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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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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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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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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