Good Sam Camping Blog
TEST Header
Month: October 2011

Is your RV insurance adequate???

October 31, 2011 by · 7 Comments 

Is your RV insurance adequate???

As we have been dealing with the frame failure of our Gulf Stream 5th wheel, we have found the learning curve to be quite steep!  It has been nearly 2 months since we realized that the ‘up-stairs’ part on our frame was cracked in all 4 corners, and that our rv was not structurally sound.   Fast forward those 2 months, and our RV is finally getting fixed (over the course of the next month).  No thanks to the shoddy workmanship and lack of customer service on the part of Gulf Stream.  Even tho the first welder who looked at it said that the frame was inadequate for the weight of the trailer built upon the frame, and the repair shop who is fixing it for us now attributes the failure to ‘shoddy workmanship’ and a lack of fasteners attaching the sidewalls to the frame, Gulf Stream has yet to communicate with us about the failure despite our numerous contacts with them.  (on a side note, the repair shop has said that they will be cutting out that entire front part... [Read more...]

Further Along the Golden Trail

October 30, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Further Along the Golden Trail

We took a detour from our recent hike on the Anvil Trail System near Eagle River in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Enjoying the peak color weekend, we had decided to spend the afternoon hiking along the trail system that we have come to enjoy during all seasons. On our way back from the excursion to the little cabin, however, we deviated from the Nine-Mile Trail on the Anvil System and headed onto the adjoining Northwoods Trail System. While the Anvil Trails are maintained by the National Forest Service, the Northwoods Trails are maintained by the Hidden Lakes Bicycle Club during warmer months and groomed for skiing by a private interest during the winter. A bit less traveled than the Anvil System, we took the opportunity to hike for miles, alone with our dogs and our thoughts. We were not disappointed. The Northwoods System is known in part as the Hidden Lakes Trail System as it winds around Butternut and Franklin Lakes that are all but hidden from public view.  Similar to Anvil, this... [Read more...]

Birding Hotspot: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

October 28, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Birding Hotspot: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

As the sun reddens the sky, thousands of snow geese scattered on a big pond begin to waken and disrupt the quiet air with loud honks. The best times to see the birds fly in their massive formations are dawn and dusk. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Visitors perched on embankments, observation decks, or inside parked vehicles see and hear the communication that eventually gets the flock into the air and headed north to fields where they feed all day. The snow geese are soon joined in the sky by flocks of sandhill cranes. Much later in the day near sunset, birders and photographers alike stand under a stream of flyers heading back to the relative safety of the ponds and marshes to roost. It is the rare human who is not stirred to awe and excitement as thousands of birds soar scarcely 20 feet overhead. This vast haven is Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. If you’ve never witnessed—or heard—the morning fly-out and the evening fly-in of thousands of sandhill cranes and snow... [Read more...]

Is a GPS Designed for RV’s Finally Available? (plus a “little” GPS history lesson)

October 28, 2011 by · 8 Comments 

Is a GPS Designed for RV’s Finally Available? (plus a “little” GPS history lesson)

I was only eleven years old on October 4, 1957, when the Russians launched Sputnik, the first satellite man had ever put into space. I remember well the specter and awe that I, and my fellow six-grade classmates, felt as we watched the news reels of this new machine orbiting the earth and how the Russians had “beat us to it.” Little did I know at the time just how much that crisp October day would change not only my life but also the lives of people all over the world. Fifty-four years later the sky is cluttered with approximately 3,000 functioning man-made satellites operating in earth’s orbit.  This is out of more than 24,500 total satellites that have been tracked since Sputnik was launched. (….this also means 21,500 must have fallen back to earth ) We – like in “you and I”, not just the military, use the majority of these satellites every day – often unknowingly.  TV, radio, telephone communications, weather reporting, mapping, and finding out where we are going... [Read more...]

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

October 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park’s Gregory E. Moore RV Resort is located on the Florida Panhandle’s famous Emerald Coast. It’s in Santa Rosa, Florida on Route 30A South, 1 mile south of Route 98. Topsail is a beautiful park with large, paved sites. The grounds are very nicely landscaped and well maintained. Quality wise, I think that it’s right up there with Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground in Orlando. Amenities include a laundry, a small store, super clean restrooms, an unheated swimming pool, shuffleboard court, playgrounds, amphitheater, and a shuttle tram that runs back and forth between the campsites and its own private Gulf beach. There are ranger-led activities for the children. Check with the front office or their website for more information. The beach has over 3 1/2 miles of pure white sand lapped by beautiful pale green water. There are over 1,600 acres of unique habitats, including coastal dune lakes, cypress domes, and wet prairies. It is... [Read more...]

And the Frame Failure Fiasco Continues…

October 27, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

And the Frame Failure Fiasco Continues…

For those of you following our long, drawn-out frame failure issues, I thought it was about time for an update! I contacted various executives at Gulf Stream yet again, this time with links to the various articles/blogs that I have posted to alert other rvers to the potential for frame issues – still not a single answer or reply (not that, after 2 months of brush-off, I expected anything else).     Our insurance is finally coming through – though it took opening up a claim with our state insurance commission to get the ball rolling.  Our insurance had said that they would cover the damage, but we were having a hard time getting them to act on either totaling it out or finding someone to fix it (we couldn’t find anyone willing to attempt it).  After a month of telling us that they were going to total out our rv, they called us and said that they work with an rv repair shop in WA that said they would be able to make the repair.  After finally giving the transport... [Read more...]

Is Earthbound’s Future in Doubt?

October 24, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Is Earthbound’s Future in Doubt?

Marion, Indiana-based Earthbound Recreational Vehicles LLC shut down production at its factory about six weeks ago. Previously, the factory had been running “smaller” production for three months with 15 employees, reduced from around 50 earlier in the year, according to Earthbound President Charles Hoefer. The City of Marion backed a $2 million bond with county economic development income tax (CEDIT) money to support its startup in 2010. The company never met expectations to hire around 180 employees to produce 400 or more RVs a year. Officials at dealerships across the country say they are concerned about the future of Earthbound Recreational Vehicles, according to a report by the Indiana Economic Digest. Shifts in the company’s business strategy have left some dealers with long-standing ties to the company and its owners feeling left in the dark. “We were always hoping to be a part of their success, but right now I feel that we are in limbo,” said Bill Mirrielees, general manager... [Read more...]

A Hike on a Sea of Gold…

October 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A Hike on a Sea of Gold…

Last weekend, Terry and I headed up to Vilas County, Wisconsin, the infamous “northwoods” to experience the “peak” of the fall color in the woods. The weather was predicted to be fabulous, better than we had a right to hope for in early October, with abundant sunshine as well. The beginning our our hike... Setting out about 10 am on Saturday from where we were staying about 7 miles east of the city of Eagle River, we hiked further east until we reached our destination, the Anvil Trail System. Maintained by the National Forest Service, the Anvil Trails are located just inside the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Comprising just over 12 miles, the trails vary from mostly level to very hilly. Terrific hiking and mountain biking may be enjoyed here in the summer and fall, but in the winter the trails are groomed for both diagonal and skating techniques to provide some of the best cross-country skiing in the area. While I enjoy skiing, I prefer hiking these trails to skiing them,... [Read more...]

THE LOST KEY (From the archives of the “Fiero Fiction Series”)

October 21, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

THE LOST KEY (From the archives of the “Fiero Fiction Series”)

The Lost Key is one of twenty stories I wrote back in the late 90’s. Many of these stories were published as part of the Fiero Fiction Series. They appeared in both the Pontiac Fiero Connection magazine and the Fiero Owner, a magazine published quarterly by the Fiero Owner’s Association of America. My affection for the little 2-seat, mid engine, composite body car that was only built from 1984 to 1988 still continues – but I am now down to three cars (I once owned seven). I share this story to readers of my Woodall’s Family Camping blog simply because I consider it “Fun”. You see, camping and sitting around the campfire without stories is like forgetting the marshmallows. In this story, Jimmy Moore is typical of anyone opening the lost ark contained within the center console and floor hugging seats in any Fiero. What he finds, and what he does, could easily happen to any of us. Like other stories in the Fiero Fiction Series, this one is based on a true story –... [Read more...]

The Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

October 20, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

We were heading toward Flagstaff, Arizona, and that day’s goal; Sedona, Arizona’s red rocks area. We had left Albuquerque, New Mexico earlier that morning and headed west on I-40, also known as Route 66 — “The Mother Road” — in those parts. We were looking forward to seeing Sedona, where we would camp for the next several days. But, about 50 miles after we crossed the New Mexico border into Arizona, I noticed a road sign that told me I had made a mistake. When I planned our trip, I tried to include as many of the national and state parks as I could without having to do too much backtracking in order to return to a main route; like I-40. What I saw that morning was a sign announcing that we were approaching another of my “must-sees,” but one that I had overlooked in my day’s planning — The Petrified Forest National Park. The eastern park entrance is at Exit 311 off I-40. Take Exit-311 North and follow the road to the Welcome Center and the ranger station. From there,... [Read more...]

Next Page »