You'll never know what you'll see when you drive an RV
Jan 10, 2013 (Belleville News-Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Independent filmmaker John Holod makes travel videos about Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, the Gulf Coast and other scenic places.
He usually travels by recreational vehicle, so his company is called RV Adventure Videos.
"I find that RV travel is the best for making these videos because you actually immerse yourself in the local population," said Holod, 60, of Tucson, Ariz.
"You go to campgrounds, open up all your windows and doors. You sit outside in lawn chairs, and people come by and bring you food and talk to you."
Holod will be the star attraction during this weekend's St. Louis RV Vacation & Travel Show today through Sunday at America's Center in downtown St. Louis.
He'll speak on RV travel and present portions of videos, including the new "RV Adventure: Route 66."
Holod drove more than 2,100 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles in his 24-foot-long Winnebago View last fall.
"Eighty percent of the original Route 66 is still drivable," he said. "People are surprised by that."
This is the 36th year for the RV show. Ten area dealers will display about 300 recreational vehicles, including motor homes, sport trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, travel trailers and folding camping trailers.
"There's just about every type and style of RV there, and the prices range from $350,000 to $10,000," said show manager Steve Lengyel. "It's one of the biggest public shows (not sponsored by manufacturers) in the country."
Returning speaker Shannon Mayfield will present on "Traveling with Your Dog." Campgrounds, resorts and other travel-related services will operate booths, and children can get photos taken with Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo.
Holod has made videos for 22 years. He started while traveling through "exotic" places such as South Africa, Czechoslovakia and Cuba on his Harley.
Holod will make presentations every hour on the hour at the RV show. He expects interest to be high in the one on Old Route 66.
"It's very popular around the country, and there's been an influx of people from Europe," he said. "It's kind of having a rebirth. They're putting up the old neon signs at motels and movie theaters and restaurants."
The video includes footage from a variety of sightseeing stops, ranging from the Gateway Arch to Meramec Caverns, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to the Santa Monica Pier.
"The balloon fest was the most scenic," Holod said. "But St. Louis is well-represented with the Arch, the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, as well as Ted Drewes custard."
The St. Louis RV Vacation & Travel Show attracts an average 19,000 people each year.
"There are all kinds of RV owners," Lengyel said. "You have the people who travel all over the country. You have the full-timers who live in their RVs, and then you have the families who get the more lightweight campers and take the kids to a campsite a few hours away and just go for a weekend or a week-long vacation."
At a glance
What: St. Louis RV Vacation & Travel Show
Where: America's Center, 710 Convention Plaza in downtown St. Louis
When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Admission: $9 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-12, free for ages 5 and younger and $6 for senior citizens ages 60 and older Friday only
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