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The Top 8 Attractions in Pennsylvania

8 Best Destinations and Attractions in Pennsylvania 

The Keystone State is nicknamed for its key importance in establishing the United States of America. With both centuries of rich American history and densely populated modern cultural hubs, PA has become a popular place for tourists to visit. As a proud Pennsylvania RV dealership, we’ll always encourage travelers to check out destinations from the origins of the Declaration of Independence to thrilling amusement parks. To get you started on your PA road trip, here’s our list of the best tourist destinations and attractions in Pennsylvania.

Independence National Park

Philadelphia’s Independence National Park is home to Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and home of the Liberty Bell. Therefore, it’s an obvious first addition to our list. Whether you’re an American history buff or not, this beautiful and iconic landmark is a must-visit destination.

The east entrance steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Photo couresty of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Art enthusiasts and movie lovers alike will want to make a stop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This attraction in Pennsylvania houses work from both American and European artists. The European collection includes work by Rembrandt, Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and more. Additionally, there are exhibits featuring textiles and fashion, colonial American styles, and a sculpture garden.

And, of course, this museum is home of the famous Rocky steps – the steps that protagonist Rocky Balboa, portrayed by Sylvester Stallone, is seen running up in the “Rocky” movies. Thousands of visitors recreate the iconic movie scene on these steps every year! 

Hersheypark

Theme parks aren’t just for Florida – this amusement park in Hershey, PA, will give Disney World a run for its money! It was initially built in 1906 as a place for Hershey Chocolate Company employees to have fun. It’s since become the top amusement park in the state and one of the most popular attractions in Pennsylvania. Thrill-seekers and young children alike will find something to enjoy with everything from huge roller coasters to aquatic shows, ZooAmerica and Chocolate World.

Eastern State Penitentiary

This eerie, intimidating building looks more like a medieval castle than a 19th century prison. The Eastern State Penitentiary is a top attraction in Pennsylvania for history fanatics and ghost hunters alike. Its daytime tours include visits to the cells that once belonged to infamous criminals like “Slick Willie” Sutton and “Scarface” Al Capone. Aside from searching out the spirits of prisoners, the nighttime tours include beer tastings, trivia and other themed activities that change throughout the year.

Gettysburg National Military Park

This national park is the site of the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. This three-day battle resulted in the death of roughly 51,000 people. It was a significant Union Army victory that became a turning point in the tides of the Civil War. Now, you can walk the grounds where this tragic battle occurred. The Park Museum features a wide collection of Civil War uniforms, weapons and more. You can join living history programs, watch historic reenactments and even take a scenic horseback ride at this popular park.

Strasburg

No list of the best attractions in Pennsylvania is complete without a visit to Amish country. Strasburg is a small town in Lancaster and is home to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. In keeping with the railroad theme of the town, you can also find the National Toy Train Museum. We recommend a ride on the Strasburg Rail Road – where you can journey along the historic tracks through scenic Amish towns and farms.

Sunrise at the Pennsylvania Monument in Gettysburg National Military Park.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

A well-known natural history museum, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh is one of the top museum attractions in Pennsylvania. It’s particularly well-known for its dinosaur and paleontology exhibits that would impress even the likes of Ellie Sattler and Alan Grant (before their time at Jurassic Park, perhaps). The dino exhibits include everything from one of the first T-rex skeletons ever excavated to the sea creatures that dominated our oceans millions of years ago. Take a walk back in time at this iconic museum!

Valley Forge

The Valley Forge National Historical Park is another place PA-touring history buffs need to make a stop. It’s a key location from the American Revolutionary War and is now a place to honor the sacrifices made to gain American independence. In the winter of 1777 to 1778, George Washington and his troops camped out at Valley Forge. The 3,500-acre park includes monuments, open land and forests, and a museum in the visitor center. It’s another prime example of the rich American history that Pennsylvania has to offer.

Classic movie fanatics, model train enthusiasts and everyone in between will want to visit the state for one of these famous attractions in Pennsylvania. And, of course, the best way to travel to and stay at these destinations is in an RV! National parks and museums across the state have both primitive and full-hookup campgrounds ready for your family’s stay. Visit Juniata Valley RV in Mifflintown, PA, for an RV that’s ready to take you on a tour of the Keystone State.

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Successfully RV Camping with Dogs

RV with Dogs: A Basic Guide

One of the best benefits to RVing over other vacations is the ability to bring your furry friends along. There’s no need to worry about hotels or other rentals not allowing or properly accommodating your dogs, and even cats! You can set up your RV in a way that works for you and your pup. There are a few different steps you can take to make RV camping with dogs easy, relaxing and fun.

What You’ll Need

Acclimate Your Dog to RV Travel

Some dogs love car rides, others seem to think it’s torture. One way to improve your experience RV camping with dogs is get them used to traveling in an RV. If you have a towable RV, it’s a good idea to let them in for short periods of time to let them smell and investigate before actually hitting the road.

In a motorhome, we recommend taking your dog on short drives before a long road trip. This lets your dog get used to the experience of riding in a motorhome without overwhelming them. Take a short drive and return home safely so your dog doesn’t associate your motorhome with negative experiences, like the vet! Make sure they know they’ll be safe.

Couple sitting on an RV couch and cuddling with their dog.

Give Your Dog Their Own Space

The next step you can take to ease the transition into RV camping with dogs is giving your pup their own space. You could bring their favorite bed or the crate they normally sleep in and place it in a safe, quiet area of the camper. You can also bring their favorite toys and blankets that smell like them so they feel confident knowing that the area belongs to them. This will help ease the stress and anxiety that may come with the transition into a new home.

Supplies for RV Camping with Dogs

Tags and Microchips

Whether you RV full time with dogs, or you prefer a long weekend trip, it’s essential that your dog has identifying tags and a microchip. They’re a relatively inexpensive one-time investment that ensures your dog can be identified and anyone who finds them can contact you. When you’re constantly on the go, it’s difficult for your pets to recognize their surroundings and find their way back to you.

Dog First Aid Kit

The next thing you’ll want to bring if you RV with dogs is a dog first aid kit. In an RV, you never know how far you’ll be from a vet or if you’ll have cell service to look up the nearest office. It’s a good idea to keep a first aid kit for your dog on-hand, just like you have for yourself! This kit might include: gauze, adhesive tape, cotton balls, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic spray, tweezers, a soft muzzle, and a backup leash and collar. The American Kennel Club has a complete list of supplies to keep in your dog’s first aid kit. Luckily, most of these items are similar to what you find in a traditional, human first aid kit.

Leashes and Toys

A collar and leash are obvious supplies any dog owner needs. We recommend having at least two of each in case of an emergency. Toys are also important to have when RVing with dogs. You may spend hours on the road in your motorhome. This is a relatively small space, and your puppy has a lot of energy! Even older dogs need exercise to stay healthy and happy. Pack your dogs favorite toys and keep them nearby to make sure your pooch gets plenty of exercise.

Pet-Proof Your Furniture 

With rough nails, sharp teeth and muddy paws, dogs can quickly damage and dirty your couches, theater seating and dinettes. Use a stylish blanket to cover the part of the couch your animals prefer to sleep on, and remove the blanket when guests come to visit. The blanket will collect hair and dirt, leaving your furniture pristine underneath. They’re also easy to wash, much easier than cleaning the whole couch.

Another great way to extend the life and look of your furniture is using fabric protector products like Scotchguard. A coating of Scotchguard repels water and creates a barrier against stains. You can also help protect your furniture by making sure pets are clean before they come inside (thanks, exterior showers) and clipping their nails to prevent scratches. Lastly, we recommend brushing your pets often to reduce the amount of shed fur.

Etiquette for RV Camping with Dogs

Clean Up After Your Dog

RVing with dogs includes a lot of time using shared spaces. It’s important to always clean up after your pet. Other people will be using these spaces and nobody wants to risk stepping in anything your pup might have left behind. In any situation, remember to bring plastic bags and always clean up after your dog. Keeping shared space clean is an essential part of campground etiquette.

Young couple eats outside their camper van with a dog nearby.

Keep Your Dog Quiet

Some dogs are prone to barking at the slightest sound outside your RV or home. The best way to combat noisy dogs is to take long walks or have play time before you leave. This will ensure your dog is tired when you leave, and they’ll likely sleep most or all of the time you are gone. You can also play music or white noise to block out sounds outside of your RV.

RVing with dogs can be a rewarding experience. You and your dog will both be happier with less time apart on camping trips. You can even full-time RV with dogs and create a positive environment for both you and your pets.

Ready to RV with dogs? Visit Juniata Valley RV to find the perfect travel trailer or motorhome for both the two-legged and four-legged members of your family!

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Tips for Buying a Used RV

Considerations for Buying a Used RV

There are many reasons to choose buying a used RV over a new RV. They’re less expensive, there’s less depreciation over time and upgrades may already be done. However, buying a used RV can be risky. You’ll need to do a careful inspection and think about what you want before you buy to ensure this “new to you” RV is a good investment that you can camp in for years to come.

What to Think About When Buying a Used RV

Find Out What You Can Afford

The first step to buying a new or used camper is to figure out what you can afford. Whether you’re paying in cash or choosing to finance, your budget will help narrow down your search. Deciding what you can spend is an essential first step. If you’re not sure where to start, try a quick online search to get an idea of what used RVs that would work for you are selling for.

A trailer parked in an orange sunset.

Determine the Features and Specs You Want

Once you know what you can afford, you need to determine what features and specs you want and need. Think about the number of people that will be camping with you, which reflects how many people the RV should sleep. Research different brands and models. If you find an RV you’re interested in, you should check online if that model or year had any factory issues or recalls. For example, some trailer models from a certain year might have notoriously leaky roofs or stuck slideouts.

Next, think about the size and weight you want. Smaller campers are best for off-roading, and toy haulers are great if you want to bring equipment along on your camping trips. Find out how much weight the tow vehicle you plan to use can handle.

Of course, if you have any questions on what features you want, the staff at Juniata Valley RV is happy to help. Talk to us about who’s coming camping with you and what your camping lifestyle looks like. We’ll point you in the right direction!

Research Comparable RVs for Sale

The next step is to research RVs that are similar to the one you’re looking for or the one you’re interested in. Search for that RV online or on a classifieds site like RVUSA, and even Facebook Marketplace. These websites will show you RVs for sale all over the US and what they cost.

You can also search the make, model and year of the RV you want on NADA Guides for RVs. NADA will give you an estimate of that RV’s fair market value, similar to Kelley Blue Book for cars. These prices are often used by dealerships and lenders to determine an RV’s value. Keep in mind, this is a basic estimated value. Aspects of the RV like the condition impact the value.

Check the RV History

This step isn’t as important as the others, but is definitely a good idea. For about $25 you can buy a vehicle history report from the RVchex website. You have to enter the RV’s VIN (vehicle identification number) to get the report. These reports may include information on whether the RV has ever been damaged, rebuilt or stolen. It will also provide information about manufacturer specifications and any recall notices.

Ask Questions!

Don’t be afraid to ask the current owner or the dealership plenty of questions about the used RV you’re interested in. Ask about the condition, history, title, warranties, repairs and maintenance records. Ask why the RV was sold to the dealership, or why the current owner is selling it. If you buy from a dealership, it’s a good idea to ask about the post-buying process and RV service going forward.

Take Your Time

Buying a used RV is different from buying new because there’s often only one of each available. If you miss out on a new RV, you can order another one from the manufacturer. You can also customize new RVs from many manufacturers to fit your tastes. This isn’t the case with used RVs. When you choose to shop used, you’re limited to only what is on the market at the moment.

Woman buying a used RV. She signs a contract on a table inside the RV.

Often times, you can search used RVs from dealerships and individual sellers for weeks and not find anything that fits your wants and needs. This is where time and patience come into play. Rather than purchase something you aren’t completely sure about, take time to watch what comes up for sale. Wait for the RV that will truly make you happy. It’s the only one that’s worth it!

When buying a used RV, you should find a dealership you can trust. Juniata Valley RV is one of the best used RV dealers in Pennsylvania. We have tons of used and new towable RVs and motorhomes on the lot! We also accept trade ins when you’re ready to upgrade your RV.

Ready to shop used RVs for sale? Browse our full used RV inventory online. You can filter your search to see only the units you’re interested in and let us know when you’re ready to come take a tour. Don’t see what you want today? Check back later! Our new and used RV inventory is always changing.

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Tiny Camper Manufacturers at Juniata Valley RV

Compact campers have exploded onto the RV scene in recent years. Tiny campers are just what they sound like – short, lightweight, small campers. They’re easy to tow and can be towed by most vehicles thanks to their weight. Additionally, they’re easy to store in your garage and provide more campsite options thanks to their modest size. A-frame or teardrop, outdoor-loving couples and small families have fallen for compact camping in every style. And these tiny camper manufacturers are happy to oblige.

 

About Our Tiny Camper Manufacturers

An Aliner parked and leveled at sunset.

Image courtesy of Aliner.

Aliner

The well-known Aliner is one of the top tiny camper manufacturers, and their Expedition is one of the most popular models at Juniata Valley RV. Aliner makes hard-sided, fold-down campers with an A-frame. They’re produced by Columbia Northwest, Inc. The first A-frame by Aliner was made in the early 1970s by Ralph Tait in Bend, Oregon. He and his sons owned and ran the business until 2007, when it was sold to Columbia Northwest, Inc.

You can shop Aliner campers for sale in Pennsylvania at Juniata Valley RV! We’re one of Aliner’s major dealers and we’ve sold hundreds of Aliner Classic, Expedition, Scout and Ranger models over the years. You won’t want to miss out on our Aliner inventory!

Gulf Stream

Whether you’re after a motorhome or a towable RV, Gulf Stream probably makes a unit that will work for you. The Shea family established Gulf Stream Coach in 1983, and they’ve been producing top-quality motorhomes and trailers ever since. They’re still family owned and operated today. Gulf Stream makes 22 brands and over 140 RV models.

Ameri-Lite is Gulf Stream’s tiny camper model. There are more than 20 Ameri-Lite floorplans to choose from, and their Super Lite models never reach more than 3,700 lbs. With many different weights, models and prices to choose from, there’s an Ameri-Lite for families of every shape and size. Check out the Gulf Stream RVs for sale at our dealership!

CrossRoads

The CrossRoads Zinger is a compact camper model that we love. CrossRoads is a popular RV brand; they make fifth wheels, travel trailers and destination campers. Juniata Valley RV carries the CrossRoads Zinger and Zinger Lite, which puts them on the list of tiny camper manufacturers. Since 1996, CrossRoads has built dependable, affordable RVs.

Their compact camper model, the Zinger, is known for its ability to maximize both storage space and comfort in every floorplan. They’re all made with the addition of small luxuries like heated and enclosed underbellies and black tank flush. You can shop CrossRoads RVs for sale at Juniata Valley RV!

A Zinger Lite by CrossRoads, one of our tiny camper manufacturers, on the lot at our dealership.

Heartland

Though Heartland makes fifth wheels, toy haulers and traditional travel trailers, they didn’t fall short with their North Trail tiny camper line. These Ultra-Lite campers still manage to take advantage of the available space with their open concept floorplans and large windows.

Heartland was founded about 20 years ago when a group of experienced RV professionals joined together to develop an RV that met the needs they’d seen in the industry. In 2007, they introduced the lightweight North Trail and joined the growing list of tiny camper manufacturers. The North Trail met the needs of campers in a struggling economy with rising gas prices, and has brought countless families camping ever since. You can find Heartland RVs for sale here at Juniata Valley RV.

A nuCamp teardrop camper parked with lawn chairs outside.

Image courtesy of nuCamp. 

nuCamp

This is one of the most popular tiny camper manufacturers – they specialize in compact campers! We carry both their TAG and TAB teardrop trailers. The nuCamp brand is a household name on the tiny camper manufacturers scene. They began making their small campers in 2004, before the compact camping trend really took off.

These innovative trailers were at the forefront of tiny campers, and they’ve managed to be one of the most popular teardrop trailer manufacturers over the past two decades. At under 3,000 lbs., these campers are perfect for outdoorsy couples with compact SUVs. You can shop nuCamp on our website today.

Winnebago

The name Winnebago is likely the most recognizable in the RV industry, and with good reason. Since the early 1960s Winnebago has been a leading manufacturer of trailers and motorhomes. They’ve spent decades encouraging outdoor adventure travel and providing a home on the road for couples and families alike. Winnebago has been one of the biggest tiny camper manufacturers for decades.

Hike and Micro Minnie by Winnebago are two tiny camper models we always like to have in stock at our Pennsylvania RV dealership. The level of craftsmanship and camper diversity can’t be beat. See our full inventory of Winnebago RVs for sale, tiny campers to motorhomes, on our website. 

The popularity of tiny campers in the past few years has shown just how convenient and effective these RVs can be. Couples and small families who want to focus on time spent outdoors, but don’t want to sacrifice sleeping in the air conditioning, have fallen in love with compact camping. These tiny camper manufacturers are all available at Juniata Valley RV! You can browse our tiny campers inventory online or stop in for a tour today.

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More Make-Ahead Meals for Your Next Camping Trip

Camping Recipes: Make-Ahead Meals

On RV trips, time is precious! You’re often only at your vacation destination for a few days and there’s plenty to do while you’re there. After a long day in the sunshine on a hike, paddling a kayak, or touring the city, no one wants to take the time and energy to cook a big family meal. That’s why some RVers have turned to make-ahead meals! These are delicious, healthy dishes that can be put together at home and thrown in the freezer. Then, when you’re ready, you can throw them in the RV oven and have a home-cooked meal with little work.

Chicken Pepperoni Casserole

This casserole is a new take on pizza – minus the dough. It combines chicken, cheese, pepperoni and pizza sauce in a deep casserole dish. You can add whichever toppings (bell peppers, mushrooms, chili flakes, etc.) that your family prefers to personalize this pizza-like make-ahead meal. Simply layer your ingredients in a casserole dish and throw it in the oven. Once cooked, you can let the casserole cool, cover it with a layer of tin foil, and pop it in the RV freezer. When you get back from a long day at the campsite, you’ll be grateful to have this savory casserole ready to reheat in the oven.

One of our make-ahead meals, the salmon foil pack, prepared on a pan.

Salmon Foil Pack with Veggies

Foil pack recipes make fantastic camping meals! This salmon and vegetable recipe is light and simple. You can prep your foil packs with salmon, vegetables and seasoning before you leave for your camping trip. Once it’s time for dinner, you can place your foil packs in the oven or over the campfire to cook.

 

Five Can Chili

Chili is an easy go-to camping recipe – and this five can chili will be an instant favorite! While there are hundreds of ways to make chili, this recipe is a great option for campers with it’s simple, quick cooking process. Simply heat the cans of beans, tomatoes and peppers with a can of beer and some other spices in a large Dutch oven. Although this recipe isn’t exactly made before you head to the campground, it’s definitely simple enough to be cooked on-site over the campfire.

Campfire Cinnamon Rolls

Start the day off right with sweet, fluffy cinnamon rolls cooked in your RV or over the campfire! This make-ahead breakfast was written for camping families. Mix together biscuit dough and milk and roll your cinnamon rolls, then pack them up to be heated later. These cinnamon rolls can be cooked over a campfire, on a grill or in a Dutch oven.

Steak Fajita Foil Pack

Enjoy a spicy steak fajita cooked over the campfire in just thirty minutes! Foil pack recipes are perfect for camping, not to mention fun to cook on the campfire, so we had to add a second to our list. Add steak strips, or chicken if you prefer, with your favorite fajita veggies and seasonings. Put your ingredients together in separate foil packs for each member of your family and pack them away. When you’re ready for dinner, heat them over the fire and you’re ready to chow down!

Skillet Pizza

The only downside to camping? Pizza delivery isn’t exactly easy! To fulfill your pizza craving, try this cast iron skillet make-ahead meal. This recipe covers the pizza basics: dough, sauce and cheese. However, it’s easily customizable with your family’s favorite toppings. Spread the dough, sauce and toppings in your skillet, cover and freeze. When you’re ready to eat a savory pizza dinner, throw your skillet pizza in the oven to heat up. You’re ready for a classic pizza at any campsite!

Ham Pasta Salad

Pasta is a great base for your make-ahead meal. Add ham to your pasta salad, and you’ve got an ideal addition to your go-to camping recipes list. Mix ziti pasta, ham, vegetables and other ingredients with seasonings and your pasta salad “sauce” to complete this simple meal. Once mixed together, toss the ham pasta salad into your RV’s fridge. It’ll be ready to dig into when you are!

These make-ahead meals are great for camping families! They make campsite cooking easy and quick, which is ideal after a long day at the campsite. If you’re in need of a new RV with an upgraded kitchen or outdoor cooking setup, Juniata Valley RV is here to help! We have new and used RVs for sale at our Pennsylvania RV dealership.

Plated skillet pizza on a cutting board.

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