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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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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Use These Foods and Drinks to Clean Your RV Naturally

Space can be at a premium in an RV. That’s why if anything onboard can pull double duty, it’s a good thing. When it comes to cleaning, you might think that you’ve got to save space for a bunch of cleaning products. In reality, however, there are quite a few common food and drink items that you may already have stocked that can clean with the best of the chemical products available in stores. The best part is that these are all natural kid and pet friendly cleaning alternatives, which should be greatly appreciated if you’ve got either along with you on your travels.

Lemons

Why else do so many cleaning products have that fresh citrus smell? Lemons have natural cleaning properties, including being antibacterial. Plus, they leave surfaces smelling fresh. Besides making some lemonade, lemons can help you keep your RV clean by:

  • Creating an all-purpose cleaner. Dilute equal parts water and lemon juice in a spray bottle.
  • As an alternative to glass cleaners. Simply rub a halved lemon on glass surfaces and wipe away smudges.
  • As a dish cleaner. Salt a lemon half and create an abrasive citrusy scrubber.

Club Soda

Carbonated water is pretty simple, right? Well, it has two key properties that make it amazing at cleaning: potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate. In conjunction, that can accomplish some pretty awesome feats of stain removal and cleaning.

  • Use it straight out of the bottle for clean counters and surfaces.
  • Use it as a carpet cleaner and for grease stains. Just blot the club soda on the stain and repeat as many times as it takes to remove it. For grease stains, do a bit of scrubbing as well.

Visit 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 holiday 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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Celebrating Thanksgiving on the Road in Your RV

Part of the fun when RV traveling is the option to dine in with delicious meals prepared in your kitchen or dining out with something extra tasty on the grill or simmering over the campfire. With Thanksgiving just a couple of weeks away, there’s still time to plan a delicious holiday feast.

Turkey Options

Determining how much cooking room and cooking time you’ll have is the first place to begin.

  • Start with a check list of everything you’ll need.
  • The meat is the main attraction and if you’re planning to serve turkey, you’ll need ample time for the bird to defrost.
  • If your RV’s oven is large enough to accommodate cooking a turkey, choose the appropriate size. A Tom turkey is generally larger than a hen so that gives you an option.
  • If possible, cook the turkey at home before leaving. This eliminates any cooking issues.
  • Smoking or frying the turkey is also an option. Allow plenty of time for smoking and enough oil for frying.
  • Instead of cooking a whole turkey, choose turkey breast or drumsticks or cook a small ham.
  • The easiest option is to order a turkey already cooked so all you’ll need to do is pick it up at the store, heat, and serve on Thanksgiving Day.

Side Dishes

Turkey day isn’t complete unless you have traditional side dishes such as collard or turnip greens, deviled eggs, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Consider these cooking options to help save time for those items you want to prepare yourself.

  • Cut down on preparation time by using as many packaged, canned and frozen goods as possible. This includes instant mashed potatoes, stuffing mix for the stove top or microwave, and canned cranberry sauce.
  • There are excellent choices in canned greens complete with seasoning.
  • Pick up additional side dishes already prepared at the grocery’s deli such as potato salad, gravy, and fresh cranberry-orange relish.
  • Desserts are a big part of the day. Purchase whipped cream to go along with a slice of frozen or fresh-made pumpkin pie.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Before starting your holiday traveling, schedule an appointment at Jim’s RV Center. With complimentary overnight facilities while waiting for service, you’ll be ready to take to the highway just as soon as your RV is ready to roll.

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Why You Should Consider RV Protection

Owning an RV is a big investment and taking it on the road opens that investment to risks. The solution, of course, is not to leave your RV in storage… that would defeat the whole point of purchasing it. However, it’s still smart to mitigate risk by having some degree of protection on your motorhome or travel trailer. Travel with more confidence by considering one or more of these options for your RV.

Roadside Assistance

There are numerous roadside assistance programs available and any one of them is helpful in case of a roadside emergency. Shop around and make sure that any plan you choose to subscribe to is worth its monthly premium.

Whatever the case, most plan are more than worth their price if it ever comes time to use them. They offer towing coverage to get your disabled RV off the side of the road and to someone who can repair it. Towing an RV without a plan can be costly whereas towing with a plan is either significantly reduced or even free.

Plans also cover for lesser emergencies and may help you with changing a flat tire, jumping the battery, or helping you enter your RV if you lock yourself out.

Extended Warranties

If you’re shopping for an RV or are planning to shop for one  in the near future, consider getting an extended warranty with your purchase. A comprehensive warranty from the manufacturer is always the best protection plan for an RV, so extending its coverage for as long as possible is ideal. While the extra money you have to spend on the extended warranty may be unattractive, it could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars down the line if your RV suffers from a major issue. A good warranty can cover most or even all of the costs of a repair and, over the years of its coverage, could save you a lot of hassle.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this fall 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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Decorating for Halloween in an RV

It’s that time of the year again where the temperatures are dropping, the leaves are falling, and the Pumpkin Spice flavor craze is in full swing.  That means you need to get out the storage container with the orange and black streamers, the fake spider webs, and your pumpkin carving tools; it’s almost Halloween!

Halloween isn’t just a celebrated holiday for those who live in traditional neighborhoods. It is for everyone, including those traveling around and camping in New York or living in RV parks. It is a holiday celebrated by families and there are plenty of tips for decorating your RV on a budget and with limited storage space.

If it’s the budget you are worried about, the local dollar store should be your best friend. Depending on what’s closer,  head on down to your local Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, or Dollar General. They carry everything you need for this spooky holiday, like pumpkin dish towels, spider web candy dishes, ghost shaped trick-or-treat bags, and many other Halloween themed goodies. They also carry bags of all the candy favorites, such as Tootsie Rolls and Blow Pops!

When it comes to decorating your RV, there are several items that are must haves: pumpkins, lights, and spider webs. Luckily for you, any of the dollar friendly stores carry these items!

More Tips for Decorating on a Budget:

Make it count… reuse the spider webs, so when you are putting up your decorations and then taking them down make sure you store them properly for next year’s use.

Use solar lights… this will save money on batteries and you won’t have to worry about turning them on or off.

Purchase plastic jack-o-lanterns to be used for years to come… if you buy real pumpkins they will only be good for this one trick-or-treat season.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

While you are out shopping for goodies to decorate your RV, keep your New York RV Dealer in mind. After the decorating is complete, take a picture and send it to us here at Jim’s RV! We’d love to see what your creative minds came up with this terrifying holiday season! BOO!

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Tailgating Tips for your RV

Football season is here, and that means tailgating season is right with it. If you want to bring your RV for tailgating – a brilliant idea, by the way – you need to pack it up for the game. If the game is local, packing is a bit different than packing for a long trip. If the game is not a local game, then you need to pack as you would for a road trip.

Accessories

You’ll need enough folding lawn chairs for everyone who will be at your tailgate party, assuming they will be riding with you in the RV. If not, you can save space by having them bring their own chairs. Have some extra ice trays in the freezer. You can turn the fridge/freezer on to keep the ice frozen, plus you’ll have the ability to make more for after the game. Additional accessories include a grill big enough to accommodate food for everyone, a table and coolers full of your favorite brewskies. You can pick up most accessories that you’ll need at Jim’s RV Center in Nichols, New York.

Packing it Right

While you will only need food for a day if you are going to a local game, you might need more than what will fit in a smaller RV fridge. If your RV has a residential fridge, then you don’t have much to worry about. However, if you have a smaller fridge, make things like salads ahead of time. You can pack those in the fridge.

Pack the ribs, burgers and hot dogs in a cooler full of ice. You don’t want the meat to be completely frozen when you put it in the coolers as it won’t thaw in time, even for a night game. Take it out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw for about an hour on the counter, then finish thawing in the fridge (overnight). The ice in the cooler will keep it cold enough the next day.

Pack the coolers in the outside storage under the RV in case the ice water starts to leak. You can pack the other stuff inside the RV if it’s anything that can’t get wet. Tables and other items that dry easily can be packed with the coolers. Chairs with nylon or other material for seats should be packed away from the coolers.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center to pick up grilling accessories and other accessories you might need for a tailgating party – and don’t forget to fill the water tanks and close the caps to the black and gray water tanks before you go.

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Cheap RV Living – RVing on a Budget

When you decide to live in your RV and travel, you are making a huge change in lifestyle. You won’t be able to have a lot of the things you have in your home since space is limited. Furthermore, while it is cheaper to live in an RV since you have less utilities and no mortgage payment, you do still have to pay some utilities and fuel costs, and you may have a payment on your RV. Always keep your RV in good condition by having it serviced at Jim’s RV Center.

Utilities

Since you provide your own electricity via generator, you’ll definitely save on that bill; however, you must take into consideration the cost of gas for the generator and the cost of adding amenities to a camp site. You can decrease the cost of electricity by making sure all lights and electronics that are not being used are turned off. You should also turn off the generator if you are not using any electronics.

When possible, open windows instead of using the air conditioning unit or the heat. While the furnace does run on propane, the fan uses electricity. Turn off the hot water heater unless you need it – if you turn it on about 20 minutes before your shower or before you do the dishes, you’ll have plenty of hot water.

Gas

Plan your travel ahead of time. Each night, know where you are going to be driving the next day. Use some of the apps like Gas Buddy to find out where you can find the cheapest gas in your area. You definitely don’t want to drive too far out of your way or your savings are wasted. Top off if you need to – and be sure you top off the cans for the generator.

Dry Camp

Dry camp when you can. You can always find water to fill up the tanks. Many dealerships and national campgrounds have disposals so you can empty your holding tanks. It’s a good idea to fill the water tank and empty the holding tanks whenever you come across a fee-free place to do this as you never know when you’ll be able to get it for free the next time.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Of course, always keep your RV serviced and maintained. Your RV will last longer and get better fuel mileage if you keep it maintained. When you are in the area, stop by Jim’s RV Center to have your RV serviced, including oil changes if you are driving a motorized RV.

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Guide for Camping with Kids

Camping with kids is a bit easier when you have an RV instead of roughing it in a tent, but it can still be trying unless you are prepared. If you pack right, you can take even the youngest on a camping trip and enjoy it.

If you are just starting a family and are planning on more than one child – and are planning on doing a lot of RVing, when you walk through floor plans at Jim’s RV Center, keep this in mind. The appropriate space will allow your family to grow with the RV and will make camping a dream.

If your kids are very young, you might want to purchase side rails for the bunks – or find an RV floor plan that has no upper bunks for kids to fall out of. You’ll also need plenty of space for toys and extra clothing. What kid doesn’t love to go out and play in the dirt? If you’re going for a weekend and figure on two or three changes of clothing for each person, add at least two more changes for you if you have babies. Double it for kids of any age. Babies may spill food and older children are going to be out playing.

Be sure to bring foods that everyone loves. While some families want to go for the healthy meals even when camping, you can make it more enjoyable for children if you have their favorites on hand.

Use milk crates for toy storage for the kids. While you are on the road, you can store them in the basement storage, and then bring them out when you get to your destination. To keep the area clean, put the toys back in the crates and slide them right back into the basement storage overnight. This keeps the area clean and keeps your kids’ toys in your possession instead of someone – or something – else’s possession.

Pack your kids’ favorite snacks in small baggies. This gives them something to eat between meals, and it also helps you with portion control. It also saves space as you don’t have a large package taking up space in the cabinets or the fridge.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center to pick up any accessories you might need to help manage the kids’ toys, snacks and extra clothing.

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