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National Officers

Camping Today is a publication of the non-profit National Campers & Hikers Association, doing business as Family Campers & RVers (FCRV). Issue frequency is 12 (monthly) on line at www.fcrv.org. Publisher is Family Campers & RVers, 4904 Transit Rd. Bldg. 2, Depew, New York 14043-4906. Office Manager – Pat Wittmeyer 716-668-6242, [email protected]. Camping Today is supported through FCRV memberships.  OWNER: National Campers & Hikers Association, doing business as Family Campers & RVers (non-profit), 4804 Transit Rd. Bldg.2, Depew, New York 14043-4906. Bondholders, mortgage, and other security owners holding 1% or more of bonds, mortgages, and other securities: NONE. The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes has not changed in the last 12 months.

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ArticlesEvent RecapBirthday ShoutoutMilestoneFarewell –  Dear RVEvent Submit

From The President

Yahoo! March is here! You know what that says! Camping is just around the corner for many of us. My camping year starts on the 17th. I am so looking forward to a weekend of camping. I hope that you have your camping planned for the year with your Chapter. I also hope you have shared that through the events and placed it into the list that the office has. As you know, we have placed a section listing our campouts on the website. I know that as FCRV Chapters you would welcome other FCRV members at one of your outings if they were traveling through your area and were to join you at the campout. After all we are a camping Family, are we not? I also was looking and found that there are some Regional functions that were not entered in this database. This should be a top priority of the Regional Director to have it entered, but if the hosting State or Provincial Director sees it not entered they could enter that information, helping out their Regional Director. Help them to succeed at their job.

Over the last few months I have asked a question; I will ask it again. This is a question that we as Trustees would truly like to hear from you. Your input would help us to direct the planning for the future of FCRV. Without your input we will have to set the course and follow our heart as to what we feel is the direction we need to go. So here is the Question again:

What are you willing to change to ensure the long-term survival of FCRV to see us through the next 75 years? Please send me your comments and ideas to my email [email protected].  I will add your comments and ideas to future planning.

I ask this question as in 2024 we turn 75 years old as an organization. We will be having Campvention in New York State. It is fitting that we celebrate this anniversary in the State in which we had our start. Your input is valued and desired. That is not to say that we will implement every suggestion, but we will consider everything we get back from you. I know that there are many good ideas out there that need to get to us for our planning.

We are also entering into Budget time. We as trustees will soon meet to set the budget for the next year.

Looking forward to a great camping season!
Gerry Pfirsch
FCRV International President

Wildlife Program Grants – April 20th Deadline

Wildlife Program

By: Debbie Swanson

The Family Campers & Rvers wildlife program was originated to help with the conservation of wildlife. It is the responsibility of all Family Campers & RV members to practice the conservation of our natural resources. Without our soils, minerals, waters, forests and wildlife, there would be no place to camp and no place to enjoy nature. There would be no Family Campers & Rvers and there would be no man.

FCRV Wildlife Program offers grants of financial assistance to responsible governmental and private organizations, to assist them in wildlife conservation projects.  These grants are based on the importance of the project to wildlife conservation. 

All grant applications must be submitted on form WL-GT 1, (link below) and must be thoroughly researched by the applicant, who must be an FCRV member. It must include a signed letter of request, by a responsible person within the organization requesting the grant.

If you are aware of an agency in your area that does wildlife conservation, reach out to them, find out what programs they are doing and encourage them to apply for a grant. In the past, we have given out grants to zoos, bird sanctuaries, groups that plant food resources for wildlife and many other worthy causes. The financial need for these groups is endless and every dollar counts. 

Although not necessary, we would like the FCRV member sponsor to present the check in person and take some pictures of the facility for publication in Camping Today. 

Applications are due by April 20th.

If you have any questions please contact Deb Swanson at [email protected].

2023 – 2025 Election of Trustees – April 15th Voting Deadline

2023 – 2025 Election of Trustees

By: Shari Weber, Nominating Committee Chair

Next month you will be able to vote for the Vice President Planning and Development and Comptroller. The Executive Board and Advisory Council will vote for the Vice President Operations. There is one candidate for each office. An email for each member number will be sent out in March. The email will have a link to the voting portal where you can cast your vote. You will need your membership number to vote. You will only be allowed to vote once. Your vote will be tallied and verified by Shari Weber, Nominating Committee Chair, Gerry Pfirsch, President, Beth Standiford, Recording/Corresponding Officer, and Dora Lewis, Vice President Programs (the three trustees not on the ballot this year). The deadline to cast your vote is April 15th. Please show your support for these people who have volunteered to take on these important responsibilities.

Sandi Wingert



My husband Joe Wingert and I joined FCRV in 1999. We were Charter members of Rocky Explorers in CO until 2022. We are life members of FCRV. Held the position of Field Directors for 2 chapters, Rocky Explorers for 11 yrs and the Rocky Raccoons for 4 yrs. We held every position in the Rocky Explorers. We attended our first Retiree Rally in Ladson SC in 2010. We have worked the Retiree Rally in Parking. Joined YARS, a National chapter, that meets twice a year in 2011. Joined FCRV Winter Texans, a National chapter. I took over planning activities for the FCRV Winter Texans in 2022. We joined the Trailblazers, a retiree chapter in CO in 2022.

I am running for the position of Comptroller for FCRV. I have held positions with different names for the same job. They were Comptroller, Business Manager, Office Manager, Bookkeeper for auto dealerships.

Platform Statement

I believe it is extremely important to accurately record all transactions of activities of the FCRV organization. I would monitor and control cash flow, make sure we were in compliance with government regulations and compile a financial report for the FCRV organization. I would be responsible for recording all assets, liabilities, profit/loss statements. As Comptroller I would take on the responsibility for protecting the public trust of the FCRV funds very seriously.

I believe that the best interest and the future for FCRV would be cultivating new family members. We are losing members everyday. So gaining new members through a good marketing campaign would help our longevity.

Amy DeCamp

Vice President Planning & Development


Amy is a lifetime camper. Her parents joined the Starcraft Camper Club (NKA Family & Friends Camping Club, FFCC) in the mid-80’s, while she was an undergrad at Eastern Kentucky University. Amy and her wife Linda joined the local and national clubs in 2004 and were selected as National Rally Co-Chairs 3x. Amy is serving in her 14th year as president of the Ohio Stars Camping Club. She was appointed to the position of FCRV VP of Planning and Development last April after initiating/overseeing the merger of FFCC/FCRV.

Amy holds a Juris Doctor from Capital University Law School and spent nearly 20 years in law enforcement and criminal justice/legal education. She opted to become a “professional camper” in 2010, joining the sales force at Colerain Family RV, which is now part of the 107-store (and growing), nationwide Blue Compass RV network.

Platform Statement

I’ve understood the value of camping since a very young age. I developed friendships, explored new places, and learned to treasure our environment. Now, each outing offers opportunities to meet new faces and strengthen relationships with camping family across the U.S. and Canada. Not only are we able to spend precious time together, but to do so by sharing what we love – camping and enjoying the outdoors!

“Club camping” in the past easily enticed new members. When you purchased a specific brand of RV, you received information on its camping club. The few RV manufacturers at that time supported their groups financially and regaled them with goodies at rallies, thereby strengthening brand loyalty. But that has changed…hundreds of different manufacturers have come and gone over the decades, and the manufacturer-sponsored groups disbanded due to financial constraints. Brand loyalty is rare, and lifestyles have morphed into summers of non-stop activities with family members splitting in different directions for individual pursuits. Yet here we are…a nearly 75-year young camping family facing these hurdles head on and forging into a brighter future. Why? Because we still believe in the value of developing friendships, exploring new places, and protecting our environment!

My platform is simple – with your support, I plan to update our marketing strategy, develop a stable of solid, industry-leading supporters, continuously extol the virtues of our mission, and grow this club! These last two should be of utmost importance to you, as well. Let’s do this together, friends – join me! Thank you!

 Linda English

Vice President Operations


Linda and John have been members of FCRV since 1993. They were soon appointed field directors then district directors and have held every leadership position in Michigan since that time. Their current reign as State Directors began in 2011. This year will be their third time serving as team leaders for Campvention and they have hosted many state and regional campouts.

They have been married 50 years, have 2 children, 8 grandchildren, 5 great grandsons and are expecting their first 2 great granddaughters this year.

Linda has a bachelor’s degree in business with a 42-year career in public education before retiring in 2014. The last 26 years were at the third largest intermediate school district in Michigan. As administrative assistant in pupil services, she shared audit responsibilities and knowledge of educational law assisting local public-school districts.

Her hobbies are exploring, gardening, reading, quilting, and spending time with family and friends

Platform Statement

I am excited to embark on this new journey continuing my commitment to make sure FCRV survives for future generations. To do that I believe the focus should be to create programs and activities that will increase interest for our young generations. Technology is the key to successfully reaching this generation and the commitment from every member.

Our teens are also so important to our future, and I believe they lack the mentorship and voice to share their ideas. Let’s encourage them to show us what is important and interesting to them, so programs and activities are provided.

My strengths are listening, observing, and helping others. Friendship and kindness are what makes a group inclusive, not exclusive. Let’s be open to new thoughts and ideas.

When our membership was thousands, guidelines were important, thus our manuals. I believe to grow; we need to change what was by removing what is no longer relevant. Let’s think about making our guidelines simple with fewer rules.

Most young families are two-adult working families, and their free time is very precious. The younger generations want to be active and have fun! They are also not joiners. They want programs that are current and relevant with the focus on camping. Let’s figure out how we can connect to this generation to encourage growth and see our organization survive for future generations.

Plan to attend the 2023 Campvention in the Great Lakes Region. We have some new and different activities planned this year in Richmond, Indiana!

Recommendations For National Awards – April 15th Deadline

Recommendations For National Awards

By: Beth Standiford Recording & Corresponding Officer

Campvention will once again be the time for the presentation of awards to persons who have been selected to receive them for their service or other contributions to FCRV, camping, conservation, etc. In some cases, they may be awarded at another time or place. You, in the Field, are the best qualified to suggest and nominate the people who should be honored. We request only that you be judicious in your choice of nominations. Please, recommend only those persons who have made unusual contributions to FCRV, camping, conservation or others that fall in line with our specific programs.

A list of all previous recipients of Plaques and Citations is posted at FCRV.org. The list is in alphabetical order so that names can be checked quickly. Please take the time to check and see if the individuals you are nominating have already been presented with an award. A couple or individual may be considered for an additional Citation if the circumstances warrant. Plaques are only awarded once.

If you have a problem with the fillable forms, please let me know and we will see what we can do to make your submission work.  But, again, please don’t wait until the last possible minute.

I am looking forward to the submissions and awards for 2023, and hope you are, too.

(All award forms can be found in the member section of the website HERE)

Scholarship Registration – April 15th Deadline


By: Deborah Swanson

Who Can Apply: Any FCRV member, or their dependent* children planning to enroll, or currently enrolled, in an undergraduate, graduate, or trade school, may apply for an FCRV scholarship. An applicant must be a member for at least 18 full calendar months before application, and in good standing.

*Dependent children of members applying under their parent/guardian’s membership must be a dependent thereof for the year of the scholarship award, and be eligible as an income tax deduction.

How to Apply:  Applications for 2023 will be available on Scholarship America’s website @ http://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/ncha/  Applications will only be accepted online at the above address. The application MUST include the FCRV member holder’s name, membership number, postal mailing address, and, most importantly, an email address at which the applicant can be contacted.  Pay special attention to the entire website and follow the directions closely as you will only have one opportunity to complete the application. Scholarship America will not contact you to make any corrections. Do not assume that it is the same as last year as it may have been changed.

      Applications must include the following:

  1.   A current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Transcripts must display student name, school name, grades, and credit hours for each course, and term in which course was taken.
  2.   Two online recommendation forms, one from an FCRV member, (can be a trustee, regional director, state director, district director, or any member who is not related). AND, one from a school official, or your immediate supervisor if you are working. Your application will not be complete unless all required materials are submitted electronically, and you will not be considered for a scholarship.

Stipend: Annual Scholarships are awarded carrying a stipend ranging from $250 to $2,000.The Schuh award of $2500 is given to students who study the fields of wildlife or conservation. Part-time, and trade school, students will receive one-half of the granted amount. Scholarships are for one year. Recipients may reapply for a scholarship each year they meet the eligibility requirements.

Selection of Scholarship Recipients: Applicants are scored, and ranked, by Scholarship America who then recommends the ranking to the FCRV Scholarship Board. The Board then confirms the ranking and the award. The Board of Directors present the awards at, or after, the Annual General Meeting held at that years Campvention,

Eligibility Requirements   

  1.   Parents, or guardians, must be a member of FCRV for 18 full calendar months or longer.
  2.   Applicants must be enrolled, or accepted, into an undergraduate, graduate, or trade school course of study in an accredited two-to-four year college, university, or trade school. Part-time students must carry a minimum of six credits and full-time a minimum of twelve credits.
  3.   Applicants currently enrolled in college are given equal consideration with incoming freshmen students.

Scholarship Considerations:

  1.  High school graduates will have their class ranking scored by Scholarship America.
  2. College students should have at least a 2.3 grade point average on a 4.0 point scale.
  3. Consideration is taken for maturity, leadership, related activities, and goal of the candidate as related to the objectives of FCRV.
  4. Special consideration is given to applicants majoring in fields related to conservation, ecology, or outdoor activities, although all other fields are considered.
  5. This is a competitive Scholarship therefore the lowest ranked applicant may not receive an award.

Camping Today/Social Media Forms

Camping Today/Social Media Forms

By: Barb Turner

Camping Today submissions have been technologically streamlined.  By using the submissions forms below, members can easily submit articles and share upcoming events, recaps of activities completed, as well as farewells, milestones, birthday shoutouts, and ask questions of Dear RV. 

Click on the hyperlink below for the type of ‘Camping Today’ submission you’d liked to send.

Articles Event Recap Birthday Shoutout Milestone Farewell Dear RV Event Submit

In addition to Camping Today, submissions other than the articles are placed in queue for  sharing on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.  After research and recommendations, promotion and publicity of FCRV and our activities via these formats will enhance our exposure, both to our members and the RV world.  From the beginning, NCHA/FCRV has been referred to as ‘the best-kept secret’.  Survival in the modern world won’t happen as the ‘best-kept secret’.  Let’s shout that we are here!  We are ‘happening’!  And, we welcome all campers & RVers!

If you have any questions submitting material, contact [email protected]

Retiree Really 2023 – Dothan, Alabama

Retiree Rally Flea Market 

By Richard and Frances Jackson

As you prepare for the Retire Rally, remember to pack items to sell at the Flea Market! There will be a sign-up sheet at Central Registration for booth space. Table space and chairs will be provided for your booth.

If you have nothing to sell, come and shop at the Flea Market!


By Reba & Ron Ray, Rally Hosts

It’s time to pack up and get ready for Dothan, Alabama for the International Retiree Rally. The people at the Fairgrounds are working diligently, making sure we have everything we need. 

We are planning to have a great time there.  We have 3 good entertainers lined up, some hospitalities, and lots of games for fun.

We will have a breakfast and lunch food vendor there on grounds with a food truck.  Each day he will specialize in a different menu.  They are a group of Veterans that get together and help with “Veterans helping Veterans” organizations.

The fairgrounds will have someone to come in and do boiled peanuts for us.

We are excited about going to Dothan.  They have a lot of good places to visit around town.

You will be getting maps of all the Peanuts and Murals around town.  We will try to have these for everyone when you get there on Friday for early days.

Dothan has 2 RV Dealerships:  RV Connections and Gander RV.  Nice people at both, along with new or used campers. 

We have some vendors signed up to be there so bring along some extra money to spend and show our appreciation for them coming to be with us.

Go get excited and get ready for Dothan. See you there.

A Variety Show Update from George and Kip

By George Walters and Kip Cushing

With the arrival of March, that means we are getting ever closer to the Retiree Rally in Dothan, Alabama. 

Many of us will be gathering for this Annual Retiree Rally. Lots of fun, fun, fun, a few laughs, and most of all, renewing friendships!

You probably know that one of the major activities that takes place each year is our Annual Variety Show.  But did you realize that this year will be the 51st Retiree Rally? 

So, consider this to be your personal invitation to be a part of Retiree Rally History.  Please consider joining your fellow campers if you can:

Sing a song or two (bring your accompaniment with you)

Tell a clean joke or story

Get a group of your friends to dance or put a skit together

Put together a line-dance

A Clogging Demonstration will be ALOUD (get it?)

As always, this is not a competition, just good fun with our friends. 

Sign-up sheets will be available at Central Registration or from George Walters or Kip Cushing.

Nuts About Dogs Pooch Parade 2023

By Robert & Rita Letellier, Pet Parade Chairs

Welcome! to the pooch parade.  We will be giving out a gift to all participants.  The winners will receive an award & some surprises which will be given out on awards day.  There will be 5 dog categories:  Most Adorable, Best Behaved, Best Trick, Owner/pet look-a-like and Best-in-Show dog.  Cats are invited. and the winner will also receive an award and surprises.  The category will be Best-in-Show cat!  Please come!!!

Nutty Trucks Red Hat Style

By Dianne Buggeln, Red Hat Chair 

Hey GALS, bring your Red Hat and enjoy a Salad Bar luncheon including meat, veggies & desserts prepared by the Veterans.  We will also have a speaker from the National Peanut Festival Association.  Cost $10. Look for the Red Hat & Hard Hat sign up at registration.

FCRV Retiree Rally Vendor – Kleen Tank

Kleen Tank will be on the grounds on March 24th.  The following link is being shared if anyone would like to sign up for their services in advance.  The link is: https://kleentank.com/fcrvinternational2023/

Give What You “can” – Retiree Rally Food Drive 

By Beth Standiford, Food Drive Chair 

FCRV makes a big impact on the locations where we hold Rallies and Campventions. For this reason, we want the impact to be a positive one. We, as a collective group, bring a lot of income to the area where we camp in the form of fuel, food, tourism, eating out, entertainment, local sites, etc.  Food/Fund drives are a great way to give back and say thanks to a community where we’ve had so much fun with our friends.  Food drives help local charities keep their shelves stocked, and it raises awareness among our camping community to the hunger and needs of those around us, even though they may not be immediately visible.   

We are providing for the basic needs of others and giving a sense of dignity and pride to those who can then provide for their families. The facility we will be donating to is the Wiregrass Area Food Bank. This organization procures and distributes excess food and grocery products while cultivating community awareness and participation.  An equal opportunity employer, this non-profit charity feeds the needy in six counties in Alabama. Complete with frozen and refrigerated storage as well as canned goods, they provide food to the needy at no cost.  Food is distributed by affiliate agencies (churches, other pantries, soup kitchens, day cares, emergency shelters and the like) at no charge and are members of the Feeding America National Food Bank Network.  A table will be set up in the main building to accept donations all week of Rally and will be delivered along with any and all monetary donations.  

For every $1 donated, the Wiregrass Area Food Bank can provide 9 meals to feed the hungry.

Last year, cash donations exceeded my expectations by so much more than I thought possible.  This year, I am asking every person at the Rally to donate the equivalent of one meal, either in canned goods or in cash donations.

I know you won’t let down the deserving people of Dothan, Alabama.  Any questions or comments can be directed to me at [email protected]

Nutty Trucks Hard Hat Style  

By Bill Buggeln, Hard Hat Chair

Is it Hard Hats or Hard heads? It may be a little of both, but let’s have a good time in Dothan. We will have a HARD HAT breakfast on Friday morning during the Retiree Rally.  Breakfast will be prepared by the Veterans, and we will also have a guest speaker from the National Peanut Festival Association. Cost $10 – Look for Red Hat & Hard Hat sign up at registration. 

FCRV Retiree Rally Door Prizes

By Pat Crow

This is it, the final countdown. Can’t wait to see everyone at the rally in Dothan. Hope you have your door prizes ready and packed in your rig. This is such a fun part of the rally. Safe travels to all, and see you in Dothan.

A Home for Lap Robes

By Beth Standiford

During the Retiree Rally if you would like to make/donate a lap robe, we have found a great location to support in Dothan, Alabama:   

The Dothan Rescue Mission. – Lap Robes

Providing a haven of hope for the lost and lonely, and those who may call the streets their home, as well as being a lifeline for those drowning under the waves of adversity and the undertow of addiction. They are on the street and help those in need with hot food, clean clothing, temporary shelter, and the possibility of a more abundant life, seeking the least, the last and the lost.

Founded in January 1979 the Rescue Mission started as a men’s lodge, women’s lodge, and soup kitchen. Later new construction provided them with an office, admin building, 25-bed Men’s and 16-bed Women’s lodges. Responding to the need in the community in 2010, yet another new construction allowed for a family lodge. And finally, in 2018 opening a 10,000 square foot facility, with a 60-bed Men’s, 25-bed Women’s, 16-bed Family Lodges, a chapel and full kitchen.

They are currently being 80% supported by their two thrift stores:  2210 Ross Clark Circle and 3736 Ross Clark Circle, your donation will most certainly help.   Thank you.

(Lap robes may be knitted, crocheted, quilted, or purchased.  Typical size for wheelchair patients is 27”x36”.  Lap robes sizes chart: Small – 36”x45”; Medium – 30”x60”; Large – 45”x60”.)

Retiree Games at The 51st Rally In Dothan, Alabama 

By Shari & Craig Weber and Marjory Bates, Games Chairs 

The time to get “Nutty” with the “Nutty Campers” is only a few weeks away.. Get your game on! Or, just come and have some fun. This month I am reviewing the games we will play.

At central registration there will be sign-up sheets for the different games. This allows for planning, but if you don’t get signed up, just show up at the scheduled time, and you will play. The complete rules for the games FCRVers enjoy playing are listed on www.fcrv.org  under programs, Adult Activities. Anyone with access to the internet can access this information. There will also be rules at the registration table and at the games. Winners will receive their recognitions at the end of the games and in an announcement from stage.

Please keep in mind that we will start on time. There are lots of things on the schedule, and we want to enjoy everything there is to do.

The following is a tentative schedule. At registration you will receive the program book which will include specific time and the location for each event.

Morning: Frog Races
Afternoon: Skip-Bo
Afternoon: Card Bingo 

Morning: Chicken Foot
Afternoon: Ladder Golf

Afternoon: Washer Toss
Afternoon: 5 Crowns

Afternoon: Corn Hole

Afternoon: Bean Bag Baseball

Remember we need your help by bringing dominoes to Chicken Foot and wooden Corn Hole boards to Corn Hole. Anyone interested in helping with a particular game or just in general, please send a message to us at [email protected].

Campvention 2023 – Richmond, Indiana

Campvention ’23 Registration Musings

By Beth Muschinski, Registration Chair

By the time this is published, we will all know if March came in like a lion or a lamb. Other March weather folklore states, “As it rains in March, so it rains in June” and “So many mists in March you see, so many frosts in May will be.” Does it matter? Is folklore different in different areas of the world?  Does anyone remember which it was? March weather will be ancient history by July and long forgotten.

There is another saying that is nothing but truth…..”Whether it’s cold or whether it’s hot, we shall have weather, whether or not.” OK, one more: “When a cow tries to scratch her ear, it means a shower is very near.” That one is kinda cute.

All I can say is that, come July, it will be HOT in Richmond, IN. Am I talking about the temperatures?  Who knows!?!  What I am talking about is the FCRV Campvention and the fact that the activities the week of July 9-14 will be HOT, HOT, HOT!

Have kids? They have fun/games/activities. Have teens? They have fun/games/activities. Are you an adult (in age if not always attitude)? You will have fun/games/activities.

I LOVE getting registrations in the mail. They are still coming in, slowly, but I am sure that the closer we get to June 1, the more my mailbox will be stuffed. I see lots of names on the Facebook 2023 Campvention page that I don’t have in my registration database yet. 

Please don’t forget/ignore the email line. Email is how I send out all the confirmation letters. Cell phone numbers are important if, for some unknown but possible reason, we need to get in touch with you while you are traveling. We will need that cell phone number at the gate anyway for an emergency contact card.

Several of you have made notes on the “We would like to volunteer for______” line at the bottom of the registration form. Thank you to everyone who is willing to volunteer to help out. Planning, producing and running the Campvention is a lot of work, and we need help. At the Central Registration desk check-in, there will be a sheet for volunteer sign-up. It will list all the areas needed, and please feel free to sign up anywhere and everywhere. You may have more fun as a volunteer than you would sitting around your rig chatting with friends.

See y’all in July!!!

Campvention 2023 Crafts

By Misty Stuckwisch, Crafts Chair

Hi! My name is Misty Stuckwisch, and I will be providing the crafts for this year’s Campvention in Richmond, Indiana. Some of you may have participated in crafts I have led at campouts in the Great Lakes region previously. I am excited to offer two crafts this July and look forward to seeing you in Indiana! Both crafts will be $5 each and offered on different days. They are very user-friendly, and I believe even the not-so-crafty would enjoy participating!

Our first craft will be broken china jewelry. This is done with a faux soldering technique, so no welding involved! I have plenty of china to choose from and will show you the process from start to finish. You will have the ability to make a necklace, pin, or a magnet.

The second craft will be a Campvention-themed Christmas ornament. This is going to be a fun project that will remind you of your summer in Indiana for many years to come. I have custom vinyl that we will be transferring to ornaments that closely resembles our 2023 logo. This fun craft involves glitter, but don’t let that scare you away! Spread that glitter like sunshine!

I will have examples on display at the sign-in table at Campvention. If you have any questions before, just let me know.   Email is [email protected].

Entertainment Spotlight – Monday Night – Michelle Robinson Band 

By Jill Serbousek, Entertainment Chair

We’ll be kicking off Campvention 2023 week with the Cincinnati-based Michelle Robinson Band. Nashville recording artist, Michelle Robinson has been singing her entire life. As a preacher’s daughter, she was fortunate enough to hone her skills singing her heart out in church. With that experience she picked up the guitar, bass, and can keep a nice beat on the drums! She has opened for National Acts such as Scotty McCreery, Maddie & Tae, Uncle Kracker, Jon Langston, Thompson Square, Frank Foster, Kentucky Headhunters, Colt Ford, JoDee Messina, Diamond Rio, Mark Chesnutt, Phil Vassar, Bryan White and the famous Loretta Lynn. Everyone in her band brings a unique style and twist to the music that is performed. Every now and then you will hear a mix of pop/rock and other genres thrown in to fill the sound that is… the Michelle Robinson Band.



New TP Raffle

By Kathy Howell 

Hello, campers!

I am Kathy Howell, and recently joined FCRV with the new Family & Friends Camping Club (FFCC) Chapter. I am so happy to share with you a teen activity that has been a longstanding tradition in the FFCC group. It is called TP (toilet paper) Insurance and Raffle.

A little history of the program: Our group needed a fundraiser to increase the budget for our teen activities. The plan was simple – teens would sell TP raffle tickets, meet and socialize with other members of the club while doing so, and learn how to count and be responsible for money. Members purchase a “card” of tickets, with 26 tickets per card to put toward raffle prizes. Since rallies always involve a bit of fun and shenanigans, the tickets serve as insurance to not have your rig toilet-papered by the teens. Simply display a card in your rig’s window, and you’re safe, at least from the teens. 😉 If TP’d by adults (that, of course, would never happen), the teens will clean up the mess.

Teens sell the tickets Monday morning until Wednesday evening. Thursday is the raffle. Where do the raffle prizes come from? Well, parents of the participating teens are asked to bring a raffle gift per teen to place in the raffle. Club chapters and individual families may also donate prizes. A small portion of the ticket sales proceeds is also designated for prizes.

There is pre-raffle viewing time to make your selections and place tickets in the containers next to the prizes of your choice. You decide how many of your tickets to put in as many raffle items you want. Teens help set-up the raffle and as winning numbers are selected, they deliver the prizes to the respective winners. Cash prizes are available, too. The teens also win cash prizes for selling the most tickets. The money raised is then used to finance future teen activities, and as noted above, a small portion designated for the next year’s prize purchases. 

For the 2023 Campvention, my daughter, Jessica Hicks, and son, Zachary Chearhart, and I will be handling the TP ticket sales and raffle. We are asking that families of teens, please, bring a raffle prize per participating teen. Items donated in the past included camping chairs, games, gas/gift cards.  Items may be camping or non-camping related, with a value of $25-$50. Specific donation drop-off instructions will be provided prior to Campvention.

We hope you are as excited as we are to bring this new, fun activity to FCRV! I look forward to meeting you in Richmond.

Opening Flag Ceremony

By Connie Black, Campvention 2023 Chair

Plans are underway for the Opening Flag Ceremony for Campvention 2023. States and Provinces that plan to attend should bring a 3’ by 5’ state/province flag, flag pole and flag stand. Flags will be displayed all week in the Entertainment building.

Opening Flag Ceremony Rehearsal will take place on Sunday from 3:30 to 4:30 in the Entertainment building. Flag bearers should bring their flag, flag pole, and flag stand to the practice. The time of the Closing Ceremony rehearsal will be in the Program Book and will take place on Friday.

Rose Paws Pet Parade

By Karen Decker, Pet Parade Chair

Good morning, I am your pet parade chairman, Karen Decker.  This year’s parade is ROSE PAWS PET PARADE!  All pets are welcome; dogs, cats, whatever you have as a pet, if you wish to have in the parade. Registration will be set up in Central Registration. Hoping to hold the parade on  Tuesday, more later when I have all scheduled. The categories will be: owner/pet look alike, best trick, best behaved, most adorable, Dog-best in show; any cats- best in show; other pets will be judged, too. Certificates and prizes will be given to all, even participation certificates!  Look for more information in the next couple of months!

The Any-Hat-No Hat Luncheon

By Deb Swanson, Luncheon Chair

Come one, come all to the any-hat-no hat luncheon. For those of you who aren’t aware of what this is, let me explain. For many years the ladies of the Red Hat Society would hold a luncheon at Campvention. All ladies were invited even if you weren’t a member. The men, not wanting to be short-changed, started the hard hat luncheon. One year, for sake of convenience, the two were joined together to form the any-hat-no hat luncheon. The menu for this year’s event consists of meatball heroes, Italian pasta salad, dessert and ice tea or fruit punch. The cost is $10.00, a better value than any meal at McDonald’s. Also, the fellowship is priceless. As for hats, the crazier the better. Chicken hats, pretty hats, you name it. To make things interesting this year, we will have a hat fashion show with prizes. This is one event at Campvention not to be missed.

Wildlife Returns To Campvention

By Deb Swanson

Wildlife has fallen by the wayside over the last few years. Your President and Comptroller have taken on the job of getting wildlife back into focus, while we wait for a volunteer to take the job. After all, that is the very foundation of FCRV.

Last year, at campvention, we had a raffle and an auction that raised $1,100.00 for wildlife grants. This year we are going to have a merchandise raffle, 60/40 cash raffle, and a silent auction. We need your help. We’re asking attendees to bring a new item, priced around $20.00. It can be camping related, garden related, etc. I know that you are being asked to bring many things, for many uses, to campvention, but this is important. There are many things going on in the wildlife area, many needing our help..

Also coming back to campvention is the wildlife photo contest. Please bring your wildlife photos to be put on display for judging.

Adult Bowling News

By Craig Weber

Thank You to all FCRV members who responded positively to the possibility of an Adult Bowling event at Campvention in Richmond, IN. I received 50 positive responses which means I made arrangements for 90 people at Richmond 40 Lanes in Richmond on Thursday, July 13 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM. A party package that includes 2 hours of bowling, 1 – 14” pizza and 1 – 64 oz pitcher of pop for each group of six, shoes are included. Cost will be about $12.50 each. Please register for the event in advance (by June 1) using the following link https://fcrv.org/campvention-bowling/ and send payment by check to Beth Muschinski at the address on the form. ‘Thank you’ to all. See you in Richmond.

Campvention’s Coming Up Roses – Site Decorating Contest

By Shari Weber

The site decorating contest began way back in the year 2000 when we were going to Forest City, Iowa. When it was seen that there were no trees in “Forest” City, we were asked to bring a tree to Campvention. There were family trees, friendship trees, a rubber tree, colorful trees. Lots of creativity. Over the years we have decorated with lighthouses in Michigan, outhouses in West Virginia, lobstah (translation lobster) in Maine, Inukshuk (Arctic navigation and hunting aid) in Blythe, Ontario, horses in Virginia, buffalo in Gillette, and Wizard of Oz in Kansas, just to name a few. The theme for decorating has attempted to match the Campvention theme or something that defines the area.

The rose theme of Campvention honors the designation of Richmond as the “Rose City” given because it is the home of the Hills Rose growers premier providers of roses for the United State and the world. Come to Campvention prepared to decorate your campsite with roses. They can be real, homemade, or purchased. Create a design and get ready to WOW your fellow campers. The displays can be created by an individual, a family, a group of families, or a chapter. The displays can be made of any material you wish to use to depict the theme.

Displays will be registered at central registration indicating site number where the display will be set up and who the creators and decorators are. The decorations can be put up at any time. They must be ready by noon Wednesday, July12. Judges will come around Wednesday afternoon to judge the displays.

There are four prize categories as follows: Most Colorful, Most Creative, Prettiest, Most Unique.

Grandpa’s Farm Campground & RV Park in Richmond ,Indiana is our sponsor, supplying us with the funds to provide you with 4 cash prizes of $25 each.. Please be sure to stop and stay or just to say “Thank you”.

Get those creative juices flowing and bring some roses to Campvention in July!

Camping Is’ Coloring Page & Poster Contest for Youth

By Deena Felver, Campvention 2023 Youth Chair

The “Camping Is” contest gives the youth of FCRV an opportunity to express themselves through art in defining what camping means to them. The contest is divided into 6 age groups; 0-2 years, 3-4 years, 5-6 years, 7-8 years, 9-10 years, and 11-12 years. The 0-2- and 3–4-year-olds will have a coloring contest with an official entry form. The other age groups will have a poster contest. The contest is conducted on both a state/provincial and a national level. Entrants compete in their state/province and the first-place winner in each age group is brought to the National Campvention to compete in the national contest. The link to download the coloring page is https://fcrv.org/programs2/national-programs/youth/.

Campvention 2023 Hospitality

By Denise Weiss and Stacy Davis, Co-chairs

What does the word hospitality mean? Hospitality means extending a welcome to travelers or offering a home away from home, and the word is derived from the Latin word “hospes” meaning visitor or stranger. Isn’t that what FCRV is all about, “Where strangers become friends and friends become family”? We still have some openings for you to show how welcoming FCRV members are by hosting a hospitality. It does not have to be fancy; a welcoming gesture, no matter how big or small is always appreciated. For those of us early risers, you can show your hospitality by hosting one in the morning with a simple coffee and donuts. Who doesn’t like coffee and donuts? Anyone can host a hospitality; it can be a chapter, a state/province, a group such as the Retirees, teens, just some friends, or even an individual. We look forward to hearing from you. Until then safe camping and safe travels.

Gift Basket Giveaway

By Connie Black, Campvention 2023 Chair

The 2023 Campvention is asking States and Provinces to donate a gift basket or gift bag with items of their choice. Raffle tickets will be given to members as they check in and are non transferable. The baskets or bags will be part of the door prizes to be drawn each evening. Anything can be in the basket, items from your state/province, camping items, survival basket, favorite seasonings for grilling, etc. We are also accepting door prizes from chapters and individuals who wish to donate. The winner must also be present to claim their door prize. The more door prizes that are brought to Campvention, the more winners there are.

Campvention 2023 First Timers Info 

By Donna Powell, First Timers Chair

First Timers- Hi, how are ya? Welcome! It’s your 2023 First Timers Chairperson, Donna Powell! My husband, Delbert and I, along with our 3 children, now our 4 grandchildren have been members since 1989! So, when you come to this year’s Campvention, my fellow campers and I will be welcoming you and your family to the Family Campers and RVers International Campvention, Richmond, Indiana.

 So, what do you do? First, you are coming into the fairgrounds, checking in, setting up! Depending on what time it is, you will journey to registration, be given information, then start through all of registration! THEN  when you get to First Timer’s area, I will greet you and your family and help with what might be needed. Our first meeting will be at 10am, Monday morning.  Please try to come to meet some of our national leadership.  We will give you as much information as we can and help you if you have questions. We will give out a questionnaire; please fill during the week! A second follow- up meeting will be scheduled for either Thursday or Friday, where we can meet, hear questions, or maybe suggestions! Please bring back questionnaire so my Team Leader, I, and National can see how you enjoyed your Campvention! 

I CAN’T WAIT TO MEET EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU!  I did mention, we love to hug, high-five, fist pump our FIRST TIMERS all week long!  A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME IS FCRV!

FCRV International Band Update

By Craig Weber, Conductor

To those old-timers and first-timers attending Campvention, I would like to invite you to be part of the FCRV International Band. The FCVR International Band is made up of volunteers who enjoy music and who play an instrument. The band has ranged in age from 14 – 88. so all are welcome. All we ask is a few hours of your time for practice. I have designed the practices to give anyone who hasn’t played in a while a chance to get their lips and breath into playing shape. The music we play is mostly very simple, but I do throw in a challenge once in a while. I will also be making the music available about the first of May for those who would like extra practice time. The band will practice for a total of five hours and play about a 45-minute concert at Campvention. It is a great help in planning music if I know ahead of time how many players I have and what instruments will be playing. You can imagine how things can be very different from year to year. Band members receive a FCRV International Band Tuxedo T-Shirt, an FCRV International Band Member badge with year tab, pizza party before concert, new friends and hours of fun. All you have to do is find your instrument, dust it off, bring it to Campvention and join in the fun and sharing. Please email me with your desire to play at [email protected] include what instrument you play and shirt size.

The Teen Center at Twilight

By Marci Macintosh, Teen Center Chair

Each evening we have planned a fun theme for the Teen Center!

Regional Feature: Welcome to the Great Lakes Rose Garden!

The first evening of Campvention is a time to get to know each other. So, all teens and their guardians for the week should plan to come to the Teen Center for a meeting to kick off the week and get to know the guidelines and plans for the week. We’ll take care of the basic stuff like schedules, teen cards and emergency contacts. Then we’ll kick off the week with our first regionally-themed night, the Great Lakes Rose Garden. There will be music and a general get-to-know-each-other vibe, because the first night is always a little stiff. No need to dress-up or bring anything for the party, just a good attitude. As an added bonus, we’re going to play Euchre. If you’ve never played this Midwest favorite, no worries, we’ll teach you. If we all feel competitive, we’ll play a rotating tournament.

Regional Feature: Far West Glow Party

Think ‘Vegas’ or LA for our GLOW (black light) party. We’ll have glow sticks and glow in the dark body paint. Don’t worry, guardians, it’s Non-Toxic, Safe for Face and Body, and Washes off Easily with Soap and Water. However, just to be safe, please wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. It’s safe for skin, but I don’t know if it will stain your clothes. There will be more music and games and an area for taking fun pictures, so be sure to bring a phone or camera.

Regional Feature: Southeast Beach Party

Dress in clothes that you don’t mind getting wet! It’s a beach party, complete with a (kiddie) pool. Bring water guns, beach balls and your favorite beach towel. Of course, there will still be music and beach games, but this is the night to be sure your phone or camera is protected, in case you get too wild with the splashing.

Regional Feature: Day of the Dead Party

This is the evening that we’ll be doing the TeePee Contracts drawing; so the party this evening might be a much shorter event. We’ll see how things go.

Family Dance Night

Come walk the Red Carpet with your families! We’re all invited to the Family Dance, and the Teen Center will be closed this evening. But you’ll see Geoff and me on the red-carpet taking photos and enjoying the Family Dance with you! Jill and Scott have gotten a great band that will be performing music across the decades. So come dressed in clothes from your favorite decade and possibly win a prize!

Regional Feature: On Our Way Northeast to New York

That’s right…2024 heads to New York, so we’re celebrating the Northeast region on the last night. Be sure to stop by the Teen Center to see if you forgot anything. (We always have quite the lost-and-found. If you left your Tie-dye socks with me in Colorado, I’ll try to remember to have them in Richmond. They’re around here somewhere.) This is not the night for “Good byes”. It’s the night for “See-You-Laters” since FCRV brings us back together again and again.

We can’t wait to see you in July!

Trick-or-Treat! Give Us Something Non-Perishable to Eat!

By Marci Macintosh, Teen Center Chair

This year’s Teen Program is being coordinated closely with the Youth and who doesn’t love trick-or-treating? So, when we found out that the youth would be trick-or-treating, we realized how much fun that would be. But instead of candy, we’ll be trick-or-treating for non-perishable food items to donate to a local food bank.

What does this mean for you?

Well, if you’re a teen, bring a sturdy bag, wagon or other creative way to haul around canned goods and bring your muscles!

If you’re an adult, please bring a non-perishable item(s) to donate.

It’s just that simple, but will hopefully provide a lot of good to the Richmond area.


[20% off Discount Code “FCRV20”]

South Central West Regional Campout – Branson Missouri

South Central West Regional Campout – Branson Missouri

By Paul Standiford

Hey Campers!  Looking for a fun event?  Take a few extra days before Campvention 2023 and mosey on down to Branson, Missouri for the SCW Regional Campout June 18-21.  We are gathering at Treasure Lake right IN Branson, close to all the action and attractions and very close to Lake Taneycomo, & Table Rock Dam.   Space is limited in the exclusive Treasure Lake Resort, and you MUST preregister.  If you want to stay at a different Branson campground and still attend the fun, you should still register and pay the activity fee.  

Plans include evening meal on Sunday, June 18, Continental breakfast on June 19, Door prizes, Wildlife presentation, and a Goodie Bag for all who attend and pay the Activity Fee. 

If you have any questions, please call State Director, Paul Standiford (636-544-8933). 

DO NOT call Treasure Lake. 

Campvention 2023 Travalong

Campvention 2023 Travalong

By George Reynolds, Southeast Regional Director

As we’re traveling during the 4th of July, we need to make a reservation as early as possible but not later than April 1st!

June 22-25 Southeastern Regional CAMPOUT at River Rest CG, 10654 US HWY S,

Chatsworth, GA 706-972-2681

June 25-30 Creekside RV Park, Pigeon Forge, TN 865-327-2448 Identify FCRV.

There are loads of activities to attend and lots of day trips at this location with free time to indulge.

June 30-July 5 OH Kentucky RV Park, 562 Paint Lick Rd, Berea, KY 40403 (159 miles) 3 hr. 859-986-1150

This site is in the lower Kentucky mountains that has many great venues to explore in the area with many well-known restaurants. Several discounts on nightly fees are $41 to $51 30/50amp full hook up. Wonderful place to get off the road for the 4th. Ask for your discount and for FCRV sites.

July 5-7 KY HORSE PARK CAMPGROUND, Campground Rd, Lexington, KY (46 miles) Reservations are thru Reserve America (888)459-7275). If necessary for help, the campground store can assist 800-3700-6416. Rate varies est. $35-37plus tax.

There are many places to visit here, and the ARK ENCOUNTER is 37 miles North for a day trip.

July 7—Wayne County Fairgrounds Campvention, Richmond, IN 142miles; 2.5 hours

Contact GEORGE REYNOLDS at [email protected] for the regional registration form and any additional information.

Personalized garments; drinkware; clings; decals; kitchen & bath items. You can choose from our large graphic collection or use your photos or designs.

For FCRV branded items: https://stores.inksoft.com/fc_rv/shop/home

For other items: https://stores.inksoft.com/marshall_creations16/shop/home

Call or text: 410-533-0038
[email protected]

The Real Cost Of Paradise

The Real Cost Of Paradise

By Deb Swanson

Cleared land and construction sites are commonplace in Southwest Florida. According to Meredith Budd, regional policy director for the Florida Wildlife Federation, development and the roads that come with it simply extricate animals if they were in that area and forces them to move elsewhere. Some believe that population increases, and the impact that development, on wildlife, will eventually deter people from moving to Southwest Florida. A 25 year resident of South Florida, John Trautman, stated “look at the advertising they do for Florida, it’s come to paradise. Come see the dolphins, and the alligators, and maybe even a wild panther. This is our heritage here in Florida and we have always been blessed with a lot of wildlife.” At the end of the day, it’s going to be detrimental to society, and its residents, the less wildlife we have. Then it diminishes the diversity of the ecosystem that we live in. 

Florida’s wildlife and humans encounter each other more than ever before, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission .Especially with expansive development encroaching on wildlife habitat in this region. Education is an important tool to help reduce human-wildlife conflict, according to the Florida Wildlife Federation. Their website describes a project called “Share the Landscape” a wildlife coexistence initiative to educate Floridians on the importance of protecting wildlife and their habitat.

Currently there is a development plan in East Manatee County, Florida that could impact local attractions and agricultural land in the area. The 55 year old Hunsader farm, and its popular Tiny Town attraction, are right in the way of a proposed 5,000 housing development. Also in the way is the Mayakka Elephant Ranch Habitat. The development plan calls for two highways, one cutting through the Hunsader farm including a petting zoo and a parking area used during their annual pumpkin festival. The second road will cut through the elephant habitat greatly affecting them. According to Julia Braren, director of the ranch, the elephants don’t make a lot of noise, and they have excellent hearing. They have an excellent sense of smell and can hear what’s going on miles away. They can communicate miles apart and can smell water 4 miles away. Things can impact them that may not impact someone 100 yards away. There are currently elephants at the ranch that are on the endangered species list.

I was contacted by Julia from the elephant ranch asking me to send a letter to the Manatee County Commissioners stating our objection to this plan. I did so on behalf of all our members who should be concerned about these types of situations. This situation is not only happening in Florida. It’s happening all across the country, especially those areas considered “Paradise”

There is an expression that goes something like “you can’t stop progress’. If enough people care, and fight for what they believe in, you can stop progress.

Parts of this article taken from the Florida Wildlife Federation website and My Suncoast.com with permission to reprint.

“Knock Knock. Whooo’s There?”

“Knock Knock. Whooo’s There?” 

Adventures in the Field: Stories from a Wildlife Technician
By Amy Wittmeyer

Now that winter has fallen, many birds have flown south to escape the cold weather. But some do remain, including many species of raptors (predatory birds like hawks, owls, and eagles). Here at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in NY, we cleaned out bird boxes used by bluebirds and purple martins over the summer, but we had to wait until winter to clean out our wood duck boxes. Many wood duck boxes are located on or near water, so we have to wait for the ice to form so we can walk out to check and clean them. Some boxes are located in more forested areas, though, so we’ve started checking those while we wait for the ice to grow thicker (we’ve had a very mild winter so far).

One of the best parts of checking these boxes is that they are sometimes occupied and you find a friend inside. Not a wood duck, but an Eastern screech owl. Screech owls will utilize the boxes in the winter for shelter and are docile enough that they will usually stay in the box, asleep, as you check and clean it.

We started checking boxes in January and I was very excited to see the owls up close. I’ve heard screech owls at night before, but I’ve never seen one. The first outing with my boss had no luck, but the following day I brought some other techs with me and we went to a different area of the refuge. One of the very first boxes we opened had a sleepy owl pressed into the back corner of the box. So, while the owl snoozed, I cleaned out the soiled wood shavings around it, replaced them with new shavings, then, ever so gently, picked up the owl and moved it onto the fresh bedding so I could clean where it had been sitting.

Apparently a little indignant at being disturbed, the sleepy little owl turned its head and gave me a stink eye unlike I’ve ever received from a wild animal. I just had to take a picture and show the other girls helping me, and we all had a good laugh as I finished cleaning the box, closed it, and we left the owl to it’s nap. A little while later in a different box, we found another owl. This owl looked like it had had quite the night and was fast asleep, nearly face down on the floor (yes, it was breathing). It also had a big cache of food and I didn’t want to throw it all away, so we simply left the box alone to check another day. We have almost 60 boxes left to check, so here’s hoping we find more friends! Fun fact: Eastern screech owls actually come in two color morphs, gray and red. 

Dear RV

Hi there everyone, we are introducing a new article in Camping Today. We would like to welcome you to Dear RV. This is a place where you can ask the questions that you are hesitant to ask members of your Chapter, State, or your Neighbor. Your questions will be answered from our point of view, and it will hopefully give you a chuckle as well as some useful information to help you in your RVing experience. You may not agree completely with all our answers, but our goal is to give honest information to you as to how we do our RVing. We would prefer to not know who is submitting the question. So, send us your questions and we will send you an answer (possibly that you were not expecting) but an answer, just the same and possibly with a small dose of humor for good measure.

Us here at Dear RV!

Dear RV

My Question is This: When Cooking in the RV, do you use any special pans for the gas stove-top or in the gas oven?

Thank you. Betty, Not Cooking.

Well, Betty Not Cooking

It sounds like you have a gas stove and oven in your rig. The beauty of gas is that any pan that you can use on your gas stove at home will work in the rig. I often use my cast Iron. I have metal baking dishes and a couple of glass baking dishes in the rig. I often say treat the stove in the rig like your stove at home. If you can cook it at home on your stove or oven, then you can cook it in the rig. It just might  require  a smaller pan that fits in the oven.

Enjoy a special meal in the rig.

Dear RV

Dear RV, How do you conserve the use of black tanks when camping in state parks?

In the interest of conservation, this is a great question. Previously in Dear RV, it has been discussed about what kind of TP to use. This is very important. A more dense (luxury) TP will take more water and fill up your tank more quickly. Does one or more of your sinks drain into the black tank? Find out and be aware. Do not continue to run water while brushing your teeth. Does your shower go into a black tank? Then you might want to invest in some whole-body wipes. These can be used on your entire body, but do not flush; simply dispose in a waste basket or a special trash bag that you remove from the camper daily. Someone leaves a mess in the toilet bowl? Get a spray bottle of vinegar & water (50/50) and use wipes to clean it up. No excess water into your black tank.

Another suggestion is, you can “line” your toilet with TP when pooping (X-shaped but only with a couple sheets each direction). This will help eliminate (but not completely) “mudslides” in your potty which require more water to clean away. You can employ a trash can with a lid and put all used TP in it. Some use doggy do-do bags to hold personal cleaning TP and even baby wipes to help you feel cleaner. And you don’t HAVE to use water to flush urine. Why double the amount of liquid with every flush? And finally, use the facilities at the state park.

Dear Black Tank

Along with the good ideas above I have a slightly differing take on this subject ! Most modern RV’s gray water goes only into the gray tank. This is your sink and shower water. Black water is water and toilet content. That is everything that you put into the toilet. Be that human waste, water, or the leftovers that you scrape off the plate after dinner that you did not want to place in the trash can. Now understand, I do not recommend this practice. Well, back on subject. One: as you’re traveling the water sloshes and cleans the tank walls of anything you missed. Two: if you have an excessive paper user in the family, it aids in the breaking down of the paper by having water in the tank and with the enzyme it breaks down much faster than if it is too dry in the tank. Having said this, conserving in a state park, limit the use of the RV toilet to after dark. Use the campground restrooms during the day. Limit the water you use for daily things like dishes and the like. I find that my gray tank will fill faster than the black tank. Most State Parks limit your stay to 14 days. Know the size of your tanks and work from there. Manage your water use each day of your stay. You may have to move the rig to the park dump station and empty, then return to your site. That is your worst case scenario..

I hope this helps you and thanks for writing to us here at Dear RV.