by Eric Tress
The COVID-19 pandemic has swept around the globe, causing uncertainty for everyone and especially for full-time RVers.
Some people prefer to live as nomads, traveling, and discovering their inner adventure spirit by crisscrossing the country in their RVs instead of living in traditional homes. However, during this pandemic season, the main agenda for RVers should be staying safe and healthy until the infection rate has reduced and the stay-at-home-restrictions are lifted.
Here are some ways to navigate the pandemic and stay safe:
1. Stay in recommended places
The RVers should stay in recommended places with good reviews. Avoid moving from one location to another and stay in a comfortable, safe place, whether in your property, family member driveway, or an RV Camp to minimize the chances of getting exposed to the virus.
Ensure you stay in a location within reach of medical resources, in case of an emergency. Your locality should also have essential suppliers like produce and paper goods within a short drive. Be extra careful when interacting with others by staying six feet away.
2. Have enough resources
Fill your RV with enough gas and buy groceries to last you for a month; this restricts any unnecessary movement. Have enough kitchen equipment and other essentials, including canned food, dry goods, food storage containers, dish soap, towels, sponges, trash bags, and pot holders to avoid borrowing from other RVers.
For the bath and bed needs, have enough bedding, toiletries, laundry detergents, and flip flops for a comfortable stay. Have items like an outdoor rug for yoga, tablet or Smartphone, camping chairs, refillable water bottle, and lots of games, headlamps, and flashlights.
Your emergency kit should have enough supplies, including painkillers, thermometer, and other essential medical equipment.
Ensure you have updated RV insurance and your contacts within easy reach; that includes your family members, next of kin, and doctor.
RVs are also prone to accidents like from little fender benders, more serious accidents to manufacturing and design defects; hence the need to have contacts of your car accident lawyer (here's one in NJ) within reach is important.
3. Embrace campground etiquette
Once you find the ideal spot for your RV, adhere to the campground etiquette to keep safe. During check-in, ask for no-contact services like paying using a credit card. The fewer interactions you have with cash and people, the easier it is to stay healthy.
Instead of using the campsite shared bathrooms, full of surfaces that can quickly spread Covid-19, opt to use the RV bathroom. It will reduce the risk of infection.
Avoid using the campsite Laundromat and instead hand-wash your clothes and dry them in the sun. This prevents your getting into close contact with other RVers’ clothing while direct drying your clothes can kill viruses. Wear gloves when filling your tanks at the dump stations and rinse off your dump station.
For the campgrounds still providing Laundromat services, RVers are encouraged to adhere to cleanliness and safety guidelines provided like using antiviral cleaners and disinfectants, observing social distancing and using masks among others.
For mental health, avoid staying inside all day. If your local regulations allow, ride your bike around the park, take a walk, hike, go fishing, socialize but keep your distance.
4. Keep your RV clean
Thoroughly clean your RV regularly by disinfecting the surfaces to prevent infection. For the sink, toilet, countertops, and other hard surfaces use water and soap and disinfect using EPA approved products, diluted bleach solution, and products with 70% of alcohol base.
Vacuum and clean visible stains and debris on your RV furniture, drapes, carpeting, and rugs using porous surface EPA approved products. When doing laundry, avoid shaking the clothes to minimize the possibility of dispersing viruses through the air. Wash your clothes and other items using warm water and disinfect the hampers.
It’s advisable to disinfect and clean the areas you frequently touch on your RV daily. Such places include light switches, doorknobs, handles, countertops, toilets, sinks, faucets, phones, desks, RV’s steering wheel, door handles, and dash controls.
5. Embrace Personal Hygiene
Your hygiene plays a vital role in stopping the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap. Avoid touching your body parts like face using unwashed hands, cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue or use the inside of the elbow. Throw away used tissues, and immediately sanitize or wash hands.
Boost your immunity by eating highly nutritious meals, having enough sleep, and exercising.
6. Take care of your Mental Health.
A healthy mental state will ensure you follow the guidelines and make the right decision to stay safe.
Keep your mind healthy by shunning information pathogens, negative thoughts, and sensational headlines.
Find a distraction to help you cope and balance your daily life. You can do this by finding a good book, taking up a new hobby, or learning a new skill.
Speak about your fears, anxiety, and worries of COVID-19 and avoid bottling up your feelings. Connect with your feelings by expressing them; for example, for painful emotions, you may become sad or cry. Such ensures you release your feelings and find healing.
The pandemic has distracted the beautiful, carefree lifestyle of RVers, limiting movement, and socialization. However, following the above guidelines will keep your mental and physical health in tip-top shape, and if you suspect that you have COVID-19 symptoms, seek immediate help. Keep safe; you will eventually get back on the road and new adventures.
Eric Tress is a travel writer, digital content specialist, and a full-time sun seeker. He works closely with Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. as a content specialist helping them build their online presence through friendly, engaging, and shareable web content. When not hunched over his computer, Eric is into his fender guitars, traveling or enjoying a nature walk with his pet.
The suggestions and opinions expressed in this guest blog post are those of Eric Tress and not necessarily the opinions of Jack Huber and other associated blogsites.
For the past several years, I've been watching my calorie intake and have managed, until retirement, to lose several dozen pounds. One problem when dieting, even when it's a permanent lifestyle change, is what to do when you are hungry but limited in food intake.
I began using Mountain Trail Mix as my go-to snack for such occasions and found, at least for me, that my weight changed very little due to this incredible snack mix. One day I thought that the mix could use more cashews and started adding them to the pre-packaged mix, then some craisins, and finally decided I might as well make my own trail mix from scratch. I don't think it's any cheaper this way, but I get exactly what I want in the mix. I'll include costs so you can judge for yourself.
Here's what to purchase:
These represent the brands and sizes I normally purchase for one batch of Huberville Trail Mix, and there will be leftovers from the craisins, raisins and M&M's to use in future batches. I find that store brands work fine for the nuts and raisins but the name brands are worth springing for on the other ingredients. Feel free to use whichever brands you like.
I start by gathering my largest mixing bowl, a 2-cup measuring cup and a 1-gallon re-closable plastic storage container. I have found that the mix will last longer in a hard plastic container than in a zip-lock bag. Here is the process:
Wash your hands
My best guess on calories would be approximately 300 per 6 tablespoons, or about a third of a cup of trail mix. That's about how much I eat in a single sitting. Because of the sweet, salty, chocolaty and fruity aspects of the mix, I find it easily tides me over until my next regular meal. I even keep a small container in my headboard for a late night snack.
The total cost of this 18-cup mixture is around $28.00, or about $1.50 per cup, a very affordable goodie, and one that just may save you from devouring many more calories between meals.
One last thought- I will sometimes add different ingredients to change things up, such as dried bananas or fruit, semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, chocolate-powdered or flavored almonds, and so on. I only do that on occasion... and I always come back to this recipe, unmodified. Enjoy!
(Click here for an article I wrote about Thousand Trails.)
Address: 215 Spettle Rd., Lakehills, TX 78063
# of sites: 387
Full hookup price: From $49 per night
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Warnings: Not all sites have sewer, not all sites are close to the lake
Lakehills is about 40 miles from San Antonio and the rural town rests on the shore of the very large Medina Lake, The Medina Lake RV Campground (not to be confused with the Medina Lake RV Resort, a different park) is also located on the lake and shares the cooler hill-country weather of the region.
My opinion of this park was made without the knowledge of its community spaces (pool, spa, clubhouse/pavilion, laundry, etc.), which were all closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown rules in Texas for campgrounds.
This campground has very wide, tree-lined sites with good privacy and gravel-covered pads. Having spent time in several parks with little or no space or privacy, this benefit cannot be understated. The resort does sport the usual amenities, plus hiking trails, lake frontage and dock for fishing and boating, and picnic/barbecue areas.
There is plenty of wildlife here. We were visited often by several whitetail deer and my bird feeders attracted two pairs of cardinals, a pair of goldfinches, several hummingbirds and others. Just before we left a huge female turkey even rambled through.
Probably the biggest asset of this campground is its proximity to several Central Texas attractions and highlights. The park is located about 40 miles from San Antonio (and the Alamo), and a nice drive can take you through the famous Luckenbach, Texas, and the quaint town of Fredericksburg, known for its pies and wineries. The reservoir created by the Medina Lake Dam is also quite large.
Just as a side attraction, Bandera County put together a neat little program where businesses displayed bicycles painted blue along a couple of the minor highways that go through the district. I think I found 10 or 12 of them as we drove to and from the town of Bandera and our northern explorations.
The main disadvantage in coming to the Medina Lake RV Campground is the layout, with only a few sections of campsites near the lake and no way of knowing which sites are empty until you physically see them. From the lake shore to the farthest camping loop from it is about a mile, so it is difficult to know whether to snag an empty site when you come upon it or risk losing it by continuing down to the lake. Not all sites have sewers, so you have to specifically check for that in each site as well.
The staff was not friendly, but with the pandemic in full swing, it's difficult to know if that is normal or stress-induced. The have a $5 per package for receiving UPS packages and they refuse any USPS shipment. We were told by the post office staff that the campground would not allow USPS packages to be delivered because they weren't allowed to charge a fee for them. The nearest post office is in Pipe Creek, around 13 miles from the park.
There are no shopping areas close by, so Walmart and other box stores are 40+ miles away. Even fast food is scarce, with a few places in the town of Bandera, a 20-mile drive away.
The bottom line is that, knowing the secluded nature of the lake in advance, we would highly recommend the Medina Lake RV Campground, a Thousand Trails property. The staff's attitude during our visit and the lack of an easy way to secure a campsite are the reasons for my rating it less than a perfect "5." Perhaps when we return in a better time this can change.
Click here for an article I wrote about Thousand Trails.
Jack Huber is a novelist with 7 mysteries published, along with several books of poetry and photography. Now retired, he and his wife, Nadyne, are free to travel the country in their 32' 5th wheel and 1-ton Ford pickup.