A virtual cooking class on wheels, the RV Cooking Show takes viewers on adventures to some of the most sought-after or interesting but little known RV locales then creates a healthy, easy destination-related RV recipe in host Evanne Schmarder's RV kitchen. Tune in to our RV TV...it's always delicious!

Monday, June 22, 2009

RV Cooking Show Memorial Day Online Holiday Food Drive a Success

The RV Cooking Show and food drive partner Best Parks in America recently wrapped up the Memorial Day Online Food Drive with a whopping 200 items donated to the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County in California.

Campers and RVers from all walks of life were asked to fight hunger by leaving a comment on the RV Cooking Show Online Memorial Day Food Drive blog entry memorializing someone that made a difference to their lives. 50 RV Cooking Show blog readers participated - read their comments here.

The RV Cooking Show and Best Parks in America each pledged one non-perishable food item for each comment left on the blog. The Albertsons Supermarket in Morro Bay, California matched the 100 item purchase bringing the total number of food items to donate to 200.

“The number of food insecure Americans has skyrocketed in recent months. Thanks to the generosity of those that participated in the RV Cooking Show Online Food Drive a child, a senior, a parent, a veteran will go to bed full tonight. That’s a tremendous accomplishment that once again proves each one of us can make a difference,” remarked Evanne Schmarder, producer and host of the RV Cooking Show.

About the RV Cooking Show

A virtual cooking class on wheels with an RV travel twist, the RV Cooking Show takes viewers on adventures to some of the most sought-after or interesting but little-known RV locales in the country and then creates a healthy, easy, delicious destination-related dish in host Evanne Schmarder’s RV kitchen. The RV Cooking Show is currently seeking sponsors. Evanne may be contacted at Evanne@RVCookingShow.com You may also log on to www.RVCookingShow.com for more details.

About Best Parks in America

Amenity rich facilities, unsurpassed resort locations, superb service, and trademark warm hospitality with a smile – Best Parks in America’s 22 partners deliver upscale camping experiences. Best Guests in America members – a complimentary RVer and camper club – enjoy extra perks such as a free site upgrade at check-in (based on availability) and a points program redeemable for free camping. Explore www.BestParksinAmerica.com for further details. Exceeding expectations. Every time. Every location.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Buying an RV? Inspect it prior to taking delivery.

Summer is just about upon us and, in this economy especially, buying an RV is a very attractive prospect. You've searched, shopped, compared, and finally chosen the perfect camper for you - be it new or "new to you". Congratulations...it's very exciting! But before you sign on the dotted line it's critical that you, in partnership with your sales person or their techs, conduct a PDI - pre-delivery inspection.

Typically the dealer will do a PDI on your RV before you arrive to pick it up but you know how it is...no one cares about your camper like you do. You must take the time to do a thorough walk-through - your own PDI. Ask any RV owner - it's important to make sure everything is in full and complete working order before you sign the papers and take delivery of your “new baby”.

Your PDI will be lengthy and may take more time than the dealer will want to spend but again, it’s up to you to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. It’s never a bad idea to forward your checklist to the dealer in advance so they know what you will be looking for. This is advantageous to both parties.

Arrive equipped with that checklist, a pen and pad of paper, and a keen eye for detail. You should present a list of the items you’ve noted as "not acceptable" to your sales person and require the dealer to repair any items prior to finalizing the purchase if at all possible. If the noted items cannot be fixed that day get an agreement of when and exactly what will be attended to in writing.

You’ll find that every area of the RV needs to be looked at. Some (but certainly not all) items for your consideration:


  • Inspect the outside of the coach including all doors, locks, latches, and slide outs. Look for flaws in the siding such as delamination. The caulk around windows, doors, edges, etc. should be fresh and without breaks.
  • If necessary, be sure the technician explains – and you fully understand – how to operate the connections – water, sewer, cable, telephone, etc.
  • Understand how the propane tanks work and check for proper ventilation. Make sure a leak test has been performed.
  • Inspect the roof – this is vital – for proper caulking around the edges and all rooftop components. Look for bubbles that indicate loose rubber roofing.
  • Look closely at the tires – are they all the same? Check the tire pressure and tread wear. Make sure the luguts are torqued to the proper specs.


  • Open every closet, cupboard and drawer, make sure the finish is acceptable (not marred or gouged), inspect the furniture and fabric, open and close the window shades and windows.
  • Look for any spotting or staining on the ceiling or walls (even inside cupboards and closets) that might indicate a leak.


  • Operate and inspect all systems including the A/C, furnace, slide outs, TV antenna, stove and oven, etc.
  • If your new RV is motorized you’ll want to fully inspect the cockpit, start and run the engine, check the brakes, etc.

If you are purchasing from a private owner it’s still a good idea to complete a PDI. What’s that saying? Buyer beware. Even if you find a few flaws and decide to go ahead with the sale you’ll go into it with your eyes wide open.

There are several great websites that offer checklists for your use - here's an in-depth checklist for your perusal.

If this is your first RV purchase this may seem over the top. If it’s not your first, you know what I mean. Your diligence will pay off in the end – it always does. Making sure your “new” RV is in tip-top shape, a thorough PDI will help you avoid pesky – and potentially expensive – problems down the road.

RVing is one of the greatest ways to vacation...choose your camper wisely and inspect it well. It will provide you fabulous experiences and lifelong memories for years to come.

Maybe I'll see you on the road?


RV Cooking Show

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Training Cats and Kittens for a Walk in the RV Park

...plus a great recipe for your hungry RVing feline!!

Contributed by guest blogger Dr. Amy Cousino, DMV

“Ginger” is a 9-year-old green-eyed calico cat who wandered onto her owner Jim’s farm in Ohio as a kitten. When viewed from the backside it appears as though she has on caramel colored shorts because the color is evenly distributed on either side of her tail.

Jim is retired and visits Florida in his motorhome every winter to escape the cold up north. In April and May Ginger visits Florida with Jim.

Ginger was a lucky kitten to have found Jim – he has provided her with a comfortable home and a good life over the last several years. Jim and Ginger take long walks in Whispering Palms Resort. She wears a blue harness and Jim keeps her on a leash. Jim always wears a smile on their daily walks.

Using a comfortable harness and leash to take your pet cat for a walk is a great tip when traveling in your RV. Your cat can get fresh air every day and can enjoy the great RV parks with you. To train your cat to walk on a leash first get a harness, the kind with two rings, not the figure 8 type – the figure 8 type is easy for a cat to slip out of. Get a six foot leash as well.

Put the harness on your cat daily, gradually increasing the time your cat wears it. At first most cats will just fall over on their side when you put the harness on, but once they get used to it they will stand up again. After your cat is used to the harness attach the leash and allow them to wander about your home dragging the leash. Watch carefully to avoid hang-ups, though.

Finally, take your cat outside with the harness and leash on, gradually increasing the time outside. Stay away from dogs, they scare cats. Take a few steps, when your cat lags behind give a gentle tug on the leash and some words of encouragement. Keep a good grip on the leash as some cats will start running for fun. If you see a lady running across a meadow behind a big Maine Coon cat on a leash it’s probably me!

Here is a recipe this lady makes, made with the parts of a chicken that are not often used, but are well loved by cats on farms (and RV parks) everywhere:

Chicken Giblets for Cats and Kittens Dr. Amy Cousino, DMV

Chicken giblets (from a roasting chicken)
Chicken broth to cover, homemade, without onion, garlic or seasonings
Celery, ¼ of the stalks, chopped

Place the giblets including the gizzard, liver, neck, and heart in a small saucepan.

Cover with the broth, add the celery. Bring to a boil, immediately turn to simmer and cover, cooking very slowly for 30 minutes.

Take off heat and leave covered for one hour. Remove giblets, reserving the broth and chop fine before serving. Add broth to moisten the giblets.

Remove the meat from the neck, discarding the bones and mix with the other giblets.

Feeding Guide: adult cat 4 T, twice daily; kitten 1-2 T, 3-4 times daily (T=Tablespoon)

Until next time,

Dr. Amy Cousino, DMV
Author, How to Cook for Your Pet

PS - I have a new pet book coming out in the very near future! Stay tuned...I'll keep you posted...

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