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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Storage Ideas for Your RV’s Bathroom

RVs are certainly one of the most convenient methods of travel: transportation and lodging rolled into one awesome package. Admittedly, though, RVs are limited in their interior space. This can be especially apparent in your RV’s bathroom. You’ll probably have to get a little creative with storage to maximize the bathroom’s potential, but with just a few of these tips that’s no problem. To distill most of the following tips to one thematic concept though: go vertical.

Use Netting for Wall Storage

Netting is an ideal storage solution for bulky or oddly-shaped items. Attach storage nets to your walls to store shampoo bottles, soap boxes, toothpaste tubes, and other items that can be difficult to store in other areas. Storage nets can be purchased on Amazon.com or found at most big box stores.

Create Extra Shelving

Hang shelf systems over the sink or toilet for extra space. If you prefer not screwing things into the ceiling, you can accomplish the same thing by using behind-the-sink storage racks. Hang a small hammock under the cabinets to store extra items.

Command Hooks mounted on the inside of cabinet doors are great for just about anything that will hang. This saves tons of space in drawers and cabinets and allows you to use them for things that don’t hang.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this fall to tour a new or used RV. Find one with an extra large bathroom if that’s a feature that you highly value. Or don’t worry about the size and simply use these tips to make it feel larger than it is. If you’re not on the market for a new rig, stop by Jim’s RV Center to schedule some service or to shop for 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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RV Travel Tips 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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Driving Your RV in Poor Weather

Traveling in your RV is a real joy and you generally don’t have a lot to worry about. But, occasionally, you’re going to run into some bad weather, perhaps even dangerous weather. The worst weather phenomenon, like severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, or hurricanes, can cause major to catastrophic damage to your RV if the conditions are sufficiently dire. If you do encounter bad weather, it pays to be prepared and to know how to deal with it, assuming you can’t simply evade it.

Monitor the Situation

The best defense against severe weather is correct and up-to-date information on its severity, current location, and projected path. To this end, make sure that you download some reliable weather-monitoring apps on your smartphone. Check around and find ones that are well-rated. Having a few options at any given time means that you’re not reliant on any one of them for correct information and can cross-reference the apps to determine the situation’s true conditions. You can go a step further and purchase an NOAA radio for your RV. It’s great in areas where there’s poor cell service or when your phone is turned off or the battery is dead. Speaking of dead phone batteries, prevent this by purchasing a portable phone charger. They store charge that can then be used to recharge your phone if the electric grid goes down.

Have Emergency Supplies

Have some basic emergency supplies stocked in your RV. These include food and water rations (non-perishable canned or vacuum-sealed staples and a minimum of 10 gallons of water are a good start), flashlights and extra batteries, heavy-duty blankets (warm, large, and water-resistant), and a well-stocked first aid kit.

Know When to Stay Put and When to Seek Better Shelter

If the weather is something that you can ride out in your RV, be sure to stow all of your belongings and close up your RV. This will reduce the chances that your RV is damaged or that property is lost. Be aware of when the severe weather is going to hit and plan to be stopped somewhere to ride it out. Don’t try to outrun severe weather as you don’t want to be caught out on the road when it hits. If the weather is so severe that you’re likely not to be safe in your RV, immediately seek better shelter in a local town or community. Your RV can always be replaced and you’re better off riding out the worst weather in a brick or concrete structure.

If there’s a longer forecast that predicts severe weather in the next few days, you as an RVer always have the option of picking up and leaving the area before it hits, which is often the best plan.

Find Your RV Supplies at Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this summer 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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RV Trip Planning Tips

Ready to get on the road for an exciting vacation? Planning is a must if you want your trip to go smoothly.

The first thing to take a look at is the new and used motor homes for sale at Jim’s RV Center. Our knowledgeable staff is standing by to help you choose the perfect recreational vehicle and set up financing or if your current RV needs a service check, parts or accessories, technicians are onsite to take care of any issues.

Once transportation is set and checked off the list, start planning an itinerary to keep your vacation moving forward in a timely manner. There’s nothing worse than having a variety of places and attractions to see but due to a lack of time management, you only see half the places on your wish list.

Scheduling

  • Map out the estimated travel time from your starting point to your destination. Allow time for stops for fuel, stretching legs and picture taking. If your plans include overnight stays along the way, factor this into the estimated travel time.
  • Multiply the number of hours you have for your vacation then deduct the estimated travel time to and from home, sleep time, meals and setting up at a campground. The final figure is an estimate of how much “actual” time is available for vacation activities.
  • Assume bumps in the road to slow down travel plans. A traffic back-up on the interstate is a prime example. Allow some wiggle room for unforeseen situations.

Time Management

The more hours available for activities the better but to ensure you get the most from your adventure, consider these suggestions when planning your time.

  • Choose the activities or attractions that are the most important and leave any other places on your wish list for another excursion. It’s best not to overload your itinerary to a point you don’t get to fully enjoy any one attraction.
  • Set a time to be where you want to go and how long you plan to be at the location. Stick to the schedule especially if you have other activities planned for the same day.
  • You always have the option of extending time at a favorite fishing spot or theme park by removing another scheduled activity or adjusting the timeframe for that activity.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Make Jim’s RV Center your first scheduled stop before heading out on your next well-planned adventure.

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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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Storage Ideas for Your RV’s Bathroom

RVs are certainly one of the most convenient methods of travel: transportation and lodging rolled into one awesome package. Admittedly, though, RVs are limited in their interior space. This can be especially apparent in your RV’s bathroom. You’ll probably have to get a little creative with storage to maximize the bathroom’s potential, but with just a few of these tips that’s no problem. To distill most of the following tips to one thematic concept though: go vertical.

Use Netting for Wall Storage

Netting is an ideal storage solution for bulky or oddly-shaped items. Attach storage nets to your walls to store shampoo bottles, soap boxes, toothpaste tubes, and other items that can be difficult to store in other areas. Storage nets can be purchased on Amazon.com or found at most big box stores.

Create Extra Shelving

Hang shelf systems over the sink or toilet for extra space. If you prefer not screwing things into the ceiling, you can accomplish the same thing by using behind-the-sink storage racks. Hang a small hammock under the cabinets to store extra items.

Command Hooks mounted on the inside of cabinet doors are great for just about anything that will hang. This saves tons of space in drawers and cabinets and allows you to use them for things that don’t hang.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this summer to tour a new or used RV. Find one with an extra large bathroom if that’s a feature that you highly value. Or don’t worry about the size and simply use these tips to make it feel larger than it is. If you’re not on the market for a new rig, stop by Jim’s RV Center to schedule some service or to shop for parts and accessories.

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