RV Owners – Prepare for a Cross Country RV Trip

If you are reading this, it probably means that you are considering taking a cross country RV trip. After all, what better way to enjoy your RV fully than taking it as far as possible to really have some fun and see the country. Heading out on the open road in an RV will be a great way to open your eyes to the real beauty of the world and will allow you to really see things up close and personal that you may have only dreamed of seeing before. One thing is for sure, RV owners have an adventuresome side that others just do not have and the life experiences one can have in an RV are like none other.  Picture of a Route 66 Sign

Before you think about taking off though, there are a few things you need to think about that will help enhance your road trip and help keep you, and your passengers, safe along the way.

Plan Your Money

You may have been saving money for a long time in order to head off into the sunset in the RV, but once you actually hit the road, you need to make sure money is carefully planned to pay expenses unless you have an unlimited bank account. To plan accordingly, check fuel prices across the country and calculate your mileage before you leave. Thankfully, since you are the proud owner of an RV, you will have no need for costly hotel stays but you should call RV parks for overnight camping reservations before you head out and have the reservations made and the rates already budgeted into your travel expenses.

Back Roads Are The Best Roads

Anyone can drive down a congested interstate and see sights just off the side of the road. This is no way to see the world when you own an RV. Take the back roads and see the real side of life that you miss when you are shuffling to or from work on the expressway. Be sure to learn how to read a real map if you do not already know how to and have your route planned out in advance. Cell phones may not always work when traveling in the heart of America. Be sure to take your time when possible and drive slowly so you will not miss out on anything. Take pictures along the way as well or keep a blog and post updates at least weekly so you can keep track of where you have been and what you have seen.

Go With The Flow

While you may have a great deal of your RV road trip well planned, it is often best to just go with the flow and see where the road leads you. You may have a schedule that says you are only going to spend one night in a certain area, but once you arrive you may find that the area has far more to offer than you believed it had. When this happens, stick around and take time to really see the sights. You never know who you may meet along the way when traveling in an RV and quite frankly, you are bound to meet some interesting people during your travels. Take time and enjoy new friendships and new sights.

While it is a great feeling to have the freedom to head down the road on a cross country trip in your RV, you will want to make sure that it has been serviced prior to heading out and just to be on the safe side, it is a good idea to keep the number to a reputable RV transport company handy just in case you have an engine problem or need to have the RV transported to a new area during a time that you may need to take a break from driving. Many RV owners will take a flight to a new city or state in the middle of a road trip and have the RV shipped to them. This allows a little down time to rest from the long drive. While a cross country RV trip is a great way to see the country up close, it is also wise to take personal time to relax when possible during the trip.

This post courtesy of our friends at a1autotransport.com.
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Rent An RV for Viewing the Perseid Meteor Shower

Attention RV camping fans who also love a good meteor shower! The summer of 2016 promises to be one of the best times in recent history for North Americans to see the “Perseids”, that group of meteors following the Swift-Tuttle Comet. This year will be exceptional because conditions are right for us to see twice as many meteors as normal!

This year’s viewing time, when the Earth passes through this ‘tail’ of meteors, begins this week and will last through August 24. That’s great news for you, because there’s still time to rent an RV or dust off the one in your driveway and find the best campsite for prime Perseid Meteor Shower viewing.

How to Rent Your ‘Meteor Shower Chase Vehicle’

Let’s get the practical part out of the way first…if you don’t own a motorhome or travel trailer for watching this summer’s performance, renting one has never been easier. El Monte RV Rental locations across the country are stocked and waiting with a wide range of models for your expedition. Choose your favorite, book your best dates and start planning the rest of your adventure!

When and Where to Go for Best Perseid Meteor Shower Viewing

The Smith-Tuttle Comet ‘tail’ of meteors is predicted to peak on August 12 (that’s when we’re right in the middle of the most meteor “debris”). Plan your RV camping trip to chase the Perseid Meteor Shower for August 11, 12 and 13 to see the most meteor action.

But where can you go to see the meteor shower without interference? The key is darkness—finding a place where the lights of the city won’t diminish the show. Finding the perfect campsite with an unobstructed, front-row-seat to 2016’s biggest meteor shower may take a bit of scouting ahead of time, depending on your location.   Meteor Showers

If you’re living in a large city, check online maps for county, state and national forests or parks out away from urban illumination. Look for campsites that have an unobstructed view to the sky. If possible, reserve your campsite so you won’t be disappointed on the night of the big show.

The night of your meteor shower viewing party, be prepared to spend several hours outdoors. Your RV’s kitchen is perfect for preparing snacks and beverages for the party, so bring along supplies and make a night of it. From 10 pm to dawn you’ll have the best chance of seeing those amazing streaks of light that occur when the Perseids hit our atmosphere. Blankets or lawn chairs, insect repellant and your fellow amateur astronomers will help make the party a happy memory.

Get More Information on the Perseid Meteor Shower

Scientists have done all the work to help us plan for 2016’s viewing of the Smith-Tuttle Comet meteor shower. Several websites can furnish you with more information as you plan your own RV camping and meteor shower gazing expedition:

The freedom of RV camping is never more enjoyable than when it allows you to witness the wonders of nature. Setting up camp to watch 2016’s celestial phenomenon, the Perseids, is no exception. Make plans now to share this spectacular show with friends and family this August!

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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.

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Enjoying the Connecticut Fall Colors on an RV Trip

The beautiful yellow, orange and red leaves of fall are never better than in Connecticut. You can take an autumn RV trip to this state from the middle to late September to enjoy the brilliant displays, and you can remain until the beginning of November if you so desire, marveling at the fall foliage the entire time. In addition to the leaf peeping, you can also take part in many outdoor activities that the whole family will enjoy.

Two areas within Pachaug State Forest, near Voluntown, offer tremendous fall color viewing. These are the Green Falls Area and the Chapman Area. Two rivers run through the forest and you will discover why many tribes came to live in this area long ago. Fish, hike or mountain bike here. You will find nature trails to explore.

Mohawk State Forest is another spot where you can witness the changing colors and take in panoramic views. This is a wildlife sanctuary where you can hike and get to feel more one with nature. Two of the favorite trails here are the Mohawk Trail and the Mattatuck Trail. Looking out over the Catskills is an inspiring experience.

Thomaston, Litchfield, Connecticut in Autumn

An October view of Thomaston, Litchfield, Connecticut

This is the perfect time of year to visit the Peoples State Forest, near Barkhamsted. The outdoor activities in this forest include hiking, bicycling and fishing. Stopping for a picnic is a treat, surrounded with blazing colors of autumn. Take the Henry Buck Trail into and through the woods and climb up to the overlook. The Turkey Vultures Ledges Trail is an easy hike and will take you less than a half a mile to a scenic view. Be sure not to miss the Nature Museum where you will see local historical artifacts and other geologic wonders from this region.

Camping time is almost over in Macedonia Brook State Park, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this park to the utmost during this autumn season. There are overlooks which provide magnificent views to the Catskill Mountains and the Taconic Mountains. To really get a full taste of fall leaf views, hike the Blue Trail across Cobble Mountain and a few other peaks. Enjoy the bubbling brooks and streams as you go.

The observation tower in Shenipsit State Forest is the main attraction. The Shenipsit Trail will take you right to it. Gaze into the distant landscape while imagining you can fly. There is nothing more relaxing. If you have your mountain bike along on your RV vacation, you can find trails for mountain biking. You can also hike here and there are spots to have a picnic and plenty of fishing available. The Connecticut River Valley has never looked better than from this vantage point in Shenipsit State Forest.

Check out the Heublein Tower in Talcott Mountain State Park. The Farmington River Valley will be a blanket of color from autumn’s glory. Then there is the stone tower in Sleeping Giant State Park near Hamden, Connecticut. This tower provides a 360-degree view looking south to Long Island and also to the north past Hartford. An extensive trail system will fulfill your every desire for hiking through the forests.

For more fall colors, you may wish to make your way to Mt. Tom State Park. This is near Litchfield where, once again, a stone tower offers stunning views from the top of Mt. Tom. It is a mile hike to get there and well worth the effort. If it isn’t too chilly, you may wish to go boating, or even swimming. But perhaps fishing will satisfy the desire for water sports this time of year.

Grab your camera to take some photos while you visit Goodwin Conservation Center in Hampton, Connecticut. The leaves are reflected in Pine Acres Pond and make viewing such an adventure. Stand on the wildlife-watching platform and take in the sights. There are fourteen miles of trails for hiking on this 2,000-acre property as well as the Richard D. Haley Native Plant Wildlife Gardens to enjoy.

Last but not least is Dennis Hill State Park. From the summit of Dennis Hill you will be looking out over New Hampshire and the gorgeous Green Mountains of Vermont. At 1,627 feet above sea level, the air is fresh and clean, the views spectacular and the peace incredible.

Pick one or all of the destinations above for an amazing fall trip in an RV. There is nothing more relaxing and inspiring than a Connecticut road trip to marvel at nature’s beauty.

Picture credits: The picture of Fall Foliage in Michigan is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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Experience the Brandywine Valley on an RV Vacation

Brandywine Valley

Hagley mill race on the Brandywine Creek, Delaware, USA.

Although a short trip, traveling through the Brandywine Valley offers beautiful scenery and many interesting sights to see. Here you will get tastes of history, natural beauty and country hospitality. Driving through Pennsylvania and Delaware as fall approaches is a vacation trip not to pass up, particularly in a comfortable RV motorhome.

Take the twelve-mile drive on Routes 100 and 52 through rolling hills. But don’t neglect to stop and see the sights. You’ll begin your journey in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania where you can browse the shops and find fine dining. You can stay at the Philadelphia/West Chester KOA in Coatesville, PA with a lovely rural setting and plenty of activities.

Be sure to travel to the Brandywine Battlefield Park to experience the feel of life in the times of the Revolutionary War. This side trip on U.S. Route 1 is worth the time it takes to get to Chadds Ford and see this historic site. The visitor’s center has a number of exhibits that display the weapons and uniforms of that era. It is a thrill to see Washington’s headquarters. If you are there in September, you will also get to view a full re-enactment of the battle in all its glory.

Longwood Gardens is a must-see for the whole family. There are more than 1,000 acres of beauty here, with twenty indoor gardens. There is no other place with such stunning displays of plants, flowers and fountains. Stop by and explore the Brandywine River Museum located in a 19th century grist mill. The art work there will take your breath away, with a superior collection of Wyeth art from three generations.

To see a spectacular mansion with a large garden area visit the Nemours Mansion and Gardens. Walking the Long Walk is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the sculptures and flowering plants and trees. The reflecting pool is a thing of wonder with its twelve-foot spray.

Another must-see on your journey is the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, a working farm that has been in existence since the 18th century. Then you will move on to Wilmington, Delaware with its many attractions. Take time to shop for gifts for friends and relatives while in town. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy some entertainment or sports events here in Wilmington.

Of course, before you leave to travel home once again in your RV, stop by the residence that was once owned by Henry Francis du Pont. The Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library offers the visitor a glimpse into the world of American decorative arts and a natural garden that is amazing in its breadth.

Your travel through the Brandywine Valley is a time to explore nature, history and have some fun. You will learn a lot about colonial times and experience a peaceful and enlightening getaway with the family. Explore, learn and relax. And come again for another late summer adventure in Pennsylvania and Delaware!

Picture credits: The picture of Brandywine Valley is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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Drive the Wild Horse Trail Scenic Byway in an RV

Wildhorse Scenic Byway, Downtown Sandpoint, Idaho

Downtown Sandpoint, Idaho looking north from 1rst and Bridge

The Wild Horse Trail Scenic Byway conjures up mental images of cowboy days when horses ran wild and fences didn’t exist. Taking an RV vacation up this byway is inspiring and fulfilling when you wish some time to contemplate our natural world. You will drive north on the eastern side of the Selkirk Mountains and follow a historic path that was taken by Kootenai Tribes is early days. Moving through northern Idaho’s beautiful scenery is something you won’t want to miss.

Sandpoint, Idaho is your starting point. This resort community deserves some of your vacation time, as it is a town which gives you easy access to all kinds of outdoor fun. All sorts of events are happening throughout the summer months and into the fall, so your family will never want for things to do and see.

Of course, Lake Pend Oreille is right there, with plenty of big fish and many miles of water so you can get in some boating. This is the state’s largest lake and its deepest as well. In fact Lake Pend Oreille is the fifth deepest lake in the U.S. The beaches are wonderful places to spend an afternoon soaking up the sun.

If you love paddling, you may want to try the Pack River which is a 23-mile river trail and used for canoeing from April to October. You can take Upper Pack River Road and reach stunning views at Chimney Rock and find miles and miles of hiking trails.

Wildlife is abundant at the McArthur Lake Wildlife Management Area. You may catch glimpses of numerous birds, and if you are a birder this is definitely the place to stop. The 200 species of birds here include waterfowl, upland birds, shorebirds and raptors.

Naturally, the scenic wonders you can enjoy on this trip include the beautiful Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Fishing in the waters in this forest provides many catches you will be able to write home about. See all the wildlife that make this region their home, from deer and elk to grizzlies and wolves.

Before you reach Bonners Ferry, you can stop to camp at the Blue Lake RV Resort. You can rent paddle boats or kayaks, exercise your pet in their pet run, and find convenient laundry facilities. When you head once again north, you will move through the Kootenai Valley to see the rich agricultural lands which make this area so popular.

Bonners Ferry will take you back in time, with many historic buildings and other stories from early days. Here is where Edwin Bonner created the ferry crossing so gold seekers could make their way across the Kootenai River and discover their fortunes. Take a side trip to Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge for more wildlife viewing. There is so much to do in this area and you will want to fit in as much as possible! Once you explore the immediate surroundings, you can turn back towards home or continue north to the Canadian border and have more adventures. What a trip it has been!

Picture credits: The picture of Sandpoint, ID is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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RV Security Using a Hunting Camera

By Maureen Page, Discount Security Cameras

We often get asked by RV and trailer owners if they can use video surveillance cameras to protect or look after their RV or trailer. This does present a bit of a challenge. Classic security cameras require wires. Even if it is a “wireless” camera that sends video wirelessly to a digital video recorder (DVR), a wire is still needed to power the camera. I don’t know too many people who are up to a major reconstruction project to run the necessary wires to set up a security camera system in their RV.

But the need to protect an expensive asset still exists. What is one to do?

Well it turns out that there is an answer to this conundrum. We can turn to our hunting brethren for a potential solution. Hunters often times use hunting cameras, also known as game cameras and trail cameras, to scout potential hunting sites. It turns out that these cameras have a lot of characteristics that make them a good fit for protecting your RV.

  • Hunting cameras are self contained and do not require wires. They run off of internal batteries and they record pictures (not video) to internal memory.
  • Hunting cameras are triggered (take a picture) when motion is detected.
  • Typical hunting cameras can take color pictures during the day, and black and white pictures at night using their infrared flash capability.

So basically, you can simply pull into a camp site and set up the camera to “keep an eye on things”. You will, however, need to lock your camera to something so that it does not get stolen.

Not only can the camera be used to watch your RV at a camp site, it can also be used to keep an eye on it when it is stored someplace when not in use.

Other Benefits to Using a Hunting Camera

In addition to its security aspects, the camera can also keep track of any animals who may “visit” your camp site during the day and night. It might be nice to know that a bear comes by after dark or that dear or other critters come by to visit at times… Hunting cameras can, and often do, get some pretty amazing wildlife photographs.

Hunting cameras can also be set up to take time lapse photographs of a location. So you could set it up to make a time log of your visit to your camp site.

So a hunting or trail camera may be just the thing you need to provide some security for your RV, and you may get some great photographs as a side benefit.

About the Author
This article was written by Maureen Page, VP of Discount Security Cameras, your source for quality security cameras and security camera systems. To learn more about security camera systems and video surveillance visit the Discount Security Cameras Interactive Security Camera Learning Center.

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Tips for a Successful RV Vacation

An RV vacation can be a lot of fun! It can make for a great family adventure, and it is typically less costly than other types of vacations. According to PKF Consulting, a consulting firm with expertise in travel and tourism, RV vacations are 27% to 61% less expensive than other types of vacations studied.

While an RV vacation can be fun and relatively inexpensive, there are a few basic pointers to for a successful trip.

Plan Ahead

The key to a successful RV vacation is planning. Anyone considering such a vacation should think about:

Rent Early

Similar to vacation homes, RVs are in demand during peak vacation seasons. It is not at all out of the ordinary for an RV Rental company to have most or all of their RVs rented by early spring. Renting ahead also applies to space in RV campgrounds as well. The best RV campgrounds in the best locations also get booked early.

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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!

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