2014 Palomino Puma 32DBKS

The past few days, in between rain showers, I’ve been trying to catch up on photographing all the new 2014 travel trailers  that have been arriving on the lot. The one that really caught my eye this week was the 2014 Palomino Puma 32DBKS.

2014 Palomino Puma Many families who have come through Camper Clinic II recently have been looking for a Texas RV dealer who can recommend the right model for their family. After all, they’re looking at traveling with a passel of kids and their friends. So it struck me that this 2014 Puma, with the double bunks, seems to have that perfect balance of practical and stylish features for the whole family.

2014 Palomino Puma Sidepaw KitchenFor example, it sleeps 10 (TEN!) but there’s still a comfy queen bed in one end that offers a private place to relax for mom and dad. It’s got a fully decked out kitchen inside, but also has the Sidepaw Kitchen outside with easy access to a fridge, sink, and microwave. The slide-outs give everyone extra elbow room at the end of the day, and all the finishes, from the flooring to the upholstery, are tastefully done and easy to clean.

2014 Palomino Puma 32DBKS FloorplanHere’s a peek at the floorplan! See what you think. The 2014 Palomino Puma Travel Trailer is made by Forest River, which is known for its quality products. Come visit the lot and you can check out the Palomino’s as well as 17 other brands. Camper Clinic II will show you how to choose the the right RV for your family!

~G. Elaine Acker

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!

How to Choose the Right RV

Answer these 7 questions to help choose the right RV for you!

Ever_Green_tt_cover_10_07_10With 18 different brands of RV trailers in all shapes and sizes on the Camper Clinic II lot, how in the world do you decide which one is best for your family?

In my family, I’m traveling in my Texas Airstream, my sister is in her Fifth Wheel, and my cousin is in her Motorhome. So that alone tells you that RV choices are as different as the personalities towing (or driving) them.

To choose the right RV, you might want to start thinking about the following questions:

  1. How big is your family? Whether you’re traveling solo or taking a big family with you, you’ll need a trailer with enough space for everyone to sleep comfortably.
  2. Where do you want to go? There are places that just aren’t suited for a large motorhome or trailer. For example, to camp at the Basin in Big Bend National Park, you’ll need a rig that’s less than 24 feet to make it up the tight curves. Of course, if your heart isn’t set on camping right there at the Basin, there are campgrounds in Terlingua or at Rio Grande Village that can accommodate campers of all sizes.
  3. Are you going for a weekend? Or extended trips? Or RVing full time? For simple weekend trips, you’ll find basic models that will suit you just fine. But, if you’re taking long RV trips (trust me), you’ll start to wish for creature comforts before you’ve logged very many miles. It’s better to begin with a slightly larger, more comfortable rig from the beginning.
  4. What are you going to do when you get there? If you’re planning to spend lots of time in and around your RV, then that’s yet another reason to choose a more luxurious model. If you’re spending most of your time on the hiking trail or paddling on the rivers and in the bays, maybe you just need a comfortable place to rest your weary but happy bones at the end of the day.
  5. Do you need to take your toys with you? As one of the sales folks once told me, when you go on an RV road trip, you’re taking everything you need, and nothing you don’t. It’s great to stock the trailer with everything you’ll need on the road, and if that “must have” list includes canoes, kayaks, four-wheelers, mountain bikes, or other toys, then the toy hauler is no doubt right for you. There are lots of new and used toy haulers on the Camper Clinic II lot.
  6. Do you like to buy new, or used vehicles? If you like the idea of a brand new travel trailer that no one’s ever used before, then go with a new one that fits your budget. If you don’t mind buying one that has been down the road a time or two, then you’re in luck. Camper Clinic II takes in clean used RVs in great condition every week.
  7. What’s your budget? You can get a brand new travel trailer, such as an Aspen Trail, for as little as $11,000, or you can spend $130,000+ on an Airstream Interstate Van. And there are plenty of travel trailers, toy haulers, and fifth wheels waiting in between.

So even though the choices might seem a little overwhelming at first, the good news is that there’s something for every lifestyle and every budget. And if you need help thinking things through, the Camper Clinic II staff are always here to help.

See you on the road!

~ G. Elaine Acker

P.S. If you’re looking for the best deal on RVs, Camper Clinic II has an amazing variety of travel trailers, campers, fifth wheels, and motor homes in its clearance inventory. You can check it out online!

 

Mother’s Day Picnic

1-KabobsSome of my favorite family memories are simple picnics in Texas State Parks. When I was little, any time we made a road trip, my mom would pack a basket of fried chicken and potato salad.

Since then, our family has celebrated almost every holiday with a picnic, and even though I still love fried chicken, I’m pleased to say our menus have gotten a lot more exciting.

Food blogger Lisa Rawlinson write the blog "Full and Content," and created a perfect picnic dish:  Mango Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Food blogger Lisa Rawlinson writes the blog “Full and Content,” and created a perfect picnic dish: Mango Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

With Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, why not take mom outdoors? Whether you’re RV camping for the whole weekend, or just spending Sunday outside, a yummy picnic will make the day even more fun.

This month, Texas Parks and Wildlife, which is ever-popular with the Texas RV crowd,  is celebrating the art of the picnic; and yesterday, I had a chance to reconnect with some of our TPWD friends at McKinney Falls State Park. Chef Kevin Quinn, a lead instructor with Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, grilled luscious kabobs, and several popular food bloggers brought side dishes ranging from a slaw made with Ramen noodles to sugar snap peas with basil. These and lots more intriguing recipes are posted on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Lisa Rawlinson, who writes the blog Full and Content, brought her famous Mango Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps, and even the kids give this one a thumbs up! Lisa recently wrote a nice blog post about Picnics, Parks and Mamas, and it included not only recipes, but photos and artwork showcasing several state parks. Be sure to check it out.

1-KEYE

James Seppi and Taylor Cook (left) write the blog, Coseppi Kitchen: kitchen.coseppi.com, and Bill Leamons collaborates with TPWD to showcase outdoor activities on KEYE TV. As they say, “Life’s Better Outside!”

Maybe you were thinking about flowers for Mother’s Day? Instead of bringing the flowers to Mom, you can take Mom to the flowers. Brilliant bouquets of wildflowers line the roadsides at almost every state park. And, KEYE has posted Texas Parks and Wildlife’s video offering several suggestions for creating sweet, Mother’s Day memories in the parks. All that’s missing, is YOU!

1-photo

The wildflowers are in brilliant bloom at McKinney Falls State Park.

~G. Elaine Acker

Camper Clinic II is the #1 Airstream Dealer in Texas, and has an RV to fit every budget. If you’re thinking about an RV for your family, come by and see what’s right for you!

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Fresh Limeade

Limeade

Photo of Rachel Ray’s Limeade courtesy The Food Network.

This coming Sunday is Cinco de Mayo this coming Sunday, and the Camper Clinic II crew was just talking about new ways to celebrate. Any excuse for exploring weekend camping spots in your Texas RV, right?

We’re thinking about setting up camp in one of our nearby Texas State Parks, and serving some fresh squeezed limeade for the kiddos using a simple recipe from Rachel Ray. Of course, we may have to whip up some frozen tequila limeade a la Bobby Flay for the big “kids” too!

By the way, check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife Events Calendar for lots of Cinco de Mayo activities.  An RV trailer, good food, and fun times with the family – that’s what it’s all about!

G. Elaine Acker

 

Wiener Dog Races in Buda, Texas

This weekend, Buda will host the 16th Annual Wiener Dog Races. The event, created by the Buda Lions Club to support its programs to assist visually impaired children, has grown into a full weekend of country fair festivities that attract visitors from across the U.S., including some 600 dachshunds!

This year, Camper Clinic II is proud to provide a travel trailer for the event, where heath professionals will offer eye exams for kids. After all, we want to be sure the kiddos can see the pet parade, and watch their favorite doxie cross the finish line!

For your entertainment, here’s the funny saga of dachshund Dudley O. Selleck’s training regimen and performance in 2012. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing Dudley again this weekend!

Come and see us this weekend, whether you come by the store to browse the best rvs in Texas, or head over to the Buda Wiener Dog Races!

Smokey Bear’s Campfire Safety Tips

If spring inspires you to hitch up your travel trailer and go explore Texas’s state parks, here are 12  safety tips for the whole famliy courtesy of Smokey Bear.

Fire

1. Find out whether the park is currently allowing open campfires. Many regions are still experiencing drought conditions, and there are burn bans in effect.

2. Use the fire pits and fire rings already established in the parks whenever possible. check to be sure that the fire pit is at least fifteen feet away from the RV, shrubs, trees or other flammable objects.

3. Clear a 10-foot diameter area around the site. Remove any grass, twigs, leaves and firewood.

4. Fill the pit with tinder – small pieces of dry wood. Never pull branches from living trees, and check park regulations. Many parks prohibit gathering firewood and tinder.

5. Place your firewood upwind and away from the fire.

6. Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby.

7. Build your fire. Smokey Bear offers tips for building a campfire, and I recently wrote a blog post about easy, homemade fire starters.

8. Keep the fire to a manageable size. While roaring bonfires may be tempting, they’re much more likely to get out of control and can quickly spread to nearby forests.

9. Supervise children and pets at all times.

10. NEVER leave the fire unattended.

11. Completely extinguish the fire when you’re done, preferably by pouring enough water on the fire to drown all ash and embers. (Pour until the hissing sound stops and stir the fire with your shovel to ensure that all ash and embers are soaked.)

12. Alternatively, if you extinguish the fire with dirt, mix dirt or sand thoroughly with the embers. Continue adding dirt and stirring until all materials have cooled. DO NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.

Wherever you’re camping this spring. we wish you a safe and happy trip!

~ G. Elaine Acker

P.S. If you’re thinking about buying a new or used camper this spring, be sure to give Camper Clinic II a call. They’ve got great deals!

 

Homemade Dog Biscuits

Take Homemade Dog Biscuits on your Next RV Road Trip!

I’m gearing up for my next RV road trip through Texas, and decided some homemade dog treats were in order. Now, I won’t have to worry about questionable ingredients or reading the fine print to find out where the treats were manufactured!

Cricket and Max

Cricket often uses Max for a pillow…

With that in mind, I’d like you to meet two of the most rotten, furry, Airstream road warriors on the planet: Cricket and Max. They’re looking forward to taste-testing some of the new recipes I just found.

The first is a peanut butter blend from Paula Deen. Her human recipes have never let me down, so I’m assuming her dog, Bodeen, has an equally refined palette and has approved this recipe.

bodeen-treats-291x437

Photo of Bodeen’s treats from PaulaDeen.com. Yum!

One of Paula’s tips is that most homemade dog biscuits do well with 1 part liquid to 3 parts dry. Using that guideline, you can customize your recipes by adding and subtracting your dog’s favorite ingredients.

There’s another one with cheese from Allrecipes that looks like a winner. And for variety, check out “Cookies for Canines,” on TheKitchn.com. Their recipes range from vegetarian versions to bacon-flavored yummies.

Dog people tend to bond quickly once you’re set up at your RV campsite, so if you’d like to surprise your new friends, here’s another Paula Deen tip. Buy inexpensive bowls, add a few treats, wrapping the bowl in newspaper, and tie the top with ribbon.

MaxMax just called shotgun! And it looks like I’ve got a plan for the weekend! If you have a favorite dog-biscuit recipe, feel free to share!

~ G. Elaine Acker

 

 

 

Spring Festivals in Texas

When I’m planning a trip in my Airstream, two of my favorite places to search for upcoming events are Texas Highways, and Texas Co-op Power magazines. Both have great lists of upcoming festivals, as well as a library of articles on cities and events around Texas.

Just out of curiosity, I checked to see what’s coming up in the next few weeks, and here are three that caught my eye.

tomato festThe first was Jacksonville, which is the “Tomato Capital of the World,” and is home of the “World’s Largest Bowl of Salsa.” That alone is enough to make me want to run and hitch the Airstream to the truck. This year’s Tomato Fest is scheduled for June 8 in downtown Jacksonville. With a car show, tractor show, and salsa contest, there’s something for everyone.

If music is your thing, head out to the Texas State Championship Fiddlers’ Frolics April 25-28. More than 150 fiddlers will soon descend upon Hallettsville to compete for $25,000 in prize money. They’ve got camping with hookups at the Knights of Columbus hall and a dump station on site. Call 361-798-2311for reservations. 2009_fiddlers_frolics_001

V8_loFinally, just down the road from Camper Clinic II in Buda, you might check out the Circuit of the Americas V8 Supercar event scheduled for May 17, 18, and 19. That weekend, 28 V8 Supercars will hit the track at speeds of up to 185 miles per hour – just a little faster than your average Texas RV!

Wherever you go this spring, be sure to send us photos of you and your rig on the road! We’d love to know what our Texas RV fans are up to, and share it with our Facebook friends!

~ G. Elaine Acker

Easter Egg Hunts in Texas State Parks

The Easter Bunny will be hopping through several Texas state parks this weekend. If you’re planning to hitch up your travel trailer and enjoy a long Easter weekend, check out the events at these state parks!

Photo (c) Texas Parks and Wildlife

Photo (c) Texas Parks and Wildlife

Martin Dies, Jr. State Park, Jasper, Texas
The thick forests of East Texas offer plenty of interesting hiding spots for the Easter Egg hunt scheduled for Saturday, March 30 from 10:00 -11:00 a.m. There will be colorful eggs filled with candy and prizes for the younger ones, while the park will offer games and prizes for the older kids. Bring your basket and join the fun!

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park, Pittsburg, Texas
On Saturday, March 30, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., the day-use area on Lake Bob Sandlin will set the stage for their annual Easter Egg Hunt, with candy and some extra-special eggs with gift certificate prizes inside! Located near Pittsburg in northeast Texas, the park is a great home base while you explore the area, stock up on the world-famous Pittsburg Hot Links, and discover a little aviation history by visiting the Ezekiel Airship (maybe the first flight really DID take place in Texas!)

Cooper Lake State Park, Cooper, Texas
Located in north central Texas, the park’s South Sulphur Unit has plans to hide more than 1,500 eggs filled with candy and prizes, and kids ages 1-10 are invited to come out for the hunt. There are separate areas for the 1-4 year olds, and the 5-10 year olds, just to keep it fun for all. The Easter Egg Hunt begins promptly at 1:00 p.m., and the park is even offering free admission from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. for the hunt. But plan to be there early! When the kids start the hunt, they can clean out the place in no time!

Mission Tejas State Park, Grapeland, Texas
Located on the northern edge of the Davy Crockett National Forest in East Texas, the Mission Tejas Easter Egg Hunt will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 30. The park asks that all the kiddos bring their own baskets.

Then, on Easter Sunday, the Friends of Mission Tejas State Park will host an Easter Sunrise Service at 6:45 a.m. at The Mission – the first Spanish Mission to be built in Texas. Park admission is free for everyone attending the service.

Indian Lodge Easter Feast, Fort Davis
The Black Bear Restaurant, located at Indian Lodge in the Davis Mountains State Park in West Texas, is serving a full Easter Feast from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013. Reservations are strongly recommended, and guests should call the Lodge directly at (432) 426-3254 ext. 330. The cost is $25 for Adults, $9 for Children under 12, and park admission is free for restaurant guests. Check out the mouthwatering menu!

Photo (c) Texas Parks and Wildlife

Photo (c) Texas Parks and Wildlife

Dinosaur Valley State Park,

If the kids prefer dinosaurs to Easter bunnies, head over to Dinosaur Valley in Glen Rose, just a few miles southwest of Fort Worth. On Saturday morning, March 30, they’re hosting a workshop on the migrating Monarch butterflies, and also a Native American Play Day, with programs about the life ways of the Caddo Indians.
Then, on Sunday, March 31, the park will host its “Eggstraordinary Eggstravaganza,” beginning with a special surprise at 2:00 p.m.
Better Homes and Gardens has all the information on creating tie-dyed eggs!

Better Homes and Gardens has all the information on creating tie-dyed eggs!

Finally, if you’re looking forward to coloring and hiding your own Easter eggs, Better Homes and Gardens offers tips for tie-dying Easter eggs. I’m fascinated, and may have to give that one a try!

It’s easy to reserve your RV campsite at Texas State Parks online. Just visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.
Wherever you go, have a fabulous Easter! And don’t forget to send us photos or from your Easter Egg hunts, or share them with us on our Facebook page!