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Category: Special Theme Weeks

A Tribute to My Father

June 15, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

A Tribute to My Father

My father was a quiet man. He liked simple things that didn’t cost money—spending time in nature, looking at a sunset, walking in the woods in the evening. He had no schooling beyond high school and worked in a factory until he was 65, but it was from him I learned my connection and appreciation of all things wild. My father was not a camper. He grew up on a farm and worked hard all of his life. He had no desire to spend a night anywhere but his own bedroom. From him I learned of the peace and beauty of nature, and the sanctity and necessity of quiet times. He rarely spoke his mind; most often did not share his opinion, but when he did speak up, it was often with humor. On one occasion I recall, a boy I was dating in high school was attempting to impress my father with his knowledge of farming, in spite of the fact that he had lived in the city his entire life. He approached my dad and asked, “I’ve heard that when cows lay down in the fields, that means it is going to rain.” My... [Read more...]

WE ARE CHEATERS!

June 7, 2012 by · 7 Comments 

WE ARE CHEATERS!

Yes, I admit it.  We are CHEATERS! No, we don’t cheat on our income taxes or in a card game.  Like thousands of other RV owners, we cheat on what is perceived as conventional camping. For the past week, we have been camping at Big Meadows off of the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park.  We have a beautiful pull thru site about 100’ long – more than enough space to accommodate our “big rig”.  There is only one problem with our site – we have no hook-ups for electricity, water, or sewage.  This, of course, translates to using our own on-board resources of water, battery power, and wastewater holding.  It is easy to get by with no hook-up for a night or two, but if you have a conventional RV with a refrigerator, water pump, and lights, you will quickly learn that the small battery packs that come with your RV will not sustain your needs.  The amount of water you can store and the capacity of your waste holding tanks will determine just how often you flush the... [Read more...]

DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

May 22, 2012 by · 6 Comments 

DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

Kevin and Debbie Clark own a 2011 Chevy 2500 pick-up with a full-length bed.  The truck is used to tow their 2009 Cardinal fifth wheel trailer. Kevin is extremely proud of his metallic silver truck and is meticulous about how he connects to his trailer.  The fifth wheel hitch is a Reese 22K set on bed rails bolted to the bed and frame of the truck.  The set-up is strong and easily handles the trailer in both braking and hard pulling maneuvers. . Kevin’s checklist includes: ●    opening the tailgate ●    chocking the trailer wheels ●    setting the trailer kingpin to the height of the hitch jaws ●    releasing the handle to close the hitch jaws ●    carefully backing into the trailer kingpin while watching for the actuation of the jaw handle to move out and then back in indicating that the jaws have latched tightly around the kingpin. ●    Push the jaw locking lever down on the release handle ●    Raise the front landing jacks about an inch off the... [Read more...]

WHY ARE GAS PRICES RISING? What is an RV’er to do?

April 14, 2012 by · 18 Comments 

WHY ARE GAS PRICES RISING?  What is an RV’er to do?

With fuel prices surpassing the $4.00 a gallon mark, to say that there is “pain at the pump” is an understatement. Dropping 200 gallons of Road Diesel into the tanks on the Volvo while in Florida required handing the girl at the fuel desk $831.00.  I couldn’t help but think of a time when diesel was considered “junk fuel” and was typically priced well below gasoline.  While I could have completely filled both 150-gallon tanks on the Volvo in my younger days for less than $100, I know those days now exist only in memories held by our over 50 generation. The soaring cost of fuel (gasoline and diesel) has hit the RV travel market hard.  With typical fuel mileage figures for towing a 8,000# trailer behind a gas engine 1/2 ton pick-up ranging from 7 to 12 mpg – even short trips can rack up a significant bill.  For example,  a 200 mile round trip will consume $80 of fuel, up $20 from last year.  The Paradox is that by some estimates the sales of RV towables has risen... [Read more...]

WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN – IT IS GOOD TO HAVE FRIENDS AROUND

March 30, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN – IT IS GOOD TO HAVE FRIENDS AROUND

Somewhere between Little Rock, AR and Carrabelle, FL two cross members that support the frame rails on our fifth wheel broke. Initially, I could not tell there was something wrong because the plastic belly panels covered the problem area making it impossible to notice the broken welds. Our first indication that there was a problem occurred when we attempted to open the curbside living room slide and it would not extend.  My inspection of the problem resulted in a major shock – the axles under the camper had moved at least 3” toward the left side and the drive rod for the slide-out had been bent by the tire.  The tire was ruined and all six spring hangers had bent to approximately a 75 degree angle – they should be 90 degrees to the frame rails. In case you haven’t caught on yet, this is a MAJOR problem that could easily result in many thousands of dollars for repairs and the loss of use of the camper for “who knows how long”.  One thing for sure – we were not going to be... [Read more...]

BIG WHEELS KEEP ON ROLLING -Friends, Family and Funerals

February 18, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

BIG WHEELS KEEP ON ROLLING -Friends, Family and Funerals

After a long and difficult illness, Nancy’s Mom died peacefully Sunday night.  While it is always sad to lose a loved one, especially a parent, it is also a relief to know her human suffering was over.  Born in 1920, she would have been 92 next week. We had been planning on joining a group of our friends in Florida on the Gulf Coast beginning March 1st for a couple of weeks – then suddenly, plans changed.  The funeral was to take place in Bryant, Arkansas, some 1,200 miles away, on Saturday.  We could fly, drive a four-wheeler or take the RV.  We decided to take the RV to Arkansas and then to slowly work our way down to Florida after the Funeral. We found ourselves in a real frenzy preparing for a memorial service in our hometown on Wednesday and de-winterizing the RV for the trip.  Somehow, we got it all together and pulled out Thursday morning a little before 5 a.m.  It was raining.  As most of you know, it is no fun driving in the rain – especially with a big RV.  It rained... [Read more...]

I LIKE SAVING MONEY!

January 18, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

I LIKE SAVING MONEY!

I like saving money. Do you like saving money? Hey – I bet you think I am getting ready to front yet another insurance commercial.  You know, switch from Lizard to Mastodon, save $500 a year, then switch from Mastodon to Flogressive, and save even $500 more but if you come back to Lizard you can save even $385 more than Allstale, which is $275 lower than E-Assurance? Nope – this one is for real and it can save you more than enough the next time you fill-up that big motor home fuel tank to buy you and the DW a nice lunch. When I first saw the details I thought, “Yea – right, just another credit card trick to sock you with big interest rates”. BUT WAIT! It is not one of those tricks at all.  This one is the real deal. So, you ask, “Just how good is this money saving deal?” Well, how about 11 to 14-cents a gallon off the pump price of diesel fuel – and this is not one of those limited purchase deals where you collect points by spending a couple of your pay checks on groceries. THIS... [Read more...]

DRIVE YOUR RV LIKE A TRUCKER!

January 13, 2012 by · 33 Comments 

DRIVE YOUR RV LIKE A TRUCKER!

I would like to ask you a question. It is a tough question – not only to answer honestly, but for me to ask because I KNOW it could be interpreted (wrongly) as an insult to your inner ego. Are you really qualified to safely drive your RV? And if you answered yes (or even no :)), the next question is: Do you always adhere to the rules and regulations that outline safe driving practices for RVs? If you are still with me and not totally insulted by my suggesting that you just might not be fully qualified (from a safety viewpoint) to drive your RV – take some time to consider the following discussion and then process the content with an open mind. Once a driver moves from a family type automobile to a motor home or even a 26-foot travel trailer pulled by a 1/2 ton pick-up, everything changes.  Your stopping distance, passing range, acceleration time, and visibility are only the beginning of what is different.  There is a reason statistics show that the percentage of rear-end collisions... [Read more...]

SHINGLES, CHRISTMAS 2011 and HAPPY 2012 CAMPING

January 8, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

SHINGLES, CHRISTMAS 2011 and HAPPY 2012 CAMPING

WOW – Christmas came and went so fast it is hard to realize it was ever here!  It’s not like it was when I was a kid and the days, hours and minutes crept by slower than molasses dripping out of a jar on a cold day.  Now, time just flies by – you know, ZAP!  One day you are 20 and before you know it 40 is here.  Then, blink your eyes and 65 appears.  Don’t believe me?  Just wait and see (which I hope you will ). A lot of gifts were given and received.  I gave Nancy a new Kindle Fire to replace the old (but still neat) B&W plain Kindle along with a big Amazon gift card so she can download plenty of new books.  She is having a ball learning about the new features and of course, playing Angry Birds. Me?  Well, I got everybody to stop giving me ties, shirts and socks years ago.  Now, they know to give me tools, electronic gadgets, or gift cards to Camping World or Tractor Supply.  I love them all!  Oh, BTW – if you are a member of the Good Sam Club you are now... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Benefits and Liabilities of RV Consignment and God Is in Charge of Timing

October 9, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

There’s a reason I named my blog, “Saga of an RV Rookie… ” rookie being the operative term; as in, every single thing we do related to RVing is for the first time, including figuring out the right time to go full-time. At this point, I’m inclined to say something about RV virgins, but I probably should desist and move on to the overwhelmingly fascinating world of RV consignments; but more important than that, I’ll address how God reminds us He is in charge of the plans. Now, just so you know, you are number one on my mind when I write for Woodall’s. I always want to bring a benefit to you, so you think it’s worth your time to read what I have to say. I try to share something I’ve learned, bought, or experienced that will help you in some way. In this case, I’d like to share what I’ve learned about the thrills and joys of RV consignment. Here we go: They say (whoever they are) that most people get 3 RVs before they get the “right one.” It turns out... [Read more...]

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