Posts Tagged ‘RV weighing’

Vendor Set-Up Day

Posted on August 30th, 2010 by by Administrator

Please be careful where you walk, because my butt’s dragging and I don’t want you to step on it! And our Eastern Gypsy Gathering rally doesn’t even officially start until today!

Yesterday was the early vendor set-up day, and my friend Mike Loscher and myself were over in the big building a little after 9 a.m., getting a couple of final details wrapped up, before we opened the doors and let the vendors in to start getting their booths ready for the rally.

It’s great to see so many of our vendor friends here for the rally. We’ve worked alongside many of them for years while operating our own vendor booth at RV rallies coast to coast, so we understand what vendors need, and try very hard to provide it for them at our events.

Here is our pal Daryl Lawrence from Lawrence RV Accessories. Daryl has a brand new item, the Tire Traker Tire Pressure Monitoring System, as well as the excellent Progressive Industries Electrical Management Systems, which we have used for years, both in our MCI bus conversion, and now in our Winnebago diesel pusher.

Daryl Lawrence booth

You can see all kinds of goodies at an RV rally, from safety items like the automatic engine bay fire suppression systems that my pal Mac McCoy sells, to camping chairs and other goodies to make your RV travels more fun and more comfortable.

Flags Galore is offering every kind of flag you could ever want to find, in every size imaginable.

Flags Galore booth

Dwane and Janet Trannum from Almost Heaven Micro Fibre spent most of the day hauling their inventory in and stocking their booth. I sure hope they sell a lot, because I don’t want to have to help them carry it back out to their van!

Almost Heaven booth

John and Karen Knoll stopped by the RVSEF weighing site here at Elkhart Campground to have Rick Lang weigh their truck and fifth wheel before they parked on their assigned RV site for the rally.

Rick Lang weighing

By the end of the day, everybody had worked hard, and most of the vendors were set up and ready to go. I locked the building up about 5 p.m., and then Dennis Haddix from Makarios RV and his pretty wife (whose name escapes me, I’m afraid) pulled in. They had the bed of their Itasca motorhome covered with inventory for their booth, so I opened the building back up long enough for them to unload enough that they could get through the night. Dennis is also the founder of, a relatively new online forum for the RV community.

Of course, no RV rally has officially started until Red and Beth from Too Crazy Ladies have their booth set up and open for business!

Too Crazy Ladies booth  

Today is the official registration day, and Miss Terry and her crew of hardworking volunteers will be busy getting everybody checked in, passing out name badges, and answering questions.

One nice thing about having the rally at a campground instead of a fairgrounds is that we don’t have to have a parking crew. The folks just stop at the RV park office and check in, and Bob and Gita send them to their RV site.

When we were visiting with campground owners Bob and Gita Patel late yesterday afternoon, I think they were feeling a bit overwhelmed, but also delighted. They said that this rally will be the first time in all of the years that they have owned Elkhart Campground that they will be completely full! That should help their bottom line a little bit!

Thought For The Day – Count your life by smiles, not tears. Count your age by friends, not years.

A Vicious Cycle

Posted on August 5th, 2010 by by Administrator

The problem with getting up early in the morning is that, like any bad habit, if you do it too often, you find yourself caught up in the action without even realizing it, or giving it a second thought. When that happens, only strong intervention and a lot of willpower can break the vicious cycle.  After our week at the Winnebago service facility in Iowa, I fear I’ve reached that point.

We were out of bed before 7:30 yesterday morning, and within an hour or so we had the RV packed up and ready to roll, the water and electric connections unhooked, window awnings and slides in, and leveling jacks up.

After saying our goodbyes to cousin Terry Cook and his family, we hit the road, headed south on State route 37. We traveled in a heavy overcast past miles of thick forests, broken by occasional small communities, or scattered houses and businesses.

M-37 Highway thick forest

The route was mostly very good two lane highway, with occasional passing lanes. There were a couple of noticeable hills, but we made very good time.

M-37 Highway 4

We passed over a couple of rivers that looked inviting, and noted several canoe and kayak rental businesses. We really need to come back here some day and get our boats wet.

There wasn’t much traffic, a few RVs headed north, and the occasional car or truck. 56 miles south, we got onto U.S. Highway 10, and another 25 miles brought us to U.S. Highway 31 southbound, an excellent divided four lane highway.

Northbound RVs

Less than an hour later, we pulled into the city-owned Fisherman’s Landing Marina and Campground. This is our regular stop when we visit Muskegon. We dumped our holding tanks, got the motorhome parked and hooked up in our site, and by then we were dripping wet from the heat and humidity. It sure was nice to get that basement air conditioner working to cool things down!

Fisherman’s Landing is a Passport America affiliate, and able to accommodate any size RV. The place is only about half full.

Fisherman's Landing RV park 2

Our site is a back in, with 30 amp electric, water, a concrete pad, and a picnic table. Here is our Winnebago, all set up and ready to be home for the time we’re here.

Winnie at Fisherman's Landing

My cousin Berni Frees and her husband Rocky are working folks, and they wouldn’t be home until about 5 p.m., so once we were settled in, I took a nap while Terry checked her e-mail and just enjoyed being inside where it was nice and cool.

Later on, I added the RVSEF weighing forms to our website for those having their rigs weighed at our upcoming rally. Click this link to complete the paperwork for your truck and trailer, or this link for the motorhome worksheet. Print the sheets out, complete them, and bring them to the rally. To schedule your weighing time, or for more information call Rick Lang at (207) 522-3336.

And don’t forget to call Dennis Hill at the RV Driving School at (530) 878-0111 to arrange for your behind the wheel driving lesson at the rally! Separate fees are charged for the weighing and driving lessons, but the costs are small, and they are two of the best investments you can make in your safety.

In addition to the campground, Fisherman’s Landing has a boat launch that always seems to be busy with fishermen and recreational boaters coming and going. When we left to go to Rocky and Berni’s house later in the afternoon, Terry took this picture of a tug boat docked across the inlet from the boat launch. 

Michigan tugboat

It’s always fun when we get together with Rocky and Berni, and though we had not seen them in a year, it was like it was only yesterday. We picked right up with the silly banter we enjoy so much with them. We all piled into their car and went to a great Chinese buffet for dinner, and then back to their place for an evening of Mexican Train and more good times with good friends.

We’ll be here a few days, visiting, and getting some more prep work done for our Eastern Gypsy Gathering rally.  Then it’s on to Elkhart!

Thought For The Day – I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves – Ronald Reagan

Click Here To Register For Our Eastern Gypsy Gathering Rally!

Rally Stuff And A Birthday Too

Posted on May 27th, 2010 by by Administrator

Rick Lang from Recreational Vehicle Safety Education Foundation (RVSEF) called me yesterday morning to tell me that he and Joyce plan to be on hand at Elkhart Campground on August 29th to greet anybody arriving early for our Gypsy Gathering Rally so they can weigh their RVs if they want it done.

If you have not had your rig weighed before, or if it’s been a while, you should seriously consider having it done. The RVSEF crew are specially trained to weigh RVs, which is not the same as pulling onto a truck scale somewhere and calling it good. Rick and Joyce weigh each axle individually and you get a report that tells you not only your RV’s total weight, but also if you are too heavy on any corner of your RV. This is important information to know, and will help you adjust your load for the safest ride and longer tire life.

Speaking of RVSEF, there is still time to sign up for their excellent RV Lifestyle, Education and Safety Conference in Bowling Green, Kentucky June 3-6. This is your opportunity to learn about RV technical issues and lifestyle experiences from some of the top experts in the industry. You can find out more about this great program at the RVSEF website.

I also got a call from Too Crazy Ladies yesterday, confirming that they will be at our rally, making custom name badges for the attendees. Red and Beth are regular vendors at many RV events, and they have built up a huge following of loyal customers over the years.

I have had a lot of people asking if Elkhart Campground has WiFi service available. Yes they do, and it’s free, so you will be able to get online and surf the internet to your heart’s content.

There has been some confusion about the rally dates. The rally starts with RV parking, registration, and welcome on Monday, August 30th, and ends with hitch up coffee and donuts Friday morning, September 3rd. The rally fee covers camping Monday through Thursday night, but if you want to arrive early or stay later, Bob and Gita at Elkhart Campground assure me they will have plenty of room.

Terry and I plan to arrive in Elkhart about the first of August, so we can get all of the pre-rally work done. Then we’ll hang around for a few days afterwards, before we leave for Hershey, Pennsylvania, where we will be vendors and I will be speaking at the Pennsylvania Recreational Vehicle Show September 15 – 19. We won’t be able to make it to the Escapees 50th Escapade, which is September 12 – 17 in Goshen, Indiana. We’ll miss being with our Escapees family, but the Hershey show drew over 37,000 attendees last year, and we can’t miss the opportunity to introduce the Gypsy Journal to so many RVers who have never seen it before.

I have to say a belated Happy Birthday to my son-in-law, Jim Robinson, who turned 29 yesterday. Jim’s a fine young man, and yesterday we took him and Tiffany and the girls out to dinner to celebrate his special day. Of course, somebody let it slip to the waitress that it was Jim’s birthday, and they did the typical thing where several of the waitresses bring out a cupcake with a candle on it and everybody sang Happy Birthday. Jim is a low profile kind of guy, so the rest of us had fun watching him squirm as the center of attention.

Hey Jim, it only goes faster from here on out.

Thought For The Day -Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.

Click Here To Register For Our Eastern Gypsy Gathering Rally!

Time Is Running Out

Posted on February 7th, 2010 by by Administrator

We are fast running out of time here in Apache Junction, and we still have a lot to get done before we head to Yuma for our Arizona Gypsy Gathering rally in March. We still need to replace the tires on or motorhome, replace the house batteries, I’m working on the new issue of the Gypsy Journal, and once it is printed, we need to get it mailed out. And, of course, there are still a few dozen rally details and chores that need completed too.

Aside from work related tasks, we still have some folks who want to get together for lunch or dinner, I want to get down to Tucson to visit my cousin Beverly, and I’d like to spend a few hours at the Family History Center of the LDS Church in Mesa. I’m not a Mormon, but their genealogy research facilities are open to anyone, and I’m running into a brick wall on my father’s side of my family tree.

A couple of weeks ago I bought Miss Terry a new Bernina Bernette sewing machine, and while I was working on the new issue of the paper yesterday, she went to a class at Quilter’s Ranch in Tempe to learn about all of the new machine’s bells and whistles. What, you say? A class to learn how to operate a sewing machine? No, Terry has been sewing since she was a youngster, this class was just to learn all about the features of her new machine and its many capabilities.

What the heck, when I got my Blackberry Storm last summer, Verizon had a free class to learn to use it! Of course, I still can’t do much more than make a call or answer e-mails on it.

Yesterday, my friend Sharon Del Rosario sent me an e-mail to tell me about a great country singer and yodeler yodelnamed David Bradley that she and hubby Don met in Quartzsite, and she suggested that I contact David and talk to him about performing at our Yuma rally. Since I value Sharon’s opinion, I called David and we worked out an arrangement for him to come to the rally and perform a concert on Monday evening.

David is the son of world champion yodeler Gene Bradley, and has been performing since he was five years old. He performed with the famous Sons of the Pioneers for five years, and was a featured solo artist at the popular Country Tonite Theatre in Branson, Missouri, where he won the Featured Entertainer of the Year award. You can hear some sound bites of David’s music on his Born To Yodel website. Check it out, and make plans now to attend his concert at the rally. Between David and the Michael Hargis’ concert, we’ll have plenty of reasons to tap our toes at the rally, won’t we?

Besides great entertainment and a full line of seminars at the rally, you will also have the opportunity to take advantage of some extra activities, including getting your RV weighed by Rick and Joyce Lang from RVSEF; taking behind the wheel RV driving classes from the RV School, and taking a class to obtain a non-resident Utah or Florida concealed weapons permit from Traveling CCW.

There is a separate fee for any of these valuable extras, and you should make arrangements before the rally if you can, because they all fill up fast. For RV weighing, contact Rick Lang at; for the RV School, contact Dennis Hill at; and for the CCW classes, visit the Traveling CCW website.

News out of Elkhart, Indiana is that Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC., builders of what I consider some of the finest fifth wheel trailers on the market, has purchased the rights to the brand names Prowler, Mallard, Pioneer, Wilderness, and other Fleetwood towable products, and will begin to build their own line of trailer models under those names. A company press release says they plan to begin manufacturing RVs under the acquired names in the next year. Given my personal opinion of Fleetwood products, I’m not sure this is a move I would have made, but if anyone can build something worthwhile under those brand names, I think it would be Heartland.

As busy as we are, Bad Nick still found time to write a new Bad Nick Blog post titled Dying With Dignity. Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

One Stripe Makes A Big Difference

Posted on September 19th, 2009 by by Administrator

As I wrote in yesterday’s blog, Michele Henry from Phoenix Commercial Paint peeled the faded, chipped up graphic stripe off of our Winnebago motorhome and repainted it in the original color.

After getting the old stripe off, Michele and her crew moved the RV into their paint booth and masked off the area to be painted to protect it from overspray. It looked even larger all covered up in paper! 

I picked the motorhome up yesterday afternoon, and it looks great! We are very pleased with the results of Michele’s work. It really sets the RV off, and everybody who has seen it has been impressed. Now you can count us among the many satisfied customers of Phoenix Commercial Paint! 

Today is going to be a busy day for us. We have to pick up the T-shirts for our Ohio Gypsy Gathering rally, which I got busy and forgot to do yesterday. Then Miss Terry has some laundry to take care of, and I need to get the motorhome’s propane tank filled, and then air up all of the tires to accommodate the weight of everything we now have in it. After that, we need to load our bicycles into the van so we’ll be ready to leave for Ohio Sunday morning.

I also need to move our bus conversion to the storage area here at Elkhart Campground. Owners Bob and Gita Patel have been gracious in allowing us to leave it parked next to our regular site while we moved everything out and into the Winnebago and then stayed in it last night while the motorhome was in the paint shop. We are disappointed that the bus has not sold yet, but we know the right buyer is out there somewhere.

Several people asked if we are going to take the bus with us when we leave for the winter. Probably not, because it gets awfully expensive driving two RVs around the country. We’ll either store it here at the campground, or at my pal Butch Williams’ place at Twelve Mile, Indiana. Or, you could just buy it for a really good price and save me the hassle of draining the tanks and winterizing it.

That reminds me of a funny story from when we first bought the bus, and still had our original RV, the Motorhome From Hell. We were taking the bus to Michigan, where we spent the summer at my cousin Terry Cook’s place getting the first steps of the conversion project finished.

I was driving the bus and Terry was driving the RV, and we pulled into a Flying J for fuel. The RV island was empty, so I stopped at one pump and stuck a diesel hose in the bus tank, then a gasoline hose in the RV, and gave Terry a kiss as she walked inside to pay. A fellow in a Class C had pulled in behind us, and as I was pumping the fuel, he came up and said “I couldn’t help but notice that you and your lady there travel in two RVs.  Doesn’t that get expensive?”

Well, you know Bad Nick wasn’t going to pass up an opening like that, so I looked him right in the eye and said “Well, that’s my wife, and I love her, but we just don’t get along well enough to spend that much time together. So yeah, it’s expensive this way, but it’s still a lot cheaper than a divorce!”

I mentioned weight above, but I don’t mean we are overweight. The Winnebago has a cargo capacity of 3451 pounds, and I don’t think we’re near that. I’ll know for sure once we get to Celina, because we are the first on the list to have Rick and Joyce Lang from RVSEF weigh us at the rally.

If you have not had your RV weighed yet, be sure to print out the Motorhome Work Sheet or Trailer Work Sheet from these links and fill them out so you can have your rig weighed at our rally. The small fee is well worth the investment in your safety and in avoiding breakdowns caused by overstressing your RV’s components with excess weight. For weighing fees and information, or any questions, call Rick Lang at (207) 522-3336, or e-mail him at

Thought For The Day – Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

Register Now For Our Ohio Gypsy Gathering Rally