Under The Covers

Empire Covers Blogs and Postings

Nathan McDonald Guest Post: Summer Fishing Safety

Here at Empire, we’re all about playing it safe. In the spirit of summer safety, we called upon competitive bass fisherman Nathan McDonald to give us tips and tricks to staying safe on the water.   The dog days of summer are upon us. Some would argue that they have been here for a while, but August is normally the hottest month of the year for my area. A lot of anglers look to the cover of darkness to catch fish, but I for one choose to fish during the day. I have a few tournaments left in August, so I try to stay safe in the heat and protect my fish. Here are a few things that I do every time I am on the water during the summer.

Top Five Fishing Summer Safety Tips
Guest Post by Nathan McDonald for EmpireCovers.com 

1 – Apply sunscreen early and often throughout the day. I use Coppertone in the spray bottle on my arms, legs, neck, head, and face. I apply it as soon as I get to my first stop and continue to use it until after the weigh-in. The spray bottle also keeps the sunscreen off of my hands and in return off of my baits. There have been several discussions on whether or not this affects a fish’s reaction to the lure. I choose to just avoid it all together and not take a chance.

2 – Stay hydrated and eat something every once in a while. Gatorade and water are my two best friends on the water in the summer. This is something that falls under the “practice what I preach” lecture. Last month at a tournament on Green River Lake, I nearly passed out at the weigh-in while getting my fish out of the live well. I know it sounds odd, but I find it hard to remember to drink and eat during a tournament. I just get caught up on watching my line and waiting for that bite. Drinking and eating seems to take a back seat. Try to make it a habit to grab a bottle of water every time you move to another spot.

3 – Keep an eye on the sky. This time of year, pop up storms can happen at any time. Many of these can be severe and produce dangerous lightning. At least twice this year, I have made a dash for cover during a day on the water. If you are in a tournament, it is easy to push it to the limit to get in every cast possible. You have to ask yourself, is it really worth getting hurt or worse, dying for that one extra bite? I have read to different articles this year about people in boats dying from lightning strikes this year. One was in Florida during a tournament and the other was in Kentucky during a trip on the lake just having fun. I am sure there have been countless other incidences this year that I don’t know of.

4 – Fill up your live well early in the day and use an additive. I always fill up the live well at my first stop. This will normally be when the water is at its lowest temperature in the summer. This is also when I add U2 to my live well. There are several additives on the market, and I am sure there are arguments to which one is better. My opinion is that any of them is better than not using one at all. These products will remove ammonia that builds up in the live well, relieve stress from the fish, and help repair their slime coat.

5 – Carry a fizzing needle in the boat. One important thing to do with is to learn how to use a fizzing needle. Many fish are caught in deep water during the summer months. Deep water is relative to your area and the lake that you are fishing. On most of the lakes I fish, 20 plus foot is considered deep. This does not affect all fish that are caught deep. When a fish is caught in deep water and they are reeled in rapidly, the fish’s air bladder gets air trapped inside and the fish cannot regain their equilibrium. If the air is not fizzed out, the fish will float upside down in the live well and most of the time they will die. There other products on the market to help remedy this but I like the fizzing needle. Once again, there are arguments over which is safer for the fish, but any of them is better than not doing it all.

Hopefully some of you will find these tips helpful. Most of these things are common sense, but we can never be reminded to many times when it comes to safety. Whether you are out for fun or in a tournament, please stay safe on the water.

Find Nathan on Facebook and check out his fishing posts on the EmpireCovers Facebook page.
Get durable, waterproof covers for your fishing boat at EmpireCovers.com.
Be sure to check out our covers for pontoon boats, bimini tops, & other marine accessories. 

Marc Zumoff Gets Covered

Here at Empire, we don’t like to cover and tell. However, a few of our better known customers have sung our praises on their personal blogs and social media accounts. One such customer is Marc Zumoff, the Emmy Award Winning Sports Newscaster for the Philadelphia 76ers. Marc recently got our American Armor cover for his new car. Marc tweeted:


He also provided this pic of the cover in action:


What’s your favorite cover from Empire? 

High quality Titan Quatro covers, deluxe American Armor covers & even more indoor and outdoor covers
are available now at EmpireCovers.com.

Coming Soon: The New Empire Patio!

Empire is more than just vehicle covers. While we’re mostly known for car covers, over the years, we’ve launched durable, long-lasting covers for boats, RVs, motorcycles, trucks and more. Our latest product release, Empire Bimini Tops, has brought us beyond “just covers”. We’re thrilled to announce that this Fall, we’ll also be making big changes to our EmpirePatioCovers site.

You can still expect high quality covers for patio furniture, but expect a sleeker, more user friendly experience. We can’t wait to bring you new products, such as the gazebos we shared on our Facebook page.

Gazebos as a new product is one of our exciting changes to the new Empire Patio website.

Are you excited for the new Empire Patio experience? 

You can still find the same high quality covers for patio furniture at EmpirePatioCovers.com. 

Snow(mobiles) in July

In unreasonably hot weather, it’s easy to look forward to crisper, cooler temperatures. As temperatures rise, we long for autumn leaves, cool breezes and of course, snow. At the EmpireCovers.com offices in Eastern PA, we’re used to getting a lot of snow in the colder months. In July, obviously not so much.

This time of year, we’re cranking up the AC and trying to beat the heat with handheld fans and ice cold drinks. As we’re melting like popsicles, we dream of taking our snowmobiles and sleds out of storage. We envy those in colder climates, such as countries in the Southern Hemisphere, that are seeing snow and ice this time of year.

At the Empire office, we’ve already started to talk about our favorite winter activities, such as skiing, ice-skating, sledding, and of course, snowmobiling.   Besides the sweltering heat, our longing for winter was likely inspired by the Harley-Davidson snowmobile we spotted a few weeks ago. During Empire’s visit to Gettysburg Bike Week, we came across a vintage Harley snowmobile.

Wherever you are, whether it be San Francisco or Sydney, you’ve likely heard of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Founded by William S. Harley in 1901, there are nearly 900 Harley-Davidson dealers in the U.S. to date. The company has a massive worldwide fan community, with groups such as the Harlistas, Harley Women Riders and the Iron Elite. Harley-Davidson has become a household name, so it isn’t surprising that they’ve sold more than just motorcycles.

Sold briefly in the early 1970′s, the Harley-Davidson Snowmobile is now a valued collectible. The company, owned by AMF at the time, released their first snowmobile in 1971 to meet popular demand. Advertised as being built with a Harley engine, the snowmobile was created to compete with other popular snowmobile brands of the time. Harley quickly followed up in 1972 with pull along sleds. However, failing to make an impression in the snowmobile industry, Harley ceased production in 1975. Since, the Harley-Davidson snowmobile and pull along sled (pictured below) have been treasured collectibles.


What’s your favorite vintage find? 

From classic snowmobiles to brand new, high powered snowmobiles, EmpireCovers.com has the right cover for you!
Check out our variety of covers for snowmobiles, jet-skis, ATVs & more!


Repurposing Planes, Trains & Automobiles

V8 Engine from a ’69 Camaro

Here at Empire, we’re huge fans of classic cars, as well as believers in reusing materials. Looking to incorporate this into our office space, we decided to get this one of a kind coffee table. Made from the engine of a ’69 Camaro, the table is sleek and sophisticated- not to mention over 300 lbs! Our innovative coffee table got us to thinking about other ways to reuse auto and marine parts.

How would you like to sit at a desk made from an airplane? Would you carry around a backpack made from a sailboat sail? Repurposed mechanical parts are more popular than ever. Everything from airplane cowlings to old oars are used to create unique home goods, decor, furniture, clothing, accessories and more. Here are some amazing ways cars, boats, planes and trains have been repurposed:


Office Desk from a B-747

747 Cowling Desk, Courtesy of MotoArt.com

Chances are, you’d feel sky high if you worked at this desk. Made from an old B-747, cowling desks are extremely difficult to get. We’re envious of anyone who’s got one in their office!


Car Wheel Ottoman

Ottoman made with a car wheel, Courtesy of VWVortex.com

 Kick your feet up on this awesome ottoman! The perfect gift for any car enthusiast’s home or office.


Vintage Sail Duffle Bag

Vintage Dacron Sail Bag, Courtesy of SeaBags.com

This duffel bag is one of many bags, backpacks, purses and more made from old sailboat sails.


Starbucks made from Shipping Containers

Starbucks Sustainable Containers, Courtesy of the Starbucks Blog

 Starbucks, always focusing on innovation, constructed this drive thru Starbucks using shipping containers.


House from a Victorian Train

House from Victorian Train, Courtesy of UK Daily Mail

 This UK home was constructed from an authentic Victorian Train. Two 40 ft carriers make up the 85 year old house.

How do you reuse materials?

You can reuse our durable, waterproof, UV treated covers for just about anything!

Empire’s Favorite “Famous” Cars

Here at EmpireCovers.com, we know cars. During our visit to the Media Car Show, we saw a few cars that looked extremely familiar.  After some research, we realized that a few of the cars were used on popular TV shows and in movies. That got us to thinking to well known cars in Hollywood, so we compiled a list of our favorites:

EmpireCovers.com Favorite #3: Chevrolet Impala

The Chevrolet Impala is a long time favorite of Hollywood. Featured in shows and films such as Drive (2011), Cars (2006 ), Big (1988) and recently, The Killing (2011), the famous Chevy Impala has shared the screen with actors and actresses for decades.

Classic red Chevrolet spotted in Media, PA

Our favorite Chevrolet Impala is the 1967 Chevy Impala featured in the CW’s spooky series, Supernatural (2005). Starring Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, the series centers around two brothers who are always on the road in search of demons, monsters, and other unworldly beings. Nicknamed Metallicar by fans, the show’s classic Chevy is in nearly all the episodes.

1967 Chevy Impala used in Supernatural.


EmpireCovers.com Favorite #2: Volkswagen Bug

Spotted in Media, PA- The Volkswagon Bug

 Another Hollywood favorite is the quirky and loveable VW Bug. Featured in films and television shows such as Woody Allen’s Sleeper (1973), the CW’s One Tree Hill (2003), Road to Redemption (2001), USA Network’s Psych (2006) and Cars (2006). Of course, our favorite is the 1963 Volkswagen Bug used in the infamous Love Bug films from Disney. “Herbie” the creamy white VW Bug starred as a free-thinking race car that featured a sunroof, racing stripes, as well as a characteristically sunny demeanor.

“Herbie” from the classic Love Bug movies.



EmpireCovers.com Favorite #1:  Chevrolet Camaro

The Classic Chevy Camaro

Another Chevrolet favorite is the Camaro, a sporty automobile with a sleek exterior. The Camaro has been featured in films such as Remember the Titans (2000), A Walk to Remember (2002), Christine (1983), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), and television shows like The Vampire Diaries (2009), Overhaulin (2004) and Monster Garage (2002). A long time consumer favorite, Camaros are infamous for being the ultimate American sports car. 

Classic Chevy Camaro spotted in Media, PA

Our favorite Chevy Camaro is the unrefined 1977 yellow Camaro used in Transformers (2007) to portray the protective and mysterious Autobot “Bumblebee”. In Transformers, Autobot Bumblebee takes the form of an old, beat up Camaro to befriend human Sam and his love interest, Mikaela. Eventually, Bumblebee transforms into a different year of Camaro, the newer and sleeker 2009 Chevy Camaro. The model used in the film was a concept, as the car had not been officially released by Chevrolet.

Megan Fox and Shia LeBeouf in Transformers, along side of the 1967 Chevy Camaro used to portray Bumblebee.

 What are your favorite cars from film and TV?  

No matter how famous your vehicle is, EmpireCovers.com can provide you with a high-quality cover for your car.

The Army Jeep: A GI’s Best Friend

Here at Empire, we love classic cars. Besides the bright, stunning exteriors and meticulously clean and fashionable interiors, we love to learn the history behind vintage and antique automobiles. That’s why we were so excited to see these vintage Army Jeeps during our visit to the 2012 Media Car Show.

Ever wonder where Jeeps came from?

Nowadays, Jeep is known as a worldwide brand of economy sized 4x4s and SUVs. From sleek SUVs such as the Compass and Patriot to rugged 4x4s such as the Wrangler and Liberty, Jeep has established their brand as affordable and family friendly. Although current Jeeps are great for daily use, during WWII, Jeeps were created in order to fulfill a need for military automobiles.

During WWII, Army officials were in need of transportation for their soldiers. The Army needed a lightweight alternative to heavy duty tanks and trucks that could withstand nearly any environment. Seeking a solution, the U.S. Army called upon  the automobile industry to submit prototypes for consideration. Only a few companies, Willy Overland Motors, the American Bantam Car Company and Ford entered designs.

Although American Bantam Car Company’s prototype was initially selected, the company lacked the resources to meet the demand of vehicles needed. As a result, Willy Overland Motors, American Bantam,  and Ford all competed for the lucrative U.S. Army contract. Due to timing, the military rushed to test vehicles from all three companies. After necessary changes were made, the models all received new names- Willy’s previous “Quad ” became the “MA”, American Bantam’s “Blitz Buggy”  was now the “BRC 40″, and Ford’s Pygmy became the “GP”. Willy Overland Motors “MA” was selected in July 1941.

It was just in time. The U.S. Army was in dire need of vehicles, as WWII was already underway. The MA was shipped to the Allies overseas, and GI’s response was extremely favorable.  In order to keep up with demand, Ford was called upon to produce additional vehicles. During the remainder of the war, MAs were transported by plane and glider to troops in battle. General George C. Marshall, US Army Chief of Staff called the vehicle, “America’s greatest contribution to modern warfare”.

Post WWII, Willy Overland and Ford pursued ownership of the “Jeep” name, which was awarded to Willy Overland. Another version of the vehicles was mass produced for farmers and civilians. Since, civilian 4x4s have continued to be produced by automobile companies worldwide.

Although the military continued to use Jeeps after WWII, they eventually progressed to the HMMWE, created by American automotive company AM General. The HMMWE was a heavier, more durable vehicle, and is still the primary automobile for the U.S. Army.

To read more about the rich history of the Jeep, visit the official JEEP website. Be sure to check out EmpireCovers.com to find high-quality, affordable covers for your Jeep, truck or SUV.

*Active duty and veterans receive 15% off at EmpireCovers.com using coupon code USMIL15.


The particular Jeeps pictured below, authentic U.S. Army Jeeps, were on display by the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum.The non-profit museum, also located in Media, vows to “tell the stories of America’s conflicts” through the experiences of veterans. You can follow the PVM on Facebook