Must Have RV Gadgets

Technology provides us with awesome new camping gadgets every year. And as much as many travelers try to steer clear of using too much technology in the great outdoors, these three camping gadgets are so useful, they’re hard to resist.

NEMO Helio Pressure Shower

If you’ve been using a Coleman solar shower or are simply disappointed with the water pressure from your RV’s exterior shower, you’ll fall in love with the NEMO Helio Pressure Shower. This unique shower, with attached foot pump, allows you to choose your desired water pressure for five to seven minutes. The 11-liter tank warms in the sun quickly, so you can enjoy a hot, high-pressure shower — without using your precious RV water tanks — in a matter of minutes.

Coronado Signature Series Recliner

Forget about picnic benches and cheap pop-up chairs, the Coronado Signature Series Recliner is the only outdoor chair you need at the campsite. The rich bronze weave mesh is easy to clean, durable and aesthetically pleasing, so you don’t have to put it away when it’s not in use. An adjustable headrest, heavy-duty reclining frame and supportive leg rest ensure you’re always comfortable at the campground.

Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven Stove

Sick of dirtying the interior of your RV when you want to cook for friends and family? The portable Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven Stove is easy to transport and easy to set up, so you can enjoy an outdoor kitchen even if your RV didn’t come with one. This awesome camp stove can cook for up to five hours on one 1-pound propane can, so you can enjoy your favorite meals without the mess.

Find Your Favorite RV Gadgets at RV Connections

Come by RV Connections in Panama City to shop for all of the latest and greatest camping supplies, RV parts, and accessories for your next RV trip.

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!

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.

How to Conquer Any Solo Hike

Hiking man or trail runner looking at mountains

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.

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.

Unbeatable Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Apple and cranberry crumble

Entrees and sides get a lot of praise at the Thanksgiving dinner table, but, to many, dessert is the best part. These two mouthwatering (and easy) desserts are guaranteed to be the stars of the show this Thanksgiving.

Festive Cranberry Cobbler

What you’ll need:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar (divided)
  • 1 1/4 cups cranberries (partially thawed)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)

Cooking instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.
  3. Stir the cranberries and 2 tablespoons of sugar together.
  4. Whisk the flour, baking powder, 3/4 cup sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
  5. In a separate small bowl, whisk the milk and egg together, then whisk in the butter.
  6. Whisk the milk mixture into the flour mixture.
  7. Pour the batter into the skillet and sprinkle the cranberries on top.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, then let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

What you’ll need:

  • 4 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 9-inch basic pie crust (in a pie plate)
  • 1 cup pecans

Cooking instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place rack in the lowest position.
  2. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water to melt the chocolate. Stir occasionally until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Stir the eggs, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and salt together in a medium bowl. Slowly stir in the melted chocolate.
  4. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Lay the pecans evenly on top of the filling.
  6. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the pie has set. Let cool on a wire rack for 4 hours before serving.

Happy Thanksgiving from RV Connections

RV Connections wishes you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving. Come by RV Connections in Panama City to tour a new or used RV for your holiday travels.

DIY RV Hacks You Need to Know

RVConnections_DIY-RV-Hacks

Living the RV lifestyle isn’t always easy. You’re forced to give up some of the luxuries you enjoy at home for a compact home on wheels. Although, you don’t have to have a massive Class A motorhome to enjoy your life on the road. These simple RV hacks will help ensure you and your fellow travelers are all happy campers.

1. Use a Towel Rod to Hold Bathroom Products in Place

Putting all of your bathroom products away before you hit the road can be difficult to remember, and those products can also crowd your small storage spaces. Screw a towel rod to the wall and place your products between the bar and the wall. They’ll stay organized and in place when you’re cruising down the road.

2. Use a Shoe Organizer for More Storage

Shoe organizers can hang from doors, walls, and they can even be cut to hang in compact places. They’re a perfect way to ensure your clothing, cleaning products and other supplies stay organized on the road without taking up your precious storage spaces.

3. Use Glow-in-the-Dark Tape on Your Entry Steps

Entry steps can be dangerous in the dark, but entry lights can be difficult and expensive to install. Place glow-in-the-dark tape on your steps, so you and your guests can easily avoid injury.

4. Save Free Condiments

When you’re living in a brick-and-mortar-home, you probably throw free condiments away. When you’re on the road in your RV, those extra ketchup, mustard and soy sauce packets can come in handy. They take up much less space than full-size bottles and are especially handy if your RV refrigerator is small.

5. Shop for RV Supplies at RV Connections

Our RV Connections online parts store is the perfect place to pick up all of the RV supplies you need to enjoy your RV lifestyle. Drop by RV Connections today for RV sales, service, parts, and accessories.

Buying an RV

RVConnections_BuyingRV

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.

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