Have a vacation planned or planning a vacation? While our calendar is still open, reserve a Lichtsinn RV Rental to help make your vacation a memorable one!
We have various Winnebago motorhome and trailer models available for rent – see them here. Do you have questions about renting an RV from Lichtsinn RV? Read our rental FAQ’s below –
Q. Are there any special driving requirements for renting an RV from Lichtsinn RV?
A. A special drivers license or CDL is NOT required! The renter (customer) must possess a valid driver’s license, be at least 25 years of age, and have no major violations on their record. Any additional drivers must also be at least 25 years of age and present on the scheduled departure date with their valid driver’s license.
Q. Where can I drive the rentals?
A. Pretty much anywhere, but remember our rental vehicles may only be used in the continental US, Canada, and Alaska.
Q. How will I know how to operate all the appliances and electronics that an RV comes with?
A. ALL first time renters are encouraged to view our instructional videos available online or on DVD. A brief walk-around is also provided upon check out. Finally, all books and manuals are present in the RV.
Q. Is a down payment or security deposit required?
A. A deposit is required at reservation ($600 for motorhomes, $300 for travel trailers) and is applied to your final rental balance. Cash is not accepted. Any major credit card, however, is accepted and is applied to your final rental balance.
Q. Do I have to provide my own insurance?
A. We provide the insurance for travel trailer rentals. On motorhome rentals, all renters must provide insurance and can do so by:
1. Providing an insurance binder through their auto/personal carrier or
2. Purchase RV rental insurance through our insurance carrier, online at Mbachoice.com, for a nominal fee. See rental consultant for RV rental policy number and series number.
Q. What is your cancellation policy?
A. If the reservation is cancelled 45 days or more before the scheduled departure date, the entire $600 deposit is refunded, less a $100 administrative fee. If the reservation is cancelled within 45 days of the departure date no refund can be granted.
Q. What cleaning options do I have when I return the RV?
A. We can help! Either you clean the vehicle inside and out and dump the waste tanks (vehicle returns in the same condition it was in at pick-up) or we can clean and dump the RV for a fee.
Q. Do you charge for mileage and if so how much?
A. 100 miles per day are included free. After that the fee is $0.35 per mile.
Q. Can I smoke in the RV?
A. Smoking is NOT allowed in our rental motorhomes.
Q. Can we bring pets along?
A. Absolutely! Pets are allowed in the rental units with a $10 per day cleaning fee.
Q. Do you allow towing with your rental motorhomes?
A. Towing is not allowed with our class C motorhomes.
Q. Since there is a built-in ladder on the back of the RV can we use the roof to transport our luggage?
A. Ladders on rental units are for use by Lichtsinn RV technicians only. Customers are responsible for any roof damage.
Q. What happens if I receive a traffic ticket or parking citation while operating one of your rental motorhomes?
A. Customers are responsible for reporting and payment of all parking / traffic violations at rental termination. Non-reporting of parking / traffic violations breaches the Rental Contract.
Q. What can I expect for fuel economy?
A. Obviously there are many contributing factors which determine the gas mileage you will get, however a good rule of thumb is to expect 8-10 MPG.
Q. Do any of the motorhomes you rent come with generators?
A. All of the motorhomes we rent are equipped with generators.
Q. What is your return policy?
A. Rental units must be returned before noon on the last day of your rental agreement. Additional days may also be leased. There are no refunds or credits on early returns.
Q. What happens with fuel and LP?
A. Your RV will be full of fuel and LP upon departure. The RV must be returned full of fuel. The LP is included in your rental fee rate.
Q. What is the sales tax?
A. Iowa sales tax of 7% as well as Iowa rental tax of 5% will be collected on your bill.
Q. Is pickup and delivery available?
A. Yes! We can pickup and deliver the RV at your destination for a fee.
One of the greatest things about having an RV is the ability to get in on dry camping or boondocking. Unfortunately, many RVers don’t even know this opportunity exists and therefore miss out entirely.
If RV dry camping is something you’d like to try but you’re not sure how to get started, this is the article for you. Here we will address common boondocking questions and let you in on our favorite dry camping tips.
Some of you may be wondering, “What does dry camping mean?” Basically, this is a term that means camping without any hookups whatsoever. Dry camping, also known as boondocking, can be done on private property (with permission, of course), on government-owned lands, or anywhere else you can find a place to park legally. In most cases this is free camping, so it’s a great option for those on a tight budget.
The next thing that most people want to know is how to dry camp. Our number one tip is to dip your toes in first and build up to longer trips as you find your own boondocking groove.
Without water or sewer hookups, you will want to learn some ways to carry extra water, how to conserve this precious resource, and ways to get rid of the waste water properly.
Get a bladder — A water bladder such as this one is a great way to carry extra water. Use it to refill your fresh water tank when it runs dry.
Change your shower head and faucets — A low-flow shower head as well as low-flow faucets, can save a lot of water.
Reuse shower or dish water — Instead of using fresh water to flush your toilet, collect your dish and shower water and use it when it’s time to flush. This saves fresh water and makes more room in your gray tank when needed.
Shower less — Of course, showering less helps too. Dry shampoo and wipes help a lot.
Invest in a blue boy — A blue boy can hold onto waste water when your tanks get full and you’re unable to make it to a dump station. It’s also easier to transport a blue boy to and from a dump station than it is to move your entire rig every time you need to dump.
Beside water, you’ll also need to find ways to conserve and create electricity when boondocking. Obviously, things like running the air conditioner or a hair dryer are typically out of the question without electric hookups, and even things like lights and vent fans can drain a battery faster than you might imagine.
Change to LED lighting — Changing all of your lights to LED will help save electricity.
Get a solar panel — A portable solar panel is relatively inexpensive and can be extremely helpful when it comes to keeping your RV battery topped up.
Invest in more batteries — Of course, having more batteries to work with will also mean more electricity to use when off-grid. Combine these with multiple solar panels for best results.
Use a generator — Most motorhomes come with a camping generator. Meanwhile, those using travel trailers will need to invest in a separate one. Either way, using a generator is a great way to top up your battery and even run the A/C on really hot afternoons. Just be aware that generators shouldn’t be run constantly, or at night out of respect for other campers.
One of the key advantages of buying your new Winnebago from Lichtsinn RV is our half day educational orientations lead by our RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician. If you read our guest reviews on Facebook and Google, you will see our educational orientations are highly recommended. When you purchase your RV at Lichtsinn RV, you will receive a half-day educational orientation on your RV from an RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician. This certification provides you the assurance that the technician working on your RV or giving your educational orientation has the specific skills needed to do so. This educational orientation is valued at over $600 and is complimentary with your purchase. During your half day orientation, the RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician will ensure you know how to use your RV by covering each switch, feature, maintenance and warranty item.
Visit the largest motorhome manufacturing facility in the world, Winnebago Industries, Inc., headquartered in Forest City on a campus that we refer to as the most productive 60 acres in North Iowa. Founded in 1958, “Winnebago” became a household word and became the first recreation vehicle manufacturer to build motorhomes in an automotive-style assembly line system. We build our motorhomes in one of the most technologically advanced RV manufacturing facilities in existence today.
Free Winnebago Motorhome Factory Tours –
Forest City, IA – Class A & Class C Motorhomes:
Twice daily (Monday through Thursday) April through October at 9:00 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Special accommodations can be arranged for large tour groups. Reservations are recommended to ensure a space on the tour.
Close-toed shoes are required.
Safety glasses, safety vest and hearing protection provided/required on tours.
Lake Mills, IA – Class B Motorhomes:
Daily (Monday through Thursday at 9:30 and Friday at 9:30 & 1:00) April through October
Reservations are recommended to ensure a space on the tour.
Close-toed shoes are required.
Safety glasses, safety vest and hearing protection provided/required on tours.
All motorhome production tours start at the Winnebago Visitors Center in Forest City, IA.
When you are in Forest City for the Winnebago Factory Tour, make sure to stop by Lichtsinn RV to see the finished product! We are just 1 mile north of the Forest City facility and on the way to the Lake Mills facility.
You already know you’re going camping this year. The only question is: where to?
If you’ve never traveled by motorhome or trailer before, you may be wondering how to go about finding camping spots — or how to narrow down the best places to camp from the huge number of options on your destination bucket list. The good news is, the U.S. is chock-a-block full of amazing places to explore in your RV. The only problem is trying to see them all in just one lifetime!
Which means, of course, that you’ve got some narrowing down to do. After all, most of us can’t quite afford to be on permanent vacation. (Full-time RV living is a thing though, and quite a popular one.
But whether you’re a weekend warrior looking for a quick getaway spot or planning your next epic cross-country road trip, we’ve put together some of the very best campgrounds and camping locations in the U.S.A — and some surefire tips to help you find great spots no matter where you’re headed.
The Top Camping Spots in the U.S.
In no particular order, here are some of the best places to go camping in the U.S., including national parks which have some of the top campgrounds in the nation.
1. Moab, Utah
Nestled right between two of the most popular national parks in the system — Arches and Canyonlands — Moab is the perfect place to plant yourself if you’re looking to explore southeastern Utah’s surreal desert landscape. See the stunning, delicate expanses of sandstone arches and glowing red mesas carved by centuries of geological activity, or take a thrilling whitewater ride down the ancient Colorado River.
Plus, once you’ve had your fill of outdoor fun (if that’s possible), Moab itself has a whole lot to offer in the way of slightly-citified excitement. Enjoy a bite at one of its many well-loved local eateries, or meander through its gift shops and informational centers. The town is also home to a variety of museums with tons of local historical artifacts and educational opportunities. The Museum of Moab has a world-class collection of dinosaur bones on display, too — so it’s a can’t-miss if you have an aspiring paleontologist along for the ride!
2. Glacier National Park and Whitefish, Montana
If your camping bucket list includes Glacier National Park — and whose doesn’t? — don’t miss the chance to enjoy this quaint northern Montana town while you’re in the area. Along with a plethora of shops from which to source your (absolutely mandatory) bear spray, Whitefish also offers a vibrant art scene, as well as an array of culinary delights you might not have expected to find at such an extreme latitude. Meander through the many galleries that line the small, walkable downtown, and then dip into one of its breweries or fine restaurants to take the edge off. A personal recommendation: visit Montana Coffee Traders, which combines a restful atmosphere with great java and a slam-dunk menu of freshly-cooked breakfast options. (No, they’re not paying us to say this.)
3. Saint Augustine, Florida
Not only is Saint Augustine one of the best places to go camping on the east coast — it’s also one of the oldest. Actually, it’s the oldest city in America, not just on the east coast but overall. Settled all the way back in 1565 by Spanish explorers, the city’s been constantly inhabited by one population or another for more than 450 years. (And yes, that makes it older than both Plymouth Rock and Jamestown.)
This beachside gem is the perfect spot to set up camp along the dunes, perhaps at Anastasia State Park. The sites are affordable, but the sights are downright priceless, and you’re just a few minutes’ drive from the town’s historic center, with all manner of food, drink, shopping, and — of course — ghost tour options to choose from. Experiences you are absolutely not allowed to miss: cannon firings at the Castillo de San Marcos, a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city streets, shopping on St. George Street, and cocktails at the Ice Plant to round it all out. Oh, and an ice cream-topped waffle at Cousteau’s. (Thank us later.)
4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Great Smoky Mountains stands out from its US national parks peer group in a variety of ways. For one thing, it’s the most popular. For another, few of the national parks have such a vibrant gateway city — and fewer still are free to enter.
With hundreds of miles of hiking trails along some of the most lushly green mountain paths you’ll ever see, Great Smoky Mountains is a can’t-miss destination, especially for native east coasters. Covering more than 522,427 acres, the park is a reasonable drive from a huge number of eastern metropoles, and offers much-needed natural respite to those city dwellers. And even if Gatlinburg is a little bit out of your way, it’s worth the extra miles to stay there. You can round out your days of outdoorsy exploration with all sorts of mountain town fun, from tastings at moonshine distilleries to ski lifts that operate even in the summer. (Oh, and Pigeon Forge is just half an hour up the road, home to a downright disproportionate number of dinner shows and live entertainment options. No wonder Dolly Parton loves it here so much!)
5. Joshua Tree National Park and Twentynine Palms, California
If you’ve yet to go to this alien desert landscape, where the trees twist into the sky like reaching arms, you won’t regret setting your RV GPS to Joshua Tree — or its unique neighboring town, Twentynine Palms. (Fun fact: there’s actually an old song about the city, or at least one of its citizens, and if you’re anything like the author of this post, you’ll find it ridiculously catchy.)
This weird little desert city is just that: weird. Be sure to take the time out of your Joshua Tree experience to visit and take notice of such attractions as its collection of love signs or grab a cooling brew at the Joshua Tree Saloon. Temperatures can easily top 100 degrees in the summertime, so you’ll need the breather.
6. Monterey Bay, California
Yes, we’ve definitely touted this place before on our destination lists… but it’s easily one of the best places to go camping on the west coast. Nestled between the urban insanity (which we mean in a good way!) of California’s bay area and the serene beauty of Big Sur, Monterey Bay is a great place to camp no matter which side of the landscape you’re exploring.
Along with its variety of driveable day-trip options, Monterey itself is home to some not-to-be-missed attractions, including the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium and the scenic Fisherman’s Wharf. Pebble Beach, which hosts a renowned annual food and wine festival, is just minutes away, as is Carmel-by-the-Sea — and just a few minutes there will quickly make you understand why Clint Eastwood chose it over Hollywood.
7. Grand Canyon National Park and Flagstaff, Arizona
It’s one of the most famous, if not the most famous, national parks for a reason. But the city that lies just an hour south of it is not to be missed, either. Home to Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff has way more than its fair share of arts and culture to explore for a town of its size, not to mention the abject beauty of the surroundings.
You could camp in town and drive up to the rim for the day, or camp inside the national park and make a day trip down to Flagstaff. But either way, don’t do yourself the disservice of missing either of these epic Arizonan travel destinations.
8. Hood River, Oregon
Set along the banks of the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River is the perfect camping alternative to Portland. After all, you can still get to town in a day — but you’ll be closer to what you likely really came for: that inimitable Pacific northwest landscape and its endless array of outdoor activity opportunities.
Oh, and did we mention the insane view of the mountain it’s named after?
The town itself is small, but big enough to have all the resources you need to round out an epic Oregon vacation. enjoy one of the craft brews the state’s known for, or, if you’d rather, take in some world-class wine tasting. If all else fails, you can always spend the afternoon watching the windsurfers on the Columbia… or better yet, joining their ranks yourself!
9. Yachats, Oregon
Yes, Oregon’s so nice we’re listing it twice — and the coast is a whole different thing from exploring the interior.
Although you wouldn’t be remiss to camp nearly anywhere along this stretch of boulder-strewn, tidepool-punctuated coastline, Yachats (pronounced “ya-HOTS”) easily numbers among the most beautiful places in the world, let alone the country. Enjoy the quaint town’s quiet offerings of fresh local seafood and handcrafted beers, and keep your eyes peeled on the ocean: you may just see gray whales breaching. Hike Cape Perpetua for a view you won’t soon forget, and then meander along the coast itself to see the strange effects of an eon of the water crashing against the continent: with names like Thor’s Well and Devils Churn, how can you resist?
10. Asheville, North Carolina Image via ashevillechamber.org
The perfect combination of mountain wilderness and downtown wildness, Asheville stands out among all U.S. cities as a camping contender. Whether it’s manmade or natural, you can’t walk ten feet in Asheville without finding something breathtaking to look at.
And it’s inarguably fun, too. For one thing, the locals contend they have the highest number of breweries per capita (though Portlanders would argue), which makes it easy to kick back after the long day you’ll doubtlessly spend hiking, biking, or waterfall-sliding in the lush surrounding landscapes. Oh, and don’t forget about the amazing local art community, which has proliferated from the River Arts district into the town at large. (If you’ve got a white, grab a quick cup of joe at Summit Coffee, where you might just catch some amazing local talent at the mic.)
11. Taos, New MexicoImage via 5280.com
Unless you’re a ski bunny, you may not have heard the name of this northern New Mexico charmer before. (And if you are a skier or snowboarder, we’re here to tell you that this locale is a worthy destination in summer or winter.)
For one thing, the view of Mt. Wheeler — the tallest in the state — and its surrounding chain of southern Rockies will absolutely floor you, especially at sunset. And that’s before you head to dinner at one of the many local eateries serving up some of the best Mexican cuisine you’ve ever had. It’s no wonder such a scenic town is a haven for artists, and you’ll have ample opportunities to peruse their productions as you walk around the town’s square. And just an hour and a half south, you can double down on the arts-and-outdoors experience in the state’s capital city of Santa Fe. Oh, did we mention there are two world-class hikable hot springs within easy driving distance, not to mention the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge? There’s a reason they call this place the “Land of Enchantment.” (Speaking of which, don’t miss your chance to drive the famous Enchanted Circle!
12. Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine
Epic granite peaks collide with crashing ocean waves in this gem of the northeastern coast. No matter how you slice it, Acadia is easily one of the most scenic places on earth — and its gateway town of Bar Harbor could easily have its picture beside either “quaint” or “charming” in the dictionary. (Or both.)
Along with the bounty of beautiful sweeping views, visitors to the Maine coastline can find their way into historic lighthouses and all manner of world-class restaurants — you won’t go hungry, especially if you like seafood. Shops, galleries, and museums also abound, drawing visitors in and beckoning them to extend their stays longer and longer.
13. Sandpoint, Idaho
Lake shores, mountain slopes, and a vibrant city — all tucked away in the often-overlooked Idaho panhandle. Sun Valley might get all the glory, but a visit to Sandpoint will prove that great things come in small packages, whether you’re looking to hike, climb, waterski, or just kick back and enjoy the scenery.
Northern Idaho is also home to some of the best remote hot springs in America… although finding them might be a bit of a challenge. Locals like to keep these best-kept-secrets just that: kept. So try and make some friends while you’re in town — you might just get taken along on a soak if you’re not considered a stranger!
14. Rocky Mountain National Park and Boulder, Colorado
Anyone who’s been to the Front Range can tell you that the Rocky Mountain high is real. And hip, bustling Boulder is the perfect place to serve as home base while you enjoy all that Colorful Colorado has to offer.
With its upscale outdoor mall at Pearl Street and its array of artisan coffees and brews, Boulder has just about everything an urbanite could want… all under the closeby gaze of those epic, challenging, unendingly beautiful mountains. Even if you don’t go into the national park proper, there’s tons of stuff to do, with the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests right there, ready to be explored.
The surrounding cities are worth checking out, too; everyone knows about Denver, of course, but Fort Collins should show up on more travel lists. If you do end up there, make sure you make time to take in a film at The Lyric, one of the weirdest, most awesome little indie theaters this author’s ever been to.
15. Custer, South Dakota
Herds of wild bison, Needles Highway, Mount Rushmore, and just the plain-old wonder of the Black Hills themselves — no wonder this corner of South Dakota is considered one of the best places to go camping in the midwest. Try your hand — er, foot? feet? lungs? — at summiting Black Elk Peak, and keep your eyes peeled for mountain goats while you’re at it. And yes, the buffalo do roam here, often right by the roadside, but you’ll want to be sure to keep your distance.
As it grows in popularity, the Black Hills region has also become a somewhat surprising oasis of cuisine and culture, tucked away in an otherwise rural area. Learn more about western history at one of the may museums or interpretive centers, and finish it off with a meal fit for a king. It’s all waiting for you in Custer!
Whether it’s the mystery of why and how a nearly infinite amount of water cascades over incredible cliff sides, or it’s the mesmerizing echo of roaring water that captivates us, one thing is for sure—waterfalls are one of the most incredible displays of Mother Nature’s power.
So, whether you’re looking to stand above, beneath, or even behind an epic waterfall, we have you covered. We’ve put together the best hikes in the states where spectacular waterfalls steal the spotlight.
Havasu Canyon | Supai, Arizona
Hidden within remote red cliffs and caverns of the Grand Canyon lies an isolated paradise known for its aquamarine cascading waterfalls and travertine pools. Havasu Canyon, a precious and vigorously protected area, sits at the top of every adventurous backpackers’ bucket list.
Merely reaching the trailhead of this desert gem requires patience, planning, and a little bit of luck though. The Havasupai Tribe is intimately connected to these crystalline waters and regulate the region to make sure it’s well-respected.
Day hiking to the falls isn’t permitted, so to plant your boots along the strenuous 10-mile trail you’ll need to get your hands on a coveted reservation and commit to a minimum three-night stay. But once you’re there, we’re pretty sure taking a dip beneath five infamous blue-green falls will keep you calm and captivated.
Keep in mind, this trail isn’t necessarily for beginner backpackers. Summer temps can reach up to 115 degrees, the terrain is unpredictable, and emergency facilities are very few and far between. It’s important to properly prepare and know the risks associated with a trip to the dazzling falls that decorate Havasu Creek.
The Mist Trail | Yosemite National Park, CA
Visitors flock to Yosemite National Park each year to experience the illustrious 2,425-foot Yosemite Falls. And, rightfully so, Yosemite Falls isn’t only one of the tallest waterfalls in the country—it’s a bonafide California icon.
But if you’re in search of waterfall views that you can’t see from the front seat of your car, we recommend you tackle Yosemite’s signature hike, the Mist Trail.
Following the lively Merced river, you’ll conquer 1,000 feet in elevation, 1.5 miles of uphill hiking, and 600 stone steps before reaching the top of 317-foot Vernal Fall, one of the most powerful waterfalls in Yosemite. Some hikers stop here for a snack and head back to the car, but if you have a little more gas in the tank, continue on for 1.3 miles to reach 594-foot Nevada Fall.
The falls thrive in spring and early summer, and the incredible amount of mist (hence the name) from the waterfalls can be a pleasant treat on a hot summer day. Just watch your footing—wet granite can make this trek pretty slippery at times.
Trail of Ten Falls | Silver Falls State Park, OR
The Pacific Northwest knows a thing or two about waterfalls, and nothing proves that point quite like the Trail of Ten Falls. Not only is this trek considered one of the best in Oregon, but it’s also a must-see for anyone with a serious case of waterfall wanderlust.
In fact, the Trail of Ten Falls is home to the second highest concentration of waterfalls in the entire state of Oregon, and there are no less than 10 waterfalls along this modest, 8-mile trail.
And you don’t have to admire the falls from afar. You’ll feel the power of the rushing water as it cascades from canyon cliffs above. That’s right, after weaving through pristine old growth forest, the trail passes directly behind several notorious waterfalls, including 177-foot South falls and 136-foot North Falls.
Gorge Trail | Watkins Glen State Park, New York
Watkins Glen State Park is a New York state gem defined by a majestic 400-foot narrow, hanging gorge and a legendary waterfall-dense trail system. The Gorge Trail, one of few trails available in the park, is arguably one of the most scenic 2-mile treks you can take in the state and features 19 unique waterfalls that are bounded by incredible 200-foot limestone cliffs.
The trail starts from a dark spiraling tunnel that was cut into the cliff-side before descending into a world of natural stone architecture and lush green wilderness.
Following the gorge, the trail meanders past Glen Creek, over charming stone bridges, and negotiates over 800 stone steps. The trail’s appeal, however, comes mainly from the ability to walk directly behind several waterfalls including Cavern Cascade, which plunges nearly 60 feet to the canyon floor.
Cummins Falls | Cummins Falls State Park, Tennessee
Cummins Falls isn’t your everyday cascading waterfall. According to locals, this 75-foot hidden treasure has been the prime swimming hole for escaping Tennessee summer days for over 100 years.
Rumor has it, until recently, hikers had to earn their dip beneath Cummins Falls by scrambling down a treacherous, unmarked trail and wading in ankle-deep water. Today, 211-acre Cummins Falls State Park and its namesake waterfall are protected by the state of Tennessee, and the 2.5-mile trek to the falls are far more accessible.
Still, avid adventurers will appreciate that despite its recent enhancements, the trail to Cummins Falls still requires a bit of on-trail ingenuity. If you want to wade in the natural pools below the falls, you’ll want to prepare for river crossings and expect to traverse some sizable boulders on the river bend.
Lichtsinn RV, America’s closest dealer to Winnebago Industries, has been named Top North American Winnebago Dealer by Winnebago Industries for the last four consecutive years. We proudly sell New RVs manufactured by Winnebago Industries as well as Used RVs.
Albuquerque, New Mexico is a wonderful city, full of art, great food, and convenient transportation options including an airport, train station and bus system. It’s well worth a visit by RV, but choosing where to go and what to do during your stay can be overwhelming. Here’s your guide to where to go and what to do in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Ride the Sandia Park Tramway
This is the world’s longest tramway, and there’s an observation point at the top (10,378 feet) to stop and enjoy the view. There are great hikes nearby, and this makes a great spot to view the sunset too. Rides are $25 for adults.
This is an absolute bucket list item, probably for every RVer out there! For nine days in October, the skies above Albuquerque fill morning and night with hundreds of hot air balloons and pilots from around the world. Entertainers, food and fireworks add to the mix, making the Balloon Fiesta an absolute must see.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Centre
This is a great introduction to local Pueblo culture and history, but we’ve heard Pueblo Harvest, the restaurant inside the museum, is worth a trip in itself! Pro tip: try the blue corn pancakes.
Historic Route 66
Historic Route 66, and the new one, go right through Albuquerque! As though you needed another reason to pack your camera.
Wander Historic Old Town Albuquerque
With a mix of shops, museums and restaurants, historic old town deserves a few hours of your time as you explore the adobe architecture here. Plan to grab a bite to eat while you stroll, explore a museum (perhaps the Natural History museum if you’re fond of dinosaurs) and find a souvenir or two.
You’ll quickly notice that art is everywhere in Albuquerque! There’s even an ABQ Public Art App to help you find it.
What to eat
There are too many great places to name them all here, but eating some green chiles—perhaps as part of a Green Chile Cheeseburger—is an absolute must while you’re in the area. And if you need to cool down after your green chile adventure, take a detour to La Michoacana De Paquime for some simple and delicious Mexican ice cream. Pro tip: Try the Pine Nut ice cream.
Lichtsinn RV, America’s closest dealer to Winnebago Industries, has been named Top North American Winnebago Dealer by Winnebago Industries for the last four consecutive years. We proudly sell New RVs manufactured by Winnebago Industries as well as Used RVs.
One of the best parts of RVing is discovering new places. However, places that are new aren’t very familiar! So, when we need to find a good campground in a new place, we rely on these 5 apps to find campsites.
Campendium is probably our favorite app. It was the first app I learned to use to help Jon find campsites. The search function is very intuitive. Both on the website and the mobile app, the search box is front and center. You can type in your destination. Or, in a pinch, you can quickly select from nearby RV parks, public land, free camping, overnight parking, and even dump stations.
2. Reserve America
When we first began to RV, Reserve America was a favorite app of ours. Even now, as experienced RVers, it remains our favorite app for finding State Parks and reserving stays at State Parks. Reserve America is also a helpful tool for finding and reserving RV park campsites as well. The main benefit to using this app is that you’re able to make and pay for your reservations right within the app. We find the app to be easy, clear, and straightforward when it comes to securing and paying for reservations.
3. Park Adviser
One of the most robust apps is the Park Advisor RV Parks and Campgrounds app. We find it impressive because it includes many points that are of special interest to RVers. A map will not only show you campgrounds, but also nearby Cracker Barrels, Walmarts, Flying Js, Sam’s Clubs, Costcos, and dump stations. This app is excellent if you’ve arrived to an area ahead of schedule and your reservation hasn’t yet begun. It’s also helpful if you’ve had to unexpectedly change plans. You may need to spend a night at a Walmart or Cracker Barrel before regrouping and moving on to a campground.
The ability to search for established and “informal” campgrounds internationally is iOverlander’s strength. If your RV travels are taking you into Canada or Mexico, this is a great app to use. It’s also useful if you plan on flying to a country and then RVing for part of your visit. In addition to campgrounds, the app allows you to search for dump stations, wild camping, and propane. Another unique feature is the ability to filter your search results by how old user reviews are, since the quality of a campsite can change over time. You can filter out results that don’t have reviews within the last 3 months, 6 months, and 1-5 years.
5. The Dyrt
The Dyrt is a newer app serving the needs of both RVers and tent campers. As an Rver, you’ll want to be sure the search result you click has the icon for “RV sites.” Being that the app is newer, it isn’t as robust as some of the others on the list, but it is the most interactive. You can earn points and prizes for submitting reviews of the campgrounds that you stay at. They also have a quick search where you can explore campgrounds by state. This initially sorts the campgrounds with “top campgrounds,” as determined by reviews, at the top of the results.
Iowa reminds us why America’s Great Plains are called The Heartland!
I have been through Iowa many times in the fifty or so years since the days I was a teenage Air Force Brat. Iowa’s amber waves of grain, and the tall corn that makes snapping sounds as it grows are a testimony to the fertility of its land and the industry of the people. Normally, my wife and I have just have just zipped through this distant horizon landscape to reach mountain destinations to the west. But early last year we paused to spend just a few days here on two occasions.
The first occasion was to buy our new Winnebago motor home in Forest City which is about halfway across the state and only an hour south of Nebraska. We live in Ohio but chose to buy from Lichtsinn in Forest City for several reasons. Lichtsinn is only about a few short miles from the Winnebago factory south of town. This meant that we could drive our new purchase ourselves during the first one-thousand mile break-in period. We were diligent in our trip back to Ohio to vary our speed and avoid towing according to the manual and the instructions from the Lichtsinn sales and service staff.
Forest City seems an unlikely place for a huge RV factory. As one of our nephews might say “Forest City is in the middle of nowhere”. And what a beautiful nowhere it is! We reached our motel in the evening near the dealership after travelling west over miles of two lane roads through endless fields stretching to a horizon we couldn’t reach under a sunset that only the great plains can produce. It was Holy Thursday. We could only fit into the dealer’s schedule on Good Friday afternoon if we didn’t want to wait another couple of weeks. And we were anxious to move into the next phase of our travelling adventures with our new motorhome.
Forest City is small; only slightly more than four thousand people. So we only had to go a little more than walking distance from Lichtsinn to reach one of the few restaurants in town. Our sales person directed us to one that was only a block from the Winnebago dealership. The food was great and we then spent some time wandering the city streets before heading to bed.
Friday morning we headed north from our motel into town to a coffee shop we had passed the night before. Coffee and a light breakfast were excellent and exceeded only by stimulating conversation with the friendly locals. One of them was a ninety-three year old lady who had lived in Forest City all her life. We were assured that everyone in town knew her. We were in no hurry and became captivated by this senior citizen’s youthful energy and love for her home. She and her daughter, who was visiting, were both adept at the almost lost art of stimulating conversation. As my wife and I went on our way we found ourselves hoping that we would meet them again on future trips.
We still had plenty of time before our early afternoon meeting and used it to get to know the town with its hand-built courthouse over one hundred years old, the Winnebago factory on the south edge of town and Waldorf University which is a private liberal arts school offering a wide variety of associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Since it was Good Friday we spent part of the morning finding out where to attend evening Good Friday services. We learned they would be in the nearby city of Britt and conducted by a priest who was shared by several parishes in cities scattered across the prairie. We took the rest of the morning to leisurely to find our way to Britt which was about a half hour away at Great Plains speeds.
It was a peaceful drive through farms in land that was varied between being only slightly rolling to more frequently flat. It is a place where lonely dirt roads stretching across the country plains have city names like Thirty-Fourth Avenue. You know where the next city is because you see its distant water tower and grain silos begin to creep up over the horizon. Once we were sure we knew where the church was we returned by a different route to Forest City which took us past the extensive Winnebago properties.
In these early morning to late evening travels there is a strikingly beautiful set of images I can’t get out of my mind. These are visions that can only be seen on the vastness of the Great Plains.
Imagine standing in the middle of a railroad track looking west on a crisp morning with air so clear you are certain you could see California if the Earth was flat. The tracks extend from each side of your peripheral vision to that infinitely distant horizon. Telephone poles at their measured intervals diminish in size along the track with the farthest pole becoming just a pinpoint. Crops on both sides provide a frame to the entire scene.
A transition takes place as the day continues. Clarity gives way to shimmering hazy warmth as the insect symphony increases in volume. The tracks and the poles look like they march into a lake created by a mirage long before they reach the horizon.
But the best may be saved for the evening as the reddening sun, which seems to take forever to set, lights up the shiny railroad tracks like parallel laser beams emanating from a sky painted by the Master Artist.
Our original intention in travelling to Forest City was to buy from Lichtsinn because of their great helpfulness on phone and email as well as our desire to put the break-in miles on our motorhome ourselves. We are thrilled that we did that. However, beyond that we were rewarded by a couple of days being enchanted by that part of Iowa.
We left for our Ohio home the next day planning to return to Iowa in a few weeks to have HWH levelers recommended by Lichtsinn installed on our new adventure vehicle. That next trip took us to HWH Corporation in Moscow in eastern Iowa. HWH has camp sites on their property for RVs and we stayed for a night and part of two days as the work was being done. While there we discovered that the location where the movie “Field of Dreams” was shot was only an hour away. We drove the Honda Fit we tow behind our RV which now had over one-thousand miles on it to an Interstate truck stop with many attached eating places. We had breakfast there before heading north through the farmlands to our destination.
We were now in gently rolling country that can steal your heart as it takes your breath away with every turn in the road and crested hill. We followed our GPS as we weaved our way through hill and dale and small to medium size towns. On a short part of the drive we were on U.S. Route 20, the U.S. Grant Highway, which is the longest route in the United States. Today that entire route is paved but we encountered an historic piece of the coast-to-coast Grant Highway which is still the original dirt road.
When we reached the “Field of Dreams” ball diamond and house it was like we had entered the movie set. The feeling was the same as we had when watching the film. We walked the baseball diamond and stood on the pitcher’s mound and at home plate as in our mind’s eye we saw the baseball players walking onto the field from the rows of corn. Surprisingly there was no charge to be on the field and walk the grounds. The only fees were to enter the farmhouse or buy the reasonably priced souvenirs. We were there for about an hour talking to the staff, one of whom had a bit role in the movie, before heading back to Moscow and our motorhome with its new levelers.
On our return to Moscow e deliberately chose a different route which was just as beautiful as the drive we took weaving along the countryside to the “Field of Dreams”. It was this adventure that led us to name our new possession “Dreamweaver”.
Generally on our trips west from Ohio we have scooted across the Great Plains in a “forced march” to the mountains and desert. This was only the second time we have paused to enjoy the beauty of the Heartland. The first was the previous year when we toured part of Nebraska. We will be sure to pause more in the future in this gorgeous part of our great country. We had no idea when we chose to travel to Iowa to buy from Lichtsinn that we would have our pleasure doubled by the joy of spending a little time in Iowa.
Storage is always a challenge when dealing with a travel trailer or motorhome, but there are some very creative and useful ways to make sure you can take everything with you on that long-awaited RV vacation. Here’s a few storage hacks broken down by room:
Floor plans vary greatly from motorhome to travel trailer, but one thing they all share is lack of storage space. When we travel, we still like to take some form of entertainment with us, like a television, DVD player or stereo, and all have their own dedicated remote controls that tend to get lost in transit or fall into nooks and crannies in our RVs. To solve this problem, try putting self-adhesive Velcro tape on the backs of each remote and attach them all in one place.
Being able to seat guests in a living area is usually a difficult task, but you can add a seat while also adding storage. Purchase a footstool that’s an actual storage box with padding on the top. It makes a great way to prop up your feet after a long day of hiking, or use as a seat while storing maps, books, flashlights, etc.
If you have overhead cabinets in the living area, place fabric storage bins on their sides to hold items in the cabinets.
Spices enhance the flavors of our meals, but they can take up a lot of cabinet space in an RV. If you’re traveling for just a few weeks or eating out a great deal while on vacation, seasonings may be low on your priority list. But for those RVers who live in their rigs for months on end or who travel full time on the road, preparing food that will make your taste buds sing is important.
Many campers have found a variety of solutions for this problem, including magnetic spice canisters that stick to a metal plate on the kitchen wall or refrigerator. There’s also a nifty under the cabinet spice rack that can work wonders. Even a small spice rack on the wall can alleviate some of the cabinet congestion. After all, you shouldn’t have to skimp on tasty foods, even when you’re on the road!
Increase Counter Space
Counter space is always at a premium in any trailer or motorhome. Spend a little time looking at cutting boards that will cover your sink, or have one cut to your dimensions. Another versatile space is on your cook top. I found a teak service tray that fits over the burners on my stove quite nicely when it is turned upside down. I use the area for serving after food has been prepared and it doubles my counter space.
Get that paper towel roll off your counter by installing an under-the cabinet paper towel holder. They come in a variety of styles, are inexpensive and more importantly, give you more space on which to prepare meals.
Pop-A-Bag, Pop-A Towel and Pop-A-Tissue all offer counter saving under cabinet and under counter storage options priced from $7.99 to $16.19.
Need some dedicated space for your kitchen knives? Hang a strong magnetic strip on the wall—or on the inside of a cabinet door—to hold knives and other metal kitchen accessories, saving drawer space for silverware and dishes.
Mount a metal bar on the kitchen wall under the cabinets with hooks or small baskets to hold serving utensils—just be sure they aren’t too close to stove burners.
KNIFE SAFE is a Knife Storage System which allows you to free up drawer space. The KNIFE SAFE mounts on a cabinet door. Knives not Included.
Free Up Drawer Space
Aluminum foil, Saran wrap, and sandwich and freezer baggies can sometimes take up a whole drawer of space in a normal sticks-and-bricks home. But why not use a small section of wall or the inside of a cabinet door to mount a metal holder for these items? I’ve found it to work very well in an out-of-the-way location.
Drawer Dividers help you to maximize use of your drawer space. This set include 2 organizer that are spring loaded for easy installation.
This Plate Rack Kitchen Organizer helps keeps your kitchen cabinets organized so you can easily store plates, bowls etc.
What woman wants to go on vacation without her favorite sandals? Or how about those stilettos for a night out on the town? Can’t leave home without your Keens? Well, here’s a slick idea that can handle any shoe you throw at it.
If you have a walk-around bed or a corner bed, you’ve got prime real estate for shoe storage. Purchase an inexpensive plastic over-the-door shoe organizer and cut each row of shoe slots apart. Tack the rows end to end around the support for your bed and fill each slot with a shoe. If you put a comforter or bedspread on your bed, the shoe storage won’t even show.
To stretch your clothing storage space, consider suspending hanging fabric-based accessory shelves in any existing closet space and rolling your clothing items before storing them on the separate shelves. Or you may want to consider purchasing fabric boxes and stacking them on their sides to organize rolled shirts and pants. Rolling will make them easier to store, and less wrinkled when you pull them out to wear.
Another use for plastic over-the-door shoe organizers is as a bathroom accessory storage unit. Cut one to the length available on the outside of a shower, using the hooks provided to suspend it. Each compartment then can hold items like Band-aids, lotions, grooming items, medicines, etc. With these things in separate pockets, they won’t take up cabinet space, are readily available for daily use, and won’t go flying around as you drive from destination to destination.
To hold shampoos, conditioners, and liquid soap in the shower, put a suction cup container inside on the wall. Or if your shower head is configured for it, use a metal or plastic shower caddy to hold them.
Another problem RVers deal with is how to carry jewelry without taking up much space, but keeping necklaces from tangling. I think I found the perfection solution. I mounted a mesh metal letter file upside down on the wall of the bath. My earrings hang from the mesh and several necklaces and bracelets can be strung around the handle. Storage Problems Solved
As you can see, there are numerous ways to improve the storage space in your travel trailer or motorhome, these are just a few.
Blog Post Originally posted on Outdoorsy by Shelley Dennis, Oct 4, 2018