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Month: June 2011

Enough is Enough, Bye Bye, Mr. Stinky!

June 25, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Enough is Enough, Bye Bye, Mr. Stinky!

Well, we were officially fulltimers—at least for the next 10 months. We were also “Snowbirders,” since, after living in Florida for the past 15 years, we were hitting the road full-time, but would spend the first 3 months exploring parts of Florida that we hadn’t had a chance to see. Step #1 was to check into the RV park where we would be spending the first two months—two of the coldest months in Florida’s Tampa Bay memory; January and February of 2010. And things were not going well.  [Read more...]

Meet the Zetros: Apocalypse-Ready Motorhome

June 25, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Meet the Zetros: Apocalypse-Ready Motorhome

Could the apocalyptic looking beast, a custom order Zetros produced by Mercedes Benz, be the biggest, monster motorhome on Planet Earth? The custom Mercedes-Benz Zetros 6x6 takes on wilderness excursions in style. (Credit: Mercedes-Benz) Two businessmen friends in Ulan Bator, Mongolia who take “multiday excursions into the Altai mountains where they hunt for wolves with an eagle” decided they needed something a bit beefier for their expeditions. The men were not identified, but Mercedes Benz says one owns Khan Bräu, a brewery that makes German beer, and the other “became wealthy as a shareholder in coal and copper mines.” This pair took delivery of two Mercedes Benz Zetros 6×6 jumbo off-roader trucks—with more than the normal levels of luxury. The pair of Zetros came complete with gun safe, mosquito nets, and triple-action locks—as well as a fancy dinner service for eight. The new over-the-top, six-wheel-drive vehicle shares its DNA with trucks from the... [Read more...]

The 10 Best Camping Gadgets (Don’t leave home without them!)

June 24, 2011 by · 26 Comments 

The 10 Best Camping Gadgets (Don’t leave home without them!)

I was recently asked by a fellow camper, “What are the 10 gadgets you consider most essential for camping?” I wanted to respond with items like an air conditioner, clean bed off the ground, TV and remote, coffeepot and ice maker.  But, I was quickly informed that those were not considered “gadgets” (or tools) and would not be acceptable. “This is serious!”, he admonished.  So, giving it only a little thought (and very little at that) I did my best to reply with what I consider my ten most essential camping gadgets. Actually, my list could have been much, much longer – perhaps a hundred or more items.  But, having to limit it to ten, this is what I came up with.  See if you agree and perhaps add your own essential gadgets in the comments section. #1 – Duct Tape You can make anything from duct tape.  A coffee cup (yuck!), rope, patch a leaky tent or awning, start a campfire, fashion a plate or bowl, strap pants cuffs tight to keep out ticks (leave some sticky side... [Read more...]

Making Ugly Faces at Dogs is Not Permitted

June 22, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Minnesota! Now, who wouldn’t want to live there? Where men are men and women are good looking and all the children are above average… (Thanks to Garrison Keilor and his Lake Wobegon for that). Natural beauty, support for culture and education, good jobs that let hard-working people hold their heads up high, and friendly laws that protect the innocent and scare the dickens out of miscreants… These, I think, are good measures for judging where we might want to live… As are its laws, which I believe are an important measure as to how well they protect the innocent, the trustworthy, the loyal and the brave — our pets. Did you know that in Oklahoma it is against the law to make ugly faces at a dog? And in Normal, Ohio “It is against the law to make any faces at dogs, ugly or not.” [Read more...]

Getting the Camper Ready!

June 22, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

Getting the Camper Ready!

Those of you who have been following this blog for awhile heard from me last year about the excitement that occurs when our camper comes “home” for the summer from its winter storage place up on some land we have in northern Wisconsin. It’s not that I like to have an 18 foot trailer parked in our driveway preventing any access into or out of our garage. It is what the camper being “home” represents in terms of my time. Every time I look out our kitchen or sunroom window and see it sitting there, waiting, I am reminded of the wonderful times we have had traveling. It is like being on vacation without ever leaving home. Well, in a few weeks the camper will be coming home; albeit a bit later this year due to our oldest daughter’s wedding which will occur June 24th. We will need the extra parking spaces for visiting and overnight guests so the camper will have to stay “up north” a little longer this year. But we have wonderful adventures planned for it in July. To that end,... [Read more...]

Preparing for RV Loss and Damage

June 21, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Preparing for RV Loss and Damage

Article courtesy of NADA Appraisal Guides The versatility and freedom of a recreation vehicle is hard to beat. With recreation vehicles consisting of travel trailers, 5th wheels, motorhomes, camping trailers, truck campers, and park models, there is a recreational vehicle to fit any person’s lifestyle. In the unfortunate event of an accident, take note of any damage to your recreation vehicle and take photos of the scene and damage to each vehicle involved.  You will want to exchange contact and insurance information with other drivers involved and make sure you don’t forget contact information from any witnesses that may have seen the incident. When reporting your accident to your insurance company, have the date, time, and location of the accident and how the accident occurred.  Make sure you provide all contact information, drivers’ license, registration and insurance information for the person(s) involved in the accident as well as the witness(s) and any photo documentation... [Read more...]

Make Your Destination a Journey: Shenandoah National Park

June 20, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Make Your Destination a Journey: Shenandoah National Park

Visiting national parks tops the list of reasons why many of us chose the RV lifestyle. What better way to tour these national treasures, to experience with all our senses the wondrous glacier-carved mountains, sweeping evergreen and deciduous forests, unimpeded rivers, tumbling mountain streams and waterfalls, glaciated valleys, wildflower-covered meadows, and free-roaming wildlife. Skyline Drive, the 105-mile road that bisects the length of the park winding along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, may be Shenandoah’s predominant feature, since it provides stunning views of the park’s mountains, valleys, and forests. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited park in the National Park System. The twisting, scenic mountain road that leads out of the eastern edge of Great Smoky—the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway—is a destination unto itself. The north end of this vista-filled parkway ends in Virginia’s Shenandoah National... [Read more...]

Camels and Cowboys in the Texas Hill Country

June 19, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Camels and Cowboys in the Texas Hill Country

(Photo Caption: The Camel Experiment in Texas) We decided to spend some time in the Texas Hill Country this summer.  As usual, we started our visit by checking into our favorite Hill Country location, Buckhorn Lake RV Resort.  From Kerrville, we decided to take a day trip to Bandera, Texas, the Cowboy Capital of the World. There are two routes to take between Kerrville and Bandera.  Highway 173 is the truck route, and is the shorter route.  We chose 173 because it allowed us to stop at the Camp Verde General Store on our way.  We arrived just in time for lunch, and the special of the day was a BBQ sandwich (a staple of the Hill Country); my wife chose the tuna salad on a sourdough roll.  The food and service was excellent, and it took quite a while to wander through everything in the general store.  The historical significance of Camp Verde is that this was the location of the Camel Experiment—back in 1856, the camels purchased by then War Secretary, Jefferson Davis, arrived at... [Read more...]

Taste Without Calories…Continued

June 19, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Taste Without Calories…Continued

Back on June 15th, I started talking about some simple modifications we have made in our diet to minimize fat and calories and maximize taste. In that first piece, we discussed switching to light butter and fat free sour cream and cream cheese. What follows is the continuation of that discussion: 4—Hellman’s Lite Mayonnaise—This has been the only mayonnaise we have had in our home or camper for in excess of 15 years! And, as we love to add mayo to our ham sandwiches, we buy a small jar of Hellman’s Lite before embarking on any RV trip! I have had many people tell me that they just can’t use light mayo; they just don’t enjoy the taste. I have a friend, in fact, who has tried it and says she just can’t get used to it. However, this same friend absolutely LOVES my potato salad and whenever I make it, I give her an extra little bowl to take home which she devours immediately. Of course it is made with Hellman’s Lite mayo! I don’t make a point of telling her this when I give... [Read more...]

Roadtrippin’ with a Toddler…

June 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

There are a few things you can do that can make a trip with a toddler more enjoyable – here are my tips (and I would love to hear yours!)… Everything from Traveling with Baby applies here too, with a few additions. Clothing: Dress for comfort. And don’t over dress – it’s easier to cover them if they are chilly than to have to pull off the road to unbuckle and undress. I always try to bring a hat – which kind depends on the weather; if it’s hot, choose a sunhat – if it is chilly, bring a warm winter hat. If it is cool out, I also throw in a pair of gloves; little fingers get chilled quickly. If we will arrive within a few hours of bedtime, I try to change them into PJs before they fall asleep in the car; if I’m lucky, I can transfer them to their bed in the hotel or rv without waking them! Always pack prepared for a breakdown or delay. Food: This is where those fun individual portions come in handy (or you can make your own using snack... [Read more...]

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