How to Control Bugs and Pests When RVing

One of the best ways to make sure that your RV vacation will be pleasant is to take steps to safely protect your travelers as well as your vehicles from bugs and pests.

There are several methods you can use that are easy, fast, safe and effective such as

•     environmental control
•     proper vehicle preparation,
•     fending off invasive pests,
•     avoiding contact with bugs and insects and
•     correctly dealing with ticks.

Using some or all of them will eliminate many of the problems you might encounter while traveling and can significantly help to improve your RV travel experience.

Don't Let Bugs and Pests Ruin Your RV Trips!Pixabay

How to Sleep Well When RVing

There are many reasons why people don't sleep well when traveling in their recreational vehicles. 

The. most common ones are owning an ill equipped RV, staying in a substandard campsite or a coach that is not level, using an uncomfortable mattress, incorrectly using bedding, having poor air quality, excessive noise ,intrusive lighting, uncomfortable temperature and health problems.
There is nothing better than sleeping well when RVing

What You Need to Know About the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is held during the first three weeks of August every year.

Tons of bikers and gawkers alike descend on this small town, which is just west of Rapid City, South Dakota, so that they can spend some time showing off their bikes, buying, selling and trading cycle related items and simply enjoying themselves with others who share they enthusiasm for motorcycles.

Let me take you on a short tour.

Sturgis Main Street During Motorcycle Rally

How to See the Best of the Black Hills in Less Than a Week

If you’re planning a trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota, but are on a limited time schedule, this article will show you how to see the best that the Hills have to offer and be able to do so in less than a week.
There is so much to see and do, that nobody could possibly do it all on one trip, so this guide will help you to spend your travel time wisely.
While the entire Black Hills area is rife with tourist attractions, there are only a few that really are worth seeing, the best of which are located in or near the towns of Custer, Keystone, and Hill City.
While all three have numerous small shops and museums that are fun to browse, the people who spend the majority of their time there, often miss the best that these places have to offer.
How to see the best of the Black Hills in less than a week.

The 1880 Train

Custer State Park

You have two choices for your one week vacation:
You can either visit the attractions I mention below, or you can stay in or near Custer State Park.
The park is a stunningly beautiful, 71,000 acre wildlife preserve that houses campgrounds, lodges, lakes, hiking trails, and all sorts of wildlife.
There are so many things to see and do within the park, that you could spend weeks there. For example, you can:
  • visit or stay in one of the four lodges,
  • stop by the fire tower,
  • camp in one of the 10 campgrounds,
  • visit the country store,
  • hike the six trails,
  • drive down to the park's corrals,
  • tour the wildlife loop road to see buffalo, prairie dogs, deer, antelope, elk, and other wildlife,
  • take in a live show at the park's Black Hills Theater,
  • go to a barn dance,
  • learn how to pan for gold or understand the stars,
  • go fishing in one of the park's many wonderful freshwater streams,
  • visit the home of South Dakota's poet laureate,
  • drive along the magnificent and scenic Needles Highway.,
  • visit the Mt. Coolidge fire tower,
  • tour the park's two visitor centers and museums,
  • visit the old fort at the park's West entrance and/or
  • attend the annual wild buffalo roundup, festival and sale in the Fall.
If you choose the second option, you can still stay in the park and enjoy it as a home base while you visit the other attractions mentioned below.
There is no way you will be able to see both in less than a week. Even two weeks would be a stretch.
A panoramic view of one section of Custer State Park.

A panoramic view of one section of Custer State Park.
The Big Attractions
Anybody visiting the Black Hills will pay a visit to Mt. Rushmore, but a good number miss seeing the Crazy Horse Memorial.
Both incredible attractions are located near the towns of Keystone and Hill City, but you should plan on spending at least a day to see each one.
Another well known (but costly) attraction you should see is the big old time steam engine train called the 1880's train.
It travels several times daily from Hill City to Keystone and back.
When you are on it, you really do feel as though you’re back in the old West, and they even have a fake cowboy “hold up” during the ride that kids and adults alike just love.
The Crazy Horse Memorial

The Crazy Horse Memorial

The Gutson Borglum Historical Center

The train allows passengers to depart at either town so that they can enjoy the sights and have a bite to eat, but unfortunately it stops at the opposite side of Keystone from its most interesting attraction, the Gutzon Borglum Historical Center.
It’s a bit of a walk to get to it, but it’s well worth the effort to do so.
This self guided tour gives visitors an extremely detailed view of Borglum's life as well as the work he did when creating Mount Rushmore.
It also presents a wonderful history of Mount Rushmore.
This information is a real eye opener because it takes you back to a time when construction techniques were much more primitive than they are today.
The artifacts and videos one sees there are a real testament to the ingenuity, planning and hard work that went into the sculpting of Mount Rushmore.
Gutson Borglum working on his model for Mt. Rushmore.

Gutson Borglum working on his model for Mt. Rushmore.
RiseStudio, PDUS, via wikimedia commons

The Best Place to Eat in All of the Black Hills

There are numerous restaurants in the general area, but none can match the charming restaurant called The Alpine Inn.
It is a very old hotel that sits on the register of historic places and is owned by a German family that really knows how to cook!
The food is so good that people stand in line for hours to get into this place, so if you decide to go, show up early!
Instead of one large dining room, it is composed of several small ones, all decorated in old west style.
They only serve lunch and dinner and only accept cash.
It's the only restaurant I've ever seen that only offers just two entrees for dinner: a small bacon wrapped filet or a large one! Side dishes are the same for every customer: a wedge of lettuce drenched in home made Ranch Dressing, a baked potato and some Texas Toast.
I'm adding a link to their menu here so that you can have a better idea about what they serve and how much they charge.
Dining there is an outstanding experience, and one you definitely will not want to miss!

Spend Your Black Hills Vacation Time Wisely

There is so much to see and do in the Black Hills that there is no way that visitors would have the time to see it all.
Since a number of great attractions are clustered in and around Hill City and Keystone, I felt that telling you about them would allow you to able to see the best the area has to offer in the shortest amount of time.
If you want to see the rest, you’ll simply have to visit again!
Happy Trails.

How to Plan a Terrific RV Christmas Vacation

If you want to enjoy the holidays in your RV, this plan is for you.

Using your coach as a "getaway wagon" allows you to drive right out of all the stresses that are involved with cooking, cleaning, entertaining, shopping and having to eat meals with people you really don't like.

This alone should be enough to make you want to go.  So, if you decide to go, here is a plan that will give you some of the best parts of the holiday season while at the same time eliminating those elements that make it miserable for you every year.
Take an RV Holiday Vacation and Avoid All of the Stress

Give Advance Notice

The easiest way to avoid problems with relatives and friends is to tell them at least a month or two in advance that this year you will not be available to participate in their annual events.

Prep and Send Cards and Gifts Early

Prep your cards in October and mail them early in November.  If you plan to purchase gifts, buy them early, wrap them and send them out at the same time you mail your cards.

Forget the Decorations

You don't need to decorate because you won't be home!  However, if you just can't live without doing some decorating, buy a small set of Christmas lights  and hang them on your RV's awning.

You can do more if you like, but if you stay at the right campground, there will be more than enough decorations to enjoy (see video below).

Decide Where You Want to Go

Take a hard look at your calendar to see how much time you'll have, decide where you want to go and reserve early.  

Popular area campgrounds fill up quickly, so making your plans far in advance will guarantee you a spot.

Make sure your destination is one that will offer the types of activities you enjoy so that you can have some fun while you're there.

Plan a Holiday RV Meal

One of the best things about the holidays is food.  

Some facilities have holiday dinners, but others do not.  Ask before you go so that you'll know whether you need to cook or not.

If you do have to cook. you can create terrific meals simply by using your crock pot and microwave oven.

  • Prepare a turkey breast or some pre cooked ham,
  • instant mashed potatoes,
  • instant stuffing mix,
  • warm and serve dinner rolls,
  • cranberry sauce,
  • sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping,
  • veggies of choice,
  • pumpkin pie with whipped cream

and you're done!

This makes a delicious meal and allows for leftovers you can enjoy for several days.  Cleanup is easy, too.

This meal will also provide an opportunity to invite a few people to join you, because there will be plenty of food.

Use Your RV to Escape!

One of the best things about owning an RV is that you can use one to go just about anywhere you like for any amount of time that is available to you.

Your getaway does not have to be far, it just needs to be in a place where people can't reach you.

Turn off your cell phones, turn on your TV or a CD, have a nice glass of wine and just relax.

You'll quickly see that this will be the best holiday you've ever had, and you'll quickly realize that this is something you should try to do every year!

Have a terrific trip!
Christmas at Chula Vista RV Resort

Why You Need to Know How You'll Use an RV Before Buying One

If you are planning to purchase a recreational vehicle, it is more important than you may realize to take the time to consider what you plan to do with it before you buy one.

This is not an easy thing to do because nobody can foresee the future, but if you ignore this step, like so many people do, you could end up wasting a lot of money.

These tips will help you not only to save but also to have more enjoyable RV vacations.

Choosing the Right RV for You Is Important (with Special Permission)

Consider Your Situation

The first thing you need to think about is that as time goes one, your needs will change. Therefore, you want to think about the type of life you expect to live and the type of vacations you think you would enjoy.

Your goal should be to buy a coach that meets your current needs but that also can take care of those that might change.

For example, if you are married, you may want to buy a small motor home, but if you are planning on starting a family, you might be better off buying a pull trailer because they are the safest type of RV to use when traveling with children.

If you choose the trailer over the motor home, you'll save money because you won't have to "trade up" for many years.

Questions to Ask Yourself

In order to make a good decision, you should ask yourself questions such as these before you actually make an RV purchase:

  1. If you are single, do you plan to marry?
  2. If you do marry, would you like to have children?
  3. Are you married?
  4. Do you have children?
  5. Do you work or are you retired?
  6. How much vacation time do you have each year?
  7. What is your financial situation?
  8. Are you healthy or do you have problems that might make RV travel difficult?
  9. What type of vacations do you think you'd like to take?
  10. Can you afford to take long trips, or will you have to stick with shorter ones?
  11. Are you a large, small or average sized person?  How about your fellow travelers

It's Important to Be Realistic

If you are still working, it is likely that you will only have time to travel a few weeks each year.  Therefore the big trips you dream of taking may have to wait until you retire.  

This being the case, a trailer or camper is a much better choice because trailers need much less care than motor homes, provide plenty of room for couples and/or families and are perfect to use for shorter vacations

Also, if you are a large person, you need to make sure that you will be comfortable using the shower, toilet and seating in any coach you buy.

All of the questions above are ones worth your consideration because the last thing you want to do is spend too much money or own a unit that does not fit your lifestyle or needs.

The Bottom Line

If you run out and buy just to have something to use for vacations, you'll soon find yourself trading for another unit.  Doing so will cost you plenty, and if you don't carefully consider your needs, you could end up with a similar situation.

This is why you need to know how you plan to use an RV before actually buying one.

  • The right coach makes travel wonderful.
  • The wrong one will make your vacations miserable.

Good Luck!

Things to Think About When Shopping for an RV

4 Reasons Why RV Washing Machines Are Good to Have

If you have been RV shopping, you already know that some units come with their own washing machines.

Some are combination units that both wash and dry, while others are larger, household type machines.

Many people either don't want to have them because they 
  1. would prefer to use the space they take up for storage,
  2. don't know how to use them or 
  3. are intimidated by them because they fear water damage to their coaches.
The first issue is, of course, a matter of personal preference, but the the second and third are the result of not knowing enough about them to be able to make an informed decision about the value of owning one.

Why Use a Public Laundry When You Can Wash Clothes in Your RV

Why Having an RV Washing Machine Is a Big Issue

Over the years my husband and I have owned numerous recreational vehicles. Some had washing machines while others did not.

Right now we own a small motor home that does not have one, but boy do I wish it did!  So much, in fact, that we are now looking for another travel unit that does have this type of equipment.

I suppose if you only travel a few weeks every year, this becomes a non-issue, but for me, it's a very big one because without a washer and dryer in my coach I
  • have to deal with dirty laundry, the space it takes up and the way it smells,
  • am always forced to hang towels and damp clothes around the RV until they dry,
  • pay around $20 per week while on the road to use laundromats and
  • waste time going to laundromats to wash and dry our clothing and linens.
I don't go on vacations to waste time on chores.  I go on them to enjoy myself.

The Benefits

With my own washing machine on board, I save a ton of time, because I can throw a load in to wash before dinner and dry it in the early evening, pay nothing to do so, always have clean dry clothes and linens.

This chore never gets in the way of having fun and helps to keep our coach looking neat and clean.

So, if you have not yet made a purchase, you may want to consider buying a coach that has a washing machine.

On the other hand, if you own a coach that is already plumbed for this type of unit, you can simply buy one and have it professionally installed.  Just make sure you buy one that is vented because the non-vented ones do not work well.

I can't wait to find my next one because I'm really tired of having all the problems that go along with traveling without a washer and dryer!

How an RV Washer/Dryer Combo Works