Vintage Camper for Sale - 1978 Empire

Regular Gr8LakesCamper reader Lori Swisher is selling her 1978 Empire camper. It's a perfect project for anyone who loves restoring vintage trailers back to their glory days. As you can see by the photos, it'll be a great project!

Here's what Lori had to say about her camper:
"I have a camper for sale. It is in need of a lot of TLC And with your experience it could be more beautiful than when it was new. It is a 1978 Empire. I live in Watertown Wisconsin. Phone number 920-261-7262. Please get this message to the people searching for restoration projects on flipping RVs."

For any more information, she asks that you give her a call at 920-261-7262.

1978 Empire
Body Type 18
Vehicle Type MBHM

Rollin' On TV takes a look at Rollin' Oldies Vintage RV Club

Rollin' On TV episode #2014-19

On this week's show they visit the Rollin' Oldies Vintage RV rally in Oregon and check out some of the classic beauties on display. Also, Evanne continues her RV adventure in Australia with a visit to a local farm to check out some unusual produce.

Video: 'A Look Inside a KOA Deluxe Camping Cabin' by RV Education 101

Enjoy this video from Mark Polk of RV Education 101 and RV DIY Channel in which he takes "A Look Inside a KOA Deluxe Camping Cabin."

Here's what Mark had to say about his video:
In this RV video host Mark Polk, with RV Education 101, takes you on a quick tour of a KOA Deluxe Camping Cabin. These KOA cabins are perfect for folks who don't own an RV but enjoy camping, for motorcyclists who want a roof over their head at night, and for single parents who want to take their kids camping and still have a sense of security.

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"

'10 Great State Parks for Wildlife' a great list from The Nature Conservancy

Ran across a great article by Matt Miller on The Nature Conservancy website called "10 Great State Parks for Wildlife."

National parks may get all the press, Miller writes, and recent travel blogs like Fodor's and USA Today have listed their picks for America's top state parks. But, as Miller points out, their selections are usually based on scenery. Miller argues that state parks can offer just as much opportunity to birders, natural history enthusiasts and other wildlife buffs, so he's come up with his own list of "10 Great State Parks for Wildlife."

"I’ve focused here on state parks I’ve actually visited that are great for wildlife and natural history. It’s impossible to go to them all, of course, so I’m sure I’ve missed some great parks," Miller says, asking people to suggest other state parks in the comments section of his article.

Below are just the highlights of his list. Click here to read the whole thing.

Custer State Park, South Dakota: The granite peaks and native prairie of Custer State Park have long made it a popular draw for Black Hills tourists. It also offers fantastic wildlife viewing. It’s hard to miss the 1500 bison and expansive prairie dog towns.

Baxter State Park, Maine: Baxter State Park is best known for being the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, with great hiking trails including the ascent of Mount Katahdin. It also happens to be one of the best places in the eastern United States to see a moose.

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (Photo by Matt Miller)
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California: California has a wealth of natural wonders at its state parks, from elephant seal colonies at Ano Nuevo State Park to desert wildflowers at Anza Borrego. I chose Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park because it offers one of the great hikes through towering coastal redwoods: the Boy Scout Tree Trail. The full splendor of these giant trees is on display on this easily accessible hike.

Antelope Island State Park, Utah: Bison on the beach: that’s the real attraction Antelope Island State Park, a large island in the Great Salt Lake. The herd of bison is easily spotted from the road or campsites, as are the island’s pronghorns or coyotes. Better yet, take a hike to see some of the bighorn sheep in the hills. Yes, the island really is that big. I came around the bend in one hiking trail only to find myself ten feet away from an enormous bull bison. Be alert.

Harriman State Park, Idaho: Located near Yellowstone, Harriman State Park has long been a global destination for fly fishers, who come to fish the Henry’s Fork. But it’s also a great place to critter watch, including moose, elk, black bear, trumpeter swan and white pelican.

Poe Paddy State Park, Pennsylvania: Poe Paddy State Park sits along the beautiful trout stream Penns Creek. Upstream, much of the creek is roadless, so it is one of the best and least crowded hikes in Pennsylvania. In the early mornings, I’ve often cast to trout and had the place to myself. I’ve been serenaded by eastern coyotes while trout rose in front of me. Mink are often hunting crayfish along the banks and hooded mergansers cruise the riffles.

Lake Fausse Pointe State Park, Louisiana: Bayou tours are a popular activity among New Orleans tourists, often involving tour groups. These can be a fine way to see the local alligators, but here’s a way to do it on your own: rent a canoe or kayak at Lake Fausse Point State Park, and head out on the park’s seven-mile canoe trail.

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, Florida: One of the largest freshwater springs in the country, Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park has a variety of water birds, turtles, alligators and other wildlife. But the big draw is the manatees. Unlike many manatee-watching spots in Florida, you can see them here year round. Daily boat tours allow visitors to get up-close views.

Bentsen – Rio Grande Valley State Park, Texas: This park is one of nine state parks that make up the World Birding Center, so you might expect it to be rich in avian wonders. Bentsen – Rio Grande Valley State Park's checklist – consisting of 500 + species – should tell birders all they need to know. This is one of the best places to see tropical species in the United States. During my recent short visit, I quickly saw great birds including Altamira orioles, green jays and plain chachalacas. You might also see a groove-billed ani, a buff-bellied hummingbird, a great kiskadee or many, many other great birds.

First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park, Montana: While this state park has some interesting wildlife, including an expansive prairie dog town, First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park is most interesting for its wildlife history. The cliff here was once the site where indigenous hunters drove large numbers of bison over the cliff to their deaths – providing a huge supply of meat in one effort.

Showcasing the Michigan DNR: New Grouse Enhanced Management Systems give hunters a gem of an opportunity

DNR Director Keith Creagh and Gov. Rick
Snyder assisted volunteers in planting more
 than 75 fruit-bearing trees and shrubs to
enhance a new GEMS hunter walking trail in
southern Marquette County Aug. 13. The
GEMS are designed to showcase Michigan’s
outstanding upland bird hunting opportunities.
(DNR photos)
It isn’t every day that you would find Governor Rick Snyder and Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh working shoulder-to-shoulder in the vast state forest lands of the Upper Peninsula, shovels in hand, planting nannyberry shrubs and crabapple trees.

But on a hot, sunny day in mid-August, that’s exactly what two dozen citizen volunteers and a handful of DNR staff witnessed at the end of a two-track trail just south of Gwinn in Marquette County, where, thanks to the collaborative efforts of all parties mentioned above, a diamond in the rough has gradually become a brilliant gem.

The GEMS – or Grouse Enhanced Management Systems – are a new DNR initiative designed to bring attention to Michigan’s outstanding upland bird hunting opportunities through the creation of a series of walk-in access hunting trails intensively managed for improved ruffed grouse and woodcock hunting.

DNR Wildlife Division development of the GEMS hinged largely upon the support of the Ruffed Grouse Society and increased revenue from the state’s new license fee package.

“The Ruffed Grouse Society and the American Woodcock Society are both extremely excited about
the new GEMS initiative,” said Eric Ellis, East Great Lakes regional biologist for the Ruffed Grouse Society. “We see this as an opportunity to get our members in the field, working on habitat improvement projects at the GEMS sites, and using hunting destinations as opportunities to promote grouse and woodcock hunting and conservation in Michigan.”

To get the GEMS ready for their debut season, the DNR’s Wildlife Division and Ruffed Grouse Society professional staff and members have partnered to plan and complete the necessary groundwork: clearing trails, improving habitat with strategic plantings to benefit a variety of wildlife, and placing signs, gates and trail information kiosks.

Two dozen volunteers recently gathered at the southern Marquette
County GEMS location to improve habitat by planting more than 75
nannyberry, crabapple and red oak trees. The fruit- and nut-bearing
trees will attract a variety of wildlife, including upland game
birds, deer, bear and songbirds.
The work has also been supported with volunteer hours and financial support from the American Woodcock Society, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Michigan United Conservation Clubs and the U.P. Wildlife Habitat Fund.

Without a doubt, a highlight of all that hard work was the presence of Gov. Snyder and Director Creagh on Wednesday, Aug. 13, at an On-the-Ground habitat improvement event hosted by MUCC at the Marquette County GEMS location.

According to remarks made by Snyder and Creagh that day, they attended the event not only to help with the planting of more than 75 trees and shrubs, but to celebrate and recognize the contributions of hunters and volunteers who figuratively and literally planted the seeds that allowed the GEMS to take root.

The GEMS concept first occurred to Terry Minzey, the DNR’s Upper Peninsula regional wildlife supervisor, while he was watching a television show that featured a “trail” of golf courses the public was invited to visit and play.

He recalls thinking: “Why couldn’t we do something like this for upland bird hunting?”

Now, less than two years later, the GEMS have morphed from concept to reality. To date, the DNR has established seven GEMS locations (in Cheboygan, Chippewa, Dickinson, Gladwin, Gogebic, Mackinac and Marquette counties), and is committed to developing at least six more statewide by September 2015.

GEMS are developed on sites with historically good grouse and woodcock habitat that have been further enhanced with plantings of clover and fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. An additional key component of habitat improvement for the GEMS is the intensive cutting of aspen on an accelerated 40-year cycle, which will increase the presence of young aspen – the preferred habitat of ruffed grouse and woodcock.

The GEMS are walk-in access trails designed to provide safe
and easily accessible hunting opportunities for beginners, youth,
and hunters with limited mobility. The hunting trails will also be
attractive destinations for hiker, cross-country skiers and bird watchers.
“Cutting has already taken place on all seven of our GEMS areas,” said Al Stewart, the DNR’s upland game bird specialist. “The idea is to move these areas from being good habitat for grouse, woodcock and other young forest wildlife to being excellent habitat for those species.”

Stewart also pointed out that promoting early successional forests through intensive cutting provides an opportunity to highlight the value of young forests to stakeholders who might not be aware of the vital role strategic cutting plays in habitat management.

“GEMS management will provide a unique opportunity to showcase the relationship between habitat improvement and the timber industry,” Stewart said. “We’re not only promoting the value of young forests to the mainstream business culture, we’re providing habitat that will benefit a whole suite of species.”

In addition to improving wildlife habitat, the GEMS hold two other specific purposes: Creating safe and easily accessible hunting opportunities for new hunters or those with limited mobility, and supporting the vital tourism economy of the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula.

The walk-in access trails, which feature minimal terrain changes, are gated and marked with signs and information kiosks at trailheads. Detailed maps of the GEMS are also available online.

The GEMS are walk-in access trails designed to provide safe and
easily accessible hunting opportunities for beginners, youth, and
hunters with limited mobility. The hunting trails will also be attractive
destinations for hiker, cross-country skiers and bird watchers.
“We’re looking at creating a place for a guy who’s 70 years old and still wants to grouse hunt, but can’t bust the brush anymore,” Minzey said. “Or maybe a hunter mentoring a young kid, or a wounded veteran who can’t get through the thick stuff; they can let the dogs go and stay on the trail until the dogs find a bird.

“These trails will also certainly be used by hunters targeting other species attracted to this habitat – deer, rabbits, turkey, and so on – not to mention the opportunities the GEMS will present for cross-country skiers, snowshoeing, birding, hiking and other types of outdoor recreation.”

With an eye on the many out-of-state hunters who come to the U.P. and northern Lower Peninsula to chase grouse and woodcock, Stewart and Minzey both envision the GEMS as a series of destinations that visiting hunters can follow across the state, from one end of grouse territory to the other.

Partner groups and sponsors in communities across northern Michigan also see the potential for connecting hunters with local businesses and boosting seasonal economies.

Organizations including the City of Marquette, Plum Creek Timber Company, Huron-Manistee National Forest and the Hiawatha National Forest have already joined with the DNR and Ruffed Grouse Society in support of the GEMS – with one of the current GEMS found on national forest land and future locations planned on private timber company land.

DNR Director Keith Creagh and Gov. Rick Snyder put up a sign
marking a new GEMS (Grouse Enhanced Management System)
hunter walking trail in southern Marquette County at a recent
habitat improvement event Wednesday, Aug. 13.
Business owners near the GEMS are also signing up to promote the program by offering discounts or other incentives to hunters who visit a GEMS site, take a photo of themselves with a GEMS sign, and then patronize the local sponsor establishment.

“The GEMS really are a win-win-win for habitat, hunters and the economy,” Stewart said. “We see the GEMS as opportunities to really work with chambers of commerce or other community leaders to promote place-based economies, support the local timber industry, and help everyone recognize the economic value of hunting.”

For more information about the GEMS and how to become a sponsor or partner, visit

New York enjoys increase in State Park and Campground attendance

New York State parks, historic sites and campgrounds hosted another successful season with nearly 36 million visits from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, representing a 2% increase in attendance over the same summer period in 2013. Gains in day use and campground visitors helped increase State revenue and continue a trend of record tourism across New York State.

“New York is home to some of the most breathtaking natural settings in the country, and as today’s numbers show, more people are coming to appreciate all that the Empire State has to offer,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a release. “When people see the tremendous natural beauty of New York’s parks and outdoor spaces, they fall in love and spend both time and money here, and that translates to jobs and new opportunities for New Yorkers. I am thrilled that we have had a banner year for summer tourism at New York State parks, and I encourage people to get out and explore more of our great outdoors this fall.”

Nearly 35 million people visited facilities operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day 2014, compared to 34.2 million visitors during the same period in 2013. State campgrounds were also busy, with 470,334 overnight stays at campgrounds operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, up 2 percent from 460,315 overnight stays during the 2013 season.

Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said, “We had a great summer filled with swimming, camping, golfing, hiking and sightseeing at our parks and historic sites. New York is fortunate to have such high-quality State Parks and historic sites across the state, and these visitation numbers reflect Gov. Cuomo’s strong efforts to improve and promote the state’s tremendous outdoor recreation facilities.”

The Department of Environmental Conservation-run facilities in the Adirondacks and Catskills also experienced a substantial growth in attendance this season, with more than 1 million visitors. Campers spent 1.06 million nights on land operated by the Department of Environmental Conversation this season, up 1.3 percent from 1.05 million in 2013. In addition, day-use area attendance jumped 8.9 percent from 319,000 in 2013 to nearly 350,000 during this year’s summer period. Over all, Department of Environmental Conversation facilities experienced a 3.1 percent increase in attendance over the 2013 season.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Gov. Cuomo is committed to highlighting New York’s tremendous outdoor recreation opportunities. Over the past two years, DEC’s campgrounds and day use areas drew more visitors, allowing more people to experience some of the most beautiful natural areas in New York. DEC's 52 facilities located the Adirondack and Catskill Parks provide vast array outdoor opportunities for the entire family to enjoy including hiking, fishing, paddling, island camping and boat launching facilities.”

The summer attendance figures underscore Cuomo’s commitment to improving State parks, expanding access to outdoor recreation, and promoting the State’s vast tourism and recreational attractions. At a May Tourism Summit, the Governor announced the State’s commitment of $45 million to promote tourism, create jobs and attract even more visitors to the Empire State. The 50 percent increase in State funding over the last year gives New York one of the largest state-funded tourism programs in the nation.

Additionally, the governor included a third round of $90 million in New York Works funding for improvements to State parks and historic sites in the 2014-15 State Budget. Launched by the governor in 2012, New York Works is advancing repair and improvement projects at 109 State parks and historic sites.

Outdoor recreation has a significant impact on the New York’s economy. A study by the Outdoor Industry Association found that outdoor recreation generates $33.8 billion in consumer spending in New York, directly supporting 305,000 jobs.

Register now for BOW backpacking workshop in Upper Peninsula, Nov. 7-9

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will offer a backpacking workshop for women the weekend of Nov. 7-9. Part of the DNR's Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program, the workshop is designed for women who have previous backpacking experience or training and would like to expand on their skills and abilities.

The workshop will starts at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7, with a gear check/trip orientation at Van Riper State Park in Champion. Participants will then drive to the trailhead at nearby Craig Lake State Park and hit the trail.

The workshop includes a two-day backpacking trip, with optional day hiking trips and fishing available. It is designed to expand on skills participants may have learned at previous BOW workshops, such as backcountry cooking, map and compass, wilderness first aid, and hiking.

Participants are asked to bring their own camping gear; registration materials provide more details on required equipment. Previous experience with backpacking/hiking is a requirement for this program. The workshop will be held rain, shine or snow.

The cost for the workshop is $150, which includes lodging and all meals except lunches. Participants will stay in a 14-bed cabin. Those who would like to fish will need to purchase a Michigan fishing license prior to the workshop. Licenses can be purchased online at

Participants must be 18 or older. Enrollment is limited to 14, and the deadline for registration is Friday, Oct. 17. Class information and registration materials are available online at, and the registration fee can be paid online at

For further information, contact Sharon Pitz at 906-228-6561Call: 906-228-6561 or

Video: BioLite, makers of CampStove, launches revolutionary HomeStove program

BioLite has announced the launch of commercial pilots for its revolutionary HomeStove. The programs, launched this year in India, Ghana and Uganda, will demonstrate the health, climate, and economic benefits of the low-cost biomass cookstove, which reduces smoke emissions by 90 percent while generating electricity to charge mobile phones and LED lights.

The HomeStove’s thermoelectric technology has huge implications for the developing world, where 3 billion people cook over smoky, indoor fires and 4 million people, primarily women and children, die prematurely as a result. The HomeStove also has considerable implications for the environment: it dramatically reduces the climate-warming emissions from open fire cooking, which currently creates more black carbon than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.

BioLite has been working with local, rural energy distributors to bring HomeStoves to 10,000 families. BioLite plans to refine its scaling plan that will allow it to reach more than 1 million homes within the next five years.

"We believe that the combination of consumer desired electricity access with the health benefits of reduced emissions has the potential to revolutionize the purchase and adoption of clean cookstoves. And by building markets instead of using a charity-based model, we can scale and sustain the success of the HomeStove for real long-term impact, ” says BioLite CEO Jonathan Cedar. "While cooking is a necessity, dying from smoke inhalation doesn't have to be.”

Continued Cedar, “These pilot programs enable us to further optimize three key components of the HomeStove project: product adoption by rural communities, carbon reduction and possible offset credits, and pre-natal and infant respiratory disease prevention.”

BioLite refined its thermoelectric technology on the CampStove, a compact, portable wood-burning cookstove, which also utilizes biomass to create both a cooking fire while generating electricity. Sales of the CampStove help BioLite fund the initial costs to build and support the HomeStove market abroad.

About BioLite
BioLite develops and manufactures advanced energy products that make cooking with wood as clean, safe, and easy as modern fuels while also generating electricity to charge small devices like  cell phones and LED lights off-grid. Headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, the company was founded in 2009 by Jonathan Cedar and Alec Drummond. Discover more about BioLite at

Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show coming Oct. 1-5 to Suburban Collection Showplace

Check Out the Latest in RVing at the 25th Annual Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show

The 25th Annual Fall Detroit Camper and RV Show, sponsored by the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC), will welcome unique RVs and great deals Oct. 1-5 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

More than 275 new recreation vehicles will be displayed, including folding campers, motorhomes, travel trailers, truck campers and fifth wheel travel trailers. Special discounts on RVs include folding campers from $6,995, trailers from $8,995 and motorhomes from $49,995.

In addition to the great show prices, exhibitor booths will feature parts, accessories, campground information, on-site RV financing and RV rentals, making this a one-stop-shop for all things camping. John Holod, of John Holod Productions and RV Adventures, will host presentations about travel adventures for show attendees. At the show, also enter to win 2015 event tickets and camping packages from Michigan International Speedway.

A special coupon is available at, Big Boy restaurants and area newspapers. With this coupon, all consumers receive $1-off any adult or senior admission. The 2014 RV & Campsite guide to camping and RVing in Michigan, which includes coupons from MARVAC members, will be available free to consumers.

The show is open 2-9 p.m. on weekdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. The cost for adult admission is $10 (ages 13 and up); senior admission is $9; children ages 12 and under are admitted free. Parking is not included in ticket price. The Suburban Collection Showplace is located on Grand River Avenue, south of I-96 between Novi Road and Beck Road.

The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) is a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging growth in the recreation vehicle and private campground industries while contributing to the quality of Michigan tourism.

Consumers can call 517-349-8881 ext. 10 or visit for additional RV show information.

'Great Camping and Attractions on the Great Lakes' from

Egg Harbor in Door County, Wisc. (Photo:
Recently, Jeff Crider wrote a great artile on "Great Camping and Attractions on the Great Lakes" for, which is administered by the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds.

"One of North America’s most interesting and varied travel destinations is Great Lakes, the largest grouping of freshwater lakes in the world," Crider wrote. "Spanning more than 750 miles from east to west and offering more than 10,000 miles of coastline, Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario and Erie offer scenic coastal villages, waterfront towns and historical sites, including lighthouses and military forts, as well as some of the country’s largest cities."

Below are highlights of Crider's report. I strongly encourage you to read the full article.

Lake Superior

  • Buffalo Valley Camping in Duluth, Minn. is a great base camp for exploring the west end of Lake Superior. 

Lake Michigan
Door County, Wis.: One of the most popular vacation destinations in Wisconsin, Door County is famous for its lakefront campgrounds, its dense forests and numerous scenic locations for canoeing, kayaking, fishing and hiking.
  • Door County Camping Resort, Egg Harbor, Wis.
  • Egg Harbor Campground & RV Resort, Egg Harbor, Wis.
  • Fish Creek Campground, Fish Creek, Wis.
  • Harbour Village Resort, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
  • Tranquil Timbers Camping Resort, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Green Bay, Wis.: The cities near Green Bay are popular summer camping destinations for Green Bay Packers fans, who go to Laumbeau Field to watch the packers practice until football season starts in the fall.
  • Apple Creek Campground, De Pere, Wis.
Milwaukee, Wis.: New attractions in Milwaukee include Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin (, a 120,000-square foot facility with interactive science and technology exhibits, theaters as well as fresh and salt water aquariums that feature aquatic life from the Great Lakes, the North Atlantic and the Caribbean.
  • Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, Caledonia, Wis.
Chicago, Ill.: Top attractions in Chicago include the Art Institute of Chicago, which was considered one of the top rated museums in the United States. Other attractions include the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, the Chicago Children’s Museum and Navy Pier, an entertainment venue that includes a 150-foot ferris wheel and an IMAX theater.
  • Fish Lake Beach Resort, Volo, Ill.
  • Fossil Rock Recreation Area, Wilmington, Ill.
  • Hide-A-Way Lakes, Yorkville, Ill.
  • Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, Portage, Ind.
Traverse City, Mich.: This is scenic area is popular area is popular with hiking, fishing, canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts. Local attractions also include Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore, which offers miles and miles of white sand beaches as well as sweeping views of Lake Michigan from atop the park’s sand dunes.
  • Holiday Park Campground, Traverse City, Mich.
  • Leelanau Pines Campground, Cedar, Mich.
  • Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort, Traverse City, Mich.
  • Traverse Bay RV Resort, Acme, Mich.
Lake Huron
Mackinac Island, Mich.: Located on the northern tip of Michigan on Lake Huron, Mackinac Island was voted one of the top 10 islands in the world by Condé Nast Traveler for its historic architecture and scenic environment. The island, which is also the site of Michigan’s oldest state park, is also the site of the annual Mackinac Island Fudge Festival, which is scheduled for Aug. 22-23.
  • Cedarville R.V. Park & Campground, Mackinaw City
  • Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping, Mackinaw City
  • Mackinaw City / Mackinac Island KOA
Frankenmuth, Mich: This German-themed town, a few miles inland from Lake Huron, is the only city outside of Munich, Germany to have an officially sanctioned Oktoberfest celebration, which takes place this year from Sept. 18-21. Other upcoming Frankenmuth events include the Michigan Zombie Run, a 5k mud and obstacle course run through a densely wooded course filled with zombies that jump out at the runners. Zombie runs are scheduled for July 19 and Aug. 9.
  • Ber-Wa-Ga-Na Campground, Vasser, Mich.
  • Frankenmuth Jellystone Park, Frankenmuth, Mich.
  • Genesee Otter Lake Campground, Otter Lake, Mich.
Lake Erie
Several historic lighthouses are located along Lake Erie, including the Land Lighthouse in Erie, Penn. Originally built in 1818, this was the first lighthouse built by the U.S. government in the Great Lakes. The current structure was built in 1867.
  • Presque Isle Passage RV Park & Cabin Rentals, Fairview, Penn.
  • Sara’s Campground, Erie, Penn.
  • West Haven at Lake Erie RV Park and Family Campground, Fairview, Penn.
Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park in Buffalo, N.Y.: This park features historic submarines and ships, artifacts and special events.
  • Hejamada Campground & RV Park, Port Byron, N.Y.
  • Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Mexico, N.Y.
Lake Ontario
Niagara Falls: One of the most famous waterfalls in the world, Niagara Falls is actually a series of three waterfalls on the Niagara River that drain Lake Erie into Lake Ontario.
  • Branches of Niagara Campground & Resort, Grand Island, N.Y.
  • Niagara Falls KOA, Grand Island, N.Y.
Old Fort Niagara Lighthouse in Youngstown, N.Y.: This lighthouse was first constructed on the roof of the Old Fort in 1781. It was the earliest official lighthouse on the Great Lakes.
  • Jellystone Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls, Ont.
  • Niagara Falls KOA, Grand Island, N.Y.
  • Branches of Niagara Campground & Resort, Grand Island, N.Y.
Selkirk Lighthouse in Port Ontario, N.Y.: Built in 1838, this is one of only four lighthouses in the U.S. to retain its original birdcage lantern.
  • Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, Mexico, N.Y.

North America Driving Tour Apps adds Key West

New Tour App Reveals Best Sights When Driving Through The Florida Keys From Miami To Key West

A new tour app that tells drivers where to find the best sights, attractions and viewpoints along the iconic Miami to Key West route officially launched this week.

This is the latest audio tour released by GyPSy Guide - an app for iPhone and Android devices that's like having a personal tour guide in your car. The tours play automatically as you drive and uses your phone's GPS technology to tell you about the most interesting places to see while on a road trip.

The apps also reveal unique stories about each destination, providing the same in-depth level of detail you would get from a real-life tour guide. In fact, the commentary for the Miami to Key West app was prepared by veteran Florida tour guide Martin Crossland. He has led thousands of visitors on tours of the Florida Keys.

"Through those thousands of trips to Key West I've learned what attractions travelers love most," said Crossland. "In preparing this tour I've picked the most enjoyable and definitive places in the Keys, so then the visitor can decide what suits their taste and the time they have available."

Just a few of the more than 100 points of interest covered by the Miami to Key West audio tour include:
  • Little-known details about the popular Bahia Honda State Park
  • Can't-miss bars  and restaurants, like the funky No Name Pub
  • Fascinating information about Seven Mile Bridge - the longest bridge on the drive
  • Where to find the home of the famous Rumrunner cocktail
For more information about GyPSy Guide's Miami to Key West audio tour, please go to: The tour apps are available in the App Store and Google's Play Store for $4.99.

About GyPSy Guide
GyPSy Guide was created by Rick Bulich, an experienced tour guide. He made the app for travelers who prefer road trips to guided bus tours, but don't want to miss any of the best attractions or viewpoints along the way.

"When I go on vacation I like to drive myself, to enjoy the freedom of deciding where to stop and for how long," said Bulich. "But like every other tourist, I love hearing all those fun and unique stories from the places I visit. I love the idea of a tour guide.  I just don't want to ride on a bus with a bunch of other people."

Other App destinations include:

  • Canadian Rockies
  • Vacnouver & British Columbia
  • las Vegas
  • Maui
  • Oahu
  • Moab
  • Toronto/Niagra
  • Vermont

For more information about GyPSy Guide, please visit

Top RV Parks for Golfers for 2014 Named by the Good Sam RV Travel Guide

The Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory announced its list of Top Parks for Golfers for 2014. These RV parks provide challenging, fun-filled golf courses for RVers who seek out great links on their travels.

Some of the RV parks on this list feature golf courses and driving ranges on their property; others are located in regions with several nearby golf courses. In all cases, these parks are up to par when it comes to attracting folks who are always ready to tee off.

Highlights from the List
  • Some RV parks attract golfers in part because of their proximity to world-renowned courses. Eagle View RV Resort at Fort McDowell is located just two minutes from the We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, ranked by Sports Illustrated as one of the Top 10 New Public Golf Courses in the World.
  • Parks that offer links within the resort include Pueblo El Mirage Golf and RV Resort, which boasts a 72-par course designed by golfing champion Fuzzy Zoeller.
  • RV/Golf travel packages help some of these RV parks attract golfing customers. Mallard Creek Golf Course & RV Resort, for instance, offers packages for stays as long as a month that include unlimited golf on the resort's course.
Facts about Golfing RV Travelers
  • Since 1980, the number of golfers in the United States has grown by 50 percent, with more than 30 million enthusiasts hitting the links.
  • There are approximately 15,500 golf facilities in the U.S., many of which are in or near or within RV parks.
  • In 2012, golfers played 490 million rounds on U.S. courses, up 5.7 percent from 2011
Choosing the Parks
The editors and consultants of the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory chose the list of Top Golfing RV Parks from the annual publication's database of 8,000 private parks.

In addition to in-depth listings of RV parks and campgrounds across North America, the 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.

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort
Top RV Parks For Golfers
Auburn RV Park at Leisure Time Campground, Auburn

Eagle View RV Resort at Fort McDowell, Fort Mcdowell
Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort, Casa Grande
Pueblo El Mirage Golf & RV Resort, El Mirage

Emerald Desert RV Resort - Sunland, Palm Desert
Pomo RV Park & Campground, Fort Bragg
Signature Motorcoach Resort at Bay Harbor

Grand Lake RV & Golf Resort, Citra
The Glades RV Resort, La Belle

Signature Motorcoach Resort at Bay Harbor, Bay Harbor

Mark Twain Landing, Monroe City

Fairmont RV Park & Campground, Anaconda

Mallard Creek Golf & RV Resort, Lebanon

Parkview Riverside RV Park, Concan

Lake Pleasant RV Park, Bothell

Three new trails open to hikers, bikers in Wisconsin

Bearskin State Trail
EDITOR'S ADVISORY: Zeloski Marsh trail opening delayed. Heavy rains early in the week have forced a delay in the announced opening of a new 2.5 mile bike and hiking trail in the Zeloski Marsh unit of the Lake Mills State Wildlife Area. The trail was to have opened Sept. 1. No date for the trail opening is available at this time.

MADISON - Hikers and bicyclists have additional trails to explore in Wisconsin this summer and fall with the opening of three new trails this summer.

In July, an 8-mile paved trail was completed through the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest connecting the communities of Manitowish Waters and Boulder Junction. With the completion of this section the paved trail system in Vilas County stretches for approximately 45 miles, running almost to Eagle River. The paved trails began with the first segment connecting North Trout campground to the town of Boulder Junction, funded with a combination of Stewardship and Wisconsin Department of Transportation funding. The new section was primarily funded by the Manitowish Waters Trail Foundation.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources contributed forest land for most of the trail and a gravel pit to provide construction material. The trail goes through some rustic parts of the forests and across some wetlands. One of the main features of the trail are long boardwalks that cross wetlands and Rice Creek.

And as of last weekend, cyclists can ride more easily between Tomahawk and Minocqua with the completion of phase one of the Bearskin and Hiawatha trail connection.

DNR finished building a 6-mile connector stretch that joins the two major trails together in August. The total ride is 32 miles, almost all of which is on designated bike trail. There are still 4.5 miles of riding on county roads; future plans for the project would replace those sections with bike trail in phase 2.

The 18-mile Bearskin State Trail was completed in the late 70s and the Hiawatha Trail was completed in 1989. Both trails use an old railroad corridor and are used in the summer for biking and hiking and in the winter as a snowmobile trail.

Zeloski Marsh Bike Trail (WDNR photo)
While the opening has been delayed by heavy rain earlier this month, a new 2.5 mile recreational trail on the Zeloski Marsh Unit of the Lake Mills Wildlife Area in Jefferson County is set to open soon. The new trail will connect a planned Jefferson County's London Road bicycle route with the Glacial Drumlin State Trail.

Construction of the bicycle trail was envisaged in the Glacial Heritage Area master plan approved by the Natural Resources Board in 2009. The Glacial Heritage Area is a coordinated series of parks, preserves, wildlife and natural areas and other conservation lands that are linked together and to nearby cities and villages with different types of trails.

The new trail will provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities for cyclists and hikers, according to Mark Witecha, a DNR wildlife biologist who oversees the property.

A state trail pass is required for bicyclists on the Bearskin and Glacial Drumlin state trails but the pass in not required for the Manitowish Waters-Boulder Junction trail or the Zeloski Marsh trail.

Family Fun and Halloween Camping at ARVC Michigan Campgrounds

Photo from Motorhome Magazine
Do you have witches and warlocks on your mind? Maybe you like being spooked by creatures peeking around the corner? Believe it or not, Halloween is fast approaching, so on top of the traditional trick-or-treating through your neighborhood include the same family fun at an ARVC Michigan campground near you.

For families in search of campgrounds offering Halloween festivities, the Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds of Michigan (ARVC Michigan) has several campgrounds hosting events celebrating the spirit of Halloween.

Nearly a dozen campgrounds offering activities for families from mid-September through October:

September 12-13, 19-20, 26-27 / October 3-4
Campers Haven Family Campground
Bad Axe, MI

September 12-13
Whispering Waters Campground

September 12-14
Walnut Hills Family Campground
Durand, MI

September 20
Berwagana Campground
Vassar, MI

September 20
Snow Lake Kampground
Fenwick, MI

September 26-28 / October 3-5, 10-12, 19-21 & 26-28
Harbortown RV Resort
Monroe, MI

October 3-4
Myers Lake Campground
Byron, MI

October 4-6
River View Campground and Canoe Livery
Sterling, MI

October 3-5
Whispering Pines RV Resort & Campground
Mancelona, MI

This is not an all-inclusive list. This list includes campgrounds that responded back to a survey indicating availability, as of August 25, 2014. Availability is subject to change. Reservations are required.

About ARVC Michigan
ARVC Michigan represents nearly 160 campgrounds with more than 25,000 sites available throughout the state. These privately-owned campgrounds are promoted in an annual Michigan Campground Directory, available at various locations statewide, including all Michigan Welcome Centers. The Association's mission is to lead in the development of the RV Parks and Campground industry through education, communication and representation. ARVC Michigan is an affiliated partner of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). (

Illinois DNR seeks camp store manager for Mississippi Palisades State Park

Mississippi Palisades State Park (Illinois DNR photo)
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is looking for a concessionaire to operate the camp store located in Mississippi Palisades State Park for the 2015 season and beyond.

The camp store offers prepackaged food, beverages, camping supplies, ice, and firewood.

Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Apple rivers in northwestern Illinois, the 2,500-acre Mississippi Palisades State Park is rich in American Indian history. Among other amenities, the park features wooded ravines, a 15-mile trail system, fishing and boating, and a 241-site campground.

If you are interested in this leasing opportunity or would like more information, contact Jay Nottrott, site superintendent, at 815-273-2731 or

Video: Michigan Out Of Doors chases Musky in the Upper Peninsula

Enjoy episode #1433 of Michigan Out of Doors, in which the Jimmy Gretzinger chases Musky in a canoe on the Tahquamenon River. Michigan Out Of Doors also stops in with the Michigan DNR to learn about a new teal season.

Indiana State Parks offering camping discount

A new offer from Indiana State Parks & Reservoirs makes weeknight camping more affordable during September.

Those who book a new campsite reservation for one or more weeknights (Sundays through Wednesdays) during the month will receive 20% off of their reserved weeknights at the time of booking.

According to a release, the offer applies to all State Parks & Reservoirs campgrounds, Deam Lake and Starve Hollow state recreation areas, and Greene-Sullivan State Forest.

The reservation must be booked and used by Oct. 8. The offer does not apply to reservations made before Aug. 27, or to reservations made in combination with any other discount or offer. The offer does not apply to walk-in registrations. The offer excludes Labor Day weekend.

Reservations can be booked at or by calling (866) 622-6746. Use the promo code “CAMPIN14.”

Video: 'RV Water Pump Maintenance' by RV Education 101

Enjoy this 3:50 video on RV Water Pump Preventive Maintenance Tips' from Mark Polk of RV Education 101. This video can be found on Mark's new RV DIY channel.

Here's what Mark had to say about his video:
In this RV DIY™Channel premier video Mark Polk with RV Education 101 demonstrates some easy preventive maintenance tips to help keep your RV water pump in tip-top operating condition.

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"

Video: 'Rapid Camp System' from Thor Motor Coach

Enjoy this video from Thor Motor Coach on its 'Rapid Camp: Modern RV & Motorhome Remote Control System'

Guest post: O.A.R.S. Embraces Autumn on Western Waterways and National Park Trails with Multi-Day Adventure Vacations

Veteran river outfitter and nature-based adventure travel company O.A.R.S. ( announces rafting, hiking and multi-sport vacations into October that promise cooler temperatures along with great fishing, uncrowded wilderness and brilliant night skies.

“It’s our favorite season for hiking and exploring in the national parks,” adds Steve Markle, O.A.R.S.’ spokesperson. “And then there’s the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, which not only has spectacular alpine scenery, but also world-class trout fishing - especially in September when high water has receded, the river is crystal clear, and angling conditions are prime.”

Markle suggests some of the company’s most popular fall adventures for anyone looking for domestic travel from September through October:

Through mid-September O.A.R.S.’ six-day Yellowstone & Grand Teton Explorer takes guests off the beaten track at a time when seasonal visits to the two parks are slowing down. This multi-sport program in wild Wyoming includes two nights of lodging and three nights of catered camping on Jackson Lake with days spent touring Yellowstone and kayaking and hiking in Grand Teton. Through special access granted by the National Park Service, O.A.R.S. has been given permission to camp on an island in the lake, a privilege unique to this company. This trip transports guests into a world of mountain peaks and meadows, trout streams, waterfalls, bear, moose and bison. The rate is $1,589/person based on double occupancy for six days (five-day camping trips also available from $1,399/person).

The company’s four-day, lodge-based Grand Canyon Rim to River Hiker in September and October brings guests into one of the deepest parts of the Grand Canyon with an overnight stay at historic Phantom Ranch. The adventure begins in Walnut Canyon, en route to the South Rim, with a close-up view of 25 unique cliff dwellings. Hiking in Wupatki National Monument, features multi-story ruins of red sandstone blocks and mortar.  After gazing into the canyon’s depths from the Desert View Watchtower, a night at the South Rim is the perfect spot to rest before an invigorating hike into the canyon the following day. The South Kaibab Trail, a seven-mile hike into the canyon, reveals panoramic vistas that overwhelm the senses as guests take in the canyon’s grandeur.  The Bright Angel Trail offers a nine-mile hike out of the canyon, followed by a short stroll along the Rim Trail to Hermit’s Rest before returning to Flagstaff on the final day of this hiking adventure. The rate is $1,599/person based on double occupancy.

In September, six-day fishing trips on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River combine crystal clear water, abundant wildlife, amazing scenery, hot springs and Blue Ribbon trout fishing. This Idaho adventure brings guests into the largest federally protected wilderness in the continental U.S., a rugged and varied terrain of pine-clad mountains, rolling grasslands and narrow gorges. The catch-and-release policy along with limited access to the river and little angling pressure has resulted in a river loaded with fish. Twelve- to fourteen-inchers are common, with an occasional trophy sixteen- to eighteen-inch lunker. From $2,082/person.

The Colorado River through Cataract Canyon serves up ideal conditions for hiking to scenic viewpoints and pre-Puebloan sites, stand up paddleboarding in the flat water and Class III whitewater through the heart of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. By September the scorching heat of the summer has faded, and with the sun a little lower in the sky, the shade created by canyon walls produces mesmerizing oblique lighting and wonderful opportunities for photography. Guests can marvel at million-year-old rock formations as well as ancient pictographs & petroglyphs while hiking side canyon trails. Four- and six-day trips through October start at $1,529/person.

On a special Sept. 14 “Stars with Lars” astronomy trip, veteran O.A.R.S.’ guide Lars Haarr will help interpret the night sky that offers some of the best conditions for stargazing due to the remote location and absence of city lights.

The per person, double occupancy rates for autumn 2014 programs include nights of lodge accommodations and/or comfortable catered camping, all river equipment, dry bags for gear, meals from departure day through the end of the trip and professional guide services.

For more information, availability, reservations and a copy of the 2014 O.A.R.S. Adventures catalog call 209-736-4677 or 800-346-6277, email, or visit:

About O.A.R.S.
Some 500,000 guests later, O.A.R.S. has been providing whitewater rafting vacations since 1969. Over the decades the company has set the standard in first-class rafting, sea kayaking and multi-sport adventure, with destinations and unparalleled experiences on over 35 rivers and coastlines around the world. O.A.R.S. caters to active travelers of all ages and abilities with more than 75 unique itineraries, including one-day and weekend escapes. In 2013, for the seventh consecutive year, Condé Nast Traveler recognized Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S. Reservation Manager and International Adventure Travel Consultant, as Condé Nast Traveler’s standalone Top Travel Specialist in the River Rafting category. In 2013 Outside, America’s leading multimedia active-lifestyle brand, named O.A.R.S. one of the top two outfitters in the world in its annual Active Travel Awards recognition program.

New TV show to show vintage RV restorations

Great American Country is set to debut a new television show, Flippin' RVs, at 8 p.m. Sept. 3.

Flippin' RVs follows young, married couple Justin and Anna Scribner from Flyte Camp Vintage Trailer Restorations as they scour the countryside looking for vintage RVs and trailers.

According to a release, once the Scribners lock in on a bounty, they restore the RV to its former glory. "These RV pickers will stop at nothing in their search for obscure and valuable trailers," the release stated. The first episode is called "Big Trouble with Tiny Trailers."

Great American Country is offered on Ch. 165 on DISH Network and on Ch. 326 on DIRECTV; check your local cable listings or click here to search for Great American Country in your area.