Thursday, December 8, 2022


Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1048


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.

Page Contents

Dear Supporter

Only 4 percent of our readers believe we are worth supporting financially. You are one of those who DO BELIEVE we are worth more than just free! Look at our staff box below. Most of those people are paid. They work hard. They are not “influencers” or content creators who write by formula. They ARE real writers and real RVers who care about truth. With our large readership we could “sell out” and make a ton of easy money, and we mean EASY!! But we will not do it! If you believe in us, and have not donated recently, would you please consider doing so now? Any amount is appreciated. Please help us avoid relying heavily on advertising, which brings demands for writing only what is in their interest, not yours! Your support helps us stay basically free! Donate now (it’s fast and easy).

April 16, 2022
Members edition

Cover story

RV design makes mice infestation easy

By Chuck Woodbury

Sometimes you shake your head and wonder at something so outrageous that you marvel at how it came to be. Here’s an example.

Our editor Emily and I attended a Seattle-area RV show a couple of weeks ago. One of our advertisers, Tom Sharp, had a booth. We wanted to say hi and thank him for his support. Tom invented and sells a product called BoxKat. It’s for RVers and motorists who have problems with mice entering their vehicles and chewing wires. It’s a huge, costly problem, which you know if it’s happened to you (60% of our readers report it has).

Tom, Emily and I discussed mice and mice prevention. The most important way to keep them away, we all agreed, is to prevent them from entering our RVs or other vehicles to begin with. That’s where Tom’s product comes in.

Later, we explored some of the RVs on display. And, oh, my goodness, were we befuddled when we came upon a travel trailer with a ridiculous design flaw that begs rodents to come in, chew, and end up causing costly damage. I took photos. Everyone I have shown them to so far has marveled at how the design is one of the stupidest they have seen on an RV.

Read More

That could be you!

Psst: It’s free to enter all National Parks today! It’s the first day of National Park Week. So as soon as you’re finished reading this newsletter, grab your pass, your exploring buddy, your good shoes, a camera, some snacks, lots of water… and get out there and explore!

Featured stories

New wave of RV influencers spreading misleading, false information online

By Dave Solberg
I recently saw this quote online: “The problem with quotes found on the internet is that they are often not true.” —Abraham Lincoln

Did Abraham Lincoln really say that? Of course not! Anyone can post just about anything on the internet without the expertise or facts to back them up, and that’s exactly what some RV influencers are doing. The challenge today is that the RV industry is exploding and people are hungry for information. There are so many people that see the potential for making money with blogs, articles, “vlogs” and more as a result. You can’t blame them—they are making good money from it. But in many cases, the information they’re putting out there just isn’t true, and it can do a lot of damage to RVs! Continue reading.

So this is what it’s like to downsize, huh?

By Randall Brink
With some sadness and a slight relief, I watched my beautiful 40’ Foretravel diesel pusher motorcoach roll off over the horizon toward its new home. I wasn’t expecting the mixture of melancholy and unbalance that I was feeling after owning that coach for many years. But there was no getting around the fact that selling the coach was the right thing for me to do at this juncture. It was time to downsize. Read more.

RVer’s death could have been prevented with a satellite messenger

By Dave Helgeson
In April of last year, my wife and I were traveling through central Nevada on the way to Death Valley when we learned about the death of a camper who became stranded there. … It inspired me to write an article on how the camper’s death could have been prevented with a satellite messenger. Sadly, less than a year later and a hundred miles or so northwest from where the camper perished last April, tragedy struck again as an RVer died after his motorhome got stuck in soft sand due to a navigation error. Continue reading.

Reader question

Are you “on the road again”? Share your story with us

By Nanci Dixon
“‘On the Road Again’ by Willie Nelson is one of my most favorite songs! Every spring as we finally pack everything up and start heading north again (or south, or west or east), I blast ‘On the Road Again’ through the speakers in the motorhome. I seldom tire of it, even after looping it five or ten times! My husband does, though. I think it is because he has no control over the stereo system while he is driving….” Read about Nanci’s palpable excitement as they get ready to get on the road again here. Then we want to hear about your travels.

Today’s RV review…

Fleetwood Frontier 36SS Class A diesel pusher

Tony writes, “This is certainly a rig that has some nifty aspects to it, so at least the designers seem to know what they’re doing. I like that reconfigurable table/desk, the big couch and the spacious bathrooms.” But is that all Tony likes? Well, maybe…

Read more

Click here for more reviews.

How it Happened: The disappearing (Murphy) bed

By Gail Marsh
You see them inside many of today’s RVs, yet one of the very first iterations of the “disappearing bed” (now known as a Murphy bed) was used in the Monticello bedroom of Thomas Jefferson. In those days, the bed was held by ropes and fastened in place by wall hooks in the daytime or when not in use. Continue reading this interesting history.

These RVers claim there is another reason behind poor quality RVs

We’ve heard all about it: The poor quality of RVs coming out of manufacturing plants during the past few years. Blame has been assigned to company bosses who set unreasonable production goals. Fault is also placed at the feet of crew bosses who continually urge their line laborers to “work faster.” Blame has also fallen on unskilled and/or unprofessional workers who seem okay just slapping things together. And on it goes. Gail Marsh found some interestings “reasons” on an RV forum for the “poor quality” of today’s RVs. Could newbies be to blame?

Highlights from this weeks RV Daily Tips Newsletter

My top 5 RV hacks and tips
Taking RV inventory: Does everything in our RV need to stay?
Even more incredible tips for reusing Pringles cans in your RV
Just what does a road grade sign mean?
Work remotely (the right way) from your RV

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Around the Campfire: A debate on campfires vs. open windows

By Gail Marsh
There’s been an ongoing discussion around the campfire for the past week. The “campfire vs. open windows feud” has potential to ruin two RVers’ camping experience. An RVer I’ll call “Campfires” likes to have a fire every evening. There’s another RV family that likes to keep their RV windows open. I’ll call them “Windows.” These two RVers are parked back-to-back in our campground. Windows’ RV sits downwind from Campfires’ RV. And there’s the problem.

RV boo-boos: Didja take off the toad brakes, Harry?

There’s a lot to be said for having an RV checklist. And using it. In this case, it may have saved money on tires, and certainly some embarrassment. Check this out.

Readers speak out about scary expensive RV repair bills

Here at, we recently conducted a poll asking readers to tell about their highest RV repair bills. We expected to hear some whoppers, and the folks who commented didn’t disappoint. Read the poll results and what some readers had to say here.

Are you staying at a Jellystone Park or know someone who is? Check out their list of Easter and spring activities, some starting today!

Reader Poll

Have you paid $100 or more a night for a campsite in the last year?

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

It might be good to have old tires in your driveway

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
An initial read of the headline might sound alarm bells in neighborhoods across the country. But think about it: If you’re a safety-conscious RVer, you know that the recommended lifespan of RV tires is but five years. That could produce a lot of old tires. Where are they gonna go? How about in your driveway? No, NOT ON your driveway, but IN your driveway. Read more.


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 Vintage Trailer Windchime?

How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (April 16, 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.

My RV’s kitchen sink holding tank does not drain

Dear Dave,
My RV’s kitchen sink has its own drain tank. I went to dump all my tanks and when I opened the one for the kitchen nothing ran out. I opened and closed the valve a couple times and just a little water came out. I’m scared my valve is closed and will not open. Any suggestions? —Ronald, 2018 Keystone Montana

Read Dave’s reply

Click here to see more questions for Dave.

RV Gadgets and Gizmos

SylvanSport Privy Bivy: Reining in Tony’s toilet posts

By Peggy Barthel
In an effort to contain Tony’s recent camp potty reviews, we got a SylvanSport privacy shelter, known on the SylvanSport website as the Privy Bivy. This article, today, is actually written by me, Tony’s wife, and is sort of a counter to all his recent toilet reviews. I was headed out for a tent-only campout, and the shelter arrived just in time to test it out.

Read more


with Mike Sokol

Can I power my 50-amp RV from an F-150 PowerBoost generator?

It looks like a number of readers have recently bought a new Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid pickup truck with the optional built-in 7.2kW inverter generator. As many of you know, I had a loaner PowerBoost for two weeks last July.

So, in addition to some basic towing tests with a Rockwood GeoPro toy hauler, I did a number of tests to see exactly how its built-in 7.2kW 120/240-volt generator actually works under real-world conditions. Read what Mike has learned so far.

Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Can I run a Ninja Foodi on an 800-watt inverter?

NEW! Visit Mike’s new RVelectricity Forum on

RV Tire Safety

with Roger Marble

“I just had a tire failure for no reason”

If you follow any RV forums you probably see a statement like this every few weeks. I can tell you that tires do not fail because of some RV-Magic. It comes down to actual Science. Why do tires fail? Simple question, but as with almost every question about tires, the answer is not a one-liner. This post isn’t short, but it really isn’t technical. I’m sure every reader will understand the concepts.

Read more

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

Ask the Pet Vet

with Karel Carnohan, DVM

Is sleeping with your pet healthy?

Is sharing your bed with your pet a good idea? As a lifelong pet owner who has shared her bed with many cats and dogs, I began to wonder if it was impacting my quality of sleep. I am now of a “certain age” when insomnia is becoming a significant problem. Are my cats keeping me up? What are the risks and benefits of sleeping with pets?

Find out here

NEW! Have a question about traveling with your pet? Ask Dr. Karel on her new Ask the Pet Vet Forum.

RV Short Stop

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on Texas Coastal Bend

By Julianne G. Crane
The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is a must-see RV short stop for those meandering along the Texas Coastal Bend. The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “is best known as the wintering home of the last wild migratory flock of endangered whooping cranes.” It also serves as a breeding ground and sanctuary for other migrating birds and native wildlife, including Kemp’s ridley sea turtles.

Read more

RV Fire Safety

Check rubber fuel lines monthly

Rubber fuel lines are commonly used to connect metal lines to the electronic fuel injection system, or to the carburetor in older coaches. Check all the lines and connections between the fuel tank and the engine on a monthly basis. If there is any sign of a leak, have the lines replaced and the entire system inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. —Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

Recipe of the Day

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Easter Eggs
by Deneece Gursky from Miami, FL

If you are a peanut butter and chocolate lover you will love these homemade candies! The inside is fluffy, creamy, and full of peanut butter. We did put them in the freezer for a little while, so coating them in chocolate was a breeze. A platter of these at a springtime event or Easter will impress everyone. There were rumblings in the Test Kitchen that these were better than ones you can buy at the store!

Get the recipe here

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“This is my daily helper, Baby, when trying to work on my laptop!” —James Wagner

Brain Teaser

It’s a true Easter egg hunt! Well, except here you’re looking for the hidden bingo ball (which has the number 11 on it, by the way). It’s eggstremely hard, but we believe you can find it! Click the image to enlarge it.

Photo credit:

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


The most covered Beatles song of all time is “Yesterday.” Other popular favorites such as “Hey Jude” and “With a Little Help From My Friends” have been covered many times, but none as many as “Yesterday,” which has been covered more than 2,200 times. You can listen to some of the covers on YouTube.

Laugh of the Week

“A football coach, holding a football, asks a player, ‘Son, can you pass this?’ The player says, ‘Coach, I don’t think I can even swallow it.'”


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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This newsletter is copyright 2022 by RV Travel LLC.

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7 months ago

Even though I sold my RV last year, I’ve enjoyed reading it for the last 13 years and ‘still’ donate. Also, liked the Trivia about the Beatles song “Yesterday”. The band I was a member of in 1970 recorded it, also…so I believe the story.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
7 months ago

Thanks, Paul, for your continuing support of even though you sold your RV. Are you thinking of getting another one? You had one of the 2,200+ cover versions of “Yesterday,” eh? Interesting. If you ever get back into RVing, we wish you many happy travel years! Take care. 😀 –Diane

7 months ago

Yes! I agree some of these articles are not for me. As I get older I only have so much time left!😂 I don’t read alot of it. That’s okay because many are not meant for me. I don’t plan to downsize We love our 43’10” MH. I like what I have in my motor home. I don’t think A few less pounds say 500 say 700 will save much fuel if any at least for my rig. We use diesel fuel for heat, we travel with a full water as well as a propane campfire/propane tank, I would rather have it all than not. really why should I. My towed is 5000lbs. But we are all different. ( I need to pay for my subscription)

AND how about an article once In awhile on places to go, or the good and bad about Joining a tour like a Fantasy Tours. We put our MH on flat car with 26 others to visit Copper Canyon in Mexico. We had a ball!! They don’t give that tour anymore (too dangerous) but there are many other trips.. Or an article about European RV tours, how To’s crossing the Canadian border

Dennis F
7 months ago

Why do I keep getting a “Error 520″ when trying to enter for the give away? This has been happening for several Months.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
7 months ago
Reply to  Dennis F

Sorry, Dennis. I don’t know, but I’ve referred your question to our IT folks. They’ll get back to you hopefully with an answer. We haven’t had any similar questions from other readers, so it must just be something on your computer or whatever you’re using. Have a good evening. 🙂 –Diane

Bob Weinfurt
7 months ago

Don’t worry. If I win the wind chime, it will be hung up at my S&Bs.

Rock & Tina
7 months ago

Check rubber fuel lines monthly??? I will bet the mortgage that no RVer has ever checked their fuel lines from their fuel tank to their injectors/carburetor monthly. How about a more realistic inspection recommendation.

Tony Grigg
7 months ago
Reply to  Rock & Tina

Ya, I laughed pretty hard at that one too. If I constantly checked everything recommended in these articles I’d never get out of the driveway.

Jesse Crouse
7 months ago
Reply to  Rock & Tina

I agree no one does it, but I would suggest at least 3 time a “season” or every 3 months if you full time. After you have done it several times the time and effort will become less.

Brad G. Hancock NH
7 months ago

I don’t recall in my 74 years that the daily newspaper was ever free. Today people pay for digital subscriptions. Watching the nightly news on TV isn’t free if you have a satellite or Internet subscription. If you subscribe to an RV print magazine on a monthly basis, it isn’t free either. IF you are a regular reader of RV Travel – which, BTW is free, and you value its content, it should be worth a small monthly contribution to you. Just sayin’.

Sharon L Boehmer
7 months ago

Absolutely agree!

7 months ago

I do it once a year only I don’t remember he last time. Has it been a year yet?

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
7 months ago

Thanks for your kind words and your support, monetary and otherwise, Brad! We appreciate you very much! Take care, and Happy Easter. 😀 –Diane