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At Guaranty, we love RVing! We know we’re lucky—we get to spend all day every day thinking about RVs, researching the best makes and models, learning about great road trips and campgrounds, and generally keeping up on the latest RV-related trends, news and lifestyle tips. Best yet, our team of RV-enthusiast bloggers get to share all of that with you! If you’re curious about the latest and greatest in RVs and RVing, we invite you to visit the Guaranty Blog. Be sure to check back with us regularly for updates.

The Best 4-Season RV's for Winter Camping, Living & Road Tripping—Part 1

If you’re like us, this summer’s RVing season didn’t last long enough. Every year as the weather turns cold, we hear from RVers who are disappointed that it’s already time to winterize and put their RV’s into storage until next spring. But there’s no denying that the rain has arrived with a vengeance in our part of Oregon and, sadly, some of our favorite RV’s, while being perfect homes from spring through early fall, just aren’t built to stand up to the kind of cold and/or wet weather that gets thrown at them in the winter months. If you’ve ever spent a hunting or skiing trip in an RV that wasn’t winter-friendly, you know how fast you’ll use up propane trying to stay warm. This blog is for those of you who are already antsy for another camping trip, or who would love to bring your home-on-wheels with you when you take that holiday road trip to see family and friends. If you’re thinking it’s time to upgrade the travel trailer, fifth wheel, camper or motorhome that has served you so well in the warm months, to a model that can serve you all year, we’re going to give you some pointers on how to choose a truly four-season RV.
This week we’re going to spend some time on what to look for in four-season and Arctic packages. Next week, we’ll give you some information on the manufacturers that rate the best for winter RVing.

Four-Season RVs and Arctic Packages

You’ll find a number of RV manufacturers who offer four-season or Arctic packages, and that is a good place to begin your search. However, as much as we’d like to say, “If it’s advertised as a four season RV, you’ll be good to go,” there is no RV industry standard for what an Arctic package is or what four-season means. One four-season model may differ significantly from another, and an RV that could serve you perfectly in a Pacific Northwest winter, might not cut the mustard in a North Dakota winter. Depending on what you need, you’ll have to do some research into the brands and models that you like best. Talk to RV experts like our knowledgeable sales staff and RV service professionals, but also remember that, in the age of the Internet, a wide array of information is available at your fingertips. Visit manufacturer websites and read about their construction methods. Peruse RV forums and see what other RVers have experienced. If you meet some snowbirds at the gas station, go make their acquaintance and see what they have to say; RVers are some of the friendliest people and you’re likely to get great feedback.

While you can’t assume that just any Arctic package is going to give you everything you need to overwinter in the frozen north, the best RV manufacturers are building some spectacularly good four-season models, and they’re improving every year. They’ve spent a lot of time talking to RVers and figuring out how to build with cold weather in mind. As interest has grown in four-season camping, we’ve seen manufacturers making huge advances in construction methods and materials, increased insulation, ducted heating systems, dual pane windows and more—all of which make these winter-friendly RV’s equally good for extremely hot weather, so it’s a win-win for those of us wanting to camp year round.

What to Look For

The most important features in a winter-friendly RV obviously all have to do with heat, whether for yourself or your plumbing. So, when you’re looking for that perfect four-season RV, there are some features that are a must.

The people who have been living in their RV’s full time, like Jason and Nikki Winn, will tell you that one key to staying cozy in your RV in the winter is to have a high capacity propane furnace, a heat pump, ducted heat and good thermostats. The propane furnace is going to be necessary in the coldest temperatures to take the chill off, but having the heat pump will be the better way to heat your RV in regard to cost savings and comfort. The ducted heat and thermostats give you more control over how even the heat is throughout your RV, which means you can pick and choose where you want the most heat at any given time. This saves you more money and enables you to prioritize your comfort.

Many modern RV’s now feature enclosed and heated basements, which does wonders for protecting your pipes and keeping your floors warmer. Alternatively, look for cold weather packages that provide heated holding and water tank pads, as well as a way to protect water and sewage lines.

Do your research regarding insulation in the ceilings, floors and walls. You want plenty of it, and you want it in the right places.

Dual pane windows will make a huge difference in your comfort. In places with rainy winters, like western Oregon, you might also want frameless windows that open out from the bottom; this allows you to get some fresh air if you need it without letting in rain. However, some people want more ventilation in the summer than frameless windows provide, so be sure to look at your options.

In a more general way, think about the plumbing layout. Is the plumbing in your cupboards against the outside wall where it can easily freeze, or is it in the basement where it’s close to the heat from the floor? Do you have easy access in case of an emergency, or is it going to be hard to get to?

We think four-season camping is the best. Seeing the beauty of winter from the comfort of your home on wheels is a perspective we wish everyone could enjoy. By putting a little time into thinking about what you need and which RV manufacturers are doing the best job of creating truly winter-friendly models, you’ll be well on your way to finding your perfect four-season RV. Next week we’re going to take a look at some of the manufacturers that we respect the most for their four-season RV’s and Arctic packages.

If you have any questions, or you’d like to walk through some of the best four-season RV’s, contact us today or come on over to Junction City.
Photo Credit Colleen Lane

Fall RV’ing—The Perfect Getaway

For many families, fall marks the beginning of the new school year and the time to put away the barbecues. But for three- and four-season RVers, it’s time to begin planning fall and winter RV vacations. For these intrepid campers and road-trippers, the change in season means it’s time to hit the road again. Here at Guaranty RV, we’re always excited to see the leaves change color in our beautiful hometown of Junction City, Oregon. Not only does it mean our beloved Oregon Ducks and Beavers are back on the field, but also we get to appreciate all of autumn’s glory right here in the place we love most.

On the other hand, fall is also the perfect time to get away, so we’ve put together some great trip ideas to get you out on the road this season, and to keep you prepared for the weather changes in your RV. We think a 2016 autumn road trip is a great way to round out the year before the holidays.

Family Favorites: Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, Haunted Houses, Oh My!

When you own an RV, you have the luxury of visiting all the best spots for fall festivities. Autumn is a slow season at many of our favorite campgrounds, which makes it an excellent time for RVing. Also, many destinations offer discounts this time of year, since they’re expecting most RVers to pack away the motorhome, travel trailer or camper for the winter. For those of us who RV year round, that’s a big bonus.

Whether you are traveling alone, with a special someone, or the whole family, fall is a great time to visit some of the best pumpkin patches in the U.S. These farms provide a variety of squash and gourds, so you’re sure to come home with the best decorations and the perfect jack-o-lantern. Need some tips for pumpkin carving? Here you go! This fall adventure has more to offer than just pumpkins, though. At the best patches you can also enjoy the farm animals, fresh produce and fall scents that will linger with you.

Another fun fall tradition involves getting lost in a maze of corn. From mazes carved like witches, to state maps, this adventure is not for the directionally challenged. Some of the best corn mazes in the U.S. will take you through tunnels, over bridges and may even spook you if the corn maze is haunted.

Speaking of spooky attractions; some RV travelers will enjoy hunting down the most popular haunted attractions in the U.S. For other RVers, a pumpkin spice latte or homemade apple cider is the only fall craving that exists.

Fall Foliage Trips for the Hiker

For those who fancy a good hike and a beautiful campground, a fall camping adventure might be perfect for you. You’ll find scenic trails and spectacular views in these 15 popular fall camping spots. Of course there are specific hikes that are particularly beautiful during the autumn season in most states. For example, in Washington and Oregon, we’re particularly lucky because we can enjoy canyons, creeks and mountains, as well as the best coastal hikes, all within an easy drive. If you’re planning to be near Guaranty RV in Junction City this autumn, we’re just an hour from the famous Sweet Creek Trail in Mapleton, which is an easy hike and is especially delightful in the fall.

For those RVers who are outside of our neck of the woods, check your local TripAdvisor or state tourism sites for the best short fall hikes.

Fall Foliage Trips Without a Hike

You can also enjoy the beauty of fall colors without leaving the comfort of your RV. There are plenty of scenic roads throughout Oregon and the U.S. that will allow you to enjoy autumn with your heater cranked up.

If you’re planning to be on the East Coast, you can take the back roads and check out state parks in Vermont, a state famous for its fall color. If you fancy a road trip based on spectacular autumn scenery but you’re closer to the Rockies, check out the beautiful mountains and famous white barked trees in Aspen, Colorado. These mountains are some of the most photographed in the world.

You might not think of Oregon when you think of autumn leaves—after all, we’re famous for our big conifer forests—but there is plenty of fall foliage to see within our home state. In fact, the Columbia River Gorge made Fodor’s Travel Top 10 Fall Foliage in the U.S. List. The Gorge is at it’s autumn finest from mid-September through mid-October. You can enjoy stunning nature, and a comfortable RV stay in Hood River. While you’re there, it’s a short drive to Portland, where you can linger in the famous Portland Japanese Gardens, which are particularly impressive this time of year. (Note: Due to construction and the restoration of Kingston Avenue, the Garden will be closed from October 17 - October 21, 2016. There will also be a temporary interruption to Garden Shuttle service from October 10 - October 28.)

Another local option to enjoy the fall color without leaving the comfort of your RV, is to drive up the McKenzie River and check out the beautiful Cougar Reservoir.

Know Before You Go

Since Fall is in full swing, it is important to plan the details of your trip before you take off on your adventure. First, check the weather and road conditions before traveling anywhere. Some of the most accurate weather predictions can be found on The Weather Channel. Trip Check is a great place to check road conditions and road construction! Always have your GPS or a mobile app running to check construction as well, because long lines of traffic can definitely put a damper on a vacation.

A great app to keep up with traffic delays is Waze. This app reports traffic delays by real users, so the information is always up to date.

Prepare Your RV for Cool Weather Travel

Although it is not quite time to worry about winter traveling, it is still important to prepare before you leave because autumn weather can change quickly. These tips will help you make sure your RV is ready for your fall trip.

Here are our Top Suggestions for Road Safety in the Fall: Make sure the tires are in good condition in case you hit wet roads. To check the tire tread, try the penny test. Check that tires are properly inflated, this will prevent hydroplaning in fall conditions. Ensure the brakes are in good working condition, especially because roads may be extra slippery. Keep your propane tanks full. Check the generator and make sure it is running properly. Since you might hit some fall rain, make sure the seals on your RV are nice and snug. Double check your heat sources to make sure everything is working properly. Check your RV’s lights, for safety at night. It is also a good idea to store a flashlight in case of emergencies. Make sure your first aid kit is up to date, stocked and ready. Check your supply of blankets and sleeping bags. Will you need more with the cold weather? Bring extra floor mats to keep the mud out of your RV. Make sure you have emergency blankets, gloves and hats.

It is important to check out your entire RV before a trip, but especially as the weather turns, to ensure safety. If you have any questions about what you need to prepare for your fall adventure, our helpful staff would be happy to chat with you.

Don’t Forget to Prepare for Your Pets, Too!

As the weather gets colder, and you’re packing your RV with the proper supplies to keep friends and family comfortable on the road, don’t forget to pack for your pets too.

If you plan to hike on your fall travels, you know it’s important to pack comfortable walking shoes, multiple layers of clothing and a good water bottle for hydration. Pets need some similar items. Since fall is a generally wet and/or chilly season, particularly if you’re getting out in the farm fields or into the woods hiking in all that fall color, there are several ways to keep your animals warm and dry. A jacket or sweater to keep them warm in the cold is a good start. If the ground gets especially cold, dog boots and paw protectors can also be helpful. And remember that a lot of animals don’t like windy or stormy weather, so if you are traveling with a pet, be sure to keep them with you where they feel safe. Also, as much as we all might enjoy seeing our dogs jumping in the mud puddles, it also usually causes us to grimace when we realize we’ll be cleaning muddy paw prints off the floor for days. On your fall excursion, remember to pack extra towels to dry your pooch off before he comes inside; this will also help your pet warm up more quickly.

With the beautiful scenery, and safe road conditions, fall makes a great season for RV travelers. Whichever adventure you choose this fall, our team at Guaranty RV wants to help you stay comfortable and happy on the road. If you have any questions about your fall travel plans, how to prepare your RV or what to expect, our friendly staff would be happy to help! Don’t forget a camera to capture all of the unforgettable moments on the road!

Photo: Phil Varney

Why Choose Us

Guaranty RV has offered guaranteed savings for more than 50 years! From the moment you contact us until after you find your perfect RV, we strive to give you the best customer service in the industry.

We’re giving a rating of 5 stars. It has always been a pleasure buying a vehicle from our friends at Guaranty. They are always friendly and straightforward on what they can offer you on your trades and the best price on the vehicle you buy. That’s why we keep coming back. - Kathleen R., email

Our neighbors recommended your dealership… and my wife and I attended your seminar on how to buy a used RV, which was very informative... we met Derrick "Happy" Pruitt who was very educational, low key and easy going... (We) made a deposit and were on our way... and we did the final payment and paperwork with Conchita Cates who was very pleasant. My wife was an important part of this process and she was treated with respect and as an equal throughout... overall a five star (out of five stars) experience. - Brian and Marianna M., email

We’ve experienced a phenomenal after-sale experience...Sherry Rouilliard, who was designated as our “contact” is amazing, efficient, and a “customer friendly” person… all we had to do was email Sherry, and it was never more than an hour and we had a completely responsive answer… She always managed to be there for both the check in and check out… Both the product and after sale service have been so exceptional that I’ve written a personal note to Mike Happe at Winnebago to let him know of our extraordinary experience with both the product and the dealer that represents them... - Thomas G., email

We just picked up our new RV… everyone we dealt with was very professional and a pleasure to work with. It was one of the most pleasurable purchases I have ever made… every detail that they said would be done, was done...You should be proud of your dealership and staff... - Ken & Christine, email

We were returning to Florence from PDX yesterday, and noted the highway signage about the new store in the old CW facility in JC. So we detoured from the normal route to return via JC, and stopped for a look-see. What a nice new facility! I was impressed with the breadth of what a customer can get there; but interested as well to see the rental center there. But best of all were a couple of the folks I chatted with. Renee, who apparently heads the rental program, is absolutely fantastic. We discussed at some length why a potential customer would be better off to deal with Guaranty than one of the huge chain operations. Her responses were very persuasive. But mostly I had the feeling I was probably talking to the most professional person anywhere on that subject. We also happened to check on the availability of an obscure part, being drawer hardware. And Jessica really went the extra mile to help us sort through the options. Bottom line, wonderful new store—but best of all the people…. - Tom G., email

You probably hear this all the time about Mike Cullmer, but honestly we’ve never experienced such amazing customer service anywhere, ever… most of our transaction was handled over the past week (via phone conversations and text messages). During that time, it felt like I was communicating with a close friend… I want to give extra kudos to Tyler Christiance and the gal who helped us with the paperwork… They are amazing too… Thank you. - Casey & Kayla A., email

Barbara Balcom is by far the most pleasant, helpful, warm and professional, knowledgeable lady we have ever had to help us in purchasing anything... Chad Curry went above and beyond to make our purchase happen... Conchita Cates made the finance part of the process actually fun!... Wyatt Hartwig, very pleasant and thorough with the walk through... Tim Schmerber, delivered our rig, was nice, friendly and answered all questions... Wow! Just Wow! - Diana & Lloyd B., email