Page 1

FALL 2011

Enjoy our white cover! Only you know what your perfect RV experience looks like. We would love it if you’d draw a picture, paste on a photo or two, maybe add some pressed flowers from Estes Park and then send it to us. See page 19 inside for directions on getting your personal cover to us.

Summer is over. The nights are getting cooler. It’s time to head south. It’s time to head to Florizona. Welcome to Florizona. Navigated by Lazydays. It’s not a place, exactly. But it is a destination. You won’t find it in any official road atlas, and you can’t get there by plugging it into your GPS. But it is a very real state. It can take years to get there, but the moment you arrive you know it. The signs are all around you... Awe. Solitude. Wow. Wonder. Delight. Pick a point on your emotional compass and we’ll help you get there. Whether your journey leads east or west we’ll be there when you come home. We are now open for sales, service and RV camping in both Tampa, FL and Tucson, AZ.

TAMPA | TUCSON | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

35 30

42 48 8 From Tent to

38 Driver's Confidence

Diesel Pusher

Course: Parking the Motorhome Alone

A couple moves from a rain soaked tent to high-end luxury.

Expert Driving Instructor teaches how to park when you are without a traveling companion.

12 Turkey in Paradise

Plan a Thanksgiving dinner at a local campground this year.

20 Fall Foliage Tour

Find the bright spots of fall near you.

25 Generator Maintenance

Learn to safely maintain the generator.

30 Florizona Day

Bird rescue efforts transformed RV travel for one couple.

An RV is shared by two families for separate trips to the Grand Canyon.

48 An Artist’s Expedition Into the Extraordinary

A highly emotional state, celebrated.

35 RVing Is for the Birds

42 A Grand Adventure

Jane Chapin paints inspiring landscapes in each state of the country.

52 RV Club Discover the benefits of an RV club.

54 Hot, New & Useful

New products that make travel fun and efficient.

56 Troubleshootin’ with Ernie

The road that leads to your memories is just a little smoother when you have the comfortable luxury and impressive engineering of the Phaeton®. Lazydays is a proud dealer and partner of Tiffin Motorhomes. Visit to learn more.

What is in the best RV emergency kit?

62 Two for the Road

Take a fun tour with our RV experts in the American Tradition.

67 Pets & Vets

On-the-road veterinarian tips for your best friend.

69 Check Your Fluids

An important RV lesson taught through stinking humor.

70 Lazydays Events

What’s happening at Lazydays.

71 RV Details

Find your perfect RV home on the road.

79 Partner Spotlight

Meet Jay Diaz, Activities Coordinator Lazydays RV Campground.

80 Technically Speaking with Steve Roddy

Ernie solves a common inverter issue.

58 RV Quick Tips Make the journey worth it.

60 RV Emergency

RVers toughest questions answered.

Tips to make you a better RVer.

Turn the page to find out how to log on and learn more about ➤ | Fall 2011

Your we e kend starts now!

Log on and get everything in

the magazine + tons more!

Tommy the Teardrop Trailer Expert traveler Daryl May documents his building a classic teardrop trailer.

> RV Living Recipe for Thanksgiving Try this Crunchy Top Sweet Potato Casserole for your Thanksgiving meal.

> RV Tips The Davis’ Return from the Grand Canyon Read a first time RVers story from the Grand Canyon to Florida.

> RV Living Troubleshootin’ With Ernie Watch Ernie solve an inverter problem.

> RV Toolbox Facebook Your questions to our Expert, Steve Roddy

GO RV living ONLINE | Fall 2011

What are you waiting for? Now’s the time to enjoy a sizzling summer deal on the world’s best selling line of travel trailers, fifth wheels and toy haulers. Lazydays offers you a full inventory of Keystone RVs. Everything from the luxury Montana fifth wheel to the easy to tow, Passport Ultra Lite. Plus family-friendly campers including the new Laredo travel trailers and fifth wheels, the completely redesigned Sprinter and Copper Canyon, and the incredibly well equipped and affordable Springdale, Summerland, and Retreat.

Time’s a wasting. Visit L azydays now for a ne w Ke ystone RV and ge t your we e ke nd on. | 888.626.7800

SCAN HERE Scan this tag with your smart phone and learn more about which Keystone RV brand will start your weekend.

enjoy the season


ach Thanksgiving my mom makes a pumpkin pie so incredible that every taste bud in the Horton family begins to water with anticipation around Labor Day. Delicious as it is, her sweet and spiced-to-perfection pastry isn’t the only ingredient that makes the November holiday so special. Sharing stories amidst laughter and joy with the people in my life who matter most truly makes Thanksgiving one of my favorite days of the year. When you think about it, enjoying precious moments with those we love is also what makes RVing so much fun. That’s why we’re taking the time in this issue of BetterRVing to give thanks (and talk a little turkey while we’re at it) by celebrating everything the RV lifestyle has to offer. Here at Lazydays, we are thankful to be part of such a wonderful lifestyle where passionate RVers pursue their dreams, explore new places and meet new friends along the way. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve our customers by welcoming them to our family and make them feel like they have come home when they visit us in Tampa, Florida or Tucson, Arizona. For more than three

decades, we have had the privilege to help RVers discover the perfect RV and properly service their home on wheels when it needs a little TLC. Today, we’re thankful for the honor to continue making RVers’ dreams come true for the next three decades. We are especially thankful for the opportunity to give back to the communities in which we work and live through the Lazydays Employee Foundation (; a nonprofit organization run by our partners and funded with weekly payroll deductions to help at-risk children by empowering them with education. Most of all we are thankful for RVers like you who make what we do not only possible but an absolute joy. May the road ahead wind with beauty and your next great adventure be even more memorable than the last.

Inhale the crisp air &

Feel the rejuvenation of a morning filled with the promise of another free day. Free of boring. Free of mundane. Free of the status quo. Come celebrate the best life there is.

Celebrate the RVing way of things.

Enjoy the holiday… and this issue (and the pumpkin pie).

John Horton Lazydays, Chief Executive Officer

Your free subscription is waiting for you,

ADVERTISING Director, Liz Lema 866.317.4012 • For advertising inquires: SUBSCRIPTION and customer service inquires: Managing Editor: Ann Cosentino, • All rights reserved © 2010 Lazydays® • 6130 Lazy Days Boulevard, Seffner, FL 33584-2968 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.

FROM RV living JOHN | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800


Fifth Wheel


tent to diesel pusher by Curtis Ross

Slide-In Camper

Fred and Tina Barina will celebrate 50


years of marriage in December. Avid RVers, the Barinas have spent a big portion of that half-century on the road.

Travel Trailer

3 Popup Camper


RV LIVING living | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

“The idea is either to go and have fun or just crazy, I’m not sure which,” said Tina, sparking a laugh from Fred. The Barinas have moved up the RV line from a popup in the early 1960s to the diesel-pusher they drive today, reflecting their changing needs and budgets over the years. Fred spent 38 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a captain in 1997, so the military family regularly pulled up stakes to set out for his latest posting. In the early days especially, their mobile accommodations weren’t just for recreation. They were an economic necessity. “We moved around quite a bit,” Fred said. “Having different RVs helped us, especially when we had children and we had to relocate from one coast to the other. A lot of times we just couldn’t afford to stay in hotels along the way. But we always had our camper.” As a young couple they would set out with just their sleeping bags, a Coleman® stove and a cover that snapped either across the bed of their pickup truck or to the side of the truck to form a lean-to. From there the couple moved to their first real camper, which they built from a kit while stationed in San Diego, Calif. Although small – it was no higher than their pickup truck’s cab – it was just right for the frugal young couple’s adventures. “There were a lot of places to explore up in the mountains outside San Diego,” Tina said. Venturing further north, to Glacier National Park in Montana, the Barinas awoke one morning to find the doors to their pickup truck frozen closed.

Settled” may not be the proper description. They’re on the road six or seven months a year, now traveling in a Thor Mandalay diesel pusher.

Class A


“We heated up water on our Coleman® stove and then we poured it over while we tried to put the key in,” Fred said. “It was beyond Boy Scouting,” Tina said. Tina, from Kellogg, Idaho, was the experienced camper. “For me, camping was walking through Central Park,” Fred said. Fred’s lack of experience showed itself when the couple decided to rough it in a nylon tent. “One time we had all our stuff in the tent and it started pouring rain,” Fred said. “I wanted to make sure it wasn’t leaking but I didn’t realize that in a nylon tent, as long as you don’t touch the sides you’re all right. I rubbed my hands all over to make sure water wasn’t coming through and once I did that. . . ." “…It was like Niagara Falls in there,” Tina said. “That would be his Brooklyn side coming out.” “We decided tenting was not our forte,” Fred said. “That’s why we went with a camper.” With their two daughters in tow, the Barinas purchased a Cox popup camper. It was the popup that introduced the Barinas’ younger daughter, at 2 months old, to RVing. Fred was reassigned from South Carolina back to San Diego, Calif. “We used that as a reason to see as much as we could on the way,” Fred said. Perhaps the trip registered positively in the infant’s mind. “Our youngest daughter has an RV, a Jayco Tagalong,” Tina said. “Our older daughter says camping, for her, is staying at the Holiday Inn,” Fred said. A post in Hawaii kept the Barinas off the open

road between 1972 and 1976. When they returned to the mainland, they moved up to a more substantial Starcraft popup. The early ‘80s took the Barinas abroad to Japan. Upon reassignment to Virginia, they purchased their first travel trailer, a Holiday Rambler. “We thought we were big-timers,” Fred said. “It had hard sides and air conditioning. And a bathroom.” The Barinas kept the Holiday Rambler for almost a decade, traveling to Canada and the Atlantic Coast beaches, as well as to Fred’s next-to-last assignment in North Carolina. They sold the Rambler in 1993 before moving to Fred’s final duty station in Corpus Christi, Texas. With the girls all grown up and retirement on the horizon, the Barinas purchased their first full-timer’s rig, a 36-foot, three-axle Newmar Mountaineer fifth wheel. When Fred retired in 1997, the Barinas settled in Jacksonville, Fla., where both of their daughters were living. “Settled” may not be the proper description. They’re on the road six or seven months a year, now traveling in a Thor Mandalay diesel pusher. They bought it in 2005, Fred said, “and I’ve got just shy of 90,000 miles on it.” The Barinas keep the Mandalay ready to go for whenever road fever strikes. “We keep it plugged in, up and running,” Fred said. “It helps keep the equipment top-notch. It’s our guest house in many senses.” “I don’t know that they last as long being dormant,” Fred said. “I believe RVs are made to be used.” “After a while,” Fred said, “they become like family.” BRV



 to diesel pusher


Truck Camper Lance Shortbed Truck Camper

Ideal for adventurous types, a truck camper is an RV that can go anywhere a truck can go. A truck camper provides indoor cooking capabilities and comfortable sleeping quarters.


Forest River Rockwood Premier Lightweight and easily towed by most vehicles, campers are available in a variety of types, including A-frame, folding camper, popup and tent camper. Ideal for young families and first-time RVers.

Travel Trailer Forest River Heritage Glen

A travel trailer is easy to tow with a minivan, SUV or truck. The travel trailer is very popular due to the wide variety of floorplans and sizes, and is easy to unhitch. | Fall 2011

Fifth Wheel

Carriage Carri-LITE Easily identified by the raised neck section, fifth wheels have a splitlevel floorplan and are towable by most pickup and medium-duty trucks. | 888.626.7800

Class B & C

Toy Hauler

Both Class B and Class C offer a smaller motorized package. The sleeping bunk over the driver’s head is one main feature that stands out on a Class C, while the Class B is known as a conversion van.

Available as motorized or towable, toy haulers provide all of the amenities of home along with a garage to carry your favorite toys – motorcycles to ATVs. Ideal for outdoor adventurers and sports enthusiasts.

Winnebago View Profile & Winnebago ERA

Thor Motor Coach Outlaw

Class A Diesel Entegra Aspire

The roomiest of all RVs, Class A motorhomes are motorized vehicles with all of the luxuries of a stationary home, ideal for full-timers, family vacations, tailgating, weekend excursions and so much more.


in Paradise


RVers leave tradition behind and take Thanksgiving on the road. By Paul Curl

The Black and Thorne families enjoying their Thanksgiving feast.

RV LIVING living | Fall 2011

o some it might seem radical to spend Thanksgiving anywhere except the family homestead, but some RVers have reaped benefits by taking the time-honored traditions of the holiday on the road. In fact, two members of Lazydays Family of Experts – Affinity Programs coordinator Raquel Black and Retail Parts supervisor Mike Doyle – hold fond memories of celebrating in such fashion with their friends and families. Under the umbrella of Affinity Programs, Black oversees the Lazydays Friends & Family and Lazydays Ambassador programs, which gather word-of-mouth referrals to generate sales leads in return for rewards and recognition. Her department, which receives an average of 30 to 40 referrals per month, also plans events and rallies for program participants. Doyle said his department, which has a parts inventory of more than $1.5 million, provides parts request research and sales to RV enthusiasts in the United States and around the world. “We have a tremendous pool of resources that other dealers do not,” he said. “We typically can provide parts and components that others have not been able or willing to do.” Doyle noted that he supervises one of the busiest retail | 888.626.7800

parts departments in the RV industry. To illustrate, he said that in 2010, the department worked with more than 20,000 customers via phone, e-mail or walk-in. For these experts, spending Thanksgiving in their RV isn’t a radical idea at all. They exemplify the idea that “If you love RVing – this is home.” According to Lazydays expert Raquel, she and her husband, Marc, are no strangers to holiday RVing. Often they take their 27-foot travel trailer to a campsite for holidays such as New Year’s and Memorial Day. So, in 2006 it wasn’t a stretch for them to decide to spend Thanksgiving with some RV-owning friends. There were 11 people in Black’s party, including Tammie Thorne and her family – husband Bob and their three daughters: Jenna, Jessica and Jayden, who were ages 13, 10 and 1½, respectively. Tammie recently had bought a 32-foot travel trailer. “It was one of our very first trips,” she said. Preferring to stay nearby, the group made reservations at Nature’s Resort in Homosassa, Fla., because it was within a two-hour drive from Raquel’s home in the Tampa Bay area. But the choice to break with the old house-based Thanksgiving means there’s no limit to choosing a celebration location.

“So we said, ‘Let’s get in that RV and do something we haven’t done before,’” Doyle says. “Let’s spend Thanksgiving in Florida.”


n 1997, Lazydays expert Mike loaded up his family in the RV and drove about 1,850 miles from frigid Traverse City, Mich., to balmy Indian Rocks Beach, Fla. – on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Mexico. Mike and his wife, Tatia, were planning a getaway with their children, Anthony and Lauren, who were 7 and 3, respectively, at the time. The family regularly visited Florida by car, but never in their RV. “So we said, ’Let’s get in that RV and do something we haven’t done before,‘” Mike said. “Let’s spend Thanksgiving in Florida.” The children “were all up for it,” he said. The concept of eating Thanksgiving turkey and going to the beach in the same day “was pretty exciting.” At mid-morning on Thanksgiving day, Mike and his wife started preparing dinner. While the food was cooking, the family walked the short distance to the beach. At 3 p.m., they headed back to the RV and enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner, complete with turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, candied yams, corn casserole, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Tatia had faithfully duplicated the family’s traditional Thanksgiving meal. “It was so memorable,” Mike said. “The only thing missing was the cold weather.” he Thanksgiving meal for the 11 members of Raquel’s group was a collaborative effort, with contributions from everyone. The menu included deep-fried turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, rolls, corn pudding, stuffing and pie. Raquel and her husband were responsible for the turkey, while the others provided side dishes. “And it was all homemade!” Raquel said. “Everything was made on the campsite.”

T | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

Jenna and Jessica Thorne monkeying around in Homassa Springs.

After the meal, the clean-up couldn’t have been simpler. “We had our dinner, threw out the trash and we were done,” Raquel said. According to Raquel and Mike, a holiday celebrated in an RV is much easier and less time-consuming than one spent at home. The need to clean house in preparation for guests, cooking the meal, entertaining and cleaning up after the dinner takes up a lot of time and energy; time and energy that could be better spent with family and friends. Raquel added that there also is no need to keep people entertained when you’re RVing in a park. Tammie agreed. The group rode bikes, took walks around the camp and played games. One afternoon, everyone in the group rode a pontoon boat down Hall’s River to watch the manatees. “That was a lot of fun,” Tammie said. At night, Raquel said, her family and friends gathered around a fire to roast marshmallows. “We always enjoy sitting around the fire at night. Having a few drinks. Making s’mores and just sitting and talking about old times and cracking jokes,” Tammie said. Activities such as these, Raquel added, further help to increase the holiday feeling of togetherness – even more so than if she had held Thanksgiving at her home. “You’re having fun doing things, not just sitting on the couch doing nothing,” Tammie said. Of course, for Raquel and Tammie, fun equals shopping, so Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without Black Friday the following day. “(Raquel) and I are big shoppers,” Tammie said, “and we definitely weren’t going to miss our Black Friday shopping.” While everyone was asleep they snuck out in the early morning hours.


onsidering that many of the holiday traditions remained intact for the Blacks, Doyles and Thornes, there should be no reason for an RV enthusiast not to head to a camp for Thanksgiving. “Why wouldn’t you go out there?” Raquel asked. She said that long holiday weekends are key times for working people to spend with their friends and families. “You’re still doing the traditional Thanksgiving day things – the big dinner and the shopping,” she said. “I don’t think we miss out at all. In fact, I think we do more.” Tammie says this type of holiday gathering also has forged stronger, longer-lasting memories for her family. She says she believes her children’s recollections of traditional Thanksgivings spent at home probably will blur together and not seem special. However, spending their Thanksgiving at a campsite was a new and exciting event. “So it was a really good family memory that they will never forget,” she said. Mike said he is thankful for the memories he was able to create with his family on that Thanksgiving trip, what they refer to as their Turkey in Paradise. “Being there with them – it was great,” Doyle said. “We’ve always tried to do those types of things with our kids. That’s what life’s about. It really is.”   BRV

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The menu included deep-fried turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, rolls, corn pudding, stuffing and pie.

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Freightliner Custom Chassis is Personal. Freightliner Custom Chassis’ 24/7 Direct service provides unparalleled personal assistance anytime you need it, so you can get back to the reason why you bought your motorhome in the first place. Learn more about the personal support for Freightliner chassis owners by visiting, or call Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation at (800) FTL-HELP.

IndusTry’s BesT WarranTy • LargesT servIce neTWOrk

RV LIVING | Fall 2011

Specifications are subject to change without notice. Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation is registered to ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004. Copyright © 2011 Daimler Trucks North America LLC. All rights reserved. Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company. | 888.626.7800


in Paradise


Photography Jeff Fay

Enjoy the holiday inside and out with the 2012 Tiffin Phaeton. All the tools from the home kitchen are easily stored inside the smartly designed kitchen, complete

You can take a picture of your cover and email it to or you can place it in an envelope and mail to Lazydays, Attn: Ann Cosentino, 6130 Lazydays

with hard surface counter tops, convection microwave oven and expand-an-island

Blvd., Seffner, FL 33584.

pull-out. After the meal, catch the game. Kick back and watch on any of the

We will feature these

four possible televisions: overhead, midship, bedroom or even in the crisp air

online at

outside. Whatever your desire, the Phaeton serves it up on a platter of luxury.

so check often to see when yours is posted.

Visit for a delicious Sweet Potato Casserole recipe.

RV LIVING | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

souvenirs of the season Each leaf you keep comes with a memory attached. So protect those colors and preserve those stories. While you may be tempted to just slip them in a photo album, the moisture in the leaves can turn your souvenir into a soggy mess. Here is a simple method that will keep your seasonal souvenirs in good condition for years to come. Book Method:

• Place your leaves in a window to dry for a day or two.

 Fall Foliage


tour & report


• Find a book that has negligible value to you (the leaves might ruin the pages)

shades of the  season Plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. The trees turn glucose into food. This process is called photosynthesis. A chemical called chlorophyll is integral to this transformation. Chlorophyll also happens to be the chemical that causes plants to have a

Each year, as summer comes to a close, the bright blues and greens that characterize the sunshiny season are replaced by an even more vibrant rainbow of red, yellow and gold. But where can you find the most vivid colors of fall? To answer that question we are crisscrossing the country, sharing some of our favorite spots from coast to coast. Plus, we will teach you how


green hue. But, as the seasons change, trees “know” that there will be less sunlight and water available. They begin to shut down the glucose factories like shuttered-up diners in off-season tourist towns. Chlorophyll disappears, leaving behind the “true” colors of the leaves – bright oranges, yellows and golds. Deeper red and purple hues come from glucose trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops.

to preserve those colorful treasures for years to come. And we will

There you go. The mysterious science behind the “changing”

explore the science behind the beauty and explain how, despite all

leaves. Now that their true colors have been revealed, let’s learn

appearances, leaves do not actually change color after all.

how to capture and protect that beauty. | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

• Place the leaf between the pages with paper towels on either side of the leaf. The towels will absorb any moisture, protecting both the leaves and the book. • After three days, change out the paper towels but leave the leaves in the book for the rest of the week. • Remove your leaves and place in a photo album or frame.

Now seating party of two...




Oak Mountain State Park

Acadia National Park

Columbia River Gorge

In northern Alabama, beginning in mid- to late October, the weather is gorgeous and the variety of trees and colors is stunning. Yellow poplars, scarlet dogwoods, orange maples and golden hickories all are on display in this beautiful state park. Don’t miss the views at Peavine Overlook and Peavine Falls. Camping is available inside the park at Oak Mountain Campground on the shores of Beaver Lake. Located at 200 Terrace Dr., Pelham, AL 35124. Call 205.620.2527.

Early October is the best time to spy the maples, beeches and birches at their fiery best. Don’t miss the views along Jordan Pond Shore Trail or Park Loop Road. Public camping is available inside the park for rigs under 35 feet. Bar Harbor Campground ( offers camping for big rigs.

In late October, hardwoods including maple, cottonwood and Oregon ash create a light show along the basalt cliffs of the gorge. These can be best seen along Columbia River Highway scenic drive. Diversions include Lewis & Clark State Park, the Vista House and several waterfalls. The drive ends at The Dalles, the original terminus of the Oregon Trail. Camping is available at Timberlake Campground.

CALIFORNIA Silverado Trail Scenic Drive Napa Valley’s vineyards present a riot of color splashed across the rolling hills. Diversions along the way include winery tours, balloon rides and galleries filled with creations by local artists. Grab lunch in Yountville. Begin at Napa Tourist Center, 1310 Napa Town Center, Napa, CA 94559. Call 707.252.1000.

NORTH CAROLINA Blue Ridge Parkway This stunning nearly 500-mile scenic drive offers more native hardwood species than anywhere in North America. Dogwood, sourwood and blackgum turn first, painting the backdrop crimson. Then poplar and hickory add yellow accents before maples, oaks and sassafras add lighter red and orange hues. Mid-October is peak time to see all the colors. Camping is available in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. six.

WYOMING Grand Teton National Park This park is jaw-dropping year-round, but especially so in late September, when the golden aspens are reflected in the mountain lakes of the Grand Tetons. Cottonwoods and willows accent the aspens in shades of red and yellow. Don’t miss the scenic drive up Signal Mountain Summit Road. Camping is available inside the park at Colter Bay and Flagg Ranch trailer villages. Call 800.628.9988. BRV

There’s a lot to love with the 2012 Winnebago Sightseer and Itasca Sunova 30A. In addition to fresh new exterior styling, the new 30A features our exclusive new extendable sectional U-shaped dinette, which expands to seat six in a matter of minutes. It also serves as a cozy nook when it’s time to relax in front of the slide-out 42” LCD TV with theater surround sound. Other new enhancements include a standard electric patio awning, Corian® counter and backsplash and stylish new interior décor. It’s easy to get comfortable in the new 30A: just see your nearest Winnebago or Itasca dealer, or check out all our exciting new 2012 models online at

WANT MORE COLOR? COLORADO Maroon Bells 970.925.3445 KENTUCKY Mammoth Cave National Park 270.758.2180 NEW HAMPSHIRE White Mountains WISCONSIN Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit 262.594.6200 DNR.WI.Gov/Org/Land/Parks/Specific/kms

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Cab Design

RV LIVING | Fall 2011

✔Our cab structures surround driver and passenger 

with precision-machined, plasma-cut steel, shaped and welded for added strength. Others mount the fiberglass front cap to the sidewalls, without protection from an underlying steel cab structure. | 888.626.7800


Get the full story — and answers to the 4 questions to ask before you buy — at

A Winnebago Industries Circle of Excellence dealer for over 25 years. ©2011 Winnebago Industries, Inc.


Maintenance By Phil Ammann, Photography Jeff Fay

over the last 40 years, our family has worked hard to establish and maintain a reputation for integrity and loyalty in the RV industry. Today, with Entegra Coach, our signature line of motor coaches, we’re following in the footsteps of our father, Lloyd, who taught us the importance of the Golden Rule.

from the ground up, with a commitment to unfailing customer service and unmatched quality. That’s how a great partnership was created with Lazydays as the exclusive retailer during the Entegra Coach introduction and as a participant in the 2011 Entegra Preview Rally.

With his principles in mind, we’ve built the company

Each Entegra Coach is backed by our exclusive family promise to treat our customers fairly and to provide exceptional customer service—before, during and after the sale. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us.


Derald & Wilbur Bontrager Entegra Coach Founders | Fall 2011

t | 888.626.7800

Cummins Onan 10,000

he spirit of the RV lifestyle is in the sense of adventure we experience when traveling the open road. Being able to do so with a feeling of security and safety relies on the performance of your RV. And at its heart is the generator. ➤



Cummins Onan 5500 side access panel

Be careful not to confuse your oil fill with the antifreeze fill. Leave the cap on until you are ready to fill.

Generators can power all the things that make your trip comfortable especially when dry camping, where landlines are not available. Like RV sizes, generators also range significantly in power. Smaller RV generators can put out around 3.5 kilowatts, providing energy for the basics. Larger (Class A) RV generators can power up to 12 kw, running several appliances at once: equipment like washer/ dryers, refrigerators and multiple roof A/C units.

Every generator has an owner’s guide. Use it! Make it your first stop for proper operation and maintenance.


Generator maintenance starts with knowing your equipment; basic information is on the data plate. There you will find model, serial number and spec letter, as well as output and fuel type. Spec letters are essential when ordering parts and service because model changes from year to year can be substantial. An excellent routine is the pre-start check, done daily when on the road. Pre-start checks monitor small details so they don’t lead to big problems. • Always check the oil level before starting. Remove access covers and locate the oil fill. On some models, coolant and oil are located next to each other. • Wipe down visible areas and inspect the air filter; look for carbon deposits. For every 150 hours of usage, have carbon buildup checked and cleaned.

• Check battery terminals for signs of corrosion.

➊ ➋

• Make sure there is adequate fuel, especially on longer trips. Most generators use about one gallon an hour and shut off at approximately one-quarter tank.

• Inspect the exhaust system for damage or leaks. Leaking exhaust can allow carbon monoxide to enter the cabin. You should know what your generator sounds like when it’s operating well. Hear anything unusual? Check it out!

➊ antifreeze reservoir ➋ info panel ➌ access panel

➊ ➋ ➌ ➊ oil filter ➋ dip stick ➌ oil fill | Fall 2011

• Monitor circuit breakers. If too much is on at the same time, the circuit may overload. Know your generator’s capabilities, usually measured in watts. Watts Law (Watts = Volts x Amps) converts wattage to amperage and is a handy tool for measuring how hard a generator works. By adding the amperage of each device, you can determine the | 888.626.7800

output needed to power what you want. • Know that frequent breaker trips can result from overloads or shorts in wiring, requiring service. On many units, a “fault code” will be on the start switch after a forced shutdown. This is a series of flashes that can notify you of the cause of the problem. • Refer to your owner’s manual for more information.

➊ disconnect the remote start when servicing the generator

When starting a generator while on shore power, make sure all devices are off and no load is on the

system. Loads could strain your transfer switch, leading to inconvenient and costly repairs.

➊ anti-freeze fill. When servicing the generator, keep the caps on until filling to ensure correct fluid placement.



5.0 Onan generators can be found in small class A, fifth wheel, and class B & C RVs.

It may be strange to think that not using a generator can lead to performance problems, but it can.

For peak performance, exercise your generator for at least two hours every month. Start it and warm up with a 50 percent load for at least 30 minutes. Look at the exhaust; see if water is coming from the pipe. Warming the generator prevents moisture buildup, which can cause fuel system damage and a rusty exhaust system. For safety, always run the generator outside; never exercise a generator in storage. Another excellent habit is regular generator oil changes. On many models, they are simple and help avoid costly repairs. The basics of an oil change are: • Run the generator until the engine is warm. • Shut down the generator. • Place a pan under the oil drain plug, usually located at the bottom of the generator.

• Remove the access cover. Remove the oil cap. On some generators, the coolant reservoir is located next to the oil fill. Be careful not to confuse the two; open only the oil cap. • Unscrew the oil plug, draining oil from the generator.

drop down hatch under the coach which accesses the oil filter

• Inspect washer to make sure it is in good condition. Add pipe thread sealant and reinstall the oil drain plug securely. • Fill generator with oil. Check your manual for recommended viscosity and amount. Do not overfill! • Reinstall the fill cap. Run the generator briefly; check oil level. The dipstick should read at the upper level.

4.0 Onan. 4.0 and smaller units do not have an oil filter. Just drain oil and refill.

• Reinstall the access cover. A properly working generator can mean the difference between comfort and roughing it. Nothing spoils a trip faster than generator problems, and the best practice for avoiding trouble is regular maintenance.  BRV


Monaco Coach and Lazydays have partnered for many years with one goal in mind: To provide our mutual customers with the highest-quality, most innovative recreational vehicles possible, along with unmatched service and support from product-trained technicians. Today, we continue to strive toward this goal as we introduce the Next Generation of RVs.

➊ oil dipstick and fill reservoir all-in-one

91320 Coburg Industrial Way, Coburg, OR 97408

RV TOOLBOX | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800



877 252 4666


Where is Florizona?



It’s not a place on any map. And you won’t find it in any road atlas or on your GPS. But it is a destination and a very real where dreams and experiences greet each and memories walk toward the sunset holding hands with here and now. The mariachi band played as the fajitas sizzled on the outdoor grill and the margaritas flowed. This was a big day for fans of Lazydays. The employees, locals and campground guests were all in place to begin. Today they were celebrating the grand opening of the new Lazydays Tucson.

Tampa ~ Florizona Day


t was a perfect late-summer day in central Florida. Caribbean steel drums provided a backbeat for Mexican melodies drifting from the clubhouse. Families splashed in the pool, the kids taking frequent breaks to attack a giant waterslide. They created an endless loop, up the stairs and down the ramp, then up and down again. Other campers gravitated toward the calf roping, nervously thinking about saddling up. The mechanical calf won most of the time, but a few lucky vaqueros tossed the lariat true. As margaritas and sangria flowed, the countdown continued. Then the big screen filled with a scene from across the country. The crowd quieted, watching and listening as the dream of bringing the Lazydays brand to America’s vast and beautiful Southwest became a reality. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the front gate of the beautiful new



he President and CEO of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce, Michael Varney, spoke of the importance of Lazydays joining the Tucson community. “Thank you to Lazydays for the commitment to the community. I have learned what a first-rate company this is.” He then read a proclamation for Los Compadres, declaring it a day of “progress” and “new beginnings.” He stated that the proclamation brought with it 100 years of good fortune for the organization. Cameras clicked as the ribbon was cut and a big shout signified the opening of the new site.

state. It is a state of mind

other like old friends

Tuscon ~ Florizona Day

Lazydays facility in Tucson, Ariz. Flags were waving in the clear blue summer sky as Lazydays CEO John Horton and Tucson General Manager Bob Grady took their places on the stage to address the crowd. CEO John Horton introduced the crowd in Tucson to the distinctive culture of Lazydays. “Lazydays is something unique. We don’t just sell you an RV. When you come here, we want you to feel like you’re coming home.” As Horton spoke about the service philosophy that permeates every aspect of Lazydays culture, the Florida crowd watching the simulcast cheered. “We offer classes, a lifestyle magazine … and partners who are dedicated to being and becoming experts in their fields.” Tucson General Sales Manager, Bob Grady, followed, greeting visitors and inviting them to join the Lazydays family. “Whatever you need, we will be here for you.” Finally, after months of preparation and anticipation, the moment had come. | Fall 2011

For those who already know and love Lazydays, the purchase of the additional location in the Southwest is exciting. For those who visited the Tucson location under previous ownership, the new Lazydays ownership is a welcome change. The Wandering Wapitis, a group from the nearby Sierra Vista Elks Lodge, make this location a regular camping stop. When asked why this site continues to be a top destination, Larry replied, "Location, location, location.” He quickly added that the Lazydays staff “beat other organizations because they are friendly and concerned. The winter temperatures are perfect. There’s no hard sell when you stay at the campground, like with some other companies. What brings them back time after time? “The hospitality, the beautiful area, and it’s close to town. The spaces are roomy and it is easy to park. The large spots are good for the big RVs. Plus, retired military also appreciate that there is an Air Force base right near here.” | 888.626.7800

The group agreed that both the amount and type of activities in the Tucson vicinity should be a major draw to visitors. Bonnie said, “There’s lots to do in Tucson.” The group’s list of highlights include museums, casinos, shopping, sightseeing, Old Tucson, and Saguaro National Park. More than a dozen colorful piñatas, hung over the arches of the main Southwestern-style building, welcomed guests as they made their way from the ribbon-cutting to the party. Horton circled the crowds, chatting with guests and taking in the festive atmosphere. Everywhere, guests and staff were happy, relaxed and satisfied. The Tucson grand opening was carefully planned to celebrate the Florida and Arizona cultures, as well as the culture and history of the Lazydays organization. Lazydays has been fulfilling customers RVing dreams since 1976. The company was founded on providing an exceptional customer experience, and now that same experience and culture is available in Tucson. While the adobe-style buildings and cacti make the new Southwest setting distinctly different from the Tampa location, the level of customer service is based on the same core values: Home, Customers, Partners, and Community. Even the hot dogs served at the event were symbolic. Lazydays started giving away hot dogs at the Florida location in 1976 as a way to treat visiting RVers right. That tradition continues. On Florizona Day, those lining up for the Sonoran hot dogs gave a nod

of approval to that history as they savored a tasty hot dog wrapped in bacon, topped with beans, tomatoes and onions, connecting the customerservice-oriented past to the future. Now Lazydays guests have homes in the Southwest as well as the Southeast. The Lazydays Tucson location is now open and available to RVers who are interested in a new coach, need RV service, motorhome seminars, driver training, or a fun place to camp, dine and visit with other like-minded individuals who are passionate about RVing.

Lazydays History in the Making:

A Chat with John Horton and Bob Grady John Horton, CEO, and Bob Grady, General Manager, share some thoughts about the new location in Tucson, the Florizona Day celebration, and the reasons you will want to visit soon.

Why is this a historical day for Lazydays? John Horton: For a long time it has been our dream to expand the Lazydays brand to the Western United States. It has been an important goal of ours because we believe that Lazydays offers RVers something really unique and exciting and we create a very special experience for our customers, for our employees and in the communities in which we do business.

Whether it is an RV family vacation or full-time living, Lazydays has understood the journey for more than


35 years.

his excitement was clearly in the air on Florizona Day. Of course, whenever you are in Florizona, that “independent, sovereign and highly emotional state,” the weather is just perfect for a celebration every day of the year. Whether it is an RV family vacation or full-time living, Lazydays has understood the journey for more than 35 years. The Tucson campground is prepared to serve you whether you are stopping in Tucson for a day, a week or a month, or if you want to live there permanently. The new Tucson campground offers the great amenities Lazydays customers have come to expect, such as complimentary cable television, high-speed wireless Internet, and morning newspaper delivery. There are swimming pools, a putting green, games, and a large dog park available on-site to make you feel right at home. As the welcoming Lazydays Tucson sign says: If you love RVing, this is home! For reservations call 800.306,4067 or visit BRV | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

What is the culture of Lazydays? John Horton: The Lazydays culture is based on all of the Lazydays partners focused on a singular mission: striving to create the perfect RV purchase and ownership experience for our customers. Our core values and shared beliefs help us align around this goal and include: treating each other like family, being of service to others, teamwork, and doing the right thing. Our culture defines how we treat each other, how we treat our customers and our commitment to the communities in which we work and live. What do you want people to know about Lazydays and the Tucson location? Bob Grady: We have a truly remarkable team here in Tucson in terms of their professional abilities but also for having a sincere dedication to creating relationships with our customers and providing the best possible RV experience. Once our construction is completed over the coming weeks, our facility will provide an unmatched experience for RVers. Everyone will have to visit Tucson to see what I mean. What is one thing readers may not know, but should? John Horton: A couple of things. First, we offer a lot of ways for our customers to better enjoy the RV lifestyle, well beyond selling and servicing RVs. These include various training courses at our dealerships, our 24/7 technical support, our dedication to being RV experts in all areas of our business, our online resources that serve up RV stories and tips and of course the print version of BetterRVing. Secondly, the Lazydays Employee Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, mostly through payroll deduction, to help at-risk children. We strongly believe in being of service to others and we know that while individually the impact we could make is minimal, together we can accomplish great things. We will continue these efforts to help children in need at our new home in Tucson. What are some future activities at the Tucson site? Bob Grady: We’ll be doing another major event in December for our winter customers when they make their annual pilgrimage to our part of paradise (the unfrozen Southwest, that is). We’ll be working with local attractions such as our casinos, museums and cultural venues to provide a wide variety of entertainment options. Go online to to find upcoming event listings.


is  for  the  birds. By Adam Porter, PHOTOGRAPHY JEFF FAY


ou wake from a blissful siesta to another perfect day at the campground. The afternoon sun is shining in a clear blue sky. Kids are laughing and splashing in the pool. Robins and jays are singing in the trees. But wait … that’s not coming from the trees. And that does not sound like songbirds. You rush outside as a golf cart rolls by. The driver turns to wave, and the parrot near his shoulder squawks out a greeting. In the back seat two rainbow-hued catalinas jockey for position like kids on a long road trip. The cart turns out of sight, parking on the far side of a Monaco Signature Series you watched pull in yesterday. Curiosity aroused, you walk over to the Monaco. A friendly couple introduces themselves as John and Nancy Spann. She is holding a bucket of chicken. He is holding a stick upon which an excited parrot is perched. The macaw has eyes only for the chicken. Still waiting in the cart, the matched pair of catalinas vigorously dispute the macaw’s claim to the KFC. “Meet the kids,” Nancy grins. “Just be careful, they may bite.” Since they began rescuing and rehabilitating exotic birds six years ago, Nancy and John Spann have been bitten countless times. “Patience is the only way to earn their trust.” Nancy explains. “Most of these birds have been abused. You cannot react in fear or anger if they snap at you.” The Spanns admit that’s a tough order. The average macaw can break broomsticks with its beak. But John and Nancy have had plenty of practice. At their home in New Jersey they currently care for more than 80 rescue birds: parrots, cockatoos, cockatiels, lovebirds and finches. They have even rescued and rehabilitated starlings and ducks.

Table for Ten The Spanns eat dinner around a table that could comfortably seat 10 humans but usually caters to two humans and 11 birds. “They each have a place setting and they eat what we eat,” Nancy explains. “Chicken, pork chops, spaghetti and meatballs, mashed potatoes.” “There are some things they can’t have,” John adds. “Alcohol, caffeine, avocados are poisonous, onions and anything carbonated. Otherwise they love people food. You do not want to see our grocery bill.” | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

Advice for


Homes Understand these birds can live to be 100 years old. It’s a multigenerational commitment.

Realize that the bird has to pick you. If the bird doesn’t like you, you should not take the bird home. Never put a parrot on your shoulder, no matter what you see in the pirate movies. Being above you makes them feel dominant and more likely to bite. Know that if a bird does try to bite you, you should drop your arm so the bird is well below eye level. Learn which fumes, candles and cleaners are toxic to birds.

What makes a good adoptive motorhome for birds A model that limits the shake and shimmy going down the highway. That’s why the Spanns have a Signature Series. A model with a central, open space for all the cages. A model with enough storage for all the extra food and gear. The Spanns travel as a large family, and can’t go with a smaller model generally suitable for a couple.

Tropical Traveling Companions The Spanns have not always been “bird people.” John worked near a “melt-your-face-off furnace” in a steel mill and Nancy managed a restaurant. Together they raised two children. When John retired, “doing nothing” caught up with him quick. “You never realize how fast you can get real bored sitting home.”

The Spanns adopted

Tiki, a blue and gold macaw, who quickly became “ Daddy’s Girl.”

Captain Bligh and Louie soon joined her. Then a friend from Disney’s Animal Kingdom introduced the Spanns to the Catalina siblings, Ariel and Jasmine. The Spanns rescued two smaller parrots, Monkey Bird and Cackles, from a home in New Jersey where the chatty birds were kept isolated in a cold basement. Mango and Lucy, two Conures mistreated so badly they plucked out their own feathers, now have their own special place with the Spanns. Zazu, a Sir Arthur who is the baby of the bunch, and BooBoo, the Spanns’ latest rescue, round out the candy-colored traveling crew. Each year, the Spanns spend five or six months cruising in their Signature Series. To keep the birds company in the coach when they go out, the Spanns pop in the “Bird Sitter” DVD. “It plays on a loop, and they just love it,” Nancy smiles. “They also love Disney movies. Zazu quotes the lines.” Everywhere they go, John and Nancy are ambassadors and champions of these exotic breeds, which are too often mistreated and abandoned by those who lack the patience and attention the sociable creatures require.

The Hotel Queen Travels Coach Of course, they have not always been “RV people” either. “I was the hotel queen,” says Nancy. “Swore I would never go camping.” When the couple’s son, then 8, began racing junior dragsters, the Spanns purchased a pre-owned Winnebago. “A 34-footer with no slideouts. I used it for shade and A/C on race days.” Nancy pauses for an admission: "We did


camp in it once, and I told my husband ‘never again.’” But a few weeks after that camping trip, John announced he had placed a deposit on an RV. Nancy tacitly agreed to make the trip to Lazydays in Florida. What was waiting for her took her breath away. “It was Barney purple.” Nancy explains, “Even the interior was purple. Seriously. This was the ‘I love you, you love me’ RV.” No sale. The salesman suggested they take a look at one more coach. They returned to New Jersey in a Holiday Rambler Marquis, passionate ambassadors of the RV lifestyle. “We tell all our friends: ‘you have got to do this!’” John enthusiastically agrees. “Having an RV gives you such a different way of looking at vacations. Before we got the marquis, we had been taking only one or two weeklong breaks each year. With the coach, we went on so many weekend trips, two- or three-day mini-vacations.” And the “Hotel Queen” even used the RV on work trips. “They booked me in this ‘nice’ hotel, but I just couldn’t sleep. I called John to bring up the coach.” The Spanns boondocked in the parking lot, and Nancy slept like a baby. “I will never stay in another hotel. Never ever. Not even if you paid me.”

Willing to Step Up But why travel with the birds when it’s easier to care for them at home? “Sure, they do require a lot of attention.” Nancy opens one of the four cages in the coach. “But we would miss them too much. They’re like family.” Family that might still nip. Nancy does not reach a hand into the cage. Instead she uses a two-foot piece of broomstick. “Step up, Tiki Bird, step up.” Reluctant, Tiki obeys, first stepping up onto the stick and then onto Nancy’s arm. “Many people go out and get a bird, and it’s something new, a novelty. After a while they start to give less and less attention to the bird. When they get lonely, they demand attention by screeching. If that doesn’t work they start plucking, self-mutilating. That’s when they start to get aggressive.” According to Nancy, this aggression is usually the last straw. The “novelty pets” are abused or simply cast aside. Then, just like the birds, conscientious rescuers have to step up. Yes, the distressed and fearful birds may bite. They may protest, screech and scratch. But, if you persist, these amazing creatures can become your loyal traveling companions and a legacy for the next generation. And that, say John and Nancy, is worth every scar.  BRV | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

Discover the difference!

Dutchmen provides you with a high end appearance, feature packed floor plans and the best value in the marketplace. Stop by Lazydays and see for yourself why Dutchmen is the choice of so many RVers over the past 25 years.

Barney Alexander – Senior Driver Confidence Course Instructor Tampa, Florida Bob Bergeron – Driver Confidence Course Instructor Tucson, Arizona To sign up for the course visit:

parking  your  motorhome



hen I start talking about how to park a coach in the Drivers Confidence Course offered at Lazydays, one of the first things I say is, “Your partner should stand here.” Almost always I am asked, “What if I’m alone; how do I park?” More and more, people are attending the class alone. Some work in sales, some are widowed or disabled. Others are independent travelers. So, I have come up with a simple solution to park a coach without human assistance, under good conditions. 1. Start by watching chapter seven, “Parking,” on 2. Buy three inexpensive Frisbees in the toy department at your local big box store.

3. Stand at the 8-foot mark on the side of your coach. Face forward and count how many steps it takes you to get from the 8-foot mark to where your hips are located if you are sitting in the coach. This will likely be four to seven steps. Remember this number for step four below.


“We are proud to play a part of Lazydays migration to the west. All of us at Dutchmen are excited for the opportunity to work with Lazydays as it brings great products and exceptional customer service to the Southwest. Both of our companies strive to provide the perfect RV purchase and ownership experience and look forward to growing this market together” Don Clark President - Dutchmen Manufacturing | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

parking  your  motorhome alone

1. Pull to position No. 1, as explained in chapter seven. Stop the coach so your hips are in the spot where you want to park the coach.

5. Get back in the coach, so your hip is at Frisbee No. 2. Pull the coach forward until your hip gets to Frisbee No. 3. Now the 8-foot mark is at Frisbee No. 2.

2. Now get out with your Frisbees and walk around the site, checking for any object you could back into. At the rear of the site where you want to stop the back of the coach, place Frisbee No. 1 on the ground. You now know that this is where you want to stop when you get to the back of the site.

6. Lower your flat mirror to see the back corner of your coach. Turn your steering wheel all the way to the right and pull forward slowly until you cover up half of Frisbee No. 2 with the back of your coach.

3. Come up to where your spotter would stand, at the driver’s hip. Put your arms out as if you were sleepwalking, and place Frisbee No. 2 between your feet. That is now your spotter. 4. Stand at Frisbee No. 2, face in the direction that the front of the coach is facing, and take the number of steps forward that you measured above. Lay the last Frisbee, No. 3, on the ground.

7. Lower the mirror a little more to see the back tire and the back of your coach. Turn the steering wheel all the way left, come back slowly. You should see the back tire roll over Frisbee No. 2; keep going until the coach becomes parallel with the edge of the parking site. 8. Straighten the front tires and go straight back. Watch the rear monitor until you see the back of the coach get to Frisbee No. 1.

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Still blazing today.

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RV TOOLBOX | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

A Grand


By Adam Porter

Jim and Jeanne Davis have always been boat people. Jim competed in regattas, and for years the couple cruised the waters around Florida in a 34-foot Morgan sailboat. Seven years ago, the Davises decided to try adventure travel with wheels attached. They purchased a 32-foot Coachmen Leprechaun, which Jim dubbed the “land sloop,� and set about sailing the highways and byways of the Sunshine State. But business beckoned and competition called. Jim is an entrepreneur who owns Lighting Plastics South ( Jeanne manages corporate accounts for Roberts Printing. Their daughters, Morgan, 14, and Anna, 12, dance competitively and are active in community service.

RV LIVING living | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

• Hot Springs, Ark., “captured our hearts.” Homemade sausage at breakfast. Steamy thermal springs. Strolling down bathhouse row. A scenic hike. • Backtracking through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. • Glen Canyon Recreation Area in Utah. The challenging bike trails along Lake Powell, a 3,700-foot deep body of water with over 2,000 miles of shoreline. • Tubing down the Virgin River in Zion Park. Hiking the amazing Kayenta Trail to Emerald Falls. Their approach to the Grand Canyon’s north rim took them through the Kaibab Forest. And when they arrived? “Words cannot describe the beauty and majestic power of the Canyon. We absolutely loved every minute of it! Then there were the nighttime Ranger talks and the “amazing” helicopter tour that offered a bird’s eye view of the bright turquoise of the Little Colorado River merging with the darker Big Colorado.”


ut, even with a perpetually full calendar, the Davises do their best to keep the RV on the road – exploring Florida on the weekends, beach trips with the girls and group dinners with friends. Their one previous extended trip, traveling through the Carolinas and Tennessee, convinced the Davises to chart a course for an even more remote port of call. But where? The Southwest offered compelling intangibles: Vast. Remote. Peaceful. Devoid of TV. In other words…perfect! The Grand Canyon was near the top of the Davises’ RV bucket list. They wanted to experience the “Big Ditch” with their girls before Morgan and Anna were too busy with their own lives to make the trip with mom and dad. And there were a few other, more personal reasons to point the Leprechaun toward the desert… Nostalgia. Jim and Jeanne both fondly remember Sunday drives in the family station wagon. “We would kick and scream, then have the time of our lives. Our girls are at the perfect ages to appreciate that same ‘torture’.” Legacy. Jeanne’s dad always wanted to buy an RV and chase the sunset with his red-haired soul mate. But he died suddenly eight years ago, his wish unfulfilled. So, when it came time to choose their Coachmen’s crew for this trip, Jeanne’s mom, healthy at 83, was on the manifest.


The Davises keep a journal in the “land sloop” to chronicle their trips. Jeanne added the first few entries to it on the Canyon run. Her enthusiasm and excitement leap from the pages: The anticipation of exploring the Canyon with Jim. The joy of sharing the trip with mom and the girls. Jeanne writes of wishing her dad was there with them, and how, in a way, he is. By Day Two, the family has slipped into


a comfortable, almost domestic routine. Jeanne’s journal describes a vignette most RV families recognize: “Morgan found her comfort zone. Couch opened up, reclining on a pillow with the window open just enough to direct a breeze on her face. IPod buds firmly in her ears. Occasionally she blurts out a line or two of whatever she is listening to, oblivious to the pitch. We have already shared some reading time, discussing our analysis of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” Anna is acting first mate and volunteer navigator, keeping dad entertained with road games and challenges.”


The girls eventually asked the ubiquitous question. You know the one. But for mom and dad, the answer to “are we there yet?” was always “yes.” Jeanne explained: “Even though it was our stated destination, the Grand Canyon was not our ‘there’. To Jim and I, ‘there’ meant many things. A new landmark. The next fuel stop or sleeping place. The next town we plugged into our GPS. For us, this trip was all about the journey and the time with our family.” And food. Food was always a hot topic. The Davises were committed to sampling as much regionally authentic food as they could. Their favorites included Marlowe’s in Memphis, Tenn., Pancake House in Hot Springs, Ark., and Harry’s Roadhouse in Santa Fe, N.M. “We also wanted to see as many states as we could, introduce the girls to as much ‘America’ as possible.” So instead of the typical diagonal track from Florida to the Southwest, the Davises tacked well north, sailing through nine states – traveling 3,300 miles and making a lifetime of memories. | Fall 2011


With only one campground inside Grand Canyon National Park able to accommodate RVs over 30 feet, the Davises options were easy – Trailer Village. “Not the most beautiful campground, but it provided everything we needed. And it was convenient. We just set up camp and used the Park Shuttle to get around.”


Jeanne has a suggestion for all families on a cross-country trip: “Make sure your travel expectations are very clear.” The Coachmen had been pointed west on I-40 all day, the family talking excitedly about the Painted Desert, when Jim announced: “There it is – we’re here!” The Leprechaun never broke stride. Jeanne watched the exit come and go, confused. “Wasn’t that the exit we just passed?” Jim responded: “Of course. We’re just passing through.” “Wait. We’re not stopping?” Of course, the guys all know what happened. Jim guided the Coachmen down the next exit and pointed the “land sloop” east again. They soon learned that the Painted Desert was less a location and more like 28 miles of lookout points and trailheads. Jeanne smiles. “We felt like the Griswolds in a ‘Vacation’ movie.”

“We Didn’t Want To Go!” When Jim and Jeanne Davis decided the timing was perfect for a cross-country road trip, their girls, Morgan (14) and Anna (12), did not agree. “We didn’t want to go. We weren’t sure we wanted to be away from our friends for so long.” Dad and mom just told the girls to pack, and, by day two, they were completely into the adventure. The girls read, sang and played road games. Morgan had been assigned to read “Frankenstein” over the summer, so she and mom read the classic monster tale together. They learned to read road maps and use the GPS. Sometimes the learning curve had them going in circles, including a trip around Memphis in search of BBQ. Persistence paid off and they eventually found Marlowe’s, which the girls, who were “starving by then,” described as “the best barbecue ever!” Anna renamed a classic road game “Bieber” after the popular mop-top heartthrob. Once what they were looking for had been decided, the first to spot it would shout: “Bieber!” Police were identified as “Justin!” The game was a huge hit, though Anna admits “there was a lot of yelling.” When it was decided that Dad’s view from the pilot’s chair gave him an unfair advantage, mom rearranged seating to even the playing field. It was Morgan who spotted the stowaway. After climbing into the overhead bunk and discovering the big brown spider there was much shrieking and searching – but no success. Spidey was never seen again.

FAVORITE MEMORIES “By far, the best part of the trip was the helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon.” The girls marveled at the beautiful landscape. Anna sat up front with the pilot, fascinated as he pointed out where bison herds hid in the forests and where a road was closed because “too many cars rolled off the edge.” An unplanned detour to Lake Powell turned out to be a wonderful side trip. The campground offered a gorgeous view of the massive lake, as well as extensive biking trails and a swimming pool. “And we really liked the Glen Canyon Dam tour.” They were impressed by the massive size and depth of the structure and the giant turbines used to control the flow of the Colorado.

WHAT MOM ALREADY KNEW Looking back, Morgan and Anna are glad their parents did not listen to their initial misgivings. “We would have missed out on a really great vacation, one of our best trips ever. We learned so much and we had a blast! And having Grandma along made the trip even more special.” And do they have any advice for other kids who might not like the idea of RVing with their parents? “It’s great. All kids should get to see the USA from an RV!”

Go online to to read more kids reaction to RVing. | 888.626.7800


The Grand Adventure ended in Santa Fe, N.M., with a visit to Jeanne’s sister. Friends piloted the “land sloop” back to home waters, another story for another time. The Davis girls enjoyed the Santa Fe Ballet. One evening Jim brought out his guitar, serenading the ladies along with Jeanne’s sister’s friend, Juan. Jim and Jeanne believe that the “Grand Adventure” has been their greatest adventure to date. “Because we actually took the time to make it work, we were able to create memories all of us will have for a lifetime.” Jim elaborated: “For family fun and bonding, nothing compares to RV travel. There just aren’t many places you can go as a family where you can hang out together in such a cozy, free-spirited and fun environment. Outside, so many incredible things we had never seen. Endless vistas that kept magically changing.” And the best part of it all? “We didn’t wait until we were older. That’s one of the things I’m happiest about. We did not let this opportunity pass us by.” He paused. “I tell everyone not to wait. Get out there. Get RVing.” Isn’t it time you had your own Grand Adventure? BRV

The Davis’ Family Travel Tips • Keep a journal in the RV to document your trips. Encourage everyone to contribute. Reading through the entries later is a great way to remember the trip. • Know your transportation options before you arrive. The Davises have bikes but also took advantage of shuttle services in the National Parks. • Get your rig thoroughly checked out. The Coachmen got an overall service review including checking appliances, lights, tires. The Davises even had the rubber tire valve stems replaced with metal. • Explore your route options. The Davises met with a AAA representative and came home with a large map with the overall route highlighted as well as several more detailed local maps. They involved their girls in the pre-planning as a teaching opportunity. • The AAA RV Plus membership proved VERY valuable. A blown tire left them stranded on Route 66 on a very narrow shoulder. On the phone with the AAA rep, Jeanne

the “perfect” RV

explained that she did not feel very safe so close to the heavy semi traffic. A state trooper arrived in short order.

The Davises love their Leprechaun. “That RV is perfect for us. We use it for so much more than vacations. We take the girls and

• Each member of the family carried a mini-flashlight.

their friends to the beach. We go out to dinner with groups of our

They proved especially helpful in the parks at night.

friends.” And why that model? “The Class C is wonderful. The area over the cab is almost like a second bedroom. Jim calls it a

• If you wear glasses bring an extra pair. Jeanne lost

We’re going further to help fulfill your dreams. Our full line of motor homes

split plan.” When the Davises travel, the cabover area is the girls’

hers on a shuttle bus in Zion, giving the Davises the

at Lazydays is backed by their unparalleled support and a commitment to our customers. Which means you can see the world, stick your hand out the window and wave your worries goodbye. In a Fleetwood RV, you’re ready for the road ahead. Begin your journey at

private domain. They throw their stuff up there or stow it in the side storage compartments. When mom and dad don’t want to

memorable “opportunity” to thoroughly search every shuttle

look at “the mess” anymore, they just pull the curtain. “We get on the road pretty early when we are traveling.” Jeanne explained. “They can be sound asleep right on top of us, not bothered at all by the lights in the main salon.” She paused and added, “And I can move around and make coffee or breakfast without tripping

Find us on Facebook at | Fall 2011

trip wearing scrip sunglasses, even indoors, looking “very incognito.” • Download your photos frequently. It’s much easier to

over anybody.” And speaking of moving around. “For us, getting

take a few minutes downloading pictures every day than to

there is half the adventure. Even on short trips we would much

wait until you get home and doing it all at once. Plus, it’s

rather be able to move about, make food, play a game – and be

easier to label pictures while the memories are fresh.

comfortable – while on the road.”

Providence | Discovery | Expedition | Southwind | Bounder | Terra |Storm | Tioga DSL | Jamboree DSL | Tioga | Jamboree

in the park… with no success. She spent the rest of the | 888.626.7800

“Land of the Free” follows Jane Chapin’s RV journey, painting the beauty of each state. Pictured clockwise: North Carolina; West Virginia; New York and Wyoming

an artist’s expedition

into  extraordinary By Adam Porter

RV LIVING | Fall 2011


ane Chapin’s adventure began with a trip through the Plains states in 2006. “I think it is every artist’s dream to just go where the road leads them and paint what they find.” | 888.626.7800

“Land of the Free” paintings of California and Oklahoma


ulfilling that dream taught Jane how little she had known about the middle of the country. This realization grew into a desire to see the rest of the United States, and to capture more beautiful, everyday scenes on canvas. Inspired, Jane hit the road, researching and painting all 50 states. Her work was collected into a book, “Land of the Free.”

The Artist’s Odyssey Jane loves to communicate the extraordinary beauty of ordinary subjects. Any well-lit scene is an inspiration, the nuanced caress of the sunlight reflecting the depth missed by a casual glance. But to capture all the stories she wished to tell, Jane had to be mobile. “I would be traveling alone without a set route or schedule, so the ability to just pull off the road and be self-contained was essential.” She purchased a 24-foot Class C Minnie Winnie. Jane’s initial plan was just to cast off and go state to state, following her muse. But her mother’s sudden illness forced her back home. Then several severe weather nearmisses encouraged Jane to reassess her itinerary and make the trip in multiple jaunts. As she continued to travel, painting the simple

RV LIVING living

beauty she observed, the premise of the journey began to grow. “As I was painting scenes, I kept seeing American flags in the background, a constant reminder of just how lucky I was. By the time I got to the third state, something just clicked.” Jane began blogging about her trip, writing about the places she had visited and the people she met. The veteran stories she shares in her book came later. “Like the scenes I chose to paint, they are not larger than life, they are regular people one can easily overlook. But these ordinary folks are doing extraordinary things.”

Portrait of a Traveling Artist Jane’s journey as a painter began much earlier than her latest artistic expedition. She took an oil painting class at the age of 10. From that moment on, she knew what she wanted to be. “I majored in art in college and taught for many years before concentrating on becoming a professional painter.” She prefers to paint outside, “en plein air.” “A camera simply cannot capture light like the human eye, so plein air is essential to get the colors right,” she said. Jane loved being able to just pull off the road and extend the awning to paint in the shade. “I kept my paints | Fall 2011

in Tupperware® containers and the canvas panels in the cabover sleeping area.” And when the RV could not quite get her to where she wanted to go, Jane put her supplies in her backpack and hopped on her electric bike. Because some paint thinners can be volatile, Jane chose Gamsol, which has a very safe flashpoint. “It’s even safe for airline travel, though the TSA may not agree.”

Alone on the Road Jane felt “very safe” traveling alone, “never threatened or concerned.” She made it a practice not to get into a campsite after dark and, one time, chose to boondock in a well-lit WalMart parking lot. Roadside emergencies became opportunities to meet nice, helpful people. But Jane does have some advice for folks planning solo RV trips. “The best thing I did was park my camper in a relative’s backyard and live in it for three weeks before setting out.” | 888.626.7800

She suggested that you should set up and take down your camper several times until you are very familiar with how everything works. And, when you’re on the road, keep track of the weather. “Weather warnings are issued by county over the weather band. Check forecasts before starting out. And, whatever you do, take your time.”

The Journey Continues After returning to Florida, Jane continued to paint, using the “thousands of photos” she took as a reference to remember her trip. Recently, she toured the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial cemetery in Normandy, France. Because of meeting so many “ordinary, extraordinary” people while researching her book, she felt the power of the place even more. “Seeing the Cemetery over Omaha Beach was incredibly moving. Seeing the states named with each soldier on those crosses really hit home.” While her primary focus right now is attending to her father’s health, Jane has taken her work to nursing homes, presenting her book and her art to appreciative veterans. She is considering a tour of VA Hospitals to share her work with wounded service men and women. To learn more about Jane’s journey, view her art or order her book, “Land of the Free,” visit BRV

by Curtis Ross

The advantage of joining any club is

that you meet people with the same kind

of coach that you have,” Fred says.

“I defy you, if you raise your hood at an RV park, to not have all kinds of people coming by, trying to figure out what you’re doing,” Fred Barina said with a laugh. “There must be something in RVers’ blood,” Fred said. “They’re friendly people.” The camaraderie of fellow RVers is one of the main attractions of the lifestyle for Fred and his wife, Tina. “I love meeting people and talking to them and hearing what they have to say,” said Fred, dubbed “The Mayor” by Tina for his penchant for quickly and easily making friends. With fellowship all but assured, what’s the appeal of joining an RV club? Aren’t club members simply paying for something any group of RVers can provide for free? Not at all, said Fred, president of the Thor Diesel Club. “The advantage of joining any club is that you meet people with the same kind of coach that you have,’ Fred said. “You can go to rallies and learn about your coach, and learn


about what other folks have done to coaches.” Fred helped found the Thor Diesel Club (TDC) in October 2010. The club was formed by members of the Mandalay Travel Club, a Thor Motor Coach supported group for owners of the company’s luxury coaches; the Mandalay, Presidio and Valencia. When the economic downturn forced Thor Motor Coach to scale back, the company announced plans to end support for the travel club. “I was chairman of a committee that met with Thor Motor Coach,” Fred says. “We came up with a mutual agreement that if we would open the club to other Thor Motor Coach diesel coaches, they would provide support at rallies.” In less than a year, the TDC has garnered a membership of 330 coaches, with “two, three or four new members each week,” Fred says. The TDC International Rally, Oct. 3-7 at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind., was host to over 100 coaches, Fred said.

“Thor Motor Coach will come out and talk about the product and answer questions about your coach,” Fred said. “They will bring technicians out to look at any issues you have.” “When you go to a rally specifically about your product you learn a lot, lot more,” Tina added. There’s much more to rallies and club membership than technical advice, though. There will be entertainment from groups such as the Rivoli Revue. The rally also will feature a pet parade and “Christmas in October,” with guests decking their coaches in holiday finery. Guests may participate in a canned food drive as well as a salute to the military to raise funds for the Wounded Warriors Project, which supports and provides services for injured service members. “When you have 100 coaches, you have around 200 people,” Fred said. “We have people coming from all over the U.S. and Canada. It’s a nice crowd to share information and just have fun with. “Between the rallies,” Fred said, “we communicate by e-mail, and we have the Thor Diesel Club Web site with a directory, as well as a club newsletter.” “After a while,” Fred said, “they become like family.”

Check with your manufacturer to find a club for your RV.  BRV | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

hot, new & useful

Camco Party Lights Give your RV journey a festive glow with Camco Party Lights. You can add character to your RV awning or hang them up inside your RV with the 8-foot strand of 10 lights. There is also an end connector to string multiple strands together. Whether you prefer your lights in the shape of a classic motorhome or a retro travel trailer, you can find lights that will brighten your surroundings. These whimsical RV party lights cost about $16 at is always looking for ways to improve the quality of the RV lifestyle, and these innovative and time-saving products will help you do just that.

Hosspad Made in the United States from recycled rubber tires, the Hosspad is easy to use on any surface and provides your RV with a solid platform. Installation is simple; just place the Hosspad under the foot of the trailer or leveling block and jack up your trailer the same as you always do. The Hosspad absorbs vibration, insulates and conforms to imperfections in the ground, while also helping to preserve the comfort, quality and longevity of your recreational vehicle. Various sizes and densities are available. You can purchase yours at for $50 to $85.

YogaRVing DVD

Murbles® Perfect for outdoor fun, Murbles® can be played almost anywhere by two to four people. Once you read the rules on the canvas carrying bag, you just dump the Murbles, start playing and have fun together. The durable, solid plastic balls are made in America with recycled material. There are 20 popular colors to choose from so you can sport your favorites. It’s a fun, interactive game for families to play at the beach, while camping, in the backyard or wherever you go. They also make a great gift. Order one set or several for $30 each at


Cobra Universal Mini Mount ®

Easy to install, easy to use and easy to remove. The Cobra® Universal Mini Mount makes it easier to have your favorite portable device exactly where you want it. Simply attach the mount to any flat surface, including your RV dash, window or desktop. The exclusive ever-last breakaway adhesive securely mounts just about any portable wireless device wherever it’s convenient for you. In addition, the swivel and lock balland-socket joint allows you to further adjust for custom viewing. You can make your life easier by getting your Cobra Universal Mini Mount for $24.95 at | Fall 2011

RV-Don’t Forget!™ Did you remember to disconnect your water and sewer hoses? Are all the slides in? Give yourself a gentle reminder to check those frequently forgotten details with the RV-Don’t Forget!™ card. It easily attaches to your steering wheel as a last-minute checklist of all the things you want to make sure you do before you continue on your journey. The RV-Don’t Forget card is printed on weather-resistant vinyl and comes in two helpful styles. Pick one up at the Lazydays Parts Department for about $6. | 888.626.7800

Maintaining your yoga or exercise routine can be a challenge when traveling in an RV. Perfect for RV owners and travelers, YogaRVing is a one-hour yoga workout focusing on balance, strength and flexibility postures that can be done in an RV or other small space. Not only is yoga important for overall health, it can also help repair or minimize aches and pain. The yoga and flexibility exercises on this incredible YogaRVing DVD are ideal for people of all fitness levels. You can get your YogaRVing DVD at for $20.

Tailgater™ by DISH Network® DISH Network’s Tailgater™ is a portable, easy-to-use, automatic HDTV antenna that finds DISH satellites on its own. It’s compact and lightweight, plus it has a watertight seal and built-in security ring. The setup is simple, with a single cable, and the fully integrated software allows for the best user experience. For ease of use, there is a single remote control for the Tailgater, receiver and television. Best of all, you can get your own Tailgater for half the price of current portable automatic systems. Get yours at the Lazydays Parts Department for $499.

troubleshootin’ with ernie

Ernie Herring





35 Years Experience RVIA/RVDA Master Certified Technician

resetting your inverter’s output breakers by Fred smith


wise traveler once remarked, “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” Well, folks, Ernie may not always know where he’s going, but he knows that after a long day of fishing he likes nothing more than to come home to his RV, plop down on his favorite couch and watch a little TV. “All who wander are not lost,” said another wise fellow who enjoyed venturing to new places. While Ernie for the most part knows where he is and what episode of “Bonanza” he’d like to watch, he’s a little baffled as to why his RV’s TV isn’t working. Now that Ernie looks around, he notices that none of his 110-volt appliances are working. “The road is life,” said a famous hitchhiker. And when life in your RV goes down a road to where your TV doesn’t work, it’s a good idea to check your inverter remote panel to assess the power situation. In this case, Ernie’s RV was running off the campground’s shore power. When Ernie looks at his inverter panel (Fig. 1), it appears that his RV is showing a fault (Fig. 2). That would explain why the A/C works,


but the TV, lights and other 110-volt appliances do not: The RV’s batteries alone cannot supply enough power to properly run 110-volt appliances. “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things,” said a man who knew a whole bunch about the ways of the world, but didn’t know squat about inverters. The way Ernie sees things, he figures there must have been a power surge at the campground that caused the output breakers on his RV’s inverter to trip. When that happened, his inverter essentially turned off and ceased to distribute power to the circuits within his RV. “Wandering reestablishes the original harmony, which once existed between man and the universe,” was probably a smart guy’s way of telling Ernie he needs to venture outside to examine his RV’s inverter (Fig. 3). Looking at the inverter, Ernie can see that the output breakers have (just as he suspected) been tripped. Ernie is going to reset the output breakers that have tripped on the inverter (Fig. 4). Resetting the inverter’s output breakers will allow shore power to be properly | Fall 2011



Fig. 1:

Find your inverter remote panel.

Fig. 2:

The fault light is on, indicating a problem.

Fig. 3:

Locate your RV’s inverter.

Fig. 4: Reset the inverter’s output breakers by pushing them in. Fig. 5:

A normal reading on the inverter’s remote panel.

Fig. 6:

Done! Ernie watching TV.

distributed through the inverter to the circuits within his coach. Next Ernie is going to return to his inverter remote panel and check its status. Now that his inverter has been reset, when Ernie looks at his inverter remote panel he should see that his coach is holding a charge on the batteries, reading proper battery voltage, and showing proper rate of charge (amperage) to the batteries (Fig. 5). Ernie can see that his coach is running properly because now he can turn on his TV and other 110-volt household appliances. If, after resetting your inverter’s output breakers, your inverter remote panel still shows a | 888.626.7800

6 fault, call a certified RV service center and have your coach examined by a qualified expert. “How many roads must a man walk down?” asked a man who may have been more lost than Ernie. But now Ernie has properly reset his inverter and he can get back to the philosophically sound task of watching an all-night marathon of “Kung Fu” (Fig. 6). Be sure to visit to see videos of Ernie troubleshootin’ all kinds of problems in his RV. Always consult your owner’s manual or a certified RV technician before attempting to work on your RV. No RV technicians were harmed during the writing of this article. BRV



QUICK A Clever Cutting Board

Block Yourself Smart

Moisture, heat and grass all can create problems for the tires of your RV. Next time you visit your local big box store, pick up a few low-cost plastic cutting boards. Placing these cutting boards underneath the tires will minimize environmental wear and tear by getting the tire away from the moisture in the grass or the direct heat of the blacktop. A few dollars spent now could save more dollars down the road.

Travel-trailer owners know to block the back of the tires while parked at their campsite. Those who live and breathe RVing know to block in the front AND the back of the tires. Weight distribution throughout the camper will shift while you are enjoying the amenities of your home on the road. If the weight happens to be concentrated in the rear of the camper, the front could pop up and you might find yourself taking an unplanned tour of the campground.

Use Your Noodle

RV Quick Tip: Bling!

Use your noodle and protect your noodle at the same time! Slide-outs are invaluable for the additional room they offer, but if your head or back gets in the way, the slide-out can leave its mark. Prevent these injuries by taking a pool noodle and slicing down the center, halfway through the noodle. Cut into four equal lengths and snap onto the corners of the slide-outs. Your noodle is now protected! This brilliant guidance comes courtesy of long time RVers Joan and Jim Poe of Inverness, Fla., who spied other campers doing this years ago. It has become part of their setup ever since.

Part of the joy of RVing is being able to bring everything and the kitchen sink on the road with you. But when storage is at a premium, is there a way to bring all of your treasures and be able to find them easily when needed? Of course! Take this idea from the rolling home of The Geeks On Tour: Use pins strategically placed into the bedroom valances to store and display your best accessories. Next time you need a little added bling, it is just a hand grab away.

The Trick to a Clean & Pristine Shower, Everyday

“How do you keep your shower looking like it just arrived from the manufacturer?” They ask you, and you smirk. You know the secret: Apply Rain-X® to the glass surfaces. Be careful NOT to use on any surface you will be standing on, sitting on or holding for support. Reapply the Rain-X® every three to six months, or when the water no longer beads up. Hang Tight

Make sure the hangers used in your coach’s closet fit the closet properly. In an RV’s smallersized closet, normal hangers may bang against walls during travel and wear harshly on the shoulder of your garments. Purchase smaller hangers from your favorite store to prevent this wear and tear.

RV tips

Turning a Lazy Day Into Summer Fun.

Use Your Leveling Jacks

Your jacks can be used for more than keeping your coach steady. By raising your jacks two to three inches immediately before dumping, your tanks will empty easier. Empty tanks make a happy RVer. Read a lesson learned on page 69. Water Slide

Here is another smart use for your leveling jacks. In the morning, before packing up and leaving camp, raise two jacks twothree inches to the front, right, left and then rear to allow the dew or rain to run off your slides. Now when you apply the brakes, the passengers seated under the slides won’t get an unexpected mid-trip shower.

YOU CAN’T BEAT A DAY IN THE FOREST. At Forest River, we know your dreams of life on the road are about sharing adventures, discovering new places and enjoying the relaxing day with friends and family. Forest River’s full lineup gives you the opportunity to EXPLORE.

So what are you waiting for? Visit and get lost in a Forest today!

For more tips log on to & click RV Tips. BRV

Charleston | Berkshire | Georgetown | Cedar Creek | XLR | Sierra | Wildwood | Surveyor | r · pod | Rockwood | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

On the road, mechanical troubles can easily turn a vacation into an adventure, and not a pleasant one. You can minimize potential headaches with a well-stocked RV emergency kit.

Every trip should begin with the question: Ed CrowELL MASTERED CERTIFIED TECHNICIAN

What’s in  your emergency


At the top of ed’s list: • Screwdrivers — a basic kit with various sizes will do. • Fuses — make sure you have a variety. • Duct tape — a temporary fix for minor leaks. • Bundles of rope or twine

• 12-volt meter or test light.

By Phil Ammann

Of course, it should always include aspirin — in case of headaches. A thorough kit can save your road trip from disappointment. What makes it complete? Talk to a Lazydays Family Expert and you will soon realize that you might forget crucial gear. Ed Crowell may have the answer for you. He is a Master Certified Technician for Lazydays, and he knows coaches inside out. Ed has been around RVs since he was a kid. The first thing Ed wants you to remember is that you can’t resolve every difficulty on your own. For some, the plan of action in a breakdown will be calling a service technician. As an online and phone tech, Ed often handled calls from stranded customers. From his experience, it is clear; the best piece of emergency equipment is a charged cell phone with an extra battery.


Beyond that, changing a tire on a heavy coach can be difficult, so a can of fix a flat and a tire pressure gauge are essential. “If a tire is overinflated, it will blow,” Ed warns. “If it is underinflated, it will blow. On bigger coaches, when a tire blows out it’s best to call for service.” A checklist can help with little-known gear. Most of the equipment is inexpensive and easy to keep on your RV, either in a toolbox or container. An RV is a sizable investment; any emergency kit will be money well spent. Of all the items on Ed’s list, the most essential is the 12-volt meter. “All RVs, from pop-up trailers to gas and diesel engines, they all work on 12-volt power.” Having a voltmeter available, even if you are not sure how to use it, can help the service tech identify potential electrical problems | Fall 2011

sometimes you need to secure something, rather than leaving it.

over the phone. Usually they can talk you through the steps, and that is impossible without a meter on hand. “It can really get you out of a jam,” Ed says. “Battery power is number one. If the battery is junked, then it just won’t work.” Karyn Cowdrey believes in preparation. She frequently travels with her dogs and horses, often to horse shows. Karyn’s RV emergency kit list is long; beyond the basics, she packs a GPS beacon transmitter and even a small water purification system. “We often go boondocking or places you can’t get a good cell signal,” Karyn says. “Seldom do we stay in populated areas, so I try to be ready to handle most emergencies until we can get help.” When things go wrong, Karyn has what she | 888.626.7800

needs to record and upload video to her dad. He can use it to help identify steps to fix a problem. “Well yes,” she says, “I live with an actual rocket scientist. He thinks of everything.” Even if you are not an engineer, to be prepared you should have at least two emergency kits — one for your RV and one for yourself. Another if you are traveling with a pet. A human (or animal) emergency kit is just as valuable as a mechanical one. Bandages and medications can keep minor injuries from ruining your trip. No matter what you keep in your RV emergency kit, nothing can take the place of regular maintenance and a detailed check before your trip. Both can substantially reduce the chance of a breakdown on the road, preventing headaches — and maybe your blood pressure from rising. BRV

two for the road by Fred Smith

Right off the bat, I love how visible the gauges are from the driver’s seat. The Tradition has a short dashboard, which means it has much less of a front end blind spot making it easier to drive. The one piece windshield gives us a view like we’re in an IMAX® theater. Barney:


2012 American Tradition 42P Floor Plan Dana Philip 25+ years RV sales experience, Monaco Dynasty owner, Black belt in RV fun Barney Alexander Senior RV driving instructor, more than 42,000 students, full time RVer

Dana settles into the co-pilot’s seat while Barney adjusts his mirrors from the driver’s seat. So how many RVs do you think you’ve driven in your life, Barney?


Hard to say. One thousand or so maybe. I’m pretty sure I’ve driven every motorized make and model Lazydays has sold in the last 10 years. Barney:

He’s taught more than 42,000 RVers how to drive a motorhome. She’s taught at least as many RVers how to have a good time. Here’s what happened when Lazydays’ senior driving instructor and the RV industry’s guru of fun took the 2012 American Tradition for a spin. | Fall 2011

Barney slides the Tradition into gear and accelerates onward.

The ride is smooth and very quiet. "The entry door has pneumatic latches that pull the door tight when the transmission is put in gear. So as we drive down the highway, air doesn’t flow through the door, which makes for a quiet ride. Also, the flush-mount, frameless windows on the outside of the coach are more aerodynamic and make for a quiet ride. They look cool, too.



This coach has a Liberty chassis that’s custom built for this model and is nine times stronger than any other raised rail chassis in the industry.



The Tradition merges onto the highway and reaches speed with the flow of traffic. Plenty of power to enter a highway. I like to drive about 63 mph

The Tradition exits the highway and

(sarcastic) Well, we’re looking for someone with a little more experience. Story of my life.

They share a laugh as the Tradition’s engine comes alive with a roar.


And the Villa ultra-leather seats are standard in 2012 and real comfortable. They won’t burn you if you wear shorts, they’re easy to clean and hold up over time. They won’t get cracks like cowhide would.


if the speed limit is 65 or higher. If we maintain that speed, the faster cars will pass us on the left and merge back to our lane, but we’ll always keep a safe distance in front of us. Plus we’ll save about ½ to 2 ½ miles of gas per gallon. | 888.626.7800



Barney: Do you have a work station over there in the co-pilot seat?

No, but I have a nice big cup holder for my drink. That helps me do my best work. comes to a smooth stop at a rest area.

The 2012 Tradition features a bath and a half and has the widest floor plan


Barney and Dana make their way to the living room and put out the slides.

heated tile, the floor will stay warm in the winter.

The 2012 Tradition features a bath and a half and has the widest floor plan in the industry, thanks to opposing slides that are each 30 inches deep. That gives us about 430 square feet of living space.

We’ve got LED lights throughout the interior that are energy efficient and produce a lot less heat than halogen lights so the coach will stay cooler.


The Tradition has three air-conditioning units to keep every compartment climate-controlled. We’ve also got a 450 series AquaHot® system. Four people could take a shower in this coach, one right after the other, and never run out of hot water.


We also have Sony® electronics throughout the coach,

Barney: And that rack will help me do my best work. BRV


That’s bigger than my first apartment.


Probably cleaner, too. I love the polished tile floor that’s standard in 2012 and runs from the living room all the way to the bedroom and is in both bathrooms. It’s beautiful, easy to clean, and stays cool in the summer. And with the optional


SEE RV living AN RV




including four flat-screen TVs: one above the cockpit, one in the living room, one in the bedroom, and one outside in the bay. The kitchen has all residential appliances including the high-end GE microwave. We’ve got a Kohler faucet with a pull-out handle, a dishwasher, and a residential-sized refrigerator. And a magazine rack in the half bath.

(chuckling) You’ll need that, Barney. That’s your office.


in the industry, thanks to opposing slides that are each 30 inches deep.

Pets & vets


By Bill Whetstone

ne thing to keep in mind on the road is staying healthy. We want to be healthy in what we eat and what we do, so the same thing goes for our pets.

Health Insurance Did you know that pets can get health care coverage? Check out It is not expensive and it will cover many emergencies. Veterinarians will require payment at time of service, but just submit the paperwork and you will get some reimbursement. A Google search will reveal this; research the health insurance plans. The rates will vary with breed and age of the pet.

How About a Vet? Where do you find a vet while on the road? Try searching Web sites. Both and might help. Using a city, name or zip code, these Web sites will help you find a vet. Or try, the online Yellow Pages. One of the best ways of course is through referrals. Ask at the desk of the campground, at the local pet store, or talk to patrons in the pet store. Above all, traveling with pets can be very rewarding. They are a source of comfort for you, and you to them. BRV


WooHoo! Nig ht

.org s r e wn ndo

Heartland owners are proud of their RVs and enjoy the company of fellow Heartland l RV owners. Share in the good times with others like a he you, make new friends and create a lifetime of lasting memories together. Chapters of the Heartland Owners Club are forming all over the United States and Canada. Owners are meeting for rallies several times each year at great destinations sharing experiences, making friends and making memories. Get started at Lazydays, a premier dealer of Heartland products.

w. w w

rt a | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

Lessons in RVing . . .

Check your fluids

before your fluids check you. by Christian Muffoletto

The Baby Boomer Code

6-4-2 6 for Entertaining 4 for Dinner 2 to Sleep

Jim Lazzarino Sales Manager 11 Yrs Experience

Jim is a family man and avid RVer who knows the value of a lesson learned. His daughter shares their story with us, along with several laughs.

The RV maintenance checklist can seem overwhelming. My family, especially my father, learned a valuable RV lesson the hard, smelly way. Yes, I am about to tell you a story laced with bathroom humor. What can I say? I have six brothers. My family, only eight of us kids (ages 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, and 2) and two parents at the time (yes, ONLY eight kids; we’ve added one since then), decided to take a break from our usual vacation in the Catskill Mountains and head for Camp Creek. A small and untainted RV Park in the middle of West Virginia, Camp Creek is a lush green valley, embraced by mountains and hemmed in by a “creek” that might as well have been a river. My father had three weeks of vacation that year, and he decided that it was time to make our longest RV trip to date. We had taken the RV on trips before, but always lived in our cabin upon arrival. For the first time, the Lazzarino clan was going to stay in our RV — for three weeks straight. Just us, nature… and a creek full of crawfish. The first week was uneventful. We spent our days tearing through the surrounding woods, fishing for crawfish in the creek, and riding bikes to the park store to replenish our ever-dwindling supply of toilet paper. The world was at peace. By the second week, cabin fever began to set in. The lack of privacy drove us to extreme measures — sitting on top of the RV, hiding in the park bathroom for unreasonable amounts of time. With no dishwasher, we had to hand-wash dishes, sending my father into frenzy about “grey water levels" and "black water levels.” To compound the issue, all 10 of us shared one toilet. The dumping station was only a half-mile or so down the road,

A division of THOR Industries, Inc. | 72440 St. Rd. 13, Syracuse, IN, 46567 | 574-457-7800 | | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

but it was far too much hassle to venture down there. Dad was determined to make it to the end of the trip without having to dump, and then do it as we were pulling out of the park. Week three dawned and we knew our days were numbered. Our black water (thanks to the smell, we had learned what the term meant) tank was almost full, and the dump station beckoned from the valley. Dad had attempted to monitor our “long trips” into the bathroom, but to no avail. RV septic systems just aren’t as sturdy as the ones in houses. You have to treat them with care, and watch your fluid levels, or it will come back to haunt you. Late that night, my younger brother, with 6 year old wisdom, ran screeching from the bathroom, yelling something about “seeing things in the tank when it opened up to flush.” A scent that defied logic, reason or deity wafted from the bathroom and seeped into our sleeping area. The next morning dawned bright as my father rolled the RV into the sacred dumping station. Our heads bowed in reverence as he left to brave the horrors of the sewage that we had accrued. Suddenly, we heard screaming from outside. All of us yanked open our windows, and gazed out with horror at the sight below. The contents of the tank were pouring, with impressive speed and force, on our poor father. The hose supposed to channel the waste lay on the ground beside him. With screeching and yelling, my father attempted to stop the flow. But to no avail. This was the consequence for our intense use of the all those tanks. Out of sympathy, my mother made us pull our heads back inside, and wait quietly for my father to come get cleaned off. As he entered the RV, the soiled hero was greeted with respectful silence by all, except my 15-year-old brother. Bravely, he looked at my father, and placed a hand on his shoulder. In a solemn moment, father and son looked at each other, contemplating the meaning of the word “silence.” My brother, with the Wisdom of Solomon, slapped my father on the back and jovially shouted “Jimmy-boy, I think we’ll keep you!”

Thus ended our longest stay in an RV (and the awkward silence). So, dear reader, if you draw any lesson from this tale, let it be this: Always check your fluids, and make the dump station your friend, not your enemy.  BRV

Don’t miss the RV SuperShow; it is the largest RV show in the country. Make sure to stop by one of the Lazydays displays and say hello.

Details RV

For more information on hours and admission prices visit


FRVTA SuperShow

Jan. 10 - 15, 2012 Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. Highway 301 North Tampa, Fla.

Fleetwood Storm pg. 72-73 2011 Monaco Diplomat pg. 74-75 Church Street Christmas

2012 Wildwood DLX pg. 76-77

Dec. 21-23, 2011 Historic Dade City, Fla. 7-9 p.m.

Admission is free. Activities include Christmas music, life-size Christmas cards and much more. Event is held on Church Avenue in downtown Dade City. For information, visit

Victorian Christmas Stroll

Dec. 1-23, 2011

401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, Fla. 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily Experience an old-fashioned holiday with your loved ones at Henry B. Plant Museum’s 30th annual Victorian Christmas Stroll. For information visit

RV EVENTS living

New Year’s Bash

Dec. 30, 2011

Celebrate the New Year with your friends at Lazydays RV Campground. For information, call 800.905.6627 | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

888.626.7800 71


Fleetwood Storm At Home on the Road Baxter and his parents can bring home farm fresh delights from the market and whip up culinary dishes fit for a king in the spacious kitchen. The u-shaped dinette is ideal for sitting and snapping green beans or polishing antiques into shiny new treasures. Remove the table in the dinette and in a moment you can relax on a full couch.

Versatile Spaces The Fleetwood Storm is all about accommodating your needs and lifestyle in a flash. A hide-a-loft drops down over the cabin chairs, giving Baxter room to relax, after a fun day of shopping and exploring. And the unique rear slide-out extends the length of the coach to give ease of movement around the bedroom and access to the storage areas.

Shop ‘til you drop at all your favorite stops on the road. Convenience, comfort and space all come together effortlessly in the 2011 Fleetwood Storm.

The rear slide out allows you to drive a 40-footer, but live in even more space.

The hide-a-loft is perfect for Baxter or the grandkids when they join you on the road.

RV DETAILS | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800


Monaco Diplomat Cool Luxury Prepare the hors d’oeuvres in your kitchen and then glide to the living room to put in your favorite CD of chamber music. The wraparound sofa coupled with its sister sofa comfortably seats six in the warmth of the glowing fireplace with the soothing sounds of Chopin and Bach filling the room.

Graceful Power The harmony of design and performance flows freely into the engine and undercarriage. With the Diplomat’s Roadmaster RR10R chassis with tag axle and the powerful standard Cummins® ISL 425 horsepower engine, your journey between social engagements is as smooth and luxurious as the last soiree you hosted.

You can almost hear the elegant clinking of champagne flutes as you are welcomed in to the 2011 Monaco Diplomat. The luxury appointments and society floor plan make this every hostess’s dream coach.

RV DETAILS | Fall 2011

Powder your nose and reapply your lipstick in your well-lit residential style bathroom.

Easily stow away your blankets and other personal items in anticipation of your guests arrival. | 888.626.7800


Wildwood DLX Adventure Staging Area The spacious living area and kitchen are truly the heart of this home away from home. Gather the kids around the u-shaped dinette and plot your course for the day’s geo-caching trip. The residential size refrigerator will also hold enough energy food for even the hungriest teenage appetite.

Space for the Whole Family With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, there is more than enough space for your family to relax the way they want in between hikes. Close up the sofa and fold up the loft bed in the second bedroom to make room for video gaming or family movie night.

The perfect teenager

Want to get away from it all but still have the creature comforts of

hangout with all the amenities of home.

modern living? The Wildwood DLX is

The built in charging station

perfect for today’s family on the go.

keeps your GPS, cell phones and cameras juiced up for your next family adventure.

RV DETAILS | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT How long have you worked at Lazydays? Three years. My dad works in the body shop here and thought I would fit in to the Lazydays family so I applied for a job. I love working here. What do you love most about working at the Lazydays RV Campground? The employees have treated me like family from day one and make me feel like I’m home. The customers are really great, too. Sometimes I feel like a superstar from all the hugs I get from customers. This place is awesome.

pet-friendly luxury suite room for grandkids

What is the most important thing you have learned while working at Lazydays? Smile. Even if you’re having a bad day, if you come to work with a smile it can change someone’s world. Especially your own.

42” outdoor flatscreen

JAY DIAZ Activities Coordinator Lazydays RV Campground

What do you personally do to enhance the customer’s experience at Lazydays? I try to get to know all our customers. I like to learn their names, their kids’ names, their pets’ names. I try to build the relationship so that the next time

they come to Lazydays they know me and feel comfortable coming to me if they need anything. What are you particularly proud of regarding Lazydays? The Lazydays Employee Foundation is very important to me. I have three kids and to think that there are kids out there without a family or clothes or a place of their own and that we help those kids is wonderful. What is your biggest “woo hoo” moment? Last St. Patrick’s Day, I wore a leprechaun costume for an event at the campground. I always seem to be the one who puts on the costumes, but that one got a good laugh from everyone. What one thing about you outside of work might surprise both customers and co-workers? Everyone at Lazydays seems to know me. I don’t wear a costume when I come to work. What you see is what you get. I love Lazydays. I love my family, and I love my Philadelphia Eagles.

Don’t leave anything behind — TAKE LIFE ON THE ROAD!

The SportCarrier™ II from Blue Ox® is designed to carry your motorcycle, ATV, golf cart or whatever else your trip may call for behind your fifth wheel. The incorporation of a wheel dolly provides added stability and strength!

Find your perfect home on the road. Explore and discover which RV would make your highway freedom dreams come true. From pop-ups to high-end luxury, there is an RV waiting right here for you to call home.

48” x 84” steel deck plate Removable tire stop

Tie down locations built into the deck Loads curb or street side with ease

SC2102, SportCarrier™ II

1,000 lb. weight capacity Ramps (sold separately) can easily be stored on the deck

Passion. Freedom. Comfort. Excellence. This is where dreams come true. BRV9711

78 Winter 2011 | Fall 2011 | 888.626.7800

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

ask steve

Technically Speaking with Steve Roddy He’s an RVIA/RVDA Master Certified technician with over 38 years of RV experience. Some call him a living legend in the RV industry. He just likes to be called Steve.


We have a 20-foot travel trailer that has a dry weight

important areas lubricated. Moving your coach can be as

of 3,700 pounds. We currently pull it with a Ford

simple as driving forward 50 feet and backing into place.

F-250 pickup truck. We are looking to purchase a Toyota

Also, be sure to run the generator for two hours a month

Highlander SUV for comfort and better gas mileage. The

with a load, such as the air conditioners. It is also good

Highlander has a V6 3.5-liter engine and a towing limit of 5,000 pounds. Will this be sufficient to tow our trailer?


Weigh your trailer when it is loaded for travel. This will allow you to know how much weight your

vehicle will be towing. Be sure to check for proper tire inflation on your trailer when it is loaded. It is always a good idea to ask your sales consultant or a representative at your trailer’s manufacturer about towing requirements specific to your trailer.


I have a Thetford toilet in my class C motorhome that has sprung a leak above the inlet valve. I have

done just about everything to correct this problem and feel my only option is to replace my toilet. Any better ideas?


Before you replace your whole toilet, it sounds like you may have a defective vacuum breaker. You may

consider having it replaced or examined by a qualified expert. That said, a toilet is relatively easy to remove and replace. Usually, two bolts hold the toilet to the floor

back of our travel trailer? We like to clean the top of

flange. After removing these bolts, you should be able to

time we want to clean.

Contact the manufacturer and ask if a ladder was an original option offered with your travel trailer. You

should add a ladder only if the trailer contains the proper supporting framework. Regular cleanings of your slide-outs are a good thing. Getting hurt while doing them is not.



How would we know if we can put a ladder on the

our slide-outs regularly and need a ladder to do this each


practice to check the water level in all batteries each month.

We will likely take our coach out twice a year for

remove your toilet and install a new toilet according to the


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have such a young team this year. Can we make the playoffs despite our youth?

Football is a strange game. The people in their 20s are supposed to know everything and the people in

their 50s get fired when they don’t.

It’s like having a new RV.

seven to 14 days at a time and the rest of the time it

will be parked at an RV resort. We plan to stay in it once or

How can I get the quickest response to my questions?

twice a month at that campground. Should I crank it up and

We have technical experts who will respond to your

move the coach once a month?


You and your RV have shared many great journeys together, but all that traveling can take a toll on your RV’s interior. Lucky for you, our craftsmen can completely transform the look of your RV’s decor from floor to ceiling.

manufacturer’s instructions.

It is a good practice to move the coach once a month.

Kithens and baths become delightful spaces when you update the countertops, worn cabinetry and faucets. Custom lighting will change the way you view your “new” RV both day and night. And floors set the tone with new carpet, travertine or FreeFit™ luxury glueless vinyl.

Go to or give us a call today at 800.282.7800 to schedule an appointment with our design specialists. And by the way, your RV did not have to be purchased at Lazydays to take advantage of our service expertise on interiors, exteriors and chassis.

questions at Or, send your tech questions to

This will keep wheel bearings, rear end and other RV SERVICE

ASK STEVE | Fall 2011

A craftsman for every need


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 you’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)

Fall 2011  

Meet a couple who started in a tent and now travel in class A luxury, learn how-to park your motorhome by yourself and escape with a family...

Fall 2011  

Meet a couple who started in a tent and now travel in class A luxury, learn how-to park your motorhome by yourself and escape with a family...