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Apr 03,2006

Make Your Campground or Back Yard into a Hot Destination

by Michael Anderson

(ARA) - It has been said there's no better way to see the country than to travel from city to city in an RV.  You get all the comforts of home as you make your way from place to place, meeting new people and experiencing different ways of life and cultures.

While taking in new sites is a real treat, most people say they have the best experiences while parked at the various campgrounds, getting to know people.  Want to let your neighbors know you're the types who like to socialize right away?  Shortly after arriving at the campground, set up a welcoming "front yard."

"Pull out your table and chairs and get the grill going, then just sit back and wait for people to wander over to you.  We've met so many wonderful people over the years that way," says Jeanette Morrisett, a Goodwill ambassador for Camping World, the world's largest supplier of RV accessories and camping equipment.  

She and her husband, John, perhaps better known as "Chubby," came out of retirement in 1987 to become ambassadors for a pastime they've both come to love.  Right now, they are living at a campground in Kissimmee, Fla., and working at the nearby Camping World store.

"We have Camping World stickers on our RV and people who recognize them come up to us all the time to ask what's new in the industry," says Morrisett.  "They want to know how something they've seen in the catalog works, what we think the best grill to buy is, our opinions of the latest furniture designs, etc.  We're happy to answer their questions."

Morrisett says this time of year, she gets the most questions about the company's table and chair sets and barbeque grills. "People want to know which chairs we think are the most comfortable, and I tell them we're selling the heck out of our adjustable folding arm chairs this spring.  Once they sit down in one, they know why."  The lightweight folding chairs feature cool mesh fabric that shrugs off rain. The higher back gives you extra neck and shoulder support, and there are 4 reclining positions for optimum comfort.

As far as tables go, Morrisett says the fold-in-half types are the way to go.  The rugged indoor/outdoor tables are made of high -impact polyethylene, which is stronger and lighter than wood, and easy to clean.  They are perfect for everything from picnics and cookouts to bridge games and tailgating.

Of the dozens of grills Camping World sells, Morrisett says the Thermos Grill 2 Go is by far the most popular.  It features an easy-to-clean, non-stick cooking surface with no open flames. The 310 square inch Teflon cooking surface is 60 percent grill, 40 percent griddle, so it cooks everything from steaks to pancakes then steam cleans fast.

The products Camping World sells are not only great for RVers, but backyard entertainers as well.   "This time of year, there are days when the majority of the people who come into our stores are homeowners in search of grilling equipment and supplies," says Morrisett.

"We always tell people who come in with big orders that signing up for one of our President's Club memberships would be a good idea," says Morrisett.  After paying the annual fee of $19.95, you're eligible for a 10 percent discount on everything you buy from Camping World, a free subscription to RV View Magazine and travel discounts.

Camping World has more than 8,000 products available.  You can shop at any of its 40 retail stores across the country, or online at
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