detectors you should also have working fire extinguishers. In fact, it is against the law in the USA not to have a fire extinguisher in your RV. The National Fire Protection Agency makes it compulsory to have a 5 pound BC fire extinguisher near every exit of the RV. Most fires in RV’s are type A fires meaning that they start from common combustibles such as paper and wood, so it is recommended that you keep a type A fire extinguisher in your RV as well as the BC which is for electrical and gas fires. It is also best to have five fire extinguishers in your RV – one in the driver’s cab, one in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, one in your towed vehicle and also one in storage as a backup.

Having a fire extinguisher(s) in your RV won’t help anything, though, unless everyone on board knows how to use one. If you can only remember one thing when it comes to using an extinguisher, remember to P.A.S.S. Pull, Aim, Squeeze and sweep! Here’s a helpful video that will show you exactly how to do this. If you need any help making your RV fire-safe, or just need a new RV, you can always give us a call or drop in.