July 29, 2018

July's Tidbits

It seems like every month I stumble across some intriguing little tidbits of news – none of which are worth a full blog post but all of which I find interesting, so I thought this format would be a good way to share them with you.  Please note that this post is not sponsored in any way.  I’m not affiliated with, recommending or receiving payment from any of the companies or organizations mentioned.  I’m just sharing what I consider to be delightful or useful bits of news with you – just the kind of stuff that might come up during an evening around the campfire.

For those of you who don’t already know, I find cloud formations mesmerizing.  It always amazes me how fluid (and gorgeous!) they are and how quickly they seem to disappear and reinvent themselves.  Since I don’t have any photos appropriate to the Tidbits included in this post, please enjoy some of my favorite cloud formations, even though they have nothing whatsoever to do with the items below.  A fair warning though - these probably won’t be the last photos of clouds you’ll ever see here.  (I did take a bunch of photos of the inside features of a dozen travel trailers at the Hershey RV Show a couple of years ago but, somehow, I just knew you wouldn’t find them fascinating.)  So, let’s move on to July’s tidbits . . .

Happy Anniversary to America’s Largest RV Show! – This year, the colossal RV show will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary!  Held each year at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, America’s Largest RV Show provides an excellent opportunity to shop the types and brands of RVs available in the northeast.  I can’t swear that it really is the biggest RV show in the country, but I can tell you that it’s the best one I’ve ever attended.  The Giant Center arena is chock full of vendors of all kinds of RV related products and services, and the number of RVs available to tour (outdoors) is staggering.  The Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA), the organization that sponsors this gigantic show, has announced that over 45 RV manufacturers will be attending this fall and bringing with them over 1,300 RVs.  That's one thousand, three hundred RV’s!  People, do not expect to get through this show in a single day if you plan to tour every type of RV available.  Because I’m always thinking about my next meal (ask Alan, he’ll confirm this), I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with the food vendors.  Why?  I don’t think there are enough of them for the number of people that attend this show.  The lines are extremely long (whether you’re hungry at regular mealtimes or not) and the lunch we bought was edible but not memorable.  Maybe we just hit the wrong vendor.  Maybe not.  But I would love to see a little more attention given to this facet of the show.  Let’s face it; if you’re seriously shopping and there are more than 45 manufacturers represented, you’re going to be there quite a while.  As I recall, for lunch on the second day we avoided the long lines by grabbing chocolate at the Hershey’s chocolate tent.  (Don’t worry - chocolate is one of the major food groups as far as I’m concerned.)  Lack of good food options aside, this RV show seems to be well organized and well run.  Lots of parking available with shuttles to transport attendees parked in outlying sections.  There are a number of RV parks and campgrounds in and around the Hershey area and some good restaurant options, as well.  (We chose to camp at Gifford Pinchot State Park, about 20 miles west of Hershey, and were quite pleased with the peace and quiet.)  And, of course, there’s Hersheypark, Hershey’s Chocolate World and the cute little town of Hershey itself with streetlights shaped like Hershey’s Kisses.  Such a sweet place!  (Ouch!  That was really bad, wasn’t it?)  If you’re looking for an excellent RV show at which to shop for your next rig, do consider attending the 50th Anniversary of America’s Largest RV Show this fall.  The show will be held September 12th – 16th and you can find additional details on the PRVCA web site (link HERE).  Just think, maybe they’ll celebrate by serving slices of America’s Largest Cake! 

RVillage.com Reaches 100,000 Active Users! -  RVillage is a social online platform that connects RV enthusiasts based on their current location, at any destination or simply along their route, and they can remain connected through geo-mapping technology and social interactive tools.   Apparently, every 3 to 5 minutes a new member joins the site, and there are approximately 3,000 sub-groups that include full time RVers, club chapter groups (like Escapees), boondockers and snowbirds.  Okay, this is just way over the top for social hermits like me but, in all honesty, I think it’s an exceptional opportunity for the more social RV travelers among us to stay connected.  That milestone – 100,000 active users – speaks volumes about RVillage.  If this networking connection sounds appealing to you, you can learn more and be as social as you want right HERE. 

When you just HAVE to make that late night fast food run . . . I’ve not heard of the company called Furrion before but, apparently, they’re a tech company that focuses on clean energy and exo-bionic technologies.  (That has something to do with large-scale, mobility platforms called “mechs” – they look kinda sorta like giant spiders – that amplify the motions of the pilots who operate them and move like gigantic robots.)  But that’s not the only kind of technology the company is into.  Scheduled to arrive early in 2019 is the 45’ Elysium Concept luxury motorhome that comes with its own (I’m not kidding) helicopter!  (You should know that it also has a hot tub, just in case that’s one of the items on your RV wish list.)  Since they probably don’t want potential RV owners fainting all over America, the list price isn’t on their web site.  But you can certainly contact Furrion via their site if you’d like to take a look or (better yet) place an order (link HERE).

If you’d rather travel through water than air . . . Okay, so maybe a luxury motorhome and helicopter aren’t quite your style.  How about an RV that turns into a boat?  (I’m not kidding about this either.)  The “Sealander” is made in Germany and looks like a tiny travel trailer.  It has a hitch so you can trailer it anywhere you’d like.  But, if where you’d like to trailer it is up to the lake, then you’re all set.  Because once your sweet little camper is launched, its outboard engine allows you to pilot it like a boat.  (How many times do I have to tell you?  I am NOT making this stuff up!)  At approximately $20,000, I’ll go out on a limb here and say it’s much less expensive than the Elysium Concept mentioned above.  Besides, it’s just so darn adorable!  Now that you’re wondering exactly what the Sealander looks like, why not head over to House Beautiful (of all places) to check out the article (link HERE)?

Luxury tents, gourmet meals . . . setting the standards for “glamorous camping” - I imagine that most of us are familiar with the term “glamping” which generally refers to camping with many (if not all) of today’s superb luxuries.  The two person mountain tent that Alan and I survived in on our honeymoon almost 39 years ago is light years away from today’s fancy glamping digs that often offer hardwood floors, hot and cold running water, designer bathroom spaces, plush bedding and luxuriously comfortable robes.  Yup, nothing at all like our honeymoon.  The American Glamping Association was officially formed earlier this summer and the goal of this new organization is “to set standards that increase the level of professionalism and provide travel enthusiasts with more knowledge, thus eliminating unmet consumer expectations.”  In other words, they want traveling adventurers to have the best glamping experiences possible.  Are you interested in unique accommodations set in world-wide destinations?  Then be sure to check out Glamping.com (link HERE) for more information!

And you thought teenagers were only interested in their smartphones!  Ellie Yeater of Williamstown, West Virginia, is a 14 year old I would love to meet.  While her classmates were enjoying lazy summer days sleeping late or swimming with friends, Ellie spent her summer break renovating a 1974 Wilderness camper into an honest-to-goodness “glamper!”  This ambitious and enterprising young lady saved up $500 of her birthday money and earnings from chores specifically intending to buy a camper and renovate it into her very own glamping hideaway.  Ellie found the 40+ year old Wilderness travel trailer via a local ad and purchased it for a mere $200.  With the remaining $300 and a little help from her Dad, she worked her design magic and ended up with an absolutely delightful and very personal space to call her own.  Check out the before and after photos of Ellie’s glamper and read her story on the web site “Rare” (link HERE).  Stories like Ellie’s are so uplifting – they warm my heart and serve as a reminder that dreams that are achieved through desire, diligent planning and hard work allow us to find a special place in this world and make it our own.  Congratulations, Ellie!

That wraps us this edition of “Tidbits.”  There are certainly some pretty amazing happenings going on in the RV world around us.  Thanks for stopping by and have a magnificent day!

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