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.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center for any needed accessories for the kitchen and other areas inside or outside of the RV.

Great Ice Fishing Destinations

Minnesota’s more than 11,800 lakes make it a hotspot for ice fishing. However, having so many places from which to choose can make planning your getaway more difficult. These three places to ice fish around Minnesota are some of the best of the best for catching fish and enjoying your stay.

Mille Lacs

St. Paul residents don’t have to travel far to find some of the country’s best ice fishing. Minnesota’s second largest lake, Mille Lacs, offers 74 miles of coastline and numerous access points to make your fishing excursions more convenient. The lake’s more than 130,000-acre size also means fishermen have plenty of room to spread out. The lake is known to be home to an abundance of rock bass, walleye, northern pike, small mouth bass, jumbo perch, tullibee and muskie, so bring a large cooler for your catch.

Gull Lake

Gull Lake is known across Minnesota as one of the best fishing spots. It’s home to the annual Ice Fishing Extravaganza event, which is the largest ice fishing event in North America. This fishing spot in the Brainerd Lake Region offers great water quality, which sustains huge populations of northern pike, bluegill, walleye, rock bass, largemouth bass and crappie. Park your RV in nearby Nisswa or Brainerd to enjoy a little bit of off-the-ice action during your stay.

Upper Red Lake

Red Lake is the largest lake in Minnesota, and it’s a hotspot for world-class fishing conditions. Head to the lake’s upper region to enjoy the best walleye fishing in the state. However, don’t be surprised if you reel in some crappie and northern pike too. The entire lake is 288,000 acres in size, so you’ll never feel like you’re fishing in a crowd.

Stop and See Us

Minnesota’s PleasureLand RV Centers are located near some of our state’s best ice fishing spots. We’re offering a huge selection of ice houses for the holiday season, so log online or stop in and see us today.

Visit Maplewood State Park in Your RV

Looking for that fall color in Minnesota? Just look around you. If, however, you want to find some of the best fall foliage in the state, look no further than Maplewood State Park. The maple tree forest turns into brilliant shades of red, orange, and gold in the fall and the scenery is absolutely phenomenal when paired with the eight major lakes and dozens of ponds dappled throughout the park.

These lakes and smaller bodies of water make Maplewood State Park a prime location for fishing, boating, and swimming (though the water is probably a bit nippy in the fall!). Even if it’s too late in the year for jumping into the water, there are plenty of sandy beaches and expansive picnic areas that you can take advantage of on a lovely fall day.

The park is also home to an extensive trail system, perfect for hiking, horseback riding, and even cross-country skiing later in the year. There are also vehicular routes that run through the park that lead to scenic overlooks.

However you choose to see the park, wildlife is abundant and makes observation easy. From 150 species of birds that call the park home to the 50 species of mammals (including raccoons and beavers), you’re likely to encounter a few natives as you tour the park’s ten thousand acres.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center before you hit the road for Grand Portage State Park or any other destination in Minnesota or beyond. Whether you need to shop for a new motorhome to take you to all of your favorite summer vacation spots or have an RV already and need it to be checked out before you embark, PleasureLand RV Center can help.

Visit Big Bog State Recreation Area

Big Bog State Recreation Area has been called Minnesota’s last true wilderness. This two-part recreation area includes a northern unit and a southern unit.

The 500-square-mile peat bog, the largest in the lower 48 states, is located in the northern unit. A mile-long boardwalk, completed in 2005, enables visitors to get a first-hand look at the unique plant and animal life of this rare resource. The bog, which has long been a source of medicinal plants for the Ojibwe Indians, represented a barrier to European settlers who tried in vain to drain it. Today, many of the native plants, including yellow-eyed grass, bog rush and two kinds of sundews, are on Minnesota’s endangered or threatened species list. From orchids to carnivorous plants to rare birds, visitors will see a mixture of fascinating and rare resources.

The southern unit includes a campground with 31 campsites (26 electric sites) winterized camper cabins, a sandy beach, picnic grounds, and great fishing.

The park offers a rare opportunity to check out a landscape you’ve probably never explored before. Learn more about the bog, the plantlife that resides there, and the history of the region when you visit.

The park comprises over 9000 acres and receives close to 100,000 annual visitors.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center today before you hit the road to any destination, such as Big Bog State Recreation Area. Tour a motorhome or travel trailer and find the one that’s perfect for you or schedule some maintenance service with our PleasureLand RV Center technicians.

Visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt, who founded our modern national park system, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in the badlands of North Dakota.

Teddy Roosevelt had an intimate relationship with the land that would one day bear his name. He came to the Dakota Territory in 1883 when he was a skinny young man and left a little older and a lot tougher. His adventures in the rugged landscape of North Dakota forever altered his life and, ultimately, the course of the nation.

The park offers visitors scenic drives, over 100 miles of foot and horse trails, wildlife viewing, and opportunities for back country hiking and camping. There are three developed campgrounds for use: Juniper Campground, Cottonwood Campground, and the Roundup Group Horse Campground.

Wildlife viewing is especially popular, as the park is home to many native species, including bison, coyotes, cougars, feral horses, badgers, elk, bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, mule deer, prairie dogs, golden eagles, sharp-tailed grouse, and wild turkeys.

The park also preserves the history and artifacts of Roosevelt’s time there, including the cabin he lived in and the lands his ranch occupied.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center today before you hit the road to any destination, such as Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Tour a motorhome or travel trailer and find the one that’s perfect for you or schedule some maintenance service with our PleasureLand RV Center technicians.

Visit Lake Carlos State Park

Looking for a nearby spot to camp and enjoy some outdoor recreation, perhaps for spring break? If you’re centered in Minnesota or plan on passing through soon, check out Lake Carlos State Park.

Sculpted by ancient glaciers, Lake Carlos State Park contains a tamarack bog, marshes, woodland ponds, and lakes.

A variety of recreational activities revolve around the lake. Clear and deep, Lake Carlos offers visitors a perfect setting for swimming, fishing, boating, camping, hiking and horseback riding. In the winter, ski from the tamarack bog to a maple-basswood forest.

Away from the lake, hiking is an especially good activity. Trails lead through Lake Carlos’s tamarack bog, which is carpeted with showy lady’s slippers, pitcher plants, dragon’s mouths, grass pink, and insect-eating sundews. Most flowers start to bloom in the bog between late spring and early summer.

Birdwatchers will also love the lake, as it offers a unique ecosystem with eagles and ospreys. Other common birds in the spring include the red-eyed vireo, tree swallow, red-breasted nuthatch, American robin, yellow-rumped warbler, indigo bunting, swamp sparrow, blue-winged teal, ruby-throated hummingbird, and many more.

Free WiFi is available at the campground and Visitors Center. The park’s hours are from 8am to 4pm daily.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center before you visit Lake Carlos State Park or any other destination in Minnesota. PleasureLand RV Center offers RV sales, service, parts and accessories in Minnesota. See us in St Cloud, Brainerd, or Ramsey today!

5 Must-Try Hiking Trails in Minnesota

Minnesota is one of the country’s best travel destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. This is especially true in the fall months, when the temperatures remain cool and comfortable for invigorating mountain, woods and coastal adventures. The following are five hiking trails every traveler should try when passing through Minnesota.

Eagle Mountain

Eagle Mountain is the highest point in Minnesota, and although it sits at just 2,301 feet, the stunning views of the state’s expansive forests are well worth a visit. The round-trip hike is 7-miles long and can be steep at times, so be sure to attempt some of the state’s more mellow adventures before heading to the peak.

Glendalough State Park

This western Minnesota state park offers an array of hiking trails for all levels of hikers. The Battle Lake Trail is a must-do, and you’re guaranteed to love the lack of traffic, as vehicles are not allowed near the trails or campsites.

Gooseberry Falls State Park 

Many travelers don’t know that Minnesota is home to some of the best waterfalls in the U.S. Gooseberry Falls State Park, located just north of Duluth, is loaded with 20 miles of scenic hiking trails including those to waterfalls and the scenic shores of Lake Superior.

Itasca State Park

The trails at Itasca State Park offer photogenic views around every turn. Hike to the Alton Heights observation tower to snap photos and pay a visit to the Mississippi headwaters.

George Crosby Manitou State Park

Avid hikers love to frequent Manitou State Park and its 24 miles of backcountry trails. These rugged, challenging trails are designed for experienced hikers, and those who make the trek always return bragging about the views.

Travel Minnesota in Your RV

There’s no better way to visit Minnesota’s best hiking trails than in the comfort and convenience of a new RV from PleasureLand RV Center. Stop in and see us at one of our many Minnesota locations to start your dream RV lifestyle today.

Tips for Bringing Your Furry Friends Along

When you’re packing for an RV trip, whether it’s a short weekend trip or a long trip, you definitely don’t want to forget anything. And when you are bringing your pet with you, you definitely don’t want to forget anything, especially the dog’s food or leash. Be sure to make a list of everything you need for yourself, your family and your pet. And, keep in mind that your pet has additional travel needs.

Stopping More Often

If you are bringing your dog with you and you would like to be at a certain destination by a certain time, you’ll need to add some extra time to the trip. While you might be able to go eight hours without stopping, your pets may not be able to make it that long. Plan on stopping for about 15 minutes every 3 hours to give your pet a break. Never let your pet ride in a trailer.

Providing Water

If you are not providing your pet with water in the vehicle, you’ll need to give it a drink whenever you stop, in addition to the bathroom break.

Food

If the trip is more than eight hours and you plan on driving through, be sure to feed your pet. If you normally feed your pet more than once a day, plan stops that are close to its regular feeding time. If your pet normally eats just once per day, but is used to having snacks throughout the day, be sure to bring its treats in the vehicle with you.

Car Sickness

If your dog tends to get car sick, check with your vet for the dosage of Dramamine it can have. You’ll want to give your dog the medication at least a half hour before you start the trip. Ask your vet how long a dosage should last and when you should re-medicate while you are on the road.

Weather

If you are traveling from a warm climate to a cold climate and your dog normally wear sweaters when it’s cold, be sure to pack a sweater in the vehicle with you so that you don’t have to stop to look for it in the trailer or back of the RV.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Stop by PleasureLand RV Center to walk through our floor plans if you are ready for a new RV; or to pick up any RV accessories you might need for your trip.

National Sandwich Month Recipes

Sandwiches are always a convenient meal – easy to put together, made with affordable ingredients, portable, filling, and endlessly customizable. Sandwiches are a perfect fit for any RVer and August just so happens to be National Sandwich Month. To honor everyone’s favorite go-to food, we’ve asked around PleasureLand RV Center to find out some favorites.

Elvis Sandwich

Prep – 10 mins. | Cook – 10 mins.

Ingredients

•    3 tablespoons peanut butter
•    2 slices white bread
•    1 banana, peeled and sliced
•    3 slices cooked bacon
•    1 1/2 teaspoons butter

Directions

Spread the peanut butter on one side of one slice of bread. Top with sliced banana, then slices of cooked bacon. Cover with the other slice of bread. Spread butter on the outside of the sandwich.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Fry the sandwich on each side until golden brown and peanut butter is melted, about 4 minutes total.

Banh Mi

Prep – 10 mins. | Cook – 5 mins.

Ingredients

•    4 boneless pork loin chops, cut 1/4 inch thick
•    4 (7 inch) French bread baguettes, split lengthwise
•    4 teaspoons mayonnaise, or to taste
•    1 ounce chile sauce with garlic
•    1/4 cup fresh lime juice
•    1 small red onion, sliced into rings
•    1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced lengthwise
•    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
•    salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven’s broiler. Place the pork chops on a broiling pan and set under the broiler. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning once, or until browned on each side.

Open the French rolls and spread mayonnaise on the insides. Place one of the cooked pork chops into each roll. Spread chile sauce directly on the meat. Sprinkle with a little lime juice and top with slices of onion, cucumber, cilantro, salt and pepper. Finish with another quick drizzle of lime juice.

Cucumber Sandwich

Prep – 20 mins.

Ingredients

•    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
•    1/2 cup mayonnaise
•    1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian salad dressing mix
•    2 loaves French bread, cut into 1 inch slices
•    2 medium cucumbers, sliced
•    1 pinch dried dill weed

Directions

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise and Italian dressing mix. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.

Spread the cream cheese blend onto slices of French bread. Top with a cucumber slice, and sprinkle with dill. You can make as many or few as you like. the cream cheese mixture keeps for about a week in the refrigerator so you can make them over and over again!

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

Visit PleasureLand RV Center before you head out on your next RV adventure. Don’t get caught off guard by unforeseen mechanical problems. Let our technicians sign off on your rig and hit the road with the peace of mind that you’re set to handle whatever the journey throws your way.

The Basics of Hiking with Trekking Poles

If you’re a beginning hiker that’s never used trekking poles, it may be because you’re not sure what to make of them. What advantages do they confer and are they right for your hikes? If you’re thinking about acquiring a pair and taking them out on your next hike, here’s how to make the most effective use of them.

They Help Support You

Just like a walking stick, trekking poles times the advantage by two. They’re especially useful on treacherous terrain, like loose gravel, wet rocks, or when fording shallow creeks. Not only do they help keep you upright, but they also promote good posture that in turn helps you shoulder your pack better. By putting some of your weight onto the trekking poles via your arms, you take some of the stress off of your legs and back. When you get tired later during an all day hike, you can also rely on them more and more to support you even when your knees are getting tired.

They Come in Handy in Ways You Wouldn’t Expect

Having some trekking poles on hand can be unexpectedly beneficial. They can serve as arm extensions if you need to poke something from a distance or attempt to bring something closer. Not that we recommend battling wildlife, but in a pinch they can be used to ward off an aggressive animal when escape isn’t possible.

Visit PleasureLand RV Center

There’s no better way to travel to your favorite Minnesota hiking trails than in the comfort and convenience of your RV. Stop in and see us at one of our many Minnesota PleasureLand RV Center locations to start your new RV lifestyle today.