Feb 22, 2001

Inside this issue:

A short note from a grateful newsletter publisher:

This little newsletter has grown from a small circle of e-friends - to a small
gathering of dedicated RV enthusiasts - and on to a group of more than 2000

I am rather shy, as a rule, and the thought of speaking to 2000 people as a group,
would give me a severe case of stage fright. (Not to mention other unmentionable
physical reactions). The Internet and this newsletter has somewhat lessened that
phobia and it has been fun to continue to publish this newsletter and watch it's growth over
the years. I truly hope that it has helped enrich your RV experience and I have
received many fine and encouraging comments. I thank you all, very much.

This newsletter has always been a communication between me and my RV family,
and I consider all of you, as my RV family!

It is with special pride that I welcome my father to this issue and to the
RVersCorner webfamily - today is his birthday - he has finally made it on-line
(4 days ago), in time for his 75th birthday.

My dad is an avid RVer, a dedicated woodworker, and a very fine fellow.

I would love to have his e-mail box filled with welcome messages, would you consider helping me?

Can you imagine his surprise when he gets messages from all our subscribers? We
have people from the States, Canada, Australia, Africa, New Zealand and many
other countries ...

Please take a couple of minutes and e-mail my Dad:

My Dad's e-mail address is (edited - my father passed away)


Inside this issue:

- Harsh Words Spoken - a story passed on to me by Peggi McDonald
- Attitude ... by Les Doll
- From the RVer's Open Forum: Putty tape, a sticky question
- From the RVer's Corner Inbox: GFI ... ???
- Toys, toys, toys ... by Peggi McDonald

Joke of the Day:
Classified Ad Section:
About the RVer's Corner Newsletter:

Harsh Words Spoken

I ran into a stranger as he passed by. "Oh excuse me please" was my reply.
He said, "Please excuse me too; I wasn't watching for you." We were
very polite, this stranger and I. We went on our way and we said

But at home a different story is told, how we treat our loved ones,
young and old. Later that day, cooking the evening meal, my son stood
beside me very still. When I turned, I nearly knocked him down. Move
out of the way, I said with a frown. He walked away, his little heart broken.
I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.

While I lay awake in bed, God's still, small voice came to me and said,
"While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use, but the children
you love, you seem to abuse. Go look on the kitchen floor, you'll find
some flowers there by the door. Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself; pink, yellow and blue. He stood very quietly
not to spoil the surprise, and you never saw the tears that filled his
little eyes."

By this time, I felt very small, and now my tears began to fall. I
quietly knelt by his bed; "Wake up, little one, wake up," I said. "Are
these the flowers you picked for me?"
He smiled, "I found'em out by the tree. I picked 'em because they're
pretty like you. I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue."

I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I acted today; I shouldn't have
yelled at you that way." He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay. I love you
anyway." I said, "Son, I love you too, and I do like the flowers, especially the

Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are
working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family
we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come
to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our own family -
an unwise investment indeed, don't you think?

So what is behind the story?

Do you know what the word FAMILY means?


Pass this on to everyone that you care about. I just did.


Attitude -

Camping means different things to different folks. Each viewpoint is as valid
as the other and there are no set rules concerning the enjoyment of the camping
experience. You can be just as miserable in a 38 foot fifth wheel, equipped
with every imaginable convenience, as in a tent in the pouring rain. Or, you
can revel in the blessed mousier from above, whether it is tap-tapping on a
canvas tarp draped over a tree branch or drip-dripping off your new 20 foot
awning. The only thing separating the miserable camper from the joyous camper,
is "attitude"!

"Attitude" is a skill that comes easy to the fortunate few, but must be learned
by the rest of us. If a 'stuck drawer' in your brand new $90,000 motor home
throws you into a frenzy, you may have an "attitude" problem.

If your tent zipper parts in a 60 MPH wind, in a driving rainstorm, you have a
"survival" problem. There is a difference in these two problems. Your "attitude"
will determine your comfort level when camping. A recreational vehicle is, by
definition, a means to an end. The major point is the recreation aspect. You
are expected to relax and "recreate" (or re-create) yourself. All cares and
worries should be left behind, this is your time, you deserve it, you have
worked hard for it.


From the RVers Open Forum:


There are two types of putty tape currently available that I know of...

One is what I would call the standard type and the other is Butyl Tape...
I have used both but the butyl seems superior in many ways...

However, the butyl is very sticky and hard to trim... The standard tape seems
far easier to work with...

OK, which one do you (and other RV techs) prefer and is there any trick to
working with the new tape(butyl)...


I use the regular putty tape about 80% of the time because it is much easier
to work with and saves time. The butyl tape must be used on a rubber roof and
I usually use the butyl on any type of roof installation.

I use tape that is 1" wide and 1/8" in thickness. I first lay in pieces in the
siding depressions and then lay a continuous strip over this. (On both sides
of a corner). If you lay out multiple strips the putty will compress where the
screws are but resist compression between the screws. This will cause a wavy
effect in the installed molding.

I trim off the excess with a putty knife and wipe up the residue with a cloth
and a spray of some kind of solvent. (No solvent on a rubber roof!)

Butyl is much more difficult to trim and apply, but it does provide a superior seal.

One trick with regular putty tape, trim the excess with a downward stroke then
immediately follow with an upward stroke of the putty knife ... leaves a nice
smooth surface. Try it next time. Also, a touch of silicone spray (or WD40) on
the putty knife, every so often, does some wonderful things.

A can of WD40 is always in close reach of my toolbox. I use it everyday for
something or other.
Pliers a little stiff? WD40 them.
Hacksaw blade binding a little? WD40 it.
Tools getting a greasy buildup? WD40 them.

Coffee has a little film on it? TOO much WD40!

They don't teach ya that at rvskool!

Additional Comments: (from Les Adams)

I usually use a little plastic table knife with the teeth filed off to trim
the putty or a little nylon tool I have that has a pencil like point on one
side and a flat screwdriver like blade on the other... I find nylon ideal for
working putty tape as for the most part it won't scratch aluminum or fiberglass...


Yes, excellent tool! Another one is the little sample squares of arborite that
you can get at the local hardware store for free! You know, the color samples
of counter top finishes ... nice edge (four sides) and also does not scratch.

Note: if everyone rushes down to the local building supply store to scoop up
these free samples, at least leave them the web address for this newsletter!


From the RVer's Corner Inbox:


I just took delivery of my new travel trailer. While setting up for a trial
run in my driveway (yah, I just can't wait!), I discovered that several of
the plug-ins are dead. Please help!


Often, a series of dead 110 volt a/c outlets are a result of a tripped GFI
outlet. The GFI (ground fault interrupter) is a special electrical outlet
that is usually located in the bathroom, and disconnects the electrical
supply almost instantly in case of a fault in the circuit. It looks like a
regular 110 volt plug but with two buttons between the plug-in ports. These
buttons are labeled "test" and "reset". You probably have at least one in your
new coach.

People are naturally attracted to a button that says "test" and will push it
to see what happens. Nothing spectacular occurs, so they go on their way. This
trips the GFI and shuts off one or more circuits in your RV. These circuits are
normally located in the bathroom, kitchen area and the exterior outlet. If one
or more of these circuits are dead, try resetting the GFI - this may solve the

Note: if the GFI trips for no apparent reason, you should have the electrical
system checked for a malfunction as soon as possible and do not use the circuits
in the meantime. The GFI is there to protect you and your family from electrical


Toys Toys Toys by Peggi McDonald

Today's RVs are rolling dream homes. Many come equipped with
amenities galore along with all the comforts found in a
stationary house. If your chosen unit is missing a few,
dealer parts stores overflow with numerous extras and nice
to have items of every shape, size and price. The industry
leaders and creative RVers continually come up with new ideas
to make life on the road interesting as well as pleasurable.

My latest and most favorite 'toy' is my Splendid 2000,
WASHER-DRYER COMBO. I can't believe I ever got along without
this outstanding accessory. A year ago we chose to part with
some valuable cupboard space to install a vented model. RVing
friends expressed this style unit was more effective and I
strongly agree. It is such a pleasure to do a wash in my RV,
and after 14 years my days at the Laundromat are now a bad
dream. Although each load is smaller, I am even able to wash
fairly large throw rugs one at a time or a set of queen sheets
and pillowcases. We find our clothes are cleaner and this washer
is more kind to delicate fabrics than commercial ones were. It
is such a comfort to know I am the only one who used the washer
before me. The dryer that vents outside does a great job but
the loads must be smaller and it does take longer time than a
household model. However since I prefer to air dry many of my
clothes, this doesn't present a problem. The majority of
campgrounds prohibit clotheslines; as a result many RVers with
W/D's adapt some form of accessory at the back of their units
to allow clothes to soak up the sunshine.

Another new toy is our TV DISH/SATELLITE. It 's so great to
watch sports, movies, or world programming of our choice. We
first bought the Dish network which many RVing friends recommended.
At the present time Direct TV in the USA is offering a system
that after rebates it is 'almost free'. Express Vu, the network
system of choice for Canadian RVers, allows access to cross-Canada
programming as well as USA networks. All systems work well on both
sides of the USA/Canada border but officially using them in a
country other than that of their origin does present a legality
situation due to broadcast license regulations. This point only
becomes a problem if you want support from the parent company
when you are in another country. The USA systems use Zip codes
to lock onto the satellites (if in Canada find the Zip code of a
USA campground south of where you are) and Express Vu uses
co-ordinates to connect to the Nimiq 91 satellite (co-ordinates
are listed on the web Links page of www.rvliving.net). A year
ago we installed a Winegard dish windup system on the roof of
our motorhome separate from our TV antenna, along with a special
axis finder. Only once have we been unable to get service due to
trees, but we don't usually spend much time in wooded areas such
as State, Provincial and National parks.

Whatever company you subscribe to, the receiver and program card
belongs to the same system. When we switched from Dish to
Express Vu (to access Cdn programming) we had to exchange our
'smart card' and 'receiver' as well. We chose not to add the
dual LNB. Our RV came equipped with a special programming device
called a Video Control Center, (or jewelry box) which allows us
to switch from antenna programming to auxiliary (cable or dish) to
VCR. Although we can only watch one channel from the dish at a time,
it is easy to switch from the front to the back TV simply by pushing
a button. One TV can be on antenna (or as my sister calls them
-'welfare channels') and the other brings in satellite programming.
Finally we now have the option to watch what we want, not what is

One more 'must-have' extra is a SURGE PROTECTOR. All unprotected and
expensive appliances can be damaged by a power surge as a result of
storms or campground electrical inefficiencies. If your chosen protector
is the type added to your electric cord at the receptacle, you should
also purchase a locking device so it can't be 'borrowed'. On our previous
motorhome and on this one we had an in-line POWERLINE MONITOR installed.
When park power or generator source drops below 102 volts as it sometimes
does (brown-out conditions) or surges above 130 volts, electricity to our
unit shuts down in microseconds to avoid appliance damage. Four minutes
later it starts up again as long as the problem is rectified. 'Brown out'
conditions will slowly starve your appliances of power and 'surges' will
immediately kill them. The addition of this accessory could save you
thousands in appliance replacements.

Those who prefer to dry camp (without electric hook-ups) should have
some source of alternate power such as a GENERATOR. A 4.5 HP unit and
higher will power most of your appliances along with one air-conditioner
(6.5 and higher will power anything), but the majority of generators are
noisy. SOLAR PANELS along with extra batteries are a quieter option to
harness the suns energy to keep your batteries charged. They are a blessing
for those who wish to use your 12-volt appliances without electrical hook-ups.
INVERTERS on the other hand provide immediate reliable and quiet a/c power;
so electrical appliances (except the air conditioners) will work when your
unit is not connected to electricity. I even watch my 'soaps' (Y&R) going
down the road on our a/c powered TV. Our unit came equipped with a Heart
Interface 2500 inverter, complete with battery charger. The larger the
inverter the more appliances it will power for a longer time.

Our FANTASTIC VENTS with rain sensors are other extras we just can't be
without. 'Kastle #2' had three of these wonderful exhaust fans installed;
this one only has room for two. Unless it is humid we never use the air
conditioning. These vents have a temperature controlled three-speed fan
that brings fresh air in or forces warm air out. The rain sensor closes
the cover when it begins to rain. With these vents we never worry about
park power failures or about leaving our dogs in a warm RV. We simply
set the temperature and the fans cycle on and off as needed. These vents
are a big plus for those who like to dry camp because they only use 3
amps/hr of battery power. The best part of these vents is if they give
you any problems, simply phone the company; they will send you replacement
parts. Fantastic Vents will also pay a 1/4 hour labor fee if required;
however fixing the problem is so easy even I can do the repairs.

WINDOW AWNINGS were a new accessory to us on our previous unit. We soon
discovered they kept our unit cool by blocking the suns rays; we could
even leave the windows open during the rain. The TINTED RV windows were
another big help to maintain comfortable inside temperatures.

This list of special extras could go on and on but the above are a few
we simply can't live without. The only restriction to the toys you add
is the amount of money in your bank account. As you travel North America,
peruse local dealer accessory stores, check out their catalogues but shop
around for the best price. Some International RV Rallies also include
immense marketplace areas featuring special priced toys of every description.
Keep your eyes open to find the extras you simply "must-have". Enjoy your
journey; "Catching the RV Spirit is such fun!"

Peggi's book Spirit of the Open Road is a must have for all RVers.
It is loaded with tips and hints to make your 'on the road' adventures
more enjoyable. The McDonalds have traveled full-time for over 15 years;
as RV Lifestyle Consultants, they understand the intricacies of RVing.

Be sure to check out McDonalds site http://www.rvliving.net


Joke of the Day:

Handy Guide for Men

Every man knows that there are days in the month when all he
has to do is open his mouth and he takes his life in his hands.

This is a handy guide that should be as common as a driver's
license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend or significant other.

DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing THAT?
SAFER: Gee, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: Wow! Look at you!

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's fifty dollars.

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?

DANGEROUS: What did you DO all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't overdo today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe.



Les Doll - RV Technician

The RVers Corner - http://www.rverscorner.com/

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Many thanks to all contributors!