Airstream Photography by Brett Scarola

A few days ago, one of our sales pros, Brian Mallory, walked up to me with a gorgeous, vintage airstream photo in his hand. The image was created by Austin photographer Brett Scarola and the magic of the iconic Airstream and mood of the moment was all captured there on the print.

Photo Copyright Brett Scarola. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Copyright Brett Scarola. All Rights Reserved.

Jealous, I promptly went online to Brett Scarola’s Etsy Store and found a treasure trove of photos rendered with a vintage look. The store features classic Central Texas images such as Guero’s Taco Bar on South Congress, the famous dance hall in Gruene, fields of bluebonnets, and Hamilton Pool. My favorites, of course, are those that showcase the Airstreams in all their silver glory.

At Camper Clinic II, we’re lucky to meet lots of creative adventurers (and always take time to sit back and admire their Airstreams). If you’re adding a taste of Texas to your décor – or if you’re in the mood for something customized just for you – check out Brett Scarola.

–Elaine Acker

Airstream Interstate Best Selling Touring Coach

AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE REMAINS TOP SELLING TYPE B MOTORHOME MODEL FOR THIRD YEAR IN A ROW

Jackson Center, Ohio (February 19, 2013) – Airstream announced today the brand’s popular Interstate is the #1 selling Type B motorhome in the U.S. for the third year in a row, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.

2014.5_Interstates_Color_Choices_Web

In 2013, Airstream Interstate unit sales increased 48 percent over 2012 – nearly three times the overall segment growth which was up 15.9 percent year over year. The Interstate now has nearly 23 percent market share in the touring coach segment.

“The momentum we gained in 2011 and 2012 has carried us for another year,” said Airstream CEO and President Bob Wheeler. “To keep things rolling, we unveiled a new Interstate model at the end of 2013 in an effort to enhance the product and experience for our buyers. We think these changes will only magnify interest as we move into 2014.”

The Airstream Interstate motorhome continues the tradition of extraordinary design and handcrafted quality that has made Airstream a style classic for 82 years. It serves as a fuel-efficient, luxurious and safe way for travelers to explore the open road and includes nearly two dozen “Best in Class” Mercedes-Benz features, enhancements and a renewed commitment to safety and refined luxury. The Interstate has a MSRP of $146,300, and $149,006 for the EXT model.

Our dealers are also very instrumental to the success of the Interstate, and we appreciate their hard work over the last three years in helping Airstream maintain the top retail spot for B Vans,” said Wheeler. Camper Clinic II is proud to be one of those dealers, and among the top dealers in the nation.

Airstream had a record-setting 2013, making it the best-selling year in the company’s 82-year history. The demand for Airstream’s design-driven products led to the company’s largest backlog in more than 30 years.

Get a Lifetime Warranty with your New RV

Camper Clinic II now offers  a Lifetime Warranty on Every New RV

Campfire_and_Guitar_WebWhen I bought my first Airstream RV in 2008, I’d have loved to have had a lifetime warranty for my new RV. I was new to the RV lifestyle, so I had lots of questions and concerns. But I knew I loved travel and the outdoors. I also knew I was at a point in my life where I would appreciate a few creature comforts. I quickly learned how to operate and maintain my RV, and that RV gave me lots of happy family memories I wouldn’t trade for the world. But the peace of mind that came with the warranty would’ve been awesome.

The great news is that my next RV will come with a lifetime warranty, because starting today, Camper Clinic II will be including the RV Warranty Forever program with every new RV they sell (including Airstreams!).

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering, “What does it cost?” and “What’s the catch?”

RV Warranty Forever Lifetime Warranty

The warranty is included at no additional charge, and there is no catch. It’s very straightforward. Here’s how it works:

  • You do have to perform annual maintenance on your RV. (Yes, it has to be done professionally. No, it doesn’t have to be done at Camper Clinic II, although they’ve got a great service department.) We all do it for our cars and trucks – we can certainly do it for our RVs as well.
  • Send your Annual Maintenance Record Coupon to RV Warranty Forever.
  • That’s it. You’re now covered for as long as you own your RV. There’s no deductible, and the program pays 100% parts and labor for the covered components.

Check out the details of what’s covered in the video below!

This lifetime warranty is backed by the largest A-rated insurance company in the automotive industry, so you can buy your next RV from Camper Clinic II with confidence.

To learn more, call Camper Clinic II: 800-781-7848, or visit them at 15855 South IH-35 in Buda, TX. They’ll also be at the Boat and RV Show in Austin January 16-19!

~ G. Elaine Acker

Airstreams are Green!

SilverIsGreenWith Earth Day coming up on Monday, April 22, I started thinking about (and appreciating!) how “green” my Airstream is, and how environmentally friendly these shiny silver campers have been for the past 80+ years.

First, nearly 70% of all Airstreams ever made are still on the road today. They’re not taking up space in land fills. Second, they’re constructed primarily of aluminum, which is easy to recycle should the unfortunate need arise. And finally, and maybe most important, they’re aerodynamic, which also means fuel efficient. Whether you’re towing a vintage Airstream or the newest, 2013 Airstream models  you’ll save 10 – 20% on fuel costs with every road trip you take!

When I started checking the facts on the fuel efficiency, I found this video showcasing the Airstream performance on a test track. The video says it much better than I can – take a look!

I’ll have more on Earth Day activities as we get closer to April 22nd, but I just had to kick off the “green” discussions with a nod to Airstream!

~ G. Elaine Acker

Have you seen the new 2013 Airstream Bunkhouse model?

Wednesday is the first day of Spring! And along with spring fever, I always get the urge to shop the new Airstream models! No, I’m still not ditching my beloved International, but I can’t resist a visit to Camper Clinic II to check out their inventory of 2013 Airstreams.

BunkWhile I was browsing online this morning, I found this brand new bunkhouse floorplan, which I haven’t seen in several years. I previously owned a 25-foot International, and the one I have now is a 27-foot. This Airstream Flying Cloud Bunkhouse model is a 30-footer, and it seems to combine the very best of my other two Airstreams.

c2t0516-06I like that there’s plenty of space to sleep six people – not that I usually want six people in my trailer, but at least it’s possible! There are several color packages. I love the honey-colored interior cabinetry, which blends beautifully with the soft, golden ultraleather upholstery, and the kitchen and bathroom offer just enough extra elbow room.

c2t0515-07The ultraleather has already sold (figures!) but there’s a gorgeous mocha blue one in stock.

If you pop over to the Camper Clinic II website, you’ll find the slideshow with all the photos. If you’re feeling the spring fever, like me, surf on over and check it out!

Happy Spring!

~G. Elaine Acker

How to Prep your RV for Spring

Here’s a 13-Point Checklist for Preparing your RV for Spring

StabilizerBelieve it or not, the first day of spring is just eight days away! Which means it’s time for a little travel trailer spring preparation. I made a quick checklist of the items on my to-do list. Let me know if you think of anything else I’ve missed!

  1. Did you winterize your RV? If so, you’ll need to de-winterize it, drain any antifreeze from the tanks and lines, and flush and sanitize the entire system. (You really do not want leftover antifreeze in your drinking water.) I could spend an entire blog post on this process, but you should be able to find the best recommendations for your RV in your owner’s manual.
  2. Inspect the water system by checking the water faucets for leaks and checking the operation of the toilet.
  3. Give your camper a good scrub.  This does two things. First, you’ll look good rolling down the road, and second, you’ll be able to check for little details like leaks around window seals and doors, and leaks in the roof around any roof vents.
  4. Lubricate everything that needs lubricating. This includes window seals, stabilizers, jacks, hinges, steps, etc.
  5. Open the awning and clean it and inspect it for any wear and tear.
  6. Check out the tires. How’s the tread? Any signs of rot? How’s the tire pressure?
  7. Consider greasing the wheel bearings now. If you don’t want to do it yourself, schedule service with Camper Clinic II.
  8. How are the batteries holding up? Do they keep a good charge? Or is it time to replace them?
  9. Give the interior a good, detailed cleaning.
  10. Test the appliances.
  11. Test your heat pump and air conditioner. Clean or change the filters.
  12. Test any smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, and check out your fire extinguisher? Is it out of date?
  13. If your state requires an inspection sticker, is yours up to date? (Hint: Texas does require an inspection!AwningAlternatively, you can take the easy way out on your RV maintenance checklist for spring, as I sometimes do. The good folks in the Camper Clinic II service department are always standing by to help. Every so often, I have them do a full inspection on my Airstream so I can keep it in tip top shape. Their experienced eyes can always detect little minor repairs before they become big issues out on the road, and I figure that’s money well spent!

Here’s to a fun-filled Spring! And be sure to let me know of anything else you’d recommend including on the checklist!

~ G. Elaine Acker

RV Rallies 2013

Hook up your travel trailer and make plans to hob nob with your fellow RV enthusiasts in 2013!

AirstreamNot long ago, I was waiting for the dump station at Davis Mountains State Park, and met a great couple who’d been traveling with the Escapees RV Club and attending RV rallies all over the U.S. (It’s amazing what you can learn at the dump station!)

Attending a rally has been on my list for some time, so as I pondered my travel adventures for 2013, I finally did some research. I found lots of info on upcoming events and travel groups, and thought I’d share. Maybe I’ll see you at one of these rallies next year!

The Escapees RV Club is a membership organization, and they plan HOPs (Head Out Programs) all over the world. These include U.S. based RV excursions as well as international travel and their prices are super reasonable. There’s a Savannah HOP planned for April 10, 2013 that looks like lots of fun. If you go, you’ll be camping at the Savannah South KOA, enjoying a walking tour of Savannah, and saying “mmmm” a lot when you eat out at Food Network Chef Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons.

Good Sam is also a membership organization, and they’re planning a 13-day Cajun Country RV Caravan starting on February 16 in New Orleans.  Good Sam also hosts what they call “The Greatest RV Rally in the World.” In 2012, it was held at Daytona, and involved more than 3,500 RVs and 7,290 people. That may be a few too many people for my taste, but if you’re interested, they’re doing it again next year in Syracuse, New York.

Rally

Boondocking made easy! Photo Credit: Howard Payne, RV-Dreams

If you’re looking for something in the Western U.S., you can spend Valentine’s day in the desert in Quartzsite, Arizona. RV-Dreams is offering a “Boondocking for Novices” rally from February 10-24, and you can decide for yourself how long you’d like to stay. . They’ve also got a spring rally planned for Elephant Butte, New Mexico, from March 19-24.

Finally, if you’re fond of Airstreams (like me!) you can plan to attend Alumapalooza from May 28 through June 2 where you can camp on the field right next to the Airstream manufacturing building in Jackson Center, Ohio. The week includes Airstream tours, musical entertainment, roving happy hours, and workshops that range from Dutch oven cooking to Airstream maintenance.

Even more Airstream events can be found on the AirForums site.

So many rallies, so little time! Which one should I choose? If you’ve been to a rally before, post a note and let me know how it went!

~ G. Elaine Acker

 

 

 

 

10 Favorite Texas Hikes

This month, we’re highlighting Texas Parks and Wildlife. And for every new “like” on Facebook, Camper Clinic II is donating $1 to help save Texas’ State Parks.  Please “like” our page on Facebook and “share” links to our campaign with your friends and fans!

Cattail Falls

Many thanks to Lance Snead for sharing this gorgeous image from Cattail Falls in Big Bend National Park!

What makes a great hike? Sometimes it’s the scenery or the history, but most often, for me, it’s the memories made along the way.  Which means that what really counts is that you take that travel trailer out, set up camp in your favorite landscape, then go outside and play!

This morning, I started writing this post to highlight a few of my favorite Texas State Park hikes. But then I started remembering good times in Big Bend National Park, the “favorites” list kept getting longer.  So I’ll share my top five here, and post the next five later this week. I’ll be interested in hearing your suggestions for new favorites, too!

Here are the first five on my list of 10 personal favorite hiking spots and ideas about where to set up your camper:

Seminole Canyon State Park – Located in Comstock, Texas, just west of Del Rio, Seminole Canyon was home to prehistoric Indians. The park offers guided, 2-mile hikes (moderately strenuous) to the bottom of the canyon and then up to the Fate Bell Shelter, one of the oldest cave dwellings in America. The first time I visited and saw the rock art paintings, the place captured my imagination, and made me wonder what it would take to not only survive, but thrive, living in the Chihuahuan Desert. I started meeting with archeologists and first wrote an article for Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, and later, a book called Life in a Rock Shelter. This hike remains my favorite after all these years.  

Camping: Facilities include 23 campsites with water and electric hookups.

Colorado Bend State Park – Near Bend, Texas, Colorado Bend is situated on the Colorado River. There’s plenty to do there, from fishing and paddling, to wild cave tours, but one of my favorite activities is the hike to Gorman Falls. It’s a 1.5-mile round trip hike on the guided tour, or, a rugged, 3-mile hike along the Gorman Falls trail. At 60-feet high, the falls are startling, with rushing water and ferns you’d expect to find in a lush tropical environment rather than Central Texas.

Camping: Facilities include 9 “boon docking” campsites. There are no hookups or dump facilities.

Cattail Falls – My sister and I discovered this hidden gem of a hike courtesy of our friends at Far Flung Adventures, and I’m sharing it with you on the condition that you promise you’ll treat the area with the utmost respect. The ecosystem along this trail is so fragile you won’t find the trail on the park maps.

The trailhead is off Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive near Sam Nail Ranch (you’ll turn onto an unmarked dirt road and travel about a half mile to the trailhead. Once you’re there, you’ll see a sign by an oak.) It’s a four-mile round trip hike, and on a morning hike, you may see a diversity of wildlife along the trail. The real attraction is at the end of the trail, however, when you’ll find a cascading waterfall and crystal clear pool. (You’re basically on the back side of the popular “window” formation in the basin.) Please do not go into the pool! Just sit beside it, relax, and enjoy a quiet break.

Sunset at Big Bend Resort

I’ve enjoyed a few warm sunsets at Big Bend Resort.

Camping: You can stay at the Basin Campground if your trailer will fit. Because of the winding roads and small campsites, park officials advise those towing trailer rigs of 20 feet or more to think twice before attempting to camp at the Basin. Alternatively, you may want to check out Big Bend Resort & Adventures.

Santa Elena Canyon – It’s the sound of a canyon wren I remember most from this hike. The trailhead starts at the end of Ross Maxwell scenic drive and is only 1.7 miles long. It can get interesting, though, as you cross Terlingua Creek. Be sure it’s safe before you cross. If the current is swift, you’ll want to save this hike for another day. If it’s safe to cross, you’ll follow the trail into the canyon, along the Rio Grande, and through huge bounders.  Pack a lunch, because you’ll want to hang out awhile along the river.

Camping: Try making Big Bend Resort & Adventures your home base. They have 131 sites and full hookups.

 

Enchanted Rock

Sometimes, it’s about sharing the hike with someone fun! It was chilly, but my friend Sharon and I had a blast at Enchanted Rock!

Enchanted Rock – Enchanted Rock is a 425-foot high pink granite dome with a trail that goes straight up the side of the dome. At the top, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the Hill Country, and you can explore a small cave. This trail is a great half-day adventure, and is an easy trip from Austin or Fredericksburg.

Camping: You wont find any trailer sites at Enchanted Rock, but there are numerous choices in nearby Fredericksburg.  The Fredericksburg website should help you get started.

Where should I go hiking next? What are your recommendations?

 

Be sure to share photos of YOUR favorite hikes for a chance to win a free, one-year Texas State Parks Pass!

~G. Elaine Acker

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Yesterday, I set up my Airstream at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s RV park. It’s rally-style parking, which means it’s cozy. But on the bright side, you make lots of new friends fast!

This morning’s flight was a no-go because of rain and wind, but the sun has since come out, so we’re hoping for a fabulous balloon glow this evening, along with some fantastic fireworks.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures that prove there are plenty of ways to stay entertained, even when the weather doesn’t cooperate!

 Are you hanging out at the Balloon Fiesta this weekend? What’s your favorite thing so far?

~ G. Elaine Acker

 

 

Texas Fall Foliage

I really wanted to take you with me on an Airstream tour to see all the fabulous fall foliage, but with a state as big as Texas, we’d never see it all!

Luckily, some of our favorite Texas websites have done the driving for us. Here are a few links to help you find scenic drives and prime camping spots close to you.

Fall Foliage Tyler Texas

The City of Tyler is home base for several gorgeous East Texas driving tours. Photo credit: Tyler Texas Online.

From Texas Parks and Wildlife
Whether you’re pulling your camper to the East Texas Pineywoods or setting up in the higher elevations in west Texas’s Davis Mountains State Park, Texas Parks and Wildlife has several great suggestions for places to watch the seasons change.

Click here for Texas Parks and Wildlife’s picks.

And don’t forget that you can still go to Camper Clinic II’s Facebook page, “Like” the page, and Camper Clinic II will add another dollar to its donation to help Texas State Parks. While you’re there, click “share” and help spread the word!

From Texas Highways
In this month’s issue, East Texas photographer Joe Lowery reminds us to slow down and enjoy the view. “I’m often asked how I found a certain scenic location, and how difficult it was to reach the spot,” he writes. “While I have a few adventurous tales to share, for the most part photography is about slowing down long enough to see what we normally rush past.”

Click here to read Joe’s article.

And the magazine offered great ideas from the past couple of years as well.

Click here for picks from 2011.

Click here for picks from 2010.

Finally, Texas Monthly tips its Stetson to McKittrick Canyon and the City of Winnsboro, two often overlooked viewing spots.

Caprock Canyon

Thanks to Dee Dee Honea for sharing this funny picture. What a hoot! And now, Dee Dee’s entered to win too.

If you’re out camping this month, don’t forget to send us YOUR photos of the gorgeous fall colors, the critters along the hiking path, or just photos of happy times with you and your family at your favorite park. When you do, you’ll be entered to win a free one-year Texas Parks pass!

~ G. Elaine Acker