RVing Diversity: RVing Has No Hard Definition

RVing has no hard definitions.

A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
RVing Diversity: RVing Has No Hard Definition. Camping at A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It’s okay to be whatever you are.

RVing is whatever you want it to be.

RVing has diverse appeal.

RVing is about little things—things we tend to take for granted—that make RVing so special.

Some like the comfort of big RVs and others like the agility of small RVs.

Some opt for a motorized RV and for others a towable is the preferred choice.

Some are in motion full time and others are stationary year round.

Some RVers enjoy dry camping and being off-grid and others enjoy 5-star resorts with all the amenities.

Some RVers enjoy camping in state and national parks and others prefer RV parks and resorts.

La Paz County Park, Parker, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
RVing Diversity: RVing Has No Hard Definition. Camping at La Paz County Park, Parker, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some RV for a reason.

Some RV because they have no better choice.

For some, RVing is the reason.

Some RV to get away from daily chores, job pressures, ringing phones, and overbooked schedules.

Some RVers enjoy the outdoors, the fresh air, the warm sunshine, the freedom of the open road, the flexible schedule.

For some RVing provides a release from everyday life, helps to put problems into perspective, and renews and refreshes both mind and body.

Some RVers are snowbirds and others are full timers.

Some RVers are weekend warriors and others travel for an extended time.

RV Park at Rolling Hills Casino, Corning, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
RVing Diversity: RVing Has No Hard Definition. Camping at RV Park at Rolling Hills Casino, Corning, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some RVers prefer areas of natural beauty and others search out theme parks and other man-made attractions.

Some RVers prefer to tour and see the sights and others would rather stay at camp.

Some RVers plan their route extensively and others make it up as they go along.

Some RVers build a social network as they travel and others prefer to keep to themselves.

Some RVers work because they have to.

Some RVers work because they want to.

Some RVers volunteer because they feel it’s the thing to do.

Some RVers keep their travel days short and others drive as many miles as they can in a day.

Some RVers spend more time indoors and others spend more time outdoors.

Some RVers explore all regions of the country and others explore in only one region.

Some RVers are retired seniors.

Some RVers would be considered young.

Many RVers consider themselves young at heart.

Some RVers prefer the countryside and rural areas and other prefer large urban areas.

Some RVers have minimalistic camps and others maintain elaborate campsites.

Canyon Vista RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona
RVing Diversity: RVing Has No Hard Definition. Camping at Canyon Vista RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved.

Some RVers expect to be on the road as long as they’re able and others expect to be off the road at a certain time.

Some RVers travel with a partner and others travel solo.

Some RVers travel with a friend.

Some RVers travel with children.

Some RVers travel with pets.

Some RVers join a club.

Some RVers travel in a caravan.

RVing is pure freedom as far as the road will take you.

Most RVers do not fall completely in any one category, and that’s part of the beauty of the RV lifestyle.

How boring happy hour or stories around the campfire would be if every story was the same.

Not everyone has the same resources at their disposal, or the inclination to travel a certain way.

There is no hard definition for this lifestyle, nor should there be.

Enjoy your journey—RV living is the freedom lifestyle.

Worth Pondering…

Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in an RV.

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Walmart Parking Lot Abuse Leaves 1 Dead & Officer Shot

The Cottonwood, Arizona, Walmart parking lot was the scene of a weekend fight that left one suspect dead and an officer shot, according to information provided by Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials and several witnesses.

(Photo courtesy Arizona Department of Public Safety)
(Photo courtesy Arizona Department of Public Safety)

Cottonwood Police Department received a call about a Walmart employee who had been assaulted by one of the suspects just before midnight.

Eight officers were also assaulted in the Walmart parking lot Saturday night (March 21, 2015) in a fight that left one suspect dead, another wounded, and seven in custody, according to officials.

The fight happened after the Cottonwood Police Department received a call at 11:52 p.m. from the Cottonwood Walmart reporting that a suspect shoved a female employee in a store bathroom.

When officers arrived, the suspects were in the parking lot and attacked the officers.

Several years ago SmartCentres, which owns the Kamloops, British Columbia shopping centre, installed large new signs on the lot reminding customers there is no overnight parking for RVs or trucks. (Credit: bcnews.ca)
Several years ago SmartCentres, which owns the Kamloops, British Columbia shopping centre, installed large new signs on the lot reminding customers there is no overnight parking for RVs or trucks. (Credit: bcnews.ca)

One suspect was shot and killed during the fight, another was shot in the abdomen, and a total of seven others were taken into custody, DPS said.

The suspects are from the same family, according to DPS spokesman Bart Graves. The seven in custody, five adult males, a woman, and a female juvenile, refused to provide their names, Graves said.

The suspects were booked as John and Jane Does on suspicion of aggravated assault, attempted homicide, obstruction of justice, and a separate assault charge related to the Walmart loss-prevention officer, who suffered a broken arm, Graves said.

All suspects involved were members of the same family who were driving a Suburban SUV with Idaho license plates and had been camping for at least four days in the parking lot according to one report.

The man who was shot and killed in the incident had spent the last few days of his life playing a guitar at a side exit to the store, asking for money, a witness said.

One officer was shot in the leg and the other seven were left with cuts and bruises.

“We do believe that there was a struggle for an officer’s weapon, there is an ongoing investigation on that,” Graves said.

The officer that was shot in the leg is 31 years old and has been with Cottonwood police for 10 years, the release said. He was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center for surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.

DPS and local police cleared the scene just after noon Sunday. Dozens of cars circled around the area where the shooting occurred near the back end of the parking lot.

Store management met with Cottonwood Police yesterday (March 24, 2015), to figure out how to keep people from camping overnight at the store.

Details of the meeting are unavailable.

Unfortunately, some campers take advantage of Walmart’s generosity and call the parking lot home for days.

Staying in a Walmart parking lot. (Credit: mybirdie.ca)
Staying in a Walmart parking lot. (Credit: mybirdie.ca)

Overnight Parking Etiquette

Some of the most respected RV consumer clubs have joined together to support your right to park on private businesses’ parking lots overnight under the following code of conduct. The code pertains to establishments that permit “dry camping” on their lots. Dry camping means camping without the use of external hookups for electricity, water supply, or waste disposal.

Industry-Sanctioned Code of Conduct (RVers’ Good Neighbor Policy)

Stay one night only!

Obtain permission from a qualified individual.

Obey posted regulations.

No awnings, chairs, or barbecue grills outside your RV.

Do not use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces (including asphalt).

Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.

Purchase gas, food, or supplies as a form of thank you, when feasible.

Be safe! Always be aware of your surroundings and leave if you feel unsafe.

If your plans include touring the area, staying for more than one night, or necessitate conduct not within the code, please relocate to a local campground. It’s the right thing to do!

Worth Pondering…

GOD IS GREAT, BEER IS GOOD, and PEOPLE ARE CRAZY!

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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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5 Facts You Should Know about RVs

Here are four facts to know about recreational vehicles, RVing, and the RV industry.

1. Modern RV Industry Began in 1910

1928 Pierce Arrow Fleet Housecar © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
1928 Pierce Arrow Fleet Housecar © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In the early years of the 20th century, Americans became accustomed to owning cars and traveling around the United States by automobile. The modern RV industry began in 1910 when car maker Pierce-Arrow unveiled the Touring Landau at Madison Square Garden in New York. The vehicle, widely considered by historians as the first motorhome, features a backseat that unfolds into a bed, a sink behind the chauffeur and, remarkably, a chamber pot.

2. First RVers Club

The first RV enthusiast’s club, the Tin Can Tourists was organized at Desoto Park, Tampa, Florida, in 1919, and still exists today. The group known for the soldered tin can on their radiator caps grew rapidly during the ’20s and ’30s.

The group’s stated objective was “To Unite Fraternally All Auto Campers”. Their guiding principles were “clean camps, friendliness among campers, decent behavior, and to secure plenty of clean, wholesome entertainment for those in the camps.”

Members could be inducted by fellow campers through an initiation process that taught the prospective member the secret handshake, sign, and password. After singing the official song “The More We Get Together” the trailerite was an official member of the Tin Can Tourists of the World.

Summer reunions were held at various Midwest locations, with Traverse City, Michigan serving as a primary host city. The club spent winters at Desoto Park until 1924 when they moved the Winter Convention to Arcadia.

3. First Travel Trailers

1958 Airstream Der Kleine Prinz
1958 Airstream Der Kleine Prinz (The Little Prince) at the RVMH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Indiana. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Built by Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis Superintendent of Construction, Harley Bowlus, the Road Chief had much of the same construction methods of airplanes of the early part of the 20th century when it first debuted in 1934. However, it took Wally Byam to take control of Bowlus’ struggling company, and in 1936 rename the Road Chief the Airstream Clipper, which ultimately put Byam’s Airstream on the map for generations to come.

A lawyer by training, Byam began building trailers out of Masonite in his backyard in Los Angeles during the late ’20s. Byam published a magazine selling “how-to” kits to customers wishing to build their own trailers.

Byam’s 1936 Airstream Clipper was essentially a rebadged 1935 Bowlus with the door relocated from the front to the side. The design cut down on wind resistance and thus improved efficiency. The Clipper slept four, carried its own water supply, was fitted with electric lights, and cost $1,200.

Of more than 400 travel trailer builders operating in 1936, Airstream was the sole survivor of the Great Depression. Part of American culture that transcends time, Airstream, manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer, is the oldest and most recognized recreational vehicle manufacturer in North America.

4. First Truck Campers

Pickup campers were first created by Walter King in 1945 when he began manufacture of the Sport King camper in Torrance, California. King loved to hunt and fish and came up with the idea while pursuing these hobbies with his buddies.

King was the first to use foam insulation, wallpaper, Formica, and mini-blinds. These materials made his home-away-from-home campers both lightweight, and pleasing to the eye. The lighter weight made them easier to carry on the truck bed, allowing for better braking ability and better gas mileage. He understood that people wanted their recreational vehicles to be comfortable as well as practical.

Though King Manufacturing, Inc., he expanded his product line in the early ’50s by offering small travel trailers and in the ’70s with motorhomes. The cab-over camper remained one of its most popular products until 1987 when the company officially shut down operations.

5. World’s Most Expensive RV Sold For $3 Million

Marchi Mobile eleMMent
Marchi Mobile eleMMent (Source: marchi-mobile.com)

The futuristic Marchi Mobile eleMMent, dubbed the most expensive motorhome in the world, recently sold in sunny Dubai for a staggering $3 million. The eleMMent Palazzo is made by an Austrian company called Marchi Mobile.

The opulent slightly bizarre Palazzo features two floors of entertainment and extravagance, with a giant master suite, multiple bars, and a liftable “flybridge” lounge up top. It also features a pop-up cocktail lounge, a living room complete with a fireplace and a ginormous 40-inch TV set, and a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. Another appealing feature is it can even clean itself after a dusty day of motoring through the desert.

The ultra-luxury RV can reach 93 mph despite its 44,000-pound (22-ton) weight.

Worth Pondering…

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

—Tony Robbins

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Good Sam Announces Top Waterfront RV Parks for 2014

The Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory announced its list of Top Waterfront RV Parks for 2014.

Good Sam 2014-Top WaterfrontShieldGood Sam editors and consultants chose the list of Waterfront Parks from the annual publication’s database of 8,000 private parks.

These RV parks are located on or near the banks of some of North America’s most popular lakes, rivers and ocean shores.

For water loving RVers, these parks provide easy access to fabulous recreation. In many parks, the shore is just a few paces from guests’ front doors. Whether RVers seek to catch a wave or drift in a lazy current, these parks inspire travelers to pull off the open road and hit the shore.

Highlights of this list include:

  • Several parks on the list cater to RVers who love boating and waterskiing. Located on the Colorado River in Nevada, Willow Beach Marina and Campground, for example, rents boats and kayaks to visitors eager to explore the area’s sheer cliffs and sandy beaches.
  • A number of parks offer the ambience of a seaside community, such as Point Hudson Marina & RV Park, a short walking distance from historic Victorian Seaport with its quaint shops and restaurants.
  • Rustic lakesides are the norm for RV parks like Spring Creek Marine and RV Park in Texas, where guests can boat, water ski, or swim in a beautiful constant-level body of water.

Facts about Waterfront RV Traveling

Pristine stretches of marshland, punctuated by small islands known as hammocks, define the breathtaking landscape of the Georgia Golden Isles. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pristine stretches of marshland, punctuated by small islands known as hammocks, define the breathtaking landscape of the Georgia Golden Isles. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to a study by PKF Consulting, 48 percent of RVers hit the water to go fishing, while 14 percent of RV travelers go canoeing and kayaking.

A report from the National Marine Manufacturers Association shows that boating has been taken up by 88 million Americans, many of whom tow their watercraft by RV.

After years of anemic sales, powerboats have bounced back, with a 10 percent increase in sales in 2012 and another 5 to 10 percent expected in 2013.

Top Waterfront RV Parks

Arizona
Willow Beach RV & Campground, Willow Beach

British Columbia
Burnaby Cariboo RV Park And Campground, Burnaby

California
Campland On The Bay, San Diego
Mad River Rapids RV Park , Arcata
Mission Bay RV Resort, San Diego
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina Newport Beach
Palms River Resort, Needles
Pirate Cove Resort, Needles
Pismo Sands RV Park, Oceano
Riverwalk RV Park & Campground, Fortuna
The RV Park of Rolling Hills, Corning

Florida
Beverly Beach Camptown RV Resort, Flagler Beach
Camp Gulf , Destin
Carrabelle Beach RV Resort, Carrabelle Beach
Daytona Beach RV Resort, Port Orange
Destin West RV Resort, Fort Walton Beach
North Beach Camp Resort, St. Augustine
Red Coconut RV Resort, Fort Myers Beach
Signature Motorcoach Resort at Naples, Naples

Gulf State Park, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Gulf State Park, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Georgia
River’s End Campground & RV Park, Tybee Island

Maine
Wild Acres RV Resorts, Old Orchard Beach

Massachusetts
Cape Cod Campresort & Cabins, East Falmouth
Peters Pond RV Resort, Sandwich

Michigan
Harbortown RV Resort, Monroe

New Jersey
Lake Laurie RV Resort And Campground, Cape May

North Carolina
Frisco Woods Campground, Frisco

Oregon
Beach Resort at Turtle Rock, Gold Beach

South Carolina
Lakewood Camping Resort, Myrtle Beach

Texas
Island RV Resort, Port Aransas
Spring Creek Marina & RV Park, Inc, San Angelo

Cajun Palms RV Resort consist of over 300 Deluxe RV Spots,12 Chalets,and 25 Cabins. RV spots have full hookups, 30- and 50-amp, 70+ channels of digital cable, and on-site water and sewer. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Cajun Palms RV Resort consist of over 300 Deluxe RV Spots,12 Chalets,and 25 Cabins. RV spots have full hookups, 30- and 50-amp, 70+ channels of digital cable, and on-site water and sewer. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Washington
Columbia Riverfront RV Park, Woodland
Point Hudson Marina & RV Park, Port Townsend

Good Sam RV Travel Guide

A different category of Top Parks will be featured each month in articles released by the Good Sam RV Travel Guide.

In addition to comprehensive listings of RV parks and campgrounds across North America, the 2014 Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory features travel itineraries, helpful maps, and informative tips that RVers need for a journey anywhere in North America.

Additional camping and RV Travel information is available on the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory Camping Blog.

Worth Pondering…

For all at last return to the sea—to Oceanus, the ocean river, like the ever-flowing stream of time, the beginning and the end.

—Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us

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Sharing Photos

The Digital Photography and RVing series will now focus on the final step of digital photography: Sharing photos.

Capture a digital image of your RV travels and experiences with your camera is but half of the fun and enjoyment.

The other half is sharing your images with family and friends. Once an image is the way you want it, there are numerous ways to display and share it:

  • Print your own photos on quality photo paper
  • Have your photos printed at a photo kiosk, or submit your images to an online photo print website; try different photo printing services and see which one you like best and keep your eye out for special offers and deals
  • Email photos to friends or family members
  • Post your photos on a social network site such as Facebook, Pineterest, or Google+
  • Copy photos to a CD or DVD
  • Upload the photos to a Photo Gallery

Photo Galleries

One of the best ways to share digital photos is to upload them to a Photo Gallery.

Photo sharing sites are often free, but some charge a monthly or annual subscription fee. Some subscription sites have a limited free version. Some free sites use photo sharing as a means to get users to order prints or other photo-embellished merchandise such as mouse pads and coffee mugs.

Popular photo sharing sites include: Picasa. If you use Picasa to organize and edit your photos then Picasa Web Albums is an ideal choice.

The site offers 1GB of storage on a free account and you can publish photos from Picasa to your web album with one click of the mouse. I use Picasa as my photo sharing site. It allows you to upload photo albums and determine who can view those albums.

Flickr from Yahoo is the most popular photo-sharing site. Flickr is the big one; everyone’s heard of it and the site has over 3 billion photos.

Think of it as a social-networking site for photo enthusiasts. You can connect with other members and join groups. You’ll also find discussion boards.

Since it’s owned by Yahoo, you’ll first require a Yahoo account. A basic account is free and allows you to upload 2 videos and 100MB of photos per month. A Pro account costs $24.95/year and allows unlimited photo and video uploading and unlimited storage, plus you can upload high-res originals and use Flickr to archive them.

Photobucket. Probably best known for photo gifts and prints, Photobucket has been around since 2003 and boasts 25 million visitors per month in the U.S. alone. It’s free account offers up to 1GB of space for photos and videos combined and up to 25GB of traffic per month. A Pro account costs $24.95/year and provides unlimited storage, plus 10 percent discount on prints and photo products.

Snapfish. Snapfish offers 20 FREE 4×6 mail-order prints with your first upload. Snapfish, a division of HP claims to be the number one online photo service, with more than 90 million members in over 20 countries and 2 billion unique photos stored online.

With Snapfish, you’ll enjoy secure, unlimited online photo sharing and storage, prints for as low as 9 cents each, over 100 customizable photo gifts, from display-quality photo books and posters to photo mugs and jewelry, free online photo editing tools.

Shutterfly. Excellent customer service makes Shutterfly a good choice for new users of online photo services. You can also send invitations to family and friends to look at your images. You can create a customized site with free, unlimited storage.

Shutterfly offers prints, photo books, greeting cards, and dozens of photo gifts suitable for any occasion but it doesn’t require purchases. It says it has never deleted a photo.

Kodak Gallery was a popular site until it closed July 2, 2012 when it announced that Shutterfly would now provide photo services for former Kodak Gallery customers including moving all Kodak Gallery photos to Shutterfly.

Fotolog. Fotolog claims to be the world’s leading photo-blogging site and one of the world’s largest social networking sites. More than 22 million members in over 200 countries use Fotolog as a simple and fun way to express themselves through online photo diaries or photo blogs.

Phanfare. Phanfare, a subscription-based service offers a 14-day free trial.

Worth Pondering…

A photograph that has not been shared or at least printed is almost an unexistent photograph, is almost an untaken picture.

—Sergio Geribay

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This is Post Number 2,000

This is an anniversary of sorts.

Camping at Chesapeake (Virginia) Preserve, a Thousand Trails membership campground. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Camping at Chesapeake (Virginia) Preserve, a Thousand Trails membership campground. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

I have been posting articles on varying aspects of the RVing lifestyle since August 2010. I started not knowing if RVers and wannabes would read my articles.

Now 600 to 1,200 read my entries each day—and I truly appreciate it!

This is my 2,000th posting!

In the world of blogging—content is king, and I love creating and sharing new content on vogeltalksrving.com. So far, the well has not run dry. I have tried to ensure that what I post is worthy of your time.

RVing is the Freedom Lifestyle

Enjoy your journey—RV living is the freedom lifestyle.

Home is where you park it.

Freedom is a wonderful thing. The kind of freedom offered by the RVing lifestyle is the ultimate.

What a life. Arizona, Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, New Mexico, and British Columbia. California, North Carolina, Nevada, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Alberta. South Carolina, Oklahoma, Vermont, Louisiana, Indiana, Wyoming, Iowa, Michigan, and Oregon. Ohio, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Colorado, Arkansas, Utah, New York, Washington, Virginia, Missouri, and Idaho.

Mardi Gras. Two little words with an infinitely large explanation.  For different people it’s different things—an event, an idea, a day, a way of life, piece of history, state holiday, or a million parades and countless memories. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Mardi Gras. Two little words with an infinitely large explanation. For different people it’s different things—an event, an idea, a day, a way of life, piece of history, state holiday, or a million parades and countless memories. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

No matter what you see when you look outside your window, you’re at home in your RV.

Yes, home is where you park it. And, remember, getting there is half the fun.

Whether it’s dry camping in the wilderness or enjoying the comforts of a full-hookup RV park, RV enthusiasts agree—it’s all about the joys of camping.

For some hardy souls, camping means pitching a tent, snuggling in sleeping bags, and cooking on a Coleman stove or a grill balanced on a fire ring. Yes, I’ve been there, done that!

For the rest of us—and some us have left those days behind—we freely admit to enjoying a soft queen-sized bed, a plug-in coffeemaker, home-cooked meal, and hot shower.

The best part of RV camping with all the comforts of home: my own bed, my own shower, Blue Bell ice cream in the freezer, and Shiner Bock in my cooler.

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 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

Even after six months on the road I wasn’t ready to come home. But home I am—if only for a few months.

But soon, along with Willie, we’ll be “On the road again…Just can’t wait to get on the road again”… as we start another RV journey.

Enjoy life NOW. It has an expiry date!

Many miles traveled, many miles to go.

Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you have no promise that you will see tomorrow.

Live for today and anticipate tomorrow.

LIVE IT WELL!

ENJOY TODAY!

BE HAPPY!

HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Worth Pondering…

When you find yourself surrounded by twisted, spiky trees straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, you will have met the park’s namesake: Joshua tree. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
When you find yourself surrounded by twisted, spiky trees straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, you will have met the park’s namesake: Joshua tree. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What a Wonderful World

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

—lyrics by George David Weiss, George Douglas, Bob Thield; recorded by Louis Armstrong

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Backing Up Digital Photos

If there is a downside to shooting digital, it has to be the need for a reliable backup system.

I use a 3 terabyte Western Digital MyBook external hard drive

Back up your photos on a regular basis—copy them to another location in case of a hard-drive failure. This has to do with your long-term happiness.

We hear a lot about storage in the “cloud” recently. Storing photos and other files on remote servers sounds great in theory. You don’t have to maintain any hardware; just upload your photos to online services and you’re done.

But are you? I say in “theory,” because one backup really isn’t enough. Multiple backups should be a priority for every photographer.

A hard-drive crash is all that’s needed to erase years of memories.

Nobody backs up diligently enough until they lose their first important file.

I learned the hard way, as so many have, and now preach the good news of regular backup.

It’s not a matter of IF your hard drive will fail; it’s a matter of WHEN.

As a general rule, you should make two copies of your backup.

In case of a disaster, such as a fire, flood, or tornado, it’s best to store you photos in two different locations.

At the end of the day, you need to create a strategy that works for you based on price, need, and ease-of-use.

Your back-up options include:

CDs or DVDs

Since it’s hard to predict the future of technology trends, it is possible that DVDs will become obsolete and your data may be safe but unreadable.

External hard drive

The simplest backup method is to use an external hard drive so all your images are in one location. Choose a hard drive that is big enough to keep all your current and future images, or be prepared to upgrade your drive in the future.

I use a 3 terabyte Western Digital MyBook external hard drive. For big-time storage Western Digital has 6TB of storage available (My Book StudioII) and comes with a hefty price tag.

Data Storage Centers

Carbonite is an excellent easy to use online backup service

Data Storage Centers are the kings of backup. They are typically built in buildings that are safe from fire, earthquake, hurricanes, and tornados. The key point here is that they are off-site backup solutions so that even if your system was destroyed or stolen, your data remains safe.

Once it is set up, backups are automatic. You don’t have to think about it. And you never run out of space. On-line backup services include:

Carbonite, 15-day free trial; $54.95/year unlimited backup

Mozy; $6.95/month unlimited backup

IDrive; 5 GB free; 150 GB of storage space $4.95/month or US$49.50/year

Worth Pondering…

Photography is the power of observation, not the application of technology.

—Ken Rockwell.

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Mediaplanet Introduces American Adventure Guide

Mediaplanet introduces distribution of its first edition cross-platform edition of American Adventure Guide, as part of a campaign to encourage readers to reconnect with the America’s great outdoors.

Jeff Corwin, renowned conservationist and explorer, graces the cover of the print publication. (Source: americanadventureguide.com)
Jeff Corwin, renowned conservationist and explorer, graces the cover of the print publication. (Source: americanadventureguide.com)

The campaign focuses on different types of trips from road trips, RVing, camping, hiking, fishing, and many more.

In partnership with industry leaders, the campaign provides readers with educational insight about family adventures and explorations as well as the accessibility and growth in recent years that continue to propel the industry forward and bring dream vacations to life, according to a Mediaplanet news release.

The print component of American Adventure was distributed within last weekend’s edition of USA Today in select markets including New York, South Florida, the Carolinas, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, and San Francisco, with a circulation of approximately 470,000 copies and an estimated readership of 1.4 million.

Jeff Corwin, renowned conservationist and explorer, graces the cover of the print publication. An exclusive interview with Corwin on the interior serves as a source of inspiration for readers to get up, get out, and get going on the next adventure.

Dolly Parton is also featured, sharing insight into her RV lifestyle, memories, and inspirations.

Dolly Parton, a Country Music Hall of Fame member is at home in her custom made Prevost home on wheels. (Source: americanadventureguide.com)
Dolly Parton, a Country Music Hall of Fame member is at home in her custom made Prevost home on wheels. (Source: americanadventureguide.com)

This time of year outdoor enthusiasts begin planning camping trips and start researching and purchasing new equipment. Part of the cost is in camping gear, and for many, finding durable gear that lasts from year to year is crucial to a positive camping experience. An informative article in the digital version, “Innovative Gear For Outdoor Adventures”, offers tips for buying durable products.

Whatever your interests, wherever you want to go, whoever you want to travel with—an RV is a fun, flexible, and affordable option. There is an RV for everyone. Indulge in your options and find a recreational vehicle that fits your travel needs as you peruse “Which RV is Right For You?”

The digital component is distributed nationally through a vast social media strategy and across a network of top news sites and partner outlets.

To explore the digital version of American Adventure Guide, click here.

This outdoor adventure campaign is made possible with the support of AAA, Leave No Trace, Children & Nature Network, National Park Conservation Association, Yellow Stone Association, Family Motor Coach Association, National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds, Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, American Boating Association, Foundation for Safe Boating & Marine Information, and more.

RVs come in an array of shapes, sizes, and configurations designed to make vacation travel convenient and comfortable. (Source: americanadventureguide.com)
RVs come in an array of shapes, sizes, and configurations designed to make vacation travel convenient and comfortable. (Source: americanadventureguide.com)

Details

Mediaplanet

Mediaplanet is the leading independent publisher of content-marketing campaigns covering a variety of topics and industries.

Mediaplanet turns consumer interest into action by providing readers with motivational editorial, pairing it with relevant advertisers, and distributing it within top newspapers and online platforms around the world.

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

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What is the Real Cost of Owning an RV?

Have you ever dreamed of taking off on the open road?

Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, you will find everything you would expect from a premier RV Resort at Buckhorn Resort near Kerrville. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, you will find everything you would expect from a premier RV Resort at Buckhorn Resort near Kerrville. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

You’re not alone. Many yearn to drive from coast to coast, visit national and state parks, or tour scenic byways and All-American Roads.

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.

Free again! All it takes is a clean windshield and a full tank of fuel, and you feel a terrible craving to be “on the road again”. Let’s see what’s over the next hill complex. In the words of Willie Nelson, “Goin’ places I have never been; seein’ things that I may never see again.”

For real, there’s the music of this friendly engine pushing you along with the lyrics of the road. The RV is familiar, always familiar. Cozy, like home. Better than home. It is home.

No matter where we go in our RV, that sense of independence is satisfying. We have our own facilities, from comfortable bed to a fridge full of our favorite foods. We set the thermostat the way we like it and go to bed and get up in our usual routine.

Got a dream, a long-held wish of traveling to a special place you hope to see—someday?

Owning a recreational vehicle is not cheap; but, it’s a terrific lifestyle.

Nestled between Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Scenic Byway 12 is located in one of the most beautiful places on earth. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Nestled between Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Scenic Byway 12 is located in one of the most beautiful places on earth. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But what does it cost to own a recreational vehicle? I’m talking here real cost and not just the initial purchase price of your home on wheels.

No matter which type of RV—travel trailer, fifth-wheel trailer, camper bus, or motorhome—you choose, there are expenses involved that are rarely considered or even contemplated prior to signing on the dotted line.

The main costs of owning an RV are more than what it costs initially to purchase one.

You need to think about the financials that are involved in upkeep and repairs, storage, travel costs, insurance, taxes, campground costs, and most importantly, what it costs to maintain an RV’s value.

The expenses of owning any kind of RV can be staggering—fuel and propane costs, extended warranty plan, insurance, licensing and registration fees, state sales taxes, monthly payments and finance costs, camping fees, utility costs, routine maintenance costs, unexpected maintenance costs, roadside assistance plan, tire repair and replacement, engine and drive train repairs, road hazard expenses, off-season storage, depreciation, food expenses (including eating out), entertainment, entrance and day use fees, club/membership fees, storage fees, communications (cell/smart phones, internet), mail forward services, and the list goes on.

Add them all up and you may find them overwhelming.

If you were to ask a group of RV owners the real cost to own an RV, few would be able to give an accurate answer.

Even if they knew, each response would be different.

One reason is that there are so many hidden expenses involved with RV travel that they are sometimes too complex to compute.

For example, someone who has storage facilities on their own property stores their RV at no cost. Someone who buys a large, expensive unit and must purchase protected storage for it can spend $2500 per year for that service.

A person who can pay cash for his unit spends thousands of dollars less for it than someone who must finance the exact same RV.

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) rally at Riverside County Fairgrounds, Indio, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) rally at Riverside County Fairgrounds, Indio, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Someone who purchases a previously owned unit that has been well maintained will pay less for repairs than a person who makes the mistake of buying one with many mechanical problems.

When people purchase an RV, they tend to forget about the cost of sales tax. For even the least costly unit, sales tax can add hundreds of dollars to the cost. For large diesel pushers, people can pay upwards of $20,000 in sales taxes.

The actual cost of owning a RV is quite high but does not offset the sheer pleasure of going where you want and when you want and sleeping in your own bed and not having to pack and unpack clothes.

And the miles will roll on…

You’ll be amazed at the beauty and the diversity of America.

Worth Pondering…

John Lennon once wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Decide to make the most of each moment.

See you- down the road and enjoy your journey—RV living is the freedom lifestyle.

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