Need a holiday gift idea for the RVer in your life? We hope you have been nice this year to make the good list as we have several ideas for gifts for RV living or aka Christmas gifts for RVers.
RV gadgets what do you really need? We let you know what the best RV gadgets 2020 are and would never recommend anything that did work for us or our RV lifestyle. Who doesn’t want RV gifts or RV presents….we got the RV gift ideas….gifts for RV life…gifts for RV trips…
Need a holiday gift idea for the RVer in your life? We’ve got you covered with over our awesome recommendations! Best RV gadgets… for RV lifestyle 2020…. and bonus has information on tips for downsizing your house and living a minimalist lifestyle for beginners. Check out our YouTube Video on The Best Gifts for RVers.
Our AMAZON Affiliate Link: https://amzn.to/339bGb2 We get a small fee for for any items purchased with the use of the link at zero cost to you. Just click on the link and shop on Amazon like you normal do….
If you haven’t joined the Chasing RV Sunshine ☀️ community please do and Subscribe on YouTube• Like 👍 on Facebook & Follow on Instagram… We would appreciate the love 💕 and thanks! You can also find us on our website: chasingrvsunshine.com Chasing RV Sunshine ☀️ Joel, Deb and 🐕 Maya
You might ask yourself, is it safe to ATV or UTV in Wisconsin during COVID-19? Yes, it is. All-terrain vehicle (ATV) and utility terrain vehicle (UTV) riding are a popular outdoor activity in Wisconsin. During COVID-19 an ATV or UTV are both ways to get out and experience nature away from the crowds.
It is very safe to ride and ATV or UTV during COVID-19. Most riders wear face masks for dust and dirt already. The ATV and UTV are large and make the 6 feet social distancing easy. To keep clean hands you can have hand sanitizer (70% alcohol) with.
What is the difference from a ATV to a UTV you might ask? First, an ATV has straddle seating position and is meant for a single-rider. An UTV allows passengers side-by-side seating and has storage space. The UTV is for work more than recreation. However, sales of UTV are currently outnumbering ATV for family outdoor recreation.
Wisconsin ATV and UTV Regulations:
ATVs must operate on the designated trails and routes. Staying on the trails is a must. Off-trail riding is prohibited in Wisconsin. There are age limits to who can drive ATVs or UTVs in Wisconsin. ATV and UTV operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 who are at least 12 years old for ATV(and at least 16 years old for UTV) must complete an ATV and UTV safety certification course in order to operate on public ATV/UTV trails and areas in Wisconsin. There is an annual trail closure from March 15 until May 15 to minimize erosion potential on the soft, moist soils.
Gas and food is available within the trail system in Wisconsin. You can find most maps online or in paper copies at the local establishments on the trails. During Covid-19 you can also take a picnic lunch and treat your family to more activities along the trails, such as fishing, bird-watching or a nice hike. Remember Covid-19 ATV and UTV riding safety is up to you.
When ATV and UTV trail riding, remember these tips:
Travel and recreate with minimal impact.
Respect the environment and the rights of others.
Educate yourself on the area and laws.
Plan and prepare before you go.
Ride only on “designate d” trails.
Be courteous when passing hikers or other vehicles.
Allow for future use of the outdoors; leave it better than you found it.
Always be aware of your environment to have a positive influence on nature and those around you. We found during COVID-19 ATV and UTV riding is safe and enjoyable recreation for the whole family during COVID-19.
Since buying our RV, 2018 Tiffin Allegro Red 33AA, the number one thing we wanted was a surge protector. A surge protector is designed to protect your RV’s electronics from issues that stem from the outlet you plug into for power. We feel that it doesn’t matter if you have a million dollar rig to a used thousand dollar rig, a surge protector is a must. We want to protect our appliances from faulty power and share with you what we bought. Nothing gives us peace of mind and protects our RV better from campground electrical issues then a smart RV surge protector.
Not all campground owners use professional electricians or are an electrician themselves. They may have just watched a YouTube Video and did the electrical work. The campground owner won’t be responsible if every electronic device in your RV is damaged and fries, you will be.
We did our research and bought Hughes Autoformers PWD50-EPO Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO(Emergency Power Off). The unit automatically shuts down power if voltage drops below 104 V or over 132 V. In other words, this unit will shut off if there is a dangerous event that occurs for too high or low voltage, open ground or open neutral as well. Once power conditions are good and stable for 90 seconds,the unit will turn back on automatically. An alert will be sent to your smartphone when the power is off and come backs on in real time.
The other thing we liked about this unit it has replaceable surge/spike module- should you get hit by a large spike, simply order a new surge module and no need to order a whole new unit. The replacement surge module for PWD50-EPO is currently $32 compared to replacing the whole unit at $263.00. Also, this surge protector was it comes with a 3 year warranty.
You can also purchase a internal hardwired mounting kit from Hughes Autoformers as well. The unit is also available in 30 amp.
To us we feel the surge protector is like insurance covering our appliances in our RV from damage from too high or low voltage. You could lose your computers, inverter, water heater, water pump, refrigerator, televisions, batteries, furnace or anything connected by the electrical wires in your RV. Easily, adding up to thousands of dollars in damage. The simple thing to do is, like we did and prevent the damage in the first place by using a Hughes Autoformers PWD50-EPO Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff – 50 Amp.
Here is our Amazon Affiliate link for the Hughes Autoformers PWD50-EPO Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff – 50 Amp Portable Version Amazon Affiliate link: https://amzn.to/3deTZKp
Hughes Autoformers PWD30-EPO Power Watchdog Smart Bluetooth Surge Protector Plus EPO with Auto Shutoff – 30 Amp Portable Version Amazon Affiliate link: https://amzn.to/3dbszEc
For more information and to view the easy of set up take a look at our YouTube Video:
COVID-19 hit….PANDEMIC….travel bans…Everyone was told to stay home and stay safe. But what if your home is your RV or you have an RV? Does that mean you’re not safe if you travel in your RV? However, we believe if you do it right you can still travel and socially distance in your RV whether you are full time or not.
Many people are concerned about flying or staying in hotels during the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, for Summer 2020, the best and safest way to travel Wisconsin has been by RV. This has lead to an increase in RV sales as these recreational vehicles provide a way for people to get outside while also having their own controlled environment. Therefore, dealerships in Wisconsin, Missouri, Colorado, and Arizona all reported record sales volumes.
The State of Wisconsin offers both private and public campgrounds. Currently, Wisconsin has 66 state park camping units, covering more than 60,570 acres (245.1 km2) in state parks and state recreation areas. In addition, there are also 600 county parks that offer camping throughout the state. Most are hidden little gems and RV-friendly. You can find the Wisconsin state parks at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/outdoorrecreation/. The county parks can be found on the County’s webpage you are looking to stay in. An example is here for Schomberg County Park: https://www.ironcountyforest.org/schomberg-park.html
Schomberg County Park Campground
In June of 2020, we spent three nights at Schomberg County Park Campground in Hurley, WI. It was a ten site campground with 30AMP, dump station and water available for $27.00 a night. It was directly off the Iron County ATV trails and Hwy 51. Schomberg County Park was definitely worth the stay and everyone was practicing social distancing.
Camping Social Distancing
Firstly, remembering to practicing social distancing and being respectful of others is up to you. Secondly, You can wear a mask if you want or not, it’s your choice. Here are some tips on making your RV travels safe:
Travel During COVID-19 Safety Tips:
Clean your RV- use diluted bleach solution, alcohol-based products with 70% alcohol solution, vacuum, launder items- linens, clothing, etc.
Wash your hands
Avoid touching your face
Keep 6 feet distance between you and others not in your household
Wear a mask if outside and cannot social distance or entering a building/restaurant/store.
Importantly, Have hand sanitizer (70% alcohol) available to use after getting gas, picking up food/groceries, or being out in public. We recommend consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest news and information relating to the Corona-virus.
In conclusion, Chasing RV Sunshine hopes this helps you answer the question: What’s the best way to travel Wisconsin during COVID-19? Our answer is by RV. You can watch our travel to the North woods of Wisconsin on our YouTube Channel:
In addition, Chasing RV Sunshine is a couple with a spoiled dog that is looking to downsize, retire, and move to Full Time RVing. We hope you join us as we document our adventures Chasing RV sunshine throughout the country and beyond!
We became Escapees RV Club members in Feb 2020, three days after purchasing our RV- a used 2018 Tiffin Allegro Red 33AA. We feel that this was one of the best and most important memberships we could have joined.
Escapees has been providing educational resources on the RVing lifestyle since 1978. Escapees RV Club was formed by RVer for RVers. It is an organization that educates its members on the latest and greatest of RVing safety and technology. We personally are glad to be members for the 42nd year of the organization.
We had numerous reasons to join and here is Chasing RV Sunshine’s opinion on the top five reasons why you should join Escapees RV Club. Chasing RV Sunshine-Joel, Deb and Maya (our dog)-would never recommend anything that we don’t use ourselves, belong to, and find legitimate and/or utilize.
1. Help with Domicile & Mail Forwarding
When looking at this membership one of our major concerns was how we were going to select our domicile and get our mail when we went to Full-Time RVing. Full time RVers get their mail by an RV mail forwarding service. Escapees RV Club has unique mailing addresses in Texas, South Dakota and Florida to use as a legal domicile also. Domicile is considered the state you would consider your residence in.
Escapees will forward your mail to you or you can schedule it as needed. Escapees will also do mail scanning and special sorting to receive First Class envelopes and mail online. The Mail forwarding Service has rates from $95 to $135 per year.
We are planning on going full-time in the next year or two and have narrowed down our domicile state to Texas or Florida. The fact that Escapees RV Club offers this service gives us peace of mind and guidance to choose what works best for us. The experience that comes behind the club speaks volumes to us and should also help you on choosing what works best for you for mail forwarding and domicile.
As an Escapees RV Club member you get discounts on Campgrounds, RV insurance, RVer Insurance Exchange-health insurance, and Roadside Assistance. There are several RV industry leaders the Club partners with that offer members ways to save money on products and services. To name a few, ASPCA Pet Insurance, Battle Born Batteries, Costco, Dish, Goodyear, Harvest Hosts, Passport America, and WiFi Ranger.
Within a day of joining we saved the cost of the membership fees when we purchased RV insurance through one of their partnerships. We also have already utilized the emergency roadside assistance that is offered through the club. We found the emergency roadside assistance is a must have for any RV. The cost for the emergency roadside assistance is $109 a year.
We ended up with a flat tire on our first trip out with our RV. This could’ve been an extremely costly matter, however, we had roadside assistance through the club and utilized it. As brand new RV owners, AKA RV Newbies, we can’t say enough good about having the roadside assistance.
Escapees offers educational classes both in person and online to help you operate your RV and be confident and safe on the roadway. In RVers Boot Camp or RVers Online University they teach you what you need to know to safely operate and maintain your RV. The group classes are currently not available due to Covid-19. We are planning on taking the Boot Camp as you can have additional discounts on RV insurance once passing the course- especially when related to the driving of an RV.
Escapees also have available to their members webinars and blog posts. We have watched the webinars and read the blog posts. We have found them relevant and useful. The webinars and blog posts range from Technical RV issues to life style and travel.
Escapees has a bimonthly magazine that has useful information on RV entertainment, advice from other RVers, safety education, and product reviews. The magazine can be mailed or you can received it online in PDF. Deb likes the online issue in PDF form, and (old school) Joel likes the paper in hand magazine. Both work for us now- as we still have a “sticks & bricks”. However, to save on space and mailing once full time PDF will be best. We have found it enjoyable and educational reading for all RVers.
4. RVer Job Exchange
As an Escapees member you can research job opportunities and get connected with employers who want full or part-time workers. The RVers Job Exchange matches your skills and specialties with remote work opportunities. We have not utilized this program yet as we still employed full-time; however, think that this is a benefit for anyone moving into the nomadic lifestyle. Our jobs are not ones that can be utilized while traveling, but we will be able to utilize our skills, knowledge and training if needed in this platform to find work if needed.
As apart of the Escapees community you will make connections with like-minded people and experience new adventures on the road. The club offers Hangouts & Rallies & Head-Out Programs (HOPs). The HOP focuses on groups of Escapees members meeting up at events like the Albuquerque Ballon Fiesta, or going ATVing or white-water rafting and/or exploring Alaska or Mexico.
Escapees also has a subgroup called Xscapers for working-aged RVers. Xscapers group supports working members that are working on the road or raising a family while RVing full-time.
There are many Social Channels you can also join as an Escapees member- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & YouTube. You can pick what social channels you want to follow and be apart of or not. There are virtual campfires offered with guest that share information on how to start the lifestyle and technical tips and tricks.
We have found the social media channels wonderful, friendly and useful. We have personally posted questions and had responses from members with in minutes. We have personally found this community to be encouraging, friendly and educational. Each and every member wants the others to reach their dream of RV freedom.
Membership is $39.95 a year and we have felt it is well worth the value to join. We recommend everyone that owns an RV to join Escapees to enjoy all the benefits. Here is a link to our affiliate link to join Escapees and be apart of the amazing community: https://www.escapees.com/refer/Chasing+RV+Sunshine
We have listed our top five reasons above and hope you can join the community so that you can further your freedom, adventure and education.
Chasing RV Sunshine is willing to admit we currently are RV Newbies and have a short time knowledge base in RVing. However, we are smart enough to join groups to educate ourselves like Escapees RV Club to make us better RVers and be apart of an amazing RV community.
We purchased our 2018 Tiffin Allergo Red 33aa in February of 2020. One of the first things we wanted after our first set up and take down was RV SnapPads for our rig. RV SnapPads are permanent RV Jack Pads that attach to your RV leveling jacks so you don’t have to carry around blocks of wood or plastic to place under your jacks. We found it hard and tedious to line up the plastic leveling blocks under our jacks and to be climb under the rig each time with set up and take down.
SnapPads come in all sizes for leveling jacks on all motorhomes, 5-wheels, toy-haulers, and travel trailers. SnapPad’s website is easy to use and they designed it so that you select your rig’s make, model, year and they recommend the correct pads for you. It is best to confirm by measuring your jacks yourself, as not all jack are the same size. We found we had smaller jacks- 8 inch in the front and larger jacks- 10 inch in the rear.
Why you should should get SnapPads for your RV:
1. Easy of set up & take down:
You will find that SnapPads take just a matter of minutes to install. Once they are on, they stay on for good!
We found that this removes all hassle of having to awkwardly crawl underneath your RV to place, retrieve, and store dirty jack pads each and every time you set-up or move. Permanent pads save time and storage space.
The permanent pads can prevent injuries from having to get up, down and under your RV each time traveling to a new destination. Also, SnapPads protect your jacks from the gravel, elements, asphalt, concrete, and road hazards that you encounter as you travel.
According to SnapPads website they say “In the highly unlikely event of a lightning strike close to your RV, your RV SnapPads will insulate your electronics from the surge that could travel from the ground up through your jacks.”
Another Safety feature is that SnapPads add stability to your rig by increase your jack’s surface area. The recycled rubber grips conforms to uneven surfaces, prevents slippage and it helps to decrease vibrations as you move around your RV.
3. Protection & Durability
By having a set of SnapPads on your rig they add protection to your jacks feet. Because they are made from recycled tires, SnapPads are resistant to UV exposure, water, heat, oil, tar, mud, and any other environmental hazard. SnapPads have no melting point and should last for many years.
All SnapPad purchases come with a 2-year warranty. That means, should your SnapPads fail or not work for any reason, according to SnapPad, they will replace them free of charge or you can choose to send them back for a full refund.
4. Made in America
SnapPads are American made & environmentally friendly. SnapPad Corporate office is in Western Canada, however, all material is American recycled rubber that is manufactured and shipped from Indiana. The rubber is from recycled tires, which helps with clutter from land fills and damaging the environment.
5. Customer Service
SnapPad is a family-owned company and responsive to their customers. They respond with in less than 24 hrs to online interaction from our experience. From our understanding everyone you talk to or interact with at is an owner and therefore cares – a lot. We were impressed with our communication with SnapPad via email and found them to be professional, friendly and helpful with purchasing and delivery.
We installed SnapPad on our RV and have been impressed with them so far. We had no issues following the simple instructions to install and they provide a YouTube video to watch on how to install them. We found SnapPads are well worth the money to purchase and great protection for our rig.
We are not sponsored or affiliates of SnapPad, however, recommend them. We promise that we will only provide an honest review of any product, including this one, to you. Due to Covid-19 you cannot currently order SnapPads directly from RV SnapPad as of June 2020. Please check their website for update information: https://rvsnappad.com/
Amazon is still showing availability for SnapPad as of July 1, 2020. Here is our affiliate link to Amazon to purchase SnapPads https://amzn.to/2BVXrLU
To watch the install and see why we purchased SnapPads here is the link to our YouTube video we did to help you in your decision on why to purchase SnapPads:
We bought Copper River Salmon for $38.00 a pound for a fillet and baked it in our RV convection microwave. We had never heard of Copper River Salmon before. We did not know what was so special about it and why it was so expensive.
What we learned was that Copper River Salmon was to taste better than other types of fish because they are caught in the wild and not farmed. They make a long journey down the 300 mile Copper River in Alaska. The Prince William Sound is the original spawning pools for the Copper River Salmon.
Copper River produces some of the richest, best tasting wild salmon in the world—King (Chinook), Sockeye (Red), and Coho (Silver). The salmon season begins in mid-May and runs through September. Kings run through mid-June, Sockeyes continue through early August, and in late July the Coho begin to run until September.
When you go to eat the Copper River Salmon you can immediately notice a color difference and it is more bright orange/reddish in color. Salmon itself is one of the healthiest fish in the world to consume because of the omega-3 fatty acids, they are high in protein and low in saturated fat.
We used the RV convection microwave in our Class A RV-2018 Tiffin Allegro Red 33AA to bake the fish- Copper River Salmon- in it.
Pre-heat convection microwave to 350 degrees.
Clean, cut and season fish. We used salt, pepper, a little lemon pepper and olive oil.
Place in pre-heated convection microwave and cook for 12-15 minutes.
Eat, love and enjoy.
We can say that it was delicious, however, we will not being purchasing it again. We did not find it was much different then other salmon we have made, and therefore not worth the price or hype about it.
Please leave a comment if you have had Copper River Salmon, liked it or not and thought it was worth the price and hype…
My husband and I have worked hard and have been planning for our retirement since we started dating in 1998. We married in 2002, are dedicated to our work and never had any children. We started saving for retirement from day one of both our careers.
A few years after being married we were at dinner with friends and the wife was telling us a story. She said how ridiculous her husband was for wanting to retire and travel the country in a RV. She was upset that he thought it was a good idea, that she would never live in something so small, and wouldn’t consider doing something like that.
On the way home from dinner we talked about how traveling in a RV was one of the best retirement plans we have ever heard of. We talked all the way home about getting to see everything, traveling and finding the perfect place to settle down into a condo when we were to old to travel.
Fast forward to 2017 and we started attending local RV shows and researching the perfect rig for us. We got our spoiled chocolate Labrador retriever, Maya. The three of us started planning to retire, sell everything and hit the road.
We found our rig in January of 2020 and bought our used 2018 Tiffin Allegro Red 33aa. We planned on having the RV for a full year to learn the ins and outs before retirement in 2021.
Then COVID-19 hit….PANDEMIC….travel bans…
We could not fly down and pick up the RV from Florida as planned. We were not able to spend two days as planned to learn the coach from the previous owner. We are RV Newbies and have never owned a RV before.
As panic started to set in we did find a local company to bring the RV from Florida to Wisconsin for us.
The RV is in our driveway and we have been figuring out the systems on our own. Our heads are swimming, the stock markets are tanking and Covid-19 is here to stay for a while. What did we do??? Should we have even bought the RV???
Then we realized we are not alone and took a deep breath. We had joined Facebook groups, Instagram pages and watched YouTube. We started looking up, reading and watching everything we could on our RV. With the help of the RV Community we weren’t alone and can do this. We are taking baby steps to learn everything, however, once the travel bans are lifted we will be traveling locally and can get back to our plans for full time RVing. Retirement might not be in 2021, but you never know and we are going to take it day by day.
We are looking forward to our future and can’t wait to see what our travels bring. Hope you can join us for our journey in Chasing RV Sunshine. Go to https://linktr.ee/Chasingrvsunshine to follow us on Facebook- Instagram- YouTube. YouTube videos released every Monday.