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July 9, 2022
Oh, the places you’ll go and the people you’ll meet…
By Dave Solberg
ver the years I have met thousands of RVers at campgrounds, rallies and shows across the country. Some of my fondest memories come from when I traveled the country for Winnebago. For three years I was on the road, training dealers on the features and benefits of their new products. I would take a new prototype out for 4-8 weeks, usually it was a 36’ or larger RV. I’d put on about 10,000 miles each trip, then sell the RV as a demo, then get another one. I’d spend nights in either campgrounds or big box store parking lots before it was the “in” thing to do. My favorite part? Meeting other RVers.
I met the most wonderful people who were “living the dream” and exploring the country. They were always eager to share their adventures with me. For the most part, RVers are a special breed. They’ll usually always jump in to help you back up, level your rig, or even with maintenance or repair projects.
Sometimes, I would take my clothes down to the laundry, put them in the washing machine, and go back to my rig. Later, after they finished drying, I’d return to the laundry and find them on the table… folded! That’s the kind of people you meet at the campground. (Now my wife accuses me of waiting until someone folds them; however, that is not always true!)
Visiting campgrounds for pics
I’m writing this on the 4th of July, Independence Day. I went down to the local state park campground here in Clear Lake, Iowa, to get some pictures to freshen up my photo library. I have more than 1,500 photos and graphics, but you can never have enough (right?). The 4th of July in Clear Lake, IA, is THE best time to get a photo of just about anything you want at the state campground, as it is packed with every type of RV you can imagine.
Chuck Woodbury’s Roadside Journal
Beware the Quad-legged Unmanned Ground Vehicle. What’s that? You’ll need to read Chuck’s musing to find out. Hint: It does not bark!
COMING IN TOMORROW’S ISSUE
RV sales drop by a third
(Should we be surprised?)
YOUR THOUGHTS, PLEASE?
Do you plan to give up RVing?
Mike Sherman’s letter to the editor last week about giving up RV travel has already been viewed more than 600,000 times. Why? We believe it’s because many of our readers are considering doing the same thing.
They’ve had it with crowding, high gas prices and waiting months for repairs. The sales-obsessed RV Industry Association has gushed in the last few years about record sales, but has shown no concern about what happens when those RVs fall apart well before their loans are paid off, or when their owners realize that finding a campground to stay in is much harder than finding a motel room. Are you thinking of giving up RVing? Or have you already done it? Please let us know. We’d like to share your stories.
Here is today’s edition of our twice-a-week photo contest. Please vote for your favorite. Once you’ve voted, please submit your own photo for consideration. Winners receive a $50 Amazon gift card. Good luck!
(And remember, this contest appears every Saturday and Wednesday, so don’t forget to check back for five more photos from our readers this coming Wednesday! Sign up for our RV Daily Tips newsletter if you’re not already getting it. If you’re not sure if you’re on the list, sign up again. You will still only get one issue, not two.)
Is your RV a death trap? For some RVers, the answer could be ‘yes’
Ron Burge reports that RV manufacturers are taking longer and longer to notify their customers of defects that have forced a recall. These range from fire dangers to crash accident risks of overloading because of axle and tire pressure rating errors. Meanwhile, the owners of the RVs continue to take their RVs down the highway—completely unaware that they may be towing or, more often, riding in a death trap.
Today’s RV review…
Tony is off today. Well, he’s “off” every day, but today’s he’s off his “confuser,” as he calls it. He’ll be back with more great, one-of-a-kind RV reviews very soon.
Reserved but empty campsites: The campground’s side of the story
By Nanci Dixon
There are two sides to every story, right? Well, that means there’s another side to why there are so many empty campsites. You’ll find the other side of that story behind the campground check-in desk. Continue reading.
Brilliant glamping company is the neatest we’ve ever seen
Sarah Owens loves spending time outside, so when COVID closures ended her full-time bartending job, Sarah invented Pitch Posh, a company that brings the campground to you. That is, if you happen to live in or near Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Ms. Owens’ innovative company will provide and set up everything you need for a wonderful “glamping” experience, right in your own backyard. Check this out!
RV boo-boos: Watch where you’re going or this can happen!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
In this week’s news, we couldn’t help but notice the mental health professional who says everyone needs to regularly kick back and relax. As RVers, most of us are taking that prescription to heart. But it’s important to remember that kicking back and mentally dropping out is best saved for AFTER arrival and setup at the campground. If you should lose your focus on the road—well, all manner of bad things can happen… Like this.
Around the Campfire: RVers wonder if the perfect truck exists
By Gail Marsh
What’s the perfect truck? That was the question asked at a recent gathering around the campfire. It didn’t take long to discover that the perfect truck does not exist. But we all had fun describing the perfect truck—even if it was totally made up! Are you wondering what the best truck ever is? Read on!
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters
- Last-minute tips to stretch your vacation dollars
- With boondocking freedom comes responsibility
- Easy ways to make your RV’s entry steps safer
- Here’s an easy, cheap trick to keep outdoor cords and chargers dry
- How to help defeat would-be RV burglars
Thief tries to siphon gas from RV, gets crappy surprise
When longtime RVtravel.com reader Gary Willey sent this to us (Thanks, Gary!) we thought it was a joke and we laughed out loud! But after a little digging, we found a news story from 2016 saying this actually really did happen to this couple in Australia. We quickly went from laughing to gagging! We almost feel bad for the guy… Oh, my!
Here’s one feel-good way to help beat high fuel prices: Volunteer!
By Dave Helgeson
Have you ever considered becoming a volunteer, using your RV to serve others? There have been many articles on RVtravel.com lately addressing how to beat high fuel prices. Camp closer to home, stay longer, properly inflate your tires, drive slower, etc. This is all good advice, but what if you are longing for a good old multi-state road trip to satisfy your case of white line fever? Become a volunteer! Volunteering your time and talent often allows you to travel to a distant place to serve while deducting your travel expenses to get there. Here are some great ideas to help humankind while satisfying your wanderlust.
Avoid a geyser in your RV with a pressure regulator
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
As many as 2,000 people are on hand each time Yellowstone’s Old Faithful geyser pops off. You can bet a lot of them arrived in their RVs. Geysers are fascinating—a lot of water under pressure, looking for an out. But one place a geyser isn’t welcome is inside your RV. But water under pressure is always seeking an “out.” If there’s too much pressure, your RV plumbing could be that out. Using a water pressure regulator can hold down the stress, and keep your RV plumbing dry. Learn all about water pressure regulators here.
Part 3: The secrets of RV absorption refrigerators
By Dave Solberg
This series features what I call “RV Gremlins,” those pesky little troublemakers that seem to pop up out of nowhere and then just as quickly disappear. In Part 1, I looked at the gremlins that live in lead-acid batteries. In Part 2, we looked at the mysteries of 12-volt wiring. Today, we’re trying to figure out the gremlins in RV absorption refrigerators.
POPULAR ARTICLE FROM ONE YEAR AGO
That’s just not true! 13 common myths about RVing
By Gail Marsh
A myth is a common statement or belief, widely known and even accepted as truth, but based on false notions or supposed ideas that have not been proven to be factual. Now that’s a definition mouthful! But I think you’ll agree that the following statements are RV myths (or at least partial myths). This is very interesting.
Are you finding more available campsites in the last few weeks?
We invite your comments after responding to the poll.
Where are RVtravel.com readers reading this newsletter? We showed you a reader map last Monday—it’s fascinating! See it here.
These easy-care plants will help purify the air in your RV
By Dale Wade
Certain pollutants may be released inside your RV. If you have the room, you can minimize the presence of these with a good air purifier; but if you don’t have the room, there’s another pleasing method to help minimize toxic pollutants in your RV: indoor plants. You need several varieties for maximum impact, but a few can do good as well. Learn about some of them here.
RV Prospector: No, all the gold has NOT been found
By Randall Brink
“There’s gold in them thar hills.” We’ve all heard that line, spoken by a quintessential prospector character in a film or on TV as he resolutely heads for the high country. The words are valid throughout most of the inter-mountain West. … The American West has such a rich mining history—continuing to the present day—that an RV prospector can become discouraged thinking that those that came before found all the gold. Has it all been found? The simple answer is no. Find out where to look for it here.
The long, long RV trip, Week 5: RVing in Kansas, and an amazing campground
By Cheri Sicard
This week’s stops: Kit Carson County Historic Carousel; Kansas Rest Area’s 1st Rate RV Stops; Minooka Park: beautiful and inexpensive Wilson Lake RVing with hookups!;The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Home, Museum, and Library; Oz Museum; arriving in Kansas City. … Read all about Cheri’s latest adventures 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.
How would you like to win the book 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas?
Filled with helpful travel tips and beautiful National Geographic photography, this expert guide showcases the best experiences in the top national, state, and city parks throughout North America.
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (July 9, 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.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- How should the RV’s 6-volt and 12-volt batteries be wired?
- My holding tank gauges never work. Is there another option?
- Why do I need supplemental brakes for a light toad?
- Can I connect Weber grill to RV’s LP valve with low pressure?
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Fridge fan tames wild GE 12-volt fridge
By Tony Barthel
I’m finding more and more RVs are coming with 12-volt refrigerators. These have a lot of promise, but do they deliver? The advantages of a 12-volt refrigerator include the fact that they work like the one you likely have in your home. … Continue reading about the advantages and disadvantages of 12-volt refrigerators, and how a Beech Lane RV Fridge Fan is helping Tony with the problems he’s running into with his new fridge, here. (You can get down off your soapbox now, Tony.)
PLUS! Hot off the press! Don’t miss yesterday’s brand-new Great RV Accessories Newsletter. It’s a good one. Read it here.
with Mike Sokol
Wow! New SoftStartUp is a game changer!!
I’ve been getting emails about this product release for months… but now it can be told! … The Next Generation of the SoftStart controller, named SoftStartUp, is here. It works by plugging it into the 30-amp shore power cord rather than installing it inside of the air conditioner housing. This allows SoftStartUp to monitor and reduce inrush current from multiple air conditioners at the same time, and also reduce peak inrush current from a residential refrigerator installed in an RV. That’s right, a single SoftStartUp unit can limit compressor inrush current on multiple air conditioner and refrigerator compressors. … Read all about this exciting new product, for RV or home use, here. You’ll be impressed! Be sure to claim your special RVtravel.com discount.
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: More power from a Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro
RV Tire Safety
More on adjusting tire pressure due to temperature changes
Tire expert Roger Marble responds to this post on a forum: “… Last Nov.-Dec. I had a R/T excursion from upstate SC to the Keys. Outside temperatures ranged from the mid-30s to the 90s and I found myself either adding or reducing air not only prior to every trip, but on a few occasions during mid-travel. The tires on the side of the trailer facing the sun would increase by 2-3 lbs. alone. This was worrisome as I was constantly attempting to monitor and maintain a constant psi in the tires. The point I’m trying to make, and what I’ve discovered, is that having a margin of safety, especially in temperature extremes cannot be understated.”
RV Fire Safety
The best fire extinguisher for your RV
Check your fire extinguisher’s markings so you’ll know what materials it will work on. Ideally, you should have an extinguisher with symbols for all classes on it. A noncorrosive designer foam extinguisher is effective on Class A and Class B fires, which make up more than 90% of all RV fires. Designer foam extinguishers are user-friendly, environmentally safe, and convenient for RV travel. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Do you sometimes wonder why we post so many articles about RV fire safety? Well, this is why! If viewing these recent RV fires doesn’t make you feel compelled to check your fire extinguishers or rehearse a fire exit plan, then we have failed. Oh, if one of these fires was your rig, our deepest sympathies!
Our non-human staff writer answers your questions. “Johnny’s not always right, but he works cheap!”
Can cow manure be used to power my motorhome?
I heard about a motorhome that is powered by ground-up cow manure. I’m wondering if this could be true and, if so, how can that be? —Elliot R. Fargnaut, Bakersfield, Calif.
Recipe of the Day
If you have leftover pulled pork, have an open mind and give this grilled cheese sandwich a try. It sounds unusual but the combination of flavors is wonderful. The baked cinnamon apples are a delicious complement to the pulled pork. When grilled, the sharp cheddar cheese gets nice and gooey. This sandwich has so much flavor that you cannot wait for the next bite. We served ours with sweet potato chips for an easy meal.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Trigger the Yorkie adopted us in October 2021. He is five pounds of energy and cuteness. He loves people, other dogs, Texas Longhorns and Dallas Cowboys! He does NOT bark!” —Marilyn Connell
NEW: Pet Owner Poll
Pet owners: Do you feed your pet dry or wet food?
Every day, a cyclist crosses the border between Spain and France carrying a bag. No matter how much customs officials investigate him, they do not know what he is smuggling. What is he smuggling?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
In the summer of 1880, the Irish Land League was trying to better the working conditions of Irish farmers. At that same time, a British agent, Captain Charles Boycott, was attempting to collect rent and crops from those farmers. Father O’Malley, a prominent member of the Irish Land League, encouraged the farmers to refuse any business with Boycott. O’Malley coined the verb “boycott” as a way to refuse doing business with someone as a form of protest. The press picked up the word and ran with it and the rest, as they say, is history!
Laugh of the Week
We strongly suspect that some members of the RVtravel.com audience would enjoy swimming in this pool on a hot summer day.
Current smoke and fire report for where you live or where you are traveling.
“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.
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?
If you shop at Amazon.com 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!).
RVtravel.com All-Star Team
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, Gail Marsh. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, James Raia, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola and Johnny Robot. 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.
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