RV Recipe for the Road: Chicken with Herb Dumplings

Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnida/4054766980/sizes/z/

Chicken and Dumplings – Photo by Johnida Dockens

Convinced it’s impossible to have a hearty, homemade meal on the road because your RV kitchen is too small? This chicken with herb dumplings recipe is the perfect savory meal after a long day of adventure.

What You’ll Need

For the Chicken:

  • 2 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken parts
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup (no water added)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup all-purpose baking mix
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Dumplings

  • 2 cups all-purpose baking mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 2/3 cups milk

Cooking Instructions

  1. Over medium-high heat, warm the shortening in a large skillet.
  2. Separately, in a medium bowl, mix the 1 cup baking mix, paprika, salt and pepper, and toss the chicken in the mixture until it is fully coated.
  3. Fry the coated chicken in the skillet until it is browned, then remove the chicken and set it aside on a paper towel.
  4. Wipe the skillet clean and place it back on the stove.
  5. Stir the cans of soup and 3 cups milk together in the skillet, then place the chicken back in the pan and heat the entire mixture until it’s boiling.
  6. Reduce the stove’s heat to low and cover the mixture while it simmers for 45 minutes. Turn the chicken occasionaly.
  7. In a separate medium bowl, mix 2 cups baking mix, parsley, poultry seasoning and 2/3 cup milk together until it makes a soft dough.
  8. After the chicken has fully cooked for 45 minutes, drop the soft dough mixture into the skillet in small spoonfuls to form dumplings.
  9. Finally, cook the entire mixture together on low for 10 minutes uncovered, then another 10 minutes covered. When the dumplings have expanded, it’s time to eat!

Pleasureland RV Center

Convinced your RV kitchen is too small to cook the meals you love? Stop by Pleasureland RV Center — your local Minnesota RV dealership — to see our incredible inventory of new and used RVs. We’re also your one-stop destination for all of your RV service, parts and accessories needs, so don’t forget about us for all of your favorite camping supplies.

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons | Recipe Source: allrecipes.com

2014 Winnebago Ultralite 31BHDS Review

At PleasureLand RV, we know how important a quality RV is to your needs.

Today, we’d like to bring you information about the Winnebego Ultralite 31BHDS.

This travel trailer simply connects to your truck to provide you with a home that you can take with you wherever you go. It can hold up to 56 gallons of fresh water and has popout awnings that add area to your home.

This trailer is 35 feet long and features two slides that open up to allow for more space inside. The windows are tinted and frameless to help keep out the bright sunlight, and your 12-volt power awning can be extended and lit with the attached LED lights, so you can have cookouts at night without needing to have additional light sources.

Inside, a seating area is separated from a fitted kitchen that offers an oven, stove top, and counter space for you to work on. The flatscreen TV adds a little class to your living room space, and you can easily watch TV from the sofa or dinner table if you’d prefer. The appliances come in black, and the dark wooden features blend well with light, airy furniture and an open walkway.

If you’re looking for a trailer that works for multiple people, this is the right choice. It has a bunk over a sleeper sofa, two additional bunks, a sleeper sofa in the living room area, and a queen-sized bed behind the entertainment system. For storage, you can access a closet near the back bunks or use the pantry or closet space near the queen-sized bed.

The bathroom offers a toilet, shower, and sink, and you also have a second sink in the kitchen with two basins for rinsing and washing.

Remember to stop by PleasureLandRV, your local RV dealership in Minnesota, if you’d like to check out this unit. We would be happy to discuss the layout and pricing when you call or stop by.

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

 

Taking Your Furry Friends On The Road

If you’re taking your pets on new Minnesota RV road trips, you’re probably already savvy about how to plan your trip and care for your pets along the way. But we found a few reminders in Pets America’s Pet First Aid & Disaster Response guide and thought we’d share.

1. Plan ahead. Research Minnesota’s emergency vets along your RV route through the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. You can search for clinics in other states as well. http://www.veccs.org/index.php?option=com_hospitals&Itemid=193&nationid=1&searchword=&rpp=12&stateid=21&action=do_searc

2. Get referrals ahead of time for reliable pet sitters at your destination. http://www.petsitters.org/

3. Make sure your pet wears identification tags at all times. Add a temporary tag with the local number at your campground.

4. Update your microchip contact information. If your pet has a microchip (of course they do!), then call your microchip company to ensure your contact info is up to date.

5. Talk to your vet about motion sickness. If your pet is new to travel, take a short ride to see how your pet reacts, and to find out if they’re prone to motion sickness. If so, talk to your vet about solutions.

6. Never leave your pet in the hot vehicle. Even when it’s a comfortable 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside the vehicle can reach 120 deadly degrees in a matter of minutes.

7. Use a crate or harness to secure your pet inside the vehicle. Pet seats give pets a comfortable place to sit while the harness secures them safely to a seatbelt. This restraint can save a life.

8. Take breaks. Enjoy the journey and take frequent breaks so both you and your pet can… stretch your legs.

For even more tips on pet care, visit Minnesota’s Veterinary Medial Association. (Scroll down to the bottom of the home page to find the pet tips.)  Let’s face it. Not every pet is destined to be a RV road warrior, but for those who are, these tips can make the journey safer so you can enjoy the adventure.

Beware Of Mold In Your Minnesota RV Refrigerator

Because our Minnesota motorhomes, fifth wheels and travel trailers sometimes serve as our home-away-from-home, it’s easy to think that the appliances function the same way as they would in our house. For example, cleaning out our refrigerator isn’t something we do routinely in a home (unless you happen to have a lot of spills) and we don’t usually have to worry about mold. This is not the case in an RV.

After an RV outing, many of us know that we need to empty out our RV refrigerators. What most people don’t realize, is how thoroughly this must be done. Why? Because even though we empty all of the food out, moisture and mold may still remain, and the smallest amount of frost or ice left inside will eventually melt and leave the inside susceptible to mold. Eventually a new, warm and moist environment will grow and replace the coldness of your fridge. This creates the perfect atmosphere for mold to grow.

If you’re starting to panic wondering whether or not you cleaned out your fridge well enough before putting it away for the winter season, relax. While ridding your fridge of mold isn’t the most pleasant thing for those with a weak stomach, it isn’t as difficult as it may sound. In fact, you can have it completely cleaning in as little as two washes. Follow these steps and sooner than you know you’ll be mold free!

  1. Scrub the entire fridge with warm, soapy water. This will remove most of the mold itself.
  2. Make a bleach and water solution by mixing a gallon of water and 1/4 cup of bleach. Once you have your mixture, do another scrubbing of the entire fridge. This solution will disinfect and sanitize the fridge and help prevent the mold from reappearing.

See, Minnesota RVers? Not too terrible. I’m willing to bet that you won’t be having a mold issue in your RV refrigerator again any time soon.

 

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!

Tire Care – Checking The Tread

The tread of your RV’s tires plays a crucial role in the performance of your vehicle as well as its safety. Knowing how to inspect the tread of your tires yourself and being able to keep a mindful eye on their condition is extremely important, especially for those of us who are avid Minnesota RV travelers.

In order to prevent dangerous occurrences while driving, such as skidding and hydroplaning, tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to a certain amount. All tires produced since 1968 have a built in tread wear indicator already in them to help you see any signs of tread concern, before it becomes a much larger issue. These ‘wear bars’ look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread and will begin to appear when tread is wearing down. When tire use degrades the tread depth to 1/16″ (1.5mm), smooth 1/2″ (13mm) bands seem to rise toward the surface. This indicates that these tires should be replaced. Many states have laws making this replacement mandatory once the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch. These wear bars are the first sign that your tires need replacing.

Visually check your tires for signs of uneven wear before every RV road trip. You may have irregular tread wear if there are high and low areas or unusually smooth areas. Tire trouble, if gone undetected, can shorten your RV tire’s lifespan. Unforeseen issues with your tires can only lead to money down the drain. Trouble detected can also give you clues to other areas of your RV that may need attention. Being aware of what to look for and knowing how to test your tire’s tread is RVing in the smartest way.

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 A Motorhome

When it comes to buying or renting an RV, there are many things you should consider. First and foremost, you need to decide what type of RV you are looking for. RVs come in all shapes and sizes and each class has its respective advantages and disadvantages. Here at Pleasureland RV, we want to make sure you find the perfect fit. So let’s take it back to elementary school and learn the ABCs of RVs starting with Class A Motorhomes.

Class A Motorhome

Description: Class A Motorhomes are big, square and boxy and are considered the most luxurious of all RVs due to their top-of-the-line amenities. You’ll often here people refer to Class A Motorhomes as their home-away-from-home.

2012 Winnebago Vista

Advantages: Class A RVs can be as long as 45 feet. With all of this space inside, they’re usually equipped with a rear master suite including a full bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower. The water closet may be in its own separate room, and there’s probably a washer/dryer unit on board to handle the laundry.

Today’s Class A motorhomes tend to have multiple slideouts. Some can expand to a width of over 14 feet. Large flat screen HDTV’s, surround sound systems, even dishwashers and ice machines are common options. The list of upgrades and options is almost endless.

Basement storage can swallow enough supplies to keep you on the road permanently. These are great traveling machines that let you drive comfortably all day and sleep comfortably all night so you can get up the next morning to do it all over again.

Disadvantages: For Class A RVs, fuel economy is a big one. With their boxy and large profile, you’ll be spending big dollars to keep a Class A motorhome rolling down the highway.

Once you get to your destination and set up camp, you’re pretty much stuck there. Unless you tow a car for local transportation, you’ll be staying put at camp. That is unless you want to put everything away, roll up the awning, and suck in the slide-outs so you can motor on down the road again.

If you’re timid about driving something this large, keep in mind that close area maneuvering is a learned skill.

[The Fun Times Guide]

 

So, is the Class A Motorhome for you? Maybe yes, maybe no. Stay tuned for the next two letters of the RV alphabet.