LCI Solera Offers Leak-Free Slide-Out Sleeve & Slide Topper

Lippert Components, Inc., reports positive interest in its new RV aftermarket slide-out sealing systems known as the Solera Slide-Out Sleeve and Solera Slide Topper.

RV dealers who have tested the products are finding that the Solera Slide-Out Sleeve and Slide Topper are virtually maintenance free cures for leaky slide-outs, and they are easy to install, said Andy Murray, LCI vice president of sales.

“The best part about these products is that they can be added as an option at any time to any RV on the market today,” Murray explained.

“We encourage dealers to ask their OEMs to add it to the list of options available on their product lines. We believe that their customers will thank them.”

“Most RV manufacturers only cover adjustments and sealants on slide-outs for the first 30 to 90 days of ownership. The Solera Slide-Out Sleeve and Slide Topper continually protect the roof and sealant on the slide-out box from the sun, water and winter conditions,” added Murray.

The Solera Slide-Out Sleeve attaches to both the slide room and the outside wall of the RV, creating a complete seal around the entire slide room. Dust, smoke, leaves, bugs, and debris are blocked by the sleeve against entering the interior of the RV-even when the slide room is retracted back into the RV.

The Solera Slide-Out Sleeve from Lippert Components insures dust, smoke, leaves, bugs, and debris are blocked by the sleeve against entering the interior of the RV even when the slide room is retracted back into the RV.

Murray said the Solera Slide-Out Sleeve has also been praised by customers for its ease of use and superiority to other solutions. More and more dealers are choosing the Solera Slide-Out Sleeve as an installation option, and are asking OEMs to install Solera Slide-Out Sleeves on their product lines, he noted.

Murray explained why the Solera Slide Topper is also gaining popularity, “We feel the Solera Slide Topper is a great fit for those looking to save costs over conventional slide awnings, save on weight, and have a more streamlined and updated look when the slide room is in the travel position.”

The Solera Slide-Out Sleeve or Slide Topper offers these features:

  • No mechanical parts to break
  • Velcro strapping eliminates wind issues found with awning toppers
  • Slide-out Sleeve helps prevent leaves, dust, bugs, and debris from entering the slide-out
  • Water no longer pools on top of the slide-out
  • No springs to bend or break
  • Velcro strapping installs easily
  • A cost effective alternative to awning toppers
  • Ice slides right off
  • Clean, fresh look

“Today more than ever, OEMs are upgrading the exterior appearance of their units with items such as full paint, upgraded graphics or automotive style frameless windows,” said Murray.

“The Solera Slide-Out Sleeve and Slide Topper are just such quality upgrades. It also is one of those rare cases where you can achieve an upgraded look for your RV while reducing cost and weight and improving performance.”

Details

Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI)

Established in 1956, Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI) is a tier 2 supplier serving the recreational vehicle, manufactured housing, and cargo/horse trailer industries.

LCI is an industry leader in a multitude of products including chassis, fabricated steel parts, entry doors, axles, leveling and stabilization equipment, suspension enhancement products, and accessories that enhance the RV lifestyle.

LCI has grown to become a multi-state, multi-facility organization, with a reputation as being both an industry leader and an innovator in production and sales trends.

LCI is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Drew Industries Inc.

Phone: (574) 535-1125

Website: lippertcomponents.com

Worth Pondering…

Strive for perfection in everything you do.
Take the best that exists and make it better.
When it does not exist, design it.

—Sir Henry Royce

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Dutchmen Partners with Jellystone Parks for Free Camping

RVers who purchase a new Dutchmen travel trailer or fifth-wheel this year will receive an extra bonus—a free night of camping at any Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort in the United States or Canada, the RV manufacturer announced in a news release.

“We think this is a great way to introduce our customers to the many fun-filled, family Jellystone Parks across North America—we are excited to have the opportunity of introducing the Dutchmen RV brands to the Club Yogi Rewards members as well,” said Bruce Hardy, director of marketing for Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc.

The promotion is the first of its kind for Club Yogi Rewards, the points-based loyalty program for Jellystone Parks, said Lauri Hart, loyalty program manager for Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc., which franchises Jellystone Parks.

“That’s enough points for one night of free camping in a premium campsite, but Dutchmen buyers can also continue to accumulate points for additional nights of free camping as they continue to camp at Jellystone Parks around the country,” Hart said.

Jellystone Parks have been on the expansion mode in the United States and Canada in recent years, adding new parks in Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, and Nova Scotia.

Hart said Dutchmen buyers will receive a voucher that they redeem online for 6,000 rewards points. “That’s enough points for one night of free camping in a premium campsite, but Dutchmen buyers can also continue to accumulate points for additional nights of free camping as they continue to camp at Jellystone Parks around the country,” Hart said.

Dutchmen, for its part, has launched several initiatives in recent months to improve its sales and competitiveness in the RV marketplace, including restructuring its sales management team and making internal moves to improve product quality and manufacturing efficiency.

Details

Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc.

Goshen, Indiana-based Dutchmen Manufacturing, Inc. has been a leader in the recreation vehicle industry since 1988.

Dutchmen RV produces various brands of towable recreational vehicles that are sold throughout the United States and Canada.

Dutchmen RV brands include the Denali, Komfort, Infinity, Aspen Trail, Kodiak, Voltage, Rubicon, Aerolite, Coleman, Four Winds, Grand Junction, Lakewood, and Dutchmen brands.

Dutchmen Manufacturing, Inc. is a Thor Industries, Inc. company.

Address: P.O. Box 2164, 2164 Caragana Court, Goshen, IN 46527

Phone: (574) 537-0600

Website: dutchmen.com

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts

Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts are a franchise network of campgrounds focused on providing great family vacations.

Founded in 1969 by Doug Haag, of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the Jellystone Park system has grown to include over 70 locations in the U.S. and Canada, making it the second largest campground franchise in the country.

By the end of 1971, there were 10 franchised Jellystone Parks in operation.

In 1974, Haag decided to move onto other business ventures and left Campgrounds Ltd. in the hands of Jim Webb, who continues to do consulting work for current franchisor, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts is owned by Leisure Systems Inc., a Park River Corporation, a privately held Cincinnati company.

Address: 50 West TechneCenter Dr., Suite G, Milford, OH 45150

Phone: (513) 831-2100 or (800) 626-3720 (toll free)

Website: campjellystone.com

Worth Pondering…

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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5 Helpful Tips for a Travel-Ready RV

The excitement of another spring and summer travel season will soon be upon us again.

To insure your recreational vehicle is in travel-ready mode, the RV experts at Encore and Thousand Trails recommend five helpful tips before hitting the road.

1. Exterior

Inspect the roof, sidewalls, end 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. 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.

Insects and rodents can make winter homes in the outside compartments. Clear any nests or debris and inspect wiring and hoses for signs of chewing.

Look underneath the vehicle for fluid or fuel leaks and address those as necessary.

Ensure proper function of headlights, brake lights, and reverse lights.

2. Hot Water Heater

If the water heater has been drained for the winter, this is a good time to flush the unit. Some units utilize an anode for corrosion prevention. Remove anode from tank for inspection. As a general rule, if 75 percent of the anode has been corroded away, it should be replaced. Refer to the owner’s manual for specific replacement requirements.

Is your RV road ready?

Fill water tank with a mixture of half vinegar and half water to remove any buildup of lime. Turn on the water heater. Once the water is hot, turn it back off and either wait until the water cools or use protective gloves and stand clear while draining the tank. Flush with fresh water until the discharge is clear and refill for future use. Doing this once a year will help to extend the life of the heater.

3. Liquefied Propane (LP) Appliances

All LP appliances should be inspected for gas leakage and proper function. Clean any debris or insect nests out of the burner assemblies. Making sure there are no open flames, turn on the main gas supply valve, and pay special attention for any gas odors.

Spray gas fittings and connections with a soapy water solution. Bubbling indicates a gas leak and should be repaired by a qualified RV technician.

Light LP appliances and test for proper operation.

4. Batteries

Posts and cables corrode over time and need to be cleaned regularly for maximum output. A mixture of baking soda and water is an economical cleaning agent and applying a corrosion preventative will help slow future corrosion.

Check the water level of batteries and fill with distilled water to proper levels.

If needed, charge the batteries.

5. Plumbing

Winterizing plumbing is a must for RVs stored in cold weather climates. Now that spring is here, water tanks should be drained and the entire plumbing system sterilized before use.
Combine ¼ cup of bleach to a gallon of water for every 15 gallons of tank capacity. Add bleach mixture to tank and fill completely. Using the water pump, turn on faucets one at a time and let them run until an odor of bleach is detected.

Do the same for the shower and toilet. Wait three to five hours before draining tank and refilling with fresh water. Repeat the process of running water through each water fixture until all bleach is out of the plumbing. The tank is now sanitized and ready for use.

Details

Encore and Thousand Trails

This travel season gives RVers a great opportunity to experience Encore and Thousand Trails RV Resorts premier campgrounds. Offering resort-style amenities, Encore and Thousand Trails RV Resorts provide RVers with the best in outdoor destinations, recreation, and family camping.

Encore and Thousand Trails feature 173 RV Resorts across North America. Owned and operated by Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc., Encore, Thousand Trails, and its affiliates offer RVers opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in top vacation destinations, complemented with resort style amenities.

Phone: (866) 730-0637

Website: rvonthego.com

Worth Pondering…

Let’s Go RVing! Moss is starting to grow on my non-rolling stone! It is definitely time to get back in the RV and out on the open road.

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Ultra-Fab Offers Slide-out Supports

The idiom, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is as true today as it was when Ben Franklin first wrote it more than 200 years ago.

It simply means that it is better to try to avoid problems in the first place, rather than trying to fix them once they arise—and that’s especially true when it comes to RV slide outs.

Ultra-Fab’s Ultra Slide-Out Supports not only keeps slide outs level and stable, they also prevent damage to the RV’s extension tubes.

Ultra Slide-Out Supports come with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty and are available in three models to ensure the right fit for your RV.

Two supports come in each box. Two different models are available:

  • The QS 2647 (p/n 19-960003) is the largest support, extending from 26 inches to 47 inches.
  • The QS 2137 (p/n 19-960002) extends from 21 inches to 37 inches.
  • The QS 1628 (p/n 19-960001) is the smallest support, extending from 16 inches to 28 inches.
Ultra-Fab Products slide-out supports

“Unlike other slide-out supports, these feature quick release adjusting buttons, to eliminate twisting,” said Chad Vannauker, Ultra-Fab spokesman.

“And unlike competitive products, the Ultra-Slide-Out Supports adjusts and installs in seconds. Just pull, adjust and lock in place to the length that you need.”

Ultra-Fab’s Ultra Slide-Out Supports features heavy-duty steel construction ensuring durability and performance and helps save wear and tear on slide outs by reducing sag.

And it is sag that puts the slide-out mechanism and chassis frame under stress that will eventually send RV owners to the repair shop resulting in a costly repair bill, according to Vannauker.

Details

Ultra-Fab Products, Inc.

Ultra-Fab Products, Inc. manufactures and supplies a variety of RV products

Address: 57985 State Route 19 S

Phone: (574) 294-7571

Website: ultra-fab.com

Worth Pondering…

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.

—Mark Twain

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Have HerrMAN will RV

While recreational vehicles are more than adequate for many going planning a cross-country road trips, a German couple opted for something more extreme than an RV for their around-the-world journey.

Seasoned traveller: HerrMAN has so far been to 18 countries and clocked 40,000km. (Source: Malaysia Star)

Their vehicle of choice is an 18-ton army six-wheeler truck converted into cozy mobile home. The mighty mobile is affectionately called HerrMAN, Malaysia Star reports.

Stefan Sigl and Petra Mester have been on the road for two years, travelling over 25,000 miles and have visited 18 countries since leaving Germany in November 2009.

They drove into Malaysia from Thailand early last month and had visited Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, China, and Laos to name a few.

“Although I have used a recreational vehicle before, I felt that I needed something more robust as the countries we will be visiting might have very bad roads,” he told reporters during a stopover at Continental Sime Tyre’s Petaling Jaya head office.

Auxiliary wheels: Sigl showing the scooter and bicycle in the mini-garage. (Source: Malaysia Star)

HerrMAN was fitted with Continental’s heavy machinery all-terrain tires when it left Germany.

During their stay in Malaysia, the truck will get a new set of tires to continue its journey.

Sigl, 50, used to work in the media industry before venturing on the road trip. Mester, 51, meanwhile, was a teacher and social worker.

The couple has two children a son, 30, and daughter, 27.

The idea to go on the “big journey” came up around Christmas in 2003.

Sigl bought a MAN KAT1 6X6 truck in 2005 and spent the next few years converting it into an apartment on wheels complete with beds, toilet, air conditioning, deep freezer, microwave oven, and washing machine, Malaysia Star reports.

The vehicle even has a mini-garage where Sigl keeps a scooter and a bicycle.

He said HerrMAN was a combination of the German word “herr” which meant mister and MAN which was the truck brand.

“In English, our vehicle is Mr. MAN,” Sigl said, adding that it was also a tribute to his father whose name was Herman.

Sigl said they enjoyed their stay in Malaysia as the locals were friendly and that everyone could speak English.

The couple intend to stay for a month or longer and plan to visit the key attractions on the west and east coasts.

Rest and recreation: Mester showing the ‘living room’ of HerrMAN. (Source: Malaysia Star)

After that, they plan to ship HerrMAN from Malacca to Indonesia. They also aim to visit Timor Leste, Australia and New Zealand before continuing to South America.

Related Stories

Worth Pondering…

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.

—Mark Twain

Read More

RV Tourism to Alaska Declines

The once-common sight of a meandering, RV-driving summer tourist is becoming more of a rarity in Alaska, according to a new survey of visitors.

Alaska Beyond Your Dreams - Tourism Ad

Dubbed the Alaska Visitor Statistics Program, the survey is commissioned by the Alaska Department of Commerce every five years, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports. The 2011 survey was released March 19.

Border crossings at the Top of the World Highway, the Alaska Highway, and the Haines Highway slipped a combined 26 percent from 2006 to 2011, according to the comprehensive study.

The only border crossing to challenge the trend was the Klondike Highway between Skagway and Whitehorse, which saw a 17 percent increase in traffic.

Of an estimated 1.56 million out-of-state visitors, only 69,300 were highway and ferry visitors—a dip of 18 percent since 2006. Overall, the money they spent fell from $111 million to $71 million between 2006 and 2011, according to the study.

Heather Haugland, project manager of the survey conducted by the McDowell Group, said the drop in road traffic disproportionately affects communities in the Interior, which rely more on highway visitors.

“Certainly, Fairbanks has been a victim of that (shift),” Haugland said.

Rising gas prices are part of the reason for the dip in road travelers, tourism officials say, but time also appears to be an issue, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports. Even among retirees, fewer people have a month to spend on a leisurely drive to Alaska and back.

Alaska is one of the last true frontiers left on Earth and has something for everyone. (Source: trails.com)

“Americans have a time deficit, even retirees,” said Deb Hickok, executive director of the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The reality is the consumer is changing.”

Scott Reisland, the owner of Denali Grizzly Bear Resort, said he’s seen the effects of those changes on his business, and that it stretches back much longer than 2006.

RV traffic has plummeted so much in the past decade that he closed down a 98-space park near Denali National Park at the end of last summer. Only a second RV park he owns, with just 24 spaces, will reopen.

“There’s a lack of long-term time to go on a vacation in Alaska,” he said. “It’s a long-haul destination, and people are staying closer to home.”

What does Hickok make of the bigger picture? It’s hard to say, she admits.

Since the number of visitors peaked in 2006, the industry has gone through unprecedented times. The global recession saw Alaska visitor numbers plummet in 2009, and those numbers have only gradually recovered.

Since visitors to Alaska peaked at about 1.7 million in both 2007 and 2008, they’ve slipped down to about 1.56 million in 2011. Those declines have stopped for the first time since the recession, however, with a 1.6 percent increase last summer from 2010.

Because of that, Hickok said, gleaning information from visitor numbers in 2006 and 2011 leaves out a lot of upheaval in between. She’s wary to read too much into the figures, saying the numbers are better read as a snapshot in time rather than a gauge of future trends.

“People ask me how things are going to be in the next few years, but I won’t even venture a guess,” she said. “It depends on who you talk to.”

An estimated 325,000 visitors made it to Fairbanks in summer 2011, according to the survey, making it the eighth most popular destination in Alaska. Juneau, fueled by heavy cruise-ship traffic, topped the list with 917,000 visitors.

Denali National Park is especially popular, because it contains the highest mountain in North America, Mount McKinley. (Source: alaskathemajestic.com)

Fairbanks visitors were more likely to participate in cultural activities than people in most other regions, with tours of gold panning, mines, museums, and historic attractions claiming a large share of attention. The average visitor spent $354 in Fairbanks.

Fairbanks’ share of Alaska-bound tourists dipped slightly from 2006 to 2011, from 24 percent to 21 percent. Much of that change is because of decisions by some cruise ship companies to cut back on Interior side trips, Hickok said.

Hickok said she’s eager to see what an upcoming report on winter tourism reveals. Although the four-month summer visitor season brings about 70 percent of visitors to the state, there are indications that Alaska is making big gains as a winter destination.

“For winter, we’ve seen steady growth even through this recession—that’s our sense of it,” Hickok said.

Worth Pondering…

Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.
—Anon

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Ocean Canyon Properties Acquires New Resort on Lake Texoma

Ocean Canyon Properties (OCP), a privately owned, membership camping system announced that they have acquired a new resort in Madill, Oklahoma on Lake Texoma.

Texoma Shores Resort is a special property in this popular tourist area, boasting over a mile of shoreline on Lake Texoma.

The resort features a swimming beach, boat launch, and a new fishing pier for the enjoyment of its members and guests. Accommodations range from pull-through RV sites with full hook ups, newly renovated two bedroom cabins, to a 16 unit motel on property. This location additionally offers boat and RV storage for its guest’s convenience.

The launch of Texoma Shores Resort is an exciting milestone for the company and its 11,400 members.

OCP has enjoyed great success with membership camping sales at their other seven properties:

  • Bear’s Den Resort in Grove, Oklahoma
  • Tres Rios Resort in Glen Rose, Texas
  • Millwood Landing Golf and RV Resort in Ashdown, Arkansas
  • Abita Springs Resort in Abita Springs, Louisiana
  • North Shore Resort in Greensboro, Georgia
  • Styx River Resort in Robertsdale, Alabama
  • Mountain Lakes in Langston, Alabama
Ocean Canyon Properties Mountain Lake Resort on beautiful Guntersville Lake, Alabama

Ocean Canyon Properties President Mike Pournoury states “The growing customer base and market need for private membership camping motivates our expansion.”

Details

Ocean Canyon Properties (OCP)
Ocean Canyon Properties (OCP) is a growing system of privately-owned membership resorts that offer spacious RV sites, comfortable cabins, cottages, and condos along with a wide variety of private resort amenities.

With eight beautiful resort locations situated throughout the southern United States, OCP’s resorts provide the safe, secure, and enjoyable recreational experience that so many families seek.

The OCP senior management has been directly involved in the membership camping resort industry on a national platform for over 30 years.

As an OCP member you will enjoy the many amenities found at the varied resorts: golf, tennis, volleyball, horseshoes, fishing, and walking trails as well as swimming pools and eating and entertainment facilities.

Regularly planned activities are also scheduled for the whole family.

OCP also provides member access to over 300 other membership resorts around the U.S. and Canada. Whether you want to spend time at your OCP home resort or travel the country staying at reciprocal private membership RV resorts, you’ll enjoy the exclusive privileges of your OCP membership.

OCP offers several different types of memberships that are affiliated with the best networks within the private membership resort industry. Through these affiliations OCP provides a reciprocal service which expands the recreation and vacation opportunities for OCP members.

OCP is affiliated with and offers reciprocal membership privileges with Adventure Outdoor Resorts (AOR), Coast to Coast Resorts, and Resorts of Distinction (ROD).

Address: 1911 Galleria Oaks Drive, Texarkana, TX 75503

Phone: (888) 567-5941 (toll free)

Website: oceancanyon.com

Worth Pondering…

Have you put…

Step up

Antenna down

Wife in?

—sign at a Dickson, Tennessee campground

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Five Things You Need to Know Today: April 27

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

1. Good Sam Appears Sunday on Celebrity Apprentice
Good Sam, one of America’s most recognized organizations was selected to be featured as a task sponsor on a 2012 segment of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” featuring American business mogul Donald J. Trump. The episode will highlight some of the many benefits and services Good Sam provides to the community.

Donald Trump commented, “Good Sam, one of the world’s largest lifestyle organizations, provides a wide and wonderful array of products and services, and we are very pleased to have them on our show.” Trump continued, “I think the episode is exciting and definitely a great fit for our audiences.”

“We are pleased to partner with Mr. Trump with his pop culture phenomenon, ‘The Celebrity Apprentice,” remarked Chairman and CEO of Good Sam, Marcus Lemonis. “Both Good Sam and ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ have a similar focus on charitable works and Good Sam is focused on providing customer assistance in a multitude of channels. Look forward to seeing Good Sam reveal a new image to the audience.”

The Good Sam featured episode will air this Sunday, April 29 on NBC at 9/8 Central.

2. 2013 Fleetwood 33-Foot Excursion Receives Good Reviews

Fleetwood RV Excursion Class A

Decatur, Indiana-based Fleetwood RV Inc. new Excursion Class A has drawn a lot of good reviews since its debut at RVIA’s National RV Trade Show last winter as one of a handful of shorter new diesel motorhomes.

But it’s not really the Excursion’s compact 33-foot length as much as its competitive $175,000 retail price tag that will draw buyers, says Fleetwood President and CEO John Draheim.

The Excursion, built on a Freightliner-based Power Bridge chassis powered by a 300-hp Cummins 6.7-Liter ISB engine mated to an Allison 2100MH transmission, has undergone minor dealer-suggested upgrades since its initial introduction.

For additional information on the 2013 Fleetwood 33-foot Excursion, click here.

3. No Finer Day in Shiner

The classic Shiner Bock is a God given blessing. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The classic Shiner Bock is a God given blessing. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In Texas, the mere mention of the word “Shiner” immediately brings to mind thoughts of a cold longneck and the distinctive brew within. However, before the beer, there was the town.

Not surprisingly, the best way to learn the history of Shiner is to learn the history of Shiner Beer, as the two have been intertwined for more than a hundred years. So, I headed to Spoetzl Brewery and joined the day’s first tour.

Shiner beer started in 1909 when the town’s thirsty German and Czech immigrants decided to start a brewery to make the traditional Bavarian brews of their homeland. In 1914, legendary brewmaster Kosmos Spoetzl took over and the rest is history.

The Spoetzl Brewery is now the oldest independent brewery in Texas and still brews every drop of Shiner Beer from its “little brewery” in Shiner.

The tour gave me a firsthand look into the brewing process and, of course, a firsthand sampling of the final product, from flagstaff Shiner Boch to the 102 Double Wheat. The tour is the best way to sample the spectrum of Shiner, and it whet my curiosity as to what else the town had to offer including Friday’s Chicken.

Click here to read more stories on Shiner Boch.

4. RVs May Soon Boycott Maine

The Maine Revenue Service (MRS) has decided that the business owner of an RV that is rented to a customer who spends more than 24 hours in Maine with that RV owes the state sales tax on the original price of the RV, reports Down East.

MRS is now auditing a Vermont company, Travel-Rite, in order to collect that sales tax on all of the company’s RVs that have been rented by customers for travel in Maine.

“Imagine this scenario,” testified Chad Shepard, Travel Rite’s owner.

“Under Maine’s current tax system, Maine would impose a $5,000 use tax, which is 5 percent of the original purchase price of $100,000, even though we only earned $200 of rent from the time the RV was in Maine,” he said.

Shepard was obviously worried that his liability will run “well into the six figures” after renting RVs that traveled to Maine for many years. After 17 years in business, he said a bill of this magnitude from the MRS would “put us out of business.”

He also reported that many other companies will be vulnerable, although right now the MRS seems to have targeted his company.

Vacationland to Taxationland! Call this change truth in advertising.

5. California Increased Cost of Annual State Park Passes
California State Parks announced it will be raising the price of four of its annual passes as of May 1, 2012. Day use and camping fees will remain at 2009 levels.
The passes to be increased are as follows:

  • Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass: Current: $125; New: $195
  • Golden Poppy Vehicle Day Use Pass: Current: $90; New: $125
  • Boat Use Pass (Sticker): Current: $75; New: $100
  • Limited Use Golden Bear Pass: Current: $10; New: $20

This increase will bring the price of the annual passes more in line with the standard of 12-15 visits to pay for an annual pass.

State Parks is not sure how much revenue this will generate in the short term, but roughly estimates between $1 million and $1.5 million per year more for state parks as visitors get accustomed to the new prices. This is not enough to prevent park closures brought about by the $22 million reduction in the State Parks’ budget, but it will help mitigate the severe service reductions at parks remaining open throughout the system.

Have a great weekend.

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

Worth Pondering…

Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.

—Roy Goodman

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When RVers Need to Cool Off®

Here’s a really cool product to take on RV and camping trips.

Cool Off®
Cool Off®

And it takes up less room than a pair of socks.

It’s called Cool Off®, and it’s a cool herbal towelette that not only takes the sweat off the brow from a hot day—or a hike or bike ride—but also contains natural ingredients that work their way into the neck, arms, or legs for a healing, therapeutic feeling.

Those little towels, which resemble the moist towelettes you get in a good rib joint, are somehow infused with a blend of natural cooling herbs, moisturizing botanicals, and oils.

Those herbs, botanicals, and oils include witch hazel, chamomile flower, evening primrose, and tee tree oil.

Simple, and yet soothing.

Cool Off®

Cool Off has great potential among many user groups, because the towelettes are convenient and they really work whether people are exercising, watching, or participating in sports, traveling, hiking, or fishing, or just relaxing under the sun.

RVers and campers can enjoy this new way to renew, refresh, and re-energize.

Cool Off, an icy cold, natural herbal towelette that provides immediate and lasting heat relief is great to use anytime to cool down or refresh.

Cool Off is an individually-wrapped icy cold towelette infused with all natural cooling herbs, botanicals, and essential oils. Cool Off soothes and moisturizes while it renews, refreshes, and cools the skin.

Using Cool Off is easy.

Simply press a Cool Off towelette on the back of the neck, inner arms, or back of the knees to feel and build the chill.

The ultra-soft towelettes come in individually wrapped convenient single-use packets, making it easy to keep them in purses, gym bags, backpacks, cars, golf bags, desk drawers, even pockets.

The product was created by a group of executives, including a business professional who is a soccer mom; sales, advertising, and marketing professionals who are avid travelers and outdoors enthusiasts; a breast cancer survivor; and an engineer who runs marathons.  All were seeking natural ways to cope with uncomfortable heat, whether from long, hot summers or hot flashes.

Details

It’s 2 Cool, Ltd.

It’s 2 Cool, the manufacturer of Cool Off®, is certified as a women business enterprise. Cool Off® is a registered trademark of It’s 2 Cool, Ltd. A patent is pending.

Cool Off®

Cool Off® is a natural, innovative personal cooling towelette product that renews, refreshes, and re-energizes.

Cool Off® is infused with a clean-scented formula of natural ingredients that includes cooling herbs, moisturizing botanicals, and therapeutic essential oils.

Refreshing Towelette in a Pocket-Sized Packet

Address: P.O. Box 15614, San Antonio, TX 78212

Phone: (210) 824-7799

Website: thequickchill.com

Worth Pondering…
We travel because, no matter how comfortable we are at home, there’s a part of us that wants—that needs—to see new vistas, take new tours, obtain new entrees, introduce new bacteria into our intestinal tracts, learn new words for “transfusion,” and have all the other travel adventures that make us want to French-kiss our doormats when we finally get home.
—Dave Barry

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Lifestyle Luxury RV Introduces 2013 Full-wall Slide Fifth Wheel

Middlebury, Indiana-based Lifestyle Luxury RV, the new luxury fifth wheel manufacturer, has released details of its new full-wall slide-out floor plan available immediately for the 2013 model year.

The floor plan offers an exciting preview of a unique and exclusive new product offering to the RV industry from Lifestyle.

“Dealers and buyers alike have stressed their desire for more spacious living areas,” said Greg Kitson, Lead Design Engineer.

“In response, we’ve delivered a full-wall slide-out, the LS36FW that will lead the industry in construction quality and provides the residential space full-timers are looking for.”

Other floor plan features for the model LS36FW include:

  • Quiet Performa-Cool A/C System
  • Large entertainment center with fully functional pull-out desk
  • 6-foot 6-inch slide-out height in the living room
  • Large walk-in front wardrobe with full-width hanging storage and shelving
  • Additional double wardrobe with side-by-side Washer/Dryer option
  • Corian countertops in kitchen and bathroom
  • Full-height front bedroom
  • Double Stainless Steel Sink with Residential single handle faucet with pullout sprayer

“As we continue to develop the Lifestyle lineup, we are listening to the wishes of our dealer partners and savvy RV customers,” said Elliott Bond, Lifestyle National Sales Manager.

“We believe this type of responsiveness sets us apart in the industry.”

Along with superior livability, Bond emphasized that Lifestyle owners can count on industry-leading construction features including:

  • Double-stacked steel tube frame
  • Bigfoot Hydraulic Leveling System w/ Key Fob
  • MOR/ryde Suspension
  • Owens Corning residential insulation everywhere including 2.25-inch insulated slide out floors
  • 40,000 BTU furnace
  • Goodyear G-Range tires
  • Rear exterior storage
  • Frameless windows
  • Four-step entry
  • Carefree Electric Adjustable Vinyl Awning
  • Solid Cherry Cabinetry

“Lifestyle Luxury RV is quickly setting new standards for both quality and comfort in the luxury fifth wheel segment of the RV market,” concluded Bond.

“This is not just a great option for buyers, it is also a tremendous opportunity for dealerships looking to expand or improve their offerings in this area.”

Details

Lifestyle Luxury RV

LS36FW floor plan

Lifestyle Luxury RV, manufactured in Middlebury, Indiana, assembled a team of the industry’s best and brightest who are putting their expertise to work to give the RV industry a new choice for resort-ready luxury fifth wheels.

The company focuses on creating the ideal year-round living experience through construction that’s second to none and by delivering a higher level of service to both dealers and customers. For the savvy fifth wheel buyer, the difference is clear — the difference is Lifestyle Luxury RV.

Lifestyle Luxury RV is a division of Middlebury-based EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC

Address: 10758 County Road 2, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (574) 825-4298

Website: lifestylelrv.com

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Worth Pondering…

We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems!

—Lee Iacocca

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