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November 20, 2021
Thanksgiving: What a season of gratitude and hope teaches us
By Nanci Dixon
uring these trying times, I am reminded that this is the season of giving thanks. I will admit that in the past the meaning of Thanksgiving was usually lost under the anticipation and management of a turkey. Nope, not a favorite uncle – a real turkey. And, of course, the dressing and all the other sides. The true meaning was lost somewhere in the planning, buying groceries, setting the table, and baking the pies. (I won’t even mention Black Friday.)
History of Thanksgiving
The core value of the holiday stems from the giving and teaching between the native peoples, the Wampanoag, and the colonists at Plymouth. When the colonists finally left the ship after a cruel and bitter winter, only half of the original people survived. They were greeted by English-speaking Squanto, a native of the Pawtucket tribe. Squanto had been captured and taken to England where he learned English then later escaped to come back to his native home. He taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn, catch fish and survive. He cemented the alliance between the local Wampanoag people and the colonists.
The celebration of the autumn harvest, the first Thanksgiving, was in 1621. It was a grand feast that lasted three days. The great chief of the Wampanoag, Massasoit, attended with 90 of his men and brought five deer to share. That first Thanksgiving was a feast of friendship, despite drastic differences, as well as a celebration of survival. The alliance between the new colonists and native peoples lasted more than 50 years.
While states continued the tradition of Thanksgiving, it wasn’t until 1863 that Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday to be celebrated every year in November. He declared it a day of Thanksgiving in the midst of the Civil War, when the nation was divided and at war with itself.
Remembering the first Thanksgiving
It would seem in this time – with the nation still politically divided, rising inflation, gas prices over the moon, and simple groceries out of the reach for many – it would behoove us to remember that first Thanksgiving. Then, it was the coming together of diverse people with different beliefs and lives. It was the community of people sharing the bounty of the fall harvest and giving thanks. Giving thanks for one another, for food, shelter and survival.
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Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Finally! Guilty plea in brutal murder of Texas boondockers
• Worker shortage taking toll on campgrounds and site fees
• The future is here: KOA adding electric vehicle chargers to campgrounds
• Part Two: Are big money investors building RV parks or trailer courts?
• Campground crowding: Do I need a bot to get a reservation?
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…
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Quick tip to keep recyclables and compostables organized in the RV
• You will be surprised by these 18 incredibly handy uses for a kitchen sponge
• This gadget makes draining the fresh water tank quick and easy
• Is the cat missing? You’ll be shocked at all the places your pet can hide in your RV
• Backroad or offroad RVing: Don’t get stuck!
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2022 Coachmen Apex Remote 16R. He writes, “The price is right, the build quality is decent, and the ability to store your gear and also have a dry bath make this almost unicorn status.” Unicorn status?! What’s that all about? Find out in the review.
Last week’s reviews:
• 2022 Ember RV Overland 191MDB production model
• Ibex 19MBH bunkhouse adventure trailer
• 2022 Cedar Creek 291RW fifth wheel
• 2022 Keystone Cougar 316RLS fifth wheel
• Rockwood 2442BS fifth wheel
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
Coming soon: More automation?
Clint writes, “‘CROWDED CAMPGROUNDS??’ You watch: The big shots will try to address this problem, like every other, by cutting labor costs. Expect, ‘Check-in’ as you now find ‘self-check’ at retailers. ‘TAKE A NUMBER. PARK & WAIT. FOR AN E-MAIL … from Bangladesh.'”
By Mike Gast
What is it about Thanksgiving that makes some folks think they have to experiment when cooking up our favorite wattled fowl? It seems every year some folks find a way to mangle a family tradition. What’s wrong with a nice, oven-roasted bird sitting proudly on a platter in the middle of your campground picnic table? Let’s discuss this here, plus watch a video compilation of deep-fried turkey infernos.
Thanksgiving goes with RVing like biscuits go with gravy!
By Tony Barthel
“We’ve been camping on Thanksgiving for years and years now. But first, a moment of silence for all those who have winterized their campers and think they can’t still use them. Okay, thank you. Back to the subject at hand. Camping Thanksgivings have been entertaining ways to celebrate the holiday in our household for years. We always seem to find some victims, er, friends whom we can talk into spending this holiday with us in a campground somewhere.” Continue reading.
DEF in a diesel tank? Don’t touch that key!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Distraction can lead to disaster. Say you pull your rig into the truck stop fuel island. You’re low on fuel, and your dash warning system says you need DEF (diesel exhaust fluid). It’s been a long day on the road. You pop open the filler lid that hides your fuel cap – and the DEF filler cap. As you stand in a stupor, your reverie is interrupted when you notice you’ve stuck that DEF nozzle – not in the DEF filler – but in the fuel filler! Now you’ve got DEF in a diesel tank! Sorry to say, but you have just seriously complicated your day. Continue reading this very important information.
No problem with reservations here. Is overcrowding a regional problem?
By Gail Marsh
Well, we did it! It took a little less than 15 minutes to make reservations at two RV campgrounds along our annual route to Florida. Granted, we won’t be traveling until January 2022, which is still months away. Still, we worried about securing reservations. With so many “newbies” getting into the RV life, the ongoing COVID pandemic, more and more folks working “on the road,” and the rising costs of camping, we really didn’t know what to expect. What we discovered was a happy surprise! The very first campground we contacted gladly took our reservations, as did the second, and now we’re all set! Read more.
Climate change is affecting RVing: Fires, floods and our future
By Sandi Sturm
Every year it seems like our choices are increasingly limited as to where to find monthly stays. Scores of climate refugees are jumping into their RVs (if they are lucky to have one) and driving to safety. Others are fleeing to escape the dangerous heavy smoke, flooding, and other extreme weather conditions. Personally, we have been impacted more by wildfires here in the Western U.S. Let’s explore the impact a changing climate is having on RV travelers due to wildfires, flooding, and access to national parks. Coninue reading.
Give experiences instead of traditional gifts this Christmas
By Mike Gast
If you haven’t already completed your Christmas shopping, you’re likely screwed. That might seem to be a bit of hyperbole. But it also may not be such a leap, considering what we’re hearing about busted supply chains, cargo ships bobbing around the ocean, and nobody willing to work at manufacturing the junk we usually cram under the Christmas tree. Maybe it’s time to take a lesson from all we’ve learned as RVers, happily traipsing around the country: Real gifts are the memories we make along the way. The whole “shop right now or forget about Christmas” line we are being fed by traditional retailers got me thinking. What if we all switched gears and made an honest attempt at giving “experiences” this year instead of just “stuff”? … Hmmm. We think Mike has a point. Read more.
New Feature: RV Consumer Support
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
A few weeks back we recounted the ordeal of a motorhome owner. She’d pulled her rig into a retail store that offered propane service. The pump jockey took one look at the date on her motorhome’s LP tank and declared it to be too old to be refilled. The owner was told she really needed to have the tank “recertified.” In the end, the pumper took pity and refilled her tank anyway. We asked you for your experiences. Turns out, LP refill rejection isn’t uncommon at all. … Continue reading some fellow RVers’ experiences here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
Will you spend this Thanksgiving with more or fewer people than 20 years ago?
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:
In a nice RV park, do you typically use the park’s shower or the one in your RV? See what nearly 2,700 other RVers say here.
RV extended warranties: Worth the money?
“Hi. I would like your opinion on an extended warranty for a used RV. I realize that this may not be appropriate to ask of you, and I know it is my decision to make, but as a long-term subscriber I trust your opinions. If there were any articles related to this subject, I missed them. …”
Continue reading the question, and extended warranty expert Tony Barthel’s very thorough answer here.
Journaling on the road: Why writing a few sentences every day is so important
By Chris Epting
I know you probably take a lot of pictures when you ride the trip. But do you write at all? I’m sure you’re sending lots of texts and emails, but do you travel with an actual, honest-to-goodness travel journal? Not that travel journaling requires extensive, verbose documenting. Quite the opposite, actually. You can write a single sentence about an impression or a feeling you get from a place and I will almost promise you that you will cherish it later on. … Continue reading this thought-provoking post from this award-winning journalist and best-selling author.
Top 9 boondocking gift suggestions
By Dave Helgeson, boondocker extraordinaire
There are literally thousands of RV gift guides online, but few, if any, have gift suggestions for those that enjoy camping in the boondocks. Be forewarned that those that regularly camp in the boondocks have likely already procured the basic dry camping items like a stovetop toaster, water bandit, LED ceiling lights, generator, etc. Therefore, to find a boondocking gift they will really appreciate and use, expect to “GO BIG” (i.e., expensive). You might consider this the “Neiman Marcus” Christmas Catalog for the discerning boondocker on your gift list. Continue reading Dave’s Ultimate Boondocking Gift Guide.
How to get your motorcycle delivered to where you are going
By Gail Marsh
I could probably write the book “Motorcycle Transporting for Dummies.” Maybe someday I will. Here’s how it all began: Hubby really wanted his motorcycle in Florida. Having wintered in the Sunshine State for the past two years, Hubby knew how much we’d use and enjoy the motorcycle there. …The only problem was how to get the motorcycle from our home in Missouri to the RV camp where we stay in Florida, 1000+ miles away. Read more.
Very wacky RVs seen in Walmart parking lots
By Sandi Sturm
I dare you to travel at least 500 miles without a stop at a Walmart. If for nothing else, it can sometimes be great entertainment, both inside and out. Here are a few selections of wacky RVs you might see in the parking lot. You have to check these out. What a variety!
Yikes! Would your RV survive driving down (or up) this 25% grade?
Readers Brian and Bobbi Cook sent us an email with a note and photo, and all we have to say is WOW! They wrote: “Famous last words: ‘Do you think we can make it with our 40 foot 5th wheel?’ ‘Sure, piece of cake! Besides, we haven’t tested the brakes in a while!'” Fasten your seatbelt, then read more.
Get into the holiday spirit with these two easy-to-make, no-bake gingerbread camper kits. Share the fun with your kids or grandkids, or savor on your own. The campers are an adorable, festive way to decorate a table or even the RV dashboard! Everyone in the campground will want to know where you got it and how you made it. These are so cute!
Come upon a moose? Keep your distance to avoid trouble
If you come upon a moose, be careful. Watch this video to learn more about the habits of moose, and how you should react if you come upon one. If you act improperly, you could end up in the hospital!
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, November 20, 2021. If it’s yours you’ll win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
Last week one reader claimed their $25 Amazon gift card: Kathleen Verdino of Sun City, AZ.
We are discontinuing the contest at the end of November. We’ll have a brand-new contest. This contest will return again after a break.
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
• They scammed dozens of RV buyers – but no charges will be filed
• RV industry convention ends: RVers’ future is conflicted
• Ask Dave: Why does my trailer “snap, crackle and pop” on turns?
• Skyrocketing campground insurance rates could threaten the future costs of camping
• The truth about RVing: It’s NOT always rosy …
• State residency and tax issues: Here’s how long you can stay in a state before you have to pay state taxes
• RVelectricity™ – Do “Solar Generators” really work?
• Letter to the editor: Children’s chalk art is ruining the campground!
• Readers write back: Buy new or used RV?
• Campground Crowding: A hidden way the cost of RVing is increasing. Have you experienced this?
• Wacky RVs of the Week: Planes, trains and automobiles!
• Will a cat keep the mice out of my RV? Is it worth a try?
How would you like to win a set of Happy Camper Hand Towels?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (November 20, 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.
“RVs: Who Makes What” – This is a free directory from RVtravel.com that lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models. Learn more and/or download a free PDF copy.
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.
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.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.
What air compressor do you recommend?
Would you please suggest an air compressor? We are constantly running into air machines (at gas stations, storage facility) that are not working. What are your recommendations? Our neighbor lets us use his, but it is very large and heavy and obviously we can’t travel with it. Thanks so much. —Jenette
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• How do I shut off the RV’s heater fan and leave others running?
• Can I plug my trailer into my house with no problem?
• Why does furnace function irregularly but works fine outside of its housing?
• Why can’t I get schematics for my rig?
• Why won’t the water heater drain plug come out?
Visit where a screen idol died, and other historic places along the road
By Chris Epting
From time to time I like to pull out some old photos of places you might just pass by while on the road. Small places that cast big shadows. Here are three of those places…
Read about these very interesting places, including where James Dean was killed, here.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Always have pure, clean water in your RV with this tankless R/O system
In her travels, Kate Doherty and her husband, Brian, have lived in areas with less than desirable drinking water. They’ve reduced some of the hard water contaminates by using a slew of water filters, inside and outside their motorcoach. Read about the reverse osmosis system they found to solve their water quality problems. It’s pretty darn nifty! Learn more.
Thetford Titan 4-wheel, 21-gallon tote
By Tony Barthel
My local post office box service is always curious when I get a big box, knowing that I get to share products with you here at RVTravel.com. Recently the folks at Thetford asked if I wanted to check out their new four-wheel Thetford Titan® Tote. It is essentially a portable holding tank. The idea of something like this for RVers is that you can have your rig parked somewhere, likely in a place where you’re boondocking, and be able to dump your holding tanks into it. Continue reading (includes video).
with Mike Sokol
Dear Santa, I really want/need a surge protector…
I’m a firm believer in preventive medicine, and I think one of the best proactive things you can do is add a Full Protection (EMS) Surge Protector to your RV. I’ve always been a fan of these devices, especially when connecting to campground power. … Suffice it to say that even if you’ve been camping for the last 20 years without any kind of surge protector, campground power is being strained to the limit by the electrical demands of the latest RVs. Plus, there are campgrounds out there that perform little or no maintenance on their pedestal breakers and outlets (you know who you are!). Read more about why you should have a Full Protection Surge Protector.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
Solar battery packs: The best way to use cell phone in emergency; plus Jackery update
Mike discusses solar battery packs, large (the Jackery) and small (Scorpion II from Etón), and the best way to use your cell phone in an emergency. This is important, updated information. Read it here.
RV Tire Safety
A relevant question (plus much info) about 4-corner weights
A reader asks tire expert Roger Marble: “I wanted to double-check myself regarding tire position weights. In reading your blogs, you said for double-axle trailers the tire pressure should be the max cold pressure amount as stamped on the tire because trailer sway and turning forces on those tires is different than on a motorhome. Is it important to get individual tire position weights for trailers?” Read the rest of the question and Roger’s informative answer here.
Operating an RV Park
News from ARVC Outdoor Hospitality Expo, and building updates
By Machelle James
I was really hoping we would have photos to show you of our store with the frame built up. At this writing, AJ and I were told next week the frame would be built. The footers were poured while we were gone, but that is the only change from my last article. I am pretty bummed as I thought for sure we would be farther ahead than we are. Continue reading.
Recipes of the Day
Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast: If you’re not hosting a big holiday meal or just want turkey, not at Thanksgiving or Christmas, try this turkey breast. It’s great for people who don’t need a whole turkey. Quick to make, with very few ingredients, it’s an easy roast turkey recipe. Click here for the recipe.
Deb’s Easy Corn Casserole: The crust is similar to cornbread crust, but inside the texture is like a fluffy bread pudding. Get the recipe here.
Millie’s Sweet Potato Biscuits: These are simple, old-fashioned biscuits with sweet potato bits in every bite. Using fresh sweet potatoes, the flavor is noticeable, so if you love sweet potatoes you’ll love these. Click here for the recipe.
More Thanksgiving recipes coming your way in tomorrow’s newsletter!
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Milo loves to travel and make sure Pa is going the right way.” —Gary Ho
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.
Can you find the pear in this photo? Bonus points if you can find the hamster, too! Click to enlarge.
(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.
Showers in the Civil War camps were a rarity even for high-ranking officers. The vast majority of Union and Confederate soldiers had little access to clean water for bathing so it was normal for soldiers to wear unwashed clothes for weeks or months at a time. As a result, the soldiers were often plagued with lice and scabies.
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
Toyota. “The very popular Japanese car would be called a Toyoda if its manufacturers in the early 1930s hadn’t been superstitious. The Toyoda family wanted to name their car after the family, but Toyoda needs 10 characters in Japanese writing, while Toyota needs only eight. As eight is a lucky number in Japan, the family actually changed its name to Toyota, and the car’s lucky name was born.”
Laugh of the Week
Ain’t it the truth!?
Leave with a song from the past
Ready to be happy?
You cannot help but smile as Kermit the Frog and Debbie Harry sing a duet of “Rainbow Connection.” This is so sweet!
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
Words of Wisdom: “Spoil your partner, not your children.” Source.
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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, Sandi Sturm, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Andy Zipser, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink, Chris Epting, and Karel Carnohan, DVM. Podcast and our SiriusXM producer: Scott Linden. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. Special Reports: Bradford Geer. 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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