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Category: Gadget Reviews

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...]


January 8, 2012 by · 2 Comments 


WOW – Christmas came and went so fast it is hard to realize it was ever here!  It’s not like it was when I was a kid and the days, hours and minutes crept by slower than molasses dripping out of a jar on a cold day.  Now, time just flies by – you know, ZAP!  One day you are 20 and before you know it 40 is here.  Then, blink your eyes and 65 appears.  Don’t believe me?  Just wait and see (which I hope you will ). A lot of gifts were given and received.  I gave Nancy a new Kindle Fire to replace the old (but still neat) B&W plain Kindle along with a big Amazon gift card so she can download plenty of new books.  She is having a ball learning about the new features and of course, playing Angry Birds. Me?  Well, I got everybody to stop giving me ties, shirts and socks years ago.  Now, they know to give me tools, electronic gadgets, or gift cards to Camping World or Tractor Supply.  I love them all!  Oh, BTW – if you are a member of the Good Sam Club you are now... [Read more...]

A Little Aeration for The Great Outdoors

December 12, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Once you have parked the RV or set up your tent for the night, do you like to sit down and indulge in a great dinner and nice glass of red wine?  If so, then you might be interested in the new Vinturi Travel Aerator. Like its big sibling, The Original Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator, the travel aerator is designed to enhance the bouquet and aroma of the red wine at hand.  The benefit for RVers and campers, however, is that the new product comes with its own swivel case and  is remarkably compact in size. We own and use the original aerator, but when we received a sample of the new Vinturi Travel we were immediately impressed with the design and the compact size. In essence, the aerator will easily fit in our compact travel trailer kitchen and will take up less space than a can opener or a corkscrew. I think this is a great way to add some elegance to a delightful evening in the great outdoors. How many times have you been traveling to and camping in a remote location and found yourself... [Read more...]

Let There Be Light!

December 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Head lamps. Flashlights. Lanterns. Campfires. What is your favorite way to light up a dark night when you are out in the great outdoors? Do you have a favorite flashlight that you depend on? We have used all of these items and our preference for them really depends on the situation. Sitting around a campfire on a summer’s night is great fun. When the kids start dashing around the campground or the park after dark, they definitely need a good flashlight in hand.  For tent camping, a lantern is essential. And, head lamps are critically important in remote areas as well.  When I was shopping with my teenage daughter last week, I stopped by REI to see what was new. I didn’t spend a lot of time there, but I did peruse the flashlight and head lamp section. I thought the Photon Micro Light II  looked very good and well priced.  This personal safety flashlight has an ultra bright LED light that is visible over one mile. And, the light is built to survive serious use! I think this... [Read more...]

‘Twas the Feast of St. Nick…

December 1, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

‘Twas the Feast of St. Nick…

I published a post last year about this time, talking about St. Nick ideas for the avid RVer. My focus last year was on items new on the market. As it is that time of year again, I want to, again, focus on St. Nick ideas, but will be addressing a combination of both the old and the new; some items upon which you rely, most likely need to be replaced and this is a good excuse to trade up for a few of them. We always have a need for a new flashlight and those other items that we use everyday but seldom give much thought to. This year, my husband is in sore need of two items, both of which have been improved since we last purchased them, so these will be my first two suggestions: Our "new addition" 1.  To replace our old generic flashlight from 15 years back, he is getting a new Maglite model that will provide a high intensity light beam. The light has two settings and a krypton bulb and is able to provide either a spot light or a flood light with the flick of a switch.  Also,... [Read more...]

The Magellan RoadMate Pro 9165T GPS Made for RVers – Part 1

November 29, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

The Magellan RoadMate Pro 9165T GPS Made for RVers  – Part 1

Having a reliable GPS riding shotgun with you in a large RV is probably the best way to keep your rig out of trouble. Note the word “reliable” – it is absolutely the key to avoiding dead end roads and low bridges with a rig that is 3 times (or more) the size of an average four-wheeler. Conventional GPS units simply do not suffice for RV use. They have no setting to determine routing based on your width, length, weight, or height.  My “conventional” GPS will direct our RV to weight restricted bridges, low tunnels, narrow streets and advocate U-turns that are impossible with our rig. Rather than suffer through all of these obstacles and possible traffic tickets or damage to your RV, many of us have elected to purchase GPS units specifically programmed for commercial truckers.  These units do an excellent job of avoiding weight, height, or width barriers.  But, the POI (Point Of Interest) or  information database contained in a trucker GPS doesn’t necessarily concern an RVer. ... [Read more...]

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