Outfit Your Truck For Off-Road Adventure

It doesn’t matter if you travel cross-country on month-long excursions or only have time to take weekend getaways with the family, your pickup truck can be outfitted for it all.

This Unimog U500 featured a Pangea Lifting Roof from Global Expedition Vehicles. (Courtesy John Cappa)
This Unimog U500 featured a Pangea Lifting Roof from Global Expedition Vehicles. (Courtesy John Cappa)

Years ago, we called it camping. Coleman tents, coolers, and cooktops were what most of us started with and what many of us still use.

Today, an entirely new vehicle and product niche has been created to cater to what is known as overlanding.

It’s still the same off-road adventure, but now the compact specialized gear and vehicles make it easier than ever to explore both on- and off-road.

One place to see what’s new in the off-road camp-gear industry is the Overland Expo West held annually in mid-May at Mormon Lake Lodge in Flagstaff, Arizona.

The May 2014 event was enjoyed by over 8,000 attendees from 39 U.S. states, six Canadian provinces, and 12 countries on five continents.

The 7th annual Overland Expo West is scheduled for May 15-17, 2015.

A second Overland Expo, the 1st annual Overland Expo East will be held at the private Taylor Ranch in Fletcher, North Carolina, 8 miles from downtown Asheville, North Carolina, October 3-5, 2014.

Pick Up Trucks attended the May 2014 event while testing the 2014 Ram Power Wagon and drooling over old trucks and equipment in the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town.

There was everything from efficient ice chests that keep food cool for weeks to $500,000 turnkey 4×4 campers ready for overseas adventure.

The rigid frame makes Lance a good choice when venturing off-road. Many different sizes and floor plans are available. (Courtesy John Cappa)
The rigid frame makes Lance a good choice when venturing off-road. Many different sizes and floor plans are available. (Courtesy John Cappa)

A Unimog U500 featured a Pangea Lifting Roof from Global Expedition Vehicles. The two-story camper has all the amenities of home and more, including two queen-sized beds, a microwave convection oven, teak wood paneling, composting toilet, heater, air conditioner, 140 gallons of fresh water, and a flameless diesel cooktop.

The Global Expedition Vehicle Turtle camper features a toilet, shower, sink, a dining area, and pretty much all the accessories you’d find in a modern day on-road camper. The Turtle can be mounted to the chassis of a Ford F-450 or F-550, Ram 4500 or 5500, or one of several other medium-duty 4×4 trucks.

Four Wheel Campers specializes in building durable aluminum-frame slide-in pop-up campers for pickup trucks. The top and waterproof fabric walls collapse for travel, offering more overhead trail clearance. There are many different models available that fit mini-trucks, half-ton, three-quarter-ton, and one-tons, and even flat beds.

If you’re into rooftop tents, James Baroud offers many hard shell tent and soft tent models that can be fitted to a roof- or bed-mounted rack. The elevated, collapsible hard-cased tents get you up and away from critters and fold up easily. Hard shell tents are available in numerous product lines including the Discovery Series (Discovery Evolution, Discovery Extreme Evolution, Discovery Space Evolution), Explorer Series, Grand Raid Series, and Evasion Series.

The XPCCamper replaces your pickup truck bed with a functional utility camper. The company offers campers for full-size and compact pickups. If you want more than just a camper, the company can create a complete turnkey package with bumpers, tires, wheels, and more, to make sure your truck is ready for any obstacles.

The Malayan HT from Tiger Adventure Vehicles replaces the bed of your pickup with a camper structure. (Courtesy John Cappa)
The Malayan HT from Tiger Adventure Vehicles replaces the bed of your pickup with a camper structure. (Courtesy John Cappa)

Hallmark Campers brought out several models of slide-in pop-up campers. Unlike many other campers, these can be ordered with different interior colors and other options.

Lance has been building America’s most popular truck campers since 1965. They feature a sturdy aluminum frame with pieces that fit together like a puzzle. The rigid frame makes Lance a good choice when venturing off-road. Many different sizes and floor plans are available.

The Host RV Mammoth triple-slide is a truck camper first. The spacious floor plan leaves little to be desired. At 3,360 pounds, you need quite a truck to haul it around, though. Host RV offers other camper sizes as well.

There wasn’t a big turnout of GM vehicles at the Overland Expo, but we did spot the Malayan HT from Tiger Adventure Vehicles. The Malayan HT replaces the bed of your pickup with a camper structure and features more headroom than some other Tiger conversions.

Details

The Global Expedition Vehicles Turtle camper features a toilet, shower, sink, a dining area and pretty much all the accessories you'd find in a modern day on-road camper. (Courtesy John Cappa)
The Global Expedition Vehicles Turtle camper features a toilet, shower, sink, a dining area and pretty much all the accessories you’d find in a modern day on-road camper. (Courtesy John Cappa)

Overland Expo/Exploring Overland

Overland Expo is the world’s most unique event for do-it-yourself adventure travel enthusiasts, with hundreds of session-hours of classes for 4-wheel-drive and adventure motorcycling, inspirational programs, the Overland Film Festival, roundtable discussions, demonstrations, food, and a large expo featuring over 150 vendors of adventure travel equipment, camping gear, bikes, vehicles, and services.

The 1st annual Overland Expo East will be held at the private Taylor Ranch in Fletcher, North Carolina, 8 miles from downtown Asheville, North Carolina, October 3-5, 2014.

The 7th annual Overland Expo West is scheduled for the Mormon Lake Lodge in Flagstaff, Arizona, May 15-17, 2015.

Address: 3400 E. Speedway Blvd., Suite 118-138, Tucson, AZ 85716

Website: www.overlandexpo.com

Worth Pondering…

The ultimate camping trip was the Lewis and Clark expedition.

—Dave Barry

Read More

More July RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced five recall notices involving five recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Monaco RV, Augusta RV, Dutchmen Manufacturing, Lakota, and Keystone RV.

Monaco RV, LLC

monaco logoWakarusa, Indiana-based Monaco RV, LLC is recalling 2,250 model year 2011 Holiday Rambler Campmaster and R-Vision Trail Cruiser; model year 2011-2012 R-Vision Onyx; model year 2011-2013 R-Vision Trail Light; model year 2012-2014 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite, Aluma-Lite Ultra, and R-Vision Trail Sport and Trail-Lite Crossover; and model year 2013-2014 McKenzie Rainier Ascent and R-Vision Trail Lite Trek recreational vehicles.

These vehicles were manufactured October 12, 2009, through March 15, 2013 and have the water tanks mounted under the floor within enclosed underbellies. The water tank mounting system may fail.

If the mounting system fails, the water tank may separate from the vehicle and become a road hazard, increasing the risk of a crash.

Monaco RV, LLC will notify owners and dealers will install a cross brace between the water tank and the mounting brackets, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin in July 2013.

Monaco’s recall number is 13001MRV.

Owners may contact Monaco at 1-877-466-6226.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Augusta RV, LL

Augusta_LogoBristol, Indiana-based Augusta RV, LLC is recalling 36 model year 2013-2014 FLEX recreational trailers manufactured February 13, 2013, through April 9, 2013.

Due to a design change in the power awning motor assembly, the motor assembly screws may unknowingly shear.
If the motor assembly screws shear, it is possible that the awning can unfurl unexpectedly, either while the vehicle is at rest or while in transit, increasing the risk of personal injury or a vehicle crash.

Augusta RV will notify owners in July 2013 and Dometic staff will replace the affected motors with motors of a different design.

Owners may contact Augusta RV at 1-574-848-0200 or Dometic at 1-888-447-0003 for more information.

Owners are being instructed not to drive their vehicle until repairs can be performed.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Dutchmen Manufacturing, Inc.

DutchmanGoshen, Indiana-based Dutchmen Manufacturing, Inc. is recalling 543 model year 2013-2014 Aspen 1400RB, 1500BH, 1600RB, 2110RBS, 2470BHS, and 3010BHDS travel trailers; certain model year 2013-2014 Coleman CTS14FD, CTS15BH, CTS16BH, and CTS16QB travel trailers and certain model year 2013-2014 Dutchmen 190QB, 282RBS, 286BHGS, 318RKDS, and 816QB travel trailers.

Heat from the range burner may melt the propane supply hose.

If the hose melts it may leak propane, increasing the risk of a fire.

Dutchmen will notify owners and dealers will install a copper line to the propane connection in the burner, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin in July 2013.

Owners may contact Dutchmen at 1-574-537-0600.

Dutchmen’s recall number is 13-195.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Lakota Corporation

Lakota logoBristol, Indiana-based Lakota Corporation is recalling 49 model year 2014 CX9-BBX18 (Charger and Bighorn) recreational trailers. Due to a design change in the power awning motor assembly, the motor assembly screws may unknowingly shear.

If motor damage occurs, it is possible that the awning can unfurl unexpectedly, either while the motorhome is at rest or while in transit, increasing the risk of personal injury or a vehicle crash.

Lakota will notify owners and Dometic staff will replace the affected motors with motors of a different design.

The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Lakota Corp at 1-574-848-1636 or Dometic at 1-888-447-0003 for more information.

Owners are being instructed not to drive their vehicle until repairs can be performed.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Keystone RV Company

Keystone-Rv-Co.-logoGoshen, Indiana-based Keystone RV Company is recalling 239 model year 2013-2014 Laredo fifth wheel vehicles, models 270SRL, 280SBH, 290SRE and 293SBH, manufactured March 6, 2013, through June 27, 2013. The battery box has inadequate support for the battery and the box may fall out of position during travel.

The battery box may fall out of position resulting in electrical shorts which may lead to a fire. Also, the battery box may fall from the vehicle creating a road hazard.

Keystone RV will notify owners and will install a battery box mounting reinforcement kit, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin in late July 2013.

Owners may contact Keystone Customer Service by calling 1-866-425-4369.

Keystone’s identification code for this recall is 13-194.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the eighteenth in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls.

Worth Pondering…

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

—Aristotle

Read More

43 Million Americans Camped in 2011

Almost 43 million Americans participated in camping last year, according to a new study released today by The Outdoor Foundation and sponsored by Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) and The Coleman Co. Inc.

According to a news release, that equates to 14.9 percent of Americans over age six. The findings are part of the 2012 American Camper Report, a leading report tracking participation in camping in the United States.

The Outdoor Foundation’s American Camper Report provides data and analysis on overall camping participation and explores preferences, buying behavior and the future of camping.

For the first time in the history of this report, people within the camping industry share trends that they are seeing in the field, and the report takes an in-depth look at Hispanic American campers to examine this growing minority’s unique motivations, preferences and barriers.

The findings are based on an online survey of more than 38,000 Americans ages six and older and a supplementary survey of camping participants 18 and older.

“The American Camper Report shows that camping gained popularity in 2011—adding nearly three million participants since 2010,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation.

“The information and analysis in this report will help the outdoor industry and all stakeholders engage even more Americans in camping and transform non-participants into active outdoor enthusiasts and committed environmental stewards.”

KOA’s CEO Jim Rogers stated, “2012 is KOA’s 50th anniversary and KOA hopes that its outdoor hospitality legacy will continue to expand along with the businesses of other outdoor enterprises as we learn more about the needs, trends, and outdoor behaviors of the American camper. The report’s special focus on Hispanic campers also aligns with KOA’s goals to find new ways to increase the engagement of ethnically diverse populations in camping and outdoor fun.”

Camping at Arches National Park, Utah. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Camping at Arches National Park, Utah. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“Throughout our 112-year history, Coleman has maintained a reputation for creating innovative, high-quality outdoor gear. Insights from studies like the American Camper Report are a foundational piece of Coleman’s ability to build and maintain that reputation,” said Robert Marcovitch, President and CEO of Coleman.

“Thanks to the knowledge we gain from the Camper Report, Coleman continues to develop exciting gear for both the new and experienced outdoor enthusiast alike.”

The insights detailed in the 2012 American Camper Report are critical to understanding both campers and non-campers and building participation in the activity.

Some additional findings include:

Overview of Camping Participation

Almost 43 million Americans went camping in 2011 for a total of 534.9 million days. Participation is up from 39.9 million campers and 514.8 million days in 2010.

Almost all age brackets added participants, except the adolescent group.

Camping gained a net of 2.6 million participants from 2010 to 2011, but it has a fairly high churn rate at 16 percent.

Reports from public and private campsites and the Outdoor Industry Association illustrate a general uptick in camping participation.

The Mountain Region has the highest camping participation rate.

Seventy-seven percent of all campers are married or living with a domestic partner.

Eighty-four percent of campers participate in multiple outdoor activities.

Profile of a Camping Trip

Sixty-seven percent of participants camped the most in public campgrounds.

The average camper went on 4.97 camping trips.

Participants traveled a mean of 190.6 miles away from home to camp.

Almost half of all American campers plan their trips at least one month in advance.

Seventy percent of all trips are taken with friends.

Hiking is the most popular activity to participate in while camping.

Buying Behavior

Camping at Hunting Island Island State Park, South Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Camping at Hunting Island Island State Park, South Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

More than half of camping participants are employed, and 29 percent are students.

Battery lighting was the most popular purchase during the past year and was especially popular among older campers.

Most camping purchases are planned at home before taking a camping trip.

Hispanic Campers: A Focused Look

At 5.52 camping trips per year per participant, the average Hispanic participant goes camping more than the average Caucasian participant.

Hispanics bought more camping equipment in the last 12 months than non-Hispanics.

Twenty-three percent of Hispanic campers ages 18 and over tried camping for the first time in 2011.

Future of Camping

Campers are planning an average of 4.33 camping trips next year.

Fathers are the most likely person to take someone camping for the first time.

The most cited reason for reducing the number of camping trips is a lack of time due to work and family commitments.

Worth Pondering…

Millions of Americans each year use our national forests to go hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, swimming, horseback riding, and canoeing.
—Ric Keller

Read More

More August RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced five recall notices involving three recreational vehicle manufacturers—Crossroads RV, Jayco, and Dutchman.

Crossroads RV

Topeka, Indiana-based Crossroads RV is recalling 223 model year 2010 and 2011 Hampton travel trailers manufactured from June 11, 2009, through November 2, 2010, equipped with Atwood Mobile Products (Atwood) furnaces. The furnaces were produced with a defective gas control valve which can stick in the open position.

If the gas valve sticks in the open position, gas could leak out and, in the presence of an ignition source, result in a fire.

Crossroads will notify owners, and dealers will repair the furnaces, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided the agency with a notification schedule. Owners may contact Crossroads Warranty Service Department at 1-855-226-7496.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to safercar.gov.

Crossroads RV

Topeka, Indiana-based Crossroads RV is recalling four model year 2013 Crossroads Cruiser recreational trailers, manufactured from April 19, 2012, through July 17, 2012.

These vehicles were manufactured with incorrect information on the Federal Identification Tag, Tire and Loading Information Label and the Recreational Vehicle Cargo Carrying Capacity Label. Thus, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 120, “Tire Selection and Rims for Motor Vehicles Other Than Passenger Cars.”

An inaccurate label could lead to improper vehicle loading specifications which could lead to a tire failure, which may result in personal injury or property damage.

Crossroads will notify owners and provide corrected labels. Owners may contact Thor Industries at 1-937-596-7965 or Crossroads at 1-260-593-2866.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to safercar.gov.

Jayco, Inc.

Middlebury, Indiana-based Jayco, Inc. is recalling 908 model year 2007 Greyhawk Class C motorhomes; model year 2008 and 2010 Seneca Class C motorhomes; model year 2009 and 2011 Eagle Fifth-wheel; 2010 Recon fifth-wheel; and model year 2008-2010 Designer fifth wheel vehicles manufactured from June 15, 2006, through August 13, 2010 for an improper electrical connection at the buss bar on the Iota-brand transfer switches installed in the vehicles.

An improper electrical connection at the buss bar could lead to overheating and melting of the transfer switch, increasing the risk of a fire, injury, or death.

Jayco will notify owners, and dealers will replace the transfer switch, free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin during August 2012.

Owners may contact Jayco, Inc. at 1-800-283-8267.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to safercar.gov.

Dutchmen Manufacturing, Inc.

Goshen, Indiana-based Dutchmen Manufacturing, Inc. is recalling 87 model year 2013 Coleman 192 and Dutchmen 196 recreational vehicles manufactured from April 12, 2012, through July 9, 2012. These vehicles have been manufactured with the propane line in close proximity to the rear axle hanger, which could be damaged by the rear axle hanger bolt during travel.

If this occurs, a leak could develop, and in the presence of an ignition source could result in a fire and/or explosion, increasing the risk of personal injury or property damage.
Dutchmen will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, as necessary, replace and re-route the propane line, free of charge. Dutchmen has not provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Dutchmen at 1-574-537-0700.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to safercar.gov.

Dutchmen Manufacturing, Inc.

Goshen, Indiana-based Dutchmen Manufacturing, Inc. is recalling 1,017 model year 2010 through 2013 Breckenridge brand travel trailers manufactured from May 26, 2009, through May 2, 2012, and equipped with Atwood Mobile Products (Atwood) furnaces. The furnaces were produced with a defective gas control valve which can stick in the open position.

If the gas valve sticks in the open position, gas could leak out and, in the presence of an ignition source, result in a fire.

Dutchmen will notify owners, and dealers will repair the furnaces, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided the agency with a notification schedule. Owners may contact Breckenridge Warranty Service Department at 1-800-223-2376.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the eighteenth in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls.

Worth Pondering…

Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions.

—Earl Gary Stevens

Read More

Thousand Trails Camping Is Better with Friends Sweepstakes

Thousand Trails, home to some of the most beautiful and natural campgrounds across the United States, is giving outdoor enthusiasts and their friends a chance to get out and camp with the Camping is Better with Friends sweepstakes.

One lucky camper and a friend will win a free week of camping and a camping gear package, with a combined value of $2,100, according to a news release.

Sweepstakes entrants will also be entered for a chance to win one of five second place prize packages.

The sweepstakes grand prize includes a week long camping trip for the winner and a friend at any participating Thousand Trails or Encore RV resort campground.

In addition, the winner and his or her friend will both receive a package of camping gear, including the following:

  • Eureka! Mansard tent
  • Rand McNally Trip Maker RVND 5510
  • Slumberjack Big Timber 20 Strongback chair
  • Lodge seasoned carbon steel skillet
  • ThermaCELL outdoor lantern, mosquito repellant appliance plus refills, holster, and swivel light
  • Coghlan’s Camper’s S’mores Grill and Corn Popper
  • MyRVMarket Party Table
  • Funky Colored Flames
  • Lunkerhunt Edu-kit and fishing lures
  • Winlow Handy Beaner
  • ChicoBag Bottle Sling rePete
  • Outdoor Products Trail Diva
  • Camp Cooking
  • Industrial Revolution Stormproof Match Set
  • Nite Ize Meteorlight LED ball
  • Coleman Instastart Coffeemaker
  • Coleman All-In-One Portable Sink
  • $100 gas card
  • Thousand Trails backpack blanket, travel mug, koozie, window cling
  • One year subscription to Trailblazer magazine
  • Nature-Zyme products
Thousand Trails Camping Is Better with Friends Sweepstakes

Five additional winners and a friend of their choice will be selected to receive a second prize package that includes a Thousand Trails backpack, blanket, travel mug, koozie, window cling, and a one year subscription to TrailBlazer magazine.

To enter, visit the Thousand Trails Facebook Promotion page. Entrants are also encouraged to invite their Facebook friends to enter.

All official terms and conditions can be found on the Thousand Trails Facebook Promotion page.

The contest will run through June 29.

Details

Encore and Thousand Trails

Encore and Thousand Trails feature 173 RV Resorts across North America. Owned and operated by Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc., Encore, Thousand Trails, and its affiliates offer RVers opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in top vacation destinations, complemented with resort style amenities.

Phone: (866) 730-0637

Website: thousandtrails.com

Camping Is Better with Friends sweepstakes

To enter, visit the Thousand Trails Facebook Promotion page.

Entrants are also encouraged to invite their Facebook friends to enter.

All official terms and conditions can be found on the Thousand Trails Facebook page.  The contest will run through June 29.

Worth Pondering…

There is something very special about the natural world, and each trip outdoors is like an unfinished book just waiting for you to write your own chapter.

—Paul Thompson

Read More

Coleman & NWF Partner to Sponsor Great American Backyard Campout

The Coleman Company, Inc. has partnered with National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to become a national sponsor of Great American Backyard Campout.

As part of its sponsorship, Coleman will be inviting families across the nation to get outside during the annual camping-focused event on June 23, 2012.

Great American Backyard Campout is part of National Wildlife Federation’s “Be Out There” movement, which is designed to provide tools that inspire parents and children to spend time in the outdoors. Over the next three years, NWF’s goal is to get 10 million more kids playing outside on a regular basis. Spending a night under the stars is the perfect way to start.

“The partnership between Coleman and National Wildlife Federation immediately felt like a natural fit for both of our organizations,” said Robert Marcovitch, president and CEO of Coleman.

“We share a common goal of inviting families to engage with the outdoors, while providing them with the resources and equipment that enhances the outdoor experience.”

To make backyard camping even simpler, Coleman and its retail partners are working together to provide campers with high-quality, easy-to-use gear, like the award-winning Instant Tent, which can be pitched in less than a minute.

“Coleman stands for more than outdoor products—we are about the genuine connections and the memories made while families and friends enjoy themselves in the outdoors,” said David Allen, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Coleman.

“Getting together in the outdoors is a great way for families to bond and it remains a positive, healthy and financially accessible escape from our busy day-to-day lifestyles.”

“National Wildlife Federation is grateful to have committed Campout partners like Coleman which will help us reach more parents with information about how camping can be a fun and healthy activity for kids and parents alike.” said Meri Margaret Deoudes, Senior Director of Corporate Relations for NWF.

Details

The Coleman Company, Inc.

As an international leader in the innovation and marketing of outdoor products, The Coleman Company, Inc. helps people have fun and make memories by providing the gear integral to their favorite outdoor experiences.

The company’s products include its legendary lanterns, and stoves; as well as coolers, tents, sleeping bags, airbeds, backpacks, furniture, and grills under the Coleman® brand.

Additionally, the company provides flotation devices, towables, rainwear as well as safety and survival equipment under its Stearns®, Sevylor®, Sospenders®, Helium® and Aerobed® brands.

Founded in 1900 and based in Wichita, Kansas, Coleman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jarden Corporation.

Address: 3600 N. Hydraulic, Wichita, KS 67219

Phone: (800) 835-3278

Website: www.coleman.com

National Wildlife Federation (NWF)

National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is the nation’s largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.

NWF, headquartered in Reston, Virginia, concentrates their efforts on seeking solutions to climate change, protecting wildlife habitat, and connecting people with nature.

Address: 11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Reston VA 20190

Phone: (800) 822-9919

Website: nwf.org

Worth Pondering…

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

There is a society, where none intrudes,

By the deep sea, and music in its roar:

I love not Man the less, but Nature more

—Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

Read More

Thousand Trails Let’s Go Camping Contest

Thousand Trails RV Resorts is kicking off the 2012 camping season with the Go Camping contest.

The contest gives campers a chance to win an Ultimate Coleman Camping Gear Package valued at $1,750.

The Go Camping Contest and Coleman prizes coincide with the launch of the new Thousand Trails Annual Tent Camping Pass, an annual pass that provides a year of tent camping for one low price.

The contest will run through May 31, 2012, according to a news release.

The contest’s grand prize includes a mix of camping necessities and luxuries, designed to help a family of four enjoy the ultimate outdoor getaway.

The grand prize package includes:

  • Coleman Instant Tent
  • Coleman Propane Coffeemaker with Stainless Steel Carafe
  • Coleman sleeping bags
  • Coleman propane stove
  • Coleman Xtreme 6 cooler
  • Coleman lighting
  • Additional Coleman gear

In addition to the grand prize package, four additional winners will be selected to receive additional prizes:

  • Second Prize — Coleman Instant Tent
  • Third Prize — Coleman Stainless Steel Belted Cooler
  • Fourth Prize — Coleman RoadTrip Grill
  • Fifth Prize — Coleman Quad LED Lantern

In conjunction with the contest, Thousand Trails is introducing its new Annual Tent Camping Pass.

Available for $249 for a year of camping, the pass gives tent campers a full year of camping (subject to length-of-stay policies) at up to 90 campgrounds across the U.S. and British Columbia.

Details

Encore and Thousand Trails

Encore and Thousand Trails feature 173 RV Resorts across North America. Owned and operated by Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc., Encore, Thousand Trails, and its affiliates offer RVers opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in top vacation destinations, complemented with resort style amenities.

Phone: (866) 730-0637

Website: rvonthego.com

Thousand Trails Annual Tent Camping Pass

Phone: (877) 522-1834

Website: tentcampingpass.com

Let’s Go Camping Contest

Website: myequitylifestyle.com/GoCamping

Related Stories

Worth Pondering…

There is something very special about the natural world, and each trip outdoors is like an unfinished book just waiting for you to write your own chapter.

—Paul Thompson

Read More

KOA Teams With Keystone & Coleman for Anniversary Giveaway

Billings, Montana-based Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), the world’s leading provider of quality camping experiences for North American families, has teamed with Keystone RV and Coleman for KOA’s 50th Anniversary Giveaway.

Starting March 1, campers are able to register each week for a chance to win one of 50 weeks of free KOA camping anywhere in North America, according to a news release.

Once each month, one entrant will also be selected to receive a $500 shopping spree at Coleman.com.

During October, one extremely lucky camper will be selected to win a $40,000 Vantage recreational vehicle courtesy of Goshen, Indiana-based Keystone RV.

“We think this will be a very fun way to celebrate our 50th birthday,” said KOA CEO Jim Rogers.

“We partnered with Keystone RV Co. last year to give away a great Keystone Springdale RV, and it proved to be wildly popular with campers. So, being able to offer a brand new Keystone Vantage—now in its very first year of production—is a real treat.”

“Our joint promotion with KOA in 2011 was widely successful,” said Matt Zimmerman, president of Keystone RV. “This 50th Anniversary KOA celebration is even bigger and better.”

Vantage travel trailer by Keystone RV

Vantage from Keystone combines timeless beauty with modern technology to create a new travel trailer unlike anything on the market today.

The Vantage trailer is built using curved, laminated fiberglass sidewalls and an arched roof, offering wide-body livability and comfort in a distinctive look. The Vantage interior features contemporary-glazed maple cabinets, two-tone fascia, and an open-air spaciousness.

Rogers said the Coleman Co.—another iconic name in camping industry—is yet another natural partner for KOA’s 50th Anniversary Giveaway.

“Everyone knows Coleman and the quality that name brings to mind,” he said. “Who hasn’t camped with a Coleman lantern or sleeping bag over the years?”

Details

Kampgrounds of America (KOA)

Kampgrounds of America, founded on the banks of the Yellowstone River in Billings, Montana, in 1962, is now the world’s largest system of open-to-the-public family campgrounds. KOA has 485 locations in the United States and Canada.

Address: PO Box 30558, Billings, MT 59114

Phone: (888) 562-0000

Website: koa.com

KOA 50th Anniversary Giveaway

Campers can enter their names once each week at koakompass.com. A complete list of contest rules is also available at this site.

Keystone RV Company

Keystone RV Company is a producer of travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers, with manufacturing facilities at its headquarters in Goshen, Indiana, and Pendleton, Oregon, Keystone RV brands include Montana, Cougar, Outback, Springdale, Raptor, Residence, Retreat, Passport, Hornet, Sprinter, Laredo, Mountaineer, Big Sky, High Country, Fuzion, X-lite, Bullet, Premier, Alpine, Avalanche, and Vantage.

Keystone is a subsidiary of Thor Industries, Inc., Jackson Center, Ohio, the world’s largest manufacturer of recreation vehicles and a major builder of commercial buses.

Address: 2642 Hackberry Drive, PO Box 2000, Goshen, IN 46527-2000

Phone: (574) 535-2100

Website: keystonerv.com

Vantage

Vantage from Keystone combines timeless beauty with modern technology to create a new travel trailer unlike anything on the market today. By utilizing curved, laminated fiberglass sidewalls and an arched roof, Vantage delivers wide-body livability and comfort in a look that clearly stands apart. And the Vantage interior is also extraordinary–tastefully incorporating contemporary-glazed maple cabinets, two-tone fascia, and an open spaciousness that is uncommon and pleasing.

Website: vantage-rv.com

Worth Pondering…
The ultimate camping trip was the Lewis and Clark expedition.
—Dave Barry

Read More

2011 Special Report on Camping

Year over year, camping continues to shine as an American tradition—evolving to accommodate any lifestyle and giving access to any outdoor experience.

Almost 40 million Americans participated in camping last year, according to a new study released Tuesday (December 27) by The Outdoor Foundation, Coleman, and Kampgrounds of America (KOA). That equates to more than 14 percent of Americans over age six. The findings are part of the “2011 Special Report on Camping”, a leading report tracking American participation in camping.

This extended 54-page Special Report on Camping provides data and analysis on camping participation in the United States, including psychographic profiles, camping preferences, and buying behavior. The Report also explores opportunities in the camping industry and the overall future of camping.

The findings are based on an online survey of more than 40,000 Americans ages six and older and a supplemental survey of camping participants 18 and older.

Camping at Arches National Park, Utah. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“The Special Report on Camping shows that camping endures as part of the American outdoor tradition—accommodating any lifestyle and giving access to any outdoor experience,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. “Thanks to support and commitment of Coleman and KOA, the report provides first-of-its-kind information on camping trends, which should be of great interest to everyone in the outdoor community—especially those of us focused on inspiring future generations of enthusiasts.”

The study found that introducing children to camping at a young age is vital to their participation as adults. Half of all current campers ages 18 and over experienced their first camping trip before they reached the age of seven. Only 9 percent of all adult camping participants tried camping for the first time after age 19.

The insights detailed in the 2011 Special Report on Camping are critical to understanding both campers and non-campers and building participation in the activity. Additional findings include:

Overview of Camping Participation

  • Almost 40 million Americans went camping in 2010 for a total of 514.8 million outings
  • The Mountain Region has the highest camping participation rate with a quarter of its population identifying themselves as campers
  • Nineteen percent of adults with children in their households participate in camping, while only 10 percent of adults without children in their households participate in the activity
  • Over three-quarters of campers participate in multiple outdoor activities
Camping at Alamo State Park, Arizona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Profile of a Camping Trip

  • Summer is the most popular season for camping
  • During the summer months, campers typically went on three trips and stayed for three nights
  • Summer trips have longer planning horizons, with over 50 percent of summer campers making the decision to go more than a month in advance
  • Of those summer campers who choose to make campsite reservations, the average booking time is 77 days prior to the trip
  • Ninety-two percent of campers hiked during their last in-season trip

Profile of a Camper

  • Various attitudes toward camping include those who are motivated by family fun, hanging out with friends, enjoying luxuries, and pushing one’s own limits
  • Participants that associate camping with family and kids are most likely to stay at public campgrounds
  • “Extreme” campers go camping most often, taking 6.26 trips per year

Buying Behavior

  • Younger campers are most likely to buy backpacks, while older campers are most likely to buy propane lighting; frequent campers buy the most products
  • Sixty-one percent of campers say they spend about the same amount on recreation in 2010 as they did in 2009
  • Most new and replacement camping purchases are planned at home before taking the camping trip

Future of Camping

  • Nearly a quarter of frequent campers say their camping trips over the last three years have become longer and more frequent
  • The most cited reasons for reducing the number of trips are a lack of time due to work and family commitments
  • Almost half of all respondents say their fathers took them camping for the first time; Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts came in a distant second at 17 percent
Camping at Hunting Island Island State Park, South Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Half of respondents were under the age of seven when they went camping for the first time; only nine percent of first time campers were 19 or older.

Details

The Outdoor Foundation

The Outdoor Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 foundation established by Outdoor Industry Association to inspire and grow future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. Its vision is to be a driving force behind a massive increase in active outdoor recreation in America.

Address: 1776 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20036

Phone: (202) 271-3252

Website: outdoorfoundation.org

2011Special Report on Camping

The 2011Special Report on Camping is available on The Outdoor Foundation website.

Worth Pondering…

The ultimate camping trip was the Lewis and Clark expedition.
—Dave Barry

Read More

Tom Johnson Awards Customer with New RV

On Saturday, September 10, 2011, Tom Johnson Camping Center, in conjunction with Forest River Inc., awarded one lucky customer with a new RV. The RV giveaway is one of the highlights during the complimentary annual customer appreciation BBQ, according to a recent company news release.

During this year’s 31st Annual Customer Appreciation BBQ Tom Johnson Camping Center awarded a lucky winner with a brand new Forest River Flagstaff 176 model folding trailer. Runner-up contestants were awarded flat screen televisions. The annual giveaway caps off the four day/three night complimentary customer appreciation BBQ which features nightly live bands, seminars on RV travel and maintenance, and activities for kids and adults.

“We are fortunate to have loyal and supportive customers and the Annual Customer Appreciation BBQ is one of the ways we like to say thanks from Tom Johnson Camping Center,” said Gary Stroud, Vice President. “The BBQ is a unique event we hold at our Rally Park that allows us to connect with our customers, show our appreciation to them and ensure we are meeting their needs and desires.”

Tom Johnson Camping Center received an award during the ceremony from Forest River Inc. for surpassing sales of over 2,000 Flagstaff brand RVs. Forest River Inc., one of the nation’s premier manufacturers of RVs, was a key partner in the contest. Tom Johnson Camping Center has been holding the Annual Customer Appreciation BBQ for 31 years and this is the third consecutive year that they have awarded a contestant with a new RV.

Tom Johnson Marion Campground. Campground. Amenities include 66 full hook-up RV sites, 45-foot pad plus tow vehicle parking, 50-amp service available, concrete pads with patios, oversized sites. (Credit: tomjohnsoncamping.com)

“Each year has seen the RV being awarded to a very deserving person and it is gratifying to be able to spread joy and expand on our RV family,” stated Stroud. “The RV lifestyle is still the most affordable way to travel and a free RV makes it even more affordable.”

Details

Tom Johnson Camping Center

Founded in 1967, Tom Johnson Camping Center, North Carolina and South Carolina’s Number 1 RV dealer is the inaugural recipient of the Dave Altman Number One RV Dealer Award. A Blue Ribbon award-winning dealership, Tom Johnson Camping Center is among the top-ten recreational vehicle dealerships nationwide.

With expertise in sales, service, parts, and rentals, Tom Johnson Camping Center offers a comprehensive selection of Class B, Class C, Class A Gas motorhomes, and Diesel Pusher motorhomes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, and folding trailers. Their RV Inventory is one of the East Coast’s largest.

Tom Johnson’s locations in Marion, North Carolina—close to Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Concord, North Carolina—close to Charlotte, North Carolina have full service RV repair centers to repair or modify your RV while offering an extensive parts department with a complete selection of accessories and parts for all types of RVs as well as general camping supplies.

Fireworks at Tom Johnson Camping Center's 31st Annual Customer Appreciation BBQ. (Credit: tomjohnsoncamping.com)
Tom Johnson has camping facilities available next to both RV service and sales centers.  Their brands of new inventory include the following manufacturers:

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.”

It could be the theme song of every RVer, though it’s not likely what Steppenwolf had in mind when they recorded Born to be Wild in 1968.

Read More