Monday, November 28, 2022


Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1077


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Page Contents

Chatting with Chuck founder and publisher Chuck Woodbury is away today and will not conduct his Chatting with Chuck live video chat. He will return next Saturday.

November 5, 2022
Members edition

 Cover story 

The curse of my cell phone

By Chuck Woodbury

There are times I wish cell phones were never invented. 

A few weeks ago, my phone rang. I reached to my back pocket to grab it. But no, I suddenly realized, it was not my cell phone. The “ring” was the jingle of an ice cream truck approaching in the distance.

I have reached for my phone at the sound of microwaves, washing machines, trucks backing up, and, of course, the ring of other people’s phones. A friend of mine had a parrot that could replicate a phone ring almost perfectly. That would be a real problem, I would guess.

Yesterday while enjoying my coffee at a cafe, a phone alarm went off. I reached for my back pocket, then realized it was from the guy’s phone at the next table.

Oh, I love my cell phone. I do. But it’s a love-hate thing. I feel lost without it. But before I had a cell phone I did not feel lost without it because I didn’t even know what “it” was. When I began RVing back in the Stone Age before the Internet and portable phones, when I camped, the idea of “being connected” meant camping within walking distance of a phone booth.

Back then, with a very basic RV with no bells and whistles, my life moved at a slower pace. Nobody “bugged” me with interruptions. No spam calls. No text messages. Life was more peaceful.

I believe I was “camping” in a truer sense than today, at least by my definition which was formed when camping with my parents as a little boy.

I am so confused about this subject that I can’t sum up my feelings in only a few hundred words. But I bet at least some readers have similar thoughts.

Again, I am not complaining, just saying…

Left: actual truck. Right: Similar truck and color.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Chuck’s Aunt Linda (who is on vacation with Chuck and Gail right now!) had her house broken into earlier this week. Among many other things, her 1999 white Ford F-250 extended cab diesel truck was stolen from her home in Lindsay, California (south of Fresno). The truck was stolen between October 30th and November 1st. California plates: 6B56087. If seen, please call Officer Sanchez at 1-559-733-6218.

Photo contest

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. 

Click here to vote 

We want to know…

What is the best city or county campground you have ever stayed in and why?

Tell us here

 Featured article 

Do idyllic campsites exist? Yes, and they’re not hard to find

By Dave Helgeson (veteran boondocker)
Past articles question if the idyllic campsites pictured in RV industry ads really exist. Publisher Chuck Woodbury suggests they are staged where you aren’t allowed to camp. Others I see are photoshopped, often quite poorly, in a scenic location. … What is missing from the above definitions [of idyllic campsites]? The words RV park, campground, or Walmart. Therefore, it only stands to reason if you want to find idyllic campsites, like those pictured in the ads, you may want to look outside the confines of a traditional RV park or campground. Learn how to easily find them here.

Today’s RV review…

2023 Keystone Montana High Country 385BR fifth wheel

Tony writes, “Today’s RV review is of the Keystone Montana High Country 385BR, a large, mid-bunk fifth wheel that could be a great choice even if you don’t have littles that travel with you. In fact, if I were looking for a larger fifth wheel to fit my own lifestyle, I would not be able to rule this one out. … There’s a lot I really liked about the predecessor to this and it’s now even more up my alley. What’s more, there have been other changes to this rig, including an upgrade to a 16-gallon water heater. Honestly, this rig is so well thought through I couldn’t find any nits to pick.”

Read more

Click here for more reviews.

RV engineer spills the dirty truth about RV cargo capacity

By Ross Regis
In the alphabet soup of RV towing capacities, Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) is usually overshadowed by Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) … “But, Ross,” you interrupt, “that’s techno-talk. That’s for RV nerds (no offense). I’m just shopping around!” Then you are EXACTLY who should be reading this post! Most buyers don’t pay attention to that little black-and-yellow sticker until AFTER their purchase, and by then it’s $75,000 too late. Read this important information.

The last Airstream built before WWII

By Paul Lacitinola
When this 1941 Airstream Clipper came up for sale, the Gulleys were extremely excited and jumped at the chance to own another piece of trailer history! Thinking it may be a rare piece, they didn’t hesitate to seal the deal and take possession. Turns out it wasn’t the trailer they were told it was; however, it did have an even more desirable provenance! Learn more.

Readers speak out: Scary times at unsafe and creepy campsites

By Cheri Sicard
Last week we asked readers about creepy campsites with this question: Have you ever left a campsite or campground because you felt unsafe or otherwise just creeped out? If so, why? As usual, our readers had a lot to say. However, we were happy with the large number of respondents that had never had this unfortunate experience. Read what many of your fellow RVers said here. (Tip: Listen to your gut.)

RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: “RVs are rolling fiberglass dumpsters!”

By Nanci Dixon
In this column, we 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 our readers tell more horror stories about so-called repairs done to their RVs, including problems a manufacturer has had for at least 13 years. The manufacturer got sued by the owner of an RV rental company 13 years ago and he won, but the problem persists. Another customer had several items stolen from the RV while it was in for repairs—more than once! Lots more here.

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter

Around the Campfire: RVers share their “RV envy.” Is bigger more desirable?

By Gail Marsh
What a discussion around the campfire a few nights ago! A gal with a small RV admitted she sometimes experiences “RV envy.” From there, the discussion exploded. Read more, then share your thoughts in the comments.

Best demonstration of travel trailer sway danger

Trailer sway is dangerous and can ultimately prove deadly when it results in a crash. Here, we believe, is the best video demonstration of how trailer sway occurs and how to prevent it.

The reasons why RVing keeps you young

By Gail Marsh
Sixteenth-century Ponce de Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth. If only RVs had been invented back then! Why? Because I believe RVing can help keep you young! Read on to discover my reasoning.

Reader Poll

Did you have a Kool-Aid or lemonade stand as a kid?

Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. (And do we have to tell you to keep politics out of it? Please? This is strictly about having a refreshment stand as a kid. Period.)

Tell us here

Reader asks: Fuse is popping. How do I find the short?

By Dustin Simpson
Recently, our RV repair shop received the below email from Lee, an reader, regarding the 30-amp fuse that keeps popping: “We have a 2021 F-350 towing a 2018 Reflection 337RLS. The problem is that somewhere there is a short. I don’t know if it’s in the trailer or the truck. …” Read the rest of the question and watch the video here.

Sleep in a human-sized bird’s nest, or a fire lookout, or in a wine barrel!

By Gail Marsh
Have you ever wondered how you might travel or camp if you didn’t have an RV? With high fuel prices, it’s a question more and more RVers seem to be asking. … For those of you who crave the exhilaration of the extreme, unusual, or even weird experiences, this article will whet your appetite! For the rest of us (non-adventurous and mildly adventurous ones), it’s entertaining and mind-blowing to discover the unusual ways some folks “camp” without an RV! Check these out!

Cycling for RVers: What bike should I buy? Part 1, Road bikes

By Keith Ward
There’s no doubt about it: RVing and cycling go together like milk and chocolate syrup. Many RVers see bicycles as another type of RV: the two-wheeled recreational vehicle. When you’re considering buying a bike, there’s a dizzying array of choices. Again, much like RVs. I’m here to help you sort out those choices, and find the best bike for you. This is the first article in a multi-part series on types of bicycles. I’ll give advice at the end of each on whether each type is a good choice for RVers, and why or why not. Learn everything you wanted to know about road bikes, and more, here.

The long, long RV trip

Week 22: Riverfront camping in Portland, OR; Hood River Fruit Loop

By Cheri Sicard
Those who have been following along on this journey already know that whenever possible, I avoid commercial RV parks in my travels. But sometimes it’s necessary, depending on where I want to go and how long I want to stay there. Such was the case with Portland, Oregon. Little did I know when I started searching for camping in Portland, that I would find one of my all-time FAVORITE campgrounds. Read all about it and much more of 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.

Saturday Giveaway!

How would you like to win a Portable Vacuum Cleaner?

How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (November 5, 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!

Ask Dave

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.

This past week’s questions that Dave answered:

Click here to see more questions for Dave.

Visit Dave’s forum on Ask him a question or help answer one from another reader. Click here.

Video of the day

Take a tour of 15 amazing celebrity motorhomes and RVs

Surprise! Celebrities like RVs just as much as the rest of us. Sure, some of the celebrity motorhomes and trailers profiled in the video below might be a tad more luxurious than what MOST of us are used to, but it is RV life nonetheless.

This video gives a quick overview of 15 celebrity motorhomes. Aside from Matthew McConaughey’s Airstream, which is nice but humble by comparison, these are some over-the-top and mega-expensive RVs. But they sure are fun to look at!

Click here to watch 

RV Tire Safety

Six blowouts! Help! “I’m at my wit’s end”

By Roger Marble
Here is a series of posts from an RV forum. I am inclined to think that the experiences are not that unusual. This is a long post, but I thought that giving the background, and my recommendations, might help others that have tire problems to know that they are not alone. Continue reading.

Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his RV Tires Forum.

Recipe of the Day

Cathy’s Buffalo Chicken Pasta

by Cathy LaFay from Cape Coral, FL

All the flavor of Buffalo wings without the mess! A delicious dinner during football season when your favorite team is playing late. This chicken pasta is very filling. We added extra chicken breast and it was a great pasta-to-chicken ratio. The Buffalo sauce is creamy and delicious. Serve with a side of celery and ranch, and cheer on your favorite team while enjoying a comforting dinner.

Get the recipe here

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“Our Mini Aussie, Red, is just a little over two months old and is a complete bundle of joy! We brought him home at 6 weeks and it’s been like he’s lived here forever. We wanted to find a pet to go camping and hiking with and with his full sibling at 20 lbs. he fit the bill. We are getting ready to take him on his first camping adventure within the week. They say money can’t buy love but they haven’t met Red!” —Lorene Accurso

Brain Teaser

Two cops walked into a room with no windows and found a dead man who obviously hung himself from the ceiling, though they couldn’t figure out how. There was no chair or table beneath him that he might have jumped off. Just a puddle of water. How did he do it?

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


A popular tongue-twister, “She Sells Seashells by the Seashore,” was likely written about a female paleontologist who sold dinosaur bones in the 1800s. It’s thought that Mary Anning, a woman who ran a small fossil stand on Dorset Beach in England (an area that’s known for a plentiful amount of dinosaur bones), inspired the rhyme. Anning was responsible for finding some of the first dinosaur fossils in Britain.

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 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.

Dustin Simpson RV Repair and Maintenance Articles: Incredibly helpful!

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

Meet Earl and Burl Squirrel, from the mind of friend R.L. Crabb. All-Star Team

rv travel logoPublisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Gail Marsh, Dave Solberg. Contributors: Roger Marble, 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, Mike Sokol, Tony Barthel 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. Mascots: Archie and Astor (the Disaster)

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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23 days ago

Chuck,, Cell Phones: Life was so easy before cell phones. Even being stranded along side the road was not scary and somehow I never needed a cell phone to get help. Somehow life just went on at its seemingly slow easy pace. No worries. My first cell phone was one of those large walkie-talkie things that was in a holster on the hip. The company provided it so they could get hold of me 24/7. Therefore my dislike for them, no rest for the weary. After retirement I did not have a cell phone for about a year until my wife was commuting to work about an hour each way, and my daughter was away and out running around on her own. Got a flip phone and still have a flip. Umpteen years ago we would not have needed/wanted these devices, but the fear put into our lives by all the noise around us, I guess has made us feel better with a phone so we can keep track of those around us and know they are safe. By the way, a cousin, aunt, and I still write LETTERS to each other to keep in touch.

23 days ago

Regarding cell phones, I remember back in the day (early 70’s) taking a road trip out to Colorado and Arizona. No money, no phone, no internet, no credit card, (and apparently no brains).
My trusty Plymouth ate it’s fuel pump outside Gallup, New Mexico. The mechanic had to order one in. Called my dad from a pay phone, who wired me $100 bucks (Western Union) and I spent 3 days in a cheap motel, eating bad food, and waiting on the part. $100 went a long way back in those days.
Somehow I survived. But I think back to those days when there was little of anything that we take for granted today and I wonder how we all did it.
Now I freak out if I run to the store and forget my phone! We’ve all gotten way too overly dependent on them. Sheesh!

Diane Mc
23 days ago

I like texting. Has allowed us to keep in contact with our kids and now some of our grandchildren. It would be impossible to find the right time for any of us to reach out with a phone call. We do FaceTime with grandkids (or when I’m with my Mom and my brother who moved out of town wants to talk to her). However we text first to coordinate the time. Kids/grandkids schedules are crazy. I have a Fitbit and it has a function to see texts and phone calls. That is a real blessing. Especially during the current election season.😵‍💫 A quick look at my wrist and if I see a phone number and not a name I know to ignore it. With texts I can also see the message. Anything starting with “Friend”….I read no further.😊

23 days ago

Like Chuck, I have a cell phone also. However, I am not addicted to it. For one thing, I don’t text. If someone sends me a text that requires a response, I might call them when I get the chance. I don’t carry my cell phone with me. I leave it in the truck, knowing that sometime during the day , I will be driving somewhere and I will check it for messages at that time. I very rarely take it in a store and never into a restaurant. Sadly my wife takes up all the slack with hers.

Ron L
23 days ago
Reply to  Gary

I’m just the opposite… however, it’s mainly due to the fact that I’m very much hard of hearing and even with my hearing aids, I have difficulty hearing anything clearly on my cell phone. Therefore, texting works great for me, except you probably won’t get a quick answer to your text to me as I don’t normally carry my phone around with me.

Scott R. Ellis
23 days ago

The “bad” driver in your laugh of the week is doing what highway engineers and law enforcement want us all to do: use both lanes as they’re available and then do a (quick and courteous) “zipper” merge at the closure. If you think “that guy” is being a jerk, you’re being a jerk.

23 days ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

So right. Thank you.

Kaeleen Buckingham
23 days ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis


Ron L
23 days ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

I totally agree; however, I think you’ll find that probably at least 95% of the driving population won’t agree.

22 days ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

Zipper merge does not work unless vehicles are at least 7 seconds apart. A recommended following distance is 2 seconds. If someone zippers into that space suddenly you are less than 1 second apart. You slow down causing a ripple effect that often brings traffic to a halt. You must have 7 (or more) seconds to zipper. 2 for them, 1 for their vehicle, and 2 for you.

Bob p
23 days ago

My ringtone is a sound from the 50s and 60s, an old rotary dial ring, most people go for the unique modern sound. That’s why I went old fashioned, it’s very seldom I hear another phone with my sound. It keeps me from grabbing for my phone when it’s someone else’s.

Charlie Sullivan
23 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

I did the same…old fashioned ring tone. I must say though, it has become very useful as a replacement for my memory. I put everything on that phone so I can always refer back to something I need to remember. Also great for finding places (Google maps) in unfamiliar places.

23 days ago

Cell phones. I didn’t marry it. I trained myself not to run to it every time it rings and a lot if times the ringer is turned off and I have set it to different sounds through zedge app. The wife and children and grandchildren are all different including Walgreens which plays “it’s your drug dealer”. Of course when that goes off and in public everyone is looking. I have trained the phone not vice versa.

23 days ago

I am missing the articles from AJ’s campground! Now that they have most of the buildings completed it would be interesting to here if they are still happy with their reservation system and what changes that they are making to their RV sites.
Can we get them back?

Machelle James
23 days ago
Reply to  Donald

Hi Donald! I pasted a link to our last article. I’m taking November off to travel, and will write in December.
We are keeping our Reservation System and asked for some changes, which we truly hope they will make.
We are going to clean up the sites so there are no rocks in the middle as we can’t mow efficiently around them. Also, we are going to compact and level the parking pad areas much more.
We found the sites would sink after heavy rains, so we have a plan!
Also, we are going to remove water sucking scrub trees that steal water from the pine trees. So it will look cleaner and be healthier for the pines to grow.
I think we are planning on making at least 1 site a deluxe pet site as we will have a private fenced off area at this site.
Other than that, we will reveal the changes we make on a monthly basis as I am only going to write monthly now. So keep following us and read our updates in December!
Thank You for asking about us as we truly love the support from our RV Community!
Machelle and AJ

23 days ago

Cell phones, cannot live with them or without them. Just one of the modern convenience devices.
Rather sad to see a couple out for a meal together and they are both on cell phones.

Sheri Ken
23 days ago

Congratulations RED! You Won the Hearts and Love of your Furever Furfamily! Enjoy all your adventures in your home on wheels and bricks & sticks. Stay Healthy and Safe. Get all your Vaccinations including the Rattlesnake and Lepto. Red you are certainly a curious Handsome Pup who will be exploring with your furever Furfamily having tons of fun, Enjoy!