Top

Escapees’ SmartWeigh RV Program Underway

December 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Boot Camp COLOREscapees SmartWeigh is an educational RV program created by the Escapees RV Club for the exclusive purpose of enhancing safety, enjoymentand the overall success of the RV lifestyle.

Angie Carr, executive director of the Escapees RV Club, stated in a news release, “A long-standing mission of the club is to educate RVers, both new and experienced, on the aspects of RVing safely. There’s a big difference between what you can do and what you should do for the safety of yourself and your family. The new SmartWeigh program will be operated within the highly praised RVers’ Boot Camp program since both focus on preparing RVers for this wonderful lifestyle. Really, the Smart Weigh tag says it all: ‘Escape with Peace of Mind.’”

SmartWeigh provides critical RV weight safety and load management information in a highly accurate and usable format. In order to produce the most accurate information, Escapees SmartWeigh uses quality scales, which are annually tested. Highly trained weighing teams will also use only the most suitable weighing sites, like the one specifically designed and installed at Escapees headquarters for this purpose.

Neil LeKander, SmartWeigh program administrator, explained, “This is a comprehensive program that addresses all the major weight and load management issues. Once your RV is weighed, you will be provided with the resources that allow you to understand your weight control options in order to help you make the necessary changes to correct any weight or loading issues. It also provides the essential data for RV trailer hitch analysis and adjustment, as well as the information needed to correctly set your tire pressures for longer tire life and a better ride.”

The Escapees SmartWeigh program will be introduced in phases as rapidly as possible. The first scheduled weighing event took place at Rainbow’s End during the Escapees Octoberfest and the RVers’ Boot Camp program in Livingston, Texas. The next weighing event will take place at Escapees North Ranch RV Park in Congress, Ariz., Jan. 31 to Feb. 3,  during Escapees RVers’ Boot Camp.

In the future, SmartWeigh will be offered at many other club and RV events! Weighing will also be available at Rainbow’s End on a weekly basis when event schedules permit. Please check www.escapees.com/smartweigh for a list of times and places.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Escapees RV Club Rallying in Goshen, Ind.

September 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

ESCAPADE2010LOGO-webThe Escapees RV Club celebrates its 50th Escapade, which coincides with the RV industry’s 100th centennial. The “Honor the Past, Embrace the Future” event will take place Sept. 12-17 at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind.

This year’s event is expected to draw at least 1,500-1,600 people and 800 coaches.

“This is a perfect opportunity to honor our past, but at the same time embrace the future,” said Cathie Carr, president and Escapade director along with her husband Bud. “While the pioneer-like days seem far behind us now and access to every kind of information is as close as the stroke of a computer key, nothing takes the place of face-to-face interaction, where kindred spirits share what really works and what doesn’t according to the book of experience. There is no better way to gain this level of inside knowledge than from the folks who live the lifestyle.”

The Escapees RV Club got its start in 1978 by Carr’s parents, Joe and Kay Peterson. The group has held one, sometimes two Escapades a year. Carr said the group plans events three to four years in advance and it is by sheer coincidence this year’s Escapade in Goshen coincides with the RV centennial.

Al Hesselbart, RV/MH Hall of Fame historian, will be talking at the event, and many Escapees members will visit the Hall of Fame in nearby Elkhart during their visit to the area.

“Our members just love the Goshen area since that is where so many RVs are manufactured,” Carr noted.

The Escapees is considered an organization for full-time RVers, but during the Escapade there will be several classes for novices, including a boot-camp program. There will also be classes for more seasoned RVers.

“There is something for everyone, including crafts, hobbies and chapter activities,” Carr said. “We want to make sure people know the Escapade is not just for Escapee members; non-members are welcome to attend, too.”

“Our events are focused on education and we have a lot of fun and entertainment,” Carr added. “We are very proud of our faculty line-up this year and are offering some really neat classes.” (Visit www.escapees.com/escapade/2010 for a list of the faculty line-up).

In addition to class time, each day those attending can shop for new products in the centrally-located commercial market area.

“The Escapade provides the perfect forum to inspect products up close and ask questions of some of the leading service and product representatives that will be available there,” Carr said.

Escapade Exhibitors include:

Adventure Caravans, Alliant Credit Union, Almost Heaven Micro Fiber, America Hears, Blue Ox, Blue Streak, LLC, Cliff Spears Enterprise, Coffelt & Co., Community Resource Credit Union, Coyote Enterprises, Fantastic Vent, RV Advantage/Farm & City Insurance Services, Fire and Life Safety, Flags Galore N More, G & L RV Specialities, Geeks on Tour, General RV, Generations Financial Services, C & C Marketing and Insurance, Heartland RV, Lawrence RV Accessories Inc., Magne Shade, Master Tech RV Services, Miller RV Insurance, Minelab USA, Mobile RV Academy, MOR/ryde International Inc., One More Time Music, Passport America, Poliseek RV Insurance, Bensten Palm by Rhodes Ent., Inc., Rolling Home Press, RV Driving School, RV Glass Solutions, RV Safety Education Foundation, SkyMed, SMI RV Parts and Accessories, SMI’s Vacuum-Assisted Braking Systems, Southeast Publications, Sunrise Bedding, TechnoRV, Tire Traker tire Pressure Monitor System, The RV Solution, The Shop, Thumbs Up Store, Titan Tire, Too Crazy Ladies, U.S.B. Med I.D., Workhorse Custom Chassis and Your Water Filter Source.

Heartland RV and General RV will showcase new coaches during the event.

The Escapade will also feature craft classes and for the not-so-crafty, items can be purchased at the Crafts Show & Sell. There will be medal-detecting treasure hunts with loads of prizes, geocache explorations, exercising, dancing, and CPR training, plus a chance to visit with chapter reps or learn more about Birds of a Feather Groups. Those attending can even take a day off and go on a Head Out Program (HOP) tour. (Call (888) 757-2582 to book a tour.)

Those that would like to order Escapade clothing with the 50th Escapade logo on it, visit Escapade Clothing, www.sportsindiana.com/escapees/index.html for polo shirts, sweatshirts and baseball caps. Those that prefer the national Escapade logo will find that apparel there as well. Attendees who order early may request delivery to the fairgrounds to avoid shipping charges.

Major sponsors for the 50th Escapade include:

Register for this year’s Escapade event and find seminar schedules, craft classes, and many other daily programs and information at www.escapees.com/escapade/2010.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Escapees RV Club to Rally in Goshen, Ind.

July 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

ESCAPADE2010LOGO-webThe 50th “Escapade,” a rally of members of the Escapees RV Club, scheduled for Sept. 12-17, is reaching its maximum capacity at the rally site, the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind., the club has reported.

More than 1,000 RVs will gather at the fairgrounds, located just east of the Northern Indiana community.

“Honor the Past and Embrace the Future” is the theme of the 50th Escapade, according to the current issue of the club’s newsletter.

The club noted various pre-rally rallies at points leading up to the Escapade:

  • Coming from the west, North Central No. 12 is gathering in New Ulm, Minn., Aug. 23-26. Iowa Wild Roses No. 48 is having a rally in Corning, Iowa, Aug 26-29. The Badger SKPS No. 49 is having a kickoff rally Aug. 22-27 in Superior, Wis. They are then caravanning with a grand rolling rally to Goshen for Escapade.
  • Just to the north, Great Lakes No. 6 will be in Corunna, Mich., Sept. 2-6.
  • Coming from the East Coast, Northeast No. 3 has its lobsterfest Aug. 18-22 in Herman, Maine. Wooster, Ohio, is a favorite rally spot for Erie Shores No. 36, Aug. 26-29. And Maple Leaf No. 18 is gathering Sept. 7-9 in Goderich, Ontario, on the way to Goshen.
  • Coming from the south, Ken-Tenn No. 42 is having a rolling rally with stops near Cave City, Ky., and Columbus, Ind., Sept. 5-8.
  • The ELK C-BOF is celebrating its 10th anniversary at a pre-Escapade Rally in Elkhart, Ind., Sept. 7-10, and the SOLOs invite all singles to join them for their pre-Escapade rally Sept. 7-12 in Buchanan, Mich.

Meanwhile,  Hoosier Neighbor No. 51 will have its chapter rally at the Goshen Fairgrounds following Escapade, Sept. 17-21, while Lincolnland No. 46 will rally in Howe, Ind., Sept. 17-19, after Escapade. The DOVEs will be having training classes after Escapade. The MDT will have is annual rally Sept. 20-24 in Berrien Springs, Mich., just north of Goshen.

To find all the event details online, go to www.escapees.com/escapade/2010

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

800 Coaches Expected at Sept. 12-17 Escapade

April 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

ESCAPADE2010LOGO-webThe Escapees RV Club celebrates its 50th Escapade, which coincides with the RV industry’s 100th birthday, in Goshen, Ind., Sept. 12-17.

The event, bearing the theme “Honor the Past, Embrace the Future,” will take place at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen.

This year’s event is expected to draw at least 1,500-1,600 people and 800 coaches.

“This is a perfect opportunity to honor our past, but at the same time embrace the future,” said Cathie Carr, president and Escapade director along with her husband Bud. “While the pioneer-like days seem far behind us now and access to every kind of information is as close as the stroke of a computer key, nothing takes the place of face-to-face interaction, where kindred spirits share what really works and what doesn’t according to the book of experience. There is no better way to gain this level of inside knowledge than from the folks who live the lifestyle.”

The Escapees RV Club got its start in 1978 by Carr’s parents, Joe and Kay Peterson. The group has held one, sometimes two Escapades a year. Carr said the group plans events three to four years in advance and it was sheer coincidence this year’s Escapade in Goshen coincides with the RV centennial.

Al Hesselbart, RV/MH Hall of Fame historian, will be talking at the Escapade, and many Escapees members will visit the Hall of Fame in nearby Elkhart during their visit to the area.

“Our members just love the Goshen area since that is where so many RVs are manufactured,” Carr noted.

The Escapees is considered an organization for full-time RVers, but during the Escapade there will be several classes for novices, including a boot-camp program. There will also be classes for more seasoned RVers.

“There is something for everyone, including crafts, hobbies and chapter activities,” Carr said. “We want to make sure people know the Escapade is not just for Escapee members, non-members are welcome to attend, too.”

“Our events are focused on education and we have a lot of fun and entertainment,” Carr added. “We are very proud of our faculty line-up this year and are offering some really neat classes.” Visit www.escapees.com/escapade/2010 for a list of the faculty lineup.

In addition to class time, each day those attending can shop for new products in the centrally located commercial market area.

“The Escapade provides the perfect forum to inspect products up close and ask questions of some of the leading service and product representatives that will be available there,” Carr said.

Escapade Exhibitors

The list of exhibitors at the Escapade includes: Adventure Caravans, Alliant Credit Union, Almost Heaven Micro Fiber, America Hears, Blue Ox, Blue Streak LLC, Cliff Spears Enterprise, Coffelt & Co., Community Resource Credit Union, Coyote Enterprises, Fantastic Vent, RV Advantage/Farm & City Insurance Services, Fire and Life Safety, Flags Galore N More, G & L RV Specialities, Geeks on Tour, General RV, Generations Financial Services, C & C Marketing and Insurance, Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC, Lawrence RV Accessories Inc., Magne Shade, Master Tech RV Services, Miller RV Insurance, Minelab USA, Mobile RV Academy, MOR/ryde International Inc., One More Time Music, Passport America, PoliSeek RV Insurance, Bensten Palm by Rhodes Ent. Inc., Rolling Home Press, RV Driving School, RV Glass Solutions, RV Safety Education Foundation, SkyMed, SMI RV Parts and Accessories, SMI’s Vacuum-Assisted Braking Systems, Southeast Publications, Sunrise Bedding, TechnoRV, Tire Traker tire Pressure Monitor System, The RV Solution, The Shop, Thumbs Up Store, Titan Tire, Too Crazy Ladies, U.S.B. Med I.D., Workhorse Custom Chassis and Your Water Filter Source.

Heartland RV and General RV will showcase new coaches during the event.

The Escapade will also feature craft classes and for the not-so-crafty, items can be purchased at the Crafts Show & Sell. There will be medal-detecting treasure hunts with prizes, geocache explorations, exercising, dancing, and CPR training, plus a chance to visit with chapter reps or learn more about Birds of a Feather Groups. Those attending can even take a day off and go on a Head Out Program (HOP) tour. (Call (888) 757-2582 to book a tour.)

Those that would like to order Escapade clothing with the 50th Escapade logo on it, visit Escapade Clothing, www.sportsindiana.com/escapees/index.html for polo shirts, sweatshirts and baseball caps. Those that prefer the national Escapade logo will find that apparel there as well. Attendees who order early may request delivery to the fairgrounds to avoid shipping charges.

Major sponsors for the 50th Escapade include:

  • Adventure Caravans,  grand prize ($2,695 value).
  • RV Advantage Insurance, blast-off prize ($2,500 cash).
  • Heartland RV, attendee badges.
  • PoliSeek RV Insurance,  transportation.
  • Coach-Net Roadside Assistance,  Wi-Fi Coffee Cafe.
  • Foremost Insurance Group, ice cream social.
  • General RV, Fare-Thee-Well Picnic.
[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Escapees to Celebrate 50th in Hoosier State

April 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

ESCAPADE2010LOGO-webThe Escapees RV Club will celebrate their 50th anniversary Sept. 12-17 during their Golden Anniversary Escapade at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind.

The event will bring together more than 1,000 members of the Livingston, Texas-based organization that serves the lifestyle needs of fulltime RVers.

The main event officially begins on Sunday (Sept. 12) with “Orientation,” followed by opening ceremonies and entertainment by Johnny Counterfit. Counterfit was selected as a top comedian of the year by Music City News. He does more than 25 voice-character impressions in a clean concert format.

There will be daily socials with door prizes, as well as evening games, discussion groups, night classes, chapter and BOF get-togethers, dances, exercise classes, treasure hunts and a multitude of other activities.

During the 50th Escapade, over 60 educational seminars, classes, workshops, VIP (Info-Mercial) programs and demonstrations will be offered. There will be three levels/types of seminars taking place at the same time.

  • The nationally acclaimed Escapees Boot Camp for RVers will be a free venue this year, a series of classes for newer RVers.
  • A second track will be geared to seasoned RVers and includes topics on boondocking, full-timing, RV maintenance/repair, new gadgetsand important lifestyle issues including health and recreation.
  • The third set will be a variety of classes and workshops from computer skills to hobbies.

In addition to all of these choices, there will be a full range of craft classes on subjects like painting, matting, sewing, beading and many more.

Tours of the Northern Indiana Amish Country and other tourist locations also are planned.

Major sponsors include Adventure Caravans, RV Advantage Insurance, Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC, PoliSeek RV Insurance, Coach-Net, Foremost Insurance Group and General RV Center.

This will be the largest of nearly 20 RV groups scheduled to rally at the fairgrounds in 2010.

For more information on the Escapees event go to www.escapees.com.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Maine Parks Fight Back on RV Parking Issue

May 11, 2009 by · 8 Comments 

The Yonder Hill Campground in Madison, Maine, used to be filled to capacity every summer night with recreational vehicles. But that was years ago. RV owners have found they can skip the $36 campground fee and park overnight at the Skowhegan Wal-Mart for free.

The campground’s owner, Allen York, said he often sees 25 to 30 RVs parked at the Wal-Mart.

In recent years, he said, there has been a cultural shift in how RVers travel, influenced in part by websites that use searchable databases to guide RVers to free parking spots, according to the Central Maine Morning Sentinel, Augusta.

“What has happened is nothing short of a phenomenon,” York said. “All of a sudden, we are looking at empty lots when we should be in the prime season.”

The owners of the state’s 275 campgrounds are pushing legislation that would ban RVs from parking overnight at commercial lots, such as Wal-Mart. The Legislature’s Health and Human Services committee voted 8-2 to endorse the bill, L.D. 114, which may come up for a vote in the House this week.

Proponents say the measure would help local campgrounds and RV parks stay in business and also allow the state to recoup nearly $1 million in lost state lodging taxes. They say it’s unfair that licensed campgrounds must comply with regulations, such as supplying drinking water and waste-removal facilities, while parking lot owners don’t.

For the campground owners, the enemy is Wal-Mart, which has a national policy allowing RVs to park overnight in most of its parking lots. While Wal-Mart doesn’t charge a fee, it does make money when people shop at the stores.

“It’s Goliath versus David,” said Rick Abare, executive director of the Maine Campground Owners Association, which has 220 members. “This is the monster versus the little guy.”

Wal-Mart by tradition has offered free parking to RV owners as part of an effort to serve communities, said Alexandra Serra, a lobbyist for Wal-Mart, which has 24 stores in Maine. She said the company has never had any problems with RVs staying on its Maine properties and welcomes them.

Nevertheless, Wal-Mart is not fighting the bill, she said. “Wal-Mart is going to do whatever the Legislature tells us to do, of course, and happily so.”

While Wal-Mart is staying on the sidelines, RVers around the nation are mobilizing. News about the legislation has spread via the Internet on message boards and newsletters. People are sending e-mails and making phone calls to legislators, Gov. John Baldacci’s office, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and Maine tourism offices.

If it passes, Maine would become the first state in the nation to ban RVs from commercial parking lots. Similar bills in Montana and Nevada were defeated after protests from RVers, according to a press release by the Escapees RV Club, a Texas-based club with 32,000 members nationally.

“If this legislation passes, it may well set a precedent for the rest of the country, and we could see our freedom to choose where we park permanently revoked!” the club said in an electronic newsletter.

The callers are delivering a simple message: If the Legislature passes this bill, RVers will no longer to come to Maine. “I like Maine. I want to visit there. But I don’t want to be told I have to pay to camp,” said Jim O’Briant of California, who administers www.overnightrvparking.com, which tells RVers were they can park for free.

The site lists more than 30 Maine locations where RVers can park overnight for free, including L.L. Bean in Freeport, Dysart’s truck stop in Hermon, DeLorme in Yarmouth and the Kittery Trading Post.

The Wal-Mart in Scarborough is not listed because the town has a municipal ordinance banning overnight parking. David Labbe, a senior official at the Kittery Trading Post, said that allowing RVers to park in the store’s lot is just good customer service. For many RVers, the store is a destination stop, he said.

“They are on their way from Florida to Canada and want to get off the highway and park in our parking lot, which is safe and convenient,” he said. “And they are on their way the next day. What’s wrong with that?” 

But York said he’s seen RVers park at Wal-Mart in Skowhegan for four or five days at a time. He said they sometimes come to his campground wanting to pump out their waste tanks, but he turns them away.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Anne Perry, D-Calais, said state law requires that businesses obtain campground licenses if they receive compensation from four or more RVs at a time, either directly or indirectly. She said the law is difficult to enforce.

She said that local police, though, could easily enforce an outright ban. Her bill calls for a one-time warning followed by a $100 fine. She said there have been isolated incidents of RVs at parking lots dumping waste into storm drains.

She wants RVers to feel welcome in Maine, she said. But if RVers avoid the state because they aren’t allowed to park for free, that’s not a great loss.

“If they are parking one night in parking lots, they are not staying in Maine,” she said. “They are driving through.”

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

« Previous Page

Bottom