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RV Travel Newsletter: July 21-27. Issue 543
Weekend of July 21, 2012
Issue 543 of RV Travel
Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its eleventh year of continuous weekly publication, is made possible through sales at RVbookstore.com, by our advertisers, and through voluntary subscription contributions from our readers (thank you!)
Mark your calendar for
America's LARGEST RV SHOW!
Make your plans now to attend the huge Pennsylvania RV Show, coming Sept. 12-16 to the Giant Center in Hershey. See more than 1,000 of the newest model RVs plus a sprawling display of RV accessories, services and travel information. Enjoy free educational seminars every hour. Take a break to visit Chocolate World (yum!). Want to stay overnight? RV camping is $25 a night on the premises. This is the Granddaddy of RV shows. Don't miss it! Learn more at LargestRVshow.com (and print out a discount coupon). Meet the RV Doctor Gary Bunzer.
With Chuck Woodbury
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I've been home from Turkey now for two weeks. Until a few days ago, I was still fighting jet lag. Even though my Rick Steves group tour was exhilirating, it was exhausting. I arrived home worn out. Every day on the trip was an adventure -- new discoveries and the stimulating conversation with fellow travelers. On a trip like that, you pack more activities and new knowledge into a day than you do at home in a week. It was all good, but tiring.
The long flights were tough, especially returning home -- 18 hours in the air in cramped seats. I am too frugal to fly first class or business class, where a ticket costs twice as much: I'd rather "go cheap" and get two trips for the money. So I end up in the cheap seats.
I was patted down twice in airports. In one, my hands were coated with a chemical to detect if I'd been handling explosives. All together, I waited in 16 lines -- check-in, security and customs -- at five airports -- Seattle, Chicago, Istanbul, Izmir and Newark.
The other day as my jet lagged body yearned to fall asleep yet again in mid day, a thought popped into my head: "There is no jet lag with RV travel!" When I arrive home from my RV trips, I am usually rested. Maybe I'm tired from the last day's drive, but after a good night's sleep I'm good to go -- no jet lag and no sore behind from uncomfortable airline seats.
As I wrote last week, I love traveling overseas. But when it comes to the ease of travel, nothing beats RVing -- no security checks, no pat downs, no mediocre airline food (or no food at all unless you pay for it), no delayed flights, no suitcases to haul around to pack and unpack, and no being stuffed like a sardine into an airplane accompanied by the stereophonic sound of screaming babies.
Right now, I don't want anything to do with planes. Right now, I am thinking about heading out in my RV. I'm thinking of the peace and quiet of such a trip. I'm thinking of being in a Forest Service campground under the pines, by my campfire, watching the stars, and then climbing into my own comfy bed, maybe with the sound of a nearby stream lulling me to sleep. Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. . .
In the early fall, we will debut a new newsletter -- RV Tips Daily. Every Monday through Friday we will post one valuable tip about RVing and one video tip from nationally respected RV experts. To sign up, click here and check the box for the new newsletter. It takes about 20 seconds to do it. And look at our list of other newsletters while you are there.
If you missed last Thursday's Great RV Accessories Newsletter you can read it here.
Be sure to follow me on Facebook
at our RVtravel.com page. I post there throughout the week.
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Roadwork II: The RVers
Ultimate Income Resource Guide
RVers looking to earn an income on the road, either full - or part-time, will find this book a terrific resource. Learn about jobs, workamper employers, and meet workampers who tell about their lives. Virtually every type of job is profiled in this great guide. Learn more or order.
Editor comment: We post breaking RV news throughout the week at our RVtravel.com Facebook page. Click here.
California State Parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned Friday and her second in command was fired after officials learned the department has been sitting on nearly $54 million in surplus money for as long as 12 years. The department sat on the money for unknown reasons even as it closed 70 parks in the last year to satisfy state budget cuts. The moves come in the wake of an investigation by The Sacramento Bee.
Ford has told some owners of the 2013 model Ford Escape SUV sold in North America to immediately stop driving them due to the risk of engine fire and to contact their dealers. Specifically, Ford is recalling 11,500, 2013 models with a 1.6-liter engine and built through July 11.
A travel trailer with four children aboard was struck by lightning last weekend in Gardiner, NY. Four children were inside but were unharmed. The lightning put a hole in the roof of the RV which was otherwise not damaged.
The San Juan Capistrano Police Department (Calif.) responded to a report last week that occupants of a 35-foot motorhome were dumping their septic tank into the street. There was no report of an arrest.
Thor Motor Coach has added two “value driven” floorplans to its Palazzo diesel motorhomes. A 33.2 floorplan targets first-time diesel pusher buyers or downsizing RV veterans. The 33.3 bunk house model is aimed at families.
Motor fuels rose for a second straight week, both up 1.2 cents per gallon. The average price of diesel is now at $3.695 and gas at $3.427 per gallon says the Department of Energy.
More than 500 visitors at the Fairmont Hot Springs, BC RV park were trapped early this week when a massive landslide closed off park access. The park, northeast of Cranbrook, was hit Sunday. Trees, boulders and mud inundated the Fairmont town center but fortunately no one was injured.
Red Bluff, Calif., voters may decide whether RVers will pay an additional tax to stay at local RV parks. The city council may ask voters to decide if a 10 percent hotel rooming tax applies to RV parks.
Indiana officials say a man who claimed to have been shot at McCormick's Creek State Park last June shot himself. Police say the man used bungee cords and a 20 gauge shotgun to blast himself in the back. Charges have been filed, shotgun pellets removed.
Alberta, Canada is pumping $24 million into RV area improvements in provincial parks as park use by RVers is outpacing that of tenters.
Forget baseball, think National Parks. The Vicksburg National Military Park now offers "Civil War Trading Cards" that focus on soldier stories and civil rights contributions. Visit for more information.
The Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association is looking to reward its two-millionth visitor. You don't need to go to the Keystone State to win, just visit the group's website. Winners get free camping at member parks.
Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park appears to have played host to the biggest landslide in North American history. The slide, detected by a seismograph, spread rock and debris over five and a half miles. No one was in the area at the time.
Fire fighters buzzed into the Wakeda Campground in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire responding to an RV fire last week. The rig was totally destroyed by fire caused by what firemen say was lack of maintenance on a propane fueled mosquito trap.
No more sewer smell inside your RV
New roof siphon cap improves on old Shark Fin roof vents! No moving parts!
Are you fed up with smelling sewer odors in your RV? If so, this is for you. Odors can only go one way with this new product -- up and out of your RV, not inside the living area. If RV manufacturers really cared about their customers they'd install these instead of cheap vents that simply cover your sewer vent, allowing odors to stink up your rig. Click the video to see how this works. Easy installation. Fits all RVs. Learn more or order.
Soon Lake Texana State Park in Texas won't be a state park. The state says it can no longer afford the lease and management will revert to a local river authority. New management says they'll make improvements and reduce day use fees.
The U.S. Department of Interior, parent agency of the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management says it contributed $385 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than two million jobs in 2011.
Benson, Arizona snowbirds have less choices for camping as the Turquoise Hills Golf and RV Resort shut down July 16. Company owners have filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, saying business was great in winter but summer has spelled financial disaster.
Butt out? Pennsylvania officials are pondering a smoking ban at state parks after complaints from users about cigarette butt littering. The ban -- if it were to happen--would begin with a pilot program in one or two parks in the system.
Roland Jonas, of Alberta, Canada drew a 21-month prison sentence for fraud after he offered to sell RVs on consignment. Police investigated after "sellers" complained they never got their rigs or money back. Jonas had been on the lam since 2009 but was finally caught last February. He'll have to pay $102,000 in victim restitution.
Don't mummify your dog poop. That's what BioGroupUSA exhorts. Picking up dog doo-doo with a plastic bag may make you a good neighbor, but poly-based bags last hundreds of years and cause dog poop to mummify, not decompose. Its BioBags breath, break down and are compostable. Call (727) 789-1646 for more info.
Keep up with RV Industry
news throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
For new RVers:
what type of RV generator is best for you?
Having a generator in your RV can be a great blessing. In hot country and away from hookups, there's little else that will run your air conditioner. But when you have to make a purchase choice, what kind of generator is best? There are three major fuel forms for generators -- gasoline, propane and diesel. Which is best for you? Here are some thoughts.
How to re-string a pleated RV window shade
Pleated day/night window shades are a common feature in just about every class of RV. Since the design relies on thin fabric cords sliding across hard plastic parts, cord wear and breakage is a distinct possibility. Part of the inherent problem with the design is that there needs to be enough tension on the cords to hold the shades where you put them, preventing them from falling on their own. The good thing is that re-stringing a pleated RV window shade is a Do-it-Yourselfer's dream job. Read more and watch a video demonstration.
Feds issue latest round of RV recalls
Tires and brakes headline June's official federal vehicle recall list. Truck and SUV tires took a beating, while certain braking systems on RVs are calling rigs back to the dealerships. Check out the list to see if anything of yours is here.
Remove those unwanted RV decals and stripes
Weather and time aren't always friendly when it comes to RV decorations. The more "graphics" and "decals" the manufacturers stick on the side, the more the sun and weather seem to just degrade and fade them. Are you "stuck" with a lot of faded stick-ons? Here's a few tricks to try to get rid of the unwanted cling-ons. Read more.
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 mattresses are designed and made in the USA, in Tualatin, Oregon. Free shipping on all orders. July promotion: Two Free GEL Pillows on all purchases of $299 or more. Enter code PILLOWS at checkout. Call 888-691-6801 or visit www.exceldistributors.com. Get rid of that cheap mattress that came with your RV!
Awning torn? Here's how to repair it.
Vinyl RV awnings are easily subject to small tears--ones that left on their own can get much larger. The simple act of opening the RV door with the awning just a "bit too low" can leave a small, but nasty snag. Fixing a small tear in an area where physical strength isn't at issue is easy. Here's how.
How to install
a new RV kitchen faucet
In this four minute video, RV technician Ernie "The RV Guy" shows the step-by-step process of replacing an old RV kitchen faucet with a new one. This doesn't look so hard. See for yourself by watching the video.
•We interrupt this newsletter to bring you a photo of a unique, unusual, odd, funny RV. Click to see it.
A review of the new
Magellan Roadmate GPS from Magellan
Blogger and RV technician Chris Dougherty takes an indepth review of a new GPS that is made with RVers in mind, but will do double duty in your car as well. And he really likes it! Read his review.
and Roadside Assistance!
Add a roadside assistance plan today from Coach-Net and give yourself valuable peace of mind while you're on the road away from home. We've got you and your family covered. Your membership includes coverage on your RV and all other personal vehicles (including motorcycles) -- owned, rented or borrowed! Learn more about our RV plans.
More cooling tips -- thermal insulation for your windows. It works!
As you probably learned in the last issue, Rich Miller, the Wanderman, likes to be cool. He does not like heat (well, at least in the streamy summer of the Northeast). In his blog this week he continues his discussion about how to keep an RV cool. Read all about it.
RV Tire Safety
A tire autopsy "Root Cause" part one
In part one of this series, our tire expert Roger Marble explains the difference between reporting a condition such as "The tire went flat" and the "Root Cause" or fundamental reason why a tire is in the condition it is in. This is a critical item if you want to try and prevent another tire failure. Read more.
Learn your RV's "tail swing" factor
"Tail swing" is the term used to describe the effects of the length of a motorhome or trailer's overhang beyond the rear axle. Many an RVer has learned the hard way that pulling a sharp turn away from a fuel pump (or other object close to the side of the rig) that tail swing is a reality to be reckoned with. Repair bills for crunched corners are not fun. Read more.
FREE DIRECTV & RV Satellite Kit for
(With purchase of DIRECTV home service) Take all of your favorite shows, movies and sports teams with you on the road! Access to exclusive sports programming like NFL SUNDAY TICKET! Plus HBO, SHOWTIME, Starz & Cinemax. Don't just watch TV. DIRECTV. CALL NOW for current promotions and savings! 866-365-4372. Visit website for complete information.
LEGAL: Offers end 7/31/12. Credit card required (except in MA & PA); New approved customers only. All offers require 24-month agreement. FREE RV KIT: Comes with NEW residential home service activation & purchase of ENTERTAINMENT programming or above. Additional terms and conditions apply. Call for details.
This Week's Reader Survey
What is the largest medical bill you've incurred for a pet's single injury or illness? Answer here.
Last week's question
How much of July and August will you spend with your RV?
Read the survey results.
Build Your Dream Lot!
Phase 3 of Bella Terra Now Selling
What's on your wish list for the ultimate lot? Custom pavings? A gazebo? Waterfront seclusion? Five-star amenities? Get all of these and more at Bella Terra of Gulf Shores! Already one of the TOP RATED Class A Only resorts in the country, Bella Terra has broken ground on the third and FINAL phase of their five-star resort in the heart of the Emerald Coast. Each of these new oversized, waterfront lots can be customized with a number of luxurious amenities. Call Bella Terra today at (866) 417-2416 or find out more at Facebook.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the long list of upcoming RV shows for 2012 and 2013.
More than 2,150 places to stay for free or less than $10 in an RV.
Latest RV Recalls
See them here, along with past recalls.
RV Consignment Dealer
Buy or sell your used motorhome, diesel pusher, fifth wheel, or travel trailer hassle free at PPL Motor Homes. And check our huge selection of parts! PPL is the largest RV consignment dealer in the USA, selling over 24,000 consigned RVs since 1972. Visit the PPL website.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.47 (on July 20)
Change from week before: Up 5 cents
Diesel: $3.69 (on July 16)
Change from week before: Up 1 cent
Guide to Free Campgrounds
The 2012 edition of Guide to Free Campgrounds contains more than 12,000 public campgrounds across the USA, including those in national forests & national parks, & on lands of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) & at Corps of Engineers lakes -- all with camping fees of $12 or less per night! This is one of RVbookstore.com's all time best sellers. Learn more or order.
Ask the Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions.
New this year: Gary's eBook, The RV Doctor's Technical Guide to RV Electrical Systems. Learn all about your RV's 120-volt electrical system. Order now and be reading a few minutes later.
Squirrel invasion. What to do?
I need some help with a little problem. After a recent camping trip I discovered that squirrels had been in the engine compartment of my vehicle and had eaten through some of the wiring. The dealership that repairs my vehicle is giving me a $200.00 estimate to repair the damage the squirrels caused. It seems there is no absolute solution to this problem. I called the campground where this occurred to advise them and to let campers know what happened to me. Please help! Do you have a solution that works?
Read Gary's response.
Digital Bolt-Down Safe
List price $109.99. Now only $29.95!
Put your valuables, firearms and everything else you want to securely store in this password protected safe. You can bolt it down at the bottom or the back to prevent thieves from simply running away with it. It's small enough -- 12" X 8" X 8" -- to fit in the most inconspicuous spaces of your RV, home or boat. Adheres to strict ISO 9002/CE standards. Limit one per customer at this incredibly low price! Learn more or order.
His traveling companions don't stick around. Why?
Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I have been traveling my whole life. I have picked up some odd habits over the years that drives my traveling companions nuts. I guess that's why I am always ending up with a new one. Women like me but not on a full-time basis. From Steinbeck's Travels with Charlie I learned to do my laundry in a plastic garbage can hanging from bungee cords from the ceiling of my truck camper. At noon I add rinse water and hang out to dry in the late afternoon. I also save time by cooking on my engine block while driving. To ensure safety, I wrap my meatloaf in three layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. My latest traveling companion was a great gal who loved my meatloaf and laundry technique, but she dropped me for a guy with a bigger rig. . . Continued --Wally in Orlando
Doctor: "Nurse, how is that little girl doing who swallowed the ten quarters last night?" Nurse: "No change yet."
Headed to Alaska?
Check out these books and DVDs
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 on Saturday, July 21 beginning at exactly 9:30 a.m., Pacific Time (12:30 p.m. in the East).
Get SECURE internet access anywhere,
even while your RV is moving*
No contract. No recurring monthly fees. Secure connection!
Learn about a new mobile Internet service that allows you to connect your laptop or tablet while you're on the go at 3G speed. There are no contracts, no termination fees, no credit checks -- and you own the equipment (which costs about $45 or $85). Pay for usage just like with a prepaid cell phone. And the connection is secure: so go ahead and do your online banking safely! Watch a video by RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury or visit JustGetMobile.com to learn more.
*in most areas of the USA where Sprint wireless service is available.
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.
Tech Tips from Mark Polk
Plan ahead for a safe RV trip
Summer RV travel is here. Traffic on our highways increases dramatically during peak vacation season. I thought this would be a good time to discuss some safe RV travel tips so you arrive at your summer RV travel destination safely. Getting there can be half the fun, as the saying goes, if you take a few precautions it will help to make your RV trip safe. Read more.
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.
RV Insurance: Specialists in RV insurance. Explorer RV Insurance
RVs For Sale: Thousands of RVs for Sale, New, Used by Dealers & Private Sellers. RVzen.com
To participate, click here Monday through Friday.
The cash prize is now $125.00. 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: 98141, 16802, 96544, 85609, 93906
Propane stove not lighting? A tip
If you have trouble getting your propane stove burner to light (or stay lit) after long storage, clean the burner with a thick bottle brush to get rid of rust flakes and carbon particles that are blocking the orifice. -- From Trailers and Fifth Wheels 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.
Amazing! You don’t have to cook the macaroni first. Stir-frying it in hot oil gives it a toasty new taste too. Use fully cooked chicken bites from the supermarket or two cups of leftover chicken. Get the recipe.
Cookbooks for RVers: Big selection at RVbookstore.com.
New edition. Just published!
Living Aboard Your RV
Anyone who has dreamed of living on the road in an RV will find Living Aboard Your RV invaluable in planning and living the lifestyle. Author Janet Groene, with her vast experience as a full-time RVer, has put all the essential information in one volume, covering all the necessary topics from choice of RV to electronic communication, costs, banking issues and so much more. Even those who plan to travel only a few months of the year - or seasonally - should read this. Learn more or order.
Bumper Sticker of the week
I apologize for driving so close in front of you.
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
Glaciers hold about 75 percent of the world's fresh water. If all the glaciers melted, the world's sea level would rise about 230 feet.
RVers Best Public Campgrounds. Directory of public campgrounds along major roads.
Trailer Life RV Road Atlas. A best seller every year.
Mountain Directories East & West editions. Learn about steep grades ahead.
DVD: Deep Cycle Batteries. Learn all about this essential RV item.
The Fifth Wheel Bible: The only book just about fifth wheel trailers.
On hot summer days (lots of those this summer!), hit the road early toward your destination. Stop early to avoid the hot afternoons. Request a shady spot at the RV park. Then head for the pool.
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
"Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained." -- Arthur Somers Roche
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.
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 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, Silvanna Clark, Bob Difley, Roger Marble 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 blog 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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This newsletter is copyright 2012 by RVtravel.com