2013 Hershey RV Show

America’s Largest RV Show ~ Hershey, Pennsylvania

Hershey RV Show - America's Largest RV Show

Hershey RV Show – America’s Largest RV Show

The Hershey Show, officially known as America’s Largest RV Show by the sponsoring Pennsylvania RV & Camping Association (PRVCA), has become the kickoff venue for the RV industry to unveil its new model year lines on a national scale to both a trade and consumer audience. And this year’s event – set for Sept 9-15 at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. – should go a long way toward reinforcing that reputation.

“The show is doing as good as it’s ever done in the sense of we’re virtually sold out for vendor space inside and we created more area outside,” reports Show Chairman Dan Saltzgiver, general manager for Camping World of Hanover (Pa.). “And then there’s the manufacturers’ space, which was all but sold out at the show drawing going back to the first week of May. Since then, what little space we had, Becky (Lenington, PRVCA executive director) pretty much has it all sold. She actually converted one area that we haven’t used in the manufacturers’ space to try to accommodate some more manufacturers.”

The good news, in a nutshell, from PRVCA:

• Through the end of July, the Hershey Show’s sold space totaled 817,120 net square feet versus 745,127 net square feet in 2012.

• The show’s total square footage as of mid-July: 1.54 million gross square feet.

• Outdoor manufacturer space is up 18% for this year’s show and the number of displays has increased by about 50 booths.

• The sold-out Giant Center is scheduled to house 238 booths. “Inside the Giant Center, the arena downstairs is sold out and then there is the upstairs mezzanine, Saltzgiver told Woodall’s Campground Management. “We are sold out all around there for retail days for sure. And we’re working to get it sold for wholesale days as well. We sell some of that space twice. If someone is only coming for retail, then we resell it for wholesale.”

Attendance Goal

PRVCA, in turn, wants to top 2012’s record-breaking, public day attendance of 43,131, a 29% uptick from 2011. And it wants to surpass the 2,022 attendees registered on last year’s trade days, a 12.77% from 2011. “Even though it doesn’t appear that way, we’ve been increasing the wholesale number of dealers each year,” said Saltzgiver. “So, while that’s not the size yet that we’d like to see it, we’re being told by the manufacturers that it’s still important to them.”

That said, PRVCA won’t be attempting to return the show’s square footage to its all-time, pre-recessionary high because the association has decided not to try to expand beyond the eastside foot bridge to the adjacent Giant Center parking lots, a configuration that just didn’t seem to work for everybody. “I don’t know if we’ll ever get over that (modern high point) as long as the show committee agrees with me that we shouldn’t go across the road again,” said Saltzgiver.

“That just created a lot of problems for the manufacturers on that side, as well as customers going over to that side,” added Saltzgiver. “It’s one of the things on which we made a decision as a group. Things could change. But now we’re deciding not to use that side so that it’s better for our retail customer coming in as well as the manufacturers and suppliers that exhibit at that show.”

by RV Business

 

Last minute RVing tax tips

RV loan interest is tax deductible.

Did You Know that Interest Paid on Most RV Loans

Is Tax Deductible as Home Mortgage Interest?

If you did not read on….

To qualify, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ruled that:

  • The RV must be used as security for the loan.
  • The RV must have basic sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities.
  • The RV must be rented out less than 15 days per year.
  • Interest expense deductions on the RV must exceed the taxpayers standard deduction.
  • Nearly all RV types — motor-homes, travel trailers, truck campers and many folding camping trailers — are equipped with these facilities.*

So enjoy the benefits of RV travel and get a tax advantage too!

*An RV with full facilities can qualify as a “dwelling unit” under the IRS code section 280A(f)(1). The U.S. tax court case of Haberkorn v. Commissioner, 75 T.C. 259 (Nov. 12, 1980 filed) gives further guidance on the tax deductibility of RVs. Taxpayers many not claim the interest from more than two qualified homes on their tax returns. Ask your tax adviser for more information.

Boomers rolling into Retirement in RVs

Baby Boomers love RVing!

Baby boomers have long been recognized as a generation on the move and many of them have plans to pick up the pace even more in retirement.

They’re flying overseas for exotic African safaris, European river cruises and walks atop the Great Wall of China.

But they’re also staying closer to home, getting an up-close-and-personal view of the nation they grew up in, perhaps along two-lane roads, stopping for the night at some secluded campground. For those trips, many will use recreational vehicles.

RV sales have spiked in recent years due to several factors, including an improving economy and more boomers retiring.

“RV sales will benefit as aging baby boomers continue to enter the age range in which RV ownership is highest,” noted the authors of a 2012 report from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.

Boomers are drawn to RVs because they have, in general, always been drawn to travel.

Baby boomers, in fact, are America’s most traveled generation, even to this day, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute.

“When they were younger, baby boomers traveled more than older people, and now that they are older, they travel more than younger people,” according to a recent report from the institute.

The increase in interest by baby boomers has certainly been good news for RV dealers and manufacturers, but destinations, too, are adjusting to the influx of boomers.

RV travel is still camping, but many baby boomers are now accustomed to traveling in style so campgrounds are modifying their offerings as a result.

Many RV resorts have in recent years added wellness centers and exercise classes — two trends that have long been popular with baby boomers. Others offer concierge service, elegant dining halls and lighted tennis courts.

Some resorts have added live shows and musical acts to draw in boomers.

The Rocky Fork Ranch Resort in Eastern Ohio offers an indoor pool, fitness center and sauna.

Baby boomers also enjoy their technology so many campgrounds now offer cable TV and free Wi-Fi. It’s not exactly roughing it, but it’s certainly something many boomers don’t want to surrender while away from home.

“The baby boomers have arrived … and RV parks and resorts are responding by providing a greater variety of activities and entertainment,” Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds recently told RV Business magazine.

The RVs themselves these days also allow for luxurious travel. The big ones can be 40 feet long and cost $200,000 or more.

Some have maple cabinetry, satellite-fed LCD TVs, washer and dryers and even fireplaces. All in all, “camping” isn’t what it used to be and boomers are enjoying the change.

information written by RICK ADAMCZAK, The Daily Reporter

2013 York PA RV Show – York Campers Show

Say YES to the RV!

The York RV Show is being held once again this year at the York Fairgrounds, York Pennsylvania.

March 8-10,2013

Show Hours:

  • Friday 11am – 9pm
  • Saturday 10am – 9pm
  • Sunday 11am – 5pm.

Lerch RV will once again have the largest display of RVs at the York Camper/RV Show for our customers to view. Stop by our display in the Memorial Hall-East building. Along with having the lowest sale prices at the show on great travel trailers and fifth wheels. We will also be giving away a new iPad, and over $1,000 in additional prizes.

Say Yes to the RV and purchase you new RV at the York RV Show and we will reimburse your entry fee when you accept delivery of your new travel trailer or fifth wheel.

Do not forget to pick up a copy of our annual EARLY BIRD SALE flyer. This is your last chance to take advantage of our available low winter discounts.

Say Yes to the RV!

And buy now, before our industry leading manufacturers; Keystone RV and Open Range RV, raise their prices. Do not allow these discounts to disappear…

Give our Sales Team a call at 800-722-1236.

PA RV Dealer-RV sale-RV Show-low prices

Lerch RV Early Bird Sale

RV Lifestyle: Tips for beginners and vets

There’s never been a better time to take up the RV lifestyle.

Whether you’re a weekend wanderer, a snow bird or an RV full-timer, there’s an RV to suit any travel budget and taste.

With baby boomers reaching retirement age, more and more people are taking to the road with their motor homes, RVs or travel trailers. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association recently reported that nearly 8 million American households have an RV, motor home or travel trailer and that there are as many as 30 million RV enthusiasts in the U.S.

Seeing the country in an RV offers many benefits for travelers seeking an affordable and exciting way to spend quality family time. According to one study, a family of four can save up to 74% traveling by RV over more conventional travel. And with more than 16,000 public and privately owned campgrounds in the US, there’s a site to fulfill everyone’s vacation fantasy, whether it’s an oceanfront view, hiking trails, casino gambling or tennis.

6 Tips for Successful RV Travel
RV travel is easy to learn, and once you’ve got the hang of it there’ll be no going back! Here are six helpful tips that will come in handy for both beginning and seasoned RV enthusiasts:

    1. Map Your RV Travel Destinations
      A large part of the RV appeal is the exhilarating freedom of the open road — to go wherever you want, whenever you want. But it helps to have a solid travel plan in place. If you know where you’re heading, you can determine the route that will offer the most interesting sights.Look in RV and other travel guides, contact tourism boards in states you’ll be passing through, and search the Internet.Make sure to bring the correct road maps, and a GPS system is a good idea as well, especially if you’re new to RV travel.

      Carefully designing the route you’ll be taking will make it easier to do spur-of-the moment things like checking out that oddball museum you just spotted on a roadside billboard!

    2. Have A Checklist? Just Checking
      During your pre-trip prep, in addition to working out what needs to be in the RV, put together a thorough checklist of things to do when setting up at an RV campground.There are the basics:

      • Locate all campground connections
      • Make sure your RV is level
      • Properly hook up your water, gas and electric systems

      Don’t forget comfort concerns, like making sure you packed your favorite CDs and DVDs, and those new lawn chairs.

      Equally important, you should have a second checklist of things that have to be done to break camp and set up your RV for departure (Quick hint: when you think the job is done and everything is ready, check again).

    3. Be Prepared with a “Just-For-The-RV” First-Aid Kit
      Always make sure you have a fully stocked RV first-aid kit, and keep it in an outside storage compartment.Your RV first-aid kit should include basic medical supplies:

      • Bandages
      • Ointment
      • Over-the-counter pain reliever
      • Insect repellant
      • Scissors
      • An emergency supply of must-have medications

      Plus the following extras for your RV:

      • Flashlight and extra batteries
      • Paper and pens
      • A disposable camera in case you have to take photos of an accident site.
      • Cell phone and charger

      If you don’t feel up to the task of putting together an RV first-aid kit yourself, an extensive range of ready-made first-aid kits is available for purchase.

      Don’t forget to include a list of important contact information, including family members, doctors, insurance agents, etc. [Editor’s note: Leave a copy of your itinerary and your contact information with a family member or friend, in case you need to be located in an emergency.]

       

    4. RV Camping with Kids and Pets
      If your RV travel includes children, make sure to set aside time during the day for outdoor activities, as even the roomiest RV can be confining for kids.And give each child his or her own space in the RV (no matter how small) for toys, games and personal stuff.RV travel is a unique opportunity for your children to see new and different places and faces. There are often plenty of other kids at campgrounds – but be sure to walk around a new campground with your children when you first get settled there. They need to know how to find your campsite and navigate the RV grounds. If you plan to bring the family pet, check beforehand to confirm that pets are allowed at the RV campground.
  1. A Little Help From Your Friends
    When in doubt, ask your fellow RVer. However well-traveled you might be, odds are there is someone you’ll meet along the way who has been somewhere you haven’t, solved a problem you haven’t yet encountered, or spotted an out-of-the-way delight you’ve never heard of.No matter how much research you’ve done, there’s bound to be an RV campsite you haven’t read about, a storage system that has escaped your notice, or a funny anecdote that you’ll laugh about for years to come.The new folks you meet may or may not become close friends for life, but they are an important part of your RV journey.
article written by John Noble from about.com

Gasoline prices predicted to fall in 2013

Great news for us RVers out there. Gas prices are predicted to fall this year.  I guess we will have to wait to see if this actually happens or not.  But I’m looking forward to getting out to my favorite campgrounds…. Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

NEW YORK (AP) — At least gasoline should cost you less in 2013.

Hamburger, health care and taxes are all set to take a bigger bite out of the family budget this year. But drivers’ annual gas bills are expected to drop for the first time in four years.

Forecasters say ample oil supplies and weak U.S. demand will keep a lid on prices. The lows will be lower and the highs won’t be so high compared with a year ago. The average price of a gallon of gasoline will fall 5 percent to $3.44, according to the Energy Department.

“Everything is lining up to lead to softer prices this year,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.

That would still be the third-highest average price ever. But a discount of 19 cents per gallon from 2012 would save the typical household $205 this year and free up $25 billion that could go instead to restaurants, malls or movie theaters — the kind of consumer spending that accounts for 70 percent of American economic activity.

“It’s a little benefit to the economy, and it’s a little more reason the Fed doesn’t have to worry about inflation,” said James Hamilton, an economist at the University of California at San Diego who studies energy prices.

Forecasters caution that they can’t predict other factors like Middle East tensions, refinery problems or hurricanes along the U.S. Gulf Coast — in other words, the same events that caused gasoline prices to spike in 2011 and 2012. Any or all of those troubles could crop up again in 2013 and push pump prices above last year’s record average of $3.63 a gallon.

The government expected gas to average about $3 during 2011. Then came the Arab Spring, which included the shutdown of Libya’s oil production. Oil prices shot up, and gasoline averaged $3.53 for the year. The government’s forecast for last year also turned out to be too low, by 18 cents per gallon.

And, Hamilton said, consumer spending might not see a boost from lower gasoline prices because most Americans will be paying higher taxes. The expiration of last year’s payroll tax reduction will cost an extra $579 for households making $40,000 to $50,000 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan Washington research group.

But after average gas prices rose in 2010, 2011, and 2012, a little relief will be welcome in 2013.

Gas prices set records each of the past two years for a few reasons. Global demand has risen as the developing economies of Asia, Latin America and the Middle East burn more gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. At the same time, unrest in the Middle East has sparked fears of widespread supply disruptions in a region that produces a quarter of the world’s oil. That makes traders willing to pay higher prices up front for oil as a way to protect against possible dramatic price spikes in the future.

In the U.S. last year, several refineries and pipelines had problems that reduced gasoline supplies, especially on the West Coast and in the Midwest, helping to push pump prices even higher.

This year, global oil demand is expected to rise slightly again, but increased production, especially in the U.S., should keep supplies ample. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said this week that American production will grow next year by 900,000 barrels per day, the nation’s biggest single-year increase ever. By 2014, U.S. production will reach its highest level since 1988.

At the same time, U.S. gasoline consumption is back down to 2002 levels because of more fuel-efficient cars and the tepid economy. It isn’t expected to rise this year or next, according to the Energy Department.

That means the U.S. will need to import less oil, which will increase global supplies and help tamp down prices somewhat.

The current average retail price of gasoline is $3.31 per gallon, 6 cents lower than last year, according to AAA, OPIS and Wright Express. AAA predicts gas won’t surpass $3.80 a gallon this year.

The peak last year was $3.94, reached in April. The auto club also says average pump prices could drop as low as $3.20, a level that the country hasn’t seen since February 2011.

Tom Kloza of OPIS expects price differences between regions of the country will remain large, and local prices could be volatile as supplies build and dwindle. In Utah, drivers are paying $2.88 per gallon on average, while in New York drivers are paying $3.75. Just in the last four months, gasoline supplies on the West Coast fell to their lowest level in a generation, then rose to where they are now, their highest level in a generation.

AAA forecasts the national average will peak between $3.60 and $3.80 in the spring, then drop to between $3.20 and $3.40 by mid-summer. It will rise again during the hurricane season along the Gulf Coast, the nation’s oil-refining hub, before moving lower toward the end of the year.

It’s that up-and-down movement that will dictate drivers’ moods. Drivers tend to remember what they paid for their last fill-up — not that they may have paid a little less a year ago, Hamilton said.

“People have a short reference point,” he said.

___

Jonathan Fahey can be reached at http://twitter.com/JonathanFahey .

RV 2013 on HGTV

HGTV_logo

RV 2013 on HGTV

HGTV’s RV 2013, filmed in September 2012, at America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, PA.  Is set to debut on January 1st at 6pm (EST and PST). The program, hosted by Brandon Johnson, leads three families on the shopping trip of a lifetime as they search for their perfect RV.

“It was a delight, once again, to work with HGTV and the Nancy Glass Production Company to bring such an entertaining and informative program to so many people,” Rebecca Lenington, Executive Vice President of the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association, which sponsors the RV Show, says. “We can’t wait to see the final product.”

The program, which airs on New Years’ Day, features the manufacturers and vendors which exhibited at America’s Largest RV Show in September. Lerch RV‘s Open Range display was filmed once again this past year. We are looking forward to the final cut as well to see if the Open Range 413RLL made the show.

 

Pink is our favorite color…RV Winterizing

 

RV winterizing with RV antifreeze

Got to think pink!

It is that time of year once more. Time to prepare to winterize your beloved camper.

As much as we don’t like having to think about putting our RV away for the winter, it’s inevitable if you live in colder climates. That’s why we’re here with ways to properly prepare your RV for colder weather or storage, which is very important in most states and Canada. If an RV is not properly prepared for the winter months, it may cause water supply lines and the water heater to freeze. This article will give you some great tips on how to best winterize your RV.

First off, your RV should be winterized at the end of the camping season or when the RV will be exposed to temperatures that will fall at or below 32°F (0°C).

 Depending on the type of RV you own, there are two methods of winterizing. Also, as always, we ask that you read, understand the instructions before beginning and follow the instructions as you go. If you are not sure if you should be winterizing your coach yourself, please visit your local RV dealership for help.  Many dealerships, such as Lerch RV, will provide you with assistance or show you how to properly and safely winterize your camper yourself.  Here are the two ways to winterize your RV depending on the type you have.

Air pressure

This method will utilize an air hose to blow excess water from the water lines.

1. Make sure all holding tanks are empty and drain valves OPEN.

2. Run the water pump until it is dry, this will take approximately 15-20 seconds.

3. OPEN all faucets and drains, and the toilet.

4. Using an air hose and adapter (customer supplied), blow air through the city water connection. Any remaining water will blow out in five to ten minutes.

5. Pour one cup of non-toxic RV antifreeze into all drain P-traps.

Demand or power plumbing system (the most popular way to winterize your RV)

It may be easier to winterize the RV with another person to assist you.

1. Level the RV and drain the fresh water plumbing system.

2. Replace the water filter cartridge with the clear plastic bypass hose (if so equipped).

3. Make sure the water heater 12-volt and 120-volt interior control switches are OFF.

4. Turn the water heater bypass valves to the BYPASS position. Your RV valves may also be labeled  “Sanitize/Winterize Lines” position.

5. Make sure the “fresh tank drain” and “low point drains” are closed.  For most RVs, the low point drains must be closed for the antifreeze to siphon through the lines.

6. Insert the garden hose into a container of RV antifreeze solution (this quantity should be enough to winterize the RV); attach the other end to the City Water Fill.

7. Turn the water pump ON.

8. Open the hot water line on all the faucets (kitchen, lavatory, shower and outside shower) until RV antifreeze begins to flow continuously.

9. Close the faucet hot water lines and repeat with the cold water lines on all the faucets. Do not forget to run RV antifreeze through the toilet.

When you are done adding RV antifreeze

10. Remove the garden hose from the container of RV antifreeze.

11. To prevent staining, wipe the RV antifreeze out of the sinks, shower (or tub) and toilet using a soft, dry cloth.

As always, if you need assistance, please contact your local RV dealer.

WARNING…Please note that repairs due to freezing are not always covered under the terms of your manufacturer warranty.  When in doubt, please consult your warranty and/or the dealership that you purchased your RV. Also,automotive antifreeze (ethylene glycol) and windshield washer antifreeze (methanol) are poisonous. Never use these products in your fresh water system. These products are harmful and may be fatal if swallowed. Please use approved non toxic RV anti-freeze in your camper.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

 

12 Easy Ways to Save Money at the PA RV Show

Ahhh…. The alluring sight of traveling the country with an RV in tow. A picture of a happy family making camping memories for years to come. If this is what you are looking for in life. Join us at America’s largest RV and Camping Show. Beginning September 12 and continuing until September 16, the country’s largest RV and camping show will have everything you can imagine.

My twelve easy ways to save money at America’s largest RV and Camping Show in Hershey, Pennsylvania are effortless enjoy.

  • 1.The Open Range Light LF 297 RLS is light weight, rear living area fifth wheel camper. Weighing in at only 7,465 lbs. and uniquely designed to be towed with a 5.5′ short bed, properly equipped, half-ton truck.

    Open Range Light LF 297 RES at Lerch RV, Pennsylvania RV dealer

    The Open Range Light LF 297 RES

  • 2.The Open Range Light LF 305 BHS is a light weight, rear bunk room fifth wheel camper. Weighing in at only 7,940 lbs. This fifth wheel is designed to be towed with a 5.5′ short bed, properly equipped, half ton truck.

    Open Range LF305BHS at Lerch RV Pennsylvania RV dealer

    The Open Range Light LF305BHS

  • 3.The Open Range Light LT 274 is a light weight, rear living area travel trailer camper. Weighing in at 6,265 lbs. This travel trailer is a great ‘ma and pa’ type of RV.

    Open Range 274LRS travel trailer at Lerch RV Pennsylvania RV dealer

    The Open Range Light LT 274RLS

  • 4.The Open Range Light LT 305 BHS is an exciting bunk model travel trailer.  Weighing in at 6,805 lbs. This travel trailer can sleep up to nine people. Equipped with a full size outdoor camp kitchen.

    The Open Range LT 305BHS travel trailer at Lerch RV, Pennsylvania RV dealer

    The Open Range Light LT 305BHS

  • 5.The Open Range Light LT 308 BHS is another marvelous bunk model travel trailer. Capable of sleeping up to ten people. This RV features a full outdoor camp kitchen.

    The Open Range LT 308BHS travel trailer at Lerch RV, Pennsylvania RV dealer

    The Open Range Light LT 308BHS

  • 6.The Open Range Journeyer JT340FLR is a four season travel trailer. Loaded with an incredible amount of personal storage and living space. Why not try out a great four season RV?

    The Open Range Journeyer JT340FLR travel trailer at Lerch RV, Pennsylvania RV dealer

    The Open Range Journeyer JT340 FLR

  • 7.The Open Range Roamer RT 320 RES is a spacious rear entertainment center travel trailer. A open living room and spacious kitchen counter top area make this RV very alluring.

    Open Range Roamer RT 320 RES travel trailer camper at Lerch RV Pennsylvania RV dealer

    The Open Range Roamer RT 320RES

  • 8.The Open Range Roamer RF 395 BHS bunk house fifth wheel camper. Featuring a large rear bunk room with a half bath. A spacious kitchen counter top, and full outside camp kitchen help make the RF 395 BHS a very popular camper.

    Open Range Roamer RF 395 BHS fifth wheel camper at Lerch RV Pennsylvania RV dealer

    The Open Range Roamer RF 395 BHS

  • 9.The Open Range Roamer RF 338 RLS fifth wheel camper. A rear living area with a full residential sized sofa and a full outside camp kitchen, makes this a very exciting camper.

    Open Range Roamer RF 338 RLS fifth wheel camper at Lerch RV Pennsylvania RV dealer

    The Open Range Roamer RF 338 RLS

  • 10.The Open Range  386 FLR is the new standard in front living room fifth wheel. The front living room and open kitchen provides you the roominess you want. While the step up rear bedroom provides you with more basement storage. This is a must see four season fifth wheel camper.

    Open Range Roamer 386 FLR fifth wheel camper at Lerch RV Pennsylvania RV dealer

    The Open Range  386 FLR

  • 11.The Open Range 413 RLL is a bunk house fifth wheel camper. Equipped with two full baths. The large living area provides you with the space that you need on those rainy days. Loaded with storage space too!

    Open Range 413 RLL fifth wheel camper at Lerch RV Pennsylvania RV dealer

    The Open Range 413 RLL

  • 12.The Open Range 427 BHS is a bunk house fifth wheel camper. The rear quad bunk room features a half bath. Featuring an eat at kitchen island and a large King bedroom suite.

    Open Range 427 BHS fifth wheel camper at Lerch RV Pennsylvania RV dealer

    The Open Range 427 BHS

There you go, my twelve easy, great ways you can save at America’s largest RV show. For more information on any of these great Open Range RVs, contact Pennsylvania’s largest Open Range RV dealership, Lerch RV. We will gladly answer any questions that you have.

Safe travels and Happy RVing!

Today’s Campgrounds meet social media demands…

I recently came across this article that I found quite interesting. So I wanted to share it with you.  It amazes me how we have to stay connected, and be able to have that instantaneous update or check in with the rest of the world.  I am guilty of this myself. What about you?

Safe travels and Happy RVing!

Campgrounds embrace technology to meet big social media demand

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — For the Wohlfords of Noblesville, the Old Mill Run Park in Thorntown is a home away from home. The couple recently graduated from being weekend campers to full timers, staying there all summer long.

But with that upgrade came another —the need to have wireless Internet.

“We would be OK for a weekend,” said Mary Ann, 64. “But when you are full-time, for us, it wouldn’t work. There are just so many things that are (done) through the computer, through the Internet.”

Her husband, Steve Wohlford, agreed. “We need to stay in touch and pay our bills,” said Steve, 66.

NO DISCONNECT

It used to be that campers would take their RVs or tents and head into the woods to be rid of the electrical devices that distract and occupy our daily lives. However, as technology has become more mobile, it has become increasingly difficult to disconnect, even in the woods. Today, more campers request that campsites offer WiFi so they can stay connected and campground owners have accommodated this request.

About 72 percent of privately owned and operated campgrounds, RV parks and RV resorts offer wireless Internet service, according to a 2010 campground operations survey by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

Eric Stumberg, founder and chief executive officer of TengoInternet, an Austin, Texas-based company that specializes in providing wireless Internet service to private campgrounds, said the trend started to take off about five years ago. Similar to hotels, campgrounds needed to offer WiFi as an amenity.

For his company, the number of unique connections has increased 50 percent to 75 percent each year, he said. This has been driven by more people connecting and families using multiple devices to do so.

“It’s weird, you would think if you were going camping you wouldn’t need to be connected,” he said. “(But) people want to be connected while they are traveling. Ten or 15 years ago, when people traveled, it wasn’t important that they stayed connected.”

Sandy and Ralph Christman own the RV Park where the Wohlfords are staying. They added WiFi about five years ago because campers were requesting it, Sandy said.