Page 1 | 888.626.7800

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RV liVing

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2 The 2011 American Coach Luxury Line is Here. Reconnect with your I N N E R



C H I L D .


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A Pioneering Spirit.

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The 2011 American Coach line of luxury motor homes are arriving at Lazydays – the nation’s top-selling American Coach dealer. Built on the impressive Liberty Chassis foundation, the entire American Coach line features 30” deep slide boxes creating the largest interior living space available today. 2011 also marks the debut of American Revolution – the newest member of the American Coach family. Come on down and experience the luxury for yourself today.

For more information, visit us at or call us at 800-854-1344. RV liVing

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p. 17 p. 30


p. 40 p. 35, 28, 38


Bok Tower Gardens


A Taste of Tuscany


The Mean, Green RVing Runners

A hidden treasure nestled in central Florida


Two engines, One Mission


Why Zach Walks

A complete rundown on the new 2010 diesel emission standards We check in with 12-year-old philanthropist Zach Bonner

Peer into the Pinewood Estate at Bok Tower


Troubleshootin’ With ernie

20 Camping Unplugged


no More Driving Miss Lazy

22 Road Review


They ran a marathon a day for 365 days followed by a green RV Learn to locate your perfect getaway spot Sam the Internet man heads out in his RV and gives an Internet review

24 One Family indivisible A family tree full of RVs and many memories

28 Creating Custom Dreams Almost a dream coach, they just needed a shower

44 47

Get the LED out: learn to install cooler bulbs Women take control behind the RV wheel

Dogumentary Doggone Green products for your favorite pet.

RV events What is happening in the RV community

RV Details See RVs in a whole new light | 888.626.7800

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log On and Fill 18 up This magazine is chock-full of travel destinations, repair tips and stories about other RVers living the dream of travel. But the fun only keeps coming. Visit online to find more good stuff for passionate RVers.

Travel to See the Leaves Our top East Coast locations to see fall’s magic show.

Click RV Living

Tow Vehicle and emission Standards If you are in the market for a new vehicle to tow your RV, you will want to read this.

Click RV Tips

Troubleshootin’ With ernie In this how-to video, watch Ernie cook up a faucet upgrade.

Click RV Toolbox

Places to Go Spooky hills, geocache savings and an impressive tower tour in Lake Wales, Florida.

Click RV Living + You Contest Snail mail, e-mail or forum post a photo of you and a copy of for a chance to win $100 Visa gift card or a chance to be published in the magazine.

Click Forums E-mail: Post: click on RV Lifestyle, click on CONTEST Mail: | 6130 Lazydays Blvd. Seffner, FL 33584 (photos will not be returned)

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You relax while we do the work. Lazydays is an authorized Bosch brake recall facility and is ready to assist you with the recall recently announced by Workhorse. The palettes of repair parts have arrived and our service experts are standing by to fix the problem. We have 273 service bays and over 100 RVIA/RVDA certified/master certified technicians. Our mission is to provide peace of mind to every RVer who has their service done here. Please call us now to schedule your Bosch brake recall service appointment.

Get a free night’s stay at our campground when you have your Bosch brake recall service done at Lazydays. All our campground sites are paved and equipped with full hookups, WiFi, cable TV and morning newspaper delivery. We have a beautiful swimming pool, tennis courts and even ping pong tables. Plus we invite you to enjoy complimentary breakfast and lunch in our CafÊ during your stay.


If you love RVing . . . this is home.

Call 877.406.9021

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ADVeRTiSinG Advertising Director, liz lema 866.317.4012 For advertising inquires:


Taking Care of Our Future On a recent weekend stroll here at the Lazydays RV Campground, I saw something that made me realize yet again how great the RV lifestyle is. The evening sun was low in the sky providing a warm glow that shined on a father and son playing catch. I stood for a moment and watched as the young boy’s ear-to-ear smile grew with every fastball he snagged from the air. I could feel his father’s pride as his son fired each throw back with greater velocity and readied himself for another with increasing confidence. At another time in another place, the father may have a meeting to attend, e-mails to answer or responsibilities to meet. The boy may have commitments of his own with school or another structured activity. But for that splendid moment, father and son spent the last hour of the day enjoying the outdoors. They laughed. They loved. They were together. As the sun dipped below the horizon and the boy skipped home to his family’s RV, I got a chance to speak to the proud father. He told me how, like many RVers, his love for RVing began when he was a kid and his family embarked on adventures of all sorts in their travel trailer. “I didn’t realize it then,” said the man, “but looking back, those trips were some of our family’s greatest and most memorable moments.” He paused as if his mind saw an image of joy from long

Coordinator, Ronda Baer 866.531.6827 For customer service inquires:

ago. “Our RV introduced us to a world I would come to cherish my whole life,” said the man as he watched his son become smaller and smaller in the distance. “My parents loved the outdoors and taught me how to respect nature. Now, I’m teaching my boy the same and someday he’ll pass the love for the outdoors on to his children.” Our goal at is to entertain and educate the RVing community the same way this man guides his son. By sharing stories about our love for the RV lifestyle and the great outdoors, we continually strive to ensure that the world we leave to our children will be even greater than the one we inherited. In this issue of, we offer a few ideas on how you can adapt your RV lifestyle to help keep the outdoors pristine so the RVers of tomorrow will have the chance to play catch with their kids in a world that’s as beautiful as the one they shared with their parents. A genuine love for the natural world is something all RVers share. We welcome your ideas and invite you to visit us online at where you can share your thoughts on how we can keep our waterways clear, our fields green and our outdoors even more spectacular than they were when we first discovered them. Enjoy the Great Outdoors (and the issue),

Photo: Jeff Fay. Orange Groves captured atop Bok Tower Managing editor and Art Director: Ann Cosentino, All rights reserved © 2010 Lazydays® 6130 Lazy Days Boulevard, Seffner, FL 33584-2968 BetterRVing is published four times per year by Lazydays. no responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs, which must be accompanied by a self-addressed envelope with return postage. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.


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John Horton Lazydays, Chief Executive Officer | Fall 2010

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a hidden treasure


Written by Adam Porter Photography by Jeff Fay


ajestic. Serene. Breathtaking. It has been called a sanctuary, a memorial, the American Taj Mahal. But when Edward W. Bok broke ground on what would become Bok Tower Gardens, his goal was to create a venue of unrivaled and eternal beauty. Eight decades later, Edward Bok’s beautiful dream continues to offer a signature peace, tranquility and natural opulence. This artistic, architectural and botanical marvel is the result of the combined efforts of the most creative minds of the day and a small seed of wisdom passed down from Bok’s grandmother: “Make you the world a bit better and more beautiful because you have lived in it.”

History of Bok Tower Young Edward took this message to heart, but it would be years before he would act on it. As a six-year-old immigrant from the Netherlands, Bok was a stranger to the language, customs and culture of his adopted country. He learned quickly and grew to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and successful publisher. But, though business was in his blood, so too

RV liVing

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were the childhood memories of peace and beauty carried with him across the Atlantic from his home. Despite a growing reputation as an advocate for humanitarian causes and world peace, Bok was not yet the benevolent visionary with the ultimate green thumb. To his neighbors in the exclusive Florida resort community of Mountain Lake, he was just another wealthy winter resident, albeit one who enjoyed the quiet solitude of long walks in the woods. Bok especially loved hiking in the countryside near the Mountain Lake community with its endless panorama of rolling hills, virgin forests, citrus groves and prairie grassland tucked away in the peaks and valleys of Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge. In the heart of this country stood Iron Mountain at nearly 300 feet above sea level, one of the highest points in Florida. The venue offered dramatic sunsets and an ambiance that, according to Bok, “touched the soul with its beauty and quiet.” It was on one of these jaunts that Edward Bok first grasped the idea

that would become Bok Tower Gardens. He foresaw a park, blooming year-round, and a tower stretching into the sky. He heard the chimes of his childhood in Holland where the bells of the carillon rang from watchtowers all across the lowlands.

the man some have said poured the last and best of himself into his dream of beauty, peace and tranquility. There are those who claim his spirit still haunts the grounds, strolling the garden paths and standing on the ridge that was his inspiration.

To bring his vision to life, Bok enlisted the talents of two leading architects and a host of masterful artisans. Acclaimed architect Milton Medary would design the Singing Tower and Frederick Olmstead Jr., whose father had conceived New York’s Central Park, the gardens. Sculptor Lee Lawrie, metalworker Samuel Yellin, tile worker J. H. Allen and John Taylor Bellfounders would round out a crew Bok credited with “being the geniuses who carried my conception to realization.”

In the decades since his death, tens of thousands of visitors from around the world have been blessed by his vision. Still, despite its popularity, the Singing Tower remains a secret getaway — an escape into peace and beauty that repeat guests and appreciative members guard with quiet reverence and genuine gratitude for the unique way it touches each of us.

On Feb. 1, 1929, as Bok, his team of architects and artisans and other luminaries from around the world looked on, President Calvin Coolidge delivered the dedication address. Less than a year later, Edward Bok passed away. He was buried at the foot of the tower, a fitting tribute to

Visiting the Tower This revelation begins the moment you turn off the highway. The road leading back to the gardens winds through citrus groves, which offer a tangible barrier between the outside world and Edward Bok’s Eden. Parking is spacious and free, and don’t worry if you came in your RV, parking spaces are designed to accomodate large rigs. continued on page 12 | 888.626.7800

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Facts on the tower: > Built in two years by architect Milton B. Medary > 211 steps will take you to the top > The front door constructed of brass and wood, weighs over 1,000 lbs.

Facts on the coach > 2011 Tiffin Allegro Bus: 37 feet long and about 345 sq. ft. See inside on page 48 > Learn about new emission standards on page 30 > 450HP Cummins engine with 4 slides | 888.626.7800

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“I come here to find myself. It is so easy to get lost in the world.” -John Burroughs

continued from page 9

Your tour begins in the elegant visitor’s center with a gallery of artifacts and documents from the history of the tower and an introductory movie about Edward Bok and his dream. From there the sidewalk leads you past a display showcasing what’s blooming in the gardens, the gift shop and the Blue Palmetto Café. Then, you enter the Garden. Your first stop will be Window By the Pond where you can see Florida tickseed, the state wildflower, as well as cardinal flowers, yellow canna and swamp fern. Next, in the Open Glade, a longleaf pine forest is undergoing restoration. Watch your step here, gopher tortoises love this habitat and are not picky about where they dig their telltale dens. On your walk you will also see saw palmetto and native scrub habitat. In addition to the longleaf pines, you can marvel at spectacular live oaks whose branches arch to provide shade for several species of sun-shy flowers. You will discover plants here you will likely see nowhere else. Bok Tower Gardens’ Conservation Program has been called a botanical Noah’s Ark. Employees and volunteers gather seeds of rare native plant species from all over Florida and bring them to the Gardens. Bok’s

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collection of rare plants includes both the living plants on display and a seed bank. This work has been recognized as making a critical difference in the species’ survival. Continue your easy stroll and suddenly the tower appears — transcendent — though you could swear it was not there seconds before. The Georgiapink marble monolith is surrounded by a tall iron fence, a subtle reminder that this is a place of rest and — for one — final rest. The reflecting pool on the tower’s north side is both literal and figurative. Its surface captures a mirror image of the Singing Tower, only broken by the occasional passing swan. It is also an invitation to stop and consider everything and nothing; it is a place to be inspired and to simply just be. Said Edward Bok, “We will present mankind with a spot which will reach out in its beauty and fill souls with the quiet, the repose, the influence of the beautiful.” At the base of the tower Koi wind in lazy circles, occasionally breaching the surface for hand thrown fish food. Swans casually float in, around and through the Victoria lilies with pads strong enough to hold a child. Turn from this idyllic scene and you can

see the Great Golden Door, the only accessible entrance to the tower. Samuel Yellin etched vignettes into the polished brass façade portraying, one square at a time, the biblical story of creation and the subsequent fall of man. It is a poignant reminder of what happens when humans take the gift of paradise for granted. Allow your eyes to drift away from the shining door and up the hand-carved pink marble coquina and ceramic tile walls to the 205-foot-tall peak of the Singing Tower and your jaw drops along the way. It is the perfect culmination of neo-Gothic and art deco. When most visitors see it for the first time, the charm of the tower connects on a more emotional level. The massive 60-bell carillon occupies the top four floors of the tower. Individual bells range from 16 pounds to 12 tons; their daily concerts intone a treasured heritage of the Old World. Bok Tower Gardens: the touchstone of a legacy begun when a man wrote the last of himself into the pages of history in order to give all who came after an eternal gift of beauty. Whether it is the majesty or the serenity that takes your breath away, you will find much more than you expected here. Regardless of what moves you, each time you venture here, it will be a walk to remember. Bok Tower Gardens is located at 1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales, Fla. 33853. For admission prices, carillon concert schedules, program dates and special rates, call 863.676.1408 or visit BRV | Fall 2010

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Clockwise from top left: sunflower; bells of carillon; carillonneaur, William De Turk playing; swan in the reflection pool; Victoria Lilies; RVing in the Orange Groves near the tower; Muriel Sabine enjoys a conversation with her Uncle, Arthur Cote. Center: Vernon Morgan, groundskeeper for Bok Tower Gardens. | 888.626.7800

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taste Tuscan





inewood Estate, on the outskirts of Bok Tower Gardens, is alive with the opulence and romance of a forgotten era. Charles Austin Buck, a vice president of Bethlehem Steel, built the palatial Mediterranean estate. Upon completion in 1932, he christened it El Retiro. Designed to recall the Moorish and Romanesque manses along the coast of Spain, Buck made certain his winter retreat was no mere facsimile.

eVenTS AT BOk TOWeR Sunset & Symphony Fest With the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra november 6, 6 to 8 p.m. Christmas at Pinewood The estate is decorated by 200 elves for your leisurely enjoyment november 26 to December 31 Dedication Day 2011 Commemorate the 82nd anniversary of Bok Tower February 1, Concerts 1 & 3 p.m.

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Custom tiles, hand painted in Spain, line the walls, alcoves and bathrooms. Hand carved flooring, imported from Cuba, adds a Caribbean spice to the Mediterranean ambiance. The decor owes as much to its surroundings as to its roots. The doors are solid cypress with custom moldings that set a unique tone in each room. French, Italian and Spanish antiques — some dating back to the 17th century — accent the living areas. Each of the five bedrooms includes a private bath boasting a unique Spanish tile motif. These themes are brought together on the chief stair leading from the entrance hall to the upper floors. The original electric lighting is still in use, and though visitors will appreciate the central A/C, they can also marvel at the ingenious architecture that allowed the Bucks to stay cool in the days before climate control. The estate’s grounds easily live up to the rich interior. The overall landscape is of definitive Tuscan design while each of the three gardens — Renaissance, West Terrace and Oriental — maintains its own unique flair. | Fall 2010

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“Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it.” - Edward Bok El Retiro was not just a monument. It was also a home. During the holidays, Buck’s nine children and 18 grandchildren filled the 13,000-square-foot mansion with love and laughter. They would often stay on past the beginning of the next school term, studying with tutors and spending their free time roaming the gardens and exploring every hidden nook in the magnificent estate. To light that spark in your own imagination, be sure to visit during the holidays. Christmas at Pinewood begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs for five weeks. Each year a team of 200-plus volunteer “angels” transforms the estate into a holiday showcase. Though detailed attention is paid to how the Bucks would have decorated in the 1930s, a new theme is chosen each year emphasizing the tradition and whimsy of the season. For more information about Pinewood Estate, area preservation programs, guided tours or Christmas at Pinewood, call 863.676.1408. BRV | 888.626.7800

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Rest easy. You’re at Lazydays.

You would expect Lazydays to have the best inventory, service and advice about your RV. What you might not expect is a fully equipped campground located onsite, with everything you need to enjoy what you love about RVing. Whether you come to Lazydays for service, shopping or pleasure, you can rest assured knowing that a peaceful night’s sleep is waiting for you at the end of the day.

RV liVing

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mean, Green RVing Runners Most people would probably feel immensely satisfied if they completed just one marathon in a lifetime. So imagine running 26.2 miles every day for one year. That’s exactly what Matt Hill and Stephanie Tait accomplished — 11,000 miles on foot with an RV prepped for tackling the road in the greenest way possible.

Written by Jennifer Ruyle Photography by Jeff Fay | 888.626.7800

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Our goal was to bring awareness to saving the planet and inspire others to just pick one green action item to incorporate into their daily lives.� – Says Matt Hill with enthusiasm.

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hile swift in their running shoes, the forward thinking couple made no hasty decisions when it came to preparing the vehicle that would take them on their journey from Canada across North America. Their main initiative, other than running to save the planet, was to travel in an RV that would become an inspiration in itself. “We knew that if we were going to use a motorhome, we needed to make a lighter footprint,” says Hill. “We spent a year making it green to show others it could be done, and essentially, it became a rolling classroom.” The 28-foot, Class-C Ford Diesel has become known as Racy Verna, a special name given to their trusty transport. “It’s amazing how little you really need if you think about,” adds Hill. With a lot of unconventional thinking, personal sacrifice and sheer ingenuity, Matt Hill and Stephanie Tait took this ordinary RV and turned it into a lean, green traveling machine.

Dreaming in Green. To make the sleeping quarters green, Hill and Tait pulled out the master and crew mattresses and used Sleep Tech by M-Smart beds instead. These beds are made of natural and recycled rubber with no “chemical cocktails” in the materials. Sweet dreams indeed. Garbageless. Most amazing was the way in which they turned their waste into something green. Using red wiggler earth worms, a green box and some dirt, they disposed of their unused veggies, eggs and such and created compost that turned into incredibly rich soil. Along the way, Hill and Tait would donate the compost to schools for planting gardens. This one action cut their waste by fifty percent. At each stop, in every town, Hill and Tait made the one footprint they would be proud to leave behind: the message of inspiring others to do just one thing to help our planet. “We not only gained so much from meeting thousands of RVers who would stop and cheer us on, but we left an impression that we all have the power to make an impact,” Hill exclaims. “ We know when we are taking and using too much!” After a year of 420 marathons, 30 pairs of running shoes and $130,000 raised for the Legacy Fund for Kids, they are keeping up the pace to protect the planet. “The end of our tour was really just the beginning,” says Tait proudly. Visit to learn more about Matt Hill and Stephanie Tait or to donate to The Legacy Fund for Kids. BRV

Photograph courtesy of Frank Lee

Fuel. Racy’s tank was filled one-third of the time with biofuel, which is made from vegetable oils, animal fats and food stock that would otherwise go to waste. Electricity. To mitigate the need to plug-in, the RV was outfitted with solar panels on the roof to help run appliances and the computer. It won’t power the A/C, but Hill and Tait went with au naturel air for the entire trip and used propane to run the fridge. Water. Thanks to help from Home Depot’s Eco Option Program, they installed a low-flow water device: an aerator with a 60 gallon fresh water tank. Needless to say, water conservation was a must, so they also installed a low-flow shower head. Redecorating in Green. For the interior of the RV, they used organic bamboo fabric coverings on all seats in the main living area and replaced the valences with organic wool coverings. They also put down organic wool rugs throughout.

While on the road, Matt Hill and Stephanie Tait provided this list of ten things. Just choosing one will make a difference. 1.

Eat local and organic.


Turn off the car. Bike, walk, scooter, wagon, whatever.


Eliminate plastic bags.


Use green cleaning products.


Turn off the lights.


Turn off the water. An average of 15 gallons of water is wasted when you brush your teeth with the water running!


Reduce. Reuse. Recycle ... and rethink.


Make your own compost.


Bring your own green water bottle and refill. One plastic bottle takes 1,000 years to decompose.

10. Teach your children well. | 888.626.7800

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When you sunk those hard-earned dollars into your dream recreational vehicle, did you envision camping in cozy forests next to a meandering stream, a troutfilled lake, or in a meadow scattered with wildflowers like you saw in the RV ads?

Written by Bob Difley

RV tips

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ortunately, manufacturers build our homes-on-wheels with onboard systems to produce our own electricity (generators, solar panels), large water storage tanks, and holding tanks to collect our waste, enabling us to camp in some of nature’s most beautiful and secluded settings without the need for hookups so we can do just that. Then why do most RVers usually camp in crowded campgrounds close to noisy highways? Maybe because nobody has told them where and how to find those pristine back-to-nature havens of quiet solitude we affectionately call the boondocks. Well, let’s remedy that.

Where can you boondock? Nationwide, there are 199 million acres of public lands with 4,300 campgrounds managed by the U.S. Forest Service (FS). Not all these campgrounds accommodate RVs, but of those that do, most are in scenic, forested areas with widely spaced campsites, usually with lots of greenery around them — though few have hookups. These are called primitive campgrounds, and you will pay a much lower fee than at full service RV resorts and campgrounds with hookups. Many of these campsites are so aesthetically appealing and private that you may not want to look any farther. However — and this is the key to the heart of true boondocking — you are permitted to camp anywhere in a national forest unless expressly prohibited by signs or fencing. These campsites are called “dispersed,” but you will find little mention of them in printed or online information. Some are popular, large designated camping areas where you might have neighbors within sight, but others are single campsites you have to find yourself. Ask about dispersed camping at ranger offices, go online to boondocking forums and blogs, or ask other RVers where to find dispersed campsites — they might even tell you their favorite secret sites. Other possibilities for boondocking (dispersed camping) on federal lands include national recreation areas (managed by the National Park Service), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers properties,

some national wildlife refuges (except during hunting season), and Bureau of Reclamation sites (mostly near lakes and reservoirs). You can also find primitive (no hook-up) campsites in national parks and monuments, though most do not permit dispersed camping. State parks and forests, fish and wildlife areas, and regional, county, and utility districts frequently have primitive campgrounds and dispersed camping. Public Information Specialist Lorna Radcliff of the Florida Department of Recreation says, “We have 35 state forests across the state that offer space, solitude, and self-reliance. You have a vast source of areas to boondock in some of Florida’s most natural areas.” Florida state forests such as Lake Talquin allow lakeside camping in developed campgrounds and at dispersed boondocking sites with amenities like small boat launches, hiking trails and bird and wildlife watching.

How to find primitive boondocking campsites The easiest way to find a federal government campground is through their reservation site. Most FS campgrounds and no-dispersed camping areas take reservations, but if you are not familiar with the area, reserve a campsite for your first one or two nights or head for a first-come-first-serve campground early in the day. Search online for the FS recreation page or forest camping to find forests in the state in which you are traveling and for further information. Spend a day or two exploring the area (visit the forest service office for forest road and campground location maps), and when you find a suitable boondocking site, retrieve your rig and head to your new site. Save the coordinates on your GPS or record accurate directions in your campground guide or notebook. You might also want to save or record other suitable sites you find but do not camp at. With this information, the next time you visit the area you can head directly for your newly discovered campsite. BRV

Boon dock tips: Consider this: When boondocking, you can reduce the impact you make on the environment. You will be conserving natural resources; consuming less heating, airconditioning and energy than in your house; and creating less waste and pollution. That should help relieve any guilty feelings you might have about having such a good time. Here are some suggestions for being a greener boondocker. • Do not camp within 100 feet of a water source. • Clear the area around your campfire of flammable debris and burn only downed wood. • Have a bucket (for water) and shovel (fold-up) handy for fire suppression. • Leave no food, or bits of food, around your campsite. Bears, mice and other forest critters love free food and will investigate the source. • Carry extra water in jugs or a sun- showercamp shower to have a hot shower anywhere. • Turn off all unnecessary lights and appliances when not in use to conserve battery power. • When breaking camp, remember to observe the boondocker’s cardinal rule: Leave no trace. | 888.626.7800

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w e i v e r d a o R

Sam Matzen, RV internet guru and full-time RVer, recently took his big rig out on the road to visit family and revisit old times past. He took along his camera and notebook to share his experiences with us — the good, the bad and the internet hungry.

3 Wichita, KS 4 Bucklin, KS


Paducah, KY



Austin, TX

Forsyth, GA


Milton, FL Tampa, FL

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Sam's Stats:

Rig: Tiffin, Allegro Bus, 44 ft.

Towing: 24 ft. Enclosed Trailer Years RVing: 6+

1. Forsyth, Georgia

Forsyth KOA, 414 S. Frontage Rd. Forsyth, GA 31029 THe GOOD: Nice wooded pull-through park with utilities conveniently placed for a big rig. Easily accessible from exits 186 and 187 off I-75 in Georgia. THe BAD: Paved roads getting to the newer pullthrough sites are narrow and a little rough; new sites are quite narrow for a rig with slides on both sides. THe inTeRneT:

2. Paducah, Kentucky

Paducah KOA, 4793 US Highway 62 Calvert City, KY 42029 THe GOOD: Nice pull-through sites. Very friendly and helpful park management, fantastic local mobile service available, conveniently located just off I-24, exit 27 or 25B in Kentucky. THe BAD: Number of long, pull-through sites is limited THe inTeRneT:

3. Wichita, Kansas

USI RV Park, 2920 E. 33rd St. North Wichita, KS 67219 THe GOOD: Well maintained park with great park staff. Conveniently placed just off K96 at the Hillside exit in North Wichita. THe BAD: All rock covered park, which is really great for Kansas, but don’t expect to be able to walk around barefooted.

4. Bucklin, Kansas

The street in Bucklin, Kansas, in front of Sam's old house THe GOOD: Mom and Dad still live in the house. THe BAD: For dry camping on the street, it doesn’t get any better than this, or is it just the location? THe inTeRneT:

5. Austin, Texas

NW Austin KOA, 1351 CR 269 Leander, TX 78641 THe GOOD: Lots of pull-through sites. Conveniently placed north of Austin in the Round Rock area. THe BAD: Current construction in the area has invalidated most GPS mapping, so it can be a little hard to find. Use Google Maps and get directions before you start trying to find it in the middle of the night. THe inTeRneT:

6. Milton, Florida

Milton KOA, 8700 Gulf Pines Dr. Milton, FL 32583 THe GOOD: Lots of deep, pull-through sites, extensive kid friendly facilities and fantastic family friendly destination. Conveniently located just off I-10, exit 31 in Florida. THe BAD: Some would say that paved pads are better (but they are hotter), and make sure you have your long sewer and water hoses along. THe inTeRneT:

THe inTeRneT: | 888.626.7800

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RV liVing

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Indivisible Written by Adam Porter illustrations by Cat Scott

Our world is a fast paced, rat-race culture that tugs relentlessly at the fabric of the family: a daily grind that has torn many families apart, but not all. Decades ago, Dave and Susan Raker made a choice, a decision that not only drew their family closer but also taught their children that above all else, family matters; that it is togetherness — not absence — that makes the heart grow fonder. Today, each of those children have made the same choice: a decision that has sustained them through work and through wars and helped them embrace the good times so they could weather the bad. This is the story of that bond and a tradition that is now nearly three generations strong. And to think it all began on a whim.

Dave & Susan Dave and Susan met in Tallahassee, Fla., while attending college at Florida State University. They married, began careers in education and brought three beautiful, rambunctious daughters into the world. The eldest, Diane, was not yet in preschool when a friend offered Dave an opportunity. He wanted to sell a Hi-Lo. Dave had never heard of the telescoping travel trailer before, but his curiosity was piqued. He and Susan decided to go have a look. When these busy school principals saw the camper, they recognized opportunity. They began exploring the parks around Tallahassee, taking weekend jaunts where, instead of ringing phones, they heard the soothing sounds of nature and the music of little girls laughing. Soon, the Rakers were traveling to the North Carolina mountains and the Florida Keys. Though they did not completely understand it at the time, the

value of these adventures was not lost on the three Raker girls. Now that the girls are all grown up, each of them started to RV on their own.

Daughter #1: Diane For Diane, the wife of a military officer, the priceless nature of family time is particularly poignant. Diane married Tim Owens shortly after his first active duty hitch in the U.S. Marines. Both were working full time when he enrolled in engineering school. “We just never seemed to slow down,” Diane recalls. As every military family learns, time away is just part of the deal, but knowing that does not make it any easier. Less than a year after Tim’s return home from training, their first child, Zachary, was born; their second son, Jacob, soon followed. Diane was busy with work and the kids. Tim was occupied with his duties as a Naval officer. The Owens were fast becoming ships passing in the night. Then, in 2004, Tim was ordered to Iraq, a deployment that both he and Diane knew would be the first of many. When Tim returned from Iraq, Diane suggested they purchase a camper. “Nothing gets you closer, faster, than RVing. You take what you would do in 2,600 square feet: cooking, eating, sleeping — all that living — and do it in about one-tenth the space.” Diane raves about the effect RVing is having on her own children. “Our kids have a greater understanding and appreciation for things that most kids today have no clue about: nature, family and getting away from the rat race.”

The Owens get away whenever they can. They treasure time spent camping at the same mountain property “the girls” visited growing up. Often, sister Cyndy Raker Marks and her husband, Lee, will be in their RV at the Black Forest Campground just down the road.

Daughter #2: Cyndy For these busy professionals (Cyndy is a speech language pathologist and Lee works at the National High Magnetic Field Lab at FSU), the camper is their home away from home. “It feels like an old, comfy T-shirt when we are in the RV, but there are always new and exciting things just waiting outside the door,” explains Cyndy. Lee and Cyndy’s adventures always include their pair of “canine kids,” absolutely necessary travel companions many other vacation destinations would not allow. Not that much else appeals to the Marks. Cyndy has no desire to fly and, after working on a nuclear submarine for years, cruises seemed a bit anti-climactic for Lee. Nothing promised the rejuvenation they were seeking like RVing. The Marks recalled their memories camping with each of their own families when they were children. Cyndy reminisced about the cozy feeling of listening to the rain falling on the roof of the camper. The Marks first RV trips together began with short excursions down the coast — private little getaways. On one of these forays, the Marks discovered the Holiday Campground in Panacea, Fla. On nights where they are feeling sociable, Lee and Cyndy head down | 888.626.7800

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26 the trail to Angelo’s, a favorite restaurant with an incredible view of the bay from the upper deck. If they’re craving solitude, they just sit on the dock outside the camper and listen to the live music coming from the restaurant patio. Friends sometimes pull their boat right up to the dock and the Marks are off to Ochlocknee Shoals, a Caribbean-esque stretch of turquoise water shallow enough to

both wanted the kids to experience the same joys we did growing up,” explains Karen. They purchased a 20-foot Trail Lite towable. “It has bunks in the back for the kids and a fold down dinette, which makes a comfy bed for us. It’s perfect!” In the beginning, RVing was a financial as well as a family decision. “I stayed home with the kids until they both started grade school. As a single-income family, camping was an affordable way for all of us to have fun together.”

all take bike a ride down to the pier to watch the sunset. When the kids are in bed, Todd and Karen blend up a drink or two, sit outside and play cards or listen to the radio. We like to look across the Grand Lagoon at the multimillion dollar homes and expensive resorts and think about how lucky we are to have the same view for about 20 bucks a night! And the Rakers? Today, the originators of this family tradition are well into their 70s.

The Raker RV Family Tree Karen

Susan’s Grandparents Dave & Susan Raker


stand in. Then it’s over to Alligator Point and the terrific seafood at the Coastal restaurant. On Memorial Day, Independence Day or New Year’s Eve, they can stick around for an amazing fireworks display. But, skyrockets or not, the Marks have found a place that never fails to revitalize their personal and professional spark.

Daughter #3: karen “Baby” sister, Karen Raker Gill, also enthusiastically carries on the RV tradition. “Camping has always been a vital part of life together for me, my husband, Todd, and our kids,” says Karen. While dating, the couple learned that they had both grown up camping in North Carolina and Florida. Once married, there was no question: The Gills were getting an RV. “We

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Cyndy Diane

Today, Todd works 60-plus hours per week as a grocery manager, and Karen is busy with the kids and her own job. “St. Andrews State Park is like a second home. Waterfront, remote and removed from all the tourist attractions, it offers limited cell phone coverage but that’s only one of the reasons we keep coming back.” Another is the absence of alarm clocks. “We mark time by watching the tourist boats that pass by in the lagoon behind our camper.” The Gill kids love it too. They are free to jump on their bikes and take off for the playground or the fishing pier or to the campground store for ice cream. Mom and Dad’s days begin by cooking breakfast outside, then sunning at the beach, fishing in the lagoon and maybe taking an afternoon siesta. After dinner, they

Dave and Susan purchased property near Connestee, North Carolina, where they made many memories with their girls. And, any chance they get, they still explore the trails in and around Florida’s capitol, maintaining a tradition that continues to create memories and knit them ever closer. Says Susan, “Our girls learned to love something that will help keep their families together in a world that all too often pulls them apart. I can’t totally attribute it to camping, but I do know that RVing is a really big part of why we have such a close relationship with our girls, their husbands and children.” For the Rakers, RVing offered unparalleled freedom, forged unbreakable bonds and bequeathed a legacy of adventure, discovery and appreciation for each other three generations strong. BRV | Fall 2010

9/23/10 2:43 PM | 888.626.7800

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Creating Don Krzyzanowski

elder DeSousa

Custom Dreams

Gencho Genchev

Written by Fred Smith Photography by Jeff Fay

Jerry and Lois Worlock have been Lazydays customers for many years and have purchased several coaches from Don Krzyzanowski. He’s always felt they embody what the RV lifestyle is all about. Jerry and Lois recently published a book about their favorite places in America (see sidebar). They live their RV lifestyle to the fullest; when they remember their adventures, they’ll have no regrets. The Worlocks were recently in the market for a new RV and found exactly what they wanted in the 2011 American Eagle — with one exception. They didn’t feel comfortable with the shower in the master bathroom. They loved everything else about the Eagle with its full wall slide featuring a bath-and-a-half floor plan; they just didn’t love the shower. Knowing how much time the Worlocks would be spending in their

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RV, Don knew he had to find a coach with a shower they loved. So he kept looking. They ultimately fell in love with the shower in the American Heritage, a much pricier model in the American Coach family. Understandably, the Worlocks just couldn’t justify spending the additionally money on the Heritage, when the Eagle already had nearly everything they were looking for.

Don Krzyzanowski Lazydays Sales Consultant 8+ Years Experience I couldn’t let the Worlocks down. So I got to thinking: What if we could take the shower from the Heritage and put it in the Eagle? I knew it wouldn’t be an easy undertaking, but I felt the craftsmen in the Lazydays Service Department were up to the challenge. I brought the idea to the Worlocks who said that if we could make it happen we’d be making their RV dream come true. ‘Nuff said. I called my go-to guys in the Lazydays Cabinet Shop, and we got to work. | Fall 2010

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Elder DeSousa Lazydays Design Department 18+ Years Experience I love a good challenge and Don brought us a big one. It would be ideal if we could simply install the Heritage’s shower into an Eagle. The major problem is that the Heritage is a 45-foot coach while the Eagle is a 42-foot model. That means the Eagle has an engine cover in the bathroom, making it impossible to build the Heritage’s shower in the Eagle because we cannot build over the engine cover.

Gencho Genchev RVIA/RVDA Master Before Certified Technician 10+ Years Experience As the old saying goes, “two heads are better than one.” In the Lazydays Cabinet Shop, we have a lot of heads with a lot of experience. We always ask each others’ opinions so we can do the best possible job for the customer. I’ve known Elder for more than 10 years. We trust each other and can bounce ideas off each other so our work ends up being the best it can possibly be.

What we needed to do was build a custom shower for the Worlocks from scratch. At the outset of a project like this, it’s very important to paint a picture in the customer’s mind of how the end result will look. In this case, the Worlocks knew what they wanted. So I studied the Heritage shower and determined the best way to bring that design to the Eagle. I’ve been with Lazydays for nearly 20 years and was a tech for a long time. I also have an art school degree and a design background. I love to draw my vision for a custom job so the customer can see how the finished product will look in their RV. I showed the Worlocks the plan and they were all in. They trusted their RV in our hands and gave Lazydays the freedom to operate creatively.

Elder’s design for the Worlock’s shower was great: very intricate, but clearly thought out. Basically, the shower in their Eagle had to be completely removed and reconstructed from scratch. We worked with the Lazydays body shop to create the fiberglass pan. We re-routed the plumbing and drain and built the enclosure following Elder’s design. Then we laid the individual tiles. It was quite a bit of labor, but worth every hour.

Once the design was in place and the materials were selected, it was time to start construction. One of the great things about the Lazydays Cabinet Shop is that we can do more than just quality design and woodworking. We’re certified RV technicians and can often do complex, multi-disciplined work (like this job) without the RV ever leaving our shop. As a designer with RV technician experience, I’m able to communicate my ideas with the techs who will perform the labor. I speak their language. We have a collaborative relationship, which leads to the best results possible for the customer. For this job, I worked with Gencho Genchev, a master certified RV technician in the Lazydays Cabinet Shop.

I love listening to the customer explain their vision. That way, I can determine what their expectations are; then, I can exceed them. When the Warlock’s bathroom was complete, I knew they would love it. It was the kind of job we’re very proud of here in the Lazydays Cabinet Shop. Lois and Jerry Worlock Passionate RVers, Golfers and Gamblers 80,000+ Miles Traveled in an RV Throughout the process, Don sent us pictures and spoke to us at length about the progress of the custom shower re-design, so we knew what to expect. Our new shower turned out to be everything we had imagined and more. The moment we saw it, we felt that our coach had the shower it was born to have just for us. If you didn’t know it was custom built, you would think it was what the manufacturer had intended. It just felt like home. We’ve had several friends come to our coach, see our shower and tell us how impressed they are with Lazydays’ work. It turned out just great. I can’t imagine going anywhere other than Lazydays for our next coach. BRV

Mosaic Tile

Wood Privacy Wall


Larger Footprint

Gambling, RVing & Golfing by Jerry Worlock Lois and Jerry Worlock love RVing and have logged more than 80,000 miles trekking across the 48 contiguous states and all but two provinces in Canada. They love to golf and have played on courses all over America. They also love to gamble and have tried their luck at numerous casinos throughout the country. Their book, Gambling, RVing & Golfing offers a detailed resource to RVers who love to golf, gamble or both. Organized by state in the United States and by Canadian provinces, the book showcases RV parks, casinos, golf courses and their proximity to one another. Also included are insights and tidbits about these destinations in the streamlined and simplified informational shorthand language spoken by RVers. Jerry Worlock put years of research into this easy to digest volume. Discover this valuable resource by visiting where you can preview the book. $15.95 | 888.626.7800

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Two Engines, One Mission 2010 EMISSION STANDARDS MADE SIMPLE Written by Staci Backauskas Photography by Jeff Fay | Illustrations by Ann Cosentino

When the environmental Protection Agency mandated a near-zero emissions standard that applied to all diesel engines manufactured after Jan. 1, 2010, RVers had many questions. Cleaner air is great, but how do we get there? Many wondered how the new emissions standards would affect them and what they would find when they shopped for a new RV. Others asked how the diesel engines would change and what it means for future maintenance. To answer these questions, it helps to examine how and why these new standards came to be. For years, the EPA has monitored the effects of diesel engine emissions on the environ-

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ment. The new near-zero emissions standard is the result of detailed research started in the 1960s and is designed to further reduce the amount of greenhouse gas and particulate matter emitted into the environment. Particulate matter, which includes both solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air, affects not only the environment but human health as well. The Act has been amended several times during the years to decrease the amount of gases and particulate matter from tailpipe emissions. In 2007, particulate filters were made standard on diesel engines to achieve cleaner exhaust

required at that time. The new engines will still be equipped with the particulate filter to continue to help reduce particulate matter. “The filter only needs to be serviced every 200,000 miles,” says Steve Kiray, a sales consultant with Lazydays. “Since the average RVer drives between 3,000 and 7,000 miles a year, most won’t even need to service the filter during the life of their RV.” For those questions posed earlier concerning the new 2010 emissions standards, there are two new methods being used in addition to the filter to meet the standard for lower nitrous oxide emissions: Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). | Fall 2010

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engine System #1: exhaust Gas Recirculation EGR, or exhaust gas recirculation, was introduced in 2002 and is already in most diesel engines. Reengineered to meet the new regulations, this method now named Advanced EGR, filters part of the exhaust back through the engine a second time. Used by Navistar, one of the largest diesel engine manufacturers, this system combines a high-pressure fuel-injection system with a valve that redirects some of the cooler exhaust back through the combustion process thereby reducing the amount of nitrous oxide emitted to almost zero.

The Advanced EGR method requires no action from the RVer and doesn’t increase service intervals. EGR does create additional particulate matter, but the new filters ensure compliance. EGR might decrease mileage slightly, depending on how the vehicle is driven. However when comparing the total fluid economy with the SCR system, the total fluid amount used by the engines is approximately the same. See the diagram below to understand how the system operates.

The air comes into the intake and is passed through the turbo charger. Then, moved into the charged air cooler where the air is compressed and cooled before reaching the engine. The air passes through the engine and reaches the EGR cooler and is then recirculated back through the engine for a second time. The cleaner air is finally pushed to the exhasut manifold.

engine System #2: Selective Catalytic Reduction SCR, or selective catalytic reduction, uses Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), a nonflammable chemical made from urea, an organic compound found naturally in the environment. The DEF is injected into the exhaust where it breaks down nitrous oxide into harmless nitrogen. This technology has been used in Europe for several years. RV engines made by Cummins and Mercedes use the SCR method, which requires an external DEF tank. The tank appears similar to a fuel tank where the fluid is poured in and just like a fuel tank, coaches have a monitor next to the fuel gauge to indicate when DEF fluid is needed. DEF is readily available at truck stops and auto parts retailers as well as RV service centers like Lazydays. “The process is totally

transparent,” says Kiray. “And it doesn’t really add significant cost or time to your maintenance.” The SCR device adds some weight to the vehicle, but RVers should achieve better mileage with it, which will help offset the cost of the DEF, which is comparative to diesel fuel. Manufacturers like Cummins estimate you will need approximately one gallon of DEF for every 50 gallons of fuel. Urea begins to freeze at 12 degrees Fahrenheit, but both Cummins and Mercedes have installed heating elements to prevent freezing. Because the engine will not drive without DEF, you should keep a few gallons in your storage compartment. See the diagram below to understand how the system operates.

The DEF tank (not shown) is connected to the DEF dosing valve. When the air reaches the valve, a mist of DEF fluid is released. The urea in DEF turns to ammonia; the exhaust and ammonia pass into the SCR catalyst, then the slip catalyst. | 888.626.7800

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32 Those in the market for a new RV won’t see any substantial changes in performance regardless of which engine they select. “Both achieve what they’re supposed to achieve — cleaner air,” emphasizes Lazydays Technical Service Manager Steve Roddy. “And the only objective is to have cleaner emissions. Which engine you choose is really just a matter of personal preference.” Roddy adds that Lazydays met with manufacturers to create a detailed training program for sales and service staff. “We talked to [the manufacturers] and then did our own research with chassis builders to create a program that educated our staff because it’s important for us to be a resource for our customers,” he says. Adds Kiray, “Any concerns buyers have are allayed once they’re educated about it.” The near-zero emissions standard is the next step in the RV industry becoming more environmentally conscious. Greener options like solar-powered heat and electrical systems, composting toilets, recycled denim insulation, and rainwater harvesting systems are being tried, but are likely years away from mass-market production. In the meantime, near-zero emissions is an important step in helping to preserve the planet. “This way, we keep the air clean and our grandchildren can breathe easier,” says Kiray. “It’s a small price to pay.” BRV

Diesel exhaust Fluid Facts: > estimates are one gallon of DeF for every 50 gallons of fuel. > DeF freezes below 12o F, but the heat of the engine keeps the fluid to temperature. if it does freeze while not in use, start the engine and the DeF will heat up quickly. > DeF containers are marked with a manufactured date. > Stored properly, the DeF will last for 12 months. > DeF contains 32.5% of urea, a compound of nitrogen which turns into ammonia when heated.

Where do i find the engine i want? Navistar is producing the Advanced EGR system and both Cummins and Mercedes manufacture the SCR. Monaco is owned by Navistar, and you’ll likely see only Advanced EGR systems in their products. The new Tiffin Breeze will also feature the Advanced EGR system. Freightliner and Spartan chassis use Cummins engines exclusively. Since most of the other major RV Class A diesel motorcoach manufacturers use Freightliner or Spartan chassis, these engines will be using the SCR method to comply with the EPA mandate. Several of the Winnebago Class C diesel motorhomes use engines made by Mercedes, so expect to find the SCR method in these vehicles. For those RVers who own fifth-wheels or campers, the new mandate will affect you if you’re in the market for a diesel pick-up. For more information on the changes to diesel pick-up engines, visit

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T`SWUVbZW\S`QVOaaWaQ][j&#"#&&! 1OZZ4`SWUVbZW\S`1cab][1VOaaWa1]`^]`ObW]\Ob&#"#&&!]`dWaWbca]\bVSESPObT`SWUVbZW\S`QVOaaWaQ][ A^SQW¿QObW]\aO`SacPXSQbb]QVO\USeWbV]cb\]bWQS4`SWUVbZW\S`1cab][1VOaaWa1]`^]`ObW]\Wa`SUWabS`SRb]7A='( &O\R7A="( " 1]^g`WUVb– '2OW[ZS`B`cQYa<]`bV/[S`WQO::1/ZZ`WUVba`SaS`dSR4`SWUVbZW\S`1cab][1VOaaWa1]`^]`ObW]\WaOacPaWRWO`g]T2OW[ZS`B`cQYa <]`bV/[S`WQO::1O2OW[ZS`Q][^O\g | 888.626.7800

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mailbox or your inbox. Log on to and subscribe. provides RVers with expert tips, travel destinations, industry how-tos, and also offers a virtual gathering place to connect with other adventure seeking RVers . On top of all that, we will deliver it to you just the way you would like - to your mailbox or your inbox. Or, both. And the best part, it is all free to you. Just go to and click subscribe.

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BRV_fall_4.indd 34 | Fall 2010

9/23/10 11:01 AM

WhyZachWalks Writing, Photography and Video by Fred Smith

I wondered what he thought about as he trekked across the desert in heat that many of the world’s people spend their days avoiding.” - Fred Smith Zach Bonner didn’t read the article I wrote about him last year in, and he probably won’t read this article when it’s published. I don’t feel slighted, and neither should After all, Zach didn’t read the articles about him in USA Today, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Were you to Google Zach Bonner, you’d discover thousands of writings, pictures and other multi-media postings about the young philanthropist. There’s a good chance Zach hasn’t looked at any of those, either. Admittedly, I wasn’t aware of Zach’s modesty-driven reading habits when I met up with him in the Arizona desert this past July to update readers on his March Across America. After spending three days in The Valley of the Sun following Zach with a pen and a camera, I can’t say I know for certain why Zach chooses to ignore his own press. But I have a good idea. When I caught up with Zach more than 1,900 miles into his journey, I discovered he had lost about 15 pounds and gained the kind of tan most red heads are genetically incapable of possessing. Yet, his eyes still held the same determined focus he had when he began his journey several months earlier at the Lazydays RV Campground in Seffner, Fla. | 888.626.7800

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It wasn’t yet noon and the temperature in Southern Arizona’s Valley of the Sun was fast approaching 100 degrees. The sun’s rays streaked from the heavens and pounded the earth with scorching waves of relentless intensity. It was a time in the day when locals make it a point to find indoor shelter as the heat nears deadly levels. But Zach marched on.

Log on to to see The Invisible Youth of America.

I felt like he could see something the rest of us couldn’t or maybe we had missed. I wondered what he thought about as he trekked across the desert in heat that many of the world’s people spend their days avoiding. Most of all, I wondered what motivated Zach. I found out. And I haven’t been the same since. Zach’s reason for walking is bigger than all of us, and it would make sense for me to further explain my assertion in the words that follow. But I can’t. Instead, I can show you a short video on about why Zach is walking from coast to coast. The experience of making this video changed my life. Maybe viewing it will change yours. At the very least, you’ll know why Zach Bonner won’t read this article. Log on to and click RV Living. BRV

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Romantic Date Night Theater

Fine Dining Gourmet HQ

Master Bath

Luxurious. Livable. And unlike any Itasca you’ve ever seen.

Built on the 450-hp* Maxum® Freightliner ® chassis, our agship coach has performance to spare — and storage to match. Make every journey the trip of a lifetime: See all four new Ellipse models at your nearest Itasca dealer, or visit to see our innovative 2011 lineup. *450-hp Cummins® 2010 EPA emissions equipped turbo-charged ISL 8.9 diesel engine running line change Fall 2010.

©2010 Winnebago Industries, Inc.

The stunningly redesigned exterior of the all-new Ellipse® 42QD is surpassed only by its breathtaking interior. The extendable sectional sofa provides true residential comfort and ideal seating for the home theater system and optional replace; the gourmet-worthy galley with available Maytag residential refrigerator is sure to inspire; the mid-coach half-bath is perfect for guests; while the master bedroom suite with bath provides a spacious private retreat at day’s end.

Learn more at or call 1.800.643.4892. | 888.626.7800

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tRoUBlEsHootin’ WitH ERniE Ernie Herring Lazydays Technical Support RVIA Master Certified 35 Years Experience

Written by Fred Smith Photography by Jeff Fay & Fred Smith

Get the LED Out. Installing LED lights in your RV

All RVeRS HAVe A SOFt SPOt In tHeIR HeARtS FOR tHe gReAt OutDOORS. In eRnIe’S CASe, HIS SOFt SPOtS ARen’t lIMIteD tO juSt HIS HeARt, but He lOVeS tHe OutDOORS All tHe SAMe AnD wAntS tO PReSeRVe tHe enVIROnMent by SHIFtIng HIS RV lIFeStyle tO tHe gReeneR SIDe OF tHe ROAD. Today, Ernie is going to demonstrate how to lower his motorhome’s overall power consumption by installing energy-efficient LED lights. Compared to incandescent lights (traditionally used in homes and RVs), LED (light-emitting diode) lights use less power, give off more light and have a much longer lifetime. For these reasons, many RVers are starting to outfit their RVs with LEDs. So, as Ernie would say, “Let’s get the fixin’ started!” The first step is to remove the old incandescent bulb from the fixture. Incandescent lights give off a tremendous amount of heat, so allow the bulb to cool before removing it.

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Once you have removed the old bulb, you’re ready to replace it with an LED light. In comparing an LED to an incandescent light (Fig. 3), you’ll notice that it has the same type of base with matching bumps to ensure that the LED will fit the fixture in your RV. The major difference is that an LED consists of a cluster of small bulbs as opposed to the single large bulb of an incandescent light. Now we’re going to examine the light fixture above the sofa. If you look closely, you will see two grooves in the fixture’s inner ring (Fig. 4). These grooves catch the bumps on the base of the LED when it is turned into place during the installation process. | Fall 2010

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Always consult your owners manual or a certified RV technician before attempting to work on your RV.

Step 1: An incandescent light bulb. Notice the burn marks near the base due to excessive heat.

Step 2:

Step 4: Examine the fixture. Notice the two groves on the inner ring. These grooves catch the bumps on the base of the LED bulb.

Step 5:

An LED with a cluster of small bulbs.

Secure the LED in the fixture. Fig 9

Step 3: The bases are identical with matching bumps to ensure it will fit the same fixture.

Step 6: Notice how much more light the LED on the left provides.

Carefully secure the LED light into the fixture by turning it until you feel it lock into place (Fig. 5). When the light is installed, turn it on and notice the cool (blue) light it emits. Compared to the incandescent light (Fig. 6), you can see just how much more illumination the LED light provides.

more illumination, which will bring the interior of your coach to life. They use a fraction of the power and are much less of a strain on your generator. LEDs also give off less heat, which means your airconditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool your RV’s interior.

On average, LED lights cost about three times as much as incandescent lights. That’s the bad news. The good news is that LED’s last 10 times as long as incandescent lights, which means you’ll likely change RVs before you change bulbs. LEDs give off

Installing LED lights is just one of the many ways you can take your RV lifestyle to greener pastures. Be sure to visit to learn about more earth-friendly RV tips and to join us next time when Ernie spends a month in the latest biosphere. BRV

Go to to watch ernie upgrade his RV’s faucet. | 888.626.7800

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no More Driving

Miss Lazy Written by Sandy Showalter

You’ve just bought a brand new RV. Congratulations! It’s time to hit the road. Keys? Check. Gas? Check. Good tire pressure? Check. Just one more question you have to ask yourself: “How the heck do I drive this thing?” When Eric and Carolyn Kelly bought their 37foot Coachmen Cross Country in July 2009, Eric took to driving it like a duck to water. Carolyn was content to let him man the helm. “I tell him he’s ‘Driving Miss Lazy’ and I’m fine with that,” she jokes. She knew, however, that emergencies arise and she might need to drive someday. While visiting the Lazydays office on a trip to Camping World, she saw a flyer for the RV Driver Confidence course and knew right away she needed to sign up. Eric saw his name right next to hers. He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly, “I might learn a few tips.” The course is free for Lazydays customers and Lazydays Campground guests. For those who aren’t customers or campers, the cost is only $75 for one person or $99 for a couple — a small price to pay for the priceless confidence it offers.

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Eric and Carolyn arrived early to class to mingle and talk RVs with classmates. Patrick Gable, his wife, Irene, and her mother were picking up their Fleetwood Encounter that day. “I need to learn about turning radiuses. We’re going on a five-week trip to Canada next week,” he explained. Mitch and Debbie Ziobro didn’t own a motorhome but were going to rent one and wanted to learn the basics. Like Carolyn, Alma Ragnell was learning “for emergency situations only.” While the men seemed relatively relaxed, the women were a bit nervous about the driving portion of the class. “It’s a necessary evil,” Carolyn said. When 9 a.m. rolled around, Barney Alexander, the course instructor, herded everyone into the classroom. Barney began teaching his Driver Confidence class in October 2000 and since then has taught nearly 40,000 students. Created primarily as a confidence builder for beginners, Barney’s class, especially his proven Five Dot System tips, has attracted experienced drivers as well. “I’ve even taught two 15-year-olds. Teenagers are | Fall 2010

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fearless. They pick it up easy.” His banter and good humor kept the class lively. Go online to and search Barney to see many different courses, including the Five Dot System.

brynn swallowed her fear and decided to give driving the RV a try.

Barney started off reminding everyone that an RV is longer, wider and taller than a car, and there is tail swing. “When you turn one way, the back goes the other way.” Known as off-tracking, this causes many new RV drivers to take out stop signs, fire hydrants or other cars. “When you feel like turning, go straight a little farther.” Barney also talked about the many blind spots found on an RV and received appreciative gasps when he demonstrated how a Fresnel lens (a type of wide-angle lens) can help eliminate a major blind spot on the passenger side. After two hours, the class was released for lunch with a reminder that the driving portion started at 1 p.m. sharp. “That was phenomenal,” Carolyn exclaimed after the classroom portion was completed. “The Five Dot System is incredible!” Eric echoed Carolyn’s sentiments about Barney’s system and added, “I got a lot more out of this class than I expected. For instance, putting a bow on the steering wheel of our tow car is a great idea. If the bow on the wheel starts to shake, you might have a flat tire. What a terrific tip!” With Barney’s wide-angle lens demonstration fresh in their minds, Eric and Carolyn headed over to Camping World to pick up one for themselves. “Since we don’t have side cameras, this lens trick is a great alternative,” Eric said.

Top: Barney teaching class Bottom: Carolyn Kelly in the driver’s seat.

The Kelly’s 16-year-old granddaughter Brynn joined them during their lunch break. When the Kellys introduced Brynn to Barney, he invited her along for the driving section of the class; he even offered to let her drive the RV. “I don’t know. I think I’d be too scared,” she told him, but he assured her she would do fine.

When the class returned, everyone loaded up into a 2007, 40-foot Itasca Ellipse. Because Barney is the only one allowed to back up the motorhome, he started by showing the class a simple and effective way to back into a campsite. Using wireless RV headsets, Carolyn acted as a spotter. Thanks to his Dot System and clear communication from her, Barney safely backed in the RV. Not everyone was confident they could do that as easily as Barney, but they all agreed his demonstration helped to relieve some of their nervousness. After that demo, the class returned to the coach and the students started to drive. As each student took their turn, Barney sat in the passenger seat and guided them through the Lazydays campground course, complete with cones to avoid. Carolyn and Brynn were the last two left after everyone else successfully completed the course. With Barney riding shotgun to offer instructions, Carolyn maneuvered around the campground perfectly. She did not hit a single cone, car or person. Next up, young Brynn swallowed her fear and decided to give driving the RV a try. Following the path of everyone before her, she drove through the course without incident. “Now I can drive Granny and Poppop to the Grand Canyon,” she joked. After the class was completed, Eric and Carolyn raved about their experience. “Barney is great. I’m really glad Carolyn signed me up,” Eric said. When asked if this meant the end of driving Miss Lazy, Carolyn replied, “He’ll still drive most of the time, but I feel confident I can help out now when I need to. I just won’t be Miss Lazy full time anymore.” BRV Links: RV headsets: Driver Confidence Course: Search: Barney | 888.626.7800

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Doggone green

Products to treat man’s best friend with the best of care.

If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.” ~Phil Pastoret

Biscuits by Lambchop™ These gluten-free dog treats are free of the most common ingredients dogs are known to have sensitivities to (soy, corn, dairy, preservatives and more) and are low in fat, sodium and phosphorus to accommodate the needs of dogs who have dietary restrictions or food allergies. With all natural ingredients, a unique blend of bean flours, fresh fruits and local green market ingredients, dogs love them so much they’ll beg you to keep your own paws off! Just don’t tell them they’re “health food.” Visit to order.

The RVnanny While you’re away, you can monitor the power, temperature and more in your coach with this wireless plug ‘n’ go remote alarm system that anyone can install in less than 30 minutes. When an alarm is activated, the system will text message your cell phone and/or send you an e-mail. The system communicates to you anywhere cell phone coverage exists. Go to for more information.

RV Pets

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ecoPure Naturals ecoPure Naturals’ aromatherapy sprays will have a positive, relaxing effect on your pet — stressed by living in the human environment, traveling, participating in shows, exposure to loud sounds like thunder and car traffic, etc. Clary Sage aroma has been traditionally used to calm nerves and reduce anxiety. Lavender aroma has been used to aid in relaxation and reduce hyperactivity. Visit to see their entire line of products and links to retailers.

Bow Wow Pet Shammy This 20” X 27” pet shammy absorbs 20 times its weight in water and is perfect for drying off a wet dog coming in out of the rain. It can also be used in crates to catch any accidents, and if your dog is a sloppy drinker - put it under the water bowl! The shammy is also great for catching fur and dander on your pet’s favorite lounging spot. Available at

Doggie Park Finder app from iTunes®

Use our interactive maps! You can rate your park, write a review, see local dog events, or post your dog’s picture. If you do not see your doggie park then add it! | 888.626.7800

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RV EVENTS FRVTA Tampa Fall Show (Florida RV Trade Association) november 11-14

Location: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa, Florida Come out and see every type of RV as well as the fun stuff to put in your motorhome. Then, visit the Lazydays display and listen to an RV seminar given by Steve Roddy. Show hours are Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $4 (children under 16 are free). For more information visit

november 12-15 Manufacturer Rally — American Coach Location: Lazydays RV Campground, Tampa, Florida Lazydays is hosting the 2011 American Coach launch. Come and see the new American Coach products at the Lazydays RV Campground and meet the CEO of Fleetwood, John Draheim. For more information and to make reservations, call 800.905.6627 or visit

December 13-16 Manufacturer Rally — Tiffin Location: Lazydays RV Campground, Tampa, Florida Preview the all-new 2011 Tiffin motorhomes at Florida’s only full-line Tiffin dealer. You will also have the opportunity to meet the owner, Bob Tiffin. For more information and to make reservations, call 800.905.6627 or visit

December 30-January 2 Lazydays new Year's eve Rally Location: Lazydays RV Campground, Tampa, Florida Celebrate the start of the new year with your Lazydays family at the Lazydays New Year's Eve Rally. You can enjoy hors d'oeuvres and dance the night away with other RVers. This year is already full so be sure to get on the waiting list or sign up for next year. For more information call 800.905.6627.

RV eVents

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TYRON DRIVES SAFETY HOME. To an RVer, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing quite as frightening as a blowout. When a tire deflates, air pressure can no longer keep it in place on the wheel and it can cause serious damage and loss of control and braking. When you have Tyron blowout protection fitted to your wheels, deflated tires are supported and kept in place, preventing them from slipping and flailing. Stability, steering and braking are dramatically improved, which can help you avoid damage and disaster. Call 877-329-5124 to talk to a Lazydays sales professional about Tyron.

!"#$% | 888.626.7800

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What is the measure of the perfect RV? (How hard your heart beats when you finally find it.) Whether you’re looking for a small towable pop-up or a lavish Class A motorhome, we have the one that will make your heart stop in it’s tracks. If you’re not in our neighborhood just go to and use the navigation on the left hand side of the page to shop our inventory - both new and pre-owned. If you see something that interests you or you fall in love with a particular RV just give us a call or send an email and we’ll help fulfill your RV dream.

Passion. Freedom. Comfort. Excellence. This is where dreams come true.

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rV details

2011 Tiffin Allegro Bus pg. 48-49 2011 Forest River R-Pod pg. 50-51 2011 Winnebago Tour pg. 52-53 2011 Carriage Carri-lite pg. 54-55 2011 Forest River Rockwood Premier pg. 56-57 | 888.626.7800

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48 details rV

2011 Tiffi n Allegro Bus

A pioneering spirit with the luxury of a four-star hotel. The new 2011 Allegro Bus offers quality that suits a gracious style of living, making it an exceptional choice for first class travel. No upgrade has been overlooked from the decorative porcelain tile to the residential-style kitchen.

RV DEtails

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The joy of the great indoors. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then behold the interior living space of the Allegro Bus with its expansive seven-foot ceiling, 37-inch front overhead TV and pullout sleeper sofas able to accommodate the entire family.

Sweet dreams on your next adventure. You’ll know you’ve upgraded when you experience the spacious bedroom area of the Allegro Bus. Starting with an optional 72-inch wide king-sized bed and optional memory foam mattress, it’s a room filled with lavish comfort. | 888.626.7800

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50 details rV

2011 Forest River R-Pod

The R-Pod is the first of its kind to offer you affordable luxury at the lowest weight in its class. The unique shape of the expandable tent allows you to enjoy the great outdoors.

RV DEtails

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The R-Pod is a perfect example of â&#x20AC;&#x153;form follows function,â&#x20AC;? with its breakthough tent design featuring AqualonTM vinyl. AqualonTM is a durable, breathable, tent material that remains flexible in all climates and is resistant to mildew. Sleeping in a tent never felt so good. | 888.626.7800

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52 details rV

2011 Winnebago Tour

If you are a motorhome enthusiast looking for a high-end Class A diesel coach, the 2011 Winnebago Tour is the one for you.

RV DEtails

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For 2011, this flagship diesel pusher features a striking new exterior design and an equally stunning interior with a new dash design, stylish furniture and the introduction of the all-new tag axle 42QD floor plan.

Featuring the Maxumâ&#x201E;˘ chassis with a 400-hp CumminsÂŽ ISL engine, each Tour floor plan offers upscale amenities, innovative, user-friendly features and maximum comfort. | 888.626.7800

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54 details rV

2011 Carriage Carri-lite Live. Relax. Enjoy what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. With a Carri-Lite Resort Vehicle, you’ll know you’ve reached another milestone in your life. No other luxury fifth wheel compares to this level of quality and styling.

RV DEtails

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Full-height cabinets, ball-bearing drawer guides, top name-brand appliances and plenty of workspace. What else would you expect from the industry elite? First class even in the master suite! True residential-sized beds (other brands are not actual queen/king sized) along with plushness and high styling. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s even a floor plan that features a dual-access bathroom. | 888.626.7800

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56 details rV

2011 Forest River Rockwood Premier Want to camp, but don’t want to “rough it?” Welcome to the Rockwood High Wall Series. Forest River has designed a series for the camping family who wants the refinement of larger vacationing units in a light-weight camper. Ample counterspace, upgraded appliances, tasteful interiors and even a full bath make this camper a gorgeous option to experience.

The Rockwood Premier comes with a beautiful hardwall shower with a residential-style flush toilet complete with a 12-gallon black water holding tank.

RV DEtails

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The Rockwood popup camper takes care of the details â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all neatly packaged into one incredibly functional unit. Every component works together to give you the best vacation time possible. | 888.626.7800

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and you. See yourself in print! next time you hit the RV trail, take a photo with your copy of and share it with us. Good photos will be published in the January issue, best photos will be published and also receive a $100 Visa Gift Card. We have made it easy to submit by snail mail, email or forum post.

Join our community and show us where your RV takes you!


Please include your full name, location of photo, contact number and email address.






Post: click on RV Lifestyle, click on CONTEST Mail: 6130 Lazydays Blvd. Seffner, FL 33584 (photos will not be returned)


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PARtneR SPOtlIgHt How long have you worked at Lazydays? Three years. My mother was a temp here and my father was a technical rep. for Country Coach. Lazydays needed some help in the café, so my parents encouraged me to apply. I was a part of the Lazydays family before I was officially a part of the Lazydays family. What is the most important thing you’ve learned while working at Lazydays? Understanding the diversity of our customer base and the diverse needs they have has helped me grow. People come to Lazydays from all over the world, and I get to meet people from everywhere. It makes my work fun.

HUntER Williams Café Associate

There is NO better braking system on the market today!

How have things changed in your job during the years? We’re always trying to figure out how we can do things better. It’s one of the reasons I love it at Lazydays. We’re never satisfied with “good enough.” We’re always challenging ourselves to be better.

How many bottles of water do you think you have handed out in your career? I can go through 70 to 80 bottles a day during the slow season and as many as 150 per day during the busy season. How many is that a year? Too many to count. What do you do to enhance the customer’s experience at Lazydays? I love to talk to the customers. I love to learn about their lives through conversation. I try to remember everyone’s name, and I always try to bring a day’s supply of cold water to folks on the delivery lot since they just moved into their new coach and usually don’t have any water to drink. What’s so special about the water at Lazydays? It just tastes better. No one knows why. It’s just one of life’s inexplicable truisms that bottled water tastes better at Lazydays. BRV

® Patriot Brake For ALL vehicles - even hybrids!

The Blue Ox Patriot™ Braking System The Patriot works for your motorhome and tow car by safely bringing it to a smooth stop with proportional braking. •

Manually apply and adjust brakes from coach with wireless remote (shown in top left photo)

• All electric! No pumps, tank or air hoses to leak • Easy self-calibration with the push of a button • Break away comes standard • Built-in battery ensures brake always has power

For more information ask for “Bethany”. One Mill Road • POB 430 Pender, NE 68047 800-228-9289 •


Strong As An Ox™


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60 technicAlly speAking

with steve roddy He’s an RViA/RVDA master certified technician with more than 37 years of RV experience. Some call him a living legend in the RV industry. He just likes to be called Steve.





We have power awnings that will no longer extend. I hear a clicking sound when I push the button, but that’s it. Not long ago, the awnings were slow to retract. Now, it’s like they’ve died. What happened and how can I fix it? Low voltage would be the first item to check if an awning is slow to retract. Check this with a volt meter while trying to operate the awning. I suspect your volt meter will show a low voltage when you operate the awning. This low voltage problem could increase amperage draw and blow a fuse in the awning control box. This control box (located in different spots depending on your RV’s make and model) will likely have a fuse that needs to be replaced.


I use my jacks to raise my RV to take pressure off the tires when my RV is parked for extended periods of time. Should I be worried about my jacks rusting over time since they are exposed to the outdoor elements?


Keep your jacks clean by occasionally wiping them down with a transmission fluid soaked rag. This will protect them from rust and corrosion. However, a saltwater atmosphere can present corrosion problems for your RV beyond the jacks. A tip for those near the beach: Put a lawn sprinkler in the parking lot and slowly drive over it to rinse under the RV (this also works for those coming from salt covered winter roads).

My electronic climate control seems to be taxed. The shed lights seem to flash when both A/C units are running. But it does not seem to be happening in the morning and the evening. Do you think the excessive heat we are having is too much for the A/C units to handle during the day? When the thermostat calls for cooling, the red and green lights will flash indicating a time delay. The fan will start first and the compressor will start approximately three minutes later. Only after the compressor has started will you see a solid green light. If the red light is solid, it indicates that the (front or rear or both) air conditioner has been shed or turned off because other loads have been turned on without sufficient power to operate everything. When those other appliances are turned off, you will see flashing lights again indicating a time delay followed by a solid green light.


What kind of season do you think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have this year?

The Bucs should improve from last year’s 3-13 record. Some football teams are like fine wines: They have to spend some time in the cellar before they can be appreciated.


How can I get the quickest response to my questions?

We have technical experts who will respond to your questions around the clock at, an online forum designed to get the most out of your RV life. Or, send your tech questions to

ask stEVE

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HEARING THE WORDS ’ GOLDEN ARCHES’ and not automatically thinking hamburgers.

There are wonders in this nation that every child should see with his or her own eyes. And they are not made of plastic or packaged with a kid’s meal. It’s time to give your family the gift of America. Our Allegro Bus® is the most comfortable, spacious way to experience those wide-open spaces. Four slides and floor plans up to 43 feet give everyone room to roam. And with our exclusive Powerglide chassis, you’ll have the

confidence to travel from coast to coast. Custom-built and designed at the Tiffin plant in Red Bay, Alabama, this chassis is American ingenuity at its finest, delivering superior performance ▲ It’s your country. Come see it, in the roomy Allegro Bus. and reliability. The exterior is clad by the very same body paint which graces the world’s top luxury supercars. Grand touring, indeed. And because it’s a Tiffin, you can be confident in our warranty, our company, and our service. And when you buy from Lazydays, you can count on a dealer who is just as dedicated as we are. | 888.626.7800

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Congratulations to Lazydays; 4th consecutive Dealer of the Year award.

LAB 250-10, Lewis Communications, 7.875 x 10.5, Better11:06 RVing 9/23/10 AM

6130 LAZY DAYS BLVD. SEFFNER, FL 33584-2968



love the freedom of going wherever they please. is pleased to cover them wherever they go.

emergency expense. You choose to spend your free time enjoying the open road. So Progressive makes sure youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re taken care of by covering lodging and transportation if your RV becomes disabled due to an accident. Protect your trips with Progressive.

LAZyDAys InsUrAnce Agency

1-866-317- 4014 Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. and its affiliates, Mayfield Village, OH. Coverage available for separate premium, may not be available for all RVs and coverage selections, and is subject to policy terms. 10A00146 (03/10)

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Fall 2010 betterRVing  

Travel in an RV with runners who run 26.2 miles every day for a year, learn expert RV how-to tips, and check out cool products.