RV Rentals for 2017’s Total Solar Eclipse

Astronomers, photographers and people who are fascinated by astronomical wonders are going to want to gear up now for the first total solar eclipse visible in America since 1991. On August 21, 2017, the shadow of the moon will begin eclipsing the sun until it completely envelops the sun’s brilliance for more than two minutes. Even more amazing, it will be the first time in ninety-nine years that the eclipse will move from west to east across the US. It’s a sight worth planning for!

Fortunately for eclipse enthusiasts, there are many places along the US viewing trajectory where a full eclipse can be seen, but it will take some planning to be in the right place at the right time! Renting an RV will keep you mobile as you move around weather patterns and other interference, giving you the best chance of seeing a sight most people will never get to see-the entire solar eclipse.

Solar eclipse

Solar eclipse

When and Where Can I See the Total Eclipse?

Thanks to excellent eclipse viewing maps already created (see links below) we can plan our best viewing locations early. Here are the basics for following the path of the Pacific to Atlantic total solar eclipse:

  1. The ‘path of totality’ is an approximately sixty-mile-wide band of optimum viewing space along a trajectory from Oregon to South Carolina.
  2. The moon’s shadow will come between the earth and the sun at 10:15 a.m. PDT on the Oregon Pacific coast, traveling across America on a diagonal until it is visible from the South Carolina Atlantic coast at 2:45 p.m. EDT.
  3. People outside the path of totality may be able to see partial phases of the eclipse, but not the entire celestial event.
  4. Each location along the path will have approximately two minutes of optimum eclipse viewing.
  5. Clouds and weather patterns may interrupt eclipse viewing late in the game, hence the need to stay mobile.
  6. Eclipse followers from all over the world will be coming to America for this amazing event.

How Can We Start Planning?

This unusual event is sparking plenty of interest among astronomy clubs, foreign visitors, schools and homeschooling groups and government agencies. That doesn’t even take into account the average Jane or Joe who hopes to watch in an unfettered location along the eclipse trajectory. 

Fortunately, plenty of folks in the know have created websites, maps and guides to help you start planning. Here are just a few of the places to find complete information on the 2017 total solar eclipse:

  1. com
  2. org
  3. NASA Eclipse Website
  4. Eclipsophile Climate and Weather Guide

Use these helpful websites to determine where along the eclipse viewing path you’d like to set up camp. If you plan to do dispersed camping on BLM or Forest Service public lands in the West, be sure to contact the local office to determine where camping is available. Plan to arrive early, as interest is truly unprecedented and campsites will fill fast, especially in open locations.

If you plan to set up camp in a developed campground and then use your toad or tow vehicle to follow the eclipse, be sure to make reservations early, as eclipse mania will fill campgrounds fast along the best viewing routes. This is especially important for groups hoping to camp together for the event. Here is a helpful link to campgrounds in many states.

Tip: Keeping checking Community Eclipse Viewing Pages such as this one for updates on what plans are being made to welcome and encourage eclipse viewers along the ‘path of totality’.

You’ll also want to reserve RV rentals as early as possible for your family or group. Use this RV rental guide to determine what configuration recreational vehicle works best for you, where the closest RV rental location is and what the budget needs to be for your eclipse-viewing trip.

What’s left to plan? Here’s a quick checklist to get you started:

  • Transportation to the US from other countries
  • Transportation to RV rental location
  • Best route to eclipse viewing location and other attractions along the way
  • Purchasing protective eyewear certified for full solar viewing during the eclipse
  • Packing the equipment, clothing and food supplies appropriate for your length of stay
  • Planning an eclipse viewing party to celebrate this singular event!
  • For teachers and homeschoolers, prepare lesson plans around the science, history and mythology of eclipses

August 21, 2017 could well go down in history as one of the best documented and most viewed total solar eclipses ever. Renting an RV to follow the eclipse puts you in the best possible place for playing your own part in this memorable occasion.

Posted in North American RV Vacation, Oregon RV Camping Vacation, RV Rentals, Vacation Planning | 2 Comments

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

Prince Edward Island

Alright, RV travelers, the warm weather isn’t going to last much longer in the northern-most parts of Canada and the United States.  It’s time to head out on a trip to Prince Edward Island while the sun is still shining!

Confederation Bridge

Confederation Bridge

Many Americans know Prince Edward Island as the home of Anne Shirley in the beloved Anne of Green Gables series of books and films.  Similar to their fictional depiction, Prince Edward Island is full of farms and down-to-earth, hardworking people.  In addition to being one of the agricultural capitals of Canada, the island is also ringed with charming seaside villages that are well worth a stop for exploration.  This is the best time of year to visit the island, as the peak tourist crowds will be gone, but the weather will still be warm and bright.

Start your trip at the nearest El Monte RV rental location.  Once you’ve picked out the rig you want to take on your vacation, you’re in for an awesome road trip through New Hampshire and Maine before crossing over into the Canadian province of New Brunswick.  From there, head on over to the Confederation Bridge and cross it to enter Central Prince Edward Island.

One of the best ways to travel the island is to make a large clockwise loop.  After entering the central portion of the island, you will make your way up the shore into Western Prince Edward Island to the village of Summerside and Spinnaker’s Landing.  This must-stop destination is designed as a small fishing village full of shops and authentic local restaurants.  Take a walk down the boardwalk and enjoy a boat ride or even a Segway tour of the area!  And the Visitor’s Destination Centre is conveniently located next door to Spinnaker’s Landing to help you get better acquainted with the area.

Prince Edward Island National Park

Prince Edward Island National Park

Continuing on around to the north shore of the island, visit Prince Edward Island National Park.  This is a great location for walking along protected sandy beaches and watching native wildlife like the Piping Plover.  If you love watching or photographing unspoiled wildlife and natural vistas, this is the place to go!  Taking a trip here is one that will forever remain as an all-time favorite!  Make time to put this on your travelling agenda for next year if time in running short this year.

Another great stop in Central Prince Edward Island is the Avonlea Village and the Anne of Green Gables Museum.  Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of the Anne series, grew up here and based her worldwide bestseller on the area.  Watch as actors reenact the daily life of the characters as they go to school, have fun and even walk in the Avonlea Parade!  This vacation will make you a part of “real-life fiction,” if you will.   A unique adventure for the entire family!

When you’re ready to rest for the night, the Cymbria Campground is a wonderful RV park to camp your RV rental.  It has a fantastic view of the ocean, and your whole family will love the onsite heated pool, miniature golf course, and playground!

Continuing on into the small, seaside villages of Eastern Prince Edward Island, you should stop and sample the authentic seafood for which this area is famous.  The Clam Digger’s Beach House and Restaurant near Georgetown is a definite palate-pleasing choice for locally caught, fresh seafood of all kinds!

Summer is ending soon, but there is still time for some unforgettable trips while the warm weather lasts.  Head up to Prince Edward Island and discover one of the hidden jewels of Canada!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

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

Photo credits:  Confederation Bridge by Dennis Jarvis and PEI National Park by David Wilson are licensed under Flickr Commons
Posted in Canada RV Camping, Canada RV Camping Vacation, Coastal RV Vacation, Family RV vacations, Historical RV Vacation, Motor home vacation blog, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, North American RV Vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV blog, RV Camping, RV destination, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Vacation Ideas, Vacation Adventures | 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.

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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!

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 Canada RV Camping Vacation, North American RV Vacation | Leave a comment