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Category: Traveling Tips

The World’s Largest Parking Lot

January 8, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

The World’s Largest Parking Lot

Every winter, hundreds of thousands of snowbirds with RVs descend on the tiny desert town of Quartzsite, Arizona. Walking the displays at The Main Event. If you can’t find it at Quartzsite, then you don’t need it. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved For a few months, this dusty little place on I-10 morphs into what National Geographic calls The World’s Largest Parking Lot. Quartzsite is famous for its seasonal swap meets, huge flea market, rock and gem shows, the Big Tent RV show, and numerous other gatherings. When you come over the hills into the valley, it’s like a sea of white out there from the RVs parked all over the desert. Many times I’ve tried to describe Quartzsite to people who haven’t been there, but it’s impossible for them to imagine. As you descend the last pass into the valley, at first glance, it appears you’ve come across an unmapped city in the desert—there are thousands of small buildings spread out everywhere. But then you realize that these are not... [Read more...]

2014 Camping Goals

December 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

2014 Camping Goals

As some of you know, my family and I have a tradition that we engage in each New Years Eve in which each family member lists her/his accomplishments over the past year (a taking stock as it were) and then sets a number of goals for the New Year. For the past few years, I have also set specific camping and travel related goals which I have traditionally shared with our readers in my final post of the year. My husband and I initially developed this process as a way of helping ourselves to look at the progress we have made over the past year when it seemed as if there was none (i.e. transitioning from two children in diapers to only one, for example!); then involved the children in the process as they became old enough, initially writing their goals as they dictated them to us. In 2012, we made a major move from our home state of Wisconsin to our new home in New Mexico. As a result of this major transition, our camper has been parked for the second summer. Ryan celebrating atop Mt. Shavano The... [Read more...]

Fires Destroy 5 RVs, Pickup & Fatality

December 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Fires Destroy 5 RVs, Pickup & Fatality

Whether camping or just relaxing in your recreational vehicle, fire safety is essential. A build-up of propane inside a motorhome sparked an explosion at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds. (Courtesy: WLOX-TV) It is critical that every member of your party know what to do in a fire or other emergency. If you are one of the millions of RV enthusiasts who love to take to the road and explore the country, ensure your family’s safety while travelling in your RV. Recent media reports detail seven separate fires involving recreational vehicles. California: Unattended Cooking Fire Destroys RV & Pickup Santacruzsentinel.com reports that a cooking fire in an RV destroyed the RV and a Chevy pickup. A man was cooking in the RV but was outside the vehicle when the fire started said Zayante Fire Chief John Stipes. The man tried to extinguish it and was burned on his hand, firefighters said. He was not transported to a hospital. The fire spread to the Chevy and briefly threatened trees and a... [Read more...]

Christmas 2013

December 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Christmas time…. Yesterday as I was thinking at what I should write for my post this close to Christmas I was wondering what to write about.   I had no clue what I could write. The snow was falling like crazy outside, my oldest son went three (or was it four?) times to shovel during the dayVing is not on our mind much when snow is surrounding us.  Though we do dream of place we would like to go. So as I was thinking of Christmas, decorated trees and making the almond bars that my family loves so much, I was pondering of my options.    And then it dawned on me.   How do RVers celebrate Christmas?   Do they have a Christmas tree? Can you find a nativity  scene in their RV?   Do they decorate with Christmas lights?   And finally, if I was on the road with my family how will I make the Christmas time special? Last week, the kids decorated some gingerbread buildings and a tree.  Last year, I stumbled on some interesting Gingerbread creations.  While my kids were icing,... [Read more...]

Top 5 Christmas Gifts For the RVer in Your Life

December 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Top 5 Christmas Gifts For the RVer in Your Life

It’s the time of year when Christmas carols fill the air, the smell of fir trees (or cactus or palm trees, depending on your location) waft through the RV, jolly thoughts of eggnog and food—and gifts are exchanged. Following are 5 gift ideas on what to give the RVer in your life or even add them to your own Christmas wish list. 1. Good Sam Club 1.5 million RV owners are members of the Good Sam Club. Membership benefits include 10 percent discount on the regular night camping rate at 2,100+ Good Sam RV parks and campgrounds, up to 30 percent discount at Camping World; discount on fuel purchases at Pilot Flying J Travel Centers, and four free issues of MotorHome or Trailer Life magazine. Also, you may join a local chapter, attend Samborees, and enjoy RV caravan tours to a variety of destinations such as the Rose Bowl Parade and Alaska. A Good Sam Club membership is $25.00 per year. Two and three years memberships are also available for $45.00 and $59.00 respectively. For additional information... [Read more...]

North Dakota Indoor RV Park Keeps Oilfield Workers Out of the Cold

December 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

North Dakota Indoor RV Park Keeps Oilfield Workers Out of the Cold

About seven months ago I reported that a group of Minnesota partners were planning an indoor RV park to house North Dakota oilfield workers five miles south of Watford City, North Dakota. North Dakota Indoor RV Park Keeps Oilfield Workers Out of the Cold When initially proposed, the idea prompted mixed reactions. “So many people thought we were crazy,” Louis Bonneville of Carlton, Minnesota, one of the park’s owners, told the Forum News Service. But for workers like John Coffer, who spent North Dakota winter months in his RV and once got stuck inside when the door froze, the option to move his camper indoors was a pleasant change. “It’s nice to step out of your RV and not step into a pile of snow,” said Coffer, a natural gas plant operator. The North Dakota Indoor RV Park recently expanded and the owners have turned down offers to replicate the concept elsewhere, said Bonneville, the park’s managing partner. The park consists of 10 insulated and climate-controlled buildings... [Read more...]

Why Purchase an RV Extended Service Plan?

December 15, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal recently about Mechanical-Breakdown Insurance (MBI). The gist of the article was do you purchase one of these policies, or do you skip it? If you are not familiar with mechanical-breakdown insurance it is insurance designed to protect you from costly vehicle repair bills after any factory warranties expire. The article I read was based on MBI for your automobile, but similar type plans are offered to protect RV owners. These plans are usually referred to as Extended Service Plans (ESP) or Extended Service Contracts. From an RV industry insider’s viewpoint I was interested in what the article had to say. I have always recommended that RV owners purchase a reputable extended service plan, considering a typical repair to an RV, say the refrigerator, can easily exceed $1,000. An important point mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article was that MBI and ESP’s are similar in terms of what they are intended to do, but there are differences the... [Read more...]

It’s Time for Snow…Birds, That Is

December 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s Time for Snow…Birds, That Is

We have chosen to be reasonably warm year-round, so we are snowbirds. Winter weather is close to perfect in Palm Springs and the other desert resort cities in the Coachella Valley. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Every year when I hear the honks of the Canada geese overhead at our home in Alberta, something in my genes starts pulling my inner-compass to the South. And an inner voice whispers: “Surely you’re as smart as a goose.” Feeling that I am at least as smart as a silly goose, I line up the motorhome with that compass pointer and head for the Sun Belt. Yes, the migration has begun. The weather is frigid and snowy and the days are shorter. And for Snowbirds, the U.S. Sunbelt has the ideal weather and is the ideal location to stop and spend the winter months. Who Are The Snowbirds?  Snowbirds tend to travel about the same way our feathered friends travel, north to south. Snowbirds from Maine to Minne-snow-ta to Alberta have begun their journey south to balmy weather in their... [Read more...]

RVing ’round Texas

December 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

RVing ’round Texas

Even those of us who visit Texas frequently and spend a big chunk of our time traversing it leave most of the Lone Star State untouched. Our Texas RV Travel Bucket List continues. Goliad At Goliad State Park, tour the beautiful reconstructed Franciscan Mission Espíritu Santo, home of the largest ranching operation in Texas in the 18th century © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Goliad is one of the few places in North America where you can visit both an 18th-century Spanish-Colonial mission and presidio (fort) complex, to understand the roles of the Catholic Church and the Spanish military in settling the New World. At Goliad State Park, tour the beautiful reconstructed Franciscan Mission Espíritu Santo, home of the largest ranching operation in Texas in the 18th century. Enjoy the serenity of this Spanish colonial church and view exhibits that explore the history and daily life of the missionaries and Indian converts—including some of the original artifacts they used. Across the river,... [Read more...]

Plan a trip to Walt Disney World with a guide in hands

December 7, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Plan a trip to Walt Disney World with a guide in hands

I will admit that I have never gone to Walt Disney World with kids.   I went as a kid when I was 8 or 9 years old and I went during our honeymoon but so far we have not brought our kids to WDW.   Part of me is looking forward to it while part of me is a little bit anxious about what to expect.  Don’t take me wrong, we have brought the kids to places like the zoo and museums but haven’t explore the theme parks option yet.    And knowing that WDW has changed quite a bit since our last trip there in 1998 – well I know that not only my own kids will be in awe with the magic we will find there. So as I dream and slowly consider this a possibility for 2014, my husband thought it would be a great idea to plan in advance.  We know what we want to see and where we would stay.   But having books and such helps us to determine what options we could incorporate in our trip.   Today I would like to present you a book written by a lifelong Disney fan who has visited the WDW over 100... [Read more...]

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