Category: Tips & Tricks

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 

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When the RV life comes calling, it’s hard to resist. The open road, endless campsites and the amenities of home no matter where you go! But shopping for an RV can feel a bit overwhelming – especially if you haven’t done your research yet! So, where do you start?

Read on to learn the questions to ask yourself to help you when shopping for an RV so you can find the perfect model for your needs!

What Is Your Budget?

The number one question when it comes to shopping for an RV is your budget. This is a great starting point for you to figure out what range of vehicles are right for you. This can help narrow down major choices like whether to get a new RV or a used one.

RV prices have a massive range depending on what you’re shopping for. Modest trailers can be purchased at extremely low costs, where massive luxury RVs can a major investment that reflects their interiors as a spacious home-on-wheels!

Ask yourself what your top end is for purchasing an RV – but try to keep it a bit flexible. Like cars or homes, when you find the RV that’s right for you, it often jumps out and feels like you found “The One.” You’ll be spending a lot of time in your RV, so you want to make sure your investment is in the right model!

What Is Your Tow Vehicle?

Your budget isn’t the only logistical concern when it comes to figuring out the best RV for you! When shopping for an RV, you should also make sure you understand your tow vehicle’s limits on what it can and cannot pull. Every tow vehicle and every RV will come with a list of important numbers to consider, like towing capacity, gross vehicle weight rating and more. Pay close attention to these numbers.

Some compact RVs are surprisingly lightweight and can be towed by even modest SUVs. But many trailers out there are going to require you to own a larger vehicle with hefty tow capacity. Nobody wants to get attached to an RV only to find out they can’t actually pull it!

Additionally, if your tow vehicle is a truck, you’ll have a large pool of “fifth wheels” available to you. These types of RVs use a unique fifth wheel connection to the bed of your truck, which comes with its own benefits!

How Many People Do You Plan to Camp With?

From the outside, RVs may look pretty similar. But when you step inside, you’ll quickly realize that even two identically sized RVs can have extremely different interiors! That means you need to think about what your RV interior really needs ­– and that often hinges on how many people you plan to camp with!

RVs can sleep anywhere from just a few campers to a dozen. Between luxurious master bedrooms, bunkbeds and convertible sofas, there’s an RV for a family or group of friends of every size. While the specific amenities of an RV may be negotiable, you want to make sure you always have enough room for anyone who plans to tag along on your relaxing trips over the years.

Do you plan to just camp with you alone? You and a spouse? Your whole family? Do you expect friends to come along? All of these questions can dictate what type of RV you need to keep everyone comfortable. Bunkhouse RVs can be a great option for big families – but if you don’t need that kind of sleeping capacity, you could opt for a toy hauler instead and to bring your ATVs or other fun bonuses along with you on your trip.

How Important is Off-the-Grid Camping to You?

Shopping for an RV means understanding how you plan to use it. Not every RV is built for the same types of camping trips as others. While they’ll all provide you excellent shelter and some comforts from home, some RVs are better suited for going off the grid than others.

If your RV goal is the dream of parking out in the middle of nowhere and enjoying serenity for a day or a week, you’ll want to make sure your RV is equipped to stay charged away from a hookup station. That means extra battery capacity, deep cycle batteries, and even solar power features to help supplement your daily electronics usage.

Beyond that, you’ll also want to consider things like the size of the fresh water tank, storage for propane, and anything else that may limit how long you can stay away from civilization on your trip. The higher the capacity for storing these critical resources, the longer you’ll be able to extend your stay.

What Type of Amenities Do You Want?

Are you the type of person who wants to explore your destination and only return to your RV when you’re exhausted and ready to hit the hay? Or are you looking for that home-away-from-home that lets you sit down in a heavenly recliner and watch sports even when you’re 1,000 miles away from your house?

Every RV comes with some standard amenities. Things like a place to sleep, store your stuff, and even cook. But what about luxury seating? Big screen TVs? Residential-sized refrigerators or beds? All of these bonuses are things you can find – if you want them!

RVs can provide a complete “home” experience or simply act as a retreat when you need it. When shopping for an RV, think about your dream vacation. How much time do you plan to spend in your RV? Do you think that might change over the years? Answering these questions can help you decide how many luxury amenities you need.

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

No matter the size or type of your RV, the RV awning is a key component to your camping experience. An RV awning can expand your living space to provide an outdoor dining area. It can provide shade and help keep you cool when temperatures soar. An awning can protect your entryway from rain or even offer a great place to hang some lighting for a late evening gathering or game night.

The best way to keep your awning in tip top working condition is with proper care and cleaning. Your awning can last for many years and provide hours of outdoor comfort and enjoyment by following these RV awning maintenance & cleaning tips.

Cleaning Your RV Awning

For the best results, clean your RV awning several times per year. Depending on the camping environment and the tree coverage at your site it may be necessary to clean more often. You’ll want to pay special attention to any leaves or sap that can cause your RV awning to become exceptionally dirty. If you experience this type of dirt and debris, clean your awning before you close it up.

Just Use Water

A hose is all you’ll need to clean your RV awning in most cases. If you want to get a good angle for cleaning the top of your awning, using a ladder can help. You’ll be able to see debris and push it off more effectively with the added height from being on a ladder.

Some RV awnings have waterproof coatings. These coatings are generally found with vinyl and acrylic RV awnings. Most unwanted debris tends come right off when you have a waterproof coating. Be aware that they don’t last forever, though. Even waterproof coatings can be worn off!

Cleaning Tough Awning Stains

Occasionally you may get some spots or tough stains on your RV awning that plain water just won’t clean. When this happens a soft brush can be used along with mild soap to clean your awning.  Another option is to purchase special awning cleaners. These are cleaners that are awning-safe and can even help restore the look of your awning to “like new.” You can find specialized awning cleaners at most RV supply stores. Just remember that even if you’re using awning-specific cleaners that you don’t want to be overly aggressive with a brush. It’s better to have a slight stain that you simply can’t remove than to scrub so hard that you begin wearing down the special waterproof coating on your RV awning that keeps moisture from penetrating into it.

Let It Dry

As with any part of your RV, moisture can cause major problems including mold, rust, and warping issues. When caring for your RV awning, make sure that you let it dry after you clean it. An awning that is stored with even a small amount of moisture trapped inside can lead to mold, mildew, or worse. If it’s necessary to retract or stow away your awning when it’s wet, be sure to air it out and let it dry completely as soon as possible. Even a small amount of mildew can result in a stinky RV awning. If left too long, that mildew or mold can lead to rotting. Rot can compromise the structure of your awning and is another factor in the breakdown of the waterproof coating, which can lead to leaking.

Keep in mind that your RV awning also contains supports which can become damaged by rust if left stored in a moist environment. Over time, this could eventually result in your RV awning failing to work properly if at all.

So, whether your awning is extended because you are camping or because it’s being cleaned, always confirm it is completely dry prior to putting it away. You’ll save time and money by using that ounce of prevention.

RV Awning Maintenance

Watch for UV Damage

RV awnings aren’t just for keeping you dry. They also are a great way to block the sun. Whether it’s high noon or later in the afternoon, your awning can keep the sun’s damaging rays at bay. Those strong UV rays can break down the fabric of your RV awning over time. Awnings can protect you, your family, and your RV from the sun and harmful UV rays, but they aren’t immune.

To extend the life of your RV awning, keep it rolled up and protected whenever it isn’t in use. As with many things in life, if it is exposed to the sun for days on end month after month, it will begin to show signs of wear and tear much faster. So use it in short spurts to ensure the longevity of your RV awning.

Lubricate Your Awning

Your RV awning has many moving parts. A key factor in keeping these moving parts in good working condition is to make sure they are well lubricated. Both manual and power awnings have moving parts that will benefit from regular lubrication.  You can use silicone spray lubricants to keep all your rollers, hinges and support arm pistons in good shape. Be sure to wipe away any excess with a rag.

Keep Your Awning Slightly Unleveled

Water is heavy. If enough of it collects on your awning it could potentially cause damage. To prevent this, when using your RV awning to protect your entryway from rain, don’t let water pool up on the fabric. Keeping your awning slanted is an easy way to provide a natural run-off for rainwater.  However, sometimes water can gather in a small puddle even when your RV awning is slanted. In a heavy downpour it doesn’t take long for water to collect and in no time a small puddle can become a huge body of water that can bend the support system and ruin your awning.

While slanting the awning doesn’t always prevent pooling water it certainly helps. Additionally, you are also more able to control where the water will run off, so when you are slanting your awning, take the time to assess your surroundings and adjust your awning accordingly. You may be able to direct the run-off away from your campsite so you can keep yourself and your area fairly dry – even in heavier rains.

Include the RV Awning in Your Inspections

Regular inspections of your RV are important. It’s something that should be done a few times every year and especially prior to a major trip. Your inspection should be of both the inside and outside of your RV. Unfortunately, many times out of sight means out of mind. But don’t let the fact that your awning is rolled up and out of the way keep you from making it a part of your inspection process. When you inspect your RV awning on a regular basis, you can make sure they are in good shape as well as avoid small issues becoming larger ones.

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