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Traveling this Holiday Season? Preparation and Planning Tips

Whether your Have travel plans this holiday season? Or plans to go somewhere this winter? If it’s somewhere you’ve never been, or it’s been a long time, then you’ll need to prepare for your trip ahead of time so that you arrive to your final destination without incident.

Follow these few simple tips as you plan your routes and make your way to your destination.

Easy Camping Meals
The slow cooker can be a real time-saver in campsite meal preparation

Try one of these crockpot recipes, including beef vegetable soup!The crockpot is an essential appliance for many RVers to have on hand. During nice weather, it provides everyone with the flexibility to go outside and enjoy hiking, biking, walking, playing games, you name it – and a fully cooked meal is ready when you get back.

The winter brings back hearty appetites and the thoughts of hot food. A crockpot not only gives your RV a tantalizing smell, it can provide you with an alternative to being outside in poor weather checking a Dutch oven cooking over the fire or slaving over a stovetop while everyone else it out having fun.

With a slow cooker, you can spend more time with your loved ones doing the things you all like to do and have fewer pots to clean up.

Must-See Museums in the Upper Peninsula
Take a break from the questionable weather and explore Michigan’s rich history at one of these museums

Visit one of these hot indoor attractions in southeast Michigan.The UP is best known for its natural resources, expansive landscapes, and diverse ecology. Though not made by man, these natural wonders have impacted our human history and helped define it.

So if the weather is questionable or you want to see something new, these are the places to go. Many popular museums and indoor attractions, such as the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Paradise, are not included in this list because they are closed during the fall and winter, reopening in the spring. The museums below are open year-round or by appointment.

Go Play Inside in Southeast Michigan
Five indoor attractions you won't want to miss.

Visit one of these hot indoor attractions in southeast Michigan.Outdoor activities can be challenging to do in fall and winter, but there are plenty of interesting and fun activities for kids of all ages that take place indoors. Think about visiting one of these places in southeast Michigan next time it's too cold, rainy, or snowy outside.

1. Bayou Adventure, Joe Dumars’ Fieldhouse, Shelby Township
Monday-Friday 5-10, Saturday and Sunday 10-10

45300 Mound Road, (586) 731-3080

There’s plenty to do at the Bayou in Shelby Township. At 30,000 square feet, kids and families can enjoy activities such as mini golf, laser tag, a high ropes course, and a climbing wall. The 33 foot inflatable shark slide is a favorite and opens for a limited time each day. Those with lots of energy will love Bayou Adventure!

Pasties: It's That Time of Year!
A working man’s staple has become a defining cuisine of Michigan.

It's pasty time in Michigan.The Upper Peninsula is defined by a hard-working class of men and women who logged, mined, and farmed Michigan’s wilderness and resources. They were – and are – as much a part of the land as the natural resources they made their living on. Out of these folks came a defining cultural food: the pasty.

What used to be ethnic food – its origin is attributed to miners from Cornwall, England – became regionally defining over the decades as the many cultural groups in the UP worked together and eventually blended. But you’ll find that each pasty shop today has its own bend on things, similar to how each nationality – Polish, Finnish, Swedish, Irish, etc. – made the pasty their own back in the day.

RV Safety: Driving in Windy Weather

“…And every man knew, as the captain did too, ‘Twas the witch of November come stealin’…” goes the infamous Gordon Lightfoot tune about the freighter, the Edmund Fitzgerald. The storms and winds that overtake the Great Lakes in the fall months have been the cause of tragedy, but tragedies are rare, thankfully. Still, it’s a well-known fact -- and evident by the Great Lakes frothing with whitecaps -- that autumn and winter cause some very blustery weather. And if that wind is evident on the water, its strength is also felt on land.  

The large and typically boxy appearance of our RVs can be precarious when the wind gets high, especially if you’re traveling on the road. Even teardrop travel trailers with their curved design, and expandable travel trailers with their lower center of gravity, can still cause a white-knuckled ride in a fight with the wind.

It's Time to Winterize the RV - 10 Tips

The days of October are getting shorter and cooler, and Jack Frost may or may not have already made his first annual appearance (In Michigan, that’s a pretty safe bet.). Many RV campgrounds have closed for the season, while others have discounted late season rates and even winter camping availability. But if you’re a seasonal camper, the time has come to pack away the RV. 

It’s important to winterize your RV properly as well as employ some preventative measures. Don’t take the easy way when it comes to winterizing your RV. Doing things properly in the fall will help ensure that it’s in good operating condition and ready to travel when the season comes around again.

Fun Things to Do in November

Apple picking in Michigan is an event like no other.Mid-fall in Michigan can sometimes present a challenge to enjoying outdoor activities. The leaves have fallen, the weather is questionable, and there’s only the promise of snow. But that doesn’t mean there's nothing to do.

There are events taking place throughout Michigan during the month of November, both indoors and out. Full event listings are available through the Michigan Festivals & Events Association and Pure Michigan, but here are some of our top choices, ordered by when they take place.

5 Must-Haves for Your RV

Whether full-timers, weekend wanderers, or something in-between, we all enjoy the small luxuries and comforts provided by the traditional homes we’ve left behind. And just because we’re on four wheels doesn’t mean we need to abandon amenities we’re accustomed to.

With these five new additions to your coach, you’ll find the full-time lifestyle that much more tangible – if you haven’t converted already!

Sleeping Comfortably in Your RV

Apple picking in Michigan is an event like no other.If you’re a full-timer or even a seasonal RVer, you understand how important it is to have a comfortable bed to sleep on come nightfall.

This is your home, or your home away from home, for many weeks or months at a time, and the days just aren’t the same if you wake up sore, or tired from waking frequently during the night… all because of your mattress.

Road Trip: Michigan Landmarks Tour

Apple picking in Michigan is an event like no other.Michigan is full of unique - and sometimes unusual - attractions. Join us as we go on a road trip around the Mitten State in pursuit of some of these unique destinations. Many of them can be seen easily from the road, while others may require stopping for a little while. There are plenty of things to see, but this will give you a start.

How many of you seen? What other attractions have you visited that are not on this list?

Fire Safety and Prevention in Your RV

This week is Fire Prevention Week, which has been observed since 1922 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire that ravaged the Windy City in 1871.
A fire in your RV – while obviously bringing with it tremendous risk of injury or death – can also be devastating financially.

Though most information is focused on how to be safe and prepared in the event of a fire in your home, those same practices are necessary for preventing fires in your RV – and there are many practices that are unique to RV coaches. Know the facts so that you, your family, and your RV can enjoy camping without experiencing a fire, and to be prepared in case one does break out.

Apple Orchards and Cider Mills

With the kids back in school, the weather getting cooler, and the leaves beginning to change, Michiganders have come to know this time of year simply as: apple season. Home to many great varieties of apples, ranging from sweet and juicy to tangy and tart, Michigan proudly reins as the nation’s third largest apple-producing state.

With hundreds of orchards to choose from, it may be hard to know where to begin. Featured below are five apple orchards, one from each region of the state, to help you get started.

Breakfast Recipes You Need to Try

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why? Studies show that eating breakfast regularly and soon after waking helps give your body a jumpstart at reaching its daily nutrient needs, helps facilitate weight loss, and improves cognitive function.

At the campsite, whether you’re cooking on the stovetop in your RV or over an open flame outside your pop-up camper, try one of these three recipes to get the day started. (Full disclosure, these recipes rank from healthy to downright outlandish yet irresistibly delicious.)


Michigan Wine and Beer Destinations That Deserve a Visit

RVers have another reason to make the trek to and across Michigan: local brews, wines, and spirits. Michigan has grown quite the reputation the past few years, and wineries and breweries have sprouted up across the state in rapid numbers.  Many of them also offer food, sometimes a full menu, so it’s possible to take the whole family.

Breweries and wineries don’t just offer delicious, locally crafted beverages, they offer a taste of local culture. A taste of Michigan.

So You’re Thinking About A Camper Van: Pros and Cons

When we mention camper vans, considered Class B motorhomes, the image that might come to mind is an olive colored VW van with flower power.

But camper vans come in a variety of colors, appearances, sizes, amenities, and floor plans. It seems a lot of people prefer them, too. Class B’s have built-in sleeping, eating, and bathroom amenities at a very condensed scale. According to an article by the Elkhart Truth, shipments of Class B motorhomes were up 35 percent in October 2014 compared to a year before.

But before you buy a new or used Class B motorhome, it’s important to know what you’re looking for, what amenities you’re willing to compromise on, and how much you’re willing to spend.

Going to An RV Show: 7 Best Tips

Think of an RV show as the “ultimate hands-on comparison shopping” experience – and the chance to learn more about all that the RV life can offer.

Some RV shows can be quite expansive, with hundreds of models on the floor plus dozens of other exhibitors. These shows can make it difficult to see everything in one day -- there’s so much that it can make your head spin. Even smaller shows with a couple hundred models are enough to keep any camper and potential buyer busy. To ensure that you get the most out of your time at an RV show, follow these few simple tips...

Michigan Weather: RVers Need to be Prepared

Weather can change abruptly in Michigan, at any time of year, so campers should have a game plan for when bad weather strikes.

It’s a joke among Michigan residents that the weatherman is right only 50 percent of the time. One day it can be 90 degrees, and the next day it’s stormy and 60. But the severe weather in early August that affected much of Michigan has shown all residents and tourists – including RVers – one thing: Despite all of our advancements in comfort, we are still at the mercy of the elements. Tornadoes, heavy rain, high winds, thunderstorms, flooding, blizzards, hail – all can have a physical impact on your RV, your safety, and when or how you travel. For campers, it’s essential to be prepared for what Michigan weather could bring.

RV Tires: Durability and Life

Our recreation vehicles are composed of a complex, engineered arrangement of parts that all together are comprised of substantial weight and size. But sometimes those parts don’t work together harmoniously, or something in particular goes awry.

The tires that get our RVs from Point A to Point B to Point C and so forth are essential for us to enjoy our RV lifestyle – and essential for you and your family’s safety on the road. They’re expensive, but they are a necessary part of your RV to monitor and replace as necessary. And sometimes, tires can age prematurely. So how can you help extend the life of your RV tires?


Hiking in Michigan: Tips to Get Started

Most RVers can agree: There’s nothing better than stretching their legs after a full day of traveling. Michigan is home to hundreds of beautiful hiking trails, near your favorite camping destinations, that really get the blood flowing and showcase the serenity of this magnificent state.

As it turns out, hiking is actually a favorite leisurely activity of many campers. According to Coleman’s 2014 American Camper Report, the majority of campers, 76 percent to be exact, find hiking to be their most enjoyable camping activity. For those who already hike regularly, this article is a simple reminder about health benefits of hiking, gear, and safety. But for those just starting out or expanding their horizons, this will provide some useful information before you hit the trails. 

Tailgating With Your RV: Football Season is Here!

With fall swiftly approaching, most of the country has one thing on their minds: football. This American pastime is the perfect opportunity to showcase your team spirit and host an unforgettable tailgate party in your RV.

The following Michigan football programs have designated oversized vehicle parking areas that are ready to accommodate you, your guests, and your RV. 

Choosing the Best Travel Trailer: Things to Consider

A towable, also commonly referred to as a travel trailer, is any recreation vehicle that can be pulled behind your van, SUV, or truck. It’s an exciting moment when you’re ready to purchase one. Maybe you're ready to upgrade. Maybe this is your first-ever purchase. But how do you choose the right model for you? Here are some things to keep in mind as you explore – and before you make your final purchase.

5 Reasons to Go RVing as a Family

RV camping offers families a special opportunity to grow and bond closer together, plus there are health benefits to getting away from it all and spending some time outdoors.

1. Sharing experiences leads to stronger bonds. It’s a well-known fact and a frequently recommended prescription for relationship building: doing things together, spending quality time, helps strengthen bonds.

Is the Full-time RV Lifestyle Right for You?

Traveling and living in an RV is a wonderful way for people to enjoy life, and a popular option for retirees. RVers can go just about anywhere, stop when they like, eat their own food and sleep in their own beds. Full time RVersThose who take the time to investigate the full time RV lifestyle are often shocked to learn that many full time RVers are living better than they are, and are also happier. Here are a few of the benefits to hitting the road full-time:
  • You can buy an RV for relatively little money, compared to the cost of purchasing a home.
  • You don't have to worry about paying property taxes or getting hit with huge home repair bills.
  • No lawn care ... so you avoid the work and expenses that go along with owning and maintaining a lawn.

Join Our Community...

You can find MARVAC on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest!

Follow us on Pinterest for camping recipes, activities, and great Michigan travel ideas. You can also get involved with our Pinterest Pinterest page by pinning on the MARVAC “We Love Camping!” community board.

Like, follow, share and pin with MARVAC anywhere you travel. Share your stories and love of the outdoors with other members, and join a community of like-minded RVers and campers from across the state of Michigan.
Plan to visit an upcoming

Detroit Camper & RV Show

February 10-14, 2016
Novi, Mich.

Battle Creek Camper & RV Show

February 25-28, 2016
Battle Creek, Mich.

Flint Camper & RV Show

March 17-20, 2016
Flint, Mich.

Northwest Michigan Camper & RV Show

April 1-3, 2016
Traverse City, Mich.

FAQs on RVs and RV Travel

Web video by MARVAC Director Bill Sheffer, answers some frequently asked questions about RVs and RV travel.

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Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC)
2222 Association Drive, Okemos Michigan 48864-5978
(517) 349-8881,
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