Head to New Orleans for Mardi Gras

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The Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans is so famous (and so much fun) that is has begun to define the city. New Orleans is known for its delicious Cajun eats, incredible music scene, and non-stop party,  but the best of all three are combined for one unbelievable day every year — Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, February 28 this year, and although the date is rapidly approaching, there’s still time to plan your RV trip to “The Big Easy.”

Full of Family Fun

The Mardi Gras celebration can be either a family-friendly or strictly adults-only event based on what you want to see. If you’re looking for family-friendly Mardi Gras experience, you can avoid the busy Mardi Gras crowds and visit Family Gras from Feb. 17 to 19 this year. This free celebration, including tons of family-friendly activities, live music, and plenty of famous Louisiana eats, will take place at the Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie.

Mardi Gras Parades and Events

The Mardi Gras festivities are non-stop in the month of February, with parades on schedule in the days leading up to the big day in New Orleans and a number of other cities throughout the state. Visitors can take part in New Orleans Mardi Gras tours, see exciting exhibits at local museums (the Louisiana State Museum and Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum) and enjoy an unbeatable Mardi Gras meals at the famous Antoine’s Restaurant. The Mardi Gras festivities are practically seeping out of every bar, restaurant and store in town.

Where to Stay

New Orleans is home to a number of top quality RV parks that are guaranteed to make your Mardi Gras experience even better than expected. Stay in the heart of it all at the French Quarter RV Resort or find a little more mellow refuge at the gorgeous Pontchartrain Landing RV park. New Orleans is home to numerous RV parks and campgrounds that are ready to host you for the celebration.

Find Your Perfect RV

If you’re still searching for the perfect RV for your 2017 adventures, there’s no better place to shop than right here at PleasureLand RV Center. Log onto our website or stop by PleasureLand RV Center to view our huge selection of new and used RVs for unbeatable prices.

Taking Thanksgiving on the Road!

Thanksgiving Turkey dinner - outdoor wooden table

When you go RVing for the long term, it often means spending holidays on the road. Even if you are on the road, you can still have a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with all of the “fixins.” Because of space limitations, you’ll just have to plan it a bit different.

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center to pick up any accessories you may need to help you with cooking Thanksgiving Day dinner on the road.

Make Things the Day Before

If you are using fresh vegetables, parboil them the day before, then keep them in the fridge or a cooler until you can heat them up for the meal. Parboiling the veggies means that you don’t have to use valuable stove space on the day of the Thanksgiving meal – you can just pop them in the microwave to heat them up.

Make the mashed potatoes the day before. Again, all you have to do is heat them up on the stove or in the microwave. You can even boil the potatoes and mash them without any milk or butter, then when you heat them up for the meal, add the fresh milk, butter and seasonings.

If you were cooking Thanksgiving dinner at home, you would most likely make the desserts the day before. You can do this, too – that way you have the oven for the turkey. If your RV doesn’t have an oven or a convection microwave, you can still “bake” pies and turkey on the grill. Simply set the grill to the proper temperature using only one or two burners. Set what you are baking on the side with the unlit burners. Skillet cornbread comes out great when done in this manner.

Thanksgiving Day

About 15 minutes before the turkey is done, you can start heating things up that you made the day before. Since the turkey should sit at least 10 to 15 minutes before you carve it, you should have plenty of time – and things will be hot.

Making Turkey without an Oven

If your RV doesn’t have an oven or a convection oven, you have a few choices. If you have a turkey fryer, fry the turkey. If not, but a whole turkey will fit under the grill hood, make sure you have plenty of propane. Set the grill at the appropriate temperature and place the turkey on the unlit side of the grill.

The third option is to cook turkey breasts. You can fry them, boil them or even cook them on the grill. Stop by PleasureLand RV Center for any needed accessories for the kitchen and other areas inside or outside of the RV.

An Unbeatable Alternative to Turkey This Thanksgiving

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Turkey has been a staple part of Thanksgiving dinner in many households for decades. However, you don’t have to eat a typical, boring turkey every Thanksgiving. This mouthwatering smoked pork sausage with hard-cider sauce is a recipe that will spice up your Thanksgiving meal this year and will probably become a new family favorite.

Pork Sausage with Hard-Cider Sauce

What you’ll need:

  • 1 dried chipotle chile
  • 1/2 cup hard cider
  • 2 Granny Smith apples (halved and cored)
  • 2 ounces rye bread (crust removed, sliced into bite-size pieces)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Four 4-ounce smoked pork sausages
  • 1 pound broccoli (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter (cubed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

Cooking instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, cover the chile with hot water and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Bake apple halves with the cut side down on a baking sheet for 30 minutes. Let apples cool.
  4. Scoop pulp out of the apples and into a food processor.
  5. Stem and seed the chipotle, then chop and add to the food processor. Puree.
  6. Spread the bread in a pie plate and bake for 10 minutes.
  7. In a saucepan, boil the hard cider with the vinegar, sugar and the apple/chile puree. Simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup. Remove from heat and season with salt.
  8. Grill the sausages on medium heat until they’re lightly charred on all sides and cooked thoroughly. Place on a plate and tent with foil.
  9. In a large skillet, heat the oil and sit in the broccoli. Season with salt and cook until brown. Stir in the caraway, mustard, cider sauce and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil.
  10. Remove broccoli and sauce from heat, stir in butter and add salt as needed.
  11. Serve sausages covered in broccoli and sauce. Garnish with bread pieces.

Don’t forget to stop and see us at the PleasureLand RV Centers throughout Minnesota when you’re traveling in your RV this holiday season.

The Best Thanksgiving Side Dish to Cook in Your RV

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Many Americans agree that the sides of the Thanksgiving meal are even better than the turkey. However, the usual green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing can seem a bit drab year after year. This cheesy barley gratin can easily be mistaken for macaroni and cheese, but instead, you’ll find a decadent and savory side dish that will amaze your guests.

What you’ll need:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 cups pearled barley
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme (chopped finely)
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 6 ounces Gruyere (shredded)
  • 1 large yellow onion (chopped)
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

Cooking instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place oven rack in the center. Grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter.
  2. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Stir the barley into the boiling water and boil for about 20 minutes or until slightly chewy. Drain and rinse.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium bowl.
  5. Combine the Gruyere, Parmesan and mozzarella in a separate medium bowl. Stir 1 cup of the cheese mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bread crumbs into the melted butter bowl. Work breadcrumbs and cheese into the butter.
  6. Melt the remaining butter in a large pot on medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are slightly browned.
  7. Return heat to medium and add the thyme and garlic. Stir until softened.
  8. Stir in the flour and cook until a thin paste is formed. Whisk in milk for about 1 minute. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally.
  9. Remove mixture from the heat and stir in the cooked barley and cheese mixture.
  10. Spoon into the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on top.
  11. Bake until golden brown or for about 30 minutes.

Find your dream RV this holiday season right here at the PleasureLand RV Center in Minnesota.

Celebrating Halloween on the Road

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RV travelers don’t have to miss out on the best holiday celebrations. In fact, most holidays are even more enjoyable when spent in an RV. Halloween is one of the top holidays to enjoy on the road, because many campgrounds and RV parks host Halloween parties and trick-or-treating hours.

Prepare your RV for all of the Halloween celebrations you’ll encounter on the road with these simple, do-it-yourself tricks and tips.

Hold a Pumpkin Carving Party

Some campers don’t have enough space in their RVs to carve pumpkins, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Throw a pumpkin carving party outside of your RV on nearby picnic tables or a table of your own. Purchase the pumpkins at a farmers’ market near your destination and invite fellow campers to join in on the fun.

Decorate Your RV

You don’t have to bring tons of supplies on your journey to decorate your RV. Purchase natural decorations, like gords and colored pumpkins, from a farmers’ market at your destination. You can also make your own Halloween-themed decorations with construction paper, glue and scissors from a local craft store. Making temporary decorations is a way to get your kids or fellow travelers involved in the decorating process.

Trick-or-Treat at the Campground

Most campgrounds welcome trick-and-treaters during Halloween. Apply the same rules you would if your kids were trick-or-treating in a traditional neighborhood. Only approach motorhomes, travel trailers or campers that are decorated with their lights on.

If the campground you’re visiting doesn’t allow trick-or-treaters, explore a safe, nearby neighborhood with your little ones. A campground official can help you locate the perfect place.

Setting up a scavenger hunt for your kids at the campsite is another way to help them feel like they’re getting the trick-or-treating experience without having to venture away from the park.

Travel in Your Dream RV

Spend more time on the road this fall with a new or top-quality pre-owned RV from the PleasureLand RV Center in Minnesota. Stop in and see us to find your dream RV today.

Do-It-Yourself Halloween Decorations for Your RV

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Traveling in an RV doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite holiday traditions. In fact, many RV parks and campgrounds have trick-or-treaters and planned festivities for Halloween. Get your RV Halloween-ready with these creative do-it-yourself decoration ideas.

Scary Glowing Eyes

All you need are a few cardboard toilet paper rolls, glow sticks and a pair of scissors to create these cute but spooky glowing eyes. Simply cut different eye shapes into one side of the toilet paper roll, insert a glow stick into each roll and hide them in the bushes or trees outside of your RV.

Halloween Silhouette Lamp Shades

Turn the lamps inside your RV into spooky decorations with a few pieces of construction paper, tape and a pair of scissors. Cut spooky shapes, like ghosts and bats, out of the construction paper and tape them to the inside of your lampshades. Turn all of the other lights off at night, and you’ll enjoy your cost-effective and easy-to-make decorations. If you don’t want to tape anything to your current lampshades, purchase a set of lampshades and glue the decorations to the inside instead.

Ghost Lights for Inside or Out

Forget about buying costly strings of Halloween lights that you’ll only use a few months out of the year. This spooky ghost light garland is easy to make and can be hung inside or out (just bring it inside if it rains).

Purchase a strand or two of white lantern lights and cover them with a light white fabric. Use a rubber band to tighten the fabric around the light, so the bottom of the fabric hangs down. Draw dots for the eyes and mouth on each piece of fabric, and you’ll be amazed at how cute your spooky ghost lights turn out.

Upgrade Your RV at PleasureLand

There’s no better time to find an incredible deal on a new or used RV than right now at the PleasureLand RV Center in Minnesota. Stop and see us at one of our many locations before you hit the road this fall.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Your RV

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to get your mom something special for her RV lifestyle. May is one of the best times of year to be on the roads in your RV, and you can make your mom’s spring adventures even more enjoyable with these camping supplies from our PleasureLand RV Center online parts store.

The Pool-N-Beach Cabana by Kwik Tek

Enjoying the pools and beaches you visit in your RV just got a whole lot better. This Pool-N-Beach Cabana is the most comfortable way to cool off on a hot day. This raft features two seating areas and a removable shade, so you can get just as much sun as you want. The wind-resistant canopy and heavy-gauge PVC bladder ensure you can use this comfortable cabana season after season. If you’re mom loves lounging in the pool, lake or ocean, she’ll fall in love with this ultra durable and luxurious raft.

Super Combo Washer and Dryer

Hand washing clothes on the go can be a major chore, but this Super Combo washer and dryer takes up minimal space in your RV and makes a once tedious chore an easy one. Features include a child lock, delay start, pause function, adjustable height, automatic wrinkle guard, 14 programmed functions and many others to make washing and dryer your limited amount of travel clothing a breeze.

Open Air Zero Gravity Recliner by Camco

Has your mom been sitting in the same old, uncomfortable camping chair season after season? Upgrade her RV lifestyle with this Open Air Zero Gravity Recliner by Camco. It’s ultra durable with a powder coated steel frame, dual locking system, weather-resistant fabric and PVC coated polyester. And even better, it’s unbelievably comfortable for lounging in the sun or enjoying an evening drink under the awning.

Find all of these RV and camping related Mother’s Day presents on the PleasureLand RV Center’s online parts store. It’s open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Spring Into Adventure with PleasureLand RV!

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Spring is the most exciting time of year in the RV industry. It means it’s time to pull your RV out of storage, clean it up and hit the road for another year of adventure. And although the outdoor temperatures may still be a little chilly here in Minnesota, there are tons of places throughout the United States that are ready to greet you with warm weather and perfect camping conditions. Cruise to some of these great RV destinations this spring, and start the 2015 camping season off with a great adventure.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park was Utah’s first national park, and it still reigns as one of the most beautiful in the United States. Sandstone cliffs, mesmerizing canyons, a variety of plants and animals and a rich history make this park a must-visit for anyone seeking an outdoor adventure. Stay at the Zion River Resort, just 13 miles from Zion National Park’s south entrance, and you’ll have access to all of the park’s outdoor activities as well as all of the RV park amenities you love.

Destin, Florida

Every adventure calls for a little relaxation too, and Destin, Fla., is the perfect place to find both. Stay at the Camp Gulf RV park in Destin, and you’ll enjoy first-class amenities, pristine beaches and tons of outdoor activities like fishing, boating, paddleboarding, kayaking and golfing. The city of Destin is also full of great shopping, dining and family-friendly activities.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

No one expects to see sand dunes in Colorado, and that’s what makes the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve so incredible. Visitors enjoy hiking, backpacking, climbing sand dunes, sand sledding, sandboarding, splashing in the Medano Creek and so much more. The Pinon Flats Campground reopens for the season on March 31, but there are plenty of other area campgrounds ready to accommodate your RV.

Start your spring RV adventures right here at PleasureLand RV Center in Minnesota. We’re your one-stop shop for all of your spring RV parts, accessories, service and camping supplies.

Holiday Recipes for Your Life on the Road

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Pictures by Ann/Flickr Creative Commons

Your holiday traditions may change a little bit when you start living life on the road, but that doesn’t mean you have to ditch your old traditions entirely. You can still enjoy all of the holiday dishes you love right inside your RV. This winter, test out some of these quick and easy holiday recipes for the road.

Holiday Hot Spinach Dip

What you’ll need:

  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 6.5-ounce jar artichoke hearts (drained and mashed)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat your RV oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the spinach, artichokes, bell pepper, Parmesan cheese and sour cream together in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in the heavy cream until it is the consistency of a creamy dip.
  4. Spoon your dip into a 1-quart baking dish.
  5. Bake the dip for 20 minutes, then serve with your favorite dipping crackers.

Peppermint Brittle

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 pounds white chocolate
  • 30 small candy canes

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Start by lining a large pan with heavy-duty tin foil.
  2. Microwave the white chocolate in a microwaveable bowl for five to six minutes.
  3. Stop and stir the white chocolate occasionally until it is smooth.
  4. Put the candy canes in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin or mallet.
  5. Stir the peppermint pieces into the white chocolate thoroughly.
  6. Spread the combination evenly into the pan and chill it for roughly one hour or until it is well set.
  7. Break the brittle into smaller pieces by (carefully) slamming the pan on the counter.

Do Your Holiday Shopping at PleasureLand

There’s no better place to pick up all of the best holiday gifts for your RV family than right here at PleasureLand RV Center in Minnesota. Not only can you find the finest new and used RVs in the industry, we also have tons of great camping supplies and RV accessories for your favorite RV travelers.

Christmas Crafts and Games for an RV Road Trip

pirate johnny/Flickr Creative Commons

While traveling, kids, though excited, are often antsy because they want to arrive at their destination now. To keep them from beating each other up and to keep your sanity, give them something to do while you are on the road. Be sure you have everything you need before you leave, including any accessories you may need to pick up at PleasureLand RV.

Pipe Cleaner Candy Canes

Have the kids twist red and white pipe cleaners together to make candy cane decorations. To make the craft last a while, make a game of it. Whoever sees a yellow car must yell “Yellow car!” That person can make a candy cane. Though taxis and school busses usually don’t count, for this game, you can let them count.

Cardboard Gingerbread People

Before you leave, make gingerbread people cutouts from cardboard. Cut out decorations and faces for them from construction paper. Get each child a glue stick – they are less messy than regular glue and won’t spill – and let the kids make gingerbread ornaments on the trip. When they are done, you can string them together to make a garland to decorate the RV.

Christmas Memory Game

This is a typical memory game, but you can make it more fun by providing a pattern for Christmas trees. Instruct the children to trace the pattern on green construction paper, and then cut out the trees. Glue a button on one side of each tree. Then, on the other side, put the memory clues. You can use the alphabet if your kids are just learning that. You can match a math problem with an answer. Or you can match a color word with the actual color. Adapt this game to whatever the kids are learning.

It’s probably a good idea to make the trees and put the text on them before the trip – this would be something that will get the kids excited for a trip and excited to play a new game.

Stop by PleasureLand RV

Stop by PleasureLand RV to pick up any necessities or accessories you may need. And, if you don’t have an RV but are considering one, stop by to walk through the many floor plans. If you are still undecided, you can always rent an RV to see if RVing is something you would like to do more often.