Monday, January 5, 2009

January 6, 2009 Issue

In this Issue:

What’s New With Us: Greetings From Yuma

Article: RV Show Season

Vicki's Favorite Recipes: Cheesy Garlic Bread


What's New With Us:

Happy New Year! Greetings From Yuma, AZ.

We drove our motorhome from Huntington Beach, CA to Yuma AZ on Dec. 29th. It’s only about 280 miles but we’ve had itchy wheels since October so it was an exciting journey.

Our good friends, Jerry and Arlyne Ray, are sharing their RV lot and with us. The weather has been super cooperative. Sunny days in the 70’s and brisk evenings in the 40’s.

Other good friends, Joe and Joanne Annuzio, hosted a New Year’s bash for 14 of us in the new house they built on their lot (directly across the street from Jerry and Arlyne). Moving into this house officially removes them from the ranks of full-time RVers. They join a number of our full-time RVing friends who have come in off the road during the last couple of years.

Molly, our 40- pound-plus, 4½- months-old Golden Retriever (we can almost see her grow from day to day), has learned a lot on her maiden RV voyage. In addition to traveling in a motorhome for the first time, she has been exposed and adjusted to potty-breaks at rest areas, noisy trucks and motorhomes, cold nose-to-butt greetings from strange dogs, and warm attention from even stranger humans. She is developing into a great RVing companion.

Jerry and Arlyne used to raise, train and show dogs. Arlyne has spent some time training Molly, and Molly has adopted her as a second mom. Jerry and Arlyne have taken to leaving their motorhome door open during the day so Molly can come in whenever she wants to. She entertains them with her puppy antics every time she visits.

Joe Annuzio took me on a 4-wheeling trip into the local desert and mountains. We, along with five other vehicles, retraced old wagon trails, bounced along dry, rocky creek-beds, and checked out abandoned gold and silver mines. It was a fun day. Vicki stayed in the motorhome. She read, watched movies and enjoyed her “alone” time.

Even more good friends, Gil and Elaine Feis, who own the lot next to Jerry and Arlyne, joined the Rays, Annuzios and us every evening for laughter-filled happy hours that evolved into fun dinners.

Good food, good times, good friends. It was a great start to the new year. Thanks guys, we really needed that.


Reduced prices on all DVDs and e-books!

The two Alaska DVDs have been reduced from $24.95 to $19.95 each. Or you can purchase both Alaska DVDs together for only $30.00. (See the condition of the various roads and highways)

A perfect companion to the Alaska DVDs is the e-book "RVing Alaska: Insights and Observations" for only $9.95 (reduced from $12.95). (Includes a detailed journal of a 44-day Alaskan RV trip that can be used to plan your own journey.)

Looking for a gift for the RV cook? Check out Vicki's "My RV Kitchen and Favorite Recipes". Good information for the cook and good eating for you.

Now available in paperback: "Full-Time RVer's Homework". Until now the paperback version could only be purchased at the end of our seminar presentations.


RV Show Season

Have you been to an RV show lately? Winter is prime RV show season. RV shows are the dealers' way of going to the customer, displaying their products and, hopefully, making lots of sales.

A real RV show is one that has a half dozen or more RV dealers exhibiting a large variety of RVs in one convenient location. Obviously, the more dealers participating in the show the larger the number of RVs you’ll find on display.

Attending an RV show is a dynamite way to comparison shop for an RV. It gives you the opportunity to check out an assortment of trailers, motorhomes, campers and van conversions. This is where casual lookers can view the new models and investigate the latest innovations. This is also where serious shoppers can zero in on the type, size and price bracket of the RV they want. They can then compare the floorplans, features, quality and prices of similar rigs. And, when they decide to buy, they are likely to discover that special show prices and deals are not uncommon when competing RV dealers are in close proximity to one another.

A big RV show will also include display booths with vendors of RV related products and services. Campgrounds and RV parks hand out literature and discount coupons inviting RVers to spend time in their facilities. Insurance agents offer free RV insurance quotes. Sellers of cleaning and polishing products give away free samples.

The vendor booth area is where you are likely to find sewer hoses, water filters, electric hookup extension cords, roof air conditioners, portable fire pits and every other common and uncommon RV gadget and gizmo. This is where the "pitch" people demonstrate their wares. You can watch them cook a meal, mop floors, peel potatoes, clean jewelry and perform any number of entertaining presentations that will convince you to buy their "must have" products.

Many RVers, content with their present RV, consider the vendor booths the reason to attend an RV show. Clever show producers recognize that, after viewing the vendor area, these RVers frequently move on to the RV displays where a good number of them end up buying a new rig.

RV show producers also recognize the growing popularity of RVs with young families. To draw them in, many shows offer clowns, mimes, magicians, strolling musicians, jugglers, ventriloquists, and other forms of entertainment. RV shows, after all, have to compete with other events for the attention of the consumer.

And, of course, a really great RV show will feature RV seminars by folks like Joe and Vicki Kieva. Our seminars provide tips on choosing, using and enjoying an RV.

Finding an RV show is not difficult. Most occur during the months of January, February and March and again during September and October. The bigger shows will advertise on local radio and television stations. Click here for a list of RV shows around the country.

Many RV shows have their own web sites. It is not unusual for these web sites to have discount coupons you can download, print and present for a reduced admission price.

You will also find their ads in RV magazines and your local newspaper. Pay close attention; the print ads frequently double as discount coupons for admission. See if the ad offers reduced admission prices to seniors or RV club members who are willing to attend the show on weekdays. By the way, we have observed that RV shows are less crowded on weekdays and early in the day on weekends.

Your day at the RV show will be more enjoyable if you take the time to make a few preparations at home. Plan on wearing comfortable, layered clothing so you can adjust to any change in temperatures. At outdoor shows a wide-brimmed hat will protect your head from the sun and sunglasses will cut any glare. And, obviously, comfortable walking shoes are a must.

A tote bag or, better yet, a backpack can be handy for carrying sweaters, snacks, and small purchases. A backpack is especially convenient if you want to carry one or two small bottles of drinking water.

Life will be easier for both kids and parents if you bring a stroller. Even kids who think they are "too big" for a stroller will climb in when they get tired of being on their feet. And, a stroller can carry all those items that would normally have to be carried in a backpack.

Serious RV shoppers should take a notebook and pen. If nothing else, they can make notes on the brochures of the RVs that attract them. A digital camera will make it possible to "revisit" the rigs that have special appeal. We have seen some shoppers using video cameras so they could videotape and verbally describe the RVs that appealed to them.

Many show vendors offer prizes and other incentives to those willing to sign up for them. You can avoid writer's cramp by taking some of your return address labels to the show. Simply stick the labels on the sign-up sheets. You will undoubtedly be rewarded with lots of RV related mail in the near future.

A word of caution about these sign-up sheets. Read the small print carefully before you put your name on them. There are a few scams out there that make it appear you are simply registering for a prize or adding your name to a mailing list when, in fact, you are actually agreeing to have your telephone service switched to another carrier.

Arrive at the RV show early. You will get a parking space close to the entrance; something your feet will appreciate at the end of the day. Getting there early also means you have all day to browse through the show. Some RV shows are so large it takes two or three days to see everything.

Read the show program as soon as you get into the show. They are usually available at the show entrance. Pay particular attention to the schedule of events. There may be demonstrations, entertainment or seminars you want to sit in on. Try to plan your day so your attendance at these presentations doubles as a break and gets you off your feet for a while. Be sure to reward the good behavior of your children by making a point of seeing that magic act.

Study the program's map of the show. Plan your route through the show to include the RVs, vendors and events you especially wish to see. This might also be a good time to pinpoint the locations of the restrooms and food concession stands.

Experienced RV show shoppers make a point of visiting the building, room, tent or area that contains the vendor booths. They know this is where they’ll find all those unique RV products, services and gadgets that add to the enjoyment of RVing.

While you are there, locate a vendor who is giving away plastic carrying bags. Now you have something to hold all that literature you’ll be gathering. You don't have to be too fussy about the literature you pick up. Just put it in the bag, take it home and put the bag next to your television-viewing chair. Now you have something to read during those long TV commercials. With luck you’ll be at a two-bag show.

Take your time. Look at the RVs. Ask questions. Pick up brochures. Make notes. Keep in mind the show producer, dealers and vendors have gone to a great deal of trouble to put the show together. The least you can do is buy an RV.


Vicki's Favorite Recipes:

Cheesy Garlic Bread (From "My RV Kitchen and Favorite Recipes")

We often have this bread along with spaghetti or lasagna. It also makes a delicious appetizer.

1 sourdough baguette, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Preheat broiler or oven to 450°.

2. Stir together the butter, mayonnaise and garlic.
Spread thickly on cut sides of the baguette.

3. Top with cheese. Place under broiler and broil until the top is bubbly.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Tip: It seems that a majority of RVers have had a problem baking brownies, cakes and biscuits in their RV ovens without burning the bottoms. There are a couple of solutions to that problem. Try air-bake pans (they have a layer of air between two sheets of metal). Also try the new silicone baking pans. Not only do the foods not burn on the bottom, they pop right out of the pans without sticking.

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