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  • Most Recent RV And Camping Blog Posts

    Camping In Different Climates

    August 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Camping In Different Climates

      High deserts are known for causing dehydration, sunburn, sunstroke, and dry skin. Drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen. Pictured above Arches National Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved RV camping styles and activities vary with location and climate. Climate is a key factor in the planning and enjoyment of a camping trip. Research the location to be aware of the type of climate and weather you’re likely to experience. Desert Camping Desert camping can be a unique and rewarding experience. The stark beauty of red rock mesas and mysterious hoodoos in the Southwest is enchanting. But the harsh climate and terrain that defines a desert requires certain precautions and special considerations especially during the summer months. Drink large amounts of water. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Arid climates require one gallon of water, per person, per day—minimum. Sun and heat are related factors to watch. Wear sunscreen, and reapply often. Sun-glasses... [Read more...]

    Chapter Life

    August 27, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

    Good Sam chapters are the building blocks of the Good Sam Club. Best of all, chapters are groups of friends that camp together. Membership in a chapter only requires a Good Sam Club membership. It’s up to the chapter to decide if there are dues or schedules. Indeed, there is nothing mysterious about chapters: There are no entry rituals or secret handshakes. The only thing you need is the desire to camp with more people than your spouse or kids. With chapters, you can travel to places that might seem too far to go by yourself. You can learn great new campground games. You can help your community by volunteering with others for a good cause, or maybe just sit around the campfire with great friends and solve the world’s problems. Currently, there are nearly 1,500 chapters across North America. Chapters participate in Samborees, which are held in almost every state and province and feature great food, fun and entertainment. Some chapters organize theme weekends. Esthermay and I have been... [Read more...]

    Travel Assistance 101: What to Do if Your Wallet is Lost or Stolen While Traveling

    August 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Travel Assistance 101: What to Do if Your Wallet is Lost or Stolen While Traveling

    A lost wallet—especially while traveling—can be nerve-wracking, frustrating and costly. While that’s not a situation anyone would like to experience first-hand, if you’re prepared and know what to expect, you can actually make things a lot easier on yourself. If you’re a TravelAssist member, contact us right away and we’ll help you through it. Everyone else can follow these simple steps: Where to Start: Domestic Travelers Even if you don’t suspect your wallet was actually stolen, you’ll still need to begin at the local police station to create a paper trail. Your bank and credit card companies will not only need a copy, but this also helpful with filing travel insurance claims. And assuming your ID was in your wallet, filing a police report helps validate your information should someone try to use it illegally and also helps prove your identity at the airport. According to the TSA, not having an ID does not necessarily mean you won’t be allowed to fly. In fact, if... [Read more...]

    Top 4 Ways To Ensure a Clean RV and Campsite

    August 22, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

    Top 4 Ways To Ensure a Clean RV and Campsite

    Top 4 Ways to Ensure a Clean RV and Campsite 1. Bring a Broom/Dust Pan– This may seem like common sense, but its imperative to sweep out the dirt, dust, leaves, etc to maintain a clean RV, (or tent), during the camp out.  And it is even more important to remember to clean up after your camp out, before heading home. 2. Bring a Floor Covering and Mat for right outside your RV (or tent)–  Many places sell these and they come in a wide range of sizes.  You can get ones that are soft and squishy or have fake grass, either way you definitely need something to cover the ground for when you step down out of the RV.  It is even more important when you are heading into the RV.  It is nice to have a clean area (on the mat), where you can sit and take off your shoes before entering, which leads me to my next point… 3. Take your Shoes off before Entering the RV EVERY SINGLE TIME!– This can be tricky and seem tedious if your shoes are not the easy kind that slip on and... [Read more...]

    RV Tech-Tip: Tire Monitor

    August 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    RV Tech-Tip: Tire Monitor

    One of the most critical items on your RV is what supports it: the tires.  It is very important that they are correctly sized, properly rated, aired up with the required pressure, and in good general condition.  These things usually can be observed visually, except the air pressure.  For this, you will need to use a pressure gauge to determine if they are correctly inflated. So, how often should you check the tire pressure?  Well, though most would never do it, it should be done prior to hitting the road on each and every day. The majority of tires on the road are inflated using normal compressed air.  This air contains the same concentration of oxygen as we live in.  Oxygen monticules are extremely small, so small they can pass through the rubber compounds of the tire over time.  Therefore a pressure loss is inevitable.  The temperature outside also alters the pressure from one day to the next. Tire Monitor Sensor Unlike an automobile, RVs can suffer major body damage should a... [Read more...]

    RVs From Back In The Day

    August 20, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

    RVs From Back In The Day

    Vintage trailers continue their popularity among today’s RVers. There is a certain charm and nostalgia with vintage trailers that is hard to find with new recreational vehicles. Tin Can Tourists, Denver, Colorado (1918) The rolling homes were small – a bed, a kitchen, and a dinette in one room. Over the decades they have expanded into today’s large-sized RVs, but there is an increasing demand for the older trailers. These vintage models are often called Canned Hams, Shiny Hineys, or Tin Cans. Whatever they may be called, classic trailers from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s are rolling back into popularity. When travel trailers first started roaming American roads, their owners were called Tin Can Tourists because they heated tin cans of food on gasoline stoves by the roadside. The Tin Can Tourists formed the first camping club in the United States, holding their inaugural rally in Florida in 1919 and growing to 150,000 members by the mid-1930s. They had an initiation;... [Read more...]

    Setting Up Your RV Campsite

    August 19, 2014 by · 4 Comments 

    Setting Up Your RV Campsite

    Setting up the outdoor area in your campsite is a pleasurable and integral component of a successful camping trip. It is often the starting point of your outdoor adventures. However, it can be tedious. Have you found that too often you get bogged down while setting up your RV campsite and spend too much time on the little things? Or causing the set-up process to take valuable time from other activities, decreasing the enjoyment of setting up camp? You can overcome this and complete the set-up in as little time as possible by developing a campsite setup plan for each member of your family. Each knows what they have to do and everyone is working toward the same goal – which is to jump in the pool, take a hike, go on a bike ride, or anything else your family likes to do during camping trips. Setting up your outdoor area Make a list of everything that goes into setting up your unique campsite. Everyone’s list will be different, and may vary between campground locations,... [Read more...]

    Explore Tennessee

    August 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Explore Tennessee

    Where the Grand Ole Opry began in 1943 In Tennessee, there is just about as much to explore under the ground as there is above it. The Volunteer State is home to more than 8,500 caves -more than any other state. One Tennessean who made good use of those caves was Jack Daniel, who used pure, iron-free cave water chilled by nature to a constant 56 degrees to make his finest “Tennessee sippin’ whiskey.” When you visit the Jack Daniel Distillery No 1 in Lynchburg, you will find a statue of the man himself standing watch over his treasured cave spring. Any Jack Daniel’s whiskey you take home will have to age a bit longer before consumption, however, since the distillery is in a dry county. Even without spelunking gear, you can explore Tennessee underground in more than two dozen caves. That includes Appalachian Caverns that served as a hospital during the Civil War and the Lost Sea in Sweetwater where tours are by boat on America’s largest underground lake. Above... [Read more...]

    Explore South Carolina

    August 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Explore South Carolina

    Raven Cliffs Falls tumbles off Upcountry escarpment For first-time vacationers to South Carolina, the state is bursting with surprises. Starting with its size – South Carolina is one of the ten smallest states and the entire Palmetto State isn’t beyond much of a three-hour drive. That means a day trip to the mountainous Upcountry from your favorite RV park in the Lowcountry is a comfortable possibility.  You can easily explore South Carolina by taking a trip to Folly Beach, Edisto Beach or Hunting Island from your best lakeside campsite in the Upcountry. South Carolina has its own bonafide national park – something most of its Southern neighbors can’t claim. Congaree National Park is a world of languid blackwater rivers and protects the largest contiguous old growth bottomland of loblolly pines, tupelo and bald cypress in the United States. Natural wonders extend beyond the swamps; Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. It’s... [Read more...]

    Budgeting For An RV

    August 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Budgeting For An RV

    Purchasing a recreational vehicle can be an exciting experience, but it can also be an overwhelming one. Purchasing an RV is a far more complicated process than buying a car. What does it REALLY cost to own an RV? Pictured above Las Vegas RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved You owe it to yourself to become well informed before jumping in. Uninformed RV consumers are likely to make unwise financial choices. Create a budget for buying your RV. Do the numbers. Think about how you will pay and/or finance your RV? What does it really cost to own a recreational vehicle? You must consider the real cost and not just the initial purchase price. You need to think about the financials that are involved in licensing and registration fees, insurance, sales taxes, roadside assistance plan, off-season storage fees, upkeep and general maintenance expenses. When budgeting for an RV include the insurance cost in that budget. Doing the research before buying provides a clearer financial perspective... [Read more...]

    Ingredients for a Great Campfire

    August 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Ingredients for a Great Campfire

    There is nothing that makes a night of camping more ideal than the perfect campfire. But there are requirements to creating the perfect campfire and the ideal fire environment. First of all, you must have the appropriate area. In most campgrounds or RV parks, there are campfire rings in which you build your fire. If you are in a natural area, be sure you have a cleared area, ideally bare ground, on which to build your creation. The other essentials are simple: 1)     Firewood, preferably dry—It is possible to get wet or damp firewood to burn with the right combination of kindling, matches, newspaper and luck, but it can be difficult. A perfect campfire requires dry firewood. In much of the country, our best campfires were made from dry maple or oak. In the southwest, the best campfires are made with dry fir and ponderosa pine, with a fine bit of pinon pine to add the perfect campfire (or fireplace or woodstove) smell. Delicious! When building your fire, you will form a teepee with... [Read more...]

    Mark My Words—Q&A With Mark Nemeth, August 2014

    August 15, 2014 by · 4 Comments 

    Mark My Words—Q&A With Mark Nemeth, August 2014

    Hi, folks. This month we’ll talk about mildew, water pressure, screeching inverters, nitrogen, and toilet tanks. Remember, you can submit your RVing questions to mmw@escapees.com. Happy Trails! —————————————————–   Hi, Mark, Our 2005 Carriage Cameo 5th wheel is stored outside in an RV-storage area for the winter.  We go out to check on it about every 7 to 10 days.  We store it with all three ceiling vents open and cabinet doors open.  Yesterday when we entered it, we noticed a distinct musty smell for the first time, much like many house basements have.  We did find what appeared to be dark bacteria or mildew cultures in the RV antifreeze left in the stool during winterizing.  I cleaned that all out and rinsed the stool with Clorox.  Are there other measures we could or should take? Thanks—John Hi, John, Mildew and mold need two things to thrive: moisture and a source... [Read more...]

    RVing to Mount Rushmore

    August 14, 2014 by · 7 Comments 

    RVing to Mount Rushmore

    Mount Rushmore entrance Several years ago, we traveled to Mount Rushmore on one of our extended summer RV trips. It was a memorable experience for all, including our two teen-aged children, who were 13 and 14 at the time. Our ultimate destination was Yellowstone National Park, but we made a point to stop and spend a night in South Dakota on the way so that we could visit Mount Rushmore. As we neared our destination, we headed into Custer State Park and enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch at a picnic site along the Park road. While RVing to Mount Rushmore, we drove through the meandering roads in the park and encountered burros, bison and three elk! Now the kids were paying attention. We settled in for the night, eagerly anticipating our visit to the Mount Rushmore monument the next day. The next morning, bright and early, found us heading into the monument as soon as it opened. Immediately we were impressed by the grand entrance as we walked under the stone archway and down the aisle of flags... [Read more...]

    RV Tech Tip: Awning Rod Storage

    August 13, 2014 by · 7 Comments 

    RV Tech Tip: Awning Rod Storage

    I got tired of having to hunt for my awning rod, which had the habit of becoming buried under the other items in my largest outside storage compartment, the only compartment long enough to store it in. If you’re having a similar problem, this RV tech tip can help. I cut two short pieces (about 6 inches long) of PVC pipe, drilled two holes in each (enlarged the holes on one side for the screwdriver shaft) and attached them to the ceiling of the compartment. I measured my rod and placed the pieces of pipe so that the rod tip (bent 90 degrees) would just hang out the end. That way, there is no room for the rod to slide back and forth. Now when I need my awning rod, I know right where it is; I don’t have to hunt for it. Credit: Mike Jones, Wyoming MI

    Choosing The Right RV For You

    August 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

    Choosing The Right RV For You

    Shop RVs online before you get to the dealer. Which class RV is right for you? Choosing the right RV for your lifestyle requires some research.  Some of the things you need to consider include your intended use, accommodation size, your operating comfort level, and of course, your budget. Let’s look at your intended use.  If you like to attend car races or similar events, you likely need an RV capable of comfortable dry camping, as many of these venues may not have hookup services.  This would also be the case if you enjoy camping in far-out state parks or remote wilderness locations. Travel trailers and 5th wheels are a good choice for this because motorized RVs require both chassis & house batteries and therefore may not be as power thrifty.  Additionally, your tow vehicle can be used to get groceries or scenic touring. How many people will be sharing your RV?  Two adults and three children?  This may require a few beds and a good sized seating area.  Fifth wheel... [Read more...]

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