Be a Good Camping Neighbor

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Being a good Camping Neighbor is about respect. It just takes a little common sense and thinking from the other persons perspective. You have to be considerate for other campers, the campground, and nature. Make sure the kids know the rules as well.

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General

  • Read and respect the campground’s rules and policies. Just because you don’t understand why they do things a certain way, doesn’t mean they don’t have a reason.
  • Do not walk through another camper’s site, walk around it. Even if you are going to the bathrooms. While someone is camping think of their site as their yard.img 2
  • Limit noise from 10 pm until 6 am. At night noise carries far so keep this in mind. Yes, I’m sure you like loud music, but that is why they make headphones. You can enjoy it so your neighbor doesn’t have to. Keep in mind that RV walls are thin and sound carries through it.
  • Leave no trace at the campsite before you leave. Do a final walkthrough even once it’s time to leave.
  • Drive slowly through the campground. Follow any posted speed limits and watch for children.
  • Don’t leave your engine running more than a minute and turn on your parking lights if it’s late at night so you don’t shine someone’s tent.
  • Be sure to check out on time. If it’s a busy campground there may be people waiting.
  • Stay on recommended trails when hiking. This keeps damage to vegetation and erosion in one place
  • Do not feed the wildlife as this encourages them to interact with and become dependent on humans

Hygiene and Waste

  • Dispose of your wastewater into the nearest dump station or a drain.
  • Use biodegradable soap
  • Clean up all food and scraps from picnic tables you use. Nobody likes showing up to their campsite to find hordes of ants and other bugs
  • Make sure when you leave your campsite it is cleaner than when you arrived.

Pets

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  • Always clean up after your pets to avoid unnecessary smells and from annoying other campers who may step in their poop
  • Do not leave your pets unattended. They will likely bark at strangers, dig holes and annoy your fellow campers
  • Always have them on a leash (6 feet or less in length)
  • Check ahead of time to confirm the campground you plan to stay at allows pets. Some campgrounds have a no pet policy

 

Campfires

  • Many campgrounds will have it posted if you are not allowed to have a campfire. Some campgrounds have portable fire pits to burn in so as not to destroy the grass areas and leave burnt ringsimg 4
  • Check with campground management before collecting any wood. Many allow you to collect deadwood rather than cutting down live trees
  • Only burn wood and paper in your campfire.
  • Do not leave your campfire unattended. Always completely extinguish your campfire when sleeping or leaving your campsite

Follow these guidelines and everyone should have a good time.

 

Where is Home for Full Time RVers

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If you live in your RV full time, you’ve probably been asked countless times where home is. To you, home is right behind you in that glorious vehicle you’ve taken on to travel, see more of the world, and live the good life. Explaining that to people who don’t live to travel can be difficult.

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Home is where you park your RV. You may get your mail somewhere else. Your family may be spread around, but you gave up a physical location to call home the day you decided the country itself was home. All parts of it. You travel, set up the RV someplace for a few days or even a few weeks, and that becomes home.

As the full time RVer, you get the benefits of being able to stay somewhere you really want to see more of with the freedom to pack it up and leave when you choose. This truly makes home the vehicle you’re occupying. But home is also the places you’ve lived before you chose this life. Where you grew up, went to college, made a house and home for your family, raised your children. These places are also home but for now, the RV has the main claim on the title.

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The word “home” brings a flood of memories and ideas of what exactly a home should look like. A stable place for family to gather, for lives to be lived out of it. And yet the RV fills these requirements as well. Family can come visit, can stay and experience the thrill of travel. You can still do all the things you did before you became a full time RVer. There will be new memories, and new traditions started that make the RV as much a home as any permanent house.

If you hate answering the question “Where is home?” every time you mingle with people, you could give them the easy answer of where you used to live. But when your RV is your home, people might just be interested to learn how it stands up to the title.

If you’re looking for a “Home on Wheels”, we’ve got the right inventory for you! 

STOP DRIVING – BEST PLACES TO PARK WHEN TIRED IN AN RV

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What do you do when you get tired while driving your RV but the destination is still hours away? Here are a variety of safe options to rest up so you can get an early start on the road, unless you decide to stay for awhile!

Walmart:

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Walmart encourages RVers to park overnight when they travel. It’s a safe place often with 24 hour security where you can rest and restock your supplies. Many even have RV sections, we froze and cracked (more like exploded) our water filter while we were in Cottonwood, AZ and Walmart had the Camco filter we needed to easily replace it ourselves. The local guy was 25% more expensive and we would have had to wait 2 days for him to get the parts. Love it or hate it, Walmart’s size helps them succeed in giving their customers cheaper and faster products than most businesses, consistently.

 

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One time we were in Southern Utah and were heading through Page, AZ to Zion and Bryce. We were we planned on staying overnight at the Walmart Parking Lot since we were just going to enjoy the Sunset and then the Sunrise at Horseshoe Bend and head out. When we came around to the back parking area we realized WE WERE PARKING ON THE COLORADO RIVER! This night at Walmart turned out to be really scenic. In fact, you could even walk to Horseshoe Bend from Walmart (we opted to drive the 2 min).

 

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BLM Land:

From Page, AZ we headed just 30 miles or so down the road is where we Boondocked for around 5 days at the Grand Staircase Escalante. It was our first time on BLM land so we were really excited. We were blown away at the experience, the beauty and the solitude. We went hiking everyday either on the river or up in the mountains. We parked at the Paria River at an old gravel pit. I found it on freecampsites.net. We love it and have found it very helpful. We had great AT&T cell service but not Verizon.

Hotels:

When we left Grand Staircase we headed around 30 miles to Kanab, Utah.

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This town was so incredible we wanted to stay for a night and see this town up close. It was late in the day and I called the local RV parks but nobody answered. Many shut down in this area since this is the off season for them. Other times of the year it’s a busy adventure town. So I gave the local Holiday Inn a call and asked if we could boondock in their parking lot for a night. They said yes and offered us 2 nights! It brought income into the town also. We got some work done with Free Wifi at an awesome coffee shop and outdoor gear store. It was awesome meeting the locals, it seemed like everybody that lived there was a hiker.

 

RV Parks:

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You could always swing in for the night in an RV Park and rather than unpacking and settling in, do the bare minimum required to enjoy yourself without having to do to much work getting ready to leave in the morning. We use this technique a lot when we arrive at a campsite in the dark and then move to the “Best Spot” in the morning. We are members of Thousand Trails and have the package where it’s free to stay at any of their locations in the Country. We absolutely love it however on this trip, there weren’t any locations close enough for us to the National Parks. We found a great RV Park, Bauer’s RV Park.

After we left Kanab, we drove around 40 minutes north to Bauers. While we were there, multiple people came for one night just passing through, stopping just for a quick overnight rest. We found Bauers to be the PERFECT location as a base camp for Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, both are RV Bucket List Locations! It’s directly in between the two parks and has great areas locally to visit in between. Something we found refreshing is that the Wifi was INCREDIBLE at Bauer’s RV. That seems to be more and more important for RV Parks as consumer demand is skyrocketing for great Wifi at RV Parks.

Truck Stops:

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Another great place to park for the night while traveling is a truck stop. I’ve found Truck Stops to be my favorite place to fill up with gas because they typically have the easiest layout for getting in and out with the RV. We usually fill up the RV and grab some coffee as a way to say thanks. We use Gas Buddy most of the time which allows us to prepare ahead of time where we should stop to save money.  We stayed at this Love’s Truck Stop just outside of Yellowstone National Park and within a few hours were able to be inside the National Park and getting views like this.

 

Rest Areas:

We’ve found rest areas to be great place to stay when you are in the middle of nowhere and there isn’t a Walmart around. These often have security and are a great place to pull into for the night. We’ve stayed at many rest stops and many in very scenic locations! This picture was taken at a Rest Area in North Texas.

Yamping (Yard Camping):

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This is a fun one. Have you heard the Kacey Musgraves song: “My House”. Some of our favorite memories have been bringing our RV to friends. Nothing beats a little Yamping (Yard Camping) at a friends house. It’s nice to wake up, have some coffee and go for a morning walk with your friends.

RVers Guide to Photographing the Northern Lights

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The Aurora Borealis (commonly known as the Northern Lights) are streaks of light dancing across the sky. They are a joy for RVers who are camping in the northern states or Canada.

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People are often surprised to know that you don’t need to have an expensive camera to capture this breathtaking event. The truth is almost any DSLR can capture the Aurora Borealis. The Aurora is also visible year round, and you don’t have to live in Alaska to see the beautiful Northern Lights. There are some very advanced tutorials online that I’ve read on how to photograph the Northern Lights and they were so advanced I was left with my head spinning. Our goal is to dummy this down and simplify the process. As with most photography, there is always going to be variables and you’ll want to adjust some settings, but these should get you on track.

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There are a few other factors to keep in mind. First you will need to be in a northern state where the northern lights will be visible. You’ll need to know when it will be visible. We prefer to use this website. Make sure it’s a clear night and it helps greatly if there is not going to be a moon showing above the horizon. Once you have all of these conditions working in your favor make sure you are out of town. The ambient lights of being near a city will affect if you can see the northern lights.

What Equipment Do You Need?

  • A DSLR camera with manual mode. This doesn’t have to be expensive, a $150 camera will work just fine.
  • A fully charged battery
  • A tripod
  • A flashlight since you’ll be walking in the dark

Camera Settings

  • Mode, the camera must be set to manual
  • Focus, set the focus to manual and infinity
  • Aperture, you will typically want the lowest f number. We recommend f/4
  • Shutter, 30 seconds is a good speed. Anything longer than this and you’ll start to get star trails in your photo because of the earth’s rotation
  • ISO, use the lowest ISO possible. This will very greatly depending on your camera but we typically shoot at 800

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I hope this inspires you to keep an eye out for the next Northern Lights storm and to get out and capture the show so that you can share the memory with friends and family.

4 Fuel Saving Tips for RVers

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Here we go again with fluctuating gas prices that are headed up one week and down the next. Here are some tips to help you continue to enjoy your RV lifestyle without the pain in the wallet. The more you save on gas, the more you can spend on quality experiences during your travels. Here are our tips to put more money back into your pocket.

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Get a Tune Up

The condition of your RV has a lot to do with how much fuel you use. Make sure that your RV has been serviced as recommended by the manufacturer. If you get a little slack on this, over time you may see significant diminishing returns on your fuel mileage. Tire pressure can have a big impact on fuel efficiency.

Plan Your Route Carefully

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If you’re driving on a flat and straight road you’ll see good fuel efficiency. But most of the country has hills and mountains that can quickly turn the rpm gauge up and the fuel gauge down. When you’re planning your trip, avoid routes that will cause excessive braking and choose routes that will keep a steady speed.

Use Gas Buddy

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Gas Buddy is a phone application that tells you based on your location where the cheapest fuel is. If you use it just before the low fuel light comes on you’ll be able to navigate to the savings on your route.

Drive Your Other Vehicle as Much as Possible

 

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If you pull a 5th Wheel or Travel Trailer you will have a vehicle to run errands or go on day trips. If you’re in a Class A or Class C RV, pulling a car by flat towing or a tow dolly can significantly keep money in your pocket with fuel savings. You’ll also be able to fit into places like malls that you wouldn’t be able to with your RV.

Easy RV Upgrades

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Do you have a Honey-do list that seems to keep growing?  Although there might not be a quick fix to all upgrades, there are certainly some that you don’t need to make harder than they have to be. Below is a list of RV upgrades that don’t require you to bust out your toolbox.

Pantry Lighting

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Pantry Lighting doesn’t require an electrician.  It’s as easy as ordering some stick-on push lights. They’re fantastic for deep dark cabinets that you usually have to use your cell phone flashlight to see what’s in there.

Increased Closet Space

You don’t need to demo your pantry to create more closet space.  Rather, all you need is drop down hangers.  They instantly create 6x more closet space. We’ve been using them for years and are still amazed at how much you can fit into your RV Closet.

Flooring

No one looks forward to a flooring project.  Unless of course updating your flooring was as easy as applying stickers to your existing flooring!  With Peel-And-Stick Vinyl Plank Flooring it can be that easy. Another way to spice up your floors is adding rugs. You can cater the style of the rug to match the room.

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Shower Head

Changing out your shower head is a lot easier than you may think!  All you need to do is screw the old one off and the new one on.  Ta-da, you’re done. This is also great to get a shower head that uses less water for when you’re boondocking and need to conserve on your water usage.

Mattress

You don’t need a whole new mattress just because your old one isn’t comfortable.  Instead, order a memory foam pad to go on top of your mattress and it will make all the world of difference. Make sure to get The My Pillow to make sure you get the best rest possible.

What upgrades would you add to the list to make RVing better?

Small Space Living – Organization is a must

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When you live full-time in an RV, or even just enjoy the occasional getaway, you understand the importance of organization.  When living in such a small space, organization is not only a desire it’s a must!  Below is a list of how you can best organize your RV:

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Bins, bins and more bins!

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Big bins, small bins, tall bin, short bins, clear bin… you get the idea.  Bins are a great way to create extra storage space while still maintaining a visually appealing space.

Mini-Sized Appliances

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Rather than taking up valuable real estate (aka, COUNTER SPACE) with big, bulky appliance, opt for the small, more compact version of the same thing.  For instance, instead of using a full-size coffee pot get a mini coffee pot instead.

Downsize

This one seems like a no-brainer but it’s harder then you may think.  You don’t need to have a 20 piece dishware set, at least most of us don’t. The more stuff you tote around, the more stuff you have to find a spot for.  When it comes to RV living, less is more!

Closet Space

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This one may be hard for many women. You can’t fit your walk in closet wardrobe into your RV. Although space is limited there are a few ways you can expand your closet space:

  1. Take over your significant others’ space
  2. Use drop-down hangers
  3. Put a portable closet in the RV

Utilize all those Little Nooks and Crannies

Organization is not just applying your label maker masterpieces all over your RV but instead making the most out of the space you have.  Find those unused spaces behind your captain’s chair or up in a loft area. If it is not an area that is being utilized for everyday use, use it for storage.

Making the Most of your Storage Compartments

This is where your label maker could come in handy.  Keeping your storage compartments organized will not only save you space but it will also save your sanity.  Keep similar things together so that they’re easier to find.

The Walls are your Friend

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RV Living is a great excuse to utilize all of those neat little Pinterest hacks you’ve found.  Such as the wall mount planter used as a fruit basket.  You’d be amazed at how many neat organization solution you can find online. Don’t be shy, give them a try!

Collapsible is the Way to Go

Who needs full-sized when you can have collapsible? They’ve come up with everything from trash cans to colanders. Not only do collapsible items save space but let’s face it, they’re awesome!

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. What tips do you have for RV organization?  Please share below!

 

Supper Ideas for the Hungry Camper

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One of the greatest benefits to come with an RV is the kitchen.  You won’t have to worry about finding somewhere to eat, or trying to cook over a campfire.  Being able to cook while in the RV saves you money when you’re traveling as well.  While the kitchen is great, it is smaller than the ones we have at home. When you’re shopping for your next RV adventure, here are some easy meals to cook that don’t need much in the way of space or ingredients.

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Spaghetti is a great favorite at any time of year.  You can cook it all from one pot as well, meat, sauce, and noodles, making it a perfect RV dinner.  It’s hearty, comforting on a cool night, and kids love it!

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Another family favorite that is an RV friendly dinner are tacos.  Tacos are easy to cook, easy to eat, and make clean up a breeze.  Eat outside with minimal mess and the leftovers are an easy snack for tomorrow.

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Sandwiches are an RV staple since they’re quick and easy to make.  Think a little deeper about sandwiches for dinner and go with a hot sandwich.  Heat up your meat of choice with some veggies and cheese, transforming the boring sandwich into something you can get excited about.

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Hot dogs and hamburgers make our list last.  While it might seem obvious, these camping favorites could be overlooked.  Both are easy to make, requiring little work and less equipment.  Dress up the hot dogs with chili. Try it on the hamburgers as well!  If you plan ahead for some sides already made like store bought potato salad or chips, dinner just got that much simpler.

You can make great food in your RV kitchen with a bit of planning and preparation.  Don’t get too fancy and you’ll have a fantastic meal, with little clean up, in no time!

 

Let’s Get Ready to Tailgate!

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Tailgating is a sport all it’s own. You show up to your favorite concert or sporting event hours early and join the massive crowd waiting for the festivities to start. You break out your lawn chairs, portable grill, and cooler stocked with refreshing beverages .The only thing that could make these events even better is if you took you RV with you!

 

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Research lot restrictions where you’re parking in order to make tailgating with your RV a success.  You don’t want to expend the effort of getting ready to go, only to be turned away.  You also want to be as close to the action as possible, not out at the very end of the concrete!  Check out the limits and plan accordingly.

 

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By taking an RV, you can have that many more guests!  Menu planning is important for a tailgate.  You want to eat, and eat well, without risking food illnesses.  An RV gives you more options when it comes to prepping and storing food properly.  Before you go, ensure your appliances are up and running correctly. You don’t want a faulty stove top to turn game day into a disaster.  

 

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With a bigger vehicle, you get to claim more pavement space for your group.  Bring the lawn chairs and all the memorabilia you’ve got!  Flags, decals, tents, towels…let everyone know who you root for!  What’s the point of having a vehicle everyone can see if you don’t make it stand out?  Get in the spirit and get decorating!

American traditions don’t get much better than tailgating.  Get out there and tailgate right by bringing your RV.  You’ll win the tailgate championship hands down!

 

The Reverse Snowbird – Keeping Cool in the Heat

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To have the most comfortable Hot Weather Vacation you have to adjust for the heat. Here’s a few Hot Weather RV Tips.

 

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Test your AC Unit before Hitting the Road

Let’s face it, a bouncing house on wheels can have an effect on things. Make sure you do a little Yamping (yard camping) to make sure the AC unit is working properly.

Roof Vent Insulation

This is an inexpensive investment that pays off big time. It’s basically a pillow; some even have foil on one side.

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They are made to fit the roof vent in your ceiling. You would be amazed at the amount of heat they keep out on a hot summer day.

Using the AC

Close all the windows and vents. Think of your RV with the AC on as a large refrigerator. Open the door and cold air spills out.  When you are coming in and out of your RV make sure you shut the door as fast as possible. For some larger RVs, you’ll have to plan ahead and make sure you have a 50 amp hookup to run multiple units.

Block the Solar Heat

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The first step is parking in the shade. Keep in mind the sun moves throughout the day and you may want to position yourself so the afternoon sun doesn’t directly hit the RV. Even if you are in the shade, keeping the shades down in your RV helps. Another simple tip that makes a HUGE difference is to put cardboard between the glass and the shades.

Fans are your Friend

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Lack of airflow is a mood killer. Using tower fans to blow air directly on you is a great way to cool off. Blowing air directly on your body will make you feel cooler and still air will seem hotter. Additionally because it’s warm in the day and cooler at night you can use fans to blow out warm air in the evenings and then draw cold air in at night.

Cleaning Your AC Filter

To improve your AC units efficiency keep the filters clean. In most cases you can wash the filters with warm soapy water.

Head to The Lake/Ocean

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This is always going to be the best decision because camping on the water is pretty much unbeatable. If you’ve always wanted waterfront property, this is the way to go and if you don’t like your neighbors, just move! That’s a common joke among the RV Community, but in reality RVers are like minded people who are looking to enjoy themselves. That means they’re friendly, helpful, and enjoyable to be around.