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  • Most Recent RV And Camping Blog Posts

    RVs From Back In The Day

    August 20, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

    RVs From Back In The Day

    Vintage trailers continue their popularity among today’s RVers. There is a certain charm and nostalgia with vintage trailers that is hard to find with new recreational vehicles. Tin Can Tourists, Denver, Colorado (1918) The rolling homes were small – a bed, a kitchen, and a dinette in one room. Over the decades they have expanded into today’s large-sized RVs, but there is an increasing demand for the older trailers. These vintage models are often called Canned Hams, Shiny Hineys, or Tin Cans. Whatever they may be called, classic trailers from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s are rolling back into popularity. When travel trailers first started roaming American roads, their owners were called Tin Can Tourists because they heated tin cans of food on gasoline stoves by the roadside. The Tin Can Tourists formed the first camping club in the United States, holding their inaugural rally in Florida in 1919 and growing to 150,000 members by the mid-1930s. They had an initiation;... [Read more...]

    Setting Up Your RV Campsite

    August 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Setting Up Your RV Campsite

    Setting up the outdoor area in your campsite is a pleasurable and integral component of a successful camping trip. It is often the starting point of your outdoor adventures. However, it can be tedious. Have you found that too often you get bogged down while setting up your RV campsite and spend too much time on the little things? Or causing the set-up process to take valuable time from other activities, decreasing the enjoyment of setting up camp? You can overcome this and complete the set-up in as little time as possible by developing a campsite setup plan for each member of your family. Each knows what they have to do and everyone is working toward the same goal – which is to jump in the pool, take a hike, go on a bike ride, or anything else your family likes to do during camping trips. Setting up your outdoor area Make a list of everything that goes into setting up your unique campsite. Everyone’s list will be different, and may vary between campground locations,... [Read more...]

    Explore Tennessee

    August 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Explore Tennessee

    Where the Grand Ole Opry began in 1943 In Tennessee, there is just about as much to explore under the ground as there is above it. The Volunteer State is home to more than 8,500 caves -more than any other state. One Tennessean who made good use of those caves was Jack Daniel, who used pure, iron-free cave water chilled by nature to a constant 56 degrees to make his finest “Tennessee sippin’ whiskey.” When you visit the Jack Daniel Distillery No 1 in Lynchburg, you will find a statue of the man himself standing watch over his treasured cave spring. Any Jack Daniel’s whiskey you take home will have to age a bit longer before consumption, however, since the distillery is in a dry county. Even without spelunking gear, you can explore Tennessee underground in more than two dozen caves. That includes Appalachian Caverns that served as a hospital during the Civil War and the Lost Sea in Sweetwater where tours are by boat on America’s largest underground lake. Above... [Read more...]

    Explore South Carolina

    August 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Explore South Carolina

    Raven Cliffs Falls tumbles off Upcountry escarpment For first-time vacationers to South Carolina, the state is bursting with surprises. Starting with its size – South Carolina is one of the ten smallest states and the entire Palmetto State isn’t beyond much of a three-hour drive. That means a day trip to the mountainous Upcountry from your favorite RV park in the Lowcountry is a comfortable possibility.  You can easily explore South Carolina by taking a trip to Folly Beach, Edisto Beach or Hunting Island from your best lakeside campsite in the Upcountry. South Carolina has its own bonafide national park – something most of its Southern neighbors can’t claim. Congaree National Park is a world of languid blackwater rivers and protects the largest contiguous old growth bottomland of loblolly pines, tupelo and bald cypress in the United States. Natural wonders extend beyond the swamps; Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. It’s... [Read more...]

    Budgeting For An RV

    August 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Budgeting For An RV

    Purchasing a recreational vehicle can be an exciting experience, but it can also be an overwhelming one. Purchasing an RV is a far more complicated process than buying a car. What does it REALLY cost to own an RV? Pictured above Las Vegas RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved You owe it to yourself to become well informed before jumping in. Uninformed RV consumers are likely to make unwise financial choices. Create a budget for buying your RV. Do the numbers. Think about how you will pay and/or finance your RV? What does it really cost to own a recreational vehicle? You must consider the real cost and not just the initial purchase price. You need to think about the financials that are involved in licensing and registration fees, insurance, sales taxes, roadside assistance plan, off-season storage fees, upkeep and general maintenance expenses. When budgeting for an RV include the insurance cost in that budget. Doing the research before buying provides a clearer financial perspective... [Read more...]

    Ingredients for a Great Campfire

    August 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Ingredients for a Great Campfire

    There is nothing that makes a night of camping more ideal than the perfect campfire. But there are requirements to creating the perfect campfire and the ideal fire environment. First of all, you must have the appropriate area. In most campgrounds or RV parks, there are campfire rings in which you build your fire. If you are in a natural area, be sure you have a cleared area, ideally bare ground, on which to build your creation. The other essentials are simple: 1)     Firewood, preferably dry—It is possible to get wet or damp firewood to burn with the right combination of kindling, matches, newspaper and luck, but it can be difficult. A perfect campfire requires dry firewood. In much of the country, our best campfires were made from dry maple or oak. In the southwest, the best campfires are made with dry fir and ponderosa pine, with a fine bit of pinon pine to add the perfect campfire (or fireplace or woodstove) smell. Delicious! When building your fire, you will form a teepee with... [Read more...]

    Mark My Words—Q&A With Mark Nemeth, August 2014

    August 15, 2014 by · 4 Comments 

    Mark My Words—Q&A With Mark Nemeth, August 2014

    Hi, folks. This month we’ll talk about mildew, water pressure, screeching inverters, nitrogen, and toilet tanks. Remember, you can submit your RVing questions to mmw@escapees.com. Happy Trails! —————————————————–   Hi, Mark, Our 2005 Carriage Cameo 5th wheel is stored outside in an RV-storage area for the winter.  We go out to check on it about every 7 to 10 days.  We store it with all three ceiling vents open and cabinet doors open.  Yesterday when we entered it, we noticed a distinct musty smell for the first time, much like many house basements have.  We did find what appeared to be dark bacteria or mildew cultures in the RV antifreeze left in the stool during winterizing.  I cleaned that all out and rinsed the stool with Clorox.  Are there other measures we could or should take? Thanks—John Hi, John, Mildew and mold need two things to thrive: moisture and a source... [Read more...]

    RVing to Mount Rushmore

    August 14, 2014 by · 7 Comments 

    RVing to Mount Rushmore

    Mount Rushmore entrance Several years ago, we traveled to Mount Rushmore on one of our extended summer RV trips. It was a memorable experience for all, including our two teen-aged children, who were 13 and 14 at the time. Our ultimate destination was Yellowstone National Park, but we made a point to stop and spend a night in South Dakota on the way so that we could visit Mount Rushmore. As we neared our destination, we headed into Custer State Park and enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch at a picnic site along the Park road. While RVing to Mount Rushmore, we drove through the meandering roads in the park and encountered burros, bison and three elk! Now the kids were paying attention. We settled in for the night, eagerly anticipating our visit to the Mount Rushmore monument the next day. The next morning, bright and early, found us heading into the monument as soon as it opened. Immediately we were impressed by the grand entrance as we walked under the stone archway and down the aisle of flags... [Read more...]

    RV Tech Tip: Awning Rod Storage

    August 13, 2014 by · 7 Comments 

    RV Tech Tip: Awning Rod Storage

    I got tired of having to hunt for my awning rod, which had the habit of becoming buried under the other items in my largest outside storage compartment, the only compartment long enough to store it in. If you’re having a similar problem, this RV tech tip can help. I cut two short pieces (about 6 inches long) of PVC pipe, drilled two holes in each (enlarged the holes on one side for the screwdriver shaft) and attached them to the ceiling of the compartment. I measured my rod and placed the pieces of pipe so that the rod tip (bent 90 degrees) would just hang out the end. That way, there is no room for the rod to slide back and forth. Now when I need my awning rod, I know right where it is; I don’t have to hunt for it. Credit: Mike Jones, Wyoming MI

    Choosing The Right RV For You

    August 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Choosing The Right RV For You

    Shop RVs online before you get to the dealer. Which class RV is right for you? Choosing the right RV for your lifestyle requires some research.  Some of the things you need to consider include your intended use, accommodation size, your operating comfort level, and of course, your budget. Let’s look at your intended use.  If you like to attend car races or similar events, you likely need an RV capable of comfortable dry camping, as many of these venues may not have hookup services.  This would also be the case if you enjoy camping in far-out state parks or remote wilderness locations. Travel trailers and 5th wheels are a good choice for this because motorized RVs require both chassis & house batteries and therefore may not be as power thrifty.  Additionally, your tow vehicle can be used to get groceries or scenic touring. How many people will be sharing your RV?  Two adults and three children?  This may require a few beds and a good sized seating area.  Fifth wheel... [Read more...]

    Explore Virginia

    August 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Explore Virginia

    The Governor’s Palace at Williamsburg American history in Virginia goes back over 400 years, and when exploring the Old Dominion, the rich layers of that experience naturally seep into one another. So, when soaking in the majesty of the Shenandoah Mountains, you will bump into the Civil War legacies of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson for the Confederacy and Philip Sheridan for the Union Army. When exploring the Great Dismal Swamp National Refuge, you will learn that George Washington was there long before you, surveying on one his first jobs. The Natural Bridge that was one of early America’s “Seven Natural Wonders” is on land once owned by Thomas Jefferson. Another of Virginia’s natural marvels, the Great Falls of the Potomac and Mather Gorge, is accessed by the historic towpath of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal that was one of the country’s first great public works projects. When you want to meander through Virginia’s quaint small towns,... [Read more...]

    Maintaining Your RV Refrigerator

    August 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Maintaining Your RV Refrigerator

    RV fridge Some of the most common RV problems stem from refrigerators. Refrigerators in RVs operate using an absorption system, which incorporates a completely different set of principles than those in compressor-driven household units. The RV is far more demanding than the relatively static residential environment. For example, RV refrigerators are required to operate on a variety of energy sources and withstand all the jostling and vibration on highway travel. In order for these appliances to endure well, they must be given special care. However, even with the best of care, it is possible to suffer a variety of malfunctions. There are many simple tricks to help an RV refrigerator deliver better service: Pre-cool the refrigerator by starting it the night before a camping trip. This should be done with no food in the refrigerator. Wait until the refrigerator is thoroughly cold before placing food inside. Pre-cool food in your home refrigerator and freezer. This gives the unit a break... [Read more...]

    A Guide To Full-Time RVing

    August 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    A Guide To Full-Time RVing

    Full-time RVing means living 24/7 in a recreational vehicle. When someone first becomes a full time RVer, it is a big life change.  Most feel freer than they have ever experienced before.  Free to travel anywhere with far less responsibilities and no household bills to worry about.  Some choose to roam the country freely.  Their mail is forwarded to predetermined locations.  However, with e-mail and on-line bill payments, there is less mail to worry about. Nearly all full-timers eventually settle on a home camp location, sometimes two locations, a winter spot and the other for the summer.  Some even purchase an RV site at their favorite location.  This may provide a reduced cost of monthly site expenses and also allow for some year round storage. Storage is a big issue for RV full-timers.  If you buy outdoor furniture, you need to figure how you are going to carry or store it when you get back on the road.  You have two things to deal with: volume to store, and weight to remain... [Read more...]

    8 Safety Accessories Every RVer Should Have

    August 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    8 Safety Accessories Every RVer Should Have

    Safety Accessories Every RVer Should Have Safety triangles We all likely agree that there are several safety accessories that every RVer should have, but there might be some disagreement on what those accessories are. One RVer might consider a shotgun a must have safety accessory, while another might rate an alarm on his temperature-controlled built-in wine storage compartment a necessary safety accessory. However, assuming that there is little likelihood of having to defend ourselves from attack or spoilage of our Grand cru Bordeaux collection, every RVer should have these eight basic accessories that will protect us from the more common on-the-road emergencies. Eight Safety Accessories Every RVer Should Have 1. Cell phone – Even though a cell phone is not a 100% guarantee of help in case of emergency (out of range, dead battery, broken or lost) a cell phone is the best and quickest way to get help in whatever situation you find yourself in. Program emergency numbers into... [Read more...]

    Towing With Your Motorhome

    August 7, 2014 by · 4 Comments 

    Towing With Your Motorhome

    Roadmaster Tow Dolly Large class C and most class A coaches are challenged when trying to tour cities and local tourist attractions.  While the maneuverability is easily managed by a skilled driver, the parking is not.  Generally, parking space for these large vehicles is non-existent, leaving your tour confined to what you can see while driving by.  A car rental may be the only option.  However, there are many campgrounds that may not have the availability of obtaining a rental car.  Take my word for it, not even Enterprise will deliver to many locations. So, what about towing your own car?  Towing with your motorhome is an option that you may want to explore.  You will always have a car with you and it will save on the rental charges.  There are three ways to bring your car with you; full trailer, tow dolly, or flat tow.  Let’s look at the advantages and short falls of each. A full trailer can transport your vehicle with no wear or tear.  However this greatly increases your... [Read more...]

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