RV Adventure to Cumberland Island National Seashore

Georgia’s Atlantic Coast can be your RV camping playground year-round.  One of the best places to experience the wild beauty and unspoiled nature of the area is with a visit to Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Cumberland Island Shoreline

Head out on this inviting boardwalk to the Cumberland Island shoreline!

As Georgia’s largest barrier island, this paradise is just two hours north of the El Monte RV Rental location in Orlando, Florida.  With fifty miles of hiking trails, an amazing collection of wildlife and a wide range of historical sites to discover, isn’t it time you took a trip to Georgia’s island treasure?

We’ve put together a guide for RV travelers planning to visit Cumberland Island, with answers to your most frequent questions.

Where Can We Camp Near Cumberland Island National Seashore?

The National Seashore itself is undeveloped, with no paved roads and access only by the Cumberland ferry system.  Plan to camp nearby and take advantage of the ferry for an authentic wilderness experience.

Here are some suggestions for RV parks near Cumberland Island:

Crooked River State Park, located in St. Mary’s, GA, is just seven miles from the Cumberland Island Ferry landing.  It features campsites with electricity in a beautiful setting worth discovering after your day on the National Seashore.

Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach, FL, is right across the Cumberland Sound from St. Mary’s GA.  Enjoy their full-service campsites in a scenic setting, with quick access to the Cumberland Ferry.

A Big Wheel RV Park adjacent to Crooked River State Park is a privately run campground that receives rave reviews.  It accommodates any size RV!

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

How Should We Prepare for our RV Camping Trip?

Glad to hear you’re the kind of RV camping enthusiast who plans ahead!  It’s especially important, when visiting a natural, undeveloped setting, to know what to expect.  Here are some things to consider when making your plans:

    • You can only reach the Island by ferry (passengers only, no vehicles) so be sure to make reservations in advance.
    • Only 300 people are allowed on the island each day.
    • Ferry passengers not on dock at least 30 minutes ahead of departure lose their reservations, so arrive early!
    • Pets are not allowed on the ferry.
    • If you’d like to rent a bike to travel around the island, be sure to tell the ferry concessionaire when you call.
    • There are no services on the Island other than water to refill bottles.  Bring your own food, water and normal hiking necessities like hats, sunscreen and insect repellant.
    • Take along a trash bag, as this wilderness island has a ‘pack in, pack out’ policy for all visitors.
    • If you plan to fish while visiting Cumberland Island, purchase a Georgia fishing license and make sure you have the required Saltwater Informational Program Permit attached.

What Kind of Weather Can We Expect? 

Like any well-prepared RV adventurer, you’ll want to know what kind of weather to expect when you go.  The weather in November at Cumberland Island National Seashore is magnificent, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.  Even in December, expect to enjoy 60 degree weather, with nighttime temps in the high 40s.

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

What Will We See on Cumberland Island?

History!  The Island was once mostly owned by the Carnegie family, and the ruins of their mansion, Dungeness, are just one part of its historic appeal.  Reserve a seat before you come on one of the Lands and Legacies Van Tours if you’d like to learn about the Native Americans who once inhabited the island, the large slave population who built the First African Baptist Church and, of course, the Carnegies and their opulent island lifestyle.  If you’re up to a lengthy hike or ride through variable terrain, you can also travel to these sites on foot or by bicycle.

Nature! Not only has the Atlantic formed a sixteen-mile stretch of perfect beach for you to explore, you’ll also find lush maritime forests, salt marshes and picturesque dunes here.  Stay on the marked trails to help preserve the wilderness for future generations and be sure to bring your camera!

Wildlife!  From feral horses to armadillos and alligators, this island has plenty to appeal for wildlife lovers.  No domesticated creatures call this island home, so keep that in mind while hiking or biking the area.  Keep a sharp eye out for the island’s famous wild horses, the sea turtles that nest here in early autumn and a surprising variety of shore birds.  Have we convinced you it’s time to visit Georgia’s barrier island paradise?  Here’s a link to more information, courtesy of the National Park Service.  We don’t often find unspoiled beauty that’s open for everyone to explore.  Let us know if we can help with an RV rental.  Please don’t miss the chance to discover Cumberland Island National Seashore and all it has to offer!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: Cumberland Island Path by db rolenrock, Cumberland Island Boardwalk by Jon Dawson, and Wild Horse Along Shoreline by Doug Anderson; all are licensed under Flickr Commons

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What to Pack When You’re RV Camping

Are you planning for your first-ever RV camping trip and aren’t sure what to pack?  No worries! We’ve created an RV packing checklist to help ensure your motorhome camping premier is a success.

Get Away as Far as the Road will Take You in an El Monte RV!

Get Away as Far as the Road will Take You in an El Monte RV!

Here’s how to get started:

    1. If you haven’t called to rent an RV for the trip, do that now for best selection.
    2. Buy storage containers with lids in several sizes (check your local thrift store for bargains on both containers and basic camp supplies.)
    3. Pack these basics inside and stow them in your RV for quick access when you set up camp.  You’re going to love the convenience and economy of cooking meals in your RV kitchen.  Plan your menu first, with an eye to using the same pots, pans and serving dishes to save space.  There are plenty of excellent RV cookbooks to help you plan.  Here’s a basic packing list for your RV kitchen:

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Kitchen Essentials

  • We’ve divided the things you’ll need to pack into several categories, to make your planning simpler.  The list may seem overwhelming at first glance, but once you’ve checked off the list for your first trip, you’ll be ready every time you go camping!
  • Dutch oven with lid
  • Skillet with lid
  • Smaller sauce pan with lid
  • Microwaveable bowls
  • Spatulas and spoons
  • Basic dish set – plates, bowls, cups, glasses, eating utensils
  • Serving dishes
  • Camp percolator or teapot, coffee, tea and filters
  • Water Pitcher
  • Small cutting board
  • Pot holders and dish towels
  • Dishpan, dish soap and scrubbers
  • Food storage supplies – foil, sealable plastic bags, containers, plastic wrap
  • Small utensils – potato peeler, measuring cups/spoons, corkscrew, paring and chopping knives, can and bottle openers
  • Food items from your menu (don’t forget the spices!)

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Cleaning

  • Keeping your motorhome clean throughout the trip means a safe, enjoyable vacation, so be sure to pack these basic supplies. Use a plastic trash container with a lid to stow these essentials.
  • All purpose cleaner
  • Toilet brush
  • Sponges
  • Disinfectant spray ( make sure RV is well-ventilated or it may set off the carbon alarm.)
  • Dual purpose mop/sweeper & pads
  • Trash bags
  • Plastic trash containers – large & small
  • * NOTE that many RV rental companies such as El Monte RV offer housekeeping and kitchen kits that provide some of the aforementioned items for an additional fee.  Check website for exact details.  This makes sense for many RV renters who wish to save time.  (Please note:  these are not available at all locations.)

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Safety/First Aid

  • Basic first aid kit –
    • adhesive bandages
    • antiseptic wipes
    • tweezers
    • antibiotic ointment
    • insect repellant
    • sunscreen
    • aloe skin lotion
    • saline eye drops
    • gauze pads and white tape
    • daily and emergency medications
    • pain reliever
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlights
  • Small kitchen fire extinguisher

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Miscellaneous

  • These are the things you’ll wish you’d packed!
  • Duct tape
  • Small tool kit with screwdrivers, hammer, wrenches
  • Jumper cables
  • Bungee cords with hooks
  • Extra batteries
  • Cellphone chargers
  • Lanterns – battery or gas
  • Power strip
  • Lawn chairs (bagged, collapsible ones pack best)
  • Doormat
  • Sun glasses
  • small ice chest for keeping drinks close at hand while outside.
  • firewood and matches – if you’ll being enjoying campsite camping as well.

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Comfort

  • Bedding – sheets, pillowcases, comforters, pillows
  • Small electric or battery powered fan
  • Toilet paper & tissues  that are designed for septic tanks.  It will prevent clogging issues!
  • Wash cloths & towels
  • Hand sanitizer & liquid hand soap.
  • DVDs for the DVD player.  It’s nice to remember that the kids enjoy watching movies while travelling on the road.

Once you’ve gathered and packed the items above, all that’s left is clothing and toiletries and you’re ready to hit the road. Remember – you can buy many of these things (and the storage containers) at second-hand stores.  If you purchase separate kitchen, cleaning and safety items for camping, you can store them in their labeled containers between trips for a quick grab & go vacation and they will work double-duty as Emergency KIts as well.  You really are setting yourself up for a great camping experience as well as  being prepared for an unexpected emergency!   You can get a jumpstart on all of this prep work way in advance of your trip and enjoy the peace of mind that you’re prepared to handle just about any situation on the road or at home.  Camping in RV comfort takes planning, but the ease of living on the road in a motorhome makes the preparation worthwhile!  What’s your #1 essential item you pack for every RV vacation?

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credit:  photo is an El Monte RV stock photo.

Posted in Cost effective RV Vacation, Cross Country Trip, family vacations, honeymoon vacation ideas, Hunting, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, National Parks, North American RV Vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, Recipe, RV blog, RV Camping Resources, RV Rental, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV travel in the western states, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacation Preparation, United States RV Vacation, Vacation Planning | Leave a comment

Find the Best Apps for RV Camping and Your Next Road Trip

Renting from El Monte RV  is such a simple and fun experience that the rest of your trip planning should be, too.  Technology can help you do just that!  With recent improvements in smart phones, most Americans are walking around with the equivalent of a computer in their back pockets.  Put all that power to work by using apps on your phone to make your next RV trip the easiest and most memorable one of your life!

Happy El Monte RV Customers

Happy El Monte RV Customers

Here are four exceptional smart phone apps that will simplify everything from setting up your trip to navigating beautiful country roads.

1.  Roadtrippers

The first step in planning youar RV trip is deciding where you want to go.  Once you’ve picked that main destination, you’ll need to consider where you should stop along the way. Roadtrippers is an app that helps you discover fun and offbeat side trips all along the route to your destination.  Everything from peculiar local attractions to awesome local restaurants will announce themselves for your discovery when you have this app installed.

2.  Waze

Have you ever found yourself stuck in the middle of a traffic jam and wished you had been able to see ahead in order to take a different route?  Waze can help you do just that!  It compiles information from over a million users of the app, and it does far more than Google Maps or your in-vehicle GPS can.  In addition to warning you of upcoming traffic, Waze can also tell you where accidents have occurred and even where to expect police speed traps!  Don’t leave home on your next RV vacation without it.

3.  Trip Advisor City Guides

Once you get to your destination, you may have a few landmarks, hiking trails, or restaurants in mind that you’re planning on experiencing, but are you really getting the most out of your trip? Trip Advisor’s City Guides app acts as your personal guidebook to help you get more out of every area you visit.  Having this app is like having your own personal assistant alongside you informing you of events and places to visit that you may have never heard about otherwise the entire time you’re on the road!

4.  RV Parking

Arriving at your destination and getting to explore a bit may be the most fun part of your trip, but you will still need to find a spot to park the RV for the night.  RV Parking is a great app with an exhaustive database of campsites that accept RVs.  You can also review ratings from fellow travelers to find out the experience others have had about each of these campsites.  With modern smart phone technology, the saying really is, “Know before you go!”

These four apps provide a great start for anyone that is looking to have a smart and savvy vacation experience!  There are more great travel apps to make your next vacations as fantastically smooth as possible.  Take a look, and you might find an app so good you’ll wonder how you lived without it!  Since El Monte RV is committed to help you make your trip as memorable as possible, give them a call today to get the help you need to start planning your next RV vacation!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

Posted in City Fun and Outdoor Adventure RV Vacation, Cost effective RV Vacation, Cross Country Trip, Family RV vacations, Motor home vacation blog, North American RV Vacation, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, Travel Apps for RV Travel | Leave a comment

Harvest Hosts Upgrades the Way RVers Travel in the U.S.

As much as we all love RV vacationing, there are certain challenges that come with this method of travel.  For instance, where to spend the evening on the road when traveling far distances from one location to the next is a common challenge for every RV traveler!  Many RV vacationers may not be aware of their choices in overcoming this challenge of finding a convenient and beautiful place to stay the night while in transition from one destination to the next.  Even if there are amazing sites and attractions nearby, spending night after night in Wal-Mart parking lots can become less than desirable.  And during the peak vacation season, finding an available campsite is not always possible.  Discover another and far better over-night camping option you now have with Harvest Hosts!

HARVEST HOSTS Winery Participant in Nottingham, New York

HARVEST HOSTS Winery Partner

Harvest Hosts is changing all of that.  Harvest Hosts is a program where wineries, farms, and breweries from all over the country open their gates to you for overnight dry camping.  Seasoned RV travelers Kim and Don Greene started this luxury-style camping concept in the U.S. after driving over 200,000 miles by RV all over the world.  They found that it was common for wineries and farms in Europe to host travelers overnight, but nothing similar existed in the United States. In true entrepreneurial spirit, they started their own version of a European hosting association.

From their small and localized upstart with locations only in California, Oregon, and Washington, Harvest Hosts has expanded to include numerous locations across the continental United States, Canada, and even Baja California in Mexico!  The program requires a nominal $40 membership fee for the entire year, giving you money-saving access to travel across North America without paying a cent for camping or parking!

Taste and Experience the Pleasure of RV Road Traveler!

Taste and Experience the Pleasure of the RV Road Traveler!

In return, these small (usually family-run) businesses simply ask that you purchase a bottle of wine or some of their other homemade goods.  Sampling local vintages and farm produce is already on the to-do list for most RV vacationers, so it’s a small price to pay for the great company and amazing locations available.  Free overnight parking added into the activities that you were already planning on is too good to pass up!  There’s really nothing like watching a sunset and sharing a glass of wine with the people that made it.

Once becoming a member, you can search through interactive maps that show available hosts and the amenities that they provide.  It’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure that the farm or winery you have in mind actually has space for you, though.  Many of the hosts are small-time operations that may not accommodate a large number of vehicles at one time.  That’s part of the charm, however.  Instead of an endless sea of RVs, you get the experience of potentially being your host’s only guest!  There’s nothing like waking up to a beautiful morning and being greeted only by the sound of the wind in the trees and farm animals starting their day.

Another benefit to being a member is access to a handy app that helps you find locations along the routes you are planning to take.  You can also use online forums where you may ask questions of other travelers, read up on host reviews, and even share your own vacation experiences and photos.  It’s a valuable tool for selecting the very best spots for your trip.

Overall, Harvest Hosts is providing a valuable service for small-town agricultural businesses and the RV vacationers that love to visit them.  Get out of the parking lots and start making beautiful memories and having the best RV trips of your life!

Once you’ve experienced this pleasurable and memorable RV experience, send us a few photos and we’ll happily share them with our readers and on El Monte RV’s facebook page!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: RV at Winery by Ray & Roxanne Nottingham courtesy of Harvest Hosts and the wine and food photo by Colleen Lane is licensed under Flickr commons.

Posted in blog, CA Vacation, CA Wine Country, Cost effective RV Vacation, Cross Country Trip, Family RV vacations, Green RV'ing, Motor home vacation blog, National Scenic Byways, North American RV Vacation, One-Way RV Rentals, Rural RVing, RV blog, RV Camping, RV Camping Resources, RV Destinations blog, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Summer Vacations, RV travel in the western states, RV Travel Tips, RV vacation dining, RV Vacation Ideas, RV vacations in the northwestern United States, Special Offer, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips, Wine Country RV Vacations | Leave a comment

Journey to the North in Winnipeg

Even though it’s directly to our north, many Americans never visit Canada.  What a missed opportunity on so many levels because Canada is a country with unending natural beauty and the Canadian people are well-known for their warm hospitality and friendliness!  If you’re looking for a vacation that’s out of the ordinary, consider traveling northward and explore other parts of the North American continent.  It’s time for a journey to Winnipeg for starters!

The River Trail in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

The River Trail in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

To start your trip off right, pick up an RV in Chicago.  Make sure to bring some games, movies, audio books, or other entertainment for the kids as you drive to the north country while you get to enjoy the passing scenery as you head towards the border.  Once you cross into Manitoba, find a great RV park to serve as your base camp as you explore Winnipeg.  With its free hot showers and free wireless internet, Traveller’s RV Resort & Campground will serve your needs perfectly.

After you’re settled in, it’s time to head out and explore the city itself.  If you want to get your bearings right away, an excellent first stop is The Forks.  This spot, in the center of the city, is where the Assiniboine River flows into the Red River.  It has been a meeting spot for the residents of the area for over 6000 years.  With its parks, restaurants, and venues for shows and concerts, The Forks location continues to be the beating heart of this city.

What would a vacation to Canada be without strapping on some ice skates?  It’s a good thing that the world’s longest naturally-frozen skating trail winds 6.5 kilometers through the city.  Instead of having to skate around and around on an ice rink, you’ll warm up the leg muscles as you venture out and go on the equivalent of a long run when you skate down the Red River Mutual Trail.  When the weather warms up, it’s still a great path for walking and taking in views of the river and the city.

Canada is also home to some of the most magnificent animals on earth, as many Canadian species can’t be found anywhere else!   This alone warrants a trip at least once in your lifetime to take in the spectacular display of local creatures of our northern American counterpart.  The polar bear is one such creature, and you’ll have a chance to see one up close at the Assiniboine Park Zoo.  In addition to getting a look at one of the zoo’s polar bears, you can also visit the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre to learn about conservation efforts to protect this amazing animal.

Next up, you can visit Canada’s oldest public art gallery when you visit the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  WAG, as it’s called by locals, has an in-depth collection of Canadian and international art.  It  takes special care to focus on native artwork from members of Manitoba’s original population.  In addition to all the incredible art work on display, the gallery is also offering free admission to everyone 18 and under throughout the month of June.  So, there’s never been a better time for your family to visit!

It’s time to get in an RV and take your journey to the North.  It might be a bit chilly at times, but it will be a wonderful adventure that your family will never forget!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo Credit:   The River Trail photo by A.J. Batac licensed under Flickr Creative Common license.

Posted in Art Vacations, bird watching destinations, Bird watching vacation, blog, Canadian RV Travel, City Fun and Outdoor Adventure RV Vacation, Cost effective RV Vacation, Cross Country Trip, educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, Historical Museum RV Vacations, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Native American History, Nature travel, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, North American RV Vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV Destinations blog, RV educational trips, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV trail hiking trips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, wildlife, wildlife RV vacation | Leave a comment

Take an RV Excursion to Philadelphia’s Freedom Trail

Few parts of our country are as rich in history and fun as Philadelphia.  “Philly” is a major tourist destination because it was the original capital of our country, but it’s also a major metropolitan area packed with fascinating attractions.  Situated halfway between New York City and Washington, D.C., Philadelphia is the perfect location for a family trip in an RV.  First, go to Linden, New Jersey to pick up your RV rental.  Then, head for the city!

Philadelphia -  Benjamin Franklin's Parkway

Philadelphia – Benjamin Franklin Parkway

In order to get your bearings, make your first stop the Philadelphia Freedom Trail.  Modeled after Boston’s Freedom Trail, Philadelphia’s walking tour will take you past several important landmarks that celebrate the founding of our nation and its colorful history.  You’ll see landmarks such as the First Bank of the United States, a controversial institution that inspires debate about our basic Constitutional freedoms to this day.

Then, no trip to Philadelphia can possibly be considered complete until you visit the Liberty Bell.  The Liberty Bell is a landmark synonymous with Philadelphia itself – you’ll see it on everything from t-shirts to postage stamps!  The Bell is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, and you don’t even need tickets to take a look.  It’s the perfect opportunity to view a major American landmark that doesn’t cost you a penny!

For another fun stop, drive across town to the Betsy Ross House.  You can watch a re-enactment of Betsy sewing the first American flag, and you can also ask this patriot about her life and motivation for getting involved in the Revolutionary War.  A perfect souvenir for the trip would be taking home your own 13-star American flag!

After you’re done visiting with Betsy, take your RV to the waterfront where you’ll find the Independence Seaport Museum.  The Delaware River has always been important to Philadelphia’s economy and the lives of its citizens, so the Museum is the best way to learn about the city’s maritime traditions.  Explore exhibitions devoted to the Titanic and the experience of immigrants in Philadelphia.  Also, head outside and take a look at the submarine and historic ships tied up along the pier!  If you plan on an extended vacation, the Museum even has a summer camp where you can learn boating skills on the river.

Philadelpia Authentic Cheesesteak

Philadelphia Authentic Cheesesteak

When you’re ready to grab some food, there’s really only one choice for a Philly classic.  If you’re not on a diet, swing by one of the top ten best cheesesteak joints in the city.  You’ll have to be able to handle the grease (and probably a liberal dose of Cheese Wiz), but these sandwiches are a true American invention, and they’re loved by tourists and locals alike.

For the last stop on your trip, it’s best to visit long after eating.  If you visit before, you might lose your appetite!  The Mutter Museum is famous for its collection of medical oddities.  One major part of the collection includes Civil War medical tools.  Further along on your trip, everything from a collection of human skulls to slides of Albert Einstein’s brain are available for public viewing.  It’ll be one of the stranger stops on your trip, but it’s also one you’ll never forget!

If you’re looking for an eccentric RV adventure, head to the heart of America.  Philadelphia is ready to entertain and astound you!  For a list of RV Campgrounds in the state of Pennsylvania CLICK HERE.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!

Picture credits:  Benjamin Franklin’s Parkway by Jim, the Photographer, and the Philly Sandwhich by N1NJ4 are licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you!

Posted in Art Vacations, Big City RV Excursions, Big City RV trips, blog, Cost effective RV Vacation, Cross Country Trip, East Coast RV Travel, educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Historical Museum RV Vacations, Historical RV Vacation, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, motor home winter vacations, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, PA RV Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Trip, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV, RV blog, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV educational trips, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacation News, United States RV Vacation, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips | 1 Comment

A Winter RV Vacation in Louisiana

The natural beauty of Louisiana attracts people from all over the country – those who love the wildlife of the bayous and rivers, the scenic forests and marshes and the many miles of trails and paths.  Enjoying the diversity of landscapes is just one aspect of experiencing a Louisiana vacation.  There is also outdoor recreation that can’t be beat!  And driving an RV to this vacation destination makes the entire getaway one of ease and comfort.

Bayou

Down by the Bayou

A visit to the Kisatchie National Forest offers the opportunity to explore some of nature in its purest form.  The bayous are alive with flora and fauna and wildlife is hugely abundant.  This is the only national forest in the entire state, and most definitely worth a trip.  Within the boundaries of the forest is the Kisatchie Hills Wilderness and a scenic drive on the Longleaf Scenic Byway.  Numerous trails take you in the back country for a real wilderness experience.

Fishing is always a great vacation activity and you can catch some catfish or bass at Kincaid Lake Recreation Area.  You can camp with your RV at Kincaid Lake Campground and find shower facilities, full hookups, and a dump station.  They also have a boat dock, ramps, hiking trails, and much more.  Nearby attractions include Tunica-Biloxi Indian Museum, Louisiana Cowboy Town and Hodges Gardens.

Swimming Bass

Swimming Bass

Find some great fishing also at Fullerton Lake.  There are crappie, catfish, largemouth bass, and other game fish for you to hook.  Between fishing expeditions, you can get in some hiking.  The favorite trails are Big Branch Trail and the Ouiska Chitto Trail.  The outdoor fun in this region is something exciting for the whole family to experience.  From horseback riding and hiking, to fishing, and boating or kayaking – there is a favorite kind of fun for everyone!

Ensure you put the Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge on your list to see.  The forest wildlife is thrilling to see, particularly if you happen across a black bear or catch a glimpse of a bald eagle soaring across the sky.  Specifically this is waterfowl habitat so you can expect to see wood ducks, mallards, teal, and plenty of geese.

Next should come the Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge, a huge refuge at 25,000 acres of lowland forest.  Regular flooding creates the ideal environment for many birds and wildlife species.  This is the perfect time of year to visit as migratory waterfowl are wintering here.  You will witness wildlife in their natural habitat such as raptors, reptiles and amphibians.  Nearby you might like to see the Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area where raccoon, rabbits, mink, bobcat, and beaver roam.

You will never seem to be able to get enough of wildlife refuges or forest areas when in Louisiana.  Don’t leave out Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge or the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge.  So many species of birds, fish, and mammals live in these regions, and you can add to your list of sightings as you travel through this amazing state.  An RV trip to Louisiana –  a complete adventure and one you shouldn’t pass up.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

For information on renting an RV near Louisiana, CLICK HERE.

Picture credits:  Top photo of the bayou by Pop Top Lady and the swimming bass by Jprime84 are both licensed under Explore/Creative Attribution Commons license on Flickr Creative Commons.

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Planning an RV Vacation so All Goes Smoothly

You want your RV vacation to be the best that it can be for everyone.  After all, a vacation is supposed to relieve all the stress built up from living day-to-day in your workaday world.  But if you are not fully prepared, you will be adding stress to your vacation days.  Let’s see how we can prepare you for your RV vacation and have a worry-free getaway.

Florida Keys, Florida USA

Florida Keys,

First, you need to know your destination and how you’ll get there.  You will find El Monte RV Rentals all over the United States where you can obtain the ideal motor home for your trip.  We offer free “RV Camping Itineraries” that provide  mapped-out courses and destinations for your convenience.

You can either “fly-drive” to your destination or pick up your motor home locally and enjoy the drive and adventures along the way that only RV travel can offer!  Don’t forget that in many cases you can take advantage of our free airport shuttle service in major airport cities.  Check our website for availability.

Here’s a possible RV Travel Itinerary:  you can rent an RV from El Monte RV Rentals in Orlando, find a nice camping spot, visit some Orlando sights, and then head to the Keys for more fun.  On the way to the Florida Keys there are plenty of sights to see and you’ll want to allow time to stop and enjoy them all.  You may want to refer to previous postings on our Monty’s Musings blog to learn about many exciting destinations to visit in Florida in your RV.

From Orlando, you could head east to Fox Lake Sanctuary, then south on Interstate 95 to the Florida Keys and beautiful Key Largo.  For a winter vacation, you really can’t beat the Keys.  You will meet creative types who spend their time making unique art, beachcomber types who relax all day along the sandy beaches, and swim with the dolphins.  Use Google and maps on the Internet to plan your route and everything you want to see on the way.

If you don’t want to bring your pets along, you can contact a pet-sitter or the kennel in advance to ensure they have an opening for your time away.  But if you prefer keeping Fido with you, it’s good to know that El Monte RV is a “Pet-Friendly” company and supports taking the family pets along!  Also remember to check out the weather forecast for that area for the time you will be there.  It is surprising how accurate these weather forecasts can be.  You will then know what to pack, or even if you should put off your vacation for a few days to miss a storm.

You will want to prepare your smartphone and laptop for the trip.  Download some apps to make your vacation more exciting.  You can find apps online and pick the ones you’ll use the most.  Perhaps you’ll choose the one which forecasts weather down to the hour or perhaps the one which identifies animal tracks.  There are many to choose from.

Now begin to pack for your trip.  First make a detailed list of every item you want to bring and as you pack them, mark them off.  This way you’ll forget nothing.  Remember, when packing clothes, roll them instead of folding.  This prevents wrinkles.  There’s lots of storage in motor homes, so taking “it all with you” is usually not a problem!

When you prepare and plan out your trip, you will find everything less stressful and more enjoyable.  Have a great RV vacation!

El Monte RV Official Logo

El Monte RV Official Logo

For information on renting an RV in or near Orlando, Florida – CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motor home outside the state of Florida,  -CLICK HERE

Picture credits: The photo of Florida Keys was found on Flickr Commons. It is licensed under the Explore/Creative Commons license.

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Travel from Sarasota, Florida, to the Everglades this Winter

Florida beckons to take the chill out of winter with its mild weather, gorgeous beaches, and great attractions.  It is the perfect time to take an RV winter vacation and get away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.  Getting out on the open road offers a needed break, an adventure that clears the mind and boosts inspiration.  The west coast of Florida is a good place to start your getaway.

Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

While in Sarasota, Florida, there are many things to do, so you should consider spending some time here.  If you have children with you, you will most definitely want to stop and see the Children’s Garden & Art Center.  Both boys and girls have a wonderful time playing here.  There is a fairy garden where the little ladies can engage in make-believe and a tree fort for the young men to let their imagination run wild.

Both kids and adults love the Crowley Museum and Nature Center because you learn all about the early settlers in Florida, and there is nothing quite like getting that taste of history to make your trip all the more interesting.  Prior to continuing down the coast, also visit the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary.  It is wonderful to see the lions, tigers, and other animals that were rescued and can now live happy lives.

The weather in Florida during the winter months can vary greatly; but more often than not, you’ll find very mild weather conducive to a visit to the beach.  At Fort Meyers there are some wonderful beaches, and you can also enjoy plenty of shopping and fine dining.  Marvel at the amazing sunsets over a glass of wine.  You will find more shopping at Cape Coral, just a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Two more places to stop before you reach the Everglades – the Matlacha Pass National Wildlife Refuge with a wide array of wildlife, sea life, and birds and Collier-Seminole State Park with one of the largest mangrove swamps anywhere.  But be prepared for the Everglades, as there is no other park that matches the wonders of this one!

Everglades National Park gives you the opportunity to enjoy so much of nature.  You will, perhaps, glimpse a Florida panther.  You might come face-to-face with a gentle manatee or see an American crocodile in action.  You can learn more about the park and what to look for by stopping by the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center Gallery.

Of all recreational activities available in Everglades National Park, hiking is one of the favorites. There are numerous hiking trails where you can traverse the unique landscapes.  If you love birding, the Bear Lake Trail is the one to take; and if you want to see mangroves and open coastal prairie, take the Christian Point Trail.

You will find this Florida winter RV vacation to be fabulously relaxing.  It is going to be one that will stay in memory as one of your favorites!

For information on booking an RV Trip near Sarasota, Florida, – CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motor home outside of the state of Florida, CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: The picture of Sarasota, Florida, is from Flicker Commons by Jim Brickett.  It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

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An RV Adventure to the Super Bowl

Prepare for an RV trip of a lifetime!  The Super Bowl for 2014 will be played in New Jersey at the MetLife Stadium.  You can bet East Rutherford, NJ, residents are proud that their city has been honored with hosting this event.  On February 2, NFL fans are going to be descending on the region to be part of this historic game.  Traveling to this game in an RV is additional fun, even if the weather gets a bit cold.  There are a multitude of tips for winter travel online.

MetLife Stadium, New Jersey

MetLife Stadium, New Jersey

For Super Bowl XLVIII it is worth any preparation needed to get to New Jersey to enjoy the game.  In fact, you won’t be the only one braving the cold.  The MetLife Stadium is going to be the first open-air stadium to host the Super Bowl during these cold months.

It doesn’t have to be a hassle to be a great NFL fan.  You can find tips and tools for travel when you pick up your RV, making a trip as easy as possible.  When going to the Super Bowl, you’ll want a great home base for your adventure and the ideal spot is the Liberty Harbor Marina & RV Park.  This park is only 20 minutes away in Jersey City, New Jersey.  The park is one of the few in this region that is open all year round.  There are full hookup sites, a dump station, and restrooms with hot showers.  It is also near the light rails so you can get around with ease.

From your campground next to Liberty Harbor, you can get to Manhattan and see the sights. Just plan for your trip by taking the little extra time required for more fun!  Of course, the stadium where the Super Bowl takes place is part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex.  Stick around after the game for other thrills, such as the Monster Jam on February 14 and 15.  Have you ever seen the Harlem Globetrotters?  It’s time to do so, and you can on February 17 at Meadowlands IZOD Center.

When coming to East Rutherford for the Super Bowl, remember, there will be no tailgating parties allowed.  Therefore, any “tailgating” will have to take place right in your campground with like-minded folks and before catching transport to the stadium.

Attendees cannot park away from the stadium and walk to the game, as no foot traffic will be allowed in.  There will be only 13,000 parking spots available for fans.  You can come to the stadium by light rail with a special pass or be dropped off by bus.  Cars will not be allowed to leave once dropping off any attendees.

If you get your Super Bowl tickets before they are sold out, you can look forward to a great game, marvelous entertainment, and a crowd who will enthusiastically cheer on their favorite team.  At halftime, you will enjoy a performance by Bruno Mars.  Don’t wait – get those tickets now and rent your RV for the trip.

For information on booking an RV Trip in or near Rutherford, New Jersey – CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motor home outside of the state of New Jersey, CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: The picture of MetLife Stadium is from Vincent Santore on Flicker Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

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