RV Planet | Grape Creek RV Park | San Angelo, Texas | Rv Parks

Top 5 Bunkhouse Class A Motorhomes

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If your family is ready for something that will make vacations together more luxurious and accessible than ever, you won’t want to miss the bunkhouse class A motorhomes for sale today. Many families choose class A motorhomes for their RV because they are easy to drive, park, and provide high-quality interiors that help you feel right at home. Learn more about five of our favorite family-friendly class A motorhomes below.

2021 Forest River RV Berkshire XL 40C Motor Home Class A

This Forest River Berkshire XL 40C class A diesel motorhome is on sale today, and you could save over $98,000 on your purchase! Take home luxury at your fingertips with the bath and a half design that makes it easy for everyone to get ready in the morning. The bunk beds are equipped with Teddy-Bear mattresses and feature 22″ LED TVs!

Additional Features:

  • Bath and a Half
  • Bunk Beds
  • Fireplace
  • Hide-A-Bed-Sofa
  • Stainless Steel Dishwasher
  • Dresser Base with Full Wardrobe
  • Fireplace
  • Stackable Washer/Dryer
  • Three 15K BTU A/C
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
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There is plenty of space for entertaining your guests at the campground.

2021 Jayco Alante 29F Motor Home Class A

You can sleep up to seven in the Jayco Alante 29F class A motorhome available now for order.  This incredible luxury motorhome is available for under $150,000 so that you can get your dream RV with ease!  Call in love with the full-wall slide that opens up your living area and provides plenty of space for all your guests and family.

Additional Features:

  • Bunk Beds
  • Full-Wall Slide
  • Legless Dinette Table
  • Countertop Extension
  • Double Entry Bath
  • Outside LED TV
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There will be plenty of room for your family to enjoy time together.

2022 Thor Motor Coach Challenger 37DS Motor Home Class A

Be one of the first to see inside the 2022 Thor Motor Coach Challenger 37DS class A motorhomes when you take the video tour of this unit.  The features you’ll love include two full bathrooms and three slides to give you optimal space.  The over-the-cab bunk is ideal for additional sleeping space or storage.

Additional Features:

  • Two Full Bathrooms
  • Bunk Beds
  • Countertop Extension
  • Inclining RV King Bed
  • Cab Coffee Table
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You’ll be sure to get a great night’s sleep every time you travel.

2022 Tiffin Motorhomes Open Road Allegro 36 UA Motor Home Class A

Whenever you travel in this 2022 Tiffin Motorhomes Open Range Allegro 36 UA class A motorhome, you’ll find a motorhome that will make you feel right at home. You’ll love getting into bed at night, thanks to the 72″ x 80″ king-size memory foam mattress, which ensures you always get a great night’s sleep.  The outdoor entertainment center allows you to enjoy every moment of the beautiful weather without missing the big game.

Additional Features:

  • Bunk Beds
  • Bath and a Half
  • Exterior TV
  • Exterior Flat Panel TV
  • Shower with a Seat
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Find your next adventure today!

2021 Forest River RV Georgetown 7 Series 36K7 Motor Home Class A

Give your family plenty of space during all of your adventures when you travel in one of the Forest River Georgetown 7 Series 36K7 class A motorhomes available now.  Place your order today, and you’ll have tons of options to choose from to ensure your Georgetown class A motorhome is designed to meet your every need.  Enjoy features like the two full bathrooms, king bed in the master bedroom, and panoramic windshield.

Additional Features:

  • Master Suite
  • Two Full Baths
  • 18 Cu. Ft. Refrigerator
  • Bunk Beds
  • Convection Microwave
  • Drop-Down Power Queen Bunk
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You’ll love traveling in this beautiful, luxury motorhome.

Find more great deals on RVs for sale at RVingPlanet.com.

5 Best Class C Motorhomes for Long-Term Stays

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Traveling the country in your very own RV is a dream for many of us; that’s why we’re highlighting some of our favorite class C motorhomes on sale today. You’ll love these incredible RVs that are ideal for couples or families that are craving a way to get away. Learn more about the best class C motorhomes available for long-term stays below. 

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Learn more about this Tiffin Wayfarer class C diesel motorhome today.

Dynamax Isata 3 24FW

Get an incredible deal on this Dynamax Isata 3 24FW class C motorhome, a model year closeout with a huge price reduction. You’ll find features inside that are ideal for your adventure, like the full wall slide that gives you maximum livable space. The queen-sized bed in the rear gives you the perfect space to rest and recuperate after a day at the campground. 

Additional Features:

  • Full-Wall Slide
  • Sleeps Three
  • Shower Skylight
  • Queen-Size Bed

Coachmen RV Freelander 22XG Ford 350

If you are planning a vacation for your family of six to visit some of our National Parks, you’ll want this Coachmen Freelander 22XG Ford 350 class C motorhome to get you there. This unit features an over-the-cab bunks that the kids will love. You’ll enjoy having additionally living space, thanks to the Murphy bed. 

Additional Features:

  • Value Leader Unit
  • Murphy Bed
  • Bunk Over Cab
  • J-Lounge Dinette
  • 32″ TV

Tiffin Motorhomes Wayfarer 25 RW

If luxury on the road is what you crave, turn your attention to the Tiffin Wayfarer 25 RW class C motorhome on sale today.  You can travel with your family of five or as a couple seeking adventure with this easy-to-drive RV.  The 3.0L V6 Turbo Diesel engine is set in a 10.25″ Mercedes-Benz chassis with features like ergonomic heated seats and in-dash navigation to make the drive easier and more enjoyable.

Additional Features:

  • Rear Bathroom
  • Murphy Bed
  • Bedroom TV
  • Countertop Extension
  • Bedroom Wardrobe
  • Bunk Over Cab

Jayco Greyhawk 27U

You’ll feel right at home no matter where you find yourself in the Jayco Greyhawk 27U class C motorhome.  This motorhome features three slide-outs to maximize your livable space and features a walk-around king bed with a large wardrobe in the bedroom.  The onboard bathroom is complete with 30″ x 30″ shower, foot-flushing toilet, and a sink.  This unit truly is the ideal couple’s coach.

Additional Features:

  • Walk-Around King Bed
  • 18′ Electric Awning
  • 30″ x 36″ Shower
  • Abundant Interior Storage
  • Countertop Extension
  • Double Slides
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The perfect place to spend your vacations.

Thor Motor Coach Four Winds 24F

Another family RV that you’ll love for your long-term vacations is the Thor Motor Coach Four Winds 24F class C motorhome with a spacious over-the-cab bunk.  The kitchen features a flip-up countertop extension, pantry, and a three-burner range for making all your signature dishes.  You’ll love the full-wall slide that gives you plenty of room for everyone.

Additional Features:

  • Full-Wall Slide
  • Bedroom 12V Outlet
  • Ceiling Ducted A/C
  • Electric Stabilizing System
  • Double Door Refrigerator

Find more class C motorhomes for sale near you when you shop at RVingPlantet.com today!

7 Best Luxury Fifth Wheels for Memorial Day Camping

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Memorial Day weekend is coming up fast, and that means you’ll probably be planning a trip to your favorite campground.  If you’re looking for a way to spend your holiday in luxury, enjoying the company of friends and family, don’t miss these deals on the best luxury fifth wheel for Memorial Day camping.

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DRV Luxury Suites Mobile Suites 36 RKSB

Find the perfect luxury RV for your needs inside the DRV Luxury Suites Mobile Suites 36RKSB fifth wheel on sale now!  This unit provides a private front bedroom with a king bed, a large kitchen, and a spacious living room.  You’ll easily sleep four or use it as a comfortable and spacious couple’s coach.

Price: $113,995

Additional Features:

  • Front Private Bedroom
  • Kitchen Island
  • Stainless Steel Appliances
  • Ceiling Fan
  • Two Sofas
  • Crown Molding
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Find more DRV Luxury Suites Mobile Suites for sale on RVing Planet today.

KZ Durango Gold G366FBT

Whether you’re looking to entertain guests during the holiday weekend or spend some time with the ones you love, this KZ Durango Gold G366FBT fifth wheel makes it possible.  You’ll love the king tilting bed in the master suite and the private bathroom that will make it easy to get ready for the day.  The kids and your guests will have access to the half-bath off the living room and kitchen.

Price: $69,988

Additional Features:

  • Front Full Bath
  • Half Bath
  • Legless Table w/Chairs
  • Kitchen Island
  • Hide-a-Bed Sofa
  • Fireplace

CrossRoads RV Redwood 3951MB

Take your personal spa wherever you go when you travel in a CrossRoad Redwood 3951MB fifth wheel, which provides a massive bathroom with a walk-in shower that will make you feel right at home. You’ll love the dual-vanity sink for getting ready in the mornings and the large linen cabinet and medicine cabinet for toiletries. You can enjoy the fireplace on chilly evenings or catch your favorite shows in the living room on the extra-large LED TV!

Price: $119,950

Additional Features:

  • Walk-In Shower
  • Dual Vanity Sink
  • Fireplace
  • Front Living
  • Kitchen Island
  • Bath and a Half
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Find more features you’ll love about this luxury fifth wheel!

Forest River RV RiverStone Legacy 383MB

Make your next adventure the beginning of something that will last a lifetime with this Forest River RiverStone Legacy 383MB fifth wheel. You’ll have space for sleeping four, and the king bed in the master bedroom will ensure you always get a great nights’ sleep. You’ll love the pull-out dinette for serving friends and family during your time at the campground.

Price: $119,000

Additional Features:

  • Dual-Sink Vanity
  • Pull-Out Dinette
  • Fireplace
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen Island
  • Bedroom Bench Seat

Grand Design Momentum 376THS Toy Hauler

Make movie nights with your family better than ever before with the Grand Design Momentum 376THS toy hauler fifth wheel.  This unit provides a set of theater seats that provide heated massage and LED lighted cupholders.  The below-floor garage gives you plenty of space for hauling your campground essentials, so you’ll be able to take all your toys with ease.

Price: $122,701

Additional Features:

  • Master Suite
  • Separate Living Room
  • Theater Seating
  • Kitchen Island
  • Outside Kitchen
  • 9′ 9″ Below-Floor Garage
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Get more out of your vacations in this fifth wheel.

DRV Luxury Suites Mobile Suites SANTE FE

If you love to cook delicious dinners for your guests at the campground, this DRV Luxury Suites Mobile Suites SANTE FE fifth wheel provides a gorgeous kitchen that you’ll love.  The solid-surface countertops give you plenty of space for prepping and serving your signature dishes.  The desk makes it easy to take work on the road.

Price: $173,024

Additional Features:

  • Rear Entertainment Center
  • L-Shaped Sofa
  • Residential Recliners
  • Dual-Sink Vanity
  • Large Pantry
  • Kitchen Island
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Plenty of space for entertaining at the campground.

Heartland Landmark 365 Daytona

If you love to kick back and take it easy at the campground, this Heartland Landmark 365 Daytona fifth wheel provides just what you need.  You’ll find the outdoor entertainment center is perfect for spending your time enjoying the weather without missing a moment of your teams’ games!  Additionally, the cordless Dyson vacuum provides makes it easy to keep your RV clean and tidy during your stay.

Price: $150,204

Additional Features:

  • Kitchen Island
  • Tilting King Bed
  • Walk-In Closet
  • Convection Microwave
  • Fireplace
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You’ll love having this space for entertaining.

Shop more luxury RVs for sale near you at RVingPlanet.com today!

2 Easy Camping Recipes

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Spice up your spring camping cookbook with these delicious and easy camping recipes!  As a full-time RVing mom, I’m always looking for meals that are filling, easy to make, and healthy.  Check out these three go-to meals for our lunches and dinners at the campground.

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Campfire Stuffed Pepper Hash

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 snacking peppers
  • 4 large peppers – green are most commonly used, but we prefer red, yellow, and orange peppers in our home.
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey – you can use beef, but turkey tastes just a good and is a lighter option
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup cooked rice – use brown if you want a more hearty meal.
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste — I recommend about an 1/8 teaspoon each
  • Colby Jack cheese for topping

Instructions: 

  1. Wash all produce.
  2. If cooking over a fire, spread the coals out to give you a medium-high heat and set the iron skillet on the cooking grate. Dice the onion and snacking peppers and add to the skillet with the ground turkey. Cook until no longer pink. Drain the excess oil.
  3. Add the cooked rice to the skillet and stir in garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper until thoroughly coated. 
  4. Cut the tops off of the large peppers and remove all seeds. Slice into fourths and set aside. We’ll leave these uncooked for extra crunch!
  5. Spoon the filling onto the fresh cut pepper slices and top with shredded cheese! You can even add sour cream for dipping or a squeeze of lime for some zing!

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Campfire Walking Tacos

Ingredients:

  • Individual bags of chips — I recommend the following flavors:
    • Doritos Nacho Cheese
    • Fritos
    • Hint of Lime Corn Chips
  • 1lb Ground turkey
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cups cooked Spanish rice
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded fiesta blend cheese

Instructions:

  1. Wash all produce.
  2. Dice onion and roughly chop tomato.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion and ground turkey.  Cook until no pink remains, drain, and add the taco seasoning packet, setting aside two teaspoons of seasoning. Removed from the heat and set aside.
  4. Heat the beans in a pan, bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
  5. Cook the rice and add the remaining taco seasoning to finished rice.  Stir until thoroughly coated.
  6. Open your bags of chips along the side and top with the meat, beans, rice, lettuce, tomato, and other ingredients to your heart’s content.

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If you’re looking for the perfect RV to take your family to the campground this summer, check out the hundreds of RVs for sale at RVingPlanet.com!

4 Great Travel Trailers for Couples in 2021

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Start your next adventure off on the right foot when you take home one of the many incredible travel trailers for sale near you!  When you shop on RVingPlanet.com, you’ll be able to browse hundreds of RVs with features like outdoor kitchens, dual entry, and more!  Check out our favorite deals on travel trailers for couples in 2021 below.

Gulf Stream RV Ameri-Lite Ultra Lite 218MB Travel Trailer

This Gulf Stream Ameri-Lite Ultra Lite 218MB travel trailer is available for just $21,419, which makes it an incredible deal for a couple who loves to adventure. The queen bed ensures you always get a great night’s sleep, while the multiple wardrobes ensure you’ll have plenty of space for your clothing and camping gear. Enjoy the energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the RV and pump up your favorite tunes with ease on the Bluetooth radio!

Additional Features:

  • Pass-Through Storage
  • 3-Year Warranty
  • Sleeps Three
  • Pleated Shades
  • 13,500 BTU A/C
  • Microwave
  • Digital TV Antenna w/ Power Booster
  • 4 Stabalizer Jacks
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A great place to spend your vacations.

Coachmen RV Apex Ultra-Lite 211RBS Travel Trailer

Inside the Coachmen Apex Ultra-Lite 211RBS travel trailer, you’ll find an island queen bed with storage underneath. The single slide-out provides additional interior space and a sofa whenever you wish to kick back and relax. You’ll love the closet by the entryway that gives you a place to store hiking boots, coats, and more!

Additional Features:

  • Full Bathroom
  • LED TV
  • Pass-Through Storage
  • Three Burner Cooktop
  • Two Bar Stools
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Your dream getaway awaits!

Forest River RV Wildwood 22RBS Travel Trailer

If you hate making trips to the campground bathhouse, you’ll love the full bathroom in this Forest River Wildwood 22RBS travel trailer on sale today.  This floorplan gives you a spacious bathroom where you can enjoy a hot shower before bed.  The chaise lounge gives you additional sleeping space for guests, and the private master bedroom will ensure you always get a great night’s sleep.

Additional Features:

  • Walk-In Shower
  • 8′ Chaise Lounge
  • Oversized Refrigerator
  • Walk-In Pantry
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This easy-to-tow travel trailer is just what you need for your vacations.

Keystone RV Bullet 211BHSWE Travel Trailer

If you love to take vacations with just you and your spouse, but you’d like the option to keep the grandkids or host guests, this Keystone Bullet 211BHSWE travel trailer is a perfect fit.  The rear double bunks are large enough to sleep up to two adults each and provide a spacious storage area when they are not in use.  You’ll enjoy having a large pantry with plenty of space for all your ingredients and snacks.

Additional Features:

  • Double-Size Bunks
  • Outdoor Kitchen
  • Pass-Through Storage
  • Pantry
  • Queen-Size Bed
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Find your next great escape in this Keystone Bullet travel trailer.

The open road is yours to claim when you have one of these great travel trailers in tow!  Find more deals on RVs for sale near you when you shop on RVingPlanet.com.

4 A-Frame Travel Trailers for Romantic Getaways

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Find your dream getaway in one of these easy-to-tow A-Frame travel trailers on sale now. A-Frames are the perfect combination of travel trailers and expandable trailers for couples. They offer lightweight chassis’ with functional features to provide you with everything you need to make the most of your time off. Learn more about four of our favorite A-Frame floorplans below.

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Find more A-Frames for sale at a dealer near you!

2021 ALiner Expedition Permanent Bed A-Frames

When you take home one of the 2021 ALiner Expedition Permanent Bed A-Frames, you’ll have the option of adding a wet bath to your floorplan.  This floorplan is the largest ALiner model and features a spacious living and kitchen area with a 40″ x 80″ dinette.  The two-burner stove makes it easy to cook for two at the campground.  Find more ALiner Expedition A-Frame floorplans on order today.

Additional Features:

  • Queen Bed
  • Dinette Storage
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
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The spacious bed will ensure you awake, feeling rested and ready for the day.

2021 ALiner Ranger 12 Sofa Bed A-Frames

Pack everything you need for a romantic weekend for two in this ALiner Ranger 12 Sofa Bed A-Frame.  The large storage compartment allows you to bring along camp chairs, a hammock, and anything else you need to make your campsite feel like home.  Additionally, you’ll love the dual skylights that let in tons of natural light during the day and make it easy to star-gaze at night.  The kitchen offers a refrigerator, two-burner stove, and a sink so that you can make meals for two with ease. Find more ALiner Ranger A-Frame floorplans on order near you!

Additional Features:

  • Rear Sofa Bed
  • Fan-Tastic Fan
  • Dinette
  • Outside Shower
  • 56″ x 76″ Bed
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You’ll love having an indoor cooking space for quick breakfasts or lunches.

2021 Forest River RV Flagstaff Hard Side High Wall Series 21TBHW

Travel light in this 20′ 10″ 2021 Forest River Flagstaff Hard Side High Wall Series 21TBHW A-Frame travel trailer. This floorplan makes an ideal romantic getaway for two or a convenient option for traveling with your pals on your next fishing trip. The two twin beds easily convert into a king bed so that you can customize your space to fit your needs. The sliding EZ Reach Trunk is perfect for storing all your camping gear while you’re on the road or at the campground. Learn more about the Forest River Flag Staff Hard Side High Wall Series A-Frame floorplans available today.  

Additional Features:

  • Solar Panel
  • Residential Flush Toilet
  • Booth Dinette
  • Front Dormer
  • Gas Grill w/Worktable
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Make the most of your vacations.

2021 ALiner LXE Std. Model A-Frames

No matter where your travels take you this season, the 2021 ALiner LXE Std. Model A-Frames for sale near you are just what you need to get out and explore. The 80″ x 76″ sofa bed ensures you’ll always get a great night’s sleep and easily converts into seating space during the day. You’ll enjoy the freedom to make delicious meals inside, thanks to the refrigerator, two-burner stove, and microwave. And right now, you can save over $2,700 on your purchase! Find more ALiner LXE Std. Model A-Frame floorplans on order from a dealer near you!

Additional Features:

  • Wet Bath
  • Two Storage Seats
  • Fan-Tastic Fan
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This wet bath ensures you’ll never have to set foot in the campground bathhouse again!

Find more A-Frames for sale on RVingPlanet.com and shop dealers near you!  You’ll find the perfect RV for your vacations for two in no time.

Grape Creek RV Park | San Angelo, Texas | RV Parks San Angelo Tx

May 2021 Festivals and Fun Events in Texas

It's been a long time, but things are finally beginning to open back up and fairs and festivals are returning to Texas! While the number of fun events is nowhere near the 165+ monthly events that existed before the pandemic, it's a start! Check out our updated list of festivals and fun events going on in May 2021 across the Lone Star State...

How To Buy An RV In 2021 (with NIRVC's Angie!)

When we began researching new RV options several months ago, it quickly became clear that the process of buying an RV has changed dramatically this year. In this post, we visit with our friend Angie from National Indoor RV Centers to share tips for buying an RV in 2021...

We Sold Our RV!

We sold our RV in less than 24 hours. Being full-time RVers adds a whole different level of complexity to selling an RV. We share the experience of selling our motorhome, introduce you to its new owner, and talk about what we have done with our stuff while we wait for our new RV...

Annual RV Maintenance in Red Bay, Alabama

This week, we take you along as we get all of the annual maintenance done on our 2017 Tiffin Breeze motorhome. We like to take our RV to Red Bay, Alabama (home of Tiffin Motorhomes) for all of its regular preventative RV maintenance. We also share where we like to stay when we visit Red Bay AL and a few things to do while in town...

Grape Creek RV Park | San Angelo Tx | RV Parks San Angelo Tx

The Modesto Reservoir Road Trip Guide

The Modesto Reservoir Road Trip Guide If you love water recreation, then Modesto Reservoir is a great option the next time you’re in California’s Central Valley. Several must-do recreation experiences exist in California such as touching Half Dome at Yosemite, enduring the heat in Death Valley, or walking among the massive sequoia trees. California also […]

The post The Modesto Reservoir Road Trip Guide appeared first on Drivin' & Vibin'.

Grape Creek RV Park San Angelo, Texas | Blog 

16 Ways To Prevent Bug Bites While Camping

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16 Ways To Prevent Bug Bites While Camping 

Summer is a great time to be outside and enjoy spending time in nature. Unfortunately, this also means that nature gets to spend some time with you! There are many insects that will take a bite at you if they get the chance, including mosquitoes, ticks, no-see-ums, horseflies, and spiders.  

No one wants to deal with a nasty welt after a bug gets to you. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent bug bites ranging from chemical sprays to natural repellents.

Before you start spraying cans of insect repellent or rubbing oil on your arms, let’s talk about some preventative measures. If you can avoid the bugs altogether, you may not need to use a more aggressive tactic. If the bugs can’t get to you, they can’t bite you. There are a few things you can do to keep bugs out of your home, RV, or tent. 

1. Cover all openings

The most simple step to prevent bug bites is to keep bugs out of your home. Of course, it’s hard to be 100% effective, but you can make it hard for them to enter by blocking off potential openings. Make sure that vents, windows, doors, and other openings around your home are blocked off with covers or screens. 

2. Spray WD-40 around entries

Bugs aren’t fond of chemicals, and WD-40 is a good repellent for them. If your covers don’t seem to be keeping bugs out, try spraying WD-40 around the entryways to your home or RV.

3. Use bug nets and screens

When you’re camping, it can be harder to make a clear separation between your living space and the great outdoors. In these cases, bug nets and screens are handy. The mesh is woven so finely that bugs can’t get through, no matter how much they want to.

4. Keep doors and windows closed when possible

When it’s getting hot inside, it can be very tempting to open a window to let in a breeze. But if you can help it, avoid the temptation! Many bugs are active (especially at night) and they will happily fly into your home if they get the chance. If you keep the doors and windows shut, you will be able to block a lot of their entry attempts. 

5. Use fans to blow them away

You probably don’t like to travel outdoors in a heavy wind, and bugs are the same way. If you have a fan in your RV, you’ll not only have better air circulation but you’ll make it harder for bugs to reach you. Rotating fans are particularly helpful because they can cover a wider area. 

6. Use A/C and dehumidifiers

An RV A/C is a lifesaver when it’s hot out and you want to stay inside with the windows shut. Plus, many bugs are drawn to warm, moist environments. If you stay in a cold, dry area, you won’t be as appealing as a target.

7. Avoid standing water 

Standing water is a perfect breeding ground for a variety of insects. If you have a pond, lake, or series of puddles close to you, try to steer clear of them. Mosquitoes and other bugs lay their eggs in standing water. You can help cut down on the population by cleaning water dishes, rain gutters, and other containers that might catch stagnant water.  

8. Chemical bug repellents

Staying inside and using the aforementioned tips can help create a bug-free experience, but what should you do when you want to get outside and actually enjoy nature? 

Chemical sprays and bug repellents are often the most effective ways to prevent bug bites. There are lots of different brands and options, but the CDC recommends looking for products that contain the following chemical bug deterrents:

  • DEET
  • IR3535
  • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone

 

Some of the most popular brands of chemical bug repellents include OFF Deep Woods and Repel spray.  

9. Foggers and aerosol repellents

If you want a more widespread defense against bugs, you could also try using a fogger or some form of aerosol repellent. There are certain chemicals, smells, and fumes that insects will avoid, so if you are able to distribute them around your campsite, porch, RV, or living space, you can create a bug-free zone.

Mosquito foggers are tools that can apply a fine mist of insecticide into the air. This isn’t hazardous to humans and the effects are only temporary. But the insecticides will deter most flying bugs and can keep outdoor areas bug-free for days at a time. The downside to this method is that you will need to re-fog regularly and you run the risk of driving away helpful pollinating insects as well. 

10. Burning herbs

Another tactic that will keep bugs away is burning herbs. Many insects are repelled by strong smells, so burning herbs can produce a sharp, powerful smoke that they will avoid. Sage and rosemary are two of the most common herbs to burn. If you have an outdoor fire pit, try tossing in a few leaves or bundles of these herbs from time to time.

11. Wood smoke

Speaking of burning things, smoke itself can keep insects away too. Many bugs will avoid smoky areas because they dislike the smell and fog in the air. 

12. Wear long shirts and pants

If you don’t have access to other methods but want to avoid bug bites, you could also explore the possibility of bug-proof clothing. Dressing appropriately can help keep bugs away and protect your skin from bites, stings, and irritants.

Full-body coverings are a great way to stay safe from bugs. Although some insects can find a way to bite through clothing, many will be stopped before they make contact.  Wearing long sleeves and pants is helpful, especially if they’re a bit loose. A bug could easily find itself biting into a fold of fabric rather than your skin.

13. Use tightly-woven fabrics

Some clothes might cover your skin, but are easy to penetrate. If the fabric is too soft or loosely woven, it won’t provide as much protection against a bug bite. Try to wear clothes with sturdy, tightly woven structures. Polyester and nylon are some good options to consider.

14. Try wearing insect repellent treated clothing

There are even some clothes that are specifically designed to ward off insects. These are treated with certain chemicals that make them repel bugs. You could even try buying a bottle of permethrin spray and applying it to your existing clothing (just avoid direct skin contact).

Some of the top brands are listed below, and some of their products claim to retain their insect-repellent potency for up to 70 washing cycles:

15. Use natural bug repellents

If you don’t care for chemical bug sprays, you could also try a natural insect repellent. There are lots of oils, scents, and substances that insects will avoid, and you can spray or rub them on your skin without worry. Essential oils or similar products are good to use because they are extremely potent. 

Some natural remedies that bugs hate include:

  • Lemon eucalyptus oil
  • Catnip oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Cinnamon leaf oil
  • Picaridin
  • Herbal oils (basil, sage, rosemary, lavender, peppermint)

16. Know what foods to eat and avoid

You can also keep bugs away by regulating what you eat. If you’re preparing for an all-day hike or outdoor picnic, you may want to incorporate some specific foods into your diet, while cutting others out. 

Do eat:

  • Garlic
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit

Don’t eat:

  • Soda
  • Bananas
  • Beer
  • Extremely salty/sugary foods

 

Whether you eat these foods or just have them sitting out, either option can attract or deter bugs.  Monitor the food around your living space and make sure that there’s nothing that will attract a swarm of hungry insects. This will help you avoid bug bites and maybe add some variety to your summer menu as well!

Find more tips from the RV community

RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.

Related articles:

 

The post 16 Ways To Prevent Bug Bites While Camping appeared first on RV LIFE.

The 10 Best RV Parks In Maine

landscape in Maine

The 10 Best RV Parks In Maine

When you are visiting Maine this summer, make sure you check out the coastline and off-shore islands. Maine has more miles of coastline than California – a stunning 3,478 miles!

Here are the 10 best RV parks in Maine to make your home base while exploring all the state has to offer.

1. Cathedral Pines Campground

Rating: 9.5

Reviews: 15 

Cathedral Pines Campground is located on a beautiful 300-acre plot of red pine trees and is surrounded by New England’s most spectacular views. This campground also caters to group camping events like scouts, reunions, and youth groups. Don’t worry about the noise – these areas are separate from the other camp areas. 

This RV park in Maine offers several amenities including flush toilets, shower facilities, onsite laundry, a dump station (no sewer hookups), WiFi, a playground for the kids, boat ramp and docking facilities, and canoe and kayak rentals. 

cathedral campground view of the water

Photo from Campground Reviews

2. Schoodic Woods Campground 

Rating: 9.2

Reviews: 33

Make Schoodic Woods Campground your base camp as you explore beautiful Acadia. Acadia is a cluster of islands off the Atlantic Coast of Maine. Within the 45,000 acres of Acadia there are mountains, lakes, streams, forests, and beaches waiting to be explored. At this campground, all sites are wooded and within a 15-minute walk of the ocean!

Campground amenities include 43 sites, Acadia’s Island Explorer shuttle bus services, hiking trails and biking trails, a dump station (no sewer hookups), flush toilets, WiFi, picnic tables, and fire pits. 

visitor sign at schoodic campground

3. Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground

Rating: 9.3

Reviews: 32

Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground is considered the premier mid-coast RV park in Maine. This RV park is on the shores of Penobscot Bay and is located between Acadia Nation Park and the charming Camden village. 

Searsport amenities include on-site activities, walking trails and recreational facilities, fire pits and picnic tables, and oceanfront campsites. 

4. Camden Hills State Park 

Rating: 8.2

Reviews: 52

Camden Hills State Park is located just minutes north of the quintessential New England town Camden. This town features shops that are within walking distance to the working harbor where cruises, whale watches, and puffin watches are available daily. 

This RV park in Maine has water and electric hookups but no sewer. However, there are bathrooms with showers onsite. 

5. Palmyra Golf & RV Resort 

Rating: 8.4

Reviews: 27

This RV park in Maine is perfect for the golf enthusiast. Along with stunning RV sites, this campground also has a par 72, 18-hole championship length golf course with 6,550 yards of tee to green. 

Palmyra Golf & RV Resort amenities include full hookup sites, a pool, shuffleboard courts, a camp store, and indoor bathroom facilities. 

palmyra golf & rv resort

6. Pumpkin Patch RV Resort 

Rating: 9.0

Reviews: 176

This RV park is a quiet escape into the country. Located within driving distance to many Maine attractions including Lumberman’s Museum, Ft. Knox, Leonard’s Mills Forest & Logging Museum, Penobscot Marine Museum, Children’s Museum, Coles Transportation, and Stephen King’s home.

Pumpkin Patch RV Resort offers several amenities including full hookups, a dog park and exercise area, onsite laundry facilities, and WiFi. This campground caters to adults but welcomes guests with children.   

rv park in Maine - pumpkin campground

Photo from Campground Reviews

7. Balsam Woods Campground

Rating: 9.0

Reviews: 26 

Balsam Woods Campground is an ATVer’s dream! No other campground has access to as many ATV trails. At Balsam Woods, you will have direct trail access to approximately 1,000 miles of designated Maine ATV trails. Also, you can ride to Greenville and Moosehead Lake, Jackman, The Forks, Rockwood, Bingham, and Cambridge.

This RV park in Maine amenities includes full hookups, cable TV, WiFi, a large parking area for guest’s ATVs including a wash area and compressor, access to a public beach, restrooms with showers, onsite laundry, a heated swimming pool, and lots of outdoor activities. 

Class A RV at Balsam campground

8. Houlton / Canadian Border KOA

Rating: 8.5

Reviews: 62 

This Maine RV park is the closest campground to the Maine/Canadian border. This campground sits on a 105-acre parcel of land with walking trails and ponds for you to discover. Also, they are located in Maine’s potato country!

The Houlton/Canadian Border KOA amenities include full hookups, a dog park, basketball half-court, recreation room, and WiFi. 

border KOA

Photo from Campground Reviews

9. Sunset Point RV Trailer Park

Rating: 8.8

Reviews: 75

Enjoy the views that Sunset Point RV Park has to offer. Wake up to the views overlooking beautiful Johnson Bay. While you are visiting, check out West Quoddy Lighthouse and Sail Rock – the easternmost point in the U.S. 

This RV park in Maine offers sites with electric and water hookups, a dump station and mobile sewer service, onsite laundry, WiFi, restrooms with showers, and a camp store. 

RV park in Maine - sunset campground

Photo from Campground Reviews

10. Wild Duck Campground & RV Park 

Rating: 8.2

Reviews: 97

Wild Duck Campground and RV Park is an adult-only RV park. They offer an experience catered for honeymooners to retirees on the Southern Maine coastline. This park is located in the middle of Maine Audubon’s Scarborough Marsh – the state’s largest saltwater marsh – and Maine Audubon’s property.  

Amenities include big-rig friendly sites, full hookups, cable TV, WiFi, canoes and kayaks for rent, modern restrooms with showers, and a camp store. 

RV park in Maine - wild duck campground

Find more RV parks in Maine

For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than Campground Reviews and RV Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.

Continue reading: 8 Scenic State Parks With Campgrounds In New England

The post The 10 Best RV Parks In Maine appeared first on RV LIFE.

5 Unwritten Rules Of The RV Lifestyle

RV parked in front of beach view

5 Unwritten Rules Of The RV Lifestyle

With summer in full swing, you’ll likely pass by several motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, and truck campers on the road. This radical influx of RVers includes solo RVers, couples, and family travelers, from millennials to baby boomers. Among those clusters are novice RVers, those who sought the RV lifestyle as a way to safely vacation during the pandemic, those transitioning from tent camping to glamping, and everyone in between.

And although we like to think that learning something new comes with a bit of research, there are certain things about the RV lifestyle that aren’t clear-cut, written in an “All About RVing” book, or listed among the rules of a campground brochure. These unwritten rules of RVing are learned behaviors after many RVing ventures or shared around the campfire with fellow nomads.

If you are new to RVing, then you should know that there are some lesser-known rules about the RV lifestyle. The following are just a handful of these rather sensical rules. 

1. Refrain from knocking on another RVer’s door.

A dated but still very relevant thread on iRV2, the top online RV forum community, lists RVers’ thoughts regarding knocking on someone’s door. The RVing community is synonymous with friendly folks. Is it a faux pas to knock on another RVer’s door just to chit-chat, maybe borrow some flour, or let them know their car lights were left on? How about when to knock? Is there a good time and a wrong time to talk to your RV neighbors?

The responses varied slightly, but most participants said it’s not a good idea to knock on someone’s door, save for an emergency.

“The #1 rule I think is important is not to bother anyone unless it’s fairly important. If they are inside with the door shut, they probably don’t want to be bothered.”

-Cubey

“Once I open up my front curtains, I am usually dressed and ready to greet any visitors. If you come by and my curtains are closed, then I am probably still in my robe and on the computer (like now) and not ready to see anyone.”

-Barbara S.

It seems that RVers agree. If the shades are down and the door is closed, folks are busy or want some downtime. Knocking on the door for emergency situations or in a case where the RVer may have a water leak or left their vehicle lights on are some exceptions. Another exception would be if the knock was expected or invited. RVers do love to have get-togethers.  

So where’s the best place to reach your RV neighbor?

“As others have said, I would not knock on anybody’s door but rather would wait until I catch them outside. Then I would go over, introduce myself…”

-MSHappyCampers 

“From my perspective, I’d rather you’d approach me when you see me outside, maybe coming/going or just chilling out in the lawn chair, than knocking on my door.”

-SeeTheUSA

Also, catching your RV neighbors during daylight hours is more sensible. 

RV lifestyle gripe: What’s the big deal with knocking on an RVer’s door?

Full-time RVer Liz from Liz Amazing said it best, “…when (RVers) open the door in the campground, you see their whole life…” She explains that, unlike a home or apartment where you may only see the front room, you can see pretty much every room, even the bathroom with some units, once you open the door to an RV. It feels like an intrusion of privacy.” she said.

Liz goes on to say that if you need to knock on someone’s door, “Knock on the door and then step back. Step so far away that there’s no way you can see inside their rig.”

2. Avoid distracting other RVers as they are setting up/departing.

RVers by nature are friendly and helpful. They enjoy meeting new people, sharing bits of advice, and lending a hand. And although this is a big part of the RV lifestyle, when it comes to setting up at a campsite or following through with departure procedures, Cortni Armstrong of The Flipping Nomad said that this is no time to socialize. 

“There are several safety tasks, and you should not be distracted while performing them. If someone wants to chat, politely ask to continue the conversation once you are done. This includes digital distractions. Don’t talk on the phone, text, or browse social media while working through checklists.”

Setting up an RV at a campground requires a lot of focus and due diligence. Backing up and making sure you avoid any obstructions that could cause damage to your RV or campground equipment are initial tasks when parking in a campsite. Unless you have a trusty travel companion or another reliable individual to serve as the spotter, it may be the case where you will need to get in and out of the rig to double-check and readjust as needed.  

Similarly, departure procedures require multiple tasks to be checked off to ensure a safe trip on the road. Simple tasks like securing the antenna, unplugging from the electrical post, or properly hooking up your tow vehicle can all be overlooked if you start a conversation.

3. Don’t spoil the RV lifestyle for others. Stay within your campsite.

Like hotel rooms, when RVers pay the fees for their campsites, they consider it their personal space for that particular length of time. Many RVers feel strongly about it being treated that way. So situations like other campers cutting through a site to get somewhere quicker and vehicles or lawn furniture crossing over into another site become intrusions or at least annoyances. 

RVers deliberately or unintentionally “expanding” their campsite is a recipe for disaster. On the subject of inappropriate parking, a vehicle sticking out into the roadway is liable to get hit. Boxing another car in could slow down or even halt someone trying to leave in a possible emergency situation. 

Keep camping experiences safe and fun by utilizing the site you purchased.  Set up your RV, tow vehicle, and outdoor furniture within the area.  Use designated paths or just walk the extra steps around an occupied campsite to get where you need to go.  If you have guests visiting, make sure they park in designated parking spaces. 

4. Arrive and depart at reasonable times.

RV parks have arrival and departure times for a reason.  Departure times are typically a couple of hours before noon, and arrival times usually begin a few hours after noon. This allows the campground staff ample time to clean up campsites, including clearing out the firepit.  Cabins need to be turned over and bathhouses sanitized.  RVers that linger around their campsite after departure times not only minimize the amount of time the staff has to clean up but can also delay another RVer’s arrival.  

It’s also a common courtesy to arrive with enough time to set up before sundown.  You can see what you are doing and you’ll arrive before “quiet hours” (typically 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM).  Setting up with little light is no fun and can be rather noisy to RVers wanting to get a good night’s sleep.  If you happen to arrive after dark or after quiet hours, consider parking quickly and set up the following morning.

5. RV dealers and repair shops will not fix your RV issues quickly.

More RVs on the road means an increase in RV maintenance and repair appointments.  Sadly, waiting for service at an RV dealership or repair shop is not a new phenomenon. Customers may wait days, weeks, even months at a time to have their RV serviced.  Warranty classifications, insurance procedures, and access to the necessary parts are all possible causes for delays. 

If you need faster service, Mike Wendland of RV Lifestyle suggests, “Mobile RV repair techs are more responsive and usually can fix anything wrong with most RVs. We’ve learned that the hard way, too, a couple of times…Most are ready to drop everything and tend to your problems. I have called them for help numerous times over the years and never been disappointed.”

More unwritten rules of the RV lifestyle

Mike and Jennifer Wendland of RV Lifestyle blog detail their “10 Unwritten Rules of Camping” in the video below.

Share your thoughts with the RV community

RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.

The post 5 Unwritten Rules Of The RV Lifestyle appeared first on RV LIFE.

How To Avoid Dangerous Travel Conditions In Your RV

dark Skys over the roadway

Dark thunderheads may indicate hail is in your future. Photo by P Dent

How To Avoid Dangerous Travel Conditions In Your RV

Many of us RVers are hitting the road, as full-timers, for an extended vacation, or maybe just for a few quick weekend getaways. But regardless of how we intend to use our motorhome, camper, or fifth wheel, we all need to take time to improve our safety awareness to avoid dangerous travel conditions. 

Travel planning tools

Now, with all the apps and resources available to RVers, we don’t need to be surprised by the weather. There are so many tools available to help us avoid dangerous travel conditions. From the RV LIFE App With GPS and RV Trip Wizard to multiple weather apps, to road reports and highway cameras, it’s much easier now to travel safely than it was when we first started RVing in the late 90s. 

Back then, we just loaded the RV and took off. We used our best judgement and paper maps.  If there was snow, ice, hail, or wildfires along our path, we just didn’t have any resources to be forewarned. It was a gamble. We were guided by our instincts, our better judgement, and I like to think some devine protection.  We narrowly missed several very dangerous situations in our 20+ years of RV traveling, while we waited for the technology to develop that would assist in planning safer travel experiences.

Current weather conditions

We have been driving across the country for several weeks and I see many other RVs also out here getting a jump on the summer RV season, but it’s not all sunshine and clear roads right now, and that’s the point of this post.  It may be spring, but winter has not completely given up her grip on some regions, and if you’re in an RV you certainly don’t want to unexpectedly drive into the jaws of a raging storm.  So how can we all avoid dangerous travel conditions in our RVs and prevent this type of disaster?

There are many tools now to help you look ahead, both in distance and time.  Weather apps for your smartphone will give you current conditions and forecasts for anywhere you may want to travel.  State by state, Department of Transportation (DOT) road condition recordings and highway cameras will tell you and show you what to expect on the road ahead, and Google searches will provide additional information about locations along your path.  Additionally, RV LIFE provides an amazing suite of apps specifically designed to help you plan and safely navigate your way around the country based on your vehicle specifications.

Use common sense, extra travel time, and flexibility

Two common sense ideas to reduce your risk is to give yourself extra time in your travel plans and another is to be flexible in your route and timeline.  You can’t always predict what you might encounter. Weather changes. You might look at the forecast for the upcoming week and everything looks clear then a couple of days later that all changes. A change in the weather might mean you’ll need to stay put for a few days and let the weather settle down.

Other situations that could require extra time are emergency repairs or you might not feel well enough to travel, or you may discover (as we did) that some of the major roads across the country can be closed due to dangerous winds or icy conditions. And if the major freeways are closed, it’s certainly not a good idea to try and find backroads to keep you moving toward your destination. 

If you have extra time built into your travel plans, you’ll reduce your stress because you can take the time you need to get well, repair your rig, or wait for the road to reopen.  You may even need to reroute a portion of your trip if the conditions ahead are too dangerous.

Recently we drove from Oregon to Illinois. The planning was pretty straightforward. We decided to use the major freeways system for almost all of the trip.  We did take secondary roads across Oregon because we were familiar with them and we wanted to see the less populated eastern portions of the state before leaving Oregon for an extended period of time. We connected with I-84 at the Oregon/Idaho border and planned to use I-84 and I-80 for virtually a straight shot into Ottawa, Illinois, which was our destination.  

Red sky reflected in the side of the RV

“Red sky in the morning, sailors (RVers) take warning.” –  Photo by P. Dent

Dangerous travel conditions

Fortunately, we added extra time to this trip plan and we’re glad we did.  When we arrived in Western Wyoming and as we were approaching an 8640’ mountain pass through the Rockies, we started checking the weather forecast in front of us.  The forecast called for several inches of snow for the next few days.  We knew the highest mountain pass in the entire US freeway system would be treacherous in an RV if there was snow and ice on the roadway, so we delayed our trip in Bridger, WY for a few days and waited for the storm to pass in front of us. 

It did snow both in Bridger, and in the pass.  The storm deposited several inches of snow on the highway, but we were stationery and safe.

A couple of days later, after the snow melted, we continued our journey over the Rockies and into Cheyenne, WY.  As was our habit, we checked the weather in front of us.  But with the Rockies in our rearview mirror, we were feeling pretty safe about the rest of the journey until we read about the severe storms, lightning, thunder, and damaging hail that was in the forecast for southwestern Nebraska.

Now, hurricane and flash floods are dangerous for RVers, but damaging hail can also turn your RV and tow vehicle into a complete loss in a matter of minutes.  We started searching for more information and learned from a Google search that the area in which we planned to camp the following day was known as Hail Alley.  The peak season for damaging hail in Hail Alley is April until June.  It was May 12th.

Change the plan for a safer route

Dangerous thunderstorms and damaging hail were in the forecast from Cheyenne, WY to Omaha, NE for the next week. We couldn’t even safely stay where we were camping in Cheyenne.  We knew we needed to be flexible and adjust our route to avoid Hail Alley. 

We let the weather forecast help us with our planning and we determined that we could go further north to avoid the approaching storm. It would take us several hundred miles out of the way, but we would be north of the dangerous hailstorms predicted for southern Nebraska.  Consequently, we rerouted to I-90 through South Dakota, and we spent a few extra days in Douglas, WY, enjoying all that Eastern Wyoming has to offer. 

If we had not built extra time into our trip planning or been flexible about our route, we would have been driving right into these dangerous travel conditions and potentially suffered a loss or damage because of it.  This lifestyle requires planning and flexibility. That’s why we recommend using all the available tools from RV LIFE, the weather apps, and the DOT road conditions and highway cameras to learn about what lies ahead.

Related articles:

 

The post How To Avoid Dangerous Travel Conditions In Your RV appeared first on RV LIFE.

7 Things You Need To Know For Safe RV Towing

truck towing fifth wheel in front of mountain view

7 Things You Need To Know For Safe RV Towing

Towing an RV can be very intimidating. Researching towing techniques and practicing as much as possible in low-traffic areas will help you become more comfortable and confident.

Towing classes are becoming more popular and are a great idea for new RV owners. Considering the large responsibility, there is no special license or training required to tow an RV until you reach a certain weight at which point a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required.  

Here are some safe RV towing tips to make sure you have a safe trip.

1. Plan ahead

Planning your trip and knowing your RV specifications is the first step in a safe trip. Many towing incidents are a result of being unaware of the space you require or coming upon an unfavorable route for towing. 

Planning your trip ahead of time can help you avoid high traffic areas, busy times of day for traffic, and unfavorable routes for large vehicles such as tight turns, steep grades, and high crosswind areas. Use a trip planner like RV Trip Wizard and the RV LIFE App to plan your RV-safe routes and GPS directions.

Some of these things may be unavoidable to get to your desired location and will have to be navigated. Being prepared for these obstacles can help avoid surprises and lessen stress. Plan brake check stops before steep grades, rest areas before curvy mountain passes, and time your city driving outside of rush hour.

Being prepared for your route also includes knowing your RV specifications. RV length, height, width, and weight are important to know when planning your route and while on the road. Avoiding low bridges or tight spaces is best, however, should you find yourself approaching a tight obstacle, it is best to know your required room needed. Some routes have weight restrictions and seasonal roads for heavy vehicles. Having these measurements listed in your vehicle for reference is a smart idea. 

2. Tire monitoring

By far one of the most common potentially dangerous situations while towing is an RV tire blowout. This applies to both your RV and your tow vehicle.

Pre-trip tire inspection is a must. Tire condition and tire pressure must be checked prior to hitting the road.

Once on the road, continuous tire monitoring is important. Tire pressure and temperature should be checked periodically while traveling. Maintaining the manufacturer tire pressure and staying within the load range of your tires will not only keep you safe but extend the life of your tires.

Consider an onboard tire monitor system (TMS) for ease of monitoring your tires. Having a tire inflator with you will allow you to adjust pressure if needed. A temperature gun can be used to compare and monitor tire temperature.

Most tire issues are the result of improper inflation, excessive loads, high speed, and overheating. Control these four things and you are much less likely to have a blowout.

3. Don’t exceed your tow vehicle limits

There are legal implications involved with exceeding any of the towing and payload capacities of your tow vehicle. These capacities are in place for the safe use of your vehicle.

Towing an RV can be a challenge for you but also for your tow vehicle. Just because a vehicle can tow an RV doesn’t mean it can tow it safely. Stopping and handling movement and momentum are large tasks for your tow vehicle.

Your tow vehicle must be able to handle trailer sway and possible emergency maneuvers including swerving and unexpected stops. A general rule of thumb is to stay under 75 percent of the manufacturer’s weight ratings. Although legal to the maximum number, it is advisable to not be towing continuously right on the edge.

Be realistic and responsible when looking at RVs. If the RV you want is too big for your tow vehicle, choose a different RV or upgrade your tow vehicle.

4. Drive within your limits

Just like your tow vehicle has limits, so do you. Although you can’t refer to a manual to judge your limits, you must still take them into consideration.

As you tow more, you will become more competent. For first-time RV owners, you must take your time and gain experience towing. This may include a towing class, starting with a smaller RV, practicing in rural areas, short travel days, and traveling with experienced RVers.

Once on the road, it can be intimidating to keep up with traffic, take an unplanned shortcut, or make it to your destination as fast as possible. Stay within your comfort range and take breaks as needed. Towing takes full concentration and focus.

On a freeway going 60 mph with 4 lanes of traffic is not the place to learn or try new techniques.

5. Maintain a safe distance

Towing an RV requires that you have extra room to stop and maneuver.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have that extra room. Follow at a safe distance and allow traffic to pass if you feel you are being pushed down the road from behind.

Be prepared for turns and allow extra room around your vehicle to maneuver. Be aware of your proximity to the lines on the road and take into consideration how your RV tracks and any sway while towing.

6. Limit trailer sway

Trailer sway is something we all hope to never experience but most likely will at some point.

In most cases, when towing a trailer you will notice some movement of the trailer over bumps and on uneven roads. This is normal and will become less alarming over time.

Having a quality weight distribution anti-sway hitch paired to a proper tow vehicle will minimize most sway. There is still a chance, however, of experiencing trailer sway.

Some of the most common causes of trailer sway are improper weight distribution between the trailer and tow vehicle, excessive speed, crosswinds, high-sided trucks, and downhill grades.

Being aware of the causes of trailer sway and knowing how to minimize it and react to it will help the fear. Having a good trailer brake that can be applied independently of the tow vehicle brakes will help straighten out your trailer if you experience sway.

7. Be careful changing lanes

Changing lanes in general is a higher-risk activity when driving. This is, of course, amplified while towing an RV.

Your blind spots are larger and you will require more room and time to make a lane change. 

Having towing mirrors is important. They allow you to see more of your RV and the surrounding areas. If your vehicle isn’t equipped with towing mirrors consider adding mirror extenders. Plan your turns and lane changes as far ahead as possible and allow adequate time after signaling before you start your lane change.

Towing mirror showing truck and trailer - RV towing


Don’t let the unknown of towing an RV prevent you from RV life. Do your research, practice your towing skills, and follow safe towing practices and you will have safe travels.

For help mapping out your route for your next RV getaway, look no further than RV Trip Wizard. This online planning tool finds an RV-friendly route to your RV park. It can also locate interesting sites along the way, all according to your travel preferences. Get RV Trip Wizard with its accompanying RV LIFE App, and start planning your adventure today!

Continue reading:

 

The post 7 Things You Need To Know For Safe RV Towing appeared first on RV LIFE.

The Pros And Cons Of A Park Model RV

park model RV in trailer park

The Pros And Cons Of A Park Model RV

Fifth wheels, travel trailers, and other RVs are perfect for people who love to take their home on the road. However, if you find a trailer park that you love and want to set up a more permanent living space, a park model RV might be the best choice for you!

These are better suited for long-term use, and come in a variety of designs and styles. There are a few factors to juggle when you’re considering a park model though, so let’s explore the pros and cons. 

What is a park model RV?

Everyone is familiar with the standard motorhome and trailer RVs, but park models are a bit more unusual. Essentially, a park model RV is a temporary home that’s created specifically for a trailer park setting. They’re designed for longer periods of sustained use, but most of them are still best for just a few months at a time. 

Park models resemble mobile homes or tiny houses. They can’t have more than 400 square feet in their floor plan, but they are spacious, cozy, and easy to fit on a standard trailer park lot. The designers don’t have to worry about car safety equipment or built-in wheel wells, so they can use this space to the fullest. Many of these pre-made homes work well for seasonal uses such as hunting lodges, camping cabins, or just small vacation houses. 

However, they don’t have built-in engines (like motorhomes) and they can’t handle off-road terrain as well as travel trailers and fifth wheels. Park model RVs need to be towed behind a sturdy tow vehicle. They have a set of wheels and a trailer bed attached to the base. They might be a bit bulky on the road, but it’s perfectly legal to tow a park model from place to place. If you spotted a pre-made home on the highway that was labeled with a “wide-load” tag, there’s a good chance it was a park model!

The RV Industry Association (RVIA) creates guidelines and regulations for park models. These may vary from state to state, but you can visit their page here for more information about park models in your area. This updates annually, so make sure you’re looking at the most current information!

Benefits of a park model RV

Park model RVs are the perfect choice for travelers who like to pick a beautiful RV park and set up a long-term vacation spot for the summer. I know I have a few campgrounds that I could enjoy for months!

It can get tiring to live out of a van or travel trailer for such a long time, so a nice home away from home can help. Park model RVs have all the style of tiny homes, and they can usually fit all the same amenities (if not more) compared to a luxury RV. 

Park models also have more floor space and they have to make fewer compromises about how to use it. They can afford to have luxuries like full-size bathrooms, lofts, extra bedrooms, and large kitchens. Some of them also have slide-outs and extendable sections that can increase the square footage. 

Although these RVs are designed for short-term seasonal use, they can be winterized and used during cold months as well. You can buy pre-made park models that are designed for winter, or retrofit an existing RV to suit your needs. It’s also easy to add exterior porches, awnings, storage sheds, and garage spaces. You can add and subtract features to make a unique and comfortable mobile home. 

At the end of the day, a park model RV is much more like a home than a vehicle. They have attractive exteriors and cozy interiors. They can offer a greater amount of space as well as larger appliances. So if you plan on staying in one spot for a few months, you might want to choose a park model as your living space. 

Drawbacks of a park model RV

Of course, it’s not all good news for park model owners. These are certainly great options for month-long visits to RV parks, but they also have their own set of drawbacks. 

First of all, although they offer more space than traditional RVs, they still have a limited floor plan. 400 square feet might seem like a lot, but it can quickly get cramped if you’re hosting lots of friends and family. Storage space can also get filled up and you might still end up living in a cramped home after a while. 

Park model RVs are also closely regulated by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). They must comply with the A119.5 Park Model Recreational Vehicle Standard. So even if you feel like making your own park model from a shed or other base, there are a lot of standards you have to meet. 

Storing a park model also might be difficult. They’re large and bulky and need a good amount of space in a yard or garage. You might even need to pay extra to store it in a facility. Some insurance mortgage plans don’t cover park model RVs either, so make sure you have the protection you need before you buy one. 

As we mentioned above, park models are also not suitable for year-round use. You can use them for a few months at a time, but they aren’t a permanent housing solution. The materials are designed to be lightweight and easy to transport, but they won’t hold up under serious wear and tear. You’ll need to properly store and maintain your park model when it’s not being used so it can last a long time. 

Floor plan examples

Like all RV types, park models have their own pros and cons. Many people enjoy them because they are comfortable and easy to spend a camping season in. If you’re interested in getting a park model of your own, check out the videos below! They showcase some of the amenities and designs you can expect to see. 

Continue reading: 5 Important Things To Consider While RV Shopping

The post The Pros And Cons Of A Park Model RV appeared first on RV LIFE.

RV LIFE | Grape Creek RV Park

16 Ways To Prevent Bug Bites While Camping

Off bug spray in front of campfire pit

16 Ways To Prevent Bug Bites While Camping 

Summer is a great time to be outside and enjoy spending time in nature. Unfortunately, this also means that nature gets to spend some time with you! There are many insects that will take a bite at you if they get the chance, including mosquitoes, ticks, no-see-ums, horseflies, and spiders.  

No one wants to deal with a nasty welt after a bug gets to you. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent bug bites ranging from chemical sprays to natural repellents.

Before you start spraying cans of insect repellent or rubbing oil on your arms, let’s talk about some preventative measures. If you can avoid the bugs altogether, you may not need to use a more aggressive tactic. If the bugs can’t get to you, they can’t bite you. There are a few things you can do to keep bugs out of your home, RV, or tent. 

1. Cover all openings

The most simple step to prevent bug bites is to keep bugs out of your home. Of course, it’s hard to be 100% effective, but you can make it hard for them to enter by blocking off potential openings. Make sure that vents, windows, doors, and other openings around your home are blocked off with covers or screens. 

2. Spray WD-40 around entries

Bugs aren’t fond of chemicals, and WD-40 is a good repellent for them. If your covers don’t seem to be keeping bugs out, try spraying WD-40 around the entryways to your home or RV.

3. Use bug nets and screens

When you’re camping, it can be harder to make a clear separation between your living space and the great outdoors. In these cases, bug nets and screens are handy. The mesh is woven so finely that bugs can’t get through, no matter how much they want to.

4. Keep doors and windows closed when possible

When it’s getting hot inside, it can be very tempting to open a window to let in a breeze. But if you can help it, avoid the temptation! Many bugs are active (especially at night) and they will happily fly into your home if they get the chance. If you keep the doors and windows shut, you will be able to block a lot of their entry attempts. 

5. Use fans to blow them away

You probably don’t like to travel outdoors in a heavy wind, and bugs are the same way. If you have a fan in your RV, you’ll not only have better air circulation but you’ll make it harder for bugs to reach you. Rotating fans are particularly helpful because they can cover a wider area. 

6. Use A/C and dehumidifiers

An RV A/C is a lifesaver when it’s hot out and you want to stay inside with the windows shut. Plus, many bugs are drawn to warm, moist environments. If you stay in a cold, dry area, you won’t be as appealing as a target.

7. Avoid standing water 

Standing water is a perfect breeding ground for a variety of insects. If you have a pond, lake, or series of puddles close to you, try to steer clear of them. Mosquitoes and other bugs lay their eggs in standing water. You can help cut down on the population by cleaning water dishes, rain gutters, and other containers that might catch stagnant water.  

8. Chemical bug repellents

Staying inside and using the aforementioned tips can help create a bug-free experience, but what should you do when you want to get outside and actually enjoy nature? 

Chemical sprays and bug repellents are often the most effective ways to prevent bug bites. There are lots of different brands and options, but the CDC recommends looking for products that contain the following chemical bug deterrents:

  • DEET
  • IR3535
  • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone

 

Some of the most popular brands of chemical bug repellents include OFF Deep Woods and Repel spray.  

9. Foggers and aerosol repellents

If you want a more widespread defense against bugs, you could also try using a fogger or some form of aerosol repellent. There are certain chemicals, smells, and fumes that insects will avoid, so if you are able to distribute them around your campsite, porch, RV, or living space, you can create a bug-free zone.

Mosquito foggers are tools that can apply a fine mist of insecticide into the air. This isn’t hazardous to humans and the effects are only temporary. But the insecticides will deter most flying bugs and can keep outdoor areas bug-free for days at a time. The downside to this method is that you will need to re-fog regularly and you run the risk of driving away helpful pollinating insects as well. 

10. Burning herbs

Another tactic that will keep bugs away is burning herbs. Many insects are repelled by strong smells, so burning herbs can produce a sharp, powerful smoke that they will avoid. Sage and rosemary are two of the most common herbs to burn. If you have an outdoor fire pit, try tossing in a few leaves or bundles of these herbs from time to time.

11. Wood smoke

Speaking of burning things, smoke itself can keep insects away too. Many bugs will avoid smoky areas because they dislike the smell and fog in the air. 

12. Wear long shirts and pants

If you don’t have access to other methods but want to avoid bug bites, you could also explore the possibility of bug-proof clothing. Dressing appropriately can help keep bugs away and protect your skin from bites, stings, and irritants.

Full-body coverings are a great way to stay safe from bugs. Although some insects can find a way to bite through clothing, many will be stopped before they make contact.  Wearing long sleeves and pants is helpful, especially if they’re a bit loose. A bug could easily find itself biting into a fold of fabric rather than your skin.

13. Use tightly-woven fabrics

Some clothes might cover your skin, but are easy to penetrate. If the fabric is too soft or loosely woven, it won’t provide as much protection against a bug bite. Try to wear clothes with sturdy, tightly woven structures. Polyester and nylon are some good options to consider.

14. Try wearing insect repellent treated clothing

There are even some clothes that are specifically designed to ward off insects. These are treated with certain chemicals that make them repel bugs. You could even try buying a bottle of permethrin spray and applying it to your existing clothing (just avoid direct skin contact).

Some of the top brands are listed below, and some of their products claim to retain their insect-repellent potency for up to 70 washing cycles:

15. Use natural bug repellents

If you don’t care for chemical bug sprays, you could also try a natural insect repellent. There are lots of oils, scents, and substances that insects will avoid, and you can spray or rub them on your skin without worry. Essential oils or similar products are good to use because they are extremely potent. 

Some natural remedies that bugs hate include:

  • Lemon eucalyptus oil
  • Catnip oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Cinnamon leaf oil
  • Picaridin
  • Herbal oils (basil, sage, rosemary, lavender, peppermint)

16. Know what foods to eat and avoid

You can also keep bugs away by regulating what you eat. If you’re preparing for an all-day hike or outdoor picnic, you may want to incorporate some specific foods into your diet, while cutting others out. 

Do eat:

  • Garlic
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit

Don’t eat:

  • Soda
  • Bananas
  • Beer
  • Extremely salty/sugary foods

 

Whether you eat these foods or just have them sitting out, either option can attract or deter bugs.  Monitor the food around your living space and make sure that there’s nothing that will attract a swarm of hungry insects. This will help you avoid bug bites and maybe add some variety to your summer menu as well!

Find more tips from the RV community

RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.

Related articles:

 

The post 16 Ways To Prevent Bug Bites While Camping appeared first on RV LIFE.

The 10 Best RV Parks In Maine

landscape in Maine

The 10 Best RV Parks In Maine

When you are visiting Maine this summer, make sure you check out the coastline and off-shore islands. Maine has more miles of coastline than California – a stunning 3,478 miles!

Here are the 10 best RV parks in Maine to make your home base while exploring all the state has to offer.

1. Cathedral Pines Campground

Rating: 9.5

Reviews: 15 

Cathedral Pines Campground is located on a beautiful 300-acre plot of red pine trees and is surrounded by New England’s most spectacular views. This campground also caters to group camping events like scouts, reunions, and youth groups. Don’t worry about the noise – these areas are separate from the other camp areas. 

This RV park in Maine offers several amenities including flush toilets, shower facilities, onsite laundry, a dump station (no sewer hookups), WiFi, a playground for the kids, boat ramp and docking facilities, and canoe and kayak rentals. 

cathedral campground view of the water

Photo from Campground Reviews

2. Schoodic Woods Campground 

Rating: 9.2

Reviews: 33

Make Schoodic Woods Campground your base camp as you explore beautiful Acadia. Acadia is a cluster of islands off the Atlantic Coast of Maine. Within the 45,000 acres of Acadia there are mountains, lakes, streams, forests, and beaches waiting to be explored. At this campground, all sites are wooded and within a 15-minute walk of the ocean!

Campground amenities include 43 sites, Acadia’s Island Explorer shuttle bus services, hiking trails and biking trails, a dump station (no sewer hookups), flush toilets, WiFi, picnic tables, and fire pits. 

visitor sign at schoodic campground

3. Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground

Rating: 9.3

Reviews: 32

Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground is considered the premier mid-coast RV park in Maine. This RV park is on the shores of Penobscot Bay and is located between Acadia Nation Park and the charming Camden village. 

Searsport amenities include on-site activities, walking trails and recreational facilities, fire pits and picnic tables, and oceanfront campsites. 

4. Camden Hills State Park 

Rating: 8.2

Reviews: 52

Camden Hills State Park is located just minutes north of the quintessential New England town Camden. This town features shops that are within walking distance to the working harbor where cruises, whale watches, and puffin watches are available daily. 

This RV park in Maine has water and electric hookups but no sewer. However, there are bathrooms with showers onsite. 

5. Palmyra Golf & RV Resort 

Rating: 8.4

Reviews: 27

This RV park in Maine is perfect for the golf enthusiast. Along with stunning RV sites, this campground also has a par 72, 18-hole championship length golf course with 6,550 yards of tee to green. 

Palmyra Golf & RV Resort amenities include full hookup sites, a pool, shuffleboard courts, a camp store, and indoor bathroom facilities. 

palmyra golf & rv resort

6. Pumpkin Patch RV Resort 

Rating: 9.0

Reviews: 176

This RV park is a quiet escape into the country. Located within driving distance to many Maine attractions including Lumberman’s Museum, Ft. Knox, Leonard’s Mills Forest & Logging Museum, Penobscot Marine Museum, Children’s Museum, Coles Transportation, and Stephen King’s home.

Pumpkin Patch RV Resort offers several amenities including full hookups, a dog park and exercise area, onsite laundry facilities, and WiFi. This campground caters to adults but welcomes guests with children.   

rv park in Maine - pumpkin campground

Photo from Campground Reviews

7. Balsam Woods Campground

Rating: 9.0

Reviews: 26 

Balsam Woods Campground is an ATVer’s dream! No other campground has access to as many ATV trails. At Balsam Woods, you will have direct trail access to approximately 1,000 miles of designated Maine ATV trails. Also, you can ride to Greenville and Moosehead Lake, Jackman, The Forks, Rockwood, Bingham, and Cambridge.

This RV park in Maine amenities includes full hookups, cable TV, WiFi, a large parking area for guest’s ATVs including a wash area and compressor, access to a public beach, restrooms with showers, onsite laundry, a heated swimming pool, and lots of outdoor activities. 

Class A RV at Balsam campground

8. Houlton / Canadian Border KOA

Rating: 8.5

Reviews: 62 

This Maine RV park is the closest campground to the Maine/Canadian border. This campground sits on a 105-acre parcel of land with walking trails and ponds for you to discover. Also, they are located in Maine’s potato country!

The Houlton/Canadian Border KOA amenities include full hookups, a dog park, basketball half-court, recreation room, and WiFi. 

border KOA

Photo from Campground Reviews

9. Sunset Point RV Trailer Park

Rating: 8.8

Reviews: 75

Enjoy the views that Sunset Point RV Park has to offer. Wake up to the views overlooking beautiful Johnson Bay. While you are visiting, check out West Quoddy Lighthouse and Sail Rock – the easternmost point in the U.S. 

This RV park in Maine offers sites with electric and water hookups, a dump station and mobile sewer service, onsite laundry, WiFi, restrooms with showers, and a camp store. 

RV park in Maine - sunset campground

Photo from Campground Reviews

10. Wild Duck Campground & RV Park 

Rating: 8.2

Reviews: 97

Wild Duck Campground and RV Park is an adult-only RV park. They offer an experience catered for honeymooners to retirees on the Southern Maine coastline. This park is located in the middle of Maine Audubon’s Scarborough Marsh – the state’s largest saltwater marsh – and Maine Audubon’s property.  

Amenities include big-rig friendly sites, full hookups, cable TV, WiFi, canoes and kayaks for rent, modern restrooms with showers, and a camp store. 

RV park in Maine - wild duck campground

Find more RV parks in Maine

For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than Campground Reviews and RV Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.

Continue reading: 8 Scenic State Parks With Campgrounds In New England

The post The 10 Best RV Parks In Maine appeared first on RV LIFE.

5 Unwritten Rules Of The RV Lifestyle

RV parked in front of beach view

5 Unwritten Rules Of The RV Lifestyle

With summer in full swing, you’ll likely pass by several motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, and truck campers on the road. This radical influx of RVers includes solo RVers, couples, and family travelers, from millennials to baby boomers. Among those clusters are novice RVers, those who sought the RV lifestyle as a way to safely vacation during the pandemic, those transitioning from tent camping to glamping, and everyone in between.

And although we like to think that learning something new comes with a bit of research, there are certain things about the RV lifestyle that aren’t clear-cut, written in an “All About RVing” book, or listed among the rules of a campground brochure. These unwritten rules of RVing are learned behaviors after many RVing ventures or shared around the campfire with fellow nomads.

If you are new to RVing, then you should know that there are some lesser-known rules about the RV lifestyle. The following are just a handful of these rather sensical rules. 

1. Refrain from knocking on another RVer’s door.

A dated but still very relevant thread on iRV2, the top online RV forum community, lists RVers’ thoughts regarding knocking on someone’s door. The RVing community is synonymous with friendly folks. Is it a faux pas to knock on another RVer’s door just to chit-chat, maybe borrow some flour, or let them know their car lights were left on? How about when to knock? Is there a good time and a wrong time to talk to your RV neighbors?

The responses varied slightly, but most participants said it’s not a good idea to knock on someone’s door, save for an emergency.

“The #1 rule I think is important is not to bother anyone unless it’s fairly important. If they are inside with the door shut, they probably don’t want to be bothered.”

-Cubey

“Once I open up my front curtains, I am usually dressed and ready to greet any visitors. If you come by and my curtains are closed, then I am probably still in my robe and on the computer (like now) and not ready to see anyone.”

-Barbara S.

It seems that RVers agree. If the shades are down and the door is closed, folks are busy or want some downtime. Knocking on the door for emergency situations or in a case where the RVer may have a water leak or left their vehicle lights on are some exceptions. Another exception would be if the knock was expected or invited. RVers do love to have get-togethers.  

So where’s the best place to reach your RV neighbor?

“As others have said, I would not knock on anybody’s door but rather would wait until I catch them outside. Then I would go over, introduce myself…”

-MSHappyCampers 

“From my perspective, I’d rather you’d approach me when you see me outside, maybe coming/going or just chilling out in the lawn chair, than knocking on my door.”

-SeeTheUSA

Also, catching your RV neighbors during daylight hours is more sensible. 

RV lifestyle gripe: What’s the big deal with knocking on an RVer’s door?

Full-time RVer Liz from Liz Amazing said it best, “…when (RVers) open the door in the campground, you see their whole life…” She explains that, unlike a home or apartment where you may only see the front room, you can see pretty much every room, even the bathroom with some units, once you open the door to an RV. It feels like an intrusion of privacy.” she said.

Liz goes on to say that if you need to knock on someone’s door, “Knock on the door and then step back. Step so far away that there’s no way you can see inside their rig.”

2. Avoid distracting other RVers as they are setting up/departing.

RVers by nature are friendly and helpful. They enjoy meeting new people, sharing bits of advice, and lending a hand. And although this is a big part of the RV lifestyle, when it comes to setting up at a campsite or following through with departure procedures, Cortni Armstrong of The Flipping Nomad said that this is no time to socialize. 

“There are several safety tasks, and you should not be distracted while performing them. If someone wants to chat, politely ask to continue the conversation once you are done. This includes digital distractions. Don’t talk on the phone, text, or browse social media while working through checklists.”

Setting up an RV at a campground requires a lot of focus and due diligence. Backing up and making sure you avoid any obstructions that could cause damage to your RV or campground equipment are initial tasks when parking in a campsite. Unless you have a trusty travel companion or another reliable individual to serve as the spotter, it may be the case where you will need to get in and out of the rig to double-check and readjust as needed.  

Similarly, departure procedures require multiple tasks to be checked off to ensure a safe trip on the road. Simple tasks like securing the antenna, unplugging from the electrical post, or properly hooking up your tow vehicle can all be overlooked if you start a conversation.

3. Don’t spoil the RV lifestyle for others. Stay within your campsite.

Like hotel rooms, when RVers pay the fees for their campsites, they consider it their personal space for that particular length of time. Many RVers feel strongly about it being treated that way. So situations like other campers cutting through a site to get somewhere quicker and vehicles or lawn furniture crossing over into another site become intrusions or at least annoyances. 

RVers deliberately or unintentionally “expanding” their campsite is a recipe for disaster. On the subject of inappropriate parking, a vehicle sticking out into the roadway is liable to get hit. Boxing another car in could slow down or even halt someone trying to leave in a possible emergency situation. 

Keep camping experiences safe and fun by utilizing the site you purchased.  Set up your RV, tow vehicle, and outdoor furniture within the area.  Use designated paths or just walk the extra steps around an occupied campsite to get where you need to go.  If you have guests visiting, make sure they park in designated parking spaces. 

4. Arrive and depart at reasonable times.

RV parks have arrival and departure times for a reason.  Departure times are typically a couple of hours before noon, and arrival times usually begin a few hours after noon. This allows the campground staff ample time to clean up campsites, including clearing out the firepit.  Cabins need to be turned over and bathhouses sanitized.  RVers that linger around their campsite after departure times not only minimize the amount of time the staff has to clean up but can also delay another RVer’s arrival.  

It’s also a common courtesy to arrive with enough time to set up before sundown.  You can see what you are doing and you’ll arrive before “quiet hours” (typically 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM).  Setting up with little light is no fun and can be rather noisy to RVers wanting to get a good night’s sleep.  If you happen to arrive after dark or after quiet hours, consider parking quickly and set up the following morning.

5. RV dealers and repair shops will not fix your RV issues quickly.

More RVs on the road means an increase in RV maintenance and repair appointments.  Sadly, waiting for service at an RV dealership or repair shop is not a new phenomenon. Customers may wait days, weeks, even months at a time to have their RV serviced.  Warranty classifications, insurance procedures, and access to the necessary parts are all possible causes for delays. 

If you need faster service, Mike Wendland of RV Lifestyle suggests, “Mobile RV repair techs are more responsive and usually can fix anything wrong with most RVs. We’ve learned that the hard way, too, a couple of times…Most are ready to drop everything and tend to your problems. I have called them for help numerous times over the years and never been disappointed.”

More unwritten rules of the RV lifestyle

Mike and Jennifer Wendland of RV Lifestyle blog detail their “10 Unwritten Rules of Camping” in the video below.

Share your thoughts with the RV community

RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.

The post 5 Unwritten Rules Of The RV Lifestyle appeared first on RV LIFE.

How To Avoid Dangerous Travel Conditions In Your RV

dark Skys over the roadway

Dark thunderheads may indicate hail is in your future. Photo by P Dent

How To Avoid Dangerous Travel Conditions In Your RV

Many of us RVers are hitting the road, as full-timers, for an extended vacation, or maybe just for a few quick weekend getaways. But regardless of how we intend to use our motorhome, camper, or fifth wheel, we all need to take time to improve our safety awareness to avoid dangerous travel conditions. 

Travel planning tools

Now, with all the apps and resources available to RVers, we don’t need to be surprised by the weather. There are so many tools available to help us avoid dangerous travel conditions. From the RV LIFE App With GPS and RV Trip Wizard to multiple weather apps, to road reports and highway cameras, it’s much easier now to travel safely than it was when we first started RVing in the late 90s. 

Back then, we just loaded the RV and took off. We used our best judgement and paper maps.  If there was snow, ice, hail, or wildfires along our path, we just didn’t have any resources to be forewarned. It was a gamble. We were guided by our instincts, our better judgement, and I like to think some devine protection.  We narrowly missed several very dangerous situations in our 20+ years of RV traveling, while we waited for the technology to develop that would assist in planning safer travel experiences.

Current weather conditions

We have been driving across the country for several weeks and I see many other RVs also out here getting a jump on the summer RV season, but it’s not all sunshine and clear roads right now, and that’s the point of this post.  It may be spring, but winter has not completely given up her grip on some regions, and if you’re in an RV you certainly don’t want to unexpectedly drive into the jaws of a raging storm.  So how can we all avoid dangerous travel conditions in our RVs and prevent this type of disaster?

There are many tools now to help you look ahead, both in distance and time.  Weather apps for your smartphone will give you current conditions and forecasts for anywhere you may want to travel.  State by state, Department of Transportation (DOT) road condition recordings and highway cameras will tell you and show you what to expect on the road ahead, and Google searches will provide additional information about locations along your path.  Additionally, RV LIFE provides an amazing suite of apps specifically designed to help you plan and safely navigate your way around the country based on your vehicle specifications.

Use common sense, extra travel time, and flexibility

Two common sense ideas to reduce your risk is to give yourself extra time in your travel plans and another is to be flexible in your route and timeline.  You can’t always predict what you might encounter. Weather changes. You might look at the forecast for the upcoming week and everything looks clear then a couple of days later that all changes. A change in the weather might mean you’ll need to stay put for a few days and let the weather settle down.

Other situations that could require extra time are emergency repairs or you might not feel well enough to travel, or you may discover (as we did) that some of the major roads across the country can be closed due to dangerous winds or icy conditions. And if the major freeways are closed, it’s certainly not a good idea to try and find backroads to keep you moving toward your destination. 

If you have extra time built into your travel plans, you’ll reduce your stress because you can take the time you need to get well, repair your rig, or wait for the road to reopen.  You may even need to reroute a portion of your trip if the conditions ahead are too dangerous.

Recently we drove from Oregon to Illinois. The planning was pretty straightforward. We decided to use the major freeways system for almost all of the trip.  We did take secondary roads across Oregon because we were familiar with them and we wanted to see the less populated eastern portions of the state before leaving Oregon for an extended period of time. We connected with I-84 at the Oregon/Idaho border and planned to use I-84 and I-80 for virtually a straight shot into Ottawa, Illinois, which was our destination.  

Red sky reflected in the side of the RV

“Red sky in the morning, sailors (RVers) take warning.” –  Photo by P. Dent

Dangerous travel conditions

Fortunately, we added extra time to this trip plan and we’re glad we did.  When we arrived in Western Wyoming and as we were approaching an 8640’ mountain pass through the Rockies, we started checking the weather forecast in front of us.  The forecast called for several inches of snow for the next few days.  We knew the highest mountain pass in the entire US freeway system would be treacherous in an RV if there was snow and ice on the roadway, so we delayed our trip in Bridger, WY for a few days and waited for the storm to pass in front of us. 

It did snow both in Bridger, and in the pass.  The storm deposited several inches of snow on the highway, but we were stationery and safe.

A couple of days later, after the snow melted, we continued our journey over the Rockies and into Cheyenne, WY.  As was our habit, we checked the weather in front of us.  But with the Rockies in our rearview mirror, we were feeling pretty safe about the rest of the journey until we read about the severe storms, lightning, thunder, and damaging hail that was in the forecast for southwestern Nebraska.

Now, hurricane and flash floods are dangerous for RVers, but damaging hail can also turn your RV and tow vehicle into a complete loss in a matter of minutes.  We started searching for more information and learned from a Google search that the area in which we planned to camp the following day was known as Hail Alley.  The peak season for damaging hail in Hail Alley is April until June.  It was May 12th.

Change the plan for a safer route

Dangerous thunderstorms and damaging hail were in the forecast from Cheyenne, WY to Omaha, NE for the next week. We couldn’t even safely stay where we were camping in Cheyenne.  We knew we needed to be flexible and adjust our route to avoid Hail Alley. 

We let the weather forecast help us with our planning and we determined that we could go further north to avoid the approaching storm. It would take us several hundred miles out of the way, but we would be north of the dangerous hailstorms predicted for southern Nebraska.  Consequently, we rerouted to I-90 through South Dakota, and we spent a few extra days in Douglas, WY, enjoying all that Eastern Wyoming has to offer. 

If we had not built extra time into our trip planning or been flexible about our route, we would have been driving right into these dangerous travel conditions and potentially suffered a loss or damage because of it.  This lifestyle requires planning and flexibility. That’s why we recommend using all the available tools from RV LIFE, the weather apps, and the DOT road conditions and highway cameras to learn about what lies ahead.

Related articles:

 

The post How To Avoid Dangerous Travel Conditions In Your RV appeared first on RV LIFE.

7 Things You Need To Know For Safe RV Towing

truck towing fifth wheel in front of mountain view

7 Things You Need To Know For Safe RV Towing

Towing an RV can be very intimidating. Researching towing techniques and practicing as much as possible in low-traffic areas will help you become more comfortable and confident.

Towing classes are becoming more popular and are a great idea for new RV owners. Considering the large responsibility, there is no special license or training required to tow an RV until you reach a certain weight at which point a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required.  

Here are some safe RV towing tips to make sure you have a safe trip.

1. Plan ahead

Planning your trip and knowing your RV specifications is the first step in a safe trip. Many towing incidents are a result of being unaware of the space you require or coming upon an unfavorable route for towing. 

Planning your trip ahead of time can help you avoid high traffic areas, busy times of day for traffic, and unfavorable routes for large vehicles such as tight turns, steep grades, and high crosswind areas. Use a trip planner like RV Trip Wizard and the RV LIFE App to plan your RV-safe routes and GPS directions.

Some of these things may be unavoidable to get to your desired location and will have to be navigated. Being prepared for these obstacles can help avoid surprises and lessen stress. Plan brake check stops before steep grades, rest areas before curvy mountain passes, and time your city driving outside of rush hour.

Being prepared for your route also includes knowing your RV specifications. RV length, height, width, and weight are important to know when planning your route and while on the road. Avoiding low bridges or tight spaces is best, however, should you find yourself approaching a tight obstacle, it is best to know your required room needed. Some routes have weight restrictions and seasonal roads for heavy vehicles. Having these measurements listed in your vehicle for reference is a smart idea. 

2. Tire monitoring

By far one of the most common potentially dangerous situations while towing is an RV tire blowout. This applies to both your RV and your tow vehicle.

Pre-trip tire inspection is a must. Tire condition and tire pressure must be checked prior to hitting the road.

Once on the road, continuous tire monitoring is important. Tire pressure and temperature should be checked periodically while traveling. Maintaining the manufacturer tire pressure and staying within the load range of your tires will not only keep you safe but extend the life of your tires.

Consider an onboard tire monitor system (TMS) for ease of monitoring your tires. Having a tire inflator with you will allow you to adjust pressure if needed. A temperature gun can be used to compare and monitor tire temperature.

Most tire issues are the result of improper inflation, excessive loads, high speed, and overheating. Control these four things and you are much less likely to have a blowout.

3. Don’t exceed your tow vehicle limits

There are legal implications involved with exceeding any of the towing and payload capacities of your tow vehicle. These capacities are in place for the safe use of your vehicle.

Towing an RV can be a challenge for you but also for your tow vehicle. Just because a vehicle can tow an RV doesn’t mean it can tow it safely. Stopping and handling movement and momentum are large tasks for your tow vehicle.

Your tow vehicle must be able to handle trailer sway and possible emergency maneuvers including swerving and unexpected stops. A general rule of thumb is to stay under 75 percent of the manufacturer’s weight ratings. Although legal to the maximum number, it is advisable to not be towing continuously right on the edge.

Be realistic and responsible when looking at RVs. If the RV you want is too big for your tow vehicle, choose a different RV or upgrade your tow vehicle.

4. Drive within your limits

Just like your tow vehicle has limits, so do you. Although you can’t refer to a manual to judge your limits, you must still take them into consideration.

As you tow more, you will become more competent. For first-time RV owners, you must take your time and gain experience towing. This may include a towing class, starting with a smaller RV, practicing in rural areas, short travel days, and traveling with experienced RVers.

Once on the road, it can be intimidating to keep up with traffic, take an unplanned shortcut, or make it to your destination as fast as possible. Stay within your comfort range and take breaks as needed. Towing takes full concentration and focus.

On a freeway going 60 mph with 4 lanes of traffic is not the place to learn or try new techniques.

5. Maintain a safe distance

Towing an RV requires that you have extra room to stop and maneuver.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have that extra room. Follow at a safe distance and allow traffic to pass if you feel you are being pushed down the road from behind.

Be prepared for turns and allow extra room around your vehicle to maneuver. Be aware of your proximity to the lines on the road and take into consideration how your RV tracks and any sway while towing.

6. Limit trailer sway

Trailer sway is something we all hope to never experience but most likely will at some point.

In most cases, when towing a trailer you will notice some movement of the trailer over bumps and on uneven roads. This is normal and will become less alarming over time.

Having a quality weight distribution anti-sway hitch paired to a proper tow vehicle will minimize most sway. There is still a chance, however, of experiencing trailer sway.

Some of the most common causes of trailer sway are improper weight distribution between the trailer and tow vehicle, excessive speed, crosswinds, high-sided trucks, and downhill grades.

Being aware of the causes of trailer sway and knowing how to minimize it and react to it will help the fear. Having a good trailer brake that can be applied independently of the tow vehicle brakes will help straighten out your trailer if you experience sway.

7. Be careful changing lanes

Changing lanes in general is a higher-risk activity when driving. This is, of course, amplified while towing an RV.

Your blind spots are larger and you will require more room and time to make a lane change. 

Having towing mirrors is important. They allow you to see more of your RV and the surrounding areas. If your vehicle isn’t equipped with towing mirrors consider adding mirror extenders. Plan your turns and lane changes as far ahead as possible and allow adequate time after signaling before you start your lane change.

Towing mirror showing truck and trailer - RV towing


Don’t let the unknown of towing an RV prevent you from RV life. Do your research, practice your towing skills, and follow safe towing practices and you will have safe travels.

For help mapping out your route for your next RV getaway, look no further than RV Trip Wizard. This online planning tool finds an RV-friendly route to your RV park. It can also locate interesting sites along the way, all according to your travel preferences. Get RV Trip Wizard with its accompanying RV LIFE App, and start planning your adventure today!

Continue reading:

 

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The Pros And Cons Of A Park Model RV

park model RV in trailer park

The Pros And Cons Of A Park Model RV

Fifth wheels, travel trailers, and other RVs are perfect for people who love to take their home on the road. However, if you find a trailer park that you love and want to set up a more permanent living space, a park model RV might be the best choice for you!

These are better suited for long-term use, and come in a variety of designs and styles. There are a few factors to juggle when you’re considering a park model though, so let’s explore the pros and cons. 

What is a park model RV?

Everyone is familiar with the standard motorhome and trailer RVs, but park models are a bit more unusual. Essentially, a park model RV is a temporary home that’s created specifically for a trailer park setting. They’re designed for longer periods of sustained use, but most of them are still best for just a few months at a time. 

Park models resemble mobile homes or tiny houses. They can’t have more than 400 square feet in their floor plan, but they are spacious, cozy, and easy to fit on a standard trailer park lot. The designers don’t have to worry about car safety equipment or built-in wheel wells, so they can use this space to the fullest. Many of these pre-made homes work well for seasonal uses such as hunting lodges, camping cabins, or just small vacation houses. 

However, they don’t have built-in engines (like motorhomes) and they can’t handle off-road terrain as well as travel trailers and fifth wheels. Park model RVs need to be towed behind a sturdy tow vehicle. They have a set of wheels and a trailer bed attached to the base. They might be a bit bulky on the road, but it’s perfectly legal to tow a park model from place to place. If you spotted a pre-made home on the highway that was labeled with a “wide-load” tag, there’s a good chance it was a park model!

The RV Industry Association (RVIA) creates guidelines and regulations for park models. These may vary from state to state, but you can visit their page here for more information about park models in your area. This updates annually, so make sure you’re looking at the most current information!

Benefits of a park model RV

Park model RVs are the perfect choice for travelers who like to pick a beautiful RV park and set up a long-term vacation spot for the summer. I know I have a few campgrounds that I could enjoy for months!

It can get tiring to live out of a van or travel trailer for such a long time, so a nice home away from home can help. Park model RVs have all the style of tiny homes, and they can usually fit all the same amenities (if not more) compared to a luxury RV. 

Park models also have more floor space and they have to make fewer compromises about how to use it. They can afford to have luxuries like full-size bathrooms, lofts, extra bedrooms, and large kitchens. Some of them also have slide-outs and extendable sections that can increase the square footage. 

Although these RVs are designed for short-term seasonal use, they can be winterized and used during cold months as well. You can buy pre-made park models that are designed for winter, or retrofit an existing RV to suit your needs. It’s also easy to add exterior porches, awnings, storage sheds, and garage spaces. You can add and subtract features to make a unique and comfortable mobile home. 

At the end of the day, a park model RV is much more like a home than a vehicle. They have attractive exteriors and cozy interiors. They can offer a greater amount of space as well as larger appliances. So if you plan on staying in one spot for a few months, you might want to choose a park model as your living space. 

Drawbacks of a park model RV

Of course, it’s not all good news for park model owners. These are certainly great options for month-long visits to RV parks, but they also have their own set of drawbacks. 

First of all, although they offer more space than traditional RVs, they still have a limited floor plan. 400 square feet might seem like a lot, but it can quickly get cramped if you’re hosting lots of friends and family. Storage space can also get filled up and you might still end up living in a cramped home after a while. 

Park model RVs are also closely regulated by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). They must comply with the A119.5 Park Model Recreational Vehicle Standard. So even if you feel like making your own park model from a shed or other base, there are a lot of standards you have to meet. 

Storing a park model also might be difficult. They’re large and bulky and need a good amount of space in a yard or garage. You might even need to pay extra to store it in a facility. Some insurance mortgage plans don’t cover park model RVs either, so make sure you have the protection you need before you buy one. 

As we mentioned above, park models are also not suitable for year-round use. You can use them for a few months at a time, but they aren’t a permanent housing solution. The materials are designed to be lightweight and easy to transport, but they won’t hold up under serious wear and tear. You’ll need to properly store and maintain your park model when it’s not being used so it can last a long time. 

Floor plan examples

Like all RV types, park models have their own pros and cons. Many people enjoy them because they are comfortable and easy to spend a camping season in. If you’re interested in getting a park model of your own, check out the videos below! They showcase some of the amenities and designs you can expect to see. 

Continue reading: 5 Important Things To Consider While RV Shopping

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RV Lifestyle | Grape Creek RV Park San Angelo TX

Listen to the latest RVtravel.com podcast

Welcome to the official RV Travel Podcast page. Here’s where you can listen to the latest show or learn where to listen those from the past. A new podcast is posted every week in our Saturday newsletter. You’ll find that newsletter on the front page of the RVtravel.com website. The RV Travel podcast is brought […]

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RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1005

Welcome to RVtravel.com, an RV-themed newsletter from the most-read consumer website about RVing in North America with more than 147,000 registered subscribers. We support a free press and believe it is essential to a democracy. At RVtravel.com, you will learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. And we’ll explore where this […]

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Heartland RV recall involves 22,236 trailers for fire risk

Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC. (Heartland) is recalling certain 2018-2021 Mallard, Shadow Cruiser, Sundance XLTTT, Wilderness, Prowler, Trail Runner, 2018-2019 Pioneer, Terry Classic, 2020-2021 Lithium, and 2021 North Trail trailers equipped with a Winntec model 6020 two-stage propane regulator. The regulator may fail, causing an increase in propane pressure. The potential number of units affected is […]

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Genesis RV recalling some trailers, 5th wheels for possible stove gas leak

Genesis Supreme RV (Genesis) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Genesis, Vortex, and Wanderer bumper pull and low profile fifth wheel trailers, equipped with Dometic 3-burner cooking stoves. The saddle valve securing bolt may be overtightened, possibly damaging the o-ring seal and causing a continuous gas leak. A gas leak can increase the risk of a fire, […]

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RV Gadget: Fridge Fixer keeps residential refrigerator doors closed in RVs

Americans are an ingenious lot. We see a problem. We solve a problem. Whether that problem be big or small we don’t hesitate to provide a cool solution. And speaking of cool, one of the problems many RVers have is that their residential refrigerators don’t stay closed when going down the road. Solution? Fridge Fixer™.  […]

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