Lance Introduces Lightweight Truck Camper

Lancaster, California-based Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp., currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, introduced an all-new truck camper model, the 995.

Lance Camper 995 exterior

Lance Camper 995 exterior

The 995 is a 9-foot model with a base dry weight of 3,290-pound base dry weight, 300 to 500 pounds less than competitive models, according to a company news release.

Highlights of this new 995 floor plan include a full wall dinette/refrigerator super slide sitting on an “above the wheel well” floor design. This new floor configuration allows for more space inside the camper, less of a step up into the slide out area and the addition of a slide out storage drawer in the basement area.

“We introduced the above the wheel well floor design on the 1172 model and our owners love it, so we have incorporated it into the new 995 as well,” said Randy Hunter, product development manager.

“This gives our owners an additional 9 inches of interior floor width, which is evident as soon as you walk in.”

The all-new 995 standard features include a very large galley with substantial counter space and built in trash can designed to accommodate today’s most common size of plastic grocery bag, he explained.

Lance Camper 995 interior in Arrowhead decor

Lance Camper 995 interior in Arrowhead decor

The cab-over area features a new radius entry step and all new entertainment center housing the standard blue tooth compatible audio system and optional 24-inch TV.

Available options include an electric rear awning, Lance’s exclusive ultraDECKplus bumper, keyless entry, entry door shade, and new LED docking lights.

The all new full wall super slide, long bed model features above wheel well floor plan design providing maximum living space.

Specifications includes:

Floor Length: 9 feet 11 inches

Overall Length: 18 feet 11 inches

Exterior Width: 96 inches

Exterior Height: 9 feet 1 inch

Interior Height: 80 inches

Dry Weight w/Standard Equipment: 3,290 pounds

Fresh Water Tank Capacity: 45 gallons

Grey Water Tank Capacity: 28 gallons

Lance Camper 995 floor plan

Lance Camper 995 floor plan

Black Water Tank Capacity: 35 gallons

Refrigerator: 6 cubic feet

Propane: 2-5 gallon tanks

Furnace: 20,000 BTU

Sleeping Capacity: 4

Personalize your Lance by selecting from one of three interiors to create both stunning and functional Lance interiors. You’ll find beautiful woods, wall treatments, and fabric combinations with dinette cushions that feature reversible cushions, providing two different looks with each decor. The three available decors include: Arrowhead, Mojave Dunes, and Palm Springs.

Production starts in January with the 995 starring at the Pleasanton, California, and Denver RV shows next month.


Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp.

Lance 50th anniv. logoLancaster, California-based Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp. has been one of the largest and leading manufacturers of truck campers in North America since the company was founded in 1965.

Their line of ultra-light travel trailers is one of the fastest-growing RV lines in the American West.

Lance manufactures from a state-of-the-art production facility—a 141,000 square foot, 22-acre campus.

Factory tours are by appointment only on Wednesday mornings during production cycles.

Address: 43120 Venture Street Lancaster, CA 93535-4510

Phone: (661) 949-3322


Worth Pondering…

The attraction of recreational vehicle travel is to see the country, visit new places, meet interesting people, and experience the freedom of the open road.

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2015 Quartzsite Show Dates Announced

Quartzsite is located in western Arizona, 17 miles east of the Colorado River on I-10.

Nowhere on earth will you find such an assortment of “stuff” as you will at Quartzsite from mid-December to mid-February

Nowhere on earth will you find such an assortment of “stuff” as you will at Quartzsite from mid-December to mid-February © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In 1856, settler Charles Tyson built a fort at the present site of Quartzsite for protection against Indian raids and to protect his water supply. Fort Tyson soon became a stopover on the Ehrenburg-to-Prescott stagecoach route. It had become known as Tyson’s Wells by the time the stage stopped running and the town was abandoned.

Quartzsite was established in 1867 and incorporated in 1989. A rock hunter’s paradise surrounds Quartzsite with agates, limonite cubes, gold, and quartz being just a few. Named Quartzite because quartz was occasionally found in the area, the name evolved to Quartzsite through an error in spelling.

Quartzsite has been a rockhounders’ paradise since the 1960s.

Today, it is also attracts over a million and a half visitors each winter who converge on this sleepy desert town of 1900 people in a wave of RVs during the months of January and February when over 2,000 vendors of rocks, gems, minerals, fossils, and everything else imaginable create one of the world’s largest open air flea markets.

Major gem and mineral shows as well as vendors of raw and handcrafted merchandise peddle their wares to snowbirds, collectors, and enthusiasts, making Quartzsite the place to be the first two months of each year.

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

Quartzsite = $400,000 diesel pusher motorhomes towing $40,000 SUVs looking for free camping. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In town, the Hi Jolly Monument honors the Arab camel driver, Hadji Ali, who took part in an unsuccessful 1850’s U.S. War Department attempt to use camels as beasts of burden in the desert. To the south rise the Kofa Mountains. Historic and scenic areas include the Spanish Wall, Crystal Hill, Tyson Tanks, and Tyson Wells Museum. South in the Kofa Mountains is Palm Canyon, a tight gorge and home of Arizona’s only native palms, reached by a steep but rewarding climb. Farther south is Castle Dome Peak.

Tyson Wells Show History

Tyson Wells began with an open lot where an RV Park was developed; the Sell-A-Rama Show started in 1978.

Soon Tyson Wells became known as a leading Rock & Gem Show in the United States. Later, additional land was acquired for more parking, and two more shows—Rock & Gem Show and Art & Craft Fair—were added.

the Hi Jolly Monument honors the Arab camel driver, Hadji Ali, who took part in an unsuccessful 1850’s U.S. War Department attempt to use camels as beasts of burden in the desert.

the Hi Jolly Monument honors the Arab camel driver, Hadji Ali, who took part in an unsuccessful 1850’s U.S. War Department attempt to use camels as beasts of burden in the desert. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tyson Wells has something for everyone with the three shows in January and February, seasonal vendors, self-storage units, and an RV Park.

The Quartzsite Shows

Tyson Wells Rock & Gem Show

The Tyson Wells Rock & Gem Show attracts rock, gem, and mineral vendors from around the world and runs for 10 days in early January.

Dates for the Tyson Wells Rock & Gem Show are January 2-11, 2015.

Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama

The Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama show occurs in late January and also runs for 10 days. The Sell-A-Rama has over 850 vendor spaces which equals roughly 2.2 miles of aisle frontage. You can find just about anything at this 25-acre show.

Dates for the 37th Annual Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama are January 18 – 25, 2015.

Tyson Wells Art & Craft Fair

The indoor Tyson Wells Art & Craft Fair takes place early February each year. One can find arts, crafts, hobbies supplies, jewelry, and lapidary supplies.

Dates for the Tyson Wells Arts & Crafts Fair are January 30-February 8, 2015

2015 Quartzsite Show Dates

You won’t want to miss the 2015 Quartzsite Shows!

January 1-February 28, 2015: The Desert Gardens Gem, Rocks & Mineral Show

This may sound crazy, but I am going back to Crazy Quartzsite again this year!

This may sound crazy, but I am going back to Crazy Quartzsite again this year! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

January 2-January 11, 2015: Tyson Wells Rock & Gem Show

January 2-January 14, 2015: Prospectors Panorama

January 5-January 25, 2015: The Main Event

January 16-January 18, 2015: Blythe Bluegrass Festival

January 18-January 25, 2015: Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama

January 17-January 25, 2015: Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show

January 21-January 25, 2015: QIA Pow Wow Gem & Mineral Show

January 30-February 8, 2015: Tyson Wells Arts & Craft Fair

February 6-February 7, 2015: Quartzsite Quilt Show

February 13- February 15, 2015: Desert Bloom ATV Rally

February 13-February15, 2015: QIA Gold, Treasure & Craft Show

Worth Pondering…

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

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Double Comfort: Furnace & Hot Water Combined in One

Truma launched North America’s first forced air LP gas furnace with an integrated water heating function.

combi_us_bigThanks to its compact dimensions, energy-efficient technology, and quiet operation, the Truma Combi has been the best-selling RV furnace in Europe and Australia for more than 20 years.

The Truma Combi boasts an excellent energy efficiency of approximately 90 percent, which means that the energy stored in propane is converted into heat virtually without loss, according to a company news release.

“This results in very low LP gas and electricity consumption for the furnace and boiler,” explains Gerhard Hundsberger, CEO of Truma Corp.

“It makes the Truma Combi a product that is environmentally-friendly and easy on your wallet.”

The Truma Combi is available in four models: the eco and comfort version operate on propane and rated at 14,300 and 20,400 BTU thermal output respectively.

The eco plus and comfort plus models include an electric option with three operating possibilities: propane, electricity, or both propane and electricity.

The “plus” models are equipped with 1,700-watt electrical heating elements at 120-volt AC.

In all modes, the furnace operates extremely quietly and maintains a constant, comfortable room temperature without variations. Three microprocessors provide intelligent temperature control in the device and ensure maximum safety. One processor controls performance while the other two monitor safety.

The Truma Combi is very compact and, at 35.1 pounds, it is one of the most lightweight heating systems on the market, said Hundsberger.

Double Comfort: Furnace & Hot Water Combined in One

Double Comfort: Furnace & Hot Water Combined in One

The remote cowl-kit requires a minimal wall cut-out diameter of 3.27 inches and provides flexibility in installation at different locations of the vehicle such as small storage spaces, closets, beneath beds, or benches.

Four air outlets on the heater and a special insulated duct system ensure optimal and uniform warm air distribution throughout the vehicle.

The digital LCD control panel “Truma CP plus” offers great operating ease and ensures a pleasant climate in the vehicle.

The near silent, variable speed fan can be set between four operating modes: “eco,” “high,” “boost,” and the fan only “vent” mode.

The boost function heats up the RV 15 percent quicker ensuring a pleasant room climate in no time. A “boost” function is also available for the boiler, providing longer showers with shorter waiting times.

Additionally, all functions can be set easily and conveniently thanks to a programmable timer. For instance, it is possible to program a lower room temperature at night or activate the hot water “Boost” function an hour before the user wakes.

“The Truma Combi offers more convenience, comfort and efficiency and provides innovative German technology for heating and hot water in one device,” said Hundsberger.


Truma Corp

truma_en logoTruma, the leading European RV component supplier and recipient of the award “Top 100” most innovative medium-sized companies in Germany, has entered  the North American market and now offers “more comfort on the move” in US. In August 2013, Truma opened an office in Elkhart, Indiana.

Address: 825 East Jackson Blvd., Elkhart, IN 46516

Phone: (855) 55-TRUMA


Worth Pondering…

Make your choice, adventurous stranger.
Strike the bell and bide the danger.
Or wonder ’til it drives you mad,
What would have followed, if you had.

— C.S. Lewis, The Magicians Nephew

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Bizarre RV Mishaps

Accidents involving recreational vehicles often occur as a result of mechanical failure or driver error. Then there are the mishaps that are of the bizarre nature often resulting in life-threatening injuries and on occasion death.

Virginia: Woman Killed in Bizarre Campground Accident

Virginia: Woman Killed in Bizarre Campground Accident

Following are five bizarre RV mishaps.

Ohio: Man Trapped Under RV Lucky to be Alive

The Advertiser-Tribune reports a fifth wheel trailer fell off its blocking when the 72-year-old owner attempted to put new tires on the RV located at Clinton Lake Campground.

According to Seneca County Deputy Denny Wilkinson, a floor jack was under the axle of the trailer, and when the owner had difficulty putting on a tire, he crawled under the trailer to make adjustments. While underneath something shifted and the RV fell onto his hip, trapping him beneath.

Wilkinson said Clinton fire, Tiffin EMS, and sheriff’s office personnel responded to the scene, and the Jaws of Life were used to free the owner who was transported to Mercy Tiffin Hospital by Tiffin EMS.

Wilkinson further said the owner is a “lucky individual,” and the incident could have been life-threatening. “Thank goodness he had some blocking (under the camper),” he said.



Texas: Man Crushed by RV Remains in Critical Condition reports a state maintenance worker was helping a motorhome owner at the Big Tree Mobile Home Park level his recreational vehicle and connect a sewer line underneath the vehicle, when the RV fell on him.

The worker had asked the owner to raise the hydraulic jacks so he could get a better look underneath; however, doing so caused one end of the trailer to fall, crushing the worker beneath.

A spokesperson with Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene said the victim was being treated at Hendrick’s Trauma Center. At last report he remained in critical condition.

Mac's Towing pulls a Coachmen RV out from a canal in Dania Beach, Florida

Mac’s Towing pulls a Coachmen RV out from a canal in Dania Beach, Florida

Nevada: Towed Vehicle Breaks Loose

The Las Vegus Sun reports an SUV being towed by an RV on Interstate 15 came loose and collided with another vehicle, snarling traffic, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP). The RV was headed north on the interstate near Charleston Boulevard about 10:42 a.m. when a Suzuki sport utility vehicle it was pulling detached from the back, NHP Trooper Loy Hixson said.

The driver of a white Nissan behind the RV couldn’t avoid hitting the SUV as it drifted driverless in the travel lane. Nobody was injured, but traffic was backed up in the area for more than an hour as authorities closed the left lane.

NHP troopers were investigating how the SUV came loose from the RV.

Virginia: Woman Killed in Bizarre Campground Accident

WVVA-TV reports a woman was killed and another hospitalized with life threatening injuries following a bizarre motor vehicle accident at a Virginia campground (Pound River Campground).

According to Corinne Geller with the Virginia State Police, a woman driving a 2009 Jeep Cherokee was pulling into a campsite when, according to witnesses, the accelerator got stuck causing the SUV to lurch forward. The vehicle struck a fire pit and then two women sitting in chairs nearby.

The Jeep continued moving, hitting a railing before plunging into the Pound River. Several people at the campground swam out to the sinking vehicle and rescued the driver.

One of the women hit during the accident died at the scene. The other victim was taken to Dickenson Hospital where she was treated and released with minor injuries. The woman driving the Jeep Cherokee was flown to Bristol Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

UK: Towing Gone Wrong

“Who said women were the only ones not good at three-point turns?” asks Caravan Times.

If you have ever become stuck trying to make a three-point turn and it turns into a 23 point turn then you’ll feel this man’s pain. The only difference is he’s towing a caravan behind him that definitely doesn’t want to play ball.

No matter what angle or direction this poor guy tries, it’s just not going to happen. Take a look…

UK: Towing Gone Wrong

UK: Towing Gone Wrong

RVers know only too well the possible difficulties when towing, but this driver’s towing tragedies tops them all.

Worth Pondering…
Travel safely…and stay away from road-gaiters and orange barrels.

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Preparing the RV for Long-Term Storage

Palm City, Florida-based Shurhold Industries now offers a step-by-step guide for RV owners preparing an RV for long-term storage.

Shurhold Industries SMC in 32 ounce bottle

Shurhold Industries SMC in 32 ounce bottle

The guide covers all the bases, so a rig remains in top shape and is ready to go for the next season, according to a company news release.

All things that mold or mildew should be discarded to prevent foul smells. Owners should also get rid of all food and liquids, emptying the refrigerator.

For better airflow, cushions can be removed or propped up and storage hatches can be left open. Once the above is accomplished, the entire RV should be cleaned and vacuumed with dehumidifier bags placed throughout the cabins.

Cleaning the drains and the sump prior to storage is absolutely crucial to keep odors and bacteria from becoming a problem. The RV can absorb the odors and mildew that grow in moist, dark environments and they will spread throughout.

Shurhold products available for use in these procedures include Serious Multi-Purpose Cleaner (SMC) and Moldaway.

Moldaway can be used to clean the drains in sinks and showers with one scoop into each with a cup of water. After letting it work for a few minutes, owners can rinse it out.

Bleach-free and chlorine-free, Moldaway is an oxygenated cleaner that is safe on most

Shurhold Industries Moldaway

Shurhold Industries Moldaway


Moldaway cleans and deodorizes drains without harming the piping and also helps clean the sump container by oxygenating the sump water, killing mold/mildew spores and other bacteria, safely and without bleach. Depending on where an RV is stored, the yard may suggest flushing antifreeze through the system.

The cleaner carpets and canvas surfaces are, the better they will look when taken out of storage. Before sealing up the RV, owners should vacuum and shampoo the carpet with SMC, and let it dry. This will reduce the likelihood of any bacteria growing there. If possible, cockpit carpet should be cleared out or at least rolled up and stored in a cabin. It is best to remove canvas and store it in a dry environment. Then, owners can clean it in the spring with Moldaway or Brite Wash.

The undercarriage should be washed with a pressure washer and/or plain water with a soft-to-medium brush. Soaps and detergents are generally not used. Wax is also a good idea.

Lastly, all mechanical, electronic, and other systems should be readied for a long storage nap. Owner’s manuals must be consulted on these crucial tasks because it can affect the warranty.

Shurhold’s SMC and Brite Wash are available in 32 ounce ready to use trigger spray bottles for $11.98 each.

Moldaway is available in a 12 ounce bottles for $12.98.


Shurhold Industries

shurhold-logo1-mediumShurhold manufactures specialty care items and accessories to clean, polish, and detail.

Shurhold began as a small, one-man operation based out a garage in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

It was started on July 1, 1973 by William E. Peach, who self-admittedly had no knowledge about the design or manufacturing of Boat Detailing Products.

Since its beginning in the garage plant, Shurhold Industries has designed and manufactured the most innovative specialty care and accessory products available for the marine, RV, and auto industries.

Shurhold is dedicated to educating owners on RV value preservation.

As the original creator of the “One Handle Does It All” design, Shurhold continues to maintain the highest standard of quality and service. Innovative designs, combined with top quality materials, and meticulous workmanship make each and every Shurhold product a premium item.

Address: 3119 S.W. 42nd Avenue, Palm City, Florida 34990-5558

Phone: (772) 287-1313 or (800) 962-6241 (toll free)


Worth Pondering…

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course, of action and follow it to an end require … courage.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Pinnacles National Park: Rocks, Caves & Condors

At America’s newest National Park, the possibilities for discovery are limitless.

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

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

The remains of an ancient volcanic field consisting of massive monoliths, rocky spires, pinnacles, red crags, and talus cave, rise out of the meditteranean chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains, a sanctuary for the California condor.

The first 2,500 acres of the rugged Pinnacles were made a national monument in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Since 1908, the monument significantly increased in size to 26,000 acres and on January 10, 2013, Pinnacles became America’s 59th national park.

Hiking and rock climbing are popular activities in Pinnacles National Park, as is watching for the majestic California condor overhead. Pinnacles National Park is a nesting place for the endangered soaring bird, the largest in North America.

By the early 1980s, the California condor population had dwindled to just 22. The birds were placed in captive breeding programs, and Pinnacles became one of the release sites. Other condors from the Big Sur area also frequent the area, which increases the odds of seeing one of these rare creatures.

Remarkable rocks sculpted by 14 million years of volcanic turmoil. The rocky spires and pinnacles have long attracted rock climbers. So have talus caves (formed when massive boulders tumbled into narrow canyons) inhabited by protected bat communities.

A well-maintained 30-mile trail system, partially created in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, beckons hikers to this rugged landscape. Wildflowers bloom in the spring, and the temperate climate makes for year-round exploration opportunities.

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

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

The rock formations of Pinnacles National Park divide the park into east and west access points which are connected by trails. But, there is no road connecting the east and west entrances of the park.

The eastern access road (CA 146) branches off CA 25, 30 miles south of Hollister, and leads up a wide, partly wooded valley alongside Bear Creek, and past the park campground. The mountains are visible to the west though they seem unremarkable from a distance as the volcanic formations are hidden behind more conventional rocks.

Pinnacles Campground offers 149 tent, group, and RV sites with 30-amp electric service. Water is located throughout the campground. Showers and a dump station are available. During spring and summer seasons, campers can enjoy the campground swimming pool and ranger programs at the campground amphitheater.

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

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

The road bends around a side canyon and ends next to the visitor center, just as the main valley (Bear Gulch) starts to become relatively narrow. The center has exhibits, a small selection of books for sale, a public telephone, and flashlights for use in the caves.

The surrounding vegetation is typical of the chaparral zone, mostly small oak trees and bushes, reflecting the low elevation, moderate rainfall, and long hot summers of this part of California. The main hiking area is to the west, further along the canyon—within 2 miles are Bear Gulch Cave, Bear Gulch Reservoir, and many rock climbing sites, while 2 miles further are the extensive formations of the High Peaks. Many trails intersect, allowing for a short loop or a longer all-day hike.

The Bear Gulch Cave provides a home to a colony of Townsend’s big-eared bats as they rest there in winter and raise their young in the late spring and summer. The colony in the Bear Gulch Cave is the largest maternity colony between San Francisco and Mexico.

The lower half of the Bear Gulch Cave is usually open from mid-July through mid-May each year, depending on the presence of the colony of bats. The entire cave is closed from mid-May to mid-July while the bats are raising their young.

Bring a flashlight if your hike leads through a cave.

The west entrance has just a ranger station plus parking, and is reached by a narrow, 12 mile road from Soledad that is not recommended for RVs or other large vehicles. From roads end, 3 trails depart to the north, west, and east; the most popular routes are the Juniper Canyon Trail to the High Peaks, and the Balconies Trail which leads to volcanic rocks and a talus cave.

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

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

Did You Know?

Pinnacles, Muir Woods, and the Grand Canyon were all set aside as national monuments in the span of seven days in January 1908 by Teddy Roosevelt.


Pinnacles National Park

Entrance Fees: $10/vehicle (valid for 7 days); all federal lands passes accepted

Phone: (831) 389-4486

Mailing Address: 5000 Hwy 146, Paicines, CA 95043


Worth Pondering…

May all your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view……where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you.

—Edward Abbey

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Starcraft RV Introduces 2015 Starflyer, Comet & Comet Hardside

Topeka, Indiana-based Starcraft RV introduced three choices in camping trailers: Starflyer, Comet, and Comet Hardside.

2015 Starflyer 10

2015 Starflyer 10

All backed by Starcraft’s two-year limited warranty, the 2015 Comet Hardside series offers four floor plans with a sleeping capacity up to four.

The Comet Hardside H1232 specs include an unloaded weight of 1,855 pounds, cargo carrying capacity of 1,395 pounds, length of 16 feet, 2 inches, and a fresh water tank capacity of 23 gallons.

The H1232FD features a front storage deck while the H1232SB features a front deck with storage box.

The interior includes a three-way refrigerator, three-burner stove and microwave. The exterior has an outside grill and shower.

The largest series from Starcraft is the Comet series. They feature a range of floor plans from basic floor plans to highwalls to off-road models and ranging in size from 11-feet to just over 26-feet in campsite length.

The highwall model, 3611HW, features two king-sized bunk ends and a tub/shower combo.

2015 Comet 10

2015 Comet 10

The 12RT series features 15 inch mud tires along with a 63-inch by 84-inch storage deck. Standards for the Comet series include a 16,000-BTU furnace, quilted bed mats for the bunk ends rated at 1,050-pounds, privacy bunk curtains and window drapes, and stainless-steel carry-out stove (n/a 3611HW).

The exterior standards include a domed fiberglass roof with no center seam, E-Z lube axles, stepper entry door (n/a RT series), patio light with amber lens, and AquaSheild Aqualon water-repellant sectionalized tent with a seven-year warranty, among many others.

The entry-level Starflyer has two floor plans to choose from, an eight-foot or ten-foot model.

Specifications for Starflyer 8 include an unloaded weight of 1,185 pounds, cargo carrying capacity of 615 pounds, travel length of 11 feet, 2 inches, campsite length of 15 feet, 10 inches, and an interior height of 84 inches.

The ten-foot model features a queen-sized bunk while the eight-foot model features a full-sized bunk, although each model can sleep up to six people.

2015 Comet Hardside H1232

2015 Comet Hardside H1232

Interior standards for the Starflyer include booth dinette, Honey Glaze cabinetry, carry out dinette table, and privacy bunk curtains.

The exterior includes a corrosion-resistant frame, one-piece entrance door, domed and seamless fiberglass roof, and leveling tongue jack.

The optional Campers Package includes a two-burner range, two-cubic foot refrigerator, 20-pound propane bottle along with a 16,000-BTU furnace.


Starcraft RV

Topeka, Indiana-based Starcraft is one of the oldest and most respected names in the RV industry.

In fact, the company has been around since 1903. Back then, they made their name building livestock tanks and other metal farm equipment.

2015 Starflyer 10 interior

2015 Starflyer 10 interior

In the 1920s, they added a variety of boats to their product lineup.

And in 1964, Starcraft entered—and revolutionized—the modern camping industry.

Starcraft RV manufactures and markets towable RVs under the Starflyer, Comet, AR-ONE, AR-ONE WideBody, Launch, Launch Ultra Lite, Travel Star EXP, Travel Star, and Autumn Ridge brand names.

Starcraft RV is a Jayco, Inc. company.

Mailing Address: 903 South Main Street, P.O. Box 460, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (800) 945-4787 (toll free)


Worth Pondering…

Our four simple rules:

No Interstates, no amusement parks, no five-star accommodations, and no franchise food

(two words which do not belong in the same sentence!)

—Loren Eyrich, Two-Lane Roads

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2015 Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show Dates Announced

Every January something happens that is hard to believe, unless you have seen it!

Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

More than a million and half million visitors, mostly in recreational vehicles, converge on the sleepy little desert town of Quartzsite, located just 20 miles east of the California border on Interstate 10, for the rock, gem, and mineral shows, plus numerous flea markets and the annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show.

Wherever you look, you see RVs of every type, size, and vintage. It’s the Woodstock of the Snowbird set!

“If you’re looking for anything related to RVs, you’ll find it at the RV show in Quartzsite,” says Kenny King, show promoter.

There will be several hundred new and used RVs on display in 2015 and over a dozen service bays will be offering immediate installation, repairs, and service on many of the items that will be exhibited at the show.

This phenomenon started over 30 years ago and is now billed as “The Largest Gathering Of RVers in the World”.

The inaugural Quartzsite RV Show opened January 28, 1984 at the corner of Highway 95 (now Central) and Business 10 (now Main Street) in Quartzsite. With just 60 exhibitors and a small tent, the “new show in town” was still very popular since the majority of the people in Quartzsite were RVers.

Check out the new and used RVs of every type and size at the Quartzsite RV Show.

Check out the new and used RVs of every type and size at the Quartzsite RV Show. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In 1987 the show, now re-named the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show, moved up the street to the Quartzsite Trailer Park which was situated directly across from the major attraction in town, the Quartzsite Pow Wow (the first Pow Wow was held in 1967).

This new home for the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show lasted 10 years until the show grew to a point that the current 3.5-acre show site could barely hold the number of exhibitors that were now vying for exhibit space at this popular annual event.

In 1997 the “BIG TENT”, as the show had become known, moved across the freeway to its present home, a new 20-acre facility, ½-mile south of I-10 on Highway 95 (now 700 South Central).

With the new Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show grounds, the popular event was able to provide over 15 acres of public FREE parking.

During our last visit to the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show, we reminisced about how Quartzsite has changed over the last 16 years since our first visit and what future years might bring.

When we first went to the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show in ’99, the RV Pavilion was packed with big-ticket items like RV satellites, tow hitches, and companies offering to install a solar array on your vehicle.

Since then, the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show has boomed and last year alone it drew more than 150,000 attendees. It draws the snowbirds from around the US and Canada.

While in Quartzsite, check out the Hi Jolly Monument which honors the Arab camel driver, Hadji Ali, who took part in an unsuccessful 1850’s U.S. War Department attempt to use camels as beasts of burden in the desert.

While in Quartzsite, check out the Hi Jolly Monument which honors the Arab camel driver, Hadji Ali, who took part in an unsuccessful 1850’s U.S. War Department attempt to use camels as beasts of burden in the desert. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Looking ahead to future years, the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show will continue to grow and attract a more general crowd. Thanks to items like cheaper flat screen TVs, smart phones, and affordable solar arrays with charge controllers to power all your gizmos, it is easy to have all the comforts of home while you’re camping.

As RVing gets easier and more comfortable—and more boomers retire—even more people will dip their toes into the RV world, and what better place to do it than at Quartzsite?

As Quartzsite continues to grow and evolve, it will still be a wonderful place for RVers of all types to gather and relax with near perfect temperatures during the day and clear starlit skies at night.

Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

We’re going back to the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show again this year!

Quartzsite is an experience not to be missed—and we think you’ll like it too!

Worth Pondering… 

Nowhere on earth will you find such an assortment of “stuff” as you will at Quartzsite from mid-December to mid-February. As the saying goes, “If you can’t find it in Quartzsite, you won’t find it anywhere.”

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Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

Middlebury, Indiana-based Entegra Coach introduced the 2015 Cornerstone Class A Diesel Pusher in three 45-foot models, the 45B, 45J, and 45K and provide a variety of slideout options.

Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

The exterior includes flush-mount slideouts and frameless tinted dual-pane safety-glass windows.

The 2015 Cornerstone diesel pusher has a 15,000-pound towing capacity. It comes standard with a Spartan K3 tag axle chassis and a Cummins ISX 600 HP turbocharged engine that features an Allison GEN 4 4000 MH six-speed transmission and electronic shifter.

It is built on Entegra Coach’s X-bridge frame.

Under this coach are two carpeted, lighted, and powered slideout cargo trays with side-hinged baggage doors that provide storage space for luggage, sporting gear, outdoor furniture, grills, coolers, or anything else.

Other exterior extras include a 40-inch Samsung LED HDTV with Sony CD/DVD player and speakers, and a convenient exterior slideout tray that stores a powerful 12,500-watt Onan diesel generator.

Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

The Cornerstone’s cockpit features Villa Natural Leather power adjustable driver and passenger seats with integrated seat belts, color back-up camera and monitor and side cameras with turn signals, a Trip-Tek information center, Spartan Message Center, and a touch-screen AM/FM/CD/DVD with GPS navigation, which can be projected on the 32-inch Samsung LED HDTV, Bluetooth, and four speakers.

The Cornerstone also has an Ultra-Vision one-piece wrap-around tinted windshield with powered front and side window roller shades.

Cornerstone standards include an electric fireplace, natural leather furniture, 46-inch Samsung LED HDTV in living area (50-inch in the 45B) with Bose CineMate digital home theatre system, decorative satin nickel lighting throughout, raised-panel hardwood, stackable washer and dryer, central vacuum system, and hidden safe.

In the kitchen area, the Cornerstone features a flush-mounted electric two-burner touch control range, a Samsung convection microwave oven with carousel, a Samsung 23 cubic-foot residential refrigerator with ice maker and water dispenser, a dishwasher drawer, solid quartz residential-grade countertops with undermounted stainless-steel sink, solid quartz sink covers and cutting boards and a porcelain tile backsplash with glass design inlays.

Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

The kitchen is completed by the satin nickel high-rise single-lever faucet with pull-out sprayer, silverware drawer, under-sink sink cover storage compartment, pull-out cabinet extension with countertop, large deep drawer with waste basket, and two chrome overhead slideout baskets.

The Cornerstone’s bedroom has a King Select Comfort air mattress, cedar-lined wardrobe, 32-inch Samsung LED HDTV home theatre system with Bose Solo sound bar. An in-bed remote secure coach locking system is there for additional convenience and safety. The bathroom boasts solid quartz countertops with integrated sink, porcelain tile shower with integrated seat, satin nickel fixtures, skylight in the shower and medicine cabinet with mirror.

Along with the standard Aqua-Hot 450-D water and heating system with in-floor radiant heating throughout, the 2014 Cornerstone also features Multiplex lighting to control the lights throughout the coach.

Some options include a desk in lieu of a lounger, free-standing table with four chairs and sofa, exterior freezer in slideout tray, power slideout cargo trays and iPad remote control.

Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

The Cornerstone is also backed by Entegra Coach’s industry-leading 2-year warranty.


Entegra Coach, Inc.

Entegra Coach manufactures and markets luxury Class A diesel motor coaches (Aspire, Anthem, and Cornerstone).

Entegra Coach became a member of the Jayco family of companies in the spring of 2008. Jayco is the world’s largest privately-held manufacturer of recreational vehicles.

Address: 903 S. Main Street, PO Box 460, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (574) 825-5861 or (800) 945-4787


Worth Pondering…
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.
—Eartha Kitt

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Obscure Snowbird Destinations

Every winter thousands of Canadians and Americans from the northern climes head south to the U.S Sunbelt. The snowbird hotspots include vast stretches of the Florida coastline, a variety of popular Arizona desert locations, and Palm Springs, the always fashionable playground of the rich and famous.

Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona

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

Imagine instead going to an undiscovered winter retreat. Like the popular hotspots, you’ll find a variety of shopping, quality restaurants, excellent golfing, bird watching, fishing, outdoor recreation, entertainment, top rate medical facilities, friendly people, and much more.

Following are three obscure snowbird destinations in the U.S sunbelt.

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Gold Canyon is adjacent to the Superstition Mountain Wilderness and at the foothills of Superstition Mountain, which offer thousands of square miles of public land for hiking, off road trails, bike riding, photography, and other outdoor sports. There are five 18-hole championship length golf courses within Gold Canyon and dozens more within a 30 minute drive—something for most every skill level and budget.

Gold Canyon offers a wide variety of activities and attractions: arts events, baseball spring training, the Renaissance Festival, museums, swap meets, state parks, and so much more.

The views of the Superstition Mountain, along with evening sunsets, makes Gold Canyon one of the most picturesque areas in all of Arizona. It is a great place to call your winter home.

Numerous 5-star RV parks and resorts are located within the immediate area including Canyon Vista RV Resort (2014 Good Sam rating: 9, 9.5*, 9), our home for several weeks last winter—and yes, we would return in a heartbeat.

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Hacienda RV Resort in Las Cruces, New Mexico, after a day of safe travel.

Hacienda RV Resort in Las Cruces, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Nestled in the fertile Mesilla Valley between the majestic Organ Mountains and the meandering Rio Grande, Las Cruces, New Mexico, is becoming a popular southwestern snowbird destination.

Las Cruces is an ideal central location to explore and experience the best of New Mexico’s past, present, and future. Ideally located at the crossroads of Interstate 10 and 25, “The City of the Crosses” is a blend of culture, museums, historical sites, scenic beauty, and superb weather with 320 days of sunshine per year.

The area offers spectacular year-round golf, unique special events, world-class New Mexico cuisine, and two national monuments—White Sands and Organ Mountain Desert Peaks.

Memorable excursions include historic Old Mesilla, several living ghost towns, the New Mexico Museum of Space History, and Spaceport America, home to the world’s first commercial passenger spaceline company, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

Numerous 5-star RV parks and resorts are located within the immediate area including Hacienda RV & Rally Resort (2014 Good Sam rating: 8.5, 9.5*, 8.5), our home on several occasions.

Alabama Gulf Coast

The Alabama Gulf Coast. features 32 miles of white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Alabama Gulf Coast. features 32 miles of white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.
© Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

While Alabama’s shoreline may not be the first place that pops to mind when planning a winter getaway, don’t overlook it. With miles of sparkling turquoise Gulf waters and stunningly white sand, Snowbirds will find what they’re looking for—and more—along Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

Our RV travels have taken us through the area on numerous occasions as we drove I-10 from Florida to Texas. Several years ago we decided to check out the Alabama Gulf Coast for ourselves and it did not disappoint.

Fresh seafood is the standard along the Gulf Coast. Seafood markets offer shrimp, oysters, crab, and snapper. There are numerous seafood restaurants with an endless assortment of dishes.

Small towns on the Alabama Gulf Coast including Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Foley, Daphne, and Fairhope welcome RVers and offer outdoor adventures including hiking, biking, canoeing, and birding.

Numerous 5-star RV parks and resorts are located within the immediate area including Lake Osprey RV Country Club (2014 Good Sam rating: 10,10*, 10), our winter home along the Gulf Coast. Another prime destination park, Bella Terra of Gulf Shores (2014 Good Sam rating: 10,10*, 10) is an upscale Class A motorhome resort community.

With so many great Sunbelt destinations, snowbirds have plenty of options. Visiting several different areas may help you choose the snowbird destination that is best for you.

Worth Pondering…

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

—Lewis Carrol

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