New England Spring Road Trips

Spring heralds the beginning of RV season. If your RV has been in storage and you’ve been cooped up in your house all winter, put your RV through its paces and hit the open road on a spring trip to New England.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Drive the 27-mile round trip Mount Desert Island Loop from Bar Harbor. The island’s Loop Road circles this rugged island. Be sure to bring a picnic lunch and stop by the Hulls Cove Visitors Center.

Rangely Lakes Scenic Byway, Maine

Take Maine routes 17 and 4 through the many mountains and lakes in the area. Stop at the Height of Land pullout to get some great pictures. And watch carefully – you should see plenty of bobcats, bear and moose. This scenic byway is about 50 miles.

Alpine Drama, Vermont

Take Vermont 108 from Stowe up into Smugglers’ Notch in the Green Mountains. Watch for corkscrews, cliffs and boulders. Stop in Jeffersonville for lunch or dinner. This route is about 18 miles.

Green Mountain Ribbon, Vermont

Travel Vermont Route 100 along the Green Mountains. This roadway runs from north to south and runs the length of the state. You’ll see tons of charming villages and history, especially between Ludlow and Waterbury. The route between these two towns is about 90 miles.

Coastal Crossing, New Hampshire

Take an 18-mile drive from Seabrook Beach to Portsmouth. While this is a short route, it could take you a day or two as there are many places to stop, including New Castle to see Wentworth by the Sea, Fort Constitution and Hampton Beach.

Stop by Jim’s RV Center

When you start planning for a road trip, be sure you plan to have your RV serviced before you head out, especially if this is the first time you’ve had it out since last fall. If you don’t have an RV, but think driving across New England sounds like fun, stop by to walk through our many floor plans. Be sure to call Jim’s RV Center to set up a service appointment or stop by to pick out a new RV if this sounds like something you’d like to do on our next vacation.


Visit the Corning Museum of Glass

The Corning Museum of Glass, located in the Finger Lakes region of New York, has the distinction of owning the world’s largest collection and display of glass art.

The museum is home to over 3,500 years of glasswork art from all corners of the globe. The works range from art like mosaics, portraits, sculptures, and windows to glassware like chandeliers, pitchers, and cups.

The building itself is a work of architectural art with plenty of minimalist design cues, clean colors and lines, and tons of natural light (all the better to view the glass art work). The building is split into sections, each with its own theme, from contemporary and modern glass art to some of the oldest glass art in the world, including a glass portrait of an Egyptian Pharaoh from circa 1500 B.C.

The museum also serves as a center of learning in regards to glass, the glass industry, and how to make glass and work with the material. The museum is a work space for master glassblowers, who teach visitors and artists their techniques in practical demonstrations and exhibits.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this summer 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.


The Great New York Escape

When you plan an RV vacation, you can go anywhere time allows – but if you have limited time, you definitely don’t want to spend all of it driving. Instead, pick a place right in New York State for your vacation. You’d be surprised at how beautiful the state is – especially when you see part of the state you don’t look at every day during a commute.

Get your RV ready, stop by Jim’s RV Center to pick up accessories, chemicals and other needs, pack everything you need and head out on the road to someplace new right in your own backyard.

Whether you have kids or you are a kid at heart, you’ll enjoy Jellystone at Birchwood Acres. The park is located at 85 Martinfeld Road, Greenfield Park, NY 12435. Choose from 241 spaces, 30- or 50-amp service, a big rig site, a back-in site, or a site with full hookups. Some sites are shaded and WiFi is available.

Enjoy Birchwood Lake, boating, a game room, a heated pool, horseshoes, shuffleboard, a spa, a playground for the kids, rec hall and more.

Camp Chautauqua is located at 3900 W. Lake Road, Stow, NY 14785. This RV park features 250 spaces, 30- or 50-amp service, back-in sites, big rig sites, full hookup sites, grass, gravel or paved sites, pull-through sites, shaded sites and sites with room for slideouts. WiFi is available.

Camp Chautauqua also features boating, a dock, a heated pool, game room, horseshoes, a marina, rec hall, playground, wading pool and more.

If you want to visit Niagara Falls, consider staying at AA Royal Motel and Campground, located at 333 Niagara Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda, NY 14120. You may want to call ahead as this RV Park has only 30 sites.

This RV Park features 30-and 50-amp service, big rig sites, back-in sites, full hookups, paved sites, shaded sites and sites with room for slideouts.

Additional features include WiFi, fire rings, firewood, laundry, paved roads and military discount.

Before you head out, be sure all systems in your RV are working properly. If you are not comfortable with checking these systems yourself, stop by Jim’s RV Center to have one of our techs check your RV for you. While you’re here, stop by the store to pick up any accessories and chemicals you may need.


Valentine’s Day in New York

Red rose

Photo by blair_25 (Flickr Creative Commons)

With an RV at your disposal, every holiday can lead to a vacation filled with excitement, discovery, exploration, and romance, especially on Valentine’s Day.

At Jim’s RV Center, we’re here to make your travel dreams come true with a new or used RV in Nichols. Our inventory is impressive and there’s something for every style, experience level and budget. Get the most out of the upcoming Valentine’s Day festivities around the Nichols area in comfort with that special someone.

Tioga Downs Casino

If you and your loved one want to spend the day, and evening, enjoying the upbeat excitement of a casino, make your way to Tioga Downs. On Valentine’s Day, play the games until your heart’s content then indulge in the Valentine’s Day Buffet. Stay over an extra day and see the Love Cruise Motown Show on Saturday, February 15. The Valentine’s Day Buffet will also be available.

Heron Hill Winery & Cafe

Located an hour and a half from Nichols in the Finger Lakes region and overlooking Keuka Lake, spend the afternoon sampling delicious wines along with freshly prepared dishes at the cafe. On February 15-16, continue the Valentine’s Day theme with the cheese and wine lovers event and discover new cheese dishes and savory wines.

Hunt Country Vineyards

Also overlooking Keuka Valley, Hunt Country Vineyards offers a full day of tickling the taste buds with specialty wine tastings paired with chocolates and cheeses, picnic area, and a gift shop where you can select a tasty souvenir. Take the informative winery tour or climb onboard a haywagon and tour the 50-acre vineyards.

Barstow House

Step back in time to a place of grace and elegance at the Barstow House built in 1823. The historic house is the perfect setting for a sumptuous meal prepared by the chef. Set amid an atmosphere of solid wood beans and polished hardwood floors, the ambiance is everything you could want along with exceptional service and made to order food. You’ll dine in comfort and style in this quaint, out of the way restaurant, while celebrating Cupid’s day.

Wherever the road may take you, Jim’s RV Center can get you there in style. Stop by and take a look at what’s available then head out with a well equipped RV and enjoy these romantic places for Valentine’s Day.


Get to Know Your RV’s Propane Tanks


One of the most essential components of your RV is the propane tanks and valves that deliver the gas to your RV. The propane does more than create heat, it also is used to run your refrigerator, power your water heater, and other appliances that are needed to make your RV into a home. It is important for you to know how it works and what kind of valves you have in order for you to troubleshoot problems down the road.

The first thing to know about is the actual propane tanks themselves. While you can get these filled at any propane station, you should still do a little bit of research on the tanks. Whether you own your own tanks, or trade them out for new ones, it is important to know their age. While you will likely never encounter a propane tank that is over eight years old, you can never be certain. Propane tanks are only certified for 12 years of use after the date they were manufactured. If you have tanks getting near that age and don’t want to let go of them, then you must  have them re-certified, which will only add five years of life to them.

The other important component is the valve system that connects your propane tanks to your gas line. It is recommended that you have ACME valves, which are sometimes known as QCC or OPD valves, on your RV. These are the kinds of valves that are easier to connect because they have a coupling that goes over the exterior of the tank valve. Not only are they easier to use, but they also have an over-flow protector which allows your tank to billed filled at the proper level without risking over filling. Your RV may have POL valves, which attach to the interior of the tank valve, which is okay, but you may want to think of changing them.

Knowing how your RV works, especially if you are a new RVer, is a great way to diagnose problems and do preventative RV maintenance in Nichols. Be sure to check out your RV’s propane system, or come by and we can help you with your RV questions.


Travel the deserts this winter for less

If you are planning your first winter of being a Snowbird and decided to head to the deserts of the Southwest, then you may not know where to start looking for ways to save money. Well planned extended stays can help you keep your budget in check and may even let you keep more in your pocket then you had expected. Packing up your RV and heading out to a far off destination can seem daunting, but with a few easy tips you can travel like a pro.

The first part of staying in the desert is getting there. Before you leave your home base, be sure to map out places that allow you to stay the night for free along the way. The savings that you will have from not paying for a camping spot every night can help pay for a large portion of the fuel that you may use to get there. Good places to look are Wal-Marts and other public lands that allow you to camp for free.

Once you arrive, it’s best to choose a central location to camp. While cities may have a lot of entertainment they will also cost more to camp at. Look for a camp site that is in the country, but close enough to other sites that you will want to visit around you. You will save money from camping here, and it will allow you to travel less once you get your rig set up.Also, purchase a good regional guide book. They will offer great activities and locations that will help you pass the time once you establish camp.

Becoming a Snowbird for the first time may seem overwhelming at first, but if you have a great RV and a great plan, then you will be able to spend the winter months in comfort.


Capture all your RV adventures with a Hero

RVing is a lifestyle that allows you to do many different kinds of activities. When a lot of people hear that you are RVing, they probably think that all you do is set up camp, pull up a lawn chair and watch the grass grow. They probably wouldn’t believe that you do things like hiking, canoeing, biking, and other outdoor activities. Why not just tell them about it when you can show them that everything you do instead. The problem with many regular video cameras is that they aren’t made to take the abuse of heavy outdoor activities. That’s where the GoPro Hero 2 can come in handy.

The Hero2 is the followup to their very popular and successful GoPro Hero. This camera is made to handle dirt, dust, water, and snow while providing a high quality HD video. With its small size and ability t clip on to almost any object, you are sure to be able to capture every minute of your RV travels. You can put the camera on your dash and film what life is like driving through the beautiful country scenery, of put it on your helmet and show some great biking trails. The Hero 2 will be able to go anywhere you want to.

Not only will you be able to record things to the camera for later, but you will also be able to sync the camera to your smart phone and broadcast your adventures live around the world. This is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family in real time when they want to know what you do when you hit the open road. No matter how you choose to enjoy your RV, you’ll be able to show the world how much fun RVing can be.


Stay warm on those cold nights


With the weather starting to get colder, and the days shorter, you are probably experiencing a bit of a chill at night now. This is also the time of year where you are still RVing in cooler climates before either heading south for the winter or storing your RV until next season. Staying warm and comfortable in your RV is a key to have a great trip this time of year. No one likes sleepless nights shivering the whole time, so how should you stay warm? The easy answer is your RV furnace, but you may be out at a camp site when that breaks down, so what are you back up options?

The two most popular choices are heating strips and portable heaters. Like all things, there are pros and cons that go with both, and it is more of a preferential choice. Let’s look at portable heaters first. The great thing about these are that they do a good job heating a small space. At night, shut the door to your room and turn one of these on and you will stay warm through out the night. They are also quiet, which is key to falling asleep. The problem with them is that they tend to break down easily over time. If you buy one you can expect to buy another after a few years. Also, there is always to risk of fire with these heaters, due to the exposed heating coils. If you use one, be sure to put it in a safe place out of contact with combustibles.

Another option is a heating strip. A heating strip is installed in the air conditioner and it is a 1500 watt heater. This option is goo because it is generally more reliable than the portable heater, and it doesn’t take up any extra space in the RV. The not so great part about them is that you have to run your A/C fan through the night, and it doesn’t heat your rig nearly as well as the portable heater. You won’t freeze to death with one, but you won’t be toasty.

If all else fails, keep extra quilts and blankets in your RV and bundle up for warmth. If you are looking for a new RV ta stay warm in, be sure to come into Jim’s RV.