Find Out What to do While Visiting the Grand Canyon

long postcard of man overlooking Grand Canyon

Five million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. It’s one of the most beautiful sites you will ever see, but can you really spend an entire vacation trip just looking into a giant gorge? Find out what to do while visiting the Grand Canyon so you won’t get bored of just staring at it!

#1 Take a Mule Trip

group taking mule ride up the grand canyon

Book a mule trip of the South or North Rim of the Grand Canyon! Taking out a mule means no walking for you and you’re on an animal that naturally knows how to walk on these trails and steep ridges. You can take a one or three hour trip or even overnight trips depending on where you want to go. One will even take you down into the canyon! There are age and weight limits and you have to book some of these over a year in advance to get on the schedule so visit Canyon Trail Rides’ website to check out North Rim trips and Xanterra’s site for South Rim trips!

#2 Drive the Scenic Drives

girl enjoying a scenic view of the grand canyon

If you want to get out of the sun and heat but still take in some of the sites, you can hop in your car and take a scenic drive. There are two popular drives to take including the Desert View Drive and Hermit Road.

Desert View Drive takes you along 25 miles of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. There are plenty of viewpoints to see along the way including Pipe Creek Vista, Yaki Point, Grandview Point, Moran Point, Lipan Point, and Navajo Point! There are also some unmarked pullouts, the Tusayan Museum and Ruin Site, and it ends at the Desert View Watchtower!

Hermit Road is traveled by shuttle bus between March 1st and November 30th and is closed to private vehicles during this time. This tour will take you along seven miles of the South Rim from the west end of the Grand Canyon Village to Hermits Rest and then back. You will see points of interest such as Trailview Overlook, Maricopa Point, Powel Point, Hopi Point, Mohave Point, The Abyss, Monument Creek Vista, Pima Point, and Hermits Rest.

#3 Enjoy River Trips

man kayaking the colorado river

Many think of deserts and gorges when they think of the Grand Canyon, forgetting it was carved out by the Colorado River. Enjoy some refreshing fun with a river trip down the United State’s fifth longest river. Whether you want just a relaxing trip down the river or an exhilarating white water experience, you can find both at Colorado River Discovery! They offer kayak trips, motorboat trips, and rafting tours!

#4 Cast your Line

man fishing in the colorado river

Another great plus of the Colorado River is fishing! There are tons of fish that call this river home including some native species and some non native. The native fish include humpback chub, razorback sucker, bluehead sucker, flannelmouth sucker, and speckled dace. Both the humpback chub and the razorback suckers are endangered so if you catch one of these, be sure to release it back! Non native fish include channel catfish, black bull head, striped bass, walleye, brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout. These fish are definitely up for grabs as they would like to get many of them, especially the trout, out of the area as they are threatening the native species that live here. Ensure you get a fishing license before heading out so that you don’t risk a fine from the game and fish department.

#5 Check out Kolb Studio

old image of a man holding a camera

If you’re a photographer or have an interest in photography then you need to check out the Kolb Studio. The Kolb brothers were early photographers in the Grand Canyon and you can check out tons of their work as well as learn about their lives, see the boat that they used to explore the river, and their old cameras!

#6 See the Tusayan Museum and Ruin

sites from the tusayan museum and ruins in the grand canyon

There have been humans inhabiting the Grand Canyon area for around 12,000 years. 4,800 sites have been documented so far that show human life history in the park and this is only five percent of the park that has even been surveyed. The Tusayan Museum and Ruin allows you to take a look at these artifacts and sites to learn about the history that has been documented. The information contained here can only grow as they unearth more and more from throughout the park. This is a history buff’s dream!

#7 Climb the Dessert View Watchtower

ancient watch tower in the grand canyon

It’s only 85 steps to a 70ft high 360 degree view of the area! This stone building built in 1932 has stood in the desert as a lookout for visitors. There are windows to look out on the way up and a Native American painting on the ceiling! Plenty of other paintings are found on the way up as well so there’s no way you’ll get bored climbing this tower.

#8 Visit the Yacapai Geology Museum

view of grand canyon from the yacapai geology museum

Learn what makes the Grand Canyon what it is at the Yacapai Geology Museum. Check out artwork and models that show you the rock deposition. There’s even a large topographical map you can check out to see the entire canyon and all its nooks and crannies. Then gaze out the large window of the museum and see the canyon itself! Maybe you can even identify areas and types of rocks you just learned about!

#9 Reach New Heights in a Helicopter Tour

helicopter tour of the grand canyon

With something this big, taking a tour from above has got to be the best way to see it. Not only will you be able to see it from an angle like no other, you can get above areas that you couldn’t otherwise get close to! There are a few different tours to take depending on the area of the canyon you want to see. You can check them out here at GrandCanyon.com!

#10 Step Out Over the Edge on the Skywalk

skywalk viewing of the grand canyon

Imagine safely standing out over the canyon’s ledge and looking down 4,000 feet below you as if you’re standing on air! The Skywalk will give you just that experience! It’s a glass bridge that offers a view like you won’t believe. Don’t let the glass worry you! It’s strong enough to withstand up to 71 million pounds and a magnitude 8 earthquake! That is some strong glass!

# 11 Ride the Railway

railway station at the grand canyon

Once built as a means to transport oar, this railway was built in 1901! The original cars have been restored and you can take a ride and hear stories and legends of the past! Travel 65 miles around the area to learn about the region, native people, climate, wildlife, and plants! One of these trains even runs on recycled vegetable oil that is retrieved from restaurants!

#12 Camping the Canyon

RV camping in the grand canyon

Now that you know there’s a ton to do in the area, you’re probably going to need more than one day! Experiencing the Grand Canyon as a camping trip really wraps up this all-encompassing experience. There are a few campgrounds right in the park so you don’t even have to leave once you get there.

Mather Campground

Mather Campground for RV and Tents in the Grand Canyon

Located in the South Rim is Mather Campground. This campground is in the Grand Canyon Village and welcomes both tent campers and RVers. These grounds are open year round and offer potable water at a fill station, a dump station for RVs, firewood for purchase, and pay showers & laundry facilities. There are no hookups at this campground so be prepared with anything you may need to keep your RV going.

Desert View Campground

Desert View Campground in the Grand Canyon for RV and Tent

Dessert View is also located in the South Rim area but is much more secluded than Mather. There are no hookups at this site and there are no fill stations or dump stations either. You will need to stop at the Grand Canyon Village fill and dump site for both. This site does however offer firewood for purchase and has pay showers & laundry facilities.

Trailer Village

Trailer Village for RV camping in the Grand Canyon

This is the only campground in the park that offers full hookups for RVs! Here you will enjoy things like pay showers and laundry, a dump station, potable water, ice, and vending machines. This is a much more modern campground than Dessert View and it does not offer sites for tents!

North Rim Campground

People viewing the Grand Canyon from North Rim Campground

This is the only campground in the North Rim and is very secluded! Both tent campers and RVers are welcomed at this campground. There are no hookups but there is a dump station. There is a general store that sells firewood as well as coin showers & laundry facilities.

Make your adventure count when you visit the Grand Canyon! Check out all the attractions this wondrous place has to offer while you’re there! Just be sure to do your research before hand, and make reservations where needed as far in advance as you can. It would be disappointing to miss out due to a high volume of visitors.

Best Ways to Extend Battery Life While Boondocking

Best Ways to Extend Battery Life While Boondocking

Boondocking lets you escape from all of the commotion and chaos of our fast-paced world to let you truly reconnect with nature and enjoy carefree days. So if boondocking is supposed to be relaxing, you don’t want to have to stress about your batteries going dead. Implement some of our best ways to extend battery life while boondocking and head into the most remote and secluded places without worry!

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12 volt battery

Battery Basics

The type of battery you use will be directly indicative of how long your battery life lasts. 12-volt car batteries generally last the least amount of time, while 12-volt RV/Marine deep cycle batteries will last longer. Use 6-volt true deep cycle batteries for the longest lifespan. You should try to avoid letting your battery sink below a 50% charge. If your battery does discharge, charge it as soon as possible, always to its full capacity. To extend your battery life even further, implement some of these tips below.

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battery solar power charger

Solar Battery Charging Systems

Installing a solar battery charging system will allow you to supplement your loss of electricity by providing a trickle charge to your batteries. This extends the time they can be used and these systems don’t require consistent fuel to operate, making them superior to using a noisy generator.

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family campfire

Use Your Appliances Wisely

Be aware of how many amps each of your RV’s appliances require to run and use that information accordingly. Wherever possible, select appliances that don’t require electricity, like a french press, a whisk for mixing ingredients, or just use the campfire instead of your stove! Be sure to unplug your appliances when you aren’t using them as they can still draw power even where they’re not in use.

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LED bulb

Lighten Up The Mood

Trade out incandescent bulbs for LEDs or florescent bulbs, as they are far more energy efficient. Place battery-powered LED lights in places where little light is required to accomplish tasks (ie. above your entry door, in the bathroom) and use them in combination with rechargeable batteries. Make sure your lights are turned off when they aren’t needed. It can be easy to forget about lights in closets or storage compartments, and if you leave these on unknowingly you are wasting your coveted electricity.

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using blanket

In Coldness and In Warmth

Your furnace fan is a complete battery drainer, so whenever possible avoid using it. Instead, dress warm and use blankets to stay comfortable in the cold. When a bit of warmth is necessary, turn it on for only a few short minutes and the small space of your RV should heat up pretty quickly. For sweltering summer days, just open up your windows rather than turn on your roof vents.

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remote

Your Battery Speaks Volumes

Believe it or not, the volume levels on your devices impact the amount of current they draw. Be aware of the volume on your television or stereo and try to find a balance between how loud it must be to be heard and how quiet you can tolerate it without having it impair your ability to enjoy the device.

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using laptop

To Charge or Not To Charge

You’ll get more out of your electricity if you operate devices like your laptop on its own power. Meaning you should charge your device when it is not in use. When it is being used, unplug it from the power source and let it run off of its own built-in battery. When making excursions, bring your devices along and charge them in your vehicle as you drive!

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Because of the secluded nature of boondocking, your access to electricity is always going to be limited, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for cutting your stay short. With a few tricks and tips on extending your battery life, you can extend your stay in the great outdoors without overly draining your RV’s energy supply!

Do you have any battery-saving tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments!

What Are The Best Music Festivals to Attend With Your RV?

Best Music Festivals RV with musical instruments

Looking for something exciting to do with your RV? We’ve pondered all kinds of ways you can use your rig, which brought us to the question, what are the best music festivals to attend with your RV? We’ve done some research and made a comprehensive list for you! Check it out and discover just how many you want to add to your list!

Electric Forest

atmosphere at Electric Forest music festival

Just down the road from TerryTown RV in Rothbury, MI is the Electric Forest Music Festival. This four-day event is usually held at the end of July and offers music from jam and electronic bands. Not only can you listen to music, but they also have art from many artists and a crafts area where you can make your own! You can also enjoy hot air balloon rides, a huge ferris wheel, and tons of vendors and food! You can camp right at Electric Forest with your RV.

Summer Camp

crowd of people at music festival

This three-day event in Chillicothe, IL brings in more than 20K people and hosts around 100 different bands each year! Held every Memorial Day weekend, you can hit this festival with your RV and stay on site. With bands like Moe, Umphrey’s McGee, Willie Nelson, and Widespread Panic, you can expect to find a variety of performances on the stages here!

Firefly Music Festival

people in hammocks at the Firefly Music Festival

Held at Dover International Speedway, this four-day festival has seven stages with various performers that offer electronic, indie, and rock music. Here you can also find an arcade tent, arts and crafts tents, a place to relax in hammocks, a silent rave, and a coffee house. This is another festival where you can stay onsite with your RV.

The Peach

heart shaped hands above crowd at The Peach music festival

Held in August in Scranton, PA this four day Bluegrass and rock festival has room for your RV! When attending this festival you get access to Montage Mountain Ski Resort, which they turn into a water park for the summer! They also have a restaurant and lots of vendors where you can get tasty food, bars & merchandise, a lodge, showers and lockers, A VIP Club and much more!

BeachGlow

DJ playing at Beachglow music festival

This is a contemporary music festival but it’s a little different than most! BeachGlow has a mission to educate and is a non-profit organization! All proceeds go to reputable charities! The festival moves around from year to year so you have to check out their site to see where they’ll be! They don’t offer camping on site at the festival but they do have an entire page dedicated to campgrounds found near the festival area!

Wheatland

Folk Country Musician at Wheatgrass music festival

With genres like country, blues, Irish, and much more, this is a hot festival no matter what you like! The best thing is, this is another event that is a non-profit and the proceeds all go to outreach, the local food co-op, and scholarships! Hitch up your RV and head to Remus, MI in September for some great camping and music!

Imagine Music Festival

People lying in grass at Imagine Music Festival

Held in Atlanta, this late August event is an electronic dance music festival. The venue is not always the same but the Atlanta Motor Speedway has been the venue for a few years. This is a 3-day festival where you can camp with your RV, eat to your heart’s content, and shop the many vendors who participate.

Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo Music Festival

Get your groove on at this four-day festival held in 700 acres of Tennessee nature! Bonnaroo offers an array of music with previous artists such as Pearl Jam, Macklemore, Billy Joel, Elton John, Kanye West, and Jack Johnson. You’ll also find activities like a water fountain to cool off in, interactive arts, slides, a comedy theater, a cinema, and much more! You can even camp right on the grounds of the festival with your RV!

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival

Telluride Blues and Brews Festival

If you like the blues and beer this is the festival for you! Held in Telluride, CO, this three-day event brings bands that deliver blues, funk, jam, indie, rock, gospel, and soul! You can even bring the kids as they have special activities for them, craft vendors, and late night shows for the adults! Hitch up your RV and head to Telluride in September for a great experience you’ll never forget!

RVing can be more than just a stay in the woods! Hit up your preferred festivals with the creature comforts of home! These are just some of the great festivals that you can attend with an RV. What are some of your favorite RV-friendly music festivals? Let us know!

Yellowstone National Park – Explore The First National Park

yellowstone national park the first national park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular sights to see in America! With sprawling landscapes, plenty of natural wonders, and limitless wildlife, it’s a destination that should be on any nature lover’s bucket list!

Spanning over 22 million acres across Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, Yellowstone is America’s first national park! This park was established in 1872 by congress after explorers repeatedly marveled at the beauty and unique attributes of the area, and it has enjoyed governmental protection ever since!

There are endless possibilities for exploring Yellowstone, whether you choose to explore on your own, or go on guided tours around this pristine park. You can enjoy countless activities like hiking, fishing, canoeing, backcountry camping, bicycling, and much more! Here is a list of some favorite pastimes and must-see sights to visit when you explore this iconic national park!

Wildlife

Yellowstone is home to a vast array of wildlife, with flourishing species of both plants and animals! It is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states of the U.S., and it is not uncommon to see recognizable species throughout the park! The greater ecosystem of Yellowstone is the only spot in the lower U.S. states that has large grizzly bear populations, as it is one of the only places with enough space to accommodate unsettled territory for these bears to flourish in an undeveloped landscape. Yellowstone also has the largest wild, free-roaming herd of bison in the U.S., and it has one of the largest elk herds in North America! It is not uncommon to find wolves (which were reintroduced back into Yellowstone in 1995), black bears, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, moose, and plenty more!wildlife at yellowstone national park

Things To Do

There are plenty of fun things to do and see at Yellowstone, from family activities to intense adventurous activities! Here are some must-see sights and fun activities to try out on your trip!

The Grand Canyon Of Yellowstone

This gorgeous canyon of the Yellowstone River is a wonderful geological natural creation, and is about 24 miles long with picturesque views of its towering walls and beautiful waterfalls! You can get great views of the canyon along several trails and outlook points. It is a highly recommended stop on any Yellowstone trip!

grand canyon at yellowstone national park

Hiking

Yellowstone features 1,300 miles of trail systems so you have plenty of choices for adventure! Hiking paths range from short family-friendly trails to more intensive trails for more experienced hikers. Try out the seven-mile Mt. Washburn hike, which is a more difficult hike up Mt. Washburn that provides stunning views of Yellowstone! Uncle Tom’s Trail is quite the hike up several stairs, but the views of the canyon waterfall are more than worth it!

hiking at yellowstone national park

Upper Geyser Basin

This amazing spot is a great epicenter of thermal activity in Yellowstone National Park! About two square miles, this area holds the largest concentration of geysers (around 300), and holds about one quarter of all the geysers in the world! In addition to geysers, you will also find incredible hot springs and steaming fumaroles. Be sure to make this unforgettable sight a stop on your tour!

geyser at yellowstone national park

Old Faithful

This awesome geyser, located in the Upper Geyser Basin on the west side of the park, is a must-see famous site in Yellowstone! It is regarded as one of the most predictable geographical features on the planet, as it erupts regularly every 35-120 minutes! Eruptions shoot anywhere from 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of boiling water from 106 to 185 feet in the air, and can last between one and a half to five minutes in length, for an unforgettable sight that you don’t see every day!

old faithful at yellowstone national park

Swim In Yellowstone’s Boiling River

The boiling river, which can be found near the north entrance to Yellowstone, forms where a large hot spring enters the Garner River. Hot and cool water mix, creating the perfect warm temperature, which feels like bathwater! It’s a relaxing spot to swim, soak, and enjoy the surrounding beautiful landscape!

Lamar Valley

Located in the north of Yellowstone Park, this sprawling landscape provides spectacular views of wildlife, including large herds of bison, and frequent sightings of wolves! This is a great site to visit if you love photography, or if you want a great view of the local wildlife!

lamar valley at yellowstone national park

Camping

Yellowstone features 12 campgrounds, which contain over 2,000 campsites for plenty of choices! Unlike other national parks, any type of camping outside designated camping areas is prohibited for the safety of campers and wildlife alike. Here are some favorite spots for Yellowstone camping!

Slough Creek Campground

The beautiful Slough Creek Campground is considered to have the best wildlife watching opportunities in Yellowstone! Slough Creek, which runs along this campground, is a very popular spot for fishing! Campsites are first come, first served and tend to fill up fast as this is one of the most popular campgrounds in the park! Drinking water and vault toilets are available, however generator use is prohibited, and sites are designed for tents and small RVs.

Mammoth Hot Springs

Located in the northern part of the park in Montana, near the famous Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, this is the only one out of the 12 campgrounds in Yellowstone that offers year-round camping. You’ll enjoy wonderful views of Gardner Canyon, and have opportunity to see wildlife along the road that leads to this campground! It’s not unusual to see elk or bison roaming through or near the park, and you’ll enjoy being close to fishing and hiking! This campground has pull-through sites with a 75’ length, and features drinking water and flush toilets. There are no hookups, but generators may be used between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. A 30-foot RV length restriction is in place in the wintertime, as there is a sharp turn that is harder for longer RVs to make.

mammoth hot springs at yellowstone national park

Backcountry Camping

Backcountry camping is available throughout Yellowstone, with several clusters of designated campsites in different areas of the park! A permit is needed for backcountry camping and they can only be obtained in person, and they must be requested no more than 48 hours in advance to your stay. If you’d like to make reservations in advance, you can apply between January 1 to October 31. Check out the Shoshone Lake backcountry camping area, which sits on the wonderful 8,050 acre Shoshone Lake, and is near backcountry geysers and has great spots for fishing, canoeing, and hiking!

camping at yellowstone national park

Plan Your Trip!

This is just a very small taste of what Yellowstone National Park has to offer! There is a lot to see and learn from exploring America’s first national park, and it is an enriching visit for all! Comment with your favorite Yellowstone spots to visit and memories, or if you’ve never been, share what you are most excited to see!

The Importance of Weight Distribution Hitches

the importance of weight distribution hitchesWhen you’re excited and anxious to start your next RVing adventure, it can be easy to start tossing items into the RV without thought. Being careless with how you pack your RV effects more than just your storage space, it could also be compromising your safety and the safety of other drivers too. Taking the time to understand the importance of weight distribution hitches before you hit the open road could be the deciding factor on whether your trip goes safely or whether it comes to an end before you even make it to your destination. Guarantee a safe journey by learning about proper weight distribution and the importance of weight distribution hitches.

Dangers of Improper Weight Distribution

Improper weight distribution poses a serious threat not just to you and your passengers, but to all the other drivers on the roadway. Not to mention, your rig and tow vehicle can sustain serious damage if you’re overloaded in anyway. Here are just some of the effects of improper weight distribution:

  • Uneven weight exacerbates the stress on your axles which speeds up natural wear and, in extreme cases, can lead to axle failure.
  • When your weight is improperly distributed, your rig will be harder to handle and you’ll have a greater chance of losing control of your vehicle.
  • Improper distribution of weight puts premature wear and tear on your tires which can result in spontaneous blow outs.
  • The excessive strain put on your rig when it’s loaded incorrectly can lead to the premature failure of components in your suspension system.
  • Imbalanced weight also reflects badly on your bank account too, as it increases fuel consumption and worsens your gas mileage.
  • In the event of an accident, overloading your axles can be reason enough to void your insurance coverage.make sure your trailer is properly dispersed with its weight

Achieving Proper Weight Distribution

Even if your overall payload isn’t over your limit, that doesn’t mean you can’t be overloaded on one of your axles. If possible, load your RV fully and take it to a weigh station that can measure your axles individually. You should aim for around 10% of the overall total weight to be placed on the tongue, meaning that if your trailer’s total weight is 7,000 pounds, you’ll want the weight at your hitch to be right around 700 pounds. Too much tongue weight in relation to your GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) can impair your ability to maneuver in a safe manner.

How you pack your RV matters. You want to make sure the weight is even front to back and side to side, so create a balance from left to right too. Make sure your under-bed storage isn’t highly concentrated with heavy items or you will create a tail-heavy situation that off balances your RV. To avoid a top-heavy situation, you’ll want to load items as low to the ground as possible. After you’ve fully packed up your RV, but before you’ve hit the road, take the time to look for signs that your rig might be off weight. Check that your tow vehicle or trailer doesn’t sag once it’s hitched up and that your headlights aren’t pointed upward. You’re goal is to have the trailer coupler even and level with your tow vehicle’s hitch.make sure your trailer is properly dispersed with its weight

Benefits of Weight Distribution Systems

If your trailer is more than 50% of your vehicle’s weight, it’s recommended that you get a weight distribution system which will most likely come in the form of a weight distribution hitch. These products will give you an even weight displacement by redistributing the center of the weight off of your hitch and onto other axles. When everything is balanced out, your driving performance will noticeably increase and you’ll have a much more stable and smooth ride. Plenty of weight distribution hitches are available on the market today, so before you make your purchase read the reviews and be sure that it is compatible with your rig. You can find weight distribution systems that include sway control which will improve the handing of your vehicle even further. Consult with the manufacturer’s instructions for specific assembly steps and feel the benefits yourself once you hit the highway with a well-balanced rig!

be successful when towing by properly distributing your weight

The importance of weight distribution hitches lies in their ability to aid in the safety of you and your passengers and the protection and preservation of your tow vehicle and RV. If you are concerned that you might be overloading your axles, try redistributing items within your RV to balance out the weight. If you want to ensure that you’re not overloading your axles, look into getting a weight distribution system before your next big RVing adventure!

Have any insights to add? Leave us a comment!

6 Reasons You Should Live in an RV During Your 20’s

6 reason you should live in an rv in your twentiesAt any age, living in an RV might seem like a radical lifestyle choice, but when you’re young it can seem like an especially compulsive decision. While everyone else seems to acquire mortgages and have little ones, you might find yourself yearning for a different, less traditional way of life, and you’re not alone in this longing. Traveling is an eye-opening experience that can dramatically change your perceptions of the world and your own capabilities too. And the earlier you make these discoveries, the better. Check out our top 6 reasons you should live in an RV during your 20’s, and set off to spend the most pivotal years of your life living large on the open road!

1. The Freedom To Find Yourselfthe freedom to find yourself

There is nothing quite like in-depth travel to give you a good dose of character development. In your 20’s, not only are you starting to form your own opinions about the world, but you’re just beginning to truly discover yourself too. Living in an RV not only gives you the freedom to call the shots and the flexibility to dictate your own journey, but it also gives you the opportunity to learn about yourself and who you really are in relation to who you want to become. RVing is a gateway to enlightenment, because it forces you to test your resiliency and rise to the challenges you put yourself in.

2. Reconnection With the Living Worldreconnection with the living world

The college landscape is largely dominated by classroom walls and whiteboards, frat-style house parties, and sprawling concrete campuses. Post-college, you might be overwhelmed with how bored or exhausted you’ve become of the zealous crowds and institutionalized setting, and you might find yourself with a craving to reconnect with nature, simplicity, and the living world. Going RVing is one of the best ways to reengage with the great outdoors and foster a new, more mature sense of appreciation for the natural world.

3. New Experiences, People, and Placesnew experiences people and places

Regardless of what direction you set off in, when you hit the road in an RV you can feel confident that new experiences will find you along the way! Gain exposure to new cultures and beliefs as you meet new, interesting people along your journey. Discover amazing destinations and witness the wonders of the world first hand. Trying new things will expand your comfort zone and broaden your horizons. Not only will you return from your travels with new friends, you’ll also have plenty of interesting stories and tales to tell your old friends back home!

4. The Opportunity To Make Mistakesthe opportunity to make mistakes

Having the chance to make mistakes is vital to acquiring a full and well-rounded education. Living in an RV is challenging and you’re not going to make all of the right moves right away. For each mistake you make, you can feel confident that it is one less mistake you’re likely to repeat in the future. Enduring struggles, even the ones caused by your own error, can boost your esteem by making you more self-sufficient. In that post-collegiate haze of ignorance and over-education, it can be easy to convince yourself that you know everything you could ever need to about the world, but living in an RV will teach you the reality of the situation, which is that your life’s education has only just begun.

5. The Timing is Rightthe timing is right

In your 20’s, it can feel like you have a shrinking window of time to make decisions free from the restrictions of a growing family and blooming career. Logically, there isn’t a more practical time to take a long trip than when your in your 20’s because it will probably be the point in your life when you are most free from burden and responsibility. It can be easy to postpone your dreams of travel, but as you get older and grow more settled, it will become harder and harder for you to travel and see all those sights that have accumulated on your bucket list. It’s better to travel when your young and the timing is right, than to regret never having traveled once you’re older and no longer able.

6. Affordability & Cost Efficiencythe affordablity and cost

In early adulthood, monetary funds are usually in short supply, which can make the idea of traveling seem out of the question. When you consider the cost of renting however, living in an RV can actually be one of the most affordable ways to live, save up money, and pay off student debt. You can get a relatively nice used RV that will eliminate the need for monthly rent expenses. Unlike renting, RVs are also an investment that can reap some financial return down the road. While the initial purchase of an RV can seem steep, in the long run, it will end up saving you money.

Remember, it’s better to regret the chances you took, rather than regret the ones you never did! There won’t ever be a better or more pivotal moment in your life to travel than when you are in your 20’s, so if the timing is right for you, make the jump! There will be challenges, people may doubt your sanity, and along the journey you might even question your capabilities too, but once the journey is over and you realize the strong, independent person that traveling has allowed you to become, you will be so grateful that you dared to escape the ordinary in order to seek out the extraordinary!

Do I Need a Surge Protector and Why?

Do I Need a Surge Protector and Why?

When you start looking at accessories for your RV, you may start wondering “Do I need a surge protector and why?” You’ve invested a lot into your RV, don’t take it lightly! The possibility of a power surge may not be huge, but it is there. A surge protector will help stop that extra power going in and keep your systems from getting fried!

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power surge with pluggins

What is a Power Surge?

A power surge is a burst of electricity that, if high enough, can and will cause damage to anything connected to it! Usually these surges are caused by something that interrupts the flow, and then when it comes back it’s a large rush of voltage. There is also the factor that some appliances and other electrical items will falter and send voltage back into the electrical system. With extra voltage in the system, it can short out electrical devices that aren’t meant to have that much power. If there’s enough of it, it can even cause damage to the electrical system itself, and possibly cause fire. The main things you will find in your RV that are likely to create a power surge are your refrigerator, A/C unit, or heater (depending on the power source of course). You can also experience an external surge, which is where it is more likely. These can come from your shore power plug in or lightning. This risk is especially high at campgrounds, where many people are drawing off of the same power source. Thankfully you can protect yourself and your RV with a surge protector!

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turning on power surge

How Surge Protectors Work

A surge protector is like having car insurance. It may very well just sit there doing nothing, or it may save your system in the less-likely event of a surge. Just like car insurance doesn’t come in handy until there is an accident, the protector doesn’t come in handy until there is a surge. With both scenarios, if something does happen, not having that insurance can be pretty devastating. When you have a surge protector in your system, it will help to ensure that no extra voltage can make it into the RV. When the voltage is too high, it will divert all the extra into the ground, while still allowing the correct amount to flow through. These protectors also have an automatic shut off and sometimes fuses of their own, this way if there is something it cannot handle, it will completely block the current.

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power surge with cellphone chargers

Getting The Right Kind For Your Rig

Getting a surge protector for your RV isn’t as simple as just heading to the store and getting the same kind you may have inside. The one to protect your RV is going to be much bigger, and you need to ensure it’s the right amperage for your RV. The first thing you need to know is if you are working with 50 amp, 30 amp, or something lower (if it’s an older RV). Ensure that when you’re looking for your surge protector that these numbers match up, otherwise it may allow too much current, or it may take away too much, depending on the situation. The two choices you have for a surge protector are portable options which simply plug into your rig and shore power, or ones that get hardwired right into the system. A hard-wired unit ensures you don’t forget, but the portable unit means you can use it on other things, and it’s easier to replace if there’s damage. Either way you go, ensure you get a good quality one that offers complete protection for the RV! The cheaper versions will really only protect from things like lightning and other huge spikes. A quality surge protector such as this one from Surge Guard has a lot more in place for protection. As you can see, it will not only protect you from high surges, it will protect from low and high voltage, low and high frequency, an open ground, and reverse polarity. You can see more of the different types, including those that hardwire into the system at TRC Technology Research’s website!

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Purchasing a surge protector may be a drag and feel like a waste of money. Keep in mind the car insurance example. The added piece of mind is well worth the money and with a surge, the damage it can cause will likely be well over what you paid for the unit.

Your Next Michigan Road Trip – Porcupine Mountains

TTRV Porcupine Mountains view over lake in autumn

Located in the heart of the beautiful Ontonagon County of Michigan’s wonderful Upper Peninsula, The Porcupine Mountains, fondly known as the Porkies, provide miles of gorgeous forests, rivers, waterfalls, and beaches, making this area a must-see destination year round! There are countless breathtaking views to witness and activities to partake in, making this a great place to experience no matter the season!

Located mostly in the Ottawa National Forest, along the shoreline of Lake Superior, the Porcupine Mountains provide countless possibilities for activities! There are many opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, downhill and cross-country skiing, horseback riding, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and snowmobiling! There are plenty of landmarks and natural phenomena to witness, like hundreds of waterfalls, copper mines, lighthouses, and even the Northern Lights on some nights!

Campgrounds

If you’re looking to pack up your RV to come experience the Porcupine Mountains, there are some great lodging options for you! If you’re looking for a more rustic approach to your stay, there are plenty of backcountry camping options available as well!

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Sunset over Lake Superior while Camping in Porcupine Mountains Michigan

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is 60,000 acres and has more than 87 miles of recreational trails that range from 1 to 17 miles! There are two main campgrounds available here, Union Bay Campground and Presque Isle Rustic Campground, as well as some backcountry camping options!

Union Bay Campground

This modern campground sits on the shores of Lake Superior at the eastern entrance of the park. This 100 site park has a sanitation station, bathhouses, and electric hookups, making it a great place for RV camping!

bonfire on beach in Lake Superior Michigan

Presque Isle Rustic Campground

Located on the western side of the park, this campground offers a more rustic approach to camping! It is within walking distance to many of the wonderful waterfalls in the area, and has access to many of the scenic hiking trails! There are a limited number of RV sites available here, all of which are located at one end of the campground so the RV generators will not disturb other campers. There are no bathhouses here, and only rustic toilets, so be sure to prep your RV tanks before setting out!

Presque Isle Campground hiking to Waterfalls in Porcupine Mountains

Ontonagon Township Park

If you’re looking to stay a bit outside the state park, this campground is close to the Porcupine Mountains! With full hookup sites, many of which are lakefront sites on Lake Superior, it’s a beautiful, modern campground close to all the fun!

Places To See

Lake of Clouds Scenic Overlook

Lake of Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains Michigan overlooking lake in autumn

This area provides gorgeous, breathtaking views of the surrounding forest and water; you can see for miles! A boardwalk spans over the outlooks to be accessible for everyone! Picnic areas and washrooms can also be found here! Many hiking trails intersect here, if you’d like to partake in some rigorous hikes!

Summit Peak Tower Trail

Only a half-mile hike, this short trail leads to Summit Peak, which is the highest point in the park at 1,958 feet. You’ll get an unforgettable view of the park on the viewing deck and observation tower, as you’ll be able to see miles of pristine landscapes!

Summit Peak in the Porcupine Mountains Michigan overlooking lake in autumn

Victoria Dam

This impressive man-made dam is a historical site that was restored to recreate the site where miners once lived! This dam produces electricity using the river’s flow for power, and is a must-see stop when staying in the Porcupine Mountains!

Copper Mines

There is a rich history of mining in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, as many settlements began around the basis silver and copper mines in the area! You can still tour some of these mines for a spectacular firsthand experience of our state’s interesting history!

Waterfalls

Waterfalls in the Porcupine Mountains Michigan

There are hundreds of waterfalls in the Porcupine Mountains and the areas surrounding them! Different seasons hold different experiences for these waterfalls, with differing water levels and vegetation that can be seen during different times of the year! Here are some of the most highly recommended waterfalls in the Porcupine Mountains!

Agate Falls

Located in the area surrounding the Porcupine Mountain region, this waterfall cascades over tiered rocks for an unbelievably picturesque view!

Agate Waterfalls in the Porcupine Mountains Michigan

Bond Falls

Heralded as one of the best waterfalls in the region, you’ll be mesmerized by the water as it rushes over a 50-foot drop!

Bond Falls in the Porcupine Mountains Michigan

Manabezho and Manido Falls

Both located on the Presque Isle River, these great waterfalls are stunning! Manabezho’s roaring waters feature a 25-foot drop and is popular with kayakers! Manido Falls is a relaxing, more flat and long waterfall that runs over several levels of rock. Very beautiful!

Hiking Trails

people hiking in the Porcupine Mountains Michigan

With over 87 miles of recreational trails in Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park alone, there are plenty of great routes for anyone from the novice to most advanced hiker! Here are some favorites!

East and West River Trails

Boardwalks and viewing platforms along this trail allow you to see the amazing waterfalls and rapids of the Presque Isle River! Both are just over one mile long making them great for a casual hike!

hiking along Presque Isle River in the Porcupine Mountains Michigan

Union Spring Trail

Union Spring is a sight to see, as it is the second largest natural spring in Michigan! With a total trail length of 4 miles, it’s a great intermediate hike!

Lake Superior Trail

This trail runs along the Lake Superior shoreline, for gorgeous views of this Great Lake! This is the longest and most difficult of the hikes in the state park, with a total trail length of 17.1 miles.

hiking along Lake Superior Trail leading to lighthouse

Plan A Visit!

Now that you have all the inside information on the greatest features of the beautiful Porcupine Mountains, you should be sure to make it your next Michigan road trip destination! No matter what season you decide to visit, you can be sure that this amazing place will have plenty of activities and breathtaking views for you to enjoy!

Biophilia – How RVs Help You Bond With Nature

Happy little boy sitting in field of flowers with caption of Happiness is…

Our surroundings have a greater impact on our lives than we may think. Both on a conscious and unconscious level, our environment effects our mood, outlook, and well-being. Urban and industrial designs, although trendy and impressive, rarely take this significance into consideration when creating architectural frameworks. RVs, on the other hand, boast naturally biophilic designs that allow users to engage with the outside world, not just as a way to live life more adventurously, but to live life happier and healthier too! Let’s take a closer look at biophilia and how RVs help you bond with nature and find happiness in natural spaces!

The Biophilia Hypothesis

Erich Fromm The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness

Biophilia was first coined by Erich Fromm in his 1973 book, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness. The concept was later popularized by Edward O. Wilson in his 1984 book Biophilia. The biophilia hypothesis argues that there is an instinctive connection between humans and other living systems. The term itself literally means “love of life” or “love of living systems,” and it suggests that our evolutionary history has bred in us an intense desire to seek out the natural world. Supporters argue that this connection is the essence of our humanity. At its core, it is our love for all that is alive! Whether we are conscious of that love or not, our bodies our biologically hard-wired to crave a connection to life cycles.

The Proof Is In The Patients

Biophilia elderly woman in hospital room with nurse and natural sunlight

In 1984, Dr. Roger Ulrich conducted research which looked at the effects hospital room assignments had on patient’s recoveries. Twenty-three patients healing from cholecystectomy surgeries were assigned randomly to rooms within a hospital. The rooms were identical, with the exception of the window view: one group’s room overlooked a range of lush forest; the other group’s room was enclosed with brown, brick walls. The results of the study revealed that the patients with a window view had faster recovery times, less complications and negative comments, and a reduced need for strong painkillers.

Implications Of Biophilia

This research forever changed the way hospital architecture was perceived. The study implied that architectural design was greater than just aesthetics or expression; it was a matter of health. People now had proof that surroundings had the power to make people feel calmer, more at ease, and less stressed. Knowing that your dwelling is a contributing factor to your overall well-being, it is important to choose your surroundings wisely. When you spend your days walled off from the living world, your body has a negative response. Seeking out contact with sunshine, plants, animals, and natural environmental textures reinforces good health for your mind, body, and soul. So go on a fun geocaching adventure or visit the beautiful Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint to surround yourself in the beauty of nature. Your body will thank you!

RVs & Biophilia

Because your dwelling is truly a matter of health and happiness, RVs might be one of the most beneficial settings to live in. You’ll be hard pressed to find another structure that boast a better biophilic design, and you certainly won’t find a better gateway to appreciating Mother Nature! Long before any research was conducted, RV manufacturers were already using concepts of biophilia to design and create their units. And long before any hospital patients were analyzed, RVers were already reaping the benefits of biophilic surroundings.

Small Space, Big World

Biophilia woman jogger tieing shoe while sun is setting
You might think of the confined spaces of RVs as downsides, but they’re actually a blessing in disguise. RVing encourages you to get outside and interact with nature. It promotes a more active and engaging lifestyle, and it transports you to picturesque places and diverse landscapes which further stimulate your innate love of all that is alive. RVing heals biophilic deficiencies by reintroducing you to the big, beautiful world that we are so blessed to call home!

Conservation & Preservation

Biophilia joyful woman lying in grass
Part of the appeal of living small is simplifying your life and gaining control over the impression you make on the environment. When you become aware of your love for nature, you become more obligated to your sense of protecting and preserving it. In an RV, you reduce your contribution to depleting the earth’s resources and you do your part to ensure that future generations are not robbed of their biophilic nourishment.

Authenticity & Connection

Biophilia beach party with young adults as the sun sets
Research shows that the positive effects of biophilic designs cannot be replicated with the use of photographs or natural earth-tone paint colors. Our bodies have a keen and subconscious ability to detect fraud. Environmental features must contain a sense of authenticity in order to be effective. The large picture windows and portable capabilities of RVs make them ideal for living more intimately with the natural world. RVs aren’t designed to bring you a reproduction of organic environments, they are designed to bring you closer to the real thing.

Human beings have an inherent affinity and an embedded preference for certain aesthetic characteristics of natural environments. The advantages of having an RV extend past their portability. In reality, they are tools that will aid in your education, health, and your overall relationship with the world around you! How does your RV bring you closer to nature? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Grilling Wisdom – How to Clean Your Grill

how to clean your grillGrilling is a staple activity of RVing! There is nothing better than grilled meat, veggies, and pretty much everything! If you use your grill quite regularly, you’ll need to make sure to perform routine cleaning, as well as performing more thorough cleaning a few times a year. Here are some great tips of wisdom on how to clean your grill!

What you’ll need:

Grill brush or grill stone
Paper towels or cleaning towels
Soapy watercleaning grill supplies

Instructions

1. Full a bucket or container with water and add a squirt or two of dishwashing soap and mix.bucket and soap

2. Be sure the gas is off and the grates are cool, then disconnect the gas.

3. Take out the grill grates and clean them on both sides with your soapy water and grill brush, or grill stone, making sure to get any burned bits completely off. If you are cleaning a charcoal grill, be sure to clean the grates while they are still hot, and use a brush that releases water, or sprinkle water on the grates, to create steam. Be sure that your brush is in good condition, and always check to ensure that no loose bristles remain on the cooking surface. With most grills, you can brush cooking oil on after the grates are cleaned, or just before cooking to prevent sticking.

4. Be sure to clean your burner protectors, also known as flame tamers, vaporizer bars, or heat tents. Check for rust or erosion, and replace them if necessary!

5. Carefully brush off the burner tubes, paying attention to ensure the gas ports are free of debris. Clogged burners may cause uneven cooking heat and can cause your burners to fail prematurely.burner tube and brush

6. Remove all debris from the bottom of the grill and wipe it out really well, making sure to remove any peeling paint or stuck-on debris.

7. Clean the grease tray and the areas around it. It is important to check the tray every time you grill, as buildup of grease has the potential to cause a fire!

8. Wipe down the entire exterior, including the lid, as well as any side trays and extensions.

9. Check your fuel line for cracks. Brush soapy water on the fuel line when the gas is connected, and if bubbles form on the line, it indicates a leak. Try tightening the connection, or replace the line if necessary.fuel hose and bubbles

10. Rinse out the venturi tubes, which are tubes that connect the burners to the control valves, and combines gas and air to feed the burners. Insects and spiders like to hide in these tubes, so it’s important to clean them out! Scrub with soapy water, making sure that all holes are clear, and rinse out by placing a hose head on the end.

11. Check your ignition system by turning off the gas, pushing the ignition button, and looking for a spark. If you don’t see one, make sure your pressure regulator is secured tightly to the tank.

12. Check your fuel levels to make sure you are not running out! You can check your tank gauge, or if you don’t have one, pour water onto the side of the tank. Move your hand down the wet area, noticing the temperature difference. The fuel level is where the tank will begin to feel cool.

Things to remember:

You should thoroughly clean your grill at least twice a year, but if you grill frequently, you’ll need to clean it more often.

After every use, you can turn your grill back on and burn any leftover food and grease residue off between cleanings, and brush off any ash or debris.

Keep your grill covered to protect it from the elements and to keep dirt and debris from collecting.cover and grill

To avoid damaging your grill, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before you clean, as it may have specific cleaning instructions.

Have any other tips on how to clean your grill? Share them with us in the comments!