The Benefits of Renting an RV

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Duncan Rawlinson/Flickr Creative Commons

You don’t have to dive head first in to the RV lifestyle by purchasing an expensive motorhome or travel trailer. Here at PleasureLand RV Center, we offer a huge selection of rental RVs, so you can try out the RV lifestyle before you buy. And after just one family vacation in a rental RV, you’ll realize exactly what’s so wonderful about life on the road.

It’s Affordable

By renting an RV, you’ve already covered the travel and accommodation expenses for your vacation. Flying your entire family to a destination and renting multiple hotel rooms once you arrive can add up really quickly, but RV travel eliminates the need for plane tickets, and all of our PleasureLand RV rentals have plenty of sleeping space. Our RVs also contain full kitchens and refrigerators, so you’ll save big bucks on enjoying family meals inside your RV rather than out at expensive restaurants.

It’s Comfortable

Just because it’s called “camping” doesn’t mean you’ll be sleeping on the ground or living primitively. Our RV rentals are equipped with full bathrooms (with showers), comfortable bedding, a sink, stove, hot water, and all of the amenities you’d expect in a pricey hotel room (and even more).

It Gives You Freedom

Forget about check-in and check-out times and all of the other scheduling that comes along with flights and hotel stays. The RV lifestyle is entirely flexible, so you can stop and roadside attractions, exciting restaurants or anywhere you please.

More Time Together

One of the best parts of the RV lifestyle is that you end up spending more time together as a family. Whether you’re traveling on the highway or hanging out at the campsite, you’re all together making lasting memories, cooking meals and enjoying the great outdoors.

Rent an RV From PleasureLand

Whether you’re interested in a Class A motorhome or a pop-up camper, we’ve got a great selection of rental RVs right here at PleasureLand RV Center. Stop in to browse our fleet or get started with your RV rental immediately using our online form.

RV Rentals at PleasureLand

If you’ve always wanted an RV but other obligations preclude you from getting financing; or if you are not sure that the RV lifestyle is for you – even for a weekend – consider renting an RV. You can rent an RV to see if you like it – or you can rent an RV for a vacation if your financial situation won’t let you buy right now.

PleasureLand RV Center has four locations and many floor plans. You can find us in St. Cloud, Ramsey, Brainerd and Willmar. And, for the summer of 2014, you’ll get unlimited mileage on any motorhome rental.

If you’ve never been RVing, you’ll learn that it’s all about the flexibility, freedom and fun. We offer affordable rates on current year models – and no hidden fees. Plus, you can take a longer vacation for less money when you rent an RV—and if you don’t like the place you are staying; it’s easy to move to another place.

Visit and stay at national parks, music festivals, NASCAR races, sporting events and more. An RV with a walk-on roof is perfect to take to the races. You don’t have to sit in the crowded stands to see everything – just get on top of the RV: Tall people in front of you won’t be able to block your view.

Renting an RV also has other benefits. You can explore places that you’ve never been before – places that don’t have a hotel nearby or the hotel is just too expensive for the entire family. And, with an RV, you don’t have to eat out for every meal. You’ll save a ton of money by cooking your own meals at “home.”

If you want to travel a long distance but prefer not to fly and don’t want to go through the hassle of renting a car or finding somewhere to eat out every day, rent an RV from PleasureLand RV Center and drive. You’ll be able to stop and see sights along the way and can take your time getting to your destination.

Choose from Class A, Class C, travel trailer and folding camper rentals. We have floor plans that sleep from four to 10 people. We also have “extras” such as a kitchen kit, a personal kit, pick up and drop off and a cleaning service.

Image by Frank Swift via Flickr Creative Commons

What Do You Listen to When You’re On the Road in Your RV?

During the spring months, I love driving down the open road in my Minnesota RV and listening to good music. Music can really make your long drives much easier, but sometimes it can be hard to find a good radio station. Even if you do find a station you like, you’ll only be able to listen to it for so long until you’re out of its frequency. Once that happens, you may turn to your CDs or a playlist on your iPod. But even that can get old after awhile. Especially if you haven’t had anytime to add new music lately. Luckily in this day and age of technology, we have quite a few alternative options.

Satellite Radio. You can’t go wrong with Sirius XM in my opinion. With more than 140 commercial-free music, news, sports, traffic and weather, talk radio and entertainment, and comedy channels, you’re bound to find something you like. Another plus is that Satellite radio will work even when you’re out in the middle of nowhere in your RV. The only downside (and a small one in my opinion) is that it costs between $12-20 per month.

Photo Courtesy of Pocketnow.com

Pandora Internet Radio. If you have a smartphone capable of downloading apps, then Pandora is a must-have. This free app allows you to create your own radio stations from a song, genre or artist. The more you use it, the more it will conform to the exact type of you music  you like. The only downside is that you’ll occasionally hear a commercial or two.

I Heart Radio. This is another smartphone app that you can use to listen to your favorite radio station from back home. The downside? You’re favorite radio station may not be an “I Heart Radio” station.

So Minnesota RVers, don’t settle for continuously scanning the radio for a station you like or listening to the same music over and over again. Make your RV road trip more enjoyable with one of the options above!

The La Salle Lake State Recreation Area is Now Open to the Public with 40 Slots for Minnesota RVs

Hey Minnesota RVers, have you heard the news? Our great state has opened a new, 1,000-acre parcel State Recreation Area. The La Salle Lake State Recreation Area (SRA) is home to Minnesota’s second deepest lake, a cold water stream, high-quality forest and wetlands and more than a half-mile of Mississippi River Headwaters shoreline. And now we can park our RVs in one of the 40 full hook-up slots and enjoy this beautiful land! The new park also has several year-round cabins and an indoor recreation facility with a pool and a kitchen.

Hunting and trapping opened a few weeks ago, so for those of you RV owners who love to hunt, you’re definitely going to want to plan a trip soon. Love to take fishing trips in your RV? The 221-acre La Salle Lake is 213 feet deep and supports walleye, bluegill, northern pike and crappie populations.

For those of you who love nature, the park’s forested landscape features red and jack pine forests and woodlands, large white pine, balsam fir and white spruce forests, and a high quality old-growth northern white cedar forest.

Be sure to add this new campground to your 2012 RV travel list, Minnesota! If you don’t currently own an RV, but you’re thinking about buying a new or used RV for 2012, come see us at one of our four locations! Not ready to make a purchase? Pleasureland has excellent deals on Minnesota RV rentals. Either way, you can always stop by and say hello!

How Many Insects Lose Their Lives on Your Minnesota Motorhome?

Have you ever noticed how dirty the windshield and front of your car is after a road trip? It seems as though you’ve driven through a swarm of bugs the entire 300 miles. Well in case you haven’t noticed, RVs have much larger windshields and front ends than your car does. So instead of hundreds of bugs, it looks like thousands met their death on your RV after a road trip.

Though I’m not sure why, a Dutch biologist named Arnold van Vliet over in The Netherlands actually conducted a study to get an estimate of just how many bugs lose their lives due to moving vehicles. The results were actually pretty interesting. He asked 250 drivers to track their mileage and the number of bugs on their windshield each night over the course of six weeks. He found that a total of 19,184 miles were traveled by the 250 participants and 17,836 insects were killed. That’s a lot of bug guts to clean off a windshield.

When you do the math and take into account the entire surface area of the front of the vehicle and the total number of cars in the world, it comes to an estimated 32.5 trillion insects in the U.S. dirtying up our windshields each year. Hard to imagine that many, isn’t it?

I wonder how many of those bugs have met their demise on your RV. I’m sure the number is high, especially if you’re a full-time RVer. So what’s the best method for getting the bugs off the windshield and restoring a clear view out of the front of our RV? The most obvious choice would be the windshield wipers, but let’s be honest. Using windshield wipers to clean up a bug mess always seems to make matters worse. If you’re planning on waiting until you arrive home or at a campground, there are many different remedies you can try. I recommend using one of the many cleaners designated for cleaning bugs off the windshield. It’s also a good idea to spray some sort of protectant to make cleaning in the future easier.

If you’re one of those people who likes to have a clean windshield all the time and you absolutely cannot wait to clean up the mess at your destination, you can always use the squeegees at gas stations. For an even better result, try using the standard razor blade. All you have to do it make a downward scraping motion with the blade. This option is probably not best for those of you with weak stomachs, but if you can handle it, this method actually works really well as a quick fix. What are some remedies you like to use, Minnesota RVers? We’d love to hear your ideas!

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.

 

The Boondocking Code of Ethics

For those of you new RV owners who may be unfamiliar with the term, boondocking, also known as dry camping or primitive camping is basically camping without the electic, sewer or water hookups.  There are generally two types of boondocking – blacktop and boonies – and there is a certain code of ethics associated with each one that we should follow. The general rule of thumb is to always leave the place nicer than it was when you got there. Let’s check out some other rules we should follow.

Blacktop boondocking is when you pos up in a parking lot (Wal-Mart, Casinos, etc.). The main appeal of this type of camping is the convenience and budget. Some places have actually passed bans on this type of boondocking. To make sure bans aren’t passed, RV clubs like The Escapees, have come up with their own code of ethics for blacktop boondocking. They have even gone far enough to post a print out of these rules that you can leave on offender’s vehicles.

Blacktop Boondocking Rules

1. DO obtain permission from a qualified individual. This way you’ll never have to worry if you are violating any sort of code or law.

2. DO try and park out of the way. Most of these parking lots are huge, and most likely there are spots way in the back that will be vacant.

3. DON’T use your awnings, chairs, or barbecue grill. These things tend to send the message that you are here to stay.

4. DON’T use slide-outs if at all possible for the same reason as mentioned above.

5. DON’T use your leveling jacks on asphalt.

6. DO try and limit your stay – one night is best, and two is the absolute maximum. We recommend staying two night only if you must.

7. DO purchase gas, food, or supplies as a way of saying “thank you”.

8. DO leave the area cleaner than you found it. This one is sometimes dificult for people to folllow, but think of it this way… you’re only helping blacktoppers reputation climb by cleaning up. Even if it’s after other’s.

9. DO practice safety precautions. This is important in any situation.

You can print out of these rules and then leave them on offender’s vehicles. Everyone should know proper boondocking etiquette.

[The Escapees]

Now let’s switch gears and take a look at the guidelines we should follow for boondocking in the boonies. As you can probably guess from its name, this type of boondocking is done out in the wilderness. A lot of campers do this purely for the wilderness experience and enjoy the peace and quiet they wouldn’t necessisarily have at a slotted campground. The more serious boondockers even modify their vehicles with solar panels and an inverter to charge their batteries so they can freely camp in the beautiful wilderness.

Rules for Boondocking in the Boonies

  • Park in previously used areas. Do not create a new road or parking spot or run over vegetation.
  • Park away from other RVs so each can enjoy the peace and quiet. If you do have a generator you plan to run, park far away from other RVs and limit your use to an hour or so in the morning and another in early evening. Generator noise carries and is not part of the wilderness experience.
  • Respect quiet hours. Do not run generators or play TVs or radios loudly after 10 p.m. or before 7 a.m. (Some areas may have different quiet hours so check with the agency.)
  • In some areas dumping grey water on the ground is permissible. Always check with the agency first. Dumping black water on the ground is never permitted.
  • Leave the area cleaner than you found it. Dispose of trash in a trash container after you leave.
  • Read and follow the agency’s rules regarding fires, collecting firewood, and quiet hours. Respect time limits, which are typically 14 days.

Boondocking is one of my favorite aspects of owning an RV, but we have to remember to always follow that golden rule in order to continue boondocking for years and years to come. Leave the place nicer than it was before you arrived.

RV ABCs: Class C Motorhomes

Two weeks ago, we began working our way down the RV alphabet. If you’re in the market to purchase an RV, new or used, or just looking to rent an RV for an upcoming vacation, it’s important to have a general understanding of the various types.

RVs come in all shapes and sizes  and like everything else in life, there are ups and downs to each class of an RV. But I’m willing to bet you’ll have no problem at all finding the one that fits your lifestyle the best. In case you missed them, let’s do a quick recap of the two classes we’ve covered.

Class A Motorhomes. There are the big, square and boxy RVs that are considered the most luxurious due to their top-of-the-line ammenities. However, the biggest draw back to Class A’s is the fuel economy.

Class B Motorhomes. These RVs use a cargo ban as their base and are very easy to store. The biggest draw back to this class? Most likely the lack of a master bedroom. Because they are easier to store than Class A’s means they are significantly smaller. But if you’re looking for weekend get-a-ways or short road trips, then this Class may be just the one for you.

Today, let’s take another step down the RV alphabet and talk about Class C Motorhomes.  Think of Class C’s as a mini-motorhome.  You’ll get the same conveniences of a Class A in a scaled-down version and lower price. Though it’s technically smaller than a Class A, the Class C is equipped with full sleeping, kitchen, dining, and bathroom facilities.

 

Let’s see how The Fun Times Guide breaks down a Class C Motorhome.

Advantages:

  • It is somewhat easier to obtain service and warranty work on the driving portion of the RV than it is with a Class A motorhome. With a brand name cab and drive train, auto dealers can hardly say, “Sorry, it’s not ours.”
  • The smaller overall size can get you into secluded and more enjoyable campgrounds with plenty of beds to sleep the entire family.
  • Your mileage in a Class C motorhome may be a bit better than in a Class A, but not much.

Disadvantages

  • If your RV is one with the over-the-cab bed, it probably has a large window across the front of the RV. These are notorious for leaking water when it rains. I owned a used one and spent a good amount of time repairing water damage and sealing the window.
  • If you’re looking for open square footage, this probably isn’t the best RV for you. At the most, you may have one small slideout.
  • The ones that have a rear bedroom also have a long rear overhang beyond the rear wheels. You’ll get a heck of an excessive tail swing when you go around corners, you’ll be watching in the mirror on every maneuver to make sure you don’t tag someone.

Now that you have a basic knowledge of the three motorhome classes, maybe you’ve found the right fit for you!  If not, stick around. Next week we’ll take a look at fifth wheels! And remember, you can always come down and take a look at some of these beauties yourself! We’re more than happy to help you in your big decision.

Vintage RV Group Holds Summer Rally in Minnesota

Photo Courtesy of RedwoodFallsGazette.com

One of my favorites sites for getting the latest on RVs is RV News Magazine’s website. I recently became addicted to their new section called “RV News Digest” which is where I found a story about a vintage RV group who recently met in Redwood Falls, MN, for its summer rally. The group, named Greater Midwest Classics,  is made up of people who share a passion for the General Motors RVs manufactured between 1973-78. Members reside in North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois. There’s even a member from Australia! These folks know all there is to know about the history of these RVs and each have a story of there own about how they came to own one (read the full story from the Redwood Falls Gazette).

Reading about these vintage RVs got me wondering about what the very first RV might have looked like. As I surfed the Internet, I found a brilliant montage YouTube of vintage RVs dating back all the way to the thirties! Check it out!

Are you a proud, vintage RV owner? Come by and show it off!

 

RV ABCs: Class B Motorhome

Purchasing or renting an RV is a big decision, and it’s important that you fully understand the different types of classes of RVs. Last week, we talked about the advantages and disadvantages of Class A motorhomes. Maybe this was the type of RV for you, maybe it wasn’t! But as I’ve said before, there are so many types of RVs to choose from, and it’s important that you pick the one that is best suited for your lifestyle.

To recap, Class A motorhomes are the home-away-from-home, luxurious and large vehicles with top-of-the-line amenities. The major downfall though is the terrible fuel economy. Click here to read more about Class A motorhomes.

Today, let’s switch gears from the largest of the classes to the smallest. Class B RVs use a cargo ban as their base.  Storing these vehicles is much easier than a Class A and the difference in gas mileage is staggering. Let’s break down the advantages and disadvantages of this class.

Class B Motorhomes 

2008 Gulf Stream BT Cruiser

Advantages:

  • Many Class B RVs will fit right into a standard garage.
  • They make a great second family vehicle and the mileage will be quite a bit better than with Class A and Class C motorhomes.
  • Parking won’t be much of an issue since the typical Class B RV can fit into a mall parking spot.

Disadvantages:

  • You can forget the master bedroom. Most will have sleeping quarters provided by dropping a table or folding a couch. With the planned occupancy being comfortable for 2, even the ones that claim to sleep 4 will be cramped.
  • Many Class B RVs have such small interiors that if you turn around real fast, you’ll bump into yourself.
  • Everything is small in a Class B RV. Space is limited, so things like bathrooms and showers are squeezed into tight corners.
  • For entertainment, you might have a 9-inch TV and a car radio for a stereo. Life can be cozy for 2, any more than that and you’ll be tripping over each other. 

This RV class is perfect if you are looking for weekend get-a-ways or short road trips. Still undecided? Stick around. Next week, we’ll dive into a Class C.