Winnebago Introduces 2015 Models

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries Inc. introduced the new 2015 models to the company’s dealer partners during its annual Dealer Days event at The Mirage in Las Vegas.

Winnebago rolled out new Brave motorhome at Dealer Days (Photo provided by Adrienne Griffin)

Winnebago rolled out new Brave motorhome at Dealer Days (Photo provided by Adrienne Griffin)

Introductions included the all-new Brave and Tribute, Grand Tour and Ellipse Ultra motorhome lines.

Winnebago blended vintage with a modern twist in the rollout of the 2015 Brave and Tribute.

In the ’60s and ’70s, there was no mistaking a Winnebago motorhome with the distinctive “eyebrow” design and flying W logo, and the new Brave and Tribute breathe new life into the legendary design. Beyond the retro styling, the Brave and Tribute are loaded with today’s best features and offered in two versatile floor plans with exciting color schemes like Good Vibration with Cherry Cola Cherry cabinets, as well as a price to fit the budget of a young, traveling family.

“This is the most exciting product launch I’ve ever been involved with,” said Winnebago Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts, in a news release.

“The new Brave and Tribute are going to take the market by storm. The retro, yet modern image they project is fun, while they offer great new features that are sure to capture the eye of new buyers.”

Winnebago Dealer Days attendees check out Grand Tour interior (Photo provided by Adrienne Griffin)

Winnebago Dealer Days attendees check out Grand Tour interior (Photo provided by Adrienne Griffin)

Also making its debut at the dealer event is the new Grand Tour Class A diesel pusher, and its counterpart, the Ellipse Ultra. The tag-axle Grand Tour and Ellipse Ultra each feature unique, high-end features such as a large skylight with powered shade in the front lounge/cab area, polished porcelain tile flooring, keyless entry, and four full-body paint packages. Multiplex switch panels located throughout the all-electric coach allow you to control exterior and interior lights, hydraulic jacks, MCD power shades, and slideout rooms.

Several 2015 products received exterior redesigns, including the Class A gas-powered Vista and Sunstar lines, Class A diesel Via and Reyo lines, and the Class C View and Navion on the 24V and 24G floor plans. New standard features are included across all product lines, and exciting new floor plans are also included in the Journey, Meridian, Vista, Sunstar, Tour, and Ellipse motorhome lines.

Winnebago Towables debuted the new Micro Minnie trailer and two new fifth wheel trailers, the Voyage and Latitude. The new Micro Minnie trailer is under 3,000 pounds and features a new “cool gray” exterior color. The Voyage and Latitude lines provide exciting new mid-profile and full-profile fifth-wheel choices and the Ultralight line has been expanded to six available floor plans. The Ultralight and the Voyage both offer graphic options and corresponding LED lights that are in color choices of red, green, or blue.

“They hit the nail on the head with the new Brave retro look,” said Carl Jensen from Sierra RV, Sunset, Utah.

“The updated interior styling was wonderful and the colors are bright and fresh. The new Brave and Tribute will appeal to all ages.”


Winnebago Industries, Inc

winnebago-quality-circle-award-255x144Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc., “The Most Recognized Name In Motor Homes”, is a leading U.S. manufacturer of recreation vehicles, which are used primarily in leisure travel and outdoor recreation activities.

The Company builds quality motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheel products under the Winnebago, Itasca, Era, SunnyBrook, and Metro brand names.

Winnebago Industries has received the Quality Circle Award from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association every year since the award’s inception in 1996.

Postal Address: P.O. Box 152, Forest City, IA 50436

Street Address: 605 West Crystal Lake Road, Forest City, IA 50436

Phone: (641) 585-3535

Winnebago Website:

Itasca Website:

Era Website:

goLife website:

Worth Pondering…

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.


Posted in RV Dealers, RV Manufactures, RV Show | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PullRite Introduces SuperGlide Fifth Wheel Hitch Rated for 16,000 Pounds

PullRite announced that it is increasing the rating of one of its most popular fifth-wheel hitches, the #2700 automatic sliding ISR SuperGlide, that fits industry standard base rails to 16,000 pounds.

PullRite Introduces SuperGlide Fifth Wheel Hitch Rated for 16,000 Pounds

PullRite Introduces SuperGlide Fifth Wheel Hitch Rated for 16,000 Pounds

The rating increase will not translate to a hike in price.

The ISR SuperGlide will give dealers a hitch that meets the needs of even more short-bed truck owners, while also providing the safety and convenience of an automatic sliding hitch, PullRite noted in a news release.

“Originally the #2700 SuperGlide had been rated at 15000, but after extensive testing utilizing the SAE J2638 testing standards, including more than 300,000 cycles of punishing tests in three dimensions, and additional rigorous road testing, the hitch simply earned a higher weight rating,” said Jim Karasch, project engineer.

“This is just another example of our commitment to being a U.S. manufacturer,” said Scott Later, PullRite national sales manager.

“Everyone at PullRite understands that we have to be innovative, driven, and efficient to produce great products with great value—noting that most competitors have moved manufacturing to China, India, or Mexico in order to produce cheaper hitches using foreign labor and materials.”

President Randy Pulliam said that the company’s decision to continue manufacturing in the U.S. had created a loyal dealer base, helping the company set sales records the past four years in a row.


Pulliam Enterprises, Inc.

PullRite has been designing and manufacturing extraordinary hitches for over 30 years.

PullRite is recognized as a leading innovator in the design and manufacture of fifth wheel hitches, short-bed truck hitches, and travel trailer hitches.

PullRiteAddress: 13790 E. Jefferson Blvd., Mishawaka, IN 46545

Phone: (574) 259-1520 or (800) 443-2307 (toll free)


Worth Pondering…

Your travel life has the essence of a dream.

It is something outside the normal, yet you are in it.

It is peopled with characters you have never seen before and in all probability will never see again.

It brings occasional homesickness, and loneliness, and pangs of longing.

But you are like the Vikings or the master mariners of the Elizabethan age, who have gone into a world of adventure, and home is not home until you return.

—Agatha Christie, British mystery writer

Posted in RV Accessories, RV Manufactures | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keystone Hideout posts record year in 2013

Goshen, Indiana-based Keystone RV announces their Hideout brand of entry-level travel trailers and fifth wheels experienced record growth in 2013, as well as an incredible start to 2014.

Keystone Hideout posts record year in 2013

Keystone Hideout posts record year in 2013

Hideout travel trailers, fifth wheels, and Retreat destination trailers closed 2013 with a 22 percent retail increase in the United States and Canada, based on internal retail registrations.

Through February 2014, retail sales numbers in North America are up 56 percent year-to-date over 2013.

According to Jason Gill, Hideout/Retreat product manager, this growth makes Hideout the fastest growing entry level brand in the industry.

“Several factors go into Hideout’s tremendous growth,” said Gill, in a news release.

“We believe we have the best dealers in the industry, dealers who are committed to deliver a first class consumer experience. Along with this, Keystone is focused on overall quality, fit n’ finish and superior back end support. We understand that consumers will most likely direct frustration with poor quality and service toward the dealer.  It is Keystone’s focus to deliver a pleasurable ownership experience and let dealers have a better opportunity to cultivate repeat buyer’s, particularly with our entry level product.”

Keystone Hideout posts record year in 2013

Keystone Hideout posts record year in 2013

Keystone Hideout brands earned the prestigious RV Dealers Association’s DSI Award in 2013.  The award is based on results of a nationwide survey of RVDA member dealerships that ranks dealer satisfaction in the areas of vehicle design and reliability, competitive advantage, communications, and sales and service support.

In addition to unit quality and support, Gill emphasizes that Hideout’s product mix is right on target for today’s entry level market.

“Hideout is focused on delivering travel trailers and fifth wheels with the right features at the right price,” he explained.

“Our aggressively priced, full featured Hideout ‘Luxury’ and Hideout ‘LHS’ offering’s hit a wider price point segment of the market and give our dealers more chances to win business and make a bigger impact on their market.”


Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company is a producer of travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers, with manufacturing facilities at its headquarters in Goshen, Indiana, and Pendleton, Oregon.

Keystone Hideout posts record year in 2013

Keystone Hideout posts record year in 2013

Keystone RV brands include Montana, Cougar, Outback, Springdale, Raptor, Residence, Retreat, Passport, Hornet, Sprinter, Laredo, Mountaineer, Big Sky, High Country, Fuzion, X-lite, Bullet, Premier, Alpine, and Avalanche.

Keystone is a subsidiary of Thor Industries, Inc., Jackson Center, Ohio, the world’s largest manufacturer of recreation vehicles and a major builder of commercial buses.

Address: 2642 Hackberry Drive, PO Box 2000, Goshen, IN 46527-2000

Phone: (574) 535-2100


Worth Pondering…

Traveling is not just seeing the new; it is also leaving behind. Not just opening doors; also closing them behind you, never to return. But the place you have left forever is always there for you to see whenever you shut your eyes.
—Jan Myrdal

Posted in RV Dealers, RV Manufactures | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Camco Introduces Eaz-Lift Fifth Wheel Hitches

Greensboro, North Carolina-based Camco introduces two new fifth wheel hitches, the Eaz-Lift 18K and the 18KS.

Camco Introduces Eaz-Lift Fifth Wheel Hitches

Camco Introduces Eaz-Lift Fifth Wheel Hitches

The 18K is a stationary fifth wheel hitch, and the 18KS is a sliding hitch.

The hitches feature Eaz-Lift quality on a standard base-rail-style bracket system.

The 18K-stationary and 18KS-slider fifth wheel hitches’ universal design allows them to be mounted to any existing base rails or to Eaz-Lift’s heavy-duty rails.

Ideal for a truck with a short bed, the 18KS utilizes the slider system to avoid truck and trailer damage by allowing additional turning clearance.

Features of the 18K and 18KS include:

Mounts to industry standard 4- and 10-bolt bed rails

11-degree side-to-side pivot with urethane cushions

32-degree, front-to-back pivot

Automatic locking jaws

Durable, powder-coated finish

18,000-pound capacity (4,500-pound vertical)

Secondary handle lock to ensure jaws have been locked closed

The 18K stationary hitch offers:

Adjustable height from 14.5 to 18 inches

The 18KS slider hitch offers these additional features:

Adjustable height from 17.5 to 21 inches

Displaces hitch 9 inches toward tailgate for tight maneuvering

Visible flag on each rail to show the slider has locked in either towing or maneuvering positions

Secondary lock pin ensures primary locking mechanism is fully secured

Fully enclosed rollers and locking mechanism to minimize debris build-up

The product order numbers are:

Camco Item Number 48620 — Fifth Wheel, Head, Crossmember, 4-bolt, kit, UPC = 014717486200, case quantity = 1, suggested retail price of $650

Camco Item Number 48621 — Fifth Wheel, Fixed Channel Leg, 4-bolt, kit, UPC = 014717486217, case quantity = 1, suggested retail price of $125

Camco Item Number 48622 — Fifth Wheel, Slider, 4-bolt, kit, UPC = 014717486224, case quantity = 1, suggested retail price of $610

Rail kits and vehicle specific adapters also available.


Camco Manufacturing Inc.

camcologo1Camco Manufacturing Inc. started in 1966 with one employee and one product.

Today, over 40 years later, Camco has more than 350 employees, over 3,000 products, and five manufacturing facilities to better serve their customers needs.

Home office is in Greensboro, North Carolina; other locations include Elkhart, Indiana; Portland, Oregon; Leominster, Massachusetts, and their newest facility in Beilun, China.
Competitive pricing, superior service, quality products, and customer satisfaction are the foundations upon which Camco operates.

Address: 121 Landmark Drive, Greensboro, NC 27409

Phone: (800) 334-2004


Worth Pondering…

Before there were interstates, when everyone drove the old two-lane roads, Burma Shave signs would be posted all over the countryside in farmers’ fields. They were small red signs with white letters. Five signs, about 100 feet apart, each containing one line of a four-line couplet—and the obligatory fifth sign advertising Burma Shave, a popular shaving cream.

Here is one of the actual signs:

No matter the price

No matter how new

The best safety device

In the car is you

Burma Shave

Did this bring back any old memories?

If not, you’re merely a child.

If they do—then you’re old as dirt—LIKE ME!

Posted in RV Accessories, RV Parks | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Storm Destroys RVs at Mississippi’s Gulf Coast RV Park

A strong storm system barreled through several Mississippi Gulf Coast communities yesterday evening (Monday, April 14), damaging and destroying numerous recreational vehicles in a campground, downing trees and power lines, and cutting electricity to some communities.

Storm Destroys RVs at Mississippi's Gulf Coast RV Park (Credit: Blake Kaplan/AP)

Storm Destroys RVs at Mississippi’s Gulf Coast RV Park (Credit: Blake Kaplan/AP)

One of the hardest hit areas in the region was Santa Maria RV Park in Gautier; about two dozen trailers and campers were knocked off their blocks, overturned, or totally destroyed, and two people were treated at the hospital for injuries.

The roads leading to the campground were littered with debris, and the street lights were out.

A severe thunderstorm warning had been in effect in advance of a strong cold front moving into the region.

The National Weather Service didn’t think it was a tornado, meteorologist Robert Ricks told the (Biloxi) Sun Herald.

“It was straight-line winds of about 50 mph and none of the RVs were tied down,” said Ricks.

“In talking with emergency management personnel, there were no power lines down. It appears to be because of the straight-line winds in an RV park configuration without tie-downs.”

Storm Destroys RVs at Mississippi's Gulf Coast RV Park (Credit: Tim Isbell/AP)

Storm Destroys RVs at Mississippi’s Gulf Coast RV Park (Credit: Tim Isbell/AP)

The police chief in nearby Moss Point, Keith Davis, told WLOX-TV there were downed power lines and trees there. He said one power line caught fire but it was quickly extinguished.

First responders quickly scoured the campground searching for anyone injured or stuck inside their RVs.

“We’re just looking at the damages, assessing what’s happened,” said the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Area Coordinator Carolyn Nelson.

“We don’t know exactly how much damage we have yet, but have at least 25 trailers so far

Red Cross volunteers were also on hand providing assistance to victims.”

Protecting Your RV During Extreme Wind

I think we can all agree that dealing with a major storm is NOT a pleasant situation.

Similar incidents have been known to happen, especially when parked in extremely windy locations and during severe storms.

Many RV owners have asked the question, “At what wind speed should I be concerned?”

RVs have been known to weather 75 mph wind speeds without tipping over; however, variables such as weight of the RV must be considered.

Storm Destroys RVs at Mississippi's Gulf Coast RV Park (Credit: WLOX-TV)

Storm Destroys RVs at Mississippi’s Gulf Coast RV Park (Credit: WLOX-TV)

The “rock-a-bye-baby” effects are intensely worrisome to most RV occupants. If you ever feel concerned about the wind, the following two recommendations should be considered.

Park Your Nose into the Wind

The less surface area the wind his hitting, the better. The pressure of the wind on your vehicle is called “wind load” and you can decrease it immensely by pointing the front of your RV into the wind as opposed to having the wind blow across the length of your RV.

For the average size RV in a 60 mph wind, the wind load is 2967 pounds when the side of the RV is to the wind. However, when the RV’s nose is to the wind, the wind load decreases to 1032 pounds. You face less than half the wind load simply by pointing your nose into the wind.

Extend your Stabilizers

Better safe than sorry. If the wind is causing you to lose sleep, simply extend those handy stabilizers and fret no longer. Stabilizers are an easy fix for a parked RV that is beginning to sway.

Worth Pondering…

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

—Jimmy Dean

Posted in RV Parks, RV Safety, RV Tips | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Camping World Top RV Sales

For the ninth consecutive year, Camping World RV Sales is America’s No. 1 seller of towable and motorized RVs for 2013 as revealed by Statistical Surveys.

Camping World, Ashville, North Carolina

Camping World, Ashville, North Carolina

Camping World RV dealerships amassed 47 individual dealer awards for being the top-in-class in their respective states.

“We are honored to be recognized with this award again in 2013 and very proud of our 47 individual awards,” said Roger Nuttall, president of Camping World Retail Group, in a company news release.

“Our staff is giving tremendous effort in offering the best customer service and RV selection that we can provide and we thank them for their efforts.”

Camping World RV Sales surpassed 46,000 total new and used RV sales in 2013 and experienced unprecedented sales increases, excellent market share growth, and retained strong positions of market leadership, said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam.

“We take pride in our excellent 2013 results and the completion of another great year for our team,” he added.

“In 2014, we will continue to target growing our market share through same store growth, additional acquisitions, and focus on improving our sales and service customer experience. We are excited about these opportunities and confident in our ability to continue growing our RV business in 2014.”

Statistical Surveys is a provider of market intelligence to RV motorized and towable industries. Statistical Surveys’ awards are based solely on unit volume according to independent data gathered annually.

Award rankings are in no way influenced by the opinion of Statistical Surveys or its staff.


Camping World & Good Sam

camping_world_logoBoth founded in 1966, Camping World is America’s #1 source for RVs, camping accessories, RV maintenance, and repair; and Good Sam is the world’s largest RV owners organization offering helpful technical tips, vacation planning, extended warranty, magazine subscriptions, roadside assistance, and more to serve the outdoor enthusiast.

Partnered together, Camping World and Good Sam offer more to those who love the RV lifestyle by offering one-stop shopping and resources for everything RV and outdoors.

Camping World features over 10,000 quality products located at over 100 SuperCenters nationwide, easy online and catalog shopping as well as stocking a wide selection of new and used trailers and motorhomes from top RV manufacturers.

Good Sam members receive cost-saving benefits and services, plus loads of valuable RV information and travel tips to get you ready for your next adventure.

Additionally, Good Sam represents more than 1,500 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together from similar geographic regions for group camping excursions.

Camping World is the title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™ in addition to the Official RV and Outdoor Retailer of NASCAR®.

Websites: and

Worth Pondering…

Arguably the best slogan ever written to describe the RV lifestyle comes to mind: Wherever you go, you’re always at home. We have much to be thankful for, including our great RV lifestyle…

Posted in RV Accessories, RV Dealers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

State Parks Impact Alabama’s Economy

An earlier story detailed the economic benefits for communities located near national parks and other recreation and scenic hot spots.

Relax and enjoy the beauty of Gulf State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Relax and enjoy the beauty of Gulf State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The National Park Service concluded that, nationwide, the country’s parks contributed more than $14.7 billion to gateway communities in 2012.

A recent study conducted in Alabama concluded the State Park System also makes significant contributions to local economies.

From the beaches of the Gulf Coast to the Appalachian foothills, Alabama’s 22 state parks offer a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities that include hiking, biking, swimming, camping, boating, fishing, horseback riding, lodging options, museums, cave tours, golf, dining, and relaxation.

With an economic impact of $375.2 million, Alabama’s state parks contribute far more than simply locations for outdoor recreation and family vacations.

According to the study in 2011 the statewide network of parks and nature preserves supported 5,340 jobs totaling $140.2 million in earnings adding an estimated visitor spending of $152.4 million.

From 2007 to 2011, the parks had $170.3 million in receipts; $127.5 million was collected at the parks. Expenditures totaled $167.8 million and generated statewide economic and fiscal impacts of $336.1 million in gross business sales, $203.4 million contribution to GDP, $125.6 million in earnings to Alabama households for 4,784 direct and indirect jobs, and $9.5 million in income and sales taxes ($4.7 million state income tax, $2.1 million state sales tax, and $2.7 million local sales tax).

Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail, DeSoto State Park

Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail, DeSoto State Park

Economists Samuel Addy and Ahmad Ijaz with the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce conducted the analysis.

The study confirms what anyone working in the system already knows: “State parks are valuable tools to promote the state’s economy,” stated Greg Lein, Alabama State Parks Director.

“But the study gave us real numbers for state parks’ overall economic impact and the many public and private jobs that depend on them.”

According to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which commissioned the study, the state parks division recorded more than 4.6 million visits in 2012.

Clearly, the study concludes, state funding for Alabama State Parks is an attractive investment as the parks system generates more in tax revenues, promotes tourism, attracts both in-state and out-of-state visitors, creates jobs, and provides numerous educational, recreational, and environmental benefits that are difficult to quantify.

And in 2014 the Alabama State Park System celebrates a milestone—its 75th anniversary.

Throughout the year, Alabama’s 22 state parks will host a variety of hikes, nature walks and programs, dining and camping specials, and various other events highlighting 75 years of service.

Alabama’s park system began in the 1920s with Cheaha State Park being the longest continually operating facility. There were 11 state parks in Alabama by 1933 including Bromley, Cheaha, Fort Toulouse, Geneva, Little River, Panther Creek, St. Stephens, Sumter, Talladega County, The Lagoons, and Weogufka.

Alabama State Parks

Alabama State Parks

So whether it is hiking or biking (roads or trails); camping (RV or tent); fishing (bank, pier, or in a boat); golfing (six courses across the state); horseback riding (available at several parks); swimming, water skiing, canoeing, or boating; lodging options; museums; cave tours; family friendly activities; restaurants (with fine dining at resort parks); wildlife and nature watching; or simply relaxing; Alabama State Parks have it all. State parks also provide numerous educational, recreational, and environmental benefits that are difficult to quantify.


Alabama State Parks

The Alabama State Parks Division operates and maintains 22 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water.

These Parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other Partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. Partners Pay the Way.

Visit the website for information about the Alabama State Parks 75th Anniversary Celebration and for lodging, camping, and dining specials and event announcements.

Phone: (800) ALAPARK (252-7275)


Worth Pondering…

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lord, I’m coming home to you
Here I come, Alabama

Posted in Public Recreation Areas, State Parks | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Backing Up Digital Photos

If there is a downside to shooting digital, it has to be the need for a reliable backup system.

I use a 3 terabyte Western Digital MyBook external hard drive

Back up your photos on a regular basis—copy them to another location in case of a hard-drive failure. This has to do with your long-term happiness.

We hear a lot about storage in the “cloud” recently. Storing photos and other files on remote servers sounds great in theory. You don’t have to maintain any hardware; just upload your photos to online services and you’re done.

But are you? I say in “theory,” because one backup really isn’t enough. Multiple backups should be a priority for every photographer.

A hard-drive crash is all that’s needed to erase years of memories.

Nobody backs up diligently enough until they lose their first important file.

I learned the hard way, as so many have, and now preach the good news of regular backup.

It’s not a matter of IF your hard drive will fail; it’s a matter of WHEN.

As a general rule, you should make two copies of your backup.

In case of a disaster, such as a fire, flood, or tornado, it’s best to store you photos in two different locations.

At the end of the day, you need to create a strategy that works for you based on price, need, and ease-of-use.

Your back-up options include:

CDs or DVDs

Since it’s hard to predict the future of technology trends, it is possible that DVDs will become obsolete and your data may be safe but unreadable.

External hard drive

The simplest backup method is to use an external hard drive so all your images are in one location. Choose a hard drive that is big enough to keep all your current and future images, or be prepared to upgrade your drive in the future.

I use a 3 terabyte Western Digital MyBook external hard drive. For big-time storage Western Digital has 6TB of storage available (My Book StudioII) and comes with a hefty price tag.

Data Storage Centers

Carbonite is an excellent easy to use online backup service

Data Storage Centers are the kings of backup. They are typically built in buildings that are safe from fire, earthquake, hurricanes, and tornados. The key point here is that they are off-site backup solutions so that even if your system was destroyed or stolen, your data remains safe.

Once it is set up, backups are automatic. You don’t have to think about it. And you never run out of space. On-line backup services include:

Carbonite, 15-day free trial; $54.95/year unlimited backup

Mozy; $6.95/month unlimited backup

IDrive; 5 GB free; 150 GB of storage space $4.95/month or US$49.50/year

Worth Pondering…

Photography is the power of observation, not the application of technology.

—Ken Rockwell.

Posted in Photography, Road Trips, RV Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GRAND Gathering Achieves Guinness World Record for Largest Human Q

In an earlier post on, we announced that the GRAND Gathering, the World’s Largest Gathering of Grand Parents and Great-Grand Parents, was planned for Quartzsite from March 6 to 9.

GRAND Gathering Achieves Guinness World Record for Largest Human Q

GRAND Gathering Achieves Guinness World Record for Largest Human Q

So many Grands and Great-Grands were expected, organizers hoped to set a new world record.

The Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA) and Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite (PNQ) spearheaded plans for special events for this gathering.

The QIA are pleased to announce that over 600 people gathered at their venue to create the letter “Q” with people.

And earlier this week the QIA received official word that they’ve been accepted into the World Guinness Record for this GRAND Gathering Weekend Event.

A QIA member, John Hendrix, suggested the idea last winter and from there it blossomed into a fantastic weekend with the culmination of the “largest human letter Q” taking place.

“Many of the snowbirds already in Quartzsite for the winter stayed the extra time, just so they could participate and have bragging rights,” said Bernie Martin, who participated in the event.

GRAND Gathering Achieves Guinness World Record for Largest Human Q

GRAND Gathering Achieves Guinness World Record for Largest Human Q

“Word got out that the event was happening and there were RVers and snowbirds coming to Quartzsite from all over the southwest, on their way home for the summer.”

Quartzsite is a central gathering location for thousands of RVers every year. The spacious BLM land, great weather and central highways create a huge gathering of these “mobile nomads.”

Participants in this historic event can purchase an official certificate directly from The GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Store in London.

You will need to go to the official website of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Store

select the top RIGHT area where it states in a Tab RECORD HOLDERS.

At this point you can select whatever type of certificate you would like to purchase.

You will need the following two (2) identification numbers to complete your purchase for this particular event.

Participant Verification code:


Code: lmez5074LM

The QIA has the link to the Guinness World Records® Store on a special tab so it will open a new tab and allow you to go back and forth from this page and the Store page.

If you like, just copy each individual line and paste it into the correct section of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® form.



Worth Pondering…

Quartzsite = $400,000 diesel pusher motorhomes towing $40,000 SUVs looking for free camping.

Posted in RV Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Snowbird Season Ends as the Northern Migration Begins

As refugees from the frozen north, snowbirds escape winter at home by migrating southward each fall.

Located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon, another scenic destination, Sedona is renowned for its stunning rock formations such as Cathedral Rock. Sedona is also a popular stop over snowbirds on their northern flight. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona is renowned for its stunning rock formations such as Cathedral Rock. Sedona is also a popular stop over snowbirds on their northern flight. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

These snowbirds are mostly seniors that live part time in the Sunbelt and spend summers in the Northern states and Canada.

They are gilded nomads, prosperous enough to own a recreational vehicle, a temporary second home, or condo unit.

Snowbirds desire some place warm and relatively free from crime, and an active lifestyle that may involve boating, fishing, swimming, dancing, hiking, biking, 4X4ing, golf, shuffle-board, or pickle ball. Some prefer the Pacific or Atlantic coast or Gulf of Mexico with their sunny beaches, while the preference of other is the arid desert of the Southwest.

Warm weather hubs such as Arizona, Texas, Florida, and California are tops for their predictable warm weather. But other states are also becoming popular—Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Snowbirds build the population base. Their financial impact is estimated in the billions of dollars.

Snowbirds often evolve in flocks, following friends and family and regional or social enclaves into migratory communities.

Fire Canyon/Silica Dome offers an excellent view of the deep red sandstone of Fire Canyon and the unique geological features of Silica Dome at Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas . © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fire Canyon/Silica Dome offers an excellent view of the deep red sandstone of Fire Canyon and the unique geological features of Silica Dome at Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas . © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There was, in the beginning, a simple mathematical formula: The shortest distance between Up North and the Sunbelt was a straight line—I-95 down along the East Coast or I-75 from the Midwest to Florida’s West Coast or I-5 and 1-15 south to the Desert Southwest.

Patterns are patterns and habits are habits. The majority of snowbirds still tend to migrate straight south from their northern home.

They flock to Florida from New York and New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio, from Michigan and Illinois, even from Ontario and Quebec. Snowbirds arrive in Texas primarily from the Mid-West. And northern refugees from Washington, Oregon, Colorado, British Columbia, and Alberta migrate to Palm Springs, Phoenix, Yuma, Tucson, and other hot spots in the Desert Southwest.

The available options are unlimited enabling snowbirds to design their winter lifestyle to suit their financial ability and social preferences.

While most snowbirds enjoy long-term stays at RV parks and resorts that cultivate a sense of community among seasonal residents, others, like us, prefer to be “roving gypsies” spending the winter months traveling from one warm-weather location to another.

Then, in the shift of seasons with spring on the horizon, they go again. Spring, warmer weather, and melting snow and ice mark the time of year when a mass migration gets underway as snowbirds return to their northern homes.

Popular with migrating snowbirds, Arches National Park is renown for an awe-inspiring combination of arches, cliffs, stone spires, and other dramatic rock formations. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Popular with migrating snowbirds, Arches National Park is renown for an awe-inspiring combination of arches, cliffs, stone spires, and other dramatic rock formations. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

From late February to early March some snowbirds begin their pilgrimage back to their northern residences. Others delay their departure until the snowy mess up North is nothing but a distant memory.

Still others, like us, break up their journey into segments taking several weeks to a month or more to reach their northern home.

Through both journeys, they change the lives of everyone else who comes, for however long, and of everyone who stays.

Worth Pondering…

Ah, Spring! Baseball. Blossoms. Sunshine. And northbound Snowbirds. Hitching up, bidding farewell to winter friends, heading up the Pacific Flyway…that’s Spring in the southwest for Snowbirds. Once snowbirds reach central and northern California, they may see they have been joined by great flocks of their high-flying feather counterparts, seeking sanctuary and feeding grounds in the state’s wetlands as they migrate along the Pacific Flyway.

Posted in Road Trips, Snowbird | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment