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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Find roadside attractions across the United States with this fun app that will help guide you to the bizarre and delightful.
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.
There’s nothing quite like having fresh baked goods in camp. A certain magical wonder happens with fresh baked cookies or a loaf of banana bread straight from the oven in your RV. But what if you don’t have an oven or toaster oven in your RV? Incredible things can still happen with a dutch oven, a campfire, and a little courage.
For those unfamiliar, a dutch oven is a large cast-iron pot with a matching lid. This cookware can be hung over, set off to one side, or placed directly in the coals of a campfire. Temperature control can be a little challenging, but most baking recipes can be adapted using some general rules. If you have an oven thermometer, these work great for an accurate reading of temperature inside your dutch oven. Otherwise, once the dutch oven has been raised to heat, dust some flour onto it. If it burns quickly, your oven is about 250-300 ºC. If it browns slowly, your oven is about 200-250 ºC. If the flour turns only slightly golden over a minute or two, your oven is about 150-200 ºC.
Next, simply adjust your recipe for baking utensils. A piece of parchment paper in the bottom is perfect for about 6 cookies, to bake just as they would in your oven at home. A small square baking pan or loaf pan can be used for sweat breads, biscuits, brownies, rolls, and cakes. If you are extra brave and attempting yeast bread or sourdough, a boule can be formed by hand and baked directly on the inside surface of the dutch oven or over a small rack placed in the bottom.
Baking time should be roughly the same as what you would use at home. Be sure to check inside of your dutch oven, but not so frequently that heat is lost and baking is slowed. Once baked, items will need to be removed from the dutch oven quickly and cooled on a rack. If items are “near done” but need a little bit more time, the dutch oven can be removed from the fire and allowed to continue baking while the oven cools.
Even if you are a seasoned traveler with your rig, chances are that backing up your trailer into a campsite or parking spot still gives you a little anxiety. For others of us, the mere thought conjures dread. Not to fear! Here are a few tips and tricks that will have you backing like a pro in no time.
Scout Ahead. Walk the potential parking location to identify any hazards and mark them clearly if needed. Whenever possible, walk the site with a second person and have them be your spotter as you back in. Make sure your spotter has eye contact with you in the mirrors at all times. If you do not have a spotter, watch in your mirrors for all hazards you were able to identify on your walk.
Adjust your mirrors. You want to be able to see the rear bumper of your trailer at all times.
Orient your steering wheel. Place your hand on the bottom rim of the wheel. Moving your wheel hand to the left will turn the trailer to your left while moving right will turn it right.
Make small, slow movements. There should be no rush to get into your parking spot. Take your time and make deliberate movements while backing. Don’t be afraid to pull out and try again if things aren’t lining up right.
Make the S-Turn. An S-Turn is executed in four steps, as follows:
Pull along side your site and line up the front of your trailer tires with the edge of the parking spot closest to your rig. Turn on the 4-way flashers and roll down your windows. Turn your wheel (without using the gas) so that the front tires of your rig are pointed roughly 45 degrees away from the curb that you are backing toward.
Begin backing slowly while holding the wheel to guide your trailer around the front corner of your parking site. Only hold the wheel for a small distance, and then begin turning the wheel slowly out of the curve until the rig tires are directly aligned forward and the trailer front tire is beginning to enter the parking site.
Keep “unsteering the curve” gradually, turning the wheel in the same direction as you started in step 2, until the rig is straightened out parallel to the curb once again. Keep an eye out on the front of your rig for hazards at this point.
Make small corrections as you back into your spot fully. You should not have to turn your wheel any more than a quarter turn at this point. If you do, always remember you can pull right back out and start again on your approach. Watch for hazards and your spotter.
Staying fit and healthy while on vacation is a struggle for all of us. From fast food stops to long caffeine fueled drives to the next destination, traveling in an RV can sometimes be a real challenge to healthy lifestyles maintained when not on the road. Don’t give up so easily though! There are actually many ways to remain fit and healthy while traveling, and here are a few tips and tricks to help.
Plan your meals ahead of time. Prepare and portion healthy meals and snacks for the first several days and stock your fridge or cooler. Plan additional meals roughly and create a general shopping list that you can execute while on the road. Be sure to pack containers for leftovers!
Visit local farmers markets. Farmers markets are a fun way to connect with local commerce and culture along your travel route. As an added bonus, much of what you will find includes fresh and local fruits, herbs, vegetables, eggs, cheese, and other pantry staples. Healthy food is easy to find if you know where to look!
Eat less, more often. Having 5-6 smaller healthy meals per day is often the best way to both eat less overall and have consistent energy throughout your day. Being 15 feet away from your fridge at all times means that snacks will be available almost all of the time. Help your future self out by stocking up with healthy food from the start.
Be sure to get outside once you reach your destination. Hiking, biking, kayaking… whatever it is that you do when in The Great Outdoors, plan to really commit to doing it daily when you arrive. Don’t forget the camera for the memories!
Bring your workout with you. Most exercises that can be done in a gym setting can be replicated with minimal travel equipment while on the road. A yoga mat, a set of resistance bands, and a small set of dumbbells is a great start. Where possible, scope out fitness courses, pools, and on-site gyms at campgrounds along your route. Where not possible, use your travel equipment and an online planning resource like Fitness Blender to help plan workouts ahead of your travel plans.
Arizona is just one of those places where you can find just about anything as far as climate and landscape is concerned. From the breathtaking Sonoran Desert, to snowy mountain terrain, to the haunting beauty of the Canyon Lands… Arizona has it all! And if that isn’t enough, Arizona is also well known as being spa country in itself! Here is just a taste of some of the best spa and resort experiences you may encounter in this jewel of the Southwest.
A true destination spa resort, Canyon Ranch has been so successful in changing people’s lives that there are now two additional physical locations outside of the original in Tucson. With classes and experiences ranging from physical wellness and weight loss, to relationships and communication, to spirituality and meditation, Canyon Ranch has something for everyone. 150 acres of beautiful facilities and surrounding open space. You will leave a changed person.
Mii Amo is an intimately small spa destination nestled among the sweeping red ochre landscape that is Sedona. Insight, awareness, peace. These are the things one can discover at Mii Amo. Whether it be an aura-soma reading, guided meditation with breath work, body treatment, or sweat lodge, you will be sure to find a transformative experience here.
One of the top resort and spa destinations in the United States, Sanctuary is the very name and embodiment of this Asian Inspired respite. Rejuvenating treatments and luxurious environment blend together in a perfectly peaceful desert retreat. Perhaps you will try the Watsu Aquatic Massage, the Wakai facial, or maybe a little of everything with the Satori Wellness Retreat. Either way, your ultimate relaxation is well within reach.
If it’s romance you’re after, there’s no place better than Royal Palms Resort and the on-site Alvadora Spa. Orange groves and Spanish Colonial architecture greet you at this intimate spa setting specializing in treatments for couples. Private treatment rooms with side by side showers, private patios, and beautifully serene indoor/outdoor courtyards connecting the property. Take in a yoga or tai chi class, followed by a soak in the jacuzzi and an orange blossom body buff. Divine!
We are nearly there, Winter is nearly at a close… or at least that’s what the calendar says. It sure is hard to see the sunlight at the end of the tunnel when the news is full of reports about the polar vortex and extreme winter snow/cold advisories. Maybe the next wave of clear weather is your getaway cue! If so, here are some tips for finding a great destination to enjoy a warmer climate while the next winter storm takes its course.
Try looking for the usual candidates for an RV destination: Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas. Look for smaller towns if the crowds are of concern. If those seem to be a bit overdone and crowded, then perhaps you will find your destination elsewhere, like Puerto Peñasco in Sonora, Mexico. This little town on the Sea of Cortez is only about an hour south of Ajo, Arizona and is an excellent destination for RV travelers.
Still too difficult to get your RV that far through inclement weather? Maybe a two-leg trip is called for. Many RV dealerships have rental programs and some even rent new models for you to try out before buying. Others may even have a delivery service where you can have your RV rental delivered to a campsite at a specific campground or RV park. Find a dealership near one of your destinations and see what they can arrange for you.
Finally, agencies like Cruise America, Jucy, and Escape Campervansall have commercial RV rental programs for RVs and converted vans. Consider flying into a large destination city like Los Angeles or Las Vegas and renting a vehicle to drive to your destination in the warm southern sun.