Should You Cover Your RV?

November 30, 2010

by Ashley Gannon
for RVT.com Blogsrv_cover

To cover or not to cover? That’s the question RV owners face. Constant exposure to sun, rain, pollution and debris can take a toll on the exterior of your RV. Over time, UV rays from the sun are extremely damaging to RV roofs. Leaves and tree debris that collect on RV rooftops can exacerbate deterioration and lead to leaks if not cleared off regularly.

In northern states, snow and ice take a similar toll. Excessive moisture, particularly in humid southern states, can cause mold growth. And air pollution is constantly chipping away at your RV’s exterior finish.

Obviously, regular maintenance and indoor storage are the best ways to protect your RV investment. But few people have a garage large enough to house their RV. Rented storage lockers and winter storage facilities are an option for some, but most RVers keep their RV parked in the driveway or backyard.

Open-sided shelters are a good choice as they protect your RV’s roof from sun, rain and debris, while allowing plenty of air flow to prevent mold growth. Hard-roofed and canvas shelters are available for RVs.

Special RV covers are another choice. Covers should be made of breathable fabric and sized to fit the make and model of your RV. The two biggest problems with covers are chaffing and mold from moisture accumulation. Tightly securing the cover and parking your RV where it is protected from the wind will minimize chaffing. Inspect your RV periodically for moisture infiltration to prevent mold.

[five-star-rating]

A Look at Snowbirds

October 21, 2010

by Rex Vogel as appeared on Woodall’s Family Camping Blog
a regular contributing author to RVchurchesUSA

A major concentration of snowbirds in Ol' Airy Zonie occurs each winter in the Phoenix area. Pictured above is Usery Mountain Regional Park located north of Mesa. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It’s pretty safe to say that summer is over and we’re approaching the Snowbird season.

Long before winter’s blustery chill begins to sting the bones, plans are being made by millions of Canadians, Northeasters, Midwesterners, and those in the rainy Northwestern United States to seek the warmer climes of the south. It’s an interesting phenomenon that occurs each year and mimics the migration ritual of our feathered friends.

Snowbirds flock to Ol’ Airy Zonie, Southern Texas, Florida, and other Sunbelt states and Mexico to avoid winter’s bite, snow and blowing snow, and treacherous icy sidewalks and streets. Northern Europeans are also known to migrate to the U.S. Sunbelt, adding to these communities of seasonal residents.

Snowbirds are typically retired seniors who have the desire and financial ability to be away from home for extended periods of time. Many take their home-on-wheels with them in the form of a recreational vehicle while others maintain a second home or rental accommodation in a warmer location.

As our population ages the number of people considering this lifestyle increases.

We have been making this trip for the past 13 years in an RV—first with a fifth-wheel trailer and now in a motorhome.

There are numerous advantages to the snowbird lifestyle:

* No snow to shovel or trod through
* No bundling up in warm sweaters, winter overcoats, and snow boots
* Taking part in outdoor activities during winter months
* Ability to maintain friendships in two or more communities
* Sense of community with other snowbirds
* Break in the monotony of dull and dreary winter days

Despite the many positive benefits, the snowbird lifestyle is not for everyone. For some it may be wise to gradually evolve into the lifestyle to determine if it’s for them. Snowbirding can be tried on a short term basis of one or two months to determine if there’s a fit with one’s individual preferences.

greenj-bird

Birding attracts many snowbirds to the Rio Grand Valley of South Texas. Pictured above is the beautiful green jay. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Surprisingly there are disadvantages to being a Snowbird:

* Missing out on Christmas with the grandchildren
* Not being a permanent part of any one community
* Missing family and friends
* Finding someone to look after your home during while “on the road”
* Security and safety issues
* Increased financial burdens
* Additional cross-border issues for Canadians

We find the snowbird lifestyle in an RV to our liking since we can take our home with us when the cold weather arrives and snow begins to falls. We enjoy the warmer climes while their neighbors up north are shoveling snow. For us the snowbird lifestyle is the best of both worlds.

If you have been dreaming about exploring the road less traveled, now is the time to stop dreaming and hit the road in a recreational vehicle.

Worth Pondering…

We have chosen to be reasonably warm year-round, so we are snowbirds. Every year when I hear the honks of the Canada geese overhead at our home, something in my genes starts pulling my inner-compass to the South. And an inner voice whispers: “Surely you’re as smart as a goose.” Feeling that I am at least as smart as a silly goose, I line up the motorhome with that compass pointer and head for the Sun Belt.

This article is the first in an ongoing series on snowbirds and preparation for the snowbird lifestyle.

You may comment on Rex’s article below or contact him at [email protected]

[five-star-rating]

Urban Campers Call Wal-Mart ‘Home’

September 17, 2010

as appeared in Woodall’s Campground Management

It’s perhaps the forgotten sector of Prince Edward Island’s summer tourism industry.

In Summerside, as is the case across Canada and the U.S., owners of recreational vehicles can often be found bunking down for a night or two in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, the Summerside Journal Pioneer reported.

The Wal-Mart camping experience isn’t for those who prefer roughing it in the wilderness.

Still, it’s not uncommon to see several RVs parked at any given time in the lot of the large international box store.

“I’ve done it several times, not on a regular basis,” said Shirley Aldrich while sitting on the front steps of her rig.

“When you’re on the road it’s a neat place to pull in and stop for the night. You can always get your groceries and everything you need at Wal-Mart. It’s one-stop shopping.”

Aldrich and her travelling companions are from Nashville, Tenn., and are visitng the island during a seven-week trip.

Although they weren’t overnighting at Wal-Mart during this visit, Aldrich has enjoyed the experience and its particular charms several times in the past – RV trips of four, even nine months in a row may push some owners into getting creative with their cost-cutting.

Which brings us to the most obvious attraction of spending the night out on the asphalt:

“The price,” says Aldrich.

Yes, Wal-Mart RVing is free of charge.

As some of the other campers explain, that’s been a contentious issue at other Wal-Marts they’ve encountered in North America.

“We’ve run into a couple stores, and it wasn’t the store’s decision, it was a local community decision,” said Bert Moore of Edmonton, vacationing at Summerside’s Wal-Mart with his wife, Lil.

“The store staff said it’s usually because people may be campground owners.”

Aldrich, meanwhile, said stores in Florida stopped the practice simply due to space restrictions – the stores were so busy that Rvs were cutting down on parking spaces.

But if campground owners on the island have concerns with free RVing, it hasn’t been a significant issue in Summerside.

Moore even thinks Wal-Mart parking lots are more clean and safe than some RV parks.

“We find the campgrounds are well-used and not as clean as this is,” he said. “On rainy days, the campgrounds are just a quagmire. We’ve run into a few of them on this trip that we just wished we’d never pulled into.”

As for the economics, many of the campers at Wal-Mart seem to be serving the local economy well. The Moores found a dumping station and fuel at the nearby Esso and breakfast across the parking lot at Maid Marian’s, while also seeking out local coin-operated laundries.

Even better, both Aldrich and Moore said they’ve travelled across most of the island seeing the sights — and spending money.

“We meet a lot of new people in the parking lot,” said Moore. “We all exchange bits of information about where we’ve been and good things to see.”

So the parking lots may not be as serviceable as regular campgounds, Aldrich is willing to sacrifice some awkward moments for the benefits Wal-Mart offers.

“One morning I got up and used the outside shower with my bathing suit on and washed my hair,” she said. “(Wal-Mart) doesn’t have too many amenities — there’s no water, no electricity and no sewer. But you don’t need those things every day.”

Faith Scholars: Stephen Hawking ‘Missing the Point’

September 14, 2010

By Eric Young
Christian Post Reporter

Physicist Stephen Hawking made headlines this past
(Photo: AP Photo: / PA Wire, David Parry) In this April 29, 2010, file photo, Stephen Hawking watches the first preview of his new show for the Discovery Channel, Stephen Hawking's Universe.

(Photo: AP Photo: / PA Wire, David Parry) In this April 29, 2010, file photo, Stephen Hawking watches the first preview of his new show for the Discovery Channel, Stephen Hawking's Universe.

week for taking on arguably the most influential scientist in human history, Sir Isaac Newton.

Newton, who left enduring legacies in mathematics and the natural sciences, had centuries ago warned against using the law of gravity – which he discovered – to view the universe as a mere machine, like a great clock.

“Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done,” the 17th century scientist and non-Trinitarian Anglican stated.

“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being,” he added.

Hawking, however, says “the universe can and will create itself from nothing” because there is a law such as gravity.

“Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” he writes in his soon-to-be-released book, The Grand Design. “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper (fuse) and set the universe going.”

While Hawking has long been known to be a deist – believing in the existence of an impersonal god on the evidence of reason and nature only – his denial of a personal god was notably more explicit in the excerpts from his latest work.

In The Grand Design, Hawking refers to the 1992 observation of a planet orbiting a star other than the sun and says it “makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions – the single sun, the lucky combination of Earth-sun distance and solar mass – far less remarkable, and far less compelling as evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings.”

Not surprising, Hawking’s comments sparked a number of responses from Christian apologists and theologians of different faiths.

In the United Kingdom, where Hawking resides, Denis Alexander, director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, said Hawking was “missing the point.”

“Science provides us with a wonderful narrative as to how [existence] may happen, but theology addresses the meaning of the narrative,” he said, according to CNN.

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, similarly, accused Hawking of making a “misinterpretation” – one that he said “is damaging to religion and science in equal measure.”

“Science is about explanation. Religion is about interpretation,” he wrote in the U.K.-based Times, which first printed excerpts from The Grand Design on Thursday.

“Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean. They are different intellectual enterprises,” Sacks added.

Meanwhile, in the United States, scholars at the ministry Reasons To Believe have argued against the idea that God is not necessary because laws such as gravity exist and said even with the laws there is the requirement for something that transcends the universe to bring it into being.

Hawking, said RTB research scholar Dr. Jeffrey Zweerink, “is putting the laws of physics or the mathematics on that basis of … this transcendent entity … that is ultimately responsible for the cause of the beginning of the universe.”

“It’s a transcendent impersonal entity but nonetheless it’s a transcendent entity,” he added.

Furthermore, RTB President and Founder Dr. Hugh Ross said there a “fundamental flaw” in Hawking’s reasoning.

“A fundamental flaw in this Hawking idea is that God is no longer personal, and yet we human beings are personal,” he said in his ministry’s podcast Friday. “We have a mind, we have a spirit, and you’re attributing the development of the human mind, the human spirit, the minds for that matter we see in the higher animals, the personalities that we see in all of us from completely impersonal soul-less and spirit-less laws of physics. How can the lesser produce the greater?”

Like Hawking, RTB scholars agree that God is “the Grand Mathematician” but go further by saying He is more than that.

And, they say, the laws of physics in nature “are a reflection of God’s intimate sustaining care for the universe.”

“From a naturalist perspective, there need not be any laws of physics,” said Zweerink. “But from a Christian perspective, we expect to see these laws of physics given God’s character and what He’s revealed to us.”

With only excerpts of the book having been released, the discussion is expected to continue and expand with the release of Hawking’s upcoming book.

The book, co-authored by physicist Leonard Mlodinow, is scheduled to be published by Bantam Dell on Sept. 9.

The Grand Design is Hawking’s first major work in nearly a decade.

One Tank Trip for Iowa Camping

August 17, 2010

by Woodalls Editorial Staff

Iowa camping trip route map

Iowa is thought by many to be at the center of America’s heartland, and they would be right; this is where the American ideal is alive and well. The Hawkeye State’s people are warm and friendly, who understand that you get a day’s wage for a day’s work.

A great many farms run through this region, producing a sizable portion of America’s output of corn and soybeans, but there’s a lot more to Iowa than just cornfields and farming. Make Iowa your one tank trips destination and come see for yourself.

Cedar Rapids is a perfect place to start off your vacation, as it provides a blend of city and country living. You’ve got the theaters, nightlife, and fine dining opportunities available in any big city, but there’s a small town feel at work here that gives Cedar Rapids a charm all its own. There are city parks, state parks, and wide-open county parks within Cedar Rapids, providing you with plenty of places to park the rig and sit for a spell. The Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor is a hiker’s dream, with a maze-like network of interconnected trails that run through the city and countryside. There are car and motorcycle museums in town to attract even the most casual automotive enthusiast, and don’t forget to cruise through the local wine country and sample the incredible vintages they’ve got for sale.

Getting back on the road, head south on the I-380 for close to 20 miles until you pull into Coralville, a town that definitely rolls out a warm welcome to the RVer. You’ll have no trouble finding a place to hook up the rig for some convenient Iowa camping. The town’s got plenty of activities to keep you occupied for as long as you care to stay, with museums and galleries and nearby Coralville Lake. Spend a day or so by the water, and be sure to investigate the Devonian Fossil Gorge, where you’ll be able to get a close-up look at the fossilized remains of a 375-million year old ocean floor. This is definitely not something you see every day, nor will you forget it once you’ve visited.

From Coralville, drive west on the US-6 for 11 miles to your next stop, Oxford. In addition to providing ample opportunities for camping and sightseeing, there’s a very active golf community here with several courses that range from fairly basic to challenging. Whether you are on the Pro Tour, or if you’ve never picked up a club before, spend a day at any of these peaceful golf retreats and relax in the fresh air and sunshine.

Continuing west on the US-6, it’s another 5 miles before you reach Amana, site of the fascinating and historic Amana Colonies. This area is composed of buildings whose construction dates back to the mid 1800s, with wood fences and fruit trees in the yards. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped through a doorway into a simpler, slower-paced age. Pay a visit to the Amana Heritage Society Museum, where you’ll learn about the German immigrants who colonized this area in the mid-19th century. A blacksmith, general store, and original one-room schoolhouse still stand to honor those souls who settled the area. You can rent a bike and tour the surrounding area, maybe pack a picnic lunch and sit out in the middle of nowhere and just simply be. This charming town will no doubt win your heart as it has for so many who’ve come before.

History is alive and well in Marengo, your last stop on this one tank trips adventure through the Hawkeye State, which lies another 8 miles west on the US-6. Here you’ll find the Pioneer Heritage Museum, which showcases buildings from the mid 1800s into the 1930s, including log cabins, a railroad depot, and a gas station from the late 20s.

When it’s time to point the rig toward home, hopefully you’ll have seen that Iowa camping is where the past meets the present; its feet firmly planted in the old world and the new.

This One Tank Trip seen in the Woodall’s 2010 North American Campground Directory

Court Nixes Permit Rule for National Park Speech

August 15, 2010

By Annie Youderian

(CN) – The D.C. Circuit struck down a longstanding National Park Service requirement that missionaries and political activists obtain permits to demonstrate, hand out brochures or engage in other “expressive activities” in national parks.

“These regulations penalize a substantial amount of speech that does not impinge on the government’s interests,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote for the three-judge panel in Washington, D.C.

The ruling has been hailed as a significant First Amendment victory for Michael Boardley, who claimed he was blocked in 2007 from distributing Christian materials in the Mount Rushmore National Park in South Dakota.

“Requiring individuals and small groups to obtain permits before engaging in expressive activities within designated ‘free speech areas’ (and other public forums within national parks) violates the First Amendment,” Brown wrote.

“We have no choice but to hold the regulations unconstitutional in their entirety.”

as appeared on Courthouse News Service

Riding High in Nova Scotia

August 11, 2010

Image

By Lorraine Sommerfeld Living Reporter

Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia—“Now, you’ll be wantin’ to hold onto the ropes real tight,” said Trevor.

RVing across Canada may be the best way to see the country, because you can get out of the cities and still enjoy comfortable amenities. Lorraine Sommerfeld photo/for the Toronto Star

This was the rugged young man who would be
piloting the dinghy his Nova Scotian lilt sneaking in on some broadened vowels. Six of us sat in the inflatable rubber boat, staring mutely at our feet that were encased in several kilograms of rapidly hardening red mud.

We’d descended the banks of the Shubenacadie River in central Nova Scotia. It’s the largest river in the province, but as I could safely see the other side, as well as several sandbars, I tumbled into the boat and anticipated a nice couple of hours on the water on a lovely day.

Instead, I had the most amazing experience of my life.

Shubenacadie Tidal Bore Rafting Park is one of several companies offering Tidal Bore rafting on the river. Daily from June to the end of September, groups head out to meet the incoming tide. As the sea water rushes in, it mixes with the fresh river water. In a mind bending visual that challenges all you know, one layer of water races atop another as the two combine to create one of nature’s greatest feats: a tidal bore.

The ensuing turbulence is “read” by river guides who then pilot the boats into the heart of the bore. Into. At strongest tides (we had a good moon—waves were about eight metres), you blast upriver into the cresting waves. The boat is nearly vertical as water pours over you from all directions, and it crashes to safety only to be filled with the raging river.

You get soaked. There is no way around it. This is a rodeo on the river, with the river bucking every way to toss you. Clutching the ropes and boat handles, I asked what happens if someone falls in. “Oh, it’s fine, I’ll just pop you back into the boat,” he said, unworried. Two hours later as we approached the dock, it felt like we’d been gone 10 minutes. Our shoes now clean from the pounding water, we headed for the showers.

Nova Scotia is the only place in the world you can do this. With prices starting at $55 for a two-hour tour, if you’re old enough to hold on tight and young enough to still get soaked this experience is not to be missed.

We were trekking through Nova Scotia in an RV; it’s still one of my favourite ways to see Canada, with the ability to leave the beaten path of the cities, but leave none of the comforts behind. With a series of classic trails (we were following the Lighthouse Trail), Nova Scotia is incredibly tourist friendly. And while it may not be hard to get lost in Nova Scotia, it’s definitely hard to stay that way. You can literally ask anyone, anywhere, for help, and be back on your way. Doing a multi-point turn in a 10-metre rig may be cause for concern elsewhere, but not here in the laid-back nest of lobsters, fishing boats and endless shores.

If you’re new to campgrounds or RV parks, reading between the lines of amenities can be overwhelming. Each destination has its strengths; larger grounds will have pools, parks for kids and larger showers and washrooms. In-town sites might feature more concrete than trees, but are frequently provincially run and more modern. My favourite? Hands-down the small, family-owned sites that often don’t translate in the splashy advertisements.

If you’ve never considered an RV holiday, much has changed from even 10 years ago. New units are marvels of space-saving configuration. Pop-outs on some units feature bunk beds, head space has been increased in higher sleeping areas, hot-water tanks are bigger, steps are automatic and even things like outlets are where they need to be. For $150 a day, the large unit we had let us take in the winding roads of Nova Scotia, cook, camp and vacation in comfort. We spent $250 on gas during six days; hardly exhorbitant.

Our first night on the road was minutes from Peggy’s Cove. Situated in a tiny perfect arc of Indian Harbour, King Neptune’s Campground is run by Kay Richardson and her family. As we packed up the barbecue and prepared to take in a promised glorious sunset, Kay rounded the corner of her home with a tray. Homemade gingerbread cake, whipped cream, coffee and tea. Here was our Nova Scotia welcome mat, in the form of a tiny white-haired lady who treated guests at her campground like guests in her home.

The following morning, she led me into her white frame house. An ancient wood stove dominated the living room. “It’s the only heat source in the house,” she said.

Deep in the heart of Kejumkujik National Park, you can bed down in the towering forest, and tour the efforts of experts and volunteers in protecting endangered species of turtles and birds.

We ate cod we’d caught while deep sea fishing; lobster we’d selected from the Bay of Fundy at Hall’s Harbour; a raw scallop that had been clacking at us moments before, on a dock overlooking a gorgeous golf course at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg, a town of 2,300. And every night we gathered around a campfire, listened to the surf and marvelled at the star fields.

In a world of false promises, bait-and-switch and not-exactly-as-shown, Nova Scotia truly is better than advertised.

Lorraine Sommerfeld is a freelance writer based in Burlington. Her trip was subsidized by GoRVing Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture & Heritage.

Not Just For Seniors

August 4, 2010

by Hoby
As appeared on Woodall’s camping Blog

I wanted to share what I consider an excellent precaution that everyone should take when traveling or camping in their RV and have a medical condition or take medications.  While this project is designed for Seniors, it would be beneficial for any family member.  When traveling, anything can happen, so you should take precautions and be prepared.

This project was brought to my attention by the Safety Committee in Retama Village (an adult living community for RVers down in the Rio Grande Valley) after one of the residents experienced medical issues that required calling 911.  The Committee recommended it as a standard for all residents and their RVs.

The specific item I’m referring to is called the Vial of Life Project (sponsored by Senior Safety.com).  The goal of the project is to ensure all Seniors have the Vial of Life kits in their homes.  It also makes sense, though, to have them in your RV (for some of us the RV and home are the same) and even your car.

Medical Form

Vial for Life packet

The way the system works is that you receive a kit, which contains 2 stickers and a medical information form for each person.  The form contains basic medical information that covers everything from hearing and vision to medical conditions and medications to doctor and insurance information.

Once you receive the kit, you fill out the form for each person, and you put the completed form into a zip-lock bag.  You place one sticker on the bag and then tape it to your refrigerator door (remember not to cover it with all those magnets or artwork from the kids).

Vial of Life Sticker

Sticker for door

You then place the other sticker at eye level at your front door.  This notifies any rescue workers that might enter your RV that there is medical information available on the refrigerator.  For the car, you might put one sticker on the windshield and the other on the glove compartment with the medical information.
This is a simple effort that may seem like a waste of time.  And, nobody wants an ugly zip-lock bag with a red sticker on their refrigerator.  However, in an emergency situation, ensuring that the responders have as much information as possible can help save your life.  A secondary benefit is that this information can help reduce unnecessary medical tests at the hospital (which could be expensive, delay your treatment, and is stressful on the body).

Please contact the Vial of Life Project if you are interested in taking advantage of this easy way to be prepared for an emergency.

Green Alcohol, Duct Tape & WD-40

July 21, 2010

by Professor95 – July 16, 2010
as appeared in Woodall’s Campground Management

No, it is not a recipe for a new mixed drink.  They are three of the most important items for any camper to have with them – any means those with tents to big motor homes.

I’ll start with the green alcohol.

All RV’s have sewage holding tanks that eventually need to be emptied.  Tent campers often carry porta- potties that also need emptying.  The amount of harmful fecal bacteria present in the effluent is overwhelming.  There is enough stuff in one of those tanks to infect the entire population of my home town and still have some left over.

I am appalled at the number of people I see dumping their sewage tanks with bare hands and no apparent method of disinfecting themselves.  Some use heavy canvas work gloves or rubber gloves.  But, unless they are disinfected all they do is spread the bacteria to their container and even the person using them. Disposable vinyl or latex gloves should always be used.  Disinfecting is also necessary, but many campers ignore this important step because they do not know what to use.

Years ago I used a solution of bleach and water mixed together in a spray bottle as a disinfectant.  But, if any bleach happened to get on my clothes they were ruined.  I also found the smell unpleasant and it was not good for my skin.   I switched to Lysol in an aerosol can, but it could get kinda expensive.  Then, one day when I had to take Oscar to the veterinarian, I was introduced to wintergreen isopropyl alcohol as a disinfectant.

The Vet used it in the bottle it came in and just screwed on a spray top.  After one animal was examined, they would spray down the tables with the green alcohol and then wipe them off with a paper towel.  I thought this was a great idea!  Wintergreen 70% isopropyl alcohol is available at Wal-Mart for about a buck and a half a bottle.  The wintergreen has a nice scent.  Once I have dumped my holding tanks,  I spray down my gloves, peel them off into a trash can and then spray down my hands with enough alcohol to disinfect the spray bottle handle as well.  Next I spray all the dump levers and caps.  Lastly, I spray down the soles of my shoes before climbing into our truck.  An application of a little hand lotion once in the truck helps to prevent any dryness the alcohol may cause on my hands.

For tent campers green alcohol is great for spraying down your hands after using a porta-potty. You can recycle or purchase small spray bottles that hold a couple of ounces and fit in your pocket.  These small bottles of green alcohol are beneficial as a disinfectant for public porta-jons or restrooms.  If you check the ingredients of a small hand sanitizer bottle you will discover that it is isopropyl alcohol.  Buying it in a pint bottle is much less expensive.  It is great stuff and no camper should be without it!

Duct Tape was first used in WWII as a sealing tape for ammo boxes.

Silver duct tape is also called Hurricane Tape, Racer Tape and now Camper Tape

At the time it was called Duck Tape (as in quack-quack).  Truthfully, it is not a good tape for sealing heating or air conditioning ducts.  Its adhesive is a natural rubber compound that dries out and releases its adhesion after a few months.  But, for temporary or emergency repairs to a RV or tent it is unsurpassed by other tapes.

I keep a big roll of 3M duct tape in the RV all the time.  Rarely do we set up camp that I do not use duct tape for something.  There are many other brands of quality duct tape such as Scotch, Duck and Nashua.  Unfortunately, some brands are of inferior grade.  Sticking with a brand you know is good is the best way to go – it does not have to be 3M if you know the quality of the brand.  Another brand of duct tape that has recently come on the market is Gorilla Tape.  It is thicker than regular duct tape and its adhesive is awesome.

Pop-Up Camper with canvas/vinyl material completely recovered with silver duct tape.

I have used duct tape to fix torn awnings, rips in rubber roofs, torn aluminum camper siding, rips in  tents, lawn chair repairs, tarp tabs, leaking pipes and hoses, and I have even twisted it into a rope for tying items down.  I have friends that have used it to hold in broken

Director's Chair completely recovered with silver duct tape - a new life for camping furniture!

windows, hold a compartment door closed that had a broken latch, seal where gaskets are missing around slide-outs, repair a broken fender on a golf cart, patch a leaking air mattress and even patch a crack in a camper grey water holding tank.

I have seen wallets, jackets, pants, boats, tents, door mats, and drinking cups made entirely of duct tape.
I used a piece of duct tape today to make a tie to hold one of my tomato plants to a post.  Without a doubt is it the most useful tape a camper can have with him.  The only downside is that one must understand that the tape is a temporary repair.  While it is extremely strong, has a really sticky adhesive and is somewhat water proof, it will deteriorate when exposed to the elements and the adhesive will dry out and release over a period of several months.

Now, duct tape is being used as a “fix” for a reception problem on the new Apple Iphone 4– who would have ever thought……… ?

The TV show Myth Busters recently did two episodes on duct tape that included putting a car back together that Carrie totally cut apart, making a black powder cannon from the stuff and even a suspension bridge that Jamie and Adam walked across.  In summary, don’t leave home without at least one roll of duct tape.  The stuff is amazing and its use is only limited by your imagination.

Last but definitely not least is WD-40

This amazing liquid in an aerosol container can make anything you have not secured with duct tape move.  I have used it on my camper’s screw jacks, as a fire starting fluid, to clean chewing gum off of the carpet, as a cleaner for bugs splattered all over the front of the camper, waterproofing for shoes, a cleaner to remove road tar from both the truck and camper.  It is useful as a cleaner and rust preventer for tools that are exposed to salt air or high humidity.  It also works well to remove the gooey residue left after removing duct tape from a smooth surface.  Having spent the past two weeks at the ocean-front I have used up a full can on my golf cart, lawn furniture, beach umbrella, tools, beach cart wheels and even the snap on Oscar’s leash which filled with sand and salt water.  A light spray on the polished aluminum wheels of our truck that is wiped down with paper towels leaves a clean, shiny surface that easily repels brake dust and road grime.  It is great for removing paint, grease and dirt from your hands.

I remember my grandfather polishing his big black DeSoto sedan with a can of kerosene and a rag.  The kerosene would leave a brilliant shine, remove dirt and make it easier to get the next round of tar and bugs off of the paint.  Today, WD-40 has replaced kerosene as the preferred petroleum based polish and cleaner for the fiberglass front cap on many trailers and can make sun aged plastic parts look new again.  It also helps to preserve and protect these parts.  WD-40 should NOT be used on your rubber camper roof.

You can scroll through a list of other uses for WD-40 by downloading the PDF at

http://www.wd40.com/files/pdf/wd-40_2042538679.pdf [6]

When combined as a three-pack, green alcohol, duct tape and WD-40 are indispensable items for any camper.

One Tank Trip For South BC

July 15, 2010

July 14, 2010 by Woodalls Editorial Staff
as seen in the 2010 Woodall’s North American Campground Directory.

British Columbia route map

Starting off in Vancouver, one of the first things you notice about the city is how clean it is. In fact, it’s rated as one of the cleanest cities in North America. Even though it’s a major metropolitan area, the air is surprisingly clear. The streets are swept and the buses and trolleys are graffiti-free.

You’ll find a coffee shop on virtually every corner, and there’s always a poetry reading or live music going on somewhere. Take a walk through Stanley Park, which sprawls over several acres and allows you to lose yourself among the trees as you follow the winding trails. Be on the lookout for the dark brown ground squirrels, which are only too happy to block your way and demand food for allowing you to pass through their turf.

The aquarium at Stanley Park features many exhibits of fresh and salt water fish, some of which are rare or endangered. Traverse further through the park and you’ll find yourself transported to the Amazon rain forest and will come face-to-face with several types of wildlife from that region, including the dreaded anaconda.

Up in North Vancouver, you can traverse the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which is touted as being the number one tourist attraction in Vancouver. The swaying boards take you across a 200-foot chasm that provides you with a world-class view, and the surrounding park is filled with restaurants, shops, and activities guaranteed to make this an experience to remember.

What makes this area great for one tank trips and vacations is that you’ve got every type of terrain available to you within a short driving distance. Beaches, snow-covered mountains, marshland, even desert, are all easily accessible, and waiting for your exploration at this South British Columbia camping destination.

Heading north out of Vancouver via the PR-1A, take it for 12 miles until you come to the PR-1. Along the way, you’ll see signs for the Sea to Sky Highway, which runs alongside a steep fjord that offers up unparalleled views between the West Vancouver and Squamish areas. Take the PR-1 for 7 miles, then head north on the PR-99 for just under 30 miles until you pull into the Squamish/Britannia Beach area. This area is considered to be the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada, with more opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, rappelling, or watching wildlife than just about any other part of the province. In the fall, avian enthusiasts from all around gather to get lingering looks at the rarely-sighted bald eagles, which return to Squamish every year and make it their winter home. In nearby Britannia Beach, the BC Museum of Mining provides a change of pace, and gives visitors a comprehensive look at the mining operations at work in the Vancouver area, dating back to the earliest prospecting days.

Take a drive through 40 miles of breathtaking greenery via the PR-99 and before you know it you’ll find yourself in Whistler, site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Walk in the steps of some of the world’s greatest athletes and try your luck with the downhill ski courses, or maybe just sip a hot toddy by a warm fire in any one of the numerous ski lodges in the area. In the summertime, you’ll have your pick of such fair weather activities as golf, tennis, canoeing and kayaking, rock climbing, and renting an ATV for some off-road adventure. Go whitewater rafting down the Elaho-Squamish River, or ride the gondolas to the top of a 6,000 foot mountain peak and work up an appetite by hiking back down. Add to this a myriad of shopping and fine dining opportunities, and you’ll see why Whistler is considered one of the most treasured jewels in British Columbia’s crown of tourist destinations and the perfect spot for ending South BC one tank trips when possible.

When you experience this area for yourself, you’ll see that British Columbia camping blends elegance and ruggedness, relaxation and adventure, like no other area in the world can.

Pastor Warns of Scocialism & Departure From God

July 11, 2010

By Lillian KwonChristian Post Reporter

America currently stands in a very dangerous position, said renowned pastor Charles Stanleyand author Dr. Charles Stanley. Today more than ever, the country is turning away from God and moving closer toward socialism, he warned.

And the consequences will be grave.”We know the truth, we know the principles of God. In spite of all that, we find ourselves as a nation violating the laws of God, heading in a direction that is going to be disastrous for us, for our children and the generations that are to come unless there is a change,” he said.

Speaking to thousands at First Baptist Church of Atlanta and to a live Web audience on Friday, Stanley delivered a sobering 4th of July message about a dangerous spiritual tide that is engulfing the country and the crucial need for prayer.

“There is a tide that has touched the shores of our land and reached the heart of our nation,” he said against the backdrop of the U.S. flag. “It is a tide that is bringing with it ideas and philosophies, actions and attitudes that will ultimately destroy the way of life that you and I have.”

The influential pastor and founder of In Touch Ministries listed 12 things involved in the tide. Among them are the financial crisis and the move toward socialism.

With the national debt rising by the billions every day and increasing taxation, future generations will likely be left with a debt so heavy that they’ll never be able to spend most of what they make, he said.

Addressing the idea of spreading the wealth, Stanley emphasized, “It is not the government’s responsibility to take care of us. It is to protect us.

“We’re responsible for taking care of ourselves.”

Socialism, he pointed out, is opposed primarily to Christianity and Judaism.

“In Christianity, we’re taught to do our best because we’ve been gifted by God. So there’s motivation, willingness and we cooperate,” he explained. “We use our spiritual gifts for the good of everyone.”

But under a socialist society, in which the government controls all means of production and distribution, there is no motivation for diligence and creativity is stifled, he said.

When there is less reward, there is less to give. And as evidenced in the recent downturn, what suffers first is supporting missionary work.

“You see, it affects every single aspect of society,” Stanley warned.

He added, “Naturally, when the government takes control, do you think that freedom of speech is always going to be there?”

“The tide is bringing in a control that will indeed attempt to silence the truth and will attempt to squash the religious devotion and worship of the people of God.”

That tide began creeping in many years ago, he noted, when the government and the courts began banning prayer at schools and removing references to Jesus, God and the Ten Commandments from the public square, Stanley noted.

“It is an attempt to destroy the Christian spirit in America,” he said.

“There is a war going on against Jesus,” he declared. “It’s part of the strategy. The primary reason for this war against Him is He is interfering with the plan to make this a socialist nation. Mark it down. It is the truth.”

Among the other elements of the dangerous tide are: terrorism, turning our backs on Israel, the announcement that the United States is not a Christian nation, increasing national disasters, a departure from the biblical view of marriage, and support for killing the unborn, Stanley listed.

“Mark this down for socialism because these three groups of people who do not contribute to the state … are of no value: unborn babies, the elderly and those who are disabled,” said the Atlanta pastor.

With the tide moving fast, Stanley issued a charge to Christians to turn it around.

He called believers to join him in 140 days of humbling themselves, repenting of sins and praying to God.

“The Bible says judgment begins at the house of God. We’re not expecting lost people to do all this because this is the work of the people of God; it is our responsibility,” he stressed. “A lot of where we are is because of our apathy. We haven’t prayed for these men who are making decisions.”

“Do you want this nation to keep going where it’s going or do you want us to get back on track?” he posed.

Prayer, he said, is the one thing he knows that works.

“Do you believe God answers prayer?” he asked. “Pray for God to change the direction of this tide.”

He added that those prayers have to be backed up with righteousness and a godly life if they are to be effective and nation-altering.

“There has never been a nation like these United States. We do not want it to fail or to fall.”

To join Stanley in 140 days of prayer, visit: http://intouch.org/

Can Chritians Explain Their Faith?

June 9, 2010

By Edmond Chua| Christian Post Correspondent
jmcdowell

Josh McDowell

The faith of most Christians, even that of many pastors, will not stand up to intellectual scrutiny, according to renowned apologist Josh McDowell.

This is a concern because pastors’ inability to present biblical truth comprehensibly and relevantly has led to children from Christian families leaving the church, research has shown.

In the United States, the age at which nearly all such children leave church has decreased to 18 years.

Not even the children of many successful ministers are spared.

McDowell made his comments at a recent networking dinner among various men’s ministries organized recently by Men-in-Covenant. MiC is the men’s ministry of Covenant Evangelical Free Church.

He recalled speaking with the pastor of one of the largest U.S. churches, a man known for his expository preaching. Confiding in him, the pastor said their church was losing its youth right after high school graduation.

In his 50 years of ministry, McDowell has asked several thousand pastors and leaders how they could be certain Jesus Christ said “I am the truth” and not one of many truths or a truth.

“Not one person has ever given me an intelligent, biblically-based answer,” said the author of The New Evidence that Demands A Verdict.

During the past six years, he asked hundreds of Christians and leaders why they see themselves as Christians. Again no one gave him an “intelligent” answer.

In the past 17 years, he has asked over 4,000 pastors, leaders and parents why they believe the Bible is true.

A mere six “came close to giving an intelligent answer,” McDowell noted.

“If anything is based upon truth, it’s the Christian faith,” he said. “Christians who do not know why they have faith or believe have a very difficult time expressing themselves to others.

“The saddest thing is people come to me and say, ‘What’s the answer?’”

“I say, ‘There’s no answer… There are hundreds of answers.’”

Most Christians, even some pastors, don’t even know one. On the other hand, the apologist said he could give 50 reasons for his belief that the Bible is true.

Ninety-five percent of Christians gave disappointing responses when asked why they believe Jesus is the Son of God.

Asked why the Bible is true and historically reliable, Christians replied that it was what they had been taught by their church or parents.

A common response that most Christians gave to both questions was that it is “what I believe.”

McDowell responded: “That’s voodoo thinking. Where did we ever get that crazy idea that something is true just because we believe it?

“If that is true, then there will never be heresy. Everybody would be right.”

On one occasion, 13 youth pastors at a large convention were unable to reasonably answer the apologist’s question.

Finally one young person stood up, walked toward him and told him he knew the answer.

The young man promptly held up his Bible and said, “Because I believe it.”

And to McDowell’s dismay, all the youth pastors applauded him.

McDowell said, “Young man, do you know the difference between you, me and the majority of Christians in the world?

“To you, it is true because you believe it. For me, I believe it because it is true.”

Another response the apologist received was: Because I have faith.

He commented, “Where did we ever get the crazy idea that faith makes something true? That’s idiotic. That’s so unbiblical you can call it heresy.

“God doesn’t use faith to create truth. He uses truth through the Holy Spirit to create faith.”

Christians, the apologist stressed, are called to explain their faith when asked. They are set free by the faith in the truth, he expressed, referring to John 8:32.

Yet others say Christianity is true because Jesus changed their lives.

Even this will not stand up to intellectual scrutiny, McDowell argued.

“Lies change lives; cults change lives,” he said.

To make such an appeal is “not the essence of Christianity,” the author emphasized.

McDowell said: “We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our children, we owe it to our neighbors, we owe it to the lost, to tell them not just what we believe but why do we believe it.”

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