Top 5 Places to Visit in Texas

dyc tx 1

Have you thought about visiting Texas with those extra vacation days this year? Well, we don’t blame you! The Lonestar State is full of friendly natives, satisfying foodie destinations, family-friendly attractions and an extensive variety of natural scenery. It’s such a large mass of land, that it might be a bit complicated figuring out where to go, what to see and what to do. So, we’re here to help. Listed below are the top five places to visit in the great state of Texas!  Continue reading

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{ RV Road Trip Prep List }

Isn’t it about time you started planning your next adventure? It’s always important to be prepared, whether that means having a maintenance check done on your RV, or cleaning out all the cupboards in preparation for filling them with Lucky Charms and your kids’ favorite fruit snacks. There is nothing better than being able to head out on an adventure with a solid game plan, a well-prepped camper and peace of mind.

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Here’s some steps to get you ready to hit the road in your RV, Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel this Fall!

    1.  Grab your checklists! They will be your best friend before, during and after your road trip. There are multiple checklists that can come in handy for your trip prep. Here’s a site that lists some key ones that you can download and print for your personal use. >>>  https://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguide.com/checklists_rv_checklist/
    2. Once you have your checklists, it’s time to get down to business. Organize your lists by importance, and start with the major concerns first. You should start prepping about a month in advance of your vacation date so that you have ample time to schedule maintenance fixes and finish your prep lists. Normally an RV service center will be scheduled 2-3 weeks out. Because of this, it’s best to find the issues enough time beforehand so that you don’t have to worry about finding a service center who can somehow fit you in and service your RV in a very short amount of time.
    3. Once you’ve identified any maintenance issues and scheduled your RV service appointment, it’s time to prep the inside of your camper. RV University lists some key things to check on the inside of your RV.
      • Walk through the entire RV and secure all loose items that could move, fall or get damaged while traveling.
      • Turn off all appliances gas & electric. Turn off all pilot lights.
      • Close all roof vents
      • Close all doors, drawers and cabinets
      • Check for anything in the refrigerator that could spill. Lock the refrigerator and freezer doors.
      • Turn off the 12-volt water pump.
      • Close the range top cover.
      • Turn off all 12-volt lights and accessories that could drain the auxiliary battery. Don’t forget the TV antenna booster.
      • Close the windows and secure blinds.
      • Secure any large items such as TVs and computers that might move or fall while traveling.
      • All weight in the RV should be distributed evenly. Adjust your mirrors and seat and hit the road.
    4. Next up is packing your RV with essentials for your trip. Here’s a list of items that are useful to have on hand. Check out the list here: >>> http://www.usedrvs.net/checklist.html
    5. Once you’ve completed these steps, you are practically ready to hit the road! Now to make sure once you are about to hit the gas pedal that you have your wife, your kids, your little pup named Dover, and plenty of fruit snack-filled cupboards.

Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride! To find a list of fun places to visit, stop by our Pinterest page for a little vacation inspiration! >>> https://www.pinterest.com/laketawakonirv/

For any RV service needs, give Lake Tawakoni RV Center a call at 903.447.2633! Find out more on our website.

xx Happy Travels! xx

Leveling Your Travel Trailer

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The simple rule of leveling a Travel Trailer or 5th Wheel is to level side to side first and then level front to back.

I know it sounds easy, but I know how frustrating it can be when you first start doing it. I will tell you that it will become quite easy after you have done it a couple of times.

The first thing I would suggest you do to make it easier is to install some RV Level Indicators on the outside of your trailer, so you can use them to get the trailer level rather than having to go in and out of the trailer to check the level.

Depending on how level your campsite is you may have to pull the trailer up on some Leveling Blocks to get the sides of the trailer level. By adding or removing blocks you should be able to get it Level. If your trailer has any slideouts they should remain closed until the trailer is fully level and stabilized.

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Now that you have got it level as possible use Tire Chocks (pictured above) to chock the trailer wheels.

Now you can unhook your trailer and use the Tongue Jack to level the trailer front to rear. finally you can deploy the trailer stabilizers. The scissor stabilizers are only designed to keep the trailer stable and they should not be used to level the trailer as they could damage the stabilizers or the frame of your trailer.

If your Tongue Jack and stabilizer Jacks have to travel a long ways down it can stress them or damage them. To prevent damage you should pile up some RV Jack Pads or pieces of board to decrease the distance that your jacks have to travel. It is a good practice to always have at least one jack pad under each jack, so that the jacks do not sink into the ground or cause damage to the surface of the ground they are sitting on.

camper-leveler-pack-10-12-16

There are some simple leveling systems available that make leveling your trailer a lot easier one of those systems is called theAndersen Camper Leveler (pictured above). The video below shows how easy it is to level your trailer with the Andersen Camper Leveler System.

Once the the trailer is leveled you can open any slideouts your trailer may have and deploy the slideout stabilizers (if so equipped).

 

– Via Everything About RVing. Find the full article here >> (www.everything-about-rving.com)

Why RV Living is Better Than Living in a House

9 Reasons Why Living in an RV is Better Than Living in a House

The number of people living full or part-time in RVs is growing by leaps and bounds every year.

Many are retired or about to become retired. Others are part of the expanding group of working age folks who are embracing a location independent lifestyle.

Are you considering taking the leap from a traditional home to an RV? Do you dream of life on the open road, but are not quite sure if you’re ready to make the commitment?

If so, this article is for you.

To help you along, and hopefully tip the scales in favor of RV living, here are nine reasons why living in an RV is better than living in a house.

1. More Time Outside

living in an rv

Living in an RV encourages you to spend more time outside. In part because of the small interior space, but also because most campgrounds are great places to enjoy the outdoors.

Crank out the awning, set out your chairs, grill up some burgers, read a book, go for a hike, or gaze at the stars, all while enjoying the great outdoors.

2. No Lawn to Mow or Yard Work To Do

Making Big Rocks Into Little Rocks

Ever feel like you spend all your free time mowing, weeding, and raking? No time to enjoy your yard because you spend so much time maintaining it?

Well guess what?

There’s none of that when you live in an RV! The workers at RV parks and campgrounds do all the yard work for you. It’s like having your very own gardener…for a fraction of the cost.

3. Follow The Weather (Or Run Away From It)

coldest place on earth for rv

One of the greatest advantages to living in a home on wheels is the ability to go where you want, when you want.

This especially comes in handy when the weather turns bad.

If it’s too hot, too cold, too humid, too rainy, or too dry then all you have to do is pack up and drive somewhere else.

4. Clean a Lot Less

rv kitchen is easy to clean

There is no denying that a smaller space is quicker to clean. Do you want to spend hours and hours vacuuming, dusting and scrubbing?

Or would you rather spend 30 minutes cleaning your RV and move on to more exciting activities?

Not only are RVs smaller and therefore easier to clean, but they also tend to be equipped with more drawers and cupboards to stow your stuff, helping to keep your small space neater.

5. If You Don’t Like Your Neighbors…Then Move

use rv hate your neighbors

It’s a fact of life that you’re not going to like everyone you come across. As much as you may try to get along with everyone, some people are just down right impossible to get along with.

The beauty of living in an RV is that when (if) you come across these type of folks you can simply move to another spot.

6. A Million Dollar View for Less Than $20 Per Night

million dollar view in rv

Have you always wanted a house with an ocean view but couldn’t swing it because it was too expensive, inconvenient, or far from work?

Or maybe you only want to live near the ocean part of the time, and high in the mountains the rest of the time?

Or maybe you want to spend one week with a view of the water, one week deep in the forest, and one week in the middle of a city.

Well by living in an RV you have just given yourself the chance to live virtually anywhere you want, with any view you can imagine. Freedom is huge part of RV living, and the freedom to pick your view, and change it as often as you like is an amazing thing.

7. Less Things, More Experiences

rv travel makes memories

Minimalism is a necessary part of living in an RV. Without giant closets and extra rooms to store all that stuff you might need one day, you will be forced to adapt a minimalist lifestyle.

For most people it doesn’t take long to realize just how little stuff they actually need to live, and live well.

An incredible thing happens when you shed all that extra stuff. Inevitably you start to focus less on things and more on experiences, which leads to a happier, more fulfilled you!

8. Make New Friends

rv meet new people

RVing tends to be a social lifestyle. It’s easy to meet people while walking the dog around the campground, or your chat with your neighbors around the campfire.

Often these casual meetings turn into long lasting friendships as people bond over the type of RV they own, or the activities they like to pursue.

RVing attracts all kinds of people, and living in an RV presents an unique opportunity to meet people who you may not normally come across while living in a fixed location.

9. There’s No Room For Relatives

meet relatives in rv

Just kidding. :)

In addition to making new friends, living in an RV makes it easy to visit distant friends and relatives.

While it can often be difficult and expensive to travel across the country to visit great Aunt Sally, in an RV it’s only a matter of pointing the wheels in the direction of her house and driving.

The best part?

You’re always an excellent house guest who brings along your own kitchen, your own bathroom, and your own bed.

(via: doityourselfrv.com)

Read more: http://www.doityourselfrv.com/9-reasons-living-rv-better-living-house/#ixzz3tMuL79xu
Thank you!

Top 5 Places to Visit This Winter

As the weather gets colder, the days get shorter and we break out the coats and the RV antifreeze, there’s no need to start focusing on how to spend more time being a homebody. The fireplace at home can have a vacation of it’s own. It’s time to start finding another adventure to take while you have a bit of time off around the holidays. Here’s our list of favorite winter destinations for the holidays this year.
5) Lake Tahoe, CA – This tourist hot spot is great to stop by in the colder months. Imagine yourself grabbing a steaming cup of hot coffee after you’ve finished exploring the multiple state parks and hiking trails along the lake shore. Lake Tahoe borders Nevada and California and offers multiple adventures for you and your family. You’ll find yourself:

– Hiking the Sierra Nevada Mountains

– Skiing down the Squaw Valley slopes

– Exploring the parks and gardens at Emerald Bay State Park

Hiking along the Emerald Bay

photo via travel.usnews

4) San Antonio, TX – Located Southwest of Dallas, this Texas gem is packed full of fun for the whole family. With a milder climate than the northern parts of the Lone Star state, San Antonio makes a great vacation destination during the winter holiday months. Make sure to stay long enough to see the fireworks show on New Years Eve down on South Alamo Street! You can just see yourself now:

San Antonio New Years fireworks show

photo via therivardreport

– Spotting a lion and bird watching at the San Antonio Zoo & Aquarium

-Seeing part of America’s history at the Alamo

– Shopping, dining and exploring along the San Antonio River Walk

– Taking a day trip through the Natural Bridge Caverns

3) Sarasota, FL – The locals get lucky in the winter, knowing that only a handfull of snowbirds will be making their way down to this one-of-a-kind coastal town. With an array of restaurants, museums, theatres and parks, this warm-weather city makes for the perfect winter destination.

Sarasota, FL aerial view

photo via thecasablanca

Sarasota boasts the number one beach in the nation, along with a local, eclectic vibe, that surprises its visitors with original art, music and food. Now imagine yourself:

– Relaxing on the shore of Siesta Key Beach

– Shopping til you drop at St. Armand’s Circle

– Watching dolphins play while you paddle along on your stand-up paddleboard

– Listening to The Ten Tenors perform at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

2) Santa Fe, NM – Whether you are stopping by to brush up on your snow skiing, or came to enjoy the vast amount of Native history, Santa Fe is a top pick for the winter.

Snow Skiing

photo via physics-of-downhill-skiing

As the nation’s oldest capital city at 400 years old, this visually appealing town carries a calming, slower atmosphere along with a wide variety of attractions. Treat yourself with:

– Skiing and snowboarding down the slopes of Ski Santa Fe

– Experiencing New Mexico history at Palace of the Governors

– Tapping into your inner creative by taking a look inside the Institute of American Indian Art Museum

– Expanding your cultural experience at one of the Winter Pueblo Feast Days and Dances

1) Key West, FL – Winter? Who needs winter? This ultimate winter destination offers white sands over white snow, and coral reefs rather than icy streets. If you’re in the mood to forget about your winter blues, this cozy, coastal town is the place for you. There’s nothing better than being able to pull your RV right up to the shoreline, park and open the windows to let the fresh, seabreeze flow through your camper. Key West boasts amazing seafood, beautiful coral reefs, and sunsets that rival only those in Texas. With local culture as laid back as you’re hoping your vacation will feel, this cold-weather hot spot is a great getaway for the whole family. There you are now:

– Snorkeling along the Florida Reef as fish dart between the coral

Snorkeling in Key West, Florida

photo via coolkeywest

– Visiting Old Town where time and history seem to stand still

– Eating an amazing breakfast at Frenchies Cafe

– Standing on the Southernmost Point of the United States

– Exploring the treasure and remains of the Shipwrecked Atocha at Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum

 

Happy Exploring!

How To: Back Up Your Trailer Like A Pro

So, you borrowed your father-in-law’s boat for your weekend at the cabin, or you bought a RV to take the family camping for this year’s vacation. You got to where you were going and realized you now had to back up to get that trailer where you needed it. Maybe you hadn’t anticipated this (but really, how did you expect to get that boat in the water?), or maybe you didn’t think it would be a problem. How hard could it be? It’s not like you need a special license to do it, and you’ve seen other guys at the boat launch do it, and they look like lesser men than your manly self. Right?

A few years ago, during a break between years at university, I got my truck license and went to work driving a big rig. What man hasn’t wanted to get behind the wheel of one of those machines? They’re big, they’re noisy, you can see over everyone else, they can haul just about anything, and they have a horn to rival a locomotive. The part of the job I didn’t count on when I started was the fact that I would be spending a large amount of my time in reverse while going around corners. I was not exactly what you’d call a natural at backing up. In fact, I almost lost that first job because I had such a hard time. With some coaching, and a lot of nervous practice, I eventually became quite good at it, and now I can back a trailer around corners and into little garage doors on the first shot.

Reading this article is not going to substitute for practice, but it should prepare you to start. The principles are the same whether you have a 53’ tractor/trailer rig or a rented 8’ U-Haul.

A Solid Approach

Backing a trailer into a specific spot at a specific angle is mostly in the set-up. Like most things, preparation is key.

Continue reading

Places to Camp for Free in an RV

RV travel is as American as Apple Pie. Loading everything up in a house on wheels and hitting the road. Traveling the country and seeing what you can find. Finding parking for your RV is not always easy and can be costly on your vacation budget as well, but did you know there are many places you can park for free?

RV Camping for Free

Here is where to look for free places to park your RV, also known as boon docking. You will fill up your RV fresh water tank, head out with a full battery and full propane, and stay free. There will be no hook ups, like electric, water and cable, and you will get to know dump stations well, but you could save you over $60 a night! It’s also suggested to check with each place as well; don’t always assume as rules can change.

Cabela’s – This is one of my more favorite choices for an overnight stay when trying to get from point A to Point B. Cabela’s has RV parking with larger spots they allow overnight parking and they have a fresh water station and dump station free of charge. Many (well all we have seen) also have a kennel for dogs to run in and a place to even let horse out and stretch their legs.

Walmart – This is the one everyone thinks of for free overnight parking. Keep in mind Walmart is not always the safest, so stay on guard, depending on the area of town. They also don’t have water fill ups and dumping stations so you will have to find someplace else to empty your tanks and most likely pay for that too.

Camping World – They have allowed RVers to park over night for many years. Much like Cabela’s they are more RV friendly.

Kmart – Kmart has also started allowing RVers to park overnight in their parking lots.

Most small towns offer one night free at their local county or City Park or the local campground to encourage tourism. This is something worth looking into, and getting a free hook up for a night is always a plus.

Casinos – Many Casinos over free overnight parking for RVers and while this may not be for some it is still an option. Some also have dump stations and water refill stations.

(via freehomeschooldeals.com)

Tips for RV Winter Storage

When you are putting your RV into storage for the winter, there are certain preparations that need to be made to keep the vehicle in good working order and ready for the next travel season. The most important thing to do when putting your vehicle into storage is to make sure that your registration, insurance and license plates are current and renewed. Some storage facilities will require proof of insurance when you are storing a RV. [See below for a list of tips on preparing your RV for winter storage.]

RV Winter Storage Tips

RV Winter Storage Tips

1. Take the RV out for one last drive to listen for any engine problems, knocks or pings. Walk around the vehicle as well as climb on the roof to inspect all parts for broken antennae, awnings, seals, etc.

2. Thoroughly clean the RV inside and out. If you have the time, wax the vehicle starting from the top down. Remove all food from the vehicle. Vacuum the interior, wipe down counters and cabinets.

3. Remove the battery from the vehicle if you are storing for an extended period of time (more than a few months). Keep the battery on a maintenance charger and store in a dry, cool and ventilated space such as your garage. Also, check and fill the water level in the battery.

4. Disconnect all air conditioning connects and clean out the air filters.

5. Defrost and clean out the refrigerator. Add baking soda to absorb any odors. Leave the refrigerator door open during storage to allow for air circulation.

6. Prior to storage, change the oil and oil filter prior to storage. Fill the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer, based on the manufacturer’s recommendation. If you battery is staying in the vehicle in storage, start the engine every couple of months to help prevent moisture build-up.

7. Close the windows and blinds in the vehicle to prevent intense sun exposure that can damage the fabrics and fade the carpet.

8. Remove dry cell batteries from flashlights, clocks and other devices and replace them when you are ready to travel again.

9. If possible, cover the tires with protective tarps and if possible, cover the entire RV with a breathable tarp that is specially made for the vehicle. The coverings will help protect the RV from the elements during the winter months.

(via ezstorage.com)

RV Tips: Winterizing Your RV

WINTERIZING YOUR RV

Some folks use their RV year-round while others put the RV in storage for the winter months. If you are part of the latter group, it is important that you store the RV properly so it will be ready to go camping again next spring.  Most folks refer to this process as “winterizing the RV”. When I hear the term “winterizing” the first thought that comes to mind is to protect the RV water system from potential damage caused by exposure to freezing temperatures. Frozen and damaged water lines are in fact, the most common problem related to not winterizing your RV or not properly winterizing your RV; but there is more to winterizing your RV than just protecting the water system from freezing.
 RV Antifreeze
The definition for “winterize” in the English dictionary is to prepare something, especially a house or an automobile, to withstand cold winter conditions. What I find interesting about this definition is that your RV is essentially a house and automobile combined. With that said, winterizing your RV would entail more than just preparing the water system for cold weather.  We would need to be concerned with preparing the RV’s interior, exterior, chassis and plumbing from the harsh winter months.  Today I want to offer some tips for preparing the RV interior, exterior and the chassis for cold winter storage.

Continue reading

Road Trip Recipe: Campfire Strawberries

This is a recipe that we are so excited to share with you! These s’mores with a twist are easily our new campfire favorite. When you’re on vacation and don’t want a dessert that takes hours to prepare, this simple addition to the menu will make the whole family happy! Take a look below for this easy road trip recipe.

Recipe via Momables.com

Recipe via Momables.com

“Campfire Strawberries are a perfect replacement if you are looking for a healthier version of s’mores while you relax by the campfire and enjoy time with your family!”

What you need: Fresh strawberries, Marshmallow Fluff, and either melted chocolate chips or a squeezable chocolate syrup

Directions:

  1. First wash and pat dry your strawberries.
  2. Dip, or spread, marshmallow fluff on your strawberry.
  3. Place a strawberry over the fire and roast. Drizzle with melted chocolate, and enjoy!

We loved our Campfire Strawberries on popsicle sticks, or even just by themselves.