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 TOP SNOWBIRD PARKS FOR 2014

 OXNARD, California, January 8, 2014

The Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory has released its list of Top Snowbird Parks for 2014. These select Sun Belt RV parks stand out for their amenities and accommodations for winter travelers seeking fun in the sun.

Located across the warm-weather band that stretches from California to the southeast, each of the Top Snowbird Parks offers activities, services and comforts tailored to travelers who have trekked across a continent—sometimes as far as 3,000 miles—and often stay in their snowbird roosts for months at a time.

Highlights From the List: 

+ RV parks on the list accommodate snowbird travelers with luxuries that include pools, spas, fitness centers or golf courses.

+ Snowbird parks generally cultivate vibrant winter communities that offer social events, classes and tours to surrounding attractions.

+ The snowbird parks on the list represent a wide variety of ecosystems and cultures, from the lowland coastal areas of Florida to the high deserts of California and Arizona.


Facts About Snowbirds

+ Over 1 million RVers make the trek south to the Sun Belt every winter, more than the population of Austin, Texas.


+ Snowbirds generally follow north-south travel patterns: Those who reside in the northwest generally spend winter in the southwest, while snowbirds who live in the northeast winter in the southeast, etc.


+ Snowbird migration dramatically alters the demographics of some winter communities. For example, the population of Yuma, Arizona, grows from 60,000 to more than 120,000 when snowbird season rolls around.

+ In Texas, RVers who stay during winter are often known as “Winter Texans,” not Snowbirds.

+ Snowbirds make up a large portion of the attendees to major Sun Belt RV shows, such as the Florida RV SuperShow, held every January.

Choosing the Parks

The editors and consultants of the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory chose the list of Snowbird Parks from the annual publication’s database of 8,000 private parks.

Each month, a new list of Top Parks will be featured in press releases and articles released by the Good Sam RV Travel Guide. Click here for a roundup of each of our Top Parks by month.

In addition to comprehensive listings of RV parks and campgrounds across North America, the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory features ravel itineraries, helpful maps and informative tips that RVers need for a journey anywhere in North America.


Top Snowbird Parks


Arizona

Apache Wells RV Resort, Mesa

Canyon Vistas RV Resort & Superstition Views Resort, Gold Canyon

Desert Gold RV Resort, Brenda

Desert's Edge RV-The Purple Park, Phoenix

High Chaparral RV Park, Arizona City

Mesa Spirit RV Resort, Mesa

Phoenix Metro RV Park, Phoenix

Rincon Country East RV Resort, Tucson

Sunrise RV Resort, Apache Junction

Superstition Sunrise RV Resort, Apache Junction

Towerpoint Resort, Mesa


California 

Bakersfield RV Resort, Bakersfield

Golden Village Palms RV Resort - Sunland, Hemet


Florida

Arbor Terrace RV Resort, Bradenton

Big Cypress RV Resort, Clewiston

Buttonwood Bay RV Resort & Manufactured Home Community, Sebring

Craig's RV Park, Arcadia

Crystal Lake RV Resort, Naples

Goldcoaster RV Resort, Homestead

Groves RV Resort, Fort Myers

Kissimmee South Carefree RV Resort, Davenport

Lake San Marino RV Resort, Naples

Miami Everglades Resort, Miami

Naples RV Resort, Naples

Navarre Beach Campground, Navarre

Ocala Sun RV Resort, Ocala

Orange City RV Resort , Orange City

Riverside RV Resort & Campground, Port Charlotte

Rock Creek RV Resort, Naples

Shady Acres RV Park, Fort Myers

Siesta Bay RV Resort, Fort Myers

Tampa East RV Resort, Dover

Three Lakes RV Park, Hudson

Wekiva Falls Resort, Sanford

The Grand Oaks RV Resort, Lady Lake

Whisper Creek RV Resort, La Belle

Woodsmoke Camping Resort, Fort Myers


Nevada 

Sam's Town Hotel Casino & RV Park-Boulder, Las Vegas


Ohio 

Indian Creek RV & Camping Resort, Geneva-On-The-Lake


South Carolina

The Campground at James Island County Park, Charleston


Texas 

Bentsen Grove Resort MHP, Mission

Casa Del Valle RV Resort, Alamo

Colonia Del Rey RV Park, Corpus Christi

Dellanera RV Park, Galveston

Destiny RV Resorts-Dallas, Denton

Kenwood RV Resort, La Feria

Medina Highpoint Resort, Medina

San Jacinto Riverfront RV Park, Highlands

Rayford Crossing RV Resort, The Woodlands

Wekiva Falls Resort, Highlands

Sea Breeze RV Park, Portland

Snow To Sun RV Resort, Weslaco


Utah 

McArthur's Temple View RV Resort, St George


CANADA

Alberta

Diamond Grove RV Campground, Spruce Grove

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 AIRSTREAM DEALER AWARDS

Airstream today announced its top international dealer rankings based on retail units sold between May 2013 and May 2014 during the company’s dealer meeting in Charleston, S.C, which hosted dealers from Canada, U.K., Germany, Japan, China, Thailand and Australia.

U.K.-based Airstream & Company, located in Penrith, Cumbria, just north of London, was awarded the title of Airstream’s Top International Dealer. The dealership, which serves on the annual Airstream Dealer Council, has been dedicated to serving their customers by tailoring their service and sales experience to the needs of their customers since 2006 under the company name Airstream Europe. After a successful year in 2010, it was changed to Airstream & Company to signify the company’s expansion and an additional southern-U.K. location. Sales Director Michael Hold, who has been with the company since the beginning, accepted the award.

Airstream partners in Canada were also recognized for success in travel trailer and touring coach sales. Can-Am RV Centre in London, Ont., a dealership known for their customer focus and expertise in towing systems, according to Airstream, was named Top Travel Trailer Dealer. While Midtown RV, a family-owned dealership located in Penticton, B.C., was awarded the Top Canadian Touring Coach Dealer.

“Airstream has been steadily growing its international presence over the past few years,” said Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler. “From Canada and the U.K. to our new partners in China, we’ve already seen how Airstream’s appeal can cross borders and oceans — now we’re on our way to make this idea of camping a universal language that everyone can understand.”

In addition to the top international sales awards, Airstream also presented Airstream Japan with a 25 service award to recognize the passion they demonstrate every day for their customers and the Airstream brand, the release noted.

“Airstream is honored to have such a great partner in Airstream Japan and the commitment they have shown us is an honor we take very seriously,” said Wheeler. “On behalf of 471 hard working families of Jackson Center, Ohio, we want to thank the employees of Airstream Japan for their continued support.”

SOURCE: Airstream press release

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 180 DAY RULE...WHAT IS IT?

 How Many Days Can I Be in the United States? 

We get inquiries from time to time from seasonal “snowbirds,” who make frequent and/or lengthy trips to the United States annually. They have heard about a so-called “180-day rule” that offers safety to the Canadian visitor who stays on the short side of it and adverse consequences to those who exceed it. The number 180, often expressed in more exact terms as an 183-day rule, relates to a six-month time frame or one-half of a calendar year, depending on the context. While there may be a kernel truth and usefulness in such a rule, it is really a blending of two rules that results in getting them both wrong.

On one side, you have the immigration rule that allows Canadian visitors to the United States a maximum admission of six months. Although Canadians citizens typically do not get a passport stamp or entry document that authorizes entry for a specific term, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) takes the position that Canadians citizens are deemed to be admitted for a maximum of six months. A person is in violation of the immigration laws if he or she does not depart the United States within the six-month limit, thereby becoming deportable and ineligible for other immigration law benefits such as a change or extension of status. Longer periods of overstay and “unlawful presence” can lead to a ban on subsequent re-entry that can last for up to 10 years.

But that rule has nothing to do with the person who makes frequent short visits that aggregate 180 days or more during the year. A person could theoretically come across (and depart) as a visitor every day and accumulate 365 days of presence in the United States without raising any concerns about overstay or unlawful presence. Such a pattern could certainly lead to more CBP scrutiny at the border as to the nature of the visits, to rule out the possibility that the person is working or living illegally in the United States. The same is true for the person seeking entry as a visitor for lengthy periods of weeks or months at a time. I have had people tell me that they are entitled to visit for up to six months, and I tell them they are not entitled to six minutes if CBP determines they are not a visitor. It is a strange paradox that a routine short-term visitor gets an admission for up to six months, but a person who seeks entry as a visitor for six months might not get admitted at all.

Immigration rule summary: Don’t remain in the United States continuously for more than six months as a visitor. Aggregate time frames in excess of six months do not violate any immigration law, but they might create more CBP scrutiny at the border, requiring the person to prove how he or she qualifies as  visitor. For the business visitor, this might require some advance planning and the implementation of record-keeping techniques that easily and credibly explain the number, nature, and duration of prior trips.

The second part of the “180-day rule” relates to U.S. taxes. Too much time in the United States can cause a Canadian visitor to be deemed a resident for U.S. federal income tax purposes, requiring that person to file a U.S. income tax return and report all worldwide income even if there is no earned income in the United States or any other activity that would require a U.S. tax filing. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses a “substantial presence” test to determine if someone is a resident for U.S. federal income tax purposes in a given calendar year.  The “substantial presence” test is a mechanical formula based solely on the number of days on which an individual is present in the United States. The formula is applied to make a determination each calendar year. To be classified as a U.S. resident under the substantial presence test for a particular year, an individual must be physically present in the United States on at least 31 days of the current calendar year, and the sum of the following must equal 183 or more days: 1) all days in the United States in the current year, plus 2) one-third of the days in the immediately preceding year, plus 3) one-sixth of the days in the second preceding year.

The general rule of thumb is to keep presence in the United States under 120 days each year. (The designation “resident” for federal income tax purposes has nothing to do with immigration status or actual place of domicile; it just means that the person must file a U.S. resident return and report his or her worldwide income.) Thus, someone who consistently visits the United States for around 180 days a year is going to satisfy the substantial presence test and be deemed a U.S. resident for federal income tax purposes. That isn’t the end of the analysis, however, because there are exceptions, including the “closer connection” and “tie-breaker” rules under the Internal Revenue Code and U.S.-Canada Tax Treaty that may allow the person to avoid being subject to U.S. tax on their worldwide income even if the actual number of days creates substantial presence. Notably, the closer connection exception is only available if the individual is present less than 183 days in the current year. In order to claim the application of one of these exceptions, the individual is required to affirmatively file a tax return or other information statement with the IRS. The closer connection exception is generally preferred because it does not require additional information filings with the IRS as does the treaty exception. Accordingly, most people try to limit their days of physical presence in the United States to 120 days or less per year to avoid any U.S. tax filing obligations or to less than 183 days so that he or she may claim the closer connection exception, if applicable.

Tax rule summary. A person will not be considered a resident for U.S. federal income tax purposes if he or she keeps the number of days in the United States to 120 days or less on a consistent basis. Individuals who do satisfy the substantial presence test may nevertheless still avoid residency status under the closer connection or treaty tie-breaker rules (though they do not avoid U.S. tax filings altogether).

In summary, it is a good rule of thumb to keep visits to less than 120 days annually. If that is not possible, the Canadian visitor should keep presence under 183 days so that he or she can elect the closer connection exception if otherwise applicable to the Canadian’s situation. An over-simplistic approach might lead to unintended consequences or lost opportunities.

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 A GENERATIONAL CHANGE

 A generational change is under way in the nation’s snowbird population. According to a press release, sounds of the “Big Bands” are increasingly being replaced by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Foreigner.

And while Sunbelt RV resorts still have plenty of bridge tables, today’s health conscious snowbirds are more likely to engaged in water aerobics or water volleyball, playing tennis or bocce ball or riding their bicycles or hiking on nature trails.

“The Baby Boomers have arrived,” said Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), the Denver-based trade association that represents the outdoor hospitality industry. “And RV parks and resorts are responding by providing a greater variety of activities and entertainment. Some have even established health and wellness centers.”

Art Martin, activities director for the Fountain of Youth Spa and RV Resort in Niland, Calif., has seen the generational change unfold before his own eyes. “When I took over as activities director 15 years ago,” he said, “we had 20 activities a week. Now we have 86 activities a week.”

This winter, Golden Village Palms RV Resort in Hemet, Calif., is offering more than 200 different activities, plus a greater variety of activities and entertainment than most small towns, including dances, dinner shows and every flavor of musical entertainment

“We are getting a lot of new RVers because of the concerts and events,” said resort manager Michael Carle. “They definitely want to be active.”

Some RV resorts are also offering on-site spa and wellness center services.

Consider the Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course in Borrego Springs, Calif. Three winters ago, the resort opened a wellness center led by Anna Morris, a holistic health practitioner and expert in Ayurvedic massage who trained with Deepak Chopra and Dr. Vasant Lad, two of the nation’s premier experts in holistic health medicine. Morris is joined by Amy Baay, a licensed massage practitioner, and Betty Patterson, a licensed acupuncturist who also does herbal medicine and teaches classes in Qi Gong, an energy building exercise with slow body movements.

The growth in activities and entertainment is helping many RV resorts to increase their occupancies this winter season.

Tim Deputy, general manager of Sun N Fun RV Resort in Sarasota, said his business is way up from last year’s figures, with a 20% increase in RV site rentals and a 27% increase in park model rentals. He said the park is “fully booked” for February and March.

He attributed the increase in part to the resort’s new indoor pool and wellness center, which was completed in time for the winter season. “It’s just insane,” Deputy said. “I’ve never seen so many people working out in the resort.”

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  THINGS TO SEE AND DO ACROSS CANADA

 A New Year how exciting! This will be an awesome year with so much to do and see on the road. We have traveled across Canada and have seen some wonderful places and things to do. For instance In Abbotsford, British Columbia they host one of the best air shows around. This year the Abbotsford International Air Show will be on Aug 12th,13th & 14th. 

And while you’re in B.C. the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair is #1 rated in our books as well. This year it will run from May 21st-24th a great place to take the grand kids. Victoria on Vancouver Island has a must see Capital Festival from July 31st. - Aug 2nd. This event is fun for all ages. While you’re on the Island take a tour up to Port Hardy for some of the best Salmon Fishing on the west coast.

When going to Alberta there is one event that stands out among the others and that is the Calgary Stampede this year being held from July 14th-17th.

 And if Jazz is what you like you will love the Craven Country Jamboree the 3rd largest town in Saskatchewan every summer. Running from the 14th of July to the 17th. Or visit Saskatoon for the Sasktel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival this events runs for 10 days and has all the best entertainers. This years festival is from June 24 to July 3rd.

If you are a country fan like we are try the Dauphin Countryfest June 30th - July 3rd. Nestled on the north side of the Riding Mountain Park, 10 miles south of Dauphin, Manitoba

Niagara Falls, Ontario. What a neat place! Just 20 minutes from Buffalo International Airport & and an hour from the Toronto Area this is one of the most fun places to be. There is lots to do there, but while there be sure to go on The Maid of the Mist tour. 

Barrie, Ontario - Barrie’s Kempenfelt Bay is home to much action including year round festivals & events. Or just relax and enjoy the beaches.

A must stop is Old Quebec City. Plan a whole day and stop for lunch in one of their many outdoor café’s . If you don’t speak French do as I did and walk around the tables looking at what everyone was eating and when I found a plate that looked good to me I ask the waiter for that dish. 

The Acadian Coastal Drive in New Brunswick is breath taking and don’t forget to plan a stop at the Shediac Lobster Festival the dates are not posted yet but the event is in July. 

Big Pond on Nova Scotia’s Breton Island is home to Rita McNeil’s Tea House. Wonderful place to stop for tea and some sweets. The food is great and the tea house is run by Rita’s Family and when she is not entertaining she is often at the tea house. 

Another must see in Nova Scotia is Peggy’s Cove the light house is an operating post office and you can mail letters from there with their own light house stamp. If you are into photography don’t miss Margaret’s Bay it is the most popular photograph ever.

P.E.I. What can I say. If we did not live in B.C. we would live in P.E.I with it’s rolling hills and friendly people. We love it there. The best potato‘s, freshest lobster and wonderful places to visit. Plan to spend a lot of time here. While you’re there try Saint Ann’s Lobster Dinner. It is served in the basement of the church by the nun’s and the meal is so good with  salad, fresh whole lobster, dessert and coffee or tea. It is not expensive and the money raised goes to help out the church. The basement wall’s have paintings from local artists that you can purchase and service is wonderful.

These are just some of the things that we experience traveling across Canada. It is a trip we would like to do again as there is so much to see and do.We know that there are many more wonderful and exiting places to visit. If you have an event or a must see in your area please click HERE and let us know and we will post it.  2011 will be a great year for the many of us out there having the experience of exploring what’s new and what’s happening. We would like to say have a safe, happy, healthy, & prosperous New Year and we hope to meet you on the road this year……….

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TIPS FOR FIRST TIME SNOWBIRDS

First-time snowbird? Every year thousands of "newbirds" pluck up their courage, pack their RVs and head out for a warmer climate. A successful (and stress free) trip requires a little "homework" before you leave. Here are some tips on making sure the house you leave behind is ready for your absence.

Check your insurance: Every insurance company has its own peculiarities; if you don't meet the policy requirements, you may find yourself having a hard time getting compensation should something happen. Some companies require a visit to the home on a periodic visit while the owners are absent. If that's the case for you, try and recruit a friendly neighbor to come in and check.

Freeze-proof: If you're concerned about a plumbing freeze, you'll either need to leave the heat on or prepare the plumbing to be cold without damage. Draw on your experience from the past--when staying home in the winter, have you ever had a frozen pipe? What temperature was your thermostat set for?

The safest minimum to leave the thermo set for is generally thought to be 50 degrees; this should keep mold and mildew at bay, but it will still chew on your utility bill. If you decide to leave the heat off, be sure to drain your water heater, blow all the water out of your lines, and leave RV antifreeze poured in your drain traps. Toilets, too, will require special help. Get as much water out of the tank and bowl as possible, then pour in copious amounts of antifreeze.

Other utilities: Got TV cable and Internet service? Call your provider and ask about "vacation hold" policies--you may get a rate break. What about the phone? It may be a good idea to leave the phone on, hooked up to an answering service. That way people with bad intent won't call and find your phone off and think it might be good to rip off your house. Put the trash can out of sight and have the trash pickup service stopped.

Security: Invest in two or three electric timers that you can plug lamps and a radio into. Set them for "variable" function so that they'll turn on a lamp off and on at around the same time each day, but not precisely the same time. Stage them in different parts of the house to mimic occupancy--say in the living room from dark until bed time, then on in the bedroom for an hour. Having a radio turned on low can make the bad guys think somebody's home, too. Motion sensor lights on your porch are great for spooking the fearful-at-heart burglar.

Have your mail forwarded to you on the road, or to someone who'll take care of it for you. Never let your mail accumulate at the box; same is true for the newspaper. Having a neighbor or friend stop by every few days to check up on things--and remove the "pizza coupons" from the front door is good, too.

If it snows in your area, hire a responsible snow guy to shovel at least your sidewalk regularly.

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 Rand McNally Shows New RV GPS at Louisville Show


Amy Krouse, a public relations director for Rand McNally who was showcasing the dash-mounted 5-inch TripMaker RVND 5510 ($299) and high-definition 7-inch TripMaker RVND 7710 ($399) in Louisville, says the new system utilizes proprietary data and routing for certain types of RVs                                                                                                    

Rand McNally Develops a Custom RV-Style GPS

“The routing is specifically for the size of the RV,” says Krouse, who was working the show with John Peters, vice president and general manager for Digital Strategy and Business Development. “You can choose from 11 different configurations — Class A, Class B, fifth-wheel, toy hauler, etc., – and the routing will take into account the general configuration of that size vehicle. If it’s a larger vehicle, you are always going to have a left-turn preference. If it’s a smaller vehicle, you’re always going to have a right-hand preference.”

Krouse, standing in the Equine Motorcoach exhibit at Louisville, said the new system was under development for a year and a half and takes into account plenty of RV owner input as well as various legal restrictions.

“So, low overpasses, weight restrictions, carrying propane, it will take that into account as well,” she told RVBUSINESS.com. “A general GPS has none of that data in it. In addition to navigation, we also do amenities for the RVers. When we tell you there is a campground, we are going to tell you if it has a dump station, electrical hookups or different size places for you to park.

“If we tell you about a Walmart, we are going to tell you if it has a 24-hour pharmacy or overnight RV parking, and we are going to give you the phone number. So, when you are an RVer on the road and have a breakdown, we are going to tell you about the dealers and how to route there. If you are traveling with pets, we’ll tell you where the pet hospitals are.”

In general terms, Rand McNally’s GPS TripMaker includes amenities and easy search tools for more than 13,000 RV parks and campgrounds, 6,000 travel center locations, dump stations, parking, showers, and electric hookups plus 24,000 pet-friendly locations including animal hospitals and more than 150,000 places near interstates organized by exit and number.

Based on consumer research, this new GPS system also includes suggested RV trip plans – with photography and video – on anything from a weekend getaway to a week-long excursion with places to stop and things to do.

Although Rand McNally is utilizing distributors in Canada, it’s marketing directly to OEM’s, dealers and U.S. consumers through organizations like the Family Motor Coach Association, the Good Sam Club and Equity Lifestyle Properties.




 

 RV BUSINESS DEALER AWARDS 2014

 The newest class of U.S. and Canadian recreational vehicle retailers slated to receive 2014 RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards during a Nov. 12 evening reception at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas is a virtual “Who’s Who” of U.S. and Canadian RV retailing — from smaller family-held stores to emerging independent chains during an era of rapid industry consolidation.

At the head of the class, selected by a panel of industry experts that convened in September for some rather intense deliberations gaveled by BJ Thompson Associates at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., are five Blue Ribbon dealers tabbed for their well-documented commitment to best practices in most every professional aspect of their retail stores — profitability, employee relations, technician training, charitable giving and especially for placing a high priority on consumer care.

The Blue Ribbon dealers (in alphabetical order) are:

• ArrKann Trailer, Edmonton, Alberta

• Bill Plemmons RV World, Rural Hall, N.C.

• ExploreUSA RV Supercenter, Plano, Texas

• Ketelsen Campers of Colorado, Wheat Ridge, Colo.

• Mike Thompson’s RV Super Stores, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

  Here is a complete list of the Top 50 Dealer Awards with the Canadian dealers listed first…..


• ArrKann Trailer, Edmonton, Alberta

• Bucars RV Centre, Balzac, Alberta

• Chemo RV Sales & Service Ltd., Williams Lake, British Columbia

• Minard’s Leisure World, Weyburn, Saskatchewan

• RV City, Morinville, Alberta

• Woody’s RV World, Calgary, Alberta

• Alliance Coach RV Sales & Service, Wildwood, Fla.

• Alpin Haus, Amsterdam, N.Y.

• American RV Sales & Service, Grand Rapids, Mich.

• Beckley’s Camping Center, Thurmont, Md.

• Bill Plemmons RV World, Rural Hall, N.C.

• Bob Ledford’s RV & Marine, Greer, S.C.

• Burlington RV Superstore, Sturtevant, Wis.

• Camper’s Inn, Kingston, N.H.

• Carolina Coach & Camper, Claremont, N.C.

• Clem’s RV Sales, Ellwood City, Pa.

• Coachlight RV Sales, Carthage, Mo.

• Coates RV Center, Columbus, Minn.

• Colonial Airstream, Lakewood, N.J.

• Crestview RV Center, Buda, Texas

• Curtis Trailers, Portland, Ore.

• Dandy RV Superstore, Anniston, Ala.

• ExploreUSA RV Supercenter, Plano, Texas

• General RV Centers, Wixom, Mich.

• Guaranty RV, Junction City, Ore.


 

• Ketelsen Campers of Colorado, Wheat Ridge, Colo.

• La Mesa RV Center, San Diego, Calif.

• Lazydays RV, Seffner, Fla.

• Lifestyle RVs, Grain Valley, Mo.

• Little Dealer Little Prices, Phoenix, Ariz.

• McClain’s RV Superstore, Oklahoma City, Okla.

• Mike Thompson’s RV Super Stores, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

• Modern Trailer Sales, Anderson, Ind.

• Mount Comfort RV, Greenfield, Ind.

• Noble RV, Owatonna, Minn.

• Parkview Auto & Trailer Sales, Smyrna, Del.

• PleasureLand RV Center, Saint Cloud, Minn.

• Poulsbo RV, Kent, Wash.

• Richardson’s RV Centers, Menifee, Calif.

• Steinbring Motorcoach, Garfield, Minn.

• Tacoma RV, Fife, Wash.

• Tennessee RV Sales & Service, Knoxville, Tenn.

• Thompson Family RV, Davenport, Iowa

• Tom Johnson Camping Center, Marion, N.C.

• Tom Stinnett Derby City RV, Clarksville, Ind.

• Topper’s Camping Center, Waller, Texas

• Veurinks’ RV Center, Grand Rapids, Mich.

• Walnut Ridge Family RV Sales, New Castle, Ind.

• Wilkins Recreational Vehicles Inc., Bath, N.Y.

• Windish RV Center, Lakewood, Colo.

 

 

 Rand McNally: Navigating Your Travels Via GPS

December 29, 2011 

The following is an article authored by Rand McNally offering a review of the proliferation of GPS devices and specific RV applications.

GPS devices have become nearly ubiquitous in personal vehicles. Today, mapping and directions can be delivered via mobile phone, or a device mounted or factory installed in a vehicle.

With so many options, one may begin to wonder what really is the difference between routing solutions? Is it simply a brand preference, or is there more to it? What about “specialized” devices for RVs? Is it worth the additional dollars generally needed for these types of units?

GPS overview

GPS (global positioning system) has become an essential tool in navigation. GPS devices detect a user’s location, thereby allowing the delivery of relevant maps, directions, and other information.

GPS was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense and became fully available to the public in 1994. Satellites orbit the earth, sending signals to GPS devices, which in turn determine the user’s location. By combining satellite signals with digital mapping data, the navigation device calculates the best route to the desired destination. Besides mapping, GPS devices may show points of interest, offer turn-by-turn directions, and in some cases provide information about traffic conditions.

Routing RVs

There are a variety of federal, state, and local laws that govern where large vehicles may or may not travel. Federal law governs: 1) the weight of vehicles on the Interstate System, and 2) the width of vehicles on the National Network. Often state or local jurisdictions will enact additional regulations based on RV lengths and width.

States and local jurisdictions may restrict or allow access by RVs. Physical restrictions occur due to low vertical clearances, such as bridges and underpasses, or due to weight and/or length constraints. Legal restrictions may apply related to items being transported, such as propane on board.

Needless to say, the nationwide collection and update of this data is an exhaustive, expensive and continual process for data suppliers and manufacturers of GPS devices, but critical for safe routing.

Benefits of RV navigation devices

Those using GPS devices for assistance with routing and navigation should employ a device that is designed specifically for navigating the type and size vehicle they are driving – one that contains information about restricted roadways, as well as takes into consideration the size of the vehicle (length, weight, height and load type) as it routes.

Although personal navigation devices (PNDs) – commonly called GPS devices – have existed for years for passenger cars, devices that accurately route large vehicles are relatively new. Part of the delay was in collecting RV-specific information on the roadways, which takes time and money. Unlike car devices, RV-specific GPS devices provide safe routing for such vehicles, ensuring that RVs and campers are not mistakenly routed on roads that cannot accommodate their weight or height. RV devices route to avoid low bridges, illegal routes and too-tight turns.

Drivers of RVs need to consider the ease of turns based on vehicle size (right for smaller vehicles and left for larger ones), and of course height and width. A car would not typically be concerned with this and therefore routing can be quite different.

And using a truck-oriented device is not the answer. RV GPS devices have propane restrictions for tunnels and bridges that are specific to the bottle sizes and volumes commonly carried on RVs.

(As an aside example, Rand McNally produces separate GPS devices for commercial truckers and RVers for this very reason. Although commercial vehicles and RVs may have similar size characteristics, there are distinct differences in routing an over-the-road truck and a motorized or towable RV or camper.)

In routing an RV, it is helpful to receive warnings about what lies ahead. An RV-specific GPS can be used to identify and warn of potential issues on the road ahead – steep grades, upcoming merges and lane changes, dirt roads, and more.

In addition to the safety of the RV, accurate routing for the vehicle size helps protect fellow travelers on the road by avoiding accidents and the delays they cause, while protecting the structural integrity of our highways.

Pay attention to data and signs

When considering an RV GPS device, it’s important to note the data source. Is the company reputable? Does the data have an updated copyright? Are map updates available? The best, freshest data will help with more accurate routing.

Road conditions and status can change. It is important to note that no matter what form of in-vehicle navigation a driver uses, he or she should pay attention to local signage. Local postings provide the definitive guidelines as they will be the most up-to-date.

Providing a great user experience

Robust road specifications as well as municipal and state restrictions are key in producing an RV-specific GPS device. But data collection is just one piece of the puzzle. Besides a route, what else enables an RV driver to be safe on the road and enjoy the trip?

RV-specific stops and points of interest are critical. An RVer may need to know where to find the nearest dump station or where to find overnight parking for a large vehicle.

In an emergency situation, and RVer may need to find the nearest RV dealer – or animal hospital for a beloved pet along for the ride. Campground locations, RV Parks and all the amenities (dump stations, showers, parking, and electric hook up) are also part of the navigation experience for RVs and campers. And since RVers are leisure travelers, useful information for trip planning, such as pre-planned getaways, pet-friendly locations, family festivals, and city information, also helps make traveling easier.

Beyond content, the device itself is important to the experience; RV-specific devices should be large, easy to use, with loud speakers and big buttons.

Putting it all together

GPS devices created specifically for RVs and campers can help take the worry out of routing. Such devices can cost more than their car counterparts, but the RV routing and content they offer is worth the price. The best units offer:

• RV-specific navigation with routing options for various types of RVs and campers;

• Routing based on physical and legal restrictions;

• Thousands of locations with distinct RV amenities (such as dump stations, RV repair, and restaurants and other facilities that allow RV parking), and tools geared just for RVs;

• Additional trip content that works for RVs and campers;

• And the right form factor for the device – large, loud and easy to use.


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 Digital TV Coming to Canada

 The transition to digital television in Canada does not impact TVs that are connected via cable, satellite or the internet.  It will impact certain TVs that receive their signal over the air using an antenna.  To find out if it will impact your TV, you will need to determine if your TV has a built in digital tuner.  If your owners manual mentions "DIGITAL TUNER," DIGITAL RECEIVER", "ATSC," "DTV," or "QAM" it has a digital tuner and your TV will not be impacted, if you don't have your owners manual you could check your make and model number online or phone the manufacturer to ask them.  If you know that your TV is effected you have a few options, you could subscribe and hook up to cable or satellite, you could purchase a digital TV, or purchase a digital to analog converter box around $40.00 to $60.00, this will hook up between your antenna and your current tv set and is available at most stores that sell TVs.

Another item to note is that if you do not have good reception using your roof top TV antenna you may not be able to view all the free over the air digital stations available in your area.  Winegard has come out with a product called the "WINGMAN", which attaches to your existing Winegard Sensar antenna and will increase reception of the DTV channels.  

The "WINGMAN" sells for around $40.00 and should be available at most RV dealers.

Thanks,

Logan Walker

Parts & Service Manager

Voyager RV Centre

parts@voyagerrv.ca

250-766-4607

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 Fifth Wheel Safe Towing

 Anyone who pulls a trailer of any kind should have a look at this site.......

 Welcome to the premier one-stop self-help RV safety website providing the only 13 Point Weight Safety Report and answers how to weigh your RV and other towable vehicles. Fifth Wheel St. provides tow ratings and guides, web based and mobile app calculators, printable worksheets and reports for RV owners, outdoor recreationalists, farmers and ranchers to assist truck camper owners and all who tow fifth wheel or gooseneck trailers and conventional trailers such as travel trailers, boat trailers, utility trailers, horse trailers and stock trailers, and motorcoaches towing a car or trailer.

 

Click on the logo above to visit this site

 

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 RECREATIONAL VEHICLE OWNERS ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

JOIN CANADA'S OWN R.V. OWNER'S ASSOCIATION

The R.V. Owner's Association of B.C. is a non-profit organization of people who own, rent or hope to own a recreation vehicle, including trailers, vans, campers and motorhomes. The Association has been serving the needs of RVers in B.C. for over a quarter of a century.

2010 is our 44th year!

We welcome ALL kinds of RVers!!!

President's Message

SPECIAL NOTE: The RVOABC requests that members provide us with their email address. Please send a short note with your email address to Association@rvoabc.org

Thank you.

This information will be kept strictly confidential

Join for Fun and Friendship

The very best part of being a member of our association is the fun and camaraderie that comes from taking part in activities with other RVers. We hold Rallies in different areas of B.C. between April and September, where there is something for everyone: fun, food, fellowship, activities and informative seminars. Taking part in these Rallies is the best way to meet new friends that share your love for RVing.

Join one of our RV Clubs

Members go out on frequent weekend outings. For many, this is the best part of being an RVOABC member. Share travel and camping fun with people like yourself -- RVing people. We invite you to get involved and enjoy your RV more. It's a lot of fun!!

THIS IS WHERE LIFETIME FRIENDSHIPS AND MEMORIES BEGIN!

Don't have a club in your area? No problem. We, the Recreation Vehicle Owner's Association, will help you start a club in your area. All you need to start is to have one other couple with you that is interested in a club. We will run an ad in your local paper and also in the RV Times. When you have 3 or 4 couples, you hold a meeting and pick a name for your club. We will fill you in on that part when you are ready to start. The cost to belong to your club is up to you - some clubs start with $25.00 per unit and then $20.00 per year. We do not charge for helping you get set up - all we ask is that you support our organization. For more information, please feel free to call Bill Wright at (604) 594-1450

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 BC PROVINCIAL PARKS RESERVATION SERVICE 

 Earlier start up date for Discover Camping Reservation Service

2011 will commemorate the 100th anniversary of provincial parks in British Columbia. The first park, Strathcona, was designated on March 1, 1911. Working with groups and communities, BC Parks will be hosting celebrations and events across the entire province to mark this magnificent and historic event. It will be an exciting year to camp in provincial parks.

2011 also marks a change in the start-up date for the Discover Camping Reservation service. BC Parks is changing the opening date for making provincial park campground reservations to March 15 for all campgrounds and Berg Lake.The three month reservation window for making campsite reservations remains unchanged.

BC Parks wants to inform you of this change so that you can adjust your holiday planning for the coming year. This change will result in more timely service and fewer delays in processing reservations for the most popular long weekends in the summer.

Remember to mark your calendars for March 15th the new start-up date for Discover Camping and come camping in provincial parks this summer. You and your family will enjoy all the celebrations and events planned for you by BC Parks.

For more information visit us at: www.bcparks.ca 

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EARLY RESERVATIONS UP AT B.C. PARKS 

Camping in B.C.'s provincial parks appears to be an increasingly popular vacation option, with early reservations soaring this year for making reservations in the parks.

B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake says there was a 41 per cent jump in the number of bookings for campsites on the provincial Discover Camping reservation systems opening day this year, March 15, compared to opening day last year. He says in the first hour more than 2,100 reservations were made - about 35 per minute.

Discover Camping received a total of 3,970 reservations on opening day compared to 2,815 in 2011, with the majority of this year's reservations made online. Campers top two picks were Bear Creek near West Kelowna and Porteau Cove south of Squamish. Reservations are accepted up to 90 days in advance.

The provincial government says B.C. parks are enjoying a surge in interest with British Columbians. More than 90 per cent of this year's reservations were from B.C. people want to take their tent, trailer or RV to a B.C. Parks Campsite.

This year campers are allowed to make up to three reservations in one transaction. Discover Camping allows people to go online to view the availability and amenities at more than 125 reservable campgrounds, including group sites, in 94 provincial parks across the province. The service offers information, maps and details about amenities.

The online reservation system is at www.discovercamping.ca. The system also offers mobile web services so smart-phone users can easily make and change plans from the open road. For a surcharge of $5, reservations can also be made through the call centre at 1-800-689-9025.

The overall B.C. Parks system has 10,700 vehicle-accessible campsites, 126 boat launch areas, about 6,000 kilometers of hiking trails, and more than 230 parks have facilities for those with disabilities.

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  RV Lifestyle Statistics

 The top reason given for enjoying the RV life - Freedom to come and go!


Starting at just $6,000, there's an RV for everyone 

14% of Canadian households own an RV 

There are over 1,000,000 RVs on the road in Canada 

67% of RV owners are under the age of 55. 

40% of RV families have children 

Studies show there is up to a 70% saving during an RV vacation vs. a traditional vacation 

Many RVs can be used throughout the year

Price range of an overnight full-service campground stay - $25 - $45 

90% of owners say it is the best way to travel with kids 

90% of RVers say seeing the country is their top priority 

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  RV'ERS LIVE LONGER

 RV'ing SENIORS LIVE LONGER AND HAPPIER 


Seniors who travel via recreational vehicle (RV) claim to feel healthier, both mentally and physically, than they would if they led more sedentary lives, according to the first anthropological study of RV owners. David and Dorothy Counts, the husband-and-wife team who conducted the study, should know. They're devoted RVers themselves. 

Dr. David Counts, professor of anthroplogy at McMaster University, and Dr. Dorothy Counts, professor of anthropology at Waterloo University, spent 20 years examining the society of Papua, New Guinea. In 1990, they turned their attention to North America and have since completed two anthropological field studies on the subject of RV travel and ownership. “What we have found in North America has stirred more interest than any of our work in New Guinea,” David says. 

For more than a year, the Counts not only studied RVing, they became RVers themselves. They travelled extensively to havens of RVers, conducting extensive interviews and living like the people they were studying. “We began by looking at RVing as a retirement alternative, purely in an academic sense,” says David. “What we found was that RVing offers a great deal to retirees. They believe (and there is evidence to support their belief) that they are physically and mentally healthier, happier, and more alert than their retired counterparts who lead more sedentary lives.” 

“The RVers we interviewed during our study feel they are healthier than they would be if they didn’t RV,” says Dorothy. “While not overly strenuous, RVing is a physically active process. RVs also allow people to go places and do things that are physically challenging, like hiking through a national forest. In addition, when RVing, you have your home with you and that means less stress.” When the stress of travelling is eliminated, seniors often realize the trip itself is an adventure, adding to their health and vitality. 

“The constant exposure to new people, places, and events, and driving from place to place all help to keep RVers mentally alert,” David adds. “We found that RV ownership is not only means to an extremely independent and self-sufficient way of life, it’s also the common thread in a vast community. The RVers we interviewed are trying to rebuild American values of days past. They rely on the openness and trust that they say has disappeared from established urban and suburban areas. They're not sitting around remembering their past, however, they're planning their futures.” 

Through their field work the Counts determined that there are three keys to successful retirement: have control of your life, have interesting and challenging things to do, and have friends outside the family. David says, “We found that RVing is an excellent way to accomplish this and provides all of these in abundance. We look forward to a time, after our academic careers are over, when we can enjoy the freedom of extended RV travel. We began this study with a bias toward tent-camping and expected to remain detached and unaffected by what we learned. Instead, we found ourselves drawn to RV travel for exactly the reasons that our interviewees cited." 

The appeal of RV travel for seniors is easy to understand. Because lodgings, dining, and personal belongings are virtually self-contained, the freedom and flexibility is almost unlimited. Of course, when you compare campground costs of $14 to $18 per night to hotels, as well as dining expenses, the economy of RVing is also appealing. 

Many seniors are concerned about the comfort of extended RV travel, today’s technological advances continue to make RVing more comfortable. Notable improvements in recent years include: central air conditioning; power slideout rooms; basement construction; diesel ‘pusher’ engines; wider bodies; push-button leveling systems; outdoor entertainment systems; and push-button ignition for water heating systems. 

So where do all of these smart senior RVers go? More than two million RVers blaze a trail south to follow the sun in the comfort and convenience of the ‘home-on-wheels.’ 

According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) more than 25% of senior RVers head to warm climates for extended stays. Perennial favorite destinations include Florida (26%), Arizona (24%), followed by California and Texas. Popular pursuits at these ‘hot’ RV destinations include sightseeing/touring, socializing with friends, swimming/sunbathing, handicrafts, and golf. These seniors are obviously too busy and happy to worry about aging. 


Article written by Lynn Seldon


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 Growing old is mandatory..............Growing up is optional

 

RV THEFT RING 

RICHMOND, B.C. — An Alberta RV dealer reported a call from the police informing him that a group is stealing recreation vehicles and modifying the VIN plates on the outside; then selling the units on Kijiji. They use a Mylar duplicate; and somehow get a VIN number that is not in use. The new owner doesn’t know he has a stolen unit.

According to the police, the situation in Quebec is epidemic, with Alberta second; Grande Prairie is a current hot spot.

The police recommend that dealers cross-reference the VIN plate with the inside VIN and welded plate before they take in a trade or offer to purchase a unit.

Please report to the police if you have come across any of these RV units, the association suggested.

Source: RV Daily Reports - SOURCE: RV Dealers Association of Canada press release

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WOODALLS AND TRAILER LIFE DIRECTORIES COMBINE 

VENTURA, CA, Nov 21, 2011

Trailer Life Directory and Woodall Publications (of the Good Sam family), the publishers of North America's top two Campground Directories and leading campground search websites and mobile applications, have announced today that they will be uniting to form a single "Super Directory" North American print edition in 2013. The two giants in the camping and RV industry will join forces to inspire travel by bringing the highest quality, most complete and accurate information about RV and camping travel to the most engaged RVers and campers in North America. 

On announcing the merger Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Good Sam Enterprises, said, "The consolidation of the two directories into one 'Super Directory' will provide our customers with a single source for their RVing and camping travel planning. The coming together of these two brands enables us to serve as more than a directory, and will represent an 'everything RV guide' for the consumer to be inspired to fully explore the RV lifestyle across North America."

"This merger will also allow us to drive more business to our RV park and campground advertisers and to our network of Good Sam Parks," continued Lemonis. "We know that our success is predicated on the success of our customers, and combining the strength of the industry's two leading directory brands is just one way in which we can ensure we are serving the needs of our campground, RV park and resort customers. Advertisers have asked us to consider a unified directory so that they can focus their marketing spend in one powerful vehicle. Thus we made this decision with our park and campground partners very much in mind, to provide them one 'super directory' which will be the ultimate marketing showcase for them." 

Beginning with the 2013 edition, a new Campground Directory under the Good Sam brand will emerge from the best of both Woodall's and Trailer Life Directories, representing nearly 130 years of combined industry service and campground expertise. This new directory will offer higher circulation and even more online and mobile application marketing opportunities to campgrounds and parks. This combined directory will utilize the Trailer Life 10/10*/10 rating system, with some enhancements borrowed from the Woodall's rating system. The ratings as always will be based on personal visits by directory representatives. 

Other improvements to the 2013 Combined Directory will include state and provincial points of interest, the RVers "Bucket List" for 2013, tips to improve your RV and camping lifestyle, 10-Minute Tech Tips, RV maintenance advice, how to buy or sell an RV, dealers and service station locations, games, puzzles, recipes, coupons and more. The directory will also spotlight the Good Sam RV Park and Resort network, the largest affiliated park network in North America, featuring more than 1,700 RV parks and resorts where Good Sam members can save 10% on nightly camping fees. 

Both the Trailer Life and Woodall's brands will continue into 2013 and beyond according to the company. Woodall's regional directory editions will continue to be published in 2013, in an exclusive partnership with AAA, and Trailer Life magazine, one of the leading RV enthusiast magazines in the industry, will continue to be published on a monthly basis. Likewise websites, online directory search, and mobile applications will continue to exist for both brands. 

The combined 2013 combined directory will not affect the distribution and circulation of the 2012 Trailer Life and Woodall's Directories, websites, and mobile applications, as both the Trailer Life and Woodall's 2012 Directory editions will be available to consumers in 2012 just the same as past years. "We have some great enhancements for our advertising partners planned for our 2013 'Super Directory' and are excited to share our plans with the industry at the upcoming ARVC Conference. Not only will we have more exciting marketing tools for parks to connect with avid RVers and campers, we will also expand our number of field teams to permit them to spend more time working with individual parks on their marketing programs," said Ann Emerson, Vice President and Publisher of the new combined directory. " We also want to assure our advertising customers that our 2012 Woodall's and Trailer Life Directory circulation commitments will be met through our various distribution channels, beginning in December of this year and continuing throughout 2012. And we will continue to connect campgrounds with active RVers through our three websites, www.trailerlifedirectory.com , www.woodalls.com and www.goodsamclub.com , as well as through our mobile applications for both Trailer Life and Woodall's directories." 

The 2013 combined directory will take advantage of the previously separate circulation strategies for each brand. The Woodall's Directory has been distributed through bookstores, mass merchant chains, Camping World stores, RV dealers and campgrounds, while the Trailer Life Directory has been primarily distributed to the Good Sam Club members and through internet sales. The combined directory in 2013 will utilize both these distribution strategies to reach all the active, affluent RVers and campers that each of these brands reached separately in the past. Campground search tools for the combined directory will also be available at www.trailerlifedirectory.com , www.woodalls.com and www.goodsamclub.com websites, as well as on campground search mobile applications for both iPhone and Android.

"Having this 'super directory' under the Good Sam brand will give our advertisers greater share of mind with the market's largest RVer database, the combined 4 million plus avid RVers who are members of Good Sam and customers of Camping World," added Lemonis. "While advertisers will benefit from the larger consumer audience, RVers will reap the rewards of a single source for all their RV travel planning needs. Publishing this combined directory under the Good Sam brand will be a powerful unifying strategy for our entire organization, and will further our mission to grow the Good Sam brand, Good Sam Club, and our Good Sam Park network." 

About Woodall Publications Woodall Publication's is the leading publisher of Campground Directories and Guides plus several specific-interest books and digital publications and applications. Woodall's has been Everywhere RVers go for 75 years, and enjoys popularity in an array of different segments of the RV and camping marketplace. Visit www.woodalls.com for more details. 

About Trailer Life Directory The Trailer Life Directory and Website, www.trailerlifedirectory.com , are part of the Affinity Media family of publications and services devoted to enhancing the lifestyle of recreational-vehicle (RV) enthusiasts. The Trailer Life Directory, known as "The Ultimate RV Travel Resource" is the official Directory of the Good Sam Club. 

About The Good Sam Club The Good Sam Club, www.goodsamclub.com , is the world's largest RV owner's organization with over one million member families. Founded in 1966, the club offers its members a wide variety of services, including the Good Sam Extended Service Plan, Emergency Road Service, RV and Vehicle Insurance, RV Financing, Good Sam Visa Card, Life & Health Insurance and member discounts at parks, campgrounds and RV events. Good Sam Club members also receive a subscription to Highways, the club's popular RV travel magazine. Additionally, the club represents more than 1,500 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together from similar geographic regions for group camping excursions. Extremely committed to its RV members as well as to the environment, the club is a founder of the annual National Cleanup Day program and an advocate of public land access, Adopt-A-Highway programs and Adopt-A-Park programs.


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AFFINITY BECOMES GOOD SAM 

The evolution of the company formerly known as Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) continues.

Woodalls Campground Management reported that the name of the company was changed on May 2 to Good Sam Enterprises LLC, and today (Nov. 11) during a conference call to bondholders, CEO Marcus Lemonis offered the public a new description of the company.

He said the company could best be described as “a financial services company that has some clubs and magazines as marketing tools.”

“Roadside assistance is the No. 1 service offered by the company today. Roadside assistance has become the product of the day,” he explained.

Good Sam offers road assistance to nearly 500,000 RV, car and truck customers and is close to announcing major private label insurance programs with Flying J (400,000 in its database) and NASCAR (72 million fans nationwide) and is in negotiations on establishing similar programs with leading RV builders Thor Industries Inc. and Winnebago Industries Inc., Lemonis said.

In preparation for the expected membership increase, Good Sam previously announced it has hired senior industry executive Ed Thor as vice president of business development. Thor joins the company after serving for more than 10 years with Coach-Net, a roadside assistance company focused on serving the manufacturers and dealers.

The swing toward the financial services emphasis would be a major redirection for the company which had been best known in recent years for its magazines and club member services. Good Sam is also parent to national RV dealer network FreedomRoads LLC and Camping World retail stores.

Lemonis was named CEO less than a year ago but since that time, the company has disposed of six or seven businesses (primarily magazines) he deemed not in the core focus.

In its quarterly report filed on Thursday (Nov. 10), the company reported revenues of $128.6 million for the third quarter of 2011 increased by $4.0 million, or 3.2%, from the comparable period in 2010. Net income in the third quarter of 2011 was $2.0 million compared to $1.8 million for the same period in 2010.

For the nine months, revenues were $362.3 million, an increase of $0.6 million, or 0.2%, from the comparable period in 2010. Net income during the nine-month period was $4.6 million compared to a net loss of $6.2 million for the same period in 2010.

“We feel very good where our business is at today,” Lemonis said.

He said getting the company’s sales, general and administrative costs down has been a primary focus this year. Approximately 100 employees were let go this year from the organization, and Lemonis anticipates no more than a dozen or 15 additional layoffs systemwide.

He noted that the company incurred in the third quarter health insurance costs totaling $600,000 above the third quarter in 2010. The company also has incurred severance costs this year as well as costs associated with the businesses it sold, he added.

Lemonis concluded saying he would be visiting with investors in California and New York in the coming weeks to expand upon certain details contained in the company’s financial report.


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  Good Sam Offering Flying J Discount to Members


The Good Sam Club is offering members an exclusive money-saving benefit with the launch of the Pilot Flying J RV Plus Card, according to a press release.

Beginning in 2012, Good Sam Club members can apply for the discount card which will allow them to save on each gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel purchased; 10 cents per gallon on bulk propane purchased, and 50% on holding tank dump station charges at all applicable Pilot Flying J locations across the United States. The recent decision to combine the former Camping World President’s Club and the Good Sam Club into a newly-expanded, upgraded club was a key element in the club’s partnering with Pilot Flying J.

“The extra leverage of our combined member numbers helped make the Pilot Flying J discount possible,” said Good Sam Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis. “Our members have been asking for this benefit for some time, and it is one that we are especially happy to make available to them.

“The price of fuel represents the single biggest expense in most of our budgets as we enjoy the RV lifestyle. Securing discounts on a commodity like fuel is not easy. Finding a provider who has a nationwide network of locations and the facilities to properly serve our members is even more challenging.”

Along with savings on gasoline, diesel, propane and dump services, Pilot Flying J locations offer a wide array of conveniences and services well-suited for RV travelers, including dedicated RV fuel lanes, convenience stores, on-site restaurants, safety and a clean environment for families. As part of the exclusive new program for Good Sam members the companies have co-produced an RV Travel Guide which lists all the participating Pilot Flying J locations and the RV specific services available to members at each location.

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 Hot Skin A Well Known Problem With RV's

 It occurs when a vehicle that is plugged into an electrical source becomes improperly grounded and the shell, or skin, of the camper becomes electrified.

Hot skin is not uncommon. According to a 2010 survey done by RVTravel.com, 21 percent of the 1,200 owners who responded reported being shocked by their RV, most mildly.

If you extrapolate those numbers, though, that meant about 1.7 million of the more than 8.2 million people nationwide who had a family RV that year might have been shocked at one time or another.

If you’ve ever felt that little zing, you just dodged a bullet.

If you ever feel the slightest tingle or shock from your RV, that is a warning that something has happened to your grounding system and you do have a hot skin condition.

The skin of the RV itself now has an elevated voltage system on it, it could be 40 volts, it could be 120 volts.

The problem is, people feel the tingle, but they ignore it all the time. And if you’re standing on dry ground and have your shoes on, you might never know there’s a problem, the tingle would be so mild.

It’s not typically fatal, but children and pets are especially vulnerable to hot skin electrocution because they have lower body resistance than an adult. For anyone standing on a wet surface, the shock is amplified.

The problem can occur in a variety of ways: when RV owners plug their vehicle into an older home, garage or campsite pedestal with faulty wiring, or into an outlet with the wrong voltage; or if the RV itself, or the extension cord or adapter being used, has an undetected wiring problem.

If you do feel it, unplug your RV immediately and get a certified technician or electrician to diagnose the problem.

Or, better yet, be proactive. For $30 or less, RV owners can get a digital voltmeter or, even better, a noncontact AC tester, available at any hardware store. When pointed at the RV from up to a foot away, it will light up and beep if there’s a problem.

Everybody should have a basic little noncontact voltage tester. They’re 10 to 20 bucks.

Owners should get an outlet dedicated to their RV professionally installed; don’t rely on electrical systems – even those that aren’t that old – that don’t appear to be causing problems.

Many houses have improperly wired outlets that you may never notice with a power tool, but once you plug your RV in, all bets are off.

There are DIYers who install their own dedicated RV plug use a 220-volt outlet, rather than a 110, and that fries the system.

And avoid using cheap orange extension cords and adapters.

For more info

To learn more about how to recognize, prevent and repair hot skin and a host of other electrical safety issues relating to RVing, go to No Shock Zone: Electrical Safety Training for Everyone at www.noshockzone.org. Go to www.youtube.com/howtoseminars for step-by-step training.

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 GOOD SAM RALLY 2014 - WON'T HAPPEN

The Good Sam Club has seen tremendous growth in the past few years, expanding to nearly 1.5 million members. Attendance at our Camping World/Good Sam Rallies has soared as well, limiting the number of locations that can host such a large RV gathering. To evaluate our options and search for the right locations to meet the growing number of members’ needs, we have elected to defer our decision on the next location and timing. RVers can look forward to bigger and better things from the world’s greatest RV rally, so stay tuned.

This is a quote from the Rally website.

I have spoken with Lorisa from The Good Sam Rally and she has told me today, January 16, 2014 that for sure there will be no rally in 2014, but there may be (key word being may) in 2015.

She also said they would keep any updates posted on the Rally website which is at GOOD SAM RALLY

 

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 Good Sam Rally 2015

 The Rally returns in 2015!


Back by popular demand and bigger than ever before; the Camping World/Good Sam Rally will return to the Phoenix International Raceway, March 19 through the 22, 2015.

With the tremendous growth the Good Sam Club has experienced over the past few years, expanding to over 1.5 million members in the United States and Canada, attendance at the Rallies has soared as well, limiting the number of locations that can host such a large RV gathering. “Many Good Sam Club members and RV industry personnel have been inquiring about the absence of the Rally in 2014,” said Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises. “In order to continue to provide the best experience to rally-goers, it was necessary to take time to reevaluate our options and search for the right locations to accommodate and meet the growing number of members’ needs for these events,” explains Lemonis.

The 2015 Camping World/Good Sam Rally location was determined based on the terrific response received from both members and exhibitors and overall success of the event at the previous rally held in Phoenix, AZ in 2012. The 2015 Rally will have even more to offer rally-goers with the latest in RV models and outdoor products, new and improved RV and camping seminars and activities, and world-class entertainment. 

“It is our pleasure to facilitate an event that brings together thousands of RV enthusiasts from all over the country to celebrate the RV lifestyle, enjoy fun activities, great food, prizes and quality time with family and friends. We are excited to announce the return of America’s largest RV Rally to the RV community,” said Lemonis. 

Continue to check the Rally website to stay up to date on attractions and daily scheduled activities as plans fall into place over the next several months!

Click here for more info........THE RALLY


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 Welcome to the Greatest RV Rally in the World!

 DATE CHANGE FOR THE UPCOMING 

2015 PHOENIX RALLY!

NASCAR recently released their upcoming 2015 Sprint Cup Series race schedule, which outlined that the Phoenix International Raceway will now hold their race at the track on March 15, 2015.


Unfortunately, the new date of the Phoenix race affects the planned and scheduled 2015 Camping World and Good Sam Phoenix Rally, and we are left with no choice but to advance our event to February 26 – March 1, 2015 with early bird days arrival on February 24 and 25, to ensure a successful event while considering the planning and logistics of this Rally.


We are extremely disappointed with this change as we began discussions with the track personnel in April and locked in the original dates at that time. It was not mentioned to our organization that the Phoenix International Raceway was in discussions with NASCAR to change their original March 1, 2015 scheduled date to March 15. We want our Rally goers to know that if this could have been avoided we would have made other arrangements to alleviate any confusion and inconvenience to our attending members and guests.


We plan to move forward with our Rally on the new dates and are committed to giving you the best experience with the latest in RV models and outdoor products, new and improved RV and camping seminars, activities, and world-class entertainment.


We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and it is our hope that you will be able to adjust your travel plans and join us at the Greatest RV Rally in the World. Continue to check the Rally website to stay up to date on attractions and daily scheduled activities as plans fall into place over the next several months!

For more info............THE RALLY

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 Kwikee not involved in foreclosure

MISHAWAKA, Ind. — The following information is being presented to clarify information about Kwikee Products that was published in an article from two publications, the Herald and News and The Eugene Register-Guard. The article was also posted by RV Pro and RV Daily Report.

Contrary to previous reports, Kwikee does not own the facility that is part of a foreclosure lawsuit.  Kwikee was a tenant of the building that was owned by K&M Holdings, LLC.  Kwikee leased the building from K&M Holdings, LLC which was owned by Doug Mergenthaler.  Kwikee’s lease ended in September.

The operations for Kwikee Products have not been located in Cottage Grove, Ore., since 2007.  In 2007, as part of a consolidation effort between Power Gear and Kwikee Products, the operations for Kwikee Products were moved to the Power Gear facility in Mishawaka, Ind.

SOURCE: Kwikee Products press release

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  Magellan® and Good Sam have teamed up to produce the all-new RoadMate® Pro 9165T


A robust GPS device that is specifically designed for those who love to "RV".

An extra-wide, high-definition 7-inch touchscreen offers large vehicle and RV settings that map routes based on vehicle height, width, length, and weight. This intelligent navigator will plan routes according to your preferences, making the drive much more error-free and enjoyable for you, your family, and friends.

The RoadMate® Pro will be invaluable on your travels as it is pre-loaded with U.S. and Canada campground information from Trailer Life Directory, and Good Sam discount locations. The 9165T will give you guidance on million points of interest (POI) near and far, pet-friendly parks, and RV service and parking.

And, the device comes with a Heavy Duty Extension Mount that is extremely versatile and designed for vehicles with deep dashboards. You can easily make adjustments to get the viewing position that works for you.

The Magellan® RoadMate® Pro 9165T offers superior navigation for a safe and secure driving experience. Drivers can plan and customize routes in advance to become familiar with their route before driving it. Turn-by-turn spoken directions let them to keep their eyes on the roads.

Best of all, with the RoadMate Pro you can quickly navigate to Good Sam certified campgrounds where you can enjoy member discounts.*

*Requires Good Sam Club membership


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Full Time RV To Save Money? 

 Be a full-time RVer to save money?

by Bill Tuttle, Explorer RV Insurance Agency

 Whether you live in an apartment, a house or an RV, the greatest impacts on your ability to save money are the choices you make every day in your chosen lifestyle.

 Are you cooking your meals at home or eating at restaurants? Are you renting pay-per-view movies or enjoying a free concert in the park? Are you hunting down the best fuel prices along the way or just filling up whenever your tank is low? These examples represent a few of the choices that make a big difference in your monthly budget, regardless of your address.

 Cost comparison — For a true comparison between living in a residential property and living in an RV, start with a cost-comparison table. Make a table with three columns. The first column is for name of the expense. The second column is for current costs associated with a typical residence. The third column represents costs incurred living in an RV full time. It may take some time to fill in each cell of the table, but once you do, you should have an accurate snapshot of the difference living in an RV full time would make. Keep in mind that some items will be relevant to an RV but not a residence, and vice versa.

 Confined space — Besides expense difference, consider the other factors associated with full-time RV living. With limited space, some people may feel uncomfortable, especially when it's their only home. Will you be living alone, with a companion, children or a pet? Interactions between people can become quickly strained in close quarters. It might be wise to try a trial period in the RV before making a final decision to go full time.

 RV parks — One of the most important decisions you'll need to make is where to park your RV and for how long. Here are a few tips for minimizing your parking expense:

 • Available services — Not every RV park has a full range of services. Electricity, water, sewage, cable, dumping and Internet may be available but, as a rule, the more provided services, the higher the cost.

 • Volunteer or part-time work — You may be able to eliminate your parking expense altogether if you help out. Assisting with reservations, repairs or grounds maintenance can often significantly reduce your expenses.

 • Access — If you intend to travel far and wide, you'll likely lose cell phone coverage or WiFi access at some point. If your livelihood depends on connectivity, arrange for Internet access that is not dependent upon your physical location.

 • Length of stay — Many RV parks limit the amount of time that you can stay. Some parks include utility costs in their monthly fee but only if it falls within a certain number of nights. If the stay extends beyond their preset limit, utilities may be billed separately.

 • Gratis — There are free RV parking sites available. Doing a little research to locate them will definitely help reduce costs.

Overall, many full-time RV'ers say their only regret is that they didn't full-time sooner. If you're budget-conscious and willing to consistently choose options that result in cost savings, then living in an RV full time may be a good way for you to save money. If you haven't had RV experience, you may find close quarters to be challenging at first. Be sure that you closely evaluate your current and projected expenses, including your insurance needs and your lifestyle preferences. If you can, take a month or two to try it out.

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  PARKING YOUR RV IS LIKE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP

 We have all seen it, and we have all experienced it. The parking ballet!

The rig pulls in and the co-pilot gets out and heads for the back of the rig. Then the ballet starts. The arms are moving like a conductor instructing the largest symponhy orchestra. The rig starts to back up into the spot. Not making the right turn, it goes in half sideways across the spot. Pull out and start again. Once, twice, three times. Finally the driver gets out, walks to the back and says to the co-pilot. "I can't see you."

Back in to the rig and the ballet starts again. Watching the co-pilot do a bit of a jig with hand signals, foot and leg motions, the rig finally makes it into the spot. The driver gets out and says"What does this with your hand mean?" "And, what was with the foot in the air.?"

Yes, we have all seen it over and over again.

Or the most popular pastime is for five or more guys head over to give a hand with the parking. Three at the front, two at the back, all pointing and giving instructions. Into the spot, out of the spot, once, twice, three times and more.

Parking your RV with your spouse or significant other is like a good relationship. It requires good communication.

Karen and I have parked thousands of times, in thousands of different parks. Our system works for us and we have never had a problem parking in a back in RV site.

Here is our secret, and I am sure a lot of you all ready know; but I must assume because we see the ballet over and over again, some of us don't.

Communication. The important person guiding the the rig in must be able to see the person driving the rig in the mirror. "If you can not see the person driving, in the mirror, the person driving, can not see the person guiding."


Know what hand signals to use. Work out a system that works for you. Karen points with the arm extended in the direction that she wants the back of the RV to go. Left arm out means the back of the rig should move that way. Right arm out, the same, the back of the rig moves the way the arm is pointing. Both arms motioning toward her chest, mean straight back, and of course, both hands up, mean stop.

I can trust my co-pilot with out worrying about anything else, except where the front of the rig is going. All I have to do to get into the site, is put my co-pilot in the mirror and follow the signals. Does not get any more simple than that.

Good communication can take the frustration out of those back in RV Sites.

Hey! You never know it may even make your relationship better too.


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 BC WALMART RV CRACKDOWN 

 B.C. Walmart Cracks Down on Longer RV Stays

October 11, 2011 by RV Business 

They are usually known as a welcoming sight for RV campers in need of a place to stop for the night or a few days before continuing on with their journey. Besides being a big-box retail store, Walmart parking lots across North America have generally been hospitable to the traveling camper.

But, according to a report by bclocalnews.com, anyone hoping to stay in the Kamloops, British Columbia, Walmart parking lot for an extended period of time can expect to be turned away.

This past summer the company SmartCentres, which owns the shopping center, installed large new signs on the lot reminding customers there is no overnight parking for RVs or trucks.

Sandra Kaiser, vice president of corporate affairs for SmartCentres, said the no-overnight rules were always in place, but not enforced stringently until recently.

She said the measure is not meant to crack down on someone staying a few hours or even a night, but is intended to address RV owners staying for days and weeks.

“More and more campers were coming and staying for longer periods of time, to the point where we were losing parking spaces that we have to provide to our tenants,” Kaiser said, adding the company had received complaints from tenants in the shopping centre.

She noted overnight stays made it difficult for maintenance crews to clean up the lot. Kaiser said maintenance crews are politely reminding campers they can’t park in the lot long-term.

Walmart manager Tim Labermeyer said he’s heard from some customers who expected to park at the store overnight. However, he pointed out many of the Walmart lots that allow overnight parking are owned by the retail giant. The Kamloops Walmart leases the property so, in this case, it is not a decision made by the store.

“We have to abide by their [SmartCentres] rules,” Labermeyer said.

The Kamloops location wouldn’t be alone in banning overnight stays, as a growing number of Walmarts in the U.S. are starting to turn away RVs and campers. Kaiser said the signs and rules are permanent.



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 CRUISE INN APPOINTMENT

 AUGUST 13, 2014

Cruise Inn A New Concept For RV Parks

Officials of Cruise Inn, a new concept in RV parks benefiting owners and guests, announced today Kathy Palmeri and Linda Profaizer joined the company as directors of business development. According to a press release, they will be responsible for growing the brand across the United States.

“Kathy and Linda bring strong relationships and impressive track records to our team,” said Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Cruise Inn. “We are confident they are the right individuals to grow our brands’ strategy in the outdoor hospitality arena.”

Profaizer has a 40-year track record in the RV camping industry. She is the immediate past president of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), successfully moving the association from the suburban Washington, D.C., area to Colorado and establishing strong working relationships with national industry partners.

As the former president and CEO of Woodall Publishing Company, Profaizer was responsible for the growth of its national camping directories. During her tenure, she created the “Tenting Directory,” established the first agreement with Microsoft to put parks on a nationally sold DVD travel product, and oversaw the consolidation of six RV/camping newspapers and a national RV tour company.

Profaizer oversaw changes to the Woodall’s Rating System and the management of its representative teams. She also held the title of director of RV business development at Flying J Truck Stops, where she doubled the size of their RV consumer club at the end of one year to over 400,000 members.

“Cruise Inn presents a unique opportunity for owners of independent RV parks and campgrounds to be able to expose their parks to the worldwide travel market without the personal hassle of managing multiple distribution outlets,” stated Profaizer. “Cruise Inn offers the power of a national brand with an already existing infrastructure to provide a robust reservation system along with support and training.”

KathyPalmeri

Palmeri was a hands-on park owner/operator for 17 years and participated on local, state and national boards since becoming involved in the RV Park and campground industry in 1994. Of note were the Colorado Tourism Office Board, the ARVC board, where she served as its chairman in 2003 and 2004, and most recently as chairman of the Visit Estes Park Destination Marketing Organization.

During her term at ARVC, she focused on outreach to the parks and state organizations, attending trade shows and meetings in order to communicate directly with the membership.

“I have always believed the RV park and campground industries should be acknowledged as an integral piece of the leisure travel market,” stated Palmeri. “The Cruise Inn concept, along with its founders, brings that possibility to our sector of the hospitality industry with its incredible exposure to a vast segment of the population we have not been able to reach before.”

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 SALVATION MOUNTAIN AT SLAB CITY

In the January Newsletter, "The Journey" we had heard that Salvation Mountain at Slab City was in danger because Leonard Knight was no longer able to live and work at the site. He is in a long term care home now, but we have found out that Dan Westfall is trying to put together a non profit society to save the mountain and maintain it in the future.

If you click on the image on the right it will take you to the website and in the near future they will have a donation page and sign up page for volunteers and helpers to save the mountain.

If you have never seen this work of art, do it now and help us to save it for future enjoyment.

 

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 SAFETY CONCERNS ABOUT TIRES

 SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — Safety concerns about aging tires and whether they can cause fatal accidents. Safety advocates say aging increases the risk of dangerous and often deadly tire failures.

American tire companies have helped defeat proposed laws in eight states that would require inspection of tires for age.

ABC Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross has been investigating and told ABC40's Dave Madsen on Wednesday that Massachusetts was one of the states where the tire industry trade  group, the Rubber Manufacturers of America, defeated inspection legislation.

Ross adds, “They spent $36,000 to defeat that legislation, and they feel it’s not an issue that age…doesn’t really matter despite the fact that Ford, GM and Chrysler all recommend to their owners that after manufacture they should be replaced. Not six years of use, but six years after the date the tire was manufactured. We have tracked a number of fatal accidents that involved aged tires and now the NTSB, which does the big airline crashes, now they’re going to focus for  the first time ever on tires and tire safety.”

Madsen: “Brian, what do these accidents involve? Does it blow or because the tire is a little bit drier comes off the rim, or things like that or just a combination of things?”

Ross:  “Exactly. It’s more than just losing the air. What often happens is the tread separates from the tire. And that’s a serious event especially if you’re travelling at high speeds.   Even skilled professional drivers in tests, when they knew it was about to happen they still couldn’t control the vehicle.”

Madsen: “Is it big named tire companies, big name franchises that are selling these tires or the little Mom and Pop shops?”

Ross: “It’s both. We have small tire companies in the South and big name stores selling tires that were recalled as you’ll see in our reports tonight.”

The investigation also found that 80 percent of the tires recalled for safety defects are still on the road.

You can find out the age of your tires. The date of production can be found at the end of an 11 or 12 digit identification number of the tires sidewall.

The tire industry uses a week/year display. As you can see from my car, the tires were made in the 9th week of 2010. That would be the first week of March.

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 WIFI FAQ'S ANSWERED FOR RV'ERS

Why isn’t the WiFi in the park the same as the WiFi at my house?

Several factors can affect the speed and responsiveness of the WiFi in the park that may not be a factor, or as big of a factor as it is at home.

The WiFi in the park is shared among many users and devices. You may have a dozen WiFi enabled devices at home, but there may be hundreds of devices online in the park.

At home you may be fortunate to have very fast cable or fiber Internet service, however in many rural and semi-rural areas slower DSL or satellite based service may be all that is available. This slower service must be shared among many users and dozens or hundreds of devices.

Why can’t I download movies and music?

Movies, music and videos consume a lot of data bandwidth. Since the WiFi system in the park is shared by many users, downloading movies and videos can seriously impact other users in the park. How much bandwidth is consumed by different actives? For comparison:

Activity                                                                       Typical consumption (total, not per second)

Sending or receiving an email (no attachments)                                      1Kb

Sending or receiving an email with a picture attached                             1.5Mb

Downloading a 3 minute song                                                                 5Mb

Using a social networking site for 10 minutes (i.e. Facebook)                    20~50Mb

Downloading a 3 minute movie trailer in HD                                            180Mb

Using Skype or VoIP for a 20 minute voice chat                                        4~10MB

Using Skype or other video services for a 20 minute chat                         40~ 60Mb

Watching a streaming 30 minute TV show                                                400~600Mb

Watching a streaming 2 hour movie                                                        1800Mb~4000Mb

A two hour movie can be the equivalent amount of bandwidth of over 4 million emails!

The RV next door to me is getting a stronger signal than I am. Why?

WiFi is based on radio signals, and just like the radio in your car the signals can be affected and blocked by both physical obstacles and interference from other devices. Some WiFi devices have better quality radios and antennas than other devices.

You may have something physically blocking your reception such as another RV, a building or vehicle. Or there may be some other electrical or electronic device in or near your RV that is causing interference.

Or your neighbor may have a WiFi enabled device with a really good quality radio in it.

Or your neighbor may be closer to the WiFi access point.

Often it is a combination of all of these factors.

I can’t get the park signal to show on my device. What should I do?

If no WiFi signals are showing on your device ensure that the WiFi is enabled on your device – sometimes there is a physical button on laptops to turn off the radio to save battery, or there may be a software setting to enable WiFi, some phones and tablets feature an Airline Mode to turn off all radios (WiFi & Cellular).

If you can see other WiFi signals but not the park WiFi on your device, check to see if other devices on your site or near you can see the park WiFi. If you can’t see the WiFi signal on any device on your site or near you be sure to mention this to the park staff. You may be in an area that they have not extended WiFi into, or the system may be having issues.

Why is WiFi in an RV park different than at a hotel?

RV parks & resorts face all of the same issues as hotels in providing WiFi to guests and have some additional unique challenges. RV parks & resorts are often in rural or semi-rural areas where Internet speeds are slower and more expensive, electrical supply to the system and access points may be less stable and links between access points is usually wireless instead of wired. Add exposure to elements such as rain, wind and lightning and the equipment is subject to more wear and needs attention more often.

Why do I keep getting dropped?

Getting dropped can mean actually losing the radio signal connection, or it can be maintaining the connection but the flow of data stops or slows to a point where it is not usable for what you want to do.

The radio signal connection can be dropped for several reasons:

You are too far from the WiFi system access point.

There are other electrical or electronic devices nearby causing interference.

There are physical obstacles such as RVs, buildings or vehicles.

There are too many users on the WiFi system and it is overloaded.

You may be able to maintain the radio signal connection, but the flow of data stops or slows to a point where it is not usable for all of the reasons above, and additionally there may be to many users on the Internet connection shared by the park, the Internet Service Provider for the park may be experiencing issues (common on Satellite based systems) or the website you are accessing may be experiencing high volumes.

What can I do to improve the WiFi reception at my unit?

Sometimes just moving a few feet or moving outside of your RV is all that is needed to make a big difference. If that does not work try plugging your device into AC power, as some devices reduce the power to the radio and screens when unplugged to extend battery life.

For laptops with internal WiFi cards, if the range is not good consider investing in an external WiFi adapter. These devices plug into a USB port and have external antennas that are often better than the internal antennas manufactures build into their laptops.

Avoid “Signal Boosters” and “Range Extenders”. There are device sold by different manufacturers that allegedly increase the range of WiFi by picking the signal up off the air and rebroadcasting it. Generally these devices create more noise than usable signal, and will not help you get better WiFi. Oddly, some WiFi enabled devices will misinterpret the noise as signal, and report better signal strengths, but at the same time the speeds will decrease or stop altogether.

This information has been provided by Pamela Wright of FocusedWords and Jim Ganley of Checkbox Systems. Reprints without permission are strictly prohibited. To receive permission send an email to: pwright@FocusedWords.com with WiFi FAQ’s in the subject line.

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 WiFi in Canadian National Parks

The Calgary Herald is reporting that Parks Canada has revealed plans to offer WiFi service at its national parks and national historic sites.

“In a tender posted Monday, the agency says it expects to have between 25 and 50 hot spots at key national parks and historic sites this year, including in Alberta.

That will grow to 100 hot spots in even more locations over the next couple of years.

The move is part of a push by the national parks agency to attract a younger generation through its gates, said Andrew Campbell, a Parks Canada vice-president.

It’s meant to complement visitors’ experience — not deluge Twitter timelines with a step-by-step account of a hike or encourage instant posting of mountaintop selfies, he said.

“When you start to look at the hot spot and how wide they’ll range, you’re not going to be on the top of the mountain and on the middle of the glacier and getting WiFi service,” said Campbell.

“It’s going to be around your campground at night where you’re going to communicate to your friends and family in ways that a lot of people do today, through Facebook or Twitter, putting your Instagram photo up.”

“People used to sit around their campground and write postcards. I guess this is the digital way of doing that.”

About 20 million people a year visit Parks Canada’s 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites and four marine conservation areas.

At most sites, WiFi will be offered free of charge, Parks Canada says. But the agency wants to retain the right to charge a fee in areas where offering WiFi service is particularly costly or where it is “not expected.”

The tender document lists 125 Parks Canada sites where WiFi service could be offered. The 26 national parks listed include Gwaii Haanas, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho, Wood Buffalo, Waterton Lakes, Nahanni, St. Lawrence Islands, Fundy, Cape Breton Highlands and Labrador’s Torngat Mountains.

The Rideau Canal is among the nearly 100 national historic sites listed for WiFi service, though Parks Canada does not say how many hot spots there would be along the historic 202 kilometer waterway.

Source: Calgary Herald

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 Winnebago Dealer Awards

Winnebago Industries, Inc., has announced its top motorized product dealer sales award winners. Top sales awards went to the company’s dealers in the United States and Canada, as well as the top rental dealer and new dealer of the year for the Winnebago and Itasca brands.

This year’s award winners are:

•High River Autoplex & RV, High River, AB – Winnebago New Dealer of the Year

•Carefree Coach and RV, Edmonton, AB – Top Itasca Dealer Canada

•Sicard Holiday Campers, Smithville, ON – Top Winnebago Dealer Canada


•Camping World RV, Lincolnshire, IL – Top Winnebago Industries Dealer Multiple Locations

•Lazydays, Sefner, FL – Top Winnebago Industries Dealer Single Location, Top Winnebago Dealer North America, and Top Dealer Winnebago – East

•La Mesa RV Center, Sanford, FL – Top Itasca Dealer North America and Top Itasca Dealer – East

•La Mesa RV, Mesa, AZ – Top Winnebago and Itasca Dealer – West


•Colonial Itasca, Lakewood, NJ – Top Winnebago Touring Coach Dealer – North America

•Great Alaskan Holidays, Anchorage, AK – Top Rental Dealer

•La Mesa RV Center, Ft. Myers, FL – Itasca New Dealer of the Year

•High River Autoplex & RV, High River, AB – Winnebago New Dealer of the Year

 In addition to these awards, 102 dealers were honored with the Circle of Excellence award in recognition of their excellence in customer satisfaction, as it relates to the customers’ sales and service experience with the dealer.

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 RVDA Dealer of the Year 2014

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of British Columbia announced that Rod Friesen, Voyager RV Centre Ltd., has been awarded the 2014 BC Dealer of the Year Award.

According to a press release, Friesen was presented with the award at the RVDA’s annual general meeting held recently in Whistler.

His son, Jason, accepted the award on his father’s behalf with an emotional acceptance in front of their peers and friends.

Friesen’s long-time commitment to the betterment of the RV Industry, support of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of BC, continuing community service and policy to provide outstanding customer service at his dealership were all factors in choosing him as this year’s recipient of the Dealer of the Year Award.

RVDA of BC noted, “None of this would be possible without the support of the ‘Voyager Family’ and we congratulate the entire Voyager Team for their commitment to excellence in customer service which has spanned for 30 years.”

As the winner of the 2014 BC Dealer of the Year Award, Friesen will be nominated by the RVDA of BC for the prestigious Walter Paseska Canadian Dealer of the Year Award.

RV Dealer of The Year 2014 Voyager RV
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 RVwithMe is Bringing the Airbnb Experience to RV Life

Over 20 years ago, Scott Krupa built a 125-site RV park. As he tried to expand his business and build more parks, he quickly learned that RV parks were being threatened by a new type of business model. The referral business of people renting out their their available space for RV parking was very popular because of cheaper rates and the new experience it brought with it, especially in areas where RV parks were not welcome. At this time, Scott was hoping to build more parks--but was turned down by certain counties that didn’t allow parks to be built. Like any great businessman, he decided not to let this get in the way but instead, looked at the new peer-to-peer cultural shift disrupting his business and began to explore what it meant for RV’s.

Scott began building relationships with the people who were renting their personal spaces out for RV parking. He soon learned there were many--even a network of people willing to rent out to one another. At first, a membership website where people can find a variety of personal spaces and buy a membership seemed appropriate. He quickly learned there were a few websites that already met that need.

One day, Scott stumbled upon Airbnb. After observing what they were doing, he knew it was exactly what he wanted to do with RV’s, no memberships required--just a marketplace for renting and parking RV’s. Soon after, Scott spent two years using a technology platform that was unable to deliver, dealing with endless bugs and poor customer service, which led to a delay and interruption to his original dream. Fortunately, Scott found Near Me, a peer-to-peer commerce solution ready to take his idea to the next level. It didn’t take long for RVwithMe to be ready to go.

One of the benefits of using RVwithMe spaces over a traditional RV park is the personalization it brings. Some spaces exist in some of the most beautiful pieces of land in the country and only allow 3-5 RV’s at a time. This builds a unique community better than any 125-site RV park could ever do.

“RVers will be able to find the the right host for their needs, from riding horses to getting a ride in a tractor to picking grapes. The options will be limitless for RVers and will match any budget,” said RVwithMe founder Scott Krupa.

Why stay at a RV park, that mirrors a giant parking lot? Instead, stay in a lot hosted by a loving family in North Dakota and enjoy the resources that are made available to you for parking on their site. See the world up close and personal--beyond the cement parking lot.

Airbnb did this with hotels and RVwithMe is offering this experience with RV’s. Enhance your trip, meet real locals and be exposed to more than you ever could staying on the traditional path. It’s what Scott did and it’s why RVwithMe will be taking traveling by RV to a whole new playing field.   

Visit www.RVwithMe.com for more info and start planning your next trip. Not going anywhere? Park or rent your RV out today.


 Published September 05, 2014

Angela Baldwin

Angela is the Social Media Strategist for Near Me.

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 Understanding propane cylinder markings


There is a lot of important information that can be found on a propane cylinder’s collar. Some of these markings will provide you with the following:


Transport Canada specifications

Working pressure of the propane cylinder

Water capacity

Tare weight or the weight of an empty cylinder

Manufacturer’s information

Test month and year

Retest date

Consumers should particularly be aware of the propane cylinder’s retest date, also known as the requalification date. These cylinders need to be requalified or replaced every ten years.


Propane Cylinder
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 RV West Launches Virtual Video Trade Show For SunBelt RV Resorts

 Keith Powell

Publisher/Sales Director at Koocanusa Publications Inc

What’s the best thing about a RV trade show? You get a first-hand glimpse at services and products you may be interested in, designed especially for the RV’er. You get to “kick the tires” as it were. What’s the next best thing to attending a live trade show? How about virtual on-line trade show?

RV West is pleased to introduce a new website page called the Virtual Video Trade Show. It is designed to give RV’ers an opportunity to “kick the tires” so to speak by checking out the videos of sunbelt RV resorts even before they head south.

RV enthusiasts get to virtually visit a number of RV resorts from the comfort of their Lazy-Boy. RV West is inviting RV resorts to showcase their amenities and reach more RV’ers before they head south in the fall or winter.

 For more info.......RV West Virtual Trade Show

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GCT PREVIEWS SUPER-LUXURY CARBON FIBER RV

Friday, March 7, 2014

(Speedway, Indiana) – Global Caravan Technologies, Inc. (GCT), a luxury RV and specialty

vehicle innovator, previewed yesterday a first look at exteriors of its first CR-1 Carbon model.

CR-1 Carbon Trailer

The CR-1 Carbon becomes the world's first all-carbon fiber super-luxury RV designed for series

production, utilizing technologies from multiple industries, including motorsports, automotive, IT,

and aerospace. The CR-1 Carbon offers substantial benefits to consumers, including smart

control functions, high fuel economy, high strength structures, and innovative luxury designs.

“Consumer-driven innovation is at the heart of GCT’s mission,” said Harrison Ding, Chairman

and President of Global Caravan Technologies. “We built a transformative product through

collaborations with world-class partners.”

The company, which boasts partners such as Dallara, the world’s largest race car builder, and

Purdue University, has recruited a veteran team of former IndyCar champions, along with

aerospace technicians to build its state-of-the-art products.

The CR-1 Carbon was revealed during a private gala at the Dallara IndyCar Factory in

Speedway next to GCT’s R&D headquarters.

Guests of the event included Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, Dallara USA CEO Stefano

dePonti, officials from Purdue University, Indiana economic development officials, board

members of the American China Society of Indiana (ACSI), and business leaders from overseas

and the US. "GCT brings transformation to an industry we Hoosiers are already proud of," said

Lt. Governor Ellspermann. "We're very pleased to support this innovative company as it

continues to grow."

CR1 Carbon Trailer Interior

 

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