RV to Eastern Canada: 3 Great Destinations

From sea to sea, Canada is a land filled with fascinating places and amazing destinations for the RV traveler.

But, where to travel? Here are three great RV destinations in Canada.

Bay of Fundy (New Brunswick)

Hopewell Rocks. Many visitors make plans to stay for the whole day. They walk the ocean floor, then stay to watch the shift between low and high tides. It’s fun to see how quickly the tide comes in, or conversely goes out. Make sure to check the tide schedules before you go

Hopewell Rocks. Many visitors make plans to stay for the whole day. They walk the ocean floor, then stay to watch the shift between low and high tides. It’s fun to see how quickly the tide comes in, or conversely goes out. Make sure to check the tide schedules before you go. (Source: roadstories.ca)

A world-famous natural wonder, the Bay of Fundy tides are the highest tides in the world—in some areas of the bay, tides reach more than 50 feet.

Best explored at Hopewell Rocks, where you can walk around the famous “flowerpot rocks” at low tide then watch them slowly disappear. At high tide, enormous rock formations that once towered over you are now barely peeking out above the surface.

The time span between low and high tide is 6 hours and 13 minutes, meaning you can experience both in one day. Many visitors make plans to stay for the whole day. They walk the ocean floor, then stay to watch the shift between low and high tides. It’s fun to see how quickly the tide comes in, or conversely goes out. Make sure to check the tide schedules before you go.

And that’s not all—there are numerous other ways to experience the wonder of Fundy. Bike along the Fundy Trail, rappel down craggy cliffs, set up camp at Fundy National Park, head out to sea on a whale-watching excursion, or experience a billion years of Earth’s history at Stonehammer Geopark.

Ottawa (Ontario)

Changing of the Guard on Parliament Hill

Changing of the Guard on Parliament Hill (Source: cvc.com)

The centerpiece of Ottawa’s downtown landscape, Parliament Hill is the political and cultural heart of the city. The Parliament Buildings sit atop the Hill, the gorgeous Gothic-style structures overlooking the Ottawa River. Free guided tours are available daily, including a chance to head up to the Peace Tower for an incredible view of the city.

The Rideau Canal has become a defining landmark in Ottawa. The 126-mile canal, which travels south to Lake Ontario, first opened in 1832. Its 47 locks and interconnectedness with lakes and rivers is a true engineering marvel, leading to its designation as a National Historic Site of Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A city landmark, the Chateau Laurier is one of Canada’s grand railway hotels. Having retained much of its glory; it features the turrets and other architectural elements of a French château, a rich, Victorian interior, yet offers modern amenities.

Other local attractions include Rideau Hall, home to the Governor General of Canada; the National Gallery of Canada; and Canadian Museum of History. Located 50 miles south of Ottawa, Upper Canada Village depicts life in a rural English Canadian setting during the year 1866.

Halifax (Nova Scotia)

Enjoy a scenic drive along Nova Scotia’s beautifully rugged South Shore to the picturesque and quaint fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Watch the waves as they crash on the rocks in front of the world’s most photographed lighthouse.

Enjoy a scenic drive along Nova Scotia’s beautifully rugged South Shore to the picturesque and quaint fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Watch the waves as they crash on the rocks in front of the world’s most photographed lighthouse. (Source: shoretrips.com)

Walk the ocean’s edge along the historic Halifax waterfront. Start at Pier 21—the gateway into Canada for one million immigrants—and then explore eclectic shops, some of the city’s best restaurants, and ships including the last of the WWII convoy escort corvettes.

Discover the oldest continuously operating farmers’ market in North America, and exhibits at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic including displays on the city’s link to the Titanic disaster.

End at the timber-frame and stone warehouses of Historic Properties—originally built to safeguard booty captured by legalized pirates called privateers.  Historic Properties is the first restoration project of its kind in Canada featuring three city blocks of Canada’s oldest surviving group of waterfront warehouses and some of North America’s finest Victorian-Italianate façades dating back to the late 1700s and early 1800s. Visitors can experience one-of-a-kind specialty shops, great restaurants, unique events, and boardwalk along one of the world’s largest natural harbors.

Other local attractions include the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, a large, stone early 19th-century British fortification located atop Citadel Hill; Halifax Public Gardens, a formal Victorian garden. Enjoy a scenic drive along Nova Scotia’s beautifully rugged South Shore to the picturesque and quaint fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Watch the waves as they crash on the rocks in front of the world’s most photographed lighthouse.

Worth Pondering…

Canada is a place of infinite promise. We like the people, and if one ever had to emigrate, this would be the destination, not the U.S.A. The hills, lakes and forests make it a place of peace and repose of the mind, such as one never finds in the U.S.A.
—John Maynard Keynes

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Good Sam Announces Top RV Parks for Food Lovers for 2014

The Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory announced its list of Top RV Parks for Food Lovers for 2014.

Good Sam 2014-Top Food-Lovers-ParksGood Sam editors and consultants chose the list of RV Parks for Food Lovers from the annual publication’s database of 8,000 private parks.

The RV parks on this list are located in regions known for distinctive local cuisine or in areas that host popular food festivals.

From RV parks in fertile farming regions to campgrounds in sophisticated cities, the list of Top RV Parks for Food Lovers is a virtual smorgasbord of culinary styles and tastes.

Highlights of this list include:

  • For some RV parks, providing excellent culinary service is part of the customer experience. At Michigan’s Thunder Bay Resort, guests can partake in Elk Viewing Dinner Ride Package, in which gourmet dinner is cooked on two antique wood cook stoves and served in an rustic setting.
  • Some resorts cultivate their own food. Nevada’s Wine Ridge RV Resort for example, serves vintages produced from the vineyard and winery located on the property. In addition, the resort’s Symphony Restaurant has earned five-star ratings in a number of food guides.
  • Other parks offer the full resort experience. At Pechanga RV Resort in Temecula, California, RVers can play a round of golf on the Journey golf course and stop by the award winning Journey’s End restaurant for a delicious meal while enjoying scenic views of the course

Facts about food-loving RV travelers

Weikel's Bakery, La Grande, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Weikel’s Bakery, La Grande, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A survey by RVAdvice.com revealed that 86 percent of RVers try the regional dishes when they travel.

Fifty-six percent of those sampled say they’re willing to travel up to 25 miles for a good meal, while 32 percent said they’d trek up to 50 miles to satisfy their taste buds

Food festivals such as the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California and Maine Lobster Festival attract many RVers eager to try new flavors.

Top RV Parks for Food Lovers

British Columbia
Hazelmere RV Park & Campground, Surrey

California
Pechanga RV Resort, Temecula

Connecticut
Seaport RV Resort & Campground, Mystic

A perennial favorite of barbecue lovers is Smitty's Market in Lockhart, Texas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A perennial favorite of barbecue lovers is Smitty’s Market in Lockhart, Texas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Michigan
Thunder Bay Resort, Hillman

Nevada
Wine Ridge RV Resort & Cottages, Pahrump

North Carolina
Asheville Bear Creek RV Park, Asheville

Texas
Austin Lone Star Carefree RV Resort, Austin

Utah
Salt Lake City KOA, Salt Lake City

Wisconsin
Hidden Valley RV Resort & Campground, Milton

Good Sam RV Travel Guide

Café Des Amis in historic downtown Breaux Bridge hosts a world famous Zydeco Breakfast every Saturday morning and a spectacular Sunday brunch served all day. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Café Des Amis in historic downtown Breaux Bridge hosts a world famous Zydeco Breakfast every Saturday morning and a spectacular Sunday brunch served all day. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A different category of Top Parks will be featured each month in articles released by the Good Sam RV Travel Guide.

In addition to comprehensive listings of RV parks and campgrounds across North America, the 2014 Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory features travel itineraries, helpful maps, and informative tips that RVers need for a journey anywhere in North America.

Additional camping and RV Travel information is available on the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory Camping Blog.

Worth Pondering…

I am not a glutton—I am an explorer of food.

—Erma Bombeck

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High Winds Can Damage Your RV

High winds can be unsettling, whether you’re driving an RV or parked in an RV park or campground.

High Winds Can Damage Your RV (Source: newsnet5.com)

High Winds Can Damage Your RV (Source: newsnet5.com)

Winds can be unpredictable, loud, and damaging. Before you take to the road, check the weather reports for the areas you’ll be driving through. If wind gusts or high winds could occur, you want to be aware of it so you can deal with the situation properly.

Winds can be deadly. They can overturn your RV, your tow vehicle, and cause major damage to them. In severe cases, you may become trapped or separated from your RV which leads to a handful of other dangerous situations.

If you’re driving when high winds or gusts occurs, you’ll know immediate because you’ll feel it.

The best thing to do when wind is hitting an RV from the side is to drive slower.

Do not speed during a windstorm. You never know when the wind will change direction severely affecting your ability to control your RV.

Reduce your speed when high winds occur. The faster you travel, the greater effect the wind will have on your vehicle. When wind gusts are 30 mph and you’re traveling at a speed of 45 mph, you’ll create a vacuum effect of a 75 mph wind gust around your vehicle.

If winds are severe and you no longer feel safe driving, wait it out by pulling well off to the side of the highway. If you stop too close to the road, a severe gust could move another vehicle into the path of your RV. Be aware of the traffic around you before you park to wait out a windstorm. Be even more cautious in the event of blowing dust or sand.

 

dust storm

An approaching dust storm over Phoenix. (Source: gawker.com)

Dust storms that turn day into night are a hazard to drivers. Dust storms can strike with little warning. Blinding, choking dust can quickly reduce visibility, causing accidents that may involve chain collisions, creating massive pileups.

Wind can be an issue even on an otherwise pleasant day. In many regions of the U.S. and Canada a fast moving front can produce substantially strong winds seemingly at anytime and in any season. Unexpected high winds and gusts can occur anywhere and at any time.

These winds can cause difficulty for the driver to maintain one’s own lane especially when driving an Interstate highway. Wind gusts, as opposed to a steady wind state, can amplify the problem greatly.

Numerous accidents occur as a result of driving in high wind conditions. These range from damaging a mirror to side-swiping a passing semi-truck and being struck by a flying object to leaving the road due to loss of control.

Know your vehicle and control level in windy conditions.  If you are driving with white knuckles or become nervous, you have passed your driving comfort level. Slow it down.

As a general rule, reduce speed by 10 percent when wind conditions are between 15 and 20 mph and a further 10 percent for every 10 mph over 20. However, do not drive at a speed less than the minimum posted. If such a speed is warranted due to wind, it is time to get off the road and find a camping site.

All RV’s are capable of being upset by the wind force. Fortunately, in general, it takes a considerable wind force, far more than you would think to flip a trailer or motorhome.

If high winds or inclement weather ever have you concerned while driving or towing your RV, pull off the road and wait it out. It’s simply not worth jeopardizing your safety and the safety of your rig.

High Winds Can Damage Your RV (Credit: RGJ)

High Winds Can Damage Your RV (Credit: RGJ)

Only travel if absolutely necessary. It sounds obvious, but the best way to avoid having your RV tip over in high winds is to avoid driving in those conditions. Putting aside the damage to your RV in the event of an accident, the risk of injury to you and your passengers safety, it is simply not worth the risk.

Worth Pondering…

Whether the weather be fine,
Whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather,
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not
—Anon

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Lance Introduces Toy Hauler With 12-Foot Garage

Lancaster, California-based Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp. has introduced the second floor plan in their new toy hauler lineup, which launched earlier this year.

Lance Introduces Toy Hauler With 12-Foot Garage

Lance Introduces Toy Hauler With 12-Foot Garage

Production has started on the new 2612 and units are expected to arrive on dealers’ lots this week, according to a company news release.

The full-featured 2612 boasts a 12-foot-2-inch cargo bay, which easily accommodates today’s full-sized four place side-by-sides, and sleeps eight people.

Standard features include: air conditioning, 100-gallon fresh water tank, 40-gallon fuel station, electric 20-foot side and 7-foot rear awning with LED accent lighting, aluminum wheels, frameless dark tint windows, residential cabinet construction with hardwood doors, removable carpet kit, microwave, fiberglass front cap with LED accent lighting, and pillowtop master suite mattress.

Optional equipment includes: keyless entry, 4K Onan generator, central vacuum system, premium Kicker stereo system w/subwoofer, 32-inch LCD flat-screen monitor, auto-tracking satellite dish, 160-watt solar panel, fantastic roof vent, ramp door railing system, roof rack system, pull-out storage tray and enclosed, pull-out storage tray, and heated and insulated holding tanks.

“With the popularity of the side-by-side sport utility market, and specifically the larger four place SXS’s like the Polaris RZR XP 4 1000, as well as large road bikes, utility quads and other toys, our customers are asking for a functional 12-foot cargo area, which we made sure the 2612 had,” stated Marketing Director Bob Rogers.

Lance Introduces Toy Hauler With 12-Foot Garage

Lance Introduces Toy Hauler With 12-Foot Garage

“Our dealers and customers love what they see in the 2212, and the 2612 is the perfect floor plan for those needing a bit more cargo and/or sleeping capacity,” said Gary Conley, National Sales Manager.

“The 2616 is really a ‘No Compromises’ toy hauler with a lengthy list of both standard and optional features, built to Lance’s high level of quality.”

“I have been involved in numerous toy hauler product development programs,” says Randy Hunter, manager for research & development at Lance.

“And can tell you this is the highest quality product I have ever seen and am very proud to put the Lance chevron on it.”

Lance 2612 toy hauler specifications include:

Floor Length: 26 feet 6 inches

Overall Length: 33 feet 11 inches

Exterior Width: 102 inches

Interior Height: 8 feet

Gross Dry Weight: 6,950 pounds

Hitch Dry Weight: 830 pounds

Cargo Carrying Capacity: 3,000 pounds

Lance Introduces Toy Hauler With 12-Foot Garage

Lance Introduces Toy Hauler With 12-Foot Garage

GVWR: 9,950 pounds

Fresh Water Tank: 100 gallons

Grey Water Tank: 45 gallons

Black Water Tank: 45 gallons

Details

Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp.

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

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

Lance 2612 toy hauler floor plan

Lance 2612 toy hauler floor plan

Specializing in the design and construction of high-quality RVs, Lance’s recent ten-year win of the RVDA’s prestigious and coveted DSI (Dealer Satisfaction Index) Quality Circle Award is a direct reflection of this quality in both their products and the service provided to Lance dealers and consumers these past 47 years.

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

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

Address: 43120 Venture Street Lancaster, CA 93535-4510

Phone: (661) 949-3322

Website: www.lancecamper.com

Worth Pondering…

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

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EverGreen Tesla Introduces New Luxury Toy Hauler Model

Middlebury, Indiana-based EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC has announced the addition of a new model to its Tesla series of toy hauler fifth-wheels.

EverGreen Tesla T3970 toy hauler fifth wheel interior

EverGreen Tesla T3970 toy hauler fifth wheel interior

Combining comfort with durability the triple-axle T3970 model features numerous high-end appointments ranging from residential-style floor-to-ceiling cabinetry to an upscale entertainment center.

Fans of motorsport camping who hit the road in this full-width model need not leave behind the amenities of home. The full-width T3970 combines elegance with EverGreen’s trademark durability, highlighted by a DuraLite double-welded aluminum frame in the walls and floor and outer walls built with EverGreen’s vacuum lamination process, according to a company news release.

“We’re proud to offer consumers a fifth-wheel toy hauler that is such a great blend of luxury, toughness and versatility,” said EverGreen President and COO Mark Boessler.

“I applaud the combined work of our engineers, production and sales staff, who brought the T3970 to market. Tesla takes the luxury of home to the remote locations for motorsports enthusiasts”

EverGreen Tesla T3970 toy hauler fifth wheel features include:

  • Residential-style, floor-to-ceiling cabinets in kitchen and master bedroom
  • Kitchen features wine rack while bedroom cabinets offer added storage
  • Lighted pantry in kitchen
  • L-shaped sofa located between the front door and kitchen for watching the large TV in the entertainment center or gazing at the fireplace
  • A residential-style vanity in master bathroom with open-faced drawers
  • A decorative, yet highly functional cabinet next to entertainment center; control panel enclosed in top of cabinet
  • Optional locker in the garage to store gear
EverGreen Tesla T3970 toy hauler fifth wheel interior

EverGreen Tesla T3970 toy hauler fifth wheel interior

Like all the Tesla fifth-wheel toy haulers, the T3970 has a garage more than 12-feet long to accommodate “toys” like ATVs, motorcycles ,and snowmobiles. True to EverGreen’s policy, the model number reflects the actual box size of the T3970, listed at 39-plus feet. The overall length, when the fifth-wheel hitch and trailer A-frame are included, is 43-feet 6-inches.

The T3970’s sizable length and width dimensions, plus the interior height of 13-feet 1-inch, offer plenty of open space for relaxing, entertaining, cooking, dining, and sleeping. Three slide-out rooms expand the living space even more. The living room slide-out accommodates an 80-inch recliner sofa, while the kitchen slide-out makes room for the L-shaped sofa.

The bedroom slide-out is home to an 80-inch innerspring pillow top mattress. At the other end, the garage converts to sleeping quarters with two sofa beds and a queen bed above. The sleeping arrangements are augmented in the middle by the living room’s recliner sofa.

EverGreen Tesla T3970 toy hauler fifth wheel exterior

EverGreen Tesla T3970 toy hauler fifth wheel exterior

Standard equipment on the T3970 includes a heavy-duty, 8-foot-long ramp door rated at 3,000 pounds. Beavertail ramp is standard equipment among the other exterior features including a crown roof, LED lights, a door-side patio light, speakers, LCD TV bracket, and a high-gloss gel coat exterior with composite substrate. Finished and lighted pass-through storage compartments add to the great storage capacity found in various other places in this model.

Optional kitchen equipment includes a double-door refrigerator/freezer, a standard stainless steel three-burner range with oven and a power exhaust lighted range hood, stainless steel full-size sink with cover and a stainless steel microwave. The Live Wire Package upgrade features Corian kitchen countertop and raised hardwood cherry cabinet doors, among several options.

Sport campers will find that the luxurious touches of home continue in the bathroom, where a full tub and shower surround with hand sprayer, recessed vanity light, and large medicine cabinet with mirror are standard.

EverGreen Tesla T3970 toy hauler fifth wheel floor plan

EverGreen Tesla T3970 toy hauler fifth wheel floor plan

Details

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC was founded in December of 2008 with the premise that the recreational vehicle industry needed a new generation of innovative, sustainable, eco-friendly, green travel trailers and fifth wheels built like none before.

The vision of EverGreen is to use sustainable eco-friendly, recyclable, composite materials to replace wood and produce higher quality, longer-lasting products that are fully equipped, yet lightweight.

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC is the first RV manufacturer to achieve the TRA Certified Green Emerald Rating for its eco-friendly Ever-Lite travel trailers and fifth wheels.

EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC currently offers six lines of travel trailers (Ever-Lite, Sun Valley, i-Go, Ascend, Element, and Amped), four lines of fifth wheel trailers (Bay Hill, Tesla, Lifestyle, and Alfa Gold), and two lines of toy haulers (Amped and Tesla).

Of the top 15 towable RV manufacturers, EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC, along with its Lifestyle Luxury RV fifth-wheel division, was the fastest growing company in the industry for both registered retail sales and total increase in market share for the year 2013.

Address: 10758 County Road 2, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (574) 825-4298

Website: www.goevergreenrv.com

Worth Pondering…

The road to success is always under construction.

—Lily Tomlin

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There’s an RV for Every Lifestyle

What is the RV lifestyle? It all depends upon your perspective.

Large and roomy Class A Diesel Pusher motorhomes offer the luxuries of a traditional home. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Large and roomy Class A Diesel Pusher motorhomes offer the luxuries of a traditional home. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What do you want a recreational vehicle to do for you? What type of lifestyle do you anticipate? What are your hobbies and favored activities?

For some the RV is a home—full time or part time. For some it’s an economic family vacation and for others it is a luxury vacation with suitable amenities.

For all RVers, it is a fantastic lifestyle that surpasses expectations and opens the door to numerous opportunities and experiences. Some plan to tour the U.S. and Canada checking off items on their bucket list, camp in the natural surrounds of a national park, state park, and local recreation area, or seasonally locate in a community of like-minded people.

Some pursue activities related to special interests including dancing, visiting historic sites, hiking trails in outdoor recreation areas, birding, golfing, geocaching, boating, or fishing—the list is endless. Still others participate in volunteer activities or workcamping.

The RV lifestyle is what you want it to be!

Rather than purchasing a recreational vehicle, you are purchasing a lifestyle. And the RV you choose should compliment that lifestyle.

Considering the RV lifestyle? Try renting before laying down the cash. Camping in a rental Class C motorhome at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Considering the RV lifestyle? Try renting before laying down the cash. Camping in a rental Class C motorhome at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Do you want to leave the RV at a nearby lake for the summer and go fishing on weekends.

Do you plan to camp at a nearby RV park or local recreation area with a strong social or family program?

Do you desire the snowbird lifestyle and migrate to a Sunbelt area during the cold winter months?

Do you want to camp in the woods and enjoy the sound of birds?

Do you plan to travel to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Shenandoah, and other national parks? Tour the Canadian Rockies or Alaska?

Recreational vehicles have suitable sleeping and dining areas; bathroom; cooking facilities with gas stove/oven, microwave, refrigerator/freezer; air conditioners; TV, entertainment center, computer—the list goes on.

Does your physical condition require special consideration or adaptation to the RV?

How many people will occupy the unit? Will you travel with pets?

Do you plan to live in your unit full time or for extended time periods? Where will you park the RV when not in use? Do local bylaws or ordinances restrict the parking of an RV on private property or city streets?

Keystone Cougar Introduces Fifth Wheel With Party Deck

Keystone Cougar Introduces Fifth Wheel With Party Deck

What is your budget?  In addition to the purchase price consider the unit’s operating cost, routine and preventive maintenance, unexpected repairs, taxes, insurance, storage?

If a towable, have you considered the costs of operating the tow vehicle? You will need to match the towing capacity with the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of your towable. Is your present tow vehicle up to the task? Proper sizing of the tow vehicle is a critical component of safe RV towing.

If a motorhome, will you tow a car or SUV? Is your current vehicle towable four wheels down?

Do you plan to tow a boat or transport other toys including ATV, dirt bikes, or motorcycle?

Convenience and automation are two popular trends that have recently emerged with RV manufacturers.

Power awnings, power jacks, and outdoor kitchens complete with refrigerators and cabinets are popular options especially with young families since they maximize the time out-of-doors and anything that limits trips back into the RV is being looked at as a positive.

Well designed floor plans provide versatile living quarters with ample storage for everyone’s gear.

Fifth wheels have a split-level floor plan and offer a home-like atmosphere. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fifth wheels have a split-level floor plan and offer a home-like atmosphere. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The reality is that purchasing a recreational vehicle is largely a personal choice. Depending on a variety of factors including space requirements, budget, driver comfort level, and lifestyle preferences, select the type of RV that best meets your needs. There’s an RV for every taste and budget. And there is a variety of new and pre-owned RV at every price point. Not everyone is looking for all the bells and whistles of a diesel pusher.

Buying an RV is a major decision. But if you have a sense of adventure, a desire to explore, and a willingness to find your own fun and lifestyle, there is an RV for you.

Worth Pondering…

It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.

—Mae Jemison

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3 Charged in RV Trafficking Ring

In recent posts I’ve reported on a variety of Internet scams involving recreation vehicles sales.

One of the stolen travel trailers recovered by police

One of the stolen travel trailers recovered by police. (Photo Credit: RCMP)

In today’s post a lengthy Edmonton (Alberta) Police Service investigation into a travel trailer theft ring has led to 95 charges against three men, including a notorious Edmonton con man who masterminded one of the largest Internet-based frauds in history.

The three—Kelly Yates, 50, Alyn Waage, 67, and Donald White, 56—are facing 95 charges following the recovery of nearly $1 million worth of stolen high-end travel trailers and recreational equipment involved in a large fraudulent registration scheme.

The charges include trafficking in stolen property, possession of stolen property, and tampering with VIN.

It all began in October 2013 when Edmonton city police began investigating a stolen property file that lead to executing a search warrant at a home on the city’s south side. There, police recovered a stolen Ford F-350 truck, a custom Weld Viper 2 jet boat, a Gateway boat trailer, and other stolen equipment totaling $198,300.

Information gathered from the search sparked the auto theft unit to begin a complex investigation with the RCMP, Saskatoon police, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which uncovered a suspected fraudulent registration scheme involving stolen recreational vehicles that extended across Western Canada.

One of the stolen travel trailers recovered by police

One of the stolen travel trailers recovered by police. (Photo Credit: RCMP)

From that investigation, $664,830 worth of stolen property was recovered, including 11 travel trailers, three enclosed trailers, two fifth wheels, one utility trailer, two boat trailers, and one jet boat, ranging in value from $2,500 to $59,000. So far 18 of the 19 trailers have been recovered.

The thefts occurred from a wide range of locations like residential driveways, parking lots, and storage lots in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, predominantly outside of Edmonton.

In most cases, the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) were removed and replaced with a fraudulent number, then registered through Service Alberta using counterfeit bills of sale before they were sold through online classified ads.

Det. Alfred Normand with the auto theft unit said about 12 of the 18 stolen trailers had changed hands, half of which went to innocent third party purchasers. The other half went to associates within the group.

The vehicles were sold under false vehicle identification numbers and counterfeit bills of sale through online services such as Kijiji. Vehicles were bought at “close to market value,” police Det. Alfred Normand said. Over the course of the investigation, police say they recovered equipment, including travel trailers, fifth-wheels and utility trailers, that total $863,130 in value.

Eighteen of the trailers were returned to their owners, and one is still missing, he said.

Buyers of the fraudulent equipment have lost their money. Those people can seek restitution through the criminal or civil court system.

Other stolen vehicles may still be on the market.

Waage, a former real estate agent, fled Canada in 1998 after he was charged with 44 counts of mortgage fraud totaling $1.2 million in relation to the sale of 22 condominiums at two Edmonton developments, and another small fraud in Hinton (Alberta).

Authorities have said Waage used the money to finance his next con, a complex pyramid scheme that raked in more than $60 million US from as many as 15,000 investors from 57 countries. At the time, it was believed to be one of the largest frauds yet conducted over the Internet.

One of the stolen travel trailers recovered by police

One of the stolen travel trailers recovered by police. (Photo Credit: RCMP)

Waage created and ran the Tri-West Investment Club between 1999 and 2001, initially operating from a cliffside mansion in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He admitted to having used the money from the scheme to buy Mexican real estate, fleets of vehicles, a helicopter, and a yacht.

The scheme involved a high-tech version of the classic Ponzi scheme, in which early investors are paid off with money from later investors, not from return on investments. Waage was arrested in Puerto Vallarta in 2001 and was sentenced in 2005 in California to 10 years in prison after he admitted he planned and conducted the scheme.

Other Canadians and Americans were also indicted for their roles, including Waage’s son. Brenda Martin, a Canadian woman employed by Waage at his estate in Mexico, gained international attention after she was held by Mexican authorities for two years for knowingly accepting money from the fraud run by her former boss.

Normand said to always ask for identification from the seller of a vehicle to avoid being defrauded and to check the VIN — usually on a label inside driver or passenger door — to make sure it hasn’t been scratched out and that it matches the public VIN.

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

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Mercedes Introduces Marco Polo Based on the V-Class

Mercedes introduced the new Marco Polo at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Mercedes Introduces Marco Polo Based on the V-Class

Mercedes Introduces Marco Polo Based on the V-Class

Based on the V-Class, the Marco Polo is a compact camper van that “sets new standards in perceived quality, stylish living and comfortable practicality.”

Designed to be the first van you’d actually want to own, the model replaces the Viano and adopts an upscale design that borrows cues from the C-, E- and S-Class, according to a company news release.

Starting up front, there’s a prominent grille that is flanked by LED-infused headlights.

Moving further back, we can see sculpted bodywork, an upward sweeping shoulder line and protruding wheel arches.

The upscale styling continues in the cabin as the model can be equipped with premium leather upholstery, wood trim, individual rear seats, and rear center consoles.

Since the van is also a camper, it has been equipped with a sink, a refrigerator and a kitchenette with two gas burners.

There’s also a cupboard, a closet, and adjustable folding tables.

Mercedes Introduces Marco Polo Based on the V-Class

Mercedes Introduces Marco Polo Based on the V-Class

Other notable highlights include ambient lighting, metallic accents, and a freestanding COMAND display.

Under the hood, the entry-level 200 CDI has a 2.1-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 136 HP (100 kW) and 330 Nm (243 lb-ft) of torque.

Moving up the 220 CDI rewards owners with 163 HP (120 kW) and 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) of torque.

Last but not least, the 250 BlueTec produces 190 HP (140 kW) and 440 Nm (324 lb-ft) of torque.

Since the van was designed to appeal to a variety of customers, it is highly customizable and can be ordered with a short or long wheelbase (3,200 mm or 3,430 mm).

The model will also be available in three different lengths ranging from 4,895mm (16 feet) to 5,370mm  (17.6 feet).

The new Mercedes V-Class Marco Polo goes on sale later this year.

Details

Mercedes-Benz 

Mercedes Introduces Marco Polo Based on the V-Class

Mercedes Introduces Marco Polo Based on the V-Class

Founded in 1926, Mercedes-Benz is a German automobile manufacturer, a multinational division of the German manufacturer Daimer AG.

The brand is used for luxury automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks.

The headquarters of Mercedes-Benz is in Stuttgart, Baden- Württemberg, Germany.

Websites: www5.mercedes-benz.com/en and www.mbusa.com

Worth Pondering…

Oh, what a beautiful morning’,

Oh, what a beautiful day.

I got a beautiful feelin’

Ev’rything’s goin’ my way.

Oh, what a beautiful day!

—“Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” from the musical Oklahoma

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Top 5 Western Canadian Destinations

From sea to sea, Canada is a land filled with fascinating places and amazing adventures.

But, where to travel? Following are five of the best, must-see spots in Western Canada.

Banff National Park

Mt. Rundle, a prominent wedge-shaped peak, overlooks the townsite of Banff

Mt. Rundle, a prominent wedge-shaped peak, overlooks the townsite of Banff © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Founded in 1885 after the discovery of the Cave and Basin Hot Springs, Banff is Canada’s first and most famous national park. The park is a Rocky Mountain wonder, a place of blue glacial lakes and alpine meadows, massive mountains and glaciers, canyons and waterfalls, mineral hot springs and abundant wildlife (from elk to bighorn sheep to black and grizzly bears), and breathtaking grandeur.

Lake Louise is a glacial lake named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta and is famous for its stunning emerald water that reflects the surrounding glaciers that formed it.

Other major attractions include Banff Gondola, Upper Hot Springs, Bow River Loop, Johnston Canyon, Banff Park Museum, Lake Louise Gondola, Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks, and Icefields Parkway.

Vancouver

Vancouver Skyline with Cruise Ships

Vancouver Skyline with Cruise Ships (Credit: Tourism Vancouver/ Albert Normandin)

Surrounded by mountains and beaches, Vancouver is both an urban and a natural playground.

The reason for the city’s existence, the splendid deepwater harbor formed by the fjord-like Burrard Inlet, is backed by the often snowcapped Coast Mountains.

Stanley Park, a nearly 1,000-acre park is home to some of the city’s favorite, most-visited attractions. Walk, cycle, or jog around the nearly 14-mile-long Seawall that hugs Vancouver’s waterfront. Family-friendly activities include an outdoor water park and a separate heated, outdoor pool, and the Vancouver Aquarium.

Other local attractions include Capilano Suspension Bridge, Granville Island, Queen Elizabeth Park, Grouse Mountain, Kitsilano and Spanish Banks beaches, Vancouver Lookout, and VanDusen Botanical Gardens.

Calgary

The Stampede is always a reason to visit Calgary. It is a mega-event that doesn’t disappoint. Cities become most interesting when they embrace what is distinct about themselves. Calgary did that over a century ago when the Calgary Stampede was born (102nd annual; July 4-13, 2014).

Alberta’s largest city launched an intriguing event called Beakerhead (2nd annual; September 10-14, 2014), a festival that celebrates innovation through engineering and science. Engineers show their creative sides, artists get technical, science hits the street, and everyone gets ingenious.

Calgary is also emerging as a destination because of its wealth. Big money from the energy and finance sectors is sponsoring creative projects and helping to sustain the city’s culinary scene.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve 

 

No trip to Vancouver Island is complete without a visit to Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park

No trip to Vancouver Island is complete without a visit to Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park (Credit: vancouverisland.travel)

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a thin strip of land along the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island. Its magnificent islands, beaches, and dramatic seascapes divide into three geographically distinct park units: Long Beach (the most accessible), Broken Group Islands (about 100 islands in Barkley Sound), and the challenging 45-mile West Coast Trail.

The Long Beach Unit is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island between the villages of Ucluelet and Tofino. Long Beach is an almost mystical place, a broad and—yes—long beach of great waves and breathtaking beauty. One of the best-known and most challenging hikes in North America, the West Coast Trail follows a rugged shoreline where approximately 66 ships have met their demise along this stretch of the “Graveyard of the Pacific”.

Jasper National Park

A winding road leads to Patricia and Pyramid lakes where fishing, picnicking, boating, and hiking are popular.

A winding road leads to Patricia and Pyramid lakes where fishing, picnicking, boating, and hiking are popular. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Picture yourself in a mountain getaway surrounded by towering peaks, untouched wilderness, and turquoise lakes tucked into alpine valleys. Wildlife is abundant, even right in the town of Jasper. Where else will you find a herd of elk grazing on the lawn?

The Icefields Parkway joins the two parks of Jasper and Banff in one of the most breathtaking, beautiful drives that anyone can travel in the world. A series of massive glaciers line the entire length of the Icefield Parkway, with the Columbia Icefield lying along the parkway at the southern end of Jasper National Park.

Other major attractions include the Jasper Skytram, Maligne Lake and Spirit Island ( one of the most photographed locations in the world), Mt. Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier, and Miette Hot Springs.

Worth Pondering…

Hysterically funny, amazingly talented people. That’s what I think of when I think of Canada. That, and cold beer. And mountains.
—Richard Patrick

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Planning Your RV Road Trip

Is a road trip on your agenda this summer?

A recently washed RV just begs for a thunderstorm storm to blow through. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A recently washed RV just begs for a thunderstorm storm to blow through. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Prior to departure planning is required to ensure that your vacation vision becomes your rolling reality. By spending time planning in advance of your RV vacation you’ll get more out of your holiday as well as avoid some of the common pitfalls.

The following checklist will help ensure a smoother take-off and ride along the highways and byways of America.

Get Insured

A recreational vehicle is a huge investment—and it can be a risky one if not adequately protected. RV insurance combines aspects of home and auto insurance to provide unique coverage. It is important to remember is that “specialty” RV insurance offers you protection that is not available with a typical auto insurance policy. Consider using an agent who specializes in RV insurance.

Plan Ahead

Start planning your RV vacation well in advance of your anticipated departure. Pore over some maps, browse online, and dream out loud with your family about the places you’ve always wanted to visit. When you are limited by time and want to see the best of what an area has to offer it is advisable to plan a route before leaving home. Flexibility is a perk of RV travel, but a tentative itinerary will help ensure a pleasant and enjoyable RVing experience.

RV Parks and Campgrounds

The American RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only receives high Good Sam rating for its facilities but has something to offer every member of the family from its heated swimming pool for the kids, a spa for the adults, and a dog park for the family pet on board. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The American RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only receives high Good Sam rating for its facilities but has something to offer every member of the family from its heated swimming pool for the kids, a spa for the adults, and a dog park for the family pet on board. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

From rustic to Wi-Fi enabled, camping options run the gamut. To avoid disappointment make campground reservations well in advance. Remember, this is peak travel season. If you travel with a pet always ask about their pet policy. Some parks have restrictions on the breed of dog they will allow. Always remember to pick up after your pet.

RV Preventive Maintenance

Although it may seem that nothing could go wrong when you’re all packed and eager to leave for your trip, forgetting to check on all the important areas of your RV will, sooner or later, come back to haunt you. Maintaining your RV is essential to ensure that you have a trouble-free trip.

Inspect all the belts and hoses for cracking. Check your headlights, turn signals, and tires. Take a look at all your hitch and towing equipment. Check fire extinguisherssmoke alarm, and carbon monoxide detector. Taking a few precautionary measure before you hit the road could help to avoid a mechanical breakdown.

Every time before you head off, make sure you check:

Pack RV Essentials

Keep your RV stocked with basic supplies, nonperishable food items, linens and clothes, and you’ll be ready to go anytime, anywhere. RVs give you the freedom to be spontaneous.

Is your RV ready to roll this summer? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Is your RV ready to roll this summer? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Maintaining an on-going RV checklist will help ensure you’ve packed all the essentials for your road trip. Include everything you will need for your trip including dishes and cooking utensils, pots and pans, cups and mugs. kitchen tools and supplies, bottle openers, coffee maker, paper products, dish and laundry soap, trash bags, healthy snacks, clothes, pillows and sheets, blankets, cleaning supplies, toiletries, picnic supplies, maps and GPS, first aid kit, tool box, adapters for 30- and 50-amp outlets, potable water hose and pressure regulator, flashlights, spare batteries, jackets and raincoat, outdoor activity gear, collapsible shovel, gloves, duct tape and WD-40, tire pressure gauge, leveling blocks, camping chairs, puzzles and games, , pens and paper, digital camera and memory cards, insect repellent and sunscreen, fishing gear or other recreational equipment, comfortable walking/hiking shore, food for your pet, propane, and plenty of water.

Remember, you don’t want to exceed the GVWR, GAWR, or GCWR but it is also important not to exceed the tire ratings. It is a good practice to weigh each axle end separately to determine if the tire ratings are exceeded, and check loaded weight distribution.

Always check the pressure and condition of your tires before taking your RV on the road.

Always check the pressure and condition of your tires before taking your RV on the road.

Too much weight on the tires is the second leading cause of tire failure. Overloading the tires can lead to excessive wear and reduced tire life due to structural damage—which can lead to sudden failures, like a blowout. And remember, the less weight you carry, the better your fuel mileage.

Time to Roll

Checklist completed? Then it’s time to take off on your RV road trip.

Enjoy! Have a blast! And don’t forget the hot dogs and marshmellows.

Worth Pondering…

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

BURMA SHAVE

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