Angel Fire RV Resort Now Open

Angel Fire Resort, located in the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico, has opened its RV resort for its first summer season. The new state-of-the-art RV resort offers guests a scenic 35-acre location to camp and play.

Angel-fire-entrance-slider-960x360Some places start with RVs and call it a resort. Angel Fire started with the resort and added the RVs. The luxury resort, constructed on mountain meadowland at the foot of Carson National Forest, is now open with 102 RV spaces and will grow to offer 325 spaces in later phases.

The new RV resort includes a well-appointed private clubhouse, paved roads, fully concreted, over-sized spaces with easy pull-through access, and 30/50-amp electrical pedestals, DirecTV access, bathrooms, showers and laundry facilities, convenient Wi-Fi access and Jacuzzis, a putting green, horseshoes, a dog park and more.

With frontage access to U.S. Highway 64, the multi-million dollar resort will offer guests access to golf, fine dining, horseback riding, a zipline adventure tour, fishing and a mountain full of outdoor activities.

Additionally the resort is located on the Enchanted Circle and is in close proximity to world-class fishing in Cimarron Canyon and Eagle Nest State Park, guided hunting, and ATV trails. Guests also have access to Carson National Forest for biking and hiking.

The resort’s popular Bike Park, ranked No. 1 Bike Park in the Southwest for the second year in a row, has nearly double its trail access to more than 100 miles making it one of the largest bike parks in the North America. Additionally, the bike park is launching a new Global Gravity Season Pass—which allows season pass holders from any bike park in the world to purchase a single day pass for half price.

Entrace to Angel Fire RV Resort
Entrace to Angel Fire RV Resort

The resort will open a fully stocked fly fishing lake at the summit and offer fishing camps, lessons, and rental equipment. The resort is already home to New Mexico’s largest zipline tour, an 18-hole PGA championship golf course, and mountain lodge.

Continuing to build on its reputation as one of the largest world-class mountain biking destinations in the country, the Angel Fire Bike Park’s goal is to engage more beginners and intermediates to the sport and expand its cross-country trail network throughout the Angel Fire region and nearby Carson National Forest.

The park will also expand its new blue trail, Devinci’s Code, by two additional miles and will open to the public at the 5th annual Gravity Games and Bikes, Blues and Brews Festival, happening over Labor Day weekend. Rounding out the improvements for the park bike carriers have been added to the Chile Express chairlift for an easier transport to the summit.

A year in the making, the resort will officially open a fully stocked, fly fishing haven at the summit July 1. Summit Lake will be home to colorful Rainbow Trout and will host a series of fly fishing clinics, private lessons, and full rental equipment.

The resort is continuing to improve on its ever-popular Rocky Mountain Zipline Adventure Tour, which takes thrill-seekers through multiple zipline stages at the summit. The tour is the second highest elevation zipline tour in the United States and the largest in New Mexico.

Angel-Fire-ResortThe six-segment tour opened in 2012 and has been so popular that the resort is now adding additional early-morning tour times to give adrenaline seekers more opportunity to fly 200 feet high above the forest floor.

A zipline tour connects multiple ziplines of varying lengths and descents. The adventure begins with an introductory zipline of only 100 feet and works up to the Super Zipline, which carries guests on a 1,600-foot cable 200 feet above the forest floor.

Situated at 8,600 feet elevation, Angel Fire Resort’s high-altitude, 18-hole Championship golf is rated as one of the top five courses in New Mexico by Golf America, the course winds through two unspoiled canyons of aspen and spruce high up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Located at Olympic Park just south of the Lodge at Angel Fire Resort on Highway 434, the Angel Fire Resort Tennis Center includes six hard courts. Clinics, lessons, tournaments, and weekly play are available and start in June.


AngelFireResortAngel Fire RV Resort

Some places start with RVs and call it a resort. Angel Fire is starting with the resort and adding the RVs.

Rates: $45 (May 1-June 30; October 18-December 10); $55 (July 1-October 17)

Pet Policy: Pet Friendly; Dog Park on site; 2 pets maximum on a 6-foot leash at all times: do not leave your pets unattended

Location: In Angel Fire, New Mexico in the Northeast corner of the state

Address: 10 Miller Lane, Angel Fire, NM 87710

Directions: From Taos, 24 miles east via US-64 & North Angel Fire Road

Phone: (844) 218-4107


Worth Pondering…

If you ever go to New Mexico, it will itch you for the rest of your life.

—Georgia O’Keeffe

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Angel Fire RV Resort Set For May Opening

In previous posts I detailed the planning for and the construction of Angel Fire RV Resort.

Entrace to Angel Fire RV Resort
Entrace to Angel Fire RV Resort

Angel Fire RV Resort is set to open Friday, May 1.

Nestled in the Moreno Valley, this full-service RV Resort is located in scenic Angel Fire with convenient access to the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway and Northern New Mexico.

While staying at Angel Fire RV Resort you have access to Angel Fire Resort’s many activities including skiing and snowboarding, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, sledding, golf, mountain biking, hiking, and zipline adventure tours.

The 35-acre RV Resort features 102 spaces, each with scenic views of the Moreno Valley, paved spaces, and 30/50-amp full hook-ups.

Amenities and facilities include hot tub, fire pits, and laundry facility.

The resort is located near world-class fishing in Cimarron Canyon and Eagle Nest State Park, guided hunting, ATV trails, and snowmobiling. Guests will also have access to Carson National Forest for biking and hiking.

“Angel Fire Resort has been working with the top experts in RV development and resort hospitality to create a luxury RV resort. While we will offer traditional RV amenities, our goal is to go way beyond and create a true mountain haven where guests can come to stay for an extended period of time and enjoy our mountain community,” said Jim Anderson, manager of the resort, in a news release.

Angel Fire Resort overlooking the Moreno Valley
Angel Fire Resort overlooking the Moreno Valley

“We will continue to work on the resort until it exceeds the expectations of today’s passionate RV travelers.”

The luxury resort, constructed on mountain meadowland at the foot of Carson National Forest, initially opens with 102 RV spaces and will expand to 325 spaces in later phases.

The new RV resort includes a well-appointed private clubhouse, paved roads, fully concreted, over-sized spaces with easy pull-through access and 30/50-amp electrical pedestals, DirecTV access, bathrooms, showers and laundry facilities, convenient Wi-Fi access, outdoor fire pits and Jacuzzis, putting green, pickleball courts, bocce ball, shuffleboard, a dog park, and more.

Each RV space will be large enough to handle the slide-outs of today’s biggest recreational vehicles. RV spaces will be available for short- and long-term rentals.

View of Angel Fire RV Resort from the entrance.
View of Angel Fire RV Resort from the entrance.

With frontage access to U.S. Highway 64, the resort provides guests with convenient proximity to the wide array of outdoor recreation amenities in Angel Fire, including golf, horseback riding, cycling, hiking, fine-dining restaurants, fishing, and more.

“Angel Fire Resort has taken huge steps to create a premiere family vacation destination in the Rockies, from building a new country club to extensive renovations to The Lodge at Angel Fire, from adding additional activities on and off the mountain to now the unveiling of the new RV resort,” said Anderson.

“We hope it will bring visitors from all over the country to enjoy this truly scenic village and mountain community.”

Living Designs Group of Taos worked with Angel Fire Resort to oversee the design of the new RV resort. This award-winning design company has worked on such notable New Mexico projects as the 4-star El Monte Sagrado luxury resort, UNM Taos, and the Angel Fire Resort Country Club.


Angel Fire RV Resort

AngelFireResortSome places start with RVs and call it a resort. Angel Fire is starting with the resort and adding the RVs.

Rates: $45 (May 1-June 30; October 18-December 10); $55 (July 1-October 17)

Pet Policy: Pet Friendly; Dog Park on site; 2 pets maximum on a 6-foot leash at all times: do not leave your pets unattended

Location: In Angel Fire, New Mexico in the Northeast corner of the state

Address: 10 Miller Lane, Angel Fire, NM 87710

Directions: From Taos, 24 miles east via US-64 & North Angel Fire Road

Phone: (844) 218-4107


Worth Pondering…

If you ever go to New Mexico, it will itch you for the rest of your life.

—Georgia O’Keeffe

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Just Like Snowflakes…No 2 RV Park Are the Same

The lure of the open road and the comforts of home come together when you’re traveling in a recreational vehicle.

RV Park at Rolling Hills Casino, Corning, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
RV Park at Rolling Hills Casino, Corning, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But before you hit the road, you should be aware that not all RV parks are created equal. Campers can find RV parks in state parks and national parks as well as privately owned campgrounds. And the quality varies from budget to high end.

A year-long promotion, 12 months of RVing, was recently announced by Good Sam RV Travel and Savings Guide.

The editors and consultants of the Good Sam RV Travel Guide assembled this list to spotlight RV parks in monthly categories and celebrate the fact that RV travel comes in all shapes and sizes. Monthly categories include Top Snowbird Parks (January), Top Pet-Friendly Parks (February), Top Destinations RV Parks (March), and Top Scenic Parks (October).

During 2015 Vogel Talks RVing will post monthly listing of Top RV Campgrounds, RV Parks & Resorts in nine selected categories. All parks included have been personally visited with a minimum of one night of paid camping and no parks have paid for their inclusion in the listings.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park: West Valley Icon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
White Tank Mountain Regional Park Campground, Maricopa County, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Schedule for posting the Top RV Parks and Campgrounds follows:

  • April: Top Campgrounds, RV Parks & Resorts For Outdoor Recreation (Birding & Hiking)
  • May: Top Campgrounds, RV Parks & Resorts in Areas of Natural Beauty
  • June: Top Campgrounds, RV Parks & Resorts Near Popular Travel Regions & Cities
  • July: Top Campgrounds, RV Parks & Resorts With Fun Activities For the Entire Family
  • August: Top Campgrounds, RV Parks & Resorts Near Popular Water Recreation Areas
  • September: Top Culinary (Wine & Bourbon) Campgrounds, RV Parks & Resorts
  • October: Top Campgrounds, RV Parks & Resorts For Snowbirds & Winter Texans
  • November: Top Big Rig Friendly Campgrounds, RV Parks & Resorts
  • December: Top Campgrounds, RV Parks & Resorts With Amenities For Your Pets

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

There is a variety of campgrounds, each offering different amenities and activities. These include private RV parks; casino camping; national, state, and county park campgrounds; Army Corps of Engineers parks; and service club facilities.

Leaf Verde RV Park, Buckeye, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Leaf Verde RV Park, Buckeye, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Consider your needs when choosing an RV park.

What are the best tips for choosing a campground and campsite that you and your family will love?

Nothing can make or break your RV vacation like choosing a campground not suited to your family’s needs and interests. When selecting a park, think about your camping style and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you camping with a young family?
  • Are you an active couple looking for outdoor adventures?
  • Are you snowbirds who enjoy on-site activities and the opportunity to meet new friends?
  • How large is your RV?
  • What amenities do you require? Full hook-ups? 30- or 50-amp electric service?
  • Are you looking for a rural or urban setting?
  • What is your nightly/weekly/monthly camping budget?
  • Do you travel with pets?
Camping at Bentsen Palm Village RV Park south of Mission.
Bentsen Palm Village RV Park, Mission, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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

Worth Pondering…

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.
—George Bernard Shaw

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Lazydays Expands & Upgrades RV Resort

Lazydays, the world’s largest RV dealership, announced it is now home to an expanded, upgraded 300-site RV Resort open to the general public.

Lazydays Tampa RV Resort
Lazydays Tampa RV Resort

Amenities have been designed to provide camping enjoyment for people of all ages whether they are RVing individually, with families, or within large groups, the company stated in a news release.

Lazydays’ resort staff is on site 24 hours a day and is available to assist in any way, even help in planning special events, large and small. A full-time concierge is located on site to assist with travel plans and discounted local attraction tickets.

The spacious pool area features a resurfaced heated pool, hot tub, renovated pool baths, and an expansive beautifully appointed deck with all new resort-style outdoor furniture. The tennis court has been resurfaced and two half-basketball courts have been added. Other recreational activity areas feature horseshoes, bean bag toss, ladderball, badminton, and pickleball.

The new Children’s Playground and Park features state-of-the-art playground equipment and a Gazebo, perfect for small gatherings, according to the release.

The entire Lazydays campus is pet friendly and the resort has a dog park.

Lazydays parts storeIts RV-themed restaurant and pub, named Exit 10, features daily drink and dinner specials on site Tuesday through Sunday as well as poolside access throughout the week. Take-out and catering services are also available.

For the RVer who takes their work on the road, the Lazydays RV Resort Business Center offers a quiet office environment with computer and printer access.  Free Wi-Fi, complimentary morning newspaper delivery, premium coffee, and cable television are also available to all RV resort guests.

Each full-service RV site has 50-amp electric service and is situated in close proximity to all recreational facilities and a completely renovated laundry facility. Golf cart rentals and shuttle services are also available. Breakfast and lunch are included with every site Monday through Saturday.

“Since Lazydays first opened in 1976, we have been listening to our customers and their RV lifestyle needs,” said Lazydays CEO Tim Sheehan.

“Our RV resort is a true reflection of our ongoing commitment to provide a state of the art recreational playground for all ages and resort level quality and service at every level.”

The Lazydays RV Resort is located on-property of the 126-acre dealership site that is home to over 1,200 RVs and 220 service bays. Also located on the Lazydays campus is an RV parts and accessories store with a broad selection of merchandise to enhance the RV experience, and three themed restaurants including the exclusive Crown Club for the luxury motorhome owner.

LazydaysThe complimentary on-site Lazydays Drivers Confidence Course offers seminars and classes.

Located in central Florida, just outside of Tampa, the Lazydays RV Resort is easily accessible by Interstate 4 and is convenient to theme parks, shopping, and dining destinations, museums and art galleries, aquariums and zoos, and award-winning golf courses open 12 months a year.

Many opportunities for outdoor activities are in close proximity including Florida’s white sandy beaches, nature preserves, and “the salt life”, whether it be fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, or surfing.


Lazydays RV

Tampa Florida skylineIn 1976, a family opened Lazydays RV in Tampa, Florida, with just $500, two travel trailers, and a big dream. Over the years, Lazydays has grown exponentially to have an ever-growing family of RV experts, a vast array of RVs, and a variety of RV services.

From the extensive selection of RVs, and exceptional education and training to the advanced Lazydays RV Service department and Lazydays RV Campground, you can find everything RVers dream about at Lazydays.

Lazydays has a second location in Tucson, Arizona

Phone: (800) 306-4002 (toll free)

Address: 6130 Lazy Days Boulevard, Seffner, FL 33584-296


Worth Pondering…

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.


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Top 4 Snowbird Destinations

There’s nothing quite like venturing south in your recreational vehicle when winter’s northern wind starts to stir and snow starts to blow.

Snowbirds and full-time RVs in their winter home at Bella Terra RV Resort, Gulf Shores, Alabama  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Snowbirds and full-time RVs in their winter home at Bella Terra RV Resort, Gulf Shores, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

From the Atlantic to the Pacific, there are numerous warm, welcoming, and breathtakingly-beautiful places to explore as a southbound snowbird. With many snowbird friendly RV resorts offering wonderful amenities and gorgeous views, there’s never been a better time to head south.

Following is a look at four exciting RV destinations for snowbirds to check out:

Bella Terra of Gulf Shores (Alabama)

Located near the sugar white sands of the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast, Bella Terra Luxury Resort in Foley, Alabama, boasts a 5-star rating with true southern charm. Bella Terra of Gulf Shores is an upscale Class A motorhome resort community designed with the discriminating RVer in mind.

Bella Terra’s amenities include a 6,000 square foot Grand Clubhouse, fenced-in dog park, stocked lake, fully-appointed fitness center, infinity-edge pool, Jacuzzi, private movie theatre, business center, and croquet court.

The RV lots offered for both sale and rent include professional landscaping for privacy, concrete pads, built-in patios, full service utility hook-ups with views of the stocked lake and lush foliage. The over-sized Class A RV lots—some as large as 5,000 square feet—are designed to satisfy your Class A RV motor coach needs.

Camping at Bentsen Palm Village RV Park south of Mission.
Camping at Bentsen Palm Village RV Park south of Mission. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort (Texas)

Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort is one of the most unique RV Resorts in South Texas and is part of the 2,600-acre Master Planned Community of Bentsen Palm Development.

Bentsen Palm Village is located in South Mission at the entrance to World Birding Center headquarters at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park. Bentsen Palm Village is only minutes from shopping, medical facilities, and easy access to Expressway 83.

Bentsen Palm Village offers over 250 large pull-through and back-in sites, full hookups, rental cabins and casitas, and native landscaping. Super Sites offer a 10×12 storage building that can be locked and secured when necessary. Resort amenities include a Club house, pool and spa, fitness center, dog agility course, woodshop, craft room, and miles and miles of hike and bike trails.

Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona
Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Canyon Vistas RV Resort (Arizona)

Canyon Vistas RV Resort is nestled at the base of the breathtaking Superstition Mountains in the exclusive Gold Canyon area southeast of Phoenix. Here you’re beyond the noise and congestion of the city, yet minutes from shopping and entertainment. Enjoy a morning walk or bike ride amid stately hundred year old Saguaro cactus or keep in shape at the state-of-the-art Fitness Center. Meet your friends for a round of golf at the pitch and putt course followed by a cool drink on the expansive covered veranda, soothed by refreshing desert breezes. Go hiking, boating, and horseback riding in the nearby mountains.

Amenities include fitness center, ceramics, wood carving, lapidary, pickleball, computer lab and classes, quilting and sewing room, pools and spas, tennis courts, and pet area.

Indian Waters RV Resort (California)

Indian Waters RV Resort and Cottages is located in the Coachella Valley City of Indio, an area that includes the desert cities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, and La Quinta.

Recently renovated, this beautiful property has added cottages, a second pool, lighted pickleball courts, 50 amp electric and city sewer service to all sites, resurfacing of roads and sites, enhanced Wi-Fi, and a complete make-over for the large clubhouse.

Today, Indian Waters with its desirable location and numerous amenities, is one of the best and most affordable, five star, state-of-the-art RV resorts in the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley area.

Indian Waters RV Resort
Enjoying the Southern California sunshine at Indian Waters RV Resort in Indio. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With 274 full service sites with 50/30-amp electric, Indian Waters RV Resort and Cottages offers two distinct landscaping themes for its concrete level sites: grass and desert landscape. All sites have views of the majestic mountains or nearby ponds, towering eucalyptus trees, or gardens. All sites are convenient to the two improved bathhouse and laundry facilities. The typical RV site is approximately 35 feet wide and 60 feet deep with two concrete pads, one for your RV and one for your toad/tow vehicle.

Worth Pondering…

It started out a dream

A simple someday soon

But we worked hard

and made it real

This snowbird life

behind the wheel.

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Wi-Fi: The Fourth RV Park Utility

Speaking at last month’s APEX/IFSA EXPO, International Air Transport Association Manager of Passenger Experience Development, Dimiter Zahariev made a comment that really resonated with me.

Wi-Fi“We believe Wi-Fi is the fourth utility after electricity, water, and gas.”

I would agree with that.

Wireless is becoming just as indispensable for day-to-day operations in the 21st century as electricity and plumbing were in the 20th.

I believe that RV park and campground managers need to think of Wi-Fi as the fourth utility that RV parks offer consumers after electricity, water, and sewer.

A service that was once considered a perk at RV parks and campgrounds is quickly becoming an expectation for most, if not all, RVers.

Campers demand a connection and if they have to pay an additional fee, it better be good. Following these demands, RV parks are adapting in a variety of ways. Access is no longer a ‘want’; it has become a ‘need’.

Today’s RVer expects to be able to get online, quickly, easily, and reliably.

When I’m in an RV park Internet access is a true need. I use it for everything from this website, to buying goods and services, entertainment, and interacting with family and friends.

WiFiWi-Fi or other internet access at each site whether free or a paid service is, I consider to already be an essential utility in a campground or RV park. Park owners must figure out how to deliver this service regardless of difficulty.

Just a few years ago, 50 amp electric moved from a “nice to have” to an essential service to some degree at any 21st century park. As difficult as it has been for some parks to upgrade, for the most part successful parks have accomplished it. So it will be with Wi-Fi.

One of the first questions I ask prior to making a campground reservation relates to Internet availability.

“Do you have Wi-Fi and is it available from each RV site?”

My reservation is contingent on whether the RV park has reliable Wi-Fi available at the site.

I’ve stayed in campgrounds that didn’t provide adequate Wi-Fi connectivity as promised, where the Wi-Fi network was as good as none. Being told that I can come to the office or sit on a picnic table outside of the office and use it, just doesn’t cut it anymore.

A growing number of RVers expect the campground to deliver reliable online access and will choose not to stay in a park unable to provide it.

wifi-logo4Guest expectations have risen massively in recent years. The explosion in laptop, tablet, and smart phone ownership with the resulting requirement for guests to be able to access Apps, search engines, games, movies, and other content, in addition to the ability to send and receive emails, photos, and large amounts of data, and using Skype to communicate with family is increasing the strain on existing infrastructures.

Add to this the fact that RVers generally carry more than one device (with the average being three) and that, in the past, Wi-Fi installations were aimed at delivering general coverage as opposed to the excellent coverage now required at each campsite.

RV park owners and managers must realize that, like it or not, campground guests not only want it, they expect quality Wi-Fi service.

Connectivity is now critical to how RV parks and resorts do business.

Worth Pondering…

What’s the Wi-Fi password?

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North-South Snowbird RV Routes

As refugees from the frozen north, snowbirds escape winter at home by migrating southward each year.

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

Selecting a balmy snowbird roost is when all the fun begins. Choice is in rich supply.

Many snowbirds are north-south creatures, meaning those from the Northwest tend to settle in Arizona, Nevada, and California; those from the Midwest flock to Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana; and those from the Northeast head for Florida.

Are you planning on heading directly south from your home location? Or will you cut across the country in a diagonal direction, exploring a whole new longitude?

Choice of route is also subject to your own inclinations. Do you want to sightsee along the way, or—as might be the case in mid-winter—do you prefer to go hell-bent-for- leather to the Sunbelt?

A successful—and stress free—trip requires a little homework  before you leave.

Regardless of your journey, factor in the drive times and travel expenses.

While you’re at it, be sure to account for the changing weather conditions you’ll encounter on your travels. If you haven’t given yourself enough time to avoid the first winter storm, plan accordingly. Allow yourself sufficient time for cold-weather driving, and bring ample warm-weather clothes to get you through the journey.

After settling into Flag City RV Resort, a 5-star RV park, we started our seven-day tour. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
After settling into Flag City RV Resort, a 5-star RV park, we started our seven-day tour of the Lodi (California) wine area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Since the interstate highways are generally well-maintained and have priority for snow clearing and sanding, they’re a good bet for safe winter travel.

With many interstate highways in America, the price one pays for fast speed convenience is a lack of variation in the scenery one passes through. North-south interstates are different, partly because they are north-south routes and therefore pass through varying climatic conditions and altitude changes.

Interstates 95 and 75 are the two preferred north-south travel routes from the northeast to Florida because they are direct and provide a wide range of service facilities.

“Along Interstate-95″ and “Along Interstate-75″ are two popular spiral bound mile-by-mile guidebooks with practical information on these two major north-south routes.

I-95 is the longest north-south interstate in the US, traveling through 15 states. It is the main highway on the East Coast of the U. S., paralleling the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida and serving some of the best-known cities in the country including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Miami.

Whiskey Flats RV Park (Hawthorne, Nevada) is conveniently located mid-way between Reno and Las Vegas
Many snowbirds from the Northwest use US Highway 95 for their north-south travel route. Whiskey Flats RV Park (Hawthorne, Nevada) is conveniently located mid-way between Reno and Las Vegas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved.

Snowbirds who RV south for the winter from the northwest have a choice of several routes with most opting for I-5 or 1-15 for a major portion of the journey. But many RVers ask, “Isn’t there a better route?” That seems to be a common question on RV forums.

Although friends have shared little short-cuts with us (such as leaving I-15 at Dillon and going 41/55 to Whitehall and 69 into Boulder, avoiding the big climb to Butte), the result of our conversations and research have shown few strong alternatives to the I-15.

It’s winter, we’re not interested in the icy scenery and we just want to get out of the cold. Getting there is not half the fun. All of this points to the I-15 as the best Snowbird path south from Alberta, Montana, and eastern Idaho.

Snowbirds from the Midwest often use Interstate 35 and a combination of several other interstates and secondary highways to reach their Sunbelt roost.

Plotting a route in common mapping software or relying exclusively on a GPS generally produces the fastest or shortest route, which isn’t necessarily the best winter driving route for RVs.

Orange Groove RV Park, off US-99 in Bakersfield
Orange Groove RV Park, off US-99 in Bakersfield is a popular overnight stop for snowbirds. It’s a 40-acre orchard where you park your RV between row after row of beautiful orange trees. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved.

Watch the weather and road reports. Leave when you have a three-day window of good weather and clear roads.

Mountain driving, with its steep grades and hairpin turns, can be scary enough in the summer especially for those accustomed to gunbarrel-straight highways. However, it’s really the ice and snow that are the big concern.

If you get caught in a winter storm, wait it out and give the road crews time to clear the highway.

Drive carefully leaving extra room between vehicles and allow extra time to stop.

If the weather looks like it will be getting bad, or becomes terrible overnight, then stay put. Much better to spend an extra day in a campground than in a cold RV stranded on a snow-bound highway.

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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Thanksgiving & Our RV Lifestyle

Many will be on the road traveling today and throughout this Thanksgiving weekend.

Thanksgiving & Our RV Lifestyle (Photo:
Thanksgiving & Our RV Lifestyle (Photo:

Thanksgiving is the biggest travel weekend in America, and RVers are out in force, back on the road, crossing the country in their RVs to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends.

And many Snowbirds are traveling south to their favorite Sunbelt roost to avoid the rigors of another northern winter.

I have so much to be thankful for! I give thanks to my partner—my wife Dania, my co-pilot—and our family and friends.

With a lifelong love of travel, a condo-on-wheels has always been our destiny. Yes, we’re living our dream! We’ve wintered in Southern CaliforniaArizonaTexas, Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama.

Our RV travels have taken us to over 40 states and four western provinces.

I am thankful as Canadian Snowbirds that we have the opportunity of celebrating Thanksgiving in October (Canadian Thanksgiving) and again in November.

Thanksgiving offers the opportunity to reflect on life, liberty, and the pursuit of full hookup campgrounds with really good Wi-Fi.

Thanksgiving & Our RV Lifestyle
Thanksgiving & Our RV Lifestyle

We’re thankful that RV travel is so popular in our own vast and wonderful countries. We are fortunate that the RV industry has rebounded and that RVing is supported coast-to-coast!

I’m thankful for our continued health and safety while traveling. Any time you venture onto highways, you are rolling the dice. So far we’ve enjoyed over 140,000 miles of safe and mostly carefree travel as we cruise the highways and byways of our two great nations!

I am thankful for our freedom. As Americans and Canadians we take so much for granted when it comes to freedom. We have freedom of speech, expression, the right to vote, and so much more that others across the world only dream of. That freedom came at a price—and that is the lives of many of our servicemen and women.  So, I also would like to give thanks to our troops.

Oh yeah … and I give thanks to the Internet which has given me the opportunity to share my thoughts on RV Travel.

Stay tuned, friends…the best is yet to come!

What are you thankful for?

Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend from our family here to you and yours.  We hope it will be full of amazing food, love and laughter and of course–great wines!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and Safe Travels…and we’ll see you back here tomorrow!

Thanksgiving offers the opportunity to reflect on life, liberty, and the pursuit of full hookup campgrounds with really good WiFi. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Thanksgiving offers the opportunity to reflect on life, liberty, and the pursuit of full hookup campgrounds with really good WiFi. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thanksgiving Day Stats

Key to any Thanksgiving Day menu are a fat turkey and cranberry sauce.

An estimated 254 million turkeys were raised for slaughter in the U.S. during 2012, up 2 percent from 2011’s total, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistical Service.

About 46 million of those turkeys ended up on U.S. dinner tables on Thanksgiving—or about 736 million pounds (334 million kilograms) of turkey meat, according to estimates from the National Turkey Federation.

Minnesota is the United States’ top turkey-producing state, followed by North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, Indiana, and California. These “big seven” states produce more than two of every three U.S.-raised birds, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

U.S. farmers also produced an estimated 768 million pounds (348 million kilograms) of cranberries in 2012, which, like turkeys, are native to the Americas. The top producers are Wisconsin and Massachusetts.

The U.S. grew 2.6 billion pounds (1.18 billion kilograms) of sweet potatoes—many in North Carolina, Mississippi, California, Texas, and Louisiana—and produced more than 1.2 billion pounds (544 million kilograms) of pumpkins. Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio grow the most U.S. pumpkins.

Worth Pondering…

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.

—Edward Sandford Martin

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Camping in August

RV travel is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding ways to vacation and August is prime camping season. The timing could not be better.

The Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas
The Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The attraction of recreational vehicle travel is to see the country, visit new places, meet interesting people, and experience the freedom of the open road.

Each journey represents a passage, whether it’s an adventure to a new state, a new attraction, or an outing with friends. But the pleasure of RV camping can be had without driving for days. The “here” can be just as enjoyable as “there”.

Natural beauty abounds when least expected, and surprises wait at every turn of the road. The distance doesn’t matter. It’s what you see out your window in the morning that counts.

But finding the right spot to park your RV can be a headache for any owner—especially if you want a spectacular view.

Enter Good Sam Travel and Campground Directory and its list of Top Scenic Parks for 2014.

Across the U.S. and Canada there are numerous RV parks and campgrounds with stunning views.

In this article we’ll examine four such locations.

Lake Mead RV Village (Nevada)

Petrified Forest National Park
The best way to enjoy and experience Petrified Forest National Park is on foot. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lake Mead RV Village, located in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers magnificent views of beautiful Lake Mead and is an ideal base camp for the variety of recreational activities in the park. Recreational enthusiast’s favorite activities include, boating, sailing, swimming, fishing, and hiking.

Conveniently located to a variety of attractions, Lake Mead RV Village operates two parks on Lake Mead in Nevada—Boulder and Echo Bay close to the wonder of the Valley of Fire State Park.

Fort Tatham RV Park (North Carolina)

Find your home away from home in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains at Fort Tatham RV Park, a Carefree resort. Enjoy the shade from 100-foot trees as you camp in a full-hookup sites backed by a flowing creek.

USA RV Park (New Mexico)

El Malpais lava country
El Malpais National Monument preserves an ancient volcanic landscape and a history of human habitation. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

USA RV Park is Gallup, New Mexico’s premier RV and camping facility. Centrally located on the Historic Route 66, the park is a short distance from spectacular national and tribal parks including Window Rock (25 miles), Zuni Pueblo (41 miles), Hubbel Trading Post National Historic Park, El Morro National Monument (63 miles), El Malpais National Monument (64 miles), Bandera Crater (72 miles), Petrified Forest National Park ( 90 miles), Shiprock (93 miles), Canyon de Chelly National Monument (98 miles), and Acoma Pueblo (98 miles).

Oak Creek RV Park

Relax and enjoy Oak Creek RV Park, a Sunland Resort, in the foothills of the El Capitan Preserve and the Cleveland National Forest. Discover beautiful Lake Jennings two and a half mile west and downtown San Diego 25 miles west on I-8.

Yes, it is true: Summer time means RVing time—and August is prime camping season.

Lake Jennings is two and a half miles West of Oak Creek RV Resort and caters to all ages fishing needs.
Lake Jennings is two and a half miles West of Oak Creek RV Resort and caters to all ages fishing needs. (Source:


Lake Mead RV Village


Daily rates from $28

Fort Tatham RV Park


Daily rates from $35



Daily rates from $33.94

Oak Creek RV Park


Daily rates from $42

Worth Pondering…

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

—Lewis Carrol

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RVC Outdoor Destinations Launches New Interactive Site

Memphis, Tennessee-based RVC Outdoor Destinations, a leading provider of high-quality outdoor resort properties in the United States, has unveiled its new interactive and industry website (SEE link below)

Pool deck at Medina Highpoint Resort in the Texas Hill Country
Pool deck at Medina Highpoint Resort in the Texas Hill Country

The site is responsive and has been designed for all mobile devices.

It provides easy navigation and a superior user experience that allows visitors to get a feel for RVC’s Outdoor Destinations and RV Resorts, according to a news release.

“Our guests have been telling us that they love our resorts but that we could do a better job presenting both our properties and the RVC movement on our web site—so we responded and have completely rebuilt it. We’ve utilized the best web design resources available to provide a richer site with better graphics, better pictures, clearer messaging, and a superior overall web experience,” said Andy Cates, CEO and general partner of RVC Outdoor Destinations.

“RVC is redefining the camping experience, and that includes providing a world class web experience that appropriately reflects what we are doing.”

RVC’s new website provides guests with a web experience that is consistent with its collection of beautiful resorts.

Catherine’s Landing, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Catherine’s Landing, Hot Springs, Arkansas

In addition to its attractive design, the site is built on HTML 5 infrastructure, optimized for user searches, and easy to navigate.

While touring the site, guests can learn more about RVC and its team, tour properties, make reservations, read various traveler reviews, and see RVC’s recent articles.

RVC Outdoor Destinations

RVC Outdoor Destinations develops, owns, and operates a portfolio of high-quality outdoor hospitality properties located within some of the country’s most beautiful natural settings and offering upscale services and amenities.

Memphis, Tennessee-based RVC is redefining the traditional camping experience with its original Outdoor Destination concept and upgraded RV resorts that provide guests with a comfortable, customizable, outdoor vacation through a variety of affordable lodging options, including RV sites, yurts, cabins, and cottages, all with enhanced guest amenities and recreational activities.

Cottages in Florida
Cottages in Florida

RVC operates 10 Outdoor Destinations and RV Resorts in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and North Carolina.

Address: 429 N Main Street, Suite 100, Memphis, Tennessee 38103

Phone: (901) 432-4748


Worth Pondering…

Oh, what a beautiful morning’,

Oh, what a beautiful day.

I got a beautiful feelin’

Ev’rything’s goin’ my way.

Oh, what a beautiful day!

—“Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” from the musical Oklahoma

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