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Category: Preparation & Readiness

RVers Pays for Deceiving Border Officials

May 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

RVers Pays for Deceiving Border Officials

Once again RVers and other travelers entering Canada, attempting to dodge a few extra dollars in taxes, ended up paying significantly more for their misdemeanor after their schemes were uncovered by Canada Border Services Agents (CSBA) at border crossings in North Portal and the Estevan Highway during March. CBSA agents report that one example occurred on March 1 when a Saskatchewan resident importing a motorhome declared its value at $21,500. CBSA officers conducted a routine secondary examination and found an Internet listing for the motorhome and after contacting the sellers, determined the motorhome had actually been purchased for $36,500 and therefore had been undervalued at the port by $15,000, reports the Estevan Mercury. The motorhome was seized and only returned to the purchaser after he had paid a penalty of $8,485.13 to retrieve it. If the motorhome had been correctly declared, the taxes owing would have amounted to $771. In other border related incidents, CBSA officers reported... [Read more...]

7 Tips for Planning a Successful Camping Trip

May 20, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

7 Tips for Planning a Successful Camping Trip

If you are going on a camping trip planning is essential. Camping at Arches National Park, Utah. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Whether you are a retired senior planning the trip of a lifetime, a snowbird, family looking for an economical way to vacation, or a couple looking to get away from the stresses of the work week, camping provides the perfect alternative to the conventional holiday. It also allows you to experience the fresh air that camping in the countryside offers and to meet new friends. But like any getaway, whether it’s for a weekend, a month, or an extended period, camping requires careful preparation to ensure all goes smoothly. When you think of what you’ll need for a road trip, a common list unfolds. Food, beverages, snacks, paper products, lawn chairs, maps, and GPS are all normal items you might bring along. Packing List The night before leaving on the camping trip will be less hectic if you plan ahead what to pack. Be careful not to over pack, take only... [Read more...]

Beach Camping Must-Haves!

May 17, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Beach Camping Must-Haves!

Growing up mostly beach camping with my immediate and extended family, I can honestly say the beach is my all-time favorite destination for camping.  Two of the top reasons I prefer beach camping are the relaxing rhythmic sounds of the waves crashing on the shore that lull you to sleep each night and the countless recreational opportunities, in and out of the ocean, that fill your glorious days while camping at the beach. When camping on the west coast, you also have the added benefit of watching the sunset dip into the ocean, which is always the ideal way to end a fun day at the beach.  Many beach camping sites are right on the sand, which is preferable in my opinion (especially if you are tent camping).  Other beach camp sites can be on a rocky cliff, with paved spots overlooking the beach below.  Either way, you will want the exquisite ocean view from your camp and (hopefully) an easy walk to the shore. Wildlife viewing along the coast is also a fun pastime.  From the daily and... [Read more...]

Camping with Kids Part II

April 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Camping with Kids Part II

The best thing to do, before the packing even begins, is to lower your expectations.  Take a deep breath, relax and realize that no matter what happens (or doesn’t, for that matter), this is going to be a fun, memorable adventure for you and your family…especially for your kids.  :) With that said, here are a few more pointers that have certainly helped me in the past when camping with my kids: Pack extra clothes- Not only will you want to layer your kids, like you do yourself when camping, you will also want to make sure you have plenty of extra outfits on hand (just in case).  Kids fly through outfits faster than normal when camping.  Between the amount of time they are spending outdoors, to the lack of being able to fully baby proof while camping (meaning things are much more accessible for curious little hands), and also just from the sheer enjoyment of yummy treats, such as s’mores.  Let’s face it, they’re messy and very sticky!!  Also make sure... [Read more...]

Camping with Kids Part I

April 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Camping with Kids Part I

Camping with Kids Part I (Tent, RV,Cabin, Teepee, Under the Stars, Etc) Whether you are venturing out for the first time with your own kids or you are bringing along the grand kids with you for a camp out,  this comprehensive guide should help you have a more successful camping trip.  Happy, content, and well-rested kids, helps provide a more restful, relaxing, and less hectic camping experience for the adults. Camp at kid-friendly campgrounds-you will want to have plenty of options to fill their daytime hours, whether you enjoy hiking, swimming, biking, petting zoos, water parks, playgrounds, horseback riding, etc. Pack a bed (cot, pack and play, etc) and/or sleeping bag for each kid- You may think that since they sleep in your bed with you at home, they will do best sleeping with you while camping.  While it may seem like a good idea at the time, sharing a sleeping bag with your little one–even the zip-together bigger sleeping bags– can make getting a good night’s... [Read more...]

Iowa Senate OKs RV Registration Fee Tax Grab

March 26, 2013 by · 5 Comments 

Iowa Senate OKs RV Registration Fee Tax Grab

In a recent story I reported that the governor of a northern state has proposed a snowbird tax on residents who live 60 days to just under six months in the state. Lake Osprey RV Country Club on the Alabama Gulf Coast is a destination Luxury RV Resort designed for high-end RVs. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota told snowbirds that since you’re rich, you can pay more. “It’s time snowbirds paid their fair share!” Now another northern state has declared war on the so-called rich. The Iowa Senate approved a bill intended to prevent tax evaders (their words, not mine) from using out-of-state shell corporations to avoid paying registration fees on million-dollar recreational vehicles and other luxury vehicles. Sen. Tod Bowman, D-Maquoketa, said violators will face criminal charges and penalties under the legislation, which now goes to the House, according to a report by the Des Moines Register. He said Senate File 364 will make it easier to crack down... [Read more...]

Getting Ready to Head Out? Don’t Forget the Final Check on your RV!

March 7, 2013 by · 5 Comments 

Getting Ready to Head Out?  Don’t Forget the Final Check on your RV!

Have you ever forgotten to do the final check on your RV before driving away from your house or campsite? I have an uncle, whom I love dearly, who drove out of his driveway with his RV still plugged into the wall of his house.  As a fairly new RV-owner and having felt rushed for time when departing, he enjoys amusing  his listeners with the retelling of this story… They were headed to New Mexico from Los Angeles, to visit their son and his family, when it happened.  He didn’t realize it at first, but he was dragging the long electrical cord and cover from the wall, behind him for some time.   At first when he spotted the kids pointing at his RV, he thought smugly to himself: “Yep, they must be impressed with my nice Class-A.”  Only once he noticed that they were actually laughing and pointing, did he begin to think something must be up. Then it occurred to him to check all of his mirrors to make sure everything was as it should be.  This is when he spotted the... [Read more...]

Life’s Seasons

March 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Life’s Seasons

Have you ever had one of those days?  When it feels like everything that could possibly go wrong, goes wrong?  And no matter how hard you try to turn it around, it just keeps going downhill?  This has been the story of my life recently. From the moment I woke up and realized I had overslept, I should have just called in sick and said “forget it!”  Instead I went to work and got some incredible life-changing news.  Rather than coming home and going straight for the bottle or chocolate (like many women I know would), I chose to take a nice long run.  For me, a long run used to entail 6+ miles, nowadays it means more like a measly 2-3 miles, if I’m lucky. With the baby in the Bob jogger and daughter on the bike that connects to my husband’s bike, we all went out to burn some calories, have some quality outdoor time together, and even hit the park on the way home.  This evening’s weather was mirroring my mood in the most remarkable way: complete with dark, threatening... [Read more...]

RV Campground Search Made Easy

March 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

RV Campground Search Made Easy

Fourth of July is right around the corner and I just got the best news!  My family is bringing their RV for that weekend to celebrate Independence Day and go camping with us at the beach!  We realized there may not be many places left for such a popular camping weekend, so I got right to work on finding us a great RV park that fits all of our needs and has space for us. I recently read that Woodall’s has a new campground search, so I decided to use it to help find us a couple camp sites nearby in Ventura.  The New Campground Search Engine is conveniently located right on their website homepage at http://www.woodalls.com/.  First, I plugged in the city and state (Ventura, CA) and it instantly came up with 45 results within a 50 mile radius of Ventura.   Then, because my family is coming to Ventura to be close to the beach, I opted to sort the results of my search with the “distance” option.  The other convenient options you can use for sorting/viewing your search listing... [Read more...]

Time To Hang Up The Keys?

February 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The time has come.  You’ve reached the stage where you either have no choice or have decided to “hang up the keys”.  Now what?  I asked that question of several RVers and, not surprisingly, most haven’t thought of it.  Some have given it considerable thought and some just have a vague idea of what they’ll do.  Don’t let your future be the anthem of “Que Sera Sera…whatever will be will be.” The first answer I received was from David Violette who writes a blog that I follow called Travels with Dave & Elaine Violette.  “So far, our loose criterion has been “when health issues require it.” was Dave’s response when I asked if they had a plan.  He further elaborated that “As to what we’ll do when we no longer want to be mobile: we’ll probably buy a small place somewhere with amenities we enjoy. Phoenix is a candidate since we have lived there and like it, but there are other choices. We may keep an RV and travel some seasonally; depends... [Read more...]

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