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REFLECTIONS FROM THE ROAD

April 4, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

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 AdminBy Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers We’ve been traveling cross-country for two weeks now on our way to the Canadian Maritimes from California.  I’ll let you know more about the travels in Part 3 of this article. PART 1 – FREE OVERNIGHT PARKING – From my “I wish I could find the picture I took Department,” I send along this: In Mark Polk’s March edition of RV Consumer Magazine — http://issuu.com/rveducation101/docs/rv_consumer_magazine_march_2013/1?utm_source=RV+Consumer+emag+this+Month+March+2013+++&utm_campaign=RV+Consumer+magazine+RV+101&utm_medium=email — he has a brief item about Walmart parking, which probably applies to all one-night on-the-road no-charge parking places.   He mentions how putting down the jacks on hot asphalt to level the rig can damage the parking lot surface. We have seen several instances of what we feel is parking-lot abuse during our travels, but none so memorable as the Scamp mini-trailer on the edge of a parking lot with awning out, rug down, barbecue going and chairs... Read more



More California state parks to remain open–only 15 of 278 still scheduled to close

March 27, 2012 by Bob Difley · 26 Comments 

By Bob Difley In a previous post on efforts to keep California State Parks open I commended the good work by Ruth Coleman, her staff, and others to keep parks open by going the extra step, being creative, and thinking outside the box. Well, some good news came today when Michael Harris, the acting chief deputy director for the state parks department, said that in addition to the agreements already in place to keep eleven parks open and operating, negotiations are underway with concessionaires and nonprofit groups to protect about 40 others. This is good news for not only the residents and visitors to California, but also for all RVers that visit the state and stay in some of the most scenic state parks in the country (photo – Montagne de Oro State Park, 6 miles south of Morro Bay). The closures of the parks, historic sites, and beaches that would have closed due to budget shortfalls are now down to only 15 of the state’s 278 parks that will close on July 1st. Originally I was on the fence about turning over state parks to private concessionaires, but the alternative of closing the parks instead swayed me over. However, I hope the deals were written so that both private concessionaires and the public are both happy with the results, and the parks will not turn “commercial,” but remain as natural and beautiful as they are today. It is a brave deal on the part of the parks department and now we will see whether it works out, and whether it may serve as... Read more



Michigan: Best Casino RV Park

August 22, 2011 by Rex Vogel · 19 Comments 

Midwest Gaming & Travel, a premier source for information about casino gaming in America’s Heartland since 1995, published the winners of the 10th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards for Midwest commercial casinos in the July issue of the magazine. The Readers’ Choice award winners are selected by Midwest Gaming & Travel readers, based on their experiences in Midwest casinos during the preceding 12 months. This annual survey by the Waseca, Minnesota-based magazine covers a nine-state primary area, extending from Missouri to Minnesota to Pennsylvania. The awards are presented in a state-by-state list that includes several gaming and hospitality categories including “Best RV Park.” Each category represents a specific facet of a property’s overall appeal and charm. Island Resort and Casino The Island Resort and Casino in Harris, Michigan, was selected the Best RV Park in Michigan by readers of the Midwest Gaming & Travel magazine. The casino’s 53-site RV Park is open May 1 through November 30. The Island Resort and Casino were also voted as Michigan’s Best RV Park in the 2010 Midwest Gaming & Travel Readers’ Choice Awards of Native American Casinos. In the survey, readers rated 20 Michigan casinos in 35 detailed gaming and amenities areas. The casino is also the statewide winner of awards in eight evaluation categories. The Island Resort and Casino in Harris, Michigan, was selected the Best RV Park in Michigan by readers of the... Read more



Money Saving Tips: Extending Your RV Travel Dollars

May 29, 2011 by Rex Vogel · 52 Comments 

The latest Campfire Canvass survey of RV owners conducted by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) revealed that 53% intend to use their RV more this spring and summer despite higher fuel prices, while 38% plan to use theirs the same amount and just 9% say they’ll use their RVs less. Of the respondents who plan to use their RVs more often, 65% said one of the reasons is to take more mini-vacations. A recent study indicates 53% intend to use their RV more this spring and summer despite higher fuel prices. Motorhome parked at Sliding Rock Overlook, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Many RV owning families plan to take shorter but more frequent trips in their RVs. Sixty-three percent plan to spend five or more weekends in their RVs this spring/summer; 19% will reserve a seasonal site at a campground this summer and visit it on weekends. According to the report, 68% said they expect fuel prices to affect their spring/summer travel plans. Of those respondents, 61% said they’ll travel closer to home, 42% will travel fewer miles and 37% will stay longer in one place. These figures indicate that people are looking for inexpensive vacation options, and RVing leads the pack. RV owners love the RV lifestyle and rising gas prices won’t stop them from getting away. RV family vacations are, on average, 27% to 61% less expensive than other types of vacations, according to a study by international travel and tourism experts Collier’s... Read more



“HIYADOIN’?”

May 21, 2011 by Barry & Monique Zander · 347 Comments 

Hors d'oeuvre -- A Taste of Zion © All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers We’re on the first stop of our Grand Circle Tour, after three days in Las Vegas.  Four of us living comfortably in a 28-foot travel trailer! We – Monique, her brother Philippe and his wife Solveig and I — are in Zion National Park, Utah, one of America’s most popular national treasures.  We hiked to the highest of the three Emerald Pools Thursday morning, returning to the Visitors Center and our truck just as the rains came. Lots to tell you, but let’s start in the Watchman Campground, where we are fortunate to have electric hook-ups, but no water or sewer at the site.  A teardrop trailer was next to us, but moved over two spots this morning to make way for a pop-up.  There’s a Casita from Louisiana across from us, two mini-tents next to them and a canvas tent on a utility trailer behind us. So if you’re thinking we’re crowded in our RV, I want to let you know we feel fortunate to have room to move around while the rains and chilly temperatures pretty much confine campers to their quarters.  Incidentally, we’ll be moving a lot over the next five weeks, so we didn’t take our satellite dish with us. Along the Virgin River Hiking Toward the Narrows “Hiyadoin’?” Philippe, who speaks English very well  [and continues to work to improve his vocabulary and pronunciation -- all part of the... Read more



Excellent Value in St. Louis – Part II

October 18, 2010 by Mac McClellan · 2 Comments 

Last time I talked about our visit to Casino Queen (CQ) in St. Louis and how it’s a great place for non-gamblers because of the RV park (closed until May), low cost rooms, convenient location, shuttle service, and multiple good dining options.  If you’re a gambler you’ll appreciate all that as well, plus you’ll also like the gaming, comps and promotions. The Gaming For most people gambling is entertainment and in the long run the house wins.  What makes the difference is how much value you get from your entertainment budget.  Some places offer tight games that return a lower percentage.  You’ll usually find these conditions in casinos that have no local competition.  They take your money fast because they can — people will still play there because they don’t have any choices other than not playing.  Casino Queen is on the other end of the spectrum.  They have three major competitors in the St. Louis market and have decided to compete based on value.  In my opinion they’re succeeding! Read more  Read More →



Excellent Value in St. Louis – Great Casino for Non-Gamblers

October 7, 2010 by Mac McClellan · 7 Comments 

Our Midwest casino tour continues!  In my last post I told you about stopping overnight at Harrah’s in North Kansas City, MO.  For our next stop we wanted an RV park with hookups, and we wanted to visit St. Louis for a few days. We had never been to Casino Queen but knew they had an RV park that was chosen by readers of Midwest Gaming & Travel magazine as one of the best casino RV parks in the Midwest.  That plus the convenient location made them an easy choice, so we made a reservation for 3 nights. A Great Casino for Non-Gamblers I’ll have to split this story into two parts because it’s too long!  Casino Queen is a great choice for both gamblers, and non-gamblers alike.  This week I’ll talk to you non-gamblers, and next week more details for the players. Many are surprised when they hear about non-gamblers being casino campers, but when you consider the whole situation it becomes clear that casinos often give you a great value.  Casino Queen is a prime example, and here’s why in a nutshell; location, low cost, convenience, dining options. Location Casino Queen RV Park is located in East St. Louis, IL with a great view of the arch and downtown St. Louis.  The only negative (which is a problem in any large city) was getting there in a 40’ motorhome with a toad and being led by a Garmin Nuvi that thought we were driving a Honda Civic!  But that’s another story.  Do take time to look at your route in advance to avoid areas where large vehicles shouldn’t... Read more



Midwest Casino Tour 2010 Is Underway!

September 21, 2010 by Mac McClellan · 6 Comments 

After sitting in one spot (Las Vegas) from May through August we spent the first 2 weeks of September at The Ranch in Lakewood, NM.  Now we’re on the road again traveling through the Midwest and visiting casinos along the way.  We don’t have a specific route planned, but we hope to stop at 6 to 8 casinos including several that are new to us.  Our primary criteria is that they be RV friendly, either with an RV park or allowing overnight dry parking. First stop Harrah’s, Kansas City, MO We’ve been to this Harrah’s before and wanted to visit again.  When we pulled in last night after a 700 mile day it was a welcome sight!  Read more  Read More →



New Casino Proposed – Targeting RVers

August 19, 2010 by Mac McClellan · 8 Comments 

Penn Harris Gaming is trying a different twist on the “RV friendly casino” and they hope to create a destination for a broad spectrum of travelers.   They’re starting with an existing Holiday Inn hotel about 10 miles from Harrisburg, PA and plan to build a casino and “RV World”. I have to admit I was skeptical when I first heard about their plans, but as I learn more about it I’m warming up to their idea.  The state requires that all casino hotels have at least 275 rooms.  The hotel that Penn Harris hopes to convert to a casino resort only has 239, and they’re moving RVs onto the lot to make up for the additional 36 rooms.  The first image that popped into my mind was a FEMA trailer park, but that thought was quickly replaced by a more appealing one.  It seems they have a multifaceted approach to different segments of the RV community. Read more  Read More →



Do You Use and Appreciate Overnight Casino Parking?

June 3, 2010 by Lug_Nut · 27 Comments 

Another Lug_Nut view.  There are many casinos throughout the country, many of them welcome  RV’ers to park and stay overnight.  While there are non-RV friendly locations like Atlantic City and Reno, the majority have out the welcoming mat for these large rolling homes.  Unfortunately their hospitality sometimes is abused by a small minority.  These abuses have, and may lead to restrictions or even total RV parking bans.  So what are these abuses and how can we stop or reduce them? Aging RV’s that may not even be fit for the road are parked for extended periods of time, some appear not even occupied.  Some of these derelict vehicles house mobile gypsies that have no intention of entering the casino or its other facilities for the purpose of spending money.  It’s just a place to park free. A small percentage of RV’ers seem to believe it is okay to park there, disconnect their car, or trailer, and take off to go to other locations in the area.  Some of them visit relatives throughout the day and use the site only to return and sleep.  I have witnessed units being left unattended for several days as people must think it to be a handy storage site.  Most of these abusers do not give the business establishment any return, they just take.  One person I met that stayed several days in a casino parking lot, when asked if he had any luck, stated “They won’t get me in there, I’d rather spend my money elsewhere than give it to them.”   A number of RV’s that... Read more



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