10 Things I’ve Learned About RVs In My First Month at Pete’s RV Center

I’ve spent many weekends of my life camping throughout New England, but as someone who belongs to more of a backpacking and car-camping family, the world of RVs was completely foreign to me before I began my position as a marketing admin at Pete’s RV Center about a month ago. In the weeks that I have worked here I have learned more than I could have imagined about campers.

1. What does RV stand for?

This is probably obvious to some, but I really didn’t know! RV stands for Recreational Vehicle. But what can be classified as an RV? 

2. Motorhomes, teardrops, pop-up campers… all of the above! 

Before I started here, I thought “RV” was synonymous with “motorhome”, and that trailers and pop-ups were “campers”. However, all campers are RV’s, and all RV’s are campers! They are interchangeable terms that apply to any trailer or vehicle that has living accommodations. 

3. RV Dealerships can be “exclusive” with one manufacturer 

An RV Dealership may be partnered with one specific manufacturer, so all or most of their new inventory must be of the same brand. In South Windsor CT, Pete’s RV Center is Jayco exclusive. This is great for Jayco fans because our lot has the largest inventory of Jayco RVs in the area and we can show potential customers many different types of units and floorplans of their favorite and most trusted manufacturer. 

4. Hidden features everywhere! 

The first time I opened the door to a seemingly tiny teardrop camper, I was amazed! What looks like it would barely fit a small mattress makes the most of very little space by having incredible design features such as hidden storage, multi-functional furniture, outdoor kitchens, and more. Some even have bathrooms and refrigerators! 

5. All the floorplans 

RV shoppers truly have the luxury of choice when picking out the best camper for their family. Once they land on a manufacturer and the specific model they are looking for, they can then browse through many different floor-plans to pick and choose the features they love. For example, many families with young kids prefer a floorplan featuring a bunkhouse for some extra sleeping space! 

6. Everything is a bed! 

Even if you don’t find a camper with a bunkhouse, chances are there will be more sleeping room in your camper than meets the eye. In addition to a bedroom, many campers have features such as convertible sofas and dinettes. This is a great way to save space in your camper while still providing the option for your friends and family to come along with you on your camping trips! 

7. VIN Numbers 

A quick fun fact that I found interesting when I started here is that motorhomes commonly have two VIN numbers – one for the chassis manufacturer and the other for the motorhome manufacturer, as these parties are frequently different.  

8. Generators

How you will power your RV is definitely something important to consider when purchasing your new camper. Some units have built-in generators, while many others do not. If your RV does not have a generator included, check out this video for some tips on how to choose which generator is best for you.

9. Batteries

Speaking of generators, I was very nervous the first time I had to hook up a battery to a camper. It’s not rocket science! As long as you are careful not to touch oppositely charged cables together, it is very easy and safe. Batteries also have built in safety features to prevent extreme damage to the unit (or harm to you) if you make a mistake. You’ll most likely be down a battery though, so be careful!

10. The size!

When I first stepped into a Class A motorhome, I was shocked at how spacious the living accommodations were. Some of the largest motorhomes can be between 300 – 400 square feet with the slide-outs extended – that’s bigger than some studio apartments!  

While I do still love car camping and backpacking, being immersed in the RV industry for a month has shown me a whole new side of camping that I knew very little about before. Pete’s RV Center can help campers find their perfect new travel-sized home so they can live comfortably in the beauty and excitement of the outdoors. 

Hughes Power Watchdog Surge Protectors | QUICK TIPS w/ Randy Murray

In today’s video, Randy talks you through some of the basics of surge protectors, and explains why he highly regards Power Watchdog line of surge protectors from Hughes. https://hughesautoformers.com/power-watchdog-smart-surge-protectors/


Hey, guys, Randy with Pete’s RV TV today. Today, I want to talk a little bit about surge protection. So, something that you guys may not know about me is I’m actually an electrician by trade. So, every RV dealer has a guy like me who has been around for a million years and he is kind of the fix it guy or the go-to guy, where the hard questions usually gravitate towards that gentleman. I’m that guy at Pete’s RV. So, they’d be coming to me. But the thing that I bring to the table as I just mentioned is I used to build custom homes and I am an electrician by trade. So, when it comes to the electrical side of things, I really know what I’m talking about from my former life. So, I’m the guy that they bring in when they talk about surge protection and what kind of surge protection that we’re going to carry as a dealer group.

I’ve played with them all. I’ve played with all the big names out there, and we have ended up with the Hughes Watchdog. Hughes makes an incredible product. I’ve actually met with the owner of Hughes, gentleman named Pat. He’s actually a friend of mine now. And the product that he brought to the table I felt was so far superior to the other stuff out there, we took it on. And as I learned more and more about it, I just kept knowing that I made the right choice because it is a great product. One of the things that the Hughes Watchdog does is it protects us from surge. So, if there is a lightning strike down the road or nearby, this is going to protect anything that’s coming in on those negative lines, on the ground wires, or the high voltage is coming over on the positive side of things. Nothing will protect you from a direct lightning strike, but if there’s something nearby and you can be protected from it, the Hughes Watchdog is definitely going to do that.

One of the really cool things about the Hughes Watchdog is protecting you on those surges, is it actually the Joules, the absorption material that takes those hits is replaceable, where with the competitors, it is not. Once those Joules of that absorption portion of the surge protector is worn out, you need to replace the whole detector. Where this guy here, we can just replace the absorption of the Joules portion of it. The Power Watchdog is going to run at equal or better than its competition out there. When it comes to absorption, they’ve actually just changed. So, depending on when you purchased, they’re offering a little bit more than they once did, which again is in line or better than the competitors out there.

The other thing that the Hughes Watchdog does for us with the EPO, emergency power off, and this is probably going to come into play more often than we would with the typical surge on it, is low voltage, high voltage, reverse polarity or no ground. It is going to protect us from all that. All very important things. This guy will shut power off if it doesn’t like something. So, at 103 volts, so say on a busy weekend at a campground, we can see very low voltage. Everybody gets to the campground, everybody throws on all their air conditioners or electric hot water heater. The griddles go on, the coffee makers, everything that you need to go camping that we brought from home, we bring to the campground and we turn it on when we get there, which can actually put campgrounds into a low voltage situation or a brownout.

When I say brownout, I mean below 103 volts. So, electricity is an amazing thing. Electricity will still function at low voltage. It will still pass at low voltage, but at low voltage it creates high amperage. High amperage creates high heat. High heat will prematurely wear out your electrical components, especially your inductive loads like your air conditioner motors and things like that, things that are very expensive to replace. So, with the EPO here, it will protect you from that. It will actually shut power off, not allow power to pass if it doesn’t like something, or it’s in a spot where we feel that it’s damaging your coach. When we can throw this thing into alarm here, also has Bluetooth, so it’ll go to your phone. So, if you’re within Bluetooth range of the Watchdog, it will come right to your phone.

I’m going to hook this device up to my phone right here. And if you can zoom in on this, Cam, we are going to see the incoming voltage on both legs of that 50 amp Watchdog. I’m not pulling any amps right now, because I’ve got nothing plugged into it. And the frequency in North America is 60 hertz, so we’re running right there where we’re supposed to be on that. Let’s throw this thing into an alarm so we can see it come up. So, I have just removed the ground from the Watchdog. We can see the Watchdog is turned red, but immediately it has hit my phone as missing ground. And has actually shut power off going through the Watchdog, so no power is passing to the camper right now. And I have an alert on my phone within Bluetooth range saying what’s going on.

And it will work for you whether you’re in Bluetooth range or not, but it will tell you what’s going on if you’ve got it tied to your personal device. Once power has been restored or it likes what’s going back on, in about 90 seconds it will just make sure that everything is safe and then it’ll allow power to pass again. So, that’s how the EPO works. No ground can put you into a hot skin situation. So, very dangerous situation. And again, why it doesn’t want to pass, high voltage above 132 volts, doesn’t want to see that. It will shut power off. Low voltage below that 103 that I referred to earlier, it’s going to shut it off.

So, this thing is going to work continuously for you to protect your investment and make sure that you don’t end up in those service bays, which we all know are a little bit cumbersome to get into and sometimes take longer than what we’d like to get back out of them. So, I recommend the Hughes Watchdog for any camper out there. I personally like the hardwire version, because it is working for you all the time. It is wired permanently into your camper. It can’t be stolen. It is not in the elements. It can’t be damaged for transport. So, the hardwire version would be my recommendation and definitely the Hughes Watchdog. Thanks for watching Pete’s RV TV with Randy today. I look forward to seeing you on the road.

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Pete’s RV Center is an exceptional dealership group serving the United States and Canada since 1952. With multiple locations, Pete’s RV provides sales, service, parts, accessories, and education to our community of RVers all across North America.


NEWS RELEASE: Pete’s RV Center Partners with Thousand Trails

The Pete’s RV Center dealer group is proud to announce their affiliation with the Thousand Trails campground and resort membership network.

With the purchase of an RV from any of their locations, Pete’s RV customers are presented the opportunity to sign up for a one-year, complimentary camping pass.

We are really excited to be named a national account with Thousand Trails,” says Phil LeClair, Marketing Director at Pete’s RV Center, “Uniting two organizations that promote the family camping experience further enhances the benefits we offer to our valued customers.”

Thousand Trails has been providing families with memorable camping experiences for over five decades. They have one of the most expansive networks of RV resorts in North America, reaching twenty-two states across the US and British Columbia.

With nine locations and counting, Pete’s RV Center Dealer Group provides full service assistance to RVers throughout the United States and Canada. Originally established in South Burlington, Vermont, Pete’s RV Center has proudly been operating since 1952.

Just Arrived: Cortes Campers Joins Pete’s RV Center’s Inventory

Pete’s RV Center is delighted to sign with US Lighting Group as a Cortes dealership. Our Vermont, Indiana, Connecticut, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Virginia locations will all carry Cortes Campers’ state-of-the-art, fiberglass travel trailers. 

These units are ultra light-weight and have four season capability—with an interior and exterior shell of molded fiberglass, they are models are constructed without any wood or carpet. Meaning no corrosion, mold, or rot in your camper.

Cortes Campers are built like a boat—durable and strong, ready for an adventure.

Currently in stock, with more models on the way, is Cortes 17. This travel trailer, which comes in an array of vibrant colors, is 17 feet long and 8.11 feet wide. It sleeps two with a rear dinette that converts into a double bed. At its middle sits an additional, smaller dinette, as well as a kitchen with a sink, 8.0 cu ft fridge, microwave oven, and three burner stove. A bathroom and closet space are at Cortes 17’s rear. 

Cortes 17 also has double pane acrylic windows, a marine gelcoat, anti-skid floors, all stainless steal fasteners, plug and play wire harnesses, and a patented gray water dump system.

View our current selection of Cortes Campers:

New EnglandVirginiaSouth CarolinaIndiana

Learn more about Cortes 17’s additional features and add ons here! 

nuCamp Releases Teardrop Signature Series in Collaboration with Leaf + Linen

In partnership with Leaf + Linen, nuCamp has recently introduced the Signature Series Tab Teardrop Camper. Leaf + Linen is an Ohio-based clothing and home goods company with a clean, elegant aesthetic—offering a ‘calm, restorative feeling’ to this new edition of the Tab trailer. 

This unit follows the same layout as their current 320S teardrop floor plan with a front galley kitchen, adjacent wet bath, and dinette that easily converts into a sleeping area at the rear. 

On the exterior of the Signature Series Tab is a metallic vinyl of Leaf + Linen’s letter and pictorial mark—giving the interior room to reflect the brand through its serene palette of coastal teal cushions, sandy driftwood flooring, and alabaster countertops. 

The 2023 Signature Series Tab Teardrop Camper includes standard features of a Tab camper, such as the Alde heating system, central AC, Nautilus water management system, and Goodyear tires. This unit, however, sets itself apart with wood cabinetry that has the premium feel of typical Class B motorhomes.

“We aimed to combine the quality nuCamp build with Leaf + Linen’s clean style and sophistication,” says nuCamp CEO Scott Hubble, “to make a travel trailer you will fall in love with every time you walk in.”

Contact our New England, Virginia or Indiana locations for information on acquiring your very own Tab Signature!

Learn more about the Signature Series from nuCamp here.

Pete’s RV Center Will Now Carry Brinkley RV

Pete’s RV Center is elated that Brinkley RV’s luxury campers will be joining our extensive inventory. Brinkley currently offers two models—Model Z 3100 & Model G 3500, with more on the way. Model Z 3100 is a mid-sized fifth wheel with, amoung many features, has H-rated Cooper tires, flush floor slides, and class-leading 79.5″ bed & bath interior height. Model G 3500 is a luxury toy hauler that ‘offers dozens of intelligently designed features, an automotive exterior, and a true residential interior’.

Model Z 3100 interior photo.

Brinkley RV is owned by Ryan Thwaits, Ron Fenech, Micah Staley, Bill Fenech, and Nate Goldenberg, who came together with years of respective RV experience to build a brand that focuses on customer satisfaction. They say, “Due to the industry’s noticeable shift in focus away from customer experience and product design, [we] saw a unique opportunity to recreate the RV experience for dealers and customers”. Brinkley aims to put customer feedback at the center of their production work to create campers that are truly for their audience.

Model Z 3100’s bedroom.

Check out the current selection of Brinkley RV’s in our inventory.

Check out our 2023 RV Shows & Events!

RV & Camping Shows

January 6-8, All American Outdoor Expo, Fort Wayne, IN

January 7-15, Pittsburgh RV Show, Pittsburgh, PA

January 12-15, Valley RV & Camping Show, South Bend, IN

January 13-16, Boston RV & Camping Show, Boston, MA

January 13-15, Lehigh Valley RV & Campgrounds Show, Lehigh Valley, PA

January 20-22, Greater Chicago RV Show, Chicago, IL

January 20-22, RV Show of Tidewater, Virginia Beach, VA

January 27-29, Northeast RV & Camping Show, Hartford, CT

February 3-5, Richmond RV Show, Richmond, VA

February 10-12, Rhode Island RV & Camping Show, Providence, RI

February 17-20, Springfield RV, Camping, & Outdoor Show, Springfield, MA

February 23-26, Roadshow & Liquidation Sale, Burlington, VT

February 23-26, Pennsylvania RV Super Show, Harrisburg, PA

February 24-26, Worcester RV & Camping Show, Worcester, MA

March 3-5, NWI Fishing & Outdoor Expo, Highland, IN

March 10-12, York Show, York, PA

March 10-12, Virginia RV Expo, Hampton, VA

March 17-19, Sun & RV Camping Show, Uncasville, CT

March 17-19, Mid-Atlantic RV Expo, Dowell, VA

March 24-26, NH Camping & RV Show, Bedford, NH

March 31 – April 2, NH Camping & Recreational Vehicle Show, Milford, NH

April 1 – 2, Vacationland RV & Camping Show, Auburn, ME

April 15 – 16, Coastal Carolina Outdoor Expo, Charleston, SC

September 13-17, Hershey: America’s Largest RV Show, Hershey, PA

Road Shows

April 21 – May 7, Park City, Lancaster, PA

April 21 – 30, Berglund Center, Roanoke, VA

April 27 – 30, Shererville, IN

May 4 – 10, Crystal Mall Road Show, Waterford, CT

May 11 – 14, Emerald Square Mall, N. Attleborough, MA

May 20 – 21, Bayley’s Camping Resort, Scarborough, ME

May 27 – 28, Bayley’s Camping Resort, Scarborough, ME

May 25 – 28, Rutland Fairgrounds, Rutland, VT

May 26 – June 4, Northwoods Mall, North Charleston, SC

July 7 – 9, Bayley’s Camping Resort, Scarborough, ME

July 7 – 23, Berglund Civic Center, Roanoke, VA

August 11 – September 3, Berglund Center, Roanoke, VA

September 8 – 11, Champlain Valley Exposition, Essex Junction, VT

September 22 – 24, Indianapolis Fall Boat & RV Show, Indianapolis, IN

October 1 – 8, Fryeburg Fair, Fryeburg, ME

October 5 – 8, Peanut Festival, Suffolk, VA

October 13 – 15, Pittsburgh RV Super Sale, Pittsburgh, PA

October 27 – 29, RV Super Sale, Fort Wayne, IN

For more Pete’s RV Center news and to view our RV inventory, visit PetesRVCenter.com today!

nuCamp’s Fiberglass Barefoot Officially Rolls off Production Line

If you’re familiar with nuCamp, you may easily recognize their teardrop, clamshell, or cirrus campers—all uniquely shaped travel trailers designed to accommodate those interested in an off-the-beaten-path type of camping experience. These RVs are compact, easy-to-tow and the epitome of tiny-living. 

This line-up will soon have company as nuCamp is finally sending their long-awaited Barefoot travel trailer off to production. Diverting from the brand’s usual style—this camper has a bold seaglass colored exterior and round fiberglass body. It sets itself apart with its ‘retro-chic’ aesthetic and more spacious interior.

This is an incredibly unique product we are sure you will love!

nuCamp CEO Scott Hubble

nuCamp initially announced plans to manufacture Barefoot in 2019 when they partnered with the British company Barefoot Caravans. It took two years to “Americanize” the trailer for North American patronage due to COVID restrictions, and the first official unit was produced only this past December. 

The brand is excited to finally release this product now that they’ve finished fine tuning. nuCamp CEO Scott Hubble says, “Our goal was to take the beautiful UK Barefoot and transition it to the U.S. market. We wanted to maintain the look and feel of the unit all while adding in components and features the North American market has come to think of as a standard. The high quality you have come to expect with all the nuCamp products will be no exception with the Barefoot. This is an incredibly unique product we are sure you will love.”

10 Things I’ve Learned About RVs

Prior to joining the marketing team at Pete’s RV Center, I could name maybe one RV manufacturer and thought the word ‘motorhome’ was interchangeable with ‘camper’. After just a few weeks, however, I can name at least five or six manufacturers off the top of my head and I know the main difference between a travel trailer and a fifth wheel. But, the learning doesn’t stop there, so here’s what Pete’s has made me contemplate about RVs and the RVing lifestyles so far.

1. RVs come in all different shapes and sizes

Growing up, I’d be invited on the occasional camping trip with friends or family members who owned your standard travel trailer or expandable unit. These experiences led me to associate camping (on wheels) closely with these specific types of trailers. Pete’s RV Center, however, has opened my eyes to the wide selection of units the RV world has to offer. 

2. They’re made to fit different lifestyles

From massive fifth wheels or class A motorhomes to your more compact nuCamp Cirrus or Airstream Basecamp, RVs are made to fit a range of lifestyles and camping journeys. A solo traveler that prefers to take trips in the mountains or deep wilderness may enjoy a smaller trailer that is made to endure rougher terrain. While a retired couple who are planning a long term road trip around the country are probably more interested in a fifth wheel with lots of space and amenities. 

3. Small space ≠ small amount of possibilities 

When you consider furnishing a small space, it may seem like the options are limited—and depending on the dimensions, they can be. But looking at just a handful of RV floor plans from different models and manufacturers makes it apparent that ‘small space’ does not necessarily equate to a small amount of possibilities.

Just because a trailer is on the tinier side doesn’t mean it can’t still have a spacious rear bath with a full tub or a large pantry closet. Living in a compact environment doesn’t necessarily mean limiting your options or letting go of amenities that are important to you.

4. RVs are versatile

Contraptions like murphy beds, convertible u-dinettes or jack knife sofas allow you to have functional living areas without giving up space, or needing more. There are also units such as toy haulers, which have a garage at the rear, making your trailer an even more adaptable vehicle. 

5. You can accessorize

Upon purchasing an RV, many come with add ons for an additional cost—such as extra TVs, a security kit, extra furniture, solar panels, etc. They are a great way to upgrade your camping experience. You can also install accessories later on, and Pete’s parts department carries plenty. 

6. If you’re handy…

Buying used and renovating is always an option. Like most things bought secondhand, the severity of wear and usability varies from trailer to trailer, some may be ready to go while others require major updating. And while accessorizing is one thing, reconstructing is a whole other ball game. But if you’re up for a challenge, purchasing a significantly cheaper option and reselling down the road could be a great investment.

7. RV names mean something

The names of RVs break down into five different parts. For an example we’ll use the 2022 Forest River Alpha Wolf 388BHRD. The number at the front, of course, refers to the year. The next phrase is the manufacturer, ‘Forest River’, followed by the model, ‘Alpha Wolf’, and the most interesting part (in my opinion), the last sequence of letters at the very end indicate the model’s floor plan, ‘FK’ meaning ‘front kitchen’. Floor plans that end in RB mean ‘rear bathroom’, BH means ‘bunkhouse’, SLX/XLT are ‘lightweight or ultra-light’, and the list goes on. Additionally, numbers that come before these acronyms refer to the model number, or in some cases, the length of the trailer. 

8. There are RV-specific navigation tools

When driving an RV, it’s best to use an RV-specific GPS or GPS app. The average navigation system doesn’t account for the larger dimensions of a trailer, and may lead you to lower clearance bridges or roads with weight limits. Many RV GPS devices also come with resources from other RVers regarding where the best places are to stop, fuel up, or get a repair. 

9. Just because summer is over, doesn’t mean camping is

Much like actual birds, ‘snowbirds’ migrate south for winter. When the temperatures start to drop up north, those who enjoy the warmer weather and want to prolong their time camping head to warmer destinations. And those who don’t have to winterize their RV to avoid internal damage. 

Women in yellow shirt holding toilet paper in front of her.

10. RVs need specific toilet paper

If you already own an RV, it’s very concerning if you don’t already know this, but RVs need toilet paper that disintegrates quickly. Unlike regular toilet paper, RV-friendly paper dissolves faster to avoid clogs in your holding tank or sewage system. 

Just as learning about anything unfamiliar is..getting to know more about RVs is a bit overwhelming. There are so many different types, brands, models, accessories, not to mention the inner workings of how they function—how to take care of them, what sort of maintenance they need. RVs are complex in many ways. But, the more interesting things in life are, and I can think of far less compelling things than entire homes on wheels!

Pete’s RV Center Awarded in Jayco Dealer Homecoming

Jayco’s Dealer Homecoming returned for the first time in three years, to Nashville, Tennessee.  The event was held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, where dealers like Pete’s RV Center were invited to get an exclusive first look at the 2023 Jayco product line. 

Each item in the Jayco lineup had exciting new features and updates, including three completely new brands, the Jay Feather Volaré, the Seneca XT and the Solstice Li.

“Jay Feather Volaré – This non-traditional travel trailer was designed based off of dealer requests to target younger buyers.

Seneca XT – This rugged Super C is built on a Freightliner® chassis that’s designed and engineered specifically to handle well both on and off the pavement.

Solstice Li – This luxury Class B Motorhome, offers consumers the flexibility of lithium and a greener alternative to a generator,” Jayco told RVNews.com

Pete’s RV Center was awarded the #2 Overall Dealer for Jayco Towables, and #5 Overall Dealer for Jayco Motorized. 

Check out our photos of some of the all new 2023 Jayco RV’s below!

2023 Jayco Seneca

Jayco Volare