U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers Offers Volunteer Clearinghouse
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees nearly 12 million acres of land and water at 460 lakes across the United States, and volunteers play an important role in protecting the natural resources and maintaining recreation areas. The Corps of Engineers Volunteer Clearinghouse is a national information center for people who are interested in volunteering their time at Corps lakes and projects.
The Clearinghouse links volunteer workers with Corps areas across the United States that can use their services. Each person who contacts the Clearinghouse receives a volunteer packet with information about opportunities, points of contact, an application, and a brochure.
Volunteers serve as campground hosts; staff visitors centers; conduct programs; clean shorelines; restore habitat for fish and wildlife; maintain park trails and facilities; and more. Volunteers sometimes receive a free campsite for their service.
Nationwide, more than 70,000 volunteers have contributed 1.2 million hours of work at Corps lakes and projects, an estimated $13.5 million value.
For more information about volunteering, contact the Volunteer Clearinghouse at (800) 865-8337 (VOL-TEER) or visit www.lrn.usace.army.mil/volunteer.
Women’s RVing Tales Compiled In New Book
A book titled RV Traveling Tales: Women’s Journeys On The Open Road contains short stories and descriptions of life on the road as seen by 52 different women.
The authors of the stories vary from a teenager who has traveled since she was 3 months old to an adult daughter trying to keep up with the antics of her 83-year-old RVing mother and new stepfather. Contributing writers run the gamut from married to single, full-timers to part-timers and “wannabees.”
Sections of the book are titled “What Is Full-Timing?,” “Life on the Road,” “Uniquely Women,” “Encounters,” “Relationships,” “Going Your Own Way,” and “Heart Places.” Each section contains stories related by female RVers as they deal with incidents and share their views.
The book was edited and compiled by Jaimie Hall, an RVer and author of Support Your RV Lifestyle! An Insider’s Guide To Working On The Road, and Alice Zyetz, author of You Shoulda Listened To Your Mother: 36 Timeless Success Tips For Working Women. It is available directly from Pine Country Publishing at www.RVTravelingTales.com or by mailing a check to Pine Country Publishing, 127 Rainbow Drive, #2780, Livingston, TX 77399-1027. The cost is $14.95 plus $2.50 for media mail, or $4 for Priority Mail.
RV Use As “Hot” As Ever
As temperatures rise this summer, recreation vehicle travel will be heating up as well, according to a new survey of RV owners.
The Campfire Canvass biannual survey revealed that, despite the sluggish economy, 98 percent of RV owners expect to travel more (71 percent) or about the same (27 percent) this summer as they did a year ago.
The survey, conducted for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) in April 2003 by Robert Hitlin Research Associates of Reston, Virginia, polled more than 660 RVers nationwide.
Eighty-seven percent of respondents said the freedom, flexibility, and control they enjoy as RVers is more important than ever. Enjoying nature, spending quality time with family, escaping stress, and saving money were cited as the top reasons to travel more by RV.
The survey sheds light on the advantages of RV travel in stressful times. The ability to travel at the spur of the moment, as well as escaping to nature and remote locations (both 84 percent), ranked as the most important advantages by those with RVing plans this spring and summer. Getting an opportunity to rejuvenate (69 percent), and pursuing favorite hobbies and passions (49 percent) also were cited as important advantages of RV travel.
The overwhelming favorite activity of RVers is camping, according to 87 percent of RV owners surveyed, followed by sight-seeing (80 percent), swimming (62 percent), fishing (62 percent), shopping (54 percent), hiking (52 percent), biking/ATVing (45 percent), antiquing (45 percent), and attending festivals (44 percent).
Eighty-eight percent of RV owners said that RVs provide quality time with children and grandchildren. “In this cell phone age of overbooked, long-distance families, RVing provides a great opportunity for bonding with loved ones,” said RVIA president David J. Humphreys. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed planned to use their RVs as guest quarters during trips to visit relatives and friends.
Respondents also said they planned to travel an average of 38 days and eight weekends; log approximately 2,650 miles; and visit an average of five states on RV trips this season.
RVIA is the national association representing nearly 500 manufacturers and component suppliers producing approximately 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.
Help Control The Spread Of Gypsy Moths
When you’re preparing to leave a campground after a relaxing getaway this summer, be sure to inspect your gear to ensure that you are not hauling an unwanted hitchhiker, the gypsy moth, to your next destination. When you pack up your outdoor items, such as lawn chairs, firewood, camping gear, or towed vehicle, you may unknowingly be moving this destructive forest pest to a new area of the country.
According to the USDA Forest Service, the gypsy moth can be found as far west as Wisconsin and as far south as Virginia, and is responsible for extreme forest defoliation in many areas in the Northeast. Plans are under way by the Forest Service to slow the southwestern spread of this invasive pest, and individual awareness is part of this effort.
Unsuspecting travelers often move gypsy moths from one place to another. Without knowing it, you could be giving a lift to one of four gypsy moth life stages: an egg mass, a caterpillar, a cocoon, or a moth, although it is the egg masses that usually are moved.
During late July and early August, gypsy moths mate and lay egg masses on just about anything that is typically found around a campsite. These egg masses are roughly the size of a quarter. They typically are teardrop- or oval-shaped, are light tan or buff in color, and have a fuzzy texture.
During the gypsy moth’s caterpillar stage, it displays a voracious appetite for many types of tree and shrub foliage. For instance, in 2002 alone, this destructive pest was responsible for defoliating nearly 32,000 acres of forest in Marinette County, Wisconsin.
If you find an egg mass, cocoon, caterpillar, or moth on any of your vehicles or belongings, scrape it into hot, soapy water for a day, and then discard it in the trash. You also can burn them in your campfire. To see color photos of the life stages of the gypsy moth, visit the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection’s Web site at www.datcp.state.wi.us/arm/environment/insects/gypsy-moth.
New Edition Of Directory Geared Toward “Big Rigs”
The third edition of the Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory (K&E Big Rigs RV Publishing, C8967) now is available. This directory is geared toward owners of larger-sized motorhomes in search of campgrounds that can handle their “big rigs.”
The new edition includes campground listings for 26 states, as well as highlights of several California sites. All RV parks have been personally visited by the authors.
Each listing includes specific information about the campgrounds, such as the best campsites for larger motorhomes, hookup information, directions, telephone numbers, and e-mail and Web site addresses.
The guide is printed in an easy-to-use spiral-bound format, so it lays flat. Special sections include “Interstate Corridors,” “Forty-Five Footer “” A Helping Hand,” “Friends Without RVs,” and “Golfing.”
The Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory is available for $14.95 plus $3 shipping and handling in the United States; $5 shipping and handling to Canada. Texas residents should add $1.23 sales tax. It is available by contacting Big Rigs Best Bets, #122, 1200 Bandera Highway, Kerrville, TX 78028; (830) 792-9170; e-mail: [email protected]; www.big-rigs-rv.com
Fleetwood To Unveil New American Coach Lineup At Buffalo Convention
Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., C985, of Riverside, California, announced that its American Coach line of luxury diesel-powered motorhomes will be completely new for the 2004 model year. The new American Coach motorhomes will be first introduced to the public at FMCA’s 70th International Convention in Buffalo, New York, on July 17, 2003.
“This will be the most aggressive and exciting product launch in the history of American Coach,” said John Draheim, vice president of sales and marketing for Fleetwood RV. Mr. Draheim said that the new lineup is the result of more than two years of extensive research, development, and testing. The new American Coaches are being launched at a time when the diesel motorhome market is strong, with year-to-date sales up 8.1 percent from the same period last year, according to a March 2003 report from Statistical Surveys Inc. dated March 2003. Fleetwood’s year-to-date diesel retail sales are up 30.9 percent from 2002, he also noted.
For more information about the American Coach line, visit the company’s Web site, www.fleetwood.com, or call (800) 322-8216.