Snowbird Basics

Winter is a time for boots, snow shovels, and icy roads… unless you’re a snowbird who RVs to the Sun Belt.

On the Colorado River in the southwest corner of Arizona, Yuma’s been at the crossroads for centuries. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

On the Colorado River in the southwest corner of Arizona, Yuma’s been at the crossroads for centuries. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As Neil Young once sang, “the summer ends and the winter winds begin to holler all around the bend…”

The cooler temperatures have us thinking about the coming winter: snow, ice, and bone-chilling cold. You’re familiar with the drill: dig out the snow shovel, take the snow blower on a test run, and pull out the warm winter sweaters, parkas, mitts, and snow boots. Such are the joys of a northern winter!

The entire history of the human race is largely a search for comfort. Warm southern winters certainly rate high on my comfort scale.

How about snowbirding?

Snowbirds are typically retired seniors who have the desire and financial ability to be away from home for extended periods of time.

The snowbird lifestyle is to our liking since we can take our home with us when the cold weather arrives and snow begins to falls. For us the snowbird lifestyle is the best of both worlds.


Rockport is known as “The Charm of the Texas Coast” and for good reasons too. It’s a quiet, little town on the coast of Texas just 30 minutes north of Corpus Christi. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Rockport is known as “The Charm of the Texas Coast” and for good reasons too. It’s a quiet, little town on the coast of Texas just 30 minutes north of Corpus Christi. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Preparing your home for an extended absence requires thorough thought and planning.

Before heading south, snowbirds need to take steps to secure and winterize their homes.

Creating a customized checklists is one way to keep track of your seasonal preparations.

Consider the following tips as a starting point when creating your winter-ready checklist.

Check expiry dates for travel documents, insurance, and credit cards.

Check with your insurance to determine how extended absences may affect coverage.

You are escaping the snow, but your home is not. Arrange with a neighbor, relative, friend, or snow removal service to keep sidewalks clear and your home secure.

Ask a friend, trustworthy neighbor, or relative to be the contact person for your home. It’s important to have someone check your home on a regular basis, remove sales flyers, and be available in emergency situations. Your home should look like someone is living there.

Provide the contact person and other neighbors, relatives, and friends with pertinent information including smart phone and email address, vehicle and home insurance, security system, furnace repair, description of RV and toad or tow truck and trailer with plate numbers.

The long-legged, S-necked Great white egret feeds in wetlands, streams, ponds, and tidal flats.

The long-legged, S-necked Great white egret feeds in wetlands, streams, ponds, and tidal flats. Photo above at Corkscrew Sanctuary near Naples, Florida. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Place a temporary hold on your newspaper delivery.

Receiving your mail in a timely manner can be a major concern for Snowbirds, full-timers, and other RVers who plan to be on the road for an extended period of time. Arrange with your local postal service to have your mail forwarded to a mail forwarding address. Trusted and reliable mail forwarding services include Good SamEscapees, and Dakota Post.

Unplug all electronics and electrical appliances—microwave, washer and dryer, stove, refrigerator, coffee pot, toaster oven, TVs, audio equipment, radios, and lamps.

Reduce costs and save energy consumption by turning the thermostat down to 45-50 degrees F (7-10 C).

Empty the refrigerator and turn it off. Unplug all electronics and electrical appliances.

Check to ensure that all smoke alarms are in working order and have fresh batteries.

Adjust the water heater thermostat to “pilot” or turn it off. Turn off the water supply at the main valve.

do your dream

Do Your Dream © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This list is a good place to start, but you may take additional steps to secure your home.

Be careful what you post on social media. Burglars have started crawling social media websites to find times when a house will be empty.

Worth Pondering…

It started out a dream

A simple someday soon

But we worked hard

and made it real

This snowbird life

behind the wheel.

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Are You Overweight? 

Is your RV overweight?

There’s only one way to know for sure: Escapees SmartWeigh.

smartweigh-wtextThe Escapees SmartWeigh program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

The Escapees SmartWeigh program is an RV educational program created by the Escapees RV Club for the exclusive purpose of enhancing safety, enjoyment, and the overall success of the RV lifestyle.

SmartWeigh provides critical RV weight safety and load management information in a highly accurate and usable format. The weights determined and provided to RVers under the auspices of this program will be highly accurate as a result of using very high quality scales, which are annually tested, only suitable weighing sites, and highly trained volunteer personnel.

RV height measurement is also available at the permanent weighing sites. Available by request, just ask your weighmaster. This additional service is offered free of charge.
Escapees SmartWeigh is also available at many Escapees rallies and events.

You must sign up in advance and complete a SmartWeigh information sheet in order to weigh your RV.

To sign up for weekly weighing at a permanent weighing sites, just call the number for the location. You can also sign up for an appointment after arriving at the park (one day in advance is required).

At a rally or event where SmartWeigh is available (Escapades, Boot Camp, etc.), you can register and pay at the SmartWeigh table or booth after you arrive at the event.

SmartWeigh-290x145Permanent weighing sites offer easy and accurate weighing for traveling RVers.

Now with three scale locations to serve RV owners, the Escapees’ SmartWeigh makes it easier than ever to weigh an RV.

Site # 1

The weighing site at Rainbow’s End in Livingston, Texas, has been open all summer on reduced hours, and has resumed normal operating hours September 15. Appointments are available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. To sign up for weighing at Rainbow’s End, just call 888.757.2582 and ask for SmartWeigh registration, or come by the headquarters office in person at least one day in advance.

Site # 2

The SmartWeigh RV weighing site at North Ranch, in Congress, Arizona, will open for business November 24. Appointments are available Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, or to schedule an appointment at North Ranch, contact George Wickholm, the onsite weighmaster, at 509.999.4429 or e-mail him at

Site # 3

The SmartWeigh RV weighing site at Sumter Oaks RV park, in Bushnell, Florida, opened for business September 22. Appointments are available Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, or to schedule an appointment at Sumter Oaks, contact Gaylord Coston, the onsite weighmaster, at 717.805.3400, or e-mail him at

Weighing Fees

Motorhome: $45

Towed Vehicle (Toad): $10

Towable RV and Tow Vehicle: $55

Truck Camper: $45


escapees logoEscapees SmartWeigh

Escapees SmartWeigh provides highly accurate corner weights (individual wheel weights) to help RV owners assure that their RV operates within all laws, rules, and recommendations it is subject to. The weights provided by SmartWeigh are not “certified weights”, and are intended for information purposes only.


Escapees RV Club

Address: 100 Rainbow Drive, Livingston, TX 77351

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


Worth Pondering…

As you go through life, when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

—Yogi Berra

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San Gabriel Mountains Newest National Monument

A large area of the San Gabriel Mountains is now a national monument.

San Gabriel Mountains Newest National Monument

San Gabriel Mountains Newest National Monument

During the final day of a Southern California visit President Obama made the announcement during a signing ceremony in the wilderness northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

346,000 acres of national forest land—from Santa Clarita to San Bernardino—was set aside Friday (October 10) during a ceremony at Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in the San Gabriel Valley community of San Dimas. The rugged mountains provided a backdrop for the event, at which Obama described the “magnificent” mountains as an important part of the nation’s history.

The towering mountain range, which spans 655,000 acres from Interstate 15 in San Bernardino County west to Interstate 5 in Los Angeles County, draws more than 3 million visitors a year who ski, bike, hunt, hike, and horseback ride in its remote reaches.

The snow-capped mountains in winter provide a postcard-perfect picture for the foothill communities of Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, and beyond. They also provide a critical drinking water source for Southern California.

The exact boundaries of the monument, which is the nation’s 110th, have not been released, reported The Press Enterprise.

The snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains as seen from the Interstate 10 and 215 freeways in Colton. (Photo credit: David Bauman, Press Enterprise)

The snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains as seen from the Interstate 10 and 215 freeways in Colton. (Photo credit: David Bauman, Press Enterprise)

The national monument announcement caps an 11-year effort to earn federal protections for the land, which has been marred by graffiti and vandalism, and trails that have not been maintained, said Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena.

“This marks the biggest change for the mountains since 1908 and is an important and immediate step towards fixing these problems. With this designation, the San Gabriels will become a priority, opening up new streams of funding that can be used to ensure that the mountains achieve their full potential for all the people who have gone there to hike, fish, or just enjoy fresh air,” Chu said in a statement.

While praise for the pending designation was widespread, so was the criticism.

San Bernardino County supervisors, who first found out about the proposed monument in late August, voted unanimously in September to oppose it.

“We’re outraged by the process that we’ve been completely excluded from,” said Janice Rutherford, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors whose district includes the south-facing side of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Rutherford and Supervisor Robert Lovingood traveled to Washington, D.C., on September 19 to meet with U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Robert Bonney and express their concerns.

A January 2008 storm left snow on the San Gabriel Mountains. (Photo credit: Kurt Miller, Press Enterprise)

A January 2008 storm left snow on the San Gabriel Mountains. (Photo credit: Kurt Miller, Press Enterprise)

“The National Monument proposal has bypassed public input from San Bernardino County residents, skirts Congress, and has failed to answer even the most basic questions on how this will impact the public,” said Lovingood, whose district includes north-facing portions of the mountain range.

Judi Nelson, the mayor of Glendora, said she fears such a designation will bring restrictions on the popular forest, which offers seclusion and the full gamut of outdoor activities.

“The National Forest Service has managed our mountains for over 100 years and they have done a good job, but they’re underfunded. And having this monument doesn’t mean there will be money,” Nelson said.

Proponents have said recreational activities will not be limited under the national monument designation, which could open lines of public-private partnerships. They said operations at the Mount Baldy ski resort will continue uninterrupted and cabin owners with federal leases will not be affected.

Members of the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Coalition, which includes business leaders, environmental groups, churches, and water districts, devoted years to winning the designation, which they say will provide improved visitor services, including safe river access, more rangers and multilingual signs and displays.

The forest and its rivers provide habitat for endangered and sensitive species, including Nelson’s bighorn sheep, California condors, mountain lions, and native fish, said Daniel Rossman, the group’s chairman.

“The San Gabriel Mountains are a dramatic landmark that can be seen from the desert to the sea,” Rossman said.

“And when it becomes a national monument, the forest will receive the recognition and attention it so rightfully deserves.”

Worth Pondering…

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.

—John Burroughs

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Grand Design Introduces Owner’s Pledge Initiative

Middlebury, Indiana-based Grand Design Recreation Vehicle Company announced the implementation of the Grand Design Owner’s Pledge initiative.

Grand-Design-owners-pledge“The initiative is a straightforward commitment that will help Grand Design and their independent dealerships across North America make customers for life,” said Don Clark, president and co-owner.

“This new program is a unique pledge from Grand Design and our dealers to any Grand Design owner who is traveling and may require specific service to their RV. This provides clarity to what customers can expect as a Grand Design owner.”

The commitment pledge is comprised of four basic tenants, which include:

The dealership commits to provide priority service scheduling to traveling Grand Design owners.

The dealership commits to do everything possible to get critical repairs completed as soon as possible.

Grand Design RV commits to rapid repair authorization.

Grand Design RV commits to overnight parts delivery in critical ‘unit down’ situations.

All Grand Design RV dealers will receive framed signed certificates to display at their dealerships.

“We want all Grand Design RV owners to have positive traveling experiences which, hopefully, help retain and increase the number of folks that enjoy the RV lifestyle,” said Clark.


Grand Design Recreational Vehicle Company

Grand Design Corp-Logo-blackGrand Design RV is a privately owned company founded by close friends Don Clark and brothers Ron and Bill Fenech (each having over 25 years of experience in the RV industry).

Their careers have been devoted to leading some of the most successful companies in the RV industry, being part of the ownership team that led Keystone RV Company to be the largest travel trailer and fifth wheel company in the world.

Grand Design RV Company has over 400,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities located on 67 acres in the rural community of Middlebury, Indiana.

Address: 11333 County Road 2, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (574) 825-8000


Worth Pondering…

Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.

—Arthur Ashe

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EverGreen RV Finalizes Acquisition of Skyline RV

Middlebury, Indiana-based EverGreen Recreational Vehicles has announced that the purchase of Elkhart, Indiana-based Skyline Recreational Vehicles Division has been finalized and is now complete.

Nomad travel trailer from Skyline RV

Nomad travel trailer from Skyline RV

The announcement came just hours after Phoenix-based manufactured housing builder Cavco Industries Inc. issued a news release “reaffirming” its interest to acquire Skyline.

Cavco noted that Skyline’s recent announcement of the potential sale of its RV division did not include any terms, financial or otherwise, making it impossible for Skyline’s shareholders and the market as a whole to assess whether the transaction would be beneficial or harmful to Skyline and its shareholders.

EverGreen acquired all of the assets of Skyline’s Recreational Vehicle Division, according to the news release.

“We are very optimistic about the purchase of the RV Division from Skyline,” stated Chairman of the Board of EverGreen Recreational Vehicles Kelly L. Rose.

“The EverGreen management team, led by our CEO Michael H. Schoeffler, our President and Chief Operating Officer Mark A. Boessler, and our General Manager Don Emahiser, are extremely excited about this purchase and are in the process of assimilating Skyline employees and dealers into the EverGreen family of companies.”

Dart travel trailer from Skyline RV

Dart travel trailer from Skyline RV

“Retaining the talented employees of Skyline RV, as well as solidifying and building strong new relationships with the extensive dealer body of Skyline, is job one for our team,” said Rose.

“All brand names have been retained along with all intellectual property and this will be key to our success as we move forward to blend the two companies with our continuous improvement processes and innovation,” he added.

Skyline, a publicly traded company, reported, “The transaction was completed pursuant to the terms of an asset purchase agreement and a real property purchase agreement entered into on October 7 between Skyline and an affiliate of Evergreen, Skyline RE Holding LLC, relating to the purchase of an RV manufacturing facility located in Bristol, Indiana.”

The cash sales price for the RV business and real estate, which Skyline received at closing, totaled approximately $981,000. In addition, Evergreen has the right, but not the obligation, to purchase approximately $1.6 million of raw material inventory on-hand at 50 percent of Skyline’s cost.

Javelin travel trailer from Skyline RV

Javelin travel trailer from Skyline RV

“The announcement reflects our board’s and management team’s commitment to executing on the company’s strategic plan and driving long-term shareholder value,” said Bruce G. Page, president and CEO of Skyline, which will continue producing manufactured housing.

“We believe this transaction with Evergreen is aligned with our strategic value-creation objectives and is in the best interest of shareholders. We will continue to focus on driving profitable growth and serving customers in our core business of manufactured housing, where we see substantial opportunities for the future.”

Cavco’s statement represented the latest public communication between the two companies, initiated by a September 27 announcement by Skyline that it had reached a tentative agreement to sell its RV division to EverGreen.

Cavco responded that same day by expressing its “interest in acquiring” Skyline.

“The Evergreen team is excited to merge Skyline’s talented employees and recognized brand names under the Evergreen RV umbrella. We look forward to furthering the 50-year legacy of Skyline and building on the strengths of two great companies,” Rose stated.

Worth Pondering…

First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.


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Airstream Introduces 2015 Airstream Classic

Jackson Center, Ohio-based Airstream has announced the introduction of the latest addition to the brand’s legendary travel trailer model line with the 2015 Airstream Classic.

2015 Airstream Classic in Macadamia

2015 Airstream Classic in Macadamia

The new Classic trailer was inspired by the needs of generations of owners with a passion for perfection and a love for the open road, according to a company news release.

Airstream took the collective feedback of customers at Airstream rallies, on phone calls, in e-mails, and during visits to the company factory in Jackson Center, and turned it into a new and improved version of a beloved Classic trailer for 2015.

“We don’t update the Airstream Classic very often,” said Bob Wheeler, Airstream’s president and CEO.

“But when the world’s most passionate customers come to you with great ideas, you listen. Our R&D team searched the world for partners and innovators to bring these improvements to life.”

With many customers requesting an “at home” look and feel while they prepare their favorite meals, Airstream started with the kitchen to incorporate cherry-wood cabinetry, hardware from Amerock, high-polish Corian countertops, and durable Kohler faucets.

Additional updates include a premium stainless steel oven from Smev and high-end range hood from Baraldi which complement the Classic’s refrigerator, Airstream’s largest, and a slide-out pantry with significantly increased storage, according to the release.

2015 Airstream Classic in Macadamia

2015 Airstream Classic in Macadamia

The 2015 Classic also features a redesigned master bedroom and bath, adding more space and convenience with a new power-adjustable queen bed. Designed in concert with Airstream’s partners in Italy, the bed adjusts to provide more floor space for a wardrobe change and the perfect position for curling up with a book in bed.

Lastly, Airstream’s team of engineers integrated a complete air-duct system hidden within the trailer’s unique curves and edges—all to deliver even cooling throughout the trailer for any camping condition, according to the news release.

“The passion of our customers to find new freedoms, new places, and new friends was the driving force behind the transformation of the Classic,” said Wheeler.

“By the time all was said and done, we introduced dozens of customer-inspired upgrades to our totally new 2015 model, carefully balancing innovation with time-tested Airstream design and quality. Following our founder Wally Byam’s Credo, ‘let’s not make changes, let’s make only improvements,’ we are proud to say it is the best Classic yet.”

Additional upgrades to the 2015 Airstream Classic include:

  • High-end Villa furniture including a sofa with individually power reclining seats
  • More of the iconic Airstream windows
  • Low-energy, high-visibility LED lighting
  • A marine-grade Polk stereo system
  • Powered stabilizer jacks
  • Awnings with matching foldable Zip Dee chairs
2015 Airstream Classic in Macadamia

2015 Airstream Classic in Macadamia

2015 Airstream Classic travel trailer specs include:

  • Sleeping Capacity: 2-5
  • Exterior Length: 31 feet 3 inches
  • Exterior Width: 8 feet 5.5 inches
  • Exterior Height with A/C: 9 feet 9.5 inches

MSRP: Starting at $121,720



Airstream, maker of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

Following founder Wally Byam’s credo, “Let’s not make changes, let’s only make improvements” Airstream has remained a timeless classic.

A division of Thor Industries, Airstream is based in Jackson Center, Ohio.

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

Phone: (877) 596-6111 (toll free)


Worth Pondering…

Airstream Song

Sometimes I wish I lived in airstream homemade curtains
Lived just like a gypsy.
Break a heart, roll out of town
Cause gypsies never get tied down
—Lyrics by Miranda Lambert, Natalie Nicole Hemby, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert; sung by Miranda Lambert

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Fifth Wheel St. Introduces RV Tow Check App

Crestview, Florida-based Fifth Wheel St. has introduced the web-based RV Tow Check app, available for free and accessible on smartphones and tablets.

fws_header05The minimum requirement for RV Tow Check requires three inputs by the buyer or dealer: gross combination weight rating (GCWR), gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), and the gross vehicle weight (GVW).

The user has the option to select a fifth wheel hitch if it’s not already installed in the truck. Users may include any additional unscaled weight for cargo and additional passenger weight. The app does not assume everyone weights 150 pounds, like the manufacturers do.

“Practically all towing guides give RVers just enough information that may cause them to purchase a trailer too heavy for their tow vehicle’s capabilities,” said David Gray, founder of Fifth Wheel St., in a news release.

“Towing guides listing maximum tow capacity fail to take into consideration the different towing requirements between fifth wheel and conventional trailers. These common guides do not consider the additional payload weight created by the fifth wheel trailer pin weight.”

“Even the creators of the most well-known towing guide published by Trailer Life devotes four pages of instructions, entitled ‘Choose Wisely,’ that spells out the details required for selecting the correct towing combination,” Gray explained.

“With the RV Tow Check app, you’ll never need to read a towing guide again.”

“The RV Tow Check app may look simple on the outside, but the engine on the inside is strong, and the sophisticated math formulas perform multiple calculations,” said Gray.

Vehicle Certification Label Indicating GVWR

Vehicle Certification Label Indicating GVWR

“The processed results will give you the best and safest maximum trailer towing weight based on mid-range tongue and pin weights. With these three minimally required user inputs, buyers and dealers can be confident that the RV purchase or sale will not exceed the vehicle’s GCWR, GVWR and GAWR.”

“There are two outputs shown, one for the fifth wheel towing combination and the other for the conventional towing combination,” he added.

“RV Tow Check is the first app that displays maximum towing capacity for both fifth wheel and conventional RV classifications simultaneously.”

Are you towing below the load ratings?

The RV Safety & Education Foundation data indicates that 57 percent of all RVs on the road exceed one or more weight safety ratings.

Additionally, the following exceed at least one rating:

  • 60 percent of all tow vehicles
  • 51 percent of all travel trailers
  • 55 percent of all 5th wheel trailers
  • 50 percent of all trailers exceed the GVWR

Ensure you’re not the one exceeding a load rating.


RV Tow Check App

rvtowcheckcomHow Much Can I Tow?


Fifth Wheel St.

Where the “St” is Safe Towing

Fifth Wheel St. (FWS) provides important safety information for all RV owners.

Founded in April 2011, FWS is the one-stop, self-help RV safety website providing tow capacity information, tow ratings, towing guides, and important RV assistance to match up tow vehicles and trailers correctly, the first time.

Their weight safety calculators with the industry-leading 13-point Weight Safety Report for 5th wheel or gooseneck trailers and conventional trailers will expose the truth about important load conditions.

app_RVTC-phone-newFWS provides web based and mobile app calculators and printable worksheets for all RV travelers that assist truck camper owners, all who tow fifth wheel or gooseneck trailers, and conventional trailers such as bumper pull travel trailers, boat trailers, and utility trailers, as well as motorcoaches towing a car or trailer.

Address: 5715 HWY 85 N #797, Crestview, FL 32536

Phone: (850) 583-6937


Worth Pondering…

Have a great day, and first and foremost, travel safely!

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Thor Motor Coach Displays 2015 Models at Pomona RV Show

Elkhart, Indiana-based Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is displaying a full complement of new motorhomes as part of the October 10-19 California RV Show at the Fairplex in Pomona.

2014-Pomona-RV-Show-California-1024x535The new Tuscany 40DX makes its California debut, featuring fully-reclining theater seating and retractable 60-inch LED Smart HDTV.

“We’re finding that owners want smaller Class A diesels with all the luxuries found in the larger tag-axle models,” said Adam Gudger, national sales manager for Class A diesels, in a company news release.

“The new 40DX is our answer. We implemented feedback from current owners into this new floor plan and we’re excited to get it out to the public.”

TMC’s Palazzo motorhomes target first-time diesel pusher buyers or seasoned veterans looking for livable luxury. The new 36.2 floor plan offers the addition of a laundry suite featuring side-by-side residential washer and dryer.

The Outlaw Class A line has expanded with a new 39-foot model, the 38RE. It has a spacious living area, perfect for traveling and relaxing, as well as an ultramodern bedroom featuring nine-foot coffered ceilings and a bath-and-a-half arrangement. The inventive rear “Patio Deck” folds down to reveal an exterior kitchenette, 50-inch big screen TV, and Bluetooth radio.

Thor Motor Coach Axis RUV

Thor Motor Coach Axis RUV

Thor Motor Coach’s Recreational Utility Vehicles (RUV) have added the new 24.2 and 25.1 floor plans in its Axis and Vegas lines, offering RVers plenty of space to sit while traveling. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-based models, Citation and Siesta, add the 24SL travel coach to the lineup. All units give consumers another option other than a Class B van-type product.

Demand for Super C motorhomes continue to grow, combining towing capacity, diesel engine power, and floor plan livability. TMC will be showing its newest Four Winds and Chateau models, the 35SF, featuring a bath-and-a-half, and the 35SB bunkhouse model.

Other TMC models to look for at the California RV Show include:

  • Tuscany 42HQ with wraparound counter and freestanding wine cooler in kitchen
  • New elegant high-gloss glazed cabinetry throughout all Tuscany XTE models
  • Challenger 37TB featuring a triple slideout, bath-and-a-half and bunk beds
  • All-new Miramar 33.5 model with theater seating
  • 31S Hurricane and Windsport with optional exterior kitchen
  • ACE 29.3 with convenient camp-side dinette seating
Thor Motor Coach Displays 2015 Models at Pomona RV Show

Thor Motor Coach Displays 2015 Models at Pomona RV Show


Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach was formed when Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International strategically merged in late 2010.

For over 23 years Damon and Four Winds have been building many of the most recognized brands of motorhomes.

Thor Motor Coach manufactures Class A Front Engine Diesel motorhomes (Serrano and Avanti), Class A Diesel Pusher motorhomes (Astoria, Tuscany, and Palazzo), Class A Gas motorhomes (A.C.E., Hurricane, Daybreak, Windsport, Challenger, Miramar, and Outlaw), and Class C motorhomes (Four Winds, Chateau, Siesta, Siesta Sprinter, Citation, and Citation Sprinter).

Thor Motor Coach is a subsidiary of Thor Industries, Inc., Jackson Center, Ohio, the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles.

Address: 701 County Road 15, PO Box 1486, Elkhart, Indiana 46516

Phone: (800) 860-5658


Worth Pondering…

But do not ask me where I am heading,

As I travel in this limitless world

Where every step I take is my home.

—Eihei Dogen

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Little Guy Relaunches MyPod Teardrop Trailer

Massillon, Ohio-based Little Guy announced the relaunch of the MyPod teardrop camper trailer line, capable of being towed by a Smart Car.

Little Guy Relaunches MyPod Teardrop Trailer

Little Guy Relaunches MyPod Teardrop Trailer

The teardrop trailer’s design uses an innovative aluminum frame and pure fiberglass body, with the B@sic model tipping the scale south of a mere 450 pounds and boasting a tongue weight around 60 pounds.

Since the trailer is lightweight and has a small profile, it is perfect for anyone who owns a smaller vehicle but still wants to take along a camper for trips, according to a company news release.

“We’re very excited to launch the new myPod models. Their lightweight frame is perfect for any automobile, even something as small as a trike or a smart car,” according to a Little Guy spokesperson.

“This line has quickly become a big hit with our customers and we’re eager to see more of them on the road.”

Little Guy makes the MyPod in two models to suit customers’ needs: B@sic and M@x.

Both models have a measured width from fender to fender of just 74 inches, an exterior height of 61 inches, and an overall length of 11 feet.

The inside width of the MyPod model measure 60 inches. The interior height measures 41 inches, and the length comes in at 77 inches.

Little Guy Relaunches MyPod Teardrop Trailer

Little Guy Relaunches MyPod Teardrop Trailer

The trailer’s GAWR (axle rating) totals 2,200 pounds and the entire MyPod rides on 13-inch alloy wheels wrapped with 175/80/D13 tires.

MyPod B@sic

The budget-friendly B@sic has an MSRP that starts at just $6,875, which does not include the cost of shipping and preparation work performed by the dealer.

The camper comes with a full size bed inside, providing sleeping arrangements for two people. Also included as standard equipment are LED interior lights for a bright yet economical way to illuminate the interior at night. Owners can keep the sun out and maintain privacy with the standard vinyl blinds.

Buyers also enjoy a variety of exterior paint colors, with white, silver, red, black, and blue available as stock options, while custom colors can be had through special order.

Adding to the convenience is a Power Package that includes multiple 12v and 110v electrical outlets in the teardrop trailer’s interior, porch lights, a dual directional three-speed roof fan, 25-foot power cord, and 30-amp inlet. With the Power Package, the battery for the trailer charges whenever it is connected to shoreline power on the tow vehicle.

Little Guy Relaunches MyPod Teardrop Trailer

Little Guy Relaunches MyPod Teardrop Trailer

MyPod M@x

Upgrading to the MyPod M@x comes with even more benefits. The starting MSRP is $7,995, which does not include the shipping and dealer preparation fees.

On top of the standard features included in the B@sic model, owners enjoy an air conditioning unit that comes already installed, which is a tremendous value during the hot summer months. Another big benefit is the standard Entertainment Package, which includes a 19-inch television and speakers securely mounted inside the camper.

The new Little Guy MyPod M@x is the perfect size for towing with a smaller vehicle, without sacrificing interior comfort for two people.


Little Guy Worldwide, LLC.

Full page photoLittle Guy was founded back in 2002 in North Canton, Ohio.

What started as a small operation in a garage quickly exploded into a booming business with a full-blown manufacturing facility and worldwide network of dealers.

Today, the company produces 17 different teardrop camper trailer models that are among the most economical, identifiable, and modern teardrops on the market.

Address: 4122 Erie Ave. S.W., Massillon, OH 44646

Phone: (330) 791-7117 or (877) 545-4897 (toll free)


Worth Pondering…

Life is a gift, not an obligation. So make the very best of every single day you’re given!

—Donovan Campbell

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Plan Now To Attend FMCA 91st Family Reunion

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) has fittingly chosen “California Gold” as the theme for its next Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase.

FMCA's regional rally hald annually each January at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio is well attended.  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

FMCA’s regional rally hald annually each January at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio is well attended. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

FMCA’s California Gold event will be held March 26-29, 2015, at a facility that is widely recognized as a premier entertainment venue — Fairplex, home of the Los Angeles County Fair, in Pomona.

Imagine going to one place where you can meet new friends, view new motorhomes, shop, learn technical information about RVing, and be entertained. That’s a FMCA Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase in a nutshell.

More than 2,000 motorhomes are expected to gather at this 480-acre complex for FMCA’s 91st Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase, according to a news release.

Dotted with palm trees and fountains, the beautifully landscaped venue boasts park-like settings and state-of-the-art facilities.

The 85,000-square-foot Conference Center, which offers the perfect balance between high-tech features and comfortable, inviting accommodations, will serve as an activity hub. Among other events, it will provide space for the more than 120 seminars that will be offered, covering a broad array of motorhome lifestyle topics. The center’s high-speed Internet access and closed-circuit LED screens will facilitate these sessions.

Top motorhome manufacturers and dealers from across North America will display the latest models of vehicles while carpeted, climate-controlled indoor exhibition halls will house more than 300 booths packed with a variety of RV-related products and services.

In addition to touring exhibits and attending seminars, motorhome owners will be treated to three nights of top-notch entertainment and a variety of special activities. Attendees also will be given the opportunity to embark on group tours of local sites and attractions.

The 89th FMCA Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase was held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, Georgia, March 2014 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The 89th FMCA Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase was held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, Georgia, March 2014 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

While the convention is organized for FMCA members, the organization also invites members of the public to attend and provides various admission options. The price for non-FMCA members is $255 prior to February 3, 2015, and $275 after that date; this non-member fee automatically grants a one-year FMCA membership or Family Motor Coaching subscription to the RV owner. The FMCA member price is $205 for early-bird registrations and $225 after February 3. (An additional fee is charged for electric.)


Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) 

The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the recreational use of motorhomes.

With approximately 85,000 active member families, FMCA is the world’s largest motorhome owners group.

fmca_twin-oaks-rv-park-elko-perry-gaSince 1963 FMCA has issued more than 425,000 memberships to families who look to the association as their source of information about all facets of motorhome ownership and travel.

FMCA takes pride in the merit of its many membership benefits, which include a mail forwarding service, an emergency medical evacuation program, international conventions, chapter and area rallies, and a free subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine.

FMCA recognizes approximately 500 chapters across the United States and Canada. Many of them encompass specific or general geographic regions. Others consist of FMCA members who own a particular brand or model of motorhome. And still others are based on a common interest, such as music, sports, coach conversions, or amateur radio.

FMCA National Headquarters address: 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244

Phone: (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622 (toll free)


Worth Pondering…

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.

—Tim Cahill

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