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Juniata Valley RV Wins 3rd Flying W Award

Juniata Valley RV is excited to announce our third consecutive Flying W Award! We were named a Platinum Towable Winner by Winnebago Industries, Inc.

The Flying W Award is presented by Winnebago RV manufacturers. They’re awarded to the top 33% of motorhome and towable dealers annually. The award is for excellent service and superior customer satisfaction. For the third year in a row, we’re honored to be recognized by Winnebago as one of their top dealers in the nation.

Juniata Valley RV owner Eric Lunger is pleased to know his dealership has been recognized for its “very competitive pricing and quality customer service.”

“We sell Winnebago because the quality of the product meets the standard we look for in our dealership,” said Lunger.

Shop Juniata Valley RV’s Winnebago inventory in store and online, and trust you’ll receive award-winning service and care.

Six Best Rated RV Sites in PA

Camping season officially begins with the start of spring, and it’s time to start making your reservations. Visiting new towns and new campgrounds is one of the most exciting parts of RVing. But choosing where to go next can be overwhelming; you have to consider location, campground rules, nearby attractions and more. Juniata Valley RV is here to stem that oncoming headache with our list of the six best RV sites in Pennsylvania. To help you narrow down the list of campgrounds to try next, we took to the king of all tourist sites, Tripadvisor.

Gettysburg / Battlefield KOA

With a 4.5 rating, this campground is the number one “specialty lodging” in Gettysburg. This KOA campground is known for it’s charming woods and central location. Only five miles from downtown Gettysburg, the campground is also a quick road trip away from Amish Country, Washington D.C., Hershey and more! Enjoy self-guided tours, nature trails, a heated pool, minigolf and more. This site also welcomes furry friends with it’s Kamp K9 dog park.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Quarryville

Over 1,500 reviews and Yogi Bear’s campground stands strong with 4.5 stars. Head out for a pic-a-nic in the great outdoors to honor everyone’s favorite cartoon bear. More than just a campground, Jellystone features a water park, mini golf course, jumping pillows, laser tag, gem mining and more! You’ll never run out of family fun at Yogi’s resort.

Appalachian RV Campground

For those more interested in a slowing down, the Appalachian RV campground offers peace and privacy. Resting in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, this 87-acre campground is the perfect place to commune with nature. Visit the game room and the camp store, or play a round of minigolf for some time off the trails. When you’re ready for some peace and quiet, head out with your fishing pole or hit the hiking trails.

mom and son watching sunset with RV - best campgrounds in Pennsylvania

Spring Gulch Resort Campground

This classic campground offers a special twist with its annual Spring Gulch Folk Festival. Stop by for a weekend of folk tunes, musical workshops, and arts and crafts every summer. The rest of the season, Spring Gulch offers plenty of other amenities. Build sandcastles by the spring-fed lake or head out for a few hours of fishing. Play basketball, volleyball, shuffleboard and more, or do a few laps in one of the heated Olympic-size swimming pools. Whether you stay for a weekend or all season, Spring Gulch has activities for everyone.

Hickory Hollow Campground

Located in southwestern Pennsylvania, this campground boasts over 75 acres of countryside, including a large lake and plenty of woods. Outside the campground, nearby Laurel Heights offers skiing, whitewater rafting, shopping and sightseeing. Large campsites and wide roads offer opportunities for large motorhomes. Check out their site for a list of activities provided all camping season!

Hershey RV & Camping Resort

This campground, deemed “excellent” by Tripadvisor critics, sits on 200 acres of farmland in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside. Only three miles from the rides and entertainment at Hershey’s Chocolate World, this RV resort has easy access to its namesake adventure. Awarded 2020’s Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice award, Hershey Resort is perfect for families looking for theme park fun one day and quiet fishing spots the next.

If you’re looking to try a new campground this season, why not try one of these six best RV sites in Pennsylvania. All six are camper-approved on Tripadvisor and ready for reservations this season. In need of a new camper to take on your summer adventures? Juniata Valley RV offers a variety of new and used units in all sorts of styles. If you’re just looking for some upgrades to your current unit, stop by our parts store or give us a call at 877-714-0415 to find out what services we can offer you.

Make Ahead Camping Recipes

It’s that time of year again – colder weather! Some like to camp during the warmer months so they can swim and view the beautiful green trees as they hike. Others, however, prefer camping when it’s cold, so they can sit by the campfire and bundle up while cooking some cold-weather recipes. We’ve put together a list of our favorite make-ahead recipes for long days out in the woods hiking or biking!

Make-Ahead Camping Recipes

Loaded Slow Cooker Chili

Chili is such a winter staple that has so many variations, so no matter which way you make it, it’s totally your recipe. This list of ingredients is, again, extensive, but most of it is spices. So, to make it easier, you can just add chili powder and call it a day. Or, you can add all the spices and have the smokiest, most flavorful chili ever.

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup

We think most everyone agrees on the fact that good broccoli and cheddar soup is just the ticket to the end of a good day. It’s so creamy and hearty. Buy a baguette to soak up the soup with and you’ve got a delicious dinner! The best thing about this recipe is you can make it ahead and reheat it when you’re ready to eat.

BBQ Meatballs

Who said you can’t have delicious appetizers while camping? The best part? It’s only three ingredients!

Dutch Oven Jambalaya

Who says comfort food is out of the question when camping? Not us! Try making a shortened, streamlined version of jambalaya in this Dutch Oven Jambalaya recipe that is easy and can be made over a fire. Or, you can make it in advance to let the flavors develop.

Apple Crisp Foil Packets

The best part about these Apple Crisp Foil Packets is they only require five daily ingredients! They also only take about 20 minutes to cook, so in the time it takes to clean up from dinner, you’ll have a delicious and easy dessert that’s ready to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Dutch Oven Cheesy Garlic Bites

Making soup while camping is almost a given, but it’s time to get creative. You can make these Dutch Oven Cheesy Garlic Bites to dunk in your soup. It’s only five ingredients, two of which are seasoning. (Hopefully, you already have those in your RV pantry.) It also uses frozen dough to have them ready in under an hour before you head out!

Campfire Bean N’ Ham Soup

The taste alone will make you want to keep craving this Campfire Bean N’ Ham Soup, but line your Dutch oven for easy cleanup and you’ll never go back to your old ways of cooking. Serve hot off the grill to impress a crowd.

Do you have a go-to make-ahead recipe for RV trips? Let us know in the comments!

How to Winterize a Camper

We’re turning the corner on cooler weather here in Pennsylvania, and many are looking to store their RV or camper for the winter. If you are one of the many people in our Mifflintown community, you may have plans to store your camper in a covered or uncovered storage unit, but before you park your camper, you should take the proper precautions to ensure your camper is road-ready for next spring.

At Juniata Valley RV, we’re committed to our community’s safety, which is why we’ve taken the time to outline the three major components you should consider before storing your RV. Taking these precautions will lead to a safer, and potentially less expensive, experience when you decide to remove your camper from storage. Let’s take a look at the three major components below:

Protect Your Plumbing

One of the first things you should do before storing your camper starts with the plumbing. Most RV’s source water either through a fresh-water tank or through a water hookup. The fresh-water tank is connected to a water pump, which may flow into a water heater. All that being said to show just how many components in your RV carry water. If water freezes in any of these systems, you can be a costly fix down the road.

That’s why it’s important to run antifreeze into every water-passing system — except for the water heater — before you store your RV. To ensure you bypass the water heater, which will save you money on antifreeze, you’ll need to ensure you have a “water-heater bypass kit.” Some RV’s are pre fitted with this kit, however, if you need to purchase one, our parts and service team can assist you with your purchase and installation.

Once your bypass kit is installed, you can begin the process of protecting your plumbing. First, you’ll need to drain your plumbing:

  • Disconnect from outside water source
  • Drain holding tanks (fresh water + black & gray holding tanks)
  • Drain water heaters and drain lines
  • Bypass your water heater to avoid filling it with antifreeze

Next, you’ll need to add antifreeze (we prefer pink antifreeze over green because it is nontoxic):

  • Add antifreeze to the inlet side of the water pump
  • Turn on the water pump
  • Turn on/off each set of cold and hot water valves until you see antifreeze flowing through the faucet. You should start at the highest faucet point and work your way down.
  • Flush the toilet until you see antifreeze
  • Pour antifreeze down each drain
  • Reconnect the water line to the fresh-water tank

Finally, you’ll need to depressurize your water system:

  • Turn off the water pump and open a faucet to release pressure
  • Ensure all faucets are then closed to complete this process.

Your plumbing should now be safe from the freezing winter temperatures. Please note that these are general suggestions and that you should always follow your user manual when completing this process.

Keep the Elements Out

Now that you’ve protected your pipes from the freeze, you’ll want to ensure you keep other elements and critters from taking up home in your camper over the next few months.

  • Start by unplugging any electronics, and removing the battery from any battery-powered devices as the cold weather can be damaging to the battery’s life.
  • Cover stove burners and other open small spaces.
  • Remove any food or sugary drinks from the cabinets and fridge.
  • Clean crumbs, food residue and dust.
  • Store linens in a dry, safe space.
  • Remove anything valuable.
  • Fill any noticeable holes with steel wool.
  • Leave an odor absorber inside.
  • Ensure there is no standing water in your ice maker or washing machine if applicable.

Protect Your Exterior

Your interior is protected, but you’ll still want to complete the following steps to ensure the outside of your RV is shielded from the elements and critters:

  • Use jacks to limit the stress on your tires — this will also protect against dry rotting. If you’re RV is going to be exposed to the elements, consider investing in tire covers.
  • Close your roof vents, and repair any visible holes or leaks on the roof of your RV.
  • Remove or cover awnings so they aren’t exposed to the elements.
  • Close any gas tank valves.
  • Seal any gaps around the doors or window seals.
  • Fill the exhaust pipe with steel wool or aluminum.
  • Add a new air filter.
  • Wash your RV before storing it. If you plan to store your RV in the open, consider investing in a fabric cover. If you don’t plan to cover, avoid positioning your RV under any trees to prevent sap accumulation.

A Service-Oriented Dealer — Juniata Valley RV

If you have any questions about winterizing your camper, you can trust the experts at Juniata Valley RV to help. While taking these precautions may seem like a lot of work now, these efforts go a long way in extending the life of your RV, and ensuring you’re road-ready whenever you want to take your next RV adventure.

 

For further assistance with any routine or unexpected service you may need before winterizing, contact us today.

RVs You Can Pull With A Compact SUV

At Juniata Valley RV, we understand that not everyone has a truck specifically for towing their fifth wheel, toy hauler, or travel trailer. But, just because you don’t have a large truck to haul an RV doesn’t mean you can’t go out and travel!

Most SUVs don’t have a high towing capacity, and a lot of our customers drive them but don’t want to spend the cash to purchase a truck just to tow a rig. This blog talks about a few of our favorite RVs that are lightweight enough to tow with an SUV.

When it comes to the class of the RV, you’ll want something compact. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice space – a lot of rigs come standard with lots of storage room these days! There are many options for you, like micro trailers, teardrop campers, and pop up expandables.

Let’s get to it!

Winnebago Micro Minnie 2100BH

Winnebago thought this through and made a Micro Minnie for those who don’t need or want as much space. If that sounds right, this 2021 Micro Minnie 2108TB might be the right fit for you. This small buy mighty RV sleeps four and comes with a furnace, air conditioner, king size bed, solid surface countertops, and all leather furniture. You’ll be riding in style with this Micro Minnie!

Aliner Expedition Base

Aliner expedition

With Aliners, it’s easy to say you get more for less. It’s quickly become one of the world’s most loved campers and for good reason. Aliners are made small but don’t think a single inch of space is wasted. Aliners are A-frame pop-up campers that fold flat for easy transport.

The Expedition model is ready for any adventure! It offers 30 percent more storage room, which is great for all your hiking and camping gear. It weighs less than 2000 pounds and can be towed my multiple fuel-efficient vehicles. This is perfect for a couple but has enough room for the whole family.

2021 Aliner Ranger 12

aliner ranger

For something even smaller, check out this Aliner. If you decide on a ranger, you’ll have two models to choose between. Each Ranger has the same equipment package, which has less than the Classic and Expedition, but it still features a comfortable and easy way to camp.

Some of these campers are just a few of what we have to offer on our lot right now. They’re going quick since it’s so close to camping season. You’ll be able to take any of these rigs here along with you and your SUV with no trouble. They’re easy to tow because of their size, but they expand to give plenty of room. Some of these can even sleep up to five! Contact us for any questions you may have about all-things RV. Happy RVing!

 

Is RV Solar Power Cost Effective?

 There are many reasons people consider using solar power today — as experts call for global-warming awareness, some search for cost-savings on their energy bill, and others want to live off the grid. Whatever your reason may be for considering solar for your RV, we’ll walk you through the basics so you can decide if solar power is cost effective for your lifestyle.

Residential vs. RV Solar Panels

First, let’s touch on a few differences between residential solar panels and RV solar panels. While the basic function of the solar panels operate in the same way — the panels capture sunlight and convert it into electricity; you use that electricity to power appliances — the biggest difference between the two options is the size of the system. RV solar panels are usually set up to charge a few small appliances, whereas residential solar panels are set up to accommodate the entire property’s electrical needs.

Of course, you can always add additional panels to your existing panel structure with an RV, however you are limited in how many panels you add. Depending on the size of your roof (for roof-mounted solar panels) or your storage capacity (for portable solar panels), your space will dictate the amount of panels you can have, and therefore the amount of electricity you will have available to use.

How Does RV Solar Work?

According to Energy Sage, a company dedicated to making smarter energy decisions, there are four main components you’ll need in order to power your RV from solar energy. Those components are as follows:

  1. Solar panels
  2. A charge controller to prevent overcharging your storage system
  3. Solar batteries to store energy (common options are lead-acid or lithium-ion)
  4. An inverter to convert DC electricity to AC electricity (occasionally pre-built into the solar battery component)

Solar panels range in cost from $100 – $200+ per panel. While you can purchase these items separately, there are also some suppliers that create solar power kits for RVs that contain all or most of these components. That being said, you’ll want to check to see if your RV has a “Solar Ready” port  — while the term “solar ready” varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, some include all of the plugs, wiring, and connections that are required, so you can simply plug and play. Either way, you’ll also need to ensure you have any necessary wires and cables to install your solar panels properly.

How do you Know What Size Panels to Get?

Most RV panels have a standard 100-watt capacity, so the question isn’t as much “what size” panel, but more so “how many” panels. To decide how many panels you’ll need, you should start by thinking about what you’ll need to power with solar energy.

Looking at the fourth column of the graph above, provided by EnergySage, you’ll see an example of how much energy common appliances typically use over the span of a day. EnergySage states, “If you have an 800W RV solar panel system that is in direct sunlight for 5 hours a day, you’ll produce approximately 4,000 Wh of energy each day (5 x 800 = 4,000). According to our calculations in the table above, that’s more than enough to power small devices like lights and TVs, but you won’t be able to run a refrigerator for an entire day.”

For more helpful information calculating your solar-panel size, check out the video below:

DIY Installation

Now that you’ve decided what kind of solar panels you’ll need for your RV, and how many you’ll need to run your every-day appliances, there is one last thing to consider when calculating the overall cost of your solar-power panels — the installation.

 

In the event you plan to utilize portable solar panels, there may not be much setup involved, and typically instructions are provided in your solar-panel kit. However, if you’re looking to install solar panels to the roof of your RV for a more permanent solution, it’s imperative to ensure they are installed correctly. In fact, many company warranties will not cover the cost of a replacement panel if the panels were not originally installed professionally.

 

For more information on DIY installation, watch this short video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMt6qZV4QZ0#action=share

Deciding if Solar is Cost-Effective

After you’ve selected the products you’d need and uncovered any additional costs that might be associated with installation, you can finally decide if solar energy will be cost effective for your RV lifestyle. There are many mixed reviews; some people have issues with their panels, sinking a lot of money into installation and repairs, with very limited reward — especially if they typically use an RV-power hookup.

Other RVers who often go off the grid tend to love their solar panels as they help them power the electric necessities that they wouldn’t normally be able to use without a strong battery or generator. In the end, the only person who can decide if solar panels are cost-effective for your RV, is you.

However, if you have questions about our Solar-Ready RVs, or if you’d like any additional advice on Solar Panels for RVs, you can count on the experienced team at Juniata Valley RV to help you find what you’re searching for. Contact us today for more information.

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