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Supporting National Parks

Supporting National Parks

Posted on: April 30, 2021 at 3:36 pm, in by Katie Hiatt

 

There are lots of incredible national parks across the US (more than 400 of them!), and they make for great places to visit or stay in during your RV trips. These areas of natural beauty and the wildlife found in them are well-preserved by the National Park Service so that we can continue to enjoy them in all their glory for generations to come.

If you love our national parks, then you might want to find ways to support them. So, let’s look at a few ways you can do this…

Donating to national parks

While our national parks are funded by the federal government, donations from individuals and businesses through organizations like the National Park Foundation help to fund a variety of projects and improvements to the parks. You can donate to specific parks individually, which you may want to do if there’s a park that you love and visit often, or one in your local area. Or you can donate to the National Park Foundation, either monthly or as a one-off donation.

Volunteering at a national park

You may choose to donate your time to a national park rather than your money, which is a great thing to do! Your local national park may need support with certain projects or with cleaning up the park. You could contact a specific park directly to see if they are currently accepting volunteers for anything, or check out this link to find more opportunities with the National Park Service.

Keep visiting!

Every time you visit a national park, you’re supporting it in one way or another. While some parks are free to enter, others require entry fees that help to fund the park’s efforts. Maybe you’ll visit a gift shop while you’re there and buy some souvenirs for yourself or loved ones, supporting that shop and the park as a whole.

Even when you don’t spend money, visiting the parks is great for education and awareness. Once you see how incredible these places are, you’ll truly understand how important they are and will, hopefully, want to contribute to their conservation.

Spread the word

Whether you tell your friends how amazing your trip was or you post some beautiful photos on Instagram, you’re getting the word out about how amazing our national parks are. And this will hopefully make others want to visit and support the parks themselves.

If you’re planning an RV trip around some of the country’s National Parks, then make sure your RV is prepared. Check out the range of RV shades and accessories we have available, or contact us directly to get a quote for your vehicle.

Your Guide to RV Security Systems

Posted on: April 30, 2021 at 3:36 pm, in by Katie Hiatt

 

Whether you’re boondocking in the wilderness or you’re camping in an official RV park, it’s important to stay safe and secure in your motorhome. Considering RV security before you set off on your trip will help to keep your belongings safe inside while you’re out during the day, and to keep you and your family safe inside the RV at night.

So, let’s look at some tips and equipment that will help to keep your RV secure.

RV alarms

Most RVs come fitted with an alarm, but you may choose to have one installed yourself for more comprehensive security. Either way, this ensures that an alarm sounds if someone tries to break into your RV or if someone opens a door or window while you’re out with the alarm activated. Even if you’re not around when this happens, the sound is likely to cause them to flee. And if you’re in a RV park with other campers, then it will draw their attention, too.

It’s a good idea to have a sign or sticker in your window to indicate that your vehicle is alarmed.

Clamps and locks

Placing a wheel clamp on one or more of your RVs tires is a great way to deter thieves who might want to steal your vehicle while you’re out. They can immediately see that they won’t be able to getaway easily, and if they want to try to remove the clamp by force, they are likely to draw attention.

Another option is to place a lock on your steering wheel to prevent them from driving away. Criminals are likely to scope out your vehicle first and may look in through the windows or windshield and see that you have a steering wheel lock in place.

Lockboxes and safes

If someone does manage to break into your RV while you’re out, you want to make sure that your valuables are safe. You can buy a simple lockbox or a small travel safe to secure your valuables inside your RV. If you’re going on a hike for the day, then it may be better to keep valuables like cash on you, just make sure that they’re safe and secure in your possession, too.

Tracking device

If a thief somehow manages to get through all of your security measures and steals your vehicle, then a tracking device could help you recover it safely. This will allow you to pinpoint the location of your vehicle after you contact the authorities.

If you need accessories for your RV before your upcoming trip, contact Magne Shade to get a quote for our RV shades, from windshield and window shades to tire shades and wiper covers. RV shades can add to your security by adding privacy, preventing thieves from checking through your windows for signs of valuables.

The Benefits of Unplugging from Time to Time

Posted on: April 19, 2021 at 3:38 pm, in by Katie Hiatt

The advancement of technology over the last couple of decades has made us constantly connected. This does have some advantages, like being able to keep in touch with friends and family across the world. But it also has its downsides. One of the great things about RV life is that you can unplug for a while, be surrounded by nature, and disconnect from a hectic modern life fuelled by technology.

Then again, technology can also support your RV lifestyle by allowing you to work remotely while you travel, with nothing more than a laptop and an internet connection. Whether you’re taking a short break from your regular life or are traveling long-term and working remotely, here are some of the benefits of occasionally unplugging on your journey.

It’s good for your mental health

Too much time spent on social media can have a lot of negative effects on your mental health. People tend to experience feelings of envy when they see the “amazing lives” being led by others on Instagram and other social media sites. As well as reminding ourselves that someone’s social feed probably isn’t a true representation of their lives, unplugging from social media occasionally can help us reduce these feelings and stop comparing our lives to others.

Less anxiety

Constantly being contactable by our boss, clients, family members, and friends can cause a lot of anxiety, especially if you feel like you always have to respond quickly (or if the people contacting you make you feel this way). Things like ‘read’ receipts on messages and information about when you were last online certainly don’t help this. Being occasionally uncontactable can help to reduce your anxiety. Tell your friends and family that your internet connection will be spotty so you might not respond for a while. Put an out-of-office notification on your work emails to say you’re unavailable.

Experience more of the real world

RVing is about exploring new places and enjoying the great outdoors. So step fully away from the online world to truly appreciate this. Don’t miss out on experiences on your trip because you’re sat behind a laptop. Don’t miss the true glory of the scenery on a hike because you’re watching it through the camera on your phone.

Connect with people

Technology can help us connect and feel less lonely in some cases, but relying too much on it means that we’re not incentivized to go out into the real world and meet people. You’re more likely to make connections with fellow travelers on your trip if you unplug and put down the technology.

Get your RV ready for your next trip with Magne Shade’s windshield shades, tire shades, and more accessories for your motorhome. Contact us to get a quote for your vehicle.

A Guide to Fitting and Using Tire Shades

Posted on: March 31, 2021 at 5:29 pm, in by Katie Hiatt

 

One of the high-quality shade options from Magne Shade is our easy-to-use tire shades. These help to protect the sidewall of your tires from the sun’s UV rays, cold weather conditions, as well as pests and wildlife that might come into your campgrounds. As a result, your tires can last longer in good condition.

If you’ve bought a set of our tire shades or are thinking of investing in them, then here are some tips and instructions for using and fitting your RV tire shades.

When to use tire shades

RV tire shades are designed to be used any time your RV is parked. You can attach them while you’re docked at a campground or RV park, where they can stay for the duration of your visit. You can also use them when your RV is stored at home, in your garage or on your driveway.

Buying tire shades

When choosing and buying tire shades for your vehicle, you should first find out the section width and aspect ratio of your tires, and the diameter of your wheels. You should be able to find these numbers on the side of your tires. We have sizes of shades to fit a variety of vehicles.

How to fit tire shades

Our tire shades are extremely easy to attach to your tires. When you remove one from its storage bag, it will spring into shape thanks to the spring steel frame it’s fitted with. Each shade features a strong elastic strap with three points to wrap around the tire, leaving the shade tightly fitted to the sidewall of your tire.

When fitted, your tire shades will be practically invisible. They will stay in place through the majority of weather thanks to the strong bungee straps, although we do recommend removing them in the event of winds of 50mph.

How to store tire shades

You should store your tire shades away when not using them so that they maintain their condition and the elasticity of the straps. Your tire shades come with a storage bag – just twist and fold your shades back into a compact shape and size, which should be easy to do with the spring steel frame, and pack it away into the bag.

You can buy tire shades and other high-quality RV shades online from Magne Shade, or contact us directly to get a quote for your vehicle.

Tips and Ideas for RVing in Spring

Posted on: March 31, 2021 at 5:26 pm, in by Katie Hiatt

Spring is a popular time to go RVing. It’s a time when you can enjoy the sun, warmth, and blooming nature before the weather starts to get too hot in the summer. If you’re planning a springtime RV trip, then here are some tips and ideas to help you out.

The best spring RV destinations

If you’re wondering where to travel to in your RV this spring, here are a few ideas to consider for great weather, nature, and wildlife:

  • Yellowstone National Park (especially late April and throughout May)
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Florida Caverns State Park
  • White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
  • Isla Blanca State Park, Texas

Prepare for all weather

Spring is often the most unpredictable time of year when it comes to weather. It could be warm and sunny, it could rain all day, or it could even snow. So, it’s important to prepare your RV for all types of weather. Pack layers, waterproofs, and indoor activities for those cold or rainy days, and don’t forget the sunscreen for the sunny days.

Be respectful of wildlife

It’s amazing to see all the baby animals around in the springtime, but it’s extremely important to keep your distance. Animal parents of all kinds of species can become very protective if they think their babies are under threat, meaning you could be in danger if you get too close. And don’t leave litter or food lying around your campsite as this may attract wildlife.

Give your RV a good check

It’s likely that your RV has been stood still for several months over winter, so you should make sure it’s in good condition and properly maintained before you set off on another trip. Here are a few key things to check:

  • RV battery – Your battery will discharge a little while left over time. Make sure you check your battery and fully charge it in advance of your trip
  • Tires – Similarly, your tires are likely to have lost air pressure while your vehicle has been sat. Check the pressure of each tire (including any spares) and inflate them as needed
  • Plumbing – Check all of your plumbing for leaks and sanitize your water system
  • Fluid levels – Check your oil level and all other fluid levels and top them up if needed

For more tips, here’s a comprehensive list of everything you should check with your RV. And now is a great time to check that you have all the accessories your RV needs, such as windshield shades and tire shades, both for your comfort and protection for your RV.

If you need RV shades for your upcoming trip, get in touch for a quote from Magne Shade or take a look at the range of products we have available to order online.

RVing Along Route 66

Posted on: March 15, 2021 at 2:24 pm, in by Katie Hiatt

When it comes to road trips in the US, it’s hard to beat Route 66. This iconic, historic route spans from Chicago to Los Angeles, approximately 2,400 miles in length. Whether you travel the whole length of this route or just a section of it, there are plenty of things to see and do along the way, and it’s a great way to explore more of the country.

Things to see and do along Route 66

If you travel the entirety of Route 66, then you’ll either start or finish your journey at Chicago’s Grant Park. This attractive urban park has some interesting landmarks such as fountains and sculptures, as well as historic Route 66 signs. At the other end, you’ll find yourself at Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, where you can enjoy the famous beach and the boardwalk.

For the other 2,400 miles, here are some of the best attractions you can see:

  • Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum (Pontiac, Illinois)
  • The Gateway Arch (St Louis, Missouri)
  • Meramec Caverns (Stanton, Missouri)
  • The Milk Bottle Grocery (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park (Amarillo, Texas)
  • Cadillac Ranch (Amarillo, Texas)
  • Santa Fe (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
  • The Painted Desert (Indian Wells, Arizona)
  • Petrified Forest National Park (Holbrook, Arizona)
  • Grand Canyon (Arizona)
  • Mojave National Preserve (Baker, California)

Where to stay on Route 66

The best thing about RVing Route 66 is that you don’t have to worry about finding motels or hotels along the way, although there are some iconic places to stay along this route if you choose to. For RVers, there are plenty of campgrounds, RV parks, and boondocking sites where you can stay. This website can help you find Route 66 campgrounds and plan your trip in advance.

How long to plan for Route 66?

This will vary depending on what speed you want to travel at. Try to plan how many sights you want to see on the way and how long you want to stop in different places for. Generally, people tend to spend 2-4 weeks traveling Route 66. We’d recommend at least 3 weeks if you want to take your time and enjoy lots of sights.

If you’re planning for your Route 66 road trip, make sure your RV or motorhome is properly maintained and that you have all the necessary accessories you need. Contact Magne Shade for a quote or check out the range of RV shades we have available online.

How to Stay Warm on Your RV Trip

Posted on: March 2, 2021 at 5:13 pm, in by Katie Hiatt

 

Don’t let the weather or the season stop you from getting out on the road and enjoying an RV trip. Whether you’re planning a winter road trip or just want to be prepared for potential cold spells at any time of year, we’ve got some tips to help you keep warm on your RV trip.

Heating your RV

Your RV should have some kind of heating system, such as a furnace or a heat pump. Run this as and when you need it to keep the inside of your RV warm and comfortable. Before you set off, make sure your heating system is working properly, is well-maintained, and that you have enough fuel for it if this is needed.

If you’re traveling during particularly cold weather, you may also want to bring along a portable heater for additional warmth.

Wrap up warm

If you’re always relying on heating systems to keep your RV warm, then you could end up using a lot of energy and spending a lot of money. So, it helps to use other means of warmth where possible. For those cold nights in your RV, make sure you pack plenty of blankets and sweaters to keep you and your family warm.

Get out of wet clothes

If you’ve just arrived back at your RV after a hike or another activity, then changing into a fresh set of clothes as soon as possible can help you stay warm. If you got rained on while on your walk, keeping any wet clothes on will make it difficult to warm back up inside your RV. Even if the weather is fine, you’re likely to have been sweating on your walk, so make sure you take off any clothes that are wet or damp from sweat.

Insulate your RV

It’s not just about how much heat you create inside the RV, but also about how much heat is potentially being lost through the walls and windows of your vehicle. A properly insulated RV will help to reduce this loss, helping to keep the heat in and the cold out. This will help you reduce your heating costs as the heater will more effectively be able to heat the space.

Fitting RV shades on your windows and windshields also adds some insulation to your vehicle. Magne Shade’s RV shades help to trap a layer of cold air between the shade and the glass, reducing the amount of cold air that is transmitted into your living space.

If you need windshield shades for your RV, then take a look at the high-quality products we have available, or get in touch to get a quote for your motorhome.

The Best US Landmarks for RVers to Visit

Posted on: March 2, 2021 at 4:02 pm, in by Katie Hiatt

 

We’ve got so many great sights to see right here in the US, all across the country. RVing offers you the chance to get out there and see some of these amazing sights, whether you prefer a mountain landscape, city views, or the beach. If you’re planning an RV trip across the states, then here are some of the must-see landmarks to add to your route.

National Parks

We couldn’t pick just a couple of national parks to mention on this list. There are so many incredible ones for you to visit. If you travel to explore the great outdoors and enjoy the natural sights this country has to offer, then here are some of the national parks you should try to visit:

  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  • Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  • Yosemite National Park, California
  • Glacier National Park, Montana
  • Zion National Park, Utah
  • Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Mount Rushmore

This 60-foot-high landmark in Keystone, South Dakota features the faces of some of the most well-respected presidents in US history – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. It usually attracts around 3 million visitors every year. A walk down the avenue of flags to view these incredible carvings will have any American feeling patriotic.

The Alamo

Soak up more US history at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. This historic fortress was the site of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, during the Texas Revolution. Take a trip to San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the museum now housed in The Alamo to learn more about this history and enjoy some great sights.

The Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam was constructed in the 1930s to provide a source of hydroelectric power and irrigation water. As well as being an incredible sight with an interesting history, walking across the bridge over the dam will take you from Nevada into Arizona, even crossing into a different time zone.

The Florida Keys

If you’re looking for beaches and sunshine, then The Florida Keys is a must-visit addition to your RV trip. It’s warm pretty much all year round, so this is even a good option for your winter road trips. It’s a tropical landscape where you can relax on the beach or dive into the ocean. And there are some nice national parks nearby, too, such as the Everglades National Park.

The Golden Gate Bridge

This striking red suspension bridge is an incredible sight to see, spanning a mile across the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Walking or driving across the bridge is a great experience. You can also explore the surrounding Golden Gate National Recreation Area and, of course, visit the city of San Francisco.

These are just a few of the US landmarks and attractions that would make a great addition to your next RV trip. What are your favorite spots to visit on an RV trip? Contact Magne Shade for all the RV accessories you need for your upcoming trip.

Tips for Living on the Road

Posted on: February 12, 2021 at 7:04 pm, in by Katie Hiatt

Living the RV life can be exciting, adventurous, and a lot of fun. It can also be a big adjustment though, going from living in a spacious and comfortable home to living in a vehicle that’s relatively cramped and less luxurious. If you’re new to RV living or are stepping up from occasional vacations to longer stints on the road, then read on for some of our best tips for living on the road.

Keep budgeting

Living in a van or motorhome can save you a lot of money, but it’s still important to budget and plan your finances. Make sure you know what regular, ongoing costs will be involved in RV living, such as gas, campground fees, food, entertainment, and more. Make sure you also know where your money is coming from. Will you be working remotely on the road or are you relying solely on savings?

Downsize

One of the joys of RV living is getting used to living with less. You don’t have space for lots of belongings, so you have to prioritize the things that you really need and the things that mean the most to you. Living or traveling in an RV will be a lot more comfortable if you learn to downsize and adopt a more minimalist lifestyle.

Go paperless

You can’t get your mail delivered to you when you’re on the road, so you’ll need another way of getting important news and statements. Wherever it’s an option, notify your providers that you want paperless bills, statements, etc. This is especially important if you still own or rent somewhere back home where you’ll still need to pay bills. Anything that’s not essential can still be delivered to your home or, if you don’t have a permanent residence, you will need to provide a forwarding address.

Be organized yet flexible

One of the great things about RV living is the freedom it affords you. You can be flexible about where you go, what you do, and how long you stay. Try to find a balance between planning your next steps so you know where you’re staying and how you’re getting there, and remaining flexible in terms of how long you stay and how you spend your time.

Stay in touch

Living on the road for months, a year, or longer likely means that you won’t be seeing friends and family back home for a while. It’s a good idea to make the effort to stay connected, helping to maintain those relationships, fight feelings of loneliness during your trip, and giving them peace of mind that you’re doing okay. You could simply do this by texting or calling frequently, or you could create a blog about your travels or post regularly to Instagram.

If you need any RV accessories to prepare your vehicle for an upcoming trip, then check out the range of RV shades we have for sale, or contact us to get a quote for your motorhome.

Basic Survival Skills for Camping Trips

Posted on: February 1, 2021 at 4:16 pm, in by Katie Hiatt

One of the great things about RVing is that you can enjoy the great outdoors while holding on to some of your basic luxuries. You’ve got a ready-made shelter, plumbing, electricity, and cooking facilities all in one vehicle. But it still helps to know how to make it on your own in the wilderness in case you need to be able to, or even if you just enjoy getting down to basics and lighting your own fire, for example.

Here are a few basic survival skills that you might want to learn for a camping or RVing trip.

How to light a fire

You may have a pretty impressive kitchen in your RV, but nothing beats toasting s’mores over a campfire that you built and lit yourself. Search the area for some dry firewood and tinder. Collects branches of any size you can find, but they can’t be damp or your fire won’t light. Dry leaves and grass can also be used as kindling if needed.

Collect your material together in a pile, somewhere that is safe to light a fire (make sure you check your campground’s rules). A common structure is to prop your branches or logs against each other like a tepee. You can use a lighter or a match to start your fire by lighting some of the finer material, such as leaves or twigs. Letting air get to the flame will help it grow.

If you don’t have matches or a lighter or just don’t want to use them, then you may be able to start a fire by using flint to create sparks or by using friction to create enough heat for wood to set alight.

Navigation skills

Our society has lost the motivation to learn skills like navigation and map reading because we usually have Google Maps at hand to help us out. But knowing how to navigate simply using a map and a compass is essential for when you don’t have a phone signal. And it can be a lot of fun! Simply carrying a compass and map with you and knowing the direction of your campsite could help you find your way back if you get lost.

Tying a knot

This may sound like a simple one, but there are various different types of knots to learn with different advantages. And there are lots of camping situations where you need to be able to tie a strong, reliable knot. Whether it’s for securing your tent, tying a boat to a dock, or going rock climbing, check out some different types of knots you should learn.

Once you’re all prepared for a trip to the wilderness, make sure your motorhome is, too. RV shades can help to keep your motorhome comfortable and well-protected from the elements. Check out our range of window and windshield shades or contact Magne Shade to get a quote for your vehicle.

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