Sunday, October 17, 2021


Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1013

rv travel logoWelcome to, an RV-themed newsletter from the most-read consumer website about RVing in North America. At, you will learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.

If you shop at we’d appreciate you using this link. We get an itty bitty commission if you buy something, but they add up and help us pay our bills.

Page Contents

August 14, 2021

Members edition

“Ignored until they kill you, or at least ruin your trip! How to Avoid Tire Troubles.”
For the week of August 14-20, 2021. Click below to listen.

Cover story

Why go big? The case for owning a king-sized RV

By Mike Sherman


debate on RV size is almost a waste of time. It’s a question that’s been debated for years. Everyone has an opinion. Go BIG? Go small?

Big rig. All the comforts of home

Have you ever wondered when you’re parked next to a huge RV that you may never see the occupants unless they have a dog to walk? For many, that large RV is all they’ve got. There’s no stick home sitting on 5 acres waiting for their return. Everything they own is in that rig. Everything! Some full-timers don’t even rent a mini-storage locker – they got rid of everything except what’s in their RV.

These RVers are probably older, and have no desire to take walks around the RV park or hike nearby trails. They prefer RV parks with amenities, having experienced plenty of primitive state and federal campgrounds in the years gone by.

Occasionally you might spot them coming outside to dump their holding tanks. You say “Hi.” They smile and wave back, then retreat into their private domain. They may stay in one place for months at a time, but sooner or later they will muster up the energy to move on, often to an RV park they visit annually like clockwork.

Continued here.

If you have driven into Canada with your RV since it opened to vaccinated Americans last week, did you have any problems crossing the border? Did all go as it has in the past? We would appreciate your observations. Send to Thank you.

Help spread the word about
Here’s a great way to help spread the word about America’s favorite newsletter about RVing — yup, the one you’re reading right now! We’d love to send you some cards that you can hand out in campgrounds or at rallies to RVers who may not know about us and want to become readers. Simply send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to, 9792 Edmonds Way #265, Edmonds, WA 98020. If you place one first class stamp on the return envelope we’ll send you 18 cards; include two stamps for 36 cards. No charge, of course. We’ll even toss in a few of our cool “Blast Off To Adventure” stickers.

Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter

• Are “phantom” campers stealing your campsite? And guess who those “phantom” campers are?
• Marcus Lemonis buys one of America’s best known TV game shows.
• New federal infrastructure bill could be big deal for RVers.|
• Still stuck with DEF sensor issues? Here’s the latest.
• RV sales lot inventories – Part 2: Dealers and buyers say the shortages are real!

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 podcast

Your Host Scott Linden

Just click below to learn more about what’s on the show (episode 20) and listen. John and Mercedes, the RV Odd Couple, spill the beans on their recent campground purchase, the trials and tribulations of finding a “home base” for themselves and their “RV Odd Squad” followers and, eventually, all of us. They also share the personal crisis that was alleviated by chucking it all to go full-time.

Also on this episode: Colorado governor Jared Polis has a message for RVers.

FOR PODCAST NEWBIES: What’s a podcast? It’s like a radio talk show except you can listen any time you want.

Listen to a 30-second clip of the episode.

Also available on SpotifyPodbeanAmazon/AudibleGoogle PodcastsPlayer FMListen Notes iHeartRadio and Apple Podcasts.

Click to listen on

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

Never use a concrete block instead of a jack stand!
Buying an RV? Visit an RV show first. Here’s why
Avoid fresh water contamination from nasty waste water
Everything you need to know about cleaning your RV awning
The importance of tire and wheel balancing

Today’s RV review…

In support of cargo trailers for camping – Part 2

Today, industry insider Tony Barthel writes more about converting cargo trailers for camping. He reports: “The reason for bringing this back up is that my wife, ever the patient soul that she is, sent me a link to Look Trailers, a manufacturer of cargo trailers. But the thing that she specifically sent me is their ‘upgrades’ page, which includes things like work benches, beds, dinettes, refrigerators and bathrooms.” Read more.

Last week’s reviews:
2022 Jayco White Hawk 27RB travel trailer
2022 EarthRoamer HD luxury overlander
2022 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7 184BS
2022 Off Grid Trailers Switchback series adventure trailers
2021 Black Series HQ21 overlanding trailer

Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

COPYRIGHT 2021 by Clint Norrell

See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. And here are more posted since July 3. They’re wonderful!

Important reminder

RV kills young boy. Don’t let this happen in your family

By Chuck Woodbury
I wrote this article eight years ago in response to the death of 3-year-old Landyn Keener, who was electrocuted by simply touching his family’s Airstream trailer. I tell readers about this every couple of years as a reminder of how dangerous an RV can be under certain conditions. And those reminders have paid off: a few readers have reported what they learned saved a life of someone in their family. In this case the family’s trailer was experiencing what is known as a “hot skin” condition. It can happen to any of us, and does, in fact, happen much too often (most often it does not kill). I urge you to read this story. Being aware of what causes this potentially lethal condition could save your life or one of someone you love.

Campground etiquette: PLEASE turn off that noisy generator!

By Nanci Dixon
As a campground host, after having camped next to three different campers this week who left their noisy generators running ALL day long and had to be told to turn them off at the quiet, no generator hours, I am hoping that these folks are all newbies and just don’t understand the etiquette of keeping the noise and the gas fumes to a minimum. As more and more people are camping and electric sites are harder to get, I have noticed a significant uptick in generator use this year. Read more.

For RVers, it’s not cool: Coleman a/c fails

Imagine being on a long RV trip. Your travels will take you around the country, through all kinds of weather. In the midst of a heat spell, your RV air conditioner suddenly croaks – leaving you stranded with no way to chill out. That’s the case for one reader, Steve. His Coleman a/c failed – and he says he’s not alone. Continue reading, then please let Russ De Maris know (his email address is in the post) if you’ve had a similar problem.

It’s a bad tick year! Protect yourself from the disease-spreading bloodsuckers!

If your travels take you to tick country, be on the lookout for these biting and often disease-carrying arachnids. Yes, ticks are more closely related to spiders! And just what areas of the U.S. have them? Lyme disease – a nasty tick-borne illness – has now been found in all 50 states. Learn all about ticks here.

What do readers think?
“What’s the biggest bill you’ve ever received for repair work on your RV?” That’s what we asked our readers. Of the more than 2,000 readers who responded, how many of them would you guess have received a bill for $5,000 or more? Was it about 9 percent, 22 percent or 51 percent? Find out.

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

Will moth balls repel mice from your RV? Here’s the verdict
Are you kidding? $400,000 for an RV site? Yup!
The masked bandit that robbed our campsite and got away!
Fridge not cooling? Diagnosis of problem may be easy

Reader Poll

Is the #1 reason you bought an RV to “be with nature”?

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:
How many RVs have you owned in your life? Have you owned the “typical” number of RVs? Find out here.

This 52-foot RV can be yours at a bargain price!

If you love big rig RVs, as in “the bigger the better,” you’re going to want this 52-foot beauty which has a price tag of $375,000 — about one-third of what it would cost new. And as a bonus, it comes with a 35-foot cargo trailer. So big rig fans: This is about 90 feet of RVing heaven you could be piloting down the highway. Continue reading.

Are Idaho RVers crazy?

By Dave Helgeson
After a recent trip to the wilds of Idaho I find myself asking, “Are Idaho RVers crazy or just more seasoned than the rest of us?” I have always thought of myself as a rather rugged RVer, but after what I experienced I am beginning to think I am a bit of a wimp! … Dave writes about a few of the “surprises” that awaited him and his wife on their recent trip. Read about them here, then feel free to add your thoughts.

Not wearing gloves while dumping? Big mistake!

In this day of fastidiousness and the injection of antibacterial chemicals in nearly every product, there’s a strange movement out there: Dumping holding tanks with your bare hands. A survey at revealed that nearly one-third of our readers never or seldom use gloves. Our opinion: big mistake. Learn why.

Rig on the shoulder? Move over or slow down! It’s the law

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
When a couple in a Jeep rolled down their window and started yelling at us, we took notice. We were rolling down Oregon’s I-84, and their message wasn’t misunderstood: “Your tire is completely gone!” We moved onto the right shoulder “breakdown” lane to eyeball the situation. Despite our hazard lights flashing, and our rather large travel trailer posterior hanging out there “in front of God and everybody,” traffic paid little attention. Doesn’t anybody know about “move over or slow down”? … How about you? Have you ever been in a breakdown situation and felt your rig or your life was threatened by traffic? Read more then let us know here.

Interested in a job as an RV technician? Here’s how to get started

If you or someone you know is looking for a job with a great future, a position as an RV technician might be for you. As most RVers know, there’s an acute shortage now, which can mean RV owners may often wait weeks or even months for some repairs. But there’s good news for mechanically inclined job-seekers: The RV Technical Institute has announced its class schedule through June 2022. Continue reading.

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, August 14, 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 three readers claimed their $25 Amazon Gift Cards: Michael Hampton of Salt Lake City, Utah, Frank Aiello of Danvers, Massachusetts, and Wayne Kinstad of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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

Are RVs really in short supply? We have some answers
RVelectricity: First mpg towing tests with F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid

Cruise ship condos: Trade in your “land yacht” for a real ocean-going abode
RV holding tank treatments: What’s best for the environment?
Campground Crowding: Reader suggests part-timers stay at resorts, full-timers get state parks
Operating an RV park: Invaders in the park; and Happy 50th, Machelle!
Is it OK to store an RV with the slide room out?
Campground and RV Park News, August 7, 2021
Winterizing the RV’s water system
Satellite broadband internet becoming a reality? Maybe!
Truck and Towing Trends: The latest truck news for RVers: August 8, 2021
Ask Dave: I have constant problems with my Schwintek slide out. Help!
Schwintek slide out system problems – Part 2
What to do when your RV breaks down: Everything you should know

Saturday Giveaway!

Win a set of Happy Camper hand towels!

ATTN: Bonus contest far below

How to win

We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (August 14, 2021) by 7 p.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email via 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 podcast while shaving or putting on your makeup.


vintage-people-751Current Wildfire Report. (Includes map and details of fires!)

UPDATED MAY 20 (2nd edition):RVs: Who Makes What” – This is a new free directory from which lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models. Learn more and/or download a free PDF copy.

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

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.

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.

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.

Ask DaveNEW: Ask Dave

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club, a one-stop go-to online resource for RV enthusiasts. He is also the owner of Passport Media Creations, which has developed several RV dealer and safety training programs.

What’s the deal with tire pressure monitor’s radio frequencies?

Dear Dave,
I have been using a TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) that operates on a frequency of 434.1 MHz FM, with tire sensors that screw on to the valve stems of the tires. Now I have a new truck that has a built-in TPMS that operates on a frequency of 433 MHz. Is there a company that sells TPMS sensors that screw on to the valve stems of the tires that operate on 433 MHz? Thanks in advance for your reply. —Wally

Read Dave’s reply.

Other questions Dave answered this week:
Options to stabilize a parked 5th wheel
Is it OK to store an RV with the slide room out?
Schwintek slide out system problems – Part 2
Advice needed about devices that repel rodents
Winterizing the RV’s water system

Road Trips

Meteor showers. Magic from the heavens. Schedule of upcoming “shows”

One of the great benefits of traveling by RV is the ability to find wide-open spaces away from city lights so you can truly enjoy stars, planets and galaxies the way they were meant to be enjoyed. That becomes even more special when meteor showers roll around. Thankfully, each year you can pretty much set your watch when they will take place. Read more.

RV Gadgets and Gizmos

With Tony Barthel

Product review: Jackery Solar Generator 1500

Charging the Jackery 1500 on my test bench with the included wall charger.

One of the most common questions I read on the various forums that I troll about RVs is about the use of CPAP machines overnight while boondocking. There are also a lot more folks on the road with their various “confusers” and other electronic whiz bangs and, of course, those need to be refueled, as well. Of course, you could always get a traditional generator but they’re noisy, smelly and require maintenance. Furthermore, few places allow you to run them at the time of night when you’d want to use a CPAP machine. So that solution is a no-go for many circumstances.

Enter a device that has come on the scene called a solar generator. The solar generator is, quite simply, a battery, a way to plug things in to utilize that battery’s power and a way to refuel or recharge that battery. It’s that simple. So when Jackery offered to send me their latest and largest model, the Jackery Solar Generator 1500 (Jackery 1500 + 4 x SolarSaga 100W), I thought it would be a great opportunity to see if this could really do the job many want from it. … Find out what I concluded here.


The reasons for bonded and floating neutral generators

By Mike Sokol and Mike Zimmerman
After a few more go-rounds on my RVelectricity Facebook group about how bonded and floating neutral generators work, our head Administrator and Code Guru Mike Zimmerman offered to write a piece on just why generators have a bonded or floating neutral to begin with. I offered to throw in my own 2 cents to the article to make it as accessible as possible to even beginner RV owners, but still have definitive information for technicians and electricians who have to work and install them. Continue reading.

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

“Ball of Confusion” – new USB-C connectors in cars

Dear Mike,
I know you’re a computer guy in addition to being an electrical guy, so here’s a quick question for you. I just bought a Volkswagen ID.4 Electric Vehicle exactly like the one VW loaned you, so perhaps you’ve figured this out already. How do I plug in my Apple cell phone to charge? I’ve asked the sales guy at the dealership and he seemed clueless. I did find a cigarette lighter port all the way in the back by the hatchback, but my cell phone charger won’t reach. So how do I make this work? —Larry the cable guy

Read Mike’s answer.

RV Tire Safety

Consumer Reports on RV tires. Helpful or fear mongering?

By Roger Marble
I had someone point out that the September issue of Consumer Reports (CR) had a couple of pages on RV tires and wondered if I could offer my opinion. I do not subscribe to CR, as I have been less than impressed with some previous articles over the years. But I went to the local library and borrowed a copy. Read Roger’s review of that report here, then let us know what you think in the comment section.

The Digital RVer

Are you happy with the quality of your travel photos?

By Chris Guld
We’ve been traveling in our RV this summer and we’ve seen a lot of beautiful sights. I’m taking pictures with my phones (both iPhone and Android) every day! When I take a good picture, I always tweak it, just a bit, using the free Snapseed app. I think it takes the photos from good to great. See some examples and learn how to beautify your photos here.

Reader Letter: Not a fan of our podcast

Dear editor:
A suggestion: I read your newsletter daily but I always skip the podcast. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want to take the time to sit at my computer and listen to something for 20-30 minutes when I can just read it in a few minutes. I see some topics that I’d like to know more about but never have listened to them. Is it possible to have some in a written version or at least a synopsis of the topics? Read more.

Recipe of the Day

Homemade Creamy Alfredo Sauce
by Sabrina Nichols from OKC, OK

When wondering what to make for dinner, give this Alfredo sauce a try. It’s a very simple recipe with only four ingredients. It’s easy to make and does not take a lot of time. The end result is a rich and creamy sauce. You can put this on a big bowl of pasta or even homemade pizza.

We love a good Alfredo sauce! Get the recipe here.

Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
Rice Pudding
Salmon Fillet With Herb Pesto
Italian Stuffed Zucchini
Turkey Tetrazzini
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Stuffed Shells

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“Sundance is a 5-year-old rescue. We believe he’s a Border Collie/Blue Heeler mix. I’ve nicknamed him Mr. Cooperation because he always follows orders. Well, almost always. Six months after rescuing us he traveled to Alaska for the summer. He did wonderfully and loved the trip. We have a truck camper and he’s made the floor under the dinette his kennel. He enjoys traveling and meeting new friends. Here’s Sundance in front of Mt. Rainier.” —John Nowicki

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

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.

Brain Teaser

A girl has as many brothers as sisters, but each brother has only half as many brothers as sisters. How many brothers and sisters are there in the family?

(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.

The 33rd reader to email us before 7 p.m. (Pacific time) today, at with the correct secret phrase from last Monday’s RV Daily Tips newsletter (look carefully, it’s there!) will win an official coffee mug, the most awesome coffee mug ever created, where your coffee will taste better than ever before in your life! We guarantee it! If you disagree after receiving this incredible prize, then return it, no questions asked. We’d gladly offer your money back, but, then, you didn’t pay anything. So, too bad.


The Hubble Telescope is responsible for the deepest images of space and the universe ever taken. Recent images from the telescope contain more than 5,000 galaxies – some of which are as distant as 13.2 billion light-years away. The telescope is so strong that it could spot the light from a single firefly up to 7,000 miles away.

Word and Phrase Origins

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

Jumbo. “P.T. Barnum purchased the fabled elephant Jumbo from the London Zoological Society in 1881 for ‘The Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth.’ Jumbo, captured by a hunting party in 1869, was one of the largest elephants ever seen in West Africa; the natives called the six-and-a-half ton beast by the Swahili word jumbo, meaning ‘chief.’ He became a great favorite in the London Zoo, giving rides to thousands of children, and his sale to the American showman caused quite an uproar. Within six weeks the incomparable P.T. had reaped $336,000 from the $30,000 investment, and he made Jumbo’s name a synonym for ‘huge’ throughout America and the world.”

Laugh of the Week

Reader Robert Yeo sent this photo to us and wrote, “Is this one of the reasons Walmart is discontinuing allowing overnight RV parking in their lots?”

We groaned at this, but we also got a good chuckle from it. Yes, Robert, using windshield wipers to hang your laundry out to dry could be one reason why.

Leave with a song from the past

Here, live (at the time in 1964) from London, the Fab Four perform “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

At we publish more than 700 newsletters a year. Approximately 30% of our funding comes from the 4 percent of readers who support us with a voluntary subscription. That’s you! Thank you!! If you haven’t contributed in awhile, we humbly ask that you consider chipping in again to help us be an ever-better resource for you and other RVers. Even $10 or $15 a year is appreciated. Donate here. All major credit cards, PayPal and checks are accepted. Staff

Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel, Mike Gast. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Darian Armer 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 or this newsletter. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

Editorial (all but news)
Editorial (news)
Help desk:
Contact us.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2021 by

Related Articles


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lil John
2 months ago

Your 90′ RV is pretty. It’s also illegal for most highways in the U.S.. Are you sure it’s 90′ long with the trailer? 75′ is about the longest rig you can have, depending on the state.

2 months ago

I think “awesome” is spelled wrong on the email greeting nut hey if you had a few beers do to the heat that is admissible.

2 months ago
Reply to  Skip

do??? dew??? due??? We all have our miscues!

2 months ago
Reply to  Skip

“nut hey” or “but hey”
“do to the heat” or “due to the heat”

Carson Axtell
2 months ago
Reply to  Bobkat3080

Hah! Every time we point a finger at someone else, three more are pointed back at us…

RV Staff (@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  Skip

Well, shoot! I missed that when proofing it last night. (Maybe due to the 90 degrees in my office.) Sorry. –Diane

Last edited 2 months ago by RV Staff
2 months ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Diane: You need to add a statement to the opening para: “Alert to nit-pickers – certain errors have been included in this newsletter for your enjoyment!:

PS: Winter is coming…… enjoy the heat.

2 months ago
Reply to  DWND

Like: “enjoyment!: errr – “

RV Staff (@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  DWND

Hi, DWND. That reminds me of what Mike Sokol says about his posts (which he claims are “99 44/100% pure”). He claims he’ll throw a couple of typos in just so I feel useful. He’s so thoughtful! 😆 Take care. 🙂 –Diane

Gary Broughton
2 months ago

Very good newsletter. Really enjoyed it.

Donald N Wright
2 months ago

Maybe Walmart will start building overnight campgrounds behind their stores. Fifty cents a foot for your rig.

Tommy Molnar
2 months ago

Wasn’t it Walmart that was going to start showing movies on their blank walls? No room for campgrounds when you have makeshift movie ‘theatres’. Ha.