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

How to Carve a Pumpkin

It’s not too late to head out to the local pumpkin patch, grab a pumpkin, and create an impressive jack-o-lantern to decorate the house or RV. Using a stencil, you can carve like a pro, and impress everyone at the RV park!

Pumpkin Stencils1. Shop for a stencil and tools. You can find these at almost any drug or discount store.

2. Cut the pumpkin topUse a large, sharp butcher knife to carefully cut the top out of the pumpkin. You can create a circle, angling the knife toward the center of the pumpkin so that the lid fits snugly, or use a zig-zag pattern.

3. Remove the pumpkin seeds and “guts.” Scrape the inside of the pumpkin on the side where you intend to carve your design to make the wall thinner and easier to carve.

Choose a pumpkin stencilStencilScrape the pumpkin

 

 

 

 
4. Choose a stencil. How ambitious are you? There are easy designs for beginners and complex patterns for experts.

5. Tape the stencil to your pumpkin and use the small plastic hole punch to transfer the design to your pumpkin.

6.Carve the pumpkin Remove the stencil and carve, carve, carve. Refer to your stencil to determine which parts of your design are cut away from the pumpkin, and which remain intact.Carved bat pumpkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Put a candle inside the pumpkin and impress your RV neighbors!

Glowing PumpkinsP.S. Fall means there are great deals available at Camper Clinic in Rockport, and Camper Clinic II in Buda. Shop online right now!

Volunteering for Parks and Campgrounds

If you’ve been enjoying your RV for any time at all, you’ve probably noticed “Park Host” signs in your favorite state parks and campgrounds. These kind people are usually volunteers who live in the park, make life easier for the park staff, and are a huge help to RV travelers.

TPW Volunteer

Photo: Texas Parks and Wildlife.

If you’ve considered volunteering, here are some resources that may be helpful.

1. Texas Parks and Wildlife has an extensive volunteer program. Whether you’re interested in a Park Host position, or want to offer your services as a tour guide, your gift of time can help stretch the parks’ budgets!

2. Likewise, the National Park Service has opportunities available at parks across the country through their Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program. Download their brochure and read all about it.

3. Finally, many private parks offer volunteer opportunities. For example, KOA has a Work Kamper program for seasonal volunteers. Like the National Park Service, KOAs offer opportunities to work anywhere in the country.

Besides making a difference in the great outdoors, RV volunteers also enjoy discounted or free camping fees.

Are you a volunteer? Where are you volunteering? What’s your specialty? Be sure to post a pic or send us a postcard from the road!

~ Elaine

TPWD’s Youngest Elite Angler

Keatyn Eitelman of Pottsboro became Texas’ 25th Elite Freshwater Angler—and the state’s youngest—on August 2, 2013, less than two weeks before his eleventh birthday. He finished this task when he caught a 21.25-inch, 5.5-pound largemouth bass from Lake Texoma on July 23 and submitted it for a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Big Fish Award.

11-year-old Keatyn Eitelman is Texas's youngest elite angler. (Photo by TPWD)

11-year-old Keatyn Eitelman is Texas’s youngest elite angler. (Photo by TPWD)

An Elite Angler is a one-time achievement award for an angler who catches trophy-class fish of five different species, and it’s the perfect pursuit for those who enjoy RV camping in Texas State Parks. There are freshwater and saltwater categories. To be eligible, an angler must earn five freshwater or five saltwater Big Fish Awards. A Big Fish Award is given for a fish meeting or exceeding a minimum length for each species.

Keatyn began his quest on November 28, 2012, when he caught a blue catfish measuring 39.25 inches from Lake Texoma.  Encouraged by his father, Nailen, Keatyn proceeded to collect Big Fish Awards from Lake Texoma for white bass (16.5 inches, December 2, 2012), smallmouth bass (18.5 inches, December 11, 2012), and his largemouth bass.  He also caught a white crappie (18.25 inches) from Lake Fork on March 10, 2013.

The fishing can be good at South Padre. And the sunrise isn't bad either. Photo by Earl Nottingham, TPWD

The fishing can be good at South Padre. And the sunrise isn’t bad either. Photo by Earl Nottingham, TPWD

TPWD offers plenty of prime RV camping spots statewide, and many ways to be recognized as an angler: state and water body records by weight, catch and release records by length, First Fish Awards, Outstanding Angler, Big Fish Awards, and Elite Angler. Visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/fishrecords for all the listings and an application.

 

If you catch a fish you think qualifies, remember to take good pictures of the fish to aid in identification. If the award is based on length, one of the pictures must show the fish on a ruler. Don’t forget to take pictures of yourself holding the fish, too. You’ll want them for TPWD, and it would be fun to post them for your RV friends on Camper Clinic’s Facebook page too!

Your local TPWD fisheries biologist will be happy to help you obtain forms, identify your catch and weigh it on a certified scale. Search for the biologist nearest you at http://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/management/biologist/.

Some grocery stores will weigh fish for you, and bait shops or feed stores may have certified scales. Locations of certified scales can be found at https://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/programs/fishrecords/scales.phtml.

Official Toyota ShareLunker Program Weigh and Holding Stations also have certified scales; locations are listed at http://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/holding/. The fish must be weighed within 3 days of the catch. However, weigh the fish as soon as possible to prevent any weight loss due to regurgitation or dehydration.

If you’re working on your saltwater categories, be sure to visit Camper Clinic in Rockport for all your RV needs. Or if you’re fishing the Hill Country lakes, drop by Camper Clinic II in Buda. We’re here to help you with all your RV needs so you can stay focused on the fish!

Go Paddling on your Next RV Camping Trip

Load the canoe in your toy hauler RV

Take your toy hauler to a Texas State park, and don’t forget the canoe! (Photo by Chase Fountain/TPWD)

Our friends at Texas Parks and Wildlife suggest beating the summer heat with a canoe or kayak outing – the perfect activity for your next RV camping trip to a Texas State Park.

Paddling gets you close to nature and Texas has more than 50 marked and well-mapped Texas paddling trails offering everything from bayou, river and lake routes to adventures through salt-sprayed coastal bays. Check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife site for trail maps, photos, and a list of parks with boats for rent.

Families looking to take the RV out for a little summer fun can readily access a number of nearby paddling trails. There are seven Texas PaddlingTrails within an hour of Camper Clinic II in Buda, and at least seven inland and coastal trails near Camper Clinic‘s original store in Rockport.

“Texas communities love this program, which has experienced huge growth in the past five months,” says Shelly Plante, nature tourism manager for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “We’ve gone from 38 trails to 55 since February and have another two dozen proposed trails in various stages of the certification process.”

Pack a kayak in your toy hauler RV

Photo by Earl Nottingham/TPWD

Just this past May, Plante says seven new trails – three on Belton Lake south of Waco and four along the Brazos River — were added to the Texas Paddling Trails roster. The 35.4 miles of Brazos River trails, known as the Stephen F. Austin Paddling Trail, represents the longest continuous stretch of river trails launched to date.

Because many parts of Texas are experiencing drought conditions, it’s always a good idea to consult online specific river flow information in advance and to contact the Texas State Park you’re planning to visit for current lake levels and other water conditions. Keep in mind that water levels at some state parks, such as Inks Lake and South Llano River, remain fairly constant despite ongoing drought.

Paddling novices looking for helpful tips before heading out might enjoy this video.

Wear your lifejacket, stay safe, and start planning your next Texas RV trip with a paddle in your hand!

~G. Elaine Acker

Sunset Resort RV Park Review, Lake Tawakoni, TX

Lakefront RV sites at Sunset Resort.

Lakefront RV sites at Sunset Resort.

Sunset Resort opened in 2012 and is situated on 15 acres on the southwestern side of Lake Tawakoni in East Texas (about 50 miles east of Dallas near Quinlan). RV sites here range from shady, interior sites in a woodland setting, to waterfront sites that offer expansive lake views.

Cabins are available for those not traveling in RVs.

Cabins are available for those not traveling in RVs.

The resort is located adjacent to a public boat ramp, and its facilities include gated access, laundry facilities, bath houses, and wi-fi. There are also nice cabins for any non-camping family members or friends.

Pavilion at Sunset ResortTheir brand new Pavilion (below) is perfect for family reunions or other events. The Acker family was lucky enough to be the first guests at the Pavilion, which offers a combination of fully air-conditioned as well as outdoor spaces. The kitchen is well organized, and although we spent a lot of time under the shade at picnic tables outside, it was great to be able to sit down together inside and have a meal without sweating and swatting flies.

Sunset view at Sunset Resort

Although you probably can’t tell from the sunset photo, the drought has left the lake about 8-10 feet low. But, there’s still plenty of deep water for fishing and water sports. Just make sure you stay in the deeper water and avoid the sandbars near shore.

My family and I loved the park and would definitely visit again. It’s peaceful, the people are friendly, and you get to enjoy gorgeous sunrises as well as sunsets.

~ G. Elaine Acker

Sunset Resort is just one of the many RV parks you can enjoy when you buy a travel trailer from Camper Clinic in Rockport, Texas, or Camper Clinic 2 in Buda, Texas. Go see what’s on the lot, and the friendly sales staff will help you find the right travel trailer, toy hauler, or fifth wheel for you!

 

Father’s Day Gifts for RV Dads

XLR Hyper Lite RVLast weekend, we took a brand new Forest River XLR Hyper Lite and an Aspen Trail 2710 Bunk model over to Cabela’s Family Day in Buda. All day long, the kids fished for catfish, tried kayaking with a group of Texas Parks and Wildlife volunteers from Ink’s Lake State Park, and visited with the local K9 Unit’s feisty German shepherd.

K9 Officer at Cabela'sIt was great to see kids grinning and families thinking about ways to spend more time together outdoors. And I can’t imagine anything the RV Dad would love more than family time outdoors.

So, with that in mind, here are three Father’s Day gift ideas for the RV dad.

Texas State Parks Pass1. How about a Texas State Parks Pass? You’ll get unlimited access to more than 90 state parks and never pay an entrance fee! It’s $70.

Zero Gravity Recliner2. A recliner is always a favorite gift, but this year, you can choose this large, Zero Gravity recliner that lets Dad rest in comfort in the shade! Whether you’re on enjoying the Gulf breeze in Rockport, lounging beside the river in San Marcos, or resting in the high desert in Big Bend, this chair will be Dad’s favorite. It’s only $99.

Cadac Grill3. Finally, you can’t miss with a new Cadac Carri Chef Deluxe grill. This 5-in-1 portable gas grill weighs less than 10 pounds and is versatile with interchangeable cooking surfaces: camping stove, BBQ, non-stick reversible griddle, and a wok/dome. It’s $250. (Don’t forget to buy the gas cartridge – it’s sold separately.)

Remember, whatever gift you choose, it’s the gift of good times together that matter most!

~ G. Elaine Acker

P.S. If you’re in the mood to look at new RVs for Dad, we’ve got a huge selection at both the original Camper Clinic RV Super Store in Rockport, or Camper Clinic II in Buda. Come see us!

 

 

 

Sloppy Joes and Creamy Potato Salad for Memorial Day

RV camping this weekend? Here are a couple of recipes for your cookout menu!

Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, and that means it’s time to try out a few new dishes that are easy to prepare in your Texas RV!

As always, The Food Network provided lots of inspiration. For instance, there’s a Creamy Potato Salad that can easily be made ahead of time, and the horseradish gives it a new kick.

CREAMY_POTATO_SALAD_009.tifInstructions:

Boil, peel and cube 1 pound potatoes. Toss with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix 1/4 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream and 2 tablespoons each horseradish and chopped chives. Toss with the potatoes, 1 chopped celery stalk, and salt and pepper.

Sloppy Joes can be a great main dish with your potato salad, and whether you’re cooking outside on the camp stove or inside your travel trailer in the comfort of your air conditioning, it can be fixed in less than 30 minutes. This video from Rachel Ray demonstrates the fresh, easy recipe.

Where will you take your camper this weekend? The beach? The Piney Woods? We’d love to see photos from your road trips, so come join the conversation on Facebook and feel free to share!

~ G. Elaine Acker

P.S. Is your RV trailer ready to go for Memorial Day weekend? Or are you still shopping for the perfect Fifth Wheel, Toy Hauler, or Airstream? There’s still time to visit our Rockport or Buda locations, buy your new or used travel trailer and go RV camping this weekend!