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Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1009


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Page Contents

July 17, 2021

Members edition


Cover story

Readers have spoken: These campgrounds and RV parks have the best customer service

By Mike Gast

R

Ving in 2021 has felt a lot like those images you see from the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. Just substitute a few new Keystones and shiny Airstreams for the Conestoga wagons. (I had a little fun with the painting below, just to illustrate my point.)

There certainly has been a lot not to like about this year’s version of camping. Parks are crowded, reservations are tougher to find than a level picnic table, and the costs of both sites and fuel are making even the most dedicated RVers rethink their favorite lifestyle.

You’d think campground owners would be smiling ear-to-ear on their way to the bank with all of those registration fees. But life isn’t all rosy on that side of the counter, either. Staffing this summer is a challenge as campgrounds compete with everyone else for a very limited labor pool. Most owners aren’t getting any days off this summer, and stress is high.

That’s why we thought it might be time to be reminded of the good – and really great – guest service stories that are out there. Last week, we asked you to tell us about your favorite instances of “great campground service.” Nearly 100 of you took the time to tell us about park owners and staff who continuously go above and beyond to make RVing what we all dream it can be.

So, refill your coffee cup and click HERE to read a few of those uplifting tales from the road. We’ve named the campgrounds and included links to specific parks where we could.


Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter

• Invest in the RV industry? Two news breakouts from this week
• Camping World expanding into water sports supplies
• Canadian campers are itching for their first trips of the season
• Bob Tiffin’s grandson is now president of Tiffin

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 the RVtravel.com podcast

Your Host Scott Linden

In this week’s episode #16: Helping others, helping himself, and helping the film “Nomadland” win three Academy Awards … just three of the challenges Bob Wells has met. Learning the lessons he’s learned could help you on this week’s RVtravel podcast. This and more in our latest episode.

Click to listen on RVtravel.com

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Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters

What you need to know about first aid for burns
The 7 C’s of Camping and RVing
5 unique uses for elastic hair ties in an RV
Are quick-release hose connectors worth having? Oh, yeah!
Let gravity help you dump your black tank. Don’t follow these examples.


2nd edition now available!
New free directory lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models
DOWNLOAD FOR FREE
How many different makes and models of RVs are there in America? RVtravel.com has the answer in a new, free, comprehensive 105-page directory that lists every U.S. manufacturer and every brand and model they make. 32 pages of new information were added, including better ways to search quickly for details on particular models.“RVs: Who Makes What” is available free as a public service from RVtravel.com in PDF form. Learn more and/or download a free copy.


Today’s RV review…

Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Prime Time LaCrosse 3411RK Travel Trailer. He writes, “This is a fairly large but really quite well-equipped trailer and is certainly not a floor plan that I’ve seen before.” Read more and see what makes this floor plan so special.

Last week’s reviews:
2022 Holiday Rambler Nautica 34RX diesel pusher
2021 Cherokee Arctic Wolf 3990SUITE Fifth Wheel
Palomino Backpack SS-1251 Pop-top Truck Camper
Thor Sanctuary 19P 4X4 Class B Van
2021 Safari Condo Alto F2114 Travel Trailer


Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

MORE OF CLINT
See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!


Do-it-yourself inverter repair – Important to know

If you’re away from shore power, having a power inverter goes a long way to making life better. But if your inverter takes a vacation while you’re on vacation, life can get tough. Can you do your own inverter repair? In some cases, the diagnosis and treatment is easy for the competent do-it-yourselfer. Follow these easy steps and keep this article handy!

I went to the Tiffin Allegro Club Rally. There wasn’t a display RV in sight

By Nanci Dixon
I was really looking forward to seeing the newest decked-out motorhomes at the Tiffin Allegro Club Rally in Amana, Iowa, a few weeks ago. At today’s sky-high prices, I wasn’t looking to buy, but I was looking forward to window shopping. There wasn’t a single motorhome on display at the Tiffin Rally. Even Bob Tiffin, who founded Tiffin Motorhomes in 1972, didn’t get one! He said this was the first year he did not have a show motorhome to meet people in. Instead, he got a tent and a plastic chair. Why no motorhomes? Find out here.

This RVer forgot to unplug the electric cord and drove away. A reminder for all RVers

By Kate Doherty
One motorhome owner began driving away while the electric cord was still plugged into the park’s electrical pedestal. It damaged the bay door hinge and destroyed his electrical bay. At this writing, it was not determined if the park’s electrical pedestal sustained damage. Forgetful? Perhaps. “It happens” is the famous saying from the Forrest Gump movie that morphed and remains prevalent in our lingo today. Mishaps occur. Continue reading this important reminder.


Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles

RVer mistakes gas station fuel tank for dump station
Monster truck and RV combo takes off-roading RVing to extreme
Birds build nest on RV. RVers must stay put or face jail or $15,000 fine
Will Irish Spring soap repel rodents from your RV?


Reader Poll

Do you use special RV toilet paper or a standard brand from the supermarket?

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:
What cell phone provider do you have? See what the most popular provider with RVers is here.


Brain Teaser

What has one head, one foot and four legs?

(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.


Alibaba’s blank canvas DIY motorhome. It’s weird, all right!

There is a lot of noise in the RV space about the future of RVs. And there are more than a few speculative types who believe the future is electric. So who’s going to be the first to market an electric RV: Thor? Forest River? Winnebago? Nope. Find out about it here.

The “other Grand Canyons” are worth a stop too. Check these out

By Gail Marsh
While researching for an extended trip we hope to take in 2023, I Googled “Grand Canyon.” I’d hoped to find information about the Grand Canyon in Arizona. (The only Grand Canyon I thought existed!) Imagine my surprise when I found a map of the U.S. dotted with more Grand Canyons than I could count! Continue reading. Have you been to any of the “other Grand Canyons”?

Build your own pop-up VW camper with 2,207 pieces!

By Tony Barthel
I have always been enamored with RVs for some reason. While other kids would go to the fair and ride the rides or see the animals, I was that annoying kid who would go over to where the RVs were and go through every single one of them. … So while my wife and I are shopping for our next real travel trailer, it’s likely that our next RV is going to be a VW Type 2 Transporter pop-top camper. Read more to find out just what kind Tony is talking about.

Birds aren’t real – They’re government drones used for spying!

By Gail Marsh
OK, I’ll admit that I don’t spend a lot of time reading about conspiracy theories, but usually I’ve at least heard about them. My more-informed son says that this topic – that birds aren’t real, they’re government drones – has been debated since 2017! And I’m just now hearing about it?! … Read more about this interesting theory here, then tell us what you think about it.

Road Trips

For baseball and history fans, this museum is not to be missed

By Chris Epting
If you’re on the road in the Denver area this summer and you love baseball history, there is but one place to visit: the National Ballpark Museum. Located a short toss (one block) from Coors Field, the museum is dedicated to the long-gone “green cathedrals” where much of baseball’s lore and myth was written. The museum prides itself in one-of-a-kind treasures. Continue reading. (This museum hits a home run!)


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, July 17, 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 two readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift cards: Bonnie Pascucci of Stevensville, Montana, and John Wilkins of Pilesgrove, New Jersey.

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

MOST POPULAR:
New insurance product may be a game changer for RVers

PLUS:
About 20 years ago, Chevrolet made a wacky pickup truck. It’s gone.
Building an RV park: We had our Grand Opening!
Are campground early check-in fees a new trend? It seems so…
Will a DEF head problem ruin your trip?
Tornado rips through Georgia RV park. RVs destroyed, 13 people treated for injuries
RVelectricity: Cause of 30-amp twist-lock failure
RV Tire Safety: Should you use the inflation that is listed on the tire sidewall?
That’s just not true! 13 common myths about RVing
Let gravity help you dump your black tank. Don’t follow these examples.
For many RVers, COVID-19 led to an early retirement
Airplane lovers, you’ll love this! Half RV, half DC-3 plane = one RVer’s dream


Saturday Giveaway!

George Foreman grillHow would you like to win a George Foreman Electric Indoor Grill and Panini Press?

How to win

We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (July 17, 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!


Idea: Listen to the RVtravel.com podcast while driving on a boring Interstate. Just download a few episodes to your smartphone and play through your vehicle radio speakers via Bluetooth! The trip will go faster!


Resources

Current Wildfire Report. (Includes map and details of fires!)

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.

RV Clubs
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.

RV education you can trust from RV Education 101: Get instant access to RV Online Training.


RVelectricity

By Mike Sokol

Do you always need to use a generator bonding plug?

Nearly 10 years ago I designed and promoted the simple generator neutral-ground bonding plug. It allowed you to use an inverter generator to power your RV though an EMS/Advanced Surge Protector. Otherwise, it would report that the generator had an open ground and refuse to power your RV. Now, this was such a simple idea that I thought everyone should already know about it, so I never patented it or licensed it to manufacturers. But now it’s available for sale by a number of manufacturers, or you can even make your own. Continue reading and please participate in the survey.

This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session

Quick tip to help prevent air conditioner breaker tripping

With RV air conditioners tripping circuit breakers like crazy with record-breaking heat recently, I’m getting a constant stream of emails and Facebook comments asking what can be done about it. So here’s a tip from our friends at SoftStartRV that can help, and it won’t cost you a dime. (Thanks, Danny, for the tip!) Here’s the tip.


RV Tire Safety

Airless tires – Reality? Or just a pipe dream for RV owners?

By Roger Marble
A friend recently sent me a copy of an article from the Akron, Ohio, daily paper The Beacon Journal. I am in Colorado, ending a 3-week-long working (giving tire seminars) trip. My wife and I were also celebrating our 37th anniversary on a sightseeing vacation. So I missed the article on “airless” tires. Wait! What do they mean “airless”? Could we soon be absolved of needing TPMS in our wheels? What will I write about if I can’t keep complaining about people not using the proper inflation? Continue reading.


The Digital RVer

How to ask Google Maps, “Where are you taking me?”

By Chris Guld, Geeks on Tour
We use Google Maps to navigate all of the time. Sometimes I need to remind myself exactly where it is navigating to. If you don’t know this trick, you need to stop navigating and back out to see what you entered for a destination, then start navigating again. The trick? Find out here.


Recipe of the Day

Loaded Potatoes Grill Style
by Kyle Fugate from Newburgh, IN
Great technique, great flavor! When it’s too hot to turn on the oven or if you’re camping by the campfire, this side dish is perfect. These grilled loaded baked potatoes are a can’t-miss with family members of all ages. They have all the great flavors of a loaded baked potato but less fuss to make.

We like the sound of this! Get the recipe here.


Readers’ Pet of the Day

“Finnegan (Finn) is the newest addition to our RVing gear! Just 11 weeks old at the time of this writing, Australian Shepherd Finn has already discovered that the floor next to Dad’s feet in our Newmar motorhome is a nice and warm place to ride! He’s looking forward to many years of adventures as we explore these great United States!” —William Langton

Pets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
OtisArmaniGrizzlyAnnie & JakePeekaboo


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.


Image from the National Portrait Gallery, npg.si.edu

Trivia

The painting of George Washington that was used for the one dollar bill was never finished. Artist Gilbert Stuart first painted George Washington in 1795. The painting was so successful that George’s wife, Martha, wanted a portrait for herself. Once he began painting, Stuart did not wish to part with the painting so he left it unfinished so he could refer to it when reproducing.

Word and Phrase Origins

From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:

mattress. “In medieval times Arabs often slept on plush cushions thrown on the floor. The Arabic word matrah, “the place where something is thrown,” came to mean a cushion or mat in Arabic and eventually passed into English as materas, the ancestor of our word mattress, when the Crusaders brought this custom of sleeping on cushions home to Europe.

Laugh of the Week

The military has a long, proud tradition of pranking recruits. Here are some favorites from rallypoint.com:
• Instructed a private in the mess hall to look for left-handed spatulas
• Sent a recruit to medical-supplies office in search of fallopian tubes
• Had a new guy conduct a 
“boom test” on a howitzer by yelling “Boom!” down the tube in order to “calibrate” it
• Ordered a private to bring back 
a five-gallon can of dehydrated water (in fact, the sergeant just wanted an empty water can)


Leave with a song from the past

Doris Day’s classic “Whatever Will Be, Will Be” (“Que Sera, Sera”) from 1956 is sure to get stuck in your head.


Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues


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RVtravel.com Staff

Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Managing editor: Mike Gast. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink and Chris Epting. Podcast host and producer: Scott Linden. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

Honorary Correspondents: Loyal readers who regularly email us leads about news stories and other information and resources that aid our own news-gathering efforts.
Tom and Lois Speirs • Mike Sherman • George Bliss • Steve Barnes • Tom Hart + others who we will add later.

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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Betty Danet
6 months ago

Finn is adorable. Looks to be a great dog. Aussies are really smart. He’ll have you trained in no time.

Dan
6 months ago

I loved pranking the newbies when a roll of electrical tape was requested.
“So,ya want 6 volt or 12 volt?”
The puzzled look was priceless..

chris
6 months ago

I wouldn’t have lasted 10 minutes in military service. Getting a practical joke played on me, or playing it on anyone else is not my idea of fun. I think it’s bullying.

Last edited 6 months ago by chris
Jeff Craig
6 months ago

During Desert Shield, we had a new guy all decked out in a cold-water survival suit (it was about 70F), kapok life jacket and a boat hook stationed up on the bow of our Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser. His assignment? He was the responsible for lifting the ‘demarcation line’ where Moses parted the Red Sea, so our ship could transit it. All he had to do was magically get that 10ft long pole to extend 25ft to the surface and lift up a plastic ribbon that ‘sat on the water, marking the navigation hazard’ where the Nation of Israel marched across.

He got a kick out of the next prank, sending yet another new guy with a net ten feet past the end of the surface mounted torpedo tubes so he could catch the ‘air slug’ (a burst of very high pressure air used to spit the torpedo out of the tube, and into the water – essentially, asking him to catch a big fart with a fishing net). Most of the crew lined the rails to get a picture of that one!

Last edited 6 months ago by Jeff Craig
Debbie
6 months ago

Those particular pranks must have been directed at not-so-smart recruits!

Jerry X Shea
6 months ago
Reply to  Debbie

HA, No Debbie. Part of military training is the “ultimate” of DO AS YOU’RE TOLD AND DON’T ARGUE. Bootcamp is training for war and the “line of command.” When told to “take that hill” you don’t get to say “you gotta be kidding.”

Dennis G
6 months ago
Reply to  Debbie

One of my friends, who joined the Marines, was told by his sergeant to go to the supply officer and bring back some ‘skyline’. He went back and forth between his sergeant and the supply officer a few times. Getting yelled at all the way. Will say, it was a funny story when he told it to me.

Lil John
6 months ago

I get especially concerned about the big black “helicopter” birds that fly around at night to spy on me. Of course I’ve always called them Ravens. 🙂

Impavid
6 months ago

The Clintoons reminded me we had overnighted in a small rest area in Alberta. We didn’t bother to put the slides out and our bedroom slide was exactly as pictured in the Clintoon. I climbed into bed, looked out the window and thought it was awfully dark. I then realized my bedroom window was still inside the RV.

Tommy Molnar
6 months ago

When I first arrived at my duty station (a communications site) and ‘enduring’ my first mid-watch, I was sent around with a brown envelope stamped Top Secret to each of the different comm spaces for signatures. It was the EMHO log . . . Other navy guys might recognize this scam. Really funny stuff, actually.

Tom
6 months ago

Best Military prank that backfired.
In Germany, during mid-70’s, new Private shows up for his first night at a secure sight. Sgt intends to “fish” him right away. Tells him that he is needed in the Ops Center. Shows up in Ops Center. NCOIC asks him what he is doing there. He replies he was told to show up. Smart NCOIC gets the game immediately, orders the Pvt not to return to his duty station, rather get on the immediately leaving bus and return to his quarters.
Later, same NCOIC goes to Pvt’s duty section, and asks Sgt where is the new guy?
Backfire!

Gman
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom

How bout a can of “squelch”!

Tim
6 months ago
Reply to  Gman

When my dad was training to be an electrician in the Navy they sent him to get a jar of “electric light juice”.

DW/ND
6 months ago
Reply to  Tim

When I signed up I was sent to get a can of prop wash! Years later, I sent a recruit for a 5 gal. pail of jet wash! Oh so it goes and we got over it with a laugh too!

Donald N Wright
6 months ago

As Jerry Reed sang, “when you’re hot, you’re hot”. The first used Subaru station wagon we bought had an “Air Camper” cartop tent on the roof. Come to think of it, I have seen more car top tents on Subaru’s than anything else.