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RV Travel Newsletter: February 2-8. Issue 571
Weekend of February 2, 2013
Issue 571 of RV Travel
Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its twelfth 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!)
RV Resort Opens
The Preserve RV Resort launches with limited-time owner incentives, free preview stays and exclusive rally giveaways. Located just outside of Houston, this unique 2,000 acre resort property boasts oversized RV sites, walking trails, fishing lakes and white sandy beachfront. Visit www.preserveRVresort.com to learn more.
Letters poured in last week about my essay urging campgrounds to extend their checkout times from a stingy 11 a.m. to later. Most of the readers agreed with my comments, but others, mostly workampers, defended the early checkout time with horror stories about awful campers who left their campsites a mess. Most of their stories, however, had nothing to do with checkout times. "They pulled apart a fence to use for firewood," was one comment.
Most of these people said that if someone wanted to stay longer, they were usually allowed. They just need to ask. I say that they should not need to ask. One o'clock should be the official time, not 11 a.m.
From what I have observed through the years, nearly all campgrounds have campsites available for any early arrivals because 90 percent of the overnight campers leave early. My guess is that 99.7 percent of campers leave their space as clean as when they arrived and I don't think RV parks kick us out early because they need time to clean our sites: I think they do it because they have always done it, and nobody bothers to ask "Why?" So I say that unless there is a compelling reason, RV parks should do away with the 11 a.m. check out time and make it 1 p.m. It's the right thing to do. If you missed my essay last week, read it here.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE FAIREST CHECKOUT TIME?
11 a.m., Noon or 1 p.m. Take a quick survey (and see what other RVers think).
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I JUST LEFT THE HUGE RV SHOW in Quartzsite, Ariz., and I had some time later to camp in the desert just outside town. Any RVer who travels in the West should visit this area of Arizona and Southern California to camp on these government lands. Stay for free for up to 14 days then move and stay another 14 days for free. Or pay about $1 a day and stay seven months in a Bureau of Land Management Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA). What a deal!
I'm not sure where I am headed next as I need to stop a lot to work. That said, with temperatures now in the mid 70s, I'm loving working with my windows and doors wide open, savoring the warm temperatures.
As many of you know, we started a daily newsletter a couple of months ago (RV Daily Tips) and it has been a whole lota work building up our freelance contributor ranks, searching for a new editorial assistant and getting organized. So I've been super busy trying to pull everything together. If you have not signed up for the newsletter do it here. Or just email me at email@example.com and I'll do it for you.
That's all for today. Gotta run. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
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If you have had trouble signing up for our new RV Daily Tips newsletter, please email me — firstname.lastname@example.org — and I will be happy to put you on the list to receive the email alert for each new issue.
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With support of local citizens, it appears a new RV park in Fernie, B.C. could become a reality on the rodeo grounds west of the Fernie Golf Club. If approved, the new park would have more than 200 RV sites.
Gulfport, Florida lawmakers are giving 50 RV owners what they consider a break. City law imposes property setbacks that the RVers can't meet when parking their rigs. Rather than erase the law, the city is allowing current owners who can't comply to apply for a variance but leaving the setbacks in place for future RV owners.
The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida is throwing a "Snowbird Fly-In" on Monday. Snowbirds get admission, a welcome program and a chance to catch the IMAX movie "Rocky Mountain Express," all free. Check in at 9 a.m.
The year 2012 was the RV industry's best year since 2008, growing more than 13 percent in sales. So says the RV Industry Association.
Start-up RV builder Grand Design Recreational Vehicles says it has delivered its first RV. The "Solitude" fifth-wheel went to an Anniston, Alabama dealer. Grand Design will also produce travel trailers and toy haulers.
Got stuff to carry in your travel trailer but short on space? The "Trailer Tray" just introduced by Stromberg Carlson fits on your A-frame and can lug 300 pounds of cargo. Call 231-947-8600 for info.
Nearly 100 homeowners in a Millsboro, Delaware mobile home park are worried they'll be homeless if park owners have their way. A proposal to turn Massey's Landing into a 575 site RV park could mean the mobile homes would go. Park owners say that such moves would be far into the future.
tire pressure and temperature
The TireTraker™ TT-400C is a full-time wireless electronic tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) designed to monitor & display tire pressures from 0 psi up to 145 psi & also to monitor tire temperatures from 14°F to 185°F. Monitor tires on your motorhome, trailer & tow vehicle -- up to 22 tires! Low pressure is the leading cause of premature tire failure! The TireTraker™ TT-400C, with its industry-leading 3-year warranty, can provide early notice of potential problems & assist in maintaining proper pressurization. List price (four tires) $319. Our price only $219. SAVE $100! Learn more or order. Read testimonials about Tire Traker.
Connecticut travel planning? The state's campground owner's association has released its 2013 guidebook which lists most private RV parks and all public campgrounds. The free guide is available here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-521-4704.
Idaho RVers may have a new agency to report to: The Department of Parks and Recreation is currently the state's registrar for RV licensing but wants to unload the job on the transportation department. The change could come this summer.
Rod Livingston the inventor of Dry-Flush, a waterless toilet for RVs, says his firm has built nearly 300 of the units and sold almost 200. About being an inventor, Livingston says, "you just sort of get sucked into it." We hope that doesn't happen with his invention.
1935: Lie detector first used in court (Portage, Wisc.).
1942: U.S. auto factories switch from commercial to war production.
1949: The first 45 RPM record is released.
1963: Pebbles Flintstone, fictional character on "The Flintstones," is "born."
1964: GI Joe debuts as a popular American toy.
1974: Barbra Streisand has her first number one hit, "The Way We Were."
1991: U.S. postage raised from 25 cents to 29 cents.
Keep up with RV Industry
news throughout the week at RVbusiness.com.
Stop the shaking in
your parked 5th Wheel or Travel Trailer!
"Just an educated guess, but I would say STEADYfast is the best!"
Installs permanently and the set up is very easy.
For more information click here. Or call toll-free 866-498-8754.
Topics of last week's RV Daily Tips Newsletter
Eliminate smelly kitchen towels.
Save money at the gas pump: Slow down!
A better drain valve for your RV.
The benefits of an auto-sliding fifth wheel hitch.
Making your first RV trip with your dog.
Why you should always have some water in your RV's tank.
Beware: RV awnings can become missiles.
How, exactly, does a tire pressure monitoring system work?
Black ice driving tips for RVers.
When should you check your tire pressure.
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.
Got a diesel powering your motorhome or tow vehicle? Then chances are likely you've got a turbocharger under the hood. They're a real handy item to beef up your power, but they're not something you ever want to have to replace — it will cost you a bundle! A few simple care tips will greatly reduce your chances of ever needing a replacement. Read more.
Have you seen the TV segments or read the stories about the family of 14 that decided to pack into an RV and hit the road? It's Mom and Dad and 12 kids, the youngest just born. The media is making this out to be the American Dream. We're not so sure. Read our take on this.
Harvest Hosts matches up RVers with farms and wineries. For a modest annual membership, RVer-members are invited to dry camp for free overnight at more than 400 farms and wineries across North America. RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury caught up with founders Kim and Don Greene at the Quartzsite RV Show. Watch his two minute interview where they tell about their organization.
Mini blinds. How to clean them
The Wanderman, Rich Miller, is still stuck home with his RV as he is every winter at his New York home. So he's busy doing odds and ends on his motorhome. This week he takes on the cleaning of mini blinds. And, as usual, he has good advice to provide to other RVers. So read all about it.
Place to be this Season
We've had plenty of feedback from Mexico traveling RVers about our last piece regarding the U.S. Government's information on Mexico travel safety. In a nutshell, most assured us that travel south of the U.S. border is as safe (or safer) than in the U.S. Read our last story and you can make up your own mind on the matter. Should you choose to travel Mexico with your RV, here are a few (largely common-sense) tips on shoring up your safety and making your trip less stressful.
If you ever thought that in the world of propane cylinders, "There's nothing new under the sun," think again. How about an LP cylinder made, not from steel or aluminum, but from plastic and fiberglass? Sound a bit wild? Hang on, there's a company that sells them, and you might just want to consider them. Read more.
Workamping. Earn $100 or more a day guarding oil field gates
When it comes to securing a high paying workamping job, oil field gate guarding duty ranks up there with the best. Oil field gate guarding is exactly that; a company pays you at least $100 a day (usually more) to park your rig at the entrance of a secured oil field, and your task is to check in and record every vehicle that enters. And there are perks. Read more.
to locating Wal-Mart stores
Learn where to find more than 4,100 U.S. Wal-Mart stores most of which allow free overnight stays in RVs. Get specific driving directions to each. Learn which stores sell gas and diesel. The Walmart Atlas is an RVbookstore.com best-seller. SAVE 20% off cover price. Learn more or order.
This Week's Reader Survey
Approximately how often do you camp with an electrical hookup?
Last week's question
Do you dream in color or black and white?
Read the survey results.
Hot off the press!
2013 Next Exit
Never take a wrong exit off an Interstate highway again. The 2013 Next Exit lists every exit along every Interstate and details exactly what you will find at each: gas stations (including which brands and if they offer diesel), campgrounds, truck stops, casinos, laundries, retail stores (by name) shopping malls, movie theaters, factory outlet malls, drug stores, hospitals, rest areas, and more. Learn more or order.
ABCs of RV shopping: Two popular kinds of motorhomes
If you're in the market for your first RV, there's plenty to be learned about the differences in RVs. This is the first installment of a multi-part series to help better acquaint you with your choices. This week we'll talk about the two most popular kinds of motorhomes. Read the article.
Don't let this happen to you
Do yourself a big favor by watching this 20-second video (there is no sound) about a technique a crook can use to easily steal your vehicle at a parking lot while you stand by helplessly. Any of us could easily fall for this. Watch the short video.
Fulltime RVing: One fulltimer's fuel costs
Our blogger Rene Agredano writes: "Don't let the high costs of fuel stop you from making the leap to a full-time RVer lifestyle. Many people mistakenly believe that fulltime RVers spend a large fortune on fuel cost each year, but the diesel costs I've incurred over six-years of fulltiming are a great example showing how the cost of fulltime RVing can be far less than most people imagine." Read more.
Now 50% off!
Ten Minute Tech, Volume 2
Wow! This is awesome – 600 illustrated tips from the editors of Trailer Life and Motorhome Magazines and their readers about ways to fix, modify, repair or otherwise improve an RV. No kiddin' – this book is terrific! And you have never seen it at such a low bargain price (and likely never will again)! Learn more or order.
Mixing load range on tires
Can you mix tires of the same size and design on an axle if the load range is different? Our tire expert Marble weighs in.
Couple says no to buying RV, rents when they want to travel
Alison and Dave Perea of Girdwood, Alaska, like the benefits of RV travel but are not quite ready to retire and don’t want the worry about storing or maintaining a motor home. They decided to simply rent an RV when they want to vacation travel over long distances for an extended period of time. Read more.
Modern gypsy wagon?
Check out this most unusual motorhome. Do you know anything about it? If so, please leave a comment so we can all know. It's not your typical RV, that's for sure.
Join RVer and filmmaker John Holod as he cruises the Mother Road from Chicago to L.A. by motorhome, with stops along the way at all the classic attractions. Even though the road was bypassed by Interstates, much of it is still there, and easy to drive with an RV. If you plan to travel this historic highway or have already done so, RV Adventure: Route 66 is for you. Learn more or order at a discounted price.
Upcoming RV Shows
See the long list of upcoming RV shows for 2013.
More than 2,200 places to stay for free or less than $10 in an RV.
Latest RV Recalls
See them here, along with past recalls.
Published this month!
2013 RVer's Friend
This best selling directory lists every Travel Center (truck stop) in the U.S. and Canada about 6,600 all together -- and what services each provides to RVers. RVers can determine if a travel center welcomes them for an overnight stay, if it has a dump station, if it sells propane, and if it provides Internet access or utility hookups. It also includes an Exit Order section. And, also very important, the book lists which RV mechanical services are provided. 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: $3.44 (on February 1)
Change from week before: Up 14 cents
Diesel: $3.92 (on January 28)
Change from week before: Up 2 cents
Military Campground Directory
The U.S. Military Campgrounds Directory CD-Rom runs on your Windows computer. Unlike a printed directory, this one is updated every month -- so no more arriving at a campground to learn “things are different now!” With this handy CD-Rom you do not need an Internet connection to get to the latest details on every known U.S. military campground. Learn more or order for 15% off.
Ask the Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions.
We're RV wannabes and still learning so please pardon the ignorance of my question. I'm very interested in the tankless water heaters. Just makes more sense — less weight, greater fuel economy, etc. My question is, can you still boondock with a tankless water heater? Or are you limited to a direct water hookup? --Virginia S., (Dix, IL)
National Park Service Camping Guide
The National Park Service Camping Guide, expanded and updated in 2013, describes nearly 450 campgrounds in more than 120 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. If you love camping in National Parks, this is for you. Learn more or order.
The RV Shrink
Party time in the Everglades, but not appreciated
Dear R.V. Shrink:
We are becoming a bit disappointed in the National Park Service in the Everglades. Perhaps it is budget cuts or personnel shortages. We just spent a couple weeks there and every weekend seems to be party central for the locals. The park gate is wide open all night so people come and go with no one to challenge them. We can deal with most noise during normal hours, but we expect quiet during quiet hours. The park does not seem to enforce any rules regarding quiet time. My wife finally went over to a noisy site and asked them politely to tone it down. They were belligerent and continued with louder music, screaming and yelling. My wife then asked the host to approach them and they did not want to get involved. Park law enforcement never showed up and the partying continued into the wee hours. Read the remainder of the question and the Doc's response.
Joke of the week
Why did the belt get locked up in jail?
Answer at bottom of newsletter.
Essential for owners of large RVs!
2013 Big Rigs
Best Bets Campground Directory
If you drive a king-sized RV, this directory is for you. The authors provide details about RV parks in 49 states and eight Canadian provinces that welcome long RVs. All parks personally visited by the authors, who even recommend best sites in each one plus nearby attractions. A must for big rig owners. Learn more or order.
Roadside geology for RVers
Why are rocks and the dirt in the Southwest red?
Dear Doc Rock,
I do most of my traveling in the West, where I often see red rock and red earth. I have enclosed a photo I took at Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas. . . . what causes rock and earth to be red?
Headed to Alaska?
Check out these books and DVDs
This issue's Knowledge Quiz
One quiz on Saturday, February 2, 2013 with a swell prize
TODAY PRIZE: The fabulous book RVers Best Public Campgrounds.
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, February 2 beginning at exactly 9:30 a.m., Pacific Time (12:30 p.m. in the East).
MORE QUIZZES WITH PRIZES.
We run contests with prizes in every issue of our new weekday newsletter RV Daily Tips. Sign up here so you don't miss out.
Just published. Hot off the press!
2013 RV Buyers Guide
Whether you're dreaming about buying a new RV or are actively shopping, the 2013 RV Buyers Guide created by Trailer Life is your best source for learning what you need to know about virtually every new RV on the market — motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheelers, folding camping trailers, truck campers and other RVs — with complete information about construction features, dimensions, popular options and more. Learn more or order.
Odds and Ends
RV News Service
Quartzsite RV show wraps up its 30th season.
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.
Tech Tips from Mark Polk
To much to remember about RV maintenance?
There are many things to remember about maintaining an RV. Sometimes we tend to overlook the simplest maintenance requirements. As the old saying goes, 'you can't see the forest for the trees.' Let’s take a quick look into some common RV owner maintenance oversights.
Learn more about RV repair and maintenance from Mark's many helpful books and DVDs at RVbookstore.com.
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 2013 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 Short Stops
Farnsworth TV & Pioneer Museum
This downtown Rigby museum features 14,000 square feet of exhibitions from the pre-electric and early electric era, the history of Jefferson County, and early photography. But the best display is about Filo Farnsworth, the inventor of television. Filo moved to Rigby at age 11 and got his inspiration for TV while studying the long, straight plowed rows of farm fields. He told his high school teacher about his idea. . . and the rest is history. In the museum on Main Street, you can see a replica of Farnsworth's first TV tube: it's a monster. Also in the museum: an Indian's maiden dress and other early Americana/pioneer stuff. Rigby bills itself as the "Birthplace of Television." The museum is at 118 West 1st Street. Adult admission is $2.
Guide to Free Campgrounds
The 2012 edition of Guide to Free Campgrounds contains more than 12,000 public campgrounds across the USA, including national forests, national parks, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Corps of Engineers campsites and others, 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.
“Get a good tire gauge and check your inflation regularly.” —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.
The RV Kitchen
Choc-Oat-Let Fudge Cookies
Drop cookies aren’t high on my list of galley favorites. Bar cookies are quicker, easier and take less room in my small oven. However, baking cookies on a cold, rainy day is a satisfying pastime. It fills the RV with good smells and gives me an excuse to invite campground neighbors in for a cuppa and a card game. Buy the large (22 ounces) box of brownie mix. Quick oats may also be labeled 1-minute oats. Steel cut or instant oatmeal are not recommended for this recipe. The 30-minute waiting time is important. Don’t skip it.
Cookbooks for RVers: Big selection at RVbookstore.com.
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 how 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.
Bumper Sticker of the week
"I used to care but I take a pill for that now."
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to chuck(at)rvtravel.com
Win cash with our Pot of Gold Contest
To participate, click here Monday through Friday.
The cash prize is now $265.00 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: 60131, 22448, 62957, 77705, 54412. Remember, these Zip Codes can appear again at any time.
A key chain with several keys lost by C. Dornqwast in the Wolf River of Wisconsin was recovered a year later inside a six-pound walleye pike!
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
SECRET PHRASE. Millie was battling the shingles when she fell into Rotten Ralph's water well.
Best sellers at RVbookstore
•Baby picture has nothing to do with this ad. It's just a cheap trick to attract your attention.
RVers Best Public Campgrounds. Directory of public campgrounds along major roads.
Mountain Directories East & West editions. Learn about steep grades ahead.
DVD: Deep Cycle Batteries. Learn all about this essential RV item.
Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory. THE directory for owners of big RVs.
The Fifth Wheel Bible: The only book just about fifth wheel trailers.
Random RV Thought
One way to see if your RV is level is to place a marble, golf ball or other round object on your dinette table or kitchen counter top. Watch which direction it rolls: that's where your RV is the lowest. But the best way to tell is to place a small level in your RV's freezer compartment. Another way is to just get up, walk around your RV and if it feels level then good enough.
"Don't pay to stay!" Visit FreeCampgrounds.com.
Hot off the press!
2013 Good Sam
RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory
This thick directory combines the Trailer Life and Woodall's campground directories of the past into one thick, comprehensive volume, with full descriptions & details for nearly 15,000 private & public campgrounds, information on over 900,000 RV sites, RV service centers, LP gas locations & tourist attractions. It includes military park listings & more than 2,000 Good Sam discount locations. Learn more or order at low discount price.
"Courage is being scared to death. . . and saddling up anyway." --John Wayne
RVing 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.
RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Contributing editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Julianne Crane, Gary Bunzer, Bob Difley, Mark Polk, Janet Groene, Richard Mallery, Roger Marble, Rene Agredano 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.
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. These days, 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.
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!
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).
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 2013 by RVtravel.com
Joke answer: It held up a pair of pants.