How to Get the Best Internet While Traveling

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Staying connected while living the RV lifestyle may seem difficult at first. Campground WiFi is never as reliable as most travelers would like and emailing from coffee shops gets expensive quickly. However, many RV travelers have discovered how to stay connected with fast, wireless internet on the go. The following are a few tricks of the trade to help you get the best internet access while traveling.

Use a Hotspot

Using a wireless internet hotspot is the best way to stay connected anywhere that has cellular phone service. Hotspots can be created on most smartphones and tablets, then all you have to do is tether you computer to the hotspot. Verizon and AT&T both offer nationwide coverage that makes it easy to connect in some of the most remote places. Hotspots do chip away at your monthly data allotment, so it helps to speak with your provider about a data plan that will work for you.

Use a WiFi Booster

Many campgrounds across the country now offer free WiFi to campers. The only downfall is that the wireless internet access they provide is often weak and unreliable. A WiFi booster can improve the internet access at places with free WiFi, so you don’t have to use your phone’s data. The Wifi Ranger Elite Pack is an affordable option for boosting signals at places with unreliable internet.

Use the Wi-Fi Finder App

It seems like every place you visit offers free WiFi until you’re really in need. The Wi-Fi Finder app can help you locate places that offer free WiFi, so you don’t waste time or money at places that don’t offer internet access. If you’re not interested in using an app, a simple call to the campground, restaurant or other site you’ll be visiting can help you determine if it will be a place with reliable internet access.

Stop by Jim’s RV Center

Don’t forget to stop and see us at Jim’s RV Center for all of your RV travel needs this summer.

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Fall Décor: Decorating Your RV

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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!

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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.

Rags

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.

Sponges

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.

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Living Full-Time in an RV is Easier than it Seems

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Photo by RVWithTito (Flickr Creative Commons)

Many campers buy RVs to save accommodation costs on weekend excursions and family vacations. After a few trips, a number of those buyers end up wanting to live full-time in their motorhome. Why? Because life on the road is exciting, adventurous and surprisingly comfortable.

Moving from a part-time RV enthusiast to living in your RV full time is easier than it seems, and it’s likely you’ll be happier with your life on the road than you were in your brick and mortar home.

Plan and Organize

Small preparations like making arrangements for mail pickup and changing your billing and banking to online options are necessary. Someone picking up your mail from a P.O. Box or street address every so often can save you from late fees on other types of bills (medical, taxes, etc.) You can often pay these bills online, but you may not receive notification that they are due.

In an increasingly online society, paying and receiving money are easy to do with an internet connection. Just make sure you have all of your accounts, passwords and preparations made before you hit the road.

Keep a Budget

Your expenses living an RV will be quite a bit different than those in your previous home, so keep a budget (at least in your first few years on the road) to get a better idea of how much you’re actually spending.

If you find out you’re overspending in some areas, such as costly camp sites, you’ll know to adjust your search and find cheaper accommodation.

Do It Now

What’s the biggest regret among travelers who took the plunge into full-time life on the road? That they didn’t do it sooner. You don’t have to be rich to be a full-time traveler, you just have to be wise about your budget when purchasing a vehicle and planning your travels. What are you waiting for?

Jim’s RV Center

The best way to get in an RV within your budget is at your local New York RV dealer — Jim’s RV Center in Nichols, N.Y. Come see our incredible inventory of affordable new and used RVs and don’t forget about us for all of your other RV parts and service needs too.

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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.

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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Tips for RVing in the City

Once you drive off the lot of Jim’s RV, chances are you’re planning a lot of backroad excursions and adventures along Route 66. New York City, Austin, L.A., they sound fun, but RVing in the big city can be more trouble than it’s worth.

Well, it is possible to have a good time as an RVer in a dense metropolitan area, but you’re going to want to keep these tips in mind if you plan on hitting the Big Apple, the Big Easy, or the City of Brotherly Love in your new RV:

Plan Ahead

Feel free to wing it when driving through Arizona. The Southwest is very RV friendly with plenty of parks that are easy to find. Not so in most big cities. Know where your RV park is and how to get there from a major landmark. There are apps that will help you find cheap gas and groceries in the city, that let you know where construction is taking place and so on so that you can plan a safe, efficient trip.

Beware the “Fuzz”

Some cities are friendly towards RVers, others are not, so don’t always assume that the police will be happy to see you. In some areas, it’s not uncommon for RVers to be woken up at two in the morning by surly police officers telling them they can’t park overnight here.

Start Early, Leave Early

Your RV park will likely be a little out of the way, so make sure that you start your trip into the city early, and that you leave before it gets dark. One really bad traffic jam can wind up eating an entire day of travel time.

Typically, RVers don’t visit big cities, they drive through them, or around them if they can help it. After all, most of us are outdoorsmen and women by heart. But there’s no reason not to see the Empire State Building, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or downtown New Orleans just because you’re in an RV.

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NY RVers Staying Healthy on the Road

Long trips in your Nichols, New York recreational vehicles are loads of fun, but they can also lead to some not so healthy choices when it comes to food and exercise, or lack there of.  For a lot of full-time RVers, convenience usually trumps the more healthy snack choice.  If you are in it for the long haul, then you will also want to consider the wellness and balance in regards to your overall health.

Driving long stretches can also take a toll on your body as well. You many find that the longer you drive your used or new New York RV, the more your body may start to boycott the drive. To stay healthy while on the road,  here are a few rules to live by:

  • Use cruise control. On long drives, resting both of your feet on the floor is beneficial to  your back and hips. Just keep paying close attention to the road ahead.
  • Watch your posture. Make sure that you’re sitting comfortably at the wheel, with your seat set so that you’re not stretching to reach the steering wheel. If you are hunched over at all or pulling, then you may as well get ready for back problems which is what we are trying to avoid.
  • Take a break. Be sure to stop regularly to get out of your car and stretch before continuing on. This is especially true if you have chronic back pain or other issues that are triggered by sitting in one position for a long amount of time.

Eat Healthy. You should do what you can to eat healthy snacks when you are traveling along the road in your RV. We understand how tempting it can be to just open a bag of cookies or chips, but that isn’t the healthiest thing you can do. We recommend preparing some road-trip snacks ahead of time to make it easier on you. For instance, package up several single servings of fresh veggies and fruit. Other great snack ideas are dried fruit, nuts, or granola bars.  Cooking your own meals instead of going out to eat is also, usually, a healthier  and less expensive alternative.

Exercise is beneficial for RVers.  We gave more detail in another post in regards to ways to exercise while you are on your journey. Exercising keeps your mind and body in better health. To keep your energy levels up, you should really take the time to stop, get out and exercise a bit to get the blood pumping. This can be anything from a brisk walk or short run to stretching.

Remember, don’t let the fun and joys of RVing take a backseat to your well being. What are some of your healthier snack options when RVing? We’d love to hear from you. If you are in the market for a new RV, don’t forget Jim’s RV Center has a great selection of new and used recreational vehicles in New York!

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How to Live with Someone in an RV 24/7 – Part 1

Do you think you could live with someone for 24 hours a day, seven days a week in 240 square feet of space – more or less? It seems a little mad when we put it that way, but people and couples do it everyday, year over year – and happily so.

When you consider, that for many of these couples, one or both have been working and out of the house for years until right before they take off together in their RV, it means just a couple of additional adjustments. Not only do they adjust to living in a tiny space, they are also adjusting to living together constantly. These type of major life adjustments can strain relationships. A little knowledge and planning can make the transition simpler.

Tips for Living Together in an RV

At first, it may seem like you are on vacation. And, you are. This may bring some familiarity to surface that you can draw from.  As the days move on, it may feel like you are beginning to work each other’s nerves. So how does one cope? Here are some suggestions from other RVers. We’ve compiled some common themes from full-time RVer couples or partners who dare to live on the road.

First and foremost: you and your spouse must genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Secondly, both of you must really want to live this lifestyle, even if only for a certain period of time.

If you have those two things going for you, the rest can be a work in progress.

 

Here are 5 techniques you can use:

1. Have your own bit of space, regardless of how tiny. You might stake out a certain place to sit in the evenings or a place to work on hobbies, art or crafts. Claim a cupboard or bin underneath for the things you like to do: read, carve, bead, knit,etc. Do not go into your spouse’s or roommate’s cupboard without permission. Even though you are only a few feet apart, you can still have a sense of separateness, which is very healthy.

2. The bedroom or perhaps a corner can be a “retreat” for whomever is needing a little alone time.  Find a spot, but keep in mind that using the bedroom as personal space shouldn’t interfere with the other’s bedtime.

3. Different bedtimes can prove to be an advantage. One spouse may already stay up a little later or wake up earlier – this gives the other a little private or alone time.

4. We’ve heard this can be a marriage saver. If you are watching a particular show on TV or listening to some music, and the other person is not participating, use headphones. The fact that one partner has on headphones gives both a sense of privacy.

5. Solo activities: Do some activities by yourself. You may be traveling in close quarters but that doesn’t mean you have to be joined at the hip and do everything together. Walking, biking, walking the dog, shopping, rig maintenance can be done alone. If there is a local theater production, I’ll attend by myself!

We didn’t want to short change this subject, so this is part 1 of a 2 part series on how to live with someone in an RV 24 hours, seven days a week. Stay tuned in for part 2.

 

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Nichols, NY Family Fun in your RV

This year you’ve decided to take a road trip with the entire family in your new 2011 Fleetwood Discovery. While it comes with some of the latest and greatest in amenities, undoubtedly the kids will at some point decide that they are bored and they will definitely let you know. They will grow tired of watching a movie or playing their video game, and you’ve decided that you want to limit those type of activities so that your family can enjoy interacting with one another while on this road trip. So how in the world will you fill the time?

I have  come up with a list that provides a mixture of some old tried and true classic road trip games as well as some new ones that the entire family is sure to enjoy. A good game, makes the miles fly by!

 

COUNTING COWS: Play as individuals or teams. First, decide on a destination where you will stop counting. Then, count the cows on your side of the road. The goal is to have the highest number when the destination is reached. Pass a cemetery on your side and you have to start over again. If there aren’t any cows on your route, try counting red cars, mailboxes or phone booths.

TWENTY QUESTIONS: One player thinks of a famous person, place or thing. Everyone else gets to ask the player 20 questions, which must be answered “yes” or “no.” For example, “Does it know how to read?” is a valid question, but “What’s its favorite book?” is not. Whoever guesses correctly gets a turn to think up something.

GEOGRAPHY: Start with any place in the world–Kansas, for example. The next person has to think of a place that begins with the last letter of “Kansas,” such as “South Africa.” Whoever goes next needs a place that starts with an A. You may not use the same place twice in a game–and it has to be a real place.

A IS FOR ARMADILLO: Starting with A, each person tries to be the first to spot and name three items beginning with that letter. For example, the first to see and announce “armadillo, auto and apple” gets to choose the next letter.

ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS: Two players each put one hand behind their backs. Each person turns that hand into a scissors, using the index and middle fingers; or paper, by holding the hand flat with the fingers straight; or a rock, by making a fist. Both players say “One, two, three,” and show their hands. The scissors beats paper because it cuts paper. Paper wins over rock because it can wrap up the rock. And rock beats scissors because it makes them blunt.

LICENSE PLATE ID: See how many different states you can identify on license plates.

LICENSE PLATE LINGO: The goal of this game is to come up with a phrase using the letters on another car’s plate. So if you see the plate LMT 823, the first person to call out a somewhat logical phrase such as “Love me tender” or “Lost my tooth” earns a point.

ODDS, EVENS: Two players pick either “odds” or “evens.” Then they make a fist, shake it, say, “One, two, three…shoot,” and stick out one or two fingers. If the total is an odd number, the player who picked odds wins. Same goes for evens.

What are some of your favorite games to play on RV road trips?

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Jim’s RV Do-it-Yourself Edition

While Jim’s RV can take care of any maintenance needs for your new or used RV in Nichols, NY. We also share tips and hints for work you can do yourself, so when you’re out of town, you can still care for your RV properly. Here are some practical do-it-yourself directions:

1. How to dump RV waste water holding tanks and thoroughly clean the black tank. Keeping your sewage tank super clean requires following a few simple procedures which will make it stay odor-free.

These step-by-step instructions will ensure that your RV holding tanks stay clean and fresh providing a healthier environment for your motorhome, travel trailer or fifth wheel.

2. How to install your own window awnings. Window awnings can help tremendously to keep your RV’s interior cooler on hot days and to also reduce the fading of the fabrics on your chairs and couch from the sun. This video by Carefree of Colorado shows how easy it is to install your own window awnings using only a few handy tools.

RV Window Awning from Webster City RV on Vimeo.

3. How to hang things on the interior walls of your RV.  Most walls on RVs and motor homes in Nichols, NY are the same thin material that isn’t strong enough to hold wood screws. Without access behind the wall panels, there’s no way to use bolts, since you can’t tighten down the nuts. Velcro generally only works for lightweight items. The solution as demonstrated in this video: Pop Rivets.

We enjoy helping our customers with the little details that make owning and personalizing your RV an exciting experience. From maintaining the sanitation, to the cosmetics – we do our best to leave no stone unearthed. Feel free to share with us any other great Do-it-Yourself videos to add to our blog. And if or when your D-I-Y RV project becomes overwhelming, stop in and see us. We love to help out our customers!

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