Tips for Washing Your RV

washing your RV

Spring is fast approaching and that means warmer weather and Spring Break! But it also means spring cleaning. While this usually applies to your house, as an RVer you can’t forget your home on wheels. While you may need to do some interior organization and cleaning, you can’t neglect washing the exterior of your RV, especially if you’ve had it in storage for the winter.

Tackling the task of washing your RV is no small feat. Your RV is big and it’s got a lot of surface area to clean. If you’re a newer owner and haven’t given your RV a proper wash before, here’s what you should keep in mind.

Change Your Water Frequently

Your RV is large and, possibly, quite dirty. If you try to wash the entire RV with one bucket of water, that bucket is going to be filthy before you’re done with even half a side. There’s no point in cleaning with dirty water and there’s even a chance that dirty water can cause damage to your paint job. Think about it: small rocks and gritty sand caught up in your water and scrubbed on to your RV could lead to scratches. Have a ready supply of water on hand and don’t be afraid to refresh your bucket.

Wash Your RV Gently

While the temptation to use a pressure washer may be great (it would take less time, after all), the proper way to wash an RV is to patiently and thoroughly wash it by hand. Unlike brick or concrete on a house, your RV is more akin to a car. While it’s certainly solidly constructed, there are numerous parts all over your RV that could be damaged through the direct application of pressurized water. Stick to a sponge and the gentle spray from a standard hose when cleaning.

Don’t Forget the Top

Your RV’s roof is probably as dirty, if not more, as the rest of your RV. If your RV’s roof is walkable, you’ll have a pretty easy time cleaning it. Make sure you know whether your RV’s roof is able to bear your weight or not. If it can, you can simply clean it on hands and knees as you would a floor. Just watch your step. If your RV’s roof is not walkable, you’ll have to access it with a ladder and move around the roof’s perimeter cleaning as you go. It’s painstaking, but worth the effort.

Visit Leisure Time RV

If you’re ready to start your own RV adventures, stop by Leisure Time RV to tour motorhome and travel trailer floorplans and find the RV that’s right for your family. Take the comfort of the indoors with you wherever you go with your own RV from Leisure Time RV!

Plan for Your Spring Road Trips

Even though it’s early in the season, it’s a good time to start planning for your spring trips. Some RV parks fill up fast, so if you have a favorite, it’s a good idea to make reservations if the park accepts reservations. And, it’s also a great idea to check into the places you want to see along the way so that you don’t have to hurry to arrive at your destination. You could extend travel time by a day or two if you find something that is a “must see” on the way.

Find the Way

If you want to visit a specific place, plan your route. You could even explore routes with an app from roadtrippers.com. Find campsites, nightclubs, nature hikes and more along the way. Don’t forget to leave time to visit unexpected findings along the way.

RV Parks

If you don’t want to make reservations because you don’t want to be tied down to a time frame, find parks in the area you expect to be in. Have their phone numbers written down so that you can call a couple hours ahead of time to ensure they have an open spot. If you’re the type who has to be on a tight schedule, make reservations ahead of time. Recreation.gov will help you find and book campsites.

More Apps

You can use TripIt to create an itinerary so that all of the different plans and reservations are kept in one place. This saves the time of hunting for the right email later on. The app will keep locations and confirmation numbers in one place. It will also create the best route between stops using Google Maps and turn-by-turn driving directions.

Along The Way will help you find shopping, a bathroom, a place to grab a coffee or sodas and anything else you might want to stop for on the way. If you want to find the cheapest gas on your route, use Gasbuddy. And, to find the perfect restaurant for the times you don’t want to eat fast food or cook yourself along the way, use Opentable.

Visit Leisure Time RV

Be sure to plan a trip to Leisure Time RV to pick up any RV accessories you may need and to have your RV serviced or de-winterized before you head out on the road.

Smart Shopping in Your RV

Saving money is something we all want to do, whether we’re at home or on the road in the RV. Maybe especially when you’re out on the road in your RV. If you’re looking for ways to tighten your budget and live more frugally as you travel, try one of these helpful money-saving techniques.

Buy in Bulk

You might think that buying in bulk is impossible in an RV. After all, even in a roomy motorhome, your storage space is more limited than at home. But those bulk prices sure are tantalizing. If only there was a way to get those bulk savings without having to find a place for all of the product to go.

Try this: meet your neighbors when you arrive at a new RV park or campground and see if they’d like to go shopping with you at the nearest wholesale store, like Costco or Sam’s Club. It will be on you to have the membership, but that won’t stop you from splitting the cost. Divide up the products into equal parts and share the costs equally. That way you have to store less in your RV, but you still get the bulk prices. You’ll also end up meeting new people wherever you go, so win/win.

Buy Items on Clearance or Off-Season

Always be on the lookout for a deal. Whether it’s the clearance rack/shelf or buying swim trunks in December, there are plenty of deals out there to snag for those willing to look. Take some more time when you go shopping for clothes or groceries and seek out items that aren’t full price.

Coupons and Discounts

Not many people want to hunt for coupons, much less try extreme couponing, which is a big time sink, but some couponing is definitely beneficial. You may not always get your favorite brands and you might buy things when you didn’t expect to buy them, but using coupons can save you potentially hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. That kind of money really adds up.

Visit Leisure Time RV

Another great way to make a family road trip more affordable (not to mention more comfortable and fun) is to purchase an RV. If you are in the market for a new RV, stop by Leisure Time RV to walk through the many new and used RV floor plans we have available. Whether you are buying your first RV or are upgrading to something newer, we have something for you.

Making a Romantic Valentine Dinner in Your RV

Traveling in your RV for Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to eat dinner at a pricey restaurant. In fact, you can cook a high-end, restaurant-quality meal easily in the comfort of your RV. This seafood and pasta recipe with a cherry tomato fra diavolo sauce will make you and your lover feel like you’re dining at a costly restaurant without the price or stuffy atmosphere.

Seafood and Pasta with Cherry Tomato Fra Diavolo Sauce

What you’ll need:

Pasta:

  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed seafood (lobster, shrimp, crab meat, white fish)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Fresno chile peppers (thinly sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 small red onion (finely chopped)
  • Salt
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Cooking instructions:

  1. To create the sauce, heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Stir in the chiles, garlic and onions. Stir for 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pour in the sherry. Continue cooking until the sauce has reduced by half.
  2. Stir tomatoes and oregano into the sauce, then cover until tomatoes burst open (10-15 minutes). Stir in the parsley and basil, then remove from heat.
  3. To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pat the seafood dry then sprinkle it with Old Bay, salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat, then cook the seafood in the oil until heated through.
  5. Use the vermouth to deglaze the pan and scrape the brown pieces from the bottom.
  6. Cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Toss the sauce with the pasta and fold in the seafood.
  7. Serve with your favorite green salad and fresh bread.

Visit Leisure Time RV

Don’t forget to stop and see us at the Leisure Time RV for all of your RV needs when you’re out traveling this February.

Tips to Enhance Your RV’s Fridge

Your RV’s fridge isn’t any better or worse than the one you’ve got at home, but it does operate under stressful conditions. The bouncing and jarring as you travel down an uneven road, the variations in weather that you experience, being hit by direct sunlight since an RV interior is smaller than a house… all contribute to your RV’s fridge getting overworked and cutting its efficiency.

Instead of resigning yourself to inefficiency, do yourself and your food a favor and take measures to help your fridge out.

Install Plastic Sliders

There are relatively cheap plastic and rubber sliders that you can install in your fridge to keep things from moving about. They’re not normally useful in a house, but in RVs they’re ideal for keeping things in place while you drive. Many a novice RVer has come to the end of driving for the day, opened their fridge for a soda or snack, and found the juice box or milk carton falling out the door right on top of them. Prevent it from ever happening by holding loose items in place.

Level Your Rig and Keep the Sun Off the Fridge

When you stop in at a campsite or RV park, especially the uneven ground of the former, take some time to get your RV nice and level. You want your RV to be level anyway for purposes of comfort, but did you know that a level RV helps your fridge to operate better too? Another thing you can do when parking is to take into account where your fridge is located within your RV. Place your RV such that the sun, whether it’s coming up or going down, doesn’t shine through a window and hit your fridge directly. Not only will it cause a slight temperature spike from mere contact alone, but it can also hit your condenser coil and overwork it, causing cooling inefficiency.

Visit Leisure Time RV

Here at Leisure Time RV in Oklahoma, we know all of the tricks — big and small — to helping maximize every aspect of your RV lifestyle. Give us a call, visit us online, or stop in and see us to upgrade your RV for the season ahead.

Staying Fit on the Road

Rider on Mountain Bicycle it the field

While you are out on the road in your RV, you may be wondering how to stay fit, especially if the weather gets bad while you are traveling. You can choose to exercise inside or outside. Of course, working out inside gives you the benefit of air conditioning!

While most floor plans you can find at Leisure Time RV are very roomy, there isn’t enough room for exercise equipment. You can still exercise to stay fit without the equipment.

Hiking: If the weather is nice and the area you are camping in has trails, walk the trails. Many trail heads have signs that tell you whether the trail is for beginners or are vigorous. You can choose the best trail for you, though vigorous trails often have rocks as steps or stepping stones, steep hills and long, steep stairs.

Jogging: Most campgrounds have graveled or paved roads. Jog alongside the roads to stay fit. Use a pedometer, GPS or even your tow vehicle to determine the mileage of a certain route.

Knee Bends: If you can’t get out because of the weather or because physical issues keep you from hiking or jogging, you can do knee bends inside the RV. Hold on to a wall or sturdy table to keep your balance. If your balance isn’t that great even with assistance, sit on the sofa, a chair or the bed, then stand. Repeat for several reps.

Airplanes: Rotate your arms forward and backward for several repetitions. Add 2- or 3-pound weights to further tone the muscles.

Toe Touches: Another exercise that doesn’t take a lot of space is toe touches. Keeping your back as straight as possible, bend at your waist and touch your toes. When you stand, be sure to stand up fully and keep your back straight.

Stretches: There are many stretching exercises you can do in an RV. Instead of using a workout machine, find something that is the proper height to do leg stretches.

Pushups: Do regular pushups on the floor or do wall pushups to strengthen your arms. Carrying firewood also helps build strength!

Visit Leisure Time RV

As part of your trip planning exercise, bring your RV to Leisure Time RV for service. Just like you, your RV needs maintenance to keep it in great working order. Make an appointment for at least a week before your trip’s start date for maintenance and to make any repairs required for a long trip.

The Essentials for Going Off the Grid in Your RV

If you’re like the majority of RV campers, you likely stick to well established campgrounds and RV parks when you’re looking for a place to moor your rig. Maybe you sometimes overnight in a parking lot, but that’s about it. There’s another way to camp, though: it’s called boondocking and it involves going off the grid with your RV in order to get more freedom and solitude and to get closer to nature. It’s a fun alternative, but it takes some preparation to pull off. Here are some indispensable items if you’re going to go camping off the grid in your RV.

An Energy Source

Above all else, you need to be able to power your RV and its systems, lest you downgrade to camping in a tent. You can manage this by installing some solar panels and/or bringing along a generator. A combination of the two often works best, but if you’re only planning to boondock for a short period of time, you can get by on a solar panel configuration alone. Generators are recommended if you plan to put down anchor for an extended period of time.

Bring several spare batteries. Your RV has a some installed, but the juice might run out while you’re off the grid. You can rotate fresh batteries in while using your solar panels/generator to recharge the empty batteries.

Lighting

If you want to continue to do things after the sun goes down, you’re going to want to have some lighting along. Remember, if you’re off the grid there won’t be streetlights nearby (unless your idea of boondocking is the backyard!). Bring solar lights, which offer one of the easiest lighting solutions for boondockers. They charge during the day and provide ample light for the evening. Just be sure to shell out enough money for quality lights.

Climate Control

Using your RV’s onboard A/C system hogs a lot of energy and drains batteries very quickly. While it’s not a problem with an electric hookup, out in the sticks you’re going to see that your power reserves drain at an alarming rate if you’ve got your cooling or heating on. Bring a low-volt fan along for cooling purposes. There are 12V fans available that will have minimal impact on your power supply. For heating, try a propane powered unit.

Save on Water

Your water supply is a commodity when boondocking. Conserve it as much as possible by installing water saving devices, such as a shower heads and faucets that aerate water or slow down the flow of water so that you’re using less water when you turn on the tap.

Visit Leisure Time RV

If you’re ready to start your own RV adventures, on or off the grid, stop by Leisure Time RV to tour motorhome and travel trailer floorplans and find the RV that’s right for your family. Take the comfort of the indoors with you wherever you go with your own RV from Leisure Time RV! If you need supplies for boondocking, we’re just the place to pick those up.

Keeping Warm in Your RV

RVs aren’t typically designed for frigid weather. However, that doesn’t mean you have to own a costly four-seasons RV to stay warm in cold destinations. These few, helpful tips will ensure you stay warm when you’re venturing throughout the country this fall and winter.

Keep Drafts at Bay

RVs have a tendency to feel drafty, and small leaks are what cause those drafts. Use silicone rubber or spray foam insulation to patch those tiny spots where cold air is seeping inside.

Larger drafts require larger treatments. Insulated “snakes,” or the long, stuffed insulating tubes you see at the hardware store, help keep warm air inside when placed in doorways. Painters’ tape is another easy fix for temporary use. Place the tape over the leaks behind your appliances and cabinetry for short-term stays in cold destinations.

Keep the Shades Closed

Another easy way to keep the interior of your RV warm in the winter months is to keep your curtains and shades closed. Closing the shades will trap a layer of air between the shade and the window that serves as an insulator. It won’t warm your RV to a higher temperature, but it will keep the temperature from dropping rapidly.

Use Plenty of Rugs

Waking up in a cold RV can be dreadful, especially when you know you have to walk along laminate floor. Use throw rugs to insulate the floors of your RV more thoroughly and save your feet from those freezing winter mornings.

Consider a Space Heater

A quality ceramic space heater can make the difference between comfort and discomfort in the cold months. Use the space heater in addition to your RV’s furnace to assist the furnace and save you big bucks on hefty propane costs.

Visit Leisure Time RV

Here at Leisure Time RV in Oklahoma, we know all of the tricks — big and small — to helping you stay warm in your RV in the winter. Give us a call, log online or stop in and see us to upgrade your RV for the winter ahead.

Apps You Should Have for RVing

Before you head out on the first trip of the season, you may want to download some helpful apps. Whether you need to find a retailer in a strange place, information about campgrounds or even find the cheapest gas, apps make your RV trip less stressful if you’re in a new area.

Post Office

If you need a post office to mail something, you could waste a lot of time finding one in certain areas. Instead, just download this free app to find the closest post office so you can replenish stamps and other postal necessities.

AllStays Camp & RV

Find information on 16,825 campgrounds, state parks, national parks, national forests, BLM, private campgrounds and Army Corps of Engineers facilities. It also shows 2,800 truck stops, Sam’s Clubs, Cracker Barrels, Costco stores and Walmart stores.

State Line

This app is helpful if you are traveling from state to state. You’ll be able to find speed limits, driving rules, average sales tax, right on red laws, seatbelt laws, time zones, alcohol laws and more.

Gas Buddy

This free app tells you where to find the cheapest gas at your location.

Hi-Def Radar

Get current weather information from NOAA. In some cases, the moving images are as new as 4 minutes.

Weather Radio

This app is not free, but at $9.99, it’s worth it – Weather Radio gives you storm warnings from NOAA for up to five different locations. Even if your phone is off, it will announce storm warnings.

Walmart

This free app finds the closest Walmart to you; and it provides the store’s phone number so that you can call to ask if it’s okay to park overnight in their lot if you are boondocking.

GPS Apps

Use GPS apps to find places and to find your way. MotionX-GPS Drive finds restaurants and places, but you can put only one segment at a time in. While it’s not the best app for navigation, it is best for finding places.

Premium CoPilot lets you choose your vehicle. This comes in handy when you need to know a bridge height in strange cities. This app supports up to 50 segments for a trip and is great for navigation.

Visit Leisure Time RV

Stop by Leisure Time RV to pick up any accessories you may need; and if you don’t have an RV yet, but are planning on buying one, stop by to walk through the many floor plans we have in our RV showroom.

Vacation Costs: RV vs. Non-RV

When you compare the costs of staying in a motel or having an RV, the RV vacation is much cheaper, assuming you’re not going somewhere within a couple hours for just two or three days. Even so, the RV has benefits that staying in a hotel or motel doesn’t provide, such as the comfort of knowing your “room” is clean, there are no bedbugs, and you can have a home-cooked meal if you want.

Let’s look at some numbers. For a family of four, you can expect to spend at least $2,000 on airfare, and that’s if you’re going somewhere nearby. Once you are at your destination, you’ll need a way to get around. Rental car costs for three days is about $150. Fuel costs would depend on how much driving you expect to do. There’s no sense in going on a vacation if you’re going to sit in a hotel the entire time, so you can expect to fill the tank at least once. At $1.69 per gallon for a 20-gallon tank, that’s just under $34.

Meals out for a family of four would average $40 for breakfast, $60 for lunch and $100 for dinner if you keep it to less expensive places. Multiply that by 3 for each meal and you’re at about $600 for food.

Now add in the hotel rooms. If you find a place for about $75 per night, inclusive of taxes and fees and the kids share a room, you’re at $150 per night. That’s over $3,000 for three days and two night – and that’s being conservative.

On the other hand, if you have an RV, you can save tons. Assume the cost of ownership of the RV, including payments and insurance is about $500 per trip. Gas for a 700-mile trip would be about $250. If you choose to eat out for every meal, you wouldn’t save money there, but if you choose to make home-cooked meals, food for three days might cost $100 if you get just a little bit crazy and buy stuff that you might never buy because of the cost. This drops your price for a three-day weekend for four people to about $850. Even if you spent $500 more than you expected to, that is still a savings of over $1,650.

The best thing is, when you pay off the RV, the cost of ownership drops considerably, thus further reducing the cost of a family trip.

Visit Leisure Time RV

Stop by Leisure Time RV to walk through the many floor plans we have available, including RV models available for payments under $149 per month – which significantly reduces the cost of ownership.