The debate goes on. An article in GlobalPost, "America's national parks weigh solitude against cellular access" gives arguments both for extending service and for not. As an RVer plus as a visitor who wants to enjoy our parks, where do you stand? Read the article and vote in our poll. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
With the show starting later, I've had time to explore. Crown Center is south about a mile and 1/2 of the Convention Center so a nice walk and a short bus ride back. Two attractions for kids are the Legoland Discovery Center and the Sea Life Aquarium.
Also for kids, the Crown Center Ice Terrace rents skates. The Hallmark Cards offers both Kalaidoscope where kids can create art work and the Hallmark Visitor Center. The visitor center is closed the month of January so I could not go in. I have friends who worked here for many years so it was neat to see where the company was located. Inside the main Center- attached to the Westin Hotel- are shops and theaters appealing to all ages.
In the District, but over a long block and connected by a covered walkway called The Link, is Union Station. This historic train station has been refurbished and now houses the Science Center plus a few restaurants and shops. Amtrak passengers board trains here too.
The ceiling inside the station is beautiful. Another few blocks brings you to the World War I Memorial and Museum. The Museum is in the base of the memorial. Admission allows you to climb the tower (45 steps) for an excellent view of KC.
The Crown Center website gives details on the attractions, shops and restaurants. See Union Station for more information on what's there. WWI Memorial has parking that can accommodate RVs. Union Station has parking as well, though there is a fee. A parking garage off Grand on the other side is for small vehicles. Your parking ticket can be validated for 3 hours by a shop or restaurant and if you spend more than $25, you can park free for another 3 hours. From downtown, the MAX Main Street bus takes you to Crown Center and Union Station. Nice places to visit in your RV travels! Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
Bartle Hall at the Convention Center has plenty of room for RVs! I wandered among some between presentations on the RV lifestyle, enjoying all the new features. Lifestyle RVs, located in Grain Valley, MO, has signs like below left on their trailers to point out features. The Raptor, in their display, had a side patio and a sign for its 6-point Auto Hydraulic Leveling System. Selling points, yes, but good information for shoppers to know.
RVs are, as we pointed out before, catering to families and outdoor entertainment. In the toy hauler room, some trailers/5th wheels now have a dining area. This one, by the use of benches which fold up or get set aside, can accommodate a large family group or party at a folding table. And this Sprinter has a serious outside RV kitchen with sink, cabinets, refrigerator and grill.
Mobile Suites is one of the better made 5th wheels. You can get double-pane windows, double door refrigerator, two recliners and Corian countertop on the kitchen island. They are excellent 5th wheels for full-time RVing, though pricier than many other 5th wheels. St. Louis RVing had this costumed character to attract visitors and willing posed for photos!
Drawing a huge crowd at each show is Twiggy the water skiing squirrel. Actually Twiggys #7 and 8 are used in the show. #1 first learned to ski in the 1970s. The show emphasizes water safety as well as watching Twiggy water ski and count!
The show started in the afternoon Thursday and Friday, so I have had a little time to explore. More about that in another post. In the meantime, if you are in the Kansas City area, come on down to see the Mid-America show and check out all the RVs. Stop by the seminar area if you do. I'd love to meet you. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
Snow is predicted and we are getting a few flurries. Brr! Tomorrow it's supposed to go down to 5 degrees. Yikes! Today should be pretty busy. Tomorrow is questionable, at least in the afternoon; the Denver Broncos are in the playoffs. I had more time to look at RVs this morning. Just inside the door, though are these pink flamingoes- yard art for your RV spot! Grass Haven Outdoor is a new company offering stylish camping gear for RVers and tenters.
Looking at trailers for active families, this pull trailer has an ATV loaded onto that front carrying area. It does keep the weight further forward instead of pulling down the rear. And this toy hauler is using the top bed that lowers for storage.
One drawback of many smaller rigs for us is that the bed is situated so one person has to crawl over the other to get in and out. In a 24' Airstream trailer, there is room at the end to get by so that inside person doesn't have to crawl over. The new Airstreams are much lighter inside than older models too. This Coachmen Class C with double slides is designed for outdoor use. You have the big screen TV (and another inside) plus the kitchen/wet bar area on the outside.
I did go back and look at the Somerset pop-up trailers with toilet and shower because of am inquiry by a friend. They do have about 25 gallons of fresh water. However, I saw no mention of a place to dump if you weren't hooked up. Under the discreetly hidden toilet is a 5-gallon portable tank that can be dumped easily. The caravans (RVs) for rent in New Zealand all had this feature since most RV sites there do not have a hookup for sewage.
Camping World is here with both accessories and a selection of RVs. They have their big bags for grabs all over their displays - great for show visitors who collect literature. At another dealer's location, I was intrigued by the Pleasure-Way van with its amazing amount of counter space for a Class B.
And there are expensive Class As at the show too. The Tiffin Phaeton is perhaps the most expensive model. With both front slideouts extended, you could almost dance. Extra features like this gas fireplace add warmth and hominess.
One more day, so tomorrow's your last chance to attend the Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show. I was delighted this morning to meet Mike A, a subscriber of RV Lifestyle Ezine at my first talk. Stop by at 5 in the seminar area or tomorrow if you attend! Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
I walked around as the show started today. It's the second day of the 23rd Annual Progressive Insurance Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show. As you come in, there is a cute Smart car that can be towed on the ground, both in red and white. For trips to the grocery store and exploring, this little car would do the job - easy and light to tow, excellent fuel mileage. Starting price is $12,490. I also noticed a pop-up with a side bed by Jeep. I hadn't known Jeep was even in this market. I'm guessing that some of the Jeep vehicles could tow this.
When I think of Class B vans, I think small. This Leisure van is very spacious with slideouts and lots of floor space. The sitting area makes into a bed. If you have a spouse or partner, you would need to go to bed at the same time, though, or one could sit and read in the passenger seat. The vehicle is almost as large as some Class Cs, without the cab-over bed.
This Somerset pop-up trailer actually has a toilet and shower. It's tiny and works only with hookups, but that's new for me. Or, you can get this tent to take along with your pop-up to use for a changing area, shower or a place to put a porta potty.
Two trailers - perhaps not that small - but in the lower price ranges for RVs- had interesting additions. This rear bathroom in a Sunset Trail trailer has a door to the outside. Great idea for people camping or perhaps riding ATVs or sand buggies who come back to the RV to use the facilities without tracking through the whole trailer. And this toy hauler area has a sink so people can wash up a bit before going inside to the main living area. Wow!
The RV industry is responding to their newest and fastest growing demographic - the under-35 group who often have families and may go out to play with their toys. Extra beds, toilets, sinks all favor this active lifestyle.
There are plenty of RVs of all sizes, shapes and prices geared for families and active people. So come on down if you are in the area. You can purchase a discount ticket online at the show site: Progressive Insurance 23rd Annual RV Adventure Travel Show. The show runs today through Saturday from 10 to 8 at the Convention Center. I'll be giving two talks a day on "The RV Adventure: Living the RV Lifestyle." Love to see you! Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
When you are speaking at an event there is often not much time to explore. However, I arrived early the day before the RV show in Albuquerque started so I was able to venture down to Old Town. I planned to walk a couple of blocks to Central and catch a bus. Problem was, the bus stops were not well marked. (Later I discovered you could see a sign from the other side of the street, but that didn't help me on my side.) I ended up walking almost two miles. I didn't mind the exercise, though. It felt good even though temperatures were in the 30s.
Old Town is built around a plaza.San Felipe de Neri Church is the oldest building in Albuquerque and is on the north side of the plaza. Galleries, eateries and gift shops line the other sides and stretch out into the nearby area.The sanctuary in the church is beautiful, still decorated with red poinsettias.
I had a nice lunch and visited many of the shops. The artwork is outstanding - some very talented artists. I did go in the gift shop for the Rattlesnake Museum, a street over from the plaza, to get some postcards. The museum has the largest collection of different species of live rattlesnakes in the world. I got a peek at the first tank and that rattlesnake was huge!
I was able to get the bus on the way back after asking where the stop was- one walking trip was enough! And I even got a free ride because the machine that accepts cash wasn't working. The bus would be a good way to get round Albuquerque if your RV is parked somewhere near a bus line. It was $1 to ride, a pretty good deal. Then you don't have to worry about parking, though that's not a problem for a regular vehicle. Nob Hill is another interesting area. The RV Show was a good one. I'm told the Denver one will have twice the visitors. More about Denver in the days to come. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
The RV show in Albuquerque wound down today. I did get a chance in the morning to see a few more RVs and advances before starting my talks.
I went in an Excel 5th wheel. Like other upper end models, it has a double-door refrigerator with bottom freezer. The kitchen has an island and it comes with two recliners and a couch. We had to put recliners in our 5th wheel and my original motorhome. Nice that manufacturers are listening to their consumers.
I noticed a trailer and a pop-up with metal decks in front for carrying firewood, ATVs or any extra gear. Another one had an enclosed storage area under the extended bed area which could be accessed while open by sliding out. These starter RVs have come a long ways!
This lightweight trailer's front (the black part) is protected by Line-X, a rugged liner they also use in the bed of the trucks. The roof of a fold-up trailer was similarly protected. And to show that not everything there costs an arm and a leg, these inflatable boats are a fun way to explore waterways and add hours of enjoyment to our RV travels.
This was a fun show. I met lots of wonderful people- some just curious about the RV lifestyle or looking for their first RV, others who have already started, still others who are quite experienced. I met Ron and Karen who know me from the Web. A young couple were exploring ways to live this lifestyle but not in conflict with their "green" values. Lots of nice venders too and the staff was great. Heading to Denver tomorrow. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
Saturday is usually the busiest day of an RV show and the place was hopping! I did get a chance to wander around and marvel at all the new advances before I starting giving my talks on the RV lifestyle. Here is an overhead view from the manager's office. The chickenwire built into the glass shows but you can get an idea of the sea of RVs and boats. Out on the floor, one of the new items I noticed was this patio kit so you can sit out on a raised platform with coffee or a drink.Several brands offer this feature.
There are more RVs that will accommodate families and living in the outdoors. This is a sleeping area with outside access in a Zinger by Crossroads trailer. And this Eagle has an outdoor kitchen/bar area.
Technology advances! A Winnebago dashboard looks like you need a special license! Everything has a switch. And Winnebago also has some colorful trailers.
Small is popular too. I went inside a new Lance camper- actually not so small. One of the shortcomings for us when we traveled in our Lance was the lack of a comfortable place to sit in the evenings on an extended trip. The new Lance has a design that has taken care of it with a couch in the back in addition to the dinette. And the bathroom has more room- even a tub. The pop-up trailers are amazing inside too. They get fancier every year.
Lots to see at the show. It's open from 10 to 5 in the Albuquerque Convention Center. I've given you a small peek into what's there. You'll find about 150 RVs and boats on display as well as vendors of ATVs, services for RVs like insurance, and accessories and extras you might take along. Today (Sunday) is the last day. It's a wonderful opportunity to see many RVs in one place and do some comparisons. I'll be speaking about the RV lifestyle at 11, 1 and 3 today. Stop by if you are in the area! There are discount tickets online. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
I'm at the New Mexico RV, Boat and Travel Show in New Mexico. Yesterday I only had time to look in my area but saw the cutest little camper-trailer. It has a bed, a few places for storage and the back opens to a kitchen area. While there is no bathroom, this little RV is lightweight and can be towed by a very small car. There are options for heating and cooling.
The inside shot doesn't show all the cabinets that some models have but you can get an idea that it is mostly a bed. The Little Guy Trailers are being sold by GT Trailers in Albuquerque. Check their website for more models and information. And come on down and see them plus many other RVs at the show if you are in the area! Jaimie Hall Bruzenak