The Do’s and Don’ts of camping

 

Camping is a communal activity.  Whether we are talking about the small community of your friends and family that have joined you on your trip, a medium sized community of the other families that are sharing the camp ground with you, or the large sized community of everyone that is going to use the camp ground after you leave.  It is important to keep this in mind when you are staying at a camping site.  Keeping all these people in mind will make these simple rules of camping seem like common sense.  Sadly, not everyone does these things, and it can turn a once pristine and fun camp site into anything but.

No one wants there camping experience to feel like a boot camp, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t rules to follow.  Here are some of the basic “don’t s” that you should keep in mind when enjoying your next camping trip.  First of all, don’t feed the wildlife.  While they may seem like cute little critters, they remember where they can get an easy meal, and they like to tell their friends.  You may only see one animal, but they may soon start flocking in droves to your campsite and endangering all of the guests.

Secondly, don’t go around hunting for firewood without proper permission.  The woods look nice, and when you start taking wood out of it, then it starts to look sparse.  Other campers may follow suit, and before you know it there isn’t much wood left to enjoy.  You never want to think about taking down a tree, or cutting off branches, for firewood.  Be sure to ask a camp official where you can find or buy firewood and they’ll be glad to help you out.

Now, to the “do’s.”  Always remember to clean up your littler and trash.  No one wants to stay in a camp gound that looks like a trash yard.  Not only is it unsightly, but it endangers to environment around you.  This means throwing your trash away and not burning it in your fire pit.  Also, remember to always keep your pet on a leash.  While your dog may be your best friend, that doesn’t mean that he is everyone’s best friend.

Just use common sense and decency, and you’ll be sure to make your next trip, as well as everyone else’s, a lot better.  If you are looking for a new RV, then be sure to come to Jim’s RV.

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One baseball fan’s roadtrip to see 30 games in 39 days

As an RVer, you know what it is like to get behind the wheel of your rig before a long trip.  It’s the feeling of excitement mixed with the knowledge that you will need to get comfortable for the long road ahead, but often times the drive won’t last more than a few days.  Well one baseball fan decided that he would drive across the country, and even into Canada, and see a game at every baseball stadium in the MLB, and do it all in less than 40 days.

With a trip that totaled over 13,000 miles, and going through 35 states, Matt Langer was such a fan of driving and baseball that he decided it would be a great way to spend his last 7 weeks of his post-college time before starting his new job.  He started a blog called 30 in 39 to chronicle his trip, and it’s a great read for the road warrior.

So, what would you do with a 7 week vacation? Backpack through Europe? Sit by the beach? Nothing? Not me. I wanted to do something crazy, ambitious, challenging, fun, and above all, memorable.

I’ve always loved baseball and driving, so I put the two together and said, “Why not go visit all 30 Major League Baseball parks?” What I didn’t realize at the time was how much time and effort it would be just to plan such a trip. I also didn’t realize that I would need to drive 13,000 miles on this journey and as far 1300 miles between 2 parks. Still, I was undeterred.

While this trip may seem a big extreme, he is not the only person to think about doing a trip like this.  In fact, there have been many RV families that have done the same thing, although at a much more leisurely pace.  It’s a great idea for a family trip if you are tired of going to the same camp ground every summer.  While you don’t have to go to every stadium, it could be just as fun to see a few games, or to follow your favorite team for a week or two.

If you do decide to take the family for an extended road trip this summer, be sure that you have everything you need for your RV by dropping by Jim’s RV.

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New York’s Top 3 Cities with Pet Friendly RV Parks

Have you ever pulled into a RV park only to be asked to leave just because you have a pet?  It’s so frustrating! We found this great website that lists cities all over the U.S. that offer pet-friendly facilities called DogFriendly.com. Below you’ll find our top three NY cities that offer the most pet-friendly RV and camping parks.

1. Adirondacks – the Adirondacks is most definitely a place you must visit when you’re in Northern New York. And even if you’re in NYC, the Adirondacks are a must visit. There are 8 Adirondack regions so you know that there will be plenty to do. From fishing, hiking, camping on the coast to birdwatching, snowmobiling, paddling, biking and so much more. The Adirondacks have something for everyone from the rustic living to fine culinary dining. Here is a great website for information on the Adirondacks: VisitAdirondacks.com.  Below are some great pet-friendly RV and campgrounds to check out too:

Alpine Lake RV Resort -78 Heath Road  Corinth
Schroon River Resort -969 E Schroon River Road  Diamond Point
KOA Herkimer -800 Mohawk Street  Herkimer
Lake George RV Park -74 State H 149  Lake George
KOA Lake George/Saratoga -564 Lake Avenue  Lake Luzerne
Plattsburgh RV Park -7182 H 9N  Plattsburgh
Saranac Lake Islands -58 Bayside Drive  Saranac Lake
Glen Hudson Campsite -564 River Road  Thurman
Daggett Lake Campsites & Cabins -660 Glen Athol Rd  Warrensburg
Schroon River Campsites -74 State H 149  Warrensburg
KOA Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain -77 Foxfarm Road  Wilmington

2. Catskills – the Catskills offer four breathtaking regions to go explore, Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster.  And with things to do all year round you will have pleanty to do no matter what time of year you visit. For great information check out this website: VisitTheCatskills.com.  Below is a list of pet friendly RV parks and campgrounds for the Catskills area.

Catskill State Park -On Highways 28, 23 and 23A  Catskill Area
Nickerson Park Campground -378 Stryker Road  Gilboa
Skyway Camping Resort -99 Mountain Dale Road  Greenfield Park
Catskill Forest Preserve/North South Lake -County H 18  Haines Falls
Kenneth L. Wilson Park and Campground -859 Wittenberg Road  Mount Tremper
Whip-O-Will Family Campsite -3831 County Road 31  Purling
Swan Lake Camplands -106 Fulton Road  Swan Lake
Jellystone Park at Birchwood Acres -85 Martinfeld Road, Box 482  Woodridge

3. Finger Lakes, NY – Check out VisitFingerLakes for lots more information on this great place to visit. The Finger Lakes has great offering of culinary options and lots of great winery’s to visit to great hikes and skiing. The Finger Lakes region also has lots to offer all year around.

Hickory Hill Farm Camping Resort -7531 H 13/Mitchellsville Road  Bath
Letchworth State Park -1 Letchworth State Park  Castile
Spruce Row Campground and RV Resort -2271 Kraft Road  Ithaca
Cayuga Lake State Park -2678 Lower Lake Road  Seneca Falls
Taughannock Falls State Park -2221 Taughannock Park Road  Trumansburg
KOA Watkins Glen/Corning -1710 H 414  Watkins Glen
Watkins Glen State Park -South end of Seneca Lake  Watkins Glen

So those are our top three places to visit in New York that also offer that most options for pet friendly places. For more information on pet friendly RV Parks and Campgrounds check out, DogFriendly.com.  And if you have a great place to add to this list we’d love to hear from you.

Spring is around the corner and that means time to get planning those summer RV trips! And if you’re RV needs a spring time tune up, check out the folks at Jims RV located in Nichols, NY. They pretty much know just about everything about RVs.  And don’t forget to tell us how your trip went to any of the above mentioned places. We’d love to hear from you!

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The Case of our Crazy RV GPS!

A GPS can’t ever be wrong, can it?  Well, in fact, it can be dead wrong. I mean who would have thought that this high tech equipment that gets its information from a satellite could ever be wrong.  Well according to research, a lot of roads come up on the GPS that should never be there in the first place. And that’s exactly what happened to us when we took a short family road trip! We were lead on to a road that wasn’t passable. Needless to say we turned around. However, many people ignore the gut instinct to turn around and keep going just because their GPS says that thats the way to go.

There have been many attempts by park officials to get roads that have been closed or are deemed no longer passable removed from the databases of GPS units, but the progress has been slow. TomTom has been one of the few companies that has shown efforts in updating the maps.  Most GPS until still have these dangerous roads in their systems.

If you ever feel like your GPS is leading you in the wrong direction, turn around! For some reason we talk ourselves out of this simple, yet possibly life saving action.  Pay attention to where the GPS is leading you and if it looks a bit odd, stop and look at a map or try to get an official confirmation that the route is safe.

The GPS is a great friend when you’re traveling, but just trust your gut instinct if you think it’s telling you incorrect directions and consult a good old fashioned map or atlas.  Has the GPS in your RV ever lead you astray?  What did you do; continue following its directions or turn around?

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Driving an RV for the First Time? Read These Helpful Tips!

For most, owning a RV is a big dream come true. And with owning a RV, one must learn to drive this huge house on wheels! The word intimidating may not even come close to relating uncomfortable some may feel at the wheel of their RV….at first! But with time, practice and these helpful hints, you’ll be driving your RV like it is the easiest thing to ever do!

First, we need to address driver comfort.  So go ahead and just sit in the drivers seat and adjust everything to your liking. The seat most likely has a minimum of 4 ways to adjust, so get it just right. You need to be able to reach the pedals comfortably as well as be able to reach all of the controls too. Long distance driving can take a small toll on the body so make sure you’re dialed in!

Next, mirrors and camera’s (if applicable) need to be adjusted. Your rear-view mirror isn’t as important as it was in your vehicle, however your side mirrors are extremely important!  And if your RV came with a backup camera or you installed one yourself, double check it to make sure it is angled the correct way.

Now it’s time to practice your turning, parking, backing up, etc. You can do this by just hitting the Hroad or  you can find a large parking lot and set up a test course for yourself.  Practice makes perfect, well almost! So where you’re out there here are a few more tips while on the road.

Don’t you just wish the road would just stay straight forever? Well that’s not going to happen and you’re going to have to learn to master turning.  Don’t just turn the wheel when you reach the corner otherwise your back end will wind up eating the curb and quite possibly others things too. Instead, swing out just a bit into the intersection and then take your turn, slowly.  Don’t worry, you’ll get it soon enough.

When you’re on the road don’t concentrate on the lines right in front of you. Instead use the wide-screen windshield you have and look about four to five cars in front of you. This will automatically center you in your lane. Also, since you’re up much higher you’ll be able to see much more of what’s going ahead of you. Take advantage of this and avoid sticky situations.

The more you get out and drive your RV, the more comfortable you’ll get and the more confidence you’ll gain. Practicing in a parking lot is a great idea if you’re very uncomfortable. And a good rule of thumb, if you’re ever in doubt, get out of the RV and take a look to make sure the space you’re driving in to or out of is clear. Pretty soon you’ll be a pro just like the rest of the RVers on the road!

If you have any funny first time RV driving stories or helpful tips you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them! You can post here or post on our Facebook page.

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10 Tips to RV Traveling on the Cheap

RVing expenses can add up fast and it’s great to save money here and there to keep within your RVing.  Below are some money saving tips that we’ve found to be very pocket friendly:

  1. Buy a RV that fits Your Budget. Consider the options of both new and used RVs. It may be used, but it will still be new to you.
  2. Travel during the off-season. You can get lower prices if you camp off-season.  Theme parks and other attractions will also discount prices during the off-season as well. Utilize this by starting your RV travel earlier or later to overlap into the off-season to save money.
  3. Stay at Low Cost RV Sites. Instead of staying at big commercial RV campgrounds, look for sites that might be off the beaten path. You might want to consider BLM land as well.
  4. Boondocking! There are several places that you can stay overnight for free or even a few days. Just make sure you’re prepared with enough water as most places will not have hookups.
  5. A Longer Stay. Some campgrounds will offer discounts if you stay for a longer period of time. Call ahead and see if arrangements can be made before you get there.
  6. Food Coupons. Occasionally you’ll want to go out to eat. Try to look for coupons in the free local newspapers or go early for early bird specials.
  7. Regional Bargains. Each state is wanting you to come visit so check their tourism websites for discounts.
  8. Grocery Shop Smart. There’s no need to spend all of your money at one grocery store. Check out thrift bakeries, dollars stores, discount stores, roadside stands, farmers markets, etc. for your necessities.
  9. Do Your Own RV Maintenance. Some RV maintenance can be done by yourself and leave the big stuff to the professionals. Fix only what you feel comfortable with. After all, your RV is a big investment and you want it taken care of properly.
  10. Jobs on the Road. There are lots of jobs that you can do while RVing such as working at the campground you’re staying , also called work-camping.

We hope that these money saving tips help you out! And if you’re have some tips you’d like to share, we would love to hear from you!

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How To Handle A RV Blowout! A Must Watch Video!

When one or more tires of your RV looses air rapidly it’s hard not to panic. Here’s a video we came across that will help you understand what you need to do should this happen to you. But we’re hoping you never have a blowout!

 

Take the precautions necessary to help avoid a blowout situation such as making sure you’re not over your RV carrying weight, check your tires to make sure that they are properly inflated and check the air pressure often.  If you’ve experienced a blowout let us know what you did to help you make it through it. Safe driving fellow RVers!

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What You Need to Know About RV and Travel Trailer Locks

You lock up your RV, trailer hitch or fifth-wheel and think it’s safe to leave to go check out a few sites but only to come back to either your entire rig missing or very valuable items missing from storage compartments. Both are frightening because what you thought was secure has been breached and leads to a very big headache to recover your items via insurance.

Take the steps necessary to ensure this doensn’t happen in one simple solution, change your locks!

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that the storage compartments on at least 75% of all travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, and motorhomes are accessed by the same key.  If the key for your outside storage compartments has CH751 printed on it, then your storage areas can be accessed by almost every RVer on the road.

Sometimes when dealers get used RVs in on trade or purchased from auctions, they don’t get keys with them.  Almost all keys can be ordered at RV dealerships, including master keys that will open all doors of a specific brand lockset.  If the dealer doesn’t have the correct key when it comes time to sell a used RV, they will just give out master keys instead.  It’s quicker and cheaper than replacing the door locksets.

So, you might want to think twice before you leave valuable items in your RV storage compartments.  It sure would be a shame if your fancy tailgating barbeque turned up missing one day.  Those matching outdoor recliners you have were probably pretty expensive too.  Those types of things are easy pickings when left in your RV storage compartment.  If you leave your RV trailer in public storage when you’re not using it, you might want to remove some of the more valuable accessories that you keep onboard.

The point I’m trying to make is that a fresh-from-the-factory RV with all factory locks in place can be entered in less than a minute by anyone who is aware of the shortcuts that the factories take to save money.  Standardization is good for the factory, but doesn’t leave you with much security.  When you turn in for the night or leave your RV unattended, always lock the deadbolt!

A common saying is that locks simply keep honest people honest.  If a thief really wants something, they will get it.  There’s only so much you can do to prevent theft.  Hopefully, if you throw a couple stumbling blocks in their way, they’ll go after the next guy who didn’t bother. [Source: RV Road Trip]

Here’s a video that shows your how to replace your locks:

There are also special travel  trailer hitch locks and  fifth-wheel hitch locks are made specifically to prevent theft of your rig. Cable locks are also very handy to have around and are very universal. For new locks and parts check out Jim’s RV Centers Parts Department. They’ll also be able to help you with any questions you have about locks and lock accessories.

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Be Careful of Where You Park Your RV!

You don’t want to end up like this RV did….skiing down the mountain!

No one was injured when a parked RV slid off an embankment Tuesday at Appalachian Ski Mountain.
The RV passengers were on the slopes when the Fleetwood RV slid at about 11 a.m., leaving a dog trapped inside the vehicle.
Blowing Rock Fire & Rescue and the N.C. Highway Patrol responded to the accident, and rescuers cut through the windshield to free the dog.
Trooper T.B. Hendrix of the N.C. Highway Patrol said it appeared that the vehicle was parked too close to the bank and slid backward, stopping on its side on a pile of trees and debris at the bottom.
A wrecker was able to pull the RV upright from a road at the base of the hill, but that same icy road made it difficult for the wrecker to pull it back to the main parking lot, Hendrix said. [Source: Watauga Democrat]

Now that’s gotta be just a little bit embarrassing and not to mention costly.  And thank goodness that the dog was unharmed!  So fellow RVes and travel trailer-ers, be careful of where park!

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Nichols…A Car Carrying Motorhome…Really!

Instead of towing a vehicle behind you, what if your motorhome had a storage space for your car?  When you’re ready to go can just  put in the ‘garage!’   This car carrying motorhome debuted in Germany a few years ago and it’s so strangely awesome! But the price tag of over a $1 million is just a bit much in my opinion.

German RV manufactuer Volkner Mobile has developed a solution to this problem that’s currently being shown off at the International Caravan Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany. The motorcoach on display features a mobile garage situated between the front and rear axles that can stow lower cars like the BMW Z4, MINI Cooper convertible and Mercedes-Benz SLK. The system introduces your vacation cruiser laterally into the RV’s belly on a slideout platform and can accomodate vehicles up to five meters in length. No more hauling Saturns or renting Mustang convertibles when you get there. [Source: AutoBlog]

What do you think about this RV that can carry a car?  I wonder what the gas mileage is like!

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