Interest in RVs is growing according to the RV industry. And exhibitors at the 49th Annual Camper and RV Show at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi are bringing out the big and small rigs.

Cricket camper designed by a NASA scientist.

Cricket camper designed by a NASA scientist.

In addition to the luxurious colossal motor homes, this year an exhibitor is bringing the Cricket, an unbelievably cute camper designed by a NASA scientist who worked on the International Space Station. The camper sets up in five minutes and can be towed almost anywhere by almost any 4-cylinder vehicle. It’s perfect for young families who want to get away from it all without having to sleep on the ground, hunters/fishers and other sportspeople, music festivalgoers and camping enthusiasts with smaller cars.

More than 275 units and 50 brands of campers, motor homes and trailers ranging in price from $6,995 to more than $600,000 will be on display. All of the vehicles will be available for tours. Plus there will be vendor booths offering parts and information on camping.

The Camper and RV Show runs Feb. 4-8, at Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi, on Grand River, south of I-96 between Novi and Beck roads. Hours are 2-9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults (ages 13 and older); $9 seniors; and free for children 12 and younger. Discount coupons available at www.marvac.org, Big Boy restaurants and Biggby Coffee locations. Visit http://suburbancollectionshowplace.com.

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National Park Ranger

National Park Ranger

All national parks across the country will waive their entrance fees on Monday, January 19 to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“We honor Dr. King and the tremendous impact of his life and teachings on the world,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “He moved hearts and minds through his words and actions. And his vision continues to inspire us to make positive changes in our communities.”

Visit Dr. King’s birthplace, home, church, and grave at Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Georgia; walk in his footsteps on the 54-mile long Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama where he led the 1965 Voting Rights March; and stand where he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

Other national parks that commemorate the Civil Rights Movement include Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in  Arkansas, Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Monument in California, Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Kansas,Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC.

Several national parks are among the sites nationwide that will sponsor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service volunteer events. Volunteers can help with environmental or maintenance projects taking place at Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania, Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska, and Anacostia Park in Washington, DC.

In addition to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the National Park Service will waive entrance fees on eight other days in 2015 – February 14 to 16 (Presidents’ Day weekend), April 18 & 19 (opening weekend of National Park week), August 25 (the National Park Service’s 99th birthday), September 26 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day).

A variety of park passes are available for purchase online and in parks. There are also passes that provide free admission for people with permanent disabilities and active duty military members and their dependents. All the details can be found here.

 www.nps.g

Our Fifth Wheel on old truss bridge in Arizona

Our Fifth Wheel on old truss bridge in Arizona

Bottom-of-the-barrel gas prices are also helping drive interest in the RV lifestyle, experts say. Tourists can pack up the family and make a long summer drive for cheaper than flying, especially when airlines with locked-in fuel costs haven’t yet passed along fuel savings to passengers.

See full story and video…

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