Thursday, July 30, 2015

Top 3 Easiest RV Recipes

Meals for RV Road-Trips

RV traveling is a special type of vacationing. Out on the open road, it’s just you and the essentials you’ve brought along with you. Included in some of these essentials are the meals you’ll share with your travel companions, or perhaps even new friends. The perfect RV recipe is one that’s simple, requires few pots, pans, or utensils, is versatile, and is a general crowd pleaser. Non-perishable foods and recipes with easily interchangeable ingredients tend to be a good choice. But make sure you are whipping together something you actually WANT to eat. Let’s take a look at some great recipes to help maximize your on-the-go meals and minimize the effort it takes to make a great crowd-pleasing dish.

Chili (and Its Many Uses)

Chili is always a hit, and it makes for great leftovers. One pot of chili can satisfy a large family army, and leftovers can be used for chili dogs, sloppy joes, chili cheese fries, or a good morning scramble. Better yet, it’s a versatile dish that can be adjusted to accommodate many personal preferences. Do you have a vegetarian or vegan on board? Simply substitute the meat for textured vegetable protein, mushrooms, or soy crumbles such as WildWood Meatless Crumbles or LightLife Smart Ground Original Crumbles.

Chili is also a great option because of its simple ingredients and easy cooking. Here’s a great chili recipe that requires little effort and brings big flavors to the table. Bring a crockpot along to prepare your chili in the morning and have a ready-to-go meal by the time dinner comes around.

Quesadillas, Tacos, and Breakfast Burritos

Quesadillas are a fun, family-friendly recipe fit for both adults and children alike. All you need is shredded cheese, a few grilled or sautéed veggies, and tortillas. Quesadillas can be cooked in a pan, on a grill, or directly over a campfire. And better yet, all the ingredients can be used for other recipes as well. Keep the veggies and tortillas and grill up some fish, chicken, or ground beef for tacos, or make scrambled egg breakfast burritos the next morning.

Pasta

Pasta is one of the simplest meals to prepare on the road. All you need are a few simple ingredients and a pot of boiling water. Mac and cheese is another staple recipe, and a homemade recipe isn’t much more difficult than the boxed version. Add some fun for the kids by topping it with grilled hot dog critters. If you have a freezer and an oven in your RV, consider making lasagna ahead of time and freezing it. This is a quick and simple complete meal that reheats easily for the next day’s lunch. Spaghetti with sauce or pesto made from scratch or pre-made is a simple and filling means to get your daily nutrition. Bring along a baguette and make garlic bread right on the grill by cutting the bread in half, covering cut sides with chopped garlic (or garlic powder) and butter, wrapping it in foil, and placing it on the grill.

RV traveling doesn’t have to limit you to pre-packaged foods and dinner spread doldrums. Many new and inspiring options can be built out of a few basic staples, and recipes can be spread out over multiple meals to provide you with nutritional variety and menu complexity. Stick to recipes with versatile ingredients and easy preparation that will keep you interested without exhausting the abilities of your small RV kitchen. Whether you are cooking for those with special dietary needs, a pack of hungry children, or just yourself and a travel companion, these recipes are a quick and easy form of fuel to keep your engine running along the way.

Resources:

  • http://www.campingworld.com/tips/cooking-in-your-rv-/29
  • http://www.thekitchn.com/what-food-to-pack-for-an-rv-road-trip-travel-tips-from-the-kitchn-207608

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Must Have Supplies for Your RV

When it comes to taking to the road in your RV, you can never be too prepared. Good preparation ensures that you spend your time enjoying your trip instead of making unexpected stops to pick up forgotten items along the way. Here we’ll take a look at some of the RV staples to have on hand so that you can set out on the road fully stocked and ready for anything.

RV Toolbox

An RV toolbox is arguably the most important asset to have on hand as you take off into the great wide open. Here’s a list of important items to include in your RV toolbox.

  • Screwdrivers – Phillips and flatheads
  • Pliers
  • Monkey wrench
  • Swiss army knife
  • Leather gloves
  • Bungee cords
  • Super glue
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Spare lightbulbs
  • Flashlight
  • Zip ties, rubber bands, and paracord
  • Gas can
  • Flares
  • Strike anywhere matches and/or a lighter
  • Small axe and shovel
  • Cordless drill
  • WD-40
  • Quart of engine oil

  • First Aid and Self Care Kit

    A first aid kit is mandatory if you’re going to be away from home for any length of time. Preparing an RV first aid kit to handle cuts, bruises, and other injuries will ensure that you get the maximum enjoyment out of your travels with minimal irritations. Keep the following items well-stocked to help you remain happy and healthy during your next RV excursion.

  • Band aids
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect/mosquito repellent
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hand warmers
  • Emergency rain poncho
  • Ace bandages
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat or visor

  • Additional Essentials

    There’s more to preparedness than just covering the basics. The following additional accoutrements are always good to have on standby so that you are not only prepared for any hitches in your plan, but you also have the means by which to make your trip as fun and comfortable as humanly possible. Add these items to your must-have supply list to make your RV travels even more rock-solid.

  • Snacks – Keep snacks such as trail mix, nuts, and energy bars on board to make sure you never go hungry.
  • Games – Keep a deck of cards and a few board games packed up in your RV for entertainment.
  • GPS – Make sure that you always have a means by which to navigate, whether this is a free-standing GPS, smartphone navigation, or a physical map.
  • Kitchen goods – Remember to keep trash bags, plastic storage containers, plastic bags, plastic wrap, foil, utensils, mugs, flatware, and paper towels on board.
  • Extra blankets – Make sure you have some extra blankets stowed away for extra chilly nights.
  • Solar device charger – Make sure your technology is no more than a charge away at any time.
  • Beach towels – Be prepared for the beach or the pool with a few handy beach towels.
  • Extra RV toilet paper – After all, it’s never a bad idea to have too much toilet paper.
  • Enzyme based environmental and septic safe toilet chemicals - To assist in breaking down solids and to control odors.
  • Extra dishwashing liquid - To pour down the drains to help break down grease and residue build up.

  • Travel is fraught with unexpected happenstances. The easiest way to handle unforeseen incidences is to make sure that you’ve prepared for them adequately. Keeping RV essentials well stocked and stowed away means that you won’t forget them when it comes time to pack up for your next trip. Keep this list in your RV so you know what you have on hand, and highlight list items along the way as a reminder of what needs to be restocked before the next big adventure. If you make it a point to stay well equipped and expect the unexpected, you’ll never have to worry about your travel plans derailing.

    Be sure to have your RV properly serviced before you head out for your exciting adventures on the open road. With service centers located in California, Arizona, Florida, and New Mexico, La Mesa RV is there for you and can help you with all your RV maintenance and service needs!

    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    Savor the Sun: Solar Power Options for Your RV

    Did you read our blog post about the 7 Benefits of Solar Power for Your RV and fall in love with the idea of harnessing the sun use as your personal energy source when camping? If so, then you are aware that utilizing a solar power system in your RV can give you the freedom to use all the features of your RV without having to be connected to a power source—not to mention the money you can save on generators.

    Because we feel so strongly about the positive benefits of solar energy, we have compiled a list of all the options and essentials you’ll need to consider when purchasing a solar panel system for your RV.

    Spend on amps to save on time.

    When it comes to solar, the more amps you have for your panels, the faster you will be able to charge your batteries. For a good reference, a 10 amp RV solar panel equals about 100 watts of power, which is what’s typically needed to charge an RV battery.

    Consider your current voltage.

    How many volts does it take to run your RV? This will vary based on the size, for example, a teardrop trailer shouldn’t use as many volts as a motorhome. Identify your voltage (found on the battery of your RV) and use that number to determine the best solar kit option for you. As a reference, a typical RV runs on a 12 volt system.

    solar panels for RVs

    Assess your energy needs.

    Another factor to consider is how aggressively you use your RV’s electric system. If you and your family are minimalist when it comes to electricity use, or you are looking for solar to replace only part of your electricity, then you could get away with a 100 watt system (plus some extra batteries to store the energy you collect). This will likely cover your lights, fans, basic electrical appliances, and even the TV.

    However, if you are looking to rely fully on solar, meaning refrigerator, stove, heat, etc., then you will need something closer to 320 watts of power.

    Determine your available space.

    Once you have an idea of the amount of watts your looking to for in a system, you’ll need to identify how much physical space that system will require and take a look at how much space you actually have. As a reference:

    • 60 watts roughly equals 1 square meter
    • A large motorhome could take upwards of 500 to 800 watts of power to run all the necessary systems. That’s about 10 to 15 square meters of space the panels will require.

    Think about what would make the most sense for your specific situation, but keep in mind that you can always purchase a portable solar kit which does not require the same amount of space on your RV.

    RV camping solar options

    Decide between fixed or portable.

    Portable KitDetachable portable solar panels that can charge while they are separated from your RV and then reattached when they are good to go.

    • Features:
      • You can park your RV in the shade and still collect solar energy.
      • There's a built-in pwm charge controller—you don’t have to wire to one.
      • No permanent installation needed.
      • Includes legs and brackets to make it easy to position the devise directly at the sun.
      • Typically includes a tote bag for transporting and storing.
    • Keep in mind: Even though you don’t have to accommodate for the large amount of space needed on top of your RV, you will have to consider the space it will take to store the portable panels within your RV.

    Fixed Kit — Permanently attached solar panels that continuously power your RV while it has access to the sun.

    • Features:
      • The generally large size of these panels allows you to collect a surplus of energy.
      • There’s just a one-time installation.
      • The panels are unaffected by weather and harsh conditions—you won’t have to take them down or cover them.
    • Keep in mind: This system will require quite a bit of space on top of your RV and will not collect energy when there is no access to the sun.

    Need help determining what kind of solar panels you need for your RV or how to install RV solar panels? With service centers located in California, Arizona, Florida, and New Mexico, La Mesa RV service centers can help you with all your RV solar needs. Did this help you determine the best solar power system for your RV? We’d love to hear your thoughts about the advantages of using solar while camping.

    Thursday, July 9, 2015

    RV Life: From the Stone Age to the Space Age

    My wife and I come to Fort Myers, Florida every winter from Britain (we are transatlantic snowbirds) and for the last two years we have been looking in Britain and Europe for a replacement motorhome to our ageing IVECO motorhome. We traveled all over Britain last summer looking at seven separate motorhomes and none even came close to what we were looking for.

    At present in Britain we have a 1991 IVECO (10,000 lb GVW) rear wheel drive motorhome which we modified and built into a de-mountable unit for the rear of the IVECO chassis cab we have. We have used it on vacations to Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Spain three times, and many many times to France, but, like us, it is starting to show its age!

    We went to the La Mesa RV show at Germain Arena just off the I-75 south of Fort Myers on November 23/24/25th 2012 and it was at that show we found what we were looking for, it checked every box, and even boxes we hadn't thought of! It was a Mercedes Sprinter (11000 lb chassis) with an American quality Winnebago/Itasca body, just the right length at 24.5 ft to use on European roads.

    We came away from the RV show very impressed, but uncommitted and found that there were two Mercedes Winnebago motorhomes staying in our park, after talking at length to both owners we found that they were both extremely pleased with their purchases (a Winnebago View and an Itasca Navion) both on Mercedes Sprinter chassis, they both said they were getting diesel mileages of 17+ MPG - quite impressive!

    We decided to visit La Mesa RV Center situated just off I-75 exit 139 on Kelly Tractor Drive, once there we went for a test drive in a 2013 Itasca Navion powered by a 3 litre V6 turbo diesel and we were hooked! We signed there and then, (29th November) now we had to figure out how to get the money from Britain, to our bank account in the USA! Surprisingly it didn't take that long and the pre-delivery inspection was done on the 11th December and we were the proud owners of our dream motorhome on the 12th!

    We will enjoy using it in Florida this winter and have decided to put it into undercover storage for the summer and travel back to the USA in early October and leisurely spend three months travelling from Florida to the west coast of the USA (California) this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to see the southern and western states of the USA, then back to Fort Myers for Christmas.

    In April/May we intend to travel up the east coast of the USA and perhaps into eastern Canada and ship the motorhome from an east coast port, to Britain ready for many trips to Europe.

    The amount of attention it has received so far in just over one week of use in Fort Myers leads us to believe we can make serious money in Europe charging 50c per tour of the inside (joke)!

    Thursday, July 2, 2015

    La Mesa RV Job Fair in Elkhart, Ind.

    La Mesa RV is Hiring RV technicians and RV sales personnel

    La Mesa RV will hold a three-day job fair in Elkhart, Ind., to hire RV sales personnel and experienced ASE certified, RVIA certified, SMOG certified and RV repair technicians for our locations in Arizona, California, Florida and New Mexico. We will offer relocation assistance to techs hired to fill positions at one of our 11 locations, in addition to competitive pay and benefits.
    "The RV industry has seen impressive growth in shipments this past year causing more demand in our service departments. To better serve our customers and keep up with the level of quality that La Mesa RV prides itself on we are hosting a job fair to hire qualified technicians to fill current openings."
    — Jim Walters, President of La Mesa RV
    He added, “Part of providing an excellent experience for our customers is making sure we are fully staffed so that we can meet and exceed our customer’s expectations.”
    The job fair will be held at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, 3501 Plaza Court in Elkhart for 3 days only on the following dates:

  • July 24, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • July 25, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • July 26, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Interested applicants may submit a resume to careers@lamesarv.com, fax (858) 874-8029 or call Human Resources at (800) 945-8561 to schedule an interview. Walk-ins will also be welcome.



    Join our family and become part of the La Mesa RV team! We offer excellent benefits, bonus packages, 401K plans, and a chance for an unlimited income opportunity. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer with a fun and exciting drug-free working environment. Our locations are in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Florida.

    Monday, June 29, 2015

    Make-A-Wish® Grants Jay his Wish for a Travel Trailer

    Make-A-Wish® grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States.

    8 year old Jay Ryon was diagnosed with leukemia and Make-A-Wish® wanted to help grant him a wish. Originally, Jay wanted to go to Hawaii, but unfortunately doctors let him know that he wouldn't be able to travel that far. Today, at La Mesa RV Center in Sanford, Florida, Make-A-Wish® presented him with an Aspen Trail travel trailer by Dutchmen RV. Jay is so happy that he can now enjoy traveling and camping with his family!!

    Thursday, June 25, 2015

    RV Easy Meal Planning for on the Road

    On the go RV meal planning tips from La Mesa RV Center

    Whether this is your first trip or you are a seasoned RV enthusiast, every RV owner encounters the challenge of proper meal planning before they hit the open road. As your home away from home, an RV offers many of the same comforts and amenities, but there are also some unique challenges that should be considered when laying out plans for meal preparation while you’re away from your standard kitchen and grocery store.

    RV Meal Prep:Tips and Tricks

    A few tips and tricks can go a long way towards making your on-the-go meal preparation quick, streamlined, and enjoyable. For example, instead of bringing your entire spice rack, create spice mixes that you can bring along to save on space.

    It’s also important to leave room for local fare. If you know you’ll be hitting farmers markets, orchards, and roadside stands, make sure that you leave room in your meal plans and your budget to pick up exciting new finds along the way.

    Think one-pot preparation. Most RVs do not come with a standard dishwasher. This means that the fewer dishes you need in order to prepare your meal, the better. Planning staple dishes such as chili, soup, pasta, casserole, or stir fry recipes can help you create minimal mess while building a great meal. Leftovers are also a great way to get double the enjoyment in without the work.

    RV Meal Supplies

    One great way to go about preparing for your trip is to put together your list of supplies. When making your list, it can be helpful to break it out into its various counterparts:

    • Items you’ll bring from home (such as spice mixes, condiments, bulk supplies, and favorite cooking utensils)
    • Items in the RV that need restocking (disposable items, trash bags, and coffee filters)
    • Items that you can pick up during your travels (local foods, roadside snacks)
    • Items to purchase before you go

    When collecting supplies for your trip, think light. Lightweight metal or plastic tableware and glasses are easy to store and clean, and you don’t risk breakage if they happen to fall out of the cupboards around a sharp turn, or accidentally get brushed off a counter because of tight quarters. When stocking your RV kitchen, most breakables should be avoided where possible.

    Versatile bulk foods can be a great addition to your RV meal planning, and can save time and space. An easy batter mix can provide you with biscuits, pancakes, waffles, and a simple breading for chicken or onion rings. Rice, quinoa, couscous, and pasta are also great staples that can be used in many meals as an accompaniment, or a main ingredient. Bulk non-perishable foods can help you stay flexible during your travels, when strict schedules aren’t always a possibility.

    RV Ready Types of Foods

    When you’re on the go, food that is easily made and handy to eat is of great benefit. High protein trail mixes and energy bars can be kept without needing refrigeration, and can be brought along during excursions outside of the RV. Sandwiches are another great meal to lean on while traveling. Quick to prepare and easy to eat, sandwiches can help you stay satiated while remaining on schedule.

    Pre-mixed foods are another easy target. You can pre-mix rice, beans, trail mix, and spice mixes well ahead of time for easy use along the road. If your meals require pantry items such as flour or cornmeal, pre-measure ahead of time and only bring what you need.

    Shelf-stable foods are an important part of planning, especially if you are not sure exactly how long your travels will be. Try to reserve refrigerated items for those picked up along the way, and stock up on dried and canned goods that can outlast your trip.

    Avoid perishables such as raw meat, eggs, and milk where possible, or bring small quantities that can be replaced regularly.

    Here’s a list of great RV-ready food options:

    • Canned tuna
    • Pasta
    • Sardines
    • Peanut butter and jelly
    • Beef jerky
    • Oatmeal
    • Taco shells, tortillas crackers, and bread
    • Chips and salsa
    • Apples, oranges, bananas, and other self-contained fruit
    • Cocoa, coffee and tea
    • Canned beans, corn, soup, and pasta sauce
    • Trail mix, granola bars, and energy bars
    • Rice, couscous, and quinoa
    • Potatoes
    • Popcorn
    • Hummus and veggies

    In addition, don’t forget your pots, pans, utensils, can openers, flatware, tin foil, plastic wrap and baggies, and storage containers.

    Early planning is the key to ensuring your RV trip is well-stocked with great food and easy options while you’re on the road. Plan your daily meals and measure out items in advance where you can. Also, leave room to include items picked up along the way. After all, getting a chance to taste the local fare is one of the great benefits of traveling. Mixing local fruits and vegetables into your planned meals can help you experience the area without having to spend too much extra cash.

    RV meal planning preparation doesn’t have to be a chore. Once you’re through your first trip, you’ll have a much better idea of what worked—and what didn’t. Be sure to write or print out your checklists, and make adjustments to them along the way so that for your next trip, you’ll know exactly what you need!