The 2014 Winnebago Trend is a departure from traditional motorhomes. It is built on a new Dodge Ram Promaster chassis, which is based on the Fiat Ducato design. Power comes from a 3.6 liter Pentastar V-6, which produces 280-hp and is connected to a 6-speed automatic, driving the front wheels. Front wheel drive in a motorhome is not a usual configuration; however, it gives great driving ability in snowy conditions. Fuel mileage is in the 15 mpg range, which is good for any motorhome, and with a fuel capacity of 24 gallons, fill ups will be fewer than with an average sedan.
Features that set the Trend apart from the competition are seatbelts for all occupants. The dinette seats have three point harnesses that will keep all occupants safe in the event of a mishap. Other safety features are numerous, and include six air bags, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, traction control, hill start assist, and a feature called Drift Compensation Technology, that adjusts steering in windy conditions and on uneven pavement. A rearview backup system with color camera is also standard. These are but a few of the features that are standard on the Trend and are designed to keep you and your passenger’s safe, as you travel across the country. (more…)
With light pollution spreading wider from the many metropolitan areas in Ohio, finding dark places to wander at the galaxies is becoming increasingly difficult. Despite the persistence of light pollution, many fantastic places for stargazing still remain in the Buckeye State. Drive beyond the city limits and visit one these observation points on a clear night for an opportunity to watch the cosmos.
Less than an hour’s drive from Akron and Cleveland in Northeastern Ohio is Observatory Park, one of eight Silver Tier Dark Sky Parks in the United States. This elite designation means that Observatory Park takes strident care to reduce light pollution so that park visitors can enjoy dark night skies and bright stars without interruption from bright outdoor light. Visitors can also take the opportunity to view the planetarium and reflective telescope for a richer appreciation of the night skies.
Located a short drive Southeast from Columbus is Burr Oak State Park which boasts a large open area called the “Astronomy Field” for stargazing. The field offers budding astronomers an almost zero degree horizon on one edge giving a wide viewing area of the night sky for spotting favorite constellations. Guests may reserve campsites, cabins or rooms in the lodge and enjoy leisurely hiking trails, a swimming beaches and wilderness during the daylight hours. (more…)
Dave Arbogast, the proud owner and operator of Dave Arbogast Conversion Vans, has recently added yet another honor to his long list of stellar career achievements. His company has just been named the #1 Explorer Conversion Van Dealer of the Year. This prestigious award is not handed out lightly to any Johnny come lately who asks for it. Dave Arbogast has a long history of experience and quality customer service in the industry, and is well deserving of this unprecedented recognition.
Conversion Vans At Specially Customized Prices
Dave Arbogast Conversion Vans is located in Troy, Ohio. The company has a longstanding reputation for convenient pricing, top notch quality products and customer care. Mr. Arbogast has owned and operated his conversion van business in the area for over a quarter of a century. The company specializes in selling a wide and comprehensive variety of conversion vans. Interested customers will also find great deals on recreational and sport vehicles such as watercraft, RV, and custom travel trailers.
Being named as the 2013 Explorer Conversion Van Dealer of the Year is a special honor. This recognition from the industry signifies that Dave Arbogast Conversion Vans has been named the single most important custom van dealership in America.
This special certification is given each year to the dealer who best exemplifies the industry ideal of quality merchandise, fair pricing, experienced and knowledgeable staff, and world class customer service. It is an honor which is never earned by newcomers to the field, and is not to be taken lightly.
Explorer: The World’s Top Name In Conversion Vans
The Explorer itself has recently become the world’s top name in custom conversion vans, and for good reason. The Explorer is simply the hottest selling and most reliable custom conversion van currently being produced on the modern international market place.
The fully customized Explorer conversion van is loaded with a full range of features which are designed to enhance your driving experience. Several package options are available for purchase, from budget priced vans to full luxury vehicles. Build your fully customized Explorer conversion van today!
The last thing you want to hear is mice scrambling around inside your motorhome. Not only can they pose a health risk to your family by leaving their droppings everywhere, they can also do some serious damage to wiring, bedding, couch cushions and more. They like to nest, and when they do, they can make quite a mess biting and chewing and shredding things to make it nice and cozy. Before putting your RV in storage, be sure to employ some tips and tricks to keep those mice away before they do real damage. Nothing’s worse than opening up your motorhome in the spring only to find ripped sofas and pillows and chewed-up wiring.
Mothballs, a perennial favorite that not only keep out moths but little critters alike, will keep mice away but you’re still left with the stench. If you can’t stomach the smell of mothballs, you may have to go another route. Also, mothballs are poisonous to kids and pets, so keep this in mind if you have dogs, cats and little kids running around. Instead, try placing cotton balls soaked in peppermint extract in your RV. This offers a nice alternative to mothballs because it doesn’t smell as bad and it’s not poisonous. This is the perfect choice for families with children and pets who want to keep those mice away. Some people swear by putting dryer sheets in the corners of the RV to deter mice; others say this may only keep them away for a short period of time. Cayenne pepper, cloves, soda, and air freshener have all been found to be effective in keeping mice away. However, you may have to experiment with a few different things before you find one that works.
One way to keep mice from even wanting to get in your RV in the first place is to keep it clean. Sweep away crumbs after eating and keep food such as cereal in air tight containers. The more you can do to keep the motorhome clean and free from bits of food, the better. Bonus: it will keep away other critters and insects like ants too.
While winterizing your motorhome in Ohio, take a walk around the home and check it out for small holes that mice could get into. Plug small holes up with steel wool and then caulk so mice won’t have any entry points to your RV when they’re burrowing for the winter. Use drywall to cover larger holes. Because mice can fit in through the tiniest of holes — such as the size of a coin, this step is imperative to keeping them out. Also, once mice get in and start to procreate, they double and triple and so on very quickly. As soon as you notice a mouse in your RV, set up traps to get rid of them — the sooner, the better.
You can expect much in the way of holiday festivities if you choose to travel to the beautiful state of Ohio this holiday season. There is so much to do and see that you will definitely want to bring your RV to Ohio in order to be able to stay as long as you like, see everything at your own pace and avoid those pricey hotels. Read further to learn more.
Niederman Christmas Farm-Liberty Township
With free admission, this is a lovely walk-through Christmas display. Your path will be lit by tens of thousands of beautiful Christmas lights. Listen to the Christmas music while you enjoy seeing live animals, hundreds of decorated trees, a life-size Nativity and several other biblical scenes. Free cookies and hot chocolate are offered.
Ma & Pa’s Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides-Troy Township
Enjoy a good old-fashioned sleigh ride pulled by a beautiful draft horse. Your trip will begin at the 1820s log cabin where you can view rustic items including log furniture and chainsaw-carved bears. The horse will take you through the woods and into an open field which is particularly lovely in the evening hours. After the ride, visitors are invited back to the cabin for hot chocolate, maple coffee and homemade cookies.
Dickens Victorian Village-Cambridge
Visitors can expect to see over 89 scenes and 180 lifelike figures which represent classic scenes of Victorian society. Displays include a bucket brigade, schoolchildren, lamplighters, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim, Christmas carolers, street peddlers, Father Christmas, the town crier and much more.
A Christmas Story House-Cleveland
From the holiday classic movie, “A Christmas Story,” the house has been restored to appear just as it did in the movie. Visitors may tour the house and visit the museum where you will see more than 100 behind-the-scenes photos and items from the movie on display. Movie-related memorabilia will be available for purchase.
Light Up Middletown
You will begin this drive-through light display by entering Christmas Tree Lane which is a 40 foot tunnel of lights. Visitors can expect to see a reflecting pool with floating swans, gorgeous leaping deer, a penguin village, butterfly forest and more. Santa and Mrs. Claus are on hand each weekend to visit with the children.
This is just a very few of the holiday festivities the state of Ohio has to offer. Plan to visit now and stay through the new year. You will no doubt find new and much-loved holiday traditions for your entire family.
Photo Credit: Moofpocket
When the weather temperature starts to reach freezing points, it is time for you to begin preparing your RV for the winter weather. Winter weather can severely damage your RV camper if you do not take the proper steps. The most important part of ensuring that your RV is ready for the winter weather is to make sure that your camper’s water lines are properly emptied out. This ensures that the pipes do not freeze. It is also important for you to make sure that the RV camper’s exterior and interior are properly protected from any potential damages that could happen while it is not in use.
Locking Down the RV
When you know that you do not plan to use your RV during the winter weather, you will have to make sure that food is removed from the premises. You should also make sure that you turn off the fridge. It might be a good idea to open all of the fridge doors as well. This ensures that any lingering odors will be gotten rid of. In addition, it prevents any buildup of moisture. You should also close off the RV camper’s roof vent. You will have to close and lock all of your doors and windows as well.
Protecting the Exterior of Your RV
It is important to go over the roof of your RV. Look for any places that will collect more snow and water than the rest of the roof. If you are worried about any damage that this will do to your roof, it is a good idea for you to lower or raise the tongue jack based on the current condition of the roof. You should also cover your tires. You can get tire covers from various RV stores. However, your RV might have already come with tire covers. UV rays can do significant damage to your tires.
Keeping the Rodents Out
You should remember to put steel wool in any place that you think a rodent can use to get into your RV. Try looking under your trailer for various holes that are between the floor and the walls. You should also remember to put the steel wool in your vents. Do not forget about the furnace vent.
Taking Care of the Pipes
The best way for you to make sure that your water pipes do not freeze involves taking advantage of compressed air. You can use compressed air to blow all of the water out of your lines. In order to do this, attach the air compressor to the water line. Keep going until water vapor is no longer coming out of the faucets. You can also pour antifreeze into the water tank. Make sure this is non-toxic. Run all of your faucets until the water is the same color as the antifreeze you used. Do not forget to disconnect the propane tanks.
There is nothing quite like camping during the winter in Ohio, with its crisp air and silent tranquility. Winter camping can indeed be a wonderful experience, but if ill prepared, can lead to very dangerous situations. By knowing what equipment to bring, you will be able to safely enjoy your time camping. The following are essential items you will need:
The base layer is the clothing layer that will be in contact with your skin and should be made with wool or a synthetic material. Do not use cotton because when wet, it is slow to dry and loses the qualities that make it a good insulator. If you do not handle the cold well, 2 base layers can be used: a lightweight layer and a thicker layer.
The middle layer is used for retaining body heat and, as with the base layer, can consist of 1 or 2 layers. Wool is a good choice of material because it is great at retaining heat, but it tends to absorb a lot of moisture. An even better option would be fleece, which is just as warm as wool but tends to dries faster.
The outer layer is used as both an insulator and as protection from the elements. Fabrics made of polyurethane are a great choice. Make sure this layer is water and windproof and look for vents located under your arms and near your core region. This will expel any extra moisture away from the body.
Shoes should be designed for winter or mountaineering use and be insulated and waterproof. Typical of these boots are an outer plastic or synthetic layer and an inner insulated layer.
Use the layering concept with socks as well. Have a thin layer that will be against the skin and help remove perspiration. A second sock layer made of wool will help to keep feet warm. It is important to make sure your feet can fit comfortably in your boots with the added layers.
Because up to 70% of your body heat can be lost through your head, it is a good idea to bring a hat. A couple of great options would be a ski mask or balaclava, both of which will protect your face from the cold while keeping heat in.
Gloves and mittens
Gloves allow for greater dexterity while keeping your hands moderately warm. Mittens allow for contact between the fingers which increase hand warmth, but use of individual fingers is lost. For these reasons, it is important to bring both gloves and mittens.
Sleeping Bag and Tent\
Your sleeping bag should be rated lower than the temperature you are expecting while camping. Ohio averages a low around 20 degrees, so opt for a sleeping bag rated for at least 10 degrees. It should have either synthetic or goose down insulation and have a draft collar and hood. A good tip is to bring 2 sleeping pads when sleeping on the snow so that heat is not lost.
Use a 4-season tent that is made of a solid fabric and is shaped like a dome. Make sure that it provides for extra snow and wind protection. There is also a single or double wall construction. The single wall tents tend to be lighter and quicker to set up, while the double wall tents are heaver, but have better ventilation and are warmer.
Additional Items to Take
Extra water, food, and clothing
First aid kit
Compass or other navigational device
Traveling in an RV is an easy and fun way to see the country. Instead of relying on hotels and flights, you can hop in your camper and go whenever you want to go. One of the best parts about camping is that you can save money on eating too. While some campers enjoy stopping by local restaurants on the road, others like cooking in their campers. If you spend the fall traveling in your RV, try out a few of the following recipes.
Easy Pumpkin Muffins
1 boxed cake mix, yellow or spice
1 can pureed pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Preheat the oven in your camper to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mix together the three ingredients listed. When you use canned pumpkin, you don’t need to add oil or eggs to the cake mix. Once you finish mixing the ingredients, pour the batter into a muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes in your RV oven. Depending on the strength of your oven, you might need to bake the muffins for 25 minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Hobo stew is one of the easiest dishes that you can make while on the go. Instead of relying on a list of ingredients, make use of the leftovers that you have cluttering up your small kitchen and the fresh produce that you find from roadside stands and farmers markets. Most campers use a large roast cut into smaller pieces, but you can also use ground hamburger or even sliced chicken.
Toss the meat into a large pot, place the pot over an open fire and cook until the meat is cooked through. Add corn on the cob, carrots, onions and any other vegetables that you love. Pour just enough water over the top that it reaches up to the middle of the pot. As you slowly cook the stew, the water creates the moisture that you need. Flavor the stew with your favorite spices too. A little chopped garlic works great, but you might also like basil or a little oregano.
Easy Spaghetti Sauce
Create a simple spaghetti sauce while on your next trip from some fresh tomatoes. Add one cup of onion to a stockpot, sprinkle garlic and olive oil over the top and cook until the onions are translucent. Add two cups of diced fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes if you’re in a pinch. Sprinkle equal amounts of rosemary, oregano, parsley, basil and fennel seed over the top. Once the tomatoes cook down and break apart, you can use the sauce as a topping for spaghetti or pizza. Store the remaining sauce for a future meal on the road.
It’s easy to find a great RV spot in Ohio. Lakes, rivers, forests, and convenient locations offer variety and opportunities for exploration. Here’s a look at a few of the top RV campgrounds in the Buckeye State that can appeal to a broad range of camping styles.
Indian Lake State Park
Set near 5,000 acre Indian Lake, this multi-use facility is great for families. Fishing, boating, hiking, biking, and exploring this 800 acre park will keep everyone happy with plenty of activities.
Shawnee State Park
At over 1,000 acres, it’s a huge facility with lots of amenities. Located in the Appalachian foothills, the scenery is gorgeous. Two small lakes, a golf course, indoor swimming facility, and extensive hiking trails are just some of the opportunities for fun.
Although there is RV camping within walking distance of the King’s Island theme park near Cincinnati, Cedarbrook is a little more secluded. Still just eight miles away from the park in Lebanon, it’s close, yet seems far away. The park has a full calendar of events in season to compliment the theme park experience.
Mohican State Park
Another large park at over 1,000 acres, this place is incredibly beautiful. Set near the Mohican River and Clear Fork Gorge, exploring the wild areas is the focus. That said, there are plenty of amenities as well. Volleyball, basketball, biking and kayaking are some of the attractions.
American Wilderness Campground and Event Center
It’s the closest camping area to Cleveland and it has something for everyone. More attuned to a luxury experience than remote camping, it’s a nice spot for those not wanting to get too far afield. There is a banquet hall available for your special events.
Lieth Run Recreation Area
Located about 20 minutes north of Marietta in the Wayne National Forest, the campground and recreation area appeal to RV campers hoping to spend some time relaxing. Just steps from the Ohio River, there is also much to do for those seeking an activity-filled vacation.
Scenic Hills RV Park
This one is a great choice for campers wanting to visit Amish areas. Located just outside Berlin in the heart of Amish Country, it’s the perfect base for exploring the surrounding area. Large sites will accommodate big RVs and free WiFi is available.
Lock 30 Woodlands
A big plus here is that the facility is opened year round and has a heated clubhouse. If you are looking to get away outside of the main camping season, you can’t go wrong here. It offers seclusion in a scenic environment that is just minutes away from town in Lisbon.
There are alarming numbers of highway incidents involving improperly hooked up trailers. Many of these have resulted in serious injuries and even deaths. Most of the people who precipitate the accidents were amateurs, those for whom trailering is an occasional thing. Some have involved professionals who were so familiar with pulling a trailer that they became careless when hooking up.
There are a number of steps that should be taken to ensure a proper hook-up and a trouble free towing trip. Prior to attaching the trailer to the tow vehicle the driver should make a checklist of safety to-dos:
- Check the safety of the trailer; examine and air the tires, check the lights, grease the bearings if the trailer has been sitting for a while.
- Check the hitch and safety chains. The hitch mechanism should move freely without much effort. If not, lubricate the mechanicals.
- Make sure that the load rating of the trailer will accommodate the anticipated weight of the items to be loaded.
- If the trailer has auxiliary brakes, they should be checked for proper actuation.
- Check the hitch on the tow vehicle making sure that the load rating is sufficient.
- Check the ball on the hitch making sure it is the correct size for the trailer hitch. Too small a ball and the trailer could break free, too large and the trailer hitch will not seat correctly nor will the latch engage, though it may feel like it is seated and engaged.
- Check the receptacle on the tow vehicle for the trailer lights plug to be sure it is a proper fit.
When hooking up the trailer be sure to allow enough slack in the trailer lights cable to enable a full radius turn. The safety chains should be hooked up so that there is enough slack for turns, yet not allowing the trailer tongue to touch the ground if it becomes accidentally unhitched. Be sure that the trailer hitch fits over the ball completely and the latch fully engages locking the hitch to the ball.
When loading the trailer make the load weight is equal before and aft of the trailer axle. If you have too much weight to the rear of the axle it will make the trailer wobble from side to side, a situation exacerbated as you increase your speed. If you have an unequal loading the heavier portion should be in front of the axle. The only way to get out of a high speed wobble is to accelerate hard or turn sharply and then brake when the wobble diminishes. Hitting the brakes immediately will only increase the wobble and could overturn the trailer.
After towing your loaded trailer for a few miles, stop and recheck the hitch connections, tightening as necessary. Note the way the trailer tracks behind the tow vehicle. If the trailer wobbles or “crabs” a bit you should drive slowly, or if it is a long trip, change the trailer for one that is in alignment.