'Tis The Season For Winter Camping . . . And More
December already! Once the calendar page flips to this month, it seems life speeds up a notch. If you’re fully immersed in the holiday season, you know the flurry of preparations it involves. Some might celebrate the season in their RVs, either as snowbirds or cold-weather campers. And that’s where we come in.
Read on for some handy info to enhance your winter RV travels. We include tips for winter camping in whatever climate you prefer; offer additional advice about winter driving and packing; and share a video for do-it-yourself RV winterizing.
But, we also give a nod of the Santa cap to this festive month: cookies, cookie cutters, fancy lighting, and more.
Amid these tidbits, we also share info about FMCA events and benefits . . . all wrapped up with a bow, just for you!
Enjoy the sun or the snow. . . . ho, ho, ho!
The FMCA Team
Thirteenth Time's The Charm!
FMCA is heading back to Perry, Georgia, for our 106th International Convention & RV Expo. This will be our 13th time hosting the event in Perry, and we can’t wait for you to enjoy everything an FMCA convention at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter has to offer, March 15-18, 2023. Camp on-site in your RV while soaking up knowledge in top-notch seminars, touring and shopping for the newest RV models and accessories, enjoying entertainment, and meeting fellow travelers.
If you are feeling extra lucky, join us for our December Lucky 13 Live Giveaway! On the 13th of every month leading up to the convention, we host live giveaways on FMCA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel for registered Perry attendees to try and win a Perry Party Pack. What’s in this Party Pack, you ask? A bunch of convention goodies, including FMCA swag, Lucky 13 commemorative T-shirts, gift cards, treats, and other cool items that will make your convention experience beyond incredible. December’s giveaway will be on December 13 at 3 p.m. ET. If you’ve registered for Perry, your name is already included in the drawing.
Want to be included and join FMCA in Perry, Georgia? Give our Events team a call at (800) 543-3622 or register online before December 13th to have your name added to our next drawing. Everyone is welcome!
Create An RV Winter Driving Kit
Winter RVing in cold climates may seem daunting, but you can ease your fear of snowy travels by stocking up on supplies in various categories: food and water, medical emergencies/injuries, hygiene items, cold-weather clothing and gear, roadside emergency items, and access to help should you need it.
Always have a safety net of food and water rations whenever you travel, even in warm climates. . . nonperishable snacks, meal bars, canned food, and bottles of water. Don’t forget the can opener!
Your RV should have one or more first-aid kits with adhesive bandages, antibiotic creams, gauze, alcohol wipes, tweezers, scissors, plenty of rubber/vinyl gloves, hand sanitizer, thermometers, and over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen.
In extreme weather, you might be at your campsite for an extended period before you are able to drive again. So, have a handful of hygiene items on board: toothpaste, toothbrushes, tissues, soaps, sanitary products, etc.
As a precaution, in case you lose a heat source, keep on hand extra cold-weather/heavy-duty gloves, waterproof boots, hats, coats/ponchos, survival blankets, matches, and lighters.
Every traveler should have a compass, maps/atlas, multitool, flashlights, batteries, and a whistle. Extra power banks and phone chargers don’t hurt, either! Keep sand or kitty litter stored for times when ice or snow may prevent you from moving. Also carry lanterns, shovels, brooms, tall ladders, snow scrapers, jumper cables, flares, LED lights, hazard triangles, and a spare tire. These items are essential in winter emergencies and beyond.
For more details on how to create an RV winter driving kit, check these tips from Harvest Hosts, All Seasons RV, or Sun Outdoors.
Some Like It Hot . . . Others, Not!
When it comes to finding a spot to camp during the winter months, what’s your pleasure? The snowbird in you might gravitate toward Florida, Texas, Southern California, the Southwest, or spots along the Gulf Coast. Or you may prefer the thought of camping up north, where the mercury drops for skiing, ice fishing, sightseeing, and more in a snowy wonderland.
With your home on wheels, you can journey to whatever climate appeals to you most. Ain’t RV life grand?
Say you opt for shirtsleeve weather, where the only ice you’ll encounter are the cubes in your glass. If you’re a first-time snowbird, KOA has a list of things to keep in mind, including these. Start with a plan, much as you would for any RV trip. Share your itinerary with family and friends, “just in case.” Do the nuts-and-bolts things: Bring your medical records, notify your bank and credit card companies that you’ll be transacting business elsewhere, and make sure your insurance and driver’s license are current. Pack light; you should have no trouble stocking up when you arrive at your sunny destination. KOA provides a flock of additional snowbirding tips and resources here.
Looking for ideas on where to go? ReserveAmerica suggests some warm places to camp; they include Louisiana’s Fontainebleau State Park and Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area in Texas.
On the flip side, Josh Schukman offers an informative guide for cold-weather campers on Outdoorsy.com. Keep your RV warm; to do this, he suggests adding insulation to windows (using marine vinyl or Reflectix) and insulating ceiling vents. Check door seals and windows, and reseal if necessary. Add RV skirting to the underside of your RV to minimize drafts. Indoors, add thick floor rugs and drapes, and bring an electric space heater for an additional heat source. Prepare a packing list, including breathable underlayers, thicker mid-layers, and waterproof outer layers of clothing, as well as shovels, tire chains, headlamps, and lanterns, among other items.
If you’re sold on the cold-camping concept, an article from Go RVing suggests some privately owned-and-operated campgrounds that are open during the winter and are close to skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and more. Plus, some facilities schedule their own on-site activities, such as a bison-viewing train expedition at Terry Bison Ranch in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Learn more here.
Medjet Air Medical Transport And Travel Protection
If you would like a say in where you are transported should a medical emergency occur, consider Medjet’s air transport services, offered to FMCA members at reduced annual and multiyear rates. While similar policies transport you to the nearest acceptable medical center, MedjetAssist delivers you to the facility of your choice if you are 150 miles or more from home. MedjetHorizon provides the same services, along with worldwide travel security, crisis response, and evacuation services. These policies are offered to FMCA members in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Click here for more information.
Mail Forwarding From Your Best Address
Receive unlimited mail forwarding services for only $17 per month from Your Best Address. Both physical and digital mail forwarding options are available. Company representatives will scan your mail for you and send you a digital copy anywhere you roam. Other services include check deposit, shredding, notarizing, local package delivery, faxes, vehicle registration, and more.
Keep Your Pet Safe
Your furry friends may not always get to leave the RV with you. That is where RV Whisper comes in handy. This device monitors your RV’s indoor temperature and sends you text and email alerts when the interior exceeds a set level — and it can even give you early warnings before it becomes too warm. Data from RV Whisper allows you to check outdoor, indoor, fridge, and freezer temperatures, too. No more fear on a hot day.
Fire Suppression From Proteng
THIA by Proteng is a fully automatic and self-contained fire-suppression device. In RVs, it can protect electrical areas, engine compartments, generators, water heaters, and refrigerators. The device can also be used on tow vehicles, mobility scooters, golf carts, and any other transport system that has a higher risk for fires. FMCA members are eligible for package pricing, so check out the offerings today.
Fairbanks / Chena River KOA, C14188
North Pole, Alaska
KOA’s northernmost campground is convenient to all the attractions in Fairbanks, Alaska, and very close to Eielson Air Force Base. Its full-hookup, 30/50-amp pull-through sites accommodate any size rig. A raised patio along the river offers great wildlife viewing. Click here to learn more about the Fairbanks / Chena River KOA.
FMCA members receive a discounted rate at many FMCA commercial member campgrounds. To find more locations along your route, check out our RV Marketplace!
These high-intensity 5050 LED lights provide clarity after dark, which makes them great for entertaining. The durable lights are designed to withstand heat, cold, rain, dirt, and vibration. Use them to illuminate RV awnings, or opt for a full-perimeter under-glow RV lighting kit. With single and multi-color options, Boogey Lights also can add a touch of fun. Select a wired or wireless controller . . . you can even use your smartphone. Learn more here.
RV Cookie Cutters
Christmas is on its way! So, why not bake some cookies? Cookie cutters in motorhome and trailer designs are a whimsical way to celebrate the holiday season. These 4-inch cookie cutters are durable and comfortable to handle. Each is priced under $8.
An RV Good Enough To Eat
Priced under $10, these Holiday Camper Gingerbread Cookie Kits come with prebaked gingerbread cookie pieces, icing, and candies. You can get creative and festive this season with family or friends decorating your RV and even use the paper Santa to display before you devour this wintry treat!
RV Winterizing Tips
Preparing an RV for cold-weather use or storage may seem like a mystery to some owners. In this DIY video from Forest River, you’ll see how to get through the process with ease. Watch the steps involved in winterizing a water pump and water system on a Wildwood FSX travel trailer. Forest River has tons of tips and tricks for the winter season and beyond. So, don’t fret; every cold day means it’s one day closer to warmer camping weather!
December 18 holds a special place in our hearts — or, more literally, our stomachs! It’s Bake Cookies Day. Yum! Set the oven to preheat, and join us for a little cookie history…
It seems that cookies originated in seventh-century Persia, shortly after the use of sugar became common in the area. Cookies were introduced to America sometime in the 17th century by the Dutch who settled in New Amsterdam (on the southern tip of what is now New York’s Manhattan), but the name “cookie” was attached to the treats much later. The word came from the Dutch “koekje,” meaning “small cake.” That was altered to “cooky” and later “cookie.”
When it comes to making cookies, your imagination is the limit. These tasty tidbits come in numerous varieties and flavors. And although December might be a time when more cookies are baked, in celebration of Christmas, cookies definitely are a year-round phenomenon.
The most popular of these sugary confections in America is the good old-fashioned chocolate-chip cookie. This variety was invented in 1938 by Ruth Graves Wakefield, who owned a restaurant in Massachusetts — the Toll House Inn — and her right-hand lady in the kitchen, Sue Brides. Ruth came up with the idea for the cookie but credited Sue with fine-tuning the creation. Sue’s daughter, Peg, shared the original Toll House chocolate-chip cookie recipe with WCVB-TV 5 in Boston a few years back. It’s different from what’s on the Nestle Toll House chocolate chips bag today, so you might want to give it a try.
Of course, the best way to celebrate Bake Cookies Day is to make a batch or two of your favorites. You might also decide to organize a cookie exchange, perhaps scheduling it to take place during an FMCA chapter function.
If you’re looking for some inspiration and a fun holiday cookie, try these Melted Snowman Cookies from Cookcraftlove.com. So cute! Kids especially will love them.
And while you’re baking, don’t forget that homemade cookies make a very thoughtful gift — for the holidays or anytime!
FMCA Area Rally Schedule
Western Area Rally — January 11-15 — Indio, California
Great Lakes Area Rally – June 7-11 – Greenville, Ohio
Northwest Area Rally — June 7-11 — Albany, Oregon
Midwest Area Rally — June 13-16 — Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Northeast Area Rally – August 3-5 – Herkimer, New York
South Central Area Rally — September 13-16 — Shawnee, Oklahoma
Eastern Area Rally — October 4-8 — Lewisburg, West Virginia
Rocky Mountain Area Rally — October 24-28 — Tucson, Arizona
Did you know that you don't have to be an FMCA member to attend our area rallies? That's right; you can join us at any FMCA rally or International Convention & RV Expo. Click here to find our complete list of area rallies and conventions.
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