RV Travel News & Blog Articles

Stay up-to-date on RV travel news, products, and trends from around the world.

The Common Fifth Wheel Hitch Mistake New Owners Make

The forums at RV.net reveal a common fifth wheel hitch mistake that often happens to new (or even experienced) fifth wheel owners. This mistake has to do with using a fifth wheel hitch improperly, but the good news is that it can be avoided fairly easily.

The All-Too-Common Fifth Wheel Hitch Mistake

Photo by Camping World

Imagine you’ve driven several hundred miles to your destination. You’ve been in your truck for hours, and you finally arrive at your campground. You’ve positioned your fifth wheel on the campsite after a couple of attempts and some slight adjustments. Everything is perfect.

You add wheel chocks to hold your fifth wheel in place, lower your landing legs, disconnect from your fifth wheel trailer hitch, and extend your slides. You set up your camping chairs around the fire pit and start prepping dinner. That’s when you realize you’re out of cooking oil and need to make a store run. Or maybe you just need drinks or sides to go with dinner. 

You double-check that the cables are disconnected between your truck and fifth wheel…all good there. So you hop in your truck, shift into drive, start to pull away, and then CRACK! What mistake did you make?

The answer: you forgot to lower the tailgate! As a result, your fifth wheel pin box dented your tailgate. 

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How To Stay Cool While Camping in the Heat

It’s no secret that summer is the most popular time of year to go camping. The long days, warm nights, and generally great weather make it the ideal season for travel and spending time outdoors. But when the mercury starts to climb—and the temperature moves from warm to scorching hot—camping in the heat can become an uncomfortable experience.

Fortunately, it isn’t hard to make a few adjustments and learn how to stay cool camping. Here are some tips for staying comfortable that don’t involve huddling inside the RV with the air conditioning blasting.

Stay Hydrated

It’s important to stay hydrated, especially when in the heat for long periods of time.

One of the most important ways to stay cool and safe in the summer heat is to drink plenty of fluids. When your body starts to overheat, it begins to sweat in an effort to cool itself down. But if you’re not adequately hydrated, you may not be able to create the perspiration you need to maintain a safe temperature. This can lead to dangerous conditions like dehydration or heatstroke.

Drink plenty of water while active in the outdoors and enjoy other cool drinks while relaxing at the campsite. However, be careful not to indulge in too much alcohol when outside in hot conditions. Alcoholic beverages can actually cause dehydration, so save those for later in the day when temperatures are cooler.

Have a go-to insulated cup, mug, or thermos and keep it filled with fresh drinking water.

Sun hats and loose clothing are ideal for warm weather wear.
Americana Outdoor Sun Protection Hat
Biking in the Mountain Campgrounds
RV under live oak tree.
18V LXT 13 in. Jobsite Fan
Airhead Bimini Lounger II
Cute daughter with mother eating watermelon in the summer. Happy girls in the park.
Summer Road Trip in RV
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How to Hook Up a Portable Generator

Portable generators are a great addition to certain camping setups. They give you a safe power supply when you’re not camping with full hookups and can extend your boondocking trips. They can also be great for backup power at home during power outages. But you should know how to hook up a portable generator to use this RV accessory safely. 

Disclaimer: Read all operating instructions and safety precautions for your generator BEFORE starting it and plugging in your RV. Generators are different, so additional steps may be required for your specific model. 

How To Choose The Right Portable Generator

It all starts with choosing a generator model that can supply enough power for your RV. RVs have different electrical demands, which means there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option. 

Please watch the video above to learn more about choosing a generator for your RV. But at the basic level, here are the minimum recommendations for generator size based on RV electrical systems

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Everything You Need to Know About Lake Tahoe Camping

When you first lay eyes on Lake Tahoe, it’s almost hard to believe it isn’t a protected national park. But for the millions of visitors that flock here each year, that means unprecedented public access to some of the clearest water in the world. 

There’s no shortage of fun in the Tahoe Basin, from motorized or human-powered boating to exploring the Sierra Nevada mountains on foot or bike. To help you set up your RV as an adventure sports basecamp in Tahoe, here’s everything you need to know about Lake Tahoe camping. 

How To Get To and Around Lake Tahoe

Photo by Vineyard Perspective via Shutterstock

A common remark that I hear from visitors is, “I didn’t realize it was so spread out.” Indeed, the lake is approximately 22 miles long, 12 miles across, and 72 miles in circumference. Because of the windy mountain roads, RVers will need to travel slowly and carefully when visiting Lake Tahoe. 

Be aware that it usually takes about two hours to drive around the entire lake–if you don’t run into any summer traffic. There are multiple ways to get to different parts of the lake. So here’s a quick rundown: 

From The East

Photo by instacruising via Shutterstock

If traveling in from the east, the two main cities before Lake Tahoe are Reno and Carson City. From Reno, you can take Interstate 80 to the town of Truckee. From there, you’ll have the option of taking Highway 89 to Tahoe City or Highway 267 to Kings Beach. 

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Camping World Summer Must-Haves

Summer is finally here, and with warmer weather comes new adventures! Late nights, bonfires, and camping are a few of our favorite things. Whether you’re planning on boondocking or staying at an RV campground this summer, consider these products that are sure to enhance your experience:

Club Chairs

Take your outdoor living space to the next level with a MacSports club chair. It folds down easily and stores well in small spaces, perfect for the RVer on the go. These chairs sit like indoor chairs but are made for outdoor conditions. It’s much more comfortable than a standard bag chair! Bring one, or several, to the next campfire with your family and friends. If you’re up for it, you could even spring for the MacSports Club Chair, Ottoman, and Table Bundle for maximum comfort and convenience. For all things camping chair-related, check out our RVers guide to choosing the best camp chair.

Patio String Lights

Image: Shutterstock

Patio string lights add a personal touch and a warm glow to your campsite. Most sets of lights allow you to connect two or more strands for extra length so you can string them as far as you’d like for maximum nighttime ambiance. Now you will want to spend even more time outdoors once the sun goes down. Try the Black Lantern Mini Light Set for a nostalgic feel or go with the Color-Changing Edison LED Light Set for a more modern display.

RV Patio Mats

The Hambricks enjoy outside time dancing on their RV’s patio mat. Image by Tyler Cave.

While we are on the topic of patio décor – style yours up with an RV mat. The breathable material won’t hurt the grass and keeps your area looking new. UV protection resists sun exposure and maintains the mat’s appearance. It’s easy to clean by simply spraying with water or sweeping for a restored appearance. The mat can be folded into a compact size for easy storage as well. There are several options, but a few stand-outs are the Reversible Geometric Design Patio Mat and the Reversible Magnolia Design Patio Mat. Are you interested in combining your patio mat with your lighting sources? Then the LED Illuminated Patio Mat will do just that.

Camping Grills

Image: Camping World

Don’t like cooking over an open campfire? No worries! Grills designed for camping outdoors have come a long way. Oftentimes, they’re small and portable – perfect for camping life. Also, they’re typically foldable and can be stored in tiny spaces when traveling from one campsite to the next. Get ready to prepare delicious meals for the whole family. The Razor Portable LP Gas Griddle has a versatile cooking surface that can take you from breakfast to late-night snack and every meal in between. If you’re looking for more of a traditional grilling experience, the BBQTek Portable Grill and Table Bundle will have the entire campsite calling you a chef in no time.

The Hambricks
Family Grilling at RV Campsite
Family Around Fire Pit at Campsite
Franklin Spyderball Set
Retractable Cable Tie Out Stake
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The RVers Guide to Emergency Pet Care

Traveling is meant to be fun and exciting! When we add pets to our camping trips, the fun never stops. Unless that fun is interrupted by an emergency and you need pet care immediately. But what do you do when you are in a new or unfamiliar place with your pet and you need a veterinarian? We’ve been in this situation many times during our five years of full-time travel. And we have learned what to do and what not to do when it comes to helping your pet. 

By preparing right, you can soften the struggle of a pet emergency on the road. If you’re a Good Sam member, you may have some helpful travel tools already at your fingertips, like discounted pet health insurance and pet subscriptions. Explore Good Sam pet benefits.


Photo: Rachael Johnson

Your pet’s records are your first line of defense when it comes to emergencies. Have all of your pet’s vet records, licenses, and test results on hand in case of emergencies. During an emergency, you may not have the time to look for papers. We keep physical copies of Brickle and Fruitycake’s records not only in our RV but in our vehicle and our backpack that we take on trails. We also keep a file of their records on our phones. These records can help a vet know how to care for your dog and be made aware of allergies and prior complications. 

Important records to have on file:

Vaccination records or titer test resultsMedication names and dosage amountsHeartworm test resultsMicrochip informationYour dog’s allergiesYour primary veterinarian’s contact informationPet insurance plan information

Make a List

When our dog Digby started having frequent bouts of illness, it made us nervous to travel. We like to be spontaneous when picking camping destinations, but as our dogs got older, that changed. So just as we mapped out our routes, we started mapping out veterinarians in the areas we planned to travel to. I make a list of emergency clinics, vets, and even mobile vets. Looking at online reviews helps to have a first choice of who to call if you need to.  

First Aid Kit 

First Aid Value Pack

The fact is that, sometimes, you will be in a remote area and a vet may be miles away. A first aid kit can come in handy until you can reach a veterinarian. You can purchase a first aid kit pre-made or make one yourself. Some items to include:

First Aid Value Pack
Senior Dog RVing
The Dogs of 2 Traveling Dogs
Dog Treat for Sitting Outside RV
RV Travel with Dog. Motorhome Traveling with Pet. Middle Age Australian Silky Terrier in Motorcoach Window Looking Around.
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Ways to Make an Old RV Feel Like New

RV interior design and technology have made plenty of advances over the years, but just because you have an aging RV doesn’t necessarily mean you need to trade it in for a new model. There are several steps you can take to modernize your rig and make it feel like new. Having your home away from home reflect your personal style is now easier than ever, especially with Camping World’s Design Center.

Featured in several stores throughout the country, the Design Center serves as both inspiration and a resource to help you achieve that home sweet home feeling while on the road. From complete renovations to simple upgrades, bringing your RV design vision to life is not only possible, it’s now part of the adventure. Here are a few ways you can spruce up your current RV and make it look and feel brand new.

Select New Furniture Pieces

Image: Camping World

Furniture is one of the first items you should look at when thinking of modifying your rig’s interior. If it looks outdated, old, and overdone, you should be able to do some easy updating or altering that will give your RV a more modern, personal, and homier feel. The couch, chairs, and dinette table are the key things you may want to turn to for the biggest impact. Layering in current furniture is a surefire way to change the way you feel about your old RV.

When starting with furniture, look at options from Kathy Ireland or Thomasville — two brands that design living room pieces with style in mind that never sacrifice comfort. From recliners to sofas to ottomans, they offer furniture to take your RV from old to new without breaking the bank in the process. If you’d rather start in the bedroom, look at mattresses from Cozyway and bedding from Enclave. Together, these brands will turn your bedroom into the retreat you deserve after a long day of exploring.

Even if your RV isn’t too old, changing up the furniture to better fit your needs can make the whole space feel new. If you have a single large couch, consider replacing it with a couple of comfy recliners or gliders. Try updating the seating around the kitchen table or even adding cabinets to create more storage space. You don’t have to replace every piece of furniture either. Try going one piece at a time to build the modern-feeling living space you dream of.

Flooring Samples
RV Interior Design
RV Technology
Design Center Upgraded RV Kitchen Appliances
Camping World Design Center
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The Best Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 3,000 Pounds

One of the barriers to starting to RV for many people is their vehicle. Most people own an SUV, crossover, minivan, or midsize pickup that can tow a moderate amount. However, many travel trailers can get pretty heavy, and that means your everyday vehicle likely isn’t rated to tow the weight.

Rather than purchase an entirely different vehicle just to tow your RV, use what you have. Contact your vehicle manufacturer to see whether your car can be equipped with a hitch. It may not be a costly or timely adjustment to alter your vehicle to tow. You’d be surprised how useful it can be. Tow a small cargo trailer to move your house without hiring movers. Or tow a jet-ski or ATV out for a joyride. But our favorite use has to be to pull an RV.

Lightweight Travel Trailer (Image: Getty)

There’s nothing more freeing than towing your home behind you. The possibilities for fun, adventure, and vacation memories are endless once you hitch up and hit the road. Are you pining for a hitch yet? Let’s look at the RVs, including new and used travel trailers, available for lightweight towers.

There are many towable travel trailers that have very low dry weights. They’re lightweight and nimble, making them perfect introductory RVs for entering the RV lifestyle. To help narrow down your options, I’ve rounded up a few lightweight travel trailers with a dry weight of fewer than 3,000 pounds. That means most crossovers, SUVs, minivans, and smaller trucks should have no problem trailering them!

Jayco Lightweight Travel Trailers

Focused on designing and building RVs with exploration in mind for over 50 years, Jayco continues to satisfy the needs of every RV enthusiast. When it comes to family, fun, and relaxation all wrapped up in a lightweight travel trailer package – Jayco is the gift that keeps on giving.

Jayco Jay Flight Lightweight Travel Trailer
Jayco Hummingbird Lightweight Travel Trailer
Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro Lightweight Travel Trailer
Forest River R-Pod Lightweight Travel Trailer
Great Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 3,000 Pounds
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25 Amazing Campgrounds Near National Parks

The US is full of wide-open spaces. RV travel provides the freedom to go seek out these destinations whenever you hear the call of adventure. You’ve seen the photos, there’s nothing more majestic than a visit to America’s national treasure–one of its 50-plus national parks.

But what if everyone goes to national parks? Will they become overcrowded? During select times of the year, that’s possible. However, good planning can reap big rewards. 

Why Stay Near a National Park and Not Inside?

Image from Getty

The larger parks, like the colossal Yellowstone National Park, have fantastic campgrounds close to everything you want to see. The downside is having to reserve several months in advance (or sometimes even longer), especially for the high season from June to September when school is out and families are on the road.

If you can, the best times to visit the national parks are either in the spring or fall. Visitation numbers are at their lower at most parks, but the weather hasn’t turned too wintery just yet. That said, reservations are competitive if you can only visit during the summer.

One more item about national park campgrounds: bear in mind they may not always fit larger RVs and most will have limited full hook-up accommodations. If you have a large travel trailer, 5th wheel, or luxury class A motorhome, your choices for national park campgrounds will be more limited than for those with smaller campers.

Couple on top of the mountain, looking at beautiful summer mountain landscape. Friends on hiking trip enjoying view of Colorado river. South Rim. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA.
Throughout both the North and South block of Theodore Roosevelt National park are wild bison that graze the plains and badlands.
Hiking Everglades National Park

Campground Near Zion National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Bridge
Congaree National Park
Reasons to stay in or near national park campgrounds
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The RVer’s Guide to Driving the Backroads

The more we RV – and we’ve been doing this for ten years now – the more we dislike driving the Interstates and instead opt for backroads. Granted, there are times when you have to be somewhere fast and the Interstates are the only viable options. But fast is the problem. With speed limits of 70 miles per hour in most states (more in a handful of mostly western states), it’s very rare these days to find traffic moving at the speed limit. It is much closer to 80, we’ve found.

It is not unusual now to find people going 90, especially with traffic apps like Waze that use crowdsourcing to share real-time information on where the police are set up with radar. When you are in an RV – be it a towable or motorhome – speed is not your friend. The faster you go, the harder it is to stop and control.

Add to that the fact that the tires on most RVs are not engineered to be able to go as fast as the tires on your tow vehicle. Suddenly there’s a compelling case for traveling the backroads. But aside even from safety, backroads travel is just a lot more enjoyable.

Why Drive the RV on Backroads?

Image: Camping World

On backroads, top speeds are usually limited to either 55 or 65 miles per hour. We’ve found through experience– and top RV technicians have told us the same – that the sweet spot for safe speed and better gas mileage with an RV is around 60 miles per hour.

Lower speeds can also result in much-improved mileage compared to interstate driving. Budget stretching and safety are probably the two top reasons you should consider driving the backroads. But there are two more reasons:

RV Driving Along Backroad Landscape
2021 Thor Four Winds on Backroad
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How To Maintain Your RV’s Air Conditioner

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Snowbirding is all fun and games down in the nice, warm south—until the A/C goes out. Knowing how to maintain your RV’s air conditioner will keep your coach cool so you can retreat from the heat when needed. 

Whether you’re learning about seasonal RV AC maintenance, replacing AC accessories, or exploring other air conditioner options, we’ve got you covered. This guide will cover the three likely causes of A/C malfunction, how to remedy them, and best practices to avoid overworking the unit. 

Types of RV Air Conditioners

Photo by Camping World

There are several different types of air conditioning units you might find in an RV. Roof-mounted AC units like the Dometic Brisk II are by far the most common. You may also find window-mounted units, basement units, and portable units that can provide cool air in different rooms of your coach. 

For the purposes of this guide, maintaining and troubleshooting roof-mounted AC units will be our focus. Check your owner’s manual for maintenance and troubleshooting tips specific to your air conditioner if you have another type.

Understanding RV Air Conditioner Components

Several different components make up an RV’s AC system. Understanding how these components work together will prepare you to better maintain your RV’s air conditioner. 

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How to RV the Oregon Trail

If you’ve been a fan of the hit TV series 1883, you’ve marveled at the adventure, danger, beauty, and amazement encountered by the early pioneers who traveled west on the Oregon Trail in covered wagons. In 2022, though, we can now follow much of that trail in comfort thanks to today’s version of the Covered Wagon – the modern recreational vehicle.

All the way west, starting at St. Louis, are roadside parks, historic markers, small towns, and fabulous scenery that commemorates and celebrates that massive migration. The routes are far removed from the interstates, usually along well-maintained state two-lanes, with lots of places to camp. If you are thinking about making such a trip, all the way to Oregon or only for parts of the trail, the first thing you need to realize is that it’s really not just one trail you’ll be following.

A Brief History of the Oregon Trail

Image: Mike Wendland

Originally, the trails were all formed by animals and then by the various Native American tribes that transformed them into hunting grounds. Then in 1804, Lewis and Clark, using the Missouri River for much of their travels, made their way to the Pacific Ocean and, as their accounts slowly reached the population centers and small farms back east, they showed the way for those first covered wagon pioneers. The Oregon Trail was the route those pioneers followed, a journey that, in some places, almost paralleled the Lewis and Clark expedition.

It’s hard to over-emphasize the importance of these two 19th-century routes. Lewis and Clark discovered the overland route to the Pacific, thus opening up the nation to east-west travel in the days immediately after the Louisiana Purchase. It was a trip that in its day, was as monumental as the American landing on the moon is to ours. The Oregon Trail pioneers came about four decades after Lewis and Clark, mostly traveling in their prairie schooners – so named because their wagons were covered with white canvas that made them resemble a ship at sea.

Others took routes that sprang off the Oregon Trail on paths called the California Trail and the Mormon Trail as they headed to the Gold Rush and Salt lake City. The Pony Express routes also traveled parts of the Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail, and the various other trails that led from it, constituted the single greatest migration in America – consisting of as many as a half-a-million men, women, and children who traveled by wagon and by foot west for two decades from 1842-1870.

Morris Carter on Horse Along Oregon Trail
Oregon Trail Wagon Ride
Campfire Steak Dinner Along Oregon Trail
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Best Lakeside Camping Destinations

Summer is prime camping season, but if you don’t pick the right destination you may find yourself sweltering in the heat instead of enjoying yourself. That’s why finding a great campground near the water is key!

Lakes are wonderful for camping and most have some amazing campgrounds nearby to choose from. You can build wonderful memories with your family at a lake. So, pack up your swimsuits, fishing poles, and kayaks and head to one of these fabulous lakeside campgrounds, many part of the Good Sam Campground network. A Good Sam Membership saves you 10% on stays at these campgrounds and over 2,000 other camping destinations.

Davis Lakes Campground – Virginia

Even better than camping on one lake is camping on three! Davis Lakes Campground has it all: fishing, water sports, and plenty of activities for land lovers too. Located in Suffolk, Virginia this campground is only an hour away from Virginia Beach and Colonial Williamsburg, but you might have a hard time dragging yourself away from all they have to offer onsite.

For starters, the 25-acre Lake Neal is the primary fishing spot, but don’t miss the six-acre Catfish Lake stocked with bluegill, largemouth bass, and catfish. If you’re looking for a sandy beach with a terrific swimming area, try the 18-acre Lake Helen which also boasts an Aquaglide with water trampolines, jungle gyms, and blast bags.

Other Campgrounds Nearby

Chesapeake CampgroundThe Colonies RV & Travel Park at Fort MonroeNewport News Park Campground

Camp Chautauqua Camping Resort – New York

Image: Camping World

Since 1968, the Anderson family has been providing a summer retreat for the whole family at Camp Chautauqua Camping Resort. Located on the shores of the 17-mile-long Chautauqua Lake in Western New York, this family resort has every amenity you could want including a pool, splash pad, playground, boat marina, and nature trails for starters.

Father and Daughter Grilling by RV and Lake
Just five minutes away from Hot Springs, Arkansas Catherine’s Landingis aptly named as it features one mile of water frontage on beautiful Lake Catherine. Many sites are waterfront and there are beautiful woods all around. Each paved site has full hook-ups, a picnic table, BBQ grill, and fire ring.
Grilling on Pitboss Grill Next to RV Lakeside
Wahweap Marina RV Park and Campground is located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
RV Overlooking Lake
RV Parked by Lake
RV Couple by Lake
Best lakeside camping destination
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6 Ways to Make Coffee in an RV

Every good adventure starts with coffee. For some RVers, a daily cup of Joe is part of their morning ritual. For others, that coffee fix is essential to fuel their day on the road, trail, river, or wherever the day takes them. Thankfully, making coffee in an RV is as easy as making coffee at home. I’d argue that it’s even better because coffee tastes amazing when you’re taking in majestic views outside your RV window.

As a fellow coffee-lover, it might not come as a surprise that I always opt for whole bean coffee and a manual grinder for robust, fresh, and flavorful coffee. So put the instant coffee aside and make way for six different methods for brewing quality coffee to sip and savor while RVing and camping. 

French Press

Image: Jenny of Girl of 10,000 Lakes

Coffee snobs know a French press is a sure-fire way to make bold, smooth, and flavorful coffee. It’s so simple yet does a great job at making quality coffee. In our RV, the French press fits in a little basket designated for coffee-related things including our favorite whole bean coffee, a grinder, and a French press. It’s easy to grab out of the RV kitchen cupboard every morning.

To make coffee in a French press, add about six tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee per two cups of water; more or less coffee depending on how strong you like your java. We boil water in our kettle on the RV stove or you can opt for an electric kettle. Pour hot water into your carafe and let it steep for six minutes. Then separate the grounds from the coffee by pressing down on the filter. Pour the coffee into your mugs right away to prevent it from steeping further. Between my husband and I, we can easily make coffee in an eight-cup French press and have a mug and a half for the both of us.

Click to view slideshow.


If you’re looking for a specialty coffee maker that not only makes smooth and balanced coffee but is also durable, space-saving, easy to clean, and versatile, the Aeropress is your best bet. Versatility is the Aeropress’ biggest strength and it’s no wonder this little device has a cult following. Whether you enjoy classic black coffee, espresso, an Americano, cold brew, cold extract, drip coffee, French press style, or iced coffee – the Aeropress can do it all. It is truly an impressive contraption. So how does it work? The Aeropress uses air pressure to force the water through the coffee grounds. Place your coffee grounds into the brewing chamber, add hot water, and push down the plunger gently to force water through the coffee grounds and filter into a cup. Push down the plunger to extract the coffee. The Aeropress is practical for one or two cups of coffee. 

Pour Over Coffee in RV
Warm Mug of Coffee Inside RV
Coffee Cup against Lake
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How To Do An RV Roof Inspection

Keeping a leak-free roof over your head is one of the most important things you can do for an RV of any type. If you don’t have a good roof, the rest of your RV is compromised. One of the best ways to treat your roof right is to do a regular RV roof inspection.

Many suggest adding an RV roof inspection to your annual maintenance routine. Even if you’re not interested in doing maintenance work yourself, you can save money and time simply by giving it a quick check.

How Often Should I Inspect My RV Roof?

Photo by Camping World

Seasonal RVers should inspect their RV roof at least twice a year. Inspect at the beginning of the RV season and again at the end of your camping season before winterizing your RV.

Full-time RVers need to consider regular RV roof maintenance at least three to four times a year. Make it a quarterly check and combine it with a thorough roof cleaning. You’ll already be up on the roof for regular RV maintenance, so cleaning while you’re at it is a good idea.

Check out some options for RV cleaning products. And don’t forget, nationwide Camping World Service Centers offer free roof inspections!

Proper care of your RV roof includes gentle cleaning a couple of times a year.
A man is lifting a metal box on the roof of a camper van while doing an inspection
Camper Van Clear Glassy Roof Vent. Air Circulation in the Motor Home.
RV roof sola panels and vents
How to do an RV roof inspection
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Maintaining Electric Steps on Your RV

Maintaining the electric power steps on your RV is extremely important. Without them, you’re going to have a hard time getting in and out of your RV, unless you always carry a set of portable RV steps or a step stool around, which can be cumbersome. 

If you don’t maintain your RV electric steps, you could be on the hook for an expensive repair if they fail entirely. A few simple DIY maintenance tasks will save you money and the hassle of repairing or replacing faulty steps. 

Step 1: Make Sure Steps Are Fully Extended Before Use

Photo by Camping World

You should never put any weight on a step that is not extended and in a locked position. You’ll know your steps are fully extended when the motor has stopped running. Then they are ready to use.

If you use your RV’s electric steps while they’re still moving it can result in the weakening of joints that hold the steps together or a broken step entirely. Both of these will eventually present a significant fall risk for you and anyone else entering or exiting your RV. 

Step 2: Use Your Handrail 

Photo by Camping World

Most RVs are equipped with some sort of handrail to help you maneuver up and down your steps. Use this handhold to minimize the risk of a fall when going in and out of your trailer. 

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Camping World’s Guide to RVing Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is the nation’s first national park and remains one of the country’s most popular and visited parks. It’s a vast, beautiful, and wild habitat known for spectacular geothermal features and an abundance of wildlife rarely found in other parts of the US. 

Herds of massive bison wander through the park’s grasslands, and gray wolves roam the northern regions. Old Faithful might be the park’s most popular geothermal feature, but hot pools and spouting geysers dot the park’s landscape. 

Spanning a huge area of 2.2 million acres, you might need multiple trips to experience everything Yellowstone offers. Here are some tips to help you plan your trip to this incredible national park that spans parts of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.

Why Visit Yellowstone National Park in an RV?

Image by Manel Vinuesa from Getty

It might be easier to think of reasons not to visit Yellowstone. Seriously, the park is unbelievable. There’s so much to see and do, and its grandeur makes it an unforgettable experience.

One of the primary reasons to visit Yellowstone is the abundance of hydrothermal wonders. With over 10,000 thermal features, Yellowstone is the best place in the world to see geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and steam vents. 

Horseback riding through the wildflowers in the Grand Teton Moutain range.
Travel Trailer in Yellowstone National Park
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The RVers Guide to Solar Camping

Unless you’re really roughing it, off-the-grid entirely, most campgrounds will include some form of electric service for your rig. Those hookups give you everything you need to be able to power and charge your RV while you’re camping.

When you’re boondocking, however, you’re at the mercy of Mother Nature. No powerlines, no buzzing, nothing to keep your rig up and running except your battery. And while a battery will hang on and keep you comfortable for a while, it can’t and won’t last forever. A battery needs to be recharged.

But thanks to that bright, shining star in the sky, we can harness energy wherever the sun is shining. This helps us power all of our stuff—from the television to a coffee machine to your RV’s onboard battery. Solar power for your RV is a smart way to bring energy with you, recharging your battery power along the way.

The Realities of Solar Power

While harnessing the power of the sun seems like a no-brainer, it is an investment. And not always a cheap investment, at that. Unless you’re a regular boondocker, regularly go off the grid, and tend to stay away from power sources, solar may not be a worthwhile effort.

If you mostly stay at campgrounds, if you’re regularly in populated areas, or only boondock once in a while, a generator might be a better option for your needs and your wallet. Choosing the right generator is easier than you think. Use our guide to choosing the right generator for your RV to find the perfect match.

solar panels rv
ground panels rv
Nature Power 440-Watt Complete Solar Kit
Go Power! 30-Amp Dual Bank Bluetooth-Enabled Digital Solar Controller
Single COB Solar Motion Activated Security Light with Integrated LED
12 Socket Solar Powered LED String Lights
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What Makes an RV Built for Off-Road?

Some RVers might be nervous to venture off the grid. But traveling to rugged, remote destinations doesn’t have to be so intimidating. With the increase of RVs designed for off-road adventures, it’s easier than ever for outdoor enthusiasts to conquer their nerves and replace them with excitement and memories that are truly one-of-a-kind.

While road trips on major routes and byways are still popular, it’s the option to drive to places where only hiking boots can go that really inspire intrepid wanderlust. If your sign of a good trip is mud-caked tires, then an RV built for off-road is the adventure travel partner you need.

So, what makes an RV built for off-road adventures? Let’s get into it.

What to Look for in an Off-Road RV?

Every RV differs from one to the next, but an off-road RV sets itself apart in more than just looks. An off-road RV is built specifically for roads less traveled–think dirt roads, mud trails, or sand-packed shores. It’s on these roads less traveled where the adventure is the journey and not just the destination. Here’s what to look for in an off-road RV.

Industrial Design and Construction

Image: Camping World

Featuring rugged construction from raised axles to reinforced bodies, off-road tires to four-wheel drive capability, off-road RVs are built with protection in mind. They’re designed to protect you and your rig while traversing rugged paths that would cause most RVs to back down quickly. Simply put, off-road RVs are not your typical camper – they’re on another level.

Off-Road RV with Amazing View
Thor Compass AWD
Thor Gemini AWD
Thor Omni
Winnebago Revel
Coleman Rubicon
Black Series Travel Trailer
Rockwood Geo Pro
Jay Feather Micro
Death Valley National Park Hikers
The Grand Canyon
Sand dunes in a mountain range
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Camping World’s Guide to RVing Channel Islands National Park

With a yearly attendance of 300,000, one would think that not many people know of the extreme seclusion and overwhelming peace found at Anacapa, Santa Barbara, San Miguel, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz islands only 20 miles away from the coast of California. And they would be correct.

Channel Islands National Park is a respite from the fast-paced, crowded city life that lies just across the bay. Kayaks are the main form of transportation around these islands, which harbor 145 incredible plant and animal species not found anywhere else in the world.

Those who have discovered the park’s charms come to watch the whale migration from north and south, spearfish through giant kelp beds, and explore amazing sea caves. It is here, in a land stripped to its bare essentials, that these travelers seek to recover their own equilibrium through the self-sufficiency and preparedness required for one of Mother Nature’s best offerings.

Why Visit Channel Islands National Park in an RV?

Photo Credit: Derek Lohuis

Travelers will not get to the islands with their RV, but they will get pretty close. Ventura, California is the mainland destination, where boat service takes visitors on the 20-mile journey out to the Channel Islands. Once on Santa Cruz, or any of the other islands, let your feet do the hiking over hills, to sea cliffs, and onto the beaches of America’s version of The Galapagos. Or, sign on with a guide service and explore the many sea caves in a kayak. Return to the mainland when you are ready, and your home away from home will be waiting for you.

While you can’t physically reach the Channel Islands National Park by RV, you can still take in the breathtaking views while parked. Being close to the park is one of the biggest advantages of traveling by RV, meaning you’ll be among the first visitors in line for the boat service or air service. Who wouldn’t want to cut down on time waiting to climb aboard a boat or plane to save as much time for exploring the park once you arrive? The comfort and convenience of your RV will be ready, and close by, after a full day of exploring.

Photo Tripping America - Channel Islands - Camping World
Photo Tripping America - Channel Islands - Camping World
Photo Tripping America - Channel Islands - Camping World
Photo Tripping America - Channel Islands - Camping World
Photo Tripping America - Channel Islands - Camping World
Photo Tripping America - Channel Islands - Camping World
Photo Tripping America - Channel Islands - Camping World
Photo Tripping America - Channel Islands - Camping World
Photo Tripping America - Channel Islands - Camping World
Photo Tripping America - Channel Islands - Camping World
Camping World's Guide to Channel Islands National Park
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