Hot Sandwiches for a Cold Day

While winter is going to wind down soon enough, the weather’s still going to be cold for a while. If you’re out in your RV in the cold, nothing’s better than a warm meal. Cold sandwiches are fine, but a cold day calls for something warm, toasted, and melty. Try making this sandwich the next time the weather gets cold and serve it with your favorite soup.

HOT BUFFALO CHICKEN & BACON GRILLED CHEESE

INGREDIENTS

  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 8 slices bacon
  • ¾ cup hot buffalo sauce
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • half a stick celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup green onions, sliced
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh black pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 thin cheddar cheese slices
  • butter, for melting on skillet

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Lay the bacon slices on the lined baking sheet and cook in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Take bacon out of the oven, then lay bacon slices on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up bacon grease.
  2. Warm the hot sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix together hot sauce, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese until cheeses have melted. Fold in the chicken, celery, and green onions. Season with salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
  3. Prepare the sandwiches. Top one slice of bread with a generous amount of buffalo chicken mixture, two slices of bacon, a slice of cheddar cheese, then cover with the other slice of bread. Repeat until all the buffalo chicken mixture is used up.
  4. Cook the sandwiches. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Melt a pat of butter on the skillet. Place a sandwich on the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add another pat of butter to the skillet, turn the sandwich over, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown and cheese has melted. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Before you head out on your trip, be sure to stop by Jim’s RV Center to pick up any RV accessories you may need or to have your RV serviced or checked before the trip.

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Romantic RV Destinations for Valentine’s Day

You don’t have to buy costly plane tickets and pay outrageous resort accommodation prices to enjoy a romantic getaway with your special someone this Valentine’s Day. The U.S. is littered with romantic destinations that can be visited in the comfort, convenience, and affordability of your RV.

Fire up your home on wheels and cruise throughout the country to one of these three must-visit Valentine’s Day destinations.

Charleston, South Carolina

It’s no wonder that Travel and Leisure named Charleston the No. 1 most romantic city in America. The historic town, located minutes from some of the East Coast’s most pristine beaches, offers cobblestone streets lined with oak trees, horse-drawn carriages, and enough historic architecture to fill hours of exploration. Charleston is also home to some of the most critically-acclaimed restaurants and rooftop bars in the country, so you’ll have no shortage of places to enjoy a romantic dinner and drinks.

Chicago, Illinois

City lovers can’t help but feel the romance when walking on Chicago’s streets in winter. Whether you and your lover are interested in fine dining, shopping, theater, or nightlife, you’ll feel Chicago’s charm when you walk among the skyscrapers just steps from the pristine shores of Lake Michigan. The Chicago area is also home to a large number of family-owned RV parks and campgrounds that make an ideal, and affordable, home base for city excursions.

Sedona, Arizona

If you haven’t escaped the cold to explore Sedona yet, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time. This cozy Arizona getaway is loaded with RV resorts, spas, world-renowned restaurants, shopping and more outdoor adventures than you can cram into one vacation. Even more, Sedona’s desert sunsets are famous for being some of the most mesmerizing in the country.

Visit Jim’s RV Center Before You Go

Don’t forget to stop by Jim’s RV Center to ensure your RV is in top condition before you hit the road for your romantic getaway.

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Must-Have RV Kitchen Gadgets

Cooking in your RV’s compact kitchen can seem difficult at first. However, with the right set of tools, you can prepare all of your favorite meals and sweet treats while living life on the road. The following are a few must-have kitchen utensils for the upcoming RV season; most can be found at any store that sells kitchenwares as well as our very own RV accessories department at Jim’s RV Center.

Collapsible Everything

If it can collapse, it’s your best friend in the RV. As most any veteran RVer can tell you, about 90% of RVing is being efficient with your space (the other 10% is figuring out where to go next!). Your kitchen especially needs to maximize space. While some RV kitchens aren’t too tight, if it’s a choice between something bulky and something slick, choose slick all day, every day.

When it comes to slick, nothing beats collapsible kitchenwares. Collapsible dish rack, collapsible strainer, collapsible mixing bowls, collapsible measuring cups… heck, if they had a collapsible oven, you’d bet we’d take one!

A Quality Slow Cooker

If you want to cook consistently in your RV’s kitchen and avoid sandwiches and fast food six nights out of the week, you’ve got to get a slow cooker. Even a good one won’t set you back more than $60 and it’ll pay for itself within a month. Slow cookers are perfect for the RV lifestyle, because, let’s face it, you’re traveling to have fun, not play house. A slow cooker means that you can do both: prep your meal in the morning, throw it in the slow cooker, set it for however many hours the recipe calls for, go out and have fun doing recreational type activities, and come back in the later afternoon to a meal that’s ready to go just in time for dinner. Easy.

Fridge Braces

Show me an RVer who has never heard of fridge braces and I’ll show you an RVer who’s cleaned up a fair bit of spilt food and busted containers at the end of a long day of travel. RVs being what they are tend to move throughout a day of travel (you don’t say!). All that movement is bound to shift anything that’s not heavy and strapped down. Your fridge, unfortunately, is usually the earliest and most gruesome casualty. Fridge braces are cheap, plastic, and effective. They’ll hold anything that you don’t want to slide in place through even the bumpiest of rides.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Find all of these must-have items and countless others, ranging from kitchen appliances to grilling gear, right here at our Jim’s RV Center online parts store.

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Activities When You’re Stuck Indoors

Whether traveling in an RV or towing a fifth wheel, there’s no controlling the weather. Once you’re on the road and have arrived at your camping destination, when the weather isn’t cooperating consider trying one of these rainy or snowy day activities in the comfort of your trailer while waiting for the skies to clear.

Adults

  • Use the down time to catch up on sending emails, post on Facebook, or balance the checkbook.
  • Catch up on your “must read” list.
  • Enjoy your favorite hobby such as knitting, origami, quilting, drawing, painting, or making creative fishing lures.
  • Play a few games of Solitaire.
  • Watch a good movie or mini-series or find vintage films and music on YouTube.
  • If the Internet is accessible, watch live video cams of locations you plan to visit.
  • Prepare a gourmet meal and enjoy a glass of wine.

Kids

  • Board games, cards, dominoes, and hangman keep kids busy and entertained.
  • Bring activity books, coloring books, crayons, sketch pads, and building blocks.
  • Digital readers are a kid’s friend.
  • Update travel journals, write postcards to friends and family, and visit the social networking pages of friends.

Families

  • Bake refrigerated cookies, packaged brownies, or rice crispy treats.
  • Make popcorn, put in a good movie, and watch together.
  • Read a classic book out loud; choose something with excitement and adventure to spark the imagination.
  • Play a game of age-related charades.
  • Card games like UNO and board games such as Monopoly and Chinese checkers are a great way to while away rainy days.
  • Put together a 500 piece picture puzzle.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

When you’re ready to make travel plans and in need of an RV service check or you’re interested in investing in a recreational vehicle, visit Jim’s RV Center and let our experienced staff get you on your way.

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Winter Camping in New York State

If you’re looking for some places in New York state to camp and enjoy the winter season with your RV, you’re in luck: New York is home to plenty of spectacular natural features, campgrounds, and other must-see sites.

Head Into the Mountains

New York may not be your first thought when you hear the word “mountains,” but it’s actually got quite a few of them. Ideal for travelers who enjoy hiking, you can find a campground for your RV in the Catskill or Adirondack Mountains and go on all-day hikes. The scenery, of course, is breathtaking, no matter what time of year you visit.

Relax Lakeside

There are also abundant lakes in New York, particularly the Finger Lakes region, a collection of five lakes, each of which are great for those looking to fish, swim, or go boating.

Stop in at Award Winning Campgrounds

If you haven’t been to Old Forge yet, it’s time to go. The Old Forge Camping Resort is not only open in the winter, it’s one of the best places in the state to enjoy all of your favorite outdoor activities like snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and tons more. Buckle down and spend the entire winter season (from Nov. 1 to April 15) in Old Forge for one low winter rate and have easy access to all of the incredible snowmobile trails the area has to offer.

Looking for a winter destination that gives you access to tons of family fun? Look no further than the Frost Ridge Campground – a campground known for its ideal location and exciting activities for the entire family. Located right at the base of the Frost Ridge Ski Area Snow Park and just off of I-90, you’ll never get bored in this area.

Other Sites to Visit

Be sure to visit natural wonders such as Niagara Falls, Howe Caverns, Whiteface Mountain, and Watkins Glen.

Jim’s RV Center

When you’re traveling around our beautiful state this winter, don’t forget to stop by Jim’s RV Center to tell us about your New York camping adventures. We’ve got a huge selection of discounted new and used RVs for sale this winter season, and if you run into any problems with your existing vehicle, our RVIA certified technicians can have you back on the road quickly and safely.

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Soup Month: 2 Easy Soup Recipes

The best soups are cooked all day long, but when you’re in an RV, that’s not always feasible. You can still make a great soup in 20 minutes or less and have it taste great – and have something that will warm you up after a day spent playing or working out in the cold.

Chicken Corn Chowder

  • 1 tbs. Butter
  • 6 green onions
  • 2 tbs. All-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chopped chicken breast, cooked
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Ground black pepper
  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen corn, thawed and divided
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth – may use fat free, less sodium
  • 2 cups milk – may use fat free
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions:

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or crockpot over medium high heat. Chop the green onion tops and set them aside. Slice the bulb portion thin. Add the sliced onions to the pan and saute them for 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook the mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the chicken, the salt, pepper, 1 package of corn and the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer it for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rest of the corn and the milk in a blender and process it until it’s smooth. Add the mixture to the soup and simmer it for 2 minutes or until it’s thoroughly heated. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the green onion tops. Sprinkle cheese over each serving. Makes 4 servings.

Pasta Fagioli Soup

  • 12 ounces sausage, halved lengthwise and then sliced – may use chicken sausage, brats or kielbasa
  • 3 cups chicken broth – may use fat free, less-sodium
  • ½ cup uncooked small shell pasta
  • 2 cups zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • 1 14.5-ounce can of stewed tomatoes, do not drain
  • 1 tsp. Dried basil
  • 1 tsp. Dried oregano
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup Asiago cheese, shredded

Instructions:

Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add the sausage and cook it for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the broth and the pasta. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add the zucchini and the tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer the soup for 3 minutes or until the pasta and zucchini are tender. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Before you head out on your trip, be sure to stop by Jim’s RV Center to pick up any RV accessories you may need or to have your RV serviced or checked before the trip.

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Historic Destinations Along the East Coast

Everyone is, at one time or another, a bit of a history nerd. Whether that’s all the time for you or only occasionally, RVing is a great way to hit up some of the country’s most historic sites, soak in the history, and learn more about what happened in each locale.

If you’re traveling the east coast this winter or spring, plan to stop in at these historic sites if the “history bug” bites.

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Yorktown, Virginia

The main draw here is the military camp that recreates what it would have been like during the Revolutionary War. Visitors can tour various tents in the camp and there are reenactors sprinkled throughout who can answer your questions and provide demonstrations, including how muskets worked or how the soldiers prepared food or spent their free time.

Also on site is a tobacco plantation, which demonstrates how a plantation worked and the process for growing and selling tobacco (as well as tobacco’s importance to the colonial economy), and a museum that possesses tons of information on the Revolutionary War, which is presented through exhibits, videos, and artifacts.

Admission is $12 for adults, $7 for kids, and free for those who are 5 or younger.

Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia

One of the east coast’s most popular historic sites, Colonial Williamsburg is a living museum unlike any other. Get an intimate look at how colonial Americans lived and worked in the years leading up to the American Revolution.

Colonial Williamsburg is the size of a small town and has everything that a small town would need during the mid-1700s in order to survive, including shops, taverns, a courthouse, artisans, and homes.

Professional reenactors dressed in authentic period costumes populate the town, demonstrating life as it would have been in colonial America and informing guests on what they’re doing and how it fits into the town as a whole.

There are daily shows in Colonial Williamsburg as well, including a courthouse trial that allows guests to participate in the proceedings.

General admission is $40.99, $20.49 for children, and free for those 5 years and younger.

Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg, Virginia

Also located in Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement shifts its focus to an earlier time; instead of life leading up to the American Revolution, Jamestown portrays the earliest colonists in the New World, before even the pilgrims had arrived.

The museum at the site details the lives of settlers, gives biographical information on specific settlers, and discusses the native tribes in the area and how the colonists affected them.

There are settler ship replicas docked at the settlement that allow you to tour them in addition to the settler and native villages. All contain reenactors and interactive exhibits.

Admission is cheaper at Jamestown Settlement; general admission is $17 for adults, $8 for kids, and free for those 5 and younger.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this winter to tour a new or used motorhome or travel trailer. Find one that’s perfect for your travel and vacation plans and leave the lot in your new RV today. Not on the market for a new RV? Jim’s RV Center can also help with RV service, parts, and accessories.

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Top RV Campgrounds in New York

Taking your family on an RV vacation in New York State in the New Year is a great way to escape for the weekend! The Empire state offers a number of scenic vacation destinations. Below are just a few ideas:

Adirondacks

The Adirondack Mountains, located in upstate New York, have been a favorite of nature lovers since the 19th century. The area offers miles and miles of hiking trails, some of which can be quite challenging, excellent fishing and hunting opportunities, some of the region’s best bird-watching and a vibrant arts community.

The region offers many RV parks for vacationers. Among these is the Adirondack Gateway Campground in Cold Brook, a 50-site facility in a wooded setting with a swimming pool and laundry facilities.

Finger Lakes

Another favorite winter New York RV destination is the Finger Lakes of central New York. This region, named for the 11 long and narrow lakes that dot this area, is known for its many wineries, excellent museums (such as the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rockwell Museum of Western Art) and its many parks and recreational opportunities.

RV parks abound in this area. Among them is Spruce Row Campground in Ithaca, a wooded, family RV resort with a fishing pond, playground and large swimming pool.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Jims RV Center in Nichols, New York, offers a large selection of top name RVs and campers as well as a 10-acre, state-of-the-art RV parts and service center. If you’re traveling in south-central New York this winter season, stop in and say hello. We’re located just off of I-86 at Exit 62, one mile from Tioga Downs.

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Helpful Items to Pack for RV Winter Camping

Winter RV travel is often more demanding than hitting the road in the summer months. Travelers need to take extra precautions to stay safe on undesirable road conditions and keep cozy on cold winter nights. The following winter RV supplies will help you enjoy the coldest travel season as much as the warmer ones.

Heavy Fabric Curtains

When you hit the road in the winter months, you’ll probably be surprised by how drafty your RV feels. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to properly insulate your RV. Use heavy fabric curtains, or make your own, to keep the cold from coming in through doorways, windows and stairwells.

An RV Skirt

Many four-season RVs are equipped with insulated or even heated bays, but those who travel in less equipped RVs (which is far more common) should use an RV skirt to keep the tanks from freezing in consistently frigid temperatures. If you don’t have a proper RV skirt, packing snow around your coach, up to the bays, can keep your RV insulated for months until the snow melts. Extreme freezes may require you to place an electric space heater under your coach until the ice-cold temperatures pass.

Heated Mattress Pad

Nobody wants to crawl into a freezing cold bed at night, and a heated mattress pad can easily solve that problem. Use the preheat function to warm your bed minutes before you hop in, and you’ll look forward to going to bed each night. Keep your heated mattress pad on a low setting for an extended amount of time, and as the heat rises, your RV’s bedroom will warm as well.

Prepare Your RV Today

Prepare your RV for your winter travels by shopping at our Jim’s RV Center online parts store. We offer all of the supplies you need to stay cozy throughout the coolest months of the year and make the most of your year-round travels.

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Planning Christmas Dinner on the Road

Enjoying the holiday season in your RV is one of the best ways to celebrate. However, those large family meals can present a bit of a problem in your RV’s compact kitchen. These simple but useful tips will help you create the perfect holiday meal while living on the road.

Think Ahead

One of the biggest differences you’ll notice between preparing meals at home and on the road is that you don’t have as much cooking or prep space. To combat this problem, prepare side dishes, desserts and appetizers ahead of time, then simply reheat or serve on the day of your get-together.

Get Creative with Creating Space

Another downfall of limited counter space is that you’ll have a hard time displaying all of your foods in one place when it comes time to eat. This means it’s time to get creative. Use makeshift tables, like ironing boards or card tables, to create more counter or serving space. Cover your new tables with festive table cloths to decorate your RV and hide undesirable blemishes.

Use Pre-Made Items

It may seem unnatural to travelers who are top-notch cooks, but purchasing a number of pre-made dishes can ease your stress and save room in the kitchen. Dips, desserts, rolls, salads, and even some sides can be purchased at markets, delis, or grocery stores that specialize in creating delicious dishes that taste homemade.

Go Outside

If you’re traveling in a warm destination for the holiday season, it pays to hold your party outside of your RV. Picnic tables and outdoor chairs serve as ideal places to dine without crowding or dirtying the interior of your home on wheels. Even better, you can prepare or heat some additional dishes over a fire or on a portable camp stove.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Need a larger RV to accommodate the holiday parties you’d like to hold? Stop in and see us at Jim’s RV Center this holiday season to find a new RV that’s perfect for you and your loved ones this December and beyond.

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