5 Apps to Help You Find Your Next RV Spot

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.

1. Campendium

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.

campendium app

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.

find your campsite

4. iOverlander

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.

Article originally published on WinnebagoLife.com

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Why Buy from Lichtsinn RV

Iowa Dreamin’ – A guest’s account of their trip to Iowa.

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.

Written By Tom Mikesell, Ohio

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Storage Hacks To Make Your RV Feel Spacious

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:

LIVING 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.

KITCHEN

Food Storage

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.

Space Saving Towel, Tissue and Shopping Bag Storage Holders

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.

Store Knives

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 Knife Storage System

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.

Set of 2 Drawer Dividers

Drawer Dividers help you to maximize use of your drawer space. This set include 2 organizer that are spring loaded for easy installation.

Plate Rack Kitchen Organizer

This Plate Rack Kitchen Organizer helps keeps your kitchen cabinets organized so you can easily store plates, bowls etc.

BEDROOM

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.

BATH

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

https://www.outdoorsy.com/blog/storage-hacks-inside-rv

All items pictured are available at Lichtsinn RV. Call the Lichtsinn RV Parts Department today to order order any of these featured space saving solutions or find out about other solution options.

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Doctor’s Orders: You Need More Nature

Scotland doctors are the latest to prescribe something we all already knew to be true: nature is good for your mental and physical well being—and RVing is the perfect way to get outside. Imagine planting your feet in the soft beach sand or hiking a pine-tree-lined trail at a national park. No matter where you escape into nature, we can all feel the benefits of the outdoors in our daily lives.

Exercise Blog

Here are a few of the ways an RV trip can help relieve what ails you—and fulfill doctor’s orders.

Turn off the technology

Our addiction to technology is changing us, and it’s got the majority of us in its grasp. So many of us feel obligated to answer emails and field phone calls 24/7. Those of us who struggle to fall asleep likely have read the recommendations to turn our devices off an hour or two before bed and avoid the light of a screen when we’re trying to sleep and recent research shows the benefit of cutting screen time for families.
All this is to say, make sure to turn off your devices to get the most benefit from your trek through nature.

Combat depression

Although the science hasn’t been fully proven, research suggests that being outdoors can be a mood booster. Being in the outdoors leads to mindfulness, which is a key piece of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Although getting outside can’t treat depression on its own, it’s a healthy part of self-care and a useful tool to pair with other methods of treatment.

Get your daily Vitamin D

The main ways to get vitamin D are through exposing your bare skin to sunlight and through supplementation. The former is more effective, although those in northern climates—and placed further from the equator—may not be able to get much or any vitamin D this way. Vitamin D deficiency contributes to a variety of conditions, which is one main reason the doctor prescribes nature. 

Exercise in the Outdoors

Exercise is so important, but it can be really tough to establish lasting habits around exercise. However, if you make exercise a part of your daily outdoor routine, it becomes easy to make time for, and that’s especially true when you’re on an RV trip. Most of us don’t purchase an RV to spend the day inside: we want to take an RV trip to get out in nature!

 

So find a hike, climb a tree or a mountain, kayak a river or catch some fish.

Taking an RV trip can be a major opportunity for self care. Get out in nature to exercise and see new places. Your blood pressure will drop (naturally). You’ll use muscles that sit unused while you’re at your desk. As a growing body of literature suggests, the outdoors are truly essential to your health.

So it’s time to hit the road and hit the trail: doctor’s orders!

 

Article Contribution of: Jamie Feinberg, Outdoorsy

Original Article can be found here: https://www.outdoorsy.com/blog/doctors-orders-you-need-more-nature

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How to Avoid Winter Camping Problems in Your RV

Proper preparation and gear are essential to avoid winter camping problems.

Let’s look at five winter camping challenges and how to avoid them.

Photo Courtesy of Lichtsinn RV Guest
Photo Courtesy of Lichtsinn RV Guest

1. Keeping holding tanks from freezing

After a weekend of winter camping, the next step is to pull into the dump station to empty your tanks. You then pull the dump valve and nothing happens as the contents are frozen.

Now, you will have to wait until they thaw before you can dump the waste. To avoid this, consider using a holding tank heater. They are similar to electric blankets and attach to the underside of the holding tanks with adhesive.

If you’re just an occasional winter camper, pour non-toxic RV Antifreeze in your tanks through the P-traps or toilet. This will keep the contents slushy. Some RVers recommend using rock-salt, but it can corrode metal parts in the gray and black plumbing systems.

2. Maintaining heat

Regardless of how well you seal up your windows and vents to keep out the cold, you will still need an adequate heat source to keep your RV from freezing up.

This is just one of the winter camping problems you’ll face. To overcome this, your built-in forced-air furnace should always be the primary source as the ducts are routed to keep the plumbing from freezing and keeping the occupants warm.

Further, a secondary option is oil-filled electric heaters. They emit a mild radiant heat, are essentially noise-free, and present little fire hazards.

Catalytic Safety Heater, which run on propane rather than electricity, offer radiant heat and operate safely below the combustion level of flammable materials. Also, finding out how to effectively maintain power when winter camping is also pertinent to enjoying cold winter camping.

3. Sealing windows, vents, and skylights

How to find and prevent leaks in your RV is important any time of the year. But during winter it’s essential to keep yourself and your plumbing system warm by keeping the warm air in.

So, while leaks need to be detected (and fixed), you also need to increase insulation for winter camping. Windows, roof vents, and skylights are good places to start. The majority of RV windows are single-pane and many don’t seal well. One option is to install storm windows (if offered by the manufacturer).

Another solution is to insert heat shrink film on the insides of the windows. This is a clear film that you cut to size, stretch over your windows, and then heat shrink with a hairdryer. It’s available at most home improvement stores.

Roof vents and skylights are the next places to insulate. Most RV accessory stores sell RV vent cushions, which fit into standard roof vents. They can simply push up in place. For larger openings like skylights, vent cushions can be custom made to fit precise sizes.

4. Ensure a fresh water supply

Winter camping problems also extend to keeping a supply of fresh water. If you hook up to the campgrounds water spigot, you may freeze your hose.

To offset this, utilize an electrically-heated RV hose, which is basically a hose with built-in heat tape.

Another option is to leave a faucet dripping as moving water doesn’t easily freeze. If you do this, have your gray tank open or a significant gray tank capacity. Or, fill your freshwater tank and utilize your water pump.

When your fresh water tank runs dry, refill it with the campground spigot. Also, drain or store the water hose somewhere warm between tank fillings.

5. Getting your fridge to run properly

Who would think keeping food cold would e a problem when winter camping?

Two problems can possibly crop up. The first is the mixture of chemicals and fluids in the refrigerator’s cooling unit can start turning into a gel below 20° F. This slows down the recirculating and cooling process.

Another potential problem is the refrigerator thermostat sensor may sense cold air coming through the exterior refrigerator vents, rather than the cold air in the food box. This may cause the refrigerator to cycle-off.

So, to avoid these winter camping problems, block the first two or three top vent slots of the exterior refrigerator access door. This will keep cold air from the back of the refrigerator.

Don’t forget to remove the obstructions after your campout. For your refrigerator’s thermostat sensor, use a nonflammable material in the event it might come loose and contact the refrigerator burner or electric heating element.

Once you realize these issues and start enjoying yourself, you’ll soon find out why RVing in winter can offer great experiences.

Article Contribution of: Dave Helgeson, RV Life Magazine

Original Article can be found here: https://rvlife.com/how-to-avoid-winter-camping-problems-in-your-rv/

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5 Ways RVing in Winter Can offer Great Experiences

Most people don’t associate camping with winter, but there are many reasons why RVing in Winter can be one of the best times to camp and enjoy the outdoors. While preparing for winter camping is a must to some degree for most rigs, it opens up new adventures you can look forward to every season.

Photo Courtesy of Lichtsinn RV Guest
Photo Courtesy of Lichtsinn RV Guest

Five Ways RVing in Winter Can offer Great Experiences

  1. Exploring is Easier

With the Foliage off the trees and underbrush often flattened by the snow, RVing in winter means RVers can see more and traverse off trails easier. So, this allows the exploring of places that are not always accessible during summer. Further, in colder climates, lakes and ponds freeze up, meaning you can “walk on water” and access areas that would otherwise require a boat. Stargazing is also clearer as the cold crisp, winter air allows better views of celestial bodies. Additionally, those in northern locations can even admire the Northern Lights.

  1. It Costs Less

Most RV parks and campgrounds offer winter rates with considerable savings. In Washington State, where I live, seniors can purchase an off-season state park pass for $75, which allows them to camp for free in standard campsites from October through the end of March (or utility sites for $10 per night). Also, with often limited hook-ups this time of year, there are concerns about RV plumbing freezing. With a little know-how, there are ways to keep your plumbing from freezing when winter camping.

  1. You Can Enjoy Different Activities

Summer camping lends itself to hiking, swimming, biking and boating. Conversely, in the winter months RVers can go snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and sledding/tubing. RVs are the perfect way to enjoy these winter sports. The storage space can easily accommodate most of the required gear and provide a warm dry place to return to at the end of the day.

  1. There’s No Crowds

Not only are campsites cheaper in the winter, but the they have less crowds (if not practically empty). Also, less crowds means less noise from other campers, a larger selection of campsites and the chance to enjoy the amenities in relative solitude.

  1. No Bugs

Flying and biting insects, like mosquitoes, are reasons why people dislike camping. In the winter, insects are either frozen out or have gone dormant providing for a bug-free environment. So, leave the bug spray at home.

Get out there and try RVing in winter, you just may discover it`s your new favorite season of the year. Plus, you may never have to winterize your RV again.

Article Contribution of: Dave Helgeson, RV Life Magazine

Original Article can be found here: http://rvlife.com/rving-in-winter-2/

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17 Best Roads in America

The 17 Best Roads in America

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the very best road trips aren’t about the destination.

Especially in the RV world, it’s all about the journey — and making that trip as memorable, comfortable, and beautiful as possible. Seeking out the scenic view has been a road trip tradition since road trips were a thing. In fact, that’s one of the most attractive aspects of road tripping in the first place: You actually have the time (and are generally traveling slowly enough) to take in the beauty of the road you’re traveling. Don’t get us wrong, the views out of an airplane window can be beautiful… but it’s hard to pick out individual details from 35,000 feet!

We think RVing goes hand in hand with taking the back roads, the slow roads, the roads that don’t necessarily get you where you’re going fast… but which you’ll always remember. And many of the roads we’re about to talk about are so beautiful, you’ll be glad they aren’t getting you anywhere fast. In fact, you may just wish they went on even longer!

 

So buckle up, campers! It’s time to hit the road. And while it may not be a short journey, it’s definitely going to be a good one.

Best Scenic Drives in the USA

Alright, enough chatter about logistics. You’re looking to take the ultimate American road trip, right?

If stunning scenery is what you’re after, here are 17 of the very best US trips to consider.

1. 17-Mile Drive, California


Image via tripsavvy.com

Don’t get us wrong: You should definitely take the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur. (In fact, for best results, start in San Diego and don’t stop until Vancouver.)

But this short, privately-owned drive around the jutting coastline of Pebble Beach is lesser known, though just as stunning. Coastal cliffs on one side and snow-white sand beaches on the other, all under the perfect everpresent breeze of central coast California… how can you go wrong?

Do note, however, that admission to 17-Mile Drive does require a fee of $10.25 per vehicle, which can be paid in cash only. This price is reimbursed with a $35 purchase at most Pebble Beach Resorts restaurants, except for Pebble Beach Market.

2. Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming


Image via yellowstonepark.com

Winding its way through almost 70 miles of these two mountain momma states, Beartooth Highway is a must-do if you’re visiting nearby Yellowstone. It’s an easy way to get acquainted to one of the most biodiverse landscapes in the country — and a whole lot of natural beauty, to boot. Glacial lakes, forest-covered valleys, and waterfalls await, as do mountain goats, grizzly bears, and wolves. It’s definitely worth taking the slow way in the heart of America’s first federally-preserved ecosystems!

3. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Virginia


Image via blueridgeparkway.org

Spanning more than 400 smoky, roaming miles, the Blue Ridge Parkway may just be correct in naming itself “America’s Favorite Drive.”  If you take on the entire thing, you’ll pass through two states and countless ancient mountain valleys — not to mention all the unique attractions and stops there are to make along the way. Whether you go during the lush greenery of summer or the leaf-changing transition of fall, the view is a hard act to follow.

Along with hiking, biking, and other outdoorsy opportunities, this part of the country is also well-known for its delicious, estate-grown wines and craft beers. In fact, the Blue Ridge Parkway winds right past Asheville, which has one of the highest numbers of breweries per capita in the entire country.

4. Bluebonnet Trails, Texas


Image via tripadvisor.com

Although it’s just 35 miles outside of Dallas, you may not have heard of Ennis, Texas — but if you want to see one of the most heartstopping displays of bluebonnets in the country, you may consider typing it into your GPS. Designated by the state in 1997 as the “Official Bluebonnet City of Texas,” the town is also the nexus of almost 40 miles of wildflower-strewn driving routes, bubbling over with these violet beauties each April.

Even More Gorgeous Road Trip Ideas

We’re not done yet! If you’re looking for a scenic road in America, here are just a few to pick from.

5. Death Valley Scenic Byway, Death Valley National Park, California


Image via scenicusa.net

Lowest, hottest, and arguably most surreal: Death Valley is well known to be a land of extremes. But even if you’re not prepared to tackle this demanding landscape on foot, you can get some taste of its intensity simply by simply driving through it.

Spanning 81 miles of CA-190 between Olancha and Death Valley Junction, this scenic road cuts right through the heart of the National Park — which you will need to pay an entry fee for. (Psst: If you’re doing lots of National Park travel this year, consider upgrading to the annual America the Beautiful Pass; it’s only $80, or even less for certain demographics, and you’ll get into over 2,000 federal recreational sites free of charge!)

6. Florida’s Route 17 Scenic Highway


Image via floridahikes.com

Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard about the Overseas Highway and the Seven Mile Bridge. But if you want to see what real, old Florida looks like, you’ve got to head to the center, where live oak canopies are punctuated by vast fields of farmland that are still being worked to this day.

As you cut through the heart of the state on this 60 mile drive from Loughman to Sebring, you’ll pass citrus fields, farmhouses, lakes, and cold springs — which are definitely worth taking a detour for. At 74 degrees year round, there’s never a wrong time to take a quick dip!

7. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana


Image via greatfallstribune.com

Another national park scenic byway, this drive may just be one of the most famous American roads on the list. But thanks to the area’s extreme northern latitude and elevation, you’ll have to time your trip right if you want to experience it!

Because of the ice and snow that give this Montana national park its name, many parts of Glacier are inaccessible for a broad swath of the year — including its most celebrated scenic route. The road may not be entirely plowed and clear for vehicular traffic until well into July, depending on the season.

But if you visit the Crown of the Continent in the summertime, you’ll be rewarded not only with this stunning drive, but with amazing hiking opportunities revealing high alpine lakes and forests that seem brought to life from a fairy tale. Just be sure to be safe with your food and hike in groups. Northern Montana is grizzly bear country!

8. Needles Highway, South Dakota


Image via visitrapidcity.com

This 14-mile stretch of South Dakota Highway 87 was actually considered “impossible” to construct by its detractors back in the nineteen-teens — but sure enough, its builders persisted, creating a winding series of sharp turns through awe-inducing granite peaks and spires. The loop is only about 30 miles south of Rapid City, tucked in the northern section of Custer State Park. Since you’ll already be paying for entry, take advantage of the area’s ample hiking, fishing, and bison-watching opportunities — herds often graze and lounge just feet from the roadside.

9. Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon


Image via traveloregon.com

Known by locals as “the King of Roads,” this historic scenic byway winds its way through the gorge, past waterfalls, streams, wildflowers, and plateaus. You’ll definitely want to get out your hiking map to figure out where along the way to stop and explore on foot. Although some of the area is presently shut down due to wildfire damage, several trails remain open, according to the USDA.

10. Lemhi Pass, Montana and Idaho


Image via lewis-clark.org

Straddling the border of two of the most mountainous states in the union, Lemhi Pass passes through the Beaverhead range, a subset of the Bitterroot section of the Rocky Mountains. It follows the continental divide, meaning it’s a whopping 7,373 feet above sea level. And although it’s fairly easily accessible from either stateside (and has actually been designated a National Historical Landmark), it is an unpaved road, which means you may need to disconnect your tow vehicle before you venture down it!

11. Loneliest Highway, Nevada


Image via reddit.com

U.S. Route 50 is actually a transcontinental road, running more than 3,000 miles from Ocean City, Maryland to Sacramento. That means it meanders through lots of rural landscapes — but the section that knifes Nevada in half was named “The Loneliest Road in America” by LIFE magazine back in 1986, and no one could really argue.

The nickname has stuck, as has the lack of population and traffic (so far). So if you’re looking to feel like you’re all the way out there, plan this driving route on the way to or from Las Vegas or Great Basin.

12. North Cascades Highway, Washington


Image via jaguarbellevue.com

Washington State Route 20 is the northernmost way across the Cascade Mountain Range, and is a subsection of the larger Cascade Loop, a 400-mile tour of this unique and stunning biosphere. Lush greenery, gem-like blue lakes, and precipitous cliff faces await the brave explorer who takes this trip through the American Alps.

13. Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park, Maine


Image via royalcaribbean.com

Beginning (and ending) at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center inside Maine’s famous, granite-peak-studded Acadia National Park, this 27-mile drive showcases Acadia’s lakes, mountains, forest, and its signature rocky coast. If you drive a particularly large RV, however, be forewarned: much of the route is one-way traffic only, and it does traverse some narrow passages.

The Best Road Trips for Scenic Travel

Which is the best road? The most beautiful, of course.

14. The Road to Hana, Hawaii


Image via hawaii.com

You may have to fly (or boat, or… swim a long way?) to get there, but once you’re in — er, on? — the Aloha State, this epic drive awaits. Plush jungle landscapes and breathtaking coastlines combine to create one of the most visually diverse and stunning driving experiences in the country, all punctuated with fascinating historical and cultural sites where you can learn more about the early days of Hawaii.

15. Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway, Colorado


Image via colorado.com

This 120-mile drive through some of the most beautiful parts of consistently-stunning Colorado will wind you by pouring waterfalls, glassy lakes, and small towns dotted with interesting attractions. Creede, Colorado, for instance, has a population of less than 300 — but its Repertory Theater was named “one of the 10 best places to see the lights way off Broadway” by USA Today. Creede is also home to the Underground Mining Museum, which can help you learn more about the silver boom to which the town owes its foundation… and the hardscrabble lifestyle of the men who actually did the digging.

16. Ten Mile Drive, Rhode Island


Image via loadedlandscapes.com

This scenic drive may be a short one — but it packs a whole lot of beauty into its handful of miles. (Besides, what else would you expect from the smallest state in the union?)

Traversing the perimeter of the peninsula south of Newport, this drive is divided into four legs:  Brenton Cove Shore, East Passage of Narragansett Bay, Ocean Drive, and Bellevue Ave. You’ll see historic homes and mansions bespeaking a gilded age, when wealthy New Yorkers would make their way south to their Rhode Island summer homes in the late 1800s. You’ll also pass the state’s stunning Brenton Point State Park, whose windswept beaches draw both amateur and competitive kite flyers.

17. The High Road to Taos, New Mexico


Image via highestbridges.com

Yes, there are more direct routes from New Mexico’s capital to its favorite ski bowl — but this slightly longer drive is sure to show you why artists like Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keeffe found the high desert landscape so intriguing. After taking 84 north to the south end of Española, you’ll cut east on 76 to pass through the charming little town of Chimayo, before meandering through a few more small towns within the pine-filled (and decidedly un-desert-like) Carson National Forest.

Finally, you’ll arrive in Taos, where the well-known mountains loom large over the striking cut of the Rio Grande Gorge. Don’t miss a stop on the bridge of the same name — but even if you’re not normally afraid of heights, be sure to prepare your stomach.

Ready to take a Road Trip in the USA to Remember?

Here’s the thing: considering how large and lovely this country of ours is, pretty much any American road trip can be one to remember. No matter which state you start in or what destination you’ve got your sights set on, there’s a gorgeous USA road that’ll take you there — even if it does take just a little bit longer than the most direct route.

Happy trails to you, campers. May they always be the most scenic ones available, even if they’re not the fastest! After all, it’s not a race — it’s a journey.

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.

Post originally seen on RVShare.com 

How to Pack for Your First RV Trip

Taking your first trip in an RV is beyond exciting. There’s the thrill of trying something new, the ease of camping with your own bathroom and kitchen, and the anticipation of adventure when you get to your destination. Even the chore of packing can be kind of fun! Of course, before you start loading up your rig, you’ll want to make an RV checklist.Finding an RV Park

In many ways, packing for an RV trip is similar to packing for any other road trip. But there are certain things that, as a beginner, you may not realize. (For example, did you know there’s a special kind of toilet paper made just for RVs?) Don’t worry — we’re here to help. Read on to learn more about what to pack for an RV trip.

 

RV Trip Planner
To start making your RV checklist, we recommend thinking about your day from the moment you get up in the morning. Start in bed, for example. Do you have a favorite pillow? Do you like to bundle up with several blankets? Do you have a hard time sleeping without a box fan? Add those items to your list so you can be comfortable during your trip.

Next, you’ll probably want a cup of hot coffee and something to eat for breakfast, so you’ll want to make sure your RV has a coffee maker or French press. Don’t forget to think about plates and silverware! Some people prefer the ease of disposable utensils, while others are fine washing their own dishes to prevent waste. If you plan on washing dishes, be sure to bring a sponge, some dish soap, and some clean dish towels to get the job done.

By mentally going through your day step-by-step, it’s easy to see what RV supplies need to be packed. You can use this method to figure out whether you’ll want some folding chairs and string lights for sitting outside, or to remember to pack some plastic wine glasses to use at dinner. While you want to be prepared, be cautious not to overpack. Remember: Every item you bring with you is extra weight that you’ll be hauling down the highway, which in turn reduces your overall fuel efficiency.

Camping Checklist
Many people like traveling in an RV because it gives them the opportunity to cook meals at home. Before you head to the supermarket to stock up, make an RV grocery list of all the drinks, snacks, and kitchen essentials you think you’ll want on the road. This is where meal planning really comes in handy — if you’re so inclined, you can even think of creative ways to reuse your leftovers for another meal!

Again, cooking in an RV is a different experience than cooking in a regular kitchen, so be sure to prepare accordingly. For example, you may not have an oven or a full-sized refrigerator, which means you would need to think of recipes that can be cooked on a stovetop or without a lot of perishable items. And if you’re planning on grilling, don’t forget to pick up some charcoal (and a portable camp grill if there won’t be one at your campsite).

RV Essentials
Now for the fun part — RV accessories! There are so many RV camping supplies on the market that sometimes it can be hard to determine what things are optional and what truly are the camping necessities. For the most part, using items you already own is more than OK. While the aforementioned RV toilet paper is nice to have, you should be fine with any thin, single-ply version that can be easily picked up at your regular grocery store.

As far as a camping supplies list, we recommend stocking up on:

bug spray
a fan to keep you cool and ward off bugs
camping chairs
sunscreen
a folding trash can
matches or a lighter to start a fire or grill
string lights for ambiance and more outdoor visibility
anything else that makes your trip more comfortable and convenient
In the end, you really don’t need the latest RV camping gear or gizmos to have a fun and memorable trip. If we could summarize our packing advice in a few thoughts, we’d say to make a list in advance, come prepared, and avoid overpacking. After that, don’t stress — your fellow RV-ers tend to be a friendly bunch and will more than likely be happy to let you borrow anything you forgot. Safe travels and happy camping!

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.

Post originally seen on RVShare.com

Memberships to Give to RVers

It’s that time of year again! While not all RVers choose a minimalist lifestyle, many will tell you that they agree with the philosophy of choosing ‘experiences over things.’ While awesome RVing gear can certainly add some fun to those camping memories, there are many thoughtful gifts that don’t take up space. Consider gifting these passes and memberships for your family to enjoy together or for your favorite RVing friend to try out.

America the Beautiful Annual National Park’s Pass – 
If your family or favorite RVer doesn’t have one of these in their wallet, they are missing out on a ton of fun (and savings) all year! Our National Parks have so much to offer for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and history buffs. Plus, for $80, the America the Beautiful Pass gets you into National Monuments as well – which means a total of more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the U.S. to potentially visit. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving…

Know someone headed to Canada? They have a great National Parks Pass, too!

Annual State Park Pass – 
Similar to a National Parks Pass, except these passes are state-specific and often come with some great camping perks as well! If the person you are gifting is based in one area or planning to visit a specific place, this is a fun gift option. Some state parks are free, but others charge an entry fee – even for campers. However, some states offer an annual pass that can offer a ton of savings for those frequenting these parks. For example, the annual Texas State Parks Pass is $70 for one person and $25 to add another person with the same address. A pass allows for free entry and discounts on camping, store purchases, and equipment rentals.

Reciprocal Museum Membership – 
Fellow GoLife contributor Bryanna Royal has written about how great the North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) Association is a few times. If you are an RVer with kiddos who love museums (or know one to gift this to), this could be the hit of the holiday season! Lots of fun for singles or couples who love to learn while they travel as well. (Read why Bryanna and her family love it).

City Attraction Pass – 
If you’ve never given a CityPASS or Go City Card a try, they are a blast. We always check for these when we’ll be visiting a new city for an extended time. If you know an RVer who is headed to a new city they plan to explore thoroughly, check for one of these great all-inclusive passes. They are usually good from one day to a week and they include entry to dozens of attractions, plus some additional discounts. We did this in Orlando, FL, once and had non-stop fun all day!

Harvest Hosts Membership – 
If your co-pilot or RVing friend loves wineries and/or farms, this membership is sure to be a hit! Harvest Hosts is becoming more and more popular with RVers wanting to get away from it all and enjoy a unique experience while there. My husband and I can’t rave about this enough. (Read more about our experiences here).

A membership gives you a list of hundreds of farms, wineries, breweries, museums and other unique places that will allow you to park there overnight. However, just make sure the person you are buying this for has a self-contained rig, as these places usually only provide dry camping and won’t have facilities to use. An annual membership is currently $49, but that is due to go up in 2019. The membership begins once the gift recipient activates it on the site with the code.
WIT Club Membership for Winnebago Owners – 
Maybe you have been part of WIT Club for some time and want to share this great resource with a new RVing friend, or you know a new Winnebago owner who wants a way to connect while on the road. Either way, this gift comes with a lot of perks! A WIT Club membership is $39.95 for one year and comes with multiple discounts and benefits, as well as invitations to special Winnebago-owner events throughout the year, called rallies. There are hundreds of chapters and clubs nationwide, so your favorite GoLifer will have plenty of opportunities to connect with and learn from like-minded RVers. (Check out this recap of a recent WinnieBs event for an example of the kind of fun to be had). To purchase a membership, use this online sign-up form. And if you have any questions, there is contact information on the bottom of the form.

Kindle Unlimited Membership – 
Reading is a great way to spend those cool nights bundled up by the fire or warm summer days lounging in the sun. Since many RVers don’t have space to bring a large collection of books, many choose a Kindle instead. If your RVing friend already has a Kindle, sending them an Amazon gift card for them to purchase a Kindle Unlimited Membership could be a big hit (you can even email the gift card – too easy!). For about $10 per month, they will have access to more reading material than even the most leisurely trip will allow for.

And if you know a new RVer, suggesting some good Kindle e-books about the new lifestyle they’ve chosen is another thoughtful way to show your support of their grand adventure!

Fellow GoLife writer Don Cohen recently reviewed two that he highly recommends – both for RVers by RVers. First is A Beginner’s Guide to Living in an RV: Everything I Wish I Knew Before Full-Time RVing by Alyssa Padgett. “Don’t let the words ‘full-time’ in the title dissuade you,” Don notes. “Over eighty percent of the book’s content applies to any RVer. While Padgett has a clear (and youthful) viewpoint, I was surprised at how consistently factual she was with her explanation of RV topics. I never felt that there were any missteps in explanation or heavy biases.”

Don’s second suggestion is Living the RV Life: Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road by Marc and Julie Bennett who are also full-time RVers. Don does note that there is some content overlap with Padgett’s book. However, with lots of supporting photography and short one-page profiles of different RVers, this book “has a bit more of an inspirational, get out there and do it, kind of feel.” He recommends them both to help demystify the RV lifestyle!

Movie & TV Streaming Membership – 
While RVing is all about spending time in the great outdoors, it is also about bringing the comforts of home along on your trips. Which is why having some great options for movie nights, or TV shows to binge on bad-weather days (or when you need to let your Kindle charge), is really nice to have. If they don’t have it already, consider getting your favorite RV traveler a gift membership to Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime (which all vary in price, but are close to $10 per month). Not sure if they already have one of these services? Redbox does gift cards also! And I’m sure some gourmet popcorn or other snacks would be welcomed accompaniments!

Satellite Radio Membership – 
It took about one month of searching for local radio stations as we traveled around to decide a satellite radio subscription would be key. We chose Sirius XM and they offer gift cards at different prices and lengths for those wanting to share this great music option with their favorite traveling friends.

Audible Membership – 
We’ve always been the type to jam out to our favorite songs on repeat on road trips, but we’ve had friends who rave about getting to listen to new books together on long drives. If you know an RVer that tends to take long trips and is always talking about the new book they read, this may be their favorite gift of the year! Prices start at $15 for one month, but there are also 3, 6, and 12-month options. Here are some instructions on how to gift a membership.

Article originally seen on WinnebagoLife.com.

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.

Is Interior and Exterior Protect Worth It?

 

Maintaining the appearance of your RV can be time consuming and hard work… and you did not invest in a recreational vehicle to spend hours and hours cleaning and maintaining it.

Almost all of our guests take advantage of our exterior and interior comprehensive protection package – called PROTECT. Originally designed for the aviation industry in partnership with Boeing, the Package provides comprehensive protection for your new investment against the elements and minimizes the maintenance on your new RV. Interior and Exterior Protect

You may be wondering if PROTECT is really worth it, and if it will last the lifetime of your vehicle?

The exterior PROTECT components have passed Boeing Materials Technology testing  and withstood 1,400 hours of salt spray exposure and temperatures up to 450 degrees. The molecular strengthening of the gel coat and clear coat in RVs withstand a UV30 block to prevent high altitude paint fade… so think about how much more protective it is at ground level! It does not break down like automotive waxes, which then have to be reapplied.

  1. The product is backed with a 5 year warranty with no need to ever wax your RV.
  2. Daily maintenance is a breeze with love bugs, insects, and road spray not adhering to the gel coat or clear coat, and when they do, rinse down is simple and easy. Normal cleaning, not long afternoons of scrubbing and waxing, will easily and effectively maintain your RV interior and exterior appearance when PROTECT is applied.

Interior PROTECT- On the interior, it is applied to all fibrous areas of the vehicle, carpet, dash, leather, etc., and prevents accidental staining and fading!

  1. X-Microbe technology is used on Boeing aircraft as an effective cleaner of almost all micro-organisms that can live in aircraft cabin interiors, in partnership with Dow Corning development.
  2. Protects against water and oil-based spills.
  3. Increases tensile strength of the fabric to add years of life.
  4. Fabric will clean easier, look better and last longer.
  5. Will not alter fabric appearance or texture.
  6. Vinyl and Leather PROTECT keeps vinyl and leather soft and supple.
  7. Protects against fading and weather aging.
  8. Unlike other products, PROTECT leaves no oily or greasy residue.
  9. Leather will retain its natural luster and sheen.
  10. X-Microbe technology eliminates odors, is safe for children, adults and pets.
  11. Helps control mold and mildew in storage.
  12. All products are registered with the EPA and is a certified green solution.

And… all of this is backed with an 85 year proven track record in the industry, and each PROTECT package comes with a 5-year warranty for all new RVs and pre-owned RVs.

Click here to learn more about PROTECT.

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