Monthly Archives: June 2011

Avoid Excessively Expensive Lawn Care!

Many cities and communities have ordinances that require residents to keep their lawns managed and presentable. In some places, these laws are strictly enforced. Can you imagine the city charging you if they have to take matter into their own hands and trim your lawn? Can you imagine them charging you $650 for this one time service? This recently happened to a home-owner in Phillipsburg, NJ. After neighbors complained about the unruly lawn, the city presented the home with a notice to get the lawn in order. When they didn’t, the city did. They were charged for the overtime labor of two city workers and well as the charges for use of the town’s trucks. That is one expensive day of landscape maintenance! Don’t let this happen to you. Check with your local government or community program to make sure that you are following lawn maintenance restrictions. Keep your lawnmower and other yard tools is clean conditions and working order to make sure that they are ready year round. During the off season, be sure to use measures that prevent unusual wear and tear, such as lawn mower covers. You don’t want to pay the costs for excessive grass!

The More Comfortable Alternative to Camping

June is National Camping Month!  While camping sounds like a lot of fun, not everyone likes to pitch a tent and camp while sleeping on the hard, bumpy ground.  Likewise, not everyone prefers “camping” in the posh grandeur of a Class A motorhome, which is more like a hotel room on wheels.  The best way to camp out, in my opinion, is to hitch the pop-up camping trailer to the back of a vehicle and head to a favorite camping site.

Pop-up camping trailers offer the best of both worlds when it comes to camping.  These recreational vehicles have soft sides like a tent, and the screening over the windows allows fresh air to circulate throughout.  Like a tent, pop-up campers are light on the amenities — bathroom features are limited, and fancy additions you might find in a more expensive RV aren’t usually available, like a snazzy sound system.  In short, pop-up campers are the next best thing to camping in a tent, except the beds are more comfortable, and there’s more protection from the elements should the weather grow fierce.

As recreational vehicles go, pop-up camping trailers are the most affordable to buy and maintain, easiest to tow, and easiest to store when camping season is over.  When not being used, pop-up campers should be protected with a proper RV cover.  RV covers prevent dust, dirt, and harsh weather from damaging an RV, and they keep RVs ready for use the next time National Camping Month rolls around again.

PolyPro-III Deluxe Folding Camper Trailer Covers

What You Need to Choose the Perfect Swing Set Tarp

Swing Set Canopy
Looking for a new canopy for your children’s swing set? Choosing the correct swing set canopy can involve more than you realize. Below is a break down of the possible options that you will have. Researching and deciding exactly what you are looking for before purchasing will ensure that you get exactly what you are looking for!

  • Canopy Dimensions – You will need to know what size canopy you need to order. Measure the length and width in inches and have that information handy. You will also need to know the square footage of the tarp that you need. In order to calculate square footage, use the following equation:  multiply length x width in inches, then divide that total by 144. This will help to quote a price for your tarp and provide the manufacturer with exact specifications.

Canopy Measuring Example

  • Stock vs. Custom – Many commercially produced swing sets will need a standard size tarp. For convenience, stock canopies are available in four industry standard sizes (below). These stock covers are more affordable than custom solutions. The down side? They are only available in two solid colors (blue and green). Custom covers can be made to any size specifications. There are many more colors available and you can control design features, such as two color divides or multi colored stripes. Custom canopies, however, cannot be returned if measured incorrectly because they are custom designed. If you go with a custom cover, please double and triple check all measurements and specifications to avoid errors.
  • Choosing a Material – Vinyl or canvas? The material that you choose depends on what you want the tarp to do. Vinyl is heavy duty and will stand up to the weather. It is mold and mildew resistant and comes in five colors (custom – two colors are available in vinyl stock covers). Canopies made of vinyl can be custom created to feature stripes or be solid to match your sets color scheme. The vinyl is marine grade and you can feel and see its strength. Sunbrella canvas tarps are the top of line and are perfect if you are looking for a better product. While the cost is higher, so is the quality. Sunbrella fabric will not fade or lose its color. It repels moisture and water, creating a drier environment under the canopy. Sunbrella also offers more UV protection than vinyl. It is available in 16 colors and is custom made to order.
  • Fasteners – You will be asked to choose between grommets or snaps. This is strictly a personal preference. If you have existing snaps from a previous tarp, you can have snaps installed in the same pattern to fit into existing spaces. Ninety-five percent of orders are to be made with snaps. Examine your current canopy or plans and decide which type of fastener is correct.

Dads Go to Extraordinary Measures to Save a Buck


Saving Money Using Extraordinary Measures

Who can deny that one of Dad’s favorite activities is saving money?  Your dad, my dad, the kids’ dad… it doesn’t matter — most of these guys really get jazzed about saving a buck or two.  Any dad will tell you, too, that the surest way to save money is to take care of the stuff you already have.  That way, you don’t have to shell out any dough to replace any stuff until it absolutely falls apart.

Lawn Tractor CoverEnter my husband, who happens to be a dad, too.  He’ll do anything to avoid replacing what he feels is still functional.  His work boots are falling apart, but to him, “they have character.”  His weed whacker is held together with duct tape and spit, and he argues for its extended life by telling me — “hey, it still works!”  Luckily, the more expensive the tool, the better he cares for it.  The lawn tractor is a good example.

After each use, my husband wipes down his prized lawn tractor with a towel and checks the oil and gas levels.  He then makes sure to cover it with a protective lawn tractor cover to keep dirt and dust from settling on any of the tractor’s surfaces and components.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he sings it a gentle lullaby before tucking it away under its protective cover.

I may tease him, but I have to admit that all the care he puts into maintaining the lawn tractor, as well as our vehicles and other more expensive possessions, pays off when I see how much that extra care and attention prolongs their lives and saves us significant amounts of money over time.   So, thanks to my husband, and thanks to all dads out there who do their darndest to save their families a buck.  Happy Father’s Day!

Keep Cool While Golfing!


Golf Cart Seat Cover

The FedEx St. Jude Classic is currently underway at TPC Southwind. Golfers of all levels have descended upon Memphis in the form of pro players and weekend warrior fans. The greens are looking beautiful, and the weather has been perfect, although very hot. If you are not able to make it to Memphis this weekend to witness golfing at its finest, you can hit your local fairway for some golfing of your own. Make sure that you are protected from extreme heat and make your game more comfortable with golf cart enclosures. They will shield you from the sun while you are traveling from hole to hole. Don’t want to cover your whole cart? Try a Golf Cart Seat Blankets to avoid the dreaded hot seats that the sun can create on traditional leather or vinyl seats. Additionally, whether you are watching or playing, make sure to drink plenty of fluids (especially water) and sure sunscreen frequently and liberally. Hats and sunglasses also provide extra protection for your face and head. Enjoy the St. Jude Classic or your own golf game comfortably!

Toy Haulers and Critters Make an Unhappy Combination


Toy Hauler Screen

Recreational vehicle lovers know that the best way to take their favorite toys — such as ATVs, snowmobiles, or jet skis — out on the open road is to bring them along in a Toy Hauler.  A toy hauler can be a 5th-wheel RV, a motorhome, or a travel trailer, but what they all have in common is the addition of a “garage” in the back.  Toy haulers are usually divided into two parts — the living area is in the front, and the storage area for toys is in the back and is easily accessible thanks to a back door that doubles as a ramp.

When it’s time to take the toys out of the RV for use, or when working in the toy hauler’s garage, the RV’s back door sits wide open.  Bugs and other critters often find this nifty new shelter an ideal place to hang out or even start a new nest.  A helpful piece of gear to have on hand is a Toy Hauler Screens.  Installed quickly and easily without tools, a toy hauler screen keeps out pesky bugs and provides shade from the sun while still allowing fresh air to circulate through the RV’s garage.

It’s the simple things that make life more enjoyable.  A toy hauler screen is one such simple thing, preventing minor annoyances like bugs, critters, and glaring sunshine from marring an otherwise perfect RV adventure.