Campground Etiquette: How To Get Away From Others While Doing It Together

With the arrival of summer Americans and Canadians are fleeing the cities by the thousands in search of open space and a chance to get away from others.

Campground Etiquette: How To Get Away From Others While Doing It Together.  Pictured above the Bavarian town of Helen, Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Campground Etiquette: How To Get Away From Others While Doing It Together. Pictured above the Bavarian town of Helen, Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

That means virtually every campground and outdoor recreation venue within four hours of every major cities will be at capacity every weekend— full of people getting away from others while doing it together.

Campground Etiquette: How To Get Away From Others While Doing It Together.  Pictured above the Snake River at Twin Falls, Idaho. © Rex Vogel, all rights
Campground Etiquette: How To Get Away From Others While Doing It Together. Pictured above the Snake River at Twin Falls, Idaho. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping courtesy (the unwritten rules of campground etiquette) is an easy way to ensure that a group of people living in close proximity together where sounds travel and light can be a disturbance continue to camp together in harmony.

Campground Etiquette: How To Get Away From Others While Doing It Together.  Pictured above an Acadian farmstead at Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site, Louisiana. © Rex
Campground Etiquette: How To Get Away From Others While Doing It Together. Pictured above an Acadian farmstead at Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site, Louisiana. © Rex Vogel, all rights

Spending time in a campground requires a certain level of community patience and a willingness to live and let live, there are some basic rules of campground etiquette that will help create a friendly atmosphere and make the camping experience more enjoyable for everyone.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to achieve and maintain friendly camper status.

Be a Friendly Camper

Campground Etiquette: How To Get Away From Others While Doing It Together.  Pictured above Plimoth Planation near Plymouth, Massachusetts. © Rex Vogel
Campground Etiquette: How To Get Away From Others While Doing It Together. Pictured above Plimoth Planation near Plymouth, Massachusetts. © Rex Vogel

Be friendly and greet other campers. This is part of being within the camping community and even though you may not know the other people, you all have a common goal of enjoying the camping experience.

Being a friendly camper is more than saying hi to your neighbors. It’s being the kind of camper who makes the experience better for their friends and family as well as other the folks sharing the campground. It’s really the little things that can truly make a camping trip amazing for everyone around you.

Obey Campground Rules

Follow the campground rules and regulations. These rules usually include speed limits, fire regulations, quiet times, and so on. Adhering to these rules is one of the basics of campground etiquette. Be sure to review and enforce the rules with your children, as well.

Respect Your Neighbors

Campground Etiquette: How To Get Away From Others While Doing It Together.  Pictured above Mount Mitchell State Park, North Caroina. © Rex Vogel
Campground Etiquette: How To Get Away From Others While Doing It Together. Pictured above Mount Mitchell State Park, North Caroina. © Rex Vogel

Campgrounds are for relaxing and having fun—consider your neighbors as you kick back and relax. Keep your music and other noise to a reasonable level so everyone can enjoy the serenity of the great outdoors.

Keep in mind that others may be in the campground to get away from it all and wish to hear the wind blowing through the aspens, the babbling of a brook, the chatter of squirrels, or perhaps the call of a jay. While I recognize your right to enjoy a little music, I don’t necessarily share your musical taste unless, of course, it’s Willie’s “On the road again…”. That is why they make headphones.

Power down at night; shut off your generator and dim the lights. Remember not all generators are created equal. Some are designed to run very quietly, and others are not. Quiet hours are there for a reason.

Don’t Feed the Wildlife

Classic camping treats like a perfectly roasted hot dog or some gooey s’mores are amazing, no doubt. They’re just not amazing for the wildlife that make their home in and around the campground. This is one instance where it’s ok to be greedy with your grub.

Pick Up After Your Pets

Be a responsible pet owner. Keep dogs on leashes whenever they are outside so they are not bothering your neighbors and discourage them from barking. Never leave a dog that barks or howls unattended.

It’s great to have a furry friend as a camping companion, but make sure your pet isn’t leaving any surprises behind. When taking your dog for a walk, always pick up all pet waste. Many campgrounds provide pet waste collection bags to make clean up easy and convenient.

Leave No Trace

Clean up after yourself. When you prepare to exit the campsite, be sure to remove all garbage regardless of its origin and if the campground has a recycling program, take advantage of it.

Always leave the campsite as clean, or cleaner, than it was when you arrived. The camp host and the next camper will appreciate it.

The bottom line is that camping requires us to respect the land and one another. When it comes down to it, continued success of this ongoing social experiment requires it.

Have an enjoyable and safe camping summer.

Worth Pondering…

When Robert Frost declared his intention to take the road less traveled in his 1916 poem “The Road Not Taken,” who could have guessed that so many people would take the same trip?

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Hopewell Furnace: Early American Iron Plantation

In the woods of southeastern Pennsylvania, a community of men, women, and children worked to supply iron for the growing nation during the 18th and 19th centuries. They created a village called Hopewell that was built around an iron-making furnace.

Located on top of a hill the modern Visitor Center overlooks the colonial and early-1800s iron plantation. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Located on top of a hill the modern Visitor Center overlooks the colonial and early-1800s iron plantation. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site is the best preserved iron plantation in North America.

Hopewell Furnace consists of a mansion (the big house), spring and smoke houses, blacksmith shop, office store, charcoal house, and a schoolhouse.

From 1771 to 1883, Hopewell Furnace manufactured iron goods to fill the demands of growing eastern cities like Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore. While the most profitable items were stoves, the furnace cast many other objects such as kettles, machinery, grates, and cannon shot and shells for patriot forces during the Revolutionary War.

As technology progressed, the furnace eventually became outdated. In 1883, it closed, and the furnace workers and their families left to make their living elsewhere. They left behind their homes, work buildings, tools, and other evidence of the iron-making community that once thrived.

The 15-minute introductory film shown in the visitors center focuses on many topics including how Ironmaster Mark Bird (a colonel and quartermaster in the Continental Army) supported Washington’s forces with cannon, shot, shell, and even flour.© Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The 15-minute introductory film shown in the visitors center focuses on many topics including how Ironmaster Mark Bird (a colonel and quartermaster in the Continental Army) supported Washington’s forces with cannon, shot, shell, and even flour.© Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Today the remains of Hopewell Furnace represent an important time in America’s maturation as a nation. The production of iron in hundreds of small furnaces like Hopewell provided the key ingredient in America’s industrial revolution, enabling the United States to become an economic and technological leader worldwide.

Located on top of a hill the modern Visitor Center overlooks the colonial and early-1800s iron plantation that used slave and free labor.

The 15-minute introductory film focuses on many topics including how Ironmaster Mark Bird (a colonel and quartermaster in the Continental Army) supported Washington’s forces with cannon, shot, shell, and even flour. The furnace produced 115 big guns for the Continental Navy. Other items once produced at the site included plowshares, pots, stoves, and scale weights.

Hopewell Furnace consists of 14 restored structures in the core historic area, 52 features on the National Register of Historic Places, and a total of 848 mostly wooded acres. The park’s museum contains nearly 300,000 artifacts and archival items related to the site’s history.

Hopewell Furnace consists of 14 restored structures in the core historic area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Hopewell Furnace consists of 14 restored structures in the core historic area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The impressive blast furnace and 30-foot water wheel, ironmaster’s mansion, workers’ quarters, a living farm, charcoal maker’s hut (otherwise known as a collier’s hut), and other structures illustrate the historic infrastructure typical of the charcoal-iron making process.

What today’s visitors will not find are the noise, heat, and pollution that were ever-present in the community during the heyday of iron production.

Hopewell Furnace lies at the center of 848-acre French Creek State Park and consists of 14 restored structures as well as the paths, fields, and meadows of the one-time working village. The buildings include a blast furnace, the ironmaster’s mansion, and auxiliary structures.

Today, the site is an interesting visit for the hikers, backpackers, and campers who are spending time at French Creek State Park. Bird-watchers and nature photographers as well as history buffs enjoy the tours, and picnics are encouraged.

Did You Know?

Cold blast charcoal-fired iron furnaces like Hopewell Furnace were in operation in Pennsylvania as early as 1720. Between 1832 and 1840, 32 such furnaces were built in the state. The U.S. census of 1840 recorded 212 charcoal-fired furnaces operating in Pennsylvania that year.

The park's museum contains nearly 300,000 artifacts and archival items related to the site's history. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The park’s museum contains nearly 300,000 artifacts and archival items related to the site’s history. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Details

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site

Directions: 5 miles south of Birdsboro, PA, off of Route 345

Address: 2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson, PA 19520

Phone: (610) 582-8773

Website: www.nps.gov/hofu

Entrance Fees: Free Admittance

Worth Pondering…

Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.

—Freya Stark

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Most Popular US Campgrounds

Campgrounds and RV parks are great places to enjoy hiking, bikingboating, and other outdoor recreation activities during your leisure time.

Triple Blaze infographic of the most popular campground in each of the United States.
Triple Blaze infographic of the most popular campground in each of the United States.

The most popular campgrounds and RV parks in the United States and Canada are usually located in areas of natural beauty or popular attractions.

According to the bloggers at Triple Blaze these campgrounds are often located at or near national parks or state parks.

Based on reviews by campers the most popular campground in California is Yosemite National Park while Glacier National Park and Bandelier National Park are most popular for campers in Montana and New Mexico respectively.

Every year, America’s nearly 8,000 state parks see more than 720 million visitors—more than two-and-a-half times the number of all visits to national parks, which include marquee names such as Zion, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon.

State parks are number one in camping popularity in numerous states including:

  • Washington: Crow Butte State Park
  • Utah: Jordanelle State Park
  • Louisiana: Fontainebleau State Park
  • Georgia: Red Top Mountain State Park
  • South Carolina: Edisto Beach State Park
  • Indiana: Indian Lake State Park
  • Michigan: Ludington State Park
  • Iowa: Lake Mcbride State Park
  • Kansas: Ponoma State Park
  • Delaware: Delaware Seashore State Park
A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Camping at A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

While these camping sites and other campgrounds listed in the Triple Blaze infographic are deemed by many campers as the most popular in their respective state, numerous other special RV parks and resorts are situated in some of the most attractive destinations in the US and Canada. These campgrounds with a view offer outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation including birdinghiking, biking, fishing, and boating.

Vogel Talks RVing selected the following top RV parks from parks personally visited.

Moab is known as Utah’s adventure capital, offering activities such as biking the Slickrock Trail, off-road routes, rafting down the Colorado River, and hiking to Delicate Arch, Utah’s famous icon. Enjoy the breathtaking natural surroundings of Moab at OK RV Park. The park provides easy access to Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. From scenic parks to adventure, Moab offers something for everyone.

A+ Motel & RV Park is centrally located in Cajun Country near Calcasieu “Big” Lake and other great fishing, hunting, and birding destinations and the Creole Nature Trail All American Road.

JGW RV Park, Redding, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
JGW RV Park, Redding, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Family-owned JGW RV Park welcomes RVers to enjoy its 32-acre facility nestled among the native black oak trees along the scenic Sacramento River. The park has a grassy, natural setting for viewing birds and wildlife and for strolling along the riverbank. You can also fish for steelhead, trout, and salmon.

A wonderland of scenic beauty and outdoor recreation, the Redding area offers unique experiences that include glistening lakes and world-class rivers to scenic drives and backcountry roads. Vibrant attractions include Lassen Volcanic National Park, Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Shasta Lake, and the Sundial Bridge, a Redding icon.

Wake up to a breathtaking sunrise; wind up the day with a spectacular sunset at the Van Horn KOA, set in a beautiful desert valley surrounded by mountains. This country setting, landscaped with native plants that attract wildlife, is filled with the sounds of birds. Visit Guadalupe Mountains and Carlsbad Caverns national parks, Fort Davis and the town of Marfa, whose “Ghost Lights” have defied explanation since 1883. The full-service KOA Cafe can deliver a Texas dinner to your campsite.

Van Horn KOA, Van Horn, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Van Horn KOA, Van Horn, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Enjoy the Old West in and around Angel Lake RV Park in Wells, Nevada. Some of the least known, pristine outdoor recreation areas in the West is all easily accessible. Deer, antelope, and other big game populate the surrounding back country. Anglers will find nearby lakes, reservoirs, creeks, and streams much to their liking. Angel Lake, tucked into the East Humboldt mountain range, is a particular favorite for its fish and striking 8,400 foot scenery.

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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Camping Is What the Doctor Ordered

Everybody loves a relaxing weekend at the lake, a camping holiday, or an RV road trip.

Rocky Mountain Sheep. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Rocky Mountain Sheep in Jasper National Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Taking in new sights, varied scenery, and wacky roadside attractions while spending quality time with family. What’s not to like?

For many families, taking an vacation is not the high priority that it ought to be. With bills to pay and a hectic work schedule, finding the time to make a vacation happen can sometimes seem impossible. Trying to squeeze in an annual vacation may seem like a daunting task, but recently released studies have emerged about the health benefits of traveling. These studies have shown that traveling is actually a very important factor in your overall wellness.

The Framingham Heart Study

According to the Global Coalition on Aging, the Framingham Heart Study began in 1948 by recruiting an original group of 5,209 men and women between that ages of 30 and 62 from the town of Farmington, Massachusetts. The goal of the study was to identify risk factors or characteristics that contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Since that time the Study added an offspring group in 1971, an Omni group in 1994, a third generation group in 2002, a new offspring spouse group in 2003, and a second generation Omni group in 2003.

Camping Is What the Doctor Ordered © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Camping Is What the Doctor Ordered © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Over the years, careful monitoring of the Farmington Study population has led to the identification of major cardiovascular disease risk factors as well as valuable information on the effects of these factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels, age, gender, and psychosocial. Risk factors for other physiological conditions such as dementia have been added and continue to be investigated.

The Farmington Heart Study results indicate that women who traveled and took a vacation every six years or less had a higher risk of suffering from a heart attack or coronary death as compared to other women who vacationed at least twice a year. The study also found that women who do not take vacations are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression compared to women who travel.

The results for men were similar. Those who did not take an annual vacation had a 20 percent increase in risk of death and a 30 percent greater risk of death due to heart disease. Those are significant risks for not taking some time to enjoy life.

Travel is Good for the Mind, Body, and Soul

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

If you want to feel good, active, and young again take yearly vacations. According to clinical studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic, one of the most important factors to achieving good health is stress reduction.

Stress has been found to play a negative role on health. It can elevate the amount of the cortisol (stress hormone) in the body which weakens the immune system and has been shown to increase your chances of suffering from adrenal dysfunction, headaches, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

RV travel provides an opportunity to relieve yourself from stressful and repetitive daily routines. Not only is it a great stress reliever, but it also increases our cognitive stimulation. Road trip planning and navigation includes using a map to plan your route, identifying interesting attractions along the way, and suitable campgrounds to overnight. These series of thought processes strengthens brain cells and their connections. It may also lead to the formation of new nerve cells.

Travel also increases your social engagement, allowing you to build new relationships and deepening your understanding of the experiences of others.

A Lifetime of Health and Happiness

If science isn’t enough to get you on the road, do it because it makes you feel good. Changing your scenery every once and a while can be a rejuvenating and uplifting experience. Take time out of your busy schedule and share moments and experiences with your friends and family.

Sedona and Red Rock Country © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Sedona and Red Rock Country © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV travel and camping vacations are great stress relievers and can put you back on track if you’ve been feeling bogged down by the everyday struggles of life. Even if it’s just a short weekend camping trip in your RV somewhere close to home, that moment of relaxation will do you wonders.

Take time and appreciate the world around you. You’ll be glad that you did!

Worth Pondering…

Far too late to understand many of the missed goals in life:

Joy, beauty of nature, health, travel and culture,

Therefore, man is, time wise!

High time is it! Travel, travel!

—Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908)

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Top Campgrounds, RV Parks & Resorts Near Popular Travel Regions & Cities

These RV Parks stand out for their close proximity to popular travel regions and cities from Las Vegas to the Space Coast and Santa Fe to Boston.

Las Vegas RV Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Las Vegas RV Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Nestled on the western slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains looking out upon the vast Rio Grande Valley, the City of Santa Fe has stood for nearly four hundred years underneath beautiful blue New Mexico skies. Santa Fe Skies RV park is located just south of the city on the top of a hill. Enjoy the wonders of the nation’s oldest capital city, take in the spectacular beauty of the region, and the beautiful panoramic view of the Santa Fe area with unobstructed sunrise and sunset views from the Turquoise Trail.

Nestled Between Cape Cod and Boston, Normandy Farms is located just 30 miles from Boston where you can walk the Freedom Trail viewing unique historical sites and just 50 miles from Cape Cod where you can enjoy the salty air and the area’s unique flavor. The resort is also just 5 miles from Patriot Place and the Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. Not to mention a short distance from Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, a commute made even easier by public transportation.

Just five miles from downtown, Austin Lone Star RV Resort provides 158 spacious, tree-shaded sites complete with full hook-ups, complimentary cable TV, and wireless internet. Local attractions include Texas State Capitol, Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, Zilker Park, Austin Children’s Museum, Austin Museum of Art, and Lake Travis.

The closest RV park to Capitol Reef National Park, Wonderland RV Park is located in Torrey at the junction of Scenic Byway 24 and All American Highway 12, just 3 miles from Capitol Reef. Big RV sites feature 75-foot x 26-foot pull-through and 60-foot x 31-foot back-in sites, full hook-ups with 30/50-amp electrical service.

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

A southern Arizona desert oasis, Tucson/Lazydays KOA offers 65-foot pull through sites with full 30/50-amp hookups. Tucson is a city of unique and interesting places to explore including the Barrio Historico, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Pima Air and Space Museum, Sabino Canyon, Saguaro National Park, Catalina State Park, Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens, Arizona State Museum, Mission San Xavier del Bac (“The White Dove of the Desert”), Titan Missile Museum, Old Tucson Studios, Biosphere 2, and Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Las Vegas RV Resort is a 398-site RV Resort with a great location just minutes from the action of The Strip. Subject to a stunning mountain view, staying at Las Vegas RV Resort comes with 5-star amenities and luxurious facilities. Las Vegas RV Resort is a premier RV Resort offering great value.

Lazydays RV Resort offers 300 sites with full utility hookups, entertainment, breakfast and lunch in The Front Porch Restaurant, sports facilities, complimentary morning coffee and newspaper, and much more. Close proximity to the Tampa Bay area and Orlando attractions and events ensure there is always something going on. Whether the goal is to relax and unwind, or explore the area attractions, Lazydays RV Resort offers the complete RV campground package.

Located in historic and beautiful Albuquerque, American RV Park is conveniently located to downtown Albuquerque and makes the perfect Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta camping location. Attractions of note include Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Old Town Albuquerque, Petroglyph National Monument, Sandia Peak Ariel Tramway, Turquoise Trail, and Rio Grande Nature Center.

Canyon Gateway RV Park, Williams, Arizona  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Canyon Gateway RV Park, Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Williams, Arizona, is an extraordinary way to enjoy Grand Canyon National Park. With only an hour’s travel time to the Grand Canyon, you can stop in Williams for breakfast at a Route 66 corner café, grab your souvenirs, hop on a train, visit a wildlife park, take a hike, grab a pole and head out fishing, or simply stroll the streets before your drive to the Canyon. Canyon Gateway RV Park is set atop a hill just minutes away from the famous Grand Canyon Railroad Station.

Vogel Talks RVing selected the list of top campgrounds, RV parks, and resorts from parks personally visited.

American RV Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Austin Lone Star RV Resort, Austin, Texas

Canyon Gateway RV Park, Williams, Arizona

Columbia Sun RV Resort, Kennewick, Washington

Crystal Lake RV Park, Mims, Florida

Las Vegas RV Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada

Columbia Sun RV Resort, Kennewick, Washington  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Columbia Sun RV Resort, Kennewick, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lazydays RV Resort, Seffner, Florida

Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort, Foxboro, Massachusetts

Pony Express RV Park, North Salt Lake City, Utah

Santa Fe Skies RV Park, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Tucson/Lazydays KOA, Tucson, Arizona

Wonderland Resort RV Park, Torrey, Utah

Worth Pondering…

This is not another place.

It is THE place.

—Charles Bowden

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Camping Just Got Cooler!

Campers and RVers can say goodbye to RV kitchen cupboards filled with boring paper plates and plastic forks.

Camping Just Got Cooler!
Camping Just Got Cooler!

Agoura Hills, California-based Camp Casual, the creative venture of Rosie Hirsch and her sister Cheryl McCarthy, offers a line of vintage and retro inspired houseware items for the RV aftermarket.

The company’s initial product is an artistic 12-piece dining set featuring BPA-free heavyweight, 100 percent melamine dishes consisting of four unique plates, four salad plates, and four bowls.

“We started hearing from a lot of dealerships and customers that were saying they wanted something different, something that speaks to the RV lifestyle,” said Hirsch.

“Our product adds a little flare and style to campsite dining, while also calling back to why we all started to camp and RV in the first place. We designed the plates and bowls to pay homage to classic, retro-styled custom caravans, vintage camper trailers, travel trailers, and the people who love them.”

Hirsch said the product is also designed to be easy to carry and store, saving valuable space and time by keeping everything compact and simple to find.

Camping Just Got Cooler!
Camping Just Got Cooler!

She said the quality of the product is unbeatable as well.

“We wanted to make a product of the highest quality,” said Hirsch.

“Our company could have easily cranked out simple 99-cent plates, but that’s not really what we wanted to do and what consumers and dealerships were asking for. Melamine is virtually indestructible, making it the ideal choice for our dish set. We went through additional testing so our product is BPA free and FDA tested, meaning customers don’t have to worry about bleaching and chemicals, which is great.”

  • The 12-piece dish set from Camp Casual includes:
  • Set of 4 x 11-inch unique dinner plates
  • Set of 4 x 8.5-inch unique salad plates
  • Set of 4 x 6-inch unique bowls
  • Reusable box with handle

“We are very excited by all the positive customer feedback,” said Hirsch.

Camping Just Got Cooler!
Camping Just Got Cooler!

“We delivered a high quality product with Camp Casual’s dish set, and we’re building on that momentum with a new product line set to launch in July. Like our first kit, the new kit will also blend classic vintage design with modern style and functionality; it’s going to be really cool!”

Details

Camp Casual 

Camp Casual offers unique products for the RV and camping enthusiast.

Camp Casual is the new RV and camping party in a box.

Address: 29399 Agoura Road, Suite 109, Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Phone: (818) 864-2707

Website: www.campcasual.com

Camping Just Got Cooler!
Camping Just Got Cooler!

Worth Pondering…

But can’t you hear the wild?

It’s calling you.

Let us probe the silent places,

Let us see what luck betide us;

Let us journey to a silent land I know.

There is a whisper on the night wind,

There’s a star agleam to guide us,

And the wind is calling,

calling.

Let us go.

—Robert Service

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Camping & National Parks: Best RV Destinations

Families across the country are planning their summer vacations and taking their RV out of winter storage.

The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) joins the two parks of Jasper and Banff in one of the most breathtaking, beautiful drives that anyone can travel in the world. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) joins the two parks of Jasper and Banff in one of the most breathtaking, beautiful drives that anyone can travel in the world. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Canada’s network of national parks offers must-see destinations for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. As the summer camping season quickly approaches, Parks Canada prepares to welcome campers to national parks across the country.

Some of the best RV destinations where campers can escape from the city and connect with nature at found at Canada’s national parks. Full-service camping with water, electric, and sewer hookups are available at the following national parks:

Banff National Park (Alberta)

UNESCO World Heritage Site and Canada’s first national park (1885), Banff National Park is a not-to-be missed symbol of Canada. Valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows, and rivers make Banff National Park one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. The campsite is located 10 minutes from the village of Banff. Tunnel Mountain Campground offers 321 sites.

Who doesn’t dream of seeing the turquoise waters of Lake Louise. Big-rig friendly Lake Louise Campground offers RV 184 sites with water and electric service. Sani dump available nearby.

Jasper National Park (Alberta)

Jasper National Park combines some of the most spectacular scenery in the Canadian Rockies with ease of access
Jasper National Park combines some of the most spectacular scenery in the Canadian Rockies with ease of access and less crowded conditions than Banff © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

UNESCO World Heritage Site and Dark Sky Preserve, Jasper National Park , the grandiose, icy jewel of the Rockies offers unlimited hiking trails, incomparable wilderness, and the second most extensive dark sky preserve on the planet. Whistlers Campground (781 sites) is located on the Icefields Parkway, a short distance south of the town site of Jasper.

Waterton Lakes National Park – Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (Alberta)

At Waterton Lakes National Park, the term “majestic” makes perfect sense. The prairie grassland quickly gives way to the windswept, steep mountains. Several different ecological areas coexist in a landscape shaped by wind, fire, and water where all kinds of plants and animals can be found. Townsite Campground offers 90 camping sites.

Kootenay National Park (British Columbia)

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kootenay National Park features a varied landscape and ecological environment that not only includes glacier-topped peaks along the Continental Divide, but also semi-arid open grassland forests in the Rocky Mountain Trench where you can find cacti, and hot springs. Located a short distance from the hot springs, Redstreak Campground offers 242 sites.

The newly opened Glacial Skywalk over the Athabasca Glacier (Jasper National Park, Alberta) lets you experience waterfalls, wildlife, fossils, and more on an exciting cliff-edge walkway that leads to a platform where glass is all that separates you from a 918-foot drop. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The newly opened Glacial Skywalk over the Athabasca Glacier (Jasper National Park, Alberta) lets you experience waterfalls, wildlife, fossils, and more on an exciting cliff-edge walkway that leads to a platform where glass is all that separates you from a 918-foot drop. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Cape Breton Highlands National Park (Nova Scotia)

Breathtaking landscapes welcome you as they shape Cape Breton Highlands National Park. High, steep cliffs and deep river valleys dissect the forest-covered plateau bordering the Atlantic Ocean. One-third of the famous Cabot Trail runs through the Park along the coast and dominates the Highlands. Located near the charming village of Ingonish, the 74-site Broad Cove Campground is in a forest bordered by a long sandy beach on the Atlantic Ocean.

Prince Edward Island National Park (Prince Edward Island)

Surrounded by landscapes where dunes, archipelagos, sand spits, beaches, red sandstone cliffs, and forests endlessly follow each other, dive into the history of the people who lived there, whether Aboriginal, French, or Acadian. Offering 73 sites the Cavendish Campground is located next to a secluded patrolled white sandy beach.

Fundy National Park (New Brunswick)

The spectacular force of the tides in Fundy National Park, is a marvel in itself. Hike the magnificent trails lined with river valleys, lakes, coastal forests and beaches, and relax and admire the wonders of star clusters at night. The 248-site Chignecto North Campground is located on a large wooded lot, 10 minutes by car from the Bay of Fundy; un-serviced and fully serviced are available.

Rocky Mountain Sheep. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Rocky Mountain Sheep in Jasper National Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Riding Mountain National Park (Manitoba)

Visiting Riding Mountain National Park is the first step in the discovery of extended hills and valleys extending eastward from a dramatic rise known as the Manitoba Escarpment. The 86-site Wasagaming Campground provides access to the main beach, restaurants, golf course, hiking and cycling paths, a horse-riding trail and many other services.

Prince Albert National Park (Saskatchewan)

Discover a preserved northern evergreen forest, home to abundant wildlife including one of the few populations of wild plains bison. Magnificent scenic routes criss-cross the Park. The 161-site Red Deer Campground is located a short walk from hiking trails, a beach and a wide range of services.

Worth Pondering…

I always thought of this as God’s country.
—Jack Granatstein

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RVing, National Parks & The “Wow” Factor

The United States maintains more than 6,000 federally-protected sites, spanning over 1 million square miles and totaling roughly 27 percent of America’s entire land area.

High deserts are known for causing dehydration, sunburn, sunstroke, and dry skin. Drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen. Pictured above Arches National Park.
High deserts are known for causing dehydration, sunburn, sunstroke, and dry skin. Drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen. Pictured above Arches National Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

America’s National Parks are the great outdoors, the wide open spaces, and the wild places where families escape to marvel at a wonderful playground of caverns and canyons, grasslands and badlands, geysers and waterfalls, mountains and glaciers, waterfalls and wild rivers, volcanoes and lava fields, and historic and archeological sites.

Attracting millions of visitors worldwide, the national park system contains many of America’s most treasured landscapes and offers visitors incredible variety from the lush Everglades, to windswept Death Valley, to the grandaddy of national parks, the Grand Canyon.

Stories of America’s diverse places and people are everywhere. They’re found across the landscapes of the nation in the National Parks and National Heritage Areas, along historic trails and waterways, and in every city and neighborhood.

National Parks preserve American history in all its diversity, from ancient archeological places to the homes of poets and Presidents to battlefields and industrial sites.

Why National Parks?

Pinnacles National Park: Rocks, Caves & Condors © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pinnacles National Park: Rocks, Caves & Condors © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The National Park Service helps preserve the beautiful landscapes and historic sites in America. National parks are open to the public to give visitors the opportunity to enjoy these sights and understand why they’re essential to preserve for future generations. For RVers, this provides us with an unique opportunity to travel to the national parks of our choice and camp there, too.

National Parks Are Popular RV Destinations

While the majority of Americans never step foot in a national park, RVers continue to take advantage of everything they have to offer. From east to west and north to south, you’ll find national parks that provide facilities for RVers to camp and enjoy the beauty, history, and ecosystems they protect. This is why national parks should be a high priority to visit for RVers.

What Can You Do at National Parks?

Whether you delight in the challenge of a strenuous hike or prefer to sit quietly and enjoy a sunrise or sunset, national parks offer a great diversity of activities for you and your family to enjoy.

Two desert systems, the Mojave and the Colorado, abut within Joshua Tree, dividing California's southernmost national park into two arid ecosystems of profoundly contrasting appearance. The key to their differences is elevation.
Two desert systems, the Mojave and the Colorado, abut within Joshua Tree, dividing California’s southernmost national park into two arid ecosystems of profoundly contrasting appearance. The key to their differences is elevation. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Depending on the national park chosen, you can do everything from camping, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, nature walks, and much more. Each national park has a variety of activities related to the unique features of the park that you can take part in by yourself or as a family.

With so many adventures to choose from, you’ll have some tough decisions to make.

RVing to National Parks

Many national parks provide visitor services for RVers including campgrounds that provide parking sites, flush toilets, and shower facilities. RVers can reserve camping sites and enjoy the park in a different way than day visitors.

Most national parks that offer camping facilities recommend you make reservations up to six months in advance.

As the peak summer season approaches and national parks become a more popular destination for RVers, it becomes increasingly more difficult to obtain a camping site without advance reservations. As an alternative, private campgrounds and RV parks are often located within easy driving distance of popular national parks. Again, reservations are recommended.

Choosing the Right National Park

Choosing the park that’s right for you is as simple as choosing how you want to play, for the parks offer a nearly endless range of activities to explore.

When selecting a national park for your next RV vacation, consider your family’s interests.

National Parks are perfect for kids. Most of the larger parks run Junior Ranger Programs, allowing kids to participate in fun activities while learning about the area’s natural habitat and historic significance. Other parks offer nature walks and wildlife talks specifically geared towards children, to demonstrate to them that nature has much to offer.

The Island in the Sky region of Canyonlands is a wide high plateau with commanding views across many miles of deep canyons in all directions. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The Island in the Sky region of Canyonlands is a wide high plateau with commanding views across many miles of deep canyons in all directions. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Upon entrance to a national park make your fist stop the Visitors Center. The friendly park rangers will recommend guided hikes, nature walks, other available family activities as well as provide the latest information about safety hazards, closures, weather, and wildlife notices.

Regardless of the park you choose, you’ll find numerous options and delights; keep your mind open to the possibilities and your soul open to the experiences.

Worth Pondering…

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

—Aristotle

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Training Pets For Camping & RV Travel

Many RVers travel with their extended family, their little four-legged babies.

Tips For Camping With Pets © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Training Pets For Camping & RV Travel © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With more and more campgrounds accepting pets and offering on-site pet amenities, more pets than ever are being included on camping trips.

Owners and pets can enjoy their vacation together, an experience that’s usually not available on other types of vacations.

While being able to bring pets along can eliminate the need for a dog sitter or kennel, it does require some advanced planning and preparation on the owners’ part to make sure they are prepared for all situations. Only friendly, non-aggressive dogs should be brought to campgrounds.

When training your pets for RV travel you’re also training yourself. You must change your time schedule to accommodate your pets and be available to take them out for a potty break even when you have to be up earlier than normal in the morning.

You need to be aware of the habits of your pet. Cats are pretty easy, they normally stay on your coach, have a litter tray, and are happy to be fed and pampered when needed. Dogs, on the other hand, are a bit different. They are barkers, will rip the screen off your door if you leave them and will literally tear your RV up trying to get out. This is normally known as anxiety separation. Every animal is different and requires different training.

Puppy training is a whole different ball game, housebreaking is the same in an RV or at home.

To get them used to your RV, start by camping locally. When camping with a pet for the first time, plan a shorter trip so the animal can get used to being away from home. That way, the trip can be ended early if needed.

Training Pets For Camping & RV Travel © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Training Pets For Camping & RV Travel © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When packing for pets, it’s important to remember food and water dishes, an extra collar and leash, licenses, medical records, medicines or supplements, brushes, tie outs, shampoo, and something familiar from home like a toy or blanket. If a dog is comfortable sleeping in a crate at home, that should be brought along too. Consider giving your pets bottled water for continued consistency.

When sitting around at your camp site, tie your pets to a leash. When you’re gone from the RV leave the shades and blinds down. They should quickly learn to accept this as most dogs are quick learners.

Start training your pets by leaving them for a short period of time. If you return and find all is well, begin extending your time away. You’ll likely find that six hours is okay, but don’t push it beyond that.

In cool weather on a sunny day, they should be fine temperature wise. Keep in mind that like a can, an RV will heat up quickly in warmer weather when the sun is beating down. You must keep your pets comfortable and safe.

In the summer, leave the air-conditioning on and plan shorter times out. In order to keep the temperature controlled, turn the air-conditioning on a lower setting, even when it is not that hot outside.

Training Pets For Camping & RV Travel © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Training Pets For Camping & RV Travel © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When registering at a campground or RV park check the location of the nearest veterinary doctor or clinic and how to get there.

After settling into a camp or RV site with pets, it is important to be a responsible camper and pet owner. This includes cleaning up after pets, keeping them leashed, and making sure they stay out of prohibited areas.

The most important thing to remember is they are your pets and you must make some changes to your RVing lifestyle to ensure their comfort.

They may have an accident in the RV and you need to accept that. They may require medical attention that could extend a stay when you are traveling. You need be flexible in your plans to accommodate for pets when you make the decision to bring them along on your travels and camping trips.

If you plan ahead and are prepared, camping can be a rewarding, memorable experience for both owners and pets.

Training Pets For Camping & RV Travel © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Training Pets For Camping & RV Travel © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.
―Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

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Selecting the Perfect RV Park

RV travel is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding ways to travel.

RV Park at Rolling Hills Casino at Redding, California,
RV Park at Rolling Hills Casino at Corning, California, is a great travel stop on I-5. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved.

But finding the perfect spot to park your recreational vehicle can be a frustrating experience—especially if you want a spectacular view along with all the amenities of a full service RV resort.

Choices for RV parks and campgrounds include luxurious RV resorts, activity-filled family destinations, 55+ parks, secluded natural settings, and basic parks conveniently located for an overnight stay. Prices also run the gamut.

Just what makes an RVer conclude that this is a campground that surely deserves a return visit, a park that meets both short-term and long-term needs?

First Impressions

What happens when you first walk into the office? Are you greeted warmly and treated in a friendly manner? Are the office staff approachable, friendly, and helpful?

The importance of first impression simply cannot be overstated. Once you’re all signed in, have your park map in hand, and headed to your site, you begin seeing this new and unfamiliar park through either the lens of a good feeling, which tends to make everything look just a bit better; or through the more critical lens of a less-than-welcome feeling derived from the sign-in process. You will begin to see the park in either a more or less favorable light.

Orange Groove RV Park, off US-99 in Bakersfield
Orange Groove RV Park, off US-99 in Bakersfield is a perfect spot for both short-term and long-term stays. It’s a 40-acre orchard where you park your RV between row after row of beautiful orange trees. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved.

Site spacing

As a general rule are sites spacious enough to accommodate any size RV.

Is there sufficient space? Is the site long enough for your RV and toad/tow vehicle?

Do the sites offer a sufficient feeling of space? Is there ample room on either side of the RV for that pleasant feeling of light and air? Or do the sites look more suitable for RV storage?

If the park design has resulted in sites which preclude any sense of privacy because of an unacceptable spacing, it’s not very likely we’ll stay for more than one night. And surely not again on a return trip. With the increased size of RVs, a park which is not designed to accommodate at least some big rigs and units with full wall slides is ensuring a diminishing clientele over time.

Site landscaping

After settling into Flag City RV Resort, a 5-star RV park, we started our seven-day tour. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Flag City RV Resort, a 5-star RV park at Lodi (California) is conveniently located near the Lodi wine country and the Sacramento River Delta. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Individual site landscaping is really an element of overall park design. We find parks which show a bit of imagination in avoiding the “parking lot look” to be much more pleasant in overall appearance.

The availability of spacious common areas such as a large grassy field, a woodsy space with trails, or a stretch of beach also contributes to a pleasant environment.

Is the site to which you’ve just been assigned aesthetically pleasing?

Is the site reasonably level? Are there low-hanging branches?

If having satellite TV is important to you, then look for an unobstructed view of the southern sky. Remember that the tradeoff of no trees may mean no shade.

Amenities

Our needs and requirements in an RV park vary depending on length of stay. If overnighting few, if any, amenities are required though we desire to have a minimum of 30-amp electric service and water. The longer we plan to stay at a campground, the pickier we become.

Are the campsite utilities in a convenient central location?

Is there cable TV? Additional fee? Availability and clarity of channels? Available at all sites?

The Cajun Palms RV Resort (Breaux Bridge, Louisiana) swimming pool contains a big plastic pirate ship for children to board and a gigantic purple-and-green dragon stretched across the middle of the water.  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The Cajun Palms RV Resort (Breaux Bridge, Louisiana) swimming pool contains a big plastic pirate ship for children to board and a gigantic purple-and-green dragon stretched across the middle of the water. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Availability of Wi-Fi and location of towers? Is there an additional fee or required log-in password?

Availability and cleanliness of restroom and shower facilities? Additional fee for showers?

Contact the RV Park

Whether you plan to stay one night, a weekend, a week, or longer, there are RV parks throughout the country to meet your needs. All are unique. No two parks are the same. Each campground will provide something a little different.

To help avoid unpleasant surprises contact the campground and ask specific questions about their policies and their park. Questions to ask include rental rates (nightly, weekly, monthly per your needs), availability of Wi-Fi and cable TV, park’s amenities, and pet policy.

Is the park big-rig friendly? Length and width of sites? Are sites relatively level? Do the sites have concrete pads, grass, gravel, or dirt? Will I have difficulty obtaining a satellite TV signal?

Worth Pondering…

Never stay at an RV park that charges ten dollars and is run by a man with more tattoos than teeth.

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