Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Thunderstorms and camping in mountainous areas: Do you know your lightning safety guidelines?

The summer camping season brings a lot of campers and RVers into the outdoors and especially to cool higher altitude destinations as the heat increases.

But you may have read recently in the news that two people were killed and others injured in the Rocky Mountain National Park from lightning strikes in areas above the treeline that are prone to afternoon thunderstorms.

If you plan to travel into mountainous areas this season, here are some tips and precautions you can take to insure your safety:

KNOW THE WEATHER: Bright summer days can turn stormy quickly, with lightning, wind, and even hail. Ask rangers about the weather patterns of the area you are visiting.

GET YOUR OUTSIDE ADVENTURES IN EARLY: Start your hike early in the day so you can return by noon. Hike to below treeline or to safe shelter before a storm strikes.

STAY ALERT: If you hear thunder or see lightning it is close enough to strike you. At a high altitude, when skies look threatening, a thunderstorm can develop right overhead.

IF YOU ARE ABOVE TREELINE: If a storm threatens, get inside your vehicle immediately, do not lean against the doors, and wait at least 30 minutes after a storm passes overhead. If you are away from a vehicle, move away from summits, isolated trees and rocks.

BELOW TREELINE: If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees. Stay away from tall, isolated trees or any tall objects.

WHAT SHELTERS ARE SAFE: Tents, trees, small caves, and picnic shelters are not safe. A vehicle or a larger, enclosed building are. Avoid water and any metal.

You can get more information on lightning safety from the National Weather Service.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Puyallup RV Show coming May 1

The 2014 edition of The Puyallup RV Show is coming May 1-4 to the Washington State Fair and Events Center in Puyallup, Washington. This year's event will expand in both size and scope.

More than 16 RV dealers (four more than last year) are expected to exhibit at this year’s show providing more variety of RVs of every size and shape. The motorhome market has been rapidly expanding over the past year with production up nearly 40% since 2013, assuring the best selection of motorized RVs since the recession.

The show will display RVs to meet every leisure need from a tent trailer to a vacation home suitable for your lakefront. Not only will there be hundreds of RVs to browse, but vacation homes, too.

Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor
This year’s Puyallup RV Show will include two seminar rooms with a full slate of speakers. Currently scheduled are technical seminars by nationally renowned Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor), RVing in Alaska, proper dinghy towing, home schooling on the road, RV financing, travel trailer hitches, boondocking & backroads, choosing a firearm for RV travel, fifth wheel hitches and concealed carry permits for RV travelers with more topics in the works. Stay tuned to this blog and the show website for additional details.

Author and pro RV driver Lorrin Walsh will present a RV driving school where “students” can get a taste of the ins and outs of maneuvering a RV. Tips will be supplied for owners of motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth wheels.

Retro is all the rage these days and you can expect to see some classic RVs at this year’s show. Vintage RV clubs from across the northwest have been invited to display at the show. Currently the oldest RV to be shown is a 1947 Westwood Coronado. If you have a vintage RV and would like to join in on the fun, send an email to: showdirector (at)

By attending The Puyallup RV Show you will also be supporting Washington State Parks. One dollar out of every $10 adult ticket and $9 senior ticket purchased at the box office will be donated to the state parks system with show sponsor WSECU matching the donation.