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Category Archives: RV Camping Tips & How Tos

The Interstate Highway System: A Guide for Drivers

The Interstate Highway system has often times been referred to as the greatest public system that exists. In 1956, President Eisenhower approved the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which has provided a constant stream of construction jobs and an interconnected road system between virtually all of the continental states. The US Interstate government construction funds were allotted through the year 1996. This is the length of time for the construction of all 42, 795 miles of highway to be complete.

The Interstate Highway system has improved the social economics of the US. The system has created and sustained employment for huge number of Americans. It has allowed normal everyday Americans to purchase goods and services through the convenience of the easy to travel roads. The system has opened up the gateway for easy transport of freight carrying goods and services to locations all over the US. This has also in turn caused Americans to become dependent on the system. The highway system has taken the place of rail transportation and this has caused large amounts of congestion and environmental issues.

The numbering configuration for the interstate highways began with the two digit numbers. Here are some key things to remember:

  1. Any interstate with a number 0—10 is considered a two digit number according to this system

  2. Any interstates that end in a 0 or multiples of 5 are major interstate highways that run across the majority of the country.

  3. The even numbered routes are east to west with the highest numbers in the east and the odd number routes are north to south, with higher numbers in the north.

  4. The three digit routes were adopted later and generally form a loop around the main interstates, which are the two digit interstates.

The three most famous interstate highways in the US include the iconic Route 66 or otherwise known as interstate highway 66, US 1, and US Interstate 30 or Lincoln’s Highway. The Adopt a Highway program was introduced to promote the sponsorship of a highway litter removal service to keep the roads clean and free of debris. 

 

Top 5 RV Must-Haves

The trip is planned and everyone is excited! Well…almost everyone. A cross-country trip in an RV may sound like an adventure for some, but being out of touch with friends can be a major problem, not to mention having to put up with that annoying little brother or sister for hours at a time. For those who may not really want to hang out with the family, here is a list of the top 5 RV must-haves to ignore your family and survive the week without going crazy.

Gaming System

Bring enough games to keep busy for a couple of hours at a time. Make sure to pack the charging cable too. And it is a good idea to bring extras of any small attachments that may go missing. Games are a great way to have some fun while trapped in the RV with the rest of the family. If possible, bring games that annoying siblings might enjoy and let them play once in a while to keep them happy, and out of your way. This is also a great way to make it look like you are spending time with them without actually having to do anything.

iPad or eBook Reader

An eBook reader solves this problem as it will hold hundreds of books. Plus, new ones can be added along the way! Parents love to see kids read and won’t nag as much about playing with the rest of the family when the eBook reader is being used. There are also games available for many of these devices. Some readers, such as the iPad, can be used to connect to the internet. This connection provides access to Netflix as well as social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Keeping in touch when WiFi is available is no problem. As with all the other devices, be sure to bring the charging cord.

Cell Phone

Make sure the phone has an unlimited texting program. This is a great way to keep in touch, but don’t overdo it as parents may take the phone away to encourage teens to talk to the rest of the family. There is also the problem of service. There are many places between major cities where there is no cell service, so have an alternative option ready to keep busy.

Music

Load up some great songs and tune out the rest of the world whenever needed. Most players are small enough to fit into a pocket and bring along for the family hike or whatever else the parents have planned for the day. Don’t turn the music up too loud though. The parents may decide to take it away to preserve long term hearing.

Portable DVD Player

There is nothing worse than having to watch the same movie that the 6 year old wants to watch again and again. This is also a must even if an iPad is brought as wireless and internet access may not be available everywhere. Bring enough movies to watch a different one each day if possible. Make sure the headphones that work for the MP3 player also work in the DVD player so there isn’t a problem with hearing the movie. This is a great way to relax after a hard day of RV fun.

Other Tips

All of these electronic devices are great and will make the trip bearable, but don’t forget the charging attachments. There is nothing worse than losing power three days into the trip and the rechargers are not often interchangeable. Put all of these extra wires into a small bag so they are together and easy to get at. If possible, bring headphones that block out the surrounding noise instead of standard headphones that don’t. Bring a backpack that zips closed to keep all of these important items close and safe from siblings.

These top 5 RV must haves to ignore the family will help make the trip more bearable, but don’t overuse them. Spend some time interacting with the parents and the rest of the family to keep them happy or they may decide to make it an electronics-free ride.

 

RV and Camping Skills: Wilderness Survival Tips Every Outdoorsman Should Know

RV and Camping Skills: Wilderness Survival Tips Every Outdoorsman Should Know

Survival skills are known as techniques an individual might rely on in a perilous circumstance, such as in the case of a natural disaster, to save either himself or herself or others. Survival skills are techniques that are intended to furnish the fundamental skills necessary to maintain human life. Some of these factors that maintain human life are habitat, shelter, water, food, the ability to think straight, the ability to navigate properly, the ability to signal for aid, and the ability to prevent any life threatening interactions with poisonous plants and animals. Survival skills are oftentimes fundamental abilities that people have employed for thousands of years. In that way, wilderness survival skills are really nothing but a way to reenact history.

There are a number of reasons to learn and practice wilderness survival skills. It is a common misconception to believe that survival skills are only learned exclusively for survival purposes. Certain people choose to learn wilderness survival skills in order to better appreciate and unite with nature. For instance, some people who learn survival skills may use their knowledge to simply stay outdoors in nature for longer periods of time, where they can flourish in nature longer than a person without these wilderness survival skills.

It is truly important that someone who spends a lot of time in the outdoors is knowledgeable about being able to provide for himself or herself with regards to shelter, water and food. It may be necessary to learn how to build a shelter because some unforeseen emergency may arise that forces a person to spend time longer in the outdoors than normally expected. Similarly, where to find water and food is a necessary concern because situations may turn unpredictable in the wilderness. A person can only last up to five days without water and up to a few weeks without food, provided that they drink water regularly, so he or she has to make sure to know where to find both in the wild.

For safety’s sake, anyone venturing into the outdoors for even short periods of time should know something about survival skills. It is better to be safe rather than sorry. Knowing even something as fundamental as basic first-aid can mean the difference between death and survival. The following will provide a comprehensive resource on essential wilderness survival tips and advice.

Food and Water

Fire Making

Predators

First Aid

Shelter

Navigation

Additional Survival Skills

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in RV Camping Tips & How Tos

 

RV Travel: Make Road Trips Kid-Friendly and Educational

Traveling with children can be frustrating for adults and kids alike. Parents can do their share in making the time in a car, RV, hotel room, or on a plane go by much faster by planning ahead and providing fun activities for their children: map reading, geography, spelling, manners lessons, word games, etc. There are great ways for kids to partake in educational activities without feeling as though they are in school. Consider the following links for occupying kids time while traveling.

State of Nebraska: Car Activities

This site includes downloadable coloring pages and a large selection of games including highway alphabet soup, back road bingo, the rainbow game, sign finder, cow counter, maze, word search, connect the dots, license plate roundup, city sightings, picture find, and word jumble, all perfect and perfectly themed for the road.

National Atlas: Map Maker

Using this site will allow children and parents alike to be able to create their own maps online, featuring display items including agriculture, biology, boundaries, climate, environment, geology, people, references, and history. There is so much to play with and learn from.

University of Missouri: eThemes: Grammar: Spelling

Here is a comprehensive source for kid-friendly online content, focusing on spelling, grammar, and educational activities.

California Department of Transportation: Kids Page

This page is a great resource with games including find the potholes, Caltrans ‘roadeo’, trivia quiz, bridge designing, travel bingo, an activity book, and educational material on infrastructure.

FedStats: Mapstats for Kids

Links and graphics perfect for educating children on maps and statistics by using games, colors for painting maps, and fun strategy activities: the network challenge, market manager, and data to graphics.

Library of Congress: Everyday Mysteries

This site features fun science facts including random animal trivia, perfect for an educational and interesting drive.

Williamson County Schools: Oak View Elementary: Spelling Games

This site features a perfect kid-friendly game for road trips and flights alike.

U.S. Census Bureau: Fact Finder Kids’ Corner

Kides can easily get information on the U.S. Census and all 50 states with this fun quiz. It also includes quick facts, and information on the U.S. Census in simple words that kids can understand.

U.S. Government Printing Office: Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids

A fun and informative guide to the U.S. made specifically for children including basic map reading from North America.

U.S. Department of State for Youth: Where In the World is the Secretary?

Similar to the Carmen San Diego show, this interactive map follows Secretary Clinton as she travels throughout the world. It allows traveling children the opportunity to track their own travels on the map with markers.

Central Intelligence Agency: Kids’ Page

This area of the CIA’s website allows children to play games, use coloring books, and go on code breaking missions. There is world exploration software, and games called aerial analysis challenge and photo challenge.

Penn State University: Take the stress out of family road trips

Another article on fun road trips specifically geared for families of children. With tips such as providing bubbles, puppets, projects and journals, these age appropriate ideas should be a great resource for families on long journeys.

Bank Street College’s Guide to Literacy for volunteers and tutors: Writing Activities

Parents can try out these simple and fun activities. All they need is to give their kids a pencil and a pad of paper. With a little direction and proper encouragement, kids should be distracted for a long time.

North Carolina State University: Activity Guide Ages 5 to 8: Manners Matter

This guide is the perfect outline for parents to discuss manners using age appropriate social lingo with their children. If the kids are a little older, there are tabs for ages 9-12 and 13-19, as well.

Stanford University: Traveling with Children… Things to Remember: Developmental Considerations

Here is a generous resource, with a fantastic reminder checklist for all parents prior to any travel with children.

Walden University: Teaching Kids Manners

Perfect for parents to review when hoping to teach age appropriate manners and etiquette to their children. This site provides a great read for a long trip.

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh: Traveling with Children

Here is another great resource for parents to review before, during, and after a trip with kids.

Penn State University: Building Strong Families: Traveling with Kids

This is an article with different travel tips for parents provided by the Better Kid Care Program.

Baby Center: Road Trip Survival Guide

This article gives tips on traveling with children from infancy to 3 ½ years of age.

eHOW: How to Travel with Children

This gives tips on traveling with kids by car and by airplane.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in RV Camping Tips & How Tos

 

Adventure Calls: 117 Things to Add to Your RV bucket list

Hail, ye fellow Road Warriors! Adventure is calling – but where to go first? Whether hitting the pavement as a first-timer or as an asphalt veteran, it’s time to get inspired by this big and beautiful country we live in. Check off these 117 must-see locales while you’re cruising in your “road house” before you kick the bucket.

    1. Experience the first rays of sun before anyone else in America. In the fall, drive or hike up Cadillac Mountain on Maine’s Mt. Desert Island.
      • Travel Tip: Stay and enjoy Acadia National Park at the Mt. Desert Narrows Campground, whose sister campground, Narrows Too, is Big Rig friendly.
    1. Determine which coastal New England town hosts the best crab cakes.
    2. Ride the oldest working carousel in the country. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
      • Travel Tip: Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground is the only campground on the island.
    3. Buy a lobster off a lobstering boat in a coastal marina.
    4. Cruise the winding roads of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire when autumn is in full swing.
    1. Drive down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. Deck out the RV in patriotic decorations: flags, streamers, ribbons. Play the national anthem as loud as you can. Wave to children.
      • Travel Tip: The closest RV Park/Campground to Washington D.C. is Cherry Hill Park. College Park, Maryland.
    2. Spend a peaceful evening listening to the loons in the Adirondacks.
    1. Eat a pizza in Mystic, Connecticut.
    2. Take a picture next to each of Saratoga Springs’ 34 horse statues. Saratoga Springs, New York.
      • Travel Tip: Whispering Pines Campsites & RV Park is picturesque and minutes away from Saratoga Springs.
    3. Have a paper airplane throwing contest on North Carolina’s Outer Banks in honor of the Kitty Hawk.
    4. Cook a gourmet meal in your RV.
    5. Get drenched at Niagara Falls.
    1. Go whale watching off Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
    2. Pick blueberries in the eastern-most town in the United States: Lubec, Maine.
    3. Drive over the highest vehicular bridge in the Americas: New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville, West Virginia. Don’t look down!
    1. Discover why New Jersey is called the Garden State. Drive through southern New Jersey and along the Appalachian Trail.
    2. Roll the dice in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
    1. Meander down Ashley River Road through Charleston, South Carolina.
    2. Collect some blue grass in Kentucky. Press it in a journal or book.
    3. Invite Mickey and Minnie to dinner in your RV. Or at least get their autographs.
      • Travel Tip: Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is a boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom.
    4. Look for a green light at the end of a dock where The Great Gatsby was filmed. Rosecliff Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island.
    1. Camp on the beach. Edisto Island, South Carolina.
    2. Time your West Virginia road trip to coincide with a meteor shower. Drive until there are no lights and stay up all night.
    3. Savannah, Georgia is voted Top 50 Most Romantic Cities in America. Go there. Go on a date.
      • Travel Tip: Stay for a night or two in Fort McAllister Historic Park – Richmond Hill Campground.
    1. Take a winter Vermont trip! Ski the bunny hills (or double black diamond runs) at Stowe, indulge in free ice cream samples at the Ben & Jerry’s factory near Waterbury, walk down Church Street Marketplace in Burlington.
    2. Time your stay on Chesapeake’s Eastern Shore with the migration of the birds south for the winter. Many pass right through the Atlantic Flyaway.
      • Travel Tip: Chesapeake View Campground is the perfect place to put up your feet after a long day of bird watching.
    3. Try spelunking – or just going for a walk – in Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. Central Kentucky.
    1. Touch the one-of-a-kind rock formations in Tishomingo State Park driving along scenic Natchez Trace Parkway, in Tishomingo County, Mississippi.
    2. Sell some trinkets in the World’s Longest Yard Sale – the 127 Corridor Sale – in early August. 654 miles, starting in West Unity, Ohio and ending in Gadsden, Alabama.
    3. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway from Virginia to North Carolina.
    1. Park your rig at the 411 Drive-In for a night of old-fashioned movie fun. Leesburg, Alabama.
    2. Vote on your favorite float for Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
      • Travel Tip: Looking for a place to stay? Try Riverboat Travel Park, only a few miles from the French Quarter.
    3. Eat a peach while touring the Martin Luther King Jr. historic site. Atlanta, Georgia.
    4. Count the wildlife you see in the Everglades. Be wary of alligators.
    5. Take a picture on the observation tower at Clingmans Dome, the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.
      • Travel Tip: There is no entry fee to the park – one of the only National Parks in the country without one.
    1. Glue some rhinestones to the soles of your shoes and tour Graceland. Memphis, Tennessee.
    2. Blast “Coat of Many Colors” and cruise through Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, home of Dollywood.
    3. Get lucky in Kentucky. Bet on a horse at Churchill Downs. Louisville, Kentucky.
    4. Take a picture by the Southermost Point Buoy. Key West, Florida.
      • Travel Tip: Word of mouth is that, while hard to find at night, El Mar RV Resort is the most cost effective in this expensive region.
    5. Chase a tornado in Kansas. Or err on the side of caution and visit a local weather center.
    6. Ditch the RV and take a buggy ride through Amish Country. Shreve, Ohio.
      • Travel Tip: Think about staying at Whispering Hills RV Park. It’s a good thought, isn’t it?
    7. Wash your hair in the water fall at Ash Cave. Hocking Hills, Ohio.
    1. Bring the beer and burgers! Tailgate a Buckeye football game. Columbus, Ohio.
      • Travel Tip: The Schottenstein Center in the Buckeye lots is a great spot for Ohio State Tailgating.
    2. Hibernate under the stars at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore, Michigan.
    3. Voyage through Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota.
    4. Be devilish! Skinny dip in Devils Lake. Baraboo, Wisconsin.
    1. Ride down the Magnificent Mile. Blast your favorite song and wave to all the shoppers. On your way out of the city, cruise down Lake Shore Drive. Chicago, Illinois.
    2. There’s no place like home! Wear sparkly red shoes and click your heels three times in Kansas.
    3. Park your RV for a day. Bike to the ferry terminal at Mackinac Island, Michigan, where no cars are allowed.
      • Travel Tip: Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping is close by and is a favorite amongst travelers.
    4. Take a tour of Abe Lincoln’s house. Observe the size of his home compared to your RV. Springfield, Illinois.
    5. Stroll through the Garden of Gods at dawn in Shawnee National Forest. Southern Illinois.
      • Travel Tip: Oak Point is a campground located right in the Shawnee National Forest
    1. Run the bases at the Field of Dreams. Dyersville, Iowa.
    2. Drive your RV under the St. Louis Arch and beep your horn. As much as you would like.
    3. Get all dolled up and see a Country show in Branson, Missouri.
    4. One hump or two? Trek through the West Texas Sand Dunes in Monahans Sandhills State Park on a camel. Watch out, they spit.
    5. Eat a hamburger under the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle. Collinsville, Illinois.
    6. Dance barefoot in a sunflower field in the Sunflower State (Kansas).
    1. Snap your RV’s photo in front of Carhenge. Create your own miniature Carhenge out of toy cars. Alliance, Nebraska.
    2. Spelunk at Wind Cave National Park. Hot Springs, South Dakota.
    3. Hang your shoes on the shoe tree off US 50 in Nevada.
    4. Read lines from Mark Twain’s Huck Finn. Follow the Mississippi from North to South in your car for one day and see how far you can get.
    5. Get your kicks on Route 66! Drive the historic route from Oklahoma to New Mexico.
    1. Go batty! View the World’s Largest Urban Bat Colony. Wear a hat. Austin, Texas.
    2. See the buffalo roam by taking the Wildlife Loop State Scenic Byway in South Dakota.
    3. Meet an extraterrestrial. Visit Roswell and Corona, New Mexico.
    4. Remember the Alamo? Attend an Alamo reenactment. San Antonio, Texas.
    1. Get lost. Find an unmarked road on your map and follow it for a few hours.
    2. Eat dinner with our Forefathers. Park your RV within sight of Mt. Rushmore and nosh on your favorite American cuisine.
      • Travel Tip: Hill City is a convenient place to park, plug in and see everything.
    1. Be bad! Drive your RV 5-miles over the speed limit through the Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway.
    2. Go crazy! Gallop a horse up to the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
    3. Stock up on supplies at Wall Drug. Wall, South Dakota.
    4. Have a photo shoot at Cadillac Ranch. Amarillo, Texas.
    1. Cruise the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, windows down, and don’t stop until you spot an Elvis.
      • Travel Tip: The Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort is nearly as decadent as The Strip itself!
    2. For one whole day, avoid the interstate and take the back roads in North Dakota.
    3. Take your little house on the Prairie. Go on a pilgrimage from Missouri to South Dakota and stop at least 3 of the 8 Wilder Destinations – Independence, Kansas (Little House on the Prairie), Walnut Grove, Minnesota (On the Banks of Plum Creek) and De Smet, South Dakota. Don’t miss the Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield, Missouri, built by Wilder and her husband and where Wilder wrote the Little House books.
    4. Pretend you’re a cowboy or cowgirl for a day. Camp out in the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming.
      • Travel Tip: Big Horn Mountains Campground claims to be the closet campground to the Big Horn Mountains.
    1. Ride the Million Dollar Highway in western Colorado.
    2. Salute the brave American pooches and their handlers at the West Coast War Dog Memorial outside of the March Field Air Force Base. Riverside, California.
    3. Pack some extra sweaters and head up to Fairbanks come winter. Witness the Northern Lights in all their glory.
    4. Experience the sights and sounds of a concert at the Gorge in George, Washington.
    1. Visit the Seven Feathers RV Resort, said to be one of the finest RV resorts in the United State.
      • Travel Tip: Free WiFi, indoor swimming pool and spa, designer patios, and a casino resort complex all reside at the Seven Feathers.
    2. Embrace unobstructed views of ocean sunsets at the Doran Beach Regional Park just north of San Francisco, California.
    3. Ride the Alaska Ferry into Haines Hitch-Up RV Park and view the breathtaking scenery of the Last Frontier. Haines, Alaska.
    4. Take a ride down on of the most beautiful highways in the world – Highway 1. Visit the Hearst Castle. San Simeon, California.
    1. Enjoy the abundant wildflowers when you make your spring visit to Sequoia National Park. Near Visalia, California.
    2. Get blow away by the Old Faithful Geyser of California, which erupts every 45 minutes. Calistoga, CA.
    3. Go wine tasting through the vineyards of Walla Walla, Washington.
    4. See one of Arizona’s most remote and most beautiful state parks. Alamo Lake State Park, western Arizona.
      • Travel Tip: At the dead end of a 40-mile desert road, you’ll find of the most coveted spots for warm water fishing and green desert plant life.
    1. Visit one of the largest galleries of vintage coin operated mechanical music makers, strength testers and fortune testers at the Musée Mecanique. San Francisco, California.
    2. Go water skiing on Lake Coeur d’Alene at the ultra modern Coeur d’Alene RV Resort. Post Falls, Idaho.
    3. Camp just outside of Disneyland at the Anaheim Harbor RV Park and walk to the Magic Kingdom just in time for the opening ceremony on Main Street U.S.A. Anaheim, California.
    4. Take a boat trip down the Snake River through Hell’s Canyon. Baker City, Oregon.
    1. Camp at the historic United States fort in Fort Flagler State Park. Near Port Townsend, Washington.
    2. Stop by the National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military in front of the USS Midway in San Diego, CA.
    3. View the largest ocean of volcanic lava flows in the continental United States at the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Arco, Idaho.
      • Travel Tip: There are no hookups or showers on site, but you can find large campsites 18 miles east of the preserve.
    4. Take a ride down a natural water chute at Slide Rock State Park. Sedona, Arizona.
    5. Experience the awe-inspiring fury of Yosemite Falls at the Yosemite National Park in east-central California.
      • Travel Tip: Make your reservations well in advance. While it is possible to camp at Yosemite National Park without a reservation, it’s best to make a reservation up to 6 months in advance with the National Park Service.
    1. Eat a breakfast burrito with “Christmas” chili at Tia Sofia’s. Santa Fe, New Mexico.
    2. Enjoy the Apple Blossom Festival in a Bavarian getaway. Leavenworth, Washington.
    3. Take a picture of the painted badlands from the Kachina Point Lookout. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.
    1. Sip on wine in the hidden Oregon vineyards of Rogue Valley.
      • Travel Tip: Take a side trip to Crater Lake an hour east or coastal redwood forest two hours west.
    2. Trek through the self-guided Lava Flow Nature Trail at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. Coconino County, Arizona.
    3. Go biking around the rolling coastline of the San Juan Islands, Washington.
    4. Join a snowball fight in July. Mount Rainier, Washington.
    1. Hike the Alpine Ridge Trail in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Northern Colorado.
    2. Go tubing down the Yampa River. Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
    3. Learn the difference between a stalagmite and a stalactite when you visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Near Carlsbad, New Mexico.
    1. Hunt for prehistoric fossils at the Dinosaur National Monument. Moffat County, Utah.
    2. Drive by the world’s largest thermometer. Baker, California.
    3. Say hello to the giant Apatosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex off I-10. Cabazon, California.
    1. Get stuck in the Le Brea Tar Pits. Los Angeles, California.
    2. Take a stop at Dinosaur Town, complete with volcano toilets. Granger, Washington.
    3. Venture into the Wild West when you pass through a historic (and haunted) ghost town. Garnet, Montana.
    1. Witness the Cathedral of the Bomb at Historic Nuclear Reactor B. Hanford, Washington.
    2. Retrace the steps of two famous explorers when you travel to the coast on the Lewis and Clark Trail.
    3. Venture through the only temperate rainforest in the world. Olympic National Park, Washington.
      • Travel Tip: Elwah Dam RV Park was rated “Best RV Park by a Dam Site” in 2003.
    4. Take a dip in the Boiling River – Yellowstone National Park’s most popular natural soaking area. Near Gardiner, Montana.

Once you check off this bucket list, start another one. See you on the road!

 

Road Trip: Ways to Save

Even in these tight economic times, a road trip is still the way to go! Recent research shows RVing is typically 27-61% less expensive than other vacations, according to studies comparing vacation costs.

With an increase in fuel prices, food and other necessities it is more important than ever to watch spending and cut back on unnecessary luxuries. Vacation doesn’t need to be one of them! With these tips for saving money and cutting costs you’ll be on the road and headed for a fabulous vacation in no time. Check out our guide to the Top 10 RV Destinations for RV trip ideas.

Before You Go

RV driving on the open road. First, it is important to make the RV as efficient as possible. The following tips can assure safe and speedy travels, as well as save some money along the way:

The Driver: Planning trips ahead of time and using a GPS device while on the road can save unnecessary and unwanted time spent driving in search of an unknown destination. While driving, be sure to keep windows rolled up on highways and cut down on aggressive driving to preserve fuel economy. Also, be sure to research gas prices before the trip to know the best places to fill up to save time and money.

The Engine: Before you leave get the engine a tune-up to make sure everything is in proper, working order. A change of spark plugs, oil and replacement of the air filters can assure maximum motor efficiency.

Weight: Lighten your load. Empty holding tanks of any unneeded items and pack only the essentials.

Tires: Check tire pressure and wheel alignment. One of the most overlooked opportunities to save money is properly inflating tires. Adequately inflated tires help save gas mileage, prevent accidents and increase the life of tires.

Shopping: When shopping on the road, stop and shop at local discount stores. The best way to save money is to stock up on essential items in bulk before you go. Have meal fixings on the road with you, to save from stopping for fast food and other restaurant meals while on the go.

While On The Road

Don’t Go So Far: Some of the best RV destinations may be closer to home than you’d think. Aim to visit a destination on one tank of gas or in your home state.

Take Games: Take your own games on the trip to save money on entertainment. Pack board games, play cards and classic road trip games like the “license plate game” for a free way to entertain the entire family.

Camp Smart: To save on propane costs, consider using Resort and Campground facilities for hot water and during cold weather camping or cold summer nights use an extra blanket instead of extra heat. Save money camping as well. Join an RV Club – many offer discounts for various campgrounds across the nation (up to 50%!)

Leave the Extra Vehicle At Home: Save money on extra transportation costs by leaving a spare vehicle at home. Not only will this save fuel economy by not having a heavy item to tow behind the RV, it will save extra transportation gas money.

RV vacations continue to be affordable based on savings in the areas of hotel, airfare and restaurant costs. These savings together, offset the cost of fuel. Shorter RV vacations are also more economical.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in RV Camping Tips & How Tos

 

Prepare For Spring & Summer RV Travels

Spring is quickly approaching – is your RV ready for the first trip of the season? Preseason preparation is key to making sure your first road trip of the season goes smoothly. The following information, advice and tips will hopefully help you prepare early for a season filled with seamless RV adventures.

Motorhome trip during the spring

Tire Safety:

Make sure your tires are road-ready. The first, and one of the most important things to check, is tire pressure. Maintaining manufacturer specified tire pressure increases safety and saves money by improving gas mileage. Next, check tire tread. Confirm that there is 1/32” tread left on the tire and check all sides for cracks, extensive wearing or cuts. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check the spare.

Propane System:

Preseason is the perfect time to fill bottles or tanks and check for leaks. You can spray a leak detector (available at most hardware stores) or soapy water around the connections and regulator. It is important to remember never to overfill propane tanks. Propane expands and contracts drastically with temperature changes. Any vessel holding propane should not be filled more than 80% to allow for expansion.

Annual Services:

It would be a good idea to have a certified technician perform essential annual services of the system and appliances. Have the battery system checked; replace dead batteries and have electrolyte levels checked and topped off as needed. Have the generator serviced with an oil and filter change. Have your wheel bearings repacked and brake system checked for proper working operation.

Roof Care:

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your recreational vehicle’s roof will help prevent leaks and water damage. On your own, inspect the roof for overall condition and check for any places in need of repair. Check all seals, seems, vents, skylights, roof top antennas and other accessories. Contact a professional for necessary repairs before heading out on the open road with a worn roof.

Awning:

On a sunny, early spring day extend your RV’s awning to check for mold and mildew. Trapped water over the course of the winter may cause mildew which can damage and stain the awning fabric. Mild dish detergent works as a cleaning agent for vinyl fabric, for canvas or cloth an RV dealer can provide an appropriate cleaner. Be sure to allow the awning to fully dry before retracting.

A/C Units:

An important part of comfort during warm spring and hot summer months travel is air conditioning. Preseason is a great time to check A/C units and restore all to proper working order. On the roof, visually inspect the condition of the cover and the fins on the back side of the air conditioner. If you have a good power supply, turn on the air conditioner and run it for 10 or 15 minutes to ensure that it is cooling.

Framework Checks:

Check for needed structure services. Check engine oil, coolant, power steering, brake and transmission fluid levels, top off the windshield washing fluid reservoir and replace windshield wiper blades as needed.

Emergency Alarms:

An important working part of your RV is the emergency alarm. Regularly check the batteries in smoke, carbon monoxide and propane detectors. Double check that your fire extinguisher is fully charged and ready to use in case of emergency.

For ease and accuracy, taking your RV to the dealership or other certified technician is a great way to get a thorough preseason check. By performing these assessments in March or April you will allow yourself a full and trouble-free spring and summer RVing.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in RV Camping Tips & How Tos