Cedar Point Opening ‘Ultimate RV Sites’ This Year

Images courtesy of Cedar Point
Cedar Point, a Sandusky, Ohio-based amusement park, announced recently it would be adding 25 new “ultimate RV sites” to the lakefront land formerly occupied by Sandcastle Suites.

These new sites will have amenities not currently offered at the park’s standard RV sites, including a glider swing with views of Lake Erie.

Other amenities include:

  • Private patio area with enhanced landscaping
  • Built-in charcoal grill with stone surrounds
  • Wood-burning fire pit
  • Adirondack chairs
  • Dining table with chairs
  • New restroom facility and bathhouse

By the way, if you’re interested in reserving one of these new sites, you can do so by booking online beginning at 5 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 16).

The 25 new sites bring the total RV spaces to 120. Lighthouse Point is also home to 64 cottages and 92 cabins, on the western point of the Cedar Point Peninsula, a short walk to the amusement park’s entrance.

The 187-room Sandcastle Suites hotel, built in 1990, was torn down in recent months, leaving a large swath of lakefront land open for development.

Showcasing the Michigan DNR: Winter fun at Michigan State Parks

Hardy adventurers can explore the backcountry
for a truly wild experience. (Lane Whitcomb photo)
By THERESA NEAL
Michigan Department of Natural Resources


As Dan Green opens the door of his 21-foot, four-season trailer he is greeted with a burst of 10-degree air, immediately chilling his nostrils.

“It’s invigorating,” said Green, a 79-year-old retired paramedic fire chief.

Green and his partner, Carolyn Wilson, have left their home in sunny Florida each of the last 12 years to winter-camp at Tahquamenon Falls State Park, located 75 miles north of the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

They now serve as volunteer campground hosts at the park’s Lower Falls campground during January and February, greeting and assisting other campers and maintaining snowshoe trails.

“We love being here during the winter, the more snow the better! The Lower Falls is a quiet recreation area, absolutely perfect for snowshoeing on or off trail,” Wilson said. “As people try winter camping, they enjoy it so much that they encourage others, and we have seen the interest grow over our time here.”

The Upper Tahquamenon Falls provide a beautiful
wintry backdrop for outdoor activity. (DNR photos)
In addition to campers, Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a premier winter destination for many outdoor enthusiasts.

Snowmobiling along trail No. 45 brings riders to the Upper Falls, and the privately-owned Tahquamenon Brewery, which offers a chance to warm up by the outdoor fireplace or inside with a meal and a beverage. Visitors also can drive to the Upper Falls and walk a third of a mile along a cleared trail to the viewing areas.

Indiana State Parks volunteer Jerry Byard has been taking photographs of the Upper Falls for years and is especially fond of the winter.

“My friends think I’m crazy, coming up here in February,” Byard said. “But it’s so beautiful, and the difference in the look of the falls in winter versus summer is so dramatic.”

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in the western U.P. is another popular winter destination. Although the park’s campground is closed during the winter, rustic cabins and yurts are available, scattered throughout the 60,000-acre wilderness.

Park staff takes pride in grooming 26 miles of cross-country ski trails, complete with warming shelters. “The Porkies,” as the park is affectionately known, also offers a downhill ski area, managed by staff from Gogebic Community College.

There’s plenty of winter fun to be had at state parks in the Lower Peninsula as well.

David Mitchell and his 14-year old nephew, Brandon, participate in the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Hard Water School, an annual ice fishing clinic offered at Mitchell State Park in Cadillac as part of the DNR’s Outdoor Skills Academy.


The Mitchells are in good company, as ice fishing experts demonstrate techniques to catch panfish, walleye and pike.

“We love to fish, but had never tried ice fishing before,” Mitchell said. “This class was the perfect introduction, and now we’re hooked!”

A bit east of Mitchell State Park, the Cadillac Pathway trailhead often is filled with cyclists preparing to head out on their fat-tire bikes. The Michigan Mountain Biking Association partners with parks across the state to provide groomed trails perfect for fat-tire biking.

Chad Jordan, president of the Northern Michigan Chapter of the MMBA, recently teamed up with Leelanau State Parkand local volunteers to create multiple 2- to 3-mile groomed loops within the state park.

“Fatbiking in the snow provides a great introduction to outdoor winter recreation because it is so user-friendly,” Jordan said. “It’s a lot slower pace than people think, and all of the local bike shops have fat-tire bikes for rent.”

Across the state at Muskegon State Park, just north of Muskegon on Lake Michigan, even novice adventurers will find a variety of winter recreation options at the popular Muskegon Winter Sports Complex.

Visitors can enjoy an Olympian-designed luge track, an ice skating trail through the woods, a sledding hill, cross-country ski trails and many other activities.


Winter camping is an option at 15 state parks across Michigan. Select campsites are cleared of snow for access to electricity, a picnic table and a fire ring. Rifle River Recreation Area in Ogemaw County and Tawas Point (Iosco County), Mitchell (Wexford County) and Traverse City (Grand Traverse County) state parks offer a heated shower building for those looking for more comfortable amenities.

Mini cabins, lodges, yurts and backcountry camping are offered at more than 53 state parks during the winter. More information about lodging options is available at www.michigan.gov/dnrlodging.

Camping and lodging reservations can be made by calling 1-800-44-PARKS or online at www.midnrreservations.com.

Whether your interest lies in camping, fishing, snowshoeing or photography, Michigan State Parks have you covered, for only $11 per year with the Recreation Passport.

Bundle up and get some fresh clean wintertime air – the mosquitoes will be out before you know it.

Rollin' on TV: RV Awnings by Carefree of Colorado, RV Rentals, & Campfire Fire-Stick Poker


On this week's program (#2018-01), Rollin' On TV starts off by taking another look at RV awnings and accessories at the National RV Industry Trade Show. Jeff Johnston talks with Kevin Jastrem from Carefree of Colorado and learns about some interesting improvements and upgrades to the compay's existing product line. Also, the crew looks back at a segment on RV rentals, plus tries out a Fire-Stick Poker for the campfire.

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: ClearSource RV Water Filter Review, Top Ten Scenic RV Campsites, Ogilby and Cibola BLM Campsites & RV Weather Station



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.

Stewardship volunteers needed throughout February in southern Michigan state parks

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host a number of volunteer stewardship workdays next month at state parks and recreation areas in southeast and southwest Michigan.

Volunteers are needed to help locate and remove non-native, invasive shrubs that threaten to crowd out native plants and disrupt balance in high-quality ecosystems. Workdays are an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors while helping to restore Michigan's ecosystems and learning about its inhabitants.

The calendar of volunteer stewardship workdays (which includes workday details, the stewardship volunteer registration form and links to individual park maps and directions) is available on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers. All volunteers are asked to register either by using the form or via email.

Volunteers should bring work gloves, drinking water and appropriate clothing for outdoor work, including long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes.

Southeast Michigan workday locations (counties)

Southwest Michigan workday locations (counties)

The DNR's Volunteer Stewardship Program is a hands-on way for all ages to learn about and protect Michigan's natural resources by collecting native seeds, removing invasive species, conducting plant and animal surveys and other activities. Other ways to volunteer with the DNR include joining a state park friends group, serving as a campground host or a lightkeeper and many other opportunities.

Questions should be directed to Laurel Malvitz (southeast Michigan) at 517-719-2285 or malvitzL@michigan.gov or Heidi Frei (southeast Michigan) at 517-202-1360 or freih@michigan.gov.

Holland State Park's Lake Macatawa Campground temporarily closed for site improvements

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced that the Lake Macatawa Campground, located in Holland State Park in Ottawa County, has closed for a site improvement project. The anticipated reopening date is May 10.

The needed site improvements include repaving campground roads, parking lots and the sanitation station to better accommodate increased sizes of modern-day RVs and camping trailers. In addition, accessibility features including five new campsites and modified water spigots will be implemented to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Moore & Bruggink, Inc. is the design consultant and Katerberg VerHage is the contractor.

"Campers are encouraged to camp at the popular Beach Campground during the site improvement project," said Sean Mulligan, park manager for Holland State Park. This campground officially is slated to open Friday, May 4; however, if the weather cooperates, park staff will open the campground earlier to help offset the temporary Lake Macatawa Campground closures." 

Campers are encouraged to check the Michigan State Parks Online Reservations System at www.midnrreservations.com or the DNR closures page at www.michigan.gov/dnrclosures in the event that the campground opens earlier. Campers also can call 1-800-44PARKS.

This site improvement project was funded by revenue generated through resident and non-resident purchase of the Recreation Passport, which grants vehicle access to 103 Michigan state parks, state forest campgrounds, fee-based boat launches and parking for hundreds of miles of trails. 

Additional information on closures and trail detours in DNR facilities, including state boating facilities, trails, parks and campgrounds, are listed at www.michigan.gov/dnrclosures. For more information on the project, contact Joe Strach at 517-284-4746 or strachj@michigan.gov.

52nd Annual Detroit Camper & RV Show Expects Big Crowd

Based on a host of favorable factors – including a rare override of a governor’s sales tax veto – officials at the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) are expecting a huge turnout for the upcoming Detroit Camper & RV Show, which is slated for Feb. 7-11 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich.

MARVAC Director Darren Ing said that the Jan. 17 vote by the Republican-led Michigan Legislature to override Gov. Rick Snyder’s veto of a speedier sales tax cut for those who trade in their car or RV for a new one represents a “huge win” for MARVAC, which had long championed the legislation.

“So let’s say you have a $50,000 trade-in on the purchase of a new $100,000 motorhome. You now only have to pay the sales tax on the remaining $50,000 after the trade-in. That’s a huge win for us, a huge win for our dealers and, more importantly, a huge win for consumers,” Ing said. “It’s perfect timing for our show. If there was any consumer who had been sitting on the fence about trading in their RV for a new one, now’s the time they should do it.”

Other promising factors are more familiar to the rest of the RV industry, Ing mentioned, such as strong consumer confidence, low interest rates, and the appeal of the RV lifestyle that has never been more popular. In addition, other RV shows elsewhere in Michigan and throughout the country have reported solid attendance and the recently completed Florida RV SuperShow, which also saw record attendance, also serves as a barometer of sorts for the Detroit RV Show, Ing pointed out.

“We’re anticipating a great turnout,” he said.

The show itself will feature more than 280 RVs and 50 brands on display – including folding campers, motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheel travel trailers, toy haulers and a park model – ranging in price from $6,995 to more than $400,000. In addition, dozens of exhibitors featuring parts and accessories, campground information, on-site RV financing and RV rentals promise to make this the complete RV show experience.

Another highlight are a wide range of seminars as well as a special appearance by “Under the Radar Michigan” (UTR) hosts Tom Daldin and Jim Edelman, who will discuss UTR and a drive they took in an RV for an upcoming episode. Also, consumers can pick up a copy of the 2018 “Michigan RV & Campgrounds” directory.

Show hours are 2-9 p.m., weekdays; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday. Adult admission (ages 13 and older) is $10; senior admission (55 and older) is $9; and children 12 and younger get in free. Parking is not included in show admission. Coupons are available at www.marvac.org, Pinterest, Tubby’s Sub Shops, Big Boy restaurants and in area newspapers.

For more information, including a rundown of the seminars, visit www.marvac.org.

Long, Long Honeymoon videos: Trimax Chock & Lock Review, Finding Overnight Parking & Campsites, RV Industry Trade Show, RVing in New Orleans, Socializing, & Bilstein Shocks Upgrade




About the Long, Long Honeymoon
After getting married in the Florida Keys, C.S. (Sean) and Kristy Michael spent their wedding night in their newly purchased recreational vehicle — a 25-foot Airstream travel trailer. Instead of jaunting off to honeymoon on a posh Pacific island, the newlyweds hitched up their trusty Ford diesel truck (nicknamed “SEEMORE”) and started exploring America.

Their “long long honeymoon” journey has stretched over 100,000 miles and 49 States, ranging from Key West (the southernmost point in the United States) all the way up to Fairbanks, Alaska. They have camped in every conceivable environment, from scenic national parks to less-than-exotic asphalt parking lots.

A writer and filmmaker, Sean totes his video camera everywhere, relentlessly documenting the experience. And in addition to Sean’s filmmaking equipment, the couple always pack their sense of humor. Their blog explores the lighter side of RV life; or as Kristy says, “the fun stuff!”

Why do they do it? “Because life should be a long long honeymoon…”

You can catch Sean and Kristy’s latest RV adventures (including all of their videos in glorious high-definition) on their website: LongLongHoneymoon.com. When not aboard their Airstream, the newlyweds divide their time between homes in Alabama and Florida. But you can always reach them via email at HoneymoonShow@aol.com.

Registration is Open for RVSEF Safety Conference

Registration is open for the Recreation Vehicle Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF) RV Technical Education & Safety Conference is set to run Sept. 27-Oct. 1 in Elizabethtown, Ky.

“The RVSEF RV Technical Education & Safety Conference has been called an RV academy, RV school, and a college for RVers, but the best description would be that it is a pure learning opportunity for RV enthusiasts, new or potentially new RV owners and seasoned RV veterans who want to know more about everything RV. The conference is focused solely on education with a personal touch, so I guess any of those titles would work,” said Walter Cannon, RVSEF executive director. “Our curriculum covers technical topics, safety topics and lifestyle topics. Hands-on driving is also offered before and after the conference, for those who own their own RV. For those who don’t own yet, we have a couple units made available to us through Skaggs RV.”

Instructors for the technical training offer years of accumulated education, knowledge and experience. In addition Vice President of Standards Bruce Hopkins and Director of Education Shannon Lee with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and Dave Mihalick, director of vehicle safety and regulator compliance for Thor Industries Inc., are slated as guest speakers.

Enrollment is limited to 200 attendees, 25 dry camping spaces, and 30 hands-on driving classes on a first-come-first-served basis. To register visit www.rvsafety.com.

RV Education 101 videos: RV Battery Tips, Preview of 2018 RVs, 30 vs 50 Amp, and How To Reseal & Replace RV 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"

RV Geeks: Winter RVing Secret Weapon, Water Heater Flush & Inspection, Plumbing Leak Diagnosis & Repair and Replace an RV Water Heater Thermostat



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.

Stewardship volunteers needed throughout January in southern Michigan state parks

Volunteers help restore park ecosystems by assisting
in volunteer workdays that take place each month in
southern Michigan. (DNR photo)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host a number of volunteer stewardship workdays in January at state parks and recreation areas in southeast and southwest Michigan.

Volunteers are needed to help locate and remove nonnative, invasive shrubs that threaten to crowd out native plants and disrupt balance in high-quality ecosystems. Workdays are an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors while restoring Michigan's ecosystems and learning about its inhabitants.

The calendar of volunteer stewardship workdays (which includes workday details, the stewardship volunteer registration form and links to individual park maps and directions) is available on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers. All volunteers are asked to register either by using the form or via email.

Volunteers should bring work gloves, drinking water and appropriate clothing for outdoor work, including long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes.

Southeast Michigan workdays

Southwest Michigan workdays

The DNR's Volunteer Stewardship Program is a hands-on way for all ages to learn about and protect Michigan's natural resources by collecting native seeds, removing invasive species, conducting plant and animal surveys and other activities. Other ways to volunteer with the DNR include joining a state park friends group, serving as a campground host or a lightkeeper and many other opportunities.

Questions should be directed to Laurel Malvitz (southeast Michigan) at 517-719-2285 or malvitzL@michigan.gov or Heidi Frei (southeast Michigan) at 517-202-1360 or freih@michigan.gov.

Rollin' on TV: A Look Back at 2017



On this week's program (#2017-26), Rollin' On TV wraps up the previous year with a look back at some of the RVs, destinations and people featured in 2017.

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.