How to Plan the Ultimate RV Staycation

How to Plan the Ultimate RV Staycation

With many people choosing to combine staying at home with road-trip style vacation this summer, we thought it would be good to share some tips to make the most of your ‘staycation’ if you haven’t planned this kind of vacation before. The staycation has been a staple for families that cannot take a full two or three month extended vacation for years.

Whether you own an RV for personal travel, or live in one full-time, here’s how to prepare for the ultimate RV staycation.

Treat Your Staycation Like a Vacation

The recent events have set the world on what seems like a weird on-again, off-again type of stage, forcing many to rethink their highly anticipated getaways. Though you may not live on a tropical paradise year-round, consider what you were hoping to accomplish with your vacation. Was it to relax and rejuvenate? Was it to spend more time with your family? Was it to start a new creative endeavor?

Whatever the reason, treat your staycation with similar respect. Those that work from home can have a hard time separating free time and work time. Though you are still in your hometown, start your own digital detox, unplug from the world, and treat it like you’re a million miles away.

Build anticipation by saving the date on your calendar.

Explore Your Locale during your Staycation

RVers are used to hitting the road for lush campsites by lakes or parking at the seat of soaring mountains. During the tourist season, these places become over-crowded. If you’re practicing physical distancing, explore areas in your hometown for availability. You may be able to find secluded areas that allow you to get away without leaving home.

Also, consider traveling to a campsite in the off season when tourism is low.

Your hometown could be a treasure trove of campsites , RV parks, or things to do just waiting to be discovered.

Plan Your Staycation Adventure

Sometimes, driving your RV to another location isn’t in the cards. In those cases, your backyard is your best friend. Plan your activities to center around the comfort of what your home has to offer. Staying in your RV could be a fun adventure for your family.

Activities like hiking, sleeping under the stars, and setting up for a picnic are all great for that outdoor camping feel. Delineate a ‘kickoff’ activity. One that designates the beginning of your staycation. This could be watching a movie, sharing a drink with your partner, or lighting up the fire pit.

Remember time not planned for, even leisure time, is time wasted. Creating a themed itinerary can offer a unique experience your family will remember for years to come. Consider fun themes like “Wacky Science”, or “Think like an Artist” if you have kids.  It’s not hard to find loads of ‘science experiments‘ that are fun & entertaining and can be done with common household supplies. Or for the artsy types, maybe turn your RV into a ‘studio’ to allow family members to explore their artistic talents! You could feature an artist each day, and let your family try their hand at Kandinsky inspired painting one day, try Jackson Pollock the next, and so on. If you need more ideas, check out Pinterest for great projects that are inspired by famous artists.

Oh the Places You’ll Go

A vacation doesn’t have to be lavish to be rejuvenating. Choosing the right activities and making a plan can make even the simplest efforts into lasting memories you cherish with your family for years to come. Determine what is important for you and have that be the center of your focus during your ‘vacation’ time and you’ll have a wonderful “staycation”!

What makes for a great RV vacation is spending time with the people we love creating memories together.

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How To Optimize Your RV For Long-Term Travel

How To Optimize Your RV For Long-Term Travel

As the temperature continues to warm up outside, there’s nothing better than making plans to hit the road and find adventure. And we know many of you are looking on-line to determine what is open and where are the best places to go at this point.  Our friends at Campendium are keeping a list of what’s open available online. So whether you’re interested in National Park options or RV Park options, you can check their list to determine what your best options are.

It’s hard to beat traveling in an RV. After all, this is the perfect way to skip the hassle and expense of booking rooms along the way and keeping yourself safe. Your RV puts you in total control of where to go and where to stay.

This article takes a look at tips that will help you optimize RV for long-term travel. Keep reading to get the inside scoop that will make your trip as fun and pleasant as possible.

Plan Simple Meals

The fewer ingredients you pack for your extended time on the road the better. Keep in mind that complicated recipes will require extra ingredients that take up space and have special storage requirements.  Therefore, it’s good to have a set of recipes planned out ahead so you can make sure your pantry & refrigerator are stocked with what you’ll need.

The key is to keep your recipes simple yet delicious.

Maximize Your Storage Areas

RVs have limited storage space. That means that every inch matters. So do yourself a favor and pack as little as possible.

Or if you are going to be staying where laundry options are limited, you can always pick up a portable washing machine to help keep your clothes clean while on the road.

Also, be sure to buy supplies that can easily be folded and stored.

Take an RV Toolkit

A good toolkit is a gift that keeps on giving. After all, things will wear out and need to be repaired, and there’s always something that needs to be tightened. Thus you’ll never regret investing in an RV toolkit that is designed to help you manage little inconveniences.

Keep Your Fuel Topped Off

Try to resist the impulse to let your fuel gauge drop below half a tank. You never know when you might have to take a detour and stay on the road longer than planned. Plus, you may decide you want to pull over at a scenic view and idle in place for a while so you can take some awesome travel pictures.

So get in the habit of topping off your tank every chance you get. This is a simple tip that will help provide peace of mind no matter what the day throws at you.

Pack a Weather Radio

Weather changes can happen fast. That’s why it’s important to be ready for sudden spring thunderstorms. Investing in a portable weather radio and plenty of fresh batteries will give you the ability to stay updated on the weather so that you can react quickly and adapt your plans accordingly.

Clean & Treat the Awning

Taking the time to clean and treat your awning will help keep your RV looking great. It will also make your awning last as long as possible.  This means not only checking it for small nicks or tears, it means taking time to apply an RV silicone based lubricant to components that might not have been checked in a while.

Clean the Oven

You might not give much thought cleaning the oven inside your RV, but this is actually a very useful tip. The process takes only a few minutes and will help keep the interior of your RV from smelling like burnt food as you travel from place to place.

How to Optimize RV for Long-Term Travel

It’s almost time to pack your stuff and start exploring the highways and backroads of America. Fortunately, these tips will help optimize RV to make the most of your travel time in the future.

Click here to see 5 key benefits of owning an RV in 2020.

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Which Is Better For You In 2020: Used RV vs New?

Which Is Better For You In 2020: Used RV vs New?

Recreational vehicles have always been popular in the United States and we’re not going to fall out of love with them anytime soon. In Spring and Summer 2019, close to 25 million Americans are thought to have taken to the open road. A million Americans live in RVs as modern nomads.

RVs let you travel anywhere under your own power. They represent freedom and an ability to explore the vast swathes of America and beyond.

If you’re thinking of getting in on the action, you might be weighing up buying a used RV vs new one. What is your best bet? Should you buy an older model at a lower price or is getting a new RV the better option?

In this article, we’re going to help you solve this question and enjoy the best vacations the world has to offer. Ready to find out more? Then keep reading!

Used RV vs New RV: Which Is for You?

How does a used RV compare with a new model? What should you be on the lookout for when buying a used motorhome, travel trailer, or fifth wheel? Here are some pros and cons.

Price Differences

One of the biggest draws to buying a used RV is their lower price. Depreciation is quite significant on new RVs and you can expect the vehicle to lose 25 percent of its value within three years (similar to a new car). This lower value also means that used RVs are less to insure than new ones.

Depreciation on used models is less significant too, slowing year on year after the first year of ownership.

The Latest Tech

If you want the very latest and greatest tech that you can get in an RV, you’ll want to get a new one. RVs have come a long way in recent years with modern travel trailers & fifth wheels featuring internet access, weight-saving technology, and improved battery life.

All of this comes together to give new RVs an impressive edge over used recreational vehicles.

There’s less likelihood of mechanical issues occurring on new RVs too. Older model RVs may have issues due to wear and tear, but new RVs fresh from the factory do not.

More Choice

The sad reality is that if you want to buy a used RV, you’re going to have fewer choices than when buying a new one. While Bankston Motor Homes keeps a wide selection of used RVs, our supply is based on what customers trade in.  This means that even our large inventory of approximately 200 RVs is based on what customers have decided to trade-in when they trade-up.

There’s also no customization available on a used RV. If you want to choose specific options, you need to buy a new RV.

How We Can Help You

There’s an old myth that buying a new recreational vehicle is never worth it. That’s not true; if you want the latest tech and customization, buying a new RV is well worth the money.  And many of our customers truly enjoy that process and make their travel dream come true!

However, a used RV may be able to give you just as much fun and adventure as a brand new one would for a significant savings in price.

The choice between buying a used RV or new one is often an option worth exploring . We can help you decide what’s best for your needs!

Take a look at our used RVs or new inventory and get in touch with your nearest location to learn more!

 

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The Complete and Only Road Trip Packing List You’ll Ever Need

The Complete and Only Road Trip Packing List You’ll Ever Need

Did you know that the longest road in the world is over 18,600 miles?

If you dream of cruising along the open roads, having the ultimate road trip packing list can help you make the most out of your next vacation.

Are you ready to embark on your greatest adventure yet? Keep reading to learn all of the essentials you should pack.

  1. Snacks, Drinks, and a Cooler

Tasty, nutritious snacks and drinks are road trip essentials. There’s nothing worse than relying on fast food or needing to stop for gas station supplies often. If you’re driving a vehicle like an RV with a refrigerator, you can pack all kinds of filling goodies like sandwiches and fresh fruit.  If you prefer not to get in your fridge while driving, there are plenty of non-perishable snacks that can be made ahead and stored in a ‘snack bag’.

  1. Important Documents

Important documents are other road trip must-haves because you should always be prepared for emergencies. If you ever get into an accident or pulled over by the police, you’ll need to make sure you have your license, registration, and proof of insurance.  It’s also a good idea to keep a copy of your medical insurance card, a list of any medical conditions a doctor might need to know, and who to call in case of an emergency.  While most of these precautions are rarely needed, you’ll feel better knowing you are well prepared.

  1. A Car Charger and Phone Mount

Cell phone supplies are important items to bring on a road trip so you can stay connected no matter where you go. Having a car mount will make it much easier and safer to navigate when you use GPS services. Bringing a charger and/or adapter can also ensure you never run out of power. A lot of RVs now have USB ports, so you’ll want to think about how to make sure everyone on the trip has a place to charge their device.

  1. Weather-Appropriate Clothes

If you’re wondering what to pack for a road trip, it’s always best to have plenty of weather-appropriate clothes with you. Sunglasses, a rain jacket, and clothing that’s made out of fast-drying materials can help protect you from the elements when you’re outside. Check the weather in advance to make sure you are properly prepared.  For example, if you love to hike and rain doesn’t bother you, make sure you bring hiking boots that you don’t mind getting a bit muddy. And many RVers like to have a shoe tray, or mat, near the door to put their dirty shoes on so they are not tracking and bits of dirt, mulch, or gravel into the living area of their RV.

  1. Clean Up Supplies

As you’re eating and spending more time in your vehicle, you’ll want to have easy access to items that help with clean up. Baby wipes, tissues, and napkins are all great ways to facilitate a quick clean up! So having these items on your road trip checklist is always a good plan.  If you keep some supplies up front, the driver can always keep their area neat and clean without having to stand up or pull over.

  1. Make A Day Bag

Are you planning on hiking or going on day trips where you’ll be away from your vehicle? If so, having a day bag that’s filled with a few extra clothes, a couple of extra snacks, and extra hand-sanitizer or wipes will make you feel more secure when you leave your vehicle behind.

For parents of young children, including some boredom busters in case of a long wait at a local restaurant can also be helpful. Think of easy items that are space saving, like a Rubix Cube, or pipe-cleaners that can be used creatively, and even a few printable coloring pages+ baggie with crayons can save the day!

  1. Emergency Kit

Nobody likes to imagine worst-case scenarios, but accidents can happen to anybody. This is why being prepared is essential. Having an emergency kit with first aid supplies, flashlights, blankets, and a small radio can keep you and your loved ones safe during your travels. As an RV owner, you will also want to have an emergency kit for your RV.  Check out this video of what basics you’ll want to include.

You’re Ready With This Road Trip Packing List

If you follow this road trip packing list, you can enjoy the scenic ride and surprising adventures knowing that you are better prepared for the unexpected.

Are you ready to go on a road trip in style? If so, buying or renting an RV is the best way to keep you and your passengers comfortable. Check out our monthly specials to learn how we can help you have an unforgettable experience.

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6 Must-See National Parks on the East Coast

6 Must-See National Parks on the East Coast

When it comes to beauty, nature never disappoints. The United States is full of natural wonders that inspire travelers looking for adventure. This is especially true of the nation’s national parks.

If you’ve never experienced the national parks on the east coast, you’re in for a treat. After all, the east coast is packed with amazing natural scenery that will keep you exploring year after year.

This article takes a look at the best national parks to visit on the east coast. Keep reading to discover places that should be at the top of your list of destinations as you plan your next vacation.

1. Everglades National Park (Florida)

This is one of the most amazing destinations in the country, featuring wild and natural wetlands that will take your breath away. A vast 1.5 million acres of mangroves and sawgrass is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Everglades National Park also protects & provides an important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther.

2. Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)

Mammoth Cave National Park features 10 miles of caves that are open for public exploration. This park features a limestone labyrinth that slowly formed over billions of years. This park preserves the longest known cave system on earth (400+ miles), as well as 53,000 acres of beautiful forest.  With nearly a dozen miles of cave trail below ground, there are also nearly 70 miles of surface trails, 13 backcountry campsites, three campgrounds, and over 20 miles of navigable river for visitors to explore and enjoy. It really is two worlds in one.

3. Appalachian National Scenic Trail

If you love to hike, Appalachian National Scenic Trail ranks among the most fabulous hiking destinations anywhere in the world. This trail covers 2,190 miles across 14 states.

4. Statue of Liberty National Monument

This ranks as one of the smallest national parks on our list, and yet it’s also among the most historically significant. In May of 2019, Lady Liberty’s legacy expanded with the opening of the Statue of Liberty Museum. Housed within the Statue of Liberty Museum are three interactive galleries that tell the statue’s history in thought-provoking ways. Each gallery is designed to inspire visitors. And your National Park Pass is not needed here, National Park passes are valid at parks that charge an entrance fee. Liberty and Ellis Islands are fee-exempt by law. The price of the ferry ticket covers the cost of transportation by the concessionaire.

5. Shenandoah National Park

Located just outside Washington D.C., Shenandoah National Park offers the kind of beauty only great poetry could adequately describe. With over 500 miles of hiking trails, this is a destination you could easily spend a lifetime exploring. This fall-favorite is great to visit any time of year for lots of fantastic hikes, views, and memorable drives.  If you are looking for an RV park in the area, our friends at RVShare have a great list to get you started.

6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains rank among the oldest mountains found anywhere on earth. Featuring over 100 species of native trees, this is the ultimate destination for any nature lover.  Did you also know that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a world-renowned preserve of wildflower diversity? Over 1,500 kinds of flowering plants are found in the park, more than in any other North American national park! You can see where to find many of these flowers on the Species Mapper. In fact, the park is sometimes referred to as the “Wildflower National Park.” So blooming flowers can be found year-round in the park!

Trip-Worthy National Parks on the East Coast

Traveling the country by RV and exploring everything our national parks have to offer is a great way to create fond memories that will last a lifetime. This list of national parks on the east coast will help get your next trip started.

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Four Mississippi Parks You’ll Want to Visit in Your RV!

Four Mississippi Parks You’ll Want to Visit in Your RV!

The Southern US is home to some of the prettiest state parks in the U.S.  If you have not added a swing through Mississippi to your plans, you will want to after reading about some of these idyllic settings for outdoor fun!  Be sure to check out the on-line portals for these state parks to stay up to date on camp ground options & conditions.

1. Tishomingo State Park, Tishomingo

This breathtakingly beautiful park has won numerous awards, including being listed in Reserve America’s “Top 100 Campgrounds.”

This park offers seven hiking trails that range in length from ¾ to 3 miles and in difficulty from easy to moderate. The trails feature scenic natural springs, waterfalls, rocky creeks and streams, cliffs, rock walls and huge outcrops. Rock climbing, which requires a helmet and a free permit (available at the park office), is a popular activity on the trails, particularly at the formation known as Jean’s Overhang. Bear Creek crosses a number of points along the trail system and can be explored by canoe on one of the float trips offered at the park.

Three popular disc golf courses are also available, and an Olympic-sized outdoor swimming pool is open during late spring and summer. The park offers 62 developed RV campsites, which have both water and electricity.

The park’s Nature Center, which re-opened in 2016, offers displays of Tishomingo county heritage, nature, art, animals, arrowheads and memorabilia from the Civilian Conservation Corps.

2. Buccaneer State Park, Waveland

Buccaneer State Park’s beautiful restoration was completed in 2013, after hurricane Katrina devastated this area in 2005.  Located on the beach in Waveland, Buccaneer is in a natural setting of large moss-draped oaks, marshlands and the Gulf of Mexico. Use of this land was first recorded in history in the late 1700’s when Jean Lafitte and his followers were active in smuggling and pirating along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Today this area is centrally located to numerous family-friendly attractions such as Stennis Space Center / NASA, Old Town Bay St. Louis, Beauvoir Jefferson Davis Shrine, World War II D-Day Museum, Aquarium of Americas, and more!

3. Davis Bayou Area/Gulf Islands National Seashore, near Ocean Springs

Part of the national seashore, there’s never a shortage to see or do at this 51-site campground. From a two-mile nature trail that traverses the coastal forest to saltwater fishing, visitors to Davis Bayou are in for a real treat. This park maintains several facilities for visitors to enjoy. Such as the William M. Colmer Visitor Center which enables travelers to  explore indoor exhibits about the shore and the islands. There is also a Visitor Center Fishing Pier which is an excellent site to cast a line. There are also several short hiking trails through the area.
For a small fee, visitors may also launch their boat and park a vehicle for a day on the water.
Or if your crew just prefers to hang out, there is a large area for picnics including five picnic shelters.

Gulf Islands National Seashore officials announced plans to conduct small controlled burns within the Davis Bayou Area near Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The planned burns are scheduled to be conducted between early February and early March so be sure to check their website and/or call ahead for updates.

4. Sardis Lake Recreation Area, Lafayette, Panola, and Marshall Counties

Sardis was built as a flood control facility in the 1930s and recreation was not mentioned in the original plans.  Soon after the Dam’s construction, however, visitation skyrocketed.  Today, the employees of Sardis Lake take great pride in building and maintaining some of the top recreation facilities in the country.

Whether planning a one-day outing or an extended camping trip, you can find a wealth of activities to fill your days and nights.  Camp in one of the modern campgrounds, or picnic, or swim, or rent a pavilion for a family reunion or find a spot somewhere on our 98,000 acres to boat, hunt, fish, go birding, or walk a trail. There’s an abundance of natural beauty at Sardis Lake and plenty of activities for all campers to enjoy.

Mississippi is often referred to as “The Hospitality State” and with so many great parks to choose from we can see why!  If you haven’t visited Mississippi in your RV, you will definitely want to add this state to your travel plans.  With awesome parks, fantastic food, and friendly people, you are sure to make some marvelous memories in Mississippi!

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5 Tips for Full-Time RV Living

5 Tips for Full-Time RV Living

Ready to join the 1 million Americans who live in an RV full-time?

Full-time RV living isn’t for everyone. You trade-off storage space and a predictable environment.

But you gain the type of freedom you can’t get when you live in a traditional home. You can move your home and all of your belongings anywhere you want to go, any time the urge appeals to you.

Chase the warm weather year-round. Or visit family and friends with your own space so you don’t have “too much” togetherness.

Whatever your reason for living in an RV full time, it takes some planning to make the transition smooth.

We’ve put together five key tips to help you make the jump.

1. Prioritize RV Maintenance

Your RV is now your home, so you want to make routine maintenance and conditioning a consistent part of the schedule by planning for it. A mechanical problem may leave you in a bind until it can be fixed. If the stove, or an electrical outlet, or a water hose needs to be repaired, you may be less comfortable than you would like until those items can be fixed.

Before you start your new life on the road, schedule maintenance with an RV dealer and let them know what your plans are. They’ll check over whatever items you ask them to, and make sure those systems are operating correctly. In addition to taking care of any known issues before you hit the road, you will also want to make sure to map out any factory authorized service centers along your route as a back-up plan.

Keep up with your RV maintenance once you start living in an RV full-time. Don’t skip out on oil changes and routine inspections. Check your tires regularly to ensure they’re properly inflated.

2.  Do a Massive Downsize

If you’re going from a traditional home to an RV full-time, you’ll want to pare down your belongings. Consider how much storage space you have now and the available space you’ll have in your RV to help you downsize.

If you can’t part with everything, consider putting some things in long-term storage. You may want to choose a storage facility near a family member, so you’ll have someone to check on your things while you are on the road.  Plus if you happen to change your plans and want to have some things shipped to you, you are more likely to be able to get a family member to help. (For example, if you decide to head to the snow and wish you’d brought those snow boots!)

Don’t load up your RV too heavy when you start, otherwise you’ll have little extra room and might feel a bit cramped in your RV. Just be sure to bring the basics and you can always add more items later if you want to.

3.  Make It Comfortable

The standard decor on an RV is fine for shorter camping trips, but full-time RV living can get old fast if you don’t take a bit of time and effort to personalize your living space.

Your RV is your home, so give it the comforts of home as much as possible. Many RVs now come with ultra-comfy mattresses, but if yours did not then maybe that’s worth splurging on to upgrade. Do you have to have espresso every morning? Then maybe you bring your regular electric espresso maker & a camp-fire espresso maker that does not require power -.just in case you want to savor the outdoors one morning.

Again, RVers plan to splurge on certain areas depending on their preferences. If you love to cook, maybe having an Instant Pot is a higher priority.  For RVers with furry travelers, having a secure place for pets may take priority with a special space in the living area. The best part about RVing is that each traveler can customize their space based on their personal needs and those of their companions.

4.  Have a Plan

Once the date is set for officially going full-time in your RV, it’s important to make plans for your first destinations, including researching the options for where to stay, such as RV resorts in the area.

In addition to planning where you plan to stay, you will also want to plan for routine maintenance stops.  Planning and budgeting for maintenance, gas, and other necessities are an important part of the process.  There are plenty of full-time RVers that offer tips on the best places to stay to stretch your RV budget, as well as how to earn a living while on the road. And of course there are plenty of resources to help you keep your RV in tip-top shape so you can enjoy the full-time RV life as much as possible.

5.  Stay Flexible when RVing full-time

Part of the reason many people choose living full-time in an RV is the flexibility and freedom. Don’t forget that flexibility when unexpected things happen on the road. You might decide you want to stay longer in one place than you planned, or you might decide to leave early if you don’t like it.

You want a general idea of where you’re going, but don’t be afraid to change the plan when life presents a new opportunity.

Enjoy Full-Time RV Living

Full-time RV living gives you the unique opportunity to explore. It removes the limitations of a traditional home and provides more freedom than ever. You can certainly join the ranks of full-time RVers with some research & proper planning!

Check out our  other RVing articles or lots of helpful tips on the RV lifestyle.

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5 Must-Do RV Trips for Big Families in 2020

5 Must-Do RV Trips for Big Families in 2020

RVing is more popular than ever, and 1 million Americans are living in their RVs full time.

While having an RV as your only home might not be for everyone, you’d be hard pressed to find a soul who doesn’t dream of going on an RV road trip!

With so many awesome options for RV trips, where will you and your family adventure this year?

There are so many fun RV trip ideas, and some of them are better than others for big families. We’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 trips for big families to get your planning for 2020 started!

The Best RV Trips for Big Families

Whether you’re an old pro or this is your first RV road trip, it can be overwhelming to pick which direction to head in. Rest easy, fellow RV traveler, because there’s great stuff to do and see no matter which way you choose to go!

1. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone was the first national park in the United States and is often considered to be the premier national park in the entire world. Located mostly in Wyoming, Yellowstone crosses into parts of Montana and Idaho as well.

Yellowstone has got all the perks of a great National Park, with endless opportunities for hiking, viewing impressive wildlife, gazing at gorgeous views, and simply relaxing at a campground.

Did you know that Yellowstone is also home to North America’s largest supervolcano? This is why half of the world’s geysers are located in Yellowstone. Don’t forget to check out all the awesome geothermal features, especially Old Faithful!

2. Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

It would be hard to make a list of family RVing without mentioning Walt Disney World. With six awesome theme parks, two of which are water parks, what’s not to love?

Plus, if your family somehow gets tired of frolicking around the magical world of Disney, Orlando is also home to Universal Studios and Sea World. It’s the perfect way to make your kids’ dreams come true!

Please keep in mind that the RV park at Disney World’s Fort Wilderness often has reservations scheduled a year in advance.  So while we do recommend adding this to your family’s list of ‘must see’ places, you will want to do additional research to see if staying at Fort Wilderness is an option, or if your family might benefit from one of the other near by RV Parks.

3. Grand Canyon National Park

Everyone’s got to visit the Grand Canyon at least once in their life! One of our most adventurous presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, visited the Grand Canyon several times and advocated for its preservation.

If you get tired of staring in awe at the masterpiece the Colorado River managed to carve over the course of billions of years, there’s a lot of fun stuff for you and your family to do. With rafting, mule trips, hiking, and educational opportunities, there are plenty of options to fill up an itinerary.

4. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

If you’re looking for an east coast destination and are not a Disney World type of family, head to Gatlinburg on the edge of the Smoky Mountain National Forest. A fun, touristy resort town, Gatlinburg is filled with Appalachian charm.

There’s a great amusement park and ski area called Ober Gatlinburg, and nearby in Pigeon Forge is Dolly Parton’s them park Dollywood!

5. Redwood National and State Parks

If you or your kids love to be in the woods, you’ve got to check out the home of the tallest trees on earth. Covering almost 140,000 acres in northern California, you won’t run out of forest to discover!  The National Park Service and state park service of California have teamed up to take care of this national treasure and you will want to check out several options for RV camping through California’s on-line reservation system.

The Road is Calling!

So where will your RV take you this summer? How many RV trips can one family  take in a year? No matter where you go and how long you’re traveling for, we believe the best RV trips are those you take with the ones you love!

If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more awesome RV life and trip information.

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How to Pack Your RV Fridge: Snacking & Eating on the Road

How to Pack Your RV Fridge: Snacking & Eating on the Road

Over 25 million Americans take a vacation in an RV every year. And the Holiday season is one of the busiest times for road trips and RV travel.

Want to join the RV ranks? Before you take off, you’ll want to make sure you have enough food for the trip.

We’ve put together this guide to help you learn some of the best tips & techniques to pack your RV fridge.

So let’s get started!

Plan Your Meals Ahead

Spend some time planning your meals in advance. This might take a little time, but it will let you know exactly what you need. You won’t waste space by packing things you won’t use.

It can also be a good idea to plan to buy some food once you arrive at your destination. This can make it easier to travel, can help maximize your storage space, and will allow you to take advantage of local, or seasonal, produce along the way.

Take the Food out of Its Original Packaging

The original packaging often takes up a lot more space than the food product itself. You’ll be able to fit a lot more in your RV fridge if you take everything out of the packaging.

You should also condense things like condiments into travel-sized bottles. If you know you won’t finish everything in a container, put what you will use into a smaller container. Some people even save their delivery condiments just for this purpose because they come in single-use packaging that can be thrown away as it’s used & therefore freeing up space as meals are eaten on the road.

Taking smaller condiment containers, or single use condiments will help free up space for other items.

Use Square Containers

You’ll be able to fit more square containers in your RV fridge than round containers. They’re also easier to stack. There are many options to choose from, whether you prefer plastic or glass.  we also recommend using the square storage containers in your pantry and cupboards. You can label them if you like- although most are see-through to allow easy identification of what’s inside.

Of course you will want air-tight lids in case the stack get’s a little off-balance and takes a topple.  And if you have little hands getting in and out of your fridge & pantry you may want to consider the size and whether or not handles would be helpful.

Make More Space with Storage Baskets

Struggling to pack everything in your RV fridge?

You can use storage baskets to create more space. Try stacking these baskets on top of each other and next to each other like makeshift shelves. some even work on slides to create extra drawers inside the fridge. This will allow you to use much more of the space than you would have been able to otherwise.

Put Heavy Items on the Bottom

This might sound obvious, but it’s even more important for RV fridges. As you drive, the contents in your fridge might shift or move around.

Think of the inside of your fridge like a mini-trailer with it’s own internal cargo. Always stack heavier and solid items on the bottom to provide a solid base for the lighter items up top.

Make Sure the Door Closes All the Way

Once you get all your food in the fridge, make sure it closes all the way. Many RVs have safety-latches that will lock the door during travel.  Be sure to make sure your safety-latch will engage properly if your fridge has one.

Also, If the door doesn’t make an airtight seal, the cold air will leak out into the rest of your RV.  This little leak can decrease the coldness of the interior of the fridge and possibly impact how long the food will last. If your fridge doesn’t have a safety-latch, or if your RV has a residential fridge installed, you can always create your own locking system with a few simple items.

Learning How to Pack Your RV fridge the Right Way

Packing your RV fridge takes a bit more planning than a traditional fridge. But it’s really easy once your understand a few simple techniques. If you plan your meals in advance and separate everything into travel-size portions, you should be well on your way to making the most of your RV fridge and meals on the road.

Want some more tips for your first RV trip? Make sure you check out this helpful planning guide!

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Ten Gift ideas for RVers – Your Gift Guide for 2019

Ten Gift ideas for RVers – Your Gift Guide for 2019

It’s that time of year again!  After the turkey comes the shopping, right? Well in an effort to help you shop for your friend that is an avid RVer, we have compiled this gift guide to help you shop for them.

You may have to do a bit of detective work to figure out if they already have some of these…but a few of these gift ideas fall into the “You can’t have too many” category.  And the first one of our list certainly qualifies for that label.

1)      RV-themed ornament – Whether you choose to go retro, or something more like a yearly edition, a RV-inspired ornament is often appreciated by those that take their RV out often!

2)      Retro RV String Lights– Holiday season means holiday décor, right? These festive lights from Camco are sure to add some sparkle and fun to your RVer’s campsite no matter the season.

3)      Zero-Gravity Chairs – Everyone knows the best part of RVing is spending time outdoors- and a comfy seat makes it even better! There are plenty of colors and styles to choose from, and if you want to check one out in person you can sit in one and test them in our parts store.

4)      Collapsing measuring cups and spoons – Space in the kitchen is always at a premium, so for your foodie friends that also RV these will be a welcome and useful addition to their kitchen supplies!

5)      Happy Camper Coloring Book – Have friends with kids that RV? You might want to check and see if they’ve discovered this little gem of a book…Winter weather can sometimes mean indoor fun by the fireplace and this could be a fantastic little gift!

6)      RV Salt & Pepper Shaker Set – This little set is too cute not to mention- and might add a little bit of fun to the table setting!

7)      50 States- 5000 Ideas book – This richly illustrated book from the travel experts at National Geographic showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Sites include national parks, beaches, hotels, Civil War battlefields, dude ranches, out-of-the-way museums, and more.

8)      Harvest Hosts Membership – As far as gifts for RV owners go, it doesn’t get much more unique and memorable than Harvest Hosts. This membership offers RV owners the chance to visit over 600+ unique locations around the continent for only $49 per year.

9)      Instant Pot– If your RVer is cooking in their RV kitchen often, this can be a welcome addition. Designed to make easy meals with just one appliance- this little appliance gets lots of rave reviews from RVers for ease of use- plus there are several sizes to choose from!

10)   Inflatable Boat– Weight is always a concern for RVers, and yet there is often an opportunity to get out on the water when at national parks and RV resorts. The solution is an inflatable boat! These are great because they collapse, and store easily & don’t weigh much- while providing some serious fun for all!

We hope this list of ten gift ideas for RVers helps you shop for your family and friends that are RV travelers this holiday season.  As always, if you have questions or are looking for something specific, feel free to call the location nearest to you and we’ll do our best to help!

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