Posted on October 1st, 2014 by David Bott
Being on the road you run into a number of people. And by “run” into, this time I really mean it. While traveling down Route 95 in Utah on Tuesday September 30th, yesterday, we met the runners of the RWB Running Team as they run across America for the Old Glory Coast to Coast Relay to raise awareness and fundraising for our veterans.
Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. This run is not only a fund raiser, but also to raise awareness.
Yes, they are running across America with the American Flag held high and tall as they cross this great nation. It was such a wonderful site that we wanted to share it for others to see and experience.
We quickly pulled out the Quadcoptor to shoot some video to maybe help with the cause in this small way.
We hope you like this look at the RWB Running Team as we were honored to be able to have the chance to fly with them and bring this unique perspective of the long road they travel in order to help our veterans.
We feel this short 3:20 video puts into perspective not only the honor you can feel by seeing such a site, but also the long road they endure to help others.
Please be so kind to share this! Maybe they will come by you or someone you know!
Posted on September 28th, 2014 by Brenda
Breckenridge, Colorado is a short drive west from the Denver area. Although this was our first time here, I can honestly say, it will not be our last.
And boy…was this the perfect time of year to visit. The summertime crowds have all gone and the leaves on the Apsen’s were simply magnificent. Although the free Gondola is closed down this time of year. We just missed it by a few days. Personally I think the Gondola ride would have been a big attraction for leaf peeping. Oh well.
Breckenridge is first and foremost a ski town. There are cute chalets and cottages all over to rent for the ski season. During the summer it is a hustling tourist area with cute shops and reasonably priced restaurants. I must say, for such a touristy area and ski village, the prices were neither outrageous nor touristy. There was a big variety of restaurants from casual to fancy. It was easy to find a decent meal, as everywhere that we ate was wonderful.
Now with this being a tourist town, yes, their were the obligatory t-shirt shops. However, you know how sometimes when you’re exploring a new town you feel like you just stepped off a cruise ship and everywhere that you look was built just to take your money? Well, we totally did not get this feeling here. The people were super nice, the streets were clean and people seemed to really take pride in their store fronts.
Plus there are some really interesting old historical buildings right in town.
Great photo-ops every where you turn.
The pride that the shop owners have spills over to the town itself and it can be seen everywhere you look. There are great parks all over the town to sit and relax. Beautiful bronze statues throughout the town, in the parks and around every corner.
Breckenridge also has the beautiful Blue River that flows right through town. The town is built around the river and there is a great walking trail along the river that leads to various shops and such.
The place that we stayed, Tiger Run RV Resort, was just a short drive, about 5 miles into town. Right along the main road going in and out of Breckenridge, this is an owner’s resort that rents out when the lot is open. It was wonderfully quiet even though the road was close by, lush with trees and great views of the mountains. And surprisingly enough, they are open all year long. So if you are a winter RVer and like to ski, this would be a great place for you.
If you were looking for something a little less pricey and more natural, there is a campground at the reservoir up in Frisco, Colorado, up by Interstate 70. It seemed popular, as it was all booked when we tried to make reservations there a month and a half before our arrival. Plus, Frisco looked like a cute little town to explore as well.
We’re glad that our friends Jay and Joanne asked us to come exploring with them. We were both in Denver at the same time, for business, and it seemed only natural to make this exciting tour around the mountain areas.
Breckenridge was just the beginning though. We’ve been out and about exploring all over Colorado. Stay tuned for more exciting places!
Posted on September 24th, 2014 by David Bott
With all the things we do these days and all the people you need to deal with for this or that on your motor coach or RV, it is great when you come across a company that seems to just care. In this case, it is Carefree of Colorado.
Unfortunately for us, but good for you, we had to visit them at their manufacturing plant in Broomfield, CO. I say it that way as we needed to come in for an issue we where having with our very large Paramount Awnings. It was our 21 foot one that had developed an issue closing on one end. However the good news is we were given a tour of the plant once we explained about our travel blog and our readers. Now please be aware, they are not really a service center, however based on our unique issues, they wanted to see it happening and look to resolve it. Great for them to say the least for then they can learn from issues with a product being out on the road and in the real world experience. They also do not normally give tours, but opened up their plant to us which is why we can bring this to you. So thanks Carefree on both parts.
Carefree is a world wide company with dealers and warehousing in the North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Yet made right here in the USA! They work with RV and Coach manufacturers from some of the largest to some of the smallest, “covering” not only your seating area, but also your windows, slides and the ground as well. (Ok, they also do many other things as well including residential.) The main plant is located in Broomfield, CO and covers a great deal of space, but as we have seen, is very efficient right down to how things are marked off on the ground where items are places as they move throughout the factory.
Their flagship RV product is the Paramount Awning and is usually found on higher-end coaches. The good news is that a similar product, based on the technology developed for the Paramount can now be found in a lower priced product for the smaller coaches, class C, and even towables.
The Apex and the Latitude are the names. Where the Paramount is capable of dropping down, these other units are vertical yet they have no drop rails or arms to get in your way. It is a clean look. It is great to have a system that just comes right out from the side of the RV and there is nothing in the way. The achieved look is very clean and elegant.
As we moved around the plant it was amazing to see the large sewing tables where fabric is stitched together. They are moved around on air tables, think air hockey, where the panels just float on to the next part of the process. These table are very, very large to say the least as you can clearly see. After all, they have to be able to produce some very large awnings.
It is interesting to note that all the stitching is done by hand and is something we really did not expect to see. It is amazing how they can keep the stitching so precise for any slight change in speed or movement can change the stitch gaping and thus make for issues. The ladies we met were pros to say the least. Each of them just zipping along like it was no big deal. Yet when you look at the stitching, you would think it surely had to be done via machine and not by hand.
So I tried it. Lets just say it did not end well. And no, it was not on a production piece, but a sample. So no worries on getting a D&B Original. :)
A new machine they recently put into the works is called a Automatrix Table. This very large table is kind of like a CNC machine for fabrics. While a CNC machine does 3D type work, this is for making precise cuts of patterns down to the smallest of gaps using a very sharp, what looked to be, a razor wheel. But it does much more. It allows for complete awning fabric solutions to be designed and cut at one time, and by that I mean ALL THE PANELS that may be needed for an awning. The cool part is, it will auto align all the stripes with no operator intervention. This means one person can cut an entire awing. At this time, Carefree has one Automatrix machine and they hope to add three more for increased production demands. Here is a video shows it in action…
One of the products that they make, which I really would love to have on our coach, is a slide topper of all things, called the Ascent (with Slat). Why? Simple…we hate the water pooling on the top of the slide that we get on our coach. Now I have to think some, hummm…most, of you know what we mean.
The Ascent is a different approach to slide toppers. It mounts to the side of the coach with a hard piece called a Slat that folds in and down when the slide comes in making so it is tight and no fabric is exposed when driving or stored. But the best part is that same piece comes out and away from the coach making for a pitch that is needed to shed water. When we build our next coach, we are going to be requesting to see if we can use Ascent awnings, even if they want to use them as a test, we are willing to take the chance.
As we moved on in our tour we were taken into the engineering development center to be shown a new product that is soon to be release. They were ok with us seeing this simple, but kind of great concept, as they had already patented it. It’s called Flex Guard. It is a material that “flexes” into a protective case to cover and protect the awning when closed. Now I know what you are thinking, they already have that. Yes they do, however it is made out of aluminum and is not only costly to manufacture and thus increased consumer cost, but also it can get easily scraped or even bent needing to be replaced.
This Flex Guard replaces that aluminum cover and makes for a very tight protective cover when the awing is in and can be sewn/bonded into the fabric that is making up the awning. I can only think based on the lower cost of production, and thus cost to the RV manufacturer, you should for sure, start seeing these on RV’s in the near future and become more and more the “norm”.
All in all it was a great day we spent with Carefree. From the customer service staff, to the the engineering department and even had the pleasure of meeting the president of the company. And yes, they were able to address the issue with our 21 foot Paramount awning and at the same time, was able to improve on the product design for future productions as well as come up with a fix for anyone else that MAY come across an issue with the awning closing as it should.
So to all at Carefree, we know that the name “Carefree” is to represent the low level of care needed to take care of your products, but we now want to think of you as the “caring” company where we will be “Carefree” about owning your product. So thank you for caring enough to have us to your plant.
Here are all the photos we took on our tour. (Click Show PicLens for best view.)
Posted on September 22nd, 2014 by David Bott
This post goes out to the RV Park owners, Rallies, or Events and to RV’er who know owners or planners that care to spread the word. We will fly our UAV’s (drone’s) and produce a video of the park or event for FREE in exchange for a nice site to stay in as we travel through.
As a lot of our readers know, we have been flying a UAV or a long time, longer than when the consumer UAV’s have become “news worthy” and mass marketed. We have produced videos that range from mom and pop parks to full resorts. Even of national parks and events. We shoot all video in 720P 60 frames per second so we can also then do slow motion as needed. In this format, it also could be used for TV commercials or RV shows. Of course the best use of such a video is on your RV Parks website to show potential guests you park from a birds-eye view.
The video footage is edited to the beat of royalty free music to be about three minutes in time using Final Cut Pro. (Rallies and events may be longer.) Then we upload it to our YouTube channel so you can then just insert the video into your site. We will also supply you with not only the final HD version, but also the raw footage if you would like it. (Just supply us a thumb drive.) For rallies and events, we could offer the attendees videos or Aerial Photos of there groups for a small fee!
What’s the catch?
Other than a place to stay, we may not currently be in your area. However, as we travel around the country, based on where you maybe located, we just might be coming through or could divert. So you would want to let us know you would like us to fly your park, or event, so we can see when we may be in your area. We also travel in a 45-foot all electric coach, so we require site that would fit us and supply 50-amp service. (Except for rallies or events as such power may not be available.) Also weather plays a part. So based on how the weather is, it can effect our stay time or if we can fly at all. After all, safety first! Not to mention poor weather does not make for a good-looking video. Please also be aware that if you are in a forrest or have a lot of tress covering the sites, it may not be worthwhile unless we are able to fly under the canopy though the tress.
Really, we are not kidding, we will do what would cost thousands just for a place to stay. We just love to fly, so for us, it is a win win. Sound too good to be true? Look below for some examples and then reach out to us via our Contact Us page and let’s take your park or event to new heights! (Want to see where we are now? Check out our LIVE CAM and GPS TRACKER. Maybe we are close right now!)
SPECIAL NOTE: We will be wintering in AZ and NM Oct – Dec 2014. Then to the FMCA Indio Rally in January, and then to “The Show” in Quartzite. After that…we think somewhere in Texas and then over to Red Bay, AL.
Please be so kind to spread the word on this! After all, wouldn’t you want to see parks you visit, or maybe want to visit, in a way that is “above” the normal way?