Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1040

Welcome to RVtravel.com, an RV-themed newsletter from the most-read consumer website about RVing in North America. At RVtravel.com, 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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February 19, 2022
Members edition

Cover story

RVs reach cargo carrying capacity with just two passengers. Is your rig dangerously overweight?

By Tony Barthel


s your RV dangerously overweight? Do you know its real cargo carrying capacity? One of the things I’ve noticed in my daily RV reviews column here on RVtravel.com is that a lot of RVs can be significantly overweight without much effort. Whether that be a motorized rig or a towable, overloading has been a big problem. Unfortunately, the manufacturers are seeming to do more to avoid the problem than to correct it.

In fact, sometimes I wonder if it’s being purposely hidden.

The bad thing is that your life can be in danger and you may not even know about the risks.

What’s the issue?

The problem is that some RVs have so little cargo carrying capacity that just a couple of passengers and a week’s worth of clothing will overload them. For example, look at the recent review of the Coachmen Prism motorhome, which has less than 800 pounds of available cargo carrying capacity.

But by no means is Coachmen alone. That review just really sparked my attention. Once I became more aware of the issue, I started digging into reviews I had done in the past. Universally, many of the larger Class C rigs didn’t have the cargo carrying capacity data. I realized that it was a pattern—the information just wasn’t available.

Continue reading

Featured Article

Wonder what an RV production line worker thinks about today’s RVs? Read this!

By Gail Marsh
A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article that generated quite a bit of conversation (read it here). My article was in response to a reader who commented: “I read about so many problems with today’s RVs, I wonder if I should just forget about buying one.” Many, many of you responded with equal doses of encouragement, practical advice, and realistic cautions about owning and maintaining an RV. One reader, who also happens to work on an RV production line, offered his opinion from his unique perspective. I’m happy to share his genuine observations and heartfelt feelings with you.

Continue reading

Today’s RV review…

Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Winnebago Hike. He writes, “The Winnebago Hike solves a lot of things that are inherent in smaller trailers, so when someone tells you to go take a Hike, they may actually be doing you a favor.”

Read more

Click here for more reviews, including those that you may have missed in this week’s RV Daily Tips newsletters.

NEW! Would you like to see a certain RV reviewed? Submit your request to Tony at his new Forum on RVtravel.com.

Around the Campfire: How old is too old to RV?

By Gail Marsh
We were a bit late joining last night’s campfire. Other campers had already gathered around the welcome warmth and were in the middle of a discussion. The topic? “How old is too old to RV?” As we joined our chairs to the circle, I took a quick glance at the other folks there. Whew! Hubby and I were safely within the age range represented: 30s through 80s. … Continue reading this interesting discussion.

RV boo-boos: Listen to the directions!

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
It takes a bit of intestinal fortitude—and humility—to own up to boo-boos. Witness the case of a “Rocky day RVing.” Michael H. had, by his account, “been on the road for a long time when we finally got to our destination,” a Montana campground. It’s a matter of listening—and following—the directions. Read more about when Michael got stuck between a rock … and a rock.

7 things to ask yourself before planning an RV remodel

By Cheri Sicard
Embarking on an RV remodel can be an exciting, fun, and rewarding undertaking. The finished results can be dramatic! However, biting off more than they could chew and/or unforeseen circumstances have turned many RV remodelers’ dreams into nightmares. Right now, before you embark on ANY RV rehab project, take a little time and do the #1 most important thing a lot of folks neglect (and later regret), and also ask yourself these important questions.

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter

Boondocking RV bathroom tips: Stay another day (or week) off-grid
Bottle savers for the frugal RVer. Get every last drop!
See more, move less: The benefits of home-based camping
How to manually adjust your trailer brakes
Dealing with ticks: An expert’s advice

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Are slide awnings a necessity or a waste of money?

By Gail Marsh
We’re not sure what to do. Our first RV had them. We’ve had three RVs since, all without them. I’m talking about slide awnings or slide-out toppers. No matter what you call them, people have very definitive opinions concerning these covers. Read more, then please offer your advice.

For sale: Super sketchy vintage camper conversion. Don’t try this at home!

This vintage camper conversion is wild! And is it even safe? Custom RVs aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but this project has a whole lot of bad juju. Take a look around and see if you’d pay what the seller has it listed for (we don’t think so!). Don’t get any ideas… Click here.

The story of Airstream, NASA and the space program’s Mobile Quarantine Facility

What do NASA, Airstream, astronauts, the Extra-Terrestrial Exposure Law and a Mobile Quarantine Facility have in common? A totally cool Airstream-designed facility that was built to prevent the spread of scary moon bacteria and pathogens! But there’s much more to it than that. Read more.

Modern prospecting equipment: My favorite tool

By Randall Brink
In an earlier prospecting article I described a few pieces of simple, lightweight equipment that an RVer can carry efficiently in any rig. Here, we’ll start to examine each of those tools individually and see how to use them in greater detail. … Read about Randall’s favorite prospecting tool here.

Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

COPYRIGHT 2022 by Clint Norrell

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

Reader Poll

When staying in a luxury RV in a full hookup RV resort, are you camping?

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

Tell us here


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 set of Collapsible Mesh Food Cover Tents?

Use this handy set of 6 mesh food cover tents to keep the bugs away from your food when you are dining outdoors!

How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (February 19, 2022) 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!

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.

My sani-flush is filling and overflowing my fresh water tank! How?

Dear Dave,
I have a 2009 Fleetwood Discovery 40X and something strange has started happening when I use my sani-flush system after emptying the black tank. After running it for a time, water starts coming out the overflow of my fresh water holding tank. The holding tank was about 3/4 full when I started using the black tank sani-flush system. I don’t know what’s changed but it has done this the last two times I emptied my black tank and used the sani-flush. I would not think any source of water to the black tank should be able to reach a potable water tank. Your thoughts? Thanks. —Marv

Read Dave’s reply

Click here to see more questions for Dave.

Weight distribution in a toy hauler with no toys?
Can I open my Schwintek Slide system part way?
Water pressure weaker on city water than when dry camping. Why?

RV Gadgets and Gizmos

Review: Lippert folding wagon

The wagon unfolded and ready to go

By Tony Barthel
One of the more common sights as I sat in the RVtravel.com booth in Quartzsite recently was folks rolling by with folding wagons of all kinds. While a few folks were toting the cool stuff they bought, a lot more had their dogs in the wagons and were taking them for a pull. I asked to see a number of these up close and found that the quality of them varies. A lot.

Read more


with Mike Sokol

Many uses of the Jackery Explorer 1500 and 300 Power Stations

Dear Readers,
Last Monday I did a video review of the Jackery Explorer 1500 and 300 Power Stations. I’m continuing to experiment with this technology, and finding all kinds of new uses for a 1500 watt-hr. lithium battery pack with an 1,800-watt pure sine inverter which includes 400 watts of portable solar panels. Oh, yes. There are also a lot of things you can do with a 300 watt-hr. lithium battery pack with a 300-watt pure sine inverter.

Read more

Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: CarGenerator, Jackery, and chocolate updates…

NEW! Visit Mike’s new RVelectricity Forum on RVtravel.com.

RV Tire Safety

By Roger Marble

Q&A’s on tire inflation; RVs are not the same as HD trucks

In this post I respond to an RVer’s multiple questions on tire inflation, and explain how HD (heavy duty) trucks and RVs differ in their tire inflation requirements.

Read more

“E” to “G” load pressure adjustment
Inflation and elevation changes
Tire inflation adjustment for ambient temp

RV Fire Safety

Check your brakes for drag and tires for “softness”

A dragging brake can create enough friction to ignite a tire or brake fluid. Some of the worst fires are those caused when one tire of a dual or tandem pair goes flat, scuffs, and ignites long before the driver feels any change in handling. At each stop, give tires at least an eyeball check. When tires are cool, tap your duals with a club and listen for a difference in sound from one tire to the next. You can often tell if one is going soft. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

Recipe of the Day

Italian Sausage and Rice Stuffed Peppers
by Enro Gay from Dawsonville, GA

We love Enro’s twist on stuffed green peppers. Italian sausage changes the flavor profile. It adds much more savoriness to the dish. Brown rice, rather than white, adds fiber to the meal. The tomato sauce and ooey gooey cheese balance this dish perfectly. These are delicious!

Get the recipe here.

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“Our Golden Retriever, Kenzi, had just spent time on Sand Dollar Island having a blast. As we left, she just had no energy left.” —Todd Thompson

Brain Teaser

A man left home running. He ran a ways and then turned left, ran the same distance and turned left again, ran the same distance and turned left again. When he got home, there were two masked men. Who were they?

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


The famous Beatles song “I Am The Walrus” was written by John Lennon just to confuse people. In 1967, a student from Lennon’s old high school told him his teacher was using Beatles songs as part of lessons in analyzing creative works. Lennon, amused by this and the greater phenomenon of people analyzing lyrics, wrote “I Am The Walrus” just to throw his listeners off—the whole song means nothing!

Laugh of the Week


RVs: Who Makes What” – This is a new free directory from RVtravel.com which lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models. Learn more and/or download a free PDF copy.

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 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.

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

Who publishes 700+ RV newsletters a year? Only us!
RVtravel.com would not be possible without the financial support of YOU, our voluntary contributors. 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! And, as you know, when you 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 consider doing to again? Learn more or donate. Thank you!

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

RVtravel.com 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 RVtravel.com or this newsletter.

RVtravel.com 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 Amazon.com. 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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Randy Stracener (@guest_166246)
1 year ago

I had to share the laugh of the day with our daughter, that has a Shih tzu. lol Thanks

Gayle V. (@guest_166081)
1 year ago

Nap on Kenzi! How sweet!

Cherie Niederst (@guest_166031)
1 year ago

Kenzi looks so contented. Enjoying the sun in a well deserved nap. Thanks for sending such a peaceful picture.