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On-The-Road Essentials

RVing -- Dump Station Sign

Back in the dark ages (before Al Gore invented the internet and motorhomes were still horse-drawn), we RVers were forever at the mercy of whichever podunk little town we landed in next. When you found yourself requiring something in the way of supplies, a place to spend the night, vehicle repairs, or professional services — your fingers did a little walking through the local phone book. (And good luck finding someone who sells toilet deodorizer in Dribbleville, WY — or understands awning repair in Frostbite, ND — or can install a water tank monitor in Crudbucket, AR.) But thanks to that fiber optic miracle we call global inter-connectivity, not any more!

You could spend all day web-surfing for resources — but honestly, why waste your time? To help out, I’ve (quite generously) compiled a nowhere-near-comprehensive-but-still-pretty-damn-good list of useful links I’ve discovered throughout my travels as a full-timer. What can I say? You’re welcome!

RVing -- Rig IconFiguring Out What The Hell You’re Doing

 

  • AmSolar Inc. — learn how to use solar power to get off the grid and back out into nature
  • RV Network — an Escapees-sponsored forum filled with answers to your hitting-the-road queries
  • RV Park 411 — maintains a list of brand-specific clubs for owners of any type of rig
  • RV Roundtable — mucho forums and resources for practitioners of the mobile lifestyle
  • RV School — the first step toward successful RVing is learning how to drive your rig correctly
  • RV Trader — tons of info about buying the perfect rig, from price checkers to classified listings
  • RV University — filled with tons of videos, ebooks, and downloads from the “RV Education 101″ folks

RVing -- RV IconAirstream-Specific Resources

 

  • Airstream — new products, replacements parts, and service centers around the world
  • Airstream Life — monthly magazine and blog dedicated to life on the road in an Airstream
  • Airforums — a generous and welcoming community of RVers, ready to answer any question
  • Perfect Polish — everything you need to get a “nuvite” shine that will blind folks for miles around
  • Vintage Airstream — if you’re restoring or maintaining a classic, lots of great info here
  • The Airstreamers Club — TAC is for anyone who owns, has owned, or aspires to own an Airstream
  • Tin Can Tourists — gather with other vintage trailer owners and talk about your rig
  • Wally Byam Caravan Club International — caravans and rallies for owners of little rolling tin cans

RVing -- Rig IconMaintenance And Repair

 

  • Camping World — questionable repair services, but good quality DIY fix-it and RV supply-type-stuff
  • Coach-Net — a fantastic roadside assistance service dedicated to RVers and their needs
  • Plan RV — search over 25,000 RV repair shops to find one near you
  • Repair Pal — independent reviews and estimates for repair shops from coast to coast
  • Sunbrella — care and cleaning tips for your fabric awning (the same material the ZipDee is made of)
  • Vintage Trailer Supply — get the stuff you need to keep your oldie-but-goodie on the road
  • ZipDee Awnings — help your awnings look snazzy and stay in working order for years to come

RVing -- RV IconBoondocking And Dry Camping Tools

 

  • Boondockers Welcome — connect with RVers who can offer a dry camping location for the night
  • Boondocking — database of places (generally in the middle of nowhere) with gratis campsites
  • Bureau Of Land Management — no-cost camping managed by the Department Of The Interior
  • Days End Directory — join Escapees and get access to a list of free dry camping locations
  • Harvest Hosts — free overnight stays at farms and wineries around the country
  • Online Parking Rights Manual — Good Sam’s explanation of street-parking rules in any city
  • RV Dumps — handy list of dump stations throughout the U.S. for when you’re sans hookups
  • U.S. Forest Service — find out where you can without a fee on National Forest Service lands

RVing -- Rig IconTruck-Stopping For The Night

 

RVing -- RV IconLocating A Campsite

 

  • Campgrounds — a convenient online search engine for campgrounds throughout North America
  • Find A Campground — About.com-style links to dozens of regional campground directories
  • Free Campsites — a multiplicity of spaces (some with, some without hookups) for <$10 a night
  • Go Camping America — guide to private and public parks around the U.S.
  • I Love Parks — locate a site in any national or state park, as well as those in other countries
  • Recreation.gov — centralized reservation system for camping at government-owned parks
  • RV Park Hunter — photos and real reviews of the locations you’re considering
  • RV Park Reviews — read the real poop on a park before checking in (forthright, honest, uncensored)
  • RV There Yet — a campground map, reviews, dump station directory, and blog guide all in one
  • Ultimate Campgrounds — the web’s largest public campground portal, with >20,000 listings
  • U.S. Bureau Of Reclamation — 300+ campsites at National Recreation Areas and Wildlife Refuges
  • Woodall’s — extensive directory of public and private sites, with ratings and amenity information

RVing -- Rig IconRV Discount Clubs

 

  • Escapees — membership-based organization offering discounts on camping fees
  • Good Sam Club — searchable directory of participating and non-participating parks
  • Happy Camper — up to 50% off on RV rates (but has many restrictions)
  • Passport America — can save you big bucks, as long as you stick to their rules and limitations

RVing -- RV IconConvenience Services

 

  • 1-800-Dry-Clean — upload your clothes (joke) then have them dropped off to you all fresh and clean
  • Amazon Fresh — delivery to your door without a trip to the store (I’m a poet and didn’t know it!)
  • Books Free — save time and money by renting your books Netflix-style instead of buying
  • Delivery — order takeout, flowers, liquor, groceries, dry cleaning, and other services via the web
  • Fandango — don’t wait in line at the movie theater (check times/locations and buy tickets online)
  • Foodler — free and fast virtual ordering from thousands of delivery menus all around the country
  • Game Fly — rent video games from the comfort of your home (a chance to try before you buy)
  • Global Recycling Network — find out where to recycle or compost just about anything, anywhere
  • Go To My PC — access your computer, electronic files, and network from any device
  • Now Docs — uploaded files are digitally printed, bound, and delivered worldwide in as little as 2 hours
  • Open Table — make restaurant reservations and earn dining rewards toward free meals
  • Propane Taxi — why lug that tank to the refill station when you can have LP brung right to ya?
  • Snapfish — share photos online with far-away friends/family, order prints/gifts, and more
  • Stamps — print postage from your computer and never waste time at the post office again
  • Taxslayer — file your tax return for free, online, without ever setting foot in an accountant’s office
  • Vista Print — when you need business cards (or stationary or any other printing in a hurry)
  • WiFi Freespot — find locations around the country offering free WiFi services

RVing -- Rig IconPet Care On The Road

 

  • 1-800-Pet-Meds — order prescription (and non) remedies for your furry friends with one mouse-click
  • American Animal Hospital Association — search for an accredited animal doctor
  • Dog Geek — your cyber canine connection for sitters, boarding, grooming, parks, vets, or training
  • Groomer’s Lounge — ask a question, get info about specific breeds, and locate a groomer near you
  • National Association Of Professional Pet Sitters — sitters who adhere to a rigid code of ethics
  • Pet Discussion — answers to all of your critter questions (health, behavior, and more)
  • Pet Food Direct — have your little one’s favorite brand delivered to you anywhere on the road
  • Pet Sitters International — locate an accredited sitter trained according to strict quality standards
  • Pet Snap — products to help your  4-legged friends travel easier (strollers, car seats, carriers, etc.)
  • Pet Travel — pet-friendly travel tips and thousands of links to resources you can use on the road
  • Pets 911 — find an adoption shelter, locate a lost pet, or tag your furbaby for protection
  • Veterinarians — online directory and referrals for over 25,000 veterinary hospitals and clinics

RVing -- RV IconStaying Healthy While You Travel

 

  • Canadian Meds USA — save up to 90% and have your drugs shipped directly to you
  • County RX Card — print a free discount card for any county, save 75% on your scrips
  • Drugstore — over-the-counter, prescription, and personal care products delivered to your door
  • Evitamins — frustrated that no local store carries the CoQ10 or ALA you take? not any more!
  • Good RX — compare prices, print free coupons, and save up to 80% at the major drug store chains
  • Health Fair — mobile health service offering a variety of diagnostic tests (all done on the road)
  • Life Line — find a local screening location to determine any risk for serious medical conditions

RVing -- Rig IconWhen You Need Medical/Emergency Care

 

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"I Have More To Say About This... No Surprise!"

    Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.

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    4 Responses

    1. eye exam coupons says:

      Getting your eyes checked and facing the prospect of having to wear glasses can be

      a nerve-wracking thing that many of us put off for as long as possible. For one

      thing, it’s a pain in the neck. Nobody likes to give up their comfortable routine

      and have to make inconvenient changes in their lifestyle. But there is also the

      financial foreboding. How much will the prescription cost? Will insurance cover

      it? These are some of the questions that torment people who might need glasses or

      contacts.

    2. Ramona says:

      That’s why I joined the eyecare club at America’s Best — you get your eye exams for about $16 each and 10% off of all eyewear. Plus, the doctors I’ve seen have all been very nice and extremely knowledgeable.

    3. Tom Hardy says:

      Thank you so much for posting this information! My family and I are planning to make a stop in Albuquerque at an rv park. hardrockcasinoabq.com looked like a good place to stop, but an expert opinion would be great to.

    4. Phil 'n half says:

      Ramona,
      While “camping” in my TT at a truck stop in Troutdale, OR recently, decided to research “RVing at truck stops” and came across your wonderful, informative site. Answered my most immediate question up front “are RVs tolerated at truck stops”. I debated to ask first in this case, but after reading your blog realized I was probably OK w/o asking. Since that stop, I’ve found, and do now, ask first, and so far, all positive responses. It’s not just Walmart! What a great way to go!
      I’m “tuned” to not over-extending the “kindness” and opportunity to use the “hosts” facility and certainly find opportunity to buy their services and/or merchandise. Also, “high respect” for the truckers tolerance of the RVer.
      Just wanted you to know that your sharing your information has been an incredible source for me. After a 29+ year marriage, my wife and I have decided we have more to experience in our lives than each other. My choice is going “mobile”, at least for now. You have made the “transition” for me considerably easier.
      With a heart felt “thank you”!
      Phil

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