Mar 31, 2007

How To Become An RVing Snow Bird

By Jane Kenny RV Lifestyle Specialist

A recreational vehicle is perfect for retired snow birds who want to live in their established home during spring and summer and move to a warmer climate during the winter months, or visa versa. More often than not, the trips back and forth are planned for a slow relaxing drive, generally not the most direct route, but rather one with inviting and interesting stops along the way.

Popular seasonal destinations for RVing snow birds looking for a place to roost are Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. In Florida, snow birds are all over the central and southern parts of the state. In Texas, they head for the Rio Grand Valley region and in Arizona, it’s the Valley of the Sun – Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa area. The population in Mesa alone swells by more than 200,000 during the winter season. Flocks of snow birds are also migrating to the southern Arizona towns of Tucson, Casa Grade and Yuma. In California, RVing snow birds generally land in Imperial, Riverside and San Diego Counties.

When snow birds migrate to the alternate seasonal home base, they drive there in the RV, set it up and reside in it for the six months or whatever part of the year they will be there.

RVing snow birds congregate in RV Parks featuring activities designed specifically for the 55 and over crowd. Golf, tennis, horseshoes, shuffleboard, bocce ball, billiards and bicycling are among the recreational activities. Many age-qualified parks can be classified as upscale resorts with amenities such as a pool, spa, fitness center, restaurants, lounge, hair salon, bingo and live shows. They also feature entertainment, special events, dancing and meeting rooms for clubs of varying interests such as computers, book club, arts and crafts, a community orchestra and more. Snow birds can rent or own their sites at these parks.

About the author: Jane Kenny’s second book, RV RETIREMENT, How To Travel Part-Time or Full-Time In A Recreational Vehicle, is available from Roundabout Publications at (1-800-455-2207) or at
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Mar 30, 2007

RVers enjoy the comforts of home when traveling

According to the Chicago Tribune, more travelers are making their RVs feel like home, with flat screen TVs, family photographs on the wall, and kitchens almost identical their counterparts in a suburban home.
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Mar 29, 2007

Fleetwood RVs celebrate 20 years on The Price is Right

For over twenty years, Fleetwood RVs have been featured as prizes on the CBS game show The Price is Right.

The Auto Channel reports on Fleetwood Industries marking the occasion.
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Mar 28, 2007

RV ordinance under review in Antioch, California

The Contra Costa Times reports that an ordinance that restricted the parking of RVs and boats is under review by the city council.
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Mar 27, 2007

Coachmen to introduce RVs that use solar and biodiesel power

The Environmental Leader reports on efforts by RV manufacturers to make RVs more environmentally friendly.
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Mar 26, 2007

RV industry optimistic about future sales

How much impact are gas prices having on RV sales? According a story on Sun, gas prices are having little effect on dedicated RV owners. The RVIA expects a modest decrease in sales, but expects 2007 to be the fourth best in the past 30 years.

Many RVers feel the flexibility and comfort of RV travel far outweighs any pinch they feel at they fuel pump. To offset the impact of fuel costs, RV travelers are traveling to destinations closer to home and staying longer in parks.

While retirees are still the bulk of RV buyers, younger buyers in their 30s are showing interest RVing and expanding the market for RV dealers and maunfacturers.

What do you think? Have fuel costs changed your RV plans? Do you plan to buy a new RV in the future? Tell us your story and leave a comment.
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Mar 20, 2007

Get Ready, Here Come The Boomers! How RV retirees will change the face of camping - Part 2

By Jane Kenny - RV Lifestyle Specialist

Read Part 1
Today’s RV retirees won’t be low-budget type campers tooling on down the road in a little motor home with wiggling plastic hula girls on the dashboard. No longer are they the older folks perched in vehicles high above the road. Nowadays they are yuppies, former flower children with well-funded 401K’s, traveling comfortably in their high-end, modern “big rig” motor homes with price tags to match.

With new, roomy RVs on the market – this mode of travel is an attractive option, not only for retirees who have had some experience with camping, but for those who never camped before. Motor homes and fifth-wheel trailers have evolved to vehicles with double, triple and even quadruple slideouts. Many of these new RVs are aptly named COWs – condos on wheels. It can easily be said, “This is not your father’s camper.”

The price tag on a new RV is not the same as the price of your father’s tent or pop-up, either. However, Baby Boomers bring to their retirement years an unmatched level of financial independence. Consequently many can afford RVs that price out well into six figures. Many Baby Boomers who never thought they’d own a gas-guzzling motor home are considering the purchase in order to fulfill their dream of traveling the country.

Retirees who want to travel extensively are attracted to RVs because:
  • Schlepping suitcases in and out of hotels is a thing of the past. Their clothes are with them, neatly hanging in closets or folded neatly in drawers, in their home on wheels.
  • They don’t have to deal with the hassles of air travel, namely passenger screening, changing planes and being at the mercy of tight schedules and weather delays.
  • RVers can set their own schedule…travel when they feel like it and stay wherever they want for as long as they want.
  • They sleep in their own bed and have their favorite pillows. They are sure the bathroom is clean. They have a kitchen and enjoy home-cooked meals on board.
  • The “dream vacation of a lifetime,” one that lasts many months, even years, is affordable and achievable in an RV.
Current market research data show that RVs are increasingly viewed as status symbols. Large motor homes and fifth-wheel trailers are in vogue these days after being out of fashion for most of the 1980’s and 90’s. Boomers show a penchant for retiring earlier, traveling more and doing both in style.

A growing number of high income people prefer to spend their leisure time in high end coaches. While it’s true that they may spend a night or two en route in a campground, their final destination is always an ambiance RV resort in popular vacations spots such as Palm Springs, Hilton Head or Naples. Golf and gaming destination resorts are becoming as popular fishing destinations for RVers. Casino resorts throughout the country are scrambling to add RV Parks to meet the demand. Many newer RV Parks are quick to identify themselves as “ambiance resorts.”

Boomers who can afford to pay for it will demand luxury in their home on wheels as well as at their destination resorts.

About the author: Jane Kenny’s second book, RV RETIREMENT, How To Travel Part-Time or Full-Time In A Recreational Vehicle, is available from Roundabout Publications at (1-800-455-2207) or at
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Mar 19, 2007

Get Ready, Here Come The Boomers! How RV retirees will change the face of camping - Part 1

By Jane Kenny - RV Lifestyle Specialist

By the year 2010 one-third of the population in the U.S. will be over the age of 50. That means the Baby Boomers – all 76 million of them – will be retired or on the brink of retirement. Retirees in the 21st century are healthier and will live longer than their parents and grandparents did. During their retirement years, Baby Boomers want to be active, enjoy life and fulfill dreams. For many (if not most) traveling is a big part of the retirement dream.

Despite high gasoline prices and low miles-per-gallon, retirees are still heading out to the open road in recreational vehicles. Why?
  • They want to fulfill a dream of a lifetime – traveling and seeing the county during retirement.
  • The overall cost of traveling in an RV is not as expensive as other modes of travel.
Recent surveys indicate that Boomers will revolutionize society’s concept of retirement. Baby Boomers are largely ignoring the traditional model of a sedentary retirement. They opt for an active retirement lifestyle and expect to make time for travel…lots of travel!

Retirement on the open road? Many Boomers consider this to be an idea whose time has come. All over the nation retirees will be heading out in a new wave of RVs. And this will change the public perception of “camping.”

Camping holds a special appeal for Baby Boomers. They were the hippies of the 60’s in the beat-up old VW bus with the peace symbol on it. They were the ones who camped out in tents or under the stars, the environmentalists who wanted to get back to nature. By heading out to the open road, they come full circle to the free-wheeling days of their youth. But they are somewhat older – and richer – now. These days, their campers aren’t tents or VW buses. True, they want to get back to nature, but with more creature comforts. Enter the “big rig,” the 21st century Boomer version of the camper.

To be continued...

About the author: Jane Kenny’s second book, RV RETIREMENT, How To Travel Part-Time or Full-Time In A Recreational Vehicle, is available from Roundabout Publications at (1-800-455-2207) or at
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Mar 6, 2007

Old RVs in Washington state could be shelters for storm victims reports the state of Washington is asking owners of old RVs to donate them to storm victims, for use as temporary shelters.

Storms in Washington State have left residents homeless and state and federal aid has been slow in coming.

The state is asking for Washington residents to donate old RVs in good condition to help the storm victims. The donations are tax-deductible.
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Mar 5, 2007

Hair salon uses RV to expand business

Too busy to schedule a haircut? That is no problem if you live in the Richmond, Virginia area. The Richmond Times Dispatch features a story on a hair salon that uses an RV to reach busy clients.

Hair on Wheels is a service that brings an RV to the parking lot of office parks, giving employees access hair salon service without having to drive.

Companies find the RV hair service works for them as well, making the lives of their employees easier.

Do you know of a business that is using RVs to reach more customers? Tell us your story and leave a comment below.
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Mar 2, 2007

Five tips to saving money on the road

RV features five tips to saving money while traveling in your RV.

Simple practices can save you money on your RV trip, ranging from keeping your tires properly inflated for better gas mileage to using plastic instead of paper dinnerware.

Packing only what you need can save weight in your RV and use less gas.
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Mar 1, 2007

Safety Tips for Blacktop Boondocking

By Jane Kenny - RV Lifestyle Specialist

Question: Why do you suppose so many RVs are attracted to casino parking lots?

Answer: It’s the free overnight parking.

RVers looking for a place to “blacktop boondock” (dry camping-parking lot style) soon discover that there aren’t too many places that allow free overnight parking.

Most states discourage overnight parking at interstate rest areas because of security concerns. Shopping centers typically ask RVs to leave at the end of the business day. And even the 24-hour supercenters, that generally welcome RVs, have posted “No Overnight Parking” signs at many of their locations. You can usually stay overnight at a truck stop, but their parking areas tend to be very noisy.

Casino parking lots, on the other hand, are hospitable. Casinos throughout the country welcome adult campers because they know they might get additional business. And the travelers get a quiet, safe spot to rest for the night without being hassled. Since most casinos are open 24/7, security personnel are on duty all night.

Here are a few safety and security tips for people who want to take advantage of the free overnight parking available at most at casinos:

1.) After you pull into the parking lot, check with security to verify that you can stay overnight and ask where they want you to park.

2.) Limit your free overnight stay to a single 24-hour period.

3.) If there is no designated area for large vehicles, park on the perimeter of the lot.
Don’t take up spaces intended for cars. (Note that a few casinos, particularly those in crowded urban areas, do not have the space to accommodate RVs. Consequently, the first order of business after you pull in should be #1 as listed above.)

4.) Don’t abuse the property owner’s hospitality. During our travels we’ve observed RVers who act like they own the place and put out the awning, barbeque and chairs. Remember, a parking lot is not a campground. If there’s enough space, it’s OK to put out a slideout, but restrict your activity to the inside of your vehicle. Be considerate of the casino owners who have given permission for you to park free for a limited number of hours on their property.

5.) Do not leave your motor home unattended overnight or for any extended period of time. This may seem like simple, common sense advice, but you’d be surprised at how many folks park their expensive units in a parking lot and then go off to visit friends for a few days. If you are foolish enough to do this, don’t be surprised upon your return to find your unattended vehicle has been towed away.

6.) If you want to blacktop boondock at a casino that also has a fee-pay campground as part of the facility, it is essential to check with security to ask about your options for staying overnight. Some casinos will allow you to stay for free in the parking lot anyway. But there are a number of casinos that require you to pull into their RV Park and pay the fee.

“Blacktop boondocking” at a casino is free and convenient. These days casinos are located all over the country, many are within a mile or two of an interstate exit.

You can find these casinos identified in the popular guide to RV-Friendly Casinos entitled Casino Camping, available at
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