Carbon Monoxide: Odorless & DEADLY In All Seasons

On a cool Wednesday in March this year, a couple was enjoying their RV at a KOA campground in Nashville. Their bodies were discovered by family members who traveled to Nashville to check on the couple after they were unable to reach them for several days.

Carbon Monoxide: Odorless & DEADLY In All Seasons

Carbon Monoxide: Odorless & DEADLY In All Seasons

One of the propane-gas stove burners had been left on accidentally, police said, filling the air with carbon monoxide. The RV had a carbon monoxide detector, but, it had no batteries. The couple had been living at the campground for about six months, according to WRCB-TV.

Every year on average, over 400 people die in the United States of carbon monoxide poisoning that’s not fire-related. Thousands more are treated and sometimes hospitalized.

The Columbia (Missouri) Tribune reports that carbon monoxide poisoning is to blame in the death of a couple in rural Pike County. They were found in a small camper where they had been living. The coroner concluded that a propane space heater in the camper likely caused carbon monoxide poisoning.

Usually, we think of this as a winter issue. That’s when gas-producing generators and fireplaces generally get fired up. But in northern areas where summertime camping is popular, carbon monoxide remains a concern in all seasons.


Carbon monoxide is produced when you burn any one of various fuels, including wood, charcoal, kerosene, stove oil, and propane. Camping stoves and grills are sources. So are internal combustion engines, like those in generators.

Carbon Monoxide: Odorless & DEADLY In All Seasons

Carbon Monoxide: Odorless & DEADLY In All Seasons

One of the things that makes carbon monoxide so dangerous is it has no odor or color. Your only clues that you’re being poisoned may be general symptoms easily attributed to another problem. Or, if you’re asleep or intoxicated, you may not detect the poisoning at all.

So it’s important to prevent carbon monoxide from becoming an issue in the first place. Fortunately, there are good ways to do that:

Use portable generators outside only. Place far away from windows, doors, and vents. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 20 feet.) Point the exhaust away from your RV, tent, or house.

Never use a stove or grill to heat your tent, camper, or house. Even a warm, unlit grill is dangerous; warm coals continue producing carbon monoxide. The grill lid doesn’t protect you. Instead, for camping, remember to pack plenty of blankets and coats.

Grill in open air only, not even in a garage.

Don’t use a portable lantern when sleeping in a tent or RV. Bring flashlights and extra batteries instead.

Ensure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Test it monthly, and change the batteries every six months.

Don’t ride or let your children ride in the bed of a covered pickup truck, such as one with a camper shell. Exhaust fumes can gather in there.

Inspect the RV for openings in the floor and sidewalls (seal any holes with silicone adhesive or have it repaired before using your generator again). Inspect windows, door seals, and weather strips for effective seal.

Yellow flames in propane-burning appliances (coach heaters, stoves, ovens, water heaters, etc.) indicate a lack of oxygen—determine the cause and correct it immediately.


Carbon Monoxide: Odorless & DEADLY In All Seasons

Inspect the RV chassis and generator exhaust system regularly to ensure they are working properly. “Inspect for exhaust leaks at every startup and after every eight hours of running,” recommends Keystone RV Company in a carbon monoxide fact sheet. Here are a few more of their tips:

Don’t use exhaust fans when the generator’s running. They could cause carbon monoxide to be sucked into the RV.

Fully open or close slide-outs for a proper seal.

Know that parking in a confined space can reduce airflow around the RV and cause carbon monoxide to build up. Even in the woods, if there’s a lot of natural covering, carbon monoxide can hover there rather than disperse. High humidity can also create a covering.

Be aware that shifting winds can cause exhaust to blow away from the coach at one moment, but under the coach in the next moment.

Nearby RVs and vehicles can affect you too. In 2008 in Indianapolis, one man died in his RV from carbon monoxide poisoning and three of his family members were hospitalized, but the family hadn’t been using a generator. Police believe their air conditioner may have pulled in carbon monoxide from the RV parked close to them.

Worth Pondering…

Remember, safety is no accident.

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$4.3 Million Class Action Fraud Verdict In Membership Camping Case

In previous articles on Vogel Talks RVing, I’ve discussed membership camping—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Securities-settlements-gavel-money-article-25In an earlier article I reviewed the current information, misinformation, and confusion about membership camping in order to assist the consumer in making a more informed decision.

Today’s post details an ugly aspect of membership camping as it pertains to one—and I emphasize, only one— membership campground system—Halo Resorts Inc.

Halo Resorts consists of two campgrounds located in southern California between San Bernardino and Palm Springs—Oak Glen Retreat (38955 Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa) and Fisherman’s Retreat (32300 San Timoteo Canyon Road, Redding).

After a two week trial, a San Bernardino Superior Court jury reached a unanimous fraud verdict for intentional misrepresentation, concealment, and negligent misrepresentation and awarded $3.585 million in damages and $750,000 in punitive damages to 2,500 members who purchased campground memberships and/or paid membership fees to Halo Resorts Inc. from December 16, 2007 to February 20, 2013, according to a written announcement from one of the law firms in the case.

fraudPrevention“A jury found Halo Resorts falsely represented to its members that it was entitled to charge these fees and concealed the fact that they were not entitled to charge the fees,” said attorney Kitty Szeto with the R. Rex Parris law firm who tried the case with attorney Kevin Shenkman of Shenkman and Hughes law firm.

“For several years, Halo Resorts has sold a ‘lifetime membership’ to thousands of consumers over those years. Essentially, the membership entitled consumers to utilize the facilities and amenities at Halo Resorts’ two membership campgrounds, and obligated members to pay annual dues to Halo Resorts,” said Szeto.

“Halo Resorts charged its members fees that were never disclosed in their contracts and in violation of the California Membership Camping Act. Members were charged termination fees, transfer fees, and were tricked into going to the campgrounds to take a new photo ID but then were forced into 10 -by-10 rooms and were presented with different options: (1) to leave their memberships alone but then their annual dues would increase and they would be assessed a $60 monthly surcharge for the next five years; (2) purchase an upgrade (gold, silver, or bronze for $3,994 and up) which essentially gave them nothing more than what they already paid for; and (3) terminate their membership by paying $2,350. Unconscionably, consumers were forced to make a decision that day within the hour,” said Szeto.

A judge will be deciding three remaining claims (violation of the California Membership Camping Act, Unfair Competition, and Unjust Enrichment).

Case Name: Wilkinson v. Halo Resorts, Inc. - Case No. CIV DS 1114158.

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a consumer frauds lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.

Disclaimer: I am a member of Thousand Trails, Western Horizon Resorts, and Passport America camping club but do not represent them or sell memberships.

Worth Pondering…

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.

—Peter Drucker

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10 Facts About Airstream

Airstream, manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest and most recognized recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

1958 Airstream Der Kleine Prinz

1958 Airstream Der Kleine Prinz (The Little Prince) at the RVMH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Indiana. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The design of the Airstream was based on an airplane fuselage with lightweight aluminum and the effect was stunning, sleek, and silver.

Founder Wally Byam stated in 1936 that he is in business “to make people’s dreams come true.”

When Airstream began, there were less than 48 trailer manufacturers that were registered for business. Five years later, nearly 400 companies squared off against each other. Today of those 400 companies, only Airstream remains.

Born in the California backyard of inventor Wally Byam and inspired by a trailer designed by Hawley Bowlus, the famed chief builder of The Spirit of St. Louis, the Airstream’s modernist aesthetic has remained relatively unchanged in eight decades, and its industrial durability has earned a reputation without peer with more than 65 percent of all Airstreams still on the road today.

Following founder Wally Byam’s credo, “Let’s not make changes, let’s only make improvements,” Airstream has remained a timeless classic throughout its 82-year history.

Wally Byam designed his first Airstream in 1931, and the current versions still maintain that early, distinctive look. Shiny, sleekly rounded and riveted together, the aluminum recreational trailers have been rolling down the highway since before there was an interstate system, picking up legions of loyalists along the way.

Wally Byam pulls his '30s Airstream in a promo.

Wally Byam pulls his ’30s Airstream in a promo.

Airstreams have always had their fans, but now they are cashing in on their cult following, with sales that have recovered from the recession and prices that exceed the industry norm for both new and used trailers. These days Airstreams seem to be popular across the board, from young travelers who tether their bikes on the back, to seniors who spend their retirement seeing the country in their Airstream Flying Clouds or Land Yachts.

10 Facts About Airstream

1. A 1960 Airstream Bambi trailer has a permanent home at New York’s Museum of Modern Art as an example of excellence in design.

2. The aluminum outer shell of the Airstream is based on an airplane fuselage design. Its rounded corners make it more aerodynamic, cutting drag by 20 percent and increasing fuel mileage.

3. Airstreamers love to attend rallies and travel in caravans around the nation, and the world. The first official Wally Byam Caravan Club was formed in 1955 in Nova Scotia. One of the earliest caravan routes was up the length of Africa, from Cape Town to Cairo.

Life on the Road in an Airstream with Matthew McConaughey

Life on the Road in an Airstream with Matthew McConaughey

4. Airstreams have some famous fans. Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Adrian Brody, Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, Lenny Kravitz, and Sean Penn are just a few celebrity Airstream owners. In fact, Matthew McConaughy lived in a 28-foot Airstream for several years in Malibu before buying a house there, which still has enough property for the three Airstreams he now owns.

5. President John F. Kennedy used an Airstream for a mobile office when he spent time in White Sands, New Mexico, checking out Army innovations.

6. Designer Ralph Lauren transformed four vintage Airstream trailers a dozen years ago and auctioned them off to raise money for his foundation, which benefits medically underserved patients.

7. After returning from the moon in 1969, Neil Armstrong and other members of the Apollo 11 crew were quarantined for three weeks in an Airstream to determine whether they had been exposed to lunar pathogens.

Create only memories with an Airstream

Create only memories with an Airstream

8. When flying to visit the troops in Afghanistan, first lady Laura Bush spent time in her own private Airstream on board the plane.

9. A 1957 Airstream trailer became one of the early symbols of MTV. It was displayed outside its headquarters in Santa Monica, California.

10. Two classics combined in 2009 when Airstream partnered with Victorinox Swiss Army for a world tour in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the original Swiss Army knife.

Worth Pondering…

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band, I saw a needle that winked its eye. But I think I will have seen everything When I see an Airstream fly.

—music and lyrics by Oliver Wallace and Ned Washington, in Dumbo

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Texas Gulf Coast Habitat Becomes State Park

A multi-partner coalition including the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) Foundation has announced the purchase of the 17,351-acre Powderhorn Ranch along the Texas Gulf Coast in Calhoun County.

Wetland Marsh Waterways at Powderhorn Lake

Wetland Marsh Waterways at Powderhorn Lake (Credit: Jerod Foster)

The acquisition will conserve a spectacular piece of property that is one of the largest remaining tracts of unspoiled coastal prairie in the state. At $37.7 million it is the largest dollar amount ever raised for a conservation land purchase in the state and represents a new partnership model of achieving conservation goals in an era of rapidly rising land prices.

In years to come, Powderhorn Ranch is expected to become a state park and wildlife management area.

Safeguarding this natural treasure has been contemplated for more than 30 years by several conservation organizations and wildlife agencies including The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Along with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), these organizations are playing a critical role in the acquisition and long-term conservation of this property.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is spearheading the fundraising for the $50 million project, which includes the purchase of the property, habitat restoration and management, as well as a long-term endowment.

Aerial Photo of Fringe Marshes Along Powderhorn Lake

Aerial Photo of Fringe Marshes Along Powderhorn Lake (Credit: Earl Nottingham/TPWD)

The real estate transaction has been more than two years in the making. Powderhorn Ranch was previously owned by Cumberland & Western Resources, LLC, whose primary investors are conservation-minded citizens who sold the property below its market value to ensure its permanent safekeeping.

A significant portion of the funding for the project is being provided by NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, which was created with dollars paid by BP and Transocean in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. NFWF has committed $34.5 million over the next three years, making this the biggest land acquisition in the nation so far using BP spill restoration dollars.

The acquisition will protect in perpetuity unspoiled coastal land with forests of coastal live oak and intact wetlands. This range of habitats is perfect for public hunting, fishing, hiking, paddling, and bird watching. These nature tourism activities currently bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the Texas coast.

Cactus and Wetlands Along Powderhorn Lake

Cactus and Wetlands Along Powderhorn Lake (Credit: Jerod Foster)

The property also includes thousands of acres of freshwater wetlands and salt marshes that offer vital fish and wildlife habitat, provide natural filtering to improve water quality, and shield people and property from storm surges and sea level rise. The ranch includes more than eleven miles of tidal bay front on Matagorda Bay and provides habitat for hundreds of species of birds and animals, including the endangered whooping crane.


Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

Founded in 1991, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is the non-profit funding partner of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.


National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation’s wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, the Foundation directs public conservation dollars to pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions.


The Conservation Fund

For nearly 30 years, The Conservation Fund has been saving special places across America. They have protected more than seven million acres nationwide including more than 193,000 acres of natural lands across Texas, including the Big Thicket National Preserve, Fort Davis National Historic Site, San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, and along the Neches River and the Gulf Coast.


The Nature Conservancy 

Powderhorn Ranch Regional Context Map

Powderhorn Ranch Regional Context Map (Credit: Earl Nottingham/TPWD)

The Nature Conservancy has been responsible for the protection of more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide and the operation of more than 100 marine projects globally. In the Lone Star State, The Nature Conservancy owns more than 30 nature preserves and conservation properties across Texas.


Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) operates 95 Texas state parks, natural areas and historic sites, 46 wildlife management areas, three saltwater fish hatcheries, and five freshwater hatcheries.


Texas Spoken Friendly

Worth Pondering…

What Texans can dream, Texans can do.

—George W. Bush

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Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour

Jackson Center, Ohio-based Airstream announced the introduction of a new addition to the brand’s Interstate Class B motorhome lineup, the Airstream Interstate Grand Tour.

Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour

Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour

Combining the qualities of the classic “silver bullet” Airstream travel trailer with the Airstream Interstate, the new Interstate Grand Tour offers all the amenities of a “home on the road” with the quality, easy maneuverability, and convenience of a motorhome from Airstream.

The new Interstate Grand Tour is built on the foundation of the Airstream Interstate EXT touring coach, a Class B motorhome with a Mercedes-Benz chassis.

The Interstate Grand Tour combines functionality for everything from short camping trips to extended adventures with three Airstream interior décor choices. Compared to the standard Interstate range, the Grand Tour design includes a larger galley with additional counter and multi-functional storage space, a flexible workspace desk and an expanded bathroom area, oversized fridge and freezer, standard power awning, and optional dual screen doors.

“The Interstate Grand Tour provides everything a couple needs for a comfortable and convenient life on the open road,” said Airstream CEO and President Bob Wheeler, in a news release.

Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour

Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour

“For more than 80 years, Airstream travel trailers have enabled people to explore the romance of the world around them. The new Grand Tour embraces that spirit of adventure in a modern, perfectly sized, premium touring coach.”

“Like our traditional Airstream travel trailers, the Interstate Grand Tour touring coach packs so much luxury and utility into a convenient package—office, bedroom, patio, the works,” added Wheeler.

“It brings the classic Airstream design aesthetic to life, with well thought-out features, exceptional fit and finish and attention to detail.”

The new Interstate Grand Tour will be available at Airstream retailers beginning in September.

The Interstate Grand Tour is based on the Interstate EXT and has an overall exterior length of 24 feet 4.5 inches and an overall exterior height of 9 feet 8 inches.

Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour

Airstream Introduces New Interstate Grand Tour

With its car-like handling and standard rear backup camera, it is easy to maneuver on the road, in campsites and in parking lots.

Standard features include UltraLeatherseating, convertible rear sofa/6-foot 10-inch double bed, Corian countertops, adjustable LED interior lighting, drawer microwave, refrigerator/freezer, large bathroom with shower, navigation system, Kenwood Multimedia Entertainment System with rear speakers, twin high definition LED televisions, and rear storage space. The interior is offered in a range of durable yet luxurious fabrics and colors.

The Interstate Grand Tour also includes Xenon headlights, forged aluminum-alloy wheels, hidden trailer hitch, power awning ,and power entry step.



Airstream, maker of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

Following founder Wally Byam’s credo, “Let’s not make changes, let’s only make improvements” Airstream has remained a timeless classic.

A division of Thor Industries, Airstream is based in Jackson Center, Ohio.

Address: 419 West Pike Street, P.O. Box 629, Jackson Center, OH 45334-0629

Phone: (877) 596-6111 (toll free)


Worth Pondering…

Airstream Song

Sometimes I wish I lived in airstream homemade curtains
Lived just like a gypsy.
Break a heart, roll out of town
Cause gypsies never get tied down
—Lyrics by Miranda Lambert, Natalie Nicole Hemby, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert; sung by Miranda Lambert

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RVer Fights City Hall…And Wins

In previous posts on Vogel Talks RVing I have reported on communities in the United States and Canada imposing restrictive rules, regulations, ordinances, and general hassles on owners of recreational vehicles.

RVer Fights City Hall...And Wins

The lakeside property at 791 Main Street in Madison Lake has been the subject of a six-year dispute between the city of Madison Lake and the property’s related owners. (Photo credit: Pat Christman/Mankato Free Press)

RV parking on private property has become a hot button issue for cities and RVers. For RVers, we’re simply looking for a place to park our RVs.

When it becomes a battle of RV owner versus the city, the city is always right, according to the law—and always wins. Until now.

In a six-year land usage dispute with Mid-Central Realty owners Scott and Patricia Mende and lakefront property owner Scott Schult, the Blue Earth County District Court recently ruled that the city of Madison Lake, Minnesota, cannot restrict Schultz’s usage of an recreational vehicle.

In law, a single word can make a big difference. The district court ruling was based on the difference of one word between two sections of the Madison Lake City Code, reports the Mankato Free Press.

The city of Madison Lake is appealing the district court ruling.

The city will present oral arguments to the Minnesota Court of Appeals on October 16. Attorneys for the Mendes and Schultz will argue in support of the district court ruling.

Madison Lake City Administrator Ari Klugman said the city believes the ruling disrupts its ability to interpret its own city code.

“The district court in this case failed to properly interpret the City’s zoning ordinance, resulting in a residential use of property that was never intended or allowed. It is important to the City that its Code be properly interpreted so that appropriate controls are in place for the benefit and protection of all its residents,” said the city in a written statement.

bureaucracyThe Mendes purchased the small lakefront property at 791 Main Street for $140,000 in May 2008. They were granted a conditional use permit by the city to build a boathouse. All of the parties in the case agree the property is too small to build a residential home based on city code requirements.

The Mendes quickly advertised the property for sale as a getaway location. Jeffery Schultz, who lives outside of Madison Lake, purchased the property and moved his RV to the location. In court documents, he said he plans to use the RV only during summer months and occasionally overnight after boating or fishing.

The city sent several messages to the Mendes and eventually to Schultz about concerns the RV usage was violating the city code. The Mendes disputed the assertion. The city sent Schultz a letter on June 2008 telling him the RV was not allowed for overnight use on the property.

The city eventually cited the Mendes and Schultz in October 2012 but declined to prosecute the citation. Schultz made several unsuccessful efforts to get a change of usage for the property.

Schultz sued the Mendes for damages in November 2011, claiming they misrepresented the allowed use of the property. The Mendes filed an answer in November 2011 and subsequently filed a third-party complaint against the city in October 2013. The Mendes claimed the city was improperly restricting the use of the property.

The city requested summary judgment in its favor in November 2013. The Mendes requested summary judgment in their favor in January 2014, including a court ruling allowing the RV usage. Schultz filed a similar request, stating his complaint would be satisfied if the Mendes received their summary judgment.

Blue Earth County District Court Judge Kurt Johnson ruled in favor of the Mendes and Schultz last March. He pointed to portion of the city code explicitly allowing RV usage as “accessory use” in R-1 properties.

The city argued Schultz still violated city code because the RV usage was not incidental, especially since he would live in the RV and use the boathouse for storage.

Johnson rejected the argument because the city code definition the city cited referred to “accessory building.” He said term was much more narrow than “accessory use.” He said the RV did not meet the narrow term’s restrictions and no other section laid out RV restrictions.

He also rejected the city’s efforts to claim the RV is a building based on its usage. He said an RV doesn’t meet common definitions of a building. He said the RV is analogous to a tent, which is allowed under the city code. He said the city’s argument would have unintended consequences if accepted, such as preventing the use of picnic tables, grills, and cars on the property.

The city’s appeal of the ruling was filed in May. The oral argument in the appeal is set for September 16.

Worth Pondering…

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

—Thomas Jefferson

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Rand McNally Introduces All-New RV GPS

Just in time for Labor Day getaways, Rand McNally has introduced its third-generation RV GPS device.

Rand McNally Launches All-New RV GPS: RVND 7730 LM (Credit: Rand McNally)

Rand McNally Launches All-New RV GPS: RVND 7730 LM
(Credit: Rand McNally)

Redesigned inside and out, the RVND 7730 LM provides all-new hardware, a faster processor, two new graphical user interface options, with improved map appearance. Bringing together Rand McNally’s award-winning navigation and new features such as Toll Cost estimates and Advanced Lane Guidance, the RVND device delivers leading-edge technology and tools specifically designed for RVers.

“Rand McNally’s RVND was the first navigation device designed specifically for RVers. With this next generation device, we’ve incorporated an all-new look but more importantly, new features to better help RVers get the most out of their on-the-road adventures,” said Stephen Fletcher, CEO of Rand McNally.

The device features a new, sleeker hardware design with a 7-inch screen—rugged and large for any RV dashboard. Inside, the RVND has faster processing speed, allowing for quicker route calculation, point of interest searches, route comparisons, and screen-to-screen transitions.

New navigation options give RVers more assistance and the ability to further customize routes:

Estimated toll road costs are now included for more informed trip planning.

More Advanced Lane Guidance instruction, combined with an increased number of enhanced Junction Views, goes beyond just turns and shows the best lanes in which to drive when approaching a turn or heading toward a complicated intersection.

Rand McNally Launches All-New RV GPS: RVND 7730 LM (Credit: Rand McNally)

Rand McNally Launches All-New RV GPS: RVND 7730 LM
(Credit: Rand McNally)

And drivers may avoid areas permanently such as heavily congested city areas—or temporarily—to accommodate closures of bridges or other roads.

The onboard mapping has been upgraded to include improved text and road shields, and new coloration for certain reference points such as shopping centers and parks. There are two new color schemes for the maps, giving RVers even more personalization options.

To further customize the devices, RVers can choose between two new interface options—”Ice” (with a white background) and “Carbon” (with a steel grey background). Users also may choose the familiar “Classic” design interface, from prior generations of the device. The new, proprietary, color-saturated icons in the design were created by Rand McNally making features easy to recognize with just a glance.

The 7730 LM device includes extensive updates to features such as:

The addition of the latest Rand McNally Best of the Road towns with roadside attractions, dining, and historical sites.

Rand McNally Launches All-New RV GPS: RVND 7730 LM (Credit: Rand McNally)

Rand McNally Launches All-New RV GPS: RVND 7730 LM
(Credit: Rand McNally)

A complete update of campgrounds—with 1,521 additions—including Good Sam campgrounds, public and commercial campgrounds, and Good Sam-rated campgrounds.

An updated cross-reference to the new 2015 Rand McNally Road Atlas, with emergency and roadside assistance information by state.

A comprehensive update of RV parking including rest stops and welcome centers, travel centers with RV-friendly amenities, and stores such as Walmart and Sam’s Club locations.

In addition, Rand McNally has incorporated new features and thousands of updates derived from “Tell Rand”, Rand McNally’s proprietary feedback loop for RVND users. For example, multi-stop trip planning now provides the detail of upcoming legs of the journey color-coded for easy differentiation, allowing for easy analysis of trip segments. And, with a one-click selection, drivers may hide buttons on the display to provide a larger view of the map.

The RVND 7730 LM includes Lifetime Map updates and the ability to switch over to car routing. The device is Wi-Fi connected, allowing for up-to-the moment information along a route such as current fuel prices, weather, and traffic.

The new RVND 7730 LM device is available at RV dealers and other retail locations nationwide, and in online stores such as,, and

Retail Price: $349.99

Rand McNally Launches All-New RV GPS: RVND 7730 LM (Credit: Rand McNally)

Rand McNally Launches All-New RV GPS: RVND 7730 LM
(Credit: Rand McNally)


Rand McNally

Rand McNally is the most trusted source for maps, directions, and travel content.

Rand McNally’s products and services include road travel review site (bestoftheroad), interactive travel referral service (tripology), America’s #1 Road Atlas, TripMaker RVND GPS for RVers, IntelliRoute truck routing software and mobile communication solutions for the transportation industry, and the leading geography-based educational resources for the classroom.

Consumers, businesses, truckers, and educators depend upon Rand McNally to help navigate today’s world.

Address: 9855 Woods Drive Skokie, IL 60077

Phone: (800) 333-0136


Best of RVing Website:

Best of the Road Website:

Tripology Website:

Lifetime Maps Program Website:

Worth Pondering…

I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.

—Daniel Boone

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Climate a Key Factor in Planning an RV Camping Trip

RV camping styles and activities vary with location and climate.

High deserts are known for causing dehydration, sunburn, sunstroke, and dry skin. Drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen. Pictured above Arches National Park.

High deserts are known for causing dehydration, sunburn, sunstroke, and dry skin. Drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen. Pictured above Arches National Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Climate is a key factor in the planning and enjoyment of a camping trip. Research the location to be aware of the type of climate and weather you’re likely to experience. Always be prepared for what mother nature may throw at you, especially if you are camping in a season when climate can adversely affect campers.

Desert Camping

Desert camping can be a unique and rewarding experience. The stark beauty of red rock mesas and mysterious hoodoos in the Southwest is enchanting. But the harsh climate and terrain that defines a desert requires certain precautions and special considerations especially during the summer months.

Drink large amounts of water. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Arid climates require one gallon of water, per person, per day—minimum. Hiking in temperatures over 100 degrees in strenuous conditions may need up to four gallons a day.

Sun and heat are related factors to watch. Wear sunscreen, and reapply often. Sun-glasses and a wide-brimmed hat such as the lightweight and comfortable Tilley hat are advisable, as is light-weight clothes that cover exposed skin.

Nestled amongst the peaks of the Canadian Rockies, Banff is known as a traveler’s mecca for good reason. Whether by car, bicycle, hiking boots, skis, snowshoes or canoe, in Banff National

Nestled amongst the peaks of the Canadian Rockies, Banff is known as a traveler’s mecca for good reason. Respect the fact that mountain weather can change quickly and it can be severe. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Southwest abounds with places to camp: national parks, state parks, and county parks; national forests; and private Good Sam RV parks. You can camp year-round, and see everything from petroglyphs to ghost towns, white-water rivers to wind-scoured cliffs.

Stay safe in the sun: Slather on the sunscreen, and wear a hat and sunglasses to keep the sun out. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, too.

Camping in the Mountains

Campers who are physiologically used to living close to sea level can experience noticeable effects from high altitudes. Additionally weather conditions in the mountains are often unpredictable. Respect the fact that mountain weather can change quickly and it can be severe.

The air is dryer and sunlight tends to be more intense in mountainous areas—especially the Rockies. These areas are known for causing sunburn and dry skin, even in the winter.

Regardless of the season apply sunscreen. Use it regularly and generously on sensitive areas every day, especially your face and neck.

By taking these simple measures, you can help to ensure that your trip to the mountainous outdoors is the experience of a lifetime.

Storm Watching in the Pacific Northwest

November through February is peak storm season along the Pacific coastline of the northwest United States. As the raw power and energy of the winter storms meet the coastlines storm enthusiasts are captivated as twenty to thirty foot waves pound against the beach heads and steep cliffs. The inspiring display of nature’s power captivates the imagination and energizes the spirit.

One of the best places to view the storms is along the Oregon Coast. With its many lookout points along the shoreline, it’s easy to see why it’s such a hotspot for storm watching—especially for RVers on the move.

Winter Camping

Ice Fish Early & Stay Late in the All Season Sport Trailer

Ice Fish Early & Stay Late in the All Season Sport Trailer

While RV camping is generally considered fair-weather recreation, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. There are numerous ways to enjoy life on the road during the wintertime months, provided that you plan ahead.

Planning a trip in the winter means spending considerable time researching areas and conditions to determine where, when, and how the trip will work. It takes proper trip planning, experience, and the right equipment to travel safely in the winter environment.

Winter camping can offer campers and hikers a wonderful experience. In a tranquil world of white, you can enjoy down-hill and cross-country skiing, skating, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. Several RV manufacturers offer travel trailers designed specifically for ice fishing.

It is a winter RV wonderland out there, just waiting for you to explore. Best of all you are camping with all the toasty comforts of home. Where better to sip on apple cider and kick up your winter heels?

Plan ahead for the season and the climate for your intended location and you’ll find your trip that much more enjoyable.

Worth Pondering…

There aren’t four seasons a year in the mountains; there are forty seasons a day up there in those divine altitudes!

—Mehmet Muratildan

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Caring For Your RV Exterior

Regular cleaning of the exterior of your recreation vehicle is important for its maintenance and longevity.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Every six months or so I wash, wax and detail the RV. Pictured above camping at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Clean your RV as soon as possible after each trip using high-quality cleaning supplies that won’t scratch or mar the RV surface. Use soft, natural cotton washing cloths and soaps and cleansers made specifically for RVs.

Following are a few RV cleaning tips to use the next time you clean and maintain your RV.

Parking Under Trees

Rinse off any bird droppings and tree sap off as soon as possible. Tree sap is a form of sugar and will dissolve after several washings. Bird droppings can eat into a painted surface if left unattended and should be removed as soon as possible. Lukewarm soapy water can help speed up the cleaning process.

Parking Near Salt Spray

Regularly rinse off the salt mineral to minimize the corrosiveness of the salt.

Ice Or Snow

Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona

Never use a bristled brush or broom to wash the painted surface. This will cause scratches in the finish. Pictured above Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Scrape from the surface of the RV. Brush off but avoid being aggressive with the brush. Brush scratches may show once the RV thaws out and may be removed by hand waxing with a silicone free liquid wax.


Antifreeze, fuel, or window solutions spilled on the painted surface should be rinsed off immediately with water and allowed to air dry. Wiping dry with a towel may create fine scratches due to the sometimes aggressive nature of these types of fluids.

Antifreeze and window solutions can be diluted and will dissolve with water. Fuel will not and needs the attention of a mineral spirit-type cleaner (like Bug-B-Gone) or a silicone free spray wax and micro fiber cloth to remove the stain left by fuels.

When driving in wintry conditions the road surface may be covered with heavy salts or sand and small stones to improve road traction. These types of road conditions can cause undue surface damage to your RV. If possible, avoid driving in these conditions.


Commercial vehicle wash facilities should be avoided. The truck-style wash centers have high-pressure wands that emit higher than necessary water pressures. These brushes are designed to clean heavy road films on semi-trailers and are not designed for custom painted RVs.

Most truck wash brushes are made from a heavy plastic that increases their lifespan but will scratch the clearcoat finish. Many times the scratches can penetrate the clearcoat finish, causing delamination and/or other paint related issues not covered under warranty.

Wash with cool or lukewarm water. Use a standard RV washing soap such as Meguiar’s to wash your RV.

Ranch RV Park near Kingman, Arizona. A great home base to explore the area including Route 66 to Oatman and its wild burros.

It’s best to clean the RV from the top down. Pictured above camping at Blake Ranch RV Park near Kingman, Arizona. A great home base to explore the area including Route 66 to Oatman and its wild burros. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Never use a bristled brush or broom to wash the painted surface. This will cause scratches in the finish. Use a clean lamb’s wool mitt, sponge, or micro fiber mop to wash your unit. A dirty application can scratch your RV.

Washing Procedure

It’s best to clean the RV from the top down.

Rinse area to be washed with cold water to remove surface residue. Make sure you are not in direct sunlight.

With area to be washed still wet from the rinse, use the recommended soapy mixture to clean the area. Use care to make sure that a clean lamb’s wool mitt, sponge, or micro fiber mop is used to apply soapy water.

Rinse washed area before soap evaporates.

Dry rinsed area before rinsed area evaporates.

After a general cleaning with the soap and water it’s time to wax the beast using a quality RV wax such as Meguiar’s. Waxing the RV is a huge task. Compared to a car it has a massive surface area. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for your particular RV.

And finally, admire a great job well done.

There, what a beautiful RV.

Worth Pondering…
A bad day cleaning the RVing—is better than a good day—working.

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Vintage RVs: Canned Hams, Shiny Hineys & Tin Cans

Vintage trailers continue their popularity among today’s RVers. There is a certain charm and nostalgia with vintage trailers that you can’t find with new recreational vehicles.

The Tin Can Tourists heated tin cans of food on gasoline stoves by the roadside.

The Tin Can Tourists heated tin cans of food on gasoline stoves by the roadside

Nostalgia is tops on the list of reasons folks are attracted to vintage trailers. When they were kids, they went camping in something similar, so it brings back memories for those people.

And don’t forget the decorating. From kitschy pink flamingos to leopard spots to Route 66 memorabilia, folks love to make their trailers look different from everybody else’s.

The rolling homes were small: a bed, kitchen, and dinette in one room. Over the decades they expanded into today’s large-sized RVs, but there’s an increasing demand for the older trailers.

These vintage models are often called Canned Hams, Shiny Hineys, or Tin Cans. Whatever they’re called, classic trailers from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s are rolling back into popularity.

These vintage boxes on wheels are more artsy than your new trailers now, have a character, and a style.

This '60 Airstream Traveler has been completely restored. (Credit:

This ’60 Airstream Traveler has been completely restored. (Credit:

When travel trailers first started roaming American roads in the 1920s their owners were called Tin Can Tourists because they heated tin cans of food on gasoline stoves by the roadside.

The Tin Can Tourists formed the first camping club in the United States, holding their inaugural rally in Florida in 1919 and growing to 150,000 members by the mid-1930s. They had an initiation; an official song, “The More We Get Together;” and a secret handshake.

Women gather from across the country to camp out and many bring their vintage campers. They call themselves Sisters on the FlyFounded in 1999, Sisters on the Fly has grown from three members to nearly 4,500 worldwide including in Canada, England, and Australia, in addition to the United States.

The Get’away Gals, a group of women from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, gather for camping trips once a month in their tricked-out vintage trailers.

Vintage style in tiny packages, teardrop trailers, around since the 1930s, are seeing a boom in popularity. Teardrops are streamlined, compact, lightweight travel trailers, which get their name from its teardrop profile. They usually range from 4 to 6 feet in width, 8 to 10 feet in length, and 4 to 5 feet in height, and have sleeping space for two adults and a basic kitchen in the rear.

In recent years, vintage trailers have been renovated into mobile store fronts, mobile eco-homes, mobile art galleries (Happy Camper Mobile Art Gallery), mobile gourmet coffee shops (Cadillac Coffee), a mobile distillery (2 Gingers Irish Whiskey), and a bargain clothing store (Buffalo Exchange).

Have you considered a vintage trailer? People around the country are restoring and refurbishing vintage trailers in unique ways and women are finding them particularly appealing.

Vistabule Teardrop Trailer

Vistabule Teardrop Trailer

Restoration is a slow, time-consuming process. Carpentry, plumbing, and electrical skills are needed to tackle a fix-up job on these old trailers. Always start at the top and work down. One panel at a time. Persistence, perseverance, and determination will get you to the end.

But, restoring vintage trailers is not for the fainthearted. That’s one reason Flyte Camp (Bend, Oregon) is in high demand and quickly earning a reputation as one of the best vintage RV restoration shops in the U.S.

Retro Trailer Design (Glenwood Springs, Colorado) recreates vintage travel trailers reminiscent of the canned hams of the 1950s and 1960s.

Hofmann Architecture (Santa Barbara, California) takes vintage trailers and brings them back to life through custom design based on the owner’s preference.

Mintage Airstreams (Missoula, Montana) is dedicated to restoring classic Airstreams. From the initial design to the finished product, each custom-made Airstream is designed to accommodate each customer’s personal preferences.

Russian River Vintage Travel Trailers (Guerneville, California) re-designs the interiors of Airstreams and other campers. Prices for restored vintage Airstreams vary wildly, depending on the age, the condition of the exterior shell, and the extent of the interior design.

1939 Charles Lindbergh Travel Trailer Up for Auction

1939 Charles Lindbergh Travel Trailer Up for Auction

Is the iconic Airstream a bit too passé for your tastes?

The 1939 Charles Lindbergh Travel Trailer is up for auction. Designed in San Carlos, California, by an engineer of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, this trailer was custom-built for famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, hence  its name.

Buying this legend’s trailer, however, won’t come easy on the wallet. The 1939 Lindbergh travel trailer is expected to fetch anywhere from $150,000-200,000. The 1939 Charles Lindbergh Travel Trailer is part of the Maranello Rosso Collection that will be auctioned at the 17th annual Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction in Carmel, California, August 15.

Worth Pondering…

As I read, and thought, and stared at my stuff around me, I slowly realized a simple truth. The amount of freedom in my life was inversely proportional to the amount of stuff I had.

—Emily Fagen’s blog, Road Less Traveled

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