National Park Service Announces Fee-Free Days for 2018

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service announced today that the public will be invited to experience all national parks, without entrance fees, on four days in 2018.

The four entrance fee-free days for 2018 will be:

  • January 15 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • April 21 – First Day of National Park Week
  • September 22 – National Public Lands Day
  • November 11 – Veterans Day

“National parks connect all of us with our country’s amazing nature, culture and history,” said National Park Service Deputy Director Michael T. Reynolds. “The days that we designate as fee-free for national parks mark opportunities for the public to participate in service projects, enjoy ranger-led programs, or just spend time with family and friends exploring these diverse and special places. We hope that these fee-free days offer visitors an extra incentive to enjoy their national parks in 2018.”

Normally, 118 of the 417 national parks charge an entrance fee. The other 299 national parks do not have entrance fees. The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.

The annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks that charge an entrance fee. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current members of the military, families of fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.

Other federal land management agencies offering their own fee-free days in 2018 include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and Army Corps of Engineers.

The National Park System includes more than 84 million acres and is comprised of 417 sites, including national parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields, and national seashores. There is at least one national park in every state.

Last year, 331 million people visited national parks spending $18.4 billion which supported 318,000 jobs across the country and had a $35 billion impact on the U.S. economy.

FMCA Now Welcomes Owners of All Self-Contained RVs

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is about to embark on an exciting new journey. A recent vote of the members of this Cincinnati, Ohio-based international organization for motorhome enthusiasts has resulted in owners of all types of self-contained RVs becoming eligible to join and take advantage of the group’s benefits and services. This broadening membership opens a new chapter in the association’s 54-year history.

When asked about this expansion of the association, FMCA national president Jon Walker said, “This initiative started because FMCA members increasingly were asking the leadership of the organization why owners of other types of RVs were not eligible to join. Many of them have family members or friends they travel with who own fifth-wheel or other travel trailers, and they wanted to be able to welcome them to the FMCA family.

“The time seemed right to take this to the membership for a vote,” Walker said. “We, as leaders of FMCA, discussed that the focus really should be on the RVers, the people who enjoy RV travel, and not the equipment they’ve chosen. Surveys showed that the vast majority of FMCA members have owned a different type of RV at some point. Since the Great Recession, towable RVs have been far outselling motorized RVs, and we believe we have something valuable to offer those owners also.”

While the makeup of RVs owned by the membership will change, some things will not. “FMCA will continue to promote the RV lifestyle and to pursue its core mission of education and information sharing,” Walker said.

“We aren’t going to lessen our focus on motorhomes,” said Chris Smith, FMCA executive director. “We’re just expanding our efforts to owners of other types of RVs and welcoming them into the FMCA family. The association has spent 54 years developing its expertise related to serving the needs of motorhome owners, so that’s not going away. But we’re excited to take what we’ve learned, to broaden our focus, and use what we’ve built to serve the needs and interests of all RV owners.”

The association does not have plans to change its name but instead will do what other organizations have done — AARP, for instance — and focus on the acronym FMCA, which many already use when referring to the group. FMCA will rebrand its monthly magazine, which coincidentally is undergoing a redesign, and title it Family RVing when the new design is unveiled. This new title retains the word “Family” and emphasizes that it is the official publication of a large, active RV family.

FMCA will continue to be unique among the major RV clubs, because it is the only one owned and governed by its membership.

FMCA is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the use of self-contained recreation vehicles (RVs). The association maintains its national headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently has more than 74,000 active member families. FMCA offers its members a number of benefits, including a subscription to its monthly magazine, Family Motor Coaching; a medical emergency and travel assistance program valued at $105 per family; a tire purchasing program; group rates on a roadside assistance program and on RV and auto insurance; discounted rates for RV tours and caravans; and special member rates on mobile hotspot plans. Perhaps the most important benefit of FMCA membership is the camaraderie and friendships that develop among people enjoying the common interest of RV travel.

The organization can be reached at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622 and on the web at FMCA.com.

The Fit RV: Cassette Toilet, Air Conditioner Replacement, Creating More Storage, GoSun Solar Cooker, & Hydraulic Leveling



About The Fit RV

Meet Stef & James: Travato-owning outdoor enthusiasts keeping fit and active on the road. Get inspired, be entertained, & find (sometimes) useful RV tips! Follow The Fit RV on their websiteblogFacebook pageTwitter account and on Pinterest.

The RV Geeks: Faucet Replacement, Boondocking Prep, Awning Replacement, New RV CleaningTool, & Replacing RV Air Cleaner



About RV Geeks
The RV Geeks offer RV maintenance, repair & travel tips from “Do-It-Ourselves” full-time RVers. They’ve handled most of their own RV maintenance during more than a decade of exploring North America. While not RV technicians, the RV Geeks are mechanically inclined and have learned a lot about RV systems over the years. They handle most of their own minor service, repair and upgrade work on their 2005 43-foot Newmar Mountain Aire diesel pusher. They also maintained their 2002 39′ Fleetwood Bounder Diesel during their first two years on the road. Visit their website and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Love your RV: Cape Perpetua, Electrical Test Gear, Turtle Rock Resort, & Stranded in the Rain on Highway 101 in Northern California



To download the "RVing with a Fifth Wheel" eBook visit:
http://www.loveyourrv.com/rving-fifth-wheel-free-ebook-love-rv/

About Love Your RV
A handful of years ago Ray and Anne Burr sold their home in Victoria, British Columbia, and bought a brand new fifth wheel trailer. They set off on an amazing one-year journey traveling all around the U.S. and Canada. About three months into it, they knew this was the life for them and became full timers traveling south in the winters and retreating to the north for the summers. They regularly update their blogsite of their travels and adventures.

RV Education 101: Traveling with Pets, Products to Keep Cool & Set Up Camp, Lubricating Slideouts & Windows




RV Education 101 e-book series
As I've said many times, Mark Polk is my favorite RV expert. I'm pleased he and his wife, Dawn, have allowed me to sell his RV e-book series. E-books (electronic books) are immediately downloaded to your computer after you make the purchase. The RV Education 101 e-book series includes:
  • "The Original Checklist for RVers"
  • "The RV Book"
  • "RV Campground Basics"
  • "101 Tips for RVers"
  • "RV Care and Maintenance"
  • "Insiders Guide to Buying an RV"
  • "Winterizing & Storing your RV"
  • "RV Awning Use & Care"
  • "Deep Cycle Battery Care & Maintenance"
  • "RV Buyers Survival Guide"
  • "Complete Guide To: RV Towing, Weights, Hitch Work & Backing"
  • "Pop-Up Basics 101"
  • "Dinghy Towing"

Rollin' on TV: Gulf Stream Conquest, fifth-wheel hitching, RV refrigerators



On this week's program (#2017-24), Rollin' On TV turn the focus to the Class C motorhome market and in particular, the Gulf Stream Coach, Conquest Class C. Jeff Johnston spent a few days on the road and camping in the Conquest and gives us his personal take on this popular Class C model.

Then, if you’re thinking about buying a fifth-wheel trailer, or just bought one and want to know the correct way to hitch and unhitch your trailer, then stay tuned. Mark Polk from RV Education 101 shows us how easy it is to hitch or unhitch your 5th wheel the proper and safe way.

Also, if your RV refrigerator has been off for a while, you know it takes quite a long time to get that temperature back down to it’s operating level. This week, Jeff Johnston shows us his unique way of getting that refer temperature down in about half the time.


About Rollin' On TV
In production since 2010, Rollin' On TV has become one of the leading RV lifestyle television programs on the air today, reaching over 30 million homes on both cable and satellite TV. The weekly program is also available online. For more information, visit www.rollinontv.com.

Love Your RV videos: Shower Stall Repairs, EEZRV TPMS Unboxing and Installation, Snowy Malahat Drive, & Cannon Beach Oregon





About Love Your RV
A handful of years ago Ray and Anne Burr sold their home in Victoria, British Columbia, and bought a brand new fifth wheel trailer. They set off on an amazing one-year journey traveling all around the U.S. and Canada. About three months into it, they knew this was the life for them and became full timers traveling south in the winters and retreating to the north for the summers. They regularly update their blogsite of their travels and adventures.

Love Your RV videos: Stove Ignitor Mod, Catastrophic Fuse, Remote Solar Panel, & LevelMatePro Mod



About Love Your RV
A handful of years ago Ray and Anne Burr sold their home in Victoria, British Columbia, and bought a brand new fifth wheel trailer. They set off on an amazing one-year journey traveling all around the U.S. and Canada. About three months into it, they knew this was the life for them and became full timers traveling south in the winters and retreating to the north for the summers. They regularly update their blogsite of their travels and adventures.

Volunteer campground host applications being accepted for 2018 season

The DNR is accepting applications for volunteers to work as
campground hosts in Michigan state parks and rustic state forest
campgrounds during the 2018 season. It's a great way to camp
for free and get a behind-the-scenes park experience. (DNR photo)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteer campground hosts in Michigan state parks, recreation areas and rustic state forest campgrounds for the 2018 camping season.

In exchange for 30 hours of service per week, including duties such as helping campers find their campsites, answering camper questions, planning campground activities and performing light park maintenance duties, campground hosts enjoy waived camping fees.

Both individuals and couples may apply for volunteer positions that begin as early as April and last through October. Volunteer hosts must be 18 years of age and provide their own camping equipment, food and other personal items.

"For many visitors, the camping experience wouldn't be the same without campground hosts," said Miguel Rodriguez, promotional agent for the DNR. "These dedicated volunteers engage with park visitors by helping out around the campground, answering camping and park questions and even hosting kids' crafts and fireside activities. All of this is accomplished while they are enjoying some of Michigan's most beautiful outdoor destinations."

Interested volunteers can click on "campground host" at www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers to learn more about the volunteer host campground program, download an application and waiver and view a vacancy host campground report, which is updated regularly and indicates when and where hosts are needed in specific parks.

Hosts are screened and interviewed by park managers and selected based on familiarity with the state park system, camping experience, special skills, availability and knowledge of the area. Hosts must participate in a two-day host training session within the first two years of being selected as a host. The 2018 training will take place June 6-7 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon.

For information, contact Miguel Rodriguez at 517-284-6127 or rodriquezm2@michigan.gov.