EverGreen RV Introduces New Ever-Lite Travel Trailer Floor Plan

Middlebury, Indiana-based EverGreen Recreational Vehicles’ flagship Ever-Lite travel trailer, increases floor plan choices with the newest 292FLBS.

EverGreen RV Introduces New Ever-Lite Travel Trailer Floor Plan

EverGreen RV Introduces New Ever-Lite Travel Trailer Floor Plan

As with all Ever-Lite models the 292FLBS is built with ComposiTek construction. The Ever-Lite brand remains the only composite travel trailer on the market today.

The ComposiTek construction isn’t the only feature that sets the 292FLBS apart from other travel trailers. There are plenty of standard amenities throughout and opportunities to customize that make the Ever-Lite brand a popular choice among savvy campers in search of a coach that will last a lifetime.

An entry door at the front of the trailer opens into the large living area. The 90-inch horseshoe lounge with freestanding table sits in the 42-inch deep slide opposite the entrance. An optional sofa with two end tables is available in place of the lounge. At the front of the living area is another sofa with valuable overhead storage above. This sofa can also be replaced with two optional swivel rockers. Natural light fills the room from the skylight above making the space feel even larger.

A spacious kitchen full of cabinets and a huge pantry provide plenty of food storage. The 292FLBS features a unique slide-out wardrobe/pantry that is strategically located for optimal functionality. The wardrobe slide is next to the kitchen, across from the bathroom and outside the bedroom for food, linen or clothing storage in the hallway.

2015 EverGreen Ever-Lite 292FLBS interior

2015 EverGreen Ever-Lite 292FLBS interior

“This bedroom slide model offers people more interior living space without the added length,” said Vice President of Sales and Marketing Doug Lantz.

“Our new 292FLBS is as much as 1,600 pounds lighter, and two to three feet shorter than other bedroom slide models on the market today.”

The bedroom has more than just a residential style closet with mirrored, sliding doors. Nightstands on both sides of the bed, under bed storage with gas-assisted struts, a large dresser and overhead storage provide more than enough room for camping essentials.

A generous sized bathroom also has a large amount of countertop space, uncommon in similar travel trailers. Above the curved front shower a skylight floods the room with natural light.

The Ever-Lite remains EverGreen’s innovative, composite flagship brand. The up-front investment in composite materials, and the complexity of manufacturing with composites, are just two of the reasons the EverGreen Ever-Lite remains the only composite travel trailer built to this day.

Details

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC was founded in December of 2008 with the premise that the recreational vehicle industry needed a new generation of innovative, sustainable, eco-friendly, green travel trailers and fifth wheels built like none before.

2015 EverGreen Ever-Lite 292FLBS interior

2015 EverGreen Ever-Lite 292FLBS interior

The vision of EverGreen is to use sustainable eco-friendly, recyclable, composite materials to replace wood and produce higher quality, longer-lasting products that are fully equipped, yet lightweight.

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC is the first RV manufacturer to achieve the TRA Certified Green Emerald Rating for its eco-friendly Ever-Lite travel trailers and fifth wheels.

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC currently offers six lines of travel trailers (Ever-Lite, Sun Valley, i-Go, Ascend, Element, and Amped), four lines of fifth wheel trailers (Bay Hill, Tesla, Lifestyle, and Alfa Gold), two lines of toy haulers (Amped and Tesla), and a Class B motorhome (Imperial).

Of the top 15 towable RV manufacturers, EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC, along with its Lifestyle Luxury RV fifth-wheel division, was the fastest growing company in the industry for both registered retail sales and total increase in market share for the year 2013.

Today, with the addition of the Skyline RV brand, EverGreen with its Lifestyle Luxury RV division is one of the five largest recreational vehicle manufacturers in North America

2015 EverGreen Ever-Lite 292FLBS interior

2015 EverGreen Ever-Lite 292FLBS interior

Address: 10758 County Road 2, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (574) 825-4298

Website: www.goevergreenrv.com

Worth Pondering…

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.

—Ayn Rand

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Prep Your RV For Summer In 5 Easy Steps

The weather is getting warmer and summer will soon be here.

Ramblers Rest RV Resort, Venice, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Ramblers Rest RV Resort, Venice, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Now is the time to start planning your summer vacation. But prior to booking a campsite, owners of recreational vehicles should perform some basic and routine maintenance to ensure that their road trip goes smoothly. Preventative measures and maintenance will reduce the risk of problems.

It is a much better to take care of any problems while at home rather than having to deal with costly repairs while on the road. Trouble-free camping makes for happy camping.

Plug it In – Turn it On

After taking the RV out of winter storage, plug it in to shore power, turn on the LP gas, and connect to city water to ensure that all electric and propane appliances function normally and there is no evidence of water leaks. Also run the air conditioning units and furnace, turn on the refrigerator and freezer, start the water heater, and power up the generator and run with a full load.

Check and Double Check

Top off the fluid levels in your batteries, check all hoses and belts for cracking, and all fluid levels on a motorized RV. Also check the converter and/or inverter for proper voltage. Check the headlights and turn signals. Take a look at all your hitch and towing equipment. Check fire extinguisherssmoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, and propane sensor.

North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping at North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Kick the Tires

Check the age of the tires—RV tires usually age out before they wear out.

Check that all tires are properly inflated. Improperly inflated tires means more money for fuel. Under-inflated tires can increase fuel consumption by up to 4 percent, according to International Energy Agency. Proper inflation also reduces the incidence of tire failure and blowout.

If you have a travel trailer or fifth wheel trailer you may need to pack wheel bearings.

Clean the tires and rims and inspect them for evidence of any splits or cracks in the sidewalls and weatherization damage.

Jack it Up

Regardless of your RV type, check the jacks and leveling systems, the awnings, crank and run the generator and service if required.

Open awnings and check for frayed or ripped material. Remove stains and mildew with special awning cleaner and allow awning to dry before rolling back up. Check hardware for functionality and replace as needed.

Tips For Cleaning Your RV Exterior

Products For Cleaning Your RV Exterior

Keep it Clean

Regular cleaning of a recreational vehicle is essential for its maintenance and to ensure the longevity of your RV especially after a long winter in storage. Cleaning starts with your RV roof, because whatever lands on your roof eventually ends up everywhere else on the RV. Always exercise extreme care when working on the roof of an RV, especially when wet.

When inspecting the roof look for tears or holes. Beware of small slices that can allow water intrusion. Get any holes or slices repaired immediately.

Look for peeling, cracking, or openings in the sealants and if found should be cleaned, dried, and resealed.

Next clean the front of the RV including side mirrors, the side walls, and back using a quality RV wash such as McGuire’s. The safest and easiest way to reach the upper part of the RV is with an extension pole system.

Pay special attention to the seams where the wall joints, storage bay doors, marker lights, and appliance outlets are found. Remove dirt, bugs, tar, and other road residue from the surface of your RV.

Inspect the side walls and around windows and doors for cracks or voids in the seams and seals. Scrape and reseal any affected areas with the appropriate sealant.

Canyon Vista RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Canyon Vista RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

After a general clean with the soap and water it’s time to wax the beast with a quality product such as McGuire’s Wash and Wax.

Worth Pondering…

The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.

—Ben Stein

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More Americans To Take Summer Road Trip

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and kicks off summer vacation planning season. More Americans will take to the roads this year as they benefit from the low fuel prices.

travelocity-road-trip-infographicAccording to a recent Travelocity survey of 1000 Americans, 65 percent of those polled stated that they were more likely to take a road trip this summer compared to last summer.

While it’s clear that low fuel prices are likely driving Americans to take more road trips, Travelocity’s survey also looked at why road trips are still popular when it comes to travel.

While the majority of those surveyed replied that the destination is what they most look forward to, a full one-third of those polled felt that the best part of a road trip is the journey itself.

This sentiment was echoed by a number of Travelocity customers who were asked what they loved most about going on road trips. According to one veteran Travelocity customer, sharing and enjoying their favorite music on the road by “making road trip mixes” is the best part of a road trip, while another noted that it is “…fun to pull over to random roadside attractions. Those usually create long lasting memories and stories that will forever commemorate the trip.”

When asked about what person with whom they would least want to undertake a road trip, 35 percent of those surveyed responded that it would be “the fussy child”, followed by “the one who needs frequent bathroom breaks” (20%) and “the backseat driver” (16%).

Scenic Byway 12 travels through some of the most diverse, remote and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Scenic Byway 12 travels through some of the most diverse, remote and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When asked how long they could go without needing to stop for a break, the average across those surveyed was five hours. However, when broken down by gender, the difference turned out to be substantial. While on average, women feel that they could go just over four hours between stops, while men claim that they can go almost an hour longer before having to pull over.

The Road Trip

The tradition of taking a road trip dates back about 3,000 years.

The first road trip likely occurred in ancient Egypt around 1200 B.C., when Ramses II hit the road in his chariot.

Similar ventures—using the well-loved automobile—began in Germany in the 1880s.

As the car’s popularity grew, so did the practice of taking to roadways for a carefree holiday.

The road trip became an easy, breezy travel idea that’s affordable and accessible—and in America today there is no shortage of highways, byways, and back roads.

Answering the call of the open road is practically an American rite of passage—and today more and more are taking to the open road in a recreational vehicle.

Anyone who has listened to John Denver sing about country roads and the Blue Ridge Mountains can easily imagine the transcendent beauty of Shenandoah National Park.

Anyone who has listened to John Denver sing about country roads and the Blue Ridge Mountains can easily imagine the transcendent beauty of Shenandoah National Park along the Blue Ridge Parkway. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

National Scenic Byways

So put the pedal to the metal, crank up those tunes, and roll down those windows to gaze upon America the beautiful as it rolls by.

Indulge your wanderlust on wheels while exploring the following National Scenic Byways.

Scenic Byway 12 (Utah)

Scenic Byway 12 travels through some of the most diverse, remote and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. It runs through Utah’s Garfield and Wayne Counties and is home to Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks; Kodachrome Basin, Escalante Petrified Forest, and Anasazi Museum State Parks; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the 1.8-million-acre Dixie National Forest.

Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia and North Carolina)

The Blue Ridge Parkway provides spectacular mountain and valley vistas, quiet pastoral scenes, sparkling waterfalls, and colorful flower and foliage displays as it extends through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. Connecting two national parks—Shenandoah in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountainsin North Carolina—the Blue Ridge Parkway traverses 469 miles through blue-misted Appalachian highlands.

Red Rock Scenic Byway (Arizona)

Red Rock Scenic Byway winds through Sedona’s Red Rock Country, often called a “museum without walls.” © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Red Rock Scenic Byway winds through Sedona’s Red Rock Country, often called a “museum without walls.” © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Red Rock Scenic Byway winds through Sedona’s Red Rock Country, often called a “museum without walls.” Travelers are amazed by the high desert’s power, diversity, and sense of intimacy with nature. Inhabited for thousands of years, the stunning red rocks are alive with a timeless spirit that captivates and inspires.

El Camino Real (New Mexico)

New Mexico’s El Camino Real passes by missions, historic sites, and a national wildlife refuge.

Cultures along El Camino Real De Tierra Adentro (The Royal Road of the Interior Land), are as diverse as its history and scenery. Pueblos reveal artisans crafting wares using centuries-old methods. First traveled by Don Juan de Onate in 1598, the route provided news, supplies, and travel to the first capital of the New World.

Worth Pondering…

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

BURMA SHAVE

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Camping & National Parks: Best RV Destinations

Families across the country are planning their summer vacations and taking their RV out of winter storage.

The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) joins the two parks of Jasper and Banff in one of the most breathtaking, beautiful drives that anyone can travel in the world. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) joins the two parks of Jasper and Banff in one of the most breathtaking, beautiful drives that anyone can travel in the world. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Canada’s network of national parks offers must-see destinations for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. As the summer camping season quickly approaches, Parks Canada prepares to welcome campers to national parks across the country.

Some of the best RV destinations where campers can escape from the city and connect with nature at found at Canada’s national parks. Full-service camping with water, electric, and sewer hookups are available at the following national parks:

Banff National Park (Alberta)

UNESCO World Heritage Site and Canada’s first national park (1885), Banff National Park is a not-to-be missed symbol of Canada. Valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows, and rivers make Banff National Park one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. The campsite is located 10 minutes from the village of Banff. Tunnel Mountain Campground offers 321 sites.

Who doesn’t dream of seeing the turquoise waters of Lake Louise. Big-rig friendly Lake Louise Campground offers RV 184 sites with water and electric service. Sani dump available nearby.

Jasper National Park (Alberta)

Jasper National Park combines some of the most spectacular scenery in the Canadian Rockies with ease of access

Jasper National Park combines some of the most spectacular scenery in the Canadian Rockies with ease of access and less crowded conditions than Banff © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

UNESCO World Heritage Site and Dark Sky Preserve, Jasper National Park , the grandiose, icy jewel of the Rockies offers unlimited hiking trails, incomparable wilderness, and the second most extensive dark sky preserve on the planet. Whistlers Campground (781 sites) is located on the Icefields Parkway, a short distance south of the town site of Jasper.

Waterton Lakes National Park – Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (Alberta)

At Waterton Lakes National Park, the term “majestic” makes perfect sense. The prairie grassland quickly gives way to the windswept, steep mountains. Several different ecological areas coexist in a landscape shaped by wind, fire, and water where all kinds of plants and animals can be found. Townsite Campground offers 90 camping sites.

Kootenay National Park (British Columbia)

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kootenay National Park features a varied landscape and ecological environment that not only includes glacier-topped peaks along the Continental Divide, but also semi-arid open grassland forests in the Rocky Mountain Trench where you can find cacti, and hot springs. Located a short distance from the hot springs, Redstreak Campground offers 242 sites.

The newly opened Glacial Skywalk over the Athabasca Glacier (Jasper National Park, Alberta) lets you experience waterfalls, wildlife, fossils, and more on an exciting cliff-edge walkway that leads to a platform where glass is all that separates you from a 918-foot drop. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The newly opened Glacial Skywalk over the Athabasca Glacier (Jasper National Park, Alberta) lets you experience waterfalls, wildlife, fossils, and more on an exciting cliff-edge walkway that leads to a platform where glass is all that separates you from a 918-foot drop. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cape Breton Highlands National Park (Nova Scotia)

Breathtaking landscapes welcome you as they shape Cape Breton Highlands National Park. High, steep cliffs and deep river valleys dissect the forest-covered plateau bordering the Atlantic Ocean. One-third of the famous Cabot Trail runs through the Park along the coast and dominates the Highlands. Located near the charming village of Ingonish, the 74-site Broad Cove Campground is in a forest bordered by a long sandy beach on the Atlantic Ocean.

Prince Edward Island National Park (Prince Edward Island)

Surrounded by landscapes where dunes, archipelagos, sand spits, beaches, red sandstone cliffs, and forests endlessly follow each other, dive into the history of the people who lived there, whether Aboriginal, French, or Acadian. Offering 73 sites the Cavendish Campground is located next to a secluded patrolled white sandy beach.

Fundy National Park (New Brunswick)

The spectacular force of the tides in Fundy National Park, is a marvel in itself. Hike the magnificent trails lined with river valleys, lakes, coastal forests and beaches, and relax and admire the wonders of star clusters at night. The 248-site Chignecto North Campground is located on a large wooded lot, 10 minutes by car from the Bay of Fundy; un-serviced and fully serviced are available.

Rocky Mountain Sheep. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Rocky Mountain Sheep in Jasper National Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Riding Mountain National Park (Manitoba)

Visiting Riding Mountain National Park is the first step in the discovery of extended hills and valleys extending eastward from a dramatic rise known as the Manitoba Escarpment. The 86-site Wasagaming Campground provides access to the main beach, restaurants, golf course, hiking and cycling paths, a horse-riding trail and many other services.

Prince Albert National Park (Saskatchewan)

Discover a preserved northern evergreen forest, home to abundant wildlife including one of the few populations of wild plains bison. Magnificent scenic routes criss-cross the Park. The 161-site Red Deer Campground is located a short walk from hiking trails, a beach and a wide range of services.

Worth Pondering…

I always thought of this as God’s country.
—Jack Granatstein

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KA-PING! What Was That Sound?

KA-PING! What was that sound?

Our Newmar Dutch Star parked at Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Our Newmar Dutch Star parked at Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A stone had been thrown from a medium sized car as it accelerated and merged onto the interstate in front of our motor coach on I-5 in central California. Not an extra loud ping as the rock hit our one-piece windshield and not our first rock chip. And NOT a big deal.

We’ve had small windshield chips before and knew the basics of that.

No crater and no cracks spreading out in all directions.

No need to panic, turn to social media, or contact our insurance company.

If I had turned to social media I’m sure the feedback would run the gamut ranging from Holy Cannolli! to use clear nail polish or bubble gum it.

Later in the day we pulled into big-rig friendly, Durango RV Resort, a 5-star park located on the Sacramento River in Red Bluff.

Most sites are pull-through 70-90 feet in length and 30-35 feet wide. In addition there are 11 riverfront sites and 21 water-feature spaces (fountains); these sites have utilities on both sides of the concrete pads enabling fifth wheels and travel trailer to back onto the sites and motorhomes to drive forward maximizing the view and water features. In addition, there are a number of buddy sites.

Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The park is well laid out and designed. Utilities including 20/30/50-amp electric service, water, sewer, and cable TV (63 channels) and centrally located. Interior roads are paved, pads are concrete. A beautiful RV resort with friendly and courteous staff. We would return in a heartbeat. But I digress.

We woke up in the morning of April 1—and it was no April Fool’s joke—to a crack in the middle of the windshield two to three feet across. We didn’t think too much about it when the rock hit the windshield the previous day as a car accelerated to merge onto the interstate. The brutally rough California freeways may have may it worse. In the whole scheme of things it’s not the worst thing that could happen.

Windshields really are amazing things. They must meet US DOT standards to withstand an incident like this, and hold up in one piece until you can get them replaced. Windshields are required to be made of safety glass comprised of two pieces of glass with a laminated plastic layer in between that keeps everything held together.

Henry Ford actually started using this style of glass for windshield as early as 1919 when ordinary glass windshields were causing needless deaths from glass fragments.

Insurance policies can vary widely. You may have windshield coverage on your RV insurance policy. For some, it’s an add-on rider, for others it’s included at zero deductible with comprehensive coverage as mandated by state law. Check with your agent or company to know and understand your coverage.

Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’re a Florida resident and have a Florida policy with comprehensive coverage, here’s a bonus for you: State law mandates that there is no deductible applied to windshield repairs or replacements. The replacement won’t cost you anything but time!

Glass replacement can range in cost depending upon the shape, size, and availability of the windshield. Total cost of replacement might be less than your deductible, if it applies, and not worth filing. For others, it may be well worth filing a claim.

There was no need to alter our travel plans as we were staying several days at the delightful Durango RV Resort.

We started coordinating the windshield replacement by contacting our insurance company and Midtown RV, our Newmar dealer in Penticton, British Columbia, where we had previously booked a service appointment.

We opted to file through our insurance company, as we knew the windshield replacement cost would exceed our $2,500 deductible.

Midtown RV, Newmar and Airstream dealer in Penticton, British Columbia  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Midtown RV, Newmar and Airstream dealer in Penticton, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

We had Midtown RV order the windshield replacement and set us up with an appointment at nearby Sunshine Glass and Mirror to coincide with our service appointment.

Sunshine Glass has many years experience replacing motorhome windshields and understands that RV glass is not the same as passenger vehicle auto glass and is treated differently. We have used them on several previous occasions and found their service to be prompt and efficient. Following the replacement we are advised not to extend the hydraulic jacks or drive the motorhome until the following day. It’s okay to extend the slides.

The following day we’re on the road again.

Worth Pondering…

The only aspect of our travels that is interesting to others is disaster.

—Martha Gellman

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The Appeal of Pop-Up Trailers

Pop-up trailers are a blend of RV and tent, combining the best of both types. They give you the comfort and security of a travel trailer and the openness of a tent.

Viking Epic Pop-Up Trailers

Viking Epic Pop-Up Trailers Consumers Digest Best Buy

Pop-up trailers, which are also known as pop-up campers, folding tent trailers, and folding campers are lightweight trailers with collapsible (usually canvas material) sides that fold for aerodynamic towing by a motorized vehicle. When set up, they provide cooking, dining, and sleeping facilities for up to eight people.

Pop-up trailers are an affordable way for the budget buyer to get into RVing, a viable first step of RV ownership.

They are lightweight and make a lot of sense to campers especially young families and those looking at upgrading from tent camping to an RV.

Added to the fact purchase prices are much lower than a conventional RV, they provide a wonderful camping choice.

The RV Industry Association (RVIA) is forecasting the industry will ship 10,900 pop-up units to retailers this year and will remain unchanged in 2015.

TrailManor SilverTrail Edition

TrailManor SilverTrail Edition

Although the market for pop-ups has been eroded somewhat following the recession, there are still new pop-up trailers coming out that will continue to attract new customers who have decided that tent camping just isn’t fun anymore. And today’s pop-ups have some definite advantages over their predecessors.

They’re definitely not your dad’s pop-up. Early pop-up trailers were bland—not much more than a wheeled box with a bed and table. They have become a lot easier to set up and take down. Today’s pop-up trailers are much more automated with more power lifts that reduce setup and take down time. When you add to that the incredible number of new features—everything from updated floor plans and fabrics to extra storage and power points, their appeal has been broadened.

SylvanSport GO

Lightweight and easy to manage, the SylvanSport GO can be pulled by even the smallest of cars.

Today, they are much improved and offer more appeal. There are even off-road models with dirt tires and a deck on which to carry an ATV.

Setting up a pop-up trailer is relatively simple and should take about 20 minutes.

Park your pop-up in a level spot. Secure the wheels with a tire locking chock. Raise the trailer tongue high enough to disconnect the tow vehicle. Pull the tow vehicle away and level the trailer.

Release the roof latches, and raise the roof using the crank handle or winch extending the telescoping poles on each corner of the box.

Next, bunks at the front and the back of the trailer are pulled out by hand. Then, the tent material (which is fastened to the box and to the roof) is unfurled, pulled over the ends of the bunks, and attached. Interior support poles for the bunk and the entry door are then installed.

Depending on the configuration and included equipment, several additional set up steps may be required. These steps include hooking up to utilities (electricity, water, sewer), reassembling the dinette, unfolding the sink, turning on systems (water pump, water heater, etc.), making beds and unpacking belongings.

Earlier articles on Vogel Talks RVing have featured several brands of pop-up trailers, each boasting unique features.

Bunkhouse Pop-up trailer

Bushtec Products’ Bunkhouse Pop-up trailers has introduced a new pop-up travel trailer.

The Bunkhouse Camper manufactured by Jacksboro, Tennessee-based Bushtec Products features pop-ups weighing less than 300 pounds that are popular with motorcycle riders.

The TrailManor is a low-profile hard wall trailer that opens and closes with the touch of a remote control. TrailManor’s “tow low/live high” concept appeals to campers desiring comfort and luxury beyond that offered by the typical pop-up trailer.

The Viking Epic Series of pop-up trailers offers eight floor plans in the $9,615-$13,401 price range. Manufactured by Coachmen RV, a division of Forest River Inc., the Viking Epic Series was named a 2014 Consumers Digest Best Buy in the “midrange” category.

Billed as “Mobile Adventure Gear” rather than a trailer, the SylvanSport Go is an 800-pound pop-up trailer that can carry extra outdoor equipment such as canoes and trailers and can be towed by a small car.

Worth Pondering…

Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.

—James Dean (1931-1955)

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RVers On The Road: Who, What & Where?

An RV is a vehicle that combines transportation and living quarters for travel, recreation, and camping purposes.

Texas Lakeside RV Resort, Port Lavaca, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Texas Lakeside RV Resort, Port Lavaca, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In this post, we take a look at some RV fun facts, top destinations, and budgets of the estimated 9 million RVs currently on the road.

Fast Facts About RVers

Estimated 9 million households own an RVs

The average RVer is 48 years old

And own their home

39 per cent have children under 18 living at home

Spend an average of 3 weeks traveling annually

Travel an average of 4,500 miles on their RV annually

Medium income: $62,000

Fastest growing segment: 35-54 years old

Intent to buy another RV: 70 percent

Whiskey Flats RV Park, Hawthorne, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The whole concept of RVing is to have fun and enjoy your leisure time. Camping at Whiskey Flats RV Park, Hawthorne, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Own their own RV: Average 8.4 years

On their RV over 10 years: 30 percent

Camping clubs had their start with the Tin Can Tourists of the 1920s and 30s who camped on roadsides, using gas stoves to heat food in tin cans and bathed in cold water

Good Sam Club had its start 49 years ago in 1966

Good Sam Club is the world’s largest RV organization with over one million members

RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Elkhart, Indiana

Fast Facts About the RV Industry

Produced 1.1 million RVs in the past 4 years

More than 12,000 RV-related businesses in the U.S. with combined annual revenues of more than $37.5 billion

Employs more than a quarter million Americans

Midtown RV, Newmar and Airstream dealer in Penticton, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Midtown RV, Newmar and Airstream dealer in Penticton, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Over 60 percent of all RVs are manufactured in Elkhart County, Indiana

Where Are RVers Going?

Most Popular RV Travel Destinations

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho

Yosemite National Park, California

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

Great Smokey Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota

Disney World and Orlando theme parks, Florida

Fall Foliage Tour

Utah Grand Circle Tour

Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

An RV For Every Budget

RV vacation for a family of four is 27-62 percent less expensive than vacations that include hotel, airfare, and restaurant costs.

There is an RV for everyone’s lifestyle and budget

Folding camping trailer

Truck camper

Travel trailer

Fifth wheel trailer

Class A gas motorhome

Class A diesel pusher motorhome

Class B motorhome or camper van

Class C motorhome

Cherohala Skyway

Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons especially along the Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway, North Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Toy hauler or sports utility RV

Let’s Go RVing!

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…

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Accessing The Internet From Your RVing

Hitting the open road is an American dream. But doing it in an RV means that you can bring all your amenities with you including your desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet computer, e-reader, and smartphones.

Wi-FiThere are three main ways to access the internet while on the road: Satellite connection, wireless service, and Wi-Fi.

Satellite Connection

Through the use of a satellite dish your RV uploads and downloads data. This service tends to be more expensive and equipment heavy than other options.

Wireless Internet

Cell phone carriers offer wireless Internet services designed specifically for the laptop. Most services in this category are based on cellular technology.

Through the use of a MIFI “Mobile WIFI” stand alone device or a smartphone, the device becomes a wireless connection device that uses wireless towers to send and receive data. Recently plans are the cheapest they have ever been and they are pretty reliable.

Your service relies heavily on coverage and the quality of the network you choose to use. The two most common hotspot recommendations are Verizon and AT&T. We prefer Verizon because they have the best nationwide coverage. Be sure to review the coverage map before buying to make sure service is available at your travel destinations.

Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi )

Wireless Fidelity (or WiFi) is a technical term for the wireless network cards in laptop computers.

Most RV park directories including the Good Sam Travel & Savings Guide indicate when Wi-Fi is available.

wi-fiimagesWiFi is the technology that links your laptop to a provider using two-way radio signals, and the provider further connects you to the Internet. The actual speed at which you browse the Internet depends on several factors including the connection speed between your computer and the WiFi receiver and between the WiFi receiver and the Internet.

WiFi has a very limited range. An area within range of the WiFi signal is called a hotspot.

Be aware that if an RV park offers Wi-Fi Internet access, you may not be able to access the network from all sites in the campground, so ask when you make the reservation or check in.

Many RV parks offer Wi-Fi free and others charge a fee for service, in some cases through a Wi-Fi provider. Daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal rates are normally available.

RV park and campground managers are beginning to think of Wi-Fi as the fourth utility that RV parks offer consumers after electricity, water, and sewer. A service that was once considered a perk is quickly becoming an expectation for most, if not all, RVers.

Just a few years ago, 50-amp electric moved from a “nice to have” to an essential service to some degree at any 21st century park. As difficult as it has been for some parks to upgrade, for the most part successful parks have accomplished it. So it will be with Wi-Fi.

Campers demand a connection and if they have to pay an additional fee, it better be good. Following these demands, RV parks are adapting in a variety of ways. Access is no longer a ‘want’; it has become a ‘need’.

Missouri-wi-fi-for-web-smallToday’s RVer expects to be able to get online, quickly, easily, and reliably.

When I’m in an RV park Internet access is a true need. I use it for everything from this website, to buying goods and services, entertainment, and interacting with family and friends.

Wi-Fi or other internet access at each site whether free or a paid service is, I consider to already be an essential utility in a campground or RV park. Park owners must figure out how to deliver this service regardless of difficulty.

One of the first questions I ask prior to making a campground reservation relates to Internet availability: “Do you have Wi-Fi and is it available from each RV site?”

My reservation is contingent on whether the RV park has reliable Wi-Fi available at the site.

I’ve stayed in campgrounds that didn’t provide adequate Wi-Fi connectivity as promised, where the Wi-Fi network was as good as none. Being told that I can come to the office or sit on a picnic table outside of the office and use it, just doesn’t cut it anymore.

A growing number of RVers expect the campground to deliver reliable online access and will choose not to stay in a park unable to provide it.

Worth Pondering…

What’s the Wi-Fi password?

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Tips For Cleaning Your RV Roof

The majority of RV damage is water damage from leaks as a result of lack of maintenance.

Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tips For Cleaning Your RV Roof. Location: Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RVs have an inherent flexibility to them and flex to absorb the variable road conditions upon which they travel. This means that soft flexible sealants are required at the seams where major pieces of the coach meet.

When you take all this into consideration, the RVs we have do a pretty good job at keeping out the elements, but will only do so if maintained properly.

Water kills RVs. Over time, most RVs exposed to water intrusion will rot and fail in one way or another, not to mention the fact that the moisture can lead to problems like mold and mildew.

Take extreme care when working on the roof of an RV, especially when wet.

First, you need to know the type of roof you have on your RV.

There are three primary roofing types used in the RV industry: Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), and fiberglass.

EPDM is the rubber roofing seen on most RVs and is usually pure white with a black bottom layer. EPDM weathers causing a white powder to form as it ages in the sun and if you rub it with your hand you will get it on you. EPDM is smooth to the touch.

Arizona Oasis RV Resort, Ehrenburg, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tips For Cleaning Your RV Roof. Lovation: Arizona Oasis RV Resort, Ehrenburg, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

TPO is basically a plastic and comes in several colors and has a textured surface. TPO doesn’t weather the same way EPDM does, so you won’t have the white powder that gets on you when you work on the roof. Because TPO is a plastic, the roof is the same color all the way through. TPO roofing is glued down to the roof decking in the same way that EPDM is, but using a different adhesive.

Cleaning starts with your RV roof, because whatever lands on your roof eventually ends up everywhere else on the RV.

Cleaning a TPO roof is pretty easy. Use a non-abrasive household cleaner, such as Top Job or Spic-N-Span, and a medium-bristled scrub brush. Do not use any harsh or highly-abrasive products during cleaning.

EPDM roofing should be cleaned with a rubber roof cleaner and conditioner, several of which are available commercially through your RV parts supplier. These cleaners and conditioners not only wash away the excess ‘white powder’ from the membrane, but also seal the membrane and reduce the formation of the powder (weathering) from UV and environmental exposure.

American RV Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tips For Cleaning Your RV Roof. Location: American RV Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

CAUTION: DO NOT use cleaners or conditioners containing petroleum solvents, harsh abrasives, or citric-based cleaners on either roof type. You may cause irreparable damage to your roof and may void your warranty.

RV roof seals are often covered in one of two types of sealant materials. First, and the most common is a liquid self-leveling sealant appropriate for the type of roof upon which it is being applied. Second, is a tape product with a super tacky sealant attached to one side and a white plastic or metallic tape on the other.

WARNING: It is imperative that you use a compatible sealant for the roof you have. EPDM and TPO sealants are NOT interchangeable. NEVER use silicone sealant on the roof of an RV. Silicone is NOT compatible with most RV roofing sealants, and doesn’t have the performance properties needed to properly seal the RV.

When inspecting the roof look for tears or holes. Beware of small slices that can allow water intrusion. Get any holes or slices repaired immediately.

Self-leveling sealants are used around everything that goes through the roof, including antennas, vents, and the terminations at the front and back of the roof. Look for peeling, cracking, or openings in the sealants and if found should be cleaned, dried, and resealed. If you believe moisture and dirt have penetrated the sealants, they should be removed and replaced.

If you keep on top of all the seals on your RV (not just the roof) you’ll do a lot to help maintain the long-term value of your unit.

Flag City RV Resort, Lodi, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Flag City RV Resort, Lodi, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Don’t let leaves, pine needles, and other debris collect on the roof of the RV or the slideout toppers. This debris holds and wicks water into lesser protected areas of the roof causing extreme damage. Installing slide toppers keeps this debris off the slide out roofs and out of the slide out seals and keeping the rest of the roof clean and debris free.

With a little bit of work and care your RV can provide you with many years of enjoyment, as well as maintain its value much longer for when it comes time to… you know… trade up!

Hey, we all do it!

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

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RVing, National Parks & The “Wow” Factor

The United States maintains more than 6,000 federally-protected sites, spanning over 1 million square miles and totaling roughly 27 percent of America’s entire land area.

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

America’s National Parks are the great outdoors, the wide open spaces, and the wild places where families escape to marvel at a wonderful playground of caverns and canyons, grasslands and badlands, geysers and waterfalls, mountains and glaciers, waterfalls and wild rivers, volcanoes and lava fields, and historic and archeological sites.

Attracting millions of visitors worldwide, the national park system contains many of America’s most treasured landscapes and offers visitors incredible variety from the lush Everglades, to windswept Death Valley, to the grandaddy of national parks, the Grand Canyon.

Stories of America’s diverse places and people are everywhere. They’re found across the landscapes of the nation in the National Parks and National Heritage Areas, along historic trails and waterways, and in every city and neighborhood.

National Parks preserve American history in all its diversity, from ancient archeological places to the homes of poets and Presidents to battlefields and industrial sites.

Why National Parks?

Pinnacles National Park: Rocks, Caves & Condors © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pinnacles National Park: Rocks, Caves & Condors © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The National Park Service helps preserve the beautiful landscapes and historic sites in America. National parks are open to the public to give visitors the opportunity to enjoy these sights and understand why they’re essential to preserve for future generations. For RVers, this provides us with an unique opportunity to travel to the national parks of our choice and camp there, too.

National Parks Are Popular RV Destinations

While the majority of Americans never step foot in a national park, RVers continue to take advantage of everything they have to offer. From east to west and north to south, you’ll find national parks that provide facilities for RVers to camp and enjoy the beauty, history, and ecosystems they protect. This is why national parks should be a high priority to visit for RVers.

What Can You Do at National Parks?

Whether you delight in the challenge of a strenuous hike or prefer to sit quietly and enjoy a sunrise or sunset, national parks offer a great diversity of activities for you and your family to enjoy.

Two desert systems, the Mojave and the Colorado, abut within Joshua Tree, dividing California's southernmost national park into two arid ecosystems of profoundly contrasting appearance. The key to their differences is elevation.

Two desert systems, the Mojave and the Colorado, abut within Joshua Tree, dividing California’s southernmost national park into two arid ecosystems of profoundly contrasting appearance. The key to their differences is elevation. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Depending on the national park chosen, you can do everything from camping, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, nature walks, and much more. Each national park has a variety of activities related to the unique features of the park that you can take part in by yourself or as a family.

With so many adventures to choose from, you’ll have some tough decisions to make.

RVing to National Parks

Many national parks provide visitor services for RVers including campgrounds that provide parking sites, flush toilets, and shower facilities. RVers can reserve camping sites and enjoy the park in a different way than day visitors.

Most national parks that offer camping facilities recommend you make reservations up to six months in advance.

As the peak summer season approaches and national parks become a more popular destination for RVers, it becomes increasingly more difficult to obtain a camping site without advance reservations. As an alternative, private campgrounds and RV parks are often located within easy driving distance of popular national parks. Again, reservations are recommended.

Choosing the Right National Park

Choosing the park that’s right for you is as simple as choosing how you want to play, for the parks offer a nearly endless range of activities to explore.

When selecting a national park for your next RV vacation, consider your family’s interests.

National Parks are perfect for kids. Most of the larger parks run Junior Ranger Programs, allowing kids to participate in fun activities while learning about the area’s natural habitat and historic significance. Other parks offer nature walks and wildlife talks specifically geared towards children, to demonstrate to them that nature has much to offer.

The Island in the Sky region of Canyonlands is a wide high plateau with commanding views across many miles of deep canyons in all directions. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Island in the Sky region of Canyonlands is a wide high plateau with commanding views across many miles of deep canyons in all directions. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Upon entrance to a national park make your fist stop the Visitors Center. The friendly park rangers will recommend guided hikes, nature walks, other available family activities as well as provide the latest information about safety hazards, closures, weather, and wildlife notices.

Regardless of the park you choose, you’ll find numerous options and delights; keep your mind open to the possibilities and your soul open to the experiences.

Worth Pondering…

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.

—Aristotle

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