Friday, March 17, 2023

RV Living Off the Grid + New RV Parks

Blog copyright Janet Groene 2023, all rights reserved. To ask about rates to place one ad for one year on all six Groene sites, email 

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Firelight  sounds so romantic, so ruggedly rawboned, so green and so cheap. Do you plan to live off the grid?

Living off the grid makes sense. I’ve done it for months.  But let’s take a clear-eyed look at some of the costs involved. 

Even with a sharp pencil and a crystal ball,  it’s hard to know the real cost, over time, for a  power station, generator or a solar setup with inverter,  propane, batteries. Even hand pumps and windmills need maintenance. Initial cost is just the beginning.

The new EV car batteries can last up to ten years but at this time they cost a fortune to replace. Other rechargeable batteries (tools, appliances, toys) may be good for only two or three years depending on usage. 


Portable power stations are becoming more common

First, inventory your actual power needs, from a totally EV motorhome to the few amps needed for your  computer/printer setup and 12-volt hair dryer.  Whether you will be using the grid or not,  your lifestyle probably  involves at least some electric servants.

 * Will you buy special appliances such as a solar cooker and 12-volt or propane refrigerator? Some can be quite costly.

* Many campgrounds ban open fires always or at some times. Generators are bring banned or phased out. When you can’t have a campfire for cooking, what is your Plan B cooking source?

* Will you incur costs for alternate fuels such as propane, gas or diesel for the generator, oil for the lamps, dual replaceable batteries? (Heavy users buy two battery packs so one can be charging while the other is in use.)



* Where will solar panels go? Will they install permanently on the roof? If so, what is the availability of free space there? If they are portable, where can you stow them safely underway? 



The RV roof may have little space for solar panels

* What is the cost, long-term and initial, for total independence from the grid versus recharging periodically at campgrounds and other charging stations? 

The other element to consider  is your time. That is, waiting time at charging stations, down time while waiting for a recharge and cook times for some foods on some cookers. My favorite outdoor solar shower is a black plastic bag, hung in the sun. It could take minutes, or all day. 

I hope this starts you thinking. Good luck. 



The Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show is back after three years and it’s BIG. Be at the Half Moon Bay, California  Airport on April 30 for the Coolest Show on Earth, machine-wise. See dream machines from bulldozers to fire engines, tricked out trucks, vintage busses and military aircraft. Come early because there is a world of machines spread under acres and acres of California sunshine. 


If it drives, flies, huffs, puffs, flies or floats, it's it’s here in great style. Campgrounds include Pillar Point RV Park and Half Moon Bay RV Park. Ticket information is at The event benefits the Coastside Adult Day Health Center.



* With its existing campgrounds booked solid, Fairfield, Iowa is adding a 15-site camping area to Jefferson County Park. To be named Prairie Ridge Campground, the $1.7 million project should be completed within the next few years.

    * Potholes will be gone at Bay City State Park, Bay City, Michigan when upgrades and improvements are finished. Roads and parking spaces will be torn up for a while. Also new will be improved campsites with full hookups including 50-amp power. The park on Saginaw Bay is known for the Tobico Marsh,one of the largest remaining coastal wetlands on the Great Lakes. Come here for the sand beach and 2,000 acres of natural areas teeming with wildlife including an abundance of  migratory birds.

* Sands Township, Michigan will have a new, year-round, 600-acre RV resort by next year. We don’t yet know the name but it will built north of Pelissier Lake and surround Little Pelissier Lake with 23 cabins, 100 campsites and 12 glamping sites.

    * Due to local opposition, plans have been scrapped for a 25-site campground at Christina Lake, British Columbia.

* A new winery is in the works in Kentucky’s famous wine country around Owensboro. The winery and wedding venue in Utica, Kentucky is expected to have four RV sites. A name and opening date are not yet announced.
    * Campers at Tishomingo State Park, Mississippi, 45 miles north of Tupelo, will find all new campsites, with paved pads, picnic table and full hookups. The scenic park is on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
    * The former Yacht Club mobile home park in Hollister, Missouri has been evacuated. New owners are turning the waterfront site into an RV park with new infrastructure, food truck court, kayak rentals and a dog park. No opening date has been announced.

* Bald Mountain RV Resort, Hiawassee, Georgia, has a new owner. The 42-acre resort has 289 RV sites. It has potential for an additional 20 RV sites. The park, with its famous mountain scenery, also has cabins and tent sites. Stay alert for changes under new owners.

    * CLOSING this year in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado,  is Moraine Campground, the park’s only year-round campground. It will reopen in 2024 after extensive renovations.

* In Toad Lakes Township, Minnesota,  the eight-site campground owned by the Laines on County Road 117 has been approved for the addition of 16 campsites plus a dock and boat lift.

    * Intracoastal  Park in Sulphur, Louisiana, south of Lake Charles, was closed by hurricane damage. It has reopened ahead of schedule. The park has 25 campsites on a first-come basis plus showers and restrooms, a playground and boat launch. The pavilion is still closed for repairs.

* The city of Benton, Arkansas is setting aside $7.6 million to purchase and develop 511 acres on the Saline River as a sports and recreation  complex with stadium and playing fields, a 95-site RV park,  trails and swimming pool.  RV reservations aren’t yet available.

    * On April 14-16, the Noli Festival in  Erwin, Tennessee is an annual gala of whitewater and rafting sports on the Nolichucky River. See top athletes compete in SUP and kayak contests.  The  Red Banks RV Resort here has 12 RV sites with hookups and plenty of room for primitive camping.  The Red Banks, site of a Civil War Battle, are home of the USA Raft Adventure Resort, the popular Take-Out Tavern, caving, fishing and  rock climbing. 



Friday, March 10, 2023

RV Women Love a Good Buy

 Blog copyright Janet Groene 2023. To ask about placing your ad on all six Groene travel and food sites for one year, one low rate, email janetgroene at









RV Buyer Tips for Today’s Whopping RV Bargains

     If you are looking for a larger, smaller or different RV,  the time is NOW.

     Have you seen the news about plunging prices in used RV's including luxury brands and top models?  



Here are some random thoughts on how to be a shark in  today’s oceans of RV bargains: 


Buying a home on wheels without checking the chassis is like buying a house without checking the foundation. My friend once bought a tow-behind at a bottom price, hitched it to her vehicle, pulled away and looked back at an empty tow bar. Totally rotted, the RV  slid off and settled into the dirt, still on its original spot.  

Safety First.  An RV is a vehicle. It's on roads with other fast-moving  traffic. It accelerates. It stops, sometimes suddenly.  It's subject to vibration, twisting, G forces and unexpected bams and slams. So are all its wires,  plumbing, furnishings, cargo and passengers.  

    Complexity breeds breakdowns. The more bells and whistles, the more potential for trouble and expense. Simpler is better. However, if you're handy with plumbing, carpentry and mechanics, and if this is an RV brand with a ready supply of spare parts available,  you might score big with a fixer-upper. 

    Rule One in choosing a new or used RV is  KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). New does not mean trouble-free. A  frustrated reader once sent me a list of all the things that  that went wrong on his brand new motorhome. He picked it up at the factory, hit the road and during the first three months amassed a squawk list that covered three, single-spaced pages!    He spent more time in service waiting rooms that in campsites. 
    The less able you are to deal with electrical, hydraulic, construction and mechanical problems yourself, the more important it is to avoid  fancy systems. In an RV,  almost everything has more than one potential for failure. For example, an automatic entry step can fail electrically, hydraulically or mechanically. A simple manual step, by contrast will likely be trouble free.  
    Bottom line: convenience and complexity cost money, energy and repair bills. Only you can decide which conveniences are worth it.        

Additional Buyer Tips

*. When a big investment is on the line it pays to have an attorney go over the financing agreement and the warranty.

* Whether the RV is new or used, insist on getting all the written warranties, operator manuals and instruction books that go with every system including the flush toilet and individual appliances such as the microwave-convection oven, self-cleaning oven and refrigerator.  Many things in an RV don’t work like their household cousins. If you don’t operate them right in the first place you could void a warranty. It’s also handy to get instructions for care of flooring, counter-top materials, upholstery and other unique RV materials.  

An RV Shopper’s Dictionary
   Here are some features to think about.



    Awning.  Sometimes built in but often added in the aftermarket, an awning opens to form an outdoor seating area.  When fitted with walls or screens, walls, it creates an extra room. It’s a nice addition. As a careful buyer, see it open and closed to check the condition of the fabric  and ease of use of the mechanism. 



    Basement refers to storage under the living area of an RV, accessible from the outside. Even the smallest RV's have at least some basement space.  Use this area for tools, buckets and brooms, off-season clothing storage and sports and equipment. Is it easily accessible? Weatherproof? 


     Bus conversion. A luxury coach, when custom converted to an RV may be the Taj Mahal of RV-dom. On the other hand, the old chassis and engine may be a constant expense. Too, a ratty old bus or school bus may not be allowed at fancy campgrounds.  

    Curb weight refers to the weight of the unit with full tanks but not counting people and personal gear. Know the actual towing capacity of your coar or truck and the payload of the unit. 


What's wrong with this picture?

    Departure angle. The distance from the rear axle to the rear bumper will determine how steep an incline the RV can climb before the rear bumper (or some piece of the undercarriage) drags on the ground. N over-stretched chassis may be a future headache.

    GVWR  is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, the most-ignored term in the RV universe. If you’re towing a trailer you need to know its total weight including full tanks and all your gear, so you’ll know what kind of vehicle is needed to tow it safely. However, motorhome owners  often fill every cupboard, closet and storage bin without thought to the total weight that the chassis, transmission, brakes and tires must handle at highway speeds.  Weigh the fully loaded  unit at a truck stop. Better still have it weighed wheel by wheel at an RV service specialist.

    Hitch. If you will tow a travel trailer it’s important that the tow vehicle, trailer hitch and trailer are well matched. Your mechanic will tell you how much tow can be handled by your engine, transmission and brakes. A hitch expert will bolt or weld on the best hitch for both the vehicle and the RV. Get expert advice from both. 

    Leveling jacks. Sometimes portable, sometimes built-in, jacks are needed to level the RV if it’s parked on uneven ground. Even the smallest deviation causes eggs to roll off kitchen counters and keeps water from draining from the shower pan. Some RV refrigerators can’t work unless the RV is  level. 


See the RV with slides both in and our


Slides, slide-outs or bump-outs are room extensions that are deployed once parked in a campground. They look great in the showroom but are subject to leaks and electrical and mechanical problems. They’re great for RV-ers who spend weeks at a time without moving but can be a nuisance if you’re traveling lean and mean. You may soon weary of extending slides just for a one-night stop or a lunch break. Too, extended slides are a dead giveaway to the zoning police if you’re overnighting in a friend’s yard, shopping mall or Walmart lot. 

     If  you need a quick overnight in a truck stop, there may not be room in your parking slot to extend a slide, especially if you have slides on both sides of the rig. In the worst cases, slides can fail to extend or retract. Before buying a unit with slides, see it in the closed position and ask yourself if you can live with it either way.

    Recalls. Has this model every been recalled? If so, was the necessary repair made?  If you're looking at a specific vehicle, et its VIN. For RV recalls see  

    Umbilicals. When you get to a campground you’ll hook up to electricity, water, sewer and perhaps cable television or a telephone land line. Understand how they work and know what adapters you’ll need for modern hookups.

    Wide Body.  Standard RV width is 96 inches/ While “wide bodies” may go to as much as 102 inches/259.1cm, you’ll have enough to handle on two-lane, country roads with a standard width RV. 





Buy a site or rent by the long or short term

  An exciting  new concept in RV storage and living is Riverbound RV Park and Custom Storage Facility in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Sites can be purchased or rented  by the day, week, or month. The RV Park has easy, immediate access to trails leading directly to the water and beyond.  It’s across the highway from the Bunker Bar. The storage facility can handle your boat, RV or both. It’s ideal for snowbirds who need safe storage for both the boat and RV during the off season. 


Just Sayin’ .....
Driving a large motorhome or towing a trailer or toad in city traffic is something we all avoid where possible. Here’s where it’s worst.

According to, the Top Ten congested cities in the USA are New York, Washington, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago Baltimore, Seattle, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Miami. The average time to travel six miles in each ranges from 24.3 minutes in New York to 14.3 minutes in Miami. The average speed in rush hour ranges from 12 mph in NYC to 21 mph in Miami.

Campground News
Is your state or province on this week's list?

    * The former Bears Den Mountain Resort in Spruce Pine, North Carolina is the latest addition to the Spacious Skies Campgrounds family. The brand specializes in southern locales and its rewards program invites road trips from one member campground to the next, accumulating points as you go.  Now known as Spacious Skies Bear Den, the resort has a 50-foot waterfall, 82 RV sites, camp store, 13 miles of trails, playground, game room, cabins, golf cart rentals and a lake with a beach.  

    *If you’re a resident of Tennessee, see details of a 10% discount in state parks at
The discount applies to campsites, cabins and loge rooms but not group facilities, boat rentals and other fees. Some exclusions for premium campsites may apply. The discount may not apply at all state parks.

* Did I hear that a 1,000-site RV park is proposed for St. Simons Island, Georgia?

    * It’s bird watching season in the Sandhills. Here a great place to go. The Box Butte State Reservoir State Recreation Area, 9 miles north of Hemingford, Nebraska will soon have 20 additional more campsites with electric hookups plus a new shower house and dump station.

* It’s bird watching season on the prairie and here is a great place see the spectacle of sandhill cranes. Soon the Box Butte State Reservoir State Recreation Area, Nebraska will have 20 additional campsites with electric hookups plus a new shower house and dump station.

* It’s bargain season for RV buyers. The average selling price for motorized RV’s is down 8.1%, or nearly $6,000. The average price of towables is $19, 541 compared to $21,865 a year ago.
    *A large investment firm has purchased the former Delaware Beach Jellystone Park with its 265 full-service RV sites. No further information is available. Check ahead on the status of your Club Yogi Rewards.

* Neversink, New York, which is SSW of Albany and NNW of Poughkeepsie, has a new, 70-acre campground on the Neversink River.  With RV sites, tent sites, yurts and cabins, the Neversink River Resort will offer tubing, kayaking and other water sports, a cafĂ©, lodge and meeting venue for up to 300 guests

* Things look hopeful for a new RV park in Gatesville, Texas. In addition to 120 pads, the Firefly RV Park will have an open greenspace, dog park and swimming pool. Details and permits have yet to be worked out.

*Conditional approval has been granted in Charleston, West Virginia for building of the 300-acre Great Lakes RV Resort. The giant vacation park will have an indoor water park, RV sites, 100-room lodge, dining facilities, hiking trails and more for a family RV-acation.. The estimated opening date will be in the autumn of 2024.

    * A new , 57-acre RV resort in Sanford, North Carolina will have full-hookup RV pads plus floating “lodges”. To be called Swanns Lake RV Resort, the campground will be 15 minutes south of downtown. While a completion date for the campground has not been announced, you can review the area with a visit to the famous farmers’ market. It’s open April 22 to November 11.

* Early this September, the campground in Fort Custer Recreation Area, Augusta, Michigan  is closing . It won’t open again until the end of July, 2024, when campers will find all new electric hookups, restrooms and showers.  

* You probably saw the news about  motorhomes that were swept away by rain storms at the Travel Village RV Park near Santa Clarita, California. Repairs are underway.  Yogi RewardsReservations will not be taken until April 1 or later.         

*May 5-7 is time for the colorful Eight Flags Shrimp Festival in Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach, Florida. Days are packed with sightseeing, history hunting, paddlesports, antiquing, feasting (especially on shrimp), arts and crafts, a parade, music everywhere, a pageant and a special Kids Zone for the little ones. Camping is at Fort Clinch State Park, Reservations are always hard to get here, but it’s a destination in itself. Come early and often.


Friday, March 3, 2023

RV the KY Wildlands + Campground Good/Bad News

Blog copyright Janet Groene 2023. To ask about placing your ad on all six Groene travel and food sites for one year, one low rate email janetgroene at

The Ideal Spring RV Trip:Kentucky 





One of nature’s finest gifts to eastern RV travelers is the Kentucky Wildlands, a huge swath of rugged hills, woods and water just made for camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing in ponds and creeks and exploring historic haunts filled with legends and lore. 

This is the area where Daniel Boone blazed a trail through the Cumberland Gap.

    Put the Kentucky Wildlands on your must-see list.  For Snowbirds it’s the perfect place to linger in springtime on your way from Florida back to your summer camp in northern states or Canada.

Here’s a three-day itinerary that really should be taken in three weeks, allowing time for nature watching, campfire evenings and taking in some of the historic sites. 

    Campgrounds pepper the area, some primitive and some with full facilities. Look for listimgs under communities including  Beattyville, Stearns, Corbin, Breaks, Buckhorn amd Grayson.  Also see Campgrounds listed at

    Here’s just a sample of the trip. For more itineraries and places of interest see

Day 1:


The Harlan Sanders Restaurant an Museum in Middlesboro is the birthplace of Kentucky Friend Chicken. Eat, then take time to see the museum. The highlight of this day is the  Cumberland Gap National Historic Park in Middlesboro. 


See where the legendary Daniel Boone blazed a trail through the Cumberland Gap, creating the Wilderness Road and the first great gateway to the west. Activities here include sightseeing, guided tours, hiking and camping.


Evans Lodge is an old stone and wood lodge at Pine Mountain State Resort Park, the state’s first  first state park. The resort park in Pineville, offers hiking on the the famous Chained Rock Trail and an 18-hole golf course. Check to see what’s playing at the amphitheater. The park has no RV camping. Find hookups nearby at Thompson Park & RV Camping in Barbourville.




 Day 2

Remember the famous Hatfield & McCoy Feud? Download the self-guided Hatfield & McCoy Driving Tour to see historical sites of the feud in both Kentucky and West Virginia. 


The Hatfield-McCoy Feud

The tour takes you through the beautiful mountains of eastern Kentucky. Along the way find fabulous barbecue restaurants. Jenny Wiley State Resort Park overlooking Dewey Lake has two campgrounds and activities includNig boating, fishing and mountAIn biking. Explore Sugar Camp Mountain and  hikethe Dawkins Line Rail Trail. Try an authentic Kentucky "hot brown"  in the Music Highway Grill Restaurant.




HOT FLASH. See the latest NHTSA recalls for all vehicles and related gear at For RV recalls see
You’ll need your VIN number for specifics. 


     * BellFest 2023 is the celebration of the rare Oconee Bell wildflower at Devils Fork State Park, Salem, South Carolina on March 18. See the springtime splendor during interpretive nature  walks then spend the day with Bluegrass music, food trucks, local vendors and family activities. The park has two campgrounds on the lake. A minimum two-night stay is required. Reservations  1-866-345-PARK. 

* The former Black Dog Clays shooting range near Boise, Idaho will make a handsome setting for a new, 310-site RV Park. No completion date has been announced.

* Plans are percolating in Lincoln, Nebraska for a vast new tourist magnet that will add a glitzy  casino, luxury hotel and an RV campground to State Fair Park. Under auspices of the Winnebago tribe, the Ho-Chunk Casino Hotel will open in 2025 next to Legacy Downs horse racing. With Nrbaskans and their guests already going ga-ga for gambling, the hope is for up to 100 racing dates a year.

* Closed for the 2023 season is Redman Creek East Campground in Wappapello, Missouri.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will replace the showers and restrooms, upgrade sewers, water and electric hookups, put in paved RV pads and upgrade access roads and parking areas. When it reopens, some sites will be ADA accessible. Stay tuned. 


    * The RV show season glows brighter than ever now that shows are returning after COVID closures. Treat yourself and your family to the pageantry and showbiz fun, as well as the serious shopping at every show you can find in your region. Shop, drool, dream, then find some serious buys. See timeless tips on RV show shopping at

    * The latest on that proposed campground in Torrington, Connecticut is that it’s approved for 92 RV sites, starting with 30 sites in Phase One. A swimming pool, pond for paddling, rec center and possibly tennis courts are on the wish list for Phase Two. Stay tuned. 


 * On April 8, 2024, a solar eclipse comes to springtime Arkansas in a 123-mile-long swath SW to NE. The sun will be blocked for about 4 2/3 hours. Reserve your campsite now from hundreds of campsites from from Texarkana through Hot Springs and Little Rock to Pcahontas. 

* One of the best kept secrets in South Georgia/North Florida is the Wild Adventures Theme Park outside Valdosta, Georgia. Now the thrill-a-minute theme park and concert venue will add a 50-site RV park with 10 tent sites. South of Atlanta, east of Pensacola and west of Jacksonville, the park has rides, animals, food, entertainments and barrels of family fun for a fraction of the cost of Orlando parks.  The Sarafi Campground Resort may be open as early as late summer, 2023.

    * In Sodus Point, New York in the Finger Lakes region, an upscale RV resort will take the place of the former Carey Lake restaurant on the grounds of The Ballroom at Carey Lake. Watch for the development of Silver Waters Campground. Reservations aren’t yet being accepted but it’s hoped that the new campground will open in 2024.

* In Norfolk, Nebraska, a proposed campground for the south side of the city is coming up for consideration. Keep your fingers crossed.

    * In Three Forks, Montana, plans are in the works to expand the Three Forks Market RV Campground by adding an apartment for a live-work occupant. The service building is slated for improvements and more storage space is needed at the site. Check with the city for details.

    *  McAllen, Texas has pledged $l.l million for a new campground within the city.  The new, 20-acre  park will include an archery range, mountain biking trail and two docks on the   100- foot lake. Completion is expected to take more than a year. Stay tuned.








Day 3

Travel U.S. 23 known as the County Music Highway. It’s associated with such music legends as  Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, The Judds, Ricky Skaggs Dwight Yoakam, Keith Whitley and Patty Lovelace.





 Enjoy the scenery as you travel the Kentucky-West Virginia boarder, stopping at museums devoted to music and coal mining.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Go, Girl! RV Camping & Travel

Blog copyright Janet Groene 2023, all rights reserved. To ask about rates to place one ad, one year, all Groene sites email 


Be a fixer, crafter, hobbyist







Here's one Happy Camper




Make a Hole in One


    Usually this blog’s focus is on the social and travel aspects of Solo Woman RV fun. The campfires. The trips. The freedom. The friendships.Today it's more of a how-to. 
    In search of an inexpensive, easy repair,  I discovered a simple tool set that has me punching holes all over the place. It's a new hobby as well as a repair skill! 

    Putting holes in things is not just a way to adapt or repair camping gear, it can be turned into a craft for fun or profit. Read on to see one of the most practical tasks in my very limited bag of handygirl skills.

 Start with this basic kit.    

Repair a loose or worn hole, buttonhole OR grommet.






Add spangles simply for decoration



  You’ve seen grommets in all kinds of camping equipment such as sun flies, tarps, backpacks, canvas enclosures, folding camp chairs. 


 You've also seen them in shoes, belts, garments, handbags. Sometimes they are simply a fashion touch with no purpose except to make a design in jeans or a skirt. Sometimes they have a practice purpose such as making a hole in a backpack to hang an extra carabiner or a vent in a sun hat.  

     In the RV life, grommets create durable, reinforced holes in all kinds of camping fabrics from the awning to the RV’s windshield sun cover to curtains. One clever RV woman even put grommets in a flat piece of canvas and made slip covers she laces on furniture with leather thongs. They fit tightly and look like high-styled custom decor. 

  Here’s how to get started in grommet wizardry without spending a lot of time and money. 


                                   Make a fashion statement. Lace a vest or dirndl

     * Make easy curtains for the RV. Order grommets in the right size(s) for curtain rod(s). Hem fabric, make holes, reinforce with grommets, put on rods.  

   * Put vent holes in your storm coat, sun hat, workout clothing to make them more comfortable in hot weather. 

    * Turn any old cardboard or plastic container into a more durable string, thread,  twine and/or cord  holder or dispenser by adding a hole(s)  reinforced with a grommet. Works for yarn dispensers too. 

 * Replace worn fastenings. Reinforce with fresh fabric, then add a new, larger grommet.

    * Place a small grommet in the corner of a towel or wash cloth to make it hang-able on the smallest nail or hook. Put grommets in ordinary canvas squares and rig easy on-off tire covers.

    * Put grommets around the edges of your beach towels. Then stake them down in the sand with inexpensive plastic tent stakes in the sand and they won't blow away.



    * Make tarps and  sun flies of any size and shape  from outdoor fabrics such as Sunbrella. They fold flat and stow in little space. Hang them around the campsite to make shade.




    *Buy replacement webbing  or fabrics for worn out folding chairs and reinforce them with grommets.

    * Put grommets on corners of the covers you use on campsite picnic tables. Fasten with cord or bungee to keep them from blowing away. 

    * Are there things you could secure with bungee if only they had sturdy, reinforced holes in them? 

    * Use grommets to make holes in, say, cornhole  bags, bean bags and other games. Then use light twine to keep them together when stored. 




 * Need an extra notch in the dog’s collar or your belt? Protect the new hole with a grommet. 

    * Make custom size fitted sheets for your odd-shaped RV mattress by putting grommets in flat sheets. Secure with elastic or cord.

     * Make homemade flash cards with cardboard, then reinforce holes with grommets and thread them on a ring. 







Need to know:
    * Grommets and eyelets come in many sizes. Find them online and in craft stores, automotive stores, fabric shops. For the best selection go to Amazon and search for grommets,  eyelets,  craft supplies and sewing supplies.



    * Grommets come in many materials from cheaper aluminum and steel to rust-proof brass, stainless steel and  high-tech plastics including clear plastic. Consider strength, durability, washability. They also come in myriad sizes and colors for decorative, home sewing and craft use. 






 Always have emergency meals on hand no matter where you are.  Survival Food Handbook shops the supermarket for familiar, affordable, compact shelf staples, then provides recipes for turning them into great meals. Tips on water shortage, fuel shortage, how to stow, when to discard.  Kindle or paperback.

See More Janet Groene how-to articles at


Is YOUR state or province listed here? Also check last week's blog and next week


 *Wear plaid to proclaim your proud  Scottish clan or just come along for the fun at Tartan Day South in Lexington, South Carolina March 30-April 1.  Hear Celtic music and pipe bands. See Celtic dance, a British car show, herding demonstrations, sword fighting. Shop the Celtic Marketplace. Columbia Speedway Campground is within walking distance of the grounds. Camping reservations (803).240-3965. Tickets for the event are at

* The former A+ Motel & RV Park near Lake Charles, Louisiana is now part of the Happy Camper Campground family. Its new name is Beyonder Resort Cajun Moon. The resort has full hook-up RV sites, swimming areas for both adults and kids, a lazy river, playground and sports fields.  
    * Chadron State Park, Nebraska, in the Nebraska National Forest is updating 44 more of its campsites with 50-amp electricity. Now all 69 sites have 50 amps. Also new are the shower house, six sites upgraded to ADA standards and many upgrades to the historic Trading Post/ activities center. The park's 974 acres include a portion of the Pine Ridge escarpment and Chadron Creek. (308) 432-6167

Bentley Warren
  *When race car driver Bentley Warren retired in 2007  he bought a saloon, motel and campground in Arundel, Maine. Now that iconic destination is expanding for the 2023 season with more campsites, more hook-ups, and more entertainment.  (207) 985-8966


    * In Bonners Ferry, Idaho, new owners of the Log Inn campground have renamed it North Haven Campground.  The Log Inn motel continues to operate separately. The campground has  21 RV sites, a camp store, laundry, a bathhouse in a log cabin and on-site covered wagons with private bathrooms.  (208) 603-9212.

* Many state parks have some sort of special perk for state residents. It may be a discount or priority reservations. Add Montana to the states that let its own residents go to the head of the line. Legislation is pending.  Meanwhile, South Dakota has tabled legislation that would have restricted rights of full-timers who  claim it as a home based but do not stay there. Stay tuned.

    * There is a move afoot in  Strasbourg, Saskatchewan for a new, seasonal campground at Rowan’s Ravine on Last Mountain Lake. Proposals are being sought for a campground to be added south of the marina with 225 full-service sites at least 40 X 70 feet in size plus a splash park, outdoor sports field and other amenities. Many hurdles stand in the way, so stay tuned for 2024-5.

* An RV vacation in Alaska? Consider a fly-drive with rental RV. Have two weeks up there instead of the long drive in your own . Rentals are furnished, but barely, so see my 20 tiny essentials to take along.

    * Upgrades to ECO Lake Park, Elizabethtown, Indiana, will start with a new campground and 24 RV sites, a campground host, shower house and dump station.  Roads, signage and utilities are being improved. Picnic tables and fire rings are ready for the new campsites. (812) 346-2953.

    * Keep your fingers crossed for a new, 35-site RV park in Washington,, Missouri. The six-acre park site has been approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Now additional permits and approvals are being sought. Stay tuned. 










RV Living Off the Grid + New RV Parks

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