Sunday, November 4, 2018

Celebrating the Holidays in an RV

At Nohr’s RV Center, RV travel is more than a weekend getaway - it is a way of life. When the holidays approach, bring your RV in for a full-service inspection, and then set out to enjoy a holiday adventure of a lifetime. To give you an idea of what is possible, we put together some popular tips and suggestions for happy holiday celebrations in your RV.

Easing Holiday Travel

An RV will greatly simplify your holiday travel plans. In addition to providing you room for all the gifts, your RV also gives you the freedom of making multiple stops along the way. And why not pick up some seasonal favorites from their sources? Cranberries from Washington or Maine, potatoes from Idaho, a turkey from Minnesota, and cheeses from Wisconsin not only lend special meaning to the feast, they are the perfect excuse to visit some obscure places.

“Fixing” the Feast

The hardest part of a large holiday celebration in an RV is preparing the main meal. But even a Thanksgiving feast is possible with a little planning and creative cooking. Some helpful ideas include:
·        Purchase your turkey based on the size of your oven. Smaller groups or couples can eliminate the big bird in favor of something like Cornish hens, or go with a differently shaped entree such as lamb.
·        Pick up disposable aluminum pans for the baking. The softer aluminum will bend easily to conform to smaller ovens, and they reduce your clean-up time substantially.
·        Cook desserts and side dishes ahead of time.
·        Use one or more slow cookers to reduce the stove-top usage.

Making Memories on the Road

Couples or families who are traveling for the holidays may discover that the RV park they have chosen is planning a holiday function, or you can initiate your own. Invite other campers to attend, and ask the guests to bring a side dish. To really draw in the crowds, use an outdoor smoker so the aroma has the whole RV park watering at the mouth and visitors have a centralized outdoor space for mingling.

Holiday Getaways

Take a tour. See the lights. Break from the same old routine and treat your family to a special holiday season. Corn mazes and autumn festivals spring up all over the nation for Thanksgiving, and there will be stellar light displays around Christmas. Any tour of Christmas displays should include places like DeFuniak Springs, FL, and Lake Lanier’s Magical Nights of Lights in northern GA. Lake Lanier has RV camping available, and the 7-mile display is designed for vehicles to travel through while enjoying Christmas music piped over the radio.

Whatever your holiday plans may be, an RV is a great way to put them into practice, and we can help. We have an impressive selection of new and used RVs and travel trailers on site. Stop in at Nohr’s RV Center and see what we have to offer.

RV Travel Apps

There was a time when an RV traveler had to manage as best they could, but the internet has changed all of that. Today, there are countless apps available for your phone or tablet that provide all sorts of useful information to people on the move. At Nohr’s RV Center, we like simplicity, so we have put together a list of the best RV travel apps to help you go farther faster and with less hassle.

The Must-Haves

These apps were selected because they are available for most devices, and come with numerous favorable reviews. If you have limited resources for apps on your phone, these are the essential tools every traveler should have in hand.
·        Gas Buddy - This app will help you find the nearest fuel stops and the lowest prices. It is available from the App Store and Google Play and works well for distance travel or local excursions alike.
·        Good Sam - This app can be a game changer. Available for both iPhone and Android, Good Sam contains extensive information for travelers, including reviews and ratings of campgrounds, interesting places to visit, service centers, and much more.
·        USA Rest Stop Locator - Available for Android and Apple devices, this app does one thing and does it well. Find the closest rest area on your route, and plan ahead for future stops along the way. It includes all U.S. highways and provides real-time information when it is available.
·        KOA Camping App - KOA is the largest campground system in the nation, and their app makes finding and reserving your site easier than ever. It works on Android and iPhone, and includes such perks as storing your KOA VKR information to make discounts and rewards easier to manage.
·        Google Maps - This can be an installed app on your Android or Apple device, or accessed through a laptop or tablet. Google Maps will let you perform regional or national searches, get destination mileage, see a topological map (click the bicycle tab for this feature), and much more. It will even dial the destination number for you to make reservations and inquiries.
·        Key Ring - Scan your loyalty cards into this app to reduce clutter and save time at the checkout. Simply have the cashier scan the barcode at the register and you’re all set.

Endless Options

The apps listed above may be the essentials, but they are a small fraction of the choices available. Campanda has compiled a much larger list of apps to assist RVers, including:
·        Finding a Campground
·        Where to Dine
·        Places to Go
·        Tracking the Weather
·        Emergency Survival

For your protection, always read the Terms of Service carefully and manage the permissions you allow, such as accessing your camera or tracking your location. We recommend examining all apps carefully before installing, paying special attention to customer ratings and product descriptions. If you need repairs or service before you embark or are ready for a new RV, stop by Nohr’s RV Center today.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Setting up your RV Campsite

The beauty of an RV is that you can have all of the comforts of home combined with the freedom to go almost anywhere. Over the years, Nohr’s RV Center has noticed that setting up camp can be daunting for people new to RVing. We also know that the quality of your camp will affect the quality of your trip. These useful tips provide a guide for first-time RVers trying to set up camp.

Parking and Securing

Try to select a level site. Disconnect any towed trailers or vehicles from the RV. Engage the parking brake and put chocks in on the outer side of the outer wheel pairs. Always use outriggers or stabilizing jacks designed for your RV.

Electrical Connections

Disengage the chassis power. Make sure that all appliances or the main circuit breaker are off. Use a voltmeter to verify that you are getting between 107 and 130 volts of current. Connect the RV to the appropriate outlet, and energize the outlet. Turn on the main breaker or necessary appliances. To avoid overloading the amperage, disconnect items unused items.

Water and Sewage

Connecting the water supply involves connecting a single hose to the site’s hose-bib. Before you connect, run the water for a few minutes to cycle water through the lines. This removes old water and sediments in the water line. Most campgrounds will have a centralized disposal site for tank water and personal rubbish. Even if a trash can is provided, be considerate and dispose of your household waste yourself. Accumulated waste attracts insects and rodents and may emit unpleasant odors.

Personalize the Site

An area rug can make the space outside the RV more comfortable. Use a rug designed for outdoor use which allows water and sunlight to pass through. For short-term camping, a large tarp will work, but it could be a problem during rains because water cannot seep through the material. It is also a good idea to place a “mud” rug or a tub of water at the edge of your ground cloth to allow cleaning your shoes or washing your feet.

Lighting the Site

Exterior lighting ideas range from gas and battery powered lanterns to decorative string lights. Solar lighting is gaining popularity as low-cost, high output lights. The ultimate in portability, solar lights will absorb enough daily charge for hours of nighttime use.

With the campsite set up and secured, your family is ready to enjoy the area. As long as your RV is kept in good mechanical and electrical condition, everything will go fine. To make sure you have the bases covered, have your motorhome inspected before you leave the Bay Area. Just stop by our Tracy location and have it checked out by the service staff at Nohr’s RV Center.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

New to RVing? Driving Skills to Learn before your First Road Trip

Nohr’s RV Center is dedicated to life on the road and doing it successfully. We want you to enjoy the RV lifestyle, and that means understanding the complexities of driving your motorhome. Not only is your RV an expensive piece of equipment, but it also behaves differently than passenger vehicles. Before you set out on an RV adventure, take the time to brush up on the driving skills necessary for safe motorhome travels.

Drive Defensively

Awareness is crucial to motorhome driving. Find a place to stop periodically and grab a meal or even take a nap. If you must drive straight through, take along a co-pilot to take over when you are feeling road-weary.

Pay close attention to your immediate surroundings, but keep an eye out for developments farther down the road as well. Be prepared for upcoming traffic signals, vehicles changing lanes or turning, and maintain a safe driving speed matching the specifications of your motorhome and the road.

Maximum Clearance Matters

The minimum interstate clearance for overpasses varies from state to state and ranges from 13’-6” to 15 feet. However, this clearance is only for the interstate system, and smaller roadways have little or no regulations at all. Before you leave home, measure the height of your vehicle from the ground to the top of the highest object on your vehicle, including equipment like a satellite dish. As you drive, pay close attention to posted clearance signs, including off-the-road stops like gas stations, rest areas, and parking lots.

Tips for Turns

The turn radius of a motorhome depends on the distance between the front and rear-most wheels. This means the rear wheels of a trailer or vehicle if you are towing one. The best idea is to practice before you hit the road. Set up cones or empty boxes in an empty parking lot and spend a little time getting used to the turn radius, stopping distance, and backing into a parking space.

RV Friendly Fueling

You will not be able to fuel your motorhome at every gas station along the way. Some will have low canopies, some require close maneuvers, and others simply won’t have enough space to be useful. The best idea is to fuel up at a truck stop or a station which advertises “trucks and buses welcome.” If possible, plan your fuel stops before leaving home, and keep in mind that fuel stops are common at state lines - especially when there is a noticeable price difference between the two jurisdictions.

As with any activity, mastering the use of an RV requires practice and patience. The more you develop those traits, the safer and easier operating a motorhome will be. If you are in Tracy, CA, or anywhere in the Bay Area, stop by Nohr’s RV Center and ask for tips on learning to operate your RV.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Navigating your New RV

Nohr’s RV Center wants you to get the most out of every RV adventure. To that end, we have noticed that today’s digital electronics do not get enough consideration. We aim to correct that oversight with some tips concerning popular apps and devices that will enhance your RV experience. Using electronics is a great way to simplify your trip, but always keep a paper map on hand for emergency situations with no internet access.

Backup Cameras

Trying to back an RV into a parking spot can be a challenge, but a backup camera will make it easier and safer. A common misconception is that backup cameras are only available in newer vehicles but the fact is that a backup camera can be installed in any vehicle, even your Class A motorhome. Using these cameras will make it easier to backup and reduce the potential for accidental scratches, dents, and safety hazards.

Google Maps

Google Maps may be the most overlooked bit of technology available to travelers. The browser app works on all computing and phone platforms and allows you to add or delete stops along the way, as well as determining approximate distances between places and the ability to use the “bicycle” option to see rises and descents you have to cross along the way.

Navigation Systems

GPS systems are popular because they can tell you exactly where you are and map a route to exactly where you are going. Top-rated systems like Garmin have been popular for more than a decade, although they suffered from a few technical location issues during the early years. The biggest drawback to a navigation system today is that they don’t really add anything to using a dash-mounted smartphone and a navigation app.

RV Security

Your RV is now capable of using security systems similar to those used in brick and mortar homes. Handy RVers can buy the parts to install their own custom security systems, while the rest of us can have the system installed professionally, or purchase a ready-to-use system at big-city electronics stores. Audible alarms, cell phone notification, and real-time sound and video are a few of the many options now available, many without any recurring fees at all.

Having the right suite of digital devices installed in your RV can make every trip safer, faster, and more enjoyable. It is still important to keep your RV in top travel condition, though. Before setting out on any road trip, bring your RV to Nohr’s RV Center and let us give your ride a complete inspection to be sure it is ready to go the distance for you.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Saving Money while RVing

We love the RV lifestyle at Nohr’s RV Center. We also understand that getting the most enjoyment out of your trip often means stretching your travel dollars as far as they will go. We have selected some RV travel topics with the most savings potential, along with tips on how to maximize the savings.

Trip Planning Saves Money

Planning the route you take can prevent backtracking or out of the way driving. You can save even more by researching your destinations and local options before you hit the road. Look for free RV campsites, areas with ample free entertainment and adventure, and aim for spending more time in places with a lower cost of living. You will often save money by avoiding major population centers, but we have some tips on saving money in those as well.

Save Money with Off-Season Travels

Some locations are going to be more expensive than others. But if you plan your visits to the more expensive places for that area’s “off-season”, you can trim anywhere from 10 to 40 percent off the cost of going there. The downside is that the weather may not be ideal, but the upside is the potential for a lot of savings. It may not be feasible to hit Glacier National Park during the winter, but it is well within reason to enjoy subtropical locations during their less-crowded seasons.

Dining Options and Money Savings

A large portion of your RV expenses goes towards the meals you eat. If your RV has a kitchen, preparing your own meals can reduce the cost of eating by about 50 percent. It is tempting to dine out while on vacation, but every restaurant meal is money that could have been better spent on other things. Since most home-cooked meals have leftovers, your lunches may not always have a price tag at all.

Fuel Price Shopping for Savings

A well-tuned RV will get better fuel mileage than one with dirty filters and misfiring spark plugs. But even the most efficient RV is going to be expensive to fuel up, and some larger RVs have tanks which hold up to 150 gallons while only getting 6 to 8 miles to the gallon. To reduce your fuel costs, use your smartphone to shop around before you pull up to the pumps. Easy to use apps like Gas Buddy have the potential to reduce your fuel costs by hundreds of dollars over the course of a single vacation.

Keeping your RV in excellent operating condition is the best way to save money while RVing. Those repairs will cost a lot more if they begin with your RV being towed to a service center. We recommend bringing your RV to Nohr’s RV Center and having everything checked out by our qualified technicians before you hit the road.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Top Toys for your New Toy Hauler

Toy haulers are ideal for getting your favorite toys to the places where you play. They provide a secure place to store your things while traveling or camping and prevent accident damage related to the roadway, vandalism, and more. Nohr’s RV Center wants you to get the most enjoyment out of your RV, and few tips for how your toy hauler can be used is a good step in that direction.

Motor Toys

For most of us, hauling our ATVs and motorcycles are the first thing that comes to mind when talking about a toy hauler. Whether you are going to Bike Week in Daytona or a mud track in rural Oklahoma, having a place to keep your motor toys enclosed and away from prying eyes and hands is an excellent reason for having a toy hauler.

Water Play

Our nation is dotted with lakes and divided by rivers and streams. Toy haulers are often used to transport canoes, kayaks, fishing gear, and water sports equipment. You don’t have to be a professional sportsman to enjoy being in or on the water, and some toy haulers even have compartments, shelving, and drawers to make storing smaller gear more convenient while reducing the potential clutter of having broad interests while traveling.

Taking Flight

Often times, ultra-light fliers are seen circling high above the California coastline. If you are one of the thousands of people who enjoy hang gliding or riding the air currents on these wings with (or without!) motors, a toy hauler is the perfect way to go. Leo Carillo State Park is a local option to check out since it offers low-cost RV camping and easy access to area beaches and mountains.

Bicycle Adventures

You could attach a bike rack on any vehicle, but a growing number of cyclists invest in cycling equipment that deserves better accommodations. On long-distance biking excursions, toy haulers make excellent support vehicles. These RVs have room for the team to sleep, cook, and escape inclement weather, using the cargo area for storing spare equipment in case of breakdowns or accidents.

Toy Haulers for Entrepreneurs

Not everyone who has a toy hauler is strictly out to play. Small business owners use toy haulers to carry merchandise for everything from rock concerts to Native American pow-wows. Digital Nomads appreciate having room to store their belongings while traveling, and performers can safely tuck away any props or other equipment used in their traveling trades.

Nohr’s RV Center is passionate about RVing. Whether you do it for fun or profit, we encourage you to experience the nation in a motorhome. Whether you are buying a new or used RV, or need to get your existing motorhome serviced before hitting the road, we would love for you to stop by and share some of your goals and adventures with us.