December, 2002

Seasons Greetings and the Best to You and Yours
this holiday season!

Total subscribers this issue 8063! Last issue 7991!

Welcome to our new 72 Subscribers!

Inside this issue:

- Another Year ... by Les Doll
- Confined Spaces ... by Peggi McDonald -
- RV Glossary - terms and phrases used by RV'ers (con't)
- Trust My Mechanic ... by Austin C. Davis
Joke of the Day:
Classified Ad Section:

Another year has almost passed and the World is
still here! Our blessings are many, my friends!

Peace and love to all!

Les Doll


Confined Spaces by Peggi McDonald

Recently I've received several questions by email
asking "How can we live comfortably in the
compact space of an RV"? The following tips may
provide some hints to avoid the walls closing in.

In each of our units John and I found a
place to 'claim' as our space. The dining area has
always been my work area for the computer. However
I also use this 'office space' to set-up my sewing
machine and to make crafts. John loves to follow
his sports teams on our Canadian satellite
system---Express Vu, plus he enjoys reading a good
book. Normally the living room area is his space,
but occasionally he will retire to the bedroom TV
so he can watch his favourite teams perform on the
back TV or to comprehend his latest book

If the air in our motorhome occasionally
turns blue due to a disagreement, John takes the
dogs for a walk so we can both benefit from some
distance while we think things through.

Both of us keep busy with individual
hobbies; John's favourite is a competitive game of
billiards or laps in the pool. I use my computer
extensively but I am quite creative so I love to
attend classes in the clubhouse to learn the art
of fabricating neat 'things'.

When weather permits we try to work, play
and relax outside on the patio. This is also a
super way to meet your neighbours and make new
best friends.

One or two TV's plus a VCR are important
amenities that help to occupy young and not so
young RVers during poor weather days.

At least once a week it is important for us
to find time to be a tourist. We search for nearby
attractions on the recommendations of our
neighbours or the office staff.

Many RVers who travel with kids encourage
each member to find something special to do at
every destination. Travel books from tourist
offices help provide the reference. John and I
choose our activities depending on what's

Some RVers with children use their
computers to run a wide variety of challenging
games---laptops may be more costly but they
definitely consume less space than desktops.

Visiting with your new neighbours to share
destinations, experiences and developing new
friendships provide an informative pleasant
diversion. It also adds a change of scenery, which
is another way to expand your space.

On pleasant days, following a hiking trail
and/or enjoying a bike ride in the campground, or
at nearby locations adds diversion and dimension
to any RV getaway.

John and I relish the simple things
connected to this lifestyle. We love picnics and
an enjoyable drive through the country to
familiarize ourselves with an area.

Recently Kayla, a 12 year-old niece joined
us for an RV trip from BC to Ontario. She planned
much of this trip to her liking because John and I
had travelled across Canada several times. Her
and her family are avid campers that love
exploring a variety of places in their fold down
camper. I asked Kayla "What her family and her
peers do to enjoy time in a campground especially
during less than perfect weather?" Her answers are
as follows.

1. Her family frequently travels with two to
eight other families, each in their own RV. These
trips take them to Provincial Park destinations
several times throughout the summer.

2. Outside activities are preferred but when
the weather turns les than perfect the kids
socialize in one trailer while adults flock to

3. Each family carries a good supply of
movies, books and group activities that keep
everyone busy inside, especially after dark.

4. Adults play cards while the kids amuse
themselves with board games, TV, or movies on the

5. When the family is together in their own
unit, each member claims a personal space for
reading, crafts etc.

6. Biking is a favourite activity as is
swimming in an on-site lake or swimming pool-even
in a gentle rain.

7. Two of the parks this group return to
often also have an arcade style game room that
provide non-stop entertainment for teens and

8. Evening events at the park, afternoon
hayrides and special events adds to their getaway

9. Of course on beautiful evenings, bonfires
are very popular to add a warm touch of
togetherness to the close of each day.

10. In reality they spend minimal time in their
units. They live outside whenever possible.

Be sure to allow the kids to be part of all
planning. As soon as they are old enough to read
they can help with the planning details of family
getaways. These tips may provide ideas to ensure
every adventure becomes a memorable experience and
more fun than the last outing. Enjoy the journey.

Peggi is author of Spirit of the Open Road and e-books
RV Living: Facts, Tips Hints and More --- Volume
One and Two. Log onto the Information site for
ALL RVers at http://www.rvliving.net for Free


By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

At the beginning of each year so many of us commit
to changes and worthy goals to be accomplished in
the next twelve months only to be disappointed
come next December 31 when we discover we are no
closer to achieving those resolutions than we
were on January 1. The noble resolutions we made
early on became unstuck. So I looked at this
dilemma and created four useful suggestions to
increase the probability that your New Year's
resolutions will stick this year.

1. Quantify it. Sometimes we are just too vague
about what we want. Therefore, a resolution such
as, "I want to lose weight this year" will
probably fail. It is too vague. How much weight?
Be specific. What would your ideal weight be,
less what do you weigh now, is what you are going
after. It is not enough to resolve that; "I want
enough money in the bank this year". Quantify.
What specific amount would soothe your soul?

2. Set a deadline. Resolutions that are to be
achieved "as soon as possible" wind up in the
heap of "Someday I'll". Deadlines are
commitments. Without a deadline as a self-imposed
pressure point, getting started is easily
postponed. You see, deadlines put us on the line
and define when failure occurs. Deadlines also
help us to break the resolution down into little
bite-sized pieces. For example, if your goal is
to lose 25 pounds by June 30, that translates into
approximately 4 pounds per month, one pound per
week, or a daily reduction of caloric intake (or
an increase in daily caloric burn) of just 500
calories per day. Now that's manageable. 500
calories a day is easy to achieve. 25 pounds
seems like a leap across the Grand Canyon. Until
we quantify our goal, set a deadline, then break
it down to its daily requirements, the resolution
will forever seem unattainable.

3. Change one or two things at a time. We
generally do not like change in the first place.
We seek the familiar and avoid the strange. The
more change you put yourself through, the higher
the probability your campaign will collapse.
Focus in on one or two of the more important
resolutions you seek to accomplish this year. When
you achieve one or the other, start on the next
one. Don't overwhelm yourself with too much
change all at once.

4. Be realistic. There's just something about the
start of a new year that gets us all wound up for
changes in our lives, sometimes extraordinary and
unrealistic changes. We become much like the child
in the candy store whose eyes are bigger than his
stomach. Be realistic. You can only accomplish a
certain amount within a period of time. Don't
saddle yourself with unrealistic resolutions that
will only spell failure later on.

Would you like to receive free Timely Time
Management Tips on a regular basis to increase
your personal productivity and get more out of
every day? Sign up now for our free "TIMELY TIME
http://www.topica.com/lists/timemanagement and
select "subscribe" or send email to:
timemanagement-subscribe@topica.com. We welcome
you aboard!

SPECIAL OFFER: If these ideas have been useful,
you may want to receive, "Control the Free Fall",
which discusses why we sometime feel so out of
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Productivity Institute Time Management Seminars
127 Jefferson St. Stratford, CT 06615 (203)
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RV Glossary - terms and phrases used by RV'ers

BTU - British Thermal Unit - A measurement of heat
that is the quantity required to raise the
temperature of one pound of water 1 degree F. RV
air-conditioners and furnaces are BTU-rated.

Camber - Wheel alignment - Camber is the number of
degrees each wheel is off of vertical. Looking
from the front, tops of wheels farther apart than
bottoms means "positive camber". As the load
pushes the front end down, or the springs get
weak, camber would go from positive to none to
negative (bottoms of wheels farther apart than

Castor - Wheel alignment - The steering wheels'
desire to return to center after you turn a

CONDENSATION - condensation is a result of warn
moisture laden air contacting the cold window
glass. Keeping a roof vent open helps to reduce
the humidity levels. Those added roof vent covers
help to prevent cold air from dropping down
through the vent while still allowing moist air to
escape. Using the roof vent fan when showering or
the stove vent fan when cooking also helps prevent
excess moisture buildup.

CONVERTER - A converter is device that converts
120 volt A/C (alternating current) to 12 volt DC
(direct current). The RV devices mostly run on 12
volt DC power that is supplied by the battery,
which allows the RV to function independently.
When "shore power" (an electrical supply) is
available, the converter changes the voltage from
120 to 12 volt to supply the appliances and to
recharge the battery.

(to be continued)


Trust My Mechanic ... by Austin C. Davis

Reader Question: Why should I leave my car at a
full service repair shop to get my oil changed,
when I can get it done while I wait?

The best thing for your pocket book and for the
well being of your vehicle is to take your car to
a reliable shop to get the oil changed. Leaving
(yes leaving) your vehicle for an oil change gives
the shop time to test drive and generally inspect
your car.

You should have your oil changed every 3,000 miles
or 3-4 months, these are opportunities for a
qualified mechanic to peek over your car's major
vital parts. Oil change ads in the newspaper are
loss leaders anyway, so don't think you are going
to get your oil changed and be out of there for

I will bet they'll find something to sell you.
Those newspaper ads cost a lot of money to print,
and there is no profit in an oil change for
$25--let alone $12. I would rather pay a little
over a period of time to a qualified, honest
mechanic for proper maintenance than one large sum
for drastic last minute repairs due to neglect and
over sight. If the shop that you trust tells you
to replace a tire, don't wait! Have them replace
it and be done with it.

Shops use a term called PM (preventive
maintenance). PM can consist of many things. First
and foremost is changing the oil and filter and
lubrication of the undercarriage. Rotation of
tires; brake, belt, hose inspection; and testing
antifreeze protection are the basics. Wreckers tow
numerous vehicles in because they won't start, and
the major cause is loose or dirty battery

Battery terminals and battery water level should
be checked during an oil change, but the quick
lube places are too fast and inexperienced to
provide proper PM service. The quick lube people
check the fluids and air filter because this is
about all they are qualified to repair. No offense
to them, but take a look at the people who are
performing the repairs.

Do they look like they are capable of doing much
more than oil changes? These mechanics are usually
part-time school kids or backyard mechanics
working their way up the mechanic ladder of life.
If you visit these places very often do you see
the same mechanics? The service writer is usually
the owner and they will remain because these
places are profitable, but the mechanics will
usually only stay a few months until a better
paying job comes along.

Changing fluids on a car is pretty easy, fast,
cheap, and very profitable for the shop. They do a
good job of showing you the "dirty/bad" fluid that
is in your car and the harm it is doing and so on.
They have a nice check out list of the things that
are profitable for them to replace or repair, but
not necessarily what should be checked during a PM

They too are in the business of making money. Does
your dentist check your eyesight? No, he provides
a service he was trained for. Also, don't classify
all mechanics as the same. A mechanic is only as
good as his capability will allow him to be. Would
you rather be inconvenienced a few hours every 3-4
months taking your car in to a full service repair
shop, or hassled every 6-8 months because
something that should have been caught during a PM
broke on the way out of town with the kids in the

Believe me, it will cost you much more than
cleaning the battery terminals. Do you go to the
express doctor or dentist? The people who know
what they are doing take longer in their
diagnosis, and usually charge more than the
others, but isn't it worth it? Take a deep breath,
I know it's just an oil change, but it could be
much more.

I hope this helps.


Austin C Davis


Joke of the Day:

What's for Dinner?

A concerned husband goes to
see the family doctor and says, "I think my wife
is deaf because she never hears me the first time
I say something, in fact, I often have to repeat
things over and over again." "Well," the doctor
replies, "go home and tonight and stand about 15
feet from her and say something. If she doesn't
reply, move about five feet closer and say it
again. Keep doing this so we can get an idea about
the severity of her deafness."

Sure enough, the husband goes home and does
exactly as instructed. He starts off about 15 feet
from his wife in the kitchen and as she is
chopping some vegetables, he says, "Honey, what's
for dinner?"

He gets no response. He moves about five feet
closer and asks again. No reply. He moves five
feet closer. Still no reply. He gets fed up and
moves right behind her, about an inch away, and
asks again, "Honey, what's for dinner?"

She replies, "For the fourth time, vegetable




SPIRIT OF THE OPEN ROAD by Peggi McDonald is a
'must have' for all RVers, both novice and experienced travelers.

Spirit of the Open Road

Trust My Mechanic

Have you taken your car in for one simple repair,
and later get a phone call telling you about all
kinds of things that are wrong with your car? I
bet you tell them to fix at least one of their
recommended repairs.... that they say your car
needs! How do you know your car REALLY needs the
recommended repair?



Les Doll - RV Technician My advice is free and
worth only what you gain from it!