21. February 2013 02:06
Have you ever considered being a camp host at an RV park? Did you even know that you could? Those of you who are new to the RV lifestyle may not even know that this opportunity exists. Many people who choose to live the RV lifestyle full time, either by choice or by force of circumstance, may be looking to spend less, live more frugally, and earn a little money. This is one option that can be helpful on all of those fronts. A campground host usually resides in their own RV at the campground they are hosting, and are typically responsible for greeting guests, collecting fees, helping campers resolve issues, cleaning facilities and grounds, and handling some light maintenance. Many camp hosting jobs are seasonal, running from early spring to late fall, though some positions in warm weather states may be available year-round. The benefits usually include free space rent, all utilities, cable, wi-fi, etc. and often a salary in addition. According to camphost.org, “For many years, work camping was dominated by volunteer host programs in the National Parks and National Forests. Hosts, often retired couples, would manage a campground for the summer camping season in exchange for a free site for their RV or travel trailer. Most public campgrounds have special host sites which often (but not always!) have full hookups, even when the campground they are managing is primitive. Camp host jobs vary greatly from campground to campground, but almost all require taking fees from campers, cleaning bathrooms, and light grounds maintenance (such as raking fire puts, blowing leaves, etc.) Hosts with maintenance skills are always in demand.” Over the past 30 years, public agencies such as the National Park Service and the US Forest Service have turned to private concessionaires to manage many of the larger public recreation facilities. These private companies bid for the right to operate the facilities, generally paying the government a percentage of their revenue as rent. Today, many public campgrounds are run by private companies under special concession contracts. Unlike the government, private for-profit companies cannot legally accept volunteer labor. Most of these private companies now pay their camp hosts by the hour. Typically, camp hosts will work a certain number of hours (10-20) a week for their site, after which they are paid an hourly wage. The net result is that work campers will typically get their site plus $500-$800 a month in wages. You can check out the Facebook page for Camp Host Jobs where they regularly post available positions all across the country. Have you worked as a camp host? Tell us about your experience in the comments here, or on our RV Country Facebook page!
19. February 2013 01:36
Looking for a relaxing and unique winter weekend outing in Oregon? Are you interested in a different way to spend Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart? How about heading out to one of our states 45 (give or take a few) hot springs? Hot springs are formed when the molten rock deep in the Earths interior transmits heat upward through solid rock to groundwater which has penetrated to that depth. This extremely hot water then forces its way upward through fissures and fractures, warming rocks and water as it goes. Where the hot water can escape at the grounds surface, a hot spring is formed. Many believe that these waters may hold therapeutic effects which relieve or restore health. The waters of hot springs do have energetic factors such as the powerful ionization, mineralization, radioactivity, gases and PH variations. The mineralization of the waters is always closely related to the composition of the soil in which they arise, and in general, they contain fluorine, iron, bromine, boron, iodine, chrome, sodium, phosphorus, and carbon silicon to name a few. Many of Oregon’s hot springs are quite close to major cities, such as Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Bend. No matter where you are, chances are you’re probably no more than a couple of hours from a place to soak, making this a perfect weekend getaway. Many of these hot springs are in the wilderness and require a bit of a hike in, but many of them are incorporated with campgrounds, RV parks, and resorts. Some are quite rustic, and others more modernized, so no matter what your preference, with a little research you can find the perfect hot springs for you and your family. We found soakoregon.com to have most all of the hot springs listed, with plenty of great information on each one. A personal favorite is Summer Lake Hot Springs near Paisley, Oregon. It’s a rustic gem out in the middle of nowhere, and with RV Hookups featuring water, sewer, and 20-50 amp electric, it’s a perfect place to get away and do some serious relaxing. Also, it is worth noting that just a few miles down the road in Paisley at the Pioneer Saloon and Cafe, the pizza is outstanding and the service is as small town friendly as you would hope for. Interested in California Hot Springs? Click here for a HUGE directory. Do you have a favorite hot spring? Tell us all about it here or share with us on our Facebook page!
15. February 2013 16:35
Women who RV, are you listening? We’re here to tell you that trailerchix.com is all about you. Shelah Johnson, Creator and Editor in Chief, describes her business like this: “Of course, we are all nostalgic for the years when travel trailers were glammed up with imported mahogany paneling and came equipped with indoor plumbing when most of the country was still using outdoor toilets. Over the years we’ve had to make some trade-offs, many of them for the right reason, while other trade-offs have eroded a once gracious and stylish lifestyle. TrailerChix tries to return some of the lost charm and elegance to trailer life while utilizing many of the new and exciting technological advances that will help us build a more sustainable planet through a smaller ecological footprint. We take a holistic and bold view of the trailer lifestyle. Although we focus on travel trailers, we realize that our approach to living full or part time in a smaller footprint should also include our growing number of fellow travelers who live without wheels – shipping containers, floating homes, converted airplanes, railroad cars and other alternative habitats.
At TrailerChix we have a sense of responsibility to encourage and support current and future creative expressions. We celebrate those who are choosing travel trailers for alternative uses such as food carts, studio spaces, home offices and guest rooms. And we salute those who are choosing to live full time in smaller footprints and who are committed to lowering our emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Although at times it’s hard for us to resist the need to show off only insanely perfect designs, we don’t take this lifestyle so seriously that we forget the fun and pleasure that living so freely brings. So we embrace the more avant-garde along with the humorous sides of our readers and contributors. While there are a number of highly mechanical resources available supporting travel trailers, TrailerChix chooses to address only the technical fundamentals and focus most of our attention on helping to build a better and more well-rounded life experience. In their first 100 years, travel trailers have been male-inspired, and we think it’s time to give women a turn to drive. We encourage you to become an active participant on this site, sharing your knowledge, expertise and experience with others so we can make the next 100 years more exciting and more dynamic for independent and creative women of all ages worldwide.”
Shelah is a full-timer living in her 1976 31’ Airstream Excella 500, which is parked on an island in the middle of two converging rivers in the Pacific Northwest. Her website is fun, informative, inspirational, and tailor made for women just like you. Offering articles on everything from how to successfully start a fire, to learning how to back up your trailer like a pro, to the “Cookin’ With Britta” recipe series, trailerchix.com is covering all the bases. We especially love that Shelah Johnson not only recognizes, but also celebrates the fact that women account for the majority of new homes, new cars, and vacations purchased in the U.S.. Women are in the driver’s seat now more than ever, and this is definitely a market that deserves some attention.
12. February 2013 14:28
In this fourth blog in our “Ask an RV Tech” series, we ask our resident expert, Hank Dudley, “Is there anything special I should do to my RV plumbing system in the winter?”. Hank says, “Absolutely! As you winterize your RV, you will need to drain all tanks and water lines by opening the low point drains. If you live where the temperature drops below freezing, you will want to use a special non-toxic RV anti-freeze.” Some people just blow out the water lines, but that may not get out all of the water. You’ll need to drain the fresh water, the septic, and the water heater, making sure that all the valves are closed afterward, so that you don’t lose the anti-freeze that you’re about to pour in. Begin by adding anti-freeze to the fresh water tank. Turn on your water pump and open all the faucets until you see the pink anti-freeze begin to flow and then turn the faucets off. This may take four or five gallons. Flush the toilet until you see the pink anti-freeze in the bowl. If your lines run dry at this point, you’ll need to add more anti-freeze. Turn your water pump off and pour a little anti-freeze down each trap, including sinks and shower, as well as an additional gallon or so down the toilet to winterize the tank. Remember... Even if you use your RV in the winter time, you will still need to do this when it is not in use. Do you have a question you’d like us to ask Hank for you? If you do, you can comment here, or post it to our Facebook page!
7. February 2013 14:58
Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching... Have you made those fancy dinner reservations yet? Picked out the lovely diamond earrings she’s been hinting at? Stashed the box of chocolates? Maybe the typical chocolates, dinner and jewelry isn’t her thing (is that even possible?) and you’re going to spend this Valentine’s Day with your beloved on the open road, traveling in your RV. Well even so, you can still find some romance and decadence along the way, and we’re here to give you some tips! What could be more beautiful and more romantic than a trip through California’s beautiful wine country? Rand McNally has already mapped out the perfect Valentine’s excursion for lovers. Beginning and ending near San Francisco, you’ll travel through some of the countries most beautiful scenery, and visit more than 60 wineries. Along your travels you’ll dine at phenomenal farm to table eateries and visit gorgeous parks, museums, the petrified forest, and Old Faithful Geyser of California. Sound perfect? We thought so too! Click here to read all about each stop, and map out your own perfect Valentine’s getaway. Have you taken this trip before? We’d love to see some pictures and hear what you have to say. What are some of your favorite places to stop? Let us know in the comments below, or share with us on our Facebook page!
photo credit: Doug Jinkins