Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tour Our Motorhome

In this Issue

What's New With Us: Going to Alaska?.
Brief Article: Tour Our Motorhome.
Vicki's Recipes: Beef Flavored Rice
RVing Tip: Keeping Cool.

Going to Alaska?

Our latest e-book, RVing Alaska, Insights and Observations, will be available as soon as our webmaster can bring it up on our website.

If you are planning, or even thinking about driving your RV to Alaska, you will appreciate the wealth of up-to-date information this e-book makes available to you.

The book has three sections. The first provides an overview of what to expect and how to prepare for an RV journey to Alaska. Topics include personal and vehicle preparation, crossing the border into Canada, road conditions, campgrounds, availability of fuel, using the ferry system, and a brief description of the various highways you will travel in British Columbia, the Yukon Territory and Alaska.

The second section describes what it is like to participate in an RV caravan trip to Alaska. It also discusses the pros and cons of traveling solo versus going to Alaska with a group.

The third section is a detailed journal of the 44-day Alaskan RV journey we took in the fall of 2007. Each entry includes a description of the day's road condition, terrain, fuel stops and campgrounds. The journal can be used as a base from which to plan your own RV adventure.

RVing Alaska, Insights and Observations is not a flora and fauna book. It is a no-nonsense "how-to" book designed to help you make informed decisions and proper preparations for the ultimate RVing adventure.

Look for it in the E-Book section of

Tour Our Motorhome

We've been asked a number of times what kind of RV we owned. So here is a photographic tour of our combination transport, home and office. We have put about 190,000 milles of cross-country driving on it. No, it does not have any slides (or slide problems).

Click on any photo to enlarge it. Click on your "Back" button to return to normal.

1998, 37-foot, diesel-powered Country Coach Allure and 2007 Saturn Vue

Notice all the overhead cabinets

The kitchen has a side-by-side refrigerator and a microwave/convection oven. The cantilevered dinette table has no leg to bump our knees. We traded the free standing chairs for the booth seating. We like the the large storage drawers and comfortable soft cushions.

We have written and talked about some of the improvements we have made to our motorhome. Here are a few of them:

A panel under the dash in front of the passenger seat provided access to the area under the dash. But there was plenty of room behind the panel. So our son, Sean the cabinet maker, built an open-faced cabinet. The upper shelf slants down towards the back so the campground directories do not slide out. A space is provided for the thermos that holds our morning coffee while we are driving. The cabinet is easily removed when access under the dash is needed.

The motorhome's deep pantry had solid shelves. That made it difficult to locate and reach items in the back. So Sean installed three slide-out shelves.

Our couch has plenty of undrneath storage space. But the only way to gain access was by lifting the entire seat cushion section. Sean built and installed three large drawers under the couch. A real nice touch are the adjustable dividers in each drawer.

Our seminar/writing business requires that we have certain files available to us at all times. We needed a portable file cabinet that could be moved between our home office and our motorhome, depending upon where we were at the moment. We also wanted it to be easily accessible but out of the way.

Sean built a combination center-console, file-cabinet and map-drawer. It is normally located next to the driver's seat and butted up to the dash. It has wheels under the rear two corners and short legs under the front corners. Lifting the front end slightly allows the cabinet to be rolled back so the driver can get in and out of his seat. The weight of the cabinet on the legs keeps it from moving while under way. It is amazingly stable.

The cabinet consists of three interlocking sections.The console portion is a removable tray with cup holders and compartments for maps, sunglasses, cellphone, loose change and miscellaneous stuff. Removing the console tray (we place it on the driver's seat) exposes the 18-inch long file box that is wide and deep enough to accommodate hanging file folders. A large drawer at the bottom contains atlases and map books.

When we arrive home the console tray is lifted off the file cabinet and the file cabinet is lifted off the drawer section. The file cabinet and its contents are carried into our home office and placed on a slide-out shelf in our desk.

The television cabinet is located at the top of the entry stairs. It had a tendency to attack the heads of people entering the motorhome and the left shoulder of those who were exiting. The file cabinet, located on the floor under the television, redirected people away from the TV cabinet. But a better solution was cutting the cabinet back 12 inches and installing a flat-screen television.

It shows what can be done if you have a talented cabinet maker in the family. We plan on keeping this motorhome for another 190,000 miles.


Vicki's Quick and Easy Recipe:

Beef Flavored Rice

(from My RV Kitchen and Favorite Recipes)

This rice dish always makes a hit with everyone. The recipe can easily be halved for less people.

2 cubes butter or margarine
3 cups uncooked rice
2 cans (4 oz.) mushrooms, drained
2 cans (10-1/2 oz.) French onion soup, undiluted
1 can (10-1/2 oz.) beef bouillon, undiluted
1 empty soup can white or red wine

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Melt butter or margarine in a 9"x 13" baking pan.

3. Combine all other ingredients and pour into the
baking pan.

4. Bake covered for 1 hour.

Makes about 10 servings.


Keeping Cool

Whenever possible, select a campsite that points the front of your RV towards the east or south. This allows your patio awning to protect the entry-door wall from the hot afternoon sun. The opposite side-wall will be the naturally shady side of your rig during most of the day.

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