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]

 

Need an RV Propane Safety Refresher?

It’s time to get back on the road again!  And while people who drive RVs tend to concentrate more on what’s going on under the hood, making sure that you propane system is working properly is very important.  Because of the volatile nature of the propane system, it is necessary for you to be thorough so you can be sure that you and your family are safe!  Check out these tips I found that should be helpful.

Checking For Leaks

This should be done periodically, between annual inspections. There are portable leak detectors than you can buy for this very purpose. Or you can simply spray the connections with soapy water. If you see bubbles, you’ve got a leak. Immediately turn off the main supply valve until the leak has been repaired by a professional.

Know Thy Cylinder

If you’re using DoT cylinders, make sure to always transport them in an upright position, secured to something in the vehicle. While there are plastic rings designed specifically for this purpose (see video below), you can just as easily use a milk crate or a cardboard box to keep it from rolling around.

Also keep in mind that DoT tanks are good for 12 years after their manufacture date, and must be re-certified for use every five years after that. Don’t rely on the propane seller to check the date, even though they are supposed to.

Before You Go

Here’s a quick list of things to check out before you get on the road:

– Check that exterior vents are clear of sticks and debris

– Inspect propane system for rust, corrosion, or wear and tear

– Make sure you have properly installed carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers!

In the Rare Event of a Leak

Ok, it could happen. And if it does, here’s what you do:

1.  If you smell gas, leave immediately, only stopping to put out any pilot lights or smoking materials.

2.  Leave the door of your RV open to air out.

3.  Turn off the supply valve on the propane tank.

4.  Call 911 or the local fire department.

5.  Do not turn the system back on until it has been repaired and inspected by a trained professional.

I hope that these tips will assist you before the next time you head out on your next RV adventure.  Have you ever had a leak or problems in your RV?  Let us know by sharing a comment or stopping by Pleasureland RV.

[Source: Propane Pro]

 

30 RV Money Saving Tips!

With the RV season in full swing, I thought it would be helpful for us to share some ideas on how to save some money on your RV trips.  Hopefully some of these tips will allow you to keep a little more money in your pocket after your next trip.

  1. Buy a local newspaper when checking into a campground or RV park and check it for coupons, bargains, and savings before going out to shop for groceries.
  2. Don’t buy all of your groceries at supermarkets. Buy food and other necessities at thrift bakeries, discount stores, dollar stores, church and charity bazaars, flea markets, roadside fruit and veggie stands, canning plants, and u-pick orchards.
  3. Shop at a local farmer’s market and chat with the folks selling the fruits and veggies. Pick up something “new to you” and ask them how to prepare it—then go back to your RV and try it.
  4. When in a campground connect to “shore power” and use THEIR electricity, not YOUR propane, to heat your water and run your refrigerator. Water heaters in particular consume considerable amounts of propane.
  5. If you’re staying in a metered park and paying for the electricity, you can determine which energy source is most economical—paying for the electricity or using your propane. Multiply the kilowatt rate being charged by 20 and compare that to the price of a gallon of propane.
  6. When eating out, look for 2-for-1 coupons and early bird specials.
  7. Eat out at lunch instead of dinner.
  8. Eat in. Cook your family favorites in the convenience of an RV and avoid the higher costs of eating out. Better yet, cook over your campfire!
  9. Check the local paper for free community events including concerts in the park, lectures, plays, etc.
  10. Attend festivals, fairs, and parades. Tourism offices and RV magazines offer calendars of events.
  11. Visit the public library and check out a few movies, make some popcorn, set up the TV outside the RV and have a date night or family gathering under the stars.
  12. Take free tours of state capitol buildings.
  13. Visit churches, cathedrals, and architectural sites.
  14. Visit museums on their free days—most have at least one a month.
  15. Take a factory tour—sometimes they’ll include bonus samples.
  16. Try local wineries for wine tasting and tours.
  17. Check out cheese factories, breweries, and farms that offer tasting tours.
  18. Pack a picnic and spend an afternoon at a local park relaxing, eating, talking, reading, exploring, daydreaming…did I mention relaxing?
  19. Window shop a fancy part of town. End the afternoon with a cup of coffee, tea, or other refreshing beverage in said “fancy part of town.”
  20. Follow the trails of the pioneer settlers as traveled the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri to the Pacific Oregon.
  21. Discover the history and charm of America’s historic routes such as the Ohio and Erie Canalway in Ohio; Historic National Road in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia; and Historic Route 66 in ArizonaCalifornia, Illinois, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
  22. Explore Americas Scenic Byways such as the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway in Oregon, Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia, and Natchez Trace Parkway in AlabamaMississippi, andTennessee.
  23. Check out the travel section of local bookstores for guidebooks on historical, cultural, and scenic travels.
  24. Visit the birthplace and memorial libraries of presidents such as the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts and George Herbert Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas.
  25. Visit the birthplace and homes of other famous people such as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida.
  26. Take up bird watching.
  27. Explore the public parks and gardens around the continent such as the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and Stanley Park in Vancouver.
  28. Explore the beauty of the outdoors by taking a walk along a river or lake or hiking into the wilderness.
  29. Take advantage of regional bargains. Each area of the country has bargains you can take advantage of as you RV.
  30. Take a walk in nature—breathe deep, walk softly, and observe your surroundings.

While all of these tips might not be applicable to your RV vacation, take the principles that are above to heart and you will certainly be able to keep a little more money in your pocket.

Let us know what you think of this list by leaving a comment below!

[Source: RV.net]

 

Minnesota State Water Trails Interactive Map

As you already know, Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes.  Within all these waterways, you can understand how there could be some difficulty discerning one from the other as well as the tributaries and rivers that connect this wonderland of water.  In comes a new online interactive map to help residents and visitors easily navigate throughout Minnesota.  This new wonderful tool will help all aspects of MN outdoors enjoyment.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released a new online interactive map to help people explore the Minnesota state water trail system, which offers 4,400 miles for canoeing, kayaking, boating and camping along rivers and in Lake Superior.

The interactive map includes all 32 designated water trails, in addition to public water accesses and campsites along each route. The map makes it easy to zoom, search, and pan and to find and print information about facilities.

“Minnesota is the state of paddling,” said Mel Baughman, president of the Minnesota Canoe Association. “We are fortunate to have the premier water trails system in the nation. There is a DNR water trail within about an hour of almost anywhere in the state. These new interactive maps will make it easier for paddlers and boaters to plan outings and find new adventures.” The new digital map format provides paddlers and boaters with an opportunity to create a customized map and to take advantage of the connections between water trails and other public lands, such as state parks, state trails, wildlife management areas, and state forests. DNR still distributes free paper maps as well.

The interactive maps and other trip planning resources can be found atmndnr.gov/watertrails.

This could be a very useful tool in planning your next RV getaway!  Let us know what you think about the new interactive map by leaving a comment below!

[Source: The Pilot-Independent]

National Parks to Offer Free Admission Days!

What’s better than getting out on the road in your RV?  How about a free stay at a National Park!  The National Park Service has announced that they will offer a couple free days at a National Park this summer.  Check out the press release and remember to mark these dates on your RV calendar:

The U.S. Park Service will celebrate the first day of summer with free admission to all national parks on June 21. Many families schedule their RV trips and vacations around free admission days or use the free days to explore lesser-known national park sites. Admission to national parks will also be free on September 24, National Public Lands Day, and on Veterans Day weekend November 11 to 13.

With budget worries causing several states like California to close some or all of their state parks, RVing families are taking the opportunity to explore the country’s 394 national parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, recreational areas and more. Last year, more than 280 million people visited America’s national parks, from the tiny .02 mile Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial inPennsylvania, the nation’s smallest park, to Alaska’s massive 13.2 million mile Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the largest U.S. park.

If you are planning RV vacations to multiple national parks this year, the $80 annual America the Beautiful pass is a good value, providing a year of free admission to national parks and federal recreation areas. Seniors (age 62 and over) can obtain a lifetime pass for just $10. The senior pass also provides a 50% discount on certain amenities such as camping, swimming, boat launch fees and other special services. U.S. residents with disabilities are eligible to receive a lifetime America the Beautiful pass at no charge. Find details at www.nps.gov.

Do you plan on taking advantage of either the free days or the ‘America the Beautiful’ passes?  Leave us a comment below and share with the rest of the RV readers!

[Source: RVT.com]

Do You Always Drive Around With Your Trailer Hitch?

Have you ever heard anything about trailer hitches being hazardous on your truck when not in use? Well, apparently the answer is a resounding yes!  The following video will show how it can affect your driving.  Do you keep your hitch on your truck all the time?

When you think about it, hitches are used to pull boats, RV trailers, jet skis, work trailers and more.  Logic would stand to show that many people have hitches on their cars.  Let’s find out why it can be dangerous.

Roughly 40 percent of vehicles on the highway have a receiver hitch (sometimes referred to as a trailer hitch). Many times when a vehicle is finished towing, the ball mount is just not removed from the hitch. This result’s in a collision from the rear there’s a 22 percent increased chance of a whiplash injury to passengers. Learn more in this one minute video. [RV Videos]

While I had thought about hitches sticking out and the accidents that they may cause, that statistic really makes me think of the importance of removing your trailer hitch when not in use.  Check out the video below for some more information.

 

8 Quick Tips for the RV Season

Before you head back out on the road in your RV for the season, there are a many things you need to do and check.  Safety is always very important and going through your checklist is a good way to be prepared.  I came across an article with a few such tips for your viewing pleasure:

Clean it up and air it out. Open all roof vents and windows and then remove any pest control items you may have placed during winter storage. It is also a good idea to clean or replace air conditioner filters.

Check for damage.

  • Look for deterioration of seals around doors, roof vents and windows and reseal as necessary.
  • Check awnings for damage, mildew and insects.
  • Examine the hitch system for wear, loose bolts and cracks.

Change the engine oil and spark plugs. Many manufacturers recommend changing the oil and filter prior to storage and again in the spring. During storage, oil can separate and cause condensation buildup that may harm the engine. While replacing spark plugs, be sure to set the gaps to the recommended manufacturer’s setting.

Inspect the engine.

  • Check the battery.
  • Check the cooling and fuel systems.
  • Drain and flush the entire system of the nontoxic antifreeze you used before placing the RV into storage and replace with the proper coolant.
  • Check for cracks in hoses and fan belts and replace if necessary.
  • Replace fuel filter, and examine the fuel lines and fittings for cracks and leaks.
  • Change the transmission fluid and filter.
  • Flush the water system.

Inspect the tires. Check for cracks, worn treads and correct tire pressure.

Check all lights. Make sure headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are all functioning properly.

Prepare for a safe season. After checking all mechanical components, it’s always a good idea to inspect your safety equipment. This means installing new batteries in flashlights and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and restocking the first-aid kit.

Check your coverage. After making these routine checks, don’t forget to review your insurance policy to make sure it meets your current needs.

Just like you we are really excited for the upcoming season, but make sure your RV is in tip top shape before heading out on the road.  While these tips are a good start, make sure you do your due diligence.  Is there anything that you can think of that can be added to the list?  Leave a comment below and share it with us!!

[Source: Village Soup]

A VW Towing an RV?!?

When we think of a fifth wheel trailer being pulled by an automobile, we usually think of a truck or SUV.  However, that is not always the case, as seen in this video where a VW Bug pulling a smaller trailer.  If this was the only aspect to the video, it would be interesting.  But with the added value of getting 20 miles to the gallon and being able to turn on a 360 degree radius makes this car concoction nothing short of amazing!!
Check out the video and let us know what you think!!