Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Members RV Travel Newsletter for Sunday, August 6, 2023

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Page Contents

August 6, 2023
Members edition

 Cover story 

Full-time RVers not welcome here: South Dakota’s attempt to prevent RVers from voting and residency sparks outrage and concerns


magine receiving a jury duty summons while traveling miles away from the state that issued it. For Nanci Dixon and her husband, this summons turned their lives upside down. Despite pleading their case, health issues, and prior commitments, they were ordered to appear in South Dakota for an on-call duty for 30 days in the winter, maybe over Christmas. Wait… South Dakota in winter?? With snow and ice?? In a motorhome??

Full-time RVers across the nation are facing challenges to their voting rights and residency status. Recent bills aimed at restricting RVers’ voting rights have caused outrage.

Here’s her important story:

My husband just received a Summons for Jury Duty in South Dakota. No problem, I thought. We are full-time RVers, miles from SD, and I will just contact them and he will be excused. Two days, with emails back and forth and no luck (at all), he is ordered to appear in South Dakota for September/October for 30 days on call.

Note: My husband is not against serving his public duty as a juror. But we are campground hosts through October 20th; we can’t leave the park in the lurch and still expect to be brought back the following year. We also have all our doctors’ appointments scheduled through that time—appointments that took months to get.

December in South Dakota?? In the RV?? In the snow??

I explained all of that, major health issues and more, in detail with the Minnehaha County Jury Manager and the Presiding Judge. They showed no mercy. We were only offered a chance to move it within the year. No, not next year after the spring thaw, but in November or December of this year. December in South Dakota in the winter… on icy roads… in a motorhome. And over Christmas! More than 1,600 miles from our snowbird retreat! To say I was shocked is an understatement.

Continue reading

RV Reviews

HE’S BAAACK! Tony (Barthel) is back with all-new RV reviews. His reviews will appear in the Monday and Wednesday editions of our RV Daily Tips Newsletter, and the Sunday edition of this newsletter. Make sure you’re signed up to read them. 

The 2024 Winnebago Solis Pocket 36B—To camp or not to camp?

By Tony Barthel
Today’s RV review is of the forthcoming Winnebago Solis Pocket 36B. The Solis Pocket is the most compact of Winnebago’s van-based RVs and makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. In fact, this might be a great choice if you have no intentions of going camping— but is also a good choice if you do.

Tony explains here

RV Service Centers and Repairs Report

Another water tank falls through the floor. And maybe RVers are asking the wrong questions about RV quality?

In this column, we summarize some of your comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week Nanci Dixon shares comments from Jim A., who compares car travel to being told to “expect problems” with an RV. He thinks if RV shoppers ask the right question, maybe the quality of new RVs will start to improve. (What do you think about his suggestion?) Phil A. is a disabled veteran who is not only frustrated about not being able to do his own service on his RV, especially when he has the knowledge to do it, but also not being able to get even routine maintenance from a service center. Jim T. had the water tank fall out of this RV and neither the warranty company (including an expensive extended warranty) nor the manufacturer will cover the cost. Yikes!

Click here to read those and many more RV service stories

Do you need an RV A/C cover?

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Don’t look now, but soon the summer travel season will be over. Around the country, you may hear that collective sigh as RVers pull off the road and begin the process of winterizing. One question that pops up: Do you really need an RV A/C cover? That cooler up there is a big investment. Will spending thirty or more dollars make it last longer? Find out here.

The most difficult thing you have encountered while RVing? Fooling around, and lots more!

By Dave Helgeson
“What is the most difficult thing you have encountered while RVing?” This was a question recently asked on Facebook. At last check, more than 700 members had responded to the question. Many told of problems with their RV, others offered rants about RV owners, some related rather scary encounters… The best part was that many of the “difficult things” were comical. Read some of the responses here, then feel free to tell us about your own encounters in the comments.

RVers ask: Our RV’s steps hurt our aching knees. What to do?

By Gail Marsh
Readers Paula and Larry S. wrote to us with a concern. They wrote, “What do people with bad knees or legs do for better entry steps? The ones that come with campers nowadays are much better than the ones before 2019, but our camper is 2008. We need steps closer together and with a better handrail now that we are well over 65. I am sure others do too, as everyone seems to have bad knees in our age group! … What are others doing?” Good question! RV entry steps may be difficult for many people to use safely, especially as the years go by. Continue reading this very helpful information.

Around the Campfire

Are there unspoken rules about taking leftover firewood?

By Gail Marsh
There wasn’t a campfire, but folks were hot—and not because of the summer heat! Consider the recent conversation around the “campfire” about leftover campfire wood to see which side you’re on.

Read more

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter

DID YOU KNOW our RV Daily Tips Newsletter is our readers’ favorite newsletter? And for good reason—it’s filled with so much great information! Read any issue here, and then make sure to sign up here. You won’t regret it!

High-elevation RV travel: What’s affected in your RV and how to adjust it

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
An RVer wrote us that she’s planning a trip from Texas to the higher elevations of the U.S. and wondered if there are any issues that she might face. High-elevation RV travel can and does present some challenges. We’ll tell you about them, and how to “fix” what you can. Continue reading.

A sudden epiphany: Life lessons learned while riding my bike

By Nanci Dixon
I have been learning life lessons while riding my bike (my beloved Lectric eBike). It is not as simple as the old adage goes, “Just like riding a bike.” I have been working on it for a while. … I am always a bit tense while riding and am afraid of falling. I have only fallen twice on my electric bike. Read about the insightful life lesson (important for everyone) Nanci learned from her second fall.

The delicious history of a campfire’s favorite treat

By Gail Marsh
Get ready to celebrate! National S’mores Day is August 10, 2023. Ever wonder how the s’more treat originated? Me, too! Here’s what I discovered. (Includes the history of each of the ingredients as well as the origin of the tasty treat itself. Yum!)

Why dogs are not allowed in some California State Parks

California has some of the best open spaces to sightsee and take in nature to the fullest with family and friends. Whether for the views from the mountains like Mount San Jacinto or walking barefoot along the beaches in San Diego, heading to the outdoors is good for body and soul, especially when you visit with your four-legged friend. Dogs are welcome at most state parks, but not all of them. Learn here where they’re not allowed.

Reader Poll

Do you own an extended warranty for your RV?

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

We asked: Do you most often buy your fuel based on brand or price? See how others answered—you may be surprised.

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.

Have a question for Dave? Click any Ask Dave article and scroll down to fill out the form. He’ll get back to you!

In the RV shop with Dustin

It’s time to clean those dirty, yellowed or clouded headlights

By Dustin Simpson
If your pickup truck, tow vehicle, or motorhome has yellowed or clouded headlights, it is likely due to the plastic or acrylic components. This yellowing or clouding can occur over time due to exposure to UV rays, environmental factors, and general wear and tear. Cleaning your headlights is an important safety task.

Learn how to clean them here

RV Gadgets and Gizmos

Prevent blisters with this easy gadget

By Gail Marsh
Hiking and walking long distances would be great if it weren’t for the blisters! If that’s been your excuse, you definitely need this! I absolutely love that this is a product for blister prevention. Yes, you read that correctly! It prevents blisters! Doesn’t that sound a whole lot better than finding a great first-aid bandage after blisters have already formed? I thought so, too. So if you’re hiking, trust me, you need this!

Honcho Poncho Down: Warmth and comfort on chilly nights

By Cheri Sicard
Therm-a-Rest®, a company that specializes in sleeping mats, sleeping bags and other essentials aimed at keeping campers warm, had a hit with their original Honcho Poncho.  But their new Honcho Poncho Down is even better as it’s down-filled and will keep you warm on even the coldest nights. Read Cheri’s warm and cozy review.

WANT MORE GADGETS? Read the latest issue of the Great RV Accessories Newsletter here and make sure you’re signed up to receive it in your inbox (every other week) here.

Midwest Travel Destinations

With Gail Marsh

Big surprises in a small Midwest town

A recent work camping job took us to western Nebraska for a few weeks. The small town of Imperial, Nebraska, proudly stands just over twenty miles from the Colorado border. We were expecting summer heat. (We got it!) We counted on long workdays. (We had those, too.) What we couldn’t have guessed was that there could be so many big surprises in such a small Midwest town. Click here to read.

The last few Midwest summer festivals and events worth attending

Experience thrilling Midwest summer festivals and events, from tug-of-war battles at Great River Tugfest to the enchanting Bristol Renaissance Faire’s RennCon™ weekend. Embrace the authentic charm of St. Paul’s Irish Fair with traditional food and mesmerizing performances. Don’t miss out on these fantastic celebrations before summer ends! Click here.

Video of the day

Popup camper conversion: Popup camper to travel trailer transformation

By Cheri Sicard
Rylan Wilson of the RW Outdoors YouTube channel shows his amazing DIY project in this video, a popup camper conversion that transformed an ordinary Palomino popup camper into a sturdy hard-sided travel trailer.

Click here to watch

RV Tire Safety

Can you change a tire on your RV?

By Roger Marble
Can you change a tire on your RV? This is not a question of your physical ability. While that is something you need to consider, let us set that question aside for this post. Let’s imagine we are in great physical shape; or even if we can’t lift 150 pounds off the floor, we might be in a situation where there are others around who can lend a hand with the physical aspect of doing the task. The intention of this post is to help people focus on the parts, information, and tools that might be needed to change a tire on the side of the road.

Continue reading

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

RV Prospector

Adventures in prospecting and boondocking, Part 4

By Randall Brink
After a week’s hard work in the bramble patch mucking the gravel of the prospect, I found sufficient minerals to meet the federal “prudent man rule,“ pursuant to the 1905 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Chrisman v. Miller: … That meant it was time to stake a mining claim, so work was interrupted to do the physical marking of the claim boundaries as required by federal and Idaho state code.

Click here to read

Did you miss yesterday’s Latest News for RVers?

If so, stories you missed:
Full-size pickups most stolen vehicles in U.S. in 2022
A new class-action lawsuit filed over RV park rent hikes
Trip planning? Here are the states with the most distracted drivers!
One town board is fighting to protect small-town free camping, and what RVers can do
RVers say finding campsite for same day is easy, and cheap!
and much more

Read it here | Back issues

Recipe of the Day

Peach Salsa

by Pat DiMercurio from Saginaw, MI

Fruit salsa is wonderful on chicken, fish, or all alone on a tortilla chip. This is a wonderful way to use ripe and juicy peaches. It’s sweet with a slight bite from the green onions. Fresh bell peppers and a lot of cilantro make this salsa wonderful. A bit of tang from lemon juice balances out the sweetness of the peaches. Simply delicious!

Get the recipe here

Readers’ Pets of the Day

“Moqui, a Border Collie mix, and Quail, a Pyrador [Great Pyrenees and Labrador mix]. My seven dogs all love to travel and have been across the continent. The oldest hit 48 states and seven provinces. For the younger dogs, it is a chance to hike new and more challenging trails, and towing the Jeep gives us the ability to get to some remote places. A hike often starts with 15 to 20 minutes of play, and ends with two tired dogs laying their heads on my arm and sleeping as we drive back.” —Michael Stumpf

Just look at those big smiles!

RVing with Dogs group on Facebook. You’ll love it.

Brain Puzzle

Quick! Count the number of times that the letter F appears in the following sentence:

Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years.”

How many did you find?

(Answer below.)

Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.


How did military vehicles get to be known as “tanks”? Well, they weren’t always. When tanks were first designed by the British during World War I, they were known as “landships.” However, in order to keep operations in secret, workers and laymen that came into contact with the vehicle construction programs were told they were building transportation vehicles to haul water and other liquids. In other words, tanks. The code name caught on and it has stuck ever since.

Sunday funny


Best Club for RVers: Escapees. Click here to learn more or join. Endorsed by RVtravel.com.

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

Brain teaser answer:

Quick! Count the number of times that the letter F appears in the following sentence:

Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years.”

How many did you find?

If you counted three, you’re not alone. Most people said three. There are actually six! So why do so many people miss the “f” in “of?” First, the f in “of” makes a v sound, so we might not process it the same way we would otherwise. And second, we read the word “of” so often we process the two letters as one unit. Fascinating, huh?

RVtravel.com All Star Team

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Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Gail Marsh, Dave Solberg and Cheri Sicard. Contributors: Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Dustin Simpson, Dale Wade and Tony Barthel. Moderator: Gary Gilmore. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen. Artificial Intelligence (AI) contributors: Johnny Robot and Milly MacWilly. Canine 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 RVtravel.com or this newsletter.

RVtravel.com 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 Amazon.com. 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.

Editorial (all but news)
: editor@rvtravel.com
Editorial (news)
: chuck@rvtravel.com
Help desk:
 Contact us.

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This newsletter is copyright 2023 by RV Travel LLC.


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Bob P (@guest_248356)
3 months ago

DW had 2 electric 3 wheeler bikes about 4 years apart. The last one was last Sumer when we lived in FL. She was doing pretty good until one day she dropped the right wheel off the edge of our sidewalk and not thinking fast enough to shift her weight to the left it turn over with her and our 6lb Maltese on it, she said that’s it I’m through. I was thankful they weren’t hurt and relieved she didn’t want it anymore, she’s 83.

Split Shaft (@guest_248309)
3 months ago

Very good newsletter today. I enjoyed it a lot.

Diane McGovern
3 months ago
Reply to  Split Shaft

Thanks, Split.👍😊 Have a great rest-of-the-day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com

rvgrandma (@guest_248301)
3 months ago

Not sure how you get 6. Even if you google it they answer is 4.

Dave (@guest_248183)
3 months ago

I only saw one “F” as the rest of the “f” were not capitalized. Just the way it was worded!

Charles Carmichael (@guest_248215)
3 months ago
Reply to  Dave

So did I, then I counted 5 ? where is #6?

Charles Carmichael (@guest_248217)
3 months ago

Ok last of

Thomas Kneib (@guest_248242)
3 months ago
Reply to  Dave

I agree. There is only one capital F.

Kermit Burns (@guest_248175)
3 months ago

I only counted one “F”! The others were “f”s. 🤣

Jesse Crouse (@guest_248094)
3 months ago

So now we know where Jimmy Hoffa is?

Brad G. Hancock NH (@guest_248078)
3 months ago

Great to have Tony back!!!!!!

Allen Cartee (@guest_248040)
3 months ago

My wife can really relate to the Ebike article. She too (at 66) has trouble braking and steering around obstacles. She has taken two spills that were pretty bad – however, with practice, she is improving. She does not like changing power levels nor does she change the gears. The initial power level and staying on 2nd or 3rd gear is all she wants.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_248202)
3 months ago
Reply to  Allen Cartee

I’m thinking riding an Ebike is akin to learning to ride a motorcycle. It can be intimidating at first. I had a tendency to think I was out of control when I got my first motorcycle. I recently visited a bike shop that has taken on the claim that they are the Ebike leader in town. There were several wrecked bikes in their shop. It seems folks are having a time of it, trying to get used to this new mode of bicycling. Costing thousands of dollars new, repairs are also expensive. I’m still riding my 1896 Diamondback – while I still can. 🙂

Bill Byerly (@guest_248343)
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

1896?? Is that the one with the giant front wheel and tiny rear one?? 🤔

Tommy Molnar (@guest_248349)
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill Byerly

Wow! You caught my failure to spellcheck this post! Good find. I’m embarrassed for this. Ha. It’s a 1986 Diamond Back. I’m old, but not THAT old!

Diane McGovern
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

I noticed that but thought it was a model number or something. Otherwise I would have contacted you about it, Tommy. Sorry. (Well, that plus the fact I thought you are that old.😅) Have a good evening/night, Tommy and Bill. 😀 –Diane

Bill Byerly (@guest_248365)
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

At least “we” are still riding on 2 wheels at this point