Poulsbo RV Blog

4 Fuel Saving Tips for RVers

Here we go again with fluctuating gas prices that are headed up one week and down the next. Here are some tips to help you continue to enjoy your RV lifestyle without the pain in the wallet. The more you save on gas, the more you can spend on quality experiences during your travels. Here are our tips to put more money back into your pocket.

 

 

Get a Tune Up

The condition of your RV has a lot to do with how much fuel you use. Make sure that your RV has been serviced as recommended by the manufacturer. If you get a little slack on this, over time you may see significant diminishing returns on your fuel mileage. Tire pressure can have a big impact on fuel efficiency.

Plan Your Route Carefully

 

If you’re driving on a flat and straight road you’ll see good fuel efficiency. But most of the country has hills and mountains that can quickly turn the rpm gauge up and the fuel gauge down. When you’re planning your trip, avoid routes that will cause excessive braking and choose routes that will keep a steady speed.

Use Gas Buddy

Gas Buddy is a phone application that tells you based on your location where the cheapest fuel is. If you use it just before the low fuel light comes on you’ll be able to navigate to the savings on your route.

Drive Your Other Vehicle as Much as Possible

 

If you pull a 5th Wheel or Travel Trailer you will have a vehicle to run errands or go on day trips. If you’re in a Class A or Class C RV, pulling a car by flat towing or a tow dolly can significantly keep money in your pocket with fuel savings. You’ll also be able to fit into places like malls that you wouldn’t be able to with your RV.

 

Keeping the RV Cool

When the summer heat is on, so is the challenge of keeping your RV cool. Driving the RV in the summer can be brutal in hot regions, but once you figure out how to make your system work for you, you’ll find yourself much more comfortable.

 

 

Just like in a house, if you close some vents, you can force cool air into the places you need it. When you’re parked, close of the rooms you can and your living space will get the full benefit of the A/C. Closing the shades and covering the windshield can help keep the sun out as well, helping to keep your RV at the temperature you want it.

Choose your campsite as best you can! If you find yourself in the desert, there’s not much hope of natural shade. Where trees are plentiful, choose a big one to camp under, giving you shade to cover the RV. This can be incredibly helpful with keeping the RV cool and saving your energy.

 

 

To avoid showing up at the campground with a warm trailer after a long hot drive, you may need to run the generator to keep your A/C unit going while driving for the last 30 min. It’s also important to know that running the cab A/C while driving in difficult places such as mountain ranges, high peaks, or deserts, can overheat your truck engine.

As with everything in your RV, you need to take the time to figure out the systems you have and the equipment in place to figure out how best you can keep your RV cool and comfortable. Each RV is different and understanding what you have is essential to conserving resources while getting what you need.

 

Best of luck out there during those hot months and happy travels!

 

The Reverse Snowbird – Keeping Cool in the Heat

 

 

To have the most comfortable Hot Weather Vacation you have to adjust for the heat. Here’s a few Hot Weather RV Tips.

 

Test your AC Unit before Hitting the Road

Let’s face it, a bouncing house on wheels can have an effect on things. Make sure you do a little Yamping (yard camping) to make sure the AC unit is working properly.

Roof Vent Insulation

This is an inexpensive investment that pays off big time. It’s basically a pillow; some even have foil on one side. 

 

They are made to fit the roof vent in your ceiling. You would be amazed at the amount of heat they keep out on a hot summer day.  

 

 

Using the AC

Close all the windows and vents. Think of your RV with the AC on as a large refrigerator. Open the door and cold air spills out.  When you are coming in and out of your RV make sure you shut the door as fast as possible. For some larger RVs, you’ll have to plan ahead and make sure you have a 50 amp hookup to run multiple units.

Block the Solar Heat

The first step is parking in the shade. Keep in mind the sun moves throughout the day and you may want to position yourself so the afternoon sun doesn’t directly hit the RV. Even if you are in the shade, keeping the shades down in your RV helps. Another simple tip that makes a HUGE difference is to put cardboard between the glass and the shades.

Fans are your Friend

Lack of airflow is a mood killer. Using tower fans to blow air directly on you is a great way to cool off. Blowing air directly on your body will make you feel cooler and still air will seem hotter. Additionally, because it’s warm in the day and cooler at night you can use fans to blow out warm air in the evenings and then draw cold air in at night.

 

Cleaning Your AC Filter

To improve your AC units efficiency keep the filters clean. In most cases, you can wash the filters with warm soapy water.

 

Head to The Lake/Ocean 

This is always going to be the best decision because camping on the water is pretty much unbeatable. If you’ve always wanted waterfront property, this is the way to go and if you don’t like your neighbors, just move! That’s a common joke among the RV Community, but in reality, RVers are like-minded people who are looking to enjoy themselves. That means they’re friendly, helpful, and enjoyable to be around.

 

Easy RV Upgrades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a Honey-do list that seems to keep growing?  Although there might not be a quick fix to all upgrades, there are certainly some that you don’t need to make harder than they have to be. Below is a list of RV upgrades that don’t require you to bust out your toolbox.

Pantry Lighting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pantry Lighting doesn’t require an electrician.  It’s as easy as ordering some stick-on push lights. They’re fantastic for deep dark cabinets that you usually have to use your cell phone flashlight to see what’s in there.

Increased Closet Space

You don’t need to demo your pantry to create more closet space.  Rather, all you need is drop down hangers.  They instantly create 6x more closet space. We’ve been using them for years and are still amazed at how much you can fit into your RV Closet.

Flooring

No one looks forward to a flooring project.  Unless of course updating your flooring was as easy as applying stickers to your existing flooring!  With Peel-And-Stick Vinyl Plank Flooring it can be that easy. Another way to spice up your floors is adding rugs. You can cater the style of the rug to match the room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shower Head

Changing out your shower head is a lot easier than you may think!  All you need to do is screw the old one off and the new one on.  Ta-da, you’re done. This is also great to get a shower head that uses less water for when you’re boondocking and need to conserve on your water usage.

Mattress

You don’t need a whole new mattress just because your old one isn’t comfortable.  Instead, order a memory foam pad to go on top of your mattress and it will make all the world of difference. Make sure to get The My Pillow to make sure you get the best rest possible.

What upgrades would you add to the list to make RVing better?

Let’s Get Ready to Tailgate!

Tailgating is a sport all it’s own.  You should up to your favorite concert or sporting event hours early and join the massive crowd waiting for the festivities to start.  You break out your lawn chairs, portable grill, and cooler stocked with refreshing beverages.  The only thing that could make these events even better is if you took your RV with you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research lot restrictions where you’re parking in order to make tailgating with your RV a success.  You don’t want to expend the effort of getting ready to go, only to be turned away.  You also want to be as close to the action as possible, not out at the very end of the concrete!  Check out the limits and plan accordingly.

 

 

By taking an RV, you can have that many more guests!  Menu planning is important for a tailgate. You want to eat, and eat well, without risking food illnesses.  An RV gives you more options when it comes to prepping and storing food properly.  Before you go, ensure your appliances are up and running correctly. You don’t want a faulty stove top to turn game day into a disaster.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a bigger vehicle, you get to claim more pavement space for your group.  Bring the lawn chairs and all the memorabilia you’ve got!  Flags, decals, tents, towels…let everyone know who you root for!  What’s the point of having a vehicle everyone can see if you don’t make it stand out?  Get in the spirit and get decorating!  

American traditions don’t get much better than tailgating.  Get out there and tailgate right by bringing your RV.  You’ll win the tailgate championship hands down!

Supper Ideas for the Hungry Camper

 

 

 

One of the greatest benefits to come with an RV is the kitchen.  You won’t have to worry about finding somewhere to eat, or trying to cook over a campfire.  Being able to cook while in the RV saves you money when you’re traveling as well.  While the kitchen is great, it is smaller than the ones we have at home. When you’re shopping for your next RV adventure, here are some easy meals to cook that don’t need much in the way of space or ingredients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti is a great favorite at any time of year.  You can cook it all from one pot as well, meat, sauce, and noodles, making it a perfect RV dinner.  It’s hearty, comforting on a cool night, and kids love it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another family favorite that is an RV friendly dinner is tacos.  Tacos are easy to cook, easy to eat, and make clean up a breeze.  Eat outside with minimal mess and the leftovers are an easy snack for tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandwiches are an RV staple since they’re quick and easy to make.  Think a little deeper about sandwiches for dinner and go with a hot sandwich.  Heat up your meat of choice with some veggies and cheese, transforming the boring sandwich into something you can get excited about.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot dogs and hamburgers make our list last.  While it might seem obvious, these camping favorites could be overlooked.  Both are easy to make, requiring little work and less equipment.  Dress up the hot dogs with chili. Try it on the hamburgers as well!  If you plan ahead for some sides already made like store bought potato salad or chips, dinner just got that much simpler.  

You can make great food in your RV kitchen with a bit of planning and preparation.  Don’t get too fancy and you’ll have a fantastic meal, with little clean up, in no time!

 

RV Propane Tips

 

 

It’s not fun to think about, but when you’re driving an RV, you’re driving a potentially dangerous vehicle!  

A malfunction with the propane and/or gas in your RV could have disastrous results if you don’t follow protocol.  To help you stay safe, here are some propane tips to consider.

 

1. Shut Off All Appliances

Take the time to shut off all appliances when you stop to refuel.  When running, your stove, refrigerator, water heater, etc. could have pilot lights that if on, could come into contact with the gas/propane fumes.  This contact may set off an explosion that can injure or kill everyone in the RV or in the immediate area. While doing this can be a pain, always make sure to do this!

2. Check for Propane and/or Gas Leaks

When you’re walking around your RV or doing your regular maintenance, check for propane and/or gas leaks.  We recommend you test this at least once a year with a professional to ensure that the RV is safe.  Schedule this test when you get the rest of your work done.

3. Smell Gas/Propane?

If you happen to smell gas or propane, do not take the chance and turn on electrical appliances.  If you’re not familiar with the smell of propane, it often smells like sewer gas or even rotting flesh. Evacuate your RV if you smell any noxious odors and get it checked out.  If you ignore the smell and use the electrical equipment, it could set off an explosion!

There are plenty of disaster stories out there of people who ignored the safety tips and warning signs of propane and/or gas.  Be smart and take the time to have your RV routinely checked.  Don’t ignore telling odors or think they’re coming from somewhere else!  Always use caution – your RV and family will thank you! 

 

Beachfront RV Parks of Southern California

 

 

 

Ah, Southern California, beautiful and sunny pretty much year-round. And where does everyone want to go when they get there? The beach of course! Besides the many State and Municipal Beaches that you will find available for RV camping, there are actually many privately owned RV parks as well. Here are a few to pique your interest.

 

Campland on Mission Bay – San Diego

 

This place has everything! From a marina and market to the pool and hot tub, plus everything you would expect from a nearby beach community, everything you could want or need is here, including parks and of course the beach itself. Conveniently close to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo at Balboa Park.

 

Paradise by the Sea – Oceanside

 

Right next to Buccaneer Park and Beach, which includes playground equipment, picnic areas, and even a beach cafe. Take a surfing lesson, walk to Oceanside Pier, or fish from the harbor. There is plenty to see and do in this little beachside community.

 

Malibu Beach – Malibu

 

Conveniently close to Corral State Beach, Malibu Beach RV Park is a beautiful and secluded park just along world-famous Highway 1. Take in the rustic beauty of this unobstructed oceanside view. Onsite showers, laundry and convenience store give you every amenity you might need outside of your own RV.

 

Ocean Mesa – Santa Barbara

 

Just 20 minutes from Downtown Santa Barbara and surrounded by the gorgeous Los Padres National Forest, Ocean Mesa has all of the conveniences of a modern RV park. Heated pool and spa, laundry facilities, and convenience store on site. Ocean Mesa even offers on-site massage and bodywork!

 

Ventura Beach – Ventura

 

The lush 14 acres is just off of the 101, offering everything from poolside yurts to playgrounds and game room with billiards. A scenic 15-minute bike ride brings you to the Ventura Beach Pier, or take the complimentary shuttle to downtown Ventura. Don’t miss the complimentary Sunday Pancake Breakfast!

 

Must-haves for RV Parents

Plastic Noodle Cooker 

The easiest way to make noodles is a plastic noodle cooker. All you have to do is put the noodles along with some water into it, slap it into the microwave and BAM! Huge time saver for Mom’s preparing meals. 

Decibel App

Did you know babies are in big danger of hearing damage if they are in an environment with noise over 100 decibels and even 90 decibels if it’s for an extended period of time. Don’t be stuck at an event, restaurant or anywhere with loud music wondering if you’re hurting your kids health when you can just check the app and know for sure. 

Baby Monitor

Yep this is a must if you ever want to make it out to the campfire after the kids are put down to bed. It’s the perfect way to relax at the end of a day of exploring around the campground. 

Walmart App

Everybody wants a deal and an often stop for many RVers is Walmart. What a lot of people don’t know is that on their app they have a savings checker where it automatically looks at all the things you bought and the cost from their competitors and it price matches it for you automatically. So just by taking this extra step you put money directly into your pocket!

Off road/jogging stroller

 

Some campgrounds are going to have rough roads, trails and paths. A stroller with big inflated wheels is key when you’re out in many rural campgrounds. A hike in the stroller is also a great way to be able to enjoy time outside with a good chance of the kids falling asleep. 

Small size crib

Every possible way to save space in your RV is a good idea. Did you know they make space saving cribs? They are excellent alternatives for RVers to travel with a baby. 

Another great option is using a pack and play, although that’s more of a short term solution. 

Hiking Backpack

 

Looking to do a long trek into the wilderness… with your kid? Some areas you have no chance of bringing a stroller and some situations call for a beefy backpack to sling your kid up top. 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog to clean up the mess

Kids make massive messes with their food. A good ole 4-legged companion does a great job of doing the initial cleanup phase on the back of an RV Deck.

RV Travel Related Apps

 

 

 

Traveling in an RV? There’s an app for that! Several actually! From Spotify and Pandora for music to GoogleMaps and Waze for navigation, we use them all the time in our cars at home. Here are a few additional apps specific to an RV road trip to check out for yourself.

 

Roadside America 

Find roadside attractions across the United States with this fun app that will help guide you to the bizarre and delightful.

iOS | (Not yet available for Android)

 

CoPilot GPS 

A great navigation app that offers offline maps, for when you are boondocking or passing through long stretches with no cell phone service. Trip planning features are also included.

iOS | Android

 

GasBuddy 

Find the cheapest stops for fuel while on the road with this great little app.

iOS | Android

 

History Here 

Fun for the whole family, this app is a location-based guide to historic locations around the country. Simple and interactive, this app will help you build a story about your route and discover hidden gems along the way.

iOS | Android

 

Camp & RV By Allstays

Not free, but worth the $9.99 to have, many RVers are raving about this app that has information about everything from RV campgrounds to free parking lots and rest stops along your route.

iOS | (Not yet available for Android)

 

Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder 

National, State, and Regional Parks, Forests, Monuments and Nature Preserves galore in this app that is searchable by activity, from bird watching to fishing to kayaking.

iOS | Android

 

AllTrails 

A guide to over 50,000 trails complete with reviews, photos and maps.

iOS | Android

 

iNaturalist 

Identify plants and animals on your next outing in nature with this handy app that has a social component to connect you with a community of over 400,000 scientists and naturalists.

iOS | Android

 

Star Chart 

Use your phone’s camera to identify stars, constellations, planets and other celestial objects in the night sky.

iOS | Android

 

Offline Survival Manual 

Essential survival information is at your fingertips with this fully functional offline app. 

(Not yet available for iOS) | Android