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Extinction Of The Campgrounds

John O'Brien

Founder "Fresh set of I's"


Have you ever sat and looked up at a billion stars? Have you ever moved a chair 17 times because the smoke followed you wherever you sat? Have you ever burned your chin with hot toasted marshmallow?    If you answered yes, you have probably been camping.


Camping is one of the activities that has been a Canadian tradition that has created family memories across multiple generations. There is no question that Canada is one of the most beautiful Countries in the world and is the perfect place to enjoy camping.


Well the bad news is as with Dinosaurs and the Dodo Bird Camping is now on the road towards extinction.


I hear you saying to yourselves who is this person and what is he talking about, well a short intro is probably in order. 


As I am writing this I am the Past President of the Ontario private campground association (OPCA). The OPCA is a not for profit association that represents 450 of the 1000 private campgrounds in Ontario. I have the honour of serving on this board utilising my 20 plus years of experience in the campground industry across two continents and four countries.


The problem is quite simple in that in the last decade there has only been one new campground open in Ontario, yet every year several close for many reasons some of which I will outline in this article. The problem is accelerating with three campgrounds in the Muskoka region closing in the fall of 2016 alone. It must be noted that the campground that opened took 7 years to get through the permitting process to be allow it to open.


I recently had the opportunity to bring this problem in front of a Minister in the tourism sector in a very brief encounter and they replied “that’s ok we have the provincial campgrounds”. If I may put that into perspective, there are 135,000 individual campsites in Ontario of which 16,000 are in Provincial parks. Now math was not my strongest subject at school but that seems to add up to a lot of disappointed families that would like to enjoy Canada as it should be enjoyed.


So how can this happen I hear you ask? Well it is the accumulation of many issues coming together to create a compounded problem. I would like to list a few and give a real brief outline of each one. Now as I write this I am trying to figure out how to make it sound as though it is not all government policies that are strangling the industry, I am finding it extremely difficult to do so and so please make your own decisions after reading the facts. 


There are many factors affecting this issue including an ageing population of campground owners that are simply retiring, the next generation of campground owners that do not want to take over the family campground and owners that simply decide to sell to corporations that change the use of the land and build residential developments. Next I will list several specific factors that have had a negative impact on the industry.      


1.     Ministry of the environment. Several years ago, the Ministry of the environment decided to impose an 800 litre a day requirement onto the sewage systems on campgrounds. In simple terms, they said that septic systems had to be built to deal with each campsite using 800 litres of water a day. When you understand that a 3000 square foot home in a residential development is only subject to 700 litres a day you can see it is a problem. It immediately stifled any expansion in campground as they did not have the amount of land to build such large septic systems. This also deterred potential campground builders from considering a new campground.


2.     Residential Tenancies act (RTA). An issue that is on the rise and can affect any campground. In recent years, the RTA has had many applications from guests on campgrounds claiming residential status. In the act campgrounds are clearly exempt from the act however whenever a case goes in front of the Landlord tenant board it results in legal costs to the campground to the tune of $10,000 to $15,000 per case. Unfortunately, after two years of discussions the department of housing is not willing to put into place measures that would prevent these cases, that are clearly exempt from the act from passing through a process that is being funded by tax payers.


3.     Canada revenue agency (CRA). Possibly the most threatening to our industry. The CRA has defined that an incorporated small business with less than 5 full time employees will not be eligible for the small business tax benefits. So, they are saying that the small business tax breaks are only for small businesses not really small businesses. The insulting thing to our industry is that they look at us in the same light as a self storage buildings not recognising any of the services we provide to the families on our campgrounds. Should the government not take immediate action on this we will see multiple campgrounds closing their doors immediately.


In addition to the above there are a multiple other regulations and requirements that are costly and time consuming that are imposed on campgrounds and too numerous to mention here. As you can see the combination of the above not only makes it hard for Campgrounds to stay in business but is not exactly a great business case for anyone thinking of developing a new campground. 


The knock-on affect of all of this is incredibly damaging to the economy, if you have no campgrounds there is no-where to put RVs and so need for RV dealers. There will be no visiting public to remote areas where campgrounds are traditionally located, a lack of tourism has significant impact on restaurants, stores, gas stations and many other businesses in those areas.


The purpose of writing this article was not an attack against the government, it is simply information that I feel Canadian people should be aware of. I have had some amazing times camping and want to be able to do so with my family. 


At this point you are probably wondering what would help keep the camping tradition alive, well all I can say is this, get the tent down from the attic, hook up the RV in the driveway that has been sitting there, pick up the phone and make a booking to go camping. Go and create some memories…go and have some fun…Go camping.


John O’Brien


 

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 SHASTA RV HITS HOME RUN

 To say the Matador Red Airflyte we toured was was a work of art is an understatement. Shasta RV hit a home run with it and the fact that there are very few left of the 1,941 16′ and 19′ trailers speaks volumes for how this venture by the Forest River subsidiary has taken the RV industry by storm.

Ken Eckstein is owner and chief operating officer of Mount Comfort RV and started in the industry in the 1970′s washing RVs for a local RV dealer. He’s been everything from a technician to a salesman to an owner. He said, “In my 40 years in the RV industry I’ve never seen anything like this”, referring to the re-issued Shasta and its overwhelming popularity among the RV public.


Overall impressions of the finished product are positive. The novice will be fooled into thinking it’s original, and even the seasoned vintage trailer enthusiast will have to take a few looks to figure out if it’s new or classic. Many of the details were replicated to that extent. Many features were meticulously modeled after the 1961 Shasta it is based on, including the lamp over the dinette, the famous Shasta wings, the “S” magazine rack, and the chrome exterior Shasta emblems.


One positive for vintage Shasta owners is that some of the components of the reissue are the same as the original 1961 Airflyte. For instance, the windows, wings, and door are the same dimensions as the originals.


 

Matador Airflyte sleeping area
Matador Red Airflyte Exterior
Matador Airflyte interior

 

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RV AND CAMPGROUND INDUSTRY SHOWS SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT

 When the recession swept across North America, the campground and RV park industry saw declines in revenue, but research firm IBIS World estimates the industry is on a path to recovery. Back in 2007, RV travel companies and campgrounds took a hit financially, as people began to cut back on extraneous expenditures like vacations.

As the recession deepened and unemployment rose, falling domestic travel and the shrinking number of international arrivals into the North America adversely affected the industry.

The economic outlook remained bleak until 2010, when the nation's economy began to recover. As consumer confidence began to grow, more people were willing to take vacations and embark on RV travel. From 2010 to 2011, the industry saw a 2.4 percent improvement in revenue, and IBIS World experts believe this upward trend will continue into the future.

This growth is expected to completely offset the declines experienced between 2007 and 2009.

People have begun traveling again, and RV dealerships have experienced sales growth as well.

 

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 RV TRAVELERS STUDY

 • RVers seek out RV friendly destinations

It is important to RVers that destinations cater to their needs and they will actively avoid those places which don’t. RV friendliness means welcoming residents and businesses, high quality campgrounds with amenities that add to the convenience sought by RVers, and good RV-specific information and signage suitable for older RVers with large vehicles. Accessibility, safe roads and RV parking are essential. RV friendly are also those places which cater to the cultural and historic interests and support outdoor activities as well as destinations which allow RVers to enjoy scenic views and feelings of relaxation and freedom. 

• RVers plan with room for change

A majority of RVers engage in often extensive planning long before a trip. Word of mouth, Internet, brochures such as the Milepost guide, and RV-related sources are main information sources for them. A lot of information search also occurs during the trip as most often only the general route is planned and things like where to stay and what to do are left open. Thus, wireless Internet, visitor information centers and signage are essential for them. They often have primary destinations or routes selected but take time to explore places on the way. Thus it is important to them to have a variety of campground facilities or boondocking areas available should they choose to stay somewhere on the spur of the moment.

• Not all RVers are equal

RVers seem to differ in terms of the degree of social interactions they seek (e.g. whether they travel in groups and interact with other travelers), their commitment to RVing (expressed in terms of the size of their RV and membership in RV clubs but also the time they spend RVing every year, the length of their trips, and whether they have other residences and engage in other forms of travel) as well as the degree to which they plan their trips.

• Rallies are not for everyone

Rallies seem to attract more committed and more social RVers. Location and area attractions are important factors which influence rally participation decisions. Rallies influence destination image in that they add to the perceived RV friendliness of the destination. RV Clubs are the most important source to find out about rallies.

• Today’s tent campers are tomorrow’s RVers

RVing seems to be a natural progression from tent camping and backpacking as one becomes older and needs more convenience. Most were already looking at RVs while tent camping. The natural evolution of the RVer continues with the purchase of ever larger vehicles. RVs are rewards to their owners, and also a means to persuade spouses to engage in RVing.

• RVers are techies

Technology provides RVers with important travel information and a means to communicate with family, friends and other RVers. Technology also constitutes a way to manage one’s life. Cell phones, digital cameras, laptops, Internet, navigation systems and wireless connections are widely used by RVers despite their older age. RVers are very technology savvy and want to be able to use their technologies wherever they go. They also want destinations and businesses to communicate with them through these technological means. 

• RVers feel misunderstood

RVers think that other travelers and even their families often don’t understand why they engage in this particular lifestyle and at the same time are envious of their experiences. Envy is also falsely provoked by the size of their RVs. They think that local communities see them as trailer trash and many do not understand how to cater to them. In addition, they believe to be under-recognized by the tourism industry despite their often significant positive economic impact on destinations. Finally, RVers think that many campgrounds do not recognize changes in RV size, RVer numbers and RVer expectations and provide outdated services.

• RVers travel in a variety of ways

RVers travel in caravans for social purposes but also for some trips to increase the feeling of safety, convenience and likelihood to see everything worth seeing. Even those who travel independently regularly form ad hoc groups to travel to a specific destination. Trip lengths differ considerably among RVers. Some travel exclusively in their RVs while others also engage in other forms of travel. 

Conclusions

The study methodology proved to be successful in eliciting useful responses from RVers in terms of their expectations, motivations and specific behaviors. Several conclusions can be drawn from the study findings.

First, RVers are an attractive market as they actively explore destinations by visiting attractions, attending events and engaging in various activities. They travel the back roads and are open to change their plans if an opportunity to visit a place emerges. They also often stay for longer periods of time and buy groceries and gas. Thus, despite their reputation, they spend a considerable amount of money at the destination. Most importantly, if they like a place they will tell everyone in their extended social network.

Second, destinations can only attract RVers if they are RV friendly. RV friendliness often evolves around the availability and quality of campgrounds, accessibility in terms of roads and parking, catering to the interests of RVers and welcoming attitudes of residents and businesses. Thus, catering to RVers requires infrastructure development without destroying the natural beauty, product development and internal marketing and cooperation at the destination with stakeholders such as stores, gas stations, campgrounds, and attractions.

Hosting rallies can also contribute to perceptions of RV friendliness.

 

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 Ultimate Road Trip

Ultimate Road Trip

When a producer at Discovery News challenged Michigan State University doctoral student Randy Olson to plot the optimum route across the continental U.S., Olson got to work charting a course within these parameters:

There would be one stop in all 48 contiguous U.S. states, as well as Washington D.C. and two stops in California for an even 50 stops.

Each stop would be at a national natural landmark, national historic site, national park or national monument.

The vehicle would never leave U.S. soil.

Olson's first step was to take the list of 50 landmarks he was provided and find the shortest distance by road between each one.

Once he had this information, he approached the task as a traveling salesman would. In other words, he had to put the landmarks in such an order that the driver would backtrack as little as possible, which is especially difficult when making stops in Florida and the Northeast.

To do this, Olson used information from Google Maps API and wrote a bit of code to determine the distance and time it would take to drive to all 50 landmarks.

It would take millions of years for a computer to look at every possible solution, so he employed a genetic algorithm. If you were to follow this 13,699-mile route and had the road entirely to yourself, it would take 9.33 days of nonstop driving, according to Olson's calculations.

However, in reality you'd have to commit two to three months to complete the ultimate road trip.

Considering embarking on such an epic trip? Olson's course is designed so you can start anywhere on the route, and many of the destinations are also near other tourist sites.

"You'll hit every major area in the U.S. on this trip, and as an added bonus, you won't spend too long driving through the endless cornfields of Nebraska," he wrote on his blog.

 

Below is a list of the destinations you'll see if you follow his ultimate road trip route:

1. Grand Canyon, Arizona

2. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

3. Craters of the Moon, Idaho

4. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

5. Pikes Peak, Colorado

6. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

7. The Alamo, Texas

8. The Platt Historic District, Oklahoma

9. Toltec Mounds, Arkansas

10.Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Tennessee

11.Vicksburg National Military Park, Mississippi

12.French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana

13.USS Alabama, Alabama

14.Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

15.Okefenokee Swamp Park, Georgia

16.Fort Sumter National Monument, South Carolina

17.Lost World Caverns, West Virginia

18.Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, North Carolina

19.Mount Vernon, Virginia

20.White House, Washington, D.C.

21.Colonial Annapolis Historic District, Maryland

22.New Castle Historic District, Delaware

23.Cape May Historic District, New Jersey

24.Liberty Bell, Pennsylvania

25.Statue of Liberty, New York

26.The Mark Twain House & Museum, Connecticut

27.The Breakers, Rhode Island

28.USS Constitution, Massachusetts

29.Acadia National Park, Maine

30.Mount Washington Hotel, New Hampshire

31.Shelburne Farms, Vermont

32.Fox Theater, Detroit, Michigan

33.Spring Grove Cemetery, Ohio

34.Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

35.West Baden Springs Hotel, Indiana

36.Abraham Lincoln’s Home, Illinois

37.Gateway Arch, Missouri

38.C. W. Parker Carousel Museum, Kansas

39.Terrace Hill Governor’s Mansion, Iowa

40.Taliesin, Wisconsin

41.Fort Snelling, Minnesota

42.Ashfall Fossil Bed, Nebraska

43.Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

44.Fort Union Trading Post, North Dakota

45.Glacier National Park, Montana

46.Hanford Site, Washington state

47.Columbia River Highway, Oregon

48.San Francisco Cable Cars, California

49.San Andreas Fault, California

50.Hoover Dam, Nevada


For a detailed map click here...............ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP

 

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 Information sharing stops snowbirds from overstaying their welcome in the U.S.

 A new agreement signed in June 2014 by Canada and the United States allows information sharing between the two countries to ensure snowbirds don't overstay their welcome.

Gail Hunnisett, constituency assistant for Alex Atamanenko, MP for British Columbia Southern Interior, said regulations around residency and liability in regards to tax have been in place for years. But the new agreement now allows border officials to exchange specific passport information.

"This means they now have the ability to enforce residency regulations," said Hunnisett. "Previously, you stopped at the American border on your way into the U.S., so they knew when you came in. But when you crossed back you came to the Canadian border, so they had no idea how much time you spent there. Now border officials—not tax agencies—can request that information if they have reason to."

According to Hunnisett, many Canadians believe that if they spend fewer than 183 days per year in the U.S., they will both avoid U.S. taxation and retain their provincial healthcare. This is a common misconception. In fact, retirees who own second homes and/or spend the winter months in the southern states may have to submit forms to the Internal Revenue Service in order to maintain primary residence in Canada.

In 2014, Canada and the U.S. adopted the final phase of the Entry/Exit Initiative, which gives border officials in both countries the authority to share passport information. As of June 30, each day a Canadian spends in the U.S. is automatically recorded by the American Department of Homeland Security. Anyone remaining in the U.S. for an extended period of time, or who makes multiple trips every year, must be careful not to exceed the annual threshold of 120 days.

Canadians who spend longer may be subject to U.S. tax laws. In order to avoid liability for U.S. tax, individuals must file the Closer Connection Exemption Statement for Aliens (IRS Form 8440) with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. This form acknowledges that you have exceeded the "substantial presence test" in the current year, but establishes your closer residency connection to Canada. Individuals who file the form each year by June 15 may remain in the U.S. for up to 182 days. The substantial presence test only applies to those present in the U.S. for more than 31 days in the current year. The test considers the total number of days in the U.S. over a three year period.

"I think it's important to look at who this is targeting and who is most likely to be affected by this," Hunnisett said. "This is for people with RVs or homes, often retirees, who go down to the U.S. for the winter. It's a common misconception they can stay down there for 182 days and the primary concern was to get back to Canada, specifically B.C., so they don't lose their medical coverage. But it's a little more involved than that."

People in the southern interior of B.C. often cross the border once or twice a week to fill their gas tanks, check mail if at a U.S. post office box or buy things on sale. They may only be in the country for a couple of hours—but this counts as a whole day.

"This is where people can get in trouble and why people need to know about this," said Hunnisett. "If they go down to the U.S. and spend five or six months there and they come back and haven't filed any forms, then they go to cross the border to buy gas or do some shopping, they may exceed their residency threshold and get into trouble. If they have not been filing form 8440, to establish their closer connection and their legal residence as Canada, they can be detained, penalized or prevented from re-entering the U.S. So there are some pretty heavy penalties associated with this."

Hunnisett said this can be scary, but the form itself is not onerous. It's perhaps a nuisance and just one more thing people have to do.

"Border officials can go back three years and look at how long you've been down there. There is a formula," she said. "You must keep careful track of your time. If you exceed 182 days in any year, and haven't filed a form, you will not be allowed to file a form and will be investigated, which nobody wants."

Hunnisett said it's important to understand that it's just like a tax form and you file it subsequent to the year. Forms are filed on June 15. If for 2014 you exceed 31 days, by June 2015 you have to file this form. This form is for each individual, so you cannot file as a couple or a family.

Hunnisett has some tips for people to make sure they aren't faced with an unwanted investigation.

Keep a log

Every time you cross the border, write down the date you entered, the date you came back and the purpose of your trip. Don't rely on memory, especially if you're asked about the previous three years. You don't want to trigger an investigation.

Exemptions

Individuals who travel to the U.S. on business, truck drivers who regularly cross the border, or people bringing their child to a dance recital need to ensure they tell the U.S. border officials it's not a personal holiday. Chances are they will be waved through and it won't add to the day count.

There are exemptions to the total day count. If you become ill or get into a car accident and can't get back across the border as planned, make sure you have documentation. You can subsequently file another form to get those days exempted from your final count. This may prevent you from being identified as a U.S. resident.

Take form 8440 with you

Take the IRS form 8440 with you whenever you cross the border. That way if you're asked about time spent in the U.S., you can reply with accuracy.

"I have spoken with our border officials, and they're not handing out information to U.S. border guards on a daily basis," Hunnisett said. "They're only giving this information when it's requested. So if people are keeping careful track of their time in the U.S. and not abusing the privilege, there shouldn't be any problem. Again, the form itself is not onerous, and it's better to be safe than sorry.


by KAREN KORNELSEN

www.rvwest.com



 

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Fee Increase For BC Provincial Parks 

 VICTORIA - To maintain high service levels in B.C. provincial parks for an increasing number of visitors, the Province is raising camping fees as of March 15, 2015.

This increase comes after years of investment delivering capital projects aimed at attracting young families, offering new recreation opportunities and increasing attendance in provincial parks. Over the past five years, BC Parks has invested approximately $60 million in park facilities, and has approximately $700 million of investment in infrastructure that requires maintenance. 

Fee increases are nominal to ensure camping remains affordable for families and visitors enjoying B.C.’s world class parks system - one of the largest protected areas systems in the world.

While the fee schedule varies, the vast majority of provincial campsites will see a $2 per night increase, while others will see slightly larger increase in price, to a maximum of $5 per night. The last system-wide increase was in 2010.

The increase is expected to generate $1.3 million this year for B.C.’s protected areas system. All revenue from the increased fees will be put back into maintaining and enhancing the parks system.

There are no increases to fees for sani-stations, mooring buoys, backcountry camping, picnic shelters, or group camping.

Parking remains free in all provincial parks. 

Quote:

Mary Polak, Minister of Environment -

“British Columbia’s world-renowned parks provide superb recreational opportunities for visitors from throughout the province and around the world. From diverse terrain to temperate climate, our parks are truly a unique treasure. By increasing user fees in campgrounds, campers who use the parks system are helping to keep it sustainable for future generations to enjoy.”

Quick Facts:

•All BC Parks user fees are inclusive of taxes, making it easier for families to plan and budget for their BC Parks visits.

•User fees at BC Parks are generally lower than those of most private campsites in the province, and competitive with public sector campgrounds in other jurisdictions. •For example: Camping at Cultus Lake Provincial Park will cost families $35/night for a campsite with up to four adults, whereas a nearby private operator charges $35-$45/night for a tenting site for two adults, with an additional $10 charge per adult.

•A private operator on Shuswap Lake will charge $30 - $60/night, and BC Parks charges $32/night for a campsite with up to four adults. 

•There are 1,029 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas in B.C., covering more than 14 million hectares or approximately 14.4% of the provincial land base.

•One of the largest park systems in the world, British Columbia has the highest percentage of its land base dedicated to protected areas of all provincial Canadian jurisdictions.

•B.C. provincial parks receive over 21 million visits each year.

•In 2014, more than 133,000 reservations were made through Discover Camping, the province’s camping reservation system, - almost a 10% increase from 2013. 

•Discover Camping opens at 9 a.m. (PST) March 15, 2015. Prices reflected on the Discover Camping website will be updated prior to this date to incorporate the new fee structure. 

For a complete list of campgrounds and updated fees, visit: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/fees/userfees.pdf


BC Provincial Parks
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 Should RV parks be able to advertise that they offer WiFi if it doesn't work?

WiFi

 By Greg Gerber

Editor, RV Daily Report  


I read a story yesterday that the Federal Communications Commission changed the definition of what constitutes “broadband” Internet service from a threshold speed of 4 megabits per second all the way up to 25 mbs for download speeds, and from 1 mbs up to 3 mbs for upload connections. That means a phone or cable company can no longer claim it offers customers broadband service unless the connection speed at the customer’s home or office is at least 25 mbs.

It got me to thinking that perhaps a standard needs to be developed for the outdoor hospitality industry as to what constitutes Wi-Fi service.

Almost all campgrounds advertise on their websites, in their brochures, on promotional flyers, campground maps and even billboard signs that they offer Wi-Fi service. But, when campers show up, more often than not, they can’t connect. If campers can never connect to the Internet, does the campground truly offer the service?  After all, if an RV park advertised clean showers, but the shower rooms were routinely closed, do they really offer the ability to take a shower?

The campground I am staying at this week advertises that it offers Wi-Fi service. WHEN people can connect to the system, the download speed is clocked at 0.23 mbs download and 0.03 mbs upload speeds — and that is in a metropolitan area. By comparison, old-fashioned dial up connections would clock in at 0.056. By further comparison, my cellular Mi-Fi device registers speeds of 15.62 mbs download and 14.52 mbs upload.

I imagine this campground has grown accustomed to complaints about its lack of service because the staff immediately apologized when I checked in and told me that Wi-FI service in my area was “iffy.” Well, I checked, and the entire park is “iffy.”  The only place people can go to connect to Wi-Fi is the office area where it registers a “blazing” 1.33 mbs download and 0.28 mbs upload.

Campground wireless service has been a source of consternation for many RVers for several years. But, I’m thinking we can eliminate the problem right now by simply setting a minimum connection speed for which campgrounds can advertise that they offer wireless Internet service.

Campgrounds that can attain and maintain a download speed of 3 mbs (less than the old federal standard for “broadband”) should have no problem meeting the needs of its customers.  Campgrounds that can’t offer that basic level of service should not advertise if offers Wi-Fi because it is deceptive to do so.

When people read “we offer wireless Internet,” they base their assumptions for service on what they experience at places like McDonalds. The speed isn’t ideal, but it is sufficient to check e-mail and browse the web. If campers are making decisions on where to stay based on seeing “we offer wireless Internet,” and show up expecting McDonald’s level wireless service, but don’t get it, I think campers have every reason to be angry.

That’s especially true now that technology has been developed to manage connections in a way to stifle video streaming for wireless pigs to create an enjoyable Internet experience for everyone else. Read the story we wrote about Checkbox by clicking here for information on the simple, low cost technology that campgrounds can employ to deliver high-speed wireless service throughout the park.

The other solution is for campgrounds to charge a nominal amount for people to connect to the campground’s system rather than suggesting a connection is included in the price of a reservation. People who need to use the Internet should pay for it, which should reduce the amount of traffic on the campground’s system. Even then, a minimum threshold for service must be established. Nothing will irritate a camper faster than paying for Internet service, and still having to wait and wait and wait as a page loads.

Customers may grumble about paying, but when they realize they can connect at comfortable speeds, the grumbling should disappear.

If campers can’t attain a download speed of 3 mbs, the park should be honest with customers and simply admit they don’t offer wireless Internet. That eliminates any misconceptions as to what campers should expect. Campground owners will still hear complaints from callers that they don’t offer wireless service, but at that point the camper still has an opportunity to keep looking for an RV park that offers genuine wireless service.

Best of all, customers can’t contact their state consumer protection agency to complain of deceptive advertising because the campground honestly admitted they don’t offer the service.

I can assure campground owners that dissatisfaction regarding wireless service will only grow as the Internet is not going away. I urge the outdoor hospitality industry to develop a wireless service standard which campgrounds and RV parks must meet in order to advertise the availability of wireless service. Failure to do so only invites government intervention over deceptive advertising.


RV Daily Report

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RV CARE LAUNCHES RV TRAVELER'S CHOICE 

 Langley, BC – February 12, 2015 ‐ RV Care, Canada’s largest RV dealer network, is introducing its new  proprietary line of RV Parts and Accessories called RV Traveler’s Choice (RVTC).

 This new line of products meets  the RV consumer’s need for SIMPLE, FAIR PRICED RV parts and accessories. 

 RV parts and accessories are “must have products” for RV owners. They can be found at all RV dealerships as  well as a number of mass merchant retail stores. Sometimes they’re branded under different names, often  with a wide range of retail prices, none the less, they’re pretty much the same.

So what it comes down to is,  who do you trust, will they provide quality service after the sale, regardless of where you travel, and is it a fair  price? 

The RV Traveler’s Choice brand was created to bring to Canada a simple and honest retail approach to common  RV parts and accessories for all RVer’s.

RV Care has developed a trust among consumers who appreciate quality  service for their RV and is now expanding that to include every‐day fair prices for parts and accessories.    Its all about size, scope and a vision ‐ RV Care’s collective buying power positions them to negotiate preferred  pricing, which translates into better retail prices. Customers buying RVs and/or RV Traveler’s Choice products  from an RV Care store, will be serviced wherever they travel by any one of the networks 59 locations across  Canada. RV Care’s national service network is unmatched in the Canadian RV landscape.     

RV Traveler’s Choice brand of products is being exclusively introduced now through the RV Care stores across  Canada. It includes a Customer Promise that speaks to the integrity of the network and the brand. RVTC parts  and accessories are poised to become the recognized brand of choice for RV travelers.     

For more information on RV Traveler’s Choice products please visit www.rvtravelerschoice.com  


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 YOU KNOW YOU ARE A FULL TIMER WHEN....

 You know you’re a full-time RVer when…

…you can recite your miles-per-gallon overall *and* broken down for flat-land driving and mountain driving.

…you can explain the subtle yet important distinction between “boondocking” and “dry camping.”

…you know how to shower and do a sinkful of dirty dishes with a gallon of water or less.

…you walk into a home decor store and think, “What do people *do* with all these things?!?”

…you have an assortment of grocery chain club member cards that’s fatter than a deck of playing cards.

…you know which truck stops and travel centers have the best coffee and the cleanest restrooms.

…your closet has no more than three changes of clothes because you gave up buying a tee-shirt for every place you visited a long, long time ago.

…the best afternoon’s entertainment is watching weekend RVers pull into their sites and hook-up, filling in what they’re saying (or swearing) based on   their expressions and gestures.

…you’ve realized what a smart idea it was for Walmarts, Cabela’s, and casinos to allow overnight RV parking because they know you’ll spend money       there you wouldn’t have otherwise.

…you can spend every holiday and birthday any place you want, but you have your favorites anyway.

…you’ve learned to smile when people ask where you’re from and after explaining your full-time lifestyle they say, “I hope you enjoy your vacation.”

…it takes you a few minutes to realize the water pump is always on in public restrooms!

… you take notes when you watch “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” so you can be sure to stop at the restaurants that sound appealing.

… you have to keep track of where you find special products in various cities so you don’t have to go store-to-store hunting them down every time you      visit.

… you’re watching the evening news and you’ve been nearly everyplace in the US that gets mentioned.

… you get nervous when you don’t have something to fix because it usually means something major (and expensive) is about to break.

… you finally learn what’s down which aisle in the supermarket and which channels your favorite TV shows are on, then move the next day to a place      where you have to learn them all over again.

… OR… you decide to keep a list of TV channels in the towns you spend the most time in so you don’t have to re-learn them every time you stay there.

… you get excited when you buy something with cash and get quarters for change — money for the laundry!

… you have as many (or more) library cards than you do discount retail cards.

… you have favorite servers in restaurants in more than a dozen different states — and they all know you on sight; some even remember your favorite      dish.

… you decide which pots and pans to buy based on the size of your sink.

… you can’t remember the last time you bought toilet paper that isn’t “septic safe.”

   Okay, your turn! When did you realize you were a full-timer?!?

   Thanks to Bob and Ellen's Great RV Adventure for this article......................BOB AND ELLEN'S GREAT RV ADVENTURE


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RV Care Approved Products 

 Langley, BC – March 5, 2015 ‐ RV Care, Canada’s largest RV dealer network, is introducing a new

supplier‐approved program to be known as “RV Care APPROVED”.


The network has finalized its first RV Care APPROVED program with Boss Technology, a Canadian

company based in Saint‐Hyacinthe, Quebec who has been a long time manufacturer / supplier of RV

and marine cleaning, maintenance and septic tank chemicals and cleaning accessories.

RV Care has developed “best in class” supplier partner programs for its 59 dealerships located across

Canada. Leveraging collective support from the group is the driving factor behind the success of these

programs for the suppliers, dealerships and customers.


“The RV Care APPROVED program brings together a recognized quality product or service with the

recognized brand of the RV Care Network of dealers. The approval and co‐branding of the product

provides added confidence for consumers” stated Derek Paterson, Business Development Manager at

RV Care.


All products are labeled with the RV Care APPROVED seal. Building consumer confidence with a

consistent quality product message, a recognized brand and the support of Canada’s largest RV dealer

network is the key function of the RV Care APPROVED program.


“Having the opportunity to work with RV Care and their dealer network extends our national platform

and provides us with added support in our commitment to manufacturing quality environmentally

conscious products” said Sylvain Masson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Boss Technology.


RV Care APPROVED products are available at participating RV Care stores across Canada.

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Circle Of Excellence Award 

 

JUST IN FROM VEGAS!

Voyager RV has been selected as a Circle of Excellence dealer by Winnebago for the 12th year. 

We would like to congratulate all the staff of Voyager for another great year of service.

 

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 Top Pet-Friendly Campgrounds

The editors and consultants of the "Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide"have chosen their list of Top Pet-Friendlyriendly Parks for 2014. 

Arizona: Desert Edge RV - The Purple Park, Phoenix.

California: Bakersfield River Run RV Park, Bakersfield, Chula Vista RV Resort, Chula Vista, Sands RV & Golf Resort, Desert Hot Springs.

Kansas: Deer Creek Valley RV Park, Topeka.

New Mexico: American RV Park, Albquerque.

New York: Lake George RV Park. Lake George.

Texas: Austin Lone Star - Carefree RV Resort, Austin, Stone Creek RV Park, San Antonio.

Utah: Shady Acres RV Park, Green River.

Pet - Friendly Parks boast amenities from fenced-in dog areas to pet washing stations. Many offer trails for pet walking, and some dispense pet treats to newcomers traveling with four-legged family.


 

Top Pet-Friendly RV Parks

My question to Good Sam......where are the Canadian Parks?

Are you saying we have no pet-friendly parks in Canada?

If you know of any pet friendly parks in Canada send them to us and we will make mention of them.

 

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 This video is a must see for all Rv owners !!!

 

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 RV OVERHEAD CLEARANCE ISSUES

March 21, 2016

Negotiating tight turns in busy urban environments with large RV's can be very challenging. Most commonly we think of making our way through narrow roads that are lined with parked cars and turning wide enough to avoid striking the curb or other hazards. The driving stress level fades as we leave the populated areas for the open highways of the country. The RV, or vehicle combination now, is not confined to narrow pathways, and the length has little restriction apart from finding a place to pull over. However, motor homes and fifth wheel trailers have another important specification, over all height and vehicle weight. Weight, providing you are on a well-traveled road, is usually not an issue as most bridges will be adequate in carrying capacity for most RVs. Height, however, is a different matter. Low overhead bridges, power lines, tree branches, service location canopies or like structures must be observed and correctly assessed as to being compatible with your RV's height.


Unlike objects on the roadway that are quickly steered around, overhead clearances are often not even noticed. Most GPS navigation systems direct you in the most direct route, regardless of overhead clearances or weight restrictions. Many clearance accident incidents have been while follow a GPS guidance system, even in buses and semi’s. The Good Sam Rand McNally GPS provides RV specification input. Once programmed, it will route you clear of any size or weight issues. However, it does not account for low tree branches, electrical wires, service canopies or other similar structures.


It is important to note that regardless of listed heights show on bridges etc., it is totally your responsibility if you strike it. Raised resurfaced roads may change the actual listed clearance. Again, your responsibility.


Overhead canopies found at many fuel stations or similar services can vary in height. Anywhere from as high as 14' down to 8' or less can be experienced. Striking any overhead structure can result in personal injury or even a fatal event.


Here are some tips that may help you avoid encountering some common low clearance issues:


Avoid routes that forbid trucks. These often have low tree branches among possibly other hazards.

Practice estimating the height of overhead canopies, and if in doubt at all, do not venture under it.

Have someone responsible watch and report from a distance should you need to go beneath a canopy or wire.

Know your rig's height in feet and metric meters. Add a small buffer for safety.

Know your rig's gross weight in pounds, tons, kilograms and tonnes.

Be especially cautious when operating on private property as regulations regarding overhead clearances are not required.

So, if your rig is 7' or higher, take note. A 13' 4" coach won't fit under a 4 M. bridge clearance. Remember, you are fully responsible in all overhead clearance issues.


Mercer, Peter. “RV Overhead Clearance Issues.” Good Sam Camping Blog. 28 September, 2015 Web. 13 April, 2015 http://blog.goodsam.com/?p=31644

 

Good Sam Roadside Assistance

 

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