Four Strange Roads to Drive On

4:38:00 PM La Mesa RV 0 Comments

When you’re out roadtripping with your RV, you’re bound to see all kinds of unique, interesting, and just plain weird sights. Roadside attractions may tempt you to new adventures, while strange billboards seem to be made to catch your eye. So it should go without saying that the road you’re driving on probably isn’t the most exciting thing about your trip, right? Wrong. Depending on where you are, you might just come across some of the most interesting roads in North America – and all you have to do is drive on them.

A few of North America’s strange streets that are worth the detour:

Civic Musical Road

Near Lancaster, California, there exists a one-of-a-kind stretch of road: the Musical Road. According to Roadside America, this unique drive – created as part of a Honda TV commercial – has grooves in it that resemble an oversized record, so that when your tires roll over it, you can hear the William Tell Overture. Accounts from those who’ve driven it advise to stay in the left lane and keep near the speed limit in order to get the full effect. If you’re looking to conduct the Musical Road symphony yourself, you can find it on Highway 14 north of Lancaster, at Avenue G between 30th and 40th Streets West. (Note that this isn’t the original location of the Musical Road; apparently the locals were so annoyed by the constant music that the road was actually paved over, but then resurrected in 2008 in a much less populated area.)

The World’s Most Crooked Road

World's Most Crooked Road Lombard St.
Nicolas Karim | Flickr

The state of California is home to another unusual and interesting road, this time with the title of “World’s Most Crooked Road.” Whether or not that claim’s been proven, it’s hard to argue that Lombard Street in San Francisco isn’t one of the world’s most zigzagging roads. On a section of one-way street moving downhill, the road has eight – yes, eight – sharp turns (also known as switchbacks), making for a precarious descent. Amusing Planet explains the street’s crookedness as essential:

“The switchback's design was born out of necessity in order to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade, which was too steep for most vehicles to climb.”
As with many of San Francisco’s steep hills, this one-way block between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets is also hazardous to pedestrians due to its steep incline. While this is not a road suitable for your RV (unless you have a small Class B touring van), if you have a toad (dinghy) vehicle and want to drive down the "World's Most Crooked Road," be sure to observe the 5 mph speed limit – though it’s doubtful you’d be able to drive it any more quickly.

Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange

Viewed from overhead, this Los Angeles interchange looks like a Salvador Dali painting, or an optical illusion at the very least. Instead, this snarl of roads is known as the most complicated interchange in the country. Oddee explains it as "a stack interchange with layers of bridges making a complicated network of roads allowing smooth flow of traffic though both the interstate highways." Oh, and it also allows entry and exit in all directions between the I-105 and the I-110. A 1989 Los Angeles Times article described it as the "biggest, tallest, most costly traffic structure yet built by California Department of Transportation" – but you may recognize it more as the backdrop for the scene in the movie Speed where the bus jumps over a gap in the freeway.

Magnetic Hill

Barney Moss | Flickr

Although it’s classified as a hill and not a road per se, Magnetic Hill in New Brunswick, Canada is a strange feat of science that has amazed travelers for decades. It’s simple, yet baffling: Be it a car, truck, or van, any vehicle placed in neutral at the bottom of this Moncton hill will begin to roll upwards. People have even observed that the rivers running alongside Magnetic Hill also seem to flow upwards against the pull of gravity. While some would prefer to preserve the magic and believe that mysterious forces are at play, it’s been debunked as a simple optical illusion created by the rising and descending terrain that surrounds the hill. Still, it’s worth the trip and the admission fee to see if your eyes are truly deceiving you.

Off the Beaten Path

Some people might think that all roads are created equal, and are all likely boring – but the most intrepid road trippers will know better. Whether you go off the beaten path or find a uniquely strange street right in the middle of town, it can be worth it to do a bit of exploring and see what kind of interesting and weird roads await you. After all, sometimes it’s the road you’re traveling on that makes for the most interesting destination.


The Eccentric RVer’s Guide to Roadside Oddities of the Pacific Northwest

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Average Americans become extraordinary when that new or used RV appears in their driveways. RVers just have more of an itch to escape the routine than their surprised neighbors. While some go for new vistas, others use their motorhomes to easily reach music, cultural or athletic events.

If you're looking to get away from the normal, consider getting your rig on the road to the Pacific Northwest. “Keep Portland Weird,” the unofficial slogan of Oregon’s popular city, caught on so thoroughly, it has spread too many tourist attractions in the Pacific Northwest. But, Portland doesn’t own the strangest stuff. Those traveling up or down the northern west coast (Washington, Oregon and Northern California) will find lots to puzzle, perplex and fascinate them here.


Ape Cave Lava Tube

Mt. Saint Helens National Volcanic Monuments
USFS 8303, Cougar, Washington

The parks department has created an easy path for casual tourists and a harder one for the more adventurous. The paths through this dormant volcano winds you through fascinating lava tubes of other-worldly shapes and sizes. At points, the lava hardened while flowing, leaving natural ripples. At the end of the more rigorous path, you climb a ladder out into the forest and then hike back to your starting spot. Alert: can be damp and muddy in spots.

Octopus Under Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Washington State Route 16 connecting the City of Tacoma with the Kitsap Peninsula over the Tacoma Narrows Straight of Puget Sound.

By Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA

While there’s no official museum to visit, as you cross the double suspension bridge, look down to the murky waters and know that the giant Pacific octopus pinwheels arm over arm across the floor of the Puget Sound. Typically growing up to 15 feet and 110 pounds with an enormous head, the largest octopus ever caught was 30 feet and weighed in at 600 pounds. Reddish brown at rest, the octopus can use its special pigment cells to change colors, even blending in with multi-colored coral and rock patterns. While they normally dine on lobster and clams (yum), they have been spotted wrestling sharks and birds, doing great damage with their beak-like mouths. In the 1960s, when their numbers were more robust, octopuses engaged in wrestling competitions with local men. These contests were even written up in Time magazine.

Bicycle absorbed into fir tree since 1954

Near 20312 Vashon Highway, SW, Vashon Island, Washington


Leave a bicycle left beside a young fir tree for 60 years and what to you get? A vintage bike carried five feet up a tree trunk now three feet in diameter. With only the front sprocket and rear fender and wheel rim still protruding from the bark, the tree did a consistent job of growing around the bike and eventually raising it from the ground as it reached skyward. While it's interesting to see, other visitors have given it only a three out of five for detour-worthiness.


The Oregon Vortex and House of Mystery

4303 Sardine Creek Left Fork Road, Gold Hill, Oregon 97525
Open March through October

Travel to Oregon Vortex and House of Mystery
Aaron Anderer/Flickr

While other tour sites promote the strange goings on in this small building as “nature and physics gone berserk,” we checked into what the Oregonians for Science and Reason had to say.

The attraction lets others say that it’s a spot where brooms stand on end, balls roll uphill and people seem to grow or shrink as they walk away from you. Some explain that a mysterious sphere of "force," half above ground and half under produces theses miracles. Rumors abound that one John Lister studied the science behind the Oregon Vortex for more than 40 years, but burned his notes just before his death! Convenient!

All this said, the site gets 4.3 stars out of 5 on 300+ Facebook reviews and 4.1 stars out of 5 from 66 reviews on Google Plus. If you’re out for a lark anyway, why not stop by. It’s a series of old buildings in a beautiful forest, just what you escaped home for anyway.

The truth of the Vortex, which you’d probably discover within minutes of arrival, is that the “Vortex” is simply a slanting building that lends itself to an array of optical illusions. In the 1890s, the Grey Eagle Mining Company built a gold assay office up the hill from a creek. Intense rain caused a mudslide that carried the building down the embankment and left it tilted against a maple. In the 1930s, entrepreneurs found the building, reinforced it and started selling tickets. It’s been an attraction every since.

Pre-Historic Gardens

36848 US Highway 101
Port Orford, Oregon

Tucked in a valley with a very wet climate, Port Orford is one of the few authentic rainforests in the United States. In 1953, enterprising new-comer E.V. Nelson saw the dripping mosses, giant ferns and towering trees and knew he finally found a place to make his passion for dinosaurs come alive. It took him two years to create the 23 life-size replicas. While he deemed these creatures “scientifically correct,” he took quite a bit of artistic license with the paints, giving a pterodactyl a yellow belly divided by mosaic shapes. Reviewers explain that the pop-art touches he added make the dark forest shimmer with color. Sounds awesome!

Mount Angel Abbey Museum

1 Abbey Drive, St. Benedict, OR

The Mount Abbey monastery for Benedictine monks has been in operation since 1882. In addition to Catholic artifacts like a replica of Jesus crown of thorns, the monks have been gathering the strange artifacts from their farm. These include the world’s largest pig hairball and several smaller versions cut in half, revealing the strange, protective substance that covers the hairball and the furry insides. The monks have also stuffed mutant animals with extra legs and partially absorbed twins. The Mount Angel Abbey's museum has everything for the twisted!

Northern California

Trees of Mystery

15500 US-101, Klamath, CA 95548

Northern California's trees of mystery

36 miles south of the Oregon Border, the Trees of Mystery make touring the Redwoods convenient and fun. Giant statues of Paul Bunyan and babe the blue ox wave hello at the entrance, and the mile trail through the forest takes you past the breathtaking trees and carvings. Those who do not care to walk can take the Sky Trail gondolas through the tree tops and enjoy the downward view. The End of the Trail museum features artifacts and information about the “First Americans,” namely the Yurok, Karuk, Tolowa and other tribes. It also includes Edward Sheriff Curtis’ photography which chronicled life in the area in the early 1900s. The many native inhabitants permitted him to photograph them because of his respectful attitude and kindness.

Bigfoot Discovery Museum

5479 Highway 9, Felton, CA

Most Americans may have forgotten Bigfoot, but Mike Rugg never did. The 1968 Stanford University graduate has been collecting both evidence and memorabilia since he was a kid in the 1950s. He had a lucrative career in the computer industry until the early 2000s when the tech bubble burst. Deciding he had enough of coding, he opened the Bigfoot Discovery Museum in the early 2000s. Far from a parody, the museum is divide into three sections: Biological Bigfoot (physical and witness evidence of Bigfoot’s continuing existence); Mythical Bigfoot (legends and tales); and Paranormal Bigfoot (catering to those who attribute the creature’s existence to UFOs, and other dimensions).

Throughout the museum, you’ll find newspaper and video accounts, including the famous Patterson/Gimlin video of Bigfoot striding through the forest. The physical evidence includes skull fragments, footprint castings, hair and even scat. In addition to the artifacts, Rugg is always available.

He shares that many of the people who visit pull him aside to tell him they saw or heard or smelled (or all three) Bigfoot, never failing to ask him if they are crazy. He reassures them they are not. His explanation fascinates:

"Fifteen years ago, scientists could just laugh about Bigfoot, because there really wasn't anything they could look at that would even convince them of the plausibility of Bigfoot, really. Until we found out Neanderthals mated with humans. The latest DNA test — just published yesterday — claims what they are is a hybrid cross between a human and a caveman. That is what the Bigfoot is going to turn out to be."

La Mesa RV Finds All the Hidden Gems to Liven Up Your Next Trip

RV owners have endless opportunities to explore every nook and cranny in the United States in comfort. Here at La Mesa RV, we help make sure you find just the type of attraction you’re looking for. The oddities these states offer can sometimes reveal as much about the history and the environment as a museum! While RVers love to see the traditional attractions, we know an eccentric detour can be fun and refreshing, too.

Before you fill up your tanks however, make sure your RV is road ready. We offer smart RV service packages that save you time and money. Have a particular issue you need to discuss? Feel free to call us at 800-496-8778 or contact us here. We want to support you in the RV lifestyle!


Filmtripping in your RV

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A lot of people turn to movies and TV shows as an escape – being able to live vicariously through the characters on the screen, ones who may inhabit strange and distant worlds. But as any TV or film buff knows, those faraway worlds are most often located in our own backyards. These days, a movie or TV show’s past filming locations are easier than ever to find, and that’s where film road-tripping – or “filmtripping” – comes in. It’s when a love of pop culture and a passion for travel collide, and fans of particular TV shows and movies make the pilgrimage to visit the filming locations and the not-so-fictional settings where their favorite characters have lived. Many fans even plan an entire trip around experiencing their beloved shows in real life!

Let’s take a look at a few good examples of filmtripping today, and prepare to get your RV ready – you’re going to want to take a cinematic journey of your own once we’re done.

Top Filmtripping Destinations & Shows

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

Baldwin Lake, and The Queen Anne Cottage (which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places) at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, has an amazing film location history as it was an ideal stand-in for lakes, rivers, swamps and lagoons in early movies. It is the home to movies and TV shows dating all the way back to 1936 with the filming of "Tarzan Escapes" and other original Tarzan movies.

Other famous filming projects include Road to Singapore (1939), Notorious (1945), Miss Robinson Crusoe (1952), Lassie (1965), Mission Impossible (1968), Six Million Dollar Man (1974), Fantasy Island (1977-1982) - ("Ze Plane! Ze Plane!"), Love Boat (1978), Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1984), Lord of the Flies (1990), Bedazzled (2000), The Little Fockers (2010), and so many more!

The Walking Dead

The hit AMC horror show about the world after the zombie apocalypse has just one filming location: the state of Georgia, where the show is also set. (Yes, all of that sweat from the Atlanta heat is genuine.) With such a large fan base and such a singular location, Georgia has become a road trip destination of choice for zombie fanatics. Thrillist has already put together a superb map for a Walking Dead-themed filmtripping experience, listing off prime locations as they appear in the TV show and as they exist in everyday Georgia. While you might not want to go knocking at the door of the CDC (although the CDC building in The Walking Dead was portrayed by an arts centre), you can take an Atlanta Beltline bus tour to the quarry where the survivors initially holed up, or visit the small town of Senoia, which stood in for Woodbury on the show.


The truth is out there – and so are numerous filming locations for the popular sci-fi TV show, which is hotter than ever now that long-awaited new episodes are about to land. According to Roadtrippers, X-Files fans will definitely want to head to western Canada to do their best Mulder and Scully impressions – the majority of the show was filmed in and around Vancouver, British Columbia. Filmtrippers of any stripe shouldn’t miss a visit to the Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, as not only does it appear in X-Files as the main hospital location, but also in Supernatural (another long-running TV series filmed primarily in the Vancouver area). If you’d rather stay in the United States, head down to the coast to the Santa Monica pier in California, or visit the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach – which is located in present day, not 1939 like Agent Mulder experienced.

Parks and Recreation

For something a little more light-hearted, take a cue from the devoted fans of this recently-completed TV series and go filmtripping to Pawnee, Indiana. Well, in a manner of speaking, anyway – there actually is no town of Pawnee in the state of Indiana, so your best bet is to head to California to experience the former filming locations for the popular show. Roadtrippers recommends checking out Pasadena to visit Pawnee City Hall (actually Pasadena City Hall), Van Nuys to get whipped cream topped waffles at Four ’N’ 20 Restaurant (which served as the interior of JJ’s Diner), and the Huntington Library & Gardens to experience the elite feeling of rival town Eagleton.

Sex and the City

This is probably one of the original filmtripping destinations, even before the word “filmtripping” was invented. For years now, fans of Carrie Bradshaw and company have been flocking to New York City for a chance to walk in her Manolo Blahniks. There are a ton of lists out there of the best Sex and the City-related locations to check out, but Fodor’s Travel has a fantastic one that lists off the Staten Island Ferry (it’s free!), Pete’s Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, and many more prime spots. And don’t forget to get in line at Magnolia Bakery for one of their famous cupcakes – the bakery and its appearance on the show have been created with starting the cupcake trend.

Although your own personal mileage may vary, for a pop culture fan, there are few greater experiences than immersing oneself in the former filming locations of a favorite TV show or movie. For a brief moment, you can imagine yourself as a character in your beloved fantasy world, and that itself can definitely be worth the trip. Put aside the regular road trip and give filmtripping a try – you might just make some cinematic memories of your own.


RVing: Is Roadtrek the Brand for You?

11:53:00 AM La Mesa RV 0 Comments

To be or not to be... is a Class B Roadtrek touring van the right fit for you? Read on to find out!

It’s the journey, not the destination. It’s about new experiences over new stuff. Sounds like the RV way. That’s the way Jack Hanemaayer came to create the first Roadtrek motorhome. Set on combining the comfort of a motor home with convenient, nimble driving, in 1974 Hanemaayer took a blowtorch to a van to make it livable. It took him six years to get a model he would release to the public, but by 1980 and after many trips to the “drawing board,” he’d incorporated a sweeping roofline, three-section floor plan and a lowered floor. At last the Roadtrek was born.

Roadtrek: The Number One Best-Selling Class B Motorhome in the Industry for 25 Years!

Rather than moving into model after model, Roadtrek has specialized in the "small motorhome in a van" Class B, with different styles built on Mercedes Sprinter, Chevrolet and Ram ProMaster chassis. Research firm Stat Survey Inc’s 2014 Class B retail motorhome market numbers showed Roadtrek at 35.6% market share overall in North America, outpacing all other brands by a long-shot for the twenty-fifth year in a row.
This focus has allowed Roadtrek to meet the needs of the Class B buyer: convenience, energy costs and comfort. The company has fine-tuned:
  • Engineering: size, maneuverability and stability that makes navigating both towns and narrow mountain roads stress-free.
  • Eco-friendly, high-tech features: these keep the cost of road trips under control (also check out the eco-friendly E-Trek solar-enabled model) while providing all the connectivity that makes work and personal lives manageable.
  • Comfort: plenty of storage to bring fishing, hiking and photography gear, as well as motorized beds and full kitchens.

By listening carefully to buyers and dealers, every year Roadtrek creates touring vans with better features all while staying true to its ultimate values of quality, trust and innovation.
Here at La Mesa RV, we’re proud to carry a line of convenient motorhome RVs that have won numerous awards over the years from industry and camping magazines and associations. Roadtrek has taken:
  • RV Enthusiast’s Gold Award for Class B several years.
  • Motorhome Magazine’s Reader’s Favorite Award for Class B 2013.
  • RV Dealers’ Association’s Quality Circle Award for Class B 2014.
More, we find Roadtrek agents are happy to work with our dealers to fit a custom Class B with every feature the La Mesa RV customer desires. They also scale down a model per specifications without hassle. Finally, they work closely with us to rectify any issue a buyer has with their new unit.
Both La Mesa RV and Roadtrek realize that a motorhome purchase is one of the largest in an American’s life. While it has the potential to bring the greatest adventure of a lifetime, it’s also a large financial and lifestyle commitment. We take our end of the bargain very seriously.

Which Roadtrek Revs Your Engine?

Roadtrek designers and engineers learned long ago that all kinds of travelers and campers appreciate a wide variety of options for their home on the road. The Zion model is built on the Ram ProMaster chassis and is a great entry level model that fits most lifestyles and budgets.
The 190 Popular, built on a top selling Chevrolet chassis, is one of the original Roadtreks and is compact in size, yet roomy, comfortable, and ideal for two people. Roadtrek's 210 Popular is their "widebody" model. Built on a Chevy Express extended van chassis, the 210 has a 155" long wheelbase, which allows for much more space than other models.
Their Adventurous models come in mid-range CS Adventurous and RS Adventurous and the top-of-the-line TS Adventurous all which sleep 4, but can accommodate 7 passengers.

ETrek Class B

Designed for those who love boondocking and free of “shore power” or hookups, the E-Trek model features a 255 watt solar panel that can run the interior electrical system free of propane or a noisy generator. Etrek can take you off the grid longer than almost any other RV. The solar panel even runs the interior air conditioner while you’re going down the road. You can run the DVD, TV and all interior lights just off of solar power.

Find Your Roadtrek RV

Seeing is believing. Stop by one of our many RV store locations that offer Roadtrek Class B's (not all store locations offer Roadtrek) so that you get a better idea what the Roadtrek brand is all about. Our website allows you to search the nearest La Mesa RV store with Roadtrek inventory. We think you’ll be amazed at the high tech and comfort features Roadtrek puts into their rigs these days!
Considering scaling up or down in your RV? We’re happy to provide a fair price for your trade in. Feel free to call us at 800-496-8778 or email us here. We want to help you experience the RV lifestyle!


4 Ways Athletic Campers Make RVing More Active

2:50:00 PM La Mesa RV 0 Comments

There can be a lot of down time when road tripping in your RV and it's common to find yourself spending a considerable about of time sitting and remaining fairly inactive, but that does not mean you need worry about staying fit and living a healthy lifestyle. Many people purchase RVs solely for athletic and fitness reasons. More and more professional and amateur athletes use RVs to get to their meets and games, and RV manufacturers are developing units and accessories to fit the active lifestyle. RV parks, too, are making fitness-enthusiast First Lady Michelle Obama proud by offering gyms, swimming pools, fitness classes and bike and walking trails. The trend toward living a healthier lifestyle has gotten more Americans thinking about how fitness and RV travel can work well together. Use these tips to optimize your physical fitness while traveling by motorhome.

1. Get Informed by Following RV & Fitness Blogs

Why reinvent the wheel when avid fitness-minded RVers have tried various strategies, parks, marathons, and routines?
A blog (or 10) exists for everything and staying fit and healthy while RVing is one of them. We like The Fit RV because it covers nearly every topic the active RVer could consider: workouts, recipes, fit tips, RV reviews, RV park reviews and more. Bloggers James and Stef explain that while they never really considered the RV lifestyle, they “got tired of standing in long porta-potty lines before bicycling events, and decided we needed our own bathroom."

2. Determine Your Destination by Your Fitness Style

Choosing the campground or boondocking site you’ll venture off to depend on the style of fitness you prefer. Some RVers go to sites that have health and wellness centers that com complete with Olympic sized swimming pools, fitness studios for classes and workout rooms full of equipment. Many RVers enjoy traveling to RV resorts that offer competitive sports, such as golf, lawn bowling and pickelball. Others wouldn’t consider that kind of institutionalized exercise, aiming instead to get as far away from the masses as possible to hike and bike in wooded splendor. The key will be finding the right campground guide to determine whether the trails are more suitable for hiking or biking. Go Camping America lets you search the private parks by the style of recreation you prefer from boating, canoeing and kayaking to biking and running. Reserve America lets you search the federal, state, county and private parks.
Like James and Stef of FitRV, avid hikers, bikers and other athletes may follow well-known races and events in their RVs. The website Active has a searchable database of all running, cycling, swimming, baseball and more sport events in any area you choose. You can also filter by date. They even list the closest mud runs, obstacle races, adventure races, black light races and pet friendly races near you.

3. Take Exercise Equipment that Doesn’t Require Up Much Room

Even those planning to hike and/or bike can optimize their physical rejuvenation by working out while on the road. An elliptical machine strapped to the top of the RV or a heavy set of free weights doesn’t cut it, however. James and Stef of FitRV recommend light-weight, variable resistance bands. Basically bungee cords with handles, resistance bands can be used by yourself or with a partner. Experts agree that they are more versatile and even more effective than free weights. Also consider adding to your outdoor activities. Ankle and wrist weights give runners and kayakers more resistance as they enjoy their sport. Walking sticks turn a regular hike in to a full-body workout.

4. RVs and Accessories Popular with Athletes and Active Travelers

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association's March 2015 “Business Indicators” report cited a Harris Poll which found that 35-44 year-olds were the fastest-growing group of RV owners. In the 1980s, the average American RV owner was 50. Today he or she is 48. That number is falling even more as even younger families insist on reaping the benefits that camping brings. Active adventurers find they have a very close to nature, rigorous experience in the Class B camping van models. Understanding that RV buyers are getting younger, healthier and more active, several manufacturers have created models that appeal to athletes and fitness buffs.
Winnebago stayed on top of the trends as usual. Its 2015 Travato 59G comes with a roof rack that holds two kayaks. The double, over-ladder bike rack on the back is bolted to only one rear door so that you can open the back doors and access the cabin while the bikes stay mounted. The Murphy bed inside moves out of the way to create room for bikes or kayaks for those reluctant to mount these outside.
Roadtrek’s eTrek is one of the most eco-friendly Class B motorhome on the market. Geared toward the outdoor enthusiast, it has plenty of storage for hobby equipment. Most impressive, it’s equipped with a 255-watt solar panel, meaning in the eTrek, you can stay off the grid longer than any other class B. A quick look at RoadTrek’s two-minute video makes it clear the manufacturer aims this model at the avid and active nature-lover. It’s interesting to note that the Class B RVs appeal to those embarking on physically challenging trips.

La Mesa RV Gets Hikers, Bikers, Swimmers to New Hills, Roads and Shores

Matt Rose, director of Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council explains, "You used to think of RVs and think of the cigar-smoking grandpa and the retired couple, but not anymore." RV companies are excited by the prospect of helping the athlete and avid sportsperson get closer to the race, lake or court by choosing a recreational vehicle rather than book hotel reservations.
Consider the benefits of an RV lifestyle with your fitness routines. Stop by one of our store locations and check out your options to get a better feel of where your road or mountain bike, tennis racket or pickleball paddle, yoga mat, or healthy selection of walking or running shoes would go. Feel free to call us toll free at 800.496.8778, or email us for all your RV related questions. We want to help you take your fitness on the open road!


Boondocking Etiquette

1:54:00 PM La Mesa RV 0 Comments

Boondocking, also known as dry camping or free camping, is a great way to camp for free, or at the very least inexpensively. With many areas of the United States ripe with lands that accommodate boondocking, this type of camping provides a unique experience that can help travelers connect with nature that remains relatively untouched by the masses. But this type of camping experience also comes with some rules and requirements not encountered by traditional RV campers in other campgrounds.

Photo by Rick Cooper | Flickr


What is Boondocking?

Boondocking at its core is parking in remote areas with no hookups or amenities such as running water, bathrooms, or electricity. Boondocking often takes the concept of dry or primitive camping one step further, with RVers parking in areas not specifically developed as RV campgrounds. This type of temporary residency is often geared towards the more rugged traveler: one who can live off the grid for a short amount of time. Dry camping may not come with many accoutrements, but it has its own benefits, namely low cost and a more private, natural experience. If you’re looking for on-site running water, showers, or playgrounds for the children, a more conventional campground experience is likely a much better fit.

Where can I Boondock?

Boondocking locations can be found through the Bureau of Land Management, the National Forest and National Grasslands, Fish and Wildlife Management, and many other public lands. Many of these spots are near attractions such as national parks that would otherwise require pricier accommodations to camp in or near.

There are also numerous boondocking websites, such as and phone apps, such as BoonDocking, Camping Bundle, and US Public Lands that help RVers find boondocking campsites in remote areas, KOA campgrounds, and USFS and BLM campgrounds.

Boondocking Etiquette

Because there are no posted rules, boondockers must live by their own code of ethics. A little bit of consideration goes a long way, and it’s important for boondockers to keep the experience safe, pleasant, and clean for all.

Don’t Trudge over Vegetation

Whenever possible, use existing trails and camping spots. If you notice an area that has hosted boondockers before, help maintain the natural habitat by choosing the same spot for your own use. Enjoying wildlife means keeping areas wild and lowering impact by using pre-designated areas. Also, check with public lands officials for any posted rules, such as just how far away from a road you can camp. Often there are requirements in order to help preserve the natural landscape.

Respect Your Neighbors

Boondockers often choose this option not just for the price, but for the privacy. If you’re camping in an already occupied area, leave a respectful distance between you and your neighbor. Common courtesy is the name of the game, and that extends to noise from generators, pets, and music. If you have loud dogs or want to throw a dance party under the stars late into the night, keep a far enough distance between you and your neighbors that you won’t be encroaching on their solitude.

Boondockers are a friendly bunch, but there is often a fine line between being neighborly and being a nuisance. Feel free to say hello and introduce yourself, but remain cognizant of the experience and provide your neighbors with ample space to enjoy their privacy.

Photo by Mitch Barrie | Flickr


Clean Up After Yourself

Nature doesn’t have a maid, and that means that every boondocker is responsible for themselves and their items. Whatever you pack in, you should pack back out when you leave. Leaving as little of a trace as possible preserves the cleanliness and remote pleasures of the boondocking experience for everyone.

Don’t Overstay Your Welcome

Public lands often have a stay limit. Although it may be extensive, it doesn’t mean that it is limitless. Once your length of stay is up, do the world of boondockers a favor and move on. This will help preserve the trust between those staying and those permitting such stays, and can help avoid run-ins with rangers and law enforcement.

Photo by: Mitch Barrie | Flickr


There are many resources for newbie RVers. Need more help understanding boondocking and would like to know some tips and tricks? Check out some of the many videos on YouTube, such as "Basic Boondocking Tips and Tricks for Newbie RVers" from Love Your RV or "Boondocking/Urban Camping Inside Tips" from Nomadic Fanatic.

Boondocking can be an amazing adventure. Far from the lights and the noise of the city, many RVers have found the pleasures of camping off-the grid out in the great wide open. With just a little bit of common sense and consideration, it can remain a wonderful means by which to see parts of the country that have remained relatively unexplored. Experience life, go boondocking in your RV! 


RVing: Is Fleetwood the Brand for You?

2:39:00 PM La Mesa RV 0 Comments

Explore Further With Fleetwood Recreational Vehicles

The dream of owning a motorhome remains healthy within the United States, and the Fleetwood brand has helped to make that dream a reality for thousands. Known for building high-quality, durable motorhomes that enables families across America to enjoy comfortable motorhomes at affordable prices, Fleetwood RVs enhance the active lifestyle of today.

The Fleetwood brand is one that appeals to would-be RV owners on a regular basis, as one of the most affordable, reliable, and popular manufacturers in the States. However, deciding whether to purchase your own Fleetwood RV, and which one you should choose, can be a difficult task. This overview should give you an insight into the amazing features to discover within Fleetwood trailers and RV models, and once you're educated, you can take a look in person at the La Mesa RV location nearest to you.

The History of Fleetwood Enterprises

Recognized as the largest manufacturer in the nation of recreational vehicles, Fleetwood Enterprises has spent a number of decades on the market, introducing vehicles that span the full range of affordability. The Fleetwood story began over 60 years ago, in 1950, when a man named John C. Crean developed the "Coach Specialties Company", which constructed window blinds for travel trailers. The company evolved when a dealer came across a custom travel trailer that Crean was making. He liked the concept so much that he contracted Crean to make trailers for his dealership, and the company re-emerged in 1957 as Fleetwood Enterprises. Over a number of years, Fleetwood has earned their reputation as an innovator in the RV and trailer market. Crean developed the first motorhome with basement storage - now a standard feature within the industry. Today, Fleetwood is one of the leading manufacturers in Class A and Class C recreational vehicles - developing some of the most recognized names in the industry. The company is also known for developing functional and unique floorplans capable of meeting the needs of its many customers.

Fleetwood Class A Recreational Vehicles

Within the RV community, a significant debate rages over the various advantages of Class A diesel models, and Class A gas models. The Fleetwood brand employs the latest techniques and materials for construction in the industry, in order to provide exceptional safety and durability. The F-21 advantage - a term used to apply to industry-leading engineering, is used throughout all classes in the Fleetwood line.

The choice of which is right for you will depend on your budget, goals, and personal preferences. However, it can be useful to get a better understanding of what each model is capable of, before making a final decision. Gas RV owners can expect to pay slightly less for their vehicle upfront, as well as dealing with lower maintenance, repair, and fuel costs. The Fleetwood line offers Class A Gas vehicles such as the: Storm, Southwind, Flair, Bounder, and Bounder Classic.

The Class A gas RVs, such as the Flair offer features such as:

  • 12-volt water pump
  • 6 gallon propane water heater
  • 15,000 BTU/h ducted air conditioning
  • 12-volt converter
  • Entertainment systems - including LED televisions
  • PEX plumbing system
  • Carbon monoxide detectors for safety

On the other hand, the diesel RV is considered to be the most luxurious option, boasting significant longevity that allows the vehicle to retain resale value somewhat better than gas models. The Fleetwood Diesel line includes names such as the Discovery, Expedition, and Providence. In spite of a desire for opulence, it's fair to say that the sizes of motorhomes has been trending down lately in the quest for improved access to camping locations, mobility in congested driving environments, and better fuel economy. With that in mind, Fleetwood RVs such as the Excursion offers a more aerodynamic experience. The diesel RVs offered by Fleetwood provide various upscale exterior and interior amenities as standard equipment, with additions such as a drop-down 40-inch LCD TV, a 6.0-kW generator, and electric patio awning.

Fleetwood Class C Recreational Vehicles

Class C RVs are even smaller than their Class A counterparts - built on a truck chassis rather than a van chassis. In spite of this, however, Class Cs don't often fit in driveways, parking spaces, or garages. The Class C options that Fleetwood offer include the Jamboree and Jamboree Sport - two names associated with high-standard family camping.

Boasting innovative floor plans, including heated basements for comfortable camping in any season, and optional media centers, the Class C RVs by Fleetwood continue to be some of the best-selling motorhomes on the market.

Making Your Choice

Fleetwood RVs have lead the way in the RV industry for more than 60 years, with innovations, products, and excellent customer service. If you're still struggling to make a decision as to which option is right for you, why not speak to the experts at La Mesa RV? Feel free to email us here, or call us at 800-496-8778. You'll find that we have a great selection of Fleetwood RVs to offer.


RV Tire Safety

2:30:00 PM La Mesa RV 0 Comments

Headed on the road in your RV? Then you understand the importance of keeping your family safe while traveling. You know to maintain a wider following distance, take corners slower, and even make sure everyone is safely buckled in while the RV is in motion. But have you checked your tires yet? To avoid the risk of a blowout while traveling, follow these RV tire safety tips.

Maintain and Store Your RV Properly

If you’re already done traveling for the year and looking for ways to prolong the life of your RV tires, it’s important that you care for them well and store your RV properly.

This includes regularly washing the tires with a mild soap and a soft brush. This will keep dirt from abrading your tires and causing damage that could lead to cracks and blowouts. Just don’t wash too often or with harsh supplies as this can remove the protective compounds on the tires.

When your RV is not in use, it’s crucial that you store it in a location out of the sun. UV exposure is a prime culprit of cracks in the tires, so store your RV in a garage, or purchase an RV cover to keep the sun from damaging it. Make sure the cover includes protection over the wheels.

If you haven’t been storing your RV properly and you’re gearing up to take off on a trip, it may be worth it to buy a new set of tires before you leave and to follow these maintenance and storage tips when you return.

Watch Your Pressure

Both underinflating and overinflating your tires can be dangerous on the road as either one can lead to a blowout. Keep your tires properly inflated, even when in storage, by checking the pressure and adjusting it once per month. Be sure to double check the pressure before you leave for a trip. The optimal pressure for your particular tires is listed right on them. Remember that this number is where the pressure should be when the tires are cool, so check the tire pressure after the RV has had a chance to sit and cool down.

You don’t want to check pressure right after you’ve been on the road as the friction between the tires and the road can increase air pressure temporarily. Don’t release pressure from a hot tire as this can cause the tire to be underinflated once it cools.

Pack Your RV Smartly

It may not seem like your packing process has much to do with your tires—unless you forget to pack the spare—but how you store your belongings can actually have a huge impact on your tire health.

For instance, over packing your RV by filling every nook and cranny can place more weight on the tires than they can handle. Avoid brining more than you need, and be conscious of packing heavy objects.

In addition, you’ll also want to consider the weight distribution throughout the RV. An out-of-balance load may mean that one end of the axel is overloaded while the other is well within the axel’s load capacity. The overloaded side is much more susceptible to tire failure.

Replace Your Tires Every 7 Years

As a general rule-of-thumb, RV tires should be replaced every seven years despite the condition they appear to be in. This will help you avoid any dangerous mishaps that may occur due to normal wear and tear that you may not notice.

The last thing you want on your RV trip is to experience a tire blowout, which can lead to dangerous accidents, delayed schedules, and costly repairs. Reduce your risk of tire-related issues by following these tire safety tips outlined above.



RVing: Is Heartland the Brand for You?

11:42:00 AM La Mesa RV 0 Comments

Find Your Home Away From Home With Heartland

When it comes to defining RV excellence, Heartland is a brand name that often springs to mind. Providing customers with over a decade of affordability, reliability, and versatility, Heartland is both popular, and dependable. Only four years after entering the marketplace, the brand became the third biggest seller of fifth wheel trailers, and as time passed, the company has continued to improve their offerings, stating that: “we feel like our quality is better than it has ever been.”

The evidence suggests that customers appreciate Heartland, as sales continue to be as strong as ever. However, how do you decide whether Heartland is the right RV brand for you? This overview should provide an insight into the features that go into each Heartland creation, so that you can decide which Heartland RV you should buy.

The History of Heartland

At La Mesa RV, we appreciate the sense of adventure and comfort that Heartland gives its customers. Founded in 2003 and defined as a producer of high-end fifth wheel trailers, Heartland has a reputation for RV creations that inspire, value that persists, and construction that endures the test of time.

Their dedication to pristine quality is one of the reasons why Heartland's customers have made them the third-largest retailer of fifth wheel RVs in the world. Heartland RVs fifth wheel trailers offer amazing maneuverability as a result of the patented 88 degree turning radius, and the brand also provides travel trailers and other options for modern travelers. Because the company consistently listens to its customers, it regularly appears in magazines like RV Lifestyles, Trailer Life, and Gypsy Journal.

Within months of their debut, towable manufacturers began copying Heartland innovations - a sure sign that the company was doing something right. However, despite the imitations, nothing will ever be quite as great as the original, and Heartland is still leading the way for fifth wheel creativity.

Types of Heartland RV: Fifth Wheels

And yes, simply knowing more about the company isn't enough - a true RV connoisseur must explore the various features of each model. With that in mind, here at La Mesa RV, we're offering you an opportunity to examine the aspects of each RV type Heartland offers, starting with the traditional fifth wheels. Heartland fifth wheel creations include models such as the Gateway, ElkRidge, Bighorn, Oakmont, Landmark, Big Country, Sundance and Sundance XLT.

A company dedicated to delivering the strength and versatility you've been searching for in a fifth wheel, Heartland injects innovation into each of their RVs, for feature-loaded trailers supported by quality craftsmanship, higher resale value, and amazing durability. The Oakmont ™ RV, for example, provides comfortable accommodations designed for exceptional relaxation. Packed with features such as Electric Rear stabilizer jacks, power awnings with LED light strips, premium upgraded graphics and an ABS Hitch cover, you're sure to find what you need.

Of course, if you're looking for something a little more impressive, there's always the luxury fifth wheel options. After the success of the original Landmark™, the popular Bighorn™ was developed. Available in many floorplans in various lengths, the Bighorn by Heartland features Heartland's stunning front cap design, with a 30% increased turning radius ideal for short-bed trucks. Inside, you'll discover plenty of large storage areas, four options for interior décor, hand crafted cabinetry, and plenty of space to relax.

Mid-Profile, Lightweight, Travel, and Toy Haulers

For individuals in need of a lighter trailer, the mid-profile fifth wheel offers more of what you're looking for in a smaller-profile package. With options such as the Sundance XLT™, consumers can access five-star accommodations, easier towing, and lighter construction. Designed for families on the go, the Sundance combines sport looks with unparalleled gas efficiency, and comfortable interior aspects for a truly balanced experience.

Alternatively, you could always try the lightweight travel trailers by Heartland, such as the North Trail™, an RV perfect for seasonal trips and packed with beautiful accommodations for endless storage, dining, and sleeping possibilities that won't break the bank.

Today, we see travel RVs everywhere, but it's the careful attention to detail that sets Heartland apart from the rest. Featuring value, innovative design, and high-quality craftsmanship, travel trailers like the Trail Runner™, offer true comfort during family vacations for a reliable home away from home. Heartland offers travel trailer names such as the Trail Runner, Prowler, and North Trail.

Finally, built for those who love their toys, the Heartland Toy Haulers such as the Edge, Road Warrior, Torque, and Cyclone, fit the flexible lifestyles of families, by offering versatile cargo capabilities for kids, toys, pets, and friends.

Weigh Your Options

Heartland have developed an RV for just about every budget and style - so that you never have to leave the comforts of home behind. As the fastest growing manufacturer in America, they offer a complete line of impressive towable products, from luxury fifth wheels and toy haulers, to incredibly lightweight trailers. And just as Heartland has something for everyone, La Mesa RV strives to provide the best that Heartland has to offer.

Still struggling to pick the ideal model? Email us here or contact us at 800-496-8778 for more information. Our salespeople know every detail of your ideal RV, down to the material used on the seats.