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Welcome to rv-dad (Driving and Dining)

In 1990 my wife and I started camping. Let me say first that my wife and her family had been camping their whole lives. We started off like most, with the finest of everything. We went to K-Mart, bought two banana chairs (I think they were on sale for $5.99 each) and a couple of sleeping bags, also on sale.

For the remainder of the summer we slept under the stairs in Southern California until finally were able to afford a small tent. The next summer we started to introduce the kids (children not goats) to camping and have continued to expand and grow since that time.

Since then we have been fortunate and have had several motorhomes. We have met 100’s if not 1000’s of great people while traveling throughout the USA. While speaking with some of them we realized the biggest problem was finding what they needed while traveling; whether it’s food, drink, medications, fuel, directions, or weather. We decided that building this site could help everyone.

Thank you all for your friendship and input. We look forward to all of you enjoying this site. Your input to improve this site is greatly appreciated, and is for everyone’s benefit.

Gary and Pat Goodwin




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Campgrounds & Manufacturers



Newton, Iowa


Newton is in Jasper County, Iowa. It is located 30 miles east of Des Moines. Newton is in Central Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 15,254. It is the home of Iowa Speedway, Maytag Dairy Farms, and the Iowa Sculpture Festival.

Maytag Dairy Farm is just outside of Newton Iowa. They are the producers of Maytag Blue Cheese. Back in 1938 Iowa State University developed a process to make blue cheese from homogenized cow's milk, rather than using the traditional sheep's milk. The same processes are being used today. Free factory tours are offered to the public.

The Iowa Speedway is the only 7/8 mile track in the world. It touts itself as the "fastest short track on the planet". It is the home of both NASCAR and Indy Car races. Go here for more fan information.

The Iowa Sculpture Festival is held in June. It Features artists from across the Midwest creating sculptures in every medium imaginable



Mount Rushmore & The Badlands

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is about 25 miles west of Rapid City in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is a man-made patriotic wonder that took 14 years and 400 men to carve. On August 10, 1927, President Calvin Coolidge officially dedicated Mount Rushmore, although carving didn't start until October 4, 1927. The feeling of patriotism cannot be explained in words alone as you stand below and look upward at Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.

About 50 miles southeast of Rapid City is Badlands National Park. This striking South Dakota landscape boasts a maze of buttes, canyons, pinnacles and spires. Skeletons of three-toed horses and saber-toothed cats are among the many fossilized species found here. With all the amazing views it is worth pondering just how did our ancestors traverse this amazing land on foot, with horses, and covered wagons?



Grand Island & Niagara Falls, New York

Grand Island is the largest island on the Niagara River, which itself runs 36 miles from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and includes Niagara Falls. It sits midway between the city of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. While the views at Niagara Falls are spectacular, there are still plenty of things to do on Grand Island.

There are two campgrounds on the Island, Branches of Niagara Campgrounds and Niagara Falls/Grand Islands KOA Campgrounds. You can't go wrong with either one. Activities on the Island include Martin's Fantasy Island (an amusement park) and Beaver Island State Park. Beaver Island State Park is home to an 18 hole golf course.

Heading east of Grand Island will take you to Niagara Falls. Here you can take in the breath taking views of Niagara Falls, take a boat tour on Maids of the Mist for a closer view of Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Or you can head over to Goat Island for the Cave of the Winds Tour, an up close experience of the American Falls. Also, don't forget your passport so you can view the sights from the Canadian Side.

Heading west of Grand Island will land you in Buffalo New York. Here you can take in all the sights, such as a walk on Lake Erie, the Buffalo Parks, or check out Ralph Williams Stadium where the Buffalo Bills play.



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