Five Things You Need to Know Today: September 30

Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!

1. Georgia State Parks: ‘Leaf Watch’ Website

Georgia State Parks plans to launch ‘Leaf Watch 2011’ on October 1 on the State Parks’ official website.

The site will include information on where the best color can be found across the state’s 50 parks, and the best time to see the fall colors.

Peak leaf color for the northern portion of the state of Georgia generally comes in late October, but some color can be seen as early as mid-to-late September and as late as mid-November. Parks in the southern part of the state generally have peak color running in the latter parts of the season.

2. Travel reminders for snowbirds

With fall just around the corner, many snowbirds are itching to finalize their travel plans to warmer climes. Ensure you’ve made all the necessary arrangements before heading for Ol’ Airy Zonie, Southern California, Texas, Florida, or another warm southern destination.
Here’s a quick checklist to help you get organized:

  • Tell a trusted friend or family member about your plans and ask them to keep an eye on your place while you’re away
  • Secure your home and turn off the water
  • Cancel the newspapers
  • Forward or stop mail delivery
  • Let your bank and credit card company know about your travel plans to avoid any confusion or service disruption

A more complete checklist that will help you prepare your home for an extended absence during the winter can be found on an earlier post: The Iceman Cometh.

3. Pringle Homebuilding Group Sponsors Florida State Parks

Pringle Homebuilding Group (PHG), central Florida’s premier custom builder for active adults, has announced its corporate sponsorship of Florida State Parks. Through the Friends of Florida State Parks, PHG’s support will help preserve incredible beaches, magnificent wetlands, historic and cultural sites and the beauty of the “Real Florida” for generations to come.

“We’re pleased to support Florida State Parks”, says PHG’s President, Steve Nordstrom. “We’ve long been among the leaders of our industry in energy efficient and green building practices, so direct support our State’s park system seemed like a natural next step for us”.

Pringle’s central Florida operating area in Lake County allows an abundance of opportunity for customers to explore the unique beauty of the central Florida ‘ridge’ among rolling hills, lakes, rivers, and hardwood forests. Several magnificent State parks are just minutes away from the company’s Lakes of Mount Dora community, where residents enjoy a lifestyle exclusively for active adults.

4. Fuel Prices Fall

For the first time in months, retail gasoline prices have fallen below $3 a gallon in places, including parts of Michigan, Missouri, and Texas, according to an Associated Press report. The national average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.51 per gallon, down from a high of $3.98 in early May. Last week’s plunge in oil prices could push the average to $3.25 per gallon by November, analysts say. Over a year, a 50 cents-per-gallon drop in gasoline prices would add roughly $70 billion to the U.S. economy.

Prices for oil, gasoline, and other commodities dove last week along with world stock markets over concerns the global economy is headed for a double-dip recession. When economies slow, demand for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel falls as drivers cut back on trips, truckers move fewer goods, and RVers stay closer to home.

5. Celebrate the Big 100 with a Stamp

Credit: USPS Corporate Communications

Now, the entire country can toast Arizona’s upcoming Centennial thanks to the U.S. Postal Service’s issuance of a new “Forever” stamp due out in February.

The stamp, which was designed by artist Ed Mell of Phoenix, was unveiled during the Best Fest in Prescott. Mell, a native of the state, took three weeks to complete his image of Sedona’s Cathedral Rock. He called the task of designing this special piece of postage, “a great honor,” adding that “it’s one of those bucket list things that artists like to do.”

Well done Mr. Mell!

Have a great weekend.

Until next time, safe RV travels, and we’ll see you on the road!

Worth Pondering…
Journeys, like artists, are born and not made. A thousand differing circumstances contribute to them, few of them willed or determined by the will — whatever we may think.
—Lawrence Durrell

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Local Agreements Keep Arizona State Parks Open

As Arizona State budget cuts peaked several years ago it seemed almost certain that the gates to numerous state parks would close and remain padlocked for the foreseeable future.

Red Rock State Park near Sedona is receiving financial support from Yavapai County and the Benefactors of Red Rock State Park.. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When the Arizona Legislature swept $8.6 million from Arizona State Parks’ budget during a special session in December 2009, the die was cast.

Thirteen parks were operating in the red. All were targeted for closure, reported The Arizona Republic.

Many parks have a substantial economic impact on their surrounding communities, even if they don’t operate at a profit, State Parks officials report.

Tubac Presidio supported four jobs and had a local economic impact of $256,377 in fiscal 2007, according to a study conducted by the Arizona Hospitality Research & Resource Center.

Lake Havasu State Park, which consistently operates in the black, supported 484 jobs and had a $34.5 million economic impact.

Cumulatively, the state parks had an economic impact of $266.4 million from July 2006 through June 2007, the study said.

Local communities and non-profit organizations banded together to keep 14 of the state’s most financially vulnerable parks open by providing more than $820,000 to the cash-strapped Arizona State Parks agency.

The Friends of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park and the towns of Payson and Star Valley are helping provide $35,000 in funding to the namesake park in Gila County.

Jerome State Historic Park has been reopened but on a five-day schedule. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Through a contract with Santa Cruz County, Tubac Historical Society is helping keep Tubac Presidio State Historic Park’s doors open by providing both funding and operational support.

Red Rock State Park in Sedona is being aided by Yavapai County and the Benefactors of Red Rock State Park.

All but one of the state’s other 13 parks remain open, albeit seasonally in some cases, because they take in enough revenue to stay in the black and fund their own operations.

Local authorities and non-profits say they decided to cast a financial lifeline to the more vulnerable parks because they recognize their value—their rich history, intense beauty and, perhaps most importantly, their economic impact.

Today, less than two years after major closures seemed certain, 26 of Arizona’s 27 state parks are open, although many have abbreviated schedules.

Some, such as Picacho Peak and Lyman Lake state parks, are on seasonal calendars. Others, such as Jerome State Historic Park and Fort Verde State Historic Park, are on five-day schedules. Still others switch between opening for seven days during their peak season and five days during their shoulder season.

Only one, Oracle State Park, remains closed indefinitely, although others, such as Homolovi State Park near Winslow, Lyman Lake State Park, just south of St. Johns, and Jerome State Historic Park were closed in the past.

They reopened thanks to partnerships developed between the state parks agency and support groups and local communities that provide either funding, staffing, or both.

Funding agreements are in place for 13 state parks that either faced closure in 2009 or 2010 or were already closed.

One park, Boyce Thompson Arboretum remains open because of a longstanding agreement with the University of Arizona and the non-profit Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum Inc.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park remains open because of a longstanding agreement with the University of Arizona and the non-profit Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum Inc. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Yuma Territorial Prison was set to close in March 2010, but a fundraiser brought in $70,000 in 60 days, allowing the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area to keep it open.

Under the partnerships, parks get various levels of support.

Of the 13 slated for closure, eight operate with State Parks staff and five rely on partners to largely fund and operate the park. In total, those partnerships’ agreements will provide $391,800 this fiscal year.

Although the partnerships offer a temporary fix, Bahl said, they are not sustainable over the long term because local authorities are strapped and they are providing the bare minimum needed to keep the gates open.

“These cities and counties don’t have funding in perpetuity for this,” Bahl said. “In Yavapai County, this was a three-year agreement for three of the parks (Fort Verde, Jerome, and Red Rock). There’s one more year left in that agreement. Then, essentially, there’s no money. Arizona State Parks needs a long-term solution to keep our park system viable.”

In addition, the money is just a Band-Aid solution, said Ellen Bilbrey, a spokeswoman for Arizona State Parks.

“Many of these agreements are really filling in the blanks because we cut our overhead costs so much,” Bilbrey said. “That number reflects us barely hanging on.”

“The good news is, the parks are open for the public, and the parks continue to be the economic engines in these rural communities. The bad news is, these are short-term solutions. They are not sustainable. “These are state parks. They should be operated by the state.”

Related:

Worth Pondering…
A saguaro can fall for a snowman but where would they set up house?

—Jodi Picoult

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Out-of-Control RV Parking Restrictions

Communities across the United States and Canada are reviewing and in many cases tightening up by-laws that regulate the parking of recreational vehicles. These are the issues that affect all of us RVers—right where we live.

Are the by laws that regulate the parking of recreational vehicles in your community as confusing as the above sign? (Credit: adelaidecitycouncil.com)

Macomb Township, Michigan: Macomb Township Board of Trustees approved an amendment to the township’s residential parking ordinance Wednesday that will specify the definition of commercial and recreational vehicles and restrict their time on public streets. The code’s present language makes only vague reference to recreational vehicles, such as boat trailers, motor homes, tent trailers, pickup truck campers, and travel trailers.

The amended code will specifically define these vehicles and include them in the list of vehicles the township does not permit residents to park on public streets for any length of time, typically 24 hours. A violation of the code is a misdemeanor if convicted. This infraction is subject to a penalty of fines up to $500 or imprisonment in Macomb County Jail for up to 90 days, or both.

(Source: Patch.com, September 16, 2011)

Flagler Beach, Florida: Homeowners will be allowed to keep one RV and one utility trailer in their yards—with conditions. The Flagler Beach City Commission approved first reading Thursday night of a law that would specify where and how homeowners can park those vehicles.

Commissioners have discussed the issue on and off for more than a decade. Officials say the previous laws were vague, and that has caused problems for some homeowners. Last winter, the commissioners decided to treat RVs and utility trailers differently than boats.

More and more communities in the United States and Canada are enacting bylaws that restrict curb parking of RVs. (Credit: noozhawk.com)

If commissioners approve a second reading of this law, homeowners could each park one RV and one utility trailer in their back or side yards if there is sufficient space. They can also park those vehicles in driveways for as many as 72 hours. The law also allows visitors to park those vehicles in other owners’ yards for up to 14 days.

(Daytona Beach News-Journal, September 9, 2011)

Lloydminster, Alberta: Prepare to move your RV off the streets, as the City of Lloydminster ramps up RV parking enforcement. With a 48-hour maximum for RVs parked on city streets, local residents could be ticketed $75 for not complying with the bylaw.

“The trailers can sit on the street for a maximum of 48 hours,” said Brent Stasiuk, deputy CAO of protective services with the City of Lloydminster. “If you are in violation of that and we come and identify your trailer we will then record that information, come back, minimum of two days later … and if that trailer is still there and has not moved we can then generate a ticket.”

In recent weeks, bylaw officers have been canvassing the city to issue warnings. “We are giving these warnings and want to be fair to people and give them ample opportunity to get them off the streets. We haven’t done a lot of enforcement in the past on RV parking but we definitely want to move into that now and into the future, Stasiuk said.”

(Meridian Booster, August 30, 2011)

Englewood, Colorado: Proponents collected the required number of signatures to place an initiative on the November ballot that would change Englewood, Colorado city code concerning vehicle parking on private property. The initiative would remove weight restrictions and the requirement for all vehicles, trailers boats, campers, or recreational vehicles and would allow them to be parked and stored on private property as would business-labeled vehicles. Also, the initiative would remove the present city code limiting the number of trailers, campers, or RVs to a maximum of two on a property.

Englewood resident Frank Copley said, “I don’t have an RV but I just don’t think it’s right for the city to dictate what can and can’t be parked on a homeowner’s property.”

(Our Colorado News, August 15, 2011)

Mission, Texas: Mission residents with small lots and large recreational vehicles will have to park them somewhere else. Despite residents’ protests and the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Manager’s recommendation against it, Mission City Council voted Monday to restrict RVs 34 feet or longer from the front yards and driveways of R-1 residential zones. R-1 zones include non-corner lots of 60 feet by 100 feet and corner lots measuring 65 feet by 100 feet. Recreational vehicles include travel trailers, pickup coaches, motorhomes, dependent trailers, and self-contained trailers.

Three residents spoke against the ordinance at Monday’s meeting. RV owner, John Ebner, said the ordinance could also be hurtful to Winter Texans, a group of people the city works to attract. Ebner said he was disappointed that the City Council still voted to support the ordinance after residents spoke against it.

(Source: The Monitor, August 9, 2011)

Worth Pondering…

Even if the majority agrees on an idiotic idea, it is still an idiotic idea.

—Sam Levenson

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RV Manufacturers Recall

Three recreational vehicle manufacturers—Tiffin, Jayco, and Carriage—have recently announced recalls.

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc.

Red Bay, Alabama-based Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. is recalling certain model year 2010-2012 Phaeton motorhomes with floorplans QBH, QKH, and QTH that are built with 2010 EPA-certified engines on Powerglide chassis. The exhaust pipe is mounted too close to the underside of the floor. Melting of the insulation can occur, possibly resulting in a fire.

Tiffin will notify owners, and dealers will attach a heat shield to the bottom of the floor and an insulating sock or blanket will be wrapped around the exhaust pipe. These repairs will be performed free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin during September. Owners may contact Tiffin at 1-256-356-8661

Jayco, Inc.

Middlebury, Indiana-based Jayco, Inc. is recalling certain model year 2011 Seneca Class C motorhomes, series 36FK and 37FS, manufactured from May 18 through July 13 this year. These vehicles may have insufficiently torqued bolts attaching the trailer hitch to the motorhome frame. Loose hitch bolts could result in the hitch separating from the frame, creating a road hazard increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect and tighten up the hitch bolts free of charge.

The safety recall is expected to begin during September. Owners may contact Jayco at 1-800-283-8267.

Carriage, Inc.
Millersburg, Indiana-based Carriage, Inc. is recalling certain model year 2009-2011 Cameo and Carri-Lite, model year 2010-2011 Royals, and model year 2009 Domani fifth wheel trailers with generator transfer switches. The generator transfer switch may not be manufactured or installed to the proper specification causing a potential for excessive heat buildup inside the switch. If enough heat builds up inside the switch, the switch could melt and catch fire. Dealers will inspect the generator transfer switches and replace them as necessary, free of charge.

The safety recall is expected to begin during September. Owners may contact Carriage at 1-574-642-3622.

Details

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary with the release of its 2012 models, Red Bay, Alabama-based Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. manufactures the Allegro, Allegro Breeze, Allegro RED, Phaeton, Allegro Bus, and Zephyr model lines.

Address: 105 2nd Street NW, Red Bay, Alabama 35582

Phone: (256) 356-8661

Website: tiffinmotorhomes.com

Jayco, Inc.
Middlebury, Indiana-based Jayco, Inc. is the world’s largest privately held manufacturer of recreation vehicles. The company manufactures and markets RVs under the Jay Series, Select, Baja, Jay Feather, White Hawk, Jay Flight, Skylark, Eagle, Pinnacle, Octane ZX, Recon ZX, Greyhawk, Melbourne, Seneca, and Embark brand names.

Factory tours are conducted Monday through Thursday at 12 noon. Tours of the motorized facilities are offered by appointment only.

Address: 903 S. Main, Middlebury, Indiana 46540

Phone: (800) RV-JAYCO

Website: jayco.com

Carriage, Inc.
Founded in 1968 Millersburg, Indiana-based Carriage, Inc. is located on a 72-acre campus that contains nearly 25 buildings of various capacities, nearly all of which are still used in some fashion to build Carriage fifth wheels.

Carriage’s first products were two lines of travel trailers, named the Carriage and the Rolls International. Fifth wheels hadn’t been invented yet, but even early on anything that had Carriage’s name on it was considered well built and reliable.

Carriage built their last travel trailer in the 2005 model year and have focused strictly on four lines of high-end fifth wheels ever since—Cabo, Cameo, Carri-Lite, and Royals International.

Factory tours are available Monday through Thursday at 9:30 a.m. until September 29, 2011

Location: 230 Wabash Street, Millersburg, Indiana

Address: P.O. 246, Millersburg, Indiana 46543

Phone: (574) 642-3622

Website: carriageinc.com

Worth Pondering…
Never forget your dreams.

—Corczak

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2012 Quartzsite Show Dates Announced

What is Quartzsite?

Quartzsite is located in western Arizona, 20 miles east of the Colorado River on I-10.

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. Numerous food choices ensure you'll never go hungry! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In 1856, settler Charles Tyson built a fort at the present site of Quartzsite 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 has been a rockhounders’ paradise since the 1960s.

Today, it is also attracts over a million visitors each winter who converge on this small town of 1900 people in a wave of RVs during the months of January and February when 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.

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.

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

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.

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

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 6-15, 2012.

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 34th Annual Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama are January 20-29, 2012.

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.

Surprises await as you wander from vender to vendor. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Dates for the Tyson Wells Arts & Crafts Fair are February 3-12, 2012.

2012 Quartzsite Show Dates

You won’t want to miss the 2012 Quartzsite Shows!

January 1-February 28, 2012: Desert Gardens -Gem & Mineral
January 6-January 15, 2012: Tyson Wells Rock & Gem Show
January 7-January 22, 2012: Main Event
January 20-January 29, 2012: Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama
January 21-January 29, 2012: Sports, Vacation & RV Show
February 1-February 5, 2012: Hobby Craft & Gem Show
February 3-February 12, 2012: Tyson Wells Arts & Craft Fair
February 4-February 5, 2012: Rock & Roll Car Show
March 3, 2012: Chili Cook-Off & State Salsa Championship

Note: This is the second of a two-part series on Quartzsite 2012 Show Dates

Part 1: Quartzsite 2012 RV Show Dates Announced

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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Newell Coach Partners with Airstream

Two iconic RV manufacturers—Newell Coach and Airstream—have announced a partnership.

Newell Coach Corporation, located in Miami, Oklahoma, manufactures, sells and services Newell luxury motorcoaches. (Credit: familymotorcoachrvmarketplace.com)

Miami, Oklahoma-based Newell is now an authorized dealer of the Airstream Interstate 3500 Class B touring motorcoach for customers in the South-Central U.S., according to a jointly-issued news release.

Newell is also offering the coach to Newell customers who want to use the Airstream as an adjunct to their existing Newell or to downsize to a smaller motorcoach.

“Airstream is excited to join forces with Newell,” said Larry Huttle, chairman of Jackson Center, Ohio-based Airstream. “The two brands both represent unique and successful chapters in the rich history of American recreational vehicles.”

Why Airstream?

“For some time, our customers have been asking for advice and help buying a Class B RV that they could use as a tow vehicle or as an alternative to their larger Newell motorcoach,” said Newell Coach president, Karl Blade. “There are many brands to choose from, but our customers repeatedly mention Airstream as their preference. Thanks to our new association with Airstream, we can respond directly to those customers’ requests.”

The Airstream Interstate 3500 provides the quality, comfort, and performance of a Mercedes-Benz platform in a Class B touring vehicle. It is powered by a 3.0-liter Mercedes-Benz V6 diesel engine and produces 188 hp and 325 pound-foot of torque. Even though it gets 30% better fuel economy than other comparable gasoline engines, it is able to tow 6,900 pounds.

“The Interstate gives Newell owners more flexibility,” said Blade. “For example, a Newell with an Interstate in tow can be driven to a convenient location outside a national or state park. The Interstate can then be driven into the park, providing convenient overnight facilities for a day-or-two stay within the park. In addition, some long-time Newell owners would like to downsize to a coach that is compact but still offers some of the comfort and convenience they’re used to,” Blade continued. “The Airstream is a great choice for our customers. It reflects the luxury, quality, and innovation they’ve come to expect in a motorcoach.”

Newell Coach Corporation

Newell Coach Corporation is a leading designer and manufacturer of custom luxury motorcoaches. Newell coaches feature state-of-the-art design and materials, custom furnishings and appliances, and full-time customer service and support. Based in Miami, Oklahoma, Newell has been manufacturing custom coaches since 1967.

Phone: (888) 363-9355

Website: newellcoach.com

Airstream, Inc.

2012 Airstream Interstate 3500 22' Twin/DWD. (Credit: colonialairstream.com)

Jackson Center, Ohio-based Airstream began over 70 years ago with a single man and a most singular dream. The man was Wally Byam: his dream, to build the perfect travel trailer—one that would move like a stream of air and would be light enough to be towed by a standard automobile.

Airstream, Inc. is a division of Thor Industries, Inc.

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

Phone: (877) 596-6111

Website: airstream.com

Worth Pondering…

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

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

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Quartzsite 2012 RV Show Dates Announced

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

Heading to the Big Tent at the Quartzsite RV Show. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to the Arizona Highway Department, as many as 750,000 to 1,000,000 people, 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 Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show.

“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 2012 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 35 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, Arizona. 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.

Toy hauler on display 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.

Dates for the 29th Annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 21-29, 2012, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Quartzsite Hobby, Craft & Gem Show

In 1997, a second show was added. The new show, while on a much smaller scale than the giant RV show, has grown and now includes a two-day Rock & Roll Classic Car Show over the weekend of this Wednesday through Sunday, five-day event.

Dates for the 15th Annual Quartzsite Hobby, Craft & Gem Show are February 1-5, 2012, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Rock & Roll Classic Car Show

Check out some of the Southwest’s finest custom hot rods, street rods, muscle cars, and classics displayed beneath the giant big-top tent during the Rock & Roll Classic Car Show.

Dates for the 14th Annual Quartzsite Rock & Roll Classic Car Show in Quartzsite, Arizona, are February 4-5, 2012, from 9 a.m-.5 p.m.

Free parking! Free admission! It’s a FREE, family friendly event…

OK, but what’s so great about Quartzsite?

Walking the displays at The Main Event. If you can't find it at Quartzsite, then you don't need it. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Many times I’ve tried to describe Quartzsite to people who haven’t been there, but it’s impossible for them to imagine.

As you descend the last pass into the valley, at first glance, it appears you’ve come across an unmapped city in the desert—there are thousands of small buildings spread out everywhere. But then you realize that these are not buildings—they’re recreational vehicles of every type, size, and vintage. And wherever you look, you see them. It’s the Woodstock of the Snowbird set!

Just where is this gem of a town? Quartzsite is beyond Hope. Heading west toward Quartzsite, you’ll go beyond Hope, Arizona.

Note: This is the first of a two-part series on Quartzsite 2012 Show Dates

Part 2: 2012 Quartzsite Show Dates Announced

Worth Pondering…

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

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Keystone RV Commemorates 500,000th RV

Keystone RV Co. marked a milestone Monday (September 19) as the builder rolled its 500,000th unit off the assembly line through the manufacturer’s facilities in Goshen, Indiana and Pendleton, Oregon. Fittingly, the landmark RV was a Sprinter travel trailer, the company’s original brand.

With the new Sprinter travel trailer rolling off the production line, Keystone RV Co. reached a milestone not achieved by many manufactures, according to a news release.

On hand to celebrate the achievement was company officials, employees, and Holiday World of Houston, a key dealer partner from Texas.

Founded in 1996 by six industry veterans, including Cole Davis, Keystone has grown to become the number one manufacturer of towable RVs. Some of the most recognized Keystone brands include Montana—the number one selling fifth wheel for ten consecutive years—along with Cougar, Springdale, Outback, Raptor, and Sprinter.

According to Statistical Surveys Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan, Keystone now controls a commanding 23 percent market share for combined travel trailer and fifth-wheel sales through July. Keystone said its growth has also been good for Goshen and Elkhart County. The company directly employs over 3,000 workers and indirectly employs thousands of others.

Shown in the photo are (L-R) are Al Camacho, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Holiday World of Houston location; Lenny Martynowicz, Michael Peay’s business partner, Holiday World of Houston; Michael Peay, president of Holiday World of Houston; Bob Martin, President Keystone RV; Charlie Power, general manager Keystone RV; Kevin Hoffpauir, general sales manager Keystone RV, and Matt Zimmerman, group general manager Keystone RV. (Credit: keystonerv.com)

“We continue to operate by the principals upon which Keystone was founded,” said President Bob Martin. “Our ongoing success is a tribute to many people. Cole started us on the right path and Ron and Bill Fenech helped us advance and grow. The employees at Keystone today are passionate about what they do and they are, I believe, the best in the industry.”

What does the future hold for Keystone?

“RV vacations are one of the most affordable ways to enjoy the outdoors,” said Martin. “Keystone will continue to offer a full spectrum of models to meet every family’s budget and needs. As consumer preferences change, we will innovate and evolve to deliver the most attractive RV value for the money. In other words, we will continue to do what we have done successfully over the past 15 years.”

A quick ceremony was held in Goshen to commemorate the event, attended by members of the Holiday World of Houston management team and Keystone personnel.

Details

Keystone RV Company

Founded in 1996 by six industry veterans, including Cole Davis, Goshen, Indiana-based Keystone RV Company has grown to become the number one manufacturer of towable RVs.

2012 Keystone Alpine 3700 fifth wheel. (Credit: racetrack-rv.com)

Keystone’s many RV brands are the most recognizable names on the highway. The company markets 26 brands of fifth wheel trailers, travel trailers, and toy haulers including Montana, Cougar, Outback, Springdale, Raptor, Residence, Retreat, Passport, Hornet, Sprinter, Laredo, Mountaineer, Big Sky, High Country, Fuzion, X-lite, Bullet, Premier, Alpine, Avalanche, Copper Canyon, Energy, Hideout, Summerland, Sydney, and Vantage.

Location: 2642 Hackberry Drive, Goshen, Indiana

Address: PO Box 2000, Goshen, IN 46527-2000

Phone: (574) 535-2100

Website: keystonerv.com

Worth Pondering…

But do not ask me where I am heading,

As I travel in this limitless world

Where every step I take is my home.

—Eihei Dogen

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Phoenix & Scottsdale Expand Land Preserves

The Arizona State Parks Board has awarded more than $40 million in grants to help Scottsdale and Phoenix cover the costs of acquiring lands for their respective land preserves, Arizona Republic recently reported.

From the Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians can access a network of over 45 miles of trails within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. (Credit: archdaily.com)

The cities have targeted more than 5,000 acres of rugged state trust land to acquire at separate auctions this year.

The cities sought matching funds from the state’s Growing Smarter conservation fund.

The Arizona State Parks Board approved the funding September 14.

Scottsdale

Scottsdale plans to bid on more than 4,400 acres for its McDowell Sonoran Preserve in December.

Scottsdale’s grant funds total $36.2 million. The city plans to cover the remaining $50 million using proceeds from its voter-approved sales tax dedicated to preserve costs, said Kroy Ekblaw, Scottsdale preserve director.

The trust land that Scottsdale has identified is divided into two parcels:

  • 1,937 acres along 136th Street on both sides of Rio Verde Drive appraised at $41 million.
  • 2,482 acres northeast of Dixileta Drive and Pima Road, valued at $45 million.
Beautiful scenery and wonderful trails abound at Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve. (Credit: Ron Niebrugge/WildNatureImages.com)

The acquisition would expand the 17,000-acre McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale to more than 21,000 acres. The preserve, set amid the McDowell Mountains in northeast Scottsdale, is a major draw for Valley hikers and other recreational users.

Phoenix

Phoenix is preparing to expand its land preserves in November with a purchase of nearly 600 acres.

The city will accept nearly $4.18 million to help pay for land parcels south of Carefree Highway and north of Happy Valley Road for the city’s Sonoran Preserve. The land parcels of 318 and 271 acres were appraised at $5.8 million and $4.1 million, respectively.

Phoenix voters reauthorized the Parks and Preserve Initiative in 2008, which authorized a sales tax over a 30-year period to purchase state trust land and fund park construction and improvements.

The state grants were made available from the Arizona’s land-conservation fund, dedicated to conserving open spaces in growing urban areas.

Voters passed Proposition 303 in 1998, establishing a $20 million annual appropriation from the state’s general fund into the land-conservation fund. A total of $80.9 million was available for grants in fiscal 2011. Of that, $40.5 million was available for Maricopa County entities.

Details

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The McDowells are Scottsdale’s most striking physical feature, rising to over 4,000 feet and covering an area of 25 square miles.

Situated in the central part of Scottsdale, the McDowells serve as a visual backdrop from all directions.

Sunset at McDowell Sonoran Preserve. (Credit: thesonoranlifestyle.files.wordpress.com)

Location: East of Thompson Peak Parkway, north of Bell Road, Scottsdale

Phone: (480) 312-7013

Website: scottsdaleaz.gov/preserve

Sonoran Preserve

The Sonoran Preserve in northern Phoenix has grown to more than 6,680 acres. The land in the new preserve is unique. Much of it is located in the transition zone to the Arizona Upland subdivision of the Sonoran Desert. This area is characterized by higher amounts of rainfall, up to 12.5 inches a year, which increases both the lushness and diversity of plant life.

South Mountain, Camelback Mountain, and Squaw Peak, on the other hand, are located in the Lower Colorado River Valley, the largest and most arid subdivision of the Sonoran Desert. With only 7.5 inches of rainfall a year, vegetation in these areas is sparser and less varied.

Location: Near I-17 and north of Pinnacle Peak Road, Phoenix

Phone: (602) 262-7901

Website: phoenix.gov/parks

Worth Pondering…
When I walk in the desert the birds sing very beautifully

When I walk in the desert the trees wave their branches in the breeze

When I walk in the desert the tall saguaro wave their arms way up high

When I walk in the desert the animals stop to look at me as if they were saying

“Welcome to our home.”

—Jeanette Chico, in When It Rains

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Prolite Introduces New Ultra Light Model

St-Jerome, Quebec-based Roulottes Prolite Inc. recently announced plans to introduce a new ultra-lightweight model to its product portfolio.

According to the Canadian company, two floor plans will measure approximately 13 feet, 10 inches in length and weigh in at less than 1,300 pounds while still offering several amenities, including a shower and toilet.

These units will be in addition to the eight models Prolite has been manufacturing for approximately 12 years.

Brad Harvey, Prolite’s sales representative, will pick up the unit at the Prolite factory north of Montreal at the end of September and drive it through the Atlantic Provinces of Eastern Canada visiting current and prospective dealers to show them the new model.

His travels will then take him back through Southern Ontario and west to the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.

Coolo 13 - ultra light caravan (Credit: roulottesprolite.com)

On a similar trip last year, Harvey logged more than 9,000 miles to sign up new dealers and take orders for more than 50 units.

The benefits of Ultra Light travel trailers include:

  • Ease of towing—easily pulled by mid-sized or even compact vehicles
  • Better fuel economy than pulling larger units
  • The trailer can often fit into a garage when not in use
  • Comfortable and roomy enough for two (cozy for four)
  • Strong fiberglass construction
  • Easy to attach to tow ball
  • Easy to pull over the mountains
  • Savings on car maintenance and fuel consumption

Other Prolite models include:

  • Eco 12 – Ultra light travel trailer (sleeps 2 adults, weighs only 750 pounds, 12 feet 10 inches in length)
  • Mini 13 – Ultra light travel trailer (sleeps 4 adults, weighs only 950 pounds, 13 feet 10 inches in length)
  • Coolo 13 – Ultra light caravan (sleeps 4 adults, weighs only 850 pounds, 13 feet 10 inches in length)
  • Profil 14 – Ultra light caravan (sleeps 4 adults, weighs 1400 pounds, 15 feet 2 inches in length)
  • Escapade 15 – Light trailer (sleeps 3 adults, weighs 1830 pounds, 16 feet 9 inches in length)
  • Evasion 16 – light caravan (sleeps 6 adults, weighs 1800 pounds, 17 feet 2 inches in length)
  • Fusion 19 – Light travel trailer (sleeps 5 persons, weighs 2450 pounds, 19 feet 6 inches in length)
  • Xtreme 23 – Long light trailer (sleeps 6 adults, weighs 3150 pounds, 24 feet 4 inches in length)

Details

Prolite, Inc.

Eco 12 - Ultra light travel trailer (Credit: roulottesprolite.com)

Prolite, Inc. is an Ultra Light Travel Trailer Manufacturer located in St-Jerome, Quebec. All models are made with a monocoque fibre glass roof which includes a one-year, limited warranty. In addition, the company offers a two-year limited structural warranty.

Address: 1100, boul. de l’Industrie, autoroute 15, sortie 45, St-Jérôme, Quebec, Canada J7Y 4B9

Phones :
Phone: (450) 438-3112 or (888) 438-3112

Website: roulottesprolite.com

Worth Pondering…
Waiting until everything is perfect before making a move is like waiting to start a trip until all the traffic lights are green.

—Karin Ireland

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