RV Tips for Arizona Camping

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The Best Apps For Star Gazing When Camping

arizona night sky gazingIf you’re going on a camping trip alone, with friends or family, there are many fun activities you can enjoy. Well, if you’re a fan of astronomy, you can always enjoy a little star gazing while you’re camping. Here are some of the best star gazing apps you can use to make your experience phenomenal.

SkyView
Created by Terminal Eleven, the app is free on both iOS and Android. The app uses your phone sensors and screen to create an augmented reality view of what’s actually in the sky. You can easily turn your tablets or smartphone into an AR viewfinder to identify planets, constellations and stars. You can also use the app to track any object in the sky and get more information on specific objects, satellites and planets. There’s also a time travel feature which you can use to view the sky in the past or in the future depending on the movement of each object.

Night Sky
Using the app, you can always view lots of stars, planets, satellites and constellations. If you connect the app to your Apple Watch, you can simply view the sky on your wrist. Hold up your watch to view any objects in the sky or view a celestial compass providing an overview of the objects available in the sky that particular night. There’s also a virtual view of the solar system where you can circle around to get the best view.

Sky Map
The app converts your smartphone or tablet into a mobile planetarium. The app uses the sensors on your mobile device to calculate your geographical position and use the information to display a detailed star map of where your device is pointed to the sky. The map provides useful information such as the constellations, names of planets and stars and much more.

We hope your Arizona camping night skies are filled with wonder and beauty and we look forward to seeing you around the RV park.

October 14, 2017 / by / in , , , ,
A List of Southern Arizona Fall and Winter Activities

Arizona events for RVersArizona is humming with activity during the Fall and Winter months. Plenty of snowbirds arrive to warm their bones in the sun and get caught up with their camping and RVing friends at their favorite AZ parks. If you’re planning your trip and are interested in things that are happening in the area, we have a list of some events you might like to explore.

Tucson; All Souls Procession – This elaborate procession celebrates the Mexican Dia de los Muertos on November 6th. It honors the loved ones who have passed on with lots of vibrant costumes, floats, and food. You can find out more about it at All Souls Procession

Willcox; Wings Over Willcox Birding and Nature Festival – If you love nature and are interested at all in birding you will love this event. It is centered around honoring the more than 500 species of birds that visit the Wilcox area. They offer seminars, a Nature Expo, plenty of souvenirs, and a Kids Corner. Bring the family and get to know more about this wonderful world we live in from January 11-15th. You can learn more about it at Wings Over Wilcox.

Sierra Vista; Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering – This is a memorable place to be on February 3-5th and you should grab some friends to bring along. It’s the 25th anniversary this year and they have lots of special activities planned. You’ll get to see all types of performing arts and plenty of your favorite artists. You can learn more at Cowboy Poets.

These are just a few of the things you can see and do when you winter-over in southeast Arizona. You can find more events by visiting Plenty of Southern Arizona Activities This Fall and Winter. We look forward to seeing you in our beautiful state and hope you enjoy your camping stay.

 

 

October 7, 2017 / by / in , , , , ,
Try Some Edible Container Gardening at Your Campsite

RV container gardenMany folks decide to grow edible plants in container gardens while camping and RVing. While it’s the same basic principle, it’s done in a different manner.

A lot of folks prefer container gardening for growing plants that are edible, so that’s what we’ll focus on here. It’s possible for you to grow a number of kinds of fruit, and many varieties of vegetables and herbs in containers.

Strawberries are just one fruit that grows especially well in several kinds of containers. Strawberries are usually fairly hardy, and may also be grown in special grow bags which can be hung on a wall outside. Many smaller dwarf citrus trees grow in pots and,if kept well-pruned, provide wonderful indoor ornamentation as well. Dwarf varieties of raspberries and blueberries grow nicely in containers.

Parsley is possibly the most popular herb for container growing. Chives and basil are also incredibly useful as well. Cilantro is an option if you’re someone who likes the flavor of it. Many of these herbs are fragrant, too, and can make the scents around your campsite very pleasant.

Really, just about any herb can be grown in containers. The key is planning for a big enough vessel. Some herbs can very quickly be grown in small containers such as Basil, parsley, and chives. However, some plants grow a bit bigger such as Sage. It can grow into quite a large bush. It requires a rather large pot if it is to do well for you. Oregano needs a big container, and also grows quite well.

Tomatoes are one of the most famous “vegetable” for home gardeners in general, although technically it is a fruit. Home grown tomatoes exceed their store-bought varieties by a mile.  The tomatoes in many grocery stores are picked green and artificially ripened. They haven’t had a chance to ripen on their own and develop the sweet, rich flavor we love. Cherry, grape, and Roma tomatoes are perfect for containers and can provide fresh eatings over a long period of time.

Other plants which are typically grown in containers are lettuce, cucumbers, squash, even beans, peas, carrots, radishes, scallions, all varieties of peppers, and sometimes even corn and potatoes. It really depends on how much room you have and how often you pack up and travel on in your RV.

The majority of your plants can quickly grow from seeds and can be sown directly into the pot. Be sure to plan for thinning, however, and be careful with them in their fragile state. You can transplant into larger pots when necessary and limit the number of plants you feel you have room for.

There is something about being able to grow some of your own food, even when you are camping, that is another advantage of being outdoors with nature. You don’t have to leave your garden behind when you are camping. You can bring much of it with you and even share with your camping friends.

You can find out more about the perfect edible plants for container gardening in AZ at Arizona.edu

 

 

 

September 30, 2017 / by / in , , , ,
An Emergency Kit For Your RV

RV Emergency SuppliesYour RV can take you to some amazing places and some of those places can be quiet secluded. That’s why it is smart to carry some RV emergency supplies with you. You’ll be prepared for any situation and less likely to end up stranded waiting for help.

Fire Extinguisher
Batteries
Extra Fuses
Duct Tape
Oil, Transmission Fluid, Coolant, etc.
Bungee Cords/Tie Wire
A Good Pair of Gloves
Shovel
Tow Strap
Candles
Matches
Electric Voltage Meter
Extra Blankets or Sleeping Bags
Jumper Cables

These are a few items to keep with you as you travel Arizona’s beautiful terrain. You’ll likely find yourself in deserts and mountain territory so it pays to be prepared. We hope you have a memorable experience and we look forward to seeing you in one of our member RV parks and campgrounds.

September 23, 2017 / by / in , , , ,
How to be a Good Camping Neighbor

camping etiquetteBeing a good camping neighbor is simple, really, and most people are very thoughtful when they are sharing camping space with others. There are a few things you can focus on to be a camper that other campers want to be around.

Keep it Clean – Do a regular sweep of your campsite and check for scraps of paper, make sure there isn’t any food left out to draw the attention of animals, and pick up any loose trash that has escaped the bin. Leave your campsite as you found it just the way you’d appreciate other campers leaving it for you.

Arrive Early – Give yourself extra time to arrive and set up your campsite before nightfall. It’s much easier to set up in daylight and no one wants to make a late night run to the store for missing tent stakes or other things needed before you can tuck in for the night. You also won’t have to disrupt your neighbors with setting up at night.

Walk Around Your Neighbor’s Campsite – It may seem like a practical shortcut to walk across instead of around your neighbor’s campsite but most campers don’t appreciate it. It’s best to go around the campsite and not cut across.

Use Your Quiet Voices After 10:00 – It’s surprising how far sound can travel in the night air. Once the campground begins to settle down for the night it is neighborly to keep your voices low if you remain around the campfire.

Say Hello – Campers are friendly people and they enjoy getting to know other campers in the area. It’s fun to find out where people are from and learn a little about them. Go ahead and introduce yourself when you’re making your way around the campground. Say hello in the laundromat or as you’re shopping in the campground store. You never know when you’ll meet someone you can become friends with and share some fun camping time with.

 

September 2, 2017 / by / in , , , , ,
Hot Chocolate Recipes You Have to Taste to Believe

Hot chocolateOne of the best part of the winter months is that it means hot chocolate season has come back for a visit. It’s the time to snuggle up with a warm cup of creamy chocolate goodness whether you’re in Phoenix or Flagstaff, you’ll still enjoy the experience. You can jazz up the traditional recipe if you’re feeling adventurous and some of these just may become a new family favorite.

Image Source: Azestybite.com

Peppermint Hot Chocolate – We’re passed the holiday season but our mouths don’t know it and will welcome the taste of peppermint and chocolate. You’ll be using cream, sugar, milk, vanilla, cocoa, chocolate chips, and peppermint chips. Oh, so good!

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream – Oh, my, can you even imagine? You’ll need whole milk, chocolate chips, sugar, red food coloring, heavy whipping cream, and whipped cream cheese at room temp. It will all come together pretty quickly and you’ll be enjoying a little bit of heaven in no time.

You can find more recipes at 16 Sinful Hot Chocolate Recipes You Have to Try. Go ahead and check them out. You can thank us later.

August 19, 2017 / by / in , , , , , ,
Hearty Slow Cooker Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Overnight breakfast casseroleIf you’re camping in an RV or fifth wheel and you bring a crockpot with you, you’ll definitely want this overnight breakfast casserole recipe.  It makes a delicious traditional breakfast bake while you sleep, and who doesn’t like waking up to eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese and hash browns?  All you have to do is brew your coffee and you’re ready for breakfast!

Photo Source: Food Network

Hearty Slowcooker Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:

1 2 lb. package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 lb. ground sausage, browned and drained
1 lb. bacon, cooked and chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 small onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
12 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

Grease a large 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

Layer one third the hash browns in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Top with one third of the sausage, bacon, cheese, onions, green pepper, and red pepper. Repeat layers with the remaining ingredients.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper.

Pour egg mixture over the top of the potato cheese layers.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Serves up to 8 people.

Notes:  If your family is partial to more cheese, increase the amount of cheese between layers, and add a generous amount to the top as well.

If you prefer to cook this casserole overnight, do it on the low setting to prevent burnt edges and bottoms.  Not all slow cookers are created equal and some get hotter than others.

August 12, 2017 / by / in , , , , ,
Tips For Backing Up Your RV Trailer

Backing up your RV trailerYou’ve probably heard lots of suggestions by now; easy hacks for backing up your trailer. It can be quite confusing when you’re trying to envision what the Good Samaritan is trying to tell you about the best way to back up. We’ve heard things like:

*Follow the trailer. Make the truck turn the way the trailer is headed.

*Instead of putting your hands at 10 and 2, put your hands at 8 and 4. It reverses the reverse that happens with trailers.

*Turn the wheel toward the mirror you want the trailer to exit

*The trailer will go in the direction your hood is facing

*Buy a backup camera

*And “rent a cabin” 😉

Some of these take more time trying to imagine them in your mind than it would take to actually get the trailer placed onsite. We know it’s a challenge, especially for new RVers. But the seasoned RVers experience it as well when they buy a new rig. It always involves a learning curve.

Hopefully, you’ll get some insight by watching this video. It sometimes helps to see things done rather than try to imagine how they would be done. We know you’re going to love your time RVing in Arizona so we want to help you get in and set up as safely as possible. Then you can get out and enjoy all this fine state has to offer.

July 22, 2017 / by / in , ,
RVing With Pets

Arizona RVing with petsYour pets are beloved family members so we want to help you make their RVing experience as good as it can possibly be. There are a few things you can do to set the stage and we will share some of the top ones we’ve learned here.

Keep Them Close
Each new environment can be intimidating for your pet so keeping them close to you and not leaving them alone for long can help. There are new smells, strange noises, and other animals in the new neighborhood. It’s enough to make a sensitive dog pretty nervous. If you have to leave them alone you should try to make it for very short periods of time. Make sure they have their favorite toys to keep them busy and plenty of food and water.

Bring Plenty Of Their Food Along With You
Pets’ tummies can get upset when they eat a new brand of food so making sure you have lots of their typical fare on hand will help avoid digestion problems. If you see you are running out be sure to slowly integrate a new food mixed with their usual food and increase the ratio slowly. This will help them adjust to the new meals without experiencing any gastro-intestinal problems.

Keep Them Leashed Whenever Outside The Rig
This new place offers things to chase or can induce fear which could make your pet run. We’ve seen too many animals dash off into the unknown and the heartache of a pet owner who is trying to find their little runaway. Most RV parks require a leash for you pet but using it in all areas of your travel is a good idea.

Carry Shot Records and Medication
You never know what can happen so having your pet’s shot records on hand for a new Veterinarian can speed things along and avoid medical errors. Bring an extra supply of your pet’s medications just in case you get delayed before returning home. Be aware that allergies can pop up in a new environment so bring along the things your pet will need in that situation.

You and your pet will have the time of your lives, especially if you set the stage. Have you made your reservations yet? Be sure to visit Go Camping Arizona for the best RV parks and campgrounds to host your RVing family on your next trip.

July 15, 2017 / by / in , , , ,
A Comparison of Portable Grills

Portable Camping GrillsNothing says summer quite like grilled food. It’s something we all look forward to, and there are so many things you can make with a grill (even pizza!) that it’s worth it to have a portable grill to take along for any occasion from camping to tailgating to days at the beach. The two most common types of portable grills are propane gas and charcoal fired, and there are many to choose from. In this article, we’ll explore three of them.
Propane Gas Grills

The Coleman RoadTrip XLE
At 44 lbs., this grill is heavy. It has a very sturdy frame and interchangeable grill and griddle plates (sold separately), making it a nice choice for traditional, family style camping and cooking breakfast in a snap. The cooking surface is the largest of all portable models, and can cook food for 8 people at a time easily. The fact that it is collapsible with wheels and features a rolling luggage type handle makes it easy to transport once unloaded from a vehicle. Set up can be tricky and takes getting used to, but once you have it down the grill goes up quickly. Small propane gas tanks that can be found in most big box store in the sporting goods area fuel this grill. Temperature control is excellent.
The Weber Q 1000
Weighing in at 27 lbs., this table top grill is sturdy, with a heavy, well-fitting lid. The drip tray is light weight and disposable, which is great if it isn’t windy. Cooking enough food for four people at once, this grill doesn’t get as hot as the Coleman RoadTrip XLE, and will take longer to cook your food. This grill prices out at $169, which is expensive for a table top model, but it’s durability makes up for the pricing.
Charcoal Grills

Cuisinart CCG-100 GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill
Retailing for $149.99 (less on Amazon), this high-end table top charcoal grill gives you what you pay for. A stabilized base and super sturdy construction, a built-in temperature gauge, bun warming compartment and grate lifting system that lets you access the coals directly without touching the grill plate itself make this worth the money for a grill that can cook for four people at a time. The ashbin is removable for easy emptying as well. If you like to grill with charcoal and don’t want a big set up, this is the way to go.

July 8, 2017 / by / in , , , ,