Boondocking Essentials

If you’re like the majority of RV campers, you likely stick to well established campgrounds and RV parks when you’re looking for a place to moor your rig. Maybe you sometimes overnight in a parking lot, but that’s about it.

There’s another way to camp, though: it’s called boondocking and it involves going off the grid with your RV in order to get more freedom and solitude and to get closer to nature. It’s a fun alternative, but it takes some preparation to pull off. Here are some indispensable tips if you’re going to go camping off the grid in your RV.

An Energy Source

Above all else, you need to be able to power your RV and its systems, lest you downgrade to camping in a tent. You can manage this by installing some solar panels and/or bringing along a generator. A combination of the two often works best, but if you’re only planning to boondock for a short period of time, you can get by on a solar panel configuration alone. Generators are recommended if you plan to put down anchor for an extended period of time.

Bring several spare batteries. Your RV has a some installed, but the juice might run out while you’re off the grid. You can rotate fresh batteries in while using your solar panels/generator to recharge the empty batteries.

Lighting

If you want to continue to do things after the sun goes down, you’re going to want to have some lighting along. Remember, if you’re off the grid there won’t be streetlights nearby (unless your idea of boondocking is the backyard!). Bring solar lights, which offer one of the easiest lighting solutions for boondockers. They charge during the day and provide ample light for the evening. Just be sure to shell out enough money for quality lights.

Climate Control

Using your RV’s onboard A/C system hogs a lot of energy and drains batteries very quickly. While it’s not a problem with an electric hookup, out in the sticks you’re going to see that your power reserves drain at an alarming rate if you’ve got your cooling or heating on. Bring a low-volt fan along for cooling purposes. There are 12V fans available that will have minimal impact on your power supply. For heating, try a propane powered unit.

Save on Water

Your water supply is a commodity when boondocking. Conserve it as much as possible by installing water saving devices, such as a shower heads and faucets that aerate water or slow down the flow of water so that you’re using less water when you turn on the tap.

Find Your Ideal RV at Madison RV Supercenter

Finding the perfect RV for your traveling family can seem intimidating at first, but Madison RV Supercenter is here to help. Login or stop by and see us so that the friendly staff at Madison RV Supercenter can help you find your dream RV today. If you’ve got boondocking in mind, we can help get you setup with the supplies you’ll need.

Replacing Your RV’s Screens

It’s not a bad thing to know how to do some DIY projects around your rig. After all, you never know when something might break or get worn out. What happens if it occurs during a portion of your travels where you’re far from help?

Take your RV’s window screens, for example. Most RVs have them and they’re highly helpful in keeping the interior of your RV cool while keeping the outdoors (and the bugs that call it home) outside.

Luckily, this isn’t a difficult project and is something you should be able to patch up without outside aid. Just follow these easy steps:

1. Remove the Frame

Popping the entire frame out is the way to go. It allows you to do the rest of the replacement process easier. Most will come right out, but some may offer a bit of resistance. If you encounter a tough to remove frame, simply use a flat-head screwdriver or a butter knife to leverage it out. Find yourself a flat, open surface, such as a cleared picnic table or just a roomy spot on the floor of your RV.

2. Remove the Busted Screen

Use a knife to cut away the PVC splining (the material that keeps the screen in the frame), then remove the entirety of the screen by hand and throw it out.

3. Install the New Screen

Take your new screen and roll it over the empty frame. Only  use just enough to cover the frame (plus about half an inch) and no more. Then take your new PVC splining and insert it into the groove of the frame. Use a spline roller to push the spline into the groove, which will  lock the screen into the frame. Once you’ve done this, cut any excess splining. Repeat on the other sides. Once you’ve done all the sides, cut away any excess screen hanging out.

4. Reinsert the Frame

After you’re satisfied with the job you’ve done, simply reinsert the frame back into its proper window. Give the frame a jostle to see if it’s in properly and test everything out by opening and closing the window to make sure that it doesn’t go anywhere.

Visit Madison RV Supercenter

If you’re not comfortable with DIY stuff, just bring your RV by Madison RV Supercenter and we’ll take care of anything your rig needs. Our team of expert RV techs will get your RV back in shape quickly so that you can get back out on the road with as little inconvenience as possible.

Madison RV Supercenter Service Tips

The Madison RV Supercenter is more than a place to purchase a top-quality new or used RV. We’re your one-stop RV shop with some of the best certified RV technicians in the business. We also provide the best possible service for the most affordable prices, so you leave with the peace of mind that your RV is in top condition.

Servicing your RV is as important as any other part of the RV lifestyle. It’s what ensures your RV stays reliable and safe season after season. The following are a few service tips from our specialists and the deals we’re offering right now to help you get your RV back in ideal condition.

Always Perform Scheduled Maintenance

RV maintenance may seem costly at first glance, but it’s far more affordable than waiting until a serious repair is needed. Always perform the recommended scheduled maintenance on your RV to prevent bigger and more expensive problems from occurring.

Have Your Appliances and Systems Checked

There’s nothing worse than embarking on a grand adventure to find that your air conditioning has stopped working. Bring your RV by the Madison RV Supercenter to have our certified RV technicians ensure all of your RV’s systems are working. We’ll check everything from your propane tanks to water tanks and even your interior appliances, so you can leave with the peace of mind that everything inside and outside of your RV will be operational when you hit the road.

Winterize Your RV

The end of fall is the time of year when RV enthusiasts decide whether they’ll embark on a snowbird adventure or store their RV for the winter. Winterizing your RV is not an easy task, and you can cause major damage if you make a mistake.

Let us do the entire winterizing process for you here at the Madison RV Supercenter in one of our 11 storage bays. We’re also home to the only covered service bay in the state, so we can guarantee your RV will be ready rain or shine.

Tailgating Tips For RVers

Football season has arrived (that’s pretty big news in Alabama!), and it’s time to cheer on your favorite high school, college and national football teams. But before you head into the stands, it’s important to prepare for the game with a proper tailgating party. And there’s simply no better way to celebrate than with the comforts and conveniences of your RV.

When you fire up your RV and head to the next football game, follow these easy tailgating tips and tricks from Madison RV Supercenter to make your next pre-game experience the best one yet.

Finding the Right Spot

Your RV is likely much larger than other tailgate vehicles at the game, and you probably have a larger tailgating crew too. Arrive early and try to find a spot near a grassy section, so you and your friends have more room to spread out. If your RV isn’t equipped with an awning, keep a canopy on hand to shield against the sun or rain.

Pack the Right Supplies

Start by creating a tailgate checklist that you can use every time you pack your RV for a game. Include Mason jars for holding silverware, aluminum food pans for disposing of charcoal remains and a shoe organizer for storing your cups, coozies, bug spray, hand sanitizer, bottle opener and other tailgate essentials.

Always pack double the amount of ice you think you’ll need, so you can keep all of your food and drinks properly cooled. When serving salads and other cool treats, place your serving dish on top of a bowl filled with ice to keep them cool.

Throw a Potluck

There’s no doubt that your RV will be the center of attention at the tailgate party, so instead of spending time and money preparing food to feed all of your friends, ask each member of your party to bring a dish. This makes for a wider variety of foods and takes a lot of the stress off of being the host.

Get Your Tailgate Supplies at Madison RV Supercenter

Madison RV Supercenter is your one-stop shop for RV tailgating essentials. Stop by to to shop our huge selection of shades, outdoor furniture, grilling and cooking supplies, yard games and tons more to make this tailgate season the best one yet.

Try These BBQ Classics in Your RV

These delicious and classic barbecue recipes, including sweet cola ribs and chipotle crusted pork tenderloin, are guaranteed to add a little more flavor to your campground cookouts.

Sweet Cola Ribs

What you’ll need:

  • 2 slabs baby-back ribs sliced into cocktail size portions
  • 2 bottles of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 3 1-liter bottles of Coca Cola

Grilling instructions:

  1. Fill a large roasting pan (big enough for the ribs) with 1 1/2 bottles of Coca Cola. Submerge the ribs in the Coca Cola and refrigerate for one night.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the ribs from the pan and clean it, then fill it with Coca Cola again.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  4. Once the grill is hot, cook the ribs on it. Turn them often and dip them back into the cola each time. This should apply a layer of sugar to the ribs.
  5. When the ribs are nearly finished cooking (roughly 30 minutes), take them off the grill and fill a clean roasting pan with the barbecue sauce. Cut the ribs into individual portions and submerge them in the sauce.
  6. Bake them in the sauce for 1 hour, remove and serve.

Chipotle Crusted Pork Tenderloin

What you’ll need:

  • 2 pork tenderloins (3/4 pound each)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Grilling instructions:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large resealable plastic bag. Place the tenderloins in the bag and shake until coated. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. Oil the grill lightly and place the meat on the oiled grate. Cook the tenderloins for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

Visit Madison RV Supercenter

Don’t forget to stop and see us at the Madison RV Supercenter when you’re cruising throughout the country in your RV this spring and summer.

Simple Gardening Tips for RV Travel

These simply tips for gardening on the go will help you continue your hobby and healthy lifestyle when you’re on the road.

Grow Tomatoes on the Road

You don’t have to give up your annual tomato crop just because you’re living an RV lifestyle. Special gardening tools, like the Topsy Turvy Planter, help you grow your favorite crops in tight spaces. The Topsy Turvy Planter allows your plants to grow upside down while they hang in any compact space. Simply move your Topsy Turvy Planter outside when you arrive at the campsite, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a mobile garden.

Get Creative with Potters

You don’t have to spend a fortune on nifty gardening gadgets to enjoy your favorite fruits and vegetables on the go. Many RV enthusiasts already use shoe organizers as a way to keep products in order in their RVs. Those same shoe organizers work perfectly as hanging pots. Each small pocket serves as a pot for your favorite herbs, flowers and vegetables. Hang the organizer inside your RV when you hit the road, then move it back outside when you arrive at your destination.

Consider an Earth Box

The Earth Box is a new product to hit the market for gardeners who live in small spaces. It’s a little less mobile than hanging planters, but at just 2.5-feet long and 15-inches wide, it doesn’t take up much space in your RV when you’re traveling. The Earth Box is a simply growing system with the layering of a fertilizer band, potting mix, aeration screen and self-watering system to optimize your plant growth in small spaces. Move it outside of your RV when you park, and you’ll enjoy fresh produce on the go.

Visit Madison RV Supercenter

Stop in and see us at the Madison RV Supercenter for all of your summer RV camping needs.