Things To Do in Your RV Before the New Year

While many people make New Year resolutions, what’s to stop someone from making some “Old Year” resolutions instead? Why wait for a new year to have fun? Ring out 2017 in style by adding some items to your end of the year RVing bucket list and hit the road today! Here are some great ways to do that:

Go Somewhere New

While every RVer has their favorite destinations that they return to time and time again, why not view the end of 2017 as the time to go somewhere you’ve always thought about seeing, but have never gotten around to going there? Whether it’s heading up into the Rockies, seeing the West Coast, visiting Niagara Falls, or finally checking out the Grand Canyon, there’s got to be somewhere you wish you can go. Stop wishing and make it happen!

Make Some New Friends

Stopping in at an RV park is a great way to make new friends. After all, you know right off the bat that you share some similar interests: travel and RVing! Use those interests to break the ice and get to know your temporary neighbors better. While you’re at the park, you can enjoy your time more fully with new friends. And who knows? When it comes time for you or them to leave, your friendship could carry on if you exchange information. It’s a big open road out there, but your paths could cross again!

Do Some End of Year Cleaning

Spring is the classic season for all things cleaning, but why wait? If your RV is beginning to feel flooded to the brim with clutter, go ahead and make plans to start anew. If you get it done before the new year, you can enter 2018 feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever the upcoming year may throw your way.

Visit RV Connections

Stop by RV Connections this winter to shop for a new or used motorhome or travel trailer. If you’re not looking to upgrade your rig, you can still make sure that your RV is ready to travel with our service department at RV Connections in Panama City.

Camping at Disney World’s Fort Wilderness

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Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is the Disney World of RV parks, which is fitting considering it’s technically a part of Disney World. The massive campground takes up 700 acres of the park’s land and is so massive that you may feel like you’re in the middle of a forest somewhere rather than a short walk from one of the country’s best amusement parks.

It’s a full RV park with all the amenities and comforts you’d expect, including private sites, full hookups, two heated pools, several restaurants, stores, playgrounds, tennis courts, bike rentals, fishing, marinas, and more.

Here’s what else you should know:

Guests Have Easy Access to the Park

Guests at Fort Wilderness have an unprecedented level of access to Disney World. The campground itself is basically an actual fort: it’s blocked off and restricted except to those who are staying there. You’ll need your MagicBand on your wrist to access it and the park, which is a short walk away if you’re staying at Fort Wilderness. You’ll also gain access to park transport systems, like the buses or ferries to get to other portions of the park quickly, like Epcot or Animal Kingdom.

Feel Free to Bring Your Pets Along

Fort Wilderness is the only pet friendly resort that Disney World offers and has a leash-free dog park for guests and their pets to enjoy. Better yet, you don’t have to worry about your dogs when you head out to enjoy the park. Just make arrangements with the onsite Best Friends Pet Care facility and leave your pets with qualified pet sitters.

Don’t Wait to Reserve Your Spot

While Fort Wilderness has almost 800 sites available for all sizes of RVs, those spots fill up fast, especially in more tourist-heavy seasons. If you’ve got the intent to go to Disney World this upcoming year, see about making reservations soon. Make note that there are no pull-through spots available: you’ll have to back your RV up into your site. Sites run from $50 for the smaller sites to $90 a night for the larger ones. These prices are subject to change without notice, but they’re generally what you can expect to pay.

Visit RV Connections in Panama City

Stop by RV Connections before you hit the road on your next trip. The techs at RV Connections in Panama City can help you get your RV ready for the road.

Tips for RV Camping in the Florida Keys

With fall setting in and winter hot (cold?) on its trail, if you’re not packing away your RV, you’re probably at least setting your sights on some warmer destinations.

While there’s always SoCal or the Southwestern deserts, we prefer the sunny beaches of the Florida Keys. If year round blue skies, breezy warm weather, and refreshing water sounds like your idea of a great fall or winter, point your rig towards the Keys and enjoy some time there. Even as late in the year as December, you can catch some temperatures in the low to mid 70s.

Remember to Book a Site Well in Advance

One downside of the Keys is that you’re not the only RVer who will think to go there in the fall/winter. Know when you want to go and make sure that you reserve a site for your RV lest you find yourself roving the area in search of a spot to drop anchor. Even if you find that it’s too late this year, it’s still worth it to begin planning for next fall/winter. The sooner you try, the better chance you’ll have.

Don’t Go Without Your Trusty Tow Vehicle

If you’re in a motorhome, bring along an additional vehicle to get around with. It’s handy to have one almost anywhere, but it’s basically mandatory in the Keys. Major sites are spread out, so it’s not walkable. Additionally, there are some areas in the Keys where a big RV won’t fit. It’s best to drop your RV off at your camping site and then leave it there until you’re ready to move out.

Don’t Forget to Sightsee

This probably goes without saying, but there are multiple Keys in the region and each is worth the time it takes to visit and explore it. Don’t hone in Key West, for example.

Also, while the Keys are rightly known for watersports and seafood, don’t neglect to search for other activities and cuisines during your stay. You’ll be surprised at what you find when you look. Ask other RVers who’ve been in the area for a few weeks if they’ve got any recommendations.

Visit RV Connections in Panama City

Stop by RV Connections before you hit the road on your next trip or before you put your RV in storage. In either case, the techs at RV Connections in Panama City can help you get your RV ready for the road or for storage. If you don’t feel comfortable prepping your rig for storage, let a technician take care of it all for you.

Make This Easy Crab Salad in Your RV

Try this simple and easy crab salad recipe the next time you’re in the mood for seafood but don’t want to pay top dollar to satisfy that craving. This recipe is versatile, allowing you to customize and modify to your tastes. You can even replace the crab meat with tuna for a delicious tuna salad variation.

Easy Crab Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound imitation crab meat
  • 1 shallot, minced (or red onion)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup celery, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl add all the ingredients together gently, stirring until well coated.
  2. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Visit RV Connections

Stop by RV Connections Super Center this summer to tour a new or used motorhome or travel trailer. Whether you’re shopping for your next RV or simply wish for some RV service, parts, or accessories, RV Connections of Panama City can help!

Chile-Lime Fish Taco Bowls

These fish taco bowls are the perfect companion to a summer day spent on the Gulf with your RV. Whip them up for lunch or dinner and enjoy with your favorite cold beverage for a refreshing and easy meal.

Chile-Lime Fish Taco Bowls with Citrus Crema

Ingredients

For the fish:

  • 1 1/2-2 pounds firm white fish (cod, rockfish, or halibut)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2-3 limes)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried chipotle chowder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

For the crema:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1/2 lime)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (1/2 orange)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle powder

For the bowls:

  • 1 small head of cabbage
  • Guacamole or diced avocados
  • Pico de gallo or salsa
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), optional

Directions

  1. Place the fish in a large shallow dish or ziplock bag.
  2. Combine the lime juice, dried chipotle powder (more if you’d like it spicier), and sea salt. Pour it over the fish. Chill the fish and let it marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients for the crema and chill until ready to serve.
  4. Shred the cabbage and prep the guacamole and salsa (if needed).
  5. Cook the fish by grilling it over medium-high heat in a greased grill pan or in a skillet over medium-high heat in a little coconut oil.
  6. To assemble bowls, put a bed of shredded cabbage in each bowl. Top with a couple pieces of fish, a couple scoops of salsa, guacamole, and a sprinkle of pepitas. Serve with lime wedges and a drizzle of crema.

Visit RV Connections

Stop by RV Connections Super Center this summer to tour a new or used motorhome or travel trailer. Whether you’re shopping for your next RV or simply wish for some RV service, parts, or accessories, RV Connections of Panama City can help!

Tips for Florida RV Summer Storage

If you’re not going to be using your RV this summer or early fall, you’ll need to get it prepped for storage. Whether you are storing a motorized or non-motorized RV, the process is the same except for the extra steps you need to do for the engine in a motorized RV.

Plumbing

Empty the fresh water holding tank and the hot water heater. Turn the water pump and all of the faucets on to ensure that there is no water in the plumbing lines. Flush the toilet, ensuring that all of the water runs out. Empty the black and gray tanks. Leaving the black tank hooked up to the dump station, pour three or four buckets of water down the toilet to rinse the tank. If you have a tank rinse, you can skip that step and just run the tank rinse. Once you know all of the water is out of the system and all of the tanks are empty, turn the faucets off.

Cabinets

Remove all food, even canned food, from the cabinets. If you have a climate controlled storage area, you can leave the canned goods in as they won’t freeze and burst. Anything that is in containers that can be chewed through and anything that has an expiration date that is during the time your RV is in storage should be removed.

Materials

While your RV is in an enclosed storage, there is less chance that mice will get inside, but if the RV is in a carport-type storage or outside, store all pillows, blankets and other materials in plastic. Leave mattresses on the beds.

Generator

Add gas stabilizer to the generator’s gas tank. Run the generator for about 10 minutes to run the treated gas through the system. If the tank is easy to drain, remove the gas that is left in the tank; or run the generator until it runs out of gas if there is just a bit in the tank. Turn the fuel off.

Visit RV Connections

Stop by RV Connections before you hit the road on your next trip or before you put your RV in storage. In either case, the techs at RV Connections in Panama City can help you get your RV ready for the road or for storage. If you don’t feel comfortable prepping your rig for storage, let a technician take care of it all for you.

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

Try making this spicy shrimp pasta the next time you’re out in your RV this summer. Whether for lunch or dinner, you can eat this in the comfort of your RV or even take it to go on a picnic.

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound shrimp, without shells, and deveined
  • crushed red pepper
  • paprika
  • salt
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • half a cube chicken bullion
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz penne pasta

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook on one side for about 1 minute, until shrimp turns pink on that side. While it cooks, sprinkle the top of shrimp with crushed red pepper, paprika, and salt to cover every single shrimp. Using spatula, turn shrimp over to the other side and cook for about 2 more minutes.
  2. Remove shrimp to a plate, being careful to leave all the oil in the skillet.
  3. To the same skillet, add chopped onion and minced garlic and cook on medium high heat in the olive oil that will have a nice reddish color from paprika and crushed red pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, occasionally stirring, until onions soften.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes and chicken bullion cube dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water. Add basil and oregano, mix, bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, mixing occasionally and crushing all tomatoes into very small bites, until the sauce reduces just a bit. Season with more red pepper and salt, if needed. At the end, while on simmer, add heavy cream, mix it in, and immediately remove from heat.
  5. Add back the shrimp and pasta. Mix everything well to combine. Reheat on low simmer, if needed. Do not bring to boil or high heat as it might affect the sauce texture. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. When serving, I like to sprinkle the top of pasta with just a touch of crushed red pepper.

Visit RV Connections Super Center

Stop by RV Connections Super Center this summer to tour a new or used motorhome or travel trailer. Whether you’re shopping for your next RV or simply wish for some RV service, parts, or accessories, RV Connections of Panama City can help!

Tips for Hiking with a Toddler

Hiking is a low skill activity that’s great for introducing toddler’s to the great outdoors as you travel in your RV. But toddlers obviously aren’t at the same physical level as even an out of shape adult. Here are some tips to keep your toddler happy and safe on the trail this summer.

Start Out Small

Your toddler is small, so start out small. Do less challenging hikes and shorter distances to acclimate your toddler to the concept of hiking. Once they get the hang of the distances involved, they’ll be able to graduate to more demanding walks.

Remember to Plan Some Breaks

Don’t demand too much of your toddler: plan to rest along the way and offer them plenty of food and even more water. Pack several snacks so that there’s something they’ll be in the mood to eat. In addition to water, bring along some juice packs. It’s important to keep them well hydrated.

Equip Them for Hiking

Don’t just throw on some random clothes and expect that your toddler will be able to keep up. Make some effort to deck them out: just like you, they’ll need hiking boots, sunglasses, a hat, and even a small backpack (they can carry their snacks this way). If properly equipped, they’ll be able to handle more and go farther.

Know When They’re Done

Don’t overexert a toddler. Watch for signs that they’re tiring out and be prepared to pick them up and turn around. With some practice, you’ll recognize that they’re tiring fast enough that you’ll be able to head back before they get too tired to walk on their own.

Visit RV Connections

Stop by RV Connections this summer to shop for a new or used motorhome or travel trailer. If you’re not looking to upgrade your rig, you can still make sure that your RV is ready to travel with our service department at RV Connections in Panama City.

Try These Vivid Fish Tacos this Summer

Vivid both visually and in taste, these fish tacos are the perfect companion to a summer day spent on the Gulf with your RV. Whip them up for lunch or dinner and enjoy with your favorite cold beverage for a refreshing and easy meal.

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema

Ingredients

For the fish:
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound white fish, about 3 or 4 fillets
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 12 corn tortillas
For the Chipotle-Lime Crema:
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Toppings:
  • Cilantro
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce

Directions

For the fish:
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, onion and garlic powder. Sprinkle both sides of each fish fillet evenly with the seasoning.

  2. Heat coconut oil in pan over medium-high heat until HOT.

  3. Lay fish fillets in pan and cook for 5 minutes without turning.

  4. After 5 minutes, flip fish and cook on the other side for about 2 minutes, or until fish begins to flake.

  5. Remove pan from heat and flake the fish with a fork. Serve fish on warm corn tortillas, top with lettuce, cilantro, radishes, and chipotle lime crema.

For the Chipotle Lime Crema:
  1. Mix all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth.

  2. Chill in fridge until ready to eat.

Visit RV Connections Super Center

This summer when you’re traveling through Florida in your RV, make RV Connections Super Center in Panama City your go-to for everything RV related. Whether you need to shop for a new rig or just need a technician to perform some maintenance on your current ride, RV Connections Super Center has got you covered.

Explore Econfina Creek

Located in Florida’s northwest panhandle between Panama City and Marianna, Econfina Creek offers paddlers and other watercrafters an at times languid and at other times harrowing route full of scenery and pristine springs.

Part of the route is great for beginners or those looking to enjoy a languid trip while the rest of the creek is extremely difficult and fast-moving and only suitable for experienced water-goers.

Stretching about 26 miles starting near Panama City and heading to Deer Point Reservoir and the Gulf of Mexico, there are a number of pullovers to enter the river or to picnic along its side.

There are a total of 11 springs along the creek’s length and very little human development to spoil the natural beauty. You can snorkel in the gentle parts of the creek or in the springs themselves. The creek is also good for tubing.

There’s one canoe outfitter situated on the creek just north of the Hwy 20 bridge. They can provide canoe, kayak, or tube rentals and will even shuttle visitors to and from access points along the creek. Even if you’re not renting watercraft from them, they still offer the shuttle service.

Vegetation along the creek isn’t typical Florida foliage, and includes mountain laurels, magnolia, beech, cypress, sweetgum, and white oak, among others.

Visit RV Connections Super Center

Stop by RV Connections Super Center before you visit Econfina Creek to find your perfect summer RV or to schedule service for your current RV.