Oct, 2001


Subscriber count 3249!
Welcome new Subscribers!

Inside this issue:

- Cool October Nights By Les Doll
- From the RVer's Open Forum: Furnace problem
- Winter Getaways By Peggi McDonald (part one of two)
- Unique Product - for small car or motorcycle campers.
- Misc. tips Thanks to Peggi McDonald!

Joke of the Day:
Classified Ad Section:


Cool October Nights by Les Doll

Cooler nights ('cold' nights in my area), mean the RV'er needs to make some
special preparations.

1. Running the furnace more often and using lights for a longer period of
time will put a great demand on the battery(s) if you are 'boondocking'.
As the battery becomes depleted the voltage will drop and the furnace fan
will begin to slow down. When it slows to a preset speed, the 'sail switch'
will not be blown far enough by the air flow and the result is that the
furnace burner will shut down. This is a safety feature and means that the
furnace is doing it's job.

2. When propane is used at lower temperatures the vaporization rate becomes
slower and the level of the remaining fuel in the tank may not be adequate
to vaporize the fuel. The following chart lists the temperature and vaporization
info. The numbers are BTU's available. Keep your tanks topped up if possible.

20 LB. Bottle

% FULL +20F 0F -5F -10F -15F

60% 36,000 18,000 12,750 8,500 4,250
50% 32,400 18,200 12,150 8,100 4,050
40% 28,800 14,400 11,400 7,600 3,800
30% 25,200 12,600 10,450 7,300 3,150
20% 21,600 10,800 8,100 5,400 2,700
10% 16,200 8,100 6,075 4,050 2,025

30 LB Bottle multiply X 1.40

3. If you are preparing to winterize your water system see my 'Painless' RV Winterizing
step by step winterizing guide at: http://www.rverscorner.com/painless.html

4. Do not use cooking appliance to provide a heat source - the stove and oven are
non-vented appliances, meaning that the products of combustion are not vented
to the outside air. The stove and oven burners use oxygen from the coach interior
and release water vapor and carbon dioxide. If the burner is not completely
burning the fuel, carbon monoxide may be produced.

Stay safe and then warm!


From the RVers Open Forum:


Went out camping this week-end, furnace worked good first night, 2nd night it
was blowing cold air. Still had 1/4 propane left and was plugged into electricity.
Any ideas what may be happening? Thanks for any help.


This sounds like a circuit board problem - intermittent ignition failure.
The board may fire 100 times in a row, or it may work twice, then not, then
10 times, then not, etc. Usually replacing the circuit board cures the problem
but other things can also cause similar symptoms. Let us know if it gives any
further trouble.

Winter Getaways by Peggi McDonald (Part one)

As winter approaches John and I continually answer questions about where to
go and what to expect in a southern destination. The following hints may
help turn your getaway into one of your most memorable journeys.

Q…We are looking for a warm winter climate, how do we know where to begin?

A… Florida is very popular for eastern snowbirds as California is to western
snowbirds. Since both are fairly direct routes south it is easy to reach a
snow free mild climate within a very few days. Each of these states is vast
and long with a diversified list of activities and weather patterns. For
instance, northern Florida’s panhandle beaches of sugar sands are simply
awesome and the weather is warm during spring and fall, however it is
usually too cool for swimming during December and January. Southern Florida
as a rule is hot and balmy. While parts of Northern California are in the
snowbelt, at some southern locations it is possible to ski the mountains
and swim in the warm ocean within the same day. It is no longer practical
to assume just because you are visiting sun country that temperatures will
be warm and sunny every day --- destinations near water are generally more
humid than inland getaways. Expect many days in sun-country to be perfect
but others will be windy, cool and not so great. Although places advertise
‘perfect’ climates, night temperatures can occasionally drop to the 40s(F),
on the other hand they can also rise for much longer time periods to the 80s(F).

Our favorite stopping spot is south Texas in the Rio Grande valley along
the Mexican border. It is noted for its varied but pleasant winter climate
ranging from warm to hot, although short cold spells do surface. One
negative to this economical place is strong winds blow almost continuously---
although the wind does add comfort to the extra warm days by lowering
temperatures. Ladies be aware it is usually almost impossible to maintain
any type of structured hairdo in the Rio Grande Valley. However during the
winter of 1999/2000 the Texas valley weather fell into the ‘perfect’
category---even the winds were low most of the winter. Last year John
and I explored the wonders of Arizona and California, we expected warm
desert days with very cool nights---maybe even using the furnace occasionally.
We were in for a big surprise, although some days were picture perfect,
overall the weather was much less than any of us expected. Every nice
day we paid for with five not so good ones. These observations only prove
you can’t buy the weather no matter where you decide to visit. Although as
a general rule the further south you go the warmer you can expect the
winter climate to be.

Q… Must we pack clothes for all seasons?

A…Early into our fulltiming travels while walking on a beach in Ontario,
John and I discussed how great it was going be to eliminate cold weather
clothes from our wardrobes for many years to come. “Oh if we only knew
then what we know now”. That first winter we tried hard to enjoy a Christmas
dinner in Texas dressed in flimsy sun clothes during a 500(F) cold spell. We
almost froze for two days during that holiday season; however the climate
soon became seasonally warm again. For certain even in the sunny south RVers
can expect to encounter all weather patterns except snow. As a result we now
carry a varied wardrobe that includes warm attire for casual living along with
at least one dress-up outfit plus a selection of sun clothes for all occasions.
The cool weather clothes also come in handy during spring and fall while en
route to and from sunny destinations. One good part of a sun country getaway
is winter boots and snow shovels are not usually a necessity.

Q…Are reservations necessary or can we stop on a whim in sun country and en route?

A…Accommodations are generally abundant anytime before Christmas whether
you are looking for an extended stop or a place to spend the night. If you
wish to stay in a specific park or selected area or you plan on staying at
‘membership campgrounds’, making reservations assures easier travels. Over
Christmas and between early January to the end of February, accommodations
everywhere in warm climates become extremely scarce; reservations are strongly
recommended. Nevertheless if you wish to pay regular rates in a large
campground and be willing to park anywhere with or without hook-ups, you
should be able to find a site. We have several friends who spend many nights
during their Florida winter at ‘no cost’ campgrounds. They simply listen to a
sales promo about a membership campground in exchange for a one to three nights
‘Free’ stay. However if you decide to take advantage of these special
promotions that are available from individuals, businesses, tourist info
centers and RV dealers, be sure you have a strong mindset as to what your
decision will be BEFORE the interview begins. Some sales staff excerpts
extremely high-pressure and they do not easily take NO for an answer.

Q…We’ve never gone south in the winter; how do we find places to stay?

A…Pick up a copy of one of the International Campground Directories such as
Trailer Life or Woodalls from large bookstores and most RV dealers in both
Canada and the USA. These directories are loaded with suggestions of where
to stay. In the front of these books you’ll find a listing of all state and
provincial tourist offices. You will also find all the state and provincial
web pages/phone numbers on the WebLinks page of www.rvliving.net. Phone them
to ask a barrage of questions and request they send you their visitor travel
guide, map and camping info. Don’t forget to ask for travel packages of other
states or provinces you will be passing through en route to add interest to
the journey.

Choose the place you wish to visit and phone the park to see if they have sites
available. If you don’t own an RV, ask the park office if they have any RV’s for
rent. Occasionally seasonal park residents may not be able to go south during
the current season, so they like to rent their unit to recoup some of their expenses.
The park doesn’t usually complete the actual rental agreement; they simply put you,
the customer, in direct contact with the owners so you can negotiate on a one to one.
Spending the winter in a vibrant campground adds to the pleasure of your getaway
because park activity schedules overflow with crafts such as stain glass, sewing
and quilting, woodworking etc. Sports such as golf, tennis, horseshoes and
shuffleboard, games such as bingo and cards, stage shows, dances (lessons too)
and church services add to the amenities. RVers have found an extra special way
to enjoy simple fun.

Q…We want to move from place to place but we have no RV, are rentals available?

A… There are several choices. If you wish to move around why not rent a unit?
When you reserve your RV it will be waiting for you. To find a dealer call the
tourism office of the state you wish to explore and ask if they have a listing
of a RV rental agency. Other International info sources are Motorhome RV National
Rental Solution at 1 888 412 2120 or Cruise America at 800 560 7837---
http://www.cruiseamerica.com or http://www.motorhome.com or http://www.canadream.com.
(You will find more web addresses listed under RV Dealer Homepages and Rentals
on the RV WebLink page of http://www.rvliving.net).

Q…I recently found myself on my own, is there some place where I can feel as
if I belong?

A…Many of the large RV Resorts in sun country include a singles group in their
activities. These are not portrayed as dating clubs although occasionally a
romance does surface. They are mainly a gathering of RVers without partners
--- no one wants to feel like a fifth wheel. Their calendars include dances,
bus trips plus an ever-ready supply of ‘buddies’ for activities requiring two
people such as shuffleboard, tennis or cards. One lady we met in the laundry
in Texas had a different partner for gin, tennis, round dancing plus someone
to square dance with. She was on her own but never alone or attached to any
one person.

Peggi and John are RV Lifestyle Consultants who understand the idiosyncrasies
of the Canadian RVer. Peggi's book Spirit of the Open Road
(See http://www.rverscorner.com/spirit.html for details.)
is one of the most comprehensive how-to publications on the market. Don't forget to
check her web page and download her two FREE comprehensive e-books RV Living: Facts,
Tips, Hints and More---Vol One and Vol Two on http://www.rvliving.net


I recently came across an interesting web site advertising a unique product
... a very compact tent/cargo trailer that measures 8'x3' and weighs in at
under 300 lbs. - easily towed mid-sized motorcycles or small cars. The
tent/cargo trailer expands to a double bed (54"x78"), adjacent to a
(3' x 4.5' full height) dressing area with an elevated floor - in case of
heavy rain. Access to the free-spaced 15 cubic feet storage compartment
can be made either when the tent is fully erected or when it is collapsed
into the roof of the trailer while in touring mode. With practice this
"ultra-compact, ultra-light RV" can be set up in less than two minutes.
Many options available - including full customization - as desired.

See this trailer at: http://www.freedomtrailer.com - Mr. Andrew Winchester
(Designer/Manager ) will be delighted to answer specific questions
regarding details.

Tip Sheet Thanks Peggi McDonald!

1) Flies or bees bothering you? Spray them with hairspray and they will take
a quick dive.

2) Sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife
under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed. (hmmmmmm...)

3) Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat
and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to.

4) For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn
dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze.
(wish I had known this for the last few years!)

5) Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in
baking soda. comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is!).

6) Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE!)
rubbing alcohol on paper towel.

More tips in next issue!


Joke of the Day:

One Sunday a cowboy went to church. When he entered, he saw that he and the
preacher were the only ones present. The preacher asked the cowboy if he
wanted him to go ahead and preach. The cowboy said, "I'm not too smart, but
if I went to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I'd feed him." So the
minister began his sermon.
One hour passed, then two hours, then two-and-a-half hours. The preacher
finally finished and came down to ask the cowboy how he had liked the
sermon. The cowboy answered slowly, "Well, I'm not very smart, but if I went
to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I sure wouldn't feed him all the




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 -
Click Here!



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