Do You Gamble?

October 27, 2011

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

According to a Yahoo search, Americans spent dice92.27 billion dollars on gambling in 2007. You may not be one of those who contributed to this amount, but many do. A host of opportunities are available for those who wish to.

Many also gamble in another way, that the Bible is not relative to their lives in the 21st century. Society sometimes describes those of us who do as uneducated and perhaps even to be pitied.

While statistics indicates that many possess one or more Bibles, the number of those who read them as a manual for their lives is dwindling.

Many of those who will say they do not believe the Bible have neither read it nor studied it in order to make an intelligent decision on their own. They have succumbed to what is being taught in our public schools and universities by those who probably have not studied it either.

Here’s my challenge to those of you who are gambling that the Bible is not relative to your lives today. Take the time to read one book of the Bible, the book of Proverbs. Ask yourself if many of the principles of life recommended by King Solomon would not help you live a better life. Verse 7 of chapter 1 would be an excellent one to memorize: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at john@faithrescued.com

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RV Boondocking Tips

October 23, 2011

by Steve Gillman

What is RV boondocking? It is simply camping in your recreatinal vehicle in an area with limited or no facilities. In many areas of the west, you can just drive into the desert, and stay free for up to two weeks. This is the case on most BLM (Bureau Of Land Management) and national forest lands. How far you have to move to stay another two weeks is open to interpretation, but is probably isn’t far.

Long Term RV Boondocking on BLM Land

With the growing popularity of boondocking, the BLM has begun to establish areas for longer stays, particularly in Arizona. The permit fee is around $140 now, but this allows you to stay up to six months, and you’ll have pump stations, dumpsters and water available. That’s cheaper than paying property taxes or rent for a lot to park on.

Boondocking Communities

Ask around when you are in the desert southwest, and you’ll find there are whole RV communities that form every winter. There are temporary towns like “Slab City” in California, complete with bookstores, grocery vendors, and other businesses run by RVers. When summer returns, these boondock communities disappear, and reappear again the following winter.

Perhaps the largest gathering of RV boondockers is in Quartzite, Arizona. Up to several hundred thousand people spend at least part of the year boondocking here. Quartzite is near the California border, on Interstate 10, only 20 miles from the Colorado River. It’s surrounded by BLM lands, and it’s famous for gem shows and swap meets, and the multiplying of its population each winter.

Other RV Boondocking Opportunities

Look, and you’ll find “hidden” places where you can park your RV for a week or a month in the desert southwest. Some are free, and others just inexpensive. For example, the Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area, north of Bowie, Arizona, costs $3 per night, but has nice hotsprings and plenty of wildlife. You can get an annual permit for $30, but you’re limited to two weeks per month (permits are sold at the BLM office in Safford). Outside of the fenced area you can stay free, but then you don’t get the hotsprings and shaded picnic tables.

There are many other areas like the Hot Well Dunes for cheap or free RV boondocking. The Bureau of Land Management can tell you what’s available under their jurisdiction. The Woodall’s campground guide lists campgrounds that are free. Also, just keep your eyes open for other RVs parked out in the desert or forest, and ask around.

About The Author

Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the U.S. and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. To read their stories, tips and travel information, visit: www.EverythingAboutTravel.com.

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B.C Walmart Says No to RVs

October 19, 2011

by Rex Vogel for Woodall’s Family Camping Blog

SmartCentres, which owns the Kamloops, British Columbia shopping centre, installed large new signs on the lot reminding customers there is no overnight parking for RVs or trucks. (Credit: bcnews.ca)

They are usually known as a welcoming sight for RVers in need of a place to stop for the night or a few days before continuing on with their journey.

Besides being a big-box retail store, Walmart parking lots across North America have generally been hospitable to the traveling camper.

But, anyone hoping to stay in the Kamloops, British Columbia, Walmart parking lot for an extended period of time can expect to be turned away, reports Kamloops This Week.

This past summer the company SmartCentres, which owns the shopping center, installed large new signs on the lot reminding customers that overnight parking for RVs or trucks is not permitted.

Sandra Kaiser, vice-president of corporate affairs for SmartCentres, told KTW the no-overnight rules were always in place, but not enforced stringently until recently.

She said the measure is not meant to crack down on someone staying a few hours or even a night, but is intended to address RV owners staying for days and weeks.

“More and more campers were coming and staying for longer periods of time, to the point where we were losing parking spaces that we have to provide to our tenants,” Kaiser said, adding the company had received complaints from tenants in the shopping center.

She noted overnight stays made it difficult for maintenance crews to clean up the lot.

Kaiser said maintenance crews are politely reminding campers they can’t park in the lot long term.

Walmart manager Tim Labermeyer said he’s heard from some customers who expected to park at the store overnight.

However, he pointed out many of the Walmart lots that allow overnight parking are owned by the retail giant.

The Kamloops Walmart leases the property so, in this case, it is not a decision made by the store.

“We have to abide by their (SmartCentres) rules,” Labermeyer said.

Staying in a Walmart parking lot. (Credit: rvonthego.blogspot.com)

He suggested Thompson Rivers University students using the lot during store hours for free parking was a bigger issue than RV parking.

The Kamloops location isn’t alone in banning overnight stays, as a growing number of Walmarts in the U.S. are starting to turn away RVs.

For a list of Walmarts where overnight parking is prohibited, click here.

Ask the local IGA store in Hinton, Alberta, how to treat visitors. That IGA invites RVers to camp overnight free on their parking lot and places large signs along the highway to make sure RVers know they are welcome.

Overnight Parking Etiquette

Some of the most respected RV consumer clubs have joined together to support your right to park on private businesses’ parking lots overnight under the following code of conduct. The code pertains to establishments that permit “dry camping” on their lots. Dry camping means camping without the use of external hookups for electricity, water supply, or waste disposal.

Industry-Sanctioned Code of Conduct (RVers’ Good Neighbor Policy)

Stay one night only!

Obtain permission from a qualified individual.

Obey posted regulations.

No awnings, chairs, or barbecue grills outside your RV.

Do not use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces (including asphalt).

Staying in a Walmart parking lot. (Credit: mybirdie.ca)

Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.
Staying in a Walmart parking lot. (Credit: mybirdie.ca)
Purchase gas, food, or supplies as a form of thank you, when feasible.

Be safe! Always be aware of your surroundings and leave if you feel unsafe.

If your plans include touring the area, staying for more than one night, or necessitate conduct not within the code, please relocate to a local campground. It’s the right thing to do!

Most of the complaints lodged regarding RV parking on business parking lots have to do with aesthetics and perceived abuse of the privilege. There are a variety of competing interests that were balanced to arrive at this industry-sanctioned code of conduct. As you can see, this Code of Conduct is nothing more than an RVers’ “Good Neighbor” policy.

Not following the code has serious consequences and is detrimental to the rights of all RVers. Already, some municipalities have passed ordinances to prohibit parking on private business property overnight.

The above Code of Conduct is also available in PDF format from the Walmart Atlas website.

You’re encouraged to print this letter and share it with others to promote these etiquette standards.

Worth Pondering…Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.

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