WiFi Tips and Tricks for Your Next RV Trip
Staying connected while traveling is important to most people, so having available WiFi is a necessity. Whether you work from your RV, live in your RV full-time or are taking occasional trips, being able to connect quickly helps things run smoother.
Although many parks offer this free service as an amenity, but, because of the number of guests trying to access it at any given time, it may be difficult to tap into it. The reasons may include obstacles such as trees or buildings in the way as well as limited or low-powered signals. Even when there are multiple transmitters, connecting can be fleeting.
No-one wants to use up their data while on the road, so let’s take a look at some remedies.
Check out these WiFi tips.
- Create your own WiFi hotspot (follow these instructions from techbuzz)
- Use an extender antenna (Tom’s Guide provides his best picks for extender antennas)
- Try a booster (Actiontek has a good synopsis of when to use this option)
Breaking down the options.
A hotspot is a wireless access point, typically in a public location.
You can access a hotspot from a smart phone or laptop. Many cafes, bookstores and other businesses offer hotspots so their customers can connect to the internet. It’s important to take security measures when using a hotspot, because they are public. By installing a VPN on your mobile device, your data will be encrypted, so even if you’re hacked, the information is impossible to read.
An extender antenna is is a type of wireless repeater.
This device may be used when the network signal isn’t getting to all the areas you need it to. Sometimes techies call these areas deadzones.
A booster extends a signal by boosting or amplifying it.
When you visit Stonebridge RV Park in Sweeny, Texas, you’ll find FREE WiFi to be one of the many amenities offered.
The frustration of a good, available signal is frustrating at best. By trying one of the options list ed here, we’re confident you will find a solution that works best for your situation.
Long-Term vs. Short-Term RV Park Differences
Traveling full time may mean you’re staying long-term at many parks & resorts. For this reason, you’ll want specific amenities that will meet your needs.
Long-term parks offer many amenities other resorts don’t.
Full-time RVers or those relocating temporarily for work require more amenities. Having access to grocery items, laundry services, exercise facilities, extended site space and more privacy are important. Let’s take a look at each of these and why they matter.
Access to groceries on a regular basis is a must when you’re traveling long-term.
Full-time RVers tend to cook meals frequently rather than eating out. Not only does eating out cost more, it’s definitely not as healthy. Finding a variety in restaurant choices also poses challenges. For these reasons, cooking meals is more appealing. Having access to fresh groceries is a paramount factor for RVers staying in one place for long periods of time.
Laundry services is also a vital amenity when choosing a long-term RV site.
With limited storage space for clothing, RVers need access to washers and dryers. Some professionals may prefer a wash and fold service, or even dry-cleaning. Some executive RV parks offer pick-up and delivery laundry services, or even have this service on-site. One park that boasts a lovely laundry facility with room to work and relax is Stonebridge RV Park in Sweeny, Texas.
Exercising while traveling is key to living healthy.
Many RV parks and resorts have state of art exercise facilities. RVers who travel for work especially look for this amenity. Being able to get a workout in even when the weather is terrible outside is crucial to maintaining a life-balance. Easy RV, one of our partners in the travel industry, highlights Steve Kamb, who founded Nerd Fitness, in this awesome blog.
Last, but certainly not the least important to long-term RVers, is adequate privacy.
Travelers who need to stay in a particular area for longer lengths of time, look for a little more space. Understandably, if you’re staying in one spot for awhile, you’ll want more privacy than the average RV park offers. Some parks have special spots they reserve for long-term guests or shift-workers. If you’re planning to stay in one location be sure to let the manager know when making your reservation, so they can assign you the most advantageous site.
Kids and Camping – Take This List Along and Create Some Fun!
After a full day of traveling, your kids are bound to be in search for some fun when you finally stop for the night. You’re not alone when you start thinking about what to do after you get hooked up. You can bet the kids are thinking the same thing.
Rather than listening to all the complaining, pack up these ideas and take them along on your next road trip
- Corn Hole Contest – You can buy these game sets out of a variety of materials, but some of you handyman types may want to make your own. This Old House provides easy DIY instructions for building your own corn hole set & fun ways to personalize it. All ages can play.
- Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest – If your kids like watermelon, they’ll love gathering the seeds and spitting them as far as they can. You get the watermelon, you set the rules, and get ready for some laughs!
- Rock Painting – Let the kids take a walk in search of smooth rocks (big enough to paint or write on) while you get out the markers and/or paints. Have the kids wash the rocks in a bucket outside and dry them. Everyone can enjoy this activity, they make clever gifts for friends or family!
- Balloon Challenge – All you’ll need is a blown-up balloon (bring a bag of extras for when they pop). The challenge is to keep the balloon from hitting the ground. It can be played with two or more people. Hit the balloon from person to person, counting the number of hits until it touches the ground.
- Eye Spy Scavenger Hunt – A little competition and just plain fun, there are many ways to play this game. One of our favorites is from The Joys of Boys site, called Eye Spy Nature. Click HERE to link to their free printable list, or better yet, make your own. The items on your list should vary depending on the ages of your kids.
- Glow-in-the-Dark Ring Toss – For less than $10 you can find this night-time game at most Walmarts and it will provide hours of fun for the whole family.
- Build a Campfire – Everyone should learn to build a campfire, and all the safety tips too. Be sure to check first if campfires are allowed at your campsite. You’ll need tinder, kindling and firewood which you should be able to find in your surroundings. Don’t forget to brush up on your campfire songs.
- Make S’mores – Once you have a nice fire burning, get the kids to find a few 2-3′ sticks. One of the older kids or an adult can whittle one end of each into a point for the marshmallows. Your camping s’mores kit should include graham crackers, chocolate & marshmallows in one gallon baggy. Mmmm good!
- Flashlight Tag – This is the classic game of hide and seek, but played with flashlights.
- Fun Campfire Recipes – Your family will never tire of the kid friendly camping recipes that we found on the Dating Divas website. The meals are nutritious and super fun to put together. Let your kids pick the meal and do the cooking.
- Tin Can Lanterns – Don’t throw away all those tin soup cans, wash them out, file down any sharp edges and put them in a craft bin/bag with a couple permanent markers, a small hammer, a couple of nails, and some tea lights or votive candles. The kids can make a design with dots on the outside of their can and then take the nail and place it on the dots and lightly hammer the nail until it makes a hole in the tin. Once it’s dark, light a candle inside and they’ll be delighted with their handiwork. The lanterns will add ambiance to any campsite.
- Wiffle Ball – The game has been around for decades and is the perfect outlet for pent-up energy. The bat is light enough for kids of all ages and the perforated plastic ball keeps players safe. Play in a field, shallow water or on pavement. Remember to yell WIFF whenever someone swings and misses.
- Round Robbin Storytelling – A round robin story is one that each person adds to. It’s most common to create a story sentence-by-sentence, going around in a circle. This is a fun way to end a day while sitting around the campfire.
- Map Making – Understanding what a map is, and how to read one is a great skill for kids of all ages. The area surrounding your campsite is a perfect spot for your kids to try and make their own map. You can talk about landmarks and teach them about directions. All they’ll need is some some paper, pencils and crayons.
- Arts & Crafts – Just like at home, it’s a good idea to pack a bin of arts & crafts when you travel. Some of the items that can be used to make a variety of crafts include string, beads, popsicle sticks, markers, glue, scissors, pipe cleaners, feathers, colored paper, pom poms, ribbon, sequins, shells and whatever else you want to include. Add to these items things the kids can pick up around your camp site like leaves and twigs and let their creativity run wild.
Plan your next family vacation at Stonebridge RV Park and use this list to help pack and your kids will undoubtedly make lots of memories!
Photo by Alaric Sim on Unsplash
Try It Before You Buy It – Renting is the Way To Go!
Try it before you buy it…there is no better way! Have you ever bought something and realized soon after that you wish you would have bought a different model? A different size? A different color? When it’s something small it’s not that big of a deal, but when you’re spending big bucks, it’s a huge deal. Buying an RV or trailer is one of those big things that you absolutely want to try it out before committing to the purchase. Being able to really check it out takes some time, and that’s why we LOVE the idea of renting out RVs and trailers. There are so many choices when it comes to RVs and all the models, amenities and options. Unless you’re an RV guru, it’s literally impossible to make an informed decision. Which RV or trailer to buy requires some serious consumer research.
NADA Guides lists over 2,000 RV manufacturers. Each manufacturer typically makes multiple models and within each model there are multiple sizes, all with varying options and amenities. The decisions and choices are endless. Type A Motorhomes, Sport Utility Trailers, Travel Trailers, Type B Motorhomes, Folding Camper Trailers, Type C Motorhomes and Fifth Wheel Travel Trailers are all sold by recreational vehicle dealers. Prices range from $10,000 to well into the millions, and everything in between. No matter your budget, you can find an RV that fits your wants and needs.
If you’ve decided to try RVing, chances are you’ve seen RV parks where you live, where you’ve traveled, or where you want to travel. If you’ve gotten a little more serious about getting an RV, maybe you’ve stopped by Camping World , RV Station , or one of the hundreds of other crazy-big RV dealerships throughout the US and already started shopping. So many people get to this point and begin to get overwhelmed by all the choices and end up taking a step back. But there is a better way! Login to Easy RV and scroll through the listings near you and rent an RV or trailer first. Try it before you buy it!
One of the many reasons Easy RV was established is to assist consumers in the try it before you buy it strategy. Renting an RV let’s you experience all aspects of the RV over a period of time. Spend the night in the great outdoors with your family. Tow it to the beach and enjoy sitting under the awning. Whip up some lunch while you listen to the waves roll in. Head to the mountains and leave all your worries behind.
Renting gives you time to check out all the gadgets and how everything operates.
Is the space to big? Too small? Can you fit in the bathroom? Is it easy to drive? Is there enough storage space? Can your vehicle tow it safely? Do you want more features and options or do you prefer just the basics? Renting allows you the freedom to try before you buy without diving right into a major, long-term financial commitment.
There are many obvious reasons why renting is a good first step before buying. Stonebridge RV Park partners with Easy RV allows you to scroll through hundreds of listings & photos, communicate with RV owners, and check out how much money YOU can make on the side by renting your RV once you’ve settled in and made that purchase!
Image by Gorving
How to Hook Up Your RV
If you are going on an RV vacation for the first time, it’s essential to know that connecting to water, sewer and electric amenities is essential. Unless you’re a very experienced RVer, it’s not recommended that you go off the grid without access to these services.
Watch this brief video to learn how to hook up your RV at the RV park.
Before connecting your electricity, make sure your circuit breaker is in the off position.
Always check your cords and plug to ensure they are in good condition. Know what amps your RV or trailer requires, check to see how many amps the hookup is, and use an adapter if you need to. Using a surge protector is strongly recommended. Camp Addict provides some of the best advice on what surge protectors work best.
Store your fresh water hose and your sewer hose in separate bins.
Hook up your clean water using a hose that is clean and free of contaminants. This will allow you to have running water in your sink and shower in your RV. Additionally, it’s recommended to always use a flow restricter, because you never know what the water pressure is going to be like. Last, using a water filter will give you piece of mind regarding water quality.
Take precautions when connecting and disconnecting the sewer hose.
It’s recommended that you wear a simple pair of latex gloves when connecting and disconnecting your sewer hose. Sewer rings are required in some states, so be sure you have one on hand at all times. Ensure all your connections are tight and leak free.
If you’re renting an RV, always ask for a thorough orientation on all systems and operations as well as making all the connections. If you ever need help, just ask other RVers or park staff. The staff at Stonebridge RV Park and Resort are always ready to help guests.
Helpful RVing Tips
Whether you are new to the world of RV camping, or you are a long-time expert, learning some new tips & tricks can always come in handy. Watch this helpful video by RV Geeks for great reminders when traveling on the road or stopping at an RV resort.
Let’s recap some additional tips a little later in this article that will be helpful as well.
Inside the RV:
- Stack your dishes with cloth napkins in between. This will keep them from rattling or breaking. You can wash the napkins after using them at an RV laundromat, like the one at Stonebridge RV Park in Sweeny, Texas.
- Keep baking soda handy. The open box can sit in your refrigerator, removing bad food odors, and you can use it as a non-toxic cleaner.
- A cooler dedicated to holding lots of ice.
- Hand sanitizer, wipes and lots of towels.
- Make all areas and items into storage space (sitting areas should open for storage inside; hang things on the backs & insides of doors & cabinets).
- Bunge cords help keep cabinets from opening while enroute.
- Shelf liners keep things from sliding around.
- A can opener, a wine opener, coffee pot, coffee cups & filters, a sharp knife, a cutting board, aluminum foil, baggies, and heavy duty trash bags.
- Bins and drawers for inside cabinets creates many more compartments for storing different items.
- A good mattress pad will make every night and day better.
- Keep tanks smelling fresh right from the start by cleaning often and dumping regularly. The fresh water tank can be sanitized regularly with a mixture of bleach and water. Find the best black water tank cleaner on the market, and use it as often as recommended.
- Put screens over all drains to prevent food and other debris from going down the drains.
- A fire extinguisher.
Outside the RV:
- To keep your BBQ grill clean, put tinfoil pan underneath. This will keep grease and food from building up. Rubbing a lemon half over the grill surface will keeping food from sticking.
- An outdoor rug or mat will create an outdoor living space for entertaining and relaxing.
- Bring some good chairs and a folding table.
- Store a few wood blocks that be can used to help with leveling.
- Keep your fresh water hose and sewer hose in separate, marked bins.
- Always keep the black water valve closed.
- Must have tools in your kit should include a cordless drill, a cordless screwdriver, extra charged battery packs, a socket set, tape, bungee cords, string, rope, a lighter, latex gloves, a water pressure regulator, an electric plug adapter and a surge protector.
- Keep a high-powered flashlight handy.
- Two-way radios or walkie-talkies will come in handy for numerous undertakings.
Now some tips on the more personal side:
- LED candles help create an awesome ambiance without having to worry about a fire hazard.
- Find basic toiletries that everyone can share (body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion); less is more.
- A varietal play-list and a blue-tooth speaker.
- Must have items include hat(s), a backpack, sunscreen, water bottles, rain ponchos or umbrellas, rain boots, swim-suits, flip-flops for community showers and a first aid kit.
- Cards, games, fishing poles and a miscellaneous craft box (if you have kids).
- Toilet paper! (bio-degradable)
Whether you’re just beginning or your very experienced, RVing is a lifestyle that can be enjoyed by anyone!
Your Guide to Buying the Right RV for YOU
Recreational vehicles allow people to get out and explore for a few weeks or a few months at a time. Buying an RV should be well thought-out and involve careful research. Having all the amenities you want and need inside a motorhome, campervan, or fifth wheel is vitally important so you can live on the road full-time if you are inclined to do so. Whether that means driving across the country throughout the year or setting up at a long-term RV park such as Stonebridge RV Park in Sweeny, Texas. The first thing is to find the right recreational vehicle for your full-time living plans. Here are some tips.
Research Buying Options
First things first: Make sure you fully understand your recreational vehicle options before you purchase one to live in full-time. Will this be a second or primary residence for you? Will you be spending part of your time in the RV or will you be full-timers? There are many different types of RVs to choose from, and the right one for you will depend on a number of different factors, including your lifestyle and budget. Class A motorhomes are the largest and most luxurious, but are also the most expensive and you’re limited where you can go in them. There are also travel trailers, campervans, and fifth-wheels to consider.
Consider Your Lifestyle
As mentioned previously, your lifestyle will be one of the biggest determinants when choosing to live in an RV full-time. If you plan on moving from town to town and RV park to RV park, consider something smaller like a Class B or Class C motorhome that’s more maneuverable and fuel efficient. On the other hand, if you’re looking forward to dropping anchor at a long-term RV park and not doing much driving throughout the year, look for an RV that offers you the space, amenities, and the comfort you want and need, such as a class A motorhome.
Talk with Other RV Owners
The best advice comes from people who are already living the lifestyle you can only dream about at this point. Visit RV dealerships, browse RV forums, or even take a drive to nearby long-term RV campgrounds and talk to other RV owners. Their experiences and tips that can help you choose the right vehicle for your needs.
Anyway you look at it, buying an RV is a huge investment. One of the best ways to narrow down what you like and don’t like it to “try before you buy.” There are many RV rentals available throughout the country, in almost every city and small town. As you narrow down your decision, find a similar one available for rent and take it for an adventure. There is no better way to experience if you like it or not, than actually spending time traveling in it. So go ahead, rent several types first!
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