February 9-13 boat and RV shows

Looking for a new boat or RV? Interested in checking out the latest accessories? Here are the major boat and RV shows the weekend of February 9-13.

St. Louis Boat & Sportshow – February 9-13, 2011

Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation, and Camping Show – February 10-13, 2011

Richmond (VA) Camping RV Expo – February 11-13, 2011

Las Vegas (NV) Sportsmen’s RV and Travel Show – February 11-13, 2011

This weekend’s RV shows

Louisville Boat, RV and Sportshow – January 26-30, 2011

San Antonio Boat and RV Show – January 27-30, 2011

Calgary RV Exposition and Sale – January 27-30, 2011

Halifax RV Show – January 27-30, 2011

Ocala (FL) RV Show – January 27-30, 2011

Central Gulf Coast Boat, Sport, and RV Show – January 28-30, 2011

16 Biggest Upcoming RV Shows in North America

Here are the biggest RV shows hitting the North American continent over the next few weeks.

New Jersey RV and Camping Show – January 21-23, 2011

Iowa Boat, RV and Vacation Show – January 21-23, 2011

Northeast RV & Camping Show (Hartford, CT) – January 21-23, 2011

Quartzsite Sports, Vacation, and RV Show (Quartzsite, AZ) – January 22-30, 2011

Louisville Boat, RV and Sportshow – January 26-30, 2011

San Antonio Boat and RV Show – January 27-30, 2011

Calgary RV Exposition and Sale – January 27-30, 2011

Halifax RV Show – January 27-30, 2011

Ocala (FL) RV Show – January 27-30, 2011

Central Gulf Coast Boat, Sport, and RV Show – January 28-30, 2011

Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation, and Camping Show – February 10-13, 2011

Richmond (VA) Camping RV Expo – February 11-13, 2011

Las Vegas (NV) Sportsmen’s RV and Travel Show – February 11-13, 2011

Kansas Sports, Boat, and Travel Show – February 17-20, 2011

Atlantic City Camping & RV Show – February 25-27, 2011

North Carolina RV and Camping Show – February 25-27, 2011

What is overlanding?


Thought to be a term of Australian origin, overlanding refers to extended travel by land, often with elements of adventure, discovery, or self-reliance.

Overlanding can also refer to an extended excursion taking the “road less traveled” – finding  a path away from tourist spots and population centers.

Overlanding can take place on foot, bicycle, motorcycle, car, truck, or RV. Some overlanding involves vehicles such as buses, RVs, or safari trucks that have been outfitted specifically for living long periods of time in a self-reliant fashion.

Individuals can be overlanders, and one can also travel as part of  a group, or as part of a guided tour.  An overland tour may involve backpacking and hiking, a combination of stays in hostels or hotels, onboard an RV, and in remote wilderness camp sites.

Some view overlanding as a way to “get off the grid” or “unplug” from everyday society and see the world in a new way.  As overlanding can involve travel to multiple countries, the opportunities for learning, relaxation, and escape are plentiful.

Extended travel by train can also be referred to as overlanding, such as travel via the Trans-Siberian railway in Russia, or the Indian Pacific Railway in Australia.

Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa are common places for overlanding. Safari-oriented overlanding is common in Africa among those seeking adventure and first hand experiences in the wild.  In the Americas, a popular overland route is from San Diego, CA to Baja California, and down through Central America.

The 13th-century Italian explorer Marco Polo, known for his epic journey by land through Asia to China, is often thought of as the archetypal overlander.

The term has been adopted by campers and RVers who spend extended periods of time traveling over land, lodging mainly in their tents and RVs.  The Internet has given rise to sites containing information supporting this kind of adventure.

Overlanding is a common theme in film. For example, the 2008 movie Transiberian starring Emily Mortimer, Woddy Harrelson, Kate Mara, Ben Kingsley, and Eduardo Noriega is the story of an American couple who take an overland adventure from Bejing to Moscow via the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

(Image courtesy freeimages.co.uk)

RV Security, RV Alarms

Staying safe in your RV, and keeping your RV safe and secure, is a concern for all RV owners. There are a variety of RV safety and security options available on the marketplace today.

Smoke Alarm

No RV or motorhome should be without a basic smoke detector. Look for smoke detectors that specifically have a UL rating for RV use. Features typically include alarm mute, 9-volt battery operation, and low battery signal. Many combination smoke/carbon monoxide (CO) detecting units are also available.

Example on Amazon.com: MTI Industries SA-775 9-V Smoke Alarm

Theft Prevention

If you are purchasing a new RV, and are interested in a theft prevention system or theft alarm system, remember to budget for the cost of this system. Inquire with your RV dealer to see whether they offer theft prevention or theft alarm systems.

Aftermarket wireless burglar alarms designed for RVs help protect your RV from unwanted intruders.   These alarms can blast a siren and also alert you by calling your cell phone to warn you of the intrusion.  These systems have wireless sensors for doors and windows, along with a control panel, siren, and remote control units.

Shop RV alarm systems on Amazon.com

Motion Detector

Many RV owners are concerned about the security of their RV even when it’s parked at home. A simple motion detector can help alert the RV owner that an unauthorized person has entered their RV.  Many of these motion sensor/receiver combinations are relatively inexpensive and enable the receiver to be placed up to 400 feet from the motion detector.

Shop motion detectors on Amazon.com

Propane/LP Gas

Since most RVs use some type of propane/LP gas for cooking, LP gas detectors are available specifically for RVs. Look for a model that has a 3 year or longer warranty, and make sure the unit is rated for use in recreational vehicles.

Shop RV LP gas detectors on Amazon.com

Philadelphia RV Show – Greater Philadelphia January 2011

Greater Philadelphia Expo Center will host the 2011 Greater Philadelphia RV Show in Oaks, PA January 13-16, 2011.

Features RV trailer and motorhome dealers, campgrounds, and camping and other camping, traveling, and outdoor accessories.  Tour 2011 Class A, Class C, Travel Trailers, Fifth Wheels, hybrid trailers, pop ups, and more, and take advantage of special show pricing.

Brands include


Forest River






Itaska Nation





…and more.

Dealers include

Berks-Montgomery Camping Center, Boyertown, PA

Fretz Enterprises, Inc., Souderton, PA

Grumbine’s RV Center/Camping World, Harrisburg, PA

Indian Valley Camping Center, Souderton, PA

Media Camping Center, Hatfield, PA

RV Value Mark, Lititz, PA

Spallco Vehicle Sales, Newark, DE

Stoltzfus RV’s and Marine, West Chester, PA


Tickets $8

Children under 12 – free


Greater Philadelphia Expo Center

100 Station Avenue

Oaks, PA 19456


Thursday, January 13th – 12:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Friday, January 14th – 12:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Saturday, January 15th – 10:00 am – 8:30 pm
Sunday, January 16th – 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Buy RV Accessories on Amazon.com

Travel trailer versus pop up trailer

Many people looking to get into camping or purchase their first RV often wonder whether they should invest in a pop up trailer or a travel trailer. This article explores some of the considerations.

First of all pop up trailers cost less than travel trailers. A pop up camper is a relatively simple trailer that folds down when being trailered or not in use. When at the campsite, the top of the trailer opens and sleeping areas pop out. Pop up trailers weigh less and therefore don’t require a large tow vehicle, and most can be towed by an SUV or light pickup truck. Also, your vehicle will use less gas towing a lighter trailer. Pop up trailers can offer many of the features of travel trailers, including bathrooms with sink, toilet, and sometimes a shower, air conditioning for cooling and heating, kitchenette with stove, sink, and refrigerator, plus TV and stereo sound system. A new pop up camper will set you back $6,000 or more, whereas travel trailers start at $14,000 and up. There are often many used pop up campers on the market; a used pop up camper in good condition may only run $3,000.

Travel trailers, by comparison, are larger, heavier, more expensive, and typically require a larger tow vehicle, but offer more and pop up campers in the way of interior space, conveniences, and amenities, and this translates to more comfortable camping adventures. Some travel trailers with bunks sleep 10 people or more. Some offer multiple rooms, which can be helpful when you’re camping with kids or another family. They often have more spacious kitchens with more countertop space and larger refrigerators and cooking appliances. Due to their larger size and weight, most travel trailers require towing by a 1/2 ton pickup truck or larger, with some travel trailers requiring a larger and more expensive 3/4 ton tow vehicle. The cost of a new tow vehicle meeting these requirements could set you back $40,000. Most, but not all travel trailers cannot be towed by an SUV. Small travel trailers are more easily towed, but do not offer the same amount of space as conventional travel trailers, and most have a smaller sleeping capacity.

Hybrid trailers fit somewhere beween pop up campers and proper travel trailers. They have expandable sides that increase sleeping capacity and provide additional living space. These can be easier to tow than travel trailers, and some of the lighter ones can by towed by an SUV.

If you’re having difficulty deciding between the two types of trailers, and you have an appropriate tow vehicle available to you, you may want to consider renting both types of trailers and trying them out. There are many RV rental facilities throughout North America. Renting can help uncover potential needs and wants that you may not have considered previously. As you contemplate your decision, talk to family members and friends about experiences they may have with RVs.

What is boondocking?

While there is some disagreement over the definition, the term boondocking usually refers to free camping.

The term boondock was first used by U.S. servicemen serving in the Philipines. It is from a Tagalog word “bundog” meaning mountain. U.S. servicemen used it to refer to a rural, remote, or bushy area. The slang term “boonies” evolved from this word.

In today’s parlance the term boondocking is usually associated with the RV community. RVers are said to be boondocking if they stay in a location (such as on public lands) that does not provide utility hookups such as water, electric, and sewer for their trailer or motorhome.  This is also sometimes refered to as “dry camping.”

The term boondocking may apply when campers are vacationing in their RV. However, some who live in their RVs may also engage in boondocking as a way to save the expense of staying in an RV park.

There are many boondocking guides available on the Internet, some even listing GPS coordinates of sites where boondocking occurs.  In North America, there are many boondocking sites throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

In the U.S., Walmart stores allow RVs to park in their parking lots overnight, free of charge. Some refer to this as boondocking, while others do not.

In rare cases, one may find free RV camp sites that offer electrical hookup, minimizing the need for a generator and the fuel needed to power it.

Boondocking, especially for extended periods of time, requires considerable preparation, including planning a source of electricity such as an RV generator, cooking facilities, potable water source, and more.

Many boondockers are becoming more interested in alternative energy sources and going “green,” such as via solar panel generators that provide gas-free, turn-key electricity to help run appliances such as TVs and microwaves on board an RV.

Buy The Complete Book of Boondock RVing: Camping Off the Beaten Path on Amazon.com

Top new travel trailers for 2011

Despite the recession, RV makers are still rolling out new models for 2011. They are also making a conscious effort to maintain 2010 pricing, which translates to outstanding value for families who enjoy the outdoors and are looking to upgrade their travel trailer or get into their first travel trailer.

The 2011 Jayco Jay Flight Swift comes in 23′ and 29′ versions, with standard features such as Concord Cherry cabinets, under bed storage, ball bearing drawer guides, and electric powered slideouts. It also features many structural upgrades including galvanized steel wheel wells and 5/8 inch tongue and groove plywood main floor decking. Other standard items include outside shower, oven, 6.3 cu. f.t double-door refrigerator, and multi-media sound system with AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 input. All Jayco’s products are now “certified green” through TRA Certification, Inc., for use of sustainable materials, environmentally friendly production qualities, energy efficient components and materials, and reduction of waste. Unloaded weight is 2915 lbs., and GVWR is 5,900 on the 23′ model; the 29′ model has an unloaded weight of 4550 lbs and a GVWR of 6500 lbs.  23′ model MSRP is $14,214.

Claiming the lowest tow weight in its class, the Forest River R-Pod is only 6.5 feet wide, meaning no special rear view mirrors are needed, and even vehicles with Class II hitches can tow it.  It offers eight floor plans, including 5 with slideout, as well as three expandable models. Features including 4.2 cu. ft. 3-way refrigerator, two burner range top, 55 amp converter, a 20# LP tank w/cover, and 14″ radial trailer tires. Model 173 MSRP: $17,756.

Available in limited dealer stock only is the 2011 Cougar X-Lite 29BHS, which sports double bunks with trundle bed in a slideout for added sleeping prednisone capacity and extra floor space. Twin entry doors (living room and master bed) make exit and entry efficient and convenient. It also features a bath and a half. A slideout in the living area incorporates dinette and sofa. With a shipping weight of 7876 lbs. and hitch weight of 715 lbs., this Cougar falls into range of larger travel trailers best towed by a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton vehicle.  MSRP $30,854.

Buy RV Accessories on Amazon.com

RV Generators

There may be some instances where you’re planning to camp remotely where electric hookups aren’t available, and an RV generator would come in handy to help power electric appliances such as air conditioners, microwaves, TVs, satellite receivers, radios, or cell phone chargers at your camp site.

Typical applications of RV generators include Class A & Class C motorhomes, travel trailers, sport utility trailers, pop up trailers, fifth wheel trailers, horse trailers, and industrial vehicles.

Look for a fuel efficient model – this will help reduce costs and enable you to use your generator longer in remote locations where extra fuel may not be available.

Generator noise is another important thing to consider. Many campgrounds have restrictions on the amount of noise prednisone a generator can produce. Many campgrounds that offer electrical hookups do not permit the use of generators. Some campgrounds have dedicated sites or groups of sites where generators may be used. These and others may have restrictions on hours when generators can be used. Others only permit the use of installed generators – ruling out the use of portable generators entirely.

There are two types of RV generators: onboard (mount permanently inside your trailer or motorhome), and portable. If you do not have a place to install an onboard generator on your RV, you’ll need a portable generator. In this case, you’ll need to think about how you will transport the portable generator. Some choose to carry the generator in the bed of a pickup nizagara truck. Others mount the generator to the outside rear of the trailer or motorhome.

RV generators may be gasoline, propane, or diesel powered. A 4000-5000 watt generator should be sufficient to power multiple electrical items at your campsite and onboard your trailer or motorhome.

Some popular makers of RV generators are Generac, Honda, Yamaha, Kipor, and Cummins Onan.

Search RV Generators on Amazon.com

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