Friday, August 2, 2019

President's Message August 2019

Presidents Message, Aug, 2019    by Jim Buelow

Jim adding 303 Roof treatment
Hello Dogwood family, hope all is well with all of you and that you are enjoying your summer and doing a lot of traveling. 
Susan and I are doing OK, just very busy. Supposed to leave for the beach July 29, but having some coach issues which will delay us but hopefully not totally spoil out trip.
Now for a little Dogwood business. Lots of info in this newsletter, so please take the time to read and enjoy the articles. 
Rallies, past and future will be covered under Reid’s section, but I just wanted to say a few words about them. Susan and I attended both the Bluegrass rally in May and the VFW gathering in July. Thanks to the Herbert’s for hosting the May rally, and to Buck Buchanan for suggesting and setting up the VFW gathering. A good time was had by all. In addition, Butch Jones and friend Suzi stopped in Richmond for a short time to visit family and friends in May. Several members gathered for a luncheon and we really enjoyed visiting with Butch and Suzi. They continue on a long trip to Michigan and the Northeast to visit family and friends before heading home to FL.
Future rallies include the Maine rally, back to back rallies in October, the Urbanna Oyster Festival in November, and our Christmas rally in December. Please put them on your list and join your Dogwood friends for “Fun, Food and Friendship”.  Note that Reid is in need of rally hosts to assist with the Christmas Rally. Please step up and support our chapter.
The FMCA International Rally will be held in Minot, ND August 14-17. This is an important rally as new National officers will be elected and several important issues will be voted on to include by-law changes. Candidates for National office have been published in the latest FMCA magazine. Our National Director, Ed Fisher will be attending the rally and casting votes for Dogwood. If you have preferences on new officers or other thoughts/suggestions on issues being discussed, please contact Ed at 804 370-4066.   
As we pass the half way point of 2019, I am of the opinion, and I hope our members are to, that our chapter is doing well. Our membership is solid and growing, and members new and old, are stepping up to support our activities and rallies. That’s what makes our chapter successful. Thanks for all you do, and we look forward to seeing you at a rally in the near future.
Regards and SAFE travels,

Rally Report August 2019

Rally Master Updates, August 2019         by Reid Saul

Hello, All! I Hope the year has been fun and productive for all the Dogwood members. Here is the latest on recent and upcoming rally events.

May 1-5, 2019 - Dogwood Bluegrass Festival – Hosts, Jean and Ed Herbert -  
We had 6 Dogwood coaches at Mr. B’s Bluegrass Festival. Attendees included the Buelow’s, Fisher’s, Herbert’s, Dan Moore and friend Flow, Seamster’s, and Sohles. I think it was a first for two of the couples but they seemed to really enjoy the music. Members of some of the bands were scooting around the RV Park in golf carts which gave us the opportunity to meet and chat with them. There were also some jam sessions that went on late into the night. The Dogwooders enjoyed breakfasts and dinners together which gave us the time to get to know each other better. Overall, the Bluegrass Rally was quite successful and we hope to do it again. To those of you who were not there, we missed you. Thanks, Jean

July 13, 2019 – Dogwood Gathering at the VFW -      
As we had no rallies scheduled for June or July, Buck Buchanan made the suggestion to have a Dogwood get together in the Richmond area in the July time frame. As Buck is deeply involved in the VFW in Mechanicsville, I asked him to check availability of their facility. He did so and booked the VFW for our gathering. Thank you Buck. Unfortunately, Buck and Linda had another rally to attend that weekend and were unable to join us.
So on July 13, 2019, 22 Dogwood members and guests gathered at the VFW for social time, dinner, and a raffle. Attendees included the Allen’s, Buelow’s, Dodge’s, Fisher’s, Greenwood’s, Herbert’s, Kuiken’s, Meyer’s,  Sohles’, Warthan’s, and Dennis and Joyce Reid, former members and always friends of Dogwood.
We enjoyed socializing and catching up before being served a delicious and plentiful dinner by the VFW staff. The food, facility, and service were outstanding. Thanks to Cassie and the VFW staff for a job well done.
Although this was just a one afternoon and evening affair, it was well received by all who attended, and it may be something we want to consider in the future. Thanks to all who attended and supported our chapter.  Jim

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 about the rally, give Rich a call at 301-481-6003 or  My understanding is that the campground fills up quickly, so reservations need to be made sooner than later. Call Shore Hills Campground at 207 633-4782 to make your own reservation. Attendees thus far include the Alexander’s, Bonewitz’s, Buelow’s, Groves, Pasetto’s (friends of the Groves), Schoolar’s, Sohles, Spain’s, and Tilman’s. Rally fees will be collected at the rally. There will be a social hour every evening at 5:00 PM and meals will include lobster, lobster and lobster. Come join us for a fun filled time and enjoy the beautiful Boothbay area. Thanks, Rich.

OCTOBER 10-13, 2019 Virginia Wine Rally – Hosted by Reid and Jennifer Saul. 
We will be staying at Shenandoah Crossings, 174 Horseshoe Circle, Gordonsville, VA 22942. Contact them at 540-832-9400. When prompted, go to the RV reservations menu and a live person should help you get registered.  Tell them you are with the Rally Gordonsville group. There was a block of 10 sites reserved for our group. Once you choose your dates and pay for sites the deposit that was placed on the site for the hold will be reimbursed back to the account holder. At last check there are still 5 sites available at $69.75 per night.  Check in is 2:00 pm and Checkout is 12:00 noon. There is a 72 hr prior to check in policy if you have to cancel. Some are checking in Thursday and we are planning to go out to dinner. The rally officially starts on Friday October 11, 2019. Rally fees for this event are as follows:
$52.00 per coach which covers food and pavilion rental.  Other activities planned are as follows and you will be responsible for those fees, should you choose to attend.
We will serve a light dinner on Friday night, probably around our coach under some shade canopies. Saturday morning, we’ll serve breakfast at the same location.  If you would like to go with the group to the wine tasting at Horton Vineyards at 10:00 am Sat morning, the cost is $6.00 per person, allowing you to choose 10 wines to taste. You are free to travel around to other wineries, such as Barboursville, visit the ruins, Montpelier, and/or shop in the wonderful shops in Gordonsville. 
We will gather at the Pavilion in Gordonsville at 4:00 pm for happy hour.  Food will be there around 4:30. While that’s a little earlier than normal, we plan to participate in a public Ghost Investigation at the Exchange Hotel in town. It starts at 6:00 pm and runs until 10:30, although you can leave at any time.  The cost is $25.00 person.
Sunday we’ll serve breakfast, again under the shade canopies, and wrap up our rally. Those that would like to transition from the wine rally, heading off to the Pen Coachman/Dogwood Rally (Harpers Ferry, WV October 15-17, 2019) can do so from there, if they like, or can stay longer if you reserved the space for that extra time frame.
Attached is the Rally form for the Wine Rally Please print it off and mail it back with your rally fee.
Dogwood Wine Rally
October 10-13, 2019
___ Number of adults@26.00 each=$__________
___ Number of children (12 and under) @$20.00 each=$_________
Total enclosed…………………………………………..=$___________
Make checks payable to Reid Saul and mail to:
Reid and Jenny Saul
2445 Bybee Road
Louisa, VA 23093
Cutoff date is Sept 18, 2019

OCTOBER 14-17, 2019   Combined Penn Coachman/Dogwood Rally
A Dogwood/Penn Coachmen combined rally will be held October14 or 15-17, 2019 at the Harpers Ferry/ Civil War Battlefield KOA, 343 Campground Road, Harpers Ferry, WV25425. 304 535- 6895.
Rally Masters will be:  Sue Cipa, Penn Coachmen, 610 334-3287
                                        Phyllis Britz, Penn Coachmen, 484 599-0609
                                       Jim & Susan Buelow, Dogwood, 757 876-7399
Join us for an opportunity to make new friends and enjoy the beautiful Harpers Ferry, WV area with lots of history and lots to see and do.
You must make your own reservations at the campground by September 9, 2019, sites are being held for us. Call the campground and mention that you are with the Penn Coachmen/Dogwood group. Rates are $67.00 for 50 amp and $56.00 for 30 amp. When you sign up for 2 nights, you get the 3rd night free.  Campground phone number is 304 535-6895.
The rally officially begins on Oct 15; however, you are welcome to arrive on the 14th as many attendees will do. And you will also get the 3rd night of camping free.  
The tentative schedule is as follows
Monday, Oct 14 – Early arrivals. There will be 5:00 PM social hour. Bring your own drinks and utensils and an appetizer to share. Movie night.

Tuesday, Oct 15 –
 1: PM - Registration and sign up for tours and activities.
 4:30 PM – Social hour, BYOB
 6:00 PM – Mini meal provided by hosts
7:30 PM – Crazy Bingo – Every person who plans to play should bring a $10.00 wrapped gift.

Wednesday, Oct 16   
Time - TBD – Former ranger David Fox offering 2 tours commemorating the 160th anniversary of John Browns Raid. (Free with senior pass.)
10:00 AM – Tour of Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. Tour starts in town.
2:00 PM – Tour in Charlestown, WV to learn more about John Brown’s raid. Additional sites/tours to see include Appalachian Trail, wineries, distilleries and more.
4:30 PM – Social hour, BYOB
5:30 PM – Italian night, full Italian meal provided by hosts. Brings your own drinks and utensils.
7:00 PM – Social time with some type of campground activity.

Thursday, Oct 17   
9:00 AM – Coffee and pastries. Check out time is 11:00 AM 

The Penn Coachmen do rally fee collection somewhat different than Dogwood. The registration fee is $12.50 per person to be paid by Sep 15th. After Sep 15, there will be an additional $10.00 late fee. If costs for the rally are more than $12.50 per person, the additional cost will be divided among attendees and collected at the rally.
For more information on the Rally, the Penn Coachman chapter, and the Harpers Ferry area, go to 
If you plan on attending and we hope you will, please complete the following registration form and send your check and form to the address indicated on the form. See you at Harpers Ferry in October.
Safe travels,
The Buelow’s, Britz’ and Cipa’s 

Harpers Ferry Rally Registration Form      Dates: October 14 or 15-17, 2019
Name(S) of attendees:

Phone number:
Email address:
RV type and length:
Amount enclosed (number of attendees X $12.50)

Make checks payable to Penn Coachmen and mail this form along with check to:
Sue Cipa
528 Walnut Tree Drive
Blandon, PA 19510

NOV 1-3, 2019 Urbanna  Oyster Festival- hosts- Berkley and Karen Alexander

DEC 5-8  Christmas Rally - Host- Reid Saul -  I could really use some other members to help host this rally as it is always very well attended.  We are booked back at Americamps in Ashland, VA.
Hope to see you at a rally soon, SAFE travels.
Reid        804 539-7949

Care Person's Report August 2019

Care person Report, Aug, 2019   by Susan Buelow
Hello Dogwood friends, I hope this note finds all of you well and enjoying life.
Paul & Nancy Cummings
I just wanted to update you on the Cummings Family. As most of you know, Paul and Nancy have been in Wyoming since early May caring for their daughter Amy. As a result of a serious infection in her legs, Amy lost both of her legs below the knee back in April. She has had some ups and downs since her surgery, but is doing well now. She is now healing well and being prepared for prosthesis on both legs in the next several months. Paul, Nancy, and Amy are taking things one day at a time. They have no definite plans as to when they will return to VA. Good luck and GOD Speed to the Cummings family.
As for me, I am going OK. As most of you know, I had a blackout on the night of July 3rd, and spent until July 5th in the hospital having many tests done. Fortunately, all tests were negative. Unfortunately, they did not determine what caused my blackout. I have one more appointment with an ENT specialist in two weeks to see if they can find anything. But I feel OK; I am eating better, and getting more exercise. Many thanks to all of you who sent kind thoughts and prayers my way.
If you know of anyone in our Dogwood family who is sick or down and out, please let me know, and keep those in need in your thoughts and prayers. 
Thank you and take care,
757 876-8673

Maintenance Tips, August 2019

Maintenance Tips   by Jim Buelow

Have you inspected and lubricated your slides and jacks lately. I did, and unfortunately I found a missing slide roller on the slide rail assembly. Now we are having to delay a trip to the beach until we can get the part and hopefully install the part without having to shop the coach. GET ER DONE.
Cranking batteries last around six years for AGM and Lead Acid, at least mine did.  Caution, don't start and long trip with old batteries, you might not make it.  On our second day to Wy, one of my three cranking batteries started passing gas and a liquid.  Travel America, the fuel stop road service responded to Good Sam's.  Several hundred dollars later we had three new batteries and on the road again by 11:00 am the next morning.  TA road service found the correct battery three towns over.

Six weeks later, I needed to roll the coach for system checks.  Air brakes were rusted to the drums.  Several attempts later and 120 PSI, we move of the spot.  Twenty miles later the tires smoothed out.  RV need to roll keep seals in transmission and drive train from drying out. Tires chemicals need to be redistributed.

Paul Cummings

Safety Article by Butch Jones August 2019

Is Your New or New to You Motorhome Really as Safe as You Think?
By Butch Jones

 Ed          Berkley     Butch 
This month I thought I would delve into a facet of safety that some might not think about. That would be checking your rig for safety when you purchase it. Now your first impression might be that if you buy new if will already have all of the safety items needed and required and if you buy used, the previous owner has already taken care of outfitting all of the necessary safety items. 
 Well the answer to both scenarios is maybe but maybe not. What brought this to mind was when a friend asked me to help her get her class A motorhome backed into her port after having the house pressure washed. Her husband was not home and she did not want it on the street until he came home. This woman drove their motorhome the majority of the time; however, was more comfortable letting him do the backing. 
When I go in the motorhome and began backing it into the port I could not see down the side of the motorhome. When you are backing into close quarters it is very desirable to be able to see down the side of the vehicle thru the outside mirrors. After opening the driver’s window and hanging out to see how close I was I realized that the mirrors were not adjusted and I could not get them close to what I needed with the power adjustments.
When I had backed it in and got out, I asked her if she or husband had any trouble backing up. She said that they both had trouble since they bought the vehicle.
I looked at the mirror setup and found that the mirrors were mounted on the front face of the vehicle and standing at the rear looking forward you could see only a small portion of the mirror.  My coach has the right mirror mounted on the face of the vehicle and I can see the entire mirror. These mirrors had never been adjusted when they left the factory and took quite a bit of lube and persuasion to get them to move into a position that allowed proper adjustment. 
I found it hard to believe that this could happen so I asked a friend that had ordered a coach and took delivery at the factory. His coach had the same mirror setup with both mirrors on the front of the coach. He said that he had the same problem and after he left the factory he had to go back and get the mirrors adjusted. He asked why they did not adjust the mirrors and was told that they were left in the original mounting position to facilitate moving down the assembly line and that the dealers usually made final adjustments,
I realized that there are quite a few things that the dealers are supposed to adjust before the units are delivered to the customer. I have created a list of things that I think new owners should make sure are operating properly even on used vehicles. Below is a list:
Mirrors – make sure you can see to safely back up and make a lane change
Parking Brake – Make sure the brakes hold when the vehicle is in Neutral
Wheel Alignment – Make sure the vehicle tracks straight when the steering wheel is released on a fairly level road 
Steering Wheel Position – Make sure that the steering wheel is aligned straight; if not a wheel alignment should correct this issue
Smoke Detectors – Make sure they operate properly
CO Detector – Make sure that it is operating properly
Brakes – Make sure that when you apply the brakes the vehicle stops straight and does not pull to one side. This could indicate a wheel alignment issue, a brake problem or other steering/suspension issue
Awnings – If your unit has powered awning with a wind sensor make sure that you know how to adjust the sensitivity so a gentle breeze does not retract your awning but that during windy conditions the awning will automatically retract.
Seat Belts – Make sure that they extend and retract properly and are in good condition. A tip to prevent the seat belt from chaffing the seat is to use a lamb’s wool shoulder harness cover to attach to the seat belt. Slide it along the seat belt to the buckle area where it sometimes touches the seat. This will prevent the seat belt rubbing the seat.
Levelers – Make sure that the leveling system operates properly. Most will not operate or will retract automatically if the vehicle parking brake is release or the vehicle transmission is placed in forward or reverse. An alarm may also sound. Make sure all of these function as the manufacturer indicates.
Fluid Dipsticks – Make sure that all of the fluid dipsticks are accessible and give the correct readings. If you are unsure, contact the chassis dealer or chassis/engine manufacturer.
Engine Cover on Gas or Front Engine Diesel Models – Make sure that the engine cover fits properly and all of the attaching clamps are working. Check to make sure that there is no insulation or weather stripping preventing a good seal. This will prevent unwanted heat and/or fumes from entering the driving area.
Towing Capacity – Make sure that you know the maximum towing capacity of the vehicle you are buying. There are some chassis that have a greater towing capacity than the towing receiver. This is usually due to the method and materials used to attach the receiver to the chassis frame. I had a coach that the chassis capacity was 5,000 lbs. more that the RV manufacturer rating. This was due to a frame extension for the receiver being bolted to the chassis. Neither the chassis manufacturer nor the RV manufacturer wanted to up the capacity.
Trailer/Towed Power Connector – Make sure that all of the connections you want to use are actually connected to the electrical receiver at the rear of the vehicle. Most motorhomes have a 7 pin plug receiver, however I have seen vehicles with only 4 or 5 pins usable, the remaining are not connected on the RV side. 
 While there may be more things to check these are the ones I have dealt with in the past. I hope this get you thinking about just double or triple checking your rigs to make sure there are no surprises, just when you least suspect them.