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.

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!

Vintage RV Group Holds Summer Rally in Minnesota

Photo Courtesy of RedwoodFallsGazette.com

One of my favorites sites for getting the latest on RVs is RV News Magazine’s website. I recently became addicted to their new section called “RV News Digest” which is where I found a story about a vintage RV group who recently met in Redwood Falls, MN, for its summer rally. The group, named Greater Midwest Classics,  is made up of people who share a passion for the General Motors RVs manufactured between 1973-78. Members reside in North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois. There’s even a member from Australia! These folks know all there is to know about the history of these RVs and each have a story of there own about how they came to own one (read the full story from the Redwood Falls Gazette).

Reading about these vintage RVs got me wondering about what the very first RV might have looked like. As I surfed the Internet, I found a brilliant montage YouTube of vintage RVs dating back all the way to the thirties! Check it out!

Are you a proud, vintage RV owner? Come by and show it off!

 

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]

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]