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Are RVers about to lose their freedom to camp on public lands

October 31, 2014 by Bob Difley · Leave a Comment 

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our E-mail Digest or RSS Feed. We will then send you the stories that are posted each day in an e-mail digest. We use a service called Feedburner for delivery of these emails. You will receive an e-mail from Feedburner after you subscribe and you must click on that email to activate your subscription. Thanks for visiting and enjoy all the information! RV.Net Blog AdminSpecial interests are increasing the pressure on the federal government to turn over to the states public lands that fall within their bouondaries. So far these efforts have failed, as they should. As an RVer and boondocker, I have a particular intererst our public lands and have been an advocate of thier use by RVers for camping and boondocking for many years. Even my nickname, “boondockbob,” comes from my love of camping on the millions of wide open acres of public lands managed by the National Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). But if the special interests that are trying to transfer these public lands out of the American citizens’ hands and into the coffers of opportunistic politicians in the states, imagine what could be the ramifications of what would follow. First, the states would have to start coughing up the money required to manage these lands. The federal wildlife management agencies spent almost $4 billion in 2014 alone to manage just the wildlife refuges. And isn’t the enjoyment of our beaautiful and scenic... Read more



What RVers can do to avoid animal/vehicle accidents

October 24, 2014 by Bob Difley · Leave a Comment 

“FALL is the season of apples, frost, turning leaves and roadkill” write  Amanda Hardy and Renee Seidler on the New York Times Opinion Pages.  ”A 2008 congressional study found that one in 20 reported motor vehicle collisions is animal-related, and the numbers peak in autumn. Annually, these incidents result in about 26,000 injuries and 200 human deaths. Across the country, collisions with deer — the most common type of animal-related incident — cost more than $8.3 billion per year, including vehicle repair, medical services, towing, law enforcement time and carcass disposal.” The article also points out that most reported animal related accidents are collisions with large mammals and that the “toll on smaller creatures like squirrels, salamanders and birds goes largely uncounted, but a recent study estimated that as many as 340 million birds are killed by vehicles annually. For 21 species listed by federal authorities as threatened or endangered — including the Canada lynx, the red wolf, the Florida panther, the crested caracara and Florida scrub-jay — road death is a major threat to survival.” Though most wildlife authorities conclude that reducing such animal/vehicle accidents could be prevented by installing safe corridors over or under roads that lie across migration routes, these solutions are expensive. Though a study shows that the cost can be recouped in about 12 years the original funding can be problematic. It seems also,... Read more



FOR SPOILED (SMALL) DOGS

October 23, 2014 by Loloho.com · Leave a Comment 

Many RV owners are also dog owners. One of the best items we’ve found for small (and we do mean small) dogs is our Alfie Pet Sling Carrier (http://goo.gl/gSWwpn). This is an item especially appreciated by spoiled dogs. Available in blue, pink, and grey, this pet sling carrier is just right for our favorite teacup chihuahua – a 3 ½ pounder we call “Baby Girl.” REAL MEN WEAR PINK DOG SLINGS, but if you prefer they are available in grey and blue too! (CLICK THE PIC for more info.) Yes, Baby Girl is a bit spoiled. Just a bit. Since this sort of review is really all about the dog’s reaction to the product, let’s examine this sling from Baby Girl’s point-of-view. After all, if she didn’t like the sling, it wouldn’t really matter what we think of it. But she does like this sling – she likes it a lot. Baby Girl is a tiny little thing. Although she enjoys sitting on the living room couch, she insists on being placed there by a human being. The leap to or from an average couch or living room chair is just a little too much for her to contemplate. Given her diminutive size, her reluctance to jump is understandable. Leaping from the couch to the floor would be kind of like a grown man leaping from the second story of a building to the ground – it’s not something I’m going to do very often, if at all. Then there’s her issue with hardwood floors. Baby Girl hates hardwood. She finds it too slippery for her tastes. Her fear... Read more



Protect Your Valuable Electronics with an RV Surge Protector

October 22, 2014 by Loloho.com · Leave a Comment 

Traveling from location to location, RV electrical systems are especially vulnerable to damage. That’s why owning an RV surge protector like the Technology Research Surge Guard makes sense. Naturally, RV surge protectors are available in 30 Amp (http://goo.gl/UkubwF) and 50 amp (http://goo.gl/hmBvXk) flavors. A surge protector is an investment in peace of mind for the RV owner. The threat at hand pertains to voltage. Just what the heck is voltage, and why should we care about it? You might think of voltage as being similar to water pressure. We’ve all experienced differences in water pressure. When water pressure is too high, pipe fittings may burst and leak. When it’s too low, you get a lousy shower (amongst other problems). So you might think of voltage as being like electricity pressure. There is an ideal voltage. The standard voltage in the United States is 120 volts. If everything was perfect, voltage would remain at this constant figure. However, in the real world, voltage tends to vary. Even during normal conditions, it might drop down to 110 volts, or spike up to 126 volts. But the code standard is 120 volts. PROTECT YOUR RV with a surge protector. Here's the Big Boy 50 Amp unit. (CLICK THE PIC for more info.) Most electrical appliances are designed to handle small variances in voltage, say from 105 volts on the low end up to 130 volts on the high end. 125 volts won’t kill your iPad. 115 volts won’t tank your A/C. But problems happen when... Read more



Everyone should take an RV trip at least once in their lifetime

September 23, 2014 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

Long ago, back when I had a real job, I had a favorite saying when interacting with potential customers. At some point in the beginning of our conversation, I would say, “Everyone should take an RV trip at least once in their lifetime.” You might expect a statement like that coming from the Regional General Manager of a recreational vehicle (RV) rental and sales company. But I fully and completely believed it. And now – 21 years after retiring and 17 years of traveling and living fulltime in my motorhome – I believe it more than ever. I’ve been RVing for more than 45 years, beginning with renting a Class C motorhome for a one-week vacation to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks with my wife and parents. While operating the RV rental company in Northern California I also managed to slip away for several weekends a year in one of my rentals (one of the best perks of a job I can think of), trying different models and sizes of RVs in the guise of “research.” My wife and I would take off on a Friday afternoon for the redwood country, or up the coast, or into the national forests, or to the Mojave and Sonora deserts. We stayed in a variety campgrounds ranging from fancy RV resorts – with swimming pools, spas, and organized recreational activities – to primitive no-frills forested campsites surrounded by towering evergreens. My agenda: to evaluate how the RV and all its systems worked, comparing livability of small to large-sized... Read more



Add these side trips to your snowbird migration – Part 2

September 20, 2014 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

In last week’s post (Part I) I suggested that instead of making a near non-stop head long rush to your winter home in the Southwestern Desert, you instead take some time to visit some short side trips along the way. This week I follow with the next highlight following Wupatki pueblo that I wrote about. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument From Wupatki, continue on the loop. You will pass Sunset Crater (photos), Lava Flow, and Lenox Crater Trails before arriving at the visitor center, which is two miles before rejoining 89. Lava Flow Trail, a self-guided loop, depicts a variety of volcanic features, while Lenox Crater Trail is a more strenuous climb up the side of a cinder cone, two miles round trip. Sunset volcano erupted in AD 1065 and displays in the visitor center illustrate various volcanic phenomena, such as squeeze ups, where the lava is forced upward through cracks, and hornitos, strange hornlike protuberances. Ranger Stephen Nycz explained some of the geology of the area. “From the visitors building we see the same top layers as in the Grand Canyon–250 million year old rock–before there were dinosaurs, trees, or plants, and before the separation of the continents.” Road pullouts, some with trails, provide access into the strange volcanic landscape. The cinders–rough, black rocks–have a strange feel as you walk across them. This crater is the youngest of the few prehistoric volcanoes in the world that can be accurately dated. After... Read more



Add these side trips to your snowbird migration – Part 1

September 13, 2014 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

Snowbirds descending from the Pacific Northwest, the plains states, or the mid-west into southern Arizona for the winter have several routes to choose from, though most often they take the most direct. Typically, my father, the archetypal planner, plotted out the exact mileage and average driving time to haul his trailer from home in Pennsylvania to San Diego, CA , where he spent the winter near my brother and his family. He knew practically to the minute how long it would take him to make the journey, starting each day at a prescribed time and stopping each evening at a pre-determined campground (always a KOA), and conducted the trip as if it were an organized time/distance rally. It drove my mother nuts but it worked for him. I know that there are still some of you out there who travel like that today, admit it. Get to the destination in the most efficient and timely manner! Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! Maybe this year, rather than choosing the most direct or fastest route, try a different way, with side trips and stopovers on the way. (I can see a cold sweat breaking out on your forehead). So it won’t be too debilitating to your efficiency genes, I’ll suggest an easy alternative to start with. Instead of focusing on your destination of Phoenix and its environs, fix your sites on Flagstaff, only a couple of hours driving time to the north. You will pass through some scenic, high country, pine forests before dropping down to the scrub, juniper, and rabbitbrush... Read more



REVIEW: Nikon MONARCH = Great Binoculars

September 9, 2014 by Loloho.com · Comments Off 

A few years ago, we decided to upgrade our binoculars from a set of K-Mart Special el cheapos to something better. After a lot of research, we ended up choosing Nikon MONARCH (http://goo.gl/kw7UOr) binoculars. We opted for the 8×42 magnification, but the binoculars are also available in 10×42 and 12×42 flavors. The binoculars may last a lifetime. (Click the pic for more info.) Quality binoculars are a long term investment for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors. We use ours for observing wildlife like birds and bears in national parks. They are also invaluable for viewing boats and (for those of you who enjoy following the latest fashion trends) bikinis at the beach. Of course they are fun at the football stadium as well. Why did we choose Nikon MONARCH? If you know anything about cameras and lenses, you know the name Nikon. The Nikkor company has a long history of lens manufacture. It makes sense to trust Nikon in designing and manufacturing a set of binoculars, since binoculars are essentially a pair of telephoto lenses that are customized for the human eye instead of a camera sensor. When shopping for nice binoculars, you can find the gamut in features and price range. (For example, check out this $6400 pair of military grade night vision goggles – I want some!) We concluded that Nikon MONARCH were the nicest line of binoculars for the money, offering the most “bang for the buck.” Nikon brings all of its lens construction expertise into the binocular... Read more



Monitor Animals (AND PEOPLE!) with Stealthy Scouting Cameras

September 4, 2014 by Loloho.com · Comments Off 

One of the most interesting camera purchases we’ve made in recent years is our stealth camera. (http://goo.gl/ZcifuD) These cameras are commonly known as hunting cameras, game cameras, trail cameras, and scouting cameras. They are invaluable for taking pictures and video of animals (and sometimes people) on the sly. The Primos Truth Cam 35 is the #1 bestselling scouting camera. (Click the pic for more info.) The typical scouting camera combines a motion sensor, a basic digital camera (often with basic video capabilities), and an infrared flash. The latter feature is important for taking photos and video in the dark, when many animals and criminals like to prowl. What makes these cameras great? You get photos and video that would otherwise be impossible to capture. Animals (and people up to no good) usually have no idea they are being recorded. Most of these cameras record their photos to an ordinary SD card. They are typically designed to run long periods of time on a set of batteries. We use Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries with our unit. Some people report better success with Lithium batteries, but ours works fine with the Eneloop. Since they are designed for the great outdoors, it’s possible to lock most scouting cameras shut. They can be chained to a tree or fence to discourage theft. You can even get camouflage locking systems (like the Master Lock Python series) to handle this task so the whole package seamlessly blends into the environment. Usually scouting... Read more



“What Kind of Gun to Shoot Bears?”

September 3, 2014 by Loloho.com · Comments Off 

From time to time we receive questions about bears and camping. Often these questions mention firearms. For example, “What kind of gun should I carry into national parks to shoot and kill attacking bears?” For most people, we recommend carrying bear spray (http://goo.gl/Cm07tW) instead of guns to repel aggressive bears. In this article we’ll address why. Let me begin by stating that this question has nothing to do with gun rights. We’re not debating the right to bear arms (or the right to bare arms, or even the right to arm bears). This question is about what tool is most appropriate for the job at hand. In this case, the job is repelling bears. You don’t need a gun to repel a bear. In fact, there is arguably a better alternative. Bear spray repels grizzly bears. It's safer, less hassle, and arguably more effective then relying on a handgun (especially a small caliber handgun). Click the pic for more into. FEAR OF BEARS Many people have an understandable fear of bears, especially those of the grizzly variety. “Death by animal attack” is on every Top 10 Worst Ways to Die list. Indeed it would be a terrible way to go. Bears are powerful animals equipped with knifelike claws and sharp teeth. One swat of a grizzly bear’s paw can easily kill a grown man. It’s even worse when the victim doesn’t die quickly, but rather from an extended mauling. We’ve all heard the horror stories. It seems that once every year, some poor soul gets... Read more



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