Saturday, June 30, 2007

Reflections From the Road - RVer looks back on 5000 mile RV vacation

RVer Dale Netherton, writes. "After a hiatus of 23 days covering almost 5000 miles via a camper van there are a few observations I want to pass on. Some of this information may be useful to future voyageurs and some may be categorized as travel blather but after many days steering and leering its time to review some passing thoughts."
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Full time RVers combine working with camping

WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK -- The yellow KOA shirts identified Steve and Ruth Whittington as campground staff at the Watkins Glen/Corning KOA, but their soft Texas accent and bustling enthusiasm seemed out of context.

"Oh, we're work campers," said Ruth Whittington, 52, of Amarillo.

When Steve, 57, retired from the city of Amarillo at age 55, they sold their house and bought a pickup and fifth-wheel camping unit.

They discovered that many campgrounds offer sites free to RVers willing to work.

This summer they are working fulltime at the KOA along state Route 414 in Schuyler County, staying with their small dog in their camper.

The couple, who had never been to New York, started their venture in the Adirondacks at a Jellystone Campground.

"That's more geared to kids, not our style," Steve said.

Another drawback was the remoteness of the Jellystone campground.

"It was 30 miles to the closest Wal-Mart," Steve said.
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Friday, June 29, 2007

CAFE Standards, Once Again! RVers who tow trailers should be concerned

Note from Steven: This information can from the Escapees RV club If you are an Escapees Club member you probably already read this.
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There is a bill just passed by the Senate, and currently being debated in the House, that calls for a combined car and light truck fuel economy standard of 35 mpg by 2020, with a 4 percent annual increase thereafter. While this bill may help provide more economical cars for consumers, it may also have a negative effect on RVers nationwide. If standards are raised unilaterally, as this bill proposes, vehicles capable of towing large trailers and RVs may become a thing of the past.
Several times in the last 25 years, lawmakers have debated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements. The CAFE program was enacted in 1975. CAFE standards require each automaker to meet a sales-weighted average fuel economy level for the fleets of new cars and light trucks it sells each year. The standards, which took effect in 1978 at 18 miles per gallon (mpg) for cars, increased gradually each year until 1985, when they reached a level of 27.5 mpg. Light truck standards, which are set periodically by DOT, are currently 20.7 mpg.

In 2001, pro-CAFE members of Congress introduced legislation to force big increases in CAFE standards on the public. In August, 2001, the House passed a national energy bill, which included modest increases in CAFE, allowing DOT to set the details. During the Senate debate on this new energy legislation a proposed amendment by Sens. Kerry (D-MA) and Hollings (D-SC) would have raised the average fuel-economy requirement for all cars and light trucks to 36 miles per gallon by 2015. This proposal was of significant concern for RVers, because vehicles such as Suburbans, Tahoes, Expeditions, Explorers, and most ½ to ¾ ton trucks are often used by outdoor enthusiasts to tow trailers, boats and other recreational vehicles. These vehicles would be required to be downsized to meet the new standards, and towing capacities would be greatly reduced.

Thanks in part to quick action and strong response from the RV community, on March 13, 2002 the United States Senate voted 62-38 to adopt the Levin-Bond alternative to the extreme Kerry-Hollings CAFE provision. The Levin-Bond amendment authorized the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine appropriate CAFE standards for passenger vehicles and trucks. It also required NHTSA to weigh standards against 12 considerations, including automobile safety, the need to reduce U.S. dependence on fuel imports, and the "adverse effects of average fuel economy standards on the relative competitiveness of manufacturers."

Fast forward to 2007! Once again, a bill to raise CAFE requirements (HB6) is in front of the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill, if passed un-amended, has the potential to significantly impact the RV community by eliminating the class of vehicle that they depend upon for RV towing. Once again, there is a coordinated effort by the RV industry to encourage our legislators to set realistic fuel economy standards for SUVs and light trucks.

Does this sound like deja-vu? Did someone turn the clock back to 2001?

It is vitally important for all RVers to contact their elected representatives and express their opinions on this legislation. There are dozens of lobbyists working this issue, but nothing is more effective than you, as a constituent, contacting your congressman via a phone call, letter, or email, to tell them personally why this legislation would harm you. If this legislation becomes law, your ability as a consumer to purchase any vehicle capable of towing an RV will be severely impacted.

Please contact your elected representatives and urge them to vote in favor of intelligent CAFE ratings for trucks and tow vehicles. One way to send a message is to visit www.house.gov/writerep/ where you can easily identify your representative and send your message. You can also visit www.suvoa.org, the SUV Owners Association website. The SUVOA is a group dedicated to supporting light truck and SUV owners, and there is a lot of useful information on the CAFE issue on their site. Be sure to sign their petition if you visit the site.

Rising water forces RVers Campers to move

GRAPEVINE -- The rains pelting Texas have been so heavy this month that even a camper from the damp Pacific Northwest was taken by surprise.

"This is a whole new experience," said John Brandt, a 55-year-old retired excavation contractor staying in his motor home at The Vineyards Campground on the shores of a rain-swollen Lake Grapevine. Brandt said he's used to lots of rain -- but spread out in a steady drizzle throughout the year.

Brandt, who lives in Oregon, has had to move his motor home twice as the lake rose.

Late Thursday afternoon, the lake was nearly 12 feet above its normal elevation of 535 feet above sea level, with the waters expected to crest at 13 feet above normal.

Although the campers took it in stride, the lake level is causing eyebrows to float up at the city parks department. The campground is normally packed this time of year, including campers coming in for the city's annual fireworks show. Many campers with reservations must be turned away, said Doug Evans, director of parks and recreation.
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Do your homework before RVing

It took Debie Stevenson and her husband Monty six years of searching to find the perfect recreational vehicle.

But when the Calgary couple spotted the fifth-wheel of their dreams at an RV show in Red Deer, Alta., it was love at first sight.

Holding out was worth it for the Stevensons, both recently retired, who plan on spending months at a time in their fifth-wheel, traveling across Canada in the summer and down through the U.S. in the winter.

"The best advice that we got was: 'Don't buy too small.' You think that this one is going to be OK, but so many people say, 'This is exactly what we want,' and then three months later they bring it back because it's too small and now they've lost the depreciation."

Catherine Fortin Major, spokeswoman for GoRVing.ca, an Ottawa-based organization that represents RV dealers, manufacturers and campgrounds across Canada, recommends asking yourself a number of questions before you begin shopping for your home away from home -- whether it be an $8,000 folding camping trailer or a $70,000 Class A motorized model.

How much, for example, do you want to spend? Do you plan to use your RV year-round? How many people will be traveling with you, and how long will the trips be? If you're hoping to buy a towable RV, do you have the right kind of vehicle?

She also encourages prospective buyers to first rent an RV -- about $500 a week to rent a folding camping trailer, and about $1,500 a week for a deluxe Class A motorized model -- to see how they like it.
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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Taking the house on vacation

Even with high gas prices, more and more people are taking home with them when they get away from home.

Thirty percent more Americans are expected to rent recreational vehicles this year than last, according to a survey of rental outlets. That's despite prices at the pump that - despite dropping six straight weeks - still hover near the $3 mark throughout Southern California.

That would follow on the heels of similar double-digit gains the last couple years, experts say.

"It's been amazing," said Phil Ingrassia, a spokesman for the Recreational Vehicle Rental Association in Reston, Va. The group is the rental division of the trade group for RV dealers.
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Northwest's top campgrounds

Seattle Times readers wrote to tell their favorite places to pitch a tent or park an RV.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Limits Put on Camping Stays at Virginia Campgrounds

Lynchburg News and Advance - Lynchburg,VA - Bedford County campground owners, especially those around the popular Smith Mountain Lake, have found themselves victims of an overreaching county zoning ordinance. There’s no other way to describe it.

Mitchell’s Point Marina and Campground in Huddleston is a good example. It offers trailer sites for nearly 100 campers and their families. Those families - who have become regulars at the campground over the years - come from as far away at West Virginia and North Carolina to spend summer weekends relaxing near the lake shoreline.

Some of them stretch those weekends into longer stays, which is fine with campground owner Tom Buck whose annual leases allow guests to come whenever they want and stay as long as they want.

But that could be changing. Someone discovered that the Bedford County zoning ordinance restricts the number of nights those families can spend at the lake - or any other campground - to 30 per calendar year. The ordinance also requires campground owners to record the length of their stay.
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Fleetwood Motorhome Takes Bob Barker to Daytime Emmy Awards

Fleetwood's RV Group, a leading producer of recreational vehicles, announced today that legendary TV host Bob Barker and the Barker Beauties were proudly chauffeured to the 34th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in a Fleetwood diesel motor home. Stepping out of Fleetwood's 2007 Discovery and onto the red carpet, Bob Barker made his way into the Kodak Theatre where he won two Emmy Awards, bringing his lifetime total to 19.

After 35 seasons on air, The Price is Right wrapped its final episode with Bob Barker on June 15 and will resume this fall with a new host. Barker had hosted the show since its premiere on CBS in 1972, making it the longest running game show in television history. To make his finale truly memorable, Barker presented contestants with the chance to win Fleetwood's Terra LX 31M, the most expensive prize ever offered on the show with a MSRP of more than $100,000.
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Couple packs life into RV to seek new adventures

Frederick, Maryland - Ralph and Gisela Jones sit in their RV with their 9-year-old German shepherd, Gretchen.

For Gisela and Ralph Jones, retirement means selling their house, moving into a motor home and setting off across the U.S. for new adventures.

Once Ralph retires in November, the couple will travel the country in their recreational vehicle, visiting every region from Florida to Alaska.

"I love Frederick but there's so much of this country that's beautiful that we haven't seen," Ralph said.

"Our family is all over the place," Gisela said.

Their first trip will be to Kentucky to spend Thanksgiving with their daughter's family.

They have been going on camping trips for around 20 years. In the last five years, they have planned their move into a motor home, researching their options and talking to people who live full-time in RVs.

The Joneses are part of a group called "Escapees," which helps full-time RV-ers get started and stay connected with other full-timers.

As members of Escapees and similar networks, they get discounted rates at some camping sites and camp free at others.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bad Tires Putting RVers in Danger

Greg Gerber, editor of RV Trade Digest, posted a report regarding bad RV tires imported from China and more bad tires made is USA which are being sold to RV manufactures.
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Park Model is Resort Cottage to Go

Denver Post - Denver,CO,USA - When it became unbearably hot and humid last month in Houston, Jane Moore, a 60-year-old primary school reading consultant, left her house to stay in her park model trailer in South Fork, Colo.

"It's very cool and beautiful here," she said in a telephone interview, snug in her park model, which looks like an elongated cottage. It is surrounded by a white picket fence and overlooks the Rio Grande. She bought the land and the park model in October.

"People don't understand what park models are," she said. "They're not tacky."

Say trailer home and many people think of low-income housing or temporary quarters for those displaced by natural disasters. But in the last decade an upscale version has emerged, in various architectural
Pam Shaefer the deck of her floating home on the Illinois River. (John Gress/The New York Times)
styles.

Called park models because they can be parked anywhere, they are a maximum of 400 square feet under federal guidelines and therefore not taxed as permanent dwellings. This makes them an attractive option for beach, lake or mountain retreats. Manufacturers say they are having trouble meeting the demand for park models destined for private property, gated communities, resort campgrounds and even marinas.

Park models' affordability and their improved design from the generic boxy look of 20 years ago have resulted in a 46 percent increase in sales since 1997, according to the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association. They can look like English country cottages, log cabins and even Modernist glass houses.

The association reported that 10,100 were sold last year.
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Campsites at a premium along Colorado Front Range

Camping spots tough to reserve on summer weekends
Rocky Mountain News - Denver,CO,USA - It's a trend that's been complicated in recent years because many people are camping closer to home because of higher gas prices.

The Boulder Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service oversees 243 campsites in six campgrounds within the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests. Almost all the 128 sites that can be reserved in advance, including those in the Pawnee Campground in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, already have been claimed for Friday and Saturday nights through Labor Day weekend.

The other 115 sites at those six campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis through September, but on a recent weekend, 75 percent of those were booked by 9 a.m. Friday.

It doesn't mean you can't go camping this weekend or any time through Labor Day weekend, it just means you have to know where to look for open sites or start your weekend early.

"If people go up on a Thursday, they can pretty much guarantee they'll get a campsite for the weekend," says Maribeth Pecotte, visitor information specialist for the Boulder Ranger District of the Forest Service.
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High-tech amenities bring new age of camping

CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) — High-tech amenities allow campers to enjoy nature with all the comforts of a luxury motel.

But does sitting outside watching a big-screen satellite television really constitute camping?

“To me, it is not so much camping as living, but that’s just my opinion,” said Shaun Reilly, the assistant ranger at Morgan Creek Park, a 260-acre Linn County facility just west of Cedar Rapids.

Reilly recognizes, however, that “the RV (recreational vehicle) lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular” and that campgrounds will have to adjust to accommodate more upscale recreational vehicles.

State park officials have said there’s growing demand for modern campsites with electrical hookups, while primitive sites have spaces to spare.

Reilly noted, though, that even tent campers sit outside watching TV, and RV campers complain that the park’s numerous trees interfere with reception of satellite television signals.

“Satellite TV is the big thing, but the growth in electronic camping accessories has been phenomenal,” said Gary Ketelsen, proprietor of Ketelsen RV in Hiawatha.
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Nice place to visit, never more than now

The Town of Waverly, New York, can't keep quiet about what it has to offer. And we can't blame the Town Council and the residents for wanting to boast.

Waverly is one of just two towns in the Adirondack region -- the other being Port Henry -- that owns and operates a campground.

The St. Regis Falls Scenic Campsite offers its visitors their choice of rustic rental camps and cabins as well as tent space along a breathtaking stretch of the St. Regis River.

The land was once home to mills and factories from the community's rich past, but in 1967 the Town Council received a grant to develop the scenic riverside.

The Town Council is inviting everyone to attend a special event in July to bring together those who built the campground with those who worked there and those who visited there during the past 40 years.
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Monday, June 25, 2007

2008 Winnebago Vectra and Itasca Horizon introduce the new Maxum chassis

Winnebago Industries flagship motorhomes, the Winnebago Vectra and Itasca Horizon unveil an exciting new chassis design in 2008 – the Maxum, and return three popular floorplans that provide floorplan flexibility with optional dining and living modules to fit RVer’s specific needs.

Winnebago Industries engineers worked closely with Freightliner Custom Chassis to create and develop the Maxum – a premium chassis design that combines unparalleled exterior storage and improved ride and handling. Maxum features an inverted rail design that creates a stronger chassis configuration by lowering the center rail section and adding Winnebago Industries’ SuperStructure® to form a true semimonocoque design. This new configuration is seven times stronger than a similar raised rail chassis which translates into superior ride and handling, creates a lower center of gravity and incorporates an industry leading 60-degree wheel cut.

Besides the strength of the new Maxum chassis, the storage provided is unparalleled. The inverted rail design moves intrusive rails from storage areas, creating pass-through storage accessibility and unparalleled exterior storage space – up to 220 cubic feet. The storage compartments also feature Winnebago Industries’ Smart Storage design with pull out trays, bins, and configurable compartments with removable panels for customizing.
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Happy Campers at Evansdale, IA Campground

One of the Cedar Valley's largest campgrounds is about to get bigger in an effort to relieve congestion during busy weekends.

Deerwood Park, just off Highway 20 in Evansdale, already has 132 sites for campers and 30-some spots for tents. Yet, patrons say by Friday evening it's tough to find a spot to camp at times and the park feels crowded due to the volume of campers, vehicles and people.

The city will be turning five more acres into 20 modern, spacious campsites will provide a little more breathing room.

Deerwood revenues have increased by 5 percent each of the last five years. Camping receipts for 2006 totaled $106,000. By April 14, the campground already collected $36,300, keeping it on pace to meet or exceed the trend.

"We expect a lot more traffic. We don't count people, we count money," Dawson said.

Mayor John Mardis said that's why the City Council doesn't have a problem with earmarking tax dollars for Deerwood. Not only is it a public-use treasure, but one of the rare money makers for the city. The campground is self-supporting and then some.
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Some RVers think Classic RVs are the Best

With its cherry-red and Wonder Bread-white paint, it's hard to miss Craig Fraki's 1963 vintage Shasta trailer rolling down the highway behind his 1962 Ford Galaxie convertible.

The same goes for David Neel's 1962 Airstream Globetrotter trailer, a 19-foot rolling silver bullet he pulls with a 1963 Chevrolet truck.

"It's been something that's been around America for a long time," Neel, 43, said. "Like hot dogs and apple pie, it's a very recognizable icon."

Neel, of Ventura, and Fraki, of Ojai, are among the Americans who like to escape regularly to the same destination: yesterday.

Fraki and Neel have never met, but both are members of a national subculture of vintage-trailer owners who believe their hobby gives new meaning to the word "pastime."
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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Will gas increases put an end to RVing?

Tim and Bonnie Smith, for example, are newly retired and plan to spend between five and six months on the road every year.


Right now the Smiths are in Tok, Alaska — part of a four-month excursion. Fortunately, they have been planning and saving for this trip for three years. However, they have still had to make some cutbacks.

“Of course (gas prices) are an issue,” Bonnie Smith said. “We planned on gas being around $3 a gallon, so we will just eat more hotdogs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”

Some of the Smiths’ friends travel in RVs as well. The couple hasn’t noticed anyone stopping their travels because of the increase in gas prices yet. From Alaska, Bonnie Smith said, “There are so many people out here in 5th wheels, RVs, campers, lance campers, and cars packed to the hill.”

RV rentals also don’t look like they are slowing down. Doyle said, “If people have the money, they’ll take the trip.”

All Season RV, a small business, has not been affected by the gas prices. Rental prices also have not increased, because the renters also pay for their own gas.

Overall, it doesn’t look like people are going to completely stop enjoying their summer fun even with the high gas prices; they will just be more cautious. The Smiths don’t plan on putting their travel schedule aside any time soon.

Tim Smith said even if gas prices continue to rise, “We would still drive the RV, but we would drive less and stay in one place longer versus moving around so much. I guess we better hurry and cover the country as best we can. This country is beautiful and the best way to see it is on the road.”
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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Family to RV coast-to-coast in Motorhome fueled by Biodiesel

NAMPA, ID — Some families plan their vacation routes around theme parks or hotels, but the Jenkins family is building its summer vacation around an unusual theme: the nation’s biodiesel filling stations.

The Nampa family is about to embark on a one-month, coast-to-coast trip in a diesel motor home decorated to call attention to the renewable energy source.

The Jenkins plan on filling up with biodiesel — a nontoxic, plant-based fuel — nearly every step of the way.

In fact, he said, biodiesel will burn just fine in any diesel engine.
“If you’ve got a diesel engine it’s just a matter of filling up at a different pump,” he explained.

That fuel interchangeability means the Jenkins can burn traditional diesel fuel if biodiesel is not available.

The RV’s exterior has been painted with a vegetation theme — an appropriate design, Christina Jenkins said.
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Developers get green flag to sell RV lots near TN speedway

BRISTOL, Tenn. – A unique zoning law has opened the door for recreational vehicle parking near Bristol Motor Speedway and created financial opportunities for developers, the city and Sullivan County.

Bristol Tennessee City Council late Tuesday unanimously approved a Recreation Vehicle Development District to accommodate the influx of RVs near Bristol Motor Speedway during racing events.

A representative for one local developer tossed out a preliminary site proposal before council members had time to vote.

Mike Hamlin, attorney for Bristol’s Interstate Development Co., displayed a preliminary drawing of a lot that would be behind Race Day Center condominiums across Volunteer Parkway from BMS.

"Some have views of the speedway; others do not," Hamlin said of the lots. "But we expect a median price of about $75,000 given that we will have buyers with financial means.
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Price of gas not costing Campgrounds & RV parks

Wooster, OH - With gas prices climbing, one industry is booming -- campgrounds and RV parks.

Despite the increase in fuel costs campers still are coming out for the summer, many times staying even longer than before the price at the pump started to inch upward.

"We find people are not traveling as much," said Ruth Wile, the owner of Amish Country Campsites in Winesburg. "But when they are traveling they usually stay longer. Instead of coming for two nights they come for four."

Samuel Hershberger, the owner of Scenic Hills RV Park in Berlin, said he has seen the same tendency.

"They're traveling through the area, and instead of staying three days and maybe coming home and coming back, they're staying for weeks," he said.

According to Jamie Hawkins, owner of Long Lake Park along state Route 3, seasonal campsites are in high demand. Hawkins' husband, Doug, is in the process of tearing down the campground's old baseball field. In its place will be more sites with sewage capabilities.

"It's definitely helping campgrounds," Hawkins said.
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Friday, June 22, 2007

5 Days, 400 Miles, 2 Kids, and an RV

On a road trip across the Utah desert, a busy family slows down to learn about canyoneering, hiking, and one another.

Springdale, Utah (FSB Magazine) -- It was once a mystery to me why some families would spend precious vacation time in a monstrous motor home, plodding along at 35 miles an hour. But that was before my husband spent ten years working 70-hour weeks to make partner in his law firm, before I juggled writing for eight publications, before our kids got invovled in basketball, soccer, theater, and piano lessons. Connecting as a family often meant marching the kids out to do yard cleanup.

Thats's why, when FSB suggested that we take an RV trip through the scenic West, I was immediately onboard. Here was a chance to drag my husband, Peter Munson, 43, away from his BlackBerry and force all of us to quit every manner of technology, cold turkey. It would be just the four of us in a 31-foot-long, eight-foot-wide, 12-foot-high metal box, bonding. In my sales pitch to the kids, I steered clear of talk about Internet or television deprivation and instead waxed enthusiastically about the cute little kitchen, the loft above the driver's cab, and the ability to lie on a couch - while driving! In the minds of Leah, 10, and Jonas, 8, an RV was a rolling entertainment center.

Clutching our itinerary, we lumbered out of the rental company's parking lot. It immediately became clear that driving would be harder on actual roads. "How do you do this without smacking into six lanes of traffic?" my husband barked at no one in particular.
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Wisconsin State Park campground plan gains approval

MADISON WI — A request to construct a 100-member group campground at Perrot State Park breezed through the State Building Commission on Thursday.

The $235,000 project will double the size of the current group campground and relocate it away from the individual campsites to better accommodate each group, said John Hagman, facilities planner for the Department of Natural Resources.
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Bottled oxygen a Lifesaver for RVers & Campers

Altitude sickness will affect many travelers coming to Estes Park, Colorado from lower elevations this summer. The Estes Park KOA campground is trying to combat the effects of altitude sickness by offering their guests refillable bottled oxygen from Oxia.

“It can be a vacation saver whether visitors are going for a hike on one of our mountain trails or just strolling around town,” said Jim Turner of the Estes Park KOA campground.

KOA employees were constantly seeing visitors taking on more than they could handle during their first day of vacation.

“During the summer, we have campers coming from 2, 3, 4,000 feet below us,” said Turner. “They park their RV and immediately go to the trails to maximize their vacation time. They come back nauseated, with headaches, or they even pass out. The oxygen bottle provides a way for them to better recuperate on that first day, and they are able to enjoy their vacation more.”
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Arkansas Park offers summer fun

Lake Charles State Park is 40 miles from Batesville, on Highway 25 near Powhatan in Lawrence County. The lake consists of 645 acres of spring-fed waters in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. The lake offers good catches of bass, crappie, bream and catfish, according to park officials and local fishermen.

Many people travel to the park to camp. Sixty campsites (23 Class AAA and 37 Class B) and one Rent-An-RV are available. Picnic sites, hiking trails, a pavilion, launch ramp, swimming beach and playground are within walking distance. The park also has a visitor center’s gift shop, which sells gift items, camping supplies and snacks.

The lake and park were instantly popular with visitors and remains popular today. Fishermen, campers and swimmers flock to the park throughout the year.

More than a dozen special events are scheduled yearly at the park, along with daily tours and programs. The park’s largest celebration is the Lakefest Sports Show and Festival, held on the weekend prior to Mother’s Day. Activities include music, contests, food booths, antique auto show, crafts, bass tournament and beauty pageants.
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

RVers Build Habitat Home In Iowa

Washington County, Iowa -- Larry Humm left Washington the first time as a fifth grader in the early 1950s when his father moved the family to New York. On Monday, he came back to help build this year's Habitat for Humanity house.

A member of the Habitat Care-A-Vanner team, Humm and his wife, Dotti, both of Brockport, N.Y., are the Care-A-Van leaders for the Washington build. Today both were at the Habitat construction site with the other four members of their team. Volunteers, this year, come from Wooster, Ohio, Naperville, Ill. and one member who is a full-time RVer, Bill Kleinegger, lists his residency as "N.E. Where."

The Care-A-Vanners are members of Habitat for Humanity International who travel by RV to Habitat building sites to aid in the construction of the houses. Each year in Washington one low-income family is selected to be a recipient of a Habitat house. Volunteers who donate labor and sometimes materials to the project build the house. At the end of the project, the new owner, who is required to have put many hours in helping to build the house, will get a low-interest mortgage.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Concord, California gets strict on RV parking

CONCORD -- Residents are no longer allowed to park their recreational vehicles, boats and trailers in their driveways for more than a day.

As of June 1, Concord tightened its enforcement practice. In the approximately two-and-a-half weeks since the new policy took effect, the city has issued about 110 notices to violators, said Callie Struggs, the city's neighborhood services manager.

"People don't want to pay for storage," said Mayor Mark Peterson, "but it's not fair to the rest of the people in the neighborhood who don't want to look at it."

Peterson initiated the change after he discovered that the city's enforcement practice differed from city code.

Residents may only park their RVs, boats, trailers, motor homes, campers, camper shells and airplanes for 24 hours before and after a trip.

Otherwise, the vehicle must be parked in a rear or side yard behind a 6-foot high, opaque fence and a 5-foot setback from adjoining properties. Visitors may park their vehicles in a driveway for one week within a six-month period.

Violators will receive a "friendly" notice on their door to move the vehicle, Struggs said. They have 45 days to comply or face a $100 citation and $153 reinspection fee.
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Oregon Coast Camping Guide

Covering 180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.

Oregon’s coastal campgrounds run the gamut of prehistoric to plush.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Five Great Places To Camp In Southern Idaho

From the captivating buttes and lava flows near the Snake River Plains to the giant pines of Sawtooth National Forest, Southern Idaho offers visitors a multitude of reasons to come and enjoy the area.

To help you plan your summer adventures Editor Joseph Friedrichs set out to find the top five spots in five places that you can camp out with just a few fives in your pocket.
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Overcharged RV battery leads to fire

Yuma, AZ - An overcharged RV battery led to a fire that destroyed a motorhome, a residence, and damaged an RV and SUV.

Curt Foster, Rural/Metro fire investigator, explained that a couple was charging their motorhome in preparation for a trip. He said the motor home sat roughly five feet from the couple's home.

Foster said that the RV battery began overcharging, causing one of the battery cables to overheat, which led to the fire.

The couple's motorhome and residence were "totally destroyed," and a recreational vehicle and sport utility vehicle on property to the west were damaged.
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Caterpillar-Overruns & Closes Wisconsin State Park

In an unprecedented move that sounds like the basis for a good horror movie, the state Department of Natural Resources is temporarily closing Rocky Arbor State Park near Wisconsin Dells because of an infestation of gypsy moths.

The moths are still in their caterpillar stage and are so numerous at the park that camping there would apparently be a squishy, nightmarish experience.

The park closed Monday and will remain closed at least through June 27, according to DNR officials. During that period, moths in the park will be going through the pupation stage, a time in their life cycle when the invasive caterpillars seek hiding places where they can change to moths.

About 95 campground reservations are affected at the 225-acre park, and state park officials have contacted campers to offer alternative sites at nearby Mirror Lake and Devil's Lake state parks or to provide a refund. Rocky Arbor, established in 1932, is a secluded park known for its 500-million-year-old rock formations.
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Monday, June 18, 2007

Deep Cycle Battery Care & Maintenance - Instructional DVD Announced

“Deep Cycle Battery Care & Maintenance” is the latest DVD title in RV Education 101's comprehensive step-by-step learning DVD training library.

Mark Polk, the owner stated, “In many cases, problems related to deep cycle batteries are a result of not understanding what is involved to properly maintain and care for lead acid batteries. 85% of all 12-volt batteries manufactured in the United States die before they should." The Deep Cycle Battery Care & Maintenance DVD was designed to help extend the life of deep cycle batteries, and to save the RVer money.
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Slow Sales Cause RV Dealer to Close

Longview, WA--
June Dunivan says she'll shed some tears this summer.

Dunivan, a founder of Longview RV Center, is closing the business after 30 years of selling and servicing recreational vehicles.

"It's just something you don't think will happen," she said. "They've been 30 good years, tough years, but we've survived."

But the RV industry shifted gears during the past few years. Gas prices doubled in seven years, and the recent spike was the final straw, Dunivan said. Nationally, RV shipments were down by double digits this spring, according to the RV Industry Association.

At Longview RV, sales dropped by about 50 percent in 2006 from 2005. "We used to sell 25 to 30 units a month during the summer time," she said. Last August, Dunivan cut the sales part of her business and focused on servicing existing RVs.
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Full time RVer places 10th in US Bowling Championship

Mother and daughter duo of Mary Larman and Cynthia Kilton of Klamath Falls, Ore., competed in the USBC Open Championships for the first time.

"I love to see all of the people from different states come together like this to support the sport," said Larman, a USBC certified coach and full-time RVer who rounded out her tournament debut with 488 in singles and 391 in team for 1,456. "And since my husband and I travel so much, it's nice to get together with our family and friends like this when we can, as well as meet so many new people."

Kilton paced the pair with 616, while Larman contributed 577 to help them into 10th place in Classified Doubles with 1,193.
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RV park is paradise in eyes of residents

Modesto, California --
Raccoons and opossums drop by to visit on the porch. The Tuolumne River drifts past. Fish hang out in the pools, waiting for their next meal to float downstream. The leaves of the cottonwood trees rustle in the wind.

We all have our ideas of paradise, and this is Gary Bettencourt's: A place that soothes the soul of the 56-year-old program director of a drug and alcohol abuse recovery center in Modesto.

It's called the Shiloh River Resort, a little oasis of an RV-trailer park situated between Shiloh Road and the river, about eight miles west of Modesto. To get there, he takes Paradise Road. Really.

The tiny, gated park is home to two mobile homes and eight recreational vehicles, and Bettencourt considers it one of the west side's little-known gems. He manages the place for owner Andy Tallone of Pleasanton, demanding that tenants keep their lawns watered and the area around their places tidy. Mostly, he wants to maintain the serenity he and other park residents enjoy.

"I do a lot of meditating before I go to work," said Bettencourt, a recovering alcoholic who has lived at the park since 1992. "The birds go crazy out here in the mornings. I could have a nice apartment or house in town. But I came out here. This is completely different than city life."
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KOA takes camping to a new level

Kampgrounds of America has come a long way since its first campground opened in Billings 45 years ago. The company that started here remains here. And today, it's enjoying a surge of KOA yellow.

It used to be, campers made a beeline to KOA campgrounds for safety, security and convenience, said Shane Ott, president and chief operating officer. Without dropping the tried and true, the system of 450 campgrounds has recently pushed camping to a new level.

"While our bread and butter is camping, we're in the hospitality business, and there are other opportunities out there," Ott said. "It's what convinces campers to say, 'Let's stay one night more."

If campers are starved for interaction, KOA gives them plenty of remedies. With on-site ice cream socials, pancake breakfasts and organized craft activities, KOA has created a sense of community reminiscent of a small-town feel.

Last year the company surveyed thousands of campers to hear what they had to say. The results and their suggestions were taken to heart at corporate headquarters.

Since responses showed 54 percent of KOA campers travel with pets, KOA launched the concept for Kamp K9, dog activity and agility parks found at selected campgrounds. With trends indicating that campers are staying closer to home but staying more nights, KOA introduced activities like outdoor movie nights, spray parks, splash pads and giant jumping pillows. The list goes on, including Kampertainment, an online service that links camper entertainers with campgrounds eager to host them. In trade for accommodations, the talented campers provide free entertainment for fellow guests.

"Campers are just not here to sit anymore," Gast said. "Now people are traveling based on what amenities are offered. Not only their wants but their must-haves are different than they used to be."
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RV sales and RV travel slow due to high gas costs

"Instead of ... taking extensive road trips around the country, people are buying these vehicles and going to specific camp grounds or trailer parks," said Glenda Swesey, sales manager of Ralph’s RV Center in Niles. "Increasingly, people are staying at local or nearby camp grounds to reduce their costs."

"The shock of filling up a 75 gallon tank" is keeping people closer to home, agreed Joe Brunk, owner of Brunk’s Stoves and RV Sales on state Route 45 north of Salem.

Brunk said sales of motorized RVs at his dealership are probably the slowest in its 20-year history.

"It’s a hardship, but we’re dealing with it. It’s what we do for a living," he said, adding sales of trailers and small units are still pretty decent.
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Get Mark Polk's Class A Motorhome 101 RV DVD All of Mark's DVD's offer practical information and he has one for every RV type. Find all the RV Education 101 DVDs here.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Campground owner marks 40 years of happy campers

Leadville, CO -
Edith Seppi, celebrating the 40-year anniversary of Sugar Loafin' Campgrounds, said that the two best parts of the business are the employees she's had and the campground visitors.

"Such wonderful young kids" she said of the many employees who have served the campground over the years.

As far as the visitors are concerned, so many keep coming back to the campground, they're almost like family.

With no experience in the business, Seppi relied on a book she got from the U.S. government, which outlined how to set up a campground. She is still grateful for that advice.

Seppi said her customers are the kind of people who appreciate the trees and the mountain view along with the camp facilities.

"They leave all their problems at home," she said.
Full Story...
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Undocumented aliens stuffed inside a motorhome entering the United States.

Authorities say 19 Mexican Nationals along with 1 Guatemalan National were all hiding inside the California-plated motorhome as it entered the United States at the San Ysidro Port Tuesday morning. The youngest was a 12 year-old girl. The driver of the motorhome was a US citizen who lives in Tijuana.
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Note from Steven: Look close at the photo of the person under the stove... there are two people!

'Trailer park' remark sparks a hot letter-writing campaign

Caroline de Wallens says she is not one to air her dirty laundry in public, yet when a story that ran in a Hudson-St. Lazare newspaper led to an all-out public letter-writing debate, the St. Lazare resident found herself on the receiving end of some pretty harsh criticism.

The Hudson Gazette article that got the ball rolling outlined de Wallens's distress at having a 20-foot motor home parked near her home's windows.

The vehicle, being used by her new neighbour while he built his home, blocked de Wallens's view of the lushly forested St. Lazare housing development.

She says her neighbour told her he would leave the trailer there after the home was completed even though doing so contravened housing-development regulations each homeowner had signed with their deeds of sale.

De Wallens was quoted as saying, "I live in a trailer park in a home worth $500,000."

A week after the story ran, the letters began pouring in from those for and against RVs.
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RV Education 101 has bundled it's instructional DVD’s into cost saving Value Packs. Each of the three packs includes four training DVD’s (3 hours of information) that help RVers understand how an RV works, and how to maintain and use their RV’. There are DVD sets for motorized or towable units.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Family has Motorhome Nightmare

A Rocklin, CA family bought an RV so they could travel and cheer on their daughter at motor cross races, they even bought an extended warranty. The RV only had 3,000 miles on it but on their first trip they noticed an odor of propane.

The dealer couldn't fix the recurring and dangerous problem after several attempts so the family called the local TV station for help.
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DVD Covers Everything You Need to Know About the Class C Motorhome

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Family promotes the RV lifestyle while exploring the U.S.

MADERA, CA -- Singing about spacious skies and amber waves of grain produces a beautiful image of America. But Brad Herzog of Pacific Grove likes the pictures that emerge when he hits the road and starts connecting dots on highway maps.

"There's so much to see in this country," he says, relaxing outside a 38-foot Winnebago at the Country Living RV Park during a Monday visit to the central San Joaquin Valley. "No matter how many trips you take, you can never see it all."

Herzog says it's those dots -- communities big and small across the fruited plain -- that blend together like a pointillism painting to reveal a view of America that is different from the melting pot metaphor often used to describe the country.

"Towns are just dots in an atlas," he says. "But up close, each stands out boldly, and every one has a story."

Herzog and his family are on the first leg of a 50-day road trip as the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association's national "Explore America" family. Their goodwill trek for the RV industry will take them north on a tour of the Pacific Northwest that will include major cities, national parks and a host of little towns in between.
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Campgrounds, RV Parks Renting More Park Models

For three decades, El Capitan Canyon catered exclusively to RV and tent camping enthusiasts seeking a quiet getaway in a rugged oak- and sycamore-lined canyon on the California coast, just west of Santa Barbara.

But six years ago, El Capitan's management invested in nearly 100 park model cabins and instantly transformed this primitive campground into a luxury resort. "It's a totally different experience now," said Terri Bowman, general manager of El Capitan Canyon resort.

Of course, El Capital still offers 80 RV sites and 20 tent sites, but with its luxurious park model cabins, the resort has strengthened its business base and now caters to a much broader clientele that includes everyone from honeymooners to business executives seeking a quiet location for their corporate retreats.

"We offer a camping experience for people who either don't want to camp or have been camping all their lives and don't want to sleep on the ground any more," Bowman said.

It's a concept that is spreading like wildfire in the campground business. Indeed, from California to Maine, campgrounds and RV resorts are increasingly investing in park models as a way to accommodate travel enthusiasts who increasingly seek luxury accommodations even in the most rustic of surroundings.

Unlike manufactured homes, recreational park trailers or "park models" are 400-square foot movable resort cottages that are designed exclusively for part-time recreational use. Typically upscale in appearance, they often include hardwood floors, bay windows and lofts as well as walnut, oak or maple cabinetry.
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Missouri's Big Lake State Park Reopens

When Missouri's Big Lake State Park reopens on Friday, visitors will once again be able to use the park's campground, cabins, motel and day-use areas. Options are still being considered for operation of the swimming pool and the dining lodge. The south campground playground will remain fenced off for now. Although there will be access to Big Lake from the park, the lake itself still has debris from the flooding.

The park was closed in May because of flooding associated with the Missouri River and nearby Big Lake. Although there was not any major damage to structures, the water flooded much of the park, including the campground and day-use areas, and affected the park's water and wastewater systems.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Three busted at California Campground

Two people accused of kidnapping a San Mateo County, CA man at gunpoint and robbing an elderly Oregon couple are in jail without bail after being arrested at a Nevada County, CA campground.

Officers arrested Joshua Burgoyne, 24, of Oak Harbor, Wash.; Camillia Forness, 20, of Hillsborough, Ore.; and their passenger Kathryn Moore, 20, of Sparks, Nev., on Sunday night in the Truckee area after campers reported them begging to pay for their camping fees, Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal said Monday.

They were short $6 for their fee at the Boyington Mill Campground at Boca Reservoir, so they began asking other campers for money, Royal said.

A deputy responded to a call from a complaining camper, and it appeared to him that Forness was backing the vehicle into some brush to hide the Maryland license plates.
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Another Motorhome Destroyed by Fire

Salt Lake City, UT June 10 --
A motor home caught fire on I-80 this morning, leaving a woman who was traveling through Utah stranded. The fire shut down the 7200 West exit of I-80 for a time around 9 a.m.

Several agencies responded to the fire and put it out, but the motor home was a total loss. Firefighters say the fire started in the engine compartment. They don't know what set it off.

Salt Lake City Fire Captain Brian Gaulke said, "She did smell smoke and pulled over and saw the smoke and flames and grabbed her extinguisher but was unable to operate it because she was so nervous."

Firefighters say at that point, two young men saw the fire and stopped to help. Captain Gaulke said, "They did deploy the extinguisher, but by then it had gotten too much of a lead, and the best thing for them was to get out, so they helped her out of the motor home."
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Monday, June 11, 2007

Family Escapes Motorhome Fire

Four people traveling home to Lincoln, Nebraska watched their RV go up in flames. A father and three children just escaped a motorhome before it was burned down to its frame. The accident happened on Interstate 80 just east of Grand Island, on Sunday and no injuries were reported.
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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Refrigerator fire destroys motorhome

A 28-foot motor home was destroyed in a fire Friday caused by the motorhome's refrigerator, according to fire officials.

The fire also caused $1,200 of vinyl siding damage to a home.

The owners of the motor home, were planning to take a trip to early next week and started it a few days in order to get it cold before the trip.
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Note from Steven: I hope by now you are aware of the Dometic Refigerator recall but if you are not please see: Dometic Refrigerator Recall Announced it could save your RV.
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Fleetwood RV shows off Mixican RV plant

MEXICALI, MEXICO June 8, 2007- At a factory on the southern outskirts of this border town, workers assemble Fleetwood Enterprise's latest batch of Pioneer travel trailers.

The 84,000-square-foot plant, which has been running since April, was unveiled to visitors in a grand-opening ceremony Thursday. It is the Riverside-based motorhome maker's first in Mexico and the first time any American RV manufacturer has opened a plant south of the border.

The move is designed to cut costs for the company in an industry that has been crippled in the past few years by higher gasoline prices and a glut of inventory on the market. The company added workers in Mexico following five U.S. plant closings and layoffs, including in Rialto where some 200 workers lost jobs.

Fleetwood RV had been planning a Mexico plant for the past two years, Smith said.
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Police Find Body Believed to be Missing RVer from Oregon

Police say a body found in a shallow grave in central Oregon could be one member of a missing couple.

Seventy-three-year-old Kenneth Miller and Betty Lou Japel, 69, have been considered missing and in danger since May when a man driving a motorhome with license plates from their abandoned pickup shot a police officer in Quartzite, Arizona.
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Man in wheelchair takes ride on semi's grille

Note from Steven: This isn't RV related but it's so bizarre that I thought I would share it with you.
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PAW PAW, MI -- A young man has quite the story to tell after his wheelchair got lodged in the grille of a semi truck, which pushed the chair and the man inside for five miles down a road.

Muscular dystrophy forced Ben Carpenter, 22, of Alamo into a wheelchair eight years ago. He was on one of his twice-weekly outings, this time in Paw Paw around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

As he crossed Red Arrow Highway in front of a semi truck, he didn't make the traffic light. The truck driver apparently didn't see Carpenter and a collision occurred, causing the wheelchair's handles to become lodged in the truck's grille.

Unable to hear Carpenter's cries for help over the hum of the diesel engine, the truck driver continued down Red Arrow Highway at speeds of approximately 50 mph.
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Friday, June 08, 2007

RVer sees USA one Greek Festival at a Time

George Kontos never saw so much of America as when he moved to Greece.

Now he spends six months a year in a motor home traveling from Cape Cod to Miami, Denver to Dallas, bringing souvenirs from Greece to sell at Greek church festivals nearly nationwide.

Kontos, who moved from New York to Greece five years ago, visits about 100 festivals a year.

There are about 550 Greek Orthodox churches in the United States, and most have festivals - enough to support a business, Kontos learned.

Before he moved to Greece, he was dating a woman who lived there and visiting about once a month. Someone at a Greek church in the United States asked him to bring back items that could be sold at a festival.

"I did that, then another church asked me to do the same thing," Kontos said. "They told me no company supplies these kinds of items for them. Slowly the light went on in my head."
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Crackdown coming on illegal RV parks

HARRISON COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI --
The death of her husband in 2005 left Betty Sample with stacks of bills a modest Social Security check just wouldn't cover.

But the way she is supplementing her income is a nightmare to county officials.

Sample, 71, turned her County Farm Road home into an illegal RV park. A lightly rusted unit sits about 10 feet from the front of her one-story gray house, and seven others are scattered throughout the tree-lined property, only a few feet separating their metal exteriors.

Eight renters pay $350 monthly each for the lot fee and to tap into her water line and septic tank. All other expenses, including cable, she pays.

"Almost two years after the hurricane, we're going to have to get people out of campers because they are not safe," Zoning Administrator Patrick Bonck said. "It ain't going to be fun, but we got to."
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RV Rally Gathers RV Owners to Celebrate RV Lifestyle

REDMOND, Ore., June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 10,000 RV owners are expected to load-up, roll-out and pull-in to The Rally 2007, the nation's largest RV Rally, July 19 through 22 at Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond, Oregon.

For tens of thousands of RV owners this is the event and RV vacation destination of the year. RV newbies and veterans alike will gather to celebrate and explore the wildly popular recreation lifestyle through seminars, exhibits, entertainment, games and meetings with industry experts from all over the world.
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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Weather getting Canadian campground owners down

LYONS BROOK, NOVA SCOTIA – For most people, the unseasonably cold weather is just a nuisance. For Linda Gardner, however, it's bad for business.

Linda and her husband Ken Gardner own Birchwood Campground & Cabins, a private campground outside Lyons Brook that opens from May to September.

"We're down 50 per cent in bookings overall for the month compared to this time last year," she said. "It's very disappointing, but there's nothing we can do about it."

They've seen less traffic on weekdays than usual, and weekends have also been disappointing. In mid-May, they had 15 sites booked – that's good business for this time of year – except that all but two or three were canceled.
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Motor home turns into path of motorcycle group

Madison, Wisconsin -Five people were injured in an accident Sunday afternoon in Dane County when a motor home turned into the path of a group of motorcyclists, according to the Dane County Sheriff's Department.

The accident happened at about 12:42 p.m. on County N just south of Interstate 90 when Timothy B. Poff, 46, Beloit, was leaving a gas station. He was attempting to go north on County N in his motor home but pulled out in front of four southbound motorcycles, according to the sheriff's department.
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Australian Campervan world record attempt

More than 600 motor homes and campervans converged in Barcaldine in May to take part in the Guinness World Record attempt of longest line of recreational vehicles. They didn't quite make the record but it was an amazing feat of organisation and good will by drivers, locals and other road users.

John Bennetts, one of the event organisers said to Leonie Lyons, ABC Western and North West Queensland's Morning Program presenter, that breaking the world record turned out to be pretty immaterial. "We had a lot of fun doing it and our members had a great deal of fun - they camped out there last night and set off this morning."
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Navistar Sues Ford for Breach of Contract Involving Diesel Engines

Navistar International Corporation announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company for breach of contract relating to a diesel engine contract involving the Ford F-150 pickup truck and is seeking damages. The suit, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill., seeks “at least hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Navistar believes that Ford intends to introduce a new diesel engine that actually was designed by International Truck and Engine Corporation, Navistar’s principal operating company.
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Fleetwood Launches New American Coach Logo and Restyled 2008 American Eagle and Tradition

Fleetwood’s RV Group, a leading manufacturer of recreational vehicles, today announced the launch of its 2008 American Eagle and American Tradition luxury motor coaches during last month’s American Coach Association (ACA) rally. Camped along scenic Myrtle Beach, S.C., nearly 300 ACA members were among the first to view the restyled models and newly designed American Coach logo.

The 2008 American Eagle motorcoach offers eight unique floor plans, while the Tradition motorcoach offers six, and both offer a long list of exterior and interior innovations. Exterior highlights include impressive new graphics, curved front and rear caps with seamless hidden-fastener molding, and the new chrome American Coach logo -- giving Eagle and Tradition a boldly elegant appearance.
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LLC Motorhomes may require permit or IFTA license

Is your diesel-powered motorhome registered as an LLC, or limited liability company?

If so, you might be required to possess an International Fuel Tax Agreement license or a fuel trip permit when traveling out-of-state.

The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) is an agreement among jurisdictions in the United States and Canada for the uniform collection and distribution of fuel tax revenues.

According to the International Fuel Tax Association (IFTA, Inc.), which oversees IFTA compliance, an IFTA license or a fuel trip permit is required for diesel-powered vehicles that:

• weigh more than 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms;
• have three or more axles, regardless of weight; or
• have a combined weight (with towed vehicle) greater than 6,000 pounds.

The IFTA exempts motorhomes used by private individuals exclusively for recreation. However ...

LLCs not excluded
LLC-registered motorhomes that qualify under the weight or axle requirements are not exempt from the license/permit requirement -- even if owners furnish poof that the LLC was not formed to transact business.
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Get Mark Polk's Class A Motorhome 101 RV DVD All of Mark's DVD's offer practical information and he has one for every RV type. Find all the RV Education 101 DVDs here.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Rhode Island State Parks May Require Reservations

CHARLESTOWN, RI, — The line formed around noon at the start of Memorial Day Weekend and nearly 12 hours later, RVs, motor homes and station wagons were still idling at the Burlingame State Campground, weighed down by piles of hiking gear and anchored at the gates by the dream that a tiny patch of woodland might be available for the night.

In the end, more than 5,000 campers were admitted to the state’s largest campground, spreading across 1,800 acres at more than 700 campsites, including 12 located beside automobile-sized power generators set up after a recent power failure.

But nearly 100 were still turned away, some after queuing for hours in cars packed with tents, sleeping bags and children promised a vacation of fishing and swimming at Watchaug Pond.

But by this time next year, that scramble — a summer routine played out at campgrounds throughout the state – may be a thing of the past. For the first time, the state Department of Environmental Management is planning to allow campers to reserve sites up to a year in advance.

“In this day and age, things have to be planned,” said Larry Mouradjian, associate director for natural resources management at the DEM. “We’ve received a lot of pleas to accept reservations.”
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Monday, June 04, 2007

Californa State Parks see spike in camping reservations

Summer is around the corner and Sierra District campgrounds are filling up fast since bookings were made available several months ago.

“It’s my understanding that reservations were up by somewhere between 10 and 17 percent,” said Ken Anderson, service manager of the California State Parks Sierra District.

Each year the state parks online registration system offers reservations seven months in advance, and if this year’s influx of early bookings is any indication, it’s going to be a busy summer.

“In February we had a record number of reservations,” said state parks spokeswoman Sheryl Watson. “... We almost sell out every year.”
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Memorial Day Weekend reservations were up nearly 8 percent California-wide and nearly 18 percent in the Sierra District over last year, Watson said.
The Sierra District includes eight campgrounds between Lake Tahoe and the Truckee area.

“Our use is definitely up,” said Lake Tahoe sector Superintendent Susan Grove. “One of the reasons is because California population has just exploded. ... What happens in the state generally correlates with what happens in state parks, too.”

Whether it’s a growing desire to see the Sierra Mountains up close from campgrounds, or the impact of increasing fuel prices, interest in camping seems to be on the rise.
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RVers & Campers made Memorial weekend biggest in the 20 years

“Memorial weekend was probably the biggest we’ve had in the 20 years I’ve been here,” Branz said. The difference is that the customers this year are local.

Pioneer Trail Park and Campground in Wells, MI was nearly full over the holiday, Branz said, with about half coming from the area. At O.B. Fuller Park and Campground, south of Escanaba, the campground was completely full with nearly everyone coming from Delta County. Branz suggested people are finding it more cost effective to take camping vacations near their homes.

“We provide the same amenities and a better value,” Branz pointed out.
“You stay here and save your mileage dollars or go there and spend it all on gas,” Branz said.

In fact, the record gas prices may actually drive Delta County campgrounds to a record year. “It could actually be that,” Branz said.
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RV CAMPGROUND BASICS. There are an excess of 14,000 campgrounds available to go camping and Mark Polk explains the differences of public, private, membership parks, National parks etc. He also addresses How to find a park; All about campground directories and where to buy them; What to expect in each category, Campground etiquette; Reservation policies plus so very, very much more.

Campers evacuated

Stranded campers and cottagers were evacuated yesterday from a portion of Nopiming Provincial Park, Manitoba, that is now isolated after the only access road washed out.

With some of their belongings in tow, a number of people gathered at Tulabi Falls campground and boarded boats -- captained by Manitoba Conservation officers and park staff -- that ferried them across Bird Lake to a road out.

"There's absolutely no other way out of there," said Ken Ulrich, Manitoba Conservation's supervisor of the district.

Ulrich said about 100 people -- representing 30 campers and up to 60 cottagers -- had been stranded since early Saturday morning when part of Highway 315 collapsed and washed away in Booster Creek, which swelled following extreme rainfall last week.
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Saturday, June 02, 2007

No charges in death man run over by RV

An 81-year-old man who ran over and killed an 80-year-old companion with a recreational vehicle in a campground will not face criminal charges, police said.

Wade Risner of Elkhart was pronounced dead Thursday at a Michigan City hospital of internal chest injuries, officials said. He also sustained a broken neck.

LaPorte County Police said Risner and the RV's driver, James Clark of South Bend, were part of the same camping club that arrived Thursday afternoon at MC Campground near Michigan City.

Clark told police that he was inching his RV forward into his camp site when his foot "just kept going down" on the gas pedal.
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Self-proclaimed explorer quit his job, sold his home and bought an RV

Len Winger's vision extends far beyond the dull computer screen in front of him.

"I get bored easily," the 66-year-old loan officer admitted while he sat in his oversized office chair just a day before his retirement.

But when Winger gazes at the photos on his pinstripe papered walls, he imagines visits to icy glaciers, bright national forests and cavernous canyons.

The self-proclaimed explorer is doing what many might envy: He quit his job, sold his home and bought an RV. Winger will spend the rest of his days traveling the country, venturing into Canada, and with a little gusto, Mexico, too.


Winger will first travel to Texas to become a "resident" there. Texas, he said, is one of the best states for an RVer to call home because of low taxes.

"I could see me doing this until I can't do it anymore," he said.
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Friday, June 01, 2007

RV campers travelling down a different road

The once rustic motorhome has gone upscale...

Robert and Claire Murphy's 39-foot recreational vehicle is a sparkling home away from home, complete with leather furniture, two TVs and a washerdryer.

So you cannot fault the Vancouver Island couple for being a little leery about pulling their $289,000 rig into muddy Canadian trailer camps with names like Honeymoon Bay or Alf 's campground.

Instead, they prefer the posh experience they had at an RV resort in Florida.

"It was amazing," Mr. Murphy, 63, said.

"It's all marble and in-laid brick and fountains and pools everywhere. It's like a luxury condominium site without the condos."

Once a rustic travel mode reserved for camping and nature enthusiasts, RVing has gone upscale and urban, especially in the United States, where the affluent pay big bucks to stay at RV resorts with on-site spas, golf courses and country clubs.

Unlike the original campgrounds geared to adventure travellers, today some RV campgrounds/ parks offer the amenities and services of four-star resorts.

Today's average RVer is in the 34-35 age range group, owns a $56,000 to $130,000 RV (in some cases up to $1-million) and has money to spend. Research indicates an average expenditure of $100 a day on non-site expenditures.
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Fans of RV-ing enjoy freedom to travel without really roughing it

Just before brothers Ben and Zack Mirageas of Newburyport took off for their family’s annual Memorial Day weekend RV trip, all they could think about was enjoying great breakfasts at the Rochester, N.H., park.

While Ben, 8, hoped for scrambled eggs, Zack, 9, wanted his eggs real runny. An egg, sausage and cheese sandwich would also be a tasty option, the boys agreed.

But the Mirageases’ favorite rituals while on the road in their grandparents’ recreational vehicle, a 32-foot motor home, don’t solely revolve around food. Ben also looked forward to swimming in the park’s pool, while Zack couldn’t wait for a day of kayaking followed by an evening game of charades with their regular RV-ing gang: their parents, Jim and Hillary; their grandparents, Dick and Kathy Hordon of Newburyport; their aunt and uncle, Rich and Kim Hordon; their cousins, Riley and Richie, also of Newburyport; and family friends Lester and Nancy Sinton of Merrimac.

“We have been doing it since our children were very young,” said Kathy Hordon, 62. “They want to pass the love of RV-ing and the tradition on to their children.”

The Mirageas, Hordon and Sinton families are a part of a camping subculture that delights as many as 30 million Americans. Roughly 8.2 million recreational vehicles are on the country’s highways and byways.

And who’s on the road in RVs and why may surprise you.
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Campground owners fault gas prices for smaller crowds

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) -- The tourist numbers at Jerry Constant's campground started falling last year when gasoline prices began their annual midsummer climb and were only half of normal by September.

And now that prices are averaging $3.31 a gallon in South Dakota, Constant said he gets upset when tourism officials say such soaring prices won't affect the state's tourist industry this year.

"I've been here 18 years and the traffic last summer was the worst it had been in 10 years," said Constant, who owns the Famil-E-Fun campground near Mitchell. "When gas is that high-priced, it cuts our traffic."

Other campgrounds also notice fewer traveling families.

Chuck Drentlaw, manager of the R and R Campground in Mitchell, said he has gotten fewer reservations from families since opening day May 1. The situation will get worse if gas continues to cost more, he said.

"The gas situation is a concern," he said. "We aren't getting the families like we used to. Families aren't traveling far."
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