50 Campfires takes on RV Camping in these videos



About 50 Campfires
Ever since Camping Life magazine went away, I'd been searching for a publication that could satisfy my camping/hiking wanderlust. 50 Campfires is pretty much about the best source for camping/hiking – gear, destinations, recipes, tips, etc. – that you'll ever find anywhere. Besides its website that has a ton of great info, 50 Campfires also is on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Vimeo, and Instagram. And its free monthly e-magazine (see below) is gorgeous.

Yours Truly is on Rollin' on TV! (plus the R-Pod and Airstream Basecamp)



On this week's program (#2016-21), Rollin' On TVOn this week's program, Jeff Johnston gives us one of his full, in-depth reviews of the Forest River RPod. Then later we take a sneak peak at the 2016 Elkhart Open House and what we can look for in 2017. And Rick Kessler (yours truly!) from RVBusiness magazine checks out the new Airstream Base Camp Trailer.

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.

RV videos: Airstream Interstate Grand Tour & Travel Trailers, DRV MS Aire, Heartland Edge 386, Leisure Travels Unity TB, & InTech XLT+

Michigan DNR announces change in payment options for making advance reservations at Michigan state parks

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday (Oct. 25) announced that it will make modifications in payment options for camping and lodging reservations at Michigan state parks, recreation areas and harbors.

Beginning today (Oct. 27), E-check payments no longer will be accepted. Forms of payment that will be accepted include MasterCard, Visa, Discover and the DNR state park and harbor gift card

"As long as a MasterCard, Visa or Discover logo appears on the card, regardless of whether it is a credit, debit or prepaid card, it will be accepted for payment," said Christa Sturtevant-Good, DNR parks and harbors central reservation specialist. "Additionally, a prepaid DNR state park and harbor gift card can be accepted for payment. This gift card is a great gift idea for outdoor enthusiasts and campers who visit Michigan state parks and recreation areas."

For customers who don't have a credit or debit card, there are alternative payment options: 
  • Visit a nearby state park and purchase a DNR state park and harbor gift card. The cards can be loaded in any amount between $5 and $500. There are no additional activation fees for these cards, and multiple cards can be purchased if necessary. The gift card then can be used to make a reservation online at www.midnrreservations.comor via the call center at 1-800-44PARKS (1-800-447-2757).
  • Visit a local convenience store and purchase a prepaid MasterCard or Visa. The prepaid MasterCard or Visa card then can be used to make a reservation online at www.midnrreservations.com or via the call center at 1-800-44PARKS (1-800-447-2757).
Advance reservations can be made up to six months in advance of a customer’s planned arrival date for both campsites and harbor slips. Advance reservations for overnight lodging or day-use shelters can be made up to one year in advance. Reservations can be made by visiting www.midnrreservations.com or calling 1-800-44PARKS (1-800-447-2757).

For questions, contact the reservation call center at 1-800-44PARKS or Christa Sturtevant-Good at 231-861-2703 or sturtevantc@michigan.gov. Emails also may be sent to DNR-Reservations@michigan.gov.

We're the Russos Wednesdays: ReadyBrute Elite Review, Planes of Fame Air Museum Chino, We're Selling Our RV, & Minimizing Stuff for Camper Van Life



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. Their rig is a 2015 Newmar Bay Star, a gas motorhome coming in just shy of 30 feet. 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.

Alpine Electronics debuts new $1,500 'In-Cooler Entertainment System'

The PWD-CB1 Alpine ICE features a wireless sound system in a rugged premium cooler

(Press Release) Alpine Electronics has expanded outside of the car to take the entertainment wherever the fun is with a portable sound system in a cooler. The new PWD-CB1 Alpine In-Cooler Entertainment (ICE) system is now shipping.

"For the past three years, we've produced Alpine Restyle vehicle-specific infotainment systems for the Jeep Wrangler, full-size trucks, and SUVs," said Steve Crawford, vice president and general manager, aftermarket business unit, Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. "Through this experience, we recognized the need for an entertainment system that could be used outside of the vehicle yet matched the lifestyle activities of these owners, which led us to develop the PWD-CB1 Alpine ICE."

The PWD-CB1 Alpine ICE features an Alpine sound system installed in a Grizzly Cooler and uses an innovative design that does not sacrifice storage capacity or cooling capability. The 180-watt Alpine sound system consists of a 2-way, 5.25-inch component waterproof speaker system with 4x10-inch bass radiators and a compact audio amplifier. The Bluetooth wireless connection provides audio streaming and pairs to a portable device in seconds through the illuminated control panel. The side-mounted 3.5-mm aux input is used for a wired connection to a portable device, while the 3.5-mm audio output links multiple PWD-CB1 Alpine ICE systems together for bigger sound. The PWD-CB1 Alpine ICE is powered by the included 16-foot cable that plugs into the vehicle's 12 volt auxiliary power outlet. When the PWD-CB1 Alpine ICE is connected to the vehicle, the monitoring system on the control panel signals the user if the vehicle needs to be started to prevent the battery from completely discharging.

Exclusive Design
The PWD-CB1 Alpine ICE upholds the distinctive Grizzly style while maintaining the sound performance of the Alpine system. The specially-designed speakers and bass radiators are recessed on the cooler's front wall and produce balanced sound that can get loud when needed. The Alpine components are housed in an exclusive enclosure that protects them from interior cabin moisture but is only 3-inches deep, for minimal impact on the cooler's 56-quart storage capacity.

The Alpine components are water resistant for easy cleanup, allowing the PWD-CB1 Alpine ICE to be used at outdoor activities like boating, fishing, water sports, camping and tailgating. The coated speaker grills are protected against corrosion, and rubber gaskets help keep water away from the control panel, speakers and electronics assemblies. A plastic cover and silicon rubber plugs shield the aux input and audio outputs when not in use. The PWD-CB1 Alpine ICE measures 34" L x 16 ¾" W x 17 7/8" H. Signature Grizzly features include molded-in heavy duty handles, BearClaw™ latching system, nylon rope handles with rubber grips, non-slip rubber feet, and a two-inch drain plug.

Suggested AccessoriesTo take the PWD-CB1 Alpine ICE on the go, Alpine suggests connecting it to the Goal Zero Yeti 400 external battery (sold separately, www.goalzero.com). Alpine also suggests the Mighty Max Plus One Sports Cart with all-terrain wheels (sold separately, www.mightymaxcart.com) as a compatible cart for transporting the PWD-CB1 Alpine ICE.

Availability
The PWD-CB1 Alpine In-Cooler Entertainment (ICE) system is available for $1,500, visit www.alpine-usa.com/alpineice for a store locator and approved online retailers.

RV Education 101 videos Part 3: Lap Sealants, Sniff 'n' Stop Pest Control, 5 Essential RV Items & More




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"

RV Education videos Part 2: Driving Tips, Black Streaks, TireMinder TPMS, Rubber Roof Repair & More


a


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"

RV Education 101 videos Part 1: RV Flooring, Leveling, Electrical Systems, Toilet Replacement & More




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"

Volunteers needed in late October for park stewardship in southeastern Michigan



There's still a few opportunities left this October to volunteer for stewardship workdays at state parks in southeast Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources seeks volunteers who are needed to cut invasive, non-native shrubs or collect seeds from native prairie plants to restore high-quality natural areas. Finding non-native invasive shrubs is easier this time of year since they generally stay green longer than their native counterparts. These activities are a great way to enjoy time outdoors in the beautiful autumn weather while restoring unique prairies and wetlands.

No experience is necessary, and training and equipment are provided. These activities are a great way to enjoy time outdoors in the late summer/early fall while restoring high-quality, unique ecosystems and learning more about them.

Workday dates, locations (counties) and times include:
Volunteers help remove invasive species at Belle Isle Park.
Volunteer efforts at these workdays are critical in helping
to protect Michigan's natural areas. (DNR photo)
The DNR's Volunteer Stewardship Program is a hands-on way for all ages to learn about and protect Michigan's natural resources by collecting native seeds, removing invasive species, conducting plant and animal surveys and more. Other ways to volunteer with the DNR include joining a state park friends group, serving as a campground host or a lightkeeper and many other opportunities.

Watch the video above to learn more about why these volunteer stewardship efforts are so important to protecting natural areas and ecosystems in Michigan state parks and recreation areas.

All volunteers are asked to register using the form available on the DNR website or via email. Any questions should be directed to Echo Prafke-Marson at 517-719-2285 orprafkemarsone@michigan.gov. Volunteers should bring work gloves, drinking water and appropriate clothing for outdoor work, including long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes.

Workday details, maps and directions can be found on the DNR website atwww.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers and clicking on the Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays.

We're the Russos Wednesday: Sportsmobile Camper Vans, Leisure Travel Vans, Hymer Touring Trailer, Lance 1172 Truck Camper, Roadtreks, & 'Visit us on Patreon'



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. Their rig is a 2015 Newmar Bay Star, a gas motorhome coming in just shy of 30 feet. 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.

Magellan Introduces New 2016 Line of MiVue DashCam Devices

Packed with Popular Magellan Features Such as Full HD Recording, Impact Sensors, Forward Collision and Lane Departure Warnings, Parking Mode and More

Magellan introduces its newest lineup of 2016 MiVue DashCam devices. With four new stylish DashCams, there is a model to meet the needs of every user, whether it's recording those iconic spots along your scenic travels or capturing those unexpected moments like the inevitable traffic incident. With a new MiVue DashCam from Magellan you'll always be prepared.  And with all models featuring HD recording and seamless light transitioning, you'll never miss out on any of the details.

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, you want the best quality picture possible," commented Stig Pedersen, Magellan associate vice president of product management. "Whether fighting a traffic ticket or insurance fraud, protecting against parking lot accidents, or simply keeping an eye on teenage and other drivers, having high quality footage can mean all the difference."

The new models are MiVue 240, MiVue 320, MiVue 420 and MiVue 480D, all of them are available now:

MiVue 240
Below are just a few of the many outstanding Magellan features that the entry-level MiVue 240 device includes.

  • MiVue Manager - Intuitive interface allows you to browse recorded videos. Video recorded from the Impact Sensor can be reviewed for post-accident analysis. Video may be shared on social media sites like YouTube™ & Facebook®.
  • 720p HD Recording – Capture everything that happens on your drive in crystal clear HD.
  • Wide Angle Lens – The 130° wide angle lens provides an enhanced peripheral view to record the entire street.
  • Impact Sensor – Records impact forces, which show the direction and magnitude of an accident impact.
  • Event Recording Mode – When the 3-axis sensor detects sudden changes in motion, the device instantly saves protected files to prevent them from being overwritten.
  • 2.3 Inch Screen – Provides an easy-to-view display of the road ahead.
  • Rotating Mount Design – Mount is easily rotated to any desired angle assuring you never miss an important moment.
  • Camera Mode – Switch to Camera Mode to collect photo evidence or create lasting memories.  With the built-in battery, the device can be taken out of the car to get close-up photos.


MiVue 320
In addition to all of the features above, the MiVue 320 also includes the following.

  • Full 1080p HD Recording at 30 frames per second – Capture everything that happens on your drive in crystal clear HD.
  • 2 Inch Screen – Provides an easy-to-view display of the road ahead.
  • GPS Tracking – The built-in high-sensitivity GPS receiver automatically records your driving information on the video, so you have both a location and time stamp during video playback.
  • Night View Enhancement – Automatic day/night light adjustment assuring the best picture quality regardless of lighting conditions.
  • Maximum Memory of 128GB – One of the largest storage capacities of any dash camera on the consumer market.
  • Cruise Speed Alert – Visual and audio alert appears when speed is detected over the preset speed limit.
  • Parking Mode – In situations where there's an impact while the car is parked, the DashCam wakes up to record the event.  You can even choose to have the device always recording with vehicles that have constant power supplied to the unit.
  • Wide Angle Lens – The 140° wide angle lens provides an enhanced peripheral view to record the entire street.


MiVue 420
In addition to all of the features above, the MiVue 420 also includes the following.

  • 2.7 Inch Screen (16:9) – Larger than competitors for enhanced viewing, ease-of-use and safety.
  • Lane Departure Warnings ­– Audio alert and icon (left or right) appears when departing to the left or right of the current lane.
  • Forward Collision Avoidance – Audio alert and icon appear when traffic facing the camera detects that the driver is getting too close to the car ahead. Driver can adjust distance settings for the alert.
  • 1296p Super High Definition Recording – With a maximum aperture of f/1.8, the MiVue 420 provides some of the sharpest night view images available.


MiVue 480D
The MiVue 480D takes Dash Cameras to a new level of functionality with:

  • Dual Cameras – Includes two cameras to assure every important event is recorded.
  • 1296p Front/1080p Rear Super High Definition Recording – With a maximum aperture of f/1.8 front and f/2.0 rear, the MiVue 480D provides some of the sharpest night view images available.
  • Wide Angle Lenses – A 140° front and 130° rear lens provide a full view of events both in front of and behind your vehicle to capture a more expansive peripheral view at critical moments.
  • Motion Detection Parking Mode – In situations where there's motion happening around the car while parked, the DashCam wakes up to record the event.


Pricing and Availability
The Magellan MiVue DashCam product line is available now at retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as online at www.magellangps.com. MSRPs are as follows: $79.99 (MiVue 240); $129.99 (MiVue 320); $179.99 (MiVue 420); and $299.99 (MiVue 480D).

RV Videos: Heartland Resort & Elkridge, Airstream Classic, Winnebago Fuse & Coachmen Galleria

Introducing the RV-Ready, Dual-Fuel, 3400-Watt Portable Inverter Generator from Champion Power Equipment



The Champion Power Equipment 100263 gasoline or LPG powered, portable inverter generator is powered by an 192cc Champion single cylinder, 4-stroke OHV engine that produces 3400 max watts. With a 1.6 gal. fuel tank this unit can run up to 7.5 hours at 25% load. Our OHV engine is equipped with a low oil shut-off sensor and designed for long life and easy maintenance. This unit also contains true sine wave inverter technology making it safe to power all of you sensitive electronic devices. This unit is ideal for camping trips, hunting, traveling, tailgating, and light jobs around the house. The built-in handle and wheel kit make it easily portable.

What will it power?
Advanced, true sine wave inverter technology provides safe, reliable power to computers and other sensitive electrical devices. Ideal for powering a small appliance and/or a few household items

What does it include?
  • Built-In Carrying Handles
  • Plug-In Smart Charger for Battery
  • 12V DC Duel Port USB Adapter
  • Battery Included
  • Highlights
  • 192cc Champion OHV Engine
  • 4 Stroke
  • Single Cylinder
  • Air Cooled
  • Low Oil Shut-Off
  • Electric and Recoil Start
  • Cast Iron Sleeve for Durability
What are its features?
  • Fuel Tank – 1.6 Gallon (6 L)
  • Oil Capacity – 0.6 qt. (0.6 L)
  • Noise Level – 59dBA from 23 ft.
  • Running Hours – 7.5 hrs at 25% Load
  • Parallel Capability – Parallel with another
  • Champion inverter for increased power!
  • Push-to-Reset Circuit Breakers
  • Economy Mode – Engine Automatically Idles
  • Lower When Electrical Load is Reduced, Saving
  • Fuel and Engine Wear
  • Comes Fully Assembled
  • EPA & CARB/50 State Certified
Specifications

  • Max Watts – 3400 Watts
  • Rated Watts – 3100 Watts
  • AC Load – 120V
  • DC Output – 12V/8.3A
  • Phase – Single
  • Frequency – 60 Hz
  • Engine – 192cc Champion OHV
  • Overload Protection – Automatic
  • RPM – Automatic (based on load)
  • Fuel Capacity – 1.6 gal. (6 L)
  • Oil Capacity – .63 qt. (.6 L)
  • Recommended Oil – SAE 10W-30
  • Start Type – Electric Start/Recoil Start
  • Low Oil Shut-off – Automatic
  • Portability – Built-in handle and wheels
  • Choke Type – Manual
  • Noise Level – 59 dBA at 23 ft
  • Length – 24.4 in. (57 cm)
  • Width – 14.3 in. (44 cm)
  • Height – 18.3 in. (46.4 cm)
  • Gross Weight – 110.5 lb. (43 kg)
  • Net Weight – 95.7 lb. (38 kg)
  • Emissions – EPA/CARB Approved (50 State)
  • Warranty – 2 Year Limited Warranty

How to Get the Best Deal Renting an RV through a Peer to Peer Network

Are you itching to travel and see the United States? One of the best ways to explore the country is in the comfort of an RV. You can do this even if you don’t own one – renting an RV is a worry-free, less expensive way to travel. Peer to peer networks make it even easier to rent an RV at a lower cost than a traditional rental service. You get to see what the RV lifestyle is all about, while the owner gets to make some income to help with their RV loan and expenses. We’ve put together a guide to help you save even more money when renting an RV.

The Ins and Outs of Peer to Peer RV Rentals
Think of peer to peer networks as the “mom and pop” version of RV rentals. You get to meet the owner directly. You get to choose the RV that fits your needs or your aesthetic the best. And, you don’t have to deal with huge markups and hidden fees that many rental sites charge. Here’s how it works:

● An RV owner or independent dealership lists their RV on a peer to peer network like RVshare. They upload photos and other information about the rig. They set their own prices and limitations (like mileage). Then, they sit back and wait for renters to apply. There’s no fee for them to list their rental, which ends up saving you money.

● Someone with the urge to travel (ahem, you) goes on the website and explores available RVs nearby. You’ll see RVs of all sizes and classes and get to choose the one you like the most. Compact Class C? Why not! Luxury diesel pusher? No problem!

● When you’ve finally found the RV of your dreams, simply book online and you’ll be able to communicate with the owner via email. After they screen your information, they can accept your request and reserve your dates. Most RVs come with liability insurance and all come with 24-hour roadside assistance.

● You’ll meet with the owner when it comes time to pick up your RV. After your trip, you’ll need to return the RV clean and free of damage to get your deposit back.

Saving Money When Renting an RV
Renting through a peer to peer network like RVshare will save you cash as it is, but there are ways to stretch your savings even further. Keep these tips in mind while perusing RV rental listings:

● As with all things travel, the off-season is usually less expensive. Plan a trip outside of peak summer and fall months. A Labor Day weekend trip will cost you more than if you book a few weeks afterward.

● Look for discounts for long-term rentals. Many owners and independent dealers will cut you a break if you book for longer than a week. Likewise, booking far enough in advance might net you some savings too.

● Look for unlimited miles. It’s rare, but it’s not impossible. Most owners set limits on how many miles you can travel in a day or overall. They’ll charge you for each mile you go over the limit. If you find a rental with unlimited miles, snatch it!

● Another rare, yet not impossible tip is to look for RV relocation deals. Dealerships occasionally have to move their inventory to other states or across the country. It’s expensive for them to do it, so they’ll give you a great rental rate to the driving for them. Sometimes rentals can even be as cheap as $1 per day!

● Make sure you don’t rent an RV that’s too big for your needs. Smaller RVs cost less and use less gas. If your traveling party consists of you and one other person, a small Class C might work well for you. If you already have a truck, you can save money renting a towable instead of a motorhome. Consider it living (or driving) within your means.

● One of the most important ways to save money is to pay attention to the owner’s limitations. Aside from mileage limits, many RVs also come with a damage deposit. Read the rules carefully. You’ll lose your deposit if you bring pets along or smoke in the RV when you’re not supposed to. Respect their RV like you would your own property and you’ll be just fine.

After You Rent – Saving Money on the Road
But wait, there’s more: you can save money while you’re traveling, too! Whether it’s saving on fuel or campgrounds, here are some tried-and-true hacks to keep cash in your wallet:

● Be mindful of how much weight you’re carrying. Extra weight will put a strain on the transmission and use more fuel. Don’t bring equipment you don’t need.

● Plan your routes outside of rush hour. Sitting in traffic is never fun, and it wastes quite a bit of gas. You can also use an app like gasbuddy.com to find the cheapest gas along your routes.

● RV Clubs like Good Sam Club and Passport America offer discounts on RV parks, fuel, and more. It might be worth your while if you’re taking a long trip or plan to take several trips throughout the year.

● You’ll see the most savings if you know how to dry camp. Many national forests and parks offer disbursed camping for extremely cheap rates or free! Keep in mind; you’ll have no amenities, and you’ll have to follow the rules.

● Try to limit your generator usage. Generators use fuel, and fuel costs money. If you rented an RV with solar power, use solar to charge your batteries and run small appliances. Otherwise, check out this guide to saving electricity, water, and other resources. 

Closing Thoughts
In our opinion, renting an RV is the best way to travel. Not only will you save yourself the hassle of booking flights and hotels, but you’ll also save money. Have you rented an RV through a peer to peer network before? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy camping!

Long, Long Honeymoon videos: RV Hacks, Generator Reviews, Tire Upgrade & More



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.

Fall head over heels with Michigan camping and lodging

Autumn along the Lower Tahquamenon River provides a
beautiful setting at Tahquamenon Falls State Park in
Chippewa County. (DNR photos)
As the warmth of summer transitions into fall, many people may find themselves slowing down in sync with the changing of the seasons, daydreaming of their favorite jeans, buttoning up fall jackets, colorful foliage and warm comfort food.

However, many others are just gearing up for some cool fall camping to enjoy the colors, hiking, mountain biking, fall fishing or hunting, or just being outdoors with the sights, sounds and smells of autumn.

Since residents and visitors are never more than a half-hour away from a Michigan state park or recreation area, state forest rustic campground, state trail or waterway, there are plenty of opportunities to savor Michigan’s great outdoors this fall.

Campers enjoy a fire at Muskallonge Lake State Park in northern
Luce County. Fall camping in Michigan state parks and recreation
areas has many advantages, including cooler weather, smaller crowds,
outstanding wildlife viewing, special fall festivals and much more.
Fall camping can include everything from tent camping in state parks and recreation areas, traveling in a pop-up camper or RV and enjoying a rustic riverside campground experience to backpacking through state forests.

While camping is a traditional summertime pastime, fall camping has its own set of advantages.

“We find that camping reservations are much easier to find in the fall,” said Doug Barry, supervisor at Van Riper State Park in Marquette County. “Campers can reap the benefits of less crowded campgrounds and the beautiful colors of fall foliage, especially during weekdays.”

While camping, visitors can observe nature in a completely different way.

Hiking, biking and watching the sunset takes on a whole new feel with the sun setting earlier, the smell of dropping leaves and the cool, crisp (or warm) air. Visitors can also hit the road and enjoy a driving fall color tour.

Fall color is predicted to peak, depending on location, through the end of October. Travelers can use Pure Michigan’s fall travel peak season map to seek the best part of the state to visit.

In addition, many Michigan state parks and recreation areas are preparing their fall harvest festivals throughout September and October. More than 30 state parks and recreation areas offer these family-friendly “Harvest and Haunts” events, which include hayrides, pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, costume contests, haunted trails, cider and donuts and, horse-drawn carriage rides.

The fall season is nostalgic for many people of all ages. The changing leaf colors are the signature mark of fall, but there are so many other benefits.

Fall is a great time to camp and lodge at Michigan state parks.
This photo shows visitors enjoying Brimley State Park in
Chippewa County.
According to a Michigan Department of Natural Resources online customer survey, campers reported that the following activities topped their lists of things to do while camping in Michigan state parks and recreation areas: resting and relaxing, outdoor cooking, visiting the beach, walking, swimming, bicycling, fishing, kayaking, birdwatching and attending free family-friendly events. Most of these outdoor activities can be taken advantage of throughout the year.

“The fall is such a special time to camp,” said Theresa Neal, an interpreter at Tahquamenon Falls State Park in northern Luce and Chippewa counties. “I love the smell of dry leaves and the sound of leaves that have fallen, dancing along a trail. It is the perfect time sip hot coffee in the morning or sit by a crackling campfire on a crisp evening.”

More than 30 Michigan state parks and
recreation areas offer Harvest and Haunts
events across the state in September and
October and include costume contests,
pumpkin carving, haunted trails and
many more friendly-family events.
Many state parks now offer alternative lodging options. Camper cabins, yurts, cottages and lodges are available in select parks and offer a different camping or outdoor experience. There are even a handful of pop-up campers available.

Michigan has lots of wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities. The fall is a great time to spot ruffed grouse, American woodcock, wild turkey, waterfowl and deer, among other wildlife species.

Take advantage of the cooler temperatures by exercising in Michigan’s great outdoors. The fall weather lends itself to hiking, biking and trail running. In addition, there are a number of cardio, yoga, Pilates and strength training classes offered in parks.

There are also more than 130 state forest rustic campgrounds located throughout the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula. Most of these campgrounds are booked on a first-come, first-served basis.

State forest campgrounds provide a campsite, pit toilet, fire ring and water pump.

It is also a great time of the year to take advantage of angling opportunities. Many fish species are available throughout the year. However, fall can be an ideal time for trout and salmon, particularly steelhead.

The grill is fired-up and the brats are cooking on
 a cool afternoon at a Michigan state park.
“There are many outdoor enthusiasts that look for a more rustic outdoor experience,” said Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief. “Each state forest campground is located on a river or lake, providing quick access to fishing, paddling and nearby trails.”

Visitors don’t necessarily have to camp to connect with the outdoors. Michigan’s 103 state parks and recreation areas are a great day trip. Visitors can explore hundreds of miles of scenic state trails, which are perfect for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding.

Michigan state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, trails and fee-based boat launches are funded through the Recreation Passport. For $11, vehicles registered in Michigan gain access to hundreds of outdoor recreation destinations throughout the four seasons. The passport has a different fee structure for out-of-state vehicles.

Camping fees are additional. For a relatively few dollars per night, travelers are hard-pressed to find a more affordable overnight options.

A visitor takes a walk along on quiet Lake Superior beach at
Brimley State Park near Sault Ste. Marie in Chippewa County.
The Recreation Passport can be purchased by checking "yes" when renewing your license plate with the Michigan Secretary of State, at staffed state parks and online. The passport is valid until the next vehicle plate renewal date, which is typically a full year.

Camping reservations can be booked up to six months in advance at Michigan state parks. Campers are encouraged to visithttp://www.midnrreservations.com or call 1-800-44PARKS(1-800-447-2757) to check on availability. Remaining camping spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Get more information oncamping in Michigan.

We're the Russos Wednesday: Beach Camping, Overnight at Cracker Barrel, Pomona RV Show & More



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. Their rig is a 2015 Newmar Bay Star, a gas motorhome coming in just shy of 30 feet. 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.

Michigan DNR’s urban outdoor recreation efforts touted

Walkers enjoying the Riverwalk in Detroit. (DNR photos)
Michigan has long been known for its natural resources management, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has long been a leader, nationally, in game and fish management.

But now, the DNR is being lauded for something completely different: urban outdoor recreation.

Detroit recently hosted the annual convention ofNational Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officers. Representatives from 38 states – and the territory of Samoa – were treated to a tour of a number of recreational facilities operated by the DNR, or at least partially funded by various DNR grants.

To a person, they were impressed.

Roger Knowlton
Roger Knowlton, the Omaha, Nebraska-based chief of recreation grants for the Land and Water Conservation Fund – which is administered by the National Park Service – said it isn’t unusual for states to spend some of the grant money they receive from the park service in urban areas, but the scale of the DNR’s commitment to Detroit was significant.

Knowlton, who was once responsible for Michigan as a regional official, said he was here a couple of years back when the park service awarded a grant to Belle Isle for new athletic fields.

He likes visiting the “Mitten State,” he said, and was impressed with both Belle Isle Park and the Outdoor Adventure Center which is located in downtown Detroit not far from the Riverwalk.

Attendees to the National Association of
State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officers
2016 convention pose for a photo out-
side the Belle Isle Conservancy in Detroit.
“They’ve done a lot of work here, you can tell,” said Knowlton, who first saw Belle Isle as the DNR was taking over administration of the island park. “Just coming across the bridge – the lights work and they’re all lined up straight.

“Ron (Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division) said they’ve still got a lot of work to do, but to just look at the conservatory, wow, it’s beautiful. But just by seeing what’s out here, you can tell this place is going to get a lot of visitors.”

Knowlton said he sees it getting better, too, as the 2014 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund hasn’t been spent yet.

“It took a long time for them to get their grant money,” he said. “That’s a federal-bureaucracy type of thing.”

But Knowlton was even more impressed by the Outdoor Adventure Center.

“When I first saw it two years ago, when they were discussing what they wanted to do, I could tell they were really excited,” he said. “Now, to see everything they talked about come to life, it’s great. I don’t know how they got everything done.”

Tamaaiga Pili Gaoteote
Meanwhile, Tamaaiga Pili Gaoteote, the representative from American Samoa, was enchanted by the Riverwalk.

“I’d really like to do something like this in Samoa,” he said. “It’s lovely. Beautiful.”

Steve DeBrabander, manager of the grants section at the DNR, hosted the event.

A member of NASORLO’s board of directors and alternate state liaison officer (DNR director Keith Creagh is the actual liaison officer), DeBrabander said bringing the group to Detroit seemed like a “no-brainer.”

Steve DeBrabander
“I was very excited to get some of my cohorts from all over the country to Detroit so they could see some of the great things happening in Detroit,” DeBrabander said. “Public outdoor recreation is one of the things that is helping Detroit in its comeback. There are so many good things happening in Detroit – especially regarding outdoor recreation -- that this would be a great place to bring all these people.”

DeBrabander’s hunch paid off.

Tom Reilly
Tom Reilly, a conference attendee from the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department said he was “very impressed” by Detroit.

“I’ve never been here before and I had this impression that it was bombed-out and unsafe,” he said. “But people have really been super friendly.

“Our department doesn’t have a similar presence in Montana. The cities carry the load in their urban communities. But we don’t have the urban centers like this; our state population just broke a million for the first time a year ago.

“I’m very impressed with what your parks division did in a very short time period. You guys did a great job. What a resource for people in Detroit who don’t have green grass – all this big open space and water. It’s beautiful.”

Attendees to the National Association of State Outdoor
Recreation Liaison Officers 2016 convention tour the
Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit.
Reilly said he was taken with the Outdoor Adventure Center.

“We have one like this Helena, the state capital, that’s mostly about wildlife, but it’s not nearly as extensive,” he said. “These things are a gateway to getting people outdoors –very impressive.”

DeBrabander said Reilly’s reaction was not unusual among the conferees.

“I had a lot of participants from around the country tell me that it changed their perception of Detroit,” he said. “That was one of the goals of having the conference here and it was extremely successful. There were a lot of comments about how great the hospitality was and how friendly the people were. A lot of people indicated they had no idea how nice Detroit is, especially the riverfront.”

Two attendees to the National Association of State Outdoor
Recreation Liaison Officers 2016 convention enjoy the flowers
at the Belle Isle Conservancy in Detroit.
DeBrabander said he struck up a conversation with an attendee from Georgia who said her son had been offered an internship in downtown Detroit, but she was reluctant to give him her blessing to take it.

However, DeBrabander said that after attending the conference, she said that not only is she going to encourage her son to take the internship, but she’d like to be able to work in Detroit herself.

That was another of the goals the DNR had in hosting the conference, to show other recreation professionals – most of whom work in parks divisions at their agencies – that world-class outdoor recreation is possible in urban settings, especially in places that have the kind of natural resources Michigan is blessed with – places like Detroit.

Rollin' on TV: Dicor Roof Repair Kit, Sani Con Turbo & Australian RV Adventure



On this week's program (#2016-20), Rollin' On TV looks at repairing your old RV roof with the Dicor Roof Repair Kit. Also, Jeff Johnston shows us all about the new Thetford, Sani Con Turbo. And Evanne Schmarder wraps up her RV adventure in Australia.

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.

Volunteers needed in October for stewardship in southwestern Michigan



The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced the October schedule of volunteer stewardship workdays at state parks in southwest Michigan.

Volunteers are needed to cut invasive, non-native shrubs like autumn olive, multi-flora rose and others, as well as collect seeds from native prairie plants at Fort Custer Recreation Area. These activities are a great way to enjoy the fall weather and time outdoors while restoring high-quality, unique ecosystems and learning more about them.

No experience is necessary, and training and equipment are provided. 

Workday dates, locations (counties) and times include:

The DNR's Volunteer Stewardship Program is a hands-on way for all ages to learn about and protect Michigan's natural resources by collecting native seeds, removing invasive species, conducting plant and animal surveys and more. Other ways to volunteer with the DNR include joining a state park friends group, serving as a campground host or lightkeeper and many other opportunities.

Watch this brief video to learn more about why these volunteer stewardship efforts are so important to protecting natural areas and ecosystems in Michigan state parks and recreation areas.

All volunteers are asked to register using the form available on the DNR website or via email. Any questions should be directed to Heidi Frei at517-202-1360 orfreih@michigan.gov. Volunteers should bring work gloves, drinking water and appropriate clothing for outdoor work, including long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes.

Workday details, maps and directions can be found on the DNR website by going to www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers and clicking on Calendar of Volunteer Stewardship Workdays under Restore & Clean Up.

Rollin' on TV: OPUS Camping Trailer & Ice Castle Fish House Trailer



On this week's program (#2016-19), Rollin' On TV checks out the OPUS camping trailer. Then later in the show takes a look at the Ice Castle Fish House trailer.

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.