Tips to Maximize Your RV’s AC

Hot day in the RV, air conditioner efficiency

Spring is here and summer is close on its heels. The weather is only going to get warmer around the country in the next few months, so no matter where you’re currently RVing or plan to go, you’ll be relying on your RV’s air conditioning unit to keep you cool.

While an RV’s AC does an admirable job, you can always squeeze out a little extra efficiency from your unit if you know how. Here are some of the top ways to make sure that your RV’s AC is running at the top of its game.

Make Sure Everything is Free from Obstructions

Your AC isn’t going to perform very well if it can’t deliver air. This is the first and  most straightforward step to take if you want to immediately boost your AC’s efficiency. Check your filters to make sure that they’re clean and don’t need to be replaced yet. You can prolong the life of a filter by cleaning them. Use lukewarm water with a mild detergent, rinse thoroughly, and dry overnight. You can also dust them with an air compressor or a can of air duster (they sell these at office supply stores for electronics). Also verify that the air return isn’t clogged with dirt or debris.

Place Your RV in the Shade

While parking under a tree may not always be an option, simply finding some shade can go a long way towards keeping your RV cool. Your AC unit won’t have to work as hard to keep your interior space cool. If you can find shade, make use of it. Additionally, keep your blinds and curtains closed if you’re not actively enjoying the view.

Reduce Heat Generation

Limit your use of appliances that generate heat, like ovens, burners, and toasters. If it’s especially hot outside, choose recipes that either involve no cooking or don’t take long to prepare.

Changing out your bulbs for LED lights is another way to reduce heat in your RV. Not only are they more energy efficient, but they run cooler too.

Visit Pan Pacific RV

If you’re traveling through Northern California this spring or summer, be sure to stop by Pan Pacific RV for any of your RV needs. From service to parts and accessories, Pan Pacific RV can help make your season of RVing easier.

Visit Grover Hot Springs State Park in Your RV

Cabin in Grover Hot Springs State Park

Located near Markleeville in northern California and surrounded by scenic mountains and alpine forests, Grover Hot Springs State Park is a picturesque getaway nestled in a valley of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

What to Do

The obvious thing to do is to relax in the hot springs. You’ll notice that the springs have an unusual green color, but there’s no cause for alarm. It’s simply the bromine they use to disinfect the water (a chemical that’s commonly used in hot tubs) reacting with the mineral deposits in the water to create the greenish hue.

The water in the park’s two pools is supplied by six thermal springs. The hottest pool is kept at 104 degrees Fahrenheit at maximum, which is perfect for relaxing.

While the hot springs are the major draw of the park, there are also plenty of other things to do when you visit besides soaking in the springs, especially if you can RV camp. Hiking around the park is encouraged: the evergreen glades and mountain scenery make the area particularly beautiful, even for northern California. There are over a dozen hiking trails to choose from, including one that takes you by some waterfalls on Hot Springs Creek.

Where to Stay

You can stay right at the park with your RV. There are 76 sites at the campground, many of them large enough to accommodate your rig. Call ahead to reserve a spot with hookups. There are also several campgrounds and RV parks nearby if Grover Hot Springs happens to have no vacancies.

Visit Pan Pacific RV

Start your spring RV travel season right here at the Pan Pacific RV Centers in French Camp, Morgan Hill, and Sacramento. We always offer the best prices on the highest quality RVs in the industry, so you can live your dream RV lifestyle for an affordable price.

Spring Break Destinations Around California

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California is the ultimate state for your spring break adventures. Whether you’re seeking Pacific Ocean views, world-class hiking or even a week of fun out on the slopes, California’s diverse landscape offers spring break fun for everyone. Fire up your RV and cruise across the Golden State to these three must-visit California spring break destinations.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is known for its stunning scenery in all seasons, but spring is one of the best times of year to enjoy warmer weather on the mountain. Tahoe is home to a number of world-famous ski resorts, including Northstar California, Squaw Valley, Heavenly and Sierra at Tahoe, and nearly all of them stay open until late April. Off the mountain, visitors can enjoy the abundance of eateries, shops and pubs in North Tahoe and Tahoe South.

Carmel-by-the-Sea

If you’re seeking a dreamy California beach getaway, Carmel-by-the-Sea is calling your name. This European-style town is easy to explore on foot with white-sand beaches, cool boutiques, tasty eateries, small museums and unique architecture all within walking distance of each other. The Carmel By the River RV Park is just inland from the Monterey peninsula, offering easy access to downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea and the area’s most beautiful beaches.

Sonoma

Stay in the heart of California’s wine country in the adorable town of Sonoma. The town’s central plaza is surrounded by bright green rolling vineyards and offers a great jumping point for your spring break wine tastings.

The plaza offers tons of shops, eateries, art galleries and other places to explore for the days you decide to spend in town. Sonoma is also home to the last Spanish mission to exist in California, built in 1824, and visitors can explore it as part of the must-visit Sonoma State Historic Park.

Start Your Adventure with Us

Start your spring RV travel season right here at the Pan Pacific RV Centers in French Camp, Morgan Hill, and Sacramento. We always offer the best prices on the highest quality RVs in the industry, so you can live your dream RV lifestyle for an affordable price.

Boondocking Essentials

If you’re like the majority of RV campers, you likely stick to well established campgrounds and RV parks when you’re looking for a place to moor your rig. Maybe you sometimes overnight in a parking lot, but that’s about it. There’s another way to camp, though: it’s called boondocking and it involves going off the grid with your RV in order to get more freedom and solitude and to get closer to nature. It’s a fun alternative, but it takes some preparation to pull off. Here are some indispensable items if you’re going to go camping off the grid in your RV.

An Energy Source

Above all else, you need to be able to power your RV and its systems, lest you downgrade to camping in a tent. You can manage this by installing some solar panels and/or bringing along a generator. A combination of the two often works best, but if you’re only planning to boondock for a short period of time, you can get by on a solar panel configuration alone. Generators are recommended if you plan to put down anchor for an extended period of time.

Bring several spare batteries. Your RV has a some installed, but the juice might run out while you’re off the grid. You can rotate fresh batteries in while using your solar panels/generator to recharge the empty batteries.

Lighting

If you want to continue to do things after the sun goes down, you’re going to want to have some lighting along. Remember, if you’re off the grid there won’t be streetlights nearby (unless your idea of boondocking is the backyard!). Bring solar lights, which offer one of the easiest lighting solutions for boondockers. They charge during the day and provide ample light for the evening. Just be sure to shell out enough money for quality lights.

Climate Control

Using your RV’s onboard A/C system hogs a lot of energy and drains batteries very quickly. While it’s not a problem with an electric hookup, out in the sticks you’re going to see that your power reserves drain at an alarming rate if you’ve got your cooling or heating on. Bring a low-volt fan along for cooling purposes. There are 12V fans available that will have minimal impact on your power supply. For heating, try a propane powered unit.

Save on Water

Your water supply is a commodity when boondocking. Conserve it as much as possible by installing water saving devices, such as a shower heads and faucets that aerate water or slow down the flow of water so that you’re using less water when you turn on the tap.

Visit Pan Pacific RV

If you’re ready to start your own RV adventures, on or off the grid, stop by Pan Pacific RV to tour motorhome and travel trailer floorplans and find the RV that’s right for your family. Take the comfort of the indoors with you wherever you go with your own RV from Pan Pacific RV! If you need supplies for boondocking, we’re just the place to pick those up.

Must-Have Accessories for Outdoor Comfort

If your RV is like your house when you’re traveling, then what’s your patio? Well, it’s whatever patch of grass is outside your RV’s door. Though you’ll notice that there’s not much else besides grass. You need some basic outdoor comforts if you’re going to enjoy spending time outside your RV on a nice day. If you don’t have one of these items yet, be sure to stop by Pan Pacific RV’s parts and accessories store to pick it up!

Folding Chairs

Folding chairs are your best friend around any campground or RV park. They make a great portable and impromptu sitting solution for your life on the go, whether you’re trying to eat a meal outside, watch the sunset over the lake, or simply taking it easy on a beautiful day, folding chairs are a must-have for anyone traveling in an RV.

A Collapsible Awning

If your RV doesn’t have an awning included, you’re going to want a collapsible awning on board. On a rainy day this spring when you want to use those aforementioned folding chairs while you grill some steaks outside, you’ll be glad you have an awning over your head to keep you nice and dry. And on hot summer days an awning is invaluable as a means to keep you cool and unburnt by the sun.

An Outdoor Grill

Speaking of grilling steaks outdoors while it rains, you need a good outdoor grill to do that. Find something that’s relatively lightweight and small so that it’s easy to pack when you need to hit the road again, but that’s also of a good quality from a trustworthy brand. While your RV’s kitchen is more than adequate for making meals, grilling outdoors at all of the beautiful places you visit in your RV is a real treat.

Visit Pan Pacific RV

If you’re traveling through Northern California this spring, be sure to stop by Pan Pacific RV for any of your RV needs. From service to parts and accessories, Pan Pacific RV can help make your season of RVing easier.

Top DIY Projects for Your RV This Spring

diy rv work desk

You’ll find many DIY projects to make your RV unique to your family and many of them will make camping or RVing more enjoyable. When you can make more room for storage or add some hand made decorations, your RV really becomes your second home. Try these DIY projects before you hit the road this spring to make your RV function better.

Shower Shelf Walls

Many built-in shelves in RV showers are open, which means that all of your bath products slide right off when the RV is in motion. This is an inconvenience you don’t have to live with. By simply taking some plexiglass (you can get some at any hardware or home improvement store) you can fashion retaining walls for your shelf. Use clear acrylic double-sided mounting tape and apply two 1/4-inch h-type clear shower door seals to each side of the shelf. You can then slot your plexiglass panel into the door seal.

Sliding Storage

Pass through storage is great, especially when you have a ton of stuff to pack in there, but reaching into the middle can be a chore sometimes. To make life easier, add a deep slide out cargo tray to the pass through storage. You’ll be able to pull the slide out so you can reach everything.

Office Space

If you have a bunk house but no longer use the bunk house because the kids are grown and gone, add a desk in the area. You’ll have a quiet space to use the computer for fun. Or if you work while you travel the country, you’ll have a quiet place to work.

Even if you don’t have a bunk house, but have extra bunks in the rear of the RV, you can convert the bottom bunk into an office space. Whether you leave the bunk in place and build a raised platform to fashion a desk or you remove the bottom bunk to make room for a desk, you’ll have a great place to work.

Decorations

If you can’t find any great decorations for your RV and you like the rustic look, make your own wood pictures, frames, or clocks. You can purchase clock workings from any craft store, or even complete clock kits with numbers. Use a couple pieces of scrap wood to add a saying or a picture to with Hodge Podge or wood burning. You could even make customized picture frames to make the RV more rustic.

Visit Pan Pacific RV

Stop by Pan Pacific RV to walk through our many floor plans to pick the right RV for your family. Accessorize it by stopping at our RV parts and accessories store to pick up anything you might need to make the RV yours. And if you already have an RV and are not ready for something new just yet, be sure to give our RV service department a call to schedule an appointment for maintenance.

West Coast Winter Destinations

Not all snowbirds have to head to Florida. In fact, the West Coast is loaded with snowbird destinations that simply can’t be beat. Whether you’re seeking a special place on the Pacific Ocean or a desert oasis with ideal winter temperatures, these three winter West Coast destinations offer everything you need to escape the cold this year.

Laguna Beach, California

Laguna Beach is one of California’s most scenic destinations, and the artsy beach town becomes less loaded with tourists this time of year. Laguna is located just 50 miles south of Los Angeles and is packed with places to shop, dine and explore. Crystal Cove State Park offers the Moro Campground to RV enthusiasts who are seeking a campsite with a breathtaking ocean view.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix may not be located directly on the coast, but it’s one of the best places in the west for active snowbirds. World-famous golf courses are coupled with an endless selection of hiking trails, five-star restaurants, countless shops and more outdoor adventures than you can cram into one winter. Another perk of setting your sites on Phoenix is that the area is littered with RV parks, offering nightly and seasonal stays for all types of budgets.

Santa Barbara, California

Not all parts of Santa Barbara are flooded with tourists, especially in the winter months. Also known as the “American Riviera,” Santa Barbara will make you forget about your more northern home. Soak up the warm winter sun on the beaches, try your hand at surfing, snap photos of wildlife, dine at world-class restaurants and admire the area’s unique Spanish Colonial architecture. Santa Barbara is also home to the esteemed Santa Barbara Sunrise RV Park, among many others, which offers a cozy place to park just minutes from the city and beaches.

Find Your RV at Pan Pacific RV

Escape the cold this winter in a brand-new RV from Pan Pacific RV in Sacramento. Our lot is fully stocked with the latest and greatest RVs in the industry for all price ranges, so you can start your dream RV lifestyle today.

The Bookstore Valentine’s Date

If you’re out on the road in your RV this Valentine’s Day, you might be trying to think up a fun date idea with your spouse or significant other. Assuming you’re close to a town, all you need for this date is to find a bookstore or library. Not only is it fun and free, but it will allow you to get to know your Valentine even better than you already do.

Start by taking your Valentine out for lunch at a nice spot (or you can make a meal in your RV before heading to town). At the meal’s conclusion, hand them a card that you’ve made. You can decorate it anyway you like and write what you want, but make sure that it invites them to join you at the bookstore/library and includes the following tasks:

  1. Visit the cooking section and choose a recipe that you would like to make for your Valentine in your RV’s kitchen.
  2. Visit the magazine section and fine a quiz in a magazine that you and your spouse can do together.
  3. Visit the children’s section and find your favorite childhood book or one that holds a special place in your heart.
  4. Find a book of jokes and pick one you think will tickle your Valentine’s funny bone.
  5. Visit the travel section and find the place you’d like to visit together in your RV the next time you hit the road.
  6. Find a book of poems and choose one that expresses how you feel about your Valentine.

Split up and complete your tasks, then reconvene and share what you’ve found. By the time you’re done, you’ll have spent a fun afternoon together in a mellow spot, shared some laughs, and learned more about one another. It’s a great way to have a thoughtful Valentine’s Day date and is so much better than buying the cursory rose bouquet and box of chocolates.

Visit Pan Pacific RV

Stop by Pan Pacific RV this winter to shop for a new RV. Tour any RV in the inventory and learn more about the models that interest you. If you’re not on the market for an RV, Pan Pacific RV can still help you with RV service before you hit the road.

A Slow Cooker Recipe for an Easy Meal

If you don’t own a slow cooker or crock-pot, you’re missing out on some really convenient and easy meals. Slow cooker recipes mean that you can largely prep your meal hours in advance, start it cooking, and leave to enjoy a day of recreation, only to return in time for dinner to find a complete meal waiting for you, hot and delicious. This slow cooker recipe for chicken burrito bowls is exactly that. Once it’s done, you can dress it up any number of ways with fresh toppings to suit your tastes.

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN BURRITO BOWLS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or a mix
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided, plus more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • Optional toppings: Shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, sour cream, diced avocado, salsa, hot sauce, diced green onions, shredded lettuce

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the chicken breasts, diced tomatoes and their juices, 1/2 cup of chicken broth, chili powder, salt, and cumin in the bowl of a 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Make sure the chicken is covered, and add additional broth if needed. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Uncover and add the rice, beans, corn, and remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cover and continue cooking on low for another 3 to 4 hours. Check the rice periodically in the last hour of cooking, stirring once or twice to make sure the rice cooks evenly and adding more chicken broth if the mixture seems dry. Cooking is done when the rice is tender — if the rice is done while there is still liquid left in the slow cooker, remove the lid and cook on high to let the liquid evaporate.
  3. Use 2 forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. You can do this either in the slow cooker itself and then mix it into the rice, or you can transfer the chicken to a cutting board if you prefer to keep it separate. Taste the burrito mix and stir in more salt or other seasonings to taste.

Visit Pan Pacific RV

Stop by Pan Pacific RV this winter to shop for a new RV. Tour any RV in the inventory and learn more about the models that interest you. If you’re not on the market for an RV, Pan Pacific RV can still help you with RV service before you hit the road.

Must-See Roadside Attractions in Cali

Man looking up in a forest

California has no shortages on diversions, distractions, and attractions. That said, there are a few places along the roads of California that are considered must-see if you’re traveling through the state. Take in the sights, but don’t forget to see these while you do it.

See the Redwoods

The redwood forests of the West Coast are deservedly famous. The towering redwoods are sure to awe anyone, young or old. The largest trees in the world, some reaching heights over 250 feet tall, the redwood forests hug the coast of California and are shrouded in fog for the better part of the year. Some of the trees are so large that there are even small caves at the bases of some of their trunks and even tunnels large enough to drive a vehicle through!

Winchester Mystery House

A sprawling mansion that’s a testament to madness as much as to wealth, the Winchester Mystery House was the home of Sarah Winchester, who married into the Winchester gun-making family. After she was widowed, she spent the rest of her life expanding the house in nonsensical ways, ordering stairs that led to nowhere, secret passages, and doors that opened onto open space. It’s a sight to behold and a wonderful oddity.

Visit Venice Beach

The Venice Beach boardwalk is practically one giant roadside attraction littered with shops, eateries, attractions and the iconic Muscle Beach outdoor gym. No road trip to California would be complete without walking along the boardwalk admiring musicians, purchasing hand made crafts, buying cheesy souvenirs and enjoying a beer or two while watching the colorful characters walk by.

Visit Pan Pacific RV

The state of California is littered with countless must-see natural and man-made sites. There’s no better way to access all of them than in the comfort and convenience of a new or used RV from Pan Pacific RV. Stop in and see us in French Camp, Morgan Hill, or Sacramento to start your dream RV lifestyle today.