RV Education 101 debuts educational blog for RVers

RV Education 101 announced a new RV 101 blog site to help assist and educate RV owners and potential owners on how to safely and properly use and maintain RVs.

“We are happy to announce the launch on our new RV blog site, titled ‘RV 101 with Mark Polk.’ Our goal with this blog is to make available qualified RV information to help RV owners learn about using and maintaining their RVs,” said c0-owner Mark Polk in a press release. “I see things in some RV blogs and RV related videos that make me nervous. All too often folks buy an RV, spend six months on the road and start a blog or produce videos with erroneous and inaccurate information.

“Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with starting a blog, but if you do and it is technical, the information presented in the blog or video should be accurate and qualified. Our core business model is RV 101 (new and beginning RVers), so our new blog will concentrate on articles and videos in four distinct categories: Beginning RVers, RV DIY & Maintenance, RV Tips & Tricks and RV Products.”

The new RV 101 blog coincides with many other websites and social media venues RV Education 101 offers with the goal of helping educate RV consumers.

RV Education 101 co-owner Dawn Polk added, “We started our first blog “RVing with Mark Polk & Friends” in 2013. We did not really market and promote the blog or attempt to attract followers; it was simply a site where RV owners could go to learn more about their RVs. Today, on average that blog receives about 900 daily views. We get about 300 views from search engines, 300 from Pinterest and the remainder from Facebook and our other social media sites. The current blog format is established and it would be difficult to update or change the site, so our thoughts were to start fresh with a new blog site.

“We wanted the new RV 101 blog to be more appealing with rich photographs, informative videos and text to help illustrate each post. Our goal with this blog is to capture followers and continue to build the site with at least one new post weekly. It will be a win-win for everybody. Readers have access to valuable and informative RV content, and we have a venue to promote our RV training products to a targeted audience.”

RV Education 101 plans to participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, as an affiliate, to help offset the time and cost involved with hosting and maintaining the new blog.

“This way when a certain product or installation process is discussed in a post we can offer suggestions about specific products to our readers,” said Dawn Polk.

For more information visit RV 101 with Mark Polk.

Enjoy 'Meteors & S'mores' at state parks Aug. 11-12 during Perseid meteor shower

Michigan state parks offer great natural spaces for gathering
 with friends and family and enjoying a variety of special events,
like Meteors & S'mores and other seasonal programming that
 takes advantage of each park’s natural amenities. (DNR photo)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites visitors and campers to catch a view of the Perseid meteor shower during "Meteors & S'mores" in participating Michigan state parks Aug. 11-12.

Day-use visitors and campers at participating state parks are encouraged to bring blankets, seating, bug spray and snacks and enjoy a night of stargazing.

Participating parks will stay open later than their normal closing times. Complimentary s’mores and campfires are part of the celebration. Designated viewing areas and viewing times will be specified at each park. 

"Many consider themselves lucky if they catch a shooting star, but the Perseid meteor shower is one of the best opportunities to see them with the naked eye," said Elissa Buck, a DNR event coordinator. "We encourage those who want to catch magnificent views with fellow parkgoers take part in one of these Meteors & S'mores events."

The calendar of events can be found online at michigan.gov/darksky and also is listed below.
About Dark Sky parks in MichiganDark Sky Preserves are protected against light pollution and are ideal locations for stargazing. Here in Michigan, six state-designated Dark Sky Preserves are located at Lake Hudson Recreation Area, Negwegon State Park, Port Crescent State Park, Rockport Recreation Area, Thompson's Harbor State Park and Wilderness State Park. In addition, Michigan's Upper Peninsula offers excellent night sky viewing opportunities across more than 15,000 square miles. Learn more at michigan.gov/darksky.
Camp under the stars

To take full advantage of the meteor showers that are estimated to take place Aug. 9-16, visitors are encouraged to make camping reservations throughout the week and sleep under the stars. To check camping availability in state parks and make a reservation, visit www.midnrreservations.com or call 1-800-44PARKS.

For more information about these events, contact Elissa Buck at bucke@michigan.gov or 989-313-0000.

RV Education 101 videos: Sanitizing the RV Water System, & Installing Fastway Flip Jack, Roof Vent, & weBoost Cell Booster

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"

'STOP the Invasives Week' in Michigan State Parks Aug. 1-6 offers hands-on programming

Explorer Guides provide outdoor education
programming in Michigan state parks, including
the upcoming STOP the Invasives Week,
which is Aug. 1-6. (DNR Photo)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will highlight the identification, management and impact of invasive species during STOP the Invasives Week in Michigan state parks Aug. 1-6.

An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm, or is likely to cause harm to Michigan's economy, environment or human health. Some of the better known invasive species on Michigan's radar include invasive carp, Asian longhorned beetle, red swamp crayfish and yellow floating heart.

The annual STOP the Invasives program features informational hikes, aquatic and terrestrial education, games and other related hands-on programming for the entire family. Participants will learn about invasive species found in Michigan, how to identify them and what visitors can do to help stop the spread. The program will take place at more than 40 state parks during this weeklong event.

STOP the Invasives Week and many other programs are led by state park Explorer Guides and park interpreters who work in the park and present a variety of outdoor education opportunities in Michigan state parks Memorial Day through August. These enthusiastic, nature-minded folks lead hikes, activities and programming that shine a spotlight on each park’s unique resources.

To find a program in your favorite park, visit www.michigan.gov/natureprograms and click on the link “STOP the Invasives Week” under Special Programs and Activities. To see all available Explorer programming throughout the summer, view the interactive map or alphabetical list of parks.

To learn more about identifying and preventing the spread of invasive species, visit michigan.gov/invasivespecies.

Love Your RV videos: WFCO WF8955 Power Center, 5th Wheel Landing Jacks, Strathcona Provincial Park, Milwaukee Oscillating Multi Tool, Top 20 Must Have Tools for RVing Fulltime

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.

Rollin' on TV: Pippi Peterson installs a new Carefree of Colorado awning

On this week's program (#2017-13), Rollin' On TV 's Jeff Johnston heads to Arizona to meet up with Pippi Peterson, who can hold her own against anyone when it comes to RV DIY projects. On this episode, Pippi installs a new Carefree Of Colorado power awning system on her classic Bounder motorhome.

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 www.rollinontv.com.

Made In America: 10 National Parks that Reflect the American Spirit

To understand America, one needs to go no further than the closest national park. National parks commemorate the people, places, and events that have shaped the American experience. These national treasures serve as tangible reminders of what it means to be made in America.

“There is nothing more American made than our national parks,” said acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds. “Each of our country’s 417 national parks tells a chapter of the American story. Each has a compelling tale of innovation, ingenuity, adventure, accomplishment, triumph, or tragedy that is part of our collective identity.”

The national park idea is an American concept, born in the United States with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. To preserve a place of great beauty and wonderment for all to enjoy, instead of a privileged few, was an example of democracy in action. Other parks soon followed and today the model has been adapted by virtually every country in the world, with many turning to the National Park Service for expertise in park operations and management.

Our national parks preserve sites with remarkable landscapes, unique geology, rugged wilderness, outstanding recreation, and meaningful history. Each is truly significant. Following are ten that are excellent examples of parks that help define the spirit of made in America. Click here for a photograph of each park. 

BALTIMORE — Successful defense of this fort during the War of 1812 inspired Francis Scott Key to write the iconic poem that became the lyrics to the National Anthem. Key penned the Star-Spangled Banner from a ship in Baltimore Harbor after he saw the garrison flag still flying high, signaling victory, in the dawn’s early light after a night of ferocious bombardment from the British Navy.

CORINNE, Utah — East and west met here when the final spike in construction of the first transcontinental railroad was planted in 1869. The joining of 1,776 miles of Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroad track provided a backbone to the country and spurred intense western expansion and economic growth.

BEATRICE, Neb. — The Homestead Act of 1862 had an immediate and enduring effect upon America. The promise of free land propelled families, immigrants, women, and freed slaves west in pursuit of the American Dream. This time of westward expansion forever changed the American landscape and propelled industrial advancement, agricultural development, and diverse settlement.

PHILADELPHIA — Walk in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers and see the places where they debated, created, and masterfully articulated the ideals and principles that guide our nation. Visit Independence Hall where they signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Then tour Congress Hall where the ideals of the documents were put into practice, including the first peaceful transfer of power between presidents. 

LOWELL, Mass. — This park recalls the history and legacy of America’s Industrial Revolution. Buildings, including a “mill girl” boarding house and the Boott Cotton Mills Museum with 88 operating looms, illustrate the nation’s transition from an agriculture to industry based economy and the societal changes that accompanied it.

DAYTON-RAMSEY, Minn. — The Mississippi River was a lifeline for American settlers and it remains an integral part of our country’s identity. The Mighty Mississippi is a nationally significant resource for its natural, cultural, historic, scenic, recreational, economic, and scientific features.

NEW ORLEANS — The park preserves and perpetuates knowledge and understanding of jazz from its origins in New Orleans through its continued evolution. Jazz music was born in America, come hear a performance in the city where it all began. (see video above)

RICHMOND, Calif. — During a time of conflict and fear, the American people pulled together to support the troops fighting in World War II. This park commemorates the contributions and “We can do it” attitude of shipyard workers stateside, including women.

DEVIL HILLS, N.C. — America is the home of many inventors who have changed the world; notable among them are Orville and Wilbur Wright. The Wright Brothers transformed the history of aviation when they made the first sustained flight in a heavier-than-air machine here in 1903. With courage and perseverance, the self-taught engineers relied on teamwork and application of the scientific process to challenge the impossible.

MONTANA — This home to wondrous thermal features, landscapes, and wildlife was established as the world’s first National Park in 1872. When the U.S. Congress passed the legislation and President Ulysses S. Grant signed the legislation creating the park, they set a precedent that, as a society, we would preserve our most treasured places for all to enjoy. The idea of protected public lands has since been adopted around the globe.

Long, Long Honeymoon videos: Alaska RV Misadventures, Suaoki 400Wh Solar Generator, & Refueling Safety

About the Long, Long Honeymoon
After getting married in the Florida Keys, C.S. (Sean) and Kristy Michael spent their wedding night in their newly purchased recreational vehicle — a 25-foot Airstream travel trailer. Instead of jaunting off to honeymoon on a posh Pacific island, the newlyweds hitched up their trusty Ford diesel truck (nicknamed “SEEMORE”) and started exploring America.

Their “long long honeymoon” journey has stretched over 100,000 miles and 49 States, ranging from Key West (the southernmost point in the United States) all the way up to Fairbanks, Alaska. They have camped in every conceivable environment, from scenic national parks to less-than-exotic asphalt parking lots.

A writer and filmmaker, Sean totes his video camera everywhere, relentlessly documenting the experience. And in addition to Sean’s filmmaking equipment, the couple always pack their sense of humor. Their blog explores the lighter side of RV life; or as Kristy says, “the fun stuff!”

Why do they do it? “Because life should be a long long honeymoon…”

You can catch Sean and Kristy’s latest RV adventures (including all of their videos in glorious high-definition) on their website: LongLongHoneymoon.com. When not aboard their Airstream, the newlyweds divide their time between homes in Alabama and Florida. But you can always reach them via email at HoneymoonShow@aol.com.

We're the Russos Wednesday: Off Grid Camping Mojave, Kings Canyon National Park, & Yosemite National Park

About We're the Russos
In 2015, Joe and Kait Russo quit their jobs, sold their home, and got rid of most of their possessions to live their dream – travel and work for themselves. Together with their rescue dog, Leo, the Russos are traveling all across North America seeking adventure. That first year their rig was a 2015 Newmar Bay Star, a gas motorhome coming in just shy of 30 feet. Seeking more flexibility and freedom, in 2017 they switched to a Hymer Aktiv Class B campervan. Visit their website for tons of more information about the Russos and their travels. You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel, where they have videos on RVing, Living Life on Your Terms, Following their Adventure, and more, plus they're on Twitter and Facebook. You can also help support them via their Patreon site.

U.S. National Parks Senior Pass Price Increase to Take Effect on August 28

In order to meet requirements set by legislation passed by Congress in December 2016, the price of the America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass will increase from $10 to $80. The change will take effect Aug. 28.

According to a release from the U.S National Park Service, pass holders are given lifetime access to more than 2,000 sites and parks. The fee increase will support critical investments in maintenance projects at national parks and federal recreational lands nationwide.

The Senior Pass has cost $10 since 1994. Until August 28, U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are 62 years or older can purchase the lifetime Senior Pass for $10. Previously purchased lifetime Golden Age or Senior Passes will be honored for the lifetime of the pass holder.

The Senior Pass can be used at sites managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Funds from passes are used to enhance the visitor experience and support priority projects and programs.

The pass can be purchased for $10 before August 28 at a national park or other Federal recreation area that charges an entrance or standard amenity (day use) fee. The pass can also be obtained by mail or on line, for $10 before August 28 but there will be an additional $10 charge for processing, for a total of $20. Due to expected high order volume, there could be delays with online and mail order processing of up to several months.

The legislation requires that the price of the lifetime Senior Pass be the same as the Interagency Annual Pass, which is currently $80. The legislation also introduces a new annual Senior Pass that can be purchased for $20. Seniors who purchase annual Senior Passes for four years can trade them in for a lifetime Senior Pass at no additional charge.

The Senior Pass covers all entrance fees and standard amenity (day use) fees and may provide senior discounts for things such as tours or campsites. The pass also waives the entrance fee for travelling companions. At per-vehicle fee sites, the pass admits the pass holder and all passengers in a noncommercial vehicle. At a per-person fee site, the pass admits the pass holder and three other adults. Children under 16 are always admitted free.