The July 4th Weekend is Upon Us

The July 4th weekend is right around the corner! Luckily enough, it falls on a Friday this year. You know what that means? It means a 3 day weekend of fun and fireworks! Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays because it’s a perfect time of year to take my RV out and enjoy a few days with my family. But let’s not forget what exactly it is we’re celebrating.

Independence Day is a celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and serves as the United States’ independence from Britain. It’s hard to believe that was done 238 years ago!

As with any holiday, you can expect there to be plenty of holiday vacationers out and about. I can guarantee your normal RV camp will be packed with families looking to get away for the long weekend. Since you know that there’s going to be a glut of RVers, you should take that into consideration when traveling and shopping for your trip. You can always expect delays with traffic during major holidays like this one. To beat traffic, you may leave a few hours early, or even a day early, if you can swing it. That’ll get you there in plenty of time to enjoy the lake before everyone else gets in. The same theory goes for grocery shopping, as soon as you realize that you’re going to need a few items for your trip, don’t put it off until the day before, you could be stuck in the store for way longer than you intended.

Don’t forget the fireworks, but by all means, be careful when using them. Safety first! I don’t want to hear any horror stories about people losing fingers. Most RV parks don’t allow you to shoot them off within the park, so double check the city regulations regarding fireworks.

Most of all, fly your American flag high and enjoy your July 4th weekend!

Great Destinations: Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

When you’re ready to get away from the stresses of your daily life, kick back and relax, maybe do some fishing, I’ve got the perfect spot for you. Just over the Texas-Oklahoma border, there’s a tiny little town that’s perfect for you to spend a long weekend and recharge your internal batteries and enjoy some peace and quiet. Broken Bow, Oklahoma ought to be on your shortlist of destinations when you sit down and discuss where you want to pull your RV to.

Fisherman’s Paradise

For the fisherman in your family, they’ll love Broken Bow. Trout fishing and fly fishing are among the most popular activities at Beaver’s Bend State Park, just north of the city. You’ll love the year-round fishing at Mountain Fork River, with its abundance of Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Sunfish, Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout. If fishing is on your list of ‘must-haves’ then you definitely can’t go wrong with Broken Bow.

Outdoor Activities

Spending an afternoon canoeing down the river is one of my favorite outdoor activities! There’s just something about the peaceful water and being out there, away from land. Sure, it’s not that far, but it’s all about perspective, right? If canoeing isn’t your thing, then maybe hiking is! There’s over 12 miles of hiking trails in Beaver’s Bend, at every skill level, from beginner to expert. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars, too. You’ll have a pretty good chance of seeing an eagle flying around while you’re out and about.

Nightlife

With Broken Bow being on Choctaw land, that means it’s legal to have a casino, so you can bet your bottom dollar you know where I’ll be once the sun sets! The best part about it? It’s right there within Broken Bow! But before I head to the Choctaw Casino, i’ll be sure to eat dinner on the patio at the Beaver’s Bend Restaurant so I can watch the sunset.

Have you ever been to Broken Bow? What are some of the attractions and activities you did?

 

In Need Of A Breeze?

The temperatures are creeping up higher and higher and they likely won’t stop until September. That affects our vacationing, because we tend to avoid taking a trip when we know we will be miserable and likely covered in sweat the entire time. Down here in Texas, it’s a soul-crushing heat that makes even the most active RVers think twice about loading up and hitting the road. If you have an older RV, then your air conditioning unit is probably in need of a tune up or replacement. Luckily enough, we’re running a sale on 12 volt fans from Endless Breeze!

These powerful fans are perfect for when you need a little relief from the heat, especially during the hottest parts of the day.

Endless Breeze’s 12 volt fans will delight you with their power and portability. With a 12 inch blade that can be operated at 3 speeds, it can move up to 1000 cubic feet per minute. At only 14 inches high, you can take these fans anywhere and stay cool or store them in your RVs many hiding places. With a 6 foot cord, you can move it around and stay cool wherever you go within the RV. In the kitchen, in the bedroom, or in while watching TV. You can connect the Endless Breeze to any 12 volt power source, such as an automobile lighter or by connecting jumpers to any 12 volt battery.  Maximum amp draw is less than three amps per hour. The fan operates efficiently up to fourteen feet from its power source. Uses include boats, tents, campers, sleeper cabs, horse trailers, power failures and the family car, van or SUV.

Plug in an Endless Breeze fan and the large volume of air movement will surprise you! Ideal for blowing away bugs on hot muggy nights and even thawing out RV refrigerators.

  • Compact, easy to store.
  • 12″, ten blade rotary fan features three speeds
  • Retractable legs.
  • Measures 14-1/4″H x 13-1/2W x 3- 5/8’D.
  • Weighs less that 5 lbs.
  • Includes a 12V plug and cord. 1 per box.

Get yours here!

Endless Breeze 12 Volt Fan

Traffic Is The Pits

Photo Courtesy of ADW.org

There’s hardly anything worse than being stuck in traffic when you’re driving or pulling an RV. We all know that you get terrible gas mileage anyways, but sitting in traffic is the worst. You can virtually see the gas needle go down while you’re sitting there. There are plenty of apps out there that can navigate you away from traffic jams, accidents and construction, but the only real way around it is to plan accordingly. TomTom, the maker of some fine navigation equipment, has released a study of the most congested cities in all of the Americas (that includes North and South America). Next time you are sitting down, planning and plotting a vacation, take a look at it and make sure you aren’t headed through any of these cities during the morning or evening rush hour. If you get caught in it, you may suffer a setback that could have you spending more money at the pump and a few hours late to your destination.

The top 10 most congested cites in the USA are:

1. Los Angeles
2. San Francisco
3. Honolulu
4. Seattle
5. San Jose
6. New York City
7. Miami
8. Washington D.C.
9. Portland
10. New Orleans

While Honolulu doesn’t really affect us RVers here in the mainland, the rest of the list are all major vacation destinations. How can you expect to get to Key West without going through Miami? Or Vancouver, BC without going through Seattle? Good planning and timing are key elements to a successful vacation. Getting stuck in traffic, while not always avoidable, is time wasted when you could be closer to your destination, enjoying the lake, or enjoying relaxing peace and quite.

Check out the full report here and be sure to bookmark it so you can come back to it often!

 

Outdoor RV Kitchens Are A Real Timesaver

Photo Courtesy of RV52.com

Ok. I’ll admit it. I was never a big fan of the outdoor kitchens that have started popping up on new RV models within the past couple of years. I can remember when I first saw them, I wondered to myself “Why would anyone need a kitchen outside?”. After my daughter and son-in-law bought a 2013 Coachmen Freedom Express, I get it and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long.

Sure, it may seem unnecessary, but boy, is it ever handy! I never really thought about it, but having a dorm sized refrigerator, a place to put your cups and plates, a little 2 burner grill and a sink outside are pretty handy. No more having to run inside and get utensils and supplies when you’re barbecuing.  There’s even a pull-out table so we don’t have to handle freshly cooked food and carry it up the stairs into our RV! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard of people losing a steak or a chicken breast off their plate because they bumped into the wall on the way up the stairs. Now you can just serve it all outside without having to worry about getting everything back inside so your party can eat.

Spending time outside with my family is one of my favorite things to do and it’s so easy to get distracted when we have to run inside for a drink, once that happens, I get distracted and completely forget why I even went inside. Staying outside and enjoying the outdoors must’ve been the idea behind the inventor of the outdoor kitchen and for that, I salute you!

Why Do You RV?

We spend a crazy amount of time preparing to go RVing. For some of us, we spend as much time at our jobs as we do our hobbies. There’s a lot of preparation in taking our house on wheels across the state (or country) for a small amount of time. To people who don’

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t understand the appeal of it, it can be hard to describe. For me, I enjoy getting out into nature, exploring places I’ve never been, and especially, the time with my family.

Getting away from the daily grind recharges all of my batteries and gives me something to look forward to. Think about it. When you know you’re going on vacation in a couple of days, doesn’t that affect your mood? The people I work with know when I’m gearing up for a big trip, because they can see it in my face and in my attitude. It’s a way for me to step back, enjoy some peace and quiet, away from the hectic day-to-day of life.

There are so many places, not only in Texas, but in the entire United States, that are wonderful places to go and unwind. The Grand Canyon, Big Bend, Mt. Rushmore, Moab, and those are some of the most popular ones. There are, literally, thousands of amazing parks, destinations and sights to see. Sure, I can make a trip up to Fredericksburg again, but I’ve already been there, a few times. I enjoy getting out on the road, going places I’ve never been and experiencing the unexpected sights and sounds of a new spot. That’s what life is all about! Get out and go exploring!

Of course, you can’t forget about the time spent with family. How often can you get your whole crew together for a weekend? Between opposing schedules at work, soccer practice, and teenagers who want nothing more than to be somewhere else, it’s good to create memories with your loved ones. Who knows when you won’t have that chance anymore? Make it a point to get everyone together as often as possible and enjoy each other’s company.

Why do you RV? What drives you to pack up clothes, food, family and fill up your gas tank for a trip in a house on wheels? Find us on Facebook and tell us!

Hurricane Season Is Here!

Photo Courtesy of luxurytravel-destinations.com

Hurricane season is here and meteorologists are predicting it to be very active this year. Hurricane are, quite possibly, the most destructive force of nature with high winds, massive amounts of rainfall and flooding that can very easily cripple a community. Just take a look at Hurricane Katrina a few years back. Southern Louisiana will never be the same. There were billions of dollars worth of damage and way too many lives lost. With that being said, I still hear of RVers wanting to ride out hurricanes, if they ever are in the path of one. Of course, I cannot recommend ever staying in the path of destruction. Your RV is not designed to withstand high winds and could easily topple over in the middle of a hurricane. If you are far enough inland and you are certain you will not be receiving the brunt of the storm, you should certainly be prepared and take as many precautions as possible. Here are a few that I’ve come up with.

1. Get a good generator. There’s no telling how well the electrical wires in the RV park you are stationed will hold up. Once a heavy gust of wind rips through the park, you could be out of electricity for days.

2. Stick up on water and food. Hurricanes have a tendency to down trees and cause plenty of damage to roads and bridges. If it happens to cause a ruckus, you’ll be prepared and can live off of your stored food and water for a few days while cleaning up the roads and such.

3. Bring your slides in. If you’re traveling in an RV with slides, you’ll definitely want to bring them in to make your RV less wind resistant. You want to make your RV as small as possible so you’ll have less likelihood of a gust of wind knocking it over.

Again, I cannot stress enough, if you are in the path of a hurricane, you need to get out of it. Your RV is not a safe place to ride out one of nature’s most destructive forces. Always check the weather report before you head out and plan accordingly. Even if you are forced to leave your RV behind, you should get out of there the second you know it’s coming. You can replace an RV, but you can’t replace your life.

Nana’s Recipes: Refreshing Summer Beverages

Photo courtesy of supervalu.ie

After a long day in the heat, there’s nothing like a tasty, refreshing beverages. You can always pop open a Coke or Dr. Pepper, but you can have those any day of the week. I’d much rather have something sweet, fruity and refreshing. Here are a few of my favorite Summer beverages!

Pineapple Slush Punch

1 – 46oz can pineapple juice, chilled
1 – 46oz can apple juice, chilled
2 – 28oz bottles of 7-Up, chilled

Freeze pineapple juice and apple juice in their cans. Set out juices 30 minutes to an hour before serving. When ready to serve, combine all juices and 7-Up. Stir well.

Orange Grapefruit Cooler

1 – 46oz can grapefruit juice, chilled
1 – 46oz can orange juice, chilled
1 – 2 liter bottle ginger ale, chilled

Combine juices. Add ginger ale when ready to serve.

Nana’s Limeade

4-6 – large limes, squeezed
1 – cup sugar
2 – quarts water

Rinse limes. Roll on counter to soften, then cut in half. Squeeze juice out of limes. Combine juice, sugar and water in a pitcher and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Sun Tea

8 – regular sized tea bags
1 – gallon cold water10 – lemon slices

Put tea bags in a gallon jar and fill with cold water. Set jar in sunshine for 3 to 4 hours. Serve over ice with lemon slices.

Pineapple Tea

1 – 46oz can of pineapple juice
2 – packages sweetened, lemon-lime flavored drink mix
1 – tablespoon instant tea

Place all ingredients in a gallon jar. Fill with water. Stir and allow tea to sit overnight in refrigerator. Add more tea to taste.

 

Nana’s Recipes: Fresh Caught Dinner

Photo courtesy of dvo.com

Fishing is one of America’s past-times. When we head out to the lake, casting is relaxing and a great way to spend your vacation. When you’ve caught a few and you’re starting to get hungry for dinner, fresh caught fish is a tasty option. Here are a few of my favorite recipes that include your day’s haul.

Broiled Fish Filets

4 – 5-7oz fresh fish filets
1/2 – cup mayonannaise
3 – tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Preheat your broiler. Spread mayonnaise over each fish filet. Sprinkle cheese on top of each. Place in a broiler pan and broil 4-6 inches away from heat for 5-8 minutes or until fish flakes when poked with a fork.

French Fish Filets

1 – pound fish filets
1/4 – cup French dressing
1/2 – cup cracker crumbs

Dip fish in dressing and roll in cracker crumbs, coating well. Place fish in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Turn fish and cook 10 minutes long or until fish is lightly browned.

Nana’s Fried Fish Filets

8 – fish filets
1 – cup biscuit mix
1 – teaspoon seasoned salt

Dip fish in biscuit mix. Sprinkle with seasoned salt, then fry until golden brown on both sides.

Mexican Baked Cod

4 – cod filets
16 – oz thick and chunky salsa
4 – slices cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Spray pan with cooking spray. Place fish in pan. Pour salsa over fish and top with cheese slices. Bake at 350 degrees until fish flakes when poked with a fork.

What are some of your favorite fish recipes?

The Perfect Father’s Day Gift

What do you get the man who has everything? The man who loves RVing, fishing, camping, exploring the great state of Texas? Sure, you can pick out a necktie that will end up shoved in a closet, or a generic Father’s Day gift you picked up at Walgreens the night before, but you want to leave an impression. A gift that keeps giving, the entire year, and provides endless entertainment and enjoyment. I have an idea! Give the Father in your life a subscription to Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine. Right now, you can get 10 monthly magazines for just $10!

For the RV Dad who loves traveling in our beautiful State., this is a perfect addition their household. Fishing reports, full color, high-quality photos, camping, hunting, boating and more adorn the pages of this very useful magazine. I guarantee that every issue you receive will give you great ideas about your next vacation, be it the beach, Hill Country, the Piney Woods or any of the other areas.

Finding a good fishing spot makes all the difference in the world, when you’re a fisherman. No one likes to go out on a limb and end up bringing nothing home. With the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine you’ll get insights on where the fish are biting, maintaining your reel and rod, and more. It’s a much-needed resource to make sure your vacation doesn’t end up being a bummer.

Deciding on where to travel is always a lively conversation in my household. We always get stuck between Taking the RV to Big Bend for a couple of weeks, and enjoying the beautiful beaches of South Padre Island. With this magazine, you’ll get tips on new places to travel, and get you out visiting the same 2-3 destinations. Explore this great State!

You’ve only got a limited time to get this special deal, so you’re better jump on it quickly!