Good Sam Camping Blog
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Month: September 2011

Looking For Fun with the Fun Finder

September 21, 2011 by · 10 Comments 

How did we select our current RV? Well, I’d like to report that we had unlimited funds and time to select nothing but the very best that satisfied our every whim and need. I’d like to tell you that, but it wouldn’t be true. Instead, I’ll tell you what is probably a common story. We had camped for many years while the kids were growing up. But, as time went on, life began to interfere. Promotions, transfers, tuition, mortgages; all added up to lots of responsibility and outgo; as opposed to income. We dreamed of an early retirement and an upgrade to a class A motorhome that we would tour the country with. Years went by and vacations became less frequent (After all, ambitious people don’t actually take vacations, do they?). After a while, any trips we took were of the hotel variety. Our dream had started to fade as I chased after the corporate brass ring. I’m not going to complain; at least not too much. I got to travel the world, staying in fine hotels and, in general, enjoying... [Read more...]

….. and, We Selected a Large Fifth Wheel (…and why!)

September 21, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

….. and, We Selected a Large Fifth Wheel (…and why!)

Our current RV is a fifth wheel, following a long list of previously owned travel trailers, motorhomes and folding tent trailers.  Truthfully, we enjoyed each and every one of them and have many fond memories of our travels and adventures in what ever we were pulling or driving. As Nancy and I matured (nice word for getting older :)), we began to value indoor space more than we had in our younger years.  Amenities like central air conditioning, larger holding tanks, opposing slide rooms, bigger refrigerators, additional counter and cabinet space, comfortable living area seating, spacious bath areas, and yes – even a central vacuum, washer/dryer and electric fireplace began to become more attractive.  Bottom line?  We wanted SPACE and residential amenities without a brick foundation!!  Of course, all of this comes at a “price” and fuel mileage towing a 15,000 pound fiver is not anything like Patti is getting with her Winnie (We “average” 10-12 mpg pulling with... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Why Our 2006 Winnebago View Does It For Me: Can you say “22 MPG, boys and girls?”

September 21, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Everybody has their favorite RV. But my favorite is Winnebago’s View for four specific ones: incredibly high gas mileage; superior engineering –mechanical ; non-ugly interior furnishings; and great re-sale value ( because used Winnebago Views are hard to come by and everyone loves them), unlike most other used RVs. First of all, perhaps you don’t believe that phenomenal gas mileage. Well, you had better believe it, because I documented our mileage maniacally all the way from Arizona to Montana…I mean documented like a fiend-woman obsessed. There was only one instance when the gas mileage dropped to a low of 18 mpg; that was a straight-up hill stretch that we ran the air conditioning non-stop to meet my princess-esque needs for complete comfort. That 18 mpg was the only exception to our fantastic 22 miles per gallon. Next, you must know that great gas mileage is a result of the View’s lovely engine . • It boasts a premium 2.7-liter CDI five cylinder turbo-diesel Mercedes Benz... [Read more...]

Why I Camp in a Trail-Lite Bantam Flier

September 21, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Why I Camp in a Trail-Lite Bantam Flier

We have been tent campers for years and there is much about tent camping that we love, especially the feeling that you are sleeping out in the fresh air, with only a bit of canvas or polypropylene between you and the elements. But, suddenly about four years ago, we were struck with the desire to buy a camper. I think it came on the heels of our return from our annual trip out west when, for the first time, we had encountered a great deal of rain, and even some softball sized hail. Coupled with that, on our way home from a camping trip one weekend, we drove by a small camper for sale. Our "Bantam Flier" We were intrigued by the idea of a traveling “home” that would provide a bit more shelter from the elements, but still have the “sleeping out of doors” feel. Also, we would not be interested in anything very large and this tiny camper really got our attention as it appeared it would meet our need for greater protection in a very small package. We stopped to look it over... [Read more...]

Which RV did we picked and Why we chose this one?

September 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Which RV did we picked and Why we chose this one?

As a member of the blogging team of Woodall’s, I have to blog about specific theme every once in a while. This week, we have to blog about our RV and why we have chosen this one in particular. Our Travel Trailer When we first started to look at RVs, we had a pop-up trailer. But we wanted more functionality while camping like a shower and bathroom for example. So every once in a while we looked at the RVs. We knew that we wanted the flexibility of travelling for our family. In 2007, after talking with a salesperson at an RV store in our city, we purchased a Jay Feather model 30U by Jayco. Why this one in particular? Because it is light and we can go on trips with the whole family. Back when we chose this model we had three kids and we thought that we might have another one – we loved the fact that there were two bunk beds in the back. There was an pull-out for extra room in the kitchen/living room area and there was a bathroom! Our RV when we picked it up back... [Read more...]

A Compact Efficient Dish Drying Mat For Camping

September 21, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

If you cook when you are camping, then you most likely begrudge washing and drying those dishes. I know that I do. I often find it a hassle to dry the dishes and then deal with the damp kitchen towels. Getting those kitchen towels to dry here in the maritime Pacific Northwest can be a challenge on a cold rainy day by the Pacific Ocean! Well, just this weekend, I discovered a lightweight, compact, and affordable drying mat that seems to fit the bill for campground cookery. I purchased one on Saturday night and have been using it in my home kitchen, but I now intend to get one for my camper. The Dish Drying Mat is made from absorbent microfiber and easily folds for storage. It is cushiony, absorbent, and fast drying. And, it is machine washable in cold water. I haven’t washed mine yet, but I have found that the mat is priceless for drying pots, pans, knives, wine glasses, and miscellaneous kitchen items. The mat absorbs the water beautifully and thereby  minimizes the use of kitchen... [Read more...]

Frame failure and homelessness…

September 20, 2011 by · 10 Comments 

Frame failure and homelessness…

Approx. 2 years ago, our family went from owning our own house to being houseless - we sold our sticks and bricks and bought a toy hauler to call home while we travel the country.  In the past few weeks, we have gone from being houseless but with a home (our toy hauler), to being homeless.  Our 5th wheel has suffered frame failure.  And it’s not just our frame that is experiencing failure, I believe that there is a failure of the RV community to realize that this is a problem that happens to 5th wheels all too commonly (and a few other rvs too!).  So, are you sitting down?  Because I’m writing you a book here about our experience…  We had never heard of frame failure before having to deal with it ourselves - after all, something like that couldn’t happen to our beastly rig –  these hunks of wood and metal are designed to withstand the rigors of use and the tumult of being hauled down the highway at 60 miles per hour.  Aren’t they? ... [Read more...]

♪♪♪♫-A-Three-Hour-Tour-♪♪♪♫

September 18, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Let’s say you’re in the New England area and are planning a visit to far eastern Long Island, New York. You want to take your RV but, in light of my last post, you’ve decided that you don’t want to face the island’s infamous Long Island Expressway traffic. Well, there is an alternative. How about a nice boat trip. Yes, a boat trip — actually a ferry — with your RV onboard? It’ll cut about 300 miles off your trip by not driving all the way from the New London, Connecticut area along I-95 to New York and then the Throgs Neck Bridge and eastward via the Long Island Express Way, I-495 all the way out to the end of the island.  Instead, the Cross-Sound Ferry Services will carry you and your RV from New London, CT to Orient Point, Long Island, New York across the Long Island Sound and back in just 3 hours. A three hour tour? You might ask where you’ve heard that before? Well, that was on Gilligan’s Island, not Long Island. And that was on the SS Minnow, not... [Read more...]

A Climb in the Rain…Again?

September 18, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

A Climb in the Rain…Again?

In a previous post I shared the first leg of our hike to Williams Lake in the beautiful Enchanted Circle, New Mexico, the trip remainder of the journey was eventful, and wet, as well. As we had been leaving the parking lot, a young woman hiking alone with a dog approached us. She informed us she planned to hike, but had a hole in her car tire and asked if we thought she would be able to find someone around when she finished her hike to help her out if she needed it. She must have been as anxious to get out hiking as we were. We assured her that no doubt someone in the nearly full parking lot would be available to help when she finished. I also told her we would certainly help if we finished about the same time she did.  With that reassurance, we all set off. Williams Lake The young woman with the dog stuck fairly close to us, especially when the thunder struck, but we all moved amiably in the direction of the lake—looking like drowned rats! We reached the lake en masse, having encountered... [Read more...]

Up, Up and Away: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

September 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Up, Up and Away: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Countdown to Liftoff: 14 days, 14 hours, 14 minutes Part of the reason for the success of the Fiesta are the cool Albuquerque morning temperatures in October and the Albuquerque box. (Credit: Raymond Watt, balloonfiesta.com) Each October, New Mexico skies are full of bold blues, imperial reds, and vibrant yellows. The event is the world-famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot-air balloon event in the world. This extravaganza takes place from the first weekend through the second weekend in October—this year’s festival is from October 1-9—and attracts hundreds of hot-air balloonists from around the world. The balloons come in many colors and shapes with the special shapes category getting larger every year. There are balloons that look like cows, cartoon characters, automobiles, stagecoaches—and just about everything else. A century after the release of Jules Verne’s balloon adventure novel with Captain Phileas Fogg, Around the World in 80 Days, internationally-acclaimed... [Read more...]

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