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March 30, 2006

(Ventura, Calif.) - Miniskirts, go-go boots, capri pants and bell-bottom jeans were hot on the fashion scene in the 1960s and have come full circle to being cool again. Remember to never throw the clothes in your closet away because they're sure to come back in style in a few decades. History repeats.

To view this press release via the Internet, simply click on the link below or copy and paste to your browser:

To download a copy of the Good Sam Club 40th logo and picture of the couple featured in the release, Junior and Betty-Ann Lewandowski, please go to the end of the text copy of the release for those links.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Julie Calzone
Calzone & Associates
337.235.2924 ext. 3
337.237.0556 (fax)
March 30, 2006

How RVers Have Changed
THEN & NOW - Celebrating 40 Years of RVing
Baby Boomers Continue to Drive American Culture

This year, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Good Sam Club, we will be sending you a feature each month reflecting on how things were when the Good Sam Club began in 1966 and how they've changed throughout the years. This month we're looking at how RVers have changed.

(Ventura, Calif.) - Miniskirts, go-go boots, capri pants and bell-bottom jeans were hot on the fashion scene in the 1960s and have come full circle to being cool again. Remember to never throw the clothes in your closet away because they're sure to come back in style in a few decades. History repeats.

As teenagers, many of the 70 million children from the post-war baby boom were peeled away from watching the television show "Bewitched" to pile into the back of their parents' RV and spend extended family vacations visiting national parks across the country.

As teens and young adults in the '60s, baby boomers began reshaping the cultural fabric of American life and would eventually influence everything from civil rights and education to social values and entertainment.

Now they are all grown up. Yet baby boomers continue to drive American culture, including the current RV growth trend. But now, instead of spending time in the bunk of a RV listening to the Rolling Stones broadcast on FM radio, baby boomers are in the driver's seat, still listening to the Rolling Stones but on their MP3 players.

Baby boomers are the largest RV-owning population, which is one reason why U.S. ownership of RVs has reached record levels. According to a University of Michigan study and a Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) survey, today's typical RV owner is 49 years old, married and has an annual household income of $68,000. RV owners spend their disposable income on traveling an average of 4,500 miles for 28 to 35 days annually.

Known for rebellion, why would so many baby boomers follow the RVing footprints of their parents' generation? History repeats. Another RV survey conducted by Robert Hitlin Associates cited that of RVers who camped as children, 95 percent said it had a positive effect on their adult lives, helping them develop an appreciation for the outdoors and insight into different people and places.

The baby boomer generation proudly wears the eponyms of "free-spirited" and "adventurous." The RV lifestyle offers both while at the same time bringing the family together and teaching a respect of nature.

Whether it's visiting historical or cultural sites, traveling to important natural destinations or packing up the ATVs and hauling them out to jump across desert dunes, spur-of-the-moment trips and short weekend getaways are more popular today than they were 40 years ago.

More than 35 years ago, Junior and Betty-Ann Lewandowski (pictured) of Seneca, South Carolina began RVing with their three children ages one month to 5 years. As their family and their tastes changed, so did their rigs. Now, after 41 years of marriage, the Lewandowskis still enjoy travel - not with three small children - but with four dogs in their 32-foot 2005 Holiday Rambler Neptune.

A family affair.

Betty-Ann's parents were Good Sam Club members almost from its inception. They were very proud of their membership and encouraged Junior and Betty-Ann to become members as well in order to take advantage of the discounts offered. The Lewandowskis joined in 1972 and have never once considered letting their membership expire. They have encouraged other campers to join as well. Betty-Ann reads Highways magazine cover to cover each month and relies solely on the Trailer Life Campground Directory to select campgrounds.

The Lewandowskis are charter members of the lifetime membership program and signed-on the first time it was offered to them. They did so because it seemed to be an excellent deal, knowing they had many good travel years ahead of them. The added benefit of paying a one-time fee also enticed them.

Their story.

Reading tidbits of information from Highways to her husband as they drive along in their RV has been a part of the Lewandowskis' travel routine for many years. RVing began for them in 1971 with the purchase of a 22-foot Fan travel trailer. It was a beautiful unit with 4 rear bunks, perfect for their three children: Kristin, 5; Russell, 3; and Ryan, one month. However, their first camping experience was far from perfect. In fact, "disaster" would be more fitting. They thought they were cozily nestled in a county park on Long Island, until swarms of hungry mosquitoes descended on them. Hovering around the screen door, the mosquitoes were determined to get inside. To the Lewandowskis' horror, droves of them succeeded. Their chief targets were the unsuspecting children. Quite upset, Betty-Ann told her husband that this would be their one and only camping excursion, and that they would put a "for sale" sign on their new unit the minute they arrived home.

Now, with 34 years of camping experience under their belt, the Lewandowskis see what an enormous mistake that would have been. There was one bright moment during that short trip. On the morning they were preparing to leave, Betty-Ann overheard her daughter's sweet voice singing a song she had just made up, "Early in the morning at the water, I can hear ducks calling to me, but I wonder where the swans are, they are so lovely, I can see them in my mind." They kept the unit and continued camping.

Their second unit, a 1978 27-foot Fan travel trailer with a rear bunkroom, was spacious and able to accommodate their growing children. They spent many happy moments in it, but two frightening ones remain foremost in their memory. During a trip through the Davis Mountains in Texas, their entire awning as well as its roller ripped loose and careened end for end down the highway. To this day they shudder at the thought of what "might have been" had other traffic been near them on the highway at the time. "Ticks in Tennessee" is a familiar phrase to their family. Following their trip through a Tennessee state park, the Lewandowskis discovered that they were covered with hundreds of tiny ticks. Being seasoned campers, they dealt with this catastrophe better.

Their third unit, a 1984 24-foot Born Free President motor home, was the epitome of luxury. It came equipped with not only an air conditioner, but a microwave and crock-pot as well. That unit made many trips back and forth between Long Island and Emory University in Atlanta, where their daughter attended college. They even used it as a "limousine" in 1990 to transport their daughter and her bridesmaids to her wedding.

Fulfilling a desire to downsize, they next became proud owners of an efficient and compact 21-foot Leisure Travel Van Freedom wide body in 1998. "Versatility" was the ideal word to describe the many ways they used that RV. At times they must have resembled a circus clown car when three adults, two Labrador Retrievers, and a Papillon exited the unit.

Realizing they downsized too soon, their next purchase was a 32-foot 2005 Holiday Rambler Neptune motor home where Betty-Ann, her husband of 41 years, their son Ryan, and four dogs could ride in comfort. Yes, they added another Papillon to the pack-why not; they now had plenty of room.

- As told by Betty-Ann Lewandowski, Seneca, South Carolina, Good Sam Club Lifetime Member

Coming in April: RV Services- THEN & NOW.

About the Good Sam Club
The Good Sam Club, is the world's largest recreational vehicle (RV) owners' organization with nearly 1 million member families. Founded in 1966, the Club offers its members a wide variety of services, including RV insurance, extended warranty on RVs (the Continued Service Plan), Emergency Road Service, RV financing, a Good Sam Credit Card and Life & Health Insurance, as well as discounts at parks, campgrounds and RV events. Good Sam members also receive a subscription to Highways, the Club's popular RV travel magazine. The Club also represents more than 2,000 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together from similar geographic regions for group camping excursions. Extremely committed to its RV members as well as to the environment, the Club is the founder of the annual National Cleanup Day program and an advocate of public land access, Adopt-A-Highway programs and Adopt-A-Park programs, to name a few. The Good Sam Club is headquartered in Ventura, California, and is a subsidiary of the Affinity Group, Inc.

Sue Bray, Executive Director/Good Sam Club
800.765.1912, ext. 440;

Julie Calzone, CEO/Calzone & Associates
337.235.2924, ext. 3;

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