Gardening Tips for Your RV


You don’t have to quit your favorite hobbies to live life on the road. In fact, gardening on the go is easier than many full-time or seasonal travelers assume. The following are a few ways that you can maintain your hobby of gardening while living in the compact space of an RV.

Get Into Container Gardens

A container garden is an effective way to enjoy a mess-free garden on the go. It also allows you to get a lot of growth out of a little space without having to worry about weeds or pests. Consider hanging a container garden of herbs over your sink to enjoy fresh picked herbs with all of your RV meals. Basil, oregano, mint and rosemary grow especially well in container gardens.

Purchase Window Boxes

If your RV stays put seasonally or year-round, purchasing RV window boxes will help you garden outdoors more conveniently and without having to do any damage to your campsite. A number of companies also manufacture window boxes for RV bumpers, so you can surround your RV with your favorite flowers, herbs or veggies.

Consider the Topsy-Turvy Planter

The Topys-Turvy Upside-Down Tomato Planter allows you to plant tomatoes practically anywhere by hanging the device from your RV awning, a tree or any type of stand. This unique device is ideal for RV travelers, because it eliminates the need to dig or use cages. Even better, you can enjoy the convenience and taste of fresh tomatoes from anywhere you travel. Simply bring the Topsy-Turvy inside when you hit the road and place it back outside at your next destination.

Upgrade Your RV at Jim’s RV Center

Enjoy more space for your favorite hobbies on the road by upgrading to a larger travel trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome from Jim’s RV Center. Stop in and see us to shop our huge selection of RVs on sale for spring today.


Fall Décor: Decorating Your RV


Decorating your home helps to get both residents and visitors into the spirit of the season. Your RV is no exception. Fall is a ripe season for decorating because it possesses an easily recognizable color scheme, identifiable iconography, and many associated symbols. With the proper use of props, colors, and patterns, your RV will scream autumn in no time.

Dress for the season.

Dress your space, that is. Proper use of color is the first and best tool in your arsenal for decorating. Fall colors include deep reds, burnt orange, golden yellow, and earthy browns. A good strategy is to use those browns as a neutral and to use reds, oranges, and yellows as pops of accent.

Make use of icons and symbols

Fall has many associated symbols and icons. The leaf, the pumpkin, the owl… these and many others are quickly identified with autumn. The use of such symbols will help to further establish your theme.

Decorating isn’t just visual.

While decor is primarily visual, it’s not only visual. You can enhance and reinforce your decor with aromas. When your RV isn’t on the move, you can light scented candles with the smells of the season, like pumpkin pie, apple cider, even leaves. You can also use a potpourri mix that’s suitable for the season.

Use interchangeable elements.

This means that you ought to use decorating items that are easily switched out and stored. Things like pillow shams, curtains, wreaths… anything that can be switched out when the next season rolls around. Try to avoid anything that’s too bulky or large. After all, you’re traveling in an RV.

Visit Jim’s RV Center in Nichols, NY

Visit Jim’s RV Center in Nichols, NY, before you hit the road on your next RV road trip. Jim’s RV Center is your go-to store for RV sales, service, parts, and accessories. While our accessories are geared more to utility than decoration, they’re still gadgets no RV should be without. Anyway, we’d love to see what you did with your place!


Packing Tips for Your Next RV Trip


Packing for your next RV trip should be done with careful thought. If this isn’t your first time packing, you may glean new tips and tricks, but if it’s your first time packing for a trip, especially a trip longer than a weekend, you may find these tips particularly helpful.

Check with Jim’s RV Center for space savers to help you create space for the comforts at home. For example, a spice rack on the inside of a cabinet or on the counter saves space in cabinets and drawers, and allows you to bring your favorite spices without taking up a ton of extra room.

Dress Smart

Pack clothing into two bags for each person. Keep daily wear such as shorts and shirts in the RV. Hang up other clothing in the wardrobe. If you are going on an extended trip and need additional clothing, store it in suitcases in the under-RV storage until you need it. This comes in handy if you are going to be camping at a time of year with temperature changes. While it’s warm, keep “warm clothes” such as short and t-shirts inside and winter clothing outside. Switch them around when the weather gets cool and you are no longer comfortable in shorts. Bring items that are interchangeable. For example, choose a shirt that goes with slack, jeans or shorts.

Organize Your Cabinets

Purchase a spice rack and other cabinet racks. You can create extra shelving in overhead cabinets or the pantry by using space savers. You can mount a spice rack on the inside of a cabinet door or screw it to the wall above a kitchen counter. You’ll be able to pack more things to bring with you.


When packing, start in one room and put everything you want to bring in plain sight. After you do that, then pack the items in suitcases or grocery bags. As you carry them into the RV, unpack them room by room. This helps to ensure you don’t forget something, especially if you are not one that makes a list to work from.

Don’t Forget Essentials

Pick up any special items you need before you start packing. If you need chemicals for the toilet and RV toilet paper, stop by Jim’s RV Center to pick some up before you get involved in packing everything else.

Trade Bulky for Sleek

When packing meat in the freezer, take it out of the bulky Styrofoam packages and put it in zippered freezer bags. This will also save you quite a bit of room in the freezer.


Best Cleaning Supplies to Keep in Your RV

Whether you just bought a new RV or you have one that you’ve had for a while, you know that keeping it clean while you’re on a trip is not always easy, especially when the family has been on sandy beaches, fishing, riding ATVs in the mud and otherwise having some fun in the dirt. Having the right cleaning supplies with you helps you keep up with the mess.

Small Vacuum

Find a small vacuum – a canister vacuum takes less space and you can store it in the basement storage. If you have enough closet space, you can get a smaller upright vacuum. Or, better yet, when you buy a new RV, opt for something that has a built in vacuum. If you have tile or linoleum throughout, a broom is handy enough, but if your RV has carpets, a vacuum is a must.


Many RVs have wood trim, a wood entertainment center and wood cabinets. Keep a can of your favorite duster along with some soft rags for dusting. You’ll find it easier to keep up with the dusting when you run a rag over everything every day, especially if you are parked in an area with lots of gravel or it’s so dry the dirt is dusty under the grass.


Keep a couple of different sponges with you. Use a soft sponge with your favorite bath and tile cleaner every day in the shower and the rest of the bathroom to keep from doing a ton of work after soap scum piles up. Keep a sponge with a scrubber in the kitchen area for stubborn pots and pans and to clean up burnt on or baked on messes on the stove and in the oven.

Cleaning Chemicals

While you’re packing, be sure to have your favorite cleaning supplies on hand including bath and tile cleaner, your favorite bleach spray or wipes, furniture polish, wall cleaner, bathroom cleaner and dish soap.

Visit Jim’s RV in Nichols, New York

Be sure to stop by Jim’s RV to walk through our many floor plans if you are looking for your first RV or if you’re ready to trade in your old RV for something different. And, stop by our accessories department to pick up any accessories you may need for your next trip.


2015 Coachmen Catalina 253RKS

If you’ve always wanted a new RV but thought the prices were out of range, walk through the 2015 Coachmen Catalina 253RKS. Not only is this model under $25,000, but it has plenty of space for up to six people. The slide contains a 70-inch sofa and a wardrobe giving you plenty of room to move around in the living area.

Stop by Jim’s RV Center in Nichols, New York to walk through the 2015 Coachmen Catalina 253RKS and to learn more about this travel trailer’s features.

2015 Coachmen Catalina 253RKS. Photo Courtesy of Coachmen RV.

Floor Plan

The Catalina 253RKS features two entries, both covered by an 18-foot awning. The main entry is to the rear of the RV and the secondary entry is through the bathroom. Use the secondary entry when you need to get inside to rinse sand or mud off – you won’t have to track it through the RV.

When you step into the RV at the primary entrance, you’ll see the rear kitchen to your left. Because the kitchen is in the rear, you have plenty of counter space to make your favorite meals. The kitchen also features a three-burner stove, oven, microwave, overhead cabinet, large fridge and a sink.

Immediately to your right, you’ll find the 40-inch dinette and more overhead cabinets. As you walk into the RV past the dinette and turn to the right, you’ll see the 70-inch fold-down sofa and more overhead cabinets. The sofa slide features an end table. The entertainment center is over the dinette.

Walking toward the front of the RV, you’ll pass the wardrobe, also contained in the slide. Immediately across from the wardrobe is the hall door for the bathroom. The bathroom features a 34-inch by 34-inch stand-up shower with a glass door, sink and toilet.

Walk past the wardrobe and bathroom to enter the bedroom. The bedroom features a queen bed and more overhead cabinets.

Additional Features

Additional features include pass through storage in the front of the RV, mirrored wardrobes in the bedroom, a 6-gallon DSI water pump, a 40-gallon gray water holding tank and a 30-gallon black water holding tank.

Stop by Jim’s RV Center

When you stop by Jim’s RV Center to choose an RV, be sure to walk through the 2015 Coachmen Catalina 253RKS if you are looking for a well-built, affordable RV.


Cheap RV Living – RVing on a Budget

bunchofpants/Flickr Creative Commons

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.


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.


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.

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.


Jim’s Parts and Accessories Will Make Your RV One-of-a-Kind!

If you are looking for a specific part or accessory, whether to upgrade one of your RV’s system or to add a unique look to your RV, the best place to look is at an RV dealership. Dealerships carry parts and accessories designed specifically for RVs. For example, if you want to add a television to a bunk house or main bedroom, you’ll want something that can withstand the temperature changes and the bumps it will have to take.

Jim’s RV Center’s parts and accessories warehouse carries everything you need for your RV – and if we don’t have it, we will find it for you. From Jensen televisions designed for RV travel to a winterization kit, you’ll find it at our Nichols, New York dealership.

Some of the things you can add to your RV to make it one of a kind or just to make it easier for you to camp include rear observation systems, satellite antennas, step stabilizers, bike and cargo carriers, receiver hitches, patio mats, awning hangers and more.

You can also shop for accessories for upgrades. If you are installing a washer and dryer, Jim’s RV carries the drain pans, wall brackets and the brackets to convert units into stackable units. If you need a new winterization kit, you can find that at Jim’s, too.

For the interior, you’ll find carpet protectors, phone accessories, navigation tools, connectivity tools, light fixtures, cleaners, ceiling fans, dishwashers, microwaves, ice makers and tons more to make your RV unique or to make camping life easier.

Security system available at Jim’s RV Center.

Making your RV look nice doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t keep it maintained. Jim’s RV Center also carries many maintenance items including fuel tank repair kits, hose repair kits, vinyl and leather repair kits, vehicle monitors, new bumpers and more.

Sanitation items include gloves, ABS cement and fittings, chemicals, hoses, holding tank heaters, holding tanks, portable tanks, RhinoFLEX accessories, sewer fittings, sewer hoses, vents, tote tanks, toilets and more.

Stop by Jim’s RV Center today to pick up any accessories you need to maintain your RV, to spruce up your RV or to make camping life easier and more convenient. Whether you have a Class A gas, Class A diesel, Class C, travel trailer, fifth wheel, pop up trailer or any other type of RV, we have the accessories and parts you need.


Keep Calm and RV On!

If you’ve always wanted to take a trip where you didn’t have to plan ahead for hotel rooms, but you don’t have an RV, you can rent an RV – then go where you want, when you want. With an RV, you have everything you need with you, so even if you can’t find a spot or the RV park you planned to stay at is full – it doesn’t matter. Camp anywhere for the night.

Head over to Jim’s RV to check out several of the floor plans our dealership has for you to rent. You can choose something small enough for two or large enough for a larger family. When renting an RV, you might want to remember a few things:

  1. Pick the size RV that will be most comfortable for your family. If you have two children with you, you will need one that sleeps at least four, but for some extra space, you might want something that sleeps six. Don’t forget, you’ll need storage space and you’ll want that extra space so the kids have room to play without being under your feet in case you get caught in the rain.
  2. Before you settle on a floor plan, make sure it has everything you need. If you plan on making a casserole, make sure the RV has an oven or a convection oven that is large enough for your casserole dish. If you plan on making two sides in addition to your main meat dish, be sure the stove has enough burners. Many RVs come with only two burners on the stove and may not have a regular or convection oven.
  3. Plan for the cost of the RV. Be sure to include the rental cost and the cost of gas. Another cost includes entry to RV parks. You’ll also need to plan your grocery cost, especially if you are on a budget. However, you can save money by packing groceries that you already have in the house. Be sure to ask whether there are mileage restrictions – if you go over, you could be charged for the extra mileage.
  4. Check into places that allow overnight parking in the event you don’t get as far as you wanted or if you find a park that is full. Wal-Marts, state parks, some rest areas allow overnight parking when you are in a pinch and are too tired to drive to the next RV park.

Since you are renting from Jim’s RV, you can rest assured that the RV you choose will be checked thoroughly before you leave. If you want any extra accessories, stop by the store before you head out.


Guide for Camping 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.

Stop by Jim’s RV Center to pick up any accessories you might need to help manage the kids’ toys, snacks and extra clothing.

Image by Virginia State Park Staff via Flickr Creative Commons


Keystone Impact 386

If you are in the market for a toy hauler, but want something on the more luxurious side, the Keystone Impact 386 is what you are looking for. This fifth wheel is just over 40 feet long and features plenty of holding tank capacity. The fresh water tank holds 112 gallons, the gray and black water tanks each hold 86 gallons, and you have 60 pounds of liquid propane gas.

Interior features on the Keystone Impact 386, available at Jim’s RV Center, include a 39-inch LED television a CD/DVD player with MP3 connection, residential reclining furniture, an 8 cubic-foot fridge, a three-burner stove, dual electric beds with couch combo in the garage area, raised panel cherry hardwood cabinets, a ducted furnace so you’re extra warm in the winter, Tuff Ply flooring and the 5K lockdown system in the garage, a residential queen size mattress for the bedroom and night shades.

Additional features include a microwave, a 17-inch oven so you can bake your favorite meals and desserts, two Ram air vents in the cargo area and a generator with a start/stop switch. The generator features an hour meter and a fuel gauge.

Exterior features include an 8-foot ramp door, 16-inch wheels, a spare tire and carrier, lighted electric patio awning, a 30-gallon fuel station with a pump, heated enclosed holding tanks, LED tail lights, brake lights and ramp loading lights, aluminum wheels and an exterior shower with hot and cold water.

The floor plan has an excellent layout and doesn’t waste space. The front queen bedroom features plenty of storage, including a wardrobe; and it includes a television. As you walk through the RV, you pass the bathroom which features a large stand-up shower and linen closet.

The large living area features a television, reclining sofa, and a full galley. The galley features a double sink and plenty of storage. The garage area features two fold-down sofas and an electric bed. It also has an entrance to a half bath.

To learn more about the Keystone Impact 386 and to take a tour, stop by Jim’s RV Center. Be sure to ask your salesperson for a full list of features, plus any additional options that may be available.