Jan, 2002

Subscriber count: Last issue: 3809 This issue: 4161!
Welcome new Subscribers!
 Inside this issue:
 - Cosmetic touch-ups                    By Les Doll  -
Big-itis---a common RVer ailment      by Peggi McDonald    
      - Misc. tips                            Thanks to
Peggi McDonald! 
Joke of the Day: Classified Ad Section: About the RVer's
Corner Newsletter:
Cosmetic touch-ups ... by Les Doll
RV interiors are rife with woodwork and wall paneling that
can often get easily scratched or nicked from various
sources. There are several products  on the market that can
help cover up and make these defects 'disappear'.
One such handy product is the common 'White-Out' used to
correct spelling  errors in typewritten documents. It comes
in a convenient bottle with a  brush attached to the cap and
costs a buck or two. Nail or staple holes in white
wallpaper, paneling or ceiling areas are easily filled with
this substance and the repair is invisible. I've heard that
toothpaste will also  work, although I have never tried
There is also a white filler for drywall that comes in a
squeeze tube - ready mixed and easy to apply. This material
dries to a hard finish that can be  gently sanded to blend
Also available in squeeze tubes, are colored fillers to
match oak, walnut or whatever color your paneling may be.
These can cover holes or scratches with ease. Often an
application of a slight amount of matching stain will  hide
small surface scratches and blends in with the color. Try
this in an inconspicuous area first to make sure.
Larger holes can be covered by pictures, various hanger
hooks, or other accessories, depending on where they are
located. Sometimes a matching baton strip can be added in
the same material finish as the wall. These don't look out
of place if they match.
With a little ingenuity, many defects can be made invisible.
Les Doll rverscorner.com

Big-itis---a common RVer ailment    by Peggi McDonald
            Buying your first RV is always a difficult
decision---How long should it be?  --- How 'posh' should it
be?---Do I need 1, 2, or 3 slides?---Should it be new or
pre-loved?   Oh the questions go on and on.  One thing for
certain even when you find your perfect dream  machine it
seems another that is just a little 'nicer' or 'bigger' or
'fancier'  'or', 'or',  'or' has just surfaced on your
dealers lot or during your visit to the last RV show. Don't
despair; this feeling is normal, as a result the average
trade-up time is 4-6 years. Although  we are finally driving
what we feel is our dream home---a diesel pusher that we
emphatically  say will be our last purchase, it is not
always easy to stay with those convictions.  Most  RVers
suffer from a constant ailment referred to as 'Big-itis'
I have been sharing our experiences in print and in seminars
with RVers for years but many  new to this lifestyle seem to
feel John and I have more material things than they may have
 access too.  Not true, we were in our 40's when we hit the
road and although our pensions  were adequate we were not
'rollin' in excess cash.  Budgeting and learning to live
within  our sometimes-meager means was always a challenge.
The following info applies to those just  starting out as
well as to the numerous seasoned RVers.  It's not necessary
to 'have-it-all'  on your first RV or on each follow-up unit
Recently while reminiscing about the fun and experiences of
our early travels we discovered  some of our most enjoyable
times were during our early days with our older smaller
unit.  We  went to almost anyplace we wanted to.
 In 1985 we bought our first motorhome (a 1983 class A) one
year before our retirement.  After  a three-year search we
finally found our dream machine 'Kastle #1'. She was a so
beautiful in  our eyes but looking back she was really
extremely well 'used' and not very 'pre-loved' as we  first
thought.  Her 1983 454 engine was OK, not bad for power
since this unit was only 31'8 "  long. We had NO basement
storage to speak of, NO dinette area, NO extra toys and of
course, NO  slide.  By the way slides didn't appear on
motorhomes until the early 90's. Yes, space was  sometimes
restricting but we didn't care, the world was our oyster and
we had such fun finding  pleasure from this great
adventurous way of life.
That Pace Arrow class A motorhome was our only home for
eight years.  We both retired from the  Canadian military
with good (not great) pensions but we learned to live on a
budget because NO  extra funds would surface until John's
pension increased in 1992, four years later he would
receive a little bit more; although I had to wait (16 years)
until this past December for mine  to kick in.  So yes we
were enjoying our on the road experiences at a very young
age but we  definitely looked for less expensive things to
keep us busy.
When John's first increase cut in we upgraded to a new
motorhome. We had paid cash for our  Kruisin' Kastle #1 when
we sold the house. That seemed like a good idea at the time
but now  we had no house to sell.  In 1985 we began RVing by
the seat of our pants with little knowledge  and few
expectations, as a result we made numerous mistakes.  Paying
cash for our motorhome was  one of our biggest errors.  If
we had been wise we would have kept our money from the sale
of  our house invested and financed that first unit.  This
way refinancing the second one would have  been an easier
transition and our investments would have continued to
increase.  Plus at trade-up  time in '93 we had to find
motorhome payment money from our living cash (yes John's
pension  increased slightly but our new mortgage payment was
double what he received.).
The good part was our compact 10 year old Pace Arrow was
mechanically sound and she sported an  awesome new interior
facelift, plus by now she was a definitely a 'pre-loved'
unit.  The dealer  took this fact into consideration
resulting in a generous trade-in value. The good news was
that dealer also helped us cement a 10 year mortgage on our
new dream machine. When we drove  that brand new 37' 6"
Citation class A with the futuristic paint job off the lot
we were bursting  with pride. Paying a mortgage (we
considered it a large loan) was foreign to us but the thrill
of  living and driving our larger gas powered, tag axle
'Kastle #2' soon made it easy for us to accept  life as it
was. Just as in a house or a cottage, the mortgage payment
simply became part of our  monthly living costs.
In March 1999 we finally moved into a diesel pusher when
another small monthly pension increase  surfaced. What
started as a joke while working at the Hamilton RV show
(Canada) culminated with  us driving Kastle #3, a 1995 Luxor
by Winnebago, into the sunset. It took us 14 years to reach
this pinnacle but finally we were driving a diesel unit of
our dreams. Payments remained almost  the same but this time
our four-year-old unit was now mortgaged for 20 years. Our
investments  continue to grow while the bank allows us the
privilege to drive our high-end machine of choice.   No, our
Luxor still has no slide but we really can't miss what we
never had. Even though we  satisfied our yearning for a
bigger heavier diesel unit we still had to move into an RV
that fit  the budget.   One other plus, our new to us 'toed'
served as a rental automobile for a year  before we bought
it. We saved about $5000.00 buying an 'almost new' vehicle
rather than a 'new'  car from the factory.
 The following year a small windfall enabled us to add
appreciated toys such as a washer/dryer,  a roof mounted
dish (trees only have hindered us twice but we no longer go
to state or provincial  parks either), and our mural.
Although the vented washer/dryer was an expensive after
market extra,  this is our home. After endless treks to the
laundry during the previous 14 years we consider our
washer/dryer combo a most valued on-board necessity instead
of a luxury. The satellite allows John  to stay on top of
how his favorite sports teams are performing and our mural
added a pleasant  touch of class.
While reflecting on our early travels, we decided no matter
what Kastle we drove, the joys of this  fantastic lifestyle
helps to create unparalleled memories. Although out of
necessity we learned to  budget and find ways to stretch
each dollar, the pleasures of RV Life definitely compensate
for  the occasional times of limited cash flow.
We routinely set aside available funds for annual
improvements and sometimes expensive routine or  periodic
maintenance, For instance if we have a maintenance free
winter, by next summer our tired  carpeted floor will be
transformed into an easy to clean (Pergo) acrylic hardwood
surface front  to back.  The couch will be scraped and
replaced with a recliner and a working table/desk for John.
   Right from the beginning I laid claim to the dinette area
as my workspace.  No our Luxor will  still not have a slide
but with careful planning we should free up considerable
more living space  inside our already roomy home on wheels.
This way we will satisfy our need for 'Big-itis' without
liquidating valuable investments to purchase a new unit.
What makes RVing so great is everyone can enjoy this
lifestyle in a unit that suits their current  budget and
travel desires. If your RV usage will be similar to a
cottage you may not be able to  justify all the extra
amenities we feel are important. On the other hand since our
motorhome is  our full-time home many of our 'luxuries' we
feel are actually necessities. This lifestyle is
contagious, originally we planned to travel for two years
and now almost 17 years later we don't  expect to set down
roots in the near future. Enjoy your journey.
Peggi and John McDonald,  RV Lifestyle Consultants Author of
Spirit of the Open Road and e-books  RV Living: Facts, Tips,
Hints and More---Vol I and II Check out www.rvliving.net for

Free Campgrounds of the West
This best-selling guidebook can save an RVer hundreds of
dollars on camping fees. Now available by instant Internet
download! The price for all this valuable  information is a
modest $10.95 for an Adobe Acrobat download*, ready for
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times over in camping fees.
With the costs of RVing climbing all the time, many RVers
are scrambling for ways  to save a few dollars here and
there. Saving $25 to $30 a night on campsite fees  goes a
long way to making up higher expenses elsewhere. And face
it, there are  plenty of times when an RVer is just not
interested in a fancy campground with  all its amenities
when all he or she needs is a quiet place to get some sleep.
 That's where this new book is incredibly useful.
More info at: /index.html

 Tip Sheet #4   Thanks Peggi McDonald!
1) Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job
and better  still,
leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
2) When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before
resorting to  tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch
tape over the splinter, then  pull it off. Scotch tape
removes most splinters painlessly and easily.
3) Wash your towels and anything else you don't want stiff
in a cup of  white vinegar and it will remove every trace of
soap. If you haven't been  doing this you might need to do
it a few times to get all the old soap out  before they are
soft and absorbent again. Always use in rinse water.
4) Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer:
* Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait
twenty minutes,  brush and flush. The citric acid and
effervescent action clean vitreous  china.
* Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass
vase or cruet,  fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer
* Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass
of water and  immerse the jewelry for two minutes.
* Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop
in four Alka Seltzer  tablets, and let soak for an hour (or
longer, if necessary).
* Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three
Alka Seltzer   tablets down the drain followed by a cup of
Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a  few  minutes, then run the hot

Joke of the Day:
I will have a cup of coffee in the morning and read my
newspaper like I used to, before the Net. I will eat
breakfast with a knife and fork and not with one hand
typing. I will get dressed before noon. I will make an
attempt to clean the house, wash clothes, and plan dinner
before even thinking of the Net. I will sit down and write a
letter to those unfortunate few friends and family that are
Net-deprived. I will call someone on the phone who I cannot
contact via the Net. I will read a book...if I still
remember how. I will listen to those around me and their
needs and stop telling them to turn the TV down so I can
hear the music on the Net. I will not be tempted during TV
commercials to check for email. I will try and get out of
the house at least once a week, if it is necessary or not. I
will remember that my bank is not forgiving if I forget to
balance my checkbook because I was too busy on the Net.
Last, but not least, I will remember that I must go to bed
sometime ... and the Net will always be there tomorrow!


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 -

  !!! HAPPY CAMPIN' !!!

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