6 Winter RV Essentials

RV travel trailer fifth wheel and pickup truck parked in snowy campground with copy space below.

Short winter days can still be long on RV fun with the proper preparation and planning.

Winter can be a great time to enjoy RVing, minus the big crowds, bugs, and peak season prices.  While wintery weather may close some campsites, others remain open and welcoming to hearty souls eager to enjoy some quiet time on a winter camping trip.

Many RVs are built with four-season camping in mind and come equipped with enclosed, heated holding tanks, extra insulation and dual pane windows. But, even without a winter-ready RV, dedicated campers can enjoy a cold winter’s stay with a liberal application of some winter essentials.

Winter Check-Up

If the end of summer was too hectic to get your RV in the service center for a check-up, take advantage of the slower fall season to get your RV ready for winter camping. If your holding tanks aren’t insulated, the pre-winter checkout is the perfect time to have water and black water tank heating units installed and have seals around the windows and doors checked and re-caulked. Check weather stripping and around doors and have the unit’s heating system thoroughly vetted.

Getting Ready

Take extra precautions for trips into areas where a deep freeze is in the forecast.  Drain the black and grey water tanks before heading out. Adding specially formulated RV antifreeze to the tanks can help keep plumbing running even on the coldest of camping trips. Add the manufacturer’s suggested amount of special RV antifreeze to the tanks; never use antifreeze designed for an automobile. Wrap the sewer hose with insulated tape.

Park Smart

Choose a camping location with plenty of sunlight, where windows and doors can be positioned to maximum sunlight, while receiving protection from harsh winter winds.

With the summer chairs and grills packed away, consider using that storage space for skirting to surround the underbelly of your RV.  Unlike slab-built winter getaways, an RV’s lofty position allows winds and air to circulate under the living space so cold to seeps up and into the unit.  Protect storage tanks underneath and toes above them with skirting to keep the winds at bay and the storage tanks and the floor beneath your feet a few degrees warmer.  While hay bales may seem like a disposable and cheaper alternative, resist the temptation.  Straw or hay won’t heat as well, is flammable and will attract heat-seeking rodents according to the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Agriculture Extension office.

Keep the Heat In

Windows, skylights and vents are great for bringing heat-generating sunshine to your RV, but are also places where the cold can seep in, thwarting your best efforts to stay warm, according to NDSU. Consider replacing your summer window coverings with insulated curtains or blinds – that can open to let the sunshine in for a few hours but provide a bulwark against cooling breezes after sundown.

Make curtains of insulated, quilted or Polar Fleece fabrics and add Velcro to the sides and bottoms to seal the curtains tightly against the windows.  If you have windows that aren’t critical for light and circulation, use rigid insulation to seal them off and block the cold.

Fire and Ice

All outside water lines that won’t be in use – such as that outside shower or faucet for an outside kitchen, should be drained before heading out. Wrap any water lines and hoses that will be exposed to the elements in insulating tape and plan to keep your water hook up line off the ground and out of the snow when you set up.

Despite the temptation, make no alterations to a factory installed heating system and be don’t use any unvented portable heating system inside an RV. Because the RV’s heating systems will be getting workout, it’s especially important to check fire alarm systems and make sure extinguishers are up to date.

Take extra care with slide outs during a cold winter freeze, according to the NDSU extension. Remove snow daily so heat from the inside doesn’t create a layer of ice.  Consider using rigid insulation around the slide out, making sure to drain snow and ice away from the main body of the RV.

Austria,Salzburg Country,Flachau,Young man and woman making tea and sitting besides stove in winter

Be Prepared

Be prepared for cold weather emergency by developing an emergency packing list. Consider adding extra propane tanks, blankets, rolls of insulating wrap and emergency lights to your usual camping supply list.

Before heading out for any winter camping trip, travel with confidence in a well-maintained unit.  Schedule a service appointment for a head-to-tails check up to avoid a cold weather crisis. The weather-wise service professionals at Crossroads Trailer Sales in Newfield, N.J., can help make your cold weather travels safe and comfortable.

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How to Keep Your Horse Warm in Winter

Girl feeding a horse, sitting on a cart in the winter.

As the cold of winter settles in, prepare to take care of your horses – but not too much care.  Coddling can be almost as dangerous as not taking enough precautions. When it’s cold outside, resist the temptation to keep your horse heavily blanketed and locked in a toasty barn without adequate exercise. With the proper feed, water, exercise, shelter, and blanket, your horse will stay warm enough to spend most days in the great outdoors. Continue reading

Travel Destinations: The Best Fall Leaves in NJ

There are many reasons we love Fall: Pumpkins, apple-picking, campfires, s’mores, the list goes on and on. However, nothing gives us that warm and fuzzy feeling quite like seeing the leaves start to change. New Jersey is one of the best states to witness this beautiful transformation, and we’ve narrowed down some of the best places to see it. Put that RV to good use this fall and plan your next roadtrip to these destinations. P.S. don’t forget to bring a camera!

New Jersey Botanical GardenbotanicalIt’s no surprise that the garden state is home to one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the US. The NJBG has over 96 acres of gardens and 1000 acres of woodlands that are open for exploring. NJBG at Skylands offers events on a weekly basis, including live music, family hikes, planting tips and more. The gardens are open year-round from 8am to 8pm and 8am to 6pm in the winter.

Hopatcong State Park

Photo by nj.com

This gorgeous state park surrounds the 9-mile long, 2,500 acre freshwater Lake Hopatcong, a historic water way that is perfect for swimming, boating and year-round fishing. The park has several picnic areas so you can enjoy the scenery and crisp clean air. The beautiful foliage at Lake Hopatcong is sure to take your breath away.

Wharton State Forest

whartonAs the largest single tract of land within the NJ State park system, Wharton State Forest is the perfect destination for sight seeing, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, and much more. This destination is famous for wildlife observation and bird-watching, including bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, osprey, owls, and more. Within the forest is the Batsto Village, a historic industrial center that thrived between 1766 and 1867. A visit to Wharton is guaranteed to be full of scenic views and animal watching.

Delaware Water Gapwatergap

Hike, paddle, walk, or fish your way to a gorgeous trip at the Delaware Water Gap. The 1000-foot deep gap is a historic location with 40 miles of scenic and recreational river, 67,000 acres of forested mountains, valleys and floodplains, and over 100 miles of hiking trails. Start planning your visit here.

Before you hit the road, make sure you stop by Crossroads Trailers in Newfield, NJ to take advantage of our Hershey Show Price special! Crossroads is your #1 RV and Trailer dealer in NJ, with over 200 new and used RVs in stock. We also have a great selection of horse trailers, cargo, and utility trailers. Call us at (856) 697-4497 today.

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Emergency Accessories for your RV

Ready for disaster - checking off the items on the emergency  preparedness form

When it comes to traveling and camping, planning can only take you so far. As you probably already know, accidents and emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere, and we want you to be prepared. Here are 5 Emergency Accessories you should have for your next RV trip.

  1. Road Hazard Kit – Before you even get to your destination, there’s a good chance you’ll have to do a bit of driving. Don’t let your trip get ruined by an unexpected bump in the road. Make sure you have a road hazard kit, complete with jumper cables, tow rope, tire repair, flashlight, etc. You can purchase these items separately or as a kit.
  2. Roadside Assistance Plan – While it’s not technically an “accessory,” having a good roadside assistance plan designed specifically for RVs could really come in handy. These plans can pay for towing, lodging during repair, flat tires, etc. RV roadside assistance plans are offered by most of the top insurance companies including Good Sam, AAA and more.Tourist motorhome on the roadside in New Zealand's mountainous South Island
  3. Emergency Food Kit – Bad weather, power outages, a flat tire, you name it. There are many reasons why you may not get to your camping destination as planned, and you’ll have an RV full of unhappy people if you didn’t think ahead. Pack an emergency food kit with high-calorie bars, drinking water, and non-perishable snacks that can get you through a long day (or two).
  4. Emergency Lighting – What’s worse than breaking down on the side of the road? Breaking down in the middle of the night with no lights. Make sure you pack flashlights, light sticks, emergency candles, and lanterns so you can get your RV repaired as quickly as possible. These will also come in handy if there’s ever an outage at the campground, or you just want some mood lighting out by the campfire.
  5. Hand-Crank/Solar Radio – A portable radio may seem silly when you can get all the information you need on your phone. However, you may not always have a phone signal while you’re driving on back roads, and it’s important that you’re aware of any bad weather coming your way. You can also opt for a battery-powered radio, but make sure you have spare batteries on hand.

Hopefully you’ll never have to use any of the emergency equipment in your RV, but if you do run into some trouble on the road or at the campground, you’ll be glad you were prepared. To prevent any potential (non-weather related) issues, make sure your RV is in great condition before every long road trip. Do a thorough walk-through of your unit, or visit the service department at Crossroads Trailer Sales to let the experts help you out. If you eve get caught in a sticky situation, call our roadside assistance team at 856-697-4497 and we’ll come to you.

Crossroads Trailer Sales is the #1 RV and Trailer Dealer in New Jersey Since 1988. Keep checking our blog for the latest RV news, featured units, tips and tricks, and more! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest too.

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Brand Profile: Shadow Horse Trailers

2976109American made with quality construction and great value, Shadow Horse trailers are the perfect choice for serious horse enthusiasts, whether it be a luxury living quarters or a simpler bumper tow model.

Shadow is the leading manufacturer of aluminum horse trailers in the U.S., keeping the winning edge by incorporating exciting new features such as extra large rear tacks, sliding mid tacks, and large bus windows for extra ventilation and comfort in larger trailers.

Shadow Stablemate horse trailers feature lightweight and durable all-aluminum frames, interlocking aluminum floors, one piece aluminum roof and all aluminum exterior walls – all for the same price as comparable steel body trailers.

stablemate

Be it living quarter models, goosenecks, bumper pulls, slant or straight loads, you can count on Shadow quality and innovation. Built and designed “for horse people, by horse people,” Shadow Trailers look for design innovation that focuses on quality, safety and affordability.

Introduced in 2006, larger living quarter Shadow Horse Trailers feature Easy Glide Slide Out Living Quarters, which add more living space while keeping the trailers affordable.

The Sliding Mid Tack features added storage space without the cost of a traditional Mid-Tack trailer. The 24-inch Sliding Mid Tack, which pulls out from the trailer, allows horsemen to comfortably  reach over 900 lbs of gear without entering the trailer.

The extra large rear tack options give you unprecedented storage choices. Available in 7ft and 8ft trailers, you can open a collapsible tack wall to work out of your trailer or relocate the saddle racks into the tack stall poles.

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Standard on 7ft and 8ft wide trailers are curb-side extra-large drop down bus windows and large street-side slider windows. These large windows ensure healthy, comfortable ventilation for your horses. Also available are tail-side drop windows, if more ventilation is needed.

The same high-quality construction and features including, rear door and escape door locks, white lined ceiling and horse vents, LED lights and stainless steel hinges, drop-down feed windows, folding rear tack area, and spring return and gate adjustment on gates, are available across the Shadow horse trailer line.

Shadow manufactures a complete line of living quarter trailers, with components manufactured in the U.S., as well as storage-rich goosenecks for transporting up to six horses.  But, perhaps nowhere is the quality and value of the Shadow horse trailer more evident than in the bumper tow straight load models in Stablemate and Pro Series models.

shadow

Stablemates offer the durability, safety and construction of steel trailers, but are much lighter and easier to tow. The practical Stablemates are loaded with quality features at an affordable price.

Like the stablemate models, Shadow’s Pro Series models are the trailers of choice for thousands of equine enthusiasts and sportsmen, including Hall of Famers like Austin Shepard, Jody Galyean, Randy Wilson, Tom Lyons, Kobie Wood and clinician Pat Parelli.

Shadow Pro Series trailers are constructed with all aluminum tube framing and aluminum skin.  Spring Leak axles, electric brakes, and Goodyear tires make for a safe, smooth ride. The rear gate and front escape doors feature a one key-one lock system.

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The horse area is fully lined and insulated with 42-inch wide stalls and easily removable padded dividers. Each stall includes two tie rings, large drop feed windows and floor mats. Dress rooms include a fixed slant wall, saddle racks provisions, bridle hooks, floor mats and dome and porch lights.

With bumper pulled trailers sized for Thoroughbreds or Warmbloods, with and without dress rooms, there is a Shadow horse trailer to fit every need. See the quality and value of Shadow horse trailers at Crossroads Trailer sales, where the experts can help you find the perfect Shadow for your needs

Crossroads Trailer Sales in Newfield is NJ’s #1 RV and Trailer Dealer. Have a trailer that needs repairing? Call (856) 697-4497 or visit our service department to make sure your horse trailer is in top-condition. Happy Camping!

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