We’re Rewarding Your Loyalty with Monty Perks!

The loyalty of our long-term customers has helped build El Monte RV into one of America’s largest RV rental companies. We’re returning the favor by rewarding your loyalty with a great new program called “Monty Perks!”

This easy-to-earn, easy-to-redeem rewards program allows our customers to earn points for showing their loyalty in several ways. Not only do you earn points each time you rent an RV, we’ll reward you just for being a fan! Here are seven ways to earn points redeemable for free days/mileage on RV rentals:

  1. Each night rented = 100 points
  2. New account signup = 300 points
  3. Follow us on Facebook = 50 points
  4. Follow us on Twitter = 50 points
  5. Monthly Newsletter Signup = 100 points
  6. Responding to Survey Questions = varies

Exciting, isn’t it? Now you not only will you be renting a luxurious RV from one of our locations nationwide, you’ll also be earning points for each night rented and for keeping up with our rental specials and travel information.

In case you’re wondering what rewards those points can earn, here’s the scoop:

  • For each 1,000 points earned, you receive 500 free miles on an RV rental
  • For each 2,000 points earned, you receive 1,000 free miles on an RV rental
  • You can also redeem 2,000 points earned for a free day of RV rental

As we mentioned, this is one easy-to-redeem loyalty points program. All you need to do is log into your account and print the reward certificate earned. The certificate is then presented to the El Monte RV Rentals counter agent when you pick up your RV. It’s that simple! Your points never expire and they’re good at all of our locations.

Ready to start earning points? Go to El Monte RV Monty Perks and create your account. (Make sure you include a valid email address.) Then all you have to do to earn points is to take advantage of our great RV rental rates when you’re ready to travel. Once again, we appreciate your loyalty!

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Innovative Ways to Help Today’s Wired Generation Reconnect with Nature

One campground offers children a chance to build “bat houses” this summer, while another offers visits by “The Bug Lady”

Others offer river rafting, canoeing and kayaking, as well as nature walks, and opportunities to pick organically grown fruits and vegetables

One park outside of New York City even has its own wolf preserve, where you can hear the call of the wild as you sleep

Richard Louv made national headlines a few years ago when he published Last Child in the Woods, an award winning book that documented an alarming disconnect between today’s wired generation and nature.

But if you feel it’s a challenge to separate your children from their cell phones, iPods, and computer or video games, take heart. “Many of America’s privately owned and operated campgrounds are developing new activities for children of all ages to help them reconnect with nature,” said Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. The Larkspur, Colo.-based trade association, in fact, is encouraging its 3,500-plus affiliated campgrounds and RV parks and resorts to increase their offerings of nature-oriented programs for children and families.

Here is sampling of privately owned parks across the country that are offering interesting and unique activities, both on their own initiative and with encouragement of the national association, to help their guests reconnect with nature:

Artic RV Park in Cosmopolis, Wash.: This park, located near Olympic National Park, offers crawdad fishing in a river that flows next to the park. “I keep spare bait for crawdads, string and weights for children to use for ‘long lining’ in the river,” said park owner Roy Pearmain. “I also teach children how to pick up the crawdads and how to sex the crawdads so they can throw back the girls.” Pearmain, who has a degree in biology, also takes his park guests on nature walks and talks about the medicinal uses of plants and trees that are native to the area.

Camp Taylor Campground in Columbia, N.J.: This campground is the home of the Lakota Wolf Preserve, which provides educational talks on wolves, bobcats and foxes twice daily. “We also provide lake swimming, rather than a pool maintained with chemicals. Our lake was built so that we have the ability to control the flow of water into it, thereby maintaining a continuous flow of fresh water,” said park owner Jean Taylor, adding, “Most of our weekend activities are designed to promote environmental awareness and preservation. Our newest activity this year is a ‘lett-us-be-green’ weekend, in which we will be introducing green smoothies made with various green vegetables and healthy fruits. We try to incorporate the need to eating healthy with the need for a healthy environment using informative, nature-based activities centering around simple ways people can ‘go green’ at home and the effect it can have in preserving the planet. Children will go home with a green plant to care for at home.”

Castaways RV Resort and Campground in Berlin, Md.: This park is the closest to Ocean City, Maryland’s most popular beach resort. “We are situated overlooking Assateague Island, where the wild ponies run. You can see them feeding daily from across the bay,” said Kathleen Morris, the park’s general manager. “We have kayak and jet ski rentals on the site as well as fishing skiffs. We also have numerous fishing and crabbing piers as well as clamming sandbars within wading distance.” Morris added, “We encourage the kids in the park to participate in our recreation activities as opposed to being couch potatoes.”

Herkimer KOA in Herkimer, N.Y.: This park is doing several things to try to encourage its guests to develop a closer connection to our natural environment, while also taking better care of themselves. The park recently installed the nation’s first “off grid” solar powered park model rental cabin, which includes bamboo flooring, LED lighting, recycled axels and tires, recycled lumber composite decking, on-demand water heating, energy efficient heating and air-conditioning.

“Our guests will not only have an opportunity for a great camping experience, but the dwelling itself becomes an educational tool,” said Dr. Renee Scialdo Shevat, the park’s owner, adding, “It’s going to increase awareness of environmental issues not only in New York state, but across the country. My hope is that our guests not only come to enjoy the weekend, but come away inspired to live a greener lifestyle.” Toward that end, a rainwater collection system is also being set up to capture rainwater that falls on the solar-power park model so that it can be used to irrigate an organic vegetable and herb garden. Dr. Shevat plans to encourage her guests to pick vegetables and herbs from the garden and use them in their cooking while they stay at the park.

Lake George RV Park in Lake George, N.Y.: This park has a nature awareness program that includes educational materials and designated nature areas where campers can learn about the wildlife that inhabits the park. The park also has live animal shows with wildlife experts.

Lazy River at Granville in Granville, Ohio: This park has many outdoor activities, including a 300-foot-long zipline, which is popular with people of all ages. But one of the park’s newest nature-oriented attractions is a teacher they affectionately call “The Bug Lady.” “She’s like a pied piper,” said park owner Mark Kasper. She comes to the park several times during the summer, equipped with a suitcase full of insects. Kasper remembers one day when a group of teenagers arrived at his park and scattered shortly after checking in. He worried that they were going to get into mischief. “I later found them sitting in rapture,” he said, “just listening to what this lady had to say.” In addition to talking about the insects she carries in her case, “The Bug Lady” also takes children on tours through the campground looking for bugs. The park also recently opened a mile-long walking path to encourage its guests to get out of their RVs and enjoy a walk in the woods.

Normandy Farms Campground in Foxboro, Mass.: This park has a 2-mile nature trail, complete with interpretive nature signs that the park incorporates into its regular activity schedule. The park also offers geocaching to encourage kids to get outside and search for caches. “We also have fishing derbies to entice kids to enjoy simple activities, such as fishing in our pond,” said park spokeswoman Kristine Daniels.

Sorensen’s Resort in Hope Valley, Calif.: This High Sierra resort offers nature oriented events throughout spring, summer and fall, including a medicinal plants hike on July 4th, a photography workshop on July 25th, a fly-fishing workshop Aug. 7th and 8th, a watercolor retreat Sept. 20th to 24th and a fall colors hike on Oct. 8th.

The Great Outdoors RV Nature and Golf Resort in Titusville, Fla.: This RV resort is one of the largest in the country, with 1,534 sites for towable and motorized RVs as well as park models and custom-built resort homes. But the park also has 3,000 acres of land that are home to native egrets, deer and quail. The Great Outdoors puts a heavy focus on nature, providing habitat areas for numerous land animals and birds, including the colorful “painted bunting,” a rare and stunningly beautiful red, blue and green bird whose habitat has been destroyed in many areas of Florida. The Great Outdoors not only preserves habitat for the painted bunting and other species, but recently opened a 2,795 square foot nature center, which provides a wildlife museum, nature programs and hikes.

Other park operators offer much more traditional but very satisfying nature-based activities. Consider Riley and Vicky Turner, who own a small campground in the Manistee National Forest in central Michigan. Their park, R & J Resort Campground, has 25 campsites, six cabins and three cottages, and is surrounded by pines, poplars, maples and oaks. It’s also close to the Manistee River, a prime spot for fishing and kayaking or canoeing. “My favorite kayak or canoe trip is to go from Hodenpyl Dam to Red Bridge,” Vicky Turner explains. “You’ll see eagles in flight, albino deer, turkeys and other different animals coming to the river to get a drink.” The trip takes about three to four hours by canoe. “When the kids come,” Turner said, “I take them to see some of our sassafras trees. It’s my favorite tree because you can chew on the leaf and it tastes like root beer!”

This was kindly provided to us by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds where you can find more help locating unique campgrounds in your area or for additional commentary, statistics and sources on the latest camping trends.

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Many Families are Gearing Up for Water Balloon Wars as Campgrounds Prepare for Prepare for “Wet & Wild Weekends”

Some campgrounds organize water war competitions that pit staff against guests and involve virtually everyone in the campground

“There are three adjectives we like to hear. Awesome, sweet or wow! If I get one of those out of the adults or their kids, I’m doing my job. That’s how we run our business.” – Wisconsin campground owner Bud Styer

Some people like to camp in a quiet place in the woods. But quiet is not on the menu at the Wisconsin campgrounds that Bud Styer owns or manages on behalf of other park owners, which include Smokey Hollow Campground in Lodi; Merry Mac’s Campground in Merrimac; Baraboo Hills Campground in Baraboo; Tilleda Falls Campground in Tilleda; Rivers Edge Campground in Stevens Point; River Bend RV Resort in Watertown; and Harbour Village Campground in Sturgeon Bay. Styer caters to an active family crowd, the kind of people who will go through 14,000 water balloons in a weekend game of “water wars” in which everyone in the campground gets wet.

“There are three adjectives we like to hear,” Styer said. “Awesome, sweet or wow! If I get one of those out of the adults or their kids, I’m doing my job. That’s how we run our business.”

But Styer isn’t the only campground operator who is tapping into his guests’ wild side. Growing numbers of independently owned and operated campgrounds across the country, as well as many parks in the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort and Kampgrounds of America (KOA) chains, offer a growing assortment of water-related activities, from spraygrounds and waterslides to their own “Wet and Wild” weekends.

“Camping enthusiasts always seek access to water, whether it’s in rivers, lakes, swimming pools or along the beach. But many parks find they can further enhance their appeal by offering fun, water-related activities,” said Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Williamsport, Md. is planning a “Wet and Wild Week” Aug. 2nd to 8th. “Wherever you are in the park and whatever you do that week, there is a very good chance you are going to get wet,” said park co-owner Vicki Vitkun. “We have water balloon fights. We do a water balloon pitch burst. We do wet sponge ball fights, big water gun battles, volleyball in the pool, basketball in the pool. Everything is wet. We even have a guest against staff watergun fight. So even the staff knows to beware that week because they’re going to get wet, too. It’s a week filled with constant laughter, screaming and shouting.”

Several KOA parks also offer “Wet and Wild” weekends at various times during the summer, such as July 16th to 18th at the KOA in Port Huron, Mich. and July 23rd to 25th at the Stockton / Delta KOA in Stockton, Calif.

Other parks are adding new water-related attractions. Pineland Camping Park in Arkdale, Wis., for example, just installed PineZilla, the world’s largest inflatable waterslide, which stands over four stories tall and features a 175-foot-long slide with a 45-degree descent at the drop zone.

Meanwhile, the KOA in Rusk, Texas has installed a new Frisbee skills court. “But watch out for the water hazards,” warns park owner Walter Preble. “Everyone gets wet.”

While Styer has “water wars” water balloon game stations at each of his Wisconsin parks, he said his water wars weekends are the most popular times of year at his parks. That’s when he drives throughout each park using a specially designed hay wagon that has been outfitted with four water guns that can each shoot water up to 75-feet. Of course, whenever he does this, Styer and his staff also risk coming under attack from campground guests, who arm themselves with everything from water balloons to pump action water guns.

Styer said his guests will spend an entire day filling water balloons as they prepare for a water wars weekend. “I’ve had guys fill up their pickup trucks with water balloons. It becomes a feeding frenzy,” he said.

In fact, fun family activities take place every day during the summer at the parks under Styer’s management, which include everything “water wars” water balloon games to nighttime light parades and nighttime miniature golf. He even organizes sumo-wrestling competitions.

“It’s hilarious,” Styer said. “You put on these big vinyl suits and you’re about 4-feet in diameter when you have them on. And then you try to push the other guy out of the ring. But if you fall over, you’re like a turtle. And somebody from the audience will have to step in to set you back up on your feet.”

This was kindly provided to us by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds where you can find more help locating unique campgrounds in your area or for additional commentary, statistics and sources on the latest camping trends.

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The Top Reasons People Choose a Motorhome Vacation

At El Monte RV we regularly survey our customers to see what they are thinking. We thought we would share the top reasons people give for choosing a motorhome vacation:

  • Freedom
  • Flexibility
  • Not having to pack and unpack
  • Try something different

For more on this topic see: Love, Good Times, Good Company, Good Beer, and Other Interesting Customer Feedback

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