January 2009

Wisdom Newsletter

Woodall's Wisdom
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Woodall's Wisdom Newsletter, January 2009                                                              

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Ann The New Year always brings about contemplation and resolutions, and this one is certainly no different than years past. We've decided to start 2009 out on a high note by promising to get out and on the road more, and it's a resolution we plan to keep. We challenge you to do the same. There's no better way to enrich your life than to get outside, explore the countryside, and go camping under the stars in your motorhome, travel trailer, truck camper, folding trailer or tent. In this month's issue of Wisdom, we offer a number of ways to help you enjoy that active and adventurous lifestyle, including some great tips on how to improve the pictures you take of your dog, helpful advice and resources for trip planning, insightful RV tech Q&A, and another scrumptious and easy recipe. Have a great trip and send pictures!


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        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 Charles Shugart Jr. Sponsored by Woodalls
Nearby Nova Scotia

Planning to drive slowly in a clockwise direction around the Province of Nova Scotia, I crossed the narrow isthmus that connects it to New Brunswick and the rest of the North American continent. I made my first stop at the large Provincial Visitor Center and was surprised at how few U.S. license plates there were in the parking lot. The region is so close to New England and so wonderful a travel destination, that one would expect it to be flooded with Americans, but I hadn't seen many U.S. vehicles in any of the Maritime Provinces.

My experience at this visitor center was an enjoyable one. The staff not only provided me with maps and reading materials, but was also polite and friendly. As I left the building I heard an incredibly loud and discordant noise thumping the air, accompanied by what sounded like the yowling of several dogs. Rushing to see what the problem was, I discovered a Canadian college student wearing a Scottish kilt and playing the bagpipes. Relieved that it wasn't the scene of an accident, as I had feared, I sat down and listened until he finished his "musical" rendition. As soon as he stopped, so also stopped the howling canine accompaniment (the dogs weren't very good on the harmony anyhow).
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RVing With Your Pet
Ten Tips for Taking Great Dog Photos

Have you ever taken photos of your dog thinking that they would come out terrific and then been totally underwhelmed when you look at the results? If the answer is yes, then I think I can help. As a photography teacher and dog nut, I am often asked how I get so many great shots of my dogs. The following techniques can help you get really great shots of your dog—inside the RV and outside in nature. Familiarize your dog to the camera. In order to get natural photos of your dog, he must be comfortable with the equipment out. Let your dog have a close look at your camera. Turn it on and click the shutter several times until he's familiar with the sound. Also, hold the camera while letting your dog smell and sniff the camera (don't let him lick it!). Once your dog is comfortable with the camera being out, you'll be able to take all the candid pictures you want.

  1. Take a ton of pictures. Assuming you're using a digital camera, take a lot of photos. However, there are two caveats to remember when taking a lot of digital photos: 1) make sure your battery is charged fully, and 2) make sure you have enough memory to store lots of photos. Also, make sure you don't keep all of the bad shots on your computer because photos can take up a lot of room on your hard drive.

  2. Get down. Just as with babies, a portrait photo always comes out better if you take it approximately at eye level. That way, the photo won't seem like you're looking down on your dog while he is in an awkward pose looking up. In fact, one of my favorite photos of my dogs is one that I took of them at the top of the RV steps while I was on the ground. They are looking down on the camera; it makes them look so regal!

  3. Think about the background. Try to find an appealing and uncluttered background for your dog portrait. Simple is better. Also, make sure there are no trees or branches in the background. Otherwise, it might look like they're growing out of your dog's head. Also, you can use the portrait setting (or a large aperture setting) to blur the background and put all of the focus and emphasis on your dog's face.
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   By Alan Lidstone Sponsored by Woodall's
RVs, Winter, and What's Next

With the Holiday season behind us now, it's a great time to for RVers to take some time away from RVing and have a good look at what we enjoy about the RV lifestyle. This can include looking for some new destinations, looking for a new or replacement RV, or making some equipment upgrades to enhance your time on the road.

New Locales and Destinations — For starters, planning your spring and summer trips will be easier if you are using a current campground directory.

We recommend that all RVers consider the Woodall's 2009 North American Campground Directory with a CD–ROM that includes RV resorts and campgrounds in the U.S., Canada and Mexico for only $12.95. A great feature in this information–packed directory is the special editorial section, "Discover One Tank Trips II!" The new section focuses on the best routes reachable in North American on "one tank" to help keep fuel costs reasonable while you enjoy the open road.

RVers and campers staying closer to home should consider the appropriate Woodall's Regional Campground Guides that only cost $4.95.

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Book Of The Month More Books
RV Owner's HandbookAsk any experienced RVer — even the smallest vehicle problem on the road can spoil the best planned vacation. To avoid the situation, our advice is to always properly maintain your RV and address any issues before you leave home. Improper or incomplete RV maintenance can lead to unexpected costs, inconvenience and even safety hazards.
Learn more…

Mark My WOrds
By Mark Nemeth

Hi, Folks. I hope you all had a merry Christmas and look forward to a New Year of RVing! Keep those questions coming!


Hi, Mark,

We are new to RVing and live in Northern Michigan where we get a lot of lake–effect snow. We store our fifth–wheel camper outside at a storage facility. How much snow can a 30–foot travel trailer handle on the roof during the winter? We noticed several RV dealers in the area that store their inventory outside, but I don't know if they periodically remove the snow from the roofs.

Thanks, Al


Hi, Al,

I ran into this when I kept my RV in Tehachapi, California. The average RV roof can probably tolerate 10 to 20 pounds per square foot of snow load, and that equates to about 6 to 12 inches of wet, heavy snow. Whenever the snow accumulation on my camper approached 12 inches, I shoveled it off. If your RV roof feels pretty strong when you walk around on it, you may be OK with allowing more accumulation, but it's a risk I wouldn't take. You can deal with the problem in a number of ways: The best answer (of course) is to find covered storage for the winter months, but not everyone can afford that. Some folks simply keep a heater running inside the RV, which may help melt off the snow as it accumulates, but that can be expensive and requires a power source. Others have used shoring inside the rig to support the roof, typically 2x4 and 2x6 lumber, but that's no guarantee that the roof won't be damaged anyway. The final option is to manually remove the snow accumulation whenever it approaches a dangerous depth. Here is an article by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture on ice and snow accumulation that includes a table defining the weights of snow and ice. You may be surprised at how much that white fluffy stuff can weigh!
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Do you have a question for Mark?
Please submit your question via email to woodalls@escapees.com

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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Cooking On The Road area
Article courtesy of Woodall's Campsite Cookbook


1 10–½ ounce can condensed cream of celery soup
1 10–½ ounce can condensed chicken vegetable soup
1 ½ soup cans water
1 cup cooked, diced chicken
¼–cup cooked corn
¼–cup chopped canned tomatoes
4 slices bacon
¼–cup chopped onion
¼–cup sliced mushrooms
A dash of pepper

Cook bacon until crisp; then drain and crumble. Pour off all but two tablespoons of drippings. Sauté onion and mushrooms in bacon drippings; and cook until onion is tender. Add remaining ingredients. Heat over medium flame until hot, but don't let boil, stirring often. Garnish with crumbled bacon. Serves four to five people.

Miscellaneous Sponsored Section More Gadgets
Transfer Flow Combo Toolbox and Fuel Tank

How many times have you wished you could carry more fuel aboard your pickup? Perhaps it would let you travel further between pit stops when you are only getting 8 to 10 mpg while towing a heavy trailer. More capacity could also allow you to fuel up when you see a bargain price and not in the middle of no–where, where it is being sold for scalper's prices. Or maybe you just want a safe and clean way other than fuel containers to carry reserves for powering your toys.

The answer could be a combination toolbox and fuel tank from Transfer Flow Inc., a company specializing in auxiliary, refueling and replacement fuel tank systems. The company recently introduced a 40–gallon fuel tank and toolbox combo for full–size, short–bed and long–bed Dodge, Ford and General Motors diesel pickups. A 30–gallon version is available for newer full–size Ford and GM gasoline pickups.

The all–in–one toolbox and auxiliary fuel tank offers more than 5.5–cubic feet of storage space for tools and other stuff. The lockable storage compartment is 55.25 inches long, 17.75 inches wide and 9.75 inches deep. Since the fuel filler is located inside the locked storage container, fuel is also kept safe and secure. The toolbox tank is made from 14–gauge aluminized steel for superior strength and rust resistance. The tank is baffled in two places on all four sides to preclude sloshing and is powder coated in black for a durable finish. It mounts about flush with most pickup bed rails so it should not interfere with fifth–wheel hitches. The tanks come preassembled with fuel lines, wire harness, mounting hardware, pump and computer module.
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Miscellaneous Sponsored Section

VENTURA, CALIF. (Dec. 22, 2008) — Good Sam Emergency Road Service recently recognized Central Towing and Transport in Fremont, CA as the 2nd Annual Heavy Duty Provider of the Year. This prestigious honor is awarded annually at the Annual American Towman Exposition in Baltimore, Maryland to ONE Service Provider internationally based on CSI (customer service index) rating, positive customer survey feedback, percentage of call acceptance, consistent on time arrival and numerous other criteria that are monitored consistently to ensure our customers are getting the world class service they deserve.

"This is always a tough call to make" said Darren White, Program Director for Good Sam ERS. In 2008 alone, Good Sam Emergency Road Service successfully rescued over 130,000 members in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands using their RV specialized network of over 40,000 service providers. "Central Towing repeatedly appeared in the top tier of providers by providing a superior level of customer service, accepting a large percentage of all calls offered, servicing our customers quickly and by keeping claims costs competitive" said White. "Based on these facts, they were selected as a finalist for our Annual "Top 5" Heavy Duty Service Providers". "From this list of the BEST road service providers in the industry, Central Towing was selected as the overall winner due to their exemplary customer service and positive attitude towards our members".

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Camping Life's Corner
How to Pick the Best Campsite
Tips and tricks to help you get the best site for your money

By Stuart Bourdon

Having a wonderful camping experience is a combination of factors. Some of those are providential, and a few are completely out of your hands. Luckily, there are some you can control. It's impossible to control the weather, but you can keep track of it and update your gear as conditions dictate. And the campground may not always offer many choices, depending upon its size and reservation level. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and enjoy. The good news—with proper planning, quick and accurate assessment in the field, and some flexibility, you should be able to find just the right spot in any campground.

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Courtesy of Woodall's Camping Life

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.

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Camping Life Magazine

Camping Bloopers
Almost wet!

Several years ago we owned a pop–up. We had been camping enough times to know what to do in set–up, but you know what happens when you get in a hurry. We were at a campground in NC. We had found a lovely campground that had sites located all around a beautiful lake in the middle. We drove around twice to locate just the right one.

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Submit Your Own Blooper

RV Buying Tips
RV Selling Tip, By RV Search

Tip: Let Buyers Snoop Around!

Give prospective buyers a brief tour and then step out to let them browse your RV alone when selling it. Buying an RV is similar to buying a house. Many buyers will feel hesitant to open closets and cupboards if you're standing right there, which means they don't get a good look at your rig. Let them snoop around—they'll be more likely to turn into real buyers!

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2008 Monaco Diplomat 40SKQ
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