Monthly Archives: October 2018

Sandy Pines Campground – Kennebunkport, ME

Sandy Pines CampgroundDuring the month of August we featured several campgrounds throughout New England on our Facebook Live videos. One of the campgrounds featured was the new Sandy Pines Campground in Kennebunkport, Maine. We don’t see many new campgrounds being built, so this was a real treat to showcase something brand new and with a wide selection of amenities and camping experiences during their first year of operation.

Sandy Pines Campground opened to the general public in June, and has been receiving rave reviews in the media, including a review by Boston’s Channel 5 Chronicle show and front-page coverage in the Maine Sunday Telegram out of Portland, Maine.

The first thing you see after registration is their salt water pool – no fresh water and chlorine here!

The camping sites vary from tenting on the salt marsh, to large pull-through RV sites, park model homes and their famous glamping safari tents designed by local interior designers.

All sites are within a short walking distance of sparking clean restrooms that include showers and oversized sinks for dish and clothes washing.

Sandy Pines Campground is pet-friendly and you can have up to two dogs per site, with appropriate vaccination paperwork. There is a $5 per dog, per night fee.
The owners have hotels and restaurants in the Kennebunkport area and are keenly focused on hospitality and customer service. You will find many hotel-like features at the campground, including the check-in area where you would think you are in a hotel lobby, not a campground.

The on-site maintenance staff is ready to assist campers as needed, and the entire staff is very friendly and accommodating to all guests.

On busy weekends, guests really appreciate the rapid check-in process where they are greeted at the entrance to the campground with hosts prepared with check-in packages and are escorted to their campsite without ever leaving the RV.

Review of Sandy Pines Campground, Kennebunkport, Maine

Sandy Pines Campground was our first campground experience with Lacey and Cagney, so we don’t have a comparison, but I cannot imagine what else could be provided! This campground in Kennebunkport, Maine was opened very recently. The owners are accomplished in the fine hotel industry and have translated those skills to this campground. Laurie and I…
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State of the RV Industry – The Bloomberg Baystate Business Hour

Bob Zagami, Executive Director of The New England RV Dealers Association, was a recent guest on The Bloomberg Baystate Business Hour, in their Boston studio. Bloomberg news had noticed the tremendous amount of coverage being given to the RV industry and wanted to learn more about the drivers of this activity, and who was buying…
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Rising Star for NASCAR and Scott’s Recreation

Bob Zagami had the chance to interview Reid Lanpher, the General Manager of Scott’s Recreation in Turner, ME.

Mature beyond his 19 years, Reid has established himself as a proficient RV professional in the family business that was started by his dad, Scott, in 1994. They have a second location in Manchester, ME. In addition to selling RVs, they also sell virtually any kind of trailer an outdoor enthusiast would need, along with power sports equipment such as ATVs and snowmobiles and waterfront decks.

As one of Maine’s largest RV dealers, they sell a variety of towables and motorhomes and do extremely well with family-friendly bunk bed models and lightweight trailers that can be towed by half-ton pickups – a very popular item in Maine.

Scott’s Recreation gives their employees the day off on Sunday to spend time with their families, however they do something very unique at the dealerships – all of their units are open and customers can visit and tour the units, on their own time, and without any employees onsite. They can then return to the dealership to buy the RV of their choice, after making their selections in a non-sales situation and at their own pace.

Now, we started this article saying that Reid is a young man going places. Reid has been racing “something” since he was five years old. Starting with dirt bikes, he worked his way up to go-karts, modifieds, late models and up to the NASCAR Pro Series at Beech Ridge Speedway in Scarborough, Maine. One wall at the Turner RV dealership showcases his many trophies in motorsports, and it is very impressive.

Just a few weeks ago Reid won the 2017 Pro Series Championship and the 2017 NASCAR Whelan All American Series Championship for the State of Maine. This young man’s accomplishments in business and on the track are well beyond his 19 years and he will continue to achieve great things in his career – at the dealership and in a racecar.

Well, Reid tells us he started dirt-bike riding at age 5 and then broke his back. So he started driving go-carts and moved up to super models at NASCAR.

RVing in New England Facebook Live Talk Show

Join us every Wednesday at 7pm EST for our RVing in New England Talk Show on our Facebook page. This show is for YOU, our audience. Let us know what topics you want covered and interact with us on our Facebook page. Recent topics include the Boston RV & Camping Expo experience and Destinations.

Check out our archive page to listen to past talk shows and be sure to interact with us LIVE on Wednesdays at 7pm EST right on our RVing in New England Facebook page.

Have you heard, “This truck has the best towing power in its class”?

We have all seen the TV commercials with a Toyota Tundra pulling the Space Shuttle. We have also been told by our truck sales representatives that, "This truck has the best towing power in its class." With that being said, when looking at campers we become confident that our 1/2 ton truck, which includes F-150, Chevy, Dodge or GMC 1500's, and the Toyota Tundra, can tow the travel trailer we are looking at or own.

If properly equipped, the larger V-8 Chevy, Dodge, Toyota, and the turbo charged V-6 from Ford all have great tow ratings. Many are above 8,500 lbs. with the correct gear ratio. However...there is always a however! There is a weak point with these lighter duty trucks that consumers (and your vehicle sales representative) are UNAWARE of which are the TIRES. Now don't get me wrong, today's 1/2 ton trucks are great! I presently own one myself and Pete's RV in Burlington Vermont owns three. They truly are great trucks for towing and also as our daily drivers.

As I mentioned, the tires are a weak point that we usually do not discover until we tow. When towing a travel trailer behind our 1/2 ton truck especially at highway speeds, we will experience some cross winds or we will be passed by a large vehicle. This will cause our trailer to sway. This is actually the action where our trailer is being pushed to the side causing the tires to roll slightly on the trailer and then snapping back. This is what we call "SWAY" in the RV world. This actually can be extremely dangerous in certain situations! If you have experienced this, you know is it not pleasurable and can make for an extremely long drive to your destination. In addition, this situation is strenuous and exhausting to the driver!

Our lighter duty trucks are more susceptible to sway due to their "P" rated or "passenger vehicle" rated tires. These tires do meet or exceed all of the weight limits and ratings of the truck. However, they have a lighter duty sidewall than we will see on today's 3/4 or 1 ton trucks. The reason the truck manufacturers install these tires is to give us a better ride when we are not towing. When we are using our trucks for daily drivers and grocery getters, we want the best possible ride for our day to day routines. This is important for me too!

How do we combat SWAY when towing and not loose the good ride of our truck when doing our day to day routines? We could spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on new tires that we probably don't require 99% of the time. New tires will also hinder our current great ride! The appropriate alternative is to purchase and use one of todays state of the art load leveling and anti-sway hitch system for our 1/2 ton truck.

There are many systems on the market that will give us the same load leveling capabilities! However, be aware some systems based on price point are made of inferior metals and components (you get what you pay your homework). Anti-sway and the correct load leveling bars are imperative to safe towing. We want a hitch with the best sway control possible for your vehicles tow capacity, tire load ratings, and the trailers tongue weight etc...this is a science with today's advanced vehicles and campers.

When purchasing a new camper, trading up, or buying your first used camper from a private party, I strongly recommend speaking to and listening to your local, reputable RV dealership. Your local RV dealership wants to earn your trust and your long lasting business relationship. I try to explain to all my just made a significant purchase on your camper and tow vehicle. The hitch is the number one safety factor between the two vehicles and your family's safety while towing to your destination. This is not the product you want to save fifty bucks on either in price or self install.

Ask about sway control and get educated about how it works. Inquire about which one will work most efficiently with your half ton truck before purchasing an inexpensive hitch that will work on the load however not great on the sway!

It is also important to load the truck and trailer wisely. Have a trained service technician set up your weight distribution system for the best safe tow.

Happy Camping!

Ashuelot River Campground in Swanzee NH and Covered Bridges

Two Gals and a Dog, along with friend, Kellie, RV'd to Swanzee, NH recently for this New Hampshire destination. We stayed at the Ashuelot River Campground, peaceful, quiet campground with new owners who are investing and improving. As of 2017, they write that "they have 6 new pull-through water/sewer/electric sites; 9 new riverside water/electric sites; a new bathroom and dish washing station at the north end; and we’ve remodeled the existing bath house!"  Everything was very clean.

This video was taken on a Thursday. By Saturday, most of the lots were occupied. The only noise is the highway on the other side of the river, but you can't see it and it's not that bad. There are young maple trees on each RV space in the middle of the field which will eventually provide very nice shade for the full service hookups in that area. Right now, the wi-fi is available in the office area only. Many more amenities. Do check out their website. Highly recommended for a peaceful, quiet weekend. If you can do without the sewer hook-up we recommend the sites under the mature trees on the river.

All of the covered bridges in this video are an easy reach of the campground and a perfect reason to stay there. Timing is everything and we chanced upon a dinner dance on the Ashuelot Bridge and visit a local winery.