Good Sam Trip Planner Alternatives For RV Trip Planning

The popular Good Sam Trip Planner will no longer be available as of April 10, 2019. Luckily, there are still some very useful resources for RV trip planning that will help you map out your travels, find campgrounds and more.

1. RV Trip Wizard

The best trip planning tool made specifically for RVers is RV Trip Wizard. This planner shows all of the campgrounds and RV parks along your route, with integrated reviews and information from Campground Reviews. It also calculates a safe route based on your rig’s exact measurements, so you know when to avoid low clearance bridges.

The campgrounds can easily be filtered by price, amenities, or features. Users can click on a campground to learn more about the amenities, some also have photos available.

Good Sam Trip Planner
Road trip from Seattle to San Francisco, planned on RV Trip Wizard

You can also search for points of interest including rest areas, fuel stations, overnight parking, dump stations, as well as places like casinos with campgrounds and Walmarts. The points of interest can include attractions like amusement parks, museums, ATMs, laundromats, liquor stores, dentists, pharmacies, etc.

Unlike other trip planners, RV Trip Wizard shows all campground affiliations. You can also rank the memberships in your account preferences based on what affiliation (i.e. Passport America, KOA) will save you the most money.

RV Trip Wizard isn’t free like the other two planners, but it’s a very affordable $39 a year, especially when you consider how much it saves you in time.

 Pros:
  • An RV-specific tool that uses your vehicle’s measurements (height, weight, etc) so you can track expenses and plan safe routes for your rig.
  • Browse from ALL campground affiliations (Passport America, KOA, etc.). No restrictions like other tools. You can also rank your memberships based on what offers the biggest discount.
  • Find campgrounds along your route with integrated ratings from Campground Reviews.  The planner has over 17,000 campgrounds and resorts in their database and lists the phone number, address, amenities, and photos.
  • Filter campgrounds to find ones that are pet-friendly, big-rig friendly, 55+ and over, within a price range, etc.
  • You can set Driving Distances to help you limit how many miles you’re driving in a day.
  • Trips have no limit on the number of stops.
  • Routes can easily be exported to your GPS or sent to your Facebook, friend, e-mailed, calendar, Excel, or printed.
  • Over 57,000 points of interest, including area attractions and RV services like where to find gas stations, dump stations, etc.
  • Very easy to use and updated often.
Cons:
  • Not free, but a very affordable $39/a year. You can try their free demo before you sign up.
  • No mobile app yet.
  • No live traffic information.
2. Furkot

Furkot is another free trip planner that is not specific to RVs, but it does show you campgrounds and more points of interest than Google Maps. The trip planner has a bit of a learning curve and can be confusing if you are not used to its many features.

trip
Furkot: Free, with integrated ratings on campgrounds from Campground Reviews

You can easily sign up for an account by connecting your Facebook or other social media. For each trip, simply enter your specific or estimated dates along with your mode of transportation (no RV selection, but you can choose by car/motorcycle/bike/foot) and your preferred overnight accommodations including hotels, campgrounds, and apartments.

The campgrounds show ratings from Campground Reviews much like RV Trip Wizard. However, Furkot does not allow you to filter them like RV Trip Wizard to find RV parks with hookups, within a certain price range, with specific features (like pull-thru sites), or where you can get RV club discounts.

Pros:
  • Free to use
  • Shows hotels, campgrounds, and apartments for overnight accommodations
  • Campgrounds show integrated ratings from Campground Reviews
  • Allows you to import and export data
  • Shows the current weather forecast at each stop and the time of the sunrise & sunset
  • Plan routes by mode of transportation, car, motorcycle, bike, or walking
  • Find restaurants, breweries/wineries/bars, coffee shops, farmers markets, grocery stores, fuel stations, and airports
  • Shows points of interest including museums, parks and natural features, outdoor sports and activities, beach and water recreation, scenic byways and backroads, unpaved roads and off-road trails, events and entertainment, and more
  • Set daily limits on travel time
Cons:
  • Not specific to RVs
  • Does not track expenses
  • Does not show live traffic
  • Does not allow you to filter campgrounds by price/features/amenities/etc.
  • Does not show campground affiliations/discounts offered
  • Steep learning curve/not as simple to use
3. Google Maps

Google Maps provides free basic directions and the option to include multiple stops, but it is not specifically designed for RVs. The app can also tell you current traffic information and the fastest routes around accidents and construction delays.

trip
Google Maps: free, but not RV-specific

Google Maps also gives you the option to avoid highways, toll roads, and ferries. It can even help you find local public transportation in the areas you’re visiting. However, it does not show the campgrounds along your route or warn you of low clearance bridges. You also can’t use it to find points of interest like dump stations or Walmarts that allow overnight parking.

Pros:
  • Easy to use
  • Free
  • Has current traffic information
  • Search for restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores and more along your route
  • Shows directions for car, public transportation, walking/biking
  • Street view can be very useful
Cons:
  • Not RV specific
  • Does not track expenses
  • Does not show campground discount club affiliations
  • Does not show the best campgrounds on your route



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How To Keep Bees Out Of An RV Motorhome Or Camper

It’s finally spring, the weather is warming up, and wildflowers are starting to bloom. While part-time RVers are beginning to kick off their camping season, it’s also the time of year when bees and wasps become more active.

These are some of the ways you can prevent them from buzzing around your campsite, or worse, nesting in places like your RV’s furnace vent.

Cover your RV’s exterior openings

The best way to keep bees and other insects from getting inside in the first place is by covering up all exterior openings where they could enter.

bees
A furnace cover prevents bees, spiders, and other insects. Get yours on Amazon.

Mesh covers are available in stores and online for your RV furnace vent, fridge vent, water heater, and rear bumper. Installation can easily be done in ten minutes or less with the included tools.

Make sure your window screens are intact as well, so you can let in the breeze without all the bugs. Check out this article for a step-by-step guide on replacing the screens.

Spray WD-40 around your vents

Most people already have a can of this stuff lying around for its many other purposes. WD-40 is also effective in killing and preventing wasps around the home and RV. Spray some WD-40 around all of your RV’s vents to help keep wasps from nesting.

Inspect your gas appliances

Bees are attracted to the smell of propane, and your RV’s gas appliances can emit just enough of the odor to draw the bugs in. Regularly inspect all of the gas appliances in your RV, including the furnace, water heater, and fridge.

Remove nests ASAP

If you do spot a nest, search online to find a beekeeper in your area. Some beekeepers charge a fee, but others will remove the nest for free, especially since honey bees are going extinct. It’s less work to worry about, and you’ll save yourself from getting stung.

If you plan on taking care of the problem yourself, use a long stick to carefully remove the nest at night. Wear long-sleeved clothing with heavy fabric and secure the ankles of your pants with string or tape.

Avoid having sugary food/drinks outside

Bees love nectar for its sweetness, so it’s only natural they’re going to buzz around your picnic if you have sugary sodas, fruits like pineapple or watermelon, and other desserts sitting outside. Open beer and wine can also lure bees to your campsite.

Keep your RV insect and rodent free:



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Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site In North Georgia

Those that have followed my blog for the past ten years or so know that I have a fascination with the gold rushes that have occurred in North America, and I have visited all of the gold rush sites in the eleven western states, British Columbia, and Yukon.

So when recent travels took us east to Georgia, I knew a trip to the northern part of the state where one of the earliest gold rushes to occur in the United States was in store.

The Georgia Gold Rush began in 1828 when gold was discovered in Lumpkin County. Accounts vary as to who made the initial discovery, but most credit Benjamin Parks tripping over a shiny rock while out deer hunting. News of the discovery triggered a stampede of thousands of hopeful gold seekers to the area despite the fact that it was Cherokee Territory.

gold
Dahlonega Courthouse Gold Museum

The town of Dahlonega sprang up to support the influx of miners and was soon christened the county seat with a courthouse completed in 1836. Today the building (the oldest existing courthouse in Georgia) has been restored by the state of Georgia as a State Historic Site and serves as a gold museum under the jurisdiction of the Georgia State Parks.

The Dahlonega Courthouse Gold Museum offers visitors a look at the mining history of Georgia. A 23-minute film describes the mining techniques and lifestyles of the prospectors through interviews with members of longtime mining families of the area.

gold
Museum display

Sadly, you will also learn about Trail of Tears which occurred when the Cherokee people were forced off their land by the gold rush to a new reservation with thousands perishing along the way.

One of the highlights is a gold exhibit containing every gold coin minted by the Dahlonega U.S. Branch Mint, along with native gold mined from the surrounding mines.

gold
Gold coins from Dahlonega Branch Mint

Speaking of gold, make sure to have one of the park rangers point out the native gold located in the bricks of the courthouse. If you are into gold mining history like I am, be sure to take the short walk to the diving bell in Hancock Park just north of the courthouse.

The diving bell was used in a less than successful attempt to recover gold from the bottom of the Chestatee River and is the only known example to exist today.

gold
Diving bell
Visiting Dahlonega Gold Museum

The Dahlonega Gold Museum is open seven days a week with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

The streets around the town square, where the courthouse is located, date back to the gold rush days of the 1830s and are narrow with many being one way. Your best bet is to visit in your tow vehicle or dinghy, although a Class B or shorter Class C should be able to navigate the streets and find parking. If you are not camping in the area you may want to drop your RV on the outskirts of town where there is a Walmart and other establishments with suitable areas for parking.

North of town you will find R Ranch in the Mountains which features an RV park among other recreational activities. The street address may prove difficult for some navigation systems to locate, therefore you may want to navigate to the coordinates which are N34° 37.760 W83° 58.424

Exploring one of the earliest gold rushes in the United States, just another adventure in RVing! In the next installment, we will go underground into one of the historic gold mines of Dahlonega.

See also: Visit A Modern-Day Gold Rush Town



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Best Places To Visit In Southern Arizona For RVers: Patagonia, Arizona

Located in Southern Arizona between Sonoita and Rio Rico on Route 82, the small town of Patagonia is one of Arizona’s best-kept secrets.

Patagonia sits along the Sonoita Creek and is surrounded by the Santa Rita and Patagonia mountain ranges of the Coronado National Forest.

Patagonia
San Raphael Grassland and the Santa Rita Mountains (Photo by Magnus Manske)

Mountain peaks rise nearly 2,000 feet from the desert floor, creating Sky Islands, and provide incredibly diverse geographic environments to host amazing biodiversity.  In a short time, you can explore creeks, canyons, deserts, plateaus, mountains and one of the only remaining high desert short-grass prairies in America, the San Rafael Valley.

The town of Patagonia was originally founded in the early 1900s as a mining town.  Many of the old mining districts are now ghost towns like Mowry, Harshaw, and Duquesne.

Patagonia
The Patagonia Railroad Depot station, built circa 1900 (Photo by Old Pueblo/Wikipedia)

If you have a vehicle that can drive on the narrow, dirt mining roads, it is worth a drive through these old mining camps.  Modern Patagonia is home to around 900 residents and is a thriving community of artists, botanists, weavers, authors, and cowboys.

  • The Patagonia Museum is located in the old grammar school building (1914) and offers opportunities to help preserve the history and culture of the area with community events and activities.
  • The Creative Spirit Artists Gallery is a collective of local artists and authors work.  You will find everything from spiritual to whimsical for every taste.

This diversity of the area also provides world-class birding.  With over 300 bird species (including several rare species) migrating through the area each year, the months of March through September are known as some of the prime birding opportunities.  Hummingbirds, warblers, vireos, orioles, tanagers, songbirds, raptors, finches, and longspurs are just a few of the birds that pass through the area.

For those looking to connect with the natural environment, the Patagonia area offers wide open spaces for hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and exploring.  Patagonia is a gateway community for hiking or biking along the Arizona National Scenic Trail, which spans over 800 miles from Mexico to Utah.

patagonia
The Arizona National Scenic Trail with Picketpost Mountain in the distance (Photo by Sonoradocent/Wikipedia)

The surrounding Coronado National Forest is a great place to camp, with both campgrounds and dispersed locations available.  There are also great biking and hiking trails, horse-friendly areas, and lake recreational areas, such as Parker Canyon Lake and Peña Blanca Lake.

Patagonia and the surrounding area offers a wonderful array of activities and interests.  A trip through the area is well worth your time if you are in the Tucson area.

See also: 8 Scenic Lakes For Camping In The Southwest



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Top 5 Best Class C Motorhomes For Sale Under $60,000

While class C motorhomes are typically priced between $50,000 and $80,000, finding something that’s in your budget can be quite difficult, and you’ll hardly notice any new ones for sale at the lower end of that price range. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re non-existent. A lot of places, especially our website, have a variety of budget class Cs that are affordable, reliable, and will last you for a long time. Read on to discover the best budget class C motorhomes for sale under $60,000!

What puts an RV on the list: Aside from our picks being the top-rated RVs, we’ve also taken into account each of their floorplans to see the kind of variety they provide, the actual user reviews on forums across the internet, and their prices on our website!

The Top 5 Best Class C Motorhomes For Sale Under $60,000:

  1. Coachmen Freelander Class C Motorhome
  2. Winnebago Outlook Class C Motorhome
  3. Thor Chateau Class C Motorhome
  4. Jayco Redhawk Class C Motorhome
  5. Coachmen Leprechaun Class C Motorhome

#1. Coachmen Freelander Class C Motorhome

So. Many. Floorplans!

View All Coachmen Freelander Class C Motorhome Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
20 8140-12728 lbs 5-8 23-31 feet

Why we recommend the Coachmen Freelander Class C Motorhome: Possibly one of the smallest class Cs you’ll notice is Coachmen’s Freelander, which has floorplans such as the Freelander 20CB Ford and Freelander 21QB Chevy that are under 25 feet, this makes them well under the estimated length of 27 feet that any RV should be to camp across the United States. That, when combined with its light weight of ~9000 lbs, truly makes it worthwhile for couples.

From some of the absolute necessities, such as fire extinguisher and smoke detectors to convenient paraphernalia such as a Wi-Fi ranger and a command center, the freelander has everything sorted for your next camping journey. If you wish to take it up a notch, it also has a myriad of options that includes a child safety net, exterior 32 inch TV with a bluetooth sound bar, ASA side view camera, Canadian compliance, and more!

Key Features:

  • 20 different floor plans available
  • Nutmeg wood grain
  • Poplar drawer sides
  • Omni directional TV/FM/AM antenna
  • Molded shower and surround
  • Wall mounted thermostat

Virtual Tour:


 

#2. Winnebago Outlook Class C Motorhome

The 5-Star Class C Made For Couples!

View All Winnebago Outlook Class C Motorhome Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
5 11500-14500 lbs 5-6 24-31 feet

Why we recommend Winnebago Outlook Class C Motorhome Motorhome: While the Outlook 25J floorplan by Winnebago has already earned itself a flawless 5-star rating on RVP, many other users have good things to say about this RV, which isn’t a surprise considering it provides a lot for its price. While it has floorplans that provide bunk over cab, it’s better for 2 or 4 people, much like the Freelander – also making it one of the best class C motorhomes for sale under $60,000.

On the inside, the Outlook features a vinyl ceiling, pleated night shades, vinyl flooring, and tinted windows for a totally breathtaking look. On the outside, it’s finished with a premium high-gloss fiberglass skin, a large storage compartment, a ladder to access its roof and powered patio awning, among many other useful features just like these. The features vary a little bit depending on the floorplan but these are the ones that stay the same throughout.

Key Features:

  • 5 different floor plans available!
  • Amplified digital TV antenna system
  • Vinyl ceiling
  • Thermoformed countertops w/decorative backsplash
  • Premium high-gloss fiberglass skin
  • Automatic dual-battery charge control

Video Overview:

 

#3. Thor Chateau Class C Motorhome

22 Flavors of Luxury!

View All Thor Chatau Class C Motorhome Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
22 12300-14500 lbs 4-7 24-32 feet

Why we recommend Thor Chateau Class C Motorhome: One of the oldest and the highly recommended class Cs – RVingplanet or otherwise – is Thor motorhomes, especially the Cheatu class C motorhome. Priced a few thousand dollars under 60 grand and you’re still getting a choice of over 10 floorplans, a range of different sleeping capacities, and a large list of luxurious features. We recommend checking out the following floorplans: Chateau 22B Chevy and Chateau 22E.

In truth, the Chateau features an exhaustingly long list of features, plenty of them being noteworthy enough that a single paragraph doesn’t do them justice. However, among the best of the best of those features are a keyless entry system, leatherette material on the driver’s chair, high sheen cabinetry, ceiling ducted air conditioning system, one-piece TPO roof, and a mega-storage compartment. If that wasn’t enough, it has premium package that adds a bunch of other amenities and upgrades some existing ones as well!

Key Features:

  • 22 different floor plans available
  • Premium one-piece TPO roof
  • One-piece fiberglass front cap
  • Upgrade living area speaker tied to dash stereo
  • Power windows and door locks
  • Hard vinyl ceiling

Video Overview:

 

#4. Jayco Redhawk Class C Motorhome

Small Yet Spacious!

View All Jayco Redhawk Class C Motorhome Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
7 14200-14500 lbs 3-10 24-33 feet

Why we recommend the Jayco Redhawk Class C Motorhome: Right from the Stables of the ultra-popular Jayco RVs is the Redhawk that has also made it to our other top 5 lists such as Top 5 Best Class C Motorhomes With Bunk Beds. It’s also one of the few lightweight class C motorhomes for sale that actually features bunkhouses. It’s a bit more spacious with floorplans such as the Redhawk 22J and Redhawk 25R spanning 32 feet, which gives maximum space and allows a sleeping capacity of 8.

With a bead foam insulation that adds R-15 roof insulation, R-9 floor insulation and R-5 wall insulation, the Redhawk is great for winter camping too, especially due to the 31,000 BTU that will keep you warm and cozy. Apart from that, it also features JRIDE, a computer balanced driveshaft that adds a bunch of shock absorbers used in sports cars and other mechanical additions that make driving a breeze–whether you’re traveling light or you have your storage full.

Key Features:

  • 7 different floor plans available
  • Hardwood cabinet doors
  • Solar privacy shades throughout
  • 30,000 BTU electric ignition furnace
  • Crowned, laminated fiberglass roof
  • Backup monitor with side cameras

Virtual Tour:


 

#5. Coachmen Leprechaun Class C Motorhome

The Durable Family Camper!

View All Coachmen Leprechaun Class C Motorhome Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
15 9583-12867 lbs 5-9 24-32 feet

Why we recommend the Coachmen Leprechaun Class C Motorhome: On the durable side of things we have the Leprechaun class C that features 15 floorplans, a lot of which are priced under $60,000 such as the Leprechaun 210QB Chevy 4500 and Leprechaun 210RS Ford 350. Of those 15, a lot are also under 27 feet and sleep up to 6 people, which is great if you’re aiming on tailgating but still are looking for something that camps easily and is well within your budget.

In terms of features, the Leprechaun is similar to Coachmen’s Outlook, where the floorplans are divided into 2 groups with different features, the models with the ‘Value Leader Package’ being slightly more upgraded but otherwise featuring the same Vinyl flooring, 3 burner cooktop, power awning, tinted windows, and the Azdel sidewall construction that the ‘Premier Package’ features.

Key Features:

  • 15 different floor plans available
  • Azdel omposite sidewall construction
  • Solar panel connection port
  • Upgraded vinyl flooring throughout
  • Stainless steel wheel inserts
  • Aluminum framed cab over and bunk floor

Virtual Tour:


Check out these similar RV reviews!

Top 5 Best Small Motorhomes Under 25 Feet

Top 5 Best Fifth Wheel RVs For Full Time Living Under $50,000

– – – – –

And there you have it! These are top-notch class C motorhomes for sale that will be exceptional for someone heading into the RVing world and looking for a camper that will start them on their RVing journey the right away!

BEFORE you head to a dealer to see these trailers, download your FREE RV Buyers Worksheet for help keeping track of:

  • The feature must-haves that are important to you and your family
  • Which brands or manufacturers you like
  • Budgeting tools including a payment calculator resource
  • Multiple well spaced pages with room for lots of your notes
  • BONUS Resources: Trade-in values, tow vehicle ratings, and finance options

Share with us your favorite class C motorhomes for sale under $60,000 in the comments below!



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ROAD TRIPS WITH KIDS: WHY THEY’RE BETTER IN AN RV

My family has taken many road trips and they’ve always been quite the adventure. This fall we embarked on our first road trip in an RV and I don’t know how we’ll ever go back to the way it was before.  Here are six reasons a road trip with kids is better in an RV.

 

Your Kids Will Feel at Home

Some kids really like routines and feel comfortable in safe spaces. On an RV road trip instead of constantly moving from one hotel to another you’ll sleep in the same space every night. This gives your kids a sense of home even on the road.

 

When we picked up our RV our girls immediately claimed their areas. Even though our RV only provided one enclosed bedroom there were four beds and they felt as if they had their own space just like at home. Just as we each have our own spots on the couch at home they stuck to the same spot on the couch in the RV and even sat at the same seat at the table too!

 

 

You Just Have to Unpack Once

As mentioned before, on a typical road trip you’re going from one hotel to another. This means you’re constantly packing and unpacking, which to many is the worst part of travel. On an RV road trip even though you’re able to see multiple places you only have to unpack one time.

 

This allows your family to really get settled and decreases the chance of you leaving things behind at the various hotels. I can’t be the only one that tends to forget things in hotel rooms, can I?

 

 

 

 

Your Kids will Make Friends at the RV Parks

When taking a road trip with kids you don’t often have the opportunity to meet other families. Most people stick to their hotel room when they’re not going out for the day. However, on an RV road trip you’ll be staying at various RV parks where there are tons of families with kids.

 

Each time we pulled into a campground kids were outside playing. As soon as we parked the girls were outside introducing themselves. We in turn would also meet the parents and we connected with one family so much we’ve even kept in touch since our trip.

 

Your Kids Will Have Space to Run Around

Space inside an RV to run around? Ok so while the space your kids have will depend on the size of the RV, your RV park will for sure have a lot of space. Our girls were outside at the end of every day running around. A lot of the RV parks even had pools and/or playgrounds for the kids to play.

 

 

On an RV Road Trip You Don’t Have to Worry about Bathroom Breaks

One of our least favorite parts of road trips with kids are the constant bathroom breaks. The worst thing is when you ask who has to use the bathroom before the last exit or rest stop for the next 26 miles and everyone says no but as soon as you pass it someone has to go.

 

On an RV road trip, you always have a nearby bathroom. Just pull over at the safest time and your kids can use the toilet. Not only will you always have that option but most importantly you know your bathroom is clean. When making random stops on road trips you never know if the gas station will have a working restroom or if it’s clean. We saved a lot of time not having to stand in long lines at rest stops and loved the convenience of having our own toilet.

 

 

RV Road Trips Save Time and Money When You’re Hungry

While on most road trips with kids you’ll have snacks and drinks with you, but depending on how long your trip is you might run out. We loved how much storage our RV had for us to stock up on everything with needed.

 

Not only did it provide storage, but we had a working fridge, freezer, stove and microwave. There are only so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we can take so having the option to make a quick meal or warm up leftovers from the night before made a huge difference. We saved so much money by not stopping to buy something every time we got hungry.

 

 

 

Our RV road trip provided our family with such a unique experience. Driving and sleeping in the same space proved to be really fun. It will be very hard going back to regular road trips, so we definitely see another RV road trip in our future!

 

 

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2020 Unity by Leisure Travel Vans Debuts at RVX

The 2020 Unity by Leisure Travel Vans infuses a luxurious vibe into a versatile Class B van. This model, that features a Murphy Bed, was debuted at RVX in Salt Lake City.

At the RVX, the Unity was awarded as the best “City Escape” RV of 2019. If you want  a video tour of the Unity by Leisure Travel Vans, we linked it below!

There’s a lot of technology in this Unity. In fact, Dometic is using Leisure Travel Vans as the brand to implement its latest innovations. Two of our favorite Dometic innovations are in this particular model.

The first piece of tech that got our attention was Dometic’s IoT system. This system connects all of your RV’s functions onto a touchscreen.

Here’s how Leisure Travel Vans describes it:

The all-new Dometic IoT Solution allows users to control and monitor their RV’s components with the touch of their finger. Six touchscreens are conveniently located throughout the coach which control and monitor the RV’s electrical components including lighting, climate control, awnings, water heater and tanks, water pump, batteries, inverter status, and LP Gas. View multiple functions at the same time via the flexibility of Dometic’s modular screen design. RVers can even customize comfort controls as well as set scenes that can run multiple tasks at once. Scenes can also be automated to run at specific times throughout the day. Intelligent predictive monitoring provides a forecasted view of the system’s usage indicating when critical resources are reaching their limits. For the connected user, the system can be controlled remotely from a smartphone or tablet. 

Unity by Leisure Travel Vans
Dometic Technology in Unity by Leisure Travel Vans

 

Sometimes simple solutions don’t really require much technology, just great engineering. The Unity by Leisure Travel Vans features Dometic double hinged fridge. The fridge can open from the left and the right – it’s the perfect solution for life in a small space!

This unity bed room has a queen size murphy bed that folds down over the back seating area. There is also a TV located in the bedroom.

Cabinets and storage space abounds throughout the rig.

Leisure Travel Van Unity Floor Plan
This is the Murphy Bed floor plan for the 2020 Unity by Leisure Travel Vans

The kitchen has a deep sink, propane range and a small TV.  There’s an interior water filter and much storage underneath the counter.

Leisure Travel Vans want to give you design options:

Whether you choose the rich luster of Cherry, Espresso Brown or the contemporary European style of Sierra Maple, our gorgeous curved wood cabinets offer seemingly infinite storage. -Leisure Travel Vans

While the official 2020 price hasn’t been released yet, we think this will clock in around $140,000. Most of the 2019 models start around $137,000.

This is a pretty penny, but driving a diesel Mercedes doesn’t come cheap.

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 10.18.11 PM.png

 

 

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Taxa Mantis Trailer Tour: NASA Architect Designs Trailer

The Taxa Mantis is a utilitarian travel trailer designed by former NASA architect, Garrett Finney. As founder and designer, Finney’s vision is in every aspect of this unit.

He approaches trailer life from an outdoor-adventurer point of view, not from a POV of an RVer. This approach leads to the trailer being very adaptable to each user’s specific needs.

Before we dive deep into the Taxa Mantis, you can watch our tour & interview with the founder below:

Functionality is key with this design. Instead of hiding joinery (mostly rivets), Taxa keeps the frame and hardware visible and easy to edit. Using quality materials, this creates a minimalistic aesthetic with a focus on materials.

The powder coated steel frame also has many strategically placed holes. This allows you to connect carabiners for hanging & strapping items as you wish.

The storage areas are the size of standard milk crates. With this design you can easily store and access your goods without using customized containers.

TAXA MANTIS
Taxa Mantis Trailer

12V DC is the main power source throughout the trailer. It has two house batteries and is ready to be connected to solar power. The Mantis can plug into shore power (they have an Air Conditioner option), but there’s only one location to plug into AC power.

Even though the Mantis only measures 17 feet, it can sleep up to four people. The front seating area transforms into a bunk bed. The rear U-shaped dinette joins to create a bed that sleeps two.

If you’re brave enough to sleep on the small top bunk, you can sleep easy knowing there’s a net to catch you.

Taxa Trailer
Taxa Trailer

Here’s a list of some of the key specs of the Taxa Mantis:

  • Aluminium Composite Panels
  • Powder Coated Steel Chassis
  • Torsion Axle with suspension and electric brakes
  • Truma Water Heater
  • 20gal Fresh Water
  • 22gal Grey Water
  • 12″ ground clearence
  • 780 lbs cargo capacity
  • 3,020 lbs Dry weight

For More RV Innovations and Cool Gear Look Here

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Three Great Western National Parks with Big Rig Camping

If your RV is over-sized, don’t give up on finding national parks with big rig camping. Plan carefully and there’s no need to deny yourself the experience of living among regional wild animals and timeless scenery in a national treasure. Here’s how.

How to Score Great Spots in National Parks with Big Rig Camping

National Parks with Big Rig Camping
With planning, big rig RVs can find good national park campsites.

Many U.S. national park campgrounds were designed decades ago, but they’re not always off limits if you have a larger RV. Do a little digging and you’ll find plenty of ways to RV camp inside park boundaries.

Unfortunately national park camping is so popular now that reservations are mandatory during the high season. The days of spontaneous road trips and first-come, first-served camping in national and state parks is slowly fading away. The trick for a big rig RV owner to score camping inside the park is to get your reservation in early.

It pays to plan for at least a six month window from booking your spot until arrival. And if your RV is longer than 40-feet, be patient in your reservations search. You’ll need flexible dates and plenty of good luck on your side since extra long RV spots are limited in most national parks.

Now that your reality check is out of the way, consider pointing your rig to the west. There you’ll find the easy life inside these three great U.S. national parks with big rig camping.

Big Bend National Park’s Rio Grande RV Village

National Parks with Big Rig Camping
Walk to this Big Bend view near Rio Grande Village RV Park.

True to the motto that “everything is bigger in Texas,” so are the Big Bend big rig RV accommodations. The 25 extra-long back-in full-hookup campsites at the concessionaire-run Rio Grande RV Village aren’t much to look at with their parking-lot ambiance, but you’ll be close to must-see Big Bend attractions, trails and gorgeous scenery.

Big rig RVs of nearly any size easily fit into these bare-bones campsites adjacent to the Rio Grande Visitor’s Center. The Fall and Spring seasons are perfect times to secure a spot.

Death Valley National Park’s Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells

National Parks with Big Rig Camping
Camp close to the spectacular Dante’s Peak view.

Another park that’s great to visit in fall or spring, Death Valley National Park’s 5,262 square mile vistas and stark, beautiful landscapes offer an otherworldly experience. Nearly as vast as the west itself, this below sea-level destination has tons of spots for large RVs.

You can find a big rig boondocking campsite almost any time of year at Fiddler’s Campground or Sunset Campground in Furnace Creek. But for more comfort, secure one of the 19 full-hookup sites at Furnace Creek RV Park. It’s located on the south end of the park and features a restaurant, swimming pool, fuel and laundromat.

When you’re done exploring southern Death Valley delights like Badwater and Artist’s Drive, pull up stakes and move to Stovepipe Wells in the north. You’ll find it slightly less charming but offering just as many creature comforts. As a bonus, these RV spots are near other attractions like Scotty’s Castle, and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

Badlands National Park, Cedar Pass Campground

National Parks with Big Rig Camping
The otherworldly scenery around Cedar Pass Campground. Image: NPS.gov

The massive 244,000-acre Badlands National Park is as endless as the open prairie. It’s also one of America’s most big-rig friendly national parks. Whether this is your ultimate destination or a stopping point on the way to Mount Rushmore and Devil’s Tower, the Badlands feels like driving backward in time.

Your big rig home base will be Cedar Pass Campground, an easily accessible location perched in the midst of geologic wonders and ancient fossil deposits. The 96 reservable campsites are on the rustic side. You’ll only get an electric hookup for comfort, but drinking water, restrooms and a dump station are available. Campsites are near a lodge, restaurant and amphitheater with ranger-led campfire chats.

This is just glimpse of a few great national parks with big rig camping. For more tips, bounce ideas around with other oversized RV owners in the iRV2 Discussion Forums topic “Camping, Travel and Trip Planning.”



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Best Places To Visit For St. Patrick’s Day: Dublin, Ohio

Celebrate a little Erin go Bragh (Ireland till the end of time) this weekend in Dublin—Dublin, Ohio, that is. Full of Irish pubs and Irish traditions, Dublin’s tagline says it all: Irish is an attitude!

A great place to hang your hat while exploring Dublin is Cross Creek Camping Resort, located a few miles north of the city center. The pet-friendly resort features 200 sites and plenty of amenities like pull-throughs, full hookups, and Wi-Fi access.

Other services include 30/50 amp electrical, water, sewer, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a camp store, playground, swimming pool, a rec room, and nearby recreational trails.

Dublin
Beautiful spring views at Cross Creek Camping Resort – Photo via Facebook

The Golf Club of Dublin will make you think you’re teeing it up on the Emerald Isle. One of the Midwest’s true links golf experiences, the Golf Club of Dublin includes a Tudor-style clubhouse that sets the tone for this Irish-themed gem.

The 18-hole, par 72 course measures 7,021 yards from the tips. Each hole on the scorecard keeps with the Irish theme and includes names like Leprechaun, Blarney, and Pot of Gold. After a round, grab a pint of your favorite refreshment in Mulligan’s Pub, which is open year-round.

Dublin
Golf Club of Dublin. Photo via Facebook

Though you don’t need a passport to visit Dublin, Ohio, the Irish experience is still plentiful. Since 1988, the year after Dublin became a city, the Dublin Irish Festival was christened.

It has since grown into what is now the largest three-day Irish festival on the planet. More than 100,000 guests are expected to attend this year’s event during the first weekend of August.

Two things are certain when you come to Dublin, Ohio: You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy the city, and you don’t have to wait until St. Patrick’s Day to visit! For more information about Dublin, Ohio, check out www.visitdublinohio.com.

See also: Here’s Where You Can Camp For Free In Ohio



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