Impressive bunch of RVs to roll into...

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

Impressive bunch of RVs to roll into Cow Palace

Hit the camping trail over the weekend as the 26th annual Maryland Recreational Vehicle Show returns to the Cow Palace and two other buildings at Timonium Fairgrounds for its second and final three-day weekend exposition featuring hundreds of the latest RVs and associated equipment. It's a great show, and if you want to avoid the crowds plan on going tomorrow, or late Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Some of the things to look for: Queen of the show from a practical standpoint is the 35-foot Citation fifth-wheeler trailer in the Cow Palace. She has a queen bed in a stateroom with double door closet as big as the one in many homes. The bath has double sink, big mirror, mini tub and shower.

In the galley, there are double stainless sinks, large refrigerator and separate big freezer compartment, and a four-burner stove. She sleeps six, has piped in music and lots of outside access stowage space. If you have a pickup truck to tow her, she's the way to go. Figure on about $20,000.

Also outstanding is the Jayco 370 Eagle Series fifth wheeler, a snazzy low-profile model with big beds fore and aft, and such amenities as a microwave. She's in the $16,000 price range.

The new LaSharo motorhomes by Winnebago are eye-catchers, sleep four, and have all the living accommodations for a vacation on the road. Small enough to drive like a van, they are ideal for families that need to have a compact unit that can also serve as a second car. They're a bit over $30,000.

Vision is a new name at the show, but this all-steel frame 24-footer with low profile that sleeps four and gets 11 to 12 miles a gallon thanks to tail-of-transmission overdrive has hard-to-believe interior space including three-side access to a large double bed, and a large bathroom with shower. She is priced at $39,950.

Getting up in motorhomes, there is the 34-foot Encounter on a Ford chassis, and of smooth hand-laid fiberglass. A six sleeper, she has solid oak cabinets -- and in overdrive gets 10 miles a gallon, and costs about $65,000. The big Mallard motorhome, with aerodynamic design, power leveling, and headroom you won't believe also is worth checking.

Something new is the Pod, which can be used as a small trailer to stow extra gear, a car-top storage area with 35 cubic feet of space, or with the top folded back it's a 12-foot jonboat with swivel seat that can fish two fairly comfortably on a pond; one in bigger waters. She's rated for a 5-horse outboard, weighs 165 pounds and is priced at $1,795.

As zoning gets tougher, parking for RVs can pose a problem in some areas, but the Classic Storage booth has info on secured storage in the East Point area at from $25 to $35 a month. Inside storage also is available.

Seminars are usually drudgery, but the show offers three lively sessions daily covering RV lifestyles, full-time RV'ing and choosing the right RV. Get in the hall early (2, 4 and 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 and 3 on Sunday) because all the seats are quickly filled.

Show hours are noon to 9 tomorrow and Saturday; noon to 6 Sunday. Admission is $5; free for children 12 and under.

Calendar ...

* Tonight: Informational workshop on uses for Savage River State Forest, 7 p.m., Grantsville Elementary School and Lane Center of Frostburg State University, and tomorrow night at 7 at Broadford Elementary School, Oakland. Call James Burtis, 974-3195.

* Saturday: Boat mooring stake assignments start at 7:30 a.m. for Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge reservoirs at the information center near Brighton Dam. Call 1-301-699-4172.

* Saturday: Saltwater Sportsman National Seminar on fishing, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis. $30 fee includes a saltwater fishing manual and year's subscription to Saltwater Sportsman. Call 1-800-448-7360.

* Saturday/Sunday: Weather permitting, the headboat Miss Ocean City will sail for Boston mackerel off Ocean City. Winds and cold wiped out last weekend's effort, winds again scrubbed a brief try yesterday, and another effort is being made today. If macks turn up today, Capt. Jack Bunting said there will be fishing tomorrow -- if not there will be more attempts Saturday and Sunday. Once fish are located, Miss Ocean City will sail daily. For the latest info, call 1-301-289-7936.

* Sunday: Fishermen's Flea Market and Show, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Owings Mills Volunteer Fire House. Call 833-7498 or 833-7159.

* Monday: Start of Dundalk Power Squadron Safe Boating Course, 7:30 p.m., Overlea Senior High School. Call 282-6464.

* Monday: DNR public hearing on proposed regulation to require the wearing of flotation devices when boating on the upper Potomac between Nov. 15 and May 15. Session starts at 7 p.m., Hagerstown Junior College. Call Cpl. Ralph Parker, 974-2247.

* Tuesday: First night of Dundalk Power Squadron Safe Boating Course, 7:30 p.m., Franklin Senior High School, Reisterstown Road. Call 282-6464.

* Next Thursday: Beginning of Dundalk Power Squadron Safe Boating Course, 7:30 p.m., Dulaney Senior High School. Call 282-6464.

Planning ahead ...

* March 8: For reservations for the fourth annual banquet of Greater Baltimore Chapter of the National Waterfowl Alliance, Holiday Inn, Timonium. Call Chip Chew, 661-4044.

Names and places ...

,9 * At last weekend's Maryland Sportfishing and Hunting Show, Capt. Otis Asal said he already has changed the oil on his Buccaneer, the tautog are about to start biting in the Cape Charles area. Asal was excited about a 9 1/2 -pound sea bass already taken at the Triangle Wreck off Virginia Beach, to tie the Virginia record, and added that mackerel are offshore. His sidekick, Capt. Monty Webb, is recuperating after slamming into a wire while riding a three-wheeler. 1-804-331-2722.

* Also appearing at the show was trapper Bob Dunker, who reported muskrat pelt prices have dropped to $1.50 each -- the flesh is worth more than that. Raccoon pelts worth $45 not long ago now bring $5; squirrel, $1, and fox, $5. Trappers won't trap for these prices, which means overpopulations and all the associated woes including disease and ruination of habitat.

* Want to start bass fishing professionally? Roland Martin says for starters on the BASS circuit -- unless you line up some sponsors -- you will need $50,000 in equipment alone including boat, two motors, tow vehicle, tackle and electronics. Add to that about $30,000 to cover the first year's expenses and entry fees. Fun fishing doesn't sound so bad after all, does it?

Question box ...

* Baltimorean S.B. Ward is curious if he can catch anything other than bluegills and crappies at Loch Raven on warmer days. If so, what -- and how?

Our answer: Yellow perch are also available now along the shoreline, and they will take worms, minnows, and meal or wax worms on tiny darts. But, for those interested in bigger game, why not try for bass, pickerel and northern pike, which are also near the banks?

Minnows are the key to these species. Fish them on Mepps, Roostertail or other spinners; fish them slow, very slow, and near the bottom. Normally gamesters, they are lethargic at this time, but will take a bait fished close to them. Largemouths might also take a soft plastic worm or grub, also fished very slowly. Peerce's Cove is a good bet.

* NOTE: To have an item or question included in the Outdoor Journal, write Bill Burton, The Evening Sun Sports Dept., 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278-0001.

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