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October 8, 2022
One in six RVs “out of action” waiting for repairs
By Chuck Woodbury
lease tell me if this statistic alarms you, or even disgusts you. We surveyed RVtravel.com readers last Sunday asking, “Is your RV ‘out of action’ because you are waiting for repairs?”
More than 1,200 readers responded. I was stunned at the results: One in six reported that their rig was, indeed, grounded, waiting to be repaired. That’s ONE IN SIX! How can that be? How can a product be manufactured and sold without an adequate service network to promptly repair it? Last year at this time, we asked a similar question: It showed that one in 10 RVs needed necessary repairs. Things are not improving, are they?
We’re not talking about junker RVs. We’re talking about vehicles of all shapes, sizes and ages and, as is the nature of the beast, all with many moving parts and complex systems that no matter how well cared for need occasional (or sometimes frequent) professional maintenance and repair.
Can you imagine if one passenger car out of 6 could not be used because it would require weeks, even months, to be fixed? Consumers would howl, and the government would be all over it. And you can bet manufacturers with the worst products would be shut down until they could ensure an adequate service and repair network.
P.S. Join me today to talk about this. See below.
Join RVtravel.com publisher today for a live video meetup
Join Chatting with Chuck today, Saturday, October 8, from 10 to 11 a.m., Pacific time (1 to 2 p.m. in the East). Chuck Woodbury will be joined in the studio by a few guests to discuss whatever is on their minds about RVing. Please join the discussion via chat, remaining anonymous if you wish. Here is where to watch:
YouTube: The RV Travel Channel • California RV Specialists • Facebook: The RV Travel Page
Here is today’s edition of our 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!
Please note: We’ve changed the rules around a little bit. Please read the updated rules here. And don’t forget to submit a photo!
Psssst: Remember, you can vote through next Friday! If your photo is selected, share it with your friends and family. Everyone can vote once per day.
We want to know…
Tell us about your rudest campground neighbors!
We’re giving you the chance to rant about the rudest neighbors you ever had while RVing at a commercial campground and what made them so bad.
Commercial campgrounds are a big financial investment these days. Sure they have lots of amenities, but you are also paying for a pleasant experience. So what could be more annoying, or should we say more infuriating, than having your trip disrupted or ruined by rude or inconsiderate neighbors?
Have Walmart campers changed for the worse? RVtravel.com readers share their observations
By Cheri Sicard
We recently asked our readers this question about typical Walmart campers: If you are a regular Walmart camper, we’d like to know if you have seen a change in the type of people who stay in the parking lots. Is it pretty much as it always has been, or have you noticed more people who appear to be barely getting by, living in old or beat-up RVs?
As usual, when you poll a large swath of the public, the answers were mixed. I believe this can be explained with a very logical reason and that is: Location, location, location!
Read what you, our readers, had to say
Today’s RV review…
2023 Flagstaff Super Lite 27BHWS
Tony writes, “Today’s RV review is of the 2023 Flagstaff Super Lite 27BHWS, which is the sister product to the Rockwood Ultra Lite 2706HS. These are what I call mid-size travel trailers. This floor plan features a bunk room along with some functionality to carry cargo.
“It also features some of the best outside meal prep in the business along with a build quality and features that, I feel, set these apart. Sometimes far apart. What do I mean by that?”
Around the Campfire: Campgrounds pivot to accommodate the changing needs of campers
A while back our campfire conversation talked about the ways some campgrounds are changing. Today there are more and more homeless folks finding shelter in campgrounds, along with traveling workers, and permanent residents. This has prompted some campground owners to pivot in order to accommodate the changing needs of today’s campers. Continue reading about the ongoing changes occurring in campgrounds in order to keep up with the times.
The golden years: Why there’s never been a better time for RVing
By Jeff Clemishaw
Far too often we get into the habit of glamorizing the “good old days” and reject the present times like we’re witnessing the apocalypse itself. It’s easy to think like this. In a world of overrun RV parks and the disparaging of public lands, I often find myself wishing that I could have experienced RV life back before it became a social media hashtag. While I’ll never get to experience the sheer openness that came with road-tripping in a time before we all became digitally connected, I can’t help but look around and think, “Damn! We’ve got it good!” Here’s why I think we’re in the golden years of RVing.
U.S. Navy submarine base is right next to a state park campground
So, where is the most likely place for the U.S. Navy to set up a secret submarine base? Seattle? San Diego? Norfolk? Nope. We bet the answer will be a big surprise to most of you. Find out here.
RV Manufacturer Warranty, Part 5: My advice to the consumer
By Dustin Simpson, California RV Specialists
This is my final piece in a 5-part series around RV manufacturer warranties. This was specifically written for those who may be shopping for a new unit or are currently in the throes of getting repairs completed under their manufacturer warranty. Of course, those who have been on the soapbox with me because of prior experience—you are welcome, too! Continue reading this important insider information.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters
- 10 ways you can use ice cubes while RVing
- What to know about RV floor replacement
- What’s the most important RV trip prep? Your personal health
- Cut your RV lifestyle expenses!
- What should I look for when inspecting my RV roof?
My Weirdest RV Moment
In this new column, readers tell about their weirdest (strangest, funniest, most unusual, etc.) experiences as RVers. In this episode, there’s an unexpected visitor in the middle of the night:
Who was the little girl in the tent trailer talking to?
A reader wrote: “It was more than 50 years ago, while we were camping in the wilds of Colorado in a fold-down tent camper, soft sides and all. My daughter, who was 4 years old at the time, woke me in the middle of the night. She was standing at the open door of the camper, which I thought was locked, calling ‘Come on boy, come in here, come on.'” Read more to learn who she was talking to.
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: Dealers and service centers should be ashamed by these jaw-dropping horror stories
In this column, we’ll summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. We’ll tell you all: the best, the good, the bad and the ugly. This week we hear from many readers who have been, and still are, dealing with nightmares trying to get their RVs fixed and with consequent very little use of the RV. These stories will make you angry.
How can I vote if I’m RVing?
By Gail Marsh
This isn’t a sponsored political ad. In fact, no specific candidate—local or regional—is endorsed here. Your political party affiliation makes no difference whatsoever. The reason for this article? I just realized today that our RVing plans for October and November will find us camping far from our stix-n-brix location on voting day. That means if we intend to vote in the upcoming election, we’ll need to figure out our game plan. Read on to find out how to vote when RVing.
Water pump noises could mean leaks in your RV’s water system
RV water pumps can be aurally disturbing. The little motor that fires up when you open a tap or flush the toilet can make plenty of noise. But when there’s no “demand” for water, your RV water pump should be the soul of quietude. Water pump noises when there’s no demand for water could mean you have a water system leak. That’s a real issue, not only from wasting water, but because leaks can quickly do serious damage to your rig. Continue reading.
Have you been affected by Hurricane Ian?
Hurricane Ian may just be one of the largest blows to ever hit the U.S. mainland. Have you been affected by this gigantic, devastating storm? We’d love to hear about your experiences (and pass some along in an article we’re now writing). Please click here to share your experiences.
How many years did you own your previous RV?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
POPULAR POLL FROM THIS PAST WEEK
We asked: Do you have security cameras that monitor your home or RV? See how other RVers answered here.
Cockeyed ceiling lights – cockeyed RV industry?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
We recently took on a “new to us” travel trailer. It’s smaller than our main rig, and more suitable for bouncing around in the boondocks. One of the first orders of business was to change out the bulbs in the light fixtures to LEDs for efficiency. Of the ten requiring attention, eight were mounted “out of square with the world.” Cockeyed ceiling lights? If you’re the kind of person who can’t stand a crooked picture frame, you’d go nuts inside this rig. In our minds, if there are cockeyed ceiling lights, what else is goofy? Continue reading more examples of questionable RV quality control.
Why you need an electric bike
Electric bike (aka e-bike) sales have soared over the last few years due to their rise in popularity. Undoubtedly you have seen RVers cruising around the campground this past summer. As the survey below shows, some RVtravel.com readers already own one, some are thinking about it and some have no interest. … Learn all about e-bikes, including where you can ride them and why owning one is so popular (and good for you), here.
Campground characters: The inspiring story of ‘Five-mile Denise’
By Gail Marsh
One of the best things about RVing is meeting people along the way. One of my favorite campground characters is a gal I dubbed “Five-mile Denise.” During a months-long stay at a campground in mid-south Florida, I happened to glance outside our RV window. It was early morning, not quite six o’clock yet. The sun was slowly making its ascent over the horizon, and all seemed quite calm. And then? A blur! A bright pink blur flew past on the campground road next to our rig. Continue reading about this amazing gal.
The long, long RV trip
Week 18: Three Minnesota Army Corps of Engineers Campgrounds
By Cheri Sicard
This week’s stops: Minnesota Army Corps of Engineers Campgrounds at Winnibigoshish Lake Recreation Area, Grand Rapids, MN; Pokegama Dam Recreation Area, Grand Rapids, MN; and Gull Lake Recreation Area, Brainerd, MN. When I left St. Paul last week, I headed north in Minnesota. Those who have been following the long, long RV trip know that I have become a big fan of Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) Campgrounds. Find out why, and read about Cheri’s continuing 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.
Click here to see if your RV made it into today’s issue.
How would you like to win a string of Trailer LED Lights?
These fun, retro lights will brighten any campsite!
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (October 8, 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!
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 many miles before I need to repack RV’s wheel bearings?
- When connected to city water, why does gray water tank start to fill?
- RV is plugged into 30 amp in a heated garage but engine batteries still die. Why?
- Yikes! Bumpy train tracks caused RV cabinets to drop down from ceiling!
Click here to see more questions for Dave.
Talkin’ RV Tech video: Basics of lithium batteries
Watch a recording of last Wednesday’s live Talkin’ RV Tech program with Dave Solberg and Dustin Simpson. Before a live virtual audience they discuss whether lithium batteries are right for all RVers. After all, it doesn’t make any sense to pay $1,000 to $2,000 for these high-technology products for RVers who do not dry camp or boondock. Read more and/or watch the program.
By Mike Sokol
An open letter to the Electric Vehicle industry
Dear EV manufacturers,
Last week I spent two days at the Detroit Auto Show with a focus on studying electric vehicles. I rode the Lightning (in an F-150 Lightning pickup truck) and saws dozens of EVs from the major manufacturers.
Marjorie Taylor Greene is wrong!
Recently, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (aka MTG), R-GA, posted on social media that Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, is trying to emasculate us all by taking away our gas- and diesel-powered vehicles and making us drive battery-powered cars and trucks. However, rather than removing the testosterone of everyone who drives an EV, many of these high-profile electric vehicles have (and are being sold with) a lot of machismo.
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: COVID Nose and propane gas—Danger! (Read about Mike’s extremely close call and his warning to everyone.)
Visit Mike’s RVelectricity Forum on RVtravel.com.
Video of the day
The secret hidden tunnel behind Mt. Rushmore’s presidents
Mt. Rushmore stands as one of the most iconic symbols of the United States. Everyone, regardless of whether or not they have visited this world-renowned South Dakota landmark, recognizes the familiar site of the giant heads of four United States presidents carved into the side of a towering mountain.
But very few know about the secret hidden tunnel that runs underneath and behind the monument…
RV Tire Safety
Why you should have road hazard tire insurance
By Roger Marble
Are you prepared for the cost of tire failure? When buying new tires for your RV, one thing to consider is road hazard tire insurance. That is especially true for ST-type tires you put on a trailer or fifth wheel. If you have a failure, it could be blamed on some impact or cut which would not be covered by any manufacturing warranty. But with road hazard insurance any failure would be covered. Even something unusual, as seen here. [You have to see this.]
Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his RV Tires Forum.
Recipe of the Day
Jack-o’-lantern Cheese Ball
by Renee King from Battle Mountain, NV
This is a simple and cute Halloween cheese ball. We have had similar cheese balls but they’re coated with crushed cheese tortilla chips. Coating with finely shredded cheese is a much tastier method. The only problem with this recipe is it’s so cute we didn’t want to eat it!
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Bailey is a 10-week-old Lab puppy. She is a busy but very smart girl for her age. She has the prettiest eyes—they just stare right through you.” —Bonnie Frier
What is round at both ends and high in the middle?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Bubble wrap was originally designed to be wallpaper! In 1957, inventors Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes created bubble wrap by pasting two clear shower curtains together, creating a pattern of bubbles in between. This was when funky wallpaper was trendy, but the idea never caught on. It wasn’t until years later when their marketer, Frederick Bowers, pitched their design to IBM as shipping protection. IBM became their first customer.
Laugh of the Week
Current Wildfire Report. (Includes map and details of fires!)
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.
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.
Dustin Simpson RV Repair and Maintenance Articles: Incredibly helpful!
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
Meet Earl and Burl Squirrel, from the mind of RVtravel.com friend R.L. Crabb.
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, Gail Marsh. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Mike Gast, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin and Ashley Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola, Jeff Clemishaw and Johnny Robot. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. 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 can 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.
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As disenchanted as I am as a customer, I suspect the increase in repairs may be the result of user error plus manufacturer defect. This theory is a result of personal observance as a fellow RVer, camp host and campground manager.
Yesterday, a young lady came over to ask us how to level her RV, why her refrigerator was not working, how the sewer connection worked, et al. New truck, new RV, new RVer.
I recall our first RV purchase: the internet was relatively new, but there were some great sites to teach newbies about RV ownership. We devoured them and the owners manual.
People nowadays use the web to learn foreign languages, find codes for their games, post 1000 selfies, but for some reason don’t have time to LEARN.
Maybe what we are seeing results from a combination of ignorance and arrogance.
How about all those rv’s waiting for repairs, take them back to the manufacturer and leave them there. I bet if they had hundreds sitting around some light bulbs would be going off.
Regarding RV repairs, I have told anyone who expresses an interest in owning one – don’t buy one unless you have at least a reasonable ability with basic tools and aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty. My 2002 Winnebago Minnie is in pretty good shape, but every year I find myself doing some type of repair/replace/adjustment.
I agree Terry. When someone posts “what’s a Phillips head screwdriver” they should not be driving a RV.
Was looking forward to this chat, but circumstances have conspired to preclude me joining. Have a great one!
Leave Here With a Laugh was Great! Also Roadskills!
Now that’s a good Laugh of the Week!