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Category: Gadget Reviews

Woodall’s Campground Data Now On Board Rand McNally RV GPS Devices!

April 10, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Woodall’s Campground Data Now On Board Rand McNally RV GPS Devices!

Just in time for the spring RVing season, Rand McNally has added the Woodall’s campground directory into its top-selling TripMaker® RVND™ GPS devices. Woodall’s, part of the Good Sam family of RV clubs, community and publications, is North America’s leading source of campground information for RVers and campers. With the addition of thousands of Woodall’s reviewed campgrounds and amenities, the TripMaker® RVND™ devices now feature more than 250,000 RV-focused locations, such as campgrounds and RV service centers, as well as millions of additional general points of interest. “A year ago, Rand McNally introduced the first GPS device developed specifically for RVers and campers, and the response has been exceptionally strong,” said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally. “The addition of the Woodall’s information provides RVers with a leading source of vetted campground data that no one else provides in a GPS device.” Two weeks ago at The Rally in Phoenix, Rand McNally... [Read more...]

Postcards From The Road – The Black and Decker Powermate 400

March 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Black and Decker Powermate 400 AC/DC Portable Power Station/Jump-Starter/Compressor  - Purchasing this multi-use device was a brilliant decision on my part, if I do say so myself. Just having it sitting in my storage area, fully charged and ready to go, gives me a peace of mind that a set of jumper cables can’t match. It can start my car if my battery is weak or dead and doesn’t require a good samaritan or AAA tow truck. Its multi-stage internal charger keeps it fully charged by leaving it plugged into an AC outlet overnight. But that’s not all its good for:  It’s like a multi-function swiss army knife. During our recent RV trip, it allowed me to: 1- Check the air pressure in my tow vehicle and trailer tires and top them off as needed. 2- Via one of its 2 12-volt receptacles, it ran my 12-volt air pump to firm up our Coleman air mattress. 3- And our 12-volt portable fan inside and outside of the trailer. 4- It has a built in system to check on the health... [Read more...]

WINEGARD Carryout Automatic Satellite Review

March 12, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

WINEGARD Carryout Automatic Satellite Review

In case you didn’t already know, Winegard Satellites is making big moves this year. What kind of moves you ask? Well…big ones! I mean it seems like I can’t go anywhere this year without seeing a noticeable difference in the amount of Winegard Satellite promotions being displayed throughout RV-related stores. And considering Winegard may just be the  (arguably) best option for a RV owner when it comes to finding a mobile TV solution, this is good news for us die-hard travelers. This increase in promotions can mean only one thing…some of the engineering gurus with the company have been busy conjuring up new ideas to and ways to make the lives of all of us RVers easier, at least when it comes to RV satellite options. Winegard prides itself on delivering high quality, user-friendly products which make tailgating, camping, or recreational TV entertainment fast and easy. They feature top of the line antennas like the Winegard Trav’ler series (the ONLY antennas capable viewing all... [Read more...]

Tailgater–RV TV made Easy

February 21, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Tailgater–RV TV made Easy

So I like to go RV-ing. Don’t we all? Even more, when I’m trying to get cozy after a long day out on the open road in my RV, one of my favorite things to do is watch a good movie with the family.  There is nothing quite better than kicking your feet up, turning on the TV in your RV’s living area and enjoying a great flick before hitting the hay. Perhaps the greatest drawback to enjoying such an experience–it’s not exactly inexpensive to set up a quality entertainment center in your RV.  And if you’re like me, one of the things which driven me nuts when it comes to the RV lifestyle is how expensive RV satellites are. With that said, if you’re like me then you like to do everything you can to save a buck or two. Even more, I would have never guessed I would actually be able to cut costs when it comes to RV satellites. I recently had the opportunity to attend the National RV Show in Louisville. As I was walking through the vendors’ area, I happened to stumble upon a booth... [Read more...]

BIG WHEELS KEEP ON ROLLING -Friends, Family and Funerals

February 18, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

BIG WHEELS KEEP ON ROLLING -Friends, Family and Funerals

After a long and difficult illness, Nancy’s Mom died peacefully Sunday night.  While it is always sad to lose a loved one, especially a parent, it is also a relief to know her human suffering was over.  Born in 1920, she would have been 92 next week. We had been planning on joining a group of our friends in Florida on the Gulf Coast beginning March 1st for a couple of weeks – then suddenly, plans changed.  The funeral was to take place in Bryant, Arkansas, some 1,200 miles away, on Saturday.  We could fly, drive a four-wheeler or take the RV.  We decided to take the RV to Arkansas and then to slowly work our way down to Florida after the Funeral. We found ourselves in a real frenzy preparing for a memorial service in our hometown on Wednesday and de-winterizing the RV for the trip.  Somehow, we got it all together and pulled out Thursday morning a little before 5 a.m.  It was raining.  As most of you know, it is no fun driving in the rain – especially with a big RV.  It rained... [Read more...]

Rand McNally to Provide Woodall’s Campground Data in GPS Devices

February 14, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

Rand McNally to Provide Woodall’s Campground Data in GPS Devices

Rand McNally, a leader in specialty travel and navigation, and Woodall’s, part of the Good Sam family of RV clubs, community and publications, are partnering to include Woodall’s campground data in Rand McNally’s TripMaker® RVND™ GPS units for RVers. The data will be pre-loaded in devices shipping mid-April, and also will be available to current owners of TripMaker® RVND™ devices – both the 5” and 7” models – via a simple and free download in early Q2. Rand McNally will be reaching out to existing owners to ensure that they are able to download the new content. “Woodall’s is North America’s leading source of campground information for RVers and campers. We are very pleased to offer this very valued content as part of our industry-leading RV GPS devices,” said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally. Highlights of the Woodall’s Campground data include: Listings for more than 12,000 RV parks and campground locations, with amenities: Family-friendly campgrounds and... [Read more...]

Snazzy Photos from Your Phone!

February 10, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

I have taken thousands of photos over the years while traveling. I treasure them all. Recently, however, I have been using my iPhone 4S to snap lots of photos. Truth be told, I am amazed at the quality of photos that are taken.  I love the compact nature of my wonderful camera. Unlike my larger Nikon, I love the way this little “camera” can fit in my purse and even in my pocket. On countless trips, I have pulled my phone out of my pocket and snapped a moment in traveling time. I’ve photographed hors d’oeuvres while overlooking the Puget Sound. I’ve snapped jellyfish at low tide on the beach. I’ve documented special sections at an art exhibit. And, I’ve archived fabulous photos of my children while they are cavorting through life.  With the help of an app or two, I am learning how to edit, crop, and caption these photos all within the palm of my hand. Yes, these phones are a huge investment, but for someone who loves to travel, document, communicate,... [Read more...]

GO TO A HAMFEST – A RV or Camper’s Goldmine Awaits.

February 10, 2012 by · 9 Comments 

GO TO A HAMFEST – A RV or Camper’s Goldmine Awaits.

Lot’s of campers and RV’ers, are HAMS!  No, I’m not talking about the ones that like acting as if they were in a play or movie.  I’m not making a derogatory reference to those that have a tendency to overeat, either.  I’m talking about a different kind of HAM.  This kind of HAM can actually be anyone of any size and their ages may range from middle school to the most senior of Senior Citizens. The thumbnail picture to the left is a joke to get your attention – these Hams have little to do with pigs unless it is enjoying sausage links at breakfast. The HAM I am referring to is formally known as a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator.  Hams must pass a test to show their knowledge of radio communications and operating rules, and as a result have been issued a license by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to operate radio transmitters and possibly communicate with other “Hams” all over the world. Rows of small parts boxes await buyer inspection. NO, IT IS NOT CITIZEN... [Read more...]

Let’s Talk About Socks!

January 15, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Do you have a favorite sock that you enjoy wearing while hiking and camping? Do you like to wear a specific sock with your hiking boots? SmartWool socks are my favorite socks by a long shot! I discovered these wool socks about five years ago. I purchased my first pair at the Eddie Bauer Outlet when I was on the Eastern Shore of  Maryland visiting my dad. The socks felt great! They offered extra support, especially around my arch.  The pair I purchased back then finally needed to be replaced, so I added Smart Wool socks to my little Christmas list. My husband kindly obliged and headed to REI to buy me some new ones. This year, I received their PhD high performance socks. Made from Merino wool, they are made specifically for a woman’s foot and they feel just great. They have extra cushioning in the heel and on the ball of the foot. And, the wool keeps my feet really warm.  Yes, they are quite pricey, but I figure I only have two feet,  so they are worth it! Do you have a favorite... [Read more...]

GPS Technology helps avoid Navigation Nightmares in winter!

January 9, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

GPS Technology helps avoid Navigation Nightmares in winter!

After visiting with family and friends for the holidays, many full-timers are back on the road again in January, moving to new locales to explore and enjoy. Driving through unfamiliar territory can bring the unexpected, especially during winter months.  A detour, a weather incident, or even an illness can cause a well-planned trip to turn into a navigation nightmare! Fortunately, GPS technology can assist with many of these challenges.  Although car GPS has been around for some time, GPS devices designed specifically for larger-sized vehicles is fairly new.  And an RV is a very unique “larger sized” vehicle with legal and physical restrictions different than cars and even commercial trucks.  For instance, commercial trucks don’t carry propane, travel on back roads, or need dump stations. Rand McNally, with its vast experience with car and truck navigation, most recently focused on RV-specific routing. The result?  The Rand McNally’s TripMaker® RVND™ GPS. The portable devices... [Read more...]

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