Are Fuel Related Loyalty Programs for RVers a thing of the Past?

We came across something that full-time RV Drivers in Nichols, NY will find very interesting at the very least. Who doesn’t look for every opportunity these days  to put some money back in their pockets or to keep some in there. We were beginning to think that the Driver Loyalty programs at some of the big Nationwide fuel stops was a thing of the past. They seem to be dwindling year by year. Then there was Flying J. They’ve rolled out with a new program specific to professional drivers and RVers and this is great news considering that the biggest cost of traveling is in direct relation to fuel consumption. Here are some details, and we are hoping that some other large national chains follow suit.

 

Pilot Flying J is launching Frequent Fueler Advantage, an enhanced loyalty program on Jan. 3 for professional drivers and RV customers.

Frequent Fueler Advantage will allow professional drivers to instantly accrue and redeem loyalty points in all participating Pilot and Flying J travel centers, travel plazas and restaurants across the U.S. and Canada. Added benefits of the new program for professional drivers include extended shower expiration for loyal customers, shower credits for expeditors and in-store rewards. RV cardholders in the program will receive instant discounts on fuel, propane purchases and dumping fees. Coming soon, RV cardholders will receive discounts at the truck diesel islands in addition to the specified RV fueling lanes.

Pilot Flying J will also offer Pump Start to all Frequent Fueler Advantage cardholders. Pump Start will allow drivers paying with cash, a check or a third-party credit card to use their Frequent Fueler Advantage card to start the fuel pumps. Members must register their card at the cashier counter and must have 500 gallons of purchase history in order to activate the Pump Start feature.

Pilot Flying J will continue to honor points accumulated on the Frequent Fueler, RV Real Value Card and Driver Payback cards. Pilot Flying J is asking that drivers register these cards under the new program in order to take full advantage of all benefits.

“By registering for the Frequent Fueler Advantage, our customers will be able to instantly access enhanced benefits,” said Pilot Flying J President and CEO Jimmy Haslam. “In addition, Pilot Flying J will be able to better serve our customers by designing benefits that more closely match their needs and wants.”

Drivers may register their cards at www.FrequentFuelerAdvantage.com or at cashier desks and kiosks in Pilot and Flying J locations.

-Examiner.com

We searched deep and wide online for more such offers and had no such luck in locating one. If anyone else is aware of any other fuel discount or savings programs, please do share in the comments section. It would be great if we could point our fellow full-time RVers to the best and most economical fuel distributors which can really pad your pockets with a little extra spending money during your RV road trips. I’m sure this would help make your trips a little more memorable.

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The Evolution of RVing in New York

Nichols NY RVers, don’t you agree, we’ve come pretty far from the olden days. From interior and exterior design, amenities, materials used, and more – the RV has certainly evolved. Many RV’s today are more luxurious than stationary homes.  Let’s take a blast back to the past and check out some old RV designs.

So exactly how have RV’s Changed? 

Ultra-Low V.O.C. & Recyclable Materials

High levels of V.O.C.’s exist in the standard materials  used to manufacture RV’s, automobiles, and homes, so many manufacturers have not been willing or able to incur the cost and time in research associated with the development of low V.O.C. or lightweight, recyclable materials until recently.

Better Quality From The Start

Most U.S. consumers are plagued by low final assembly quality and poor material content from RV manufacturer’s old school of design and basic construction methods. This had a negative impact on the Customer Satisfaction Index in the industry overall. Due to state of the art equipment, space-age materials and companies like Jim’s RV who provide experienced management teams and state of the art service departments, a new standard of quality is now the norm.

Innovative, Lightweight, More Fuel-Efficient Designs

The industry has evolved into innovative floor plans in lighter, more durable, more fuel efficient designs. With sleek, futuristic designs, travel trailers and RV’s weigh much less than conventional designs thereby having a long term effect on the wallet.

Perhaps this is where we will land in the future.

Nichols, NY RVers, what is your most favorite feature of your new or used RV?

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Driving an RV for the First Time? Read These Helpful Tips!

For most, owning a RV is a big dream come true. And with owning a RV, one must learn to drive this huge house on wheels! The word intimidating may not even come close to relating uncomfortable some may feel at the wheel of their RV….at first! But with time, practice and these helpful hints, you’ll be driving your RV like it is the easiest thing to ever do!

First, we need to address driver comfort.  So go ahead and just sit in the drivers seat and adjust everything to your liking. The seat most likely has a minimum of 4 ways to adjust, so get it just right. You need to be able to reach the pedals comfortably as well as be able to reach all of the controls too. Long distance driving can take a small toll on the body so make sure you’re dialed in!

Next, mirrors and camera’s (if applicable) need to be adjusted. Your rear-view mirror isn’t as important as it was in your vehicle, however your side mirrors are extremely important!  And if your RV came with a backup camera or you installed one yourself, double check it to make sure it is angled the correct way.

Now it’s time to practice your turning, parking, backing up, etc. You can do this by just hitting the Hroad or  you can find a large parking lot and set up a test course for yourself.  Practice makes perfect, well almost! So where you’re out there here are a few more tips while on the road.

Don’t you just wish the road would just stay straight forever? Well that’s not going to happen and you’re going to have to learn to master turning.  Don’t just turn the wheel when you reach the corner otherwise your back end will wind up eating the curb and quite possibly others things too. Instead, swing out just a bit into the intersection and then take your turn, slowly.  Don’t worry, you’ll get it soon enough.

When you’re on the road don’t concentrate on the lines right in front of you. Instead use the wide-screen windshield you have and look about four to five cars in front of you. This will automatically center you in your lane. Also, since you’re up much higher you’ll be able to see much more of what’s going ahead of you. Take advantage of this and avoid sticky situations.

The more you get out and drive your RV, the more comfortable you’ll get and the more confidence you’ll gain. Practicing in a parking lot is a great idea if you’re very uncomfortable. And a good rule of thumb, if you’re ever in doubt, get out of the RV and take a look to make sure the space you’re driving in to or out of is clear. Pretty soon you’ll be a pro just like the rest of the RVers on the road!

If you have any funny first time RV driving stories or helpful tips you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them! You can post here or post on our Facebook page.

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RVs for Preemies

I came across this article and couldn’t pass up sharing it. We all think of RV for leisure and travel, but for some it really truly is a home or even a home away from home as is in this case. This is a very heartwarming story:

Kristian Sandoval and Kristine Ibanez have been calling the parking lot of Sutter Memorial Hospital their home away from home for the past five weeks. Through pregnancy complications, Kristine gave birth to the couple’s first baby almost three months early. Little Anais Giselle weighed only 1 pound, 13 ounces at birth and has been in the Sutter NICU ever since.

Cyndi and Dustin Mitchell, founders of the Alyboo and Izybee Foundation, heard about the Modesto couple’s story and offered them RVs 4 Preemies, a brand-new RV set up for the couple to live in on the hospital grounds so they can be with their daughter as much as possible.

“We don’t have a vehicle, so it would be impossible to go back and forth to our home,” Sandoval said. “If we didn’t have the RV, we’d be sleeping in the hospital just waiting for our daughter to be released.”

Kristian and Kristine are the first family to live in RVs 4 Preemies. The Mitchells started the foundation after their twin daughters Alyssa and Isabella – whose nicknames are Alyboo and Izybee – were born prematurely at Sutter Memorial Hospital two years ago. The foundation has volunteers who donate various items to NICU babies and families to help make their stay more enjoyable. Though the Mitchells live locally, they saw many families who had to make a long trip each day to visit their babies. With no place to for NICU families to stay, they bought an RV last summer and started RVs 4 Preemies.

The spacious RV comes complete with a bathroom, kitchen and is able to sleep six. Kristian and Kristine feel very fortunate to have the RV to live in and have opened their doors and invited other families in the hospital over as a place to get away.

“A lot of these people are going through really hard times,” Sandoval said. “Just the way Cyndi didn’t judge us or care who we were when she offered the RV, I want to help others out as much as I can, even if it means taking one person’s mind off this place for one minute.”

The Alyboo & Izybee Foundation is currently in the running to receive $50,000 from Pepsi for their charity. The Pepsi Refresh Project featured the foundation in its national contest, and will award the money to charity with the most votes by the end of January. The Mitchells say the money would help allow 12 families to utilize the RV and open a volunteer workshop, which would help provide 1,200 handmade items for babies and care packages to families. For more information, visit http://www.abibf.org/
The temporary move to the Sutter parking lot for Sandoval and Ibanez began on Dec. 3, when Ibanez checked herself into an emergency room in Modesto.

“I was having trouble breathing and had major swelling on my feet and legs,” Ibanez said. “Everyone said the symptoms were normal, but I knew something was wrong when I couldn’t breathe.”

The ER prescribed Kristine with Vicodin to help with pain and released her. Not satisfied with their advice, Kristine went straight to Memorial Medical Center for another opinion and after only a few hours was rushed to Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento with congestive heart failure.

“It was a really, really scary thing,” Ibanez said. “They knew there was a big possibility that I would have to give birth soon, so we both came here to Sutter Memorial Hospital.”
Kristine’s lungs began filling with fluids and within a few days her kidneys were shutting down. Fearing for the safety of both mother and baby doctors performed an emergency Cesarean section on Dec. 9.

“It was the scariest day of my life,” Sandoval said. “My two girls’ lives were up in the air, and not knowing what is going to happen is very scary.”

After three days in the ICU, doctors were able to stabilize Kristine and she was able to see her baby for the first time.
“The first day they let her see our daughter, that was the day she started healing,” Sandoval said. “Up until then she was torn apart.”

Baby Anais is now almost 3 pounds and continues to improve daily. Although her parents spend a majority of the time with her in the hospital, being able to walk to their temporary home parked only 50 yards away makes all the difference.

It makes everything so bearable,” Sandoval said. “It kind of makes me feel guilty because in the RV I’m not really at the hospital. I feel like I’m at my home. There are a ton of people that don’t have something to take their mind off this hospital because they don’t get to leave. They are in the hospital all the time.”

Doctors expect Anais to be released from the hospital in the middle of February. Until then her parents will be by her side in the NICU, or resting comfortably in the parking lot, the place they call home.

“We try to know that we haven’t been dealt anything but blessings and good stuff,” Sandoval said. “We are playing this waiting game and waiting to go home, but we feel very blessed. We are trying to show the love that we have been given.” [Source: Sacramento Press]

We really think that RVs for Preemies really is a great cause. If you think so too, cast your vote at Pepsi Refresh Grant and help make a difference today!

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Now’s the Best Time for a RV Show!

Are you traveling in your RV and need something to do? Or are you in the market for a RV, fifth wheel or pop-up?  Or if you just like to check out shows, then you should head to the nearest RV show!  January through early April are the best months to catch a RV show and catch up on all of the latest RVs, technology and more.  To find a RV show nearest you check out the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association website by clicking here.

RV Shows are the best opportunity to see tons of RVs all in one convenient place. And you can check out a wide-range of what the traveling/camping world has to offer like travel trailers, motor homes, fifth wheels, pop-ups, hybrid campers, truck campers and more. The possibilities are just about endless.

This is also a great time to compare the different models and manufactures. There are tons of options these days so you can really take your time and see what’s just right for you. And then you can head to your local RV dealer and see what they have in store for you!

RV shows are definitely family friends events so bring everyone!  Tell us what RV show you attend and your favorite part!

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Hybrid Campers…They Save on Gas too!

We have all heard of hybrid vehicles which have gained more and more popularity over the last few years with the world movement to be more environmentally conscious.  The whole point of a hybrid vehicle is to use less gas and be more efficient.    The same goes for a hybrid camper.  So what is a hybrid camper?  I would simply explain it as a mix between a traditional travel trailer and a pop-up trailer.    The majority of the camper is like a hard sided travel trailer, but a hybrid also has canvas slide outs similar to a pop-up.  This unique combination has gained popularity over the last several years.

One major reason for the increased popularity is due to the fact that hybrids usually have lighter tow weights than a traditional travel trailer.  This is appealing to those who want the most efficient gas mileage when towing.

Hybrids also have great floor plans.  These hybrids don’t look nearly as big as a traditional travel trailer when folded up, but once the slide outs are pushed out they are quite roomy.

In addition, because hybrid trailers are fairly new, manufacturers are working very hard on building them with the upmost quality which is sure to last.

Hybrid campers have become a great alternative to the traditional travel trailer.  If you are in the market for a new travel trailer, look at both options and of course let us know what concerns or questions you have by leaving us a comment.

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Hey NY, What Do You Think About an All-Electric Motorhome?

Going green and electric isn’t just for the automotive industry. In fact, the first all-electric motorhome debuted recently at a Louisville RV show. The only downside to this new and green trend is where would you charge up? That being said, campsites will need to catch up and install charging stations.

The all electric motorhome was introduced at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky, as an example of what the RV industry is capable of producing. However, as Brad Williams, president and CEO of MVP RV, stated in an interview with the Press-Enterprise, the invention comes first, then the infrastructure, citing examples of cars invented before highways and the telephone before phone lines. Already at work on the second all-electric RV, Williams said it will likely have an even better range. What is exciting about the electric motorhome is that it proves the technology is there and it works.

Improvements will come as time and technology marches forward. Currently, it takes 24 hours for the electric RV to charge on a 220-volt plug in, though it could be charged in 20 minutes with the right equipment. The motorhome is named “Winston” after Winston Chung, MVP RV’s Chinese investor and business partner, who developed the unique lithium ion battery used for the RV.

However, as great as this new technology is, there are no plans to mass market the electric RV just yet.  But as fast as technology can advance we’re hopefully to see an all-electric motorhome on the market soon. And with that being said, we are hopeful that the campgrounds will follow suite and not lag behind too much on the upgrades they will need to make to be able to host an all-electric motorhome.  What are you thoughts on an all-electric motorhome?

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How to Get Your Mail while RVing

So you’ve made the decision to become a full-time RVer, congratulation! But ever wonder how you get your mail while you’re traveling the open road?

Receiving Mail

RVers have all their mail go to one address. Some RVers use a friend or relative. Most use a mail forwarding service. Escapees, Family Motor Coaching Association (FMCA), and Good Sam Club RV clubs all have mail forwarding services. There are also some mail forwarding companies that specialize in RVers such as Alternative Resources in South Dakota. There are others. Many RVers choose as their domicile a state that has no state income taxes and so mail forwarding services spring up to meet the demand. Escapees is located in Texas and Good Sam in Florida, two other no-state-income-tax states in addition to South Dakota.

So your mail goes to your mail forwarding service (or relative’s) and then you contact them periodically by telephone or email to let them know when and where to send out your mail. An RV park where you’ll be on a certain date may accept mail for guests. You can have it sent in care of general delivery to a post office in a town where you’ll be in several days. Or you could have it sent to a friend or relative’s in that town. If you are in an area for an extended time – for a visit or if you are volunteering or working there – you might even get a post office box while you are there to receive your forwarded mail.When you contact the company or your friend for your mail, they bundle it into one package and mail (or send it via common carrier like UPS, if you request) it to the address you give them. If all goes well, in a couple of days, you have that batch of mail.

Mail forwarding services charge a yearly fee plus postage for their service. A friend or relative may do it expecting only the postage, but if you get mail frequently, it could be an imposition. Or, sometimes a relative won’t feel the urgency to mail your package out, tying you up for a few days.

Hints:

• Make sure the post office you select accepts general delivery mail. If there is more than one location in a city,
only one will accept general delivery mail.

•       Use the USPS zip code finder to find the
proper zip-four code and post office. Use “General Delivery” as the address.

•        Plan ahead so your mail has time to reach you. If you have it sent to the location where you are, you could be there a week waiting for your mail.

•         If you have it sent to an RV park, verify that they will accept mail. Some will not.

•         It’s not a bad idea to alert the post office that you will be receiving general delivery mail. They are supposed to hold general delivery mail for 30 days but one time in Quartzsite, they sent it back in just a few days because they didn’t recognize the name and I wasn’t coming. A busy area like Quartzsite in the winter may not need to hold general delivery mail that long either.

•        Most mail forwarding services will trash junk mail if requested, saving you from having to discard it yourself and also postage. This could mean no catalogs- probably a good thing!

Of course the use of email is nice, but where is the postman going to deliver that new travel book you just bought online? 🙂

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Read This Before Filling Up Your RV with Gas!

I just came across this story on the RVT.com site and I wanted to be sure that I shared it with you before you filled up your RV again. If you have any questions, just let me know!

By spring, filling up your RV with gas could be a little more complicated. The EPA just approved the use of 15% ethanol in gasoline, a 50% increase from the previously approved 10%. While gas stations will not be required to carry the new ethanol blend and, if they do, will have to clearly label pumps, RV owners should start checking pumps carefully before they fill up.

The new E15 gasoline blend is only recommended for RVs manufactured after 2007. If your recreational vehicle was made before 2001, the motor is not configured to handle E15 gas. The EPA is still testing vehicles manufactured between 2001 and 2006. Use of E15 is not recommended in those vehicles until testing is complete. RV owners should check with manufacturers before using E15 gas in their RV to make sure the ethanol blend will not damage the motor or invalidate warranties.

The ethanol increase is part of the government’s drive to increase alternative fuel use by 2022, by which time federal law mandates that the country double its use of alternative fuels. A byproduct of corn, its ready availability has made ethanol a popular choice for alternative fuel makers, despite the complications of producing blended gasoline.

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Proper Black Water Disposal from your New RV

I’d like to think that this isn’t really an issue with 99% of my fellow RVers, but apparently there are a few folks out there who are not only extremely irresponsible but flat-out disgusting individuals with no respect for the people who reside in the area. After you watch the video you’ll understand.

Now, apparently Venice Beach has had a long, and at times tense history with RVers, so that might explain the disdain heard in the video. She has every right to expose this issue.

As I watched the video, I kept thinking, “There’s no way they were true RVers. I can’t imagine anyone doing that.” That is until I remembered that back in 2004 a similar incident happened with much more disturbing results….the Dave Matthews band Incident. Some of you may remember this. Some of you may not.

AUGUST 25–Claiming that a Dave Matthews tour bus driving on a Chicago bridge dumped “80 to 100 gallons of liquid human waste” on dozens of people taking a river boat tour, the Illinois attorney general yesterday sued the band and one of its drivers for $70,000. According to the Cook County Circuit Court complaint, a copy of which you’ll find below, as the Matthews coach drove on the Kinzie Street bridge, the “contents of the bus’ waste tank were released through the drain at the bottom of the bus and were discharged down through the open grating onto the bridge deck, into the river and onto the sightseeing tour boat.” The band and driver Stefan Wohl have denied they were responsible for the fetid August 8 cascade, which landed, the AG reported, on “persons with disabilities, senior citizens, a pregnant woman, a small child and an infant.” But Chicago cops reportedly have surveillance tapes showing the bus on the bridge at the time of the incident.

What were they thinking? As an RVer you are also a steward of our highway, road and street systems. It is your responsibility to behave in ways fitting of our lifestyle. Not to mention that you have a greater responsibility to the environment because you haul waste by-product, flammables and non-biodegradibles.

If you see anything like this happening ANYWHERE, call the local authorities because one bad apple can ruin the bunch.

If you think you have a problem or a leak in your septic system please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can fix your issues and keep RVing squeaky clean…pun intended.

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