Quotes to Inspire Your New Year’s Resolution

Let these New Year resolution quotes give you thoughts on setting resolutions. May these words of wisdom inspire you to make the coming year the best year yet!

Don’t make resolutions without an action plan. The secret to success is right in your hands.

— J. Allen Shaw

The New Year is a perfect time to make a fresh start. For many people, that means resolving to make new habits and goals in their personal or professional lives. For others, taking care of some long-neglected chores or projects is a great opportunity. Regardless of which camp you fall in, it’s hard not to feel hopeful on New Year’s Eve—a time of celebration and so much promise.

As December comes to a close, we take time to reflect on the past year and take stock of what’s truly important as we head into the next. Maybe we’re looking for the motivation to finally get started on a new project or career. Or hoping to take better care of ourselves in the months ahead. Perhaps we’re looking for a little more excitement in life and need a reminder to keep the door of possibility open. Or, just maybe, we’re content and secure right where we are and hopeful for another happy year.

As we revel in the inspiring nature of the season, read through this selection of quotes to remind yourself that anything is possible. Happy New Year!

Painted Desert, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Begin as you mean to go on.

—Charles H. Spurgeon

What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.

—Jane Goodall

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The beginning is the most important part of the work.

—Plato

First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not.
—Octavia E. Butler

Sand Hollow State Park, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself, she will be invented.
—Maya Angelou

If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one!
—Dolly Parton

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.
—Brad Paisley

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.
—Mary Oliver

A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it.

—Walt Disney

Birding in South Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

—Mary Anne Radmacher

I want to make a New Year’s prayer, not a resolution. I’m praying for courage.

—Susan Sontag

You can get excited about the future. The past won’t mind.
—Hillary DePiano

Without the intense touch of nature, you can never fully freshen yourself! Go for a camping and there both your weary mind and your exhausted body will rise like a morning sun.

—Mehmet Murat Ildan

Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.

—Michael Josephson

World’s Largest Roadrunner, Las Cruces, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The new year is the glittering light to brighten the dream-lined pathway of future.

—Munia Khan

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.

—Nido Qubein

Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.

—Robin Sharma

I hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written.

—Juansen Dizon

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.

—Edith Lovejoy Pierce

You do not find the happy life. You make it.

—Camilla Eyring Kimball

Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.

—Thomas Jefferson

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

—Henry David Thoraeu

15 Foods to Eat for Good Luck in the New Year

Noodles for longevity, cornbread for gold, and fish for success

The holiday season is full of long-standing traditions but our favorites always tend to center around eating. No matter where you’re from many people believe what you do on January 1 can set the tone for the entire year to come.

And there is no better way to ring in the New Year than by eating! While you could overload on chips and dip with champagne, why not eat foods that will supposedly bestow your life with prosperity in the New Year? There are New Year’s resolutions to be made and goals to achieve—we need all the luck we can get once 2024 rolls around.

Luckily (pun intended) there is a sundry of foods that when eaten on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day are said to call forth good fortune in the coming 12 months.

Look to these good luck foods when the clock strikes midnight for good fortune in the year to come.

People from around the world will eat traditional foods as the clock strikes midnight in hopes of bringing a little more luck and good fortune into their lives. As you reflect on the past year and make those resolutions, try these edible traditions from around the world to ring in your luckiest (and tastiest) year yet.

Pomegranates, a good luck food © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Pomegranates

Since seeds are associated with fertility and life, eating pomegranates may just be the key to a lively new year. In Greek culture, a pomegranate is placed outside the home and smashed on New Year’s Day. The more seeds that scatter during the initial smash, the luckier the year that lies ahead will be. In Turkish culture, pomegranate seeds are also celebrated for fertility so if you’re attempting to start or grow a family you might want to stock up.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t add extra fruit to your sparkling drink when you toast at midnight or turn it into a delicious treat—like pomegranate pavlova with pistachios and honey—for your guests.

2. Black-eyed peas

If you’re cooking a New Year’s dinner in the South, chances are you’re serving black-eyed peas prepared with pork, celery, and onion. Also known as Hoppin’ John, the traditional dish has been consumed for luck for more than 1,500 years (they got their start as part of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah). These little legumes also pack important nutrients, like fiber and vitamin A, so you can stick to your healthy resolutions, too.

Black-eyed peas simmered into a stew with ham hock and collard greens are known as Hoppin’ John or Carolina Peas and Rice. It’s a traditional meal in the South eaten on New Year’s Day. There are a couple of myths surrounding the luck associated with black-eyed peas. Some say the shape of black-eyed peas which are actually beans represent coins and therefore encourage wealth. Others trace the humble black eyed pea back to Civil War era where the beans are said to have prevented families from starvation. Whatever the reason, black-eyed peas continue to remain a traditional lucky food to have on January 1 throughout much of the South.

3. Leafy greens

Dark leafy greens (collard greens, spinach, kale, etc.) resemble money (plus they are good for you).

Did you know that downing a kale salad is good for more than just your health? Leafy greens, like kale, collard greens, spinach, and romaine lettuce are symbolic of wealth. They’re the same color and crispness of a fresh dollar bill which is why it’s considered lucky to eat leafy greens when seeking monetary gains in the New Year. As the Southern saying goes “peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold.”

4. Cornbread

Any excuse to eat cornbread is OK in my book. In many of the southern states cornbread is considered lucky due to its golden brown color which is said to bring gold and wealth in the upcoming year. So slather on some butter, dig in, and maybe pair it with a bowl of Hoppin’ John for extra luck.

5. Noodles

The longer the noodle, the longer the life! At least, that’s what this ancient superstition says. Traditionally slurped up for Chinese New Year, soba noodles are extra-long and symbolize longevity. Just be careful to not break the noodles on their way from bowl to mouth!

Different types of noodles are consumed across Asia in the New Year and symbolize longevity. In Japan, toshikoshi soba, is a meal composed of buckwheat noodles in a steaming broth of daishi, soy sauce, and mirin. is a common meal to consume on New Year’s Eve; a healthy and simple way to start the New Year off fresh. In Chinese culture, yi mein noodles, the satisfyingly chewy and brightly yellow egg noodles are stir-fried and said to encourage long life. Whatever type of noodles you fancy, slurp them up and you may not be only full but also blessed with a long and fulfilling life.

6. Dumplings

Dumplings are an important part of New Year’s traditions around the world from Chinese 餃子 (jiao zi) to Russian pelmeni. They’re shaped like little money pouches or the coins themselves and are meant to represent prosperity, wealth, and health.

The homemade ones are truly a labor of love so gather some family members and have everyone help with assembly. And don’t worry about getting them perfect-looking—even the wonkiest of the bunch are sure to bring health and wealth in the New Year.

Grapes, a good luck food © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Grapes

In Spain and Mexico, it is tradition to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight representing the 12 months within a calendar year. It is believed that the luck you’ll possess each month is dependent on the sweetness of the grapes; if you come across any tart grapes then make sure to prepare yourself for a bumpy month that corresponds with the sour grape you consumed.

8. Ring-shaped cakes

It’s always a good time for cake—especially if you’re celebrating a special occasion like ringing in the New Year. A round, ring-shaped cake in particular is known to represent the full circle of life.

Ring-shaped foods such as the tasty bundt cake are said to be symbolic of the year coming full circle. Try a crowd-pleasing Bundt cake in pumpkin spice or lemon-lime flavor or go for something unexpected like a round-shaped monkey bread.

I will joyously consume cake for any occasion so this whole luck thing just feels like a bonus. Due to their shape (they somewhat resemble coins), they are also thought to bring forth wealth in the New Year. A wide interpretation of this one is acceptable. Even doughnuts, because why not?

In the Netherlands, eating fried doughnut-like pastries called oliebollen is said to be lucky. They usually have a good dusting of powdered sugar on top.

In Greek culture, friends and family gather around for a vasilopita, a zesty orange cake that often has a coin baked inside. Whoever receives the slice with the coin in it gets extra luck for the New Year and usually a gift or prize. So bust out your cake pan and bake yourself some luck for 2022.

Pork, a good luck food © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. Pork and sauerkraut

If you’re looking to personally advance in the New Year, pork may be a good option for you. Like many other cultures, the Pennsylvania Dutch believes eating pork on New Year’s Day brings good luck because pigs are animals that root forward as they sniff out and eat food and therefore emblematic of progress in the year. After all, we want to move forward, not backward, in the New Year. Sauerkraut is made from cabbage—a symbol of money because it’s leafy and green.

The tradition spans across continents from roasted lechon in the Philippines to marzipan pigs in Northern Europe to pork and sauerkraut dishes served in the U.S. As noted in The Morning Call, eating pork is “part superstition and part tradition like a Pennsylvania Dutch-style insurance policy for the new year.” The fattiness of pork is also related to luxury and wealth so fry up some bacon to start the New Year.

Fish, a good luck food © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Fish

If you’re looking for an alternative protein to eat when ringing in the New Year then try fish. It’s alleged that the shimmery scales look like coins and in some Eastern European cultures they are saved and placed in a wallet in hopes of acquiring more wealth. Fish also represent abundance because they swim in large schools. Across myriad cultures fish are consumed in hopes of a year full of success. Whatever the preparation, it can’t hurt to eat an extra serving or two.

In countries like Norway, Germany, Poland, Finland, and Sweden, herring is bountiful thanks to its proximity to the Baltic Sea. So on New Year’s, right at midnight, herring is served to encourage bounty and prosperity in the coming year. The fish’s silver scales are also said to resemble coins, which is a good sign of future fortune.

11. Buttered Bread

In Ireland, it’s said that there are several traditions involving bread on New Year’s, so many that January 1 is known to some as the Day Of Buttered Bread. One entails banging bread against a door frame to chase away bad luck while another invites good luck in by sharing the baking bounty with friends, loved ones, and neighbors.

Which one we’ll be going with?—Irish soda bread with chocolate chips, sourdough, or brioche topped with homemade garlic butter, Tuscan butter, or maple butter.

Oranges, a good luck food © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

12. Oranges and tangerines

Oranges and tangerines are typically passed out during Lunar New Year to call forth prosperity so it’s only natural that these citrus fruits have made their way to our Gregorian calendar celebrations as well. The bright color evokes joy and the Chinese word for a mandarin orange, kam, is a homonym for the word gold thus making the mandarin orange an extra lucky piece of fruit.

13. Lentils

Similar to black-eyed peas, lentils are a type of legume that looks like little coins. They’re typically eaten in Italy (and in other countries) on New Year’s to bring luck and good fortune. The red lentil hummus would make a great New Year’s Eve party snack, while the Mediterranean lentil salad would be a refreshing dish on New Year’s Day.

As lentils are soaked in water, they expand in an act that many believe symbolizes prosperity. Wintertime is great for a hearty bowl of pasta, so turn your sights towards a prosperous year with a big pot of our favorite lentil bolognese.

Lentils are eaten across the world for the New Year because the tiny legumes are said to look like little coins that will bring prosperity in the coming year—and we all could use more of those. From Italy to the Czech Republic to Brazil whether prepared in a stew, served with pork, or eaten over rice lentils might help you pad out your bank account in the progressing months.

Lentils are also delicious and good for you. They are also a great pork alternative for vegetarians.

Pretzels, a good luck food © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

14. Pretzels

The breaking of a New Year’s pretzel (or neujahrsbrezel) for luck and prosperity is a long-time German tradition. It can be eaten either at midnight or for breakfast on New Year’s Day. Unlike regular savory pretzels, these are made of sweet enriched dough, sort of like a babka or brioche.

Many Germans ring in the New Year with a big soft pretzel to symbolize good luck, health, and prosperity in the year ahead. According to History.com, children in the 17th century also wore pretzel necklaces on New Year’s.

If you’re a pretzel purist, consider making homemade soft pretzels or cinnamon sugar crunch pretzels or even just go store-bought maybe alongside some homemade pub cheese or funfetti dip? What’s really important is sharing and breaking them with loved ones (the pretzels also represent interconnectedness), so you do you.

15. Fortune Cookies

Kick off the New Year with messages of luck, hope, and prosperity for your friends and family. Slide each personalized message into a handmade cookie (yes, you really can make your fortune cookies at home). If your loved ones have a good sense of humor, consider swapping in a joke or two—starting the New Year off with laughter can’t be a bad thing! If you’re crunched for time, you can pick up a set of pre-made fortune cookies before the evening begins.

What not to eat

Unless you want to tempt fate, you should avoid eating the following foods because they are thought to bring bad luck on New Year’s Day.

Beef and poultry: Think of why we eat pork: Pigs root around, moving forward. Cows eat standing still (which is what will happen to you if you eat beef). Even worse, chickens and turkeys scratch backward. That not what you want in 2023.

Shellfish: Lobsters and crabs swim backward and sideways and (you probably sense a theme here) you want to eat only foods that move you forward. (Most fish swim forward, but skip catfish as they are bottom dwellers).

No white foods: In Chinese culture, all-white foods—eggs, white cheese, tofu—are unlucky on New Year’s Day because white is thought to symbolize death.

Worth Pondering…

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.

—Brad Paisley

The Best RV Camping January 2024

Explore the guide to find some of the best in January camping across America

Where should you park yourself and your RV this month? With so many options out there you may be overwhelmed with the number of locales calling your name.

Maybe you’re an experienced RV enthusiast, or maybe you’ve never been in one—regardless, these RV parks are worth your attention. After finding the perfect campground, you can look into RV prices, and the different types of RVs, and learn how to plan a road trip. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it so much you’ll convert to full-time RV living.

I didn’t just choose these RV parks by throwing a dart at a map. As an RVer with more than 25 years of experience traveling the highways and byways of America and Western Canada—learning about camping and exploring some of the best hiking trails along the way—I can say with confidence that I know what makes a great RV campground. From stunning views and accommodating amenities to friendly staff and clean facilities, the little things add up when you’re RV camping. And these campgrounds are truly the cream of the crop.

Here are 10 of the top RV parks and campgrounds to explore in January: one of these parks might be just what you’re looking for. So, sit back, relax, and get ready for your next adventure at one of these incredible RV parks!

RVing with Rex selected this list of parks from those personally visited.

Planning an RV trip for a different time of year? Check out my monthly RV park recommendations for the best places to camp in November and December. Also, check out my recommendations from January 2023 and 12 Best RV Parks in Arizona for Snowbirds (2023-24).

Hunting Island State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Hunting Island State Park, Hunting Island, South Carolina

Hunting Island is South Carolina’s single most popular state park attracting more than a million visitors a year as well as a vast array of land and marine wildlife. Five miles of beaches, thousands of acres of marsh and maritime forest, a saltwater lagoon, and an ocean inlet are all part of the park’s natural allure.

The Hunting Island Lighthouse is the only one in the state that is publicly accessible. From the top, guests can stand 130 feet above the ground to take in the breathtaking, panoramic view of the Atlantic Coast and surrounding maritime forest.

Camping is available at the northern end of the park near the ocean. 102 sites offer water and 20/30/50 amp electric service. Campground roads are paved while the sites are packed soil. Some sites accommodate RVs up to 40 feet; others up to 28 feet. The campground is convenient for hot showers with restroom facilities, beach walkways, and a playground.

Tucson/Lazydays KOA © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tucson/Lazydays KOA, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson/Lazydays KOA Resort features citrus trees throughout the park and offers pull-through RV Sites with full 30/50-amp hookups, grassy luxury sites, and new RV sites with a patio and fireplace. Whether you want to relax by one of the two pools, soak in the hot tubs, play a round on the nine-hole putting green, or join in the activities, this park has something for everyone to enjoy.

Two solar shade structures allow guests to camp under a patented structure that produces solar energy. The structures shade more than two acres of the campground giving visitors room to park RVs on 30 covered sites.

Lazydays, a full-service RV dealership with a service department is located next door. Other campground amenities include a bar and grill, meeting rooms, a fitness center, three off-leash dog parks, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Goose Island State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Goose Island State Park, Texas

Bounded by the waters of the St. Charles, Copano, and Aransas bays, 314-acre Goose Island State Park is a coastal delight. Popular with Winter Texans during winter months, birders during spring and fall migration, and campers year-round, Goose Island State Park is located 10 miles north of Rockport, off State Highway 35.

Developed RV campsites in a secluded, wooded area and bayfront area are available. Most sites offer water and electricity; six sites are full-service. Amenities include a fire ring, outdoor grill, and picnic table.

Las Vegas RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Las Vegas RV Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas RV Resort is a 378-site RV park restricted to guests 18 years of age or older with a great location a short distance from the action of The Strip. The resort offers full hook-ups with back-in and pull-through sites available. Amenities include free Wi-Fi throughout the resort, pool and spa, fitness center, laundry facilities, pet area, picnic tables at every site, and 24-hour patrol.

Hollywood Casino RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Hollywood Casino RV Park, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Hollywood Casino RV Park offers tranquil beauty of the outdoors with waterfront views and on-site shuttle service to the casino with three restaurants. The park is big-rig friendly featuring 80 back-in sites and 14 back-to-back pull-through sites. Our site backs to a treed area on a bayou and is in the 55-60 foot range with 50/30-amp electric service, water, sewer, and cable TV. All interior roads and sites are concrete. Site amenities include a metal picnic table and BBQ grill on a concrete slab and garbage canister.

Golden Palm Village RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Golden Village Palms RV Resort, Hemet, California

Discover why sun-seeking snowbirds and long-term RV park guests flock to this pet-friendly oasis hidden in the Desert of San Jacinto Valley in Southern California. With more than 320 days of sunshine, Golden Village Palms RV Resort is known for over 60 seasonal activities aimed at those 55+, ranging from water volleyball to pickleball and ballroom dancing. When it’s time for a little me time, visit the fitness center, putting green, or one of the pools and spas.

Jekyll Island Campground © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jekyll Island Campground, Georgia

The Jekyll Island Campground is the most affordable, convenient accommodation located near Driftwood Beach. Choose from RV and tent sites as well as amenities like free Wi-Fi, shower facilities, and onsite laundry. The campground offers 175 campsites on 18 wooded acres on the island’s north end.

Options range from tent sites to full hook-up, pull-through RV sites with electricity, cable TV, water, and sewage. Wi-Fi and DSL internet are free for registered guests. The campground also will offer private yurt experiences beginning in 2023.

Poche’s RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Poche’s RV Park, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Poche’s RV Park is a Cajun campground located approximately 5 miles north of Breaux Bridge.  Poche’s sits on 93 beautiful acres and has 85 full concrete slab RV sites with full hookups which include electricity (30 and 50 amps at each site), water, sewer, and Wi-Fi. Most sites back up to a pond to where you can walk out of your RV and start fishing within a few feet.

Poche’s also has five different-sized cabins for rent to accommodate any size family. Located throughout the property are five different fishing ponds which total roughly 51 acres of water. Within the ponds, you can catch largemouth bass, bream, white perch, and several different types of catfish. You can also rent a paddle boat or single and tandem kayak to explore the ponds or bring your own.

The clubhouse is a 5,000 square feet recreation building with a complete wrap-around porch over the water on Pond 3. 

Gulf State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Gulf State Park, Alabama

Choose from nearly 500 RV sites with full hookups and paved pads at Gulf State Park, with options to set up lakefront or in the woods. It’s ideal for hikers who can access the 25-mile Hugh Branyon Backcountry Trail at several points throughout the campground where park naturalists are available to offer guided nature walks. (If you’re a hiking enthusiast or new to hiking, here are some of the best hiking trails to check out.)

Sonoran Desert RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Sonoran Desert RV Park, Gila Bend, Arizona

After a day of rolling through the dramatic and diverse Sonoran Desert, you can roll your rig right into this oasis in the desert. It’s so convenient with the easy-on/easy-off access from both I-8 and SR-85. Formerly, Gila Bend KOA, the campground was built for RVers by RVers and it shows!

You’ll find roomy, 100-foot full-hookup pull-through sites throughout the park—all big rig friendly. Relax by the heated pool or just soak up the desert views and dark evening skies from your site. Fido will love the 4,000-square-foot Canine Corral with three separate corrals (two with grassy areas). Amenities include Wi-Fi throughout the park, laundry facility, putting green, heated pool, and recreation hall Ranch House with a 2,500 sq. ft. veranda that’s perfect for savoring a brilliant sunset at day’s end. 

Worth Pondering…

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.

—John Ruskin

December 2023 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 6 Recalls Involving 5 RV Manufactures

A manufacturer recall can create a safety risk if not repaired

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall, creating a safety risk for you or your passengers. A certified dealer must repair Safety defects at no cost to you. However, if left unrepaired, a potential safety defect in your vehicle could lead to injury or even death.

What is a recall?

It’s always important to keep up with the latest recalls, no matter how small the issue may appear to be. Each week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes the latest information on recalls from minor to major defects. NHTSA releases its most recent list of recalls each Monday.

When a manufacturer or the NHTSA determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

It should be noted that RV recalls are related to vehicle safety and not product quality. NHTSA has no interest in an air conditioner failing to cool or slide out or failing to extend or retract—unless they can be directly attributed to product safety.

Information on previous safety recalls follow:

Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort, El Mirage, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

NHTSA announced 6 recall notices during December 2023. These recalls involved 5 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (2 recalls), Grand Design (1 recall), Tiffin (1 recall), Keystone (1 recall), and REV (1 reall).

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2024 XLR Boost toy haulers. The taillights may be insufficiently reflective. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.”

Dealers will install reflector stickers, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed January 17, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-642-0432. Forest River’s number for this recall is 79-1711.

Forest River

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain 2023-2024 Coachmen Concord CNC321DSF motorhomes. The air suspension air line may be incorrectly installed near the exhaust, which can cause a sudden loss of rear suspension.

Dealers will re-route the air lines and 12-volt wiring away from the vehicle exhaust, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed January 24, 2024. Owners may contact Forest River Customer Service at 1-574-825-8602. Forest River’s number for this recall is 210-1714.

Sand Hollow State Park, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Grand Design

Grand Design RV, LLC (Grand Design) is recalling certain 2024 Reflection travel trailers. The electrical plug blade openings (narrow hot blade and wider neutral blade) may be reversed on one of the two receptacle outlet faces, which can cause outlet failure.

Dealers will replace the incorrect receptacles, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed January 5, 2024. Owners may contact Grand Design customer service at 1-574-825-9679. Grand Design’s number for this recall is 910041.

Tiffin

Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. (Tiffin) is recalling certain 2024 Allegro Open Road and Allegro Bay motorhomes. The 32-inch hard line LPG hose fitting may not fit correctly, which can cause a fuel leak.

Dealers will replace the 32-inch hose with a 40-inch hose, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed January 28, 2024. Owners may contact Tiffin customer service at 1-256-356-8661. Tiffin’s number for this recall is TIF-134.

Keystone

Keystone RV Company (Keystone) is recalling certain 2021-2022 Dutchmen Coleman 1855RB and 190BH travel trailers. The trailers may be equipped with axle springs rated at 4400 pounds instead of 5100 pounds.

Dealers will replace the axle springs, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed January 25, 2024. Owners may contact Keystone customer service at 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 23-447.

Settlers Point RV Resort, Washington, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

REV

REV Recreation Group (REV) is recalling certain 2016-2023 American Coach American Eagle motorhomes. Turbulence may loosen or break the rear air deflector mounting bracket hardware.

Dealers will replace the attachment hardware bracket and fasteners, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed February 3, 2024. REV’s number for this recall is 231205REV.

Please Note: This is the 58th in a series of posts relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

12 Best RV Parks in Arizona for Snowbirds (2023-24)

Where snowbirds enjoy a second summer in winter

It’s that time of year again! The birds are migrating south for the winter and the RV snowbirds are behind them. After all, isn’t that the whole point of having a house on wheels? So you can follow the good weather no matter where it leads!

Snowbirds love to head to the Southeast, temporarily residing in states like Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, or Texas that stay relatively warm. Other options include the Southwest where the dry climate allows for more temperate winters (as long as you stay in the lower-elevation Sonoran Desert). Arizona is one of my favorite options for northern snowbirds escaping the snow and freezing temperatures this winter!

I rounded up 12 of the best RV parks in Arizona for snowbirds. Check them out below!

Leaf Verde RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Leaf Verde RV Resort, Buckeye

Leaf Verde RV Resort offers spacious back-in and pull-through RV sites with full hookups including 20/30/50-amp electric service. Enjoy gravel pads with concrete patios, complimentary Wi-Fi to keep you connected, and a picnic table for your outdoor enjoyment.

Other amenities include a swimming pool, shuffleboard, game room, clubhouse, pet area, laundry facilities, restroom, and shower facilities. Located in the West Valley off Interstate 10 at Exit 114.

Canyon Vista RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Canyon Vistas RV Resort, Gold Canyon

Canyon Vistas RV Resort is nestled at the base of the Superstition Mountains in the Gold Canyon area southeast of Phoenix. Here you’re beyond the noise and congestion of the city yet minutes from shopping and entertainment.

Enjoy a morning walk or bike ride amid a stately hundred-year-old Saguaro cactus or keep in shape at the state-of-the-art Fitness Center. Meet your friends for a round of golf at the pitch and putt course followed by a cool drink on the covered veranda. Go hiking, boating, and horseback riding in the nearby mountains. Other amenities include ceramics, wood carving, lapidary, pickleball, computer lab and classes, quilting and sewing room, pools and spas, tennis courts, and pet area.

Rincon West RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Rincon West RV Resort, Tucson

Situated near the beautiful Tucson Mountains, Rincon Country West has 1100 spaces including deluxe, pull-through RV sites. Amenities include full hookups with 30/50 amp electric, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, gated entry, private mailboxes, laundry, showers, heated pool and spas, exercise room, woodworking shop, pottery room, lapidary room, card room, arts and crafts and sewing rooms, billiard room, tennis, pickleball, shuffleboard, and bocce ball.

Vista del Sol RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Vista Del Sol RV Resort, Bullhead City

This area has needed a new 5-star RV resort and in November 2015 a new Roberts resort opened with paved streets. The 88 wide concrete sites are terraced both back-ins and pull-ins in the 65-foot range with paved sites and patios.

The pull-in sites face to the west-northwest with views of the hills and mountains as well as Bullhead City, Laughlin, and the Colorado River. 50/30/20-amp electric service, water, sewer, and cable TV are conveniently located. Resort services include Wi-Fi, two pools, one spa, a fitness room, billiards/game room, daily activities, Doggie Park, gated entry, and a clubhouse with a commercial kitchen and serving area for groups. Within this gated 55+ community, one can also purchase a 400 sq. ft. model home or a manufactured home in varied sizes.

Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort, El Mirage

Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort is in El Mirage about 30 minutes northwest of Phoenix. A Roberts Resort, Pueblo El Mirage resort offers 378 RV sites and a range of five-star amenities including an 18-hole championship golf course, 26 pickleball courts, lawn bowling, a pool, banquet hall, hair salon, two-story library, computer room, workshops for woodworking and other crafts, and two dog parks.

The resort also organizes weekly entertainment such as live music, games, and food trucks for the guests’ enjoyment. The location of Pueblo El Mirage allows for easy access to local attractions as well as hospitals and healthcare providers.

Upon arrival, guests received a care package including tote bags, note paper, mugs, pens, and lip moisturizer.

Palm Creek RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort, Casa Grande

All RV sites at Palm Creek are back-ins with a minimum of 50 feet in length and 40 feet in width. All sites come equipped with patio pads and full hook-ups including 50-amp electric service, cable TV, water, sewer, and Wi-Fi service.

Amenities include a championship Par-3 golf course, four swimming pools and Jacuzzi tubs, an on-site bistro, pickleball and tennis courts, lawn bowling, a softball field, a fitness center, a ballroom, four laundry facilities, and nine dog parks.

Sonoran Desert RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Sonoran Desert RV Park, Gila Bend

After a day of rolling through the dramatic and diverse Sonoran Desert, you can roll your rig right into this oasis in the desert. It’s so convenient with the easy-on/easy-off access from both I-8 and SR-85. Formerly, Gila Bend KOA, the campground was built for RVers by RVers and it shows! You’ll find roomy, 100-foot full-hookup pull-through sites throughout the park—all big rig friendly.

Relax by the heated pool or just soak up the desert views and dark evening skies from your site. Fido will love the 4,000-square-foot Canine Corral with three separate corrals (two with grassy areas). Amenities include Wi-Fi throughout the park, laundry facility, putting green, heated pool, and recreation hall Ranch House with a 2,500 sq. ft. veranda that’s perfect for savoring a brilliant sunset at day’s end. 

Destiny RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

8. Destiny RV Resort, Goodyear

A walled and gated community, Phoenix Destiny RV Resort offers 20/30/50-amp service on every site, heated pool and spa, fitness center, laundry facility, shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits, pickleball courts, putting green, billiard room, and fenced-in pet areas and a shaded turf dog run.

The RV resort is clean, well-maintained, and attractively landscaped with an abundance of citrus and other trees and shrubs. Interior roads and sites are asphalt; the picnic table is conveniently located on concrete. Destiny offers a quiet, peaceful, and friendly atmosphere with easy access to I-10 (Exit 123; Citrus Road). Our pull-through site (#263) was in the 55-foot range.

Tucson/Lazydays KOA © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. Tucson/Lazydays KOA, Tucson

Tucson/Lazydays KOA Resort features citrus trees throughout the park and offers pull-through RV Sites with full 30/50-amp hookups, grassy luxury sites, and new RV sites with a patio and fireplace. Whether you want to relax by one of the two pools, soak in the hot tubs, play a round on the nine-hole putting green, or join in the activities, this park has something for everyone to enjoy.

Two solar shade structures allow guests to camp under a patented structure that produces solar energy. The structures shade more than two acres of the campground giving visitors room to park RVs on 30 covered sites. Lazydays, a full-service RV dealership with a service department is located next door. Other campground amenities include a bar and grill, meeting rooms, a fitness center, three off-leash dog parks, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Eagle View RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Eagle View RV Resort at Fort McDowell, Fort McDowell

Eagle View RV Resort is far enough away from the hustle of Phoenix and Scottsdale but still close to numerous attractions. The resort has 150 full hookup sites with beautiful views of Four Peaks, part of the Mazatzal mountain range. Amenities include a swimming pool, dog run, fitness center, complimentary pastries, and coffee in the mornings, and a clubhouse with an HDTV, pool table, computer room, and library.

If you feel like trying your hand at blackjack or poker, Fort McDowell Casino is less than a mile up the road. The park is also a short drive from the city of Fountain Hills which is home to golf courses and one of the largest fountains in the world.

Sundance 1 RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

11. Sundance 1 RV Resort, Casa Grande

Sundance 1 RV Resort is a 55+ Active Adult Community in Casa Grande. This family-owned park was established in 1998 and has grown to become one of the most popular RV destination resorts in Arizona. The park has 750+ sites that make up a community of park model homes and full hookup RV sites.

The average lot size is 40 feet wide by 50 feet deep. The park has 13 pull-through sites for daily and weekly stays only. Each site has 30/50-amp electric availability. Available activities include pickleball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, billiards, wood carving, quilting/sewing, ceramics, photography, and stained glass.

Pleasant Harbor RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

12. Pleasant Harbor RV Park, Peoria

Located in the beautiful area of Peoria, Pleasant Harbor RV Park features all sorts of indoor and outdoor activities. It has a fully operational marina as well as a heated pool. Once you are done with your outdoor activities, the resort is also close enough to Peoria that you can enjoy the local shopping outlets and dining establishments.

Whether you want to have fun on the water or relax with a fun game of golf, this resort is near everything that you need. Access to the marina is worth the price of admission alone. Since you’ll be in Peoria, you can also go into town and check out the charming shops.

Between the warm weather, RV parks filled with activities and amenities, and the gorgeous desert and mountain views, Arizona ranks high as the best place for snowbirds to spend their winters. Each one of these parks offers something unique.  

Worth Pondering…

This was as the desert should be, this was the desert of the picture books, with the land unrolled to the farthest distant horizon hills, with saguaros standing sentinel in their strange chessboard pattern, towering supinely above the fans of ocotillo and brushy mesquite.

—Dorothy B. Hughes

A Guide to Utah’s Public Lands

Two-thirds of Utah is public land managed by federal agencies

An abundance of public lands helps make Utah a great place for an RV road trip with plenty of beautiful places to roam free of No Trespassing signs in every corner of the Beehive State.

Federal agencies manage two-thirds of the state for various uses, from wilderness preservation to strip mining to weapons testing. With 42 percent of Utah’s land under its umbrella, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) controls the lion’s share of public land (22.8 million acres) followed by the U.S. Forest Service (8.15 million acres) and National Park Service (NPS)  with smaller pieces held by the Department of Defense, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Reclamation.

All that public land leaves plenty of things to fight over. Conservative rural leaders want to see these lands moved from federal to state control to make them more available for mining, drilling, and livestock. Others believe more of this land should be managed for recreation and to preserve their natural values.

Bryce Canyon National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Utah is best known for its Mighty 5 national parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef all enshrining specific elements of southern Utah’s red rock geological wonders. Other big landscapes enjoying special protection are Bears Ears National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and the San Rafael Swell but southern Utah has several lesser destinations including numerous state parks established on former federal land.

Among the amazing resources embedded in these landscapes both protected and unprotected are vast troves of dinosaur fossils and artifacts that continue to shed light on worlds lost to time. Ancient Native Americans left a rich record of rock art, dwellings, and cultural items in places like Nine Mile Canyon, San Rafael Swell, and Bears Ears.

Canyonlands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping and hiking

Rules are tighter for national parks than they are for other pieces of public land. In a place like Arches, for example, hikers are not supposed to veer off-trail, and activities like climbing and canyoneering require permits. The rules are different depending on which national park you’re at so reading over the regulations before going is a good rule of thumb.

Rules on other public lands like those owned by the BLM are not as strict. If you want to spend a night on BLM land, you have options. There are numerous developed campgrounds on Utah’s BLM lands which typically require a fee to maintain those facilities.

However, if you want to rough it a little you can also try dispersed camping away from developed areas—this means camping in places with no services like trash removal, toilets, or running water. Many dispersed camping sites may have a fire ring but others may not be marked at all. Typically these sites are along secondary roads and dispersed campers should camp on bare soil and stay at least 100 feet away from water sources.

Regardless of the type of public land you’re at you should follow some some basic rules. For example, anyone on public land should expect to minimize their impact on the environment like disposing of any waste or trash properly. Another good rule of thumb is don’t approach wildlife. It may make for a cool photo but things like feeding a chipmunk or approaching a bison can either harm the environment or cause harm to yourself depending on the situation.

Capitol Reef National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Mighty 5 national parks

If you do decide to head to one of Utah’s Mighty 5 you’ll have to pay a fee to enter but you have a few options. For a short-term visit, you can buy a standard entrance pass at the gate of any national park in Utah which will change from park to park. If you’re trying to visit busier places like Arches you’ll need to register to get in as part of the timed entry systems.

If you want to make more frequent visits to national parks or national monuments an annual pass is your best option. An annual pass that covers day-use fees for national parks and other public lands is $80 for a year. Veterans and seniors can get free or discounted passes. Passes can be purchased online or at national parks.

There are also dozens of state parks throughout Utah which range from Bear Lake to the north to Sand Hollow to the south. As with national parks, you’ll need to pay for a day-use pass or an annual pass. Passes can be purchased online or in person at state parks.

Cedar Breaks National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Skiing

Closer to Utah’s population centers are national forests that hum year-round with outdoor recreation. Home to the Cottonwood canyons outside Salt Lake City, the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache (UWC) National Forest encompasses five major ski areas and abuts at least four others that operate on private land.

Utah has a total of 15 ski resorts. Beaver Mountain and Cherry Peak are located just outside Logan. The Ogden area has three resorts: Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, and Nordic Valley. Around Park City, a legendary ski destination, the resorts are Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort, and Woodward.

Resorts near Salt Lake are found in two areas: Big and Little Cottonwood canyons. Big Cottonwood is home to Brighton and Solitude while Little Cottonwood has Snowbird and Alta. The Provo area has Sundance. Southern Utah has the final two resorts: Brian Head and Eagle Point.

Natural Bridges National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Local leaders chafe against federal control

Because public land cannot be taxed, the federal government awards counties millions of dollars every year under the Payment instead of Taxes (PILT) program according to the amount of public land within their borders. Last year, Utah counties received a record $43.5 million in PILT money but state leaders say they are still getting short-changed.

To raise money for public schools, the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) oversees 3.4 million acres of state land largely in the form of square-mile sections scattered around a sea of BLM land. Some of this land is the subject of complicated swaps with the federal government to remove SITLA holdings inside protected landscapes such as Bears Ears and the San Rafael Swell in exchange for federal land in less sensitive areas.

In 2012, the Utah Legislature passed a law ordering the federal government to hand 31 million acres of mostly BLM land to the state. A decade later, not much has come of the state’s demands although an economic analysis committed by Utah officials concluded the state would likely spend more administering these lands than it would reap in revenues absent a massive run-up in oil and gas production.

However the controversy persists with numerous lawsuits seeking to advance greater state control over public land within Utah. The most significant is Utah’s effort to invalidate President Joe Biden’s 2021 order restoring the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase monuments which President Donald Trump had reduced by a combined 2 million acres.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Growing interest

Today, visitors are flocking to Utah’s public lands in such great numbers to the point that it is overwhelming the federal agencies. The state’s 13 national park units saw 11 million visitors a year while its 44 state parks also drew nearly 11 million.

But it wasn’t just parks that were popular destinations. Hit particularly hard are the Wasatch Mountains where skiers, mountain bikers, and hikers explore Little and Big Cottonwood, American Fork, Mill Creek, and many other canyons resulting in traffic jams and overcrowding on trails.

Proposed solutions include a gondola up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Alta, tolls on drivers, and recreation fees collected at developed sites.

Quail Gate State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Why we LOVE Utah

If you have never been to Utah, make sure and put it on your list of places to visit! We fell in LOVE with Utah for so many reasons. Number one is all of the National Parks in the state like Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands. But also so many state parks and the beautiful Scenic Byway 12. The scenery is constantly changing and each place has its unique beauty. From high in the mountains with aspens and cooler temps to down in the canyons or red or white rock faces and warmer temps. Utah is an adventurers’ paradise!

That’s why I wrote these five articles:

Worth Pondering…

As we crossed the Colorado-Utah border I saw God in the sky in the form of huge gold sunburning clouds above the desert that seemed to point a finger at me and say, “Pass here and go on, you’re on the road to heaven.”

—Jack Kerouac, On the Road

How White Christmas Became an Iconic Holiday Song

On this day in history, December 25, 1941, Bing Crosby performed White Christmas for the first time

Created by songwriter Irving Berlin and singer Bing Crosby, White Christmas became an instant hit when it premiered in the movie Holiday Inn in 1942.

As a winter storm is set to blanket much of the nation in snow, many Americans will indeed experience a white Christmas. 

When those first few notes of the song White Christmas begin to play, your heart begins to melt. Then, the textured tones of Bing Crosby’s crooning voice fill the air and wrap around you like a warm blanket.

Dreaming of a White Christmas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

White Christmas is one of the most iconic songs of the holiday season and it’s easy to see—and hear—why. Many artists, from Elvis and The Supremes to Dolly Parton and the Flaming Lips have created their renditions paying homage to the nostalgic tune.

But woven within that tune are whispers of the time, a time of global change and uncertainty, and how Hollywood and musical legends found a way to create a wistful escape.

The dreamer

It seems only fitting that the melancholy melody of the holiday tune was sung by one of the most beloved voices of the 20th century.

“At the time that Bing Crosby recorded White Christmas, he was the biggest star in the country, perhaps in the world,” said Matthew Barton, the curator of recorded sound at the Library of Congress.

“He was a huge success on records, he had a weekly radio show, and he was a major film star,” Barton added. “He really was just a towering figure and had been for a number of years.”

According to Barton, Crosby had already been recording Christmas songs as a band singer in the late 1920s and then he recorded the songs on his own in the 1930s.

“They were big hits,” Barton said. “And they became hits again every winter.”

“(Crosby’s) voice, his personality were very much, very closely associated with Christmas and Christmas music at the time,” Barton added.

Dreaming of a White Christmas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The man behind the curtain

While Crosby might be the most recognizable name associated with White Christmas, another cultural heavy hitter was behind the song’s creation: Irving Berlin.

“Berlin wrote constantly,” Barton said. “It was not unusual for him to have quite a few songs just on hand if the occasion demanded them.”

According to Barton, Berlin wrote White Christmas in late 1939-early 1940–by that point, he had been writing hit songs for more than 25 years.

“(White Christmas) came from an idea he’d had several years earlier to do a musical revue, a series of numbers built around days in the year—holidays, specifically important days.”

Berlin, who had also recently written God Bless America by that point, presented his idea for a holiday musical revue to Hollywood film director Mark Sandrich.

“They started developing a whole story which you can now see in the film Holiday Inn which is sort of framed by the song White Christmas,” Barton said.

Dreaming of a White Christmas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Showtime

When Holiday Inn was released in August 1942, it was an instant hit—and so was White Christmas, despite the movie’s summer premiere.

“It wasn’t really a seasonal song, but that was the one that clicked with people,” Barton said. “It was just obvious from the get-go.”

“Berlin said he knew it all along,” he added. “He thought it was the best thing he’d written to that point.”

By September, the popularity of White Christmas grew as evidenced by growing sales of the song’s sheet music.

“People just wanted this song, they wanted to hear it, and they wanted to sing it and play it themselves,” Barton said.

Come October, it tops the charts.

“You’ve got a Christmas song and it’s number one in October—I’m not sure that anyone else has ever accomplished that,” said Barton.

According to Barton, White Christmas remained at No. 1 for three months.

Dreaming of a White Christmas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Notes of nostalgia

Probably one of the most striking aspects of the song’s popularity is its somber, nostalgic sentiment.

In Holiday Inn, Bing Crosby’s character is down on his luck on Christmas Eve as he dreams of a white Christmas.

“If you see the film, you know it’s very much about the loss and loneliness that he’s feeling at the time,” Barton said. “It just invokes this image of being so far from where you want to be.”

This image is also set upon a dark backdrop outside the movie. 

When Berlin wrote White Christmas in late 1939-early 1940, the country was right on the heels of the Great Depression and on the cusp of World War II.

“The war had started but we weren’t in it,” Barton said. “It was something that’s very much in the headlines and very much on people’s minds.”

By the time Holiday Inn premiered with White Christmas in tow in 1942, the U.S. had joined the war. 

According to Barton, the country’s involvement may have informed how Crosby sang the song, what he was thinking about, and how people listened to the song.

Dreaming of a White Christmas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Somber songcraft

For Berlin, the inspiration for writing such a somber song may have been influenced by his personal feelings of loneliness.

“He was a show business veteran of many decades and it was not unusual for him to be away from home or to be working long days that everybody else was just relaxing and enjoying themselves,” Barton said.

According to Barton, Berlin also had sad memories of Christmas Day having lost an infant son on the holiday.

“He said that he visited that son’s grave every year on the 25th of December,” Barton said. 

Berlin was also well aware of the universal nature of distance and loss, whether of loved ones or of times long past, and hoping for a brighter future.

An Arizona Christmas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The canon of culture

Eighty-two years have passed since Holiday Inn introduced the public to White Christmas—a song that has resonated with countless listeners worldwide.

In 2002, it became one of the first songs added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry. 

According to Barton, the registry is an ongoing initiative of the Library of Congress to recognize and draw attention to, popularize, and promote the preservation of recordings that are historically, aesthetically, and technically significant.

Given the significance of White Christmas, its placement in the registry comes as no surprise.

“I feel that any good music, good records, that there’s always a good story behind them,” Barton said. “And that’s certainly the case with White Christmas.”

Worth Pondering…

Christmas is the day that holds all time together.

—Alexander Smith

Merry Christmas to all…

The Christmas Song

Christmas is the day that holds all time together.

—Alexander Smith

The Nat King Cole Trio recorded The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) in 1946 and turned it into a Christmas classic one year after Bob Well and Mel Torme wrote it. The song is also commonly subtitled as Chestnut’s Roasting on an Open Fire due to its opening lyrics.

Multiple song arrangements have been recorded throughout the years but the most notable version has to be Cole’s which includes the warm sounds of a small string section. The lyrics are filled with warm Christmas feelings and sweet holiday imagery including: “Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe/ Help to make the season bright…Yuletide carols being sung by a choir/ And folks dressed up like Eskimos.”

Merry Christmas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The popular Christmas song has been covered by many artists including Christina Aguilera for her 2000 album, My Kind of Christmas and Michael Bublé on his Let it Snow EP.

Check out the full lyrics below to get in the Christmas spirit. 

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight
They know that Santa’s on his way
He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
And every mother’s child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly

And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you

And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you 

Merry Christmas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It is Christmas Eve and I hope you are reading this someplace cozy, surrounded by friends and family, your partner, your dog, your cat… 

I hope there’s a soft chime of Christmas music playing in the background and something delicious cooking in the oven. I hope you are warm, healthy, and grateful for everything mentioned above.

If this year looks different for you, if you are not warm, or healthy, or surrounded by friends and family, this space is for you too.

This year, much like the past two, has presented new challenges. Prices are high, gifts may be fewer, and miles traveled may also be fewer.

Things that are always free to give: love, kindness, a smile, a wave, a hug, your favorite book off your bookshelf, a phone call…

Merry Christmas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

I’ve been working hard to try and define ourselves here at rvingwithrex.com. Who are we really? What’s the point of all this? Why do I do what I do? Much of it boils down to my love of the RV lifestyle and a desire to share my years of experiences—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

If you have an RV whether it’s a big Class A that you live in full-time whether it’s a small teardrop trailer that you and your family take out on the weekends or whether you live in an RV because it’s your only option or place of shelter, it doesn’t matter. One thing I’ll always say: We’re all RVers. Our community is for everyone.

As usual, I will post a newsletter tomorrow and I wish you the Merriest of Christmases—and, to my Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah.

Whatever your day may be, wherever you are and however you’re spending it—may your day be merry and bright.

Worth Pondering…

A joy that is shared is a joy made double.

John Roy

RVing with Rex: Top Articles of 2023

Ready to dig deep and learn everything there is to know about RVing?

As we approach the New Year, RVingwithrex.com would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. To celebrate the past year, here are the most popular articles from 2023.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Quartzsite: Here’s the 2023 QZ Show Schedule

The winter season is go time in Quartzsite. With winter temperatures hovering in the 70s, people flock to Quartzsite from colder climates to relish in the warm weather and fascinating shopping. Thousands of vendors gather during these months to showcase items ranging from rocks, gems, and minerals to jewelry, apparel, home decor, and more.

Read more…

Dawn Dish Soap © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Why and How to Use Dawn Dish Soap in RV Black Tanks?

Keeping up with RV maintenance and cleaning is just part of RV life! One aspect that is necessary but not very glamorous is emptying and cleaning the black and grey water tanks. This can seem like a complex problem but many products and solutions can help make this a lot easier.

One common remedy involves the use of Dawn dish soap in RV black tanks. It is a detergent and grease cutter that will not harm your tanks and is eco-friendly and biodegradable. It is not corrosive and will not damage your plumbing. It has no phosphates so is a green product that is considered environmentally friendly.

Read more…

A filming location in Fort Langley © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Exploring the Filming Locations of When Calls the Heart

When Calls the Heart is a popular television series set in the early 20th century Canadian West. The show follows the story of Elizabeth Thatcher, a young teacher from a wealthy Eastern family who moves to Coal Valley (now known as Hope Valley) to start her new life.

As viewers follow Elizabeth on her journey, they are also taken on a virtual tour of some of the most beautiful and historic locations found in Canada. From breathtaking mountain views to quaint town squares, the series’s filming locations provide an unforgettable backdrop for the show.

Read more…

March 2023 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 18 Recalls Involving 16 RV Manufactures

Your recreational vehicle may be involved in a safety recall and may create a safety risk for you or your passengers. Safety defects must be repaired by a certified dealer at no cost to you.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced 18 recall notices during March 2023. These recalls involved 16 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Forest River (2 recalls), Thor Motor Coach (2 recalls), Jayco (1 recall), Tiffin (1 recall), Winnebago (1 recall), Roadtrek (1 recall), Airstream (1 recall), Grand Design (1 recall), Par Nado (1 recall), Newmar (1 recall), Newell (1 recall), Eveland’s (1 recall), Kibbi (1 recall), REV (1 recall), Alliance RV (1 recall), and Keystone (1 recall).

Read more…

White Sands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Ultimate RV Travel Bucket List: 51 Best Places to Visit in North America

Are you looking for travel bucket list ideas for your next RV trip? Running out of ideas or looking for fresh ones? From epic classics to exciting newcomers, we have selected the 51 most amazing places to visit or things to do in the U.S. and Canada. Of course, there are many more than 51 places worth visiting.

It’s time to pack the RV and discover beautiful and awe-inspiring places across North America. Following are many of our favorite destinations in the US and Canada to satisfy your wanderlust.

Read more…

Boondocking at Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Quartzsite: Here’s the 2024 QZ Show Schedule

Every January something happens that is hard to believe—unless you have seen it.

According to the Arizona Highway Department, as many as 750,000 to 1,000,000 people mostly in RVs converge on this sleepy little desert town located just 20 miles east of the California border on Interstate 10 for the rock, gem, and mineral shows plus numerous flea markets and the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show. This phenomenon started over 40 years ago and is now billed as The Largest Gathering of RVers in the World.

Read more…

A superbloom © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2023 Wildflower Season is coming soon. Will it be a Superbloom?

Spring is on the way, bringing one of Arizona’s best features: Wildflowers.

As far as wildflowers are concerned, a lot of things have gone right so far this winter in Arizona. Widespread rains came early and often. The moisture has been well-spaced so there were no extended dry periods. Temperatures have stayed moderate. All those factors matter for how many and what types of flowers are likely to bloom.

Read more…

Historic Route 66 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

11 Must Watch Films Shot on Route 66

No American road is as iconic as Route 66. Starting in Chicago, Illinois, and snaking cross-country to Santa Monica, California, Route 66 originally consisted of 2,418 miles of highway rich with neon-lit motels, quirky roadside attractions, and stretches of deserted landscape.

With such a wealth of inspiration, it’s no surprise that so many filmmakers have used Route 66 as a backdrop for their films. One of the pivotal scenes in the 1988 film Rain Man takes place at Route 66’s Big 8 Motel in El Reno, Oklahoma. Rain Man went on to win numerous accolades and prizes including four Academy Awards. While not every movie filmed on Route 66 goes home with an Oscar, there are many that are worth a watch.

So pop some corn, get yourself comfy, and binge watch these eleven must-see movies on my list.

Read more…

December 2022 RV Manufacturer Recalls: 14 Recalls Involving 9 RV Manufactures

When a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a recreational vehicle or item of RV equipment creates an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet minimum safety standards, the manufacturer is required to fix that vehicle or equipment at no cost to the consumer.

NHTSA announced 14 recall notices during December 2022. These recalls involved 9 recreational vehicle manufacturers—Winnebago (3 recalls), Jayco (2 recalls), Airstream (2 recalls), Forest River (1 recall), Entegra (1 recall), Newmar (1 recall), Aluminum Trailer Company (1 recall), Holiday House (1 recall), Chinook (1 recall), and Old School Trailers (1 recall).

Read more…

Hoover Dam © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Absolutely Best Road Trips from Las Vegas

So your idea of fun isn’t drinking yard-long margaritas inside a mind-bending, alternate universe? I get it. One of the benefits of enjoying a city in the middle of a vast wilderness is, in fact, that wilderness. When you’re in Las Vegas, you’re not limited to casinos on the Strip. Some of the grandest scenery is just a short drive away. Whether you head to the Valley of Fire, the famous Hoover Dam, or Death Valley, we’ve got where to go and what to do in each. These are the very best day trips from Las Vegas.

Read more…

Love’s RV Hookups: Comfortable RV Stays at Truck Stops?

In May of 2021, Love’s Travel Stops introduced Love’s RV Hookups. But what exactly does this mean and what are the pros and cons of using them?

In this post, I’ll sort through the details and give you the scoop from my perspective as well as those of other RVers.

Read more…

Worth Pondering…

I close my eyes to old ends. And open my heart to new beginnings.

—Nick Frederickson

RV Show List for 2024

Each year, recreational vehicle associations and RV dealers put on RV shows throughout the United States and Canada. This is a round up schedule of RV Shows 2024 in chronological order. Most of these are standalone RV shows but some are part of a boat show, outdoor show, or RV rally.

Are you looking for an RV show? They are wonderful opportunities to discover the latest travel trailer and motorhome models. You can meet with dealers, tour various layouts, and maybe even score a great deal on your next camper. 

Whether you’re a newbie looking to buy your first travel trailer or a seasoned traveler with an upgrade on your mind RV shows can be very enjoyable and beneficial. 

Don’t forget about all the cool camping gear and gadgets. Dozens of vendors are usually in attendance to promote their camping goods, services, and products.  

I’ve compiled a list of RV shows across the nation we think you’re sure to love. Take a look and see what’s coming up in your area. 

Here is our list, organized by month.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

January 2024

NCRVDA RV Show–Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, January 4-7, 2024

Chicago RV Show, Schaumburg, Illinois, January 5-7, 2024

Ohio RV & Boat Show, Columbus, Ohio, January 5-14, 2024

Indy RV Expo, Indianapolis, Indiana, January 6-7 and 10-14, 2024

The Original Pittsburgh RV Show, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, January 6-14, 2024

Ohio RV Supershow, Cleveland, Ohio, January 10-14, 2024

OKC Boat, RV & Tackle Show, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, January 12-14, 2024

Bismarck Rec & Leisure Show, Bismarck, North Dakota, January 12-14, 2024

Annual RV & Campgrounds Show, Allentown, Pennsylvania, January 12-14, 2024

Florida RV SuperShow, Tampa, Florida, January 17-21, 2024

Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show, Grand Rapids, Michigan, January 18-21, 2024

St. Paul RV Supershow, St. Paul, Minnesota, January 18-21, 2024

Inland Northwest RV Show & Sale, Spokane, Washington, January 18-21, 2024

Tacoma RV Show, Tacoma, Washington, January 18-21, 2024

Cincinnati Boat, Sport & Travel Show, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 19-21 and 24-28, 2024

The Great Rockies Sportshow, Billings, Montana, January 19-21, 2024

Tidewater RV Show, Virginia Beach, Virginia, January 19-21, 2024

New Jersey RV & Camping Show, Edison, New Jersey, January 19-21, 2024

Quartzsite Sports, Vacation and RV Show, Quartzsite, Arizona, January 20-28, 2024

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

STL RV Travel Show, Saint Louis, Missouri, January 23-25, 2024

Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow, Louisville, Kentucky, January 24-28, 2024

Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show, Denver, Colorado, January 25-27, 2024

Calgary RV Expo & Show, Calgary, Alberta, January 25-28, 2024

Kansas City RV Show, Kansas City, Missouri, January 25-28, 2024

Boston RV and Camping Expo, Boston, Massachusetts, January 25-28, 2024

Ft. Myers RV Show, Ft. Myers, Florida, January 25-28, 2024

Atlanta Camping & RV Show, Atlanta, Georgia. January 25-28, 2024

Iowa Boat, RV & Vacation Show, Cedar Falls, Iowa, January 26-28, 2024

Northeast RV & Camping Show, Hartford, Connecticut, January 26-28, 2024

Tulsa Boat, Sport & Travel Show, Tulsa, Oklahoma, January 29–February 4, 2024

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

February 2024

Iowa’s Original RV Show, Des Moines, Iowa, February 1-4, 2024

Fort Wayne RV & Camping Show, Fort Wayne, Indiana, February 1-4, 2024

Minneapolis/St. Paul RV Vacation & Camping Show, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 1-4, 2024

Oregon State Salem Spring RV Show, Salem, Oregon, February 1-4, 2024

Edmonton RV Expo & Sale, Edmonton, Alberta, February 1-4, 2024

Manitoba RV Show & Sale, Winnipeg, Manitoba, February 1-4, 2024

Nebraska Boat, Sport & Travel Show. Lincoln, Nebraska, February 2-4, 2024

Southeast Texas Boat, Sport & RV Show, Beaumont, Texas, February 2-4, 2024

Huntsville SuperShow, Huntsville, Alabama, February 2-4, 2024

Lawton RV, Boat & Outdoor Leisure Show, Lawton, Oklahoma, February 2-4, 2024

Ottawa RV Expo & Show, Ottawa, Ontario, February 2–4, 2024

Houston RV Show, Houston, Texas, February 7-10, 2024

Jacksonville RV MEGASHOW, Jacksonville, Florida, February 8-11, 2024

La Crosse Boat Sports, Travel, RV & Hunting Show, La Crosse, Wisconsis, February 8-11, 2024

St. Cloud Sportsmen’s Show, St. Cloud, Minnesota, February 9-11, 2024

Charleston RV Show, Charleston, South Carolina, February 9-11, 2024

Seven Feathers Sportsmen’s & Outdoor Recreation Show, Roseburg, Oregon, February 9-11, 2024

Seattle RV Show, Seattle, Washington, February 15-18, 2024

The Utah Sportsmen’s Vacation & RV Show, Sandy, Utah, February 15-18, 2024

Duluth Sport Show, Duluth, Minnesota, February 15-18, 2024

The Annual Chicago RV & Camping Show, Rosemont, Illinois, February 15-18, 2024

West Palm Beach RV Show, West Palm Beach, Florida, February 15-18, 2024

Central Gulf Coast Boat, Sport & RV Show, Lake Charles, Louisiana, February 16-18, 2024

Maryland RV Show, Timonium, Maryland, February 16-19 and 23-25, 2024

Arkansas RV Show, Little Rock, Arkansas, February 16-18, 2024

Erie Sports & RV Show, Erie, Pennsylvania, February 16-18, 2024

Western New York RV Show, Suffern, New York, February 16-19, 2024

Springfield RV Camping & Outdoor Show, West Springfield, Massachusetts, February 16-19, 2024

Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show, Indianapolis, Indiana, February 16-18 and 21-25, 2024

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Columbia RV Expo, Columbia, South Carolina, February 19-21, 2024

Austin RV Expo, Austin, Texas, February 22-25, 2024

Dallas RV Super Sale, Dallas, Texas, February 22-25, 2024

Earlybird RV Show & Sale, Abbotsford, British Columbia, February 22-25, 2024

RV & Boat Show Main Event, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, February 23-25, 2024

Newswatch 12 Sportsmen’s & Outdoor Recreation Show, Central Point, Oregon, February 23-25, 2024

Cedar Rapids Sportshow, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, February 23-25, 2024

QCCA/RV & Camping Show, Rock Island, Illinois, February 23-25, 2024

Birmingham RV Super Show, Birmingham, Alabama, February 23-25, 2024

Hot Springs Boat, Tackle & RV Show, Hot Springs, Arkansas, February 23-25, 2024

Pennsylvania Adventure Show, Altoona, Pennsylvania, February 23-25, 2024

Milwaukee RV Show, West Allis, Wisconsin, February 29-March 3, 2024

Greater Philadelphia RV Show, Oaks, Pennsylvania, February 29-March 3, 2024

Annual CNY RV & Camping Show, Syracuse, New York, February 29-March 3, 2024

Annual Red River Valley Sportsmen’s Show, Fargo, North Dakota, February 29-March 3, 2024

Ocala RV Show, Ocala, Florida, February 29-March 3, 2024

Toronto Spring Camping & RV Show, Toronto, Ontario, February 29–March 3, 2024

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

March 2024

Springfield Boat, Sport & Travel Show, Springfield, Missouri, March 1-3, 2024

Crown Motors Norcal Boat, Sport & RV Show, Anderson, California. March 1-3, 2024

Springfield RV Mega Show, Springfield, Missouri, March 1-3, 2024

Louisiana Sportsman Show, Gonzales, Louisiana, March 1-3, 2024

Oregon State Eugene Spring RV Show, Eugene, Oregon, March 1-3, 2024

Fredericksburg RV Show, Fredericksburg, Virginia, March 5-7, 2024

Moncton RV Show, Moncton, New Brunswick, March 7-10, 2024

Central Wisconsin RV & Camping Show, Wausau, Wiscousin, March 8-10, 2024

Virginia RV Expo – Hampton, Hampton, Virginia, March 8-10, 2024

York Campers World RV Show, York, Pennsylvania, March 8-10, 2024

Eastern Iowa Sportshow, Cedar Falls, Iowa, March 8-10, 2024

Sioux Empire Sportsmen’s Boat, Camping & Vacation Show, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, March 14-17, 2024

Northwest Sportshow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 14-17, 2024

DFW RV Party, Arlington, Texas, March TBA 2024

Sportsmen’s Boat, and RV Show, Bakersfield, California, March 15-17, 2024

Mid-Atlantic RV Expo, Doswell, Virginia, March 15-17, 2024

New Hampshire RV & Camping Show, Bedford, New Hampshire, March 15-17, 2024

New Hampshire Camping & RV Show, Milford, New Hampshire, March 15-17, 2024

Kitchener RV Show & Sale, Kitchner, Ontario, March 15-17, 2024

FMCA Convention and RV Expo, Perry, Georgia, March 20-23, 2024

Acadiana RV & Camping Show, Opelousas, Louisiana, March 22-24, 2024

Reno RV Show, Reno, Nevada, March 21- 24, 2024

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

April 2024

Washington State Evergreen Spring RV Show, Monroe, Washington, April 5-7, 2024

The Great Alaska Sportsman Show, Anchorage, Alaska, April 5-7, 2024

The Vacationland RV & Camping Show, Auburn, Maine, April 6-7, 2024

Spring Hall of Fame RV Show, Elkhart, Indiana, April 28–May 1, 2024

May 2024

Puyallup Home & RV Show, Puyallup, Washington, May 2-5, 2024

Wyoming Outdoor Weekend & Expo, Lander, Wyoming, May 17-18, 2024

June 2024

Tampa Summer RV Show, Tampa, Florida, June 6-9, 2024

July-August 2024

The RV show season takes a break every summer. Do you know of an RV show near you in July and August?

September 2024

Hershey America’s Largest RV Show, Hershey, Pennsylvania, Septptember 11-15, 2024

North Carolina RV Dealers Association (NCRVDA) Show & Sale, Charlotte, North Carolina, TBA

Portland Fall RV & Van Show, Portland, Oregon, September 12-15, 2024

Southwest RV Supershow, Dallas, Texas, TBA

Maryland RV Dealer’s Association Show, Timonium, Maryland TBA

Indianapolis Fall Boat & RV Show, Indianapolis, Indiana, September 20-22, 2024

Washington State Evergreen Fall RV Show, Monroe, Washington, September 27-29, 2024

Tacoma Fall RV Show, Tacoma, Washington TBA

October 2024

Myrtle Beach RV Show, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, October 18-20, 2024

November 2024

Detroit Fall RV & Camping Show, Novi, Michigan TBA

Portland Metro Dealers RV Show, Portland, Oregon TBA

Tampa Bay Fall RV Show, Tampa, Florida TBA

December 2024

How about December? Are you itching to see some new models? Make your plans attending an RV Show in 2025!

Looking for a specific type of RV?

Worth Pondering…

Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.

—Napolean Hill