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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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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New York RV Destinations for Winter

While New York is most well-known around the world for the city that never sleeps, the incredible camping in our beautiful state often goes unnoticed. Check out some of these amazing winter RV destinations, and you’ll see why camping in New York is some of the best in the country.

Bright Lights Big City

Although New York City isn’t all our state has to offer, it’s definitely worth a visit during the holidays. Park at Liberty Harbor RV Park and catch a tour bus straight into Manhattan to see the gorgeous holiday decorations, ice skate at Rockefeller Center, or watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve.

Frost Ridge Campground

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.

Old Forge Camping Resort

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.

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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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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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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