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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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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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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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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Visit This Eccentric and Charming New York Town

If you’ve traveled through New York in your RV for long, you probably know that New York is full of hidden gems, from roadside attractions to quaint country towns to natural splendor.

If you’ve never been to Jamestown, however, you probably haven’t seen New York at its most eccentric (or charming).

Jamestown is located at the southern tip of Chautauqua Lake and is the hometown of Lucille Ball, which it never fails to capitalize on. The commemoration of Lucille Ball is where most of the town’s eccentricity comes from. You’ll find a statue of Lucy gracing the town’s park and various murals painted on public buildings that portray her.

If you’re obsessed with the I Love Lucy star like the town is, you’ll definitely want to head to the Lucille Ball Desi-Arnaz Museum located on West 3rd Street. Inside, you’ll be able to view rare and authentic memorabilia from the show, such as costumes, props, and even pieces of the sets.

The town is also home to the Lucille Ball Little Theatre, which puts on fun live shows on a nightly basis.

Besides the I Love Lucy craze, Jamestown is home to plenty of shopping and dining options, wonderful outdoor spaces, scenic lake views, and other small town charms. So give it an afternoon or two if you’re heading through this fall in your RV.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this fall to get your RV checked over before you hit the road. You can also tour a new RV at Jim’s RV Center and find one that’s perfect for you.

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