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Month: September 2010

Hey Ma, Is it the “Good Old Days” Yet?

September 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey Ma, Is it the “Good Old Days” Yet?

Deciding what I wanted to write about this week was a real struggle.  It’s not that I didn’t have any ideas because I had lots of them.  It is because I simply could not decide which one I wanted to share. After flipping through the photo albums stored on my hard drive I came across a black and white shot of our first hard wall camper – a 1973 Vega.  Looking at the photo brought back a flood of memories, not only of all the fun experiences we had with the camper and the then much younger children, but how campers were built in that era and how much they have changed. The Vega was 19 feet long.  Compared to a similar sized modern camper, it weighed at least a thousands pounds more.  That is a lot of added weight when you are counting miles per gallon. The roof on the Vega was made of galvanized steel.  Campers we have owned since then have changed to aluminum and now the almost universal EPDM rubber.  Some of the models being introduced for 2011 have roofing material made of... [Read more...]

Family Friendly RV: 2004 Winnebago Adventurer 35U

September 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Family Friendly RV: 2004 Winnebago Adventurer 35U

2004 Winnebago Adventurer 35U Previously $54,999 – Now $49,999 32 ft. 2004 Winnebago Adventurer 35U RV capable of sleeping 6! Features include work station, hydraulic touch pad jacks, dual battery charge control, full one piece fiberglass rear cap and more. Offer by Abel RV Center in Bartlett, IL. Email seller for details on this 2004 Winnebago Adventurer 35U! Find more great RVs on

A Change in Plans–Part 3

September 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A Change in Plans–Part 3

The decision making process about which hike to do during our summer stay in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park was not an easy one. Eliminating the long and treacherous 14,000 feet plus Long’s Peak climb from our Rocky visit still left 344 miles of hiking trails and numerous peaks open for climbing. We had several criteria that the perfect hike would need to meet. First, it must be long enough, at least eight or nine miles long, and scheduled to take 6-8 hours. We wanted a challenge somewhat comparable to Borah. Further it would need to be demanding enough in terms of elevation gain to present a challenge as I had been training rigorously with my incline trainer between 20 and 28 % all year long. I wanted to make use of that conditioning. Also, it would need to be do-able in terms of allowing us sufficient time to acclimate to the elevation to enable us to complete the hike safely and comfortably. Finally, we wanted to summit an actual peak, not just go for a long hike, turn... [Read more...]

Family Friendly RV: 2005 Keystone Raptor 3612

September 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Family Friendly RV: 2005 Keystone Raptor 3612

2005 Keystone Raptor 3612 Previously $29,999 – Now $25,999 36 ft. Keystone Raptor 3612 travel trailer capable of sleeping 8! Features include oak cabinets, outside shower, 12 foot toy hauler area, and much more. Perfect for a family get away! Offer by Best RV Center in Turlock, CA Email seller for details on this 2005 Keystone Raptor 3612! Find more great RVs on

A Change in Plans–Part 2

September 12, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

A Change in Plans–Part 2

A final factor that played into our nearly last minute change of plans for our summer trip this year was the fact that when I had done the research, there were no campgrounds or RV parks close to the trailhead that would enable us to get the early start we would need to safely summit the Idaho highpoint, Borah Peak. An early start is essential to avoid sudden storms and lightening that frequently crop up around noon. Further, due to a treacherous access road, we would be forced to park our camper a number of miles away and sleep in our car the evening before the hike. Not an appealing thought. Glacier Basin Campground, RMNP When I had initially encountered this obstacle, I had put the planning process for that part of the trip on the back burner, thinking we would figure that out later. Discovering this problem with the altitude now, it seems we were destined to change our plans. Over my 20 years of planning these trips, I have learned that problems like this often crop up for a reason.... [Read more...]

Tailgating: RV style

September 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Tailgating: RV style

Part 1: RV tailgate city Another college football season is almost here. Get out the grill, stock up the cooler, and let the party begin! The Ultimate Tailgate Machine—complete with four flat-screen TVs, 2 full-size kitchens, and an exterior grill—to parking lots around the country finding good food and fun people. Photo courtesy: Gator Tailgating It is tailgating season and Welcome to Tailgate City, as much a part of college football as the Heisman Trophy and grumbling about the bowl system. And just in time for the fall football frenzy, Vogel Talks RVing offers up tips for successful RV tailgating. From Mississippi—where women in formal dresses and men wearing ties congregate at the “Grove”—to Washington—where fans can party on boats docked near the stadium—this has become the country’s giant backyard. Friendships are renewed. Stories are swapped. And gargantuan amounts of food and drink are consumed. The game, it seems, has almost become a sidelight, nothing more than... [Read more...]

Woolly Bears, Fall Camping and Luray, VA

September 9, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Woolly Bears, Fall Camping and Luray, VA

The Woolly Bear Caterpillar found in Virginia is brown on both ends and black in the middle.  In other areas, the color of the bands may be reversed.   In my neck of the woods, its appearance is one of the signs that fall is near. Oscar is my 4 year old Dachshund.  You may have met him a few months back when he wrote a blog for me.  There is no doubt in the world that Oscar is an extremely unique, ruined and goofy little canine.  In fact, I often call him “Goofy” rather than Oscar.  He responds to either name. Oscar and I were outside.  He wanted to play ball, I needed to fix a loose exhaust pipe on the pick-up.  While I was under the truck trying to tighten some very well rusted bolts on the exhaust pipe, Oscar was barking like he does when an intruder enters our property.  When I finally was able to crawl out from under the truck to see what was going on, Oscar had discovered a Woolly Bear Caterpillar crossing the driveway.  He was jumping back and forth, pushing it with... [Read more...]

The End of Summer? Labor Day and Full-timing

September 7, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The End of Summer?  Labor Day and Full-timing

As I enjoyed a quiet day celebrating the American worker, I cannot help but realize that it is appropriate that so many people celebrate by going camping—a popular past time for American workers since there was an America.  Some might say that “RV camping” started before the automobile (a covered wagon?).  When the National Parks Service created “Recreation Demonstration” areas, which became campgrounds, camping as we know it today really took off.  Of course, the RVs of today are quite different than what was available even a few years ago.  I know my wife and I feel quite put out today if we don’t have 50-amp service and we are really upset if we cannot get our satellite tv and wi-fi.  I guess it all depends on why you are camping. As full-timers we are focused more on seeing what all this country has to offer than on getting in touch with the great outdoors.  For example, we just enjoyed our stay at the Phoenix RV Park in Salem, Oregon.  For us it was an ideal place... [Read more...]

Rosh Hashanah, The Jewish New Year, Make Your New Year Sweeter With Camping!

September 7, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Rosh Hashanah, The Jewish New Year, Make Your New Year Sweeter With Camping!

Happy New Year, to all our Jewish brothers and sisters! As we look forward to the New Year with joy and expectation of a sweet year, we also start to plan ways to keep our families strong and well grounded. Some of the best memories I have of growing up were made while camping with my family and friends. Our families would camp together on most of the major holidays. (But then, I grew up in Southern California so, camping on Thanksgiving is totally comfortable.) Whether we were pitching a tent in the rain, sleeping under a lean-to or roughing it in the RV, we always had a great time camping together. Now that I am the parent I try to relive all those great adventures with my children. Getting away from the city, our house, and all the distractions that come with home life has helped to keep our family close. I can honestly say that hanging out with my daughters is like hanging out with my friends, only better. As we plan a camping trip with friends for October I can not help but wonder... [Read more...]

A Change in Plans–Part 1

September 5, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

A Change in Plans–Part 1

Our plans for this past summer changed abruptly in May as we began the process of finalizing arrangements. We had been planning for six months to head west by way of Idaho and stop along the way to climb to Idaho point, Borah Peak. Our 18 year old son had devised this plan as he was anxious to attempt a more difficult climb than those we had previously completed. Borah boasts a stretch of terrain over a mile in length called “Chicken Out Ridge.” The reason for the moniker is obvious—it is a mile and a half of the most exposed and frightening terrain one can imagine in a non-technical climb. Trust me, while I have not actually been there, I have poured over hundreds of photos of this ridge posted on the web. I had to know what I was getting myself into. Camping at lower elevation Just as I had started to feel comfortable with our plans, or at least resigned myself to the fact that I could try the climb (after all, I could always “chicken out” if I felt the need, right?), we realized... [Read more...]

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