What to Look for in the Bathroom of Your Next New or Used Minnesota RV

2013 FIFTH WHEEL Winnebago Lite Five

So it’s time to start shopping for that new or pre-owned RV before the season gets full under way. Looks like you’ve got quite a few decisions to make in the near future!

When it comes to RV shopping, most people think of “the big picture”. What class RV, what manufacturer, what size, etc. There are, however, some other features you should take into consideration when deciding on the right Minnesota RV for you.

My favorite example is the bathroom. If you are planning on spending a lot of time on the road or becoming a full-timer, the bathroom features should be high on your list of things to check out in each of the RVs you are considering.  Here are some general tips you should keep in mind while RV shopping that will ensure you are happy with your bathroom.

  1. The shower stall needs to be 36 inches wide to give you room to turn around comfortably.
  2. The shower head needs to be mounted high enough so the spray is at least hitting you in the face, but not too high that it sprays over the shower door/curtain.  If it’s too low, you’ll have to duck down just to get your head under the water.
  3. A shower door is much better than a shower curtain.  You’ll always end up with water on the floor with a shower curtain.  And since RVs have small showers anyway, you’re pretty much guaranteed to make a mess of the room if you have a shower curtain.
  4. A 10-gallon water heater  will allow you to run the water continually. A 6-gallon will require you to wet down, shut the water off off, soap up, then turn the water back on to rinse off.  Believe me, if you’re living in your RV, the 10-gallon water heater is the way to go!
  5. If you live in the Great White North, moving your RV trailer in the winter when the temperatures are below freezing isn’t a good idea.  Cold plastic showers become brittle at those temperatures, and they will most likely crack.  I found out the hard way and had to replace the shower walls on my 37-foot fifth wheel trailer.

The next time you’re at the Pleasureland Minnesota RV dealership, be sure to check out the bathroom. Go ahead and climb on in the shower, sit on the toilet (may want to leave the cover on for this one) and get a feel for how much room you’ll have. After all, this is going to be your bathroom every time you’re on the road, so make sure it suits you.

 

[Source: TheFunTimesGuide.com]

Properly Store Your Minnesota RV Batteries During the Off Season

rv dealership minnesotaHave you ever stored your RV for the winter months and found that your batteries died or cracked apart while it was stored? Believe it or not, this is a common problem many RVers face when they decide to winterize their motorhomes for the winter. Especially those of us RVers who live in states where winters can be brutal.

I was watching the news last night and when the weather man said we’re were going to be in the single digits this week, I thought it’d be best to make sure all of you Minnesotans properly stored your RV’s batteries.

The majority of our RVs have parasitic drains in their electrical systems that come from various electrical components, like carbon monoxide and propane detectors, car stereos, circuit boards, LED lights, etc. Even if you have an OEM battery switch, some of these drains will remain on slowly draining the life of your battery as your RV is stored away.

This becomes an even bigger issue in freezing temperatures. Why? Because automotive batteries will freeze if they lose their charge, which can result in their splitting apart. And when batteries freeze, they are deader than dead. That’s right, a frozen battery is usually damaged beyond repair.

There are two ways to prevent this from happening when you store your RV. The first, is to make sure your batteries are charging .You can use shore power or a solar charging system. The second method, and much simpler in my opinion, is to remove the batteries all together and store them in a climate-controlled location, like your house.

If you’re not storing your RV in a climate-controlled area, and you haven’t already removed the batteries, you may want to get a move on. Those cold Minnesota temperatures are going to hit quick this week. If your battery has already cracked or drained, give Pleasureland RV a call or swing by one our four locations in Ramsey, St.Cloud, Willmar and Brainerd.

Thinking About Becoming A Full-Timer in Your Minnesota RV?

If you’ve been living in the RV world for awhile now, I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “full-timer“. You may even have several friends who are currently living this lifestyle. But for those of you who are thinking about buying a new or used RV in Minnesota for the first time, this may be a new concept to you. Whether you already own a motorhome, travel trailer or fifth wheel or you’re thinking about owning one and moving your life to road full-time, there are some things you need to consider first.

First, let’s define the term. Full-time RVing literally means living in your RV 365 days of the year. Your RV, travel trailer or fifth wheel is your permanent address. For many people, full-time rving simplifies their life by living more economically. If you’d rather spend all of your time at a national park or campground, then full-timing is definitely a great way to do this.

It’s been reported that there are more than a million people currently living on the road in their RVs. It used to be that retired couples made up the majority of the full-time population, but more and more families, couples and even singles are being to join the community.

As with all things, there are a few downsides to becoming a full-timer. Now that I think about it, these may even be considered as more advantages to some… it all depends on your lifestyle, really. The first downside is you’ll have to part with your current residence. This most likely includes a large chunk of your personal belongings. Odds are, your RV is a lot smaller compared to your home. If you’re used to spending a lot of time with your family and friends who aren’t in living in the RV world, you’ll have to get used to seeing less of them. This is something you’ll need to prepare yourself for before making the decision.

If full-time RVing is the choice for you, I have one huge recommendation: stay connected. With this advanced technological world we live in today, it’s extremely easy to keep in touch with your family, friends and the world. If you have any questions about this decision, or you’re in the market for a new or used RV to take on the road, come by and see us. Pleasureland RV is happy to help with all of your RV lifestyle needs.

Spice Up Your Minnesota RV Kitchen for Halloween!

Halloween is almost here, Minnesota RVers! How are you planning on spending the holiday? If you’re on the road during this time, you should check out the local scene of some nearby towns. Small towns tend to go all out for Halloween, and I’m sure you’ll be able to find some great festivities. You can also decorate your RV and give out candy to trick-or-treaters at the RV park. One thing you can do regardless of how you choose to spend Hallow’s eve is prepare some classic Halloween recipes! Here are two of my favorites for this time of year.

Popcorn Balls

Popcorn balls are a great treat for giving away.  The are super simple and easy to make! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter (no substitutes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • candy thermometer

First place the popcorn in a large bowl and set it aside. In a heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, corn syrup, butter and salt and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue cooking, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 270 degrees F. Then remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir until it looks evenly coated. Once it’s cooled enough for you to handle, mold the popcorn into your preferred size ball shape and set out on a cooking sheet.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Whether you like them sweet, salty or spicy, roasting pumpkin seeds make a perfect Halloween snack. You can also carve the pumpkin afterward and use it for decoration!

First you’ll need to buy a pumpkin(s) and cut a hole in the top around the trunk and dig out the inside of the pumpkin. Next, rinse the pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings. This step is easiest to do right after you’ve gutted the pumpkin so the pulp doesn’t dry.

Next, oil up a baking sheet (you can also use non-stick cooking spray) and spread the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on the sheet. Sprinkle with your desired spices and bake at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes or until the seeds toasted. Be sure to check on your seeds about 10 minutes in and stir them around on the baking sheet.

When they’ve finished baking, let them cool and store them in an air-tight container to enjoy for later! Here’s a great video on how to do this for you visual learners out there!

7 Tips For Backing Up and Parking Your New RV

I ran into a friend of mine who purchased his first RV, a 2002 Forest River Georgetown, at the beginning of the summer. I hadn’t seen him since he made the purchase, and I was dying to know how his first few RV trips had gone. Come to find out… he hadn’t taken his new RV out once! I couldn’t believe it! When I asked him why, he was a little bit reluctant to tell me, but I finally got it out of him. He didn’t know how to back-up and park the RV. At first, I was shocked that this had kept him from using his beautiful, new home-away-from-home. But the more I thought about it, I realized that he was probably not alone with this fear.

If you’re a first-time RV owner, getting out on the road can seem a little scary.  After all, RVs drive a lot differently than your average four-door sedan.  Whether it’s a motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer, there are several things you should know about backing up and parking. I found seven excellent and helpful tips from the Fun Times Guide that I shared with him and would now like to share with you.

7 Tips For Parking & Backing Up RVs

#1  Stop right where you are, when you reach the point where you no longer have clear vision of where you want to go. Never attempt to move into tight quarters, if you can’t see all possible hazards.  That is, unless you have someone positioned where they can see the obstructions and they can warn you.  Your assistant must be positioned so they can see both you and the possible dangerous situation

#2  Avoid places that are impossible to get into, or nearly so. Don’t blindly pull into an unfamiliar driveway, dead end street, or parking lot that doesn’t have a second exit.

When you pull into shopping areas, stay out near the perimeter and chose your parking spot so that you can simply pull ahead to leave. Don’t go down the aisles of parked cars — because you’re likely to be making a sharp corner in a confined spot, when you get to the end of the aisle.

 

#3  Learn to rely on your mirrors. An RV isn’t like the family sedan. Looking over your right shoulder and down through the center of your motorhome or tow vehicle to back up won’t work. You have to rely on the image in your side mirrors.

Straight vehicles, without trailers, are pretty easy to back up — because a properly adjusted mirror should give you a view of the side all the way back to the rear bumper. As long as you can see daylight between your RV and the obstruction, you’re good.

 

#4  Set up temporary parking & driving patterns, using safety cones or milk jugs. Head out to a closed supermarket parking lot and set up your cones like a driveway or camping spot. Practice backing into those spots until you can do it without hitting any cones.

 

#5 Practice blind side parking. If your luck is like mine, more often than not you’ll end up backing into a campsite from the blind side with your trailer.

The blind side is the right (passenger) side of your vehicle. It’s known as the blind side because at some point, as you’re turning, your tow vehicle will no longer be in a straight line with your trailer.  You will no longer be able to see what’s happening on at least one side of your RV. This is where an outside helper is essential to keep you posted on your progress.

A trick I’ve used to increase my range of vision when backing around corners is to readjust my side mirrors at a different angle as I start making my turn. Most motorhomes, and many trucks, have electrically adjustable mirrors that you can control with a switch from the driver’s seat. Adjusting the mirrors, as you proceed through the corner, will give you a clear view most of the way.

 

#6  Never rely on rear vision cameras, because they’re pointed down toward the ground behind you and don’t give you a broad enough picture. There are overhead obstacles to be concerned about too.  Low-hanging branches, building overhangs, even sagging power lines can hook your RV. By far the best way to back into a tight spot is to have a person (or even 2) outside watching all the angles. Maneuver with your windows down, and instruct your helper to talk loud enough so you can clearly hear them. A set of inexpensive walkie talkies can be very handy for just this purpose.

 

#7  Use extreme caution when backing a motorhome with a tow vehicle attached. In fact, backing up with a toad (car) on a tow bar more than a foot or so is impossible. Since the steering axle of the car being towed is free to track wherever it wants, as soon as you start backwards it will immediately turn the wheels, causing extreme pressure to be applied to the front end components of your vehicle in tow.

Damage can occur, because you will be skidding the car sideways, with the front wheels turned all the way to the stops. If you need to back up when towing a car, just unhook the car first.  After you’re situated where you can go forward again, re-hook the tow bar. It’s the only safe way to do it.

[The Fun Times Guide]

Something else that can seem tricky at first is backing into a camping spot (especially if the two spots next to you are both occupied). There is a little trick, though, that some of us RV vets use called The Scoop. Once you nail this technique down, you’ll be pulling into camp spots like a pro. Check out this little illustration video showing exactly how it’s done. If you need any help at all with anything RV-related, don’t hesitate to give us a call or swing by.

 

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.

RV ABCs: Class B Motorhome

Purchasing or renting an RV is a big decision, and it’s important that you fully understand the different types of classes of RVs. Last week, we talked about the advantages and disadvantages of Class A motorhomes. Maybe this was the type of RV for you, maybe it wasn’t! But as I’ve said before, there are so many types of RVs to choose from, and it’s important that you pick the one that is best suited for your lifestyle.

To recap, Class A motorhomes are the home-away-from-home, luxurious and large vehicles with top-of-the-line amenities. The major downfall though is the terrible fuel economy. Click here to read more about Class A motorhomes.

Today, let’s switch gears from the largest of the classes to the smallest. Class B RVs use a cargo ban as their base.  Storing these vehicles is much easier than a Class A and the difference in gas mileage is staggering. Let’s break down the advantages and disadvantages of this class.

Class B Motorhomes 

2008 Gulf Stream BT Cruiser

Advantages:

  • Many Class B RVs will fit right into a standard garage.
  • They make a great second family vehicle and the mileage will be quite a bit better than with Class A and Class C motorhomes.
  • Parking won’t be much of an issue since the typical Class B RV can fit into a mall parking spot.

Disadvantages:

  • You can forget the master bedroom. Most will have sleeping quarters provided by dropping a table or folding a couch. With the planned occupancy being comfortable for 2, even the ones that claim to sleep 4 will be cramped.
  • Many Class B RVs have such small interiors that if you turn around real fast, you’ll bump into yourself.
  • Everything is small in a Class B RV. Space is limited, so things like bathrooms and showers are squeezed into tight corners.
  • For entertainment, you might have a 9-inch TV and a car radio for a stereo. Life can be cozy for 2, any more than that and you’ll be tripping over each other. 

This RV class is perfect if you are looking for weekend get-a-ways or short road trips. Still undecided? Stick around. Next week, we’ll dive into a Class C.

RV ABCs: Class A Motorhome

When it comes to buying or renting an RV, there are many things you should consider. First and foremost, you need to decide what type of RV you are looking for. RVs come in all shapes and sizes and each class has its respective advantages and disadvantages. Here at Pleasureland RV, we want to make sure you find the perfect fit. So let’s take it back to elementary school and learn the ABCs of RVs starting with Class A Motorhomes.

Class A Motorhome

Description: Class A Motorhomes are big, square and boxy and are considered the most luxurious of all RVs due to their top-of-the-line amenities. You’ll often here people refer to Class A Motorhomes as their home-away-from-home.

2012 Winnebago Vista

Advantages: Class A RVs can be as long as 45 feet. With all of this space inside, they’re usually equipped with a rear master suite including a full bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower. The water closet may be in its own separate room, and there’s probably a washer/dryer unit on board to handle the laundry.

Today’s Class A motorhomes tend to have multiple slideouts. Some can expand to a width of over 14 feet. Large flat screen HDTV’s, surround sound systems, even dishwashers and ice machines are common options. The list of upgrades and options is almost endless.

Basement storage can swallow enough supplies to keep you on the road permanently. These are great traveling machines that let you drive comfortably all day and sleep comfortably all night so you can get up the next morning to do it all over again.

Disadvantages: For Class A RVs, fuel economy is a big one. With their boxy and large profile, you’ll be spending big dollars to keep a Class A motorhome rolling down the highway.

Once you get to your destination and set up camp, you’re pretty much stuck there. Unless you tow a car for local transportation, you’ll be staying put at camp. That is unless you want to put everything away, roll up the awning, and suck in the slide-outs so you can motor on down the road again.

If you’re timid about driving something this large, keep in mind that close area maneuvering is a learned skill.

[The Fun Times Guide]

 

So, is the Class A Motorhome for you? Maybe yes, maybe no. Stay tuned for the next two letters of the RV alphabet.

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]