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RV Travel Newsletter: Issue 532
Weekend of May 5, 2012
Issue 532 of RV Travel
Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its eleventh year of continuous publication, is funded through sales at RVbookstore.com and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!
favorite Best Park in America
With Chuck Woodbury
Follow RVtravel.com on Facebook
I have a few odds and ends to report this issue.
First, if you arose early last Saturday, when you clicked the link to the newsletter in your email alert you received an error message. By the time I got up at 6 a.m. (Pacific), I had more than 200 messages from readers: "What's wrong?" they asked. Well, we messed up. We're creating the newsletter in a new way and, alas, making some mistakes. So an important reminder: on a Saturday morning if you do not receive your newsletter email alert or the link in it does not work (like last week), simply go to http://RVtravel.com. Once there, simply click the CURRENT ISSUE LINK. It will take you right to the new issue. Also, we notify our Facebook fans of each new issue, so please "like" us there.
Second, if you will be traveling to Europe this summer and have not yet made your airline reservations, consider flying Icelandair, which allows you to make a stop in Iceland for no extra charge. Stay a day or a week. As you may recall, I did that last summer, circling the island in a rented campervan. It was one of the best RVing experiences of my life. Iceland is a gorgeous country, right up there with New Zealand. There are countless campgrounds and the citizens are crazy about RVing. About 98 percent of the island's 900-mile Ring Road is paved (and good gravel otherwise), and the friendly Icelanders all speak English. So it's an easy place to visit (and considered the safest country in the World). You can read more about my trip at RvIceland.com.
Finally, I would like to tell you about one of the absolutely coolest services for RVers to come along in a long time -- one that allows you to get 3G WiFi access nearly everywhere. It uses a device similar to a traditional air card, but there is no contract or recurring monthly fee. For the record, when I heard about this I convinced the company to let me introduce and promote it to the RV community. We subsequently agreed that RVtravel.com would get a small commission for our efforts. I want to be upfront with you about this in case you question I'm touting this just to make a buck. Truth be told, I think this is one of the best things to come along for RVers in a long time.
The way the program works is you pay about $45 upfront for an aircard for one user (at a time) or about $85 for a portable hotspot where up to four users can get online at once (see photo) with a secure, password protected connection. These are one time fees. After that, you pay for how much bandwidth you need and only when you need it -- similar to a prepaid cell phone where you're charged only for actual phone calls. There is no recurring monthly fee. The system works on PCs, Macs and mobile devices. Nothing needs to be installed.
So, if you're heading out on a two month trip, buy some bandwidth when you leave and you'll be set. Get online at 3G speeds at rest areas, campgrounds without WiFi (or bad WiFi), Wal-mart parking lots -- even while rolling down the road (as long as Sprint wireless service is available). If you use up your bandwidth, recharge for as little as $10. The huge advantage to this over traditional plans is that you are not stuck with a payment every month for the life of a contract.
Fulltimers, who need year-round Internet access, are better off with a traditional plan like a Verizon MiFi card, which offers more affordable bandwidth when used regularly year round. But for part-time travelers or light users (of all kinds, not just RVers), this is a far better and more affordable choice. You can learn more at JustGetMobile.com. We have even negotiated a special discount for you.
at our RVtravel.com page. I post there throughout the week.
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DID YOU MISS LAST WEEK'S ISSUE? Read it here.
Get rid of your uncomfortable RV mattress!
Excel Distributors is a leading manufacturer of RV mattresses, pillows, sheets and mattress protectors for true "home away from home" comfort. All the mattresses are designed and made in the USA, in Tualatin, Oregon. Free shipping on all orders. May promotion: Free Memory Foam Pillow on all purchases of $299 or more. Enter code MEMORY5 at checkout. Call 888-691-6801 or visit www.exceldistributors.com. Get rid of that cheap mattress that came with your RV!
Editor comment: We post breaking RV news throughout the week at our RVtravel.com Facebook page. "Like us" at RVtravel.com/facebook
McCloud, California's Dance Country RV Park has reopened, apparently under bank ownership, after a foreclosure last month. The park's website says it's open and running, although phone service is not yet working.
The average Saskatchewan resident loves RVing, says the Survey of Household Spending for 2010. Stats released last week say Canadians from Saskatchewan are second only two Albertans in luxury item spending -- including RV purchases.
Bring RV -- or Harley. The 560-acre Sturgis (S.D.) Buffalo Chip Campground will hold a nine-night music festival August 3 to 11. Acts at "The largest Music Festival in Motorcycling" will require five separate stages.
A former Winnebago plant in Charles City, Iowa has a new life and 200 jobs to offer. Czech-based Mitas North American will build tractor tires at the plant, employing many farmers working a second job.
Forks 101 RV Park in Forks, Washington expects to lose about 20 percent of its business since the local cable TV supplier quit sending signals to the park -- and more than 100 other customers. The cable company didn't pay its bill and suppliers pulled the plug.
Florida RVers, Pat and Ray Ciemiecki ticked off a mark on their bucket list: They visited all 160 Florida state parks. Took them four years.
Lloyd S. drove his motorhome to Alpine, California for a paint job. The shop was closed, so the retired fireman detoured to a nearby casino. Four spins on a progressive slot machine led to his winning nearly $745,000. Forget the paint job, Lloyd.
Viking RV has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection according to RV Daily Report. The manufacturer was one of the companies caught up in the formaldehyde class action lawsuit following Hurricane Katrina.
In its latest episode, Rollin' On TV visits Plymouth, Mass., to learn all about modern-day camping combined with early American history. Watch the show.
KOA CEO Jim Rogers says many campers today are looking for a "soft rugged" experience. The chain of 500 campgrounds has thus widened its cabin offerings from basic to luxury. RVs are still welcome, of course.
The Family Motor Coach Association is offering a free issue of its monthly member magazine to RVers who own a motorhome but are not currently members of the motorhome-owners-only club. FMCA is about to celebrate its 50th year and is the second largest RV club in the USA behind Good Sam. Request a trial issue.
A new indoor RV park is being built near Watford City, North Dakota to accommodate workers in the oil boom area. Ten buildings will have space for 240 RVs. The first 48 units should be ready by July 1.
A semi-truck pulling into a rest area at a "high rate of speed," near Solomon, Kansas has left one RVer dead, another hurt. The truck had been east bound on I-70 when it crashed into a parked motorhome. The unsuspecting RVers were sleeping.
New restoration system
introduced for metal roofs
If you have an old, rusting metal RV roof, you can make it like new without expensive replacement. Dicor Products’ new solution for old roofs is a three-part DIY system that forms a like-new, brilliant white covering over old metal roofing. Learn more.
A man who filed suit against the San Luis Obispo, California police department for allegedly discriminating against homeless people has had his RV towed away by police. They say Robert Watts' motorhome was towed because it lacked a valid vehicle registration.
Fuel price analyst Stephen Schork says barring supply problems or downed refineries, we've seen this season's peak in gas prices. Declines in crude, futures and gasoline prices seem to bear out the prediction.
A German couple touring Washington state got a surprise when a homeless man hid in their RV during a ferry crossing from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island. The man initially got away but was arrested days later while sleeping in a summer home.
The east entrance to Yellowstone National Park is now open. Crews are still working to clear some roads that remain covered with snow.
The RV Hall of Fame, hit with recession woes, has found a new income source: Four RV dealerships have rented a 25-acre space outside the hall to put on an RV show of their own.
Keep up with RV Industry
news throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Find helpful experts
who specialize in RV insurance
Explorer RV Insurance offers you more than just standard RV insurance for your RV such as total loss replacement, purchase price guarantees, personal effects coverage, awning replacement coverage, towing and more. Explorer RV Insurance is a full-service agency that has established partnerships with leading carriers bringing you access to a wide range of specialty RV insurance products. Learn more.
Part Two: Water is evil. How to find and fix RV vent leaks
The Wanderman, Richard Miller, wraps up his two-part series on how he and Passenger Pete fixed a nasty vent leak on Richard's motorhome. There are many pics to illustrate the process, and much useful information. Read all about it.
. . . read part one of the series.
The basics of plugging your RV into electricity
The RV Geeks write: "A new RVer recently asked us how to plug his RV into a regular household electric outlet, so we thought we'd cover the basics of connecting different types of RVs into 20-, 30- and 50-amp electric service." Read their story and watch their video.
Tips for cooking in RV kitchens - part 1
This is the first of four installments by Julianne Crane of "Tips for cooking in an RV kitchen" by four RV cooking experts and authors: The Cooking Ladies -- Lamont Mackay and Phyllis Hines, Janet Groene and Evanne Schmarder. Read part one.
Fleetwood offers discount on RVs for active military and veterans
Fleetwood RV has announced a savings program that could mean up to $5,000 off the cost of a motorhome to active duty and veteran military members. The special deal is valid only through May 31, so investigate this immediately if you're interested and eligible. Read more.
How to go 100%
Electric without Propane!
Until now, the standard for heating recreational vehicles of all types has been to use bottled propane (LPG). With the CheapHeat system that's no longer the only option. Now you have a choice to change the central heating system between gas and electric with the flip of a switch. When you choose to run on electric heat rather than gas heat, your coach will be heated by the electricity provided by the RV park. Learn more.
Simple steps to help prevent RV electrical fires
An RV fire can really ruin your day. That acrid smell may be accompanied by the grating sound of arcing, then smoke. When an RV catches fire, it puts on a spectacular show, but it doesn't last long. Many RV electrical fires can be prevented. Here are some check points for your maintenance list.
. . . and here is why you should read the article above. Watch a motorhome burn up in just a few minutes (the one pictured to the right).
Man converts plastic trash into oil and gasoline
Plastic is made from petroleum. So what if you could covert all your plastic packaging back into gas, diesel and oil instead of just tossing it in a landfill? Well, that is what one man has done with an ingenious, compact invention. Maybe we all need one of these in our RVs -- just collect plastic from our waste baskets and trash cans to make our own gasoline. Watch a fascinating video.
How to buy RV insurance, Part Two
Buying RV insurance can be like a trip into unknown country. It's best if you have a map. In part 1, "Buying RV insurance: Sort out the terms," we sorted out about half the "options" you might purchase with a policy. This time we'll talk about the rest of them. Read more.
MONITOR YOUR TIRE PRESSURE!
Our commercial grade TIRE MONITORING SYSTEM will help ensure you travel safely without tire failure related peril. Our system is inexpensive, simple to install and fun to use. The National Transportation Safety Board says commercial grade vehicles need tire monitoring systems even more than passenger cars and trucks. Protect yourself and your loved ones today! Visit Truck System Technologies (TST) to learn more.
Kids create an American Eagle dessert
One of the joys of RV camping is being outdoors with the possibility of seeing wildlife, including bald eagles. With that in mind, here's an easy dessert kids can make in honor of our national bird. Read more.
"Like" RV Travel on Facebook
Don't wait until Saturday for your next dose of RV Travel. Join us on Facebook for breaking news, valuable RVing information and advice -- some that never appears in this newsletter. "Like Us!
Do you use an online banking service? Answer here.
Last week's question
Do you think, in general, that RVs are better built today than 10 years ago?
Read the survey results.
Bella Terra of Gulf Shores
SUMMER STAY PROMOTION!
Stay for the Summer at Bella Terra of Gulf Shores, one of the TOP RATED Class A RV Resorts in the U.S. for only $400/month*! Haven't you always wanted your own summer home? Now's your chance! Keep your RV at Bella Terra for the summer & have the flexibility to travel to & from home in your tow car. Save on rent AND fuel! Call the Bella Terra reservation office at (866) 417-2416 to make your reservation or visit us at BellaTerraRVresort.com.
* 3-month minimum stay subject to availability. Good from May thru September 2012. Taxes & fees separate.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the long list of upcoming RV shows for 2012.
More than 2,250 places to stay for free or less than $10 in an RV.
Latest RV Recalls
See them here, along with past recalls.
Towns you gotta love
Early settlers came to the Baker River area in 1871 and called their settlement "Minnehaha." In 1890, the name "Baker" was adopted. On the east bank of the river, a community sprang up around the Washington Portland Cement Company and was named "Cement City." After the Superior Portland Cement Company plant (1908) was built in Baker, it was decided to merge the two towns, and the new community was dubbed Concrete. Several fires destroyed most of the original wooden buildings on Main Street. Subsequent buildings were made of concrete (makes sense) and that's what you see today. Concrete is along Washington route 20 east of I-5 in the north part of the state. It can truly be said that people buried in the town cemetery are "buried in Concrete."
Save $4.95 on Wal-Mart guides!
GET THE POCKET GUIDE FOR FREE
Here are two great guides to Wal-Mart stores -- the "Wal-Mart Atlas" (Second edition, published 2011) and the "Wherezitat? Locate A Wal-Mart Pocket Guide" (includes stores that DO NOT allow overnight stays). You get the Wherezitat guide for FREE with the purchase of the Atlas, packaged together to save you $4.95 over purchasing separately. Get both guides for only $24.95, a $29.90 value! Learn more or order.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.79 (on May 4)
Change from week before: Down 3 cents
Diesel: U.S. $4.07 (on April 30)
Change from week before: Down 1 cent
RVers Best Public Campgrounds
This is a terrific guide for RVers who like to stay in public campgrounds not too far off the beaten path. It lists hundreds of such campgrounds within a 30-minute drive from an Interstate highway. They include those managed by the feds, state, county or cities. Overnight fees for most campgrounds are $19 or less. The campgrounds will accommodate most RVs. Learn more or order for only $17.95
Ask the Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions.
A question about RV surge protectors
I have been hearing a lot about surge protectors to protect your RV electrical systems and appliances. Is there a surge protector that will handle both 50 and 30 amps? Or, do you have to purchase one for the 50 and one for the 30? Thanks! -- Walt A.
Did you miss his newsletter, posted on Thursday? Read it here.
Magnetic Tow Lights
Now only $9.99!
What a great deal, and what a low price! These are three lights in one: taillight, brake light, signal light. Place the lights in a visible location on the rear of the towed vehicle. Run the cable to the towing vehicle then position and secure cable. Connect the alligator clip to the towing vehicle (ground), the bumper or other base metal grounded to frame and then connect remaining wires according to color code. You're ready to go! Limit one per customer at this incredibly low price! Learn more or order.
The RV Shrink
Is being together too much ruining full-timers relationship?
Dear R.V. Shrink:
My wife has been upset with me ever since we bought our 5th wheel and started traveling. I don't know if it's because we are seeing too much of each other or just the few problems we have had. She said to me, "There are things I love about you that you never do anymore." I said, "Like what?" She said, "Like being gone." Is that normal? She is also saying I am in the first stages of Alzheimer's. That really upsets me because it isn't true. Okay, I guess I will never hear the last of dragging my satellite dish down I-75 but that was nothing but human error, and besides, it still works. Do you think our problem is just too much togetherness? My wife and I both love the RV lifestyle but maybe not so much with each other. I hope you can shed some light on our plight. --The Odd Couple in Carlsbad
New for 2012
The Next Exit and RVer's Friend
Here are two great guides. The 2012 Next Exit lists services at every U.S. Interstate exit. The RVer's Friend shows services available for RVs at all U.S. and Canadian travel centers (truck stops). You receive both best sellers, and save $4.00 over purchasing them separately. Learn more or order.
with Russ and Tina De Maris
Don't forget these places for boondocking
You may have a boondocking spot waiting for you. Many fraternal organizations like the Elks and Eagles clubs have RV spots for visiting members, some even have utilities.
Russ and Tina De Maris are the authors of RV Boondocking Basics.
QUIZ QUESTION WILL NOT APPEAR until the exact start time as noted below (before the actual start time you will only see previous contests).
Answer the quiz here Saturday, May 5 beginning at exactly 9:15 a.m., Pacific Time (12:15 p.m. in the East).
Joke of the week
QUESTION: Why did the cannibal eat the tightrope walker?
ANSWER: He wanted a balanced meal.
Headed to Alaska?
Check out these books and DVDs
- 2012 Milepost Directory
- DVD: RVing Alaska with Joe and Vicki Kieva
- Traveler's Guide to Alaska Camping
- Guide to the Alaska Highway
- The World Famous Alaska Highway
- DVD: Alaska By RV
- More Alaska Books
"Unless you are using your oven a lot, leave the pilot light turned off when you are not cooking. It uses a surprising amount of propane." --From Motorhomes Made Easy.
INSTANT READING ABOUT RVing!
With eBooks you don't have to wait to read your book. Just place your order and your eBook will be delivered almost instantly to your email inbox. These eBooks are written by RV experts and delivered in PDF format. Check out the big selection of eBooks at RVbookstore.com. Browse the RVbookstore.com eBook department.
Odds and Ends
Two women tour Southwest in search of treasures.
Working the RV Road
Idaho needs volunteers for RV development committee.
RV News Service
RVers, other motorists, more at danger for left side skin cancer.
The Digital RVer
Can Facebook be your rally's next website?
Healthy RV Living
Big tick season ahead? What you need to know.
National Park Visitor
Terrorists' plot foiled at Ohio National Park.
NEW CLASSIFIED SECTION
We have added an extensive classified section to RVtravel.com in partnership with RVtrader.com. Look for the link to it at the top of every page on RVtravel.com in the blue bar. There are generally about 80,000 listings. Search by type of RV, location, price range or keyword. You will not find a larger selection of RVs for sale anywhere.
What happened in 1961 that will not happen again for more than 4,000 years? Answer below.
Guide To The Firearm Laws
of the 50 States
RVers who travel with a firearm may not know that what's legal in their home state may be a felony in another. This 2012 book explains current, specific gun laws for every state. Don't cross a state line with a gun without knowing the laws. Learn more or order.
Are you 'braking' the law?
A topic that is sometimes overlooked, and seldom talked about is supplemental braking systems. It's not about what supplemental braking system you have, it's the fact that you have one! One requirement for towing a trailer is that the trailer must have a braking system that works in conjunction with the tow vehicle brakes. Why should this requirement be any different for a motorhome towing a vehicle? In reality its not, but most people just assume you don't need a supplemental braking system for the vehicle you're towing. Some reasons for this assumption are. . .
Read the latest issue of Mark's monthly online RV magazine (featuring an interview with RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury).
Learn more about RV repair and maintenance from Mark's books and DVDs, available -- most at a discount -- at RVbookstore.com.
Save on Mountain Directories
East & West
Driving into the mountains with your RV? Be careful, there are some nasty grades. Here, in two volumes, are the premier guides to the mountain passes and steep grades of the American East and West -- more than 700 passes all together. You save $5 when buying both these guides together. Learn more or order for only $26.90 for both volumes.
Bumper Sticker of the week
Hiss less. Purr more.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker?
Send it to chuck(at)rvtravel.com
Keep track of 45 different daily activities including fuel, mileage, expenses, weather and activities with this compact, 7" x 4 1/2" vinyl loose leaf journal. This is a favorite record-keeping journal for RVers year in and year out. Learn more or order.
The RV Kitchen
Beet and cabbage ragout
This borscht-like soup is traditionally made with rich beef stock but it’s easily made for vegans or vegetarians by using vegetable stock. If you can’t find julienne beets, buy whole beets and shred them coarsely. Get the recipe.
Cookbooks for RVers: Big selection at RVbookstore.com.
These DVDs will make you a better RVer
Get these popular DVDs and others at RVbookstore.com
- Tow Your 5th Wheel Trailer Like a Pro
- Better Business Bureau Guide to Buying an RV
- Choosing an RV: A Logical Approach (with Joe & Vicki Kieva)
- Do It Yourself RV Care (with the RV Doctor)
- Drive Your Motorhome Like a Pro
- Guide to Class A Motorhomes
- Guide to Class C Motorhomes
- Towing Behind Your Motorhome
- Guide to Travel Trailers & Fifth Wheels
- Guide to Trailer Towing, Weights, Hitch Work & Backing
- Guide to Winterizing Your RV
According to CNBC, each year Costco sells 55 million chickens, 100 million hotdogs and $500 million in toilet paper. That toilet paper, if unrolled, would stretch around the world 1,200 times.
Cover price: $24.95. OUR PRICE $16.22
Woodall's RV Owners Handbook
Woodall's RV Owner's Handbook by the RV Doctor Gary Bunzer is a complete, illustrated guide to preventive maintenance and repairs. This updated fourth edition covers RV issues such as towing with a motorhome, winterizing your RV, holding tank systems, heating systems, water pumps, trailer towing, spring shakedown, water systems & much more. Learn more or order.
Random RV Thought
Before leaving on a trip, prepare some of your meals at home, then freeze them. On occassions when you need to conserve water, heat up one of the meals. You won't waste water cooking and washing pots and pans. The meals also come in handy when you're in a hurry and don't have time to prepare a meal.
SPECIALS & CLOSEOUTS!
Save more than 80%
On Books and DVDs at RVbookstore.com
"You cannot always have happiness, but you can always give happiness." -- Anon
RV Insurance: Specialists in RV insurance. Explorer RV Insurance
RV Warranties: Depend on us: "We really do pay your claim." RVwarranty.com
RV Financing: The original and still best place online to finance your RV. RVfinancing.com
RVs For Sale: Thousands of RVs for Sale, New, Used by Dealers & Private Sellers. RVzen.com
Win cash with our Pot of Gold Contest
The cash prize is now $70.00. Each weekday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Pacific time) we publish a randomly selected U.S. Zip Code. If you live there and are the first to tell us, you win the money which increases every day there's no winner. Certain rules apply.
Last week's Zip Codes: 01227, 28394, 72327, 62990, 76148.
Advertise in this newsletter. . .
. . . and on our several dozen other websites and blogs. If you have a business or represent one with a product or service aimed at RVers, you should check this out.
Riddle: What happened in 1961 that will not happen again for more than 4,000 years? ANSWER: The year's date reads the same when turned upside down. That will not happen again until 6009.
Do you have a favorite riddle to share? Send it to chuck(at)rvtravel.com
About the RVtravel.com editor
Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for nearly three decades. In the '90s he published the quirky travel newspaper Out West, and he was an "on the road" writer for the New York Times Syndicate. His RVing adventures have been profiled on ABC News, CNN, NBC's Today Show, and in People Magazine, USA Today and in hundreds of newspapers. Nowadays, he lives near Seattle where he drinks massive amounts of coffee and travels often in his motorhome and sometimes by plane when vast expanses of saltwater would turn his RV into a leaky submarine. He is the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD "Buying a Recreational Vehicle," the definitive guide to purchasing an RV the right way.
Chuck on the radio
Hear Chuck on Rick Steve's travel show on National Public Radio.
RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Contributing editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Julianne Crane, Gary Bunzer, Silvana Clark, Mark Polk and Richard Miller. Office Manager: Jody Allcott. Warehouse operations: Eric Brotman. New York City correspondent: Emily Woodbury.
If you enjoy and appreciate this newsletter and would like to help it continue by making a voluntary subscription contribution, we invite you to do so here. It will be appreciated very much.
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We're just human! So don't go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. So be sure to check things out. At RVbookstore.com we strive for excellence in all we do. Our customers receive super fast service. Our motto is "You need it so we speed it," and no truer words were ever spoken!
All information on this website is copyrighted by RVtravel.com. Our offices are located at 170 W. Dayton Street, Suite 103, Edmonds WA 98020. Write editor Chuck Woodbury at Chuck(at)RVtravel.com. Information about advertising in this newsletter and on our other websites and blogs is available at RVtravelAdvertising.com or by calling 425-744-0415 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays (Pacific time).
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