Welcome to RVtravel.com, an RV-themed newsletter from the most-read consumer website about RVing in North America with more than 147,000 registered subscribers. We support a free press and believe it is essential to a democracy. At RVtravel.com, you will learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. And we’ll explore where this wonderful lifestyle is heading in our ever more complex, crowded and uncertain world. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.
June 19, 2021
Our new national holiday
The secret way RV parks will soon charge you more
By Chuck Woodbury
FOUNDER AND PUBLISHER
s I noted in issue 1,000, I have now purposely stepped out of the spotlight after 20 years of basking in its glow as editor of this illustrious publication. But I am not gone. Hah! Far from it. I am not retired and the last time I pinched myself I was not dead. I still have words in me that must come out. A writer writes and always will. It’s a law of nature.
What I must tell you about today is something I bet you have never thought of. Mike Gast, our new and incredibly magnificent contributor, will have much more to say on this subject beginning next weekend. But here’s a little preview.
You’ve heard of dynamic pricing, haven’t you? Airlines, hotels and Uber drivers practice it. It means you pay for services based on supply and demand. If you book a hotel room five months in advance for a holiday weekend you will likely get a better deal than if you try to reserve it two days in advance when only a few rooms are left. Same goes for a plane ticket. And, with Uber, if you want a ride at 4 a.m., it will cost you far less than a ride home from a sold-out Red Sox game – “supply and demand” at work.
So here is my preview of your RVing future. It’s scary if money is important to you. The message is this: Be prepared to pay more for a campsite in the years ahead, and be prepared to be denied a reservation for reasons you will never know…
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• KOA now predicts even more campers this summer, including a whopping 20 million for July 4th weekend!
• Camping World’s Lemonis hits snag in building electric RVs
• Tony reviews the 2021 Jayco Eagle HT 31MB Fifth Wheel
And all the latest news that affects RVers.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Stolen RV Report • Latest RV recalls • AARP Scam Report • Reader survey • and much more…
Listen to this week’s RVtravel.com podcast
RV DEALER DIRTY TACTICS EXPOSED
Are you a “spiral notebook commando?” You should be! Kevin Frazer of Cheyenne Camping Center goes to town on RV dealers’ unscrupulous selling practices, tricks and traps. From his take on the motives of “chain-type” dealership groups, to financing, add-on costs, extended warranties and how customers are just a means to an end. [We’ve bleeped out his most scathing accusations in the interest of fairness. Caveat emptor!] Kevin advocates trusting your own “sixth sense,” digging deep into reviews, and shows you how to be a savvy buyer. Listen on RVtravel.com or other popular podcast platforms
SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY PODCAST INSIDER NEWSLETTER. You’ll be the first to know about each new podcast, plus participate in contests and other promotions that you will love.
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Defrosting the RV freezer
• Readers’ “hidden” storage tips revealed
• An interesting way to find boondocking spots in the Southwest
• Follow these tips from a veteran RVer
• The sand struggle: A trick to keeping it out of your RV
Thank you for believing in us!
RVtravel.com and the more than 700 newsletters about RVing we publish every year would not be possible without the financial support of our voluntary subscribers — that’s you! Your contributions help us pay our writers for their time writing important in-depth stories instead of fluffy puff pieces we could get for free from PR people and influencers. The RV industry wishes we would just shut up and quit rocking its “sell, sell, sell” boat —the next time you can’t get a campsite reservation think about that! We won’t shut up, thanks to you — part of the only four percent of our readers who believe our hard efforts are worth more than “free.” If you haven’t make a contribution in a year or two (or more), won’t you please consider donating something again? We would really, really appreciate it. Learn more or donate.
Today’s RV review…
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2022 Keystone Cougar 22MLS Travel Trailer. He writes, “From both the standpoint of the layout of the Cougar 22MLS trailer and some qualitative features of the Keystone brand in general, plus some design features, I really like this model quite a bit.” Read more and peek inside.
Last week’s reviews:
• 2022 Safari Condo Alto R1713 – Boondocking upgrade (update)
• Bürstner Lyseo Gallery prototype with inflatable second floor office
• 2022 Airstream Interstate 24X Class B Adventure Van
• 2022 LOKI Basecamp Falcon Series Pickup Camper
• Northwood Nash 18FM Travel Trailer
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
MORE OF CLINT
See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!
Popular RVing YouTubers buying RV park; fans get first dibs on sites
John and Mercedes Condon were frustrated by their inability to find a decent campsite to use as a home base as they traveled the country, adding to the content on their “RV Odd Couple” website. So, they decided to buy their own campground.
“We are out there, on the road,” said John Condon, a successful contractor who now travels the U.S. with his wife and daughter. “We saw so many in our viewer family without a place to go, too. It’s hard to watch families being stranded or just fighting to find a place to stay.”
So what did they do? They decided to buy a campground. Continue reading and see why they’re giving fans first dibs on sites.
Cybercrime and ransomware attacks increasing. What this means for you and your RV
Reports of so-called “ransomware” cybercrime have been increasing, with stories of high-profile attacks against vital infrastructure, transportation, food production and medical facilities. A ferry system in Massachusetts, a major petroleum pipeline in the eastern U.S., as well as more than 560 healthcare facilities nationwide have been targeted. According to a recent report by National Public Radio, the U.S. suffered 65,000 ransomware attacks last year – that’s more than seven an hour. What does this have to do with you and your RV? Find out in this important article.
Campground Crowding: Even camp hosts are throwing in the towel!
More people than ever are taking up RVing. The result is campground crowding like never before. In this weekly blog, RV Travel readers discuss their experiences. This week readers, including a long-time camp host, are just giving up. Some of it is due to crowding, some due to lack of campground etiquette, and some due to increasing costs. But there are also some tips to help you find campsites. All that and much more here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• Trailer hitch fail! Check this photo, then weep!
• Ten most popular vehicles towed behind motorhomes
• Oh, DEER! This highway disaster is WILD!
• Avoid the cordless drill blues
Have you already booked a campsite this summer in a National Park?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE.
The most popular poll in this past week’s RV Daily Tips newsletters:
Do you buy souvenir magnets for your refrigerator on your trips? See how more than 1,800 other RVers responded.
What can’t talk but will reply when spoken to?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Quirky roadside stops with an interesting (and sometimes delicious!) history
By Chris Epting
Why do we wander? That’s what I asked you in my last column, where I acknowledged the importance of road trip culture. Are you on the road? Are you in the mood to explore a few pop culture landmarks that mark the American spirit of creativity, ingenuity and invention? Well, you’ve landed in the right place! Here are a few of my favorite places with an interesting history that will hopefully inspire your mind, heart… and stomach! Continue reading. Have you visited any of these landmarks? Let us know in the comments.
Prime Day is coming! RVers, get out your wish lists and save some $$$!
Get your “RV Wish List” out of the drawer because Prime Day is coming! Amazon began its now-famous Prime Day back in the summer of 2015. At the time, the company hoped to boost sales at a historically slow time of the year for many retailers. Since then, Amazon’s Prime Day rivals Black Friday with the huge number of deals offered, as well as the total amount of dollars spent during the now two-day event. Prime Day also has unmatched discount levels, which is where your wish list comes in. You might be able to snag some great camping and RV gear at amazingly great discounts! Read more.
RVing grandparents make up for lost pandemic time with grandkids
One casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns was the unique relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild. The little ones change so much, so fast, that time lost with a grandchild is time lost forever. Continue reading for a great way to make up for lost time with your grandkids here.
No backyard? No problem! DoggieLawn is the perfect no-mow solution for RVers
If your pup, Fido or Fifi, is missing the backyard of their sticks-and-bricks home, bring it to them! DoggieLawn is an eco-friendly, real (yup, real) patch of grass that comes with you in the RV. If Fido hates going to the bathroom when you’re down in the Arizona desert, and Fifi doesn’t like going on the sands in Florida, DoggieLawn comes into play! Continue reading.
Take your ice cream cone out of your pocket! It’s illegal!
We received many interesting comments on a story we published recently about birds nesting inside a motorhome’s slide-out. … Many comments centered around the legality of destroying bird nests rather than taking precautionary actions, and that got me thinking… What other kinds of interesting or funny laws exist and how might they affect RVers? Read what Gail Marsh discovered. You’ll laugh at a lot of these!
Is this your RV?
If it’s yours and you can prove it to us (send a photo for comparison), tell us here by 9 p.m. Pacific time today, June 19, 2021. If it’s yours you’ll win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
If this isn’t your RV, send us a photo of your RV (if you haven’t already) for a chance to win in future issues.
Last week one reader claimed their $25 Amazon Gift Card: John Battistoni of Nixa, Missouri.
We’ll have another photo in tomorrow’s newsletter (sign up to receive an email alert so you don’t miss the issue or those that follow). Some of these photos are submitted by readers while others were taken by our editors and writers on their travels around the USA.
Popular articles from last week
• RV park owner throws in the towel. The business has changed, even shockingly (still on top for second week)
• Is the demise of mom-and-pop campgrounds really such a bad thing?
• Campground and RV Park News, June 12, 2021
• The sand struggle: A trick to keeping it out of your RV
• Is this stupid RVer behavior or not?
• Ways to keep the cool air IN the RV and the hot air OUT!
• Building an RV park: We see the light! Update on bank loan
• Camper’s death could have been prevented with a satellite messenger. Don’t let it happen to you!
• No power? No hookups? You’d better be prepared!
• Campground Crowding: A helpful tip to reserve spots: “Schedule backward”
• RV entry step system is too heavy and complicated!
• 2022 Ford Maverick: The cheapest of cheap pickup trucks
How would you like to win Augason Farms 4 Gal. Lunch and Dinner Emergency Food Supply?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (June 19, 2021) by 7 p.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email via RVcontests@gmail.com that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.
Click here to enter or see last week’s winner!
Tick Talk … Be prepared!
Ticks are more rampant than ever this season and, as RVers, it’s important you know how to prevent them from latching onto you, and what to do if they do. Here are two important articles to bookmark:
‘Tis the season for tick talk
In this helpful article, Kate Doherty details everything you need to know about ticks – where they live (and what types of terrain), how they transmit disease, what to do if a tick gets on your pet(s), DIY and natural prevention measures, and how to remove a tick if you get bit. All this and much more, right here.
Warning: If bit by a tick, there’s a 50% chance you’ll get Lyme disease
That headline is true! If you didn’t know Lyme disease was transmitted by ticks, you should read this article by Gail Marsh, who tells you the scary truths about the disease. Learn the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and preventive measures of this scary disease in this article.
DID YOU KNOW? Unlike many other biting pests, ticks are adapted to feed for long periods of time. They bury their curved teeth deeply into the skin of a host, so they can remain securely attached for days on end to eat. It’s important to note that ticks typically require 24-48 hours of feeding before they can successfully transmit infections like Lyme disease. So get rid of that free-loader pronto!
UPDATED MAY 20 (2nd edition): “RVs: Who Makes What” – This is a new free directory from RVtravel.com which lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models. Learn more and/or download a free PDF copy.
AAA Map of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions (U.S. and Canada)
Stolen RVs — Help us recover these stolen RVs. The more eyes we have searching for them, the better chance of getting them back to their rightful owners, and maybe putting the crooks who stole them in the slammer! See the stolen RVs.
Great websites. Check out our favorite websites of the day! We compiled a list of (almost) all the websites we’ve ever posted, and we update it weekly.
Where to complain about bad RVs, dealers, service, RV parks. This is an ever-expanding list of resources where you can report, share or discuss your problems with RV manufacturers or dealers.
Best Club for RVers: Escapees. Click here to learn more or join. Endorsed by RVtravel.com.
Directory of RV parks with storm shelters
In case you’re on the road with your RV and the weather report is showing a tornado headed your way, have this list handy.
Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.
What does financing an RV for 20 years REALLY mean?
In case you missed this article the first time around, here it is again. Important! Click here.
Stuck with a lemon RV? Contact Ron Burdge, America’s premier RV lemon law attorney.
Phone Photography Tips
Tip #7: Tap your screen to set focus
By Mike Gast
Welcome to the 7th installment of “Getting The Most From Your Smartphone Photos.” Each week, we look at an easy-to-use tip that will take your “unshareable” cell phone pictures and turn them into photos you’d be proud to hang on the wall of your RV. This week’s tip is about developing a new habit to help you take crisp, in-focus shots. It’s as simple as tapping your screen. Learn more here.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Fridge Fixer keeps residential refrigerator doors closed in RVs
Americans are an ingenious lot. We see a problem. We solve a problem. Whether that problem be big or small, we don’t hesitate to provide a cool solution. And speaking of cool, one of the problems many RVers have is that their residential refrigerators don’t stay closed when going down the road. Solution? Fridge Fixer™. Read what Tony Barthel thinks about this nifty gadget, and watch a short video, here.
We’re looking for melted 30-amp shore power connectors
Mike Sokol and Mike Zimmerman (from the RVelectricity Facebook group) are trying to determine the frequency and cause of burned and melted shore power connections on either the pedestal (TT-30) or RV (L5-30) connectors for shore power hookups. Read more and please take the survey here.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
HUGE Klein Non-Contact Voltage Tester Recall
If you have a Klein NCVT-1 Non-Contact Voltage Tester like the one pictured here, it’s been recalled due to a switch problem that could present a shock hazard. Stop using it immediately. Read more here.
RV Tire Safety
Are tire pressure recommendations changing?
A question from an RVer: “I have a 2020 Ford F-250 and an Airstream 33′ travel trailer. I’ve read a lot of discussion about tire pressure, but nothing real current. What I mean is, the newer F-250 door column states for these Michelin tires now, 60 psi front and 65 psi rear. The tires max at 80 psi on the sidewall, which was my experience with prior year F-250’s on the door column too. But the tech at the dealership said they’ve changed and that with normal driving you can run 80 psi, but harsher ride and you’ll run the ‘middles out of them.'”
Read the rest of the question and Roger Marble’s response here.
The Digital RVer
Reasons to share map locations with friends and family
Both Google Maps and Apple Find Me have the ability to share locations with specified people. Once that’s done, you can look at a map at any time and see where your friends are. That comes in very handy when you’re traveling or meeting up with another RVing couple. Or you can have fun traveling even if it’s not your own travels! Chris Guld of Geeks on Tour tells you how to do it here.
Easy-to-use device helps you stay in touch with loved ones; Portal is a step above the rest
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of staying connected with friends and loved ones. … Services such as FaceTime and Zoom certainly helped close the gap on live, face-to-face communications from afar. But there is another pretty cool tool out there RVers might want to consider. I’ve had a Facebook Portal device in my home (and on the road) for a few years now. … Read why Mike Gast thinks this is such a cool device, and how he uses it daily, here.
Recipe of the Day
Roasted Pistachio Salmon with Maple Whiskey Sauce
by Patricia Naveira from Burbank, CA
This sauce is so decadently delicious! The maple flavor is far more prominent than that of the whiskey, which suited my palette just right. It’s perfect atop the salmon, but would be wonderful on chicken as well.
Now that’s a recipe to spoil Dad or Grandpa with! Get the recipe.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Meatloaf on the Grill
• Coconut Beer Shrimp With Sweet and Tangy Sauce
• Frosted Fudge Brownies
• Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Rolls
• Dorito Taco Salad
NEW: Sign up for the RV Kitchen group on Facebook.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Six-month-old golden retriever, Hazel Bee, who loves going camping. Waiting for Mom to load the motorhome for Leavenworth, WA.” —Kathy Knnaird
Pets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
• Toby, Dudley, Diesel, Annabel & Oscar • Bella • Bing, Spooky, Stucky & Luna • Billie & Lexi • Henry
Vintage Postcard of the Week
Postcards owned by Colleen and Ed Weum, Pacific Northwest Postcard Club. Read more about their 90,000 postcard collection here.
If you’re sitting at a desk right now, you might want to stop reading… The average office desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet (and, FYI, it’s pretty much the same with a vehicle’s steering wheel). Ewwwwwwwww.
Also: How many RVtravel.com readers went “steady” in high school? We were surprised by the results of our poll. We had no idea! See for yourself.
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
cereal. Gardeners have prayed to many garden deities through the ages. After a drought ruined crops in 496 B.C., Roman priests insisted that a new goddess named Ceres be worshipped and prayed to for rain. When the drought ended, Ceres became a protector of the crops and the first grains harvested each year were sacrificed to her and called cerealis, meaning “Of Ceres.” From cerealis came the English word cereal, which honors the goddess every morning on millions of breakfast tables. Ceres’ Greek counterpart was Demeter, the goddess of fruit, crops and vegetables.
Laugh of the Week
Why did the poor man sell yeast?
To raise some dough!
THIS WEEK’S SECRET PHRASE: Henry, turn out the lights or get your hands off me!
Leave with a song from the past
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
About five minutes into the “Wizard Of Oz,” Dorothy (Judy Garland) sings this classic song after failing to get Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and the farmhands to listen to her story of an unpleasant incident involving her dog, Toto, and the town spinster. Aunt Em tells her to “find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble.” This prompts Dorothy to walk off, musing to Toto, “Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat, or a train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain…”, and then she begins singing. Later, Garland recorded the song with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra as a promise to World War II soldiers of better days to come.
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
RV Travel staff
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. News editor: Mike Gast. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, Gail Marsh, Chris Epting, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink and Andrew Robinson. Social media and special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
FOREVER IN OUR MEMORIES — OUR STAFF MEMBER IN HEAVEN, Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, who was taken from us by the coronavirus.
Honorary Correspondents: Loyal readers who regularly email us leads about news stories and other information and resources that aid our own news-gathering efforts.
• Mike Sherman • George Bliss • Tom and Lois Speirs • Steve Barnes • Tom Hart + others who we will add later.
ADVERTISING: Contact email@example.com .
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. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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Mosquitoes, Ticks, Chiggers….Deet, Deet, and more Deet. I have numerous cans in every vehicle, golf carts, ATV’s for the woods, farm vehicles, etc. The stronger the better. Be smart. Keep it away from your eyes. Daily bathing to get all that deet off normally catches any stragglers.
I have probably taken literally hundreds of ticks off me with only a handful of bites.🤞The article mentions 24-48 hours before infection can occur. I’ve “heard” once they bite you, it’s done. Like malaria and mosquitoes.
Hey Clint, I love your cartoons and look forward to seeing them. Keep up the great work.
Clint Norrell’s cartoons usually leave me scratching my head. I think you could find better use of that space.
I agree. I think the drawing is amazing but they’re seldom funny.
Hazel Bee looks like an experienced driver. Love the toy in her mouth.
And am jealous of the trip to Leavenworth…..
A disease carried by the Lone Star Tick destroys your digestive system, Alpha-gal is horrible. You cannot digest any red meat, period. It puts you on a “Fin and Feather” diet. Baked goods must be gluten free. Milk is a no-no. No cure in sight.
Lone Star Tick is heavy throughout the South East States. Very small black body with a white spot in it’s back.
As mentioned, it’s Tick Season. However, it’s also Chigger Season. Those things will eat you alive and you won’t know it until later that night. The itching is insane! I still have small scabs around my ankles and on my lower legs a week later. Witch Hazel definitely helps with the itching and healing.
AND … it seems some people are more susceptible to chigger bites than others. Twice last summer my wife and I camped at a site where she came away with legs covered in chiggers. I had walked everywhere with her and had none. Of course, she was mad … AT ME!
My wife also seems to attract all sorts of biting critters. I joking (?) tell everyone to stand or sit next to her and they won’t have to worry about bug bites.