Welcome to RVtravel.com, “The RVers’ Voice of Reason.”
Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 19th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!
Week of September 28 – October 4, 2019
If you would like to read this week’s issue with the ads included, click here.
With Chuck Woodbury | Chuck (at) RVtravel.com
We have now entered our 19th year of publishing. Much has changed: When we began in 2001 (right after 9/11), everybody read this newsletter on a computer. Many RVers did not even bring one along on their trips. Smartphones and tablets were years away.
Fast forward to today. Look at the chart. More than half of you (52 percent) are now reading on a smartphone. Next month it will be 53 percent. Less than a third of you still read on a computer. That’s forced some rethinking on our part.
We still compose the newsletter on computers. But we must always keep in mind that more readers now read it with their phones, where too many photos and graphics make it way too long for many of you reading on a small screen.
It frustrates me, because I love sharing information with you and I love using many pictures, graphics and other illustrations. It’s hard for me to pass up telling or showing you something that I believe you would enjoy or benefit from. Honestly, my staff and I could easily make this newsletter twice as long. But, no, that would be overkill.
We are presently analyzing all our regular features and will begin to eliminate those that aren’t very popular. We’ll continue on with the topics that historically you have found most interesting. The result will be a tighter issue with more compelling content.
ONE THING WE ARE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING is moving Saturday’s news section to Sunday, where it won’t get lost in the shuffle as it does now. We work hard to gather the information and it deserves to be read.
Would you take a second to respond to the survey below which we are including only in the member’s edition of today’s newsletter. You are our most important readers: We’d like you to decide. We hope you will welcome the idea but if most of you do not, we’ll nix it.
If we do post the weekly news section on Sunday, there will be an easy opt-out for readers who don’t want it.
Also, we have been improving our RV Daily Tips Newsletter, and added a Friday edition. We’re adding new features there rather than here, where space is tight. I urge you to sign up for this excellent online publication.
Finally, if you enjoy what we’re doing, would you please recommend us to your RVer friends? And, if you’re on Facebook, please “like” our page.
On my soapbox
My Roadside Journal
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
The hotheads in our audience
Is there nothing we can say that doesn’t tick off some our readers, who fire off angry missives to us? In Thursday’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter our poll question was directed at men: Do they carry pocket knives? Oh, my goodness — some women got all worked up because “WOMEN CARRY POCKET KNIVES TOO!” We ran an innocent Polish joke in another issue, and you’d think our Polish-American readers thought we were declaring war on their homeland! Why all the anger? Read more!
That was the RV week that was
• Millions of dollars in commercial campground upgrades for snowbirds in Arizona this year.
• Two RVers killed, two hospitalized, after two RVs crashed head-on in Harper, Oregon.
• U.S. Army Corps campground at Woodcock Lake, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, searching for new operator.
• Several Oregon State Parks reducing rates for full- or partial-hookup sites through November.
• A new ordinance is in the works in Seattle to help “homeless in RVs.”
• Is Buffalo Chip Campground, South Dakota, a town? SD’s Supreme Court will decide.
and much more …
• Winnebago program to help improve RV access for mobility impaired.
• Some Keystone trailers recalled. Emergency exits not identified.
Last week’s featured stories in RV Daily Tips
• Fresh tomatoes on the road.
• Pay attention to age of tires.
• Things to check out when checking out.
• Another take on silencing smoke detectors.
• Boondocking: Practice makes perfect.
Developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA
Janet Groene reports each week on developments at RV parks and campgrounds across the USA and Canada. There’s a lot of good information here that you can use to plan your travels. Read the current installment of “Campground Chatter” here.
Lemon law attorney: “Don’t buy a new RV!”
In this recently released video, Michigan lemon law attorney Steve Lehto discusses the continuing epidemic of poor-quality RVs. Watch the video.
Pay attention to tire details before leaving on trip
The Tire Industry Safety Council urges owners of recreational vehicles to pay close attention to their vehicle weight, load distribution and tire inflation pressure before heading off on their next road trip. Learn important tire tips from the Council here.
A peek into the future: sex in the self-driving RV?
The day of self-driving cars is upon us. Can it be long before RVs are commonly being towed or driven with nobody at the wheel? BMW recently posted a video ad on Twitter, then promptly deleted it, that suggested that in the future owners of its Vision iNext autos could do a little more than exchange a kiss while rolling down the road. Read more then let us know what you think.
Maintain your RV furnace and keep warm!
From Russ and Tiña De Maris: Having swung through Nevada’s high desert region a few days ago, we were struck by how quickly the seasons change. Stepping out the door one morning, there was a decided nip in the air. Yep, fall is decidedly here! If you’re planning any RV forays before spring arrives, it’s time to do some furnace maintenance. Don’t get stuck on a trip with no heat! Learn more.
Have you ever had anything stolen from your campsite?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. We’ll post the final results in next week’s newsletter. CLICK HERE.
What we learned about you last week
Would you bend over to pick up a dime? Do you prefer college or professional football? Have you ever taken an ocean cruise? Do you or a household member have a Netflix account? Do you carry a pocket knife? Do you have a current passport? All this and more (plus a great book recommendation!), right here.
Why do leaves turn color in the fall?
Every autumn we revel in the beauty of the fall colors. Many RVers plan fall trips just to see Mother Nature’s dazzling display. If you’re a curious person, you might ask, “Why DO leaves turn colors?” Here’s why.
Would you hook up to the utilities at this disgusting RV park?
What if this was the last available full-hookup campsite for 50 miles, and it was yours for the night? Would you hook up all your utilities? Let us know.
Will “rubber band barriers” save you from death or injury?
As we rumble along the highway of life, there are plenty of deep, universal questions to be answered. On one trip Russ and Tiña De Maris rumbled some 2,800 miles in a matter of a few days, and had more down-to-earth questions: Will cable barriers stop an RV from careening through the median and crashing into oncoming traffic? For that matter, will cable barriers really stop an errant auto from careening across that same median and smacking into your RV? Find out here.
Where to put the litter box when RVing with cats
Cats can be comforting and entertaining companions and so it’s not surprising that many RVers bring theirs along on their camping adventures. While the RVers enjoy the simple pleasure of having their kitties along with them, there are some challenges, such as where to put the litter box. Get some purrfect ideas here.
Legislation could give Canadian snowbirds a longer visit
Federal legislation has been introduced that would give Canadian snowbirds more time in the U.S. Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott have sponsored a bill that would give Canadians a bump in their stay limit – up from six months, as is presently allowed, to eight months. Learn more.
Winnebago unveils new Class B and towable RVs
Winnebago has debuted the Solis, a Class B van, and the Voyage travel trailer and fifth wheel at the RV Industry’s annual Open House event this week in Elkhart, Indiana. Check them out.
Cougar killed on California interstate had a stalker
Last week we brought up the story of the sad demise of P-61, the rather ingloriously named male cougar being followed by the National Park Service in the Santa Monica mountains of California. At the time we reported that P-61, a 4-year-old, had made his way onto the 405 freeway, a 10-lane behemoth, where he was killed with a run-in with a motor vehicle near Sepulveda Pass. Here is what happened.
This famous George Foreman Two Serving Grill is a worldwide favorite. It can cook two servings of fresh or frozen grilled favorites at a time. The patented sloped design and double non-stick coating allow fat and grease to drain away quickly as the signature George Foreman elements provide even heat across the plate. Enter the contest.
Congratulations to last week’s winner, Rena Pomada of Chico, California, who won a very cool nightlight*.
*It seems like you really liked the adorable nightlight we gave away last week. If you didn’t win, you can buy one here.
Popular articles from last week’s issue
• Winnebago acquires Newmar.
• Video: See RVs destroyed by Hurricane Dorian.
• Keystone debuts dual bunk trailer, sleeps 14!
• Should you electrically insulate (“ground”) your levelers?
• Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, September 20, 2019.
• Is interest on an RV loan tax deductible?
• Wife questions need for RV macerator pump.
• That was the RV week that was, September 14 – 20, 2019.
• New coupler lock keeps your travel/utility trailer safe from crooks.
• What we learned about you last week (September 14-20).
• Video: A simple way to do laundry on the RV road.
• The future of van life is here, and we like what we see.
Our Facebook and RVillage Groups: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying Advice • Northwest RV Camping • Southwest RV Camping. And please join our group on RVillage (like Facebook except just for RVers).
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.
The RV Show USA
Listen each Wednesday evening on Facebook or YouTube for the live taping of America’s only syndicated radio program about RVing.
The RV Death Spiral
Read the eight-part series of editorials by Greg Gerber that the RV industry never wanted written. Download the PDF.
Motorhomes on Fire
This is not pretty – dozens of videos of RVs burning up. But the point is to help viewers understand that RVs burn fast, and they need to practice good fire-prevention habits and practice an escape plan … just in case.
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.
Save bandwidth while watching YouTube videos
How to watch YouTube videos using very little bandwidth.
Stuck with a lemon RV? Contact Ron Burdge, America’s premier RV lemon law attorney.
Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel as of September 23, 2019:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.65. [Calif.: $3.61]
Change from week before: Up 10 cents; Change from year before: Down 19 cents.
Diesel: $3.08. [Calif.: $3.98]
Change from week before: Up 9 cents; Change from year before: Down 19 cents.
Ask the RV Shrink
Dealing with a nosy campground neighbor
Dear RV Shrink:
We live in our motorhome full time and have no home base. My husband likes to change the oil himself and always is very careful to catch it all and not to make a production out of it. Last week a national forest campsite neighbor saw him changing the oil and came over and pitched a fit. He said it was illegal to change oil in the campground and accused us of polluting. My husband was very embarrassed and put things away immediately. …
The Business of Work Camping
The five things we did wrong – Part 1
Sam and Suzi Suva have been work camping in many situations for a very long time. This two-part series is about when deceptive or simply opportunistic people (campground owners/managers) try to take advantage of “loop holes” – errors made by inexperienced work campers. Learn from Sam and Suzi’s mistakes here.
Ask the RV Doctor
RVers can’t locate source of slideout leak
We have a 2009 Monaco and have had a leak in the bedroom slide from the very beginning. It takes about an hour or so after it starts raining for the water to start dripping in on the floor and it will continue to drip three hours after it stops raining. I just keep putting down rolled up towels and it will soak them. We can see it dripping in but can’t find out where it is coming from. …
Torque those ATS screws properly
From Mike: In my RVelectricity seminars I’ve been demonstrating how to tighten terminal screws in your generator transfer switch. Why should you be doing this seasonally? Well, if you don’t check transfer switch screws for tightness, the combination of road vibration and temperature swings (not to mention moisture) can allow these screws to loosen up and increase the resistance of the connection. And that high-resistance connection can overheat during heavy current draw. Don’t believe me? Well, a picture is worth a thousand words (at least). Learn more.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session:
Sign up for Mike’s popular RV Electricity group on Facebook.
RV Tire Safety
Two front tire “blowouts” in one day
Roger Marble reports about a thread on a forum started by the owner of a Class A motorhome who suffered two front-end “blowouts” on the same day. Roger has heard of cases where the OE tires, and even the front axle in one case, were in overload when the RV was shipped from the manufacturer. He explains why “four corner weights” are strongly recommended for all RVs. Learn more.
Building an RV Park
We moved into our house! And plans are changing
From Machelle: “If you’ve ever remodeled a house, you know how much hard work it is. I think it’s fair to say AJ and I have used muscles we didn’t know we had! Every day we wake up and are thankful to be alive as we nurse our sore muscles and fatigued bodies. I have never in my life looked so much forward to taking a hot bath!” But why did they have to resubmit the campground plans to their engineering team? Read more.
The RV Kitchen
Secret Sauce Recipe
A sauce for all seasons. One easy way to add a WOW factor to a simple RV meal is to have one or more sauces on hand. They punch up flavor and appearance, and can cover up little slips such as the fish fillet that fell apart. This sauce can be served over hot or cold seafood, hot vegetables, poached chicken, omelets, grilled ham, burgers and much more. Get the recipe.
The Digital RVer
Four tips for conserving phone battery when you’re off-grid
When you travel in remote areas, you likely will not have cell service and you may not have electricity. If using your devices and connecting to Internet is important to you, we have some tips about how you can prepare before you go, and some tips about what to do and not do when you’re there. Learn more.
The world’s largest…
Cluck, cluck cluck! The world’s largest chicken in Marietta, GA, is a sight to be seen! Read the fascinating history behind this 56-foot-tall chicken here.
Facebook Groups of Interest
• CampingRoadTrip Community!
• Girls Who Travel
PLUS OUR OWN GROUPS: RV Horror Stories • RV Advice • RV Electricity • RV Parks with Storm Shelters • RV Buying Advice • Northwest RV Camping • Southwest RV Camping.
Free and bargain camping
Walmart Supercentre #3636, Halifax, NS
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed for one night only. Obtain permission from Mall Security at phone number in our listing. The lot has decided drainage slopes, so leveling may be difficult. Fast-food options in-store and nearby. Click here for details.
Blaine Waring Memorial Park, Dubois, ID
ALMOST FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. Parallel park on the north side of street adjacent to park, behind city/county office building. Dump station and potable water in park. Level, quiet, and appears safe. 2019 rate: $5 Donation. Two restaurants nearby. Click here for details.
Overnight RV Parking, with more than 14,000 locations listed, is the largest and best resource for locating free and inexpensive places to spend a night in an RV. For membership information and a demo of the site, click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demo. Watch a video about OvernightRVparking.com.
Upcoming RV Shows
Washington State Evergreen RV Show, Sept. 27-29, Monroe, WA
Austin RV Super Sale, Sept. 27-29, Round Rock, TX
Buy! Buy! Derby RV Sale, Sept. 27-29, Arlington Heights, IL
Indianapolis Fall Boat & RV Show, Sept. 27-29, Indianapolis, IN
Richmond RV & Boat Mega Sale, Sept. 27-29, Richmond, VA
Fall Detroit RV & Camping Show, Oct. 2-6, Novi, MI
Tacoma Fall RV Show, Oct. 3-6, Tacoma, WA
California RV Show, Oct. 4-13, Fontana, CA
Jacksonville Fall RV Show, Oct. 10-13, Green Cove Springs, FL
RV Liquidation Super Sale, Oct. 11-13, Pittsburgh, PA
In 1998, the Oxford Dictionary included the term “spam” as a definition for junk email. To be technically classified as spam, an electronic message must be both unsolicited and bulk. From Court Stroud on Forbes.com
Bumper sticker of the week
My last tailgater failed the brake test.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
Ready for more Church Ladies With Computers?… They’re back!
From Tom Hart
These sentences (with bloopers) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:
• The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
• The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
• The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new campaign slogan last Sunday: “I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.”
“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” —William Shakespeare
RV Travel staff
CONTACT US at editor@RVtravel.com
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris, Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Mike Sokol, Bob Difley, Richard Mallery, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Sam Suva, Mike Sherman, Machelle James, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
REGIONAL AND LOCAL ADVERTISING: We can now run banners on RVtravel.com in your town or in a designated area near you, for example to readers within 100, 200, etc., miles of your business. Learn more here.
About the RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for three decades. In the ’90s he published the quirky travel newspaper Out West, and was an “on the road” writer for the New York Times Syndicate. His book, “The Best from Out West” is available at Amazon.com. Woodbury’s RVing adventures have been profiled on ABC News, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, and in People Magazine, USA Today and in hundreds of newspapers. He is the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD “Buying a Recreational Vehicle,” the definitive guide to purchasing an RV the right way.
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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This newsletter is copyright 2019 by RVtravel.com