• Gadgets to Add to Your RV Wish List

    Fun research and face-time with several groups of full-time RVers helped us develop this list of cool gadgets. We’ve also included links to where you can find these items. Please add your favorite items to our list by commenting below.

    Here’s our got-to-have list:

    1. Electrical Management System (EMS) Hard-wired or Portable – Surge protectors offer complete protection for any RV that uses 30 or 50 amp electrical service. Our faves are from Progressive Industries (hard-wired: EMS-HW30C / EMS-HW50C and portable: EMS-PT30X / EMS-PT50X).
    2. Freestanding stainless ice-maker by Igloo – No drain required for this plug-in model that can make up to 26 lbs of ice in 24 hours, perfect for an RV.
    3. Boil Kettle – Stop using propane to boil water when you have an electric kettle! We love Chef’s Star Borosilicate Glass Electric Kettle, 1.7 liter; it boils a quart of cold water in about 7 minutes.
    4. Portable Satellite Dish – We found the King VQ4500 Tailgater to be the most popular with the fewest negative remarks. Made specifically for RVers, you’ll love this luxury item.
    5. Instant Pot – Once you begin using this 6 quart, 7-in-1 multi-use pot, you’ll find it hard to do without it. This cooker will help you create some yummy meals on the road.
    6. Awning Shade – Whether you’re looking for a little extra privacy or a little more shade, you’ll love these new shades by Tentproinc. You’ll attach this to the front or sides of your awning.
    7. Trailer Hitch Stand and Hammaka Chair Combo – You’ll love lounging in these chairs that can be easily installed to a pick-up or RV.
    8. Wifi Connections – Really. All the time. All your devices. Check out WiFi Ranger.
    9. Water Pressure Regulator Valve – Renator makes the best  and you’ll be glad you took the time to pack one of these devices.  Hence, don’t start running the shower and kitchen sink faucets without it.
    10. Quick-Zip Sheets – It’s tough to put regular sheets on most RV beds, so we guarantee you’ll love Quick-Zip Sheets because they make bed-making hassle free!

    As you meet other travelers at Stonebridge RV Park or on your road trips, you’re bound to be introduced to other awesome gadgets that make rving a little more comfortable, so be sure and check back in with us and let us know if you’ve found something you think others will want to hear about.

  • Exercise Routines That Work While RVing

    Sticking to a good exercise program while traveling in an RV is very attainable. The challenge for many travelers is making a regular workout a priority when many times your location can change on a daily basis. One of the many things people like about traveling, is getting outside, and not staying cooped up indoors. At Stonebridge RV Park in Sweeny, Texas, guests have plenty of room for exercise. Travelers tend to apply the same thought to exercising while on the road. Who wants to be inside a gym when there is so much outdoor space to explore?

    When it comes to working out, there are as many fitness experts handing out advice as there are DVDs, magazines and other resources offering up exercise routines and so much more. A favorite standout in the niche of working out while traveling is Steve Kamb who founded Nerd Fitness. Steve’s exercise routines are made for everyone, no matter if you are a beginner or life-time exerciser. One of the most amazing motivational pieces we’ve come across about working out while on the road, is Steve’s Basic Workout You Can Do Anywhere  that we found while reading through Nomadic Matt’s traveling blog about staying in shape.

    Kamb focuses on basic strength training that works out your muscles, joints & tendons each time. Take a few minutes and watch the video he provides in his travel work-out plan. This workout targets every muscle with just a few moves that help you get stronger and stay healthy. Find a park or a playground where you have enough space on the ground to do your squats, push-ups and something to hand from for your pull-ups (don’t worry if you can’t do pull-ups, he gives you the option to throw in anything you can use to do rows instead).

    Here is Matt’s exercise starter kit:

    • 3 sets of 10 body weight squats
    • 3 sets of 10 push-ups
    • 3 sets of 10 lunges
    • 3 sets of 10 crunches
    • 3 sets of 10 backpack lifts

    That’s it. Do this routine 2-4 times weekly and you are bound to feel a difference in your energy level. While you’re traveling, you’re probably already doing some hiking, walking tours, biking or other fitness activities that make staying healthy much more fun…keep it up!

    The great thing about Steve’s basic exercise routine, is you can truly do it wherever you are…even inside a trailer or motorhome if it’s raining! Check-out the floor plan of this beauty that’s for rent through Easy RV and visualize yourself getting your workout on!

     

     

  • Renting Your Travel Trailer While You’re Not Using It

    The most under-used assets owned by Americans are recreational vehicles (motorhomes, travel trailers, 5th wheels, pop-up campers, toy haulers). If you’re one of the millions who own one of these you can make money renting it to others. Hence, don’t let it just sit around gathering dust and growing cobwebs. You can make extra cash with only a little effort.

    The phenomenon of sharing assets or the “peer-to-peer marketplace” is best reviewed in a 2013 article in The Economist, The Rise of the Sharing Economy. One of the stunning opening stats is “Last night there were 40,000 people renting rooms from private individuals,” and this was in 2013! Millions of people are enjoying renting space from private individuals instead of going through the hassles that come with booking hotel rooms and being slammed with the never-ending fees. You’ve experienced this frustration, right? Self-parking fee. Valet parking fee + tip. Wifi fee. Resort Fee. Hotel service fee. Per person fee. Booking fee. Athletic club fee. Facility fee. It’s time to say no to the fees.

    That’s why the so many people are looking and booking other types of travel and vacation rentals, because the market is HOT!

    If you have a travel trailer that you don’t use 100% of the time, now is the time to rent it to others. Stonebridge RV Park is proud to partner with Easy RV, the hottest, newest RV and trailer rental platform on the web.

    Included here are steps that will help you you get your RV listed online and viewed by potential renters.

    First of all, you’ll want to click on sign-up and create a profile, because renters are going to want to know a little about you. Next you’ll click on List Your RV and follow the prompts. Keep in mind the more information you provide, the more interest you will see in your rental. Come up with a catchy name that will draw attention. Similarly, create a description that forms a nice visual in the mind of the anyone who reads your listing.

    Most important, is the last step of  adding photos of your RV or trailer. Both interior and exterior photos will need to be taken & uploaded, therefore, you’ll want to put some thought & effort into creating just the right ambiance. Staging your photos will make your rental look inviting, and likewise, proper lighting is key to good pictures. Park it somewhere that has nice surroundings.

    For exterior pictures, set up chairs, a table, maybe a BBQ grill or hammock. Extend the awning. Bring out a plant or two and other items that you think look natural and inviting so you’re setting a scene that will attract renters. If you have family or friends that will serve as models include them in some of the pictures. Staging the interior is just as important, therefore, you’ll want to use nice bedspreads or blankets on the beds and pretty throw pillows. Set the scene with a board game on the table and colorful items on the counters. By creating a romantic table with pretty plates, flowers and a bottle of wine, you’ll show renters how versatile the space is.

    Once you have your photos uploaded, the last step is to add an account for your rental income deposits. Then your listing will be live and visible to renters. Need assistance with your listing? Do you have questions about renting your RV or trailer? Our support team can help, click on the chat button in the lower right corner of the site. Good luck!

  • 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

    1. 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.
    2. 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!
    3. 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!
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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!
    9. Flashlight Tag – This is the classic game of hide and seek, but played with flashlights.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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

  • Pets – Are They Welcome at All National Parks?

    Pets are welcome to join their owners at more places than ever before. There are pet friendly restaurants, hotels, and beaches. But are pets welcome at all national parks? In a nutshell, they’re welcome at many of our National Parks, but not all of them.

    If you’re one of millions traveling to one of these amazing destinations this year and you want to bring along your furry buddy, be sure to research the guidelines for the specific park(s) you plan to visit.

    Can you imagine planning a phenomenal vacation and finally making it to the entrance of the park you’ve waited your whole life to visit and the sign at the entrance says in bold print NO PETS ALLOWED? Worst case scenario, you’ll be scrapping your visit to the Park all together. Moral of the story, do your homework before you hit the road.

    The NPS (National Park Service) offers a good deal of information on pet friendly parks recapping where your pet will be permitted, and the Travel Channel recently listed the Most and Least Pet Friendly National Parks .

    Below we’ve compiled a brief overview of some of the more popular parks and what they do and don’t allow when it comes to pets. One commonality at all parks mentioned here, pets must be on a leash 6 feet or shorter and never left unattended.

    • Acadia National Park : You can bring along your pet. Due to rigorous conditions, you’ll want to keep your pets off the beaches and more difficult trails.
    • Arches National Park :  Pets are welcome, but you’ll find activities you can do with them to be limited. Nearby Devils Garden Campground is pet friendly as well.
    • Glacier National Park : Feel free to bring your pets in drive-in campgrounds, along park roads open to motor vehicles, and in picnic areas. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed on any park trails.
    • Grand Canyon : When hiking the south rim, pets are allowed only above the rim. When hiking the north rim, they are only allowed on the bridle trail (greenway). While in Tuweep, keep in mind they are only permitted on established roads and in the campground. You cannot take pets on shuttle park buses so you must walk in and out. There is the South Rim Kennel for boarding if you want to hike the other trails.
    • Grand Teton : A good rule of thumb here is that a pet may go anywhere a car may go. This includes roads and shoulders, campgrounds, picnic areas and parking lots. You cannot take pets on any trails.
    • Great Smoky Mountains : Dogs are welcome on two trails (the Gatlinburg Trail & the Oconaluftee River Trail) as well as in campgrounds, picnic areas and along roads.
    • Olympic National Park : You can explore six different trails and areas ( Olympic National Park Pet Friendly Trails ) in this gorgeous park. Because of the length of the trails, you’ll want to bring plenty of water for your pooch!
    • Yellowstone National Park : You cannot take your pets on trails, boardwalks, in the back country or thermal areas throughout Yellowstone. They may accompany you in developed areas of the park (any area within 100 feet of roads, parking areas and campgrounds, excluding thermal areas). Keep in mind there are no kennels in Yellowstone, but you may find boarding options in surrounding communities.
    • Yosemite National Park : You can take your dogs on fully paved trails and roads. But not in the back country, beaches, meadows, on shuttle buses or in public buildings.
    • Zion National Park : Pets may accompany owners on the Pa’rus Trail ONLY. All other trails and wilderness areas are off-limits to pets. You’ll find boarding kennels in surrounding communities.

    Begin planning your next vacation to one or more of the incredible national parks. Just be sure you’re in the know about where your pet will have the best time as well!

    Image by dogtrekker.com

  • 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

  • RV Rental – The Ultimate Beginner’s Lifestyle

     You’ve made the exciting decision to rent an RV, so now what?!! You’re about to join millions of others who are stepping away from the traditional hotel and houses to embark on accommodations that are way more fun and more adventurous. There are many reasons for renting an RV, the most popular…a family vacation. These tips will get you off to a great start for creating memories that will last a lifetime.

    1. Have a destination in mind. Explore any restrictions that may be in place. Reserve a rental site with full hook-ups (fresh water, electricity, and sewer). Without hook-ups, you’ll be operating off the grid , and unless you’re an experienced RVer, it’s not advised.
    2. Plan your route, including stops for fuel.
    3. Book your rental well in advance so you can find the perfect RV that fits your wants and needs.
    4. Create a checklist and get answers directly from the owner (What are the cancellation & refund policies when renting? What is required to tow a trailer? Can the awning be used? Can our pet come along? What are the pick-up and return times? Are kitchen items and bedding included? Is there a generator? Is there A/C and/or heating? What happens if something breaks down?)
    5. Ensure you, or the owner, has reliable RV rental insurance.
    6. Take time with the owner to learn all features, systems and operations of the RV, internal and external.
    7. Know all the fees involved (mileage fee, generator fee, dumping fee, cleaning fee, pet fee, etc.) and don’t hesitate to bargain for unlimited mileage or free generator use. Do keep in mind, owners have many expenses to upkeep their RVs.
    8. Last, and most important, take your time, vow to laugh, relax, and enjoy your adventure!

    Here are a couple other of our fave sites for helpful tips:

    https://www.tripsavvy.com/tips-for-first-time-rv-rentals-2912598

    http://familyrambling.com/rv-tips-fun-family-vacations/travel/camping-rving/

    Do you have an RV rental story to tell? Share it here!

  • RV Vacations Will Create Memories That Will Last a Lifetime

    As a parent, one of the funnest things you can do with your kids is to take them on vacations. RV parks, such as Stonebridge RV Park in Sweeny, Texas, offer beautiful scenery and great opportunities for family bonding time.

    When you watch this video, you will learn all about the benefits road trip vacations offer to young families. One of the most appealing things about traveling in an recreational vehicle is that you don’t have the added high costs of staying at hotels, and having to eat out for all your meals. You can pack food that you know your kids like and have them help you make some really fun campfire meals.

    Most families rent an RV close to where they live. Owners list them on sites like Easy RV, where the payment is handled safely, and all the details is worked out between the owner and renter directly. Once you have an RV or trailer reserved, you’ll plan your trip using tools such as RV Trip Wizard. Planning your trip route, stops and fueling are all important when traveling in an RV.

    Be sure to pick stopovers and a final destination that offers things your entire family will enjoy. You’ll want full hook-ups for water, electricity, and sewer. Room to run, play and swim is important for kids. What other activities do you want to enjoy? Hiking? Crafts? Bonfires? If you’re bringing along a pet, you’ll want to be sure you reserve spots at parks that are pet-friendly.

    When you hit the road, you will have the opportunity to bond with your kids like never before. So start planning your vacation now!

  • Essential Information About Stonebridge RV Park

    Whether you’re seeking quality short or long term RV lodging, look no further than Stonebridge RV Park.  As the leading RV park in Sweeny, TX, we offer all of the amenities and services that you need to feel right at home. Some of the amenities we offer are a family-friendly swimming pool, on-site laundromat and stocked fishing ponds. You’ll also find a fire-pit, a community pavilion for BBQing, and and a lodge where you can settle in with a good book.

    Many spots are shaded by huge, beautiful Oak trees and others are in the open to allow for night-time stargazing.

    All sites are concrete with full hook-ups.

    There is plenty of room for two vehicles at each site and there is overflow parking throughout the grounds as well. At Stonebridge, we ensure the comfort and safety of our guests with a series of rules and regulations that are clear and easy to follow.

    rv - park

    Free WiFi and cable are offered to every guest. Although many RVers choose to use their own hotspot and satellite TV.

    We are pet-friendly! There is a large open area behind one of the ponds where dogs can run around without a leash.  In all other areas of the park, we ask guests to keep their pets leashed.

    The laundromat is new and clean. There is a TV and magazines so you can pass the time in comfort. You’ll have lots of fun at our two fishing ponds, which are catch and release, so all ages can participate. There are ducks to feed and all kinds of Texas birds to watch.

    Guests will find our staff to be friendly and customer service oriented, which you can tell by all the reviews on Google. Feel free to call ahead to reserve your spot, or email us at info@stonebridgervpark.com.  We hope you’ll be our guest soon!

  • Long Term Lodging Guidelines for Families With Kids

    You’re packed up and about to hit the road in your RV to travel to a park where you’ll be staying for a few months because of a job opportunity. Everyone is excited about the adventure and spending quality time together. One of the important factors in searching for a park that offers long term lodging is to find a place that has lots of amenities so the transition for your kids will be a smooth one.

    When you move into long term RV lodging, your needs will be a little different than looking for a place for one or two nights. Your kids will need more activities, you’ll want as many amenities as possible. Most important, you’ll want to feel connected with neighbors and have a sense of security.

    The information following will cover some of the basics, and it may make you think of additional factors to add to the list.

    Check out the RV park’s website and online reviews.

    A well-functioning website, good photos, lots of information about the facilities and amenities should be available. Additionally, look on Google, Yelp, and RV Park Reviews to check out any reviews that may be posted.

    kids - rv

     

    Are all the basics available?

    Do they offer level, concrete sites with full hook-ups (water, electricity & sewer)? Ask about other necessities such as an on-site laundromat, free WiFi and free cable. Just as important, are all the amenities offered. Is there a swimming pool? Hot tub? Game Room? Hiking? Fishing? Scheduled activities? Are they pet friendly? Is there a playground? Room to ride bikes and play outdoor games? Are the sites roomy and well-maintained?

    Tour the park in advance.

    If possible, make a trip to the park in advance and tour of the grounds and facilities with your children. Is the staff courteous and responsive? Are the grounds and amenities well maintained? Do your children get a good feeling and seem excited? Are their other children staying at the park? Does the park have Rules and Regulations and are they enforced?

    Stay organized and pack responsibly.

    Since an RV is a smaller space than a conventional home, you will want to stay organized and take along only what you absolutely need and want. To avoid clutter in your RV, it is a terrific idea to make sure that all of your belongings, toys, and games have a special place where they can be put away. You will also want to keep the space outside of your RV clean and tidy so your site gives off a good vibe.

    Enjoy Quality Time.

    Staying in an RV park long term will provide you with ample opportunities to spend quality time together as a family. When you make the move in the park, you’ll want to plan lots of outdoor activities, day trips or other family activities to make the most of your time. Ensure your family enjoys meals together each day. This conscious effort made to stay connected and address any issues will bring you closer together.