How to Choose the Right RV Type for Your Snowbird Lifestyle

How to Choose the Right RV Type for Your Snowbird Lifestyle

The snowbird lifestyle can be the best way to spend retirement. You get to enjoy a mild summer with friends and family in your home state up north, and when the cold weather rolls around, you get to hop in your RV and head south to dodge the winter weather and keep soaking up the sun. While living that way can be a dream, it does take some preparation, including deciding which type of RV is best for you. Depending on the type of lifestyle you want to lead during your winters down south, some RVs may be better fitted for you than others. We’ve compiled a list of a few things you should consider when you begin your search for which RV fits your snowbird lifestyle.

Towable vs. Motorhome

We start things off with the most basic question: do you want to tow your RV, or would you prefer for the engine, cab and living quarters to all be part of the same vehicle? For first time RVers, a small motorhome like a Class B or Class C rig can be easier to drive because you don’t have to worry about the turn radius with a towable rig. Driving a larger Class A motorhome can take a little extra expertise, but you’ll have plenty of space with everything all in one spot.

On the flip side, there are some advantages to being able to tow your rig. With a towable, you can park your RV at the campground, and then use your tow vehicle to get out and explore the local area without having to unhook or go through the trouble of finding a place to park your RV at local attractions. If you plan on exploring outside of the RV park while you travel, then you may want to consider a fifth wheel or travel trailer for that reason. You’ll have to use a pickup truck as your tow vehicle with a fifth wheel, but SUVs can work for some travel trailers. With a towable, you also won’t have to worry about an RV engine issue stranding you somewhere as you’ll be dependent on your towable’s motor and not the motor in the RV itself.

Luxury vs. Simplicity

Next, you’ll want to consider how high maintenance your camping style will be. Is enjoying the finer things in life a priority for you? In a Class A rig, you’ll find every comfort and convenience of a sticks and bricks home. There’s a reason why famous musicians choose coach motorhomes as their luxury homes away from home on tour. Even some high-end fifth wheels can rival Class A rigs in terms of luxury. But if you prefer a more simplistic way of life, a lightweight travel trailer or Class C motorhome may be a better fit for you. Though these rigs can be smaller, most come packed with modern conveniences to make sure your camping experience is still an enjoyable one.

Glamping vs. Parks

You’ll also want to consider where you plan on camping during your time in your RV. If you won’t settle for less than “RV glamping,” a more glamorous version of camping at luxury RV resorts, then you’ll probably want to invest in a Class A motorhome, as many of the high-end RV resorts require a coach motorhome or have length requirements that basically rule out any other type. If you plan on spending most of your time in state and national parks, you may want to consider a small rig such as a light travel trailer, Class B or Class C rig since parks tend to have smaller campsites and some won’t allow rigs beyond a certain length.

Keep in mind that some of those campgrounds won’t have full hookups, so you may want to look for a rig with extra batteries or solar prep, as well as large holding tanks so you can last longer between trips to the dump station. The middle ground here would be setting up shop in private RV parks that may have full or partial hookups. There are plenty of travel trailers and fifth wheels that would fit the bill for this style of camping.

Comfort vs. Budget

This one isn’t so much of an either/or decision as it is figuring out where you land on the continuum. There’s a lot of gray areas here, as most people desire comfort that FITS their budget. Determining whether you fall in the absolute center of comfort versus budget, or if you lean slightly towards prioritizing one over the other will dramatically help you in determining which RV is right for you.

How to Choose the Right RV Type for Your Snowbird Lifestyle

How to Choose the Right RV Type for Your Snowbird Lifestyle

Whether you’re into luxury and convenience or enjoy the outdoors and the simple pleasures in life, there’s an RV type that’s right for you. Luckily, we can help you sift through every type of RV here at Courvelle RV in Opalousas, Louisiana. Contact us today to get started on finding the right RV for your snowbird lifestyle!

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How to Enjoy a Safe Summer Vacation In an RV

How to Enjoy a Safe Summer Vacation In an RV

Now that the weather is warming up and most of us are remembering what life was like pre-COVID-19, we’re getting antsy about vacations. Hitting the road can be a good idea for the economy and our country’s mental health, but traveling doesn’t come without its risks.

Due to the pandemic, many are saying that road trips will become the popular way of vacationing and travel as opposed to flying. While many health officials are suggesting to lower travel only to essential reasons, if you do decide to take that road trip after all, below are a few ways from us here at Courvelle’s on how to have a safe summer vacation.

Take your RV

If you already have your own RV, now is the time to de-winterize her and take her out for a spin. If you don’t have your own RV, that’s not a problem. We have rigs

When choosing your destination, finding somewhere outside is the safest bet, because the virus doesn’t have as much of a chance to spread in the outdoors. When you’re vacationing in an RV, you have control over nearly everything – cleanliness, who comes in and out, etc. Use this to your advantage!

Find wide open places to go to

Because of social distancing, finding destinations that are wide open is your best bet right now. If you’re going to brave the outdoors this summer, stick with it and choose somewhere like Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, etc. More rural places might be the best places right now, and chances are, you haven’t been. This is the perfect time to add them to your bucket list. You’ll be able to mark them right off!

Have a Plan

We’re sure you normally plan your vacations and trips, but it’s pretty important now more than ever to ensure you have a detailed plan of how you’re traveling and stick to it. Each state is opening at different times right now, so it’s critical to know where you’re going, where you’ll be stopping for breaks, how you’re getting there, and what you’re doing once you arrive.

It’s also a good idea to keep up with current events and happenings in and around your destination. COVID-19 outbreaks could be higher, lower, increasing, or decreasing where you’re going, so keep track of what’s happening there.

Limit your amounts of stop and opportunities for contact

Even if you plan on driving your own vehicle, you’ll have to come in contact with the outside world eventually. To be prepared, bring hand sanitizer, masks, anti-bacterial wipes, or even your own hand soap to truck stops or visitor centers.

If you’re still a bit worried about venturing out, we understand. You have a few other options. Some people find lots of comfort in planning vacation months or even a year or two in advance. Now might be the best time ever to plan that vacation ahead of time so you’ll always have something to look forward to once the pandemic begins to slow.

Now that you’ve got a few ideas on ways to stay safe during your vacation, it’s a good of a time as ever to disconnect with the digital world and reconnects with who and what matters. We can all be guilty of working late or being buried in social media. Use this time to take your rig out in the middle of nowhere (or a campground) and connect with your family. Although some state and national parks are still closed, many are beginning to open back up. Just be sure you keep a safe distance between you and other hikers, bikers, etc.

Right now, RVing is probably one of the safest ways you can take a quick weekend, weeklong, or however long vacation, regardless of if you rent or take your own rig. We hope these ideas help you put the right precautions in place for your next vacation. We’re always here to help you with any of your RV needs, especially during these times. We’re ready to get out and enjoy Mother Nature, too! As always, reach out to us for any questions you may have.

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RVing Tips for Beginners

RVing Tips for Beginners

You’ve given it a lot of thought, research and time, and you’ve finally decided it’s time to get into RVing. First of all, welcome! Secondly, there are quite a few things you need to know before you get started. Courvelle’s RV is ready to help!

The world of RVing is massive, but always supportive. Campgrounds are a great place to meet new people to hear their experiences and for them to even warn you to not make the mistakes they did. There are so many things to consider if you’re considering the RV lifestyle, but we’re here to walk you through each step. Keep reading to get started!

RVing Tips for Beginners

Find the right RV

First, you’ll want to decide on the type of RV that best fits you and your lifestyle. This might be the most important thing to consider for many reasons. You’ll have to decide what you’re using your RV for, then you can begin the search for the perfect rig. Here’s a list of things to ask yourself first:

  • How often do you plan on using it? If you’re only using it for a weekend or once or twice a year, renting is a great option. You won’t have to worry about any regular maintenance or where to store it in the off season.
  • What’s your budget? Find your budget and stick to it! It can be difficult to do this when you see that your perfect RV is wildly out of budget, but there’s more than likely a more affordable option.
  • What about size? Here, you should consider how many people you’ll bring with you and where you’ll be parking it. If you plan on going to smaller campgrounds, then a Class A motor home probably isn’t a good idea.
  • Will you need a vehicle to pull it with? Do you already own a truck or SUV that is big enough to pull it? Or, will you want a detachable rig?

Make a campground checklist.

Until you get into your own routine, create a packing list and a setup checklist to ensure nothing is forgotten. Depending on the RV you choose to purchase, the list could be pretty extensive or rather short. Either way, always create a digital copy so you can edit and change things quickly.

When RV packing, less is more

It might go without saying, but you really must take advantage of every square inch in your rig, and you don’t want items to constantly be in your way. There are a ton of neat toys and trinkets these days to pack along with you, but you really just need the necessities to have a great trip! You’re RVing to escape reality for a while, anyway – right? Not exactly sure what you need? Do a quick Google search online for templates of what other people found handy.

Learn how to drive your RV.

All RV makes and models and created differently, so even if you’ve driven one before, your own probably won’t drive the same way. A class B is going to drive and feel different than a travel trailer or toy hauler, so it’s important to get the feel of your rig before taking it out on adventures.

Practice parking it, too! Set out a few traffic cones and work on backing in and out of the spot till you become a pro. It does take time, but you’ll thank yourself later when you see the tight camping spaces you’ll soon encounter. If you still aren’t getting the hang of it, sign up for a few classes to ease the process along.

Document your adventures.

Even if it’s taking just a few minutes each night to reflect back on the day and write it down, you’ll thank yourself years down the road when you stumble upon your old notebook. And, as amazing and memorable as your travels will be, you’ll forget details eventually. Writing down the sights you saw, restaurants you ate at, your side trips or highlighting your route from that day will make it easier to remember everything, and you’ll be able to pass these memories down to your family members and other travelers you meet along the way.

Always have tools and extra parts.

You won’t need one of everything, but having a few basic tools to fix a leaky pipe or a squeaky door is always a great idea. Most the time, you’re also trying to get away from the city which means you’ll probably be pretty far away from any sort of services you might need. If this is the case, it’s that more critical to becoming self-reliant for repairs. Something will likely go wrong, so plan accordingly!

Test camping in your driveway.

This will be the true test in finding out if you’re fit for the wild or not. And, if you’re going to fail, at least you’ll be at home! Pack as if you’re ready to really leave, then begin your “trip” in the driveway or yard. As you find things you’ve forgotten, add them to the list. Once you’re sure your RV is fully packed and ready, only then can you really begin the fun. This will prevent lots of stress and worry from taking place, and you’ll feel much more confident because you’ve essentially already camped once! (We won’t tell anyone it was in your driveway.)

There will be hiccups along the way, but that’s what makes it all worth it. Don’t let the problems and speed bumps discourage you from chasing the RV life you’ve always dreamed of. Contact us to speak with a team member for any questions you may have!

RVing Tips for Beginners

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RV Classes Explained

RV Classes Explained

The decision to purchase an RV is no small task, and there’s so much to learn in the process. Whether you’re a RV novice or a RV connoisseur, there’s always something new to discover about motor homes.

There are many different ways to categorize RVs, but we’ll be dividing them into six in this article. It’s sort of a bird’s eye view of RV classes.

The main difference in all RVs is that you’re either towing something, or you aren’t. It sounds simple, but that’s the first step in understanding the differences in RVs. If you aren’t towing anything, that means you have access to the full RV and the engine and interior are on the same chassis. If you are towing, you’re pulling a trailer that has the living space behind you. It’s the size and features of each rig that differentiate them all, and that’s what we talk about here.

Class A

The biggest RVs on the road, Class As are huge homes on wheels. They can be simple or come with luxury kitchens, garages, pools and even helicopters. You get lots of space with Class As, and you can normally tow your vehicle behind it. But, they tend to be incredibly expensive, have low fuel efficiency, and have limitations on where they can travel due to their size and hookup needs. Here are our Class As we have available right now!

Class B

Class Bs are much smaller than the giant Class As and are sometimes called camper or sleeper vans. They are the smallest class of RVs, which means they’re more nimble than other classes. Their biggest drawback is that you don’t get the space you would with Class As and even Class Cs, but there are still quite a few on the road because they get great gas mileage for their size, are easy to drive, can fit in most parking spots and come with a four-wheel drive option. They don’t normally come with a lot of space. But these vans are strong and mighty. They can come with room to sleep up to six, bathrooms and dining areas.

Class C

An option between the two above, Class Cs are a midsize option for those that want the space of a Class A but the size and price of a Class B. Sleeping areas are often above the cab and in the back, and their slide outs are similar to those in a Class A. Class Cs often have a separate bathroom area, but many Class Bs do not. Class Cs also aren’t normally big enough to tow a vehicle, so keep this in mind while shopping. So, if you want a motor home that easy to drive, a big bigger than a Class B but still comes with many of the features, a Class C might be for you!

RV Towable Trailers

Now that we’ve discussed the different types of motor homes, let’s talk about your towable options.

The first thing to know about trailers is that you’ll need a separate and rather powerful vehicle to tow them with. For smaller trailers, a half-ton truck will probably work, but you’ll need closer to a ton truck if you choose a larger trailer. This is something to keep in mind if you don’t plan on having to purchase a new vehicle along with your rig.

Here are your options for towable RVs

Fifth Wheels – These are among the largest trailers, which means they’re some of the heaviest and even require a special hitch. Fifth wheels are also some of the most luxurious trailers.

Toy Haulers – Toy haulers, you guessed it, come with space for your larger “toy” like an ATV.

Travel Trailers – A wide variety of travel trailers are made in different sizes, shapes, measurements and floor plans.

Pop ups – Possibly one of the niftiest options, pop ups fold down to almost taking up no space at all, but still come with small kitchens and even bathrooms and showers. They must be unfolded before use, so if you don’t mind a bit of manual labor for set up and tear down, look into pop ups.

Remember to not rush into buying an RV. It is such an exciting time, but doing your research will serve you well. Don’t be afraid to try out a few RVs by renting or taking for a test drive before you buy. This way, you’ll have a truer sense of what traveling will feel like.

If you’re looking for a vessel to travel alone or with just one other person, a small camper van or travel trailer will do the trick. But, if you’re needing to transport a family of five across the country comfortably, a Class A is probably a better fit for you. It’s all about you and your personal needs. The different kinds of RVs to look at can be overwhelming, but the fact that there are so many to choose from is a good thing! It means there’s a rig out there that’s perfectly suits you. We hope this guide helps, and as always, contact us for any questions you have. Happy RV shopping!

RV Classes Explained

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Glamping: The Ultimate Guide to Glam up your Campsite

Glamping: The Ultimate Guide to Glam up your Campsite

No matter how long you’ve been a camper, you might say the amenities of hotels and cabins are hard to replace. Even if you do disagree with that statement, you can’t disagree when we say all you non-glampers could learn a thing or two from your glamper-friendly mates.

For those of you reading who are new to the term “glamping,” it’s a new word that describes a glamourous kind of camping. (Put the two words together and you’ve got yourself a Webster-approved term.) If you’re a seasoned camper and used to roughing it through the harsh winter or scorching summers, you might be wondering why someone would want to add a bit of glamour to their trip. Well, there are people who want to start camping but want to ease into it. Others, however, have lots of experience in camping in the backcountry. This is just the reason they want to try their hand at glamping – they’re ready to add a bit of comfort and luxury to their trip.

No matter what your glamping reasons are, we here at Courvelle RV are here to help you get it right. Here’s our list of items you need glamp in the best way.

Sleeping Area

You want to create a space that makes you want to crawl into bed and not ever leave. In order to do this, sleeping bags should be left at the tent door. Think air mattress here.

Once your sleeping sanctuary is set, time to come in with the linens. You can absolutely bring your 100 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets from Nordstrom, but if you really want to create a comfy and cozy space, bring blankets. Bring lots of blankets. Bring different sizes, different shapes, different materials. Don’t forget your down comforters and quilts!

Now, it’s time to add a bit more color and aesthetic to your tent. The crinkling sound from the tent below your feet at seven in the morning is beyond unsettling. Lay down some nice rugs and floor mats to mute that sound and keep the warm, cozy feeling going. Overlap them if you need to, or even if you just want to. Bring as many materials and colors as you can to keep it interesting.

To bring it all together, toss in some of your favorite sleeping and throw pillows to elevate the level of comfort even more. Again, don’t be shy! Grab all the pillows you can find and toss them in. Even if you don’t end up using them, pillows add to the aesthetic you’re going for.

Lighting

First and foremost, glamping is about ambiance. It just won’t be the same if you bring those huge lights construction workers use. Bring these instead:

  • Fairy lights
  • Clear Christmas tree lights
  • Rope lights
  • Lanterns with shades so the lighting is fainter

The idea here is to have a soft, warm glow that isn’t too harsh. Hanging up lanterns and fairy lights will perfectly set the mood. Also, open flames in a tent is a huge no-no. It might be the cherry on top of your dream glamping weekend, but this is an area where safety really does come first. Don’t be shy with your lights, either. When it doubt, add more frilly light to every flat surface you can find.

Other Items/Areas

Take it a step further and add fancy dining ware to your glamping party. Leave the red plastic cups and Styrofoam plates at home and swap them for mason jars and mismatched plates you can find thrifting. Vintage is very glamorous these days, and you won’t go wrong with picking up some silverware at the thrift store, too. Find a simple tablecloth (or a vintage, dainty one covered in Victorian-themed designs if your dining ware is simple) and move some lanterns from your tent to your benchtop and you’ve got yourself a glammed-up dining table.

You won’t be spending all your leisure time in the tent, so set up camp (or glamp) near trees for your hammock. To make it fancier, take from your stock of pillows and blankets for your tent and toss them in your hammock – you’ll be napping in no time. It’s really not a campsite without a hammock, after all. For a fairy tale or mystical appeal, throw a mosquito net or lace canopy over your swinging bed.

It may seem like quite a bit of work, but any form of camping is. Why not make it gorgeous on the in and outside and add a touch of décor? Have fun with this! Hopefully, you’ll be staying at your site for at least the weekend, and if you want to glamp right, décor is a must. This part always gets overlooked when people camp because they just need a place to sleep at night. But you? You’re glamping. Don’t let the glamping community down and have a décor-less tent! Think decorative lanterns, fabrics, plants, crates, baskets. You could even gather some flowers once you settle in.

We hope you’ve now attained some ideas on how to start your own glamping spot. Remember, make it cozy, make it charming, and make it glow. So, climb in, bury yourself in a mountain of blankets and pillows, and soak in the natural surroundings you’ve found.

As always, you can always contact us with any RV, camping, (and now glamping) questions you have. Happy glamping!

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Cold Weather Camping Recipes

Cold Weather Camping Recipes

It’s that time of year again – colder weather! Some like to camp during the warmer months so they can swim and view the beautiful green trees as they hike. Others, however, prefer camping when it’s cold, so they can sit by the campfire and bundle up while cooking some cold weather recipes.

One of the best parts of camping is cooking over an open fire. We know that’s an opinion, but most of you will probably agree. Coming back to the campsite after a day of hiking to pull together a belly-warming meal is what it’s all about.

Below, we’ve compiled some of our favorite cold weather campfire recipes that are sure to warm you up from the inside out.

Vegan Sweet Potato & Peanut Stew

Try this vegan Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew for a hearty, healthy and warm meal as the end to a perfect day. This recipe is full of nutrients that won’t take up too much precious space in your cooler, since it calls for several canned foods.

Recipe c/o Fresh off the Grid

Campfire Chili

A campfire classic, this Campfire Chili is all you need to warm up at the end of the day. It freezes well, so you can make it ahead of time and pour it into a pot over the stove to reheat it. You can also pour this over spaghetti noodles if you’re needing to up your calorie intake.

 

recipe c/o 50 campfires

Lemon & Blueberry Cake

If you have a sweet tooth you just can’t escape, even when camping, try baking dessert in an orange peel. Campfire Lemon & Blueberry Cake Baked in Oranges is something easy and different to try over the fire.

recipe c/o 50 campfires

Dutch Oven Jambalaya

Who says comfort food is out of the question when camping? Not us! Try making a shortened, streamlined version of jambalaya in this Dutch Oven Jambalaya recipe that is easy and can be made over a fire.

 

recipe c/o 50 campfires

Roast Stew

Or, try a Roast Stew that you can cook in foil right on the coals of your fire. It’s a pretty straightforward and simple recipe, so feel free to add some different herbs to spice it up.

Recipe c/o Active.com

Campfire Beans & Ham Soup

The taste alone will make you want to keep craving this Campfire Bean N’ Ham Soup, but line you Dutch oven for easy cleanup and you’ll never go back to your old ways of cooking. Serve hot off the grill to impress a crowd.

recipe c/o Taste of Home

Campfire Pancakes

Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you have to settle for a quick, boring breakfast. Fill up with these Campfire Pancakes with Peanut Maple Syrup to keep you energized till lunch time.

recipe c/o Taste of Home

Apple Crisp Foil Packets

The best part about these Apple Crisp Foil Packets is they only require five daily ingredients! They also only take about 20 minutes to cook, so in the time it takes to clean up from dinner, you’ll have a delicious and easy dessert that’s ready to satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

recipe c/o recipes from a pantry

Campfire French Toast

If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth first thing in the morning, try this Campfire French Toast. Just wrap a loaf of bread in aluminum foil and pour on the French toast mixture and toss it over the grill. Don’t forget the powdered sugar!

recipe c/o delish

Campfire Oatmeal

A bowl of hot oatmeal will really hit the spot when you wake up in the morning. It’s warm, full of nutrients to keep you feeling satisfied, quick and versatile. This Johnny Appleseed Oatmeal will come to the rescue when you aren’t prepared to cook a full skillet breakfast of hash browns, bacon and eggs.

recipe c/o Fresh off the Grid

 

These cold weather campfire recipes are not only easy to make, but a perfect way to warm your soul this season!

Do you have a favorite campfire recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

cold weather campfire recipes

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