Camping and Caravan Clubs of America

Written By: Dan Richards

Camp and Caravan clubs have been around for a good while, around forty years or more. They offer many perks to the week-end camper that uses prepared campsites, like discounts on group sites. The main benefits of these groups is the connections made that seem to last a long time, and a few of the groups have even stated that a few of the children not only meet new friends, but have been known to meet their future spouses.

Site shows a lot of easy access to useful news and reports that the camper can use

Groups like Happy Camper Club, offer RVers and campers alike over twelve hundred campsites with a 50% off with their stays. For a simple $39.99 a year the camper gets a small but effective load of benefits and discounts. They offer things from maps with directions to the campsites, ebooks for campers and RV owners, discounts on extended stays, and more.  Looking at their site shows a lot of easy access to useful news and reports that the camper can use.

Fifty regional charters in the US and Canada, and forty years of operation

Loners on wheels, is an international group that is targeted towards single men and women. It states it is not a match making group, just one for singles who like to camp and RV.  This is a group like any other Camp and Caravan group, but these are singles that can have fun without being around all the married families. They boast fifty regional charters in the US and Canada, and forty years of operation. This is a group so loners can travel and meet other loners for fun and adventure, without the feeling of being matched with someone.

Nonprofit, members owned, camping and travel group

Family Campers and RVers, is another group for people to meet together and have fun. This group says it is a nonprofit, members owned, camping and travel group. They will have activities for children, teens, adults and retirees. Like the other groups they also offer their discounts and other packages for your yearly fee, and a six month free trial. Another bonus is that in keeping with their nonprofit status, they offer from $500.00 to $2000.00 scholarships to deserving member seeking a higher education. They also say that from 1966 to now they have awarded over $500,000.00 in scholarships.

The people that started this group were five disabled couples from California and Texas

Another focused group is the Handicapped Travel Club, targeting the handicapped to promote them getting out and enjoying life. This group operates on a low budget, of $12.00 for the first year, to handle all the paper work processing, then a measly $8.00 a year after that.  They also offer all the benefits as do the other groups, but targeting this specific group. The people that started this group were five disabled couples from California and Texas who worked together after seeing how therapy from this activity helps. They started the group in 1973, in Arcata,  California.

For the most part are not the hard core campers, or adventurers, but still equally enjoy the outdoors

All the groups mentioned here were researched, and they had no part in this information. It came from their websites. Camping and Caravan clubs are groups of people that basically use camping as a form of social networking. For the most part are not the hard core campers, or adventurers, but still equally enjoy the outdoors. For many reasons this brings many together for fun and adventure. It is also a good way to help the kids learn about the world and Country.


What Makes an Affordable Tent

Written By: Dan Richards

Tents are a basic to any camping trip, as they are the house/hotel of the excursion. Affordable tents are something that helps make it easier for the novice to professional to adventure out. For this article, the family will be the focus, as it is less covered in a decent explanation of what affordable means, as well as covers. So let’s look at what affordable means before anything else.

An affordable tent is a necessity of any trip, and it is not the cost that makes a tent affordable, it is the math of it. Basically look at it as a math problem, where A+B+C=D2. Yes it is. In this equation, A=  Quality, B= need, and C= Cost, so that this equation will equal D2, the durability that a family need for an extended time. Extended, meaning that it will last beyond the trip planned for.

Double stitching is a much better form of joining for any tent

So let’s look at “A”, Quality. Quality for a family tent does not have to be that high, it just needs to be worth the money spent. Campingwithgus.com has a good coverage on what quality means. It is the construction of the tent, in that the floor is one piece, and not sewn together, as that increases leaks and moisture transference.

A 450D nylon, 600D Polyester, or a 450D cotton canvas are all good materials for the construction. Aluminum tent poles are stronger, as was talked about in another article by this writer. And with family tents one is not putting the tents in constant rigorous conditions, so they work better and because they are usually bagged separately, safer for the tent. But Carbon fiber is equally as good, Fiberglass was a short lived material for pole, and a sign of a cheap tent.

Single layer stitching one thin material, less than the material listed above, shows a cheap design, and is not any form of quality one would want. Double stitching is a much better form of joining for any tent. It is also very important to have full flaps that cover the entrance and window zippers. Partial flaps could allow the rain could leak/seep in through the stitching or fly. Well-made heavy duty metal zippers, not the cheap nylon zippers, they wear out to quick. Remember that quality means worth the money.

Vestibules are another factor that is big in the past few years, especially those for the entrance. Used to be they did not have these. The the camper had to sit in the entry of the tent to remove their shoes while it was raining, with only the awning flap for cover. More tents are coming out with storage  vestibules, and actually is more important. Either way, a vestibule is something many want, even in the front for entrance, can be used for some storage.

These seven main points are what make up the factor for “B”

Now let’s look at “B”, Need. Need that covers all the other aspects like size, space, set up, ease of use, and everything else.

  1. Size: good head room, and always add one to the number pf people camping, if a family of four is camping, and a five man tent cannot be found, a six man could actually be better in the first place.
  2. Water Resistance: make sure the tent has a good water resistant coating if it is not cotton, and even if it is, a coating is not a bad thing.
  3. Portability: the easier it is to move, the better it is. Of course the bigger the tent, the more it will weigh, but it should still be moveable.
  4. A water Repellent Storage bag- a good tent will come with two water repellent bags, one big one for the tent, and a smaller for the poles and tie downs.
  5. Ease of entry: if the tent is to hard to get in or out, then it is not worth the money, and will become a hindrance.
  6. Ease of set-up: A new camper should be able to set up any tent with-in half an hour, an experienced one should be able to set it up within five minutes. Longer than that, something is wrong.
  7. Adequate Ventilation: air needs top be able to move in the tent, but not so much that it gets too cold at nights, and able to open windows to allow cooling air during the day. This will help make the tent more comfortable, and reduce mildew.

These seven main points are what make up the factor for “B” the use of the tent.  Like everything, there are more, but this is not a book. But items like the Guy Lines are important, in that they need to be strong and durable, loops for poles, stakes, and guy lines, need to be well made, double folded with twin rolls of double stitching. Pockets need to be well constructed, so they do not damage the tent, and double stitched as well with a heavy duty zipper or another form of durable fastener.

Even a beginner tent has good to bad qualities in that bracket

Now let’s look at “C”, Cost.  Cost helper fitness, has an excellent article on pricing a tent from backpacking to family, and categories them base, intermediate, to extreme. Costs are factored by size and quality. Even a beginner tent has good to bad qualities in that bracket. What one needs to do is to price a family tent for their needs and compare prices. There are numerous sites and companies that offer these pricing sheets; like Lowshopper.com and shopzilla.com, and many stores that people shop at have their prices on line as well.

The end result is that each family will have to look at the factors listed and do the math. The end result will be to come up with a tent that the family will enjoy for many years. And always remember to follow the instructions after each camp trip in maintaining and cleaning the tent. No matter how well the tent is made, if it is not kept up right, it will not last.

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