RV Road Trip Etiquette 101

It’s a fact—RV road trips can bring families and friends closer together. Shared vacation experiences can highlight the differences and similarities that keep relationships interesting. But there’s a dark side to vacation travel that needs to be discussed, as well—the road trip that disintegrates until everyone is wondering why they came. What’s the difference? It all comes down to road trip etiquette, the fine art of exercising respect and courtesy while traveling together.

Our tips for traveling sanely with others could be called “RV Road Trip Etiquette 101”. They can make all the difference between the RV trip you’d like to forget and the vacation you’ll always treasure.

It’s a Vacation, Silly!

It’s so easy, especially for those of us who live highly organized lives, to take our vacation planning too far. If you love to plan your trips to the smallest detail, you may have noticed not everyone you travel with is appreciative.

The first lesson of RV Road Trip Etiquette 101 is to remember, “It’s a vacation, silly!” Leave room for spontaneity. Back off organizing every experience and watch for cues from your companions that you’re over the top.

Plan reasonably—book campsites during peak seasons and reserve tickets for popular attractions. There’s nothing wrong with knowing you’ll have a place to rest at the end of a long day of travel. But if the kids are begging for another day at the beach, and you’re determined to march along to a faster beat, step back, take a breath and consider the goal of any RV vacation—to relax.

Plan Something for Everyone

No one likes to be dragged along on someone else’s dream vacation. RV road trip planning etiquette requires us to ask what everyone hopes to do on the trip.

Kids might request quick stops at quirky roadside attractions. Plan the time in your schedule. The spouse who accommodates your need to shop at every mall on your route might be dreaming of time spent on mountain trails. Work-weary friends might enjoy hitting the spas, but you won’t know unless you ask!

What we enjoy doing on vacation can be different for everyone in your RV. By discussing ahead of time what each person’s looking forward to, and allowing time to do it, you’ll cut down on grumbling and maybe even learn to enjoy something new.

Give Each Other Some Space

Here’s the thing about vacation travel, whether it’s spent in airplanes and hotels or on the road in an RV; there’s such a thing as too much time together!

One of the best things we can do for each other to keep vacations relaxing is to allow for time spent alone. Even small children who require our supervision can be allowed to play in uncrowded space. Teens who can’t take another minute cooped up with their siblings will appreciate a time out, too. The closest of friends can begin to grate on each other’s nerves when too long in close quarters.

Skip the assumption that every vacation minute must be spent together. Encouraging fellow travelers to walk, swim, shop, see a movie or otherwise release vacation claustrophobia can go a long way to keeping the peace while traveling.

Traveling together by RV is a wonderful way to strengthen the bonds of friendship, build family memories and rekindle romance. The trick to keeping things friendly and relaxing is practicing basic courtesy. Allow others to indulge their interests. Squelch the need to over-plan. Give each other time off from togetherness. These basic principles are what we call, “RV Road Trip Etiquette 101”, and they’ll go a long way to building pleasant, relaxing vacations.  

Posted in RV Rentals | Leave a comment

6 Myths You Might Have About Renting an RV

You begin to plan a vacation, and someone brings up the idea of renting a recreational vehicle. Suddenly, your mind goes into RV rental anxiety, based on myths you might be believing about renting an RV.

Before you close the door on an excellent vacation travel option, consider these six common myths about renting RVs, and the facts that can help erase your anxiety.

Myth #1: Renting an RV is Too Expensive!

This is one myth we enjoy exploding, because the fact is, renting and traveling in an RV can be surprisingly economical. Consider this: if you book airline tickets or rental cars instead, that’s just the beginning of your travel expense. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, there are hotel rooms and restaurant meals, as well.

In contrast, renting an RV allows you to take your sleeping quarters on the road. It lets you decide which level of campground amenities suit your budget. You’ll also be taking your RV kitchen along for preparing meals and snacks, yet another budget-friendly bonus while traveling.

One more tip for keeping RV rentals affordable: ask about current rental deals. You may save hundreds of dollars by taking advantage of seasonal, one-way or extended trip specials.

Myth #2: It’s Too Hard to Drive an RV!

Here’s how to keep this myth from ruining your vacation dreams—find an RV rental model that you feel comfortable driving. With the range of recreational vehicle models available at many rental locations, it’s possible to rent an RV from the largest Class A ‘bus style’ motorhome to a compact, Class C cabover model. Visit your local RV rental office or sales location to see sizes for yourself, and to learn how well-equipped today’s RVs are for ease of driving.

One more anxiety-buster: RV rental locations usually have instructional videos and detailed RV operation manuals that share tips for safe driving. Ask questions if you aren’t sure how safety features work. Book your RV pickup time early enough to get familiar with your rental vehicle before you hit the road. You’ve got this!

Myth #3: Renting an RV is a Hassle!

You’re going to be pleasantly surprised at how convenient renting an RV can be. Here at El Monte RV Rentals and Sales, we’ve refined the process of picking up and dropping off rental RVs to get you on the road and back home again as quickly as possible.  

From ‘fly-drive’ locations near major airports to detailed RV rental guides online, there’s plenty of help available to help streamline your experience. And don’t forget to take advantage of the wealth of trip planning tips here on Monty’s Musings!

Myth #4: I’ll Never Figure out the RV Hookups!

Facts win once again! Using the videos and instruction manuals available, first-time RV rental customers finding it surprisingly easy to hook up their RVs to electric, water and sewer connections at the campground. We won’t leave you stranded! If anything seems overwhelming, be sure to ask your rental location staff, so you can relax and enjoy your vacation without worry.

Myth #5: RV Rentals are Just for Long Distance Trips

This is definitely mythology, based on the reasons our customers rent recreational vehicles. Some choose to rent an RV for comfortable camping at nearby music festivals. Others have told us they rent an RV for extra housing during the holidays.

Another popular reason to rent an RV is to host special weekends at a local destination—everything from a ‘girls only’ campout at the lake to camping close to swap meets, fairs or fly-ins. Traveling by RV long distance can be memorable, but don’t let that be the only reason you take advantage of convenient, affordable RV rentals.

Myth #6: Rental RVs are ‘Bare Bones’

Guess again! You can choose to camp in luxury on most any rental budget. Generators, microwaves and roomy dinettes are just a few of the convenient features that add comfort to today’s RVs. If you’ve never rented an RV, explore the options available for comfort and convenience, whether you’re renting a Class C with roomy slide-outs or a Class A ‘Luxury Class’ model.

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

Renting an RV can be your best option for budget-friendly, comfortable travel. Don’t let these myths stand in the way of your best vacation yet. Check the facts on RV rentals and then take the plunge. It’s time you learned how renting RVs could enhance your vacation plans.  

Posted in RV Rentals | Leave a comment

RV Camping Destinations—Where to Get Great Ideas

So many things to see! So many campsites to discover! But how in the world do we decide where our RVs will take us when we next go camping?

For some of us, the answer is simple—we go to the places we’ve always gone, those special campgrounds where we know what to expect, which old friends are likely to be there and what adventures are just around the bend.

But for other RV travelers, anticipation is the thing—that tingle of excitement when we turn the key in the ignition and go out in search of something new. And we’re here to help you get started!  We’re constantly collecting new resources to assist our readers who are ready to set up camp at someplace new.

Fasten your seatbelts for our quick list of places you can go right now to find info on campgrounds, camping activities and unforgettable camping destinations.

Where will the road take you?

El Monte RV Rentals: Every once in a while, we like to remind our readers about the fantastic travel resources we’ve gathered on the way to becoming one of America’s top RV rental firms. Here are just a few of the pages you might find helpful as you look for new reasons to travel:

  • RV Camping Guide: Tons of information on places to go, things to do and how to make it easy to get there by RV. From air shows to NCAA football tailgating, we’ve got the goods right here on your next reason to go camping.
  • State by State Campground Guide: Our list of exceptional campgrounds waiting to host your next vacation.
  • Camping Opportunities Calendar: Month-by-month calendar of special events that are custom-made for a camping adventure.
  • RV Camping Itineraries: Step-by-step journeys mapped across America to provide maximum camping satisfaction.
  • RV Trip Planning Resources: Our collection of special helps for RV campers, from green camping information to how-to guides for newbie campers.

National Park Service: No doubt about it, America’s national parks are some of the finest legacies we’ve preserved for future generations. Mountain-top to shining sea, our country has set aside magnificent landscapes, historical sites and cultural treasures to be camped, hiked, studied and treasured by each new generation.

The National Park Service website does an excellent job of sharing what you’ll need to know. Simply click on the map to start searching for the kinds of places your family will enjoy and then click on Plan Your Visit to locate camping opportunities. Get out there and find America this year!

StateParks.com: Here’s another gem for campers mining the internet in search of travel destinations. Maps, abundant details on facilities and reviews by other campers make this site another go-to place for planning your next itinerary.

Private Campground Resources: Click here and scroll down to Other Camping Resources to locate links to sites like Kampgrounds of America (KOA.com), Passport America and Thousand Trails. You’ll also find a wealth of information on where to find free campsites and how to reserve campsites at most state and national parks (ReserveAmerica.com and Recreation.gov.)

We challenge each one of you to make it through this list without finding a place you’ve never been! Don’t stay home this camping season simply because you can’t decide where to go.

Let us help you find your next RV camping experience, the one you might have missed if your friends at El Monte Motorhome Rentals hadn’t lent a hand.

Posted in RV Rentals, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | 2 Comments

RV Travel: Millennials Behind the Wheel!

If you picture RV travelers as mostly senior citizens, think again! Millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 2000 (especially in the 25-35 year old range) are a growing segment of RV travel. Here’s why:

Millennials Value Outdoor Recreation

Spending time in outdoor pursuits is big on the list of things Millennials hold dear. That’s why visiting state and national parks, lakes and forests, mountains and beaches all over America by RV is a no-brainer.

There’s nothing quite like being out in nature to feed the soul, and these adventurers are hitting the road to find our country’s most beautiful places, one campsite at a time. The more biking, hiking, rock climbing and other activities the better—they’re making it a life priority to get outside and play!

Millennials Expect Amenities

Comfortable accommodations with access to technology are at the top of list for Millennial travelers, one more reason to travel to a national park, a beach where the waves are epic or a music festival by RV. Amenities common in modern recreational vehicles include flat screen televisions, generators, plenty of electrical outlets, memory foam beds and fully-equipped kitchens.

Many RV campgrounds offer cable television hookups and wireless internet, as well. If you enjoy a home-away-from-home experience as you travel, younger travelers need look no farther than today’s RVs.

Millennials Enjoy Traveling with Friends

RV travel with a group of friends makes sense! Splitting the costs of an RV rental, fuel and food helps everyone budget for the trip, and the memories made while on the road are priceless. The wide range of floorplans and accommodations make traveling by motorhome flexible enough to fit most groups of traveling buddies.

Millennials Enjoy Combining Work with Travel

This up and coming generation of professionals values working outside the office. What better way for freedom-loving Millennials to contribute than from the road?

Picture this—you pull your motorhome or travel trailer into one of the many campgrounds that offer free wi-fi. Nearby are hiking or biking trails, or perhaps a lake to paddle board on your lunch break. In the comfort of your fully-equipped RV, you brew a little coffee, fire up the laptop and finish the reports the boss is waiting for. The internet makes telecommuting simple and RV travel to well, just about anywhere in America, makes it a pleasure!

If you’re a part of the Millennial generation and you’re wondering whether RV travel is for you, why not take a trip to one of our rental locations? We’ve got trained staff on hand to help you learn your options, whether it’s for telecommuting from a national park or enjoying the great outdoors with a group of friends.

It’s time to hit the road, Millennials! RV travel can take you where you want to go, on your own terms and with the flexibility and amenities you value most.

Posted in RV Rentals | Leave a comment

RV Camping—Where Will 2015 Take YOU?

Saguaro National Park, AZ

Saguaro National Park, AZ

Are next year’s RV camping hopes already dancing in your head? The ease and comfort of camping in a motorhome may be lighting up vacation dreams for you and your family. So we’d like to know—where will 2015 take YOU and your family RV camping?

Will you go somewhere new this year or continue a camping tradition? Is there somewhere on your ‘bucket list’ that’s calling you to come explore? Please share your plans in the comments section below and, in the meantime, we’ll share some favorite RV camping spots from previous years.

Favorite Lakeside Camping Locations

There’s nothing quite like camping near a sky blue lake to breeze away everyday stresses. Here are some of the top picks among RV travelers for lakeside camping vacations:

Grand Haven State Park (Michigan): Located on a scenic beach between Lake Michigan and the Grand River, this state park’s beachside RV campground gets top marks. Walk the beach at sunset for spectacular views of the lighthouse and Grand Haven Pier.

Island Pond, Vermont: Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, just south of the Canadian border, is home to breathtaking mountain views, charming rural villages and RV camping next to crystal clear ‘ponds’. Island Pond is a favorite for trout fisherman, wildlife photographers and hikers.

Land between the Lakes National Recreation Area-Kentucky/Tennessee: Imagine two huge lakes divided by a one-hundred-seventy-thousand acre peninsula filled with trails, campgrounds and historic sites and you’ve got Land Between the Lakes. Fish, boat and explore both Kentucky Lake and Barkley Lake and then take to the trails and scenic drives for first-rate 2015 RV camping.

Favorite Mountaintop Camping Experiences

Klamath River, California

Klamath River, California

High Sierra CampingCalifornia: Motorhome campers have found the campgrounds near the Oregon border in California’s High Sierras to be among their favorites. As you’re planning your 2015 RV camping itinerary, consider a stay on the banks of the Klamath River at Blue Heron RV Park, where you can kayak, hike, or fish for steelhead released from the nearby hatchery.

Ridgway State Park – Colorado: If you haven’t experienced the magnificent San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado, a trip to this state park near Ouray is in order. A mountain reservoir adds even more recreation possibilities to a stunning setting surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in America.

Favorite National Park RV Camping Spots

RV camping in America’s national parks is one of the best reasons to hit the road next year. Here are three top-ranked national park camping possibilities.

Gulf Islands National Seashore – Florida/Mississippi: Taking a motorhome vacation with kids in 2015? The barrier islands near Pensacola hold enough adventure to keep them busy all summer! Historic forts, quiet bayous, perfect, white sand beaches and a wide variety of outdoor recreation makes this a top pick among motorhome campers.

Redwood National and State Parks – California: The North Coast has drawn California RV campers for decades. Visitors will find not only the giant coast redwoods that give these five interconnected parks their name, they’ll also have the chance to experience wild, rocky beaches and meadows filled with wildlife. Likely to become a family favorite!

Gulf Island National Seashore

Gulf Island National Seashore

Hudson Valley National Heritage Area, New York: Hoping to plan an extended RV camping vacation in New York? The unforgettable Hudson River Valley has everything you’re looking for—hiking, biking and paddling trails, excellent fishing, scenic drives, quaint villages and lots of local history. Use this site to find the best motorhome camping in the Hudson Valley National Heritage Area.

Ready to start planning? We’re excited to hear where you’re going camping in 2015, and we’re always ready to help with an RV rental.  Get in touch today, and don’t forget to add your ideas in the Comments!

Photo Credits: Klamath River – ((brian)) flickr commons; Gulf Island National Seashore – faungg’s photo flickr commons
Posted in RV Rentals, RV Vacation Ideas | 1 Comment

Helpful Tools to Help Plan Your RV Trip

Spring is here, and summer is on its way, so it’s time to start thinking about a vacation!  One of the best ways to enjoy your time off is to see the country in an RV.  Before you can have fun, however, you have to plan your trip, and that can be the most stressful part.  Where do you want to go?  What should you see?  What do you want to eat when you get there?  Luckily, we have access to some great online tools to help plan an amazing RV trip for your family.

First off, check out El Monte RV in order to rent the perfect motorhome.  You can pick from locations across the United States, so wherever you’re from, there will be one close to you.  El Monte’s site makes it easy to compare different sizes of motorhomes and to check the availability of rentals at different locations, too.

After you have picked out your RV, it’s time to decide where you want to go and what you want to do when you get there.  A fantastic site for choosing destinations and activities is Zerve.com.  Zerve connects travelers up to tours, day trips, wine tastings and thousands of other activities in cities all over the country.  Whether you want to book a whale watching trip in San Francisco or tour through famous film locations in New York City, Zerve will help you find the perfect trip for your family.

Once you’ve decided where you want to go, it’s time to start packing, and you’re going to need a good packing list.  Taking your RV on a Grand Canyon camping trip will require a very different packing list compared to a sightseeing tour of Major League Baseball parks on the East Coast!  Are you going to need a lantern and grill, or just your favorite player’s jersey and plenty of sunscreen?  Whatever you plan on doing, make up an RV packing list and start figuring out what your trip will require.  Start early and make sure you get everything you need!

When you’re on your way, recognize that traveling in an RV isn’t just about the destinations, it’s about having fun on the road, too!  One of the great ways to spend time during your trip is to listen to audio books, and that has never been easier than it is with the downloadable app from Audible.com.  Audible gives you the opportunity to listen to over 150,000 high-quality audio books.  You could listen to Lonesome Dove as you roll through the heat of a Texan afternoon, or experience Twilight as you actually navigate Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.  Downloading this app is guaranteed to make your RV vacation the most immersive one of your life!

Lastly, everyone has to eat, and what’s the point of traveling if you don’t sample the cuisine along the way?  Try Yelp to find the best restaurants wherever you’re headed, and Open Table to book a reservation before you get there.  By knowing what other diners have to say about the local fare, you can guarantee a fantastic dining experience at every stop on the road.

You have access to more technology and tools than at any other time in human history, so make use of it when you head out on your RV adventure!

Posted in RV Rentals, RV Travel Tips | Leave a comment

The “Right” RV for Your Vacation

If the lure of convenient RV camping has captured your imagination, it’s time to find out which motorhome will suit your vacation plans best. Today’s RVs are a far cry from the tiny “Flintstone trailers” of the past. In fact, many people are opting to live full-time in their motorhomes, because they offer a luxurious lifestyle that can be moved when the mood strikes!

But if you’re simply headed for a trip with your partner, friends or family, how can you pick the right one from your many RV options? The best place to begin is by asking yourselves two questions:

  1. Where are we going?
  2. How do we like to travel?

Let’s look at the options that suit the most common answers to those questions.

What is Your Vacation Destination?

Some folks rent an RV for the thrill of tailgate parties and camping close to the big game or race. If you’re headed for NASCAR or football fun, and you’re taking a crowd along, why not look at a Class A motorhome? These specially-built full sized RVs feature slide-out compartments that double your living space once you’ve parked. Share the cost with your friends and camp in extravagant comfort when you come home from a day at the races or from cheering on your team.

If you’d like something a little smaller, but prefer the convenience of driving the vehicle you’ll be camping in, take a look at Class C motorhomes.  Sometimes called “cabovers”, these RVs feature sleeping space above the vehicle cab as well as another bedroom, so they’re great for families or two couples. Larger models will even sleep up to four adults and two children!

If you’re setting up a base camp at a State or National Park, but want to use your vehicle for day trips, consider renting or buying a towable camping trailer. With special towing equipment that attaches to your vehicle (one rated for towing a trailer, of course) you can pull your “home away from home” to the campsite, detach it and set up camp, then visit area attractions easily in your own vehicle.

Your Preferred Camping Style

While you’re looking at all the options, it’s also good to keep in mind your preferred “on the road” lifestyle. For example, active campers who set up camp and take off for outdoor adventures may prefer the compact convenience of a towable camping trailer or one of the smaller Class C motorhomes.

On the other hand, if your group’s vacation plan is to settle in to a first-class campground, read your whole summer reading list and hike a few gentle trails, you’re great candidates for Class A RV luxury. Open a bottle of wine, cook a gourmet meal in the well-equipped kitchen and fall asleep to the sound of a nearby ocean, lake or river. Sound like your dream vacation? Sign yourselves up for a Class A motorhome soon!

It’s All About You

As you can see, choosing the perfect RV to rent or buy is all about what you need and where you’re going. Because motorhome camping is very affordable when compared to hotels, meals in restaurants and rental cars, you can plan any number of great vacations that include some type of camping.

Sit down with your camping crew and pick your destination, then create your “must have” list of camping conveniences. Armed with that of information, your RV selection is already half-way down the road!

Posted in RV Rentals | Leave a comment

An Overview of Recreational Vehicles

You’ve taken that first step and decided to rent or purchase an RV. That’s great, but which one? With the wide variety of recreational vehicles on the market, it can help to have a guide to the basic styles available. By reading through this quick list of RV style basics, you, too, can get up to speed on which motorhome is right for you.

Question: I see the terms “RV” and “motorhome” used frequently. Are they all talking about the same thing? Answer: these terms are used interchangeably to mean a vehicle you can both drive and sleep in. There are several classes of these, as detailed below:

Class A Motorhome: These are premium camping vehicles, specially built on a commercial truck

Class A Motorhome

Class A Motorhome

chassis. These RVs come in both gas and diesel models. Basically the size of a city bus, many Class A motorhomes have slide-out compartments that can be opened at the campground to increase the living space inside. These vehicles typically contain luxurious features such as ceramic tile baths, televisions with DVD players, custom kitchens and so on. Definitely not for “roughing it”, these beautifully built motorhomes provide the ultimate in camping comfort.

Class B Motorhome: Commonly known as van conversions or camping vans, these vehicles also provide the luxury of taking your hotel room with you, but on a much smaller scale. They might take the shape of a full-size van customized with a sleeping area, eating space, and a small kitchen with water storage tanks. A Class B motorhome can also be a “pop-up” camper van with extended head room and living space built in to the passenger area.

Class C Motorhome

Class C Motorhome

Class C Motorhome: If you’ve ever passed an RV on the highway that had an extra compartment above a truck cab, you’ve seen a Class C motorhome. These RVs may or may not have slide-out sections to expand the living space, and usually have a separate bedroom plus additional sleeping space above the cab. A step down from the Class A models, they’re still a comfortable way to travel long distances and save the

Question: I understand now about motorhomes, but what’s a “fifth wheel”? Answer: A fifth wheel trailer is one type of towable camping trailer, but there are other kinds of towables, as well. Here’s a breakdown of their similarities and differences.

Fifth Wheel Trailer: This type of camping trailer is towed by way of a large gooseneck hitch,

5th Wheel Trailer

5th Wheel Trailer

installed in the bed of a pickup truck. Someone who purchases a fifth wheel would need to have this equipment installed in their truck in order to tow it. Some RV rental companies deliver fifth wheel trailers to customers who intend to live in them for an extended period. These camping vehicles can be quite luxurious, with full-size refrigerators, microwaves and their own heating and airconditioning systems.

Towable Trailer

Towable Trailer

Towable Camping Trailers: There are several levels of these towable trailers, but, in general, they are travel trailers that are towed by a ball hitch attached to a truck, van or SUV rather than a gooseneck hitch. The largest of these can sleep up to five adults and feature comfortable kitchens and baths.

Whether you decide to purchase the most luxurious Class A “diesel pusher”, or to rent a comfortable, affordable travel trailer, RV camping can provide years of happy vacation memories. The most important thing is to get out on the road and start camping!

Posted in RV Rentals | Leave a comment