{Infographic} Boondocking Guide to the Pacific Northwest

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If you own an RV and you love to camp, then consider checking out these six affordable boondocking (dry-camping) spots in Washington and Oregon.


Best Apps for Life in an RV

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When you are driving in your motorhome or towing your RV, you want to make sure you can use all of the advantages you can to make your road trip the best trip possible. Luckily, there has been an influx of apps (both Android and iOS) that cover a wide range of needs for the average RVer.

Maps and Navigation

  • WAZE (free; iOS and Android): This app not only provides navigation, but it can give user-submitted alerts as to real-time conditions, such as accidents, traffic, or weather concerns.
  • Google Maps and Apple Maps (free; iOS and Android): Both of these apps provide navigation and maps as well as the ability to find local businesses.
  • Mapfactor (free; Android): In addition to providing GPS navigation, this app installs free maps on your device so you can navigate, even without an Internet connection.
  • Google Earth (free; iOS and Android): Not only does this app provide street directions, it also provides satellite views of parks and other lands.
  • Maps.Me (free; iOS and Android): Another source for offline maps, Maps.Me also provides walking and subway information.
  • RoadTrippers (free; iOS and Android): If you’re looking for the more offbeat or unusual attractions, this can show you where to go.
  • CoPilot GPS (iOS and Android): This GPS navigation app comes in both free and paid ($7.99) versions, with the paid version offering more maps available for download.
  • Satellite AR (free; iOS and Android): With this app, you can point your phone’s camera to the sky and see satellites, planets, and other space objects superimposed on your screen. You can also use it to calibrate a compass for more effective directing, or use it to point out constellations to navigate by the stars.


  • Storm (free; iOS): This app provides storm warnings, push notifications, and real-time radar animations. The app itself is free, but in-app purchases allow you to remove ads and subscribe to additional features.
  • Weather Underground (free; Android): This app is similar to Storm (and is made by the same people), but also focuses on the day-to-day weather as opposed to severe weather.
  • Dark Sky (free; iOS): Dark Sky provides up-to-the-minute weather forecasts with detailed images of radar views.


  • Oh Ranger! Park Finder (free; iOS and Android): By entering the state and zip code you are in, this app will show you local state and national parks, including events.
  • Allstays Camp and RV ($9.99; iOS and Android): Allstays gives you information about all sorts of campgrounds, ranging from the primitive to the more luxurious. This app also provides information about places to park overnight or boondocking.
  • RV Parky (free; iOS and Android): Using this app, you can find an RV park from thousands of locations around the United States and Canada.

Dump Stations

  • SaniDumps (free; iOS and Android): This app shows the places to dump your RV in a 20 mile (32 kilometer) radius of your current zip code.
  • Allstays ($9.99; iOS and Android): In addition to campgrounds, this app helps you find rest areas, truck stops, and other dump places.
  • Gas Stations

  • GasBuddy (free; iOS and Android): GasBuddy has been a friend of the road traveler for years, and this app makes the experience easier. Not only does this app provide user-submitted repots of gas prices, users can also note the services a gas station offers, such as ATMs, bathrooms, and snacks.
  • Pure Gas (free, iOS and Android) Use this app to find gas stations offering ethanol-free fuel, including those that sell for boats or planes.

The Extras

  • Free WiFi Finder (iOS) and Free WiFi Zone (Android): These free apps help you to find WiFi spots in your area.
  • SatFinder and Dish Align (free; iOS and Android): These two free apps use your location to show where to point your RV’s satellite dish to get reception for local television channels.
  • TV Towers USA (iOS) and TV Antenna Helper Free (Android): These apps also show where to point an antenna for TV signals. TV Antenna has a paid version ($1.99) that removes ads.
  • ALDI USA (free; iOS and Android): Use this app to find ALDI grocery stores near you. You can also use the app to get weekly deals and create shopping lists.
  • History Here (free; iOS and Android): The History Channel made this app to show interesting historical events that happened where you are. This is an especially useful app to learn about a new area or to discover something new about somewhere you’ve visited before.
  • Radio Locator (free; iOS and Android): When you’re in a new area and need a radio station, this app shows what kinds of stations are available and what frequency they are.
  • Goby (free; iOS and Android) This app shows you a wide range of activities, from hiking trails to art exhibits to festivals.


With the advent of mobile technology, such as smartphones and tablets, there is a wide range of help for you when you are on the road. Modern apps can show information about supplies, navigation, events, and more. All in all, these mobile apps allow for an easier and less troublesome journey wherever your RV takes you.


The Best Winter RV Camping Destinations

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The winter season isn’t just for skiers and snowboarders – it can also be prime time to take an RV trip. The “snowbirds” know that escaping the winter by heading down south can be a highlight of the year, while those looking for a unique adventure can get their kicks by camping out in a region that’s typically extremely hot – but not during the winter months. Whether you’re a snowbird well acquainted with traveling to warmer climes or someone simply searching for an interesting new winter vacation destination, you’ve got a ton of options.

Let’s take a look at some of the coolest (no pun intended) RV camping destinations during the winter, divided up by the humid Southeast and drier Southwest regions:

Southeast Destinations

Everglades, FL

The Everglades, Florida: The Everglades region may be famous for its damp humidity and giant bugs – but if you want to avoid these things, you’ll definitely want to look at camping here between December and April. An article from National Parks Traveler discusses the Everglades’ two developed campgrounds, Long Pine Key and Flamingo Campground, and notes that the former is available on a first-come basis while the latter accepts reservations. Given how popular Florida is for snowbirds and RV campers, you’ll be wise to start your planning early if you’re looking to spend your winter vacation in this sunny destination.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: For the traditional RV snowbird that wants the beach experience, you can’t do much better than Myrtle Beach. The area is home to more RV parks than you can shake a stick at, and it offers plenty of opportunities for every traveler, from the shopper to the outdoors explorer to the avid mini-golfer. Myrtle Beach’s campgrounds website notes that when it comes to their locations, “many are oceanfront and offer fishing piers, pools, playgrounds and more.” As with the Everglades above, though, it’s a good idea to book well in advance of your RV trip, since for as many RV parks as Myrtle Beach has, they’re all very popular with the snowbird crowd.

Savannah, Georgia: A truly unique destination, Savannah has a wealth of options for the traveler looking to indulge in great food, interesting culture (pirates and ghosts!), and gorgeous landscapes both architectural and botanical. In a blog post about the “secrets of Savannah,” Trusted Choice comments specifically that the city is “rich in history and infused with innovation” and details trolley tours, walks through the City Market, and Spanish moss hanging from the trees. They also divulge that you can park your RV overnight at the Visitors Center downtown! “The downside is that there are no hookups and 48 hours is the maximum stay,” says Trusted Choice. “It is, after all, just a parking lot. But it’s perhaps one of the best parking lots in the country.”

South Texas Region, Texas: “Each year, campers from the north choose Texas parks for the mild winter, friendly people and many social activities that these parks have to offer,” says Texas Campgrounds, and it’s no hollow boast — the Lone Star State is a great place to visit when it starts to get cold up north. With mild winters, tons of entertaining local culture, and some of the best food in the country, Texas should definitely be on your winter vacation list. The Rio Grande Valley / South Texas region in the south is a particularly good bet for campers since, according to the website, “the winter is mildest and the outdoor mountains and other scenery provides a beautifully tranquil place to park your rig for a while.” Check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine for Texas state parks with stunning views!

Southwest Destinations

Albuquerque, New Mexico: Once you’ve been through New Mexico, you’re sure to agree that there’s no state quite like it. Cacti, red mesas, and canyons abound, along with indigenous artwork and a deep cultural history. “The mild temperatures, sunny weather, quiet and economical locales, friendly people and lots of activities makes it a draw for snowbirds,” says Snowbird Destinations, and it’s definitely a top choice for RV travelers looking to get a little bit off the beaten path. The American RV Park of Albuquerque has a ton of amenities including a heated pool, spa, and recreation field, so it’s worth a stop as you traverse the sun-drenched highways of New Mexico.

Tucson, Arizona: Ready to embrace the heat? This Arizona city is well known for its arid temperatures, as well as its burgeoning culture and nightlife. Snowbirds Destinations notes that “snowbirds love the Tucson area” and that “Tucson boasts the best of both worlds... the progress and innovation of a metropolitan community and the friendly, caring atmosphere of a small town.” As a snowbird-friendly region, you’re sure to find a strong RV community there during the winter months, avoiding the snow and ice of their hometowns and soaking up the constant Arizona sunshine instead.

Death Valley, Nevada

Death Valley, Nevada: An interesting name and an even more interesting place to camp, Death Valley is a struggle to traverse during the summer – but fortunately, the lower elevation campgrounds that are closed due to summer’s extreme heat open up again during the winter months. National Parks Traveler quotes the official park website as saying that “in contrast to the extremes of summertime, winter and spring are very pleasant. Winter daytime temperatures are mild in the low elevations, with cool nights that only occasionally reach freezing. Higher elevations are cooler than the low valley.” However, they do note that Death Valley features some very remote terrain, so it’s a good idea to check out the park information and regulations before you go.

Palm Springs, California: Count ‘em: 354 days of sunshine every year. That’s the average for Palm Springs, California, also known as a top destination for snowbirds fleeing blizzards and ice storms. A city in Coachella Valley, Snowbirds Destinations describes Palm Springs’ weather as idyllic, noting that “winter temperatures average in the 70s with nights in the low-to-mid 40s. Palm Springs is the only spot in California where frost and fog are absolutely unknown.” Whether you’re looking to soak in the hot springs, get a massage at the spa, or hit a few links on over 120 golf courses, Palm Springs is where you should be parking your RV this winter.

Escape the Snow This Winter in Your RV

If you’re looking to escape the cold and have yourself a fun RV adventure while you’re at it, there’s no lack of prime destinations to check out across the southern United States. Whether you want an once-in-a-lifetime camping experience like Death Valley or a spa getaway in a place like Palm Springs, you have plenty of great options – just pick a Southeast or Southwest spot, hop in your motorhome or towable RV, and get ready to beat the blizzards!


Now Hiring Job Fair for La Mesa RV

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Watch Your RV Sales Career Take Off!

BIG NEWS: Coming soon, a La Mesa RV dealership is opening in Daytona Beach, Florida!

Now Hiring Job Fair: RV SALES

Date: Jan 21st - 23rd, 2016
Job Fair Location:
La Mesa RV
4441 Orange Blvd.
Sanford, Florida 32771
(I-4 @ Exit 104).
La Mesa RV will soon be opening a new and used motorhome and RV sales dealership in Daytona Beach. If you have ever considered selling RVs or have prior selling experience, we would like to talk to you!
Come find out if you have what it takes to rise to the top and outperform the competition! Join us for a Job fair at La Mesa RV in Sanford, FL.

Job Fair in Sanford, FL is for 3 days only!

  • Jan. 21st at 9 a.m. -- 5 p.m.
  • Jan. 22nd at 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Jan. 23rd at 9 a.m. -- 2 p.m.
La Mesa RV is a financially stable RV dealership that focuses on providing excellent customer service. We live by our FAMILY core values of Fun, Attitude, Make their day, Integrity, Listen and qualitY, and we pride ourselves on having happy employees. We offer excellent pay and benefits!
Are you an Experienced RV Salesperson who is ready to be part of a new team as we open a new store? If so, we want to meet you!
La Mesa RV has been an RV industry leader for over 44 years. Today La Mesa RV Center is headquartered in San Diego and operates several RV dealerships in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida. Over the years we have grown to become one of the largest multi-location RV dealerships in the world. Selling high-quality motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels and toy haulers from a range of leading RV manufacturers, La Mesa RV is proud to be recognized as a leader in the recreational vehicle industry.
Explore more about La Mesa RV at www.lamesarv.com. We know and love RVs! This is a unique opportunity for anyone interesting in working in the RV industry, so don't miss it!
La Mesa RV sells new RVs and motorhomes manufactured by most of the top brands, including Winnebago, Tiffin Motorhomes, Fleetwood RV, Heartland RV, Thor Motor Coach, Leisure Travel Vans, Dutchmen, Roadtrek, and more, plus a great selection of Used RVs.


Pickleball: What to Know about this Fitness Craze

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Finding fun ways to stay in shape is important and this becomes even truer as people age or lifestyles change. You probably think of water aerobics and mall walking when you envision fitness activities for older Americans – but if you look outside the fitness box, there are some other fun options too. One of the most popular is pickleball. It’s been a mainstay of recreation centers for decades, but is now gaining momentum in RV parks and resorts across the country.

Wait... you've never heard of pickleball? Read on to learn more about pickleball and why it might just be the perfect sport for you.

Who Plays Pickleball?

According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, pickleball participation topped 2.46 million people in 2015. The sport is played in all 50 states and while it is extremely popular with older RVers, the sport of pickleball is now showing up in physical education classes in middle and high schools. The game draws on what is popular in other ball-volley sports and brings it to a level that is playable for amateurs, but still highly competitive for veterans.

What Exactly is Pickleball Anyway?

In 1965, three dads decided to invent a game for their kids who were bored with their typical summertime activities. The rules today are more complex and the sport has gained quite a following but the original idea of a sport anyone could easily learn and enjoy remain today. This relatively new activity is best described as a cross between tennis, ping pong and badminton. The pickleball court is the size of standard badminton court (20 X 44 feet) and the net is 34 inches high.

Players use a paddle to volley the ball back and forth to each other over the net. The paddle itself is smaller than a tennis racquet but larger than a ping pong paddle. When pickleball originated, a wooden paddle was used, but today it is usually composed of lightweight composite materials. The ball used for play is only used for pickleball and has holes, similar to a wiffleball. Bright colors are used for pickleballs.

How Do You Play Pickleball?

Pickleball can be played as a singles or doubles sport. Like tennis, points are only earned by the serving team. A serve must be made cross court and land inside the opposite diagonal court. The team receiving the serve must let it bounce once before hitting it back. The serving team must also let it bounce once before hitting it back. After both teams have hit the ball after one bounce, the rest of the play can be off a bounce or a volley with no bounce.

Winning teams reach 11 points, and must win by 2. Some tournament games go to 15 or 21, and a win must happen by 2.

Why is Pickleball Ideal for Older or Less Active Players?

Pickleball is less intense than tennis, but allows for more interaction than badminton. It is regarded as being easier on the knees, with less back and forth and sideways movement. The pickleball itself moves at one-third the speed of a tennis ball, making it easier to hit and giving players a little more time to respond. It is low-impact, but raises the heart rate for its players.

Pickleball can be played outside or inside, giving people in cold-weather climates the option to keep playing it year round. Many recreation centers are incorporating pickleball courts and they are also popping up at RV parks and resorts around the country, making access to these courts inexpensive or completely free. Whether you plan to play at home, or on RV road trips, finding a spot to play pickleball should be pretty easy.

If you are looking for a new way to be active, social, or competitive, find out what pickleball options there are near you by visiting the official USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) site.


Motorhome RV Trip Planning

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Nothing beats taking your motorhome out on the open road, whether it's across the state or across the country. An RV allows you to see the world in ways a regular vehicle can't, giving you the comfort of a portable hotel room and a car wrapped up in one adventure-ready package. Below you'll find a few tips to get you started on your vacation as well as some information on how to make the most out of it.

Before You Hit the Road in Your Motor Home

The first thing you should do when planning your RV trip is to plug your beginning and end points into a mapping program. This way you can see your entire trip from beginning to end, get an idea for how long the journey will take, and allow you to glance at where you want to divide up your days based on things like where your RV camps are. You can map out your route to avoid toll roads, take scenic paths and pinpoint motorhome friendly places to fill up your mtorhome with gas or diesel fuel, or to dump your tanks. Bear in mind that not every gas station will have a high enough roof or pumps stationed far enough apart for your motorhome to drive in comfortably, so utilizing a trip planning tool made specifically for truckers or motorhome RVs may come in handy. Some of these locations will end up being truck stops, many of which have showers you can use for a fee which can be useful information to have if you need it.

Motor Home Packing and Loading

RV motorhomes are amazing, road tough vehicles, but when you're out on the road you never know what can happen. That's why it's always a good idea to make sure you have a robust RV toolkit prepped, loaded and ready before you head out. Make sure your tires are in good condition and properly pressurized. You should also be mindful not only of how much weight you're loading into your vehicle, but where you're loading it. RV drivers need to be aware of their motorhome's weight limits, as you can in fact be under-weight and still be overloaded.

Load your vehicle evenly, with heavy things on the bottom and lighter things up top to help keep it balanced when you're navigating turns on the road. Research the load balance of your particular motorhome to make sure you aren't putting too much weight on one end or the other to keep you steady on the road.

Before you decide to tow your vehicle, make sure you've done research into what the requirements are in your state for doing so. In most states it's perfectly legal to do so with either a flat bed or a tow bar, so it's best to weigh the pros and cons of each method while you're in the budgeting stage of your trip.

RV Tips for the Road

Plan in advance for which meals you're going to eat out and which you're going to prepare as you go along. One of the benefits of motorhome travel is having access to things like refrigerators and stove tops, letting you spend a lot less on food.

If you plan on doing a little off-road exploration along the way, instead of taking on the expense of towing a car consider packing a bike. They're lighter, less expensive, and less likely to get damaged or cause problems while you're traveling. They're also handy in areas you'd like to visit that don't provide parking for larger vehicles, like shopping areas, restaurants or some older scenic locations.

If you want to save even more money, consider boondocking (dry-camping). These low cost or free campsites can help you make ends meet while also helping you to explore all that the roads have to offer.


2016 Pace Arrow LXE from Fleetwood RV

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Pace Arrow LXE - An Iconic Brand Returns for 2016

Fleetwood RV has brought back the iconic Pace Arrow! The 2016 Pace Arrow LXE is a full size Class A diesel motorcoach. Powered by a Cummins 6.7L 340HP diesel engine, this coach is built on a Freightliner XCM Series Power Bridge chassis that provides a sturdy framework for excellent handling and years of enjoyment!
Inside the Pace Arrow LXE you will be very comfortable with a climate controlled environment with four souces of heat and two sources of keeping cool, high-end features such as Villa furniture, 12" x 24" composite plank style flooring, residential refrigerator, microwave, solid surface countertop with recessed three burner cooktop, spacious u-shaped dinette, full bath with fiberglass enclosed shower, a comfortable articulating bed with a Dream Easy memory foam mattress, and so much more!
Click here to view the PDF brochure on the 2016 Pace Arrow LXE from Fleetwood RV. 2016 Pace Arrow LXE from Fleetwood RV
  • 340HP Cummins® ISB 6.7L Engine
  • Power Bridge® Chassis
  • Powerframes™ Precision Welding w/5-Point Build System
  • F-21 Construction & Manufacturing Technology
  • 8.0 kW Onan® Quiet Diesel Generator
  • Powerlock System™ w/Interlocking Floors, Walls & Ceiling
  • Exterior Entertainment Center w/32" LED HDTV & High Output, Splashproof AM/FM/DVD Sound System
  • Keyless Entry
  • 25,000/34,000 Btu/h Dual Furnaces (38K)
  • Dual Roof-Mounted, High-Efficiency A/C w/Solar Panel, Chill Grills & Bedroom Heat Pump
  • 42" LED HDTV
  • Sony 5.1 Home Theater System w/Blu-ray/DVD & Surround Sound Speakers
  • 19 cu. ft. Residential Refrigerator & 2800 Watt Inverter
  • Driver/Front Passenger Soft-Touch Captain's Chairs w/Reclining Back/Slide Controls w/Power Driver Seat
  • And so much more.