You are here
RV Travel Newsletter: November 3-9. Issue 558
Weekend of November 3, 2012
Issue 558 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!
on the Emerald Coast
Bella Terra of Gulf Shores is one of the top rated resorts in the country. With top of the line amenities, incredible staff and exquisite lots, this Class A-only resort is just minutes from the sugar-fine sands of the Alabama Gulf coast. Come see how they live at Bella Terra of Gulf Shores by visiting its website BellaTerraRVresort.com or by calling one of the resort representatives at (866) 417-2416.
A few weeks ago, on my way home to Seattle from the East, I stopped in Elkhart, Indiana to visit the RV Hall of Fame. I spent an hour with Al Hesselbart, the museum's historian. He showed me dozens of photos of vintage RVs. And I saw a few in person later in the museum itself, which is a treasure. I urge you to become a member and help support this very worthy cause.
After leaving, driving west, I thought about all those RVs from yesteryear, and about how far they have evolved. Even in my own lifetime they have changed dramatically: when I was young, my family's 15-foot Field and Stream travel trailer was primitive by today's standards. It had no bathroom, holding tanks, heater, generator, microwave, TV, music system or air conditioning. There were no dump stations because, well. . . there was nothing to dump. A shower? Good luck! Forget the convenience and comfort of an onboard bathroom: the pit toilet, with its flies, spiders and "ripe" aroma was the place to go (pun intended). If I return in my next life as another creature I wish to be a spider in a pit toilet! Oh, what a blessed food bounty would await!
The difference back then between a tenter and an RVer was that the latter was off the ground and better protected from the elements. But whether in a tent or RV, you were a camper.
Sometime since then, the term camping became obsolete for most of us who travel with RVs. We do not "camp" anymore. We can literally stay inside our fully equipped RVs for days on end without ever stepping on a pine needle or encountering dirt. Too cold? Turn on the heater. Too hot? Turn on the A/C. Hungry? Flip on the generator and pop something in the microwave. Really, traveling with a modern day RV is pretty much like being in a compact home that moves. RVers who travel with 40-foot rolling mansions, whose destinations are luxury RV resorts -- I don't think they ever consider themselves "campers." If they do, they're delusional.
Sometimes I hear people say (and I have said it myself), "oh, so and so camped in a Wal-Mart parking lot last night." Well, not true! That's not camping, at least in a traditional sense, by any stretch of the imagination. Yet what other word do we have? You can't say "oh, so and so RVed in a Wal-Mart parking lot last night." That sounds like they drove around in circles.
But, really, in the scheme of life this isn't a big deal. It was just something I was thinking as I drove I-90 on my way home.
Top photo: In the 1940s, we camped.
Bottom: Is this camping?
If you have a comment about this essay or this newsletter in general, please feel free to leave it at our forum.
DID YOU MISS LAST WEEK'S ISSUE? If so, read it here.
Helping Superstorm Sandy victims: We gave $100 to the Salvation Army to help the victims of the terrible storm. Click here if you wish to donate, or contribute $10 by text messaging STORM to 80888 and confirming with the word “Yes.” Or donate to the Red Cross at its website or by texting REDCROSS to 90999. NBC News has put together a list of worthy relief organizations. But be careful as scammers will surely surface, eager to cheat you. Here are some tips about how to avoid them.
* * *
In a few weeks, we will debut a new newsletter -- RV DAILY TIPS. Every Monday through Friday we'll post one valuable tip about RVing and one video tip from a nationally respected RV expert. To sign up, click here. It takes about 30 seconds. And check out our other newsletters while you're there.
Do you have any photos of yourself camping as a child? If so, we'd love to see them to possibly publish them in this newsletter. Be sure to include information about the photo including who is pictured. Email them to me, email@example.com.
Headed to Alaska?
Send for the official FREE state travel guide!
Discover what makes driving North to Alaska so legendary. The roads are open and well maintained. Every route offers countless places to stop along the way to fish, hike, view wildlife, stock-up on sundries, dine, shop, camp and relax. This official guide offers planning suggestions as to where to go, how to get there, what to see, and what to do. Don't travel to Alaska without reading this first. Essential! Get your FREE North to Alaska Travel Guide.
Three people were injured -- two seriously -- when a New Hampshire National Guard Humvee crashed into an RV near Chichester, N.H. The Humvee driver was last listed in stable condition in a hospital ICU.
A new Arnold Schwarzenegger action film will include sequences of a train plowing into a Winnebago motorhome. Stunt doubles will be seen tossed around in the rig as it rolls over several times. A Carrollton, Georgia welding firm is currently welding steel hoops around the coach to be used in the "rolling" scenes.
At least thirteen "partiers" piled into a motorhome in Nanaimo, B.C., complete with a drunk driver. Police stopped the motorhome at 3 a.m. The driver fled on foot and police made the passengers find their own way home as they impounded the RV.
In an ironic twist of fate, the body of Mick McDonald, a 50 year-old Brit, was carried to the crematorium in a hearse he converted from a VW camper van. McDonald's best friend was in the funeral business and asked the man for his help. During the project McDonald joked the conversion job, "would be the death of me." He died of a heart attack.
Hurricane Sandy has blown in more trouble for oil prices: The price of crude oil headed toward $110 on Tuesday on speculation of oil supplies for the East Coast.
Greenwood, Indiana RVers may soon be banned from parking their rigs in front of their homes or in driveways for more than 48 hours. City council members may vote to ban RV, boat, and trailer parking in order to maintain, "the aesthetic value of property," said one council member.
In another move against RV-unfriendly Australian towns, an RV group is putting together its own digital tourist maps of RV-friendly towns. Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia is also lobbying the government to change policies to allow more overnighting spots for RVs at lower costs.
Volkswagen will finally end production this December of its Kombi model, better known in the U.S. as the "VW Bus." The last bus will roll off a Brazilian production line, the victim of tougher safety standards. Kombi was the second of VW's creations (the "Bug" was first) and has been in production for 63 years.
A steel workers' union set up informational pickets at the Reese Hitch manufacturing plant in Goshen, Indiana last Monday in response to parent-company Cequent Performance Products possible decision to relocate hitch manufacturing to Mexico. More than 400 local jobs could be affected.
Australians prefer RVing to buying vacation homes. This according to a survey done for Jayco Australia. Of 1,000 surveyed, 56 percent would rather holiday by RV; 62 percent felt RVing was more cost-effective; and 63 percent said they'd think about buying an RV over vacationing abroad.
RV manufacturers report their wholesale movement of RVs for September beat that of September 2011 by almost 13 percent. So far this year, compared to the same time last year, the order of gain was highest for travel trailers, then fifth-wheels, Class A motorhomes and Class C motorhomes. Pop-up RVs actually sold fewer than in the same period of 2011.
AVAILABLE ONLINE FACTORY DIRECT AT A REDUCED PRICE.
With this UL certified RVIA compliant system the RV owner has the option of simply flipping a switch to use either Electric, or Gas as a source to heat their coach along with the manufacturer installed central forced air heating system. Gas or Electric at the flip of a switch. Learn more.
After a four-month closure for a complete makeover, Iowa's Emerson Bay State Recreation Area on West Okoboji Lake is open again. The new campground has fewer campsites, but more with electric: 82 electric sites while 23 offer full hookups.
Bear problems have caused the Forest Service to ask people to not bring food into the Panthertown Valley area in North Carolina's Nantahala National Forest. For those wanting to camp in the area, USFS recommends camping in areas "used infrequently."
America’s 398 national parks will offer everyone free admission during the Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 10-12, in honor of those who serve and have served in the United States military.
Campers in Ohio should be on the lookout for ticks this winter. A cold-resistant tick has taken a shine to the Buckeye State. "Blacklegged ticks" are likely to be found in at least 26 counties.
Every year during the holidays, Amazon.com hires 50,000 temporary workers, many of them RVers who participate in the company's Camper Force program. Benefits include free parking, sometimes with hookups. Pay is between $10.50 and $12.25 an hour plus a bonus for staying the entire season. Locations are in Campbellsville, Kentucky; Coffeyville, Kansas; and Fernley, Nevada. Learn more.
Little Creek Casino Resort near Shelton, Washington has opened a full-hookup RV park. The complex has 44 campsites and is easily accessible via Highway 101. Cost: $35 per night.
If you live in Alabama and are a veteran, then your admission to state parks is free over Veteran's Day weekend.
1911: Chevrolet officially enters the automobile market in competition with the Ford Model T.
1913: The USA introduces an income tax.
1917: First class mail now costs three cents per ounce.
1956: The "Wizard of Oz" is first televised (CBS-TV).
1970: President Nixon promises gradual troop removal in Vietnam.
1973: Good Morning America premieres on ABC.
Keep up with RV Industry
news throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Potential Roofing Concern
For RVs Built Since 2010
Some newer TPO roofing is not compatible with common lap sealants. Using lap sealant on these TPO materials can create cosmetic damage RVers will find undesirable. Dicor Products’ new Ultra Sealant System has been developed to overcome this concern. Find out if your RV could be a concern and get more helpful information on the situation. Learn more.
RVer Mary Fountain has traveled the globe
Although technically living fulltime in an RV, Mary Fountain has always considered herself more of a traveler than an RVer. In fact, she has trekked around the planet ... several times. Read more.
Replacing 12 volt RV batteries with six volt batteries
An RVer recently attempted to change his coach's 12-volt battery bank over to six volt batteries. In the process he drew a large spark and nearly frightened himself to death. What's the right way to make the change-over? Here's how.
As you travel in your RV, email is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. But there's a downside to this fabulous communication tool. Here is a terrific video that explains what can go wrong after you hit your send button and advice about what you can do to make sure your email and its sensitive information is not hijacked by bad guys. Watch the video.
Important for safe RVing!
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. We will meet or beat any advertised price on our system! Visit Truck System Technologies (TST) to learn more. Or call 770-889-9102.
Beware of scammers
They are out there and they want your money. Russ and Tina De Maris report their encounter with one such person in a Wal-Mart parking lot. A nice young man, who claimed to be the manager of a local service station, approached with the warning "You must not know it, but you've got a real problem with your spring shackles." As it turned out, there was no problem at all beyond the young man being a crook. Read more.
How one RVing couple escaped Hurricane Sandy
Have you ever wondered what you would do if you got word that a major hurricane was headed where you were camped? That's what happened to Julianne Crane and her partner Jimmy Smith. While camping in the Smokey Mountains they became aware of the weather system (then Tropical Storm Sandy) brewing in the Caribbean. They decided to get away as fast as possible. Their normal driving days of 100 to 175 miles a day turned into 530 one day 717 another as they sped west. Here is their story.
Songwriter, singer is
"livin' at Wal-Mart in her little RV"
Pat Pepin is a sax player, guitarist and talented singer. And she's "Livin' at Walmart" in her little RV. See for yourself (and listen to the catchy song she wrote about it! This is really fun. Watch the video.
Why an RV is awesome during a major storm
Rich Miller, the Wanderman, lives 90 miles northeast of New York. Like millions of others in the Northeast, he lost power at his home during superstorm Sandy. Yet, he writes, "Here I sit, in a comfortable chair, working on this article. The lights are on, the heater humming away and food cooking on the stove. Meanwhile, outside there are high winds, steady rain and most of the town around me is dark." Read more.
Best Selling DVD
Deep Cycle Batteries
Problems with deep cycle batteries are usually because an owner did not understand how to properly maintain them. With this DVD by Mark Polk, learn to maintain your batteries and extend their life. And when you extend their life, you extend the money in your wallet. Learn more or order.
Are tire gauges accurate?
Our tire expert Roger Marble writes: "If you are reading this blog you know that along with others I constantly complain that people do not always maintain their tire pressure. One part of the process is using a sufficiently accurate gauge. Over the past few years I have checked more than 40 different gauges and have observed a 14 to 18 percent failure rate in two groups of 20 or so gauges." Read more.
Man's RV is his castle -- literally!
This is, without a doubt, a one-of-king RV, a two-story homebuilt motorhome that, well. . . looks just like a castle! You must see this to believe it! No kidding! Take a look and read more.
What is your marital status?
Last week's question
How many hours of sleep a night is "perfect" for you?
Read the survey results.
Don't get burned with
the wrong RV insurance company!
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.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the long list of upcoming RV shows for 2013.
More than 2,000 places to stay for free or less than $10 in an RV.
Latest RV Recalls
See them here, along with past recalls.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Regular unleaded gasoline: $3.52 (on November 2)
Change from week before: Down 6 cents
Diesel: U.S. $4.03 (on October 29)
Change from week before: Down 8 cents
NOW HALF PRICE!
National Park Service Camping Guide
This book is a wonderful resource for anyone who enjoys camping in a National Park. Learn about nearly 450 campgrounds in 123 National Parks, recreation areas, monuments, and other areas managed by the National Park Service which all together are home to more than 25,000 campsites. Quantity is limited! Learn more or order.
Ask the Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions.
Learn all about your RV's 120-volt electrical system in Gary's eBook The RV Doctor's Technical Guide to RV Electrical Systems. Order now and be reading it a few minutes later.
Hurricane Sandy and an RV air conditioner
Last night during Hurricane Sandy, the wind forced water, (about a pint), through my roof-mounted air conditioning unit. It dripped through and I was able to catch it in a pan. Will this have ruined the AC motor or should I just let it dry out and then see if it runs? How do I prevent this in the future? --Hilary T., (Sterling, VA)
DID YOU MISS IT? If you missed the latest edition of the RV Doctor Newsletter, you can read it here.
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
The RV Shrink
RV is shrinking, shrinking, shrinking!
Dear R.V. Shrink:
I have recently been self-diagnosed with mild claustrophobia. We retired five years ago and have been downsizing. My husband calls it “cultivating our detachments.” We had a 2,000 sq. ft. house full of stuff five years ago. We moved into a 40 ft. motorhome which I thought downsized us as far as humanly possible. We really didn’t like driving the monster so we downsized further to a 34 ft. fifth-wheel. My husband could not get used to parking a fifth-wheel so we downsized further to a 27 ft. class C motorhome. I was quite happy with the class C, but my husband, the fanatic, started checking out 17 ft. Casita travel trailers. At first he said he was just curious about them, then we ended up taking a factory tour, and now I live in one. I have to admit I love the little thing, but we had to go through a lot of adjustments in coordinating our sleeping, eating and leisure activities. . . . Continued
Published in 2012!
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.
This issue's Knowledge Quiz
One quiz on Saturday, November 3, 2012 with a swell prize.
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, November 3 beginning at exactly 8:30 a.m., Pacific Time (11:30 a.m. in the East).
Odds and Ends
Jayco recalls some Eagle Premier 5th wheels.
Working on the RV Road
Web job search firm makes finding RV jobs easy.
RV News Service
Navistar to debut 2014 models at national RV trade show.
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.
In our Reader Forum
Discount Camping Clubs: All comments are negative
The list of dissatisfied customers who joined the RV Super Pages or the Ultimate RV camping clubs continues to grow. Both "clubs" are advertised heavily on the Web and promise half price camping. We have yet to see one positive comment from RVtravel.com readers about either club. Based on this response, we urge RVers considering a membership to read these comments first.
Sign up for our forum. A great way to exchange information and get your RV-related questions answered.
Travelers 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.
Joke of the week
There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer. When asked to define "great" he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!" He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.
Headed to Alaska?
Check out these books and DVDs
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. There's no shipping or handling and no tax to pay, making these a bargain over printed books. 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.
The basics of RV inverters
Learn more about RV repair and maintenance from Mark's books, eBooks and DVDs, available -- most at a discount -- at RVbookstore.com.
Retire to an RV:
The Roadmap to Affordable Retirement
Are you considering the RV lifestyle? Is it for you? Can you afford to retire AND travel 365 days a year? Retire to an RV provides you with the information to help you make that decision. Learn more or order.
RV Short Stops
Dickson Mounds Museum
The Dickson Mounds Museum in west-central Illinois offers a unique opportunity to explore the world of the American Indian in an awe inspiring journey through 12,000 years of human experience in the Illinois River Valley. It's one of the major on-site archaeological museums in the United States. Read more.
A great place to travel with your RV
RVing to Newfoundland
Canada's easternmost province is a spectacular destination for RVers. In this guidebook you will learn about driving, highways, routes, ferries, schedules, wildlife, scenic spots, eateries, campgrounds, boondocking and "gravel-pit camping." Learn more or order.
Bumper Sticker of the week
"Beat rush hour, leave work at noon."
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to chuck(at)rvtravel.com
"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 -- most of which never appears in this newsletter. "Like Us."
The RV Kitchen
Dutch Apple Slaw
If you haven’t discovered tangy, tasty, curly endive try this offbeat salad from the Netherlands. It can also be made with chopped lettuce or other greens. With crusty bread it makes a satisfying lunch.
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
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
Tow Your 5th Wheel Trailer Like a Pro
According to Harvard Professor of Zoology Edward Wilson, these are the most intelligent mammals. Highest: Humans, followed by chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, baboons, gibbons, monkeys, small-toothed whales, dolphins and elephants.
Visit the RVtravel.com
Check out the extensive classified section on 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.
Random RV Thought
It's a good idea to carry a keychain flashlight. You never know when you might need it. In a pinch, if you need light and have no flashlight, the light from a cell phone might help.
SPECIALS & CLOSEOUTS!
Save more than 80%
On Books and DVDs at RVbookstore.com
"Worry is a morbid anticipation of events which never happen." --Russell Green
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
Extended Warranty. See why so many RVers rely on Good Sam's program.
Win cash with our Pot of Gold Contest
The cash prize is now $200.00 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: 38929, 02459, 48275, 50836, 79311
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 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.
RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Contributing editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Julianne Crane, Gary Bunzer, Dave Helgeson, Roger Marble, Mark Polk, Janet Groene, and Richard Miller. Cartoonist: Jerry King. 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-B, 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).
This website utilizes some advertising services. Sometimes we are paid if you click one of those links and purchase a product or service. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.
This newsletter is copyright 2012 by RVtravel.com.