Biking in the Florida Panhandle

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Taking your bicycle out in the Florida Panhandle this time of year is a real joy. The weather is just right for a long, leisurely bike ride. If you’re exploring the Sunshine State in your RV and have some bikes in tow, why not check out one of these bike trails as you go? From beaches to woodlands, Florida’s got a trail with your name on it.

Timpoochee Trail

Following the length of CR30A southeast of Fort Walton Beach along the Gulf of Mexico, this asphalt trail comes in at 19 miles long and winds through beach communities and several state parks. You’ll encounter beaches, sand dunes, and dune lakes. This trail is ideal if you want to simply explore and take your time on one section. Stop in at one of the local towns along the way to do some shopping and dining.

Blountstown Greenway Bike Path

This trail goes along the former path of the Marianna and Blountstown Railroad. As such, a train exhibit is located along the path where is passes through downtown Blountstown. The trail is shaded by woodlands and is a pleasant 4 mile bike along an even asphalt surface. It passes across some streets, but traffic is light and the crossings are well-marked. Though it intersects the busy Route 20, there’s an underpass that allows you to totally bypass it.

St. George Island Bike Path

Located on St. George Island, a 22-mile long barrier island between the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay, the bike path is 6-miles long and covered in asphalt and concrete. The path runs between Gulf Blvd. from W. 12th Street to the entrance of St. George Island State Park, which is a great place to spend a few hours before turning back around and heading back. The trail leads path many pristine sand beaches. There’s an additional 9 miles of trail available in the park itself if you’re not done biking.

Visit RV Connections in Panama City

Exploring the Florida Panhandle? Stop by RV Connections in Panama City today to make sure that your RV is in good shape before you continue your journey. If you don’t own an RV yet, but you want to hit the road in your very own rig, let RV Connections help you find the perfect RV.

Get in an RV this Spring for $25K and Under!

Getting your own RV isn’t as expensive as you might think. With plenty of options under $25,000, hitting the road in the comfort and convenience of your own RV is easily attainable. Come shop our selection at RV Connections in Panama City or check out some examples of under $25K RVs below.

The 2017 Keystone Summerland 1850FL

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This travel trailer is normally $15960, but under our RED TAG sale, it can be yours for only $12399. This new travel trailer, by Keystone, has a gray exterior and seamist interior. It’s 21 feet long. It has exterior storage space available underneath the cabin, a dinette-style dining area, a fully-equipped kitchen (including a mini-fridge, two burner range, overhead microwave, and sink), a bathroom with a half-tub/shower combination, and bunk beds for up to 4 sleepers.

The 2011 Heartland Trailrunner 28RKS

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This gently pre-owned travel trailer is a great deal. Spacious and homey, it can be yours for the special price of $11900, down from $12990. You’ll enjoy an open interior that includes a dinette-style dining table and booths, a large kitchen (fully furnished), plenty of windows for natural lighting, tile flooring, recessed lighting, built-in shelving and cabinet space throughout, a master suite with a queen-sized bed and overhead storage, and a full bathroom with a shower stall.

Visit RV Connections

Stop by RV Connections today to tour any RV on our lot and to learn more about your favorites. Find the RV that’s perfect for you just in time for a summer road trip!

How to Conquer Any Solo Hike

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Hiking is generally best done in groups or with at least a buddy. This is, besides the company, done purely for the fact that having a buddy is a safeguard against mishap. If one of you has an accident, your hiking partner can offer immediate assistance or flag down aid.

If, however, you’re traveling alone, you shouldn’t let that stop you from enjoying the numerous hiking opportunities you’re bound to encounter. Simply follow these tips to conquer any hiking trail by yourself.

Know Your Limits

Extra important when you’re alone, knowing your limits and abiding by them will keep you fresh and alert. Knowing what you can and can’t handle will keep you safe. If you think scrambling up a hill will save you time and you know you can do it, go ahead. If you’re not confident in doing it, no pressure. Find another route.

Be Extra Aware of Your Surroundings

Two pairs of eyes are better than one, but you won’t have that benefit. Make sure that you’re aware of your surroundings and that you note any potential hazards. This includes uneven terrain that might trip you up (like hidden potholes or exposed roots) and local wildlife. Wildlife, specifically, is something you should familiarize yourself with. Know the local species and know which ones pose danger to a single person.

Have a Well-Stocked Kit

Be prepared for anything by having a well-stocked pack. Make sure that you have a poncho for rain, an extra pair of clothes in case something happens and you need to change, more water than you think you’ll need, non-perishable high protein snacks, a flashlight, and an extra layer of clothing in case the weather turns cold or you have to spend a night outdoors.

Let Someone Know Where You’re Going

Let someone know where you’re going, how you plan to get there, and how long you expect you’ll be out. Just because you don’t have a buddy along with you on the hike itself doesn’t mean you can’t have someone watching your back. This person can be a neighbor at your campsite, a park ranger, or even a family member or friend back home. Tell them you’ll check in with them by a certain time and that, if you fail to do so, to take steps to find you.

Visit RV Connections Super Center

Before you hit the road in search of hiking trails to conquer, be sure to stop by RV Connections to schedule service and have a technician check your rig for any problems that may cause you problems on your trip. RV Connections can also help you find your next RV if it’s time to upgrade or if you’re just getting into the RV lifestyle.

Making Custom Chocolates in Your RV

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With Valentine’s Day just last month, you might have had some gourmet chocolates recently. Aside from getting a box of assorted chocolates for Valentine’s, you can always go to a chocolatier, but that’s pretty expensive, sometimes a few bucks per piece.

If you want some decadent chocolate treats on the cheap and would love to customize them to your taste, this recipe is for you. It’s so easy you can even make them in your RV; all you need by way of special equipment is an ice cube tray and freezer!

Ice Cube Tray Chocolates

Makes: 1 ice cube tray (about 16 chocolates); Prep Time: 10 minutes; Total Time: 1hr 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups milk, or dark chocolate, chips
  • 2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp chunky peanut butter
  • 6 soft caramel chews
  • 2 tbsp chopped, salted, roasted peanuts
  • 2 large marshmallows, cut in half and sides trimmed
  • Cooking spray
  • Pastry brush
  • Ice cube tray

Directions

  1. Place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe measuring cup or bowl.
  2. Microwave the chocolate in 30 second intervals until melted (stir between each interval) should take about 90 seconds depending on your microwave.
  3. Spray the ice cube tray lightly with cooking spray, and use the pastry brush to coat all sides up to the top of the tray. Also, use the brush to remove any excess cooking spray so there is not a pool in the bottom of the trays.
  4. Fill the ice cube tray about ⅓ full with your choice of chocolate.
  5. Allow the chocolate to sit in the ice cube tray for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Tilt the trays and rotate to make sure that the melted chocolate coats all of the sides of the tray.
  7. Put your chocolate shells in the freezer for 1-2 minutes until the chocolate has slightly thickened, but is still liquid.
  8. Tilt the trays and rotate again to make sure that the melted chocolate coats all of the sides of the tray with a thicker coat of chocolate this time.
  9. Allow the chocolate to sit in the ice cube tray for 2-3 minutes until it is mostly set.
  10. While the chocolate is setting prepare the fillings. Take each caramel and mash in 1 tsp of peanuts so that it is well combined. Cut the marshmallows in half lengthwise and trim the sides to fit in the ice cube tray.
  11. Fill the chocolates with soft caramel chews and chopped peanuts, peanut butter, or marshmallows. Try to make sure that the filling stays in the center and does not touch the sides of the tray too much or the chocolates may stick in those spots when they are unmolded.
  12. If needed, refresh the melted chocolate by heating in the microwave for 20 second intervals, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted again.
  13. Pour the melted chocolate over the filling until it is covered by a layer of chocolate.
  14. Tap the ice cube tray on the table to allow the air bubbles to escape and the chocolate to settle. Push down the marshmallows if they start to float to the top of the tray and show through the chocolate.
  15. Pour more melted chocolate over the filling if needed until it is covered by a layer of chocolate again.
  16. Clean the top of the ice cube tray so that you can see the partitions that separate the “cubes”. This will help prevent your chocolates from sticking together and help them to release from the tray when it is time to unmold them.
  17. Place the trays on a flat surface in the freezer for about an hour until the chocolate has hardened.
  18. Remove the trays from the freezer and allow to temper for about 5-10 minutes.
  19. Unmold the chocolates by lightly twisting the ice cube tray as if you were trying to release ice. Turn the tray upside down over a sheet tray lined with wax paper or parchment paper to catch the chocolates. You may need to lightly tap the bottom of the tray to coax the chocolates to release or you may need to twist the ice cube tray a few more times.

Visit RV Connections

Stop by RV Connections today to tour an RV. From motorhomes to travel trailers, RV Connections in Panama City has an RV that’s perfect for your family and travel aspirations.

Healthy Recipes to Make in Your RV

Healthy kale and quinoa salad

Eating right while on the road can be hard to maintain. Try these delicious and healthy recipes in your RV instead of pulling over for fast food. They’re simple enough that you won’t have an excuse not to!

Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Olives

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 skinless/boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (multi-colored if available)
  • 3 tablespoons oil and vinegar dressing
  • 20 olives (halved)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbles)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Turn grill on medium-high heat.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken and place it on the grill.
  3. Grill for six minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked throughout.
  4. Combine tomatoes, 1 1/2 tablespoons of dressing and olives in a skillet, and warm the combination for two minutes on medium heat.
  5. Brush the remaining dressing over the chicken and cut each breast into slices.
  6. Top with 1/4 cup of the tomato/olive mixture and a sprinkle of feta cheese.

Cherry and Sunflower Seed Kale Salad

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup red onion (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 5 ounces baby kale
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Make a dressing by combining the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper and honey in a large salad bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (kale, dried cherries, onion and sunflower seeds) to the large salad bowl and toss all of the ingredients with the dressing.
  3. Enjoy this tasty meal as a quick-and-easy lunch or light dinner.

Stop by RV Connections

Come see us at RV Connections in Panama City, Florida. From RV sales and service to parts and accessories, RV Connections has what you need to enjoy your time on the road in your motorhome.

Romantic Events Near You

Beautiful young couple with glasses of red wine in luxury restaurant

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and whether you live here in Panama City or are merely visiting, you’re going to want to plan a night out. Here are some of the best, most romantic events happening Valentine’s Day in the Panama City area.

Valentine’s Dinner & Dance at Boardwalk Beach Resort

Join the party at the Boardwalk Beach Resort as couples gather for a night of dining, dancing, and romance. There will be a buffet dinner included and champagne and chocolates at every table. Doors will open at 4pm and dinner will be served at 5pm. DJ Jim Lawson will be providing the music.

Valentine’s Day Cruises at Capt Anderson’s Marina

Enjoy the scenery of the beautiful St. Andrews Bay while viewing wild bottlenose dolphins and sea birds. There are three sailings to choose from:

  • 10:30am to 12pm
  • 1:30pm to 3pm
  • 4pm to 5:30pm

It’s $20 per adult ticket, $18 for seniors and military, and $15 for kids.

Head to 5550 North Lagoon Drive in Panama City Beach. Call 850-234-5940 to reserve your spot today.

Visit RV Connections Super Center

Stop by RV Connections Super Center to tour any RV or travel trailer in the inventory or to schedule maintenance service before your next big trip.

Fun Road Trip Games

While it may be the destination that inspired your road trip, it’s all of the stops and sights along the way that make the experience even more enjoyable. To keep your family and friends from getting bored on those long stretches between stops and during those long nights at the campsite, fill your road trip checklist with these exciting road trip games and boredom-fighting accessories.

Road Trip Bingo

Road trip bingo is the perfect road trip game for kids and adults, and it’s 100-percent free to play. Print off plenty of free bingo cards from online and give each player a pen or marker. Have everyone mark off the sites on their bingo card as you pass them, and be sure to keep prizes on hand for the winners. If you want to reuse the same cards multiple times, be sure you have hard surfaces for each player to use and plenty of pennies or other objects to mark the cards with.

Mad Libs

Take the “Worlds Greatest Word Game” on your next road trip to keep your driver and passengers laughing non-stop. Mad Libs are available as books, apps or downloads, so pick your favorite version and pack it in your RV.

The Autonet Mobile Router

Sick of excessive data charges on your cellphone bill and having to avoid primitive campgrounds because they don’t offer free WiFi? Pack the Autonet Mobile router, and you’ll have 4G wireless internet access anywhere in your RV whether you’re cruising down the road or parked at a campground. Even better, the signal travels as far as 150 feet, so you can share your internet access with friends or use it in a hotel room with your vehicle parked nearby.

Get Road Trip Ready at RV Connections

Before you hit the road for your trip, no matter how long the drive, stop by RV Connections to make sure that your rig is outfitted and in shape for the rigors of the road. RV Connections can help by inspecting the state of your RV, which is an especially good idea if it’s been in storage for a while.

January Events

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Check out what Panama City has in store this January for RVers.

Snowbird Dance

If you’re down in Panama City to escape the cold of the north, head down to the Boardwalk Beach Resort Hotel & Convention Center on January 8 or 22 to have a fun afternoon of dancing. Find out why all the other snowbirds flock to these themed dances. DJ Jim Lawson will set the atmosphere for you and your guests. Tickets can be purchased for just $3 at the door.

The dance is at 9600 S. Thomas Dr., Panama City, Florida and starts at 3:00pm.

Winter Resident Appreciation Day

If you’re in town spending the season in Panama City, there’s another event that has your name on it. This free event, located at the Lyndell Center at 423 Lyndell Lane, Panama City, Florida, takes place January 13 from 8-10 am.

Affectionately known as Donut Days, the annual appreciation day allows you to make new friends or even reconnect with old acquaintances as you enjoy free coffee and donuts. It’s a good way to meet fellow winter residents and to get information from visitor information specialists on seasonal events and activities taking place in Panama City in the near future.

Visit RV Connections

If you’re visiting Panama City and staying for the winter in your RV, be sure to stop by RV Connections at some point to make sure that your rig is in good shape and prepped to make the journey home when the time comes. We can also help you with parts and accessories if you need them.

Holiday Tips to Make Your Season Bright

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Starting to feel a little dragged down by the holidays? You’re not alone. Buying gifts for everyone, untangling the Christmas lights and cooking extravagant meals can certainly get the best of anyone. So why not simplify the holidays this year?

It may sound crazy to spend the holidays in your RV at first. How will you fit a Christmas tree in there? But by following a few simple tips, you can cut a lot of the stress out of the holidays and enjoy a very merry season on the road.

Decorate Locally

Because your RV is probably so much smaller than your “brick and mortar” home, you’ll love how easy it is to decorate. And don’t worry about packing all of your old decorations for the trip; pick up new ones along the way at craft shops and farmer’s markets. You’ll love that each decoration has its own unique story, and if you buy all-natural decorations, you won’t have to lug them around with you after the holidays.

Spend Less, Experience More

A small Christmas tree in your RV means less space underneath it, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The holidays are known as a time for shopping, but you don’t have space for more stuff in your home on wheels. Try buying experiences and memories instead. For instance, if you’re traveling near RV Connections in Panama City, Fla., buy tickets to the Shipwreck Island Water Park or the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium.

Make New Traditions

Many of the stresses of the holidays come from traditions. You’ve got to cook all of the same dishes that your great-grandma did, or the entire family will be upset. You’ve got to hang 1,000 lights, or the neighbors will be disappointed. This year, make new memories at the campground you’re visiting. Have a potluck with other campers or roast s’mores by the fire instead of baking pie.

Come See Us

Don’t forget to swing by RV Connections to check out all of our new and used RVs that are ready to hit the road for the holidays. And before you leave, be sure to tell us why you enjoy spending the holidays in your RV.

Gift a Vilano

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Give something memorable this year to someone special in your life… even if that special someone is you! Give the gift of a Vanleigh Vilano fifth wheel. Open whole new ways to travel and explore in 2017.

The Vanleigh Vilano Fifth Wheel Line

The 2017 Vanleigh Vilano fifth wheel may include such features (depending on the floorplan and optional packages) as residential hardwood cabinetry, king bed, 32″ LED TV in the bedroom, electric fireplace, Spyder Controls Multiplex Wiring w/ digital display, solid surface counter tops, soft touch vinyl ceiling, Whisper Quiet A/C system, Equa-Flex suspension, correct track alignment, slam latch doors, black tank flush, 12V tank heaters, slow rise roller shades, 50″ LED TV in the Living Area, MAXX Air Fan, four step aluminum entry way, 750 watt Pure Sine Wave inverter, high gloss exterior sidewalls, BASF painted front cap, framed & laminated slideout floors, electric awning w /LED light strip, Cool Gel memory foam mattress, 12V electric gates for holding tanks, LED entry light and porch light, Dual Low Pro 15K BTU A/C’s upgraded mirrored wardrobes, universal docking stations, recessed LED ceiling lighting, frameless flush mounted windows, 18Cu Ft. residential refrigerator, stainless steel appliances, powdercoated aluminum wet bay, solar prep, six point leveling system, Southern Motion comfort furniture, Pro – Star exterior lighting, and interior and exterior storage.

Visit RV Connections

Come by RV Connections this December to take a tour of a Vanleigh Vilano or any other model in the inventory at RV Connections in Panama City, Florida. While you’re here, you can schedule service for your current RV if you’ve got one or shop for parts and accessories, some of which make great gifts of their own.