The 12 essential RV accessories you need to go camping

If you  just bought an RV and want to go camping, there are a few items that are essential for making your camping trip a success that are not included in the RV itself.  Why is that?   Some people have all the items they need already from the RV they are trading in, so they really don’t need to get duplicates, but the main reason is everybody is different.

That may seem like a flimsy excuse, but it really is true.  The type of camping you plan to do (boon-docking or full hook-ups?), the location of your site (Is there constant direct sunlight? Does your site provide chemicals and pump outs?), and the frequency of your trips (Something you use often is better if it’s sturdy enough to stand up to repeated use?) really determine what supplies you will need.

Additionally, not everyone wants a satellite on their trips, while others want to get all the channels of their favorites while out exploring.  It is all a choice.  What a great choice to have!

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(Courtesy of Kampgrounds of America; http://www.koa.com)

 

So, I’ve put together a list of the essential things you will need if you just want to get out there RIGHT NOW and you don’t have anything except your awesome new RV!

Let’s start with getting the water IN:

  1. Freshwater hose- self explanatory
  2. Pressure regulator- Not all campsites are the same water pressure, and some even have high pressure to meet the demands of many campers, so this is a must to not bust your pipes.
  3. Water filter- Even though the water may be municipal water source, the water filter will help eliminate sediments that can settle in your pipes and clog the foot pedal in your toilet causing it to not have water flow to flush. This can be a costly maintenance item, as sediment is not a warranty issue.  Some toilets have a replaceable toilet valve, and others require replacement of the entire toilet.  It’s best not to have to find out the hard way.

Now let’s get the water OUT (waste):

  1. Sewer hose- This is something that I recommend not going cheap. Invest in a quality hose with all the fittings included.  That way the fittings don’t get lost, and the hose isn’t going to crack and leak…on you…
  2. Tank chemicals- Always, always, always use a tank chemical to dissolve the waste in your tanks. Also use them in your gray tanks. Always.
  3. RV safe toilet paper- This TP is designed to break down in the tank with the use of chemicals. Just because it says “septic safe” doesn’t mean RV safe.  Think about it.  Septic systems sit for months, RV waste needs to come out in a few days.  Always make sure RV TP is the ONLY thing going into the black tank besides waste.  Clogs and solid foreign objects can cause cracks, leaks, drainage issues, and other smelly, messy problems.

Other important items

  1. Your RV needs a deep-cycle 12 volt battery to work, even if you are plugging in.
  2. Propane
  3. Fuses – 15 and 40 are the most common, and you need to keep a stash at all times.
  4. Surge protector- keep your electrical system safe from power surges
  5. Electrical adapter – What amperage is the site? What amperage is your RV?  They need to match, or you need to get an adapter.
  6. Wheel chocks- This can be as simple as a couple blocks of wood, or the kind that lock between your wheels.  Just make sure you have something.

A final note on the importance of surge protectors:

The necessity of this item cannot be stressed enough.  The surge protector is like the everyday one protecting your TVs and computers at home and work.  It will save all your appliances that run on electricity from a damaging power surge.  Think about it- what does your RV use for electricity?  TV, DVD, Radio, microwave, refrigerator, POWER CONVERTER (main power center in an RV).  A power surge is not a warranty issue, nor do campsites take responsibility for them.  If damage were to occur to these items, you would need to submit to insurance and go through that claims process, or come out of pocket to replace/repair the items.  It’s just a lot easier to purchase and USE a surge protector to keep using your RV and having fun.  You just plug the surge protector into the receptacle and the your RV into the surge protector.  Easy and done.

There are many other parts and accessories you can add to your RV to customize it to match your needs.  And that’s one of the best parts!  You get to make it fit YOU and YOUR LIFESTYLE, and you get travel the country with it.  Now that’s freedom.  The items listed above will get you started and as you learn what type of camper you are.  Research items that other campers suggest while out camping and our Parts Specialists can help you with parts and accessories, too.  It’s something we love!

Soon, you will have a dialed-in RV.

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Camping just gets easier as you use your RV! (courtesy of Keystone RV; http://www.keystonerv.com)

If you are a seasoned RVer, or have just got started and learned some things on the road, what are some of your MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED RV accessories for the newbies?

Please share in the comments.  Now, let’s get camping!

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Just a Little Bit Goes a Long Way

I’ve thought and thought and thought about how to write this post.  We all have been affected by the North Bay fire storms, whether peripherally, or directly.  It is traumatizing.  Heartbreaking.  Devastating.

A friend of mine posted on Facebook a call for items for a family of five she knows who had lost everything in the fire-I gave them all of my son’s clothes he had grown out of.  While packing the clothes in a Rubbermaid box for them, my three year old asked me what I was doing.  I told him there were some kids who needed some clothes.

“I need clothes,” he reminded me.

“Yes, you do,” I responded with a smile, “Your clothes that fit you fill your whole dresser.  You have enough clothes.  These clothes in the box don’t fit you anymore because you have grown.  These kids don’t have enough clothes, so we are going to let them have them.”  I wasn’t sure if he would throw a tantrum, when I told him, so I waited…

He picked up his stuffed giraffe he had since he was born.

“I don’t need this anymore because I grew.  I’m a big boy now.  I gonna give it to the kids.”  He then placed the giraffe on the top of the packed clothes.  I asked him if he was sure he was ready to part with it because he wouldn’t get it back, and he said yes.  Later, when I packed up the car to take him to preschool he asked me,

“What happened to the kids?”  Not wanting to scare him about the overwhelming loss and danger, I simply said that they needed help.

“It is important to help people when they need help,” I continued, while buckling his car seat strap.

“Mommy, what happened to the helpers?” he asked wide-eyed and curious.

“Sweetie,” I smiled, “WE are the helpers.”

******

Last week, we had a couple take delivery of their new RV.  They lost their home in the fires.  This new RV is going to be their home.  We got the call on a Monday, agreements were made Tuesday, and they picked up the unit Friday morning.

All of us were touched and saddened by their story.  But most of all we wanted to help.  We are a family here at Folsom Lake RV.  The dealership is family owned and operated.  The staff are friends and spend time together outside of work.  And one of the reasons we are closed for the holidays is so that all the staff can spend time with their loved ones over the holidays.

We believe that our customers become like family.  We always give our new customers some gifts from us when they pick up their new RV,  some things that will help them enjoy their RV and get out there and have fun.  It is a time of celebration!  But these customers were in different circumstances.  They had lost everything.  So we added a little something extra to help them take the steps toward rebuilding their life, a few comforts and necessities for their new home.

To them, it meant so much.

******

To everyone affected by the firestorms, we are sorry.  We hope you are able to find comfort and security.   If you need assistance, please contact us.

To all the helpers, thank you.  Firefighters, medics, volunteers, shelter housing.  Thank you for supporting our community.

The Sacramento Bee has published an article on available resources for victims of the fires and available ways to help here.

Where Would You Go?

#WhereWouldYouGo? This is the passion we share at Folsom Lake RV.

Do you dream of a sandy SoCal beach, with a warm breeze, and crashing waves?  Do you dream of following Historic Route 66 and encountering all the funky and fun Americana along the way?  Do you dream of the great Alaskan wilderness and its vast expanses?

Us, too!

Mindfulness, goal setting, and positive thinking are all qualities to practice because:

What you think about, is what your bring about.

So, unplug, unwind, and get away…

#wherewouldyougo?

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Photo by Ian Norman (http://www.lonelyspeck.com) – Flickr and the review where it was used on Lonely Speck : [1], CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41734886

Video Answers for Our Most FAQs

We get a lot of calls from customers on advice and technical support with their RV.  We’ve selected some how-to videos to answer some of our most frequently asked questions in our Service Department.  We hope these videos are helpful to you.  We thought they were great!

Electrical System Overview, and Common Pitfalls

 

How to Manually Override your Slideouts

 

How to Flush your Black Tank (If It Doesn’t Have a Built-in Flush System)

 

Also, this is a very handy link for guides on using and troubleshooting your Level Up Leveling System.

 

As always, we at Folsom Lake RV are here to answer any of your burning questions.  So if this doesn’t cover it, feel free to contact us.  And if we are closed, don’t forget if you are a member of Coach-Net, they have 24/7 technical support and roadside assistance available to you.

Happy Camping!

Discover the Delta: Escape the “Everyday” for a Special Day

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I previously posted about how my family enjoys escaping for the weekend (sometimes just a day!) to the Delta.  Afterwards, we had a lot of requests for some suggestions on where to stay in an RV.  With miles and miles of delta waterways, there are tons of places to stay.  We narrowed it down to a couple of places we like in the the Isleton/Walnut Grove/Lodi area to keep this post from becoming a book.

Any of the following RV resorts are a great place to launch your weekend adventure exploring the unique area of the Delta.  Be sure to check out the town of Locke.  A National Historical Landmark, it was established by Chinese immigrants who built the levees that created the delta farmland.   And when you do embark on the water, remember, there are miles of waterways to explore. So, bring a map, plan your trip, and make sure you know where the fuel docks are! (and wear a life jacket.)

  1. Vieira’s Resort – Isleton, CA

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On Ida Island, in the Sacramento River Delta, this Resort is a water lover’s paradise.  It has full hook up sites, partial hook up sites, cabins, and tent camping.  There is river access, so bring your boat or personal water craft!  If you prefer to stay on land, there are on-site activities like basketball and horseshoes.  You can eat at their restaurant and hang out on the beach.

 

2.  New Hope Landing – Walnut Grove, CA

Next to Wimpy’s Restaurant, this resort has monthly and long term sites available, too (for those lucky enough to be Full-Timing). Of course, there is a boat launch.  And it’s super close to Giusti’s Place, featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  Giusti’s says it is the oldest restaurant and bar in the California Delta and has been one of the Delta’s favorites for over 100 years.

 

3. Jellystone Camp Resort: Yogi Bear’s Tower Park California – Lodi, CA

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There are so many amenities and so many things to entertain the kids, right on site!  This resort boasts laser tag, a giant jumping pillow, swimming pool, gem mining, and more. And you can rent paddle boards, boats, or kayaks to explore the Delta  You can even have Yogi Bear make a personal visit.  They have theme parties on the weekends (see calendar) and a restaurant.

***

There are lots of local activities and things to see in the area, too.  The Grand Island Mansion serves an elegant brunch on weekends, there are many wineries in the area open for wine tasting, and there are lots of local festivals.

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Grand Island Mansion

These festivals are coming up soon, and I’m thinking we’re going to make another trip to the Delta to check them out.

 

Do you have a favorite Delta Dive?  Your go-to boat launch?  Let us know in the comments!

-Happy Camping!

(All photo credits go to their respective webpages.)

 

Don’t get stuck while you’re trying to get “Lost”!

RVing is a lot of things.  Freedom, adventure, quality time, entertainment, and FUN.  You shouldn’t have to worry while you travel, that’s why we give everyone who buys an RV from Folsom Lake RV a full year Premier Membership to Coach-Net, giving our customers the peace of mind to fully enjoy their travels!

Coach-Net Motor Club provides 24/7 Roadside Assistance and Technical Support for its members, plus a whole host of other benefits to its members, including discounts at campsites, hotels, and RV insurance.  And in the event of a breakdown, Coach-Net has truly unlimited towing for your RV, AND your personal vehicle.

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For more information on this awesome program and what is has to offer you, visit www.coach-net.com, or contact Melinda Miller, our fabulous Finance Manager.  If you don’t already have a Coach-Net membership, or you would like to learn how you can extend your current 1 year membership to a total of 5 years, she can get you the right program to fit your lifestyle, leaving you free to enjoy the open road.

 

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Melinda Miller
Finance Manager 
Available Wednesdays through Sundays
916-635-4545
mmiller@folsomlakerv.com 

Back to School: Vacations in a Weekend

School is back in session soon; back to schedules, and homework, and projects, oh my! School is hard work for your kiddos, and well, for you, too!  It can seem like there is just no spare time, but some of the best camping happens when the kids are in school.  You can have the perfect weekend getaway to unplug and reconnect with each other, all it takes is just a little bit of planning.  Look at the school calendar for 3-day weekends or other scheduled days off, and find an RV campground within a couple hours drive.  Any further and you’ll spend most of your time driving, rather than playing.  But be sure to book your reservation early, as the spots can fill up fast.  I’ve posted previously on great campgrounds close to us here.

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One place my family recharges and connects is at the river delta.  It is about an hour away, but it feels like we are in a different world all together.  Our worries and stresses just melt away, cruising along the river and hanging out on the beach by the RV.  My two and a half year old LOVES sleeping in the “RV truck,” so bedtime isn’t usually an issue and we can keep him on his regular schedule (mostly).  Really, there is nothing that beats the look of joy on his face when we are out having fun at the river in the family RV.

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The Kiddo and The Grandpa training to catch a wave.  Hang Loose!

Folsom Lake RV Summer RV Campsite Recipes

Featured: 2018 Little Guy Max coming soon to Folsom Lake RV

When you are out camping in your RV, you are making memories to last a lifetime.  And a lot of happy memories center around friends, family and food.  We know of some people who like to have the same meal for the first night of camping as a kick-off for the entire trip.  They have the same meal on the first day as a matter of ritual and togetherness.  It is their RV vacation food.  That meal will forever be associated with all their memories, and their children’s’ memories, of vacations with their family.

Whether you are a seasoned RV chef, or a newbie campsite cook, these recipes will be inspiration for your grill to help get you past the chicken and burgers. And, they are ready in no time, so you can maximize the amount of time doing what you set out to do…relax and have FUN!

We’ve picked a couple simple recipes from various places to share.  Most use foil because foil packets keep the prep and cleanup super quick.  Make sure you are using Heavy Duty foil, though!  So get the whole family involved in chopping and foil folding and it’ll be dinner in no time.  Even little ones hands can get in on the action, folding and tearing the foil, or placing the veggies in the packets.

 

  1. Grilled Pineapple – No foil needed
Bright, juicy, sweet slices of heaven.

This full flavored fruit is magically transformed into magnificence when it is exposed to a hot grill.   It may seem as though I am being a little overdramatic here, but I am not.  It.Is.That.Good. If you haven’t tried it, you must do it.  Now.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

It’s simple. Peel and cut pineapple into spears or rings, and place directly on grill for as little or as long as you like, turning on each side.

For a little added spice, here are some suggestions:

Honey Grilled Pineapple from Ina Garten and Food Network

Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Pineapple from Allrecipes.com User Soccernut

 

  1. Eggy, Cheesy Hashbrowns!
Foil packet hashbrowns just are a lot easier!

Even during the week, breakfast is a big deal at our house.  We sit and eat together every morning, and I make our lunches while I have enlightening conversations about how the world works with my two and a half year old.  My little toddler has lately taken to requesting “Cereal. With milk. And Beeeenana!”  And on weekends, we usually try to make a special breakfast at least once.  Hashbrowns are always greeted with enthusiasm, so this recipe we found is a must while camping!  We may even have to adopt it at the house, since the cleanup is so easy, and life with a toddler means there is just never enough time, or bananas.

Check it out here from the folks at delish.com.

 

  1. Philly Cheesesteaks
Try different colors for variety.

Yes, please!  Heat some halved rolls on the grill, as well, and you have got yourself a mighty fine meal.  It is so simple, and so good!

Go here, another recipe from delish.com!

 

 

 

  1. Pesto Salmon Packets
Fresh pesto is amazing!

My family has been on a pesto kick this summer!  It is so refreshing with the olive oil, basil, garlic, and pine nuts, and full of the good fats to boot!  Pair it up with salmon and you have got an omega fatty acid powerhouse.  So we just had to do this. And with all the fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes right now, oh my goodness!  Brain food and being outdoors, what a gift to yourself!

Click here for the recipe from cookingclassy.com (Foil packets and classy?  Heck yeah! That’s how we roll!)

 

Hopefully, these selections have inspired you to use your grill with abandon!  Or at least inspired you to book a RV spot at your favorite campground. Summer is such a great time to get away, and with your RV you can, even if just for the weekend.  And quick recipes mean making the most of your time!

Courtesy C. Boudreau

What are some of your favorite time saving RV recipes?  Share in the comments and Share them here on our Facebook page!  Let us see what you made with some pictures!

First-timer guide to camping

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Back when I was a first-timer.

We love RVing!  But for first-timers, it can be pretty intimidating.  Don’t fret, my friend!  RVing is fun, especially if you take a few moments to get prepared.

This free guide by Beth McRoberts, available for a limited time on Amazon.com, has lots of advice on how to get a handle on your first trip!  Although it is written for those on their first tent camping trip, it is very useful for first-time RVers, too!  Replace the word “tent” for “RV,”  and well, you get the idea.

It’s also got some great campfire recipes, and tips on what items you need to bring, and those items (and worries) you can really leave behind.  So read up and then get camping!

Happy Trails!

Exciting Announcement: New Brand, Colt by Bullet, at Folsom Lake RV!

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WE ARE SO EXCITED!

This brand new RV line from RV leaders Keystone RV is lightweight (3000lbs dry) and designed to go places!  Easy to maneuver, with luxury styling, this travel trailer is just 20 feet long and includes a small hitch for your bike rack.

You can check out our stock here, and we’ve included some pictures below.

For more information on the Colt by Bullet, check out this great write up by RVBusiness.com that includes a video tour!