6 Tips for Getting the RV Ready for the Trip South

For many Canadian snowbirds, heading south—whether it’s to Fort Lauderdale, Scottsdale or Palm Springs—is an annual affair, one that takes careful planning and organization. Of course, before you can even begin to pack up, you’ll want to make sure your RV and its tires are ready for this epic journey.

1. Inflate & inspect

No one wants to start their trip south with a flat tire. One of the best ways to ensure your tires are healthy and ready for the journey ahead is to check their pressure and condition.

Inflate tires to the recommended PSI, including your spare tire.

Inspect sidewalls for signs of weathering and aging, including cracking, feathering and fading.

Inspect the tread for depth and unusual wear (which could point to an alignment problem that could decrease the life of your tire. For a journey like this, where you may be crossing through the snow and mud of Canada before hitting the dry, hot pavement of the South, it’s best to have a tread depth of at least 6/32”. Your tires should still be in good shape for the trek back to Canada in the spring if you follow this guideline

2. Prepare

Even with all that inflating and inspecting, you can’t always ward off debris on the road. Before you head out, make sure you have the necessary equipment to change a flat tire, including:

  • An accessible, well-inflated spare tire in good condition
  • Jack or ride-on ramp
  • Chock (for double-axle trailers and to keep other tires in place)
  • Tire iron
  • Cones to place around your RV as a warning to other drivers

3. Get your brakes in line

This is an essential step with any vehicle you plan on driving, and on any road condition. Even if your brakes are not making that horrendous squeaky noise when you depress them, a professional brake inspection should be done at least once a year, and an ideal time is in the weeks ahead of your cross-country journey.

A certified mechanic will check to see if your brake fluid is clear and transparent like cooking oil, and will replace it if it’s dark and cloudy. They will also check to see if your brake pads and/or discs need replacing or if there is any damage to your brake lines.

4. Make sure your wheel bearings are bearing up

Most people find out about their wheel bearings when they hear a loud rhythmic and vibrating noise emanating from below their RV while driving. Some people confuse it with tire distress, but it usually means the seal on your wheel bearings is broken or damaged and the bearings are not ‘rolling’ properly.

Wheel bearings are a set of steel balls that ride the axel inside your wheel’s hub and help your wheels spin fast and with as little friction as possible. A certified mechanic can check to see if the wheel bearings require repacking with new grease or if they need replacing. This can be done when you get your brakes inspected.

5. Get power to the people

Before you embark on any road trip, it’s important to inspect your RV’s electrical system (AC and DC), including all plug-in outlets, appliances, batteries, cables, AC unit, and especially your circuit breaker and fuses. Knowing where your circuit breaker is located and testing your fuses is imperative in preventing any power surges and your circuit from overheating, which in the worse case scenario can cause a fire.

If you’re unsure of how your RV electrical system works, visit your local RV dealer or a certified mechanic. For this task, it’s best to get assistance, as there is a risk of shock and serious injury.

6. Ensure lights are ready for action

Now it’s time to make sure your exterior lights are in working order. First, ensure headlights, high beams, indicator lights, marker lights and brake lights shine in front and back of your RV, and triple-check that the wiring is working if you are towing your vehicle behind your RV. Having someone inspect your lights while you are in the driver’s seat, turning them on and off, is best.

7. Have supplies at the ready

If your RV does break down, being prepared will go a long way. Carry an RV survival kit with emergency food and water, an LED flare, solar and hand-crank NOAA radio, LED flashlight, candles or lanterns, mobile phone charger, water purification tablets, hand warmers, etc.

Of course, double-check you’ve got what you need in the event of a flat tire, and that you’ve got tools to check your tire pressure throughout the journey.

Article courtesy of Snowbirds & RV Travelers

Stay & Play at Pio Pico RV in Southern California!

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When you’re looking for a peaceful place to park your RV for the winter, Pio Pico is it. Come for the peace and quiet and spend your days in nature instead of the concrete jungle. You don’t even have to leave the campground if you don’t want to.

As a sister campground to Encore RV Resorts, many travelers stay at Pio Pico RV Resort and Campground the entire winter. Spend your days exploring the rolling hills or walking beside a gentle flowing stream. There 180 acres of preserve here to ensure Mother Nature gets top billing.

“We love it here,” said Linda C., a Canadian who has returned to Pio Pico twice to escape Canadian winters. “My husband loves to ride his bike around the valleys and up into the hillsides.”

Unplug and Unwind

Put down your cell phone, ignore your email, and forget about Wi-Fi. Disconnect from the everyday and reconnect with you and your travel companions. There is Wi-Fi and cell service in the area, but this is nature at its finest. You’ll probably be more tempted to traipse through nature than text. Spend your time near the stream instead of streaming
video and rediscover who you are.

Bargains, Activities and Art

Pio Pico hosts a community flea market at the resort every Saturday morning. M
_15A8576embers come and sell their wares and socialize with other resort guests.

There are several hiking trails and canyons to explore and when you get back, there are two heated pools to relax in. For those who like a bit more water activity, there’s year-round water aerobics.

Other activities include shuffleboard, mini golf, horseshoes, volleyball, bocce ball, basketball, tennis, billiards, softball and pickleball.

The resort also offers art classes. “I love the art activities here,” said Linda. “I learned to do some very interesting artworks.”

Pet Friendly

The Pio Pico RV Resort and Campground is pet friendly. There’s even a dog park where your four-legged friend can meet up with fellow canine travelers for a sniff and greet and to chase few well thrown balls.

Day Trips

When you want to head out of the RV resort there are dozens and dozens of great things to do in the area. “It’s close enough to San Diego to drive,” said Linda. “It’s about a half hour drive and we leave our vehicle in the free parking lots. Then we take the MTS electric t_15A8777rolleys to most places we want to go.”

San Diego is great for spending the day exploring the area, visiting the ocean and getting some great shopping in. Go dip your toes into the beautiful Pacific Ocean and explore the many different beaches here. There’s also the beautiful Sea Port Village for shopping right on the bay, and lots of great events.  

The Living Coast Discovery Center, a little over a half hour from the RV resort, is a great place to spend the day. You’ll have up close experiences with local wildlife including rays, sharks, owls, hawks, falcons, reptiles and the endangered Green Sea Turtles!

There are over 20 museums nearby including: the San Diego Air and Space Museum, the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center, and the HMS Surprise Maritime Museum.

You’re a half an hour from the border when you stay at Pio Pico. Venture out for a day in Mexico and enjoy everything Tijuana has to offer.

Time spent at Pio Pico would not be complete without a visit to Balbo Park. Museums, performing arts, a miniature railroad, the United Nations Building and the San Diego Zoo are all located on 1200 acres.

Eat Out

There are several restaurants and fast food eateries nearby. Most are within about a half hour drive. Try some Italian food or burgers and beer up in El Cajon. In Chula Vista there’s pizza, Mexican and Chinese food. San Diego has more restaurants than we can list here. Suffice it to say, if you have a craving, there’s a very good chance they have a restaurant to match that craving.

Enjoy the Arts

There are so many places where you can take in a play a short drive from Pio Pico RV Resort.  San Ysidro Performing Arts Center is 25 minutes from the RV resort and hosts local community events and professional theater productions. There’s also a blackbox theater and orchestra pit.

The Balbo Theatre in San Diego is about a 40-minute drive from Pio Pico. This historic venue was named one of the world’s 15 most spectacular theatres.

For something a little different, check out the plays at the Moxie Theatre. Most of the plays they produce are from primarily female playwrights.

At the end of the day you’ll be happy to head back to Pio Pico, knowing you’ll awaken to the sounds of nature and a new day with so much more to explore.

Want to visit Pio Pico Rv Resort? Let us know in the comments !

Snowbirds, Come Warm Your Soul in Southern California!

Southern California is the place to visit when winter’s cold blanket covers the ground. Southern California has warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. In the middle of winter temperatures range from 14-22C (57-72F) with an average temperature of 20C (68F). Imagine waking each day to beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures while you enjoy a breakfast of fresh strawberries, grapefruit and avocado. Did you know there are over 500 varieties of avocado! Eight of them are grown right here.

Adventure Awaits!

With two major city centers – Los Angeles and San Diego – Southern California has an excess of exciting things to offer. Whether you’re a history buff, an exotic animal lover, a connoisseur of world class wines, or on the hunt for celebrity autographs, your days will be filled!

Los Angeles Area

Have your camera ready when you visit Tinsel Town. Be sure to check out the Walk of Fame, which has immortalized more than 2,400 celebrities. Shop till you drop on Rodeo Drive. Take a walk on Venice Beach. Let the child within come out to play and plan a Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm adventure.

For a change of pace, be sure to quench your thirst at one of the many spectacular wineries in the region. Malibu Wine Safaris offers guests the opportunity to tour its 404 hectare (1,000 acre) Saddlerock Ranch and Vineyard in an open jeep, meeting camels, zebras, and even a celebrity giraffe!

San Diego Area

Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! The San Diego Zoo is home to more than 3,700 animals, both exotic and domestic. The city has over 90 museums, filled with various exhibits of interest. View the city in a different way. . . take a boat tour with one of the many great companies in the area or hop on the Old Town Trolley.

When it’s time to switch up the pace a bit, visit one of the area’s incredible wineries. From second generation winemakers to organically farmed grapes, the award-winning wines produced by these wineries are sure to please your palate.

Pull in and Relax

There are several RV Resorts to choose from in this area. Some are high in the mountains, others are under palm trees and beside fish canals. Choose from being close to major centers or getting your fill of Mother Nature.

Wilderness Lakes RV Resort

Not far from Los Angeles (123 km/76 mi) is Wilderness Lakes RV Resort. You’ll love the fishing canals that weave their wave through the 80-acre park. Temperatures here are very mild in the winter and there are about 20 golf courses nearby, several within a 20-minute drive of the park. When you want to dine out, or have fun shopping, head over to Old Town Temecula, about 25 minutes away. The Pechanga Resort and Casino is a 30-minute drive miles south of the resort. It’s the largest gambling casino in the state with tons of gaming fun, dining and entertainment.

Idyllwild RV Resort

With an elevation of over 2,133 m (7,000 ft) this is a true four seasons resort. Nestled in the San Jacinto mountains, Idyllwild RV Resort lies halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, about 175 km (110 mi) in either direction. They have great cabins to rent,
should you decide to leave the RV at home for this trip.

Palm Springs Oasis RV Resort

Cathedral City, California, affectionately known as Cat City, is home to Palm Springs Oasis RV Resort. This is an age-qualified resort with stunning mountain view of the San Jacinto and Santa Rose Mountain ranges. Guests can even visit the burial site of the
great Frank Sinatra. This resort in halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, just outside of Palm Springs.

Palm Springs RV Camping

Imagine waking up, stepping outside and being surrounded by over 800 date palms on a 25-acre preserve. That’s what you’ll find at Palm Springs RV Camping. This is it – the heart of world famous golf country. This expansive desert community is near Joshua Tree National Park, the Living Desert Wildlife and Botanical Preserve and lots more great attractions. Take the Palm Spring Aerial Tramway up 2,440 m (8,000 ft) to the peak of Mt.
San Jacinto and take in the breathtaking views.

Oakzanita Springs RV Camping

Bring your RV for all season enjoyment. This resort has an elevations of 1,220 m (4,000 ft) in the heart of the mountains. In the winter the facilities and spa as well as RV camping amenities are open. In the warmer months, enjoying hiking in the mountains and fishing in nearby lakes. It’s only 63 km (40 mi) from San Diego to Oakzanita Springs.

Pio Pico RV Resort and Campground

This full-service, year-round resort is located a mere 30.5 km (19 mi) south of San Diego. Make this your home base and you are close to the zoo, museums and Sea World. And, you’re only 20 minutes from Mexico. Escape the rush of the city and relax in the quite of nature at Pio Pico.

No matter which park you choose, which cities or parks you explore, you are sure to take home precious memories of your time in Southern California.

 

Interested in visiting Southern California? Let us know in the comments below!