Category: Camping

What began as a three-week quarantine has extended into every aspect of our lives from how we work, shop, and recreate for nearly a year. Safety precautions have changed the outlook on almost every form of our daily lives. What does this mean for the prospect of camping? The good news is: the prospect for camping is a positive one! Let’s take a look at the top three questions people ask about camping as well as the top three COVID-19 camping tips.  

Is It Safe to Camp?

In general, the answer is yes, camping is safe. In fact, according to the CDC, one of the best ways to stay healthy both mentally and physically is through outdoor activities. Engaging in hiking and biking is actually recommended as they don’t involve close contact with others. These and other forms of outdoor exercise provide your body with fresh air, stress relief, and a dose of vitamin D from the sunshine.

This means that camping is considered a safe activity as long as you follow common COVID-19 safety protocols such as social distancing, wearing a mask when you are near others, frequently washing your hands, and camping only with those in your household.

Are Parks Open for Camping During COVID-19 Pandemic?

While most parks that can be safely staffed are open – including RV sites – some are at reduced capacity. Which parks are open for camping will depend on the individual park. Fortunately, because outdoor activities promote mental and physical well being, private and public parks have been part of the “deemed essential” group, so they’ve been open in some capacity for the majority of the COVID outbreak. There is a lot of public land that offers many opportunities for camping.

Federal parks have recently updated their protocols. According to numerous recent national park press releases across the country, masks are required for employees, visitors, partners, and contractors to, “protect the health of those who live, work, and visit national parks and National Park Service (NPS) facilities, and in support of President Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing.”

Is My Destination Open?

While most national and state parks are open, it is highly recommended to look for news on websites or call destinations before planning a trip. There may be closures or restrictions that could impact your camping experience.

Some parks have temporarily closed. Check for state park closures prior to your trip. The Department of Natural Resources has a listing of state park closures for Michigan, Ohio, and other states as well.

Some locations may have restricted capacity, or be operating on a “first come, first serve” type situation. Some parking lots may also be closed or have limited capacity due to restrictions – especially those with historically high traffic volumes – in an effort to comply with social distancing regulations.

COVID-19 Camping Safety Tips

Camp with Your Close Family Only

The common COVID-19 camping safety protocols recommend limiting your party to only those in your household. Here is where RV camping shines and is one of the reasons RV camping is growing in popularity – so much so that there are even RV shortages! Your RV is like your own hotel room or vacation home on wheels. Everything in it is yours and you are the only one(s) who use it, so the chance of exposure to COVID-19 in your RV is like the chance of exposure in your own home.

Pack a Sterilization Kit

It is wise to bring a sanitation or sterilization kit with you when COVID-19 camping. As with any traveling, packing a kit that contains soap, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and the like. This will keep you prepared for any situation where you may encounter high-touch surfaces that may contain the virus. You can wipe these surfaces down prior to use, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after touching questionable surfaces, or use hand sanitizer.

Bring Your Mask

When you leave your RV whether going for a solo hike or participating in a family recreational activity, bring your mask. You may encounter others out on the trail and not be able to maintain proper social distancing. Even if you plan a disbursed camping or boondocking trip with the intention of encountering only those people in your own household, it is possible that you may have to speak or interact with staff or other campers, so it’s a good idea to always have your mask with you just to be safe.

Be Careful at Playgrounds

When camping with children you are likely to encounter parks that offer public entertainment areas like playgrounds. While there’s nothing like a swing set or a slide to entertain the children, even if the playground is empty, there’s a potential for viruses/bacteria to be left on equipment your children may touch. While it has always been a good idea to have your children wash their hands, COVID-19 camping means it’s best to try to wipe down public equipment before you use it, make sure everyone washes their hands afterwards. You may even opt to avoid the playgrounds altogether and play some family games.

Sure, there are many more precautions with COVID-19 camping, but overall RVs are a safer alternative to hotels and offer a great way to get out in the fresh air and keep yourself and those in your household healthy.

Contact RV Wholesale Superstore 

The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 640-9871 

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Dedicated RV campers don’t let a little snow and freezing wind stop them from enjoying the freedom of a camping trip! If you’re planning your next cold-weather vacation, we have a few recommendations for your next Midwest winter campsite.

Read on to learn about some of our favorites here in the Midwest to help you plan your trip and get the most enjoyment out of your winter camping!

Safety First: Before You Plan Your Winter RV Camping Trip

If you’re new to camping or to the idea of winter RV camping, it does come with some caveats! Even if you’re a veteran of the type of cold Midwest winters can bring, you need to be prepared or you won’t get to fully enjoy your trip!

Before you head out on the road, we recommend you read these important cold weather RVing tips to get started on your first winter RV trip. They’ll guide you through the most common pain points of camping in the winter, along with ways to prepare your RV to make it safer and more comfortable even when the temperatures hit below zero!

Tahquamenon Falls State Park – Michigan

Boasting an area of nearly 50,000 acres, the Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a popular destination all year-round. The centerpiece of this beautiful state park is the Tahquamenon River and several waterfalls within it. Starting from the Upper Falls, which is one of the largest waterfalls this side of the Mississippi, you can witness the awe-inspiring 50-foot drop that brings thousands of visitors every year!

Of course, if you’re visiting in the winter, everything becomes that much more breathtaking. The snow-covered trees surrounding the river and throughout the park, along with the gorgeous river, present a winter wonderland straight from your dreams.

If your RV is a toy hauler, don’t forget to bring along a snowmobile or two. In addition to all the fun activities, this state park has trails designated for snowmobile use when there’s at least 4” of snow!

Maumee Bay State Park – Ohio

Right around the corner from our home in Sylvania, Ohio is the beautiful Maumee Bay State Park. It’s a favorite for our local campers, and if you’re in the area, it’s one you shouldn’t miss out on! Whether for an extended stay or just a weekend visit, the park provides spacious RV areas with on-site electricity ready to keep you warm during a chilly winter day.

It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, Maumee Bay State Park has it all:

  • Beachfront view
  • Comfy Campsites
  • Special events all the time
  • Beautiful natural views
  • Great dry camping or hook-up experiences

There’s plenty to do around the park – especially if you love to wander. Plan to bring gear to enjoy winter activities like:

  • Cross-country skiing on designated trails
  • Ice Skating
  • Sledding

And since you’re staying overnight, you’ll get to enjoy the incredible view of the sun setting over Lake Erie.

French Creek State Park – Pennsylvania

This nearly 8,000-acre park is nestled in the heart of Pennsylvania, not too far from Philadelphia. It’s the largest area of contiguous forest between Washington D.C. and New York City, making it a favorite getaway for nature lovers throughout the east coast and Midwest areas.

The natural landscape of French Creek State Park has something for everyone, from wetlands to open fields to lakes and forests, making it great for hikers and travelers to experience much of what the natural area has to offer. Wildlife thrives throughout the park, even during the winter season, for those of you who love to camp to watch animals in their natural habitats!

Open every day of the year, with the large campground open from March through January. Most of the sites have electrical hook-ups, though depending on visitor volume, you may have to make use of the public charging stations between periods of camping without direct hook-ups.

Contact RV Wholesale Superstore 

The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 640-9871 

Connect with us on Social Media! 

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Here in Sylvania, Ohio, we’re no strangers to cold weather. “RV Season” often means clear roads and green woods, but to many, the real season starts when the snow hits and temperatures drop. If you’re new to the idea of cold weather RVing then it’s important you know the necessary preparations involved with making your RV winter-ready. It’s important to stay safe when cold weather RVing – read on to follow these critical tips!

Invest in RV Skirting

One of the best upgrades you can make to your RV for cold weather RVing is an RV skirt. If you’re not familiar, these are exactly what they sound like – a material that wraps around the base of your RV to keep out drafts from the underneath.

Sometimes referred to as “windskirting,” an RV skirt protects your RV during the cold, drafty days. The reason skirting is so important is that the underneath of your RV is easily the most significant area of heat loss throughout the entire vehicle. By creating extra insulation against the cold, you not only fight incoming drafts, you conserve the heat generated by your RV to reduce energy usage and keep the floors warmer for your feet!

RV skirts come in all types of connections, from basic buttoning to more advanced connections. But they all come with the same benefits:

  • Lower propane cost/usage
  • Help protect your water lines
  • Keep your RV warmer

If you plan to camp in the winter with your RV, an RV skirt is a no-brainer!

Be Prepared with a Heated Water Supply Line

Like a home, cold weather is most dangerous to your plumbing. While RV skirting can go a long way to help protecting your RV’s plumbing, it’s a good idea to invest in heated lines for your RV to make sure you never have to deal with the hassles of a frozen line.

Freezing pipes are a common problem for cold weather RVing. It’s not something to take lightly – from a functional view, it’s annoying, and from a maintenance view, it can be costly to repair plumbing to your RV following an ice burst!

Basic pipe wrap can be helpful, but when it’s well below freezing, these won’t be enough. Active heated hoses use some of your RV power to generate heat and keep the cold from leeching into your drinking water or otherwise. There are plenty of options out there for active heating supply lines, but if you have questions, we can help!

Insulate Your RV Underbelly

Another step you can take to capture heat in your RV and fight against the winter chill is to add some additional insulation to your RV underbelly. Because the underside of your RV is the most likely place to lose heat, adding some insulation will support RV skirts in reducing propane usage and generally making your RV safer and more comfortable to use for cold weather camping.

Fortunately, insulating your RV underbelly is a task that can be done easily and fairly inexpensively. One of the most common ways to bulk up underbelly insulation is with insulating foam boards available at nearly any local hardware store.

The actual installation will require some work underneath your RV, for sizing the cut of the board, making sure it fits snug against the underbelly (which can sometimes require removing and replacing some pipes) and screwing it in place.

Another solution that’s available is spray insulation. This type of insulation is sprayed from a can and foams up to not only add heat insulation, but protect your underbelly from moisture. Foam insulation can be easier to apply, but it’s a bit tricky to use for first timers. If you’re not familiar with it, you may want to leave it to a professional!

Be Careful with Space Heaters

Many cold weather RVing pros make use of space heaters to keep the interior of their RV warmer in specific areas or to make use of stored electricity versus propane heating. Most RVers would recommend having a small space heater if you plan to RV – they can make a huge difference in keeping you comfortable when the chill sets in!

However, you want to be careful when using your space heaters, as they can have some adverse effects for your RV. The biggest risk is when they stop the propane furnace from firing due to creating a warmer temperature in the RV than the rest of the RV is experiencing. While this may not seem like an issue if you’re comfy and warm inside, it is when your underbelly and other areas of the RV aren’t getting the heat they need!

So feel free to make use of your space heaters, but pay attention to the RV as a whole when you flip them on. It’s important not to trade immediate comfort for headaches when your underbelly plumbing starts to freeze, or the bedroom is ice cold after you’re done enjoying the common area.

Prevent Your Tanks from Freezing

Holding tanks are just as vulnerable as your pipes to winter freezing. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent this:

Enclosed Tanks

Many modern RVs come with heated or enclosed holding tanks. If you plan to cold weather RV, you may want to mark this as a “must have” for your next purchase to ensure you’re ready to hit the campgrounds when the snow is falling.

Antifreeze

Antifreeze is another potential option for your holding tanks. Non-toxic antifreeze for RVs is a product that can be purchased at most RV supply stores. You can load a few quarts of this into your holding tanks to keep them safe against the cold weather. Just remember that over time, you’ll need to top off the antifreeze to keep it from being too diluted to work!

Contact RV Wholesale Superstore 

The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 640-9871 

Connect with us on Social Media! 

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Pinterest