YOUR FIRST RV TRIP: TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Have you ever watched someone trying to learn a new skill? Think of children learning to ride a bike. At first, they will require a lot of assistance, such as training wheels or a parent running alongside. Eventually, they’ll make some independent strides of their own—with plenty of wobbling and crashing involved. After a while, they’ll get it. And they’ll soar off down the street on their way to many wonderful adventures.

 

New RV owners may find themselves facing a similar learning curve. If it’s been a long time since you learned something new, it can be intimidating to suddenly find yourself in a situation where you’re wondering, “How in the world am I going to get this trailer through a tight gas station parking lot? Will I be able to empty the black tank without spilling it everywhere? Am I properly lighting this propane stove, or am I going to damage my rig?”

 

We’ve been RVing for 8 years now, but we still remember the nervousness we faced before our first trip. Even once we became seasoned RVers, we still faced the same apprehension every time we pulled out for a journey with a newer, bigger rig. The good thing is we can assure you that our unease was soon replaced with enthusiasm as we became accustomed to our new equipment.

 

The greatest adventure of your life is just around the corner–and we want to help you get to the fun part faster. Thanks to our years of experience, we have the following tips to help you make your first RV trip a success:

 

 

  1. Camp Close to Home for Your First Few Trips

You finally bought the RV of your dreams…now it’s time to hit those dream destinations, right? Not so fast. For your first few trips, you’ll want to book campgrounds close to home. This will allow you to gain confidence as you learn how to operate your new rig. Also, it takes a few trips to figure out what to stock in your RV. If you camp close to home, you can easily run home to grab the must-needed items, and you’ll be in familiar territory.

 

  1. Reserve a Private Campground for Your First Trip

If you want to spark an internet debate, just ask the people on an RV forum whether public parks or private campgrounds are better. While no one can debate that beauty and solitude are often found in our nation’s state and national parks, there are some added amenities that make private campgrounds a perfect choice for your first trip. First, they often have full hookups. Until you understand your rig and your family’s needs, it’s better to have electricity, water, and sewer onsite. Also, private parks often have helpful staff members who can assist with things like backing into a site for the first time.

 

 

  1. Reserve a Pull-Thru Site at Your First Campground

There are many beautiful campsites in this nation. Some are easy to pull right into, while others require backing down a long driveway at a 30-degree angle while trying to avoid some trees. You will eventually be able to veer your trailer into practically any spot with ease, but you can avoid some headaches for your first trip by booking a pull-thru site. A pull-thru site is one that is situated between two roads, making it easy to pull right in when you arrive and pull right out when you leave…no backing up required. On your first trip, you have enough to worry about without having to angle a trailer into a spot. Keep it easy peasy with a pull-thru!

 

  1. Divide and Conquer During Setup

Arriving at a campground is a little different from arriving at a hotel. There are quite a few tasks that need to be done in order to secure your trailer and set up a cozy campsite. Doing these for the first time takes a lot longer than it will once you learn your rhythm and routines. If you have younger kids, the easiest thing to do is to get them out from underfoot so one adult of the family can truly concentrate on setup, while the other concentrates on keeping the kids happy and safe. If you have older kids, they can help with the setup process.

 

 

  1. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

Even if you’re not usually the type of person to ask for help from random strangers on the street, you’ll learn that this is a wonderful benefit from campground culture, when needed. As you are learning to operate a new rig, there will, undoubtedly, be some tasks you forget how to do or never learned in the first place. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most of your neighbors were in your shoes at one time or another and will kindly pay it forward.

 

  1. Don’t be Afraid to Say No to Help When Backing In

One of the silly things that stress us out is feeling like other RVers are judging us when we are backing in the rig. For reasons unknown to us, there are some people who like to kick back in their camp chairs and watch other RVers set up camp. Some will eagerly jump in and offer to help, which is great—except when it isn’t. If you don’t want the help, don’t worry about politely declining with a simple, “Hey, we are new at this, and we want to learn how to do it. We’ll let you know if we need some assistance!”

 

 

  1. Expect the Unexpected—and Don’t Let it Get You Down

Things may go wrong, as they inevitably will. Perhaps you didn’t understand how long to cool the fridge and had nowhere to put your piles of groceries. Perhaps you found out something isn’t working in the RV or broke something that was working. Stuff happens. Try not to lose too much of your vacation time fretting over mistakes and mishaps. Do your best to problem solve and move on.

 

 

  1. Avoid Driving at Night

If at all possible, plan your early trips to include driving and setting up during daylight hours. Driving at night can be risky. If you have a breakdown, you’ll have a harder time finding help since the auto parts stores, garages, and RV dealerships will be closed. Setting up at night can also be immensely more difficult due to the lack of sight.

 

  1. Breathe. Go Slow. Have Fun.

Things will eventually get easier! You will soon be able to set up camp blindfolded. Until then, all you can do is be patient with yourself as you learn. Don’t be too critical on yourself…and don’t forget to have fun along the way.

 

Once you get your first-time jitters out of the way and gain some useful experiences, you can rest easy knowing that the road ahead is much smoother, with far fewer pit stops. You will get the hang of operating, maintaining, and towing that beautiful new RV. It won’t always be easy, but it will definitely be worth the effort, especially when you finally do take that dream rig to your dream destinations. Pretty soon, you’ll be like the kid on the bike, pedaling fast with a smile on your face.

 

Source link

Food Tour Tips & The Best Food Tours In The U.S. For Travelers

One of the benefits of RV living is being able to travel to different areas and explore what is offered there, whether it is the vistas, the climate, the lifestyle, the adventure, or the food.

Food tours are a fun way to explore a city, giving you a unique insight into the cuisine and culture of a town, as well as great places to eat.  A food tour (or culinary tour) is a professionally guided tour of local food and beverage establishments in an area.

Some tours include hands-on workshops, one-on-one with the chefs or restaurateur, area history or architecture, and new people to meet.  Food tours have become quite popular and are offered in many cities and towns around the world.

food tours
A food tour at Pikes Market in Seattle (drukelly/Flickr)
How to find a food tour

Websites like Taste Trekkers or Urban Adventures are places to start your search for a food tour in the town you may be passing through.

You may be able to narrow your search for specifics as well. How about a coffee tour of Seattle?  New Orleans Cajun cuisine?  A wine tour around Grand Junction?  A beer tour in Cincinnati?

What to expect on a food tour

Most food tours are done by foot through a specific neighborhood or area visiting local shops along the route, although some bus tours are available.

If you have mobility issues, be sure to ask about the level of activity or mobility accommodations that may be available.  Typical food tours are smaller groups (10-15 people) with 6-8 stops.

You will get plenty of food, and time to digest as you walk the area between stops.  At the first few stops, some people may think that the smaller portion sizes will leave them hungry, but by the end of the tour, you won’t want a big dinner!

At each stop, your guide will explain why that location was chosen, and a particular food or drink is usually showcased.  If that menu item isn’t to your liking, don’t worry—the next stop will be something different!

Between stops, your guide may explain how the cuisine fits into the city’s culture or provide information on the history of the town itself.

food tour
Try the local cuisine wherever you’re traveling. Photo by Sarah Wu/Flickr

A good tour should provide you with an idea of what kind of food to expect. If you have dietary requirements, let your tour know at the time of booking so that they can accommodate you as best as they can.

Some tours or destinations may not be able to accommodate every dietary need, so be sure to ask before you buy your tickets.

Keep in mind that the time of day you take your tour may change what kind of stops and food are planned.  A lunch-time tour will often feature different food than an evening tour, and the ambiance of the city can change through the day as well.  Plan for a time of day that best suits your interests.

The cost factor

Food tours tend to be more expensive than other walking tours (around $35-$75 per person).  Price will vary based on the location, length, and type of tour you are booking.

You can sometimes find deals through Groupon or local travel sites.  Considering that you are actually getting a multi-course meal as well as an informative tour, and the smaller group size, you do end up getting your money’s worth.

See also: Why You Should Experience An RV Tour



Source link

TIPS FOR CLEANING YOUR RV’S INTERIOR

 

The new camping season will be here before we know it and before it arrives you’ll want to give the interior of your RV a good deep clean! It may sound strange but I love cleaning my RV. Really! One, it takes much less time than cleaning my house even when it’s a pull-out-everything-from-cabinets deep clean. Two, my RV is my escape, my retreat, and that makes it feel like less of a chore and more like a chance to give her the pampering she deserves.

 

Below is how I clean my RV’s interior. I like to start with the ceilings. Then I work from one end to the other and finally finish with the floors. It’s so satisfying to know that my RV is clean and ready to go for the next adventure.

 

I’ve included a lot of small tips to help make the cleaning process more efficient, but I want to stress my favorite tip: While you are cleaning keep an eye out for any items that may need repair or require preventative maintenance and write it down. Cleaning is a perfect time to do this because you are going over every surface. If you do this along with regular exterior inspections your RV is sure to give you many years of enjoyment!

 

Tip: If possible, plan your cleaning on a reasonably warm day so you can open the windows. You don’t want to be breathing the cleaning product fumes and the air circulation will help things dry out quicker and cut down on odors.

 

Alright grab your supplies and get scrubbing!

Supplies

Multi-purpose Cleaner

Glass Cleaner

Floor Cleaner

Boxes of Baking Soda

Magic Sponge (for any tough marks on ceilings or walls)

Gloves

Vacuum with attachments

Rags and/or Paper Towels

Sponges

Step Stool

Garden Hose

Something to take notes on: phone or paper or my handy PDF checklist linked below! 🙂

 

Ceilings

 

Start with the ceilings so you can vacuum or sweep up anything that may drop out of the vents or fans. Use your vacuum attachment to suck up any cobwebs that may have collected on the ceiling and clean out any dust that may have accumulated in the vents/fans. Pull out the screens and vacuum them. If they are really dirty you may want to wash them with water. Don’t forget to vacuum the vents of your air conditioner and check the filter to see if it needs to be replaced or cleaned.

 

Tip: While wiping the ceiling down with a damp cloth, look closely for signs of discoloration or any “bubbling”. Make a note of any spots that may need some preventative maintenance.

 

Bedroom(s)

 

 

 

Start by cleaning the windows. Next scan the walls noting the condition. Wipe the walls paying special attention to the doorways where dirt tends to accumulate. Take out all bedding and give it a good shake. If the RV has been in storage, I like to wash everything to get ready for the new camping season. If I’m in the middle of camping season, I’ll likely just fold it and put it away. Next, vacuum the closets and clean mirrors. Finally, if you aren’t going to be camping for a few months, stick a box of baking soda in the closet.

 

Tip: Don’t forget to vacuum the under-the-bed storage compartment if you have it!

 

Bathroom(s)

 

 

Start with the walls to remove any personal product residue. Next is the toilet and tanks. You can use a garden hose to spray down inside the tank as best as you can. Drop in some holding tank treatment to keep things fresh and wipe down the toilet. Pull out your belongings from the cabinets and wipe the shelves. Clean the mirror, sink, and shower or tub. Make notes of anything that needs maintenance or supplies you may be running low on and need to replenish.

 

Tip: There is a special attachment for your hose (pictured above) to make the job of cleaning the tank easier. Or a number of people swear that you can keep your tank really clean by putting a bag of ice in it during drives. The movement of the ice scrubs the tank for you. If you do this regularly you may be able to skip the spraying the tank step.

 

Kitchen

 

 

 

Start by cleaning upper cabinets that way you can easily vacuum or wipe away anything that falls down. I throw away any expired or stale food and quickly wipe out the cabinets. This is really important to make sure you don’t feed any unexpected “guests”. Clean the microwave. Next move on to the walls around the kitchen, paying special attention to the area above the sink and the stove and scrubbing away any residue. Give the stovetop and inside the oven a good scrub. Wipe out the inside of the fridge and freezer and leave a new box of baking soda to keep things fresh. Finally wipe down the sink and counters. Few things feel as satisfying as a sparkling clean sink. Don’t forget to take notes for maintenance issues or needed supplies.

 

Tip: Heat up a bowl of water in the microwave a few minutes before wiping it out. The steam will loosen any grime making it easy to clean.

 

Living Area

 

 

Last but not least let’s give the living area a good clean. Wipe down the walls and windows. Dust and wipe down any upper cabinets. If you have a pull-out bed in the sofa, pull it out to vacuum underneath. Wipe down table. Lastly, dust the TV and entertainment system.

 

Tip: Store items under the dinette in bins or boxes that make it easy to pull things out to clean underneath.

 

Floors

 

 

We started by cleaning the ceilings of the entire RV and now we are going to end with the floors. Give them a good clean with the vacuum and then mop all the hard surface floors.

Tip: Enjoy the satisfaction of having a super clean RV! 🙂

 

That’s it! You’re done! To make things even easier for yourself I’ve put together a PDF “RV Interior Cleaning Checklist” for you to print out and use! CLICK HERE for PDF!

 

Do you have any tips for cleaning your RV’s interior? Please share in the comments below!

 

Thanks to Trailer Source for letting me use one of their RVs for photos while our Airstream is in the middle of a major remodel! If you are in Colorado be sure to check them out! They have a great selection of RVs.

Source link

Tips For Preventing RV Theft For Motorhomes, Trailers, Fifth Wheels

Many RVers are concerned about their RV being stolen from the boondocks while they are out exploring away from camp for the day.

As I have shared in past posts, you are highly unlikely to be a victim of crime in the boondocks as criminals are opportunists applying their trade where there is ample opportunity. Not much opportunity for them in the boondocks with RVers randomly spread out in the woods.

stolen
Lock your coupler or use a coupler lock. Photos by author, Dave Helgeson

For my wife and I, our biggest concern relating to theft of our travel trailer is when we drop it along a stretch of highway while we enjoy a side trip in our tow vehicle to a ghost town or other out-of-the-way place in the middle of nowhere.

Who knows what criminal element might drive by, see our RV sitting on the side of the road and circle around for a closer inspection. Discovering it to be temporarily abandoned, it would only take a minute for a bad guy with a truck to latch onto our travel trailer and head down the road to points unknown.

Following are some methods you might use to make your RV harder to steal in your absence:

Trailer and motorhome owners can:

  • Run a chain through your wheels and suspension system padlocking the ends together. This will prevent your wheels from turning if someone tries to drive off with your RV.
  • Leave the jacks down, making the RV less mobile. I quite often put them down to level the RV to keep the refrigerator happy if we will be out exploring for hours.

Trailer owners may also consider:

stolen

Motorhome owners may also consider:

  • Using your power levers to raise the drive wheels off the ground.
  • Install a hidden switch that disables your ignition system.
  • Use a club or other device that renders the steering wheel useless.

Next time you worry about leaving your RV parked along a remote stretch of highway, in a campground, or in the boonies while you are away for the day, employing these tips will help ensure your RV is still there when you return. Because having your RV stolen is an adventure nobody wants to experience!

See also: 10 Ways To Keep Your RV Safe From Theft



Source link

10 TIPS FOR FINDING THE RV MODEL AND FLOOR PLAN

10 Tips for Finding the Perfect RV Model and Floorplan

If you are a first time RV shopper, you might be surprised–and a little overwhelmed–at how many options there are out there! Once you have settled on the type of RV you are looking for (travel trailer, fifth wheel, motorhome), you’ll still have to decide the size and floorplan that will suit you best.

There’s definitely something for everyone out there, and we want you to find your perfect match. So here are our top 10 tips for finding your perfect RV model.

 

  1. Know Your Numbers.

 

Research your tow capacity and payload capacity if you are purchasing a towable. Don’t take guesses or rely on social media for this information. Use your VIN to get the specs directly from your vehicle manufacturer. If you are buying a motorhome, double and triple check the weight of any vehicle you are planning to tow behind the RV. These are the first specs you should look at when shopping. Believe us, picking out an RV that doesn’t work with your current vehicle situation can be expensive and unsafe.

  1. Count the number of dedicated beds you’ll need.

 

We highly recommend looking for RV floorplans that will provide a dedicated bed for anyone who will be sleeping in the rig most of the time. When shopping for their first RV, some folks think it’s no big deal to make up the dinette or pull out the sleeper sofa every night. We know from experience that this can be a frustration in the long run.

Solo campers or couples who need just one bed will find tons of great options across every RV type. Families with one or two children will be happy to find bunk models in travel trailers and motorhomes. If you are traveling with more than two children, travel trailer and fifth wheels offer many bunkhouse floorplans with 3-4 beds in a separate sleeping area.

If you are looking for a small towable that still offers dedicated beds for everyone in the family, check out the Murphy bed floorplan options. This latest trend has grown pretty popular over the past couple of years, so there are quite a few of these models out there!

 

  1. Decide on a wet bath, dry bath, or no bath.

 

Some shoppers love the idea of having a large, private bathroom no matter where they travel. Other folks are just fine with the idea of using campground comfort stations. This is a pretty important part of the RV experience, so make sure you get what you want in this department.

Many smaller RV options like Class Bs, Small Travel Trailers, and Truck Campers only offer wet baths, bathrooms where there isn’t a separate stall for the shower. Think hard about whether this will be a deal breaker for you.

 

  1. Decide if you’ll want to boondock or camp all four seasons.

 

Another trend in the RV industry is more models that offer four season features like insulated walls and underbellies. If you want to camp year-round, or at least in the cooler shoulder seasons, look for RVs that include these options.

And if you are looking to boondock (dispersed camping in places without hookups), make sure to search for RVs with larger fresh water, gray water, and black tanks. Other attractive features for folks looking to get off the grid are on-board generators and solar prep.

  1. Think about how much time you plan on spending inside the RV.

 

There’s no right way to camp. Some people are shopping for an RV with a clean bathroom and comfortable beds that will keep them warm and cozy at night. Other campers are seeking a smaller version of their sticks and bricks house, with all the creature comforts of home. Will everyone be able to eat a meal, play a board game, or watch a movie? Think about how you want to live in the RV, and make sure the floorplan will support that dream.

  1. How much cooking do you plan on doing in (and out) of the RV?

 

Once again, there is no right answer to the question of cooking in the RV. Some people use their RV kitchens all the time like us, and some people have never even turned on the oven. If the RV kitchen is a major draw for you, look closely at storage, counter space, and refrigerator size. If you love to cook in the open air, check out all the amazing outdoor kitchen options. However, if you don’t cook a lot while RVing, skip the outdoor kitchen to get more interior space and storage.

  1. Will you need to work in the RV?

 

The ability to work remotely leads a lot of people to check out the RV lifestyle. If you have to punch the clock, you might as well do it in a beautiful location, right? So, if you’re planning to work on the road, make sure you choose a floorplan with a spot for you to comfortably set up shop. Many people are using the flexible space in toy haulers to set up mobile offices. Another popular option right now are fifth wheel models with office space in the middle.

  1. Visualize where all the stuff will go!

 

Storage varies drastically in different models and floorplans, so think specifically about the things you want to pack. From the big stuff like bikes, kayaks, and golf carts, to the little stuff like clothes, linens and towels, food, and kitchen supplies…actually imagine where all your stuff might go.

  1. Can you access all the important features in “Travel Mode”?

 

One of the greatest benefits of RV travel for our family is being able to use the bathroom and have a healthy lunch in our RV kitchen while at rest stops. If this is also important to you, make sure you can access everything you will need even with the slides in. Can you access the bathroom, open the refrigerator, and get into the bedroom? Don’t be embarrassed to ask the salesperson to bring in the slides for you to double check!

  1. What extra features are important to you? Every RV is a bit different than the next, and some options will be more important to you than others. That’s why it’s important to have a list of “must haves” vs. “nice to haves” before you even start looking. Here are a few features that may or may not be on your list depending on your RV lifestyle:

 

  1. Large awning
  2. Exterior bathroom entrance
  3. Outdoor shower
  4. Power and automated systems for stability jacks, tongue jack, and levelers
  5. Smart technology and outdoor entertainment

Take your time and have fun with this part of the RV shopping experience. There are so many great RVs out there right now, so make sure to find the perfect one for you.

 

We’ll see you at the campground,

Stephanie + Jeremy

 

Source link

Tips For Family Travel And Camping & RVing With Kids

Do you read through RV blogs and websites, dreaming about traveling when your kids leave the house? I’ve got news for you—camping in an RV is something you and your kids can do right now.

The RV lifestyle scares away most families with the idea of being cramped into a small space with impatient children or moody teenagers. Still, those brave enough to try it out often discover what other families have been missing. It’s true, traveling with kids can be hectic…or it can be the chance you need to connect as a family.

kids
Photo by Virginia State Parks/Flickr

Choosing a location

When choosing a location to camp with your family, keep in mind the types of activities your kids are wanting to do. Are they aspiring athletes? Nature fanatics? Do they like to swim or ride bikes? Be sure to choose a campsite with plenty to do. Some of the most kid-friendly campsites are the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, a campground franchise with 85 locations scattered throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Many of these parks offer waterslides, swimming pools, and bounce houses, not to mention character appearances from Yogi and Boo Boo. Some U.S. National Park campgrounds offer Junior Ranger programs, which may appeal to younger children.

Always be aware of how family-friendly your chosen campsite is. While kids are welcome in some parks, others may find them disruptive. Some RV parks even charge a fee for each child. If you are nervous about disturbing your neighbors, boondocking may be a good option for you. Park on legal dispersed camping grounds, where your kids can run around with plenty of space.

kids
Photo by Charlein Gracia/Unsplash

Safety with kids

When driving with kids, safety is the number one priority. Always make sure that everyone is wearing a seatbelt, even when riding in the RV. In some states, seatbelts in RVs are not legally required, but they should always be worn regardless.

Make sure you choose the right size RV for your family. Class C vehicles are safer, but for a family of 6 or more, a Class A RV might be the only option. If little ones need to sleep in overhead bunks, consider bringing along a bedrail. Always keep printed versions of your kids’ medical records with you in case of an emergency.

kids
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

Keeping kids happy on the road

That said, your kids can be safe while still having fun. Rather than letting children roam around the RV while it is in motion, take breaks to get out and stretch at least every 4 hours.

Try not to do a 10-hour drive all in one day.  Instead, break up the trip into one-night stops at campsites where kids can swim and play. If you have infants or toddlers, schedule your driving during nap times. Trust me, you’ll be thankful for the lack of screaming.

Although it’s okay to let your kids watch movies in the car, there are quite a few other methods of entertainment that you might want to try first. Try to involve your children in the travel process as much as possible. Pick up some of those old-fashioned paper maps from AAA and show them how to plot out the trip.

Practice reading signs and billboards along the way, and do your best to answer their questions thoughtfully. Play games like car bingo or make a list of all the states you see on license plates. Listen to music as a family and sing along. Car rides don’t have to be a time to tune everyone out.

If you need quiet time, bring travel trays, paper, and crayons for your little artists. It can also be helpful to put together a “goodie bag” and reward good behavior with a new activity each leg of the trip (think play-doh, puzzle books, or magnet dolls). The kids will have fun, and you’ll get some peace and quiet.

kids
Photo by Aaron Burden/Unsplash

Unplugging from technology

No one wants to go on a family vacation just to sit on their phones all day. Camping trips are about being together without electronic distractions, but if you have teenagers, this can be hard to achieve.

When choosing where to stay, consider a campsite that doesn’t offer WiFi. Better yet, leave electronics at home and plan alternate activities. Even older kids (when coaxed into participating) will enjoy s’mores, campfire sing-alongs, and board games.

kids
Photo by Ben White/Unsplash

Family activities

No matter how old your kids are, make an effort to spend time with them while camping. Read books about the region in which you’re staying and learn about local wildlife. Bring along outdoor games like croquet or cornhole, and if you have time, make a personalized scavenger hunt to complete together.

If you’re near a lake, take your kids fishing or kayaking. Many National Parks offer family-friendly hikes or geocaching (hunting for small treasures based on GPS coordinates). The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area now offers a refined form of geocaching called ParkCaching.

On rainy days, take the opportunity to teach your kids a new game, like chess or cards. Spend time as a family and make your next trip one you won’t forget.

kids
Photo by Jude Beck/Unsplash

Learning on the road

Kids often learn the most by experiencing things for themselves, so why not take advantage of some fun ways to learn during your family trip? If you choose to camp near a city, visit a zoo or museum.

Point out plants and animals while hiking, and don’t forget to let your kids roam a bit. Encourage kids of all ages to keep travel journals or scrapbooks to document their observations. Let them draw or glue in pictures of the trip. For younger children, this is a great opportunity to practice writing, though you may have to help them spell some words.

Full-time RVers with school-age kids may want to look into roadschooling. Like homeschooling, it allows you to develop lessons for your kids, but with the added bonus of incorporating real-world activities and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Traveling is the perfect opportunity to teach your kids how to be life-long learners.

kids
Photo by Annie Spratt/Unsplash

Keeping it clean

When you’re living in a 400 sq. ft. motorhome, your space is bound to get messy; bringing kids along increases the chance by about a million percent. If you don’t want to lose your children under heaps of toys and blankets, it’s important to stay organized.

It can be helpful to give each child his or her own plastic shoebox to fill with whatever toys, papers, pencils, and stuffed animals they wish to bring along. This sets a limit on the number of toys they are allowed. Another way to free up space is to set up a separate “play tent” outside the RV, where you can stuff all toys, games, and books whenever they’re not being played with.

You also want to make sure that you’re not bringing too much of the outdoors in. Before letting your children inside, make sure all shoes are removed and sandy feet are rinsed. A doormat and a small broom are essential for the prevention of a dirty RV. You may want to invest a sack for dirty laundry and a cheap plastic tray for toys or dishes.

Be sure to involve your kids in campsite cleanups; believe it or not, many children enjoy being new given responsibilities. You can even make chore time into a game—try playing “Simon Says” with clearing the table or have competitions to see who can gather the most firewood.

kids
Photo by Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Nighttime activities

One of the best parts of a camping trip comes after dark. No trip is complete without a blazing campfire. Use this time to circle up and hold a family sing along with silly camp songs or have a marshmallow-toasting contest.

Kids will love roasting hot dogs on a stick. You can also set aside a special snack to have only during RV trips—your kids will learn to associate this food tradition with family camping and have something to look forward to each time. When putting little ones to bed, maintain the same nighttime routine that you follow at home. Bring along your child’s blanket or pacifier and try to put them to bed around the usual time.

Even after the campfire dies down, nighttime can be a fun time to play with your kids. Reduce stress by buying glow stick bracelets or necklaces; the kids will love it, and you’ll be able to see them.

Lay down and gaze at the stars. There are many astronomy apps that can help you identify constellations. Play glow-in-the-dark bowling with your kids by placing glow sticks inside water bottles and setting them up like pins. You may want to watch a movie together under the stars or catch fireflies in a jar. Camping with your kids is the time to relive your childhood, so have fun.

kids
Photo by Michael Aleo/Unsplash

When bringing along the whole family for an RV vacation, be flexible. Things might not go exactly how you want them to, but that’s okay. Remember—every predicament you get yourselves into, though it may seem like a stressful problem at the time, will become a great story to tell when you get back home.

Read more about roadschooling here.



Source link

10 Tips for the Downsizing Journey

Downsizing is a stressful journey – that’s why we’re sharing 10 tips for the downsizing process. Since everyone’s situation is super unique, we enlisted the help of fellow Vibe Tribers to bestow their wisdom upon us!

Whether you’re moving from a house to an apartment, buying an RV & hitting the road, or simply beginning to declutter your life, these tips can shed light on the path forward and encourage you to take the first step toward material freedom.

Watch The Video & Read The List

The first tip of the day comes from Lisa & Kent of Living Light RV. Developing a strategy is the best way to start any journey. In this step you’ll want to assess your goals, your timeline and your actual stuff. Writing the plan down on paper helps – the strategy can then turn into monthly, weekly or daily goals

Lisa shares their strategy:

For us it was get rid of the physical first and then take our time to go through the emotional and memorabilia heirloom items.

Dan & Lisa from Always on Liberty recommend using Facebook to sell items locally. There are two ways to do this: the Facebook Marketplace or on local Facebook Yard Sale Groups.

Lisa offers up very sound advice in terms of personal security during this process:

When you reach an agreement you’re going to want to meet in a safe place. Make sure its light outside…and never meet in your home.

We sold a few items on Facebook during our downsizing journey and realized that we could make more money per item sold via Facebook, but there was also a lot of effort involved in each sale. We’d recommend this for bigger ticket items, not knick knacks.

Get creative with your marketing when you decide to have your first big yard sale! Doug & Harmony of Fummins Family Roadtrip used Pokemon Go cards to drum up excitement with their estate sale. Encouraging potential shoppers to look deep, they hid cards throughout their sale items.

The options are infinite for a fun, grassroots marketing campaign. The only cost will be fliers to post around town. If you have way more dog snacks than you need, offer free dog treats to everyone who brings their furry friend. You can even pull out your corn hole game and offer 50% off to anyone who can toss the beanbag in the hole.

This should probably be tip number one! I know for a fact, we began our downsizing months too late.

The process is long, emotional and physically exhausting – give yourself ample time to complete the job.

Dan from Always on Liberty says:

You’ve accumulated a lot of stuff in the period before you go on the road. Your cupboards, your pantry, your attic, your basement; it’s just crammed full of things…you need to get an early start on it!

During the process of decluttering, Ronnie of the Tribe found that re-living memories gave him unexpected joy. Rather than throwing an item in a box, honor them and re-live the fond moments they represent.

We loved this tip from Ronnie! It’s important to remember that the process of downsizing can bring joy.

Lisa & Kent of Living Light RV bring us another powerful tip – honor others when downsizing. Have open communication with the loved ones in your life. Let them know that you no longer have the same goals and aspirations you once had…and, because of this, you have to let go of items that were given to you in kindness.

Lisa says:

We have a lot of items that people have given us over the years…wedding gifts, artwork our kids had painted for us, silverware & fine china. I think its important to look at an item and say “will this offend someone else if I just get rid of it?”

If the answer is “yes” its important to talk to that person…and say “hey, you know what, we’re in a different stage of life now. We are downsizing, we’re going to be living in an RV and we’re turning over a new leaf.

Communicating with the person who gave you an item will create an open dialog and honor their thoughtfulness.

The drawer method is pretty simple. Take all your kitchen utensils, put them in the bottom drawer. When you use one, move it to the top drawer. After a month you’ll have a good idea of the utensils you really use.

This method can be used in your clothes closet and your bathroom, too!

What about your turkey baster or Christmas platters? Well, we say, let it go.

Keep your eye on the prize and remember your WHY! If you’re like Lisa & Kent, keep watching those RV travelers on YouTube and imagining the beautiful roads you’ll travel.

It’s also important to celebrate your successes. This can be as simple as going on a date night after you get rid of that 50″ plasma TV. You can even use those recent sale-funds to pay for the date!

We stayed inspired for our entire year of preparation by planning hundreds of potential routes and plotting must-see points on the map.

As important as staying inspired, its also important to let go. If you can wrap your head around the idea of “letting go”, you’ll have a much smoother ride through this downsizing journey.

Lisa for Always on Liberty also reminds us not to be offended if people don’t want your stuff.

You might not make as much money from yard sales as you’d like – thankfully thrift stores are always accepting STUFF!

Using a scanner called Doxie, you can easily (and wirelessly) turn all those physical photographs into digital files and have them on your computer in no time.

If you want to step up your digital photograph game, you can buy a portable hard drive to have a backup of the photos just in case something happens to your computer.

Don’t be intimidated by this process. It’ll be worth the effort!

 

Source link

5 Tips for Finding Remote Work

Achieving a life of independence is one of our biggest goals. To us that means; the freedom to travel, the freedom to be our own boss and the ability to do these two things with as little stress as possible. Finding remote work allowed us to make that dream a possibility.

Today we’re teaming up with remote-work expert, Camille Attell, to discuss five tips for finding the ideal remote job.

It may sound simple, but get in the right mindset before looking for that ideal job. There are countless remote work oppritunites available across tons of sectors. The key is knowing where to find those listings.

Have confidence that your remote job is waiting for you to find it!

Once you decide to find that awesome remote job, get your resume on board! Even if you haven’t worked remotely before, you may have experience that proves you’d be a great fit.

Have you completed online corses with success? Have you led a team to achieve a goal? Are you great at research? Do your self motivation and time management skills shine?

These are a few of the ways you can show a potential employer that you have what it takes to work remotely. So, give that resume a facelift and focus on your strong abilities and experiences that exemplify your best remote work qualities!

Join The Vibe Tribe Community

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

To piggyback on the last tip, know what skills to nurture and share with employers during interviews.

Time management, independent thinker, self guided research: these can be a great strength when talking to potential employers.

Most remote work employers want to hire self motivated people that can solve problems on their own. Having to call or text questions often is not ideal!

Now that you’ve got your skill set & updated resume, let the search begin! There are lots of places online to find these jobs, but some are scattered with scams or unsavory positions.

We’ve found that many nomads like to use the site FlexJobs and we’ve met a few that had great success with the site! Camille recommends the site We Work Remotely because it is free to use and has quality listings.

Beyond applying for remote work jobs, dive deep into online communities that support and educate this goal! We like the RV Entrepreneur group on Facebook. Camille suggests checking out the Xscapers job board.

If you’re serious about finding remote work and want hands-on guidance, we recommend checking out Camille’s online course. It’s called Remote Work School 101 and, from what we’ve seen, its an ideal tool for anyone new to the search for remote jobs!

Get $50 off the course when you use this CODE – RW10150off

on the road.png

 

Source link

How To Find Out If Your Trailer Is Overweight & Tips For Losing RV Weight

Do you need to lose weight? No, I don’t mean go on a diet or start exercising more. I’m talking about trailer weight—you know, those extra pounds that stack up every time you buy a souvenir or invest in a new DVD player for your RV.

According to the RVSEF, about 60% of travel trailers exceed their maximum weight capacity. A couple extra pounds may seem like a minor problem, but the truth is that excessive trailer weight is responsible for the majority of RV safety issues. Keep reading to find out how to avoid these hazards and make your next trip a safe one.

How to find out if you’re overweight

The first step is to find out if your trailer actually is overweight. Check the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) in your tow car’s manual to determine the maximum weight your vehicle can handle, including itself and its passengers. Also note your trailer’s GVWR, which is often found in the user manual or printed inside the trailer. When you have these numbers, you need to take your vehicle and trailer to a weighing station.

The most accurate method of weight measurement is wheel position weighing, which determines how much weight is resting on each of the vehicle’s wheels. This allows you to see if the trailer’s weight is unevenly distributed. Only a few companies offer wheel position weighing, but many of them travel the country. If you’re willing to pay the $75 for an accurate measurement, you can make an appointment online.

A cheaper and more convenient way to get a semi-accurate weight measurement is by using a certified CAT scale, found at many truck stops. These cost about $10 the first time you measure, and only a couple dollars each time afterward. CAT scales take an axle-by-axle reading, which still gives you a good idea of your trailer’s weight. Just make sure it falls far below your trailer’s GVWR. You can also use a CAT scale to weigh your tow vehicle and make sure that the weight of your car doesn’t exceed its limits. After weighing your vehicle and tow trailer, you can add the two weights together and compare it to your car’s GCWR. This will tell you if your vehicle is able to tow your trailer.

weight
Check the GVWR in your tow car’s manual to determine the maximum weight your vehicle can handle

Dangers of traveling with an overweight trailer

If your trailer’s weight (including all cargo and passengers) does exceed its maximum capacity, driving with the trailer attached is a huge risk. Overweight trailers put more pressure on the wheels and axles than they are designed to handle, which can cause tire blowouts or trailer sway.

Excess weight causes tires to wear more quickly and makes it harder to stop the vehicle. If your vehicle is involved in an accident, you will be liable. Insurance companies will be less likely to help pay for damages. Police officers can also pull you over and give you a hefty fine if they suspect that your trailer is overweight. In other words, traveling with extra weight just isn’t worth the issues that it can cause.

weight
Too much weight can cause problems like trailer sway. Photo by Larry & Teddy Page/Flickr

How to lose weight

“So,” you may be asking, “now what?” The answer is simple—it’s time to lose some weight. Obviously, you can’t throw out large items like your mattress or toilet, but you might be surprised at how much you can downsize by paying attention to the small things in your trailer.

Every time you buy a souvenir, a decoration, or even a storage basket, you add weight to your trailer. These tiny amounts really add up, so consider getting rid of some of the extra stuff. Ask yourself which items you need to keep, and which ones you hardly ever use. This could be clothing, extra bedding, unnecessary dishes, or the camp stove you never cook with. Be frugal with what you decide to buy and keep the weight of your trailer in mind.

weight
Donate extra clothing that you never wear. Photo by Francesca Tirico/Unsplash

Top tips for trailer weight

  • Fill it up: Keep in mind that water, propane, and fuel add extra weight. Fill all your tanks before weighing for an accurate measurement.
  • Weigh in advance: Don’t wait until the day you start a long trip to weigh your trailer. Give yourself time to make adjustments and make an appointment at a weighing station if you need to.
  • Balance your weight: Even if your trailer falls within the weight limits, too much weight on one side can cause a serious accident. Rearrange your things to evenly distribute their weight.
  • Leave room to grow: Don’t go traveling with a trailer that falls just a pound or two under the weight limit. Leave as much room as possible in case you absolutely have to add something.
  • Weigh your stuff: When packing your trailer, consider stacking food, clothes, and anything else that you’re bringing in a cardboard box and weighing it on a bathroom scale. This can give you an idea of how many pounds you’re adding.

Overweight trailers may seem like a small problem, but surpassing your vehicle’s maximum capacity can be disastrous. Pay attention to your trailer’s weight and stay safe on the road.

See also: Haul Less Weight In Your RV With These Useful Tips



Source link

5 Tips for Finding Remote Work

Achieving a life of independence is one of our biggest goals. To us that means; the freedom to travel, the freedom to be our own boss and the ability to do these two things with as little stress as possible. To satiate and sustain our wanderlust, finding remote work is a big piece of the […]

The post 5 Tips for Finding Remote Work appeared first on Drivin' & Vibin'.


Source link