Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Presidents Report April 2019

Presidents Message   by   Jim Buelow

Hello Dogwood Family, hope all is well with all of you and that you have had a good winter. Susan and I spent January and February in Florida, came home for 10 days, then headed to Perry, GA to the FMCA Rally for 10 days. Along with having great weather in February, we attended the TGO Rally which was really fun. More on TGO later in this letter. We visited with Mann and Carolyn Duff, who are doing well, and had dinner with Rich and Elle Bonewitz at their new digs in Fort Meyers. Absolutely beautiful place. Also stopped by and visited with Alan Baker, an old time Dogwooder. As usual, Susan did some shelling, well actually a lot of shelling. Brought back 16 shoe box sized totes of shells, yeah, 16. But we had fun doing it. Also had an exhausting but great time at Perry. More on that later.
As there are quite a few articles in this newsletter with lots of new and interesting information to pass along, I will keep my message short.
Thanks to all of you who help make Dogwood the great chapter that it is. And thanks to Paul Cummings for producing another great newsletter. Susan and I look forward to seeing you at a rally in the near future.
Regards and SAFE travels,

Care Person's Report April 2019

Care Person Report    by Susan Buelow
Bill & Marian Cockrell
Sadly, another one of our Dogwood family has passed. Marion Cockrell notified us that husband Bill passed away unexpectedly on the morning of Wednesday April 16, 2019. Bill and Marion are long time members of Dogwood and we will miss Bill. The only details I have at this time are that Bill will be cremated and that the family plans a memorial service sometime in the near future. A card and donation will be sent from Dogwood to the Cockrell family, and we will keep you posted on the memorial service as information becomes available.

Paul and Nancy Cummings daughter Amy is experiencing serious health issues, had major surgery, and will begin long term rehabilitation soon. Amy lives in WY, and Paul and Nancy will be headed there as soon as possible. More updates as they become available.
Karen Alexander left the Perry Rally not feeling well and ended up spending 4 days in a Florida hospital with pneumonia. I spoke with her recently and she is feeling much better, and awaiting some final test results. Her and Berkley are currently at MacDill AFB near Tampa, and will head for home in a few weeks.  
A Dogwood donation was sent to the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation in memory of Bob Chuilli and daughter Lisa Ann Chuilli. The Chuilli family are long time and charter members of Dogwood and leave behind many long time friends.
A Dogwood donation was also sent to Partners Among Cats and Canines in memory of Dillon Joyner. Dillon is the son of Roland and Brenda Joyner who recently joined Dogwood and whom many of you met at the Christmas Rally.
Please keep those who have passed, and those who are sick and suffering or down and out, in your thoughts and prayers, and please contact me if you know of someone in our family who is sick, suffering, or in need.   
Thank you,

Treasurer's Report April 2019

Pat Allen                                                                  

The current balance in the Dogwood treasury is $3147.57.
Note - If you have yet to pay your dues for 2019, please send a check for $10.00 to:
             Pat Allen, 9507 Lakewater Court, Henrico, VA 23229
Thank you,

VP Rallies Report April 2019

VP Rallies Report April 2019,  by Reid Saul

Hello All,
Hope 2019 has been good for all your travels so far. We are already halfway through April and May is around the corner.
The Blue Grass Rally is coming together. (May 2,3 and 4 2019, hosts are the Herberts and Kuikens). There is still time to register at Mr. B’s RV Park located at 7243 Gatewood Rd, Woodford, Va. More information about the festival can be found at MRBSPARK.com  Looks like Mr. B is sponsoring a “BEAN POT” pot luck dinner on Wednesday night. He provides the beans and each couple in attendance of the rally is to bring a food contribution for this dinner to come together for all to feast upon.  I have also been informed that if you arrive on Wednesday, you will have a better chance of placing your chairs, where you may want them in front of the stage. They will stay there for the entire event. Make sure to have extra chairs available if you wish to sit around your coaches.

The hosts are also planning a pot luck dinner for Dogwood attendees on Friday night. Meat will be provided.  Please bring your pot luck contributions for this dinner as well.  There is no Dogwood Rally charge for this Bluegrass Festival. For more up to date information, contact Jean Herbert Jherbert125@aol.com  June is still open for a rally if anyone has any thoughts please let me know:  Reid Saul reid@airgunsofvirginia.com  July 2019 -Northeast Area Rally, Syracuse, NY. This is not a Dogwood rally; it is an area rally.  Some of the Northeast Area folks attended and gave assistance at our last GEAR rally. If you plan on attending, I’m sure that any volunteer efforts offered would be greatly appreciated. The info on this rally can be found in the FMCA magazine.
July is also open for a Dogwood rally. Any ideas, hosts, locations would be great!
August 14-17, 2019 – FMCA National Rally, Minot, ND  August 25-Sept 5, 2019 Booth Bay, Maine Rally - host Rich and Elle Bonewitz.  For more info please give Rich a call at 301-481-6003 or rfbwitz@gmail.com . Need to make campground reservations early; they book up fast.
October 10-13, 2019 Virginia Wine Rally- host - Reid and Jennifer Saul. Still working on this rally, but it’s coming together, Shenandoah Crossings. I listed the dates as October 10-13 because for those who would like to try out a nice restaurant, Rochambeau in Gordonsville Thursday night is a thought. It’s supposed to be excellent French cuisine. We would need to know sooner rather than later, so reservations can be made, as seating is limited.  Following the Wine Rally, those that would like to transition from it, can travel to Harpers Ferry, WV on October 15-17, 2019 to a combined Dogwood and Penn Coachman Rally. More info to come on this rally.  Nov 1-3, 2019 – Urbanna Oyster Festival – hosts – Berkley and Karen Alexander.  Dec 5-8, 2019 Christmas Rally – Reid Saul hosting, but sure could use some more hosts to join me. This rally is usually well-attended. I have booked us back at Americamps in Ashland, Va.

Reid Saul

New Members Report, April 2019

NEW MEMBERS     by Jim Buelow  

Welcome to Dogwood:

Barry and Robin Denny, Kernersville, NC
Bill and Peggy Groves, Pass Christian, MS
Gary and Jane Lambert, Roanoke, VA
Roger and Andrea Monaghan, Mineral, VA
Bob and Joyce Pervey, Delaplane, VA
Robi and Dale Robison, Arlington, VA
We appreciate your interest in Dogwood and welcome your thoughts, ideas, and participation in our chapter; and look forward to seeing you at a rally in the near future. Our motto is “Fun, Food, and Friendship” and we are sure you will find all of those in abundance at our gatherings. Again, welcome to Dogwood.

TGO Rally Report, Connie Tillman

TGO Rally 2019 Report by Connie Tillman

On January 30. 2019, twenty eight of us gathered at Butch Jones' home at the Great Outdoors in Titusville. FL for an evening of fun, food, and fellowship.  Attending were Jim and Susan Buelow, Jim and Bonnie Spain, Steve and Sue Sohles, Steve and Mary Hall, Carl and Donna Gruel and her sister and brother-in-law, Clint and Pat Allen, Berkley and Karen Alexander, Ben and Pam Phillips, Fairleigh and Cil Schoolar. Gary and Carol Chadwick, Kenny and Bernice Wyatt, Ed and me, and of course, our host, Butch Jones, and as we learned that night, the future Mrs. Jones, Susie Bilbey.

Ed and many of the guys spent some flame-filled time grilling burgers!  There were many other yummy dishes that everyone in attendance brought along, including homemade potato salad from Susan Buelow!

Everyone had a great time together.  The best parts of the evening were seeing the big smile on Butch's face and our meeting Susie and welcoming her to Dogwood Chapter.

The next morning, a smaller group of us meet at Cracker Barrel for breakfast and a parking lot party!

Perry FMCA Rally Report 2019

FMCA Rally Summery by Jim Buelow/ Steve Sohles

The 99th National FMCA Rally was held in Perry, GA  March 13-16, 2019. There were about 2292 member RV’s along with 324 show coaches in attendance to include 30 towables. About 1800 attendees were 1st timers. Only 39% of attendees were chapter members. Dogwood had a very good showing at the rally. Attendees included the Allen’s, Alexander’s, Buelow’s, Chadwick’, Cumming’s, Greene’s, Hill,s, Hunter’s, Robison’s, Schremp’s, Sohle’s, and Tilman’s. Almost all of our members volunteered for some type of duty at the rally. Thank you for your support and hard work.  There were plenty of good seminars to attend, lots of vendors and show coaches, and good entertainment at night. We did a Dogwood Chapter Fair and Dogwood Block Party and both turned out very well. At one point in time I counted about 60 people at our block party, and we signed up 5 new members at Perry. Great job of recruiting. We cooked over 65 brats and hot dogs, and put together salads, beans, condiments, deserts and drinks for the party. As usual at a Dogwood event, no one left hungry. My sincere and heartfelt thanks to all who contributed their time, resources, skills and food to make this event a huge success. You all made me very proud to be your Chapter President.
Steve Sohles attended the FMCA Presidents Forum at the Perry Rally and here is a summary of his notes.
FMCA has 147,000 plus members, 400 plus chapters, 78,508 rigs, including 4000 towables.
Membership had positive growth 30 out of last 36 months.
13,000 rigs have joined FMCA Roadside Assistance. Due to increased participation the cost will go up to $75.00 annually on 5/1/19.
A new meeting calendar has been added to website.    
Membership info will be pushed through all communications channels: print email, website apps, and social media. New face book for members soon.
23,000 surveys returned from members. Current emphasis on volunteer engagement and data analysis.
Thank you Steve

Perry Rally Photos

Photos by Sue Sohles

Eastern Area Motorhome Association Report 2019

EAMA/GEAR News   by Bill Mallory
Bill Mallory & Maxine Schremp

The following information is a brief summary of the Spring 2019 Eastern Area Motor Coach Association (EAMA) Newsletter.
Bill thanks the many hundreds of EAMA volunteers who made the Perry FMCA Convention a huge success.
EAMA 2019 Annual Meeting – As there is no GEAR this year, EAMA’s annual meeting was held March 13 during the FMCA Convention at Perry.
The main item of business was electing 2020/2021 EAMA Officers. Our own Maxine Schremp (Senior VP), Berkley Alexander (Treasurer), and Rob Hill (VP, Central Region) were reelected to their respective positions. Congratulations Maxine, Berkley, and Rob. We look forward to working with you in the future.
The 2020 GEAR Rally will be held Sep 30- Oct 4, 2020 in Lewisburg, WV at the state fairgrounds.
Other locations are being pursued for future GEAR rallies. If you have a location which may work, please contact Maxine Schremp at 540 273-1606

Maine Rally Update 2019

Maine Rally 2019 Update by Rich Bonewitz

The Maine Rally will be held Aug 25- Sep 5, 2019 at Shore Hills Campground in Booth Bay, ME. Hosts are the Bonewitz’s,  Alexander’s, and Schoolar’s. Attendees thus far include the Alexanders, Bonewitz, Buelows, Cummings, Schoolars, Sohles, and Tilmans. Campsites fill up fast so I suggest you make your reservations as soon as possible. Call 207 633-4782 or go on line at www.shorehills.com  to make your reservation. You must send a $50.00 deposit to reserve a site. More info later as to activities and rally fees if any. We had a great time here in past years and are looking forward to another fun filled rally. And if you like lobster, you will get plenty of it. Come join us. Call me if you have any questions.
Rich, 301 481-6003

Safety Article Positive and Negative

Positive and Negative
By Butch Jones

I don’t think there are many people on the planet that are not aware of the fact that our lives are controlled by computers. It is more so for vehicles. The automotive computerization began I guess in the 1960’s with the “transistorized ignition” which was a system that used electronics to replace the mechanical components of an automotive distributor. It offered more powerful current and operated more efficiently over a broad engine speed range. The automotive industry has progressed to the point that your vehicle is “alive” even when the ignition is off and the key is removed. Since about the year 1977 automobiles have had computers, originally they were used as emission controlling devices and now they control everything from ignition, transmission shifting, spark advance, timing, air conditioning, tire pressure monitoring, security and the list goes on. The bottom line is that our vehicles use a lot of electrical current, both when we are driving and much less when they are parked.
It is during these periods of inactivity that issues can arise. Now this is not much of a concern for older coaches and towed vehicles, however, newer coaches and towed vehicles are highly susceptible to battery drain when not used.
Some of you may have a towed vehicle that is used mostly for towing behind your RV. If the vehicle sits for more than a week or so the battery may drop in voltage to the point that when it is started a number of diagnostic codes will set and the check engine light or service soon light will light up.
My coach cannot sit without being connected to shore power for more than a few days before the batteries are low and it will not start. There are master switches to prevent this from happening. If your towed vehicle is not driven for a week or more you may have a similar situation.
When I leave my automotive toys for a while I usually charge them and before leaving disconnect the batteries. The last time I left, disconnected the batteries but did not charge the batteries. My 1964 vehicle started right up but the 2003 started but the voltage was 11.8 upon startup. This low voltage set off 12 diagnostic codes. All of the codes were low voltage related.
 Now this was not a problem for me as I suspected what was wrong. I fully charged the battery and reset the codes. After driving the vehicle for a few days none of the codes returned. You can save yourself a potential trip to a repair shop if you just remember to keep your batteries fully charged.
 Most traditional wet cell batteries are fully charged at 13.2 volts. This voltage is as soon as it comes off a battery charging device. After it has sat for 12-24 hours it should be 12.7 to be fully charged. Some of the non-traditional (lead-acid filled) batteries are fully charged at 13.2 volts after setting.  If a battery voltage drops below 12.4 internal damage may occur. I will go into this in another article on “Batteries”.
So make sure that you keep you batteries fully charged in all of your vehicles. Driving them is a good way to prevent issues while on the road. Another thing that I do is carry a battery charger and what is called a “Jump Box” or “Portable Jump Starter/Battery Pack. Battery chargers range in price from $30.00 to about $300.00 for portable units that will fit in an RV and the jump boxes range from $40.00 to $125.00 depending on the options you add and the number of peak amps. I have seen some that have a jump starter, work light, power supply, air compressor and an inverter. I will discuss these in depth in another article.
Along with computers came some changes in the automotive electrical systems. For years the majority of things on an automobile were wired so that the switch powered the circuit and power went to the load (light, radio, etc.) then to ground. In addition, many appliances or lights were mounted to a ground source. Now many circuits are powered and the switch connects to ground so a good ground is very important. General Motors issued a Technical Services Bulletin a few years ago and instructed technicians to remove all star washers factory installed on ground connections if any problems were found. They were further instructed to remove any paint between the ground source and the ground wiring connection.
 So take a little time and make sure that all of your vehicle batteries are fully charged before heading out on your next adventure. Also remember that use care when working around your battery. When jump starting another vehicle refer to the “dead “battery vehicles owner’s manual for the correct connection procedure.
 The most common method is as follows:
  1. Make sure that both vehicles are in Park or Neutral and the Parking Brakes are on.
  2. Shut off the engine in the booster or vehicle with the good battery.
  3. Make sure that all accessories in both vehicles are turner off.
  4. With the positive and negative connector of one end of the jumper cable set connect the positive clamp to the positive terminal of the good battery.
  5. While preventing the negative clamps from touching anything metallic, connect the other positive clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery.
  6. Connect the negative clamp of the good battery end of the jumper cable set to the negative terminal of the good battery.
  7. Connect the negative clamp of the other end of the cable set to a clean metal part of the engine in the vehicle with the dead battery.
  8. Double check the connections and start the vehicle with the good battery and let it run for a few minutes.
  9. Now try to start the vehicle with the dead battery. If the battery is good and has been drained by leaving a light on or something like that it should start fairly quickly. If it starts slowly or fails to start, the battery is most likely beyond revival. Unless you know the reason for a dead battery, always check or have the electrical system checked for proper charging and the battery checked to make sure that it will hold a charge.
  10. After the vehicle with the dead battery starts, drive it for 20 minutes or more to ensure that it gets a proper charge.
  11. Disconnect the cables in the reverse order again remembering to not let any cables touch anything metallic until all cables are disconnected.
 Keep positive thoughts and positive current flowing thru your life and vehicles and your life will be happier.