Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!
1. Bastrop State Park in Recovery Mode
It has been a tough year for Texas state parks. Record heat, devastating drought, budget cuts and wildfires during the summer has the park system in desperate need of money.
Bastrop State Park reopened recently after a huge wildfire burned 96 percent of it. Things are slowly coming back to normal.
Contractors are hauling and chipping away the tons of dead trees. Other volunteers are working to clean up the park—one trail at a time.
“So, there’s a lot of park that’s still green, still looks good—or even looks better—that has been cleaned up a little bit. The entire park is not gone,” says Roger Dolle, Bastrop State Park site manager.
2. Sun Communities Acquires Three Florida RV Parks
Sun Communities Inc., a Southfield, Michigan-based real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates manufactured housing and recreational vehicle communities, announced that on December 16 it acquired three recreational vehicle communities, personal property, and other associated intangibles from Club Naples RV Resort LLC, Kountree RV Resort LLC, and North Lake RV Resort LLC.
The acquired communities are in Florida—two in Naples, and the other in Moore Haven. They are comprised of 414 permanent recreational vehicle sites and 356 seasonal recreational vehicle sites that complement the company`s existing Florida recreational vehicle portfolio, while not directly competing with it.
The communities provide a larger geographic footprint in the state and allow for cross-marketing opportunities utilizing Sun Communities’ call center systems and staffing currently in place in the region.
Sun Communities intends to purchase three additional recreational vehicles communities in January 2012.
Sun Communities owns and operates a portfolio of 159 communities comprising approximately 54,800 developed manufactured housing and recreational vehicle sites.
3. Know Your Height
Sounds simple, but it’s amazing how many people forget the extra height of an RV while driving. Hitting bridges and overhangs are some of the most common accidents. To avoid getting hung up – literally – try this simple trick: put a sticky note on the dashboard with your exact clearance.
Another vital fact: a typical RV is 8.5 feet wide; the typical highway lane is only 10 feet wide. This gives you about a foot-and-a-half to work with.
4. Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Membership Campground
Membership campgrounds are particularly appealing to snowbirds and full-timers who don’t want to spend all their time in one or two locations.
In exchange for purchasing a one-time membership and paying annual dues, you may camp free—or nearly free—for a specified period of time.
You need to understand your own needs and how they match the benefits offered through the membership.
Two main factors to consider carefully:
Use: Are you really going to use this membership?
How many days a year will you use it?
How many years will you use it?
Location: Are the campgrounds in areas where you plan to travel?
Most membership campgrounds are in Western, Eastern, and Southern United States.
What else should you be aware of?
- Bankruptcies (or Chapter 11s) of membership campgrounds can and do occur
- Will you be able to find space when and where you want?
- Dilemma of peak demands from January to March in favorite Snowbird destinations such as Florida, Arizona, and Southern California
- Are you willing to plan ahead? To make reservations 60-120 days or more in advance?
- Not all memberships are created equal
- Not all campgrounds within the same camping system are created equal
- Increasing cost of annual dues
- Utility surcharge and service fees
To read more on membership campgrounds, click here.
5. Follow the Rule of 20 Percent
Fully loaded recreational vehicles have slower acceleration and take longer to come to a full stop than autos. To compensate, add 20 percent to everything you do, from increasing your following distance and judging if you have enough clearance, to safely merging into traffic.
Have a great New Years.
Until next time, safe RV travels, and we’ll see you on the road!
The RV lifestyle is like nothing else.
It’s leaving home, exploring America, and yet bringing your home along with you!
Stopping at a wayside picnic area, preparing lunch in your kitchen.
It’s sleeping in your own bed every night, yet waking up to a new vista each morning!
The sounds of a crackling campfire; of a mountain stream, of frogs, and crickets.
It’s families drawn closer; it’s retirees being rewarded for many years of labor.
—Loren Eyrich, Two-Lane Roads