Monday, December 4, 2023


Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1039

Welcome 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.

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Page Contents

February 12, 2022
Members edition

Cover story

Should you tip campground workers?

By Gail Marsh

I’ll admit it. I am not a good tipper. I think it’s mostly because I never know how much to tip. I’m not good at figuring math inside my head and can never remember if tips should be 15%, 25%, or 35% of any given bill. I never worked as a waiter/waitress either, so I have no idea how the hourly-plus-tips arrangement works. So, I defer to my husband. He more than makes up for my deficiency. So, here’s our conundrum: Do you tip campground workers?

Should you tip these types of campground workers?

  • Site guide. The person who leads you to your campsite and helps you park your rig (if you want or need assistance). On occasion, we’ve really relied on our site guide. Like times when we’ve pulled into a new-to-us campground in the dark. Or when our assigned site is narrow with big rigs already parked all around our spot. I remember one especially tricky parking challenge where the guy more than deserved a tip! But because I was a nervous wreck by the time we finally got our RV situated, tipping never entered my mind.
  • Office help. There’s the gal at the office desk who arranged for us to move to a vacated spot in the shade. It was hot and extremely humid. Extremely. Humid. And hot. That’s usually no problem, but our air conditioner wasn’t working. At the time, the campground’s pool was closed due to COVID, and we were miserable! The office gal heard about our plight and approached us with the idea of moving once the current site holders moved on down the road. Of course, we jumped at the chance to have some shade. This kind woman’s thoughtfulness saved our vacation that year. Did we tip? Erm, well … no. (We said “Thanks so much!” Does that count?)
  • Over-the-top service. Then there was the worker who saw us fiddling with our propane tanks. We realized that both tanks were nearly empty. As we discussed what to do since the farm supply store (the only source of propane in the area) was closed for the day, the guy brought an “extra” full tank for us to use—for free! We returned the tank—minus the propane we’d used—when we left the following day. The guy happily waved as we drove off. Don’t even ask. No, we didn’t tip. We offered our genuine and effusive thanks, of course, but no money exchanged hands

You’re probably thinking one of two things—either “Tip at a campground? Never heard of such a thing.” Or “What cheapskates!” But here’s the thing…

Read More

Roadside Journal publisher and founder Chuck Woodbury, now in semi-retirement, writes about whatever is on his mind, sometimes about RVing, sometimes not…

Why my clock is my enemy

Why does time continually speed up? Shouldn’t it be the other way—slow down so we can have more time to enjoy the waning years of our earthly existence? Chuck has some thoughts.

Featured article

Long RV servicing waits may be reduced by cultivating relationships with local shops

By Randall Brink
Over the past two years, the RV industry’s tectonic shifts have spawned stories of delays in RV service and repair, parts shortages, and overall high demand upon shops and technicians. There are shortages of everything from critical components to physical shop space, and particularly qualified technicians. A common thread in these tales of RV ownership woe is the open-ended repair timeline that results in RVs entering the shop and staying there. There is no short-term or simple solution on the horizon for these shortages and constraints. But there are things that you, as an RV owner, can do to mitigate the situation and keep your rig on the road.

Read More

Today’s RV review…

Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Crossroads Zinger Lite ZR18RK. He writes, “For those looking to get into RVing at a price point almost $10,000 below the average price of a new car in the U.S., this is certainly not a bad choice, all things considered.”

Read More

Click here for more reviews, including those from this past week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters.

Would you like to see a certain RV reviewed? Submit your request in Tony’s forum here!

Utility workers taking over campgrounds, given priority over campers like us

By Gail Marsh
This is our third year at the same southwest Florida campground, but it’s definitely different this year. The park manager of this small operation is the same as in past years, we have the same RV site, the pool and pickleball court are the same, too. So, what’s changed? The clientele, or, more specifically, the utility workers. Read more then please participate in the attached poll.

Questionable RVing features: What were they thinking?

By Dave Helgeson
Have you ever wondered, “What were they thinking?” when you encountered a feature “designed” to enhance your RVing experience? My college years were spent earning a degree in architecture. My professors taught me and other students how form follows function. … This concept must be rather ingrained in me for when I encounter a poorly “designed” feature intended to support RVers in their travels I wonder “What were they thinking?” or, more concisely, “What was the designer thinking?” … You won’t believe some of these RVing features Dave has encountered in his lifetime of RVing.

Around the Campfire: Old-timer offers newbie all the wrong advice

By Gail Marsh
The cooler evening temperatures prompt many folks to gather at night around a campfire. I enjoy meeting and visiting with people from all over the country. It’s always interesting to learn their life stories—the ups and downs that many of us have in common as we live our lives. Last evening, however, I was dumbstruck when a self-proclaimed “RV old-timer” began informing an RV newbie about all the different kinds of fellow campers they can expect to see as they begin their travels. … What made Gail “see red”? Find out.

RV Consumer Support

Your credit card statements could hurt you!

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If you’re like us, you don’t mind spending money when and where it’s needed. But you no doubt bristle when you find your cash is going somewhere you didn’t authorize. Last night we found out we were bleeding money—and didn’t even know it. The only way we found out is by carefully eyeballing our credit card statements. There’s more than just one important principle here.

Read More

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter

A 10-minute daily clean will make a world of difference in your RV
Take care with campfires
Easy ways to decorate your RV without adding much weight
RVs and WD-40: Unusual combinations that work!
Free RV spot? Try caretaking—trade skills, or your presence

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Why you don’t have to be a minimalist to be an RVer

By Cheri Sicard
There seems to be a popular wisdom circulating among today’s young RV bloggers and YouTubers that you MUST be a minimalist to successfully live and thrive in the RV lifestyle. I even saw one “expert” (who, by the way, was selling expensive online courses about living as a nomad) actually give the ridiculous advice that you should outfit your RV with NO MORE THAN two place settings. … WHAT the WHAT? … Read Cheri’s wise alternative perspective, and check out her picture as a beautiful circus performer, here.

RV boo-boos—A good attitude helps!

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Well, there’s just something about “mishaps” in the RV world. How we recover probably has a lot to do with attitude. The male-half of this writing team is trying to learn how to not stress and “go with the flow.” It’s a good attitude that’ll probably make for a longer life—at least one that’s more fun. Read about one of our reader’s two big boo-boos here.

Important lessons learned from RVing apply to other parts of life too

By Nanci Dixon
Through the years of RVing and the last years full-timing, in particular, the one lesson I learned is to pack light and get rid of stuff. The saying goes, “One thing in means one thing out.” As we start to fill a dwelling again with all the necessary stuff of a stuck-to-the-ground house, I am impressed with how ingrained “keep it light” is. Every year in the RV we pull everything out and if we aren’t using it, well, out it goes. Or at least that is the idea… Read more.

Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

COPYRIGHT 2022 by Clint Norrell

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

Reader Poll

Do you have a special personal, comfy place in your RV?

Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE.

Finding community in campgrounds, like going back to the 1950s

By Rod Andrew
About 12 years ago my wife and I made our first trek south, towing a trailer from British Columbia to Southern California. Early in the trip, we learned something that you readers probably already know, but which came as a surprise to us. We found community. I had thought that traveling would be all about where we went and what we saw and did, but found that this would really only be a small part of what lay ahead. Read the rest of this heartwarming story.

The funniest camping commercials of all time

If you need a good laugh, play this video to watch the funniest camping commercials of all time. Not only are they funny, but they’re from all around the world, so it’s neat to see how other countries camp. Not all of them are about RVing, but you’ll still be able to relate. Trust us. Watch the video.

Free camping in five states? Just be a camp host!

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Reports from RVers across the country tell us that campsites are getting as scarce as hens’ teeth. How would you like a FREE campsite? If you’re willing to volunteer as a camp host, putting in a few hours of labor, you could have a free campsite and, at times, bonuses as well. Here’s a list of details from five states where camp hosts are needed. But be warned—these positions may fill quickly!


Is this your RV?

Win a $25 Amazon gift certificate if today’s RV photo shows your rig
Every day we post a photo of an RV either submitted by its owner or by our editors as they move about the country.

Click here to see if your RV made it into today’s issue.

Saturday Giveaway!

How would you like to win a Compact Air Fryer?

How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (February 12, 2022) 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!

Ask Dave

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 is the best water purifier?

Dear Dave,
We are planning a few long trips in our Grand Design Imagine. I want to get a water purifier to use at the water source at our site. Can you talk about which brand/style works best? Thanks. —Leigh

Read Dave’s reply

Click here to see more questions for Dave, including those that he answered in this week’s RV Daily Tips newsletters.

Visit Dave’s new forum. Ask him a question or help answer one from another reader. Click here.

RV Gadgets and Gizmos

The best kind of wedgie: Andersen RV levelers

The Andersen wedges in use on a single-axle travel trailer

By Tony Barthel
Automatic leveling systems have come a long way, to the point where even some travel trailers, such as Keystone’s Outback brand, have seven-point automatic leveling systems. However, you can save many thousands of dollars and simplify your RV experience with a set of leveling wedges instead. I like to write about products I’ve found that I use regularly on the road, and these Andersen levelers are one of those products.

Read More


with Mike Sokol

Quartzsite remote seminar Part 2: Surge protectors

Dear Readers,
As promised, here’s Part 2 of my remote RVelectricity seminars from the Quartzsite RV Show a couple of weeks ago. This time the topic is surge protectors. And once again, Tony Barthel provided the transporter landing pad and geek technology so that I could remain home in my Funkworks Lab Studio in Maryland, while he braved the elements (and poor WiFi) of Quartzsite. Read more and watch the video.

Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Is reverse polarity on a 30-amp outlet dangerous?

NEW! Visit Mike’s new RVelectricity Forum on

RV Tire Safety

Age-old question: More on tire pressure

By Roger Marble
Please forgive me if I sound like a broken record. I found another post on an RV forum on inflation. It’s almost as if no one knows that the answer to most questions on RV life has already been asked and answered. That is certainly the case when it comes to tire inflation. But I just can’t ignore these questions, as I hope that if some learn how to properly inflate their tires they may avoid a costly failure.

Read More

NEW! Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his new RV Tires Forum.

For Lovers Only…

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (hint: it’s on Monday). So after today we will no longer be running this column. Thanks to all you lovebirds who have submitted entries. Your love notes have been so sweet and inspiring and we have enjoyed reading them all!

Click here to see the submissions.

Operating an RV Park

Campground updates, and we’re going on a road trip!

Machelle James writes about their excitement of preparing for a road trip (Jenna’s first), all of the recent work accomplished at the RV park (mostly by AJ), as well as last-minute preparations to button up the park before they leave. Check out their trip itinerary and offer suggestions of your favorite places for them to see on their journey here.

Recipe of the Day

Crock Pot Taco Dip
by Debe Z from Wind Lake, WI

Make this Crock Pot dip for your next football party or when surprise guests come over. It’s cheesy and full of taco flavor. Serve with chips for an easy snack. You could even serve this in a hard taco shell or soft tortilla (topped with a little lettuce and sour cream) for a small meal. A delicious and easy recipe!

We’ll be making this this weekend! Get the recipe.

More recipes for Super Bowl Sunday?
Over the Moon Pizza Dip
Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Crispy Sticky Oven Hot Wings
Bacon Buffalo Cream Cheese Jalapenos

Brain Teaser

Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?

(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)

Readers’ Pets of the Day

“Smudge and Taz are siblings and were feral. We rescued them at 8 weeks old, now they’re 3 years old. They have adapted well to their new homes (RV and house). A black vulture visits them every day and goes right up to the window.” —Michael Beatty


In the U.S., skin cancer most often appears on the left side of the body. Why? Think about driving down the road in your RV. Yup, your left arm is exposed to all that sunlight!

Laugh of the Week


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.

RV Show Directory: See if a show is coming soon to your area.

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

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.

The Best RV Trip Planner Apps and Tools. Everything you need to help plan your trip is here.

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

Who publishes 700+ RV newsletters a year? Only us! would not be possible without the financial support of you—our voluntary contributors. Thank you! Your support helps us avoid relying on advertising, and keeps our resource-rich work unbiased and free for all RVers to enjoy. Every contribution makes a difference. A donation of $10 a year comes out to less than 2 cents for each issue we publish. That’s all! As you know, once you’ve contribute you receive a special member-only ad-free version of this newsletter forever as one way for us to say thank you. If you haven’t contributed for awhile, would you please considering doing so again? Learn more or donate. Staff

rv travel logoPublisher: 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, Andy Zipser, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, Scott Linden, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink, Chris Epting, Karel Carnohan, DVM, and Cheri Sicard. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady, Mark Gorrie. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. Special Reports: Bradford Geer. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

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.

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This newsletter is copyright 2022 by RV Travel LLC.


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Brewbuff (@guest_165572)
1 year ago

Where is today’s vintage postcard? I miss seeing it.

Virginia (@guest_165427)
1 year ago

RE: RV Minimalism

Our camping club has a tradition when we meet for meals: everyone brings their own beverage, silverware and plate. We have paper/plastic for the forgetful. One of our older campers did not even carry pots and pans. She said she didn’t camp to cook! LOL

Megan Edwards (@guest_165600)
1 year ago
Reply to  Virginia

Was at a camping club event once when a manufacturer’s representative asked what changes people would like to see. One husband said to design a RV without a kitchen but with a small refrigerator. They never used their kitchen.  

Dad Jokes (@guest_165186)
1 year ago

I wasn’t sure that a vulture would really qualify for ‘pet of the day’, but then realized there are so many running around feral in Quartzite, that someone would probably rescue one.

(That’s when I noticed the cat ears….)

Kenneth Murray (@guest_165156)
1 year ago

This Saturday Newsletter # 1039 was by far, outstanding!
Enjoyed darn near every article.
Just couldn’t stop reading. My cup of coffee became cold and undrinkable as the newsletter and myself became one!

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Kenneth Murray

Thank you, Kenneth! We appreciate your kind words, and we appreciate YOU! Comments like yours make all of our efforts worthwhile. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane

wanderer (@guest_165035)
1 year ago

Great issue, lots of good stuff, ranging from the funny to dead serious helpful info.

Gary Smith (@guest_164986)
1 year ago

It’s looking more and more like you’re paying writers by the word. I’m finding myself skipping through 80% of the content trying to find the point.

Bill (@guest_165007)
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Smith

That hasn’t been my experience in the main..

Aaron (@guest_165244)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill

nor mine.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Smith

Thanks, Bill and Aaron. No, Gary, we do not pay writers by the word. We apologize if you find 80% of the content is not worth reading. Take care. 🙂 –Diane

cate (@guest_165253)
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Love the brain teasers

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  cate

Thank you, Cate. And thank you for your reply to Gary Smith’s comment. We appreciate both of your comments, and we appreciate YOU! We’re trying to improve with every issue, so it’s nice to get good feedback about our efforts. Have a good night. 😀 –Diane

Jesse Crouse (@guest_165254)
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Diane, I usually read the newsletter 3 or 4 times as there is so much to learn from it that 1 read doesn’t do it justice.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Jesse Crouse

Awww, thank you, Jesse. We appreciate hearing positive comments like yours. Thank you, also, for being a longtime reader, and a thoughtful, knowledgeable and respectful (frequent) commenter. We appreciate you! We’re constantly trying to improve our readers’ experience, so it makes us happy to get great feedback. Thank you! Take care, and stay healthy. 😀 –Diane

cate (@guest_165252)
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Smith

I found this issue to be one of the best ever.