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.
If you live in or are planning to visit the beautiful state of Ohio this winter, you will find a wealth of activities and events to enjoy. There is something that will appeal to every member of your family. Read further to learn about a few.
The Loudonville Winter Fest has free admission and includes speed carving and ice carving demonstrations and ice sculptures. Food and warm drinks are offered.
At the Medina Ice Festival, you will have the opportunity to view beautiful artwork made from ice. There will be live music, delicious food and several shops nearby that welcome spectators to come in and warm up. Admission is free to watch.
The Arctic Ice Festival offers an amateur ice carving competition, soup cook-off, ice boat races, activities just for children, ice fishing, ice sculpture display and ice rescue demonstrations.
The Mansfield Winter Festival of Art is a free event which offers a wide variety of artwork including wildlife, portraiture, landscapes and still life. Media will include watercolor, oils, digital art, acrylic, pen and ink, pastel, jewelry and photography in styles ranging from realistic to abstract. The artwork will be for sale.
Alpine Valley offers a snow tube park with one of the longest and challenging half pipes to be found in the area. Snowboarding and skiing are also available as well as lessons.
At Boston Mills Brandywine, you can enjoy the Polar Blast Snow Tubing Park with 20 tubing lanes and two lifts to take you back to the top. Hot chocolate is available as well as a full service snack bar.
Spicy Run Mountain offers nine different ski runs offering levels from easy to difficult. Snowboarding is also offered.
Many ponds freeze over solid enough to offer safe ice skating. If you don’t want to take the potential risk of falling through the ice, there are numerous indoor ice skating rinks available.
Find a hill and enjoy some good old fashioned sledding. When you get too tired to make it back up the hill, take a break and build some snow people with your kids. These are family memories that will never be forgotten.
Several professional and college sports are played in Ohio during the winter months. These include NHL hockey, NFL football, NBA basketball and Ohio State Athletics which plays basketball.
No matter what you choose to do when you visit Ohio, you are sure to have a wonderful time. Bring the family and enjoy the winter.
Autumn is one of the best times of the year to enjoy some of the finest things that Ohio has to offer. From amusement parks and football to Ohio’s greatest cities, the Buckeye State is sure to have something to please everyone!
The absolute best time to visit one of Ohio’s excellent amusement parks is the fall when the weather is cooler and the crowds are lighter. Cedar Point, located in Sandusky on a peninsula into Lake Erie, is known as ‘America’s Roller Coast’ and is open throughout the months of September and October for their annual Halloweekends event. Not only are all of Cedar Point’s mammoth roller coasters, thrilling rides and children’s attractions open, but the park also operates several spooky haunted houses and decorates the entire park for Halloween. In the southwestern part of the state, King’s Island amusement park near Cincinnati offers the Halloween Haunt. This fabulous fall event features more than a dozen haunted attractions, a trick or treat trail and special Halloween themed shows to complement the park’s huge arsenal of action packed rides.
No autumn is complete without football, and nowhere is that more true than in the football fanatic state of Ohio! The state is full of small towns, and on any given Friday night most residents are found cheering on their local high school football team. However, nothing compares to the excitement of cheering on the Buckeyes at an Ohio State University game in Columbus. The Buckeyes’ Ohio Stadium is the fourth largest stadium in the United States and can accommodate nearly 105,000 screaming fans! Of course, Ohio is home to the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, who offer plenty of their own excitement as they do battle throughout the fall at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium.
Ohio’s major cities all offer plenty of fall fun, as it is a great time to enjoy the outdoors without the summer heat or the bitter chill of winter. Cleveland features eighteen Metroparks with over 20,000 acres of biking and hiking trails that are beautiful with the fall foliage. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is an especially nice diversion on a crisp autumn day. Columbus is home to the fabulous Franklin Park Botanical Gardens, which features seasonal displays among the park’s 88 acres. Of course, a fun and educational visit to the Columbus Zoo is an autumn necessity. A highlight of the zoo’s fall schedule is Jack Hanna’s Fall Fest with pumpkin carving contests and other enjoyable seasonal activities. Dayton offers the Carillon Historical Park, which contains 25 historical buildings of fascinating artifacts including the 1905 Wright Flyer III, a National Historic Landmark. Dayton also has the beautiful Woodland Arboretum that is simply delightful for an autumn stroll.
The time is drawing near for you to get your motorhome ready for that big trip you’ve been planning for months. RV travel is a great way to see the sites and meet some great people while on vacation. In order to have a safe and happy trip, there are several things you need to do to ensure you have everything you need while on the road.
Get the Motorhome in Top Shape
Take your motorhome into the dealer or a reliable shop to have it serviced. Do not assume that everything is in perfect working condition. Maybe there are hidden mechanical issues that are sitting in wait to put a damper on your trip. Road travel is rough on these vehicles. You put a lot of miles on them and, therefore, a trained mechanic that knows what problems to look for in your vehicle should inspect it.
Join a Road Service Club
If you are not already a member of a road service club, this is a good time to consider joining one. The money spent on membership fees is well worth it when you consider the possibility of being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire, or some other mechanical problem.
When there is an issue while traveling you can feel secure that help is a simple phone call away.
Get a Cell Phone Charger
Bringing a cell phone along is the best way to stay connected and have quick access to information and help. The only problem is that you need to keep your phone charged. Invest in a quality portable cell phone charger. Get one that has a car adapter and works with your brand of phone. Universal chargers work with any phone.
Read reviews before making a decision. You want to be sure the one you choose is reliable.
Gather and Organize Kitchen and Bathroom Supplies
Well before the day you leave home you should be gathering up supplies to stock your kitchen and bathroom. These are the two most essential areas that require careful thought and planning.
The amount of supplies you will need depends on the number of people going along. Bring durable plates, glasses and eating utensils. Buy paper products and snack foods in bulk. Make a list of condiments and special items you need for individuals.
Personal items include soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes, deodorant, toilet paper, tissues, and medications. Remember to bring a first aid kit. A utility knife tool is a handy gadget that serves multiple purposes.
Prepare the Sleeping Quarters
Place clean sheets on all beds. Bring along extra sheet sets just in case. Spare blankets ensure everyone stays warm. Rest is important.