Category: RV Living

Wintertime isn’t usually what comes to mind when someone mentions camping. But when temperatures drop and snow covers trees and bushes like thick frosting, there’s nothing like camping to experience all the beauty of wintertime and the activities that come with it. The freedom to camp year-round means you can experience a variety of climates, scenery, and you don’t always have to battle the crowds for a good campsite.

Protect Your Water

It’s no secret that freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on water lines. Even in a brick-and-mortar home frozen water pipes can burst. When you are living in a camper in the winter, taking special care to avoid frozen lines is just as important.

There are several solutions to combat frozen pipes but the best way to avoid a frozen RV water line is to have a heated water pipe or hose. This is by far the best option for avoiding frozen lines. Heated hoses for drinking water are pricier, but they are all inclusive and if you plan to do a lot of winter camping, well worth the investment. There is also heat tape and heat cables (sometimes called heat wraps). If you already have a hose and are looking for something economical, these alternate wrapping solutions can work to keep lines from freezing. Insulating your hose along with using a heat wrapping solution helps improve the effectiveness.

Something to remember when purchasing these heated hoses or heat wrap solutions: you get what you pay for! You may see two nearly identical hoses or heat tapes and one is much less expensive than the other. You’ll think you just got a great bargain until you realize you’re living in a camper in winter temperatures that get down to -40 or -50 degrees and your “bargain” is only rated to -20 degrees. Not a great deal in the long run.

Another thing you can do to help prevent liquids from freezing in the tanks is to keep in warm inside your RV. That doesn’t mean you need to crank up the heat and feel like you’re living in a sauna. But when you keep the temperatures above freezing on the interior of your RV, you are more likely to prevent freezing tanks from occurring.

Consider a Smaller RV

The larger your RV, the more space you have to keep warm. This also means more insulation is required. If you plan to do some winter camping, or are considering living in a camper in the winter, consider purchasing a smaller RV. Smaller size doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing amenities. Good things come in small packages and there are tons of benefits packed into many smaller RVs. One of the biggest benefits is that they are much easier to keep warm in the winter. On the flip side, they are also easier to keep cool in the summer!

If you already have a large RV and are accustomed to all the room, you may not be willing to give up those big RV benefits. Or you may have a large family that needs a larger RV. Whatever your reasons, when you have a large RV, one of the most efficient ways to warm your RV is by sectioning off areas of your interior with blankets. This will help you heat the areas you are using only when you are using them. Keeping just your usable space warm will help keep down heating costs.

You’ll still need more insulation with a larger RV, but if you can prioritize the areas above your tanks as your main areas of heated usable space, it creates a win-win because your tanks will be less likely to freeze.

Speaking of Insulation

Large or small, your RV will be equipped with stock insulation. For most camping situations the stock insulation is perfectly fine. But if you are living in a camper in the winter, the temperatures can be extremely cold. It’s a good idea to improve the insulation as much as your situation and resources allow.

This can mean adding aftermarket insulation to your entire RV to improve the heating efficiency. If you are watching your budget, there are also some basic insulation solutions. RV skirting is a great overall fix that not only insulates your entire RV by trapping warmer air in underneath your RV, but it helps keep cold air and frigid winds from blowing underneath. Simply blocking off windows is a big help when it comes to preventing heat loss. There are window insulation kits available, but many handy and rather ingenious ideas for using plexiglass, blankets and even bubble wrap are available as well. Resourcefulness is a great trait to have when you’re camping any time of year, but very handy when you’re camping in the winter.

Prepare Enough Propane

You may not be surprised that living in a camper in the winter can be tough on your heating system. Ensuring that you are stocked up with enough propane tanks to last for your entire trip is critical. Running out of propane when you’re camping in the winter isn’t a mere inconvenience. It can jeopardize your physical well-being along with your water tanks. So, be sure to stock at least one extra tank. That way if one tank runs out, you can still have heat while you refill the empty tank. This is especially important when you are camping in a location that doesn’t offer on-site propane fills.

Safe Driving is a Must

No matter how many times you’ve driven with your camper in the other three seasons, it is crucial to make sure you’re comfortable driving it on slick and snowy roads. If the roads are snowy or icy before you take a long trip away from home, take the chance to get out there and practice some driving. While any vehicle is difficult to maneuver through snow, towing a travel trailer or driving an RV take difficult driving to a whole new level. Something as routine as backing up can become quite an ordeal if you aren’t prepared.

Getting stuck in a snowbank is no one’s idea of a vacation, and even less fun when you’re towing an RV. Keeping tire chains on hand is a good idea and you’ll be extremely glad you have them should you ever need them. It’s important to know what the local laws are about tire chain usage. Even if you’re living in a camper in the winter, if you need to relocated and the road conditions are dangerous, tire chains can make all the difference.

While there are a few unique things to keep in mind when you are winter camping vs. other times of the year, there really isn’t anything that compares to it when you want to experience all the beauty of wintertime and the activities that come with it.

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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It’s exciting to be new to the RV life, full of anticipation of all the adventures ahead of you. But one question that may be on your mind is, “What do I do with my dog on vacation?” If you’re a seasoned tent camper upgrading to the RV lifestyle, you may have experience camping with your pet. Even so, there are a few things to remember when RVing with dogs to ensure a positive experience. Two of the best things you can have going for you are a good leash and a well-trained dog. This combination keeps your pet safe, your neighbors happy, and your trip enjoyable. Let’s look at some other tips and frequently asked questions.

It’s exciting to be new to the RV life, full of anticipation of all the adventures ahead of you. But one question that may be on your mind is, “What do I do with my dog on vacation?” If you’re a seasoned tent camper upgrading to the RV lifestyle, you may have experience camping with your pet. Even so, there are a few things to remember when RVing with dogs to ensure a positive experience. Two of the best things you can have going for you are a good leash and a well-trained dog. This combination keeps your pet safe, your neighbors happy, and your trip enjoyable. Let’s look at some other tips and frequently asked questions.

Is RVing with Dogs Possible and Safe?

Yes, many people spend years traveling in their RVs with dogs. It can be a great alternative to camping alone and also a natural deterrent to theft, or curious nocturnal scavengers. When it comes to your dog’s safety, RVs are no different than cars. Drive cautiously and try not to brake suddenly which can throw your pet off balance.

The most secure way to travel with your dog is to use a crate or vehicle harness. This will keep Fido safe and protected in case of an accident. The most important thing to remember is keeping your dog with you. It is never wise to leave a dog or any other pet in a towed RV when no one else is with them.

Are RV Parks Dog-Friendly?

Not every RV park welcomes dogs. There are RV parks that do not allow pets at all. Not to worry, dogs are allowed at many campgrounds but they don’t necessarily have dog-related amenities. Finally, there are the parks that are truly dog-friendly. These parks may provide public areas that are designed for dogs giving them dedicated space to have fun, roam around and explore freely.

It’s important when traveling with pets to do your research and find the right park for your trip. When you’re RVing with dogs, remember that not everyone is a dog lover. So when you’re choosing a destination, picking a dog-friendly park is the best first step in respecting other people’s camping experience as well as having an enjoyable adventure yourself.

What Type of RV Should I Use for Traveling with a Dog?

Just like your dog can ride with you in whatever vehicle you happen to drive, a dog can travel in any RV! If you are looking for an RV, take the size of your pet into consideration and look for one that provides ample space for you and your dog. The larger your dog, the more impact your RV choice may have on your overall comfort. In the same way that a Great Dane may be more comfortable riding in a minivan than in a Mini Cooper, a larger RV may be a better choice if you are the owner of a larger breed. Obviously, the larger the RV, the more spacious and comfortable no matter the size of your dog. Keep in mind that the more space you have, the more areas you’ll have to clean up after your dog.

Tips for RVing with Dogs

Replace Your Carpet

If your RV has carpets, one modification you can make is to replace them with smooth, hard flooring. Cleanup is much easier on hard floors, especially if you have a puppy or elderly dog that may be prone to accidents. It also means you have one less appliance to store. Say, “Goodbye, vacuum cleaner,” and, “Hello,” to a convenient space to store dog food!

Cover RV Furniture

When you’re RVing with dogs, one of the easiest ways to protect your furniture from stains or scratches is to cover it. Covering your RV furniture helps retain your RV’s value. It also makes cleaning simple and there are many options from a simple sheet to specialty fitted covers that are specially made for pets. Even if your dog is trained to keep off the furniture, even the best dogs may test the boundaries in your RV – especially in a thunderstorm!

Find a Vet at Your Destination

When you are traveling it’s a good idea to know where the local hospital or urgent care center is in case there is an accident. Likewise, it’s good practice to familiarize yourself with local vets. Chances are, you’ll never need either one, but it’s good information to have whenever you travel just in case.

Keep Temperature In Mind

The extreme temperatures in winter and summer can be brutal, especially for your dog. Temperatures can climb quickly and exponentially in an RV the same way they can in a car. And just like your pet can’t open the door and jump out of a car, they can’t walk out of a scorching RV either. So, it’s important to be mindful of temps and take the same precautions as you would with your dog in your car. Keeping your RV cool in hot weather is important to the comfort and safety of your pet.

Another thing to remember is that if your dog is tied up outside in hot weather, digging down to find a nice, cool layer of dirt to lie in is instinctual and they can move a lot of dirt in a very short amount of time! However, big holes all over your campsite are not a way to make friends with other campers or the park groundskeepers! So, keep a close eye on your furry friend and provide extra water or frequent dips in the lake or local pond to help them regulate their body temperature and stay healthy.

When camping in winter or other cold times of the year, remember that cold-vulnerable dogs like Chihuahuas, Whippets, or Greyhounds will have a hard time keeping warm in a freezing RV. For these breeds it’s especially important to provide a warm dog bed or extra blankets they can nest in when frigid weather arrives. It may be a power-saver when you don’t keep the temperatures in your RV as controlled as you would at home, especially if you are boondocking. Just be alert to your dog’s comfort level and adjust accordingly.

Beware of Wild Animals

Part of the fun of camping is being out in nature. When you’re out in nature, you’re much more likely to encounter wild animals, which is part of the camping experience. It’s important to keep in mind that you and your dog won’t have the same reaction to seeing an animal in the wild, and their reaction may not always the safest one (think skunk!)

The simplest way to keep you and your dog safe is to keep them on a leash at all times. No matter how well-trained your dog is, there is no way to predict how they will react to an animal in the wild – especially one they have never been exposed to before or one that startles them.

It can help your trips go smoother and help avoid accidents or injuries either to or from your dog to work on training at home. A well-trained dog kept on a leash goes a long way to ensure safety and an enjoyable experience when you are RVing with dogs, especially when it comes to an unexpected encounter with the local wildlife.

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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The excitement and anticipation of your first RV trip can be quickly replaced by frustration and disappointment if you haven’t done your research and planned things out before you hit the road. Taking the guesswork out of the picture can be a big help in avoiding these 5 common first RV trip mistakes. Even if you are the spontaneous type, a little planning can go a long way when it comes to having a pleasant first RV trip experience.

#1. Hitting the Road Without a Plan

“Have RV Will Travel” is a great motto! There are plenty of adventures that await you out on the open road. Planning is a simple way to avoid unnecessary pitfalls. Don’t worry; there will still be plenty of adventure on your first RV trip! Taking the time to plan it just means the memories you make will not be full of mishaps and wrong turns.

Decide where you want to go for your first trip and line things up. Mapping out your route and calling for reservations means your first RV trip story won’t be about the time you got lost on the way then arrived after dark at the campground and it was full. A little planning means that when your trip goes south that’s an actual direction you planned, not describing the result of a string of unfortunate events.

#2. Going Too Far

Finding a location close to home for your first RV trip will give you a chance to get used to driving your RV. There is a bit of a learning curve with maneuvering your RV. Mastering the art of towing, backing up, and parking your new RV takes experience and when you stick to an area you’re familiar with, it helps.

If you wanted to run a marathon you wouldn’t just jump up from the couch and go run 20 miles. Similarly, you may want to take a cross-country trip, but it’s not advisable to do that for your first RV trip! When you stick within a couple of hours from home, you can take a couple of weekend getaways and take the time to familiarize yourself with driving your RV, planning meals and making lists of things you want to keep in your RV.

#3. Packing Too Much

Speaking of things you want to keep in your RV, a common mistake people make on their first RV trip is bringing too much! While and RV affords a lot more room than just your vehicle alone, it’s best to avoid packing everything but the kitchen sink (because your RV probably already has that)!

While we’ve all experienced over packing for a trip, when you overload your RV it can cost you extra time and money. The more weight you are carrying, the more you’ll spend in gas and when you over pack, much of your time will be wasted unloading and loading back up a lot of items you didn’t end up using.

The good news is it doesn’t take long to realize when you’ve over packed! The other good news is that if you do over pack, it’s not the end of the world. Simply make some notes and pack less the next time!

#4. Relying on Cell Service

We’ve all come to rely on our phones for almost everything from communication to navigation to entertainment. However, when you are camping there’s a good chance you will travel places where cell service isn’t always available. If you’ve used your phone to map out your trip, be sure to download or print them out in case you end up in an area without service. You may also want to have a backup plan for entertainment; there are plenty of games and other forms of entertainment if you are unable to get service on your phone.

The most important backup plan is telling someone where you’ll be and when you’re expected to return! There’s one thing you can be sure of: you can’t be sure of everything! So planning ahead for the unexpected is wise because accidents do occasionally happen. Planning in advance for that slight chance you may not be able to call for help can give you peace of mind.

#5. Not Packing Basic Equipment

There is one way to ensure you need a tool on your first RV trip: forget to pack it! Even those who aren’t DIYers should keep a pack of basic tools like screwdrivers, tape and bungee cords in your RV. Having a few basic tools on hand can save you in the event an unexpected maintenance issue arises.

Additionally, basic safety equipment should always be kept on hand – for your first RV trip and beyond. No matter where you go it’s always important to keep a first aid kit handy. Other items that can come in handy are blankets and extra water in the event you have a breakdown in inclement weather. Some things to pack for road safety should you have a roadside breakdown include a tire pressure gauge, lights, reflectors, and road flares if possible.

When you take some time to do a little planning, you can avoid these 5 common first RV trip mistakes. Your first RV trip will be an adventure no matter where you go. Remember these tips so you can leave the frustration and disappointment behind and only pack for excitement and great memories!

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