René M. Agredano
All parks budgets are squeezed to the max, but free national and state park entry passes are still a relatively easy thing to get. Youâ€™ll need to plan your RV tripÂ carefully to do it, but the effort is worthwhile when you save the cash.
3 Tips for Free National And State Park Visits
Image: National Park Service.
Before getting started in your search for a free national and state park visit, remember a couple of things. First, youâ€™ll save money with a free entrance pass, but in most cases the savings only apply to the actual park entry fee. Camping and other recreational fees like fishing usually apply once youâ€™re inside the park. Second, those free park days tend to be quite busy, so don’t expect a ton of solitude once you arrive. Aside from those two limitations (and maybe others depending on the specific pass and location), scoring a free visit is pretty easy. Here’s how.
Go RVing on Free National Park Days
Unless you or a close family member qualifies for the free national parks pass for military members, or you have a child who qualifies for the free annual pass for fourth grade students, national park visits are more expensive all the time. The best way to get around the increases is by planning your adventure around any of the National Parks Systemâ€™s free days that take place every year.
Drive into a national park on one of five annual free entry days and youâ€™ll get a free ride for as long as the usual entry fee is good for (often up to seven days), as long asÂ you never leave the gates. Keep these U.S. National Park Free Days in mind when planning your next adventure:
Â January 21 â€“ Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
April 20 â€“ First Day of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger
Itâ€™s common to see private trailers and motor coaches with RV business advertising graphics splashed across the rig. Some have vinyl lettering with a simple business logo. OthersÂ slapÂ full-color wraps on every square inch. Today, many nomadic entrepreneursÂ use theirÂ RVs for business purposes. Unfortunately many of them may not be carrying the right kind of RV insurance coverage.
3 Things to Know About RV Business Advertising Graphics for our RV
InÂ aÂ Branding Your RigÂ webinar, RV insurance experts explained why applying logo graphics on your RV can be risky. Sponsored by Xscapers, a segment of the Escapees RV Club, the discussion featured a RV insurance expert, a well-known RV safety educator and a certified public accountant. Here’s what they wanted nomadic entrepreneurs to know.
Advertising Your Logo is a Red Flag to Your Insurance Company
RVs can make eye-catchingÂ rolling advertisements, but the minute you announce yourÂ business on the RV, your insurance company probablyÂ sees you asÂ a commercial vehicle owner. This puts you in a different pool of insureds,Â whichÂ personal RV insurance policies don’t cover.
â€œWhen your logo is on the rig, and itâ€™s clear you are using it for commercial purposes, you need a commercial policy,â€� explains Courtney Wooge, President of FCIS Insurance in Iowa. â€œThe bigger the â€˜billboardâ€™ the higher the chance you need commercial coverage,â€� he says.
Whether or not you see customers inside your RV, using it for business use isnâ€™t much different than a retail store or restaurant opening its doors to the public. In the eyes of RV insurance companies, using a motor home, trailer or other RV places the owner into a higher-risk insurance category. â€œInsurance companies see it as a â€œrolling office,â€� says Wooge.
The Effects of a Commercial RV Insurance Policy
When you work from your RV, the cost implications of RV business advertising graphics are enormous. For example,Â let’s say your insurance agent doesn’t know youâ€™re
The RV lifestyle can sometimes be deceiving. RVs give us the freedom to go nearly anywhere, but that doesnâ€™t always translate to the ability to do what we want, when we want to do it â€“ if we care aboutÂ camping and boondocking etiquette. If we don’t care, we are practically guaranteed toÂ annoy campground and RV park neighbors by following these five simple behaviors:
The Five Best Ways to Annoy Campground and RV Park Neighbors
Are you taking common courtesy on the road?
Keep your RV generator running at all hours.
Who needs to hear crickets chirping at dusk, or the silence of nature in the back country? If you keep your generator running all day and all night, you can enjoy life as usual. Watch TV at all hours, run that microwave and keep the A/C going without sacrificing one bit of your own comfort while youâ€™re out in nature. Itâ€™s just like staying home.
Don’t turn off your outside lights.
Your RVâ€™s manufacturer wouldnâ€™t have included pretty LED patio lighting on the side of your rig if they didnâ€™t want you to use it, right? But turning patio lights on and off when you need to go outside at night can be such a hassle. So as soon as the sun sets, just keep your patio lights blaring until morning. You never know when youâ€™ll need to walk the dog at 3 am. Besides, your neighbors can use the light too. If it bothers them, they always get a sleep mask or install RV night shades.
Allow your dog or children to run around off-leash and unsupervised.
Kids and dogs can be wild by nature, so when you want your human or furry children to experience the real meaning of freedom, just turn them loose on the campground and see what happens. Donâ€™t interrupt your important binge
Each year serious off-road and RV camping geeks find nirvana at the The Sports Equipment and Manufacturing Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. As the biggest show of its kind, this industry event showcases awesome new RVÂ gear specifically designed for everything from sports cars to campers.
SEMA 2018 in Las Vegas attracts tens of thousands of vehicle enthusiasts.
The SEMA Show segment dedicated to off-road transportation and camping comforts spotlights the latest trends, like these three new products that make life easier in the outback.
New,Â Awesome RV Gear Must-Haves
The SEMA Show is a four-dayÂ festival of up-and-coming products making their way to the marketplace. Out of hundreds of great outdoor vehicle gear spotlighted, threeÂ stood out on the show floor.
The Dometic Portable Lithium Iron Battery PLB40
The RV appliance manufacturer Dometic is breaking into the portable power market with the new Dometic PLB40 Ah lithium Iron Phosphate battery. This lightweight power-on-the-go system is specifically designed for powered coolers but it can charge other 12-volt appliances too.
Straight out of the box you can charge it for five hours from the 12V cigarette lighter outlet in your car, your RV solar panels or a standard 120V AC wall outlet. When itâ€™s ready, just pick it up and go and it will power your Dometic CFX40 cooler (or any other portable powered cooler) for a little over 40 hours on a single charge â€“ five times longer than conventional lead acid batteries ever can.
As a portable power source itâ€™s light years ahead of normal lithium ion batteries. For one, you canâ€™t charge normal lithium ion batteries in your 12-volt power source. And itâ€™s also more stable. The PLB40 also has a LCD panel readout that displays battery capacity, charging status and output, while an internal battery management system protects against overheating, low current, over current, reverse charge and