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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Briggs & Stratton Introduces P3000 Inverter Generator For Tailgating

For many sports fans, it’s “that” time of the year.

Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series P3000
Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series P3000

College and professional football season equate to prime time tailgating season. Fans seem to be tailgating more than ever as Tailgater Magazine estimates that 50 million people tailgate annually in North America.

Each year, tailgaters compete for the biggest and best tailgates. Besides radios, blenders, and hot plates, it’s not uncommon to find big screen TVs, gaming systems, stereos, and of course, cell phone chargers at a typical tailgate this fall. All of this electronic equipment requires portable power to keep it running.

Briggs & Stratton’s PowerSmart Series P3000 inverter generator takes tailgating to a whole new level for sports fans that require a quiet, lightweight, and fuel efficient portable generator to power all of their big game tailgating essentials, according to a company news release.

“This fall sports fans can transform their part of the parking lot into a tailgating haven with the quiet, affordable power provided by the new Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series P3000 inverter,” said Eric Loferski, director of marketing for Briggs & Stratton Portable Power & Cleaning Systems.

“Along with its ability to provide super quiet power, the P3000 inverter is also lightweight, easy to transport and maneuver, has great run time and offers more power than the common 2,000-watt generator.”

The PowerSmart Series P3000 inverter generator delivers consistent power to run everything from the most basic tailgate essentials to higher-wattage items including:

  • Crock-pots (240 watts) and hot plates (1,200 watts)
  • Food processors (500 watts), small refrigerators (550 watts), and microwaves (1000 watts)
  • Blenders (1200 watts) and coffee makers (1,300 watts)
  • Big-screen and projector televisions (200-1,000 watts), CD/DVD players (100 watts), and radios (10 watts)
  • Electric griddles (1,500 watts) or an 8-inch electric stove (2100 watts)
  • Light bulbs (60-75 watts/each) and outdoor light strings (250 watts)
  • X-Box, Game-Cube, or Playstation (40 watts)
  • Cell phone, iPhone, iPod and iPhone battery chargers (5-25 watts)
Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series P3000
Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series P3000

For tailgaters who need even more power, the P3000 is the first and only inverter unit from Briggs & Stratton to offer parallel capabilities, enabling tailgaters to connect two P3000 units together for nearly double the power, yet still operating at very quiet levels, Loferski explained.

“With the P3000, RV enthusiasts can also power most RV’s HVAC units, while simultaneously keeping the lights on, charging cell phones, or using some smaller portable appliances,” he explained.

The P3000 is also the first in its class to offer the combination of a USB charging port, perfect for charging cell phones, which frees up an outlet to power additional items, he noted.

The StatStation LCD display provides information on how many watts are currently being used and provides maintenance reminders. The unit’s luggage-style, lift-assist transportation system allows for easy maneuverability by one person with its telescoping handle and a twin-handle for two-person lifting.

The P3000 is the newest addition to the PowerSmart Series, joining the P2000, a 2 kW inverter generator, which launched in 2010. The Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart P3000 Inverter is the next generation of quiet, affordable power, said Loferski.

Details

P3000 PowerSmart Series Inverter Generator

Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series P3000
Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Series P3000

Model Number: 030545-00

Featuring computer-controlled inverter technology, the P3000 continuously adjusts engine speed to deliver more efficient, clean and quiet power for your campsite, tailgate, or other power needs. With convenience in mind, this portable generator is loaded with features such as:

  • 2600 running watts/3000 starting watts
  • 2-person carry and luggage-style telescoping handle for easy mobility
  • Parallel connector port to connect two units together for more power
  • Smarter, quieter power safe for sensitive electronics
  • Ideal for powering lights, radio, TV, small appliances, laptop/tablets, cell phones

Briggs & Stratton Corporation

In 1908, an informal partnership was formed between inventor Stephen F. Briggs and investor Harold M. Stratton. This partnership eventually developed into Briggs & Stratton as it is known today.

Briggs & Stratton Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment.

Its wholly owned subsidiary Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group LLC is North America’s number one manufacturer of portable generators and pressure washers, and is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of standby generators, along with lawn and garden and turf care through its Simplicity, Snapper, Ferris, and Murray brands.

Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents.

Website: www.briggsandstratton.com

Worth Pondering…

The important thing is not to stop questioning.

—Albert Einstein

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Torklift Introduces Lock and Load Security Cargo Tray

Sumner, Washington-based Torklift International released a solution to protect valuables, such as generators, from theft at the campsite or while in outdoor storage.

Torklift Introduces Lock and Load Security Cargo Tray
Torklift Introduces Lock and Load Security Cargo Tray

The Lock and Load Maximum Security Cargo Tray features a tool-free cargo security locking system.

It fits into standard 2-inch-by-2-inch front or rear trailer hitch receivers for both transport and use. It also works with motorhome hitch applications.

A key feature with the Lock and Load is the generator and other cargo, do not have to be removed from the tray. The cargo remains fully functional, all while secured in place on the tray. By allowing it to remain locked at all times, it is secure from theft, said Jack Kay, president of operations for Torklift International.

“If you are someone who likes to go camping with a generator, all you have to do is place the generator in the tray and there is no need to remove because it remains fully functional while under lock and key,” said Kay.

“Generators are heavy, you don’t want to have to lug those in and out of a truck or RV.”

Torklift Introduces Lock and Load Security Cargo Tray
Torklift Introduces Lock and Load Security Cargo Tray

The Lock and Load features a 28-by-23-inch tray capable of holding most generators. It comes with a tamper proof puck lock and an adjustable steel security strap.

The Lock and Load is multifunctional, said Jay Taylor, general manager.

“We’ve had guys at worksites use them to secure tool boxes, welders and air compressors to free up the space in their truck bed for lumber among other things,” he explained, noting the Lock and Load was developed in light of increasing generator theft at the campsite, storage facilities, and due to tool equipment thefts at job sites.

“When a generator is stolen, it can costs thousands and ruin a vacation,” added Taylor.

“When equipment is stolen from a job site, not only does it cost money to replace the tools, the time to complete that job is now prolonged. The Lock and Load prevents that.”

The Lock and Load is made from high impact powder coat steel and is made in the United States.

Details

Torklift International

Torklift Introduces Lock and Load Security Cargo Tray
Torklift Introduces Lock and Load Security Cargo Tray

The Torklift story begins in 1958 when Torklift founder Jon Kay began building the foundation of knowledge in manufacturing, fabrication, and retail that would become a Torklift signature years later at a local hitch and fabrication shop in Tacoma, Washington.

Torklift International specializes in working with distributors and dealers around the globe to continue bringing new innovations to the towing, RV, and truck industries.

Address: 1901 Fryar Avenue,  Sumner, WA, 98390

Phone: (800) 246-8132 (toll free)

Website: www.torklift.com

Worth Pondering…

No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.
—Jack Kerouac

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Cummins Onan Announces New Generator Sets

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Cummins Onan has begun full production of the newly redesigned RV QG 2800 generator sets.

These new models, which replace the KV and KVD product families, meet EPA Phase III standards for small spark-ignited engines, according to a news release.

The new models have a larger, 217 cc engine that produces more horsepower than the previous models. In addition, the RV QG 2800 models offer several new features and improvements:

  • Advanced onboard diagnostics with fault code analysis
  • Easier starting in extreme cold and hot operating conditions
  • Internalized muffler and patented intake system for reduced noise
  • Low-profile exhaust outlet with additional 4-inch ground clearance
  • B+ terminal for easier installation

The 50 Hz models are CE-certified and meet all applicable EU emissions regulations. The 60 Hz models are CSA-certified and meet the latest Tier 3, Phase 3 emissions levels.

“The compact design of the new RV QG 2800 is ideal for truck campers, Class B motorhomes, and travel trailers, Al Camargo, RV marketing manager for Cummins Onan, said.

“It can run a high-efficiency 13,500 BTU air conditioner and a 900-watt microwave at the same time (depending on operating conditions).”

The models in the RV QG 2800 Series are as follows.

Fuel        Frequency    RPM    W        Voltage   Amps   Phase   Circuit Breaker

Gasoline          60Hz   3600    2800    120         23.3      1          25A

Gasoline          60Hz   3600    2800    100         28         1          30A

LP Vapor        60Hz   3600    2500    120         20.8      1          25A

LP Vapor        50Hz   3000    2300    230         10         1          10A

Gasoline          50Hz   3000    2300    230         10         1          10A

The 60 Hz models (both gasoline and LP vapor) are available now. The 50 Hz models will be available in the first quarter of 2013.

All models can be ordered immediately. Contact your local Cummins Onan dealer for pricing.

Details

Cummins Onan

Cummins Onan new generator
Cummins Onan new generator

Cummins Onan is a brand of Cummins Power Generation, a subsidiary of Cummins Inc.

Cummins Inc. is a global leader that manufactures, distributes, and services engines, fuel systems, controls, filtration and emission products, and electrical power generation systems.

Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, Cummins serves customers in more than 190 countries through its network of 550 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 5,200 dealer locations.

The Cummins Onan brand is found on generators and related products manufactured for the RV, marine, commercial, mobile, and residential markets.

Address: 1400 73rd Ave. NE, Fridley, MN 55432

Phone: (763) 574-5000

Website: cumminsonan.com

Worth Pondering…

The night.

An orange sunset fading on the horizon.

A single shooting star across the black velvet sky.

A majestic snow-capped mountain welcoming the dawn.

Unforgettable moments are your private domain.

—Anon

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What is AGS and Why You Want One?

Imagine a world where you program your electrical system to automatically use the sources necessary to maintain it, while staying as energy efficient as possible.

Sound like something out of science fiction? GREAT NEWS: The future is NOW!

With the right components—including an AGS—this automated world and all of its exciting benefits—is here and available now!

So, what is an “AGS” and why do you want one?

If you’re a power junkie or a generator enthusiast, you may be familiar with AGS.

If not, there’s no time like the present to learn and put this highly efficient technology to work, to your full advantage.

AGS is the acronym for Automatic Generator Start. It is one of the least understood, but one of the most versatile and powerful, accessories available on the market today, according to a Xantrex news release.

At its basic function, AGS automatically starts and stops the generator using pre-defined parameters, thus relieving the user from having to actively manage his electrical system.

Most AGS modules start the generator when the batteries are low, and automatically shut it off when the batteries are recharged. Some models can even start and stop the generator based on the climate control system, or even the inverter load.

In the beginning, AGS was primarily developed for usage in the RV and marine markets, allowing enthusiasts to leave their cabin or boat for a day on the town, without having to burn excessive fuel via their generators to keep things comfortable. As the concept developed, early adopters responded favorably.

One of the first consumer demands was for air conditioner triggers, so beloved pets could be kept safe and cool while their owners were out and about. Inverter load triggering was an obvious addition when networked power systems were developed, thus allowing the AGS to launch the generator when a long-term heavy load was in place, thereby preventing an overload.

Xantrex AutoGen Start

While the concept itself sounds simple enough, is AGS difficult to program and use?

The only challenge with AGS may be experienced at the very outset. Some select models may have more sophisticated parameters to initiate, but with some help from a knowledgeable sales person or installer, that is easily overcome. Other models are more simple and easy to activate.

The good news: once AGS is set up and operational, it’s an easy “set it and forget it” device. Truly, once the parameters are set, the only choice left is whether you want to engage the AUTO mode, or OFF mode (some AGSs have a Manual ON mode as well, replacing the stand-alone generator control panel).

Here’s a simple explanation of the typical modes:

‘Off’ simply means that the AGS module is not active in monitoring triggers and the generator may still be started manually. However, if the generator is running when Off is set, the AGS will shut the generator down, even if it was set for Manual On or Auto.

‘Auto’ means that the AGS will begin monitoring the triggers that would cause an automatic start of the generator. It will start or stop the generator, based on those triggers.

‘Manual On’ will cause the AGS to start the generator without a required “trigger” and wait for the user to set the AGS to “Off” before shutting the generator down.

Wiring is fairly simple as the connections are usually:

DC voltage (some systems get power and DC voltage measurements from the inverter)

Air Conditioner (these are 12-volt or ground sense wires to determine the thermostat state)

Manual inputs (to add your own buttons somewhere to manually start the generator)

Generator interface (two to six wires for preheating, starting, and stopping the generator)

Xantrex AutoGen Start

Once these connections are made and the parameters are set, the AGS simply works to simulate the regular manual switches by closing/opening relays in the proper timing, based on the generator model.

In other words, when the system receives a trigger (low DC voltage, thermostat input, or inverter load), the AGS simply closes a relay, or series of relays, thus simulating the user pushing the start button. If preheat is required, it will push the proper sequence to preheat, then start the generator. When the trigger is no longer active, or has been satisfied, the AGS closes another relay that simulates the user pushing the stop button. Some AGSs have a minimum runtime to prevent premature wear on the generator’s engine.

If you might benefit from AGS in your personal application, make sure that the model of choice offers only those features you really want and need; take care not to get overwhelmed by a model with more features than are necessary for your usage.

There are models that have over 20 wire connections, but for a minimal installation, you may only need three! The rest of the wires are for different generator models, or optional features that you may not want to incorporate right away.

Also consider the difference between stand-alone AGS systems, which simply work with the hard-wired inputs they have, vs. networked AGS systems which can take data and generator start triggers from other devices like inverters and energy management systems. Some of the networked systems can also help the other devices make decisions like shedding loads, or supporting heavy generator loads, based on data shared between all devices.

When you’re ready to move up to today’s latest technology and enjoy the benefits of an easier and more efficient system, AGS delivers!

Details

Xantrex Technology Inc.

Xantrex Technology Inc. is a world leader in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of advanced power electronic products and systems for the mobile power markets. The company’s products convert and control raw electrical power from any central, distributed, renewable, or backup power source into high-quality power required by electronic equipment and the electricity grid.

Phone: (800) 446-6180 (toll free)

Website: xantrex.com

Worth Pondering…

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.

—Abigail Adams (1744-1818), 1780

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Cummins Onan Announces RV Generator Story Contest

Cummins Onan recently celebrated the production of its two millionth RV generator at its Fridley, Minnesota plant.

To help mark this historic milestone, the company has invited RVers to submit their RVing stories that involve a Cummins Onan generator. Every person submitting a story will be entered in a contest to win an Apple iPad 2 complete with FaceTime, Smart Cover, 10-hour battery, 16 GB of memory, and Wi-Fi.

“We know from RV customers that our generators have made a big difference in their comfort and convenience on the road,” said Shon Wright, Director of RV and commercial markets. “And we are proud of producing two million reliable RV generators over the past 50 years. So it makes sense to invite our customers to join in the celebration by telling us their RVing stories.”

Need more Details?

To learn the details of the Cummins Onan RV Generator Story Contest and to submit a story, click here.

The deadline for submitting RVing stories is December 2, 2011.

Contest Instructions

The Cummins-Onan 1400 Watt Model P1700i powered with 2.4 HP engine, 59 dB, rated at 1400 watts with surge power of 1650 watts. (Credit: portable-generators.net)

RVers like you have enjoyed more comfort and convenience, thanks to the two million RV generators that Cummins Onan has provided since 1961. We’re proud of our record of leadership role in RV generators, and we’re grateful to you, our customers. To show our appreciation and to celebrate this historic milestone, we invite you to tell us your RV Generator camping story and have a chance to win an Apple iPad 2.

Prize Eligibility

Only persons who are at least 18 years of age can enter.

Contest Starts

September 28, 2011 @ 08:00 a.m. (CDT)

Contest Ends

December 02, 2011 @ 08:00 a.m. (CST)

Details

Cummins Onan

Columbus, Indiana-based Cummins Onan is a brand of Cummins Power Generation, a subsidiary of Cummins Inc., a global leader that manufactures, distributes, and services engines, fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions, and electrical power generation.

Cummins serves customers in more than 160 countries through its network of 550 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 5,000 dealer locations.

The Cummins Onan brand is found on generators and related products manufactured for the RV, marine, commercial mobile, and residential markets.

Begun by D.W. (David) Onan in 1920, Onan has been a leader and pioneer in power generation equipment for more than 80 years and engines for 50 years.

Cummins Onan RV Quiet Diesel 1000. (Credit: hbi.on.ca)

In 1986, Onan Corporation became a fully owned subsidiary of the Cummins Engine Company (now Cummins Inc.), the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of diesel engines ranging from 55- to 2,700-horsepower for on-highway vehicles, industrial equipment, and power generation.

Address: 1400 73rd Ave. NE, Fridley, Minnesota 55432

Phone: (800) 888-6626

Website: cumminsonan.com

Worth Pondering…

I am part of all that I have met

Yet all experience is an arch wherethro

Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades

Forever and forever when I move.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson

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