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THE RVERSCORNER Newsletter
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February, 2003

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Total subscribers this issue 8294! Last issue 8177!

Welcome to our new 117 Subscribers!

Inside this issue:

- De-Winterizing the Water System ... by Les Doll
- How can I find a place to go? ... By Peggi McDonald
- Conquer Telephone Tag ... by Don Wetmore
- RV Glossary - terms and phrases used by RV'ers
- Trust My Mechanic ... Extended warranty by Austin C. Davis
- The NEW Rverscorner bulletin board!

Joke of the Day:
Classified Ad Section:
About the RVer's Corner Newsletter:
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De-Winterizing the Water System

Spring is near for some fortunate people ...

If you live in the colder climes, where annual
winterizing with RV antifreeze is required, you must flush
the system thoroughly before use to get rid of the
antifreeze. While this antifreeze is non-toxic it tastes
really bad. Flush the water system by following the steps
below:

1. Fill your on board water tank 3/4 full and add one or two
capfuls (not cupfuls) of household bleach. Take the unit
around the block to slosh the mixture to all parts of the
tank.

2. Turn on the water pump and open all taps one by one to
allow this solution to fill every water line and flush out
the antifreeze. Once this is done, let it sit overnight.

3. Connect to your city water and flush every outlet for at
least 5 mins. Now switch the water heater bypass to allow
the water heater to fill. This procedure will prevent the
antifreeze from entering the hot water system. While this is
not a health problem, as such, the antifreeze will produce a
foaming condition that can persist for several days.

4. Drain your fresh water storage tank and refill with fresh
water. You can add a capful of bleach every time you fill
the water tank to keep it fresh and sanitary. However, due
to the unknown quality of campground water supplies, and the
fact that the water in your tank may stand for several days
or weeks in the hot sun, it is recommended that you use
bottled water for drinking supplies.

5. Now is a good time to check the operation of your dump
valves. The slide mechanism should operate smoothly with no
sticking and should seal completely. Change any suspect
valve before a problem develops. There are not many things
worse that encountering a stuck or broken sewage dump valve,
when the tanks are completely full.


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How can I find a place to go? By Peggi McDonald

Spring is just around the corner and it is difficult to
contain your enthusiasm to hit the road. But for some RVers
it can be a colossal challenge deciding where to go and how
to get there. This winter John and I have answered numerous
e-mail requesting assistance on planning a trip. Whether you
are heading across the continent, traveling Canada from
coast to coast or simply setting up camp a few miles down
the road, the planning principles are similar.

It’s true that several organizations provide trip-planning
services but a getaway you put together yourself takes on
much more meaning. You will need several publications
listing campgrounds.

1. Most seasoned RVers carry one or more
International campground directories such as Trailer Life,
Woodalls or similar camping publications. These expansive
3-4” thick volumes record the majority of campgrounds across
North America. Each listing includes specific campground
locations, park amenities, last years cost plus an overall
rating. They also provide atlas-style maps, rules of the
road as they apply to RVers, provincial and state tourism
office phone numbers/webpages, plus an abundance of valuable
must-have information. They are available from your RV
Dealer and bookstores. Don’t leave home without one.

2. One more source of information is the provincial
and state guidebooks that promote attractions or campgrounds
within their borders. These informative free publications
are available from any local Tourist Bureau or Chamber of
Commerce. You can also order a copy along with the Travel
Guide and map of the province/state you plan to visit by
calling their 800 number.

3. All provincial and state tourism phone
numbers/websites are listed on the RV WebLink page of
www.rvliving.net. You can also call toll free information at
1 800 555 1212. Ask for the 800 number of the states and
provinces you plan to drive through or to visit. (NOTE:
Alaska and Georgia numbers are not toll free) Be sure to
request a free travel package; don’t forget to ask for
camping information as well. NOTE: The Travel to Canada
page on www.rvliving.net will be updated after my seminar at
FMCA (Family Motor Coach Ass’n) in Pomona CA 21 March.

4. If you are traveling during less than perfect
weather it may help to ask for a phone number to confirm
road conditions.

5. An up-to-date overview of the weather provides
peace of mind. In the past we glued ourselves to the local
TV station---on this coach we have a weather radio/CB
combination so we are aware of what Mother Nature may
presently be sending our way. Just for info inexpensive
weather radios are available from places such as Radio
Shack. At times we asked the tourism staff for a local phone
number to call when we were on the move if poor weather
threatens. Although the easiest way to obtain this info is
off the ‘net; log onto www.weather.ca (Canada) and/or
www.weather.com (USA) to view a local five-day forecast.
Remember it is virtually impossible to avoid bad weather,
but with careful planning and advance warning you may be
able to miss elements such as snow at higher elevations or
an unexpected tornado. One benefit to RV travel, we can
stay put while a system passes through or we can pack and go
if one is moving in.

6. Before the actual planning begins, study the
state/provincial guidebooks and highlight interesting places
you hope to see along the way. Divide the route into 4-6
(maximum 8) hour days---the shorter the better. If you can
stop for 2-3 days, both you and your RV will be less
stressed. Enjoying an extended mid-day break between A-B to
tour interesting sights add variety to the trip plus the
diversion provides extra energy to continue your journey.

7. During the first 12 years of our travels (before
the Internet) we planned all our trips using only the atlas
and a Rand McNally ‘disto-map’. Your atlas should have exit
numbers and county markings (TV and Radio station in the USA
report weather and accidents by counties)--- When state maps
are in alphabetical order its easier to find what you are
looking for. The atlases sold by Wal-Mart are reasonable and
fit all requirements. Several friends use specialized
planning computer software about eight years ago, however
with the birth of the Internet, trip planning has become so
convenient. Before each trip we log onto www.freetrip.com.
This page simplifies estimating driving time and distance
between places.

HINT: Info from Freetrip.com is more accurate if you work in
short distances. Fill in a few blanks, hit ‘submit’ and a
page pops-up covering a comprehensive log of mileage and
kilometre distances, average gas prices, scenic spots etc.
Print and you have your own private trip log.

8. When plans include a specific destination such as
Alaska or Mexico or even following a particular route it
sometimes helps to purchase a book on the subject. These
publications offer numerous tips to make your getaway more
pleasant – see the book page on RVerscorner.com. For
accurate info heed the experiences of those who have lived
the ins and outs of the locale you plan to visit.

9. Reservations are highly recommended when taking a
trip to the sunny south during mid January to mid March or a
summer getaway in July and August or over long weekends.
HINT: Travel during the fringe months is less expensive,
weather is usually fantastic plus tourist traffic is low.

10. Don’t try to see everything on your first stop, save
some for the return trip.

11. If looking for special routes or maybe the location
of all the National Parks it may be easier to explore the
topic on the computer. Hit search on your upper taskbar and
type in a topic; a world of information will become
available. There are also numerous links to cross-border
websites on the WebLink page of www.rvliving.net.

12. Expect delays at the border these days and be
prepared for officials to ask more questions. We are living
in trying times where upgraded security is a way of life.

13. At the border stay with the cars, don’t use the
truck lanes. Remove your sunglasses, answer only the
questions asked and volunteer nothing more. If you are
fulltiming do not volunteer this fact to border officials.
If asked, “Where you are from” answer with your official
home base residence location. You may be asked for your
driver’s license as proof. Officials from both countries
feel those without a home may decide not to return and thus
become a burden to the host country. Passports are not
required but John and I find entering another country is
easier if you have one.

14. Enjoy your trip; make planning the route part of
the fun of getting there.

Peggi and John are RV Lifestyle Consultants and Webhosts of
http://www.rvliving.net; they have been fulltiming for 18
years. Peggi best-selling book ‘Spirit of the Open Road’
and her two FREE e-books, RV Living: Facts Tips Hints and
More, Vol One and Two are available from
http://www.rverscorner.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Peggi and John McDonald RV Lifestyle Consultants Author of
Spirit of The Open Road and ebooks RV Living: Facts, Tips,
Hints and More---Vol 1 and 11 Log onto www.rvliving.net for
FREE downloads


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Conquer Telephone Tag By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

I love technology. I am not a technical person but I admire
the techno-things that have helped my business, productivity
and profitability. Things like laptops, the Internet, and
email have cut costs and boosted productivity and profits
dramatically during the last decade.

With almost all new technological breakthroughs, there is a
period that is heralded as the answer to all our problems
followed quickly by a learning period during which we figure
out how to best capitalize on this new way of working.

Voicemail fits this paradigm. Voicemail-the culprit that
heightened “telephone tag” to an art form.

Ten years ago, I had to pay the salary of a receptionist or
acquire the services of an answering service to handle
incoming telephone calls. Or I might use an answering
machine with a limited recording limit. I opted for the live
receptionist. More personal, more real, I thought.

Then along came voicemail, a way of accepting incoming phone
calls at a low cost with more options than an answering
machine and a way of more effectively handling phone calls
than before, giving the caller the opportunity to receive
answers to their inquiries without talking to a real person.

Multiple menu options surfaced (if you would like sales,
press 2, if you press 2 and would like to receive a copy of
our catalog, press 4, if you press 4 and would like our
winter catalog, press 5, but if you would like our spring
catalog, press 6…..). I actually timed a menu option thing
recently and it took over a minute and a half to get to the
option that I wanted to get to the information I needed.

Voicemail also creates a new opportunity for people to duck
your calls. Many people rarely answer a phone when it rings
waiting until you have slogged through their voicemail menu,
then to play your message and decide whether or not to call
you back. Of course, when they call you back, they get your
voicemail system and then you have to listen to their
message and decide whether or not to return their call.
Hmmm. Telephone tag and you’re it!

We need a better system. Here are a few suggestions to
better deal with voicemail and avoid telephone tag.

Use an alternative to telephone. Look, people you call are
going to duck your call via voicemail so use a different
mode of communication that might have a better rate of
success of getting through. Fax your message or email it or
even use a first class letter. Some of those “old” methods
are better than the new technology. Don’t spill the beans.
Want someone to call you back? Don’t give them the entire
speal in your voicemail. Less is more. A little intrigue.
Teasers. “ Debbie. Please give me a call to talk about how
to maker your job easier” v “ Debbie. I found a new online
course for only $259 that will show us how to get a lot more
done in less time with a lot less stress. The problem is I
can’t afford to buy it on my own. Would you be willing to
kick in half of this and we could share the program? Let me
know if you want to do this.” Be specific. If you want a
return call, don’t end with “Call me as soon as possible” or
“Call me soon” or “Call me when you can”. Everyone has “too
much to do”. You are then just one more thing to do. Those
vague requests wind up in the “as soon as possible” pile of
Never Never Land that rarely gets acted upon. Instead, give
a specific day and time to call back. Don’t give two or more
choices because that will necessitate a call back from that
person to confirm which date and time is best to return the
call.

For example: “Joe, this is Don. I need to speak to
you about how to make the Anderson research run more
smoothly. Give me a call back on Tuesday, the fifth at 9:00
a.m. I blocked that time for you. If this doesn’t work for
you, please give me a call to reschedule and leave a message
on my voicemail with at least two alternate dates and times
for us to talk. Gutsy? Offensive? Well, 95% of the time you
will not hear back from this person to change the date and
time you have selected and you will accomplish what you
intended to do on the date and time you have selected.
Invite a Friend to Subscribe now:

Would you like to receive free Timely Time Management Tips
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RV Glossary - terms and phrases used by RV'ers (continued)

GENERATOR - An engine powered device fuelled by gasoline or
diesel fuel, and sometimes propane, for generating 120-volt
AC power.

GREY WATER - disposal water from sinks, shower. In some
units, this is held in a tank separate from black water; is
also dumped in tanks at campgrounds.

GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR) - The manufacturers maximum
load weight, in pounds, that can be placed on the axle. If
an axle has a 3500-lb. GAWR and the RV has two axles (tandem
axles), then the RV would have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
(GVWR) of 7000 lbs.

GROSS COMBINED WEIGHT RATING (GCWR) - The manufacturers
maximum load weight, in pounds, allowed for the trailer and
tow vehicle. This rating includes the weight of the trailer
and two vehicle plus fuel, water, propane, supplies and
passengers.

GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR) - The manufacturers
maximum load weight, in pounds, allowed for the vehicle.
This rating includes the weight of the vehicle plus fuel,
water, propane, supplies and passengers.

More?


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Trust My Mechanic ... by Austin C. Davis

Reader Question: I am considering an extended auto warranty
contract which one do you recommend?

Dear concerned car owner,

Automobile Extended warranty contracts usually don't pay for
themselves. In my experience I have found that most of the
extended auto warranties contracts that I had to make a
claim on paid very little-if any-of the repair cost. Most of
the extended auto warranty contracts will list excluded
items, and unfortunately those items are usually what will
fail. The parts that are covered by the warranty contract
are not parts that have the problems. I find a lot of the
contracts list a lot of covered parts, but most of the parts
on the list are not applicable for the cars on the road
today.

The other day a customer showed me the automobile extended
warranty contract that she was considering and I could only
find four items that pertained to her car that would be
covered. She would still have to pay a deductible for each
claim, and the policy proved to not be a good deal for her.
Take a copy of the policy to your mechanic and get their
opinion. The mechanic is the one that will be talking to the
claims department anyway, so you might as well find out if
your mechanic would want to do business with the automobile
extended warranty company before you buy.

I personally do not like to talk to the auto extended
warranties people on the phone. They ask me questions that I
am sometimes not in a position to answer, like "what was the
cause of the brake master cylinder failure." If I knew that
I could design one that would not fail in the first place.
They usually want me to negotiate my prices to "fit" their
pay policy, and tell me what parts they will pay for and
what parts are not covered.

The overall feeling that I get when I do business with most
of these extended auto warranties is not a very pleasant one
for me. I will accept them from my loyal and regular
customers, but if you are a first time customer and want me
to make a claim for you,I might pass on the job. Read the
list of covered parts, if you do not know, or have not heard
of, most of the names listed, then it is probably a bunch of
hype to make the extended warranty contract sound highly
technical and impressive to the layman.

The list sounds great and fills the page, but there is no
real protection for the consumer. If a covered part does
fail, the shop has to call the claim office and talk to a
representative and give an estimate. This sounds easy, but
it can become a bartering game between the shop and the
claims officer about what the parts cost, or the shop's
labor rate, or any other part that was damaged by the
failure of the covered part.

This can take some time to process and get the claim
approved and will not be very rewarding for the shop, and
eventually for the customer. There will be a deductible to
pay by the customer, and on some large claims the automobile
extended warranty company might send out an independent
appraiser for on-site inspection before giving the
authorization to repair.

I have seen the automobile extended warranty company pay for
a broken water pump but not pay for the broken timing belt
that was caused by the faulty water pump in the first place.
In this scenario the warranty company paid $120.00 and the
customer paid $290.00 to cover the cost of the timing belt.

Remember, you are dealing with an insurance company and they
hate to pay claims! I think it is better to put the money
that you would have spent on the contract in a "car repair"
mutual fund account and hope you don't have to dip into it
very often. If you are buying a Jaguar or BMW or something
along those lines, then I might consider buying the extended
warranty, but if you are buying a Honda Accord, then I think
you will be wasting your money.

(P.S. From my experience, a Honda Accord is one of the best
cars to own. They are well built and reliable, as well as
relatively inexpensive to purchase and maintain).

I talk about this and other problems in my money saving
eBook "What Your Mechanic Doesn't Want You to Know"
www.rverscorner.com/mechanic.html

EDITORS NOTE:

If you own a motorized vehicle, this is for you ...

Austin Davis of http://www.trustmymechanic.com has
authorized me to give all my readers a special new preview
of his best selling e-book "What Your Mechanic Doesn't Want
You to Know". This introductory version is filled with
valuable tips and hints when dealing with the "Service
Department" ...

This is a .pdf file that can be read on all platforms.

Click http://www.rverscorner.com/mechanic_ebook.html


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new or experienced RVer? If you answered YES to any of these
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Joke(s) of the Day:

Q: What do you call a dog with no legs? A: It doesn't
matter, he's not going to come anyway.

Control Freaks

Three men are at a bar, and two of the men are talking about
the control they have over their wives, while the third
remains silent. After a while, the first two men turn to
the third and ask, "What about you? What kind of control do
you have over your wife?"

The third man turns to the first two and says, "Well, I'll
tell you, just the other day I had her on her knees."

The first two men were dumbfounded.

"Wow! What happened next?" they asked.

The third man takes a healthy swig of his beer, sighs and
mutters, "Then she started screaming, 'Get out from under
the bed and fight like a man!'"


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CLASSIFIED ADS

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SPIRIT OF THE OPEN ROAD by Peggi McDonald is a 'must have'
for all RVers, both novice and experienced travelers.
Although written from a Canadian point of view it is 95%
generic and a valuable guide to RVers from all countries.
For complete details -
http://www.rverscorner.com/spirit.html

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!!! HAPPY CAMPIN' !!!



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

The RVers Corner Newsletter is a monthly newsletter
dedicated to enhancing the RV experience - you are being
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Les Doll

Meet the webmaster at: http://www.rverscorner.com/bio.html


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We hope that this newsletter will prove valuable to you and
we strive to bring fresh, new content with every issue. If
you wish to contribute an article or relate a tip that you
have learned, please e-mail me.
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