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There’s a lot to like about the 2019 Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In, July 11-13 at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, especially if the burble of a Detroit V8 is your idea of an unmatched musical treat. If country music is your preference—how do Pam Tillis, Neal McCoy, Ricky Skaggs and B.J. Thomas sound?— head back to the fairgrounds July 19-27 for the Georgia Mountain Fair.

The fairgrounds are in Hiawassee, a mere 18 miles from Crossing Creeks RV Resort & Spa, so you can stay at Crossing Creeks and venture over to the fairgrounds along Lake Chatuge for one or more days of the festivities.

Cruiz-In Has Moonshine Roots

Illegal moonshining is the inspiration for the Cruiz-In. When liquor dripped from stills tucked away among the mountains, men with hot cars and trunks full of illicit spirits did their best to outrun the law and make their deliveries. Those runs were the progenitors of stock car racing in the South. Who among those outlaws would have guessed that their lights-out midnight drives would generate a sport that’s become a national obsession?

The Cruiz-In will commemorate those runs with a much tamer parade of horsepower. The sounds of engines from cars entered in the show will reverberate off the hills of northeast Georgia as owners drive their candy-colored creations over 60 miles of rural roads.

Have a hot rod, street rod, rat rod, bike or other custom vehicle? You can have it pictured in color on an 11x17-inch poster with the Cruiz-In logo for $20 or on an 18x24-inch poster for $30. Posters can be ordered Friday and Saturday for delivery by mail.

And there’s a real still at work on the fairgrounds.

On July 13, three 1960s rock and pop bands will perform: the Grass Roots (“Midnight Confessions”), The Association (“Along Comes Mary”) and the Box Tops (“The Letter”).

For details see the Cruiz-In website or Facebook.

Georgia Mountain Fair

Here’s an old-fashioned country fair, mountain-style.

The Georgia Mountain Fair features everything you’d expect at a proper country celebration: arts and crafts, food, a cooking contest, a Miss Georgia Mountain Fair competition, a flower show, and, of course, lots of music.

In addition to local acts, including the Georgia Mountain Fair Band, there will be well-known chart toppers, all playing two shows: 2 and 8 p.m. Tillis will headline the musical entertainment on opening day, Friday, July 19. Neal McCoy will play Saturday, July 20. The Booth Brothers will add Gospel on Monday, July 22. Skaggs will be the feature act on Tuesday, July 23. The Spinners will take the stage Wednesday, July 24. Thomas will perform on Friday, July 26. T. Graham Brown will close out the fair on Saturday, July 27.

No Georgia fair is worth an over-ripe peach without a bluegrass day, which is Thursday, July 25, at the Georgia Mountain Fair, with Del McCoury, Mike Snider and Jeff Parker. Gospel music day is Sunday, July 21, with the McKameys, Primitives and Inspirations.

The fair offers a chance to learn a few things, too. You can visit the still, tour the old-time Pioneer Village, and take in “Old Ways Demonstrations,” where the experienced show how to make shakes (wood, not ice cream), squeeze cider, mill corn and perform other country skills.

Fair rides, which require a wristband for admission, run daily.

See the fair website for times and admission costs. Parking is free. Pets are not allowed.

Photo Credits: Facebook

Friday, 03 May 2019 18:33

RVing Saves Vacationers Money, Study Shows

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If you wanted to, you could stuff a lot of money into a camper. And if you’re wondering where the money would come from, it’s from the savings you experience by using a camper instead of other forms of vacation travel. Seriously. More American families are buying and using recreational vehicles for vacations, and the savings are a big reason. A major study shows that even when factoring in expenditures for the RV, including fuel and maintenance, vacations are cheaper when families go RV camping than when they use hotels and restaurants.

It all depends on the type of RV being purchased and used, but the study by CBRE Hotels Advisory Group, done in 2018, indicates savings can hit as much as 64 percent for a family of four hitting the road with a foldout camper, and more than 50 percent for two people. Even on the lower end of savings, researchers discovered, owners of a Type C motorhome could save 21 percent for a family of four and 8 percent for a couple.

Two groups, Go RVing and the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, financed the study. Go RVing represents RV manufacturers, RV dealers and campgrounds that work to grow RV camping. The RVIA is a trade group representing RV manufacturers and parts makers.

Income-Appropriate Comparisons

CBRE, to avoid skewing the results, compared the use of different RV types to a range of alternatives. CBRE didn’t just compare vacationing in a folding camper trailer to flying and staying in a five-star hotel. The savings would have been obvious and unrealistic. Researchers did compare the costs of buying and using a luxurious Class A motorhome to flying first class, renting a premium car, staying in upscale hotels/resorts, and eating meals in restaurants.

Other modes of travel measured were:

  • Folding camping trailer.
  • Lightweight travel trailer.
  • Compact motorhome (not specified, but probably Class B and/or pickup campers).
  • Class C motorhome.
  • Traveling in a personal car, staying at hotels/motels, and eating meals in restaurants.
  • Traveling by airline, renting a car at the destination, staying at hotels/motels, and eating in restaurants.
  • Traveling by personal car or airline, staying at a rental house/condominium, and eating most meals in the rental.

In addition to gauging the cost for two adults/two children, and two adults alone, CBRE researchers measured costs for vacations lasting three, seven and 14 days.

Calculated Savings

CBRE researchers left little to chance. Among the other factors they considered were such ownership costs as insurance, average ownership periods, and annual days of RV use, and even residual value.

Here’s how vacation cost savings added up for a family of four, by RV type:

  • Folding camping trailer: 50-64%
  • Lightweight travel trailer: 31-50%
  • Compact motorhome: 31-50%
  • Type C motorhome: 21-43%
  • Type A motorhome – 41%

Here’s the vacation costs savings for a couple, by RV type:

  • Folding camping trailer: 43-53%
  • Lightweight travel trailer: 20-34%
  • Compact motorhome: 20-34%
  • Type C motorhome: 8-24%
  • Type A motorhome: 19%

Fuel Price Fluctuations

You’re probably thinking, “Ah, but fuel prices were low, so the savings could evaporate quickly when prices rise—and they’re rising now.”

It would take an exponential increase in fuel prices to erase all the cost savings, research indicates. Fuel prices would have to soar to $13 a gallon for RVing to cost more than other vacation forms, according to the study.

When fuel prices rise considerably, RVers have ways of cutting expenses rather than eliminating their RVs, the RVIA says: They drive fewer miles with their RVs by vacationing closer to home and staying longer at one location. What they don’t do is abandon RVing, the RVIA says.

The research did not include figures on the return on investment of adding a vault to an RV interior. Maybe next time.

Thursday, 28 March 2019 19:54

American Campers get Younger, More Ethnically Diverse

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More Americans went camping last year, even with many traditional campers giving up on the lifestyle, probably due to advancing age. Campers are getting younger—maybe younger than ever—and coming from more diverse ethnic backgrounds.

The question: Will newer, younger campers embrace RVing as their parents and grandparents did? So far that appears to be happening.

Figures reported by Cairn Consulting Group in the 2018 North American Camping Report, the fourth such survey conducted for Kampgrounds of America, show that between 2014 and 2017, the number of U.S. households that camp a least once a year increased by more than 20 percent. Many campers, especially new and first-time ethnic minority campers, said they intended to camp more often last year, the report shows.

As of 2017, the number of U.S. households that camped at least once a year numbered 38,558,000, up nearly 3.9 percent from the year before. Between 2014 and 2017, the researchers found, the number of households that camped three or more times per year increased 64 percent, from 11 million to 18 million.

Bouncing Back from the Great Recession

The Great Recession in 2009 and 2010 had lingering effects on American camping, as it did on many segments of the economy that involved discretionary spending. Researchers at Statista.com found that the number of American campers increased about 3.1 percent between 2012 and 2017, but that the total number of campers was lower in 2017 than for each year between 2008 and 2011.

Increasingly, Americans who do camp are using their own RVs. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association reports that manufacturers shipped about 483,700 RVs in 2018. That was a 4.1 percent decrease from 2017, but remember this: 2017 RV shipments were an all-time high, at about 504,600 units. The 2018 figures were still 12.3 percent higher than in 2016.

In 2016, the RVIA said, more than 9 million American households had an RV, the most ever. With sales increasing since then, and more first-time campers, that figure is likely higher in 2019. It’s dramatically improved over recession-level RV shipments, which totaled a mere 165,700 in 2009.

New Faces of Camping

The camping experience on all levels is spreading through the American population as never before, the 2018 North American Camping Report shows:

More young campers: Gen Xers, who make up 27 percent of the population, according to the Census, comprise 36 percent of campers. Millennials, a generation that has shown interest in the environment and physical activity, echo Gen Xers’ involvement. Although Millennials comprise 31 percent of the general population, they make up a larger share of campers—40 percent, the largest group by age. Baby Boomers, who made up 28 percent of campers in 2015, are down to 19 percent. Mature campers—that is, seniors—are down to 5 percent, less than half their share of the general population.

More minorities: More people from ethnic minorities are getting into camping. African Americans, once less enthusiastic about camping, are now participating in numbers more nearly proportionate to their makeup in the general population. Among new U.S. campers in 2017, Statista reports, 14 percent were African American, 17 percent were Latino and 17 percent were Asian/Pacific Islanders. Among all U.S. campers in 2017, whites made up 72 percent; African Americans, 8 percent; Latinos, 10 percent; and Asians/Pacific Islanders, 7 percent.

More children: More children are camping because two parent-age groups, Millennials and Gen Xers, together make up three-quarters of all U.S. campers, and many have children, Cairn researchers found. Just over half of all camping families have children who participate.

More RVs: Buyers 35 to 54 years old are the largest segment of RV owners, according to the 2011 University of Michigan study of RV consumers commissioned by the RV Industry Association. Leading-edge Millennials are fast approaching that age group. Historically, senior campers have been the strongest segment for RV ownership, an age group that baby Boomers are beginning to reach. That makes it likely RV sales will continue to rise.

Tuesday, 02 April 2019 18:54

National Parks and RVs

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Can you take your RV into a national park and use it to camp?

Yes, you can. And no, you can’t.

Confused? You might be, because every national park and national monument has its own set of rules for RV camping. The rules differ because every park differs.

If you want to take your RV into a park, whether it’s a trailer or a motorhome, the National Park Service cautions that you must check out the rules for the specific park you plan to visit well in advance. You have to make a park campsite reservation well in advance, too, because space is limited—in more ways than one.

Some RVs Welcome at Some Parks

Here’s what the National Park Service says about RV camping at national parks and monuments: “RV and towed campers are more than welcome at national parks that can accommodate them.” Note the boldface italics, added for emphasis. The simple facts are that some parks can handle RVs, some parks can’t, and some can handle RVs only if they’re within size limitations or a certain type.

“RV and towed camper sites vary from park to park (i.e., pull-through campsites, back-in campsites), and there could be space issues with slide-outs,” the park service advises.

The need for reservations is quite simple. Campsites for RVs, where they are available, are few in number compared with demand.

Parking Your RV, Not Camping in It

At some national parks—there’s that phrase again—RVers can park if they don’t drive into the park. Some have spaces even if RVs can be driven into the park or monument but not camped. But not every park has RV parking spaces, which typically are where buses also are parked.

The park service makes finding RV parking rules for each park convenient online.

Even when spaces are available, they aren’t always adequate for the number of RV-driving visitors. The parks are perennially popular. At Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana, for instance, the park service makes a creative suggestion to RV drivers who can’t find a space during the peak months of June and July—that they “drive out on the 5-mile driving tour road to the Reno-Benteen Battlefield and Entrenchment trail.”

Why? “Upon returning,” the service says, “there should be parking available.”

Simple enough.

Few Parks Have Hookups

RV hookups are rare at national parks. Where RV campsites are available, expect to boondock. After all, the parks are natural wonders. Preservation and RV hookups don’t exactly go hand-in-hand.

The website Tripsavvy.com does list three national parks with RV hookups:

  • Yellowstone National Park, Fishing Bridge Campground only, 340 sites with 50-amp electrical, water, sewer.
  • Grand Teton National Park, Colter Bay RV Park, 112 sites with water, sewer and electric; Headwaters Campground, an unspecified number of sites with 20- and 50-amp electric, sewer and water.
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Trailer Village, sites with 30- and 50-amp electrical, water, sewer, cable; RVs up to 50 feet in length.

Private Alternatives

National parks are tourist magnets. That means there are many nearby RV facilities, some with full service, some without. Look online; it’s not hard to find a privately owned RV park to suit your needs.

We added the italics because that phrase is key to understanding whether or not you can.

Always check with the park you are visiting for size restrictions and the number of sites that can accommodate RVs and towed campers.

Photo Credits: National Park Service

Thursday, 07 March 2019 19:52

On the Set: Movie and TV Productions in Georgia

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The “Walking Dead” TV show, all of Tyler Perry’s productions, the next Avengers movie and a reboot of the classic American TV soap opera “Dynasty” all have something in common: They are filmed either partly or entirely in Georgia.

You’d be amazed at how many productions are created in the Peach State—enough that you’d have a hard time missing the final product on your TV screen or in a movie theater. Since 2016, more feature films have been made in Georgia than in California, so move over, Hollywood.

Take a look at a list of scheduled releases filmed in Georgia. And that list grows continually.

Why Film in Georgia?

For one thing, the state encourages the production of TV shows and movies. It does so pretty much the same way other industries are encouraged all around the country: through tax incentives.

Film and Video producers can save money by producing in Georgia. They pay no sales and use tax. They get a 20 percent income tax credit on up to $500,000 in expenses, and another 10 percent if they use the Georgia Entertainment promotional logo onscreen toward the end of their film. Within their first decade, the claimed credits increased about 50 times the original claims in 2005. That means a lot of companies are producing here, and they’re spending considerable amounts of money in the state.

Where Filmmakers Work in Georgia

Georgia is attractive as a production destination because, quite simply, it has the looks—a great deal of diversity in its readymade scenery—and a temperate climate. Atlanta alone offers skyscrapers, historical buildings and a variety of neighborhood types for street scenes, from upscale to less than savory. (Just about any major city does.) There’s an industrial side, railroads, bridges, sports arenas, parks—you name it.

Nature didn’t short Georgia with interesting places. It has mountains, a coastline, a countryside, farms, rivers and whitewater. It also has a wealth of small towns, picturesque college campuses and some old cemeteries that are downright eerie.

Production centers in Atlanta, but there’s also a good deal of activity in Norcross, as well as in other locations.

Studios in Georgia

Turner Studios, part of TimeWarner, has been in Atlanta since its inception. It has produced both TV programs and movies in Atlanta. Perhaps its highest profile TV property is CNN, the 24-hour cable news network. Turner also owns truTV, TNT, Turner Cassic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and other properties.

EUE/Screen Gems has renovated and expanded buildings at the Lakewood Fairgrounds in Atlanta under a 50-year lease with the city, signed in 2010. Added was a 37,500-square-foot soundstage. Feature films, TV shows and commercials are recorded at the facility.

Tyler Perry Studios was founded by the actor/writer/director in 2006 in Atlanta. Perry films all of his movies there, including those in the highly successful Madea comedy franchise. Part of the “Walking Dead” TV episodes are filmed there, too.

Marvel Studios, a spinoff of the famed comic books, also films in Georgia. Among its Georgia-shot films are “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Ant Man and the Wasp” and the megahit “Black Panther.”

Other filmmakers find Georgia just peachy, too. Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood, whose film-acting career took off when he acted in Italian and Spanish Westerns, has filmed several movies in Georgia. Among them are “Tully,” “American Sniper,” “Trouble with the Curve” and “The Mule.”

Seeing Where Movies Are Made

If you want to get closer to Georgia movie productions, you can actually take tours of locations where films and TV shows have been made.

For example, you can visit sites where the zombies have tread while making the wildly popular “Walking Dead” TV series. If you’re a fan of the show you’re bound to recognize some of the places. There are scads of other sites that have appeared on film and the small screen—the minor league ballpark from “42,” about Jackie Robinson; President Snow’s mansion from the “Hunger Games” films; and the Blue Ridge TreeHouse, built by The TreeHouse Guys for an upcoming series—and available for overnight stays.

You can also tour studios, just as visitors do in Hollywood, but with Southern hospitality thrown in. The link lists studio hours and contacts.

Want To Appear in a Movie?

If you’d like to actually be in a production—maybe as a passenger at an airport, a sporting event spectator, a body in a morgue, or a zombie—click here and we’ll tell you how to go about it.

Image Credits: Steadicam

Thursday, 07 March 2019 19:40

So, You Want To Be in a Georgia-Filmed Movie

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The Crossing Creeks RV Resort & Spa blog isn’t likely to make you a star, even though we do our best to treat you like one. But we can help you go about trying to land a part as an extra in one of the many productions that are filmed in Georgia.

Opportunities to appear on film or the small screen are more plentiful than you might know, with Atlanta being the Hollywood of the Southeast. Or maybe we should say that Hollywood is the Atlanta of the West Coast, since more films are shot in Georgia than in California the past three years.

Don’t get us wrong: There’s always a ton of competition for movie parts, even for non-speaking roles in the background of movie scenes. Getting into a movie in a nonspeaking role isn’t a cinch, but it’s not impossible, by any means.

What Roles Do Extras Play?

Film extras are needed to play many types of roles.

You don’t need to have movie star looks to get a role as an extra. You don’t even need a movie star smile. Sometimes it helps, but the fact is that all types of people are needed as extras, depending on the part. Sometimes your serious look is all you’ll be asked to show.

Old people, young adults, male or female, children, skinny or rotund, buttoned-down or right off the Harley, fit or totally out of shape, babies—all are likely to be in need from time to time, depending on the film. Extras may be needed to fill a ballpark, a lobby, an airport terminal or a crowded street.

Online recently, for example, was a call for extras to play downtrodden street people in the cop buddy film “Bad Boys For Life,” now in production, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Looking perfect didn’t appear to be a priority. The “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” sequel starring The Rock was looking for college students and “upscale types.”

Sometimes there are certain conditions for extras. For example, when Clint Eastwood was in Georgia filming his movie “The Mule,” about a 90-year-old veteran who became a drug runner for a Mexican cartel, he sought real veterans for a party scene inside a VFW post. The extras had to have their own cars. And the cars had to be certain colors. White, red or custom-color cars disqualified you. Hey, you never know when they’ll want an RV with a dent exactly where there’s damage on your Class C.

You May Get Paid, But You Won’t Retire on It

Extras—also referred to as Background people, or BG—in Atlanta typically are paid about $8 to $9 an hour. That would include the time you spend waiting, listening to direction—likely in a group—and acting. Sometimes film companies will pay extras by the 8-hour day, but it still comes out to about the same hourly pay. If you run into overtime, you’re paid for those hours at time-and-a-half. Plan on a 12-hour day, typical on the set.

If somehow you end up in a speaking part—not likely if you have no experience or training—pay may go to $500 a day or more.

How To Apply

Advertisements for actors are referred to as casting calls. They are advertised online. You can find casting calls by doing a search such as casting calls Atlanta, movie rolls Atlanta or casting calls Georgia. Some of the national sites have an option to search for casting calls close to where you live, but they also have listings for other locations. Occasionally, if a huge number of people are needed, an open casting call is posted.

You really should register with casting agencies, which can be done online or in person. The usual registration includes a one-page resume and brief listing of experience, if you have any. You also must include age and basic body measurements, including height, weight and dress/coat size.

Photos for most agencies seeking extras don’t have to be professional. Selfies or cell phone shots by someone else usually work fine; they let agents and directors see how you really look. In addition to your face, a clothed body shot from the knees up is helpful. If you have the clothes, dress in outfits appropriate for different characters: a business suit, casual clothes, exercise clothes, formal attire, outdoor active wear, a period costume if you have one. You don’t need all of them, just some.

Once you’re registered, update your files periodically—annually will suffice.

Agencies operating in Atlanta include:

  • Background Artists Casting Atlanta
  • Catrett & Associates Casting
  • Cynthia Stillwell Casting
  • Extras Casting Atlanta
  • Hylton Casting
  • New Life Casting
  • Pierre Casting
  • Rose Locke Casting
  • TaylorMade Casting
  • Tammy Smith Casting

Agents Use Facebook

All of the agents listed here are on Facebook. Once you’re registered, follow the site and submit to calls on the agents’ Facebook pages.

It helps to have a Facebook page of your own containing your name and describing you and your skills for agents to see. Once the call is put out on Facebook, just write a comment saying “submitted.” You’ll be notified on the agent’s page only if you’re invited to come in for a role.

Break a leg!

Friday, 08 February 2019 19:20

Replacing RV Floor Covering

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If your RV interior is starting to show its age, especially but not necessarily only underfoot, consider new floor covering to make it look—and feel—newer.

Chances are, your RV has carpeting that shows its age where foot traffic is heaviest—definitely by the entry door, probably near the bathroom, and possibly where traffic routinely flows.

And then there’s the color. Color analysts from different industries actually sit down every year and decide not only what colors will be the “it” shades for the coming years, but even what the colors will be called. That’s right: There are people actively planning to make your carpet, draperies and furniture obsolete simply because of the colors they are.

On Being a Slave to Fashion

You can always say, “No, I’m not getting rid of perfectly good carpet.” After all, who’s going to enter your RV here at Crossing Creeks RV Resort & Spa and say, “Your colors are so outdated.” What they’ll say is, “Oh, Charlie, look. Remember when we had carpet that color?”

If carpet is worn from lots of boondocking or trips to the shore, you have choices in recovering your floor tastefully.

New Carpeting

Look for short-pile, closed-loop carpeting because it cleans up well, but you certainly don’t have to. You’ll save hundreds of dollars if you can find a remnant, often avalable at carpet store, discount stores and odd-lot bargain outlets.

You’ll have ample choices in color, whether you go with solid or a heather that gives the look of a solid but shows a little more life. If you’re having movie stars over, choose red. (OK. Just kidding.) When keeping your furniture, keep in mind the fabric on them. Get carpet swatches if you can and lay them on the fabric to make sure there’s no clash. If your furniture is solid, a pattern carpet might work. But be careful, since RV floor space is, all things considered, small enough to be overwhelmed by too busy a print.

Then choose between roll carpet, which must be stretched tightly before it’s stapled subfloor, or self-adhering carpet squares, also called carpet tiles. Laying roll carpet can be trying, including physically, but it’s possible to do it yourself. The fewer seams, the better looking the results. Make sure to snug seams so they disappear. Sometimes taping seams underneath with carpet tape helps.

Installing carpet tiles is easier. They’re often used in offices and sometimes in below-grade family rooms. You’ll have to scrape off the remnants of any previous floorcovering and pull staples so the subfloor surface is smooth and clean. You’ll also have to find the center of the floor and strike perpendicular chalk lines, starting at the center and working toward walls and furniture. That way, carpet squares in the center of the floor, where they are most obvious, will be full. Cutoff carpet tiles will be near walls or cabinets.

Short-pile carpet cleans up well. Spills, mud and sand come up easier than with plush carpet. Wet spots will dry faster.

Laminate Floors

Laminate floors have been round for about 35 years. They are laid over a thin foam pad but are not nailed down. The rectangular slats, which are high-density fiberboard with laminate coverings resembling wood or grouted stone, snap together to become one giant slab. Seams are barely visible. Laminate floors must have about a quarter-inch of play at the edges so they can float with temperature and humidity changes. Edges get moldings to cover the gap.

Installation isn’t particularly hard. You will need a chop saw to shorten some pieces and a jigsaw to cut around wall protrusions and cabinets.

When you’re done you have a wood-look floor that’s water- and mud-resistant but not waterproof. It cleans up easily from spills and tracked mud, and salt and sand don’t soak in. Dogs may need a little time to get used to its lack of traction for their claws, but they will, and claws won’t scratch it—not even after a decade of use.

For a little more color, warmth and cushion, you can spread an area rug over top, with a nonslip layer in between.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring comes in two types. Both, after installation, appear similar to a laminate floor, with a wood grain look.

One style of vinyl plank is a floating floor that’s installed over a thin foam pad. Floating vinyl planks adhere to one another, but not to the pad. The second type installs more like traditional vinyl tiles, with a peel-off back that exposes an adhesive that sticks directly to the plywood subfloor.

Vinyl planks are easier to work with than laminate. They cut with a utility knife. No saw is needed.

Vinyl planks are waterproof and impervious to mud, sand and salt. They won’t stain easily and wipe clean with a sponge mop or, after a spill, with a paper towel. They hold up well against claws.

Photo Credits: ciker.com

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 19:04

Crossing Creeks RV Leak Prevention, Repair

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When water gets inside an RV, the problems it causes are a lot bigger than each of those tiny drops.

Some water damage is easy to see because it marks interior surfaces.

Other water damage is harder to see because it’s inside walls, ceilings and floors. Framing can rot. Sidewalls can delaminate. The hidden damage may be the most sinister because it may include unhealthful mold.

Water can enter an RV anyplace the outer shell is breached—and an RV has many breaches, some intentional, others not.

Here are the places leaks are likely to occur:

  • Roof and roof coating
  • Skylights and vents
  • Mounts for accessories, such as solar panels, antennas, ladders and horns
  • Windows
  • Doors, both entry and storage
  • Utility hookups
  • Corner seams

Leak Prevention

Every four to six months, check any Dicor coatings over seams and around equipment mounts. Look for cracks, both large and small.

Also make it a habit every four to six months, during prolonged good weather, to pull a few screws. Many screws are under decorative covers, which you’ll have to pry off gingerly to avoid breaking. (The older non-metal covers are, the more likely the sun has baked them into a brittle state. If you break a cover, replace it.)

On campers with corrugated siding, be sure to check some screws on corner moldings.

Look over the backed out screws. If the threads are rusty, water is entering.

You also should check your EDPM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) roofing. You don’t need to re-seal the roof surface, but you should clean it with a medium brush and mild detergent that does not contain petroleum distillates every six months. Keeping it clean will allow you to better identify any breaks or weak spots.

Leak Detection

The most obvious sign of a leak is a water stain on an interior wall or ceiling, or delamination of cabinetry where water soaked it. Mildew or mold also may appear. Unfortunately many leaks simply don’t show on a surface.

Water migrates inside walls and ceilings, so the leak may be in front of, behind or beside the damage. For that reason, try to detect leaks on the exterior. One method is a pressure test. You can pay to have this done by a dealer or shop, usually for $200-$250, plus a labor charge if the shop does the repairs.

During a pressure test, compressed air is pumped into the RV. Soapy water is sprayed onto seams—around windows, doors, roof-mounted equipment, essentially all the areas listed above. If air is escaping, the soapy water will bubble. The same gaps, though quite small, that let air out probably let water in.

You can perform an air test yourself, even without specialty equipment. Make a hard cover for a small exterior opening, such as to a storage area, and cut a hole to accept the end of a shop vacuum hose or leaf blower outlet. Insert the hose and duct tape the connection, log with the edges of the patch, turn on the pressure and spray the soapy water, then look for leak-indicating bubbles.

Another method is to spray canned smoke inside where you suspect a leak, and have another person outside to look for escaping smoke.

Leak Correction

Frequently, all that needs to be done where Dicor is cracked is to plug the cracks with more Dicor, applied with a caulking gun. Clean the surface first with a rag dampened—not soaked—with mineral spirits so the new Dicor will adhere. Dicor, which is self-leveling, seeps into the cracks after it is applied.

Warning: Mineral spirits can harm EDPM roofing, so apply sparingly. The best thing to do is wipe areas where mineral spirits were applied with a cleaner that does not contain petroleum distillates.

If there’s a crack in the EDPM, Dicor is compatible and can be applied to seal the breach. Use the same procedure as for cracked Dicor.

Also look for loose Dicor. It would probably cause a major leak around mounts or large breaches, such as for vents or skylights. Remove loose Dicor and the item it’s sealing, then reinstall and reseal the accessory. If there’s evidence of water damage in the ceiling or in sidewalls, spray with a disinfectant, then dry everything out with heat and lots of airflow before reassembling and installing a new bead of Dicor and screws. Dicor is compatible not only with EDPM, but also with wood, fiberglass, plastic, steel and aluminum.

Replace rusty screws in the proper size. Coated screws will be less prone to rust.

If you’re sealing corners, consider a tape such as Seal-Tite. Once you’ve removed the insert trim, which hides screws, remove the screws, molding and old sealant, such as tape or putty. Stretch the pressure-sensitive side of the flexible tape over the opening, being sure to close gaps due to the irregular surface of siding. Then replace the cleaned molding coated with underside beads of sealant along the two edges, and new screws. You may want to add new insert trim in the molding for better looks.


Tuesday, 05 February 2019 18:39

Georgia Tiny House Festival

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Tiny houses are all the rage. One-bedroom and even no-bedroom homes with all the amenities of home—but a fraction as big—are the darlings of shelter magazines, lifestyle websites and TV feature shows.

And you have to admit, they’re pretty neat. Don’t take our word for it; check out diminutive domiciles at the 2019 Georgia Tiny House Festival in Macon, GA, one of the biggest and best-attended festivals of its kind in the country. The show site this year is bigger, at Central City Park in Macon, GA, a little over three hours from Crossing Creeks RV Resort and Spa.

The show runs from 9 a.m., Friday, March 1, to 5 p.m., Sunday, March 3.

All for Charity

The Georgia Tiny House Festival, presented by the United Tiny House Association, Eatonton, GA, is in its fourth year. The primary purpose is to spread the word about the benefits of and choices in small housing. Proceeds from the show, which charges admission to attendees age 13 and older, helps local charities. Children 12 and under and military/first responders, past and present, enter free. Seniors receive half-off at the gate.

Everyone gets in free at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1.

Primitive RV campsites are available for either one night or two, in either small (10x20 feet) or large (20x40 feet) configurations. You will be boondocking; be prepared.

Details below.

What’s a Tiny House?

A tiny house, depending on the unit, can serve for off-grid living, on-grid living, wilderness living, or urban living, according to the Tiny House Association.

Some tiny houses—think destination trailers—are built on chassis and have wheels and tires for towing. They may resemble traditional travel trailers, small cabins or cottages. Destination RVs have plumbing and electrical hookups just like more conventional RVs. Some also are set up for boondocking. Destination trailers are well-appointed, typically with a living/dining room, possibly with sleeper sofas in the living room, kitchen with full-size refrigerator/freezer, bath, laundry and queen-size bedroom. Some have a second bedroom or stairs to a loft bedroom suitable mostly for children. Many have small porches.

Destination trailers are just that: trailers best used at one site you may rent long-term or own, such as at Crossing Creeks. (Not all examples will be allowed in to all facilities, so check with management before you buy.)

Many Shapes, Sizes

Tiny houses come in many more shapes and styles. Some are factory-built and intended for permanent onsite use, with connections for well pumps and onsite sewerage. Others are conversions of things as widely divergent as shipping containers and school buses. If you’re laughing at the thought of shipping containers, you’ll be interested to know that some conversions are so high-end that they make it onto the pages of slick architectural publications.

At the 2018 Georgia festival, which was the world’s third-largest event displaying tiny houses of all types, 92 tiny houses were on display. That number is expected to grow this year. The tiny houses on display are open to tours, including some that are lived in full-time but are shared for three days with the curious.

School Bus Conversions

Converting school buses has become so popular that the show’s workshop on the subject is sold out. Keep the workshop in mind for next year. Even if you don’t want to convert a school bus, a type of RV that some parks don’t allow, what it teaches about electricals, structure, plumbing, cabinetry and furniture-making is valuable to many RV owners looking to do some of their own maintenance and improvement.

Workshops, Talks

Admission includes talks and workshops by people who’ve studied small houses, manufacture them or live in them. These events are scheduled daily.

2019 Georgia Tiny House Festival

  • Venue: Central City Park, 115 Willie Smokie Glover Drive, Macon, GA 31201.
  • Dates: Friday, March 1-Sunday, March 3, 2019.
  • Hours: Friday, Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost:
  • Friday, 12-4 p.m., $10, age 13 and older.
  • Friday, 5-8 p.m., free all ages.
  • Saturday or Sunday, $20 at the gate, age 13 and older; seniors, half off
    at the gate.
  • Saturday and Sunday combo: $35 at the gate, includes admission both days, age 13 and older.
  • Discount tickets: online in advance until Feb. 28, 2019; Saturday or Sunday, age 13 and older, $15; Saturday and Sunday, $30.
    Free admission, all times: Age 12 and under; active/retired/discharged military, law enforcement, and on-scene first-responders with valid photo ID
    Dry campsites: Limited number, available in advance online: small, 10x20 feet, Saturday night only, $27.37; small, 10x20 feet, Friday and Saturday nights, $48.47; large, 20x40 feet, Saturday night only, $43.19; large, 20x40 feet, Friday and Saturday nights, $80.12; up to six people per trailer, each must have event ticket age 13 and older
    Directions: Macon Central City Park is just over a 3-hour drive from Crossing Creeks RV Resort and Spa
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 18:22

Crossing Creeks RV Resort Mileposts: So Many Places To Go

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If you need a few reasons to stay at Crossing Creeks RV Resort & Spa, or to own an RV lot here, all you really need to do is check out a few mileposts.

Crossing Creeks is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in northeast Georgia, very near the state’s highest point. It’s seemingly removed from the hustle of the everyday world. It is, in every sense of the word, an escape. Hiking, fishing, canoeing, biking and many other activities are as close as you could possibly want.

And yet Crossing Creek is a stepping stone to history and culture, including beautiful cities in several states. If you’re on your way from the mid-Atlantic, Northeast or Midwest to Disney World, the Universal Orlando Resort movie theme park, Cape Canaveral or any other Florida attraction, Crossing Creeks is a great place to stop for a night or a few days. The full-service RV campsites and spa facilities, including a pool, will get you refreshed before you head out on the final leg to your destination. (Sure, you can stop again on the way home.)

Crossing Creeks truly is a destination in and of itself, but don’t forget to consider how much there is to do within hours and even minutes of the RV resort. Check out a few mileposts to see just how many great places to enjoy are less than a day’s drive away:

Fishing: A few feet. Rock Creek in Blairsville and other streams have trout waiting to be caught. Lake Nottely, 9 miles away, has lots of bass, rainbow trout and black crappie.

Boating: 9 miles. Lake Nottely has more than 100 miles of shoreline. Boaters love it as much as the anglers do.

Spectacular views. 20 miles. Brasstown Bald is the state’s highest point, and it’s half an hour away. The viewing deck offers a sightline that stretches well into North Carolina on a clear day, and as far as the Atlanta skyline to the south. The fall view is breathtaking.

Appalachian Trail: 24 miles. The nation’s best-known and perhaps most beloved marked nature and hiking trail is so close. You’ll find several well-marked day hikes along the Georgia section of the AT. The trailhead is only 48 miles from Crossing Creeks on Springer Mountain.

Whitewater sports: 26 miles. You’ll find whitewater many places west of the fall line in the Georgia mountains. The nearest spots are around McCaysville, a neighboring community to Crossing Creeks. A unique whitewater experience is in Columbus, GA, which has the world’s longest stretch of urban whitewater kayaking and canoeing—2.5 miles of whitewater passing by the city skyline. It’s 217 miles away.

Culture, Nightlife: 124 miles. That’s the distance to Atlanta, the social and cultural hub of the Southeastern United States. One of the nation’s oldest cities, it is steeped in history and filled with museums. And yet its downtown and trendy neighborhoods, including Buckhead, bubble with nightlife and fine restaurants. There’s a whole, big, glittering world just 2 hours away from Crossing Creeks.

Peanuts: Probably inches away. Peanuts aren’t hard to find in Georgia, where so many are grown, but especially in the sandy soils east of the fall line. Try some boiled—that’s the Southern way to prepare them. And check out the National Peanut Museum in Tifton, 289 miles away.

Vidalia onions: 288 miles. Vidalia and the region around it are known for the nation’s best sweet onions. Only onions grown in that specific region of Georgia can be labeled Vidalia. You’ll find them everywhere in Georgia from late summer through fall. See how they’re grown and visit the Vidalia Onion Museum.

Peaches: Everywhere. Only in Atlanta could you meet at the intersection of Peachtree and Peachtree. Buildings, streets, parks and neighborhoods are named Peachtree. All around the state are real peach trees. Once the harvest starts, you’ll find your way to great places with peach ice cream, peach cobbler, peach pie, peach preserves and just wonderfully fresh, sweet peaches. And you’ll do it over and over again.

Movie sets: Around the state. Scores of movies are shot in Georgia, or at least partly here. Some you might have heard about or seen: “The Mule,” “Black Panther” and “We Are Marshall.” A new film production studio is under construction in Atlanta. Casting agents advertise occasionally for extras. Keep an eye out. You may be able to watch a movie being filmed—or be in one!

Fine wine: 7 miles. Odom Winery is the closest—it even has a Blairsville address—but there are more than two-dozen wineries nearby, enough to make a nice tour and tasting, or maybe even two.

Golf with the gods: 378 miles. Myrtle Beach, SC, is about a 6½ -hour drive, almost due east. So, yes, you can play Myrtle Beach, replenish yourself at Crossing Creeks, and then head to Florida without going out of your way. Good deal.

Major League Baseball: 102 miles. The Atlanta Braves are playing in Sun Trust Park, in just its second year, a few miles north of the city. The stadium alone is worth the trip, but we’re talking about the defending National League East champs here. Established big league stars and exciting up-and-comers are less than 2 hours away.

Country music: Probably around the corner. It’s not hard to turn and hear a fiddle being sawed, a guitar being strummed or a banjo being picked. Any bar with entertainment around here has country bands.

The Best County Music: 232 miles. Nashville and its Grand Ole Opry are a four-hour drive from Crossing Creeks. Hit the saloons and hear ’em before they become stars.

NFL football: 114 to 230 miles. Take your pick: The Atlanta Falcons of the NFC play in Mercedes Benz Stadium, 114 miles away. The Tennessee Titans of the AFC play in Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN, 228 miles away. The NFC’s Carolina Panthers play in Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC, 230 miles away.

NBA basketball: 114 to 230 miles. Two of the cities that have NFL teams also have pro hoops: Atlanta has the Hawks, and Charlotte has the Hornets.

NCAA sports: Everywhere you turn. Blairsville is within a reasonable distance of several Southeastern Conference teams, including the Georgia Bulldogs, 91 miles away in Athens; and Atlantic Coast Conference teams, including the Clemson Tigers, 89 miles away in Clemson, SC. There are many other lesser known schools with affordable competition in a full line of indoor and outdoor men’s and women’s sports. Many of these events, outside of football, are inexpensive.

Savannah, GA: 372 miles. One visit to Savannah will convince you of two things: It really is one of the country’s most beautiful cities. And one trip is not enough.

Charleston, SC: 339 miles. That’s right—Charleston is a half-hour closer than Savannah. Charleston, one of the country’s oldest port cities, is known for its friendliness and hospitality, and it’s a looker, too.

There’s a lot more to do and see, but we’re going to stop now. We don’t want to bore you ... not that we could.

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