LOUISVILLE, KY â€” Step onto the lot of any local RV dealer and you're likely to hear the words "credit application." You're also likely hear another word: "declined." Experts say turning that trend around is the biggest key to the industry's future. At this year's Recreational Vehicle Industry Association National Trade Show, demand for RVs was up, but many consumers just haven't been able to buy because credit markets remain frozen.
Some experts estimate more than 70 percent of potential buyers have been unable to finalize an RV purchase over the last 18 months, because banks won't lend them the money. A Major Problem Two years ago, credit wasn't a problem. In fact, it was probably too available, says New York City based financial analyst Greg Badishkanian. It's a major problem for the RV industry now. "Go back to, let's say, a year and a half ago. If 10
consumers went on to a lot and wanted to purchase a motor home, about eight would get financing. Right now, it's around four or 4.5," said Badishkanian, a Senior Equity Analyst with Citigroup. They are grim numbers RV industry executives have been fighting to turn around. "We've been working and pleading for a little more 'oopmh' from the credit people to loan money," said RVIA President Richard Coon. Continued Page 2
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Even so, most lenders remain in a "deep freeze" as the credit crunch continues. Shifting Demands As the credit chill continues, the RV industry is doing its part to help consumers thaw out, by catering to their shifting demands. "They're looking for value. They're looking for something that's more affordable, and maybe not quite as extravagant as before," said Fleetwood RV Product Development Manager Steve Hauser. Fleetwood is one of a number of manufacturers who are using "out of the box" solutions to try and lure in a new customer base. "This is a Class A motor home and Class C motor home together," Hauser said, pointing to a brand new model on the
Kentucky Exposition Center floor. "We're calling it a crossover. This is something brand new to the industry." It's a different venture for what, in the past, has been a tradition based industry. But some caution that "out of the box" shouldn't mean the industry re-invents itself. "To me, that's the last thing we should do," said Keystone RV of Goshen President and CEO Ron Fenech. "Now, on the other hand, should we continue to innovate and do cool stuff that customers want to buy? Absolutely." Buyers are likely to see those innovations continue in 2010, as terms like "lightweight" and "fuel efficient" become even bigger keys to growing market share. Signs of that growth are already showing.
Fleetwood is one of a number of manufacturers who are using "out of the box" solutions to try and lure in a new customer base. WSBT photo On The Right Road Even though credit is nearly twice as tight as it was - 40 percent approval rate versus 80 percent two years ago - things have been worse. "We're at a four or 4.5 now, but earlier in the year, it was down to around three. I don't think it will ever get back to the old levels of easy credit, but things are thawing out. So, it is getting better," Badishkanian said.
The big question now: will that slow growth continue? Dealer inventory dropped sharply last quarter as buyers helped clear off crowded lots. What will happen once those lots are full again? Will consumers continue to buy, allowing dealer orders to continue? Badishkanian thinks the answer is "yes." "Regardless, profits should be better [for manufacturers]. Now their cost structures are very low. So, given that we're seeing an increase in demand, they're going to be able to improve profitability very substantially, even with small levels of sales increases," he said. It's a good sign, not just for the RV industry, but for the overall economy. "We're generally the first into a slow down as an industry, but we're also Continued next page
Continued from page 2 generally the first out," said Elkhart based Forest River RV General Manager Doug Gaeddert. "The RV industry turned negative at retail, at the dealer level, back in March of 2005," agreed Badishkanian. "It led housing. It led all of consumer. So, it's absolutely a leading indicator." Now, Badishkanian says, it's finally leading in the right direction. "I think we're headed toward at least a small, nice sales increase," he said. The Road Ahead Manufacturers, suppliers and dealers at the Louisville show were thinking far beyond just small. "It hit us hard, and put a lot of damage on our
bottom line," said Gregg Eash, Sales Manager at Alta Resources, a division of Elkhart based Dicor Industries. "But we're still standing. We've stayed afloat. And we're looking for the first quarter to really jump out of the gates and get us going strong. That's a very different feeling than six months ago" he continued. "The last couple of years have taught us a lot," agreed Nappanee based Gulf Stream Coach Motorhome Division Vice President Claude Donati. "I think we're all better business people because of what happened. I expect the next five years, we're going to be sharper in what we do, and do things better than we did before." By Troy Kehoe: www.wsbt.com
TengoInternet purchases Wi-Fi network for campgrounds. Austin Texas based TengoInternet Inc. has bought an Internet access network that delivers Wi-Fi Internet access to more than 300 public campgrounds. The Austin company did not disclose the purchase price for NomadISP, which was owned by LinOra Inc. of Boise, Idaho. TengoInternet also said it has become a strategic reseller of LinOra's BlueMesh product line of rugged Wi-Fi network hardware. he acquisition gives the Austin company an Internet access network
of nearly 1,000 campgrounds, RV resorts, hotels and marinas in the United States, Canada and Mexico. "This agreement allows both companies to focus on our strengths and do what we love," said Eric Stumberg, founder and CEO of TengoInternet.
The Christmas Carnival of Lights opened at the Jellystone Park campground in Caledonia, Wisconsin on Thanksgiving day. There are more than 1 million lights on the grounds of the campground that can be seen on a drive through the park. Customers see what Santa’s elves are working on in Santa’s workshop, Rudolph leading Santa’s huge sleigh, and a huge fifteen foot tall gingerbread house covered in candies. Santa will be making
appearances every Wednesday and Saturday nights. Customers can drive through the one-of-a-kind handmade christmas displays, stop in the Santa’s Workshop and Coffee Shop to pick up a complimentary christmas trivia booklet for the kids and finish up the holiday shopping. The fun begins just south of Oak Creek, Wisconsin located 1/2 mile south of the Milwaukee County line in Caledonia right off HWY 38. Admission fee is $13 per car or $20 per limosine or
passenger van holding more than 8 people or mini-bus.
Friday and Saturday, through Jan. 3. and closed on Christmas Day.
The display is open from 5 to 9 p.m. SundayThursday; 5 to 10 p.m.
For more information visit www.wichristmascarnival.com
or call (262) 835-2565.
The Rocky Mount plant, acquired through Cavco’s recent purchase of Fleetwood Homes, reduces shipping costs for East Coast KOA franchisees PHOENIX, Ariz., Dec. 7, 2009 – For the past nine years, Cavco has been supplying Kampgrounds of America (KOA) franchisees with park model “Kamping Lodges” manufactured at its factories in Arizona and Texas. But as a result of Cavco’s recent acquisition of Fleetwood Homes, the company now has the ability to efficiently service hundreds of KOA franchisees in the eastern part of the country through an 80,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Rocky Mount, Va. “By February 1st, we will have the first Kamping Lodges available at our Virginia facility,” said Tim Gage, vice president of Cavco’s specialty division, adding that the Rocky Mount facility will save East Coast KOA franchisees significant sums of money on shipping costs. Mike Atkinson, KOA’s director of lodging, said Cavco’s Virginia plant will help KOA franchisees keep
their costs down as they continue to move into the accommodations business. KOA franchisees purchased more than 200 Kamping Lodges from Cavco this year, and more purchases are expected next year. “Over 50 percent of our franchisees will have a lodge with a bathroom by the end of this year, and we expect to see continued purchases of these products,” Atkinson said. While the location of Cavco’s Rocky Mount facility helps KOA franchisees from a pricing standpoint, equally important is Cavco’s continuing ability to tailor products to KOA’s needs. “If we need to modify a spec or really do something outside the box, they are our ‘go to’ guys,” Atkinson said. “They understand us. They really understand our business.” Atkinson said that the key for KOA franchisees is to purchase only lodges of impeccable quality because lesser quality lodges don’t have the durability for rental use. “That’s the key,” Atkinson said. “To put high-quality, long-lasting Kamping Lodges in your campground.”
For more information on Cavco’s Kamping Lodges, park models, and other specialized living units, please contact Tim Gage at (602) 763-5488 and visit www.cavcoparkhomes.com.
For more information on KOA’s use of park model cabins as Kamping Lodges, please contact Mike Atkinson at (406) 248-7444 or email him at email@example.com.
The county may have to rethink some of its park fees, following a state Supreme Court ruling that says park managers aren’t free from liability if visitors are injured. State and county parks that previously were protected from litigation through recreational immunity, no longer are if they charge people to visit the recreation area or campground. In fact, someone already has filed a notice of an intent to sue Coos County over a park injury. “We are going to have to scrutinize closely if we decide we want a fee area,” Coos County Parks Director Larry Robison said. “It may no longer be cost effective to charge a fee if the revenue generated doesn’t cover potential suits.” Recreational immunity protects landowners, whether public or private, who allow people to use their land for recreational purposes for free. If an owner doesn’t charge, that person or agency isn’t liable for injuries. A man who hurt himself while camping at William M. Tugman State Park, near Lakeside, argued it differently, all the way to
the Oregon Supreme Court. Bradley Coleman hurt himself while using a bike trail at Tugman, which charges no fees. But, since he was paying to stay at the nearby campground, he felt the state did not have recreational immunity. Coos County Circuit Court Judge Richard Barron and the Court of Appeals disagreed. In September, however, the state Supreme Court overturned their decisions, ruling that even if it is a free day-use park, if people pay to stay at the campsite, the owners are liable. “This case clarified what it means to charge a fee,” said attorney Gene Hallman, who wrote the amicus curiae for the case. “Parks have never had immunity where a fee is charged. This broadens that definition.” Hallman said there is a two-year statute of limitations in which a person can sue, and a state law limits damages to $500,000. That number will go up each year, in relation to the cost of living. “Whatever happened to individual responsibility?” County Commissioner Bob
Main asked. “If it’s not due to negligence, it should be the person’s own responsibility.”
about $18,000 a year through those fees, while county campgrounds collect $350,000 a year.
The plaintiff still will have to prove negligence, but the area of liability has expanded.
Robison, a member of Oregon Parks Association, said he isn’t sure what the next step will be for counties, but they could propose legislation. “You don’t really think about something like this until it happens,” Robison said.
Several weeks after the ruling, Main and Robison received notice that a woman who injured her ankle at LaVerne Park intended to sue the county. “I’m not sure what we are going to do about it,” Main said. “Whether we will try and get the law changed or make people sign waivers.” Many ski resorts and similar recreational destinations protect themselves by having people sign waivers, which Hallman said could be an option for parks, too.
Mike Harvey, a spokesman with the Siuslaw National Forest, said he didn’t know if the state law would apply to U.S. Forest Service lands, which also operate under federal laws. If it does, however, it could affect places such as the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, popular with all-terrain vehicle riders and a frequent site for injuries.
LaVerne is not the only county park that charges a parking fee. The county park at Lakeside brings in
State parks also will be affected, but Oregon Parks and Recreation spokesman Chris Havel
said officials are figuring out to what extent. Out of the 175 state parks, 26 charge parking fees, and 14 campgrounds have nightly rates. Together that brings in $37.7 million to the state every two years.
“We are still evaluating the effect of that ruling on the broader question of recreational immunity,” Havel said. Article: www.theworldlink.com
Woodall Publications Corp., has announced the release of its "2010 North American Campground Directory." New for 2010 are full-color maps for all states and provinces and the addition of GPS coordinates and physical addresses on select listings. The directory outlines driving directions, locator maps, site widths, overnight fees and handicap accessibility for campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Organized by region and then by state or province, each travel
section begins with an ata-glance chart outlining which parks welcome big rigs, pets and are Internet friendly (Wi-Fi parks are specially marked) to make identification of preferred amenities quick and easy, according to a news release.
Caravan parks in Australia have copped a pounding from members of a major on-line forum. Forumites have accused inconsiderate park owners of wilfully spoiling their peace and quiet, and ripping them off during peak holiday periods. Their angry outburst on the 2500member caravanners' forum was sparked by a disgruntled traveller who complained of being disturbed by an earlymorning lawnmower at a Sunshine Coast caravan park in Queensland. His posting triggered an avalanche of replies, with more than 1200 members logging into the discussion. A British caravan park's efforts to encourage the return of red squirrels have earned the royal seal of approval. Prince Charles has praised Skelwith Fold Caravan Park in Ambleside after it successfully reestablished colonies of the threatened species in its 130-acre Lake District park. France's new speed limits for caravanners and motorhomes are expected to be fully enforced next year. Vehicles weighing
less than 3.5 tonnes will be restricted to 110kph on dual carriageways and motorways, and 100kph on unrestricted single carriageways. A UK caravanner had a lucky escape when his caravan was swept away by raging floodwaters in Snowdonia, Wales ... as he slept inside. Firefighters rescued the somewhat surprised 47-year-old traveller. Keen caravanner and Belgian prime minister Herman Van Rompuy has been elected the European Union's first full-time president. But he has become known as a "grey mouse" rather than grey nomad because he is a virtual unknown. Police are visiting caravan parks in a popular Australian seaside town and delivering a twopronged warning to tourists. This follows an alarming rise in thefts at Hervey Bay ... and the introduction of $40 fines for people who leave their vehicles unlocked.
HOUMA — Temporary workers may soon have a new option for housing while in town.
a park for about five years with his brother Blane in Amelia. “It’s a new type of housing.”
Houma’s Airport Commission gave preliminary approval Thursday night to create a space on airport property where welders, electricians and other itinerant workers coming in and out Houma for jobs could park recreational vehicles or other mobile homes.
Aucoin said it would cost between $200,000 and $250,000 to develop a park capable of housing 28 mobile homes on a piece of subleased airport property.
“There’s a demand,” said Thane Aucoin, a realestate developer who told the commission he has successfully operated such
One concern was that the occasional inhabitants would become permanent tenants, which would not be allowed. Airport officials discussed a three-month limit for tenants. Full Article: www.dailycomet.com
Slight Bump in Attendance, Upbeat Mood Marked Day One of National RV Trade Show. Attendance at the 47th National RV Trade Show was up 1.2% from 2008, according to RVIA registration data, and attendees described the mood as “upbeat” at the conclusion of day one of the show. Attendance was 7,508 on day one this year, compared to 7,421 last year. Individual dealer registrants were down by 72 (from 2,545 in 2008 to 2,473) or 2.8%. But although the show is smaller this year, manufacturers reported a general feeling of optimism. Bob Tiffin, President of Tiffin Motorhomes, said, “Last year the dealers were down in the mullygrubs — that’s an Alabama term for down low. This year, dealers are getting more retail financing, their customers are more upbeat. Everything is more upbeat this year.” Ned Collins, CEO of ALiner, said, “Traffic is up. We wrote more orders in the morning than we did in three days last year.
Dealers are very optimistic.” Jim McAlpin, President of Grand Am RV, echoed Collins’ comments, and added, “Everyone feels we’ve hit bottom and we’re on our way up.” Green RVs: BudgetFriendly Group Travel Peter Greenberg Worldwide Thursday, December 3, 2009 "RVs can be an economical way for families to get out and see the country. But can these gas-guzzlers also be an eco-friendly way to travel? Yes they can, so here's what you need to know to have a greener RV travel experience." RV Makers Go Green At Trade Show The Elkhart Truth Thursday, December 3, 2009 "Even though this week's 47th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, KY is smaller than in past years, more dealers and suppliers are showcasing 'green' RV's and components. In this video, etruth.com's Robert Borrelli shows us how a few local manufacturers are integrating green technology into their products."
The California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds is sponsoring a day-long seminar titled “Everything & Anything You Need to Know About Park Trailers” on January 13 at Newport Dunes RV & Waterfront Resort in Newport Beach, California.
usage policies, housekeeping issues and maintenance.
A panel of park owners, operators and vendors will cover these issues:
How and whether to purchase, lease and financing considerations.
Pros and cons of renting park trailers for vacation use, including marketing,
Speakers include: John Pentacost, an attorney with Hart, King &
Pros and cons of longterm leases for seasonal/annual use, including marketing, policies on out-buildings, landscaping, age limits and upkeep.
Coldren, who will speak on the state’s eviction law for park trailers.
update on industry trends, new products and innovations.
Brad Harward of California Housing and Community Development, who will speak on the state’s laws regulating park trailers, from park trailer design to installation.
The fee is $75 for the first attendee and $65 for each additional attendee.
William Garpow of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA), will provide an
Lunch will include brief introdutions from the program sponors. A tour of the resort’s park trailers also will be available. For more information, contact CalARVC at (530) 885-1624.
By Deanne Bower
going into fees.
availability of cash 24 hours a day.
……That is the question many campground owners are asking themselves these days. Perhaps the answer is simply a matter of determining how far it is to the nearest ATM and, if you have a store, do you want to have the camper leave the campground and make impulse purchases elsewhere. Sometimes the convenience to the camper justifies the initial cost. Remember also that the machine is a business expense and, therefore, tax deductible.
The other type of ATM is a “cash coupon” or “scrip” ATM machine where, since the money comes from the register, accessibility to cash is only possible during the hours the campground’s store is open. Actual cash ATM’s are usually priced in the $3-4,000 range, although we recently saw one for as little at $1,500. The cashless script ATM usually costs less than $1,000.
The next thing to consider is how to go about getting one, and what kind. Some need to have money loaded into them, while with others the money comes from your register. The former usually requires that up to $2,000 be kept in the machine, which consequently makes it a target for thieves. Perhaps you’ve read some of those stories. The advantage of these machines is the
Other differences between the two types of machines are space requirements, determination of charges, and the amount of money accessible from the machines. Cash machines usually take up floor space, while the cashless machines are countertop. Both types of machines can be set up to charge a specific amount for the transactions, but the cash machines usually
If you determine that an ATM might be good for your campers, we suggest that you DON’T LEASE IT.
dispense on $10 or $20 bills, while the scrip machines can issue coupons for increments in $1.00 amounts. There are many companies selling or leasing them these days. Make sure it comes from a reputable company so you don’t spend money on a piece of equipment you can’t use. How much room will it take up, and do I have the space, or can I make the space by shifting other items? Do I have a telephone jack and electrical line nearby? What do I need to do to keep it operational, how much extra money do I need to keep on hand? How can I keep both the ATM & myself from becoming a target for theft? Many times an ATM is set up so that you will make a small amount of profit on each transaction. That way at the end of the day perhaps it could save money on credit card processing. This is also a something you can encourage customers to use for small transactions, so that all your profits aren’t
With a lease, you can end up paying for the ATM many times over – and leases may be “open ended”, meaning that at the conclusion of the term of the lease you have the option of buying the machine (again) or simply continuing to make payments. In conclusion, an ATM at your campground can be a huge convenience to your campers, it can reduce payments of your credit card charges and it can be another source of income for you. Remember, though, that an ATM has a pin-pad so it too must be PCI Compliant! Make sure that the company you are dealing with it is aware of the PCI compliance regulations and the machine conforms to the regulations before purchasing it. Deanne Bower is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at MCPS for Campgrounds, a credit card processor sponsored by Woodforest Bank NA. Deanne has been working with MCPS President Art Lieberman for several years and has become an expert on pricing and marketing to Campgrounds. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
brain as to the future of his company and where he sees the industry going over the next few years,” RV Buddies host Mark Summers said.
North Hollywood, CA, December 8, 2009 – An exclusive interview with the President of Fleetwood RV, John Draheim, is now available for viewing on www.RVBuddiesOnline.com.
RV Buddies sat down with Fleetwood RV President, John Draheim, for an extended and candid conversation about the past, present and future of the new Fleetwood RV and the future of the RV industry itself. In a far-reaching interview, Draheim discussed the history of Fleetwood, company founder John
Creens' contributions to Fleetwood and his impact on the industry, including such firsts as basement storage and full-wall slides. Draheim also spoke about the latest Fleetwood developments and the
company’s plans for the future, including the next generation of platforms and special “limited edition” models such as the 2010 Quest, Fiesta and Terra. “It was a terrific opportunity to sit down with an industry leader and really pick his
A couple of the subjects Draheim was eager to discuss were the Bounder Classic – the first coach produced under his leadership, as well as the new "Encounter" model for 2010. A sneak preview of the Encounter when it was unveiled at the recent Louisville "for the trade only" RVIA show can be found elsewhere on www.RVBuddiesOnline.com
The free directory, which can be ordered through TexasCampgrounds.com, includes a Texas Saver Card, which provides 10% to 15% discounts at participating parks as well as a new four-page section that highlights campgrounds with cabin and cottage rentals CROWLEY, Texas, Dec. 3, 2009 – The Texas Association of Campground Owners is printing 250,000 copies of the 2010 RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas, a free, four-color glossy magazine that lists nearly 400 campgrounds and RV resorts in Texas and New Mexico. “Half of these directories are being shipped this month to campgrounds and RV parks, RV dealerships, chambers of commerce, visitors bureaus and Texas Travel Information Centers,” said Brian Schaeffer, executive director and CEO of the Crowley-based Texas Association of Campground Owners. The remaining directories will be distributed at upcoming RV shows, including the Rio Grande Valley RV Show, which takes place Jan. 14th to 16th in Mercedes. RV and camping enthusiasts can order the 164-page directory online by visiting www.texascampgrounds.com.
panoramic photos showing off what campers can experience. The directory also features a Texas Saver Card, which provides 10% to 15% discounts at participating parks.
The 2010 Texas RV Travel & Camping Guide will also be posted on the website later this month in Maga-zooms pageturning format. The 2010 directory provides detailed descriptions of nearly 400 private campgrounds and RV resorts, or roughly two thirds of the private parks in Texas. A small number of New Mexico parks are also included in the directory. The directory is broken up into seven sections, each representing a distinct region of Texas. An eighth section is dedicated to New Mexico. Locator maps are provided at the beginning of each section, with numbered listings of the campgrounds for each region. Campgrounds are also alpha-indexed by city and park name. Each campground listing includes a grid that lists the park’s facilities, services and amenities as well as driving directions, a miniature locator map and many parks have
The 2010 directory also includes a separate fourpage section listing campgrounds with cabin and cottage rentals as well as a listing of park model manufacturers. Recreational park trailers or “park models” are 400square foot, movable resort cottages. Typically upscale in appearance, they often include hardwood floors, bay windows and lofts as well as cherry, oak or maple cabinetry. And because park models are technically classified as recreational vehicles, they can be set up on leased or purchased sites in campgrounds and RV parks and used as weekend retreats or seasonal vacation dwellings. Schaeffer said almost 25 percent of Texas campgrounds have cabin or cottage rentals. Many of the parks that offer cabin and cottage rentals also have sites for lease or for sale to park model owners. The 2010 guide also includes two dozen pages of articles and pictures highlighting things to see
and do in specific regions of Texas. The Texas Association of Campground Operators publishes and distributes the Texas RV Travel & Camping Guide each year. For more information about the 2010 directory or for statistics involving the latest camping trends in Texas and New Mexico parks, please contact Brian Schaeffer at (817) 307-0129 or visit www.texascampgrounds.com.
“Our website had more visitors through October than we had in all of 2008.” ‒ Brian Schaeffer, Texas Association of Campground Owners TexasCampgrounds.com, the web portal for researching and booking reservations at private campgrounds and RV resorts, saw a 14.2 percent increase in unique visitors through October, while surpassing website visitation figures for all of 2008. “Our website had more
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demonstrate,” Schaeffer said, adding that many of the visitors to the website ultimately use the site to book campground reservations. Campground owners, for their part, have generally reported strong business levels this year, despite the recession.
visitors through October than we had in all of last year,” said Brian Schaeffer, executive director and CEO of the Texas Association of Campground Owners, which owns and operates TexasCampgrounds.com. He said the website had
Last week we ran an article titled "DTI says dismissal procedures are simple". Thanks to our readers who pointed out the actual article refers to England dismissal laws. Although I am sure it would have been interesting reading please do not apply those tips to us here in the United States. There is an excellent article available here: http://www.mckeanpark.co m.au/uploads/file/Unfair% 20Dismissal%20Briefing% 20Note.pdf
logged 887,529 page views through October and would likely surpass the 1 million page view mark by the end of this year. “Interest in camping and RVing is alive and well in Texas, as these statistics
Dennis Macready: Editor
“Right now, we just finished the best November we’ve ever had, and our advance bookings from now through March are probably 20 percent over last year,” said TACO President Doug Shearer, who opened Parkview Riverside RV Park in Concan in 2001. He expects this winter to be the best Winter Texan season he’s ever had. Gwen Craig of Rayford Crossing RV Resort in Spring said her business is also up. “My online reservations are up quite significantly over last
year,” she said, adding that more and more people are booking their campground reservations online than ever before. She, too, expects a very strong Winter Texan season. TexasCampgrounds.com features a searchable database of nearly 400 campgrounds and RV parks in every region of Texas, roughly half of which offer campsites and cabins that can be booked online through the same website. Most visitors to TexasCampgrounds.com also request a copy of the 2009 Texas RV Travel & Camping Guide. For more statistics or other information involving the latest camping trends in Texas, please contact Brian Schaeffer at (817) 307-0129 or visit the association’s website at www.texascampgrounds.com.
Another Christmas is upon us. At this, the most loving and blessed time of the year I wish you the most wonderful Christmas and a happy, prosperous, healthy blessed New Year. Thank you for being my readers. I hope this column has been informative, useful and fun to read.
A wise pastor once told me he had finally solved a personal riddle. He had wondered for many years why would God choose to come to earth as a baby? It came to him one Christmas: because nobody can keep their hands off a baby! May God’s love shine abundantly upon you and yours this Christmas season and always.
To the extent that it has not, please accept my apologies. If you have any ideas or suggestions for improving it, I am all ears.
And oh yes, don’t forget to recycle your Christmas tree, the wrapping paper.
We will all hear about the meaning of Christmas so you do not need me to add yet another version.
And don’t waste electricity by leaving the lights on overnight. And think about car pooling. And….oh never mind, enough already!
Whatever the meaning of Christmas might be for you, I hope and pray that it will come true. This is the one time each year when we set aside worries and work to make time for each other, especially our children and grandchildren. People always come first, not just as customers and patrons but simply because we are people.
Even though nothing is growing, the winter is a good time to keep your garden in shape. Check out the following winter garden tips to make sure your garden is ready to grow in the spring. • Clean up your garden before the snow comes. Pull up any dead plants that are left and put them in your compost pile. That way they can become fertilizer for your spring garden. Also, be sure your garden is free of weeds and debris. • Clean and store your garden tools. It is easiest to clean your garden tools before you store them. That way you’ll avoid that arduous task in the spring. When winter is over, you will be excited to get started on your garden and won’t want to have to clean your tools first. • When the snow does come, try not to shovel salted snow onto your garden. It can damage your soil. • If you need to order any seeds, be sure to do it by
January. That way you’re sure to have them in time for your spring garden. • Think about your past year with your garden. What worked and what didn’t work? Did certain crops or flowers go to waste while there were others which you never could get enough? The winter is a good time to plan your garden for the next year. Make a list of which crops and flowers you want for each season. Sketch the layout of your garden for the spring. You get to start fresh when winter is over so you have no limits in planning your garden. • Build a bench where you can sit and take a break while tending your garden. You can complete projects such as this in your garage or shop and have them ready to bring outside when winter is over. Obviously, your garden is not as much hard work in the winter. But, by maintaining and planning, you can prepare your garden and enjoy the fruits of your labor come spring.
Click on the image below to search the directory: Listings added daily
This week's featured Listing
The latest product to hit the campground industry is receiving major interest by owners who see these bikes as an opportunity for good revenue by renting them to campers. The bikes are not only "green" environmentally
friendly but are safe and extremely economical with a battery charge range of up to 25 miles. Campgrounds can purchase the bikes outright for as low as $1195 ensuring an excellent and fast return on investment.
Speed: Up to 16 mph Range: Up to 25 Miles Motor: 350 watt brushless motor Driving Sytem: Powerful 48 volt front hub drive System built into the front wheel! Charging Time: 4-6 hours for pennies Battery: 48 volt 14 AH sealed lead battery acid
Battery Charger: 110 volt smart charger, UL Listed Tires: Front 16 x 2.5" and rear pneumatic 10 x 3.5" Color: White and Black (Custom Paint Jobs Also) Size: 40" L x 26.8 "Wx 5.7" H Weight: 93 lbs. Comes With: headlight, taillight, and horn. (Basket Optional)