May 2009

The Navigator Newsletter

Woodall's & Camping Life - The Navigator, May 2009

Woodall's & Camping Life – The Navigator, May 2009
Woodall's - Camping Life Navigator  -  Your RV & Camping Guide to Discovery
Top Line
Left Line
Woodall's & Camping Life – The Navigator, May 2009

top border
left border left border As a Diamond Club member, you have unlimited access to the most valuable RV and family camping travel planning resource on the Internet.
left border

This Month’s Diamond Club Member News!

Welcome to the second issue of Woodall's and Camping Life's enewsletter. May's exclusive Diamond Club member offer is for Woodall's North American LARGE PRINT Atlas. Save almost 20% off the cover price of $15.95 and pay only $12.95 (plus shipping and handling). That's an incredible savings of $3 on the best companion to our North American Directory. Just enter coupon code "MAY" during checkout. ORDER NOW & SAVE!

right border
Bottom border
In this Issue

Where To?

RVing with Your Pet

Gadgets & Gear

Book of the Month

Mark My Words

Made In America

Woodall's Recipes

Let's Go Green

A Few More Important Words

Camping and RVing with Dogs
image image
By Charles Shugart, Jr. Sponsored by Woodall's

Newfoundland's Rugged West Coast

"It is 10 o'clock eastern time. Ten-thirty in Newfoundland."

So said Canadian radio. That always made me laugh. Plus there were all those "Newfie" jokes. Well, I was about to see it all for myself. While waiting for the ferry in North Sydney, Cape Breton (Nova Scotia), I walked around like the other hundreds of travelers. Eat breakfast, have a cup of coffee, stroll, chat with strangers. Eat lunch, have a soft drink, stroll.

Then finally our big ship approached-and I'm not just whistling Dixie; it was huge! Named the Caribou, it was more than 500 feet long, and many meters (hey, I'm in Canada, eh?) above the water.

As the marine behemoth slowly approached head-first, the top half of the bow opened high into the air, like some gigantic jaw that was determined to chomp, chew and swallow huge sections of the dock. The ship gradually came to a halt and was tied securely to Cape Breton. Cars and semi-trucks with trailers began spilling out of the ship's cavity, two levels simultaneously.

After a considerable length of time spent unloading, they began loading the Newfoundland-bound travelers and commercial vehicles. Happily, that included me.

On the ship, I lined up my truck and trailer exactly where the man told me to (it was about eight lanes wide in the bowels of this ferry), locked my rig and scurried up to the passenger decks-I didn't want to miss departure.
Continue Reading

RVing With Your Pet Doggie Parks

Nine years ago, when I first got my dog Lilac, I lived in downtown Boston. As a result, other than walking on the sidewalks, her closest communing with nature was playing in the city parks. Fortunately for both of us, Boston is a dog–friendly town, so most of the city parks allowed dogs. In fact, we were also lucky enough to live right across the street from one of them and down the street from an actual dog park.

Going to all of those dog parks with a young puppy and dog taught me a thing or two about dog parks. So, let's review three things in this article: 1) how to find a local park wherever you are camping; 2) some important considerations before you enter a dog park; and 3) what to do at the dog park.
Continue Reading

Miscellaneous Sponsored Section More Gadgets
Cleaning & Servicing the RV Refrigerator

The common term, "preventive maintenance," is applicable in any number of industries today, the RV industry included. Unfortunately, the wisdom of the concept behind the phrase is often recognized after the fact. For instance, when it comes time to repair, or even replace, the absorption refrigerator in a motorhome, all too often RVers obtain their education the hard way, through trial and error, and mostly by error. How many RVers have been known to exclaim, "I sure didn't realize that refrigerators for RVs were that expensive," or "You mean there is something that has to be maintained on an RV refrigerator?"

Contrary to the belief that since absorption refrigerators have no moving parts they require neither attention nor service is the very real fact that many RVers are paying for repairs that could have been avoided had "preventive maintenance" been employed.

Most RVers understand that roof seams, vents, storage pods, and antennas must be sealed or coated periodically to keep the rain from pouring in. It is also common knowledge that RV holding tanks must be flushed out occasionally to prevent blockage. Likewise, all LPG–fueled appliances must be serviced periodically in order to avoid costly repairs and to insure that they operate at peak performance. It is likely that the absorption refrigerator is the most visible, most used, and yet least understood of these appliances.

For most RVers, the fact that absorption refrigerators require heat to produce cold is baffling enough in and of itself. This article is not intended as a treatise regarding the principles of absorption refrigeration; rather, it is intended as a discussion of the technical methods used by RV service organizations today in performing the maintenance task traditionally known as the refrigerator "clean and service." In many cases, coach owners who possess a bit of technical know–how can perform this task.
Continue Reading

Book Of The Month More Books
Campsite CookbookWoodall’s Campsite Cookbook

Whether you are the seasoned RVer with lots of camping experience or the occasional weekend tent camper, you’ll find Woodall’s Campsite Cookbook to be a great resource to keep with you however you decide to travel. This cookbook is filled with delicious recipes and easy–to–fix meals for everyone to enjoy by the campfire or in your RV kitchen. Also included are dozens of tips and techniques for foil cookery, reflector oven cooking, and even Dutch oven cooking. Order your copy today!

Mark My WOrds
By Mark Nemeth

Hi folks,

I hope you are enjoying this great RVing weather we’ve been having! I’m looking forward to my trip in May to the Escapees big rally (Escapade) in Sedalia, Missouri. Maybe I’ll see you out there on the road! Remember, keep those questions coming!


Howdy Mark,
We just purchased a Cardinal LE fifth-wheel. It has a free standing dining table and four chairs next to three (roughly floor to ceiling) lengthy panoramic windows. Is it safe to unbolt this table, so it can be moved around, and not re-bolt for travel? Also, is it necessary to strap the chairs for each trip (as well as the two recliners in the rear living area, next to a large back window)?

Thank you, Mom

You would be surprised how much things rattle around in the fifth-wheel while it is towed. On a trip to Colorado a number of years ago, I had the opportunity to ride in my 30-foot Jayco fifth-wheel while rolling down the highway, and I was amazed at the range and violence of the motion, especially towards the rear of the trailer. That’s why trailers with rear kitchens seem to be so hard on the dishes! You really do need to secure all items in the coach to prevent their moving around while underway. All it would take is one big bump, and you might be replacing a window, or worse.


Hey Mark,
My Chevrolet chassis on my Dutchman continues to drain the battery if I don’t start it at least every three days. Luckily, I have the transfer switch that connects the house batteries to the vehicle for starting. Where do I start to troubleshoot this problem?
Happy Camper in Seal Beach, Max
Continue Reading
Do you have a question for Mark?
Please submit your question via email to

Please remember, material will be edited. Because of the large volume of material and correspondence submitted, individual replies will not be possible, nor can we acknowledge receipt of your material. Selected questions will be answered in future issues of the Woodall's Wisdom newsletter in the Mark, My Words column. The Mark, My Words column also appears in Escapees magazine, a bi–monthly publication of the Escapees RV Club. For more information visit
Submit Your Question
Made in America
GrillGuard Stove Windscreen

We jump on them when we come across them—exciting new camp cooking accessories that work great and either make our lives easier or solve a problem. The GrillGuard is such a device, and once we saw it demonstrated at an RV show, we realized it would improve our camp meal preparation and enjoyment.

BBQ GrillThe GrillGuard is billed as a windscreen, heat shield and fire–guard made from .032–inch aluminum. Full–length piano hinges join the bottom, back and side panels, and small hinges with pin clips secure the side panels to the base when it is set up. Broken down, the unit folds flat for easy storage and transport, perfect for car camping or RVing.

Our first GrillGuard was the standard unit that measures 24x18x18 inches and can fit a Coleman-type stove or one of the small combination stove/grille units. We also use the smaller GrillGuard to hold a pair of 8- and 12-inch Dutch ovens. We also added a larger model to our camp kit that's 28-inches wide, but the same depth and height as the original.
Continue Reading

Cooking On The Road area

4 to 6 pounds spareribs
(2 sides)
Salt and pepper
1 cup catsup
½ cup dark corn syrup
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup prepared mustard
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon Tabasco

Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper and place in a large kettle. Add water to cover, bring to boil and simmer covered 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until ribs are tender. In a saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Place over heat and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Drain ribs and brush with sauce. Place ribs on grill about 6 inches above cooking coals and cook for about 30 minutes, or until browned, turning and basting frequently. Serves 4 to 6.

Miscellaneous Sponsored Section
Green Tips

Finding ways to "green up" you act can be easier than you think. It doesn't always take drastic measures or expensive alterations. Just looking at some of the little things you do when RVing or camping can get you thinking about some big ideas of your own. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Turn down the thermostat in your trailer or motorhome and use more or thicker blankets, you’ll burn a lot less propane and still be snug.

Use organic cleaning products such a vinegar, borax or baking soda instead of harsh chemical cleaners.

Save plastic grocery store bags and re-use them as trashcan liners for your under-the-counter coach trashcans. They make excellent pet waste collection bags, too.

Take "Navy" showers, turning the water off after an initial pre-wash rinse, and only turning it back on for the final rinse after washing up.

Do the same when brushing teeth. Only run the water to get started and to clean up when finished, but not during brushing.

Replace or convert as many incandescent light fixtures and bulbs as possible over to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).

Miscellaneous Sponsored Section
For those of you who were able to join us at The Rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico this year, we’re glad that you could make it! It was a great turn out with some pretty amazing entertainment scheduled throughout the event. I’m sure we all could’ve done without the wacky weather we had the first few days, but it sure cleared out to be beautiful later in the weekend. Much thanks also to everyone who stopped by the Woodall’s / Camping Life booth. We appreciate your support.

Our daily booth raffle was another huge success following last year’s lead. Congratulations to the lucky winners of some pretty awesome prizes. Without the support of our very generous sponsors, it couldn’t have been done so kudos to them, too. And here they are along with the winning names:
Continue Reading

Member Coupons
Would you like to save $$$?
YES! I want to see coupons for attractions and locations that are in my area.

I want to save more $$$!
Take me to where I can see coupons for ALL area attractions and locations

Sign up for your FREE Woodall's membership for more great coupons.

Camp Myrtle

Camping Life's Corner

Is Your First-Aid Kit Complete?

From the pages of Camping Life Magazine

Every camper and RVer should carry a first-aid kit, because Mother Nature is not always nurturing or maternal. But which kit is right for you?

If you buy an off–the–shelf medical kit, you might assume that, because it was professionally prepared, it must be perfect. And for the most part, they can be. But you should know exactly what is in the kit, and know what should be in the kit. If needed, you can then adjust whatever first–aid kit you buy to contain all the basic essentials. You can also add personal–need items, such as prescription medications, motion sickness remedies that work for you, etc.

Continue Reading

My trip journal
Follow along with RVers and travelers just like you by reading their trip journal. We've selected the best websites of people who have traveled in North America. These travelers have agreed to let us feature their website. Take a look.

More Journals

Camping Life Magazine

Camping Bloopers
All's well that ends well.

While in Florida, I parked my Class C RV, and I put my emergency brake on. However, the road was a bit slanted, and the RV started slowly moving towards some people that were gathered about 30 feet away in front of the RV.

The driver door was locked. Imagine my horror when I realized that those people would get hit by the RV! Since it was moving slowly, I synchronized my running speed with it while unlocking the door, then I jumped in — just in time to slam my foot on the brake pedal! The RV stopped about 8 feet from the people — and they didn't even notice! All's well that ends well.

Sarah Roman

Submit Your Own Blooper

RV Buying Tips
RV Buying Tip, By RV Search

Tip: Don't be Afraid to Negotiate

Everyone knows to have a budget in mind when shopping for a new RV. But what if you fall in love with a rig that's a bit above your reach? Rather than walk away discouraged, try negotiating with the seller for a lower price, or for exras like new tires or basic maintenance for a specified time period. Don't be intimidated by the large price tags for the latest models (especially all you new RVers out there). It doesn't hurt to offer a lower price.

On a quest for the RV of your dreams? Check out the featured RV below or see more listings at

2005 Holiday Rambler

2008 Fleetwood Discover
Listed price: Was $69,995
Reduced to $58,995

"Low, low miles on this incredibly well-cared for Class A gas V10. Always garaged and immaculate inside and out. 30 ft. long with two slideouts." Contact them today to find out more about this RV, or browse their showroom for more great deals.

Camping and RVing with Dogs

CCUSA Button

RV Search

Woodalls Shopping
Right Line