Top 7 Christmas Gifts For the RVer in Your Life

It’s the time of year when Christmas carols fill the air, the smell of fir trees (or cactus or palm trees, depending on your location) waft through the RV, jolly thoughts of eggnog and food—and gifts are exchanged.

Following are 5 gift ideas on what to give the RVer in your life or even add them to your own Christmas wish list.

  1. Good Sam Club

Camping World Good Sam1.5 million RV owners are members of the Good Sam Club.

Membership benefits include 10 percent discount on the regular night camping rate at 2,100+ Good Sam RV parks and campgrounds, up to 30 percent discount at Camping World; discount on fuel purchases at Pilot Flying J Travel Centers, and four free issues of MotorHome or Trailer Life magazine. Also, you may join a local chapter, attend Samborees, and enjoy RV caravan tours to a variety of destinations such as the Rose Bowl Parade and Alaska.

A Good Sam Club membership is $25.00 per year. Two and three years memberships are also available for $45.00 and $60.00 respectively.

  1. Passport America

passport-703775Passport America, a family-run business, is the “original” 50% Discount Camping Club. They invented the concept in 1992 and have continued to improve upon it. 1852 participating campgrounds across the Canada, United States, and Mexico currently participate in the Passport America Program.

If you are currently a Passport America member you can purchase a gift membership for the regular rate ($44.00) minus your $10.00 referral commission. You will receive three extra months ($11 .00 value) free to your current membership with a new ID card.

  1. Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory

Big-Rigs-2013-Cover_x-200x300Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory includes a blend of 1150 upscale resorts, overnight stays along the interstate, destination parks, and suitable public parks. Serving the RV community since 2001 with a user friendly spiral bound guide—506 pages, lays flat, quality paper, and large print. All parks personally visited by the authors.

The user friendly guide includes forty-nine states, eight Canadian provinces, a separate Alaska Highway section, selected diesel fuel stops, and notable restaurant tips. The Directory is also available in an online version—detailed park listings with GPS physical addresses, color maps, fuel stops, restaurant tips, and more.

The 15th edition of the spiral bound book is available for $24.95 + shipping/handling; on-line version is available for $24.95 with a $15.00 annual renewal option with updates thereafter; spiral bound book and online version with a $15.00 renewable option with updates thereafter is available for $40.00

  1. Emergency Kit
A first aid kit readily available in an emergency isn’t just a good idea—it’s a necessity for every RV adventure.
A first aid kit readily available in an emergency isn’t just a good idea—it’s a necessity for every RV adventure.

Buy a pre-assembled emergency kit or assemble one yourself. Be sure to include an American Red Cross First Aid Guide, a variety of adhesive and non-adhesive bandages, butterfly wound closure, gauze dressing pads, gauze roll, triangular sling, antiseptic towelettes, alcohol cleansing pad, antibiotic ointment packs, flashlights with spare batteries, light stick, candles, matches, flares, emergency blanket, a small pillow, scissors, tweezers, gloves, rope, and duct tape, whistle with neck cord, emergency poncho, and hand warmers.

A variety of first aid kits are available from the American Red Cross

  1. Gift Cards and Gift Certificates

Gift cards and gift certificates make great gifts for RVers. They don’t take up any storage space (always at a premium) and can be redeemed for all kinds of handy things.

RV favorites include Amazon.com, Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s, LL Bean, Bass Pro Shops, and Camping World; and gift cards from a chain restaurant including Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, Applebees, IHOP, Ruby Tuesday, Subway, and TGI Fridays.

  1. LED Flashlights

RVers often need a flashlight—and many times the batteries are nearly dead. A LED flashlight, due to its low power draw, is the answer. These little powerhouses are small and incredibly bright, and you can never have too many of them. Keep one in the dash, another on the nightstand, one in the toad, and a couple in various bays of your RV. And they are available in a variety of sizes and at all price levels.

  1. A Hug

christmas-bird1A hug is a great gift—one size fits all!!!

Worth Pondering…

I have a list of folks I know, all entered in my computer,

And once a year about this time, I go and take a look.

And that is when I realize that these names are a part

Not of the computer they’re entered in, but of my very heart.

For every name stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime

And in that meeting they’re become the rhythm of the rhyme.

And while it sounds fantastic for me to make this claim,

I really feel I am composed of each remembered name.

Read More

5 More Christmas Gifts For the RVer

Following are 5 more gift ideas on what to give the RVer in your life or even add them to your own Christmas wish list.

1. Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory

Big-Rigs-2013-Cover_x-200x300Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory includes a blend of 1150 upscale resorts, overnight stays along the interstate, destination parks, and suitable public parks.

Serving the RV community since 2001 with a user friendly spiral bound guide—504 pages, lays flat, quality paper, and large print. All parks personally visited by the authors.

The user friendly guide includes forty-nine states, eight Canadian provinces, a separate Alaska Highway section, selected diesel fuel stops, and notable restaurant tips.

The Directory is also available in an online version—detailed park listings with GPS physical addresses, color maps, fuel stops, restaurant tips, and more.

The 13th edition of the spiral bound book is available for $24.95 + shipping/handling; on-line version is available for $24.95 with a $15.00 annual renewal option with updates thereafter; spiral bound book and online version with a $15.00 renewable option with updates thereafter is available for $40.00

To order Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory, click here.

2. Emergency Kit

Fisrt-Aid-KitBuy a pre-assembled emergency kit or assemble one yourself. Be sure to include an American Red Cross First Aid Guide, a variety of adhesive and non-adhesive bandages, butterfly wound closure, gauze dressing pads, gauze roll, triangular sling, antiseptic towelettes, alcohol cleansing pad, antibiotic ointment packs, flashlights with spare batteries, light stick, candles, matches, flares, emergency blanket, a small pillow, scissors, tweezers, gloves, rope, and duct tape, whistle with neck cord, emergency poncho, and hand warmers.

A variety of first aid kits are available from the American Red Cross; to order, click here.

3. GPS Navigation Device

RV9365T-LMB-0-Large-Pop-up-ImageA global positioning system (GPS) is the perfect gift for RVers. A GPS will help you get where you want to go, make restaurant suggestions, and locate a landmark.

Magellan, a leader for innovative GPS navigation devices, has several RoadMate RV GPS navigators to help RV drivers get to their destination safely and stress-free.

The 5-inch Magellan RoadMate RV5365T-LMB and 7-inch RoadMate RV9365T-LMB provides RV-friendly functions and trip-planning features to drivers of recreational vehicles.

RV specific features include customizable RV route settings, car/RV dual usage mode, Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory, Sani RV Dump stations, and AAA Tourbook

The Magellan RoadMate RV5365T-LMB and RoadMate RV9365T-LMB are now available for $279.99 and $349.99, respectively.

For additional information and ordering details, click here.

4. Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA)

fmca_logo_smallThe 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.

Since 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.

Membership in FMCA brings with it a wealth of benefits and services including 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.

Membership dues are $50 for the first year and $40 per year thereafter.

To join FMCA, click here.

5. National Parks Conservation Association

npca-logo-testBy giving a gift membership, not only do you save yourself from the stress and crowds of department stores, but you’ll help protect America’s most treasured lands.

The National Parks Conservation Association offers gift memberships starting at only $25. Gift members will also receive a fleece blanket as a welcome gift, plus a year’s subscription to the award-winning National Parks magazine.

To introduce family, friends, or RVers in your life to the stunning beauty and rich history of our national parks, click here.

And don’t forget the ultimate holiday gift—a new RV sitting in your driveway!

Please Note: This is Part 1 of a 2-Part series on Christmas gifts for the RVer

Part 1: Top 5 Christmas Gifts For the RVer in Your Life

Worth Pondering…

A hug is a great gift—one size fits all!!!

Read More

Top 5 Christmas Gifts For the RVer in Your Life

It’s the time of year when Christmas carols fill the air, the smell of fir trees (or cactus or palm trees, depending on your location) waft through the RV, jolly thoughts of eggnog and food—and gifts are exchanged.

Following are 5 gift ideas on what to give the RVer in your life or even add them to your own Christmas wish list.

good-sam-logo-header1. Good Sam Club

1.5 million RV owners are members of the Good Sam Club.

Membership benefits include 10 percent discount on the regular night camping rate at 2,100+ Good Sam RV parks and campgrounds, up to 30 percent discount at Camping World; discount on fuel purchases at Pilot Flying J Travel Centers, and four free issues of MotorHome or Trailer Life magazine. Also, you may join a local chapter, attend Samborees, and enjoy RV caravan tours to a variety of destinations such as the Rose Bowl Parade and Alaska.

A Good Sam Club membership is $25.00 per year. Two and three years memberships are also available for $45.00 and $59.00 respectively.

For additional information or to join Good Sam Club, click here.

2. 2014 Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

2014-Good-Sam-RV-Travel-Guide-Cover-FINAL-10310131 (1)Packed with all the travel information, RV tips and tools you need to plan, navigate, and organize your next RV adventure, the new 2014 Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campgrounds Directory will get you there.

Updates include: 2,100+ Good Sam RV Parks that offer a 10 percent discount to Good Sam Club members; 13,500 up-to-date listings for campgrounds and RV parks; Rules of the Road, RV specific information on bridges, tunnels, and towing; Know Your RV section for beginner to experienced RV owners; NASCAR feature; and a special snowbird section.

Each private park listed in the directory has been inspected by one of the guide’s 35 teams, who rate each campground’s facilities, restrooms and showers, and visual appearance based on the Good Sam 10/10*/10 Rating System. You will save with over $700 in coupons.

The 2014 Good Sam Travel Guide & Campgrounds Directory is now available online from Camping World for the discounted price of $9.95, a saving of $16.00.

To order the new 2014 Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campgrounds Directory, click here.

3. Passport America

PA_LogoPassport America, a family-run business, is the “original” 50% Discount Camping Club. They invented the concept in 1992 and have continued to improve upon it. 1852 participating campgrounds across the Canada, United States, and Mexico currently participate in the Passport America Program.

If you are currently a Passport America member you can purchase a gift membership for the regular rate ($44.00) minus your $10.00 referral commission.

You will receive three extra months ($11 .00 value) free to your current membership with a new ID card.

For details on joining Passport America, click here.

4. Gift Cards and Gift Certificates

Bass-Pro-Shops-LogoGift cards and gift certificates make great gifts for RVers. They don’t take up any storage space (always at a premium) and can be redeemed for all kinds of handy things.

RV favorites include Amazon.com, Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s, LL Bean, Bass Pro Shops, and Camping World; and gift cards from a chain restaurant including Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, Applebees, IHOP, Ruby Tuesday, Subway, and TGI Fridays.

5. LED Flashlights

RVers often need a flashlight—and many times the batteries are nearly dead. A LED flashlight, due to its low power draw, is the answer. These little powerhouses are small and incredibly bright, and you can never have too many of them. Keep one in the dash, another on the nightstand, one in the toad, and a couple in various bays of your RV. And they are available in a variety of sizes and at all price levels.

Please Note: This is Part 1 of a 2-Part series on Christmas gifts for the RVer

Part 2: 5 More Christmas Gifts For the RVer

Worth Pondering…

I have a list of folks I know, all entered in my computer,

And once a year about this time, I go and take a look.

And that is when I realize that these names are a part

Not of the computer they’re entered in, but of my very heart.

For every name stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime

And in that meeting they’re become the rhythm of the rhyme.

And while it sounds fantastic for me to make this claim,

I really feel I am composed of each remembered name.

Read More

Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage

Enjoy a slice of vintage style with a handsome Camper Van Toaster.

Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage
Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage

There are many ways to start the day including in the back of a camper van.

But for those of us who prefer a more upscale recreational vehicle experience, here’s just the thing—wake up to breakfast straight out of the Camper Van Toaster.

Not only does your toaster have dual toasting facilities it’s also the funkiest toaster you’ve ever seen!

It’s rather cute, blue, and white and reeks of 60′s nostalgia.

Embracing the classic style of everyone’s favorite camper—even down to the split front windscreen—this handsome two-slice toaster is a great way to add a splash of vintage charm to your RV’s kitchen.

Its funky wheels and cool blue color is sure to make your RV kitchen feel like a sunnier place even on the most dreary overcast days.

Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage
Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage

Your little blue Camper Van will give new life to sleepy mornings!

Can’t vouch for the crispness of the final breaded substances, or the longevity of its glowing wires, but you really care?

Camper Van Toaster Description

A toaster in the style of a classic VW Camper Van

Can toast two pieces of bread at a time

Variable heat settings

Mains powered: 240V, 3-pin plug

If you live in the US or Canada, you will need to purchase a step-down converter for this to work. Available from all good electrical stores or Amazon.com.

Please Note: This product will not be available for delivery until late November.

Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage
Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage

Retail Cost: £21.85/€26.17/$34.99

Available for order from thefowndry.com.

Worth Pondering…

Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space.

—Words and music by Mars Bonfire

Read More

Celebrate the Season with Hooray for the Holidays Sweepstakes

The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, yesterday (December 19) launched its Hooray for the Holidays sweepstakes.

From December 19 through December 23, the National Park Foundation celebrates the holiday season by giving away exciting national park prize packs to five lucky entrants. By going to the National Park Foundation Facebook page, visitors can enter to win one of the five National Park Foundation prize packs which include plane tickets, the “America the Beautiful” park pass, gift cards, apparel, and more!

Between December 19 and 23, a new national park prize pack will be awarded. Entrants are encouraged to enter once daily for the duration of the sweepstakes. For full sweepstake rules and description of prizes, go to the National Park Facebook page.

During this season of giving, there are many ways to show your support of America’s national parks. Below, are just a few of the ways your holiday gift can help preserve America’s most treasured places.

Give the Gift of the Parks

Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Look no further! Visit the National Park Foundation and give the gift of America’s national parks. Make a donation this holiday season to the National Park Foundation on behalf of your friends and loved ones and you will receive a special printable certificate to include in a stocking or under your Christmas tree.

You will have the satisfaction of knowing that your gift to the National Park Foundation, the only national non-profit that directly supports the national parks, will make a difference in preserving America’s treasures.

This year, donations to the National Park Foundation between now and December 31 will be doubled! Thanks to the generosity of the National Park Foundation board, all year-end gifts will be matched up to $75,000! Your year-end gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar—ensuring that our national parks will be here for the next generation to enjoy.

Park enthusiast can also use the National Park Foundation’s Gift Guide to shop for gifts that give back to the parks.

Unique gifts available include National Park Games, Tango Card, National Park Coins, J. Crew T-Shirts, Passport To Your National Parks, and National Park Foundation Collection of Fine Canvas and Leather Goods.

Details

National Park Foundation

You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites—all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. Working hand in hand with the National Park Service, the Foundation connects you and all Americans to the parks, and ensures that they are preserved for the generations who will follow.

Join the National Park Foundation in supporting your national parks—this is your land.

National Park Foundation Website: nationalparks.org

National Park Foundation Facebook page: facebook.com

National Park Foundation on Twitter: twitter.com

National Park Foundation Holiday Gift Guide: nationalparks.org/explore

Worth Pondering…

Wilderness settles peace on the soul.

—E.O. Wilson

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Merry Christmas

Greetings fellow RVers, Snowbirds, wanna-bes, birders, photographers, hikers, and everyone who loves the out-of-doors…and all readers!

Merry Christmas! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thank you for your readership this year!

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season.

It’s Christmas Eve and we’re in central Texas midway between Austin and Houston. I’m dressed in shorts and a T-shirt. The temperature is a pleasant 68 degrees. The bright sunshine lifts the human spirit and fills our hearts with promises of fun and adventure.

Forget sugar plums! When I drift off to sleep tonight, I’ll be dreaming of fabulous RVing destinations I’d love to visit.

Sweet dreams and happy holidays!

Snowbird Christmas
Cranky as the RV’s space heater,
I groan and grumble in pre-dawn chill,
wait for the coffee pot to finish playing
reveille to my numb mind.

Shuffling around the RV Park,
elderly snowbirds make mischief,
cackling like contented
chickens under the Arizona sun.

A grateful respite from grueling
gray cold fronts of Buffalo,
Edmonton, and Denver.
A time of celebration and decoration.

Christmas greetings from the Great State of Texas! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Christmas lights, ornaments, nativity
scenes, Wal-Mart Santas, and reindeer,
a plastic Jesus or two adorn motorhomes,
trailers , old converted greyhounds.

Christmas Eve, wrinkled faces gather
in the clubhouse by the artificial tree,
reminiscing of Christmases past,
speaking of children in childish voices.
—Author Unknown

Worth Pondering…
May the joy of today, bring forth happiness for tomorrow—and may the cold Alberta air stay up north!

Read More

Christmas gift ideas for the RVer in your life, Part 4

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas countdown has begun!

It's Christmas time at the Fayette County courthouse in La Grange in central Texas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Today concludes the series of four posts on ideas for stocking stuffers and gifts for the RVer in your life.

Geeks on Tour
Jim and Chris Guld have been computer support professionals since the early 1980s. In 2003, they took to the road in their motorhome and now travel the U.S. full-time giving seminars at RV Rallies and assisting RVers and RV parks with their computer needs.

The Geeks on Tour website is an online classroom for RVers with ‘Show-Me-How’ video tutorials on Picasa, Blogger, Google Earth, basic Windows computing, using maps, and other online resources. Anyone can watch their free sample videos, read articles on their Computer Tips for Travelers Blog, and Free Weekly Picasa Tip.

Unlimited access to all Basic Learning Library videos is available with a Basic Membership available for $39/year. For additional information or to join, click here.

A Gold Membership will be available after January 2011 for $7/month

In a recent post on Picasa Tutorials, the Geeks on Tour discuss gift ideas that can be made from your own photos. Some can even be picked up at your local Walmart or Walgreens.

Camera

Every RVer needs a camera and there are lots of great deals out there. Canon is a trusted brand.

The two top selling DSLRs during the last quarter were Canon T2i and its predecessor, the T1i.

The top two point-and-shoot digitals were also Canon: the popular SD1300 and SD1400. Both cameras come with 4x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom.

Not sure which camera or accessory to buy. A gift card from B&H is the perfect choice.

Mary Moppins

Say Merry Christmas with a poinsettia! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Long before going green became popular, Mary Findley dedicated her life to changing people’s use of toxic chemicals. Years of cleaning homes professionally and breathing toxic chemicals convinced Mary of the necessity to change our way of life. Some of the cleaners she used were not tolerated by her customers. For her own health and that of her customers, Mary found healthy ways to clean, which set her on a course to change the way the world views cleaning.

Over the years Mary developed a cleaning system so precise it takes you beyond speed cleaning to Precision Cleaning. She put together a Kit that comes with everything you need to clean your RV—fast with industrial strength yet natural products. Mary’s kit includes her new book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning.” In it she teaches earth friendly ways to clean your recreational vehicle, car, boat, and pets. On her website, Mary shows you how to ‘go clean’ with Mary Moppins.

For ideas on cleaning your RV, click here.

LED Flashlight
RVers often need a flashlight—and many times the batteries are nearly dead. A LED flashlight, due to its low power draw, is the answer. These little powerhouses are small and incredibly bright, and you can never have too many of them. Keep one in desk, another on the nightstand, one in the toad, and a couple in various bays of your RV. And they are available in a variety of sizes and at all price levels.

And don’t forget the ultimate holiday gift—a new RVsitting in your driveway!

Worth Pondering…
A hug is a great gift—one size fits all!!!

Read More

Christmas gift ideas for the RVer in your life, Part 3

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas countdown has begun!

Today we continue with the third of four posts on ideas for stocking stuffers and gifts for the RVer in your life.

The National Parks Pass

Bryce Canyon is one of 392 units managed by the National Park Service. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) manages 392 units, including 58 national parks and 74 national monuments. That adds up to 84 million acres of some of the most varied and spectacular scenery in the world. Some 275 million visitors enjoy NPS lands each year.

The National Park Pass is valid for one year from the date of issue, and covers park entry fees for the recipient and up to three passengers in a vehicle. Participating agencies include the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Bureau of Reclamation.

You can purchase the pass online or in person at any national park for $80.

National Parks Conservation Association

By giving a gift membership, not only do you save yourself from the stress and crowds of department stores, but you’ll help protect America’s most treasured lands. The National Parks Conservation Association offers gift memberships starting at only $25. Gift members will also receive a fleece blanket as a welcome gift, plus a year’s subscription to the award-winning National Parks magazine.

To introduce family, friends, RVers in your life to the stunning beauty and rich history of our national parks, click here.

Parks Canada Discovery Pass

Jasper is one of several mountain national parks in Western Canada. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A single pass gets you in! Whether you want to explore and appreciate Canada’s unique and diverse wildlife, wilderness, and natural environment, or discover the inspiring people, places, and events of the past, the Parks Canada Discovery Pass is the one for you.

This annual pass gives you unlimited opportunities to enjoy more than 100 National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas, and National Historic Sites across Canada that charge entry fees.

A Parks Canada Discovery Pass for a family or group (up to 7 people arriving together) sells for $136.40; adult $67.70; senior $57.90; and youth (ages 6-16) $33.30.

A special gift folder, only available when you buy online, allows you to personally dedicate the gift that never stops giving.

Canada’s National Parks: A Celebration

Canada’s National Parks: A Celebration. Photo courtesy Parks Canada

Parks Canada recently announced a beautiful new commemorative book, Canada’s National Parks: A Celebration, to mark the 125th anniversary of national parks in Canada and the upcoming 2011 centennial of Parks Canada as the world’s first national parks service.

This beautiful commemorative large format 256-page hardcover book showcases outstanding landscape photography within Canada’s 42 national parks.

The book brings together the work of forty of the country’s most respected contemporary photographers, accompanied by locator maps and concise descriptions for each park and includes some historic images of park visitors over the last century.

Canada’s National Parks: A Celebration retails for $29.95 and is available at most booksellers and can also be ordered online. The first printing of the book includes a detachable coupon that can be redeemed for a free family day pass at any Parks Canada national park, national historic site, or national marine conservation area.

To order online, click here.

Texas State Parks Pass

Stained glass window at the Texas Czech Heritage & Cultural Center at La Grande. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The annual Texas State Parks Pass allows the card holder (and those guests riding in the same vehicle) to enter more than 90 Texas state parks and historic sites without paying the daily entrance fee. The pass is valid for twelve months from the time of purchase.

Card pass holders will also receive two coupons for 50% off camping (restrictions apply) and an automatic 10% discount at Texas State Park Stores and recreational equipment rentals and are eligible for other special promotions. A two night minimum stay is required to redeem 50% off camping coupons.

Card pass holders may sign up for e-mail updates from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department about state parks that includes the State Parks Getaways e-newsletter which has the latest information on events and great parks to visit.

The Texas State Parks Pass is available at most state parks and historic sites, as well as through the Customer Service Center in Austin, Texas (1-512-389-8900).

To be continued tomorrow…

Worth Pondering…

For you are but a total of the many folks I’ve met,

And happen to be of those I prefer not to forget.

And whether I have known you many years or few,

In some way you had a part in shaping things to do.

And every year about this time, I realize anew,

The biggest gift that life can give is meeting folks like you.

And may the Spirit of God that forever and ever endures,

Leave its richest blessings in the hearts of you and yours.

Read More

Christmas gift ideas for the RVer in your life, Part 2

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas countdown has begun!

Today we continue with another five ideas for stocking stuffers and gifts for the RVer in your life.

With care, poinsettias should retain their beauty for weeks and some varieties will stay attractive for months. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Campground Directory
Woodall’s Publications Corporation, produces numerous publications for RVers including a comprehensive campground directory.  Now available for purchase, the 2011 North American Campground Directory includes more than 310,000 updates and changes.

New in the 2011 Directory are updated GPS coordinates and physical address in select listings, full-color ads throughout the book, full-color state and provincial travel maps, and One Tank Trips—detailed point-to-point quick trips to take on just “one tank” of fuel.

In addition to the comprehensive North American edition, Woodall’s offers 10 regional campground guides. The 2010 North American Campground Directory is available now at bookstores, RV dealers, and Camping World stores, and can be purchased online from Woodall’s for $14.95. To order, click here.

Good Sam Club
Good Sam Club is currently offering discounted gift memberships for new members only for $19 (regular rate is $29.95). Two and three years memberships are also available at discounted rates. Membership benefits include 10% discount on the regular night camping rate at 1,700 Good Sam RV parks in North America, subscription to Highways magazine, customized RV trip planning. Also, you may join a local chapter, attend Samborees, and enjoy RV caravan tours to a variety of destinations such as the Rose Bowl Parade and Alaska.

Trailer Life RV Parks & Campgrounds Directory

Poinsettias are traditional Christmas plants that will last through the Christmas season and beyond. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Trailer Life RV Parks & Campgrounds Directory, the official directory of the Good Sam Club, is also an excellent North American campground directory.

The 2011Trailer Life RV Parks & Campgrounds Directory is now available online to Good Sam members for the discounted price of $12.45. To order, click here.

Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory

Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory includes a blend of 1150 upscale resorts, overnight stays along the interstate, destination parks, and suitable public parks.

From Florida to Alaska to the most eastern point in North America at Cape Spear in Newfoundland, co-authors Ken and Ellie Hamill have logged 190,000 miles in their motorhome and 240,000 miles on four different toads.

The 474 page spiral bound user friendly guide includes forty-nine states, seven Canadian provinces, the Alaska Highway, selected diesel fuel stops and notable restaurant tips.

The same important information in the book is now available in a new online version—detailed park listings with GPS physical addresses, color maps, fuel stops, restaurant tips, and more.

The 10th edition of the spiral bound book is available for $24.95; on-line version is available for $24.95 with a $15.00 annual renewal option with updates thereafter; spiral bound book and online version with a $15.00 renewable option with updates thereafter is available for $40.00

To order, click here.

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA)

No, this poinsettia is not spray-painted! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Own a motorhome? Membership in FMCA brings with it a wealth of benefits and services—all specially designed to meet the needs of motorhome owners.
The value of these benefits and services far exceeds the cost of the annual dues.

To be continued tomorrow…

Worth Pondering…

And while you may not be aware of any special link,

Just meeting you shaped my life more than you can think.

For once you’ve met somebody, the years cannot erase

The memory of a pleasant word or a friendly face.

So never think these little cards are just a mere routine,

Of names upon a special list, forgotten in between.

For when I send one of these cards that is addressed to you,

It’s because you’re on that list of folks I’m indebted to.

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Christmas gift ideas for the RVer in your life

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas countdown has begun!

While the holidays bring with it lots of love, time spent with family and friends, good food, and more, it can also bring stress. Trying to find that perfect gift for someone can get frustrating.

RV to Sedona, Arizona, this Christmas season © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But if you’re still looking for stocking stuffers and gifts for the RVer in your life, you are in luck! With the big day quickly approaching, many of us are. Here are a few last minute gift ideas.

To keep this manageable, it’s been parted out into four posts—each with five items.  These are in no particular order, with no favoritism or affiliation to the actual products or vendors.  So, without further ado:

Books on RVing
Peggi Macdonald, a Canadian RV lifestyle consultant, along with her husband John, has lived full-time on the road for 25+ years—“and is still enjoying this incredible lifestyle”. To state that they have ‘been there, done that’ in most situations is an understatement. Her print- and e-books offer mega tips and hints to simplify RV travels. Peggi’s RV Living in the 21st Century, the Essential Reference Guide For All RVers, features tips on ‘How to RV?’ and is loaded with information from buying your first RV to going away for short or extended getaways as well as information for fulltimers. Peggi also has 3 e-books available for purchase: RV Packing Tips, RV Life Lessons Plus Easy Living Hints, and RV Travel to Canada.

For details, click here.

Passport America
Passport America, a family-run business, is the “original” 50% Discount Camping Club. They invented the concept in 1992 and have continued to improve upon it. 1637 participating campgrounds across the Canada, United States, and Mexico currently participate in the Passport America Program. Membership includes RV America magazine which is published 3 times a year.

There's no better time of year to discover Zion--one of the exceptionally gorgeous and mind-boggling natural wonders of America. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you are currently a Passport America member you can purchase a gift membership for the regular rate ($44.00) minus your $10.00 referral commission.

You will receive three extra months ($11 .00 value) free to your current membership with a new ID card. For details, click here.

Amazon Kindle eBook Reader
The Kindle eBook Reader from Amazon is great for RVers. Any RVing bookworm will love it. They’re lightweight and can carry hundreds of digital books. Books are usually delivered to the Kindle wirelessly in about a minute and cost less than $10, sometimes free. Canadian and American newspapers can be delivered automatically and wirelessly to your Kindle first thing in the morning. All Kindle newspaper subscriptions start with a 14-day free trial. Magazine subscriptions are also available. For details, click here.

You can also upload your own content on your Kindle.

Coil’n’Wrap
Coil’n’Wrap carries numerous products required by RVers—many would make great Christmas gift for your favorite RVer —even if that’s you! Here are a few gift-giving ideas from Coil’n’Wrap that would please the RVer on your list: Coiling products, hook and loop fasteners, cords, cables, fuse box, LED bulbs, awning products, bug removers, heated lawn chairs, lawn chair cushions. Check their web site for additional ideas. While there sign up for Coil’n’Wrap newsletters.

Gift cards and gift certificates
Gift cards and gift certificates make great gifts for RVers. They don’t take up any storage space (always at a premium) and can be redeemed for all kinds of handy things. Some RV favorites are Amazon.com gift certificates; Wal-Mart, Costco, Best Buy, LL Bean, and Camping World gift cards; and gift card from any chain restaurant including Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, Applebees, and TGI Fridays.

To be continued tomorrow…

Worth Pondering…

I have a list of folks I know, all entered in my computer,

And once a year about this time, I go and take a look.

And that is when I realize that these names are a part

Not of the computer they’re entered in, but of my very heart.

For every name stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime

And in that meeting they’re become the rhythm of the rhyme.

And while it sounds fantastic for me to make this claim,

I really feel I am composed of each remembered name.

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