Thursday, May 5, 2016

11 Amateur Photographers Win National Parks Photography Contest

Grand Prize Winner: Yang Lu (Glen Canyon National Recreation Area)
A dramatic sunrise in a remote location at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah is the grand prize winner of the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest, hosted by the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, ACTIVE Network and Celestron. This winning picture captured by Yang Lu of El Segundo, Calif., will be featured on the annual Federal Recreational Lands Pass.

According to a release, the annual contest encourages amateur photographers to share their experiences by submitting their favorite views, moments, and adventures from America’s national parks and public lands.

Second Place: Koustubh Kulkarni (Joshua Tree National Park)
ACTIVE Network, a leader in cloud-based "Activity and Participant Management" and data solutions, is powering the Share the Experience photo contest for the fifth year. More than 15,000 photos were submitted with more than 650,000 photo views over the course of the contest, which ran from May 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2015.

Second place went to Koustubh Kulkarni of Johnson City, Tenn., for his photo along the 49 Palms Trail at Joshua Tree National Park in California. The shot catches five Big Horn sheep, looking almost posed, against a vibrant orange, yellow, pink, and blue sunset.

Third Place: Sarah Gustafson (Death Valley National Park)
Third place went to Sarah Gustafson of San Francisco, Calif., for her self-portrait on the salt flats of Death Valley National Park in California.

People can view all 11 photos and get the inside scoop about these special moments from the photographers on the National Park Foundation’s blog. You can also follow @GoParks and @Share_the_Experience on Instagram for more park photos.

Fan Favorite: Matthew Sorum (Yellowstone National Park)
The grand prize for the winning image is $10,000, followed by $5,000 and $3,000 for second and third place, in addition to outdoor gear provided by Celestron, hotel packages courtesy of Historic Hotels of America, and an annual Federal Recreational Lands Pass. There are also prizes for fan favorites and the following six category winners:
  • Adventure and Outdoor Recreation
  • Historical and Cultural
  • Scenic, Seasons, and Landscapes
  • Every Kid in a Park
  • Wildlife
  • Night Skies
Fan Favorite: Heather Martin (Mt. Whitney, Inyo National Forest)
The 2016 Share the Experience photo contest, sponsored by the National Park Foundation and ACTIVE Network in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and, is now accepting entries through Dec. 31. Share the Experience is the official photo contest of America’s national parks and federal recreational lands, showcasing the more than 500 million acres of federal lands and drawing entries from all across the United States. For a full listing of prizing and rules, or to submit a photo, please visit

Scenic, Seasons and Landscapes Winner: Steve Ancik
(Ah-shi-sle-pah Wilderness Study Area)
Share the Experience is a great example of the countless ways there are to #FindYourPark. Launched in March 2015, Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque is a public awareness and education movement to inspire people from all backgrounds to connect with, celebrate, and support America’s national parks and community-based programs. Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial and setting the stage for the Service's next 100 years, #FindYourPark invites people to discover and share their own unique connections to our nation's natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history.

Night Skies Winner: Erik Fremstad (Badlands National Park)
As part of its commitment to the National Park Service Centennial and strengthening our national treasures for the next 100 years, the National Park Foundation offers many ways to support America’s national parks. From national park-inspired gear, to commemorative coins, to its $350 million Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, there are a variety of unique ways to honor and protect the legacy of these special places.

Source: Press Release

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Minnesota State Parks goes to Reservable Campsites

Full inventory of campsites will be reservable in time for Memorial Day weekend 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that some key customer service improvements are coming to Minnesota state parks and recreation areas this summer.

According to DNR Parks and Trails Division Director Erika Rivers, the following changes, which begin taking effect in early May, are important steps to modernize services and meet the needs of today’s visitors to the state’s 75 parks and recreation areas.

Summer 2016 changes include:

Campsites that are 100 percent reservable at all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. Previously, up to one-third of state park campsites were not available for advanced reservation and could only be rented by walk-in guests at the parks on a first-come, first served basis. In a 2014-2015 pilot project, about a quarter of state parks made all of their campsites reservable. Based on positive customer response, the Parks and Trails Division decided to expand this service statewide in 2016. Campsites can be reserved online at or via phone: 866-857-2757.

Same-day reservations. For spontaneous travelers and families with busy schedules, same-day reservations will soon be available at many of Minnesota state parks’ most popular destinations (some locations will require infrastructure upgrades before implementation). Previously, the cut-off for making reservations was midnight the night before arrival day. For walk-ins, if there’s a campsite available, they’ll be able to book it either online or at a self-serve kiosk right in the park after arrival, with no reservation fee.

Easier, more convenient registration and orientation. Minnesota state parks and recreation areas are also investing in improved orientation and registration systems, which will allow visitors to register themselves and get other information without standing in line waiting for a staff person. Signs, maps and publications are being redesigned to be easier to use and to appeal to a new generation of visitors.

“Self-service has become commonplace at grocery stores, libraries and airports,” Rivers said. “Implementing 100 percent reservable campsites and self-service experiences are time-saving measures for our park visitors and saves resources for state government. As we phase in more self-service opportunities at parks, park staff will be able to refocus their work and engagement and will have more time out in the park, interacting with visitors and answering questions.”

In moving to 100 percent reservable campsites, Rivers noted that parents previously may have been reluctant to pack up their cars and haul their kids some distance to a park that may not have a campsite available by the time they get there. “Moving to 100 percent ‘guaranteed camping’ and accepting same-day reservations is a step toward becoming even more family friendly,” she said.

Customer service improvements to the camping reservation system will be rolled out in early May, just in time for Memorial Day weekend, according to the DNR. The registration and orientation improvements will be rolled out throughout the summer on a park-by-park basis. These customer service improvements come as the DNR celebrates the 125th anniversary of Minnesota’s state park and trail system.

For more information, visit the camping website  or contact the DNR Information Center at, 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Source: Press Release

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

KOA Study: New, Multicultural Generation of Campers Benefitting from Time Spent Outdoors

More than 1 million households in North America started camping last year. Of these new campers, 18 percent are African-American, 11 percent are Hispanic, and 44 percent are millennials, according to the 2016 North American Camping Report, an annual independent study supported by Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA). 

The research findings suggest that not only is there an increase in African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American representation overall, but among new campers for 2015, representation closely matches overall population (i.e., census) figures, indicating that this new generation of campers is truly multicultural.

African-American and Hispanic campers are not only camping more than ever before, but they are enthusiastic about the benefits, stating it allows them to spend more time with friends and family, reduce stress and be more physically active. What’s more, the research suggests that there is a “flattening” effect among millennials, where many of the differences observed between ethnic groups are much less pronounced among these younger campers.

Relaxation and stress relief are the top reasons people camp, according to nearly 3,000 survey respondents across the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, 1-in-5 campers say that camping allows them to spend more time vacationing each year, and access to technology may be promoting greater mobility among campers. While email usage while camping is down overall, campers who check their email while camping spend on average three additional days camping, reinforcing the notion that technology is allowing people to camp more without the anxiety of being disconnected.

“More people are camping across North America than in the past few years, and we’re seeing how we define experiences in the outdoors evolve in a modern and meaningful way,” said KOA COO Toby O’Rourke. “The uptick among millennial and multicultural campers could represent a shift in how camping is perceived and levels of participation. With interest and intent to camp more up across the board for 2016, the outlook for the upcoming season, as well as the long-term viability of camping, remain strong.”

Additional highlights from the 2016 North American Camping Report include:

The New Generation of Campers: A Camper is a Camper
Diversity in the outdoors is slowly increasing, with more African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans starting to camp each year. Notably, the results of this year’s North American Camping Report show that the distribution of new campers is much more aligned with overall population figures for ethnicity.
  • All nonwhite campers were more likely to report a net increase in camping nights and/or trips for 2015 (nonwhite campers showed a net increase of 15 percent compared to 3 percent among white campers), compared to Caucasian/white campers.
  • One-in-5 new campers are African-American, which is being driven primarily by millennials.
  • Hispanic campers are now 8 percent of the overall camper market (up 2 percentage points from 2014 to 2015) and represent 11 percent of all new campers. New Hispanic campers are also highly likely to be millennial (64 percent), representing one of the fastest growing segments among campers.
  • Of millennials who started camping in the past year, 54 percent are nonwhite.
  • Camping activity among campers of Asian descent now mirrors the overall population (5 percent of total U.S. population, 5 percent of campers), and they spend the highest percentage of their camper nights at public campgrounds (57 percent).
  • Fully 1-in-10 African-American and Asian-American campers just started camping this past year.
Among all campers, camping is a form of escapism and a healthy way to connect with family and friends, with these opinions strengthening substantially year over year, and strongest among Hispanic campers and African-American campers.
  • People camp because it’s a way to spend more time with family and friends (69 percent of all North American campers, 71 percent of African-American campers, 72 percent of Hispanic campers), relax (46 percent strongly agree) and escape the stress of everyday life (44 percent strongly agree). Nonwhite campers are more likely to say camping allows them to spend more time vacationing each year (27 percent versus 18 percent among whites).
  • A comparison of white, African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American millennials reveals very few differences in their behaviors and attitudes about camping, including how much and where they plan to camp in 2016 (43 percent of non-whites and 42 percent of whites plan to camp more often in 2016; 54 percent of non-whites and 52 percent of whites plan to camp in a national park in 2016), as well as their reasons for camping more (43 percent of both whites and non-whites “strongly agree” that camping is a way to reduce the stress of everyday life), and the benefits they associate with time spent outdoors (35 percent of non-whites and 33 percent of whites “strongly agree” that camping allows them to lead a healthier lifestyle).
Additionally, it appears that nonwhite groups are responding to efforts to get them into public campgrounds. Past research has indicated that many nonwhite groups, particularly African-Americans, do not feel welcome at public campgrounds. However, intent to visit public campgrounds is robust, with African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American campers expressing desire to visit these locations in larger numbers.
  • The proportion of camper nights spent at state/national park campgrounds in 2015 increased 7 percentage points among African-Americans (from 26 percent in 2014 to 33 percent in 2015), 5 percentage points among Hispanics (from 40 percent in 2014 to 45 percent in 2015), and 10 percentage points among Asian-American campers (from 47 percent in 2014 to 57 percent in 2015).
  • When asked what destinations they plan to visit in 2016, Hispanic campers were most likely to express interest in visiting public parks (64 percent), while African-American campers were as likely as any group to say they intend to visit these locations (50 percent).
Access to Technology Generating Mobility, Expanding Resources and Information about the Outdoors
The adage that people should use camping as an opportunity to disconnect from technology is not holding true. Use of technology while camping, including mobile phones and internet, in fact, is allowing people to spend more time camping and enjoying the outdoors each year.
  • A majority of campers (88 percent) bring their mobile phones with them when camping.
  • Wi-Fi continues to rank as a top campground amenity and expectations for free Wi-Fi are dramatically impacting campground selection: campers who expect free Wi-Fi are three times more likely to be influenced by its presence.
  • 76 percent of campers go online while camping and those who do so to check/send emails (41 percent), spend on average three additional days per year camping when compared to those who do not.
The use of technology while camping is most common among millennials and nonwhite campers. And for nonwhite, North Americans who are new to camping, technology may be expanding resources and access to information about the outdoors.
  • Campers are increasingly using the internet to look up information on local attractions and research destinations or trails. This is even more pronounced with African-American (50 percent), Hispanic (45 percent) and Asian-American campers (45 percent), among which technology usage and demand for Wi-Fi at campground outpaces white campers (39 percent).
  • Hispanic campers (71 percent versus 64 percent among African-American campers, 54 percent of Asian-Americans and 44 percent of whites) are most likely to use some type of mobile app or online resource in their trip planning.
  • African Americans are most likely to bring along a variety of electronics while camping including smart phones (80 percent), and they are most likely to demand Wi-Fi availability at a campground, which they use to look up information about the local area, trails and campgrounds.
  • African-American campers are also the highest users of social networking sites such as Facebook to research camping trips (25 percent versus 17 percent among white campers).
2016 Camping Season Forecast
Looking at the year ahead, there is a net 25 percentage point increase of campers who intend to take more camping trips in 2016, compared to a net 9 percentage point increase in those who intended to increase their trips in 2015. Among campers who intend to increase their camping trips, spending time with family and friends (67 percent), and exploring new areas (64 percent) are the most impactful reasons for getting outdoors. Other key findings related to campers’ plans for the 2016 season include:
  • Campers plan to camp more in 2016, with nearly half (46 percent) stating they intend to increase the number of nights they spend camping and 3-in-10 campers intend to increase the number of trips they take in 2016.
  • Millennial campers are far and away the most likely to say they plan to camp more in 2016 (58 percent of millennials, compared to 46 percent of GenXers, 35 percent of Baby Boomers and 30 percent of Mature campers). According to these younger campers, spending time with friends and family (26 percent), the desire to explore new areas (22 percent), an increase in free time (21 percent), and decreased gas prices (18 percent) have the most impact on their decision to camp more this year.
  • Among U.S. campers, the top three 2016 camping destinations include U.S. national parks (52 percent), state parks (49 percent) and beaches/coastal areas (42 percent).
  • For Canadian Campers, an overwhelming amount are likely to visit provincial parks (73 percent) at a rate similar to 2015 season forecasts (72 percent).
Source: Press Release

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Thor Motor Coach redefines Class C motorhome luxury

Thor Motor Coach is redefining luxury in Class C motorhomes with the new Quantum on the Ford E-450 chassis and the Super C line-up under Four Winds and Chateau which are produced on the Ford F-550 chassis. These models offer luxuries typically found in $400,000 Class A diesel motorhomes.

High-end amenities can be seen in the kitchen with the solid surface countertop and decorative tile backsplash. Solid surface gives a similar appearance to the richness of natural stone, is long-lasting, and easy to clean. You don’t have to worry about any type of staining, it won’t harbor bacteria, and it’s heat resistant. The tile backsplash adds visual appeal to the kitchen, and protects your walls from food splatter. It’s a perfect balance of elegance and functionality.

Creating a traditional, elegant style with modern charm is the Amish handcrafted solid hardwood cabinetry. Using solid wood allows for intricate detailing in the cabinet doors and with the high-gloss glaze applied, the cabinetry has an eye-catching sophistication and class. Not only stylish, solid wood is extremely durable and is known to last for many, many years.

The Quantum and Super C line-up offer modern comforts of home, such as Rapid Camp (31-foot motorhomes), energy-efficient LED lighting, and stainless steel kitchen appliances (select floor plans). Standard in every master bedroom is a Denver Mattress bed providing the comfort you crave; large LED televisions both inside and outside the coach; and residential vinyl flooring mimicking the vibrant beauty of natural flooring.

Whether you want a three-day weekend getaway or gearing up to be a full-timer, treat yourself to the luxury you deserve. For more information on Thor Motor Coach’s Class C motorhomes, visit

About Thor Motor Coach
Thor Motor Coach (TMC) is the only “Made to Fit” motorhome brand in North America. TMC’s diverse product lineup includes many of the world’s most recognized Class A and Class C motorhomes. As the industry leader in innovative design, TMC builds a variety of unique styles, sizes and floor plans that feel custom-made – at a truly competitive price. For more information, visit or call 800-860-5658.

Source: Press Release

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Rollin' on TV: Jay Flight & Wildcat Max, Vintage Trailer Resort

On this week's program (#2016-07), Rollin' On TV looks into "Lite & Ultra Lite" trailers and key in on the Jayco Jay Flight and Forest River Wildcat Max. Then they look at a vintage trailer resort where you can stay in a classic vintage trailer for a few nights, and Jeff Johnston reviews a few great books on traveling the Great North West. Later Evanne Schmarder whips up an avocado chocolate pudding.

About Rollin' on TV
In production since 2010, Rollin' On TV has become one of the leading RV lifestyle television programs on the air today, reaching over 30 million homes on both cable and satellite TV. The weekly program is also available online. For more information, visit

Friday, April 29, 2016

Review: ZUS USB Car Charger by nonda + Discount Offer!

Recently I was given a product called the “ZUS” from nonda, a tech start-up company based in Palo Alto, Calif., that they wanted me to try out for a review I would share with you.

UPDATE: Use the code: ZUSROADTRIP for $5 off when you purchase the ZUS at Promo ends May 15, 2016.

The people at nonda say the ZUS it’s “the world’s first truly smart car charger.” I say it's the best USB charger you'll ever own. (The video above is me talking about it, the video below is by nonda)
I’ll be honest; my first thought was “It’s a car charger. What’s the big deal?” It turns out it is a big deal. I truly didn’t expect to like it as much as I did, and primarily for the following reasons:
  • You can use it to charge two devices at the same time. 
  • It charges up to two times faster than normal car chargers 
  • You can use it to easily locate where you parked your car. Using a free App (iOS or Android), your smartphone will locate the ZUS via GPS, Bluetooth and Google Maps.
  • It seems to be made of quality, durable materials and will last a long time. In fact, nonda says the ZUS is “Military Grade Quality” and is the only car charger to meet U.S. Military MIL-STD-810G High Temperature Standard. (Temperature as high as 100ÂșC)
Put to the Test
We put the ZUS to a test to confirm its fast-charging claim when the family and I drove to New Your City not that long ago. The night before our trip, I purposefully let the battery completely drain on my iPhone. On the drive to New York the next day, we plugged my iPhone into one of the ZUS USB ports and my wife plugged her iPad into the other port. I also activated the Waze App on my iPhone. Waze is a highly recommended GPS-enabled routing App that’s also a big-time power-hog.

With all that going on, my iPhone charged to 100% battery level in about 40 minutes. That’s pretty good, and for that reason alone the ZUS is worth the $29.99 price tag.

Other features of the ZUS include:
  • Smart Device Detection knows whether you have an iPhone or an Android, and charges your phone appropriately.
  • ElegantShine Lighting System, providing ambient lighting for increased visibility in dark environments.
  • Engineered in Germany.
Don't take my word for it; feel free to read some of the reviews on Amazon where 77% of people gave it at least four stars (64% gave it 5 out of 5 stars).

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Fit RV videos: Coachmen Orion, Winnebago Fuse, Fiamma RV Bike Rack, + Angles & Exercises

About The Fit RV

Meet Stef & James: Travato-owning outdoor enthusiasts keeping fit and active on the road. Get inspired, be entertained, & find (sometimes) useful RV tips! Follow The Fit RV on their websiteblogFacebook pageTwitter account and on Pinterest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

RV Repair Club videos: Holding Tanks, TV Antennas, Quick Release Water Connectors

About RV Repair Club

RV Repair Club is an online resource for RV enthusiasts who want quality maintenance, repair, and upgrade information – a community where passionate RVers can come together to gather knowledge and share their experiences.

RV Repair Club provides instructional RV repair and improvement videos — some free, others available through paid subscription — by RVing experts who take the time to walk you through the techniques and demonstrations, providing helpful tips and ideas along the way.

For more information, visit the RV Repair Club's website, like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Colorado River + National Parks = Unforgettable Adventure

Veteran Outfitter Western River Expeditions Suggests Following the Colorado River To Access Three National Parks This Centennial Year
SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 18, 2016 – Veteran outfitter Western River Expeditions ( has in its 50-plus years of operating whitewater expeditions introduced thousands to rafting on the Colorado River and en route to three of the nation’s most coveted national parks: Arches (UT), Canyonlands (UT) and Grand Canyon (AZ).

2016 marks the Centennial Anniversary of the National Park System and expectations are for a record year for visitation as throngs participate in a national park activity, Western River Expeditions and its sister company,Moab Adventure Center in Moab, UT, offer a variety of programs centered on the mighty Colorado, the fifth longest river in North America, and along park trails and back roads.

From its source in a wooded meadow just north of Grand Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park to the Gulf of California in Baja, Mexico, the Colorado River begins as a stream and gains prominence as it flows through the Colorado Rockies and enters Utah, flowing a total of 1,450 miles touching the southern border of Arches National Park and coursing through the heart of both Canyonlands and Grand Canyon National Parks.

Following are programs accessing this river and the national parks it touches. The company advises, however, that because of high demand (especially in the Grand Canyon), people should plan and book as early as possible or accept the fact that they may not be able to secure a space until the 2017 season.

Off-river in Arches National Park visitors may sign up for Moab’s must-do hike in the maze-like Fiery Furnace, accessible only when accompanied by an experienced guide. Moab Adventure Center naturalist guides lead two-hour hikes in this trackless area, pointing out hidden attractions such as Surprise and Twin Arches as guests marvel at contorted orange-tan fins, towers, spires and arches. A moderately strenuous hike.

An Arches guided and narrated Sunset Bus Tour presents the famous Balanced Rock, Courthouse Towers, La Sal Mountains, Petrified Dunes, and Panorama Point plus short guided walks to the North and South Window Arches, Turret Arch, as well as the legendary Delicate Arch Overlook. The views only get better as the setting sun paints the surrounding sandstone monoliths and La Sal Mountains spectacular shades of color.

Canyonlands National Park is vast and remote, but two rafting and flightseeing programs provide effortless access.Cataract Canyon Classic – 4 Day Whitewater Rafting Trip begins 30 minutes south of Moab for a Colorado River voyage that winds deep through canyons and past Dead Horse Point State Park where, beyond the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers, guests experience nature in its most rugged and pristine form, revealing dwellings and carvings from ancient civilizations and coming head to head with world-famous class III-V whitewater. The way out is by air.

For time-challenged travelers Cataract Canyon 2 Day Express carries guests on a customized motorized raft. This journey through the series of nearly 30 whitewater rapids that make Cataract Canyon legendary ends on the still waters of Lake Powell.

New this year is a 70-minute flight-seeing adventure out of Moab. Arches and Canyonlands National Parks Flightseeing Tour reveals the best of Canyonlands National Park including Upheaval Dome, Green River Goose Neck, the White Rim, The Maze, the Confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers. In Arches National Park guests view Devil’s Garden, Landscape Arch, Klondike Bluffs and iconic Fisher Towers.

Grand Canyon National Park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Rated among the top 10 rafting expeditions in the world, Western’sGrand Canyon Rafting – 6 and 7 Daystraverses 187 miles in a week’s time, digging deeper daily into geologic time, with side canyon hikes revealing ancient Anasazi ruins and tumbling waterfalls. Scenery here, already astounding, is enhanced by the thrill of over 60 major rapids. Western’s unique motorized J-Rig rafts, designed for maximum excitement and safety, tackle the biggest with ease.

A shorter option perfect for beginners is Grand Canyon 3 Day that covers the lower 100 miles of the canyon to its end at Lake Mead. Guests have easy access from Las Vegas.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2016 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit:

About Western River Expeditions
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah rafting, and Idaho rafting trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors ofNational Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the "Best of State" award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for nine consecutive years.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fox Island Lighthouse Association seeks volunteers

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced the Fox Island Lighthouse Association is seeking volunteers mid-May through August for the Camper/Keeper Volunteer program at South Fox Island Light Station.

This opportunity gives people a great experience involving wilderness camping on one of the prettiest islands in northern Lake Michigan. Volunteer duties include offering tours to the occasional visitor and performing minor maintenance tasks, such as mowing the lawn and painting. There is a minimum two-week-stay requirement for volunteers.

South Fox Island Light Station is located on Lake Michigan, 17 miles northwest of the Leelanau Peninsula. The light station has two lighthouses, a fog signal building, a boat house, assistant keeper’s quarters, a carpenter's shed and an oil house – all in various stages of restoration.

For more information about the Camper Keepers Program, visit the Fox Island Lighthouse Association website or contact John Wells at or 231-933-0125.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

RV Geeks Australian Trip Part III: Koalas, Kangaroos & Brekky on the Barbie

About RV Geeks

The RV Geeks offer RV maintenance, repair & travel tips from “Do-It-Ourselves” full-time RVers. They’ve handled most of their own RV maintenance during more than a decade of exploring North America. While not RV technicians, the RV Geeks are mechanically inclined and have learned a lot about RV systems over the years. They handle most of our own minor service, repair and upgrade work on our 2005 43′ Newmar Mountain Aire diesel pusher. We also maintained our 2002 39′ Fleetwood Bounder Diesel during our first two years on the road. Visit their website and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Friday, April 22, 2016

AIS Insurance launches specialty RV insurance comparison website

AIS Insurance has launched a new insurance website,, dedicated to specialty insurance for motorhomes and other recreational vehicles, such as travel trailers, motorcycles, boats, jet skis and more. Consumers can learn more about and obtain quotes for specialty RV insurance policies that provide greater benefits over adding an RV to a driver’s standard car insurance policy.

“We want to help recreational vehicle owners get the most enjoyment and value out of their investments in these unique types of vehicles, including protecting them with the right insurance coverage,” said Mark Ribisi, president and CEO of AIS Management LLC. “With our new website, RV owners can compare the rates of multiple insurance companies to find out just how affordable a specialty RV policy can be.”

While it’s common for drivers to add an RV to an existing car insurance policy, there are significant benefits, with little to no added cost, to securing a specialty RV policy. Important coverages such as full purchase price reimbursement, full-timers coverage, campsite liability and emergency expenses are included with a specialty RV policy.

Since RV owners often have boats, ATVs and other recreational vehicles, insurance for these products is also available through

Lastly, recognizing that RVs are more than just a vehicle and represent a lifestyle, features a blog with articles on safely owning, maintaining and enjoying recreational vehicles. The site also hosts social communities on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

About and is a brand of AIS. It is dedicated to the RV and recreational vehicle community, offering comparison shopping on specialty RV insurance policies to help owners make informed choices to protect and get the most out of their recreational vehicle investments.

Auto Insurance Specialists, more commonly known as AIS, has been providing insurance coverage to customers for almost 50 years. One of the nation’s largest independent insurance agencies, AIS is based in Cerritos, California and offers consumers a comparison shopping experience on a wide variety of insurance types, including auto, homeowner, renters, motorcycle, recreational vehicles, business insurance and more.

Source: Press Release

Thursday, April 21, 2016

RoverPass Introduces New Booking Technology to Booming RV Industry

In a recent company announcement, Austin,Texas-based startup company RoverPass introduced new booking and reservation technology to the RV camping and travel industry with a mission of making outdoor recreation easier for everyone.

In January 2016, RoverPass launched the first of its kind RV park and campsite online booking service for RVers and campers nationwide. Founded in 2014, RoverPass was focused on growing their database of RV parks campgrounds. Now after recruiting more than 14,000 parks, RoverPass is ready to launch in full force as it gears up for the 2016 camping season.

RoverPass technology allows travelers to find, compare and book campsites across the nation in a few clicks and from one place. The technology supports filtered searches based on a person’s campsite preferences: amenities, activities, location. Users can also post reviews and pictures, favorite certain campsites, and get discounted pricing with the RoverPass Discount Club.

RoverPass was founded by veteran entrepreneurs and co-founders Ravi Parikh, Paul Cross and Jay Manickam. The trio started the company after realizing how difficult it was to find and reserve their own campsites during a trip to Coachella Music Festival in 2012.

After realizing the need for campsite booking technology, they discovered an opportunity also existed within the RV and camper industry. RVs and campers have been steadily rising in popularity over the past several years, with Airstream sales increasing over 26-percent and RV sales increasing over 11-percent in the last year.

Now with a full database of RV campsites and with fluid and user-friendly technology, RoverPass is positioned to launch the RV industry into the future.

“We have to educate and explain how technology can revolutionize the way this industry has operated for a long time,” Parikh, CEO, stated in a release.

On the backend, RoverPass allows RV parks to customize their pages and rank in searches.

Claim your RV Park page or sign up to book your next stay:

Source: Press Release