When you plan your RV trips, you plan lots of exciting things to do and places to go, for meals and camping out. You have activities in mind to take up every moment of the day. But what do you do when that summer storm blows in? Especially if you're traveling with kids, a day stuck in the RV can seem like a special kind of torture. For the unexpected rainy day, make sure you pack a few of these games, just in case. The day will fly by with all that family fun!
Standard Card Deck There are tons of games you can play with just a simple, standard deck of 52 cards. Crazy 8's, Rummy 500, Gin Rummy, Go Fish, War... the list goes on and on. Card games don't take a lot of setup and many don't take a whole lot of skill. A deck of cards should be on every RV packing list. Clue is a great family game that will keep you occupied for hours. The game requires some thought and skill, giving your brain a good workout. Solve the mystery and win the game! Risk For the marathon game players, Risk is the ultimate choice. This game is better suited for older children or adults, but the youngsters can play too on teams or with some adaptations to the rules. The rules are a bit complicated but once you get going, the game will take off and can last for days. Uno A great card game that takes up just a little space is Uno. There's no limit on the number of people who can play and the game is simple. Make up your own family rules or put variations on what's already there. This game is as diverse as the people who play it. Trivial Pursuit There are many versions and formats of this game, from the super difficult original, to the Harry Potter or Disney themed games. Again, there's minimal setup and all you need to win is your brain and knowledge of just about anything! Monopoly Another game that can last forever is Monopoly. Everyone in the family can get in on this game and it's easy to set aside and come back to later. The rules are simple and setup is minimal. Just make sure you keep your eye on whoever is running the bank!
UNDERSTANDING HOW THE HEAT WORKS (IT MAY BE DIFFERENT FROM YOUR HOUSE) MAY TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF TRIAL AND ERROR, BUT ONCE YOU'VE GOT IT DOWN, YOU'LL FIND YOURSELF WARM AND COMFORTABLE ON THOSE CHILLY NIGHTS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON SOME WINTER CAMPING.
First, you need to figure out if you have a propane furnace or an A/C unit with built in heat pump. Your RV might have both. See what you can find out about your specific set up before you start messing with knobs and settings.
A propane furnace works great if you are going to encounter freezing temperatures. You can keep the furnace set to a lower temperature, around 55 degrees, to keep the RV from freezing. If you have another heating option, you'll probably want to use that for the main source of heat as running the furnace burns a decent amount of fuel. This is also a great idea when you have pets who are staying back from your day trip.
This is where a heat pump that's part of your AC unit comes in handy. While it won't work in those lower temperatures, for anything above about 50 degrees, it gets the job done. Make sure you're plugged into a 30a or 50a outlet before turning the heat pump on.
Your RV should also have thermostats to control the temperatures. Let's say the RV is currently at 60 degrees. Don't set the thermostat to 70 right away or your furnace may come on as well, running both heating units at the same time. This burns both propane and uses electricity. To heat your RV up using just the heat pump, increase the temperature in small increments until it's where you want it.
Every RV is set up a bit differently and figuring out exactly what you have is the key to keeping your RV warm. These suggestions are to give you a starting point before you tweak your system to work for you.
S’mores are the camping treat that every trip needs. There's nothing better than sitting around a campfire, eating these delicious treats on dark, starry nights. Campers have added their own twists to classic s'mores, making them even better. Here are our favorite variations to traditional s'mores.
Add a Rolo Instead of sticking with the plain Hershey's, try topping your marshmallow with Rolos. Rolos are soft chocolate buttons filled with gooey caramel that will add that extra flavor to send your s'mores over the top. Drizzle with caramel syrup and sprinkle with sea salt to get incredible salted caramel s'mores. Triple Chocolate For the die-hard chocolate lovers, try creating triple chocolate s'mores! Sometimes chocolate is all you need and these s'mores prove it. Use chocolate graham crackers instead of regular ones, and pick up a pack of chocolate marshmallows. You can even add chocolate syrup and play with your candies. These promise to be the most satisfying chocolate treat you've ever had. Strawberry S'mores For this twist on the classic s'mores, add sliced strawberries. There isn't a more perfect combo than strawberries and chocolate, except by adding the warm, gooey marshmallow. If you don't want to deal with fresh fruit, try strawberry syrup or purchase strawberry marshmallows. Yum! Mint Anyone? We love chocolate and mint together and know you will, too! These s'mores can be made in a number of different ways. The easiest variation is to replace Hershey's chocolate with peppermint bark, Andes mints, York Peppermint Patties, or your favorite mint chocolates. You can also make your own marshmallows before your trip using crème de menthe for truly unique s'mores.
Bacon, Bacon, Bacon Bacon...on s'mores? YES! Bacon really does go with everything. For this delectable campfire treat, you'll need bacon and salted caramel chocolates. You can go with Ghirardelli squares or bring caramel syrup and sea salt to add to the s'mores. It may sound crazy, but trust us! Once you've had these bacon s'mores, you'll never go back.
RVs are our home away from home, but they often don't feel as comfortable as our house. If you spend any length of time in your RV, you want to feel as comfy as possible. Here are our top tips to making your RV feel more like your home.
Accessorize RVs usually feature light colors, neutral tones, and wood paneling. There's not much included in your RV to make it feel like yours. A great, and inexpensive, way to make your RV feel more like home is to accessorize. Pick up a few throw rugs to add color and personality to your living spaces. Framed pictures, as long as they are hung securely, are another way to brighten up your RV. Throw pillows and blankets can make your RV more comfortable as well as improving the look. You don't have to do it all in a day, but over time, these small accessories will make your RV feel more like yours.
Redo Window Treatments Let's be honest. The manufacturer's window treatments that come standard are awful. To personalize your rig, toss the valances and blinds and get some curtains! They'll soften up your space as well as add color and functionality. Finding curtains that fit your windows may be challenging, but you can always sew your own or get a crafty friend to hem what you buy. Paint or Refinish Unlike our other tips, this one is more work and could be more expensive. But if you do undertake painting your RV, the results are well worth it! You can add accent walls or choose a light, airy shade for the walls to brighten up the space or give it a stronger look. Hate the cabinets? Refinish or paint those, too! It's not a fun job, but one that will give you lots of satisfaction in your work and finished product. You can completely change the look of your RV with a little time and paint. Make up a to-do list of everything you want to accomplish in your RV. If you chip away at it, you'll end up with an RV that feels like home with just a little time and money.
Looking for something different to do on an RV trip this summer? Go fossil hunting! There’s nothing like digging for fossils to make you feel like a kid again, and if you have actual kids with you, they’ll love it too. Here are the best places in America to hunt and find those fossils.
Peace River RV Resort
Located by Thousand Trails in Wauchula, Florida, this resort is the perfect place to set up camp for your fossil trip. The resort has beautiful sites that open up to nature and the river for fossil hunting. You can find elephant, Megalodon, and shark fossils, as well as shark and alligator teeth and bones.
Once covered by a shallow ocean, Westmoreland State Park in Montross, Virginia, is a great place to find fossilized remains of this extinct ecosystem. The area is home to Megalodon fossils as well as fossils from gators, whales, fish, and dolphins, all millions of years old! If you want to take a break from hunting these past relics, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy here.
Florissant Fossil Quarry
Head out to Colorado and visit this great fossil spot. The staff is ready to teach you everything you need to know to find the preserved fossils in the shale. Colorado holds fossils of all kinds, from bugs to dinosaurs, so who knows what you can find! The quarry is located close to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, which is a great stop to check out prime fossil specimens.
Now, who doesn’t want to go on a fossil safari? ! This site is a great place to split shale to find 40-60 million year old fossils. The staff guarantees you’ll find plenty of fossils in just two hours and even offer guided night digging sessions if you want to avoid the heat of the day. Located in Wyoming, you’re in for some great fossils from this safari.
Penn Dixie Fossils
This fossil park in New York is home to fossils of all kinds, petrified wood, and Paleozoic fish. The fossils that can be found here are more than 300 million years old. The equipment is included and the park hosts an annual “Dig with the Experts” event where you can have your fossils identified and learn the tricks of the trade.
When your home or vacation accommodations are on wheels, there’s a lot to remember to operate it safely. With RVs, you have to worry about the propane, refueling, and batteries for various appliances. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and prevent any unfortunate accidents.
Remember to manually shut off and cut power to every appliance when you plan to fill up your propane or gas tanks. This means the stove, refrigerator, furnace, water heater, microwave, etc. Make sure the propane tank is also switched off. Both gas and propane are flammable, so shut your cell phone off as well. A single spark could cause a devastating accident and cell phones have been known to cause this. While turning the appliances off may seem like overkill, if you’re refueling and an appliance switches on, it could cause a fire. If remembering to do this is a problem, make yourself a list that you can go through each time you stop for servicing. Don’t take any chances and take the necessary precautions.
Batteries are another area that demands caution. Take the extra step for safety and wear protective eyewear. Batteries can explode when handled incorrectly. If you need a jump, be careful and take the time to assess the battery. Jumping a frozen battery can result in an explosion. While that’s scary enough, you’ll have to deal with flying battery acid and the resulting medical care as well.
When replacing a battery, follow the instructions. Unhook the negative wire or cable first. When reconnecting the battery, make sure you have it properly aligned. For all other batteries in the RV, pay strict attention to the volts. Using the incorrect voltage can be a big problem both under the hood and inside the vehicle.
Lastly, just like you do at home, ensure the smoke detectors are functional and working properly. If you don’t have a gas or CO2 detector, these are a necessary investment to make. Before you take your RV out, ensure your detectors are operational and working correctly. Every time! You’re out to have a good time, not a near-death experience.
Properly maintaining your RV includes taking precautions to prevent accidents and making sure your vehicle, and your loved ones are safe. You know what they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Eating well while on the road is always a challenge. When you’re in an RV, you have the benefit of being able to cook for yourself while you’re away from home. When you’re making your grocery list and packing up your food for the next big RV adventure, here are some tips to make sure your food is safe and your family fed well.
What to eat on
When planning your meals, avoid purchasing anything that comes packaged in glass. If you can’t find a plastic or cardboard alternative, make sure you have a safe way to store it. The first thing many RVers notice is how much things move around as you’re driving. Dishes, cups, food, and anything else not tightly secured have come flying out of cupboards more times than a person can count! As with your food supplies, purchase some inexpensive plastic dishware and cups, mugs, and whatever else you might need. These are a cleaner alternative to paper plates and will last longer if you have more trips planned for the future.
Don’t let it spoil
Another important consideration to make is how quickly food will spoil. While your driving, the fridge isn’t running. If you plan to set up camp and stay hooked up for several days, go ahead and load up the refrigerator. But if you’ll be traveling around, either pack a cooler to transfer cold items to or pack foods that have a long shelf life. There’s always small grocers and farmers markets to discover along the way to replenish your favorite foods. You can even make it a game and grocery store hop for various items!
Maybe the most important thing to consider is your cooking space. While you do have a kitchen, it’s small, cramped, and is most likely lacking some of the items you need to cook like you usually do. Quick meals such as tacos are still delicious and take minimal time and clean up. Plan your meals to fit into your RV kitchen or you’ll end up wishing you had!
Some conveniences and staple meals may need to be put on hold when you’re RVing. But with proper meal planning and thoughtful shopping, you’ll eat just as well on the road as you do at home.
People who spend time outdoors have to love nature. The good – beautiful views, glimpses of shy wildlife, exploring somewhere few people have been; The bad – days without a shower, pesky insects, inclement weather. While we share this love of exploration and wilderness, there are definitely different categories outdoorsy people fit into. Which one are you?
The Trendy Adventurer
This person has all the best and latest gear, while still making sure it coordinates and fits in with the current hipster look. They are the safe adventurer, never quite losing cell service, and always having their Smartphone ready to capture that next great Instagram photo. They like camping spaces that are well defined and close to civilization, while still getting the outdoor experience they can blog about when sitting by the fire.
The Modern Hippie
Affectionately called “Granola’s” by many people, this person is all about connecting with nature on a personal level. Their bare feet and unkempt hair is a sign that they take being one with nature seriously. You’ll find this type of outdoors man well off the beaten path, taking in scenery that has not had much human interaction or defilement. With their organic supplies and worn but serviceable gear, they are well equipped to wander off and find what they’re looking for.
If you fall into this category, you are an avid outdoors man. Be it biking, hiking, skiing/snowboarding, kayaking… you do it all. These experts have it all packed and ready to go, able to live off the land for days at a time without worrying about how they’ll survive. They’re ready for anything Mother Nature has to throw at them and thrive under open skies. These are the people you want in group whenever you head outdoors.
More at home in an impromptu lean-to than in any house or apartment, the lifers are that small group of outdoors man who make it their life to live off the land. They are the guides, the survivalists who make their living doing what they love. If you fit in this category, you probably won’t ever see this article! With all the attention some lifers are getting on hit T.V. shows, don’t be surprised when you’re offered a spot on Mountain Men.
Owning an RV gives you the chance to really take part in one of the most rewarding events in life: travel. With an RV, you get to see the country, even the world, as it was meant to be seen. You’re engaged in each step of the journey and have not just your destination to discover, but the nature, towns, and people along the way. Here are seven wonderful things you’re discover while RVing.
1. Nature at its Best
With an RV, you get to choose where you go. Wherever you stop in the evening, you have your accommodations with you. This allows you the chance to explore those roads less traveled and get to the destinations that aren’t as crowded. With less vehicles, people, and development; you get to see nature at its best. You can choose to take a road for the scenery alone, even if it brings you a couple hundred miles out of your way, and not regret a moment.
2. Food, Food, Food!
One of the best parts of traveling is experiencing the local must-haves. These dishes are what puts small, family owned restaurants on the map. As you’re driving through towns, you’ll stumble upon local farmers’ markets and out of the way places that will have you coming back the next time you drive through.
3. Views to Steal Your Breath
Remember that house you wanted with the AMAZING view? Now you can get views that take your breath way that you can afford! Park your RV overlooking the ocean, or next to an isolated mountain meadow. Whatever beauty is to you, you can find it in your RV, and wake up to its wonders for as long as you want.
Unlike a vacation involving plane tickets and hotel reservations, when you pack up the RV, you’re on no one’s schedule but your own. You might have an idea of where you’re going but you have total control over how long you stay in each location. Haven’t finished exploring the hiking trails? Stay for a few extra days! Your RV gives you complete freedom to explore, travel, and discover where you want, for as long as you want.
5. Daily Dose of Comfort
Heading off for uncharted wilderness or new cities is exciting. Living out of a single bag is not. If you love roughing it, pack the tent to take advantage of a few evenings under the stars. One of the best parts of an RV is knowing when you’re ready for a shower, it’s there. You have all the comforts you need without the expense of a hotel room or cabin rental. You get the best of both worlds!
When you are getting ready to go camping, no matter where you’re going, or what you’re planning on doing, there is one packing item that stays on the list: S’mores! A camping trip is not a camping trip without this delicious, traditional American treat.
You can thank the Girl Scouts for this ingenious camping snack.
A Girl Scout leader in the 20’s created the S’more and secured her place in history. If you’ve ever gone camping with other people, you’ll know that each group has it’s own special way of making S’mores.
For example, what’s the best way to roast the marshmallow?
Do you use the open flame or stick that gooey ball near the embers? Do you like a light roast, or are you one of those people who just light it up and let it burn to a crisp? Do you use four chocolate pieces, or just two? No matter how many times you’ve gone camping with friends and family, the conversation on how to cook the perfect S’more is inevitable! The crunchy graham cracker, creamy chocolate, and fluffy marshmallow go so well together, it seems as if they were created simply to make this camping treat.
While the traditional S’mores are about as close to perfection as any food on the planet, there are some great ways to change them up.
Adding a slice of banana takes the flavors up a notch and lets you feel less bad about eating three or four! Or what about adding peanut butter to the cracker with the chocolate? What’s better than peanut butter and chocolate?! For a completely new twist, we recommend using Ritz crackers, dark chocolate, and peanut butter with your marshmallow. Get your fix of salty and sweet with this concoction.
Our all time favorite is adding Rolos after the marshmallow is warmed up.
However you choose to eat your S’mores, there never seems to be enough to go around. Next time you’re heading out to the wilderness, make sure you pack double!