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Making Memorial Day Memories…

Thursday, June 01 2023

Memorial Day weekend. The official, “unofficial” start of summer. I feel like a kid just before Christmas. I’ve been watching the calendar for weeks—okay, months—in breathless anticipation for that glorious Fri-yay! that begins the long weekend.

We booked our favorite spot many months ago (hint, hint). Our destination is an easy drive from our home base—yes, we’re lucky enough to live where campgrounds are plentiful and beautiful. We’ll be getting an early start on Friday at o’dark thirty. We can’t beat the crowds completely, but getting a head start reduces headache and hassle.

The rig will be packed with all our essentials, starting with all the necessary nourishment. Four, humongous tomahawk steaks will find their way into the cooler. Each procured, and neatly trimmed, by our favorite local butcher (Thanks, Mark!) They’ll be grilled to perfection on Stromberg’s Stake & Grill; a handy item that turns any campfire into an easily adjustable grill. A few burgers and dogs will likely make an appearance, but the steaks are the feature attraction.

Since our campground is just steps from the lake, we’ll definitely enjoy time on the water. The bass and perch are plentiful and very responsive to live bait fished from shore. After watching the sun fade behind the trees, we’ll fire up the, well, fire. We’ll toast the starry sky with raised glass as we listen to the nightly chorus of insects. In the morning, a bracing dip in the chilly water will wash away any cobwebs from the night before.

Like every vacation, time will fly by way too fast. But the shared stories and laughter will linger long after the campfire embers have died. Like any good RVer, we’ll be planning (and dreaming about) our next adventure in no time. Isn’t life great?!

Happy Camping,


Don’t bug me…seriously!

Monday, May 01 2023

Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, I think we can all agree on one thing. The temps have definitely been getting toastier. I remember as a kid, it was nothing to walk to school in 6+ inches of snow and think nothing of it. Here in the north, there was constant snow on the ground from November to April (sometimes May.) Not anymore. The past few winters, we’ve had big patches of green in our yard in January and February.

Don’t get me wrong…I love the warm weather. There’s nothing like golfing on a 70-degree day in early April. But there’s a reality to this…bugs love the warm weather too. Just like the temps, their numbers are on the rise. I’m not just talking mosquitos. Ticks, chiggers and other ankle biters are out in force. And if you think their bites are bad, consider the diseases they carry.

All the more reason to take care before you head out for a hike. Follow these simple, tick-prevention tips so you can step safely.

  1. Ticks become active around 45 degrees, so it you think cool weather keeps them dormant, think again. Apply your bug dope just to be safe.
  2. Know where ticks hang out. A tick will climb to the end of a long blade of grass or similar ground cover and wait for a host—that’s you!—to walk by and brush up against it.
  3. Dress appropriately. Eliminate openings where ticks can access skin. Tuck your pants into your boots. Wear long sleeves. Dress in light-colored clothing.
  4. Use bug dope, preferably one with DEET, permethrin or picaridin. Apply liberally and everywhere.
  5. When you’re out of the woods, check yourself…CAREFULLY. Check companions, children and pets too. If you find a tick and it hasn’t attached, don’t panic. Remove it like you would any other little bugger. If it has attached, remove it carefully with a set of fine-tipped tweezers. If you develop a rash or fever, consult your doctor immediately.

One last tip…don’t let the bugs keep you from enjoying the wonders of nature. With a few simple, sensible precautions, you’ll be able to enjoy the great outdoors, worry free and tick-free.

Happy Camping!


Headed Home…to where the heart is.

Thursday, March 30 2023

Africa calls it the Great Migration. At the same time every year, over a million wildebeest begin a 1,200-mile trek across the African plains in search of water and greener grazing lands. They say this great journey is spurred on by the change of seasons and incoming weather. We RV-ers can definitely relate.

It’s March. The warming weather of spring is calling many of us back north. We’ve soaked up all the sun the south could offer. It’s time to go home.

I’m conflicted about this grand migration. On one hand, it’s always great to be home, in a house, in my own bed. Life follows a predictable, but welcome, pattern here. There’s yardwork to do. Mail to go through. Family and friends to reconnect with. It’s all very satisfying.

But then there are things we’ll definitely miss about the sunny south. Reliable golfing weather. Shorts and flip flops. Long, sunrise walks on the beach. And probably most of all, the “fair weather” friends who have shared our months-long escape from the snow and ice.

In the end, we welcome this seasonal sojourn. It’s the “circle” of the RV life. So as you’re packing your rig and clearing the campground, be glad that you can still make the long journey. You’re leaving with memories and traveling in comfort. And, oh yeah, you’re not being chased by lions either.

Safe and happy travels,


Dreaming on a Wintry Day…

Wednesday, March 01 2023

February is a weird month. Only 28 days and yet it can feel like an eternity…especially with the biting wind and driving snow (for those of us crazy enough to tough it out Up North). We start the month hoping a large rodent won’t see its shadow. And, of course, it always does. In the middle of the month, we’re demonstrating our love with help from Hallmark and Godiva. By month’s end—if we’re on our game—we’ve pretty much cemented our plans for our summer sojourns into the Great Wide Open.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been getting the itch to hit the road earlier and more often in recent years. Maybe it’s the natural progression of time. Or maybe just the increased speed of that passage. Whatever it is, I need to feel those tires rolling under my feet. I need to see the mountains, valleys and even the long stretches of wheat and corn fade behind me. Most importantly, I need to put the everyday craziness in my rear view mirror, if only for a few days.

So here I find myself, tapping away on my keyboard, as the snow whips sideways past my window. My mind wanders, as I peruse gorgeous pics of the places I’ll be in a few short—but not short enough—months. I see me and the grandkids on a wooden dock, bobbers bouncing on the water until they’re suddenly pulled under. I hear the long, lonesome call of the loon as the last rays of the day dip behind the hills. I smell air so clean that my lungs can’t get enough of it.

Ah, summer…soon. Very soon.

Hang in there and Happy Camping


It’s winter! It’s show time!

Tuesday, January 31 2023

I’m convinced there are two types of winter RVers. Those who, like Canada geese, make a beeline south as soon as the first frost hits. Then there’s the second type…who, in the middle of January, all wish they were the first type.

If you weren’t lucky enough to escape to the land of warm sun and cold beverages this year, I have two words of advice: RV Shows. It’s no coincidence that RV dealers haul their Class A’s into convention centers in the middle of winter. People want an escape from the cold and gray. RV shows provide that. And if you plan your visit just right, they provide a lot more too.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your show experience:

  1. Go with a plan. And a budget. – It’s fun to dream big, especially when you’re surrounded by the latest in luxury motorhomes. But know what you want and what you can afford. It will make your search more focused and rewarding.
  2. Ask questions. Lots of questions. – The best RV dealers know their stuff and aim to please. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything related to the purchasing, owning and maintaining of your rig. The only bad question is the one you don’t ask.
  3. Bring the fam – If you’ll be traveling with more than just the two of you, bring the kids and grandkids along. Make sure the space and amenities match your lifestyle wants and needs.
  4. Take photos – There’s a lot to see at a show…so much so, it can be hard to take it all in. So take pictures. Plenty of pictures. Decisions are easier to make later on when you have photos you can reference.
  5. Wear comfortable shoes – You’re going to do a lot of walking and stair climbing. Wear shoes that are up to the job.
  6. Relax. Have fun. – If nothing else, an RV show is a great reason to get out of the house on a cold, winter’s day. Enjoy your time exploring. Don’t feel pushed or pressured. Hey, it’s called a “recreation” vehicle for a reason.

If you’re headed to a show, tell ‘em Bob sent ya.



Twas the Night Before Christmas…in the RV Park

Monday, December 19 2022

Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the park.
Colored lights were a’ twinklin’
To brighten the dark.

They hung on the canopy
And round our RV.
It all looked so festive,
As the neighbors could see.

Our kids were up north
While we snowbirded here.
With welcome warm temps
And skies, blue and clear.

We’d finished our round
And stored clubs away.
Had dinner with friends
We’d call it a day.

Momma in her hoody
And me in my jams
Had settled ourselves
For a new Netflix program.

When all of a sudden
We heard a great “wump”.
It was not quite a bang
Yet not quite a bump.

I jumped to the window
Pulled up the blinds
And quickly concluded
I’m losing my mind.

For there in site 12
In a shiny Class A
Was Santa himself.
But where was his sleigh?

His 30 foot rig
Was painted in cherry
With trim made of holly
It was certainly merry.

Santa had no red suit
His shirt was Hawaiian
He wore shades that were cool
Without even tryin’

His laugh was still hearty
And his big sack was stuffed
With goodies and gifts
So all got enough.

He left each a present
Without a sound or a jingle
Then boarded his rig
That merry Kris Kringle.

And quicker than lightning
He took to the sky.
Who would have thought,
A Winnebago could fly?

I heard him exclaim
quite loud and quite long
Happy Camping to all!
And stay Stromberg Strong!

Home is where our heart is…

Wednesday, November 30 2022

Thanksgiving is over. The cheerful house guests have all gone home. The last leftover turkey sandwich has been consumed (the stuffing and mashies were gone by Friday.) Home is quiet again. Which gives me a little time to relax and reflect on Thanksgiving and the holidays in general.

I have so much to be thankful for. A warm, loving family. Great friends to share a smile, story, or complaint with when needed. Not to mention the amazing places and people we’ve been able to visit throughout our many years on the road. There are too many blessings to count.

I guess what I’m really thankful for are all the memories that come flooding back to me when I have some downtime. I think back to when the kids were little and we’d spend long weekends at our favorite Northern Michigan park…convenient, close to home, and it still felt like getting away from it all. I also think about being first-time “empty nesters” when we could finally take those big, bucket-list trips. Now with grand kids, we love sharing the great outdoors with a whole new generation of RVers. It’s a full circle kind of thing that makes the whole family feel connected and complete.

So, yes, I love the traveling lifestyle. But for all the miles and special moments, there’s something to be said for being at home. The environment is comfortable and familiar. The days are thankfully predictable. And I can quickly take the tarp off the rig when the adventure bug bites.

I hope your holiday season gives you plenty to be thankful for…wherever you’re headed.



Ready for a grand fall finale?

Wednesday, October 26 2022

I think October might be my favorite month. The temps get comfortable. The bugs die down. And nature puts on the most amazing show. As I watch the geese overhead depart for warmer climates, it reminds me that I need to get my act in gear. I need to get in that last, long weekend trip before the flakes fly.

If you’re like me, you probably do all your big, bucket-list trips over the summer. But come fall, I like to keep things simple. Convenience is the name of the game. Camping close to home (within three hours for me) means I get to spend more time camping and less time driving.

But fall camping requires some smart planning. Fall is fickle. It can be 70 degrees one day (or hour!) and 30 the next. I bring clothes for layering. I pack extra blankets too. The weather doesn’t affect just me either; my rig is impacted too. Cooler temps can mean lower tire pressure. I check the tires regularly to ensure top-end performance and safety. I also keep an eye on our heating system. Before I even pull out of the driveway, I check hoses. Mice love chewing these and I don’t want any surprises, especially on a chilly morning in some remote location.

Chilly nights can also affect your water system. If the temps are going to be near freezing, I open our cabinets to allow heat to reach the pipes. I also pack some RV antifreeze. I even add a small amount to the black and gray tanks to prevent problems. I also bring an electric space heater…better safe than sorry, right?

Lastly, as we’re prepping to go home, I pull out a broom and sweep off our slide outs. It’s amazing how many leaves and pine needles can pile up here in just a couple days. This little exercise ensures that nature stays where it belongs…on the ground, not on our carpet.

If you’re headed out soon for your “grand fall finale”, I wish you all the best. Stay safe, warm and take in all the beauty that our great outdoors provides.



It’s Tailgating Time!

Tuesday, September 27 2022

I grew up in a football family that also owned an RV business. This meant fall weekends were often spent surrounded by other diehard fans and RVers, cooking brats, cracking jokes and making predictions about the upcoming game. Tailgating was a weekend tradition.

Even today, the cool fall air and heated team rivalries get me fired up for some pre-game excitement. I never was much for face painting and donning all the logo wear, but I still had plenty of team spirit and could scream and cheer with the best of ‘em. The Michigan State Spartans are my team. I still remember weekends outside Spartan Stadium, the crisp fall air, the red and yellow leaves waving like banners in the breeze. And frenzied friends having far too much fun. The memories have never left me.

Today, weekends tend to be more tame. Yard/house work and everyday errands tend to take up my time. I still follow the Spartans. But it’s been more years than I care to count since I tailgated in East Lansing. My RV adventures now are usually reserved for family get-togethers, enjoying the kind of peace and quiet that only nature can provide. This suits me just fine. Although, it wouldn’t take much persuading to get me to join Spartan Nation for a tailgating trip down Memory Lane. Now if someone would just invite me….

Shameless Plug…a tailgating must!

If you are tailgating this season, give our new Base Pad Shoes a try. They slip on to your jack pad, just like a shoe, to shore up your RV’s foundation. You won’t tear up the grass or ground where you’re tailgating…the property owner will be really happy! What’s more, no more storing pads with dirt and mud caked on them. Lastly, they’re quality made with molded rubber, instead of crumb rubber that’s just glued together. Our Base Pad Shoes will last long after the season is over.

If you’re heading out this weekend to cheer your team on, enjoy!

Go Sparty!


Back to school means back on the road…

Wednesday, August 31 2022

As a kid, I always had mixed feelings about this time of year. On one hand, I looked forward to seeing all my buddies again at school. The newness of the new school year always thrilled me. On the other hand, I would miss the pure freedom of summer. The long, sunny days filled with excitement and very little expectation from the adults. My time was mostly my own.

Today, things are different. When September is staring me down, I look outside. To the open road…and I’m ready to go. The heat of summer is starting to cool. The crazy traffic is slowing down. And the parks, near and far, have more spaces for me and mine to stretch out in the great wide open.

For me, you just can’t beat that last trip before September and fall is in full swing. Here are some spots that are close enough to be convenient (for me, anyway) yet far enough away to feed my “adventure bug”.

• Porcupine Mountains (Michigan) – The Porkies are a magical place. Located in the far western part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the area is a nature lover’s paradise. This quiet corner of the state has it all—cascading waterfalls, towering pines, breathtaking views of big water and miles of scenic hiking trails. Plan a four-day weekend and bring your binoculars and a comfortable pair of hiking shoes. Or if you prefer, a good load of firewood and a great book. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

• Wayne National Forest (Ohio) – Located 50 minutes southeast of Columbus, Wayne National Forest feels much further away than that. Covering almost 250,000 acres, the area is a patchwork of rolling hills, open meadows and accessible forests. The area has 130 fishable ponds and lakes, so pack your rods and tackle box. The woods are laced with miles of trails too, so bring those mountain bikes. The major hubs of Ohio are all within an hour or so driving distance, so big city excitement is always an option too.

• Sault St. Marie (Ontario) – It’s not often I need my passport to go camping, but it’s well worth the little extra security check to head north of the border. The Soo offers a number of camping options, so you have your choice. Several places are right on the big water; perfect for long beach strolls or even charter boat fishing. Other campgrounds are tucked into the woods, letting you enjoy some much-earned peace and quiet. Or, if you’re feeling lucky, there are a couple parks right near the casino. Make your plans early and enjoy the Soo for all it’s worth.

I hope you find some time to get away before the leaves (or, gulp, the snow) starts to fall. If you do, share your stories with us on Facebook.



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