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Green RVing

December 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

RVing is proven to be the “Greenest”  and most environmentally friendly way to vacation, so why not learn how to go Green RVing to make it that much “greener?” RVing beats (and generates less carbon dioxide than) flying in an airplane, renting a car, and staying in hotels. Here are some ways to go Green RVing: Use an RV or tow vehicle that is diesel, and therefore promoting greater fuel efficiency. Use an RV that is lighter weight (hence being lighter to tow and uses less gas) that is made out of eco-friendly composites. Some of these compact RVs have even been known to have MPGs that rival those of large trucks and SUVs, making them more efficient. Use a smaller RV that is creatively designed to give you the feel of a larger RV and one with a more aerodynamic front end to help with wind resistance that larger, more boxy RVs battle. Use power-saving LEDs, renewable woods, green textiles, as well as other eco-friendly options throughout your RV. Go Solar! Use... [Read more...]

The Origins of Winter Texans

December 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Origins of Winter Texans

Thousands of snow-weary northerners flock to Texas for the winter. The colorful green jay is usually seen in brushy areas anddense woods in the lower Rio Grande Valley.. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved In Texas—a state famous for adding its unique flair—migrating snowbirds have been affectionately dubbed Winter Texans. Most congregate in one of two areas: Coastal Bend and Rio Grande Valley. The majority of Winter Texans flock to “The Valley”, an area near the Mexican border that stretches from Brownsville and Harlingen in the east to Mission in the west—a distance of about 65 miles. The Valley lies at nearly the same latitude as Miami, Florida. Winters tend to be mild and a bit breezy; however, the weather can be unpredictable. The Valley enjoys a year ’round sub-tropical climate with an average temperature of 74°F. The average rainfall is 23.2 inches. The Valley is arguably the best bargain in the U.S. for wintering in a warm climate. While the area offers everything... [Read more...]

Mark, My Words – with Mark Nemeth, September 2014

September 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi, folks. This month we’ll talk about bearings, generators, long term parking, water heaters and tire problems. Remember, you can submit your RVing questions to Happy Trails! ————————————— Mark: How often should you repack your wheel bearings on a travel trailer? I am hearing once a year. Is this correct? I can do myself but was wondering is there a video or something that can walk a person through this, as taking it to an RV dealer is rather expensive yearly. Thanks, Nolan Hi, Nolan: If your trailer is only used a few weekends a year and is never submerged in water (like a boat trailer), you can probably go quite a bit longer than one year before you need to worry too much about repacking the bearings. If you travel extensively, the one-year interval is actually a good idea. Even if the bearings are fine, pulling the hub and drum allows you to inspect the brake components for wear. Repacking... [Read more...]

Emergency Road Service

July 16, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Enhance Your Traveling With Good Sam Emergency Roadside Service; trips are worry-free! By Jim Brightly, KF7SCT   You wouldn’t think of driving your car or taking your RV on a tour without liability plus collision and compensation insurance, would you? Well, Good Sam Emergency Roadside Service is insurance. Insurance that assures that your trips can continue even if something untoward should happen along the highway. It provides assistance should a flat tire occur, fuel if for whatever reason you should need it, a battery for a quick start, and a tow if that should prove necessary as well.   An RV is a wonderful and exciting tool! A tool that can take you places you’d probably never visit if you weren’t an RVer. Not only can you visit new wonders in your RV, you can also enjoy your own bedding, your own pillows, and your own bathroom in your own RV. For some of us, these are important aspects of a comfortable life. But even the strongest tool can bend or break, and then assistance... [Read more...]

Sun Valley Celebrates 38 Years as a Good Sam Park

July 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Sun Valley Celebrates 38 Years as a Good Sam Park

Founded in 1976, Sun Valley Campground specializes in treating guests right. Now in its 38th year as a Good Sam Park, Sun Valley, located in Chillicothe, Ohio, boasts 50 spaces, a game room, rec room, playground and pond. The RV park caters to larger motorhomes, and offers 50-amp power in addition to 30-amp sites. Plans are in the works for expanding their amenities for bigger coaches. Owner Norma Gartner says that understanding the customer is key to longevity of the park. “I treat people the way I want to be treated,” says Norma. “We give them a safe, clean environment with reasonable rates.” Gartner says she always strives to provide a creating a clean, fun place where families and couples can feel welcome and comfortable during their travels. “We have playground have two shelter houses for family reunions, birthday parties and wedding receptions,” explains Norma. “We love people and love to see families have a good time.” Guests at Sun Valley can go fishing at the pond,... [Read more...]

Mark My Words—Q&A With Mark Nemeth, July 2014

July 15, 2014 by · 5 Comments 

Hi, folks. This month we’ll talk about exhaust fumes, rubber roofs, leaks, brakes and backing. Remember, you can submit your RVing questions to Happy Trails! —————————————————————— Mark: When I run my generator while driving my class-A, the fumes come into the motorhome, especially into the rear bedroom. Is there a way to prevent this?  Debbie Hi, Debbie: That kind of problem is very dangerous. Please don’t run the generator again until you locate the problem and fix it! I would start by looking at the inside of the generator compartment for any obvious damage or openings that could be allowing the exhaust gases to enter the rig. Also take a close look at the generator’s exhaust system to be sure there are no holes in any of the components, and that the tailpipe and all other parts are intact. If everything around the generator... [Read more...]

RV Lingo Explained

July 5, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

RV Lingo Explained

Grandpa teaches RV lingo to new RVer After you bought your first RV, did you feel like you had to learn a new language to understand the lingo you were now hearing from your fellow RVers? You’re not alone. As in nearly every sport, occupation, or lifestyle – including the RV lifestyle – new words pop up that you’ve never heard before and familiar words sometimes take on new meanings. So, to ease your way into the RV Lifestyle, I’ve attempted to take the mystery out of some of the more common RV jargon, RV lingo, and RV clichés. Read on. Basement – Storage area beneath the floor of a motorhome, accessible from the outside and sometimes through an internal trap door. Boondocking (or Dry Camping) – Camping without hooking up to an external electric, sewer, or water source, using electricity from the RV’s batteries, solar panels, wind turbine, or generator, using internal tanks for waste, and water from a fresh water holding tank. Blue Boy – A portable wheeled plastic... [Read more...]

Rain? Wind? Heat? What clothes to bring for summer camping

June 17, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Summer camping fun includes fishing and canoeing I will tell you right up front, I can predict what the weather will be for your summer camping trip. It is important to know this so you know what clothes to bring for summer camping. Will it rain, or be foggy? How about wind? Will it be muggy hot in the afternoon but with a teeth-chattering morning chill? My prediction to these questions is: Yes – to all. In fact, this prediction would also apply to what to bring to summer camp besides clothes since the weather – and its unpredictability – will determine what activities to pursue. But first, the clothes. Other than bringing along your entire wardrobe, a well-planned  camping trip will include what you need but will not take up valuable space with what you don’t. Convertible pants – Serve as protection from morning chill and hiking in tick country. But when it warms up, just zip off the bottoms of the pants and you have a pair of shorts. Stuff the amputated legs in your day pack. Shorts... [Read more...]

Mark My Words

June 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Mark My Words

Hi, folks. This month we’ll talk about tires, decals, slides, and batteries. Remember, you can submit your RVing questions to Happy Trails! ——————————————————————– Hello, Mark: I have a Cedar Creek fifth-wheel with four 235/85R16 original tires. They are about 5 years old at this point. I plan to pull the trailer 6,000-7,000 miles this summer.  Should I renew these tires, and if so what kind of tires can I get that should give me trouble free travel for a few years? My trailer weighs about 14,000 pounds. Charles Hi, Charles: Your rig is most likely equipped with “LT” tires, so you will have a large number of brands to choose from. Opinions vary on which tires are best for RVs, and everyone has his own favorite. In most cases, you will pay more for better quality tires, so I would avoid the very inexpensive offerings and stick... [Read more...]

Ten essential items for your first RV camping trip

June 1, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Ten essential items for your first RV camping trip

When I was a first time RVer I squeezed everything except the hot tub and tennis court into every available crevice and closet, as if my true happiness depended on every single item. When I became a fulltimer, my camping gear list had grown to Godzilla-like proportions. But, as more camping days passed under my wheels so did the bread crumb trail of discarded gear and supplies that I discovered I could do without. However, after years of RVing, this is an educated guess of the essential items for a camping gear list. Basic camping gear list First Aid Kit –Find a good all-around assembled first aid kit at Camping World and add your personal preferences to it, such as anti-itch cream (for poison oak/ivy and insect bites). Day/fanny pack – Take your grab-and-go pack with you whenever you leave your rig for a hike, day of sightseeing, or to town for supplies. Include insect spray, sunblock, stuff-sack windbreaker, small first aid kit (travel variety, not the same as the master first aid... [Read more...]

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