Monday, June 18, 2018

Enhance your RV Experience: Optional Outdoor Features

Summer fun is always a road trip away for RV owners. Whether it is off to the mountains or out to the beaches, having the right optional features can make every excursion a trip to remember. Nohr’s RV Center has done the research and put together a list of must-have optional outdoor features every RV owner should have.

Roll-Out Awning

Go ahead and put roll-out awning at the top of the list because it will serve you in a multitude of ways. From sunsets looking out over lush valleys to holiday cookouts with friends and family, having a little outdoor protection from the sun and rain is always a good idea. And when the weather prohibits your scheduled activities, having a bit more room for the group to move around will be especially useful.

Screen Rooms

Blocking the sun and rain will make lounging a lot more comfortable, but keeping flying pests away can be even more important. Screened enclosures for RV owners range from tent-like, standalone affairs to engineered structures which fully attach to the RV for a better protection. Selecting the right complementary enclosure can double the amount of camper space available, effectively turning your RV into a group’s command unit so that there is plenty of room for the group to meet up while working out the day’s itinerary.

Outdoor Cooking

It is nice to have a kitchen in your motorhome, but the ability to prepare meals outside serves the dual purpose of reducing heat inside and allowing you to be a little closer to the nature you came to see. Sure, you could bring along an ordinary portable grill, but there are convenient and appealing options available as well. From instant-kitchen slideouts to fold-away grilling stations, sinks, or counter space, everything from propane tank racks to the kitchen sink are available as add-ons or special features.

Toy Hauler Conversions

The extra space provided in a toy hauler can be used in a variety of ways, from creating an instant wet bar for entertaining to simply providing you with storage for your favorite items from home. Volleyball nets, fishing gear, or a set of mountain bikes for the whole family will allow you to spend less of your time away from home inside your RV and more time getting closer to the outdoors.

Optional outdoor features for your RV can greatly enhance your recreational experience, plus giving you the satisfaction of having a unique camper setup. Keep in mind that there are dozens of installable options and hundreds of DIY hacks available, so choose the options which work best for your family. If you would like to talk about availability and feasibility for your desired add-ons, the staff at Nohr’s RV Center would be happy to talk to you.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Towing an RV: Preparing your Vehicle

At Nohr’s RV Center, we think that everyone should experience the fun and freedom of RV camping. We want you to have a safe and trouble-free time, and this list of vehicle preparation tips is a great place to get started on that.

Vehicle Inspection

Perform a complete vehicle inspection. Check the tread and inflation of all tires, and verify that you have good condition spare tires for both. Have your brakes checked and repaired if necessary. Remember that your tow vehicle is going to be working harder while towing, so the brakes need to be in excellent condition before setting off a road trip. Stop by Nohr’s RV Center a couple of days before you set out, and we will be happy to perform a complete RV and towing inspection for you.

Check Your Weight Ratings

Your tow vehicle and RV will have two weight ratings. One is for the total weight of the vehicle plus the object being towed, and the other is the maximum weight of towable vehicles and trailers. Both numbers are available in your vehicle owner’s manual or located on the label inside the driver's side door of the vehicle.

Hitch Inspection and Capacity

Unless you have a fifth wheel, your trailer hitch is the next area of concern. If the hitch is not rated for the weight of your RV, you will need to replace it with a larger hitch. While you are inspecting your trailer hitch, take a few moments to verify that the safety chains are in good condition, and connect the lighting connectors so you can verify that the brake and turn signals are working.

Anti-Sway and Weight Distribution

A heavy trailer or RV is capable of causing you to lose control of your tow vehicle with dangerous consequences. Some of this problem can be eliminated by installing an anti-sway system. You can also eliminate some of the problems with trailer sway by making sure that your supplies and gear inside the RV have been properly distributed. Load the RV with an imaginary line down the center of the chassis as the main location for all added weight.

Trailer Braking

An optional aid for vehicle towing is to have a trailer braking system installed. This would allow you to do a significant portion of your slowing and stopping using the brakes on the RV instead of those on your tow vehicle. Since the braking would take place closer to the rear of your vehicle train, there will be less drag on your tow vehicle, and it will not bump or jerk around in a dangerous fashion.

We care about the safety of your family and your vehicles. To that end, we are happy spend a little time extra checking your tow system or discussing ways to reduce your risks on the road. Stop by Nohr’s RV Center today and let us help you have a safe and confident summer adventure.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Top Summer RV Destinations

Summer is almost here, and now is the time to start preparing for your RV travel experiences. Whether your existing recreational vehicle needs an annual checkup or you are looking to purchase a new or used RV, Nohr’s RV Center can help you put your summer travel plans into practice.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is probably the most popular vacation destination for summer travelers. Geysers which erupt like clockwork, enormous quantities of wildlife and natural formations, and located in a geographic area which is largely immune to summer heatwaves, this park is a must-see for anyone touring the country via recreational vehicle.

Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains have a lot to offer. Crisp mountain streams, breathtaking vistas, and a plethora of human and geologic activity are only a few of the sights to see. RV camping is available throughout the region, including such iconic places as the southern gateway to the Smokies, Cherokee, NC, and in Tennessee, Pigeon Forge on the northern side, and Gatlinburg’s world-class dining and recreation.

Key West & the Florida Keys

Key West is located approximately 150 miles south of the Florida mainland, at the end of the longest north-south highway in the nation, U.S. Hwy 1. Known as the Overseas Highway, this road connects a multitude of islands and provides amazing views of Florida Bay to the West and the Atlantic Ocean to the East. The Keys are a place for singles, couples or entire families, offering everything from Disney-themed water play to houseboat rentals and cruises aboard 19th-century style sailing vessels.

Fairbanks, Alaska

Summer is the best time to visit our nation’s northernmost state. Experience mind-boggling snow-capped mountains, arctic wildlife such as polar bears and wild moose, or a leisurely stroll through the wilderness. Whether you want to pan for gold or enjoy a cruise on a paddle boat or dine on exquisite native cuisine, Fairbanks has something to thrill the entire family.

Redwood Forests

If you are looking for something a little closer to home, California’s redwood forests are a short drive away. These giant trees only live in a narrow band along the California coast and can be found north of the Bay area in Redwood National Forest, or south of San Francisco in California’s Big Sur, which is also home to nation’s largest permanent colony of elephant seals. You will find ample RV camping in either direction, and both are close enough for weekend excursions.

These are only a few of the treasures our nation has to offer to the RV enthusiast. As you travel to and from the destinations listed here, check your maps often and watch for the many other possible stops along the way. But before you set out on your summer adventures, make a point of getting your RV professionally serviced. Nohr’s RV Center is your Bay Area go-to location for RV service and maintenance, so give us a call to schedule your RV today.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Keeping your RV Safe and Secure while you're Away

Your motorhome is a big investment and should be treated accordingly. And since there will always be times when you have to be away from your RV, it is important to take steps to keep your RV safe when you’re not there. Nohr’s RV Center takes your security seriously, so we have put together some useful tips used by seasoned RV owners that will help you protect your investment and your belongings.

Safety in Numbers

The best place to leave your RV is a gated lot with plenty of lights, but that is not always an available option. However, parking in an RV campground with other motorhomes increases security by having active people nearby. Introduce yourself to your nearest neighbors, and offer to keep an eye out for them if they will do the same.

Batten Down the Hatches

Keep your gear locked away. Use lockable storage containers, and keep them in a place that is not easily accessible, such as inside the RV, or securely fastened on top. Double check your door locks before leaving, and install an anti-climbing device on any ladders leading to the roof.

There’s an App for That

Motion activated cameras can be mounted around the perimeter of your RV which send you a text when they turn on. Security cameras come in many varieties, including ones that will stream live video straight to your phone. If you are going somewhere that WiFi is not available, route your security video to a trusted location, such as a neighbor or relative who is not traveling with you.

The Lived-In Look

Pull the blinds. Install multiple timers that turn your lights, radio, or TV on and off at various times. Ask a neighbor to collect your mail and move random outside items around every day or two. Whether you have a dog or not, consider putting a “Beware of Dog” sign in the window as an added deterrent.

Stepping Into the Light

You can pick up motion activated, solar-powered lights at sporting and camping stores, or through any number of online venues. These have the advantage of causing sudden and unexpected bright lights to turn on when someone comes near, not to mention adding a layer of safety when you are actually at home and need to go outside after dark.

Give Your RV the Boot

When your RV is going to be unattended, use a lockable boot over at least one of the drive wheels. If you can’t put a lock on the wheel itself, look for an alternative method, including something as simple as a heavy chain running around the axle and connected to a tree or other immovable object.

At Nohr’s RV Center, we want your motorhome to provide a safe, secure, and exciting experience. If you have any concerns or questions about RV security, we would be happy to talk them over with you. Contact us, or stop by and visit today.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Creature Comforts while RVing

RVing does not mean that you have to give up the perks of modern life. Well at least not all of them. Every year the comforts of home become easier to accommodate while traveling in an RV as technologies become smaller, cheaper and with wider array of products available. Here are some creature comforts to consider incorporating into your RV adventures.

TVs and Speakers
We all love our TVs. The amazing large, flat, and high definition displays available today bring the theater experience into each of our homes. Unfortunately, that does not mean that your TV is ready for an RV trip. Here a few entertainment solutions for your RV:
  • TVs designed for RVs. Most TVs are not designed for an RV, and may potentially risk failure from the constant shaking or they are difficult to install using the standard 12V wiring in RVs. Most TVs designed for RVs leverage 12V power supplies and are 22” or less. Brands such as Jensen and Supersonic make lines of TVs designed for RV use.
  • Tablet and bluetooth speaker. This combination usually works well and can be repositioned throughout the RV and is also great for playing music or audio content. Bluetooth speakers are great for their portability, good sound quality, and ability to be recharged via USB.

Appliances make everyday tasks quicker and more efficient. Many, if not most, of your favorite home appliances have a solution tailored to RVs. Here’s a list of appliances to consider as you determine which comforts of home to bring to your RV.
  • Instant pot: This has been one of the top selling items of Amazon’s annual Prime Day sales for the last two years. Combing pressure and slow-cooker features, if you can only choose one time-saving kitchen appliance for your RV, pick this one. Not only does the Instant Pot make cooking fast and convenient, there is a significant community with recipes and tips to get the most of your Instant Pot.
  • Washer and dryer: For those of you that have not tried it, washing clothes by hand is hard and time consuming. That may be what you’re looking for, but there are also great washer and dryer options available for RVers. There are  two main categories to choose from - vented/not vented and stackable/combo. Home washers/dryers are vented, drawing in air from the outside. Non-vented washers/dryers are easier to install if you do not already have a vent available. The second category is whether you have one or two units. Stackable washer and dryers are shorter and slimmer than home units and are designed to be stacked inside an RV.  The combo option has the washer and dryer functionality in the same drum. Washer/dryer combos are very efficient with space, but usually take longer and have smaller capacities.
  • Dishwasher: Clean dishes are a delight. Dirty dishes can be a nightmare. Dishwashers bring a daily dose of delight that much closer. Depending on your RV and how much space you have allocated to a dishwasher, there are a couple types from which to choose. The countertop dishwasher is self-contained and easy to install. The drawer and slim line types both should be installed by a plumber and work similarly to your dishwasher at home.

Having internet at your fingertips throughout your RV trip is not as simple and affordable as one may hope. First, determine if you need internet throughout the day (e.g. remote work) or if you can get by with internet at times throughout the day.

Occasional internet options:
  • RV park’s free Wi-Fi or signing up for a cable or DSL connection. This option is often expensive and the Wi-Fi signal may need a boost in your RV to receive adequate coverage. If you are relying on your RV park’s Wi-Fi, ask them about Wi-Fi services and research online reviews to better understand onsite performance.
  • Cell-base Internet solutions. Most cellular providers have tiered data plans and pay-as-you go options also exist from providers like Google’s Project Fi and Karma Wi-Fi Hotspot for around $10 / GB. Verizon generally has the best coverage, but look at your carrier’s coverage maps because other carriers may have coverage in the places you want to go.

All day internet options:
  • You can use your cell phone plan for all-day internet. Be sure to plan how much data you will need ahead of time to select and budget for the right plan. Remember that even ‘unlimited data plans’ have a throttling cut-off point where data transfer will begin to slow. Additionally if you’re relying on your cell-signal for connectivity throughout the day, consider purchasing a cell-signal booster or leverage devices from multiple providers to ensure that you have signal in the variety of areas you’ll be traveling.
  • Satellite internet. The seemingly ideal solution is close but not quite there yet. Cost and limited options make satellite internet less appealing now than it may be in the future. Currently, there are not many providers working on developing more services, but this option is likely to grow in the future as satellite costs decrease and more providers develop.

Your RV is your second home, therefore, it should look like your home.  Take a few minutes to add some creature comforts before going out on the road.  At Nohr's RV, our staff understand the importance of making sure you find an RV that can be your home away from home.  We work with our customers to understand their needs and find the best solution for them. Stop by our RV Center today!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Visiting an RV Show? What to Look For and What Questions to Ask

Visiting an RV show provides you with the opportunity to view a variety of leading manufacturers in one location. Allowing you to look at the layout design, each RV will be open for your personal viewing. Touring different RV models allows you the chance to find the best one for your traveling needs. In order to get the most out of an RV show, allow yourself plenty of time to tour and ask questions.

Preparing for the RV Show
Arriving early is the best way to start. Do not forget to bring along a tote bag or a backpack. Many RV dealerships provide different types of brochures, pamphlets, and other valuable information. By picking up the literature, you will be able to analyze all the information at a later time. In many cases, RV shows give away traveling mugs, door prizes, and other types of items. A bag allows you to store the merchandise while you in enjoy the show.

Keep in mind - you do not need to make a decision or purchase at the time of the RV show. If you are set on purchasing an RV at the time of the show, get prequalified or a line of credit from your banking institution.

Questions to Ask at the RV Show
Prior to going to the RV show, you should prepare. Start by considering all the options you would like in an RV. You may even want to write out the questions to help you when touring the RVs.
  • How many people will sleep in your RV?
  • What type of options or extras do you want?
  • Do you want air conditioning?
  • Do you want an awning or other outdoor feature?
  • Do you want to tow the RV behind your truck?
  • What type of camping do you plan on doing?
  • Do you plan on long-term travel or weekend trips?
  • What is your price range?
Every question allows you to narrow down your RV choices. Purchasing an RV is an investment. Do not be afraid to ask lots of questions. A reputable RV dealer will take the time to address each question to help you make an informed decision. Other questions involve the seller’s input.
  • What options or accessories are included in the price?
  • Do you recommend this RV for a family? Couple?
  • What are specifications of the roof air conditioner, battery life, etc.?
  • Do you check all the different aspects of the RV prior to delivery? Gas? Water?
  • Do you have any green options including solar panels?
Visiting RV shows are the perfect way to find your dream unit. RV shows provide you with an opportunity to tour and view everything up close. Obtaining material allows you the chance to view all the options more in-depth at a later time. Remember to take your time to ask questions. Being comfortable with the RV dealer provides you with a more positive experience.

At Nohr's RV Center in Tracy, California, we have a variety of different RV styles available - surely one that will meet your specific needs.  We work with our customers to find the perfect fit for them.  Stop by our RV dealership today!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Using your RV as a Home Away from Home

Are you considering a trip with your family or friends? Traveling in an RV allows you to enjoy the open road at your own pace. Imagine stopping at different tourist destinations or journeying down backroads for scenic views. Enjoy each stop to the fullest, then return to the comfort of your RV - your home away from home.

RV Home

What are Your Traveling Needs?
Finding the right RV to provide you home comforts requires you to ask yourself questions like:
  • What does your travel adventure mean to you?
  • What kind of comforts do you want on the road?
  • Do you want afull motorhome with every amenity imaginable or a simple popup camper to pull behind your vehicle?
  • How many people will be on the trip with you?
  • Do you plan to go on a weekend adventure or longer trip?
Every answer will help you make the right RV choice. Accommodating children, pets, or long-term adventures, every traveler has different needs. Finding the right fit for you may require a little research and touring various RVs at a reputable dealership. RVs have numerous amenities and come in a variety of sizes including:
  • Motorhomes: With three different classifications, motorhomes come equipped with showers, full bathrooms, washer/dryer options, microwave, complete kitchen, and multiple sleeping areas. Finding the right layout will depend on your need.
  • Travel Trailers: Great for pulling behind your existing vehicle, travel trailers come with various layout designs with bathrooms, kitchens, sleeping areas and other amenities for you to enjoy.
  • Fifth-Wheel Trailers: Requiring a special hitch for your truck, a fifth-wheel gives you the option of leaving the RV at a campground.
  • Popup Campers: The pull behind option allows you to enjoy camping to the fullest. Some come equipped with a small kitchen and toilet to meet your basic needs.
  • Toy Haulers: An added compartment allows you to store larger items including bicycles, dirt bikes, or other equipment to enjoy when you reach your destination.
  • Truck Campers: Fitting on the back of your truck, using this style allows you to travel with minimum restrictions.

Other RV Features to Provide Home Comforts
Depending on the style and size, some RVs come with multiple layout designs. Consider the different options to help make your RV more comfortable for you.
  • Solar Panels: Attaching solar panels to the top of your RV allows you to enjoy camping completely off grid. Purchasing a solar charger for your electrical devices is another way to stay connected.
  • RV GPS: While going off-grid may be your travel destination, a GPS can help you find the best routes, alert you to construction, and keep you safe.
  • Storage Space: Consider a place to store extra clothing, food, and other necessities.
  • Awnings: Sitting outdoors under an awning is the best way to enjoy a warm day.
  • Slide Outs: An outdoor kitchen or entertainment area provides you with added enjoyment.
Your travel adventure is about your needs. An RV allows you to bring the comforts of home on the open road with you.  The staff at Nohr's RV Center in Tracy, California are committed to helping you find the best RV for your needs - truly making it feel like a home away from home.  Stop by our RV dealership today to explore your options!