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| By Tom and Joanne O'Toole ||Sponsored by Woodall's |
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Louring Maple Syrup Country
Land of Nature's Liquid Gold
Travelers the world over are lured to New England by autumn's infamous vibrant hues of the changing leaves. Those who pursue the colorful fall scenery even have their own status, as "leaf peepers." But the Northeast serves up her riches year-round-perhaps the sweetest being the traditions and celebrations of maple "sugarin' " season.
Maple sugar festivals, weekends and tours celebrate the end of winter in many areas, although sap-collection seasons are as unpredictable as the weather. The syrup-making season can be from as early as the first or second week of February to the first or second week of April, and the seasons have been as short as two weeks or as long as eight.
You can observe maple collecting firsthand in many locales. The top six maple-syrup-producing states in the U.S. are Vermont (the leader), Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. The delicacy is also harvested in Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. All things maple, take center focus for an entire month, as March is Massachusetts Maple Month.
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| Shrinking Dogs and S&H Green Stamps |
It's a good idea to immerse yourself every now and then in the world that you routinely write about. Otherwise known as a "reality check", these real–life excursions confirm that the books and articles you write are still relevant. In my case, I primarily write about camping and RVing with pets. So for the last two winters, I decided to immerse myself in one of the nation's most popular RVing destinations–Florida.
Florida, as many of you probably know, represents the winter getaway for millions of campers and RVers. When the annual migration officially begins after the holidays, sleepy locales like Fort Myers, Orlando and the Florida Keys are quickly transformed into jam–packed winter communities with big–city traffic, crowded restaurants and terrific weather. Thus, as a reality check for RVing and camping, Florida is about as real as it gets.
First of all, someone or something is shrinking the dogs. It appears that the vast majority of RVers now own dogs that weigh less than three pounds. On a typical walk, we routinely encounter miniature poodles, miniature dachshunds, miniature collies, and other dwindling little canines. By contrast, our German Shepherd now seems like a furry dinosaur that trudges through the campground looking for small dogs and other tasty snacks. I'm not sure where all the normal size dogs have gone but the trend is clear. Tiny is in.
On a more ordinary note, I'm still amazed at the level of voluntary compliance with the usual assortment of pet rules. For example, most folks keep their dogs on a leash, and the vast majority of campers and RVers still pick up after their dogs when taking a walk. They may not stop at stop signs, obey red lights, or call their mothers, but they do pick up after their dogs.
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| Winegard Carryout Automatic Portable Satellite TV Antenna |
Compact and lightweight for versatile viewing
Winegard has been manufacturing television and radio reception products for more than 50 years. This includes a comprehensive line of mobile television antennas for motorhomes and travel trailers. Now the company has introduced another product, the Carryout Automatic Portable Satellite TV Antenna, which includes the features found in the company's larger antennas, but in much more portable form.
As its name might imply, the Carryout (Model GM–1518), is aimed at those who want to enjoy high–quality satellite television reception anywhere and at any time. This includes boaters, campers, tailgating enthusiasts, race fans and others who want to watch television in nontraditional settings.
The Carryout is the most compact and lightweight TV antenna currently on the market. At just 15.6 inches high and 20 inches in diameter, it weighs a mere 13.5 pounds and has an easy–grip handle for carrying ease. There is an optional quick–disconnect ladder mount, should you want to affix the antenna to an RV. Indeed, if you don't want a permanent antenna installation, this could be just the ticket. Unlike a roof–mounted antenna, you can move the Carryout when you change RVs.
The Carryout is also extremely easy to use. You simply connect it to a television receiver and plug it into a 12–volt power source, and Carryout will automatically do the rest. No remote or controls are needed. It can be plugged into a vehicle's standard cigarette outlet. A 110–volt power inverter is available.
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| The Complete Idiot's Guide to RVing, 2nd Edition |
By Brent Peterson
Getting ready to travel on the road but don't know what to expect at a campground? Or how to keep your RV running smoothly… how to hook up your rig to electricity, the sewer, water or even cable TV? You're no idiot, of course, but The Complete Idiot's Guide to RVing, Second Edition will help answer all your questions and worries about buying, selling, insuring and traveling in your RV. Whether a first timer or a seasoned traveler, this guide will help you polish up your skills and understanding of traveling on the road. Author Brent Peterson gives expert advice as well as tips whether you are traveling for a weekend, summer, or a lifetime. So get your copy today!
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| By Mark Nemeth |
I love this time of year! Spring offers some of the best opportunities to enjoy your RV. Campgrounds and attractions are not crowded, and the days are warm, but not too hot. It just doesn't get better than this. I hope you are enjoying these perfect spring days. Keep those questions coming, I love hearing from you!
I read somewhere that storing LCD TVs in cold climates for long periods of time could ruin them. What is your take on this problem as many people in the northern climates store RVs without taking these appliances out?
In general, LCD screens are rated by the manufacturer with an operating temperature range and a storage temperature range. Most will operate safely between 32F and 100F. Most will tolerate storage temps between -20F and 140F without damage. Check the owner's manual on your LCD TV to make sure, but I doubt that storage at low temperature will be a problem. Operation at low temperatures will cause the screen to be significantly less bright but should not cause any damage. Plasmas are also generally safe to operate and store within those temperature ranges. The thing you need to watch out for with plasma screens is altitude. Most sets are rated to operate only at altitudes below 7500 feet. Again, the owner's manual is the best place to check for operating limitations on any electronic device.
Every once in a while, I lose all RV battery power and nothing works, including my generator. Then it will come back on. It seems all battery-powered electrics go off. I can still run the motorhome, but even the radio doesn't work. My batteries appear to be fully charged. I own a 2004 Coachman Mirada.
- Thanks, Kevin
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| Do you have a question for Mark? |
Please submit your question via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 www.escapees.com/magazine
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| TRANSFER FLOW |
50-GALLON AUXILIARY FUEL TANK SYSTEM
Want to increase your pickup truck's range? Install Transfer Flow's new 50–gallon auxiliary fuel tank. It allows you to fill up and drive more than twice as many miles as the typical stock fuel tank before you purchase fuel again. In addition, the Transfer Flow 50–gallon fuel tanks fit under your pickup's tonneau cover. Made from either black powder–coated 14–gauge aluminized steel or polished 1/8–inch aluminum diamond plate, the fuel tanks use the company's patented Trax–II operating system, which transfers fuel to the OEM fuel tank automatically and displays fuel status on an in–cab LCD screen. The tanks are also fully baffled to prevent fuel "slosh", and include all the needed mounting hardware and instructions. These auxiliary tanks are available for full–size Ford, GM and Dodge pickups. For available make and model years, call Transfer Flow at 800/442–0056 or visit www.transferflow.com.
Founded in 1983, Transfer Flow is based in Chico, California, manufactures all its products in the U.S.A., and is a leader in auxiliary fuel systems and components for the automotive and RV markets. Designed for both aftermarket and OEM applications, Transfer Flow products meet the rigid requirements of the California Air Resources Board and the Department of Transportation.
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| BUTTERSCOTCH BUNS |
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped nuts
1 8–ounce tube refrigerated biscuits
Soften butter or margarine and mix with sugar. Spoon butter-sugar mixture into muffin cups, placing about 1 teaspoonful in each.Top with chopped nuts. Press a biscuit down into each cup. Bake in a hot 400°F oven for about 10 minutes. Leave biscuits in pan about 5 minutes to cool, then turn out and serve.
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| Woodall's Camping Life Green Tip #1 |
It's easier than you think to be green, and this column is going to help you get on you're way to greening up your RV and camping lifestyle. Green Tips may include new products we've come across that can enhance your own green movement, other times it may be a new technology or technique we've witnessed, or it may simply be a different way to do things.
You can begin the process of taking better care of our environment, while still enjoying all the wonders of the great outdoors, one little step at a time. One of those small first steps that can lead to a big change is to re–think the way you deal with a nasty subject–black water in an RV's holding tanks.
Traditional solutions involve harsh chemicals that dissolve the solid waste and help to keep things moving along smoothly through the plumbing system. While these chemical concoctions do the job well, they are also often highly toxic.
One alternative that can move you toward a greener RVing experience is a new product from OP Products Incorporated of Riverside, California. Its Pure Power waste digester and odor eliminator contains an advanced solution of 100–percent biodegradable, non–toxic bacteria and enzymes which can safely, economically, and effectively maintain holding tanks and all related plumbing components. Pure Power's solution of non–pathogenic bacteria, enzymes, natural surfactants and wintergreen fragrance actively breaks down the waste and eliminates nasty odors. This environmentally friendly formula will also enhance and increase microbial activity in septic systems and dump station facilities, further breaking down waste, so it's good for your RV and for the waste management facility, too.
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| Staying fit as you RV travel |
By Jamie Hall Bruzenak
Staying fit and not gaining weight can be a challenge on the RV road. It may feel like you are moving when you travel, but actually you are sitting a good part of the day. When you stop for the night, or before you leave in the morning, you need to set aside time to exercise.
At the RV park
Before you leave in the morning or after you get settled, take a walk around the park. It can be fun to see the different RVs and where they are from, even strike up conversations. You may not get your heart rate up, but it some activity. Riding your bicycle around the park is another alternative. Use the pool and swim laps if the park has one.
RV parks and resorts designed for longer stays may have exercise equipment, courts for bocce ball, pickleball or tennis, larger pools. Often they offer classes or have tournaments that you could take advantage of if you stay for a few days or longer.
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Wildlife Feature: Mallards
The uncommonly common duck
From the pages of Camping Life Magazine
According to Crow Indian legend, before there was land or trees or mammals, the world consisted of an enormous sea. On this sea paddled ducks, the only animals in the world. One day, Old Man came to the ducks, informing them that there was earth on the bottom of the ocean. Four ducks dove to the depths at his command. When they popped to the surface, one of them presented him a bit of mud wedged between its webbed toes. From this bit of soil, Old Man created the continents that were subsequently occupied by other birds and mammals and the Crows themselves. Many early peoples caught ducks for use as a food source, but just as many prized the duck, especially the mallard, for its beautiful plumage.
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.
Generator Vs Jeep
We were camped in Denver. My wife and daughter had just locked our motorhome door, and I was talking to our neighbor when I heard an electric motor humming sound. I started looking around and saw the generator slide out being extended from the front of our motorhome. The slide smashed into the front tow brackets on my Jeep (parked about 2 feet away), pushed the car backwards and dislodging the front grill.
I opened the door of the motorhome to find our dog looking out the side window with his paw on the slide-out switch that is positioned on the ledge under the driver's side window.
Joseph Tovo Sr,
Submit Your Own Blooper
RV Buying Tip, By RV Search
Tip: Browse New Models at an RV Show
If you're thinking of buying a new RV but aren't quite sure which model is best for your family, attend an RV show in your area. Dozens of dealers and manufacturers bring all kinds of rigs to these consumer shows, making it easy for you to look around without having to drive around. Bring the entire family and take advantage of the display models–check the storage areas, sit in the chairs, stand in the shower, etc. Make notes and discuss observations later at home.
On a quest for the RV of your dreams? Check out the featured RV below or see more listings at rvsearch.com.
2008 Fleetwood Discover
Listed price: Was $233,164
Reduced to $187,582
"Diesel Pusher, Class A, Model 39R, 350 Cummins, 3 slides. Two leather sofas, booth dinette, large kitchen with oven. Queen bed, separate tub/shower. Located in Springfield, MO at Reliable RV Center." Contact them today to find out more about this RV, or browse their showroom for more great deals.