Top Rhode Island State Parks for RVers

Top Rhode Island State Parks for RVers

Temperatures are rising and flowers are blooming. That means summer is here! Now is the best time to visit these top Rhode Island state parks for RV owners.

From beaches to hiking trails, there is a Rhode Island state park for everyone. Though the state is only a little over 1,000 square miles, it has plenty of excellent state parks to explore.

Here are a few state parks to add to your list of places to visit this summer.

Charlestown Breachway State Park

Charlestown Breachway is the perfect Rhode Island beach getaway. The campground has 75 RV spots and scenic beach views all around.

This state part is great for swimmers, fishermen, and all-around water lovers. If you are also traveling with a boat, there is a convenient boat launch located in the park.

Charlestown Breachway’s beautiful beaches are great for the whole family. Whether you are wanting a relaxing day laying on the sand or can’t wait to dip your toes in the water, you can’t lose with a beach day at this state park. Not to mention, the breachway offers some of the best saltwater fishing and shell fishing in the area.

Fishermen’s Memorial State Park

Fishermen’s Memorial State Park is located in Narragansett, Rhode Island, just off Route 108. With gorgeous patches of trimmed grass and an array of outdoor activities, this park seems like the ideal seaside village.

This park is great for active groups. There are tennis and basketball courts in the park, as well as a playground for younger travelers.

Another great perk of Fishermen’s Memorial State Park is its proximity to many of Rhode Island’s beaches. The park is not too far from the Scarborough, Roger Wheeler, and Salty Brine state beaches.

Burlingame State Park

Just off Route 1 in Charlestown, RI lays a woodland playground full of fun for the whole family. Burlingame State Park spans over 3,100 acres of land with hundreds of campsites that can accommodate RVs.

There is plenty to do while in the tree-lined Burlingame State Park. One of the main attractions is the various hiking trails nearby. There’s even a 9-mile-long trail in the park for hikers that want a challenge.  Plus this park boasts about 80 different species of birds for birdwatching fans to check out.

And you can’t miss out on the freshwater beach on site. The beach is perfect for swimming and other summer water activities like canoeing (you can even rent a canoe at the park).

Plan a Great Summer Trip with these Top Rhode Island State Parks for RVers!

Get ready to pack your bags and set off on another great summer getaway in your RV! Whether you are already in the New England area, or Rhode Island is just one stop of many during a long road trip, at least one of these State Parks is worth checking out.

For other RV tips and travel guides, please check out the rest of our blog. No matter where you’re planning to travel this summer, we got you covered!

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What Are the RV Length Restrictions in National Parks?

What Are the RV Length Restrictions in National Parks?

Remember Robin Williams’ mid-2000s family road trip comedy flick, RV? What a great movie that was to watch! In it, the Munro clan (with a dad played by Robin Williams – RIP) hits the open road in a rented RV.

It’s 2020, and RVs are now bigger and better than ever. So before you visit the national parks of your choice, make sure your RV falls within the RV length guidelines at the parks you’re going to.

What’s the Ideal Length of an RV for Visiting National Parks?

If you’re not sure of the ideal length for national parks, you’ll want to choose an RV between 25 and 30 feet long. Most national parks will accommodate RVs between those lengths. Almost 98% of  National Park campgrounds can accommodate RVs up to 19 feet long. You will still have a large number of options if your RV is up to 25 feet since more than 90% of parks permit that length. On average, national parks will allow RVs with a maximum length of 27 feet.

How to Measure the Length of Your RV?

If your RV’s on the shorter side, you might want to take the manufacturer’s measurement of its length and add a few feet to that number. That way, you play it safe and give your vehicle some extra maneuvering space. And while we would like to say the number in the manufacturer’s model number is always 100% accurate, it is not.  For example take the Puma 23-RBFQ .  This model number seems to read: “23-foot Rear Bunk (or bath) Front Queen.”  However, this RV actually is 28 feet long so the 23 doesn’t make much sense, but you could also think of it as a way to “sort” the product line from smallest to biggest with length as an approximation. In other words – if you want to know the exterior length of your RV (for sure) get a tape measure out and measure it yourself.  The same goes for the height of your RV.  And be sure when you measure the height of your RV you consider any vents on the roof, or possibly the air conditioner, as those might not be visible from the side or the cab.

You will also want to call the park you’re visiting to confirm availability of the sites’ lengths, widths, and other information directly from someone who’s current on the park’s situation. For example, many parks have a limited number of ‘pull through’ sites, so if you’re a novice RVer and prefer pull-through parking you’ll want to call ahead.

Which National Parks Should You Visit?

Why not take in the stunning views of the Grand Canyon? The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona has breathtaking, bucket list-scenery. It draws visitors the world over, and it can fit RVs up to 30 feet at two campgrounds (30 feet including your vehicle and RV at one of the campgrounds). One campground can even accommodate RVs up to 50 feet long.

Yosemite National Park, another world-famous destination, allows RVs at nine campgrounds. One campground permits rigs as long as 40 feet. Other campgrounds can handle RVs up to 35 feet long, and one campground only takes RVs with a maximum of 27-feet.

Or consider touring the picturesque Acadia National Park in Maine. This spotless park has no restrictions whatsoever on RV length at any of its campgrounds, so have at it.

Another world-renowned destination is Yellowstone National Park, which spans across Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Home of the iconic Old Faithful geyser, bears, bison, and wolves (oh my!), Yellowstone is a national treasure. It’s great for your RV, too, with many of its campgrounds making space for 40- and 50-foot-long recreational vehicles.

What Are the RV Length Restrictions at Other National Parks?

Check out the maximum RV lengths permitted at some of America’s other most well-known national parks:

  • Denali National Park (AK): 40 feet
  • Everglades National Park (FL): 45 feet
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park (TN): 40 feet for RVs, 35 feet for trailers
  • Mount Rainier National Park (WA): 35 feet for RVs, 27 feet for trailers
  • Rocky Mountain National Park (CO): 40 feet

How Do You Decide to Rent or Purchase an RV?

Now that you know all about RV length restrictions, you’re ready to get one of your own to go enjoy all the beautiful natural scenery that America has to offer.

Consult our “Why Renting an RV is a Smart Choice” blog to figure out if renting or buying is better for your family. Or browse our vast selection of RVs to find the RV that’s the right length (and price) for you and your family.

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RV Bucket List Destinations: The 5 Best RV Parks in the USA

RV Bucket List Destinations: The 5 Best RV Parks in the USA

More than 10 million US households own an RV and more people are opting to live in them full-time. If you’re trying to figure out the best RV parks to enjoy your RV, you’re in luck. We are going to help you plan out your next trip.

Continue reading this article to learn about some of the best RV parks in the US, and some that will give you the most bang for your buck.

1. Bella Terra RV Resort – Alabama

If you’re looking for a super upscale RV resort, then Bella Terra RV resort in Alabama is the place for you. You’ll be just minutes from sugar-white sands and plenty of good eats. If you don’t want to leave the RV park, there is plenty to do there as well.

You’ll have access to a beautiful pool, jacuzzi, a dry sauna, big dog parks for your furry friends, and much more.

2. Yosemite Pines RV Resort – California

If you’re ready to see Yosemite National Park, but you don’t want to stay within the national park, then Yosemite Pines RV resort is the perfect spot for you.

It’s only 22 miles from the entrance of the park and it offers amazing views. You can enjoy the normal amenities you’ll see at most RV parks (like a swimming pool), but you’ll also find a petting zoo and a gold panning site.

3. Tiger Run RV Resort – Colorado

Head over to Tiger Run RV Resort in Breckenridge, Colorado if you want to enjoy beautiful views at any time of the year. This is actually one of the few places in the mountains of Colorado that stay open year round.

No matter when you visit, you’ll find there is plenty to do. If you’re there in the winter, you’re not far from the slopes. If you’re there in the summer, you’ll be able to enjoy trails, mountains, and some of the most amazing views.

4. Ozarks RV Resort on Table Rock Lake  – Arkansas

Another beautiful luxury resort is Ozarks RV Resort on Table Rock Lake. Just 30 minutes from Branson, this resort is perfect for explorers and tourists. Branson has plenty of museums, amusement parks, and live music entertainment if you decide you want to leave the resort.

You’ll have gorgeous views and plenty to do if you decide to stick around the RV resort instead of going out to explore. With amenities like lighted pickle-ball courts, lighted tennis courts, and a nine-hole par 3 golf course on the lake shore-line you will have plenty of in-park options!

5. Boyd’s Key West Campground – Florida

Head down to the southernmost part of Florida and say hello to some of the most insanely beautiful sunsets at Boyd’s Key West Campground. Once you visit, you won’t want to go anywhere else when you’re in the Keys.

There are plenty of opportunities to Kayak and see wild life.  Plus this resort features it’s own fishing pier, boat ramp, and fish cleaning station.

Visiting the Best RV Parks

Now you know about some of the more of the best RV parks in America. With summer in full swing, and plenty of travelers hitting the road, be sure to check the RV parks’ websites before you go to stay up to date. Many RV parks post updates on availability and the reservation process right on the first page of their website to try and make it as easy as possible for you to plan your stay.

Do you have questions about which RV you should buy? We are more than happy to help you make your selection. Also, make sure to read our article about must-see national parks on the east coast.

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5 Reasons You Should Plan an Alaska Road Trip

5 Reasons You Should Plan an Alaska Road Trip

About 22% of all vacations in America were road trips in 2015. Many people’s dream trip is to go on an Alaska road trip and see the breathtaking sights.

If you are prepared properly, the trip will be an amazing experience. Since long stretches of the journey have spots where it is difficult to get fuel and do repairs, knowing what to expect can help you avoid some of these issues.

Continue reading this article to learn the top reasons you should take a road trip to Alaska.

1. The Midnight Sun

If you want to mess with your sleep patterns and experience something that is totally out of your normal — you’ve got to see the midnight sun. Make sure you include an eye mask when you’re making your packing list, or you’re not going to get much sleep while you’re visiting.

The midnight sun benefits the plants in Alaska, and some parts of Alaska are known for their giant vegetables.

2. The Northern Lights

One that will make you stand in awe is seeing the Northern Lights. This amazing sight happens because of solar activity. You do have to make your way pretty far north in Alaska to see the lights, and it can get very cold, but it will be something you will never forget.

3. Countless Roads to Explore

Alaska takes up a large part of the U.S., and there are so many roads where you can park for hours and never see another vehicle. Alaska even has several resources developed to help RVers enjoy this beautiful country. And if you are looking for some RV parks to stop at while exploring this beautiful country you will find a variety of options.

4. Monster Mountains

If you wanted to get an idea of how small we are as humans, then visiting Alaska and staring up at its monstrous mountains will definitely give you some perspective. Alaska is home to Denali, which is the tallest mountain in North America.

You don’t have to go to the tallest mountain to get an amazing mountain experience. There are plenty of other places where you can explore and enjoy nature and a good workout.

5. Skiing and Snow Sport Opportunities

Winters in Alaska offer so many unique opportunities! There is dog mushing, reindeer running, outdoor hot springs, and snow-shoeing in the back country.

Of course there is plenty of fresh powdery snow for skiers, and snowmobiling is always a fun option.  And for those that want to just kick back and relax there are plenty of scenic areas for spotting wildlife in this gorgeous northern state.

 

Enjoying an Alaska Road Trip

There’s nothing quite like taking an Alaska road trip. The sights and sounds of this magical state will take your breath away.

Have you thought about getting an RV or upgrading your RV? There are lots of options for you to look into, and we would be glad to answer any questions you have. Take a look at our new RVs or our used inventory to see if there is anything of interest.

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Four Fantastic Florida RV Parks

Four Fantastic Florida RV Parks

Florida has been a long-time destination for RVers that want to keep warm in the cooler winter months. And the state has many great options for RV owners to choose from, no matter what type of RV experience is desired.  We thought it would be good to share four fantastic Florida RV parks during this time of year, just to show the exciting options this state has available for people that want to hit the road in the cooler months.

1. Camp Gulf

This a popular Florida RV park for all the right reasons! Sugar sand beaches right out our door with all the amenities you could ask for.  This RV park has two heated pools, a spa, golf cart rental, and more!  With a full row of beach-front sites, you will want to call ahead for availability.  Destin is a popular destination for a reason and this park gets great reviews on multiple websites for a reason.

2. Jetty Park Campground

If you have anyone in your group that is a NASA fan, or a space fan, this park is for you! Because of the campgrounds unique location nestled along the Atlantic Ocean and inside beautiful Port Canaveral, it’s not uncommon to see cruise ships arriving/departing, submarines arriving/departing, rocket launches, and marine life. This Florida RV park also offers plenty of creature comforts and full amenities such as large pavilions, fire pits, and 24-hour gated security.  Due to the development of a new cruise terminal, the park has a notice on their website about additional noise.  This park offers a unique experience for RVers and families, so check it out and see if you might want to add it to your bucket list!

3. Grayton Beach State Park

This beach is consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the US and there is plenty to explore because there is a mile of the sugar white beach in this park. The Western Lake (a 100-acre coastal dune lake) is perfect for fishing and paddling and there are more than 4 miles of nature trails for those that want to explore on foot through the coastal forest.  This Florida RV park is a stunning place to relax and unwind absolutely perfect for a weekend getaway. Bring your family to an unforgettable experience that will be forever in their memories.

4. Nature’s Resort RV Park

Play with the manatees at Nature’s Resort RV Park located in historical Homosassa Florida. This park boasts 97 acres of freshwater streams, rivers, wildlife sanctuaries, and yes, guests can even swim with the Homosassa manatees.  On-site amenities include food, 30- and 50-amp hookups, laundry, clean showers, basketball and volleyball courts. For those staying for an extended period, Nature’s Resort has bingo, dances, and potlucks so you can meet your fellow campers.

It’s clear that Florida has a great selection of RV parks that will help RVers create lasting memories in a wide range of settings. Whether you are a nature buff, beach fan, or NASA enthusiast, Florida will have something for everyone in your travel group. And if you’re not sure what to look for when selecting an RV park or resort- check out some more tips here.

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Three of the Best National Park Camping Sites for Your Family’s RV Vacation

Three of the Best National Park Camping Sites for Your Family’s RV Vacation

There is no better way to see the country with your family then road-tripping in your RV. Better yet, you don’t even have to spend a lot of money!

Keep reading for a list of National Park camping sites you’ll want to visit on your next road trip adventure!

1. Rio Grande Village Campground

Located in Big Bend National Park, the Rio Grande Campground has 100 campsites for all types of campers. It doesn’t matter if travelers want to tent camp, park a travel trailer, or park a motor home (up to 40 feet).  Nestled in a grove of cottonwood trees each campsite has a full hookup, a picnic table, charcoal grill, and a storage locker to keep your food away from wild critters.

During the day you can explore Big Bend National Park by hiking, biking or fishing. There are plenty of spots to view wildlife and take fantastic photos of the scenery. Big Bend is also home to hundreds of bird species and is the perfect place for avid bird watchers. At the campsite, during your downtime, you can enjoy picnicking, boating and swimming.

The campsites are first-come, first-serve, but there are 43 sites that can be reserved between the middle of November and the middle of April if you plan accordingly.

2. Mammoth Yellowstone National Park Campground

This campsite can accommodate 85 single families who wish to either tent camp, park a trailer trailer, or drive their motor home (up to 75 feet long). It is located near Mammoth Hot Springs and the Gardner River and each site has a fire ring, grate, and picnic table. All these features make these sites perfect for roasting hot dogs and making s’mores.

Campers can enjoy the world-famous Yellowstone National Park geysers and take in all the beautiful scenery and wildlife. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails, photography spots and places to go fishing and boating.

The camp takes reservations on a first-come, first-serve basis and is open for year-round camping.

3. Colter Bay Village RV Park Campground

Grand Teton National Park is home to the Colter Bay Village RV Park campground which is just a quick walk from Jackson Lake. There are 103 full hookup sites for RVs and trailers, and most are shaded and have a picnic table.

Grand Teton National Park is the perfect place for outdoor adventures such as hiking, biking, exploring historical sites, kayaking and canoeing. The wide-open sky is wonderful at night for star gazing and photography. Jackson, Wyoming also is a short drive away for history lovers and there are also some quaint shops and restaurants to explore as well.

Colter Bay Village RV Park is a very popular campground and a reservation is needed. Sites fill up quickly so if you plan on visiting between June and September it is recommended to reserve your spot before January 1st.

Learn More About National Park Camping Today!

These are just a few of the many National Park camping sites in the country that your family could enjoy. So pack your bags, and prepare your RV for one of the best vacations your family can take.

To learn how to prepare for your big trip, visit our website today for more information!

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5 Things to Do Before Your First RV Trip

5 Things to Do Before Your First RV Trip

There’s nothing more exhilarating than hitting the open road for the first time in a brand-new RV.

But, if you want to make sure your first trip is a good one, there are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare ahead of time.

Planning your first RV trip, but aren’t sure where to start? We’re here to help!

Here are five things you need to do before setting out on your first big RV trip.

  1. Know Your RV Trip Route

What happens if you’re driving down a narrow, two-lane road, and you come to a bridge or tunnel that is too low for your RV?

Well, unless you want to scrape the ceiling off your ride, you’re in for a very awkward U-turn. This type of scenario is why it’s essential to know your route before you hit the road.

One of the most important things for you is to know how tall your RV is. Don’t rely on manufacturer’s numbers or the owner’s manual. Instead, get up there on the roof and measure it yourself. Make sure that you find the highest point to measure from – not the roof of the RV, but rather the top of the AC or satellite dish. Or any other tall thing you have up there on the roof. Only trust the measurements you take.

Also print out a label and put it on your windshield (like those service and oil change reminder stickers) or on your dash. This way you are not relying on memory when you come across a clearance sign. You’ll know whether you can fit or not for sure.

For fifth wheelers, remember to measure when your RV is hooked up to your truck. You want to know what the RV clearance height is when you are driving, not when you are parked.  For more info on how to measure your RV height check out Mark Polk’s video.

And while most GPS software and RV apps do their best to note low clearances, if you plan to take several trips a year, it is worth checking out LowClearances.com which maintains a database of over 4,000 low clearances that you can download and use in conjunction with many trip planning apps or install into your own GPS unit.

One final tip worth noting is that those signs indicating the bridge clearance may be old and out of date…When you see a clearance sign, don’t ignore them. They are there for a reason and that is to protect you and your vehicle from harm. And because those signs may not have been updated after the last repaving job, take six inches off the clearance level. That’s SIX INCHES LOWER than what the sign declares. This will help account for variances that can come from re-paving, lower entrances than exits, or even ceiling debris.

By studying the route you’re going to take, you’ll be able to plan for detours and make sure your path is clear for RV travel.

On top of that, knowing your route inside and out ahead of time will help you avoid missing a turn should you lose your GPS signal.

  1. Create an RV Trip Packing Checklist

Where are you planning on going, and what exactly are you going to need once you get there?

Nothing puts a damper on an RV trip like not packing enough supplies or forgetting something important. So, before you set out on the road, take some time to write out a checklist to help you navigate the planning and packing processes a little easier.

Plan out meals, personal needs, and make a note of any extra supplies you’ll need during your trip — like fishing rods or rock climbing gear. Some RVers even keep separate lists so they can re-use the most often needed ones and modify them as they travel more.  Why? Because a beach trip will often include beach towels but tailgating at your favorite stadium will often include fan-gear. You can save yourself future time by creating different lists like “beach list” and “tailgate list” for reuse.

While on the open road, the unexpected can happen. So, you’ll also want to make a note to stock up on emergency supplies like first aid gear or road flares.

  1. Make Reservations

Are you planning on making a stop at an RV campground during your trip?

You might want to make sure you have a reservation before you show up to a full park.

Before you leave your house, take some time to put together a complete schedule of your trip, then make sure you stick to it!

Creating a schedule will help you set reservations so you can ensure you’ll have a great place to park your home away from home.

  1. Check Your RV

When getting ready to set out on a long car trip, you usually take your car to get checked out before hitting the road.

This same rule goes for your RV.

Before you start your adventure, get your RV checked out to ensure everything is in working order, so you don’t experience unexpected delays or load/weight related issues. This means doing things such as checking tire pressure, tightening bolts and screws that may have come loose, and/or checking your slides.

  1. Understand Your RV’s Electrical Load

Your RV isn’t like your house — there’s a limit to how much electricity you can use.

Before you head out, make sure you take some time to figure out what your RV’s electrical load is, and how many appliances you can run at any given time.

If you’re not sure how to do this, you can use a surge protector like Southwire Surge Guard that has an amp monitoring feature.  (You can contact Mike in Parts at Bankston if you want more info on the surge protector.)  The simplest DIY option is to take some time while your RV is hooked up, with your surge guard in place and have everything turned off.  Then turn on one device at a time and note how much power is being used for each item/appliance. For example, turn on your AC first and watch the gauge, and then after you’re sure the reading is steady, write down that amount on you chart/piece of paper.  Then after you turn off the AC, turn on the microwave and write down the amount used for that appliance.  If you do this for every piece of electrical equipment in your RV, you will have a handy chart that will let you know what devices you can have running at the same time.  Many seasoned RV owners post this list inside a cabinet or keep it with their other lists so they can check it whenever they want to.

There’s no electrical overage available- so once your RV is at maximum capacity it will not run any more devices.  Be sure to measure how many amps you are using when you are charging your phones from outlets, or your tablets, or even running your TVs.

You can also calculate the maximum load each appliance will draw if you would rather do that. A good example of how to run those calculations as well as a chart with some standard power amounts can be found at AxelAddict.com

Understanding your electrical load will help you avoid any accidental energy issues while out on the road.

Make the Most of Your RV Trip

Now that you know how to prepare for your first RV trip, it’s time to get packing!

Are you looking for more advice, tips, or tricks to help you make the most of your RV adventures?

We’ve got you covered.

Check out the rest of our blog for more helpful articles or visit one of our locations today to find the RV of your dreams.

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What to Look for When Choosing RV Resorts

What to Look for When Choosing RV Resorts

Forty million Americans take their RVs on vacation at least once a year. Some choose backyard campsites and others opt for luxury RV resorts.

The RV resorts you choose will affect how enjoyable your vacation is.

You need a space that accommodates everything you want to do on vacation, as well as your unique personality. Some resorts are better suited to young families with children, while others cater to retirees.

To find the perfect RV resort for your getaway, keep reading. Here are some things to consider when browsing resort listings.

Full Hookup Stations

For ultimate convenience, choose a resort that has all your hookups in one station.

Some resorts are set up so you can hook up your sewer, water, and electric at the same time. That is certainly important if you do not want to drive to empty your black and gray tanks before you leave the resort area.

Keep in mind that the amps in different hookup stations can vary. If your RV needs 50 amps, check that the resort can accommodate this requirement before you book.

Ample Space

Unfortunately, RV resort forums are littered with complaints about small lots.

Being squished between your neighbors isn’t exactly ideal — especially if you have slides.

Look for lots that allow you to have all slides open plus more space. This gives you some extra breathing room and perhaps even a yard to enjoy the outdoors at night.

If you like camping with lawn chairs, a hammock, or outdoor dining furniture, find a resort that can accommodate.

Your Style of Amenities

What kind of traveler are you?

Do you look forward to socializing with all the other campers? Or are you looking for a solitary, tranquil escape from everyday life?

Your style of RVing affects the type of resort you’ll most enjoy.

If you enjoy socializing, look for resorts with community events and public gathering spaces. They might have communal firepits, dining areas, a pool, and more.

But, if you prefer to feel alone in nature, you don’t need those amenities. Look for the local attractions and lookouts for you to check out.

Even/Level Pads

This last resort feature should not be overlooked.

When driving in and out of a lot, the pad level matters. Uneven or sloping ground is much more difficult to maneuver on, especially with a 40-foot rig.

Inquire about the pads in the lots. The last thing you want is a slanted lot and your water pooling in one corner of the shower.

You don’t necessarily need asphalt or concrete lots specifically. All that matters, even if it’s grass or gravel, is that it’s leveled.

Interested in Learning More About Choosing RV Resorts?

The RV resort you choose can make or break your experience. Luckily, there’s ample information online about all the different RV resorts.

Keep the tips above in mind when choosing an RV resort for your next vacation.

To help with your resort research, check out this post. It will give you a few good suggestions on where you might want to spend your next trip.

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7 Valuable RV Trip Planning Tips: 2019 Edition

7 Valuable RV Trip Planning Tips: 2019 Edition

According to the RV Industry Association, 10 million households own recreational vehicles (RVs).

While RVing used to be associated primarily with retired people, the ages for people owning RVs now range from 25 to 75.

That means many millennials are also now enjoying the RV lifestyle, too.

This comes as no surprise since RV trip planning lends itself to adapting to many different types of vacations from weekend stays to several months. RVs make it possible to stay just about anywhere in comfort and convenience.

Plan ahead for your RV trips to make the most of your vacation time. Here are some tips.

RV Trip Planning Tips

Traveling by RV has a lot of perks. You can take a lot more of your stuff with you on vacation. You can stop along your route anytime you like.

You can also venture off the beaten path, traveling through areas you wouldn’t see by taking a train or plane.

But any great trip requires good planning. By knowing where you plan to go and what you plan to do when you get there, you will know what you need to pack.

And, if you’ve made arrangements in advance, you’ll know you have a great spot to set up your RV each night and already be familiar with the accommodations and local area.

Below are some great tips to make your next RV trip even better.

1. Start Planning Early

Some campgrounds and RV parks book up many months in advance.

So if there are particular spots you know you may want to visit or stay at in the future, spend some time checking out their normal booking schedules now.

Put reminders on your calendar if necessary to remind you to follow up if the information you need isn’t available yet for a particular site. Some may say to check back at a particular month or date.

2. Plan Your Route

Many people may know where their destination for their trip while others may be traveling in a loop for sightseeing.

When planning your route, you’ll want to plan RV traveling based on how many hours a day you can comfortably drive. You will need time for breaks to get out and stretch your legs and to keep the driver alert.

Rather than just stopping when it feels right or necessary, take some time before you leave home to look at some online maps and investigate some of the places along your route for possible places for your breaks.

You can also note the truck stop gas stations for where to get gas, making it easier for you to get in and out with your RV. You’ll also want to make note of toll roads to avoid (if possible) and plan around narrow road conditions.

Depending on your RV road trip timeline, you may have time for extra sightseeing and checking out local attractions. Be sure to add these stops into your plans so you can add additional overnight stops to your itinerary if needed.

3. Make Reservations Before Leaving Home

As soon as you have your route planned, you can begin making reservations. This will include renting an RV if you don’t have your own.

Consider your budget and your preferences when determining where to stay. Different parks and campground offer various options in what amenities they offer.

Be sure to print out confirmations for all reservations to bring along with you on your trip. Don’t rely on being able to pull the information up on your phone or tablet to show the park ranger or campground manager. You may not have cell service at some locations.

4. RV Park Apps

There are many apps available to help RV travel planners. Everything from maps, weather, where to find gas and stations accessible for larger vehicles, to a vast array of places you can park your RV for the night.

Check out and download apps to help make both your trip planning and your trip itself easier. Some are free but you may find some are worth the money.

5.  Make a Packing List

Once you know where you’re going and have a good idea of what you’ll be doing once you get there, it’s time to make a packing list.

You may find it easier to break things down by category to think about what you’ll need to take. Clothing, cooking, swimming (or other sporting activity), bathing are some of the categories requiring unique items to bring along.

Also, make notes to be sure to bring along any documentation related to the service and maintenance for your RV. Along with information for your RV insurance, AAA or other membership cards, and tools and other items to maintain your RV on the road. You’ll also need items like bungee cords to secure items during travel.

While on your trip, note down anything you needed to buy that you forgot to bring along. So you’ll remember to bring it next time.

Keep your updated list for future RV road trip planning.

6.  Label Your Electronics (or Make a List)

Since your RV has its own electrical circuit, you will need to know how much of a load it can handle at one time. So do some homework before traveling to determine your RVs electrical load and how much the appliances you plan to take need in order to run.

Then label your electronics with the amount of power they need to run. Or make a list and post it somewhere it will be easily viewable inside your RV.

By knowing these amounts, you will be able to plan your activities to keep your power usage within safe limits. For instance, you may not be able to run your heating or air conditioning while preparing meals.

7.  Make Sure to Secure Items Before Traveling

To keep you and your passengers safe while traveling, make sure to secure anything you have added to the RV each time you move from place to place.

It doesn’t take much of a turn or a huge break in speed to send things hurling into the air. Use bungee cords, cabinet and door locks, and any other items appropriate to your needs to keep items in place while your RV is moving.

Start Planning Your RV Trip Today

There are so many options for where you can go and see when you plan RV trips. Mountains, deserts, lakeside, national parks, and forests are just a few of the options available to you.

So start your RV trip planning today and turn your travel dreams into reality.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about traveling by RV or if you are looking to rent or buy an RV.

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Keystone Montana Fifth Wheels Compared to Grand Design Solitude Fifth Wheels

Keystone Montana Fifth Wheels Compared to Grand Design Solitude Fifth Wheels

An Overview of Key Differences to Help You Choose Between the Keystone Montana & Grand Design Solitude

Over the past three years customers have purchased 27,349 Montana and Grand Design Solitude fifth wheels.  Montana has been building fifth wheels for 21 years and is the most experienced luxury fifth wheel manufacturer in the industry with over 110,000 built.  In fact, over half of the production workers in the Montana plant have been building Montanas for over a decade making the Montana plant the most experienced RV work force in the industry.  This experience has resulted in Montana having the most repeat buyers, most full time RVers, and highest resell value of any fifth wheel on the market at this time.  Grand Design’s Solitude is a newer product with one tenth of the production history and a growing group of dealers offering their product.

 

In order to compare these two different fifth wheels, this article will outline some of the key differences in chassis, construction, exterior features, and available options.

Chassis Differences between Solitude & Montana:

  • Montana features patented Max-Turn Technology which allows for the best turning radius in the industry- Solitude lacks this feature
  • Montana’s Hitch Vision mirror on front cap with led light allows for easy hookup to the trailer day or night- the Solitude lacks this feature
  • Montana uses a 12 inch I beam chassis on all floor plans that is heavier duty, reduces the stress on the sidewalls, and supports more weight.  Solitude uses a 10 inch I beam chassis on some floor plans and a 12 inch I beam on other floor plans
  • Montana features a Road Armor suspension equalizer with 6 inches of axle travel, rubber shock absorbers on top and bottom, ½ inch shackle plates, and greaseable wet bolts. Solitude uses a suspension equalizer with 3 inch of axel travel, no rubber shock absorber at the top, ¼ inch shackle plates, and no wet bolts
  • Montana features the Road Armor hitch pin that reduces or eliminates chucking while towing and features a pivoting roto flex head. Solitude’s hitch pin does not have a pivoting head which does not keep it in contact with the hitch pin’s rubber shear shock absorbers when there are bumps in the road

Construction and Exterior Feature Differences between Solitude and Montana:

  • Montana uses one-piece roto cast holding tanks. Solitude has two piece holding tanks with a seam in the middle that can be more susceptible to leaks
  • Montana uses color coded and numbered electrical wiring. Solitude uses all white wires and does not use numbers.  (This makes electrical repairs significantly more difficult to trace on the Solitude and more costly to complete.)
  • Montana runs its water lines on the lower deck in the floor on top of spun fiberglass insulation. Solitude runs their water lines in the underbelly which could make water lines more susceptible to freezing up.
  • Montana uses an In-Line-High-Capacity heating system which means a 3-inch X 14-inch aluminum heat duct runs in the floor from the back wall to the staircase. In contrast, the Solitude splices 4-inch dryer vent hoses off the furnace to heat the lower deck.  (When heat ducts are spliced multiple times with bends and turns it is typical to have hot and cold spots, heat loss, and difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature.)
  • Montana comes standard with rain gutters over the slide boxes.  The rain gutters on Montanas also have a track in them for slide awnings so if a customer decides to add slide awnings it is a simple addition (add less costly).  Solitude does not use rain gutters.
  •  Montana has prep for solar to the roof. Solitude does not.
  • Montana has a power channel on its exterior awnings. Solitude does not.
  • Montana uses solid metal locking handles on exterior baggage doors. Solitude has plastic handles.
  • Montana’s auto leveling touch pad is located on the outside of the units for easy access and does not require bending over into the pass-through to get to the touch pad. Solitude places the leveling pad in the pass-through.
  • Montana has slide selector valves that allow the user to choose whether to have all the slides in or out. On Solitude there is no Slide Selector available.
  •  Montana has 2 attic vents to help manage moisture. Montana places one attic vent behind the main A/C and one attic vent in front of the second A/C to prevent mold and mildew.  Solitude has only one attic vent at the center point of the unit, which places the only vent extremely far from the air conditioning units which are a large source of moisture in the RV attic space.
  • Montana comes standard with a 16,500 BTU heat pump.  This electric heat source means that a Montana owner does not have to run the furnace and burn propane to heat their unit in temperatures a little above freezing.  Solitude does not offer a heat pump.
  • Montana has a double laminated rear wall.  In the event of an accident or a repair to the rear wall, the rear wall on the Montana can be removed without disrupting the side walls or electrical channels.  Solitude on has a single laminated rear wall.
  • Montana features two doors and compartments in the front bulkhead area.  One door for storage or a generator and another door to access the battery and hydraulic area.  Solitude has one compartment and door for these areas.
  • Montana’s optional full body paint includes painted baggage door handles, fender skirting, and bulkhead.  Solitude does not paint these items.

Power Options Available on Montana:

  • Montana offers an optional 265-watt solar panel with a 30-amp controller and a 2000-watt inverter.  In addition, this option includes inverting the living room TV outlet, refrigerator outlet, a kitchen outlet, and a bedroom outlet.  This allows a customer that pulls off into a rest stop to be able to run their lights, tv, make a pot of coffee, run the refrigerator, and use a CPAP or charge a cell phone the bedroom.  This option is not available on Solitude

Legacy package option on Montana fifth wheels offer additional features such as:

  • Disc Brakes (not available on Solitude)
  • Rear Cap (not available on Solitude)
  • Hard wood framing (not available on Solitude)
  • Power Cord reel (not available on Solitude)
  • Side view and rear backup cameras (not available on Solitude)
  • Surge Protector (not available on Solitude)
  • IN – Command (not available on Solitude)
  • Generator ready (optional on Solitude)

In addition to the many differences in the physical construction and features of the two units, Montana does offer a warranty for full time RVing.  For those considering full-time RVing this is important and some units (like the Solitude) do not have this type of warranty available.

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