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    Click here to watch the video below on what to consider when shopping for RVs and motorhomes. Whether you're looking to learn a little more about the fulltime RV lifestyle or are interested in what considerations should be made before purchasing your coach, this video could be very helpful.

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    Have you ever been offended by someone else's judgments regarding your motorhome - maybe in particular about where or how you store it?  If so, then you probably can relate to these neighbors who banded together to protest others' objections in allowing motorhomes and RVs into the neighborhood.

    A motorhome led a caravan through Prairie Village, Kan., Friday (Jan. 9) to protest some neighbors’ perceptions that recreational vehicles don’t belong in the Johnson County bedroom community.

    After seeing a report on FOX 4 News last month about a snooty letter demanding that an RV be removed from one Prairie Village neighborhood, a radio host, who grew up in the sleepy suburb, decided to take action.

    The president of Trailside RV Center in Grain Valley joined in, bringing a giant motor home to lead a caravan through the streets of Prairie Village.

    The group stopped near 71st and Eaton, the neighborhood that received anonymous letters suggesting that RVs belonged in less attractive areas like Gardner, Troost or western Shawnee.

    A neighbor told FOX 4 News he’s upset that the letters made it sound like everyone in the neighborhood objects to recreation vehicles.

    “I think as long as within reason, I think people have the right to do whatever they wish with their yard as long as it’s within reason,” said Dante Ruiz, who lives near 71st and Eaton. “As long as it’s not hindering any sort of traffic, it’s not a complete eyesore in the neighborhood, it’s up the neighbors themselves to communicate that with each other and figure out what’s best for the neighborhood and what isn’t.”

    RV supporters say the motor home costs more than some houses in Prairie Village.

    The city council this month amended it’s rules for recreation vehicles, allowing owners to temporarily keep them on their driveways for seven days a month. But Prairie Village does require the vehicles to be screened, and they can’t be covered with tarps.


    Click to watch the news report.

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    A new luxury motorcoach park called The Fountains of St. Augustine is expected to open in the coming months off State Road 16 near the Interstate 95 interchange.

    Work on the project at 3960 Inman Road has already begun, and the plan is for the first 14 units — called casitas — to be open some time before summer.

    The project will be similar to a timeshare but not exactly the same where visitors will rent the individual units and can stay up to six consecutive months.

    But this is not some kind of RV park for campers, and instead is aimed towards catering to the needs of a specific set group of people with luxury motorhomes.

    “We are developing it as a very high-end, five-star resort,” co-owner Tommy Hammond told the county Planning and Zoning Agency during Thursday’s meeting. “There is no park like this. There is nothing like this in North Florida.”

    The units will feature private driveways big enough for motorcoaches and regular vehicles that visitors might also bring. Hammond said the motorcoaches that the resort will attract cost between $150,000 and $2.5 million.

    In St. Augustine, the park will offer four different units, from one-bedroom “casitas” to two-story, three-bedroom “grand villas.”

    There are also plans for a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse, pools, fitness/recreation equipment and nature trails.

    Hammond said the St. Augustine concept is expected to be repeated in about a dozen locations around the country.

    Click to read the full article.

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    Anna Sibal |

    Many times, RV road trips require driving on mountain roads. Mountain road driving challenges driving skills; you have to fight gravity to push your rig uphill and then fight gravity again when coasting downhill.

    Mountain driving is thus a challenge no matter how experienced the RV driver. But by keeping a few pointers in mind and with a little practice you'll be able to confidently and safely climb and descend mountain roads like a champ. Here are a few mountain driving tips for RVers to help you out.

    Practice Driving Before You Go on Your Trip

    Safe driving on mountain roads begins long before you go on your trip. After all, as that old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. By making sure that you are confident in your ability to drive your RV before you begin your trip, you increase your likelihood of a safe journey.

    The first thing you need to do is to become totally knowledgeable with how to drive your RV. If you're a novice driver one of the best places to start is at an RV driving school.

    Here is are list of RV driving schools to consider:

    If you have the opportunity to practice your RV driving skills before your actual trip we recommend finding a nearby hilly location to spend a few hours driving up and down the hills. These practice runs will give you a better feeling for how your RV will perform on steep ascents and descents. 

    Another thing to pay attention to before going on your trip is the condition of your RV. Pay close attention to your brakes and tire treads, and make sure your spares are in good condition too.

    In addition, check out the weather forecast on the day of your trip. As we all know, the weather can affect the conditions on the road. It always helps to know if you'll have to deal with rain or sleet while mountain driving.

    Driving Uphill

    To get your RV through an uphill climb more easily, you need to run your RV within its power band. Your RV's power band is its engine's RPM span that delivers the most horsepower. Depending on your RV's type, the power band can range anywhere between 2,000 to 4,000 RPM. When you drive uphill within its power band, your rig will generate the extra pulling power it needs to ascend the incline.

    It is important that you start getting your RV within its power band before you ascend the hill. To achieve this, will have to down shift to a lower gear and then step very gently on the gas pedal. Keep your feet off the gas pedal entirely at times so your engine can do its job more comfortably. If you keep pushing hard on your pedal, you'll end up with black smoke out of your exhaust and the smell of burning rubber from your tires.

    What happens when you are out of your RV's power band while you are making the climb? If that happens, there is a risk that your RV will be unable to ascend at all. In case your engine stops in the middle of your climb, the first thing you need to do is not to panic. Pull the handbrake, shift to neutral then restart your engine. Once your engine is running again, release the handbrake, downshift to first gear once more and step gently on the gas.

    Driving Downhill

    Experienced RV drivers claim that driving their RV downhill on mountain roads is more difficult than driving uphill. That's because when driving downhill, you need to maintain absolute control of the wheel and be fully aware of your surroundings. Failure to pay attention can be disastrous - think runaway rig.

    To drive your RV safely downhill, prepare for the downhill descent while you are still on top of the hill. The first step is to use your engine for braking, as opposed to using your brakes. To accomplish this, bring your speed down to 40 mph and shift to second gear. At this point, you should feel your engine slowing down to a more comfortable coasting speed. If the engine is not slowing down as much as you'd like it to, shift down to first gear and then decrease your speed to 20 mph.

    Slowing down, downshifting and using your engine to brake while driving downhill ought to keep you at a safe speed during your descent. If, despite these efforts, you feel that you're still going down too fast, don't hesitate to step on your regular brakes intermittently. Step on your brakes in hard and short bursts instead of pushing the brake for the duration of the descent. If you keep your foot on your brakes, they will end up overheating and your RV's brake components could be damaged permanently.

    Other Tips for Safe Mountain Driving

    Here are a few more tips to make sure that you'll come out safe and sound from driving your RV on mountain roads:

    1. Always be aware of your surroundings. Road conditions and sudden changes in weather can affect how you drive your RV on mountain roads.
    2. Keep to your side of the road and avoid hugging the center line. When you keep to your side of the road you'll have more time and more room to adjust whenever you meet another vehicle coming from the other direction.
    3. Observe road courtesy. Don't hold up traffic and try not to put yourself in a position where you and your RV are inconveniencing other motorists.
    4. Keep your eyes on your temperature gauge. If your engine starts to overheat, find a safe spot to pull off the road. Don't turn the engine off, though. This will keep the coolant circulating in your radiator. Never remove the radiator cap until your engine has had a chance to cool off. Otherwise, you will come out of it with serious skin burns.
    5. Always keep in mind that air is much thinner at high altitudes. High altitudes bring about dehydration and altitude sickness. To prevent this from happening, bring extra drinking water and drink a lot of it while driving.
    6. Never force yourself to drive when you're tired. Take frequent breaks from driving to give yourself time to rest. If you're too tired to drive and there's someone in your group who is capable of driving the RV in your stead, don't hesitate to ask him or her to drive for you.

    RV mountain driving challenges even the most experienced of RV drivers. But if you keep these mountain driving pointers in mind, you will be able to enjoy coasting along mountain roads and come out of your journey safely and soundly.

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    Pam Louwagie | October 26, 2014

    EAST GRAND FORKS, MINN. – Dusk settled over the campground by the Red River, and inside her spacious motor home, 64-year-old Theresa Delikat was just waking up.

    It was time to have dinner with her husband, Tom, back from driving a truck in the frenzied sugar beet harvest here; time to get ready for her own midnight shift at a sugar beet testing lab. After eight straight days of this, the retired couple were exhausted.

    “This overnight shift, it’s kicking my butt,” said Theresa, who rubbed her tired face and then grinned. “But it’s a challenge. … You can’t get too soft.”

    The Delikats, both retired nurses, are now part of a growing national wave of new migrant workers: retirees who pick up temporary, seasonal jobs around the country doing everything from helping with the fast-paced sugar beet harvest on this flat prairie to selling pumpkins in Arizona to filling holiday orders in warehouses for

    These modern-day vagabonds, who travel in RVs, call themselves work campers. They are becoming a workforce that Moorhead, Minn.-based American Crystal Sugar Company is relying on more heavily as the North Dakota oil boom lures workers away from the Red River Valley.

    The company hired about 60 work campers in 2007; this year, that tally soared to 475 — about a third of their added harvest workforce — hailing from 28 states. They expect the number to grow again next year.

    “The whole work camper thing has really kind of blossomed in the last few years,” said Scott Lindgren, managing partner at Express Employment Professionals, which finds and vets RV workers for the sugar company. While Lindgren estimates about 80 percent of their work camper hires are retirees choosing to work to support their traveling lifestyles, others need the money to survive. Lindgren said he’s seen the average age decrease over time, with more in their 40s and 50s.

    It’s happening amid high anxiety about retirement and falling pension coverage: 65 percent of non-retired baby boomers have little confidence that they will have the means to live comfortably in retirement, according to an AARP survey. The percentage of workers covered by a traditional pension plan has been steadily declining. Meanwhile, 31 percent of Americans have no retirement savings, the state Department of Commerce says.

    In Minnesota and North Dakota, RVers have become a “critical component” to the sugar beet region, which has a $5 billion annual economic impact, said Brian Ingulsrud, vice president of agriculture at American Crystal.

    ‘Traveling is expensive’

    Retiree Sally Stanton, 56, had never heard of a sugar beet before arriving in the Red River Valley with her husband last fall.

    After earning nearly $6,000 last year, the couple from Abilene, Texas, came back this fall. Working the intense harvest is fun for a few weeks, the Stantons said. Then they can relax a bit, with a few extra thousand dollars in the bank.

    “It’s really not hard work,” said Gary Stanton, 61, a retired prison captain who wore a mud-spattered neon green vest to drive heavy equipment at a beet piling site near tiny Oslo, Minn.

    “It’s just the long hours that are rough on old people,” laughed Sally, who spent her days at the drive-up window of a scale house greeting and registering a stream of trucks weighing their beet loads.

    The Stantons wanted to see the country, so a couple of years ago they paid $139,000 for a used 42-foot Damon Tuscany motor home. With three flat-screen televisions, a kitchen with a convection oven, a washer and dryer and Internet access, they have everything they need to live comfortably, they said. But once they hit the open road, the gas and camping fees started to add up.

    “We found out real quick that traveling is expensive,” Sally said as she sat on her plush camper couch with a glass of white wine, a macaroni and cheese casserole underway in the kitchen.

    To help offset travel costs, the couple have filled orders at an warehouse in Kansas, taken reservations at a Branson, Mo., campground and performed odd volunteer jobs at an Army Corps of Engineers office in Georgia. They work out of their camper more than six months of the year, they said, sometimes for an hourly wage, sometimes for a free place to park. In between, they sightsee and visit family.

    They and two couples who followed them to East Grand Forks plan to use their sugar beet money to pay for fuel to get to Alaska next summer, where they all hope to find other work camping jobs.

    Dollywood to Amazon

    The jobs aren’t hard to find. Retirees hear about them at campgrounds. They see them on Facebook. Jobs are listed on work camping websites. Some employers set up recruiting booths at RV shows.

    Workamper magazine sends out daily e-mails to subscribers looking for jobs. In an unscientific poll taken on a Workampers Facebook page, 93 out of 105 respondents said they were working because they wanted to, not because they needed to.

    Work campers do everything from guarding oil fields to setting up Christmas lights to taking tickets at amusement parks. Most advertisements, though, are for volunteer positions at campgrounds offering a free space in exchange for serving as hosts. Few of the jobs include benefits.

    At the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show in Arizona, President Kenny King said he’s seen the exhibitor list of work camping recruiters approximately double in the last five to 10 years, to about 25.

    At Dollywood amusement park in Tennessee, work campers run rides and serve food.

    Mary Fulton, a work camper-turned-full-time Dollywood employee, said the economy has played a role.

    “A lot of people that thought ‘We’re going to retire and sit in an RV and camp’ have decided that ‘we need a little more income,’ ” Fulton said.

    Lindgren, of Express Employment, said he recruited at RV shows in Florida and Arizona in January. Beginning workers at American Crystal made just over $12 an hour plus overtime. Those experienced in driving equipment and managing people earned $17 to $18 an hour as foremen. Depending upon the weather, an RV worker could earn $2,000 to $5,000 in a month or less. expanded its CamperForce program this year by adding a fourth location. A company official said Amazon hires “hundreds” of work campers each holiday season, though they declined to give specific numbers.

    Work campers say they like the control that temporary jobs afford: If they don’t like their boss or the work, they can either stick it out for the short term or go find something else.

    Theresa Delikat said many retired workers she’s come across view the jobs as a mental challenge and test of their physical abilities. “They want to feel useful again,” she said.

    Staying active

    Retired chemistry instructor Helmut Koch and his wife set out in an RV from their home in Bangor, Maine. They saw the recruiters for American Crystal at an RV show in Florida and decided to sign up.

    “You’ve gotta keep active,” Helmut Koch said.

    “It sounded like an adventure,” added his wife, 59-year-old Mairead Stein-Koch, a retired nurse practitioner, as she packed tuna sandwiches for their dinner break.

    The two hope to see all of the country’s national parks, so they drove their 30-foot Concord Coachmen to Yellowstone and Badlands national parks before arriving for the sugar beet harvest.

    For 10½-hour days, the couple alternated standing and sitting at factory-style lab stations, safety glasses perched on their noses, ear plugs muffling the constant whirring, creaking and whooshing of chemicals and industrial machines.

    Koch scraped ground-up sugar beet from a machine into a silver cup to grind it down further; Stein-Koch scooped beet paste into a machine to mix it with aluminum sulfate to measure the sugar content in sampled beets from a harvest that would eventually be turned into granulated sugar.

    The work could get tedious, they said, but the company tried to make it fun, rotating the stations and handing out noisemakers to celebrate groups processing 1,000 samples in a shift. They also met like-minded retirees working and camping alongside them.

    “We love it,” Stein-Koch said of life in an RV. “I never want to do anything else.”

    Campers vary

    Some work campers need the jobs more than others.

    Tough times have accounted for some of the rise in the RV workforce, said Lindgren, the recruiter: “Some of it’s obviously due to the economy and people not being able to retire the way they once thought.”

    Not all work campers are older. Some groups of 20- and 30-somethings, more apt to call themselves “travelers,” rove to work and bunk in pop-up campers or tents. Some families work camp and home-school their kids.

    Some RV workers were forced to try something new well before hitting retirement age. David Knapp, 52, once made $64,000 in the aerospace industry in northern Illinois, he said, but after he was laid off he had an epiphany.

    “I’ve discovered that sitting in a cubicle is nothing but clock-watching,” he said while he and his beagle, Stella, met their temporary neighbors on the vast lawns of the campground here before his night shift.

    He and his wife sold their house and bought an RV in 2008. They’ve worked at a Florida resort and an Iowa amusement park. They’ve acted as campground hosts at 10,000 feet in Colorado. He has worked night security and maintenance.

    The Knapps, who now use a $45,000 agile truck camper, try to line up work six months in advance, he said. They take time off to spend with family. He also is trying to grow his own small business selling Critical Eye blacklight flashlights on

    As he ambled through the campground, Knapp said he didn’t choose to forgo his professional job. Now, though, he couldn’t imagine wearing ties and sitting at a desk.

    “I don’t know if you could get me back into a regular office,” he said. He rubbed his bristly chin and smiled: “You don’t always have to shave every day. Now that’s freedom.”

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    STUART, Fla. — The Love Bug Solution, a spray on eco-friendly barrier and cleaning solution to protect vehicles from Love Bugs and other insects, is now available for the first time in an aerosol can.

    The solution requires no masking or taping off of any areas of the vehicle before applying. The bug barrier and cleaning solution that was introduced in 2011 has been refined to add extra protection and bug cleaning options for every vehicle operator who has had to labor to remove love bugs and other insects from a vehicle’s hood, grill or headlights, the release noted.

    “States throughout the United States each have their own insect that wreaks havoc on automobiles, trucks, RVs, and motorcycle paint. Florida and most Gulf Coast States, in particular, have the dreaded Love Bug,” said Frank Sheldon, the Florida entrepreneur who developed the spray-on solution that creates a cellophane-like film that protects against insect damage.

    “We have fine-tuned The Love Bug Solution and made it easier to use by putting it in a convenient aerosol spray can. We are the only solution that protects your vehicle from bugs BEFORE damage is done, that is eco-friendly, and is removed simply by washing your vehicle,” added Sheldon.

    The ease, convenience, and effectiveness of The Love Bug Solution has made The Love Bug Solution one of the most sought after bug protection and cleaning products in the world.

    “Our major market is the United States. However, we continue to receive interest from all over the world from people who simply want to place a bug barrier on their car, truck or recreational vehicle to protect its paint from the damage love bugs and other insects can cause,” said Sheldon. “In some cases, the residue left from bugs on unprotected surfaces literally eats the paint off the vehicle. The Love Bug Solution prevents that from happening.”

    The Love Bug Solution is engineered to be sprayed on from the new aerosol can. One can of The Love Bug Solution provides up to four applications (depending on the size of the vehicle). When it dries, The Love Bug Solution provides a cellophane-like barrier, literally a bug shield, which protects a vehicle from Love Bugs and other insects.  Bugs are trapped on the solution’s surface where they may be safely cleaned by simply washing the vehicle.

    Ingredients in The Love Bug Solution magically dissolve into soapy suds that carry bug residue away from your vehicle into bug never-never land.

    “The days of scouring your car or truck’s grill, hood, lights and mirrors are gone. The Love Bug Solution takes the major work out of getting rid of bugs that have taken aim at your vehicle while traveling during Love Bug season or any kind of insect swarm your vehicle may run into,” Sheldon added.

    The Love Bug Solution is available online in aerosol cans, contains no solvents, is biodegradable, and is made in America.

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    North of Vancouver, British Columbia, there’s a strip of waterfront called “the Sunshine Coast” filled with colorful art, great restaurants, thrilling nature-based activities and gorgeous water views. But “the Coast” as residents call it, should be called “the Secret Coast” for how few RVers know about its treasures. We took a few days to discover this paradise for ourselves.

    <div id="attachment_16386" class="wp-caption alignleft">The drive from Portland, Oregon, to Vancouver takes seven to eight hours and, as usual, we don’t leave town until 7 p.m. It’s a three-day weekend so our late start enables us to skirt the traffic and we sail up Interstate 5 through Seattle, Washington. When we reach Bellingham, Washington, we’re weary and glad we’re booked at neat-as-a-pin Bellingham RV Park. Our full-hookup gravel site is blessedly level and surprisingly quiet, despite its freeway proximity.</div>

    We have ferry reservations so we’re out early and can’t enjoy the park’s amenities. But we make a note to stop here on future sojourns.
    We zip through the border in 30 minutes and, on Highway 99, take Exit 32 to the Richmond Country Farms stand. Veggies aren’t allowed to cross the border so this is a great place to buy local blueberries, corn and tomatoes.
    Northbound traffic cuts through downtown Vancouver. There’s a bypass, but we miss it and get tangled in noontime traffic. Our 25-foot Class C Greyhawk feels like a giant beast navigating congested city streets and it’s an hour before we clear the city.

    A Ferry Ride Away

    Fortunately, we’ve made a reservation with BC Ferries on the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale ferry and we cruise into line with time to spare. Traveling the province’s waterways via ferry is easy and convenient for RVers — and the only way to reach the Sunshine Coast. BC Ferries routinely transports motor­homes and they’re fast, on time and cruise through gorgeous waterways.
    On the ferry, we snug up behind another RV and head upstairs where there’s passenger seating, a cafeteria and a gift shop. On the outer decks, we snap photos of forested islands and the emerald water.

    <div id="attachment_16387" class="wp-caption alignright">Forty minutes later, we disembark and churn past the little town of Gibsons to Sechelt, one of the largest villages on the Coast. Sechelt is a walkable town filled with cafés, bakeries and one-of-a-kind shops. We stop at the visitors center to get our bearings and pick up maps.</div>

    Since our puppies have been on the road too long, we head east to Hidden Grove, a wonderful old-growth preserve that allows dogs. We step into this shady, green oasis of cedars and Douglas firs and road stresses melt. Our dogs romp beneath 500-year-old giants along gentle paths (including two wheelchair-accessible trails) and we all work off some energy.
    Then we drive a couple of miles to Target Marine, a land-based sturgeon hatchery for Northern Divine, a caviar Travel and Leisure magazine calls some of the world’s best. Sales manager Theressa Logan takes us on a brief tour where 200,000 small sturgeon (smolts) swim. In a larger tank, dozens of larger fish — up to 350 pounds or more — float lazily. These fish are raised for 10 to 15 years on organic feed before they’re harvested and we watch workers process the shiny black eggs. We taste the soft, briny caviar and understand why this black gold is in high demand. We buy some caviar and a 5-pound chunk of sturgeon.
    It’s getting dark, so we head south to Roberts Creek Provincial Park located just off Highway 101. This park doesn’t have hookups, but it has potable water, pit toilets and a dump station, and the 21 sites are big and deeply forested with fire rings and picnic tables. The park also has hiking trails and, at $18, it’s a bargain.

    Sea Kayaking and Boat Tours

    The next day, we meet our guide from Halfmoon Sea Kayaks. The only way to really appreciate the Sunshine Coast is to get on the water and kayaking its bays and inlets allows you to really see its beauty. We don life jackets, snug into the skinny crafts and paddle out. The water is so clear we can see purple, yellow and orange sea stars pasted on the rocks below. We paddle by waterfront homes — some modest, others palatial — and stretches of undeveloped land sculpted with rugged granite and dotted with artful orange madrone (arbutus) trees.
    We paddle for a few hours and then pull into Smuggler Cove, a protected inlet. We drag our boats onto shore and enjoy chicken sandwiches. On our return voyage, several harbor seals play peek-a-boo with our kayaks, their gray-and-white spotted heads and puppy-dog eyes peering soulfully at us just above the waves.
    After kayaking, we follow a friend’s suggestion and motor down a narrow road to the fishing village of Garden Bay on Pender Harbour. On the way, we stop at Flying Anvil Studio, an eclectic iron workshop selling giant garden gongs. The shop also offers glass, ceramic and wood artwork by local artists. There are many artists on the Sunshine Coast (a brochure lists more than 60) and, if an artist displays the special purple banner, it means “Come on in.”
    In Garden Bay, Fisherman’s Resort and Marina offers only four gravel-topped RV sites, two full-service, two water and electric. Fisherman’s has picnic tables, clean showers, laundry, and flat sites (maximum length 28 feet) and it’s a perfect “secret” spot. The owner calls his friend, who operates the Slow Cat, and Captain Paul takes us on a leisurely hour-long tour of Pender Harbour complete with colorful tales of pirates and rum running.
    By now we’ve worked up an appetite. Back in the motorhome, we cook up sturgeon steaks and sit under the awning listening to the water gently lap against boats in the marina.

    Artworks and Food

    The next morning we’re eager to see the work of more Sunshine Coast artists. They aren’t hard to find. Along Highway 101, there’s a grouping of yurts connected by wooden decks housing FibreWorks Studio & Gallery, the largest fiber-art collection on the Coast. Owner Yvonne Stowell shows us the gallery and teaching space. In one yurt, the Wednesday Weavers, a group of would-be fiber artists, are learning the ins and outs of weaving from a master.
    Just down the road in Madeira Park, we meet Cindy Cantelon, artist and owner of Copper Sky Gallery and Café. Cantelon has melded her love of food and passion for art into a thriving community meeting space. People come for freshly baked breads, scones, cookies, sandwiches, soups and salads and the artwork. The café walls are festooned with paintings and photos from local artists and oversized metal works by her artist-husband. We enjoy toasted Reuben sandwiches, freshly brewed coffee, and gluten-free brownies and wander the gallery-gift shop’s collection of glass, jewelry and Cantelon’s metal animals in green-and-gold patinas.
    We spend the rest of the afternoon looking for purple artist banners. We visit potters, painters, and glass artists and the work leaves us dazzled. Unfortunately, some home studios are located down tiny, gravel lanes or driveways our Class C can’t navigate so we pass them by.

    North to Powell River/Lund

    After another quiet night at Fisherman’s Marina, we head north. The temperature is in the 70s, but forest maples show the first blush of fall. Past Madeira Park, the road narrows, angles inland and becomes twistier. We pass Ruby Lake, a long freshwater lake where a lone water skier carves S’s in the mirrored surface.
    At the end of the highway, we hop a BC Ferry (Earls Cove-Saltery Bay) to the farthest end of the Coast. After the 50-minute ferry ride, we check out Saltery Bay Provincial Park, another forested campground perfect for RVs. We walk the dogs on a short hiking trail to Mermaid Cove, a popular dive site. We’re tempted to camp here, but a mountain lion has recently been spotted nearby so we press on.
    The northern part of the Coast is wilder and less inhabited. Homes and businesses are few and the roadway hugs the water with spectacular views. We pull into Powell River, an amalgam of four small communities. Westview, the first and largest, is the new Powell River and its downtown is a gathering of older buildings and quaint shops. On the outskirts are grocery stories, gas stations and modern conveniences.
    The heart of Westview is Willingdon Beach Park, a large green space with a band­stand, play area, waterpark and a rail bed converted to a walking path. Next door is Willingdon Beach Campsite, a big shady RV park. The Campsite offers large spaces with hookups. Sites on the beach, like ours, have electric only (no water), but great views. Tired from our travels, we walk the dogs and wander the beach.
    Our next stop is Powell River Historic Townsite, the historic mill town that started Powell River. The big pulp mill still operates, its giant metal towers looming over downtown belching steam. A handful of entrepreneurs are breathing life back into this historic place with a movie theater, a brewery, a restaurant and a hotel and café.
    Late in the afternoon, we drive to Lund, the last town on the Coast and Mile 0 of Highway 101 stretching from Canada to Mexico. Lund is little more than a dock and marina surrounded by a scattering of businesses, including Nancy’s Bakery where they make killer cinnamon buns, Pollen Sweaters where they knit “working sweaters” that last for years and Terracentric Coastal Adventures where we join outdoor educator Christine for a zodiac tour.
    We snug on life vests and board a rigid-bottom pontoon boat. It’s amazingly smooth and quiet as Captain Christine, an area native, motors onto the water. It’s hard to take in all the beauty of Desolation Sound — forested islands, craggy with granite, green with fir and cedar, golden with madrone trees. The sky and water have turned pewter and I pull my fleece around me against the chill.
    Christine knows the area’s geology and flora and fauna. She points out a low, light-green mossy-like growth. “That’s reindeer lichen,” she says. “Up close the branches look like reindeer antlers. With the recent rain, it’s puffed up like a sponge.”
    We motor past a pile of Stellar sea lions lounging on a small rock island, their big bodies robed in reddish or tawny yellow fur. These marine creatures, which are threatened in the North Pacific, can weigh more than 2,000 pounds. As we pass, mothers bark to their pups.
    Back on land, our stomachs sound like sea lions so we drive to Laughing Oyster, a favorite local eatery in Powell River. We’ll camp tonight at Garnet Rock Oceanside Resort, a full-service RV park 45 minutes south of Lund, with commanding water views. But for now, we’re enjoying sautéed halibut and shrimp with light-as-air Hollandaise as the sun sets over the water, toasting the Sunshine Coast, our secret place.

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    MICHAEL D. BATES | Hernando Today 


    The Family Motor Coach Association has severed longstanding ties with Hernando County and will not hold its annual RV rally at the airport next year.

     Jim Duncan, president of the Family Motor Coach Association Southeast Area, wrote to airport Manager Kevin Daugherty that the organization will not renew its lease for 2015.

     “It has certainly been a pleasure working with your staff and the county over the past 16 years,” Duncan wrote. “We all will hold Hernando County with fond memories and regret, due to (the) cost of temporary structures for the rally, that we had to move our venue.”

     County Commission Chairman Wayne Dukes said he is sorry to lose the rally but there was no way to accommodate the organizers’ needs, which included building a permanent multi-use building at Brooksville - Tampa Bay Regional Airport.

     Also, with only 300 or 400 people attending each year, it’s not worth spending the money, he said.

     “It was a mutual kind of parting of the ways,” Dukes said. “We couldn’t do all they wanted and they didn’t want to stay.”

     Earlier this year, Duncan presented the county with a list of demands for wholesale infrastructure changes to parts of the airport, a possible re-working of the airport’s master plan and a zoning modification.

     Dukes said fulfilling the FMCA’s requests would cost millions of dollars and Hernando County is in no position to spend that much money.

     County Administrator Len Sossamon, after reviewing Duncan’s demands, came up with a rough estimate of how much the utility and infrastructure would cost. He guessed $7 million to $8 million.

     And that doesn’t include an estimated $3 million more for one of the two buildings requested, he said.

     In its heyday, the annual RV rally was one of the largest tourism events in Hernando County and injected an estimated $10 million into the economy.

     But rally organizers have lost money due to a fall-off of members, a weak economy and escalating costs of staging the event.

     The FMCA in January voted 46-0 to move the rally to Sarasota’s fairgrounds, where there is a large indoor facility to house rally participants and vendors. But Hernando officials were hoping a last-minute change of heart would lure the event back to the county.

     Rally representatives said the move was made reluctantly because of increasing costs of the annual event.

    Conrad Kleinpeter, an FMCA regional vice president, has said this year’s rally, held in February, stood to lose $40,000.

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    Dave Adamson, June 26, 2014, Ezine Articles


    You can avoid unfixable problems and make an intelligent, wise investment once you know what to look for and when to walk away.


    Most motorhome sidewall exteriors are thin pieces of plywood with thinner sheets of fiberglass glued to it, the next layer is an inch to an inch and a half layer of Styrofoam covering yet another layer of plywood, often covered in vinyl. Over time or through damage, these layers begin to separate and is a very difficult, if not impossible, problem to amend. The easiest way to ascertain if the RV you are looking at has problems of delamination is by standing at the rear end of the vehicle and look down the side towards the front - if there are any bulges, or any areas where the siding is no longer attached to the inner layers - walk away. It will be more trouble than what it is worth.

    Water Leaks

    Depending on the severity of the water leak and where it is coming from, it could be a matter of simply replacing seals around the windows. However, if the water leak has resulted in water damage into the interior wall or the floor, you could be looking at extensive and expensive repairs. Check for staining around all windows, doors, the walls, any air conditioning units or vents, sky lights and other areas where water could seep. Sliding doors are notorious for causing water leakage issues. Fill up any tanks that come equipped on the vehicle to ensure there are no leaks. Exterior leaks are easier to get to and cheaper to fix than interior leaks.

    Electrical, Engine and Generators

    Depending on the type of RV you are buying, you may need to check to see if the generator is running in good condition. If the generator is shot, a replacement can be extremely costly and not worth it in the long run. Make sure all electrical systems are up to date, in good condition and running as it should. The same goes for any appliances that come with the motorhome. The bottom line is figuring out if there is a problem, how much it will cost to repair and weighing that against the purchasing price being asked for the vehicle. If you are knowledgeable and experienced in being able to fix these types of issues, it may be a good buy where as someone who would need to go to a licensed professional will have to figure in the cost of labor as well. Refrigerators and furnaces are often the most expensive items to fix or replace.

    You will also want to check out the battery, all cables, the engine if it has one and any mechanical components. If you are unsure what to look or check for, do not hesitate to have a mechanic look it over, it can save you potentially thousands of dollars.


    Look for motorhomes that have well taken care of interiors and upholstery. If the interior is shabby, dirty and unkempt, it can give you a good idea as to how the rest of the vehicle was maintained. If there are a few dirty spots, it can be relatively cheap to replace or it may not be a big deal to you. If there are any fold down tables or beds, make sure the mechanical arms are in good shape and function as they should.


    Tires should be in great condition, free of significant cracks and any sign of dry rot. While tires do not seem like they would be that expensive to replace, on a standard size class A motorhome, replacing six to eight tires can run upwards of three to four thousand dollars.

    Buying a motorhome pre-owned can save you a substantial amount of money over buying brand new. Knowing what to look for can ensure you are buying a quality vehicle.

    Talk to other RV owners who have experience in buying used and ask them any pitfalls they encountered or advice they have. Taking the time to look for major problems can save you from making a costly mistake and being able to wisely invest in a motorhome that can bring you pleasure for years to come.

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    There's No Place Like Home

    Stephanie Henkel

    There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays is one of the sweetest and most loved songs of the holiday season. Those of you who have deep roots in your hometown and a lovely home to decorate during the holidays may become teary eyed hearing this song when you're far from home. You may wonder about living in an RV during the holidays and feel sorry for those of us who live a life on the road.

    Home Is Where You Park It

    One thing that full time RVers learn early is that we haven't left our homes; we've taken our homes with us. When we sell our "sticks and bricks" houses and pack our favorite belongings in our RVs, we make a commitment to our new home on wheels. Each of us personalizes our motor home or trailer differently. Some will redecorate with pictures and pretty curtains, others will add soft afghans and flowers to the table. Our cats, dogs and birds ride along in style and are treated as well as most people treat their children. We carry our music with us, and we're never without our cell phones and the computers that keep us in close touch with relatives and friends. We still have our books and our hobbies.

    We are just as comfortable in our queen sized beds and comfortable furniture as anyone in a traditional house. Our homes are with us wherever we go and we truly believe the motto of many RVers that "Home is Where You Park It."