Vintage Airstream: Museum on the Move

What began as an idea formed during a session at the National Council on Public History’s annual conference in 2011 is now a reality.

Vintage Airstream: Museum on the Move

Vintage Airstream: Museum on the Move

A group of University of Louisiana at Lafayette graduate students created a unique mobile museum exhibit.

It’s only fitting that the University of Louisiana at Lafayette History Department’s Museum on the Move (MoM) is a vintage Airstream, because the iconic brand has such a rich history of their own.

As Professor John Troutman, the history instructor that brought the museum concept to life told Airstream Life, “What vehicle to support a mobile museum is more historical, and timelessly attractive, than an Airstream?”

The university located the 26-foot 1954 Cruiser on an Airstream forum, and Troutman and a colleague picked it up outside of Birmingham, Alabama in February 2013.

Students from the School of Architecture and Design came up with concepts to remake the trailer into a functional and modifiable mobile museum . They hired a local contractor—and Airstream enthusiast—to gut it, rebuild the frame and floor, and rewire it.

All the retro comforts were replaced with wood flooring and industrial framing to accommodate museum panels.

Vintage Airstream: Museum on the Move

Vintage Airstream: Museum on the Move

Troutman’s graduate students developed the museum’s initial exhibit, “Crossing the Line: Louisiana Women in a Century of Change” during the fall semester of 2013.

Students and Troutman worked out the lighting, exhibit panel mountings, and exhibit “flow,” as well as acquired the show’s artifacts and images, and wrote the explanatory text.

The exhibit features 10 Louisiana women from the late 19th century to the present who created extraordinary change in the state.

The exhibit is based on research provided by students in a Louisiana Women course taught by history professor Mary Farmer-Kaiser. Troutman’s students pared down the list of 40 women to 10 after focusing on a theme of activism.

Vintage Airstream: Museum on the Move

Vintage Airstream: Museum on the Move

In the spring and fall of 2014, they toured the exhibit all over southern Louisiana—to historical association meetings, local civic group meetings, farmer’s markets, music festivals, and schools.

“That is one of our greatest successes in terms of developing this program—the Airstream draws people in, long before they read the exhibit description outside the door,” says Troutman. “Everyone wants to talk about the Airstream, tells us their Airstream experiences, and asks where we found it. That gets them in the door, so that they can see the exhibits that our students will design and install each year. Buying an Airstream to serve as the exhibit vehicle is the best decision we could have ever made.”

Troutman’s students love the MoM because it gets them professional, hands-on experience in museum work and gets them out in the community—even out into Troutman’s driveway, which he describes as being “ground zero for installing our exhibits in the trailer.”

The academic work for the museum’s next exhibit, covering the history of oil production in Louisiana’s oil-rich state, is now taking place in student seminars. In the fall, Troutman’s graduate student seminar will convert that scholarship into “Oil in Louisiana,” the next traveling exhibit.

Being a history professor, Dr. Troutman is eminently qualified to speak on the place of the Airstream in the historical record: “Airstreams are remarkable: Their popularity reflected the desire of Americans to learn about other parts of our country, and to expand the venues for their family time and their critical family experiences, beyond their homes, and onto the open road. The design aesthetic of these trailers is unmatched and a thing of wondrous beauty.”

Museum-quality beauty, it seems.

Vintage Airstream: Museum on the Move

Vintage Airstream: Museum on the Move


Museum on the Move (MoM)

Museum on the Move (MoM) is a project of University of Louisiana at Lafayette History Department.

Public History students outfit a vintage Airstream trailer with an interpretive exhibit that will then hit the road to take history directly out of the classroom and to the public. Exhibits will be created on a rotating basis and require the melding of two courses and a cohort of students.

The first course is a traditional history course where students conduct research projects geared toward the planned exhibit. The next phase of the project is for a Museum Studies course, under the direction of Dr. John Troutman, where students re-craft the research done in the first class to create exhibit components that they will install in the trailer.

Once the exhibit is up and rolling, the trailer will be sent out on short runs to venues around the state where the students’ (and the program’s) work will be on display.


Worth Pondering…

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

—Maya Angelou

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Lifestyle Luxury RV Continues To Expand

As the Lifestyle Luxury RV brand continues its expansion with new dealers from coast-to-coast, it maintains its tight affiliation with the past—one of the most discerning, iconic camper clubs in the industry—the Carriage Travel Club.

LIFESTYLE Luxury RV Introduces Side Hauler Fifth Wheel

LIFESTYLE Luxury RV Introduces Side Hauler Fifth Wheel

Lifestyle Luxury RV was founded in 2012 with the charter to fill the vacuum left by the passing of many of the luxury fifth wheel builders in the industry. The Lifestyle Luxury RV brand continues to expand and prosper with its new Alfa Gold brand and manufacturing innovations found nowhere else, all while keeping in touch with its “New Legacy” of full-time luxury and durability.

“Our continued growth in market share in the luxury fifth-wheel segment, combined with the rewarding relationship we have with our legacy customers in the Carriage Travel Club in the United States and Canada, create a unique synergy of new and old here at Lifestyle,” stated General Manger of Lifestyle Luxury RV Dymon Farrer, in a company news release.

“The result is that we are continually striving to lead the industry with innovative products, brands and designs, while maintaining the legacy of quality that made our brand successful in the first place.”

The Carriage Travel Club is closing in on 40-years of full-timer brand loyalty at its 39th Grand National Rally this year in Branson, Missouri on October 3. Lifestyle Luxury RV remains ahead of the curve with innovations for the future grounded on a foundation of quality.

Sell Innovations Found Nowhere Else

Lifestyle Luxury RV 39FB exterior in toffee

Lifestyle Luxury RV 39FB exterior in toffee

The One and Only Titan Structure Frame—A closing sales point with full-timers looking for durability that will last, Lifestyle’s Titan Structure frame is the only frame completely engineered and welded in-house for the highest quality. The double, box-channel American steel frame provides the solid base needed for a raised steel integrated floor. Raising the floor creates the industry’s only rear pass-through storage. The Titan Structure frame has 12-inches of welded, box channel steel to maintain the coach’s structural integrity, with far more rigidity than conventional I-beam frames. This results in the strongest frame in the industry and the only frame engineered to handle a full wall slide out system.

The Only Full-Wall-Slide Fifth Wheel—Lifestyle Luxury RV builds the only fifth wheel with a true full-wall slide system. Usually only found on high-end motor coaches with massive bus chassis, the full-wall slide system is engineered on risers above the frame for the strongest foundation and smoothest operation. The slide-outs operate on a fully mechanical, rack and pinion system with over-sized gearing for the ultimate reliability—no hydraulic line to maintain or burst.

Lifestyle Luxury RV 36FW interior

Lifestyle Luxury RV 36FW interior

The Only Alfa Gold Side Hauler—With the introduction of the new Alfa Gold 3905SH for 2015, Lifestyle has another first. This Alfa Gold, built on its own version of the Titan Structure frame, has a Motorcycle Garage Option complete with a lift system that safely loads a motorcycle into a 36 square-foot slide room for easy transport. The first of its kind, Alfa Gold 3905SH fifth wheel is not a toy hauler but rather a luxury fifth wheel built for motorcycle enthusiasts who put a premium on living space, but still want to take a bike along. The award winning design won Best Debut 2015 from RV Business Magazine and has acquired more than 52,000 views on YouTube.

Today, with the addition of the Skyline RV brand, EverGreen and its Lifestyle Luxury RV division is one of the five largest recreational vehicle manufacturers in North America. 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 legacy brand, full-time luxury fifth wheels.


Lifestyle Luxury RV

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

When the famed former luxury fifth-wheel manufacturer, Carriage, Inc., closed its doors in 2012, The Carriage Travel Club (CTC) chose Lifestyle Luxury RV as its new manufacturer partner.

Savvy RV consumers are increasingly investing in “The EverGreen Difference” as the company continues to dramatically lead the towable RV segment in sales.  Of the top 15 towable RV manufacturers, EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC, along with its Lifestyle Luxury RV fifth-wheel division, was one of the fastest growing companies in the industry for both registered retail sales and total increase in market share.

Lifestyle Luxury RV 39FB interior

Lifestyle Luxury RV 39FB interior

Address: 10758 County Road 2, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (574) 825-4298


Worth Pondering…
The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
—Eleanor Roosevelt

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Using RV Parks As Base Camps For Festival & Annual Events

RV parks and campgrounds are great places to enjoy hiking, biking, boating, and other outdoor recreation activities during your leisure time.

Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With RV and tent sites as well as a wide range of accommodations, campgrounds can also serve as base camps for those interested in attending festivals and annual events throughout the U.S and Canada. These annual events range from rodeos to music festivals and cultural to culinary events.

Following is a sampling of the festivals and annual events that take place during the coming weeks and months, along with listings of nearby attractions and campgrounds and RV parks, many of which also have rental accommodations.

All parks included have been personally visited with a minimum of one night of paid camping.

Louisiana: Festival International de Louisiane, Lafayette, April 22-26, 2015

Historic downtown Lafayette is transformed into an entertainment complex featuring six music stages, food court areas, street musicians and animators, arts and crafts boutiques, art galleries, beverage stands, cultural workshops, international cooking demonstrations, and a world music store.

All programming for the festival is designed to celebrate cultural expression in a variety of forms and to encourage understanding and appreciation for different cultures. Festival International events are free to the public and designed to encourage family participation from all sectors of the community.

Named a Top 100 Event in North America by the American Bus Association.

Nearby Attractions: Avery Island, Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site, Breaux Bridge, Vermilionville, St. Martinsville, Local Cuisine

Recommended RV Parks: Frog City RV Park, Duson, Louisiana, and Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana

New Mexico: Gathering of Nations Native American Powwow, Albuquerque, April 24-25, 2015

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

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

The Gathering of Nations Powwow is North America’s largest Native American competition and powwow. The event celebrates Native American pageantry and culture with more than 500 tribes represented from across the U.S. and Canada.

Attracting more than 3,000 participants from all over the world, the powwow features aisles of shopping at the Indian Trader’s Market and native foods and music. Also featured during the powwow is the crowning of Miss Indian World.

Named a Top 100 Event in North America by the American Bus Association.

Nearby Attractions: Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Acoma Pueblo, Sandia Peak Tramway, Petroglyph National Monument, Local Cuisine

Recommended RV Park: American RV Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Louisiana: Contraband Days Pirate Festival, Lake Charles, April 28-May 10, 2015

A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

During the first two weeks of May, the city of Lake Charles returns to the swashbuckling days of the pirates and buccaneers who once sailed the area’s waterways. Legend has it that pirate Jean Lafitte buried his contraband treasure somewhere along Southwest Louisiana’s plentiful waterways. The celebration of Lafitte and his adventures has grown into Contraband Days.

The first festival began in 1958 as a one day festival of water and has expanded to a 12- day festival with close to 100 events, such as pirates sailing in from Lake Charles, coming ashore to put up their pirate flag, and taking over the city. Lafitte makes the mayor walk the plank and jump into Lake Charles, which starts a two-week festival of concerts, carnival rides, food vendors, concerts, bike races, tennis and golf tournaments, a Kids’ Pirate Costume Contest, a petting zoo, and more.

Named a Top 100 Event in North America by the American Bus Association.

Nearby Attractions: Charpentier Historic District, Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, Mardi Gras Museum, Imperial Calcasieu Museum, Local Cuisine

Recommended RV Parks: A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana

Louisiana: Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, Breaux Bridge, May 1-3, 2015

Crawfish, mudbugs, crawdads, or crayfish—call them what you will—are woven into Cajun culture. They raise them, catch them, eat them, sing about them, and have a festival celebrating them.

Held the first weekend in May in the Crawfish Capital of the World, the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival has become one of the largest gatherings of world-famous Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop musicians and plays host to more than 30 bands on three stages during the three-day festival. Music fills the air from morning into night at Parc Hardy.

Named a Top 100 Event in North America by the American Bus Association.

Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Nearby Attractions: Avery Island, Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site, Vermilionville, St. Martinsville, Local Cuisine

Recommended RV Park: Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana

Worth Pondering…

With the coming of spring, I am calm again.

—Gustav Mahler

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Escapees Partners With Boondockers Welcome

RVers looking for an overnight place to park other than a Walmart, truck stop, or casino, now have another option, thanks to a new partnership between the Escapees club and Boondockers Welcome.

Boondockers-Welcome-logo-216x145Boondockers Welcome is providing Escapees members with a special discount to join their program and a resource to help RVers connect with other RVers who have a location for people to dry-camp for the night.

It might be in their driveway or a field on their farm. The view may be of amber waves of grain or of the McDonald’s parking lot, but it will be a free place to park where RVers don’t have to worry about idling truck engines, security, or that dreaded knock on the window at 2 a.m., according to an Escapees news release.

Boondockers Welcome offers an online community to make new friends and save money while RVers see the world from a local’s perspective.

RVers will have access to fellow members, be able to correspond with them securely, and accept their invitation to spend a night (or two) parked on their property.

Ideally, RVers will return the favor, extending a similar invitation to other travelers. But even if RVers don’t have a place to offer in return, they’ll be able to take advantage of the hospitality of others, saving hundreds of dollars in campground fees.

Escapees LogoA host membership costs $19.95 per year or $44.95 for three years.

A guest-only membership is $24.95 per year or $59.95 for three years.

Use coupon code 5OFF4SKP to save $5 off any Boondockers Welcome membership.

Use coupon code GIVE52CARE and Boondockers Welcome will donate $5 to the Escapees CARE Center.


Escapees RV Club

Address: 100 Rainbow Drive, Livingston, TX 77351

Phone: (936) 327-8873 or (888) 757-2582 (toll free)


Boondockers Welcome


Worth Pondering…

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.

—John Burroughs

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Snowbirds Begin Migrating North

It’s the time of year when the seasons change and snowbirds are flocking, to fly north.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park: West Valley Icon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

White Tank Mountain Regional Park: West Valley Icon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

All signs point to spring: warm winds, green budding trees, desert wildflowers, spring break, and snowbirds heading north.

Snowbirds enjoy Sunbelt winters, but they also like to have a bit of spring as well.

For many non-snowbirds who weathered another bitterly cold northern winter, the change of seasons is a welcome one.

Spring Break: Transition Time For Snowbirds

Spring break marks the transition time when most snowbirds return north and families head south, tired of the cold and looking for a place to thaw.

But there is a group, or perhaps a subset of a group, myself included, that experiences the opposite. Our enjoyment of a warm winter is now turning to angst as we contemplate the return to our northern home.

Snowbirds ask: Is it over already?

Many snowbirds are staying longer and there are more of them.

Saguaro Lake © Rex Vogel, all rights

Saguaro Lake © Rex Vogel, all rights

Snowbirds began the migration process several weeks ago returning to their northern homes. Some will stay a week or two more before commencing their journey north.

As snowbirds set out for home a question is often asked: “Is it over already?”

While reflecting about the past winter season, it has gone by very quickly.

Leaving the Southwest

We’ve been meandering around the Desert Southwest since December, enjoying a fabulous and temperate winter in a variety of RV parks and resorts in California and Arizona. Many amazing places visited and awesome adventures. The days were filled with numerous events, activities, and happenings in Snowbird Land—and writing about them.

The early and late winter season found us in the Coachella Valley enjoying the Southern California sunshine, discovering the beauty and diversity of the area, and indulging the palate in tasty tamales and other south-of-the border treats—and the famous Coachella Medjool dates.

Mexican gold poppies, lupins, and brittle bush at Picacho State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights

Mexican gold poppies, lupins, and brittle bush at Picacho State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights

Day trips included the Coachella Valley Preserve, a desert oasis with palm groves, a diverse trail system, and the historic Palm House, and Cabot’s Pueblo Museum, a Hopi-inspired pueblo nestled in the scenic hills of Desert Hot Springs. Our home base was the 5-star Indian Waters RV Resort in Indio.

Arizona is a destination like no other. Arizona has everything: Lakes and mountains, forests and rivers. Mostly, though, Arizona has desert. Acres and acres of desert. Dee-lightful desert.

We divided out time between Arizona Oasis RV Resort on the Colorado River at Ehrenberg, Leaf Verde RV Resort at Buckeye, and two parks in Casa Grande: Sundance 1 and Casa Grande RV Resorts. All 5-star RV parks and excellent bases for exploring the beauties of the Sonoran Desert.

Selected highlights include Quartzsite and the Quartzsite RV Show; White Tanks, Estrella Mountain, Buckeye Hills, Usery Mountain, and McDowell Mountain regional parks (Maricopa County); The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert; Picacho Peak State Park; Saguaro Lake, Four Peaks Wilderness; Queen Valley; and Pinal Parkway.

A distinguishing characteristic of the Sonoran Desert are desert wildflowers but they can be as rare as they are beautiful. Nature lovers know that they must rush out to catch a bloom whenever it occurs, because they may not get another opportunity for ten or more years.

Globe Mellow and saguaro at The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert   © Rex Vogel, all rights

Globe Mellow and saguaro at The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert © Rex Vogel, all rights

Furthermore, what triggers these floral fireworks extravaganzas is still very much a mystery and predicting a good bloom is nearly impossible until it’s about to begin. In a word, for beautiful scenes of desert wildflowers, this past season was one of the best in memory.

Northern bound

But spring has sprung, and we’re now we’re northern bound.

Thoughts of homes and family left behind become the focus for looking ahead.

OK, gotta get busy cleaning and stowing!

Worth Pondering…

To all, safe travels, keep your wheels on the road, and drive safely.

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Orion Safety Introduces Bear Deterrent Offering Long Distance Protection

Easton, Maryland-based Orion Safety Products introduces a new Bear Deterrent that offers long distance protection.

Orion Safety Products Orion Bear DeterrentThe product produces a loud “gunshot” sound, a bright dynamic flash and smoke, and is designed to scare bears away before they are close enough to attack.

Field tests in Alaska have demonstrated Orion Bear Deterrent can be effective at 300 feet.

Orion Bear Deterrent is an excellent alternative to bear pepper sprays and other deterrent products, according to a company news release.

“Bear spray and other deterrent products may not work at longer ranges or in all weather conditions,” explained Jay McLaughlin, President Orion Safety Products.

“When bears are close enough to use some of these other products, it can be a terrifying and dangerous situation. Orion Bear Deterrent works at distances as great as 300 feet with both a visual and sound signal to frighten bears away and protect you and your family.”

Though lethal bear attacks are rare, there has been an increase in bear attacks and maulings as more people live in or visit bear habitats according to a 2014 article in National Geographic.

The article suggests that people who live in or visit areas where bear and other large animals live, can educate themselves and take precautions to reduce risk of an attack.

Bear deterrent products are recommended for hunters, campers, hikers, or anyone living in rural areas frequented by bears.

Orion Bear Deterrent offers additional advantages.

It is non-lethal and a safe alternative to weapons, traps and poisons.

This black bear wants his food and he is waiting patiently. DO NOT FEED BEARS! (Source: Thomas J/

This black bear wants his food and he is waiting patiently. DO NOT FEED BEARS! (Source: Thomas J/

Orion Bear Deterrent works in all weather conditions with no risk of fire.

It is lightweight, waterproof, and compact.

A holster is available, so it may be quickly accessed when needed.

Orion Bear Deterrent produces a loud “gunshot” sound, over 120db. It is louder than most audio bear deterrents, and it produces a bright, dynamic flash, and smoke.

This multi-sensory device gives the user a better chance of deterring a bear than a product that only produces a sound, visual alert, or chemical deterrent.

Available at Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, and other outdoor, camping and hunting equipment retailers, the product is also less expensive than most bear deterrent sprays.


Orion Safety Products

Orion Safety Products has been making automotive flares and railway flares (fusees) for nearly a century, originally under the brand name Standard Fusee.

Over the years, the company has grown not only to become one of the world’s leading producer of flares, but also a supplier of a wide selection of related safety products ranging from sound signals and lightsticks to first aid kits.

In November 1997, the company adopted the Orion brand name for all of its safety and signaling products.

Orion flare products are engineered and manufactured in the USA, primarily in three manufacturing facilities in Indiana, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Phone: (800) 637-7807 (toll free)


Worth Pondering…

In many cultures, the bear was looked upon with such reverence that members of the culture were not allowed to speak the word for “bear “.

Instead, they referred to the animal with varied and creative euphamisms.

Several names were used by the Navajo and other native groups—Fine Young Chief, He Who Lives in the Den, and Reared in the Mountains.

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Consignment Fraud Involves 2 Generations of RV Dealers

The whole concept of RVing is to have fun and enjoy your leisure time, especially for snowbirds and for weekenders.

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

The whole concept of RVing is to have fun and enjoy your leisure time. Camping at Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Page, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But two RV dealers in Tucson, Arizona, have made the experience anything but fun after taking the RVs and the victims’ money, reports KVOA, News 4 Tucson.

RV Coachworks International has been scamming customers out of thousands of dollars. They con customers into agreeing to allow them to cosign on their RV, and the customers never get money when they are sold.

Genie Patton and her husband purchased a camper for their pickup truck. When it didn’t suit their needs, the couple cut a deal with RV Coachworks International on North Sixth Avenue. The dealer would sell the camper for $8,500. That was nearly two years ago.

She told KVOA one day the owner of RV Coachworks International called her to say the camper was sold to a man who took it to Canada.

“As soon as the check cleared and when it got everything. Some mixup in Canada with this or with that,” Patton said.

“I kept getting the runaround so I never got an actual time and date that I was to be paid.”

She showed the News 4 Tucson Investigators the agreement signed in July 2013.

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

The whole concept of RVing is to have fun and enjoy your leisure time. Camping at North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Finally, Patton filed suit in Tucson for her money. That’s when she found out the business was about to cease to exist.

“I let him consign my camper under good faith and now you know, we’re the ones that are having to pay,” Patton said.

Jeffrey Loomer ran into the same situation with the RV consignment. He put up his RV in 2006. He put it up with a now defunct business, Canyon State RV. Records show a Lorenzo Michael Caracciolo, Jr., owned Canyon State RV before it closed.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators also found records showing that a Lorenzo Caracciolo, Sr., owns RV Coachworks, a mere seven blocks away.

Last June, Loomer was told the RV had sold. Like Patton, he also never saw any money.

“I have not received anything and there have been multiple phone calls and personal appearances down there,” Loomer told News 4 Tucson.

In Loomer’s case, he received a seller’s fee agreement from Canyon State RV. And eight years later, a sales proceeds invoice from RV Coachworks. Both were for the same RV.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators probed into the companies’ past and found that both the father and son have been accused in several cases for pulling the same exact same type of scam.

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

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

In fact, last November, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office brought a case brought against both Lorenzo Caracciolo, Sr., and against the son. A grand jury summoned them on counts of fraud, theft, forgery, and illegally conducting an enterprise.

False documents just like those presented to Loomer and Patton were given to victims in the attorney general’s case. The proceedings mention only Canyon State RV, not RV Coachworks International. But judgments in civil cases hold both companies responsible.

In a letter made available to the News 4 Tucson Investigators by the lawyer of one of the victims, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office is trying to reach a plea agreement where Lorenzo Caracciolo, Sr., will plead guilty to fraudulent schemes and the son to theft. Caracciolo senior can face at least three years in prison. His son, one year.

One of the victims in the attorney general’s case against the Caracciolos sued both the father and son and both businesses. She won the case last December.

Whether she is able to collect the $24,000 she is owed is another matter. Both father and son filed for bankruptcy last year.

As for Patton, she has tried to fight the bankruptcy claims against Caracciolo Sr. because of the fraud she says she suffered.

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

The whole concept of RVing is to have fun and enjoy your leisure time. Camping at American RV Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

I request this bankruptcy be dismissed, she told the court.

Lorenzo Caracciolo, Sr. threatened to call police when the News 4 Tucson Investigators asked him to respond to questions about the indictment and the accusations Loomer and Patton made against him. His lawyer, Clay Hernandez, did not respond to eight phone calls and emails requesting an interview.

Worth Pondering…
Where there are sales, there are scam artists.

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Testing an Airstream in the Arctic

It’s not unusual for auto engineers to test their vehicles in the arctic.

Testing an Airstream in the Arctic

Testing an Airstream in the Arctic

The frigid temperatures and slippery conditions offer a great opportunity to put a future product through its paces.

But the models aren’t usually hauling a travel trailer.

Land Rover recently teamed up with Airstream on an adventure to the Arctic Circle to demonstrate the capabilities of the new Range Rover Sport Hybrid.

The world’s first premium diesel hybrid towed the 27-foot-long Airstream travel trailer 2,500 miles to Land Rover’s cold-weather test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden, then on to the Arctic Circle.

In a dramatic real world test of the vehicle’s capability, the car was towing the Airstream through some of the worst winter weather Scandinavia has experienced in living memory, according to a company news release.

Gales, record snow depths, and freak icy road conditions tested crew, car, and trailer to the extreme.

Testing an Airstream in the Arctic

Testing an Airstream in the Arctic

More European Airstream owners choose Land Rover products to tow their ‘silver bullets’ than cars from any other manufacturer so the Range Rover Sport Hybrid and Airstream made an excellent match, according to the release.

Setting off from Land Rover’s Design and Engineering Centre at Gaydon in the English Midlands, the team headed to Mengerskirchen in Germany, where a specially winterized version of the shiny, aluminum 684 model travel trailer was waiting for them at Airstream Europe’s headquarters.

Top of Airstream’s European range of trailers, the 684 is 27 feet of boutique hotel suite on wheels, with two double beds, satellite television, and Corian surfaces in both its fully-equipped kitchen and spacious bathroom. It sure beats camping outside in the arctic.

Once the team had packed their gear on board, the Airstream weighed in at more than 5,510 pounds. For the Range Rover Sport Hybrid, that sort of weight proved no problem, whatever the weather did.

From Germany, the team set a course for Land Rover’s test center in Arjeplog, Sweden, and the journey covered a total of over 2,500 miles.

En route, Land Rover reports the team was buffeted by gale-force side winds, the tail end of Hurricane Ole, when crossing the five-mile-long Øresund Bridge and saw temperatures drop to -8 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, the rig and its custom camper eventually arrived at their chilly destination.

Testing an Airstream in the Arctic

Testing an Airstream in the Arctic

Off-road, the car proved its worth too, repeatedly pulling the trailer up and down snowy and often dangerously icy hills, and along forest tracks without fuss.

“We were closely watching the long range weather forecasts before we set off but nothing prepared us for how bad it got,” said team leader, Ben Samuelson.

“However, time after time, it was only as we got out of the car that we realized quite how treacherous it was outside.”

Further north, as temperatures continued to plummeted, both the vehicle and the trailer’s cold-climate capability and comfort ensured that driver, passengers, and indeed those cooking and sleeping in the trailer each evening, experienced nothing but unruffled luxury.

The demanding cold-weather facility at Arjeplog in northern Sweden is the winter proving ground for the full range of Land Rover’s all-terrain vehicles.

For four months every year, the company’s corps of engineers pitch vehicles to their limits against extreme winter conditions with temperatures which have been known to reach -39 degrees in daytime, but can plummet as low as -42 degrees overnight.

“The Range Rover Sport Hybrid has gone through the same grueling test and development regime that all our cars do,” said Phil Talboys, Arjeplog test facility manager.

“This journey just goes to show that the Range Rover Sport Hybrid is pure hybrid—with all the capability and versatility that you’d expect from a Land Rover.”

Testing an Airstream in the Arctic

Testing an Airstream in the Arctic

The same can be said of the Airstream family of travel trailers.

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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Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order

In an earlier post on Vogel Talks RVing, I reported on the Wide Path Camper, the first foldable bicycle camper ready for you to just attach and get biking.

Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order

Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order

Founded by Denmark-based Mads Johansen, Wide Path Camper has finished refining the design and is now available for pre-order.

The novel two-person caravan trailer offers instant shelter from the weather, a comfortable bed for 2.5 people, and a convertible space for four adults to dine-in, relax, and camp in style.

Wide Path Campers are not only mini RVs, but a mobile house-party easily deployed in urban, suburban, and natural spaces.

Wide Path Campers are durable, collapsible, lightweight, and surprisingly spacious.

The camper’s unique shape and hardshell exterior provides a cozy secure feeling inside and a safe place to store your belongings.

With a Wide Path Camper you can enjoy the freedom of taking your bicycle cargo camping trailer, shelter, solar energy source, and social space with you wherever you pedal.

As the prototype moved into production, the design of the Wide Path Camper was tweaked here and there.

Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order

Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order

The headroom was increased for sitting and the door’s design improved.

The manufacturing process was also streamlined and simplified.

In the process Wide Path Campers gained some weight, too, increasing from 88 to 99 pounds.

The foldable bicycle camper measures 39 x 51 inches when being towed, and 39 x 102 inches when folded into position for camping.

The back of the camper folds over the front, to get it ready for transport.
Upon arrival, it only takes 3 minutes to get the camper placed, due to the height adjustable support legs and simple folding mechanism.

The interior of the camper includes a table and seats which turn into a bed measuring 38 x 78 inches.

Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order

Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order

A total of 50 Wide Path Campers are available for pre-order, starting at $2,170.

The standard camper contains sitting group with table, transformable into a bed.

Towing equipment that fits on most bicycles and reflectors are included.

The camper is white inside with light wood furniture and gray cushions.

The camper is equipped with puncture free tires.

There are numerous optional extras available including color choice, a lux package, a solar package, an outdoor package, and a kitchen package.

The solar package includes a 12v solar system with 10w flexible solar cell, and light-weight battery.

The outdoor package includes two foldable lightweight chairs and special table to attach on the outside of the camper with height adjustable leg.

The kitchen package includes the basic needs for cooking basket with lightweight cooking device for ethanol with pots, pans, and a kettle.

Delivery is slated for July 1, 2015.

Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order

Bicycle-Towable Wide Path Campers Available For Order


Wide Path Camper

Wide Path Camper is the leading bicycle camper designer and manufacturer based in Denmark. Founded by Mads Johansen, Wide Path Camper s located at Ifabrikken on the harbor site in Sønderborg, Denmark.

Wide Path Camper designs, manufactures, sells, and rents ultra lightweight bicycle campers  which are foldable to make transport easier.

Address: Ifabrikken, Ellegaardvej 366400 Sønderborg, DK

Phone: +45 28 29 06 46


Worth Pondering…

Recreation’s purpose is not to kill time, but to make life, not to keep a person occupied, but to keep them refreshed; no to offer an escape from life, but to provide a discovery of life.


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America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium To Open Spring 2016

Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, in partnership with noted conservationists from around the world, introduced plans for America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri.

America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium To Open Spring 2016

America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium To Open Spring 2016

Envisioned as the most elaborate conservation attraction of its kind for fish and wildlife conservation, America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium is scheduled to open in spring 2016.

The 315,000-square-foot educational experience will consist of multiple thematic attractions and exhibits on a scale unlike anything else in the world.

Anchored by an all-new world-class aquarium, the massive facility brings together a variety of opportunities for visitors of all ages to engage with nature like never before, according to a news release from the organization. Through immersive environments and incredible live animal habitats, the experience aims to showcase the beauty of wildlife while celebrating the critical role hunters and anglers play in wildlife conservation by honoring past accomplishments and ongoing efforts.

“Responsible hunters and anglers are often the unsung heroes in conservation despite playing a significant role,” said Johnny Morris, the visionary behind the experience.

“Our vision is to create a world-class experience that celebrates hunting, fishing, and conservation in Springfield where half of the U.S. population lives within a day’s drive.”

America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium To Open Spring 2016

America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium To Open Spring 2016

When fully realized, the attraction will consist of an all-new 1.3-million-gallon aquarium adventure showcasing 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles and birds in an immersive tour through the world’s marine habitats; a wildlife museum that brings visitors eye-to-eye with amazing mammal specimens from North America, Africa and the Arctic; and a conservation education center for youth programs, conservation groups and events.

Construction on the project—funded entirely by private dollars, primarily from the nonprofit Johnny Morris Foundation—is underway with a grand opening anticipated in spring 2016.

Specific components include:

All New Aquarium Adventure & Fishing Heritage Hall: The centerpiece is an entirely new world-class aquarium adventure designed by renowned aquarium architect Michael Olesak that plunges guests into a thrilling tour of the world’s oceans, lakes, and streams, bringing them eye-to-eye with more than 35,000 animals.

America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium To Open Spring 2016

America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium To Open Spring 2016

New Fishing Heritage Hall: Visitors will first enter the 60,000-square-foot entry hall, home to a dramatic 300,000-gallon “open ocean” habitat teeming with saltwater marine life including mahi-mahi.

New Aquarium Adventure: Designed to transport visitors to some of the world’s greatest undersea environments, visitors will discover an elaborate trail system that winds in and around marine habitats teeming with life, including a sunken shipwreck, colorful coral reefs, tropical coasts, underwater caves, steamy rainforests, freshwater swamps and more.

New International Fishing Hall of Fame: The new International Game Fish Association Fishing Hall of Fame will highlight some of the sport’s most accomplished men and women through interactive exhibits, personal artifacts and recreated replicas of world-record fish mounts from both freshwater and saltwater species.

All-New Wildlife Museum & Hunting Heritage Hall: Walk amongst the largest land mammals on earth, go eye-to-eye with the Arctic’s top predator and discover some of the most spectacular game animals on the planet in this sprawling 50,000-square-foot showcase of amazing mammals from around the world.

Hunting Heritage Hall: Meticulously recreated lifelike environments will educate visitors about the importance of conserving the icons of the animal kingdom.

Boone & Crockett Club’s World-famous National Collection of Heads & Horns: Experience a part of history through more than 40 historically significant North American big game mammals that originally helped bring conservation to the forefront of public awareness in America when it debuted at New York’s Bronx Zoo in 1922.

America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium To Open Spring 2016

America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium To Open Spring 2016

John A. & Genny Morris Conservation Education Center: The conservation leaders of today and tomorrow already gather together at the completed 50,000-square-foot Conservation Education Center, which connects to the Museum facility.

The Wonders of the Ozarks Learning Facility School: A comprehensive outdoor learning school operated in partnership with Springfield Public Schools, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Bass Pro Shops, is a national model for outdoors education.

National Outdoor Recreation & Conservation School: Which runs outdoor conservation education programs for families across Missouri.

Elaborate Banquet Spaces: With a signature wilderness atmosphere are available for national conservation organizations as well as local community groups throughout the year.

Additional Conservation Partnerships

AmericasWildlifeMuseumAquariumAdditional Conservation Partnerships include the National Archery Hall of Fame and the NRA Sporting Arms Museum which complements its neighbor, Bass Pro Shops’ iconic flagship store. Known as the “Grandaddy” of all Bass Pro Shops locations, this is the largest Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, and the number one tourist attraction in Missouri, attracting four million sportsman and outdoors enthusiasts each year as Missouri’s most popular tourist destination.

Worth Pondering…

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


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