Tips for Snowbirding in Your RV

Boats on the Water in Key Largo

Just because winter is coming on doesn’t mean you have to pack up your RV. Whether you’re a first time snowbirder or a seasoned veteran, these simple snowbirding tips will help you enjoy the best winter of RVing yet.

Check Your Propane Tank in Seconds

Toting around a propane tank without a gauge? Determining your propane level may be easier than you think. Simply pour a cup of hot water on one side of the tank, then run your hand along the side of it to feel where the temperature turns from hot or cold. The level of your tank is where you feel the temperature change.

Create Your Own Memory Cards

It may seem obvious that you need to put down your antenna and disconnect the sewer hose before leaving the campsite, but you might be surprised how easy some tasks are to forget. Hang small signs around your RV to remind you to disconnect, turn off or stow certain items. Don’t forget to create a checklist for setting up and taking down your RV, and be sure to use it every time you arrive at or leave a campsite.

Stick Your Seat Cushions Down

The snowbird season means you’ll be spending a lot of time outside at the RV park enjoying the warm temperatures on your outdoor RV furniture, but keeping the cushions in place can seem impossible. Use the same non-skid liners you use in your cabinets and drawers to help your outdoor (and indoor) cushions stick to your furniture. This can be especially handy on windy days at the RV park.

Start Your Snowbird Season at CCRV

CCRV, located in Corpus Christi (which is a great snowbird destination by the way!), is your one-stop shop for everything you need this snowbird season. Whether you’re interested in a new or used RV or a few new parts and camping supplies, our qualified staff is here to ensure you enjoy the best RV lifestyle possible.

Fifth Wheel Gooseneck Adapter

Fifth Wheel Gooseneck Adapter

Charlie Kerekes

Those of us who choose a fifth wheel trailer will wonder at some point if there is an alternative to the hitch taking up most of the truck bed. One option commonly considered is a fifth wheel gooseneck adapter, which requires only a vertically mounted ball hitch in the bed of the truck.

I have also considered this option, especially since our Ford truck came with a ball hitch welded onto the hauler back. In this article I summarize my findings and the conclusions I’ve drawn based on my research.

What is a Fifth Wheel Gooseneck Adapter?

A gooseneck adapter is a device that attaches to the fifth wheel trailer’s king pin and extends it down about two feet, allowing it to couple with a vertically mounted ball hitch.

Essentially the adapter converts a fifth wheel trailer to a gooseneck trailer.

Advantages of a Fifth Wheel Gooseneck Adapter

If you have ever seen a fifth wheel hitch taking up most of a truck’s bed, then the primary benefit is obvious—to free up the bed. The gooseneck adapter offers these benefits:

  • Empty Truck Bed: The primary reason for people to consider the gooseneck adapter is to free up the bed. A ball hitch takes up much less space than a fifth wheel hitch. If a perfectly flat bed is desired, numerous removable, folding, or pop-up ball hitches are available on the market.
  • Cost Savings: Installing a ball hitch is less expensive than a fifth wheel hitch. Cost was my second top consideration because our Ford truck came with a ball hitch. Even after paying for a gooseneck adapter, the savings was $1,000. (Not all fifth wheel hitch installations are so expensive. Our Ford truck required additional modifications to the hauler back to fit the hitch.)
  • Easier Hitching: Users of gooseneck adapters find it easier to hitch up and disconnect on uneven ground. Since the gooseneck adapter comes straight down onto the ball, hitching can be accomplished even when the truck and trailer are at significant angles from each other. In similar scenarios a fifth wheel hitch may bind if the angle is too great, though a four way pivoting hitch makes this less of a problem.
  • Less Weight: A heavy duty gooseneck hitch and adapter weighs less than a similarly heavy fifth wheel hitch, leaving more capacity for cargo and towing. The difference is not significant, but even small amounts help when the weight is approaching maximum truck ratings.
  • Tow Gooseneck & Fifth Wheel: The same truck can tow gooseneck trailers, such as horse and cargo, as well as adapted fifth wheel trailers.

 

Disadvantages of a Fifth Wheel Gooseneck Adapter

Having considered all of the wonderful benefits, I wanted to rush out and buy an adapter. I tempered my excitement long enough to look at the potential disadvantages.

All of the disadvantages stem from an undeniable fact of physics—installing the adapter extends the hitch downward about two feet, increasing the amount of torque placed on the trailer frame. The additional torque brings the following potential problems:

  • May Damage Frame: The additional torque caused by the adapter may flex the frame beyond its design limitations, potentially damaging it.
  • May Damage Walls and Windows: Even if the frame can withstand the extra flexing, walls may not fare as well, causing windows to pop out and walls to crack.
  • May Void Warranty: From my conversations with dealers and manufacturers, I got the feeling that very little, if any, testing has been done with gooseneck adapters. Therefore, they may play it safe and void the warranty if an adapter is installed.

Is an Adapter Right for You?

Now that the advantages and disadvantages have been laid out, how do you decide if an adapter is right for your specific trailer? Before spending time on researching the adapters, I urge you to call the fifth wheel manufacturer for their advice. Ask to speak with a structural engineer and solicit their opinion on how the adapter would affect the trailer. If you receive a go-ahead from the engineering staff, it would be wise to also talk with the service department about warranty issues.

Then, talk to your local RV dealer and see how they feel about warranty repairs after an adapter has been installed. Even if the manufacturer gave you the green light, you will have to work with the dealer for warranty repairs. If you receive a negative response, check with other dealers in the area who can service your trailer. A positive response should be easier to get from a dealer that sells the adapter.

If the manufacturer and dealer are hesitant to approve the adapter, you have to decide if you are willing to take on the monetary risks associated with the down-sides.

My Decision

First, a few details about our fifth wheel to put my decision in context:

Ford F-550 with ball hitch installed on hauler back for gooseneck towing.

Ford F-550 with ball hitch installed on hauler back for gooseneck towing.

  • 2003 Royalite by King of the Road
  • External length: 36′ 6″
  • Actual trailer weight upon delivery: 16,100 lbs

 

After consider the pros and cons, I decided not to use the gooseneck adapter. This decision was primarily based on my phone conversation with a King of the Road engineer. He gave me what seemed to be his honest opinion about the adapter.

The engineer felt confident that the adapter would cause no frame damage and had no reservations recommending it for some trailer models. However, the sticking point for our model was the bedroom slide near the front.

According to the engineer, the frame was strong enough to withstand the additional torque, but it would flex more with the adapter installed. Having the slide so close to the hitch made it likely that windows would pop out and walls crack during aggressive acceleration and deceleration. In the end, an empty truck bed and an extra $1,000 in my pocket were not strong enough reasons to go against the advice of the folks who designed the trailer.

Please do not assume from my decision that trailers shorter than 36′ 6″ without a front slide are automatically candidates for an adapter. The main point of this article is that you need to check with the fifth wheel manufacturer before deciding on a gooseneck adapter.

2015 Forest River Work and Play

Photo by CCRV

Finally — work and play go hand-in-hand with the new 2015 Forest River Work and Play toy hauler. Not only do you enjoy comfortable living quarters and plenty of storage space in this innovative toy hauler, it’s also easy to tow and affordable, so you can spend more time out exploring the trails.

And if you want to save even more cash on the road, you can opt for one of the ultra-lite Work and Play floorplan options, which will reduce the wear and tear on your tow vehicle and increase fuel efficiency.

2015 Work and Play Floorplans

The 2015 Forest River Work and Play comes in five ultra-lite floorplan options and 14 traditional travel trailer options. The 2015 Work and Play 18EC, on our lot here at CCRV, features a double Murphy bed and large bathroom in the front of the vehicle, a spacious galley-style kitchen in the mid-section and a convenient flip-up dinette in the rear. Your cargo easily slides in to the dinette and kitchen area, so you can enjoy the comfort of the bed and bathroom with the cargo inside your RV if needed.

The Work and Play 275 CT, also on our CCRV lot, features a cargo area that’s completely separate from the living quarters, so you can enjoy your private bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living area without the intrusion of your off-road vehicles or motorcycles.

Convenience and Luxury

Taking your cargo on the road with you doesn’t mean you have to live in a cramped or uncomfortable RV. The 2015 Work and Play toy hauler comes equipped with residential-style features like a 6-cubic-foot refrigerator, porcelain toilet, air conditioning, wood cabinetry and an 84-inch interior height.

The exterior of the toy hauler is outfitted with an awning, aluminum wheels, crank-down stabilizer jacks, a rear loading light and an easy-to-use ramp doors, so you can enjoy your camping experience more conveniently and comfortably than ever.

Come Tour the Work and Play Today

We’ve got the 2015 Forest River Work and Play right here on our lot at your local South Texas RV dealer — CCRV. Come tour this toy hauler or our wide variety of other RVs to get your RV lifestyle started just in time for the summer camping season.

Unique Destination Idea: Amish Country

If you’re headed to Ohio in your new or used Corpus Christi RV, check out Wilmot, OH and the surrounding areas included in Amish Country. The beautiful scenery and different lifestyle make this part of Ohio a popular travel destination for day trips, vacations, and longer holidays. You’ll be surrounded by farm land, nature, rolling hills, and traditional outlets while you visit, making it a little like you’ve stepped back in time.

Wilmot, OH, has plenty of places to park for the day, free of charge, if you’re looking to travel without worrying about an RV park. You can spend the afternoon at the Wilderness Center surrounded by wildlife and nature, or you can head to nearby Berlin, OH, to get a taste of shopping in an Amish-based community. If you choose to stay at the Wilderness Center, please note that the parkling lot closes at 5 p.m., so you will have to stay the night from then on.

You can also visit to the Amish Door for some tasty Amish food. The homecooked meals are made when you order and most of the produce is grown at the nearby farms. It’s just the place to go if you’ve been tired of eating one-skillet meals and fast food. You will get to see the locals in traditional Amish attire, making traditional meals, and even speaking in the traditional Amish language, German.

If you pass through Wilmot and head to Berlin, OH, you can explore Berlin’s shopping area. East Main Street has shops that include adorable boutiques, Harley Davidson shops, and grocers with homemade breads, cheeses, and more.

When you head to Amish country, there are a few things you should be aware of. Amish buggies are pulled by horses. These horses are used on the main roads daily, so they are difficult to spook. However, if you can help it, do not pass the buggie until the driver has pulled to the side of the road. An RV is much larger than the average car, and a spooked pair of horses is much more dangerous in this situation.

We hope you enjoy your trip to the area, and please let us know your favorite spots.

Destination of the Month: Cumberland Plateau

After you fall in love and purchase a Corpus Christi RV for sale, it’s time to pack up and get on the road. You can get to the Crossville, Tenn. from Corpus Christi via three different routes – all are within about 20 miles of each other. You can take the same three routes to Pikeville, Tenn. Both areas are excellent places to visit, though you will see more diverse landscape in Pikeville.

The Cumberland Plateau

The Cumberland Plateau is part of the great upland, which runs from central Alabama to western New York and is the largest timbered plateau in America. The Plateau offers rivers, lakes, ponds, streams and mountainous terrain. You can also see gorges, caves and steep cliffs. Crossville and Pikeville are located on the Plateau and both areas have lots to offer for the person who wants to sightsee, fish, camp, hunt, hike or just get lost in the woods.

Cumberland Mountain State Park is located in Crossville, Tenn. and is close to shopping and lakes. You can stay on the grounds or you can visit the nearby locations. There are several other parks to visit within 100 miles, including Sunset Marina on Dale Hollow Lake, Fall Creek Falls and Caney Creek. Keep in mind – driving 100 miles in this area of Tennessee is not like driving 100 miles in the city. It doesn’t take nearly as long!

Just outside of Crossville, you can visit Muddy Pond which features a general store, several antique stores, a leather shop and wood furniture shop. You are also close to restaurants if you don’t feel like cooking. Cumberland Mountain State Park is located at 24 Office Drive, Crossville, TN 38555. Contact the park for reservations by calling (800) 250-8618.

Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of the places that must go on your bucket list if you like nature. The park covers over 20,000 acres and is considered one of the most scenic and spectacular outdoor recreation areas in America, according to Tripleblaze. You will see many wonders of nature including waterfalls and cascades. Fall Creek Falls is the highest waterfall in the eastern United States. The river falls 256 feet into a deep gorge. The park also features the Piney Waterfall and Cane Creek Cascades. Enjoy camping and hiking from fall to fall. The park also features suspension bridges over some of the rivers and near the falls.

Fish On In Corpus Christi

If you have a limited amount of time to enjoy yourself – either a weekend or a short week-long vacation – you may want to combine two activities. You can go camping and fishing at the same time if you have an RV Corpus Christi. Pack up the RV with the fishing gear and you can do your two favorite things.

When camping Corpus Christi, you’ll need to choose a campground that allows fishing so you don’t have to waste time hunting down a great fishing spot. Mustang Island State Park and Lake Corpus Christi State Park both offer camping and fishing.

Mustang Island State Park is located just south of Port Aransas on a 5-mile stretch of beach and offers bonfires, fishing, beachcombing and other activities. The park has a store so you don’t have to go far if you need ice to ice down the fish. You can choose from 48 sites; and all have electrical and water hookups, barbecue grills and picnic tables. If your family prefers not to fish, they can surf, kayak and birdwatch while you catch dinner.

Lake Corpus Christi State Park is located in Mathis and offers boating, including motor boats, waterskiing, fishing, camping, bird watching, hiking, swimming and picnicking. Choose from 108 sites. Prices vary depending on whether you need water hookups only, water and electric or water, electric and sewer hookups.

Popular catches in the include redfish, speckled trout, flounder, black drum and sheepshead. You can also fish for catfish, gafftop, whiting, croaker and pompano. The type of bait you should use depends on the type of fish you want to catch.

If you are going for blue catfish, choose cheesebait and cutbait. Flathead catfish prefer live bluegill and shad. You may also want to use trotlines and juglines to catch the larger catfish. Largemouth bass go after spinnerbaits, rattletraps, buzzbaits and unweighted soft plastic worms during the spring fishing season. If it is cloudy, use buzzbaits near weedbeds to snag these wily fish. If you are fishing in an area with long sloping gravel points, head out early in the morning with spinnerbaits.

Crappie lovers should head over to a lighted fishing pier with live minnows. You can also use small crappie jigs instead of live bait if there is a lot of light.

Be sure you have fish coolers with plenty of ice so you can safely keep your fish until you catch your limit. And don’t forget the cold drinks and a picnic lunch so you don’t have to quit early.

Five Green Camping Trips

We all want to do our part when it comes to taking care of the environment, but what can we do, really? It seems that so much of it is out of our hands and there’s little that we, as individuals, can do to reverse the tide of pollution and global warming. Well, there are a few small steps that we can take to offset the damage that we do the Earth as human beings, and they’re actually pretty easy to take if you’re a camper! Have tips of your own for when you head out to enjoy a Texas RV road trip? Please let us know in the comment section below.

Pack Individul Water Bottles

By having everyone pack their own individual, refillable water bottles, you won’t be going through paper cups and plastic bottles and make sure that everyone has access to hydration. Not to mention, it’s just a lot more convenient this way.

Bring a Bicycle

If you haven’t yet, it can be very helpful to invest in a bicycle to get into town and back when you need supplies and don’t want to drag your vehicle with you (assuming that town is not more than a few miles away). This can help to save on gas, and it’s just a lot more fun than driving into town.

Bring a Hand-Cranked Flashlight

Battery operated flashlights produce dead batteries. Hand-cranked flashlights do not. These flashlights are just as safe and easy to use as a normal flashlight, but they don’t consume batteries. This not only helps the environment, it saves you money on batteries.

Show Your Appreciation for Nature

A good camper always leaves their campsite cleaner than the condition they found it in and shows respect for the local wildlife. When hiking off trail, be careful not to disturb the animals’ homes, and remember that they can be sensitive to flash photography, so make sure the flash is off before snapping some shots of that gopher or bluejay.

Buy Camp-Friendly Soaps

Any cleaning products and toiletries you use should be camp-friendly. You don’t want to just grab a bar of soap and assume that it will be fine. Some flora and fauna are especially sensitive to certain soaps, toothpaste and other toiletry products. You can find eco-friendly soaps and so on at outdoors shops and online.

Being friendly to the Earth is a big part of a pro-camper’s ethos. Take the time to make sure that the products you buy and the way you camp are as green as possible.

Beat The Heat On Your Next Summer Corpus Christi RV Adventure

If you’re looking to stay cool in your Corpus Christi RV, the most important thing is preparedness. Think of the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. Preparation is the only way that you’re going to make sure that you stay cool in the dead of summer when in your RV on the hot road all day. Here are a few steps that you’ll want to take at the start of June if you want to stay cool until the end of August.

Stock Up on Water and Sunscreen

We generally like to chug coffee or energy drinks while driving in order to stay alert, but you really want to drink more water in the Summertime. We don’t always realize just how much sun exposure we’re getting inside our RVs, so lots of water and sunscreen will help you to stay hydrated and keep from getting burned.

Get Your A/C Checked Out

You can either get your air conditioner tuned up right now, or you can risk having it break down in the middle of July while you’re driving down Route 66 in New Mexico. It’s not that your A/C will certainly break down if you don’t get a tune up, but rather, wouldn’t you prefer not to have to worry about it? When you get a tune up, you can be fairly certain that you’ll get to the end of the season without a breakdown.

Schedule Swim Breaks

If you really want to enjoy the summer, schedule swim breaks along your journey. If you plan to stop at motels, make sure they have pools, and check out listings for municipal pools, swimming holes, lakes and beaches that are open to the public. Even when you wind up having to drive a little bit out of your way, you’re going to be glad that you did make the effort.

Roll Your Window Up

Many old timers in the trucking industry are partially deaf in their left ear from the wind whistling by their head on long haul trips with the window rolled all the way down. When possible, rely on your A/C and the windows that you’re not sitting right next to, and keep your driver side window closed.

The Summer may well be the best time to go RVing. You can check out all the beaches, take in a concert and get a lot of fishing in. However, staying cool can be tough if you don’t plan ahead. So before you hit the road, just make sure that you’ve made all of these preparations and you’ll be ready to stay cool from June until the start of September.

1st Annual Corpus Christi Beach Festival and 5K Run

At CCRV, all of your dreams can come true when searching through an impressive inventory for the perfect camper, recreational vehicle, used RVs, fifth wheel RV, class c motorhomes, and much more. With the perfect trailer or motorhome tailored to suit your needs, the sky is the limit when it comes to making vacation plans at interesting destinations.

Whether your plans include a weekend getaway for remote camping, a week long trip to a nearby city, or an extended trip from one coast to another, RVs open up the open road for exciting adventures.

One upcoming event scheduled for Corpus Christi that will have your toes tapping is the high-energy music festival that takes place March 15 through March 17. The 1stAnnual Corpus Christi Beach Fest Music Festival and 5K Run is a 3-day music lovers extravaganza with non-stop music performed on multiple stages set up around the city and downtown. Choose your favorite tunes, songs, and sounds from musicians playing everything from Hip Hop and Pop to Latin music and Rock.

What makes this festival even more special, besides the great music and family-friendly atmosphere, is the festival is free! That’s right. The festival is free with a food donation that goes to the Food Bank of Corpus Christi helping individuals and families in need.

Along with the music, the festival activities include a 5K run that benefits Bike’s for Kids. Festivities for the music fest begin at 10:00 AM and run until 11:00 PM so you can sing, dance, run, or rock out from morning till night then head back to your RV for a good night’s sleep knowing you did your part in serving the community.

Get your plans together then head over to CCRV for a look at what they have to offer. Make your reservations at one of the local RV parks or campgrounds then dance the night away at the first ever Corpus Christi beach fest.

Buying Your First Travel Trailer or Motor Home

I know a lot of CCRV readers are veterans of the RV lifestyle, but I thought I would take some time for the folks considering their first travel trailer or motorhome. The tips contained here may also be of value for current owners of a recreational vehicle because as time changes, so do our needs. Of course if you have any questions and want to get started, you know which Texas RV dealer to visit, right?

CCRV

  • Decide how you will use your RV. Is it for weekend use? Will you want to use it as a camper trailer? Will you being taking expended road trips with it? Your actual use of an RV is one of the biggest factors in determine what type of recreational vehicle may be best for you.
  • Who is the RV for? Sounds like a simple question but knowing the answer can help you make a better decision. Is it just for two? Is it for a growing family? Will grandkids be traveling?
  • Learn more about the various RV types available. These include class A, class B and class C motorhomes, fifth wheel travel trailers, travel trailers, folding trailers and truck campers.
  • Consider what RV options are “must haves”. RVs for sale in Texas, or anywhere for that matter, will have an almost unlimited amount of amenities. Which are critical for you?
  • Decide on a budget. Price insurance. Remember, an RV can actually save you money on family trips. You may also find used RVs for sale that can serve your purposes.
  • Find an RV dealer you can trust. Of course we hope you’ll visit us at Corpus Christi RV.

Learning about Rvs and the RV lifestyle is fun and exciting. There is nothing quite like hitting the open road, whether it is for a weekend, week, or as a full-time lifestyle. Everyone will agree that RVer camaraderie is one of the best things about the activity, and RV clubs can be a great way to learn about the RV lifestyle. There are online discussion groups as well.

At CCRV you will find virtually any type of RV you could hope for. We have used and new options, and we welcome first time buyers to come out and browse. You can walk around, take a look inside and ask our staff all the questions you would like. We even have materials you can take home and review.

Spending time at an RV dealer like CCRV may be the best way for first time RV buyers to learn about recreational vehicles.

Have any particular questions? Be sure to submit them to CCRV!