Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gulf States campgrounds are prepared for hurricane evacuees

KTBS - Shreveport,LA,USA
Many private campgrounds and RV resorts from eastern Texas to the northern areas of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia can readily accommodate people who have evacuated their homes as Hurricane Gustav advances toward the Gulf Coast, according to campground industry officials.

Brian Schaeffer, executive director and CEO of the Texas Association of Campground Owners urges Gulf Coast evacuees to log on to TexasCampgrounds.com and GoCampingAmerica.com to make their campground reservations or to gather the phone numbers of campgrounds and RV resorts where they can wait out the storm.

Texas alone has nearly 400 private campgrounds, many of which also offer cabin rentals.
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Campground hosts are valuable assets

The Coloradoan - Fort Collins,CO,USA
The Larimer County Department of Natural Resources makes use of nine campground host couples at seven campgrounds. Our hosts arrive a couple of weeks before Memorial Day and stay through the Labor Day weekend.

That's no small commitment to make. Yet that is pretty standard for these highly dedicated vagabonds. They use the campground host positions across the country at county, state and federal parks as a means to explore our great country during their retirement. Each summer season will usually see these travelers as campground hosts at a different campground in a different part of the country. A retired Marine fighter pilot who was a campground host with us in 2007 is spending 2008 at a park in Alaska.
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Centra LA RV parks gearing up for evacuees

Alexandria Town Talk - Alexandria,LA,USA
Local lodging facilities are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Gustav in preparation of history repeating itself.

Recreational Vehicle facilities and state campgrounds allow some leeway when it comes to temporary shelter for storm evacuees.

RV campgrounds from Marksville to Pollock are nearly booked to capacity, but a few of the sites will allow additional parking if necessary.

"We've rented everything except our bedrooms," said Mary Sonnier, owner of Rolling Hills RV Park and Resort in Pollock and Marson's Landing in Boyce.

Sonnier said she and her crew have fielded an estimated 400 phone calls in the last two days from people looking to evacuate their South Louisiana homes.
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RVers enjoy comforts of home at fairgrounds

The Vindicator - Youngstown, OH
CANFIELD — Camping at the Canfield Fair doesn’t involve the ordinary picture of a tent, fire and ghost story.

A camping picture at the fair would include decked-out motor homes, space heaters and college football games on flat-screen televisions.

With more than 700 campers, motor homes and RVs, the fair provides a camping city filled with an average of 2,800 people.

Clyde Martz, campground manager, said people love camping at the fairgrounds. They develop little cul-de-sacs with fellow campers and keep coming back year after year.

Campers start flooding the fairgrounds the weekend before opening day to set up and get reacquainted with the neighbors they see once a year.
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Friday, August 29, 2008

Electric generators can ruin the peace

Salt Lake Tribune - United States
After driving around several loops of the Capitol Reef National Park campground on a late July afternoon, my wife, Nancy, and I picked a grassy spot next to the horse pasture, set up our tent and grabbed a cold drink as a mule deer appeared out of the brush next to the Fremont River.

The campground cut from a historic fruit orchard is surrounded by redrock cliffs. Tents can be set up on grass instead of dirt. Save for the sound of the river and a few birds, it was quiet.

Then, right at 6 p.m., during a two-hour window when park rules allow generators, the guy in the big camper fired up the annoying motor, drowning out most of the other natural sounds. I had hoped the advent of $4-a-gallon gasoline would persuade people not to run these blights on the outdoor experience.

A few weeks later, the same thing happened at Flaming Gorge Reservoir's Mustang Ridge campground. Right at dusk, a family who no doubt can't live even for an evening without electricity fired up the generator and left it running until 10 p.m., when quiet time began.

When the owner finally turned off the god-awful noisemaker, we weren't the only ones in the campground who cheered and applauded.
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Chief Miwaleta SP Campground Opens

NRToday.com - Roseburg,OR,USA
AZALEA —The minute Dustin Rivera heard a campground would be opening Thursday at Chief Miwaleta Park, all other plans were pushed aside.

He and his two kids, Dakota Rivera and Cyrus Green, were the first in line to cruise their Extreme recreational vehicle into the coveted spot toward the end of Galesville Reservoir. The family showed up at 7:30 a.m., unaware that the new Chief Miwaleta Campground wouldn’t be open until 2 p.m., after the grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The 31-acre campground is open, with 20 water and sewer hookup sites and one cabin with a lake view. On a first-come, first-serve basis, visitors can camp overnight for $20 year-round. Douglas County residents pay $18.

Douglas County Parks Director Jim Dowd said a shower and restroom facility are in the works, as well as several tent camping sites. And shoreline debris will be cleared, providing families with a beach.

The reservoir is prime for fishing, especially for bass, and there are no boat-launching fees. The $460,000 campground was designed by MAP Engineering and built by Neatline Construction and was completed in three phases over a two-year period.
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Pickerel Lake State Forest Campground to Close for Upgrades

Traverse City Record Eagle - Traverse City,MI,USA
VANDERBILT -- Renovations will begin immediately after the Labor Day weekend at Pickerel Lake State Forest Campground in the Pigeon River Country State Forest.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will temporarily close the Otsego County campground beginning Sept. 2 for renovations set to be completed before the 2009 camping season, officials said.

Campsites will be repositioned, vault toilets and water wells will be relocated and two additional campsites will be created. Each site will be graded, resurfaced and expanded to accommodate two cars and a large trailer. New picnic tables and fire rings also will be included.

Upgrades will bring the state forest campground in compliance with accessibility requirements from the Americans with Disabilities Act, officials said.
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Labor Day sun warms campers

Albany Times Union - Albany,NY,USA
EAST BERNE -- As Labor Day weekend brings summer to a close, campground operators say the season didn't turn out the way it was shaping up in the spring.

While reservations have leveled off over the past three months, campground officials have not been disappointed with the turnout. A record number of campers came out a year ago and numbers are up this year despite the downpours. By this time last year, 119,000 reservations had been made statewide, compared to 124,000 this summer.

Fuel prices may have something to do with the increase. Traveling costs more, so vacationers are more apt to stay at a campsite than a hotel. At Thompson's Lake, where a night of camping costs no more than $16, reservations are up nearly four percent over last year, despite the rain.

"I think we'd be in the minus if gas were cheaper," Fallon said.
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Albertans splurge on gas for last hurrah

Calgary Herald - AB, Canada
That's good news for the Eagle Lake RV Resort, a campground near Strathmore that relies on business from families keen to stick close to the city. The park is booked solid this weekend, said owner Leslie Pringle.

"We're only 40 minutes from the Calgary, so you can get here and back on less than a tank of gas. People like that," she said.

Gina Belcastro, manager of the Whispering Spruce Campgrounds in Balzac, said higher prices at the pump means most of the park's guests are from Alberta and British Columbia -- with some exceptions.

"We actually have a couple up here from the States right now that were supposed to drive to Alaska, but instead they've parked their motorhome and are going to fly instead," she said.
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Motorhome arson victim offers reward for info

Ashtabula Star-Beacon - Ashtabula,OH,USA
GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE — Dan Becker’s hand trembles slightly when he talks about arson, his blue eyes focused on a snapshot of his charred recreational vehicle.

Becker of Struthers was in Florida in February when he received the news that his RV, parked at the Indian Creek Campground, had been set on fire. The fire, which then-village fire chief Jim Bartlett determined was arson, happened Feb. 8 in a secluded part of the campground. Pictures show nothing was left of the RV but the charred chassis, the deep snow black from ashes, soot and the boots of firefighters. The fire also consumed Becker’s storage shed.

Now Becker is putting his money where his RV once was, offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved in the arson.
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Thor Industries: Strength From Weakness

Seeking Alpha - New York,NY,USA
Having praised Thor's management, I must note that the bottom is falling out of the recreational trailer and motor home business. Predictably, high fuel prices, the credit contraction, and decreased consumer spending entering a recession-like period are hitting sales. Prices of raw materials have also increased, putting pressure on margins. Sales in the latest quarter ending April 30 declined 10.3 percent from the same period last year, with net income decreasing to $0.50 per share from $0.64 in the same quarter, 2007. The largest decline for Thor was the motor home sector, with revenue decreasing 24.2 percent and operating income falling 53 percent. In Thor's primary business of travel trailers, sales fell 8.4 percent and net income dropped 12.6 percent. Backlog fell 26.8 percent for both businesses to $276M. A strong point is the bus business in which revenue increased 1 percent and backlog grew 16.2 percent versus the same quarter last year.

Fuel prices are likely the greatest challenge to Thor. Motor homes often get around 4 mpg and have 100 gallon tanks. Do the math and the future looks grim for the motor home. Fortunately, Thor specializes in the more efficient trailers that are pulled by trucks and SUVs that get 8 mpg or better. A growing retiree demographic that is more fuel conscience but still wants to travel equals an opportunity for Thor to gain market share from debt-ridden motor home manufacturers like Fleetwood. In the short term, the lack of available credit should hinder sales. GE Finance recently terminated a partnership with Thor to provide loans for customers; combined with the general credit contraction, this results in a greater difficulty in obtaining financing.
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Fleetwood Earnings Face A Landslide

Forbes - NY,USA
On Thursday, Fleetwood Enterprises (nyse: FLE - news - people ) reported a larger-than-expected first-quarter loss as sales of its motor homes plummeted. Investors drove the stock down 0.5%, or 1 cent, to $2.14, in afternoon trading.

Elden L. Smith, president and chief executive officer, said Fleetwood has continued to slash costs and improve its products to try and weather the storm. The company is also looking into refinancing bonds, possibly with alternative instruments, although that could dilute existing shares, making them less valuable.

"Unfortunately, the rapid and accelerating decline of sales in the motor home industry during the first quarter caused heavy operating losses that were exacerbated by an aggressive discounting environment and downtime at our plants," he said.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nor Cal Campgrounds ready for Labor Day campers

Campground managers around the north state are bracing for a busy weekend after what has been a slow year, caused by a long, smoky fire season.

By Wednesday afternoon, many prime campsites at Whiskeytown Lake, Lake Shasta and Lassen Volcanic National Park had been scooped up for the weekend by campers with reservations. But officials said those without a reservation looking for a place to camp should be able to find a spot.

That spot could be in one of the many campgrounds around Trinity and Lewiston lakes, said Jeanne Hodge, co-owner of Hodge Management, which runs the Trinity and Lewiston campgrounds for the U.S. Forest Service.
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Workhorse Chassis & MaxxForce Engine Boost Motor Home Fuel Efficiency

The RV-enhanced W16D chassis marks the latest in a series of chassis firsts from Workhorse that have multiplied motor home choices for consumers over the past decade. It will be on display at Workhorse Booth G by the GIANT Center along with the 2009 Chevy Workhorse Class C platform with best-in-class towing capacity.

The W16D also marks the first appearance of the MaxxForce™ 5 V6 diesel engine from Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) in a motor home. The MaxxForce 5 is mated to an Allison 1000 Series transmission and produces 200 horsepower and 440 ft.-lbs. of torque. Other key W16D features that enhance the drivability and manageability of the motor home include high-performance Brembo 4-wheel disc brakes, 50-degree wheel cut and electronic instrument cluster with full instrumentation and information center.

Leading edge technology makes the MaxxForce 5 a “clean diesel” engine that improves both emission levels and fuel efficiency. That and the relatively light weight of the Workhorse chassis both contribute to the Avanti’s fuel economy and payload capacity.
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DVD: Drive Your Motorhome Like a Pro
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Garmin® Offers nüMaps Guarantee™ on Personal Navigation Devices

Garmin, a leader in satellite navigation, announced its nüMaps Guarantee, which will ensure that new owners of select Garmin personal navigation devices (PNDs) receive the most updated map available.

“Garmin strives to make sure that our customers have the most current and up-to-date maps. As roads and points of interest change, we work closely with our map provider, NAVTEQ, to continually update our databases,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “Now, when a customer starts using their new Garmin, they can be assured that their unit will have access to the latest version of road maps.”

“We’re pleased with Garmin’s efforts to make the freshest, most accurate map data available to its customers,” commented Cliff Fox, Senior Vice President, Map Division at NAVTEQ. “Our research indicates that portable navigation device users are more satisfied with their systems when the map data is up-to-date.”

After a customer purchases a new nüvi or zūmo PND, they can check to see if they are eligible for a free map update simply by registering their unit at http://my.garmin.com within 60 days of the first use of their new PND. If new map data is available anytime during that 60-day period, the user can request and download the new data, free of charge, by following simple online prompts.

The nüMaps Guarantee program will begin on October 15, 2008. Anyone who first used their new nüvi or zūmo PND on August 17th or later will be eligible for a free map update – provided their unit is registered with Garmin and a new map is available within 60 days of the unit’s first use.

For more information on the nüMaps Guarantee, visit www.garmin.com/numaps.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monaco Coach to keep Elkhart plant open

Monaco Coach will keep its custom chassis plant in operation in Elkhart.

Monaco planned to close the plant in September, along with plants in Nappanee and Wakarusa.

The chassis plant on Elkhart's south side is a joint venture between Monaco and Navistar. Monday's announcement stated the operation will continue production of several types of RV chassis at the site.
Full Story & Video...
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Living in a Small RV: Introduction

Tynan, a blogger in his 20s writes about himself... I'm an egomaniac vegan pickup artist who sold everything and is traveling around the world. I generally do whatever I want whenever I want, even when I'm pretty sure it's a bad idea. I like singing gangsta rap, writing, working out, working on my business, traveling, and finding adventure. I always wear a sequined hat with stars on it.

When I first bought an RV to live in last year a lot of people thought that it was a phase I would quickly snap out of. Part of me thought the same thing. Would a move from a 2000 square foot condo to a 100 square foot RV be bearable?

As it turned out, it was more than bearable. I loved it. When I left the country to travel, I sold everything including the RV I loved so much. Seven months later, back in Austin and faced with the proposition of finding somewhere to live, the decision was simple.

I wanted another RV, and it had to be even smaller.

This series is going to be about why I decided to live in an RV, what it’s really like on a day to day basis, and some tips and ideas for other people who might want to try it themselves.
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Fewer Snowbirds May Be Flocking to Florida

SEBRING - Reservations for seasonal rentals are lagging behind last year, which indicates the strong possibility that fewer snowbirds might come to Highlands County this winter.

Warren Wolfe, five-year owner of Woody's RV Resort, needs almost all his fingers and toes to count the number of prospective vacancies.

Most campers at the 110-site RV park reserve a spot a year in advance. At this time last year, almost every camp site was reserved for the upcoming winter season, which at Woody's, runs from November through the end of April.

Wolfe pointed to a map hanging in the community's office, with about 30 vacant spaces marked in red.

Celia Falk, of RV Park Adelaide Shores RV Resort, told a different story. She said early reservations are the best ever, while June Castellon, manager at Grove RV Park, mentioned another change.

The park can host up to 115 campers, and most sites are already reserved for the season at Sebring Grove. After considering gas costs and the mileage of RVs, several more snowbirds in Sebring left their campers this summer at Grove RV Park, said Falk.
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New Damon Motor Coach AVANTI Class A Motorhome Gets 14+ MPG

Damon Motor Coach is introducing their much-anticipated Damon AVANTI fuel-efficient, clean diesel at upcoming shows starting at the Hershey RV Show September 10-14.

According to Bill Fenech, president of Damon Motor Coach, “Preliminary independent testing has indicated that the AVANTI will deliver nearly 15 MPG! This is revolutionary for a Class A motorhome.”
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground Gets Upgrade

Disney World is quietly undertaking its broadest campground-improvements program in two decades, adding extra-extra-large camper pads for recreational vehicles, cable-TV and Internet service throughout, Segway scooter tours, a mini-water park, a dog park, and an improved electric-cart rental operation.

Disney installed TV and Internet cable to select areas several years ago, and created three Wi-Fi hot spots. But now, Gallagher said, "What we are seeing is, everyone has a computer when they come here."

Disney is also catching up with the trend toward larger RVs, creating areas with what it calls "premium campsites," which will include much larger paved pads plus upgraded amenities such as grills and picnic tables. Those sites will cost $66 to $116 a night, depending on the season and day of the week.
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Construction Begins on California Costal Campground

Los Angeles Times-August 25, 2008
Two years after El Morro Village was finally vacated, construction has begun on the state's first new coastal campground in decades.

All that's left of the 295 seaside trailers just north of Laguna Beach, once festooned with flowerpots and tidy patios, are some crumbling concrete slabs. And memories.

Dump trucks and earthmovers are scraping across 35 acres of canyon and beach, transforming the funky little enclave that was El Morro Village into Southern California's first coastal campground in two decades.

Plans for the new El Moro Campground -- spelled with one "r" -- include 60 campsites, 200 day-use parking spaces, hiking trails, picnic areas, a restored Moro Creek and an amphitheater.

Construction is estimated to take 18 months to two years with the campground to open by summer 2010.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hospital's RV Park Helps Families Stay Close

KPVI-TV - Pocatello,ID,USA
What do families do when they have a loved one in a hospital far from home?

At one area hospital, there's a special place for those who need to be near by but can't afford a hotel.

Jeanna and her 12 year old son Hans have called an RV home for the past two weeks.

Jeanna Herrgesell: "It feels like an extended home; we've got a place to sleep, we got a place to shower, we've got a place to cook."

Jeanna is not passing her time in the great outdoors. She is camped out within sight of her son's hospital room at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
Full Story & Video...
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Gas Prices Not Deterring Yuma, AZ Snowbirds

Yuma Sun - Yuma,AZ,USA
Yuma's sunshine still trumps below-zero temperatures and shoveling snow even though it will cost the area's winter visitors more to get here.

A sampling of area recreational vehicle parks indicates the coming winter season is shaping up to be just fine even though the nationwide average price of gas today is about a dollar more per gallon than a year ago.

"We're looking forward to a good season," said Donna Huckaby, who with her husband, Les, manages Westwind RV and Golf Resort. She said many of the park's 1,075 spaces have already been booked, with only an estimated 10 percent still available.
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Friday, August 22, 2008

Winnebago Offers Special Pricing for First Time Motorhome Buyers

Altmans Winnebago, one of Southern California's largest RV dealers and Winnebago Industries are proud to offer the 2009 Winnebago ERA loaded with superb interior and exterior refinements in a boldly-styled package that delivers comfort, functionality and performance at an Altmans "California First" unbelievably low price.
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Another California RV Dealer To Close

Sacramento Bee - Sacramento CA, USA
Another recreational vehicle dealership has announced that it is going out of business.

Nu Star RV Center at 2500 Mine Shaft Lane – along Folsom Boulevard, just north of the Rancho Cordova boundary and west of the Hazel Avenue exit off Highway 50 – said an inventory-liquidation sale starting today will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through Sept. 1.

Discounted recreational vehicles include motor homes and travel trailers. Nu Star has specialized in RVs produced by Gulf Stream Coach of Nappanee, Ind.

Nu Star officials did not return calls seeking comment.

Nu Star's announcement of imminent closure is the third made by an area RV dealership in the past few weeks.
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DVD: Drive Your Motorhome Like a Pro
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Park Volunteers Offer Helping Hand

Knoxville News Sentinel - Knoxville,TN,USA
As officers for the Georgia State Highway Patrol, Fred and Laura Ellis weren't typically sought out by motorists.

As volunteer roadside assistants for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the couple are in high demand. They're among several kinds of volunteers in the park during the summer season.

They carry battery cables and a little gas, park maps and brochures and a two-way radio that puts them in instant contact with law enforcement and emergency crews. Their park service uniforms and distinctive Toyota Prius make them easy for visitors to spot.

In return for the couple's aid - both give about 35 hours per week - the National Park Service provides them a space for their Pace Arrow motor home, complete with electricity, sewer and water hookups (not offered to national park campers).

Campground hosts, usually couples who volunteer at the park's larger campgrounds, fall into another category of volunteers who also are rewarded with a place to park their campers.

Linda and Charlie Montgomery of Oak Ridge volunteer six months a year at Elkmont Campground, their summer home in the Smokies for the past 14 years.

The pair spend 35 or so hours per week conducting volunteer duties, mainly at the campground check-in station.
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RV Resort Holding Microbrew & Fall Color Tour

When Timber Ridge Resort first introduced its event Suds & Snow, which pairs the beauty of northern Michigan’s scenic outdoors with handcrafted beers from some of Michigan’s finest microbreweries, it was never expected to take off so quickly. The inaugural year, 2007, welcomed over 200 guests and this past winter’s event saw over 700 participants celebrating brews and snowshoes. Timber Ridge is riding this wave of success to incorporate another microbrew tasting event this autumn: the Microbrew Color Tour, scheduled for September 26-28. (Check-in is either on September 26 or 27 with late check-out on September 28).

“With so many guests in town for the autumn color tours,” begins resort co-owner Kristin Levesque, “we thought that we would welcome them to enjoy a campsite or cabin in the woods with a microbrew in hand.” The package presents a distinctive way to encourage visitors to enjoy the fiery colors of the turning trees all while relishing the reds, golds, and browns of the featured Michigan microbrews.

The private, park-guest-only package includes two days of unlimited beer sampling, starting with a Friday, September 26, welcome reception at 5:00 p.m. (till supplies last) featuring New Holland Brewing Company and continues to Saturday at the Microbrew Color Tour Tent from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Four Michigan breweries will be offering samples of their specialty brews: Right Brain Brewery of Traverse City, Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire, Founder’s Brewing Company of Grand Rapids, and Arbor Brewing Company from Ann Arbor.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Motorhome Makes Splash in San Diego's Mission Bay

RVers from Los Angeles were attempting to launch their boat into Mission bay. The woman was behind the wheel of the RV and the husband was in the boat, when the boat came loose and the brakes failed on the motor home.

The woman jumped from the RV and it came to a rest submerged halfway into the water.

Lifeguards dove into the water, attaching cables to the motor home and a tow truck was called in to pull it out. Their boat was also retrieved.

The RV was valued at around $200,000.
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RVer Ran Away to Join the Circus . . .

Ted McRae, who is 50, takes a drag on his cigarette and reflects on this unusual life he leads. His wife, Renee, lives in the RV with him, and his two younger boys, Jordan and Dorian, live in a trailer he pulls on road trips. They’re 18 and 16, respectively; both take courses via the Florida Virtual School and ride unicycles and juggle for the big show. McRae’s oldest son, Adrian, is a 22-year-old lighting technician for Ringling Brothers – “I think he’s in Hidalgo, Texas right now,” says Dad.

Unlike many of his Circus Vargas colleagues, McRae wasn’t exactly born into a circus family. In 1994 he had a job driving a forklift at a paint warehouse when he got a late-night phone call from his cousin. The cousin, it seems, had founded a circus. He had a lion and tiger man, but the cats didn’t exactly take to the chap. Would McRae like to jump in the cage? “I said ‘Heck yeah!’” recalls McRae with a laugh. “Actually, I said I’d have to talk to my wife, but she said she’d always liked circuses so let’s go. Later that month I was in the cage with four lions on one side of me and three tigers on the other.”

When asked what experience he had in the field of lion-taming, McRae noted that he’d always liked animals. As for his qualifications, he’s still alive, isn’t he?

As the sun dips below Bernal Heights and the parking lot turns cold, the life of a traveling circus performer is looking about as romantic as a Lombard Street motel. McRae, however, is, quite literally, a happy camper.

“Circus life is cool. We have our own little community and we travel around from place to place,” he says, stubbing out his cigarette. “If you’ve gotta do something, this ain’t bad.”
Full Story & Photos...
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Nova Scotia Campground up for forclosure auction

The Nova Scotia Business Journal
FIVE ISLANDS — A picturesque Five Islands campground is to be sold at auction after being placed in bankruptcy earlier this year. The Sand Point Beach Campground is being sold through auction later this month by the Federal Business Development Bank (FBDB) of Canada, which now holds the mortgage.

“It used to be a really nice campground,” said Bobbie Lattie, a Five Islands resident and summer employee at the Cobequid Interpretive Centre in Central Economy. “It had one of the nicest views (of the Minas Basin).”

The property was mortgaged for $200,000 through the FBDB in 2004. The previous owners defaulted on the loan in May with $186,727 still owing according to figures published by the news website allNovaScotia.com. Officials with the FBDB were not available on Friday.

Affected by some of the highest tides in the world, the campground is losing an average of 4.5 metres (15 ft.) to six metres (20 ft.) of shoreline per year to erosion. Tim Gallant, co-owner of the Five Islands Ocean Resort campground, said six metres of frontage was lost last year and he estimates it will take $100,000 to $150,000 to properly restore the site for long-term viability. “That’s a lot of erosion.”

But, if purchased at the right price of about $50,000, Gallant believes the campground could still make a sound investment for someone wanting to get into the business. “There’s a whole lot of work to be done,” he said, adding: “They could make a go of it, yeah.”
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Campers arrive for race week at Bristol Motor Speedway

BRISTOL, Tenn. — There are probably many campsites surrounding Bristol Motor Speedway this week that could claim the title “Camp Hangover,” but one group that made the 10 hour trek from Eldred, Penn., has a banner making it official.

Early campers continued filing into the Earhardt Campground adjacent to Bristol Motor Speedway Sunday vying for a good piece of real estate close to the track.
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Beaudry RV won't be sold to LazyDays

Arizona Daily Star
Beaudry RV is no longer negotiating with a Florida-based Lazydays to buy the local RV dealership.

In June, Beaudry Motor Co. CEO Thomas Sylvester sent a memo to Beaudry employees saying that Beaudry RV had entered into a "letter of intent" with Lazydays RV Center Inc.

But Sylvester confirmed last week that the deal was mutually called off Aug. 8.

"We couldn't come to agreeable terms. A letter of intent is far from a finished and completed agreement," Sylvester said.
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Enjoying the Outdoors Around Altoona PA

Altoona Mirror - Altoona,PA,USA
When it comes to summer camping, there's no shortage of options in Altoona region. State parks, national parks and private facilities offer a wide range of activities and a chance to appreciate nature.
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Pioche, NV, goes all out for Labor Day

Las Vegas Review - Journal - Las Vegas,NV,USA
Once infamous for its lawlessness, old Pioche, Nevada now espouses family fun and old-fashioned American activities during holidays and special events. The historic mining boomtown born of silver discoveries in 1864 once boasted a population of 10,000. Just 900 people call Pioche home today, but they work together to produce the town's busy Labor Day schedule, an annual event for the past 103 years.

The county seat for Lincoln County, Pioche sits near U.S. 93 about 180 miles north of Las Vegas. Marked a scenic route on state maps, U.S. 93 introduces travelers to Nevada's vast, sparsely populated backcountry. A short, paved loop through the town's mountainous setting accesses Pioche.

The Pioche Labor Day weekend events start with the opening game of a three-day softball tournament on Aug. 29, at 6 p.m. in the town's park and recreational area. Aug. 30 begins with a community breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m., put on by the Masonic lodge. In the park more softball, a golf tournament, a turkey shoot, a chili cook-off, a swim meet and a chicken chucking contest follow in rapid succession. Kids swim free of charge at the park pool in the afternoon. Evening begins a community Dutch oven feast, a downtown street dance and a night parade.

RVers are welcome as Pioche offers a couple of RV parks, nearby state parks have good campgrounds and the BLM allows informal RV or car camping with limitations.
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Campground Hosts Welcome Colorado Campers

Denver Post - Denver,CO,USA
There are more than 250 campground hosts in Colorado. Most of them are retirees, and nearly all live in recreational vehicles or campers parked in the campgrounds.

In exchange for light work — collecting campground tags, tidying campsites after campers move out, selling firewood, cleaning the campground latrine — they get a free place to live for the duration of their stint as host.

"It's a perfect situation for three or four months," said Kevin Bittmann who, along with his wife, Karen, works as a Cherry Creek State Park campground host.

"We won the baby-boomer jackpot. We spend summers here, and then we travel and go back to our house in Arizona in October until the next camping season."

Like most campground hosts, the Bittmans got the job by filing an application with the state parks service.

A rare few, like Great Sand Dunes National Park campground hosts Paul and Peggi Vetri, stumble into the job.
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lazydays RV losses grow as RV demand shrinks

Bizjournals.com - Charlotte,NC,USA
Lazydays RV Center Inc. posted a $2.3 million net loss for the three months ended June 30, compared to a $402,581 net loss in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue for the second quarter of 2008 was $136.6 million, down 32 percent from revenue of $201.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Sales of both new and pre-owned vehicles dropped. The company sold 613 new vehicles in the second quarter of 2008, down 27 percent from a year earlier, while pre-owned sales fell 19 percent, to 692 vehicles.

Lazydays, based in Seffner, FL is the largest single-site dealer of recreational vehicles in the United States. The company is privately owned but files reports with the SEC stemming from its May 2004 issuance of $152 million in public bonds as part of the transaction in which Bruckmann Rossser Sherrill & Co. LLC purchased majority control.
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Motorhome Fire Closes Wasington I-5

An overheating motorhome southbound on Interstate 5 between Woodland and La Center sparked a large brush fire that brought traffic to a standstill for hours in the 90-plus degree heat Friday afternoon.

The Washington State Patrol shut down I-5 in both directions at milepost 17 from 12:47 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. while 80 firefighters from multiple agencies battled the blaze that eventually engulfed 10 to 20 acres, officials said.

“It’s a bad time. It’s Friday afternoon, the temperature’s excruciatingly high. It was a bad situation,” WSP Trooper Stephen Robley said.

The fire began when a motorhome with overheating brakes pulled over to the inside shoulder of the freeway and caught fire shortly after 12:30 p.m. The driver pulled forward to escape the flames.

That’s when the blaze spread to the median, then crossed to the northbound side of the freeway, Robley said. The flames spread rapidly, gobbling up brush, blackberry bushes and trees on both sides of I-5, he said.
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RV ROLLS OVER; BLOCKS HIGHWAY

KMAS - Mason County, WA, USA
An RV rolled over Friday afternoon and blocked Highway 108 near Eich Road for two hours.

According to the State Patrol, a 1997 Ladaz 23-foot motorhome was eastbound on 108 about 1 PM. As the RV approached the intersection with Eich Road, about milepost 8, the driver fell asleep and the vehicle left the roadway to the right, struck a ditch and rolled onto its side, blocking both lanes of the highway.
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Camp Deluxe

Boston Globe - United States
Jennifer McKeon of West Bridgewater loves the idea of taking her family camping. Except for one thing: She hates camping. She hates the bugs. The dirt. Sleeping in a tent. Waking up in a tent.

Luckily, a new sub-industry - call it Camping Lite - has emerged over the past five years to accommodate them, becoming more and more luxe each year. Normandy Farms opened in 1971 as a regular campsite but has been adding a new convenience each year. This summer, it was the gated one-acre dog park with a dog water fountain, dog-washing station, and dog agility equipment. Last year, it was the concierge and the portable log cabin playhouses. The year before that, they installed a big, spurting fountain in the fishing pond. Next year: two more yurts.

Nature may abhor a vacuum, but it does seem to allow for luxury treehouses, private camping butlers, and s'more delivery services. Somewhere along the line, a lot of Americans lost touch with the outdoors, and the definition of camping was downgraded from "roughing it" to "having a camp fire and smelling pine needles."
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Friday, August 15, 2008

Campground RV Fire Injured Four People

WHIOtv.com - Dayton,OH,USA
FORT LORAMIE, Ohio -- A family reunion at Lake Loramie State Park in Shelby County took a tragic turn when fire broke out in a camper Friday morning.

Authorities said four people were injured and rushed to local hospitals, including a 3-month-old baby. The baby, Jordan Flora, is in fair condition at Children's Medical Center.

The baby's grandparents, Steven and Karen Blocher, are in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital. The baby's father was treated for smoke inhalation and released.

Witnesses reported hearing an explosion, then seeing the victims covered in flames.

State and local fire investigators are still trying to determine how this happened.
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New name, new beginning for Heber, AZ RV park

White Mountain Independent - Show Low,AZ,USA
HEBER, AZ - A Phoenix-based RV group is planning on converting and reopening the Wagon Master RV Park off of State Route 277 under a new name later this month.

The name will be changed to the Heber RV Resort and is located over one mile north of the SR 277/SR 260 intersection. Owner Grant Stoaks, who also owns Ponderosa RV Resort in Lakeside, said the park will adapt to serve the needs of the new-generation RV customer.

"We are improving all the sites, making them larger and increasing the available power to each one," he said. Stoaks said many RV customers now are using motor coaches, toy haulers, park models and other large vehicles. He said the increase in space and power availability, from 30 amps to 50 amps, will greatly appeal to those customers.
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RV dealer suspended after allegations of wrongdoing

Vancouver Sun - British Columbia, Canada
A Vancouver Island RV dealership has been suspended from doing business amid allegations it sold dozens of RVs on consignment and failed to pass on the profits.

The Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of B.C. recently issued a "freeze order" on the sales licence, bank accounts and assets belonging to Southwest RV and Sport Ltd.

The company, now being run by a receiver, is one of the largest recreational-vehicle dealers on the Island, with locations in Sidney, Chemainus and Duncan.

"The problem's a lot bigger than we ever thought," said Margaret Myatt, one of those accusing Southwest of improper dealings. "We're out thousands of dollars and lots of other people are, too."

RV owners say they consigned with the company, but then had difficulty tracking the vehicles or receiving their share of the sale price. Senior compliance officer Bruce Forbes said the sales authority has received "a lot of complaints" in the past two months regarding Southwest's sales.
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Coachmen Offers Roadside Assistance with 2009 RVs

People who purchase qualifying new 2009 model year Coachmen RV Group product will get an added benefit: free first year membership in Travel Easy™ Roadside Assistance.

Administered by Coach-Net®, this service provides Coachmen®, Sportscoach®, Georgie Boy™, Viking® and Adrenaline™ owners operational, technical and emergency road service. This benefit applies to 2009 Coachmen RV Group Class A, Class C, travel trailer and fifth wheel RVs shipped to dealers on or after June 1, 2008.
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Equity LifeStyle Completes Acquisition of Privileged Access

August 2008 --Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. announced the acquisition of substantially all of the assets and certain liabilities of Privileged Access, LP for a note payable of $2.0 million. Privileged Access is an RV and vacation membership business with approximately 130,000 members, which leased approximately 24,300 sites at 82 of the Company’s properties. The $2.0 million unsecured note payable matures on August 14, 2010 and accrues interest at 10 percent per annum.
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RVing Home-Builder

Austin Herald - Austin,MN,USA
Meet Bill Kleinegger, part gypsy, part baker, part handyman and all for Habitat For Humanity.

Kleinegger is a native of New York City who grew up in Austria.
Bill Kleinegger travels around the U.S. to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity.

Before retiring, Kleinegger installed and maintained corporate and educational television facilities.

Kleinegger retired in the mid-1990s and bought a Freightliner motorhome and took to the nation’s roads as a Habitat For Humanity “Care--A-Vanner.”
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Campers at Missouri State Fair enjoying Farmers Market

Columbia Daily Tribune - Columbia,MO,USA
Visitors at the Missouri State Fair’s public campground are enjoying a new shopping experiment: the AgriMissouri Farmers Market in the Agriculture Building.

Lane McConnell, a marketing specialist for the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Ag Business Development Division, is heading the new operation.

"Since it’s our first time doing this, we had no way of knowing if campers would utilize the market," McConnell said. "A ton of campers have come back multiple times, as well as fair visitors and people who live in Sedalia looking for farm-grown produce."

Part of the incentive for campers to use the market is the free delivery option. AgriMissouri, a marketing assistance group for Missouri farmers markets, has provided a John Deere Gator and a golf cart to make produce deliveries to the campground.

"All the campers have to do is give us their cell phone number, and we meet them at the gate with their produce," McConnell said.
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Campground culture thrives at Iowa State Fair

DesMoinesRegister.com - Des Moines,IA,USA
To some, the campground is a vacation oasis, the air thick with food, friendship, parties. Others think it would stink because more than 10,000 people sandwich together in a teeming, noisy camp.

It is a curiosity, no doubt, in its 124th year. In 1885, fair officials declared that "special grounds be designated for camping purposes within the Fair Grounds free of charge."

Today, a week at the fair runs a camper $375, if one requires electric and sewer. Most do.

Fair officials like to brag that it becomes Iowa's 10th-largest city with as many as 13,000 people packing into 160 acres. In 2004, a record was set: 3,845 campsites were reserved, while on the first day of this year's fair the number stood at 2,527.

It can get so hard to snag a site that overflow areas are created. Last year, only three sites were given up, although this year 47 opted out as weekly prices rose $60.

Susie McCubbin started out in overflow seven years ago. It took her that long to gradually move up to better spots, now just a couple hundred yards from the campground entrance.

Why the low turnover? Her husband, Jim, doesn't hesitate, looking almost puzzled: "It's the fair."
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RVers are at home on the road

IT’S the rare homeowner who has not dreamed now and then of walking away from the mortgage and the yardwork and taking to the open road.

Trudy Lundgren, once a graphic artist in Lower Manhattan, and her partner, Lisa Wade, a sales representative, were no exception. Their one-bedroom apartment in a Chelsea brownstone was charming, but the noise and pressure of New York City was grinding them down. Living in an R.V. was something they’d talked about for years — not for just a few meager weeks in summer when the crowds in Yosemite are so deep you might as well be in Times Square, but full-time living and working on the road.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Freightliner cutting 100 jobs

GoUpstate.com
Softening customer demand resulting from a decline in the national economy is to blame for the loss of 100 jobs at Daimler Trucks North America's Freightliner plant in Gaffney,SC, the company said Tuesday.

Employees at Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. at 552 Hyatt St. were notified the jobs will be eliminated on Sept. 8, and all plant operations will be reduced to one shift, according to Daimler Trucks spokeswoman Amy Sills.
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Newmar RV will cut jobs

A company spoksman was quoted, “Newmar has made a number of reductions in their work force and will be making another one this week which will result in a reduction of some additional manufacturing positions.
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Winnebago Continues Layoffs

FOREST CITY - More layoffs are taking place at Winnebago Industries, although officials from the Forest City-based RV manufacturer are not releasing the exact number of layoffs that took place last week.

The new layoffs are in addition to the 270 jobs lost when the Charles City Manufacturing Facility closed Aug. 1. Two smaller Winnebago plants in Charles City remain open.
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Coachmen New RV Rebate Extended

Due to the success of the Coachmenomic Stimulus promotion, consumers in the market for a new Coachmen RV Group product now have until September 30, 2008 to take advantage of these generous rebates.

Part of the success of Coachmenomics is that it is easy. Consumers simply download a Coachmenomics rebate coupon directly from the internet at www.coachmenrv.com/voteforpete, take the coupon to a Coachmenomics participating Coachmen RV Group dealer and work their best deal on a qualifying new Coachmen RV Group product.
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Monday, August 11, 2008

Keystone RV in Goshen announces layoffs

SouthBendTribune.com
Keystone RV in Goshen is laying off almost 300 workers.

CEO Ron Fenech says 290 workers were laid off Thursday morning, effective immediately.

Fenech says the uncertainty of the market is the problem amid the struggling economy and high gas prices.

He says it's not uncommon for RV companies to lay off workers heading into the fall when the summer camping season ends, but adds Keystone has never done this before.

The company will still employ 2,600 people.
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Pilgrim RV closing four Elkhart plants

South Bend Tribune
A company official from Pilgrim International in Middlebury said the company is temporarily ceasing operations at all its Elkhart County plants, effective immediately.

He said the company is re-evaluating its status, but its goal is to re-open eventually. He did not know how long those plants would stay closed.
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Flooding causes closures in Green Mountain National Forest

Vermont Public Radio - Colchester,VT,USA
The flash flooding that hit central Vermont last week has forced Green Mountain National Forest officials to close several public access areas.

Bridges at the Falls of Lana and Texas Falls have washed out due to high water. Forest officials have heard reports of significant washouts on trails and roadways. GMNF Spokesperson Kristi Ponozzo says the areas have been deemed hazardous or impassable.
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Campground friends crochet for fun and goodwill

TheChronicleHerald.ca - Halifax,Nova Scotia,Canada
BARSS CORNER — Every Sunday morning, the shelter at the LaHave River Campground is filled with laughter as a group of seasonal campers gather with crochet hooks in hand and goodwill in their hearts.

The group, which call themselves Stitch and Bitch, are on a mission to share a little warmth and kindness with seniors around the province.

Every Sunday morning, they can be found in the recreational shelter at the campground swapping stories and sharing coffee while they work on afghans that they then donate to people in retirement homes and hospitals.

"We have so much fun being together that we wanted to do something to share that good feeling with others," Ellen Hunt said Sunday.

"The crocheting is fun and, in your mind, you know you are doing something good for someone else and it’s a really good feeling."
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The RV Care & Maintenance DVD addresses issues like: information on the proper care and maintenance for the interior of your RV, the exterior of your RV, RV appliances, LP gas system, water system, electrical system, RV generators, RV batteryís, chassis & frame and RV tires. Let RV expert Mark Polk, help you to thoroughly understand how to take care of your RV. Watch as many times as you need to.

Rotted Trees May Keep Oswald West State Park Closed to Camping

Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA
MANZANITA, Ore. - The popular Oswald West State park is closed, a victim of falling trees and threatened campers, and it isn't certain if it will open to camping again.

Idaho camper Derrick Stiegemeier said he understood but was disappointed. "When is the last time anyone was killed by a falling tree?" he asked.

It was last month, when David Harris, 21, was found dead of head injuries on a trail a few miles away, probably from a fallen limb.

By then the park itself was closed to campers. In June a 100-foot-tall Sitka spruce, 11 feet thick, fell just steps from a campsite. The park was full but there were no injuries.

The inside of the tree, probably at least 300 years old, had rotted.

"If the universe has a luck-o-meter that ranges from 0 to 10, this was an 11," state parks spokesman Chris Havel said. "There is risk everywhere. That's part of being outdoors."
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Learn how... and why...to drive a motorhome the right, safe way. In this 67-minute DVD, RVer/tour bus driver Lorrin Walsh. and host Mark Polk show you everything you need to know to confidently drive a motorhome. This should be essential viewing for novice motorhome drivers, but even experienced RVers will learn things they don't know.

Horseneck Beach Campers Petition Against Eviction

Fall River Herald News - MA, USA
Horseneck Beach campers greatly cherish the view of Buzzards Bay from their RV campsites on the beach. So much so that more than 700 have signed a petition urging the state to ditch its plan to move the 32 waterfront campsites inland to protect the dunes.
Many who were lucky enough to secure a spot along the water said they won’t return if their coveted spaces are taken away.

“Why, all of a sudden, is there this feeling that we’re ruining the beach?” asked Betty Weeden of Portsmouth, R.I., who for years has gone to the campground with her husband. Weeden has circulated a petition this summer that she said has more than 700 signatures. She plans to send the petition to Gov. Deval Patrick and state Reps. Michael Rodrigues of Westport and David Sullivan of Fall River.

After Oct. 12, DCR will begin removing the waterfront camp sites. DCR hasn’t determined specifics of the new setup.

“While this may be disappointing to some,” DCR Commissioner Richard K. Sullivan Jr. said in June in an open letter to campers, “the reconfiguration allows us to continue offering camping while properly preserving the dunes, plans and animal habitat at Horseneck Beach.”
Sullivan said allowing camping in the dunes, which have been washed away over the campground’s four-decade history, has come “at a tremendous cost” to the landscape.
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Campers on Mission

FRANKFORT -- Members of Herring Lake Baptist Church had architectural plans drawn up years ago, but building a new church on their property was just too big an undertaking for the 70-member congregation until some ingenuity and help from unexpected sources finally got construction underway.

A string of motor homes have lined a field near the building site along US-31 since early June. If one leaves, another one pulls in to take its place. The vehicles belong to members of Campers on Mission who have traveled cross country to help build the church.

The vast majority of COMs, who take up temporary residence wherever there's a need for their help, are retirees who volunteer their services for projects such the Herring Lake church.
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Friday, August 08, 2008

RVers Enjoy Geocaching 'Treasure Hunt'

“I feel like a kid again,” says Kathy Sarafino, of Sebastian, Florida, known in her geocaching world as “Cacheka”. Sarafino is a retired Director of Imaging Services, who is not only an avid geocacher, but an RV’er.

Geocaching is a high-tech version of a scavenger hunt. There are traditional caches, cache containers of various sizes and even mystery caches. Many are RV friendly. Cachers can often locate treasures within a one-mile radius of their campground, in urban areas and at locations such as Cracker Barrel where caches are referred to Rocking Chair Caches. Hunters put a waypoint (coordinates) into their GPS, which they can find on geocaching websites, where there are often clues, and the hunt begins.
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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bates Motorhome Rental Joins Celebration of World Tourism Day

Las Vegas, NV, August 07, 2008 --(PR.com)-- Las Vegas, Nevada joins destinations worldwide in recognition of World Tourism Day, an event held each year on September 27. Sanctioned by the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the event provides an opportunity to look beyond borders and celebrate the unique opportunities created by travel and tourism.

In today’s dynamic global marketplace, RV rentals are a vital part of the Travel/Tourism industry. Emerging from one of the strongest decades in recent history, the tremendous growth of the RV rental industry can be attributed to the “Baby Boomers’ ages (55-64). Baby Boomers have an expected growth factor of 48% through 2010. That’s more than 5 times the expected total population growth of 95. The potential for RV rentals, as well as purchases, has never been higher.

“International Tour Operators with their massive client databases are a vital force in the RV rental market. The North American demographic profile of rental customers encompasses an expanding range of lifestyles.” says Bates. Bates is an International Motor home rental franchise system; with locations throughout North America. The company has its headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Travel and tourism benefit society in countless ways. It is one of the United States’ largest industries, directly employing 7.5 million people and generating tax revenues of about $110 billion. It ranks fifth among 20 major private industry sectors, according to the Travel Industry Association. Travel expenditures within the U.S. total $740 billion. The UNWTO estimates that international tourism arrivals reached close to 900 million in 2007, up 10 percent from 2006, according to the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Activities surrounding World Tourism Day in the United States are coordinated by the Travel Industry Association, a Washington-based trade association that represents the common interests and concerns of travel in America.
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RVers found dead in Motorhome

WSIL TV - Carterville,IL,USA
FRANKLIN COUNTY--A woman and her two nieces were found dead inside their camper Tuesday. They were are at a rural, family owned camping area near Olney. The victims are 56-year-old Nadine Zwilling, 19-year-old Janel Ginder, and 17-year-old Kelsey Ginder, all from Olney. Investigators are now checking the camper's generator to see if it caused the carbon monoxide poisoning.

It's the second time this year someone from Southern Illinois has died in such an incident. As the campground Hostess Marjorie Jessen spends more than half the year living out of her RV in this camp ground at Rend Lake.
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More Campers at NASCAR

The Stoudt family has been camping at the NASCAR camp at Watkins Glen International for more than ten years. But Al Stoudt says this is will be his last.

Al says it costs him $350 to reserve this camp site and it needs to be reserved in the fall.

“You pay for this spot a year in advance basically and if the gas prices are seven dollars a gallon, then you either bite the bullet and go or you stay home and lose hundreds of dollars,” says Al Stoudt of Binghamton.

Glen officials say more camp sites have been reserved this year compared to previous years. They say by Sunday more than 5000 camp sites will be occupied.
Full Story...
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RV Education 101 has bundled it's instructional DVDs
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Traveling America in RV

Brad Herzog spends almost an entire year planning for the family summer vacation. This week they stopped in Salt Lake City on their way back to California, where they live 10 months out of the year. They travel by motor home, sightseeing and gaining perspective and ideas for Herzog's next book, article or blog post.

Herzog has been recognized for his two travel memoirs, "States of Mind" and "Small World." Both books are first-person accounts of the people, the places and the concepts Herzog is introduced to through his travels.

"Traveling gets me to the nooks and crannies," said Herzog. "That's where the great stories are."

Brad Herzog spends almost an entire year planning for the family summer vacation. This week they stopped in Salt Lake City on their way back to California, where they live 10 months out of the year. They travel by motor home, sightseeing and gaining perspective and ideas for Herzog's next book, article or blog post.

Herzog has been recognized for his two travel memoirs, "States of Mind" and "Small World." Both books are first-person accounts of the people, the places and the concepts Herzog is introduced to through his travels.

"Traveling gets me to the nooks and crannies," said Herzog. "That's where the great stories are."
Full Story...
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Sportscoach Legend Luxury Motorhome Out For Bragging Rights

Sportscoach is redefining the concepts of spaciousness and luxury with this next generation coach.

The Sportscoach Legend has four space-expanding slideouts and is 44 feet, 10 inches long. This spaciousness is made possible by the tag axle chassis that is the foundation of the Legend. A tag axle is a second rear axle that allows a longer coach with more weight capacity.

Sportscoach turned to Freightliner® and its Powerliner Chassis III for the platform. The Powerliner has a 10.8L ISM Cummins® engine that delivers 500 horsepower and 1,550 lb.-ft. of torque. That is plenty of power for any driving situation. The six-speed Allison 4000MH automatic transmission smoothly transfers power from the engine to the wheels, and the ZF™ Independent Front Suspension with an exceptional 60-degree wheel cut makes this coach extremely maneuverable.
Full Story & Photo...
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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

RV Resort sets Classic Car & Truck Show for Saturday

The Beacon - Port Clinton,OH,USA
After a successful inaugural event in 2007, Fort Firelands RV Resort will be hosting its second annual "Rockin' the Fort" Classic Car and Truck Show this Saturday, August 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Last year's Best of Show winner was Jim Neidert from Oak Harbor. Jim eked out 1st place winner John McDonald of Marblehead, 2nd place winners Ken and Jean Kehrwecker of Port Clinton and 3rd place winner Sam Barnett of Port Clinton.

Cruise in to this event in your classic car or truck. Lowriders and motorcycles are also welcome. There will be dash plaques and trophies for show participants. Don't miss out on the 50/50 drawing along with raffle prizes donated by numerous area businesses and the many shops at Fort Firelands. Food available from PJs Pancake House and local D.J. Jerry "Moon Dog" Vess will be on hand to Rock 'N Roll you old-style.

Come join the fun at 5650 East Harbor Road in Marblehead.
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Lazydays Named Top Tiffin Motorhomes Dealer

August 8, 2007 – Seffner, FL – Lazydays® RV SuperCenter® the nation’s top single site recreational vehicle dealer, was recently recognized by Tiffin Motor Homes as its number one dealer in the world, an achievement based on retail sales for the 2007 model year.

John Horton, Lazydays® CEO said, “Lazydays® has enjoyed a personal relationship with Tiffin and its owners over the last 18 years. Our mutual commitment to delivering great RV products and service to our customers has allowed us to have the best year for Tiffin sales in our history. We are proud to have earned this award from Tiffin.”

“Tiffin Motorhomes is honored to be associated with Lazydays® for all of these years,” said Tim Tiffin, General Manager. “Their achievement of number one dealer is a testament to their hard work, perseverance and always keeping the customer as the main priority.”
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Microsoft Streets and Trips 2008 with GPS

Small tourist towns feel pinch from gas prices, economy

CHAMA, N.M. — The summer tourist season in this tiny mountain town is well underway, and the quiet RV park nestled under towering cottonwoods ought to be full.

But with diesel fuel nearly $5 a gallon at the local gas station, Russell and Marji Patterson are seeing a dropoff in business at the riverside campground they've operated for almost three decades.

There are fewer campers — on a recent Friday afternoon the park is only about three-fourths occupied — and family groups are noticeably absent.

Russell Patterson says he's learned to live with the ups and downs of a tourist-oriented business in a remote area of the southern Rockies where a scenic railroad and outdoor recreation are about the only draws.

"But this gas thing — this is sucking all the extra money out of the American household," said Patterson.
Full Story...
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Maker of Folding Camping Trailers Signs Agreement With Coleman

FTCA, Inc., the manufacturer of North America's best selling folding camping trailers, today announced that it has signed a trademark licensing agreement with The Coleman Company, Inc. Originally a division of Coleman, FTCA's folding camping trailers will once again feature the Coleman brand under the terms of this agreement.
Full Story...
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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Newmar 2009 Motor Homes Recalled

August 5, 2008
Make / Models : Model/Build Years:
NEWMAR / ALL STAR MID-ENGINE 2009
NEWMAR / DUTCH AIRE DIESEL PUSHER 2009
NEWMAR / DUTCH STAR DIESEL PUSHER 2009
NEWMAR / ESSEX DIESEL PUSHER 2009
NEWMAR / MOUNTAIN AIRE DP 2009
NEWMAR / VENTANA DIESEL PUSHER 2009
Manufacturer : NEWMAR CORPORATION Mfr’s Report Date : JUL 24, 2008
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 08V343000 N/A NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: STEERING
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 64
Summary: NEWMAR IS RECALLING CERTAIN MOTOR HOMES BUILT ON SPARTAN MOTOR HOME CHASSIS. CERTAIN CHASSIS FASTENERS MAY FRACTURE RESULTING IN POOR HANDLING OF THE VEHICLE, LOSS OF STEERING, AND/OR REDUCED LEVEL OF SUSPENSION PERFORMANCE.
Consequence: LOSS OF STEERING WILL INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Remedy: NEWMAR IS WORKING WITH SPARTAN TO HAVE THESE MOTOR HOMES INSPECTED AND THE FASTENERS REPLACED AS NEEDED FREE OF CHARGE. OWNERS MAY CONTACT SPARTAN CHASSIS AT 1-800-543-4277 OR NEWMAR AT 1-574-773-7791.
Notes: CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
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Monday, August 04, 2008

Route through Michican's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore shut down

A $5.1 million construction project that will upgrade about 10 miles of Alger County Highway 58 has begun north of the Kingston Plains.

By Wednesday, the project will be in full swing with the primary access route to and through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore shut down over the entire construction zone until next year.

The entire H-58 construction closure will begin with the road closed to through traffic from the Little Beaver Lake Campground Road to the Kingston Lake Campground.

The closure will remain in effect until next August.

Little Beaver Lake Campground will remain open and can be accessed from the west along H-58. The road closure begins just beyond the campground road.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources state forest campgrounds at north and south Gemini lakes, Ross, Canoe and Cusino lakes will remain accessible via a detour off H-58 from the west at Melstrand.

An information sign and handouts is posted along H-58 at Melstrand to aid motorists entering the area.

For more information on the construction, contact the Alger County Road Commission at 387-2042, or visit the agency's Web site at www.algeroads.org
Full Story...
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Monroe County, SC, campground, resort could close

Bizjournals.com - Charlotte,NC,USA
The owner of a large campground and resort in Monroe County has informed state officials that the site will close Sept. 29, putting 244 employees out of work, if a sale of the facility doesn't close by then.

Van Der Molen Recreational Properties Inc., part of Carol Stream, Ill., property development firm Van Der Molen Corp., is trying to sell the Three Bears Resort and Jellystone Park campground in Warrens, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter filed last week.

The company also informed the state that health care coverage for employees will also be terminated Sept. 29, if the facility isn't sold.

The site includes a 93-room resort, a 500-unit campground and indoor and outdoor water parks. Van Der Molen is in discussions with several potential buyers that could result in some or all of the facility being sold, according to a report from the La Crosse Tribune.
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MN RV parks stay busy despite gas prices

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN
Even with gasoline prices lingering around $4 a gallon, local RV parks say it's had just minimal impact on the number of visitors staying with them in the big, gas-consuming campers.

"At the start of the season, which is April, we did (see an impact) for the months of April and May," said Mike Wilson manager of the Silver Lake Motor Coach Resort on North Broadway. "What we found was, instead of coming up ahead of time, people were trying to plan more. But now, this summer, since June, our number of reservations is about the same as last year."

However, Wilson said that they are seeing shorter stays.

"People are not coming a day or two ahead," he said, "and they aren't lingering a day or two later like they used to."

Galen and Patricia Youngkrantz, owners of the Autumn Woods RV Park just south of Rochester haven't seen a change.

Carol Harper from Madison, S.D., works and camps at Autumn Woods.

The biggest change for her has been the lack of spontaneity.

"You don't just go on a whim anymore," she said. "You spend a long time here to make the trip worthwhile."

This is proving to be the case at Beaver Trails Campground and RV Park near Austin, which has seen a recent increase in seasonal RVs -- RVs that stay at the park permanently from April 15 to Oct. 15. Currently, the campground has a waiting list for this summer and 25 units waiting for next year.
Full Story...
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RV owners are still on the road

Bend Bulletin - Bend,OR,USA
The Bodines would probably be in Florida, and the Edgars would be enjoying the cool weather and scenery of Alaska.

But both families altered their summer plans as the cost of diesel approaches $5 a gallon in some places, making it a several-hundred-dollar investment to drive their RVs to their preferred vacation destinations.

“It has affected how much we move around,” said Ron Bodine, 66, who lives in his RV year-round with his wife, Bertie. “We would probably increase our travels by about 100 percent, and visit different places and friends that we have” if fuel prices weren’t so high.

While they are taking shorter trips, dedicated RVers determined to see the country and visit family are still traveling, despite staggering fuel bills that sometimes exceed $700 — the cost of filling the 150-gallon tank of the Bodines’ home on wheels.

Wes and Glennis Edgar are among the RV owners who have chosen to make sacrifices, rather than simply park their rig.

With the sun’s rays blocked by the clouds, pine trees and their fifth-wheel’s awning inside the Crown Villa RV Resort in Bend, the couple said they were planning on going north for part of the summer as late as March, when diesel was hovering around $4 a gallon. At the time, the Ontario, Ore., couple were vacationing in Arizona.

“That was the plan for this year,” Wes Edgar said Friday. “But we decided to hold off on Alaska.”

“It has curtailed our traveling plans,” added Glennis Edgar.
Full Story...
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Canadian Tourism Numbers Heading South

Calgary Herald Monday, August 04, 2008

Rising fuel costs, a strong Canadian dollar and a sagging United States economy have Alberta tourism operators feeling the squeeze of shrinking numbers of American visitors this summer.

Kurt Schroeder, director of sales and market development for Banff Lake Louise Tourism, said U.S. tourism in the national park has decreased to the point where they are considering shifting marketing to attract more overseas visitors.

Although the percentage of visitor volumes are only down by "single digits" compared to last year, he said there's a threat it could move into double digits.

Like many businesses that cater to tourists, Symon's Valley RV Park just north of Calgary is turning their focus to regional travelers. "We've had to rely on the ball tournaments and big groups to fill the park," said RV park manager Gina Evans.

However, Alberta campgrounds closer to cities are generally faring better than those that require additional driving, said Dave Kaiser, president and CEO of the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association.

"What they're seeing different this year over last year is people coming and staying put. That, I think, speaks to gas prices. They're getting to a place and saying 'we'll stay here rather than move campground to campground,'" said Kaiser.
Full Story...
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Sunday, August 03, 2008

RVers focus on smiles per gallon

Jody and Kathy McCollum heard all the talk about rising gas prices and travelers staying close to home this summer. They looked at their 37-foot-long motor home, which gets about eight miles per gallon and costs more than $300 to fill up.

Then they got in and drove away.

“People always say, ‘Oh my god, how can you afford it?’” said Mr. McCollum, a Springfield Township father of four whose RV logged 2,200 miles on a vacation to the East Coast in June. The real question, he said, ought to be, “How can we afford to fly and get a hotel?”
Full Story...
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Police confirm ‘misunderstanding’ in RVer's $700 gas gaffe

TheChronicleHerald.ca - Halifax,Nova Scotia,Canada
Bruce Harris has no idea how he managed to pump over $700 worth of diesel fuel into his motorhome and drive away without shelling out a dime.

Mr. Harris was the mystery driver behind the wheel of the massive vehicle that filled up at Sobeys gas bar in Upper Tantallon on Tuesday afternoon and then drove away without paying. After searching for three days and issuing a public appeal for help in locating the motorhome, the RCMP managed to track Mr. Harris and his wife down in Lunenburg on Friday night.

The natives of Juniper, Fla., are spending part of their summer vacation in Canada, driving their one-of-a-kind Prevost Bus Motorcoach through Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

"We stopped the bus and got out," he explained. "I pulled out my credit card. . . .swiped it at the outside credit card machine, waited until I saw the authorization response on the screen, lifted the handle, placed the pump in my filler and proceeded to fill the tank."

For one reason or another, however, the transaction was not actually approved, and Mr. Harris said there was no way to know that he had failed to pay for his gas.

Staff Sgt. Mike Taylor of the Tantallon RCMP confirmed that there was some kind of "misunderstanding," but would not provide further details.
Full Story...
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Camping on Long Island

Newsday - Long Island,NY,USA
"You'll be surprised at how beautiful, rural and natural most Long Island campsites are," says John Pavacic, commissioner of Suffolk County Parks. "We have great swimming and fishing, tidal and freshwater wetlands, ocean and bay beaches, woods and farmland, plus trails for hiking, running and biking - everything except mountains. You can get really close to nature right here, just minutes from home."

More than 20 public and private campgrounds dot Long Island. Here are several campers' favorites which remain open into October. All currently have some availability left this season.
Full Story...
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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Lazydays RV Center May Buy Beaudry RV

Arizona Daily Star Tucson, Arizona
Beaudry RV is negotiating a sale of its Tucson operations to Florida-based Lazydays RV Center Inc., according to a company memo forwarded to the Arizona Daily Star.

The June 30 memo, from Beaudry Motor Co. CEO Thomas Sylvester, says that Beaudry RV entered into a "letter of intent" with Lazydays on June 27 for the purchase of the Tucson business.

Sylvester said the memo is accurate but would not comment further.

The Beaudry RV dealership is at 3200 E. Irvington Road. The next-door Beaudry RV Resort is at 5151 S. Country Club Road.

Lazydays identifies itself as "the largest single site RV dealership in North America." Its combination dealership and RV park — which features a Cracker Barrel and a Hampton Inn among other amenities — is in Seffner, Fla., near Tampa.
Full Story...
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Colorado campgrounds see increased number of visitors

Steamboat Pilot - Steamboat Springs,CO,USA
High gas prices and forests ravaged by beetle kill have not deterred dedicated campers, as some park officials predicted.

Despite delayed openings, many campgrounds in Routt County are showing an increase in the number of visitors setting up camp this summer.

“It’s higher than I expected,” said Kesha Clay, who works in developed recreation for the U.S. Forest Service. “ It’s good that it’s not slowing down that much.”

Couples John and Joann Roberts and Vince and Dee Vinnola came from Grand Junction and Denver, respectively, and camped for the first time at Steamboat Lake State Park this week.

“We probably could’ve gotten a motel cheaper, but we gotta get some use out of these trailers,” Vinnola said, pointing to his metal home for the past few days.
Full Story...
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Friday, August 01, 2008

Winnebago idles Charles City, IA plant - 270 job layoffs

Charles City Press - IA, United States
It’s the end of the line for Charles City’s largest assembly line operation.

At the close of business today, the Winnebago Industries Charles City Manufacturing Facility will be shut down indefinitely and close to 270 employees left looking elsewhere for work.

The Forest City-based company called it a “strategic manufacturing consolidation decision” back in early June when the announcement was made. The CCMF assembles Class C motor home products, which are being relocated to the company's Forest City facilities.
Full Story...
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Pine Hills Campground in Union County, IL now open

HARRISBURG IL — Pine Hills Campground in Shawnee National Forest has been re-opened.

Forest Road No. 236 between Trail of Tears State Forest Road and McGee Hill in Union County is now open to traffic.

Road repairs will continue on Forest Road No. 236, so drivers should stay alert and use caution when traveling in this area.

For updates on the status of the repairs, contact the Mississippi Bluffs Ranger Station at 833-8576 or the Murphysboro Work Center at 687-1731
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Peterborough, Ontario - Fresh start for Beavermead Park

Kawartha Media Group - Peterborough,Ontario,Canada
This summer marks a fresh start for Beavermead Park and the drama that surrounded the grounds last season now seems far away.

The Freeman and Hunter families pulled into the park on Sunday and head back home to Quinte West today (Friday).

"We're happy with it, it's awesome," says Shani Hunter, who is camping with her husband and five-year-old daughter Madison.

Cindy Freeman is camping with her husband and their two children Jarrett, 12, and Chelsea, 13.

"The park staff are really nice. We would definitely come back her in a minute," she says.

Ms Hunter notes with Ecology Park, a soccer pitch, and a playground, the campground is great for kids.

The park has been upgraded this summer, with improvements to the washroom facilities including re-tiling of the showers, painting the bathrooms, upgrading the lighting as well as the sinks and taps.

"The campers are much happier having staff their they can rely on. It's much cleaner, it's been well maintained. Everything is being run better than before."
Full Story...
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California's Lake Berryessa still a quality destination

Napa Valley Register - Napa,CA,USA
In 2008, Lake Berryessa is swirling in controversy. It’s been well-documented how all the resorts are losing their leases and must close.

A new concessionaire is supposed to take over, but agreements still aren’t finalized. So the abandoned resorts remain as they were left, for now.

If that wasn’t enough, the state-declared drought year is causing water levels to drop, some say possibly to historic lows.

But in one reporter's opinion, now is a great time to visit Lake Berryessa.
Full Story...
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