rv under the stars 2

Know Before You Go! | The Ultimate Guide To RV Camping

on . Posted in Blog, camping

11 million people!

That’s how many Americans go RV Camping every year, according to the 2022 KOA North American Camping Report.

mountain range and highway

While the rise in popularity might motivate you to get out there on the road and try RV camping for yourself, there are several critical things to consider before planning your trip.

This guide will help you prepare and enjoy your next RV trip!

First, if you don’t own an RV, you need to decide whether you will rent or buy an RV.

Similarly, you have to determine your trip destination and plan your route for the best experience.


Because, unlike normal cars, RVs can be huge, so learning how to drive, navigate, and park your RV is extremely important.

What Is an RV?

An RV (recreational vehicle) is a towable or motorized camping trailer used for living while staying or traveling across various locations.

rvs parked in a row at campground

An RV can be a simple van with a bed, a small but functional pop-up trailer, or a double-wide Airstream with the luxurious comforts of a contemporary home.

Regardless of the shape and size, if you can sleep, boil water and cook in the vehicle, it’s an RV.

Choosing Your Destination

rv with grand canyon in background

You can travel almost anywhere with your RV, depending on your objectives for the trip. However, it’s important to have a clear idea of your final destination to plan your route before you hit the road.

The place you choose will depend on a number of factors – how far you want to travel, what types of activities you enjoy, and how long you plan to stay at your destination.


Enjoy Comfort and Style in an RV Park

Deciding your camping location can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to RV camping. While many destinations claim to have a campground, not every destination is created equal.

For first-time RVers or those looking for a longer stay, full-service parks like Midland East RV Park are packed with amenities and allow you to fully explore an area of your choosing.

Notably, RV resorts are the epitome of luxury in RV camping. That’s because they have lots of extra amenities like cable TV, Wi-Fi, swimming pools, and many other services.

The resort may be gated, which ensures peace of mind that your belongings will be safe while you’re exploring.

Buses to nearby attractions and locations may be provided, so you don’t have to unhitch your RV to tour the local areas.


Nature and Relaxation in an RV-friendly Campground

Most RV campgrounds are great for outdoor activities. While they may have fewer amenities, the locations are secluded, with peaceful nature surrounding them.

Rvs parked near mountains

One thing to keep in mind is that power hookups, water, and sewer systems may not be guaranteed, and an RV campground itself may be small and unpaved. While this option can be cheaper than an RV park, it may not provide all the luxuries you’re accustomed to during travel.

Experienced campers and those with an adventurous streak might enjoy the national parks system, to fully immerse themselves in nature while enjoying some of the comforts of home.


Booking Your Site

Many campgrounds have the option to book a space online. So, if you are planning your trip around peak travel seasons, booking in advance may be essential to ensure you have a guaranteed spot once you arrive.

rv with mountain and clouds in background

Before you pack up and hit the road, it’s important to check with the management at your chosen destination to be sure that their lots are large enough to accommodate your RV.

While campgrounds typically reserve spaces for RVs and tent campers, many operate on a “first come, first served” basis. So, if you suspect that your destination might have limited space for RVs, call ahead and reserve your spot if possible.

airstream rv

Size restrictions and a lack of available spaces might cause you to have to change plans halfway through, and it’s better to be prepared before you arrive at your destination. 

If your chosen campground is booked up and you can’t find another space, some large chain stores may let you spend the night in their parking lot with permission from the management.

While a parking lot may not seem like the best place to stay, it gives you a place to rest overnight before looking for a vacant site in the morning.

Preparing for Your RV Camping Trip: What to Bring

RV with umbrella

Whether you are a novice or a seasoned camper, packing for RV camping requires extensive forethought. While your RV might have multiple cabinets and shelves, you won’t have enough space for everything. Some essential RV equipment mentioned below depends on whether you own the RV or are renting one for vacation.

The following items should be in your RV camping packing list:

  • Generator
  • Hitch
  • Leveling blocks
  • Surge protectors
  • Generator and fuel for the generator
  • Electrical adaptors
  • Wheel chocks
  • Weight distribution bar
  • Drinking water and sewer hose
  • Portable toilet and shower
  • Hydraulic jack
  • Tool kit with screwdrivers, wrenches, and hammer

These items, coupled with other camping essentials, can quickly accumulate, making storage quite tricky.

You shouldn’t place these tools close to containers with caustic fluids. To avoid possible spillage, store any vehicle fluids in airtight containers. You should also consider having an exterior storage segment for RV tools and equipment.

Be sure to allocate extra time to drive to the camping ground so you can have enough time to set up your RV.

While most locations have guides that help visitors set up their gear, you still need time to figure out where to find the amenities.


Final Thoughts On RV Camping

Taking your RV out on a trip doesn’t have to be overwhelming. However, you need to plan your trip to avoid ugly surprises.

Pack enough items for the trip but, not too many, as this could make the process too stressful. After all, you’re going RV camping for relaxation and adventure, right?

rv on desert road

Be sure to keep your RV properly serviced and maintained to avoid breakdowns and other problems on the road.

While you may want to drive to a campground without notice, it’s prudent to book in advance, especially if you plan your RV camping trip during the peak season.

Since navigation can be a hassle in unfamiliar destinations, make sure to carry a GPS, smartphone, and physical map to help you move around.

Regardless of your itinerary, get out there and enjoy yourself!

muzzy trocar hbx hybrid

Muzzy Trocar HBX (Hybrid) Broadheads Review

After receiving many requests to test the Muzzy Trocar HBX broadheads, I finally got to do just that!

This head has been around for awhile. It’s a 100-grain, fixed and mechanical blade broadhead combination; a “hybrid” broadhead.

For these tests, I used my Bowtech CP28 set at 72 pounds. I used Bishop FOC King Arrows for most of the shots, but for the really the hard impact ones, I used the Bishop FAD Eliminators.

The Muzzy Trocar HBX Up Close

So, let’s zoom on in here, go through some of the design features and specifications of the Muzzy Trocar HBX…

muzzy trocar hbx profile view

Here’s a good look at the Trocar HBX hybrid broadhead. It’s called a “hybrid” because you have a fixed blade, which is actually two separate blades that slide into ferrule with a one inch cutting diameter, and it doesn’t open or close, it’s just fixed.

trocar hbx in open position

There’s also a mechanical blade that in the closed position is 9/10 of an inch, and then the open position, it expands to 1 and 5/8″ when fully opened. The cut is 2 and 5/8″ when combining the cut of the mechanical blades with the the fixed blades.  

The bladed are 0.35” thick, and the the ferrule, chiseled tip, and the blades are all stainless steel.

muzzy trocar hbx blunt gator blades

The opening is a rear-deploying, gator style, opening system to where it’s the pressure on these two blunt blades that force these blades open.

Now, I will say it takes a lot of pressure, even just to pull the blades apart. And, they don’t lock open, but they remain open when there’s a pressure on that little gator end, that causes them to open.

So, I was a little concerned about how that opening was going to work and if it would stay open. But, even if it didn’t get the full cut, it would still be a lot of cut.

Muzzy Trocar HBX Testing

So, I was super eager to put this head to the test and see how it performed.

Flight Forgiveness Test 

For the flight forgiveness test, I shot 1 field point and then 1 broadhead at 30 yards.

muzzy trocar hbx flight forgiveness tests

The broadhead flew very true to the field point in the flight forgiveness test.

Initial Sharpness Test

I tested the “out of the box” sharpness of the head (the lower the number indicates that it takes less pressure to cut the wire, indicating a sharper blade).

muzzy trocar hbx mech blade initial sharpness test

The mechanical blade registered 200.

muzzy trocar initial sharpness test fixed blades

The fixed blade registered 300.


Penetration Test 1 (2/3″ Rubber mat, 1/2″ MDF, FBI Gel)   

I shot the head into ballistic gel that was fronted with a 2/3″ rubber mat and 1/2″ MDF.

muzzy trocar ballistic gel mdf test

The Muzzy Trocar HBX penetrated 8.25″ into he ballistic gel. But, I do want to note that while the blades opened very well on impact, (they open until almost their full cutting diameter even in the rubber foam mat), they quickly started to close as soon as they hit the gel and they remain closed throughout the entire penetration. So, it really wasn’t cutting its full tissue throughout that 8-1/4″, and that’s not uncommon with gator blades. It usually happens in gel with gator blades, especially with ones that don’t lock. Now, would that happen in animal? I’m not really sure. But, I want to make note of it because it does give kind of false reading in the penetration.

Edge Retention Test (Sharpness Test After Penetration Test 1):

I tested the sharpness again after the first penetration test.

muzzy trocar post-penetration sharpness test mech blade

Mech Blade: 225.

muzzy trocar post-penetration sharpness test fixed blade

Fixed Blade: 325.

Penetration Test 2 (layered cardboard):

muzzy trocar hbx layered cardboard test

The head penetrated through 48 layers of cardboard.


Angled Shot Test (1/4″ MDF/Carpet):

muzzy trocar hbx angled mdf test

I shot the head into angled MDF.

Durability Test (1/2″ MDF max 3 shots):

Man, this test was a shocker. On the first shot through the MDF, it broke a blade. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen something like that happen, and I certainly wasn’t expecting it to happen with this Muzzy.

But, it did.

muzzy trocar hbx mdf broken blade

In the first shot into the MDF, the blade just broke right off and embedded somewhere in my target, and that’s really unfortunate.  So, I was not able to shoot it into a steel metal plate, which is typically my next test. I also couldn’t shoot it into the concrete block, which is usually my last test.

Final Thoughts On The Muzzy Trocar HBX

So, what do you think of the Trocar HBX?

It has its strengths. For example, it flew very well, has a really good size cut, and a really tough chiseled tip. I also love the all-steel construction.

I was not, however, very impressed with the durability. Actually, it’s lack of durability surprised me.

I know these blades are pretty thin, narrow and not very supported, but I expected a little bit better there in durability.

Now, I’m sure it can get the job done in most situations. In fact, I’m sure many of you have used it very successfully in the field.

muzzy trocar hbx lusk scorecard

The Muzzy Trocar HBX scored 74.10 out of a possible 100 points, giving it a Lusk Grade of 7 golden arrows.

So, check out the score sheet and see it’s score out of a possible 100 and decide if it’s a good fit for your quiver.

doe smelling deer scent

Deer Scents | How And When To Use Them

It happens every deer season. Someone walks down the hunting aisle of a local sporting goods store, sees the deer scents and attractants section and begins to wonder how they can tip the odds in their favor during their next hunt.

When it comes to using scents and attractants, success comes from knowing the right scent to use at the right time. For example, you might not want to use an estrous scent in October, but it might be the best thing to use in Mid-November.

Let me give you an example…

It’s not just the scent that’s important… it’s using the right scent at the right time!

A Lesson In Scent Usage

It was the third week of October in Indiana, the pre-rut was on, and the deer were fired up. I had just climbed into my ladder stand, hung up my backpack, and pulled up my bow. As I prepared for this afternoon hunt, I had no idea what was about to happen.

I had just pulled an SD card from one of my trail cameras on my way to the stand. I had gotten to the stand a little earlier than normal, so I figured I’d have time to go through some of the pictures and check activity from the previous couple of days.

Mock Scrape Magic

I had hung a dispenser of a new scrape blend scent that we were trying out and the results were extremely positive. I had bucks coming to this mock scrape nightly, but a new buck had shown himself that I had not seen before.

As I was going through the pictures, I randomly picked my head up and scanned the woods I was hunting, as well as a nearby cornfield.

Mock scrapes an provide some of the best buck intel you can get.

Then, I saw movement.

I got ready and then a deer came into full view. It was a spike, and he was on the move. So, with the opportunity of some interaction, I let out a few soft grunts. He stopped and looked, but that was all.

I decided to see what he would do if he heard a bleat, so I did. He turned and came in on a string.

Now, on my way to the stand, I had broadcasted some Battle Ballz in front of me. When the spike hit the scent; he walked in figure 8’s trying to pinpoint the source.

Success using scents and attractants comes from not just know what scents to use, but specifically when to use them.

Bleat, Grunt, Broadside

That’s when the hunt changed even more. While watching this young buck walk around in circles, I looked to my left and saw a second deer. It was him, the 9-point buck I had seen on my SD card just saw on my SD card just moments earlier!

I grunted at the buck and he put on the brakes. He didn’t look like he was going to commit, until I bleated once again. This bigger buck wasn’t about to let a little spike be near a willing doe, so he turned and walked in.

The buck gave me a clear, 35-yard broadside shot. Let’s just say I recovered him 125 yards away.

Thanks to the scent I had spread on the ground earlier, those bucks were able to keep their minds and their focus on other things. The grunt call, coupled with the scent, allowed me to take this nice 9-pointer.

As you can see, each “tool” we haul into the woods can make or break our success and overall hunting experience. In this case, the scent was the difference maker. But it’s not just the fact that there was a scent involved. It’s that it was the right scent at the right time.

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You see, this was mid-October, and my scent selections were a scrape blend, and Pay Dirt, a fresh earth scent, (I also used a dabble of another scent we were also testing for the next season.) As scrapes were popping up daily, one of our buck tarsal scents could have been another good choice.

On this hunt, the cover scents proved extremely effective, as a slight breeze was blowing straight toward those two bucks that afternoon.

Please note that it’s very important to follow your state’s laws when using scents and attractants. For example, Indiana’s game laws dictate that you can’t pour scent on the ground, but you can use in a scent dispenser which, makes the scent non-edible.

What Scents To Use… And When

When hunting with scents, I recommend the following guidelines, to ensure the best hunt possible.

Beginning Of The Deer Season

When deer season starts, regardless the month, use food scents!

Food scents are what separate a scent company from a urine company. What do I mean? Well we all know that urines have a time and place, but urines (deer, fox, skunk etc.) are used mostly during hunting season. A food attractant, however, can be used any time of the year.

Now, why would you want to attract deer any time of the year? The answer is simple, scouting.

Food Scents + Minerals

Scouting cameras are used more than ever before, and having a way to attract deer to those cameras are just as important as the camera itself. Lots of people say they use mineral or salt licks. Yes, using those is a great idea. Food scents however, can last for such a long time – even longer than mineral – because when used in a scent dispenser, the scent is protected from weather, such as rain or snow.

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Now, using scent with mineral is a deadly combo. We’ve found that using scent at your mineral site attracts game to that location faster, and from a further distance. This is helpful when taking deer inventory, promoting antler growth, and scouting for sheds. As I like to say, “the scent brings them in, but the mineral keeps them there.”


In mid-to-late October, as bucks are starting to rub and scrape, and pre-rut action is in full-swing, use scrape and tarsal scents.

During this time of year (pre-rut), scrapes are one of the best locations to use scent that you could ever ask for. The reason? Well, because scrapes are spots that you can predict bucks will visit.

I’ve kept a scrape active for months by changing my scents up through the various stages of the rut, drawing in countless big bucks. Use multiple scents together to simulate buck and doe activity. For example, when using a scrape blend or buck with tarsal, try adding some fresh dirt as well. By doing so, you will give the impression that the buck was just there, and you might just be able to get that dominant buck to shrink his home range and visit that scrape more often.

During The Rut

The beginning of November is a great time to use this estrus doe scent. However, because all does don’t come into estrus time, Buck Nuggets and Battle Ballz are also a great choice through first of December, or what is sometimes referred to as the secondary rut.


Post rut, in my opinion, is one of the hardest time of the year to hunt. Temps are dropping, deer are tired, and food is scarce. During this time of year, I switch gears and go back to the food scents, using them like I did in the early season. Remember, tree foliage is bare during this time of year, and anything you can do to draw the eyes and nose of a whitetail is critical.

Hide Yourself… With Food

One tactic is to hang a dispenser of food scent where I would want to attract the animals, and hang the same scent in the stand or ground blind with me. Now I’ve doubled the attractant and doubled the cover scent at the same time.

Food scents are a good cover scent as well. So what if you walked into the woods smelling like apples, sweet corn, or acorns? That doesn’t sound too bad at all!

A comment I hear a lot is… “How will apple scent work if you don’t have apple trees on your property? No way Jose!”

Well, let me ask you a question. Do you know what a steak smells like? If all of a sudden you smell a steak, what’s the first thing you think? Probably something like, “Man that smells good… where’s that coming from.” You don’t think “nope, that couldn’t be a steak… there’s no butchered cows around her.”

Well, deer have the same thinking.

Scent Control Is Key

Proper scent control starts at home! Clothes stored in a sealed container with a food or cover will lessen the human odor you leave while walking, sitting, working or scouting in the woods.

Tips To Remember

  • Use food scents as an attractant as well as a cover scent.
  • Use cover scents all year long
  • While using scent in or around a scrapes, use multiple scents. Try using a buck and doe combo in your scrapes. Another trick is use a buck scent and dirt scent at the same time.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different scents, even in the off-season. Scent sites are very effective ways to scout shed heads after the season ends.

In Conclusion

Hunting scents surely have a time and place. Keep in mind that your camo, tree stand, bow, and hunting scents are all tools we as hunters can use to have more success in the field and possibly create opportunities you’ve never had before.

Bryan Hussung, CEO of Scent Ballz