Buying an RV

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In just a couple short months, it will be time to start thinking about going RVing for those who don’t like winter camping. This year, you may want to buy a brand new RV or trade in your used RV. Before you buy an RV or trade yours in, decide what type of RV you want. You can visit RV Connections Super Center to get some ideas, but there are several things to take into consideration.

Length/Towing Capacity

Before you buy a travel trailer or fifth wheel, you have to determine the towing capacity of your truck. You are limited by this, unless you buy a bigger truck. Check the towing capacity in the owner’s manual. Don’t forget, you need to figure the gross weight of the RV plus extra weight for the stuff inside and full holding tanks.

Number of People

Next, determine the most use for the RV. If you are taking only your family, then you need an RV that will sleep the number of people in your family. If you plan on going hunting or fishing with friends, take into consideration the number of people that will travel with you.

Use

If you have “toys” you like to bring with you, such as snowmobiles, motorcycles and ATVs, you may want to consider getting a toy hauler. These are great if you want to bring a slew of friends with you, as the garage part usually has extra bunks.

Length of Trips

If you plan on taking longer trips, especially trips where you may not be hooking up to utilities, you may want to consider an RV with larger holding tanks. Typically, these sleep more people and require a heavy-duty truck.

Retiring?

If you plan on retiring in the RV and traveling the country, you definitely need something that you can live in for an extended time. You may want something that sleeps six for two people so you won’t feel so cramped after being in the RV for a couple of months.

Visit RV Connections

If you are not sure what would be best for your situation, stop by RV Connections in Panama City and discuss your needs with us. We can help determine whether you need a bigger truck for what you want or need, or help you choose an RV that not only fits your needs, but something your truck can tow.

Stay Safe This Summer With These Health and Safety Tips

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Summer is a time for outdoor adventures, road trips and beach days, but all of that hot weather, those pesky outdoor bugs and the strong summer sun can put a damper on your fun. Keep yourself and your family safe and healthy this summer by following these simple summer safety tips.

Prevent Heat Illness

Many parts of the country get unbearably hot throughout the summer; it’s important to know how to recognize the signs of heat illness and how to prevent heat illness entirely. Always stay cool and hydrated, listen to your body and never leave anyone (including pets) inside closed, parked vehicles.

Grill Safely

A big part of the RV lifestyle is grilling food with friends on those long summer days. It’s important to keep food safety in mind whenever you’re grilling, which includes keeping food and drinks in separate coolers, washing your hands with hot water and soap after touching raw foods and always using clean cooking and serving utensils.

Protect Your Skin

Always protect your skin and eyes from the sun with UVA/UVB protective clothing, sunglasses and hats. And plan your outdoor activities before 11 a.m. and after 4 p.m. whenever possible, because the sun’s rays are weakest at such times. If you must be outside during those hours, be sure to stay hydrated and cover your body with loose-fitting cotton clothing.

Keep Bugs at Bay

Days spent at the campground are often followed by pesky bugs biting at night. Always use bug sprays that contain DEET, because they keep mosquitos, ticks and a variety of other harmful, disease-carrying insects away.

Swim and Play Safely

Playing in lakes, rivers and the ocean are some of the best times summer has to offer, but it’s important to use caution whenever you our your family members are swimming. Choose pools, beaches and lakes that have lifeguards on duty whenever possible.

Keep Your RV Safe Too

Before you hit the road for all of your summer adventures, bring your RV by RV Connections. Our certified RV technicians are here to handle all of you RV service and repair needs, so you can have the best summer possible.

Service Specials at RV Connections

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Performing the proper service and maintenance on your RV is the best way to prolong its lifetime. Here at RV Connections, we make RV repairs and maintenance easy, stress-free and affordable, so you don’t have to dread dropping your recreational vehicle off with us. The following are a few of the service specials we’re offering right now to help you start the summer RV season in the right direction.

Roof Preventative Maintenance

Many RV travelers forget about roof maintenance, because they don’t see the roof of their RV as much as they see the interior. Most RV manufacturers recommend roof treatments twice a year. We’re offering roof preventative maintenance for your RV here at RV Connections for $247.50. Taking this small step to maintain your RV can save you big bucks in the long run.

45 Point Inspection

Letting our RV experts inspect your coach from top to bottom is one of the top steps you can take to ensure your coach remains reliable on the roads. The 45-point inspection includes an in-depth analysis of your vehicle that’s intended to prevent expensive repairs. A 45-point inspection, for just $198, can save you big bucks while providing piece of mind on your travels.

The Seasonal Maintenance Package

Before the summer RV season begins, you’ll want to make sure your RV is ready inside and out. The Seasonal Maintenance Package includes an LP inspection, water heater service, refrigerator service, battery check, air conditioner service and an exterior inspection. This package eliminates the chance of arriving at the campground to discover your air conditioner has stopped working in the winter months.

Complete Roof Reseal

A leaky roof can cause huge problems inside your RV, but here at RV Connections, a leaky roof is easy to fix. Our complete roof reseals range from $199.98 to $495, and they effectively prevent water leaks and sealant erosion. Your RV is a big investment, and roof reseals help you protect it.

Give us a call, log online or stop in and see us to learn more about our extensive service menu.

Going Green in Your RV

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Earth Day has been around for a number of years and yet there is always something new to learn. At RV Connections, we have an appreciation for the resources our planet provides. With the convenience of life these days, it can be difficult to not be wasteful. Sometimes we just aren’t sure where to start. So, in honor of this smart holiday, we’ve got a few ways for you to make being kind to the planet much easier.

Reduce

While the goal may seem unattainable, there are many families who choose to reduce their waste to as close to 0 as possible. Using observant elements from the point above, you could dramatically reduce the number of bags you throw in the dumpster. One helpful hint is to dig a hole and throw in leftover food items. Cover with dirt and leaves then water and repeat after meals. Something else that seems obvious but is often overlooked is buying less. So many times you have the best of intentions when it comes to buying everything from food to clothes and a lot of it goes unused. The food is thrown away! Avoid wasting money and resources by paying better attention to what you really need. Got too much? Donate to a local shelter.

Recycle

This may seem quite obvious to most but there is a lot that is left out of those recycle bins. While the most obvious are usually respected as something to put in, there are many overlooked items that could accompany the paper, plastic, and aluminum objects. Ever order pizza in your camper? Those boxes are recyclable; as are the cardboard boxes you most likely have aboard with food inside. Ever use plastic utensils, in a restaurant or at home? Guess what, those are recyclable, too! Before you throw anything out, be sure to do a once over and look for that familiar triangle of arrows. Your local landfill will thank you.

With so many ways to give back to the planet, why does anyone waste? Being lazy is not a valid reason for not being mindful. What are your favorite ways to stay green aboard your motorhome? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Summer Safety Tips for Your RV Lifestyle

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thelotuscarroll/14363249755/sizes/z/

The weather is heating up here in Panama City, and that means its time for some much-needed fun in the sun. But before you pack your RV and hit the road to your summer vacation destination, be sure you’re prepared for your warm-weather travels with these summer safety tips.

Pack Plenty of Sun Protection

It seems obvious to pack sunscreen for your summer vacation, but other items like sun shades, UV-protective clothing and sunglasses are more easily forgotten. Try to avoid being in direct sunlight between the hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and if you’ll be outside during those hours, be sure to reapply sunscreen after sweating, swimming and every couple of hours.

Avoid Heat Illness

The hot summer temperatures in Florida can catch you buy surprise. Make sure you’re accustomed to the high temperatures before you start spending any time outside, and always keep plenty of liquids on hand when you do. And of course, never leave a passenger or pet in a parked vehicle for any amount of time.

Swim Safely

Whether you’re choosing to swim in the ocean, lake, river or swimming pool, the danger of drowning is always there. Make sure you’re always swimming with a partner and keeping a constant eye on your kids while they swim. Choose to swim at beaches and pools with lifeguards on duty whenever possible.

Keep Bugs at Bay

Pesky bugs are one of the downsides of summer time, but itchy, annoying and dangerous bites and stings can easily be prevented. Always use bug sprays including up to 30-percent DEET on kids and adults older than 2 months to prevent against disease-carrying insects. Avoid wearing (or dressing your kids in) brightly-colored clothing or scented perfumes, which can attract bees and other pesky bugs.

Start Your Summer Vacation at RV Connections

RV Connections in Panama City, Fla., is your home for new and used RVs, service, parts and accessories. So whether you’re in need of a new motorhome, travel trailer or fifth wheel to start your summer travels off right, or simply a few camping supplies to improve your travel experience, we’ve got you covered here at RV Connections.

Image by Lotus Carroll via Flickr Creative Commons

Great Travel Apps to Make Your Next Road Trip Easier Than Ever

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While RV travel often means going off the grid and trading our everyday technological lives for a breath of fresh air, there’s no denying that smartphones can be extremely handy on those long days on the road. From apps to help us get to our destination to those that help us enjoy the journey, these travel apps are must-haves for your next RV adventure.

GPS CoPilot

Although Google Maps may already be downloaded on your phone, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t download the GPS CoPilot app too. What’s so great about CoPilot? It’s an offline map program that works when you do decide to travel off the grid to places where cell phone service isn’t available. It’s ideal for travelers with limited data plans, poor cell phone service and those who cross borders in their RVs, and even better, paid upgrades are available to give you live traffic and map updates as well as turn-by-turn navigation in a wide variety of countries.

Camp and RV — Campgrounds Plus

Sometimes it’s worthwhile to shell out a few bucks for an app, and that proves true with Camp and RV Campgrounds Plus application. This app will help you locate any stopping place from luxury RV resorts to parking lots for those late night naps, and the straight-forward, easy-to-find information without any advertisements makes it well worth $9.99.

RV Checklist

Have you been using a pad and paper to list everything you need to do to prepare for a long RV adventure? Download the RV Checklist app, which is free for Androids and only $.99 for Apple products, and you’ll finally be able to leave home without a worry. With reminders ranging from your stabilizing jacks to your bocce ball set, you can customize your list, and the app will track your progress for you.

Before you hit the road for your first RV adventure of spring, don’t forget to stop by RV Connections in Panama City for all of your RV lifestyle needs from outdoor accessories to new and used RV sales. We’re your one-stop shop for RV sales and service in Florida, so come make RV Connections your go-to RV dealer today.

Photo by Steve Rhodes (Flickr Creative Commons)

Have an Olympics Themed Party in your RV

Olympic Cauldron

2010 Winter Olympics Cauldron – Photo by Scazon (Flickr Creative Commons)

The Super Bowl is over and with it all the tailgating parties leading up to the big day. Although football season has ended, there’s another “super” event on the agenda that is sure to inspire more creative tailgating excursions.

With the Winter Olympics set to go in Sochi, Russia, now’s the time to start planning a themed party for RV enthusiasts to get together and cheer their favorite teams. AT RV Connections, we are here to help you with all of your party needs. From chairs, tables, and grilling accessories to indoor and outdoor games suitable for kids and adults, we can help make your tailgating event a gold medal winner.

Decor

Make it a special party with Olympic banners and a variety of gold, silver and bronze silk ribbons hung inside and outside. Brighten up the festivities with an assortment of party lights, and make a statement with your own homemade Olympic torch.

Entertainment

The skies the limit when it comes to entertaining the masses at an Olympics themed party. Set up your own competitions so everyone has an opportunity to participate and win a gold, silver or bronze ribbon.

  • Set up a three-legged race competition for kids and adults
  • Lay out a running course and time it for the fastest competitor
  • Compete in a winter volleyball or darts tournament. If it’s snowing, that’s even better
  • If you have access to a snow-covered hill, set up sled races or compete for mini-downhill races
  • At the RV, keep those who prefer to watch the events on TV entertained with assorted board games

Food

Having plenty of snacks, goodies, and main course items is a major part of any tailgating event. So you have time to watch and participate in your own Olympic games, keep it simple.

  • Combine forces and ask everyone attending to bring a dish. Make a list and check each one off as it’s assigned.
  • Order barbecue, ribs, and/or chicken from a local restaurant and pick it up prior to the start of the party.
  • If you prefer preparing food yourself, fire up the grill for hot dogs and burgers.
  • Bring an assortment of lunch meat, cheeses, and all the fixings, plus several loaves of French or Cuban bread to make sandwiches.

Let the games begin with a visit to RV Connections where you’re always a winner.

(Photo Source)

Florida Events to Attend in 2014

Regardless of when you plan to travel, Florida is a great destination location. Whether you plan to travel during the winter or head down during the spring, summer, or fall, RV Connections will help you get there in comfort and style.

The Sunshine State offers a wide variety of events and festivals that will entertain everyone of all ages, year-round.

Gasparilla Pirate Invasion

The main pirate ship in the Invasion Gasparilla 2010

Photo by amanderson2 (Flickr Creative Commons)

Tampa has been celebrating the invasion of the city by pirates for more than 100 years. It begins on January 25 with the Jose Gaspar sailing up Hillsborough Bay followed by a brunch and a parade featuring the many krewes aboard their festooned floats. Think Mardi Gras atmosphere. The parade winds its way to downtown Tampa where the party continues into the night with live music on multiple stages.

Daytona 500

Racing fans have been making the trip to this annual event since 1959 and this year is no exception. On February 23, the track heats up as the leaders in the racing world compete for the coveted title. RVs, travel trailers, and pop-up campgrounds are available onsite.

Strawberry Festival

If you enjoy the sweet taste of these plump red berries, then the Strawberry Festival in Plant City is for you. Located approximately 25 minutes from Tampa and an hour from Orlando via I-4, the festival offers plenty of entertainment, rides, concerts from headliner musicians, handcrafted items, agriculture and horticulture displays, food, and plenty of strawberry goodies. The festival runs February 27 through March 9.

Firestone Grand Prix

For racing fans, the Firestone Grand Prix hits the streets March 28 – 30. Enjoy the excitement of the Indy Car series in downtown St. Pete. Plenty of entertainment, exhibits, music, food, beer gardens, and driver autograph sessions along with the races. RV parking spaces are available.

Clearwater Jazz Holiday

Jazz enthusiasts travel to Florida every year to attend this musical event in its 34th year. For three days, your ears will experience the best from legendary to new musical talent. The festival is scheduled for October 26 – 19.

Stop by RV Connections and take a look at their red tag inventory or if you’re interested in selling your current RV. If all you need is a tune-up, they’ll take care of that, too.

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.

How to Make the Holiday Season Special in Your RV

Deep Fried Turkey

Photo by Upendra Kanda (Flickr Creative Commons)

Most people associate the upcoming holiday with the changing of the leaves, pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon flavors, wrapping up in scarves, and sitting around a fire enjoying quality time with friends and family. For most people in Florida, we are out preparing for company by washing the RV wearing tank tops and shorts in 87 degree weather.

If you are looking for a different way to bring the fall season to your home, here are some ideas we suggest:

Decorating might help. Cutting out auburn, gold, and burnt orange leaves and hanging them from palm trees posted up on either side of the RV steps could be nice… or maybe just spruce up the inside. Set up the dining room table with pumpkin or leaf shaped table mats that can be found at your local Dollar Tree or Dollar General. Each store also has fall inspired kitchen towels you could use to dry off pots and pans from practicing your gourmet Thanksgiving Day feast. While you are there, pick up some serving platters for your appetizers, main course, and desserts. Last but not least, light a few sugar cookie candles and allow that sweet aroma to fill your trailers air. Neighbors and guests will be lining up to get a minute inside your RV. Making the inside of your RV smell and look like the holiday season can help make the days coming up special for you and your family.

Cooking works even better. Make this holiday season special by doing something different. Most cook their turkey in the oven. This year, deep-fry it!

Here is a quick recipe for a great deep-fried homemade turkey guaranteed to get rave reviews:

1. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey cavity and rinse the inside and outside of the bird.

 

2. Dry the turkey well, inside and out, with paper towels.

 

3. Fold the wings of the turkey behind the bird’s shoulders and then remove the hock lock. Place turkey on a large wire rack.

 

4. Place a 10- to 12-gallon stockpot on a 12-inch propane gas burner with at least 100,000 BTUs and fill with vegetable oil. Light fire and heat oil to 390 degrees F.

 

5. Lower the well-dried turkey, breast first, into a deep-frying basket. Put on oven mitts and gently lower the basket into the oil.

 

6. Lift up the turkey and dip it into the oil again three or four times so the oil adjusts to the temperature of the turkey.

 

7. Fry the turkey while keeping the oil temperature as close to 365 degrees F as possible. Fry for about three and a half minutes per pound, until meat is golden and a deep-frying thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey thigh registers 175 degrees F.

 

8. Lift basket out of oil and drain turkey, including the cavity, in a roasting pan. Carve and serve after the turkey has cooled for 20 minutes.

Viola! There it is; a great deep-fried turkey recipe. From full-timers to snowbirds, invite friends, neighbors, or other families in the campground and spend this holiday season surrounded by friendly faces, great food and making RV Connections; make the holiday season special.

(Recipe from Ehow)

(Photo Source)