Sibley State Park

Sibley State Park

Photographer: Greg Gjerdingen via Flickr Creative Commons

A perfect place for a weekend getaway in Minnesota is at Sibley State Park. The west-central state park has plenty of activities to enjoy year round for all ages. If getting out-and-about on America’s highways and byways to see the sights is something you’ve been planning but not sure where to begin, start with PleasureLand RV to get an idea on recreational vehicle options.

The RV dealership has an array of new and used motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels and more to suit your traveling style and your budget. Let the friendly staff get you situated in the perfect travel option and then be on your way to this relaxing and fun-filled state park.

Sibley State Park

Set amid a landscape any artist would love to paint, Sibley State Park is all-inviting. Throughout the 3,419-acre park, the landscape is filled with aspen, red cedar, maple, green ash and more making fall a panorama of color during the changing of the leaves. You’ll walk through tall prairie grass on the knolls and among fields of wildflowers as the landscape is ever-changing.

Wildlife

Bring your camera and take pictures as you hike along the trails. An array of species make the park home including raccoons, mink, badgers, gray fox, coyotes, squirrel and woodchucks. Bird watching is also a great pastime with Canada geese, egrets and herons, loons, ducks, pelicans and scarlet tanagers, to name a few, inhabiting the park.

Activities

During the off-season, boat rentals are available including kayaks, canoes and row boats from the park office. In the winter, strap on rented snowshoes and trek through the park. Cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and skate-skiing are also options during the winter season.

In the warmer months, go for a swim, take a boat ride or drop a line in Lake Andrew for some leisurely fishing. The park also features a picnic area, and for adventurers, take a hike to Mount Tom for scenic views.

Camping

Sibley accepts RVs 70 feet in length. Electricity and showers are available at the Lakeview campground. Dump station available may through the middle of October.

For all your RV travel needs including parts and service, visit PleasureLand RV today so you’ll be ready to roll whenever the travel bug bites.

Photo Source

Voyageurs National Park

A vacation to Voyageurs National Park is a true adventure as visitors have 218,000 acres to explore. The tapestry of the park is an intertwined network of lush forest, ancient rock, and multiple waterways.The rugged and remote park is a haven for water enthusiasts and wildlife observers.

When planning a getaway to this Minnesota destination, traveling in comfort is the ideal way to make the trip. If you’re in the market to purchase a new or used Class A motorhome, travel trailer, or pop-up camper, a visit to PleasureLand RV Center provides an extensive inventory to choose from.

Kettle Channel

Photographer: JCK Photos

Visitor Centers

Rainy Lake Visitor Center is open year-round and features a museum, bookstore, exhibits, theater, children’s area, information desk, and boat launch. Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center and Ash River Visitor Center are open late May through late September and also provide a free boat launch and picnic area with tables. Access to Voyageurs and public boat launches require a free permit available at the visitor center.

Things to do

Depending on the season, visitor’s enjoy hiking, fishing, canoeing, boat tours, and ranger led naturalist programs. During the winter, snowmobiling, skiing, ice-fishing, cross-country skiing, and hiking snow-covered trails are options. Rowboats, canoes, cross-country skis, and snowshoes are available for rent.

Hiking

Voyageurs offers multiple trails and overlooks accessible by land and several by water, only. Trails vary in difficulty from easy to moderate, taking anywhere between 20 minutes to two hours, and strenuous hikes, such as the 27.9 mile Kab-Ash Trail, that can take several days. Along the trails, hikers have the opportunity to view forests of aspens and pines, wetlands, birds, and wildlife

Camping

Campsites inside Voyageurs are only accessible by boat. Adjacent to the park is the Woodenfrog State Forest Campground that offers camping for recreational vehicles. The campground has a boat launch and swimming area.

Plan an itinerary to Voyageurs and look to PleasureLand RV for all your needs from service maintenance to sales. The professional, expert, and certified technicians at our family owned and operated RV dealership will get you road-ready for your next great travel excursion.

Photo Source

 

The 2014 Truck Camper Palomino Bronco

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 2.58.37 PMWhen we first set out to indulge in the RV lifestyle, most of us start out by eyeballing the big, luxurious RVs, the ones that take a special license to drive and which serve as basically a middle class home on wheels. These are great, if you have the money and the time and you need all that space. Some of us do, and some of us don’t. If you don’t, then you may be surprised at how roomy and comfortable some of the better truck campers can be.

In particular, the new 2014 Palomino Bronco is downright inspiring in just how much living space they were able to pack onto the back of a truck. It’s really all in the storage space. Everything from the seating to the bed doubles as a storage area, and this seriously cuts down on clutter. The closet storage on the right when you walk in barely takes up much space, either.

The bed is comfy enough at 60″ by 80″ which makes it perfect for one person, and doable for two. The camper is a pop-up, which means that you get great clearance, no more worrying about losing your camper under every low-hanging bridge. The kitchenette is a little bit cozy, but let’s be honest, if you’re riding around in a camper, you’re going to be doing a lot of cooking out, so all that really matters is that the ice box is roomy enough to host a whole cookout.

The dual range offers real gas cooking, while the A/C ensures that you’ll enjoy even the hottest summer months and stay cool no matter what’s cooking.

Although many of us think of the RV lifestyle as strictly an “RV” deal, new RVers would be advised to seriously consider a camper. Maintenance is easier with a truck camper, truck campers cost less than RVs, and as the Palomino Bronco proves, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to live out of your truck.

The Minnesota Roads Will Be Extra Crowed During the Holidays

Hey Minnesota RVers, what are your plans for the holiday? AAA is forecasting that more Americans are planning to travel this year for the holidays, and that 91.9 million will travel 50 miles or more from their home during the year-end travel season, up from last year’s figure of 90.7 million. For those of you out there who are full-timers, it looks like the roads are going to get a little crowded this holiday season!

AAA also said that the majority of these holiday travelers will take to the roads. Some 83.6 million people (91 percent of total holiday travelers) plan to travel by car, a 2.1 percent increase compared to last year. The year-end holiday season is defined by AAA as beginning Friday, December 23, 2011 and ending Monday, January 2, 2012. So if you are thinking you’ll be on the road during one of those 11 days, be sure to take extra caution.

It’s been reported by the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) that 40 percent of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers — a 12 percent increase over the rest of the month of December. So make sure you keep your attention on the other drivers around you. Stay safe out there Minnesota RVers!

What Minneapolis RV Owners Should Know About Cell Phones and Filling Stations

Hey Minnesota RVers, have you seen the signs at filling station near the gas pumps that tell you not to use your cell phone while pumping gas? Recently I received an e-mail from a friend stating the dangers of cell phone use while filling up.

Safety Alert! There are several reasons why cell phones aren’t allowed in operating areas, propylene oxide handling and storage areas, or propane, gas and diesel refueling areas. For one, they can ignite fuel or fumes. Mobile phones that light up when switched on or when they ring release enough energy to provide a spark for ignition. Mobile phones should not be used in filling stations, or when fueling lawn mowers, boat, etc. In fact, mobile phones should not be used, or should be turned off, around several other materials that generate flammable or explosive fumes or dust including solvents, chemicals, gases, grain dust, etc. The following is an e-mail I received stating the rules of being safe at the pump and some interesting facts about a study done regarding incidents where fires resulted in not following proper refueling etiquette.

 

To sum it up, here are the Four Rules for Safe Refueling:

  1. Turn off engine.
  2. Don’t smoke.
  3. Don’t use your cell phone – leave it inside the
    vehicle or turn it off.
  4. Don’t re-enter your vehicle during fueling .

Bob Renkes of Petroleum Equipment Institute is working on a campaign to try and make people aware of fires as a result of ‘static electricity’ at gas pumps.  His company researched 150 cases of these fires.

His results were very surprising.

  1. Out of 150 cases, almost all of them were women.
  2. Almost all cases involved the person getting back in their vehicle while the nozzle was still pumping gas. When finished, they went back to pull the nozzle out and the fire started, as a result of static.
  3. Most had on rubber-soled shoes.
  4. Most men never get back in their vehicle until completely finished. This is why they are seldom involved in these types of fires.
  5. Don’t ever use cell phones when pumping gas.
  6. It is the vapors that come out of the gas that cause the fire, when connected with static charges.
  7. There were 29 fires where the vehicle was re-entered and the nozzle was touched during refueling from a variety of makes and models. Some resulted in extensive damage to the vehicle, to the station, and to the customer.
  8. Seventeen fires occurred before, during or immediately after the gas cap was removed and before fueling began.

Mr. Renkes stresses to NEVER get back into your vehicle while filling it with gas. If you absolutely HAVE to get in your vehicle while the gas is pumping, make sure you get out, close the door TOUCHING THE METAL, before you ever pull the nozzle out.  This way the static from your body will be discharged before you ever remove the nozzle.

Have you heard any additional information regarding the dangers of cell phones and gas pumps? We’d love to learn more about it!

Camping Goes Glamping

Glamping – or glamorous camping – is the latest in RV trends as it offers a new perspective for the luxury camper while offering upscale conveniences. Glamping takes traditional camping to a whole new level while putting a little bit of glamour to the alternative of ‘roughing it.’ Glamping is perfect for those camp goers that desire more well-appointed accommodations, including luxury cabins, tree houses, and much more. Oh, and did I mention there are campgrounds that even offer the ladies manicures and facials?

The following is a list of locations in Minnesota that offer the camp goer an all-star glamping experience:

  • Arrowwood Resort – This luxury resort offers a wide variety of activities including a luxury evening cruise on Lake Darling.
  • Caribou Highlands Lodge – Get pampered by a certified massage therapist at The Superior Waters Spa and Wellness Center.
  • Madden’s on Gull Lake – This resort has three sand beaches stretching over a mile on the beautiful Gull Lake.
  • Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge – Tucked into the trees on this outdoor wonderland is the Fine Line Salon & Spa where you can enjoy a facial, massage or a body wrap.
  • Trapper’s Landing Lodge – Stay in these luxury units that face the shoreline of Leech Lake and take advantage of their outdoor pools and sauna.

Next time you are trying to convince those affluent travelers to hitch a ride on your RV you might want to show them how Glamping can surpass any five-star hotel experience. Know of any other Glamping type activities or have you yourself ever gone Glamping? Tell about your experience, we’d love to hear about it!

Stay Awake at the Wheel of Your RV Minnesota

Photo courtesy of TomandHelenLove

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) estimated that nearly two-thirds of adult Americans experience a sleeping problems several nights during the week, and 43 percent say they are so tired that it interferes with there daily activities. For RVers, this can be especially problematic considering we spend a lot of time driving down the road.

The U.S. National Highway Safety Administration estimates that fatigued drivers contribute to roughly 100,000 highway crashes and cause 1,500 deaths per year. It’s been said that people who have been awake for longer than 17 hours perform worse than someone with a .05 BAC! Hard to believe, isn’t it? Similar to alcohol, sleepiness slows reaction time, decreases awareness and impairs your judgment.

Though most people turn to caffeine when they are tired, this will only temporarily work. If you are sleep deprived and drink coffee, you could even experience brief four or five minute naps called “micro-sleeps”.  In those short five seconds, your RV can travel more than 100 yards at only 55 miles an hour.

The next time your about to head out on the road, please make sure you get a full night of rest before. If you ever feel drowsy, there’s no shame in pulling over at taking a brief nap.

The NSF also recommends the following:

  1. Learn to recognize and pay attention to the warning signs of fatigue. Take a break if you experience wandering or disconnected thoughts, yawn repeatedly, have difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open, or find yourself missing traffic signs or tailgating other drivers.
  2. Don’t count on tricks like turning up the radio or opening the window for fresh air to keep you awake—these things will help for only a short while.
  3. If you’re planning on driving a long distance, drive during the time of the day when you are normally awake.
  4. Also, if possible, have someone accompany you and talk with that person while driving. It’s a good idea for your passenger to stay awake, too, so that he or she can let you know if you are showing signs of sleepiness.
  5. On longer trips, schedule a break (in a safe area) every two hours or every 100 miles and stop sooner if you show any signs of sleepiness.

Use Toothpaste to Clean Your RV Headlights

Have you started to notice while driving your RV at night that your headlights aren’t shining as brightly as they used to? Or maybe you’ve noticed that your headlights have a yellowy film on them. Often times, RV owners think that the problem is on the inside of the lens and will end up spending hundreds on replacements.  However, this discoloration mostly occurs because the outside cover on your lamps has become oxidized and simply needs to be cleaned up.

While there are many different products you can spend a good amount of money on to fix this problem, I have found a solution that is quite effective and hardly costs me anything – and they call it toothpaste. Sounds a little strange, but believe it or not your toothpaste can be quite versatile.

Step 1 – Get your run of the mill, white toothpaste. Notice the word paste and not the gel kind.

Step 2 – Apply the toothpaste to the plastic cover with a dry cloth. and rub in a circular motion until you start to notice the grime wipe away.

Step 3 – Rinse with water, and wipe away any residual paste with a wet cloth.

And there you have it. Clean, clear covers and better visibility at night! If you’re still having visibility issues or the headlights still appear dirty, feel free to give us a call or swing by. We’ll be glad to help you figure out if it’s indeed time for a new set of headlights.

Educate Yourself on RV Fire Safety

This has been a hard summer on the states with record-breaking temperatures and fire outbreaks. Thousands of acres and hundreds of homes have been lost in the lower states due to these fires, so I thought it’d be fitting to talk about the importance of fire safety in our RVs.

Photo courtesy BransonMo.gov

Did you know that fires are one of top contributing factors to RV loss in the US? RVFireExtinguisher.com said that more 20,000 RV fires are reported every year in the U.S., and about 80 percent of them were in gas-powered motorhomes. So what is the best way to prevent  a fire in your RV Minnesota? RVFireExtinguisher.com suggests the following:

To prevent, identify and put out fires there are several things you should have in place. As well as having a working fire alarm and carbon monoxide and LPG gas detectors you should also have working fire extinguishers. In fact, it is against the law in the USA not to have a fire extinguisher in your RV. The National Fire Protection Agency makes it compulsory to have a 5 pound BC fire extinguisher near every exit of the RV. Most fires in RV’s are type A fires meaning that they start from common combustibles such as paper and wood, so it is recommended that you keep a type A fire extinguisher in your RV as well as the BC which is for electrical and gas fires. It is also best to have five fire extinguishers in your RV – one in the driver’s cab, one in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, one in your towed vehicle and also one in storage as a backup.

Having a fire extinguisher(s) in your RV won’t help anything, though, unless everyone on board knows how to use one. If you can only remember one thing when it comes to using an extinguisher, remember to P.A.S.S. Pull, Aim, Squeeze and sweep! Here’s a helpful video that will show you exactly how to do this. If you need any help making your RV fire-safe, or just need a new RV, you can always give us a call or drop in.

 

7 Tips For Backing Up and Parking Your New RV

I ran into a friend of mine who purchased his first RV, a 2002 Forest River Georgetown, at the beginning of the summer. I hadn’t seen him since he made the purchase, and I was dying to know how his first few RV trips had gone. Come to find out… he hadn’t taken his new RV out once! I couldn’t believe it! When I asked him why, he was a little bit reluctant to tell me, but I finally got it out of him. He didn’t know how to back-up and park the RV. At first, I was shocked that this had kept him from using his beautiful, new home-away-from-home. But the more I thought about it, I realized that he was probably not alone with this fear.

If you’re a first-time RV owner, getting out on the road can seem a little scary.  After all, RVs drive a lot differently than your average four-door sedan.  Whether it’s a motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer, there are several things you should know about backing up and parking. I found seven excellent and helpful tips from the Fun Times Guide that I shared with him and would now like to share with you.

7 Tips For Parking & Backing Up RVs

#1  Stop right where you are, when you reach the point where you no longer have clear vision of where you want to go. Never attempt to move into tight quarters, if you can’t see all possible hazards.  That is, unless you have someone positioned where they can see the obstructions and they can warn you.  Your assistant must be positioned so they can see both you and the possible dangerous situation

#2  Avoid places that are impossible to get into, or nearly so. Don’t blindly pull into an unfamiliar driveway, dead end street, or parking lot that doesn’t have a second exit.

When you pull into shopping areas, stay out near the perimeter and chose your parking spot so that you can simply pull ahead to leave. Don’t go down the aisles of parked cars — because you’re likely to be making a sharp corner in a confined spot, when you get to the end of the aisle.

 

#3  Learn to rely on your mirrors. An RV isn’t like the family sedan. Looking over your right shoulder and down through the center of your motorhome or tow vehicle to back up won’t work. You have to rely on the image in your side mirrors.

Straight vehicles, without trailers, are pretty easy to back up — because a properly adjusted mirror should give you a view of the side all the way back to the rear bumper. As long as you can see daylight between your RV and the obstruction, you’re good.

 

#4  Set up temporary parking & driving patterns, using safety cones or milk jugs. Head out to a closed supermarket parking lot and set up your cones like a driveway or camping spot. Practice backing into those spots until you can do it without hitting any cones.

 

#5 Practice blind side parking. If your luck is like mine, more often than not you’ll end up backing into a campsite from the blind side with your trailer.

The blind side is the right (passenger) side of your vehicle. It’s known as the blind side because at some point, as you’re turning, your tow vehicle will no longer be in a straight line with your trailer.  You will no longer be able to see what’s happening on at least one side of your RV. This is where an outside helper is essential to keep you posted on your progress.

A trick I’ve used to increase my range of vision when backing around corners is to readjust my side mirrors at a different angle as I start making my turn. Most motorhomes, and many trucks, have electrically adjustable mirrors that you can control with a switch from the driver’s seat. Adjusting the mirrors, as you proceed through the corner, will give you a clear view most of the way.

 

#6  Never rely on rear vision cameras, because they’re pointed down toward the ground behind you and don’t give you a broad enough picture. There are overhead obstacles to be concerned about too.  Low-hanging branches, building overhangs, even sagging power lines can hook your RV. By far the best way to back into a tight spot is to have a person (or even 2) outside watching all the angles. Maneuver with your windows down, and instruct your helper to talk loud enough so you can clearly hear them. A set of inexpensive walkie talkies can be very handy for just this purpose.

 

#7  Use extreme caution when backing a motorhome with a tow vehicle attached. In fact, backing up with a toad (car) on a tow bar more than a foot or so is impossible. Since the steering axle of the car being towed is free to track wherever it wants, as soon as you start backwards it will immediately turn the wheels, causing extreme pressure to be applied to the front end components of your vehicle in tow.

Damage can occur, because you will be skidding the car sideways, with the front wheels turned all the way to the stops. If you need to back up when towing a car, just unhook the car first.  After you’re situated where you can go forward again, re-hook the tow bar. It’s the only safe way to do it.

[The Fun Times Guide]

Something else that can seem tricky at first is backing into a camping spot (especially if the two spots next to you are both occupied). There is a little trick, though, that some of us RV vets use called The Scoop. Once you nail this technique down, you’ll be pulling into camp spots like a pro. Check out this little illustration video showing exactly how it’s done. If you need any help at all with anything RV-related, don’t hesitate to give us a call or swing by.