Thursday, December 8, 2022


Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1046


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.

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 (most importantly our hard-working writers!).

April 2, 2022
Members edition

Cover story

National Parks aren’t as crowded as they appear online. This will give you hope

By Emily Woodbury


couple of weeks ago I told you I was worried about visiting two of the most popular National Parks, Zion and the Grand Canyon, and plenty of other popular sights and destinations along the way. I was worried. And, in all honesty, I was being a grump about it. Sure, I knew I could wake up early enough to beat the crowds on the most popular trail on my list, but what about all the other trails and sights? By the time I finished the first one, the rest would be swarmed.

Going into this trip, I expected the worst. I really did. I braced myself for crowds, trash, children breaking rules, adults breaking rules… But you know what? I was pleasantly surprised.

Sure, the drive up 179 into Sedona, Arizona, looked like this:

But Sedona also looked like this:

Look, that’s me!

Click the button below to continue reading, and see plenty more comparison photos. I tell you what my experience with the crowds was really like.

Read More

Is something frustrating, annoying or upsetting you? Get it off your chest!

Okay, RVers. Listen up. We want to know what really grinds your gears. What really frustrates, annoys or upsets you.

Is it your neighbor who blows cigar smoke into your RV every night? Is it the loud children who bike through your campsite? How about that gosh-darn ugly barking dog over there? Is it that stupid-big outdoor TV screen on your neighbor’s RV? What about the camp manager, who just can’t seem to ever wake up on the right side of the bed? Is it a stupid rule? A silly requirement? An expensive regret?

Come on! Vent to us! You can be as downright frustrated, as downright annoyed, as downright upset as you please! We can take it! It must be RV-related, though, of course.

Tell us here

Featured Article

Around the Campfire: Who advocates for RVers?

By Gail Marsh
Talk around the campfire a few nights ago got several folks riled up. A few “newbie” RV owners wondered who they should contact about their complaints. One fifth-wheel owner couldn’t get his emergency exit window to open. The dealer was no help after the sale. A travel trailer newbie was convinced his rig had electrical issues. “Who advocates for RVers?” they wondered out loud. … Gail did some research. Find out what it revealed here. Maybe you can add to it.

Today’s RV review…

2022 Northwood Nash 23D – The RV tank

Tony writes, “Typically, if you look at the most affordable line of any company’s offerings, what you get are very, very obvious corners that were cut. That’s absolutely not the case here. What you end up with is a trailer that’s rather competitively priced but built like a premium model because, in fact, it is.”

We had some technical difficulties earlier with this link, but it’s fixed now. Sorry, folks, but thanks for your patience.

Read more

Click here for more reviews.

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

Life lessons in cleaning toilets. What years as a work camper have taught me…

By Nanci Dixon
My husband and I have come to the end of our six-year run as work campers (volunteers) at a regional park in Arizona. I have learned more than I thought possible. It has been wonderful, though sometimes trying and definitely hot. It’s been stinky and dirty at times, but I have learned a whole lot during our time as work campers. … Continue reading this very open and honest account.

Campground community centers are hidden gems

The next time you go camping, be sure to check out the campground community center. Over the past few years, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these facilities closed down for health reasons. With the pandemic easing, it’s time to rediscover this often-hidden gem. … Continue reading about all of their benefits here.

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters

Don’t throw out your Pringles can! Use it these 11 ways in your RV
How to stock a small RV pantry for long-term travel
Driving an RV: Why it’s important that all adult passengers know how
RV Mods—Got a spare, there?
RV Gadget: Why your RV needs a Water Bandit!

[activecampaign form=38]

Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

COPYRIGHT 2022 by Clint Norrell

Read the story behind this Clintoon here.

If you enjoy Clint’s work each week, will you please leave a comment at the bottom of this newsletter and tell him? He works hard on these, and we want to send all the praise his way!

Reader Poll

How is your RV or tow vehicle powered?

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

I climbed inside the belly of a dinosaur and came out its mouth!

By Emily Woodbury
This is not, I repeat NOT, an April Fools’ joke. I really did climb straight inside a dinosaur’s belly. And not just any dinosaur either, but Mr. Rex himself, the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus Rex! Read more.

Start planning now for the 2024 total solar eclipse in North America. Seriously!

Get ready, the 2024 total solar eclipse is coming! On August 21, 2017, campgrounds from the Oregon Coast to the shores of South Carolina were swamped by campers crowding to get under the shadow of the solar eclipse. Many campground owners weren’t prepared for the crazy, carnival-like atmosphere the eclipse caused, and parks throughout North America took note to be better prepared the next time the sun disappeared at midday. Well, it’s all going to happen again on Monday, April 8, 2024, and if you’re an RVer who doesn’t want to be left in the sunlight this time, it isn’t too early to start making your plans. Continue reading.

How it happened: The history of our favorite fire-preventing Smokey Bear

You may have driven your RV past his famous image. You’ve probably known him since you were a child. I’m talking about Smokey Bear, the iconic character dressed in jeans and sporting that distinctive ranger’s hat. For more than 70 years, Smokey Bear has reminded campers: “Only YOU can prevent wildfires.” Learn all about Smokey Bear 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 Folding Camping Table?

How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (April 2, 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!

Dave SolbergAsk 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.

Can I use mineral oil to lubricate my RV’s dump valve?

Dear Dave,
My RV’s waste tank valves are starting to stick. A fellow camper suggested mineral oil to lubricate the dump valve. What are your thoughts on lubricating waste tank valves? —Charlie

Read Dave’s reply

Click here to see more questions for Dave.

RV Gadgets and Gizmos

Yep, another neat RV toilet: Camco Travel Toilet review

By Tony Barthel
I am not going to only do reviews of toilets moving forward, but today I am looking at another portable toilet, the Camco Travel/Camping Toilet. I brought one of these on a recent trip testing out the Four Wheel Campers Hawk model pop-up camper and ended up liking it quite a bit. But there are some issues.

Read more


with Mike Sokol

Should RV parks meter power? Part 2

Last week’s article about RV parks installing Smart Pedestals to meter power sure struck a nerve. While 60% of you who took the survey said that metering power was okay as long as it would guarantee stable electricity, there were many caveats added in the comments. Let’s review a few of the most common comments and how I responded.

Read more

Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Side-by-side video of new SoftStartRV

NEW! Visit Mike’s new RVelectricity Forum on

RV Tire Safety

Videos from Goodyear worth watching

By Roger Marble
I strongly recommend every RV owner watch these four videos from Goodyear. They cover: Tire sizing; Tire storage, cleaning and removal; Tire wear, care and wheel alignment; and Tire pressure.

Watch the informative videos here

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

RV Short Stop

Whooping cranes, The Big Tree in Texas

By Julianne G. Crane
With a little luck and good timing, it is possible to spot endangered whooping cranes and admire the biggest Coastal Live Oak Tree in Texas. This time of year they are both just a few miles north of the coastal art and fishing community of Rockport/Fulton.

Read more

RV Fire Safety

Help prevent RV engine fires

A hard-working engine manifold can get as hot as 900 degrees F. The heavy insulation in the compartment reflects the heat back to the top of the engine, and a fire can easily break out. Inspect your radiator and have any problems repaired by a qualified person as soon as possible. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

Recipe of the Day

Grilled Kielbasa Skewers
by Lynette Occhipinti from Richland, WA

Using kielbasa makes these skewers an easy summer dinner. The sausage grills evenly with the vegetables. Italian dressing adds zesty flavor to the fresh veggies. This is an easy meal to put together and quick to grill because the sausage is already cooked.

Get the recipe here

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“Emma’s favorite thing about camping is loading up in the backseat of the side-by-side and going to the top of the pass.” —Paul Steffens

Brain Teaser

Which caterpillar has a UNIQUE PATTERN? (Which one doesn’t have a match?) [Hint: The tail color counts in the pattern, too.]

Art by Gergely Dudás-Dudolf. 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.)

Bumper Snicker

Observed on the back of a Winnebago motorhome in Minnesota:
“Poor Gas Mileage for a Vehicle, Great for a Home”


There are a few different stories behind the meaning of the word “April,” but we like this theory the most: The word “April” comes from the verb “aperire,” which means “to open.” It is believed that the word refers to the season when trees and flowers begin to “open” or bloom.

Laugh of the Week

You absolutely have to see Benson, the once-street-cat now-famous fashionista. You’re going to crack up. Just look at him! And what patience!


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 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, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, 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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Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2022 by RV Travel LLC.

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Tony Grigg
8 months ago

Seriously? You don’t get enough gripes from readers in the Comments section? Now you are INVITING people to complain?! Oh my!

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
8 months ago
Reply to  Tony Grigg

We’re gluttons for punishment. 😆 Have a great afternoon/evening, Tony. 🙂 –Diane

8 months ago

Love the quiet affirmation of Ukraine!

Jeff Craig
8 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Same – Evil must be opposed!

Scott R. Ellis
8 months ago

FYI, the “RV Review” link returns a “page not found.”

Warren G
8 months ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

Noticed that as well. If you click see other reviews it is the first review.