Thursday, February 11, 2016

ACE Adventure Resort Welcomes Groups & Reunions Seeking Fun, Bonding, Business, Recreation



Located on 1,500 wooded acres in West Virginia’s southern hills, ACE Adventure Resort (http://aceraft.com/) is a magnet for groups and family reunions seeking fun, bonding, business and recreation at the same time.

Activities ranging from river rafting and zip lining to rock climbing combine with the rustic comforts of camping (tents and sleeping kits can be provided), bunkhouse or lodge accommodations.  A minimum of eight persons qualifies as a group. Meals may include breakfast and dinner buffets, deli lunches and cookout dinners. Special dietary needs can be accommodated. One conference room seats up to 75 and another more intimate one is ideal for small groups of up to 15. Both are A/V capable with HDMI capabilities for the monitors. An optional pole tent for up to 50 participants can also be erected.

Popular activities with family reunion, church, school, YMCA and 4-H groups include full day rafting trips, zip lining, a mud obstacle course, a ropes team challenge, paintball and the fun of ACE’s five-acre Adventure Lake and Waterpark. Groups such as the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Trail Life and American Heritage have added mountain bike tours, horseback riding, standup paddle boarding and lake kayak tours to their fun. Two Merit Badge Programs, each a one-day clinic, include Whitewater Merit and Rock Climb Merit.

The Summit Bechtel Reserve, host to the next Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree in 2017, is just 20 minutes from ACE. For the second consecutive year ACE hosts Trail Life USA’s Summer Adventure Camp for East Coast troops. Three STEM programs – hydrology, geology and ecology – are also options for Scout and middle and high school groups.
Corporate groups that traditionally secure the property’s upscale lodges for their stay enjoy many of the same activities as their youthful counterparts. Requests for catered meals in cabins can be accommodated as can team-building programs often incorporating the ropes course and on-ground challenges.

The resort also reports that motor coach tours are an emerging group market for ACE Adventure Resort.

Rated the #1 Adventure Outfitter in West Virginia, ACE Adventure Resort offers whitewater rafting along with a variety of supported adventures such as zip lining, mountain biking, disc golf, stand up paddle boarding and rock climbing. The adjacent 70,000-acre New River Gorge National River is an option for miles of wilderness exploring afoot and on horseback or fat tire bike.
For more information and to speak to a group coordinator, please telephone (800) 787-3982 or email groups@aceraft.com. Visit the website at www.aceraft.com.

About ACE Adventure Resort

ACE Adventure Resort is the East Coast’s largest mountain hideaway exclusively focused on world-class whitewater rafting along with guided adventures, outdoor sports and activities, lodging, camping and other amenities. The nearby New River Gorge National River is affectionately known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” and features rafting from April to October. The New and Gauley Rivers combined offer over 100 miles of rapids all within 30 minutes of the resort. Both rivers are administered by the National Park Service.  ACE’s passion since 1980 has been to create vacations wrapped around these rivers and other outdoor adventures so that guests can experience “a world of adventure in one place.” The 1,500 acres here encompass both forest and a 5-acre lake plus a series of ponds, a mining-era ghost town and spectacular cliffs for rock climbing, waterfalls and overlooks.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

RV products videos: Denver Mattress RV Collection, MORryde Drop Down TV Wall Mount, Camco Fire Starters, Freeze Ban Heated Drinking Water Hose

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Michigan DNR awards more than $1.3 million in Recreation Passport grants

Editor's note: In my opinion, the Recreation Passport has been a success story for Michigan. It's going on its sixth year now and, according to a terrific July, 2015 article by Ted Roelofs for Bridge Magazine, revenue for park improvement jumped from $13.9 million in 2009 (the last year of the sticker system) to $15.1 million, $16 million, $16.7 million and $17.6 million in succeeding fiscal years. It's a user fee that has earned the trust, and more importantly the participation, of non-users.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced that 33 communities across the state will share $1,348,700 in Recreation Passport grants. Funding for this program is derived from sales of the Recreation Passport, the $11 annual pass that grants residents vehicle entry at state parks and recreation areas throughout Michigan.

This year, Recreation Passport grant applicants sought funding for a broad range of public outdoor recreation projects, including playground development and renovations, dog park improvements, ice-skating rink development, trail and walkway development, park and picnic area improvements and improved access for those with disabilities.

The full list of grant recipients, grant amounts and project descriptions is available on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassportgrants.

Successful applicants clearly demonstrated projects designed to increase public access to quality outdoor recreation opportunities. The selected projects were chosen from a field of 45 grant applications seeking nearly $1.8 million in funding.

“These Recreation Passport grants go a long way in helping local units of government bring quality recreation opportunities to their citizens,” said Steve DeBrabander, DNR grants manager. “We are proud to work with these agencies so that, together, we can create world-class outdoor recreation resources statewide. The recreation industry plays an important role in moving the state’s economy forward by providing vital jobs and tourism in both urban and rural settings.”

Application materials for future Recreation Passport grants are available now at www.michigan.gov/dnr-grants. Interested individuals also may call DNR Grants Management at 517-284-7268 or write to:

Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Grants Management
P.O. Box 30425
Lansing, MI 48909-7925

Learn more about how the Recreation Passport gains you access to Michigan state parks and more at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Fit RV videos: RV Organizers by Organized Obie, Pleasure Way Plateau XL, Hip Exercises and Stretches for RVers


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.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

RV Education 101 videos: Welcome to RV Education 101 , Handy Gadgets to Keep in the RV, Trailer Hitch Ball Tips, How-To Prevent RV Toilet Odors



RV Education 101 e-book series
As I've said many times, Mark Polk is my favorite RV expert. I'm pleased he and his wife, Dawn, have allowed me to sell his RV e-book series. E-books (electronic books) are immediately downloaded to your computer after you make the purchase. The RV Education 101 e-book series includes:
"The Original Checklist for RVers"
"The RV Book"
"RV Campground Basics"
"101 Tips for RVers"
"RV Care and Maintenance"
"Insiders Guide to Buying an RV"
"Winterizing & Storing your RV"
"RV Awning Use & Care"
"Deep Cycle Battery Care & Maintenance"
"RV Buyers Survival Guide"
"Complete Guide To: RV Towing, Weights, Hitch Work & Backing"
"Pop-Up Basics 101"
"Dinghy Towing"

Friday, February 5, 2016

Detroit Camper & RV Show Celebrates 50 Years

The Detroit Camper & RV Show, produced by the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC), celebrates a major milestone this year-50 years of helping generations of families make memories on the road by introducing them to the RVing and camping lifestyle.

The 50th Annual Detroit Camper & RV Show will be February 10-14 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

Originally called the Detroit Camper and Travel Trailer Show, this third-longest running public RV and camper show in the country will feature more than 275 RVs from 50 brands, Michigan campground information, parts and accessories, educational seminars and special exhibits.

One of those special exhibits is an original, steel-body 1937 Hayes Motor Home trailer, built in Grand Rapids, Mich., on loan from the Elkhart, Ind., RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum. Historian Al Hesselbart will accompany the trailer along with authentic, historical camping gear and will be available to answer questions throughout the 2016 Detroit Camper & RV Show.

"For five decades, the Detroit Camper & RV Show has been showcasing the newest in recreational traveling trends and introducing some of the best Pure Michigan campgrounds to hundreds of thousands of people," said Bill Sheffer, director of MARVAC. "We're looking forward to another 50 years."

The first show, in February 1966, was held at the Detroit Artillery Armory in Oak Park, and, according to original Show Director William Garpow, the Michigan State Police nearly closed it down due to traffic congestion on 8 Mile Road to Woodward Avenue. The show was also held at Cobo Hall, the Pontiac Silverdome and was the inaugural show for the Novi Expo Center. It was also the first public show at Rock Financial Showplace, currently known as Suburban Collection Showplace.

The 50th Annual Detroit Camper & RV Show will be held in Novi at Suburban Collection Showplace, February 10-14 and is open weekdays 2-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Adult admission (ages 13 and over) is $10; senior admission is $9 (ages 55 and over) and children 12 and under get in free. Parking is not included in show admission. Coupons worth $1 off available at marvac.org, Tubby's Sub Shops, Big Boy restaurants and in area newspapers.

For more details or to purchase advance tickets, visit marvac.org.

RV Travel videos: Chuck Woodbury and Gary Bunzer talk RVing


About RVTravel.com

RVtravel.com, founded in 2000, is one of the most popular RV lifestyle brands on the Internet. Founded by Chuck Woodbury, who serves as its columnist, editor, and from-the-road ambassador, RV Travel offers a YouTube channel, a weekly RVTravel.com e-newsletter, and an online RV bookstore featuring books, e-books, DVDs, CD-roms, music and magazines all dedicated to the RV lifestyle. 
Follow RV Travel on its websiteTwitterYouTube channel and Facebook.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rocky Mountain National Park joins Just Ahead family of Smartphone Audio Guides

Just Ahead (http://www.justahead.com/), synonymous with award-winning smartphone apps for road tripping through national parks, now offers its GPS-guided smartphone audio tour of Rocky Mountain National Park—a narrated guide to the most dramatic and unspoiled mountain landscape in the United States. It is Just Ahead’s first guide in Colorado.

The audio tour of this park -- 265,600 acres of mountain splendor and dramatic roads --includes all of the park’s major paved routes and east and west approaches. The act of driving triggers this GPS-guided tour narration. After download from the Apple App Store or Google Play, this app requires no Internet connection or mobile-phone signal. Just turn it on, drive, and enjoy.

Author Mel White, highly respected author of National Geographic’s Complete National Parks of the United States, tells stories of the park’s scenic highlights, including Bear Lake, Wild Basin, the Continental Divide, the Kawaneechee Valley, and Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuously paved road in the United States (Trail Ridge is closed during the snowy months of the year, but most other roads in the park remain open). The app reveals transitions from the montane ecosystem to subalpine terrain to dramatic alpine tundra above tree line. It calls out trailheads for some of the greatest mountain hikes in the country: hikes to the Twin Sisters Peaks, the great hikes that emanate from Bear Lake, and the trail to Chasm Lake at the base of the sheer north face of Longs Peak, the park’s highest mountain at 14,259 feet.
 
Between jaw-dropping sights are interspersed stories about the park’s wildlife -- elk, bighorn sheep, moose, black bear, coyote, mule deer, mountain lion, yellow-bellied marmot -- and the best places for spotting them. The park’s history, geology and geography -- think Continental Divide -- neighboring towns, and cool places to camp and stay are folded into the narrative, along with pointers on best hikes, trout fishing, birding, and photo opps.

As visitors climb through ponderosa pine forests to the montane ecosystem to subalpine terrain and finally up to dramatic alpine tundra above tree line Just Ahead shares stories of the American Indians, early settlers, the Civilian Conservation Corps and the park’s famous aspen groves. See: http://www.justahead.com/tours/rocky-mountain-national-park/
 
Just Ahead utilizes GPS technology to know exactly where drivers are on the road, and delivers stories and maps relevant to their exact location. The groundbreaking app points out not-to-miss features while also helping drivers avoid getting lost. It suggests directions and tells drivers why they should turn or not, what they should do after a turn, and the best direction to take if there are multiple route options.

A satisfied user had this to say about the app and tour guide, “LOVE this idea! It's like you went into my brain and pulled out something I never even knew that I wanted but now can't think to live without.”
 
Just Ahead guides are currently available for the following National Parks: Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Zion & Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands & Arches, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and now Rocky Mountain. Many additional park guides including are in production including Great Smoky Mountains, Petrified Forest, and more.
 
The Just Ahead app is a free download available either through the Apple App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android), and each destination guide is available as an in-app purchase. Guides range from $7.99 to $9.99 and include a free trial and free guide updates.
 
About Just Ahead
Recently named Best Travel App by the North American Travel Journalists Association and Best App by the editors of Sunset magazine, the Just Ahead mobile app turns a smartphone into a hands-free audio guide to the most beautiful places on earth by delivering professionally written and narrated audio tours to vacationers who want an informed travel experience as they drive.
 
Just Ahead’s award-winning audio guides work without an Internet connection or phone service and use a smartphone’s GPS to deliver hands-free, customized audio tours based on a vehicle’s location. The guides and built-in maps also provide helpful suggested directions, and offer more points of interest and stories than any other GPS audio travel app. Ideal for families, Just Ahead’s audio guides help create shared experiences, conversations, and memories that will last a lifetime. The Just Ahead app is a free download, and each destination guide is available as an in-app purchase that includes free guide updates.
 
For more information, visit: http://www.justahead.com.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Love Your RV videos: Garmin Dash Cam 20, INTELI-POWER Battery Charger, Boondocking in Arizona, Lippert Air Ride Pin Box Review and Demo



About Love Your RV
Three and one half years ago Ray and Anne Burr sold their home in Victoria, British Columbia, and bought a brand new fifth wheel trailer. They set off on an amazing one-year journey traveling all around the U.S. and Canada. About three months into it, they knew this was the life for them and became full timers traveling south in the winters and retreating to the north for the summers. They regularly update their blogsite of their travels and adventures.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Minnesota state parks and trails to celebrate 125th anniversary in 2016

State officials invites Minnesotans to take part in a 125-mile challenge, a state park “Total Takeover,” picnics, summer “samplers” and other special events throughout the coming year as part of the 125th anniversary of Minnesota state parks and trails.

On hand at Fort Snelling State Park in an event earlier this year to kick off the year-long celebration were Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr, DNR Parks and Trails Division Director Erika Rivers and 30 fourth-grade students from Northrop Urban Environmental Learning Center, representing the next generation of park and trail visitors.

“Minnesota is blessed with a remarkable system of state parks and trails, which have allowed generations of Minnesotans to enjoy our state’s many natural wonders over the past 125 years,” said Smith. “As we celebrate this anniversary, I encourage all Minnesotans to get out and enjoy their state parks and trails this year.”

In the 125 years since Itasca State Park was established in 1891, the system has grown to include 75 state parks and recreation areas, 49 state forest campgrounds, 34 state water trails, more than 360 fishing piers, more than 1,500 public water accesses, more than 600 miles of paved state trails, and many additional miles of off-highway vehicle, snowmobile, equestrian and cross-country ski trails.

“There’s a state park, trail or water trail within 30 minutes of just about every Minnesotan,” Landwehr said. “We hope the anniversary events that we have planned in 2016 will encourage new people to discover these special places.”

The anniversary celebration will include:

  • A State Park “Total Takeover”—An effort to fill up all of the campsites at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas by encouraging experienced campers to invite a family of beginners to go camping with them on Saturday, June 11, which is National Get Outdoors Day.
  • 125 Miles by Bike, Boot or Boat—A challenge to visitors of all ages to track the miles they bike, hike and paddle at Minnesota state parks and trails throughout 2016, with a goal of reaching a total of 125 for bragging rights, an exclusive “Finisher” sticker and an opportunity to have their photo included in a Finishers Gallery on the website.
  • Summer Samplers—For anyone wondering what there is to do at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas, these events will provide opportunities to try paddling, archery, nature photography, fishing and other activities all in one fun-packed day.
  • Picnic in the Park—An invitation to return to the days before soccer, hockey and dance took over on the weekends, and to carve out time for a family picnic, followed by games and activities for all ages.
  • A contest—to design an official Minnesota state parks and trails license plate.
  • A commemorative quilt—which will pay tribute to Minnesota’s natural and cultural resources.
  • Merchandise—Limited edition 125th anniversary mugs, apparel, pins and other items will be available for purchase at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas.

Details about the 125th anniversary celebration can be found online at www.mndnr.gov/125. Check back for updates throughout the year.

“In addition to planning special events, we are also updating our signs, maps and publications so that they meet the Governor’s ‘plain language’ goals and appeal to a new and more diverse generation of park visitors,” Rivers said.

For example, she unveiled a shorter and more customer friendly rules sign that will appear in all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas this spring. She also showed prototypes of state park maps and other publications that have been redesigned to be more useful to today’s visitors.

For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Wisconsin's Blue Mound, Kohler-Andrae State Parks to host candlelight events

Blue Mound State Park candlelight event to be held Feb. 6
Blue Mound State Park will hold its next candlelight ski and snowshoe hike 5:30-8:30 p.m., Feb. 6.

There will be one wooded loop groomed for cross-country skiing and a 3/4-mile snowshoeing and hiking trail each illuminated by hundreds of candles. Guided hikes through the illuminated woods with the park naturalist start at 6 and 7 p.m.

The only cost for this fun filled family event is a daily or annual park sticker, which may be purchased upon entry to the park.

Warm up with free hot drinks inside the heated friends' shelter, and enjoy some hot food, baked goods and commemorative shirts for sale. Enjoy the bonfire and free marshmallows for roasting. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Blue Mound State Park.

Members of the Nordic ski patrol will be on hand to assist skiers. Contact Blue Mound State Park for updated trail and event information at 608-437-5711.

For more information about Blue Mound State Park, search the Department of Natural Resources website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "Blue Mound."

Valentine candlelight ski and hike Feb. 13 at Kohler-Andrae State Park
A special Valentine candlelight ski and hike will be held 6-9 p.m., Feb. 13 at Kohler-Andrae State Park located just south of Sheboygan. The park's 2-mile trail will be illuminated with 200 tiki torches set out by park staff and volunteers. Park volunteers from the Friends of Kohler-Andrae will offer hot chocolate, cider and snacks at the heated shelter building along the ski route. The park shelter fireplace room and an outside fire ring will also be open to the public that evening.

"Past candlelight ski events have been very popular with hundreds of skiers and hikers enjoying the unique experience of visiting the park on a winter evening," said Carolyn Morgan, park superintendent. "Some visitors even stay in the park to winter camp."

Those planning to hike or snowshoe are encouraged to walk on the side of the trail to allow skiers to pass on the groomed trail. Sleds and pets are not allowed on the trail. No ski or snowshoe rentals are available at the park.

There are no special fees charged for the candlelight event although the regular vehicle admission sticker is required to enter the park. Annual park stickers for 2016 will be available at the park office. Donations for beverages and snacks will be accepted by the Friends of Kohler-Andrae to help support the cost of the candlelight event.

For more information, call the park office at 920-451-4080.

Kohler-Andrae is located on the shores of Lake Michigan about 2 miles south of Sheboygan on County Highway V. For more information about the park, search the Department of Natural Resources website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "Kohler-Andrae."

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Rollin' On TV video: Leisure Travel Van's Unity Class B, Retro-style A-Liner and Chesapeak Pop-ups, and the Truma Combi



On this week's program (#2016-02), Rollin' On TV checks out the new Unity Class B motorhome from Leisure Travel Vans, along with the new retro-model A-Liner and Chesapeak Pop-Up trailer. The crew also takes a closer look at the Truma Combi hot water/heater system.

About Rollin' On TV

Now in its fifth year of production, 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 www.rollinontv.com.

Friday, January 29, 2016

RV Geeks videos: Driving School, Hot & Hearty Breakfast, Hatchlift Kit Installation, WiFi Ranger Update, Trona Pinnacles RV Boondocking



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.