March 2009

Wisdom Newsletter

Woodall's Wisdom
Woodall's March 2009 eNewsletter.

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Woodall's Wisdom Newsletter, March 2009

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Ann If it's March, it's starting to look like Spring in much of the country, and that means many of you are prepping your rigs, as well as yourselves, for the upcoming travel season. We can help you with that. Check out Lidstone's RV Tech for tips on how to get ready for your first trip of the year. There are lots of great solutions to the little bumps in the road every RVer encounters in Mark My Words. A new compact, but powerful generator is detailed in Gadgets & Gear. And of course, you'll find another delicious and easy–to–make recipe in this issue of Woodall's Wisdom. So get out there and enjoy the open road!


Right Box In this Issue

Where To?

RVing with Your Pet

RV Tech

Book of the Month

Mark My Words

Woodall's Recipes

Gadgets & Gear

A Few More Important Words

2009 10th Rally Banner
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By Millie Evans Sponsored by Woodalls

Wonders Beneath the Surface

Peer into a public aquarium for a peek at another world

The more you look, the more you see the aquatic ballet played out every day in the Ocean Voyager Exhibit at Atlanta's Georgia Aquarium. Imagine a tank the size of a football field and 30 feet deep. Sawfish, guitarfish and hammerheads briefly appear only to disappear into their six-million-gallon home. The stars of the tank are the 15-foot whale sharks that can swim freely as they would in the open ocean.

At the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky, the rough spiny skin of a Forbes sea star and the swirl on top of the channeled whelk's shell give visitors a chance to touch and feel. The pool is in the top of a semi-circular stone wall with water deep enough to keep the animals submerged, but shallow enough to be reachable. Some animals rest on the sandy bottom, while others have the day off and are behind closed doors. To prevent injury, fatigue and over handling, all of the animals are rotated in and out of the exhibit.

Public aquariums have come a long way. The early Romans kept a few fish stashed away in tanks, but they were for eating, not for enjoyment or research. In the late 18th century, however, as interest in natural history flourished, travelers began bringing live sea creatures home with them. There were some problems keeping their specimens alive, but adding a few live plants helped somewhat. Aquarists soon learned more about aeration, filtering and water temperature and, as scientific knowledge expanded, public aquariums - much like public museums, arboretums and zoos - became immensely popular.

In 1853, the first major public aquarium opened at the London Zoological Gardens. In the United States, P.T. Barnum established the Aquarial Gardens in Boston in 1856 and, in 1873, the American National Aquarium opened in Washington, D.C. Marineland of Florida opened near St. Augustine in 1938 for the purpose of filming underwater movie scenes. It soon became a popular tourist attraction, and its trained animal shows with dolphins led to the creation of other similar theme parks such as the SeaWorld Oeanariums.
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RVing With Your Pet Letting Your Cat Outdoors While RVing

Letting your cat outdoors while you are RVing is a controversial issue. There are a lot of politics associated with letting cats outside, such as your cats using your neighbor's campsite as a litter box, or killing birds and wildlife. In this article, rather than discuss the political hot issues, we will discuss the practical aspects of letting your cat outside while RVing.

Many of you are probably aware that there are many statistics about how long an indoor cat lives versus how long outdoor cats live. Indoor cats live much longer than outdoor cats. However, there are a few caveats that must be taken into consideration in this statistic, such as whether your cat is unsupervised, whether your cat stays out at night, and your location. One source reports that the average lifespan of outdoor cats is only two to five years. Indoor cats can live nearly two decades.

Before we examine ways to let your cat out, there is one caveat–––people who live or are staying on busy roads should really never let their cats out without some kind of containment system. I learned that lesson the hard way when my beautiful Siamese cat, Zeus, was hit and killed on a fairly busy road. He would regularly cross the road to get to the ocean beach on the other side. In fact, sometimes, I would go for walks on the beach and look up and there he would be looking back at me from the wild rose bushes surrounding the beach.
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By Alan Lidstone Sponsored by Woodall's
Ready for the RVing Season?
RV FinanceCenter
RVers look forward to the outdoors, the open road, and traveling our wonderful country as winter ends, whether they are heading out for the first time or are seasoned open road warriors.

Easier Trip Planning – Some suggested aids that make trip planning a little easier include a calendar, Internet access, the current Woodall's campground directory that meets your needs, and a road atlas or a trip planning software package such as DeLorme Street Atlas Plus.

RVers heading into wilderness areas should strongly consider traveling with an appropriate GPS device as well as topographical mapping software.

Check out the Woodall's One Tank Trips that are great for long weekends or if you are looking for destinations within a one-day drive of your home base.

This is also the time to review your RV owner's manual and operating guide to determine what service is required to get your RV ready and safe for the road. Contact your RV service provider to make an appointment that meets your scheduling needs and ensures time to complete all necessary work. Camping World will be glad to provide you with the service and products you need to get your RV ready to enjoy another RVing season (don't forget your President's Club savings).
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Book Of The Month More Books
Camping and RVing with DogsCamping and RVing with Dogs

Woodall's NEW Camping and RVing with Dogs is your complete reference guide to the do's and don'ts of traveling with your four-legged friend. Full-time RVers Julee and Jack Meltzer describe real life experiences and examples on how to care for your dog in dozens of situations while on the road. It's just as important for your canine companions to be happy and comfortable while traveling as it is for their owners. If you or somebody you know is planning an RV or camping trip with the dogs, you won't want to leave without a copy of Woodall's Camping and RVing with Dogs.

Order yours today!

Mark My WOrds
By Mark Nemeth

Hi, everyone! Spring has definitely sprung here in East Texas! The RV is out of storage and ready for a busy season. I'll be RVing down to Alamo, Texas to visit some snowbird friends and also to attend the Winter Texan Appreciation Day on March 21, 2009, in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico. ( I was there last year, and it's a party that can't be beat! If you are wayyyy down South, don't miss it! Then, in late May, I'll be heading for Sedalia, Missouri to hold another RVers' Boot Camp and to attend our big Escapade event ( Afterward, I hope to spend some time in Branson. I hope you, too, are making plans and prepping for your own RV adventures! Thanks for all the emails, and keep those questions coming!

I have recently purchased a 2002 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage diesel motorhome and have found that the shower drain runs very slowly. Can you recommend a drain cleaner that will open this drain without causing any damage to the plumbing and gray-water tank?
Thanks, Rick

Hi, Rick,
The slow shower drain may be caused by something other than a clog of soap and hair. I have seen a number of RV shower drains plumbed with no slope or negative slope. If you can gain access to the drain piping from an adjacent compartment or access panel, have a look-see. If the plumbing is not correctly installed, no amount of drain cleaning will fix it. My 5th-wheel shower drain was such a problem that I finally re-plumbed it to correct the slope. It worked great after that.

If the installation seems OK, then we can assume that it's a clog. Most drain cleaners that state they are "safe for plastic pipe" will be safe to use in an RV, as long as you flush them out thoroughly after use. I personally have had poor luck with household drain cleaners in my RVs. In most cases, I find it much more effective to mechanically clear the clog. First, use a hemostat or needle-nose pliers to remove built-up hair and gunk from the drain inside the shower. A long wire hook or tweezers will also work. Then, if you can access the shower p-trap, remove it and clean it out. If that's not possible, you can use a flexible drain cleaner (available at any hardware store) to break up any buildup in the drain pipe, and then run plenty of water to flush the drain out. That should get things flowing again! Here's an example of what I'm referring to:
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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
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Cooking On The Road area

One 8-ounce package macaroni
¼ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
A dash of pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)

Cook macaroni as directed on package; drain and set aside. Melt butter or margarine in saucepan; remove from heat and stir in flour, salt and pepper; beat until smooth. Gradually stir in milk, and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in 12 cups cheese and cooked macaroni. Pour into buttered 12 quart casserole. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake uncovered in preheated 375° F oven for 20 minutes.
Serves 6.

Miscellaneous Sponsored Section More Gadgets
Yamaha EF2000iS Generator
Lightweight, versatile and powerful to "go anywhere" with ease

Look for a new lightweight, fuel-efficient portable generator, the EF2000iS, coming from Yamaha Motor Corp. The designation refers to the generator's maximum rated output of 2,000 Watts. The continuous rated output is 1,600 Watts. At 120 volts, this equates to 16.7 amps and 13.3 amps, respectively. Automobile, marine, RV and other 12-volt batteries also can be recharged by the EF2000iS.

The lightweight unit weighs 44 pounds. Its retro-modern design features a molded casing that is 19.3 inches long, 11 inches wide and 17.9 inches tall. Featuring Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), the EF2000iS can deliver pure sine wave power for computers, solid- state appliances with built-in microprocessors and microcomputer-controlled power tools.

The new generator is powered by a 79 cc, Yamaha engine. The EF2000iS's engine is very environmentally friendly, being designed to meet the strictest California CARB Tier III emissions standards. At the end of its useful life, 90% of the generator's parts can be recycled into other materials and reused.

With a fuel tank capacity of 1.11 gallons, the EF2000iS can operate for more than four hours at rated load and up to 10.5 hours at one-quarter load. A large fuel fill access reduces spilling and overflow.

According to Yamaha, this is the perfect generator for RV owners, whether they have a built-in generator or not. The typical on-board generator in a motorhome is used to run air conditioners only about 20% of the time. The rest of the time, much less power is needed to run televisions, satellite systems, lights, other small appliances or to charge the batteries. By having the EF2000iS available, there is no need to power up a big onboard generator.
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Miscellaneous Sponsored Section
Exciting news is coming your way in the April edition of our enewsletter. Woodall's and Camping Life Magazine are joining forces to bring you The Navigator, Your RV and Camping Guide to Discovery. Our combined efforts will bring you even greater information on some very relevant topics in our RVing and camping world today. Some new columns we'll be introducing are on "Going Green" and new products that are "Made in America". The Navigator will also bring you exciting monthly coupons on great Woodall products and up-to-date news pertaining to either Woodall's or Camping Life.

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Camp Myrtle

Camping Life's Corner

Off the Grid

Here are some 12-volt-powered camping accessories can make outdoor life a lot easier

From the pages of Camping Life Magazine

The lack of 120-volt AC electricity doesn't mean you have to be up a creek without power. You can heat, cool, pump, curl, and light almost anything you could ask for with today's 12-volt-powered accessory products. Whether you tap into your camper's 12-volt house battery, your vehicle's cigarette lighter, or one of the many power points in modern cars and trucks, there's a vast array of accessories to make your life easier. Mom can still fix her hair in the morning with a 12-volt hair dryer and curling iron. Here are some products we found that will help everybody in the family stay connected even when you're not "on the grid."

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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
As a single female traveling across the countryside by myself I was worried about safety. Maybe I am just paranoid, but in the state of the world I thought this was a good idea and have spoken with a few women that have also adopted this idea. I have a friend that travels on my trips with me now (his name is George).

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Submit Your Own Blooper

RV Buying Tips
RV Selling Tip, By RV Search

Tip: Don't Overlook the Little Things

When shopping for an RV, don't forget to inspect the little things. They could become painfully annoying later if they begin to fall apart. Check to see if light fixtures are loose, make sure cabinet doors stay closed, pull out drawers and sliding storage doors to make sure they don't stick, etc. Never fear-many of these problems can be quickly solved with minor repairs (such as tightening screws or greasing drawer tracks) that will save you money by preventing more serious damage later on.

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

2008 Doubletree Select Suites 36 RESB3

2008 Monaco Diplomat 40SKQ
Listed price: Was $73,146
Reduced to $59,875

"Select Suites Fifth Wheel w/Rear Entertainment Center, Fireplace, 2 Lounge Chairs & Oval Dining Table w/Chairs Slideout, Sofa, and much more!" Contact them today to find out more about this RV, or browse their showroom for more great deals.

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