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What RVers can do to avoid animal/vehicle accidents

October 24, 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 Admin“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... 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



Is the end near for free camping and boondocking?

June 5, 2014 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

I’ve been RVing for over 45 years. My first RV, if you could call it that, was a panel van with a side sliding door. Nothing was built in and a mattress occupied most of the floor of the van. Camping in California state parks back then – none with hookups – cost $6 and you could camp in the national forests (NF) and on BLM land for free. In fact, you could sleep overnight almost anywhere, as long as you didn’t become a squatter and behaved yourself. Times have changed. Now you can’t find even the most primitive of campsites for $6, and free camping, though still an option, is available only at selected NF and BLM locations – a recent change. The Travel Management Rules (TMR) are being implemented that restrict not only on which roads you are permitted to drive your RV but also where you can camp. These camping areas are call Dispersed Camping Areas and are shown on Motor Vehicle Use Maps for each forest. There is a fine if you are caught camping in a non-approved area. Free use of our public lands (which are owned by all of us as part of our national heritage for recreational purposes among other uses) will now, unfortunately, be restricted. But before you raise your muskets and storm the barricades to “take our country back” I can understand the feeling among many forest service and BLM personnel when you look at the situation from their point of view. Though we might not like to admit it, there are many among us RVers who take... Read more



BACKING UP, PARK RANGERS AND BAJA

March 19, 2014 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers “Hi Barry, is it you who writes the RV blog?” arrived today in my inbox.  That was how Keith, with whom I worked in the ‘70s, contacted me [Believe it or not, there are other Barry Zanders in the world, including one who may have skipped out without paying at a restaurant I frequented with potential clients]. “It is I … with my wife Monique, we are the Never-Bored RVers.” “Fantastic! Yes I’ve read your blogs, and they are very informative. We started RVing two years ago. We bought a Forest River Wildcat and have taken it out the past two summers and plan to do more this year. [My wife and I] usually go out West since my son lives in Lander, WY, and we both love the West.  I [now work part time] for my association and can basically do the work anywhere I can get a WiFi hookup so we should be traveling more. On our bucket list is to visit all the primary National Parks and have been to almost 40 of them. So maybe we’ll meet on the trail somewhere. “We’re headed out in July for a trip up through Wyoming and then down to Lake City, Colorado and Angel Fire, NM.  Are you going to be out that way in July /August?  Do you still have your “bumper-pull”?  I saw the photos of your rig in deep sand in Mexico.” Keith brought up two points that got me thinking.  First, there are 58 U.S. Park Service National Parks.  He mentioned his dissatisfaction with the rangers at one of them.  I... Read more



Boondockers have one rule: There are no rules

March 15, 2014 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

By Bob Difley Boondockers unwritten rules If you don’t boondock, you might think that when you are truly boondocking–camping out away from any hook-ups or other amenities, not in a campground, and on free public lands–you also don’t have any rules to follow. Not so–though there are those who do not follow the rules and that hurts the rest of us. The rules are loosely defined, aren’t hard to follow or unusually restrictive, and generally don’t infringe on or detract from the boondocking experience. Pick a campsite away from others. Most boondockers, until otherwise determined, value their solitude and privacy, and prefer not to have neighbors close by. Upon arrival, walk the site with a bag and pick up any man-made trash left behind by previous campers. Just do it and don’t fret about it. It won’t take you long If you build a campfire, anything that will not burn to ashes, carry it out. Find ways to hang things other than driving nails into trees. Keep your campsite neat. Put things away when not in use. Nobody wants to see all your stuff scattered about like a yard sale in progress. Pick up only downed and dead wood for a campfire. Chopping limbs off trees or uprooting bushes to burn is something only clueless teenagers would do. Think safety when building a campfire. Scrape all debris several feet away from your fire and keep your fire small. Build a rock ring or dig a depression to contain the fire. If you dump the gray... Read more



Did you make it to Quartzsite this winter?

March 6, 2014 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

By Bob Difley If you haven’t been to Quartzsite yet, you’ve missed it for the season. It’s starting to get hot – it’s already passing 80 degrees everyday and will move progressively warmer – and snowbirds are leaving in droves. But never fear, it will still be there next year, and if you’ve thought about going but just haven’t made the move yet, read the article below by Melanie Cullen of Blue Sky Energy and you’ll get a better idea of what the Quartzsite experience, especially the RV Show, is all about. Looking Back and Ahead at the Quartzsite RV Show By Melanie Cullen, Blue Sky Energy, Inc. While dry camping last January at the 31st annual Quartzsite RV Show, Rick and I reminisced about how Quartzsite (or Q) has changed over the last 15 years that we’ve been going and what we think the next 15 years might bring. Dry camping or “boondocking” is camping without any hookups or connections to water, power or a sewer. We bring everything we need including water and use solar to charge our RV battery for electricity. Over the years, Q has grown significantly in size from around 60,000 in 1999 to over 150,000 this year, and become more focused on making RV living cozy, which will have a big impact on how RVs are powered in the future. When we first went to the Quartzsite RV Show in ’99, the RV Pavilion was packed with big-ticket items like RV satellites, tow hitches, and companies offering to install a solar array on your... Read more



In a camping rut? Try wildlife refuges

March 1, 2014 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

By Bob Difley Are you in a rut? If you’ve been RVing for a couple of year or more you likely have found favorite spots that you return to year after year. But you probably also realize that these are not the only campgrounds that will ever like, so why not venture out into new places, take different routes, or camp in places you wonce wouldn’t have considered? I’ve been guilty of the same complacency at times, but when I changed my habits I found great spots, terrific places to camp, hike, ride my mountain bike, or look for birds and wildlife. It just takes a commitment to once in a while do something, go somewhere different. OK. Once you make that commitment, may I suggest you check out this country’s wildlife refuges. In addition to all the state wildlife areas around the country, the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service manages the world’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants. Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida’s Pelican Island as the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the System has grown to more than 150 million acres, 551 national wildlife refuges, as well as other units of the Refuge System, plus 37 wetland management districts. That is a heck of a lot of land that belong to each and every one of us – what is designated as public lands – and open for many kinds of recreational pursuits beyond hunting. The guide book to the refuges that I have... Read more



Isn’t it time to work less and RV more?

January 11, 2014 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

By Bob Difley Productivity. Connectivity. Accumulating Wealth. These are considered positive attributes and goals for working Americans to strive for. Yet “Ecologists warn that economic growth is strangling the natural systems on which life depends,” writes Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle. You read everyday that we are running out of – or eventually will run out of – many of our natural resources, for example lithium that powers most of our devices, or we will hve to ration some resources, like water that comes from diminishing aquifers and – at least in California – decreased rainfall threatening devastating droughts and wildfires. “As the world economy grows relentlessly,” Lochhead continues, “ecologists warn that nature’s ability to absorb wastes and regenerate natural resources is being exhausted.” And if that isn’t enough to be concerned about, psychologists and health professionals warn that our drive for wealth, continuous connectivity, and relentless need to work more hours, produce more, improve efficiency, and all the other pressures on today’s workforce to be ever more competitive, could have deleterious results on both our mental and physical health. Whether you are a believer or non-believer in global warming, worried about diminishing resources or believing that nature or science will provide, or are a political liberal or conservative, there may be a solution that would... Read more



Add the nation’s Scenic Byways to your bucket list

October 6, 2013 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

By Bob Difley The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, in collaboration with other public and private agencies. Since 1992 the National Scenic Byways Program has funded more than three thousand projects for state and nationally designated byway routes in all 50 states. If you haven’t moved exploring the nation’s scenic byways to your bucket list for the areas in which you travel and also for the areas you are headed to, you are missing some of the most exciting parts of what makes up America, and you have the best way to see them–your RV. Many of America’s most scenic drives wind across and through remote public lands managed by the National Forest Service (NF) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Though not receiving the same publicity as our National Parks and Monuments, the National Scenic Byways (NSB) and the especially notable All-American Roads are mostly low-traveled, two-lane roads that showcase the historic, scenic, and cultural treasures that define America. But since they are often remote, it can sometimes be difficult finding private campgrounds with typical amenities and hook-ups. Along the way you may have to cover the whole route in one shot–from an RV resort at one end to one at the other. Unless, of course, you have honed your boondocking skills and are comfortable dry-camping either in primitive (no hook-up) government campgrounds or boondocking in the... Read more



Don’t discard those cans of food squirreled away in your RV as study reveals flaws in food expiration dates

September 20, 2013 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

By Bob Difley In previous posts I wrote about shelf life of food, and whether the shelf life recommended by manufacturers was valid. As I found out in my research, canned food had a virtually endless shelf life regarding safety, as evidenced by meals canned for the military back in WWII and still edible. By edible, I mean mainly safe to eat, though some–but not all–of the taste may be compromised by the length of time in the can. Bulk foods kept in airtight containers also have a long shelf life. Now the San Francisco Chronicle’s Washington correspondent, Carolyn Lochhead, has written a piece for the Science section of the Chronicle this week titled Masses of food wasted – ‘use by’ dates mislead http://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/Masses-of-food-wasted-use-by-dates-mislead-4825974.php?t=7e37c74b78 in which she reports on a study by Harvard University Law School and the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The date labeling system is not a system at all,” said NRDC staff scientist Dana Gunders, co-author of the report, the first to assess date labeling laws nationwide. Americans send to the compost pile or landfill 40 percent of the food they purchase–often because “of misleading expiration dates that have nothing to do with safety” the report says. For RVers that are concerned about the food stored in their RVs ready for the quick getawway or as a hedge against natural disasters, the article should provide... Read more



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